2ndlook

India Lowers Guard

Huntington's book gave pseudo-intellectual justification started the Western campaign of Islamic demonization. (Image source - http://www.bayesianinvestor.com/books; artist attribution not available at image source)

Huntington

Mercenary logic

Samuel P . Huntington’s 1993 book, Clash of Civilizations, has a historical ring to it – a hint of something grand. An influential book, it ostensibly examined ‘conflicts between Western and non-Western cultures’ – and brought the phrase, Clash of Civilizations into limelight.

In the post-Soviet World, the book marked the launch of a new Western campaign – Islamic demonization. This book, released some four years after Rushdie-fatwa, provided pseudo-intellectual justification for West’s anti-Islamic campaign.

The America+NATO sponsored ‘ethnic cleansing’ campaign in Bosnia was underway, since 1992. Saturation media coverage of Monica Lewinsky and cigars effectively drowned President Clinton’s role in the initiation of the anti-Islamic campaign – and the news coming out of the Balkans. Deliberate diversionary tactics?

With one of the largest Islamic populations in the world, India’s co-option into this persecution was essential for this campaign to succeed.  India’s co-option was planned in significant detail – and successfully executed. 9/11 (September 11, 2001) was still 8 years in the future. The verbal trickery behind Huntington’s Clash of civilizations ‘package-deal’ has been swallowed whole – without challenge or de-construction in India.

This post will cover some Trojan moves that smuggled destructive concepts that Huntington  made respectable, into the mainstream.

Koenraad Elst1990

A ‘orientalist’ writer from Belgium, Koenraad Elst, waded into India. His books on Hinduism, Aryan culture, Islamic history in India were avidly lapped up by a section which was eager for Western approval. Elst’s blatant anti-Islamic agenda warmed the cockles of many hearts.

LK Advani released Elst’s book in India. BJP’s proximity has given Elst’s ideas high visibility which imbalances the discussion.

Elst busied himself in attacking the decrepit and contrived colonial-era Aryan Invasion Theory, and its ‘modernized’ variant, the Aryan Migration Theory (AIT /AMT). These attacks by Elst endeared him to India’s right-wing.

With less fanfare and noise, the same Elst has been propping up a newer and more obnoxious Dravidian Invasion Theory.

1991

Rajiv Gandhi had come back from Sriperumbudur in a coffin. The common Indian had given up on Punjab. The 1984 anti Sikh riots only strengthened the negative outlook. Assam problem seemed beyond resolution. Kashmir was simmering. The Indian electorate had given a fractured mandate. A hung Parliament. Corruption was endemic and every politician was an Untouchable – nobody or anything could touch them. It seemed there were no laws.

Indian economy was going downhill – and nothing seemed to get the economy out of the “Hindu rate of growth”. India was on the verge of a debt default. Indian debt was downgraded by Western rating agencies.

The Asian Tigers had done wonders – under US tutelage. China was furiously reforming – and succeeding at it. USSR 2 years ago had decided to retreat from Afghanistan. India’s faithful ally, Russia was breaking up. Many across the world shook their head and could be heard saying, “I knew … I told you … It had to happen …”

All bets on India were off.

Larry Pressler with AB Vajpayee (Image source and courtesy - larrypressler.com.).

Larry Pressler with AB Vajpayee (Image source and courtesy - larrypressler.com.).

1992

In this siege mentality, one fine day, a US Senator, Larry Pressler, announced at a press conference in New Delhi, that India was encircled by an Islamic coalition of 9 countries. The proxy war against India by Pakistan was at its height. This ‘Islamic Crescent’ (as Larry Pressler called it) first stunned India – and then stampeded its foreign policy.

