Monday, September 22, 2014

A Cuckoo Strategy on China -India-China relations Manipulation during Colonial era

 

A Cuckoo Strategy on China

India-China relations Manipulation during Colonial era

British and US brainwashed Indians refuse to learn

 

The English knowing Indian ignoranti have been fed Western propaganda through American and British media (BBC remains the worst example even in case of Scotland referendum .During the 2003 U.S.-led illegal invasion of Iraq BBC gave 98% time to warmongers and was worse than even Fox News of America.) Brought up on such diet of falsehood, deceit, illegality and immorality, what do you expect from Indians who accept patronage from America like scholarships, well-paid seminars, education and employment of children, many diplomats being given sinecure jobs as ambassadors in residence for fat pay, who then head foreign service advisory boards during the previous regimes. So what do you expect?  

 

The majority in Indian media and TV channels, have not a clue of the long history of India China relations and the epochal changes with the decline of the US led West , when India China, Russia and even Japan should come together to get rid of the yoke of U.S.-led West since 18th century.

 

I had earlier posted on my blog and circulated my article on Chinese president's visit looking at it from a historical perspective and possibilities that exist of India China cooperation along with Russia, Japan and other countries of Asia to get rid of colonial yoke and thinking, which is go deep into the DNA of English knowing Indians.

 

Many writers and commentators believe in entitlement ie Japan, China, Russia and everyone must aid India. What is America done apart from crumbs to the community populating Indian TV channels and media? Some commentators are wondering why promised Chinese aid of US $100 billion has come down to USD 20 billion only, as if it is India's right. Some even demanded China must redress the massive trade balance in Beijing's favour. In spite of opening of the markets and liberalization of regimes, political parties and corporate barons have siphoned away public money for their advantage.

 

India still remains a trading nation, importing and trading. Look at these big InfoTech cos, who just use Indian English knowing personnel as IT coolies for Western firms. They have invested very little in hardware manufacture. The industrial growth has been shown to be very dismal in the last decades.

 

How much aid India has absorbed fruitfully in the last 20 years and jokers on TV demand hundreds of billions of dollars without the ability to utilize it. Some even demand that China must establish industries in India and even export to reduce trade balance in Beijing's favour. Never have one heard such stupidity being repeated daily on Indian TV shows.

 

Mercifully Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the foreign office are chartering an independent and beneficial foreign policy .

 

In my article I had tried to give a historical perspective and future possibilities. I reproduce below an excellent article by on the history of India China relations during the colonial times and how the West subjugated Asian nations and the descendants of Macaulay's system of education with Clive Hastings, Curzon and Churchill as their heroes would still like to follow the policies which were suited to London interests and now of Washington.

 

Amb.(Retd) K.Gajendra Singh 22 Sept. 2014

A Cuckoo Strategy on China

Vol - XLIX No. 38, September 20, 2014 | Atul Bhardwaj 

http://www.epw.in/book-reviews/cuckoo-strategy-china.html

 

Book Reviews

Deep Currents and Rising Tides: The Indian Ocean and International Security edited by
John Garofano and Andrew J Dew (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press), 2013; pp xvii + 331, $32.95.

Asymmetrical Threat Perception in India-China Relations by Tien-sze Fang (New Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2014; pp xv + 247, Rs 795.

Samudra Manthan: Sino-Indian Rivalry in the Indo-Pacific by C Raja Mohan (Washington DC: Carnegie Foundation), 2012; pp xii + 360, $19.95.

Chinese and Indian Strategic Behavior: Growing Power and Alarm by George J Gilboy and Eric Heginbotham (New York: Cambridge University Press), 2012; pp xxx + 376, £22.99.
 

Atul Bhardwaj (atul.beret@gmail.com) is an ICSSR senior fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies, New Delhi.

 

In a vintage warship, the crow's nest is the topmost spot on the ship's mast from where a "lookout" scans the seas for incoming danger. In a modern warship this vantage point has been replaced by the radar. However, for students of strategy, the story of the cuckoo surreptitiously laying eggs in the crows' nest continues to be relevant. The wise crow is lured out of his nest into a chase when provoked by the continuously jarring sounds produced by the male cuckoo. While the crow is busy in hot pursuit, the female cuckoo quietly moves into the crow's nest, throws out some of the crow's eggs, thereby making place to lay her eggs. Unknowingly, the crow warms all the eggs and nurtures the babies when the eggs hatch.

 

The crow is a perfect example of a strategic sucker. In the secular world too, there are nations who are suckered to provide their military manpower to fight someone else's war. The first question to ask vis-à-vis China is whether the 1962 conflict was India's own war? The lack of dispassionate analysis of the period has led Indian strategic thought to shy away from identifying and naming the cuckoo that clandestinely came and laid its egg in the Indian nest.

 

Foreign Strategy of India

According to K M Panikkar, America and Apa Pant were the twin factors responsible for a sudden deterioration in Sino-Indian relations in the mid-1950s (Gupta 1982: 14). A powerful American lobby having deep links with all political parties in India, barring the Communist Party of India, pushed the Indian establishment on an escalatory path vis-à-vis China that eventually resulted in a border war. Apa Pant, India's political officer in Sikkim (1955-61), was instrumental in building a Tibet lobby within India. He convinced many "senior Indian political leaders like Jai Prakash Narain, G B Pant and the ex-president Rajendra Prasad to take up the Tibetan cause as their own" (Gupta 1982: 15). Purshottam Das Trikamdas, an old associate of Apa Pant, inspired the international commission of jurists to publish two reports on Tibet in 1959 and 1960 with an aim to establish that Tibet enjoyed de facto sovereignty between 1912 and 1951.

In 1959, India entered the game of brinkmanship vis-à-vis China and kept climbing up the escalation ladder. India was gullible enough to follow western instructions both on Tibet and its boundary with China and ended up fighting a frivolous war. By allowing asylum to Dalai Lama, India acted like a foolish crow that hatched American strategic eggs. The United States (US) actions in Tibet provoked the Sino-Indian war that fulfilled the American goal of preventing any possibility of Soviet Union, China and India forming a progressive joint front against western imperialism. The 1962 war was used to widen the wedge in the communist bloc and inch closer towards making Mao Zedong, a "Chinese Tito", who could speak openly against the Soviets (Xiang 1992: 319). The conflict shook Jawaharlal Nehru's belief in non-alignment, teaching him an unforgettable lesson on the relevance of empires in the postcolonial world.

 

Some argue that recent scientific studies have revealed that not all varieties of cuckoos are cunning. In some cases, the pungent juices secreted by the newlyhatched baby cuckoos protect the nest from being attacked by predators, thereby ensuring that the left-behind baby crows are also nurtured in a protected environment. According to this logic, America was not a cunning cuckoo since the war proved beneficial for some in India too. The US, by instigating India to take on China, helped the capitalist-driven Indian state to stem the growth of the left movement in India. The venom spewed against the communists during and in the wake of the 1962 war was enough to cause a three-way divide in the Communist Party of India and push the leftist forces on the defensive for times to come. An editorial in The IndianExpress of 6 November 1962 suggested that people should

keep our country consolidated by weeding out the indigenous communist vermin from such organisations and bodies into which, behind the facade of fellow travellers, they have infiltrated. There can be no place for these faceless traitors in any war committee or council. Despite their belated protestations of patriotism they cannot be trusted and must be put effectively beyond the pale.

