The rise of nationalism throughout the world, being driven by government policy in direct collaboration with the moves of the financial and industrial sectors, has brought about an epidemic of xenophobia and fear-based patriotism. While the threat of invasion by a foreign land is a reality for nations throughout human history, many threats are either exaggerated or in some cases, have been directly manufactured for political purposes, for which these “threats” are then used to further fighting for the sake of profit or gain.
The 2018 US elections saw nationalism continue to take a major role in shaping public opinion. I would like to focus on one particular political race in that election, which was for the office of Senator in the state of Tennessee between two career politicians- Marsha Blackburn for the Republicans, and Phil Bredesen for the Democrats.
Blackburn won the election and did so by riding on the trend of xenophobic nationalism and in particular, exploiting the “migrant caravan” that “coincidentally” appeared at the same time as the elections, in spite of the fact that such caravans are not unique and have been coming for years. She even had Trump come to Tennessee to help with her campaign.
In her advertisements, which aired all over the state, she accused Phil Bredesen of the usual “charges” that politicians throw at each other. But the most infamous of which was where she said Bredesen was threatening the people of Tennessee by allowing in “gang members,” “known criminals,” and most interestingly, “people from the Middle East” and “possibly even terrorists” with the “caravan.”
However, Senator Blackburn does not have a problem with all “people from the Middle East” as she made clear on Twitter (here, here):
Now, one can compare the above situation between Bredesen and Blackburn with what is happening right now between India and Pakistan.
India’s elections are coming up. The BJP, which is the current main party and is known for its nationalism, disdain for Christianity, and support of the “Hindutva Rashtra,” which is the idea of a “pure ethnostate” where Hinduism is the religion and law and all Muslims and Christians are either expelled, forced to become Hindus, or dead.
The recent conflict between Pakistan and India began on Valentine’s Day 2019, when the Pakistani terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed (army of Mohammed) made a suicide attack on a bush in the Kashmir region filled with Indian police and killed 40 of them. India blamed Pakistan, Pakistan condemned the attack and denied any involvement, and tensions just rose from there to the current state.
What is very interesting is to consider that Jaish-e-Mohammed, which is considered to have was founded in 2000, one year before the September 11th terrorist attacks, and that the group has direct ties to Al-Qaeda, even meeting with Osama bin Laden. Their first major terrorist attack was in October 2001, which murdered 30 people:
The group was founded by Masood Azhar in the early 2000s. Azhar, a citizen of Pakistan and a member of the terrorist group Harakat al-Mujahedeen (HuM), was accused of working with Al Qaeda (AQ) and of fighting against U.S. troops in Somalia with an HuM group under Osama bin Laden’s instructions. Indian authorities arrested him when he returned to IAK. After HuM attempted to free him several times, the group finally succeeded in 1999 by hijacking an Indian Airlines plane carrying 155 passengers. They secured his release from the Indian government in exchange for the hostages. Shortly after his release, Azhar travelled to Afghanistan where he reportedly met with Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden, along with Pakistan’s Inter-service Intelligence (ISI), the Taliban, and several Islamist fundamentalist groups reportedly supported Azhar in forming JeM. The venture was also allegedly supported by the chiefs of three major religious schools: Mufti Nizamuddin Shamzai of the Majlis-e-Tawan-e-Islami, Maulana Mufti Rashid Ahmed of the Dar-ul Ifta-e-wal-Irshad, and Maulana Sher Ali of the Sheikh-ul-Hadith Dar-ul Haqqania. About three quarters of HuM’s membership reportedly joined Azhar in JeM, which reportedly led to a violent rivalry between JeM and HuM.
JeM quickly gained notoriety for its attacks in Indian Administered Kashmir (IAK), and later in India and Pakistan. It carried out the first suicide attack in the history of the Kashmir conflict on April 19, 2000, although it may have been responsible for other attacks prior to this date. In October 2001, the group bombed the legislative assembly building in IAK, killing more than 30 people. (source, source)
Now, knowing all of the information, let’s review some basic history and facts.
It is a known fact that the US as supported terrorist groups and Islamic nations for decades in the name of political gain. The name of this program following World War II has been called Operation Gladio, and is a collaborative effort between primarily the US and Germany but also many other nations, including Turkey and Japan.
It is likewise a fact that Al-Qaeda is a direct creation of the CIA as a part of Operation Cyclone. There has been much written about this, but if one wants to see an excellent film on it, the movie Charlie Wilson’s War is an excellent film portrayal of the events surrounding how Texas Congressman Charles Wilson served as the congressional liaison between Congress, the CIA, and the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan to funnel money, weapons, and equipment to the nascent Al-Qaeda through instruments such as the BCCI Bank.
It is a fact that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are considered by many to be “enemies” of the US, they have been closely involved with the US, albeit as disposable allies. The US uses them but has no care for them, and both nations know that the US could dispose of them at either time, as the US also has alliances with their enemies that include the many Turkic peoples as well as India. This is also why an alliance has emerged, based on fear, between the Saudis, Pakistanis, and the Chinese, because they are genuinely afraid they will be wiped out in the event of a future conflict.
It is a fact that governments allow social instability and terrorism for political purposes. The “caravan”, of which news about it following the elections curiously disappeared, is only one of many. Whether it is the “white genocide” of South Africa, the terror attacks in Belgium that the Turks warned the Belgians about, the Saipov case in the US, or the use of “migrant violence” to expand Austrian power into the Balkans, governments use the “threat” of terror to advance their personal aims.
This recent “terrorist attack” in India, given how it was committed by a group with known ties to government intelligence agencies, and coming at a time when Hindu nationalism is rising and now in the middle of all of this, an Islamic group- for Muslims are hated as much as Christians by Hindu nationalists in India -is a clear sign that something is very wrong.
It fact, India even admits that they knew the attack was coming but blamed an “intelligence failure” for why they did not stop it.
The real reason why they allowed this to happen is because they wanted it. India wants the terrorist violence because they intend to use it to advance nationalism and the rise of the Hindutva Rashtra by saying “look at what those Muslims are doing in Pakistan to us Indians, they hate us for being Indian and are threatening our Hindu way of life, this is why only good Hindus will support the BJP.”
Whether it is in a semi-rural American heartland state or a major nation like India, certain patterns for gaining and maintaining power remain the same regardless of time, place, or culture.