AFTER KIM JONG UN’S OUTBURST, NORTH KOREA NOW TRIES TO PUT DONALD TRUMP IN THE DOCK

The article originally appeared on India Today.

After Kim Jong Un’s vitriolic outburst that called Donald Trump a frightened dog and a mentally deranged dotard on his warning to totally destroy North Korea, North Korea is now trying to put Donald Trump in the dock for his “thrice-cursed sophism”.

In a reaction to Trump’s maiden United Nations General Assembly speech, KCNA, the official news agency of North Korea, has said that Trump’s speech has shocked not just the United Nations but the whole world.

While speaking at the UNGA on September 19, Trump had warned that if the United States was forced to defend itself or its allies, it would have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea adding that the Rocket Man was on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.

Trump invented the term Rocket Man to describe Kim Jong Un after a series of missile and nuclear tests by North Korea under his watch.

Trump’s speech has been widely panned by media outfits and world leaders and that may have given North Korea a chance to browbeat its own propaganda, even if Trump didn’t mean it so and it was just a bad choice of words, something that usually happens with him.

Commentaries and reports in publications like The Washington Post, CNN, Financial Times, The Guardian and reactions of leaders like UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, French President Emmanuel Macron, Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and many others termed Trump’s assertions wrong and miscalculated. They found Trump’s remarks could give rise to fatal misunderstandings as Guterres put it.

A Washington Post commentary said that Trump’s words implied that he threatened not just to uproot the North Korean regime but the entire nation along with its people while The Guardian wrote that Trump’s language cannot be seen as funny as “he controls a nuclear arsenal powerful enough to annihilate humanity several times over.”

Declaring Trump’s remarks as heinous and something that something “that can be uttered by the boss of gangsters rather than by a politician”, KCNA added in its release that “the international community was raising voices of denunciation, being deeply concerned about such outbursts and wild words as “total destruction” of a sovereign state, not just “overturn of social system” and “regime change”.

LATEST IN DONALD TRUMP – KIM JONG UN WAR OF WORDS

In the latest, Donald Trump has concluded that Kim Jong Un is a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his own people and for his acts he will be tested and punished like never before.

Donald Trump’s warning came after Kim Jong Un lashed on him for his UNGA speech. Trump said that denuclearization was the only acceptable future of North Korea and later on signed an Executive Order imposing more sanctions on the nation.

In response to Trump’s warning, Kim described him as a gangster fond of playing with fire and displaying an unprecedented rude nonsense one had never heard from any of his predecessors.

He didn’t stop at this. He further said that Trump was a mentally deranged dotard, a frightened dog who barked louder and North Korea knew how to tame him.

And like Donald Trump had warned North Korea last month that if it escalated nuclear threat, it would be met with fire and fury like the world had never seen, Kim concluded that the North Korean fire would surely and definitely tame Donald Trump. North Korea also warned that it may soon detonate its most powerful hydrogen bomb yet over the Pacific.

Earlier this month, on September 3, North Korea had detonated a hydrogen bomb in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date and Pyongyang had warned of more ‘gift packages’ for Washington which came true when it test fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan on September 15.

©SantoshChaubey

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NOW CHINESE STATE MEDIA WADES INTO US-NORTH KOREA ROW, SAYS CHINA WOULD COUNTER US ACTION AGAINST NORTH KOREA

“China should make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral.”

This is what an editorial in China’s official publication Global Times, known for taking extreme positions, says. The official mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party has been issuing war threats and warnings of disastrous consequences to India on a daily basis ever since the India-China border standoff in Doklam Plateau began in June.

It is an established fact that China is the only factor that has let North Korea, a rogue state, become increasingly belligerent over the years in spite of global sanctions that have been in place for decades. China, in fact, is the only major trading partner of North Korea and accounts for over 80 per cent of North Korean trade.

After North Korea’s first Inter-continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) test, that was surprisingly successful, and its increasing threats of launching a nuclear missile on the US, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) last week imposed even harsher sanctions on North Korea in an aim to reduce its exports by one-third.

But seeing the history of China always extending olive branch to North Korea, experts are divided on whether imposing more sanctions on North Korea will be of any help. Even though China has announced to support the sanctions, its track record says it has never implemented such international agreements in past and they merely remained on paper.

In the same doublespeak, China’s state run media says here if North Korea attacks the US, China should remain neutral but would prevent any US or South Korean attempt to overthrow the war friendly dictatorial regime of North Korea, “If the US and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so.”

