Author Topic: The War on Terrorism Provides the Basis for Demonizing the Muslims  (Read 1615 times)


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 A world-renowned Canadian scholar says that the project of War on Terror was launched with a view to demonize the Muslim nations and then dominate their vast oil reserves.

Prof. Michel Chossudovsky is of the opinion that the United States created the terrorist cult Al-Qaeda and is now pretending to be fighting and eradicating it while in effect funding and assisting it. He also believes that the United States has been responsible for the demise of democracy in several Asian and Latin American nations through waging unprompted wars and coups against the democratic governments in such countries as Chile, Argentine, Guatemala and Brazil.

Michel Chossudovsky is a Canadian economist and a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Ottawa. He is the founder and director of the Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalisation. He has extensively written on the US foreign policy, the War on Terror, human rights, the rights of ethnic minorities and nuclear proliferation.

The same is true for the President of the United States. The US President doesn’t actually take decisions, he obeys orders. He is doomed to serve the interests of the corporate establishment. So, there’s no avenue whereby only citizens can be represented by the US government. Of course as a functioning of the political system, the head of state has to be very careful to serve or at least to appear to be serving the broad interests of the public, so it is what might be described as the populist elements that enter into the discourse, but essentially what I’m saying is that if you take President Obama, he doesn’t decide on anything. He is the head of state, he is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, but the policies are decided elsewhere; they’re decided in corporate boardrooms, in Wall Street, they’re decided by what President Eisenhower called the military-industrial complex which are the large defense contractors.

ct, you could look at Guatemala, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, etc. In all these countries, the United States intervened to install what vividly were non-democratic forms of government, or in other words, military governments. And that should provide an indication of what the United States is actually doing. It’s not supporting democracy; it’s intervening to actually crush democracy and crush any sovereign government which might emerge. And this is the systematic modus operandi throughout the world which has been implemented either through military interventions or through covert means by attempting to overthrow a government and replace it with a proxy government which would obey all the orders of the United States.

Chile in 1973 is a good example of a democracy which was overthrown and a military regime was installed under President Augusto Pinochet. I’m familiar with that period and how the events unfolded. I can also mention that in the immediate coup on September 11, 1973, the price of bread went up from 11 to 40 as a result of the implementation of new liberal reforms, namely strong economic medicine, and so there’s always an economic counterpart to these regime changes.

In Argentina, in 1976, when I was also teaching in a northern city, in the immediate wake of the coup, the wages were frozen, the people were impoverished and fundamental human rights were violated. This was a US-sponsored coup and in the wake of the coup, we had the launching of what was called the “Dirty War” which consisted of assassinating people who were against the dictatorship, especially people on the left, and that was described as the process of disappearing which took place in several Latin American countries under the CIA operation called Operation Condor. Now, if we acknowledge the history of US interventionism, we can see the criminal nature of this agenda.

The issue is that, the United States had never shown its face directly in the military coup. In the military coups in Argentina and Chile, the United States officially had nothing to do with them, but its intelligence agencies have been involved and they would also establish links with the new government as occurred in many Latin American countries. Then you have the killings in Indonesia which led to a regime change and the demise of the Sukarno government at a time when many examples in the history showed that the United States had supported non-democratic forms of government, and that the United States has been involved in illegal forms of violation of international law leading to the destruction of the entire country which is certainly true in Afghanistan and Iraq and that it has also been conducting and supporting devastating economic measures which have led to the impoverishment of millions of people. I’m talking about the so-called IMF and World Bank reforms which have been spearheaded by the US and also through the links to Wall Street, and the fact that the creditors have imposed devastating reforms on those countries which have served essentially to destroy those countries. Now if we look at Africa, we may have democracies in name, but in fact we have a whole continent which is impoverished. I should mention that as of 1980s and 1990s, the United States ceased to install dictatorships as it has been the case in an earlier period, and started to install so-called democracies that in effect have only been a façade. It was called regime change, and subsequently called color revolution, including intervening in the election process; you co-op the candidate, you have the right candidate elected and essentially, what the United States was doing was installing the contours of a new colonial form of government whereby countries would be integrated into the US sphere of influence, and the heads of state of these countries would obey orders from Washington.

