In the last 65 years, only the Soviet Union took payment in rupees for oil. And now Iran. Why would Iran trigger bomb blasts in New Delhi?
- Indian diplomacy: Heavy Lifting (2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Perspectives on Pakistan (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- 10 Companies Decide What We Eat (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Land of the Free … Home of the Brave (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Pakistan: The Hidden Chapter (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Bilderberg: Silly stories …? (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Egypt raids on US NGOs (2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Deal or no deal, Iran may be bombed – Israeli minister – RT (rt.com)
- Journalist Held Over Delhi Car Bomb Blast (news.sky.com)
- Journalist arrested in New Delhi bomb attack (telegraph.co.uk)
- Arrest in Israeli diplomat attack (bbc.co.uk)
India and Honest Brokers
There is this Buddhist Jataka story which we have all heard.
Two cats go to a monkey for help in dividing some eatable equally. End result – the monkey gets everything. The cats, nothing. ‘Honest’ brokers are the monkey which leaves nothing for the cats.
Hillary Clinton assured a nervous gathering of Foreign Policy analysts that the world is counting on the USA today as it has in the past. When old adversaries need an honest broker or fundamental freedoms need a champion, people turn to us. When the earth shakes or rivers overflow their banks, when pandemics rage or simmering tensions burst into violence, the world looks to us. (via Remarks on United States Foreign Policy).
In real life
What is left of Pakistan after US finished with brokering Pakistan’s future? After the West carved up the Ottoman Empire, and divided the Turkish possessions among their puppets, what is left of the Middle East? With oil, Big Oil, oil politics, oil-dollar, oil prices at stake, can the US be a honest broker.
Tell that to the birds.
Can there be a ‘honest’ broker?
This idea that there cannot be ‘honest’ brokers, made Buddhism so popular all over the world. Not pretty statues and musical chants. In the last 200 years, भारत-तंत्र Bharat-tantra has gone into regression. But, in this period, the world has also learnt more about the limitations of the Desert Bloc ideology.
People get ready!
- Foreign Policy: Clinton’s Wake Up Call On Mexico (npr.org)
- United States is ‘best hope’ in a troubled world: Clinton (alternet.org)
- The Hill Poll: Most voters say Arab unrest bodes ill for the US – The Hill (news.google.com)
- A Salient Fact About US-Israeli Relations (Several Billion, in Fact) (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Barack Obama agrees to form joint national security body with UK (guardian.co.uk)
- A call for change – Obama has ‘failed,’ Pawlenty says (politico.com)
The greatest level of sympathy towards Israel can be found in India, according to international study on behalf of the Foreign Ministry, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.
According to the study, which was unprecedented in scope and was undertaken by an international market research company, 58% of Indian respondents showed sympathy to the Jewish State. The United States came in second, with 56% of American respondents sympathizing with Israel.
A total of 5,215 people took part in the study. Other countries that showed significant sympathy to Israel included Russia (52%) Mexico (52%) and China (50%). At the bottom of the list, the study ranked Britain (34%) France (27%) and Spain (23%) as the least sympathetic countries towards Israel. (via From India with love – Israel News, Ynetnews).
Leopards don’t change
This study was mighty interesting. On three counts.
Western Europe continues with its sterling record of intolerance, xenophobia, the push for ‘assimilation and integration’. In Western Europe (Britain, France, Spain, et al), prejudice against Jews is marked. Whether it was Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice or Hitler in Europe, Antisemitism is alive, well and kicking in Europe.
Of course, the proxy for Antisemitism in today’s Europe is Israel.
Desert Bloc remains the prime exponent of propaganda – maya. Illusion. Something that tricks people.
For this maya, Israel has to thank people like Leon Uris writer of Exodus, (hired by Edward Gottlieb for ‘improving Israel’s image), The Raid at Entebbe, ( the rescue of Israeli hostages from Idi Amin’s Uganda) or the hunt for Eichmann movies.
