Pictures of destruction of some of the houses in Syria by US led coalition airstrikes
Scene of the concert hall in Paris, after the attack
Operation Shock and Awe in Baghdad in 2003
By Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. November 15, 2015
Young Muslim men struck again in Paris, France, at a concert hall, a sports stadium, and other locations, in a well planned and coordinated attack, killing 129 and wounding 352 people. Among other weapons, they were wearing suicide vests, which they exploded, blowing themselves into pieces, along with those around them. It is hard to imagine the type and level of anger that can make people do that to themselves, along with their targets. However, the causes of that anger are not hard to understand. As stated in my February 12, 2015 article below, “Capitalist-technocratic psychopaths of imperialism vs. the psychopaths of Islamic State (IS)”,
“Overwhelming majority of Muslim immigrants in the US and Europe experience demonic types and levels of economic, political, legal, religious, and cultural discrimination, exclusion, and oppression. That is one of the major reasons why they, especially the young, identify with the victims of aggression, invasions, domination, injustice, and exploitation in the Muslim countries, by the same powers and power structures-directly as well as through their local collaborators and clients-that oppress them in their centers.”
According to reports, there were eight of them and Daesh (Islamic State) has claimed the responsibility.
I had written three articles that explain the causal connections between the massive US and NATO state terrorisms and non-state terrorisms in the Middle East and South Asia, as reactions to the former. As these are also relevant to this new incident, these are being pasted below.
The following simple truths need to be highlighted:
1. US imperialists, and following in their footsteps, the NATO imperialists, do not leave anyone or anything alone and create, instigate, and fuel military interventions and conflicts everywhere.
2. Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Shia militias, and other such non-state terrorist groups in Iraq came into existence as a result of the massive US and NATO military invasion of that country and its diabolical devastation. In the absence of that invasion, these groups would not have been born.
3. Similarly, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Haqqani, and other non-state terrorist groups were born as a result of and in reaction to the massive US and NATO state terrorism, first by unleashing a proxy war against the socialism-oriented government in Afghanistan in 1979 and then directly invading the country in 2001, with massive military forces.
4. US and NATO militarists also instigated the Libyan civil war, in which they acted as the airforce of the anti-government rebel groups, which, with their crucial help, overthrew the Libyan government and murdered its leader, Moammar Gadhafi. From a prosperous socialism-oriented country, which was the envy of not only the Third World, but also much of the West, Libya has been transformed into a pathetic country, with anarchist chaos and various armed militant groups engaged in constant conflict. Daesh has also been able to expand there.
5. In Syria, the rebellions against the government were instigated and fueled by US, NATO, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates etc., which developed into a devastating civil war. These countries funded, armed, and trained various rebel groups in Syria and later started bombing massively large areas of that country by daily airstrikes, which have been going on for more than a year now, killing and wounding tens of thousands of people, most of them civilian non-combatants, massively destroying the means of living and properties, and forcing millions to flee to other countries as refugees, including the recent influx to Europe. Estimate of those killed in Syria is around 250,000. Without the intervention of US, NATO, and their regional allies, the rebellion in Syria would not have developed into a civil war and would have been short-lived. Now, Even Russia has jumped into the Syrian conflict, with massive airstrikes and other operations. It has already paid the price of this intervention when one of its airliners was shot down by Daesh in Egypt, killing all of the 224 passengers and crew. All the big powers, except China, as well as the regional powers, are now involved in the wars in Syria and Iraq. The US -led coalition and Russia are in a frenzy of airstrike bombings.
Such airstrikes have also been going on in Iraq for more than a year, in which France was the first country to join the US. It has been taking a hardline position against the the government of President Assad of Syria, insisting that he must go, and has been supporting anti-Assad as well as anti-Daesh groups in Syria.
Around 8000 airstrikes have been conducted by the coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, against selected Sunni Islamist groups, most of them against Daesh. Such airstrikes also generate significant sales and profits for the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC).
The following news article of November 16, 2015, about sales of $1.29 billion of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia, which is using these in its airstrikes in Yemen and Syria, is relevant to the American and NATO policy on wars in Syria and Yemen. It is in the interests of the MIC to keep these wars going and MIC always has had strong influence on the foreign policies of the US government. Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest buyers of American weapons and, as mentioned in the article, sales of other weapons, worth $16.65 billions, have also been approved.
Politics | Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:39pm EST
Related: World, Election 2016, Politics, Saudi Arabia
U.S. approves $1.29 billion sale of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia
By Andrea Shalal
The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of $1.29 billion in smart bombs to Saudi Arabia to help replenish supplies used in its battle against insurgents in Yemen and air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, the Pentagon said on Monday.
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which facilitates foreign arms sales, notified lawmakers on Friday that the sales had been approved, it said in a statement.
The lawmakers now have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare since deals are carefully vetted before any formal notification.
The sales reflect President Barack Obama’s pledge to bolster U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia and other Sunni allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council after his administration brokered a nuclear deal with their Shiite rival Iran.
The agency said the sale would help the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF) replenish weapons supplies that are becoming depleted due to high demand for multiple counter-terrorism operations, while providing reserves for future missions.
“This acquisition will help sustain strong military-to-military relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, improve (the ability of Saudi forces to work) with the United States, and enable Saudi Arabia to meet regional threats and safeguard the world’s largest oil reserves,” it said.
Providing the munitions to Saudi forces would also help deter its enemies, and “directly conveys U.S. commitment to the RSAF’s current and future ability to sustain combat operations,” it said.
