Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pak Terrorist Kasab Hanged; a Look Back at 2611



Pak Terrorist Kasab Hanged; a Look Back at 2611

West Stirred-up Muslims Terrorize Mumbai


Since the secretive hanging of  Pak LeT trained terrorist Ajmal Kasab on 21 November morning, he was  the only survivor of at least a ten men band , ill-informed and info and intellect challenged discussions have gone viral on India's corporate channels and in print media


Perhaps Indians are afraid of going to the very genesis of the roots of terrorism created by US led West and Riyadh led Muslim countries during 1980s in south west Asia from which the region and people across the world continue to suffer ( collateral damage ,pity ) specially in North Africa ;West , South West , Central and South Asia .US led West's enduring freedom operation in Afghanistan's Black hole  for foreign invaders and the military quagmire after the Operation Iraqi freedom have only provided further field training to misguided and un-educated jobless Muslim youth , with Riyadh and other GCC members providing finances  for motivating and other activities culminating in terrorist acts while keeping these elements away from the Saudi Kingdom itself.


After the 119 false flag operation, US has seen little terror action on its soil, except for its own sting operations .Washington has admitted that Al Qaeda members number only a few dozen after leveraging the false claims about it to only curb freedoms in USA by the neoliberal gang of bankers, military industry complex and other corporate interests, which have led to occupy Wall street peoples uprisings across US cities.


Unfortunately India too is following neoliberal-economic policies for making rich richer and poor poorer .Over 90% of welfare schemes for the poor and the miserable masses of India are being siphoned off by the cancer like hold of corrupt political elite and its hangers-on .In Indian history post 1990 will be black Robber Baron era.


The author has maintained from the very beginning since 26/11, that it would have been impossible for Pak agencies to organize 2611 without US knowledge if not connivance , since hundreds of US agents crawl around Karachi from where most of the material for the war in Afghanistan against Taliban etc is being transported and with US command over means of wireless and other communications .Could the training of Kasab group and its departure from Karachi and the operation itself escaped US agencies . Come on, be serious.


Worse David Headley who helped organize 2611 was an FBI double agent and against whom his wife had spilled the beans to a CIA agent in Pakistan before 2611 itself .US never informed India about Headley's activities as complained by top Indian interior official GK Pillai.


If I can get hold of a patriotic and nationalist lawyer I would like to file a PIL petitioning the Supreme Court to ask GOI for an affidavit on Headley's activities and Washington's knowledge about 2611 and even file a claim against complicit FBI/CIA like the case for compensation filed in a US court against PAK ISI.


It would not be a wrong guess to say that US allowed the 2611 terror strike to happen to scuttle Indo-Pak peace negotiations .Since 2611 US had not allowed any more massive terror attack , since the security set up has hardly improved in India .After every terror attack , security cover of politicians and their corrupt cronies is augmented . Look at the kind of arms and security, even Government security cover at the ghastly double murder of liquor baron 'Ponty' Chaddha and his brother in Delhi. Be sure it will be hushed up or endlessly delayed. In India only God looks after the safety of the common men aka aam aadmi.


I shall revisit some of my articles on 2611 and thereafter and associated matters with some comments .Here is the first one.


K Gajendra Singh 22 November, 2012. Mayur Vihar, Delhi.


                                          FOUNDATION FOR INDO-TURKIC STUDIES                     

Tel/Fax ; 009111-22792527                                                      Amb (Rtd) K Gajendra Singh                                                      

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                                                                                                             12 December  , 2008. etc etc

West Stirred-up Muslims Terrorize Mumbai
by K. Gajendra Singh

City's Rape, Shocked and in Disarray, India Watches with Impotent Rage
Would New Delhi get sucked onto Western Crusade!

When questioned if he had any regrets in supporting Islamic fundamentalism in Afghanistan during 1980s, Zbigniew Brzezinski in a January 1998 interview with Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, replied, "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"." Nonsense--" responded Brzezinski when asked "If Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today." Brzezinski was President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser.

"Terrorism is a tactic, a technique, a weapon that fanatics, dictators and warriors have resorted to through history. If, as Clausewitz wrote, war is the continuation of politics by other means, terrorism is the continuation of war by other means." Patrick J. Buchanan

"The United States has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." Robert Drefuss.

"It looks more like a classical Special Forces or commando operation than a terrorist one. No group linked to Al Qaeda and certainly not Lashkar has ever mounted a maritime attack of this complexity."- David Kilcullen, a counter-insurgency expert and adviser to US Gen. David Petraeus of 'Surge fame' in Iraq. ." [Which would be worse: if the Pakistani military knew about this operation in advance, or if they didn't?] - Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek.

"You may not be interested in war but war is interested in you." Leon Trotsky

"Could this be happening to the "city of dreams"? Our very own Mumbai? The city is no stranger to terror attacks, but the scale, audacity, flamboyance and planning of this assault takes one's breath away. As the faces of anonymous, but not hooded, assassins flashed on TV screens, one thing became quickly clear. These gentlemen were looking for maximum exposure in maximum city. And what a spectacular success, from their perspective, the operation has been. Will Mumbai ever be the same again? "Vinod Mehta, Editor, Outlook magazine, India

Stirred-up Moslems

In his book "From the Shadows", Robert Gates, the re-nominated US Secretary of Defense and an ex- CIA Director had written that the US intelligence services began aiding the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet intervention. About his role Brzezinski clarified : "Yes, according to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujaheddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention."

To Le Nouvel Observateur 's query , "When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?" Brzezinski replied," Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?

"The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire."

Brzezinski admitted on July 3, 1979, that unknown to the public and Congress President Carter secretly authorized $500 million to create an international terrorist movement that would spread Islamic fundamentalism in Central Asia to destabilize the Soviet Union. This was called 'Operation Cyclone'

Brzezinski along with Henry Kissinger,  whom many would like to try as a war criminal and who badmouthed Indira Gandhi with US President Richard Nixon on the eve of the independence of Bangladesh from Pakistan in1971 are close to foreign policy team of incoming US President Barack Obama.

Indian Response and Reaction to Mumbai Rape

Despite several terrorist attacks in major Indian cities this year alone, the reaction of various structures and manpower supposedly in place to counter them, the 60 hour brutal rampage in the city of Mumbai, only exposed the dysfunctional nature of the Indian state and made India a laughing stock in the world, only arousing pity. It exposed lack of any coherent policy or its implementation externally or internally in dealing with such situations. Top Indian political elite after the attack on Indian Parliament in 2001 is itself now well guarded by NSG, which finally carried out the neutralization of the Pakistan trained Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists, reaching Mumbai from Delhi 8 hours after the reign of terror had begun.

The political maneuvers after the rampage give little hope for the future. After 9/11 when Pakistan was coerced into joining USA in the so called 'War on Terror' aka ' Operation enduring freedom' , Indian leaders like LK Advani had wanted India to be the front line state against terror. Well that wish has been fulfilled. West would love Indian masses to be the canon fodder in its fight against Islamic terrorism, incubated and nurtured by UK, USA and others.

New Delhi is relying on the very states, that are responsible for the creation of the monster of religious terrorism around the world throughout history and specially since 1980s. USA, UK and Israel promote policies of 'creative chaos' to promote their interests. Remember how the Sunni states and the West indirectly, encouraged and hailed Iraq's Saddam Hussein in 1980 to douse the flames from Shia Iran's revolution, in which over a million lives were lost and their economies shattered. It only strengthened interests of the West and its allies in the region. Saddam was soon taken care of.

Why not also consult Russia, Iran and others facing West created terrorism. As for any outcome of demarches with the Pakistan government directly or via others, remember the charade TV trial of the confirmed nuclear weapons proliferator Dr A.Q. Khan by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and his being pardoned. Do not expect others to take out your chestnuts out of the fire. It is a wild goose chase as it is emerging. In UNSC Pakistan is reviving the Kashmir red herring and the West hyphenating India-Pakistan again.

In 1987-89, while establishing Indian Foreign Ministry's institute for training diplomats, after reading up on history of violence and how to manage crisis situations created by terrorist attacks, I had designed a week long module. The training module, inaugurated by the then minister of state P. Chidambaram was to sensitize diplomats, officers from police, intelligence, military, civil aviation, NSG and others. When I checked up in 1999 at the time of the hijacking of Indian airlines plane from Katmandu to Kandahar, the module had been discontinued.

This long essay is to inform the public, specially gullible and Anglo-Saxon brain washed Indian chattering and chanting classes, who hog media outlets, to look carefully at the Trojan horses being brought to India; why and what US, UK and Israel are up to. Indian corporate media and writers are easily seduced and co-opted by study grants, scholarships, well paid seminars and fat pensions to those who were on deputations to West controlled institutions like IMF and the World Bank, established to maintain US economic hegemony in the wake of 1944 Bretton Woods agreement. (For example with the term of the current PMO coming to an end in a few months, at least four senior bureaucrats have gone on deputation to these institutions)

When one analyzes the history, the causes and the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism, it is important to look at the role played by and still being played by USA, UK, Israel and Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and others, in stirring up Muslims, either as mercenaries or for proxy wars to preserve their regimes and promote their interests.

The major axis controlling fundamentalist Islamic terrorism is composed of the ruling corporate elites in USA and UK, the Saud dynasty and the military establishment in Pakistan.

US-Saudi Dynasty-Wahabi Nexus

The first Saudi "state" was founded in 1744 by the al-Saud leader Muhammad ibn Saud who made a Faustian bargain with the religious reformer Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab, the founder of "Wahabism". The pact between the Wahab clan and the house of Saud was sealed with multiple marriages. The links between Saudi family and Wahabi followers have remained durable. The Saudi minister of religion is always a member of the Al Sheikh family, descendants of Ibn Abdul Wahab. The Wahabis' sway over mosques is undoubted with their own religious police . Financed from surplus oil revenues, the Wahabis have extended their reach via networks of Madarsas and mosques throughout the Muslim world, specially in Pakistan. In central Asian republics like Uzbekistan, Pakistani visitors are referred to as Wababis.

Wahabism is extremely austere and rigid. It tolerates little dialogue and even less interpretation, frowns on idolatry, tombstones or the veneration of statues and artworks. Followers prefer to identify themselves as muwahiddun, which means "the unifiers." Wahabis forbid smoking, shaving of beards, abusive language, rosaries and many rights for women. They regard all those who don't practice their form of Islam, including other Muslims, as heathens and enemies.

Two experts Brisard and Dasquie explain that Saudi Arabia has always supported radical Islamic movements (including the Taliban, Al Qaeda and bin Laden) in order to extend its hegemony over the region and Muslims. Riyadh's support of the Taliban kept Afghanistan from falling under Iranian influence.

According to Kepel, the noted French Arabist, following the 1979 over running of the Grand Mosque at Mecca by fundamentalists (the debacle was finally ended with the help of French special forces) and after Operation Desert Shield when United States troops moved into Saudi Arabia on August 7, 1990, the Saudi government desperately needed the religious blessing of the Wahabi clergy to sanctify US troops onto Saudi soil. The concessions granted to Wahabis completed the kingdom's fall into "bottomless Islamization". Sunni Islam will remain backward and mired in mediaeval mores, unable to face modern day challenges unless there is a catharsis after a revolution like of Shia Islam in Iran.

