Terrorism Or Justice In The
Dichotomy Of 'Haves & Have-Nots'
By Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Afghan-American Freelance Academic

"I am not surprised because they use different scales in measuring the value of an Afghan life and that of an American. Otherwise, the US bombs would not have killed more than 10,000 Afghan civilians, destroyed more than 5000 houses, dispersed more than 70,000 unexploded cluster bombs and contaminated large areas of Afghanistan with uranium weapons. Obviously, Afghan lives are not as precious as those were in the World Trade Center tragedy, otherwise, the US government would not have referred to them as 'collateral damage'... "
With the events of September the eleventh, 2001, a phenomenon, which has been part of human history and existed for many years in the modern era, surfaced and is upon us to explore and understand the nature of this phenomenon. The phenomenon in question is the present global power relationship between the weak and the strong. The current global situation with the USA holding the rest of humanity hostage to its imperatives has made this relationship more pronounced and conspicuous. This is true and rather explicit in regards to the Muslim world. In fact, it is not a relationship instead an implicit totalitarian global milieu requiring total submission and leaves no room for compromise.
I am attempting to present this global disequilibrium as two opposing philosophical realities in terms of a dichotomy between the weak and the strong. In this dichotomy, the strong, namely the USA and her allies are depicted as the Haves,, and the weak, namely the Muslim world as the Have-nots,. The 'Haves' possess modern means of offense and defense, and control global institutions from the United Nations to global economic institutions. The 'Have-nots' lack them, all.
Although the phenomenon in question is likely acknowledged by many under different formulations, there is a lack of understanding in the West of the fundamental philosophical split resulting from the gap wherein the modern industrialized West, in particular the USA imposes its will on the Muslim world, but expects passivity. The difference between this dichotomy of 'Haves and Have-nots' and that from similar power relationships of the past rests on the totality of the current global control exercised by the United States over the United Nations, nations, and their economic and political viability. In short, nation-states and their existence as people are held hostage by the wicked designs of the United States, sugar-coated by words of harmony. In short, their god given existence as people is jeopardized unless they behave like slaves pleasing their master. This is an utter fallacy.
The reactions that emerge from this gap epitomize the actual incapability of those on the 'Have-nots' side of this dichotomy, in carry out conventional warfare. Tragically, their inequity in conventional capability renders them outlaws in the eyes of the monster, the USA. Conveniently, the US government calls these acts of desperation terrorism. However, isn,t it true that if they were on the same plain field, they would not need asymmetrical warfare as their mode of reaction? Unfortunately, that is where, the thought processes of those in the West become paralyzed with their own self-partiality and arrogance and refer only to their own losses and that of their allies as significant irrespective of how high the losses on the opposing end are. It is not atypical but rather the modus operandi of the twisted logic in creating self-melancholic make-believes.
Meanwhile, there is a crucial detail that needs to be clarified, namely the difference between the masses in the 'Have-nots' nations and that of their governments or elite. Hence, one should be cognizant of the differences between the masses in the 'Have-nots' nations and 'their respective governments'. Most of the time, the elite controlling the governments of Muslim states view their survival parallel to the interests of the elite in the United States and her allies, and view the continuation of their hold on power in their submission to the will of the United States. Therefore, the governments of Muslim countries become irrelevant in the dynamics of this dichotomy of power disequilibirum between the 'Haves and Have-nots'. In fact, it becomes a struggle between the masses of the Muslim world against their own governments, the government of the United States and her allies including the various infrastructures that sustain the viability of the 'Haves' nations.
Exception to this generalization was the situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban government's opposition to the imperialistic expansion of the United States epitomized the frustrations of Muslims worldwide. That is why, Muslims from all over the world went to Afghanistan, either seeking sanctuary from the evil regimes in their respective countries or decided to help the Afghans against the US's aggression.
