Friday, May 16, 2008

Swami's Thesis on the Jaipur Blasts

Praveen Swami's write-up today on the Jaipur blasts has a disturbing ending. He says that the much publicized email is more than just a claim to responsibility.

It would be misleading, though, to understand the e-mail only as a claim of responsibility. Like a similar document issued by the Indian Mujahideen after the bombings of three trial-court buildings in Uttar Pradesh last year, the e-mail is — despite its crude style and poor spelling — a political manifesto.

Perhaps he is right but if reading the rest of the article, I get the impression that this manifesto is no different from the dozens of others published by various jihadi outfits. The recital of all the muslim grievances, real and imagined is the hallmark of all of these 'manifestos'. The last paragraph was what set off this post because Swami's conclusions are erroneous and worrying.

Finding the author of the e-mail, though, is less important than addressing the issues it has raised — and ensuring the Islamist jihad does not gain legitimacy because of the Indian state’s failures.

Wrong. Finding the author is important because if it is authentic as he says it is likely to be, the investigating agencies are likely to obtain valuable clues to solve the crime. And it is utterly naive to think that these issues he has raised can be addressed to the satisfaction of him or others like him who are drawn to this pernicious ideology. The reason the author of the email raises them may well be that he believes that while being sufficiently inflammatory, the Indian state has no satisfactory answers to them. Let us look at the evidence first.

At its outset, the e-mail links the attacks in Jaipur to the broader global jihad, warning the “USA and [Great] Britain in particular that [that] we Muslims are one across the globe.”

...Citing from the Koran and the Hadith, or traditions of the Prophet, the Indian Mujahideen argues its actions have theological legitimacy. Scriptural calls for forgiveness relied on by the Deoband clerics, it says, are only relevant after a decisive military victory. Dialogue, it continues, is futile: “there is no existence of compromise between a believer and a non-believer.”

...Islamic law, the e-mail asserts, allows the use of collective retaliation against civilians if they are infidels. Given that “a single [Muslim] home is attacked by thousands of [Hindu] terrorists, [a] single woman is raped by hundreds of men,” it becomes legitimate for “the mujahideen to go to any extent or use anything to crush the dignity and power of the enemy.”

The email seeks to link this attack to the global Islamic jihad. It insists that there can be no dialogue or compromise with the non-believer. And it asserts that Islamic law allows collective retaliation against civilians if they are infidels. Are any of these issues that can be addressed? Does Swami seriously expect India to capitulate or even negotiate with the enemy in the face of such demands? What is he smoking? All the examples of outrages against muslims it cites are past events that cannot be undone which simply goes to show that these organizations believe in and are determined to carry out such attacks anyway and are simply using all these incidents of communal violence to support their thesis. Organizations like HuJI and LeT existed long before the Gujarat violence and if not for this episode, they and others like them will find some other incident to take its place. While a faithful fulfilment of the state's obligations to do justice to all sections may help stem recruitment to such organizations, to believe that it can actually address such self-justificatory nihilistic baloney solely or even primarily through that means is to engage in self-deception. A global problem today, jihadi terrorism requires an aggressive attempt to combat religious bigotry and to closely monitor such tendencies through an elaborate and comprehensive intelligence network. Read B.Raman's column following the Jaipur blasts that points out some of the problems with our current set-up.


Anonymous said...

Pravin Swami and terrorism specialists like him are in reality jihadi sympathisers while outwardly professing concern for the terrorist attacks. Never once they sympathise with the innocent victims. All the lengthy articles finally end up finding a non-existent justification for these attacks, blaming it all on the Hindus, albeit indirectly.

Many people, in a large and diverse society, such as India can consider themselves to be victims of one sort or the other. Chindu's philosophy seems to be: "All victims are equal, but some are more equal then the others".

If the Cenral Govt. means business, it should show the same determination as it did with the terrorism in Punjab. It can not afford to continue sacrificing ordinary folks at the altar of dubious secularism.

Pilid said...

I agree that while trying to understand how terrorists think is important, justifying these acts as retribution for the state's failure is perverse. Indian leftists are famous for trying to do this and make no mistake - they will frustrate any attempt to take harsh measures.

This problem is a little more complicated than Punjab because it involves the whole country and the various state governments have to go along with any plan as they are primarily responsible for law and order in their respective regions. Getting them all to sign on to tough anti-terror policies has been difficult. Besides, it is an open question whether the Manmohan Singh government has any new ideas or the ability to force through tough and coherent measures to confront this problem. It appears that for now, nothing much is going to change and more attacks of a similar nature are not only likely but virtually inevitable.

Blogger said...

India will never take tough measures till Congress is in power. Taking tough measures against terrorism is same as acting against Muslims for congress.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Hugo Chavez: Another BRICS in the Wall?
By Anthony Gancarski | Monday, February 21, 2005

While the situations in Iran and North Korea steal headlines, we must not forget that we still face in this Hemisphere the continuing progress of Hugo Chavez’s self-styled Bolivarian revolution. Chavez’s Venezuela is moving forward in forging economic and strategic partners with America’s strategic adversaries. The explicit goal of this new alliance is building an economic powerhouse that can recreate the multipolar world of the Cold War days. Taken as a whole, the following provides an overview of Chavez’s holistic aims:

* Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, came together on February 14 to green light a series of agreements to develop joint projects in areas such as energy, petrochemicals, gas and mining, double taxation, agriculture, agrarian reform, fishing, science-and-technology, and communications. Furthermore, says China’s sympathetic Xinhua newspaper, the joint projects cover integration of two petrochemical companies and, tellingly, a state-run television station, Telesur, for broadcasting information mutually vetted by the two governments.
* U.S. State Department spokesman Lou Fintor recently voiced American concerns that 100,000 Kalashnikov guns and a number of helicopters due to be sold by Russia to Venezuela could find their way to neo-Marxist guerrillas in Colombia and elsewhere. Our friends in Russia, according to the Interfax news service, see U.S. concerns as unfounded, adding, “U.S. protests should be viewed as nothing but a dishonest form of competition and an attempt to squeeze Russian producers from the arms market.” Apart from this purchase, there are reports that Venezuela is also considering Russian MiG-29 fighters as possible replacements for its F-16s. These arms dealings suggest that Russia sees an opening in South America and that Venezuela is not coy about advertising it. This has been noticed by regional daily papers throughout the U.S., which are echoing this writer’s call to uphold the sanctity of the Monroe Doctrine and check this rogue state before things get worse. For his part, a defiant Chavez has echoed Moscow’s socialist line: he has claimed that the U.S. wouldn‘t be bothered by similar arms purchases from U.S. vendors, and that the U.S. is more concerned with market share than national security.
* With an expanding economy and an increased international presence, it is no wonder that the strength of the Venezuelan state is increasing. Bloomberg reports Venezuelan government spending soared by almost half in December from a year ago, as record oil prices triggered a surge in revenue. Spending for the year rose 61 percent from 2003, indicating that December is no aberration. The analysts cited in the Bloomberg piece warn that Venezuela is in clover for the foreseeable future: their read is that “anything over $35 is plenty for Venezuela” and that conditions will be favorable for Chavez’s fiefdom through 2006.
* Reports are that government officials are floating the idea of Venezuela selling its Citgo oil chain. It seems that President Chavez has grown weary of “subsidizing” America’s oil needs. The only thing holding up the sale, apparently, is logistical inconvenience. According to government officials, it will take two years to get the sale on track. Meanwhile, Russia’s Lukoil behemoth is making noise about entering the U.S. gas station sector by buying an existing property. Lukoil buying Citgo looks inevitable.

Venezuela is on the move – militarily, economically, diplomatically. Why? The nation sees a changing of the guard globally. Chavez sees an opportunity to strengthen his position at the expense of Washington. And, as this editorial in the India Times claims, the Venezuelan position is rooted in the emergence of a new power bloc – which does not see the 21st as a New American Century.

Most Americans have yet to hear of the BRICS alliance – BRIC standing for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. That is unfortunate, as the position of this alliance is devoted to muscling the U.S. out of global markets where possible. As the editorial claims, Russia is now trading oil to China in exchange for collaboration in the “Geopolitical strategic defense” of Eurasia. Russia believes this is imperative, claims the India Times: “According to some international think tanks, sources close to Russia's Security Council say recommending countermeasures to check the U.S. geopolitical ‘offensive’ in Eurasia will be perhaps the forum's most important job.” To “check” American ambitions, Russia and China will conduct publicized joint military exercises later this year.

Sino-Russo interests, of course, extend far beyond Eurasia and into the heart of the Monroe Doctrine. This is Brazil’s utility in this alliance, and, by extension, Venezuela’s. Again, from the India Times:

The third emerging alliance is BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The newly formed Russia-China alliance provides Putin the necessary critical mass to move ahead and formally create the BRICS alliance. Recently Brazil moved ahead and formed a business alliance with Venezuela. China and Russia [and] also formed [an] alliance with Venezuela. In spite of Washington’s opposition, Russia plans to provide defense hardware to Venezuela and nuclear reactors to Iran…Putin’s current goal is to create the strategic BRIC alliance that will eventually become the strongest trade and military bloc in the world.

The ambitions of Putin and Hu Jintao is to dilute American power and potency. The India Times editorialist, tellingly, likens the emergence of BRIC or BRICS to the declaration of a “new Cold War.” But, opines the writer, Americans shouldn’t fret:

The cold war will not be similar to one between America and old Soviet Union…There will be cordial relations between China and America, India and America as well as Russia and America. The covert war will be in the area of trade, commerce and finance. That is where India and China stand out. Russian oil is a great factor. Russia-Venesuela [sic.]-Iran forms CRICS main oil and Gas resource.

Russia, Venezuela, and Iran – linked? That certainly would put the Bolivarian revolution into its proper context – as an usurping of power and as direct and deliberate sabotage of U.S. interests.

The Moscow Times recently was quite forthright about Russia’s plans for Venezuelan oil. “LUKoil plans to expand its U.S. filling-station network by 50 percent by acquiring retailers while increasing oil supply from Russia and Venezuela to the United States, LUKoil's chief executive said. LUKoil, which produces a fifth of Russia's oil, plans to secure about 3,000 U.S. retail outlets, up from more than 2,000 units now, Chief Executive Vagit Alekperov said. It plans to raise oil shipments from Russia and Venezuela to the United States to produce fuel locally.”

The idea that Russia should be the middleman for Venezuelan oil shipments to the U.S. feeds legitimate concerns that Putin is attempting to build up enough economic power to reassert Russian policy dominance, at least enough to constitute a deterrent to the goals of the Bush administration. He achieved such a status, independent of economics, by blocking Operation Iraqi Freedom. Which U.S. foreign policy objective will he and the rest of the BRICS alliance stifle next?

Dirt Digger said...

The way Chindu operates is very much like a cloak and dagger operation. There is little transparency given the private operations, lack of explanation of their opinions or even consideration of other viewpoints.
Now idiots like Praveen come up with arguments which weaken the country and offer no support to the victims.
This is like the latest version of Stockholm syndrome by the Indian media.
Keep up the investigative analysis.

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