In 1945, before a declining Britain was divested of its colonies and influence, USA signed a memo with the British to protect "very extensive joint interest and
control of the great bulk of the free petroleum resources of the world. --The Middle East was a vital prize for any power interested in world influence or domination", since control of the world's oil reserves also meant control of the world economy. After the decline of UK and France, US stepped in as the dominant neo-colonial power in the region as elsewhere.

"One of the basic policies of the United States in the Near East is unqualifiedly to support the territorial integrity and political independence of Saudi Arabia". A 1953 internal U.S. document: states -"United States policy is to keep the sources of oil in the Middle East in American hands." (quoted by Mohammed Heikal in 'Cutting the lion's tail'.) In 1958, a secret British document described the principal objectives of Western policy in the Middle East " (a) to ensure free access for Britain and other Western countries to oil produced in States bordering the Gulf; (b) to ensure the continued availability of that oil on favorable terms and for surplus revenues of Kuwait; (c) to bar the spread of Communism and pseudo-Communism in the area and subsequently to defend the area against the brand of Arab nationalism."

Since then a nexus has emerged between US, the rich Saudi ruling elite with its extravagant life style and its familial extension to puritan Wahabis, In exchange for security of the dynasty the peninsula's oil wealth and revenues have been handed over for exploitation and benefit of the West led by USA (a major cause of anger among Arab masses.) This nexus has stood the test of time with Washington doing everything possible to maintain the feudal regime with its mediaeval practices. The regime controls "the largest family business" in the world without any popular mandate or accountability.

The Saud family-US nexus was anointed after President Franklin Roosevelt's meeting with the Saudi King aboard a warship in 1945, who said "I hereby find that the defense of Saudi Arabia is vital to the defense of the United States." Jimmy Carter, a later day saint, in 1980, put it even more forcefully: "Let our position be absolutely clear. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States."

Washington backed that commitment with military treaties safeguarding the Middle East. Apart from old CENTO and now NATO, U.S. military bases are stretched into east Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Gulf to protect the Middle East oil. Then came the Rapid Deployment Force and the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet, now based in Bahrain. The 1991 Gulf War led to a massive expansion of the U.S. military presence in the region, including US troops on the sacred Saudi soil, a major cause of anguish and deep resentment among conservative Saudi Muslims led by Osama bin Laden. US troops were shifted away only after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

ME Oil and Partition of India

A former Indian diplomat Narendra Singh Sarila, in a well researched book 'The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition', based on British documents, uncovers the truth that, after the 2nd world War, realizing that London had to relinquish India, the British leadership across the political spectrum, Conservatives and Labor, intrigued, told lies and finally partitioned the Indian subcontinent creating the state of Pakistan. Because with Mahatma Gandhi with his opposition to violence and war and Jawaharlal Nehru 's non-real politic idealism and vision of creating friendship and understanding among colonized and exploited people of the world, India would not join Western military pacts to protect from the Soviet Union the oil resources in the Middle East being exploited by Western powers.

Britain's ultimate objective was to retain at least some part in the North-West of India, "for defensive and offensive action against the USSR in any future dispensation in the sub-continent". And Britain knew that this could be best achieved by having a willing and subservient Pakistan as its client. So the only way -- was to use Jinnah to detach areas of India, which borders Iran, Afghanistan and Sinkiang and create a new state there. Sarila documents in detail how after the end of World War II in 1945, the new Labor government of Clement Attlee and Wavell decided to divide India and used Jinnah and political Islam to protect their strategic interests.

A top-secret telegram of Lord Wavell, then Viceroy, to the Secretary of State in London dated February 6, 1946, suggested the lines on which British India could be divided. On June 3, 1947, British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, while addressing the Labor Party's annual conference, spilled the beans that the division of India "would help consolidate Britain in the Middle East".

Sarila also traces the roots of the present Kashmir problem and how the matter was handled in the UN to favor ally Pakistan.

US-Pakistan Military Axis

Unlike India, Pakistan began with weak grassroots political organizations, with the British-era civil servants strengthening bureaucracy's hold over the polity and decision-making and soon called for the military's help. While the politicians had wanted strengthening relations with Britain, General Ayub Khan, encouraged by the US military, forged closer cooperation with the Pentagon. And in 1958 the military took over power, with Ayub Khan, a mere Colonel at the time of the partition soon promoting himself to Field Marshall. He eased out officers who did not fit into the Anglo-Saxon scheme of using Pakistan's strategic position against the evolving Cold War confrontation against the communist block.

General Zia ul-Haq was a cunning schemer, veritably a mullah in uniform. While seducing the north Indian media with lavish praise and kebabs, he planned Operation Topaz, which in 1989 fueled insurgency in Kashmir. His Islamisation of the country made the situation for women and minorities untenable. The judicial killing of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1977 turned General Zia into a pariah, but the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan made him a US darling, restoring and fatally strengthening the Pakistan military's links with the Pentagon.

This led to the hold of Pakistani military and ISI becoming pervasive, omnipotent, omniscient and ominous for Pakistan. This defense alliance, the seeds of which were planted by Ayub Khan, and the symbiotic relationship between the ISI and the CIA bolstered under General Zia, was never really dismantled and is unlikely to be fully disentangled ever. The form of government in a country has seldom bothered the US in the pursuit of its national interests. In fact US prefers military and other dictators; easier to handle.

Like the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, September 11 revived the imperative necessity to bring Pakistan closer to US once again (Washington even threatened to bomb Pakistan to stone age if it did not fall in line ). The US needed Pakistan to protect itself from a backlash of its earlier Afghan policies of creating the Mujaheddin and then Taliban, Washington desperately wanted to stop Pakistan's nuclear material or bombs falling into Jihadi hands, and to at least curtail, further damage to US interests in the region.

Establishment of Terrorist Nurseries in Afghanistan and Pakistan

From 1979 to the exit of Soviet troops in 1989, USA , UK other western countries, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf and Muslim states and even China (which sold AKM assault rifles and Type 69 RPGs, with US even supplying Stinger anti-aircraft missiles systems) exploited Jihadis as a weapon against the Russian forces in Afghanistan. Washington and Riyadh contributed most of the funds, reportedly totaling even up to $40 billion on the war in Afghanistan (US with $600 million in aid per year, with a matching amount coming from the Gulf states.) The CIA and its allies, Pakistan ISI, British MI6 and others recruited, supplied, and trained almost 40,000 hard core radical Mujahedeen from forty Muslim countries including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, and Afghanistan itself. Zia's military government established some 2,500 religious school nurseries, which were funded by Saudi Arabia and backed by the U.S. Some 225,000 children who went to these schools were trained to fight as guerrillas in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Not a penny was spent in defense of the Afghan people.

Among those who answered the call for Jihad was Saudi-born millionaire Osama bin Laden and his cohorts. Although in his violent campaign against US interests, bin Laden had attacked US embassies in East Africa, with his camps being attacked by US missiles in retaliation, it was not until the attack on the World Trade Centre in New York on 11 September 2001, when the realization came painfully to USA of the possibilities of nuclear terror, with linkages between Al Qaeda,Taliban and others in nuclear armed Pakistan's powerful ISI.

After the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989, West largely forgot about the monster they had created. But it was obvious that the festering nurseries of terrorists left south of Russian underbelly and just across in the restive Muslim Xinxiang province of China and India's Jammu and Kashmir, would sooner or later affect these countries. The Mujaheddin mercenaries now took on a life of their own. Hundreds of them returned home to Algeria, Chechnya, Kosovo, and Kashmir to carry on terrorist attacks in Allah's name against the purveyors of secular "corruption." In fact Lashkar-e-Toiba was created while the West and Muslim countries were waging their war against Russia in Afghanistan.

The 1980s jihad also spawned a home-grown malignancy in Pakistan - one that now poses a powerful threat to Pakistan itself. Free from the Jihad against Soviet troops after the Russians withdrawal, in 1990s Pakistan's ISI gave the Jihadis a fresh assignment, to create terror in Jammu and Kashmir. Led by Afghan veterans, fighters were secretly trained, armed and funded by the ISI to fight Indian soldiers in Kashmir. The best were later sent to help the Taliban in Afghanistan against NATO and US troops supporting the Karzai government in Kabul, foisted on Afghanistan by Washington after 2002.

"Be Nice to America, Otherwise We will Bring you Democracy "
-A New York poster

Since feudal times the landholding system in Afghanistan remained unchanged, with more than 75 percent of the land owned by big landlords comprising only 3 percent of the rural population. In the mid-1960s, democratic revolutionary elements had coalesced to form the People's Democratic Party (PDP). After the secret US intervention in 1979 mentioned above a seriously besieged leftist government of Taraki invited Moscow to send troops to help ward off the Mujaheddin and foreign mercenaries, all recruited, financed, and well-armed by the CIA.

A report in the San Francisco Chronicle (17 November 2001) noted that under the Taraki regime Kabul had been "a cosmopolitan city. Artists and hippies flocked to the capital. Women studied agriculture, engineering and business at the city's university. Afghan women held government jobs
-in the 1980s, there were seven female members of parliament. Women drove cars, traveled and went on dates. Fifty percent of university students were women." This had aroused serious opposition from several quarters; feudal landlords who opposed the land reforms and tribesmen and fundamentalist mullahs who vehemently opposed the government's policy of gender equality and education of women and children."

In Afghanistan itself, by 1995 an extremist strain of Sunni Islam called the Taliban---heavily funded and advised by the ISI and the CIA and with the support of Islamic political parties in Pakistan---fought its way to power, taking over most of the country, luring many tribal chiefs into its fold with threats and bribes.

The years of war that have followed the US intervention in July, 1979, have taken millions of Afghan lives. Along with those killed by Cruise missiles, Stealth bombers, Tomahawks, daisy cutters, and land mines are those who now continue to die of hunger, cold, lack of shelter, and water.

Al Qaeda

The strength and capability of Al Qaeda has been used as bogeyman by the Bush administration for political and electoral purposes. Writes Anand Gopal, "As Taliban and al-Qaeda remnants trickled into Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban government in 2001, Islamabad signed on to the Bush administration's Global War on Terror. It was a profitable venture: Washington delivered billions of dollars in aid and advanced weaponry to Pakistan's military government. In return, Islamabad targeted al-Qaeda militants, every few months parading a captured "high-ranking" leader before the news cameras, while leaving the Taliban leadership on its territory untouched. While the Pakistani military establishment never completely eradicated al-Qaeda -- doing so might have stanched the flow of aid -- it kept up just enough pressure so that the Arab militants declared war on the government. Despite such foreign connections, the Afghan rebellion remains mostly a homegrown affair. Foreign fighters -- especially al-Qaeda -- have little ideological influence on most of the insurgency, and most Afghans keep their distance from such outsiders. Al-Qaeda's vision of global jihad doesn't resonate in the rugged highlands and windswept deserts of southern Afghanistan. Instead, the major concern throughout much of the country is intensely local: personal safety."

