Monday, February 09, 2009

They will burn their fingers

February 9, 2009 by Amitabh Tripathi  
Filed under SAF blog

george-mitchell21They will burn their fingers this was first spontaneous reaction I found from an analyst having some academic stake in Middle Eastern affairs about the possibility of success for the mission of George Mitchell special envoy appointed for Middle East from newly elected American president. This reaction was very much in consonance with me as I don’t see much difference in situation after much hyped Mitchell mission is started. 

Here I have picked the issue of Mitchell because new administration in America has promised some new initiatives and breakthrough in troubled regions Middle East along with South Asia has prominent place in them. Decision of appointment of George Mitchell as an envoy for Middle East was very much anticipated and the same thing was true with envoy of South Asian region Richard Holbrook. But million dollar question is still unanswered how much success they would have in their mission and above all what new they have in stock. Since oath of office of new administration in America Obamamania is gradually evaporated with some new ground realities and a wonderful orator has to deliver from his action rather than his glorious words.

The whole world elected Obama as president of America even before electorates in USA gave their verdict and world was waiting eagerly to hear his first presidential address after oath. That presidential address was just phenomenal and new president left no stone unturned in giving a new hope to the entire world but at the same time the huge gathering to witness his oath ceremony was putting lot of pressure on him which was visible from naked eyes to anyone from the body language of American president Barack Obama and first lady. They knew it very well that oratory session has expired and after this every action is going to be scrutinized from the whole world and not to mention that President Barack Obama has his own priorities and solutions for burning problems before his administration. His priorities were visible from the first day of his office when he delivered a message to the entire world via an interview to Al Arabia channel.

Barack Obama is facing few stiff challenges and all of them have global implications. The way he handled situation on economic front is going to affect the whole world and his handling of problems of Islamic terrorism has the same impact on the world in this way or the other. 

This article is focused on the issue of Islamic terrorism rather than economic slow down. Appointment of George Mitchell and Richard Holbrook as an envoy for two troubled regions indicates the prominence of these two regions in the policy of new administration but at the same time statements of these two seasoned diplomats draws our attention towards understanding of this problem by new administration. First of all it is very much visible that new US administration is taking this issue as regional problem enforcing some solutions for the sake of solutions and those solutions will ultimately manifest in more chasm and schism because they are always entirely superficial without addressing the core of the problem.

For last six decades South Asia and Middle East is facing the same problem which has its root in some extremist and radical ideology based on hatred and tribal affiliation but every time this problem was addressed in compartmental ways. Again few mistakes are about to be repeated.

Few analysts and strategists will never agree to my view of resemblance between symptoms of Israel-Arab conflict and conflict between India and Pakistan but for last six decades these two regions were analyzed in different ways and solution were also evolved with different regional geo-political scenario but nothing was achieved.  Because every time we consider these two problems as regional problems or conflict between two Border States and evertime we drag ourselves more far from the solution. Both of the problems are the two faces of the same coin and both of them are being ignited and aggravated by some state sponsored ideology driven terrorism with a utopian dream to replace these states with Islamic states and later which will prove to be a launching pad for the Islamic Khilafat.
Since 1920 when Israel was not in existence efforts were going on to eradicate the Jewish population and it is known fact how grand mufti of Jreusalem Mohammad Amin al Husayni met Adolf Hitler to replicate holocaust in Palestine also among Jewish settlements. During 1919-1920 the leading political party in India Indian national congress tempted to support the khilafat movement launched by Islamists to reinstate the Khilafat institution to get the support of Indian Muslims in freedom struggle against British colonial empire. This was the turning point in modern Indian history when policy of Jihad and political Islam was authorized by a major political party in India to which later it was unable to handle. At that time Indian leadership was unable to analyze the ambitions of political Islam as well as its potential of making alliance with several radical Islamist movements to achieve its goals. This was the reason why Indian Islamist forces started raking for the right of Palestine along with Kashmir issue. In Middle Eastern countries we witness a chasm and schism between state authority and popular sentiment on the issue of Israel and Palestine and this division has been used by radical Islamist movements very cleverly and in Indian subcontinent we see the manipulation of democracy by dictators in Pakistan to exploit this Islamist sentiment of people regarding Kashmir issue. Terrorism is a form and tactic to achieve that goal of unfulfilled mission of eradication of vibrant democratic states to replace it with theocratic state.

In recent war between Hamas and Israel it was evident that issue of  Palestine state along with Israel has been hijacked by some radical Islamist movements which want to set history right and these radical Islamist movements have backing of few rouge states.  No insurgency or terrorism could grow or flourish until it has logical, economic and military support from any state. Israel is complaining from a long time that few states in Middle East are giving full support to Islamist terrorist groups to destabilize Israel and India has the same complain with its neighbor state Pakistan but instead of taking some harsh measures against these states new administration in US is very much following the beaten track of policy of appeasement . Till date George Mitchell has indicated that with few condition Hamas will be recognized as a part of negotiations and it will be pursued for negotiations. This situation will be very hard to digest for Israel but it will be forced to come and sit along with terrorist organization on negotiating table. Hamas has been able to neutralize Fatah from political and militant arena of Palestine and established itself as the sole representative of the will of people of Palestine people. If Israel is going to be forced to sit along with Hamas on negotiating table then world should get ready for a prolong cold war between state sponsored Islamist terrorism and Israel.

Much hype has been created about peace prospects in Middle East with efforts of George Mitchell but any concession from Israel side will be portrayed from radicals as their victory with newer hope to liquidate Israel from the map of the earth. 

Although Richard Holbrook has unequivocally told that he has not been assigned to evolve any formula for the solution of Kashmir issue but it seems that back door diplomacy will be tried to get some formula for Kashmir issue as well. During his presidential campaign Barack Obama has pointed out that solution of Afghanistan problem is some where lies in Kashmir. Since Richard Holbrook has been appointed as envoy for South Asian region Pakistan is trying hard to put Kashmir issue on his agenda. But it is very much evident that Pakistan is going to get a preferential treatment in Obama administration. Few days ago Senator John Kerrry announced he is going to put a resolution on the table of house to hike the economic assistance of Pakistan almost doing it triple. This is something presenting a whisky to alcoholic as stated by foreign secretary of India.  Pakistan is a nation which always plays the politics of blackmail and this time it is applying the tactics of nuclear blackmail. Pakistan high court relives Dr Abdul Kadir from house arrest and it was clear signal for the entire world in general and US in particular that if its economic assistance will be curtailed it would left no stone unturned  to make aware them how rouge elements it has which could be contained by government of Pakistan only.

Situation in Pakistan is very volatile and needs to be tackled with vision and grit because more America will concentrate on infrastructure of Al queda and Taliban only as threat to their security and to insure their security more it will tempted for some short cut formulas as concession to Pakistan on the cast of India  will ultimately  pay the heavy price to the entire world because as Israel is guarantee of freedom and democracy in Middle East   in the same way India is the guarantee of   same values in Indian subcontinent. If anyone of these two countries succumbs under any pressure of extremist ideology of hatred or being perceived as loosing the war of ideas ultimately it will hamper Europe and US as well. So this is not the time of appeasement but to point out the enemy and fight it out. Policies of new administration of US president will be decisive in several ways. But it is very much predictable that if it applies the formula of beaten track to pressurize the nations with values of freedom and democracy to give concessions in favor of  rouge and extremist forces then definitely it is going to burn its fingers.

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