- newsonterror News Analysis -
From our Hamburg Bureau:
One of the fallouts of the 11th of September is the debate that the USA should look into the "causes" of the attack on America. Even the visiting Saudi Crown Prince handed down this advice to the US while handing a cheque to help the salvage effort at the "pile" of the WTC.
"What is wrong with American foreign policy, due to which the Muslims (especially the youth) feel so deprived that they are willing to kill themselves while storming aircrafts into landmark buildings?"
The question which the Saudi Prince posed, left an onus on American foreign policy, in the Mid-east. Others have been more candid in airing their misgivings about the US. The ask; "What is wrong with American foreign policy, due to which the Muslims (especially the youth) feel so deprived that they are willing to kill themselves while storming aircrafts into landmark buildings?"
It is invariably pointed out that the USA has for long taken the Muslims for granted, the US had especially treated the Arabs with disdain by walking all over them and establishing bases in the "Land of Mohammed". The Bush administration especially, has been cold to Palestinian suffering and the attack on the WTC was retribution for this cold arrogance on part of Uncle Sam - the World's only Superpower.
If Americans want to address the "root cause" of the anger and frustration among the Arabs, then the USA will have to resolve the nagging problems which the Arabs say have been forced upon them by American indifference and more so by American arrogance
We are told that with the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon, the US has been brought down from its high pedestal. And the advice to the US is that, if it wants to address the "root cause" of the anger and frustration among the Arabs, then the US will have to resolve the nagging problems which the Arabs say have been forced upon them by American indifference and more so by American arrogance.
So the US will have to begin with itself, if it is to resolve the problem of terrorism facing it. The fault lies with the US, according to this reasoning. And all the efforts that the US is now putting into the War on Terrorism, will boomerang on the US, since these efforts do not address the "root causes". And in attacking Afghanistan the US is in fact committing once again the same mistakes that aggravates Muslim animosity toward the "Great Satan". The ongoing attacks on Afghanistan will spawn another generation of more desperate terrorists who will consider it a honor to martyr themselves while causing harm to the US.
This seems like a catch 22 situation. If the US attacks the terrorists, there will be more terrorists who will be crated who in turn will attack the US inviting more US retaliation leading to increased rage against the "Great Satan". So where do we start to break this logjam? If the root cause leads to the result and the result strengthens the cause then we lose track of what is the cause and the result leading to a downward spiral.
Can terror attacks at one place be the cause for terror attacks at another place?
And in the flow of this powerful logic we seem to lose track of the cause and the effect. One question we need to ask to break the logjam at the level of logic. How can terror attacks at one place be the cause for terror attacks at another place? How can the terror attacks in a Tel Aviv Disco and a Jerusalem Pizza Parlor be the cause of terror attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon. Something fishy here. An event that itself is an effect (of a deeper cause) cannot be the cause of the same effect albeit elsewhere!
The original effect should have a cause and what is the root cause of terrorism in Israel (and in Kashmir and other places)? What is this cause? Why do young Muslim men become Fidayeen (suicide bombers) in the prime of their youth? Why are Muslim boys driven to strapping bombs to their bodies to blow themselves up at Pizza Parlors, Discos, Legislative Assemblies, Airforce Bases, in diverse places as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem; to Srinagar and New Delhi; to New York and Washington? Why do the Muslims behave the way they do? What is at the back of their minds? What are their innermost urges that drive them to seek death while killing?
The Real Root cause of Terrorist Violence
For an answer let us see what fundamentally motivates these Muslim youths. It is the their Islamic faith. And the Islamic faith is enshrined in the Quran. What advice does the Quran give to its followers? Let us ask Ali Sina a former Muslim, who has done us the seminal favor of telling us what lies in the Quran. He says that the Quran preaches cruelty, and incites violence to disturb public tranquility. Here are some quotations from the Quran given with chapter and verse numbers.
Surah 9: Ayat 123. Believers! Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find harshness in you.
Surah 9: Ayat 39. If you do not fight, He (Allah) will punish you sternly and replace you with other men…
Surah 4: Ayat 100. He that flies his homeland for the cause of Allah shall find numerous places of refuge in the land and great abundance. He that leaves his dwelling to fight for Allah and His apostle and is then overtaken by death, shall be rewarded by Allah.
Surah 8: Ayats 59-60. Let the unbelievers not think that they will escape Us. They have not the power to do so. Muster against them all the men and cavalry at your disposal, so that you may strike terror into the enemies of Allah and the faithful, and others besides them. All that you give for the cause of Allah shall be repaid you. You shall not be wronged.
Surah 9: Ayat 29. Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in Allah nor the Last Day, who do not forbid what Allah and His apostle have forbidden, and do not embrace the true faith, until they pay tribute out of hand and are utterly subdued.
Surah 8: Ayat 67. It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land....
And so it goes on. If this the most primal motivation for a Muslim, it is no wonder that they kill to die and die to kill! And a temperament shaped by this kind of exhortation, cannot be tempered by sanity or logic.
At times even the Victims of Terrorist Violence are carried away by the powerful logic of the Terrorists
But at times even the victims of violence are carried away by the powerful logic. This is seen in the American turnaround in their Mideast policy when the Oval Office asks Israel to have restraint when an Israeli Minister is assassinated, when the Israelis are asked to concede to the mortal challenge of surrendering to Palestinian demands for a state with East Jerusalem as its capital (as a first step to push Israel into the Mediterranean Sea, a long standing wish of the Palestinian Covenant.
The Americans seem to be falling for the logic that the attacks on their Great Country as a result of their faulty policies when they want the Kashmir issue to be looked at and offer to play the role of a mediator. Why the sudden about-turn in American Policy we ask?
We can empathize with the Americans in their not wanting small wars at their back, when they are facing the main challenge in the War on Terror. But if the policy cannot be self-defeating, since in America's about-turn, the terrorists are gaining a point. The signal being sent out to them is that terrorism indeed pays. Okay, it does not pay-off in Afghanistan; but so what, it does pay-off in Israel and in Kashmir and in...? Is this result contributing to the final victory in the War on terror? We guess not.
Are we today re-living 1938?
The War on Terror can be won, by the complete and permanent defeat of the terrorists on every front, be it Afghanistan, Israel, Kashmir, Chechnya, Macedonia, Nigeria, Indonesia or in any other theater. But it would be unsporting on our part to expect the Americans and the Global anti-Terrorism Alliance to take on all these theaters at one go. There are many compromises along the way. It is old wisdom that many a battle has to be lost, if there is to be a final victory in the war.
And did not the Western Allies last time around, concede Rhineland, Austria, Sudetenland (and then the rest of Czechoslovakia) till they decided that enough was enough and called Hitler's bluff in starting World War 2. But even after they did start the war on all theaters, it took six years of ceaseless warfare before the enemy was decimated. History will repeat itself, but as of now we are today re-living 1938.
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- Robin McArthur
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