West – breeding ground for terrorism

Karbala in Yemen II.jpg

Syed Zafar Mehdi

“There are two ways to approach the study of terrorism,” notes world-renowned scholar Noam Chomsky in widely-acclaimed book Western State Terrorism. “One may adopt a literal approach, taking the topic seriously, or a propagandistic approach, construing the concept of terrorism as a weapon to be exploited in the service of some system of power. It comes as no surprise that the propagandistic approach is adopted by governments generally, and by their instruments in totalitarian states.” (1) Chomsky, who minces no words in calling spade a spade, maintains there are many terrorist states in the world, but the United States puts its rivals to shame when it comes to perpetuating ‘international terrorism’.

The book, edited by Alexander L. George, apart from Chomsky, has contributions from eminent scholars and analysts like Robert Falk, Micheal McClintock, Bill Rolston, Joseph Hanlon and Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi. It discusses in scrupulous detail the various forms and manifestations of terrorism perpetuated by America and its allies. It also rubbishes and demolishes the vile propaganda that most horrifying terrorist activities are engineered against West by ‘rogue’ states like Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Falk writes on the terrorism that influences the US foreign policy, McClintock gives us sharp insights into the concept of counter-insurgency in US military doctrine, Rolston delves into the terrorism in Northern Ireland, Hanlon writes on South African state terrorism, and Beit-Hallahmi exposes the truth behind Israel’s export of military technology. (1)

A 2010 research undertaken by Professor Mark Sageman establishes the fact that terrorism is a product of the West. The research indicates that 70 per cent of Al-Qaeda recruits come from Western Europe and America. The research report emphatically states that it is not just a reaction by traditional Muslim society, which does not wish to assimilate with the liberal cosmopolitan melting pot, but a geographic and cultural phenomenon, as a product of Western globalization. (2)

Sageman, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and a former CIA officer presented the report, based on an analysis of 382 profiles of terrorists having a direct relationship with the Al-Qaeda network, at an international conference in Washington.

The ominous threat of ‘nuclear terrorism’ does not come from some bitty, ruthless jihadist cluster, but from the western nuclear powers who form the core of the NATO alliance, and keep issuing threats against non-nuclear weapon states in the Global South. (3)

History of US terrorist ‘interventions’ across world

The history of US imperialism is replete with stories of unilateral belligerent military strikes, gory massacres and socio-cultural aggression. In this ‘us versus them’ no-holds-barred tussle, the US and its allies have sought to impose their writ on other nations, more so on those who have refused to swear allegiance to US hegemony.

This blatant chauvinism and sinister desire to inflict suffering on others is best explained by these words of American writer Andre Vltchek. “West has always behaved as if it had an inherited, but undefined, right to profit from the misery of the rest of the world. In many cases, the conquered nations had to give up their own culture, their religions, even their languages, and convert to our set of beliefs and values that we defined as ‘civilized’. The West has never doubted that its cause is the only one that is just, its religions the only ones that lead to God, its greed the only pure and honest expression of human nature.” (4)

Guatemala Civil War that continued from 1960 to 1996 was bitterly fought between the government of Guatemala and various rebel groups, mostly the ethnic Mayans. The government of Guatemala committed worst human rights abuses and engineered genocide of Mayan population of Guatemala. Historical Clarification Commission was set up under the Oslo Accords of 1994 to hear testimony of survivors and report on the origins of the long-standing war. The Commission concluded that the Guatemala military committed murder, torture and rape with the tacit support of CIA. The report said the massacres eliminated entire Mayan villages. The commission stated the “government of the United States, through various agencies including the CIA, provided direct and indirect support for some state operations”. The report, Guatemala, Memory of Silence, found that about 200,000 people – mostly the civilians – were killed or subjected to enforced disappearance during the 34 year long civil war. (5)

Noam Chomsky in his book What Uncle Sam Really Wants writes, “Under Reagan, support for near-genocide in Guatemala became positively ecstatic. The most extreme of the Guatemalan Hitlers we’ve backed there, Rios Montt, was lauded by Reagan as a man totally dedicated to democracy. In the early 1980s, Washington’s friends slaughtered tens of thousands of Guatemalans, mostly Indians in the highlands, with countless others tortured and raped. Large regions were decimated.” (6)

Direct or indirect support for death squads has been an integral part of CIA operations. CIA’s death squad operations in Vietnam led to killing of over 35,000 people. The Vietnam War dominated 30 long years of Vietnam’s history from 1940s to 1970s. The US military intervention started in 1965 and ended in 1973. Vietnam was a display of American fallibility, lack of judgment, lack of understanding of root issues, lack of support for people to determine their own destiny and govern themselves, as well as a display of just how brutal America was willing to be to attempt to get its way.  It was also an example of the extent to which the government would lie to its citizens and the international community in order to get the support for acts of war. (7)

President Ford, reacting to Senate and House committee reports concluded that the CIA had become a ‘rogue elephant’ crushing foreign citizens under foot in its bid to win the Cold War. More than 20,000 Vietnamese were killed during the CIA-guided Operation Phoenix intended to weed out communist ‘agents’ from South Vietnam.” (8)

US role in the violent overthrow of the democratically-elected Popular Unity government of Salvador in 1980s was a watershed moment for the country. Bush family loyalists maintain that President Bush senior’s policies paved the way for peace, turning Salvador into a democratic success story. However, it took more than 70,000 deaths and mass human rights violations, before peace was brokered. To crush the rebels, the US equipped and trained an army which kidnapped and disappeared more than 30,000 people, and presided over large-scale massacres of thousands of old people, women and children. (9)

In the mid-1970s, a big scandal erupted after disclosures that suggested that President Richard Nixon had ordered the CIA to ‘make the economy scream’ in Chile and to prevent Allende from coming to power. Years later, CIA acknowledged its deep involvement in Chile where it dealt with coup-plotters, false propagandists and assassins. (10) Chile has been suffering ever since.

The horrendous events in Chile on and after September 11, 1973 were so disturbing that it became a theme for a Hollywood movie. The film about the coup in 1982 called ‘Missing’ starred Jack Lemmon and Cissy Spacek. Interestingly, it did not probe US involvement very deeply; neither did it focus on the abduction, torture and murder of more than 20,000 Chileans. In a review of book Nixon, Kissinger, and Allende: US Involvement in the 1973 coup in Chile by Lubna Qureishi, Howard Doughty makes a pertinent observation. “The United States and its allies have an unseemly history of hostility to democracy abroad that seems to conflict with their expressed political principles and their stated purpose in engaging in military and diplomatic action abroad. Not only in Latin America, but in Africa, Asia and occasionally in Europe, it has openly and clandestinely supported dictatorships (11)

The US government’s cozy relationship with Israel is no secret. It has paid Israel almost one hundred billion dollars over the years, major part of which is used for occupying Palestinian territories, in blatant breach of international laws and umpteen UN resolutions. Veteran Middle East reporter Robert Fisk draws parallels between Israel and apartheid regime of South Africa. “No matter how many youths are shot dead by the Israelis, no matter how many murders and no matter how bloody the reputation of the Israeli Prime Minister, we are reporting this terrible conflict as if we supported the South African whites against the blacks. No, Israel is not South Africa and no, the Palestinians are not the blacks of the shanty towns. But there’s not much difference between Gaza and the black slums of Johannesburg; and there’s not much difference between the tactics of the Israeli army in the occupied territories and that of the South African police. The apartheid regime had death squads, just as Israel has today.” (12)

Columbia, which is arguably one of the most violent countries in the world, is the beneficiary of massive U.S. aid. Some political observers like Professor John Barry are of the opinion that US influence has only managed to catalyze internal conflicts and substantially expand the scope and nature of human rights abuses in Colombia. (13) According to author Robin Kirk, most American people remain naïve about the role of their country in Colombia’s historical development and the nation’s continuing violence. (14)

In Cuba, America’s record is far from good. It has been involved in attempted assassinations of state heads, bombings, military invasions, crippling sanctions et al. And, now latest reports suggest that the U.S. government’s covert attack on Cuba’s sovereignty continues unabated. Even after half a century, economic blockade remains in force. The country has been designated a terrorist state, figuring prominently on the State Department’s list of ‘State Sponsors of Terrorism’. The five Cuban political prisoners are still behind bars. Now a report from the U.S. General Accounting Office reveals that money is being pumped into projects directed at changing Cuba’s government. (15)

