Friday, March 20, 2009

AS OBAMA BLINKS, IRAN & MOHSEN FAKRIZADEH SMILE !



Graham Allison, a Harvard professor and an authority on nuclear terrorism stated: “If you can build a nuclear reactor in SYRIA without being detected for 8 years, how hard can it be to sell a little plutonium to Osama bin Laden?

Allison’s derogatory remarks on the intelligence ability of the US was not without reason. For 8 years, the US had its eyes peeled at non-existent Iraqi nuclear reactors – and the Syrian one was just a few kilometers away from the Iraqi border.


MEIR DAGAN

The American stupor was broken one day in late April 2007 when Meir Dagan, the chief of Mossad called the White House and asked for an urgent meeting with NSA Stephen Hadley. In May 2007, thanks to the work of Israeli agents, Dagan spread out a treasure trove of photos taken from inside the “facility”, inside the curtain walls where satellites could not penetrate. What they showed solved the mystery of Al-Kibar. Dagan also pulled out a photo of two men standing near the Syrian nuclear complex – Ibrahim Othman: the head of the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission and on his left was Chon Chibu: North Korean scientist who managed the production of fuel at North Korea’s main nuclear weapons site at Yongbyon.





What surprised the Americans was that the innards of the Syrian nuclear plant bore a striking resemblance to the reactor at North Korea’s main nuclear complex. A carbon copy, in fact.

On September 6th 2007, the Israeli F-15s crossed into Syria soon after midnight, screaming undetected over the desert, headed for their target deep in the Euphrates valley. They traversed 2/3 of the country, barely setting off air defenses that the Syrians had paid Russia millions to construct. In minutes they swooped over the tiny town of Al-Kibar and left a pile of concrete and rubble. They had splintered apart a baseball-diamond field-sized building that the Syrians had been working on in deepest secrecy.


The Syrians, embarrassed, denied the incident at first and later tried to say that the planes hit empty buildings. However, US satellite images from above told a completely different story.

As North Korea itself gets ready to test its ballistic missile in the next few days, there is intense speculation whether the US or the Japan will try to shoot it down, and if so at what stage, or if at all? The best kept secret in all this, is the nuclear stockpile that Japan has. Will come to this another day.

Dr A.Q. Khan’s connection to the North Korean nuclear program as well as the Iranian ones are well documented.
The Libyan operation took the lid off the lucrative deals.

North Korea’s dear leader learnt that even if he had no food grains to feed his people, if he put nuclear missiles on his roof it would be a brilliant survival strategy. The strategy: “If the rest of the world, specially its neighbours didn’t bring him oil, gas and take out food, he would blow the place sky high.” The amazing thing was that this strategy was working; the neighbors did not want any trouble. (See any similarities here with Pakistan’s strategy?)

The Iranians, a proud nation and an ancient civilization, surely needed the nuclear bomb – it was the ultimate symbol of self reliance. Moreover, Pakistan had nuclear arsenal and it being a Sunni nation – Pakistan’s bomb was called the de-facto Sunni bomb. Saudi Arabia looked at Pakistan’s nuclear assets as its own and as I have shown in an earlier article the very close military relationship that Saudi Arabia has with Pakistan.

There were voices from Pakistan that made Iran even more nervous. Al Qaeda leadership safely ensconced in Pakistan due to ISI’s hospitality (covert & overt), came out with a statement that Hezbollah is its enemy as it is a Shia force.

And (have touched on this earlier) Pakistan Army together with Osama bin Laden, targeted the largely Shia controlled Northern Areas & Gilgit and forcibly killed and changed demographics of the area. In 1988, as a Brigadier charged with suppressing a Shia revolt in Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan, Gen Musharraf used Islamist 'irregulars' from the North West Frontier Province, under the command of OSAMA BIN LADEN, to execute a campaign of pillage, arson, rape and slaughter, in which hundreds of Shia were killed. These Islamist irregulars were Sunni hardliners – the ISI formed Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) – from where LeJ (Lashkar e Jhangvi) was later formed.

Thereafter, Gen Musharraf was intrinsic to the 'demographic re-engineering' of the illegally occupied region, through which large numbers of Pashtun and Punjabi 'outsiders' were forcibly settled there, to alter the existing demographic balance that overwhelmingly favoured the Shias. After decades of this policy, while Shias continue to maintain a slim - though diminishing - majority, the proportions have been altered from 1:4 in their favour, to 3:4.

Dera Ismail Khan- one of the southern Districts of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan has become the slaughterhouse for the Shia community. The banned Sipah-e-Sahaba has indiscriminately killed dozens of innocent Shias including women and children. The venomous anti-Shia organizations like Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have no remorse in killing Shias in their mosques, whereas Lashkar-e-Taiba has stated that they will not kill Shias while they are praying in their mosques (but outside mosques – ok to kill !).



