By Mahboob A. Khawaja
23 October, 2013
By Amnesty International
Is America at war within itself? Its history offers alarming and dreadful signals to the whole of the mankind. In slightly over two centuries of its existence, America has fought more than two hundred wars. None seem to have had large scale global repercussions and disastrous consequences as is the unending Bush engineered “War on Terrorism.” In September 2001, George Bush called the then Pakistani dictator General Pervaz Musharaf on a two and half hour notice if he will join America to unseat the Taliban Government in Afghanistan and capture Osama Bin Laden- the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks on America. Refuting history of friendly relations between America and Pakistan would be sheer oversight. America welcomed the democratically created new nation of Pakistan and extended substantial humanitarian aids to its development. Pakistani leaders went out of their way to support US global policies and strategies even offering their land to American secret networks against the USSR and Communism. Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan got warm welcome in America and inspired the vision of strong US-Pakistan relationships in the years to come. Nixon and Kissinger found Pakistan a bridge to facilitate secret dialogue with China leading to normalization of US-China relations. Subsequently, when one-track Generals took power in military coups, they viewed American relations with utmost value for their own survival.
George Bush made it known, “either you are with us or against us.” But ironically, Pakistan was used to wage the War on Terrorism and at the same time, it is accused of harboring terrorism against the US interests. Truth is one and indivisible. There are no moral and intellectual standards to follow in modern politics. To American strategic interests, fair is foul, foul is fair. America followed its own hidden agenda and used Afghanistan as a convenient covert operation base to undermine the freedom and integrity of a friendly Pakistan . The War on Terrorism has ushered worst socio-economic and humanitarian disasters for the Pakistani nation. The American political intrigues and military intervention has incapacitated Pakistan to be a productive nation. International Aid is not development but a gimmick and recipe for corruption and political mismanagement. Pakistan has become a war torn country not just by US led Drone attacks but by the politics and secret US agents of influence working across the nation to dismantle its nuclear arsenals and transform it into a boggy nation subservient to all – US, Britain , India and the unknown future. Is this what you expect from a friend to stab you from all directions? America has transformed its friendship into animosity; otherwise, it can misinform and deceive its own people that Al-Qaeda is operating from Afghanistan-Pakistan posing threats to American security. Al-Qaeda was created by the US intelligence services and met its political death when ousted from Afghanistan . There is no logical reasoning for America to be fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan . Is the war and killing an embraced attribute of the US political psyche? War is killing people. America has the unparallel sophistication, know-how and the mindset to maintain this “business as usual.” Killing others transforms the American politics into a dehumanized global strategy being actively pursued by the institutionalized military-industrial complex in Washington . William Boardman (“A Country at War with an Illusion.” Information Clearing House: 8/19/2013 ) points out the delusional perception of war:
The war we’re at is the undeclared war that began, for all practical purposes, on September 11, 2001 . It is the war on terrorism. It is a war on an abstraction, a tactic, an idea that can be embodied by anyone or everyone or no one. We are waging war on terrorism even as we embody terrorism. No wonder we seem sometimes to be at war with ourselves, and have been for most of the 21st century . “We have now been at war for well over a decade,” the president said in a statement so simple and broad as to include all the devastation we’ve wrought in Iraq and Afghanistan to so little useful effect, right down to the latest drone strike against some person we decided fits today’s enemy combatant profile.
Of all the pertinent issues facing American people, be it a fiscal cliff, Government shutdown, killings in schools and homes, illegal NSA spying on its citizens and across the globe, Edward Snowden, Obamacare, drone attacks on civilians in Pakistan and Yemen , most challenging has been to end the bogus War on Terrorism. President Obama in his election campaigns promised to take immediate action ”Yes We Can” to bring change in US strategic policies and direction but failed miserably to honor his political commitment. Strangely enough, Obama’s failure has consequences equally at home and at the global theatre. Every day is becoming a killing day in American public life, schools, streets, shopping malls and roads. President Obama cannot pretend, he was unaware of his betrayal to the people of America to bring change to American war strategy. Finian Cunningham (“Killing Children Is the All-American Way .” Dissident Voice: 12/22/2012 ) takes a look at the painful state of American public affairs:
“ America has become a killing machine, driven by an ideology in which human life is but a worthless commodity that can be exploited and discarded. The discarding of human life is seen most graphically in foreign countries where American elite interests want oil or some other commercial or geopolitical gain. But increasingly this killing machine is turning in on itself, destroying its own society, families and individuals. Obama added in his eulogy for the deaths in Newtown , Connecticut : “We cannot tolerate this any more… we will have to change.”
