Two facts are undisputed: first, the US is the richest, most powerful nation on earth; second, that it has been an occasional victim of Islamic terrorism. I believe that there is another fact that is not widely appreciated but which explains to a large degree the where, how and whys of Islamic terrorism. That fact is that the US funds global Islamic terrorism. That not only explains why there’s so much of it around these days, but also gives us hope that there is a way out of this insanity. That hope arises from the conjecture that the US can stop global Islamic terrorism if it wants.
It is clear that Pakistan lies at the center of the global network of Islamic terror. The connection between Pakistan and Islamic terrorism is by design and not by accident. Here’s Moorthy Muthuswamy, author of the new book: “Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War.”
Some interesting statistical analysis of the Koran and other Islamic foundational texts carried out recently may explain the gradual descent of countries such as Pakistan into extremism. Importantly, this analysis may also teach us how to nudge Pakistan toward a moderate path.
Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam has done some pioneering scientific analysis of Islamic doctrines. He has found that about 61 percent of the Koran speaks ill of unbelievers or calls for their violent conquest and subjugation, but only 2.6 percent of it talks about the overall good of humanity. The overwhelming measure of the stats — 61% vs. 2.6% — likely makes their implication impervious to subjectivity.
These statistics may explain the empirical observation that increased funding for propagation of Islam around the globe by the likes of Saudi Arabia for the past 20-plus years has coincided with increased violence conducted in the name of Islam.
This is particularly true of Pakistan which has seen an extensive network of madrassas or Muslim religious schools set up with Middle Eastern funding. The special circumstances surrounding the birth of Pakistan too have contributed to the conundrum Pakistan has become.
Created in 1947 as a nation for Muslims living in British-ruled India, Pakistan has found itself having to define its national aspirations in terms of religion. One could argue that the Koranic statistics discussed above would favor Islamists in their ideological battle with secular democrats in defining a vision for the nation. Indeed, this appears to be the case. When Hindu-majority India, the other nation created from British-ruled India, was building quality higher educational institutions of learning, Pakistan was focusing on jihad or a religious war. Even its army’s focus is jihad – the motto reads: “faith, piety and holy war in the path of Allah.” [Source a Washington Post article — will post link later.]
One can do worse than quote Muthuswamy on the matter of jihad and Pakistan. In a recent article in Frontpage, “The Pakistani Third Reich“, he wrote:
In a recent Frontpage Magazine piece titled “Is Wilders Wrong About Islam?” I explained how jihad (holy war) waged on unbelievers forms the dominant thrust of the Koran and Muhammad’s biography. This theological basis continues to inspire modern constructs of jihad. Pakistan’s broad-based commitment to jihad is reflected in the contents of its school syllabus. The motto of the Pakistani army is “faith, piety and jihad in the path of Allah.” In the 1980s Brigadier S.K. Malik of the Pakistani army produced an authoritative military manual on jihad called The Quranic Concept of War. It is a required reading of Pakistan’s military officers.
Malik writes: “the Holy Prophet’s operations …are an integral and inseparable part of the divine message revealed to us in the Holy Quran… The war he planned and carried out was total to the infinite degree. It was waged on all fronts: internal and external, political and diplomatic, spiritual and psychological, economic and military… The Quranic military strategy thus enjoins us to prepare ourselves for war to the utmost in order to strike terror into the heart of the enemy, known or hidden… Terror struck into the hearts of the enemy is not only a means; it is the end in itself.”
The above theological thrust has not only ensured military domination of the civilian sphere, but also drove the military to commandeer all instruments and disproportionate share of the resources of the state in order to impose a violent jihad on unbelievers. In other words, Pakistan has become a modern Third Reich, armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons and sophisticated delivery systems.
Theological motivations enshrine Pakistan as an aggressive jihadist state, no matter the extent of financial and other incentives given to it to stop its jihad. Indeed, it appears that the Western aid and arms given to Pakistan since 2001 in good faith, have instead, mostly gone to further its jihadist agenda.
The “financial and other incentives given to Pakistan to stop its jihad” by most accounts amounts to around $18 billion from the US since Sept 11th, 2001. That’s just from the US. There are other sources of financial assistance to the Terrorist State of Pakistan– not just Saudi Arabia and what I call “the newly Islamising states of Western Europe,” but India as well. If you think that Islamic terrorism is bad now, wait till the “States of Urabia” get in on the act.
