The greatest success of President Bush’s strategy was his use of crucial allies in order to execute a flawless victory in the war on terror. The stance of the left, skillfully argued on British television by the filmmaker Michael Moore, is that the war on terror has miserably failed for its notable failure to capture the notorious leaders of Al-Qaeeda and the Taliban. However, this position reveals a dearth of knowledge of the extent the tentacles of terror has permeated Islamic and indeed Western societies, how deep the hate is and how grave the danger to free society!
If these extremist elements were not being eradicated in the covert war on terror, then the polarization of the world would be distinct and disconnected spheres between a progressive North and a disaffected South. It will not be a conflict between the “have” and “have-not” or the “West and the rest.” Rather, the world would experience an ideological bifurcation, which poses a graver threat than ethnic or social distinction. History has illustrated dramatically that partitions, such as those in the Sub-continent or the crystallization between the Iron Curtain and the Free World in the post WW2 era, have ramifications that lead well into future decades.
For crucial segments of the globe, such as the Islamic nations, to be hijacked and controlled by a politburo of deranged individuals like Omar, Osama & co, is a prospect which cannot be entertained by the global order. Indeed, had Mr. Bush not shown the steely resolve that characterized his foreign policy following September 11, the terrorists would have won the fight over the streets of Dar-ul-Islam. Today, Saddam and his allies such as Bin Laden ardently promote divisions based on ‘ideological Puritanism’ and an attempt to hijack Islam by mythology and the politicization of it. Saddam portrays himself as a modern day Islamic Messiah and attempts to affirm the assent of the Islamic masses by providing sanctuaries that can become safe havens for terrorists and an enduring menace to the world. This rising threat needs to be checked and the message that “you can hide but you cannot escape” has to be taken home to the providers of sanctuaries.
This is much more important than anything else that we hold dear. Our basic liberties would be forcefully denied if this assault on free society by medieval minds continue. We will become paranoid and see enemies everywhere if the fringe radicals are not stopped.
His success is winning the right kind of allies in this war on terror and is his first greatest achievement. Those who doubt his ability should see the results within one year on this war on terror. 500,000 women denied basic education by the Taliban are going to schools in Kabul and if liberals believe in the inherent freedom of the human condition, then the full reversal of Talibanization is the greatest affirmation of that belief.
Is the great ideology of human rights partial only to the maintaining of the status quo on the current state of global affairs and keeping closed ones own eyes to the growing and continuing dangers on the very existence of free society in the west?
Is this not appeasement?
Somewhere a line has to be drawn where no one crosses and Mr. Bush has drawn that line for he has let the world know that American blood is not cheap blood, and its spillage will have severe repercussions. This is “payback time!”
Socialists cannot digest it and under the garb of rosy civil rights and human liberties demand the fundamental rights of sovereignty and self-determination remain reserved for tyrants despite the fact that these very freedoms are oft denied to the citizens or rather the subjects of the nation writhing under the iron hand of the tyrant.
Nevertheless Mr Bush has brushed aside these feeble arguments and informed the world that Saddam must abide by the UN resolutions or the alternative is that within days the dictator will receive his “comeuppance” and face the music.
In a similar fashion by shunning suggestions of lobbyists between the key dates of the 11th and the 13th Sept, (who had vested interests to punish Pakistan) Mr. Bush astutely went for the jugular vein of ‘terrorism incorporated’ by utilizing America’s old ally of Pakistan as a front to attack the Al Qaeda. He issued an ultimatum “with us or against us” and once the Pakistanis showed their willingness to cooperate he worked hard with them to eradicate the radical elements festering in Central and South Asia. It was this strategy (on the 13th of September, 2001) that had led to special US intelligence groups to land in Islamabad and to plan the war on terror.
Abu Zubayda and Ramzi are from the top echelons in the Al Qaeda hierarchy and with this catch it will be revealed to US intelligence as to whether Osama is alive or dead. Ramzi had a $25 million bounty upon his head. He was the mastermind of the 11th Sept attacks. He oversaw the transfer of money to Zacharia Moussawi and sent messages to Atta under the pretext of being the girlfriend of the latter. If anyone is cognizant of Osama’s whereabouts, it will be Ramzi, who is right now in the safe hands of US intelligence and in the custody of ‘sources’ who will make sure he talks. His confession will ensure the dissolution of a number of cells and will be a significant blow to Al Qaeda.
