OPINION: War on Terror a ruse to enrich US
The War on Terror has become a war of terror, a smokescreen for the pursuit of Western global hegemony, writes Firoz Osman.
The death and destruction that followed the attack on the US on September 11, 2001 unleashed a tragedy of mammoth proportions globally, with Islam and the Muslim world being portrayed as the single most dangerous threat to global stability today.
President George Bush declared a “crusade” against the perpetrators. The campaign was given the name “Operation Infinite Justice”, but because of its religious connotations and obvious anti-Islamic links, the US settled on “War on Terror”.
The UN has failed to draw up a definition for “terrorism” acceptable to all its members.
Today, it is the dominant world powers that determine who is a “terrorist” and, through their control of the corporate media, have ensured the discourse on terrorism will be in their favour.
Phil Reeves, author of Dining with Terrorists, wrote: “The failure to define terrorist’ means the war on terror’ can be used as a cloak to legitimise American military power because it portrays the challenge as a loosely defined threat that will never disappear. By being unable to explain exactly who is a terrorist, the war on terror’ can mutate into a war against any ideology that challenges America and her allies.”
If one seeks to be independent of Western control, especially if your independence is postulated on an Islamic world view, you will be labelled a “terrorist” or a sponsor of “terrorism”.
Osama bin Laden offered his own definition of “terrorism”: “They rob us of our wealth and of our resources and of our oil. Our religion is under attack. They kill and murder our brothers. They compromise our honour and our dignity and dare we utter a single word of protest... we are called terrorists.”
Although Muslims overwhelmingly condemned the killing of innocent civilians, right-wing think tanks and a compliant media turned on the world of Islam and it was on Muslims that the West vented its wrath.
Combating Islam in the name of fighting terrorism created a profile of an “Islamic terrorist”, the image of which has been made the basis of American and Western foreign policy. It was the Israelis who started to “educate governments and public opinion in the West about the nature of terror”.
The proceedings of a conference, on Terrorism: How the West Can Win, were edited by Benjamin Netanyahu, who claimed the recommendations had “influenced American policy toward combating terrorism”.
The US and its Western allies embarked on destructive wars in Muslim countries.
The injection of the poison of sectarianism has destabilised the entire region and plunged it into civil strife, creating conditions that allow the invading powers to rape the rich resources of the occupied countries.
The US’s foreign policy has consigned several million people to their deaths and supported tyrannical governments who have exploited America's “War on Terror” to clamp down on legitimate movements.
The real purpose of the War on Terror is to secure unhampered US dominance of the world that would facilitate easy access to oil and strategic locations.
The War on Terror has become a war of terror, a smokescreen for the pursuit of Western global hegemony. Unless challenged, peace will remain elusive and the world will remain a dangerous place.
* Dr Firoz Osman is an executive member of Media Review Network, a Joburg-based advocacy group. Find him on Twitter: @Firoz_Osman
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.