Larry Pressler was seen as a friend of India – by Indians. He got some well-paying corporate board room positions – and he has kept in the back ground after that. But his press conference still rings. And Pressler’s proximity to Indian liberal establishment (which is close to both the BJP and the Congress), flanks India’s movement towards Western paranoia from the opposite direction. (Strangely, Google search, Yahoo search, Indiatimes search, websites of newspapers like The Hindu, cannot find any newspaper coverage for that press conference.)Western

Soon thereafter, India upgraded its relationship with Israel, (practically) abandoned the Palestinians (not to ignore West Asia’s own desire to cosy with the West) – and started getting closer to the US. The Vajpayee Government (with a historic tendency) continued with this rush to embrace the US.

There is too much tradition and culture for India to go down the demonization path, but recent developments do call for consciousness on this account. Is India falling prey to Western case-building and logic for Islamic demonization?LaRouche's Triple Curve

India’s Record – And the Reversal

India and its Government was in the vanguard of opposition to Apartheid, neo-colonialism, (especially in the Middle East). However, in the last 15 years, under the garb of ‘geo-strategic interests /initiatives /imperatives’, changed ‘super power equations,’ ‘uni-polar world,’ India is losing its moral initiative – and equally importantly its long term interests. It is getting sucked into uni-directional relationships – which are going down.

Western Adventurism – The Imperative

Without slavery, the West does not enjoy the manpower edge that it had till 1900. The loss of colonies from 1900-1950 has taken away the resource base and captive markets for Western dominance.

Now with the collapse of Bretton Woods, the opacity in financial systems is diminished. The welfare state has put a significant burden on an aging Western population.

With fading prowess on one side, and a resurgent Asia on the other, the US and EU are now at the cross roads. Is the West prepared to quietly fade away in the sunset?

Unlikely.

US Defence BudgetIndian Perceptions – Preparedness and Paranoia

Will this loss of power encourage some adventurism by the West? Are the various ‘co-operation’ agreements a sign of India becoming a client state of the West – again? What is the threat magnitude of this ‘cowboy imperative’? Does India need to prepare itself against a misadventure of the ‘desert bloc’?

While the activities of these Western ‘friends’, sensitised India to the Islamic ‘threat’, it more importantly, has lowered the Indian guard against the resurgent Western encirclement.

American forces are based in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Diego Garcia – and of course Iraq. The wolf pack behaviour of pursuit of quarry does not allow co-operation between packs – but within the pack itself. So, while the Islamic crescent perception has some validity, the threat of The Star and The Cross is equal, if not greater.

Sometimes, ‘friends’ are more dangerous than a recognised opposition.

Moral Stature

Equally, India should not acquire the practices or memberships that have made recent history bloody and exploitative. While many civilisations have stumbled (Greeks, Romans, Egypt) and fallen by the wayside, India’s many comebacks, have been based on never losing moral stature – and it is late in the day to start down that path.

Concerns! Questions?

West Outsources It Wars To India

Is the ‘Islamic demonisation’ an attempt by the ‘wolf pack’ to separate a member of the herd and then go for the kill – like Iraq.

Is India getting co-opted in this ‘wolf pack hunt’?

What Followed

PS – A few days after this post I found his cartoon (linked on the right), which is possibly truer than one would have imagined.

And then this book review by Vivek Chibber – an assistant professor of sociology at New York University. In this article, he reviews a book by a neo-CON, Niall Ferguson (yes, yet another one). The drift of this book is that America should declare itself as an empire – and go about ruling countries just the way Britain did – is what Ferguson has written in Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire by Niall Ferguson.

But the best of all this was the post by Gurcharan Das, an ex-MNC CEO, who started writing in various newspapers. His latest post in The Times Of India, plumbs the depth of misdirected warmth towards Western democracies. He writes,

thanks to the treaty, which paved the way for closer ties with the Western democracies. The West stood by India during its times of trouble and eventually India went on to balance power in Asia and the world”.

Gurcharan Das’ gullibility on matters of international relations is worth a bucketful of tears. Why would any country (let us keep Western powers aside for a minute) support India (or any other country) – except if it in their self interest? After 300 years of pillage, loot, murder, genocide, slavery are Western nations going to suddenly change become God Samaritans, Mr.Das?

