T h e

K a s h m i r

T  e  l  e  g  r  a  p  h

Vol II Issue I

The 1st Anniversary Edition

May 2003



Romeet K Watt







View Point      

K P S Gill


On Track

Sumer Kaul



Spl. Report



Sawraj Singh


State Craft

Yashwant Sinha



M V Kamath


Last Word

Ram Puniyani



About Us





World defence against Uncle Sam

Sumer Kaul

Behold the raptors of the 21st century; that glint in the eyes, those curving lips. And why not; they have just made a big kill. But like all greedy predators, even before they have sat down to partake of the juicy Iraqi spread, they are planning their next kill. Who it will be is the billion-barrel life-and death question staring in the face all their potential preys in the oil-rich jungle, and perhaps further a field.

Going by the direction of the Bushmen’s snarls as well as a particular Straw in the ill wind, it looks like Syria. They are asking President Bashar al-Assad to “co-operate”, which in the concise imperial dictionary means hand over your country. And British foreign secretary Jack Straw, as comedic a figure as his boss in this bloody charade, is telling Syria “to prove that it is not a rogue nation”, or else!

But Syria is not on Bush’s “evil axis” list, then why this deadly gaze at Damascus? Why is Syria suddenly a rogue nation? The Bush-Blair answer is simple: Because we say so. And why does this gruesome two some say so? Because, according to them, Syria is (a) manufacturing bio-chem weapons of mass destruction, (b) harbouring terrorists as well as “remnants of the Saddam regime”, and (c) last but not least, because Israeli premier Sharon says Assad “is a dangerous leader”.

As in the case of Iraq, no evidence has been proffered to back these charges. But then where is the need for evidence when the accuser is also the judge and also the executioner! Did the lack of evidence deter them from attacking Iraq, killing and maiming children and women, destroying its infrastructure, seizing its vast oil riches, devastating its economy and ecology, and altogether subjugating a sovereign people and causing ruin and plunder of this proud cradle of ancient civilisations?

Is a similar fate awaiting Syria? Is there no stopping this vicious juggernaut? Will the United Nations again quietly watch the rape of a nation and otherwise continue to be no more than a garish `kotha’ of eunuchs presided over by an Uncle Tom with a spine made of American chewing gum? What about the leaders and governments of the billion-strong Arabs, will they continue to beat their breasts and for the rest simply cower? And what about other nations, powerful in their own right, like France and Germany and Russia? Should they be content merely to tut-tut the U.S. criminality and put up photo-op shows of concertedconcern, such as the one at St. Petersberg, and just wait for the next American kill and then eagerly hover on the periphery for leftovers, as seems to be happening after Iraq?

In other words, in this post-USSR era of the so-called `end of history’ are there no nations which can stand up, individually or jointly, to stop the serial invader from ending geography too, and to tell him that the world has had enough of his invasive lawlessness, that he must promptly get out of Iraq and never again get into any other country? Isn’t this what an overwhelming majority of the peoples of the world want their governments to do?

The unprecedented popular anger across the globe over the invasion of Iraq was not in favour of Saddam or WMDs or terrorism.It was a demonstration categorically against the trampling of human rights and national sovereignties by the powerdrunk Bush regime, and that too on totally fraudulent grounds. Now that Iraq has been flattened and ransacked where, pray, are the WMDs that Saddam was said to have stockpiled and was threatening the U.S.and indeed the whole world with? Why aren’t Messers Chiraq and Shroeder and Putin and Vajpayee (and all others who were urging Saddam to disarm asking this question of the crusading Mr.Bush?

Leave aside Washington’s obvious chicanery, there is a more fundamental question crying to be asked: What if Iraq did (and syria does) have such weapons? Why shouldn’t they, or anyone else, when there are at least seven other countries which admittedly (and perhaps an equal number clandestinely) have them and are indeed flaunting them, some even threateningly, like North Korea and Pakistan? By what logic or right can any nation be forbidden to have these weapons, least of all by the US of A which not only was the first to uncork the genie but is the only one to have actually used nuclear bomb, and twice, to mass-kill and destroy? How can it preach abstinence while itself sitting pretty on an arsenal that can blow up this planet a hundred times over?

It is the same `dadagiri’, same hypocrisy, same double standard in the matter of democracy and dictatorship. The U.S. doesn’t give a damn about lack of democracy in other countries if and so long as the dictators do its bidding. Ditto for terrorism and terrorists. The instances are too many and too well known to merit mention here, except for the one case which combines all the `evil virtues’ right in our neighbourhood: The wily General who has killed democracy in his country, goes on nourishing and unleashing anti-India terrorists, is still patronising the `remnants’(!) of the Taliban and Al Qaeda and continues to harbour and protect that high priest of “global terrorism”, a man called Osama bin Laden who in turn, be it remembered, was created by the Americans but who they now want “dead or alive”!.

For the Bush regime, however, the Pakistani dictatoris “a reliable friend and staunch ally”, whereas Saddam was devil personified. Never mind if the Iraqi strongman headed a legitimate political party, never mind if he created and presided over one of the very few secular Muslim countries, never mind if he made Iraq the most literate and educated nation in the entire Arab world (and won a UN prize for it!), never mind if he ensured that his “suppressed people” had all the basic necessities and did not suffer for lack of food and water and electricity, as they do now after their “liberation” by the Americans!

The truth is that Saddam was “evil and dangerous” only because he did not dance to American tune and even after 12 long years of crippling sanctions refused to kowtow to the enraged Uncle Sam. So he had to go, and now Assad must go for similar reasons and especially because he “is providing a safe haven to the remnants of the Saddam regime.” Other countries’ malcontents can live happily anywhere, homegrown and imported terrorists can roam freely in Pakistan, anti-Castro elements can flourish in USA, but no country can let in anyone fleeing from death and torture in “liberated” Iraq! It is abundantly obvious now that the Bush regime feels free to say and do what it likes because after the eclipse of the countervailing superpower it not only finds itself unchallenged butconsiders itself unchallengeable. But is it really unchallengeable? On a one-to-one basis, yes it is, but not if even a third of the rest of the world unites to take the rampaging bull by the horns.

This is how Hitler was defeated. I am not advocating a world war but a world defence against the US.

There is so much that can be done to thwart the global predator. From setting up a new UN sans America and its pommy kennel, to economic and trade non-cooperation and political and social boycott. If the major powers won’t do it, the Third world countries should. Such action may spell serious economic hardship but nothing comparable to what has happened to Iraq and is in store for them, whether or not they have WMDs or oil or even bananas.

But even if the world does nothing of the sort, and even as there is great merriment in the war rooms and boardrooms of America, the Bush administration will be making a grievous mistake if it believes that it can go on with its bloody high-handedness with total impunity. Violence begets violence, and as sure as sure can be, its criminal actions will spawn counter-terror. I have no doubt it has already created millions of enemies for the U.S. They may well lack the means of long-distance retaliation but they will hit back and hit hard whichever way they can. For starters, the Americans must ask themselves why Osama is so quiet!


Sumer Kaul is a veteran journalist based in New Delhi  

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