So much noise has been made about the Volcker report's references, when the author himself is beautifully vague. Why is our clueless opposition so eager for a handle to beat the government with, that no one, not the media, nor the opposition netas (now shut up by reports of their complicities in the same matter)? Why has no one raised any question over the validity of the report and the integrity of either the author or the exercise behind creating that report?
Let us first consider rationally
Mountains of documents and reports were compiled at the instance of the US President, George W Bush, to convince the world and his own citizens, that the entire world was at risk from the weapons of mass destruction amassed by Iraq's Saddam Hussein.
It was on the basis of these documents that a war was fought, the history of a vibrant civilization reduced to dust and a proud people have been ground into submission, riven by religious and regional schisms'the traditional weapons of division honed to perfection by the British and now their neo-imperial successors.
The war on terror served to renew America's unholy grip on massive oil reserves and to stoke the fires of an Islamist backlash which is now awash all over the world, even in areas, like Malaysia and Indonesia, which earlier was known for totally pacifist brands of Islam, without the jihad and terrorist characteristics of modern day Islam.
A succession of commissions and innumerable hunts later, no trace has yet 'officially' been found of those Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. One wonders whether they existed in the first place, outside the fertile minds of the US President and his advisors and if so, the motives for keeping the discovery a state secret.
Can one rely on the same absence of weapons of mass destruction in the armories of those who hunted for them in Iraq? Current reports from Iraq and some troubled American soldiers indicate that weapons of mass destruction were in fact used by the United States against innocent citizens of Iraq.
Why have those reports been so quickly pushed into pages 6-7-8, instead of continuing to make front-page headlines?
And now we have a similar commission unearthing the names of companies, which did business with Saddam Hussein despite the sanctions rammed through the UN by a Bush blockade.
Once again let us consider rationally
Barricaded behind the immunity granted by the UN cover, the commission is free to mouth any amount of inanities, which are hard to belief.
That they studied the entire trade and transactions of thousands of billions with a fine toothcomb in a matter of months.
That they came up with a couple thousand names who were contacted for their response to their implication by the committee headed by a person endorsed by the person who himself stands tainted of oil tradeoffs while occupying the highest office of his land. Has anyone read the complete report and its list of suspect companies? Did Halliburton for instance, figure on it? Kofi Annan did, but one has yet to hear for a demand for his resignation.
The imposition of sanctions is usually a signal for a free-for-all for traders. The USA's own allies, the British and the French won contracts from Iraq. Why not India and Indians? Why should Indian companies not make money the MNC way?
Iraq-India trade goes back centuries, long before the US came into being as a nation. Even in recent times, India has participated in the development of Iraqi infrastructure. In fact, in the 80s and 90s, the progress of India's first autobahn, the Ahmedabad-Baroda Expressway was held up, primarily because the contractor found his Iraqi projects more lucrative; eventually the state government took over construction by setting up a state road building agency to keep the project moving.
It is only in this present decade that India has moved closer to the US and the unholy noise being made, even before examining the facts points to two ways in which the BJP's monkey tricks have rebounded on it:
It was the BJP government, which wanted to expand the foreign policy to encompass other countries besides the big Two, USA and USSR. But perhaps being in power, they missed out on the opportunity to make the sort of money from Iraq that Natwar Singh's son and his allies were able to, ala Mark Thatcher. Now the regrets over a congressman's associates having walked away with the lolly.
By raising a raucous demand for his resignation even before all the facts are out on the table, for it would be difficult to side step the actual trade transactions, the BJP has secured Natwar Singh's position for him.
After all, he is not by any stretch of imagination among the best foreign ministers that India has had. And he does usually end up on the opposite end of the fence from the position favored by the Prime Minister on many foreign policy issues.
Plus, his offspring has a habit of making big bold negative headlines that should have put paid to his career long ago. But the man obviously has something up his dandy sleeve.
Volckergate would have proved an ideal chance of easing Natwar out of the foreign ministry, had the BJP not forced the UPA government to hang on to him. Was that merely a show of form against an opposition attack or as is being broadly hinted, giving in to some form of emotional or political blackmail?