Why Pakistan Must Stand Up Against ISIS

Source: ISPR/Dawn

Source: ISPR/Dawn

Just when you thought that the Obama administration is going to forsake the Middle East at the mercy of the menacingly destructive ISIS, there is finally a little ray of hope. According to a news report, the recent trip of the US National Security Advisor Susan Rice to Pakistan involved discussion of building an alliance against the Islamic State. In other words, the United States would be asking Pakistan’s help to deal with the situation, though it’s still wishful thinking.

Nevertheless, this offers Pakistan yet another opportunity to lead the world by example in fighting terrorism, as was the case in the global war against Islamist terrorism following 9/11. As a matter of fact, international military action against ISIS is far overdue. The silence of the UN Security Council on the matter has been shameful to say the least. Only Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan have retaliated weakly to the Islamic State, and that too, when their own borders and soldiers were threatened.

If Pakistan does respond to the call of the United States to join such a coalition, it would only be fulfilling its duty as a responsible member of the international community. No other country of the world should be an exception. As a matter of fact, all capable powers around the world should rise up to the challenge of ISIS.

There are a lot of people around the world who are blaming the Obama administration for being indirectly responsible for the current situation in Iraq and Syria. The Obama Administration with its half measures to depose Assad has helped turning Syria into a mass graveyard, and as the indirect consequence of which, ISIS has captured large parts of both Iraq and Syria, establishing its own state.

However, the most painful part of this story remains to be how the world has treated the Kurds. The 2003 Iraq War had finally given the Kurds an opportunity to found an independent state after decades of struggle and oppression by at least three major powers in the region. Even today, Kurds are still surrounded by enemies, with the worst of them all, ISIS, is barely being kept at bay by the Peshmarga. However, they cannot help but feel betrayed by their Western liberators, as their hopes of independence are in jeopardy again. Helping them, especially the Yazidi population, is almost a moral duty.

ISIS is slaughtering innocent civilians and is destroying the cultural heritage of the Middle East. It is simply a shame that not even a single nation in the world has decided to stand up to this challenge and tackle the growth of ISIS. As a matter of fact, the Iranians and the Syrians have been on the forefront to fight this menace. But this needs to change, if the world wants to see a substantial change in the current situation in the Middle East, which has given rise to probably the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.

I know there are a lot of people who would warn against entering another of “America’s wars,” reminding of the wave of terrorist attacks that followed throughout the country. Wars are never without a cost, but staying out of one is not always the more peaceful and safest option. Taking action against ISIS is as important as it was to fight against the Nazi Third Reich. While we mourn the death of Aylan Kurdi, which in all seriousness may or may not have anything to do with the Syrian civil war directly, but it would be even better if we focus our attention to the elements that are destroying the homes of Syrian families, including their dictator Bashar Al-Assad.

The allies must ask themselves why Assad is still in power, and if he is to be tolerated in Damascus, then what is the point of continuing support for the Syrian opposition? And what is the point of fueling this fire from a distance when we know that Putin’s forces are now in Syria. Maybe, they could help offer some help against the IS militants after all.

Does this mean that the anti-Assad powers around the world had a part to play of depriving millions of Syrians of their homes? All this destruction for nothing? It would simply be irresponsible to leave the situation in its current state just because bad intervention had caused the deterioration. Faux doves must be resisted both in the West and in the Muslim majority countries.

But apart from the trouble that Syrian nationals have been facing, we must not forget that ISIS is a real threat to the Pakistani state as well. Evidence has been found of ISIS presence and influence within Pakistan, and the Foreign Office has recognized the group as a threat to the national security.

However, Pakistan is not unique in being threatened by the growth of ISIS. Pretty much every nation in the world that values freedom is feeling threatened by the existence of this group directly or indirectly, especially those close to the Middle East. Considering the inaction of the Sunni Arab states, it is also important to fight ISIS to avoid offering it the privilege and legitimacy of being the de facto force of Sunni resistance against the Iranian Shia political influence, especially in Iraq and Syria.

A lot of people in Pakistan and in other Muslim majority countries like to blame ISIS on the enemies of Islam, by which they are referring to the United States, the EU and the allies such as Israel. Even if that is true, it should give Muslim majority countries and Arab states all the more reason to come together and get rid of this dangerous group that has been effectively demonizing the faith that represents their identity. Of course, Israel must play its part in fighting the ISIS as well.

We should be proud that Pakistan has been the front line state in the war against terrorism after 9/11. We should continue this honorable tradition of eradicating terrorist groups. We have celebrated the valor and sacrifice of our servicemen and women on the Defense day. It is important that we prepare ourselves to take on the threats that are jeopardizing the survival of civilization in the region as we know it at the same time.

