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Only Karma Threatens China
by Dr. Rajinder Puri Bookmark and Share

America is a Pushover:

In the use of political strategy China is running rings around America . Robert Kaplan recently wrote in the New York Times that while America faced mounting casualties and expended blood in Afghanistan, China reaped advantage by exploiting that country’s rich mineral resources. The Taliban have little reason to dislike China. Mullah Omar would recall how the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) signed an MOU for building Afghanistan ’s telecom system on the 9/11 day itself when he headed the Kabul government. 

How did America come under China’s grip? America ’s political corruption and corporate greed succeeded in subverting it to create a rival superpower in the bargain. The tortuous sequence of events that led to this situation needs to be deconstructed to understand how this came about.

For several decades America encouraged a five to one adverse balance of trade with China. Beijing converted its dollars into US Treasury bills. Over the years it has accumulated Treasury bills worth trillions. Instead of earning and saving to neutralize this debt, America got into wars that cost billions of wasted money. Now it is under a huge debt, enmeshed in costly wars from which it cannot extricate itself, and economically a virtual captive of China. 

It is instructive to note how America got into these wars. On 9/11/2001, on the day that Mullah Omar and PLA signed their MOU, the Twin Towers in New York were hit by terrorists and thousands died. US Intelligence almost immediately nailed Al Qaeda based in Afghanistan as the perpetrator of the attack. But the neoconservative advisers of President Bush convinced him that President Saddam of Iraq who had weapons of mass destruction was the real mastermind behind the terrorist attack. This blatant chicanery so infuriated the Chairman of America’s Counterterrorism Security Group, Richard Clark, that he resigned from office and wrote a book exposing the rot. 

US military succeeded in driving the Taliban government out of Kabul with relative ease. But it failed to eliminate the Taliban from strongholds in the countryside. Instead of focusing on this primary task the neoconservative advisers prevailed on Bush to divert attention from Afghanistan by launching an invasion against Iraq . Subsequently it was found that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction.

This diversion of US military strength allowed the Taliban and Al Qaeda to regroup and consolidate their strength. Meanwhile America had got bogged down in Iraq . With escalation of Taliban and Al Qaeda strikes in Afghanistan America got bogged down in Afghanistan too. Now it is stuck in two wars which it does not know how to end. It may be recalled that Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria had pointed out that the biggest political gainer from the US intervention in Iraq was China . Before 9/11 President Bush had followed an anti-China approach by supporting Taiwan . But 9/11 changed that. The subsequent US involvement in Iraq not only took the heat off China ’s friend, the Taliban, but also changed the US priority from supporting Taiwan to combating Saddam’s forces in Iraq. 

The biggest irony is that America launched two wars that benefited China by borrowing money from China and getting deeper into its debt. The mounting debt of trillions of Chinese held US Treasury bills enable America to finance its wars. The Afghanistan war theatre is further complicated by the devious role of China ’s premier stooge, Pakistan . With America in a deep hole, and with the Indian leadership pathetically incapable of formulating an adequate response, China seems to be in an unassailable situation.

However this might not be the case. Being too clever by half Beijing may well succeed in creating a crisis for itself. China leans heavily on Iran for its future energy supplies. To coddle the Iranians the Chinese supplied arms to Shiite insurgents who were operating in Iraq . The Washington Times quoting official sources reported this. Chinese aid to Shiites infuriated Sunni led Al Qaeda. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the deputy leader of Al Qaeda and in charge of its overall strategy, reversed his friendly attitude to the Chinese. He was reputed to be the mentor of Baitullah Mehsud who led the Punjabi Taliban in Pakistan . Baitullah’s deputy Hakimullah Mehsud was credited with organizing the murder of Chinese engineers working in Pakistan . This temporarily strained relations between Beijing and Islamabad . To placate China Musharraf launched the attack on the clerics of Islamabad ’s Lal Mosque who owed allegiance to Mehsud. This in turn created a rift between the Pakistan government and the Pakistan based Taliban. 

Baitullah was killed. Hakimullah who was first reported dead is very much alive. Now he leads the Pakistani Taliban. It remains to be seen what attitude this former killer of Chinese engineers will adopt. Overall signs are not particularly encouraging for China . Abu Yayha al-Libi, who is reputed to be the commander of the Al Qaeda terrorist network in Afghanistan , announced through a video released on Wednesday October 7 that Muslims must launch a holy war against China in response to the massacre of Uighurs in western China . Referring to the Uighurs he said: "Thousands of Muslims were killed, and no one knows about them." A holy war against China is a far cry from the brotherly ties that Al Qaeda displayed towards China on 9/11 and subsequently. 

Something else also happened on Wednesday October 7. President Obama’s officials said that the US national security team might revise its war strategy by focusing only against Al Qaeda. They argued that the Afghanistan Taliban does not pose a direct threat to the United States . What might have induced this reappraisal? Quite likely it was Mullah Omar’s message on Eid. 

Mullah Omar said: “We consider the whole region as a common home against colonialism and want to play our role in peace and stability of the region. We assure all countries that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as a responsible force, will not extend its hand to cause jeopardy to others as it does not allow others to jeopardize us… Our goal is to gain independence of the country and establish a just Islamic system there on the basis of the aspirations of the Muslim nation. We can consider any option that could lead to the achievement of this goal.” According to some analysts this was a tacit acceptance that the Taliban had overreached by providing sanctuary to al-Qaeda prior to 9/11. 

Mullah Omar’s olive branch, US revision of policy, Al Qaeda’s announcement of a holy war against China, the re-emergence of Hakimullah Mehsud – all these could indicate a change of fortunes for Beijing triggered by its reckless policy of arming terrorists. Beijing ’s strategists have outsmarted all rival nations. How will they deal with the Law of Karma? 

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