Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei
Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran
10 December, 2015
Dear Supreme Leader,
Thank you for your second letter addressing the Youth of Western Countries. The letter’s title, “Today Terrorism Is Our Common Worry,” suggests that the audience for your wise and inspired commentary is not constrained to any particular age, because the universal nature of the divine truths you impart is ageless.
The meanings you convey transcend generational boundaries even as they also transcend religious, national, ethnic and ideological borders. To me it is clear you are addressing all of humanity in these times when the world is poised on the brink of a global war.
At this moment of monumental crisis, when the forces of madness, division, and media engineered hatred are made to seem so pre-eminent, you have placed before us a blessed place of sanctuary. You have provided men, women and children of goodwill a literary space of contemplative reflection away from the psychological, militaristic, and economic storms all around us. Thank you for securing a refuge for moderation, reason, toleration and careful reflection in the midst of the mental and physical chaos that some of the most powerful cliques in the West are quite deliberately inculcating.
To me the terms “imperialism” and “colonization” are brought to the forefront by your observation that “the Western world is insisting on the cloning and replication of its culture on a global scale,” that this process involves the “trivialization of independent cultures.”
Terrorism and Colonization in the Western Hemisphere
This Western world’s efforts to replicate itself on one imperial frontier after the next, began to gather momentum after 1492. That was the year when Christopher Columbus initiated a process whose true nature should be put at the forefront of contemporary questions about how North Americans should best respond to the massive migrations of violently uprooted Islamic populations from the Middle East.
After 1492 the whole Western Hemisphere was remade as a frontier zone for the re-settlement of European migrants as well as for the forced and involuntary migration of Black Africans as slaves. In this process the “independent cultures” of the Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere--- those incorrectly described by Columbus as “Indians”--- were indeed “trivialized” and worse, much worse
The colonization of the First Nations of the Western Hemisphere extended over several centuries right up to the present day. Too often a shroud of amnesia is made to obscure this unbroken saga, a saga of theft and oppression extending even to genocide. In this terrible cycle of injustice the so-called Indians of the Americas became true witnesses of the violent extremes of which Western imperialists are capable. As evidenced now by the violent uprooting of millions in the Levant, this wanton destruction of ancient and independent cultures becomes especially intense when the lust for ownership and control of new lands and resources is cloaked in the language of religion.
The Founding of the United States as a White Settler Polity
The emergence of the United States as a settler polity on the frontiers of Western imperial expansion would have enormous consequences for the whole world. These days the rise of the most heavily militarized superpower the world has ever known is having especially grave consequences for the Indigenous peoples of Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. As you explain in your letter, the recent surge of violence in Paris needs to be seen in the context of the enormous suffering, disruption and homicidal insanity being rained down on countless innocent Muslim victims especially in the Middle East.
Although the founders of the United States invoked the language of universal human rights in their famous Manifesto of 1776, the Declaration of American Independence included racist provisions. The Black slaves amassed in the process of building up the tobacco and cotton plantations of the southern Anglo-American colonies were not to be included as rights-bearing citizens in the new republic. The Black slaves of America would remain the private property of the slave masters for most of the following century.
Moreover, The American Declaration of Independence included provisions whose effect was to racially profile and criminalize the Indigenous peoples then living on the lands that the United States was created to annex, control, incorporate and own in the forthcoming transcontinental expansion. This feature of the Declaration of Independence helps explain the psychology of the so-called Global War on Terror, a massive campaign of military and psychological warfare that can be said to originate on July 4, 1776, as much as on September 11, 2001.
Responding to the attempt by the UK’s King George III to incorporate Indian lands into British North America through negotiation rather than conquest, Thomas Jefferson and the other drafters of the Declaration of 1776 accused the British monarch as follows: He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
Manufacturing Enemies for the Permanent War Economy
It seems the United States has from its inception defined its real or imagined enemies in ways that help justify, define, and energize its imperial expansions. The Red Indians described in the Declaration of Independence as “merciless Indian savages” gave the nascent US war machine its original enemies. The Red Indians were subsequently replaced by the Red communists whose real, imagined or manufactured threat to the United States provided a justification to maintain and build up America’s permanent war economy.
The real beneficiaries of this system of aggression and domination assert ownership and control over the lion’s share of the tight corporate network of banking, military and media institutions currently vying for complete domination of the world’s political economy. Since the demise of the Soviet Union on the late 1980s, a new enemy was required to justify the continuing usurious, mental and military incursions into the diminishing realm of human health, freedom, dignity, self-determination and cultural independence.
