Saturday, 2 August 2008

Acceptable defined goals and unacceptable hidden agendas

Acceptable defined goals and unacceptable hidden agendas
Reza Hossein Borr

The heaviness of the burden of Kurdish massacres in the last several decades has inflicted heavy pains on the conscience of many people in the world and specifically the Western intellectuals and leaders. The sufferings of the Kurds have caused enormous debate in the governments, think tanks, universities and media. Millions of people shared their sufferings but few people took their cause seriously.

The massacres of Kurds by Saddam Hussein infuriated the Western world and they decided to support them through the Shah of Iran. The main supporter of Kurdish cause was the US after Iraq was pushed by Saddam Hussein in the Soviet Union camp. Iran and Iraq were allied closely to two hostile camps of capitalism and communism. To punish Saddam Hussein, the US, the West and the Shah of Iran used the Kurdish cause to destabilise Iraq of Saddam Hussein. To counter this action, Saddam Hussein began to support Iranian dissidents including the Arabs, the Baluch and the leftist groups of Iran. Supporting the dissidents from both sides was costly and therefore, the Shah of Iran decided to reach an agreement with Saddam Hussein and signed Algiers agreement abandoning the Kurds.

According to many analysts today, that was the cause of the fall of the Shah of Iran and later that of Saddam Hussein. A considerable number of intellectuals and leaders across the world could not see that the fate of the stateless nation of Kurd dropped from the international agenda. As the Shah of Iran was the main supporter of the Kurds and the main initiator of Algiers agreement he was identified as the main source of abandoning the Kurds. The Shah's policies for improving his relationship with the Arabs were also identified as a blow to very close relationships between Iran and Israel. Some analysts believe that the plan for removing the Shah of Iran was hatched in that time to open the way for a sustainable campaign for the creation of a Kurdish state and bringing a regime in Iran which infuriated Arab countries. The conscience of the world was not ready to see more massacres of Kurds.

The defined goal of the Kurds was having their own independent state but that was not even conceivable when all countries of the region opposed it vigorously as creation of such a state meant the disintegration of several major regional powers. The Western world led by the US reached this conclusion that the Kurds would continue to fight and be massacre until they build their own state. Supporting them was not an easy task as Turkey and Iran were two main allies of the West in the region. After the fall of the Shah and the emergence of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the war between Iran and Iraq, Halabcha was bombarded with chemical weapons which resulted into the sudden death of more than 5,000 innocent Kurds. This incident created a new will and determination in the Western world that Saddam Hussein must be removed and a new state must be created but again no country in the region was prepared to see the fall of Saddam Hussein and the creation of a new state.

This is when a new strategy was designed which had honorable and admirable defined goals which were accepted by the international community but had another unacceptable by-product and that was the creation of a Kurdish state. The United States of America and the West knew that the countries of the region and specifically Turkey would not allow the creation of a new Kurdish state. The Arab countries were totally against that state too. Iran opposed it too. The West therefore had to design a new policy in which developing and establishing democracy in the Middle East was placed at the top of the agenda. International community also supported the idea of democracy for the Middle East. A large number of people in the region accepted the policy of democracy and welcomed it. All the governments of the region opposed it unanimously. Some of the Arab governments knew that if democracy is established in the region all of the present regimes will be removed from the power although they were close allies of United States of America. Some of them argued that if the secular governments of the Middle East are removed, the Islamic extremists will take over as they did in Iran. For different reasons, all of them oppose it.

Regardless of the opposition of the governments of the Middle East, the US and its allies decided to forward this policy as it was not really the main objective but the outcome was something completely different. They began identifying different countries that could be a model of democracy. Iraq was identified as a good example for spreading democracy. But in fact Iran was, not Iraq; if the outcome was democracy. At this stage nobody believed that the idea of turning Iraq as a model of democracy was intended to create a Kurdish state in which the Kurds would not be massacred anymore again.

The defined goals of establishing democracy was acceptable by the Iraqi people and international community but the creation of a Kurdish state was acceptable neither for the countries that had considerable Kurdish population nor for the Arab countries. The West decided to go forward, not mentioning the Kurds in their defined goals. The objective was establishing democracy, and the target was Saddam. The unacceptable outcome which could not be defined and promoted in the region was the creation of a Kurdish state. Today the state of Kurdistan is a reality as it is the state of Israel. The dictators in the area are against them but the US is ready to go to any length to protect them. To achieve your goals, you must have the mind of a sophisticated strategist that understands the realities of the ground and turn them in your favor. There are no bad conditions if you learn how to manipulate them.

The idea of an acceptable defined goal and unacceptable hidden agenda has been adopted by many in history including the Pashtuns. The Pashtuns and the Taleban never talked about the creation of a new state of Pashtunistan. They knew if they talk about Pashtunistan it means the disintegration of Pakistan and possibly Afghanistan. Two countries were not likely to be destroyed to create a new country. That was neither acceptable internationally nor regionally as all countries in the region have various ethnic population that want independence.
The Pashtuns shrewdly defined themselves as Taleban Moslem to advance Islam as the saviour of the people in the region. The international support began to come in for Muslims who were fighting against the infidels.

