Not content with taking their Afghan war into Pakistan without seeking authorisation from the Pakistan government, the US has now decided to extend the Iraq operation into Syria, again without asking Damascus, risking reversing the recent good work of 'diplomatising' Syria. Is their any limit to the wrongheadedness of US foreign policy?
I have said it before. The traditional way of kick starting a sluggish economy is to start a war....
Maybe so, but then isn't it nicer to pick on your enemies rather than your friends? (Or at least, in the case of Syria, your neutrals).
How starting a war and spending more money will kick start the economy. We are already way behind due to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iam not so knowledgeble in this. Can you please explain this.
You think Bush knows where Syria is, and which "side" they are on?
I'm sure Mark will answer more fully, but it's generally accepted that the arms industry and related war industries for WW2 were instrumental in lifting the US out of the great depression. However the same war did a pretty good job of bankrupting Europe. The ultimate in cynical profiteering is to manufacture weapons and sell them to other countries to use against each other. It's a foul business full of wicked people.
Mark/Paraglider- Thanks for explaining that the more government encourages consumption the more it expands. I have two issues (kind of like the Iron Man movie)
1) Is it worth it to encourage violence (it may turn against us or be redirected against another country like Pakistan funding may possibly lead to using it against India)
2) How deep are the pockets? (By the time economy rebounds till then one has to spend and the kind of mess we are in nobody knows the bottom then is this strategy sustainable till the economy rebounds).
P.S: I am novice and have no intention to hurt anyone. It's just a sincere desire to understand what's going on in the world.
One word -
Consumption. This is what our economy relies on. Ever increasing consumption. Fighting a war is a great way of consuming resources. Be it men, tanks, bullets, fuel, whatever.
This is the "October surprise" pulled by the Republicans to shift the conversation, 1 week before the election, from the economy (which favors Obama) to defense (which favors McCain).
Couldn't help but noticing that gas (petrol) prices have slid precipitously over the last two weeks too. Another October surprise.
Syria has been making nice lately and seems to want a rapprochement with the West. This is anathema to Israel and the US, since they need nasty enemies to justify theft and occupation. Might notice anytime someone mentions peace in the middle east, Israel attacks someone, in self defense of course, only from what - is never sure. This is one theory, although to early to tell, and with all that is going on. Maybe an attempt to shake out an October surprise.
Well, it seems now that "an unnamed US military official" has said the raid was intended to kill a "high profile Al Qaeda operative", but the White House has still refused to comment.
The fact remains, the attack was several miles inside Syrian sovereign territory and it appears that eight civilians were killed. No-one has given a credible explanation. Oh well, I suppose we just wait and see what happens next.
Maybe I am asking silly questions but still the hypothesis that the Syria front was opened to rev up the economy isn't going down well with my reasoning. Can either of you guys please answer the issues I raised earlier?
countrywomen - I don't agree with Mark on this one. For one thing, it's too small scale. Other people fighting wars with your weapons does help sections of the economy, but wars of attrition in Iraq and soon Afghanistan don't. I do suspect that the attack in Syria might have been to distract attention from the economy in an attempt to frighten Obama voters back to the McCain camp. Sadly, I think the present Administration are not above such tactics.
I see several options -
1. This is a distraction used to divert attention to the serious problem America has with threats from all the people who would attack her, thus giving McCain a stronger reason for being elected, because, even though he was a terrible soldier, his media campaign was based around the fact that he is a war hero and favors spending a lot of money on defense.
2. This is an attempt to escalate the current conflict and involve more countries.
3. It was a mistake.
Any of these reasons mean more spending on military rather than less.
Paraglider and livelonger are more likely correct in this case. Syria is too small to warrant a full-scale "1984" type campaign.
Thanks Mark for the clarification. You guys are so knowledgeble on so many areas. I love hub pages for helping me understand so many issues.
Mark, one other possibility occurs to me wrt Pakistan--there may be differences of opinion withing the Pakistan government, if that's an accurate term for it. Someone may have quietly said "okay" but the government is publicly objecting for political reasons.
History always will say 'who ruled us' and 'how we are ruled'. It will never say what was our bank balance. So, there should be no question of politics as far as defence is concerned. Leave alone defence in political debates. Any government will do the same when the question of defence comes and our country is threatened. The government has the privilege to do anything at its power to save its citizens. Individual citizens may not be aware of the consequences of letting a particular situation unnoticed.
Hi Venugopal - I'm not sure of your point? Even if it is true that an attempt was made to 'take out' an Al Qaeda operative, the fact remains that the US troops illegally crossed a border from a country they are illegally occupying into one they are not. And once there, they succeeded in killing several civilians, children among them. This constitutes escalation. Syria described it as an act of international terrorism.
Paraglider may please explain what is legal and what is illegal. Is the Al Qaeda concentration inside Pakistani territory legal? Why should the "innocent civilians" protect them? It is natural for Syria to side with Pakistan due to religious affinity... and goes the theory "friend of an enemy is also enemy".
I'm not an expert in the finer points of law. However, it is generally agreed that the US did not have a mandate to invade Iraq and certainly did not have a mandate to occupy it. It is certainly not legal to cross a border by helicopter and start killing people, unless specifically invited to do so by that country's government. The Syrian government compared the US's incursion into its territory with the US's incursion into Pakistan. Wouldn't you say that was a fair comparison? The Pakistan government is responsible for dealing with illegal activities inside Pakistan. They have said they do not want US to take unilateral action within their territory, yet the US continues to do it. The US military appears to believe its so called 'war or terror' allows it to ignore governments and borders. If you believe their actions are 'legal' it's up to you to explain this new sort of law.
If countrywoman is an Indian (origin), she should know about "Arthasasthra" and "Rajtarangini" which says about how to rule a nation and how to govern a society.
If your very existence is threatened, you can sacrifice any number of people. But these ethics or codes need not be taken for everyday living. Only for governments and only in extreme situations.