 

Masked in realpolitik, the national chauvinist evangelism surged in the wake of the 1962 war. It has continued to serve the Indian elite's ideological interests that perceive the Chinese threat to the American empire as their national concern.

 

Twin American Contributions

In the initial years after Independence, the twin American contributions that laid the intellectual groundwork for an Indian foreign policy aimed at acquiring regional primacy were the Monroe doctrine and Alfred Thayer Mahan's concepts of sea power and overseas naval bases. In March 1953, at the end of his first stint as the US ambassador to India, Chester Bowles apprised Nehru of the Monroe doctrine and its applicability in the Indian context. He advised Nehru that in order to "preempt potential Communist advancements", he should take charge of Bhutan, Nepal, Sikkim, Burma and Tibet and drive out all external influences (primarily China) from its vicinity. This, according to Bowles, was the best way for India to maintain its neutrality (Iscoe 2010: 8).

A scenario where Japan, China, India and Russia may combine to end centuries-long western dominance of the Indo-Pacific maritime space is never allowed to be considered as a viable strategic option. History is, however, replete with examples of efforts to forge a pan Asian solidarity. In 1913, Katsura Taro, Japan's acting Prime Minister, a soldier-politician, proposed to Sun Yat-Sen, the Chinese nationalist leader, the launch of a joint Sino-Japanese effort to liberate India. Taro felt that booting out the British from India would relieve Japan of the necessity to "worry about land for colonisation and commerce" and liberate it from pursuing the "crude policy of conquest" (Altman and Schiffrin 1972: 387-88).

The general paranoia related to the rise of China and unflinching faith in the myth of "unipolar peacefulness" is perplexing.

 

The first two decades of the unipolar era have been anything but peaceful…In all the US has been at war for 13 of the 22 years since the end of the Cold War… The first two decades of unipolarity, which make up less than 10% of US history, account for more than 25% of the nation's total time at war (Monteiro 2012: 11).

 

Out of the 30 days that the India-China war lasted, for 18 days the Indian Parliament and press were engaged in driving out Krishna Menon from the Ministry of Defence (Ghose 1993: 292). The remaining 12 days were spent in preparing a shopping list of arms to be presented to the Americans.

One of the biggest fallout of the 1962 war was the growth of arms lobbies in India. On 26 November 1962, one week after the Sino-Indian war ended, T T Krishnamachari (popularly known as TTK), a minister without portfolio in Nehru's cabinet, wrote a personal and confidential letter to the cabinet secretary, S S Khera, lobbying for the immediate procurement of M-14 guns from Harrington and Richardson Arms Company of Massachusetts. Intriguingly, along with TTK, Partap Singh Kairon, the then Chief Minister of Punjab, was also involved in meeting the arms agents.1

 

This North-South bonhomie in the arms business offers a perfect example of the ad hocism and political interference that has plagued Indian defence purchases since Independence. However, this crucial cultural malaise is rarely considered as a factor in analysing India's national strategy. Paradoxically, those who profess greater indigenisation are also the biggest advocates for hastening the process of importing arms and ammunition from abroad.

 

The modernisation of the forces with indigenised equipment is a long-drawn out process that requires protracted peace. However, the Indian defence and foreign affairs establishment, married to theories of "security dilemma", "international anarchy" and "balance of power", can hardly appreciate the need for deliberately lowering the threat levels to achieve national objectives. Should India impose a moratorium on its desire to appear masculine? Why should India not explore the possibility of an isolationist foreign policy? It is sacrilegious to pose such questions, because it is tantamount to disrespecting Kautilya and the western realpolitik scholars ranging from Machiavelli to Mearsheimer.

 

Take for example, the recent raising of a mountain strike corps in the eastern sector, consisting of 40,000 troops and costing Rs 60,000 crore. This mobilisation of men and money is justified by digging out the ghost of the 1962 war and echoing the weather-beaten American theories of Chinese threat and irredentism. The predominance of security matters in the India-China matrix has needlessly rocked the boat and made the two neighbours sit on a powder keg. The net result is that the precious Rs 60,000 crore that should have gone to beef up indigenisation plans has been spent on creating a military asset that will continue to draw its feed from the foreign military industry.

It is hard to discount the fact that much of the anti-China rhetoric in India emanates from the international arms and currency bazaars, especially when New Delhi is the largest importer of arms in the world and China's growing economic might is seen as a direct threat to the supremacy of the dollar.

 

Familiar Chant of Bazaars

The four recent books discussed here echo the familiar chant of bazaars that well-nigh pray for strained Sino-Indian ties. Some authors simply reiterate the India-China disagreements over Tibet and unsettled borders, others who find the two contentious issues inadequate to keep the Asian giants apart for long insist on extending the rivalry into oceans and the nuclear realm. The common thread running through these analyses is the underlying assumption that the US is a benign balancer in the region and India should not contest American hegemony. The authors believe that America has a central role in mitigating the China-India conundrum. A trilateral dialogue between India, China and America is prescribed to calm the maritime commons.

 

In Chinese and Indian Strategic Behavior: Growing Power and Alarm, Gilboy and Heginbotham talk of India and China's strategic culture and how those historical and social moorings could be best utilised by America. Raja Mohan's Samudra Manthan sees the surging economies of the Asian giants and their expansionist urges as a cause of Mahanian resurgence in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). He almost treats India and China as the East India Company and Dutch East India Company respectively who will entangle themselves in a war for resources and profits. Such western and much of the Indian analyses imagine the Indian and Chinese armada competing on the high seas to establish their naval bases in Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles in the IOR. It is also imagined that the Indian navy in order to maintain its perceived hold over the Indian Ocean would interdict the China-bound oil tankers and choke their growth. Tien-sze Fang in Asymmetrical Threat Perceptions in India-China Relations uses constructivist studies to understand the perception of a threat in India-China dynamics, but arrives at the realists' conclusion that sees "security dilemma" as the raison d'être that prevents India-China ties from resting on an even keel. Tien-sze Fang's nuanced theoretical understanding of India's "misperceptions" with regard to Chinese intentions is helpful in drawing a correct picture of the problems in current Sino-Indian relations.

Samudra Manthan that talks about churning of the Indian Ocean misses the point that the mythological magic potion of immortality is no longer concentrated in the oceans, it has proliferated to the global financial markets, where daily trade amounts to trillions of dollars. The ratio of global financial assets to global gross domestic product (GDP) is now above 450 in developed countries (Sassen 2008: 187).

 

The financial deepening of advanced as well as emerging economies is one of the major reasons for the western world's bold alteration of course away from the seas. Holmes and Yoshihara's chapter, "In Red lines for Sino Indian Rivalry", inDeep Currents and Rising Tides: The Indian Ocean and International Security, highlights the opposing approaches to sea power in Europe and Asia. On the one hand, the West seems to have transcended Mahan, entering a 'post modern', 'post-Mahanian' age in which high seas combat appears almost unthinkable…Asians by contrast inhabit a 'modern', 'neo-Mahanian' in which naval war becomes a reality (pp 187-88).

Just as in the 20th century, America used maritime strategy as a subset of a grand strategy to deal with the balance of power, it is once again trying to do the same by poking its nose in the South and East China Sea disputes between sovereign nations. One sees a great deal of commonality between the current Sino-US maritime competition (in which India is being used as a pawn) and the Anglo-American maritime rivalry during the interwar years. It was a period when the naval problem ranked with reparation as the most serious international problem. Much of the maritime problems in the 1920s resulted from Anglo-French fears related to emerging competition to their colonial holdings. The 1922 Naval Treaty arrived at the Washington conference was successful only for a couple of years, mainly because it did not account for the fast declining combat capacities of the warships in the era of naval aviation and submarine warfare. This resulted in the need for further review of international navies and restricting their tonnage or type. The Three-Power Naval Conference in 1927 between the US, Great Britain and Japan failed to arrive at a common denominator to measure the navies. The US did not approve of the greater expansion in the cruiser strength of the United Kingdom's naval power and any limitations on the type of vessels that America wanted to invest in (Dulles 1929).

