by Roots for Equity, Pakistan
September 11, 2011
The ceremony of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, to be held this Sunday, will be attended by US President Barak Obama, his predecessor George W. Bush, victims, family members, New York Mayor and governors of New York and New Jersey. 9/11 left 3,101 Americans (2,977 in New York, 184 at the Pentagon, 40 at Shanksville, excluding 19 hijackers) dead on their soil. Counter terrorism measures taken since then in the name of War on Terror are definitely more deadlier than terrorism. The American public should at least pause and see how, after 9/11, their country has been turned in to a huge security empire. People of the world cannot help but start their death count not from 9/11 but from Hiroshima and Nagasaki i.e. the rise of American imperialism and the beginning of the end of European colonialism.
How America started the cold war from Europe in the name of ‘communist threat’ with the establishment of NATO and the announcement of the Truman Doctrine; how it spread that war to Asia after the emergence of the Peoples Republic of China; its involvement and defeat in the Korean and Vietnam wars of the 1950 & 60s and support to anti people client regimes in the third world to supress revolutionary forces, all needs to be remembered and the casualties and the cost taken in to account.
After a brief ‘low profile’ in its foreign policy (after defeat in the Vietnam War) the US began its policy of militarization of the Indian Ocean and renewed armed race with the former Soviet Union in the mid seventies. The Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan provided a golden opportunity to the US to start the second cold war, globally. Its covert military involvement in Afghanistan through training & equipping Afghanistan resistance (with the active support of Pakistan Army); military support and encouragement to Saddam Husain to start a war with Iran (after Iranian revolution); its enhanced military presence in the Middle East after Sadams’ invasion of Kuwait are just few manifestation of the culture of militarism spread by the US in our part of the world.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, US emerged as the sole super power, with capitalism becoming the ‘legitimate’ economic system. The birth of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 1995 heralded the era of free trade; yet this ‘end of history’ still required an enemy. It had to be invented and hence 9/11 was ‘the holocaust’ especially for the neo-cons. The resources of the world, oil in particular, were to be the secured for the corporate world. What followed was a war (fought and lost) to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq at a heavy human and material cost, and near defeat after 10 years of destruction in Afghanistan. And why Afghanistan was chosen as a new battle zone? Let’s ponder and unravel the truth. Its richness of untapped mineral resources, proximity to oil rich CAS, border with arch rich rival Iran & China – the upcoming super power; not forgetting the emerging economic giant India. The price was low for the bounty that was sought to be secured.
Pakistan has paid a very heavy price by supporting America’s thirst for control in the region in the world. In 1977 when Gen. Zia came to power he used religion to gain legitimacy for his rule. Fundamentalism promoted with Saudi money and American military equipment in the 1980s not only took a heavy human toll but it destroyed the very social fabric of the Pakistani society. The predominance of military in Pakistan weakened civilian institutions, leading rampant corruption mafia rule and lawlessness. All this has lead extremism, sectarianism & separatism. What all this required was an investment in the people of Pakistan not war on terror, but another military rule in Pakistan, keeping narrow military interests in mind, decided to take a ‘u – turn’. This war has unleashed a series of suicide bombing all across the country & has turned Khyber Pakhtun Khwa in to a battle zone with regular US drone attacks killing innocent civilians in its tribal areas. Apart from the military casualties, according to conservative estimates, over 35000 Pakistani citizens have been killed so far. The war has cost Pakistan about $ 68 billion in which the US has contributed $ 18 billion.
Ten years after 9/11 security climate in this world has not improved, but has deteriorated. Free market economy and globalization has not led to peace. It has increased militarization, insecurity & economic injustice, poverty, food, water & energy crises, environmental crisis and climate change. We have now to look back to get our perspectives right and seek social justice and lasting peace for the benefit of the people and the Earth that they inhabit. And we have to act with urgency. The very survival of the world is at high risk.