Empire Files: Israeli Army Vet’s Exposé – “I Was the Terrorist” — Socio-Economics History Blog

TeleSUR English Published on Mar 6, 2017 In a rare, candid conversation, Abby Martin interviews a former Israeli Army combat soldier who served as an occupier in Palestine’s Hebron City. Eran Efrati spent years as a sergeant and combat soldier in the Israeli military, but has since become an outspoken critic of the occupation of Palestine […]

via Empire Files: Israeli Army Vet’s Exposé – “I Was the Terrorist” — Socio-Economics History Blog


Some Thoughts on Khilafat Movement

Until ISIL (or ISIS or IS or Daesh) entered the global stage Khilafat Movement was slowly gaining global enquiry and interest. The anti Khilafah group must be laughing all the way, they will point their fingers at revivalists and say, `see what the Khilafah actually stands for, we told you so and now you can see it for yourself´.

The global Islamic political party credited for the intellectual revival of the Caliphate system has taken the strategy of ignoring the importance and the effect of ISIL on the political movement. Indifference is the tool being used to brush aside the negative publicity from this messy affair.

The words ISIL (or ISIS or IS) are now directly linked with Caliphate. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi (al Rolexi) is the name and picture of the new Caliph. The truth may be totally different from what we see, but that is not the point. The point is that a particular perception of the Caliph has been established by the global media to the advantage of those who are against the Caliphate system. This perception is being upheld by different quarters with the help of Zionist controlled media. Unfortunately, Muslims are paying the price in this game without any action plan to overcome the situation. Once again, Muslims are forced to be dependent on the west to save themselves from their self declared defenders. How ironic!!

Militant groups using the image of Islam in the background, represented by men in particular dress codes, strike something really strange in my mind. Its almost as if they have all been trained at the same institute, by the same instructors and by the same weapons.How do we know the true intent of such training institutes, assuming there is one like that. Its almost like a page out of a Robert Ludlum spy book. The KGB in Ludlum´s novels built replicas of major cities and establishment centers which trained spies in counter intelligence and covert operations during the cold war. Spies were experts in foreign languages and many other skills which eased their integration with local populations.

You might have guessed it right if you thought that I was implying these media personalities were pretending to be leaders of militant organizations but in reality they are internationally trained spies having access to tons of cash, links to black market arms smugglers and so on and so forth (think Bourne Identity). These Oscar caliber spies speak Arabic like a native, dress like an Imam, act like a warrior – all as a part if their well rehearsed roles. Interestingly, their pre-recorded studio shots are conveniently delivered to all major TV channels across the world. It is sometimes perfectly timed to match election schedule to help boos a particular candidate. Sounds cheesy but that is what happened in practice.

ISIL is bent on killing Muslims and Christians. Is´nt that a bit strange. This strange group seems to be adequately funded with international currencies (mostly USD and Euros and may be gold), heavily equipped with foreign weapons, assisted by highly skilled military experts. ISIL´s achievement so far has been to push the Khilafah revivalist groups into the background through negative publicity concerning the concept and image of the Khilafah. They achieved all this with surgical precision. They must have trained hard for it for years.

In addition to tarnishing the image of the Khilafah, ISIL has also managed to divert media attention away from the genocide in Palestine, and towards their stupid beheadings in what looks like a movie studio.

What is to be done about this? Indifference will help defer the problem for a while but it will not erase the issue in the long run. Islamic groups make a gross mistake when they take the side of silence at the instance of crimes. For instance TTP in Peshawar committed a horrible crime for which Islamic groups should have come out against them strongly. With the exception of one group, all others took days to come up with silly communiques. This is in itself un-Islamic. You must be just even it is against your ownself.

ISIL, TTP and other armed militant groups are suspicious criminal groups with deep pockets and sinister ties with global espionage establishments. Muslim world is a strategic chess board where the key players are making moves at the cost of the Ummah. Attacks and counter attacks have nothing religious about them. These are old cold war style games played out in different territories. Khilafat Movement with its current leaders seems to struggle with heavy burdens sometimes too heavy to move on. The most important question for a layman like me is, why is the movement weakening? Is it due to weakening of faith in the Ummah or is it due to weak leadership?