Simon Jenkins, the noted British journalist after visiting USA recently wrote a column in The Guardian, "America, Cowering to an imaginary enemy, is not the country I once knew". He said that "America seems much in need of Roosevelt's maxim to stop fearing fear itself. Virtually all comment on the Mumbai massacre has mentioned 9/11 and al Qaeda and thus invited citizens to continue feeling afraid.-- Any stick will do to elevate al-Qaeda as America's enemy number one.- Al-Qaeda does not, yet it has become the ruling obsession of Bush's courtiers. They see al-Qaeda fiends on every side, bearded mullahs, caches of bombs, ricin and anthrax. The precautionary principle has become fanaticized. "

Yes , Muslims across the world, with grievances have created cells based on Al Qaeda philosophy and pattern.

How London's Sordid Love Affair with Muslim Brotherhood was Transformed into Washington's Unleashing of Fundamentalist Islam

Let us look at the history how Britain and then USA have promoted Islamic fundamentalism against popular, nationalist and socialist governments in Muslim countries to safeguard Western interests.

In his book "Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam," Robert Dreyfuss paints a vivid picture of how the United States spent the last century taking over the British imperial apparatus in the Middle East ;sponsoring and manipulating Islamic fundamentalism to control and exploit petroleum resources and politics. Dreyfuss's book based on major academic literature and actors on the scene is an excellent survey of the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and its various 20th-Century offshoots.

The United States, Dreyfuss argues, has supported radical Islamic activism over the past six decades, "sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly," and is thus "partly to blame for the emergence of Islamic terrorism as a world-wide phenomenon." He writes about U.S. support for the Muslim Brotherhood against Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt, whose goal was to end Western domination and control in the Middle East. Western interests used the Islamic Brotherhood to destabilize the Nasser government. The Brotherhood remains active and continues to conduct terrorist activities in Egypt.

Britain's Imperial History of Divide and Rule in Middle East

Although the Muslim Brotherhood was formally launched in Egypt in 1928, the roots of the British-sponsored policy began in the last quarter of the 19th Century , when the British intelligence sponsored the career of a Persian-born Shia named Jamaleddin, later known as Jamaleddin al-Afghani (1838-97) to hide his sect. A British (and French) Freemason and a professed atheist, al-Afghani spent his entire adult life as an agent of British intelligence, fomenting "Islamist" insurrections where they suited British imperial goals. At points in his fascinating career, he served as Minister of War and Prime Minister of Iran, before leading an insurrection against the Shah. He was a founder of the Young Egypt movement, which was part of a worldwide network of British Jacobin fronts that waged war against Britain's imperial rivals during the second half of the 19th Century. In Sudan, following the Mahdi-led nationalist revolt and the murder of Britain's Lord Gordon, al-Afghani organized an "Islamist" counterrevolution in support of restoration of British colonial control.

Al-Afghani was backed by the British with funding, a publishing house and other amenities. Al-Afghani's leading disciple and fellow British agent was Mohammed Abduh (1849-1905). The Egypt born Abduh founded the Salafiyya movement, under the patronage of the British proconsul of Egypt, Lord Cromer. In the 1870s, al-Afghani and Abduh founded the Young Egypt movement, which battled against secular Egyptian nationalists.

In 1899, two years after al-Afghani's death, Lord Cromer made Abduh the Grand Mufti of Egypt. Abduh in turn, begot Syrian Mohammed Rashid Rida (1865-1935), his leading disciple. Rida founded the organization that would be the immediate precursor to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Society of Propaganda and Guidance and an Institute. It published a journal, The Lighthouse, which provided "Islamist" backing to the British colonial rule over Egypt, by attacking Egyptian nationalists as "atheists and infidels." In Cairo, under British patronage, Rida brought in Islamists from every part of the Muslim world to be trained in political agitation in support of British colonial rule.

Hassan al-Banna (1906-49), a graduate of the Institute for Propaganda and Guidance, founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, which was an unabashed British intelligence front. The mosque in Ismailia, Egypt, which was the first headquarters of the Brotherhood, was built by the (British) Suez Canal Company, near a British World War I military base. During World War II, the Muslim Brotherhood functioned as a de facto branch of the British military. In 1942, the Brotherhood created the "Secret Apparatus," an underground paramilitary organization that specialized in assassinations and espionage.

Hitler's and London's Grand Mufti

During the formative years of the Muslim Brotherhood, the British were simultaneously promoting the career of another "Islamist" named Haj Amin al-Husseini. A notorious anti-Semite with little Islamic theological training , he was promoted by Sir Ronald Storrs, the British Governor General and in 1921 installed as president of the Supreme Muslim Council, a British-sponsored association of hand-picked Muslim religious leaders . With British rigging , Al-Husseini was 'elected ' next year the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. During the World War II, al-Husseini, and al-Banna, wound up in Berlin as a propagandist for the Nazi assault against the Jews. But al-Husseini was back in the Holy Land, again on the British intelligence payroll, now a firebrand anti-communist propagandist for the Middle East Broadcasting Station. [The current Western proxy leaders in Iraq, Ahmed Chalabbi and Ex Prime Minister Iyad Alawi , have been unabashed operatives of CIA,MI6 and others .So the pattern continues]

Hassan al-Banna was assassinated in 1949 by Egyptian security but by that time, the Muslim Brotherhood had vastly expanded its ranks, and had spread to other parts of the Middle East, where the British had a major postwar presence. The Muslim Brotherhood established branches in Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine.

'British Brains and American Brawn to rule the world'

After the untimely death of Franklin Roosevelt in 1945 , Winston Churchill 's famous "Iron Curtain" address came to define the Cold War. An Anglo-American partnership that Churchill once described: "With British brains and American brawn, we can rule the world."

During the 1950s the United States sided with Great Britain against the legitimate, popular secularist governments of Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser and Iran's Mohammed Mossadegh. And in both instances, the Anglo-Americans used the Muslim Brotherhood as the battering ram to bring down the popular regimes. In the case of Egypt, President Dwight Eisenhower, in a most decisive postwar break with London, neutralized the joint British-French-Israeli invasion of Suez in 1956, temporarily backing the Nasser regime. (For years after the Suez crisis, Eisenhower and the United States were admired in Egypt).

One of the architects of playing the Islamists against the nationalist /socialist /communists in the Middle East was Dr. Bernard Lewis, a wartime British intelligence Arab Bureau spy, who in his crucial 1953 essay "Communism and Islam," argued for a strategy of promoting right-wing Islamist movements and regimes as a weapon against Soviet backed nationalist and socialist regimes in the region. Lewis's scheme was embraced by the Dulles brothers, Secretary of State John Foster and CIA Director Allen, despite reservations from President Eisenhower and some leading CIA Middle East specialists.

Despite Washington's ambivalence about Nasser, Britain's Prime Minister Anthony Eden had no doubt that the Egyptian President was a menace to British interests and had to be eliminated. George Young, a top MI6 officer posted in Cairo, ordered by Eden to assassinate Nasser, according to MI6 documents, turned to the Muslim Brotherhood's for the job , leading to a full-scale war between the Brotherhood and Nasser. Thousands were killed, and eventually, the Brotherhood was forced to flee, taking refuge in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other pro-US/UK Arab regimes. Saudi Arabia funded Egypt's Brothers against Nasser .Riyadh also funded the Brothers in Jordan as King Hussein complained when I was posted at Amman (1989-92).

Operations in Iran: 'Made in England'

Contrary to popular assumptions, the Muslim Brotherhood was not exclusively a Sunni movement. In Iran, a Shia cleric, Ayatollah Seyyed Abolqassin Kashani, was a close collaborator of al-Banna, his heir Ramadan, and other Brothers. In 1943, he founded an Iranian Shia branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, called the Devotees of Islam. Like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Devotees had their own assassination squads. They failed, in 1949, to assassinate the Shah.

The author remembers what Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan told him in 1990s, when Tehran re-established diplomatic relations with Amman. As the Iranian CDA spent most of his time in the National Assembly where after the recent elections the Muslim Brotherhood had a sizable presence  Hassan wryly commented that the CDA thought that he was accredited to the Assembly and not to the Palace of Hashemite King Hussein, his brother.

The appointment of Mohammed Mossadegh as the new Prime Minister, led to yet-another Anglo-American coup against a secular nationalist regime, falsely branded "communist." As in Egypt, the British turned to the local Muslim Brotherhood
the Devotees of Islamto stage the street riots and other actions that led to the overthrow of Mossadegh. The coup in Iran became the food of legend, about CIA officers Kermit and Archibald Roosevelt, who organized the bazaari to stem the tide of communism and stop the nationalization of British oil holdings.

"A well-informed Iranian source reported that Mossadegh made the decision to step down, rather than either side with the Soviet-backed Iranian Communist Party or unleash his own mass base of supporters to battle the Muslim Brothers and the allied bazaari. It was Mossadegh's concern about the Iranian people that had more to do with the success of the so-called "coup," than the clandestine prowess of the Roosevelt boys and their British partners."

The Khomeini Revolution

The Khomeini revolution was a blowback against UK-US supported Shah's repressive regime and resentment against the overthrow of popular and nationalist Mossadegh government. From the beginning, not all Iranians fully supported the Islamic revolution (in which skillful use was made of Karbala - where Imam Hussein and his army and family fought and died for Islam - and other Shia imagery), its agenda and implementation. Khomeini was a rallying point for all against the Shah (caricatured as the sultan or the caliph), the corroding corruption, the excesses of the Savak secret police and its backers, the CIA, the hopes and aspirations of the youth for social justice, the masses suffering from inflation and sudden oil wealth inequities.

Khomeini provided that unflinching moral and spiritual bulwark against the Shah's armed-to-the-teeth military machine and his capacity to deny whatever concessions were demanded, and what was held out in the end was too little too late. Many Iranians who opposed the hard line clerics and their killjoy agenda were eliminated, forced to flee or went underground. Even in 1980, disenchanted, only one fourth of Iranians went to the parliamentary polls. Expectedly, many clerics, some even senior to Khomeini, like Shariatmadari, favored political parties and more freedoms. But by sheer force, the radical conservatives took over power, sometimes in spite of Khomeini.
It is the current US policies which have strengthened radical forces in Iran and catapulted President Mahmud Ahmedinejed against a reformer like President Khatami.

Syrian Brothers

The next British-backed battle between fundamentalist Islam and nationalism occurred in Syria where the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Ramadan. When a Baathist military coup took place in 1969, the Brotherhood began a campaign of irregular warfare, that built momentum throughout the 1970s. In 1979, the Muslim Brotherhood staged a military assault on the Syrian Army academy at Hama, setting the main building on fire and killing 83 cadets mostly from Alawaite sect belonging to the ruling Assad regime. The government killed many thousands of Syrian brothers who then escaped to Saudi Arabia.

Afghanistan and Muslim Brotherhood

Dreyfuss gives a brief history of the evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood in Afghanistan with roots in Egypt. A group of young Afghan students after spending several years at the al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, a center of Muslim Brotherhood activity, returned to Afghanistan and formed a branch of the Brothers, the Islamic Society. "The Professors," as they were known, would later form the backbone of the Afghan Mujahedeen, who waged a West and Saudi backed decade-long war against the Soviet Army occupation. The three leading "Professors" were: Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, Burhanuddin Rabbani, and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Sayyaf and Hekmatyar, in particular, were backed by the Pakistani ISI, and by Pakistan's own Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Group, founded by Abdul Ala Mawdudi. The three professors led the major factions of the Afghan insurgency.

