The War on Islam - Beginning of the Final World War
By Abid Ullah Jan
Forst Publushed The Frontier Post - Pakistan
**** FLASHBACK **** November 11, 2001
The optimists, who await an end to the post September 11 crisis, would end up as much disappointed tomorrow as the pacifists are today. Those who exaggerate the fear of "fundamentalist" Islam but underestimate the resistance in the Muslim world would soon realize that not only the world is not as it was; the war also is not as simple as they perceived it to be.
Out of a multiple fear of American wrath, Indian attack, economic embargo, and international isolation, we let the world feast on our Afghan brothers. However, we forgot that we might not even get enough time to digest the showering dollars for which we have sold our conscience, our dignity and unknowingly our existence as a state? The highly disguised intentions of Blair and Bush have turned our hasty decision to join the "coalition" into a time bomb, ticking to detonate with horrible consequences in the near future. The chickens of our instant surrender are already gradually coming home to roost.
It is now dawning on us that we are the pawns in the anti-Islam coalition. People ask, what other alternatives we had at our disposal? Instead, we must ask about the consequences of our meek surrender, which instantly nullify all the expected benefits. Lets look at a brief list of consequences at national level: democracy has been indefinitely postponed; the US may bomb us but we may not criticize it; dissent and protest have no place in the rewritten human rights; we must stop "terrorism" in Kashmir, or face the consequences (Joe Biden, Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee); Washington mulls "neutralizing" Pakistan nuclear facilities (the Statesman October 28); Pakistan's nuclear weapons at risk from the US and Israeli plans to destroy (The New Yorker Magazine, November 5); US Special Unit 'Stands by to Steal Pakistan's Atomic Warheads' (The Telegraph, October 29); Pakistan is flooded with refugees with no end to the war in sight; instead of its enemies, Pakistan's war machine is in action against its own citizens; illegal and unconstitutional detentions are on the rise; and "Pakistan is in danger of falling apart," (William Dalrymple, The Guardian, October, 23).
Some might question, if these are the fruits of cooperation, how could we afford the horrible consequences of defiance? The answer is: with or without cooperation we are the next victim anyway. We have simply given the US a time out to take us one by one. Remember the origins of World War II, when appeasement was based on the illusion that Hitler only wanted to reverse the wrongs, which Germany felt had been done to her. The West assumed that if the German claims were granted, peace in Europe would follow.
We have also wrongly assumed that the US is after Al-Qaida alone. Now it is out to dislodge the Taliban and set a stage for attacking Iraq and "neutralizing" Pakistan. This is just the beginning. To justify our decision made out of fear, we might justify the US terrorism as retribution of the September 11 attacks, but in fact there is no calculus of injustice. If the US is behaving unjustly, it should stop. It does not help its case to contend that others are acting "even more" unjustly. If the September 11 event is a crime, then the principles of justice must be followed in meting out punishment. Inventing another category called war and making it the special province of the US is not the answer. If Bush and Blair postulate that the principles of justice are suspended whenever they are at war, then every state can throw off the shackles of justice and do whatever it wants, including deliberately killing thousands who were not responsible for the initial injustice. Jumping into coalition with the US was a comfortable alternative. However, the unfolding events show that we have to reconsider our options for in this war there is very little room for mistakes and the situation could well lead to the final world war.
The Muslim world's policy of appeasement is similar to what Britain and France embraced in vain in the 1930s in a bid to reach a peaceful understanding with Germany. Just like the forced retirement of some senior military officials in Pakistan, Anthony Eden, Chamberlain's foreign secretary, who did not agree to give Hitler a free hand was replaced by Lord Halifax who fully supported the British policy of appeasement. In February 1938, Hitler invited the Austrian Chancellor, Kurt von Schuschnigg, to meet him at Berchtesgarden. Just like the US demands to give Pakistan's nuclear facilities and fate in the "safe" American hands, Hitler demanded similar concessions from Austria. The then "fundamentalist" Schuschnigg refused and was replaced by Arthur Seyss-Inquart, the leader of the Austrian Nazi Party - "moderate" by the Nazi standards. On 13th March, Seyss-Inquart invited the German Army to occupy Austria.
Just like the present suggestions to transform Afghanistan into a UN run state (UN being an extension of the State Department), Hitler began demanding control of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. In an attempt to solve the crisis, the heads of Germany, Britain, France and Italy met in Munich. On September 29, 1938 the Munich Agreement was signed to transfer to Germany the Sudetenland. Just like Pakistan and other Muslim states' unwillingness to defend the cause of Afghan brothers, when Eduard Benes, Czechoslovakia's head of state, protested at this decision, Neville Chamberlain told him that Britain would be unwilling to go to war over the issue of the Sudetenland.
