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Published in the 1-15 Feb 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Fascism, global and local
By Zafarul-Islam Khan

With the end of the Second World War one thought we had seen the end of colonialism and the advent of neo-colonialism in which foreign powers did not risk direct occupation of foreign lands but preferred to rule through local agents and satraps. This new brand of colonialism was led by a new and fresh power, the United States of America and the erstwhile Soviet Union. Military and palace coups ensured firm footholds for the two superpowers in many Third World countries. But one of them acted smart and by the end of the 1980s it had ensured the final defeat and dismemberment of the other superpower. This caused a serious disbalance in international relations. Unfortunately some Muslims were used by one superpower to fight the other power in Afghanistan. Now that same superpower is waging a relentless war against those very Islamic 'mujahidin" it once supported with money, arms, technology and training but in the changed scenario they have been branded as "terrorists" and are being hunted down all over the world at present. 

An alarming aspect of the new colonial order is the globalisation of fascism today. We all know how closely linked the American right, the Zionists occupying Palestine and the Hindutva forces in our own country are. These fascist forces are coming closer, helping and sheltering each other. American monetary and military help to Israel is well known but even Hindutva forces here are immensely benefitting from American dollars and this has been amply exposed after the Gujarat pogroms which were never officially condemned by the American government. 

The sole superpower used the 9-11 events to unfold a plan which was in the pipeline for a very long time to enslave the whole world - indeed a culmination of what one of its ideologues has dubbed as "end of history". We do not know exactly how and why 9-11 really took place because a thick fog still engulfs those events and no serious enquiry has been undertaken and no heads in the CIA have rolled over the events which should never have been allowed to take place in the first place. Only the future will tell us to what extent the American authorities knew or facilitated or even executed those terrorist events. What is clear is that the Bush administration lost not a moment in exploiting those tragic and deplorable events in order to unleash a reign of international terror to bring to heel what they call "rogue states", and there are 60 of them according to Bush's deputy Dick Cheney. The tragic events of 9-11 offered Neo-cons the perfect catalyst to move into high gear to ensure total domination of the US over world resources.

The Neo-con agenda is based on forsaking the past American policy of stability and containment in favor of one based on continuous instability and maintaining power through preemptive wars with no end in sight.

The Neo-con agenda goes back to 1997, when the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a Neo-conservative think tank headquartered in Washington, issued a Statement of Principles that lays out the Neo-conservative vision of an international order completely subservient to U.S. business, military and political interests. At its core, the statement makes clear that nothing less than total, global American military dominance will suffice. The statement was signed by Dick Cheney, who is now vice president, Donald Rumsfeld, now secretary of defense, and Paul Wolfowitz, now deputy defense secretary. 

Information is now readily available that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001. The blueprint, calling for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana', is named "Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century". It was written in September 2000 by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: 'The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.' 

The PNAC document supports a 'blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests'. 

This 'American grand strategy' must be advanced for 'as far into the future as possible', the report says. It also calls for the US to 'fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars' as a 'core mission'. 

The report describes American armed forces abroad as 'the cavalry on the new American frontier'. The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must 'discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role'. The report reveals worries in the American administration that Europe could rival the USA, that 'Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has', and calls 'regime change' in China. In order to achieve these tasks the report calls for the creation of 'US Space Forces', to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent 'enemies' using the Internet against the US. The report hints that the US may consider developing biological weapons, saying that advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool'.

