The 21st Century Despots

The US has for long fooled the rest of the world with insignificant and void treaties, a smile on the face, a shake in the hand and a Black President. The hand-shaker seems to be beleaguered with innumerable controversies it has been building for itself ever since the 9/11 attack happened. The thin line between them attacking terrorists and being terrorists has also been erased after the recent blunderous decisions taken by the US hegemony in cases like invading Libya, capturing and killing of Osama and acquitting one of the main convicts of 26/11 attacks, Tahawwur Rana.

Starting from the start, we all know of US’s contribution in converting Afghanistan and Iraq from being nations to rubble mansions, which ofcourse was as important for the growth and security of the people of the two countries as claimed by the US. The capture of Osama Bin Laden, that took place in Abbottabad (which is in Pakistan and not in either of the above countries) led the US to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, kill more than 1 lakh civilians and spend more than $1.3 trillion.

Mind you, the picturesque figures presented by the media in respect to such war zones are monitored by the US government, so the real figures (which could be much higher) are unknown to us as well. The capturing, killing and burial of the most wanted terrorist, whom the US government had been trying to hunt down for a decade now, was done in an extremely hush-hush manner.

Just think about this, one fine day (without former warning or information to anybody) we get the breaking news that Osama Binladen is dead. He was found in Abottabad which is a kilometer away from a military cantonment and 38 miles from the national capital Islamabad, where he had been living safely a long time. The encounter video was watched only by a few national security team members of the US and officials like the President himself. It is a 40 minute long video that got aborted (while it was being recorded live) due to some technical failure and the time the ‘actual encounter’ took place hasn’t been recorded at all.

The photos provided to the media of Osama Bin Laden are highly fuzzy and unclear. The video that has been released (in which he is sitting and watching TV) is short in which one can see only his back. His burial though is what seems most absurd. He was buried at sea within 24 hours of his death, without being taken to the US, without verifying a proper DNA test on the most wanted criminal of the world all because the US was so worried about doing it according to the Islam tradition and practice, just like it had followed all the Islamic traditions while invading Islamic countries and carrying out drone attacks at innocent civilians.

The most recent of their invasions have been in Libya. In the name of backing a just and much needed revolution against a barbaric and tyrannical autocrat, Qaddafi, the US seems to be on a self-imposed secret mission of it’s own. The logic provided by the US and other European nations (United Kingdom and France) is that they want to help the Afro-Arab nations come out of the decades of clinch of despotic rulers and live in an indiscriminate, democratic and secular environment.

What angels to go out of their way to help the people of other countries! Instances of their generosity have been witnessed by the world when France banned Niqabs and I don’t even have to bother dwelling into the generosity shown by the US time and again. In the name of revolution the US military is seducing the rag-tag rebels with sophisticated artillery to attack Qaddafi and his army. On the basis of dubious information of Qaddafi’s presence, they attack random buildings in which civilians get killed. Targeting of individuals, even at the time of war is a criminal act under the International Law, but is there any stopping them?

In India’s context they haven’t been playing fair either. Obama comes to India, pays a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the 26/11 attacks but when it comes to providing them with justice they do not go the whole hog. Any development on David Headley, Rana or any other lead that India finds out seems to be a waste of time and energy. David Headley alias Daood Sayeed Gilani was a major lead in the 26/11 case.

Being a US citizen he could only be tried in the US (unlike Julian Assange who hasn’t been able to go back to Australia for his trail), he cannot be extradited due to treaty issues, cannot be convicted (even after his confession to all charges levied against him) as he is now a US informer who was also a former CIA agent! Ilyas Kashmiri, a former senior Al-Qaeda member whose name was mentioned in Headley’s testimony and who could be of a lot of use to extract information, if captured was killed in one of US’s drone attacks. The Pakistani-Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana too was acquitted of direct involvement in 26/11 attack by the Chicago court.

The US cannot tread the path it has chosen forever. The world is watching. The Nobel prize laureate for peace has been accused of waging war on several occasions. Its time to stop and take a u-turn, mind you everyday a revolution takes place and an autocrat is overthrown!

Himanshi Chaudhary