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How To Save America From The Abyss
The near assassination of US politician Gabrielle Giffords shows how extremism and violence in America threaten to poison world peace in 21st century. This is the time to ask America to act. Forget Sudan and Afghanistan. Time to save America.
AHMED QURAISHI | Monday | 10 January 2010 | Project For Pakistan In 21st Century
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—“If only Benazir Bhutto could come and talk to us about religious extremism.” No, this is not about Pakistan. This is American columnist Leonard Clark bewailing America’s culture of violence and assassinations.
The near assassination of American Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by a bullet to the head and the atmosphere of hate created by political and religious extremists underscores how close to the abyss the world’s sole superpower has become and how Washington’s demons threaten to poison world peace in 21st century.
Rep. Giffords was a liberal politician from President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party. She was on the political hit list of US conservatives and extremists. A bullet went through her head without exploding. That is why she is alive although the extent of damage to her brain is not fully revealed yet.
The world must pay close attention to this assassination attempt. This is where American religious extremism and violence mixes with US foreign policy. Some of America’s hawks and warmongers have close links to extremism that haunted Giffords and finally took her life, almost.
Pakistanis are called to pay special attention because this incident helps understand the American-driven mess in their neighborhood, where Washington offers itself as a savior while violence produced by US military and CIA’s secret armies risks throwing the whole region into a tailspin.
American extremism is no longer an internal issue. It is spilling into US foreign policy.
Arizona, where this assassination took place, is the home of American terrorist Timothy McVeigh, the famous Oklahoma bomber. It is home to pastor John Hagee who says “all Muslims are programmed to kill” and so it is fair to kill all Muslims.
Arizona is also home to twice presidential candidate John McCain. He ran for President in 2000 and came close in 2008. McCain has the full support of American religious extremists. Pastor Hagee endorsed McCain for President in 2008. Sen. McCain supports Israeli atrocities in Gaza. When President Obama visited India in November, Sen. McCain made belligerent statements against Pakistan and China, leaving little doubt on his warlike support for grooming India as America’s proxy-soldier in Asia. This is equivalent to sowing the seeds of a future conflict. Analysts predict the American policy of pumping up India will lead to a major war in Asia later this century. This seems to be an American goal: to squander China’s progress in a war that would take it back to the Stone Age. Similarly, Pakistan faces American-created destabilization. The US hopes it will succeed in firmly establishing a pro-American proxy government in Islamabad. But if this fails, hawks in Washington are ready to give Pakistan the same treatment as China.
Religious extremism is an American demon than would destabilize the world as American extremists increasingly export their brand abroad. This has distinctly happened in two places: Israel and India. US extremists encouraged Israeli genocide against Palestinians. Now they are encouraging the rise of Hindu extremist groups in India. Last week one of these groups admitted to blowing up a ‘peace train’ carrying Pakistani goodwill visitors to India in 2007. Forty-two Pakistanis were burned alive on Indian soil, with help from Indian military intelligence officers recruited by extremist groups. At the time, America’s largely pro-establishment media gave wide coverage to Indian accusations pinning the blame for the attack on Pakistan’s formidable spy agency, the ISI. But last week, hardly any American news organization covered the fresh revelations about India’s links to Hindu terror groups.
American diplomats in New Delhi routinely turn a blind eye to armed and virulently extremist Hindu groups that receive in special camps. Washington happily used some of these Hindu groups to covertly plant terror in neighboring Chinese Tibet in 2008.
US foreign policy, guided by the same religious extremism that strengthens people like John McCain and kills people like Gabrielle Giffords, supports Indian extremism because it serves US interests. CIA’s Kabul station is busy using extremism to create Sunni groups to fight Shia Iran. United States uses extremism to harass Russia in its central Asian backyard and China in Xinjiang.
It is time the world woke up to the threat posed by American religious and political extremism. The bullet to Gabrielle Giffords’ head over the weekend is a wakeup call we should not ignore.
This opinion is reproduced with permission from Project Pakistan 21. Ahmed Quraishi is a senior fellow at Project For Pakistan In 21st Century. He writes for PakNationalists.com Reach him at
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