The USA President?s visit to Britain has attracted considerable attention, criticism and debate. The first state visit by a USA President since Woodrow Wilson in 1918 has attracted tens of thousands to the streets, significant column inches in newspapers and passionate views on both sides. However in the whole hullabaloo surrounding the visit and the accompanying circus, a number of important points have been missed.
Firstly, President Bush despite the election rigging in Florida, is considered legally and constitutionally the legitimate political leader of the United States of America. Consequently if people have legitimate criticisms about Bush (and they should), they should question the fundamental political system they support which produced President Bush in the first place. Western political systems have often produced leaders like Bush, which have executed foreign policies which have led to the murders of tens of thousands of people.
President Truman dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan when it was on the verge of surrender, Presidents Johnson and Nixon used chemical weapons on innocent people living in villages in Vietnam, Winston Churchill proposed the use of mustard gas to ?create a lively terror? on the Kurds in the 1920s and Anthony Eden sought to invade Egypt in 1956 with the French for Suez canal revenues. Even Bush?s predecessor, considered by many as an acceptable liberal internationalist, dropped more bombs in Iraq in 1998 than had been dropped in the 1991 war. The problem is therefore not with Western leaders per se, but with the political system controlled by multinational corporations which produces leaders such as Bush in the first place.
Secondly, Bush and his neo-conservative cabal are not in the President?s words simply interested in “promoting peace and freedom”. The new USA neo-conservative doctrine is to impose Western values throughout the world, especially in the Middle East and the Islamic world, by might if necessary. Having lost the intellectual battle of ideas and having destroyed hearts and minds through their support of the corrupt dictators in the Muslim world, Bush and his advisers believe that only a long military occupation can prevent the resurgence of Political Islam in the region.
Thirdly, it is a myth that America has committed over $150 billion to date and another $4 billion a month for the sake of altruism or empathy for the long suffering Iraqi people. If the USA and the UK don?t do mass graves and torture chambers now (despite the tacit approval of Saddam Hussein?s brutality in the 1980s), why does the USA give the leader of Uzbekistan $500m to boil his political opponents alive, or as the State Department did, support hereditary rule through rigged elections in Azerbaijan. The use of the mass graves argument by Western politicians would carry more credibility if they hadn?t through the use of UN-approved sanctions in the 1990s killed over 500,000 Iraqis or if the previous USA Secretary of State had not said publicly that the sanctions related deaths were ?a price worth paying.
Does a state that refuses to spend what is needed to keep its poor healthy send armies on long campaigns abroad out of compassion for foreign populations?
Fourthly, it is also wrong of the left to suggest that the solution to Iraq is one of liberal values and ‘democracy’. Political systems in the West have been increasingly exposed as deeply flawed, controlled by large corporations and largely indifferent to the needs of ordinary Western citizens. No wonder voter turnouts in the West are at an all time low and people are obliged to go out to the streets in their hundreds of thousands to express their frustrations. Western societies are increasingly shaped by materialism, greed, social breakdown and chronic individualism.
Though individuals currently have some ?freedom? to criticise and change their politicians in the West, the reality is that whatever politicians come in (a pre-selected menu), they are of the economic elite and they rule on behalf of the economic elite - an incestuous system indeed. This system is hardly a role model for Iraq where if the formula in the West is followed, we will have a new economic elite created (Chalabi et al) who will run the country in their interests, in the interests of Western multinationals and in the interests of the colonialist Western states. And of course, Algeria teaches us that elections in ?democracies? are annulled, by the Western governments and their agents, when the results indicate that Political Islam wins the votes of the electorate.
It is also flawed, as some of the left have argued, that we need a greater role for the UN in Iraq. In addition to the USA and the UK, the other veto carrying members of the Security Council all have chequered histories when it comes to dealing with the Islamic world. At the same time that the USA and the UK lose hearts, minds and other body parts through the use of F16s, laser guided missiles and oppressive checkpoints, the Russian President carries on his unprecedented butchery in Chechnya. The French who opposed the war, not only oppress Muslim women for wearing the headscarf, but their colonialism and the use of repression in North Africa still lives fresh in recent memory.
Had USA neo-conservatives been generous enough to include other interests into its anticipated spoils in Iraq, would it have received such a hard ride at the UN Security Council?
All the permanent members of the Security Council share the same philosophy to foreign policy that the USA and the UK have - the achievement of their national interests and those of their respective corporations. The UN is no honest broker; its credibility is in tatters following the Iraq war, and its sanctions in the 1990s killed more than half a million Iraqis, most of them young children. There are certainly no white knights on the UN Security Council!
Both left and right also maintain that irregardless of their attitudes to the war, that the continued presence of USA and British troops is essential in maintaining stability with respect to law and order. This crazy logic smacks of the USA doctrine in Vietnam which claimed you had to “destroy a village to save it” or the USA/UK viewpoint that Saddam acquired weapons of mass destruction to protect his rule but somehow lost the will to use them at the most critical point of his survival.
These arguments invert rationality and promote the cultural imperialism that the West always knows best. The only reason there is a resistance as is the case in Palestine, Kashmir and Chechnya is because there is an illegal and oppressive occupation - remove the occupation and you remove the cause for the resistance. Maybe the same argument should have applied to George Washington et al who should have stopped their struggle against British occupation on the basis that they were creating a breach of the peace.
It is clear that the people of Iraq, like the people throughout the Islamic world, demand the restoration of the Islamic Khilafah. It is only the Khilafah that can restore security and economic prosperity for the people of Iraq. As we can see from history, it was only the Khilafah that unified the Kurds, the Shia and the Sunni and melted them into one state. It was the Khilafah that maintained security and honour for Non-Muslims such as Christians and Jews who were then equal citizens of the Khilafah state, and who still form large minorities in the Islamic world.
For many millions of people across the world, Islam is both a religion, and an ideology that transcends duty to politicians and flags.
Contrary to popular myth, the Khilafah state is not a throwback to a seventh century theocracy and nor is it technologically backward. The Khilafah state is not theocratic, nor a dictatorship, nor democratic, but it does advocate people choosing their rulers through real elections (not the corporate dominated shams we see in the West) and it does believe in proper accountability of the ruler, an independent judiciary and a strong economy based on a proper industrial base and self-sufficiency.
The Islamic Khilafah would use the significant oil reserves to better the lives of its citizens, not the balance sheets of Western multinationals like Halliburton. The Khilafah is not a backward state - it historically excelled in technology and formulated many of the current scientific concepts in algebra, trigonometry and medicine as was recognised by the Chief Executive of Hewlett Packard in a recent speech in Detroit. The Khilafah therefore is a practical alternative to the continued USA and UK occupation of Iraq, who like their colonial ancestors before them (the crusaders, the British Empire) claim that they are merely benign liberators.
It is clear that there must be an alternative to Western foreign policy, Capitalism and liberal values. They simply cannot be reformed, cannot be sanitised and cannot be altered through changing the face of a particular leader from time to time. Mankind must search for a distinct and new powerful alternative to address the phenomenal challenges she faces today whether they relate to poverty, hunger, crime, third world debt or state terrorism. Being tough on Bush is not enough; we have to be tough on the system, values and philosophy which produce leaders of the nature of George Bush!
"And let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just. That is next to piety. And fear God, for God is acquainted with all you do"
The Noble Quran, Al-Ma?idah, Verse 8)
Article courtesy of 1924.org