Under George Bush the US is well on its way to establishing a commonwealth of social and moral lepers whose members include such outcasts as the zionist state of Israel and Hindu-ruled India. The real "axis of evil" is formed by this unholy trinity, not North Korea, Iran and Iraq, as claimed by Bush in his State of the Union address on January 30. Not surprisingly, the speech was roundly condemned worldwide, even by America’s allies — Germany, France, Spain, the European Union and even NATO secretary general Lord George Robertson. America’s rightwingers, such as former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, also rounded on Bush, calling his comments "a big mistake." Russia distanced itself from the cowboy mentality gripping Washington; only king Abdullah II of Jordan, a non-entity, expressed support.
Naturally, Iran and Iraq did not take kindly to Bush’s remarks, calling them "irresponsible", and Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi challenged Washington to provide proof instead of making spurious allegations. The best comment, however, came from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital. A foreign ministry spokesman was quoted by the BBC on February 4 as saying that Washington’s recent problems were "entirely attributable to the unilateral and self-opinionated foreign policy, political immaturity and moral leprosy of the Bush administration." The North Koreans went on to say that Bush’s State of the Union address was "little short of a declaration of war."
Had the problem been confined to Bush, there would be room for us to be charitable: his understanding of world issues does not transcend that of a fourth-grade student. But Bush’s remarks were also echoed by national security advisor Condoleezza Rice, who is not an ignoramus like Bush. It seems that the poison of racism has soaked so deeply into the American psyche that even people like Rice and Colin Powell, both blacks, will indulge in racist cant at the behest of their white masters.
One must, however, seek clues to such intemperate remarks elsewhere. The French put their finger on the real instigators of Bush’s crude remarks: Israel. Sources in the French secret service say that on the eve of Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to Washington on February 7, the Israelis spun a fantastic story. They claimed their intelligence had located Usama bin Ladin, who was being kept "under the heavy protection" of Iranian security forces in northwestern Iran, not far from its border with Iraq. Mullah Omar is also being "harboured" by the Iranians. Stung by their failure to seize either man, despite making so much fuss about them, the Americans swallowed the Israeli-concocted story completely, and Bush lumped Iran with Iraq, his favourite bogey. The zionists were, of course, delighted. North Korea was named mainly in order to deflect criticism that Bush is waging an anti-Muslim war.
Unable to crush the Palestinian intifada, and having suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the Hizbullah in Lebanon, Israel would like nothing better than to see the US target Islamic Iran. Iran’s support for the struggling Palestinians and Hizbullah is based on moral, religious and humanitarian principles as well as international law, but Uncle Sam cannot bear the discomfiture of its ward. The US alleges that Tehran supports "terrorism", is trying to destabilise the regime in Afghanistan and is producing weapons of mass-destruction. Barring the US and Israel, nobody else considers Hizbullah or Hamas "terrorist" organizations. Even if they did, it would make no difference because the struggle to liberate one’s land is recognized in international law as well as the UN charter. The West, however, can be quite hypocritical about laws, even its own. The US’s brutal treatment of prisoners who have been illegally transported out of Afghanistan to Cuba is a case in point.
Iran has no desire to destabilise the regime in Afghanistan even if it has any ideological differences with it. Iran has pledged US$500 million over two years for Afghanistan’s reconstruction; this is more than Washington’s pledges so far. America causes death and destruction through war, and has no use for peace or rebuilding. Iran has very good reason to want peace on its eastern borders: it would like to repatriate the 2.5 million Afghan refugees whom it has supported, without outside help, for more than 20 years. This is no small burden for a country that had to fight an eight-year Iraqi-imposed war that was instigated by the West and financed by Arab governments.
The real axis of evil has emerged between the US, Israel and India. While the Israelis have been on a rampage in the Middle East since their illegal settlement in the heartland of Islam, the Indians are just beginning to attract America’s attention. Washington wants India to act as a bulwark against the emerging power of China, which is expected to rival the US economically and militarily in 25 years’ time. The US wants to disrupt China’s progress but cannot do so directly: Uncle Sam is not very brave; he wants others to fight his wars. This is what happened in Afghanistan; the Americans bombed Afghanistan from thousands of feet up while the ground battles were fought by Afghan mercenaries. Even now the Americans have barricaded themselves into a heavily-fortified compound near Qandahar airport, from where they seldom venture out. Ground operations are still conducted by their Afghan mercenaries.
India has been given a free hand to continue its policy of rape, pillage and murder in Kashmir in return for its willingness to serve America’s global interests. It has also been allowed to bully Pakistan, despite the latter’s desperate attempts to prevent war from erupting over Kashmir. It is interesting to note that Sudan is accused of practising "state terrorism" for trying to prevent the Southern Sudanese rebels from breaking the country up, yet India is accused of nothing for its brutal policies in Kashmir, where more than 80,000 people have been murdered since December 1989. Instead, Kashmiri freedom-fighters are branded "terrorists" for seeking self-determination. It must be borne in mind that Kashmir is not a part of India and never has been; even the UN considers it disputed territory whose status has yet to be determined. Why should Christian Solidarity International, which finances the Southern Sudanese rebels, not be called a sponsor of international terrorism, when Muslim groups in Pakistan that support the Kashmiris’ struggle for self-determination are?
Even French foreign minister Herbert Vedrine has condemned America’s unilateralism and said that, in the guise of fighting terrorism, the US is simply advancing its own agenda. France, he said, would not support any such policy. The alliance between the world’s moral lepers — the US, Israel and India — is now out in the open. What is interesting to note is that each set of elites claims that its country is a democracy: America is the "strongest" democracy, India the "largest", and Israel the "only democracy in the Middle East".