H C Singh

Russia and Chechnya

In 1991 when USSR collapsed in its place Russian Federation came into existence. Independence to many republics was recognized. Many such republics had Muslim majority. But Chechnya, Muslim republic, whose Muslim neighboring republics like Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan etc were given independence, was not granted Independence. Accordingly Chechnya started fighting for independence right from 1991 and in 1996, Russian Army was deployed.

In 1999 Russia sent 90,000 troops, who mercilessly killed 30,000 to 40,000 Chechen Civilians and rebels. This mass killing of Chechens by Russian Army led to suicide bombing as Chechnya, which had only one million populations could not fight with well trained Russian Army of a million or so. From year 2000 to the latest suicide bombings of Moscow metro etc in March-April 2010 there had been 42 separate cases of suicide bombing by 63 Chechens who killed themselves. Of the total suicide bombers 40 percent were women, who had lost their fathers, brothers or sons and felt that they have no purpose to live but take revenge and die.

Why is Russia arrogant and even cruel to Chechens? Why did not Russia grant independence to Chechnya in 1991 itself when it granted and recognized independence of all the Muslim Majority States of erstwhile USSR?

If Russian Federation continues to suppress by force independence movement of Chechnya killing thousands of innocent civilians along with rebels, it is likely to raise hue and cry in other Muslim countries around Chechnya. It may even lead to a situation similar to that of Talibans and other militants in Afghanistan and in Pakistan’s NWFP and Baluchistan which has been continuing for more than a decade, despite US bombing by Drone planes which killed hundreds of Talibans. It is high time that Russian Federation considers seriously of negotiating with Chechen rebel leaders and come to an end to this strife and eliminate the chances of suicide bombing.

Today Russia happens to be the biggest country in the world in area, spreading from Europe in West to close to Japan in the East, covering entire Siberia. Literacy of present day Russia is almost 100%, the per capita GDP 14,700 equivalent to US dollars. Thus Russia need not be adamant in keeping almost the smallest state of Russian Federation within Russian Federation and create untold miseries to Chechens and annoying the Muslims of adjoining Muslim independent states. Equally untold and unlimited miseries to Russians through suicide bombing by so called “Black Widows” of Chechnya causing death and injury to unlimited number of innocent Russians, going in Metros or other transport to their duty or work. Just as after the Second World War Russia (then USSR) in due course vacated East Berlin, East Germany and most of Eastern Europe, particularly Hungary, after prolonged fight, Russia should grant complete independence to Chechnya.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | Muslims, Political Commentary, USSR, World, World History | , , , , | Leave a comment

American Failure in Afghanistan and Iraq Imminent

It is not Obama alone the current President of USA, but chiefly his predecessors, particularly George Bush who is to be blamed for imminent failure of USA’s intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. It seems to be writing on wall. America is almost committed to withdraw its and NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan and possibly in Iraq before the end of 2010. American intervention to finish violent Taliban had become necessary because the very Taliban who were creation of USA with the assistance of Pakistan, to push out Russian Communists who had converted Afghanistan into a communist state. Withdrawal and expulsion of Russian troops was mainly due to courage and fighting capacity of dedicated Talibans. Thereafter Taliban turned to capture power in Afghanistan and push out the Americans, too. With a view to establish pro-American and Anti Communist government in Kabul American intervention got intensified. Talibans did not and could not tolerate that in place of Russian dominance there should be American dominance in Afghanistan.

Talibans not only resisted American and so called NATO troops, they started killing all those Afghans who were pro-American or had become power hungry to rule Afghanistan with American support and without Taliban participation or help. Thus besides thousands of US and NATO troops having been killed, lakhs of Afghans, many women and children, have perished in this fratricidal war of Talibans against their own Afghans, through suicide bombing and other war like attacks.

Even when Americas war of intervention in Afghanistan was going on, George Bush, US President decided to intervene in Iraq on the plea that Iraq was preparing nuclear weapons. Though this view of George Bush had no validity. Even the UN sponsored team that was sent to Iraq did not support this view of George Bush. Yet George Bush in 2003 sent American Army to Iraq to destroy their military and nuclear capability. As a result in 2003 USA sent its troops to finish Iraqi President Sadan and establish a pro American Government in Baghdad. America succeeded in their aim but the war in Iraq has continued for seven years.

Consequences of both the interventions of USA under the aegis of NATO, earlier in Afghanistan and in 2003 in Iraq, seem to have been utter failures in achieving American purpose of establishing with American help so called democratic governments. Both the attempts have failed and so USA is facing imminent failure.

It is surprising that USA has not learnt lesson from its gigantic failures in China and thereafter in Vietnam. In China, against Mao Tse Tung’s communists, America supported Chiangkai Shek who ultimately ran out of mainland China and with American support became ruler of Chinese off-share island of Taiwan.

