West-stirred up Muslims terrorise Mumbai – I
by K. Gajendra Singh on 15 Dec 2008 2 Comments

Barring Paris and Romania, my diplomatic assignments were mainly in Arab/Muslim countries; Turkey (ten years in two tenures), Azerbaijan, Jordan, Egypt, Algiers, Senegal, which gave me close interaction and understanding of Islam, a complex, varied and sophisticated religion. Since then, I have read more on Islam, the Middle East, Central and South Asia. I have used the term Islamic fundamentalism and Islamic terrorism in the absence of any other suitable phrase. One should also describe Israeli state terrorism as Jewish or Zionist terrorism and US/UK state terrorism as Christian terrorism. Islamic and other terrorisms as part of State policies are not going to disappear; hence the necessity for comprehensive understanding of this phenomenon. This essay covers a century of Anglo-American policies and manipulations in the Islamic world, creating a Frankenstein monster of Islamic terrorism. It is meant for those really interested in the problem so as not to have knee-jerk reactions like suggesting carpet-bombing of Pakistan or to treat Muslims like Israelis treat Palestinians – Author 

When questioned if he had any regrets in supporting Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan during the 1980s, Zbigniew Brzezinski in a January 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, replied, "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"
"Nonsense," responded Brzezinski when asked "If Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today" [Brzezinski was President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser]

"Terrorism is a tactic, a technique, a weapon that fanatics, dictators and warriors have resorted to through history. If, as Clausewitz wrote, war is the continuation of politics by other means, terrorism is the continuation of war by other means" - Patrick J. Buchanan

"The United States has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon" - Robert Drefuss

"It looks more like a classical special forces or commando operation than a terrorist one. No group linked to Al Qaeda and certainly not Lashkar has ever mounted a maritime attack of this complexity"- David Kilcullen, a counter-insurgency expert and adviser to US Gen. David Petraeus of 'Surge fame' in Iraq"

Which would be worse: if the Pakistani military knew about this operation in advance, or if they didn't? - Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek

"You may not be interested in war but war is interested in you" - Leon Trotsky

"Could this be happening to the "city of dreams"? Our very own Mumbai? The city is no stranger to terror attacks, but the scale, audacity, flamboyance and planning of this assault takes one's breath away. As the faces of anonymous, but not hooded, assassins flashed on TV screens, one thing became quickly clear. These gentlemen were looking for maximum exposure in maximum city. And what a spectacular success, from their perspective, the operation has been. Will Mumbai ever be the same again?" - Vinod Mehta, Editor, Outlook

Stirred-up Moslems

In his book "From the Shadows", Robert Gates, the re-nominated US Secretary of Defense and ex-CIA Director, wrote that US intelligence services began aiding the Mujahideen in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet intervention. About his role Brzezinski clarified: “Yes, according to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujaheddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.”

To Le Nouvel Observateur's query, "When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?" Brzezinski replied, "Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?

The day the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire."

Brzezinski admitted on July 3, 1979, that unknown to the public and Congress, President Carter secretly authorized $500 million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia to destabilize the Soviet Union. This was called 'Operation Cyclone.'

Brzezinski along with Henry Kissinger, whom many would like to try as a war criminal and who badmouthed Indira Gandhi with US President Richard Nixon on the eve of the independence of Bangladesh from  Pakistan in 1971, are close to the foreign policy team of incoming US President Barack Obama.

Indian response and reaction to Mumbai rape

Despite several terrorist attacks in major Indian cities this year alone, the reaction of various structures and manpower supposedly in place to counter them, the 62-hour brutal rampage in the city of Mumbai only exposed the dysfunctional nature of the Indian state and made India a laughing stock in the world, only arousing pity. It exposed lack of any coherent policy or its implementation externally or internally in dealing with such situations. Top Indian political elite after the attack on Indian Parliament in 2001 is itself now well-guarded by NSG, which finally carried out the neutralization of the Pakistan trained Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, reaching Mumbai from Delhi 8 hours after the reign of terror had begun.

The political maneuvers after the rampage give little hope for the future. After 9/11 when Pakistan was coerced into joining USA in the so called 'War on Terror' aka 'Operation Enduring Freedom,' Indian leaders like L.K. Advani had wanted India to be the frontline state against terror. Well that wish has been fulfilled. West would love Indian masses to be the canon fodder in its fight against Islamic terrorism, incubated and nurtured by UK, USA and others.

New Delhi is relying on the very states that are responsible for the creation of the monster of religious terrorism around the world throughout history, and especially since 1980s. USA, UK and Israel promote policies of 'creative chaos' to promote their interests. Remember how the Sunni states and the West indirectly encouraged and hailed Iraq's Saddam Hussein in 1980 to douse the flames from Shia Iran's revolution, in which over a million lives were lost and their economies shattered. It only strengthened interests of the West and its allies in the region. Saddam was soon taken care of.

Why not also consult Russia, Iran and others facing West-created terrorism? As for any outcome of demarches with the Pakistan government directly or via others, remember the charade TV trial of the confirmed nuclear weapons proliferator, Dr A.Q. Khan, by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and his being pardoned. Do not expect others to take your chestnuts out of the fire. It is a wild goose chase as it is emerging. In UNSC, Pakistan is reviving the Kashmir red herring and the West hyphenating India-Pakistan again.

In 1987-89, while establishing the Indian Foreign Ministry's institute for training diplomats, after reading up on the history of violence and how to manage crisis situations created by terrorist attacks, I designed a week-long module. The training module, inaugurated by the then Minister of State P. Chidambaram was to sensitise diplomats, officers from police, intelligence, military, civil aviation, NSG and others. When I checked up in 1999 at the time of the hijacking of the Indian airlines plane from Kathmandu to Kandahar, the module had been discontinued.

