Category Archives: 9 11

Bush’s five mistakes

President George Bush has committed five major mistakes in the handling of the terrorism crisis which might cost America dear in the long run:

1. He has made the Arab attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon a matter of national ego. ‘How dare a few arrogant terrorists strike at the heart of the great, mighty, and proud United States?’ But Bush forgets two things: The first is that, however, spectacular and deadly these assaults were, America is not the only nation to suffer from terrorism. Countries like India lose thousands of lives to Islamic fundamentalism each year, without the Western world taking any notice.

Secondly, apart from its political angle, the aggression reminded America that capitalism, with all its flamboyant ego, is no more an answer to the world’s problems than was communism. We have to find another way to a more equalitarian and spiritualized society. The frenzied and hysterical reaction of the United States and Western powers (how long is CNN going to brainwash us with its ‘War on terrorism’?) is also completely overdone. What does Mr Bush mean by ‘an attack on freedom’? Did not Western nations often support bloody dictators such as Pinochet or Mobutu who produced bloodbaths on their people, sometimes more deadly than the WTC attacks?

2. George Bush has more or less ignored India, a vibrant, democratic, pro-Western nation. Why? The Asura, which the Mother of Pondichery called the ‘Lord of Nations,’ seem to be presently actively at work in the world. It is ‘he’ who makes men perceive what is true as false and who gives an aspect of truth to what is fundamentally false or even evil; it is he who precipitates countries into war; it is he who was the voice which Hitler heard dictating him what he had to do. Is it this same Asura which makes America think that Pakistan is the answer to solving their problems with terrorism?

How do you eliminate terrorism with terrorism? Because Pakistan is at the root of terrorism. The Taleban came out of Pakistani madarasas and were able to take nearly the whole of Afghanistan with the help of Pakistani officers. Pakistan has made jihad a national enterprise, not only hitting India, but also training militants who struck in the US, Bosnia and Chechnya. By lifting the economic sanctions on both India and Pakistan, the US has also — once again — put on the same footing two nations which, whatever their respective merits (all is not evil in Pakistan), cannot be compared.

India, a giant of a nation, is a bastion of freedom in an Asia torn by fundamentalism and the shadow of Chinese hegemony. Pakistan, a small country, always on the verge of bankruptcy, has been for most of its independence under military dictatorships. This equating Pakistan and India is an old perverse English strategy which had the purpose of dividing Muslims and Hindus so that the British could rule. It is sad to say that 200 years later this policy is still alive in the minds of Western leaders.

3. The third error is to think that by killing Osama bin Laden and bombing Afghanistan, he is going to solve — partly or fully — the problem of Islamic fundamentalism. Bush has also invited Muslim leaders to the White House, telling them that his fight is ‘not against Islam, but against terrorism.’ The first thing Bush should understand is that the problem is not with Muslims, who are like all other human beings in the world — some of are very good, some are okay and some are bad — but with Islam, a religion which teaches that there is only one God and that jihad is justified to convert others to the true religion.

4. The fourth error is to perceive bin Laden as a simple terrorist. If you look at the man’s eyes, you will notice a certain softness, a mystical glow even, that is not far from recalling some of the great Sufi saints. The man has incredible faith and whatever the murderous consequences of that faith, it has to be respected. The US might ultimately succeed in killing him, but will not other bin Ladens surface elsewhere in the world?

You cannot ignore the fact that Islam is the most rapidly spreading religion in the world today when Christianity is on the decline and capitalism shows its ugly, selfish and crass uniformity all over the planet. If only Islam would accept the fact that it has to adapt itself to the world, it could become a wonderful religion. Does it not care for others as no other faith does? It is enough to say anywhere in the world Salam u alli kum, to be treated like a brother, fed, clothed and sometimes helped financially. All Muslims belong to the Ouma, the great universal Muslim brotherhood. Also the pure of Islam do not smoke, do not take drugs, do not drink alcohol; and this is why the Shariat is so successful in Muslim countries.

5. Finally, there is one factor which Bush has completely overlooked. What is China going to do?

At the times of the attacks, Beijing was on the verge of strengthening its ties with the Taleban. Since then, it has closed its borders with Afghanistan for fear that some of the terrorists might spill into Xinjiang and worsen the already simmering Islamic problem there.

But China is a cold calculator and it will do only what serves its interests regardless of the moral consequences. We have seen how it armed Pakistan to counter India and gave Islamabad the technology to build nuclear weapons — and even the capability to deliver them, thanks to North Korean M-11 missiles. Will China ultimately side — even if temporarily — with the Muslim world, when it starts uniting against American imperialism? Only then will the possibility of a third World War really emerge.