How Colonization Changed Islamic Societies into Nation States

There are today more than fifty Muslim states, extending from the Atlas Mountains in the West to the Malay Archipelago in the East, and from Sub-Saharan Africa to the steppes of Central Asia. They include some of the most populous countries in the world, such as Indonesia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, as well as some of the smallest, such as the Maldives and the Comoros. Some are strong states with effective government institutions; others, like Bosnia-Herzegovina, enjoy only a precarious existence. Some, like Mali and Bangladesh, are poor; others, like Libya, Brunei, Turkmenistan, and Saudi Arabia, are endowed with great natural wealth; still others, like Malaysia—the world’s seventh most exporting country in 1997—owe their wealth to successful industrialization. Some Muslim states are ethnically uniform; others include sizable ethnic, linguistic, or religious minorities. Nearly the entire spectrum of social, economic, ideological, institutional, and political expressions are represented in these states. From the Islamic Republic of Iran to secular republics in the Arab world or Indonesia, from monarchies in the Arab world, Malaysia, Nigeria (where monarchies rule over provinces), and Brunei, to democracies in Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Malaysia, Muslim states include great diversity in politics and the workings of governments.

Despite this diversity, a common thread also exists in the politics of Muslim states. The most obvious is Islam, not only as a faith but also as a source of identity and an important factor in social relations and politics. Islam has long been important to Muslim politics. It has played a role in the struggles for liberation from colonialism in Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. In various stages of the colonial era, Islamic forces, thinkers, and political leaders have played an important part in shaping Muslim politics. Liberation from colonialism was elaborated as an Islamic movement, from Sayyid Ahmad Shahid’s (1786–1831) uprising in India in 1826 to the anti-imperialist undertakings of Iran’s Mirza Hasan Shirazi (1815–94) and Shaykh Fadlullah Nuri (1843–1909) or Central Asia’s Imam Shamil (1796–1871), Algeria’s Amir Abd al-Qadir (1808–83), Somaliland’s Muhammad ibn Abdille Hasan (1864–1920), Sudan’s Mahdi (d. 1885), Iran’s Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838–87), or the Tijani jihads (holy wars) in West Africa between the 1780s and the 1880s (the Sokoto caliphate of Uthman dan Fodio [c. 1754–1817] and the revolt of al-Hajj Umar Tal of Futa Toro [c. 1794–1864]). Other “Islamic” movements have included Malaya’s Hizbul Islam (Islamic Party), India’s Jamiat-i Ulama-i Hind (Party of Ulama), Iran’s Shiite ulama in the 1920s, Libya’s Sanusiyyah (led by Umar Mukhtar, 1858–1931), or Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim leaders of various intellectual endeavors during the colonial period have included Muhammad Iqbal (1877–1938), Abul-Kalam Azad (1888–1958), and India’s Mawlana Husain Ahmad Madani (1879–1957) and Mawlana Abul-Ala Mawdudi (1903–79), later of Pakistan. These movements and thinkers were among the first to organize an indiginous anticolonial movement. They articulated anticolonialism in the language of the jihad, relating struggles for liberation to Islam—a powerful paradigm that continues today to be relevant to Muslim struggles against imperialism, most lately in the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union in the 1980s and Chechnya’s war of liberation against Russia in 1996. In this the Islamic movements were the precursors to the later nationalist uprisings. In Indonesia the efforts of Masjumi (Majlis Sjuro Muslimin Indonesia, the consultative council of Indonesian Muslims) would play an important role in nationalist anticolonialism efforts and early state formation in Indonesia.

Later, Islam influenced the values and the goals of politics, and in recent years Islamist movements have redefined the nature of politics and laid claim to control of the state. The continued political importance of Islam, its relevance to the struggle against colonialism in particular, has prevented secular nationalism from completely dominating politics in the Muslim world. This has in turn made state formation, and its relation to precolonial and colonial eras, complex and at times problematic. Another feature that Muslim states share is the fact that without exception, they are developing states; namely, for the most part they have emerged during the course of the twentieth century and have been closely tied to the efforts of their societies to advance and industrialize. In so doing, they share in the historical legacy, cultural milieu, and often the political and social problems that confront development in the Third World. Muslim states have responded to the challenges before them differently, just as size, geographic location, and economic endowment have also meant different patterns of development.