This essay is to inform the public, especially the gullible and Anglo-Saxon brainwashed Indian chattering and chanting classes who hog media outlets, to look carefully at the Trojan horses being brought to India; why and what US, UK and Israel are up to. Indian corporate media and writers are easily seduced and co-opted by study grants, scholarships, well paid seminars and fat pensions to those who were  on deputations to West-controlled institutions like IMF and World Bank, established to maintain US economic hegemony in the wake of 1944 Bretton Woods agreement. (For example, with the term of the current PMO coming to an end in a few months, at least four senior bureaucrats have gone on deputation to these institutions).

When one analyzes the history, causes and phenomenon of Islamic terrorism, it is important to look at the role played by and still being played by USA, UK ,Israel and Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others, in stirring up Muslims, either as mercenaries or for proxy wars to preserve their regimes and promote their interests. The major axis controlling fundamentalist Islamic terrorism is composed of the ruling corporate elites in USA and UK, the Saud dynasty and the military establishment in Pakistan.

US-Saudi dynasty-Wahabi nexus

The first Saudi "state" was founded in 1744 by the al-Saud leader Muhammad ibn Saud, who made a Faustian bargain with the religious reformer Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, the founder of "Wahabism." The pact between the Wahab clan and the house of Saud was sealed with multiple marriages. The links between the Saudi family and Wahabi followers have remained durable. The Saudi Minister of Religion is always a member of the Al Sheikh family, descendants of Ibn Abdul Wahab. The Wahabis' sway over mosques is undoubted with their own religious police. Financed from surplus oil revenues, the Wahabis have extended their reach via networks of madrasas and mosques throughout the Muslim world, especially in Pakistan. In Central Asian republics like Uzbekistan, Pakistani visitors are referred to as Wahabis.

Wahabism is extremely austere and rigid. It tolerates little dialogue and even less interpretation, frowns on idolatry, tombstones or the veneration of statues and artworks. Followers prefer to identify themselves as muwahiddun, which means "the unifiers." Wahabis forbid smoking, shaving of beards, abusive language, rosaries and many rights for women. They regard all those who don't practice their form of Islam, including other Muslims, as heathens and enemies.

Two experts, Brisard and Dasquie, explain that Saudi Arabia has always supported radical Islamic movements (including the Taliban, Al Qaeda and bin Laden) in order to extend its hegemony over the region and Muslims. Riyadh's support of the Taliban kept Afghanistan from falling under Iranian influence.

According to Kepel, the noted French Arabist, following the 1979 overrunning of the Grand Mosque at Mecca by fundamentalists (the debacle finally ended with help from French special forces) and after Operation Desert Shield when US troops moved into Saudi Arabia on August 7, 1990, the Saudi government desperately needed the religious blessing of the Wahabi clergy to sanctify US troops onto Saudi soil. The concessions granted to Wahabis completed the kingdom's fall into "bottomless Islamization." Sunni Islam will remain backward and mired in mediaeval mores, unable to face modern day challenges, unless there is a catharsis after a revolution like of Shia Islam in Iran.

In 1945, before a declining Britain was divested of its colonies and influence, USA signed a memo with the British to protect “very extensive joint interest and – control of the great bulk of the free petroleum resources of the world. The Middle East was a vital prize for any power interested in world influence or domination," since control of the world's oil reserves also meant control of the world economy. After the decline of UK and France, US stepped in as the dominant neo-colonial power in the region as elsewhere.

"One of the basic policies of the United States in the Near East is unqualifiedly to support the territorial integrity and political independence of Saudi Arabia." A 1953 internal US document states: "United States policy is to keep the sources of oil in the Middle East in American hands" (quoted by Mohammed Heikal in 'Cutting the Lion's Tail'.) In 1958, a secret British document described the principal objectives of Western policy in the Middle East: “(a) to ensure free access for Britain and other Western countries to oil produced in States bordering the Gulf; (b) to ensure the continued availability of that oil on favourable terms and for surplus revenues of Kuwait; (c) to bar the spread of Communism and pseudo-Communism in the area and subsequently to defend the area against the brand of Arab nationalism."

Since then a nexus has emerged between US, the rich Saudi ruling elite with its extravagant lifestyle and its familial extension to puritan Wahabis. In exchange for security of the dynasty, the peninsula's oil wealth and revenues have been handed over for exploitation and benefit of the West led by USA (a major cause of anger among Arab masses). This nexus has stood the test of time with Washington doing everything possible to maintain the feudal regime with its mediaeval practices. The regime controls "the largest family business" in the world without any popular mandate or accountability.

The Saud family-US nexus was anointed after President Franklin Roosevelt's meeting with the Saudi King aboard a warship in 1945, who said "I hereby find that the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States." Jimmy Carter, a later day saint, in 1980 put it even more forcefully: "Let our position be absolutely clear. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States."

Washington backed that commitment with military treaties safeguarding the Middle East. Apart from old CENTO and now NATO, US military bases are stretched into East Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf to protect the Middle East oil. Then came the Rapid Deployment Force and the US Central Command and the US 5th Fleet, now based in Bahrain. The 1991 Gulf War led to a massive expansion of the US military presence in the region, including US troops on the sacred Saudi soil, a major cause of anguish and deep resentment among conservative Saudi Muslims led by Osama bin Laden. US troops were shifted away only after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

To be continued…

K. Gajendra Singh, IFS (retd.) served as Indian ambassador to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Romania and Senegal, and is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies

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