Washington’s support for the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua between 1981 and 1990 is one of the most shameful open secrets. By acknowledging the link between the U.S. government and the contras, the terrorist activities that the contras engaged in and the recognition by the International Court of Justice, it is clearly evident that the U.S. engaged in state-sponsored terrorism in its response to the Nicaraguan revolution. (16) The decision of the International Court of Justice in June 1986 condemning the United States for the “unlawful use of force” and illegal economic warfare was dismissed as an irrelevant pronouncement by a “hostile forum”,” notes Noam Chomsky. “The guiding principle, it appears, is that the US is a lawless terrorist state and this is right and just, whatever the world may think, whatever international institutions may declare.” (17)

On March 8, 1985, in an assassination bid on Sheikh Mohammed Fazlullah by CIA, a powerful car bomb exploded outside a Beirut mosque in Lebanon, leaving 81 civilians dead. Celebrated investigative reporter Bob Woodward stated that CIA director William Casey had admitted personal culpability in the attack while he lay on his deathbed, which he said was carried out with funding from Saudi Arabia. (18)

In December 1989, almost 27,000 US soldiers invaded a small Central American country of Panama to arrest General Manuel Noriega, a CIA asset-turned-rebel. In the ‘Operation Just Cause’, bombs rained down on three neighborhoods – Colon, San Miguelito and El Chorillo. El Chorillo was burnt to the ground and got a new nickname –‘Little Hiroshima’. According to the conservative estimate, between 2,000 and 6,000 people were killed in the events that unfolded. Many of them were dumped into mass graves. According to eyewitness reports, U.S. troops used flame-throwers on the dead, and the bodies shriveling up as they burnt. (19)

Congo has been through violent times since its independence. Many observers and activists trace it to the murder of Patrice Lumumba, the first prime minister of independent Congo, which was apparently done at the behest by the then U.S. President Eisenhower. A recent letter to the London Review of Books has reignited the debate over who was behind the assassination of revolutionary leader who enjoyed massive public support. House of Lords Member David Lea writes that Park (consul and first secretary in Leopoldville from 1959 to 1961, also head of MI6 there) believed, as many in the West, that if a pro-imperialist regime did not take control of Congo, the country’s mineral resources would be available to the Soviet Union. Hence, Lumumba was labeled a communist, and the Western media used such propaganda to justify the coup against him and his brutal assassination. (20) The U.S. role was documented by the 1975 Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearings, chaired by Senator Frank Church. A former National Security officer, Robert Johnson, disclosed that the decision to assassinate Lumamba was arrived during a high level meeting involving Eisenhower and senior intelligence officers. (21) The overt and covert role of CIA in numerous destabilization operations, coups and assassinations in Africa and other parts of the world has been widely documented. (22)

In Haiti, the U.S. backed the Duvalier family dictatorship for 30 years, during which the CIA worked closely with death squads, executioners, and drug traffickers. The father-son duo’s three decades at helm was marked by brutally crushing dissent with the assistance of secret police and the Haitian army. Thousands were killed and tortured – many of them dumped in mass graves. Hundreds of thousands fled the country to escape from violence. (23) Now there seems a hope that Haiti’s former dictator will face human rights charges in court, but there are impediments, and US government is one of them. Asked about Duvalier after her visit to Haiti in January 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted that Duvalier’s past abuses were forgivable, and that trying him could hamper efforts to “stabilize” the country. (24) “The Haitian government must end this pretence of justice and take a clear, public stance on the case against Jean-Claude Duvalier,” said Javier Zúñiga,” says Javier Zúñiga, Special Advisor at Amnesty International. (25)

The 1983 invasion of Grenada was the first major American military assault since Vietnam War. The news was blocked as the U.S. government didn’t want the world to witness the great superpower bashing up a small island nation and murdering its civilians. Why did the United States invade Grenada? “Many believe that Grenada was seen as a bad example for other poor Caribbean states,” opines Stephen Zunes, author of Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the Roots of Terrorism. “Its foreign policy was not subservient to the American government and it was not open to having its economy dominated by U.S. corporate interests. A show of force would cause states with similar leftist nationalist ideals to think twice. If a country as small and poor as Grenada could have continued its rapid rate of development under a socialist model, it would set a bad precedent for other Third World countries.” (26) In their seminal work Ethics and Intervention: The United States in Grenada, Terry Nardin and Kathleen D. Pritchard maintain that the intervention was the mockery of law. “Both UN ambassador Kirkpatrick and OAS ambassador Middendorf argued that there was a sound legal basis for the action.” (27)

