July 2, 2007
"Be nice to America, otherwise we will bring you democracy." A bumper sticker in New York
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience. Albert Camus
Television images showed a man running down a smoke-filled street in Baghdad holding a lifeless baby above his head. Smoke was rising off the baby.
Agencies report bloody violence day after day in Ira ; GIs ,guerrillas, militias , freedom fighters , kill nearly 50/100/200/300 Iraqis
"Then the terrorists (forces against US led occupation) opened the gates of hell, --The blast incinerated or tore apart some 140 persons and injured 150 more, - Reuters
"And so, to the end of history, murder shall breed murder, always in the name of right and honor and peace:" George Bernard Shaw
"Four years ago, the United States, Great Britain and Spain, the axis of liars, had proclaimed from every grandstand that with Iraq bursting at the seams with weapons of mass destruction, as well as being a haven of peace for al-Qaeda members, it was necessary at all costs to assault Baghdad. In so doing, they hoped to put an end to the actions of the terrorist network. The result ?
Iraq is prey to a high-intensity civil war; the Taliban and their accomplices have reduced Hamid Karzai's function to that of mayor of Kabul and Osama bin Laden is still at large. The axis of liars doubles as a "conspiracy of imbeciles." The Fiasco by Serge Truffaut in Le Devoir in April 2007
In war, there are no unwounded soldiers: Jose Narosky
If my soldiers were to begin to think, not one would remain in the ranks: Frederick The Great
"Petraeus is brilliant. But he is the captain of a sinking ship," said a former senior administration official who questioned whether Iraq's divided political leadership could prevent a descent into chaos. "Iraq's government is a mobile phone number that doesn't answer. Iraq probably can't be fixed."
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid-D , who accused the eased out Chief of Joint staff Gen. Peter Pace of failing to provide Congress a candid assessment on the Iraq war , added that Gen. David Petraeus might be guilty of the same.
Reid was concerned about Petraeus, who told USA Today that there are "astonishing signs of normalcy" throughout the majority of Baghdad. "I'm talking about professional soccer leagues with real grass field stadiums, several amusement parks, big ones, markets that are very vibrant." Reid said the remark "gives you a feeling that he's not in touch with what is really going on in Iraq or just trying to make the president feel good."
In mid June, Reid bluntly told Bush in a letter also signed by House speaker Nancy Pelosi that his troop "surge" strategy in Iraq was failure, a day after vowing to launch a new bid to change US war policy.
"This is a skilled and determined enemy. He's ruthless. He's got a thirst for blood like I've never seen anywhere in my life," Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., who heads U.S. forces in Baghdad told reporters on 30 June at the end of the heaviest killing of US 329 GI in the last quarter. "And he's determined to do whatever he can," added Gen Fil Jr.
These are real life Iraqi freedom fighters and not Hollywood Rambos, from the disbanded defence and security forces of Iraq, , trained to kill, many having fought Iranian wavelike attacks in 1980s and now joined by new younger patriots.-The Author
" You ,--- expletives. How dare you hijack an Air India plane when the country has done so much for you. You belong to the most well-off state Punjab in India and you still complain.-- Some more expletives " bawled into the microphone an Indian envoy posted at the Ministry in New Delhi.
" I am only here because I wanted to spend some time in Delhi , " said a swaggering Indian police intelligence general and added , " I have written books on counter terrorism and handled terrorists and other miscreants ."
These were two of the participants in a training module on 'Political Violence" ie how to handle crisis situations arising out of abduction of personnel , hijacking of the aircrafts or siege of embassies by terrorists .
While establishing the Diplomatic Academy for the Indian Foreign Ministry in 1987-1989 ,after reading up on the history of political violence and after discussions with the departments of civil aviation, external and internal intelligence , Interior and Defence ministries , National Security Guard , university professors , psychologists and others ,I had designed a week long program to sensitize Indian diplomats and other civil servants, security and defence officials on a matter of serious concern than engaging India , following ' Operation Blue Star '.
The upsurge in violence in Indian Punjab was openly and covertly abetted by Pakistan and winked at by its allies , the western countries . Western media would parrot" India said this and Pakistan denies that" .Period. BBC had even broadcast some Sikh hoodlums celebrating in London assassination of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh body guards.
But Western leaders and media who accused Ben Laden in 2001 for 911 have not charged him legally .Why?
There is a litany of complaints against hypocritical and duplicitous behaviour of Western leaders and its faithful media of having ignored terrorism against India and Indians which had emanated from nurseries nurtured , financed and raised by US led West and its many Muslim allies in the Gulf and elsewhere , even Communist China , against the Soviet Union. The foundations were laid in 1979 by current peacenik Jimmy Carter as admitted by his National Security adviser Z. Brzezinski
That was before London 7/7 , many Anglo-Saxon false alerts and of course that 911 event , which shook USA but which many all over the world including in USA believe was an inside job, to mount a illegal invasion of Iraq to capture its energy resources and for a long term presence in the region .Now South Korea is the model, earlier models were Germany and Japan after WWII .But it is turning out bloody like the French occupation of Algeria after WWII and like UK led Allied occupation of Turkey after WW1. Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk had defeated and decimated the Greek forces near Ankara and then expelled others.