Iam from India and now residing in US. I do have a brief understanding of Chanakya's works but rajtarangini I haven't ventured. Nice perspective Venugopal.
Paraglider says the US action in Pakistan is illegal. He hides something from his heart.... Does the terrorists have any legal backing for all their actions? Dealing with terrorists requires some "cross border actions". Do the police in your country stick to traffic rules when chasing a criminal? If they do, will they be able to catch them. Terrorism cannot be justified in any way. Let us stick to moral values and desist from advocating unlawful elements in the society. Pakistan has also suffered heavily due to terrorism. But they cannot take action because of religious affinity. That attitude should change first. For the sake of a group of terrorists, we need not accuse a lawfully elected government. The US has suffered the most because of the group hiding in Pakistan... and they are capable of chasing them.... If we want to support them, then we should account for the losses during the blasting of the twin towers and attack on pentagon....
Shall I take this occasion to point out that the same Americans dropped atom bombs in 1945 on Japan because their Pacific naval fleet was destroyed in Pearl Harbour in 1942. Twin towers and Pentagon attacks are far more serious than Pearl Harbour. They cannot also forget the attempted attack on white house by the 4th plane, but did not succeed as the passengers in the plane did not allow that.. instead, they preferred death...
WOW!! I never knew the fourth plane on White house was averted by the passengers. I do agree with paraglider. There are certain international laws and treaties with respect to international boundaries which we all have to respect (including USA). Having said that please don't raise the Atom Bomb issue it's a touchy issue even now. I know India is facing a huge task with the rise in militancy(agreed from across the borders) but that doesn't mean we should support the unilateral actions of USA. I hope you understand I am trying to stress on the principle of respect for international boundaries. Unless we hold onto certain principles we might be swayed by emotional/irrational decisions in different scenarios.
Venugopal - I'm hiding nothing from my heart and I am in no way an apologist for terrorism. But it is well known that Al Qaeda had no presence in Iraq before the US/UK invasion. It is well known that Iraq had no part in 9/11 and did not have WMDs. The war in Iraq and the 'war on terror' have created more terrorists than they have destroyed. They have also killed a huge number of civilians.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the US had the sympathy and support of virtually every world government. Instead of capitalising on that goodwill and working cooperatively to disable the terrorist cells, they squandered the goodwill by an unjustified assault and occupation of Iraq.
It is also widely recognised that the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse by the day. Look at the history of that country. No-one, not the British, not the Russians, and now not the Americans has ever been able to subdue it. America went in after Al Qaeda, but now they're mostly fighting an ever growing Taliban. Ever growing, because the Pashtuns hate foreign soldiers on their soil. In Afghanistan, any foreign army effectively recruits its own opposition.
I don't intend to discuss the events of WW2 in this thread. It's not relevant to the issue, which is the US's unilateral cross-border incursions into Pakistan (an ally) and now into Syria.
I agree Mr.Paraglider.. the war in Iraq is in all ways unnecessary, causing hardships to civilians... America may have decided to neutralise stronger nations in the region before taking on Al Qaeda. No country will like to subdue and capture Afganistan because of its mountainous terrain. Who will like a landlocked mountain region? I had to refer to WW2 incidents only to focus on American anger and how will it end.
countrywomen - you are absolutely correct. International boundaries are to be respected. There will always be local disputes over boundaries, but these rarely spread unless third parties step in to arm or defend their preferred side.
But such disputes are of a wholly different character to the recent US policy of occupying far remote countries and using them as bases for operations in neighbouring lands. This cannot be called 'defence'.
Paraglider- My dad was a Judge and he always told me that laws are based on principles. No exceptions should be made as far as possible otherwise it will setup a wrong precedent(like in so and so case this was done and now why not like this and so on). Eventhough I can understand his intent (usually as the popular saying goes "an enemy's enemy is a friend") but still if we all stand for principles then in the long run there will be more respect for the laws. Having said that when USA itself is breaking the same agreed international laws then it isn't helping their cause in gaining broader support. A great nation needs to be more exemplary than ordinary nations to setup an example for others to emulate. I fail to understand if USA sometimes thinks "might is right" then that's the law of jungles not civilized societies. Now if USA has its close friend Isreal over there and their usual strategy is to exercize their preemptive right that makes more foes then friends in that area. I know I piss off lots of people when I put my opinion in these matters. Ok I will stop here.
Israel is another example of the same US foreign policy exercised by proxy. We recently discussed their ongoing annexation of Palestinian land and blockade of Gaza here http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/8290
The laws handled by judges of High / Supreme Courts are entirely different from international laws. The court judges cannot intervene in international laws. However, the accusations against the USA seems to be everyone is trying to treat the superpower America as a criminal. Can we say these things before the American guns, warplanes or warships? At least one should be above all. If not, there will be only anarchy. There can be no equality in international relations.
Being a military superpower does not give you the right to flout international law. In fact, it is morally incumbent on a powerful country to respect international law. I'm still not clear why you are defending military adventurism by the US. I would see your point, maybe, if the results were positive, but pragmatically, all it is doing is creating ruins, corpses, cripples and terrorists.
Venugopal- I agree with Paraglider that no country is above internationaly accepted laws. International laws are applicable to everyone. There is this International court of Justice specifically dealing in International laws & disputes which is based in Hague (http://www.icj-cij.org)
Has the International Court of Justice succeeded in settling an international dispute? Better to be closed. Has that Court allowed any terrorists to strike at will on the peaceful countries like India? Where has it gone when scores of people line up along the Pakistan border to enter India and strike terror... inside temples, courts, railway stations and other places? Where has it gone when peace-loving Kashmiri pandits were driven out only to make Kashmir a muslim majority state? Where is it going when pro-Pakistani muslims demand secession from India? Just because muslims are majority in a particular area, are they free to demand secession? After secession, what will it be like?....... if India recapture it and treat it as a colony?