That clearly means China would not take any pre-emptive step to stop North Korea from taking that disastrous step and would not allow even the US and South Korea to do so, even if it means a nuclear attack by the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Clearly taking the line of China’s interests first, the editorial goes on to say that “China will firmly resist any side which wants to change the status quo of the areas where China’s interests are concerned.”

US President Donald Trump has warned that the US is fully prepared, locked and loaded, to face any North Korean threat following his reaction to unleash fire and fury on North Korea after it was revealed that North Korea had developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead for its missiles that could effectively reach the US mainland.

In response, North Korea has said that it is readying plans to launch missile attack on Guam, an US island in the Pacific. Guam is a major US military installation housing the Naval Base Guam and the Anderson Air Force Base. Apart from high-end military assets like the B52 bombers and the nuclear powered fast attack submarines, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD), an anti-ballistic missile defence system, are deployed here. Recently, the US deployed THAAD in South Korea to counter any missile attack threat from North Korea. China sees presence of THAAD in the Korean Peninsula a challenge its sovereignty in its area of influence and has been vehemently opposing it.

North Korea has been rapidly revving up its nuclear and missile programme after successful test launches of nuclear capable ICBMs. Trump, who had said earlier that he would not allow North Korea to have an ICBM, had reacted strongly on North Korean ICBM saying the US was drawing plans for its “pretty severe” response.

©SantoshChaubey

DONALD TRUMP SAYS NORTH KOREA WILL BE MET WITH FIRE AND FURY IF IT THREATENS US

The article originally appeared on India Today on 9 August.

US President Donald Trump has warned North Korea that “if it escalates nuclear threat, it will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen”, the US media has said. A tough response from him was expected after it was revealed earlier in the day that North Korea had produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be fitted inside its missiles. The revelation was based on the assessment of the US intelligence agencies.

Terming Trump’s threat extraordinary, a CNN report quoted him as saying, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which the world has never seen.”

On Monday, North Korea ‘vowed’ to teach US a severe lesson. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said if the US used military force, North Korea would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons.

HARSHER SANCTIONS

Earlier, on Saturday, the United Nations Security Council slapped even harsher sanctions on North Korea, in an aim to reduce its exports by one-third.

Hitting back, North Korea said “it would make the US pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country.”

Experts are divided on whether imposing more sanctions on North Korea will be of any help – because even though China, its biggest trading partner, has announced to support the sanctions, its track record says it has never implemented such international agreements in past and they merely remained on paper.

NUCLEAR PROGRAMME

North Korea has been rapidly revving up its nuclear and missile programme after it successfully test fired its first inter-continental ballistic missile last month which according to experts was a new type unlike the previous North Korean missile tests and with a range of over 8,000 km. Such a missile can easily reach the American mainland.

North Korea’s ICBM had left the major world powers divided. A Russia-China joint statement was soft and put the onus of North Korea’s missile launch on annual US-South Korea military drills in the region and the deployment of the US anti-ballistic missile defence system THAAD in South Korea.
Trump, who had said earlier he would not allow North Korea to have an ICBM, had reacted strongly. He then said the US was drawing plans for its “pretty severe” response.

The US, with South Korea, held a military drill in response to North Korea’s ICBM and the US allies held an emergency UN Security Council meeting where the US’ UN Ambassador Nikki Haley asserted that the US could use “considerable military forces” if situation demanded.

©SantoshChaubey

ARAB SPRING 2.0? KEY FINDINGS OF ADR 2016. RADICALISATION THREATS.

RADICALISATION THREATS.

MARGINALIZATION/EXISTENTIAL THREATS!
Events in the region since 2011 have demonstrated the ability of young people to initiate action and catalyse change. They demonstrated young people’s awareness of the serious challenges to development posed by current conditions, and their ability to express the dissatisfaction of society as a whole with those conditions and its demands for change. These events also revealed the depth of the marginalisation that young people suffer and their inability to master the instruments of organised political action that could guarantee the peacefulness and sustainability of such change.

FAILING REGIMES!
There seems to be no prospect of improvement in the ability of governments to create sufficient suitable jobs, particularly because of the decline in oil prices and the negative effects of the decline on economic growth throughout the region, not merely in oil-producing countries.