For now let’s just focus on the US funding of Pakistan.
Pakistan is a failed state. Its people are starving today. Its children don’t have any possibility of getting an education that would equip them to survive in a modern world. If Pakistan’s present is dire, its future is too horrible to contemplate. It is so poor that it cannot survive without the constant infusion of aid from abroad. And yet it has the largest arsenal of nuclear bombs in the Third World (which is an euphemism for “desperately poor extremely underdeveloped starving nations utterly misgoverned by unimaginably corrupt kleptocrats” of which India is the largest member), and spends huge amounts of money it does not have on sophisticated weapons.
Given its Islamic genesis and character, it is not surprising that Pakistan is a failed state in the modern world. It appears to be a widely recognized fact that Islam leads to poverty. Even in India, various committees have reported (the Sachar report, for example) that Muslims in India are more uneducated, illiterate, poor and unskilled than the average. It should be shocking (but apparently it is not) that the prime minister of India routinely tars Indian Muslims with a broad brush by begging non-Muslims to give more to support the Muslims. I find it very peculiar that Muslim leaders (political and intellectual) don’t see how demeaning this is towards the Muslims. Be that as it may, the evidence is that the followers of Islam, not just in India but around the world, are unable to compete against the non-Muslims in all spheres of human endeavor except in murder, terrorism and mayhem.
But I should get back to the main point. Pakistan elects to spend on weapons of mass destruction and ends with the destruction of its masses through starvation and lack of any real education. Pakistan funds jihad to the tune of untold hundreds of millions, money which could have been used to feed and educate its citizens. I don’t know for sure but it is possible that Pakistan must have spent less than $18 billion dollars in funding global terrorism and building its weapons of mass destruction since 9/11/2001. Therefore, since money is fungible, this means that the US which has given $18 billion to Pakistan has funded all the global terrorism that has emanated from Pakistan.
Which means that the US has also funded the most recent most highly visible act of (attempted) terrorism — Faisal Shahzad’s attempt at killing and maiming a few hundred New Yorkers last week at the Times Square.
Why does the US fund Islamic terrorism? My tentative answer is this. The response to Islamic terrorism in the US is predictable. Everybody in the US loves a good terrorist attack. Well, not everybody really. The ones who are maimed by it and the loved ones of those killed by it certainly don’t love Islamic terrorism. Only those in the US who benefit from Islam terrorist attacks. Every terrorist act — successful or otherwise — leaves in its wake billions and billions (pardon me, Carl) to be picked up defense contractors and other agencies who “protect” the US from terrorism. Sometimes, those billions and billions add up to trillions — as seen in the invasion of Iraq after the terrorist attack of 9/11.
The short story is this. The US funds Pakistan to the tune of a few billion dollars — Pakistan uses the money to support global terrorism — once in a while the Pakistani terrorists hit the US — the US pours in additional billions to fight terrorism at home and a few billion to Pakistan to “stop” terrorism in Pakistan — the defense contractors pick up the billions and billions — the defense contractors buy political patronage using the money — the politicians vote for more money for Pakistan — the circus goes on and on.
On the side lines, learned pundits write convoluted articles analyzing the latest terrorist act and studiously avoid mentioning the elephant in the room. TV channels put videos of gory aftermaths of Islamic terrorism on endless loops as talking heads do their talking. The president of the US makes some well-rehearsed speeches about how the US will not tolerate terrorism, and how terrorists have no religion, and how the terrorists are just misunderstanders of the religion of peace, and other such patent nonsense. The speeches are well-rehearsed because it is a routine matter and can be prepared in advance — like newspapers keep prepared obituaries of well-known older people to be pulled out without a moment’s hesitation when the guy or gal suddenly shuffles off this mortal coil.
The US can stop global Islamic terrorism — any day of the week it wants to. The thing is that it is not in its interest to do so. That is why it does not exercise that power. That’s as simple as it gets. This is called the “revealed preference” argument, much beloved of economists. Don’t bother listening to people talk about what they prefer; just see how they act. Talk is cheap. What matters is how people behave.
