When recently, the news of Tikrit having been recaptured by Iraqi army surfaced, the international media did not show the kind of enthusiasm in its coverage, which would otherwise be expected considering the vociferous nature of propaganda against ISIS that has been dominating the news for about a year.
Soon the reason of this lacklustre coverage became clear. In the success in Tikrit operation, Iran had played the crucial role. Once the successes were guaranteed, the US government put the condition of the withdrawal of Shia militia from Tikrit for the continuation of its support to the Iraqi army. And the news is now coming that Saudi Government has launched a big offensive against Houthis with the participation of several countries including Pakistan, the offer of support from Egypt and of course the tacit support from the US. The Houthis are known to have the backing of Iran, and this again is the chief reason of the American intervention.
The duplicity of Western approach can be seen in almost every intervention they make in the region. In Syria and Libya, the West supported the rebels, in Yemen and Egypt, they supported the Governments. Even in Iraq, they had used the ISIS push in that country to get rid of Maliki who was considered soft towards Iran. The humanity and justice are no criteria in support or opposition. The only criterion is the political expediency. Come what may, the American puppets in the region must survive and the opponents must go.
During last four decades the Middle East has been the centre of various interventions by America and Russia, with almost everyone failing to achieve the stated objectives, and a few mass movements that emerge through social, political and ideological campaigns. Such movements can fail, but they have certainly the greater chances of success. The Islamic Revolution of Iran, the rise of Hamas and Hezbollah and the Ikhwan Movement in some Arab countries are movements that have achieved mixed successes. The militant movements, even if their concerns and grievances are genuine, tend to fail often resulting in hugely disastrous consequences for the people as well as their active members. Still more unfortunate is the truth that the global forces of hegemony use them for their own ends. They would initially support them, and when their mission is accomplished, they would abandon them or in case they turn rebels would destroy them. This happened with al-Qaeda, which was created and used by West against the erstwhile Soviet Union. The Soviet Empire disintegrated, and America did no longer need al-Qaeda. When the Movement started expanding their reach in countries which were of economically or politically strategic importance for West, they invented or found a pretext to destroy them. In the process, tens of thousands of innocent Afghans lost their lives.
ISIS was not a terrorist organisation in the eyes of West when it was fighting the Syrian Government. A substantial percentage of the fighters that joined ISIS came from Europe. Once the West-backed Civil War in Syria failed to topple Bashar-al Assad, and ISIS entered Iraq, the scenario changed. There too, ISIS was initially used by America and its regional allies, especially Saudi Arab, to weaken the position of Nurul Maliki, the leader of the democratically elected party in Iraq because his growing closeness to Iran was not acceptable. The total failure of West in Syria had unnerved the West. A stretch of land from Iran to Lebanon (including Syria, Iraq and Palestine) along with an increasingly Islamic Turkey nearby could spell doom for Israel.
The rise of ISIS was therefore initially not as unwelcome as it subsequently became. Its stupendous successes were attributed to the discrimination against Sunnis by Maliki government. Maliki was soon replaced. One major part of the mission was achieved. But in the meantime, ISIS started threatening the cities that were important to West. The ISIS was meant in Western plans to challenge the opponents, not for taking reins in their own hands. Their expansionist campaigns worried the neighbouring countries. Suddenly they became big villains, of the Muslim world as well as West. Sunni-Shia talk ceased.
Few videos showing beheading of journalists, whose authenticity like similar Taliban videos was never proved, were enough to turn them into despicable devils. The international media came into action. Obama turned furious. A coalition was soon assembled primarily involving “Sunni” states. Sunnis fighting Sunnis will help America avoid suspicions of larger aims. The truth however is that ISIS is only a villain for public consumption. Internally, at best, it remains a friendly enemy.
Thanks to the US-Israel interventions, the Middle East is much more Islamised now than it used to be about four decades back, even much more than it was a decade back. The hostility towards West is the ultimate result. More attacks by America, and there will be greater hostility. It appears that both the US and Middle East, the rulers if not the people, enjoy the engagement.
