Sleeping Giant, Rogues and Global Cop

By Nita Chicooree

God forbid that the West and Israel launch an attack on Iran. Extremism has bred extremist postures in the hot spots of the world. Decades of antagonizing Iran has led to the election of hardliners in Iran; the Arabs’ constant threat to throw all Jews into the Red Sea and Iranian threat to wipe out Israel from the surface of the earth has also contributed to put Israeli hardliners in power.

Secular authoritarian governments in the Arab world used extreme means to crush Islamist parties, a situation which manipulative western powers, especially the US, took advantage of for decades. In the meantime, the parties have developed a more radical ideology and are currently playing a major political role in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Last week, the US and its western allies, including France, conducted military operations on the East coast of the States. Are the West and Israel not taking Iran’s threat too seriously? Iranian leaders are unlikely to set their country and their people on an irreversible course of destruction.

If Israel feels free to have nuclear military equipment for ‘defensive’ purposes, why should Iran’s alleged nuclear weaponry be considered as ‘threatening’? Who decide what is ‘defensive’ or ‘threatening’ at the UN? It sounds quite logical that since Iran is the next target in the ‘axis of evil’ formulated by G.W. Bush, it should adopt a ‘defensive’ strategy.

It seems that the principles of imperialist domination are still alive, and recession or not, they are bracing to give the world a last taste of a culture of war that they are imbibed with. The 20th century was replete with the most horrendous war crimes in the history of humankind perpetuated by imperialist powers as well as by Communist régimes.

Or is Iran a powerful deterrent that is forcing belligerent western powers to think twice before going on a rampage in the Middle East? The US gave the green light to NATO forces, spearheaded by England and France, to intervene in Libya but are aware of the disastrous consequences that may set the region ablaze in the case of any intervention in Syria, which is part of the Shia sphere under Iran’s influence. The influence of China and Russia is indirectly being targeted by the threatening US posture.

Indians have been efficient in negotiating peaceful agreements between hostile forces. India’s aid has been requested to talk Iran into peaceful negotiations. Wisely enough, India is paving the way for a second Non-Alignment position with its refusal to be involved in the Sunni-Shia divide, in refusing to vote for an embargo against Iran and its refusal to be used by the US in the latter’s proxy war against China even though the US and Israel have become India’s most reliable allies for several reasons.

Most countries aspire to promote peace and prosperity for today’s and future generations against the background of cynical geopolitics and warmongering forces.

* * *

Maldives left in the lurch

The so-called giant of South-East Asia is retreating on the international scene, cowering under the constant threats of undemocratic rogue countries on the cowardly grounds of realpolitik. Democratically elected President Nasheed of Maldives has been left in the lurch when he called India for help, thus paving the way for the pakistanisation of political institutions in Maldives where the armed forces are likely to dictate policies to the rulers.

Funds from Arab countries and individuals have allegedly flown into the hands of opponents who staged a coup to topple Nasheed. The former president favoured the Indian private sector, promoted a progressive Islam and improved relationship with Israel. He certainly overestimated the weak ego of the Congress-led UPA government patronized by a first family whose main concern is playing ethnic politics and giving free license to cronies…

Next in line are the hapless people of Tibet. Self-immolation of Tibetan monks is on the rise amid total indifference of the authorities. China is not afraid of dead monks but of living ones, and it is ruthlessly continuing its re-education policy and imposing its language with a view to wiping out Tibetan culture and crushing down resistance ultimately. The boldest step the Indian government took a few months ago was to attend a ceremony in honour of the Dalai Lama despite Beijing’s warnings.

What a challenge! No wonder Mauritius adopted the indulgent jaide attitude of the elder brother bordering on chronic weakness in regard to the refusal to let Tibetan monks transit in Mauritius in order not to displease Beijing. How brave!

We cannot help thinking of Khaled Hosseini, the Afghan writer, whose character in ‘Kite-Flyers’ states that there are three men in the world: US, UK and Israel. Should the others be qualified as eunuchs? It seems so according to critics who are exasperated by the silence of civil society in India and Pakistan and the impotence of India to stop the killings in Balochistan.

* * *

US Support Balochs

Last week, relatives of Baloch nationalist leader, Nawab Akbar Bugti who was assassinated in the Musharraf era, were killed in broad daylight. Their car was stopped by security forces and an armed soldier threatened to kill both mother and daughter of the Bugti family. The mother pleaded to spare her daughter’s life. Ignoring her plea, the soldier fired several bullets in the daughter’s head and neck in front of the mother, then proceeded to kill the mother in the same way. A few yards away, policemen just looked on. The whole scene was related by a servant girl who was in the car and whose life was spared.

Congressman Dana Rohrabachter put forward a resolution in the House of Representatives in support of the people of Balochistan’s right to self-determination. Let it be remembered that Balochistan used to be an independently governed entity known as Baluch Khanate of Kalat before invasions by British and later, Persian forces. After Partition, it was integrated with Pakistan against its will. Since then, it has staged three major revolts, which were brutally crushed by Pakistani forces. Three times the Balochs turned to India for help, and India ditched them thrice, leaving the people to be killed in hordes.

Balochistan has rich natural resources, minerals and gas which are exploited by Punjabi and Pashtun élites in Islamabad. In the event of independence, the Americans are likely to satisfy their growing energy needs as Balochistan is well located on the energy route to the former Soviet republics. Amid souring US-Pak relationship since Abottabad and the accidental killings of 24 Pakistani security forces by US drone attacks, the Congress move to support rebels has angered Pakistan.

* Published in print edition on 24 Feburary 2012

An Appeal

Dear Reader

65 years ago Mauritius Times was founded with a resolve to fight for justice and fairness and the advancement of the public good. It has never deviated from this principle no matter how daunting the challenges and how costly the price it has had to pay at different times of our history.

With print journalism struggling to keep afloat due to falling advertising revenues and the wide availability of free sources of information, it is crucially important for the Mauritius Times to survive and prosper. We can only continue doing it with the support of our readers.

The best way you can support our efforts is to take a subscription or by making a recurring donation through a Standing Order to our non-profit Foundation.
Thank you.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *