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Mainstream, Vol XLVII No 10, February 21, 2009

How India should Respond to Western Duplicity

Monday 23 February 2009, by Kunal Ghosh

The signals coming out of Obama’s Washington D.C. and the message conveyed by the Foreign Secretary of UK, David Miliband, during his recent trip in India (January 2009) are concerted. Miliband conveyed in no uncertain terms that Kashmir is an issue and India should move on with the Kashmir issue and not stick to the status quo. So there is a method and it is designed to take the eye off the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Israel’s current invasion ( in January 2009) of Gaza is brutal and has been condemned by global human rights activists. It has attracted tremendous media coverage all over the world. Israel continues to occupy illegally a large chunk of Palestinian land in the West Bank. It continues to expand its illegal settlements on Arab land and construct more concrete walls, complete with barbed wire and watch-towers, to cut off Arabs from their cultivable lands, schools, mosques etc. which become reachable only through check-posts.

In an article, titled ‘Obama Magic Unlikely
to Work with India’, Harsh V. Pant (ref: February 1, 2009, special to The Japan Times, http://search.japantimes.co.jp), says:

...clearly the most troubling aspect of Obama’s foreign policy for India is a suggestion gaining ground in the policy-making circles in Washington that the success of US endeavours in Afghanistan depends on greater American activism with regard to Kashmir. It is the sort of muddle-headed approach to South Asia that historically has made US policy toward the region such a catastrophic failure, and it is once again coming back with a vengeance.

I discover a calculated and calibrated method where Harsh V. Pant discovers only a ‘muddle-headed approach’. To start my arguments, I must first give the reader an idea of the clout wielded by Jewish Americans and Jewish Britishers, while the former in very large numbers hold dual citizenship of Israel and the USA. Jewish financiers such as George Soros and the Rothschilds and their likes hold an enormous stake in the banking and finance industry of the USA and UK. The number of Jewish millionaires in both these countries is out of proportion to their number in the population. The Jews have a huge control on the mass media such as the print media and film industry. They are more than well represented in the Senate and Parliament, in the membership of both the mainstream parties (Republican and Democrats in the USA; Conservatives and Labour in the UK) and the corridors of power. The USA and UK are consistently following a policy in geo-politics for the last two decades that is influenced by the Western-Christianity-Judaism-Kinship factor or in short WCJK factor. I have opted to use the term Western-Christianity instead of Protestant-Catholic because Samuel Huntington uses this term in his famous book Clash of Civilisations and Remaking of World Order. He deliberately avoids clubbing Judaism and Israel along with Western Christianity in the same ‘civilisation group’ and avoids discussing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “Fault-Line Conflict’. His motive, I suspect, is to avoid rubbing the powerful Jewish lobby in America the wrong way up and embarrassing the American foreign policy top brass (ref: Ghosh Kunal, 2007, “Strategic Alliance with the USA in a World of ‘Civilisation’-based Alignment”, Mainstream, New Delhi, October 26-November 1, pp. 15-22).

The Western Policy

The policy, referred to above, is simple. It conveys an unambiguous message to the Palestinian freedom fighters and their Islamist-terrorist global allies that if they attack America, West Europe or Israel, the retribution would be swift and Western powers would come down on them like a ton of bricks and smash them to smithereens. But if they attack other countries/civilisations such as Orthodox Russia and Serbia, Hindu India, Buddhist Thailand or Communist China, then they can expect at least moral support and in some cases even material support from the Western powers. The appeasement of Islamism in certain locations/situations is necessary to counterbalance the hostility the West manifests to Islamic sentiments in the Israeli-Palestinian theatre or wherever there is a conflict between Western Christianity and Islam. It should be expressly noted that the Western economies depend much on the petroleum that issues from the earth of the Islamic world. I shall cite five examples to prove my point: 1. Indonesia-East Timor, 2. Serbia-Kosovo, 3. Kashmir of India, 4.. Xinjiang of China, and 5. Russia-Chechnya.

