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Asian History Lessons for India's Idiot Leaders
|by Gaurang Bhatt, MD|
The sheer greed, jealousy and power lust of India's Hindu kings led to their rivalry and disunity which allowed the Arabs, Afghans and Turks to establish Islamic kingdoms in India. The common people were so poor and burdened, that they had no stake in who ruled, as it made no significant impact on their miserable lives. The same thing happened when the Portuguese, French and the British carved out their enclaves in Goa, Pondicherry, Madras etc. The British were appointed tax collectors of Bengal by a weak Moghul emperor and they used that power to reduce the price they paid the weavers for the cloth they purchased and exported to Britain. To create scarcity they chopped off the thumbs of Bengali weavers. When Britain had industrialized sufficiently to produce the same cloth cheaper by steam engines, the British used India as a source of cheap cotton and indigo and a dumping ground for their manufactured goods.
Later Britain's trade with China was in great deficit because of the import of tea and porcelain (fine china). Britain then used its military might in the two opium wars to colonize Hong Kong and Shanghai and make the Chinese opium addicts by the sale of opium that they grew in India. America and other European countries demanded and got their share of the opium trade. Britain wanted to prevent the rise of Germany which had become a bigger industrial power and so it fought two world wars to contain it. This caused Britain to be on the verge of bankruptcy and under American pressure liquidate its empire in the forties and withdraw from the Suez occupation in the fifties due to Eisenhower's threat to sink the British pound. Gandhi had been agitating for independence for twenty-five years before that without much success.
British oil companies and the government controlled the oil in Iraq and Iran. Mossadeq was elected as the prime minister of Iran and he nationalized Iranian oil because the British were cheating Iran in revenues and treated the Iranian workers worse than animals. The scheming but emasculated British (after WW2), played on the fear of communism of the paranoid US Secretary of State Dulles and his brother who headed the CIA. They in turn persuaded Eisenhower to overthrow the legitimate government of Iran to install the cowardly Shah (who had run away in fear) as an absolute monarch. In return the Americans got a share in the Iranian oil company. Earlier president FDR had signed a deal taking control of Saudi oil for a pittance from the foolish Saudi king, and the promise of protecting his power and Palestinian rights. His successor Truman betrayed the Saudi king by supporting the formation of Israel to appease American Jewish voters. The leftist populist General Qasim of Iraq was overthrown by the CIA and Saddam was installed as the Iraqi leader nearly twenty years later.
Eisenhower overthrew the democratically elected government in Guatemala and similar regime changes were made in Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador, Cuba etc. from eighteen forties to the present. America got involved in Asia first by taking over Philippines and Guam as colonies from Spain. The Philippines wanted independence and the US army massacred over hundred thousand men, women and children. After Iran in 1953, Eisenhower supported the French when they tried to reclaim Vietnam after WW2. When the French lost at Dien Bien Phu, during the Geneva conference Ho Chi Minh consented to a referendum election after an armistice.
The US reneged on the accords and supported a Christian leader named Diem as the ruler of Buddhist South Vietnam. He was corrupt and unpopular and was assassinated with CIA help, and replaced by equally corrupt and incompetent leaders. Eisenhower sent military advises to Vietnam. Kennedy, his successor sent more and Johnson ultimately sent 500,000 troops. They couldn't win the war just as in Afghanistan and Iraq today. Nixon carpet-bombed Laos and Cambodia and widened the war but couldn't win it. He didn't want to lose the war so he kept it going just as Bush is doing at present in Iraq. It is to get out honorably out of Vietnam that Nixon went hat in hand to China with the help of Pakistan. This is why America turned a blind eye to the massacres and rapes by West Pakistani soldiers in East Pakistan and sent a nuclear armed aircraft carrier to the Bay of Bengal to intimidate India during the war for independence of Bangladesh. Prior to that the US had armed Pakistan and it used the arms against India in the 1965 war. It had supplied arms to India against the Chinese in 1962 and huge grain supplies when harvests failed in Nehru's time.
In the sixties and seventies America caused the death of nearly six million Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians. When America helped to overthrow the leftist Sukarno regime in the sixties in Indonesia and replace it with Suharto, its arms and guidance led to the death of a million Indonesians. Its subsequent support of the Indonesian army caused the massacre of hundreds of thousands of East Timorese.
The CIA under the guidance of the US national security adviser under president Carter fooled the Soviet Union into invading Afghanistan in 1979 and then birthed and armed the radical Islamic mujahedeen with the help of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. These like Bin Laden have used CIA taught terror against America in a blowback. Millions of Afghans were killed or displaced by the war with the Soviets, the civil war and the Taliban takeover, which America supported. When the US drove out the Taliban, thousands of civilians died and are still dying in Afghanistan today as a consequence of indiscriminate aerial bombing written off as unintended collateral damage.
