The twenty-first century dawned with the most horrible crime, the 9/11 attacks in the United States, followed by horrible wars launched by the U.S. government. America's rulers put forward an incredible and unusual conspiracy theory to tell the world how the 9/11 attacks took place. There was a lack of investigation to confirm the official theory about 9/11followed by a very quick war and the occupation of Afghanistan. An equally illegitimate war and the occupation of Iraq followed the war of aggression on Afghanistan.
The main lie used to justify the war on Iraq is now universally known. It is also well known that the war on Afghanistan was planned long before the 9/11 attacks. The war crimes committed by the U.S. forces in the occupied countries, as well as in the various prisons they have set-up within and outside the occupied countries, are also before the world. The use of banned weapons and ammunition, such as depleted uranium and white phosphorus, is also a matter of public record now. The consequences of using the banned weapons are also unfolding before our eyes in the form of an increasing number of deformed babies born in occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. Similarly, a number of Americans who were sent to war and used these weapons are suffering from related illnesses. Yet the people behind the wars are now showing their determination to nuke Iran into submission, if necessary, for its alleged intention to have nuclear weapons.
Many analysts believe that we are well into the age of fascism. 1 Others argue that we are about to enter an era of fascism in the name of freedom and democracy. Yet those in the opposing camp believe that the preemptive wars are needed to check the greatest evils and bestialities of Islam, which are set to change the Western way of life. The approaching denouement is presaged precisely by the extraordinary tension between the Muslim and Western worlds, led by the United States. In international relations, this denouement means a greater war.
In the Muslim world, a rising number of Muslims believe that it would be far better if a greater war were forestalled by Muslims achieving true independence and their right to self-determination. But Muslim independence has not yet not occurred, and-we must say flatly-the chance of it is small until the modern day fascists exhaust themselves in their plans to annihilate Muslims, and Muslims, in turn, learn a lesson at a great cost. The fact is that Muslims alone are not the victims.
Besides looking into the question of whether we are living in a new age of fascism, we need to seriously assess if a greater and wider war is approaching far more speedily than the rate at which new cadres of anti-war movements in the West and pro-independence and pro-self-determination activists in the Muslim world are coming to the fore. What is common between these two emerging forces in the East and the West? How can they compliment each other's efforts? Members of these movements of true liberty need to look into the determination of those who want to control their own people and dominate the Muslim world at any cost. Together, they need to see where they are heading in a world led by a few powerful people. Never before has historical determinism assumed so fatalistic a form as it does nowadays. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will soon become small wars of the recent past. Will anything stop the warlords of our age? Will they succeed in what they have planned, or will war sweep them away?
The much-vaunted liberal democracy and the civil and human rights leaders are gradually caving in to the extremism of our age. This response is due to the nature of fascism. Those individuals who are for peace and the equal treatment of Muslims have started using terminology that even the fascists of the past did not use to belittle and demonize their enemies. Many self-proclaimed liberals are coming out of their closets and expressing views that are hardly different from the views on the extreme right. For example, articles of Thomas Friedman, published in the New York Times soon after the July 7, 2005, bombing in London, openly threatened Muslims and cursed Islam without pausing for the dust to settle and to see if his conclusions were correct.
Similarly, others, even those like George Galloway-the British MP who speaks strongly against the illegal wars-agreed that the staged terror attacks of 9/11 were the work of raging Muslims. Together, most of the pro-war and anti-war activists and analysts are making a majority in the world believe in the "enemy" created by the extremists of our age.
Looking from the perspective of Muslims, suffering one kind of tyranny or another since the so-called independence from Western colonialism, one clearly sees that starving 1.8 million Iraqis to death through genocidal sanctions by the United Nations has inescapably retreated before the greater evil of this age. Islamophobia and capitalism, with the aid of World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and coupled by corporate terrorism, have flourished for the last many years.
In the West, the search for truth, real representative democracy, and freedom from police states is intensifying. Peace activists are busy exposing the real culprits behind 9/11 and saving humanity from going into a greater war. On the other hand, the hunger for self-determination and self-rule is growing throughout the Muslim world. One sees evidence in the increasing number of Muslims who call for the overthrow of puppet regimes from dictators such as Pervez Musharraf and Islam Karimov to Kings in Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the autocrat in Egypt and puppets installed by occupation forces in places such as Afghanistan and Iraq. One sees it in the learned disquisitions about the roots of continued inequality, desperation, under-development, and exploitation of the Muslim world. Moreover, one sees it in the general trend away from staying in the rut of systems left behind by the colonialists, without seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. Muslims did not see freedom and independence, which they acquired from colonialism at a great cost. Thus, Muslims have begun making changes because they do not believe they would achieve true freedom and independence living under the existing systems.
The mounting resistance movements warrant the questions: Are Muslim countries facing a new form of colonialism-fascist-colonialism? If so, what comes after fascism? What is the next step for Muslims and non-Muslims who are not interested in wars and domination, and who are helpless before the might of the oppressors, but want change nevertheless? The truth-tellers' strategy of exposing the facts rightly began by focusing on the atrocities of the United States and its allies over the last century. Now a longer-term approach is needed, one that will serve human interests and human values, and one that will ensure equal opportunity for all to freely live their own way of life.
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