Your naivete makes me squirm.
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New Empire Builders – Neo-Cons Sneaking In

Posted in Uncategorized by Anuraag Sanghi on February 27, 2008

This North-South global compact … would consign … despotisms to the obscurity which the old “salt empires” of the Tortuga and Turks islands, critical to … Royal Navy, were reduced once we had overcome our saline dependency. Posted by Shri Brendan Simms (Reader in the History of International Relations at the Centre of International Studies at the University of Cambridge)

Meet The Neo-Cons

The Social Affairs Unit is a what is called these days a neo-con think tank. Unfortunately, it is neither neo nor about thought – but is definitely a con.

And the blog of one of their stars is published at their site. Shri Brendan Simms, a reader in History, I am sure, knows that what he is saying is wrong.

In this post, (linked above) Simms is proposing certain actions that “would consign the Middle Eastern despotisms to the obscurity which the old “salt empires” of the Tortuga and Turks islands, critical to the eighteenth-century Royal Navy, were reduced once we had overcome our saline dependency.”

Oil Prices – Western Democracies Are Being Held To Ransom

Simms, (like most neo-cons), has various problems in life. He starts with his western capitalist democracies find themselves held to ransom.” Mr.Simms, how many of your glorious Western democracies, have elected a single Black head of state in the last 100 years? Or a Muslim head of State? America, your epitome of a Western democracy, is struggling to nominate a woman Presidential candidate after 200 years of Republican democracy? Or am I being naive in raising these questions?

Coming to the ransom bit, is Simmie-boy getting this feeling because of the price that the Middle East is charging for oil. Simms Dearie, I know the feeling, believe me! We Indians have been through that. It is the similar feeling that we in India, (and developing countries) used to get while negotiating for food purchases (called aid) after the Bengal Famine and while rebuilding collapsed agriculture economies in post colonial India.

Ban The Business Burqa

All that OPEC wants is a market driven price. Any problems, Simmie? Why does the West not explore and drill for oil along their huge off shore areas and kill their dependence on oil. If the Oil producers are wary of the dollar price due to depreciating dollar, who can you blame.

If the West led by ‘helicopter Ben’ wants to print more dollars, who will pay the price ? The rest of this gullible world? Does Simms think, that oil rich countries will ship out limited oil resources with the same speed that Bernanke prints money – or helicopter drop dollars?

The Saudi Wealth

Simms feels bad that the Saudis “could buy General Motors with just six days of production.” At least, in this scenario, the Saudis are buying US companies with US currency as per the valuation done by US stock markets. It is not based on slave labour, which is what the British operated in the Turks and Tortugas – in the Caribbean.

Millions of captured Black Africans toiled (and died) in the Caribbean, to create wealth and luxury for Britain – the comfort of which he now uses to “consign the Middle Eastern despotisms to the obscurity … of Tortuga and Turks islands, were reduced once we had overcome our … dependency”

Iraqi Invasion

What Were The Turks & Caicos Islands

These were slave islands – and part of the Caribbean group of islands which were used by the British Navy to run their slave colonies. To call these ‘despotisms’ is right – but these were British slave despotisms.

The ‘salt colonies’ are not as well known as the ‘sugar colonies’ – Haiti, Cuba, Demerra, Trinidad and other West Indian Islands, and the millions of slaves that were imported and subsequently died. Similarly, millions of local Native American populations were wiped out. And of course, once their usefulness, was over, the European powers walked away.

Of course, some of these islands have become colonies, of the USA, Britain and the people there continue to serve the interests of these Western nations. Haiti, Cuba, Granada have been made an example of by Britain and USA, for trying to make a country of themselves. A lot of such places would be quite happy without the British attention they received – and subsequent ruin that they faced.

Privateers, slave traders and pirates were licensed to operate from these islands, by the British Government to loot – and kill.

Gertrude Margaret Lowthian BellCome To The Middle East Despots

After the WW1, the victorious allies carved up the entire Ottoman Empire – which stretched from the Middle East to Central Asia to the Eastern Europe.

