The study of Rahman’s, In The Light of What We Know, explores how Neo-orientalist strategies of neocons subjugated South Asian neo-orients in the name of humanitarian help in war-afflicted Afghanistan. The global forces have reverted to the past binaric divisions of ‘us’ and ‘them’ in order to gain their economic and political interests. Using Steger (2003) and Howe’s (2002) critique of the validity of Huntington’s thesis of ‘clash of civilizations’ (1997), the study examines that in post 9/11 Afghan scenario Americans seem to be engaged in the projects of welfare and civilizing missions but are covertly securing their politico-economic motives in the region through humanitarian interventions of martial, cultural, political nature.
Afghanistan, Bangladeshi Literature, Globalization, 9/11
The Neo-orientalist strategy of neocons1 in Afghanistan is meant to subjugate neo-orients in the name of humanitarian assistance to fulfill their exploitative politico-economic agendas. Encompassing a bucket of themes from globalization to love, from racial discriminations to the breaking of nations and from 2008 financial crisis to the incident of 9/11, Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know (2014) recounts how political motives are attained by powerful countries at the cost of state-sovereignty through imperial interventions in the name of humanitarian help. The novel exposes the covert economic schema initiated by the USA after 9/11 in the guise of ‘War on Terror’ in Afghanistan. The First World’s venture in Third World countries like Afghanistan and the consequent destruction of the country’s economic, cultural and political sovereignty, clarifies how Afghanistan is a chessboard (Rahman, 2014) for the globalizers to play the game of self-interest. In the Light of What We Know explores how neo-empire attained its economic, cultural and political gains by initiating ‘European enlightenment’ project on the genesis of a ‘new humanity’ (2014). West’s failure to control Islam through Christendom caused it to introduce the fascinating mottos of political stability, transformation and institutional regulations with covert interventional designs of longstanding Orientalist projects against Muslims (Mustafa et al, 2019).The new labelling fortifies Western bias against Eastern cultures (Bayoumi, 2000). For this purpose Orientalism still proceeds under new garb (Howe, 2002) since these heroes “want to refashion the world in their own image (Rahman, 2014, p. 246).
In today’s globalized world, the role of politics is neither confined to a natural law of market nor to computer technology. Global markets and new technologies have rendered swift permeation of the same new global setup that had caused their own arrival to the new worlds (Steger, 2003, p. 66). The earlier land-covetous colonizers and today’s borderless globalizers differ only in an increased ratio of interruptions into the affairs of weak states. By challenging the sovereignty of nation-state in terms of currency, international exports, migration of laborers and subsidized industrial and agricultural affairs, the current forces have established a monopoly of a ‘super-state’ over the nation-state (Maragz, 2018) in the name of welfare.
Though Europeans have been meddling into Ottoman Empire’s territories since 19th century to safeguard Christians from any maltreatment (Bass, 2009), yet the term ‘humanitarian intervention’ was coined in the 1990s to describe the use of armed forces by a group of countries to thwart any state from committing violence against its public. It was not a license to oppress the accused state nor to support insurgents or administer territorial control or change of regime/ constitution. Postcolonialism perceived such interventions as a revival of imperialism through ambitious protraction of previous empires into their ex-subjects’ affairs (Hoag, n. d.). Interventions, like armed intercessions, the charity helps, financial and aerial sanctions, monitoring of elections or arms treaties aim at bringing the fascist state to righteousness (Wheeler, 2015). The savior’s rescue operations or civilizing Missions encompass the hegemonies of intruders. The projects in the Middle East and Afghanistan since the Cold War and later interruption (Gregory, 2004) purported the restoration of imperialism. The U.S. has been struggling to erect extensive social edifice in a nation having an entirely different culture. Also, the fast occurrence of global phenomena multiplied desire to convert the state into a global web of political interdependencies by obliterating the traditional shapes of national sovereignty (Steger, 2003). Since President Bush’s declaration of New World Order, the cross-border wrongful acts are no more perceived as the issues related only to the affected states. Rather, it is perceived that world politics has been rendered powerless under techno-economic juggernaut due to which incompetent governments have lost control over state institutes (2003).
