Tuesday, 27 February 2007

A Return to the Bad Old Days: U.S. restarts funding Al Qaeda

This news is just making me feel physically sick. Its not just that its wrong, or that its evil. Its not the knowledge that the U.S. government and its disgusting cronies in Saudi Arabia are doing their damnedest to ignite sectarian conflict. Or that they intend to use the same salafist thugs to do it that created Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashker-i-Jhangvi, etc. Its the feeling of being stuck in a time warp - of being powerless while the same damn thing is happening all over again.

Its been in the air in the last few months. The rhetoric not just of intolerance, but of hatred. The kind of rhetoric that leads to atrocities and ethnic cleansing. First it was in Iraq where Sunni extremists declared "The Jihad now is against the Shias, not the Americans". Of course U.S. policies help to fuel this kind of hatred. Then this rhetoric spread to the rest of the Arab world, with King Abdullah (Mighty Mouse) of Jordan spouting BS about the fears of a 'Shia crescent' in the Middle East. The usual third rate hack writers that make up the American intelligentsia responded with the typical smug platitudes about how they were proved right about how barbaric Muslims are - murdering and killing each other in sectarian conflict. Perhaps the most disgusting thing about the comments from these despicable revisionists of history was how they called this sectarian violence "self-generating".

Its not the fact that we create, arm, train, fund and indoctrinate murderers that generates this sectarian violence, no, of course not: its "self-generating".

When the conglomeration of dunces that is the Saudi government combined its money with the imperial ambitions of the United States government throughout the 80s to CREATE a new Islamic ideology whose ENTIRE aim was to hate and use violence; when they funded an entire network of schools and madressahs throughout the world that indoctrinated people with this ideology in an effort to inoculate them from the dangers of communism (and also inoculated them to ideas of humanity, tolerance, liberalism, equality of women and rationality along the way); when they armed, trained and organised groups who went through this indoctrination and unleashed them upon Afghanistan, and then left them to their own devices so that they went on to try and fuck up India, Pakistan, Israel, Syria, Egypt, Algeria... and yes, eventually New York; when it became blindingly obvious that it is EVIL in the extreme to have created and promoted this ideology; one would have hoped, somewhere, in the recesses of some stupid piggy mind of some political theorist or policy maker somewhere in the halls of power, it would have occurred that this was not something to be done again...

No. Alas. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia and other allies are now seeking to "redirect" Middle East strategy and once again funnel money and provide training for those very groups of extremists that the U.S. is supposedly fighting in the 'war on terror' in the hopes of directing their energies more productively against Shias. Seymour Hersh has an illuminating article in the New Yorker. Here's a sample:

The Saudi royal family has been, by turns, both a sponsor and a target of Sunni extremists, who object to the corruption and decadence among the family’s myriad princes. The princes are gambling that they will not be overthrown as long as they continue to support religious schools and charities linked to the extremists. The Administration’s new strategy is heavily dependent on this bargain.

Nasr compared the current situation to the period in which Al Qaeda first emerged. In the nineteen-eighties and the early nineties, the Saudi government offered to subsidize the covert American C.I.A. proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Hundreds of young Saudis were sent into the border areas of Pakistan, where they set up religious schools, training bases, and recruiting facilities. Then, as now, many of the operatives who were paid with Saudi money were Salafis. Among them, of course, were Osama bin Laden and his associates, who founded Al Qaeda, in 1988.

This time, the U.S. government consultant told me, Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

Just read the stuff about Lebanon. Its so disgusting. When last Saudi Arabia meddled in Lebanon, joining Israel in funding and arming the Phalange and islamic militias against the secular Pan-arab threat of the PLO and the Shiite party Amal, the destabilisation led to the country sliding into war in the the late 70s that lasted for over a decade. And here they are proposing to do it again. And of course the great hypocrites in Washington are eagerly going along with it because the last thing they want is democracy and the right of self-determination for the lowly arab races. No, what they want is 'stability'.

For those who are not in the know: whenever politicians spout shit about wanting 'stability' what they are saying is that they don't want things in a region or country to change. So if there is a corrupt dictatorship (oh, say like the one in Saudi Arabia) which does nothing but grow fat and decadent on billions of dollars in oil profits while large chunks of the country's population do not have access to education, or proper housing or even water or electricity 24 hours a day, and these people want a change in their situation, those same politicians oppose any change. Why? Stability!

The funny thing is that this policy ties up so well with that of arch-terrorist Musab al Zarqawi (formerly head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq). In 2004 he wrote a letter to Osama bin Laden explaining his strategy in Iraq. The U.S. government intercepted the letter and put up a translation on their website. Go ahead, have a read. Get an eyeful of all that hatred for Shias (and Jews, Sufis, Americans and Tartars!) Pay special close attention to the bit about how by attacking Shias, he wants to goad Shias into taking up arms against Sunnis, provoke sectarian warfare and eventually force the Americans into open conflict with the Shias.

"Our fighting against the Shi`a is the way to drag the [Islamic] nation into the battle.... If we are able to strike them with one painful blow after another until they enter the battle, we will be able to [re]shuffle the cards. Then, no value or influence will remain to the Governing Council or even to the Americans, who will enter a second battle with the Shi`a. This is what we want, and, whether they like it or not, many Sunni areas will stand with the mujahidin. Then, the mujahidin will have assured themselves land from which to set forth in striking the Shi`a in their heartland..."

Now the Americans KNOW what Zarqawi was aiming to do. They put his freakin' letter up on their freakin' State Department's website. But... well... blow me down, they are doing exactly what he hoped they would do - following a policy that he has actively worked for: War against Shias. I mean, heck, Zarqawi wanted to exterminate Shias, but even he couldn't have dared hope that the Americans would give his ilk arms, training and cash to do it! Surely its too implausible to suggest that American foreign policy was being directed by Zarqawi and Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Surely its also too implausible that Zarqawi was serving American foreign policy in Iraq? Sectarian war. Surely not...

I could go on about this, but I can't right now. Its too dreadful, too appalling to think about. Do I sound melodramatic? A quick glimpse at the string of suicide bombings and sectarian attacks in Pakistan over the last few months is just a reminder of the fallout from the idiocy of this kind of policy. And I personally remember the bad old days when a day wouldn't go by without the murder of some Shia professional or family. The days when, for example, my mother-in-law's uncle was warned by a government security agency that he was on a list of targets for assassination and advised him to leave the country because they could not provide him with protection! The days when one's own family name could implicate you.

Ah yes, the good old days. Thank you USA for all you have given us. Just don't come bombing us when someone decides to repay you for your gifts in kind.


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