In a signed copy of his book, Desert Encounter, Danish journalist, Knud Holmboe, in the beginning chapters of "Roman Eagles above Tripoli", describes his arrival in Tripoli in the year 1930 as follows:
A colonial exhibition began on the day that we arrived in Tripoli. This exhibition was to show the new Italy, the new Roman Country, in all its strength and greatness. Italian flags waved from all corporate buildings, and ordinary young fascists in black shirts marched in the streets singing fascist marches. Fascist symbols could be seen everywhere, branches grouped together under which was written the year of the new Italy. Dictator Anno Mussolini VIII's head pictured in black on every wall, offered an illusion of a vast collection of skulls, and underneath the posters a shiny message read: "Those that are not with us, are against us."
After the unfortunate incident that occurred in the United States of America, which most leading media marked as the number (911), the leader of this country, President George W. Bush, quite surprised and confused, gave the nation morale by deploying very critical actions, that followed even more critical statements, resulting in concern to each conscience and responsible citizen of this God given residence, planet Earth.
In the heart of the campaign is to heighten passion and arouse the spirit of war, and a strong desire for revenge of American symbols and its democracy, its President does not choose terms and his statements show manners which remind us of what has been stated, and which dates back to the thirties of the previous century, right on the eve of the greatest and bloodiest worldly conflict.
The first lapsus lingua of the American President, used during the period of darkness of the middle ages, the term crusade, namely, new crusade, which the media later used to calm the tension, so that Bush's "error in expression", could go unnoticed, but even so, it will echo in the mind of every conscience Muslim.
Statements can go from one extreme to another, all the way to the statement that is identical to the one cited above: "Who is not with us, is against us." Can this statement be compared with the dozen of Bush's lapsus'? The answer is definitely negative.
We can only try to predict what can possibly happen until the end of the mandate of this American President, if he continues with these politics.
Immediately within half an hour after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the accused were found, and in the days to follow, proof of the evidence collected would not have even satisfied a small child.
The phrase "Islamic Terrorists" has become the most frequently used term on all stations and channels of the Western media front. Islam and Muslims are being attacked verbally and physically. In the USA, Muslims have been arrested and taken in for questioning. Humanitarian organizations with offices located in the USA, are being closed, due to the assumption that they are contributing to the terrorist network.
Thereby, the attacks on Afghanistan do not spare any hits. Civilians are an everyday target. Is this the method to find and stop terrorism? From "conventional" air mortal shells, that weigh up to 7 tons, and suck up all oxygen before exploding in the area around them, are wiping out entire villages. Entire families are being massacred and killed off to the last one. In addition to all of this, as evidence of America's humanity, packages of food are being thrown from the same airplanes that are spilling their lethal loads.
In the given situation, America is turning against its own ideals that it swore by. Anti-freedom of the press. Emir of Qatar has been asked to hush the "Arabic CNN", Al-Jazeera station, which was the only one that emitted direct video footages from attacked Afghanistan. This independent TV station broadcasted video footages of America's greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden. America is bothered by this because it gives the other side an opportunity to tell their story.
In the beginning of December, it was announced that "supposedly found video tapes" that American specialists "coincidentally" found, were left behind during Osama bin Laden's escape. In a muted tone and incoherent Arabic, under the picture lies titled text, in which there is more than a necessary amount of evidence for complete court proceedings.
The final goal for which a military attack on Afghanistan begun, was to destroy the terrorist network, Al-Qaida, and its leader Osama bin Laden. We are witnesses, that this raid is slowly nearing its end. What has been accomplished with the intended goal? It is certain that the main goal has not been reached. Osama bin Laden's trail is being lost, and that which has been accomplished is the shift of one political regime to another, one that did not agree with American national interest, with one that does agree. In reality, war is being lead indirectly, the victims are Muslims, and the already destroyed Afghanistan is now totally leveled.
During the entire time of this worldly political mess, Israel is the one that has taken advantage of the situation. None other than in the way that they are used to, cruel and corrupt. The people that went through forms of social mutation, after being themselves victims of fascism and nazism, are using the same methods of their previous executors and placing them upon the innocent people of Palestine. This is being done for one reason only, which is that the Palestinians are not Jews. The peace process, that is broken daily from the moment of its signing in Oslo, has now been discarded, and Palestinian land is totally blocked. Muslims are the victims once again.
Let us recall prior to September 11th, 2001, namely in May of 2001, a campaign was lead for the support of the plan for a National Protection Shield. This incident is an ideal reason to join in the realization of this program, and to ignore the antiballistic agreement with Russia in 1972. Now an attack was made against America, and since it occurred, and the aggressor has been "determined", there is now enough reason to disregard anyone's authorization and to begin with the task, a task that requires in the most minimal estimations between 250-300 billion dollars. These are just close estimations. Those that are more lax in their estimations say an amount from 1,000 billion, that would guarantee American companies production of warfare for the next 20 years.