LOST OPPORTUNITY!
Today’s generation of young people is more educated, active and connected to the outside world, and hence have a greater awareness of their realities and higher aspirations for a better future.

However, young people’s awareness of their capabilities and rights collides with a reality that marginalises them and blocks their pathways to express their opinions, actively participate or earn a living.

As a result, instead of being a massive potential for building the future, youth can become an overwhelming power for destruction.

HAVE NO SAY!
The youth unemployment rate is the highest in the world, reaching almost 30 percent, even though five years have passed since the widespread protests demanding a dignified life.

High numbers of young people, particularly young women, are unemployed and excluded from the formal economy.

The research literature continues to highlight the weak productivity of education and training systems in the region.

WAKE UP!
Indicators confirm that the overwhelming majority of young people in the Arab region do not tend to adopt extremist or violent views or to participate in extremist groups or activities. However, this should not lead us to complacency, because young people remain vulnerable to victimization by groups that misuse religion to benefit from its pivotal role in shaping identities.

EASY TARGETS TO BE EXPLOITED IN THE NAME OF RELIGION BY TERROR GROUPS/FRINGES!
Disgruntled individuals are less prone to resorting to peaceful, patient social action to change their environment. They may prefer more direct, more violent means, especially if they are convinced that existing mechanisms for participation and accountability are useless.

From:
Arab Human Development Report 2016
Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality

ARAB SPRING 2.0? KEY FINDINGS OF ADR 2016. UNEMPLOYMENT.

UNEMPLOYMENT
Most recent statistics indicate that two-thirds of the Arab region’s population is below thirty years of age, half of which falling within the 15 – 29-year age bracket.

The youth unemployment rate is the highest in the world, reaching almost 30 percent, even though five years have passed since the widespread protests demanding a dignified life.

Young people between the ages of fifteen and 29 make up nearly a third of the regThe youth unemployment rate is the highest in the world, reaching almost 30 percent, even though five years have passed since the widespread protests demanding a dignified life.ion’s population, another third are below the age of fifteen.

Their numbers exceed 105 million, equivalent to one third of the population. This is the highest share in the history of the region.

In 2014, unemployment among youth in the Arab region exceeded twice the global average – the situation is expected to worsen by 2019.

The most important challenges that they feel they face – 75.77% said it was the prevailing Economic situation (poverty, unemployment, price increase).

Corruption was a distant second with 14.78% going with it – but together they are over 90% (90.55%) – that means a lot and that tells why there is chronic unemployment rate and why the youth is forced to protest.

Unemployment rate among the young female population is 47%. The global average is 16%. Unemployment rate among the young male population female is 24%. The global average is 13%.

In 2014, unemployment among youth in the Arab region exceeded twice the global average – the situation is expected to worsen by 2019.

By 2020, the Arab region needs to create 60 million new jobs to cater to the rising number the young, working age population.

Young people are coming of age in a context of widening income disparities, increasing inequality of opportunity, slowing average growth and shrinking job opportunities. These problems are weakening their commitment to preserving government institutions and their desire to participate in a political world that does not meet their needs or their expectations.

From:
Arab Human Development Report 2016
Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality

ARAB SPRING 2.0: ANOTHER ARAB AWAKENING COMING?

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is a bit modified and extended.

“The prospects of young people in the region are, now more than ever, jeopardized by poverty, economic stagnation, governance failure and exclusion, all compounded by the violence and fragility of the body politic.”

That, we can say is the central theme of the latest Arab Development Report (ADR 2016) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently.

UNDP, so far, has released six ADRs and the themes of the reports say how the condition has worsened in region from 2002 to 2016. The first ADR, in 2002, was themed on opportunities, while the latest one, in 2016, raises tough questions on the very real possibility of yet another round of the Arab revolution or awakening, five years after the Arab Spring of 2011.

WILL IT BE ARAB SPRING 2.0?

It seems so if we go by the findings of the latest ADR – “Arab Human Development Report 2016: Youth and the Prospects for Human Development in a Changing Reality”.

The 2011 Arab Spring was largely youth driven who were well connected through social media. They were staring at a blank when it came to future security. Five years later, the Arab unemployment rate remains abysmally low. At 30%, it is double the global average. Moreover, today’s youth are more educated and more connected but less employable. The discontent is brewing.