In Greece, America supported a coup against an elected leader George Papandreou, which followed the years of murder, torture, and fear in the late 1960s. The tyranny of a fascist-military junta had backing of United States and NATO from 1967 to 1974. As per the rough estimates, around 10,000 workers, students, political leaders and social activists were imprisoned and brutally tortured. (28) In 1969, the European Commission of Human Rights found Greece guilty of torture, murder and other violations. The European members, said Amnesty International, believed that only the United Sates had the power to bring about changes in Greece, yet it chose only to defend the repressive rule of junta. (29)

In Cambodia, the US resorted to carpet bombing to overthrow President Prince Sihanauk, who was replaced by Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge and that led to millions of civilian casualties between mid 1950s and 1970s. “The impact of this bombing, the subject of much debate for the past three decades, is now clearer than ever. Civilian casualties in Cambodia drove an enraged populace into the arms of an insurgency that had enjoyed relatively little support until the bombing began, setting in motion the expansion of the Vietnam War deeper into Cambodia, a coup d’état in 1970, the rapid rise of the Khmer Rouge, and ultimately the Cambodian genocide,” write Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan in The Walrus. (30) Between 1965 and 1973, the U.S. dropped 2.7 million tons of explosives – more than the Allies dropped in the entirety of World War II – on Cambodia, whose population was then smaller than New York City’s. (31)

In 1965, which New York Times called ‘one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history’, U.S. embassy had compiled lists of ‘Communist’ operatives in Indonesia, from top echelons down to village cadres, as many as 5,000 names, and handed them over to the army, which then hunted them down and killed. (32) Speaking at an international conference in Singapore in the summer of 2009, historian Brad Simpson said the United States and British governments, supported by Australia, were deeply complicit in the murder of more than half a million communist sympathisers in the wake of the 1965 Indonesian coup. According to the paper presented by Simpson, there was “a lot of evidence that the US was engaged in covert operations… to provoke a clash between the army and the PKI… to wipe them out.” (33)

Between 1946 and 1958, the U.S. used the Marshall Islands to conduct nuclear tests. All the inhabitants had to flee their homes. It is still not safe to consume food grown there. In the words of Robert Alvarez, “the people of the Marshall Islands had their homeland and health sacrificed for the national security interests of the United States”. (34) The nuclear attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 remains the darkest chapter of history. Almost 150,000 people paid for their lives instantly, while millions more died of radiation poisoning later. Truman ordered the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, followed by a plutonium bomb on Nagasaki on August 9. The same day, the Soviet Union attacked the Japanese and, in the following two weeks 84,000 Japanese were killed. The United States continued bombing Japan with non-nuclear weapons before the Japanese surrendered. (35)

West’s War on terror post 9/11

Contrary to the widespread but flawed notion in the west, the 9/11 attacks in the US were carried out by individuals with warped worldview and not inspired by the religion of Islam or Muslims. Some self-styled intellectuals vigorously assert that Islam breeds terrorism and it is the religion of violence and anarchy. The same faulty hypothesis has been effectively used by hawks in west to train their guns at Muslims, leading to a wave of Islamaphobia. Today, especially after 9/11, Muslims are viewed with suspicion and hostility everywhere.

“The Western mass media complements the self crafted notion to poison the public thinking and perceptions and source of judgments against the Arabs and Muslims as “terrorists” making the treacherous claim as if Islam was at the threshold of the paradigm. The US neo-conservatives gang helped to rob the mankind of its human heritage. The perception of ‘radical Islam’ was invented and enhanced by the ‘fear’ of terrorism as if Arabs and Muslims were born in the eye of the storm and terrorism was an exclusive domain of the Islamic religious tenets,” notes Dr Mahboob A Khawaja, who specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution. (36)

Many intellectuals and political observers have repeatedly emphasized that the notion of a ‘war on terrorism’ is an absurd concept. Thierry Meyssan, French intellectual and founder of Voltaire Network also holds the same view. (37) From New York and Washington on September 11 to Madrid in March 2004 and to London in July 2005, the terror attacks have been used as a pretext to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. People can be arbitrarily arrested under the antiterrorist legislation and detained for an indefinite period. Citizens are being tagged and labeled, their emails, telephone conversations and faxes are monitored and archived. Thousands of closed circuit TV cameras, deployed in urban areas, are overseeing their movements. Detailed personal data is entered into giant Big Brother data banks. (38)