The legacy of colonialism is key in explaining both the diversity and the unity of different experiments with state formation in the Muslim world. Just as Islam, ethnic identity, social characteristics, and other indigenous religious and cultural factors can explain the commonalities between Muslim states—and conversely, economics, ideology, and leadership can explain divergences—colonialism too can explain the points of convergence and divergence in experiences with state formation across the Muslim world. Muslim have lived with nearly all the colonial powers. In much of Africa, Asia, and the Arab world, the British and the French ruled over vast Muslim territories. The Dutch ruled over territories that later became Indonesia, and the Germans, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russians held Muslim territories in East Africa, the Philippines, Malaya (what is now known as Malaysia), the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Israel’s control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip may be seen as the last and only ongoing colonial relationship in Muslim lands. Although the defining characteristics of colonialism were at work in all of these locales, there were differences in how colonial powers approached their colonial mandates, even differences in how the same colonial powers exerted power and influence in different territories. There are thus fundamental similarities between various Muslim polities as there are particularities, which have their roots in history, and more important, with the experience of each colonial territory.

This chapter identifies colonialism’s legacy for the development of the Muslim states in the twentieth century. It discusses the common legacy that Muslim states share as a result of their experiences with colonialism and explains how colonization also accounts for differing patterns of development by looking at individual experiences with colonialism. The colonial era lasted less than a century, but it forever changed all aspects of geography, the economy, social relations, and politics in the areas that it ruled.

Shaping the Modern Muslim World: Colonialism and State Boundaries

The colonization of Muslim territories began with the rise of European empires, the conquest of India, and the scramble for Africa in the nineteenth century. Its last phase included the division of the Arab territories of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. The colonial era ended after World War II, when Britain and then France withdrew from the majority of their colonial territories. Muslim states began to emerge in earnest from 1947 on—although some, such as Iran or Afghanistan, had always remained independent, albeit nominally. The emergence of Muslim states involved negotiated withdrawals of colonial powers, as was the case in Malaya, India, and the Persian Gulf emirates, as well as brutal and bloody wars of independence, as in Algeria. The decolonization also occurred in spurts, as European powers sought to protect their economic interests following their political and military withdrawals in a changing global environment. Iran in 1953 and Egypt in 1956 were examples of the reassertion of colonialism, which nevertheless marked the gradual yet effective end of direct European rule over Muslims.

By the mid-1970s most Muslim territories, from Sub-Saharan Africa to Southeast Asia, had gained independence from colonialism and constituted either independent Muslim states or parts of independent non-Muslim states. Still, the legacy of colonialism continued to shape and reshape their polities, economies, and societies. The impact of colonialism went far beyond the relationships of economic and political imperialism that theorists of the Left have amply elaborated upon. Colonialism also survived in the forms that state ideologies, political visions, and institutions of the new states took. The impact of colonialism was circumspect, but it was nevertheless pervasive. It was a manifestation of the historical continuity between a past from which the new states sought to distance themselves and their independent existences.

The Muslim world today is a collection of nation-states. Although Islamic unity continues to animate politics across the Muslim world and has been a central demand of Islamic movements, the unity of Muslim states does not extend beyond the limited mandate of the Organization of Islamic Conference, an international organization of Muslim states that is modeled after the United Nations. The concept of a territorial state is of relatively recent origin in the Muslim world. In the premodern era Muslims were conscious of ethnic, linguistic, and regional differences among them, but politically they were united under first the caliphate and later empires and sultanates, whose shifting boundaries represented not the borders of nation-states as the term is understood today, but the writ of rulers who ruled in the name of Islam. The idea of a Muslim territorial state, much like the idea of nationalism, is thus an import from the West. The inclusion of the concept of the territorial state into Muslim politics and the actual boundaries of Muslim states are both products of colonialism.

This is not to say that ethnic affiliations and national identities were absent in the Muslim world before the advent of colonialism. Such sentiments were always strong. For instance, Iranians from early on viewed themselves as distinct from Arabs and Turks, and Shiism in Iran in many ways became a mark of its national identity, separating Iranians from the Sunni Turks, Arabs, and Türkmen around it. Similar distinctions between Arabs and Berbers, Arabs and Turks, or Malays and Javanese have also been prominent. Ethnic nationalism and its association with a nation-state, however, is new to the Muslim world and has its origins in the colonial era. It was then that nationalism as a primary form of political identity—one that is not subservient to Islamic identity but supersedes it absolutely and is associated with a territorial state modeled after those in the West—grew roots and became a part of Muslim political consciousness.