Out of the Ottaman Empire, Iraq was carved up and King Faysal was put on the throne. A British amatuer Gertrude Margaret Lowthian Bell made the selection of the King Of Iraq. This new King did not even know his kingdom – and he was taken around by his new makers. Similarly, an amateur like TE Lawrence (never mind the propaganda) was used to determine the fate of the Middle East.

TE LawrenceWW1 resulted in the Balfour Declaration, which promised a Jewish homeland, to be carved out of the Ottaman Empire. Saudi Arabia was similarly made up.

By 1916, Britain, France and Russia had signed the secretive Sykes-Picot Pact – a framework for the division of the Ottoman Empire after the future defeat of the Turks. While the WW1 was going on, a civil war broke out in Russia. Kerensky, a member of the moderate Labor party, Lenin, Trotsky et al of the Bolshevik Party, overthrew the Tsar and assumed power in February 1917.

Till 1923, the Russian Civil War continued, to the defeat of Kerensky and his White Army in 1923. Kerensky wished to continue war alongside Britain and France. Lenin broke ranks, and in October 1917, the Russian-Communists started negotiations for a peace treaty with Germany. In 1918 the Treaty Of Brest Litovsk followed. After the end of WW1, Britain and France did not honor Russia’s claim under the Sykes Picot Pact. Russians retaliated and were actively involved in destabilizing the Middle East for the next 50 years, by playing of one Middle East Country against another.

Thus the entire Middle East was put on shaky political ground. Exploitative commercial contracts favoring Anglo Saxon bloc of countries were signed with these puppet governments – and the rest of the story is being played out for the last 90 years. Hobbyists decided fates of million of people.

So Mr.Simms, these Middle Eastern despots, are a creation of Western Foreign Policy – of which you claim a College Readership.

Western Investments

“West invest blood and treasure to make the Middle East a better place” out of the milk of human kindness Mr.Simms? All investments that the west has made is by the loot from Canada, Australia, Africa – and of course, India. Out of magnamity, if we call old accounts quits, current Western investments have been made for reasons of commercial self interest. Sell your Western assets, Mr.Simms, if they are not profitable enough. Possibly, it is equivalent to one hours oil production for the Saudis – and they will buy you guys out.

Regarding the blood in the Middle East, it is the poor Arabs, Palestinians, Iraqis, Kurds, Afghans, Pakistanis who are spilling it. Western blood (whatever little) is being spilt for brazen extortion. The Middle East has become a quagmire after the West decided to intervene.

Right Wing Paranoaia

Saudi foreign policy – Export of extremist Islamist ideology

And what is the foreign policy of the West Mr.Simms. Instability in Africa, Middle East. Every terror hotspot is a creation of the West – and specifically, America. And amongst others, we in India, pay a price for this. When you demonise Islam, they pay a price.

Partnerships With The West?

What partnerships are you talking about, Mr.Simms?

The kind that you has with the Turks and Tortugas? The kind that you had when the West put incompetent Emirs and Shaikhs on the various thrones of the Middle East – and now want to ‘consign to obscurity.’ After they helped you to weaken your Cold War enemy. After they have given you 60 years of luxury – with cheap oil.

Why Wont You Accept Criticism

Now these are the points that I made on your blog, Mr. Simms – 2 weeks ago. Why the hesitation in publishing those comments.

Run you can, Simmie boy, but at least, don’t hide.

Behind The Web Of Terror

“…one who knows the higher criminal world … for years …I have …been conscious of some power behind the malefactor, some deep organizing power which … stands in the way of the law, and throws its shield over the wrong-doer. Again and again …I have felt the presence of this force, …when I seized my thread and followed it, …it led me, …to ….” Arthur Conan Doyle – The Final Solution

Syria For Dessert

The Root Of All Terror

In today’s world, behind all terror you will similarly see another baleful influence. No, it is not Osama bin Laden. Osama is either a minor reactionary (in Marxist terms) or a diluted repetition of the Hashishi influence.