And if we look at the world today, with a few exceptions, most countries of the world, particularly in the developing world, have lost their sovereignty. They’ve lost their political sovereignty but also their economic sovereignty, because they have to obey the orders of the creditors and have to implement the reforms which are proposed to them by the IMF and the World Bank.

Q: You mentioned the history of the US military interventions in other countries and that it has planned several revolutions and coups across the world; however, the US statesmen usually justify these interventions with the idea of “humanitarian intervention”, that is to launch a military strike against a country at war in order to prevent it from “killing its own people.” This is what happened in Syria, Libya and other places in the recent history. What do you think about this notion, its basis, legality and justifiability?

A: There’s absolutely no legality in intervening militarily in a sovereign country, irrespective of the conduct of the governments in relation to their own people. That’s a basic tenet of international law. But I should mention that the United States intervened in Libya, with a view to destabilizing Libya as a nation-state and steal its oil reserves. Libya has 3.5% of global oil and gas reserves while the United States has barely 2%. Their objective was ultimately to establish a proxy regime using the so-called Islamist forces but in effect the so-called rebels were trained by CIA. They are presented as Al-Qaeda affiliated entities but actually we know that Al-Qaeda is a creation of the US intelligence going back to the Soviet-Afghan War.

So, in effect what has been done was to initiate an insurgency which was backed by Western Special Forces, bomb the country and then present it as a humanitarian endeavor. The only way we can portray this as a humanitarian endeavor is through the Western corporate media to present it that way and convey the idea that killing people is a humanitarian undertaking. And that’s precisely what happened. The Western media and main corporate news outlets including print press and television presented and demonized the head of state, in this case Muammar Gaddafi, and upheld the terrorists as freedom fighters and they then presented the transition as a move toward democracy when in fact everything in Libya indicated that this was a move toward the destruction of an entire country, its institutions and in other words, its transformation from a country into a territory and then into an object of investment as well as looting its natural resources, which in this special case is oil. That’s the background.

In Syria, the United States and its allies have supported an insurgency right from the day one. In Daraa, middle of March 2011, this was not a protest movement, it was not the case that they were opposition groups within Syria; this was an insurrection. The mercenaries were trained and recruited in the Persian Gulf states, financed by the Western military alliance and were involved in countless atrocities which were casually blamed on the government. That, in essence, has been the modus operandi of the United States. It supports these Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels, sends them in, they kill people, and then the government is blamed and the actual architects of this military operation and intelligence operations are never identified.

The Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels, who committed atrocities in Syria, are not responsible for those acts. They are hired-killers; I think we have to understand that very carefully. Previously, they wouldn’t say that they were responsible. They would simply say that it was the government that is responsible for the killings. Now, they will acknowledge because the information is getting out that it is the rebels who are responsible. I would say that the rebels are the instruments of the Western military alliance; who is behind the rebels is the United States and its allies, operating through various complex channels? But essentially the notion conveyed by the US government, which is picked up by the media, that the United States is intervening with a view to restoring democracy to save the people’s lives is an absolute fallacy. It’s a big lie, because those lies have been lost as a result of the failure of the US interventionism; in the case of Syria, the objective is not only to destabilize the government; it’s to destroy the country, to destabilize the whole country and then take it as a territory. That’s what is stated.

If we go back to the liberal doctrine of the United States of America and its commitment to democracy, we find it a fallacy and a fig democracy. In fact the tendency, in America and many Western countries, is toward the militarization of justice and derogation of fundamental human rights, both nationally and internationally. That is something which has emerged now and it’s a motif and an object of debate in the United States, when the decision taken by the US Congress to the effect that the head of state, President Obama, can actually order the assassination of US citizens. In other words, the process of extrajudicial killings is allowed by the US Congress under the guise of the so-called War on Terrorism. So, the War on Terrorism which in effect constitutes an ideological construct to justify all these actions permits the head of state to designate individuals who can be killed. And we see that the United States is now involved in drone assassinations in north of Pakistan under the pretext that this is a War on Terrorism while in effect it’s killing the civilians.

So in effect, for the US Congress to actually allow the head of state to order the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens means that we are in effect within the contours of a police state where literally the more fundamental issues of law, justice and human rights have been scrapped.