For this reason tensions have existed across the Muslim world between conceptions of the nation-state—associated with the relatively more recent nationalist political ideal—and the Islamic ideal of the ummah (holy community), which continues to undergird the Muslim political ideal. The concept of the ummah calls Muslims not only to unite across national boundaries but to place Islam above all other political allegiances in their everyday lives. The scope of tensions between the state and its citizens over this issue has depended on the extent to which the state has been willing to accommodate Islamic consciousness. Whereas Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Malaysia have sought to bring about harmony between nationhood and the ideal of the ummah, Turkey, Pahlavi Iran, Tunisia, Algeria, and Indonesia have consciously sought to assert the primacy of the nation-state over the ummah. Also important in this regard is how strong the notion of nationalism is. In states with strong national identities, such as Turkey, Iran, and Egypt, the state has asserted its prerogatives more forcefully, as is also the case where large non-Muslim minorities reside, such as Malaysia or Nigeria. Conversely, in places such as Pakistan, where national identity is weak, the ideal of the ummah holds greater sway.

Muslim states gained independence in territories that were delineated by the colonial powers. They largely accepted the shapes in which they were born as well as the fact that states would be bound by international borders into distinct sovereign entities. Expansionism did occur, however: Morocco’s claim to Western Sahara, Indonesia’s to East Timor, Turkey’s to northern Cyprus, Iran’s to Bahrain until the mid-1970s, Syria’s to Lebanon, and Iraq’s to Kuwait. These claims were put forward in the name of nationalism and on behalf of a nation-state, as defined and legitimated by international norms. Muslim states, by and large, have not challenged the division of the territories of the Islamic empires, and by implication, the Islamic world by colonial powers or the criteria used by those powers in determining new borders. Muslim states have not sought to reconstruct the ummah but only to expand the boundaries of nation-states. The reality of those borders have been accepted, although where they lie has on occasion been contested.

The only exceptions to this general rule have been the ideologies of Arab nationalism and Islamism. Arab nationalism, which was a widely popular political ideal in the 1960s and has been a general political and cultural thrust since then, has in principle questioned the division of the Arab world into twenty-two states. Even in this case, though, the rhetoric of unity, beyond yielding a number of symbolic unification pacts—most notably the United Arab Republic, consisting of Egypt and Syria between 1958 and 1961 and the Arab League—never effectively undermined the division of Arab lands by colonialism. Only North and South Yemen successfully united and then not in the name of Islam or Arab nationalism but of Yemeni nationalism. Even Jordan, a state that was created arbitrarily by England when Amir Abdullah, its first king, was given a fixed stipend and six months to see if the idea worked, has stood the test of time. Furthermore, Arab nationalism was not an Islamic ideology, and in that sense it did not seek to reverse the division of Muslim lands so much as it did the division of Arab ones. Islamist movements too have argued for the unity of all Muslims above and beyond their national identities and to accept the reality of the ummah in lieu of nation-states. In practice, however, Islamist movements have conducted their politics in accordance with the territorial reality of the Muslim world. The Islamic Party (Jamaat-i Islami) organizations of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka are thus independent of one another, as are the Muslim Brotherhood organizations from Nigeria and Senegal to Sudan, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine.

If and when state boundaries have given way, it has not been because of lack of resolve in statehood, but rather because of the ability of a larger expansionist state to overwhelm a smaller neighbor. Kuwait has remained independent owing to outside assistance; others have not been as fortunate. For example, Western Sahara was forcibly united with Morocco, as was East Timor with Indonesia. Iran annexed some small islands in the Persian Gulf that it took from the United Arab Emirates in the 1970s. The emirates continue to demand the return of the islands, and the struggle for independence from Morocco, led by the Polisario movement, has been waged unabated; the chapter on an independent Western Sahara is far from closed.