Iran has been noting with growing disquiet the increased Talibanisation of Pakistan and the increased attacks on the Shia community as a direct function of this.

Iranian diplomats have been killed off and once Iran & Afghanistan were very close to war when Taliban was in control of Afghanistan.

September 15th 1998: "Iran must know that if the soil of Afghanistan is attacked, we will target Iranian cities and the entire responsibility will rest with Iranian authorities," Taliban spokesman Wakil Ahmed told the independent Afghan Islamic Press.

The last thing Iran wants is nuclear blackmail from a Sunni nation – or even a threat from a rag tag bunch of Deobandi/Wahabbi Sunni mindless warriors threaten the great nation of Iran.

Just as the Israelis had, in another spectacular attack, bombed Saddam’s nuclear reactor Osirak in 1981, Saddam Hussein bombed Iran’s nuclear site at Bushehr. Saddam was not about to allow the mullahs to obtain nuclear fuel ahead of him. Unfortunately for Iran, Pakistan beat them to it.

Iran wanted the “bomb” desperately and it came to realize that Dr A Q Khan is on the market. For him Shia – Sunni did not matter – only dollars mattered and an ego massage. Later in 1994, two officials from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards showed up at the Dubai office of Dr A Q Khan with suitcases stuffed with US $ 3 million in cash – a partial payment – and left with detailed plans for the P-2 and with parts that fit an older model. The Iranians were angry at the inferior equipment, but it was better than nothing and it helped kick start their program.


OLLI HEINONEN

The Iranians went about their job efficiently. On a frigid Monday morning in Vienna in late February 2008, Olli Heinonen summoned ambassadors and experts from a dozen countries into the boardroom of IAEA. While presenting, he saved Project 111 for the last.

The first slide was a status report on Project 111 written in Farsi. The opening page bore an epigraph which when translated read: “Fate changes no man, unless he changes fate.” The remainder of the slides, also in Farsi, detailed work on how to design a warhead so that it could be placed in the nose cone of Iran’s most sophisticated long range missile, the Shahab-3.

One of hardest documents for the Iranians to explain was a chronology showing the arc of a missile’s flight. It indicated when the altitude meters would be switched on, when the detonators on the warhead would be fired, and it showed the warhead exploding at about 600 meters above the ground.

Heinonen’s message was clear. No one would detonate a conventional weapon at that height, but as any nuclear weapon designer would attest, that it is roughly the height at which an atomic bomb, detonated over a city, can do the most damage.

Obviously the Iranians had moved far ahead from the suitcase days, and the Americans were in a bind. The Israelis were preparing to launch attacks but the countries most apoplectic were neither the US nor Israel, they were Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. They clearly stated that if Iran possessed nuclear weapons, they too would restart their programs – some dormant, some semi-active.

The message to the US was clear. The Iranians are not building the bomb to attack Israel – because if they did, Iran will be obliterated not only by Israel but by US too (Hillary Clinton was at her polite best – when she said: “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president we will attack Iran,” Clinton said. “In the next ten years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them).”

No Hillary, Iran does not want to nuke Israel. Iran wants to possess the nuke so that:

1. The US / Israel does not attack it or tries to bring in regime change through coercive means
2. To counter the Sunni bomb of Pakistan
3. To counter Talibanization of Pakistan – the threat to Iran grows manifold
4. To bargain better with the civilized world
5. To take control of middle eastern affairs and reaffirm its rightful place in the region.


Iran came to realize pretty early that US does not mess with nations who have nukes – however small the quantity of nukes or however small the nation – otherwise the noose on Saddam is a constant reminder of what US can do if countries do not have nukes.

For India : With apologies to Israel, it is in India’s interest that Iran have this Shia bomb. Iran and India have been traditional allies over centuries (barring minor instances). The Shia bomb is an excellent counterfoil to the Sunni bomb. Also US’s position in the middle east becomes tenuous if Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia embark on nuclear weapons. This does not harm India’s interests, but it does harm the interests of US and Europe.

One must recall that US’s wink allowed Pakistan to develop the nukes and we should return the compliment to them. Let them deal with this. Iran will not let go of its nuclear ambitions, and why should it? If Pakistan has the nukes, then Iran must have nukes too.

INDIAN HAS TO GET ITS ACT TOGETHER:

The United States thwarted a suspect shipment from North Korea to Iran by persuading the Indian government to deny clearance for the North Korean flight to travel through Indian airspace,.

Nine weeks after the flight was diverted in August, the Bush administration removed North Korea from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism in a bid to salvage an accord to end Pyongyang’s nuclear programs.

U.S. officials suspect the North Korean plane, an Ilyushin-62 jet owned by the North Korean state airline, was carrying sophisticated technology — such as ballistic missile parts — that could be used in a program for weapons of mass destruction.