Let us also recall the information that was recently published in the French daily magazine, "Le Monde", about American plans to use oil and natural gas in the region of Central Asia, and about the engagement of several American gas companies in which talks were lead by the players of the region regarding the project "CentGas", of the building of oil and gas pipelines throughout the region of Central Asia to the Pakistani ports on the Arabian Sea for the easy exploitation of the natural wealth of this region, and for the use of Western trade. For all of this, according to Le Monde, as stated by Eric Margolis, co-operative regimes in the region, as well as, a stable political situation are necessary.
During all of this, Arab and Muslim leaders remain silent and helpless. The fear of speaking and sounding too brave and bold, could possibly mark them as the next target of furious "Uncle Sam".
The United States of America has now realized that they have not fulfilled their crown objective of capturing the number one wanted person in the world, Osama bin Laden. A new enemy is being sought, namely a new area or country is being sought that provides an asylum for terrorism. There are talks that Iraq may be the next potential target. It may be a good idea to ask who is next after Iraq. Also, where does Bush intend to settle this, that he himself has referred to as the "new crusade?"
With its economic, and powerful political influences, America world wide plays the role of international police, fighting for "American Law." The impression given is that Muslim countries are competing as to who will capture the most "terrorists" and hand them over to America, who is then deporting them to the American military base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where prisoners are being treated as animals. On January 18th, 2002, a delegation of the Red Cross arrived at the American base in Cuba, in order to investigate the situation and behavior towards the prisoners.
After the end of the Cold War era, many positive things have occurred, but also negative as well. The most negative thing that remains after the end of the Cold War, is the unproportionate powerful force placed in the hands of one country, in which its behavior today resembles the playing of the role of world police officer.
Bosnia and Herzegovina with its new government in power, has also displayed to be co-operative. In reference to this, the new government sent special troops of MUP(Ministry of Internal Affairs) to deal with the gathered demonstrators that were protesting the handing over of people who the Federal High Court had freed of charges. In not so pleasant incidents that occurred during the night of January 17th, special police forces conflicted with demonstrators and displayed severe ness towards the gathered, beating who they could get a hold of, and uncovering the veil from their faces of a neo-communist regime that currently rules our country.
A decided stand does not exist on the side of the Islamic Conference Organization or any other institutions that are obligated to at least verbally stand up and defend the obvious victims of the media and the military force: Islam and Muslims.
Yet, there does not seem to be an end in sight to any of this. The situation in the entire Islamic world is not any better. Pakistan is arresting thousands of youth and accusing them of extremism, while finding itself on the doorstep of war against India because of the critical area of Kashmir. According to current developments, everyone was able to understand the American stand in question. Muslims are yet again targets. I am interested in knowing where American national interest lies, in terms of the association of barrels, this time not ordinary ones, but nuclear. What is expected to happen if war erupts between two countries, both armed with nuclear warfare heads, in the region that is already the most populated on planet Earth?
On websites similar to that of CNN, information can already be found on how the war in Afghanistan is not the end of the war against "terrorism". The question that is asked is, "Who is next?" Immediately, possible targets are given: the Philippines, Somalia, Iraq and Yemen. Detailed information is given about each of the mentioned countries. By taking things into perspective, emerges an image that these countries are very suitable for the accommodation of "World Terrorists". Yemen is located in the south of the Arabian Peninsula; Somalia is just south across from the Gulf of Aden. Some 500-600 km's north of Yemen is the most holy Islamic place of Mecca. We had an opportunity to witness how American missiles in Afghanistan miss their targets. What if an error was to occur?
Saudi Arabia has come to understand that after 11 years of military presence of American forces on its land, in fact, it has become its base. In the last while, there have been indications of Saudi wishes for America to withdraw its military strength from its land, but American Secretary of State, Collin Powel, during his recent visit to India, denied that any such desire was addressed to him. Saudi's leadership understands that it is extreme to house a force that conflicts with its neighbors. Even so, the question asked is if America will take into consideration its wishes. It is difficult to free oneself from a visitor that h,as become ver,y comfortable in the home of a host, and far more difficult when the visitor is more powerful than its host.
We are passing through the second year of Bush's mandate, and the situation has reached the point where conflicts can occur in drastic measures. What is to be expected in the following years during the mandate of the Texas cowboy, that time has brought to the position of the most powerful man of today. Judging from what we have seen thus far, only bad expectations.
The author is a native of Bosnia. He is currently working on his post graduate studies at Gottingen University in Germany.