It has been decades since the decolonization process in the ‘60s, when African and Arab states, often through armed struggle, broke free of European colonial control.
It has been decades, yes but the fires lit by that process have still not gone out.
That’s because colonization was a violent phenomenon, an essentially violent exploitation by a stronger power over a weaker one.
Those colonies failed, because resistance became national, and all segments of society opposed the system imposed by the exploitative foreigner.
The colonial power, once so universally opposed, could hardly justify staying in a position of power.
Now, decade later, anti-colonial energies find expression in Islamist politics, and before long, these forces morphed into movements. These movements, funded, armed and advised by American, British, Saudi and Pakistani intelligence, became Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Qaeda in the Maghrib – and later, ISIS.
Now, the worm turns. This instrument, of anti-communist war against the Afghanistan government (under former President Najibullah, ca. 1987 -1992), has come back to its one-time funders to roost.
The child dreams of strangling its parents.
I end this essay with the words of Lebanese scholar, As ‘ad Abu Khalil, who, in his 2004 book, The Battle for Saudi Arabia,* wrote:
In duping the U.S. public to go to war, neo-conservatives in Washington promised that regime change in Iraq would change the Middle East forever. They talked about restructuring the region. As we now know, they were wrong in all of their assumptions and predictions except one: they have in fact changed the forever. But instead of liberating a people into democracy, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has energized insurgent outrage, militancy, recruitment, and organizing. Fanatical and radical forces are spreading, and their lethal and destabilizing impact threatens not only Iraq and America’s favorite royal dictatorship – (Saudi Arabia) – but Europe and beyond.