It is hard to believe an Indian supporting evil powers.!!!! Whoever supports, whoever opposes, truth only will triumph.
The UN should handle such issues. I cannot speak of the thoughts pro-Pakstani Muslims have in India, but maybe we should hear their side of it too.
Sitting and hearing the terrorists' side may be for outsiders.. not for those affected by them. Then what is the use.. they will say "give Kashmir" barring the driven away Pandits. Justice is not taming.. it is something else... equal to everyone.
The UN, having members nearing 200 is made up of very very small nations like Burkino Faso, etc, whose population is barely in lakhs. The total population of India is more than 60% of its members. It is more than USA, Russia, Britain, France, Japan and Germay, combined.. If the UN decides against India, should such a large population be subjected to that? Never. By having more numbers in UN, these terrorist sponsoring countries play in India and demand "Go to UN".
Leave it. Does not the UN have any commitment to humanity in India?
I've read that when England drew the line there was a Hindu governor of Kashmir but the large majority of the population was Muslim. I don't know why England would do that. If it's true then it seems to me that the dispute was inevitable.
Yeah I hope Obama's administration ratifies the International Criminal Court so the US becomes a member. I bet Bush doesn't though.
True. But either way one looks at it, the US has crossed a line - again. I guess when you have that many troops under arms it is easy to think you can do as you please.....
Whoever has "okayed" the American actions has done wrong to their own country. Several men in Pakistan treat India as enemy and America as friend. They never tend to stand on their own legs. That is the problem. Inviting America to their doorsteps on the pretext of other problems will frighten India... they think. I hope and pray the Almighty to make Pakistani authorities understand that they can never succeed in their aims with the help of a far away power.
None of us here knows the truth of that. It was just a possibility speculated by Ralph. We know that US has operated in Pakistan and we know that all public statements from Pakistan government have condemned this unilateralism. We can't know that what we haven't heard has ever been said. I don't think US has much interest either way in the India/Pakistan 'rivalry'.
A fascinating international discussion here. Allow me to add a thought.
What do you think would be the outcome, if USA ceased military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan and Syria, left the region and allowed these people to follow their own destiny, making an agreement that would satisfy Israel’s security? As for the issue of terrorism, all the world's governments are involved in protecting their borders. Isn't this the preferred way to contain terrorist activity? Isn't time to quit fighting the disease that gets worse the more we fight it?
Iraq is very complicated. The US has employed tactics not dissimilar to Saddam Hussein's - divide & conquer. The group they have empowered as government are not representative and will not (IMHO) survive the US withdrawal. But I don't think the US military want to pull out of Iraq, because they want control of the oil supply and to keep a military base in the region.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have got no interest in Israel, except a philosophical one. Joe Biden said that Pakistan's missiles can reach Israel. So what - they can probably reach Australia too. It's not about to happen!
You can't fight terrorists with tanks and bombs. The only way is international intelligence and occasional undercover SAS-style strikes. But the best way is to stop behaving like the world bully and try diplomacy instead.
Very true. Time after time under Democrats and Republicans, with the support of the mainstream media and the foreign policy establishment, the U.S. has used military power to try to solve problems, and non-problems for the U.S., that don't lend themselves to military solutions.
Yes, I agree, USA relies on its military power more than any other means of promoting peace and prosperity for all. The USA and its multi-national corporations operate out of an egocentricity that has caused more oppression and a life of terror for many peoples on this planet. In that sense, we are the actual terrorists. I realize this statement doesn't sound very patriotic on my part. I hope I am still free to hold this position without getting incarcerated.
I realize that USA is in Iraq for its own purposes, namely, oil. The current president is an oilman. He and his vice-president are oilmen. I'm an alternative energy man. The trillion dollars spent in Iraq just to guarantee having its oil come to us could have been spent in developing new energy technologies and expanding already known alternative energy technology.
There is so much USA could do for itself and for bettering the lives of other peoples, aside from oppressing them through various means, such as the activities of the World Bank, interference [covert and overt] in countries such as Bolivia and Columbia. I really do believe we need more global consciousness among the nations. The USA could be leading the world in this manner, rather than attempting to control the world through power plays that are now becoming very expensive. In the end, persisting in the manner we have so far, we will soon be reduced to impotence anyway, so maybe I ought to just sit and wait.
I request the commentators who find fault with USA's solving problems through military operations, to state whether there is any other effective way to control an erring state. Several countries use American aid to improve their military hardware. Then they go on aiding terrorists, creating instability in the region. These countries help international terrorists to hide inside their territory, whose designs are larger.... to capture power in Afganistan, trespass into Pakistan and enter India to establish an Islamic state. When America, for their own reasons pursue them to eliminate them, there is a large hue and cry.. Several say "America entered Pakistan territory illegally.." and so on. A day after the blasting of twin towers, Pakistani authorities contacted American authorities to deny their involvement. But G.Bush threatened "Go back to stone ages".
Many people find it a "fashion" to abuse governments for every action. A government is certainly not made up of a single person. There are advisors, ministers, etc. to decide the next course of action in a particular situation. Simply accusing an action by a government is not in good taste. We should first analyse their actions. If it is justified, we need not accuse the authorities for their action. Pre-meditated analysis will lead to erroneous conclusions...
Many have analyzed the actions of the Bush administration and find many faults. Even some within the Bush administration find many faults. The war in Iraq was uncalled for and we seem to have forgotten why NATO troops are in Afghanistan. The original reason for going to Afghanistan was to find bin Laden and to route out al qaeda not to take one side of a civil war against the Taliban.
I heard Obama's recorded speech last night from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia that vitaeb posted on this thread, http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/8883
It seems to me that Obama is not concerned with the planned oil pipe line that is suppose to run through Afghanistan, which is good news in my opinion.
