ANOTHER ‘BUSH’ By Yousaf Alamgirian
Another Bush from the Bush family has emerged as presidential candidate for the upcoming US elections. This time it will be a Jeb Bush in the run. There was a time when the world used to idealize America for its peace loving efforts and was considered a country which raised voice for the human rights world over. But it was the time when Bush Sr. was the Vice President of the USA and Ronald Reagan was the President. The moment Reagan retired and Bush Sr. was elected as President in 1989, the world’s scenario started changing from worse to worst as he took advantage of the Gulf crisis and attacked Iraq. The palace of the then Libyan president was also hit during the Bush Sr. era. It appears that factually his target was the Muslim world.
When Russia invaded Afghanistan, George Bush Sr. was the Vice President with Reagan. Reagan was the one who later on termed the Mujahideen as American forefathers who fought for their sovereignty. US supported the Mujahideen to repel Russian forces from Afghanistan but soon after the Russian forces were defeated and left Afghanistan, the US also left the trained Mujahideen to roam about in the western border of Pakistan and inside Afghanistan. The trained lot of civilian groups knew nothing but to play with the weapons and to pose threat to peace in their respective areas.
This is how South Asia was thrown into the gully of extremism. The ongoing wave of terrorism is in fact the continuity of those strategically wrong policies of the western world. South Asian countries may now take many decades to come out of this menace. That’s why Hillary Clinton who will also be contesting for the coming US presidential elections openly admitted that America left Pakistan at the mercy of extremist groups after the Russian defeat in Afghanistan.
However, after Bush Sr.’s tenure Bill Clinton became the President of the USA and during his term America was still respected as a super power which somehow or the other apparently posed to deal the world with transparent and just policies. At least he never went to extremes like bombardment of the underdeveloped countries and to kill thousands of innocent masses.
The moment Bush Jr. came into power like his father, the George Bush Sr., he had an agenda to wage wars in specific regions. Co-incidentally almost all of those areas were the areas of Muslim origin. He waged war against Saddam-led-Iraq blaming Iraq to be in possession of chemical weapons. He termed that the same as ‘Crusade war’. However, later it was admitted by USA that there were no chemical weapons in Iraq but it was too late to know for the world as the whole system of an independent country was collapsed, its president Saddam Husain was killed and thousands of Iraqis became refugees as they had to flee from their homeland to take shelter in neighboring states. Different weaponry equipped groups are fighting with each other in Iraq these days. Bush may call it a success story but bloodshed has now become a permanent feature of Iraq – there is no infrastructure, no sovereignty, no proper army, and no rule of law. Lawlessness and bloodshed prevails however. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that people of Iraq were victimized by the ‘Bush doctrine’.
Incident of 9/11 also gave America a justification to introduce a term ‘terrorism’ and to initiate a War on Terrorism in the garb of hitting the high value target Osama bin Laden. A new brand name was also introduced as ‘Al-Qaida’ for the terrorists.
Ironically none of the Pakistani citizens was involved in 9/11 yet it suffered a big loss in terms of casualties of its citizens and deterioration of law and order. It was due to the US decision to bring NATO forces in Afghanistan Pakistan had to take side of international community against the terrorists. Taking benefit of the situation, all the terrorist forces and enemy countries of Pakistan like India took it as an opportunity to destabilize Pakistan by establishing its consulates inside Afghanistan and training the terrorists. Obama administration also toed the policy of Bush administration to fight its war in South Asian region.
Now once again US presidential elections are drawing closer. Bush family has introduced another Bush to contest the election. This time the second son of the Bush Sr. has been earmarked by his party. If he is elected he might bring the same ‘family agenda’ to engage few other Muslim countries and to destabilize their infrastructure by attacking the same. He will be competing Hillary Clinton who is the presidential candidate of Democratic Party. Ms. Clinton has a stronger political background as she has been a Member of Democratic Policy Committee, United States Secretary of State, 2009-2013 , Senator, United States Senate, 2001-2009, Candidate, United States President, 2008, First Lady of the United States, 1993-2001 as the wife of President Bill Clinton, and First Lady, State of Arkansas, 1979-1981, 1983-1992. As far as her professional background is concerned that is also very strong. She remained Assistant Professor, University of Arkansas Law School in 1975. May be because she had been teaching at the university level, it gave her the moral strength to speak the truth and admit that America has a role for not handling the Mujahideen well in Pakistan after the Russian forces completely vacated Afghanistan in 1989 and that created difficulties for Pakistan. She has been an Attorney, Rose Law Firm, 1976-1992. She is an author as well and has a few good books at her credit. However, it is the American populace that will decide the fate of both of the candidates.
The writer is freelance columnist based in Rawalpindi.
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