I had written an article "Occupation case studies: Algeria and Turkey in January ,2004 ," to inform the invaders and occupiers of the likely quagmire .
Let us revert to the Training module on;
The envoy mentioned above was participating in a simulated exercise as a negotiator ( against a Sikh militant ) for the release of hostages cooped inside an Air India plane hijacked between Frankfurt and London. And at the other end of the line was an expert masquerading as a 'terrorist' who had carried out 'real life' negotiations with real hijackers and with Maoist - Marxists who regularly attack and take hostage government officials and others in the heart of India.
Of course this was the final stage of the crisis management when the negotiator is playing for time with the hijackers ,sometimes acceding to their simpler demands and sometimes not. The idea basically is to tire them out and to make them think rationally and may be even surrender . This is the first stage in the preparation for a final assault to release the hostages . The hijackers and terrorists are not in a normal state of mind soon after take over. What the envoy said could have jeopardised the very life of the hostages. It has to be a very well thought out and calibrated exercise.
Earlier the module had covered , the history of political violence ; why human beings resort to violence, which progresses from individual violence to group violence and then morphs into insurgency, open rebellion and if it not countered in a holistic matter ,then finally into a war of liberation and finally independence. As happened in Turkey and Algeria and it will happen in Iraq, independence from US led occupation and its allies.
In one such program there were a couple of police generals who claimed to be experts on terrorists and crisis management and had even written books. However by the end of the training program, when they learnt about various other facets and ramifications ie the underlying causes of political violence , international law and its ramifications , use of media by terrorists as oxygen to promote their cause ,they admitted that the module was a different ballgame altogether than just going in and taking care ( killing ) of terrorist groups or Marxists or doing follow-up police inquiries.
David Petraeus , brilliant he may be , is like the intelligence general above , sent in to tackle the freedom fighters , who are determined to die for their independence , break shackles of slavery ,resist illegal invasion and the occupation , that shall not stand.
Incidentally it is much more difficult to enter India's police academies than US military academies.
The neo-cons and the US administration which babbles that Iraqis do not deserve freedom and democracy are hundred time guiltier than the Indian envoy in not understanding the causes of rebellion and fight for freedom .
PROGRAMME AND DAILY SCHEDULE
0930 Inauguration by Hon'ble Minister of State
10151115 Political Violence and Terrorism;a historical overview
1115-1130 Tea break
1130-1300 Foreign Policy and Legal Aspects of Terrorism
1 300-1400 Working Lunch
1400-1 530 Psychodynamics of terrorism
1530-1600 Tea break
1600-1730 Theories and practices in Crisis Management
1000 1300 Dealing with crisis situations- negotiating skills and techniques
1300-1400 Working Lunch
1400-1600 Dealing with terrorists— a simulation exercise
1600-1630 Tea break
1 630-1730 Organisation of terrorist and
militant groups in India
0930-1100 Media and Crisis Management
1100-1130 Tea break
11301300 International Terrorist
1300-1400 Working Lunch
1400- 1530 •• International Terrorist
1530-1600 Tea break
1 600 1 730 Smuggling and Narco-terrorism
1000 1300 Case study of terrorist incident : analysis and conclusion
1 300 1400 Working Lunch
140O-1730 Case studies in terrorism
1) Mhatre murder case (Birmingham)
2) Hijacking of Indian Airlines plane in Dubai
3) Attempted hijacking of PAN AM Aircraft at Karachi (Sept 1986)
4) Dec 1988 PANAM Aircrash
1000-1300 Simulation exercise: Indian Ambassador held hostage
1300-1400 Working Lunch
1400-1 530 Institutional Arrangements for
1530-1545 Tea break
1545-1630 Video films —'Of Crisis negotiations'
Distribution of Certificates
Speaker's details will be given at Commencement of daily Schedule
The last major hijacking of an Indian civilian aircraft was flight IC-814 from Kathmandu on 24 December ,1999 by five Pakistani nationals .One passenger was stabbed to death .In Afghanistan the other hostages were released after three Pakistani hard core terrorists were freed .In the absence of full international support it was a disgraceful surrender .But there are instances when local governments in India are ready to make concessions when local Marxists abducted a few government officials.
But that was before September 9 , 2001. The West had as usual indifferent attitude. The reaction and coverage by the Indian media was childish. With the mushrooming of TV channels and newspapers , youngsters hardly out of teens become anchors and newsreaders. There were asking a procession of equally ignorant and ill informed politicians and so called instant experts to meet hijackers demands, immediately , which was unfortunately done thus ignoring the sacrifices made by those who had apprehended the terrorists and future dangers . It'll be interesting to see how West will react now to a similar hijacking of an Indian plane, God forbid.