The current humanitarian interventions in Afghanistan may be termed as new economic-cum-political adventure for the neo-empire’s sustenance. Its objectives are to: keep the issue of terrorism at core, control fast emerging China, and capture Pakistan’s nuclear power. By assigning a role to India in regional politics, America seeks hegemony in the Gulf-Arab States including Iran and Afghanistan. Donald Trump’s views2 on Islamic-Arab-American Alliance’s Summit Conference also reveal this schema of neo-empire (Safi, May 21, 2017).
Turning Afghanistan into a Western-style democratic country was an exceptional ‘hubris’, especially when U.S. pioneers attempted to do it rapidly. Readjusting another country’s institutions and employing the military to seek overnight results produce hatred. Fighting and governing are two different exercises: the capacity to annihilate the enemy on the battlefield does not make one politically competent as well. The former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes opines that the U.S. military can do gigantic things. It can win wars and stabilize clashes, but it cannot make a political culture or construct a society (Walt, 2019). The Cold War results led neo-imperialists to dominate and subjugate others to the extent of their being heard (Nelson, 1988). The imbalance of power encourages the capitalists to run their covert neo-liberalist-cum-economic projects under the banner of humanitarian interventions such as aid, military force and civilizing mission by reinventing age-old binaries regarding ‘the Orient’, “to charm themselves first” (Rahman, 2014, p. 246) besides fascinating ‘us’.
Like past European colonial enterprises faced by Asians/Africans, today’s Asia is facing the neo-imperialist role of USA. Even before 9/11, Tony Blair expressed his desire to handle the ravenous, wretched and boorish areas of the world through military arrangements. In fact, “Britain ha[d] become a poodle and Blair [w]as a bastard of the highest magnitude” (Rahman, 2014, p. 361). The imperialist contentions inspire their avaricious instinct to follow the track of past empire; a ‘self-congratulatory mood’ seems prevalent between the end of the Cold War and 9/11 phase. The Anglo-Americans observed Asians through the same tapered lens as was used by the West to re-entrap the former colonized whose progeny is already sick with the hurtful fits of colonial mistreatment. With this plan and vision, the Americans jumped into the mess of Asia (Mishra, 2018).
Considering Said’s work as a powerful weapon on the side of social equity and the battle for a compassionate world, Peter Marcuse contends that whereas “Orientalism was utilized to classify a particular geographic locale, its individuals and culture, globalism frequently lumps together the examined particular genuine forms by scholarly and prevalent circles at a worldwide level (Krishnaswamy, 2002). The world market culture seems stable and controlled but not to everybody’s judgment. A few from amongst Third World see it as corrupt, filled with demonizing ravenousness. The establishment of a religious government is as unwanted as harsh colonialism is. However, handling the world economically but ironically, colonizing human life by money-making industrialism is thought praiseworthy (Morss, 2003). Law-based experiments apply jumbled slants by which the maladies of globalization may be infused, and recuperation can be made by misusing the infirmities of those many fundies who are neither excited clients of the European money-making culture nor are sharp supporters of Jihadic fear. Long before 9/11 assaults, anti-globalization campaigns had begun (Bootle, 2009) with the Green and human-rights exercises of the 1970s, but Huntington’s hypothesis (1997) was mongered by globalizers to squeeze non-McDonalized nations economically for offering a worldwide culture of McDonald fashion which, by undermining local culture, eventually changes social differences into a clash of civilizations. The Jihadist Islamism is a subsequent reaction to what is regularly experienced as a materialistic ambush by the mainstream World (Steger, 2003). Moreover, they impose trade sanctions, block funds and detain other helps to compel weaker countries to export oil, minerals, crude items, timbers etc. and import electronic merchandise, tobacco items, dress, and finished products (Ali, 2002). The physically demised colonization has revived in the guise of globalization as the weak are still exploited by the powerful; only the track is now “less violent” though equally powerful (Pais, 2008). The developed world finds its economic, cultural and political interests by twisting indigenous ethics, especially those of the Muslim World (Khan, 2010). Frederic Jameson’s observation that third-world writing is a national anecdote (Jameson, 1986) is necessitated by this context. It uncovers how international powers oppress the non-McDonald countries under economic welfare. The American writers such as Delilo and Updike are engaged with political independence of the nation-state showing a disdain for the repudiation of human rights and the devastation of national fabric (Ho, 2019).