“The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush adminstration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq,” opines Michel Chossudovsky, author of the international best-seller The Globalisation of Poverty. (38) And, consider the fact that in the name of fighting their enemies, the U.S. government had directly been supporting Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups for the decade before 9/11 happened. (39)

A majority of high-ranking security experts agree that waging war in the Middle East has weakened US national security and increased the threat of terrorism. (40) A top military interrogator remarked that torture by American military of innocent Iraqis is one of the main reasons that foreign fighters started fighting against Americans in Iraq. (41) And, it is a well known fact that there was no presence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq until U.S. invaded that country. (42) Some CIA officers have acknowledged that the use of drone warfare (like in Yemen, Pakistan et al) increases the risk of terrorist incidents, as victims are forced to resort to extremism. (43)

University of Chicago professor Robert A. Pape, who specializes in international security affairs, argues that the causes of suicide terrorism prove Islam isn’t to blame; rather the root of the problem is foreign military occupations. (44) This argument is supported by an extensive research study that suggests that more than 95 percent of all suicide attacks are in response to foreign occupation. It further says that since the United States occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a combined population of about 60 million, total suicide attacks worldwide, have risen dramatically from about 300 between 1980 and 2003, to 1,800 between 2004 and 2009. The vast majority of suicide terrorists hail from the regions threatened by foreign troops. (45)

Marjorie Cohn, a widely-known professor of international law, in an article written in November 2001 maintained that the bombings of Afghanistan by the United States and the United Kingdom were illegal. His argument was based on the premise that, according to UN Charter, disputes have to be brought to the UN Security Council, which alone may authorize the use of force. Also, if your nation has been subjected to an armed attack by another nation, you may respond militarily in self-defense. Afghanistan did not attack the United States. Indeed, the 19 men charged with the crime were not Afghans. (46) There were reports indicating that the United States had made the decision to invade Afghanistan two months before the 9/11 attacks. At least part of the background to this decision was the United States’ long-time support for UNOCAL’s proposed pipeline, which would transport oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea region to the Indian Ocean through Afghanistan and Pakistan. (47)

Twelve years down the line, the foreign military troops are still stationed in Afghanistan, hundreds of billion dollars have been spent, and at least 31,000 people in Afghanistan (civilians, insurgents, Afghan military forces, and others) have been killed in the war. (48) According to Anthony H. Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), The U.S. is slowly and steadily losing the war in Afghanistan at the political level by failing to win the support of the Congress, the American people, its allies, and the Afghans. (49)

More than a decade after U.S. invaded Iraq, it’s still not clear why they did it. “The Bush administration made the argument that in the post-9/11 climate there should be a belated reckoning with Saddam Hussein. He had continued to sponsor terrorism, had over the years invaded or attacked four of his neighbors, and had killed tens of thousands of his own people. He was surely more a threat to the region and to his own people than either Bashar Assad or Muammar Qaddafi was eight years later,” says a National Review report by Victor Hanson. (50)

It’s a fact, even acknowledged by the western media that the war for Iraq was a war for oil. “Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms,” read a CNN report. “Before the 2003 invasion, Iraq’s domestic oil industry was fully nationalized and closed to Western oil companies. A decade of war later, it is largely privatized and utterly dominated by foreign firms.” (51) Stephen Zunes, professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, believes that even a decade after Iraq debacle, U.S. has not learnt its lessons. “Despite all this, 10 years later, some of the same politicians in Washington who pushed us into war a decade ago are trying to do so again. This time, with Iran,” says Zunes. “Once again, then, we have a bipartisan group of senators pressing for war against an oil-rich Middle Eastern nation, exaggerating the alleged threat, refusing to consider the consequences of war, and dismissing the caution of experts.” (52)

Back in 1953, a joint British-American operation toppled the democratic government chosen by the Iranian parliament, and installed their loyal dictator. “The coup restored the Shah to absolute power, initiating a period of 25 years of repression and torture, while the oil industry was restored to foreign ownership, with the US and Britain each getting 40 percent.” (53) Again, the shadowy forces are working overtime to nail Iran, employing war rhetoric, brinkmanship, sabre-rattling. But, Iran stands firm, ready to defeat all the sinister designs.

