Friday, 19 October 2012
Would you be annoyed, if I would regard Saudi Arabia as an ‘Islamic oxymoron’? Or if further I would look upon it as a long ‘head to toe’ stinky ‘thawb’ of a handful of ‘royal’ shit? If you are annoyed for again a handful of long-established emotional reasons, then there is some serious problem I believe.
One would undeniably acknowledge the sentiment of a Muslim, getting offended when Saudi Arabia gets a derogatory reference. Why? The answer is very simple. It is undoubtedly a holy land, birthplace of beloved prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and certainly, home to holy Masjids- ‘Masjidul Haram’ and ‘Masjidul Nabawi’. And moreover the land, blessed with the revelations of Holy Quran. Muslims across the globe desire peace, prosperity and security in their holy land. Unquestionably a genuine demand, even if they leave it for the ‘Divine Intervention’ ultimately. And what makes it peaceful, prosperous and secure? These are the questions often remain unanswered and always remain concealed. The effort to find answers to these questions would make us embarrassed.
Saudi Arabia, the oil rich country with the second largest oil reserve of the world under their feet in the MENA (Middle East and North African) region. What made it so important in the region are simply a well known history and a remarkable geography, in fact, geology to be more specific. Here history has something more to do with the issues of Islam, Muslim, Quran, Islamic fundamentalism, and other hell a lot of controversial nomenclatures including Osama Bin Laden, 9/11, United States of America and Israel for obvious reasons and recently Iran, Egypt and ‘Arab Spring’. In other words Middle East has been all about the history and polity of these basic issues and will always be the same till the day of judgement. The burning issue in the region, which is the reason for the instability and atrocity prevailing since 1948 has been unambiguously the illegitimate birth of Israel by the illegal occupation in Palestine. But in western perspective the core issue in the Middle East is the fatal and perpetual threat pose by the Jihadi outfits in the region. And US, Israel and their allies always win to a large extend in sending this perception to the rest of the world with the significant help of Zionists sponsored international news agencies and it spread the extent to which the local newspaper in the lowermost edge of the southern hemisphere, ‘Malayala Manorama’, a malicious pro Zionist publishing house, always depicts innocent Palestinian children as armed terrorists and Zionist extremists as innocent Israeli civilians.
How do America and Israel succeed in maintaining the entire turmoil of causalities and chaos in the Middle East in general and in Arab world in particular as an ‘easy win game’ for their political and economic interests? The answer is the history and politics of Arab Spring and historic relationship between America and Saudi Arabia. The answer would well be the answer for the question raised in the beginning too. That is ‘what makes it peaceful, prosperous and secure’? Arab spring is not necessarily an overnight uprising of a ‘facebook youth’ as it appears. It has been there across the Middle East for a considerable period of time. The autocrats used to suppress it time and again over a period. Now, who are these autocrats of MENA (Middle East and North Africa)? Why do we call them autocrats. If we name them right from the Tunisia to Syria, they include, Sainul Abid Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak. Gadhafi, Bashar Al Saad etc. People under their regime were extremely disappointed and annoyed. And the entire street protests of Arab spring was the antagonism to America, for their own interest in the region, supporting the autocrats to suppress the human rights, freedom of speech and expression of the population. ‘Regime change’ ‘reinforcing democracy’ ‘fighting terrorism’ etc are not at all new. We have been watching this way back in Nicaragua, Iran, Philippines, Haiti, South Korea, Congo, Indonesia, Romania, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and now in Syria in process. The common factor everywhere indisputably remains the same! ‘America and its allies’ are helping in restoring democratic governments. An international service, free of cost from benevolent Americans!! In other words well practiced and succeeded ‘American foreign policy’.
