Winning hearts vs destroying enemy

Most of the hearts and minds the US assumes to have won are merely mortgaged as long as the US can afford showering favours on them, or until they succeed in leading the US into inevitable disintegration of its increasingly going tyrannical systems.

When an American air strike ripped apart an Afghan village and slaughtered nine children last week,[1] I wrote to a suspected agent, working with the occupation forces in Afghanistan: “See the result of taking GPS[2] points for the US commanders.”

He replied: “Destroy your enemy by making him your friend – Abraham Lincoln.”[3]

It reminded me the words of a Chief Executive Officer of a non-governmental organization in Pakistan. When asked about his silence over some contradictory-to-the-Qur’an issues on donor’s agenda, he replied: “I understand this contradiction, but we need to extract funds for the poor by showing our agreement. We don’t believe in what they say.”

Against the backdrop of such “surrender” of hearts and minds at bottom and mid-level, there are duplicitous leaders at the top. Remember General Musharraf’s appearance on Pakistan TV in October 2001.

To justify his decision of surrendering everything to the US for its invasion of Afghanistan, the General exonerated himself by giving reference to the Treaty of Hudaibiya between Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the pagans of Mecca.

In other words, what General Musharraf indirectly meant was to compromise then and wait for future victories from the position of strength. Who was he deceiving? His masters, or his public? In any case, his sincerity is questionable.

These examples of the select facilitators of direct and indirect occupations and cultural imperialism raise two questions:

1. Is the US really on the way to winning hearts and minds in the Muslim world, when the closest of its “allies” have this kind of thinking?

2. To what extent these sell-outs are alleviating suffering of Muslim masses that have to chafe and fret against the ever increasing tyranny of the US and its allies?

As far as the question of winning hearts and minds is concerned, it is an undeniable reality that those who betray their own people and those who throw their faith in dustbin for a little power here and there can never be trusted. They can never be sincere to the cause of the occupiers. They are faithful to their interests alone.

Loyalty of the little agents in Afghanistan and Iraq would change the moment they fail to receive dollars and satellite phones.

All kinds of moderation and liberalism of the mid-level sell-outs would come to an abrupt end the moment they see their perks gone with the change of wind in Washington. Non-believers should do a quick survey to find out how many “enlightened” moderates are former communist comrades.

The hearts that the US believes it has won belong to those who received, in Daniel Pipes words, “celebration by governments, grants from foundations, recognition by the media and attention from the academy.”[4]

Similarly, severe the umbilical chord that sustains most of the Muslim heads of state in their undemocratic and illegally occupied positions at the top, and ask them if they still like to be on the hot warriors of the US phony war on terrorism.

When I shared a new report of the US forces crushing to death yet another 6 children and 2 adults[5] with the note: “When will Abraham Lincoln’s formula start working?”; the suspected agent replied: “This is good. At least such killings will reunite Afghans after realizing they are under real occupation.”

As far the question of helping Muslim masses is concerned, extracting favours and funds for development through selling our soul and sovereignty never works. News reports indicate that more and more people are going below the poverty line in Musharraf’s Pakistan[6] at a time when the General never stops bragging about the dollars he has accumulated by surrendering all that he could imagine so far.

As the direct and occupations prolong, causality figures will rise and associated suffering of Muslim masses will intensify. They will have no option but to ask the US agents for democratic crusade: Referring to Hudaibiya was easy, but where is the conquer of Mecca? Where are your much vaunted development and democracy?

From other under-covers they would expect translation of Abraham Lincoln’s formula from theory to reality.

In short, those who pose to have lost hearts and minds to the US sponsored values; those who promise to do the same on mass scale, are actually paving the way for the US destruction with the ever growing number of hearts that see the US only as an enemy.

It is time for the US to admit that it has gone wrong. It has to realize that what it cannot achieve by itself, the sell-outs can never achieve that for it. It has to reverse all policies based on injustice and double standards.

Relying on puppets at any level will not only give it faulty intelligence, fake reports, unreliable cooperation, and false optimism but they will also lead it to sure destruction in the end –” may be as a result of their following Abraham Lincoln’s hypocritical strategy.

The failure of US and its allies is inevitable because their strategy of winning Muslim hearts is countered by a more powerful feeling of “destroying the enemy” both among its victims of occupations and the growing list of fake allies.

The urge to destroy the enemy is a natural consequence of the gap between the words and deeds of the modern crusaders. The unfortunate reality remains that the Bush administration can vacate the White House due to the fear of Muslim "terror" but they cannot hide from the terror of their conscience in any security bubble. So will they remain insecure, till they meet their fate.


[1] Carlotta Gall, “Afghan Villagers Torn by Grief After U.S. Raid Kills 9 Children,” The New York Times, December 8, 2003.

[2] GPS is used for Global Positioning System. Points taken through GPS facilitate pinpointing a location on the globe for different purposes, including missile strikes on targets.

[3] A quote from Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). See

[4] Daniel Pipes, “[Moderate] Voices of Islam,” New York Post, September 23, 2003. See

[5] U.S. assault: Children found dead, CNN December 10, 2003. See

[6] See Shabir Ahmad’s report in daily The Nation, “No reduction in poverty, says SBP,” November 04, 2003. The IMF has also made it clear that the social and poverty situation in Pakistan remains largely unchanged, though there are reasonable prospects for improvement over the medium-term. “Most direct indicators of Pakistan’s poverty situation are available up to 2000/2001 and show stagnation or some worsening in the poverty situation that is likely driven in part by a prolonged drought, as a large proportion of the vulnerable live in rural areas,” this was stated in a 79- page detailed report released by the IMF. An October 27, 2003 report by Afzal Bajwa in The Nation says that contrary to any hope of improvement, “Poverty [is] on the rise.”


Abidullah Jan’s latest book "The End of Democracy" is now available here .