 

The naval negotiations of the interwar years, between the rising and the declining international powers, were primarily focused on putting restrictions on the naval vessels and their armament. Another element in the American strategy was to apply moral pressure on the Anglo-French to retain their colonial status. Throughout the 1930s, Anglo-American tussle continued on the maritime high table. It is only in the ABC Conference of 29 January-29 March 1941 that the Americans finally convinced the British to accept their "Atlantic First" strategy which, according to General George Marshall, meant, "If we lose in the Atlantic we lose every-where" (Offner 1978: 832).

 

Ongoing Power Game

With Asia now emerging on the global economic stage, America is focused on an "Asia First" strategy. The strategy is to deepen the schism within the Asian community and project the rise of China as morally repugnant and militarily threatening. America (primarily due to money constraints) is seeking help from India, Japan and the Philippines to make China divert its resources to spending more money and energy in managing the maritime issues in South and East China Sea.

 

It is under these circumstances that one sees the Chinese proposal of a "Maritime Silk Road", as a counter-strategy, a conciliatory strategic gesture, or probably a Chinese version of the Monroe doctrine. As Robert Kaplan says in his latest book, Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End to a Stable Pacific, China is seeking an Asian version of the Monroe doctrine, an approach that helped America take over from European nations as the supreme power in the western hemisphere. Kaplan is of the opinion that the US must encourage "a rising Chinese navy to assume its rightful position, as the representative of the region's largest indigenous power".

 

What Kaplan is saying is that China, the sleeping partner of the US in the cold war, must now play an active role on behalf of Washington in the ensuing US-Russian rivalry. America wanted Chiange-Kai-shek to be the US policeman in Asia-Pacific region and subsequently expected Mao to perform that role.

 

The 21st century power game is not ideological – nor is it between players with huge asymmetries in terms of wealth and technology. In the 1950s, China only had nationalism and a bit of ideology to defend itself. Now, in addition, it is also rich. However, the role of China in shaping the contours of future regional and global politics remains as important now as it was in the past in shaping the final outcome of the cold war.

 

In this ongoing power game, should India be in the playing 11 or decide to be the 12th man? Should India remain indifferent to China's geopolitical rise or help America maintain the status quo and retain its supremacy? Working in aid of the US entails India to partake in US military adventures. Gilboy and Heginbotham attempt to extrapolate from ancient Chinese and Indian texts their respective propensity to use force and willingness to sacrifice their military manpower to achieve US goals. The Indian and Chinese texts (Kautilya's Arthashastra and Sun Tzu's Art of War) on strategy are more or less similar in terms of how to fight wars through deception, deceit and treachery. The major difference between the two is that Kautilya openly suggests that continuous conquest is indicative of good leadership while Sun Tzu's use of force is cloaked under the rubric of self-defence.

 

One tends to disagree with Gilboy and Heginbotham that strategic culture can be used to distinguish a nation's military behaviour from another. The entire human civilisation is entrapped in a vicious cycle of fear and violence that has made their military behaviour almost similar. There is a universal culture of violence that transcends all boundaries. However, one cannot ignore the modern history of a nation to understand its propensity to use force under different circumstances.

 

For example, modern history can provide an answer to the question of whether China or India is culturally more inclined to use force to fight other people's wars. The Indian military tradition does not consider it repugnant to send armies on expeditionary missions launched by imperial powers. Indian armed forces celebrate their regimental achievements in the first and second world wars that fought under the Union Jack. The Chinese military tradition, on the other hand, is more intertwined with their nationalism. Historically, the Chinese have never left their country to fight other's wars. During the second world war, the Chinese soldiers did come to India to be trained by American and British forces, but that was only to fight the Japanese within China. Furthermore, most of the wars that China has fought after 1950 have been related to their territory. India, on the other hand, has fought wars in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for reasons other than territory.

 

Looking further back into history one finds an excellent example of how the British imperial navy used an Indian prince to attack Tibet at a time when the British were launching their first opium war against China in 1840. Those who argue that it was the British naval might that forced China to sign the "unequal treaty" in 1842 must also give due credit to Gulab Singh who unknowingly fell into the British trap to hatch their eggs in Ladakh and Tibet.

 

Ladakh, Tibet and Nanking Treaty

In the second half of the 19th century, in order to prevent English ships and sailors from being regularly checked and regulated by the Chinese authorities in Canton (Lamb 1958: 35), the British identified Tibet as the soft spot that could be exploited to pressurise and provoke the Chinese. Massive economic and financial stakes in mainland China prevented London from direct military action against Peking. The British preferred covert means to draw the Chinese military into a "noose".

 

Gulab Singh, Raja of Jammu, was used to attack Tibet. He was ensnared by the lucrative pashmina shawl wool trade to invade Ladakh in 1834. Ladakh was the transit point for the wool coming from western Tibet for its onward journey to Kashmir. However, the moment Ladakh was invaded by Gulab Singh, the Tibetans diverted their export consignments along the Sutlej route to Rampur-Bushahr, a British territory. Gulab Singh got Ladakh but not the profits. His first war ended up filling British coffers since the selling price of shawl wool in Rampur skyrocketed by 200% (Lamb 1958: 40).

Then in 1841, the prospect of earning huge profits bewitched Gulab Singh to conquer western Tibet, the source ofpashmina wool. He attacked, but only to face the combined wrath of the Chinese-Tibetan military might. He lost Leh to the Chinese and was forced to toe their line.

 

Analogy of Crow's Nest

The story of gullible Gulab Singh brings us back to the analogy of the crow's nest. Singh's first invasion in 1834 led him to invest in the administration of Ladakh, while the British made all the gains from shawl imports. Gulab Singh's second war in 1841 against western Tibet brought him only defeat and humiliation, but again huge strategic and commercial gains for the British. In 1841, the British were launching the first opium war against China and forcing them to grant trade and territorial rights within China. Gulab Singh unknowingly helped the British navy secure victory against the Chinese and forced them to sign the treaty of Nanking. Incidentally, the British involvement in instigating Gulab Singh to go on expeditionary missions is borne out by the fact that the British raj influenced and instigated Gulab Singh through their ally, the Sikh kingdom of Lahore to indulge in the futile use of force.

 

Tibet, for the British imperialists of the 19th century, was not "worth a candle". They were least interested in wasting their resources on a land that did not promise to fetch adequate profits for their businessmen. The British could not match the Chinese might in terms of land warfare. All they could do was to divert Chinese military manpower towards distant Tibet and tie them up in a noose that could be pulled and tightened at will.

 

It is important to understand the "noose" strategy because this is exactly what Mao used when he bombed Jinmen and Mazu in 1958. He did not launch an amphibious attack to land on Jinmen. He made sure that the shells from mainland China avoided hitting the American naval ships and inhabited areas. Mao did not escalate the crisis; his intention was to control the American movements by drawing them into an area where they were unwilling to commit their forces. China wanted America to maintain the sanctity of its territorial waters by remaining outside the 12-mile limit. Besides bombing, Mao was also having ambassadorial-level talks with America in Warsaw (Xiaobing et al 2009).

