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EDITORIAL: 1-15 December 2001

Its a clash of civilisations, like it or not...

The war between an ant and an elephant may not be over yet. In the short term there is no hope in Afghanistan for Taliban or any real, nationalist and freedom-loving group. The overwhelming power of the western combine will crush anyone and everyone who opposes its grandiose imperialist plans for Central Asia. The war was already planned before 9-11. Mulla Umar’s refusal of the American proposals to lay an American gas pipeline across Afghanistan had sealed Taliban’s fate. The Taliban will now disperse into the guerrilla-friendly mountains, hills and valleys of Afghanistan to repeat the events of only a decade ago which brought down a similar arrogant superpower. The area’s history of the last two hundred years has many lessons for those who are ready to learn from history. Afghanistan, Caucausus, Chechnya all are replete with true stories of proud people who refuse to be cowed down by the sheer might of an arrogant adversary.

If there is a lesson for the Third World and the Muslim World in all that we have been witnessing with utter disbelief is that clash of civilisations is a fact of life. It is staring us in the face. The Bush message of ‘us versus them’ is a clear indication that in the coming years the sole superpower will try to crush every dissent and opposition to its plans. Concentration camps for Muslims and Arabs in the US and the bombing of Aljazeerah in Kabul and the massacre of foreign Muslim volunteers are all signs of this mad cow disease. We were all wrong to think that the clash theory was the product of a few sick minds in the west. It seems the west is full of such sick minds. It was our mistake in the Muslim world that we, like an ostrich, thought that there are many wise and intelligent people in the west who would not allow this madness to happen. But the madness let loose after 9-11 proves that we should be ready to expect anything from this ‘civilisation’ which permits wholesale criminalisation, racial profiling, slaughter of the innocent, concentration camps, denial of all freedoms including those of life and property. It is not difficult to imagine that such sick minds represent the overwhelming majority in western countries which deny us rights in what they take pride themselves.

There are already ample signs that the current war will be extended to other countries which are seen as an impediment to American plans. War against Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan etc is on the cards. Which means that there is a grand agenda that will keep them and us occupied for many years to come. There are veiled threats of coups in various countries which have faithfully stood by the west all these years, simply because these states cannot go against the unambiguous public opinion of their masses. Induced coups are not a novelty. The Americans have engineered coups in many countries including Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt.

Under the influence of the Parivar, India has failed to take the moral high ground in this conflict, not in support of Taliban or their guests but to uphold the lofty ideals of justice that no one, individual, group or state, becomes a criminal by the virtue of hurling accusations which have yet to be proved beyond doubt, in order to take the drastic step of going to war with all its perils especially for the millions of innocent civilians, who in th case of Afghanistan were already reeling under a three year drought and had yet to recover from the effects of a war imposed by this very superpower which is fighting them now. Iran has disappointed everyone by its current policy which only vindicates what many had thought all-along that it is following a ‘national’ agenda and its ‘Islamic’ slogans were skin-deep.

It is not difficult for any observer to see that in all this drama the west will be the biggest loser, because it is now decidedly moving to a fascist system which will never survive for long and will stunt its economic progress which is its backbone. Fascist ‘laws’ are already in place in both the US and UK and soon all western countries will have them.

It is time for the Muslim World together with African and Asian nations to revive the idea of ‘Afro-Asianism’ which the great Algerian thinker Malek Bennabi called us to.. This idea is the essence of the Non-aligned movement which has been thrown into the dustbin by the current Parivar rulers of Delhi although it conferred upon our country the role of a world leader. The Parivar is content to be an American poodle - no doubt for very short term gains. The current upheaval is the time for all people outside the American world to search new ways and innovate new ideas to survive the challenges ahead.

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