The proposed sale includes 22,000 smart and general purpose bombs, including 1,000 GBU-10 Paveway II Laser Guided Bombs, and over 5,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits to turn older bombs into precision-guided weapons using GPS signals.
The weapons are made by Boeing Co (BA.N) and Raytheon Co (RTN.N), but the agency told lawmakers the prime contractors would be selected in a competition.
No further details were immediately available.
Saudi Arabia, one of the largest buyers of U.S. weapons, was approved in September for a potential second sale of 600 Patriot-PAC-3 air defense missiles made by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), a deal valued at $5.4 billion.
Last month, the U.S. government also approved the sale to Saudi Arabia of up to four Littoral Combat Ships made by Lockheed for $11.25 billion.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Ted Kerr and Richard Chang)
End of news article
6. With the encouragement and coordination of US and NATO, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Gulf states, ruled by family dynasties, have been massively bombing the impoverished country of Yemen for months, with airstrikes, causing massive losses of lives, and damages to the infrastructures and means of living.
7. Under great pressures from the US and NATO, Pakistani military has been devastating the North Waziristan and other tribal areas, on the borders with Afghanistan, with massive bombing airstrikes and ground invasion for about 18 months now, causing huge losses of lives and damages to the means of living and properties, as well as creating around one million internally displaced persons.
8. Let us not forget the Israeli state terrorism and expansionism against the Palestinians in Gaza-including last years’ diabolical invasion and destruction inflicted upon them-and other areas of Palestine.
9. Logical solutions are still possible for resolutions of the wars in Syria and Iraq, if the western imperialist powers and their regional allies substitute logic and wisdom for the technocratic, capitalist-imperialist, and militarist rationality and arrogance, and policies and actions based upon these . For example:
I. Including Daesh and Al-Nusra in the peace negotiations, along with the Syrian and Iraqi governments, Kurds, and other groups. It is very likely that, as part of the agreement, Daesh and Al-Nusra will agree to not carrying out any actions in the West. However, that would be contrary to the profiteering of the MIC and associated US government and Pentagon interests in perpetuating the phony war on terrorism, as MIC is the most profitable and major part of the current American economy. As long as there is no danger of a nuclear war and mutual assured destruction, more wars there are, more sales and profits for the MIC and its associated government, media, and academic establishments. Relatively small local terrorist actions, like 9/11, Paris attacks, and Boston bombings, are also beneficial to the MIC, as well as to the military production industries throughout the West. In the matters of war and peace, the objective economic and security interests of the American and Western public are diametrically opposed to the sales and profits interests of the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic-Complex (MIMAC) and its associated Pentagon and government establishments.
II. Stopping airstrikes and all other operations of the coalition and other external forces in the area and letting the internal forces in both countries work it out, through negotiations or fighting. This will also require a complete arms embargo to the area. Such an arrangement will have to be worked out and enforced by the United Nations. As mentioned above, it is very likely that Daesh and Al-Nusra will agree to not carrying out any actions in the West, if such an arrangement is made. But again, that will not suit the interests of MIC, US government, and Pentagon.
The formula involved in both I and II above is also very simple: “From now on, if you leave us alone, we will leave you alone.” This will work between the foreign powers, intervening in the internal conflicts of Middle Eastern and other Muslim countries, and the non-state organizations, like Daesh and Al-Nusra Front. On the basis of this principle, other agreements are also possible, for example, in exchange for stoppage of the incomparably greater high-tech brutalities of the coalition forces by indiscriminate massive bombings, Daesh may agree to stopping its own smaller scale, but horrible brutalities. Other solutions will have to be found for the conflicts between the latter and the national governments of states where these are taking place. These solutions will be expedited after the withdrawal of massive foreign military and other interventions in the internal affairs of those states.
The above-mentioned and other such proposals for potential solutions to the ongoing wars in the Middle East do not even occur in the heads of the coalition-controlled UN and other so-called peace negotiators, almost all of them career diplomats, with mass psychologies and brains that are highly structured, conditioned, and regulated in the service of powers-that-be, with very little independence or creativity. That is the nature of what is known as an “expert” in the international political world. Such dime a dozen experts are particularly ineffective and useless for dealing with unconventional non-state organizations that are engaged in armed struggle against various states, for various reasons.
All the above truths and facts are simple and apodictic, and should be perfectly clear to any honest, thoughtful, and humane person. The reason, also very simple, that these are not clear to majorities in the West, is that they are dishonest, thoughtless, brainwashed, and dehumanized supporters of militarism and colonialism in the Third World. So much for the “democratic” (Demonocratic) West! The news and other media, academics, and pet intellectuals of the powers-that-be in the West, unleash clouds of obscurantist fog, straining their literary skills, under which these and other such simple truths become invisible and are replaced by complexities that are substituted for them. On the ground also, simple situations are transformed into complex ones by the imperialist interventions and invasions. So much for the integrity of the “free media” and “free minds” of the “intellectuals” in the West. Of course there are exceptions to these generalizations, but we are focusing here on the mainstream and overwhelming majorities.
Losses of lives through violence need to be condemned everywhere, not just one-sidedly. Losses of French, European, and American lives are not more important than the losses of Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, Afghan, or Pakistani lives. The massive state terrorism is not any better than the relatively small-scale non-state terrorism. It is incomparably worse. Viewed from this perspective, all state terrorisms, and particularly those of the West, need to be condemned a million times more than those of the Daesh and other non-state terrorist organizations, which are, in almost all the cases, the products of the former.
