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The international media debate violence only when it suits their bosses

Reference : Dr Javed Jamil

The international media debate violence only when it suits their bosses

Trump’s previous statements regarding Muslims including the one about the mother of a Muslim martyr of Iraq War attracted the headlines of the media at the international level for several days. Why then were his statements about Obama and Clinton’s involvement in the creation of ISIS or their failure to finish it was forgotten within no time. This was a huge allegation against the President and Foreign Secretary of the biggest superpower of the world. This was particularly dangerous because it followed many media reports in the previous past about the direct or indirect involvement of CIA in the creation of IS.

only when
it suits

International media, which virtually means the Western media, has a well-thought out strategy in its coverage of the acts of violence or the news and statements related to violence. When something suits the Western powers, the media highlight it and discuss it for days; when they fear it might go against their objectives, they try their best to bury them. Two recent events immediately come to the mind, one related to a statement from one of the two major contenders for the White House, and the other related to the killing of two Muslims in New York.

Donald Trump made a statement describing Obama and Hilary Clinton as the “founder” and “co-founder” of ISIS. This was a harsh statement from one of the two main contenders in the race. It should have invited huge media reaction and the hardest possible rebuttal from the White House. Trump’s previous statements regarding Muslims including the one about the mother of a Muslim martyr of Iraq War attracted the headlines of the media at the international level for several days. Why then were his statements about Obama and Clinton’s involvement in the creation of ISIS or their failure to finish it was forgotten within no time. This was a huge allegation against the President and the Secretary of State of the biggest superpower of the world. This was particularly dangerous because it followed many media reports in the previous past about the direct or indirect involvement of CIA in the creation of IS. There are people who try to argue that it was against Obama, the person, because Trump wants to prove that he being a “Muslim” in his heart if not in his appearance, had sympathies for IS and it was aimed at creating further hatred against Muslim World. There cannot be anything more ludicrous than suggesting that a current President of America can do anything in such a matter in his personal capacity.

In the midst of the media trying to play down the Trump allegation, there were some reports and articles in the media that substantiated the US role in the rise of IS. An article, entitled, “Trump is correct — and quite literally, so” says:

“Thanks to Judicial Watch, we now have an August 2012 defense intelligence report on the civil war in Syria and the situation in Iraq that openly states that the policy of the United States and its allies was to support the Salafist opposition to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.That opposition, at the time spearheaded by Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), soon morphed into the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, ISIS.

“The report appears to have originated from U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) in Iraq, well before their intelligence product was tarnished by political interference from top commanders in 2014 aimed at diminishing the threat from ISIS.

“Here’s what the report, originally stamped SECRET, actually says: AQI, through the spokesman of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), Abu Muhammad al- Adnani… is calling on the Sunnis in Iraq, especially the tribes in the border regions (between Iraq and Syria), to wage war against the Syrian regime…

“Opposition forces are trying to control the eastern areas (Hasaka and Der Zor) adjacent to the Western Iraqi provinces (Mosul and Anbar), in addition to neighboring Turkish borders. Western countries, the Gulf States and Turkey are supporting these efforts… There is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in Eastern Syria (Hasak and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want…

“It is no secret that the United States was supporting the Syrian opposition in 2012 and even until very recently. In December 2012, thanks in large measure to the active lobbying of Mrs. Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, Obama declared that the United States considered the opposition as “the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.”

“What was secret until the release of this August 2012 defense intelligence report is that the United States knew that the Syrian opposition was dominated by al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State of Iraq, groups that merged and morphed into what today we call ISIS.

“So Donald Trump is literally correct. Obama and Hillary created ISIS. They figure among the founding fathers of the world’s most brutal terrorist organization. They deserve ISIS Most Valuable Player awards for their efforts….”

Another article on CNN some time back, “Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq” by Seumas Milne says:

“The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions. On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsedafter it became clear British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups the defendant was charged with supporting.

“The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. The defence argued that going ahead with the trial would have been an “affront to justice” when there was plenty of evidence the British state was itself providing “extensive support” to the armed Syrian opposition. That didn’t only include the “non-lethal assistance” boasted of by the government (including body armour and military vehicles), but training, logistical support and the secret supply of “arms on a massive scale”. Reports were cited that MI6 had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime.

“But terrorism is now squarely in the eye of the beholder. And nowhere is that more so than in the Middle East, where today’s terrorists are tomorrow’s fighters against tyranny — and allies are enemies — often at the bewildering whim of a western policymaker’s conference call.

“For the past year, US, British and other western forces have been back in Iraq, supposedly in the cause of destroying the hyper-sectarian terror group Islamic State (formerly known as al-Qaida in Iraq). This was after Isis overran huge chunks of Iraqi and Syrian territory and proclaimed a self-styled Islamic caliphate.

“…Some Iraqis complain that the US sat on its hands while all this was going on. The Americans insist they are trying to avoid civilian casualties, and claim significant successes. Privately, officials say they don’t want to be seen hammering Sunni strongholds in a sectarian war and risk upsetting their Sunni allies in the Gulf.

“A revealing light on how we got here has now been shown by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts — and effectively welcomes — the prospect of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. In stark contrast to western claims at the time, the Defense Intelligence Agency document identifies al-Qaida in Iraq (which became Isis) and fellow Salafists as the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” — and states that “western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey” were supporting the opposition’s efforts to take control of eastern Syria.

“Raising the “possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality”, the Pentagon report goes on, “this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran)”.

“Which is pretty well exactly what happened two years later. The report isn’t a policy document. It’s heavily redacted and there are ambiguities in the language. But the implications are clear enough. A year into the Syrian rebellion, the US and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming an opposition they knew to be dominated by extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of “Islamic state” — despite the “grave danger” to Iraq’s unity — as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.

“That doesn’t mean the US created Isis, of course, though some of its Gulf allies certainly played a role in it — as the US vice-president, Joe Biden, acknowledged last year. But there was no al-Qaida in Iraq until the US and Britain invaded. And the US has certainly exploited the existence of Isis against other forces in the region as part of a wider drive to maintain western control.

What’s clear is that Isis and its monstrosities won’t be defeated by the same powers that brought it to Iraq and Syria in the first place, or whose open and covert war-making has fostered it in the years since. Endless western military interventions in the Middle East have brought only destruction and division. It’s the people of the region who can cure this disease — not those who incubated the virus.”

Of course, if the debate had commenced in the international electronic media, all these evidences could have been discussed and the impression in the mind of the watchers about American involvement would have strengthened. It was therefore better to dismiss Trump’s statement as yet another controversial statement from a “maverick” politician on the campaign trail.

Now, coming to the other news. Two Muslims — an Imam of a mosque and his friend, were shot and killed from behind in New York. If a shooting in Western country had involved a suspected Muslim as the perpetrator and the victim had been a non-Muslim, it would have been the biggest news of the day, and the police would have arrested or killed the assailant within hours. As it turned to be the reverse, Muslims being the victim, it was downplayed by the media, the police as well as the Government. White House issues no statement and the police was busy proving that it was no “hate crime”.

I have time and again argued that the violence should be viewed and dealt with in accordance with the magnitude of the violence whoever the victim, whoever the culprit, whatever the motive, whatever the place and whatever the method. But what continues for years and years is that some categories of violence become more condemnable than the rest, even when they involve much less blood, because political interests dominate. While the Western wars against the Muslim countries killing millions of innocent Muslims continue to an “understandable” violence, any violence committed by a Muslim becomes a hugely reprehensible and condemnable act.

Unless this policy of selective condemnation and discrimination in dealing with violence on political grounds changes, the world cannot hope to earn peace in any near future.

The concept of “Freedom of Expression”, which has been so dear to West, too means only a freedom of expression in discarding values which are not Western. With his latest speech, Trump has even spelled out in categorical terms that any criticism of “American values” including their views on “gays” and “Christianity” will be intolerable. People holding views against Western values will be subjected to “extreme vetting”, a kind of extreme ideological scrutiny before they enter America. So, with him around, if he becomes President, it will be official now: “Freedom of Choice” will mean acceptance of all American choices and rejection of every such choice which is not acceptable to “American values”.

Obama and Clinton of course look saints when compared to Bush and Trump. But the truth is that they are and would prove to, that too perhaps only, be only lesser evils. If Bush gave wars to the Muslim World, Obama gave Civil Wars, only a marginal improvement in terms of the magnitude of destruction each one caused.


Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”, “Qur’anic Pa radigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”.
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