The significance of the argument in regards to the dichotomy in question becomes apparent after one compares the gap between the two sides and the tragic consequences therefrom. The economic capabilities of the Haves' or the United States and her allies coupled with their modern mechanized armies, deadly air forces and other means of war making boggles the mind when compared to those on the 'Have-nots' end of the dichotomy. Like Afghanistan, they are the poorest and defenseless nations of the world. The 'Haves' are capable of pursuing a conventional war; the 'Have-nots' are not. The 'Haves' possess power of sugarcoating their aggressive deeds under the code of 'International Law', and justify their crimes under the cloak of 'legitimacy' ensured by the 'International Law'. By comparison, the 'Have-nots' do not have equal access to 'International Law' and its application. In short, International Law does not apply to them. The 'Haves' can violate any nation's rights and justify it through their self-righteous rhetoric of pursuing democracy and protecting human rights, irrespective, whether their violations resulted in civilian losses of the very people they claim "protecting and liberating". However, when the 'Have-nots' defend themselves through offensive asymmetrical means, they are labeled terrorists - how convenient.
With the onslaught of B52s, B1s, B2s, and the F series --14, 15, 16 18, 117 -- the array of 'smart' bombs and uranium weapons against the poorest nation on earth, Afghanistan, one can not ignore the urgency of the philosophical imperatives of this global power relationship, and the consequences thereof. It is time, to refrain from using the words terrorist and terrorism so loosely. After all, when those on the 'Have-nots' end of the dichotomy see no other alternative while continuously suffer from the oppressive means of the 'Haves', namely the US, they resort to means whereby to avenge their dignity and thwart the true evil-doers, the governments of USA, Britain their allies.
Many shortsighted elements in the United States over-magnify the magnitude of the tragedy of September 11, the loss of 2848 civilians, though a massive tragedy, over the crimes of the United States and her allies in Afghanistan, and question the moral equivalence between the former and the latter. I am not surprised because they use different scales in measuring the value of an Afghan life and that of an American. Otherwise, the US bombs would not have killed more than 10,000 Afghan civilians, destroyed more than 5000 houses, dispersed more than 70,000 unexploded cluster bombs and contaminated large areas of Afghanistan with uranium weapons. Obviously, Afghan lives are not as precious as those were in the World Trade Center tragedy, otherwise, the US government would not have referred to them as collateral damage. Hence, those [Muslims???] who allegedly caused the death of nearly 3000 people on September 11 are terrorists, but the US government, representing Americans, and her allies are not. Even though, the thousands of unexploded cluster bombs scattered as a result of US bombing cost Afghan children their lives everyday. Already, we are witnessing violent deaths of children by the unexploded cluster bombs when they are mistaken picked up by children, believing to be the yellow bags of food ration dropped from the US military transport planes.
Moreover, the current and future horrors of uranium weapons are not only causing dreadful diseases and congenital deformities rather it made Afghan cities and countryside uninhabitable. The health risks to the Afghans coupled with the devastation of their ecosystem are confirmed by the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC). A report by the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), which has been confirmed by two scientific teams, point out that large segments of Afghan population are likely exposed to Depleted Uranium and non-Depleted Uranium resulting from the US and British bombardments.
The two teams were dispatched to Afghanistan in order to investigate these matters. The first team arrived in June 2002 concentrating on Jala-Abad, and the second team arrived four months later concentrating on the capital city Kabul. After taken urine samples of population in Jalal-Abad, they measured the concentration of uranium to be 400% to 2000% above what is normal for humans.
According to an article entitled, Afghanistan: The Nuclear Nightmare Begins, by Davey Garland, addressing this tragedy, large segment of population in Kabul who were directly exposed to US-British bombing exhibited extreme symptoms consistent with exposure to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). These symptoms include "pains in joints, back/kidney pain, muscle weakness, memory problems and confusion and disorientation." Others complain from flu-type illness, bleeding, runny noses and bloodstained mucous.
Meanwhile, in Kabul, only after a year 25 % of children born may be suffering from congenital problems stemming from the usage of uranium-based weapons. Now, let me see if I could make sense out of this: if anyone of these victims or their families target Western interests, in particular American and British, they are immediately labeled terrorists. However, the Americans and British whose governments have turned Afghanistan into a nuclear wasteland are the 'heroes' or better the 'liberators'. Hooray for the 'liberators'!