One of the key recruiters for the Jihad in Afghanistan was a Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood member Abdullah Azzam. In 1984, under Anglo-American and Pakistani sponsorship, Azzam and a leading protg, bin Laden, founded the Service Bureau in Peshawar, Pakistan. The Service Bureau served as a hospitality service for incoming jihadists.

USA and the Rise of the Taliban to Power

In April 1992 various guerrilla armies took over Kabul, where they promptly started fighting among themselves for power. There were street fights in the capital, battles for control of strategic positions. The U.S encouraged and enabled Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to support one faction , whose army had destroyed most of Kabul in 1993. Iran, Russia, India, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan chose other factions to back. For the next three years, the United States would support first one, then another fundamentalist faction in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the people suffered, caught in endless civil war.

Around 1993, the Pakistani government became interested in opening up trade with the new Central Asian republics that had split from the old USSR. USA was interested in American UNOCAL laying energy pipelines from central Asia to Pakistan and beyond. But the warfare in Afghanistan blocked the roads. A way to end the warfare was needed.

The Pakistan government once again set up schools for guerrillas, masked as religious schools. They were recruited from the Afghan refugee camps. The Taliban were nurtured in these schools and camps. They were supported by the Pakistani Deobandis and their political party the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI). In 1993, when JUI entered the government coalition of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, ties between JUI and the Army and ISI were established. In 1995, with the downfall of the Hezb-I-Islami Hektmatyar government in Kabul, the Taliban not only re-instated a hard line Islamic government, they also "handed control of training camps in Afghanistan over to JUI factions..."

By the summer of 1994 the first grouping of guerrillas was ready. It was led by older religious teachers and Pakistani soldiers, and armed by Saudi Arabia, with the cooperation from the CIA. The arms, food and four wheel drive vehicles gave the Taliban the material means to grow rapidly, against those less equipped. Jane Defense Weekly confirms that "half of Taliban manpower and equipment originated in Pakistan under the ISI". The Taliban Islamic State was to serve US geopolitical interests.

The Taliban were only one more armed reactionary band in a country with lots of them. Yet in a couple of years they were able to take power. They profited from the advanced decomposition of the state apparatus and were able to take entire cities without combat. Some of the war lords preferred to join the Taliban, while others fled instead of fighting.

The Taliban presented themselves as champions against corruption and against the rule of war lords. They appeared as austere, disinterested combatants, opposed to pillage and respecting private property. They received at least the resigned consent of the population to end the civil war, even if that meant giving up the most basic liberties.

The Koran was already the law of the land, and rights of women hardly existed. After the Taliban took control of Kabul in September 1996, Glyn Davies, a State Department spokesman, said that the United States saw "nothing criticizable in the measures now taken by the Taliban movement to impose Islamic law in the zones which it controls." U.S. imperialism saw the Taliban as establishing order. UNOCAL, the giant California-based oil company, looked forward to being able to build a giant pipeline across the country.

After coming to power, the Taliban again opened training camps for recruits from fundamentalist groups around the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The Pakistani Taliban Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan

The Pakistani Taliban or the Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are led by Baitullah Mahsud. Centered in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) that lie between the North-West Frontier Province, it differs from their Afghan cousins in being mostly tribal rather than clerically trained in madrasahs (though they have some clerics among them). While Pakistan's population is 165 million or so, the population of FATA is about 3.5 million. Moreover, many clans in the tribal agencies actively oppose the TTP and have engaged in battles with them. The Pakistani Taliban are a relatively small group, probably a few thousand strong but they are powerful in North and South Waziristan and also in the northern agency of Bajaur. Apparently they have gained strength in the Khyber Agency, as well. Since FATA abuts Peshawar, the Pakistani Taliban have on several occasions encroached on that city. The Khyber Agency lies between Peshawar and the Khyber Pass, the easiest road into southern Afghanistan from Pakistan.

The War in Chechnya

The main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of Hezbollah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. The summit, was attended by Osama bin Laden and high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. In this regard, the involvement of Pakistan's ISI in Chechnya "goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war

Mujaheddin in Balkans and US involvement

The JUI with the support of the Saudi Wahabi movements also played a key role in recruiting volunteers to fight in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. The Golden Crescent drug trade was used to finance and equip the Bosnian Muslim Army (starting in the early 1990s) and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) /There is evidence that Mujaheddin mercenaries were fighting in the ranks of KLA-NLA terrorists in their assaults into Macedonia.

On US support to Mujaheddin in the Balkans read extracts from "Turkey: 'Sow war and reap terror' by K Gajendra Singh , ,22 November, 2003( extracts form this article , hosted by over a hundred websites, and quoted by many reputed columnists including USA's Tom Engelhardt)
"During the current debate, the Balkan chapter of the 1990s and the US and European role in the breakup of Yugoslavia and subsequent events are not scrutinized closely. The origins of al-Qaeda and other terror groups during the Afghan war of 1979-1992, their fight against the Soviet army and the role of the US, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and others is well documented, including Osama bin Laden's drive to recruit Muslim volunteers world-wide. US officials estimate that tens of thousands of foreign fighters were trained in bomb-making, sabotage and guerrilla warfare tactics in Afghan camps that the US Central Intelligence Agency helped set up between1985-92.

"After the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, and the Najibullah communist regime collapsed in 1992, the Afghan mujahideen became irrelevant to the US. But the mujahideen had acquired a taste for fighting, and now they had no cause. But soon a new cause arose.

"During 1992-95, the Pentagon helped with the movement of thousands of mujahideen and other Islamic elements from Central Asia, even some Turks, into Europe to fight alongside Bosnian Muslims against the Serbs.

"It was very important in the rise of mujahideen forces and in the emergence of current cross-border Islamic terrorist groups who think nothing of moving from state to state in the search of outlets for their jihadi mission. In moving to Bosnia, Islamic fighters were transported from the caves of Afghanistan and the Middle East into Europe; from an outdated battleground of the Cold War to the major world conflict of the day; from being yesterday's men to fighting alongside the West's favored side in the clash of the Balkans. If Western intervention in Afghanistan created the mujahideen, Western intervention in Bosnia appears to have globalized it."

There is a Dutch government report after investigations, prepared by Professor C Wiebes of Amsterdam University, into the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, entitled "Intelligence and the War in Bosnia", published in April 2002.

It details the secret alliance between the Pentagon and radical Islamic groups from the Middle East and their efforts to assist Bosnia's Muslims. By 1993, a vast amount of weapons were being smuggled through Croatia to the Muslims, organized by "clandestine agencies" of the US, Turkey and Iran, in association with a range of Islamic groups that included the Afghan Mujahideen and the pro-Iranian Hezbollah. Arms bought by Iran and Turkey with the financial backing of Saudi Arabia were airlifted from the Middle East to Bosnia - airlifts with which, Wiebes points out, the US was "very closely involved". [ The same gang which fought against Soviet Russia in Afghanistan , was now fighting against Russia's Slav Orthodox ally ,Yugoslavia and succeeded in breaking up the secular socialist state.]

The Pentagon's alliance with Islamic elements permitted mujahideen fighters to be "flown in" as shock troops for particularly hazardous operations against Serb forces. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times in October 2001, from 1992 as many as 4,000 mujahideen from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe reached Bosnia to fight with the Muslims. Richard Holbrooke, America's former chief Balkans peace negotiator, said as much. The Bosnian Muslims "wouldn't have survived" without the imported mujahideen, which was a "pact with the devil" from which Bosnia would take long to recover. If the US made a pact with the devil, then the Muslim mujahideen made a pact with Satan. They temporized with the Christian West to defeat the ungodly Russian communists, now they are after the US-led Crusaders." ---

"But by the end of the 1990s, State Department officials (as now vis-a-vis the Pentagon), were increasingly worried about the consequences of this devil's pact sponsored by the Pentagon. Under the terms of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord, the foreign mujahideen units were required to disband and leave the Balkans. Yet in 2000, the State Department raised concerns about the "hundreds of foreign Islamic extremists" who became Bosnian citizens after fighting against the Serbs, and who will remain a potential terror threat to Europe and the United States. "

US officials claimed that "one of bin Laden's top lieutenants had sent operatives to Bosnia", and that during the 1990s Bosnia had served as a "staging area and safe haven" for al-Qaeda and others. The Bill Clinton administration learned that it was one thing to permit the movement of Islamic groups across territories; it was quite another to rein them back in again. "

And in spite of the official US stand against jihadis, it permitted the growth and movement of mujahideen cadres in Europe during the 1990s. In the run up to Clinton and Blair's Kosovo war of 1999, the US backed the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) against Serbia. The Jerusalem Post reported in 1998 that KLA members, like the Bosnian Muslims earlier, were "provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries", and had been "bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters and mujahideen ... [some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden's terrorist camps in Afghanistan". So the US's pact with the devil continued.

The aspect of the mujahideen's encouragement by the US and its growth in Balkan Europe has been largely overlooked, and the Bosnia connection remains largely unexplored. In Jason Burke's excellent Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror, Bosnia is mentioned only in passing. Kimberley McCloud and Adam Dolnik of the Monterey Institute of International Studies have written some incisive commentary calling for rational thinking when assessing al-Qaeda's origins and threat - but little on the Bosnian link.

A cool analysis of today's disparate Islamic terror groups, created in Afghanistan and emboldened by the Bosnian experience, would do much to shed some light on precisely the dangers of such intervention. Car bombers in Istanbul on November 15 and 20 [2003] are perhaps the results. "

Taliban and UNOCAL

In December 1997, the Taliban visited UNOCAL's Houston refinery operations. Interestingly, the chief Taliban leader based in Kandahar, Mullah Mohammed Omar, now on America's international Most Wanted List now, was firmly in the UNOCAL camp. UNOCAL had pumped large sums of money to the Taliban hierarchy in Kandahar and its expatriate Afghan supporters in the United States. During the Bush administration, beholden to the oil interests that pumped millions of dollars into the 2000 campaign, , various Taliban envoys were received at the State Department, CIA, and National Security Council. The CIA, which appears, more than ever, to be a virtual extended family of the Bush oil interests, facilitated a renewed approach to the Taliban.

There were even reports that the CIA met with bin Laden in the months before September 11 attacks. The French newspaper Le Figaro quoted an Arab specialist named Antoine Sfeir who postulated that the CIA met with bin Laden in July in a failed attempt to bring him back under its fold. Sfeir said the CIA maintained links with bin Laden before the U.S. attacked his terrorist training camps in Afghanistan in 1998 and, more astonishingly, kept them going even after the attacks. Sfeir told the paper, "Until the last minute, CIA agents hoped bin Laden would return to U.S. command, as was the case before 1998." Bin Laden actually officially broke with the US in 1991 when US troops began arriving in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. Bin Laden felt this was a violation of the Saudi regime's responsibility to protect the Islamic Holy Shrines of Mecca and Medina from the infidels. Bin Laden's anti-American and anti-House of Saud rhetoric soon reached a fever pitch.

