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|The Siege Of Fallujah: Another Page In The West’s Long Running War With Islam|
Black World Today, NY - Apr 20, 2004
Written by Dhoruba Bin Wahad, West Africa Correspondent, TBWT
America has always despised and feared Islam. As a "Christian" nation with its early roots in 18th century Europe, white America harbored extreme prejudice toward most people of color from its earliest days as a colony of England. White supremacy having found its own justification in the Bible believed in the innate inferiority of non-European peoples and cultures. America’s institutional religions seldom educated their faithful but instead relied upon the messianic teachings of false prophets, charlatans, and preachers to interpret the Bible.
Except in very rare cases White America never adhered to a Christian based "liberation theology" premised upon the empowerment of the poor and relief of the racially subjugated. Early Christian teaching justified genocide, chattel slavery, and the subservience of women. The hatred and animosity America harbors towards Islam runs deep in the oppressor psychic of white Americans. Despite claims to the contrary America has always saw Muslims and Islam as fundamentally anti-American. This is nowhere better illustrated than in America’s prison system, a microcosm of larger U.S. society.
For decades, Muslims in America’s prisons, the overwhelming majority of whom are of African ancestry, suffered at the hands of predominantly white prison officials. While traditional redneck racism played its part, Muslim prisoners had to petition the federal and state courts for the right to worship on equal footing with their Christian counterparts. For decades there weren’t even Muslim chaplains in many of the state and federal prison systems. When prison administrators finally had to concede the "freedom" of worship to Muslims, many prison systems established a system of Muslim chaplainry that was little more than a paycheck for many reactionary Muslims who became little more than overseers for racist prison officials.
To be a Muslim in prison throughout the fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties, was to be looked upon as intrinsically subversive and dangerous. Subsequent to various court rulings in the 60s and 70s granting Muslims the right to "freedom of worship" many prison administrators systematically persecuted and harassed Muslim inmates and their leaders under the pretext of maintaining prison "safety and security." Desecrating Muslim inmates’ places of worship and subjecting them to physical and psychological abuse not unlike the treatment meted out to Muslim prisoners at "Camp X-ray" in Cuba was routine in most prisons during the 70s, 80s and 90s and continues unabated today.
The U.S. government’s denial that its "war on terrorism" is a war against Islam rings hollow and shines like false gold. It looks good and makes good PR, but it is a lie. The fact that many Muslim Imams and "leaders" in America seem content to kowtow to the prevalent anti-Islamic sentiment and bemoan how "peaceful" Muslims are only bespeak how pervasive hatred of Islam is in the U.S. and how that endemic hatred has turned many Muslims into cowards begging for mainstream acceptance. Lest we forget, America was "discovered" primarily for economic reasons. Europe surrounded by Islam in the south and East was desperate for trade routes to far off Asia that were not under the control of Muslims. Indeed, European Christendom launched several crusades to penetrate the mainly Turkish Caliphates of the Middle East and gain a strategic foothold on the Asian continent. Religion served Europe’s pretext for invasion and it was the Pope who called the faithful to arms.
By and large, these European Crusades failed until European Zionist managed to carve out the European settler state of Israel from stolen Palestinian lands immediately following WW II. The entire Middle East imbroglio is about how to "legitimize" that settler state in eyes of world. So we need not be surprised at the turn of events in Iraq. White Christendom done been there and did that – and failed.
As in days of old, a crusading Christian army rampages through the lands of Muslims. In days of old the pretext for a European land grab in the Mid-East was Muslim mistreatment of Christian Pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem. This pretext, perpetrated by Pope Urban to unite the squabbling nobility of Christendom was just as flaky then as the American led crusade for democracy in the mid-east and the war on terror is today: When European Christians heard of the persecution of pilgrims to the holy sites in Jerusalem, they were outraged.
Alexius Commenus, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire, fearing his throne would fall to the sword of Islam and possible Turkish seizure of Constantinople called for the aid of European Christendom. Commenus sent a plea for aid to Pope Urban II at Rome. The Pope convened a council at Clermont in France in 1095. Speaking eloquently of the axis of evil of his day, he urged his audience to undertake a crusade to rescue the Holy Land. No speech in history has ever had such spectacular results. Invigorated with religious zeal, knights, clergy, and common people shouted, "God wills it!" and bummed rushed the Middle East. Not to set up a democracy. Not to topple a tyrant. Not for oil, but to subjugate the land and make it safe for Western civilization.
It didn’t work.
Popes have been politically marginalized ever since. Today’s pretext atrocity (that sparked the current American onslaught of Fallujah) was the killing and mutilation of four white American mercenaries working as "private security contractors." Same old sacrilegious wine in a new carafe.
The siege and violent retribution exacted on the Iraqi town of Fallujah by the U.S. military was the typical response of an occupying army to rebellion and armed resistance. But America is an imperial power in denial so no one wants to say that. Just as Somalia proved in 1997--American forces find indigenous hatred of their presence almost incomprehensible, except when they are confronted by resistance to their mission as guardians of the American empire and enforcers for that empires ruling elites. Then they understand.