 

It can be safely concluded that the propensity to use force is not a function of cultural moorings. Use of military is a matter of time and space. The best results ensue when passion is combined with politics. Gulab Singh, a Sikh, belonging to a "martial race", failed because he played a pure military game. He let the British accumulate the political gains that accrued from his military actions. Mao, on the other hand, played a political game with military tools. At one stage during the bombing campaign, in order to avoid pushing the envelope too far, Mao ordered the shelling to be conducted only on odd numbered days. This unprecedented "military joke" displayed Mao's judicious understanding of the limits of limited war and the futility of pushing it beyond a certain limit.

 

Conclusions

"Military power is generally considered to be the 'ultima ratio' of power because it is perceived as a decisive arbiter of disputes when it is used and shapes outcomes among states even when it is not"' (Beckley 2012: 57). However, more than the military, it is the strength of the treasury that determines majority of the international outcomes. Viewing strategy purely as a military option or use of force is a skewed approach. Strategy must extend beyond the narrow confines of use of force to include options that suggest ways and means to avoid getting sucked into wars. Middle powers that get suckered into wars designed to sustain empires and anarchy in the international order only increase their debt and dependency.

 

India's aspirations to be a global power are justified and legitimate. However, what is questionable is the timing and its level of preparedness to jump into the great power game. Has India accumulated the requisite capital to be a meaningful actor in the global game? America, despite being a pre-eminent economic power from 1900 to the 1940s, did not display its true intentions to be a global hegemon. It began appearing militarily on the global stage only after the Anglo-French Asian empire had been bankrupted and delegitimised by the second world war.

 

The Chinese too are patiently waiting for their time to come. It is only in 1987 that China started considering an aircraft carrier for the PLA Navy that was eventually commissioned in 2012, when their foreign reserves stood at $3 trillion. India, on the other hand, bought an old aircraft carrier in 1957 and 1980. On both occasions, India was suffering from acute foreign exchange crisis and going to the World Bank with a begging bowl. Today China holds about a third of the world's international reserve assets excluding gold and has foreign exchange reserves of $4 trillion. It can afford to be more assertive in the South China Sea by placing 80 ships to protect its newly established deep-sea oil rig in Paracel Island. But how can India think of playing big maritime games in the Pacific, when its foreign reserves stand at a meagre $300 billion plus? Despite such glaring asymmetries between the two, Raja Mohan still sees India in competition with China. He sees China having diplomatic ties with Bangladesh also as a problem and a potential flashpoint. Tien-sze Fang is more objective in his assessment that China is not moving ahead to thwart the Indian advance. In fact, New Delhi does not figure in the Beijing's immediate adversary list.

 

The anti-China, pro-Tibet advocacy groups in India who were active during the 1962 war are once again reviving old rivalries with state-capitalist China. The only novelty is that the stage for enacting the Machiavellian drama, with Alfred Thayer Mahan and Monroe as the lead actors, is being shifted from the Himalayas to the high seas. The drama, scripted in American think tanks has gained popularity among Indian realists. The resulting nautical neurosis is making India draw imaginary redlines in the Indian Ocean, challenging China to cross them at their own peril. Mahan – "the fin de siècle American sea captain", is being invoked to kindle the Indian elite's colonial instincts, urging them to take on China.

 

Perhaps, it is the Chinese Jin-class submarines, with JL-2 ballistic missiles, that the Indian strategists find menacing. However, the fact is that currently China has no proper command and control mechanism in place to operationalise a sea-based deterrent. Moreover, China has no experience of operating SSBNs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles) at sea with nuclear warheads mated to missiles (Lewis 2013: 12). Furthermore, China has enough land-based missiles that cover the entire Indian subcontinent. There is no reason for China to come and meet India from the Indian Ocean.

Why should India be perturbed by China's rise? If India can manage to live with America, a global hegemon of monstrous proportions, with around 700 military bases around the world, then dealing with a powerful China, in a multipolar world should hardly be a cause for concern. If Japan, despite being nuked, positively engages with the US, there is no reason to imagine that India cannot jettison the historical baggage of a low-level Sino-Indian war of five decades vintage. The China-India territorial dispute is not insurmountable nor is it difficult to have a dialogue with China on the Tibet issue.

 

India suffered immensely during the 1940s, losing her men to famine and imperial wars. India must revisit 1962 and its relations with China as a catharsis rather than repeating the process of churning at the behest of another empire.

 

Note

1 National Archive of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, File No 110/62/E,CS/1962.

References

Altman, Albert A and Schiffrin Harold Z (1972): "Sun Yat-sen and the Japanese: 1914-16", Modern Asian Studies, Vol 6, No 4, pp 385-400.

Beckley, Michael (2012): "China's Century? Why American Edge Will Endure", International Security, Winter 2011/12, Vol 36, No 3, pp 41-78.

Best, Antony (1998): Review of Ian Cowman's "The Dominion or Decline: Anglo-American Naval Relations in the Pacific, 1937-41", The International History Review, Vol 20, No 3, September, pp 719-20.

Dulles, Allen W (1929): "The Threat of Anglo-American Naval Rivalry", Foreign Affairs, Vol 7, No 2, January, pp 173-82.

Ghose, Sankar (1993): Nehru: A Biography (New Delhi: Allied Publishers).

Gupta, Karunakar (1982): Spotlight on Sino-Indian Frontier (Kolkata: New Book Centre).

Iscoe, Mark (2010): "Chester Bowles in India: An Ambassador's Agency under Three Presidents", Center for Study of Presidency and Congress (CSPC), Text of a Dialogue on Presidential Challenges and Leadership: Papers of the 2009-10 Center Fellows, http://www.thepresidency.org/storage/documents/Fellows2010/Iscoe.pdf, accessed on 4 March 2013.

Lamb, Alistair (1958): "Tibet in Anglo-Chinese Relations: 1767-1842", Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No ½, April, pp 26-43.

Lewis, Jeffery (2013): "China's Nuclear Idiosyncrasies and Their Challenges", IFRI, Security Studies Center, November-December; file:/// C:/Users/My%20Pc/Downloads/IFRI_pp47 lewis.pdf, accessed on 3 May 2014.

Monteiro, Nuno (2012): "Unrest Assured: Why Unipolarity Is Not Peaceful", International Security, Winter 2011/12, Vol 36 No 3, pp 9-40.

Offner, Arnold A (1978): Review of James R Leutze's "Bargaining for Supremacy: Anglo-American Naval Collaboration, 1937-41", The American Historical Review, Vol 83, No 3, June, p 832.

Sassen, Saskia (2008): "Mortgage Capital and Its Particularities: A New Frontier for Global Finance", Journal of International Affairs, Fall/Winter Vol 62, No 1, pp 187-212.

Xiang, Lanxin (1992): "The Recognition Controversy: Anglo-American Relations in China, 1949", Journal of Contemporary History, Vol 27, No 2, April , pp 319-43.

Xiaobing, Li, Jian Chen and Wilson David L (2009): "Mao Zedong's Handling of the Taiwan Straits Crisis of 1958: Chinese Recollections and Documents", Cold War International History Project Bulletin, pp 207-30,http://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/CWIHP Bulletin6-7_p5. pdfApril 2014. , accessed on 5

 

 

 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

India- China Tango for Asian Century and World Peace with Brics & SCO on board!

 

Part 1

India- China Tango for Asian Century and World Peace with Brics & SCO on board!