Bush and US Energy Interests

Bush Family's interests in the energy sector and that of Vice President Dick Cheney are quite well known .Secretary of State Condi Rice was on the board of Chevron .Khalilzad, a Pushtun and former US ambassador to Kabul, Baghdad and UN , was in addition to being a consultant to the RAND Corporation, a special liaison between UNOCAL and the Taliban government. According to Afghan, Iranian, and Turkish government sources, Hamid Karzai, was a top adviser to the El Segundo, California-based UNOCAL Corporation which was negotiating with the Taliban to construct a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through western Afghanistan to Pakistan.

Karzai, a leader of the southern Afghan Pushtun Durrani tribe, a mujaheddin was a top contact for the CIA and maintained close relations with CIA Director William Casey, Vice President George HW Bush, and their Pakistani ISI Service interlocutors. Later, Karzai and a number of his brothers moved to the United States under the auspices of the CIA and continued to serve the agency's interests and the Bush family and their oil friends.

It is clear that fossil fuels drive American policy in the region and the construction of the trans-Afghan pipeline was a top priority of the Bush administration from the outset. While UNOCAL claims it abandoned the pipeline project in December 1998, a series of meetings held between U.S., Pakistani, and Taliban officials after 1998, indicates the project was never off the table. Reports suggested that perhaps the U.S. representatives may have recklessly threatened the Taliban prior to the September 11 attack, thereby provoking Al Qaeda into action.

After Foreign Policy, would India Out-source Intelligence Inputs to USA, UK and Israel

As part of its 'strategic relationship' with USA , India has modified its foreign policy in tune with that of Washington ,like voting with USA against Iran in Vienna on Iran's legitimate nuclear fuel enrichment for power generation. As among the dead in Mumbai were 18 foreigners including Americans, Britons and Israelis : anti-terrorism officers from Scotland Yard, FBI experts and Mossad operators are coming over to India . Strategic affairs expert K Subrahmanyam , part of pro-US lobby in India tries to rationalize : "What we have here is an international problem with roots in Pakistan ... India's attacks were once just its problem. Now they are problems for the whole world."

The way Scotland Yard handled 7 July , 2005 blasts in London was clumsy , with almost Laurel Hardy type of brutal assassination of the Brazilian boy , without any provocation or warning . The Yard may be better than politician controlled and corrupt Indian police establishment, but it is hardly a shining example.

The stunning events of 11 September, 2001 exposed the incompetence of US intelligence agencies , which are also amenable to tailoring their reports to the US administration 's political agenda ' like the illegal, 'Awe and Shock' invasion and brutal occupation of Iraq. Subsequent reports to improve security by bringing in Patriot Act etc have taken away freedoms of US citizens, blacklisting and profiling of US Muslim or those from the Middle East , outsourcing of torture and created Gulags at Guantanamo, Abu Gharaib, Bagram and even on US ships. Ill informed and ignorant admirers of US intelligence claim that 9/11 has not been repeated .All it required was better airport security. Would Indian political and corporate class and other humpty dumpties agree to security checks which even Senator Ted Kennedy and others go through in USA .The village yokels and criminals in India's political class would beat up the security staff.

Israel 's Defense establishment and its generals who occupy key posts in government, security, defense industry and intelligence are a law into themselves with little accountability; blackmailing and terrorizing Palestinians and other Arabs and Muslims states with its unconcealed horde of nuclear bombs, with full US support in UN and elsewhere. US presidential candidates must first kowtow to all powerful Israeli organ AIPAC before declaring candidature as was done by both President elect Obama and Hillary Clinton or for that matter for any electoral post in USA. It is another matter that Lebanese Hezbollah defeated the so-called invincible Israeli Defense Forces on the ground in South Lebanon in 2006, as conceded even by an investigation headed by a senior Israeli judge.

Former US President Jimmy Carter compared Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza and treatment of Palestinians with apartheid in his book .He was blackballed and not even allowed to attend Obama's nomination as its presidential candidate at the party conference. The Jewish lobby in USA came like a ton of bricks on two respected US university professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt , both Jews on their article " Israel lobby in US". In an article "Slouching toward a Palestinian Holocaust" Richard Falk, an American Jew wrote ,"Is it an irresponsible overstatement to associate the treatment of Palestinians with this criminalized Nazi record of collective atrocity? I think not. The recent developments in Gaza are especially disturbing because they express so vividly a deliberate intention on the part of Israel and its allies to subject an entire human community to life-endangering conditions of utmost cruelty."

Most Indian ministers , decision makers , key media persons and others have visited Israel as guests . India's intelligence services maintain close contact with Israeli spy services with many ardent admirers ,some of whom were even trained there .The original primer ( Al Qaida ) for training Indian intelligence operatives was laid down by departing colonial masters and would be updated by US spy establishment . Russians have experience of handling the Chechen insurgency encouraged and supported by the West and a wealth of experience in handling Mujaheddin in Afghanistan. One reads of little contacts between them and the Indian security services or forces.

These converts to Anglo-Saxon vision must be reminded that in 1990 , Washington played around with aerial photographs of Saddam Hussein's military dispositions along the border with Saudi Arabia with Kuwait, which he had invaded, to hoodwink a reluctant Riyadh to let US troops occupy Arabia . Trusting Western agencies can be dangerous.

Some elements in Indian intelligence and security establishment along with Hindutva hard core would love nothing better than treating Muslims in India like Israel treats Palestinians and other Arabs , without realizing that Pakistan unlike the Arab states was allowed to develop its nuclear infrastructure and weapons during the 1980s by the West. After the war in Afghanistan , Pakistan has also become a transit point of gigantic trade in narcotic grown in Afghanistan [Afghans , Pakistanis, military and ISI are all involved] , with more AK-46s in its frontier regions than pencils to write. The trade also impinges on India and its security as weapons and RDX can be brought in under the cover of narcotics trading in which Indian criminals, security forces and politicians are involved.

US War on Terror is US War for World's Resources

By using words like liberty, freedom and democracy for promoting US interests via Operation Iraqi Freedom for its invasion of Iraq , or Operation Enduring Freedom for bombing of Afghanistan, which often kill civilian and marriage parties than terrorists , US leaders have completely prostituted the meaning of these words. An arrogant Brzezinski blurted the truth about US support to Islamic fundamentalists in Afghanistan, soon after US invasion of Iraq in 2003 ,with unproved and ostensible false charges about WMD s, Iraq's nuclear program and Baghdad's linkage with Al Qaeda ( twice England's greatest non-cricket spinner of truth , Prime Minister Tony Blair ,was told at Moscow media conferences by Russia's President and Foreign Minister that West's allegations and dossiers on Iraq were false .) Soon after the invasion of Iraq ,US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz admitted in Singapore that the allegations were mere bureaucratic excuses , the real objective was Iraq's oil .This was also admitted by this years Economics Nobel Prize winner Krugman and many others. So the so called 'War on terror ' is in truth a non-stop war for control of strategic space and world's energy and other resources.

Failure in Iraq and Stirring Up of More Muslims

US invasion and occupation of Iraq has been a monumental failure and a quagmire for USA. More than a million Iraqis have been killed , four million refugees are scattered in Syria, Jordan and other countries and in Iraq itself .It has made millions of widows and orphans and is bringing about destruction worse than what Mongols inflicted. Washington's conscious policies have led to ethnic cleansing by Shias and Sunnis .The Arabs and Kurds in Iraq have been divided with little hope of their coming together again , with unforeseen consequences for the region . US Vice President elect Joe Biden had even suggested more than a year ago to formalize the partition in Iraq.

Also over 4200 US soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq, many tens of thousands injured and maimed for life .It has already cost US taxpayer more than five hundred billion dollars. The total cost could reach even three trillion dollars .Only the Military Industry complex has made fortunes .

The killing fields of Iraq have provided on the job training to stirred up Muslims from all over the world, specially Europe, creating a reservoir of trained Jihadis. This development i.e. creation of more terrorists ,has been admitted by Western think tanks and intelligence agencies. So much for fighting terrorism in Iraq .Just the opposite has been accomplished.

State Sponsored Terrorism

While Muslims all over the world loathe the policies and terror acts of Israel ,USA,UK in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and other paces, many polls in Europe have graded Israel and US policies and actions as the greatest dangers to world peace and security.

Although Turkey and Israel have very close relations, almost like allies since the creation of the Jewish state , but in 2004 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan publicly described repeatedly Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policies in Occupied Territories accusing Israel as "state terrorism ". Members of his ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), which has Islamic roots, were much harsher and also lambasted US policies in Iraq . An article by Pulitzer Prize winning US journalist Seymour Hersh in New Yorker had disclosed that Israel was fishing in Kurdish north Iraq, south of Turkey's volatile Kurdish region in south-east. Israeli agents were active in Kurdish areas of Iran, Syria and Iraq and providing training to commando units for running covert operations, which could further destabilize the region.

Chris Hedges former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times wrote in Trthdig on 1 December,2008.

" The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, when viewed from the receiving end, are state-sponsored acts of terrorism. These wars defy every ethical and legal code that seek to determine when a nation can wage war, from Just War Theory to the statutes of international law largely put into place by the United States after World War II. These wars are criminal wars of aggression. They have left hundreds of thousands of people, who never took up arms against us, dead and seen millions driven from their homes. We have no right as a nation to debate the terms of these occupations. -- The invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq were our response to feelings of vulnerability and collective humiliation after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. They were a way to exorcise through reciprocal violence what had been done to us.

"Collective humiliation is also the driving force behind al-Qaeda and most terrorist groups. Osama bin Laden cites the Sykes Picot Agreement, which led to the carving up of the Ottoman Empire, as the beginning of Arab humiliation. He attacks the agreement for dividing the Muslim world into "fragments." He rails against the presence of American troops on the soil of his native Saudi Arabia. The dark motivations of Islamic extremists mirror our own.

Robert Pape in "Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism," found that most suicide bombers are members of communities that feel humiliated by genuine or perceived occupation. Almost every major suicide-terrorist campaign
over 95 percentcarried out attacks to drive out an occupying power. -- Terrorists, many of whom come from the middle class, support acts of indiscriminate violence not because of direct, personal affronts to their dignity, but more often for lofty, abstract ideas of national, ethnic or religious pride and the establishment of a utopian, harmonious world purged of evil. The longer the United States occupies Afghanistan and Iraq, the more these feelings of collective humiliation are aggravated and the greater the number of jihadists willing to attack American targets.

"Terrorism is not a supply-limited phenomenon where there are just a few hundred around the world willing to do it because they are religious fanatics. It is a demand-driven phenomenon. That is, it is driven by the presence of foreign forces on the territory that the terrorists view as their homeland. The operation in Iraq has stimulated suicide terrorism and has given suicide terrorism a new lease on life.--

"The tactic of suicide bombing, equated by many in the United States with Islam, did not arise from the Muslim world. It had its roots in radical Western ideologies, especially Leninism, not religion. And it was the Tamil Tigers, a Marxist group that draws its support from the Hindu families of the Tamil regions of Sri Lanka, who invented the suicide vest for their May 1991 suicide assassination of Rajiv Gandhi

"Suicide bombing is what you do when you do not have artillery or planes or missiles and you want to create maximum terror for an occupying power. It was used by secular anarchists in the 19th and early 20th centuries, who bequeathed to us the first version of the car bomb
a horse-drawn wagon laden with explosives that was ignited on Sept. 16, 1920, on Wall Street. The attack was carried out by an Italian immigrant named Mario Buda in protest over the arrest of the anarchists .It left 40 people dead and wounded more than 200.