The anti-Pakistan lobby continue to incessantly accuse Pakistan of not holding the ability and willingness to deliver however if this arrest does not prove that ability and willingness, than what else will?
With the arrest of Ramzi, the detractors of Pakistan have egg on their face for it shows that Mr. Bush remains determined and will continue to cooperate with Pakistan to expunge the terrorists from the face of the earth.
Under Clinton, the USA was in a slumber. The Cole and Al Khobar attacks should have warranted a war on terror. It is only due to the resolve of the USA under the likes of Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney that we find Al Qaeda being dismembered and the world becoming a reasonable place for peaceful people.
With the arrest of Ramzi, the following half-truths against Pakistan are laid to rest.
The perennial myth regarding the ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence service) and how it remains a state within state. This is a blatant falsehood and perhaps before Musharraf ascent to power it was far more influential however it has been firmly brought in line with the present objectives of the country, which is the elimination of terror. The dismissal of the hawkish ISI chief, Mehmood, allowed America to tap into the repository of intelligence on the set up, which was critical in the building and sustenance of Taliban. The ISI changed sides dramatically by betraying its creation, the Taliban, completely and this reversal may be hard to believe however it has helped in the eradication of possible future terror and cut off the cardinal links between extremist Islam and terror groups. The crucial arrest of Ramzi would have not happened had the ISI not given its full cooperation.
The “Pakistani” street was allegedly said to be vehemently against Mush and partial to Al Qaeda. However this generalization of the Pakistani sentiment is proven wrong daily for one can clearly discern on the television that the captured Al Qaeda terrorists are surrounded by hundreds of Pakistanis. Were the Pakistani street truly abetting the terrorists they would actively demonstrated their resentment rather every sane Pakistan is relieved to see elimination of terror from the streets of Karachi.
This presumption of the pundits to have lingering questions concerning lukewarm Pakistani support has been contradicted time and time again! Like in the earlier arrest of Abu Zubayda the Pakistani authorities displayed their mettle and resolve whilst proving that the reward played no part in their consideration. Pakistanis are not short-changed for millions of dollars and no amount of cajoling by Bin Laden or Al Qaeda at large would have persuaded the authorities to halt their search and seizure. Indeed six Pakistani police officers were seriously injured in the prolonged capture, which took over three hours and occurred in an affluent district in Karachi. There could have been no better gift, to the families of the victims of the atrocious attacks on September 11, on the solemn one-year anniversary recently marked by the world than the apprehension of the mastermind. It is truly poetic justice that on the first anniversary the man behind the tragedy was under arrest and held by the Americans authorities in Pakistan.
The enemies of Pakistan will be shocked whereas the American friends of Pakistan are happy to see an old ally zealously tearing apart Al Qaeda like they did the ‘old politburo’ from USSR. Pakistan is and will remain a key ally in the eradication of threats to the global order and unlike India who has always consistently maintained a neutral stance that is characteristic of that nation. Even before independence it was the incipient Pakistani leadership, in the form of Mohammed Ali Jinnah (known as Quad-e-Azam) the Muslim League, who firmly cast their lost with the allies in WW2 whilst Nehru and Gandhi of the Indian Congress remained neutral throughout and were not so keen on its outcome.
Pakistan’s loyalty to the Anglo-American West has been tested throughout history. Muslim League devoted itself to the war effort in 1940’s as compared to indifference of the Indian Congress and during the Cold War era, Pakistan remained a staunch ally of America whilst India led the “Non Aligned nations”. India has only begun its recent rapprochement with America because it has finally realized that America is the sole super power of the global order. In every crucial test of loyalty Pakistan has trumped India and Americans must realize that it is Pakistan who has always been the dependable ally, the blow hot blow cold kind of relationship has destroyed the confidence of many a Pakistanis, it is high time now that America raises the ante and treat Pakistan as most favoured nation to help build its education and health infrastructure.
The cannon fodder of terrorism is provided by abject poverty, mix it with explosive ideology and one sees disturbing patterns of minds that can set world in flames. The eradication of poverty from Pakistan will make the region much more stable and counterbalance the radical threat.
The writer is in Paris, France.