FROM ‘COM­MU­NIST THREAT’ TO ‘IS­LAMIST THREAT’

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Feature & Lounge -

creased. In ad­di­tion to build­ing more schools, free for all, free health care was in­tro­duced.

De­spite its suc­cess, Amer­ica was by no means en­am­ored of Gre­nada. The United States wanted to get rid of the New Jewel Move­ment. The Amer­i­cans re­fused to help the new govern­ment, and Bishop asked Cuba for help. The Carter ad­min­is­tra­tion took greater ac­tions against the small is­land state, dis­cour­ag­ing tourism, plac­ing bans on emer­gency aid and re­fus­ing to rec­og­nize the am­bas­sador.

The Carter ad­min­is­tra­tion was fol­lowed by the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion. The Amer­i­cans be­came even more hos­tile to the young Gre­na­dian na­tion. Any eco­nomic as­sis­tance from the World Bank and other funds were blocked. In June 1983, Prime Min­is­ter Bishop vis­ited the United States but Rea­gan re­fused to meet with him.

There are a num­ber of re­ports that the CIA had un­der­taken ef­forts to over­throw or desta­bi­lize the Gre­na­dian govern­ment, us­ing po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic means. In 1981 an “ex­er­cise” to in­vade and take con­trol of a Caribbean is­land, much the same size as Gre­nada, was held. When Bishop was over­thrown by a coup d’etat in 1983, Amer­ica fi­nally had the chance to put its plans into ac­tion.

On the morn­ing of Oct. 25, U.S. troops in­vaded Gre­nada, re­mov­ing the govern­ment and tak­ing full con­trol of the coun­try within three days.

This small scale op­er­a­tion, seiz­ing a small is­land with a large num­ber of troops, was her­alded as a “great vic­tory,” a “roll back” of com­mu­nist in­flu­ence.

But the end was nigh. In a few more years, the Com­mu­nist threat would dis­ap­pear. The Soviet Union would dis­in­te­grate. Cuba and China would be­come “Good” Com­mu­nists (i.e. mar­ket based economies - Cap­i­tal­ist Com­mu­nists). Cuba and China have now be­come Com­mu­nists that the West can un­der­stand.

An­ti­com­mu­nist pro­pa­ganda was use­ful - it gen­er­ated sup­port for proxy wars and jus­ti­fied do­mes­tic poli­cies, which in­cluded il­le­gal wire-tap­ping and the in­fil­tra­tion of po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions by the FBI. These were all car­ried out to “pro­tect the na­tion against the Com­mu­nist threat.”

But when Com­mu­nism was no longer a threat, when it was no longer the flag un­der which to rally peo­ple, an enor­mous vacuum ap­peared. Now there was a need for a new threat. As we all know, this threat be­came the “Is­lamic threat.”

How­ever, with a cur­sory glance at the re­al­ity, it is pos­si­ble to see that the threat to­day is not Is­lam. It is nei­ther rad­i­cal nor fun­da­men­tal­ist Is­lam. The U.S. and the West sup­port the Saudi regime, one of the most re­pres­sive na­tions in the world; this is a na­tion which abuses Is­lam to jus­tify de­priv­ing women and mi­nori­ties of rights, of keep­ing dis­si­dents un­der house ar­rest and se­vere abuses of hu­man rights. The Saudi regime is just one ex­am­ple of the re­pres­sive regimes the West sup­ports to main­tain a “sta­tus quo” that is to its lik­ing. In truth, the en­emy is nei­ther Is­lam, nor Com­mu­nism, nor any kind of be­lief, be it re­li­gious or eco­nomic.