The post was originally published in The Nation blogs.
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The Fucked Decade

Source: Some 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Website

W I T H O U T   P R E J U D I C E

I never thought I would have to see such a time in my life, as neither would have you. Nobody told me. Maybe Nostradamus did, but even if he did, which can be highly debated, who listens to him anyway? But imagine this. It was a decade of wars and countless terrorist attacks, which cannot really be excluded from the wars, and perhaps just near or around or more than or less than a million people dying because of it and it is still going on. The best part is that most people don’t even know who they are fighting. Or what.

Of course you cannot expect just anyone to know that. Only President George W. Bush knew who and what, and he told us.

It was the decade of Terror.

Who is hiding terrorists? Afghanistan? Saudi Arabia? Yemen? Somalia? Egypt? Gaza Strip? Pakistan? Good chance, we are told that Ben Laden was killed there. Is Iran terrorist? No, they just officially threaten to bomb Israel. These guys seem to be all over the place. They were certainly not in Iraq or were they? No one really knows for sure. Ah, Iraq. They found nothing in Iraq they told us (except oil and sand) and poor Saddam was found in a manhole and was executed through the Law of Justice. There is a good chance that they are in the North Western parts of Pakistan. Actually that is one place we are sure of. But they don’t seem to die and fade away even after a decade. Actually they seem to be receiving their funds for the war quite regularly. Nobody knows how. Maybe the local mosque charity funds.

Source: xinhua.net

No one even knows for sure what the terrorists really look like but this is what we know. We are told that they are like the scary people in the Al-Qaeda videos. Heavily bearded, or not. Many 9/11 hijackers were clean shaven, but scary nevertheless. Sometimes covering their faces, as in burkas, which is precisely why the French banned it, waiting for others to follow. And some may wear that Jihadi piece of Arab headgear-cloth thing in the manner of Yasser Arafat, but that’s too obvious. They speak Arabic mostly, but may as well not, as some are the Pashtun Taliban and the Punjabi Taliban and the Chechen and the Uzbek and the Pakistani and the Indian and from many more countries, and they sometimes seem to be carrying a book with cryptic messages. They are known popularly as Islamists or Muslims who want to take over the world, so at least we get the direction.

The only problem is that it is hard to determine which Muslims want to take over the world and which don’t and it would be difficult to know if they are lying. The problem is that there are 1.57 billion of them, that we know of. It is a really difficult situation.

But here is the bottom line.

Body Count. (Civilian, I think)

9/11 (2001) – 2,977

Afghan War (2001 – ∞) – 14,000-34,000 (No one really knows for sure)

Iraq War (2003 – ∞) – 98,170-654,965? (No one really knows for sure)

Business as Usual (2001-2011) – 37,154-? (Various Countries) (No one really knows for sure)

Current Status. (Rough Estimates)

War: Still going on, indefinitely.

Goals:    Destroy Al-Qaeda – Somewhat. No one really knows for sure.

                Destroy Afghani Taliban – Not achieved, at war.

                Destroy Pakistani Terrorists – Not achieved, at war.

                Destroy Saudi Terrorists – Oh wait.

                Kill Ben Laden – Achieved (At least they are not looking for him anymore)

                Kill Al-Zawahiri – Rumors. No one really knows for sure.

                Kill Mullah Omar – Rumors. No one really knows for sure.

                Kill the New Al-Qaeda Deputy – Not achieved.

                Kill the Next Al-Qaeda Deputy – Not achieved.

Future Plans: No one really knows for sure.

I am not saying the wars were not justified. All wars are it seems.

Everything is the terrorists’ fault anyway.

All I am just saying is that it has been a fucked decade.

This is what it will go down in history. A Fucked Decade.

Just an objective fact. Not concerned with the politics.

Not saying that the earlier decades were any better.

Gulf and Balkan Wars of the 90s, Iran-Iraq and Afghan Wars of the 80s

Cold War. Vietnam War of the 60s and 70s, Korean War of the 50s

World War II, the Holocaust in the 40s.

But this has been the fucked decade because it indirectly affected almost everyone.

PATRIOT ACT. TSA. Policing. Global Recession. The rest is your imagination.

I guess an overwhelming majority will agree.

A lot of nice things happened in this decade too.

Like the iPhone and iPad were invented, and Spain won the Soccer World Cup.

The major social networking websites were launched, if that is a good thing.

But all in all, it really has  been a fucked decade.

For some countries, more than others.

You would not know if you are not living in one of those, or maybe you do.

I am just glad that I made through it in one piece.

If anyone you know who didn’t, I’m sorry.

In the end, let us just hope for our dear lives that this is not the fucked century.

I have a bad feeling in my gut that it is.

No one really knows for sure.