Perspectives of America’s ‘Jihad’ By Sada Malumfashi
The term ‘Jihad’ in the West has found commonplace to be synonymous to Tyranny, Supremacism, and Violence inter-linked to Islam. Listening to President Barack Obama labeling the purported Islamic Republic in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as “Un-Islamic” and “far from Islamic teachings” brings out the rhetoric in America still labeling their despotic acts ‘Jihad’ and recognising the element ‘Islam’ as part of their nomenclature. With media white-wash, we all seem apologetic to this nomenclature as our local media also joins the foreign band-wagon of labeling any Extremist as “Islamic Jihadists”. It is worth noting that in Islam, Jihad has different components, such as personal struggle against vices, like adultery, fornication and struggles against addiction, being tolerant to one another and occasionally military struggle if deemed necessary in self-defense. In fact, when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked which the major Jihad was, he replied, “The Jihad of the Self” in essence a personal struggle against one-self and his heart desires, he didn’t utter the violent struggle. The supposed urge by an adviser to Egypt’s Mufti seems a benevolent strategy towards demystifying and unlinking extremists to Islam. He urged the foreign media to use the words, “Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria (QSIS)” instead of ISIS.
Indeed viewing Jihad through the extremists own point of view, is certainly playing into the hand of the extremists, ignorant of the core teachings of Jihad. Now, following through America and its media-backed propagandist hyping and linking of the term “Islamic Jihadists” as ‘Supremacism’, ‘Oppression’ and ‘Violence’, then along the tilt of history, there is no one guilty of this form of ‘Jihad’ than America itself if we take it through the Supremacism-Oppression-Violence point of view.
The United States has in the course of its history altered the politics and events of the Middle East to favour its overall ‘Supremacy’ for better or worse of the region until it tilts across its desired line. It is without gainsaying that the United States could end the bloodshed in Syria (a bloodshed which they effectually started as we will see in due course) but either due to cowardice or indifference, with the latter amounting the most it chooses to let Syrians die. Three million Syrian refugees are now scattered across the Middle East and another 6.5 million internally displaced summing to a little less than half the entire population of Syria. At what price? Simply, American policies are made around a single idea; everyone pays a price, but America gains.
Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war initiated to depose President Assad out of power, the Free Syrian Army has been receiving arms and ammunition from the West to fight the regime, which stubbornly failed to collapse. Now the ragged army has been left to decompose as they no longer serve a purpose to American interests, but then the ISIS sprang up amidst the artillery-laden environs and are on a mission of liberation of their own, contrary to the American-Organised FSA; basically, a lunatic group that existed but wasn’t given much concern when the prize was Assad’s head is now a full grown nemesis. A FSA commandant’s plea summarises the whole caption of the ‘American Jihad’ interest: “…the problem now is that they (ISIS) came back to fight with sophisticated weapons, weapons they stole from the Americans…we are just asking the West for some cooperation, some support to be able to fight these monsters and free our lands with our hands..” Months ago, there wouldn’t be a need for this plea from the FSA before America supplied ammunitions, sadly for the FSA and the Syrian people, they were just a pawn in the ‘Oppressive’ American policy, which certainly didn’t start now, but is embedded in American ‘Jihad’ doctrine as we shall continue to see.
Back in 1946, Syria became a republic, but in March 1949 a coup by Army Chief of Staff, Husni al-Za’im ended the initial period of civilian rule, a step stone in the long-standing Syrian violence that has seen them merge with Egypt, separate, and then engulf in a lasting terrible ‘Violence’. Za’im met at least six times with CIA operatives in the months prior to the coup to discuss his plan to seize power. Za’im requested American funding and personnel, and once in power made several key decisions to benefit the US. And ‘Oppress’ the Syrian people who are still suffering from that insult to their democracy 65 years ago.
A few years later, the ‘Oppressive Jihad’ trend continued. President Eisenhower helped overthrow Iran’s democratically elected president Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. Mosadegh had sought to audit the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company now BP and change the terms of agreement and access to Iranian oil reserves. America’s collaboration in the coup was confirmed in August 2013 when the CIA admitted it was involved in planning and execution of the coup, by bribing Iranian politicians, security, and high ranking officials as well as pro-coup propaganda. The CIA can be quoted admitting the coup was carried out “Under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government”. Some of the most feared mobsters in Iran were hired by the CIA to conceive their “Violent Jihad” by staging Pro-Shi’ah riots in which about 800 people were killed and America continually supplied arms to the increasingly unpopular Shah and CIA trained SAVAK his repressive secret police, for the American vendetta to survive.
And the list is not exhaustive by any means. The entry of Soviet Union into Afghanistan in 1979 prompted the US to support rebels fighting against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan by arming terrorist groups. The CIA worked closely with Pakistan in arming the groups through foreign support hence attracting other Arab extremists known as Afghan Arabs which included a certain Osama bin Laden. With the demise of the Soviet Union, American interests and motives waned as such leaving armed groups sprawling, and ensuring decades of ‘Violence’ in the region. Also after the Gulf War in the 1990s, an uprising in southern Iraq was encouraged by the CIA after airing “The Voice of Free Iraq” from a CIA operated radio station out of Saudi Arabia and in the north Kurdish leaders took Americas vow that they would support an uprising and began fighting hoping to trigger a coup d’état against President Saddam. In March 2003, the ‘Violence’ in Iraq resumed as US government advised UN nuclear inspectors to leave their unfinished work and exit from Iraq. America then conducted a surprise military invasion of Iraq without declaring war leading to the capture and death of Saddam, leading the country to turmoil.
The US still refuses to take responsibility for the Libyan ‘Violence’. The military intervention in Syria was alluded to as the ‘Responsibility to Protect Policy’ of the UN. According to America’s version “the international military intervention in Libya is not about bombing for democracy or Muammar Gaddafi’s head. Legally, morally, politically and militarily it has only one justification: protecting the country’s people”. But immediately America’s ‘Jihad’ was completed and Gaddafi’s head was gotten, NATO rolled out of Libya despite pleas by the new government for an extension in order for stability to reign. Less than three years later, how are the ‘Protected People’ of Libya faring? Silvio Berlusconi of Italy who played a substantial role in NATO said, “This wasn’t a popular uprising because Gaddafi was loved by his people, as I was able to see when I went to Libya”, eventually Gaddafi had to pay, America wanted Libyan oil and he wasn’t going to stop them from getting it.
In January 2011, the Western media was awash with stories of a spur-of-the-moment, indigenous uprising sweeping across North Africa and Middle East which they dubbed ‘The Arab Spring’. Months later the media would admit the US has in fact been behind the uprising and it was anything but indigenous or spontaneous. In April 2011, an article posted by the New York Times stated: “A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms…received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute and Freedom House, a non-profit human rights organization based in Washington…they were created by congress and are financed through the national endowment for democracy…” incidentally, more than a quarter of the world’s oil is shipped through North-Africa’s Suez Canal.
Is it that America is frightened of Arab Democracies? Not in the least, but they are amply afraid of losing their role and dividends in an autonomous democracy. There were struggles in Yemen and Ivory Coast when America was attacking Libya, but their compass didn’t have much bearing there, nor does it have bearing in fighting Boko Haram where the struggle is Nigeria’s fight not theirs. Over 250 million dollars were earmarked to support moderate factions of the Syrian opposition; you will wonder what such an amount would do in catering the Syrian refugee crisis.
That the US was once popular and respected throughout the Middle East as Americans were seen as good people untainted by the selfishness and duplicity associated with the Europeans who defeated and conquered the vast Ottoman Empire and colonized the Middle East, now seems ridiculous. History tells another tale!
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