The Cover-up that Helped the IRA, the PA, and the Kashmiri Separatists

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Ms. Klinghoffer is senior associate scholar at the Political Science department at Rutgers University, Camden, and the author of Vietnam, Jews and the Middle East. She is also an HNN blogger. Click here for her blog.

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SRINAGAR: Gunmen shot dead a grandmother, mother and her infant daughter after the child's father, a former Kashmiri separatist rebel, surrendered to Indian security forces, police said on Sunday. They then set the house on fire before fleeing, a police spokesman said. Militants often attack families of police and army informers in the India-held Jammu and Kashmir, where separatists have waged a revolt against Indian rule since 1989. Police had no further details on the killings of the three, which happened in Udhampur district, in the south of the state.-- Pakistan Times

The McCartney horror is not, as the word now has it on the streets of New York and Boston, some startling revelation of the way these men behave, not some grisly departure from the honorable Irish fight for freedom. It merely confirms what most decent Irish have known about the IRA for years.-- Times (London)

Internal violence has also resulted in aggression against members of the press, in an attempt to silence free speech and critique of the Palestinian condition. Journalists critical of the PA and its policies, such as Seifeddin Shahin (al-Arabiya Satellite Channel), have been continually subjected to violence, either at the hands of PA officials or by unknowns affiliated with a political splinter group. In March this year, Arafat confidante and editor Khalil al-Zebin was sprayed with bullets by unidentified assailants. His death is just the latest in a string of increasingly violent attacks on the press and free speech.-- Arab Media Internet Network

What do these three stories have in common? They all deal with fear societies that were created not by official governments but by self appointed “Freedom Fighters” or “Insurgents” claiming to represent their “oppressed peoples’ fight for Justice.” They also enjoy almost complete immunity from media scrutiny. Why? Because those who failed to support the “militants” are labeled 'collaborators' and their “execution” is not considered worth reporting for both ideological and practical reasons.

I have recently heard Michael Crichton remark that he is coming to the conclusion that most people would prefer to live under a totalitarian government. I suspect by that he means Western elites including the media who are often contemptuous of the compromises necessary to govern a democracy. Their heroes are “revolutionaries” like Castro and Che Guevara, men of action who “fight for the right” against unfair odds. If they need “to break some eggs” (i.e., kill those who stand in their way), it is not the media’s role to expose them. On the contrary, it is the reporters’ role to help make the proverbial omelet faster by focusing on the transgressions of their enemies. Not until that “right” is seriously questioned will the media reluctantly begin to focus on the culture of fear these “heroes” use to control those for whose rights they profess to fight. Thus, “everybody knew” that the IRA was terrorizing the Northern Irish Catholic community. Almost nobody wrote about it until the McCartney sisters risked their lives, stood up and exposed the culture of fear that grips many of their neighborhoods. When they did, it was the Irish Prime Minister and the American president who stood with them, not investigative reporters. The same, of course, is true about the Muslims of Kashmir and the residents of the Palestinian Authority.

But there are also the practical considerations of access and safety. In other words, “revolutionaries” are enjoying the same advantages that official tyrants do. Reporters worried about their safety and anxious to have scoops and access prefer not to expose the atrocities committed by their subjects. The wide use of local stringers merely makes this problem more acute. After all, local stringers have vulnerable families.

It is difficult to exaggerate the harm done by this systematic and widespread cover up. First, the local population is left to the less than tender mercies of self-righteous terrorists. Second, idealistic youth are led to believe that these bullies are preferable to their own imperfect democratic politicians. Third, much of the world is surprised when men presented as idealistic “freedom fighters” come to power and turn out to be nothing but tin pot dictators, if not mass murderers. Indeed, for decades fear of another Pol Pot has been stifling Western enthusiasm for Third World democratization. Since as Churchill so aptly stated, democracies may be the worse system of government with the exclusion of all others, its time for the Western media to stop enabling every thug who promises to come up with a better system. Their failure to do so holds hostage the very people they claim to support and makes the price of getting rid of those “revolutionary” crime syndicates higher than absolutely necessary.

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Arnold Shcherban - 3/30/2005

<Kashmir is the unfinished business of British Colonialism that created India and Pakistan based upon a constitutional referendum. Kashmir remains a “disputed territory” according to both India and Pakistan and is logged in the list of unresolved issues in the United Nations. The issue is complex and cannot be solved by equating it with the IRA or any other issue in the world.>
Agreed, 100%.
In fact, "divide and conquer" was and still is the main strategy of Great Britain's and the US foreign policy.
It deliberately created and left unresolved (actually fed in) more "hot spots" on the world's map,
than the number of US states and UK counties combined.