"Suicide bombing was adopted later by Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and Hamas. But even in the Middle East, suicide bombing is not restricted to Muslims. In Lebanon, during the attacks in the 1980s against French, American and Israeli targets, only eight suicide bombings were carried out by Islamic fundamentalists. Twenty-seven were the work of communists and socialists. Christians were responsible for three. "

K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author. E-mail:

December 21, 2008




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trauma and Humiliations of 1962 – A look from Egypt and Turkey too

Trauma and Humiliations of 1962 – A look from Egypt and Turkey too
K.Gajendra Singh , Delhi .29 November, 2010.
It is now almost half a century, 48 years to be exact , when in late 1962 Beijing exposed New Delhi  to the brutal and ruthless world we live in , something Indian rulers ,barring exceptions ,have refused to comprehend throughout history and do not ,not even now. Look at the current internal situation in India , verily a dysfunctional anarchy ,with explosive situation building up in south west Asia, which will affect India too deeply.
Veteran journalist Inder Malhotra , initiated the discussion on the subject recently by writing two pieces in the Indian Express , based on two unsealed secret letters from a panicked Indian prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru to US president John Kennedy in 1962 confirming the lack of culture of strategic thinking and measures to counter threats to national security and protect territorial integrity . He was followed by a piece by K.Subrahmaniyam , a well connected expert , but whose world view has been molded by Washington. Then followed the formidable Indian ambassador KS Bajpai, son of an even more formidable civil servant ,Sir Girija Shankar Bajpai ICS who was once envoy to Washington and senior most advisor to PM Nehru. On 27 November, Ram Pradhan, who was private secretary to Yashvantrao Chavan, who replaced Krishna Menon as defense minister during the debacle itself throws some more light on the grim events.
Finally at the end ,I have given my impressions of how the events looked from Cairo , Egypt's capital , where I was posted after the tragic October-November  1962 events having followed them from New Delhi in the ministry of external affairs(MEA) .Egypt was one of the five Colombo powers suggested to find a solution to the complicated dispute .I have also added some more info I gathered when posted in Ankara , which Nehru had visited in 1960 .He was advised by Ismet Inonu  , Kemal Ataturk's able deputy and successor , not to trust the communists. I had perused the dossiers in the Mission and talked to Inonu's son-in-law in 1995 , who had acted as the interpreter  at the famous meeting between two statesmen.

Inder Malhotra states that while it was a relatively limited clash of arms , militarily speaking ,it unfortunately turned into a traumatic military debacle and political disaster for India. He quotes from the two "Eyes Only" letters Nehru sent to John Kennedy which described the war situation as "desperate" and asked for "more comprehensive" US military aid, especially in the form of air power "if the Chinese are to be prevented from taking over the whole of Eastern India."

In keeping with the Hindu-Brahmin tradition of keeping things secret , the first public mention of these two letters in the Rajya Sabha by MP, Sudhir Ghosh, in 1965 was flatly denied by. the then prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri. There were no such letters. Washington, after some years, admitted these letters were received , but refused to reveal them. In the 1980s, copies of these letters were duly placed in the US National Archives, and some other places in USA, after heavy  censoring.  It was claimed in USA that at the request of the Government of India the letters were not being made public.


After Inder did get access , he mulled over whether publishing the letters would give many habitual Nehru-baiters, another opportunity to malign him but he opted to unveil them in public interest . Giving the background he says that the second letter, sent "within a few hours of the first", was vastly more important. "In this, Nehru informed Kennedy that during the short interval, "the situation in NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency, now called Arunachal Pradesh) has deteriorated still further. Bomdila has fallen and the retreating forces from Sela have been trapped between the Sela Ridge and Bomdila. A serious threat has developed to our Digboi oilfields in Assam. With the advance of the Chinese in massive strength, the entire Brahmaputra Valley is seriously threatened and unless something is done immediately to stem the tide, the whole of Assam, Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland would also pass into Chinese hands."


Nehru added "The Chinese have poised massive forces", "(also) in Chumbi Valley between Sikkim and Bhutan and another invasion from that direction appears imminent... In Ladakh, as I have said in my earlier communication, Chushul is under heavy attack and the shelling of the airfield at Chushul has already commenced. We have also noticed increasing air activity by the Chinese air force." (In the earlier letter, Nehru had said that after Chushul there was "nothing to stop the Chinese till they reach Leh, the headquarters of the Ladakh province of Kashmir.")


Nehru further pointed out that hitherto he had "restricted our requests to essential equipment" and thanking the US for the assistance "so readily given" and went on: "We did not ask for more comprehensive assistance, particularly air assistance, because of wider implications... in the global context and we did not want to embarrass our friends." The next five lines state what has been indicated above: "The situation that has developed is, however, desperate. We have to have more comprehensive assistance if the Chinese are to be prevented from taking over the whole of Eastern India. Any delay in this assistance reaching us will result in nothing short of a catastrophe for our country".


Continues Inder ,remarkably, Nehru's request for comprehensive aid, especially "immediate support to strengthen our air arm sufficiently to stem the tide of the Chinese advance" goes into minute details, and is prefaced by the statement: "We have repeatedly felt the need to use our air arm in support of our land forces but have been unable to do so because in the present state... we have no defence against retaliatory action by the Chinese." In this context the specific demands are for: "[A] minimum of 12 squadrons of supersonic all-weather fighters" and a "modern radar cover (which) we don't have." Nehru added that US air force personnel "will have to man these fighters and radar installations while our personnel are being trained."


More significantly, he spelled out that US fighter and transport aircraft "manned by US personnel will be used for the present to protect our cities and installations from Chinese attacks and to maintain our communications... and if this is possible... to assist the Indian Air Force in air battles with the Chinese air force over Indian areas where air action by the IAF against Chinese communication lines, supplies and troop concentrations may lead to counter air action by the Chinese. Any air action to be taken against the Chinese beyond the limits of our country, e.g. in Tibet, will be taken by the IAF planes manned by Indian personnel."

 Sudhir Ghosh later claimed in the Parliament that Nehru had requested Kennedy for, among other things, a US aircraft-carrier to be stationed in the Bay of Bengal. But there is absolutely no mention of this in either of his two letters to JFK. In spite of the situation Nehru knew of the likely pressures that would be brought to bear on the US president against extending "comprehensive" military aid to India.
So he wrote: "The Chinese threat as it has developed involves not merely the survival of India, but the survival of free and independent Governments in the whole of this sub-Continent or in Asia. The domestic quarrels regarding small areas or territorial borders between the countries in this sub-Continent or in Asia have no relevance whatever in the context of the developing Chinese invasion. I would emphasise particularly that all the assistance or equipment given to us to meet our dire need will be used entirely for resistance against the Chinese. I have made this clear in a letter I sent to President Ayub Khan of Pakistan. I am asking our Ambassador to give you a copy of this letter.
 "We are confident that your great country will in this hour of our trial help us in our fight for survival and for the survival of freedom and independence in this sub-Continent and rest of Asia. We on our part are determined to spare no effort until the threat posed by Chinese expansionist and aggressive militarism to freedom and independence is completely eliminated".
Whatever might have been Beijing's objectives , apart from humiliating New Delhi in the Afro-Asian world of which India was the leader , on November 20 the Chinese declared a unilateral ceasefire and phased withdrawal. Consequently, the urgency behind Nehru's correspondence with Kennedy disappeared. But, ironically, the reference to irrelevance of "domestic disputes over small areas or territorial borders between the countries in the sub-Continent" did not achieve the desired result. On the contrary, the US and Britain, represented by Averell Harriman and Duncan Sandys respectively (the latter more than the former), pressured India relentlessly to settle the Kashmir issue with Pakistan. The protracted but pointless six rounds of talks between Swaran Singh and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, adequately discussed in this column already, followed. A trickle of American military assistance did slowly flow into India but it did not amount to much and was, in any case, terminated during the 1965 India-Pakistan War.
Something of significance in the second letter merits attention. Saying that a month had elapsed since China's "massive attack on India" Nehru added he thought he should inform Kennedy of further developments since "my last letter of October 29."
Nehru states: "There was a deceptive lull after the first Chinese offensive during which the Chinese mounted a serious propaganda offensive in the name three-point proposals, which shorn of their wrappings, actually constituted a demand for surrender on their terms. The Chinese tried, despite our rejection of these proposals, to get various Afro-Asian countries to intercede with various offers of mediation. After my clear and categorical statement in Parliament on 14 November rejecting the three-point proposal of Chou en-Lai, the Chinese who had made full preparations to put further military pressure on us, re-started their military offensive... Events have moved very fast and we are facing a grim situation in our struggle and in defending all that India stands for against an unscrupulous and powerful aggressor."
After the ceasefire, Inder adds ,president Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt, Sri Lankan prime minister Sirimavo Bandarnaike, Ghana's leader Kwame Nkrumah and some others met and formulated some principles on the basis of which, they said, India and China could resume negotiations for settling the border issue. Known as the Colombo Proposals because the non-aligned leaders had met in the Sri Lankan  capital, India accepted them but China rejected them out of hand. Thereafter, New Delhi declared that border talks with China could take place only on the basis of the Colombo Proposals, and this remained Indian policy until New Year's Day, 1968, when Indira Gandhi, as prime minister, announced that she was prepared to negotiate with the Chinese without any precondition.
It took China more than two years to respond. On May Day 1970, Mao Zedong made it a point to smile at the then Indian Charge d' Affairs in Beijing, Brajesh Mishra. Mao said that there was no reason why India and China, both great countries, could not be friends. Nothing came of this, however, because soon enough the Bangladesh crisis, leading to the 1971 war, erupted. China supported Pakistan fully . Chou even said that India had picked up a rock it would "drop on its own feet." It took another 10 years before border talks between the two countries to begin but without much progress so far.
Nehru's official biographer, S. Gopal, never admitted to having seen the letters . But he confidently asserted that the letters were drafted by the foreign secretary of the day, M. J. Desai. If true, this is rather strange. For Nehru always wrote his letters himself — sometimes drafting them for his subordinates to sign. –
B. K. Nehru, ICS .PM Nehru's cousin ,the then ambassador in Washington made no secret of the fact that on receiving and reading the second letter, his impulse was to not deliver it. But being a civil servant, he immediately delivered the letter to the White House. He locked the letters in the Ambassador's only safe .The fate of the two letters is not clear .Perhaps they were filched , some even accusing that they might be with BK Nehru family .

