11 September Again
Has it come full circle!
MEHMOOD UR RASHID
When President Bush fumed like a mythical warrior more than a decade back there was none to stand in his way. Sovereignties around the globe fell flat. Actually US was the lone sovereign exacting submission from the entire world. The unfortunate land of Afghanistan stood defenseless against the military giant with the world only witnessing the display of bomb and blood. Not only Afghanistan, Iraq also became the target. This went on unhindered for sometime till the effects of the military adventure started accumulating. One by one US comrades in the war started showing the signs of fatigue. Questioned within their respective countries and pressed by the economic considerations many started to pull off. Finally US itself started contemplating a withdrawal. True, the Drones and Marines are still in Afghanistan but the world has changed in certain unmistakable ways. The limit to US power is now well exposed. And this exposure became stark in Syria.
From the beginning of the Arab Spring the apprehensions were present about US role in the democratic upheavals and how it would position its Mid East policy once the democratic dust settles down. Some thought that the democratic oppositions to the military and monarchical rule were orchestrated by US, while others thought that though triggered by indigenous socio-political and economic factors, US would intervene and steer it in the desired direction. When Libya happened, the role of US became clearer. But US suffered when despite keenly following the Egyptian elections – remember Jimmy Carter coming to Egypt during the election time – it could not ensure the victory of the military candidate. The Muslim Brotherhood backed party, FJP, coming to power marked the beginning of the reversal; reversal of the process solemnized at Camp David in 1979. This was not an easy thing for US to take.
As if this was not enough, Syria happened. Alarmed by the NATO intervention in Libya, anti-US forces didn’t want to give her a free ride in this case. Syria proved unlike the post 11 September Afghanistan. Russia and China backed Asad openly. Iran went whole hog to support Asad regime. Even Venezuela chipped in. It was no longer like “either with us or against us”. After making strenuous attempts to convince Russia on the question of Syria, US and the West finally stand caught in a multi-polar world. The limit to US power has set in as Russia and China have put the foot down. The world is set for another long proxy engagement between the militaries and economies of the world powers.
Again the same things will happen. The race for arms has already accelerated rated with Syria buying loads of arms for Russia. Iran is shoveling in her resources in to the Syrian fire, and Turkey caught in the flames is no news. Similarly Saudi Arabia and Qatar are pumping in their resources. The catastrophe can only be imagined, if by some miracle Syrian crisis don’t come to an end soon.
In this clash of titans where the old formations can prove a good guide to understand what would be the fate of global powers, one thing is sure. Muslim world is a loser in the Syrian crisis as it was in the Afghan crisis. Similar beginnings are happening, setting the stage for similar endings. Pakistan was completely consumed when US directly took on USSR in case of Afghanistan. The ‘Islamic radicals’ as the name is given to them were then assembled in the areas bordering Afghanistan from Pakistan side, and now the same is happening along the Syrian borders abetting Turkey. CIA officials would every now and then come to Pakistan in the heady days of Afghan Jihad, and here we have CIA chief just finishing his visit to Turkey. Al-Qaeda is again becoming a functional ally for US. Like Afghan refugees in Pakistan, Syrians are flooding Turkey. 11 September is days away, just give a thought to it and enjoy the wonder called politics. Only the bed is permanent, who sleeps with whom you never know.
On 11th September US will remember its 3000 lives lost in the twin towers. They have a reason and a right to do the remembrance. From around the world notes of commemoration will travel across Atlantic. That is all fine. But who is to remember millions lost in Afghanistan and Iraq. Who is to worry more millions – Muslims of course – being prepared for burial in Middle East! What would happen to Muslim Societies and Muslim States if the Syrian crisis drag on, must be the question hitting us hard on the day of 11th September. With Turkey on one end and Iran on the other the question is loaded with equal amount of urgency. US, Russia and China exhausting each other at the expense of Muslim countries is a bad news for all of us – from Kurdistan to Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Sep 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 5 Sep 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 6 Sep 2012 00:00:00 IST
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