Just like some initial positive response to Musharraf's quick surrender, some people in Britain also appreciated the Munich Agreement because it appeared to have prevented the German wrath. Just like, the US changing objective from war on terrorism to war on the Taliban, Germany also seized the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939 after getting a nod from the Munich Agreement. The policy of most Muslim heads of state on Afghanistan is no different than what Chamberlain expressed in a radio broadcast on September 27, 1938. He said: "How horrible, fantastic, incredible, it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country." Churchill had the time to admit in 1948 that for the West "to leave its faithful ally Czechoslovakia to her fate was a melancholy lapse from which flowed terrible consequences."
The present Muslim governments may not even get sufficient time to admit their folly of not calling a spade a spade when the US began military intervention from Afghanistan and tried to dominate the whole Muslim world. Just like our liberal columnists and Pakistan TV spreading the myth of American might and consequences of provoking American wrath, the Chamberlain government nurtured the fear of war in the British public, so that it will accept the appeasement policy. Like today's' twisted reporting by BBC and CNN, after Munich, the British public opinion was the victim of joint Anglo-German propaganda.
Just like the present Anglo-American alliance and our leaders busy in pleasing Uncle Sam, British politicians actively worked before World War II to bring closer their country with Hitler's Germany. In January 1938, Neville Henderson, Britain's ambassador to Germany, told Von Ribbentrop, the German Foreign minister: "I would view with dismay another defeat of Germany which would merely serve the purposes of inferior races." In September 1939, as he spoke in front of a group of Lords, the duke of Westminster, known as an anti-Semite and an admirer of Germany, stated that he opposes the mutual shedding of the Britain and German blood, " the two races which are the most akin and most disciplined in the world. (See, The Chamberlain-Hitler Deal by Clement Leibovitz, Les Editions Duval, Alberta, Canada, page 283, 496)
In Europe, Islamophobia has replaced Anti-Semitism and American appreciation has taken the place of German admiration. Just like the Muslim states' missing opportunities to get united and enter into formidable alliances, Chamberlain and the other western heads of Government sabotaged the possibility to reach an agreement with Soviet Union to a common struggle against Hitler. Just like our misconceptions that it is only Iraq or Afghanistan that the US intends to force into submission, even after the invasion of Poland, France and Britain managed "the phoney war", with the hope that, after Poland, Hitler would turn his troops towards the Soviet Union. Too lately they realised that Hitler's intention was to conquer all of Europe, if not the entire world.
Documents published in 1969, including the full protocol of the conversations between Chamberlain and Hitler prove that Chamberlain thanked the Fuhrer "for his clear presentation of Germany's position." The beginning of the ultimate tragedy of human history is similar to World War II in many ways. The beginning then was best expressed by Chamberlain as an "Anglo-German understanding" for "the two pillars of European peace and buttresses against Communism" (Sept. 13, 1938, in a letter to King George VI). The beginning today is an Anglo-American understanding against Islam, labelled as fundamentalism, extremism and terrorism in a sequence of correlations. We tend to ignore that Hitler's "final solution" was no different than the US "infinite justice."
The Muslim leaders' policy of giving free hand to the US today derives naturally from their collective mindset, concerned above all of what they consider the pre-eminent threat to the security of their personal interests. For the Western leaders, the "green menace" involves as much fundamental threat to the most sacred tenets of capitalism and colonialism as the "red menace" involved. Their giving a free hand to the US for the fear of Islam is similar to the freedom handed out to Hitler as a direct overt choice of fascism over communism, which consistently rejected direct proposals by the Soviet Union to act against Germany's aggression. Just like the US exploitation of the UN, the free hand to Hitler permitted consistent violations of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Just like the imminent genocide in Afghanistan due to bombing and starvation, the free hand to Hitler did all of this in the full knowledge of the most organized and violent repression of the human rights in history.
The European nations might console themselves with the idea that the US is out there to eradicate the threat posed by Islam, forgetting that the US is out to eradicate every resistance to the kind of domination it wants over the world. If we do not stand to say no to the US injustice now, then when? If appeasement has led to an escalation of disasters in the past, can it do otherwise in the future? Do we wait until its our turn to face the US onslaught? Our struggle now is not a struggle against a country, whose yearning for security could be satisfied or denied. We should refrain from assisting the US in killing innocent people who are not involved in any crime - nor have they been proven guilty. To postpone the ultimate tragedy of human history, we must stop all cooperation with the US, not because we are anti-American, but because such killing is wrong. We should stop it even if it meant there would be no US or Western assistance, or we might be attacked like Afghanistan.