In 1980, to have revenge for Iranian Khomeini's hostage taking of American diplomats, the US instigated, financed and armed mad Saddam' attack on Iran. Over a million casualties on both sides were the outcome. In 1991, the US ambassador to Iraq raised no objection to Saddam's plan to attack Kuwait. After he was given a sort of green light, the president then, who is the father of the current retarded insane incumbent president, attacked Iraq. The US soldiers described the war as a turkey shoot. Nearly 200,000 Iraqis died. Then Bush Sr. encouraged Iraqi Shiites and Kurds to stage an uprising against Saddam. They did not help the insurgents and allowed Saddam to use his helicopter gun-ships to decimate the rebels by the thousands. Thousands more were massacred after surrender. Clinton put an embargo on Iraq even for medicines and vaccines and caused the death of half a million Iraqi children and malnutrition in equal numbers. Madeline Albright, his secretary of state publicly commented that the deaths and suffering of Iraqi children was a price worth paying for American strategic policy.
In 2003, to control Iraq's oil, the US attacked it under a false pretext of non-existent WMDs in an illegal war without UN sanction. America is failing in the war and Bush Jr. does not wish to lose it on his watch. He is fomenting conflicts between Shias and Sunnis by arming the thieving rulers of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. His real aim is regime change in Iran with installation of a puppet regime, so he can control the massive oil and gas resources of both Iraq and Iran. The other Gulf States with unpopular, illegitimate and thief rulers have agreed to sell their fellow Arabs and citizens.
Iran wishes to develop nuclear weapons. This will remove Israel's monopoly of nuclear weapons and conventional armed superiority in the region. Neighboring oil producing nations may then accommodate with a nuclear Iran and dump America and stand up to Israel. As Chomsky puts it, no Mafia boss who is in the protection racket can live with that. Lack of fear would reveal America's power to be a sham like that of the Wizard of Oz. Thus America is labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (part of Iran's national army) as terrorists and provoking Iran by taking its diplomats prisoners. The slightest retaliation by Iran will provide the 'casus belli' to start a war. America is also arming insurgents in the provinces of Iran like Baluchistan, Khuzistan, Kurdistan and Azerbaijan. When the war starts, America will use massive aerial bombardment to destroy not only Iran's nuclear facilities, but also its armed forces and civilian infrastructure, to create enough chaos and angry unrest against the present regime to put it in a position of being unable to govern. It is to isolate Iran from its geographic vicinity that it is promoting fear of a Shiite crescent amongst Sunni neighbors and warning India, Russia and China to avoid Iran.
India with our slavish government agrees to all dictates of America. Russia stopped completion of the Bushehr nuclear plant but went ahead with supplying Iran with a modern air defense system and some fighter interceptor planes. China alone stands up to America, as it did when the US spy plane EP3 Orion had to force land on Hainan island in China some years ago, after a collision which killed the pilot of an aggressive Chinese fighter plane. The US demanded the immediate release of the American plane and its crew and did some saber rattling. The Chinese demanded an abject apology from America, thoroughly inspected the spy plane to learn its secrets and only released the crew after a humiliating American apology. They did not allow the plane to fly out and had it dismantled and carted away in pieces by ship. They also insisted on and got damages for the unauthorized landing. Compare that with the craven crawling of Manmohan Singh to America and the blind admiration of the leftists of our old enemy, China. The last is surprising because China is not a communist country now and when it was the CPM never condemned its nuclear tests. Do not expect the slaves of the UPA, the crooks of the BJP or the fools of the CPM to do what is good for India. They will also sell everything to remain in power.
American leaders are dependent on the financing by rich folks and corporations to win elections. The corporations make more money by making their products in China where the slave labor is cheap and there are no pollution laws. They would sell their mothers to make more money. That is why China can afford to stand up to America. India will be a buyer from America and it should demand more favorable terms for the nuclear or aircraft deals. Walmart is responsible for nearly 15% of all Chinese imports to America. It pays less than a living wage to its employees and drives small retailers to bankruptcy by its lower prices. This may be good for affording consumers but by reducing employment and earnings, it has a negative effect on consumption by those who lose their jobs or are paid so little that they cannot consume the goods. India should think twice before letting in the big retailers of America, France or Britain.
Ultimately, neoliberal economic policies are the reverse of trickle down. They trickle prosperity upwards by making the small wealthy class richer and the poor masses poorer. They widen the disparity of wealth and increase the polarity of its distribution. These ultimately are incompatible with a true democracy and become fertile mediums for revolutions like the ones that occurred in France and Russia, and occurring now in Nepal and parts of India.
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