to believe, but the great poet, Ghalib would have envied Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
and Osama bin Laden for the way the two were drowned and not buried. He wrote:
Mar Ke Hum Jo Ruswa
Kyon Na Gharqe Dariya?
Kabhi Janaza Uthta
Kaheen Mazar Hota.”
embarrassed after my death; I should have been drowned. There would have been
no need for an unattended funeral, Or an unvisited grave.)
manner of al-Baghdadi’s death is still something of a “whodunit”. President
Donald Trump’s graphic description of the ISIS chief’s death has been given
scant credence. Always contrary to what the US calls “normal behaviour”, Iran’s
information minister Javad Azari-Jahromi said, “No big deal, you just killed
your creature”. But the New York Times’ establishment columnist Thomas Friedman
notes, satirically, how “effusive Trump was of the intelligence agencies who
found and tracked al-Baghdadi to his lair in Syria where he blew himself up to
avoid being captured”.
Friedman then gives vent to the bile he has accumulated against Mr Trump for
having been continuously at cross-purposes with the deep state: “Well, Mr
President, those are the same intelligence agencies who told you that Russia intervened
in our last election in an effort to tip the vote to you and against Hillary
Clinton”. Little wonder, Mr Friedman loathes senators obstructing Mr Trump’s
impeachment: “Despicable, disgusting” he said on CNN.
history is written, Mr Trump will be chastised for a hundred reasons, and
severely. But it would be uncharitable not to note one truth about him: Mr
Trump is the only President in recent history who tried to end military
conflicts the US was involved in and who did not start a conflict. There have
been 13 military conflicts in recent decades costing $18 trillion, by some
al-Baghdadi, well, his image did have its uses. To that extent, do the Iranians
have a point? The last time al-Baghdadi’s photograph appeared on front pages of
newspapers was after the Easter Sunday massacre in Colombo, Sri Lanka on April
21. On TV too al-Baghdadi was shown claiming the massacre as “revenge” for an
attack on a mosque in New Zealand. French experts, among others, soon
established that it was a fraudulent clip — a voice had been super imposed on
his visage. Which outfit would like to
stir up a conflict between Sri Lanka’s two frail minorities — Muslims and
Christians? New Delhi alerted Colombo as early as April 4 that a major
terrorist attack could be expected. How did New Delhi know?
this time Sri Lanka was sharply divided between two camps: President
Maithripala Sirisena had embraced China’s Belt and Road Initiative; Prime
Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was in convulsions to sign the (SOFA) Status of
Forces Agreement with the US before the next general election.
island nation is at the centre of fierce competition between a rising China and
a retreating US for influence in the Indian Ocean. Over 300 people were killed;
500 injured. Among those killed were Chinese marine engineers. The hotels
attacked have Chinese links. Why has the media not pursued the story to its
small island nation, just recovering from a vicious civil war, would be shaken
up by the sheer scale of the massacre. National anxiety would warrant the
appearance of intelligence agencies from everywhere — the US, the UK, Israel,
Australia, India. An initial pooling in of intelligence would lead to a
penetration of systems until the benefactors achieve their immediate goal to
place roadblocks in the way of the Belt and Roadproject.
sniffer dogs found something extraordinary while walking through the Jaic
Hilton hotel. The dogs stopped in front of an apartment and would not stop
barking. The management cited some difficulties in opening that apartment.
After considerable time, two persons claiming to be with the US embassy turned
up. In the room were two “explosive detectors”. The detectors were for their
personal security, said the two men. They ignored the obvious fact: dogs would
only bark if the detectors had been in touch with explosives. These details are
available only because of investigations conducted by Dr Michael Roberts of the
University of Adelaide.
who initially tried to foist the tragedy on al-Baghdadi were obviously
embarrassed. Who were they? The NYT’s Mr Friedman had once recommended that
al-Baghdadi can be creatively used in the American interest. He advised Mr
Trump not to waste his time fighting ISIS. He wants “Trump to be Trump — utterly
cynical and unpredictable”. He continues, “Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s,
Iran’s, Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache”. Wonderful uses of al-Baghdadi and
Friedman has not cooked up the theory of terrorism as a strategic asset on his
own. He has acquired this wisdom from leaders, including US Presidents like
Barack Obama. In the course of a lengthy interview in August 2015, he asked Mr
Obama a very pertinent question. When ISIS first reared its head in Mosul a
year ago, why did the President not immediately bomb it out of existence?
Obama stated quite plainly: “We did not just start taking a bunch of airstrikes
all across Iraq because that would have taken the pressure off the Iraqi Prime
Minister, Nouri al Maliki”. Mr Obama’s priority was not the elimination of the
founder of the caliphate. His priority was to exert pressure on Nouri al Maliki
to vacate the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office. Why? Because Mr Maliki was
“brazenly” pro-Shia and had refused to sign the Status of Forces Agreement with
the US. Mr Obama’s “one-two” (to use a term from boxing) worked. US pressure,
and al-Baghdadi’s menacing presence at the gates of Iraq’s capital helped ease
Mr Maliki out.
Original Headline: In
Baghdadi’s death, did US really ‘kill its own creature’?
The Asian Age