Similarly Americans refused to learn lesson from their utter or worst failure for intervention in Vietnam against Ho Chi Minh’s government. For quite a long time America used all types of weapons and scratched earth policy, and carpet-bombing but ultimately USA had to quit when eighty thousand American soldiers had died. The humiliating end was marked by America taking away its last soldiers and diplomats through Helicopters from the roof of American Embassy.

 The above review points out that though, as a last resort Americans are trying to integrate with Karzai Government in Kabul the so called, comparatively non-combatant Talibans. This policy of dividing Talibans is likely to meet with failure. Thus American intervention in both Afghanistan and Iraq faces imminent failure.

On January 30, 2010, Hillary Clinton US Sec of State gave a disappointing statement about possibility of good Taliban getting integrated. She said “we are not going to really (get) bad guys, because really bad guys are not going to renounce violence and agree to re-enter society.” Such a firm statement is likely to discourage even those who were expected to leave Taliban Al-Quaida and join Karzai.

 Washington Post and ABC News had asked a simple question as to how much confidence they had in President Obama for making right decisions for the American nation. ‘A majority 53% gave two dismal of the four responses. “None at all “had tripled in just one year from 9 percent to 27%”. In addition democrats had lost Kennedy’s seat in senate after almost 70 years. These were two bad omens for Obama and his Presidency, after one year.

Thus in Afghanistan America’s hope of dividing Talibans and getting a section integrated in Karzai’s government in Kabul has been falsified. In Iraq, too, there is no hope of America succeeding and firmly establishing pro-American democratic government in view of almost daily suicide bombing. Latest being in Karbla where a woman suicide bomber killed more than 50 and injured more than 150. Thus failure of American intervention both in Afghanistan and Iraq seems imminent.

February 3, 2010 Posted by | Cold War, Terrorism, USA, USSR, World, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Berlin Wall – Its Erection and Demolition

After the Second World War, USSR conquered, besides Eastern Europe, half of Germany. Accordingly after Allied Victory and defeat of Germany there were two Germanys- Anglo American conquest of West Germany and USSR conquest of Eastern Germany, Western Germany under Capitalist democracy and East Germany under Communist type of democracy. There was lot of hue and cry on the division of Germany into two parts. But in 1945 defeated Germans were helpless. They could not demand anything. They could not get anything. They were a defeated country that had gone to war to conquer entire Europe including USSR.

During Second World War Germany under Adolf Hitler, the Fascist dictator, committed many crimes against humanity, besides launching a war on East and West of Germany, killing millions, six million Jews were killed in gas chambers.

Now let us see how, when and why Berlin Wall was built to segregate West and East Germany, the artificial division of a country with one language and one culture. Berlin Wall was constructed by Soviet Government in 1961 because Germans, in thousands were leaving their homes and hearths, were crossing the so called boundary and going to West Germany where they were welcomed and where there was, now, real democracy neither Hitlerite Fascism nor communist type of thought control. West Germany had, in a few years, after the end of Second World War became real home of all Germans. About 100 Germans from East had died while crossing and trying to escape from East Germany.

Berlin Wall was built to stop this emigration form East to West Germany which was defaming USSR and telling not only West Germans but whole of World that USSR was itself not worth living.  This emigration was having far-reaching effect on Eastern Europe which after war was under communism. Poland in particular resented so much that its leaders were thinking of revolting against so called USSR occupation of their country.

During World War II almost half of Berlin had been destroyed by Allied bombings. As a result population of Berlin declined from 43 lakhs in 1938 to about 28 lakh in 1945. As British, French and US forces were far off, Soviet Union shipped “about 85 percent of city’s undamaged industrial equipment” to its own country as British and American troops reached Berlin in July and French troops entered Berlin in August 1945. Though Berlin was completely under Soviet Union, Western Powers demanded free passage which USSR did not accept. So the Berlin City was also divided into two parts East Berlin under USSR and West Berlin under Allies control, as earlier they had divided East and West Germany into two parts.

Division of Berlin, which was virtually on paper, did not work. Particularly it failed to satisfy Soviets as lot of East Germans and East Berliners were emigrating to West Berlin and West Germany. So  the USSR, in 1948 blocked all routes rail, road and water from East Berlin to West Berlin. Western powers, not to be left behind air lifted supplies to West Berlin for about 2 million residents. Thus the Soviet blockade failed and Soviet Union lifted the blockade in May 1949 but City Hall located in East Berlin was occupied by Russians. So the West Berlin had to have its own government in West Berlin. Within four years of the end of War, West and Russia became almost hostile over Berlin issue.