The brutal repression of the Palestinian people which we are watching since war criminal Sharon came to power is also a side-kick of the Neo-cons agenda. The same Neo-con think tank, with people like Don Rumsfeld and Richard Perle, prepared a document in July 1996 at the request of the Likud Israeli prime minster Netanyahu to draft a strategy for abrogating the Oslo Accords and overturning the entire concept of "comprehensive land for peace," in favor of a jackboot policy of U.S.-Israeli raw military conquest and occupation. This report is called "A Clean Break". It spelled out the current joint Mideast war strategy of the Ariel Sharon government in Israel and the Cheney cabal inside the Bush Administration. Netanyahu, and his successor-Likud Prime Minister Sharon, totally adopted this report as the core strategy of their administrations. The report spelled out a four-pronged attack on the Oslo peace process and the entire Arab world. It is a self-evident truth that, since Bush Junior and Sharon governments came to power simultaneously in early 2001, "A Clean Break" has been the guiding strategic doctrine of both the administrations. Therefore Bush's total and blind support to the Israeli terrorism falls within a clear framework. This document has four main tasks: 1) Destroy Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, blaming them for every act of Palestinian "terrorism" (i.e., resistance), including the attacks by Hamas, an organization which Sharon had helped launch during his early 1980s tenure as Minister of Defense. 2) Induce the United States to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. 3) Launch war against Syria after Saddam's regime is disposed of, including striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and targets in Syria proper. 4) Parlay the overthrow of the Ba'athist regimes in Baghdad and Damascus into the "democratization" of the entire Arab world, including through further military actions against Iran, Saudi Arabia, and "the ultimate prize," Egypt.

Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have already capitulated. Palestinian authority is under virtual siege and Iran and Syria seem to be the next targets. Unless Bush is defeated later this year in his re-election bid, there is little hope that this juggernaut will stop during the current decade. Indeed the Iraqi resistance has slowed down the American plans to shape the world according to the Neo-con agenda.

Old-style neo-clonialism has given way today to a new kind of hybrid colonialism in which the sole superpower will dominate the resources of the whole world, and even outer space, through a string of occupied lands, military bases and local powers ready to toe the line for small benefits to the ruling elites. Our own government has succeeded in buying this slavery and will soon be seen acting as Uncle Sam's policeman in this part of Asia. 

Great challenges lie ahead and they demand equally great sacrifices. We paid a very high price to get rid of the colonial yoke all over the Third World. Some nations, like Algeria, sacrificed millions in order to secure their freedom. 

A similar struggle lies ahead. We should not be fooled by the new colour and changed techniques of the new colonisers. Earlier they were fired by religious fervour or territorial hunger, or lebensraum, which was justified as "White Man's burden". Now they are striking in the name of democracy, freedom, human rights and security and by these beautiful words they mean only their own democracy, their own freedoms and their own security and this translates into total denial of democracy, freedom and security to other nations. We can see as a daily routine how America threatens and attacks other nations, how it holds hundreds captive without due process of law in no-man's lands where even the American law does not apply. American satraps like Israel are taking full advantage of the new atmosphere and turning the lives of their enemies and victims into living hell with no regard for international institutions. America has almost succeeded to turn the UN into a rubber-stamp. It has reneged on many international treaties and at present it is busy concluding bilateral treaties with many countries to ensure that its own war criminals will never face the international court of justice.

The process of imperialist hegemony started years ago in the name of "globalisation". We were told that the world will become like one village, there will be opportunities galore for all countries and all nations to compete in a global level playing field. But what has taken place during the past decade is that the movement of our peoples and goods to western countries has almost been stopped under one pretext or the other, western multinationsls are busy buying off our industries, snuffing out competition, using their clout and resources and thereby posing a grave threat to our economies and food security. In our own country, tax-evading multinationals have almost taken over key sectors like soft-drinks, automobiles, private television, higher education, courier services, telecommunications, power generation, packaged food and even packaged water. Much more is on the way in the fields of print media and basic services. A fringe of our society is benefitting from this change but the wider population is reeling under growing poverty and unemployment. We want globalisation but this must not be a one-way traffic to rob our human and material resources which is wrecking our economies. 

Another alarming aspect of the new colonial order is the globalisation of fascism today. We all know how closely linked the American right, the Zionists occupying Palestine and the Hindutva forces in our own country are. These fascist forces are coming closer, helping and sheltering each other. American monetary and military help to Israel is well known but even Hindutva forces here are immensely benefitting from American dollars and this has been amply exposed after the Gujarat pogroms which were never officially condemned by the American government which thinks and acts as if it is the custodian of human rights all over the world.

The task ahead is monumental and extremely serious for us and the generations to come. Be prepared for the sacrifices needed to ensure freedom and liberty, which is your birthright, and rise to the occasion with all seriousness that the new challenges demand.

(Written notes for the presidential address of the workshop on “Global Fascism, Hindutva and Experience of Gujarat Genocide” of Mumbai Resistance 2004, Mumbai, 18 January 2004)

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