The current American interventions in the Muslim World have put its peace at risk. The Falling Man (2007) with American stance of internalizing 9/11 trauma demonizes the Muslims without proving them culprits. The Blind Man’s Garden (2015), however, reflects the global outlook of 9/11 by analyzing Orientalist representations of Muslims. Both novels evaluate U.S. interventions into others’ affairs and consequential provoked geopolitical crises (Wijngaarden, 2015). The Soviet Union intervened into Afghanistan to reach ‘warm-water ports and Gulf oilfields’ via Afghanistan in 1979 (Hauner, 1991). The Russians imposed communism upon Afghanis to undo resistance by backing local comrades. For direct meddling into Afghanistan’s sovereignty, a puppet government of local communists was established thereafter the 1978 Coup and then Soviets marched into Afghanistan. The Russians spread land mines and hid “explosives inside brightly colored toys which maimed innocent Afghanis and victimized children who mistook them as toys” (Zhang & Jacobs, 2001).
After the fear-monger assaults of 9/11, gigantic security measures taken around the world were meant to curb
natives’ financial rights and to empower states to impose limitations on flexible development. The exercises of global militant systems, however, have uncovered the insufficiency of national security structures; hence constraining national governments to hold modern shapes of universal participation (Steger, 2003). Being the latest shape of neo-empire, current governance system intervenes into others’ dealings through the institutional setup of organizations like W.B., IMF etc. by fashioning and promoting McDonald trends (Spencer & Wollman, 2002) that have matched their agenda with neo-liberalist interests to serve the economic purpose of integrating and deregulating world markets for the strongest economies (Steger, 2003) which to Giddens (1990) spell a recent project launched by neo-empire without captivating any land, unlike the past empires that had captured both ‘soil and the sons’. Under neo-colonialism, colonies are no more occupied physically but “captured through monetary policies and a loyal comprador class” (Howe, 2002, p. 25). IMF and W.B. that perform this job by launching ‘Structural Adjustment Programmes’ approved in ‘Washington Consensus’ may be termed as neo-colonialism (Mcglinchey et al, 2017). But these economic reforms served as tools for more closely connected global cities of Washington, Geneva and London to control the activities of developing nations with the major motivation of protecting their self-interests at the cost of weaker nations’ resources (Steger, 2003). Neo-colonialism functions through “less formalized, less obvious economic, diplomatic, cultural, and other means of control” (Howe, 2002, p. 25). The prejudice of American economic fundamentalism (Ali, 2002) towards eastern countries, especially towards Muslims is still very explicit (Naqvi, 2010).
After Cold War, American power encompassed ideological need to justify its cultural hegemony like past Western colonizers: America devised the features of its foreign policy for communists on the same lines as was initiated by formal colonialists. However, an operative strategy was managed through economic, diplomatic, cultural means apart from using local client regimes. Unlike past imperialists, American allies and transnational financial bodies incarcerate nations financially (Howe, 2002). Neo-empire, the custodian of Western civilization, developed its own imperial creed, symbolically visible in the Twin Towers as the hub of World Capitalism and began multifaceted globalization through monetary bodies like IMF, W.B. and GATT. Indeed, the global fantasy found a horrifying expression in Cold-War abbreviation MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). As a result, the decolonization of 1950s and 1960s revived worldwide flows and exchange. The Cold War split of the world into two antagonistic spheres – U.S. led liberal-capitalist ‘First World’, and USSR led authoritative-socialist ‘Second World’ – had ameliorated the cosmopolitan hope of establishing global democratic governance. Both blocs intervened in “Third World” for their political and ideological dominance. These confrontations raised the spectre of a global conflict capable of destroying almost all life on our planet. The progenies of Europeans have posed them upon the position of world’s custodians in terms of civilization and ethical quality. Despite a great change in world affairs, the West still claims exclusive authority, neglectful to the horrifying conditions of imbalance within their claimed social orders and between the global North and South (Steger, 2003).
Huntington (1997) pointed out that the provocative issue for Americans is their failure in universalizing Western culture. Chomsky warns that Washington through its attempts at ‘Americanization of the world’ is treading a dangerous course since it is the “single greatest external threat” to most of the world societies and that ‘coalitions’ may be formulated to offset the rogue superpowers. This artificial interventionist division of the planet into ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ spheres, to Steger, corresponds to people’s collective identities based on the creation of a common ‘us’ and an unfamiliar ‘them’. The unyielding spread of ‘McDonald’ culture amounts to the inconvenient uniform measures that obscure human imagination and dehumanize social relations. The current US-branded financial paradigm is directly related to political process and institutions because the strong global economic interconnections have not dropped from the sky; it is the outcome of a series of political decisions (2003).