In 1958 Nikita Khrushev asked for demilitarization of West Berlin and converting it into free Zone. To this Western powers disagreed and rejected the proposed solution. As everyday more than 1000 East Germans were crossing into West Berlin and West Germany Russia in 1961 decided to build a strong wall to prevent any emigration to West Berlin/ West Germany. Thus in August 1961 strong Berlin Wall was built which was 4 meters in height and 40 kilometers in length. Berlin became an isolated city.

Bitterness in relations between Western Powers and USSR continued unabated for a decade. Only in 1971 USSR and West realized the  folly of segregation of Germans into East and West German’s. History is never static. History moves in all countries, all cultures and all civilizations. Thus in 1971, USSR and Allies (France, England and USA) signed an agreement on the status of Berlin. Representatives of East and West Germany sat together for months and finally worked out details agreeable to both the parties. So the agreement of 1971 came into effect in 1972. Relation with East and West Berlin and East and West Germany improved in 70’s. In 1989 there were wide spread demands for unification of East and West Berlin. East German government considering the time ripe for unification of East and West Berlin, removed all restriction on November 9, 1989 and as a result 29 year old Berlin wall was ‘opened’ and in due course demolished. It was a great day for Germans after defeat in World War II it was a first taste of victory. Though unification of Berlin and in due course of East and West Germany becoming once again an important country of Europe Germany.

Historic celebration of 20th anniversary of Demolition of Berlin Wall were attended by/besides million of Germans, all the leaders of the countries who fought war against Hitler’s Fascist Germany and defeated him after loss of millions of lives. Leaders who attended the historic function included German President Horst Koehler and Chacellor  Angela Merkel  British PM Gordon Brown, French President Nicolos Sarkozy, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Polish President Lech Walesa, and Hilary Clinton U.S Foreign Secretary. Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev was a special attraction as it is Gorbachev whose reforming attitude persuaded Soviet leadership to the reforms. According the German crowd gathered to celebrate chanted “Gorby, Gorby, Gorby.” British PM Gordon Brown said “Two Berlins are one. Two Germanys are one. Two Europes are one.” This marks the significance of 7th November 1989 and so such almost world wide celebrations of 20th anniversary of Berlin Walls Demolition.

November 12, 2009 Posted by | Cold War, USSR, World, World History | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cold War Between USA and USSR

Since the end of Second World War in 1945 entire Europe including UK and entire South East Asia were thrashed and thus politically and diplomatically became ineffective, rivalry between USA and USSR commenced for legacy.

USA supported with all its might Chiang Kaishek against communist MaoTse Tung so that China does not become communist under Mao and does not become ally of communist USSR. The fight between Chiang supported by Macarther and Dulles went on for many years killing Lakhs of Chinese whether supporters of Chiang or Mao. Ultimately Mao used the strategy of long March, taking all the communist supporters to safer north west from where there could not be attack by allied forces. Very soon Chinese communists with back to the wall started advancing and eliminating Chiang Kaishek’s forces. In a couple of years Chiang was thrown out of mainland China and confined to Taiwan and a few islands like Quency and Mastu. After the victory over Germany during Second World War it was USA’s first defeat.

The weakness of Dulles-Eisenhower policy over Berlin is clear to many west Berliners who, as the American ‘Newsweek’ admits, are arguing, “we are not sure the allies are willing to back us all the way this time. Sure, they have promised but is it worth it to them” ( I December 1958). There is not much doubt that the West can stand firm in Berlin, perhaps as firm as it could ten years before, but that would mean, warns Paul Johnson, that “we must recognize that we are abandoning, perhaps for ever, the hope of reunifying Germany (New Statesman, 29 November 1958).

To consolidate their respective positions in the spheres of their influence, USA created NATO and SEATO. On the other hand, not to be left, USSR took strong action against dissenting communist countries like Yugoslavia and Hungary. Soviet intervention in Hungary was very cruel. It led to the execution of Imrey Nagy and his cabinet colleagues. There was hue and cry against Soviet activities in socialist Hungary. In retaliation, USA landed marines in Lebanon and British paratroops occupied Jordan.

USA despite being on the other side of Atlantic and despite the professing of Munro Doctrine got scared of USSR attack as is evident from American expert on diplomacy and world affairs Mr. George Kenan’s remarks on 2 December 1957 on BBC.

“I have never thought that the Soviet Government wanted a general world war at any time since 1945 or that it would have been inclined for any rational political reasons of its own to initiate such a war, even had the atomic weapon never been invented. We must get over the obsession that the Russians are yearning to attack and occupy western Europe and this is the outstanding danger.”

My both articles viz Quemoy in world politics as well as significance of Berlin crises are based on the cold war, American fears of USSR because of defeat in China and soviet fears of Americans intervention in Yugoslavia and Hungary as well as in Berlin and German area under USSR occupation after the end of second world war. This brief review of cold war is based on these observations.

August 24, 2009 Posted by | Cold War, USA, USSR, World, World History | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment