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South Asia after the Democratization in the Arab West (II)

By Geoffrey Cook, TMO

Chicago–April 5th–Last week your reporter conversed about the revolutions in in North Africa and the Maghreb, and those threatened in the center of Arab world.  The purpose of this project was to “guess” (what effect – if at any– there would upon (Islamic) South Asia.

The big bugaboo in the Arab world is the claim by the repressive governments themselves that, if they are forced to leave, Al Qaeda will become dominant.  It is true that there is a copycat Al Qaeda of the Maghreb, but as mentioned in the first part of this essay last week, your author opines that the appeal and sympathy for radical (violent Jihad) solutions will subside as an Arab democracies, hopefully, will  thrive Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt like Gaza’s Hamas, whom they mentored, had a militant wing in the beginning, but for some time they have renounced violence, and have democratically contested elections within Egypt to the point that they are the second most substantial party over Cairo and its hinterlands, and, if they change their position to contest the forthcoming election s – provided they are free and fair – they certainly will be — at the least — entitled to a place in any coalition that might arise.

In a March 6th Aljazeera English broadcast, President Gadafi was quoted in a warning to the West, “…. [If he were driven from ascendancy in Libya,] There would be an Islamic Jihad in the Mediterranean…bin-Laden would…impose ransom on land and sea…” in which he referred to Jihad in relation to the Barbary pirates of his district that prompted America’s first foreign involvement in the early Nineteenth Century.

Along these lines, again, in the March seventh Los Angeles Times, the author Garret Theroff quoted a rebel fighter, Saleh Abdel Azziz that “We hate Al Qaeda!  We fight Al Qaeda!  We write slogans against them on the wall.  I never see slogans for them on the wall!”  (Graffiti is  often the only political outlet that the Subaltern (non-elite) Arabs had.

It is easy to see that the democratization of the Arab Middle East would destroy the administrative repression that gave Al Qaeda and similar religio-political units their raison d’être within the expanse of their birth.   Al Qaeda et al. began as an Arab area-wide resistance against the corrupt authoritarian governments within the Middle East before the C.I.A. recruited them as mercenaries for Afghanistan struggle to oppose the Slavic invasion who, in turn entered the terrain, to support a Communist revolt in the Kush (the I.S.I. acted the controllers for the Arab and Afghani ), for the (Third) Afghan War during the 1980s.  As explained in the first part of this article, after they and the Afghans had essentially destroyed the Soviet  (U.S.S.R.) Empire by 1989, the Americans and their local “lackey” deserted them into a vicious civil war until the Taliban brought a type of stability and “peace” over the Hindu Kush at, honestly, an unacceptable price.  This led Al Qaeda and other regional Jihadi organizations to turn into a sub-national (military) force.   They originally operated within and from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.   

If, indeed, there will be a significant (Islamic) democratization in the Arab West, what will be the effect on the Islamic East – mainly South Asia — which includes, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and the large numbers of Muslims in India and Sri Lanka?

The Arab mercenaries first came to Afghanistan during the 1980s to fight the Russian Juggernaut.  The Arabs are claimed to have been recruited by the U.S. C.I.A.  The Russo-Afghani War of the 1980s has basically been a contemporary extension of the 19th Century Great Game only — now in the Post-Colonial period.   The part of the former British Indian Empire (– basically Pakistan today) with their (American) Imperial allies (NATO), who like the Colonial British, did not wish to see the former “Tsarist” Empire reach the Arabian Sea, and, thus, attain their long-sought warm water port, and cut Pakistani territory in two.  (In many ways, times and actors may change, but goals and policy remain the same!)  There has been speculation that  America’s initial involvement in the Theater was to block not only the U.S.S.R., but, also, to keep China from exploiting Southern Asia as an economic market and, further, further, to gain Central Asia’s mineral wealth.

Afghanistan is the buffer zone between Moscow and Islamabad, and, thus, Kabul will remain at the heart of Pakistani foreign policy.  Therefore, your researcher would deduce that the newly unemployed Arabian Jihadist will do what the Jihad did in the past:  Emigrate (primarily) into the Afghan theater and, secondarily, the Vale of Kashmir herself.  (Before 9/11, the Kargil incident was initiated by left-over Jihadists from the Russian War forcing the Pakistani Army who had to make a defensive action in favor of the Arab privateers in the Mountains.)
Your investigator would like to look at two papers of Rana Eijaz Ahmad.  The Professor  is only partially correct to blame the “Jews” for American foreign policy.  (This is a particularly a “learned” Third World misunderstanding of the Beltway’s politics.)  It is a small number of rich U.S. Zionists – (not necessarily the “Jews”) who support AIPAC, and, thus, Israel-centered.  It is true, though; that they have an unfair influence over American external policy, and it is true that Zionism is (a perversion of Judaism as the Mutakfirs are within Islam) who equate American interests with Israel’s to the determent of the U.S.A.’s security. 

Because of AIPAC’s politically well-directed wealth, Tel Aviv’s interest on Capitol Hill is maintained to the point that it is almost impossible to be re-elected to a Federal office without their blessing. 
Certainly, calamity in the Abrahamic “Holy Land” presents the most dangerous flash point in the world;  the second being Kashmir – both are Islamic struggles with non-Islamic opponents, but each are between closely culturally-related powers, and each is overshadowed by a nuclear “cloud.”  Your speaker has states that Rawalpindi will look Westward — towards Jerusalem of “the Night Ride” if the Indo-Pakistani conflict can be stabilized.

Although, in the American Metropolis, the younger generation of Jews are more progressive in their avocation for rapprochement with Israel’s Arab neighbors either next to or within (Palestinian citizens of) “the Jewish State.”

In another paper on M.K. Gandhi’s distain upon the establishment of a Jewish homeland – (Incidentally, Stalin had already done so in one of his Republics.)  Your traveling intellectual still holds to Gandhi’s arguments as a historian, but it has happened, unfortunately.  It is a fact, though, and Real Politick demand a real solution within the current political situation. 

What does this mean within the Af-Pak and Kashmir theaters?  Your Conferee has reached the limit of time allotted for his comments.  He hopes to continue this study as the question becomes more defined (historically), but what is happening in the Arab West will make a difference in the South Asian Islamic East, for it should make Jihadism irrelevant for the Arabic due to the demise of these harsh regime, but it will impact Muslims in South Asia in that the Jihadi mercenaries will most likely head East.  The effect of this likelihood only time (history) will tell.  If the countries surrounding Palestine-Israel can stand together to pressure Tel Aviv to a just settlement within the “Occupied Territories;” not only will the world and the Middle East be a safer place, but South Asia less so – especially within the flashpoints of Kashmir and Afghanistan.


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