by Abu Dharr (Guest Editorial, Crescent International Vol. 36, No. 4, Jumada' al-Ula', 1428)
Much of the news last summer was dominated by Israel’s wars on Ghazzah and then Lebanon. No-one should be surprised if, this year, the military regime in Tel Aviv decides to mount another grand attack to try to recover from their disastrous misadventures last year, particularly their defeat at the hands of the Hizbullah.
They have probably learnt by now that the Hizbullah is David to their Goliath; they are unlikely to venture into Lebanon again any time soon. But the militarists in Tel Aviv always have a fallback position: the belief that they can always pick on the Palestinians whenever they need some military posturing to polish their self-image. Based on previous experience, it is fair to suspect that this is part of the zionist thinking as they increase the pressure on the “bottled-up” Palestinians in Ghazzah. The adrenal rush for aggression is running very high nowadays in the body-politic of zion. Ideas are almost certainly bouncing back and forth betweenAmerica’s imperialist establishment and Israel’s military planners on the best way to deliver a military blow to the various forces of Islamic self-determination, what grounds to base their attack on, and what ideal outcome they should seek from the engagement. We can visualize an American-led armada in the Persian Gulf, along with zionist squadrons in the Mediterranean, unleashing their fire upon the anti-imperialist and pro-Islamic forces from Lebanon to Iran, and – if need be – from the Black Sea to the Red Sea. The larger struggle against zionism and imperialism is gaining unprecedented popularity. Gradually but surely the peoples of the world are feeling their way towards reclaiming their freedom, just as the elites of the world sense the impending sunset of their power. The Hebrew press believes that Hamas has put together a force of about ten to fifteen thousand fighters, which it says is two to three times the number of fighters that Hizbullah fielded last year. And that assessment of the power of Hamas is but a drop in the ocean of the wider Ummah. There are, we can safely say, millions of Muslims who are being mobilised by the wars and suffering the forces of zionism and imperialism have wreaked upon hundreds of millions of oppressed people – Muslims and others – all over the world; millions of Muslims, that is, who are preparing for future confrontations with the powers that be, as and when the opportunity arises.
The build-up of the US’s military presence in the Middle East is proving a cost-free exercise for Israel, which is always at the center of all American policies towards the region. Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney are treading the well-beaten paths in and out of Riyadh, Cairo, Amman, Dubai and other capitals ruled by their proxies, and belonging more to imperialism than to Islam. Israeli officers enter and exit the Pentagon on an equal par with their American equivalents, while the kings and amirs of the Arab world, and the presidents on their periphery (in Egypt, Yemen, and Iraq – just to mention a few) are always ready to welcome the US officials who come calling whenever they have more instructions to impart, whether for money to be raised or resistance forces to be cut down.
We can almost hear the American vice-president terrifying these princelings with dire warnings of the power of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a nuclear state if it decided to turn its capabilities on Saudi Arabia and the beach-states of the Persian Gulf. And it is not hard to imagine the panic of these cowards as Israel’s closest allies in the world make their rounds, mafia-style, to make sure that these frightened rulers keep paying the price for their protection and security. As in the past, we can expect all these scared rulers of Arabia to open up their military bases, installations, depots, and warehouses for the Americans to use for their planned attacks on Hamas and Hizbullah, and if need be on Syria and Iran. And all the while, of course, these Arab rulers will do everything possible to hide their role from their own people, for the Americans are not the only forces that they fear.
The Qassam missiles launched by Hamas and other Palestinians are beginning to take their toll on the brittle Israeli mindset. The Israeli politicians and military personnel do not see eye-to-eye on this issue. The military is more jittery about this; Israel’s generals want a ground operation against the threat of Palestinian rocket-fire out of Ghazzah. Meanwhile the political elites, still in shock after last year’s fiascos, fear nothing more than more setbacks and unexpected defeats. For them, Lebanon is enough for at least a few years, or until a better opportunity presents itself. The “Israeli Defense Force” (IDF), which is based in Tel Aviv and gets most of its funding and support from Washington and influential “Jewish” lobbies and interests in wealthy Western countries, is itching for another war so that Israel can reclaim the self-image of invincibility that has been seriously dented by the resistance of the Palestinians and the Hizbullah.