<Our President sees Islam and Muslims in a totally different light>.
Dangerously naive. It is President Bush, as a loyal representative of American financial-imperial elite,
who fully supports the idea of "international terrorism",
as the "enemies of freedom", without making any distinctions of the different nationalistic, religious, social, economic, and other factors and causes, except of course, when that same terrorism, in one form or another, targets the states/nations, declared "evil" by the US State department, the terrorism, which under this case scenario sponsored and fully supported, covertly or openly, by the US goverments.
I see you've been totally bribed by the traditional and cheap political rhetoric a-la-fair-game of the White House on this issue, as many other American citizens have been bought by the false claim that this President would
protect this country against future terrorist attacks better than anyone else, just because he thinks little, but acts quickly and belligerently.
<Long Live America. Down with bigotry. Down with Anti-Semitism. Down with Islamphobia!>
I add: Down with American imperial ambitions, down with
with the cynical "Burden of White Man" (it is alive and kicking), down with right-wing conservative usurpators
and religious fanatics/terrorists of all kinds and in all forms, that are pushing hard for turning this country into the totalitarian one "in their own right": paradise for rich and meager existence for the second sort/poor people.

Moin Ansari - 3/28/2005

No religion sanctions murder and mayhem. Neither Judaism, nor Christianity nor Islam. There is no connection between the IRA and Kashmir. The internecine fratricidal civil war in Northern Ireland is based on religious fervor. Kashmir is the unfinished business of British Colonialism that created India and Pakistan based upon a constitutional referendum. Kashmir remains a “disputed territory” according to both India and Pakistan and is logged in the list of unresolved issues in the United Nations. The issue is complex and cannot be solved by equating it with the IRA or any other issue in the world. Connecting individual movements in diverse cultures and races has no meaning to anyone except to drive fear in the harts of good Americans.

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." (1 John 4:18)

"I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Therefore We prescribed for the Children of Israel that whoever kills a human being… it shall be as if he had killed all of humankind; and whoso saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the lives of all humankind. Islam. Qur'an 5.27-32

What drives a person to be foggy eyed and tries to create fear in the minds of our fellow Americans. Our President sees Islam and Muslims in a totally different light:

The English translation is not as eloquent as the original Arabic, but let me quote from the Koran, itself: In the long run, evil in the extreme will be the end of those who do evil. For that they rejected the signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule.

The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war President George W. Bush

Gary Leupp in a seminal article "Fighting for the Work of the Lord" brings out some incidents from the past.
Fascism feeds on fear. Hitler's Reichmarshall Hermann Goering declared that "people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and attack the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

Question for discussion, ladies and gentlemen: How does this apply here? Are the myriad threats the movement has used to frighten all who will listen (weapons of mass destruction, mushroom clouds over New York, Muslims in general, liberal college professors, homosexuals) working to get people to do the bidding of leaders in this country?

Fascism also feeds on ignorance. "Good Germans" were truly persuaded that Jews, Slavs and Bolsheviks threatened them in 1939. Fascism is inherently anti-intellectual, deploying emotions (national pride, resentment at "outsiders," feelings of injury, millenarian hope) and targeting prominently among internal enemies those who challenge its self-validating myths.

Anti-Semitism is evil and has to be stamped out from this planet. It first cousin Islamphobia is now running rampant and this form of anti-Semitism also has to be stamped out. With all due apologies to Dr. Klinghoffer, I challenge her article on three counts:

1) Weak sources of Information on Kashmir not from any news agency or printed newspaper
2) Attempt to forcibly connect Disconnected Dots (isolated and unconnected events)
3) Failure to bring any new information to the reader
4) Attempt to demonize Islam and Muslims by equating Kashmiris to the IRA terrorists

SOURCES: Amazingly she uses “The Pakistan Times” as a source of her story on Kashmir. Anyone with any basic knowledge of the Subcontinent knows that “The Pakistan Times online”, even though it has an impressive name, has no credibility and with all due apologies to the online page, the Pakistan Times online is a rag without any journalistic credibility.

It is indeed sad that Dr. Klinghoffer uses her considerable talent to spreading Islamphobic messages around the internet with messianic zeal. Most of her information is usually based upon a mailing list called MEMRI. According to the Guardian and other sources, MEMRI is run by dropouts who could not hack it in the rigors of the prestigious Israeli Intelligence. While we appreciate her attendance in an interfaith group, but may God bring the blessings of peace to her writings also. Peace needs her efforts.

LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE SUBCONTINENT: A basic knowledge of the history of Kashmir would have shown that the IRA is not active in Kashmir. Che Guevara has no following in Kashmir and Fidel Castro is unknown in Srinagar.

NO NEW INFORMATION: The article brings no new information to the reader, except for incorrectly attempting to connect unconnected dots.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matthew 5:8-10

Anyone who kills a believer intentionally will have his reward in hell, to remain there. God will be angry with him and curse him, and prepare awful torment for him.
Islam. Qur'an 4.92

President Bush says:

Those who feel like they can intimidate our fellow citizens to take out their anger don't represent the best of America, they represent the worst of humankind, and they should be ashamed of that kind of behavior.
This is a great country. It's a great country because we share the same values of respect and dignity and human worth. And it is my honor to be meeting with leaders who feel just the same way I do. They're outraged, they're sad. They love America just as much as I do.

As Muslim Americans we shall overcome this attempt at demonization. We shall overcome. This Green McCarthyism will end one day. This too shall pass. Long Live America. Down with bigotry. Down with Anti-Semitism. Down with Islamphobia!

God Bless America!