The Republican jihadis
Extremist forces of the world pretend that they represent the people at large. For them the opinion polls and surveys do not matter. For the US and Pakistani jihadis, the only people that matter are the ones who agree with them. The dissenting public is just sub-human, the misled herd
When Pakistan’s delegation arrived in Washington for the strategic dialogue with the US, every noteworthy American politician was overwhelmed with the healthcare debate. I am sure Pakistan’s army chief, foreign minister, key cabinet ministers and top ranking bureaucrats may be wondering why Obama is making such a big deal about providing healthcare to every American instead of focusing on Afghanistan and Pakistan since Pakistani ruling collectives have never wasted their time on such an outlandish idea of thinking about people’s health and forgetting Kashmir, India or Afghanistan even for a day. However, the health debate must have brought a smile on the Pakistani delegation’s faces by watching the Republican Party’s protests.
Actually, the Republican Party’s crazy rhetoric and death threats to pro-healthreform legislators should have made the Pakistani delegation’s task easier. They could have shown the Americans their own Republican jihadis on the streets. Republican jihadis were quite a match for the Pak-Afghan jihadis and the Taliban — they threw racist epithets on most respectable black legislators, spat on them, cursed the Democrats in a language similar to our religious extremists and attacked the homes of some who voted for the said reform. Therefore, the Pakistani delegation could easily tell their American counterparts: “Now you see what we are dealing with.”
The fact of the matter is that, in the recent past, extreme right-wing zealots have been pampered in the US, Pakistan and many other countries around the world. By now they have become spoilt brats of these societies. Consequently, their core characteristics are similar.
Whether Pakistani jihadis or the American right-wing fringe groups, they all believe that no one can cross their path. They have convinced themselves that they represent the ultimate truth and are opposed by dark and evil forces. While religion is the core ideology for Pakistani jihadis, their American counterparts believe in a primitive and Darwinian style of capitalism. One can get away by criticising Christianity but it is hard to escape the wrath of these zealots if capitalism is attacked.
Extremist forces of the world pretend that they represent the people at large. For them the opinion polls and surveys do not matter. For example, the surveys may show that the US population is split in half over the healthcare issue but the zealots claim that passing of the health bill will violate the wishes of the entire nation. For the US and Pakistani jihadis, the only people that matter are the ones who agree with them. The dissenting public is just sub-human, the misled herd.
The Pakistani jihadis are intent on imposing their own dictatorial government while the American jihadis are, apparently, fighting the expansion of government. Their opposition to healthcare reform stems from the centuries old anti-government dogma that has been proven wrong several times. But like all retrogressive forces, the American jihadis still believe that governmental control over the healthcare system will impinge on their personal liberty.
Like the Pakistani jihadis, American zealots are also hypocritical. The Pakistani jihadis and their representative religious parties want to get every benefit that democracy and an open society offer. They cry over violation of democratic norms but propose a dictatorial theocratic system, which will be just the antithesis of democracy. Similarly, the American jihadis never oppose the government when it intervenes on behalf of big financial institutions because the beneficiary is the capitalist class. They attack healthcare reform because it provides relief to a common person or the most unprivileged section of society. It is a classic case of brainwashing and using a section of the unprivileged people for the rich at the expense of their own brethren.
It is interesting that most of the American jihadis fighting the implementation of the healthcare system are themselves benefitting from government programmes (social security, unemployment allowance, Medicaid and Medicare) that their predecessors opposed with the same zeal. According to a New York Times report, most of the leaders in the forefront of the anti-healthcare crusade, are unemployed individuals who are surviving on handouts from similar programmes that the US government instituted in the past. The Pakistani jihadis are also funded by shadowy businesses and secret agencies for whom ethics is the least important thing in life.
All such extreme right-wing forces were propped up from the early 80s when Reagan-Thatcher came to power. In the US, anti-government extreme right-wing forces and militias were brought to new life and in Pakistan and Afghanistan, the mujahideen and jihadis were created. As expected, they turned out to be spoilt brats undermining the entire system. Pakistan is forced to fight them in the mountains while the US democratic forces have yet to learn to deal with them.
Postscript: After this column had been submitted for publishing, the FBI nabbed an extremist religious group in the US. To read the details, check the following link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts1361
The writer can be reached at email@example.com
April 1st, 2010