Consequently, the colonial division of Muslim territories, in principle as well as along the lines that were initially introduced, have been largely accepted by the successor Muslim states and have been instituted into the international system. The legacy of colonialism here has not been free of tensions, however. First, many of the divisions were problematic. Some were carried out arbitrarily to accommodate local colonial officials without regard to their impact on peoples and resources. Other divisions reflected the needs of colonial powers to resolve diplomatic tensions among themselves. In many cases colonies were thus created to satisfy disgruntled European allies or to serve as buffers against expansionist ones. The post-World War I plans for the division of the Ottoman Empire were made to appease France, Italy, and Greece. The need to protect India from Russia meanwhile led to the creation of Afghanistan, as similar concerns about France after 1798 led to British occupation of Egypt, which in turn warranted British control of Palestine after World War I. Strategic decisions and economic interests finally led to the creation of new colonial territories, which more often than not became the bases for future states. British interests in Persian Gulf oil led to the creation of Kuwait and a similar attempt at creating “Arabistan” out of Iran’s Khuzestan province in the early twentieth century. Decades later, similar economic considerations led Britain to encourage Brunei not to join Malaysia. Local political considerations led to further divisions. France created Lebanon out of Syria to fulfill its desire to create a Christian-Arab state; and Britain created Jordan to accommodate Amir Abdullah, who had fought on the side of the British in World War I and whose family felt betrayed by the division of the Arab lands of the Ottoman Empire between European powers.

How colonialism actually worked and what its imprints were have shaped Muslims’ perception of their identities and politics and separated the path that various Muslim states have taken since independence. Early on, through the aspiring new elite that the colonial rulers trained in European languages and ways to create a machinery of government, the division of Muslim territories took shape. As perceptions of whom the elite would control and what the possibilities and limits before them were became entrenched, commitments to borders took form. These commitments built on existing ethnic identities, articulating visions of nationalism that would give greater meaning to those boundaries. A bureaucrat in Kuala Lumpur or Damascus eventually developed a vested interest in “Malaysianness” or “Syrianness,” for example, lest his power remain limited as that of a provincial functionary in a larger Malay or Arab entity. It was such feelings that in later years doomed the Egyptian-Syrian unity pact of 1958–61. Iraqi and Syrian bureaucrats, who under the Ottomans would operate in the same ambient political, social, and literary culture, now developed ties to different European traditions and languages and helped to finalize their “separateness.” The varied administrative and political experiences thus helped to consolidate parochial nationalisms at the cost of more universal ones. The colonial experience, and the arenas of operation that it presented the new elite, ultimately laid the foundations of states where none had existed before.

In the Malay world the same process forced a separation between Malaysian and Indonesian identities and between Muslim Malay and non-Muslim Malay identities as well. Bureaucrats and politicians in British Malay and the Dutch Indies came to view the diverse cultural, linguistic, and religious arena of respective British and Dutch territories as their political and administrative arena, whereas the possibility of a Malay arena including the Malay parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, or a Muslim-Pattani region in Thailand and Mindanao in the Philippines, and excluding the non-Muslim and non-Malay parts of both became an unworkable idea. Boundaries of colonialism and the differences in cultural and historical experiences and developments that it engendered determined the shape of future states and polities. A united Islamic Malaya would not emerge because its peoples were ruled by different colonial authorities. Conversely, Borneo, and briefly Singapore, would become part of Malaysia because all were ruled by the same British colonial administration. Colonialism thus helped to define the borders of states and their realities in contradistinction to other conceptions of independence and statehood.

New states often appropriated existing ethnic identities or semblances thereof, such as “Iraqiness” or “Syrianness,” and at other times contrived nationhood, as in the cases of Jordan or Malaysia, to produce nationalist ideologies that could sustain state formation. The process also entailed sublimating competing ethnic identities and preventing them from developing into nationalisms. Iran, Iraq, and Turkey have sought to prevent Kurdish identity from asserting itself as a nationalism. Iran sought to integrate Kurds into an Iranian nationalist identity, and Turkey depicted them as “Mountain Turks.” The success of experiments with state formation often depended on how successful the development of national consciousness was. That, in turn, depended on the strength of the ethnic identity that formed the basis of nationalism. Over time, ethnic and territorial definitions became the boundaries for national identity formations; they grew roots and developed as a secular and dominant form of political identity in lieu of memories of a united Islamic world in history. Colonial powers had perhaps never meant for the territorial demarcations to have the lasting effects that they had, but in reality these boundaries became embedded in the future states.

