by Zafar Bangash (Reflections, Crescent International Vol. 36, No. 5, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1428)
That the world is a nasty place is not in doubt; what is seldom admitted is the depth of the plight of the oppressed, especially Muslims, and the level of hypocrisy that passes for the rule of law and international order. The militarily powerful oppress and terrorize the weak under the guise of fighting “terrorism”, while the rich exploit the poor in the name of progress. True, there will always be disparities of power and wealth, but when a tiny minority amasses great riches and the vast majority languishes in extreme poverty, it leads to resentment among the poor. But the violence that sometimes results is insignificant compared to the violence of the rich and powerful in pursuit of their interests.
The extreme disparities and violence in the world today are the direct result of the contemporary world order that was created by the victors of the Second World War—primarily the US, Britain and France but also the former Soviet Union, now transformed into Russia—to safeguard their interests, through such institutions as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
The extreme disparities and violence in the world today are the direct result of the contemporary world order that was created by the victors of the Second World War—primarily the US, Britain and France but also the former Soviet Union, now transformed into Russia—to safeguard their interests, through such institutions as the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. In this hierarchical system, these powers have near total dominance; but if they still cannot achieve their objectives through them, they go outside them to pursue their interests by whatever means they deem necessary. America’s policies in the last 50 years are illustrative. If the UN does muster enough courage to resist any US demand—for instance, the invasion of Iraq in 2003—Washington simply ignores it. Since the invasion, nearly one million people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Iraq. This is on top of the 1.5 million Iraqis that were killed by the US- and UN-imposed sanctions in the 1990s. The US’s use of depleted uranium in its weapons during its wars has permanently contaminated the Iraqi environment and gene-pool, causing extremely high levels of cancer and other fatal diseases. Meanwhile, the torture chambers at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have come to symbolise the US’s true nature.
It is not only these powers that have immunity from international opprobrium; so do their puppets and allies, such as the zionist state of Israel. Israel has defied at least 70 UN Security Council resolutions that would have led to dire military and political consequences if any other state had been guilty of such defiance; but the zionists get away, literally, with murder. Concern with such technicalities, however, fails to convey the magnitude of suffering inflicted on other peoples. The US has been involved in criminal activities against other countries for decades.
In 1953 the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) engineered a coup against the government of Dr Mohammed Mossadeq in Iran. It has murdered leaders and overthrown governments in countries like Guatemala (1954), South Vietnam (1963), Indonesia (1966), Chile (1973) and Grenada (1983). There have also been several failed attempts against Fidel Castro of Cuba. Invariably, CIA-led coups have resulted in the mass murder of innocent civilians. In Indonesia, between half a million and one million civilians are estimated to have been murdered after General Suharto overthrew President Ahmed Sokarno in 1966. In Vietnam, two million or more people died when the US intervened militarily, allegedly to defeat communism. Another two million people were killed in Cambodia. The Soviets were no less bestial: their invasion and 10-year war in Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Afghans and created five million refugees. Afghanistan’s infrastructure was destroyed and the country continues to suffer after another invasion and occupation, this time by the US and its allies.
Israel, the US’s surrogate, has an equally bloody record. It was not only created by an act of barefaced theft by the UN, which had no right to gift the land of the Palestinians to European settlers, but has murdered tens of thousands of Palestinians, destroyed hundreds of villages, and is now pursuing a policy of mass starvation of millions of people in Ghazzah and the West Bank. An estimated 10,000 Palestinians languish in Israeli prisons, which are known for their brutality. In July 2006, the zionists invaded Lebanon to destroy Hizbullah, the Lebanese resistance movement. During the 34-day onslaught, 1,300 civilians were killed and scores of villages totally destroyed, along with more than US$7 billion-worth of Lebanese infrastructure, including bridges, power stations, refineries, apartment buildings and office towers. Far from the UN condemning Israel’s war crimes, the US deliberately obstructed a ceasefire in order to allow the zionists time to destroy Hizbullah. This was just the latest of a long line of zionist war crimes; Lebanon suffered Israeli onslaughts in 1978 and June 1982 that led to the massacres at Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps in September 1982. Israel also established concentration camps at al-Firaa and Khiam where Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners were systematically tortured.
The reality of the world today is that those who claim to represent civilization are no better than two-legged beasts indulging in the wanton killing of innocents for their own ends; while those who refuse to submit to such barbarism are branded as terrorists. The real terrorists and barbarians are those now strutting about the world as respected statesmen, while knowing, deep in their hearts, that this inversion of reality cannot last.