When I checked up at that time I found that the Diplomatic Academy was no longer organising the crisis management training model I had designed .
The insurgency in Punjab was the outcome of a litany of mistakes by the politicians across the political spectrum. In order to get votes they exponded extremist policies ,mixing it with religion ,inciting extremist elements among Sikh youths. Ordinary crimes were attributed to terrorism .A few policemen and criminals joined hands to settle scores and extort money. Some police men took law into their hands and carried out acts violating human rights. It was fully exploited from across the border by Pakistani intelligence ISI and the government , with UK and West quoting freedom of expression and self determination and all that load of rubbish one hears so little now a days in London and Washington, except in the case Chechnya .
It took some time and various corrective measures , short term and long term. Then a courageous Sikh police General KPS Gill was able to subdue the militants and Sikh youths and help bring peace to the state and the country. The West used to gleefully highlight human rights violations , but which is now so coy about US gulags in Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and hidden ones in friendly puppet countries .
The example of the training module is only to underline the causes of political violence and how it can not be overcome by force. In Iraq it is a question of naked illegal aggression followed by brutal occupation against the will of the people. The overall cause for eternal disaffection in the Middle East remains exploitation of Arab oil and its wealth by US led West in collaboration with local puppets regimes since colonial days , establishment of the state of Israel, for the crimes of Europe and others in the West, in the heart of the middle East , to act as the west's brutal and lawless bully.
These are the existential reasons for anger, angst, insurgency , rebellion and for a fight against occupation and another war for independence in Iraq ( after the first against Britain in the last century ), to obtain freedom from foreign troops and their collaborators, who now mostly remain confined to the Green Zone fortress in Baghdad and are looting Iraqi wealth . And what a collection ; time servers ,foreign intelligence assets like Ahmed Chalabi ( also a convicted criminal in Jordan), Iyad Allawi , many foreign passport holders and mostly non-residents .
Tom Engelhardt on the Surge ;
In his recent piece "Surging past the gates of hell" Tom Engelhardt wrote " Now, Americans are theoretically waiting for the commander of US forces in Iraq, General David Petraeus, to "report" to Congress in September on the "progress" of Bush's surge strategy. But there really is no reason to wait for September. An interim report - "Iraq by the Numbers" - can be prepared now (as it could have been prepared last month, or last year). The trajectory of horror in Iraq has long been clear; the fact that the US military is a motor driving the Iraqi cataclysm has been no less clear for years now. So here is my own early version of the "September Report".
Engelhardt gives facts and figures about the Surge and its consequences. He says ," A caveat about numbers: in the bloody chaos that is Iraq, as tens of thousands die or are wounded, as millions uproot themselves or are uprooted, and as the influence of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's national government remains largely confined to the 10-square-kilometer fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital, numbers, even as they pour out of that hemorrhaging land, are eternally up for grabs. There is no way most of them can be accurate. They are, at best, a set of approximate notations in a nightmare that is beyond measurement. "
Iraq has become the world's second-most-unstable country, ahead of Somalia, Zimbabwe, and North Korea, Afghanistan is ranked eighth. From fourth last year , next year it could surge to No 1.
Number of US troops in Iraq, June 2007: approximately 156,000. Number of US troops in Iraq, May 1, 2003, the day President Bush declared "major combat operations" in that country "ended": approximately 130,000. Number of Sunni freedom fighters in Iraq, May 2007: at least 100,000, according to my fearless friend Pepe Escobar who went around the red zone ie occupied Iraq
.American military dead in the surge months, February 1-June 26, 2007: 481. American military dead, February-June 2006: 292. Number of contractors or illegal combatants dead during 3 months of 2007: at least 146, a significant surge over previous years. Number of armed "private contractors" now in Iraq: at least 20,000-30,000, according to the Washington Post. (Jeremy Scahill, author of the best-seller Blackwater, puts the figure for all private contractors in Iraq at 126,000.)
Number of attacks on US troops and allied Iraqi forces, April 2007: 4,900. Surge in percentage of US deaths from roadside bombs (IEDs, for improvised explosive devices) : 70.9% in May 2007; 35% in February 2007 when the "surge" was beginning. Percentage increase of registered US supply convoys (guarded by private contractors) attacked: 14.7% in 2007 (through May 10); 9.1% in 2006; 5.4% in 2005.
Percentage of Baghdad not controlled by US (and Iraqi) security forces more than four months into the "surge": 60%, according to the US military. Number of attacks on the Green Zone where the Iraqi government hides ; more than 80 between March and the beginning of June 2007, according to a United Nations report. (These attacks, by mortar or rocket, from "pacified" Red Zone Baghdad, are on the rise and now occur nearly daily.)
