- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 13, 2001

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. — Leftwing American opinion as reflected in "alternate" media to call it liberal would be insulting to liberals is getting a lot of traction in the developing world where it is fusing with the Islamist view of the U.S. It gets reported back by "expats" and naturalized U.S. citizens from Muslim countries as "fact."
The latest canard to grow legs comes from Jason McQuin, editor of Columbia Press C.L.A. in his tract "Anarchy: A Journal of Desire Armed" as reported by U.S.-based Pakistani "researcher" Tayyaba Zia Cheema. It has gained currency from Egypt to Nigeria and from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
One of Mr. McQuin's gems says: "The profits of U.S. business corporations depends on the plundering of other countries' economies as the U.S. government and the military have the propensity to impose wars against all the countries. Parties, people, tribes and men who challenge U.S. domination."
According to these "facts," President Bush and his policies were responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the U.S. is "the most dangerous terrorist organization ever devised." Alas, these views are widely shared among "Third World" journalists and intellectuals where a more benign view of America is shunned as "right-wing thinking." U.S. "alternate" media, they say, reports the "truth" that is being "suppressed by mainstream media."
"No American is willing to say something against its mainstream media's policy on the 9/11 incident," columnist Mary K. Feeney is quoted as writing in the Hartford Courant. The anti-U.S. drumbeat about Uncle Sam's ulterior motives is unrelenting, interrupted with the occasional off-key pro-American piece. This dangerous twaddle is reminiscent of Soviet propaganda at the height of the Cold War when the KGB's "dysinformatzia" department concocted similar "facts".
"Earth First" is an environmental favorite stick to beat up on American policies. Its photographs of 30 "Most Wanted Eco-Terrorists include corporate America's top executives from Apple's Steve Jobs to Walt Disney's Michael Eisner. America is willing to sacrifice the world for its own enrichment, goes the "alternate" line.
Bush 43, of course, has to complete Bush 41's unfinished agenda e.g., "the recreation of Southwest Asia for corporate profitability, but Islamic fundamentalism threatens his plan." It keeps going downhill.
According to the twisted logic of left-winger Ms. Cheema, "If [Saudi] King Fahd is killed or an attempt is made to destroy the U.S. nuclear program, then the possibility of U.S. Army control over the entire world is there." Hard to believe this kind of drivel can be given a hearing, but the woman says her research is based upon "important articles and analyses that have appeared in leading world publications recently." Norm Chomsky of the Nation appears frequently in Third World publications
New International, published in Oxford, England, which Ms. Cheema claims has branches in important cities throughout the world, including the U.S., quotes Pakistani Labor Party Secretary-General Farooq Tariq that the post-September 11 mindset was "very pleased that someone had done it." In other words, America had it coming.
There is a convergence of such nonsensical lucubrations with what Pakistan's Islamist friends of Taliban are putting out since that regime's total collapse. Their most influential spokesman is retired Gen. Hameed Gul, a retired chief of the all-powerful ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence agency). He acts as "strategic adviser" to Pakistan's religious extremist political parties and has emerged as the leader of the "disloyal" opposition to President Pervez Musharraf. Rabidly anti-American, Gen. Gul now says "the only way to restore true democracy" in Pakistan is with "The Jihad," or holy war.
Toppling Mr. Musharraf violently is now the openly stated objective. Once in possession of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, Gen. Gul says the Talibanization of Pakistan will become possible as well as the creation of an Islamic empire that would include Saudi Arabia and the oil resources of the Gulf.
That has been Gen. Gul's message to pro-Taliban Pashtu tribal chiefs whose tribes straddle both sides of an unmarked 1,300-mile-long Pakistani-Afghan border. Back in Islamabad, a tad more circumspect Gen. Gul said Pakistani volunteers who answered the call of the mullahs to cross the border in recent weeks to fight for Taliban "knew it was Musharraf's policy to support Taliban." But now, he added, the entire nation knows Mr. Musharraf's decision to compromise that support was to accommodate U.S. plans to destroy Taliban. Next, Gen. Gul predicts, "Taliban is already rising again on the Pakistani battlefield."
The thirst for Islamist revenge is unslakable. While worrisome, the nuclear ambitions of ignorant mullahs are blocked by a military loyal to Mr. Musharraf who is also army chief. But the mullahs' "strategic adviser" Gen. Gul remains a popular legendary figure in ISI. Ten years after he relinquished command of ISI, his former subordinates are now in charge. And the mentality of ISI remains profoundly anti-American and pro-Taliban, the extreme manifestation of Islamist extremism that the agency nurtured and supported covertly ever since the late President Zia ul-Haq launched the Islamization of Pakistan in 1977.
U.S. intelligence agents say they enjoy "excellent relations" with ISI. At the same time, however, a regional ISI director has been warning tribal leaders known to this writer that the U.S. will not stop with Afghanistan. "Pakistan is next," he warned.
While laughable to informed people, some Islamist tribal leaders are both ignorant and paranoid about Western influences. Moreover 20 percent of the Pakistani army officer corps is fundamentalist, according to a recent confidential survey by military (not ISI) intelligence.
The United States and its allies and new friends have no choice but to play the role of global cop and teacher, bearing in mind that what's good for the U.S. is not necessarily good for world civilization. Moderate Islam has much to offer. The alternative to building a new global order together is the apocalypse with weapons of mass destruction in the hands of religious fanatics.
Pakistan is already paying a high price for being a U.S. ally. The country is losing $2 billion in foreign trade this year alone (out of an estimated $8 billion prior to September 11). Exports, the country's lifeblood, have nose-dived 40 percent as orders were cancelled and freight and insurance charges raised. Direct flights in and out from Europe have been suspended. The ranks of the unemployed keep growing.
More generous U.S. assistance in the context of an overall economic recovery plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan is an imperative and urgent necessity. The alternative is to weaken the government's commitment to the coalition against terrorism and to drive impoverished, desperate and disenfranchised masses into the ranks of Gen. Gul's extremist bandwagon.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide