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EDITORIAL: 1-15 October 2001

Terror behind Black Tuesday

The level of violence that shook the US on 11 September has shocked all civilized people around the world. Muslim leaders and scholars all over the world, including India, have condemned these terrorist acts and very rightly considered their perpetrators as criminals, terrorists and murderers.

By the time these lines are out in print the US may have started its ‘Crusade’ against Osama bin Laden and his host country, Afghanistan. It is here that we and many Muslims around the world disagree with the US. We do not support Bin Laden or an Afghanistan indulging in terrorism within or without its borders. In fact we have been rather outspoken in our criticism of Afghanistan’s current rulers as well as the terrorist activities of some Muslims.

Two things are not acceptable: Osama and Afghanistan have been indicted without almost any evidence so far. The world, including the UN, has not been found fit and worthy to be told of the ‘facts’ that the US seems to possess. In the absence of clear-cut evidence there is no case for selecting Osama and his host country for retribution by the world’s sole superpower which does not tire sermonizing all about rule of law, democracy and human rights.This serious flaw in the US approach, as a British MP said, will create a thousand Bin Ladens. And here lies the second unacceptable aspect which has been meticulously avoided by the west-dominated media: the US record in recent times, especially since the end of the second world war, is highly questionable. Its cowboy diplomacy has left behind a trail of misery, injustice and suffering all over the world. The general American public is blissfully unaware of these serious violations of the same slogans their rulers do not tire of raising every now and then.

It is the accumulation of an unending chain of injustices that has angered many people around the world against the sole superpower. This includes such historic injustices as sustaining, aiding and abetting Israeli terrorism and propping up dictatorial regimes around the world. Over the past half a century the US has stepped on many wrong toes in Cuba, Vietnam, Chile, Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan to name a few. In 1989 it invaded a sovereign country, Panama, kidnapped its president (Manuel Noriega) and still keeps him in a Miami jail. It helped Iraq destroy Iran. It brought down an Iranian civil airliner in the Gulf in 1988. It has blindly supported Israel kill, maim and devastate Palestinians after making most of them refugees and occupying their land since 1948. It protected Israel during its invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which led to the murder of tens of thousands of innocent people including such infamous massacres in the annals of history as Sabra and Shatila under the supervision of the war criminal who now rules Israel. Bush Senior helped Israel out of the US treasury with $10 billion to build and expand illegal settlements which are the biggest hurdle to any compromise even by the most lenient Palestinian negotiators. US veto has always saved Israel from world censure in the UN. Most recently the US was the sole country in the world to stand by and walk out with its protege, from the Durban Racism Conference. It used the Afghans to bring down the Soviet Empire and once that goal was accomplished conveniently left the Afghans to fight each other in a devastated country.

It is very important that the US and its hasty allies think over these facts to discover why Uncle Sam is detested and perceived as ‘ugly’ around the world. No peace is possible in the world and there is no certain way to stop the recurrence of the Black Tuesday again and again unless the basic flaws in the US foreign policy are addressed and more equitable and just world system is ushered in which all have a stake. It is very important that the beautiful slogans of democracy and human rights are not practiced in the west only while the same western countries help their puppets around the world flout them with impunity and the only people who are punished in various ways are those who are not in the good books of the west for one reason or the other.

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