Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How South Asia Can Move from Post-Colonial, Neo-Imperial Dependency to Regional Stability, Peace and Prosperity

How South Asia Can Move from Post-Colonial, Neo-Imperial Dependency to Regional , Stability, Peace and Prosperity

AFPAK or PACK UP? Unpacking US 60-plus-year Policy in the South Asia Region

For more than 60 years, the US has conducted state-sponsored terror coupled with unethical, narrowly self-serving military/diplomatic maneuvers in the South Asia region. The US is the main trouble-maker and the US, by its continued physical presence, distorts intra-regional geopolitics among nation-states of the South Asia region.

The US began making trouble 60+ years ago during the Dulles era of the US State Dept., under the Eisenhower administration. The US, seeking global influence after the Second World War, detected a power vacuum after the ignominious and well-deserved fall of the British empire, to dramatic liberatory freedom movements throughout South Asia, East Asia and Africa. During this early post-colonial period that stretched from the late 40's to the early 60's, and the start of the US neo-imperial period from the early 50's until and continuing into the present time, The US targeted Pakistan, weakened by Brit-driven Partition, for membership (SEATO, CENTO) and missile bases in Pakistan. As part of US Cold War strategy, The US cultivated Pakistan and Afghanistan because of their strategic geopolitical location south in the soft underbelly of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Instead of newly free Pakistan and India standing together, they were once again divided and ruled, (smaller and weaker Pakistan, much more so than India), but this time by the neo-imperial US.

It was directly as a result of bi-polar US Cold War strategy that the US and the former Soviet Union engaged in Afghanistan in South Asia during the late 70's thru the early '90s. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan supported the US as the US trained the mujahadeen" who later became the Taliban.

Now in 2009, at this critical juncture in the geopolitics of the South Asia region, neither India nor Pakistan should tolerate Obama or Brown, Secretary Clinton or Holbrooke or Mullen or now, failed Presidential candidate John Kerry (see below) to provide unsolicited advice, militaristic meddling and 'foreign aid' bribery, to the leaders and civil societies of their respective sovereign nation-states in South Asia. Obviously for socio-historical and geopolitical reasons, some South Asia nation-states, have been rendered more fragile than others at this time in their political and socio-economic development.

1) The US should stop the deadly daily and nightly drone strikes that kill civilians, including children in Pakistan's western area.
How would Obama feel if Sasha or Malia were killed in a drone strike?

2) The US should stop buying influence in South Asia by throwing money at Pakistan's ISI.
Obama should instead be asking "I wonder where the money went?" re: the billions squandered during the Disastrous Bush-Cheney Afpak Strategy (yeah, just a different name under Obama)

3) the US and NATO need to be requested collaboratively by Afghanistan, Pakistan and India to get out of the South Asia region immediately.

Children and women are being killed everyday by the cowardly, unmanned US drone strikes. These strikes cause grief, spread terror and humiliate the proud people of the westernmost parts of South Asia. The drone strikes and the NATO supply convoys and military strikes cause civilian casualties and actions of retaliation against US>NATO. The drone strikes make families more vulnerable to recruitment demands by the Taliban and Al Q from their vulnerable families just when they are grieving for lost family members killed by US drone strikes and NATO 'encounters' with alleged "militants." "terrorists" "insurgents."

The US intelligence gathering operations should be investigating where the vast sums of money and firepower are flowing from, into the South Asia region. Saudi Arabia? Iran? Russia? Israel? The US? Every news report mentions the presence of vast amounts of funds fueling suicide bombing and other actions.

What can South Asia do? What a breath of fresh air it would be if the Govt. of India, the moat stable nation-state in the region spoke up and criticized the US on the above 3 points. This India govt. would be acting ethically if it protested the loss of tribal civilian life, especially children and women, through US drone strikes.

But no, the old divide and rule colonized mentality persisting among our leaders in both India and Pakistan, makes us dependent on an external dominant power, the US/US-led NATO, to hold the balance of power in our region.

The future of South Asia rests with us, not with the US or Europe. The sooner Afghanistan, Pakistan and India act collaboratively on the above principled 3-point strategy, the sooner there will be peace and prosperity for all of our peoples in South Asia.
Chithra KarunaKaran
Ethical Democracy As Lived Practice

Times of India copyright
US will help India, Pak if they stop 'pointing fingers': Kerry
13 Apr 2009, 2209 hrs IST, PT

SLAMABAD: The US will help India and Pakistan "find a new way forward" only if they stop "pointing fingers at each other," a visiting top
Senator said today, even as Islamabad asserted that a "calm eastern border" is essential to focus on its war against terror in Afghanistan.

The US will help both countries "find a new way forward" but at the same time New Delhi
"needs to look at where it is going to be in 10 years," visiting US senate foreign relations committee chairman John Kerry said at a joint news conference with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

If India and Pakistan spent all their time "pointing fingers at each other and on the past", they would "never get to the future," Kerry added.

"The world wants Pakistan to focus on the western border because extremism and terrorism has to be dealt with. But to focus on the western border, Pakistan wants a calm eastern border," Qureshi said.

"And if we have a calm eastern border, it certainly makes our task easier," he added.

The US Senator also made it clear that Richard Holbrooke had been appointed the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan and India is not included in his brief.

Issues like Kashmir have to be resolved separately, he said.
Swat deal will increase tensions between US and Pak: US think-tank
14 Apr 2009, 0908 hrs IST, PTI
New York Times copyright
Militants Unite in Pakistan’s Populous Heart
Published: April 13, 2009

Civilians Died in Airstrike by NATO, Afghan Says
An airstrike by NATO forces early Monday in eastern Afghanistan killed six civilians, an Afghan official said.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You write in your NYT comment, quote "The US and NATO have no legitimacy in the South Asia region" unquote.
It is a very important statement that you make. And you have not put forward why this important statement should be considered accurate.
I disagree. And I believe you are wrong to state this and believe this.
There is such a thing as basic as the UN Human Rights charter. We all share this small planet, what neighbours and neighbouring countries do affects us all, polutes us all. There are no permanent, opaque fences. No man is an island ... no matter for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
Absent US-Nato intervention, the ideology that will dominate in the region should be considered prior to condeming that intervention.And you would be wise to look beyond the intervention and consider as well the supreme sacrifice. Leave your cynicism aside for a moment, perhaps this is NOT about oil and oil transit. Perhaps it really is about human freedom.
Lastly, it is very easy, and cowardly, to walk away from human suffering and misery, look the other way. Coming from India, I do believe Colonialism a blessing. Neo- Imperial Dependency is a big word. It necessary to realize that some parts of the world, some population, are not ready to be weaned off yet.