Air strikes in Iraq during the "surge" months: US Air Force (USAF) planes are dropping bombs at more than twice the rate of a year ago, according to the Associated Press. "Close support missions" are up 30-40%. And this surge of air power seems, from recent news reports, will be on the rise.
"Victory is the only meaningful exit strategy." Henry Kissinger to George Bush and Dick Cheney. Iraq Is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac . Who described power the ultimate aphrodisiac and remains addicted.
On CNN's late Morning edition, in place of Wolf the Blitzer appeared, Geoffrey Toobin , somewhat better . Then there were two usual suspects Brzezinski and Henry Kissinger. The latter has been accused of criminal action all around the world .And for signing the peace treaty with Vietnam after destroying that hapless country ,as the Secretary of State, he was perversely awarded the now tarnished Nobel Peace Prize. Some logic this. On CNN , Kissinger trotted out the same policy of more of the same ,now adding, going back for a bipartisan approach which was shunned a few months ago and the policy of 'Surge' adopted. CNN perhaps flaunts him on as a mark of victory, but he remains an omen of evil.
Brzezinski , who boasted initiating the subversive action inside Afghanistan in 1979 which led to the Soviet Union intrusion and later its defeat had gloated that it "only stirred some Muslims' so what , But after 'the stirred Muslims ' carried out 911 ,he has become wiser .He had not favoured the mad cap invasion of Iraq .He suggested in the CNN program that US declare it will not build permanent bases or try for a long-term stay .US must involve all neighbouring countries, who want a united Iraq in their own interest .But how ?
With an impotent United Nations , unrepresentative of 2007 international strategic .democratic, cultural ,legal and regional balance , and its updating is being stalled and resisted by USA. Mercifully the Congress opposition made John Bolton to bolt away from the august body before damaging it further . It is almost ineffectual , a dead body now, like NPT.
Do you remember what happened to Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people after his illegal invasion of Kuwait in 1990, although he was encouraged in this by the US ambassador April Galspie on the eve of the invasion. Attempts for withdrawal of Iraqi troops and peace by Kings Hussein of Jordan and Hassan of Morocco and others were thwarted by the likes of Margaret Thatcher and other war mongers in the West. We know what price the people of Iraqi paid in 1990s and are still paying.
The people of UK have started paying the price with increased 'conspiracies' by UK's Muslims 'stirred' by events in Palestine, Afghanistan and now in Iraq . Violence two years ago had cost London a loss of one Billion .It will be a long haul , the British people will have to get used to violence or threats of violence like Indians in 1980s and sometimes even now .The Iraqis are of course in a living hell , with over 2 million having migrated to Syria and Jordan ( USA has accepted very few immigrants ) and another two million becoming internal refugees.
Washington is still having trouble confronting the big picture of the Bush White House. Its dense web of deceit is the deliberate product of its amoral culture, not a haphazard potpourri of individual blunders." Frank Rich in New York Times
Compare the moral and strategic positions of Russian leader Vladimir Putin to George Bush with the first Putin visit to USA in 2001 , when Bush patronizingly looked into his guest's eyes but then did everything to undermine Russian interests around the world including in near abroad . But with US mired in Iraq, US influence has been rolled back in central Asia , stiff alliances opposed to US hegemony have emerged in US's back yard , Latin America . Putin has tied most European countries in its gas pipelines spider's network .He has the gas , stupid , the other major supplier can be Iran. Russia is back in the Middle east with a bang .Better placed than the cold war era with improved relations even with Saudi Arabia .
A bunch of US lawmakers had the temerity to write to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that New Delhi should not buy gas from Tehran. Then from where else for India's booming economy .Condi Rice even had the audacity to suggest that India should renounce its policy of non-alignment ( and become a poodle like Tony Blair ?) and become an ally like Pakistan! To be threatened to be bombed to stone age some time later to fit in with US interests .Washington wants to use the Indo US nuclear agreement to cap India's capability to update its deterrent . Who will protect India's over billion citizens from nuclear blackmail .USA is following a surrealist policy . Fortunately the new Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherji and Foreign Secretary Shankar Menon are seasoned diplomats.
The opening of the family retreat built by the President's grandfather and with father George Bush Snr playing host is a rare gesture to Russian President Vladimir Putin .It is an indicator of the weak US position morally and strategically under the Bush administrations .Grandfather Bush who built the retreat had very close relations with Nazi Germany and made huge profits out of business with them. But America is going down the drain and slipping into something from which it would be very difficult to salvage much .
Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day": Theodore Roosevelt, April 19, 1906 [There appears none or likely to be soon -Author ]
K Gajendra Singh, served as Indian ambassador to Turkey , Azerbaijan, Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author. E-mail: Gajendrak@hotmail.com