Venugopal - if you read the thread through you will see that no-one here is 'simply accusing'. The contributors here are thinking people. As to your question about 'controlling an erring state', why was Iraq singled out as an erring state ripe for invasion while Zimbabwe has been left alone? Mugabe is a worse despot than Saddam ever was, yet we leave him in peace. It's all about oil. You have criticized the stance of many of us here, but you have not given a single justification for US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tell me, please, what good is coming from these escapades? So far, I see none.
Paraglider may please excuse me, if I hurt anyone's sentiments. Mugabe and Zimbabwe can never be a threat to world peace. They can be termed as just "municipalities" compared to India or USA. But Iraq is not like that. Though small in area, it has an oil reserve next only to Saudi Arabia. And its leader Saddam Hussain was against Americans. So, they may have decided against him. On his day, I felt very sad and tears came from my eyes. That may be taken as his fate. He was hanged by his own men. We, far away from Iraq can only watch it silently. All US actions cannot be justified; but they are the outcome of circumstances created by fanatics, religious, regional, etc.
The only solution is anothere third world war.After that all could live peacefully for atleast the time gap between the first and second world war.Get ready,lets fight.
Perhaps the difference is that I am not far away from Iraq. It's just across the water from where I'm living. I know many people who have lost relatives and friends there. A great many casualties are non-combatants. Saddam's rhetoric was anti US, but he was not a threat to US, nor to any of US's allies. The invasion was simply misplaced revenge. Sadly, the net result is likely to be a great increase in Iranian influence in the area, hardly the original war aim.
I am deeply ashamed of my government's actions in Pakistan and Syria. Bluntly put, we took terrorist action in the name of fighting terror.
This is on top of existing shame over our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. And anticipated shame over our future actions. I pray (even though I'm not religious, it seems to be all that's left) that the next Presidential administration will stop the bleeding and focus on diplomacy and humanitarian aid.
If that does not happen, the international community will need to speak out, loud and clear.
Opposition does exist in this country, but is ignored, overridden and steamrollered.
Marian - thanks for expressing that view which I know is shared by many outside the current Executive. What amazes me now is how the recent Syrian adventure has completely faded from the news. I think this is just because people are no longer surprised at these unilateral excursions. Let's hope the new Administration is more grown up.
These "adventures" happen too fast for any peace movement to respond to adequately. Also, right now many activists are frantically getting candidates elected, or campaigning for issues to be voted up or down.
But yes, the media play their own dishonorable role when they downplay news that rightly should be shouted from every rooftop.
Strategic timing, distraction and a compliant media network are useful tools for those planning to get away with murder.
Here is another sad side effect of the long drawn out war in Iraq. My hope is Barack will win the election tomorrow so the US can have a leader who will make better foreign policies decisions.
I hope that too. (Nice new pic, btw) But even he won't be able to pull out quickly because the occupation has inevitably created a dependency as well as the 'insurgency'. Quick withdrawal could lead to implosion and civil war.
This is very true. I would not expect a quick withdrawal at this point for the reasons you have mentioned, but hopefully Obama would not further embroil the USA in other conflicts as Bush was often threatening to do.
I do agree we have made some progress in Iraq but still as long as US is considered as occupied force there will be some resistance to any genuine proposals by US (also reduce the al qaeda's propoganda against US). Hence a multinational force mandated by UN will be able to gain over more people to the side of peace. Also any group that heads the govt should include all the groups i.e., Sects (Sunni & Shia) and ethnic(Kurd) backgrounds.
I dont think Mr.McCain has lost the election. (1) There are too many Africans & Asians in America who should have imagined the election of a blackman to the top post...(20%)
(2)Mr.McCain chose a wrong candidate for Vice Presidency....(20%)
(3) The anti-incumbency factor may have worked against the Republicans....(20%)
(4)The economic recession is the main factor against McCain....(40%)
Otherwise, the results would have been different. Who would want a weak America?
Sorry, but he has lost the election, whether you believe it or not. No-one wants a weak America. Many of us want an America that doesn't confuse strength with gung ho adventurism. McCain would have been a poor choice.
Time will certainly tell that Obama is a poorer choice.. it is human tendency to blunder on something and repent later.
Sour grapes. Your team lost. Live with it.
Humans are better off than we were 200 years ago, so those who focus on negativity should make a time machine and go back to 1780. Could you handle life back then? I prefer to focus on the positive and all this negativity surrounding Obama is beginning to sound cucko. There was a man who came into our work that was really upset Obama won and he nearly strangled an old lady just because she said she had voted for Obama. I did not see Kerry or Gore voters doing things such as this after Bush "won" those elections.
Everyone in this topic "Pakistan and now Syria" blames USA because they are being attacked. What invited America to attack them? Was Pakistan innocent? Who would forgive those who harbour terrorists? All the commentators have not commented about the al Qaeda and Jaish'.. designs of sending trained terrorists into India to establish Shariat Laws. Their aim is also to establish a Taliban Govt. in Afganistan. Are not the present rulers of Afganistan muslims? Are these conducive to world peace? America has interests in almost all countries and so they are worried, which result in some military initiatives. Change of guard in America does not mean that America will forgive terrorism.
Hello sweetie, humans continue living since thousands of years.. why go back to 200 years? Go to 1000s of years.. they lived with stones and leaves. Did they complain to you or any one? Comparisons should be with contemporaries. McCain and Obama are same to me. To continue the legacy of "war on terror" and to set right the economic problems, I preferred McCain only for political affiliation (Republican). In many ways, Obama is dearer to me. But a newcomer is destined to face more problems in solving the present crisis. That is purely politics and not personal (like the one who strangled an old lady).
My point is people love to complain until their blue in the face, but getting involved in politics might be a better solution. I would like to see more people who complain put their money where their mouth is and run for local office, and work their way up. My point about going back in time is people do not realize how much we have evolved as humans and how much better our governments have become. Thus, comparisons should be through out history to show how far we have come.