The jet stopped in Burma on Aug. 7 and sought permission to cross Indian airspace to reach Iran. India is not part of the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, but officials in New Delhi agreed to a U.S. request to deny access.

“This was very, very important,” said a senior U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the incident involved U.S. intelligence. “It was frankly a success that we stopped North Korea from doing this."

Surely India should be pursuing its foreign policy for its own interests first. As I have stated earlier, the US did not favours to India as it allowed nuclear proliferation to go on unabated by Pakistan.

Obama is trying diplomacy – it is a welcome gesture but it will not slow down Iranian efforts at bomb making in the least. But good relations with Iran does open up alternate supply routes to NATO in Afghanistan (discussed earlier).

I wish Mohsen Fakrizadeh – the Iranian military scientist sitting atop the entire nuclear project and his team “godspeed”.

STRATFOR is reporting in its latest article:

"The danger of having such a program is that the United States — or some other country — might attack and destroy the associated facilities. Therefore, the North Koreans created a high level of uncertainty as to just how far along they were on the road to having a nuclear device and as to how urgent the situation was, raising and lowering alarms like a conductor in a symphony. The Iranians are following the same strategy. They are constantly shifting from a conciliatory tone to an aggressive one, keeping the United States and Israel under perpetual psychological pressure. The Iranians are trying to avoid an attack by keeping the intelligence ambiguous. Tehran’s ideal strategy is maintaining maximum ambiguity and anxiety in the West while minimizing the need to strike immediately. Actually obtaining a bomb would increase the danger of an attack in the period between a successful test and the deployment of a deliverable device.

What the Iranians get out of this is exactly what the North Koreans got: disproportionate international attention and a lever on other topics, along with something that could be sacrificed in negotiations. They also have a chance of actually developing a deliverable device in the confusion surrounding its progress. If so, Iran would become invasion- and even harassment-proof thanks to its apparent instability and ideology. From Tehran’s perspective, abandoning its nuclear program without substantial concessions, none of which have materialized as yet, would be irrational. And the Iranians expect a large payoff from all this."

One of the commentators RAY said "Iran has been threatening recently that it will conduct its petro-transactions in Euros instead of the tanking dollars. If that happens, and if fellow OPEC nations follow suit, US will suffer an economic disaster, much worse than what is happening right now. Iran is being "convinced" by the US president to follow the norms and not rebel against the dollar. If Iran complies, some economic sanctions will be lifted and the threat of war taken away. Otherwise it will suffer the same fate as Iraq (Saddam actually implemented his petrotransactions in Euros. That is the main reason for invasion).

I apreciate the Iranian people, their culture, their cuisine, their movies. And India should quickly get back into the trio of friendship that existed : Iran, Russia, India – the original backers of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan.

Navroz Mubarak !

(Note: Most of the above material sourced from David Sanger's book: The Inheritance)

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very interesting twist to the Iranian nuclear issue.

Well thought out and presented article.

Akshit Seth said...

India's foreign policy has changed phenomenally over the last decade.

We have distanced ourselves from Russia. We have embraced the US as our preeminent ally. We are too naive to teach China a lesson.

What the present congress party advocates is nothing but a pseudo-independent foreign policy.

The BJP goes a step further by championing the need of "a strategic partnership with the US".

The communists are inclined towards China. The BSP manifesto is simply a perverse documentation of goonda raj.

What to do?
Whom should we choose?
Elections are around the corner. I'm just a kid, though.

Akshit Seth said...

BuA , I wanted to know more about the Iranian Revolution. Please suggest a book.

Kannan said...

@ Akshit seth
BJP's strategic partnership with US was not subservience and foreign policy outsourcing as it is under Manmoron Singh govt. Manmoron Singh's fanboy and sycophancy towards US is repelling. BJP govt after Parliament attack used innovative 'coercive' diplomacy effectively with Plan B in place. Its another matter that military doctrine for a low-intensity conflict was not ready which is a shame. I believe still all the artillery pieces and mobilie air-defence systems for "cold start" is still not in place..

DEMENTED said...

India and Iranian relations are pretty deep - though it had recent turbulances.

The greatest partnership of course has been the formation and help to Northern Alliance. And the two things that best exemplify this are:

1. Indian consulate at Zahedan, Iran. It is very close to the Pakistani border and hence one can guess, it is busy doing things other than issuing visas there.

2. Building a port at Chabahar to counter Gwadar.

And India needs Iranian gas - one way or another.

However three things recently did cloud the relationship when India went with the US as its puppy dog:

A) Voted against Iran in UN

B) Launched an Israeli spy satellite (though I am personally in favor of this, as India did a commercial deal, and if India did not launch it, someone else might have)

C) Stopping of North Korean air to overfly India as mentioned in your article.

This could not have pleased the Iranians and India has much to catch up to.

Akshit Seth said...