The ADR says, “Events in the region since 2011 have demonstrated the ability of young people to initiate action and catalyse change. They demonstrated young people’s awareness of the serious challenges to development posed by current conditions, and their ability to express the dissatisfaction of society as a whole with those conditions and its demands for change. These events also revealed the depth of the marginalisation that young people suffer and their inability to master the instruments of organised political action that could guarantee the peacefulness and sustainability of such change.”

The youth in the region are cursed to live in a region of despotic leaders that, with a population base of just 5% of the world, has seen 14% of the world’s terror. The corresponding data set is even worse. The Arab region has 57.5% of the world’s refugees and 47% of the world’s internally displaced. The region saw the world’s 68.5%% of battle related deaths from 1989 to 2014. The global average is 27.7%. Average military expenditure per capita of the region is over 65% of the global average. The report indicates rapidly increasing conflict zones in the region and says by 2050, 3 of 4 Arabs would be living in the high conflict zones.

IT LOOKS SCARY

Such abysmal figures tell of a bleak future, especially for its youth who have even fewer opportunities than 2011 and are now compartmentalized in different conflict zones and are therefore unable to move, the report says. And they are the largest chunk of the Arab population – two-thirds of them are below 30 years.

And they have nowhere to go. The report writes, “Young people’s awareness of their capabilities and rights collides with a reality that marginalises them and blocks their pathways to express their opinions, actively participate or earn a living. As a result, instead of being a massive potential for building the future, youth can become an overwhelming power for destruction.”

The report paints a worrying scenario, “Youth in the Arab region suffer to varying degrees as a result of the state of human development. Young people feel deeply anxious about their future and are gripped by an inherent sense of discrimination and exclusion. Many of them do not receive good education, find suitable employment, or have appropriate health care. Moreover, youth in Arab countries are insufficiently represented in public life, and have no meaningful say in shaping policies that influence their lives.”

THEY ARE NOT VOTING..BUT THEY ARE PROTESTING..

When we see the youth voting rate, at 68.3%, it is lowest in the world. The global average is 87.4%. But it doesn’t mean that they are not participating in the sociopolitical processes. They are voting less but are protesting more. It means they don’t have faith in the existing governments. According to the report, over 18% of the Arab youths participated in protests in 2013, almost double of the global average of 10.8%.

What other options do they have? A region run by ruthless military rulers or monarchs that believes in spending more on arms and terrorism than human development, as the figures above say, was waiting for this to happen. All was well till easy oil money was there, as the state could co-opt the dissenting voices, while building palaces and businesses of those who roamed in the power corridors. It is well known that most outfits and jobs in the Arab countries are in the government sector. But now, as the oil prices are historically low and future looks grim on price revisions despites the oil producing block OPEC’s repeated attempts, that easy option is gone.

The report says, “The gains in human development rarely translated into gains in productivity and growth because the model trapped human capital in unproductive public sector jobs, while building up a pyramid of privilege that gave economic advantages to companies and individuals closely linked to decision makers and reinforcing structural alliances among political and economic elites so they could protect their own interests. Ultimately, the model supported individuals from cradle to grave, but bequeathed a negative legacy.”

2011 ARAB SPRING

The 2011 Arab Spring had swept the Arab world in the Middle East and North Africa but it remained far from achieving its desired end. It resulted in removal of four despotic rulers – in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen – ongoing civil wars in Syria, Yemen and Libya – and series of large scale protests in Bahrain, Algeria, Somalia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Morocco and many other Arab countries. Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer which is ruled by a strict monarchy, also saw protests and its echoes are still felt with its continued purge of dissenting voices. In January this year, the country executed 47 people including Nimr al-Nimr, a Shiite Arab Spring voice.

Except Tunisia, nowhere we have seen a successful power transition towards a democratic process. Egypt had a democratically elected government of the Muslim Brotherhood but its fundamentalism pushed people again to protest and now the army is back in the controlling role. Libya and Yemen are dark patches of civil and faction wars. Syria has become the scourge of the modern times pushing the largest contingent of refugees across the world.

The revolution that had begun in 2011 is still half done – and the factors that led to the massive protests then – have become more painful now.

©SantoshChaubey

FROM AYLAN KURDI TO OMRAN DAQNEESH: SYRIAN CRISIS HAS ONLY GONE FROM BAD TO WORSE!