Territorial divisions have also been a source of tension between various Muslim states that claim mutually exclusive rights to the same territories. Jordan and Syria, for example, early after independence both set their eyes on reconstituting larger Syria, while Jordan also maintained a claim to Palestine and Morocco to Mauritania and parts of Algeria; Syria and Turkey have contested sovereignty over Alexandretta (Iskenderun); Iran and Iraq over the Shatt al Arab channel; Egypt and Sudan over waters of the Nile; Pakistan and Afghanistan over the Durrand line; Pakistan and India over Kashmir; Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, over borderline oases and oil fields; Libya and Chad over their border regions; and Iran and the United Arab Emirates over the Tunbs and Abu Musa islands. In some cases the very existence of some Muslim states have been challenged by neighbors that view the Muslim states as artificial constructions of colonialism. Syria’s claims to Lebanon, Malaysia’s to Brunei (until recently), Iraq’s to Kuwait, and Morocco’s to Western Sahara are examples. Borders produced the shape of the states but did not guarantee their viability. Colonial authorities drew boundaries but did little to unify the peoples that fell within those boundaries into a national culture. At times they did exactly the opposite; namely, the colonial powers sought to maintain control by encouraging competition between ethnic, linguistic, religious, or tribal groupings. The territorial division of Muslim lands thus remained unchallenged, but it went hand in hand with national confusion and the fracturing of the future national society.

Unresolved tensions between peoples and regions that were included within the same state, but never consolidated into one nation, have resulted in challenges to state boundaries. Confessional tensions in Lebanon; ethnic and religious clashes in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Malaysia; and the Kurdish plight in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey are examples of the many problems inherent in state formation on the basis of colonial territorial demarcation. Still, none of these problems has been a result of attempts to reconstitute “Islamdom.” In fact, the preponderance of nationalism in Muslim political consciousness is so pervasive that Pakistan, which was created in the name of Islam, divided along ethnic lines in 1971 into Pakistan and Bangladesh. Although fraught with problems, the territorial conception and reality of Muslim states continues today in the colonial mold.

Culture of Global Movement

South Asian citizens face systematic persecution by the state authorities on non-mainstream thinkers, activists and writers. Equality before law and the value of human life dance to the to the tunes of a few at the top echelons of power. In Dhaka, some activists were provided police security while some others became the targets of police brutality. The factor that separated one group from another was the type of message that was being carried by the activists. People will not be permitted to think about ideas that go against powerful elite. Censorship rules on media in effect cut their ability to hold the administration accountable. Licenses are terminated, channels are taken off air if news coverage goes against the “thought control” strategy.

Issue of rights, equality and freedom does not come into consideration when one particular group is discriminated against another by higher authorities. The fact that both groups are made up of equal citizens of the state does not register when one group is protected while another is fired upon. Should we look farter for the definition of tyranny?

Resistance in such cases would be to take a stand against the unfair and unjust policies. In the past, resistance leaders gathered popular support using racial and religious bondings as attraction tools. It is much harder now as the oppressors sport the same color, language and religion as of the oppressed. It was a lot simpler for Indian politicians to raise mass movement against the “western” occupying colonialists, but its a lot harder for a South Asian to make fellow South Asian politician accounatable through a popular mass movement. 

Muslim resistance must be in such fields where basic value of human life, rights to safety and security faces defeat. The last known Muslim Resistance in South Asia was the Khelafat Movement, organized by the famous duo – the Ali Brothers. Other regional resistance leaders gave their support for it as well. This movement’s thoughts, ideas and concepts rest on universal outlook and global understanding of politics.

Why Algeria Acted Alone

It came as a real surprise to many. Since 9/11 US forces became the dictionary definition of counter terrorism globally. To see Algerian special forces take armed confrontation is rare in Arab region.

Pakistan and west friendly countries are pliant states. Anti terror activities are expected to be conducted through a joint understanding and agreement. Unilateral actions could not part of the greater deal. Although Pakistanis might be thinking how their administration agreed to drone attacks from their country.

That Algeria didn’t inform the U.S.—much less collaborate with it—before launching the raid should come as no surprise. Since 9/11, both the Bush and Obama administrations have tried to cultivate a relationship with Algeria’s military, intelligence, and security ministries. There have been occasional successes.

Algerian officers have trained with the U.S. military; U.S. intelligence agencies shared overhead imagery of Algeria’s vast border; and the two sides at times cooperated against a common enemy, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), the group’s North African affiliate.

But in general, distrust has been a hallmark of the strained relationship between the U.S. and Algeria.

