Sunday, March 07, 2010

Ignore Indian events at our own Peril

For the past year, I have been saying that the political center in India is collapsing. The re-election of the left-centrist Congress Party last year only masked this inevitable decline because the finale might not come this year, or maybe even next; but it is coming, and when it does it will be with an explosion heard round the world. I was in India for just over two weeks in February, and during that time noted:

• Relations with fellow nuclear power Pakistan deteriorated in a hail of harsh rhetoric and threats such that the Obama administration sent Senator John Kerry to try and “calm” tensions.
• Pakistan first refused to join in scheduled talks with India about the former’s involvement in a 2008 terror attack that killed almost 200 Indians.
• Later, they agreed to talk only if they focused on Kashmir—a territorial dispute between the countries that has sparked skirmishes, continued terror and counter-terror operations, and all out wars between the two. India wanted to focus on terrorism, but acquiesced and said they would consider the matter but insisted the talks concentrate on terrorism.
• While this was happening, Islamists launched another deadly Islamist terrorist attack, this time on Pune, a major Indian city of over 5,000,000 people, that at last count took 13 lives and left over five dozen injured.
• Initial investigations identified the terrorists as Indian citizens, known as Indian Mujahedeen who are committed to replacing India with an Islamist state.
• Subsequent investigations confirmed that fact and added that the operation likely was directed from Pakistan.
• The Indian government announced that American Islamist David Headley gave his captors information about the “Karachi Project” that was carried out by Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI. He said the ISI brought sympathetic Indian Muslims to Pakistan, trained them in terrorist techniques, and returned them to India where they were to await further instructions to carry out terrorist attacks.
• Communist insurgents, known as Naxalites, abducted a government official in the state of Bihar and refused to release him until the government caved into their demands, one of which was for the Indian government to end its, very effective, military crackdown on the Maoist revolutionaries.
• Naxalites carried out a half dozen military operations against the government and people of India. Among the many terror operations were at least two of particular note. They launched a particularly gruesome attack on an unarmed paramilitary camp in which more than two dozen soldiers were shot or burned alive; and an unknown number of wounded were seized and taken to undisclosed locations as hostages. They also attacked an unarmed village in the Jamui district of Bihar because its inhabitants refused cooperate with their insurgency. They murdered several villagers, including some who were burned alive when the Maoists torched homes in the village.
• Islamists carried out several terror attacks, mostly in Kashmir, but in other areas of India, as well. The attacks killed both civilians and military personnel indiscriminately.
• The government’s anti-terror squad prevented another half dozen Islamist terror attacks, seizing 200 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, 600 detonators, and 200 gel sticks from known Muslim terrorists, in one raid in Gujurat (a state that has been a rallying cry for Islamists after violence there in 2002. The government also detained two British nationals caught at a hotel near the international airport with high-tech devices for monitoring and tracking air traffic.
• Students rioted—and as of the time I left were still rioting—at an Indian university in Hyderabad in the South of the country At the time I left India, one student was near death after self-immolating as part of the protest.

Imagine the media coverage if any one of those things occurred in the United States. Yet, from what I could glean from the Internet and elsewhere, it appears that our own media (except for a few journals that ran my articles) devoted far more ink to Tiger Woods than to all of these events combined. India is a nuclear power, as is the United States. India, like the US, is a major target of international jihiadis. Its other primary adversary also has nuclear weapons as do those of the United States. Both countries are among the largest and most populous nations on earth. Both are among the world’s most important economic powers. And both countries are critical if Islamist and communist imperialism and terror are to be defeated.

Indians are questioning the United States' reliability as an ally in the war against radical Islam. Our continuing aid to Pakistan--aid which even former Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf admitted had been channeled against India--is incomprehensible to most Indians without relying on cynicism about politics; and the Obama administration's policies have led most anti-Islamists to conclude that his administration would sacrifice allies like Indian and Israel if it meant even a superficial friendship from America's worst enemies.

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