Hashishis were major source of terrorism in the Dark Ages in Europe and Middle East. Their influence was finally extirpated by Genghis Khan’s army – which systematically went after this band of mercenary killers. The English word assassin is derived from Hashishis.

The source of modern terrorism is the USA.

The formation of Israel

Similar to the Middle East carve-up after WW1, and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, USA’s baleful story started immediately after WW2. The creation of the US cat’s paw in the Middle East – Israel. Less than 1,00,000 Jews were considered more important than the 5,00,000 Palestinian’s. This was American solution, aided by odious British legalities, (the Balfaour Declaration) to the Jewish persecution in Europe.

Just why, did Muslim Palestinians in Asia have to pay the price, for Christian persecution of Jews in Europe.

The Jews promptly forgot all about persecution – and started a new chapter in persecution. Palestinians became homeless – no passports. They could not go anywhere. Israel did not want them as Israeli citizens – but as a source of cheap labour, without rights. Jordan accepted a few. Syria was persuaded to accept some. They became stateless citizens – property of the UNHCR. And Palestinians started a new chapter in terrorism!

What Can Palestinians Do

The biggest successes in post WW2 world have been those that followed Gandhiji – Poland, South Africa, Martin Luther King and others. Odds are in favour of following the Gandhian way. The one unique military success in the last 60 years of struggle by emerging nations was Ho Chi Minh.

Ho Chi Minh from Time MagazineLike Haitian generals, time and again, Ho Chi Minh, drove back Western colonials – each time they went back on their word. The French had promised freedom and de-colonialisation after WW2. Thereafter, they tried wriggling. Ho Chi Minh wouldn’t let them move.

The French created a mess – before leaving in 1956. Just like Britain did in India (by creating a Pakistan and Kashmir). US decided that they could ‘clean up’ – and make Vietnam into another client state like other SEATO (now ASEAN) members. 20 years later, the US admitted defeat and decided to slink away. The Chinese decided to take swipe. Same story.

Three of the five permanent members of the Security Council, (supposed Super Powers or mini-Super Powers) tried their hand at Vietnam. All failed. And after defeating these ‘Super Powers’, the Viets did not flex their muscles with any of their neighbours.

Ho Chi Minh’s quiet leadership, his frugality, his unblemished personal life inspired the Viets to take on the world – and win. After becoming President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, he lived in a ‘gardener’s cottage and then a peasant house built on stilts beside a pond.’ Just like Gandhiji, he died just before seeing his dream came true. Ho Chi died in 1969 – a few years before the last of the colonialists was thrown out.

His was the kind of war that Gandhiji always believed in – ethical, moral. Without hate, rancour, ill-will or subjugative ambitions. Ho Chi Minh was truly the second coming of Gandhiji – the predicted Kalki. This is the success that Middle East freedom fighters need to learn from. Regressive practices by rag-tag terror outfits corrupt the freedom struggle – and dilute the stability of the outcome.

The Islamic DemonisationNext was Iran.

They foisted a corrupt Reza Shah Pahlavi in Iran. A king no one wanted. The Shah of Iran wrote new chapters in state repression.

In 1974, I was introduced to a visitor from Iran in Hyderabad, India – someone my father picked up an acquaintance with. He was afraid of speaking anything in our house in India – 2500 miles away. He was afraid as if the Savak (Shah’s secret police) was in the room next door. He was from an Iranian minority that spoke Aramaic – and the first time I came to know that Aramaic was one of the language in which the Bible was originally written (but that is another story).

The Shah of Iran worked against his own nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq – to protect Western Oil interests. To turn public opinion,

declassified documents detailing the 1953 U.S. overthrow of Iran’s Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq reveal that something actually called the “CIA Art Group” produced cartoons to turn public opinion against the democratically elected leader.