The U.S. and its partners, Chomsky debunks (2000), cross the line by breaching the same worldwide laws that they claim to maintain: they exercised financial sanctions and surgical military strikes under covert protection measures during – campaign against Iraq, intercession in Kosovo, settlement of oppressors in East Timor and advocacy of political emergency in Colombia. Still, the U.S. meddles into the Middle East, South Asia, Caribbean and Latin America to secure persistent combined impacts of military and financial dominion on these locales. Besides, the U.S. openly smashes U.N. resolutions of human rights and international points of reference to legitimize its interventions. American statecraft reduces the rule of law to a mere nuisance in its brazen bid for the title of “Rogue States”.
‘Humanitarian Interventions’ in Afghanistan
The war on terror is the new version of ‘Orientalizing’ to attain the agenda of a global world. The ‘neocons’, in the name of ‘new-civilizing mission’, exercised humanitarian interventions in Afghanistan to establish their own writ in the unaligned region of the World (Rahman 2014) for changing it into ‘a reliquary of humanity’ (p. 246): once colonizers and now globalizers announced war on terror to maintain peace in the world. In the name of freeing humanity from the terror they pushed Afghanistan apparently and South Asian region actually into chaos: the war directly affected the social, political, economic, religious conditions of the region; it turned down the life standard in the region, as mostly the countries in the region were not economically and politically established, that exposed the claims of globalization about easing out their destitution and disparity (Tabesh 2012).
The U.S. appearance on the Afghan scene to watch the increasing power of China and the nuclear capacity of Iran was covertly designed to get access to oil and gas reservoirs there. The fresh disclosures expanded the strategic significance of the locale that improves the plausibility of wide-ranging suppliers and pipeline ventures under discussion (Watson, Covarrubias, Lansford, & Van Raemdonck, 2013). Rahman (2014) says that economically hungry Americans would “maintain permanent bases in the thick of it [Afghanistan], a slingshot’s distance from Central Asian oil wells, and on the border with Iran” (p. 350). The covetous superpowers strategized their political front to loot the resources by refusing sovereignty of these states (Foroohi & Moradi, 2017).
These economic interests are reflected through “exigencies, strategies, short-term objectives, at the level of governments, regions, clans, families, and individuals: fractals of interests, overlapping here, mutually exclusive there, and sometimes coinciding” (Rahman, 2014, p. 437). Hilary Clinton stated that the “future of global politics would be decided in Central Asia, not in Afghanistan or Iraq, and the U.S. will be right at the centre of the action” (qtd. by Rahim, 2017). The hunger for Central Asian oil and gas reservoirs allured neo-empire to take the rise of militancy in Afghanistan as a plea to rejuvenate past binary of ‘us’ and ‘them’. The riches of the area enticed Americans to entangle into a crucial politics of the world. Raemdonck opines that terrorism in South Asia is logical to play the ‘great game’ in South and Central Asia (2013). Apparently, the development works were initiated to overhaul socio-cultural condition of the wretched Afghanis, but these were predatory measures to gorge on the physical body of the prey by defiling it and then sucking its cultural and economic blood. The pretensions were to buildup a nation, but they were breaking it instead (Rahman, 2014) by painting “pictures of intense colour and beauty without depth” (p. 246).