@ Kannan

When the parliament was attacked in 2001, war hysteria was culminating, troops were building-up at the borders, and tensions were sky-high.
Nevertheless, a large scale conflict was averted. But this was only because we were not fully p-r-e-p-a-r-e-d for war. The NDA government was weak. In fact, the weakest that we have ever had.

The same was the case of post-26/11. But we cant say anything as of now. A war could take place in the following days. But, we aren't prepared for it yet. And that is disappointing. VERY DISAPPOINTING INDEED!

Anonymous said...

This is the best time for Pakistan to actually start a war against India.

For those who will laugh, here are the points:

1. India's army is weak and not properly "weaponized".

2. The Air Force is not that much stronger.

3. Weak governments still playing vote bank politics and distracted by elections

4. Best time to take Kashmir - there was Kargil, remember.

You forget, all provocations came from that small nation you keep on referring to Pakistan. But Kargil, Parliament attacks, Mumbai train blasts, 26/11 were all formented by Pakistan. And even today Pakistan is going to close the probe on 26/11 (even after pressure from US/UK) - what the hell do you think weak India will do?

Already the Pak Army has started infiltrating its 2500 terrorists in Kashmir. An Al Badr operative was caught in Kolkata. There is ceasefire violations in Kashmir for the first time after 26/11. There is absolutely nothing you guys can do - nothing.

Keep on giving subsidies for Haj pilgrims - do you for one moment think they will come back and vote for Congress? Ha ha ha ha.

You are all fools, weak and stupid.

Anonymous said...

Iran and US have tacitly agreed thru back channels not to upset the applecart - so to say.

The biggest distraction for US will be the N Korean missile launch and I am betting the Iranians will be watching to see how the US will react.

ATB

Soothsayer said...

The sequence of events:

1. North Korean missile launch goes unchallenged

2. US "impotence" is clear to the world and Iran will not only accelerate building the "bomb" but will also test Shahab 3, because it can.

3. Israel, under Netanyahu, will be itching to go after the Iranians but will look for a suitable distraction in the world.

4. The Chinese are eyeing Taiwan and will grab it if it feels US is not only impotent but subservient to Chinese dollar investments in its T-bills.

5. Pakistan will mount a serious black ops in Kashmir at the same time.

Interesting times, any which way one looks t it. No space for weaklings as "no prisoners" will be taken .

Anonymous said...

what big culture r u talking about? iranians threw away all their culture and adopted arab culture largely. just like asshole pakistanis. these pigs think if they r muslims they shd become arabs.. adop their writing, naming system.. and stupidity

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Akshit,

Sorry for the delay. I am no "expert" on Iranian revolution - however I touched on this subject in an earlier article - have a look at that:

Link: http://bengalunderattack.blogspot.com/2009/01/what-will-come-first-islamic-revolution.html

Books you may want to look at:

1. Insurgency through Culture and Religion: The Islamic Revolution of Iran by M. M. Salehi.

2.The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran by Said Arjomand.

Hope you get these books (Amazon surely will have them)

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

Anon @ 11:20 PM

Oh but there is a vibrant Iranian culture that can be found way beyond Tehran too. Of course there are these "fanatics" but by and large, Iran is steeped in ancient history, culture and arts and they take great pride in their history.

See: http://www.persia.org/Culture/

Unlike Pakistan, that has just a 60 yrs of history, Iranians are Persians and they maintain their heritage very distinctly from the Arabs. A visit to Iran will dispel your notions.

And try to watch some of their movies - Blackboards, Children of Heaven, The Circle, The Wind will carry us, Leila and many more. If you do not have a cultural base, such beautiful movies, books and art does not come out year after year. Can you say the same about other Islamic nations - say Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia ??

Not everything Iran does is also good for India - but one has to factor in national aspirations and global diplomacy and come to a win win situation.

Cheers.

TTV INDIA said...

I agree with BuA on the part where India should associate with Iran. I had mentioned this earlier in one of my posts on your blog too BuA. I think befreinding Iran and probably providing them a security against a percieved threat of a Sunni Bomb (which in no way means we give them physical bomb, but a counter to it). Probably assuring them that we'd use ours against a Sunni Bomb from our western Neighbours against the Shia's of Iran. I dont think we'd lose anything, because in case the Sunni Bomb is fired at all, it would first be in the eastern direction and immedieately after in the western direction of its origin. But by providing security to Iran, we rekindle those lost moments, get back in their good books(though we are still not out of it i believe), and also, give clear signals to the world about our interests in the region. And the minute there is a N-Bomb fired anywhere on the globe, the world will take cognizance and it as it would become a free for all. So we got nothing much to lose there if we side with Iran in a proper diplomatic manner, by providing them security of our Nukes in case of a Sunni Bomb being fired in their direction.

TTV INDIA said...

THe key here though would be, the leadership in India. Impotent and vulnerable that it is, unlikely that any Government will have the brains and brawns to take such bold steps in the interest of the nation.