Five years ago, in 2011, when the Syrian revolution had begun, the US administration led by President Barack Obama had asserted that ‘Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s days are numbered’. Hillary Clinton, then the US Secretary of State and now the Democratic Presidential nominee, had reiterated this ‘version’ in 2012. It had given the Syrian people, those opposing Assad and the Syrian rebels, hope then that the Arab Spring would soon see a successful rebellion in the country.

Five years down the line, Syria has become the worst humanitarian crisis since the days of the Second World War. The images coming from the country are horrible. They leave you choked, sometimes in tears. And some of them become the global rallying points – like last year, when images of a three year old dead Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi washed ashore on a Turkish coast while trying to cross the Mediterranean to get into Europe – or last week this year, when the images of a five year old Syrian boy, Omran Daqneesh, stained with blood and rubble – became the global expression of outrage.

These two images symbolize what Syrians are going through. They have nowhere to call home – not in Syria – not outside Syria. Omran Daqneesh’s image is from Aleppo, a Syrian town that is considered rebels’ stronghold. Alylan Kurdi was found dead on a European coast. The five years of the Syrian civil war has effectively obliterated the past, the present and the future of the millions of Syrians.

Aylan-Omran

Image Courtesy: Reuters

When the Aylan Kurdi’s image had hit the world headlines in September 2015, some 13 million Syrians needed immediate humanitarian support. The figures from an Amnesty International report say that by September 2015, the Syrian civil war had left 220,000 dead, over 4 million refugees and 50 percent of its leftover population internally displaced (some 10 million).

From September 2015 to August 2016, the Syrian crisis has only gone from bad to worse. Now there are over 6.5 million Syrian refugees scattered in different countries. The civil war death toll now stands at around 500,000. If we draw a plausible line according to the figures available from the Syrian rebel factions and as per the increased hostilities aided by the Russian bombings, the internally displaced population now stands at around 12 million.

Yet the world community does nothing more than counting the Syrian dead while the number of victims is rapidly going up.

On one side, an emboldened dictator-cum-mercenary-cum-warlord-cum-butcher, after the Russian support, is slaying his countrymen in flocks, using even the chemical weapons. Then there are terror outfits like the Islamic State or the Al Qaeda affiliates or even the Syrian rebel factions. They have sandwiched the common Syrians – killing them, forcing them to live under siege or forcing them to flee the country – to a place where they don’t know if they will see the next dawn.

This ongoing horror has given us another event that once again raises questions on us being the members of a globalized world run by a globalized code with a unifying organization like the United Nations. Barring few, almost all countries are its members.

Events like Syria say the UN is failing; the world community is failing – because the Syrian crisis/civil war is now in its sixth year while the major police nations of the world, who invade an Afghanistan, an Iraq or a Libya, have let that happen. Afghanistan invasion could have been a spontaneous response to the 9/11 attacks in the US but the flimsy grounds on which the Iraq offensive had been launched has always been in questions. The latest British public inquiry report into the Iraq war, the Chilcot Report, which was submitted on July 6, 2016, states that Saddam Hussein didn’t pose imminent threat and that the war should have been averted.

In this globalized world, Syria has become the only war-torn/civil-war-hit country to see a decline in its population – with hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. According to reports, since the crisis began in 2011, Syria has seen some 11.5% decline in its population.

The never ending Syrian crisis has forced the biggest migration of people since the Second World War – a wave that the European countries are feeling too difficult a crisis to handle. Syrians are the biggest migrants group in Europe – those who have got asylum – those who are still waiting in the ‘nowhere’ zone – and those who lost their lives while trying to reach those elusive borders of the European continent.

The countless images coming out of Syria – of Omran Daqneesh, of Aylan Kurdi, of Syrians dying in chemical and explosive attacks, and of ghost towns with ravaged buildings – sum up the horror tens of thousands of human-beings are forced to live day in, day out, seeking the shore to fix their lives, a shore that is increasingly becoming elusive.

Yes, we live in a world that has always been plagued with ‘humanity killing developments’ like wars, crusades, religious wars, ethnic cleansings and the Holocaust, yet images like these, again and again, leave us thoughtless, speechless, soulless and lifeless. They say all. Their backdrop becomes hauntingly clear just by a mere look. Images like these make our lives beyond redemption. They put us all, the combined human masses of the world, in the dock over a crime that humanity can never get rid of. They rightly negate our claims of being the citizens of a civilized world.

©SantoshChaubey

ALL IN THE NAME OF IDENTITY POLITICS!