Apart from subjugating Afghanis through several strategies such as the deeds of welfare through UNAMA and AfDARI and military interventions through NATO, the U.S. seems to be handling locals through binaric othering. In war, the murder of truth happens at the hands of both vanquishers and vanquished (Rahamn, 2014). The interventions were accomplished through politico-economic measures as we come to know from a discussion of Pakistani establishment personas like General Firdousi and Reza Mehrani in the presence of Zafar that the Saudis were aligned with the U.S. in war and lowered the oil prices for uplifting empire’s morale. This alliance sabotaged Muslim World’s interests (2014); being a “root of the matter”, Saudis are “culprit[s] here” (p. 358) since their financing in the region renders their unnatural alliance with the U.S. which in retaliation facilitates Saudis by granting visa Express and by exempting their rulers from accountability. They spend a bizarre amount on arms though the kingdom has never gone to any war for more than sixty years. As the external defence is absolutely convened by the U.S., so Saudis respond such U.S. favours by showering financial assistance over the U.S. and serving as their proxy wherever needed. For being the “co-conspirators” (p. 359) with and co-partners of U.S. in, “oil and business”, they lowered the oil prices after 9/11 (p. 360) besides supplying additional nine million barrels to American markets, since the king barters with the U.S. for kingdom’s protection by stabilizing cheap oil prices (page. 359; also cited in Ali, 2002) or, at least, cool down Americans over Saudi royals’ unpopularity among people for their ‘Chop-Chop Square’ (p. 360) executions of the opponents; this deal helped stabilize the oil prices for empire even after the nastiest terrorism of its history; often things are not as they seem. Besides invaders, common Afghanis like Suaif and Suleiman also left no stone unturned in deteriorating facts; thus Suleiman provoked Afghanis by false, immoral charges against American mariner, Crane (Rahman, 2014).
The U.S. intervenes politically to hold the economic pulse of South Asia to grab its oil and gas resources located at a “slingshot’s distance” (p. 21) from the Afghan bases. The energy opulence of Central Asian Republics significantly allured both remote and close players of the global game, be it USA, West, Russia, China, India or Iran, Pakistan and Turkey (Javaid & Rashid, 2015). To appease this avarice, they went on the past ‘imperialist’ track by declarations embellished with rude Orientalist slangs; the half-baked western sages started appearing on television with their lopsided analysis rendering that “Afghanis just want to lead their lives in peace and security” (Rahman, 2014, p. 361). They ground their own axe not only by reclining to binaries again (2014) but also by justifying “their invasion of Afghanistan with platitudes about freedom and liberating the Afghani people” (p. 361); they devised a policy suited to their capitalist needs to concretize an already spiteful image of [an]other people and culture, “beyond which a reporter or commentator does not feel it necessary to go” (Said, 1979, p.50). Since this is an age of liberty, said Bush after 9/11, it is we who will decide the fate of the world and not the terrorists (qtd. in Naqvi, 2010).
Official Political Interventions
Since the ‘false polarities are the stock of politicians’ (Rahamn, 2014), the West retained parallel between ‘us’ and ‘them’, great and terrible, illuminated and narrow-minded, equitable and oppressive, generous and radical “because too many are ready to accept the premise as given” (p. 297). Additionally, the dominated bunches are incapable of overseeing what comes out from the driving culture and what they utilize it for (Pratt, 1992, p. 6). Once again, they coined and beautified the images of orients and earned their gains by the same old process.
Zafar discloses (2014) how by crushing the might of Al-Qaeda and Taliban, the champions intruded with the speed of light to nip the evil in the bud, but affairs divulge opposite to what “they first appear” (p. 51); their “[r]eality seeps through fissures” (p. 381). The Anthropocene, i.e. each alpha male, from Blair, Bush to Cheney and Rumsfeld, vouchsafes Zafar, launched US-led intercessions in Afghanistan for their private objectives of rendering control and securing private enterprises with their panicked crowds of followers. The ‘performative war’ proposition rests on the concepts of status and chain of command to clarify the Iraq war (Rahman, 2014). In fact, the U.S. officials allegedly puffed up the state of affairs to shape the features of imperialist war against the ‘Third World’ already victimized by dictatorial regimes (Said, 1979). To debilitate any possible challenge to its space, miens, or bids, USA had assaulted Iraq essentially for ‘demonstration effect’–vanquishing the stubborn Saddam would frighten other states from U.S. might and subdue them before its authority (Butt, 2019).
By steering the local affairs unlawfully, the supranational networks of NGOs’ workers were playing the game of “Empire and Ego” (Rahman, 2014, p. 245) in the name of welfare projects as was reflected through their interventional deeds of aggressions and annihilations. Thus Emily, Britain ‘chef de cabinet’ (p. 244) of development works running under Muhammad Jalaluddin, headed both the U.N. welfare cavalry and military for rendering claimed reformation of the oppressed Afghani townsfolk but was, in fact, thrashing the local norms and cultural crux by drinking and imposing liberal civilization over their private clannish area. Zafar, however, queries that “by what right”, (p. 245) had they occupied the seat of world’s ‘destiny-makers’. The entire South Asian locale was swathed into damaging military fury of worldwide global forces working under U.N. umbrella, though insincerity of Empire’s benevolence was reflected through Emily’s superb smile that she offered there to a fellow (p. 244). The writ of Afghan state was undermined by this shadow setup; bearing the torch of West’s enlightenment these forces felt free to take exceptional interventional measures in mashing the 9/11 alleged invaders Taliban but the latest weapons never distinguished between Taliban and guiltless Afghanis (2014) as thoroughly innocents burnt alive in Café Europea explosion besides Disney attacks. The empire had no ‘ethical justification’ of Afghan war since it was an instant reaction against an unsubstantiated reaction, though Bin Laden owned responsibility but did so after two years of attacks (p. 347).
Covert Political Espionage
The covert U.S. espionage operations continued since the 1950s are sneaky exercises entailing that if only the genuine story were known, as opposed to the standard account, they would stun and astound all–and perhaps excite too. The spies have been more imperative than negotiations in whom a sense of reason, anti-communism, public benefit, and a kind of elitist amateurism were cultivated (Qundt, 2014). The Cold War rivalries with the Soviet Union caused the U.S. to plant those spies in the Central East after WW II as part of war strategy. The espionage was conducted in Afghanistan through whites such as Nicky, the deputy director of a U.S. charitable foundation dependent international microfinance organization for arranging exchange programs of professionals’ visits to developing countries. She was “leading some kind of charge, sporting the combined personality of a campaigning journalist, Miss Moneypenny, and a determined nun”. Also, white-washed U.N. “advisors” like Zafar were the continuity of the same game; apparently, they were on U.N. welfare and peace missions but were actually spying for empire (Rahman, 2014, p. 144). Telling Zafar how the British avarice for capturing others’ land had taken away many lives (p. 143), Nicky reveals that the crooked Americans had arrived in Afghanistan to letdown their communist rivals during Cold War by equipping Afghanis with weapons and pretending to be their sole sympathizer, but after Russian defeat, those sympathizers deserted the Afghanis and never looked back to know their situation (2014). This information imparted by Nicky to Zafar shows that she might have been the part of past American political intercession in and the wreckage of Afghanistan.
Rahman argues (2014) that liberals were tirelessly reforming orients’ characters by inculcating their own ‘image’ of civilizational and social frame of reference in them received from the light of ‘melting pot’. The schematic attacks were interventional; looking at twenty-five million flawed Afghanis from European lens, Emily would fight on God’s behalf to save and liberate them from savagery. Besides she would help their destiny-maker–the transcultural, transnational Muhammad Jalaluddin–to charm spectators fiendishly with shining complexion instead of an ugly picture. Emily, the Britain assistant as well as ‘absent voice’ (Rahman, 2014, p. 244) of Muhammad Jalaluddin conducted a meeting on behalf of U.N. to convene deeds of constructions and probe into the prospective steps of making war-afflicted Afghanistan a part of their own world; “a reliquary of humanity” (p. 246) for which the neo-empire already had pulverized Taliban regime. Jalaluddin was there to decide the fate of the Afghan nation in consultations with Lakhdar Brahimi and Hamid Karzai. These powerful social agents with the itinerary representation of oppressed nations/ classes and with their controlled presence are absolutely authorized to render the subject inferior. The Americans reacted to 9/11 terrorism in hope to justify their invasion of Afghanistan by staging a war there to take vengeance for the annihilation of American iconic towers (2014).
These champions of progressive norms–freedom, liberty, and democracy–have double standards; the real democracies are practised at home, but elite “Bush-arraf” setup is planted through institutional brainwashing of the former colonies’ students (Rahman, 2014); it is easy for West to entrap elite/ educated breed into any bargain rather than real sons of the soil (Naqvi, 2010). Studying colonizer’s version of history at Center in Anglo-dialect, the compradors venture the standards and miens of their past lords without facing any complexity. They seek their masters’ will and never bother about their own subjects’ difficulties. The impoverished Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and Indians are exploited; the elites “lord over, disdaining them, denying them” (Rahman, 2014, p. 255) of their rights in mimicry of Western masters though they pretend to abhor colonizers whose ruling behavior they replicate at home: “We brought their values wholesale in exchange for our dignity, grafted their subject-ruler mentality onto our own so that these countries of ours are incapable of anything”, says the Western qualified Pakistani colonel Mushtaq to Zafar (p. 255).
