Religious Terror is created by Religions and Weapon-manufacturing Lobbyists: Saswat Pattanayak

Twelve hours ago journalist Saswat Pattanayak in a note shared in social media had written:

“Whereas Islamic terrorism is a reality, let’s not forget that the “War on Terror” is also a religious war. Islamic terrorism may have little to gain other than causing emotional havoc. But the War on Terror, in our names, is a profiteering agenda that causes fear among the victims, unites the jingoists, and financially enriches the weapons-manufacturing lobbyists. In fact, the seeds for terrors have been planted by those very folks who are today implementing the “War on Terror” as a way to viciously perpetuate the cycle while they continue to profit from military-industrial complex and increase defense budgets with a scared citizenry meekly consenting to nationalist rhetorics”.

For whosoever shudders to see the unilateral extinguishment of hundreds of innocent civilians of Paris by a religious terrorist body that shamelessly claims credit for the brutality, in the night of Friday, I post here Saswat’s Face Book Posting:

Terrorists killed 26 and wounded 60 in Iraq yesterday. They killed 43 and injured 181 in Lebanon the day before. They killed 66 and injured 107 in Pakistan last month. And last month alone, 56 Palestinians were killed by Israeli terrorists.

Let’s stand in solidarity with Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan and Palestine too and change our grieving profile pictures across social media accordingly. Let’s hope that Facebook also activates “Safety Check” button for relatives of victims and potential victims of terrorist attacks in each of these regions. Not just for the folks who have relatives in France.

Sadly, this is a wishful thinking. What will happen is branding of those who are condemning selective outrage, as inhuman creatures lacking empathy. The truth is, when people are killed by terrorists in the global South, those are matter-of-factly dismissed as suicide bombings. When NATO terrorists sanction killings of innocent people, they are justified and glorified as a “Global War on Terror” instead – which is now going to be expedited in the wake of Paris, even as it has already killed well over 4 million Muslims so far.

Whereas Islamic terrorism is a reality, let’s not forget that the “War on Terror” is also a religious war. Islamic terrorism may have little to gain other than causing emotional havoc. But the War on Terror, in our names, is a profiteering agenda that causes fear among the victims, unites the jingoists, and financially enriches the weapons-manufacturing lobbyists. In fact, the seeds for terrors have been planted by those very folks who are today implementing the “War on Terror” as a way to viciously perpetuate the cycle while they continue to profit from military-industrial complex and increase defense budgets with a scared citizenry meekly consenting to nationalist rhetorics.

The need in our times is to not “other” people or to isolate “them” as suspects. The need is to come forward as one human race to combat the grounds that facilitate terrorism; to end the growing militarization that romanticizes violence as a tool of justice; to stop revenge politics which promotes retaliation across ideological spectrum.

Contrary to mainstream media claims, Paris did not happen after 9/11 – and neither of those two incidents were attacks on “western values of freedom and liberty”. Paris happened after Baghdad, which happened after Beirut, which happened after Sindh and Baluchistan. Likewise, 9/11 had happened after various militarist interventions in regions that were challenging a unipolar world order following dissolution of Soviet Union.

Yet, the righteous tears are suddenly flowing now and they were not flowing last week, because whether or not we agree, its only White Lives that Matter in the world that is still very much Eurocentric. This is yet another RIP Princess Diana moment – a fetishization of equating race with aspiration for freedom, and the selective emotions associated with such assumption. A convenient alibi to discard the reality that countries in the global South also aspire for freedom from occupation, from the hooliganism of the NATO member states that has not stopped even as there is no Warsaw today.

A historical blunder it would be to forget that it is the United States under Ronald Reagan which funded the Taliban/ Mujahidins so they could destroy a secular Afghanistan under Dr. Najibullah. An egregious oversight it would be to not hold the NATO powers accountable for the birth, rise and sustenance of ISIS – a threat from which the refugees are fleeing for safety, in a region systematically marked by political uncertainties to benefit Israeli hegemony. It was Hillary Clinton’s State Department under Obama administration that refused to brand Boko Haram as a terrorist group because the US was funding it. To kill a leader of Gaddafi’s stature, it was the NATO again which funded Al-Qaeda. In so many ways, ISIS is a direct consequence and is a beneficiary of the funding of hate, instituted by Obama administration and its Saudi allies – in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and well beyond.

To imagine that there will be no backlash at all, despite us thriving in moral and financial superiority at the expense of the wars of our own creations, is to simply dwell in fairy tales. Except, unlike the stories, there are possibly no happy endings in sight.

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