Francois Gautier

WTC Attacks : The Double Standards Of Western Journalism

WTC Attacks : The Double Standards Of Western Journalism

However dramatic, however enormous, however spectacular, however deadly in terms of human lives, these attacks on the United States were, it should not be forgotten that India has been the target of Islamic terrorism for years, with the world not only taking no notice, but the United States also turning a blind eye to the perpetrators of these barbarous acts.

The Western press has, for instance, devoted pages and pages to the “saffronisation” of India’s education, when it is entirely justified for a country to teach its children about the greatness of its ancient civilisation; but when Islamic groups in Kashmir throw acid on women to force them to wear the burqua, it is reported in most of foreign newspapers in a few lines, without any of the outrage shown against Dr Murali Manohar Joshi, who has not thrown any acid on women, nor killed anybody. The Press has shown the same partiality during the recent conference on Racism in South Africa. This whole exercise was a sham and a shame, concentrating on Zionism as the worst form of racism, whereas, like India, Israel is fighting a life and death battle against Muslim fundamentalism; or on the issue of the persecution of Dalits in India, forgetting that India is one of the only countries in the world to have initiated a reservation policy for its underprivileged (does the US have a reservation policy for its poor Negroes?), that India’s President is a Dalit, which shows that here, someone born in a low caste can rise to the highest post, while in France for instance, a Jew will find it very difficult to become President, or that Krishna, India’s most beloved God was from a low caste, as are many Indian saints and sages.

These attacks are indeed terrible and we mourn the loss of human lives. But maybe they were necessary to wake-up the West to the reality of Islamic terrorism (let us also not forget that the United States literally created the Taliban, by arming, training and unleashing Pakistani fundamentalism against the Soviets in Afghanistan). India has been fighting (with Russia and Israel) a very lonely battle against Muslim fundamentalism, which is a real threat to a free and democratic world. Hindus are not only hounded and killed in Kashmir, but also all over India in bomb attacks, be it in Kerala or in Delhi. Hindus are persecuted in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, in Afghanistan, in Fiji, all this not only in the midst of total indifference from the world community and the western Press, which only harps on Ayodhya – where no Muslim was killed, whereas the Islamic world enacted a terrible revenge by planting bombs in the heart of Bombay – and highlights “atrocities” against Christians and Muslims. It is time now that the West, particularly the United Sates, understands that India is a bastion of pro-Western democracy in the midst of an Asia in the throes of a growing Islamic fundamentalism, from Kabul to Srinagar, from Karachi to Indonesia, from Chechnya to Sin-Kiang.

Once again, these terrorist attacks are terrible, but not only will they serve awake the West to the reality of Islamic terrorism, to which they have turned so often a blind eye (remember how an Egyptian pilot “suicided” his whole Egyptian Airlines 767 last year and how it was hushed for fear of “offending” America’s Arab allies), but it is also a blessing in disguise for India. The Indian Government can now take strong measures against Islamic fundamentalism on its soil and it will have the support of the whole western community. Pakistan will also be seen in its true light, as a supporter of international terrorism, and the only country on the world, with Saudi Arabia, which supports Afghanistan and Bin Laden.

Finally, Samuel Huntington was right: in his book “The Clash of civilisations”, he had predicted that the 21st century would see a battle between Islamic fundamentalism, with the sometimes covert support of China (as witnessed in Pakistan, who got its nuclear Bomb thanks to Chinese technology), on one side, and the West and India on the other side. What happened on the 12th of September 2001 is going to dramatically alter the political outlook of the West towards Islamic fundamentalism in general and towards India, in particular. Israel is going to come out of its political isolation (in greater part fostered by the medias, such as the BBC, which portray the Palestinians as freedom fighters, in the same way that they paint the Chechnyans or Kashmris as heroes) and the Israelis as the bad guys. Even China is going to lose some of its lustre, as India is going to slowly become the West’s privileged ally in Asia.

Francois Gautier

PS The author is a French journalist and writer, who was for eight years political correspondent in India and South Asia for Le Figaro “, France’s right wing paper and now writes for “Ouest-France, France’s largest circulation newspaper. François Gautier has published several books: Un autre Regard sur l’Inde” (Editions du Tricorne), for which he appeared last year on “Bouillon de Culture”, France’s most popular TV literary programme and which has been reprinted twice since. He has published in English “Rewriting Indian History (Vikas), and “Arise O India” (Har Anand) 1999 (three reprints). He is married to an Indian from Delhi and has lived in India for the past 31 years