Our lame and laggard leadership would hardly get any time from the Varun Gandhi's and the Sharad Pawar's and RJD's and THird Fronts etc......

Anonymous said...

@TTV

Iran can never trust any guarantee from any country - including India.

Just look at the way, India under US pressure voted against Iran, stopped talking on IPI and even the latest N.Korean plane fiasco. When India is a wimp and sways in the wind like a magnet to the biggest "****" in the market, it shows that it has no SPINE.

Can Iran ever take any guarantee from SPINELESS India?

Also look at the way India is behaving from third class threats from that small bankrupt nation called PAKISTAN. Have no balls, get no glory !!

TTV INDIA said...

@ Anon Above (March 23, 2009 2:09 AM)

Could not agree more. India and its public, would have the balls but for its leadership. It was a classic example when post 26/11 the country would have stood by New Delhi's aggressive stance and even a full on war. But the leadership pee-ed dirtying their own shoes and that of the entire country. Just like in 2001/02. And I hate to say this the man who pee-ed in 01/02 aspires to be in the chair now. Sorry for us Indians.

And righfully so, Iran would not trust INdia. But if India does play it well, it can pull of a sly one here. Its no rocket science that if a Sunni Bomb is shot, it would not go in a single direction. First two would head both, East and West, third would be far west on the west bank (am not sure if the Sunni Bomb has that range). In any case, We'd get hit on the eastern side. We are the PROCLAIMED INFIDELS AND ENEMY No. 1, The Zionists, The Hegemonists of Kashmir. So in every likelyhood, we'd neet to fire one (or more back). Why not score some brownie points by some strong diplomatic tactic and armtwisting Unc Sam and the rest of the world.

Weak Kneed, Strong Needs. Lets see what wins. The weak Kneed or the Strong Need.

TTV INDIA said...

The only hurdle here would be Israel. We already are on the backfoot with them after 26/11 Chabad House.

The relationship as curcial as Israel cannot not be compromised at any cost. Perhaps this very fact is something that is stopping us from taking a bold stand. Interesting to see how it all works out.

Anonymous said...

@TTV

We are not on the backfoot with Israel coz of Chabad House. But becoz of an incident surrounding Chabad house.

Crack anti-terror units from Israel were on a standby but were not allowed to fly in and take part in the evacuation of orthodox Jews from Chabad House.

Whether you want to admit or not, we did not exactly cover ourselves in glory with out counter-insurgency flushing out ops - it was pretty much ham handed.

Anonymous said...

Dude...

In the international arena, Iran would rather coddle up with Russia (nuclear reactors, S-300) and China (SCO and its very rich). What exactly can India offer Iran today?

It is also dependent on people to people contact at that level - thank god for our spooks who have a more than "satisfactory" relationship with their Iranian counterparts.

India either has to be rich or brave, preferably both to have standing in the world esp in the Middle East. As far as I can see, India is doing pretty much of a good job to tell the world that we are neither (rich or brave). Hence standing is bound to go down, and down it has gone.

Anonymous said...

BUA (Anon @ 11:20 PM)

Pls read the book "The Wonder that was India" by A.L.Basham. It has a good account of how the largest part of distinct Iranian (Aryan) culture was lost during the Arab conquest. Although India was also plundered by the Arabs for as many years, the biggest portion of India never lost its culture. Those who did lose their culture are called Porkistanis today. They gave up everything they created over the ages to adept to Arab stupid way of life such as burqa, right to left script etc. And the same goes for Iranians. How different is Iranians for Pakistanis? Iranians argue they don't use Arabic language - but neither to Pakistanis, although the script and loan words come from Arabic. In dressing, both are alike. In fanatism, both are alike. In cinema, well Pakistani cinema is also distinct - Lollywood - with their filthy Mujra dances which they consider beautiful. in fact go to NWFP and there's a better culture - practises like selling daughters, sexual slavery, child marriage, pedophilia etc. The bottom line is that the Aryans (which includes Iranians, the largest group of Porkis, Afghanis and also Kashmiris) never held on to their distinct culture and threw it away for silly Arab ones. To be fair (i'm not a secessionist) but in contrast the South Indians were far more resilient to such side-switching. And so I hold on to my belief that Pakistanis and Iranians wont stand for long as Mualims. A new wave will sweep and they will again sway. Humans of such nature are really fools. And I'm sad to say that my people (I'm an Aryan) so easily threw everything for little gains like pleasing slutty arabs for pittens. Though its a good thing my ancesters remained Hindus which proves they were resilient.

Anonymous said...

BUA
Can you please shed some light on this recent development " India hints at signing CTBT" reference: http://news.rediff.com/report/2009/mar/23/india-hints-at-signing-ctbt.htm

As far as my personal opinion is concerned, our first preference should not be nuclear power but thermonuclear device to the tune of megatons not some kilotons. Because our very survival is at stake. Our nuclear capabilities should be such that not even US can think of messing with us. Remember world respect those nations only who has real military might.

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

To Anon @ Mar 24 12:10 AM - thank you for bringing to my notice on that article - India hints at signing CTBT.

I want to take you back to an article I wrote on Nov 1st 2008. In that I wrote:

In all this, Barack's shrill pronouncements of attacking Al Qaeda havens in Pakistan, with or without Pakistan's assistance, sounds hollow and playing to the gallery - which as a consummate politician he will have to do. The token drone strikes may continue but Mr Iraq Surge "Gen Patreus" will go in for a more balanced approach to the region. For INDIA - this might mean "downsizing" its presence in Afghanistan, if Mr IRAQ SURGE thinks its expedient to incorporate Taliban in government. The OBAMA - PATREUS relationship looks more and more like a "BAD COP - GOOD COP" combination which may result in a lot of verbal semantics good for FOX / NY TIMES coverage but very little "on the ground" realities. The only people who can spoil this are the good folks at LANGLEY.

The Afghans are the most xenophobic and fierce fighters in the world who fear no one, except perhaps the Khalsas (Sikhs from India) from whom they took a drubbing. Hence these Mujahids / Talibs are not about to turn tail from NATO / US forces (and neither have they, till now).

Where does all this leave INDIA?

I do not think an Obama Presidency will take the US-India relationship any higher. There will not be any "bending of rules and special access granted" as India got under Bush Jr administration. This relation will be formal, nice, with an adherence to rules (eg: proliferation etc) and "going by the book".

Expect:

1. Falling US economy = protectionism. High pressure on Indian call centre jobs, BPOs. Not affected will be KPO's whose parents have survived the crash.

2. Enormous pressure on INDIA to sign the CTBT."

IT SEEMS ALL THIS IS COMING TRUE. I will read some more and come back. This article I wrote can be seen at:

http://bengalunderattack.blogspot.com/2008/11/barack-hussein-obama-was-born-muslim-so.html

Ray Lightning said...

I agree that India has a lot of strategic interests aligned with Iran. But we should not go so far as to support the Islamic regime against its opposition. Our principle should be straightforward : that we support Iranian people and their nation whoever is at its helm.

By the way, one of the major reasons why Obama "blinked" is to get some strategic partners in Iran. Iran has been threatening recently that it will conduct its petro-transactions in Euros instead of the tanking dollars. If that happens, and if fellow OPEC nations follow suit, US will suffer an economic disaster, much worse than what is happening right now.

The fact that all international transactions (especially oil transactions) are conducted in dollars means that every country maintains a significant amount of dollars in its foreign exchange. This provides an unusual leverage for the US Federal Reserve to just keep on printing the dollar bills. The inflationary pressures will be propagated throughout the world. US is thus currently living off as a parasite on global economic growth. It will not leave this position very easily.

Iran is being "convinced" by the US president to follow the norms and not rebel against the dollar. If Iran complies, some economic sanctions will be lifted and the threat of war taken away. Otherwise it will suffer the same fate as Iraq (Saddam actually implemented his petrotransactions in Euros. That is the main reason for invasion).

About the A-bomb, I don't think Iran is serious about it. It currently knows that US economy is overstretched by the wars and wouldn't launch a new invasion any time soon under Obama. Why should it bother to build the bomb ?

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

@RAY - After a long time. Now, if only I get to hear from MAX & Avid Historian !!

On your points - they are in sync with STRATFOR which in its latest article says and I quote:

"The danger of having such a program is that the United States — or some other country — might attack and destroy the associated facilities. Therefore, the North Koreans created a high level of uncertainty as to just how far along they were on the road to having a nuclear device and as to how urgent the situation was, raising and lowering alarms like a conductor in a symphony. The Iranians are following the same strategy. They are constantly shifting from a conciliatory tone to an aggressive one, keeping the United States and Israel under perpetual psychological pressure. The Iranians are trying to avoid an attack by keeping the intelligence ambiguous. Tehran’s ideal strategy is maintaining maximum ambiguity and anxiety in the West while minimizing the need to strike immedi ately. Actually obtaining a bomb would increase the danger of an attack in the period between a successful test and the deployment of a deliverable device.

What the Iranians get out of this is exactly what the North Koreans got: disproportionate international attention and a lever on other topics, along with something that could be sacrificed in negotiations. They also have a chance of actually developing a deliverable device in the confusion surrounding its progress. If so, Iran would become invasion- and even harassment-proof thanks to its apparent instability and ideology. From Tehran’s perspective, abandoning its nuclear program without substantial concessions, none of which have materialized as yet, would be irrational. And the Iranians expect a large payoff from all this."

TTV INDIA said...