While writing this, German city Munich is under siege. A deadly shootout has seen multiple deaths and it is not over yet.

And it has come within 10 days of the truck attack in Nice in France that claimed 84 lives and injured over 300. No bullet was fired yet a self-radicalized ISIS sympathizer killed so many – because he was blinded by an idea.

And it has come within three weeks of the July 1 Dhaka terror strike that left 22 dead.

And it has come almost within three weeks of the Istanbul terror attack on June 28 that killed 45.

And it has come within two weeks of the bloodiest Ramadan ever – the month of peace that terrorists chose to shatter the world piece.

And these are just the few from the latest round of the terror onslaught. Since the advent of the ISIS, the world has seen a renewed form of terrorism that is breaking every mould to chose its methods and is inflicting its damage – in countries as far as Brazil. Yesterday only a news report came that Brazil busted a terror module that was working to target the Rio Olympics that is beginning on August 5.

There have been multiple terror attacks in Asia, Europe, Africa (and America).

On average, some 30000 people are killed every year in terror strikes.

And what lies in base of this madness – is the sheer misuse of a term that has conceptualized and defined (and refined) every breed of politics the world over – ever since we started organizing in different units – and ever since we started realizing that we has an identity – that kept us apart from others.

Identity Politics!

Yes, terrorism is nothing but another political tool that draw its existence from the Identity Politics.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

SYRIAN HOLOCAUST

On June 28, an offensive against the Islamic State led by the US backed Syrian rebels who were trained by the Pentagon miserably failed as the US fighter jets failed to provide the most important strategic element – the air cover. They instead chose to divert the planes to another target in Iraq. The result – the rebels had to retreat incurring heavy loss – along with the fear psychosis that the US may now abandon them mid way in future operations. Okay, that may be like stretching it too far as the US has justified its move, but when we see the human crisis in Syria – when we see the biggest human travesty since the Second World War – it gives enough room to question the intentions of the world community – and the US decision to divert its fighter jets is just symptomatic of that.

After the Holocaust, Syria is the biggest horror humanity has seen and to make the matters even worse, it is still ongoing with no end in sight.

On one side, an emboldened dictator-cum-mercenary-cum-warlord-cum-butcher, after the Russian support (courtesy another dictator), is slaying his own countrymen in flocks, using even the chemical weapons.

Then there are terror outfits like the Islamic State or the Al Qaeda affiliates or even the Syrian rebel factions.

They have sandwiched the common Syrians – killing them, forcing them to live under siege or forcing them to flee the country – to a place where they don’t know if they will see the next dawn.

This ongoing horror has given us another event that once again raises questions on us being the members of a globalized world run by a globalized code with a unifying organization like the United Nations. Almost the whole globe is member of the UN.

Events like Syria say the UN is failing; the world community is failing – because the Syrian crisis/civil war is now in its sixth year while the major police nations of the world, who invade an Afghanistan, an Iraq or a Libya, have let that happen. Afghanistan invasion could have been the spontaneous response to the 9/11 attacks in the US but the flimsy grounds on which the Iraq offensive had been launched had always been in questions. The latest British public inquiry report into the Iraq war, the Chilcot Report, which was submitted on July 6, states that Saddam Hussein didn’t pose imminent threat and that the war should have been averted.

In this globalized world, Syria has become the only war-torn/civil-war-hit country to see a decline in its population – with hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced. Syrians are the biggest migrants group in Europe – those who have got asylum – those who are still waiting in the ‘nowhere’ zone – and those who lost their lives while trying to reach those elusive borders of the European continent.

The never-ending Syrian crisis has forced the biggest migration of people since the Second World War – a wave that the European countries are feeling too difficult a crisis to handle. Last year, in 2015, there were more 1.3 million migrants seeking asylum in Europe and the pack was led by Syria.

According to reports, since the crisis began in 2011, Syria has seen some 11.5% decline in its population. From this assessment, if the pre-conflict Syrian population in 2010 was 21.5 million, it should be around 19 million now. According to the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, the five years of Syrian civil war has killed some 470,000 Syrians while some 480,000 are forced to live under siege.

But when we count in the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe or the Syrian refugee crisis in totality, the inland Syrian population looks even thinner. Some 5 to 6 million Syrians are in different refugee camps – in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan and in many European countries.

This – the population decline – has not been seen even in the war-torn nations and the crisis hotbeds like Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

Now compare this to the other major ongoing war theatres in the world – Iraq and Afghanistan.