Indonesia-East Timor

Here is an example of how the West acts, under the influence of the WCJK factor, against the legitimate sentiments of a Muslim majority country just because a Catholic Christian kin is involved. Portugal had a tiny enclave of a colony in the Indonesian archipelago called East Timor. It was the eastern half of a small island called Timor, with a population of less than a million (lesser than the cities of Agra or Mysore) and size of approximately 69 miles by 80 miles (5500 square miles). Before colonial times all of Timor had been a part of different kingdoms, usually based on Java, ruling the Indonesian archipelago. During the Portuguese rule the eastern half of the island became Catholic Christian majority, although a small Muslim and Hindu minority remained. In 1975 Portugal relinquished control and East Timor declared independence, but the Indonesian Army promptly occupied it. Since then there was a resistance movement against Indonesian rule led by the Leftist FRELIMO guerrillas. General Suharto, the Army strongman who ruled Indonesia, crushed the Left all over Indonesia and also East Timor, and his American mentors were quite happy. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the Soviet Union collapsed, China embraced capitalism in the garb of Market Socialism and there was a decline of the Left in the East Timorese resistance. The resistance movement started aligning more and more with the ex-colonial master, Portugal, and the Catholic element came to the fore. Bishop Carlos F.X. Belo travelled widely in the West, championed the cause of independence from Indonesia and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996. In late 1990s all of South-East Asia suffered an economic meltdown and the Indonesian military dictatorship became weak. It wilted under Western pressure led by Australia and America and gave independence to East Timor that immediately adopted a Portuguese name, Timor Leste, and the Portuguese language as the official language.

East Timor’s history is very similar to India’s Goa which was liberated by the Indian Army from Portuguese rule in 1961, except that Goa never became Catholic majority in spite of the strenuous and highly coercive efforts of Saint Xavier. What is the justification of separating such a tiny economically unviable one-half of an island, Timor Leste, from Indonesia? The only justification seems to me that it has a Catholic majority population and therefore is a part of a civilisation characterised by Western Christianity, a la Huntington (ref: Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order, published in 1996). Timor Leste’s independence in 1999 was immediately followed by large scale Muslim-Christian violence in different parts of Indonesia. In my opinion the Wahhabisation process of Indonesia and growth of radical Islam started in the true earnest from that event. The world still remembers the Bali terrorist bombings of 2002 and 2005 that killed more than a hundred Western tourists.

Serbia-Kosovo

By 1190 AD Kosovo had become the administrative and cultural centre of the medieval Serbian state ruled by the powerful Nemanjic dynasty. In the Middle Ages the Balkans were occupied by the Ottoman Turks and there was large scale conversion to Islam in both Serbia’s Kosovo and what is now Albania. Kosovo still continued to have a Serb Orthodox majority. During the Nazi occupation of World War II the Serbs resisted and the Albanian/Kosovar Muslims collaborated. Serbs in tens of thousands were killed and a tenth of a million were expelled by the armed Albanian groups, notably the Vulnetari militia patronised by the Nazis. After the World War, Yugoslavia, including Serbia/Kosovo, became relatively prosperous under the mixed economic system ushered in by Marshal Tito, while Albania remained under a Stalinist regime ruled by Enver Hoxa and became more impoverished. From 1960 onward there was a continuous influx of poor Albanians into Kosovo which gradually became a Muslim majority province. In the 1990s Yugoslavia broke up and there were secessionist tensions among Muslims of Kosovo. Some ‘ethnic cleansing’ of the Orthodox Serbs by Muslims took place and President Milosevic of Serbia sent a large security force to the southern province. There was an exodus of Albanian/Kosovar Muslims from Kosovo into Albania. The NATO bombed Serbia proper continuously for three months and into the ‘stone age’ by destroying all power houses, utility network, road bridges and important buildings. Serbia was forced to withdraw all security forces and the bombing stopped on January 10, 1999. The displaced Muslim population as well as fresh Albanians moved into Kosovo and started demanding independence from Serbia. In February 2008 Kosovo declared unilateral independence and was recognised by the Western powers, while Russia, India and most of the nations of the UNO withheld recognition.

In my opinion, Kosovo’s secession is not justified and I perceive a close parallel with Kashmir. No wonder President Obama and Foreign Secretary (of the UK) Miliband are again making a concerted noise about the Kashmir issue. We should remember that the West has to counter-balance the WCJK factor continually to placate the Muslim world.