What the West is set against is na­tion­al­ism in coun­tries that are in geopo­lit­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant areas. What are geopo­lit­i­cally sig­nif­i­cant areas? Well, just about any­where, but South Amer­ica and the Mid­dle East come to the fore. Look at Iraq; look at Egypt, look at Syria, look at Turkey. In­de­pen­dent na­tion­al­ism, that is self-de­ter­mi­na­tion by such na­tions, is ab­hor­rent to the West. How can the West con­tinue to con­trol what is hap­pen­ing in the re­gion if in­de­pen­dent na­tion­al­ism is al­lowed to flour­ish?

This was the case in Gre­nada. This was the case ear­lier for the com­mu­nists in Viet­nam, for Al­lende in Chile, for the San­din­istas and even for Sad­dam in Iraq. True, these regimes had prob­lems, they were far from per­fect. But whether a na­tion was a friend or foe was not de­ter­mined by mil­i­tary strat­egy, or ques­tions of democ­racy and free­dom. Any state that re­fuses to play by the West’s rules pose a threat to the Western econ­omy.

In such rene­gade coun­tries there are ef­forts to cre­ate op­po­si­tion within the coun­try, or to stir up and sup­port the ex­ist­ing op­po­si­tion. The coun­try is dragged into con­flict, and hope­fully chaos. The coun­try be­comes com­pro­mised and in­op­er­a­ble. And then there has to be in­ter­ven­tion. The ex­cuse might be large scale un­rest - the West must help lo­cal forces to cor­rect the sit­u­a­tion. It might be the idea of weapons of mass de­struc­tion. Or, as in the case of Morsi, it might be a demo­cratic elec­tion in which a per­son who can­not be con­trolled by the West is elected into power.

Com­mu­nism - which most Amer­i­cans, most Western­ers, did not re­ally un­der­stand was quickly re­placed by Rad­i­cal Is­lam, a non-spe­cific, ab­stract ide­ol­ogy. For many, the at­tribute rad­i­cal, car­ries lit­tle mean­ing. For them, the West is at war with Is­lam.

By us­ing sweep­ing, non-spe­cific terms, like “global net­work,” by im­bu­ing this net­work with an Is­lamist ide­ol­ogy, the U.S. and the West have made the bit­ter pill of in­vad­ing for­eign coun­tries eas­ier to swal­low. There are many who see lit­tle dif­fer­ence in how the Com­mu­nist threat was used to jus­tify do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies and how they use the Is­lamic threat of ter­ror­ism to­day.

Al­though us­ing the threat of Rad­i­cal Is­lam to pur­sue its for­eign pol­icy aims, the West does not hes­i­tate to over­throw a sec­u­lar move­ment if this move­ment is dis­play­ing a ten­dency to­ward in­de­pen­dent na­tion­al­ism.

For ex­am­ple, the West op­posed Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Nasser in the 1950s, they sup­ported the re­moval of Ira­nian Prime Min­is­ter Mos­sadegh in 1953, they sup­ported the Mu­jahideen in Afghanistan dur­ing the 1980s, they in­sti­gated the over­throw of Sad­dam Hus­sein in 2003, as well as the over­throw of Moam­mar Gad­hafi in 2011.

Western pol­icy in the Mid­dle East, or rather in the Mus­lim world at large, is not dic­tated by sec­u­lar­ist or re­li­gious ten­den­cies. The sup­port for the Saudi King­dom can­not be ex­plained by the West’s de­vo­tion to democ­racy. A more un­demo­cratic regime is hard to find. The at­tacks and stances, the ma­nip­u­la­tion and smear­ing of other coun­tries is not due to ques­tions of “democ­racy” or “ter­ror­ism” or even “hu­man rights.” It is down to the fact that such a coun­try is dis­play­ing an in­de­pen­dent spirit, is try­ing to de­ter­mine its own fu­ture, its own role in the re­gion. As the coun­try’s de­sire and abil­ity to de­ter­mine the road down which it wants to travel be­comes stronger, the pro­pa­ganda be­comes more vir­u­lent.

More than 200 pro­test­ers, some armed, out­side a mosque in Ari­zona Phoenix, be­rat­ing Is­lam and Prophet Muham­mad.

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