Good terrorism, bad terrorism

“I am sure that hardly any Americans or Europeans were aware that on the day of the Boston bombings, 45 people were killed and more than 300 injured in a bomb blast in Iraq,” writes Evan Eland. “They were probably unaware that also on the same day eight people died in Kabul, Afghanistan, and a week earlier 11 children and one woman had been indiscriminately murdered in the Afghan province of Kunar by a NATO-airstrike.” (54)

While there were three casualties in Boston, hundreds of civilians are killed every day in countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. But there are no major headlines or discussions on prime time news shows, perhaps because they are the victims of ‘good’ terrorism perpetuated by West to establish ‘peace and world order’. Be it the drone strikes inside Pakistan, sponsorship of foreign terrorism in Syria, bomb blasts in Afghanistan and Iraq, all of this comes under ‘good terrorism’, backed by US and its allies. ‘Bad’ terrorism is when Iran executes a person on serious charges of espionage, Syrian government retaliates against the foreign mercenaries, or Hezbollah hits back at Israel for threatening its sovereignty.

In a 1986 interview, Noam Chomsky argued that the word “terrorism” had been redefined in political and popular discourse to only refer to the violent acts of small or marginal groups – what he refers to as “retail terrorism”. This is in contrast with violent acts performed by the State in its own interest which orthodox terrorism studies often exclude from consideration. (55)  “From 1945 to the end of the 20th century, the USA attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes. In the process, the USA caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair,” writes William Blum, author of Rogue State. (56) It will not qualify as ‘terrorism’ because the perpetrator is the world’s only super-power.

For the US and its closest ally Israel, the Tunis bombing was not an act of terror but justifiable retaliation for the murder of three Israelis in Cyprus. The 1985 Iron Fist operation of the Israeli army in southern Lebanon was also guided by the same logic. Holding the civilian population hostage by threats to ensure its acceptance of the political arrangements by Israel for southern Lebanon and occupied territories was not an act of terror, precisely because it was done by US and Israel, and not Iran or Syria.

Glenn Greenwald, the whisteblowing journalist, says labeling the violent acts of Muslim Others as terrorism but never our own is a key weapon used to propagate the warped worldview. “The same is true of the tactic that depicts their violence against us as senseless, primitive, savage and without rational cause, while glorifying our own violence against them as noble, high-minded, benevolent and civilized (we slaughter them with shiny, high-tech drones, cluster bombs, jet fighters and cruise missiles, while they use meat cleavers and razor blades)”. (57) Greenwald revisits the question of the selective use of the word ‘terrorism’.  “When it comes to the actions of western governments, it is a conversation-stopper, justifying virtually anything those governments want to do. It’s a term that is used to start wars, engage in sustained military action, and send people to prison for decades or life, to target them for execution, shield government actions behind a wall of secrecy, and instantly shape public perceptions around the world. It matters what the definition of the term is, or whether there is a consistent and coherent definition. It matters a great deal.” (58)

It is educative to recollect what George Orwell said in his classic 1946 essay Politics and the English Language. “Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.” (59)

The political leaders and scholars in Muslim countries have to muster courage to condemn the so-called ‘good’ terrorism spearheaded by US and its allies like Britain, Israel, France. On May 09 this year, Iran’s parliament speaker Ali Larijani took the lead, blaming the West for spreading terrorism across Asia, and warning that the policy will ultimately backfire. “This evil phenomenon is the gift of the West to the region, but nurturing terrorist and extremist groups is bad and worrying even for the future of Western countries, namely the United States,” said Larijani. (60) One of the staunch critics of US foreign policy Russia also joined the chorus earlier. “Western nations accept acts of terrorism when it suits them politically, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said while commenting on the refusal by Western members of the UN Security Council to condemn recent attacks in Syria. Another senior Russian diplomat, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov, also accused Western nations of double standards over their refusal to condemn the Syrian terrorist attacks. “So there are ‘bad’ terrorists who should be condemned and those whose actions can go without a reaction from the international community,” he wrote on Twitter. (61)

It is time for other nations too to wake up from blissful slumber and raise voice against this ‘good’ terrorism that breeds ‘bad’ terrorism and makes this world a dangerous place to live in.

The End