Kashmir of India and Xinjiang of China

I need not elaborate on Kashmir since this article is meant mainly for Indian readers and Western duplicity vis-à-vis Kashmir from the time of India’s independence is too well known in India. During a brief period in the second/last term of President Bush’s tenure this duplicity had subsided and it has been revived again by President Obama.

China has a similar problem in its Muslim-Uighur majority Xinjiang province. There is a secessionist-terrorist movement which enjoyed the moral support of the West in the first phase of the Afghan war, while the Russian forces were in Afghanistan and jihadi guerrilla contingents from different countries, including the Uighurs from Xinjiang and Chechens from Russia, fought alongside the indigenous Afghans. Some of the arms supplied by the West to the Afghan Mujahideen must have found their way to Xinjiang.

Russia-Chechnya

Chechnya is a republic in the Caucasus mountains in the federal structure of Russia, inhabited mostly by a Muslim population. Since the early 1990s there is a secessionist stir led by newly-arrived Wahhabis (ref: Khan, M.A., 1999, “Wahhabi Threat to Russia and Central Asia”, Mainstream, New Delhi, October 9). President Boris Yeltsin had tried to come to terms with the Chechen aspirations by granting them autonomy, but that spurred them on further to export Wahhabism and separatism to neighbou-ring Dagestan and Ingushetia by terrorist methods. Finally Russia led by President Putin was forced to subdue militarily the Chechen guerrillas. A few years ago Chechen terrorists took over a school in Beslan. The security forces tried to storm the school and the terrorists killed more than three hundred children. The Western powers, led by the Anglo-Americans, had been pontificating to Russia right from the beginning of Chechen secessionism that the Russians should give independence to Chechnya; that the Chechens were fighting for freedom and self-determination and so on. After the Beslan massacre of hundreds of schoolchildren President Bush uttered a homily that Russia should settle politically with the Chechens and give them freedom. This invited the slap of a statement from President Putin that the USA should settle politically with Osama bin Laden and give him what he wanted. It should be noted that the Beslan massacre came well after the plane-bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York on September 11, 2001. This tête-à-tête between Bush and Putin shows up the Western duplicity with respect to Islamist terrorism and how America is prepared to placate Muslim sentiment at the cost of Orthodox Russia.

How India should Respond

Initially President Obama toyed with the idea of appointing Richard Holbrook as a Special South Asia envoy and bringing the Kashmir issue under his purview, integrated with the Pakistan-Afghanistan imbroglio. Hard-nosed Indian diplomacy has made him change tack and Holbrook has been made only a Pakistan-Afghanistan envoy. But India should not think that the Democrats in America have gone off their pet Kashmir theme. India should take a lesson from President Putin’s aforesaid response and resort to tit-for-tat riposte when necessary. If the West says Kashmir is an issue that needs to be settled, India should at once and in clearest terms point out that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the mother of all issues and needs to be settled first in order to take the steam out of Al-Qaeda and Islamist terrorism. If the West appoints a Special envoy for Kashmir or South Asia, India should at once appoint a Special envoy for West Asia with the explicit mandate for mediating between the Palestinians and Israel. In words and action India must expose the Western duplicitous policy of supporting Israel: while the latter smashes the Muslim Palestinians with a sledge hammer, it does at the same time appease Muslim radicalism and intransigence else-where, such as Chechnya, Kashmir, Kosovo etc. Indian diplomatic corps should note that America, in a sense, plays proxy to Israel, since Jewish Americans holding dual Israeli-American citizenship play a very central role in framing America’s policy toward the Islamic world including Kashmir. Indian policy-makers seem to be unwilling to account for the WCJK (Western-Christianity-Judaism-Kinship) factor in geo-politics and are over-generous to Israel, whereas Israel plays a two-faced game solely determined by its national interests: on one hand, Israel appears to be a friend and, on the other, it needles India through its American proxy. India cannot afford this generosity and should also play a duplicitous game.

The author is a Professor, Aerospace Engineering, IIT, Kanpur.

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