The following link contains the gruesome pictures of Iraqis killed in the 2003 invasion and victims of the Operation Shock and Awe. These are extremely disturbing and should not be seen by persons with above average sensitivities. Whoever decides to see these pictures, imagine if this was done to your relatives, friends, neighbors, or fellow countrypersons, what would become of you? That is what a lot of people in Daesh had seen and it made them what they are now. They will probably never heal and their psychopathology may even be transmitted to their offspring, psychologically and epigenetically. It is part of the great tragedy inflicted on the once prosperous and proud nation of Iraq by the US and NATO imperialism. The US-led coalition is now committing the same atrocities, as they did during the 2003 invasion, in the Daesh and Nusra Front (Al-Qaeda linked group) controlled areas in Syria and Iraq, where fighters are intermixed with the local populations. How can airstrikes distinguish the fighters of these organizations from the local populations?
Capitalist-technocratic psychopaths of imperialism vs. the psychopaths of Islamic State (IS)
Posted on https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com on February 12, 2015
By Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. February 12, 2015
After failing to defeat the forces of Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL, also known by its Arabic name Daish) in Iraq and Syria by massive aerial bombardments of the US and its Arab and Western allies, the American President, Barack Obama, has announced sending the American troops there for that purpose, again demonstrating his extraordinary trapezing abilities. Such escalation will inevitably lead to predicable results and reactions. The US and its above-mentioned allies are already heavily involved in funding, arming, and training of the so-called moderate anti-government groups in Syria, out of which the Islamic State emerged, to begin with. Fighters from other groups and other nations, including the US and Europe, have been increasingly joining the IS in its various campaigns. Overwhelming majority of Muslim immigrants in the US and Europe experience demonic types and levels of economic, political, legal, religious, and cultural discrimination, exclusion, and oppression. That is one of the major reasons why they, especially the young, identify with the victims of aggression, invasions, domination, injustice, and exploitation in the Muslim countries, by the same powers and power structures-directly as well as through their local collaborators and clients-that oppress them in their centers. When an Islamic force like the IS emerges that achieves significant successes against all odds, many victimized Muslims-especially the Sunnis-gravitate towards it. Such growth and development of IS forces is very likely to multiply after the involvement of US ground forces. Whatever the US imperialism does in that region creates more and more sinister destructions and losses of life and means of living. None of this would have happened if the US had left Iraq alone and not invaded it.
After diabolical destruction of Iraq by the American and European invaders, the new Shia-dominated government there marginalized the Sunnis, who were dominant before the invasion. The new inferior and oppressive political and economic status imposed upon them, under the drastically changed balance of forces, forced them to search for alternatives and solutions to the huge problems of disempowerment, poverty, unemployment, and violence of the state and its allies in the Shia militias. Sunnis found those hopes in the IS, after it demonstrated some of its successes and joined it in large numbers, including many well trained former soldiers and officers of the Iraqi military forces, under the late President, Saddam Hussain. They knew how to use and operate much of the modern weapons and equipment and also trained others in their usage. That seems to be one of the most important reasons for the astounding successes and resistance of IS against the combined military forces of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey (involved in training), Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Arab states, Jordan, US and some its NATO allies, Australia etc. It is hardly possible to overemphasize the fundamental role of American imperialism in creating this most sinister and devastating disaster in the Middle East, first by invading Iraq and then funding, arming, and training of the anti-government forces in Syria. As mentioned above, it is now planning to escalate the devastation and destruction in that area by sending its ground forces there. Of course, there are already thousands of American military and CIA operatives in that area, involved in various operations. The new escalation will multiply those. Many Middle Eastern countries, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey, have powerful and large military forces. The IS problem can be handled effectively by any of them. Moreover, according to a Wikipedia article of June, 2014, the active Iraqi military personnel numbered 283,000, to be increased to 350,000, while the reserves numbered 528,500-total close to a million. These forces were trained, and continue to be trained, by the US and NATO militaries and tens of billions of dollars have been spent on their training and armaments. The IS is estimated to have around 31,000 fighters. The Kurdish Peshmarga army in Iraq is also large-91,000-well armed, and trained and supported by the US and NATO militaries. And yet, the Iraqi and Kurdish militaries are unable to defeat the IS and have been retreating and conceding more and more territory to it, in spite of the US-led coalition’s aerial bombings of IS controlled areas and targets, acting as their airforce, just like they had done in Libya, where they acted as the airforce of anti-Gaddafi Islamist rebels. The IS is now expanding to Libya and even Pakistan. Libya has now been reduced to anarchy and ungovernability, with continuous violent conflicts between various Islamist and other groups, some of which are lead by the leaders groomed in the US, UK, and other western countries. The Libyan disaster is also the creation of US and NATO imperialism. Without their support and acting as the airforce of the rebels, the rebels had no chance against the well-armed and well-trained armed forces of the Libyan government. The latter were destroyed and defeated by the massive aerial bombings and guidance and armament supplies to the rebels by the American and NATO imperialists. If the US and NATO had left Libya alone, it would not have transformed into the current most pathetic and disastrous condition from the one that was the envy of not only the Third World, but also of the West.
The IS has been fighting successfully on several fronts, including that of Syria, where it is emerging as the dominant anti-government force, controlling significant territory. Involving the American and NATO ground forces into that complex and paradoxical situation will only complicate and compound it further, especially in view of the fact that they were responsible for creating that problem, as well as numerous other problems in that area, to begin with. Their escalation of interference and military actions will aggravate the current problems and create new ones.