There appears to be wide gulf between the thinking of the warmongering political elite and the ordinary American folks wishing to see a quick end to the American generated global hostilities. The bogus War on Terrorism raging over a decade has bankrupted America , not just in economic and financial domains but also in moral, intellectual and political spectrums. The consequences of the war on terror are not adequately reported by the mainstream news media. Countless precious lives have been lost by the arrogance and wickedness of the few warmongers in American politics. Its impacts will remain on public conscience for generations to come. The American folks constantly live in fear of the unknown as was demonstrably clear from the super storm SANDY affecting millions. Many victims of the SANDY catastrophic impacts tell their story as if they were living in “war zones.” The first hand observations could not have been indifferent to these expressions. This could be the consequence to what the US leaders are doing to other nations such as Iraq , Afghanistan Pakistan and Yemen . American operated drone attacks are causing daily killings of innocent people and destruction of the human habitats. As the people in those lands live in “fear” and uncertainty, the same is happening to the American population – the Will of God lives everywhere whether the American commander–in chief takes it seriously or not. All living things in the Universe obey the Commands of God.
Today, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch and other affiliated bodies have issued a daunting report on the US drone killings in Waziristan ( Pakistan ) and Yemen . Earlier, the UNO report warned the US about its illegal and inhuman operations against civilians both in Pakistan and Yemen . Medea Benjamin, the legendry peace activist is not alone in this movement but thousands of conscientious global citizens want an immediate end to the drone war. Many want to put the US on notice that it could be tried for Crimes against Humanity. Do the US policy makers listen to the voices of REASON rising against their illogical dictum throughout the world?
A joint investigative report by the Stanford Law School and New York University School of Law published in September 2012 entitled Living Under Drones , and based on over 130 interviews carried out in Pakistan offers most credible but horrifying record of the American drone war. The report claims that the vast majority of victims of the drone war attacks are civilians, not “militants”—only 2 percent of those killed were identified as known “militants.” The Stanford University – New York University authors explicitly challenge the US version and deny the official claims of precise surgical strikes by the drones: “This narrative is false.” They also report that an important feature of the drone war is the regular use of a second missile strike shortly after the first strike—the combination euphemistically labeled a ”double tap”—killing many local onlookers and rescue workers coming to the aid of the first-strike’s victims. These secondary strikes “have discouraged average civilians from coming to one another’s rescue, and even inhibited the provision of emergency medical assistance from humanitarian workers.” The Director of the charitable organization Reprieve is quoted in the report as saying:
“An entire region is being terrorized by the constant threat of death from the skies…. Their way of life is collapsing… kids are too terrified to go to school, adults are afraid to attend weddings, funerals, business meeting or anything that involves gathering in groups.”
Whether innocent children murdered in Newtown , Nevada , Afghanistan , Iraq , Gaza or Pakistan , it gives pain and anguish to the global humanity. Insanity turned into guns and bullets and drone attacks, lacks sensitivity of color, age, gender, ethnicity, religion and geography, it is the controlling mind that must be changed and reformed. To many, war is entertainment videos and killing of others a cherished hobby to be practiced in remote Afghanistan and Pakistan . Surely, President Obama and other one-track thinking politicians would need educated advisors, people of new ideas and creative strategies to deal with draconian minds, policies and practices unleashing the killing of the innocents. It can be done and should be done. Finian Cunningham (“Killing Children Is the All-American Way .” Dissident Voice: 12/22/2012 ) points out the context:
“This is from the man who orders drone kill lists in Afghanistan and Pakistan every week that involve the “collateral damage” of children being ripped to pieces….This is from the man who immediately agreed to millions of dollars worth of more weaponry to the Israeli state fresh from its mass murder of innocents in Gaza . …Through the pain and suffering of the latest mass shooting in the US, maybe ordinary Americans are beginning to realize just how big a change is really needed in their country……..If human life can be violated and cheapened on such a vast, systematic scale, both in America and around the world, then the loss of 20 children in Newtown is, to be honest, a price that is negligible, if not worth it.”
The 21 st century knowledge-based politics and leadership accountability warrants change, new strategies for peace and global harmony and clear sets of principles and moral values from those operating the political powerhouses. If Obama wants to be mentioned in history as President of the people of America who voted for him, surely, he NEEDS a Navigational Change. Logically, any intelligent leader would do his best to change and conform to the requisites of futuristic adaptability when facts of life warrant a change. Responsible and conscientious leaders build their moral strength and intellectual integrity – the real force for accountable democratic governance by discarding shortcoming, overcoming failures and political blunders. President Obama need not to repeat what went wrong with Bush and Cheney and so many others most commonly hated and feared across the globe. Those who victimize the mankind to deliberate torture and murder to entertain their favorite perversion from the prevalent reality of human affairs cannot be leader of the present or the future. Leaders should lead, not mislead. Pakistan politicians and Generals are no angels to global corruption but part of the problem. Arguably, egoistic and corrupt Pakistani politicians and Generals could be bought and sold at the market place, but the Pakistani people had no animosity for America , the War on Terrorism has turned the feelings and political outlook against America and its interests. America ‘s worst enemies are not abroad but within its politics and governance. The US does not need to extend bogus Aid package to Pakistanis, they understand America is already on a financial cliff; if it shares any sense of global morality and humanity, it should immediately stop all acts of war including the drone attacks and withdraw its forces from Afghanistan . The present and future American generations could learn a lesson, how to reverse the course of contemporary history and to make friends, not enemies.
Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany , May 2012