Arab spring, right from Egypt to Syria today, is nothing but replaying the history once more with the usual sequences of same dramatic instances. Whenever there is any favoured and supportive dictator in any part of the world is in trouble, follow the same strategies, try to help him hold on as long as possible, but when it is out of control turn around, utter the support for the people and make them believe that we are with you all along and finally announce a regime change. Today America has presence in one way or other in almost 130 countries. And here in this case, ‘Egypt is the second largest recipient of over a long period of American military and economic aid. In return what America is getting is something really valuable. That is the strong support and friendship of Egypt to Israel against innocent and friendless Palestine, in fact an invaluable treasure for Israel and America in the entire region. These points would be more clear and doubtless when we analyse the response of Obama during his historic visit to Egypt when he was asked by BBC that whether he was going to say anything about what they called Mubarak’s authoritarian government. And he said “I don't like to use labels for folks. Mubarak is a good man. He has done good things. He maintained stability. We will continue to support him. He is a friend”. And as usual, America continued to support him as long as possible. But to the least surprise of one who uses his common sense can find what appears to be the hypocrisy of the west in Obama’s later commands when he realised that they can no longer support Mubarak because of the unprecedented uprising of the population. He said “we have spoken out on behalf of the need for change. After his speech tonight I spoke directly to president Mubarak. He recognises that the status quo is not sustainable and that a change must take place. Indeed, all of us who are privileged to serve in positions of political power do so at the will of our people. Through thousands of years, Egypt has known many moments of transformation. The voices of Egyptian people tell us that this is one of those moments; this is one of those times. Now it is not the role of any other country to determine Egypt’s leaders. Only the Egyptian people can do that. What is clear, and what I indicated tonight to President Mubarak, is my belief that an orderly transition must be peaceful and it must begin now. How simple and clever! As long as the people are quiet and passive west will receive support from the dictators of the region and in return they will give financial and political support to these dictators and help them suppress their civilians as illiterate uncivilised Arabs. Who cares as long as the interests of America and Israel are safe in the region? And once the uprisings and protests seem to be gaining ground change the strategies support the people and kill the autocrats brutally like street dogs (Gadhafi’s fate), reinstate the same government but this time with a different name under a new dictator. “Everything must change so that everything can remain the same”.
As long as the dictators and autocrats of the regions remain successful in suppressing the upheavals and protests against their unpopular regime the west claim support of the Arab world, not necessarily the support from the Arab population. But this fundamental point is nowhere highlighted. As Chomsky pointed it out, The Brooking Institute released a major poll of Arab opinion, done by prestigious and respected polling agencies, one of them do it regularly. And the results were extremely significant. They reveal that there is again, still, a campaign of hatred against the America. When asked about threats to the region, the ones that were picked, near unanimously, were Israel and America- about 88% Israel and 77% America, regarded as the threats to the region. Of course they asked about Iran. Only 10% of population thought Iran was a threat. But what is the common perception spread by Israel and America about Arab support is something astonishing. “Arab dictators are supporting us, even though the population is overwhelmingly opposed, everything is fine everything is under control, it is quiet, they are passive, and the dictators support us, so what could be a problem?” history will teach you that Arab dictators including Saudi Arabia, are the ever strong supporters of the America and Israel in the region. Otherwise they would not have been able to establish their naval bases throughout the region. They have military presence in almost 130 countries across the world.
Three viewpoints of extreme importance seem to be relevant here in this context. That brings about the role of Saudi Arabia and its significance in this entire conflicts and illegitimate matter of affairs. The first and foremost is the aspirations and opinion of the Arab population regarding the peace, prosperity, security and stability in the region. Second the political immaturity and stupidity of Saudi Arabia as a power full and oil rich country in the region. And thirdly the view expressed by Ron Paul, A Republican Congress Member at the Republican presidential debate. These along with the role of Iran as a strong and genuine presence in the region in the total scope of the issue will clarify the point further.