On this note I am glad Obama is a newcomer because that is the entire point of the presidency, every four or eight years we need a fresh person to come in and shake things up a little. We do not need to continue the legacy on the war of terror, that is just scary. We need to secure our nation and not disrespect our neighbors in my opinion. Obama is ready to set us on the right path to easing out of Iraq, but McCain would have escalated it perhaps.
Madam Pie, you are again erring. We can study histroy.. but should not place ourselves on that spot. Evolution is only for studies and not to be practiced.
McCain or Obama.. Constitution allows freshers every 4 years. But does not say about party change in Presidency. I thought it better, if the task is finished here itself. If we dont want to settle it now, it will surely come another time. You can only postpone it. Unquenched fire... and unfinished enemies.. are our bitter and future enemies. McCain would have finished the task.
The "task" is unending. It will never be finished by McCain or anyone else.
You are from India, so why are so obsessed with John McCain? The way you speak of him you sound like a disgruntled American voter at times. By the way, we do not call them freshers, we call them presidents. Just thought you might like to know. Also, when the US Constitution was written in 1789 the only political party was the Federalist one. Hence, the main part of the Constitution does not refer to presidential parties. Over time the US evolved into primarily a two party system.
Obama talked about tax incentives for American companies that keep or bring jobs back to the states. If his plans work he should be good for the economy. But India might lose out seeing a lot of jobs have gone there. I agree SweetiePie, Obama was clearly the best pick, McCain would have escalated it.
Terrorists do not constitute an army and can't be fought by yesterday's men using yesterday's methods. Rather, they are criminals, sometimes international criminals, and should be countered with international intelligence. Where they have at least some legitimacy or an understandable grievance, there is a place for diplomacy. The insoluble situations in both Ireland and South Africa were solved by such methods. The US's presence in Afghanistan has not deterred Al Qaeda and has given legitimacy and strength to the Taliban who are now able to recruit US trained defectors from the Afghan army and many more civilians on the age-old aim of driving foreign troops from the land.
Some corrections, Mr.Makemoney. There was no Governor in Kashmir in 1947. It was the Maharaja (King) Hari Singh. (His son Mr.Karan Singh is there in Kashmir.) He first decided to remain independent and then came to Delhi and signed the instrument of accession to India. Is it not binding legally? Then, the muslims were not majority. They slowly drove away peaceloving Kashmiri pandits, killed many Hindus in ambushes, increased population by marrying several wives, and Pakistani muslims migrated daily through the unguarded line of control. Thus they minimised the Hindu population. Even now, it is 45 : 55 %. The Hindus passionately bore all these things, as their in born quality was not trouble making. Such passion is taken as weakness. That is not correct. Once, an Israeli minister came to Kashmir and commented that demographic displacement is the only answer to the Kashmir problem. I think India will not be compelled to do that.
From this site on Kashmir.
Yep the dispute over Kashmir was inevitable because the large majority of the population was Muslim and because Mountbatten agreed to the Maharaja's appeal on the condition that he accede to India.
Venugopal sometimes you can learn something from people outside of your country that is never spoken about within your own country. Like for instance a lot of people outside of the US were trying to tell Americans that Iraq had nothing to do with 911 before Bush started the war. We should learn from history.
You can call me Mike if you like.
History was a distorted version till India became independent. One should not try to learn his own country's history from outsiders. There were two versions of history being written before independence. The history written by Britain is for their records only. The first war of independence in North India in 1857 is referred to by British as an 'uprising'.
If there was a muslim majority in Kashmir before 1947, how could a Hindu Maharajah rule them? Impossible. Even now, Kashmir state contains Jammu also where there is a Hindu majority. Barring that place, Kashmir valley is nothing. Now also, even after independence, you refer to Mountbatten and not Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister.
Venugopal you are twisting what I quoted. My above quote did not even mention North India in 1857. I mentioned Mountbatten because he was the one that made the deal with Maharaja on the condition that Maharaja accede to India in 1947. But India went back on the deal as we see from this, "Indian soldiers entered Kashmir and drove the Pakistani-sponsored irregulars from all but a small section of the state. The United Nations was then invited to mediate the quarrel. The UN mission insisted that the opinion of Kashmiris must be ascertained, while India insisted that no referendum could occur until all of the state had been cleared of irregulars." This as well as the 77% Muslim population of Kashmir in 1947 would be in UN records Venugopal.
Because India originally broke the deal and was the aggressor in Kashmir in 1947 the United Nations, being all the countries of the world would clearly side with Kashmir to succeed from India if they so choose. You say that India was one country before the British Empire got involved but it was a Muslim that built the Taj Mahal, which is now in India.
The movie "Fire" depicted the Muslim majority in Lahore as being oppressed by a rich, merchant class Hindu minority. I claim no special knowledge about this matter other than the impression I got from Deepa Mehta's movie. My impression was that her purpose was not to disparage any religion, but rather to illustrate what a divisive force fanatical religion can be.
It is indeed true that rulers write the history as they want. The British people had written Indian history.They had vested interested in that. Most of the western countries looked India from their eyes only.
Indians now have come forward to rewrite their own history.
Madam Sweetie Pie, I am an Indian. So what? India is the most affected country by terrorism. If any one, be it Obama or McCain, whoever it may be, acts against terrorism and vows to finish off terrorists, we welcome him. If someone hesitates to fight terrorists, how can we like him? We are geographically positioned in the midst of terrorist-sponsoring countries. We are fighting with terrorists daily. Our practical position warrants anti-terrorist lobbies. And your America is involved in this area actively for many decades. So is my position.
I am a little confused here venupopal -
Earlier you said:
Yet you are quite happy now that America is doing exactly the same thing, I guess, as they have a vested interest in writing current history.
One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. And you seem blind to the fact that the war in Iraq and attacks on Pakistan and Syria are baseless and illegal.