The human rights’ champions wanted to locate a level field for their financial plunder since ‘Bush and the necons’ with the hawkish interventionist foreign policy were seeking both assets and ideal circumstances.
The stock markets too had experienced greatest collapse since 9/11. NYSE and NASDAQ, Davis critiques (2017), faced a longer ever closure until September 17. Most of the fiscal firms proceeded their commerce in the milieu of 9/11 occurrence, and as a result decays hit all walks of life – travels, tourism etc.
In fact, America had already envisaged the plan to intervene in Afghanistan through NGO-UNAMA workers in March 2002 in the name of reconstruction after annihilating the aboriginal geography and culture. UNAMA began its operation of restoring war-ridden individuals under Jalaluddin and Emily whereas all around Kabul the U.N. cruisers were running and U.S. helicopters were landing in remote, backward areas of Afghanistan. The present form of the world is the result of a universal military order that is utilized by capitalists to assault the places wherever they confront obstacles in the way of their capitalist plans. Besides, ISAF closely coordinated with UNAMA staff to provide security to U.N. missions (Rahman, 2014); it was a coalition of the willing with the peace-enforcement mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter (Olsson & Tejpar, 2009).
The US-led network of western global forces came to civilize the same Afghan “jihadis” whom Americans had once “supported” in the war against the Soviet Union for jihadist fervor because they were “enemy’s enemy” (Rahman, 2014, p. 537). These attractive civilizing missions have a long history. America altered its conviction of remaking another nation within the picture of its trust. But to reach this goal, it had to expand its military power, and the path of this destination was to be filled with multitudinous “corpses” of others (2014). Since the Orients’ cultural/ civilizational norms were poisonous for world peace in the eyes of those Westerners who were performing “on the side of the angels” (p. 244), so the innocent Afghanis were forced to pattern their lives as per whites’ proposed ‘lists’. The white man always feels it his prime obligation to put the others on the right path of civilization. The formerly devastated foes of civilization, i.e. the Afghanis were now eased out of the complexities of their social, cultural and religious restraints through godly battle purported to liberate individual’s ‘private spheres’ (p. 244). The ‘liberal and sympathetic’ civilizing mission looked for the salvation of Afghanis though they were not on the same cultural and social page with them. These white men were doing “Lord’s work” (p.244) of rehabilitation though violating native cultural values by dissipating in heavy drinking and whoring as it is revealed in case of drunkard Maurice Touvier, the corrupt director of AfDARI who “[h]ad been screwing” the women (p. 530) besides managing cartons of alcohol at AfDARI; thus sex industry appears to be functional there.
The Americans replaced the local cultural and religious values with drinking and whoring but “who will stop these people?” (p. 34). The Empire offered its ‘benevolence’ equally for U.N. fact-finding missions, allied military officials and locals through the feminine smile of Emily which has always been an effective artistic cryptogram in lengthy campaigns to lift and drop morale of friends and foes respectively. This brigade was goaded with establishing neo-empire’s writ for ‘civilization’ for which they had devised new sets of rights that appeared better because of being seen by and seen through the West. These new “rights of the self” (p. 245) were pioneered and implemented by the broods of civilizations under their own perverted version failing that might be controlled by force, i.e. if any hurdle appears in enlightening the private spheres of others, the ‘liberal friends’ of civilization (Rahman, 2014) will go to any lengths in levelling the path of others even if there erupts a horrible stink of civilizational clashes.
The cultural clashes they deliberately initiated to meet their entrepreneurial objectives by launching new humanity on the mammoth rock of “human rights” (Rahman, 2014). The Westerns show dislike rather annoyance for Taliban’s discrimination with women as well as their untoward reaction against ‘homosexuals’; it was curbing of civilians’ rights in their eyes. Their propagation and suppression were aerating fire of collateral damage between two civilizations as they took their stance hundred per cent just in such issues. Afghanis can neither tolerate gay sex nor can they accept any such loafer norm as part of their culture that would annihilate the sanctity of the four walls of the home. “[W]e’re not ready to prostitute our women like Thais. Unlike the Westerner’s, ours is not a spiritual poverty but a material one” (p. 36). The Western principles of enlightenment ultimately led to the clash of civilizations (Rahman, 2014).