Hurdles and differences highlighted by Ignoranti and Speculative expectations dilute positive Outcome

Need for Patience and Resolve to overcome hurdles and perceptions

 

"When there is a general change of conditions, it is as if the entire creation had been changed and the whole world been altered." - Ibn Khaldun

During his recent visit to Japan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that 21st century is Asia's century and added that India and Japan ties were crucial for maintaining peace in Asia. 

 

 

" When India and China speak in one voice, the world will pay attention --The combination of the world's factory and the world's back office will produce the most competitive production base, " Xi Jinping, President of China

 

"We are the two largest developing economies, and two biggest markets. In an increasingly multipolar world our strategic and economic ties are important. Together we can bring prosperity to 2.5 billion people of Asia and opportunities to rest of the world," Indian President Pranab Mukherjee

 

It was in 17th-century that the Ottoman troops knocked twice at the Gates of Vienna. Since then it has been downhill for Asian nations whether it is West or South West Asia, China, India or Japan. It were the West European adventurers/traders taking advantages of the backwardness (In Bharat, Brahmins forbade even travel by sea. Even in 20th century leaders like J Nehru and M.K. Gandhi on return from education in England had to be purified!),divisions in Asia and elsewhere took advantage to capture , colonies , brutalize, exploit and plunder .After WWII , US took over as the next bully in the world ,after Asians had been left in a state  of  misery , penury and deprivation. Look at the statistics below;

 

THE RISE AND FALL OF THE GREAT POWERS by Paul Kennedy

 

TABLE 6. Relative Shares of World Manufacturing Output, 1750-1900

                                     1750   1800  1830 1860 1880 1900  

(Europe as a whole)         23.2  28.1  34.2  53.2  61.3  62.0

United Kingdom              1:9    4.3    9.5    19.9  22.9  18.5

Habsburg Empire             2.9    3.2    3.2    4.2    4.4    4.7   

France                               4.0    4.2    5.2    7,9    7.8    6.8   

German States/Germany  2.9    3.5    3.5    4,9    8.5    13.2

Italian States /Italy           2.4    2.5    2.3    2.5    2.5    2.5   

Russia                               5.0 ~ 5.6    5.6    7.0    7.6    8.8   

United States                    0.1    0.8    2.4    7.2    14.7  23.6

Japan                                3.8    3.5    2.8    2.6    2.4    2.4   

Third World                     73.0  67.7  60.5  36.6  20.9  11.0

China                                32.8  33.3  29.8  19.7  12.5  6.2   

India-Pakistan                  24.5  19.?  17.6  8.6    2.8    1.7

 

 

Post independence, the derisive Hindu rate of growth of 3.50 % was five times of previous decades. From 1914 to 1947, the figures of which are available, the rate of growth of the Indian economy was 0.72 per cent.

 

USA got out of its 1930s depression during WWII, when safe from enemy attacks on its territory, its military hardware and other factories produced full blast, with European powers like UK, France and others becoming debtors .So it was easy that while US GIs took over the English girls, the financial hub was officially shifted from the City, London to the Wall Street, USA .In 1945 US GDP was half of world GDP. USA and allies now spend more than the rest of the world on its defence ie hundreds of military bases and incessant wars.

 

Now USA, with 25% of world GDP of which 20% is financial ie derivatives etc, just jiggery-pokery, its debt is larger than its GDP and is increasing with annual trade deficit of about $ 500 billion. Washington is surviving only because the US dollar is still the reserve currency. Consequently most nations, led by China buy US securities at very low interest, Beijing leading with USD 1.3 trillion. It is unlikely that USA will honor these securities or even the gold which it has looted and plundered from around the world .It even refuses to account for Germany's gold kept for security. In 1973 Washington went back on its pledge to give an ounce of gold for USD 35. So do not expect America to honor its word which it has not in almost everything between nations ie economic, political or strategic. In fact, it has destroyed international law, especially since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which was earlier built up over centuries.

 

If USSR collapsed matching the US defence expenditure during the Cold War, Washington also is now bankrupt as were the Roman/Byzantine and Persian empires after centuries of warfare, allowing ragtag of Bedouins from the arid deserts of Arabia to fill the vacuum from Morocco to the Chinese border.

 

USA and its allies in Europe , except for Germany and perhaps France ,  are bankrupt .On German  soil, US troops are still stationed, although World War II was over in 1945, so are GI's on Japanese soil , victim of nuclear devastation of Hiroshima and Nagakashi , totally unnecessary when Japan was ready to capitulate.

 

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the wake of the tabletop nuclear war preparations  between U.S.-led West and USSR led socialist states, there were pathetic and pitiable instances of young women from states like Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia landing in brothels or as nightclub dancers, even belly dancers in Egypt .After the collapse of the casino style international economic order without the real chips, ie Gold or manufacture , with US leading the world towards economic denouement as in the Hollywood film ,'Runaway Train ' it is plausible that there might be English, American and other European teachers and nurses working in Asian countries.

 

After retirement from Turkey in 1996, with concurrent charge of Azerbaijan, a lecture tour at the cultural centres and universities of Bukhara Samarkand, Tashkent Andijan, birthplace of Mogul emperor Babar, thanks to Amb Bhadrakumar, I had delivered a number of lectures there as well as India International Centre, New Delhi, other cultural centres and many universities and defence institutes in India on the subject of a common market of countries speaking Turkic and Indo-Aryan languages. At that time it was difficult to envisage with the Imperial United States established as the great victorious power stalking world resources, that it would allow these nations to join with Russia and China to form a massive common market.

 

This is what I had written around 2000 AD.

 

If the Europeans could overcome their many differences, having constantly fought wars including two World Wars against each other and create a Common Market, why not the South and Central Asians? They appeared so unprepared for the new US globalised bazaar and faced with the economic challenges of 21st century.

Culturally, linguistically, ethnically and spiritually no other regions and people have so much in common. An area with continuous history and the cradle of most civilizations and the majority of the world's religions, where Indo-Iranian and Ural-Altaic languages have mingled with local languages to produce a rich mosaic of tongues and cultures.

The region has had a number of incipient and small economic communities in the past. The Persian Empire under the Achameneans ruled from Persepolis, stretching from Turkey to Uzbekistan and north India. In 517 BC, Persian emperor Darius ordered Scylax, his Greek subject from Caria (western Turkey) to survey the Indus River. Herodotus' chapters on India were based on records of that exploration. Under Devputra Kanishka's rule from Peshawar in nowadays Pakistan, traders and preachers moved freely and flourished in his empire, which covered most of Central Asia and Xinjiang down to central and east India. During the 16th century AD, traders moved freely in the empires of the Moghuls of Hindustan, the Uzbek Shaybani Khans of Khawarizm on the Aral Sea, the Shi'ite Safavids of Iran and the Ottomans of Turkey right into central Europe. A hundi (based on the hawala - trust - system still in existence today) issued in a Delhi bazaar was valid in Istanbul or Bukhara.

Although the British quit the sub-continent more than half a century ago, it was the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the independent Turkic speaking Central Asia Republics, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan, that dramatically changed the political, economic and strategic situation in the region.

Tashkent, Dushanbe and Bishkek, the capitals of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, are as close to Delhi by air as Chennai. Now independent and sovereign, they looked elsewhere, despite their almost umbilical past connections with Russia. The population of the CARs is only about 65 million, but the republic of Kazakhstan is as large as India, and the CARs are extremely rich in energy resources and other raw materials, such as gold, uranium, iron and non-ferrous metals.