In Mogadishu (Somalia), the bodies of American elite soldiers were stripped naked and dragged through the streets of the city to the horror of America and Europe. The image of a white man, the new age mech-warrior of the super European nation state subjected to debasement, scorn, and mutilation struck America as an incomprehensible act only worthy of primitive savages. But as usual, white America and the gullible western populace hear only what they are told. Middle America hardly ever see the atrocities committed in their name and in the name of the almighty dollar. From My Lai, Vietnam to Fallujah, Iraq is just a shot away.
Take Somalia in 1993. In a 1994 private discussion with the Somali Clan leader Farah Hadid, after the now infamous "BlackHawk Down" incident in Mogadishu in 1993 I learned how the American led "relief" effort to Somalia became the prisoner of U.S. geo-politics. Although the Clinton administration was in power at the time, Clinton’s policies in the region differed very little from the Christian right driven policies and ideology of the first Bush Administration, especially as it related to the horn of Africa, a region the US and Europe see as vital to their strategic interests. Hadid explained how what started out as a international humanitarian mission crystallized in to American attempts to fashion a new Somali state favorable to American and Israeli dominance in the region. Even food aid distributed to hungry peasants by Christian volunteer agency were an opportune moment for attempted conversion of Muslims, while the U.S. and its allies saw the disempowerment of certain "clan leaders" as promoting a Somali state sympathetic to the West.
When Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers serving the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, were killed in an ambush by forces loyal to Hadid’s clan, it marked an escalation of a hidden political and military campaign to disarm one Somali clan while supporting others. Previously, the American dominated "Peace keeping" mission to Somalia conducted raids and sweeps into areas controlled by Hadid. These raids were purportedly carried out to "search of weapons." Such raids, according to Hadid, coincided with attacks by his enemies.
Moreover, the Americans in particular were intensely brutal and arrogant during such operations and in their attempts to kill Hadid. They would tie Hadid’s clan members to the back of their APCs dragging them through the streets of Mogadishu as an example to anyone who opposed them. Although the western mass media in December 1992 covered United States Marines and other armed forces deployment into Somalia as a mission to assure delivery of much-needed food supplies to areas hard hit by famine. They didn’t report that the mission had been successful by the middle of 93. The U.S. and its CIA gradually turned the UN mission into one of nation-building. America and its allies attempted to construct a nation-state from a region that had endured civil war for years. The competing clan interests, that America over-simplified as "warlordism" were tactically manipulated by U.S. intelligence agencies and the U.S. Marines to insure a political outcome favorable to U.S. The same racist mis-perceptions that informed U.S. actions in Somalia would be echoed again in Iraq ten years later. The U.S. government would define opposition to its invasion and occupation as the work or thugs, criminals, Muslim extremist and regime loyalists. Never once recognizing that their claims as "liberators" rang hollow when juxtaposed next to U.S. collaboration with undemocratic and reactionary Arab regimes throughout the Mid-East that have suppressed the democratic rights of Muslims. On Oct. 18, 1993, 18 American soldiers sent to assassinate Hadid were killed in a fire fight with his forces. The bodies of an American soldier was dragged through streets as a response to similar American barbarism exacted on Somalis . This incident forced then President Bill Clinton to withdraw American forces from Somalia by the end of March 1994.
The same attitude America exhibited in Somalia in 1993 now plays itself out in Iraq in 2004. Four to seven American ex-special operations soldiers hired as "private security" for civilian reconstruction efforts were ambushed, and lynched by Iraqi irregulars. Immediately the occupation army launched an intense military operation to capture or kill those they believed responsible. The Christian army laid siege to the city of Fallujah, in the so called "Sunni Triangle of Resistance" and proceeded to kill over 600 Iraqi civilians in retaliation for the deaths of four white men. To the western frame of mind such retaliation wasn’t on par with Nazis retaliations on French civilians for Partisan attacks during Germany’s occupation of France which counted as charges against the Nazis during Nuremberg. Nor is America’s terrorist actions in Iraq of sufficient humanitarian merit to warrant condemnation by the Christian clergy, many of whom have been vociferous in their condemnation of Islamic leaders who fail to "speak out" against "Muslim extremism and terrorism" that kill and maim "innocents."
America and Europe’s double standard of justice, humanitarian concern, and reactionary violence is apparent to most of the world, but not to the American people, who by and large are historical idiots who conveniently remember what suits them best and forget the rest. The Bush administration consistently proclaim that the "democratization" of Iraq will liberalize the entire Arab and Muslim world. When in fact U.S. policies in the region for the past 50 years buttressed reactionary Arab regimes that suppressed the reform and political face of Islam while supporting U.S. pro-Israeli policies.
From Morocco to Egypt, from the Persian golf to central Asia, American foreign policy buttressed the very Arab elites and wealthy classes who historically repressed progressive Islamic reforms to protect their privileged status. Why? Because a true Islamic state cannot bolster or support the foundation of the modern European nation state that is based on debt and the super exploitation of its own populace by finance capital. The façade of western democracy conceals the rule of the rich and powerful and creates global instability that spawns irregular warfare, now commonly defined as "terrorism." As for the leaders of Arab states and Institutional Islam who ally themselves with forces such as America’s Christian right, and pro-Zionist lobbies, the will of their own people will soon "democratize" them out of power. Perhaps we all should reflect on these words from the Holy Qur’an before giving allegiance to those who have never shown any allegiance to our interests: "Those who support an evil deed shall have a share in the punishment thereof."