Post via Islamic Emirate
Dr Hameedullah Zabuli
Henry Kissinger – the father of America’s foreign policy – rationalized and formulated America’s foreign policy for the twenty first century. In his book ‘Diplomacy’ he argues that America is the torch-bearer of liberty across the world. She is the beacon of light which radiates liberty and democracy across the world. Therefore she must adopt a foreign policy that spreads democracy and liberty across the world. Other nations must be coopted or – if need be – coerced to emulate her form of government.
When George Bush Junior invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq, he was presumably guided by these very same principles. America began her earnest crusade to bring democracy to the Middle East. Supposedly tyrant regimes were to be replaced with peaceful and democratic governments. Even before the 9/11 attacks many of America’s foreign policy initiatives were rationalized by the same arguments of promoting peace, human rights and democracy.
Yet if you dig deeper into America’s foreign policy and its impact you can see that this beacon of light instead of spreading light has left behind dark and ugly shadows. Shadows that hide hideous monsters in its depths. Let us take the case of Iraq and Afghanistan.
In Iraq, America toppled the Sunni-dominated government of Saddam Hussein only to replace it with an equally repressive Shite-dominated government that has killed and imprisoned tens of thousands of its citizens. During Nouri al Maliki and Abadi’s tenures, quasi-legal militias have stripped Iraqi citizens of all their rights. Summary executions, arbitrary arrests, the torching of houses, forced repopulations and systematic genocide have become the norm.
The Iraq of Abadi and Maleki is even more brutal and repressive than the government of Saddam Hussein. Yet America continues to support this government with funds, troops and military equipment. By supporting this government it flaunts its own law prohibiting assistance towards foreign governments accused of grave human rights violations.
Similarly in Afghanistan, America propped up a government that has no legitimacy within the country. Hated by its citizens the Kabul regime only survives as a result of America’s military and financial commitment. War criminals such as General Dostum and General Raziq are awarded the highest government posts for their brutality. Citizens are summarily executed, tortured, bombed, and plundered off their private property. America is the architecture of this governments and many of the policies which have created the current environment of impunity.
It was America that initiated the ALP program which led to the formation of the most brutal and violent militias currently operating in Afghanistan. Instead of punishing grave violators of international human rights, America has openly rewarded such perpetuators so long as they remain in America’s good books. Serial rights violators such as Commander Raziq of Kandahar and Commander Matiullah of Uruzgan were promoted from menial jobs and rewarded the top military posts of their provinces. Some of the most violent warlords in Afghanistan’s history – such as General Dostum, Atta Mohammed Noor, and Sayyaf – have consistently enjoyed top government posts throughout the occupation.
It is not only that America has encouraged her allies to do her dirty laundry, rather she herself has been quite eager to get her hands dirty. Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and Bagram – all operated by America at some point – have become synonymous with torture and inhumane treatment. The previous vice-president of America, Dick Cheney, to this day proudly boasts of his role in America’s torture regime.
It has not just been in Afghanistan and Iraq, everywhere you look in the Middle East you will notice America’s support of oppressive regimes. Instead of supporting the Arab Springs for example, America actively worked to counter it. They supported Sisi’s coup against the elected government of Mohammed Morsi. While they helped to topple Muammar Qaddafi, yet they then began supporting an unelected and unpopular government based in Tobruk against the other factions. In Syria they have only paid lip service to the rebellion against the genocidal policies of Bashar Assad. Instead of strengthening the opposition against Assad’s regime, she has only fragmented it by labelling some as ‘moderates’ and others as ‘extremists’. Her military campaign has only strengthened Assad’s grip on power.
When you study the lofty aims of her foreign policy as articulated by Kissinger and the ground impact of these policies you can only conclude that while America might possibly be a beacon of light for the world, this beacon in fact has dark overcast shadows that consumed all around it.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.