The Moving Finger Writes
IN a speech in 2011 (originally unpublished but now made public) at Okhlahoma’s Cameron University, delivered by the newly-appointed Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, critical reference was made as to how “India for some time has always used Afghanistan as a second front” and how it has “over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.” Whether he said anything more critical is not known and the full text has possibly been destroyed. Did he, for example, have anything to say about the continuous support Pakistan’s ISI has been giving to jihadis and to the Indian Mujahedin? Just as importantly, can the United States have any excuse to make for once supporting across-the-Islamic-world terrorists in their game plan to throw out Soviet influence from Afghanistan? If terrorism exists today in Afghanistan and Pakistan, it is because the Unites States fathered it to serve its own purpose – a point that must be stressed again and again. And it has hurt India deeply.
American double-standards are there for all to see. And they have been fully exposed in a recent publication entitled Media Terrorism – Global Perspectives – published by an American firm SAGE. Of all the states, the most self-serving, surely, is the United States, in its disregard of principles. The US has ignored the United Nation as and when it has suited it to do so, as in its war against Vietnam and its attack in 1993 on Iraq, not to speak of previous military attacks on Libya (1986) and Sudan (1998).
NATO, under the leadership of the US again decided to resort to armed force against Yugoslavia on March 24, 1999 “unilaterally, without authorization by the UN Security Council”. The US can break all laws and get away with it. Isn’t it the world’s only Super Power? In the attack on Yugoslavia, the political rationale given was that there was a humanitarian crisis going on with thousands of Kosovars in danger of being “ethnically cleansed”. The assumption in the US Government at the time was that it had “… a natural right to decide unilaterally the legal basis for its action, rather than follow the rulings of international bodies.” But for India it becomes a crime if it tries to defend itself the way it thinks best. Right from Day One, following Partition the US has been supportive of Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, making India suffer heavily in terms of blood and money. The US couldn’t care less for India’s well-being. Criticism of the US in the SAGE publication is the work of two Norwegian political analysts. Stig Nohrstedt and Rune Ottosen. According to them, US viciousness goes beyond military attack to the killing of journalists who don’t follow the US line. As they put it: “The US response to the 9/11 (attack on Trade Towers in New York) became, if not a turning point, at least a radicalisation of the American practicing of double standards in legal matters in general and in the treatment of media and journalists in particular.”
During the Iraq War, the American military attacked journalists on three separate occasions on the same day, April 8, 2003. A Reuter photographer and another from a Spanish TV channel were killed. As the commentators put it: “The Pentagon is determined that there will be no more reporting from the enemy side and that a few deaths among correspondents who do so, will deter others.”
According to the commentators, “the new western way of war had led to a growing casualties among the journalists to an alarming degree, to the point of more than 1,100 journalists and media employees were killing on duty between 1995 and 2007.” To get security, journalists had to get ‘embedded’ in the US Army, meaning they should allow themselves to be guided, not by truth but by what they are asked to write. As another contributor to the book Dahr Jamail, a distinguished Middle-Eastern journalists put it: “The precious few media persons who have dared to tell the truth have met with dire consequences.” Jamail quotes the Media Watchdog Group, Reporters Without Borders as listing “at least 148 journalists and media workers killed in Iraq since, the beginning of the US led invasion in March 2003”.
Mr Hagel is free to criticise India which has been victim of Pakistan terrorism from the day the state came into existence. Washington has done nothing to stop it. It can do so in ten minutes flat – if it wants to – telling the Pakistan Army that if it does not stop the endless jihadi attacks on India, it will have to face Washington’s wrath. But that it will never do. It wants a subaltern state always ready to fall at its feet and obey US dictates without questioning. It serves Washington’s interests to look the other way when Pakistan indulges in rampant terrorism against India. As Hussain Haqqani, a distinguished journalists and in 2011 Pakistan’s ambassador to the US has been quoted as saying, there is a long and well-established relationship between Islamist groups and Pakistan’s military. Isn’t Mr Hagel aware of that?
India wants peace. The last thing it wants is a quarrel with the US government. But Washington must understand India’s concerns and respect them. Sly remarks about its ways to control Pakistan can only evoke anger and despair. From the very first day – indeed even when talks on Partition was being worked out, Washington had eyes on how to make use of Pakistan to serve its political interests in the Middle-East, compelling India to look to Moscow and simultaneously to work out a plan for encouraging non-alignment, which the US was strongly opposed to. Indeed, the then US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles had the cheek to tell the then Indian Ambassador to Washington, Vijayalakshmi Pandit that non-alignment was “immoral”. If the US wants Indian friendship and cooperation it has to reconsider its attachment to the Armed Forces of Pakistan which have no hesitation in pursing thuggery against India time and time again, with the full knowledge and obvious support of the US India has every right to defend itself from a vagabond ISI and its master, the Pakistan Army.
What the people in India feel distressed about is that the Government of India is not aggressive enough. And for Hagel’s information, if India takes that to heart, that may have its own consequences. America’s double standards are beginning to hurt India more and more and Mr Hagel should be aware of it, for its own good as for the peace in south Asia.