The successive American administrations have been exploiting the engrained instability and power vacuum in Third world countries to justify their illegal intervention in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and Latin America as well. Ironically, the so-called war on terror brought more conflicts and even fueled the rise of extremism.
More fundamentally, conspiracy theorists argue that the US played a decisive role in the 9.11 attacks to advance its geostrategic interests in the MENA region. It’s worth mentioning that the US itself funded Al-Qaeda and Al-Mujahedeen in Afghanistan to curb the soviet expansion during the cold war. According to official reports, President Carter provided $500,000 worth of non-lethal assistance to Al- Mujahidin.
Yet, the ongoing chaos in Afghanistan is just the tip of the iceberg. The unilateral intervention in Iraq was far from being normative-driven. No weapons of mass destruction were found. It was all about oil, in addition to other political goals. Today after 20 years, what did the US bring to Iraq? The government is struggling to survive with new regional, national, and international actors appearing on the scene.
The ongoing campaign against Muslim migrants is directly related to the American propaganda, which focuses on Anti-Islamic rhetoric to keep its foot in the region. Though President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump seem less interested in what has been called “humanitarian intervention, or “responsibility to protect”, military intervention remains a choice on the table.
Sabreena Ghaffar-Siddiqui, a researcher, writer, and award-winner wrote: “The war on terror, as purposely broad and vague a term it is, which is intrinsically connected to Afghanistan, is what gave birth to the global Islamophobia industry that is thriving today and benefitting many of the oppressive nations you or your parents are from (including Palestine and Modi’s India) and is harming YOU.
“Being anti-US intervention/occupation of Muslim majority countries does not automatically make you a terrorist sympathizer and anti-feminist.”
Now more than ever, the US will ramp up it is efforts to silence dissidents amid growing free press movements. President Joe Biden vowed to promote human rights around the world, but he hasn’t taken any step towards that end goal. Months ago, the UK granted Washington the permission to appeal a court decision that denies the extradition of Wikileaks founder and Journalist Julian Assange to the US. Human rights defenders argue that Assange might get exposed to gross violations in the not-too-distant future.
“Therein lays the problem. These charges are so broad-based that if successful they would go well beyond this individual case – they would impact investigative journalism and open up prosecutions of countless media doing this journalism, they would have a chilling effect on all journalists reporting on national security and foreign affairs matters,” Mr. Khalil, the member for the Victorian seat of Wills said.
The extradition of Assange to the US signals that cracking down on independent voices is becoming a norm. Assange constitutes a headache to the power players who fear getting exposed for their dirty work.
Now, the issue is not whether the US should continue its interventionist policies. Instead, it’s how Third world countries could deal with corruption, authoritarianism, Western dependency, and social and political malaise that the US played a decisive role in.