Delhi, 06 October 2002
TV screens, Senators and talk shows in USA are riveted on one issue
–– Bush’s plan to hit Iraq and get a regime change. Whether
this happens or not, it has given birth to the era of Pax Americana.
This also marks the official emergence of the United States as a
full-fledged powerful empire, seizing sole responsibility and
authority as our planetary policeman. According to what we hear from
viewers and insiders here in New York, this would be the culmination
of a plan 10 years or more in the making by the Republican / Vulcan
Group now in power. It is being carried out by those who believe
that the United States must seize the opportunity for global
domination, even if it means becoming the "American
imperialists" that the Americans say their enemies (Palestenians,
Arabs and many Muslims) always claimed USA is.
should not join that band wagon as it has in the past. The powerful
are respected but also not liked, in the game of International Chess
and that’s where we speak up for India’s military and economy to
become powerful first and then talk. So we ask, ‘What Should India
Do?’ in these circumstances. It is a terrible dilemma fraught
with difficulties for our foreign policy makers. Only short-term
goals should not be their aim. Iraq is a friend of India so how can
India support Bush? –– but then Bush has some of the keys to
India’s success economically and has leverage in Pakistan. It’s
a Catch 22 situation for India.
analysed, predicted and commented on India’s foreign and military
policy and discussed foreign policy with many IFS, IAS officers and
Members of Parliament, the only thing we can say is this: It is
certain that the Government of India will take a decision based on
very short term considerations. The Army will loyally follow.
pointer to this was Jaswant Singh's recent statement in USA equating
pre-emptive strikes with self defence. This was music to American
ears and we do not know whether it was for US or home consumption.
Many have questioned his statement, but then he is now India’s
Finance Minister but a former cavalry man also, with many Gung Ho
friends in the Army, who would love war like Bush.
Bush’s case Iraq is a dwarf militarily, and in our case Pakistan
after the 10th October elections will not be a dwarf. It
will be a military democracy controlled by a benevolent General. We
have inputs. IDC and its readers are circumspect because Jaswant
Singh, is usually very mature and thoughtful. He commands respect in
India, but he seems fed up with Pakistan and looks to elections too.
Hence the rhetoric. This statement of his seems to be an aberration
and could very well be India’s formula for chaos and war under the
Bush if India goes on to attack Pakistan or even carries out strikes
in POK, as Senators here in USA fear and have said so on TV, then
there is trouble ahead. What is happening in Kashmir and Gujarat are
pointers, and will hurt India economically, in the long term.
Already here in USA, India is off their radar as a dangerous place
with even temples becoming unsafe. Americans are touring China as a
safe place in preference. In these tough days even at St Andrews the
Mecca of golf, they said they allow 24 handicappers to play because
tourism is where the money is!
India if the NC comes back to power then there is hope of some
semblance of stability in Kashmir because Farooq Abdullah controls
and wields power over trouble makers. If NC is not back then there
is trouble brewing in more places than one, as the other parties are
there for the ‘moolah’, not the welfare of the state. Kashmir is
the most subsidised state in India, and many have looted it.
the UN is being pressed to give USA the powers to hit Iraq and Bush
is getting closer to get his resolution passed by Congress. USA went
about to change the regime in Afghanistan and it formed an alliance
for the purpose. Only three countries had recognised the Taliban
regime –– Pakistan, UAE and Saudi Arabia. UAE said they had been
guided by Pakistan. USA resorted to bombing in Afghanistan but found
they were not making much headway. They then reluctantly supported
the Northern Alliance. Only with a combined effort could they
achieve a regime change.
today the warlords in Afghanistan have their own armies and are
autonomous and matters are not improving on the ground. The great
game of oil is behind Iraq too, like it is in Afghanistan and the
CAR region. Bush has grown up as an oil man. How Bush hopes to
succeed is not clear but in the long term oil control will be his
other objective. USA and Britain have been bombing Iraq continually
for the past 11 years. They have managed to establish suzerainty in
northern Iraq in the Kurd region. But they have not managed to
dislodge Saddam Hussein. Ariel Sharon is incensed that Saddam gives
$ 25,000 to each of the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
Ariel Sharon one of our viewers says controls Bush, and that is
has openly tried for the past 11 years to support dissident groups
in Iraq. At the time of the Gulf War there was a short-lived
uprising in Southern Iraq. Details of this revolt are not clear, but
it appears that US reneged on promised support. Thereby USA lost
credibility with dissident groups. The conspicuous thing about the
dissident groups was that they were dissident among themselves too,
and that is a feature in the East and India is no exception.
dictators and dynastic presidents rule the Middle East and now
President Musharraf has joined the elite band. The "good
guys" for USA are the dictators who side with them and the
"bad guys" are the dictators who oppose them, even though
Al Queda has demonstrated that many of the Muslim people of the
Middle East have a different view. At present, only Israel is with
the US in wanting to attack Iraq. Tony Blair's own Labour Party has
not endorsed it fully. Granted that US can bomb Iraq into
submission. If they move into Baghdad they will replace Saddam with
a right wing dictator.
US has not yet digested Afghanistan. They will face greater problems
in Iraq. USA’s present generation have forgotten Viet Nam where
they lost 60,000 young Americans. They only know the Gulf War
experience which was amazingly low as far as loss of lives was
concerned and they hope their smart weapons will do the trick.
should have a great deal of Intelligence on Saddam if RAW and IB
claims are to be believed and so we hope our Leaders who decide are
well informed on what Bush can achieve. So What Should India Do?
of our viewers said he could answer our question by saying that it
was hypothetical and "we'll cross that bridge when we come to
it." However, he did not avoid it. Assuming that India should
act cold bloodedly in our enlightened self interest, the answer
really boils down to judging who will be the winner. "Back the
winner" is a cynical, cold blooded and popular policy in the
US. Unfortunately, there may be no
winner and everybody will be the loser in this case and the 'Clash
of Civilisations' may hurt India the most.
India should remain mum publicly and work quietly behind the
scenes to defuse the situation and support UN Inspection ––
and join in to learn more about NBC by sending specialists not IFS
time passers. NY Times or Wall Street Journal have had no news on
India for days.
Singh and Yashwant Sinha should not make any statements because here
in New York India’s opinion does not matter, it is used to
advantage only if it suits USA. Till we speak to Pakistan we are
seen as nuclear mongers and no more. Indian bonds are being rated as
junk and while those Indian NRIs who invested in Development and
Infrastructure bonds have reaped over 9% interest plus gained in the
exchange rise, many Americans have lost their investments including
in Enron. That is the logic here and that is the blunt truth.