We will see more horrendous congenital malformations and deformities in the near future in Afghanistan. I do not think anyone would raise any concern. After all, has anyone been brought to justice for the horrendous congenital malformation and deformities resulted from depleted uranium in Iraq where hundreds of babies are born each year without limbs, heads and eyes? There, infants are born which hardly resemble infants.
Dr. Asaf Durakovic, who is a professor of nuclear medicine and radiology and a former advisor to US military set up the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC) and has been monitoring victims of these weapons in Iraq and the Balkans. He found that subjects exposed to these uranium weapons 9 years ago has still significant amounts of uranium poisons in their urine samples. Dr. Durakovic sought to explore if there were alternative explanation for the presence of uranium contamination in Afghanistan, there were none, in fact, Dr. Durakovic ruled out all other potential sources of contamination. Incidentally, the uranium found in Afghanistan by the researcher was neither from geological sources nor had similarity to the Depleted uranium and enriched uranium used in Iraq and Kosovo. The report concluded that:
"The only conclusion is that the allied forces are now possibly using milled uranium ore in their warheads to maximise [sic] the effectiveness and strength of their weapons, as well as to mask the uranium, hoping that it may be discounted as part of any local natural deposits.
However, marked differences between natural uranium and the uranium used in the metal fragments found in Afghanistan was uncovered with the use of an electron microscope, which revealed the presence of small ceramic particles produced by the high temperatures created on impact. This method of disguising uranium would benefit governments that are under pressure from the growing anti-DU lobby." (Article by Davey Garland, who is a coordinator of the Pandora DU Research Project, based in Britain)
Therefore, the only sources of the uranium uncovered are American and British arsenals used indiscriminately against the poorest nation on earth, Afghanistan.
Weapons enriched with uranium have been used heavily in the east, southeast, and southwest of Afghanistan and have contaminated these areas beyond repair. The water and vegetation in these areas can not be consumed for decades, even centuries. In fact, it is a certainty that various types of cancers would take thousands of lives in Afghanistan in the near future as they have in Iraq, where in some parts Leukemia among children has risen more than 600 percent. I suppose this is not Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD), off course not, it is used by 'champions' of democracy and human rights, the United States and Britain! It becomes WMD if the 'crazy terrorist Muslims' use it. Moreover, the effects of uranium weapons used would be worse in Afghanistan than are in Iraq because the US military used two to three times more depleted uranium weapons in Afghanistan than they did in Iraq.
Meanwhile, there are no means, whereby the perpetrators of these crimes could be held accountable and tried for their crimes. What other alternative is there for the victims of the US aggression. Think about it, is it not logical for the 'Have-nots', considering the disequilibrium of capabilities, to resort to asymmetrical warfare? Perhaps, revenge by ways they know how and capable of, namely asymmetrically, the methods of the weak. After all, the US controls the United Nations, nation-states worldwide through the threat of economic sanctions and political isolation as well as global information sources and corporate media outlets.
The civilian casualty issue and relevant statistics has received some publicity in Chicago last year (2002) when an interfaith group returned from Afghanistan to Chicago and presented its findings at the Lake Street Church in Evanston, Illinois. Their findings further strengthen the claims of various sources in regards to the losses of Afghan civilians caused by the US and British bombing raids. This interfaith group confirmed that the US and her allies bombing in Afghanistan have destroyed more than 5,000 houses. Now based on the socioeconomic conditions as well as social cultural norms, on average, each household in Afghanistan has more than 8 individuals including extended family members. Especially, in light of the decades of war the number of individuals per household, by reliance on extended family, have risen significantly since there are fewer houses to day than there were before the Russian invasion of 1979. Furthermore, most of the US bombing was at night. This further increases the probability of civilian losses since at night people are asleep and are more prone to become victims of bombing than would have been the case during daytime. Hence, the report on losses of 10,000 Afghan civilians is hardly an exaggeration.
The disastrous poverty brought on by the US induced instability in Afghanistan, whether through funded infighting in Kabul in 1990s or through indirect support for Taliban, forced Afghans to forget about their family losses. Instead, proud Afghan families, approach the US Embassy in Kabul to be compensated for the destruction of their homes caused by the US bombing, only to be ignored and pushed away from the gates of the Embassy.