That night of November 19

Subrahmanyam states that he knew about the letter . Commenting on Nehru's failures in 1962, in the chapter on the "evolution of Indian defence policy" he had written in 1984-85 he asserts: "At the highest level Jawaharlal Nehru chose to appeal to the US president for aerial support without first ordering the Indian Air Force into battle." -- the US Ambassador played a role in influencing the Indian decision not to use the Indian Air Force may be inferred from Galbraith's, Ambassador's Journal -- According to his information the main adviser for the letter was foreign secretary M.J. Desai--.
 Nehru did not ask for an aircraft carrier. But the Americans did have an aircraft carrier (USS Enterprise) in the Indian Ocean and it did move into the Bay of Bengal. This particular incident and what happened subsequently have very valuable lessons to non-alignment cultists on Nehru's use of the concept as a strategy to safeguard India's security and not as a third-worldist ideology. Since the Chinese declared a unilateral ceasefire on November 20 and withdrew — they could not have stayed on with the passes blocked by snow — the immediate crisis passed.
The US came up with some help especially for supply dropping for our troops. -- By December 18-21, President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan had met in the Bahamas and finalised a joint military aid package of $120 million for India.--What should be of interest here is the triangle of India, the US and the USSR. At that time, Kennedy is reported to have told one of his aides that India should be encouraged to get as much military equipment as possible from the Soviet Union for its military preparedness against China. The Soviet Union could not take a pro-India stand in October 1962 as the Chinese timed their attack to coincide with the Cuban missile crisis — on this aspect we did not have a clue in India — and came out in support of the Indian stand by mid-December. From 1963 to 1965, India was concluding major defence agreements with both the US and the USSR, with neither party objecting to our dealings with the other.
About the Chinese air-threat in 1962. In 1965, a Chinese deserter told Washington that because of total suspension of supply of spares by the Soviet Union, the PLA air force was very nearly totally incapacitated and grounded, even in the mainland, let alone in Tibet. Ambassador Galbraith's advice was based not on any intelligence but on his personal hunch. For our part, at that time we were reliant on British and US intelligence given to us at their discretion. Obviously they too did not have adequate intelligence on the status of Sino-Soviet relations. The first air-defence missiles SA-2 came from the Soviet Union in 1963.--
Just as there are senior defence services and foreign service officers exhorting the country not to trust the Americans now for equipment, there was a large number of people arguing against our dealings with the Soviet Union. They asserted communists and communists would always get together and let us down, and that our officers and personnel undergoing training in the USSR would be brainwashed and subverted. History is witness that the procedures we implemented guarded against such risks.
[This clearly shows how Subramaniyam and other important Indians , specially in the intelligence services , who were initially trained by UK and US agencies and still mislead them as in David Hedley's case recently , continue to be fed by the Anglo-Saxons]


The letters and the lore

Ram Pradhan , former internal affairs secretary ,who was then private secretary to defense minister Yeshwantrao  Chavan , who took over from Krishna Menon recalls that Chavan reached Delhi on 20 November night and was sworn in the next day. There was no record of the 19 November letter . After a briefing from foreign secretary Chavan told Pradhan of Nehru's appeal to the US president and the UK prime minister. It brought US Assistant Secretary of State Averell Harriman and Defence Secretary Duncan Sandys on 22 November .
" S. Gopal, Nehru's official biographer, has described in detail the assistance sought in that letter. However questions about non-alignment were raised when, over the next few months, two high-level Indian missions visited the US. One under S. Bhoothalingam, secretary at the ministry of economic and defence coordination, and the second one led by his minister, T.T. Krishnamachari. These reports caused controversy: had India and the US entered a joint defence agreement? And had India asked for an "air umbrella"?
Nehru's efforts to downplay this were not helped when the Peking People's Daily said "the (joint air) manoeuvres were proof that the Indian government was deliberately creating tension on the Sino-Indian border under its own fabricated pretext of Chinese aggression.... The description of India as non-aligned was sheer mockery to countries which really pursued the policy of non-alignment." Within hours, Prime Minister Nehru told Parliament he had no intention of asking for a Western "air umbrella." He deftly side-stepped answering whether he had asked for such an "air umbrella" in the past. Now we know from the second letter how precisely Nehru's request was worded.
Regarding statement of Sudhir Ghosh, an MP from West Bengal in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) that "in March 1965, in the hour of our peril in 1962, Pandit Nehru, the apostle of non-alignment, had solicited American air intervention, and a US aircraft carrier was in the waters of the Bay of Bengal , Prime Minister Shastri said that Ghosh's statement was incorrect. Ghosh was greatly upset, and requested Shastri to seek confirmation from the US ambassador, Chester Bowles. If he refuted the statement, Ghosh would resign. Foreign Secretary C.S. Jha got in touch with Bowles, who replied that the US government did have the document (Nehru's appeal to Kennedy for air protection) and it could be produced if the government so wished. Apparently on learning this, and knowing that any continuation of the controversy would further damage Indo-US relations, Shastri made a statement denying that any request for an aircraft carrier was made, or that any such carrier was in the Bay of Bengal at the time. He did not say that it was heading towards the Bay.
" [ In answering questions in the Parliament, many a times we do not tell the truth but without telling a lie , using the excuse ; according to our information available now --]
B.K. Nehru, the Indian ambassador in Washington who had delivered Nehru's messages personally to President Kennedy, was in a position to confirm or deny the matter, but was not asked by the Foreign Office.(MEA)
Pradhan poses two questions. Who drafted the letters? And was Nehru ready to give up non-alignment?. He then answers that " it seemed that as a practical politician Nehru was moving towards what is described as bi-alignment with the US and the Soviets. We knew about it. In a public meeting at Pune on November 14, 1962 Chavan said, "There were people in India who believed Russia would help us in the present crisis... but, I am firmly of the opinion that Russia would ultimately be on the side of China, because the Russians had recently described the Chinese as their brothers while Indians were their allies."
On November 16, 1962 Chavan received a letter from Nehru "whether your opinion or belief is wholly justified or not, it is certainly unfortunate that you should have made these statements." He explained why it was desirable not to comment on such a sensitive matter at this critical stage of international relations, because to say anything which would push Russia more into the arms of the Chinese would be "disastrous." Pandit Nehru had sensed the new developments and he was indeed moving towards bi-alignment. In fact in a television interview in New York in December 1962, he confirmed that "there was no non-alignment vis-à-vis China." So Subrahmanyam is right in pointing out how Nehru's use of non-alignment as a concept was a strategy to safeguard India's security and not a third-worldist ideology.
While Nehru drafted his own letters but one should not doubt what Gopal had stated. "The letter is precise and too detailed about the assistance that India was expecting, and even a foreign secretary as experienced as M.J. Desai could not have done that. My guess is that John Lall, the joint secretary in charge of the air force, must have assisted Desai, because I found the same noting in his brief to the defence minister for discussion with US and UK dignitaries. "

 "The amateurs in charge'

In his piece "The amateurs in charge' Amb K.S Bajpai rightly criticizes those who denigrate him (Nehru)." -Of course he made mistakes, who doesn't, and to pretend they really were not mistakes — worse, to conceal facts — only feeds his detractors. What our country owes him becomes ever more apparent, time and our travails keep confirming its value. Viewing so great a man whole, faults and all, cannot diminish his stature, or our debt. What we need is to learn from the mistakes, his and ours — which we stubbornly refuse to do. – (it was) self-inflicted: blinding ourselves to it is to invite repeats. -- but the totality of our failure extends far beyond individuals. India failed to function as an organised state, alive to its challenges and opportunities, appropriately prepared to deal with them. Have we used our experience to become such a state now?