As long as you get what you want huh? Not sure what that is exactly, but you seem to favor a lot of killing.
You have no clue, and no idea of what you speak. Finish off terrorists? How on earth do you think this would be accomplished. Any fool can see that the current attempts do nothing more than create more terrorists.
Is that what you want? More terrorists.
Mr.Mark, thanks for accusing me as yo liked... Enjoy... But be wise enough to differentiate between freedom fighters and terrorists. Freedom fighting is fighting to get back one's own lands. Pakistan illegally occupied Kashmir in 1947. The Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh acceded his Kashmir to India. If he demands Kashmir back, it may rightfully be called freedom struggle.
Pakistan has no business in Kashmir, as the portion of Kashmir should be restored to India.
Terrorists, while finishing off, will be wiped out and will not be created again. New terrorists for new agenda can come. may be in Pakistan, Syria, Afganistan...
Venugopal- In your reply to my last comment about international court of justice. I would like to add that civilized nations have to adhere to certain norms of settling international disputes. It is a question of principle irrespective of our individual circumstances which should be the guiding light to settle all matters. Great nations like US has a bigger responsibility to respect such laws for being an example for other nations to follow. There have been many successful judgements by ICJ whenever both the parties have agreed to have the judgement binding on them. Now the Indus water treaty between India and Pakistan was settled amicably. Then certain trade disputes have been settled amicably by ICJ. Even I feel the same about certain issues as even I identify myself with my nationality. But if I can just try to see the point of view from the other side then it may help understand the dispute better. Nothing comes out of pointing fingers at each other. There were bilateral agreements like Shimla agreement which India insists on and Pakistan is keen to get multilateral involvement. There would be so many areas to be considered before we take any steps. India is one of the countries facing militancy but then India did separate East Pakistan(Bangladesh) from Pakistan (which is a grouse which they have yet to get over with). Every nation also has collective karmic retributions like individuals. US suffered severe setbacks due to vietnam and now due to Iraq. One persons "terrorist" is another persons "freedom fighter" and it depends on whom you talk to. An eye for an eye is not the solution to any dispute. Hatred begets hatred. I really appreciate your insight and passion about certain issues which are close to your heart. Glad to see such thoughtful hubbers and discussions in these forums.
Why do you say US great? Why do you not give same respect to other sovereign countries? Is India not great?
Talking of Bangladesh or Pakistan... they are offshoot of India. Pakistan is originated by the conspiracy of the then British rulers. Otherwise we were one.
Iam sorry if I came across as not being respectful to other nations. I was trying to respond to earlier statements by venugopal in this forum (as mentioned below verbatim in quotes). No nation is above or below other nation and all nations are equally responsible to adhere to international boundaries and laws. I was just saying that infact for nations like US its more morally incumbent to follow these laws compared to other nations to set an example. Well coming to the second issue we can't change our history but it's our geography that we need to be friends with. I happened to talk to a pakistani girl here in US and she told me till that point the average pakistani never felt so passionate against India till Bangladesh was formed(I was trying to give a different perspective). Hope I have answered your questions. Please excuse me if I said anything to hurt your feelings.
Venugopal's earlier statement: "The laws handled by judges of High / Supreme Courts are entirely different from international laws. The court judges cannot intervene in international laws. However, the accusations against the USA seems to be everyone is trying to treat the superpower America as a criminal. Can we say these things before the American guns, warplanes or warships? At least one should be above all. If not, there will be only anarchy. There can be no equality in international relations."
No all countries should be accountable for their actions, even a US administration.
MakeMoney- That wasn't my quote but Venugopal's. I was just replying to Jyoti the context of my reply. I totally agree with you that everybody is equally accountable.
Did you happen to see the Deepa Mehta movie "Fire" about the partition of India and Pakistan. It was a fascinating but horrifying movie about a group of Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Christians who had been friends in Lahore before the partition and whose friendship dissolved after the partition was announced and rioting and burning broke out. Mehta also did a couple of other excellent movies about India, "Water" and "Earth." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepa_Mehta
I have seen fire and the rest I have yet to see. She is one of those movie makers who makes movies on controversial subjects. India is a very complex subject and I try not to engage in discussions which may get pretty hot very soon.
I remember seeing one movie about the partition. I don't remember what it was call but it showed streams of people going one way and streams of people going the other way and then they all broke out in fighting. It must have been dreadful. I don't know the reasoning behind the partition. It must have been hard for any of the groups to take up and leave the part their families had probably been living in for generations.
Oh yeah, I see "Venugopal's earlier statement:" now. I didn't catch that you were quoting Venugopal. Sorry about that countrywomen.
But, you have quoted Jyoti's message there, and talking to Venugopal, Mark!
Something confusing more?
Mike- No problem my friend. I just was trying to clarify.
Ralph- I try to stay away when some people tend to blindly stick to their positions without seeing others views. There is no point in pursuing hot discussions with such people who don't know how to disagree agreeably.
Very true. However, I confess to enjoy occasionally debating and even baiting them. :-)
Yeah Ralph, sometime debating or even baiting can get someone to see the other side of the story or even prevent a catastrophe. A couple of years ago the Province of Quebec in Canada had a vote to either succeed or stay within Canada. If the majority had have voted to succeed the rest of the country couldn't have done much about it because the French Canadian families in Quebec go back 400 years even before the English came to this part of the world. The Cree natives within Quebec would have had to decide what they wanted to do, stay on their land and within Canada or succeed with Quebec. Thank God Quebec voted to stay within Canada. This is all part of being a democracy. I can't see it being any different with Kashmir seeing India is a democracy also.
Everyone - From the foregoing discussions, I think you might all be interested in a great book called RED EARTH AND POURING RAIN, by Vikram Chandra. It is a novel, not a history, but it is deeply passionate about India's history and Chandra's writing is high art. It is wonderful.