A study report by some universities including the University of Washington in 2013 stated that over 5,00,000 people were killed in the ongoing Iraq war since its beginning in 2003. Iraq Body Count, a Britain based organisation that collects its information from media reports, puts the count to around 2,50,000.

An MIT report (Iraq: The Human Cost) says the ongoing Iraq war has displaced around 3.5 million to 5 million people. But the figure includes both internal and external refugees. Here we need to keep in mind that the external Iraqi refugees were basically in the camps of Jordan and Syria. So it is a double blow for them – first they had to leave their home for Syria. And then even Syria!

In Afghanistan, the ongoing war since the US led invasion in 2001 had killed around 1,00,000 by December 2014 as per a Brown University report. The same report puts the Afghan refugee count to around 2.7 million whereas the war has displaced over 7,00,000 internally.

The Afghan war has been ongoing since the last 15 years – and the Iraq war since the last 13. Yet, the Syrian war has overshadowed both of them in terms of the human cost of the war – in a span of just six years – in terms of human lives lost – and in terms of humans lives displaced. To make things worse, unlike the Afghani and Iraqi migrants, who basically migrate to the countries sharing land borders, the Syrian refugees are forced to cross the Mediterranean Sea which killed around 4000 of them in 2015.

And there is no end in sight. The dictator, the rebels, the lynchpin and the “occasional vigilantes’ (the police nations of the world) – all are out there – frozen on their respective poles – even if it means half a million killed – half a million internally displaced – and six million in refugee camps.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died. Hundreds of thousands are in danger zones, facing imminent threat to their lives. Hundreds of thousands are starving to death. Millions in refugee camps are stuck not knowing what to do with their lives. Majority of schools and hospitals in Syria are gone, ruined or annihilated in the ongoing war.

It is the next Holocaust the world has created – like it had done with Adolf Hitler. The first Holocaust was in making much before the organised pogrom began on a large scale in 1940 but the world refused to intervene – something that finally ended up killed around 10 million including the six million Jews.

Where the Syrian Holocaust would end?

©SantoshChaubey

FOR HOW LONG WILL PAKISTAN BE ALLOWED TO WALK AWAY?

Saudi Arabia has arrested 19 people including 12 Pakistanis in the ongoing probe in suicide attacks in three cities of the Kingdom. The three suicide attacks on July 4, which were carried out near the Medina mosque, the second holiest shrine of the Muslims, near the US consulate in Jeddah and near a mosque in the Shia dominated Saudi city Qatif, had killed 7 people and injured many others.

On July 5, Saudi Arabia identified the Jeddah bomber as a Pakistani national who had migrated to the Kingdom 12 years ago. Saudi nationals were found involved in the other two incidents.

Apart from the direct involvement of a Pakistani national, what is important here is the number of people detained in the aftermath – 12 Pakistanis out of the total 19 detained!

Pakistan is yet to response. And Saudi Arabia is not the first country.

Terrorists killed 22 people in an attack on a Dhaka cafe on July 1. The Bangladesh government has blamed Pakistan for the attack. It refused to accept the theory of IS’s claims and said the attack was perpetrated by a home-grown terror outfit which gets active support from Pakistan’s ISI – the notorious intelligence agency that is seen as a terror export organisation in India. In fact, Bangladesh has always blamed Pakistan for promoting terror activities in the country and had expelled some Pakistani diplomats few days ago on the suspicion of being under-cover arms dealers.

On July 7, Iran, which shares border with Pakistan, blamed Pakistan for death of four Iran Border Guards who were killed on July 7 in a terror ambush from across the border in Pakistan. Iran consistently blames Pakistan for being negligent and complicit in allowing its soil to be used by terrorists fomenting unrest in Iran, especially in its border province Sistan-Balouchestan.

Then Afghanistan is another country that always blames Pakistan for terror activities on the Afghani soil – from across the border in Pakistan – be it the attack on the Afghan’s Parliament building in Kabul or countless suicide attacks in Kabul’s diplomatic area and in other parts of Afghanistan. And why not – every terror group active in Afghanistan has got refuge in Pakistan – including the Taliban, the Al Qaeda and the Haqqani Network. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has on record said that “war has been declared against Afghanistan from the Pakistani territory”.

