The Media Review Network recounts the illegal invasion of Afghanistan and the reign of terror unleashed by the United States of America 20 years ago, 11 September, 2001.
The cost in human life is astronomical- 5,000 Americans, dead, 50,000 injured, 250,000 Afghan civilians killed and countless more injured. Eighteen months later the USA invaded Iraq, killing over 300,000 civilians, searching for the fabricated weapons of mass destruction.
Independent analysts estimate that, conservatively, 5 million Muslim civilians have been killed since 2001. 88,500 tons of bombs were dropped on the 43 day war on Iraq, equivalent to 1 atomic bomb a week.
The economic costs to the USA is just below 5 trillion dollars.
The invasions were hatched by right-wing American neocons with far right Israelis at an International conference on Terrorism, in Herzlia, Tel Aviv, attended by George H Bush and the Israeli leader, Manechem Begin. They tied Islam to terrorism.
A subsequent conference in New York highlighted Bibi Netanyahu treatise: Terrorism, How the West could win. Academics, such Bernard Lewis, who wrote Crisis in Islam, and the media in general, projected Islam as the next threat to the West, replacing communism.
The strategic benefits of this pact were obvious: in linking Islam to terrorism, neo-conservatives would gain political cover for their imperialistic ambitions in the oil resourced geo-strategic Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa, while the Zionist colonial project in the Palestinian Territories would benefit garnering Western sympathies for their attack against Palestinian ‘terrorists’.
Terrorism remains undefined. The dominant world powers determine who is a “terrorist”. And through their control of the corporate media ensure that the discourse on terrorism will be in their favour.
Phil Reeves, author of Dining with Terrorists, wrote that the failure to define terrorist means that the ‘war on terror’ can be used a s a cloak to legitimize American military power because it portrays the challenge as a loosely define threat that will never disappear.
By being unable to explain exactly who is a terrorist, the ‘war on terror’ can mutate into a war against any ideology that challenges America and her allies.” Muslims were profiled as ‘terrorists’ and Islamophobia became the norm.
In the wake of the “Arab Spring”, the despotic regimes propped-up by the West, Egypt, the Saudi’s, Emirates and Gulf kingdoms, developed an obsessive fear of the Islamic movements and Iran, fearing an overthrow of their illegitimate and oppressive rule.
They became prolific cultivators of Islamophobia by funding Muslim-hating far right groups and political movements. Their classification of non-violent movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood as ‘terrorists’ has been accepted by the West.
Terrorism should not be equated with the legitimate struggles by national liberation movements for self-determination and statehood . The struggle for self-determination, human dignity and equality and the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms cannot be conflated with terrorism, extremism and violent extremism.
America’s veiled threat of “either you are with us or with the terrorists” has now been exposed as a smokescreen to conceal the wanton pursuit of Western global hegemony. The real purpose of the ‘war on terror’ was to secure unhindered, unhampered US dominance of the world to exploit Muslim resources.
The Taliban have achieved a remarkable victory with minimal resources against one of the most powerful empires the world has ever known. America’s defeat will undoubtedly be an inspiration for the oppressed in their struggle for freedom and dignity.
Dr Firoz Osman
MEDIA REVIEW NETWORK
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