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Misadventures

 

Editorial. Cecil Victor. XXV. IX. XV 

 

 

BLOWBACK AND BOOMERANG


 

Cecil Victor-fnbworld By Cecil Victor

 


 

Refugees entering
Europe-fnbworld

 

Europe is suffering the blowback of its misadventures in the wide arc in the Middle East from Pakistan through Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq to Syria and nearly every nation-State on the Mediterranean coast in the west. A succession of regime changes have brought the bloodthirsty and iconoclastic Sunni Islamist hardliners of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to the fore. The bloodletting by the ISIS has been catastrophic and has been compounded by the daily incessant aerial bombardment by the US and its allies in Europe and even as far from the epicenter as is Australia. The Middle East is a heap of rubble as seen in the daily telecasts of the scene and people are fleeing to what they perceive to be prospective havens. Faced with an ethno-cultural deluge, European nations are quaking within their barbedwire fences as they see their increasingly untenable lifestyles threatened by an overflowing sea of humanity, a maelstrom of refugees, migrants, human traffickers and racketeers and the ubiquitous Pakistanis who always manage to find a place for themselves in the midst of chaos and disorder. All of this is of their own making.

 

European refugees
crisis-fnbworld

 

There is a truism that everyone in America and Europe managed to forget: It is that what goes around comes around. America, because it has come to believe that its Predator drones that have clinically removed many a hardcore Islamist terrorist in the Afghan-Pakistan salient will manage to fend off another terrorist strike given its formidable Homeland Security apparatus. But it has discovered to its dismay that indoctrinated American youth can pop up disconcertingly. France has suffered the consequences of the Charlie Hebdo brand of journalism and Pakistan is discovering that “our terrorists” have a mind of their own. 


US
Drone strike against ISIS in Afghanistan-fnbworld The lessons that have been learned (or not learned) are that regime change and other ethno-religious panaceas for change can and do, very easily turn out to be boomerangs as Europe is discovering. As a launchpad for global colonialism since the Middle Ages it has dabbled in divide and rule politics to retain its relevance in the global scheme of things. Briton honed the Two Nation principle in Ireland and applied it to India in 1947 instigating a mindless transfer of population on a sub-continental scale. Yugoslavia and Egypt, cofounders with India of the Nonaligned Movement were afflicted with foreign interventions that resulted in massive bloodletting.

 

The Americans, eager to light new fires as the sun set on the British Empire unleashed its interventionist policy in Afghanistan. Even before the dust had settled it went in Iraq under false pretences and refashioned a political system that brought the majority Shias to power in Baghdad. The largely Sunni armed forces of the Saddam Hussein regime have coalesced into the Islamic State with large holdings in Iraq and Syria and tentacular influence in the Middle East, West Asia and North and East Africa. In an attempt to turn the clock back a US-led coalition and a separate Saudi-led coalition, too afraid to put a boot on the ground, is using aerial bombardment as a tool of foreign policy unsettling millions of men, women and children who know that they have nowhere to go but to Europe. Saudi Arabia, in whose Islamist schools the Wahabbi brand of hardcore Sunni philosophy was nurtured, transferred it to the Pakistan Army. Internally it drove a wedge into the Sunni-Shia agglomerate within Pakistan from where it was transferred to Afghanistan in the form of the Taliban. The war against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan created the Osama bin Laden led Al Qaeda and its affiliates in the United Jihad Council. By upturning the political structure in Iraq the Americans (and their European allies) unleashed the Sunni Jihadists who drew their military prowess during their tenure in Saddam Hussein’s Baathist Party army. They vented their grievance at being displaced on the Shia regime that was installed in their place within Iraq. Suddenly they burst out into neighbouring Syria taking full advantage of the American attempt to oust Bashar Assad and took control of large parts of his country and pronounced itself as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

 

Into this maelstrom, citizens from many other parts of the globe took sides according to their respective religions. Small groups from India too have tried to join the fight on sectarian lines. Many have been intercepted and returned by the UAE. In the midst of this a Shia group from India made known its decision to join the war on the side of the Shia majority in Iraq. The BJP led government in India put its foot down (for once) with great foresight.


 ISIS Fighters-fnbworld

 

But the dual and unpredictable nature of the regime showed up in a threat held out by one of its ‘parivar’ that if the situation in the Kashmir Valley continued to be vitiated by Pak/ISIS flag hoisting there could be a recourse to what this fringe element described as an economic blockade of the Valley. This harks back to what was done when an agitation was underway against the attempt by the military governor of the State to upgrade and modernize the Amarnath Yatra complex. It included acquisition of more land which was anathema to the locals. It raised hackles all around when essential commodities were blocked in the Jammu sector on the National Highway to Srinagar. A little spark could have blown up the tinderbox.

 

This threat has once again drawn attention to the studied silence of the Prime Minister of the country on the anti-national activities of his ‘parivar’ at a time when such activities have become grist to the communalization of global politics.

 

Far away from this scene in ancient Lucknow (not Varanasi mind you) Sunnis and Shias decided to hold joint prayers on Id at the picturesque Imambara. It could yet prove to be as historic a gesture as is the monument. Way to go, India.   

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