The US invasion of Afghanistan was not brought on as the consequence of the events of 911. Had it been so, why did the US ambassador to Pakistan reject a deal brokered by two Pakistani religious parties, signed by Mullah Omar and agreed by Bin Laden? The agreement was as follows: Bin Laden would be brought to Peshawar, Pakistan, where he would remain under house arrest until an international tribunal had summoned to try him. This proposal was put forth at the end of September, to general Musharaf and US Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain; instead Ambassador Chamberlain rejected it. Why?
Taliban and the people of the region wanted to avoid war; however, it could not be avoided since the war against Afghanistan was planned in July of 2001 in Berlin, Germany, which was to be implemented in October of 2001. Rather conveniently, the September 11 tragedy occurred to serve as a pretext. The Taliban served as convenient scapegoats.
Human 'rights' is another issue that the Bush administration is strongly advocating. In reality, it violates the human rights of POWs through torture and indignity. The US government is refusing to grant POW status to the prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay claiming to be illegal combatants. The US government claims that these individuals were not uniformed combatants and were not employed by a government. Tragically, it ignores the fact that the government of Taliban employed those prisoners imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. Whether the US recognized the government of Taliban or not is a matter of dispute because until the summer of 2001, the Bush administration was negotiating with Taliban the terms of the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan. The negotiations with Taliban broke down after Taliban,s representative rejected the US offer of transit fee, calling it too low. Meanwhile, the US government fails to recognize that their proxy-army of the Northern Alliance was not an uniformed fighting force either, in fact, the Northern Alliance was made up of groups of criminals, rapist and drug smugglers. However, this should not matter because the United States can grant legitimacy to any criminal because it has the military and economic might. Perhaps, human rights are illustrated clearly by the recent television images of the Guantanamo Bay prisoners tallied right after surgery to be interrogated.
Similarly, the US Special Forces and their allies of Northern Alliance slaughtered more than 3000 unarmed Taliban, either through summary execution or were forced into containers to be suffocated. Jamie Doran an Irish filmmaker produced a documentary in which he points to the methods of murder practiced by the US forces in the killings of the unarmed Prisoners of War. In particular, he establishes various facts through interviews with soldiers of Northern Alliance who testified that the US Special Forces killed these unarmed prisoners either by snapping their necks or by putting acid on their faces. Recently, the ARD Television Network in Germany aired the documentary only to outrage the viewers. Incidentally, the most damning evidence against US war crimes became apparent from an interview conducted by the Ithaca Journal with Army Private Matt Guckenheimer, a gunner with 10th Mountain Division from Fort Drum, New York. Guckenheimer is quoted saying: "We were told there were no friendly forces." Guckenheimer continued: "If there was anybody there, they were the enemy. We were told specifically that if there were women and children to kill them." (Ithaca Journal: 06,01, 2002)
In conclusion, let me see if I could make sense out of this tragedy. When the weak has no means of defense except themselves and whatever they could improvise and muster as weapons to impose losses on their enemy, they are labeled terrorist. Don't we all understand if the so-called terrorists were on the same plain field, they would not need to resort to asymmetrical warfare? After all, the weak does not have any say in the Security Council of the UN, does not have access to global corporate media, does not have B52, B1, B2, the F series and other arsenals, except himself/herself. Since the weak lacks the military, political might, the influence and the means necessary to raise their voices of discontent about the injustice done to them, they have to accommodate themselves by whatever they could muster in order to be heard. They are ignored and stepped on because they are on the 'Have-nots' side of the dichotomy of 'Haves and Have-nots' and are subject to the will of those that are on 'Haves' side of this dichotomy.
The US government might be partially successful but it made a serious mistake. This is evident by the US losses in Afghanistan exceeding 900 killed. Obviously, the US media has made no reports on this, and it does not surprise me.
If indeed, the poor people of Afghanistan and other Muslims become 'collateral damage' in the eyes of the United States, the people of this country should not blame the 'terrorists' that target them. After all, the terrorist might say, "An eye for an eye is fair and biblical, don't you think so?"
Mohammed Daud Miraki, MA, MA, PhD
Freelance Academic



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