Under President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the Algerian military has never agreed to the large kinds of defense aid packages other North African allies like Morocco and Egypt accepted. Known as foreign military financing, these kinds of grants can theoretically give the U.S. leverage over—and insight into—foreign militaries. (Algeria’s primary weapons supplier is Moscow, a relationship that goes back to the Cold War, when the Russians trained Algeria’s intelligence service and military.)

Since 2008, the U.S. has spent money from the International Military Education and Training Program to bring Algerian military officers to the United States for advanced military education. These exchanges are meant to give U.S. military officers a personal relationship with the future leaders of foreign militaries.

Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of staff for Pakistan’s military, for example, studied at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. When he was there, he got to know a young officer named David Petraeus, who would go on to lead the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Algerian government also participated in military exchanges with the U.S., yet it wasn’t entirely convinced that the U.S. could teach it military and police about how to fight terrorists, according to current and former U.S. officials who worked on the program. In the 1990s, the Algerian government led a brutal campaign against the Islamist insurgency that eventually morphed into AQIM.

Ali Tounsi, who was the director general of Algeria’s national police until he was murdered in 2010, said the U.S. “keeps extending invitations to visit Quantico or Paris Island, but they have nothing to offer that we don’t already know.” Porter added, “The view was Algeria had an extremely bloody counter-insurgency, and then after September 11, the United States launches its war on terror and comes parading all these goodies like counterterrorism cooperation.”

In the last six months, the Obama administration has intensified its diplomacy with Algeria in light of the deteriorating situation in Mali. Outgoing secretary of state Hillary Clinton has spearheaded an effort with the Algerian government to form a new strategic dialogue to broaden the relationship beyond counter-terrorism. But the emphasis has been on closing Algeria’s border with Mali and targeting the mix of ethnic rebels and jihadists who are threatening to turn Mali into the next major al Qaeda safe haven.

To some extent, these efforts have been successful. Algeria allowed France, its former colonial master, to use its airspace for the new military initiative in Mali. The Algerians also moved troops to the Mali border after initially resisting the recommendation, according to three current U.S. officials. But the wariness nonetheless remains.

What happened in Algeria was a blowback from what happened in Mali. French invasion and re-colonization triggered the AQIM members in Algeria to exact blood for what they see as Algerian government’s betrayal. Its much like OBL’s dissatisfaction with the Al Saud family’s loyalty to US.

These blowbacks did not start in the Algerian or Malian deserts. Not in the mountains of Afghanistan or the streets of Baghdad. Whenever a person is killed unjustly anywhere a member of global humanity must stand and speak against it. Newton’s third law of motion says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Invasion of Kuwait lead to Desert Storm. That was a blowback. Foreign military base in his country lead to OBL’s jihadist movement from Sudan and then Afghanistan. That was the second blowback. 9/11 attacks can be connected through a series of dots starting from one event and leading to another.

Blowbacks due to foreign military interventions is an extension of an ideological fight. Post colonialism independent countries were fuelled by the passion of nationalism and experimentation of government models. Dysfunctional governments of many countries in South Asia and Africa gave birth to movements of anarchy, destruction, hatred and militancy. Malian government relied on its former masters to administer itself resembling a patient released from hospital only to remain in coma at home. A truly independent Mali existed only on paper.

Malian state’s poor achievements in governance, security, education, healthcare and overall bad resource management lead to Tuareg rebels enlistment in Qaddafi’s army in Libya. With their paymaster now gone Tuaregs teamed up with other armed militants to seize power. For few months militants ruled over a territory equal to the size of France itself. In time they could have mustered enough power to change the rules of the game in regional strategy surrounding Mali. That would have had a blowback effect on the north African region.

Sovereign state concept is an important concept as much as the chess board is important to the game of chess itself. In the post world war II era republics must perform on the international chess board of strategy and control as designed by world powers. International strategy as per the new world order would not work if sovereign states and republics begin to evolve and transform into unified blocks and alliances. A new chess board would be required in that situation introducing new rules and new players..

Mali intervention is not over yet. First blowback from this invasion was the kidnapping and killing of 32 people. Blowbacks don’t die easily. Therein hangs the danger of something horrible waiting to happen. Series of previously unimagined events should unfold before us in next few weeks. In those events we must hope another destructive ideology will not be born.