What an irony that for last several years, West has been trying to foment Sunni-Shia hatred to the hilt to achieve its grand objectives, and has instead ended in pitting Sunnis against Sunnis. What a wonderful demonstration of the wisdom on the part of the Sunni World! The Arab kingdoms have learnt the art of keeping the clerics all over the world in good humour through lucrative grants, and they continue to rule without much trouble. If America is on their side, they believe, and the clerics, their kingdoms are safe. Even if a “Spring” succeeds for the time being, they feel, the US will restore them. Now, with Yemen front heating up, there is a renewed fear of the escalation of Sunni-Shia divide. If Saudis and Iranians can come to the table and cooperate instead of fearing each other, the Muslim World can successfully thwart the troubles.
Today the Europe is confronted with the problem of “terrorists” returning from Syria and Iraq, which number in thousands. But they are refusing to admit that these “terrorists” were in fact fighters they sent or let go with deliberate tacitness to Syria because the Europe at that time considered them “freedom fighters” against Syrian regime, which they loathed.
Without the support of European governments, these thousands could never have travelled to Syria and Iraq, and could not have amassed the kind of weaponry they possess. The war in Syria was being openly financed by Western countries, and the “fighters” killing the Syrian army personnel and civilians were being hailed in no uncertain terms. Bashar-al Assad was the villain then and he had to be removed, even if his removal resulted in deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings.
To their surprise, Assad proved too much for them, and defeated West-sponsored rebellion in a decisive manner. Squarely defeated, ISIS entered Iraq, and the European fighters started going back to their countries of origin. Perhaps the Western governments believed that these would not return live, but they did. Coming from the midst of violence, and realizing their folly in becoming pawns in the hands of their own governments, they were filled with hatred. Most of them controlled their anger, but some could not, and it is these few who might have become involved in using the West-supplied weapons against their own countrymen.
The most unfortunate part of the whole scenario is that instead of realizing its own faults, and instead of trying to win back the Muslims through offers of reconciliation, they are engaged in spreading Islamophobia to the hilt. Instead of counting the dead they killed in Muslim countries, they are simply counting the few the Muslim “terrorists” have killed. Instead of trying to find out the weaknesses of their own ideologies, concepts and policies in bringing real peace to humanity, they are busy in telling Muslim World about the “weaknesses” in their Islamic beliefs. They cannot understand the simple fact that Islamic laws may appear to be harsh in method but are harbingers of peace in effect, while on the other hand, Western ways look benign in methodology but are highly dangerous in results.
Only a moron would condone ISIS. But how can the crimes of ISIS be compared with the carnages, massacres and genocides by America, Israel and their allies? The whole world is being made to believe, with renewed vigour, that people claiming to be the followers of Islam, are indulging in terrorism posing threat to the whole mankind. And through this propaganda they make all the Muslims suspicious. But there is no one to tell the truth that if “Muslim” terrorists have killed a few thousand Westerners, West has killed more than 2 million innocent Muslims.
Should Muslims also start becoming suspicious about every Westerner? Fortunately, their religion has taught them to differentiate between the perpetrators and the ordinary people. Most of them have so far been true to their faith. Some have gone astray, but their misdeeds are only an immoral reflection of their genuine grievances and anger.
Let West also understand that violence breeds violence, and ultimately it is the amount of violence which determines which is crueller than the rest. War is much bigger terror than “terror”.
Let them understand fast that through sustained hostility they cannot win peace. Peace with Muslims can be achieved only through proper understanding of their ideological positions on various issues and their genuine grievances and finding solutions on the basis of mutual respect. Once they are ready to accept the facts, they will be able to understand that enforcement of false ideologies for economic ends through bombs cannot bring true peace and comfort to mankind.
Let the international media focus with the same intensity on crimes by West and their allies against Muslims as they do on the crimes by ISIS! Let the media visit the homes of the Palestinian and children that were bombarded into everlasting silence by the bombs of Israel, which had the stamp of the US! Let the global community hold memorials for the dead of Afghanistan and Iraq the way they hold for the victims of 9/11!
Let the international organisations focus on the role of America and its allies rather than the “terrorists” in killing humans! Let them give a daily account of how many have been killed by “terror” and how many by the “war against terror”!
Let us stop categorising violence on the basis of our interests! Let every act of violence be condemned, whatever the pretext, whoever the victim, whoever the perpetrator, whichever the place!