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l November 03' l

The Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

l Vol 3, No 7 l

E D I T O R I A L 

No Peace: New War

What others say..........

President Bush and his advisers thought and planned for more than a year about a quick victory in Iraq. But it would seem now that not even a fraction of that time and resources have been spent on winning the peace in a country which is fiercely independent and in any case equally fiercely against foreign occupation. The missile attack on al Rashid hotel where the US under-secretary for defence has been staying (he escaped but several US soldiers were killed) and the suicide bombers attacking the headquarters of the International Red Cross and three police stations have created an emergency in Iraq for which the Anglo-American occupation forces have been least prepared. Bush's highfalutin rhetoric that the moment the allies land in Baghdad, the entire population would welcome the conquerors with roses has been disproved.

On the contrary, a new war is surfacing, the dimensions of which or the actual participants there of are not easy to decipher. The President's think-tank have expressed two views. There is a ferment and tumult among the people which is not easy to put down unless more soldiers are thrown into the fray. Here the problem is not a straight war. It has already turned out to be a sort of guerilla conflict, bringing back dark visions of what the US army went through in Vietnam. And where do the new contingents come from? The US has a large force in Iraq. Even with nominal UN support, both France and Germany have not relented. Their opposition to send troops is as stiff as ever.

Russia has already said no and any reconsideration is unlikely. Pakistan is in two minds. The despatch of Pak troops would create lots of problems for Musharraf. The hard-liners would paint him as one who is out to sell the interests of Islam for US goodies. What is more, Musharraf cannot ignore the opposition from the higher ranks of the army. India has made it clear from time to time that it is in no position to oblige US for a variety of reasons. Turkey remains in the US camp. But the handpicked US friends in Iraq who are put in power now would not accept Turkey's good offices, as that country is certain to fish in troubled waters in the Kurd region.

The targets of attack are significant. The attack on police stations means only one thing. The Iraqis will not tolerate collaborators. And the more so, since the police take their orders from local commanders of the US army. Equally significant is the attack on the Red Cross. The Iraqis do not want any outside agency to come to the aid of the occupation army, when the people are facing an emergency in the country. Now the question arises whether those decisions are being taken by the insurgents or any outside jehadi forces. This is the second view that a number of US think-tank leaders are discussing.

If the leadership of the insurgents has passed into the hands of outside forces, then it is a different war. The Mujahideen forces equipped by the US and directed by Pak ISI in Afghanistan form a close parallel. The same forces are now fighting US soldiers in Afghanistan. The US is groping for conclusive evidence whether its armed forces are facing the fundamentalist terrorists of the Islamic world in Iraq. The US moves against Syria may create a new ferment in the Arab world. The situation in Iraq is ``dangerous'', in the words of Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State.



l The Free Press Journal l



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