For India, Pakistan is the terror factory that is responsible for every terror activity in Jammu & Kashmir and in other parts of India. The most wanted in India are public figures in Pakistan. Even the world accepts the use of Pakistani soil in launching terror attacks in India – with terror strikes in J&K, in Mumbai, in Delhi, in Pathankot – just to name a few.

Across the Pacific, in the US, one of the worst terrorist attacks post 9/11 – in San Bernardino, California that saw 14 dead – was perpetrated by a Pakistan born couple who reportedly got radicalized under the influence of a Pakistani preacher.

Even Pakistan’s claimed all-weather friend China is not free from this terror taint that emanates from Pakistan. It has been a long held suspicion that terrorists in the China’s Muslim dominated region Xinjiang, that again shares border with Pakistan, find passage and safe haven in Pakistan.

Yet Pakistan behaves as if it is the leader of the Islamic countries of the world – proudly flaunting its ‘Islamic nuclear bomb’ credentials.

The reality that we all in India realise is – Pakistan is a nation that has always used terror as its state policy. Saudi wealth may be the resource behind many terror organizations in the world but it is the Pakistani soil that is harbouring countless terrorists – from Al Qaeda to Taliban to LeT to JeM to Haqqani Network and many other smaller terror outfits.

A FRACTURED NATION – BUT A NATION OF DOUBLESPEAK

Pakistan is a fractured nation. Its political chaos, lost in its military juggernaut has made the country directionless. The perpetual disagreement among its controlling institutions failed to check insurgency in its restive provinces and now it has engulfed the whole country. Its civilian government cannot control it and its all powerful military has other considerations – like promoting “good terror” to destabilise India and running a propaganda machinery to show India as a demon that is out there to devour Pakistan.

Pakistan has created monsters of terrorism that are the threatening the world, including the Islamic countries. Pakistan sheds crocodile tears saying it is the biggest victim of terror and presents the supporting data but it does nothing to crackdown on the many terror groups that use the Pakistani soil to perpetrate terror in other countries – a terror network that has created havens even for many anti-Pakistan terror groups that refuse to bow down – so much so that now unless it is a news of some very big terror strike, the international media doesn’t notice it.

Afghanistan President Mohammad Najibullah had warned Pakistan of Taliban’s grave dangers saying its flames would burn Pakistan. Soon Taliban swept Afghanistan and killed Najibullah in a public display of brutality. Pakistan created Taliban and now Taliban is trying to undo an already chaotic Pakistan. Isn’t it?

FOR HOW LONG THE WORLD WILL ALLOW PAKISTAN TO FOOL EVERYONE!

The United States had agreed to extend for one year the aid to Pakistan to fight terrorism on the condition that it would stop differentiating between good and bad terror. And the country’s most powerful person, the Army chief of Pakistan Raheel Sharif had extended this promise during his US visit. Yet, many big terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar, directly implicated in heinous terror acts in India, are roaming free and are even ‘respectable’ citizens there. We saw the Pakistani government’s attitude that allowed bail to Zaki-ur Rahman Lakhvi, main handler of the Mumbai 26/11 attacks, on technical grounds. This is when the US has put a bounty of US$ 10 million on Hafiz Saeed. This is when Masood Azhar, then lodged in an Indian jail, was ‘exchanged’ in a hijacking incident. Isn’t Pakistan taking Uncle Sam for a ride? Or Uncle Sam is allowing it to happen? And many other countries who support Pakistan?

There is no reason for the world community, for us, to think that the US is not aware of it. But apart from putting a reward and occasional back channel assurances, we don’t see any aggressive posturing by the US. Should we go by the explanation that when the US lawmakers demanded Pakistan to stop differentiating between ‘good and bad terror’, it was meant only in the context of Taliban and the AfPak theatre? Is it for the same reason that no other country, not any NATO nation, or any other nation from any grouping of the world countries question Pakistan for its terror credentials? When Pakistan is a haven for terrorists operating in so many countries, why can’t the world community take a coordinated action to pressurise Pakistan to crackdown on the terror infrastructure present in the country?

Hillary Clinton, the then US Secretary of State, had warned Pakistan sternly on its doublespeak on terrorism. Hillary’s blunt message delivered in Islamabad in October 2011 was: “It’s like that old story. You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.” That was some five years ago yet Pakistan has kept a blind eye and is still doing the same, harbouring many snakes while trying to crush only a few.

©SantoshChaubey