The ongoing crusade to expand the frontiers of Western imperial powers extends to the contamination of our mental, spiritual and physical environments as well as to the pollution of life’s sacred cycles of ecological renewal. With the events of 9/11 the new enemy of Islamic terrorism was cast in the role once assigned to the Red communists and, before that, to the “merciless Indian savages.” After the Cold War a new global enemy was required and a new global enemy was invented, armed, financed and set in motion to continue the hierarchical structure of a very corrupt pyramid of power.
The Global War on Terror maintained the same top-down regime of elitist oppression that coalesced in dispossessing the Indigenous peoples of the Western Hemisphere and in building up the so-called permanent war economy in the course of the Cold War.
False Flag Terrorism and Takfiri Mercenary Armies
Those who identify most with the expansionary schemes of the Zionist state of Israel have been leading architects of the so-called Global War on Terror. The concocted false flag events of 9/11 were instrumental in transforming the predominately Muslim and Arab peoples indigenous to the lands of so-called “Greater Israel” into the perceived global enemies of the so-called “West.”
The very conception of the “West” is being re-engineered in the course of a gigantic psychological operation made to downplay the creative role of Islam. It is simply not true that the “West” emerged exclusively from Judeo-Christian roots and that Islam is an aberration recently imposed through newcomer immigration. We must not forget, for instance, that the genesis of the European Renaissance drew heavily on Islam as expressed, for instance, in the constructive interactions between Jews, Christians and Muslims that took place in the caliphate of Al-Andalus on the lands of present-day Spain.
As documented and explained by Edward Said and other scholars of the overlap of Islam and Christendom, the pluralism within Islam has from time to time been cynically manipulated and exploited to advance the interests of Western imperialism. After the Second World War, the United States adopted this heritage from Hitlerian Germany, in the quest to exploit Islam as an obstacle to the atheistic domination by the Soviet Union over parts of southern Eurasia.
The role in the 1980s of the CIA in creating, training, financing, and arming a Salafi proxy army to overthrow the Soviet backed government in Afghanistan is well known. One of the outgrowths of this project is al-Qaeda. The CIA’s al-Qaeda became a kind of prototype of concocted Islamic terror. Al-Qaeda provided agents and patsies to be exploited in false flag terrorism such as that which took place on 9/11.
Al-Qaeda and its successors including al-Nusra and DAESH are best understood as Takfiri mercenary armies to be deployed in the process of poisoning Western minds against Islam. These mercenaries also provide firepower as well as the ruse of an enemy to be defeated. Those engaged in such operations are made to seem in the Western media like independent entities motivated exclusively by religious fanaticism. The entities often financed and directed by Western intelligence agencies are, however, something quite different in reality.
The real aim of the invaders in the 9/11 wars is not to fight Islamic terror. It is rather to continue the process of toppling governments and whole societies slated for destruction by those vying for monopolistic domination. Those pushing forward the new incarnations of the Global War on Terror, often project onto those who, according to them, are fighting the very qualities that they themselves epitomize.
The New Metropolis of an Old Empire
The cataclysmic outcome of this genre of malevolent intervention is on full display in Libya. Who can doubt that Syria has become the frontier for the application of imperialism’s updated formula for domination through divide-and-conquer? Who can doubt that beneath the deceptions of the Global War on Terror lie the politics of oil, pipelines and Israeli schemes for regional and global aggrandizement?
The Global War on Terror could better be described as the continuation of Western imperialism with Israel as the new metropolis of an old empire with roots going back to the conquest of the Americas beginning in 1492. The continuation of this war agenda requires the creation of a constant flow of new terrorists as currently provided by DAESH, the proxy army whose sponsors prominently include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and the United States as well as many of their corporate patrons and clients. Your letter, Supreme Leader, provides a very insightful account of the fevered mental environments that have become instrumental in advancing DAESH’s recruitment strategies.
In conclusion let me quote your letter where you note, “The overt and well-known supporters of takfiri terrorism—despite having the most backward political systems—are standing arrayed as allies of the West while the most pioneering, brightest and dynamic democrats in the region are suppressed mercilessly.”
Since my visit to Tehran last year, I have had the pleasure and honour of meeting some of these pioneering, bright and dynamic democrats. Some of them, I have reason to believe, give you advice and suggestions from time to time. I am happy for the wealth of inspiration they must provide you through the grace of God.
Your comments about the Western powers tendency to ally themselves with “the most backward political systems” have very important contemporary implications with many historical antecedents. Unfortunately a perennial characteristic of imperialism is its tendency to dominate peoples on the frontiers of empire through the empowerment of puppet regimes engaged in systems of remote control domination through indirect rule.
It is the younger generation who can change these patterns of manipulation and control provided they receive proper and sound education from a variety of steadfast sources including those at the forefront of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
Anthony James Hall
Professor of Globalization Studies
University of Lethbridge