The propaganda overdrive on the Holocaust won the State of Israel many sympathizers. The propaganda on how the kibbutzim made the desert bloom, covered the open wounds of the Palestinians expulsions.
Propaganda practitioners and PR gurus like Edward Gottlieb and Howard Dietz embraced the Zionist cause and promoted the idea of the State of Israel. Edward Gottlieb, a PR pioneer, author of a PR primer book, worked on the cause of Israel. Edward Gottlieb’s masterstroke was to send Leon Uris to Israel to ‘research’ the story of the Exodus. Howard Dietz, the publicist of Sam Goldwyn, (reputedly behind many of Goldwyn’s malapropisms)was another.
The fall guys
The third part of the story is the story of the ‘fall guys’. The classic ‘fall guys’ for this propaganda operation were the distant bystanders. The ‘sympathy’ shown to Israel, comes from typically countries with a small or negligible Jewish populations – like China, Mexico – and India. People who saw these events from far – very far. The Indians, Chinese, Mexicans, et al.
Indians know of the Israeli story through the movies, fiction and ‘war’ stories. In school, the size of the Exodus, made me shirk from the starting the book. But the many ‘rave’ reviews from classmates steeled me to pick up the book – and 1 week later. I was a ‘convert’ to the Jewish cause.
A few years later, it was a different story. My neighbours, some Jordanian-Palestinian students dropped in to see me, in Poona, one night. Over some music and soda, they introduced me to the ‘other’ side of the problem. (I wonder where these Iranian and Palestinian students have disappeared?)
Divide et impera
Vietnam suffered from a prolonged war (1956-1976) – and finally peace had a chance after 20 years of war. Korea remains divided. The Cyprus problem between Turkey, Greece and the Cypriots has been simmering for nearly 100 years.
The role of the Anglo Saxon Bloc, in Indonesia, the overthrow of Sukarno, installation of Suharto and finally the secession of East Timor is another excellent example. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict (1935 onwards) will soon enter its 75th year. The entire Arab-Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a creation of the Anglo-French-American axis. The many other issues in the West Asia and Africa are living testimony of the Western gift to the modern world.
The track record
Closer home is the Kashmir problem. After 60 years of negotiations, India-Pakistan relations have remained hostage to the Kashmir issue. Similarly, between China and India, the border issues remain 60 years after the eviction of Britain from India.
The Anglo-Saxon habit of partitioning countries is a disaster!
- Cyprus between Greece and Turkey
- Israel between Palestine, Jordan and Syria
- Chinese Singapore in Malaysia
- Northern Ireland out of Ireland
- Two Koreas
- Taiwan and China
and of course a Pakistan out of India.
With a benign, ‘democratic’ dictator like Lee Kuan Yew, in the frame, the Singapore out of Malaysia is too small and too short-term a success to make any impact. The other thing is the Western ‘nation’ model has been a huge failure. How many countries have been successful in this quest for ‘nationhood’?
- Cyprus, a familiar stopover in spy lore (sfgate.com)
September 1, 1939, few people could imagine that World War II would last six years and become the bloodiest war of the 20th century.
The reasons for the war have already been discussed at length, but the debates have resumed now that several East European countries are trying to shift part of the blame for unleashing WWII onto the Soviet Union.
Naturally, the main target for their criticism is the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, signed on August 23, 1939. Critics say the pact allowed Hitler to start the war barely a week after it was signed.(via The world commemorates start of WWII as its greatest tragedy – ‘RIA Novosti’ newswire).
After decades of Allied propaganda, linked here is a Russian version. The demonization of Hitler (not that he needed help), and the Soviet Union by the Western Allies has not helped the cause of history. The interesting aspect which this writer brings out is how all the Western courted Hitler – how the West looked away, as Hitler started marauding his neighbours.
Much like the world looks away when it comes to Israel today. Or the demonization of Iran!
Citing a congressional study released on Friday, the Times said the United States was involved in 68.4 percent of the global sales of arms.