Apart from restricted contacts since 1947 between India and the CARs, then part of the USSR, and except for a century and a half when the Indian sub-continent was ruled by the British and Central Asia by the Russians, there was always natural interaction through travel, trade, migration and conquest between the sub-continent and Central Asia, Iran and Turkey.

Aryan tribes and culture migrated from north of the Black Sea and the Caspian and Kazakh steppes during the second and first millennium BC. Later, Turkish tribes marched from the eastern Asian steppes to the Indian sub-continent, Iran and Turkey, then known as Asia Minor, where earlier Greek, Roman and Hellenic thought, culture and polity, which forms the basis of Western civilization, had already evolved. This was the result of the interaction of incoming Greeks with the existing higher Asian civilizations of Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt and India. Home to over 40 civilizations, Turkey has more Greek sites than Greece and more Roman monuments than Italy.

Although the idea of an economic community will take time to be accepted, it must be studied and promoted for the well being of the nearly 2 billion people of the region. With so many members, there will be less fear of Indian domination, a Pakistani obsession.

At the hub of exchanges, Pakistan and Afghanistan would gain the most; even more than they currently earn from heroin exports and smuggling. India could be a massive market for manufactured and raw materials from Kazakhstan to the Maldives and from Iran, if not Turkey, to Bangladesh.

The new community would be overtly and covertly opposed by many. How would China, the US and Russia react? China would certainly oppose it covertly, and could use Pakistan as a Trojan horse. After the unraveling of the USSR, US foreign policy has been erratic in Central Asia. First it tried to use ethnically closer and secular Turkey against Islamic fundamentalism from Iran and Afghanistan. But Saudi Arabia provided the bulk of the funds for mosques and literature. Jihadis in the CARs are Wahhabis, the austere and no-frills Islamic form enforced in Saudi Arabia.

Many leaders of the CARs and the Caucasus region have in the past leaned towards Russia, and they have earned criticism from the US for their lack of democracy. But after September 11, the erstwhile pariahs became partners against terrorism. They were invited to Washington and wined and dined. Military agreements have been signed with almost all the states and aid worth billions of dollars has poured in, mostly in the defense sector. But US policy on Iran, which now forms a part of the so-called axis of evil, is counterproductive, and India and Russia are working towards a north-south corridor through Iran for trade, which could also link India with Central Asia.

Times have since then changed.

 

Now the people and leaders in China, India, Russia and Japan and other adjoining big and small nations with their unity can put a stop to murder, looting and criminal activities of U.S.-led West .The only solution is with Russia and to some extent, China, providing military muscle against the grasping and brutal North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which now considers the whole world as part of North Atlantic with its troops still in Afghanistan since decades and have now reached Ukraine .Criminal Western leaders had tried to bomb out Syria last year, a Russian ally of Bashar Assad and his father since the peak of the Cold War. US was made to blink when its lies were exposed and Putin stood fast along with its ally .

 

Apart from various bilateral arrangements in local currencies for payment of trade between some countries specially in Asia and Russia, the Brics bank would be a big nail in the coffin of US created self-serving organisations like International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These and other institutions and their pensioners have served the US cause led by the likes of  Manmohan Singh and many other Indian civil servants, specially Indian diplomats who were given sinecures , their children were educated and are employed. They support  the policies promoting continued overall exploitation of India by USA and Britain .But times have changed. And let us hope, after the visit of the Chinese president to India and of Russian Pres at the end of the year, Asian nations can get together, also through Brics, which can be expanded and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which can be strengthened and militarised to counter the reckless and criminal expansionist and plundering activities of NATO.

 

Yes, there are and will be many problems, say between China and Japan. There are between China and India. But I am quite sure that Japan would like to get rid of the American GIs still occupying Japanese territory after having nuked and pulverized two Japanese cities. It was just the Yankee way of teaching a lesson as they did while establishing their Uncivilized State by the genocide of original inhabitants of the American continent and barbaric treatment which still continues of descendents of African slaves imported to work on plantations and as domestics. Riots in Ferguson are the latest example.

 

NATO can look after North Atlantic, but the security of the Pacific is best left to the states of Asians on one side and USA and Latin America from the other.

 

As Indian Prime Minister Modi has stressed many times while he was in Japan or now with the Chinese Pres visiting India, we should work towards an Asian century. Russia can play an important role because of its military prowess and energy and other resources, which West tried to take over after 1991 and in the process transferred Russian wealth between US$ half trillion to USD 1 trillion during Yeltsin era under the garb of capitalism and globalisation . Moscow has been always invaded from the West by Napoleon, Hitler and now the  US ,presently headed by Obama, elected as have been the practice in USA by corporate interests, for whom Clintons ,Bushes , Blair's and Camerons are but paid servants, highly paid servants. Look how well off they are after retirement, rolling in millions.

 

Trust but Verify

 

Apart from other differences, a major problem between India and China is the dispute along the borders. This problem emerged after the conflict of 1962, because of somewhat ill-advised policy by India from which New Delhi has still not recovered and to be able to put it aside. Modi has no such baggage and India at an appropriate time can come to an agreement with China, for the time being setting it aside and going full steam ahead in promoting bilateral economic, industrial, cultural and other relations.

 

There are many examples in Europe and even Asia, where emotionally charged nationalistic disputes have been set aside to which solutions were found much more easily later on. One of them is the Alsace Lorraine problem between France and Germany after World War II, Trieste problem between Italy and Yugoslavia and nearer home, the border problem of 1950s between Russia and China and between Indonesia and Malaysia before creation of Asean.

 

The germs of Europe Union were based on distrust between France and Germany by the creating a Coal and Steel Authority to keep a check on manufacture of armaments .It is now a flourishing Union, not warring over battlefields.

 

The differences which have been highlighted by the media, here and elsewhere like the demarcation of the long border and tensions, differences on Tibet, J and K, India's relations with Japan, Vietnam illustrate the long path to be covered for mutual respect and beneficial economic relationship leading to strategic understanding and partnership between India and China and then with other Asian nations and Russia and possibly even Germany. 

 

In 1990 when Saddam Hussain had sent his tanks into Kuwait , after altering aerial photographs to show that Iraqi forces were poised to invade Saudi Arabia ,when George Bush Sr requested the US Congress for half a million troops to protect its ally in Riyadh , a grizzled Senator asked what will stop him from invading Iraq with these forces. This is what real strategic matrix is all about .Since then US and its allies have run amok .It is therefore necessary that India should build roads and other necessary defence infrastructure in North East and Ladakh .Delhi has put in charge a brave, efficient and totally incorruptible minister in Gen VK Singh, former Army Chief to oversee this aspect in bordering regions with China. India should never be caught unprepared as it was prior to 1962 debacle.

 

K.Gajendra Singh 18 Sept, 2014

 

Part 2 will follow soon 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

US led West ratchets up for World War III and the “End of History”!

 

US led West ratchets up for World War III and the "End of History"!

 

In  end August  2002 , for my first article for Asia Times on US and its poodle British propaganda and baseless allegations against Saddam Hussein of Iraq, which were quite clear to any reasonable diplomat, which I was after 35 years and few years as a fiercely independent journalist, commentator and analyst of international affairs, I had suggested the title ;"The Bush family's phony wars"  In all, I wrote 50 articles on U.S.-led illegal war and brutal occupation till two years ago, http://tarafits.blogspot.com/2011/12/50-articles-on-us-led-illegal-war-on.html

 

When just reading about the mayhem and gates of hell being widened in Iraq (and West Asia and North Africa) make me feel sick.

 

The editor had used the article with its title. It highlighted some extremely foolish and childish plans like taking out Saddam Hussain or organise a military coup against him and control Iraq .These were being thrown around and discussed in corporate controlled US media, the bogus British corporation, BBC. I was still innocent of the criminal and barbaric nature of leadership in America and many of the West European countries. So I had hoped that Saddam and Iraq could be constrained as he was after he was used as a pawn to quench the fires of Iran's revolution, with full support of Sunni Arab countries including Kuwait.

 

One of the leading neo-cons (they are coming up again) deputy defence Minister Paul Wolfowitz even haughtily dismissed an estimate of hundred billion dollars for the war on Iraq and its control. (It is now estimated to vary between 1 to 3 Trillion US Dollars) .He also declared that the Iraqi oil would pay for the war .Later on he admitted in Singapore that the false claims were only bureaucratic excuses, for the control over Iraqi oil was the main consideration. This is also admitted by the former chairman of US Federal reserve, which is a private body.

 

But Army Chief of Staff, General Shinseki testified to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee that "something in the order of several hundred thousand soldiers" would probably be required for postwar Iraq. This was an estimate far higher than the figure being proposed by Secretary Rumsfeld in his invasion plan, and it was rejected in strong language by both Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, who was another chief planner of the invasion and occupation.  Shinseki was forced into early retirement as Army Chief of Staff because of his comments on troop levels. Later in 2008, Gen Shinseki brought back as the Secretary of Veterans Affair as compensation.

 

After my first article and later after exchanging views with the editors of Asia Times I began to understand the real nature of genocide and barbarism in the DNA of American leaders or rather dutiful servants of the bankers, financiers and corporate interests, which control their thinking. We all know what happened.

 

To any sane person ,it is quite clear that the Western leadership has gone insane, with US and Western economies downhill surviving on loot and plunder and dollar as reserve currency with crazy advisers like war criminal Henry Kissinger and a Russia hating Polish origin US intellectual whore Brzezinski. Some  neo-cons and Zeo-cons  are at it again, almost trying to recreate the biblical story of Samson .In this case their lust for power and wealth but having lost all morality and ethical conscience and standing .After having destroyed Afghanistan, partially Pakistan, then Iraq , Libya and most of Syria with help from mediaeval and obscurantist Gulf  kingdoms, led by Saudi Arabia and Qatar .In  the case of Syria helped by NATO ally Turkey, Uncle Tom Obama and John Kerry almost brought the world to the point of nuclear Armageddon last year on the basis of false allegations that the Syrian government had used Sarin gas on its own citizens, when in fact it was supplied to west supported insurgents, according to reports, by Saudi Arabia through the good offices of Turkey. From such elements and others has emerged Islamic caliphate and now Islamic State , which has knifed to death 3 innocent Westerners. What about nearly two millions of the Arabs dead in the greater Middle East as a result of US led aggressions!

 

Hubris laden Western leadership is again hell bent, now in Ukraine, traditionally part of Russia since many hundreds of years, like in the last days of Hitler ruled Nazi Germany, except that any mistake or a wrong move by anyone could ignite the Third World War. I have gone in some detail about the recent events especially in Middle East, where I spent most of my diplomatic carrier.

 

I reproduce two thoughtful and frank but disturbing assessments from, Dr PC Roberts ,a former senior US official and wise old intellectual Noam Chomsky, both from USA. Yes, there are still people of integrity, honesty and courage in USA, for warning and cautioning the world, including Americans about the policies being pursued by Washington and enforced over its allies, most unwilling but subservient dependents rulers in Europe. Two former German chancellors  were removed by US machinations because they were trying to get out of the heels of US , with its troops still stationed in Germany since 1945 and undertook policies in the interest of German people and Germany, the only thriving and economic state in the European Union.

 

K.Gajendra Singh. 16 September , 2014.

 

Washington's War Against Russia

Paul Craig Roberts

September 14, 2014

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/09/14/washingtons-war-russia-paul-craig-roberts-2/

 

The new sanctions against Russia announced by Washington and Europe do not make sense as merely economic measures. I would be surprised if Russian oil and military industries were dependent on European capital markets in a meaningful way. Such a dependence would indicate a failure in Russian strategic thinking. The Russian companies should be able to secure adequate financing from Russian Banks or from the Russian government. If foreign loans are needed, Russia can borrow from China.

 

If critical Russian industries are dependent on European capital markets, the sanctions will help Russia by forcing an end to this debilitating dependence. Russia should not be dependent on the West in any way.

 

The real question is the purpose of the sanctions. My conclusion is that the purpose of the sanctions is to break up and undermine Europe's economic and political relations with Russia. When international relations are intentionally undermined, war can be the result. Washington will continue to push sanctions against Russia until Russia shows Europe that there is a heavy cost of serving as Washington's tool.

 

Russia needs to break up this process of ever more sanctions in order to derail the drive toward war. In my opinion this is easy for Russia to do. Russia can tell Europe that since you do not like our oil companies, you must not like our gas company, so we are turning off the gas. Or Russia can tell Europe, we don't sell natural gas to NATO members, or Russia can say we will continue to sell you gas, but you must pay in rubles, not in dollars. This would have the additional benefit of increasing the demand for rubles in exchange markets, thus making it harder for speculators and the US government to drive down the ruble.

 

The real danger to Russia is a continuation of its low-key, moderate response to the sanctions. This is a response that encourages more sanctions. To stop the sanctions, Russia needs to show Europe that the sanctions have serious costs for Europe.

 

A Russian response to Washington would be to stop selling to the US the Russian rocket engines on which the US satellite program is dependent. This could leave the US without rockets for its satellites for six years between the period 2016 and 2022.

 

Possibly the Russian government is worried about losing the earnings from gas and rocket engine sales. However, Europe cannot do without the gas and would quickly abandon its participation in the sanctions, so no gas revenues would be lost. The Americans are going to develop their own rocket engine anyhow, so the Russian sales of rocket engines to the US have at most about 6 more years. But the US with an impaired satellite program for six years would mean a great relief to the entire world from the American spy program. It would also make difficult US military aggression against Russia during the period.

 

Russian President Putin and his government have been very low-key and unprovocative in responding to the sanctions and to the trouble that Washington continues to cause for Russia in Ukraine. The low-key Russian behavior can be understood as a strategy for undermining Washington's use of Europe against Russia by presenting a non-threatening face to Europe. However, another explanation is the presence inside Russia of a fifth column that represents Washington's interest and constrains the power of the Russian government.

Strelkov describes the American fifth column here: http://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/12/we-will-not-allow-for-russia-to-be-ripped-asunder-and-ruined/

 

Saker describes the two power groups inside Russia as the Eurasian Sovereignists who stand behind Putin and an independent Russia and the Atlantic Integrationists, the fifth column that works to incorporate Russia in Europe under US hegemony or, failing that, to help Washington break up the Russian Federation into several weaker countries that are too weak to constrain Washington's use of power. http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com.br/2014/09/strelkov-from-swimming-with-piranhas-to.html

 

Russia's Atlantic Integrationists share the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines with Washington. These doctrines are the basis for US foreign policy. The doctrines define the goal of US foreign policy in terms of preventing the rise of other countries, such as Russia and China, that could limit Washington's hegemony.

 

Washington is in a position to exploit the tensions between these two Russian power groups. Washington's fifth column is not best positioned to prevail. However, Washington can at least count on the struggle causing dissent within the Eurasian Sovereignists over Putin's low-key response to Western provocations. Some of this dissent can be seen in Strelkov's defense of Russia and more can be seen here:
http://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/13/the-new-round-of-sanctions-the-pre-war-period/#more-3665 

 

Russia, thinking the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, opened herself to the West. Russian governments trusted the West, and as a result of Russia's gullibility, the West was able to purchase numerous allies among the Russian elites. Depending on the alignment of the media, these compromised elites are capable of assassinating Putin and attempting a coup.

One would think that by now Putin's government would recognize the danger and arrest the main elements of the fifth column, followed by trial and execution for treason, in order that Russia can stand united against the Western Threat. If Putin does not take this step, it means either than Putin does not recognize the extent of the threat or that his government lacks the power to protect Russia from the internal threat.

 

It is clear that Putin has not achieved any respite for his government from the West's propaganda and economic assault by refusing to defend the Donbass area from Ukrainian attack and by pressuring the Donetsk Republic into a ceasefire when its military forces were on the verge of a major defeat of the disintegrating Ukrainian army. All Putin has achieved is to open himself to criticism among his supporters for betraying the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The European politicians and elites are so deeply in Washington's pocket that Putin has little chance of courting Europe with a Russian show of good will. I have never believed that this strategy could work, although I would be pleased if it did. Only a direct threat todeprive Europe of energy has a chance of producing within Europe a foreign policy independent of Washington. I do not think Europe can survive a cutoff of the Russian natural gas. Europe would abandon sanctions in order to guarantee the flow of gas. If Washington's hold on Europe is so powerful that Europe is willing to endure a major disruption of its energy supply as the price of its vassalage, Russia will know to cease its futile attempts at diplomacy and to prepare for war.

If China sits on the sidelines, China will be the next isolated target and will receive the same treatment.

 

Washington intends to defeat both countries, either through internal dissent or through war.

Nothing said by Obama or any member of his government or any influential voice in Congress has signaled any pullback in Washington's drive for hegemony over the world.

The US economy is now dependent on looting and plunder, and Washington's hegemony is essential to this corrupted form of capitalism.

 

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.

 

The End of History?
The short, strange era of human civilization would appear to be drawing to a close.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39663.htm


By Noam Chomsky

September 13, 2014 "ICH" - It is not pleasant to contemplate the thoughts that must be passing through the mind of the Owl of Minerva as the dusk falls and she undertakes the task of interpreting the era of human civilization, which may now be approaching its inglorious end.

The era opened almost 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent, stretching from the lands of the Tigris and Euphrates, through Phoenicia on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean to the Nile Valley, and from there to Greece and beyond. What is happening in this region provides painful lessons on the depths to which the species can descend.

The land of the Tigris and Euphrates has been the scene of unspeakable horrors in recent years. The George W. Bush-Tony Blair aggression in 2003, which many Iraqis compared to the Mongol invasions of the 13th century, was yet another lethal blow. It destroyed much of what survived the Bill Clinton-driven U.N. sanctions on Iraq, condemned as "genocidal" by the distinguished diplomats Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, who administered them before resigning in protest. Halliday and von Sponeck's devastating reports received the usual treatment accorded to unwanted facts.

One dreadful consequence of the U.S.-U.K. invasion is depicted in a New York Times "visual guide to the crisis in Iraq and Syria": the radical change of Baghdad from mixed neighborhoods in 2003 to today's sectarian enclaves trapped in bitter hatred. The conflicts ignited by the invasion have spread beyond and are now tearing the entire region to shreds.

Much of the Tigris-Euphrates area is in the hands of ISIS and its self-proclaimed Islamic State, a grim caricature of the extremist form of radical Islam that has its home in Saudi Arabia. Patrick Cockburn, a Middle East correspondent for The Independent and one of the best-informed analysts of ISIS, describes it as "a very horrible, in many ways fascist organization, very sectarian, kills anybody who doesn't believe in their particular rigorous brand of Islam."

Cockburn also points out the contradiction in the Western reaction to the emergence of ISIS: efforts to stem its advance in Iraq along with others to undermine the group's major opponent in Syria, the brutal Bashar Assad regime. Meanwhile a major barrier to the spread of the ISIS plague to Lebanon is Hezbollah, a hated enemy of the U.S. and its Israeli ally. And to complicate the situation further, the U.S. and Iran now share a justified concern about the rise of the Islamic State, as do others in this highly conflicted region.

Egypt has plunged into some of its darkest days under a military dictatorship that continues to receive U.S. support. Egypt's fate was not written in the stars. For centuries, alternative paths have been quite feasible, and not infrequently, a heavy imperial hand has barred the way.

After the renewed horrors of the past few weeks it should be unnecessary to comment on what emanates from Jerusalem, in remote history considered a moral center.

Eighty years ago, Martin Heidegger extolled Nazi Germany as providing the best hope for rescuing the glorious civilization of the Greeks from the barbarians of the East and West. Today, German bankers are crushing Greece under an economic regime designed to maintain their wealth and power.

The likely end of the era of civilization is foreshadowed in a new draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the generally conservative monitor of what is happening to the physical world.

The report concludes that increasing greenhouse gas emissions risk "severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems" over the coming decades. The world is nearing the temperature when loss of the vast ice sheet over Greenland will be unstoppable. Along with melting Antarctic ice, that could raise sea levels to inundate major cities as well as coastal plains.

The era of civilization coincides closely with the geological epoch of the Holocene, beginning over 11,000 years ago. The previous Pleistocene epoch lasted 2.5 million years. Scientists now suggest that a new epoch began about 250 years ago, the Anthropocene, the period when human activity has had a dramatic impact on the physical world. The rate of change of geological epochs is hard to ignore.

One index of human impact is the extinction of species, now estimated to be at about the same rate as it was 65 million years ago when an asteroid hit the Earth. That is the presumed cause for the ending of the age of the dinosaurs, which opened the way for small mammals to proliferate, and ultimately modern humans. Today, it is humans who are the asteroid, condemning much of life to extinction.

The IPCC report reaffirms that the "vast majority" of known fuel reserves must be left in the ground to avert intolerable risks to future generations. Meanwhile the major energy corporations make no secret of their goal of exploiting these reserves and discovering new ones.

A day before its summary of the IPCC conclusions, The New York Times reported that huge Midwestern grain stocks are rotting so that the products of the North Dakota oil boom can be shipped by rail to Asia and Europe.

One of the most feared consequences of anthropogenic global warming is the thawing of permafrost regions. A study in Science magazine warns that "even slightly warmer temperatures [less than anticipated in coming years] could start melting permafrost, which in turn threatens to trigger the release of huge amounts of greenhouse gases trapped in ice," with possible "fatal consequences" for the global climate.

Arundhati Roy suggests that the "most appropriate metaphor for the insanity of our times" is the Siachen Glacier, where Indian and Pakistani soldiers have killed each other on the highest battlefield in the world. The glacier is now melting and revealing "thousands of empty artillery shells, empty fuel drums, ice axes, old boots, tents and every other kind of waste that thousands of warring human beings generate" in meaningless conflict. And as the glaciers melt, India and Pakistan face indescribable disaster.

Sad species. Poor Owl.

Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the author of dozens of books on U.S. foreign policy. He writes a monthly column for The New York Times News Service/Syndicate.

 This post first appeared at In These Times.