The origins of the situation in Iraq and Syria are very similar to those in Afghanistan. If the US had left Afghanistan alone in the late 1970s, after the socialist-oriented revolution there, there would be no Afghan or Pakistani Taliban, no Al-Qaeda and other Islamic groups, , engaged in the armed struggle, no state terrorism and terrorism, and no suicide bombings. These problems multiplied after the 2001 US and NATO invasion of Afghanistan. If they had left Afghanistan alone, it would have made great politico-economic, social, and cultural progress, instead of being devastated and embroiled in the war against the imperialist invaders and their local clients and collaborators. After spending more than $1 trillion on that invasion and war and causing huge losses of life and destruction of the means and ways of living, they have now withdrawn most of their forces, in effect, admitting a humiliating defeat, leaving the country utterly devastated, after more than 34 years of constant proxy and direct wars. The proxy war was started under the administration of Jimmy Carter and greatly escalated under that of Ronald Reagan. Zbigniew Brzezinski, the National Security Advisor under Jimmy Carter, later claimed boastfully that the objective of the plan, hatched under his leadership, was to trap the Soviets into a Vietnam-like quagmire. Just like in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, the various problems, great devastations and destructions of lives and means and ways of living, and internal conflicts in Afghanistan grew and developed on the roots planted there by American and NATO imperialism.
After repeated debacles in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya-trillions of dollars of expenditures and huge exterminations of lives-why do the successive American administrations continue to repeat that history? That is one of the most important questions that needs to be asked. Various geopolitical and politico-economic jargonistic reasons and answers have been given to that question, some of which are quite valid. However, the simplest and most important reason is often omitted, which consists of the fact that such wars and invasions result in fabulous profits for the Military-Industrial-Complex (MIC), no matter what their outcome. Whether the US wins or loses a war, the MIC always wins its profits. Much of the academia and media are also tied in with the MIC and actually it has now become the Military-Industrial-Media-Academia-Complex (MIMAC). This is a method to redistribute and divert huge amounts of public funds-from tax-payers money-to the MIC, and increasingly, to private contractors. Just in the Iraqi and Afghanistani invasions and wars, more than $4 trillion were transferred to the MIC and private contractors. What do the American people gain from it? Nothing, except shame, humiliation, and great crimes and sins committed against humanity, in their name and on their expense. They lose enormous resources and tens of thousands of lives are destroyed, through death and physical and mental injuries. In the victimized countries, incomparably more lives and resources are destroyed in these wars and invasions. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Pakistan, around three million have been killed, millions made refugees and internally displaced persons, countless millions reduced to poverty, unemployment, and without healthcare and education, colossal damages inflicted on the infrastructures and means of living, devastating sectarian and other conflicts created, some of which develop into various forms of terrorism etc.
No mentally healthy humans can do what has been done-and continues to be done-by the government, politico-economic, and military leaders of the US and other imperialist countries, as well as those enslaved to them. This is indeed the worst and unmatchable type of psychopathology, as it involves systematic mass murders and devastation of the lives of countless millions of human beings, most of them innocent civilian non-combatants, including men, women, and children of all ages. And yet, the establishment psychology and psychiatry have nothing to say about this unmatchable psychopathology. The massive extreme technocratic brutality and barbarity is self-evident in these wars and invasions. As is now well-known, systematic and massive tortures have also been routinely practiced for decades around the world, in the service of capitalism and imperialism. According to some estimates, a million torturers from Latin America and other countries were trained by the torture experts of the Office of Public Safety of the Agency for International Development (AID) alone, ten thousands receiving advanced training in the US (http://williamblum.org/chapters/killing-hope/uruguay ). The CIA and military torture experts had their own programs and operations. Among other wars and invasions, extreme tortures were also practiced during the Vietnam War, especially in the Phoenix Program. Post 9/11 tortures were continuation of that history, even though these are being presented by the recent US Senate Committee Report and news media as if these were anomalies.
The Devil could hardly do any better.
The IS, the origins of which are directly attributable to the American operations in the Middle East, is also practicing its own version of brutality, barbarity, and psychopathology, by beheading the captured foreigners and other enemies, enslaving the conquered non-Muslims, like Yazidis, and instituting various outdated harsh punishments. However, some of these practices happen on a larger scale in countries like Saudi Arabia, which is the major ally of US in the Middle East. These are generally overlooked and ignored by the US and the West, which only condemn the IS as being barbaric and brutal, for these. Of course, they do not say a word about their own incomparably greater and more massive technocratic brutalities and barbarities. When populations are bombed and shelled indiscriminately, innumerable human bodies of all genders and ages are torn apart; beheaded; arms, hands, legs, and feet severed from the bodies; bodies burnt and mutilated. This happens on an incomparably larger scale. Why is it not condemned as barbaric and brutal? Why are these words only reserved for the much smaller individual actions of enemies, like the IS, who perform these with primitive weapons, like swords and knives? The answer is clear. The incomparably greater and more massive technocratic barbarism and brutality are not characterized for what they are because these are technocratic and because these are committed by the Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technocratic Societies (ACITS) in the Third World countries. ACITS have always been classist and racists, both internationally and domestically, and will continue to be, as long as the diabolical marriage of advanced capitalism and advanced technocracy continues. When people are subjected to monstrosities and great injustices, like the “Operation Shock and Awe” in Iraq-or the demonic mass murders and devastations, committed in Fallujah-and see their indescribable atrocities and destructions against their relatives, friends, neighbors, citizens, homes, villages, and cities-and the whole country-a lot of them become hardened and want to see some of the same happen to their enemies who did it, as well as to their collaborators. This is undoubtedly the major reason for the brutalities of the IS and large numbers of Sunni victims and their sympathizers joining it.
