I was being fed upon the controversial death of the Al-Qaeda head Osama Bin Laden when my instincts forced me to pen down the feeling of dismay, which I had nurtured against American Politics. In 2006, when Saddam Hussein was sent to the gallows, the same emotion had vibrated through every nerve in my body.
Knowing that the 9/11 attack and it’s repercussions produced little-to-no-evidence against the Taliban, it becomes rather difficult to digest the fact that America felt justified in entering Iraq to take matters in their own hands.
It all began in 1979 and continued till 1989 under U.S. Presidents Carter and Reagan; when the United States CIA provided covert financial aid, arms and training to Osama’s Islamic Jihad Mujahedeen through Operation Cyclone and Reagan Doctrine. President Reagan often praised the Mujahideen for being Afghanistan’s “Freedom Fighters.”
Thereafter, social unrest was witnessed in Iraq among Shi’ite Muslims, Kurds, and military units; the uprising was repressed by Saddam’s Government. Whether the uprising was silenced in an ethical manner or not, is not a matter which should have been considered by the outsiders. What needs a curious eye is-what or who brought such disruption among the major social groups which existed in the region. The world knows that the United States had been a major cause for the rebellion but it did nothing to show its support when the need arose. What I fail to understand is that if at one point in time US felt that it was in the right for extending its support to people so that they could act against the Iraqi Government, then why was it so difficult for it to come up- front and show active strength to the retaliating groups?
When Saddam’s army won against the crisis which was disrupting its nation, the U.S launched a missile attack at Iraq’s intelligence headquarters in Baghdad in 1993. The basis was as obscure as was the attack. The basis of these attacks was sited as the violation of the ‘no-fly zones’ which were imposed after the Gulf War and the Iraqi invasion of Quwait.
The Iraqi invasion of Quwait under Saddam Hussein on August 2, 1990 had put the Saudi kingdom at risk. Bin Laden had met with King Fahd telling him not to depend on non-Muslim assistance from the United States and others, offering to defend Saudi Arabia with his Mujahideen. Bin Laden’s offer was rebuffed, and after the Saudi monarchy invited the deployment of U.S. troops in Saudi territory, Osama publicly denounced Saudi Arabia’s dependence on the U.S. military. What was obscene about the 1993 situation was the fact that not only was US condemning its ally with the sole responsibility of the attack on Quwait but the fact that in the same era, the Clinton Government had itself launched air-strikes in the ‘Iraqi no-fly zones’. Iraqi oil exports had been blocked by the UN, which proved to be such a massive blow for the economy of the nation that it would never allow the nation to re-emerge from the crisis.
Again, playing by the rule of thumb, the US tried to create an illusion of a well-wisher when in fact it was the cause of the disruption. As a result, in 1996, the United Nations allowed Saddam’s Government to begin selling limited oil for food. For the next two years, Iraq survived UN’s access to suspected weapons of mass destruction and it became the cause for US and British missile strikes on Iraq in 1998. Eventually, in 2001 US and British warplanes struck hard in Baghdad. What poses a huge question here is whether a mere suspicion authorized the world powers to do the same thing for which they had condemned Iraq, that too in a more uncivilized manner? At this junction it is important to remember that Iraq had not tried to show non-cooperation, instead, there were, intermittent spells of Iraqi co-operation with UN inspection teams.
In 2002, a resolution was passed by the European Union and the Commission for Human Rights which accused President Saddam Hussein’s Government of gross violations of Human rights. At this point in time, it must be understood that most of these violations culminated from the point in time when the Gulf War backed by the US and the social-boycott were exercised by the US and the UN in conjugation with each other. Whether, physical and mental abuse of people is not carried out in other democracies is for the world to consider; but when the people rise in opposition of such injustice then it is unjustified for other countries to sit in judgment over such issues. I say this because the whole process of social subjugation exists across the world and is not limited to specific regions. Some nations are able to subside controversies by show of strength and (as in the present case) others have to sit before a panel of equally corrupt nations.