U.S. weapons sales jumped nearly 50 percent in 2008 despite the global economic recession to $37.8 billion from $25.4 billion the year before.
The jump defied worldwide trends as global arms sales fell 7.6 percent to $55.2 billion in 2008, the report said. Global weapons agreements were at their lowest level since 2005. (via U.S. Leads World In Foreign Weapons Sales – Report – NYTimes.com).
US in the Post WW2 world
In South East Asia from 1950-1975, Israel from the 1960 onwards and now in Iraq, Afghanistan, the US has been the in the middle of most expensive conflicts (measured in terms of lives lost) in post WW2 world.
This model of international relations is something that needs to change. The poor in this world has not become much safer, seen more democratic or significantly more richer. What justification does this policy have – apart from “I have muscles and can you stop me from flexing them” logic?
Gold – a non-military solution
As I see it, there are two simple solutions. One – everyone who disagrees with (or even if you are worried about the economic consequences of) the US foreign policy should go out and buy gold. This will surely trigger a collapse of the US dollar. Just a 100,000 people buying a 100gm of of gold in the next 1 year will trigger the dollar collapse.
Drill for oil
The second solution will need more time and will need co-operation foron the BRIC Governments. The BRIC Governments must go out and drill oil wells all over the developing world. The collapse in oil prices will remove the petro-dollar funding of the US and simultaneously eliminate /reduce the trade deficit of the developing world.
As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office this month, he has avoided the fawning praise of India that has become fashionable in some Washington circles. But experts on the region say that India-US ties now have a momentum of their own. Industries in each country now have a vested interest in deepening ties with their counterparts.
“In 20 years, I expect the Indo-US relationship to resemble the Israel-US relationship, and for many of the same reasons,” said Shashi Tharoor, an Indian writer and former undersecretary general of the United Nations. (via Will the love-fest stoked by Singh, Bush bear fruit? – Economy and Politics – livemint.com).
Why is the Israeli model a bad idea
The first disqualification against accepting the Israeli State model is the fact it is heavily dependent on America, for fiscal and military aid – which “since 1974 totals roughly $80 billion”.
Do I sense envy when an article from Daily Times Of Pakistan says “The United States has poured $140 billion into Israel since its formation”. That is about a US$56,000 for every Israeli family.
Is this what you learnt at the UN Tharoor Saar …
First, did it ever occur to Tharoor Saar to check where is the guarantee that the US will be in a any position to underwrite India’s long term requirements?
After satisfying himself, did Tharoor Saar ever ask, “Why would the US underwrite India?” In case of Israel, the US had good reasons. After all, (as NYT says)
America has vital long-term strategic interests in the Middle East. The gulf has well over 60 percent of the world’s proven conventional oil reserves and nearly 40 percent of its natural gas.
To some it may look like a boon, but is surely the kiss of death.
American policymakers began regarding Israeli strength as an American asset in the Cold War, they supported significant aid as a matter of strategy, not charity. … American aid continues to flow to Israel. … critics on the opposite end of the political spectrum argue that while aid to Israel may be tied to the best of intentions, it does more harm than good to the Jewish State by propping up a big and inefficient government and making Israel dependent upon the U.S.
For how long can any country, society, individual survive on foreign largesse? Note how during the 1973, Arab Israeli War, the tide of battle finally turned when the massive US airlift of weapons, tanks, spares happened! Which itself, is self-serving – “American assistance, emerging as a disjointed policy that urges a peaceful resolution to the conflict while boosting military aid to Israel.”
Another client state of US, Pakistan enviously records, that
“Israel is the only country that receives all of its U.S. aid in a single package, while others only receive it in quarterly installments.” It continues, “Most recipients of military aid are obliged to spend it in the US but Israel is permitted to spend 25 percent of what it receives to subsidize its own defence industry,”…
Doubtful motives, suspect intentions
Three aspects of the Israeli behaviour makes Israeli intentions doubtful.
