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19th July 1998

No East no West Islam is the Best

By Mervyn de Silva

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The business of America is busi ness..... inherited wisdom, home-spun too, an American president, no less. And yet easily forgotten or neglected, it would appear, like right now. Hence the high level intervention. Brzenzinski, Zbigniew Brzeezinski, President Jimmy Carter National Security adviser, and in that capacity chaired meetings of the National Security Council (NSC), the highest policy- making body. Recently he warned the administration and the American people that unless Iran and Russia were given a stake in the Caspian's energy development both "would try to pursue exclusionary policies in the region.

This would disadvantage US interest and the stability in the region. He insists that it is the American interest to give Iran a stake in Caspian energy development. It is clear that high level opinion, or influential opinion- making groups share a visceral antipathy to revolutionary Iran, despite its large contribution to the world's oil production, vital to the industrialized US-led western community of nations.

World energy demand will double by 2020. This will require an investment of three trillion US dollars in new electricity generation alone observed the (London) ECONOMIST'S annual forecast.

So why this visceral hate? Why is Iran Enemy No1? The first reason was Ayatollah Khomeini exiled by the Shah.... no ordinary "king" mind you but the Shah Enshah, the king of Kings, Aryamehr..... the light of the Aryans. And the king of Kings (the titles were all acquired) had the closest ties with the oil companies, three American, one British (George Bush was an 'oil man' from the West before he took to big-time politics).

In Paris, the Ayatollah organized a group of patriotic exiles. Letters addressed to the people of Iran were smuggled to the country. And thus one of the most extraordinary revolutions in the history of the world.

One of the richest and most powerful rulers of the world was toppled from his throne and forced to flee by hand-written (many scrawled, it is said) "sermons".

Islamic threat

And so to the Islamic threat in place of Marxism-Leninism and /or MAOISM, the teachings of one great revolutionary that forced Generalisimo Chiang Kai-shek to seek shelter in Taiwan guarded, a province of China protected by the mighty American fleet permanently patrolling the Taiwan Straits.

But what is the more formidable force.... Marxism-Leninism or Islamic revivalism? Another American, not so renowned as Zbigniew Brezinski presents an impartial exhaustively researched study with a provocative title - The Islamic Threat: Myth Or Reality. The author, Professor of Middle East Studies, at a prestigious institute in the US, is Editor-in-Chief of Oxford's Encyclopaedia of the Modern Islamic World, is also a consultant to the State Dept.

In his view, western academics, diplomats, policy makers and most of all, politicians in Congress and Senate "searching for a new enemy against whom to test our nettle and power, after the death of Communism, ISLAM is the preferred antagonist.

"But to declare Islam an enemy of the United States is to declare a second Cold War that is unlikely to end in the same resounding victory as the first. Fear of the Green Menace (the colour of Islam) may well replace that of the Red Menace of world communism".

New Force

Yes, from Bosnia to Indonesia (now that Suharto is no longer in command), western intelligence agencies and diplomats.... the media is also in pursuit of the same enemy.... keep a keen eye on signs of Islamic resurgence, new organized groups and the Islamic elite. The mosque, the sermon and the Mullah are under strictest surveillance. And this includes Boris Yeltsin's Russia.

The predominantly Moslem republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were the first to declare independence. (I do not mention the Baltic States since these belonged to quite a different category. For instance, one such Republic was part of the Hitler-Stalin pact , a nice horse deal'. Not so the Central Asian Republics on the USSR's long southern border. The names Uzbekistan, Kazakhastanete. declare their Islamic identity.(This writer enjoyed better godamba rotti and roast chicken in a crowded cafe which served any speciality we can find in a Maradana "joint")

Brzezinski has identified a new emerging force that could prove as powerful as the discredited Marxism-Leninist-Mao-Tse-tung Thought.

Hulftsdorp Hill

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