Editorial: December 2015
After Paris ……?
Dr.Rasheed Hasan Khan
The carnage in Paris is a clear illustration of the adage – sowing the wind to reap the whirlwind. The perpetrators of the mayhem in Paris are reported to be affiliates of ISIS, which is a continuity of the extremist organization that came into existence after the U.S. and Western intervention in the vast area extending from Afghanistan to Iraq, Syria and North Africa. The hubris of Western policy planners dates from the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan in 1978. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. backed Mujahedeen transformed themselves into the Taliban, but retained the extremist religious thinking.
After 9/11 and the “ war on terror” , the U.S. invaded and occupied Afghanistan. For more than ten years, America was mired in the morass of the war in Afghanistan without achieving its stated political objectives. During this period Pakistan and other countries of the region had to suffer the disastrous fallout from the war in Afghanistan. The hubris and post-Cold War delusions of global power, led the US policy planners to the 2003 invasion of Iraq .This was an unmitigated disaster for the people of this region. It disrupted the balance of forces in the region and provided the conditions for terrorist organizations to take root and consolidate themselves. Then came the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt which were projected by Western powers as heralding the long-awaited birth of Arab ‘democracy’.
In Libya, Qadhafi’s ouster was secured through armed support to insurgent groups and a prolonged aerial campaign by European powers, with America “leading from behind”.. Libya is now splintered into rival areas, cities, tribes, groups and governments, some with connections to terrorist organizations including IS — which has a direct presence there.
After Libya, attention turned to Syria, the usual formula for “regime change” to overthrow Bashar ul Asad’s regime was put into effect .Accompanying a barrage of dis-information and propaganda, armed support was provided to IS and other Al-Qaida affiliates by the U.S. and Western Powers, resulting in an endless civil war that caused an unprecedented exodus of refugees to flood Europe.
This brief outline of blatant Western interventions in a large geographical area extending from Afghanistan to North Africa and patronage of extremist terrorist organizations clearly demonstrates that the roots of the carnage in Paris and other regions and countries of the world, lie primarily in the interventions by the Western powers in the affairs of sovereign countries of Asia and Africa . The question is — after Paris—- what? Clearly, massive bombardment of the so called ISIS headquarters and troop positions has yielded no results so far.
But the powers-that-be don’t want to change course … they gain tremendous power and influence through the current war on terror strategies. The military- industrial complex grows rich through war … so endless war remains a feature of the present Western foreign policy.
The only way out of this maze is for the People of the World, especially from Europe and North America to stand up and demand that their power-hungry leaders stop doing the things which give them more power … but are guaranteed to increase terrorism against the civilian population.