One - Israel surely knows that US support cannot continue ad infinitum. What will be the Israeli response after they stop getting US support?
Two - After consistent and constant efforts to make enemies, over the last 50 years, how does Israel plan to continue living in a hostile neighbourhood – without American aid?
Three - With a population of little over 50 lakhs (5 million) in Israel and a world Jewish population of less than 1.3 crores (13 million), how does the Jewish population stop itself from going extinct?
Is there a pattern …
Tharoor Saar’s statement needs to be read in light of two other incidents. For starters, read Manmohan Singh’s speech at Oxford, praising the Raj, while receiving his honorary doctrate. Continue with Chidambaram’s decision to end “abject poverty” in India that he seems to “have known for 5,000 years.” And now add Tharoor Saar’s stated objective to make India into a US-client state in another 20 years. Are these three incidents stray and unrelated? Do they form a pattern?
Any which, Tharoor Saar’s thinking is a cause for concern.
I had asked this of a former high-ranking defence official in the Clinton administration at a conference at Harvard in late 2001. Without blinking an eyelid he said, “We would help the Indians take out the nuclear arms.” After the US intelligence failures in Iraq, I would not be too sanguine about this possibility. I would be more confident if Mossad makes a similar offer! In any case, I do hope our security analysts have an answer to this question, and that the ongoing elections yield a government which is able and willing to deal with what is no longer an implausible existential threat to India. (via Deepak Lal: The Pakistan conundrum).
Deepak … Deepak … Deepak …
Deepak Lal (currently employed with a US University) feels rather reassured by the US generals who have promised assistance to India for taking out Pakistani nukes in the likely event of Pakistan falling to Taliban hands. He truthfully, admits that he would be happy, if the Mossad were to give him such an assurance.
The tragedy of Indian bureaucrats
Do the IFS types understand the ramifications of a ‘relationship’ with a state like Israel, which is a proxy for the Western Oil interests in the Middle East. The only logic for Israeli policy is the probable Israeli intention. Is it that they are not staying in the neighbourhood after (or when, if you prefer) American aid ceases? Israelis, mostly transplanted Jews from Europe, will just get up and go, after Western support for their destructive regime ends.
The State of Israel will last as long as oil prices are high in the Middle East. What happens when Indian oil demand stabilizes with increasing domestic production? What will happen to oil prices production after Cuban oil fields go into production? And the Caspian oil and the Central Asian oil comes into the market?
Indian disengagement with neighbours
While Deepak Lal and his ilk from the Indian Foreign Service are busy attending conferences and gab-fests in the US, what is their level of engagement with Islamabad? How much are they in touch with the Pakistani establishment on managing this real ‘risk’ – and its fallout!
More importantly, how many such meetings and conferences do Deepak Lal and his ilk attend in Beijing. After all, China is the patron-in-chief of the Pakistani defense establishment – or at least, the invisible half of the equation, along with the USA. Any solution in Pakistan will come with Chinese support and consensus. With each new hand of cards, after each round of the play, the Chinese hand only gets stronger – and the Western hand is getting weaker.
How should Delhi treat its smaller and economically weak neighbours? There are many answers to that, but one thought remains central. The rest of the world will never take India seriously until it is able to bring the rest of South Asia on its side. Going out of your way to be nice to old friends could be one way of doing it.
India’s preoccupation with the West comes at a cost. For instance, of improving intra-Third World trade, which will yield more benefits than the Doha round. Intra-Third World trade is more stable is less prone to non-tariff barrier tactics that the Western world usually resorts to. Instead of a Doha round, there could be a Third World trade round.
The IFS and the IAS carry a colonial hangover – and their entire frame of reference is based on Western discourse. And this has to end.
What irony …
Of course, Deepak Lal sees no irony in India needing Mossad assistance, assurances and comfort – to tackle problems at Indian doorstep.For Mossad Pakistan half a continent away.