Tuesday, December 07, 2010

WikiLeaks: Five myths exposed

See also: www.southasiaanalysis.org

The confidential cables exchanged between the US State Department and the US diplomatic missions abroad, which have been released by WikiLeaks, expose the following five myths:

* Firstly, the myth of Islamic solidarity. One finds rulers of the Islamic world and the rulers of Pakistan willing and wanting to secretly collaborate with the US against their adversaries and rivals, even if they are Muslims. Thus, Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Gulf are willing to support US operations against Iran. The Pakistani rulers carry tales against each other to their American interlocutors and vie with one another in projecting themselves as more pro-American than others. All their public proclamations of Islamic solidarity are a sham.

* Secondly, the myth of US solidarity with India in the fight against jihadi terrorism originating from Pakistan. The US has been following double standards in the matter of action against Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. There has been no change in this even under President Barack Obama. Copious tears for the victims of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Indian territory and tacit understanding of the so-called Pakistani compulsions in continuing to use terrorism against India continue to be the two features of the US policy. One does not see any sense of shock or anger in the US State Department and in the US missions in Pakistan over Pakistan's use of terrorism against India. Deplorable, but understandable----that continues to be the US attitude.The WikiLeaks would have made a great contribution to our fight against terrorism, if the leaked documents make us rid ourselves of the illusions regarding the US in our mind and draw up our own strategy for dealing with Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. The US has not shown a readiness to act against Pakistan for 29 years since it started wielding the weapon of terrorism in 1981. It is not going to act in the years to come either.

* Thirdly, the myth of US victory in the war against terrorism in Iraq and of the coming victory in Afghanistan. Both Iraq and Afghanistan are going from bad to worse. The NATO policy-makers are clueless in Afghanistan. The jihadis are prepared to fight against the US and keep it bleeding for as long as necessary. The US is unable to prevail over them. If the jihadis prevail over the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan, a new crop of Afghan returnees will descend on India. The end to our fight against jihadi terrorism is not for tomorrow.

* Fourthly, the myth of genuine Chinese friendship for India. The leaked cables make it clear that China is not prepared to accept India as an equal permanent member of the UN Security Council with the same status and veto power as China.

* Fifthly, the myth of morality and ethics being the guiding principles of the Obama administration. That they are not so is evident from the cable of the State Department to the US Permanent Mission in the UN Headquarters to collect personal details of the staff of the UN Secretariat. This is apparently for using those details to recruit the staff of the UN Secretariat for intelligence operations. ( 7-12-10)

The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies.