As old, established global alliances break like empty beer bottles in a Bombay street brawl- the War on Terror is giving birth to a strange coalition across the continents. India-Israel-USA.
In their own words they call themselves a Triad against Terrorism. In reality they are nothing more than the curious progeny of a spurious theory- Samuel Huntingtonâ€™s Clash of Civilizations.
The Hindus, Jews and Christians versus the Moslems of the world today and the Confucians of China tomorrow. This is nothing less than the Axis of the Apocalyptic.
On May 8, Indiaâ€™s National Security Adviser Brajesh Mishra formally announced its arrival at the 97th annual dinner meeting in Washington of the American Jewish Committee, an out-and-out Zionist outfit.
To quote Mishra â€œ a core, consisting of democratic societiesâ€ must emerge, â€œwhich can take on international terrorism in a holistic and focused manner —- to ensure that global terrorism is pursued to its logical conclusionâ€. The India-Israel-USA triad would form the core of this â€˜democraticâ€™ alliance. (He could have added that the â€˜logical conclusionâ€™ will be annihilation of all those defined as â€˜terroristsâ€™).
Topping up his irrational exuberance over the viability of this axis Mishra went to make a startling announcement. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will visit India sometime in the second week of June this year.
Before we get into discussing the life expectancy of this newborn creature a little bit of background first. This is an axis that has been in the making for a while now ever since the quasi-fascist Hindu chauvinists came to power in India a few years ago.
The Indian loony right have used â€˜Islamic terrorismâ€™ as the ostensible excuse for their assiduous cultivation of both the US and Israel in search of strategic partnership. But for those who know them well it is also obvious they harbor grandiose illusions about the destiny of the nuclear-armed â€˜Hindusâ€™ becoming a great power in global affairs.
While Israel responded warmly to the Indian overtures right from the start, the US was initially indifferent. It already had an old and trusted slave in South Asia- Pakistan- the pet hate object of the Hindu chauvinists- and was reluctant to retire it hastily.
The events of September 11 however have seen the US do precisely that- fire Pakistan- and allow India to qualify for the post of Uncle Samâ€™s favorite vassal in the region. The blooming India-Israel romance has merely helped seal this dubious deal between three very different countries.
For the obvious question that arises is – what do the worldâ€™s only hyper-power, a nation set up by the survivors of the Nazi holocaust and the worldâ€™s largest producer of masala movies- really have in common ? It seems, their interests do intersect on several themes.
To begin with- they are all deeply in love with Osama Bin Laden.
Seriously, in Bin Laden all three governments have found their perfect demon- a demon with designer horns. He is Muslim, suitably long-bearded, a religious fanatic, a confirmed terrorist and likes living in caves. Even better he pops up once in a while on our television screens speaking in a strange tongue. Just like the odious villain in a James Bond flick threatening to blow up the world if not allowed to take it over. (Heck, I thought the Talebs prohibited music, dance and photography)
All of which makes it easier for the regimes that run these three countries to keep their citizens perpetually scared, jack up military spending and justify whatever economic/social policies their corporate masters want them to implement.
Secondly, since all three nations pretend to be great democracies (the messiest, the costliest and the loneliest) the Bin Laden bogey allows them to squash every semblance of civil and political rights from the lives of their citizens- while getting extreme right wingers re-elected on ultra-nationalist, anti-terrorist platforms.
At a deeper level there is another interesting commonality emerging between these three countries. The power elites ruling all of them are deeply obsessed with manipulating the structures of the STATE.
The Hindu right wing is desperately trying to capture the Indian State and cleanse it of all the secular, pluralist, democratic elements inherited from the Indian struggle against British colonialism (a struggle to which they contributed absolutely nothing). They want to redefine what it means to be an Indian completely in â€˜Hinduâ€™ terms and define what it means to be a Hindu according to the Weltenschauung of a minority upper-caste. And all this in a country where there are large non-Hindu minorities present.
Sharonâ€™s â€˜Likudâ€™ationists are ruthlessly seeking to consolidate and expand the racist Israeli State to fulfill an ultra-nationalist vision of lebensraum for a Greater Israel.
The most audacious of all manipulations is of course the attempt by the US elites to breakdown existing international structures and create a completely new State- at the global level. A State that will serve their interests and their interests alone. The 100 year American Reich.
But is that all it is about- their common grounds ? I wish it were. Really. Quite frighteningly, all three regimes are today run by people who will not show a momentâ€™s hesitation in using weapons of mass destruction against anyone they dub their â€˜enemyâ€™.
The repeated pronouncements in recent times by the United States that it â€˜reserves the rightâ€™ to exercise the nuclear option, even for a first strike, is to be taken seriously. Particularly as it comes from a nation that is the only one on this planet to have ever carried out a nuclear attack anywhere.
Israel, the middle-eastâ€™s only nuclear power, has also repeatedly threatened there will be â€˜devastating consequencesâ€™ for countries that dare to strike Israel even with conventional weapons. Surely a clear signal of their willingness to use WMDs.
The Indian Minister of Defense George â€˜loose cannonâ€™ Fernandes, has in the past year said publicly several times that if there is a nuclear exchange between India and Pakistan â€˜ We will lose a few million people but Pakistan will be wiped out completelyâ€™. (I want to know the names and addresses of these few million people he is willing to sacrifice)That a senior minister of any government will even talk about such a possibility so casually shows the material these madmen are made of.
Wait, it gets worse. What is even more horrific about this emerging Axis of the Apocalyptic is that all of them today harbor elements who have classic Nazi-like intentions towards Muslims (in the abstract).
In the US there are those who talk of â€˜nuking Meccaâ€™ who are dangerously close to the powers-that-be. In Israel the extreme rightwing would like to ethnically cleanse the West Bank and Gaza of its Palestinian people.
In India the state sponsored pogrom against Muslims in the western Indian state of Gujarat two years ago showed the world the true face of Hindu fascism. Over 2000 Muslim men, women and children were systematically killed by Hindu mobs while state authorities looked on or even joined in. A clear attempt was made by the Hindu fanatics to push the entire Muslim community out of the province by destroying their sources of income.
At the national level, echoing the practices of the Nazis, the current Indian regime, has systematically rewritten history text books and cooked up archaeological evidence to suit its fanciful theories about Indiaâ€™s past, persecuted religious minorities and sent storm troopers to physically intimidate its critics.
In fact, talking about the Nazis â€“ the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a militarist, so called â€˜culturalâ€™ organization, which mentored many senior leaders of the current Indian government, is a vintage fascist organization. The Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, considered a â€˜moderate â€˜ (and believe me he looks like one compared to the rest) among the Hindu Hawks, has been a life-long member of the RSS. And I do not use the term â€˜fascistâ€™ as an abuse word (I have choicer words for that purpose) but to refer specifically to the political ideology spewed up by Mussolini in Italy of the 1920s and later â€˜developedâ€™ so devastatingly by Herr Hitler in Germany. But there will be no irony at all when Ariel Sharon shakes hands with his Indian counterpart later this month. Unfortunately, the man presiding over a nation built to say Never Again to the Nazi holocaust (built on somebody elseâ€™s land of course) will be very comfortable in bed with this bunch of Indian Nazi-lovers. Sharonâ€™s visit to India at this juncture will be just one more episode in the relentless realpolitik of the Zionists that has seen Israel transform from a land of the 20th Centuryâ€™s greatest victims to one of its most reviled oppressors.
Indiaâ€™s Hindu fundamentalists too will see no contradiction in admiring Hitler and Sharon in the same breath. With their paranoia about â€˜Muslim terrorismâ€™ and their own vision of a Greater India the proponents of an Indian fascism are ardent fans of Sharon- for his willingness to use disproportionate force to put down the rebellious Palestinians, his contempt for both international and human rights laws and his ability to make the monkey (s) in the US White House dance to his tune.
Coming back to how this new Axis is likely to fare in the future it is obvious that there are glaring contradictions within its fold. Contradictions, that have to do with the sheer mismatch in the abilities and ambitions of India and Israel on one hand and the United States on the other.
The simple fact is that while India and Israel delude themselves about being invited to sup with the Superpower for the latter they are both a highly dispensable duo. Mere client-states to be disposed off with when their utility is over.
Israel, as the United Stateâ€™s best bulldog in the turbulent Arab world, to keep an eye on those precious oil reserves. India the dumb, short-sighted elephant to be suckered into conflict with the Chinese dragon someday. And both to seek, hunt and destroy subversive Muslim militants on behalf of Uncle Sam.
So, on closer observation, this Axis of the Apocalyptic turns to be not a single creature but a strange menagerie of a bulldog, elephant and the man-eating tiger that the US has currently become. A tiger that has always had permanent interests, never permanent friends.
Together in the short run they could be a terrifying lot indeed. But if the prey turns out to be tougher to get and the hunt gets longer than planned the tiger will surely not mind supping solo. All alone by itself- on elephant steak and bulldog burger. SHLURP ! BURP ! SHALOM ! NAMASTE!
Satya Sagar is an Indian journalist based in Thailand. He can be reached at [email protected]