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Region

Ugly Geopolitics = Hypocrisy at Best

Imtiaz Gul

Two videos out of Washington explain the duality of the sole superpower -the United State of America; the reality of contradictions and lies. The first video – from a news conference at the State Department on January 7 – features Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, where he explained the reasons why the Iranian General Qasim Sulemani was drone-killed.

Pompeo named the Taliban as one of the militant groups he accused Iran of using to undermine Afghanistan peace efforts. He also referred to the “Tora Bora and the Mullah Dadullah Group,” little-known organizations whose strengths, relevance and contacts with Iran were not immediately clear.

Don’t we know that Tora Bora is a mountain in eastern Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden reportedly spent a few days in 2001? Don’t we know that Mullah Dadullah was a Taliban commander killed by NATO-US troops in May 2007?

That is why now nobody ever heard of these names in recent years.

Strangely, Pompeo warned that “the Taliban’s entanglement in Iran’s dirty work will only harm the Afghanistan peace process.” “Iran has refused to join the regional and international consensus for peace and is, in fact, actively working to undermine the peace process by continuing its long global effort to support militant groups there,” Pompeo said.

Didn’t Pompeo claim initially that General Solemani was taken out because he was planning to target American interests.

Should we believe him?

Quite a revelation! Does it also beg the question as to when did it dawn on the US that the Taliban were doing some dirty work for Iran? Wasn’t the group invited in November last year to Camp David to sign the Peace Deal that President Trump’s envoy Zalmay Khalizdad had painstakingly negotiated?

The other video is a statement at a seminar by Wesley Clark, a former decorated US general.

Here is the transcript of what he told the audience:

Some 10 days after 9/1 a general in the Pentagon said: We’ve made the decision. We’re going to war with Iraq.  When asked why he said: I guess they don’t know what else to do.

When asked if they found some information connecting Saddam to al Qaeda he said: No there is nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq. I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments. I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail. 

A few weeks later when the US was bombing in Afghanistan he said: I just got this memo from the office of Secretary of Defense’ that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years starting with Iraq and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off, Iran.  

Here are a few lessons we can draw from these two videos;

# Geo-political considerations and commercial interests – not morality and principles -currently define international relations reign supreme; not a single country has condemned the killing of the Iranian general as a flagrant violation of the UN charter

# Almost all direct threats to Israel – Syria, Libya and Iraq – have been marginalized.

# Iran remains the only major potent threat to Israel and thus on the edge. It is volatile and exposed to crippling US sanctions as well as gullible to the lethal American firepower, exhibited in the drone-killing of General Solemani in Baghdad, a third country.

# In a clear expression of geopolitical considerations, the French President Emanuel Macron declared at the NATO Anniversary summit at Watford, UK on December 5 that

“China should be the collective objective of our defense.”

This basically amounts to a declaration of war against a leading member of the United Nations and one of the five permanents on the Security Council. It is a country that imported nearly $2 trillion of goods from the rest of the world in 2019 and is the largest exporter to over 40 other countries. Why treat it as a common enemy?

# The US continues to push its unilateral interventionist agenda under the 2017 National Security Strategy – which treats Russia and China as “rivals” and potential challenge to the US hegemony.

# At the same time, the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act,” (November 2019) and the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act (passed by the House of Representatives December 4) underscore the US exceptionalism on rights and international law. Through these laws, the US publicly supports the opposition of these territories against a permanent member of the Security Council.

# The 2+2 Indo-US dialogue between foreign and defense ministers (December 19, 2019 ) also exposed the American duplicity in foreign affairs; while Kashmir remained under total lockdown, and most of India simmered with protests against citizenship amendment act (CAA), the US-Indo ministers called their partnership “grounded in mutual trust and friendship, democratic values,  ……. and rooted in shared values of freedom, justice, human rights, and commitment to the rule of law.” 

# The 2+2 dialogue specifically mentioned Pakistan and much of the cooperation discussed (cyberspace, maritime, trade) indirectly targeted China as an adversary that needs to be contained.

# To the total disregard of the countrywide raging protests against CAA by over 60 percent of its population (the BJP-RSS won only about 37 per cent of the popular vote in the 2018 election), and the continued lockdown in Kashmir since August 5, the US ambassador Kenneth Juster led a 15-member guided diplomatic stock-taking mission (largely US allies) to besieged Srinagar on January 10.

The European Union decided against becoming part of the delegation. This visit, too, reflected the close bond that the US has knit with India as its “pivot in Asia” to countervail the ever-growing Chinese influence in the region.”

# Ironically, US State Department re-designated Pakistan a ‘country of particular concern’ (December 2019) for “having engaged in or tolerated ‘systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom,” quoting the designation is based on an evaluation carried out by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). In its 2019 report, the USCIRF said Pakistan had failed to adequately protect its minorities and failed to ensure religious freedom for all, including members of the majority.

Why shouldn’t such designation be called out as a blatant instrument of blackmail if it singles out Pakistan but totally glosses over the nine million Kashmiris under siege since August 5, and over 60 percent of India’s population (only about 37 percent voted for the BJP and allies) is up in arms against CAA?

# Condemned globally for the hitherto unexplained murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, Saudi Arabia remains an integral part of the US geopolitics, and the current president the prestigious G-20, a club of the most influential nations.

These few examples illustrate the ugliness of global politics – which are clearly determined by bloc interests and commercial considerations and not really rooted in the theoretical rule of law and respect for the sovereignty of other countries and regard for fundamental rights. It represents a litany of contradictions coming out of the West, in contrast to the very values that leading western nations preach.

The author is Editor in Chief Matrix Mag.

Under arrangement between Matrix Mag and CRSS Blog.

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