Thanks for the recommendation Paraglider. I think I need to check this one out.
If you do, let me know what you think of it, yes?
You are very intelligent Paraglider... Refer to some more books.. some more people will go away from this discussion. (Instead of referring to a book, you may yourself say what it is all about.)
Venugopal - I'm not driving people away from the discussion. My recommendation was simply an aside, triggered by the fact that many people here seem genuinely interested in Indian history and culture. The book is too long and complex to describe in a forum post, but since you ask, it traces Indian history from earliest times through the device of story-telling. It begins with someone accidentally shooting Hanuman, believing him to be an ordinary monkey. Then the story telling begins... Enjoy!
What is there to enjoy in a monkey story?
Nothing, with that attitude. Here's a link if you want to know more http://www.vikramchandra.com/Default.aspx?tabid=135
Once again congrats, but Vikramchandra is the chief editor of a TV news channel. His works can be read, but will not help sufficiently to narrate or evoluate the history of a great country. There are fairly a large number of works of great authors. Discovery of India, by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1947-64) is one such book.
Each book adds a new and different perspective to the history of a country. Thus, I am sure both books have their merits.
In recommending a book I have read, I am not disparaging the many books I have not read. If you don't want to read Chandra, don't read him. No skin off my nose, OK?
Venugopal maybe we are just not understanding what the caste system in India is all about.
Are you trying to say that the Maharaja owns all of Kashmir?
And the people of Kashmir have no say in matters at all?
Is the Maharaja like a king with more power or something?
I thought India was a democracy.
Mike- Till India got Independance from Great Britain it was actually having more than 500 kingdoms. Sardar Vallabhai Patel united the whole of the country under the Republic of India. It is true India is a democracy now but it wasn't always so.
Paraglider - I will have to checkout that book RED EARTH AND POURING RAIN, by Vikram Chandra. You are very well read man. I admire people who are so well read and open to other cultures/views.
Mr.Make Money, you are not understanding and seems just confused about caste system in India. Religion and Caste are different. Religion encompasses several castes. But caste is limited to a particular custom or fashion. Hinduism and Islam are religions., while there are castes in both.
Maharaja did own all of Kashmir, but before accession to India. Then what does a King mean?
People of Kashmir certainly have their say in all matters. This is a democracy.. But it does not mean that they can secede from India. Once accession to India was signed by the Maharaja (or King), the responsibility fell on India to protect them and ensure their security.
Maharaja means Great King with absolute powers. He was a sovereign ruler.
India is now a democracy after independence from Britain. It is a federation of small kingdoms united to make India, a single entity. Ancient India was called Bharath.
Thanks countrywomen. But that makes it even more confusing. If Sardar Vallabhai Patel united the 565 semi-autonomous princely states and British-era colonial provinces just before British rule ended in that part of the world in 1947, then Kashmir was never a part of the country of India. Only by force after 1947.
I didn't realize that there were 565 semi-autonomous princely states and provinces. I had the impression that India was a country as a whole before British rule. Seeing it wasn't then why is Venugopal so concerned if Kashmir succeeds?
Countrywomen I'm actually directing this question to Venugopal cause he seems to be the only one in here that is concerned with it.
Mr.Mike, Kashmir was neither a part of India nor part of Pakistan during independence. It all started only when Pakistani irregulars entered Kashmir and committed atrocities. Its ruler, Maharaja Harisingh, hurried to Delhi and acceeded to India with a request to save Kashmiris from Pak irregulars. Then India used force to drive out Pak irregulars. It was not taken by force, as you mention. Why are you concerned so much to establish that Kashmir is not India's? Migrated people cannot be patriotic to their original land.
I have all the reasons to differ with you. It was not India who invaded Kashmir. Pakistani invaders had attacked Kashmir and at that point the then Maharaja Harisingh asked India for a rescue.
Only after the request of Maharaja, the legitimate ruler of Kashmir, Indian army entered into Kashmir. Maharaja has accorded a treaty with India so India has all legitimate right over Kashmir.
It is Pakistan who has illegally occupied A large portion of Kashmir.
When you are talking of Tazmahal what do you want to say? Muslims are also Indians.More Muslims are living in India than Pakistan.
India is a secular country not a Hindu country.
Even a lot of Christians, Sikhs, Parshis and many other religions live in India with an equal right.
Even Us has taken 200 years to elect a black as their President. Can you imagine that 3 out of 10 Presidents elected in India are Muslims? We also had a Sikh President.
Present Indian Prez is an woman!1
America has yet to choose one.
This question arose when Venugopal said that the people of Kashmir have no right to vote to succeed from India.
You say that in 1947 "Pakistani invaders had attacked Kashmir and at that point the then Maharaja Harisingh asked India for a rescue."
But the country of Pakistan did not even exist until after the 1947 partition. See this United Nations 1945 world map for proof. So the "Pakistani invaders" you refer to were actually people of Kashmir.
And the Maharaja of Kashmir did not asked India for a rescue. As we see from my previous post the Maharaja appealed to Mountbatten for assistance, and the Governor-General agreed on the condition that the ruler accede to India and the wishes of the Kashmiri people be taken into account. But the wishes of the Kashmiri people were not taken into account seeing 77 per cent of Kashmir in 1947 were Muslim.
Not only that but the country of India did not even exist in 1947 as countrywomen so kindly shows in her previous post.
Sardar Vallabhai Patel united the 565 semi-autonomous princely states and British-era colonial provinces just before British rule ended in that part of the world in 1947. So Kashmir was never a part of the country of India. Only by force after 1947. Prior to 1947 the lands that are now known as Pakistan and India were then called British India under British rule.
So the 2 questions that still remain are;
1. Is India truly a democracy where people of certain regions have the right to vote to succeed if they so choose?
2. Or is India a totalitarian state still run by Maharajas from on high?
I'll let you answer those questions.