The poll of Arabian population released by the Brooking Institute reveals that majority of the population (88%) regarded Israel and America as the main threat to their prosperity, peace, security and stability. And further more significantly they believe that had Iran been equipped with nuclear weapon, the region would have been much better off and stable. I feel it undoubtedly an absolute truth with which no one can agree so easily. The reasons are of immense variety. But few facts should be taken into account. Remember the uniqueness of American foreign policy. They don’t like democratic governments and democracy loving people. Fortunately best examples are available in history. Iran was a favourite friend of America under Shah in power. And it was absolutely an undemocratic regime. But once Iran became democratic and more Islamic, they turned out to be an enemy. Same is the case with Indonesia, the largest Muslim population in the world. When Sukarno was in power they were enemies. America considered Indonesia as an enemy, simply because Sukarno was a nationalist and was part of Non Alignment Movement. But when Suharto
came into power along with one of the major massacres of 20th century (could be considered same as that of Hitler, Mao & Stalin) he turned out be a greatest friend. So Iran is the greatest enemy of America and Israel in the region and therefore the greatest obstacles for their strategies in the Middle East. But in Israel’s favour Saudi Arabia is always there ready to give any wholehearted help to America and Israel against Iran only because of the infamous shia-sunni conflict. In effect the entire situation is in favour of America and Israel. Saudi Arabia, invites western military to their territory and offering them all the support against Iran. In return American military trains the Saudi soldiers to use arms and weapons who didn't even have the experience of holding tooth brush properly. And recently America revealed its ever huge military deal with Saudi Arabia purchasing ‘$60 billion worth of jet planes, helicopters and armed vehicles to defend Saudi Arabia against Iran!!!!!
How an Islamic country, who accepted the Holy Quran as the official constitution of the country, can any way support and help countries like Israel and America, who fight a war on Islam? Don’t you think they insult the holy Quran and ‘Sunnah’? How would you consider Saudi Arabia as an Islamic country? The holiness of their land and the sanctity of ‘Prophet’s life’ (PBUH) do not give them godliness.
The second issue is historical. Israel and America repeatedly become vociferous whenever they attack Iran on the issue of Uranium enrichment. One may misunderstand that the nuclear issue is a recent issue in the region and Iran is doing something wrong. This is a misconception. Again history is important; Iran under Shah was a very good friend of America. Because as it was an undemocratic and non Islamic dictatorship. During this period, it was America who encouraged Iran to get nuclear energy by saying that Iran should save their oil and obtain nuclear energy for their energy purpose. But after few decades, now when Iran is enriching Uranium, America and Israel are saying what appears to be exactly the opposite. They are saying Iran is oil rich if they are enriching Uranium it is for nuclear weapon. And when the then American secretary of state, Henry Kissinger was asked about this double stand he was absolutely appeared to be with no answer. By knowing all these factors how an Islamic country can extend support to America and Israel? And why should a true Muslim get offended if this country is under attack? On what ground should a Muslim support it?
The third issue is quite interesting and revealing in its contents and contexts. Here is a republican confesses something which he is not suppose to reveal.
"We're under great threat because we occupy so many countries. We're in 130 countries. We have 900 bases around the world. We're going broke. The purpose of al-Qaeda was to attack us, invite us over there, where they can target us. And they have been doing it. They have more attacks against us and the American interests per month than occurred in all the years before 9/11. But we're there, occupying their land. And if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we're kidding ourselves. We have to be honest with ourselves. What would we do if another country, say China, did to us what we do to all those countries over there?
So, this whole idea that the whole Muslim world is responsible for this and they're attacking us because we're free and prosperous, that is just not true. Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda have been explicit. They have been explicit, and they wrote and said that we attacked - we attacked America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia, you do not give Palestinians a fair treatment, and you have been bombing - I didn't say that, I'm trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind the bombing. At the same time, we had been bombing and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis for 10 years. Would you be annoyed? If you're not annoyed, then there's some problem".
Still if you are annoyed, there are serious problems of perceptions I believe. It is not the symbols and signs that make Islam. Unfortunately we are so much emotionally attached to the symbols and perceptions. That makes us Muslims!! If anyone burns holy Quran we will get more offended than in the case of someone offering us bribe or interest which in fact is the real burning of the holy Quran. We are more likely to get offended when someone criticizes Saudi Arabian rule but unfortunately we are comfortable with Saudi Arabia helping America and Israel. God save Mecca and Medina