It also needs to be mentioned that the Shia-dominated Iraqi military and militias are also committing barbaric and brutal atrocities against the Sunnis and the IS, wherever and whenever they succeed in occupying their territory or capturing them. There are many reports of the slaughters of Sunnis by the Iraqi military and Shia militias. This is a conflict in which all sides are practicing some of the worst forms of brutality and barbarism. All this is the product of initial massive, brutal, and barbaric invasion of Iraq; overthrow of its government; destruction of it infrastructures, constitution, and political economy; and instigation of regional and sectarian divisions and conflicts by the US and NATO militaries, intelligence services, and private contractors, which later also fueled the anti-government forces in Syria.
The problems of terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen etc. are the direct products of the massive US and NATO state terrorism in those countries. US and NATO also instigated some of those countries to initiate and implement their own state terrorisms, with their support and collaboration. This is the essence of the problems of terrorism-some of which are intertwined with the national liberation struggles-in those areas.
In spite of too much blood already having been shed, the only solution to the IS problem is to start talking to its representatives, as well as to the Syrian government. There are diverse groups in the IS and not all of them or the individuals in it are blood-thirsty revenge-seekers. But peaceful solutions to such problems are only possible if arrogance and technocratic and militaristic attitudes-especially those of the imperialist states and their imitators-, as well as war profiteering, are replaced by sincere and logical quest for justice and peace, as well as by genuine wisdom, which seems to be extinct in the ACITS and their Third World clients. Both the imperialists and the IS can learn from the wisdom and generosity of the 12th Century Muslim warrior and leader, Saladin (Salah-al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub), who had offered his personal physician to his crusading rival King Richard 1 of England (Richard the Lionheart), when the latter was wounded in a battle. In 1192, when Richard was ill and his armies were suffering from shortage of food and water, he appealed to Salah-al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub for providing them with water and fruit, who sent them what they had requested. All this was happening during the crusade that Richard was waging against Salah-al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub and his Muslim countrymen and armies!
When “Christian” Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, during the First Crusade, they, most brutally and demonically, slaughtered all the Muslims and Jews they could find there. According to some reports, they shed so much blood that in some places, it reached up to their knees. However, when Saladin and his Muslim army recaptured that city in 1187, they not only did not kill the Christians there, but showed unmatchable generosity and kindness to them, including the provision of safe passages for those, who had come foreign lands, for leaving, and allowing the natives to remain there safely and practice their religion.
However, such wisdom has always been very rare and in the ACITS, next to impossible. ACITS have been immunized against such wisdom by the powerful vaccines of capitalist and imperialist materialism. The logical solution would include a peace conference of the Middle Eastern countries, without the involvement of western imperialist countries. The policy of regime change in Syria has failed. The sooner this is recognized, the more expeditious it will become to create conditions for resolutions of the conflicts in the area and return of the refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes. However, it will take enormous resources and a lot of time to repair all the great damages inflicted on various communities and their means and ways of living. It is self-evident that continuation of the previous and current policies by the West and its Middle Eastern clients will continue to cause immense further bloodshed, sufferings, misery, and displacement of vast numbers of people.
Massive state terrorisms of the 21st Century and the current Israeli state terrorism in Gaza
Posted on https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com on July 23, 2014
Only the abstract is being posted here.
Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. July 23, 2014
The 21st Century started with the massive US state and NATO terrorism in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, which has been covered extensively by numerous publications and other media, including this writer’s (1, 2). There is no need to go into the most sinister horrors of those here. Later, US and NATO also devastated Libya, causing the murder of its leader Muammar Gaddafi and some of his sons, and throwing the country into destructive anarchy. Their financial, intelligence, training, and armaments support of the anti-government forces in Syria continues to wreak havoc in that country. Russia continued its state terror in Chechnya from the two invasions during 1990s, first between 1994 and 1996, and the second starting in 1999. In 2002, after inflicting great destruction and losses of lives, it claimed that the war was over and Chechnya was pacified. However, the Chechen national liberationists continue their guerrilla warfare in various forms. Western devastations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria were incomparably greater than that of Russia in Chechnya. The Indian state terrorism of many decades continues unabated in Kashmir in this century. So does the Israeli state terrorism against the Palestinians in Gaza and elsewhere. Multiple state terrorisms and terrorisms continue in Syria, on the one hand, that of the Syrian government, and on the other, those of the Western powers, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and other oil-rich countries of the Middle East, and various rebel groups, which are being financed, trained, and armed by them. Pakistan also unleashed its massive state terrorism several times in Swat, South and North Waziristan, and other areas of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which is continuing (3). Most contemporary imperialist states and their Third World clients have become incomparably bigger and more powerful organized crime organizations than Mafia. This is no exaggeration, as they feed on the misery, impoverishment, and exploitation of billions of people. Mafia cannot even come close to them in the types and levels of crimes and sins they commit against humanity, human nature, other forms of life, and nature.
Western, and especially US imperialist State terrorism has been massive and continuous, especially since the Second World War, relatively recently in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, etc. In reaction to such massive wholesale state terrorism, non-state retail terrorism is born, which is invariably blamed unilaterally and the label of terrorism is used exclusively against it, while incomparably more massive and destructive state terrorism is allowed to masquerade as defense and promotion of democracy, national security, fight against extremism etc., ad nauseum. National Liberation Front of Algeria, African National Congress, Palestine Liberation Organization, Irish Republican Army, as well as numerous other national liberation movements were branded as terrorists by their respective state terrorist aggressors.