The goals that face popular resistance are not usually announced and have never been announced fully publically throughout history. An ambitious person who wants power and privilege cannot gain power unless he uses an ideology or religion. The Islamic Republic of Iran is using religion to retain power and privilege. They have equalized Islam to themselves. If they give up Islam nobody will accept an Ayatollah as undisputed leader of any country. The more attractive they describe Islam, the more attractive they become. There have been thousands of Gods and there have been at least 120,000 prophets. All of them were created and used in order to enable certain people to acquire power and privilege. Just nobody can gain power and privilege directly without using an acceptable medium. The medium could be different in different ages and places. For some it was religion; for another group it was an ideology and now it is democracy. But shrewd people always can find it justifiable to get what they want using something attractive.

But that is the strategy of the shrewd ones. The less shrewd ones and the more straightforward people define and promote their goals openly even if they are opposed by the public. They have a right to do so but they make things extremely difficult for themselves. The defined goals could be easily falsified and vilified by those who do not like them. The Islamic Republic of Iran even can vilify the most acceptable principle which is human rights. The Americans and the West vilify Taleban as totally unacceptable way of living and fighting. The Taleban vilified democracy as the tool used by the West to dominate the East and Islamic countries and disrupt their cultural system.

It seems the shrewd politicians and campaigners have found the strategy of disguising their real intentions in popular, admirable and acceptable goals. They see the goals as the destination and they use different roles, roads and tools for reaching them. It doesn't make a difference which route they take and which tools they use. The important thing is the destination. If the Pashtuns want to have an independent state they use the kind of tools and roads which are acceptable to a large number of people and bring the world to a conclusion by which their goal is realised without even being defined publicly. When the American general Mullen suggested that there must be a referendum in North West Frontier province of Pakistan to see whether the Pashtuns want an independent state or be part of Pakistan, this was a conclusion that the Americans reached quite naturally after they find out that they are unable to stablise the region. That was a conclusion that was reached as the consequence of the developments that are happening in the region. The West and Americans are looking for a solution that can stabilise the whole region. They use the most effective weapons and forces but they could not stabilise it in their favour. They financed Pakistan army to suppress Alqaeda and Taleban but Pakistan army could not achieve that. The natural conclusion is quite clear: if the Pakistan army, if the Afghan army and if the American army and other countries are not able to eliminate the Taleban directly with their military forces, there must be another way of achieving the goal even if it is hard to use or acceptable by the other countries in the region: a viable self-determination for Pashtuns. The right of self-determination has never been mentioned by the Pashtuns or Taleban. Surely they know about it but since publicising and promoting it does not work in the region they have completely ignored it.

At the same time, the Baluch people in Pakistan have been fighting openly for decades for their right to self-determination. Nobody supports them. Nobody promotes their cause and nobody takes this idea to international organizations. The right to self-determination has been created and defined by the United Nations. It has been accepted at some stages in history by many countries. It can be used if the international circumstances moved in that direction. The cases of old parts of Yugoslavia are good examples but in case of Baloch, it did not attract any support. It just does not appeal to the people of the region to stir interest. Islam is just stronger than justice, fairness and rights.

As the Americans did not define and promoted publicly the creation of the state of Kurdistan, they practically facilitated its creation and as the Talebans and mainly Pashtuns never talked about the right to self-determination of Pashtunistan or the creation of the Pashtun state, but what they did practically brought the Americans and the West to this conclusion that the creation of a Pashtun state is a viable solution for resolving the matter of Islamic fundamentalism and extremism in the region. None of these two goals were publicly defined and promoted. Even some Pashtun politicians and organizations opposed the idea of an independent state to conceal their intention more than before. This was another very effective decision by the Pashtuns and Pashtun leaders. They would not give any reasonable and acceptable excuse to Pakistan authorities to oppress them; thus they also retained the support of the Moslems and Taleban from different countries.

Why they should oppose the opportunity of right to self-determination made by American general Mullen at this definitive moment? The answer is very clear. They are not strong enough to impose their will yet. Pakistan's internal policies have not yet reached the breaking point. Pakistani politicians and Punjabis and the establishment have not yet proved their total incompetence in managing the country. The country is directed by the establishment in that direction anyway. The Punjabis have not yet realised that they will be better off in their own independent state as the present situation will move regularly and gradually to a point where the establishment realizes that the end has come. The breakup possibly would be like the Soviet Union when there is no any whole for holding different units together at the cost of destroying each other completely. It is a long way to that point and therefore the Pashtuns will be wise to increase their Islamic activities under the pretext of Taleban and Talebanise the whole country in order to create a situation where and when it is not manageable. That will be the natural direction of movement of the events which will bring in the evidently hidden agenda of an independent Pashtunistan. The first outcome of having an independent state would be achieved even though it would be very restrictive Islamic country but eventually and gradually evolves towards more freedom and democracy. The first things first. And the first and the best thing is the preservation of Pashtun's identity and entity as it has been already secured.

There are partial players in the breaking of Pakistan and the creation of the state of Pashtunistan. What will break up Pakistan is the incompetence of the establishment and its greed for monopoly of power and resources; its total opposition to justice and equality. As prophet Mohammad said, “A country will remain and survive with infidelity but will not survive with oppression."

Reza Hossein Borr is a leadership consultant and the creator of 150 CDs and 14 Change management models. He is also the author of Manual Success, Manual of Coaching and Mentoring, Motivational Stories that Can Change Your Life, and a New Vision for the Islamic World. He can be contacted by email:

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