Is it the beginning of the end for foreign occupation in Afghanistan? Seven years after driving the Taliban from power, Western bravado about defeating them militarily has evaporated. Several Western commanders and diplomats have at different times admitted that defeating the Taliban militarily was not possible and that a negotiated settlement to contain the insurgency was the only possible option.
By the time these lines are read, the US presidential election would be over. Current trends suggest Barack Obama would be the next president unless some unforeseen catastrophe or electoral fraud like those in 2000 and 2004 occur. Obama will inherit the biggest economic mess in US history since the 1930s depression. How did the US, the largest economy in the world, come to such a sorry state?
The last few weeks have seen the stirrings of what may become the basis for another world-wide Muslim protest movement like those about the Rushdie fitna and the Danish cartoons insulting the Prophet (saw). Beaufort House, a minor publisher in the US, has published a sleazy work of fiction called The Jewel of Medina, by Sherry Jones, which has been described as a work of “soft porn” set in the time of the Prophet and taking a bowdlerised version of the life of Hadhrat A’isha (r.a.) as its theme.
By the time many readers see this issue of Crescent International, the US presidential elections will have taken place and the results known. Failing some drastic turnaround in the last days of campaigning (after Crescent goes to press), Barack Obama is likely to be confirmed as the US’s first black president, in what is already being widely anticipated as a total and deliberate repudiation of the legacy of the presidency of George W. Bush.
After months of debate and negotiation, punctuated by periodic reports of progress and agreement on various final drafts, the talks between the US and the Iraqi government on a new Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) appear no closer to a conclusion than ever before.
As if the worldwide zionist led media campaign about Islamic Iran’s “nuclear bomb” was not enough, we now have a Saudi-led whisper campaign about Islamic Iran’s “sectarian aggression.” The voices and spokespersons for this latter campaign may not know how and why this is so, thus it becomes necessary to shed light on this.
After spending nearly 30 years in exile, Dr Tengku Hasan di Tiro, the charismatic, if now aged, leader of Aceh’s independence movement returned to the island to a hero's welcome. Hundreds of thousands of joyous supporters had gathered at the airport to welcome him on October 13.
The creases from his predecessor’s seat had hardly settled when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced on October 9 that he would step down as prime minister and president of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in March 2009.
Somalia is being recognised as the worst and most violent “failed state” in the world, and the tragedy of its people as the “most-ignored human tragedy”. Even the odd commentator in the international media is now calling on the ‘international community’ to help Somalia to restore peace by ignoring the corrupt and ineffective Interim Government (IG) and replacing it with “moderate” members of the Islamic Courts Union.
The Somali pirates who recently hijacked a ship carrying Russian-made arms and tanks claimed that the weapons were bound for South Sudan. But the Kenyan government was adamant that they had been sent to Kenya, not South Sudan. The BBC World Service announced on October 7 that it had found evidence that the equipment had been intended for South Sudan, as claimed by the pirates.
Pakistan is faced with the most serious threat to its existence comparable to what it faced in 1971 when it resulted in the breakup of the country. It is on the verge of bankruptcy; the skyrocketing food and fuel prices have led to extreme uncertainty among the masses who are unsure where their next meal would come from. This is compounded by intense US pressure to attack militants in the tribal area.
The trial of Canadian citizen Omar Khadr that was due to begin at the notorious detention center at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on November 10 was postponed until January 26, 2009. Guantanamo has come to symbolize the worst of American attitude toward the rule of law.
The days of the American empire are over; even US elites are writing its obituaries. The world Capitalist System was established on such factors as greed, living beyond means, using other people’s wealth, compound interest and a rigid focus on short-term profit.
While other forms of racism are frowned upon, Islamophobia is actively being promoted as an acceptable form of political behavior in the West. Muslims are a soft target and in such an environment, denigrating them carries little direct political costs.
In war, various tactics—from bribery to insults, ridicule and mockery, hostile propaganda, threats of force to physical violence and expulsion—are used to weaken and ultimately defeat the enemy. A traditional weapon used even today is that of isolation and dehumanisation through a process of complete social boycott.
In light of the fresh debate centered on Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, particularly within the US whose armed forces are deeply involved in the military conquest of the region under the guise of the “war on terror”, many fraudulent theories are advanced to justify aggression against largely unarmed and defenseless populations.