Q: What do you think about the rights and civil liberties of the ethnic and religious minorities in the United States especially the Muslims and the African Americans? What’s your assessment of the way the government treats them? Are they enjoying equal rights with the other strata of the society?

A: First of all, the rights of the African American population have historical roots. There’s of course discrimination in the workplace, but there’s fundamentally discrimination in the sense that the African Americans don’t have access to the same education and healthcare as the white population has. I think that is one issue.

The issue of discrimination directed against Muslims, not only in the United States, but in different parts of the Western world, is another thing. I think the logic there is somewhat different. Because we are, first of all, dealing with an imperial agenda which consists of conquering the world’s oil and gas reserves. Now it just so happens that more than 60% of the oil and gas reserves lies in the Muslim lands. If we look at the geography, we have 60% of these reserves in the Middle East which spans from the tip of Saudi Arabia to the Caspian Sea basin where major producers are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, UAE and Qatar. There are oil and gas resources which are very large compared to those of the Western countries combined. That reaches more than 30 times the conventional oil reserves of the United States.

Now let me get back to the issue of discrimination against Muslims in the United States. That discrimination is based on a foreign policy objective, that is, to demonize the inhabitants of the countries where the oil happens to be. If those countries were inhabited by Buddhists instead of Muslims, they would demonize the Buddhists. The demonization of the Muslims is to essentially present Muslims as enemies of the States, and as enemies of the world. It’s also to convey the notion that Muslims are terrorists, and that notion has been firmly ingrained into the Western thought while in fact terrorism is a creation of US intelligence. As I mentioned, Al-Qaeda which has its roots in Salafist and Wahhabi thought, in essence is a creation of intelligence operations and doesn’t emanate from Muslim world. The War on Terrorism provides the basis for demonizing the Muslim population and we’ve gone through a period of transition in that regard because initially, the demonization applies to heads of state and government of the Muslim countries, and now it has become much more generalized where Western governments are in effect targeting Muslims in their respective countries with a view to demonizing them and portraying them as terrorists and so on, and all this is all a war propaganda.

This propaganda is there to divide people in these countries and create divisions within the United States. But secondly, it’s to portray the notion that Muslims somehow are people who are committed to non-Western values, committed to dictatorship, don’t accept democracy, are linked to extremists including terrorists; that is not directed against the heads of state of Muslim countries; it’s directed against Muslims in general; that in turn serves as an ideological underpinning to which these wars against terrorists in different parts of the world are underway. And I just like to clarify in that regard, that wherever the United States has intervened, in the context of War Terrorism, whether in Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, they have intervened under the mandate of the War on Terrorism where in fact all those Al-Qaeda affiliated entities are the creations of the US intelligence, without exception. They create Al-Qaeda entities and then they proclaim that they have to intervene when these Al-Qaeda affiliated entities commit atrocities against the civilian population.

So, in effect, they’re on both sides. They support the rebels, and fight the rebels, as well. They support Al-Qaeda covertly with a view to destabilize the sovereign countries, and then they intervene under the pretext that they have a mandate to fight the terrorists. All of this is now leading to the re-colonization of African continent, establishment of proxy regimes and destruction of entire countries.

Q: So, my final question for you; we discussed the decline of the liberal values in the United States, including democracy, human rights and ethnic equality and concluded that the United States hasn’t succeeded in promoting these values. Do you think that liberalism will have the same fate and destiny as Communism? Will it fade away as Communism did?

A: I don’t think the two things are comparable, because Communism was a movement. It took on different forms, but was essentially a movement which emanated from the grassroots against the capitalist order. Neo-liberalism is an ideological construct to justify the capitalist world order, and I don’t think that it’s an ideological construct which determined the course of history. We can replace that ideological construct by something else. I think what has happened in post-World War II history is that in the course of the Cold War, the United States has heralded the battle or the war against communism. In effect, as a holy war, it was a confrontation between competing economic and social systems, but from the US standpoint, it was presented as an ideology of spreading Western democracy. But it was spreading Western democracy while also spreading American capitalism. In the post-Cold War era, a new doctrine was unfolded which is the War on Terrorism, and it is used as a pretext to wage war against countries for economic and geopolitical reasons.