Iyoha John Darlington
September 11, 2001, goes down in his history when a tribe of savages launched a deadly attack on the most powerful country in the world under the cloak of Islam. It was a day that a platoon of radicalized Homo sapiens who were intensely opposed to western values and other western democratic nations brought down the twin towers and other public buildings within the United States. The Pentagon and the US capitol were also targeted. Four planes flew over the United States and were hijacked mid-flight hitting targets below in New York, DC, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Americans were paralyzed with disgust and unbridled rage as no fewer than 3,000 people perished in the ill-conceived attack.
It is 14 calendar years today that attack on civilization took place. Would one be correct to say it was a day radical Islamism declared war on the West or those who practise an extreme version of the faith? In his unbridled rage the then President of the USA George W. Bush (Junior) resolved to pursue the terrorists to their hideouts no matter whose ox was gored and that wild rage led to the historic armed invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 where the terrorists ran training camps and later Iraq whose leader was alleged to be hiding Weapons of Mass Destruction that could fall into the hands of terrorists. Iraq under Saddam Husein was labeled a rogue regime together with North Korea which earned them the apt appellation by the Bush administration as the ‘axes of evil’. Fortunately or unfortunately, Saddam was convicted by an Iraqi court and sentenced to hang with no WMD found anywhere in the ancient Babylon.
Years after the American-led invasion of Iraq the death of Saddam has attracted a motley crew of discontents in the Arab world. Countries that took part in the gulf war face increased terrorism threats which speak volumes for the subsequently foiled attempts and attacks on western interests all over the world. On September 9, 2013, American Consulate in Benghazi was attacked and scores of US diplomats were killed. Terrorism threats after the gulf war have doubtless increased and indeed become a political hot potato.
This calls some questions to mind that often agitate this writer: Why do states sponsor terrorism? Is it to right a political wrong or to get their own pound of flesh? Is it a clash of cultures? I ask yet again: To what do we owe this? Is it the resultant effect of competition between nations for superiority in the development, accumulation and acquisition of weapons otherwise referred to as arms race? Americans and indeed westerners have become prey and endangered species before al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations which fund and coordinate bombings worldwide with the aid of rogue regimes around the world most of which allow running of training camps in their country. These jihadists can not effectively continue their reign of terror without tacit support from states which envy and are hell-bent on annihilating great civilizations. The USA doubtless plays a pivotal role in world affairs to bring about international peace and security. In her role as a crusader of world peace and security, she is being targeted for attacks and her interests around the globe by civilization’s worst enemies particularly the rogue regimes in Iran, North Korea, and recently Russia.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has been identified as a state sponsor of terrorism. Investigations and findings have shown that Iran has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. Sudan has also been implicated in state sponsorship, so is Syria. Countries that are involved in these acts of terror should not be allowed to go without repercussions. Imposing a ban on arms-related sales and exports, economic sanctions and a host of other miscellaneous restrictions should be applied to frustrate the miscreants out of power. Russia has recently come under fire for aiding and abetting militias and supplying countries with arms that have been implicated in high-profile state-sponsorship of terrorism. About three months ago Russia’s state atomic energy company announced that it would commence the building of Iran’s second nuclear power plant knowing full well what that would amount to in the long run. Iran has repeatedly threatened to unleash terror on the state of Israel and even the USA on building or acquiring the bomb. Hence, what is the rationale behind assisting a country with such malicious intent to acquire nuclear weapons? Does that not make us all walking corpses?
It would be recalled that in the ongoing stand-off between Russia and Ukraine over the annexation of Crimea a passenger plane was shot out of the sky by Russian-backed rebel militia killing everyone on board on orders from the Kremlin. That remains a heinous crime against humanity for which the world ought to speak with one voice against the arrogant Moscow regime. About a week ago on September 5, 2015 to be precise Russia displayed in Moscow, the AN602 – a replica of the most powerful nuclear bomb ever detonated and also conducted military drills somewhere in the Arctic , an arrogant display of military might probably to send a danger signal to the West and the rest of the world. Must we fold our hands and wait for a nuclear holocaust capable of incinerating all life’s forms? The United States must lead this campaign by taking urgent steps to forestall a replica of another 9/11 anywhere under the sun.
In a bid to feel important on the world stage, countries resort to weapons accumulation, acquisition, and development. I have often said that the world is better off without weapons and violence. Urgent steps should be taken by the United Nations to enforce arms control, disarmament and regime change in countries which are caught red-handed providing financial or tactical support.
The big actors on the world stage commonly referred to as the Big-5 namely the United States, Russia, China, UK and France should as a matter of urgency review their foreign policies. These countries are tarred with the same brush when it comes to the quest for primacy and military supremacy, unilateralism without the expressed consent of the rest of the permanent members of the UN security council. It would be recalled, however, that the USA with its allies went ahead and prosecuted the war in Iraq without the expressed consent of other permanent members. There is indeed a great danger in this, unilateralism should increasingly be discouraged when it comes to taking military action against rogue regimes and dictatorial governments anywhere under the sun.
There is also a need for greater understanding and cooperation among the Big-5. Great-power partnerships would doubtless reduce terror threats by sending a strong message to leaders of rogue states of the culpable implications when implicated or caught aiding and abetting terrorists.
Economic liberalization will remove trade restrictions, promote global economic growth and, therefore, reduce poverty. Recent studies have shown that much of transnational together with domestic terrorism stems from grievances against rich nations. In some cases, terrorist group while expressing grievances attack nationals and property of rich nations in their land and such cases have been witnessed and recorded in countries most susceptible to terrorism. Cases of abductions of foreign nationals and attack on property have been reported in Pakistan, India, Iraq, Libya, Kenya, Nigeria and a host of other countries.
Fractionalization is another contentious and thorny issue that must be looked into. A society that is fractionalized by conflicting interests brings about a weak government and when this occurs political instability is elevated. In Nigeria, for instance, we see a country that is highly polarised and this has resulted in jihadist insurgency. In the south-east, marginalisation has brought about separatist feelings and aspirations thus giving birth to conditions that could trigger off terrorist acts. Urgent steps must be taken to address this emerging problem in that part of the country that is gradually rearing its ugly head on the ascending order of magnitude.
Iyoha John Darlington, a political analyst, an opinion leader and public commentator on national and global issues lives in Turin, Italy.
Email: [email protected]