The Charlie Hebdo Affair in France: Is it a matter of defendable free speech or sadistic desecration and humiliation of Muslims and Islam’s holy figures
Posted on https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com on January 12, 2015
Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. Completed January 11, 2015
During 2012, a desecrating, defaming, and slandering film against Prophet Muhammad, Islam, and Muslims-made in the US-sparked numerous angry riots in many Muslim countries, resulting in many deaths, injuries, and arrests. The current Charlie Hebdo affair in France is very similar in its nature and effects. This author had analyzed the nature and causes of the Muslim reactions to that film in his September 27, 2012 article, “ Deeper context and causes of the Muslim demonstrations against the anti-Islamic film. Structural and personal biases of US media: Example of interviews of Don Lemon of CNN” ( https://imperialismandthethirdworld.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/deeper-context-and-causes-of-the-muslim-demonstrations-against-the-anti-islamic-film-structural-and-personal-biases-of-us-media-example-of-interviews-of-don-lemon-of-cnn-by-fazal-rahman-phd/ ). As the nature, causes, and effects of the desecrating film and Charlie Hebdo’s desecrating, defaming, inflammatory, and obscene publications are the same or similar, some of the relevant contents of the earlier paper are also being included in this article.
The western politicians and populations are once again united, in clone-like fashion, in gigantic hypocrisies and pretensions of being the owners of a higher civilization, ethics, culture, freedom, and freedom of speech. All this at a time when mass surveillance, spying, and eavesdropping are at their maximum in the US and Europe, are radiating from there to every corner of the world, the privacy having been reduced to a fiction, and massive monitoring of peoples’ emails, phone calls, and other communications have been exposed, which have been occurring for decades, but have been intensifying and expanding over time.
As in many other imperialist countries with colonial history, France also has a large population of immigrants from the formerly colonized countries, like Algeria. It is estimated that France has the largest population of Muslims in Western Europe, around 5 million, which is being subjected to all forms of deprivations, discrimination, poverty, and unemployment-all part of the economic terrorism. Unemployment is very high even among the native French youth. The overall youth unemployment rate was 24.3 percent in October 2014. However, it was much higher in Muslim communities, amounting to 45 percent in many. Already being subjected to destruction by economic terrorism, the Muslim immigrants in France are facing extreme forms of religious and cultural repression, defamation, and desecration of what are the most sacred foundations of their faith and religion, like that of Prophet Muhammad. Legally banning the wearing of veils or hijab by Muslim women, like they have done in France, is an extreme form of cultural and religious repression and contrary to the elementary norms of cultural and religious freedom. This extremist French cultural and national chauvinism is self-evident in the way they have legally imposed the ban on veil and hijab and their own French version of freedom on Muslim women. In doing so, they have arrogated themselves to make the choice for millions of Muslim women in France, taking away that freedom of choice from those women. The current situation of Muslims in the western imperialist countries is a form of neocolonialism within those countries. That is why many truth-seeking and passionate young people see the similarities between their own conditions and those being inflicted upon Muslims in many countries, by the same capitalist-imperialist powers, clearly, instead of rationalizing these and compromising the interconnected facts and truth. The three attackers in the Charlie Hebdo affair, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly (the first two, French nationals of Algerian descent, and the third, a French national of Malian origins-some say of Senegalese origins-, all young men in their thirties) were clearly motivated against the sinister atrocities and injustices committed by the imperialists in the Middle East-against which they identified as Muslims as well as victims of the same powers, subjecting them to neocolonialism and racism-and the sadistic desecrating entertainment provided by the Charlie Hebdo, which seems to have struck the racist and anti-Muslim cords in large numbers of French people. Even though, Charlie Hebdo also targeted other religions and targets, its main focus was on Islam and its holy figures and symbols.
What Charlie Hebdo was doing consisted of infliction of demonic spiritual and religious violence on Muslims, with its focus of targeting and desecrating their most sacred figures, beliefs, customs, and cultural and religious traditions. It was tapping into the widespread racism and anti-Muslimism in the French society, making money from that, having fun and distributing it among racists and anti-Islamics, all on the expense of infliction of deep sadistic pain and humiliation on the souls of millions of Muslims living in France, and countless millions elsewhere. How can that be considered as a defendable free speech?
Real free speech can only originate in really free minds. The mass mental apparatus in the Advanced-Capitalist-Imperialist-Technocratic-Society (ACITS) is highly controlled by and enslaved to the powerful social forces of the political economy, ideology, mass psychology, and culture of capitalism and imperialism. Nothing is immune to that control and slavery, including the religions, religious institutions, and religious leaders. Real free speech is impossible is such societies, because the existence and development of real free minds are impossible in them. This does not mean that all the individual minds and speech are equally or similarly unfree in these societies. Both in theory and in reality, obviously, there are variations in this regard. However, these variations constellate around their common center of gravity, as described above. As a product of the collective enslaved and unfree mind, as described above, the so-called free speech is only an illusion of free speech and, in reality, is enslaved and unfree speech, in the vast ocean of which, the small springs of authentic and real free speech, the products of authentic and real free minds, get smothered and drowned out of sight. This reality suits the powers-that-be perfectly. They do not have to censor the products of the true consciousness legally or overtly. The vast ocean of collective false consciousness, produced by the combined powerful social forces of the political economy, ideology, mass psychology, and culture of capitalism and imperialism, and reinforced by the mass media, does that automatically.