P.S. Now I remember the name of the movie that I previously mentioned. It was called Ghandi directed by Richard Attenborough. India didn't turn out the way Ghandi had planned.
Mr. Mike, You refer to the UN map of 1945, when India was not independent. That map changed forever in 1947. Pakistan got independence, one day before India and immediately invaded independent Kashmir. That is why the Kashmir Maharaja came to India for help. Mountbatten was head of Govt. in India at that time. He himself implemented his policy of "Muslim living parts go to Pakistan." based on election results of early 1947. Had he had any options, he would have given Kashmir to Pakistan only based on his policy.
How can there be Pakistanis, who became independent later live in independent Kashmir?
Mr.Mike, please come down to reality.
The 77% bogey does not subscribe to reality; Kashmir was an independent Hindu country at that time, like Nepal now. Any census should have been done by that King. You (UN or British) should not write something and keep them as records to show it as authority.
Please understand. It is very hard to get something from others. It is impossible to take something from others. India got it... Pakistan dreams to take it.
Kashmir was not an independent Hindu country in 1947 like you are trying to make people believe Venugopal.
So let's sum this up.
In 1947 a hot spot in the world was created when a former part of the British Empire was partitioned to make the countries of Pakistan and India. The dispute over Kishmir was created. England through Mountbatten played a major part in creating this hot spot. Now both Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons.
In 1948 the state of Israel was recognized by the United Nations. Which is another hot spot in the world. The dispute with the Palestinians and other surrounding countries was created. England also played a major part in creating this hot spot with the Belfour Declaration and other involvement. Now the state of Israel has nuclear weapons and some surrounding countries may possibly be looking to acquire them to make it an even playing field.
Grandpa Bush was Hitler's banker. Another interesting comparison was that two of Mountbatten's brother in laws were German SS officers in Hitlers regime.
Daddy Bush has stated that the US could win a nuclear war.
But nobody wins a nuclear war.
Venugopal to try to understand the effects that a nuclear war could have on your region check out this thread on The age of wormwood about the Chernobyl catastrophe or some images of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The nuclear weapons of today are hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Venugopal in an other thread you have said that you are an older retired gentleman. If you don't want to consider the children and younger people of Pakistan then consider the children and younger people of India.
Venugopal you are doing your countrymen a great disservice by beating the drums of war if the people of Kashmir decide to vote to succeed from India.
Especially when it could very easily spiral into a nuclear war.
Wow! I found myself mostly in agreement with Mike! That's amazing
Does Make Money want Indian children to be brought up ignorantly? Pakistan has threatened several times about nuclear strikes on India. Mike, our country comprises more that 16% of humanity. Can such a people be expected to be ignorant about nuclear strikes? We will strike the enemy where it hurts him most. Because we were at the receiving end for generation and centuries.. You cant keep saying "it is dangerous... that is dangerous..." If we are not alertl While smaller countries like America and Britain keeps so many deadly weapons, your advise against war is meaningless. UK and US governments.... throw the weapons in the Atlantic.... India will throw them into the Indian ocean.
Kashmir issue is not your problem. India will settle it suitably.
Make Money: Kashmir was not a part of India as Venugopal says.. Then whose was it? Why was there a King (Maharaja) ? Just to play polo ? Keep in mind Mike. Pakistan itself is very much India's. People in those parts of present day Pakistan led the freedom struggle as one nation with present day Indians. Your mischief created Pakistan.
Mike, read what Hitler has said in his last days: England has always stood in the way of European unity... they are going to die of ...
His words stand today...
Britain and its people find happiness in "divide and rule policy" You divide Britain into 4 parts and live peacefully. Dont involve yourself in other problems. Because problems may harm the problem creators also.
Since moe than 45 hours, India's financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay) is struggling with terrorist who came from Pakistan. The terrorists started somewhere in Punjab, travelled to Karachi by train, took up a boat and sailed to Mumbai. (The terrorists conducted a dry run as early as 2007- The Hindu/ 28-11-2008, page 14, col.7/Chennai edition) They alighted at the Gateway of India and sneaked into the Taj Hotel, a 105 year old monument, housing hundreds of rooms serving the tourists. They began shooting on 26-11-2008 at 9 pm (IST) and killed some instantly. They sneaked into Trident, Oberoi, and Nariman Point and fired indiscriminately. More than 200 killed. More than 500 wounded. The operation cleansing is continueing. (The Prime Minister has called on his Pak. counterpart asked to send ISI chief to Delhi.-NDTV)
Should such terrorists be let off ?
Should such a terrorist-sponsoring country be let off ?
How long can India suffer like this?
Interesting. You have been here shouting about terrorists for some weeks now.
War-mongering in fact. Asking whether Pakistan should be invaded and calling for a return to the days when women should think as their husband tells them. Asking for help from America to start a war. Claiming that India is the next great financial capital. Asking for war and hoping the American president will help you stamp out these terrorists.
Before these attacks started.
Do you think we are all stupid?
How long must India suffer ?
Are you not aware of all the riots that have happened in Bombay over the last few years because the people are being displaced from their homes to make way for skyscrapers and Wal-Marts?
Are you not aware of the enormous harm being done to your people by your own government as they attempt to encourage foreign investment?
Are you not aware of the 8,000 Indians who died in Bhopal - the mess which has never been cleaned up and to this day people are suffering.
In no way do I agree with these attacks, but starting another war - which is what you seem to want, will not fix the problem or make it go away.
You were here saying this before these attacks. How did you know they were going to happen?
It is enough if the American President comes out of the mess in Iraq and Afganistan...
Petty things like women vs. their husbands are irrelevent to this situation. (Mark is always in the women's side with his earlobes and sharp nose! But women will have their own thoughts.)
Where did anyone ask America for help to start a war? They have to stop their own war !
I was saying this before also because such terrorist acts occurred before also. That is why I asked "how long shall we tolerate this?"
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