I repeat myself. Pakistan funds global terrorism but since it does not have the money, it uses the money it is given by the US to fund terrorism. India does similarly, but is too poor to fund Pakistani terrorism to the tune of billions of dollars. But India does what it can to help Pakistan terrorize Indians. For instance, it gave Pakistan $25 million in one case. The whole Mumbai attack of Nov 26, 2008 costs much less than $25 million. That means that not only did India fund that awesome act of Islamic terrorism, but there was money left over for funding more killings of infidels in Kashmir and elsewhere. (See “India Funding Pakistani Jihadi Groups” from Oct 2005, and its follow up on this blog.)
How is this going to end?
I don’t know for sure but it ain’t gonna be pretty. One scenario is this. Pakistani leaders — the generals and mullahs — finally go totally insane. They allow one of their talibani groups to get their hands on a dirty bomb, help them transport it to the US, and explode it in say New York city or Los Angeles (not San Francisco Bay area, since it’s not all that important — and I live in Berkeley). A couple of thousand Americans are killed. The outrage among Americans is awesome. The US finally goes ape-shit crazy. It nukes Iran.
OK, that’s not original at all. It’s just the same old story with new names. Pakistan helped the 9/11 event. They used US assets to hit US assets. A few thousand were killed. The US bombed Afghanistan back to the stone age. Now change the names and you have the next story. The news papers should have the articles written already and kept ready to be published when — not if — the time comes.
A few days after Sept 11, 2001 I spoke at a panel discussion at UC Berkeley. The main thrust of my argument was that the US was making a Faustian bargain by associating with and assisting Pakistan. Nothing that has transpired since then has given me the slightest reason to revise my argument. (I will dig up the transcript of what I said one of these days and publish it here.)
Anyway, I am getting tired of all this. And I am sure that you are also tired of reading this crap. So I will bring it to a close.
The US can stop global Islamic terrorism. Here’s how. First the short term, and then the long term.
Short term it must stop with the carrots and start with the stick. It must write a nice letter to the Pakistani leaders:
Dear Pakistani Generals and Mullahs:
We have been giving you money to make you stop Islamic terrorism. You took the money but it appears that you did not bother to read the memo that said, STOP ISLAMIC TERRORISM IN THE US. Now we want you to get the message.
Since 9/11/2001 we have given you $18 odd billion dollars. Part of it you put away in your overseas secret bank accounts, part of it you used to buy expensive stuff to fight India with, part of it you used to fund global jihad, and perhaps what was left over — a few million maybe — you used to buy some food for your starving millions.
Now here’s the deal. If ever there is another terrorist attack or an attempted attack in the US and if that is traced back to Pakistan — as happened in the case of Faisal Shahzad — then we will stop all money to you.
Read that again. Another act of terrorism traced back to Pakistan and it’s the end of the party for you. We will not bomb you. You will just give us the excuse we need to bomb Iran. We will do that for sure. But equally certainly we will not send you a wooden nickel after that. Your people will starve. They will rise up against you. Your army will become crippled and the infidel Indians will walk over you and take back the part of Kashmir that we have so nicely allowed you to keep.
Do keep in touch.
With kind regards we remain sincerely yours,
The US Administration.
Now you may say that all that is fine and good. You may say that that will certainly stop the Pakis from terror attacks on the US, but it does not stop the Pakis from continuing their jihad against India. If you said that, you will be right. But here’s the cunning bit.
The Paki generals and mullahs actually are rational people. They care about their own survival and don’t really believe in departing too soon for the share of the virgins in paradise. So if the US made them that offer, they will have to take the US seriously. To make sure that no Paki-trained terrorist gets to the US, they will have to shut down their schools of Islamic terrorism. They would love to keep those training facilities open so that their graduates kill infidels in India but there is no way they can guarantee the pigeons may not end up shitting on their masters’ head.
Enough said. The bottom line is that there is a powerful constituency in the US that loves Islamic terrorism. That is why they fund Pakistan. That is why there is so much of it around.
Post Script: I replaced “STOP ISLAMIC TERRORISM” in the above with “STOP ISLAMIC TERRORISM IN THE US” since the US doesn’t particularly care if the Islamic terrorists kill Indians by the hundreds.