Rahman (2014) exposes the “European enlightenment” urging the real provision of rights to humanity since by humans, West means only the white human races, and by rights, it means the rights of a white man who plays on his self-concocted “black man’s music” of addressing their backwardness but inwardly enjoys unhampered decree upon others; by complaining against their living style, the “offspring of civilizations” would project the individual’s rights of “self” (p. 245). The Western enlightenment, however, does not allow for challenging the white’s privilege of freedom; be it a stinky admixture of “alcohol and human bodily order” in “another world” (Rahman, 2014, p. 400) or poking nose into others’ affairs by not letting the pounding vibrations of the air meet the ears of the natives but thrusting their black man’s music (intervention) into other’s affairs since they consider those private spheres, his nation, his race etc. as their personal property (2014). So the enlightenment is limited to contest wars of modernizing them beneath the flag of ‘let him be or let her be’ (p. 245), i.e. individual liberty rather than “Let them be” (p. 245), i.e. national freedom with a motto to abate writ of the state, wane their norms and violate codes etc. for to rule over others and project the alleged “wars of reconstruction” (p. 245), they need to create rifts within targeted nations. The self-assumed role of civilizing nations purges the nations by removing their debris especially the wreckages of objectionable non-state actors to make history that causes them to predate the prey by feasting upon its financial, political, cultural “spheres” (p. 245). Through a partial permeation of these territorial borders (Steger, 2003), they feed upon its geographical organism/ economic being by first ‘softening hard conceptual boundaries and cultural lines of demarcation using teeth of globalization’ (Steger, 2003). The paradoxicality lies in the fact that they had arrived to better the fate of an impoverished third world country with a hoisting interventional flag of “mission of development” (244). Unlike traditionalists/ radicals, liberals had wished to serve mankind. But the work of these blessed messengers was cleared by ‘the devil himself’ (Rahman, 2014). By daring to resist powerful government controls, these economic entrepreneurs and their academic counterparts began to spread a philosophy of individualism and rational self-interest that glorified the virtues of an idealized capitalist system supposedly based upon the providential workings of the free market and its ‘invisible hand’ (Steger, 2003).
The contemporary world politics has led impoverished people into the cage of economic exploitation that instigate their resentment for being demonized and caricatured as ‘Other’ (Steger, 2003); thus seek mental energy from their evergreen and superb reservoir of ‘national identity’. The rebellion against maltreatment with their government to create anarchic situation have interrupted the current ‘Othering’ that appraises their “counter conduct” (Hayat, 2017). The reaction takes different forms in different people. Zafar, a non-state actor aggressively reacts to the brutality of global forces through non-violent counter-discourse (counter orientalism) while Afghan citizen Suleiman becomes involved in violent counterproductive activities; both, however, are on empire’s payroll to weaken the writ of the Afghan state. Since individuals connect with individuals from other nations, societies, and religions through discretion, exchange, foreign help, the tourist industry, worldwide organizations of religion and wars, so there is need of devising a moral system by which these human connections could be systemized through governments, NGOs/TNCs and information technology and yet they may not be misused by any interventional power. But as ill-luck would have it, the political measurement of globalization is altogether insufficient of any moral standards; nations’ sway is being damaged.
Sovereignty standards have been specified in the article in the United Nations Charter that restricts the utilization of force and forbid any kind of meditation in the internal affairs of governments. In his “Third Millennium” report, Kofi Annan had cited the liability of maintaining human rights. Sovereignty, meanwhile, appeared as an obligation. Now it was believed that any kind of intervention; be it legal or legitimate was taken as a violation of autonomy. The intercessions and extreme financial reliance of governments to each other convince many people to deny the presence of sovereignty as an objective component in universal conditions in future. It may be concluded that not because it was governments’ sovereignty would not be weakened or apportioned within modern and future world, but moreover, it will be discernible, and this will be the commitment of worldwide law to reexamine this concept in progressed world (Foroohi & Moradi, 2017)
© 2016, All rights reserved - by GLR journal