Advocates and preachers of free speech in the ACITS-almost all of them enslaved tightly to the interests and owners of capital-falsify the actual reality and history of free speech in their countries. They intoxicate themselves and the public into the fantasies of being able to say or write anything whatsoever, without any repercussions. Try that in a court of law against a judge who makes unfair and discriminatory rulings and decisions (quite common in the US), tell him exactly what you are thinking of his actions, and see what happens. Contempt of court, jail, and fines. Or slander or defame some person who can afford to take you to the court and see what happens. There are specific laws and punishments against such types of free speech. Why is there no mention of even using such limited laws against the persons or establishments, which slander, defame, and desecrate the sacred Prophet of Muslims, their religion, culture, and beliefs? Throughout its history, the free speech of the First Amendment of US Constitution has been repeatedly and legally violated by the government authorities, whenever they wanted to repress and suppress the movements or labor unions that advocated radical changes in the politico-economic system. For example, on numerous occasions, bans were placed on the street speeches of activists and leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)-a powerful and large radical labor union-during the second decade of the Twentieth Century-and speakers, who insisted to exercise their right of free speech, were arrested and sent to jail. Eventually, the IWW was decimated by brutal government repression. In the US, freedom of speech was suppressed during the First World War, as well as in the early 1920s. In 1940, the Smith Act prohibited the speech and political activities of those who advocated the overthrow of US government. Later during Joseph McCarthy witch hunts, free speech was also greatly restricted. After 9/11, there have been various restrictions on the freedom of speech, in the US and Europe.
In the Charlie Hebdo affair, a total of seventeen people were killed, including four hostages of Amedy Coulibaly at a kosher market, who may have been killed as a result of the police storming of that place. The three attackers, brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly were also killed by the security forces. Compare that to the ongoing and incomparably greater and genocidal violence against Muslims of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Libya, in which around 3 million of them have been slaughtered and countless millions of others injured; the whole fabric of their lives and livelihoods torn apart; forcing millions to flee to other countries as refugees; causing colossal damages to the individual and state properties, infrastructure, and economies; etc., by the “civilized” and “developed” West, under the leadership of “super-civilized” and “super-developed” USA. And what about the continuous genocidal and expansionist wars and invasions of the territories of the Palestinian people by the Jews, who were unloaded onto Palestine by the European Christian nations, which hated and persecuted them in their own countries, but now support them, as their tentacle in the Middle East? That tentacle has its own insatiable tentacles and continues to grab whatever it can from the little that is still left in the Palestinian hands, by theft, robbery, plunder, and mass murders. Last year, they devastated Gaza, causing diabolical damages to the infrastructures, properties, houses, and means of living of the Palestinians, cornered in that narrow strip. Palestinian health officials say 2,139 people, most of them civilians, including more than 490 children, were killed in the enclave since July 8, 2014, when Israel launched an offensive. Sixty-four Israeli soldiers and five civilians in Israel were also reported to have been killed.
The key point is that incomparably smaller acts of terrorism-by some Muslim individuals or organizations-than those committed by massive state terrorisms of the ACITS and their clients are exaggerated to incomparable levels, especially if these happen within the imperialist centers, as if the lives of the inhabitants of the imperialist centers were incomparably more valuable and important than those living in the Third World Muslim or other countries. These acts are fragmented and abstracted from their context of relations to the incomparably greater and massive state terrorisms of the ACITS in the Third World Muslim and other countries, the latter almost always causing the former. For example, in one of the worst incidents of the entire drones campaign, yet one of the least reported, a CIA drone strike on a madrassa or religious school in Pakistan, on October 30, 2006, killed 69 children, among 80 civilians (about 5 times more than those killed in the Charlie Hebdo affair). The attack was on a religious seminary in Chenegai, in Bajaur Agency. It also destroyed much of the school. A week after the attack, a local English newspaper published the names and home villages of 80 victims. Sixty-nine were reported as children aged 17 or under. According to the paper’s sources, it was claimed that ‘one of the deceased was only seven-year old, three were eight, three nine, one was 10, four were 11, four were 12, eight were 13, six were 14, nine were 15, 19 were 16, 12 were 17, three were 18, three were 19 and only two were 21-years old’. http://tribune.com.pk/story/229844/the-day-69-children-died/ . That slaughter did not even reach the eyes and brains of most westerners, as the media censored and under-reported it. Even if had been fully reported and had reached those racist and capitalistically and imperialistically conditioned eyes and brains, it would not have made much difference. That slaughter of mostly innocent children was not even called an act of terrorism in the West, because it was committed by the leader of ACITS and the victims were Muslim students and teachers in Pakistan! Technocracy has become deeply embedded in the mass psychologies and cultures of ACITS and even the most massive and sinister atrocities committed with the high technology systems and weapons-especially if these are committed in nations and populations that do not have the means to counter these-generate incomparably less revulsion or moral condemnation than the incomparably smaller ones, committed by Muslim or other Third World individuals or organizations, with small arms or primitive weapons. Frequently, the massive high technology atrocities are even rationalized and condoned, as if the advanced technology itself was the ultimate criterion of determining the good or evil, just or unjust nature of actions. Assigning such God-like role to technology in all human affairs and conflicts transforms it into the Devil, the most powerful force of evil and injustice in history. This greatest perversion and alienation of all higher qualities and values underlies almost all the great disastrous and monstrous problems that have developed on this planet.