In 2001, information compiled by the Western intelligence agencies was released by British Prime Minister, Tony Blair that showed a connection between Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan. It was ‘suspected’ that the Taliban government gave protection to Osama Bin Laden in the years leading up to 9/11 attack on US and that the Al-Qaeda network ‘may’ have had a close relationship with the Taliban army and police. The United States directed the Taliban to shut down all Al-Qaeda based activities in Afghanistan, opening them up for inspection and turning over Osama Bin Laden to the States. However, all these requests were refused even though the Government offered to extradite Osama Bin Laden to an Islamic country. Such extradition was for the purpose of trial under Islamic law but a condition of proving Osama’s guilt was presented before the United States. Evidence was put forth by the US which Iraq deemed insufficient for the purpose of extradition. Whether Iraq was supposed to act as a stooge in the hands of the Western powers and lose all power of independent decision making is a question which only a man of ordinary prudence must ask himself. If a nation is restricted from taking decisions after evaluating the evidence put before it, then I clearly fail to see the ‘Independence’ which can be bestowed on a Free State.
The Bush Government invaded and overthrew the Taliban in 2001. As per a statement of the Bush Administration released at that time, the US was unwilling to make a distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them. This clearly showcased the autocratic tendencies which the Bush Administration harbored and its show of power which refused to accept the independent inquiry of a free nation.
In early 2003, Saddam Hussein was part of a three hour interview with CBS News and during the interview he expressed a wish to have a live televised debate with the then President of U.S, Mr. George W. Bush; the request was declined. Had the U.S gone to the battle-field with clean hands then there would have been no reason for rejecting such an offer.
On November 29, 2007 a videotape was released, which was (as per the report of the CIA)likely to be from Osama Bin Laden and by way of which the speaker takes sole responsibility for the attacks and specifically denies any prior knowledge of such attacks by The Taliban or the Afghan people. But, it was too late in the day to make a difference, since a lot of water had already flown under the Bridge, a lot of innocent lives had already been sacrificed on both corners of the world, and the most prominent scapegoat among them, Saddam Hussein, had already been slain.
What had really made a lot of people across the world furious about the whole process was the fact that the Man who was once a President of a nation was not only broadcast in his underwear on leading daily magazines, but was so maltreated while in prison that it should have been a hard slap for a nation (like US) which purported to believe in
civilized way of judgment.
To add insult to the injury, the infamous and malicious case of the abuse at Abu Ghraib prison was exposed. Gross violations of human rights and ethical prisoner abuse were being carried out at the hands of US soldiers who were in charge of the Prison in Baghdad. But what did the US do to counter the situation? Did it hang the accused as it had done in the case of Saddam Hussein?
One of the main accused, Charles A. Graner, Jr., (born 1968) was convicted in connection with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal. He was found guilty of all charges on January 14, 2005, and sentenced to 10 years in prison, demotion to private, dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay and allowances. The fate of others like him was no different!
The reason why I get furious about America’s stand as a reformist and an avenger is that it trots on areas which lie beyond its own territory and jurisdiction. The reason which it gives in support of such incursion is either insufficient or unreasonable, but never unbiased. The US bases its whole theory on one fact-that inhumanity will not be accepted and that no leader has the power to sit in judgment over its subjects in a way which would treat them in an inhumane manner. But then, what US itself inflicts on such leaders is no less inhumane.
If the basic presumption is that no person has the power to send the other to the gallows then how does the US justify its own acts of infiltration, massacre and insurgency? The acts of the likes of Osama Bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were parallel to the ideologies of a country like the US which feels that it is all powerful for sitting in judgment over all matters that it feels pertinent. If a nation does not approve of these tactics, then how does it justify itself in stooping to the lowly levels of those whom it condemns by giving the same treatment to those whom it disapproves of?