The CIA, led by Kermit Roosevelt Jr., and the British intelligence, launched Operation Ajax. Finally, in 1979, the Shah was replaced by the regressive regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, which has taken Iran out of the USA orbit – but kept Iran from progress for the last 30 years. Iran has become a source of de-stabilisation various parts of the world (Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) – in its anti USA crusade.

US Targets Paula Abdul For Regime ChangePakistan – Old Story.

Pakistan was a part of the USA troika with Iran and Turkey in the CENTO alliance against USSR. Pakistan’s next ruler will be selected by the USA. During the Kargil war, India was talking to the USA. USA called the shots – and decided to replace Nawaz Sharif with Musharraf.

Pakistan was the training ground for New York sub-way bombing, 9/11 terrorists, for the Mujahiddin in Afghanistan and for the rogue trade in nuclear material with AQS Khan. India’s Kashmir and Khalistan problems – direct result of USA foreign policy.

Iraq

Iraq started a war with Iran in 1980 (prodded by USA) against Iran. As a reward. Saddam wanted Kuwait. Before the Kuwaiti invasion, Saddam took USA “permission”. By the time USA realized what was happening, Kuwait was over. USA did a volte-face – and Saddam became a demon. Today, Iraq has become a quagmire of a civil war amongst Iraqis. The cost of an alliance with the USA. The war on terror has become another foray for the America-Australia-Britain-Canada (ABC) Axis – at a cost to the rest of the world.

“By God, we’ve kicked the Vietnam syndrome once and for all!” So said President George Bush in a euphoric victory statement at the end of the Gulf War. Did Iraq have to pay the price for exorcising the Vietnam ghost in the American mind?

Osama was operating from Afghanistan.

What did the USA have to do there!! It started with USSR. The King Of Afghanistan – Zahir Shah was replaced by a USSR backed group. A despotic, directionless regime replaced Zahir Shah. The secular voice of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, an avowed Gandhian, in Afghanistan was silenced by Pakistan – an USA ally.

Afghanistan decayed into a regressive nation – which the USSR decided to change! The civil war between the mujahideen (armed by the USA) and the Russians pushed back the character of the Afghans by 1500 years. An USA supply agreement flooded Afghanistan and Peshawar with for arms and armaments. Waziristan in Pakistan, NWFP has practically been conquered by the Mujahideen. The touch that kills.

Teror Outsourcing?Who’s next?

Saudi Arabia? One of the Central Asian Republics! Anglo Saxon propaganda overdrive tells us that Islam is to be blamed. Hardly!

Three causes for this US policy.

Oil – Cheap oil. Never mind the cost to others.

Oil – All it can get. And then some more.

Oil – For no one else. Uncle Sam wants it all.

Three Monkeys – Toshogu Temple

Amazingly, one of the US presidential hopefuls, John McCain, even blames a Muslim for killing Gandhiji. This was demonisation of Muslims by the American political establishment at its best.

Post Script

The first step

On February 22nd, 2008, the Deoband Seminary, the most respected Islamic seminary in South and South East Asia, issued a anti-terrorism declaration at a huge public meeting attended by hundreds and thousands of people. This set up a new direction in Islamic social dialogue – where a non-establishment, Islamic theological group came out against terrorism. Subsequently, some other ‘liberals’ jumped onto this bandwagon.

And then …

In October 2008, Pakistan was sent on a cold turkey … by Saudi Arabia, China and the US. Pakistan has been forced to go to IMF which is prescribing a heavy cut back in defence spending.

But most interestingly …

On October 3rd, 2008, the Frontier Gandhi’s grandson was the target of suicide bomber. The terrorists are obviously worried that Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan’s sensibility may make a comeback. Suddenly the world has been reminded about Khan Abdul Khan Ghaffar Khan.

Coincidentally, in India, a film was made on Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. The LA Times recently ran an column on him. The answer to the Pakistani problems in the North West tribal areas was Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

And the tribal chiefs of Pakistan and Afghanistan Pashtuns decided to call for a ‘mini-jirga’ on violence – to decide on the future of the two countries.

Hopefully, this a new beginning for Pakistan …

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