There is a real, huge, and fundamental difference between the culture and mass psychology of ACITS of the West, on the one hand, and the culture and mass psychology of Muslim societies, on the other, in regard to this matter. That difference consists of the presence or absence of the Sacred and the Drive for Sacred. The Sacred and the Drive for Sacred have greatly diminished or vanished in the West, which is one of the major causes of the already developed and developing environmental, ecological, socio-cultural, and human nature disasters and crises. In Muslim societies, the Sacred and the Drive for Sacred-and their reflection in the mass psychology-are still very much alive and very powerful, in spite of all the cultural and other invasions and distortions of the Western Capitalist Civilization. Jerry Mander had made a profound analysis of this great problem in his 1992 book, In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations. Sierra Club Books. ISBN: 0871565099, in which he analyzed these problems in their impact on human nature and culture in general, and those of Native Americans and Native Canadians in particular. His insights and conclusions are also relevant to what is happening in Muslim communities.
The focus of the Drive for Sacred in Muslim societies is on the religion, Allah, His prophets, and especially on Prophet Muhammad. There is very little in the existing socio-natural reality of the Planet Earth at the current stage of evolution that can orient that drive towards itself or satisfy its requirements and needs. Hence its above-mentioned almost exclusive orientation. In the West in general, and the US in particular, that drive has been suppressed, deformed, relatively inactivated, and replaced by various capitalist-imperialist-materialist drives, like greed for money and things, insatiable appetites for the satisfaction of ever-increasing needs and desires, hedonism, widespread obsession with pornography, “having fun” with everything, technocracy, etc. Even though, many of these forces also counteract the Drive for Sacred in the Muslim societies, the unity of spiritual and phenomenal life in them also counteracts the effects of these forces, in spite of the obvious and not-so-obvious contradictions. The resolution of these contradictions will eventually determine the fate of the Sacred and the Drive for Sacred in these societies. Following the paths of ACITS will lead to the same fate for these, as in the ACITS. In the former socialist societies, communism, Marx, and Lenin had been substituted for religion and prophets as the orienting foci for the Drive for Sacred. After their betrayal and restoration of capitalism there, these foci have been lost and now they are following the paths of ACITS. The emergence and explosion of colossal social, cultural, political, ethical, environmental, and human nature problems in these societies is already self-evident and these are going to get much worse.
The Drive for Sacred is inseparable from the Feelings of Sacred. Throughout the history of Western Philosophy and Western Civilization, a progressively increasing gulf and dichotomy has been created between Reason and Feelings, in which Reason has been elevated maximally and Feelings downgraded and suppressed. The unity of the inner life of humans, of the Intellect and Soul, has been torn apart. Under capitalism and imperialism, the Reason and Intellect have been reduced to Capitalist Technocratic Rationality and the Soul and Feelings totally subordinated to it. This has been a most sinister development as it deforms both Reason and Feelings, both Intellect and Soul. The Drive for Sacred is one of the casualties of this demonic process.
Nothing is sacred in the ACITS of US and Europe. Neither truth, nor justice, goodness, beauty, reason, feelings, intellect, soul, or any other higher human qualities and values, all of which have been subordinated to the powers and interests of Capital, which twist, distort, and pervert them to fit into their own requirements. After centuries of such mutilations, these are now deformed beyond recognition. Human mouth and speech have been deformed into efficient talking machines-tools of deception and hypocrisy-vomiting out mechanicalized words at the speed of light. Religion itself has also been subjugated and deformed by these forces. Its lip service to the sacred is nothing but hollow mechanical rituals and appearances, in contradiction with its soul and essence. Christianity has a long history of deformations, first under feudalism and then under capitalism and imperialism. Under these systems, it worked hand-in-glove with the feudal, capitalist, and imperialist states in all their domestic and international crimes and sins, e.g., class oppression, slavery, racism, colonialism, neocolonialism, robberies, plunders, and thefts of whole countries and continents, like the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, numerous countries in Asia and Africa, etc. The key point is that religion itself has been corrupted and eroded and could not prevent the erosion of the Sacred or the Drive for Sacred.
The Charlie Hebdo incident in France did not occur in a vacuum, even though it is being presented as such by much of the political punditry in the West and its Third World clients. As numerous other such incidents, it is related to and is the product of many international and national events, factors, and causes that constitute its context. Without examining it within that context and only pontifying about it in fragmented and abstracted form, only leads to biased and mutilated knowledge, information, and perceptions: to disinformation. In this article, an attempt has been made to examine this incident within its organic context and to objectively identify its causes and effects. Such an approach is essential if the goal is to reduce and prevent such incidents in the future. As in medicine, one cannot hope to treat an illness without identifying its causes accurately. This basic and simple principle is very much applicable to the phenomena of terrorism and state terrorism. Without such an approach, not only such incidents cannot be prevented, but are likely to multiply in the future.
Postscript January 20, 2015
As expected, there have been numerous passionate and violent demonstrations against Charlie Hebdo’s defamation and desecration of Islam, Muslims, and Prophet Muhammad, in many Muslim countries, the most violent occurring in Niger, a former French colony, where more than ten people have died and numerous injured in clashes with the security forces. Numerous churches were burnt down and offices of various French organizations were attacked. Charlie Hebdo is fully responsible for creating such conflicts between religions, nations, and causing this violence, deaths, and injuries. This was totally predictable. These results are similar to those caused by the above-mentioned defaming and desecrating American film, during 2012.