When Israel spoke to the world a generation or two ago, it did so as a nuclear nation-state apparently unchallengeable in the absence of an Islamic will to fight. But the world has changed radically way since then. Now, Muslims are bristling with a desire to fight back, and are on their way to offset Israel’s nuclear capabilities. Today, Qassam rockets have a limited range of five to ten miles, at best, and no great accuracy. But tomorrow there will be a new generation of rockets that will have a much longer range. As the world changes and Muslims move up in it, the whole of “Israel” will be within reach of babies now being born at Israeli checkpoints (machsooms), children being terrorized by imperialist forces in the middle of the night, and youths who have no future to look forward to in a society that can only be called a society by a long stretch of imagination.
This situation is likely to radicalize the Muslims and terrify the zionists and imperialists. There is enough history, experience and vitality in the Ummah to outlive the “bloodier-than-thou” phase of unconstrained and pointless jihad that began in Egypt andAlgeria, and is being extended into Iraq; and which we may see extended into Lebanon and Palestine in the next year or two, if the American zionists and imperialist Israelis get their way. But it will be a storm in a teacup, in historical terms; it will blow over, and the damage that it does, terrible though it may seem, will be limited, as it has been in Egypt and even in Algeria. After that, the authentic struggle of dedicated Muslims will gradually prevail. Hamas and Hizbullah will outlive the “induced acts of terror” brought on by the convergence of a “zeal to clash” – represented by elements of the “Islamic” side that do not understand the implications of what they are doing – with a “zeal to kill” represented by an American-Israeli side that knows very well the implications of what it is doing. This explains to a certain extent why the media in the imperialist West are so fixated on the Taliban and al-Qa‘ida, but are almost incapable of describing Hizbullah and Hamas.
The fighting is real; the war is on. The imperial zionists who are taking a beating in Lebanon and Palestine are trying to bring down the house of Islam by encouraging the emergence of elements among the “Islamic forces” whose strategy and tactics are self-defeating, indeed self-destroying. This is a modern equivalent, based in Tel Aviv and Washington DC, of the sorts of diabolic enemies and stratagems that believers have been confronting since time immemorial, as they tried to follow the guidance of Allah subhanahu wa ta‘ala and establish good in this world. And the success of the faithful against such enemies is assured: “...wa in kaana makruhum li-tazuula minhu al-jibaal” – “even if their contrivance is capable of diminishing mountains” (al-Qur’an 14:46).
The Islamic Uprising in Iran a quarter of a century ago is too important and too special for Muslims to simply watch it wander from its original and true course. We remember all too clearly the impact this breakthrough had on Muslims everywhere. For the first time in modern history, Muslims had risen against a corrupt government and its imperialist and zionist sponsors, and were able to take control of their own country, and begin to show the rest of us how things should be done.
Of course, the road forward was not likely to be smooth. The sponsors of the Pahlavi regime could not be expected to sit and watch a people shape their own future on the basis of their Islamic faith and commitment. Throughout the last 25 years, America and Israel have been working to bring the Islamic government in Iran to its knees, with the support of their Western allies, Iran’s pro-Western neighbours and even supporters within Iran. Iran’s borders amount to some 8,000 kilometers; American troops are now based across six thousand kilometers of this border. This grim scenario has been gradually built over 25 years, and has passed almost unnoticed by most Muslims, and even most Iranians. There has never been any cessation of hostilities between the followers of the line of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), who refuse to compromise when it comes to the independence and sovereignty of the Islamic state, and the numerous other interests wanting to shape the state on their terms.
Part of our object in this new column is to look at some of the gaps that have developed since the passing of Imam Khomeini (r.a.), many of which are rooted in earlier events, and how these gaps have caused serious problems about which we can no longer remain silent. But before we walk into this sensitive area, one point needs to be made absolutely clear. This is that none of the points we make are intended to express any criticism of Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei, the successor to Imam Khomeini (r.a.) as Rahbar of the Islamic State. Many of the points we make will be highlighting natural processes in the evolution of post-Revolutionary state and society. Others will indeed involve criticism of errors and failures in Iran, mainly on the part of those who have been responsible for aspects of Iranian government and policy at the executive level. It was inevitable that such errors and failures should emerge over a quarter of a century in an unprecedented and highly-pressured historical situation; unfortunately they have contributed greatly to what many now see as the Islamic experiment’s current stagnation.
Sometimes frank statements of truth can be bitter pills to swallow; we hope no-one will consider this column to be too bitter a pill. We say what we say only to express our honest understanding of the issues. If we are correct, we appeal earnestly to Allah to accept our humble words to our humble readers. If not, we request Allah’s forgiveness and correction from anyone able to do so; without, we hope, descending into personal issues or hidden agendas. Ameen.