Labels

10 Things (20) Abstract (43) Africa (51) Arab Revolutions (26) Books (18) Business (139) China (82) Communism (31) Corruption (32) Democracy (83) Economics (160) Education (24) Entertainment (39) Europe (75) Far East (20) History (26) India (211) Indian Economy (94) Infographic (175) International (21) Israel (17) Management (27) MBA (39) Middle East (54) Pakistan (40) Politics (184) Readings (200) Religion (80) Science (39) Social Issues (139) Sport (33) Technology (113) Terrorism (93) Test Prep (51) The Explainer (63) Thought (22) U.S. (128) Video (31)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

We did 9/11: Al-Qaeda to Iran

Conspiracy theories abound, almost in all aspects of life and events. The 1969 Moon landing and 9/11 attacks are two global events that have generated probably the largest number of conspiracy theories around their occurrence. 

In the case of 9/11 attacks, most conspiracy theories revolve around the idea that the attacks were the handiwork of the governments of the 
U.S. and Israel. The idea behind this weird accusation is that the U.S. and Israel triggered the attacks to launch worldwide military operations with the twin objectives of cornering energy resources (especially in the Middle East) and subjugating Islam. The conspiracy theorists see it as a Christian-Zionist plot to discredit Islam and takeover the Islamic holy places of Mecca and Madina. For a complete list of 9/11 conspiracy theories, click here.

I have never believed in such stupid conspiracy theories. After having spent more than two decades in learning international politics and geo-strategic issues, I can understand that nations can go to almost any extent to pursue national interest. However, it was obvious to most observers of international politics that the 9/11 attacks were the handiwork of Al-Qaeda. One important thing to consider here is the fact that Al-Qaeda, the largest global terror network, itself proclaimed to the world that it had planned and executed the most spectacular terrorist attacks on American soil. 


In fact, the first time I had an encounter with a peddler of the Christian-Zionist conspiracy angle was at an IIM GDPI Special Workshop in Bangalore in January 2006. After I had finished delivering a two-hour talk on the proposed Indo-U.S. nuclear deal (the framework agreement for the deal had been signed in October 2005), a student in flowing beard and shod in Nike sneakers contented that we should not trust the U.S. (with regard to the nuke deal) as it had killed its own citizens by plotting the 9/11 attacks. He also said that Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden (the student's own words, not mine) were being implicated in these attacks. 


If you are interested in what I told this IIM aspirant (and over 200 other students seated in the audience at the IIM GDPI Special Workshop), then here is it is: 'I do not believe that the U.S. and Israeli governments have, through their intelligence agencies, carried out the 9/11 attacks. Osama bin Laden had himself admitted that it was he who had planned these extraordinary attacks on high-value U.S. targets; that he had ran a separate ultra-secretive operation to execute these terror plans. After OBL himself had claimed credit for the attacks (which he called 'Expeditions of Washington DC and New York'), who were we to deny him and his terror network such credit! Also, if OBL was lying, then he was not being a true Muslim, for he often declaimed that he was true Muslim.' 


Finally, I asked the student: 'Do you trust OBL or do you still believe in your conspiracy theory? With a grim expression, he sat down and remained silent for the rest of the session. 


Sadly, it is not just individuals who peddle such ridiculous conspiracy theories; there are nations too, like the Islamic Republic of Iran. Ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran has dreamed of leading the Muslim World, a role which to its dismay, is today played by its bete noire Saudi Arabia. 


In its quest for the hegemony of the Muslim World, Iran has often accused the U.S. of lying about the 9/11 attacks. Last week, speaking at the UN General Assembly, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad accused the U.S. of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks as a pretext for invading the Middle East. In the same speech, he also denied that the Holocaust (systematic killing of nearly six million Jews by Adolf Hitler's Nazi party) had ever occurred. Call it ignorance or 
willful blindness

And who's called Iran's bluff in this case? Al-Qaeda itself. In the seventh and latest edition of Inspire magazine (you can find some dope here), Al-Qaeda’s English language publication, one of the writers, Abu Suhail, launched a scathing attack on what he described as the “ridiculous” theory which Ahmadinejad has always promoted, namely that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by the U.S. government to serve as a pretext for invading the Middle East.

Here's what Abu Suhail wrote in the article: 

“The Iranian government has professed on the tongue of its president Ahmadinejad that it does not believe that Al-Qaeda was behind 9/11 but rather, the U.S. government. So we may ask the question: why would Iran ascribe to such a ridiculous belief that stands in the face of all logic and evidence. For Iran, Al-Qaeda was a competitor for the hearts and minds of the disenfranchised Muslims around the world. Al-Qaeda, an organization under fire, with no state, succeeded in doing what Iran could not. Therefore it was necessary for the Iranians to discredit 9/11 and what better way to do so? Conspiracy theories. Al-Qaeda believes that Iran continues to promote conspiracy theories because doing otherwise would expose their “lip-service” Jihad against the United States.”

I think Al-Qaeda's assertion on 9/11 is a tight slap on the face of the Government of Iran, as also on the faces of all those conspiracy theorists. However, it would be naive to believe that the conspiracy theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks will ever die. 

1 comment:

Dheep Joy said...

Very revealing sir. Also, it is inspiring to know that you have been an ardent learner of international politics for more than 2 decades. :)
Thanking you,
Dheep.