Though not relevant, though this one would be interesting to others to. See it through the end. A bunch of Pakistani School Girls in a debate over Pakistan's Nuclear Test.

TTV INDIA said...

Sorry the link is here....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSlVaKMO258

Anonymous said...

BuA

Something on your favorite Topic involving Salah Uddin Choudhury.

http://globalpolitician.com/25522-bangladesh

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

To Anon above,

The person you refer to Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor in chief of the Bangladeshi Weekly Blitz and peace activist. He is a well known figure and is a good man.

However the man I wrote about is Salauddin Qader Choudhury, and he is a scum of the first order and he should be hanged as soon as possible. For latest on him read it here: http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpa
pers31%5Cpaper3080.html

Anonymous said...

Basham's ''the wonder that was india'' has several critical mistakes in it.

but i agree with the part mentioned above on the whole absoulutely.

Nagarajan said...

BuA,
I am a pro-Israel desi and i would like to counter some of your arguments about Iran's rationale for seeking nuclear weapons.

1.The US / Israel does not attack it or tries to bring in regime change through coercive means

This whole regime change argument never held up even at the height of the Iraqi invasion - Iran is a much bigger country with a better fighting force than Iraq. Not to mention, they were'nt crippled by economic sanctions like Iraq was.

They could have made life hell for the US Army with Hezbollah and Hamas conducting fidayeen attacks. Also the US generals would never have okayed opening a third front in addition to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Israel would not bother about Iran if not for the fact that Iran has used Hezbollah and Hamas to conduct its own proxy war, like Pakistan has done to India in Kashmir and other places.

It all goes back to Iran's primary intentions to make the US accept its power in the entire region and sever its ties with Sunni Saudi Arabia.



2. To counter the Sunni bomb of Pakistan
Isnt it perplexing that AQ Khan basically helped Iran's nascent nuclear program by providing it with centrifuge designs ? And do you really think that all this happened with the Pakistani military having NO IDEA/NO CONTROL over it ? Is'nt that too good to believe ?

I am not downplaying the rivalry between Iran and Pakistan but i dont think they consider/considered each other nuclear threats. OTOH, the Iranian mullahs and the Taliban foam at the mouth about each other and the Iranians were fighting Pakistan indirectly by supporting the Northern Alliance of Ahmed Shah Masood.


3. To counter Talibanization of Pakistan – the threat to Iran grows manifold
The Iranian people have weathered the Shia talibanization of the mullahs as much as they can. I think they could stand up to the Wahabbist indoctrination as well - in fact, if there is one thing that could bring both the average Iranian and their clergy together it would be a fight against Wahhabism.

4. To bargain better with the civilized world
I have to agree with this - it gives them enormous leverage.

5. To take control of middle eastern affairs and reaffirm its rightful place in the region.
THIS to me is their real and single biggest goal - the threats from the Sunni bomb, Talibanixation etc are not as great as THEIR DESIRE to be a great power - they use the same language as you do. "rightful place". Well, they seem to have a sense of entitlement and a realization that this has to be earned the hard way.

As far as India goes, in the short term we need not be apprehensive about the Iranian bomb - but in the long term, who knows what could happen ? Does India want another unstable Islamic state with nuclear weapons ? I think the answere would most certainly be no. What is the guarantee that they wouldnt turn back on us later?

Also what happens to our relationship with US and Israel ? Is the Iranian relationship as/more important ?

If you asked me India wants to have it both ways - good relations between BOTH Israel and Iran AND not being entangled in their rivalry.

All in all, you seem to have a great blog. Saw your post at the LWJ about how the UK has been harboring hardcore terrorists for a long time. Good stuff.!

BENGAL UNDER ATTACK said...

@Nagrajan - welcome.

1. Regime change : There is deep psychological fear amongst the mullahs of Iran regarding the designs of US. And there have been "color" revolutions in the backyard and from time to time, Iran is trying to unearth real or imagined coup attempts fostered by US dollars. Hence, it does play in the back of their minds - however, it is not the most important reason for them to acquire nukes - but a good reason for "status quo".

2. AQ Khan had full blessings of Pak Army and I will argue with anyone who tells me otherwise. They winked and were "not around" when Khan struck deals. Note that Khan sold the Iranians old technology and not new ones. Pak Army was desperate from some money and while Dawood helped them from time to time, AQ Khan too did the same.

3. Agree with you. The average Joe in Iran is a far better "rounded" individual than the average Joe in Pakistan. This rise in Wahhabism in their neighborhood is surely a nightmare for them. After all they will not forget what the Taliban did with the Hazara community in Afghanistan nor with their diplomats.

And only if INDIA shows strength to have relations with both Iran and Israel, both countries will respect India - and may ask India to mediate Track II diplomacy. If India is seen to sway in the wind, then international standing goes down.

Agree with u there too !

Ankit, Mumbai (Jai Ho) said...

BuA:

I dug out some info which may be pertinent to this article:

1. During Zia-ul Haq’s rule, General Pervez Musharraf, then a Brigadier, was assigned the task of suppressing the Shia revolt against the Sunni-dominated administration in the Gilgit region. Musharraf used Pathan tribesmen from NWFP and Afghanistan along with his troops to silence the Shias. In the wake of this operation, hundreds of Shias were butchered and displaced from Gilgit. The operations were widely reported in the Herald, a monthly magazine of the daily Dawn in its April and May 1990 issues. It is also said that the Wahabi Pakhtuns who raided Gilgit under Musharraf’s command were led by none other than Osama bin Laden.According to a Herald report of May 1990, “In May 1988, low-intensity political rivalry and sectarian tension ignited into full-scale carnage as thousands of armed tribesmen from outside Gilgit district invaded Gilgit along the Karakoram Highway. Nobody stopped them. They destroyed crops and houses, lynched and burnt people to death in the villages around Gilgit town. The number of dead and injured was put in the hundreds. But numbers alone tell nothing of the savagery of the invading hordes and the chilling impact it has left on these peaceful valleys.

2. Another point against General Musharraf being a liberal is that most of his political support over the last eight years has come from pro-Islamist conservatives. For those that might have forgotten, the one vote that allowed the pro-Musharraf coalition to win a majority in the National Assembly came from the late Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of the sectarian Sipah-e-Sahaba (VIRULENT ANTI-SHIA FORCE).

3. And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail - albeit as an independent candidate - won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. The fine line between an outright violation of the law and its insidious subversion by those who appoint themselves its custodians has been blurred so often in Pakistan's chequered political history, that is has now become par for the course. The irony is when the architects of that subversion or violation are those who frame the laws themselves.

4. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was murdered by Gen Zia. On the orders of General Zia ul Haq an army officer checked the Private Parts of Bhutto’s Body to make sure that Bhutto was really a Muslim [Colonel Retd. Rafi Interview in Newspaper and on GEO TV too in 2008] and they made it sure. (BHUTTO WAS SHIA)


Away from this topic:
And LeT again targets INDIA. And what is India going to do now?

At a meeting with a group of journalists among Tahir Mirza, then the Dawn correspondent, asked Musharraf why he was not acting against Lashkar-e Tayba and Jaish-e Muhammad. Musharraf went red in the face and shot back, “They are not doing anything in Pakistan. They are doing jihad outside.”

Correct - they are doing Jehad in INDIA and we are sitting and sipping tea and waiting for them ....

Anonymous said...

@Ankit:

Interesting info dude on ZA Bhutto and Gen Z U Haq.

General Zia ul Haq had an army officer check the Private Parts of Bhutto’s Body (just) to make sure that Bhutto was really a Muslim (because he was SHIA)

speaks volumes of what these Sunni Deobandi Wahhabi Salafi idiots will do again Afghanistan ....

Anonymous said...

Baitullah Mehsud's Sunni warriors kill 70 Shias as they were praying in a mosque in the town of Jamrud in the Khyber agency in north-west Pakistan.

The atrocities against SHIAS continue unabated.

And you think IRAN is going to accept these Sunni barbarians with whom the US is trying to sew up a peace deal.

NEVER !!!!!

Anonymous said...

To Anon above:

This was NOT a Shia mosque but a Sunni one. The prime reason to attack, looks like, was that it was frequented by forces loyal to the State of Pakistan.

These forces have been attacking the militants of the area who are being led by a cousin of Baitullah Mehsud- whose forces are raiding the NATO trucks passing through the road. This attack was for retribution for attacks on Mehsud forces.

Anonymous said...

Free Balochistan!! Free Balochistan!! Free Balochistan!! Free Balochistan

Pakistan return stolen Afghan lands to us before u blame India for stealing Kashmir. U support China's bid for Tibet and also Arunachal Pradhes. China asserts that Tibet was historically part of China to which Pakistan agrees. China doesnt recognise the British drawn McMahon line that splits the countries. You agree with that too. Then why do u not agree that Balochistan was historically a part of Afghan territory and cling on to the Durrand line drawn by the British?

Pakistan, u rant like a lady about self determination in Kashmir. Instead of bothering about ur neighbour why not u please do a plebiscite in Balochistan and grant them self determination to join Afghanistan? Today Balochis have far greater drive for self-realization to join Afghanistan or be free than Kashmiris. This because Indians treat Kashmiris properly, build them dams and infrastructure unlike Pakistan that marginalizes Balochis.

We will never give up the fight. Even if we have to align with America or even Israel to bring you Mujra dirty Punjabi Pakistani down we will.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan MURDABAD Pakistan MURDABAD

Hindustan ZINDABAD Hindustan ZINDABAD

Iran PAINDABAD Iran PAINDABAD

Anonymous said...

Paindabad? What is that?