Despite our foolishness in imagining that suppressing facts can change them, --(it was ) frightening situation Delhi saw itself facing that November 19 morning. Key positions had been left to the enemy, Sela and Bomdila augured horrendous dangers, civil officers had started being withdrawn and a complete evacuation from Assam was being considered, the DIB even starting to plan a resistance movement. --, Major-General "Monty" Palit wrote later-  was shown the draft letter seeking 12 fighter and two bomber squadrons; as "DMO, at a desperate stage of a war that seemed to be moving along a course of escalating disasters, [he] could only welcome the proposal of obtaining military help, whatever its source," though confessing he "had not for a moment imagined that... the architect of India's non-alignment policy, would ask for actual intervention by US forces." (War in the High Himalayas pp 342-343)
--he (Nehru) was a shattered man, the Chinese attack a mortal blow to his whole worldview as well as his longing to develop India in its own special way. Temporarily, he let himself be guided by advisers. --. It was certainly known Panditji was not himself those days, and the letters were indeed drafted by advisers, especially his strange foreign secretary. And, sure enough, as soon as he was better we were more non-aligned than ever. No doubt our reversion was encouraged by the derisory nature of the Anglo-American response — but the explanation that we had never in fact deviated but only practiced realpolitik -- won't wash. The letters clearly show to what depths we had fallen. -- Let's just acknowledge that, and focus on the broader causes of a national failure.
Accounts left by Palit, two criticised officers, B.N. Kaul and J. Dalvi and others  –" leave convincing impressions of the utter amateurishness of our whole approach to, and handling of, this first great challenge to our state. B.N. Mullick gives the most vivid picture of our chaotic ways, soldiers and civilians rushing back and forth, our top leaders hovering around a front commander conducting operations from a Delhi sickbed; greatly respected in his profession, this director of the Intelligence Bureau justifies claims of reliable intelligence, but unintentionally makes things look worse by citing involvement in operations — which is none of an intelligence officer's business. Memoirs of two foreign secretaries, Y.D. Gundevia and Rajeshwar Dayal, independently recount how, barely a few days before the Chinese attacks, they were bewildered by being called to meetings under the defence minister (Krishna Menon) to be solemnly told (with the director's concurrence) that it was not China that was preparing mischief but Pakistan! "
"None of the civilians had the slightest notion of grand strategy, much less of fighting a war; with some honourable exceptions, our military emerge no better. Except for the gallant victims of our ineptitude, nobody comes out well. ----Everything, from our assessment of security needs, the planning of strategy, the build-up of resources, not least the application of trained minds — we were like schoolboys playing games. The key to serving a state is statecraft, which we simply will not learn. Today we have the added problem that the instruments of state have become increasingly dysfunctional. The wake-up call of 1962 keeps ringing, unheard, after 50 years."
All four of them appeal that our obsession with secrecy be given up , old documents be made public so that they can be studied , lessons learnt and remedial measures taken. Unfortunately the historical and cultural Brahmin laid dharma of keeping knowledge in the family and caste and not committing it to paper (look at Vedas and other scriptures) remains supreme. It needed an Italy born  Indian leader to bring out the Right to Information , which the old Brahminical habit , opportunistically imbibed by other castes in power persists and attempts are being made to shorten it.
New Delhi and Cairo
In end 1962 along with a few other new entrants to the foreign service I was undergoing training in MEA and waiting to go to Indian Embassy in Cairo, to learn Arabic and then take over as Assistant Press Attache. So we attended media conferences by foreign secretary MJ Desai , who explained the retreating positions of Indian troops along India's borders with China with relief maps and other developments . We were generally aware that something terribly had gone wrong on India's borders following media reports and discussions in the Parliament , specially Nehru's speech after the fall of Sela pass in north east , but were not privy to the details and the gravity of the reality on the ground or the national and international implications of what had happened.
In the wake of the state of emergency declared after the debacle at the borders , I and family instead of leisurely traveling to Egypt in a luxury ship, as a special dispensation (pity) were flown to Cairo by Air India in end December 1962. Cairo was then the centre of resurgent Arab world under nationalist President Gamal Abdul Nasser and at the forefront of non-aligned movement along with India and Yugoslavia , in decolonization of nations from Western colonial repressive rule and exploitation..Apart from close relationship between the top leadership and the peoples of the two countries , with rich cultural traditions there are many similar traits including laziness ( baad bokra ;after tomorrow when work promised was not done and Maalish –never mind) and obligatory tipping (baksheesh). So it was not difficult to settle down soon .
Nasser and his group of young officers who had overthrown the corrupt Albanian origin dynasty , were full of respect for Nehru , who sometimes alone or with the Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito would explain to them the intricacies of history and international relations and the exploitation of the Asian and African countries by European colonial powers .But after Indian debacle many Egyptians felt that Cairo was now the pre-eminent non-aligned nation ,more so after Egypt was named an  important member of the Colombo powers . World leaders like Chou en Lai , Khrushchev (to open the Aswan dam financed by Moscow ) and others visited Cairo. This made some Egyptians cocky . What irked us was a statement by a vain Egyptian diplomat that , non-aligned policy, yes , but it should be armed non-alignment !
A few years later in 1966 , the armed non-aligned Egyptian forces collapsed miserably without a fight with a well prepared , experienced and battle hardened and ruthless Israel forces following a preemptive air blitzkrieg .Having seen the attitude of bad bokra and Maalish, it was clear that the Egyptian forces would not last more than a few weeks . By that time I was posted back to MEA . .When I expressed this view to Jagat Mehta , later foreign secretary, he agreed but said that he was pilloried for this assessment by some colleagues. A colleague who had learnt Arabic in Beirut was claiming ,based on Arab Radio reports that Arab forces will celebrate victory in Jerusalem .When I enquired which Arab forces , he said the Egyptians .I enquired if he had seen Egyptian forces and their state of readiness ! I later got reports from some Indian air force officers who were training Egyptians .Barring a few the Egyptians put up very little fight .I was told that some military officers after office hours ( as in normal times ) would go over to the Zamalek Sporting Club in the heart of Cairo  with their families as if it was business as usual.
Egypt was as ill prepared as was India in 1962 while both Israel and China were well prepared .They had experienced war and had battle hardened troops and had planned well in advance .Many Indians who joined the armed forces thought that it was the best sporting club east of Suez .Some exercises in the mornings and jolly good mess evenings and nights .Peace keeping missions in Congo and Gaza and back home with imported goods , much sought after in India. Many civilian officer candidates  who had been selected for military Commissions just before 1962 war , failed to join. But after it was all over ,many well connected officers who were selected after 1962 got into IFS and IAS though a limited and special recruitment for their so called sacrifices for the nation ! My foot ! Egyptian military personnel were no different .Egyptian forces were fighting in Yemen in support of nationalist forces against forces supported by the Saudi Kingdom. This entitled them to many privileges and perks. The 1966 debacle was an eye opener .
Such are the twists and turns of vanity and arrogance.
But Egyptians under president Anwar Sadat did manage to regroup and even changed allies and finally threw out the Israeli forces from the Suez Canal occupied since 1966 in the 1973 Yom Kippur war .The Jewish state came out well only because it threatened to use a nuclear bomb on Cairo , which forced  Washington to create an air bridge to supply whatever weapons Tel Aviv needed and extended full support in UNSC .Later Sadat went over to Tel Aviv in 1979 to sign a peace treaty , for which he later paid with his life, but he got back Egyptian territories including Sinai and the oil wells.
In 1979 meetings in Israel , some Egyptian functionaries left over from 1966 said that in eastern tradition and culture ,when Cairo threatened to close Sharm-el Sheikh in 1966 it was just a  rhetoric ,But Tel Aviv took full advantage by preemptive well planned air strikes in typical Darwin -Cartesian style. In a similar way Nehru when pressed in the Parliament ordered  rhetorically that the Chinese troops be expelled from Indian territories , which some pro-Chinese writers cite as India's offensive objectives .What stupidity! 
.Many Arab leaders , safe from Israel keep on beating up war drums . The 1973 war led to quadrupling of the oil prices , which made Gulf kingdoms immensely rich , who flaunted their wealth and tastes for women in Cairo much to local resentment .
Ankara ;1960 meeting between Nehru and Ismet Inonu
In 1961 when under training at the National Academy of Administration at Mussourie , one directing staff had a dig at Indian ambassador JK 'Mucky' Atal in Ankara . who had allowed the visit of Nehru to Turkey in 1960 just before the military coup d'etat . So when I was posted to Ankara twice ( 1969-73 and 1992-96 ) I was keen to learn the background to the visit .In my first tenure I did meet with some Turks who had met with Nehru .In spite of different foreign policy postures , he was received with great warmth and affection  by every one . Leyla Chambel, a journalist from Ataturk days had gifted Nehru a shirt of Ataturk .Another , Sunter Hosafji , whose father was a close  associate of Ataturk , who attended the reception at the Indian Embassy narrated that when Nehru saw him looking unhappy and bored , he asked the Ambassador that the young man be served a glass of whisky ( alcoholic drinks are prohibited at official receptions and dinners ) much to young Sunter's delight .
When I headed the mission in my 2nd tenure , I did go through the old files .It revealed that , as usual , Ambassador Atal was keen to have a VVIP visit during his tenure and the conservative Turkish government of Adnan Mendeers then facing opposition from the secular establishment and the military was keen that the visit takes place to indicate that it was business as usual. The government had put restrictions on Ismet Inonu , Ataturk's right hand man during the war for independence and later his successor in 1938. Ismet Pasha , the wily fox as Ataturk once described him, laid the foundations of democratic traditions in Turkey. In spite of pressures he refused to become head of state, except through democratic elections only. Late Ilhan Cevic , founder –editor of Turkey's first and influential Turkish Daily News , who was posted in the Turkish Mission in London in 1960, told me that when he saw in the Newsreel that as soon as Nehru's car had passed , the soldiers had turned their back on the following cavalcade .This convinced Ilhan that it was matter of days before the coup would take place and it did .
How ever ,I was more interested in the discussions which took place between Nehru and Ismet Pasha. There was not much in the files .But I had learnt that with high tensions between the ruling regime and Ismet Pasha and the secular establishment ,the Turkish government refused to arrange the meeting officially .Nehru insisted on a meeting and according to one source even threatened to drive over and meet with Ismet Pasha, whom he admired a lot . Finally a way out was found. Ismet Pasha came to the embassy reception and the two statesmen talked for over half an hour .Only when Ismet Pasha had left that the prime minister Menderes and his delegation entered the embassy premises  How ever no definite and accurate information was available on the talks .
So one evening in 1993 I went over to have few drinks with Ismet Pasha's son-in-law , Metin Toker , who had acted as an interpreter at the meeting , at the very place which in 1960 was the rented Indian embassy .Metin Toker told me that the two leaders met with great affection and mutual respect and discussed the international situation .It was the time when Nehru's popularity and fame was at its peak .Nehru told Inonu that countries like Turkey and India should remain neutral and not join any bloc. There was no fear of China attacking India or Russia attacking Turkey .Inonu did not agree . He then narrated how after the WWII in which Ankara had remained neutral Russia had laid claims to Turkeys north eastern provinces and wanted to revise the Montreux Convention controlling the Bosphorous straits  . Ismet Pasha told Nehru that he should not trust the communists ( the events leading upto the 1962 debacle were still simmering.) In early 1920s when Turkey was occupied by European forces with the Greeks, with the British support, had reached the outskirts of Ankara, before being driven back into the Mediterranean Sea at Izmir, Ataturk had accepted financial and other help from the Soviet Union , Ottomans' historical enemy , but had come hard on communist movement inside Turkey .The relations have warmed up after the collapse of Communism and break up of USSR .
When India appealed for help from friendly countries in end 1962 , Ambassador Atal saw Inonu who had become the prime minster .Ismet Pasha told the Ambassador to remind Nehru of what he had told him in the 1960 meeting ..It is understood that much against oppositions from Cento ally Pakistan Ankara did send some mountain guns to India .



The point made by Amb Bajpai is valid .The 1962 handling of a grave and almost existential threat to India's sovereignty and territorial unity was amateurish at all levels and by all sectors of the polity." What we need is to learn from the mistakes, his (Nehru) and ours — which we stubbornly refuse to do. -- Have we used our experience to become such a (organized) state now? -- The key to serving a state is statecraft, which we simply will not learn. Today we have the added problem that the instruments of state have become increasingly dysfunctional. The wake-up call of 1962 keeps ringing, unheard, after 50 years. "
Amb Bajpai now seems wiser than in 1988, when I had called him over to lecture new entrants to Indian diplomatic service on India's foreign policy .I had criticised Nehru's lack of strategic thinking . He had replied sharply that it was easy to criticize with hindsight .When or how else can one analyse and assess some one's policy!
Late JN Dixit, former NSA in one of his books writes that when he asked Dr S Gopal about Nehru's foreign policy objectives , Gopal replied that while a visionary and noble leader Nehru not quite down to earth .His vision was to promote peace and friendship among people and such ends .
With close contacts with Fabian and socialist ideas and ideals , he was exploited by the Mountbattens to promote British policies and objectives in post independence India , quite often at New Delhi's expense ,whether it was about creating violent communal climate in India and encouraging Jinnah to demand Pakistan or later on the Kashmir problem to ensure that independent India had no direct land link with central Asia even via Kashmir and Wakan corridor .
You can not trust Americans even on what they give you in writing.
Even when India was faced with existential threat in 1962 , London and Washington still wanted to first resolve the Kashmir problem in which they still support their ally Pakistan to keep India out of central Asia and direct relations with the region .Their policy is ruthless in pursuing their objectives and remain inimical to Indian interests .By now it is clear that FBI was complicit in 26/11 and did not warn India about the activities of its agent David Headley .BBC still calls the ten ISI trained terrorists gunmen , while when a British born Muslim reads Quran he becomes a terrorist .Perfidious British and crude Americans should not be trusted and their promises should be duly verified .Let me repeat again what a deputy prime minister ,Inonu's son Erdal told me," Mr Ambassador , you can not trust Americans even on what they give you in writing."
Because of his knowledge of history and experience , a structured policy planning division could not be established in MEA in Nehru's life time . While Indira Gandhi, one of the greatest strategic thinkers and executors of strategic objectives did appoint G.Parthasarthy to formulate foreign policy , it was only PM AB Vajpayee , who had a full time NSA in Brajesh Mishra , a retired foreign service officer ,but he was too close to US thinking .He was also power and publicity hog and while NSA also functioned  as joint PM and interfered in MEA's  day to day work . To have a policeman as NSA is a recipe for disaster as proved by 2611.Fortunately the current NSA, Shankar Menon former  envoy to China, Pakistan, Colombo and Tel Aviv is experienced and cool .After the mis-drafting on Baluchistan , India is shifting slowly towards a more balanced policy towards , Beijing, Moscow and Tehran.
But Nehru was great enough to admit after the unraveling of his Chinese policy that India lived in the world of its own.  But he was absolutely right on his economic policies.  A lot of Indians, who have retired from multinationals or are enjoying pensions from Washington consensus institutions like IMF World Bank and allied organisations, criticise his economic policies.  If we had not kept the multinationals out, when there was little indigenous industrial acumen , we would have become like many countries in Asia and Latin America , where US foreign policy and interests of their multinationals would have had full sway and brought massive misery to their populations in late 1990s . Finally the so called rampant US capitalism after looting the rest of the world has hit at its middleclass and the poor to benefit its rich oligarchy and is taking the country down to fast decline.


K.Gajendra Singh , Delhi .29 November, 2010.

K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author