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Two Republicans' Romance With Terrorists By: Kaushik Kapisthalam
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, November 04, 2003

New Hampshire state representatives Robert Giuda and Saghir Tahir would like to portray themselves as champions of the “oppressed” people of Kashmir, a bone of contention between nuclear powers India and Pakistan.  Instead, their actions indicate that they may be supporting a cause used as a cover by groups indulging in anti-American terrorism. In press interviews and op-ed pieces, the representatives use half-truths and misleading statements to excoriate India, a democratic ally of America, in the name of requesting help for Kashmir while simultaneously white washing the acts of anti-American terrorists.

Falsehoods that justify terror

The lies begin with the canard that India does not allow free press in its side of Kashmir. In fact, there are plenty of Western media reporters operating freely from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. These include reporters for the New York Times, Washington Post, Reuters and Associated Press, to name a few.

In the website of their lobbying group, the lawmakers blame India for “80,000 street killings, 9,000 rapes, and 6,000 custodial killings” that allegedly occurred in Kashmir. But, they fail to mention that these numbers are not corroborated by independent Human Rights agencies. As a matter of fact, most neutral organizations, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, place a lot of the blame for the civilian killings on the various Pakistan backed militant groups. They also fail to mention that these numbers originally came from Pakistan’s vernacular media, which also routinely publish “news” such as “American soldiers raped 4000 Iraqi women”.  AP, Reuters, AFP and other media outlets with reporters in Kashmir have definitely not reported willful “rapes” or “street killings” by Indian troops. Indeed, many civilians are being killed in Kashmir, due to the nature of the guerilla warfare, just as civilians are being killed in Iraq despite the best efforts of the American troops. Moreover, had the representatives paused to read mainstream news media instead of Islamist propaganda, they would find that the killings in Kashmir are almost always inflicted by their favorite “freedom fighters”. For instance, here are some recent reports taken from the wires:

These reports are just a fraction of the daily reports by independent journalists covering the violence in Indian Kashmir. So why does the Representatives' website not even mention a single atrocity by the terrorists? Don’t these innocent lives count? Or do Rep.Giuda and Tahir concur with the Pakistani media that the “Jewish controlled” American press is distorting the facts and these killings are really perpetrated by “Hindu Agents” in disguise to “malign” the fair name of the “freedom fighters” just like the 9-11 atrocities were done by “Jewish agents” to “malign” Muslims? The legislators cannot evade the fact that the same people that blame India for “80,000 street killings” in Kashmir also blame America and Israel for all that is wrong with their lives. Do these legislators really want to be in league with people who see a Jewish-Hindu conspiracy behind every shadow?

“Condemn” terrorist acts but support terrorists’ cause?

The above half-truths pale in comparison to the tap dance that the legislators perform on the topic of terrorism. First they claim that they “unconditionally condemn terrorism”. In the very next sentence, they call for “attacking the root causes of hatred and terrorism against the United States”. The word “unconditionally” does not have two meanings. Supporters of terrorist movements all over the world often use this “root cause” ruse to explain away the acts of the groups they support. For instance, the killers of American troops in Iraq can use the “root cause” smokescreen to garner support for their atrocities against people they call “American occupiers”. Do Rep.Giuda and Rep.Tahir support their acts?

The representatives continue their bob and weave on terrorism by completely avoiding any specifics on the names of the groups that they believe are involved in the “freedom struggle” in Kashmir. They have a very good reason for this. Not some, but all of the armed groups active in Kashmir are in the State Department list of terrorist organizations. Many of them have close links to Al Qaida. For example, one such group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, is responsible for many murderous attacks on Christians in Pakistan as well as the brutal killing of journalist Daniel Pearl.  Another group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, has the “destruction of America, Israel and India” as its main goals. It was also found to be sheltering Abu Zubeida, a top Al Qaida leader, in its Pakistan safe house.  Yet another group, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan and trained in Osama Bin Laden's terror camps. Recently declassified US Defense Intelligence Agency documents clearly state that these groups were trained by Pakistan’s sinister intelligence service, the ISI.

Representatives Giuda and Tahir therefore owe an explanation to the citizens of New Hampshire where they stand on the above specific groups. A wishy-washy, non-specific “We condemn all terrorism” or “If there is terrorism, we condemn it,” type statement simply doesn’t cut it because of the legislators’ own past statements supporting the groups fighting in Kashmir. Exactly what are the names of the “freedom fighter” groups that Rep.Giuda and Tahir support? How do they explain that ALL of the “freedom fighter” groups are on the US terrorist list? When Rep. Giuda said – ““The boot of the tyrant always brings the snarl of the dog,”, does he not justify the acts of the aforementioned groups – which include killings of Americans?

“Fact Finding” trip to Pakistan occupied Kashmir? Right.

Rep.Giuda claims that his campaign is based on a couple of “fact finding” trips that he and Rep.Tahir conducted into Pakistan occupied Kashmir. During their visits, they claim to have met “victims of Indian atrocities”. They also admitted that the Pakistan Army media representatives arranged these trips. Had the legislators done some background research, they would have realized that the Pakistan Army PR department has had a long history of arranging such trips to foreign dignitaries where “victims” of Indian army have been caught lying.

The Representatives’ fact-finding trips to Pakistani Kashmir would have some credibility had they asked tough questions of their Pakistan Army hosts, such as:

Instead utilizing a golden opportunity to challenge their Pakistan army friends to take action on anti-American terrorist activity spouting from Pakistani territory, Reps Giuda and Tahir lapped up phony tales of “Indian army atrocities” dished out by the Pakistan army briefed “Kashmiri victims”.  On the topic of the “cross border infiltration” of terrorists into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani side, the two legislators insinuate that there is no such thing. But during a recent meeting with Pakistan’s Gen.Musharraf, President Bush was quoted as asking the General to end the cross-border terrorism. Do the representatives have information that is not available to the President that leads them to believe that there is no infiltration of terrorists from Pakistani side Indian Kashmir? Did they investigate how groups based on the Pakistani side can send fighters to the Indian side without “infiltrating”? Do the Pakistani terrorists pass through some portal, which magically places them in India without them having to infiltrate across the border?

“Good” terrorists vs. “Bad” terrorists

Terrorists, like the ones who attacked America on September 11, 2001, have but one root cause – Hate. While they may claim to be fighting for freedom or justice, the actions of groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba betray their real motives, which include intolerance of other faiths and rejection of modernity. If the representatives think that America will gain the sympathy of Lashkar-e-Taiba and their ilk by giving them Kashmir, then they are sorely mistaken. As the terrorists themselves admit, Kashmir is just the first step in their campaign to impose their version of intolerant Islam on the world. A policy of appeasement, advocated by Reps Tahir and Giuda, is doomed to fail.

Finally, if the legislators choose to lobby for the government of Pakistan on the topic of Kashmir, then as Americans, they have every right to do so. But to portray themselves as being on the side of “Kashmir” while selectively bashing India and glossing over the acts of anti-American terrorist groups based in Pakistan and Pakistani Kashmir doesn’t pass the very “stink test” that they propose. The one thing that Human Rights organizations, Western Media, the US Government and other neutral observers agree upon is that Al Qaeda linked Pakistani terrorists are the biggest source of violence in Kashmir. So why don’t Reps Giuda and Tahir, whose heart bleeds for Kashmiris, lobby their Pakistan Army friends to take meaningful action on the terrorist groups? After all, everyone can understand that there are no good terrorists.

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