T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Vol I Issue IX

A Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

January 2003

I N S I D E


 

Spotlight 

Romeet K WATT

 

Editorial     

TKT Says......

 

GuestColumn     Krishnamoorty       

 

Big Fight      

Romeet K WATT

 

On Track     

Romeet K WATT

 

Opinion

T R Jawahar

 

Analysis

Sawraj Singh

 

State Craft

Romeet K WATT

 

Report

SAT Feature

 

Last Word

Romeet K WATT

 

 


 

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B I G   F I G H T

Is U.S going the U.S.S.R way?

Romeet K WATT


United States of America has 37,000 troops, more than 90 installations scattered across the length and the breadth, in South Korea under a mutual defence treaty. Nevertheless, the presence has long been a source of antagonism for communities near the military bases.

 

On June 13, 2002, a U.S. armoured vehicle hit and killed Shin Hyo-soon and Shim Mi-seon, both 14, who were walking on the shoulder of a road while on their way to a friend's birthday party in the northern city of Uijeongbu in South Korea. Since then there has been a growing sense of anti-Americanism gaining momentum, not that the phenomenon is new, but what has angered the Koreans is that the two U.S. soldiers, Walker and Nino, have been let go by a special American military court.

 

This incident has led to a renewed call for the removal of all U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula. Of the 500 or so crimes committed by off-duty American soldiers, less than 1 percent of the cases have made it to Korean courts. The rest have been handled by America’s military courts, with many of the soldiers receiving only warnings or community service.

 

The nature and conduct of Americans by way of its foreign policy over the previous half-century, focussing particularly on the decade after the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 needs to be put in perspective to understand the current trends that are emerging in the post-cold war, uni-polar world-order. The scheme of things that will unfold in the twenty-first century will no doubt be driven by the retribution from the later half of the twentieth century – consequences of the cold war, and crucial American decisions forming the nucleus of this anger, and reprisal. 

 

In the present context, the on the warpath approach adopted by the Bush-regime, calling for a regime change in Iraq does in no way come as a big surprise. What has rendered the task difficult in the present state of affairs are the repercussions, that the U.S -- down the line -- is likely face from radical Muslim groups for invading a Muslim country like Iraq.

 

Otherwise, if one assumes a more pragmatic approach, the other member of what America describes as ‘evil axis’ or ‘rogue states’, North-Korea, is not alleged to possess chemical and biological weapons (as in case of Iraq) but has a full fledged nuclear programme going on, right under the noses of the Americas; of course with the clandestine support from an able ally of America in its global war against terrorism – Pakistan!

 

Incidentally, Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq, was armed and backed to the hilt by the Reagan administration so long as he was at war with Khomeini's Iran, however, presently it is ironical and amusing that all of these men who were once listed as “assets” of America's key covert services organization are at the receiving end once their utility of serving American interests has come to an end.

 

Since the Gulf War the United States has steadily maintained around thirty-five thousand troops in Saudi Arabia. Devoutly Muslim citizens of that kingdom see their presence as a humiliation to the country and an affront to their religion. Dissident Saudis have launched attacks against Americans and against the Saudi regime itself. It is in this context that one needs to examine the renewed attacks on the military facilities in the country in which scores of American soldiers have been killed.

 

Should the present American and Saudi Arabian establishments pursue its present policies, it is most likely that the Saudi monarchy will be overthrown and, a fundamental and anti-American government would more likely assume power in Riyadh. But the American foreign policy remains unchanged, instead of withdrawing from a place where a U.S. presence is only making a ‘dangerous’ situation ‘worse’, US of A continues to overlook the obvious.

 

The United States, even after the decade of the demise of its cold-war foe U.S.S.R continues to deploy awesome military might worldwide that for its adversaries only an “asymmetric strategy,” to borrow an expression from the Pentagon dictionary, has any chance of success.

 

Osama bin Laden, the leading suspect as mastermind behind the carnage of September 11, was propped up by CIA like so many other extreme fundamentalists among the Mujahideen in Afghanistan from at least 1984, including building in 1986 the training complex and weapons storage tunnels around the Afghan city of Khost where bin Laden trained many of the 35,000 Arabs.

 

Bin Laden's Khost complex was the one that at President Bill Clinton's orders was hit on August 20, 1998, with cruise missiles in retaliation for bin Laden's attacks of August 7, 1998, on the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. For once the CIA knew where the targets were since it had built them.

 

The retribution against the U.S is a fall out of ill-conceived, short-term, invariably illegitimate U.S. covert actions intended at overthrowing foreign administrations or assisting initiate state terrorist operations against target populations. The people of  American are unlikely to know what was done in their name, but those on the receiving end surely do — including the people of Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1959-60), Congo (1960), Brazil (1964), Indonesia (1965), Vietnam (1961-73), Laos (1961-73), Cambodia (1961-73), Chile (1973), El Salvador and Nicaragua (1980s), Iraq (1991 to the present), and very probably Greece (1967), to name only the obvious cases.

 

The American bombing operations of recent decades in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq, Serbia, and Kosovo will almost certainly produce unintended negative consequences throughout the Islamic and underdeveloped worlds.

 

Moderate Muslim governments, especially in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan, will almost certainly face growing internal dissent and if the recent trends in the concluded elections in some of these states are an indication, the task of America becomes all the more difficult with the emergence of radical anti-America bandwagon.

 

In the opinion of a leading expert on the American foreign policy, U.S is embarked on a path not so dissimilar to that of the former Soviet Union a decade ago. He observes: “It collapsed for three reasons—internal economic contradictions, imperial overstretch, and an inability to reform. In every sense, we were by far the wealthier of the two Cold War superpowers, so it will certainly take longer for similar afflictions to do their work. But it is nowhere written that the United States, in its guise as an empire dominating the world, must go on forever.”

 

The calamitous proceedings of the first year of the new millennium not only casts serious doubts on United States's self-pronounced role as ‘very important nation’ and ‘only remaining superpower’ but also raises serious reservations and new perils for other establishments that were suddenly asked by the American President, George W Bush whether they were ‘for’ or ‘against’ the United States ‘war on terror.’

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