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Middle East after Soleimani and India after 370 - Arindam Mukherjee

Iraq has turned into a tag-wrestling ring. After Soleimani, Uncle is trying to manipulate the Iraqi population: petty dissent, agitations within small pockets… you know the game. There is a hint of displeasure building up among the people too, and that’s being radiated in all its glory through the media, as a counter against those massive Iraqi rallies against the occupying force. Uncle thinks that the Soleimani vacuum, however big or small provides a window of opportunity and he is trying to tag as many in this; there are passionate people along both sides after all. Iran too, is in no mood to squander any of the clout that it has built up over the years of Obama indecisiveness; they too have built that with the Kurds, the Shias, and both within Iraqi government and non-govt pockets. That’s a given; Iran makes no bones about it. Their ‘revenge’ too – I hear – is not over; shouldn’t escape your mind even if headlines give that a miss, I have been told. [There is a rumour that the man responsible for the death of Soleimani is dead now that Afghans have downed that US plane a couple of days ago.]

Syria developments are comparatively clearer. Personally, I don’t know what good happened to Uncle after Soleimani was removed. Take Idlib for example. Till that man was alive, he was patching up with this or that irregular unit to limit Al Qaeda menace there. And Sultan in his support of the Qaeda terrorists, did pretty much the same. It was a low intensity, local tussle, that was – for better or worse – limited to Idlib province. AND… kept Uncle’s chances alive somehow. Now with him gone, Lavrov got his air force guys to bomb the Qaeda mercs straight, and now the Syrian Army has liberated the town and occupies that. Scrooge, in desperation I am told, wanted Sultan to join hands with him. Again. Sultan – who had a ringside view of the Uncle-Kurd tango – has kept mum. 

What I find worth a watch is this act of Uncle opening multiple Cold War fronts in response to different competitors of a variety of shapes and sizes. You need three kinds of resources to build this game (roughly speaking): Money, Intel, and Manpower. Uncle – back when he was the richest man and had the best planners and runners on his payroll, had only one gamer to contend with. Now Uncle isn’t as rich he used to be; those planners are gone, and with them, their runners. Uncle went on a base building spree throughout the end of the last century in celebration of the defeat of USSR; bases, which now, in a turn of events suddenly look quite vulnerable in front of people with medium range missiles and nothing much to lose. Don’t think anyone computed for this anomaly in their program chart. Don’t think anyone smart works there anymore, else they would have referred to their own creation: The Muj and his Stinger.

And even then, that was the smaller one. The bigger one is, he has at least three enemies to tangle. These three, they run along three different geographies, and they specialize in three things. The smallest in size is focussed on tactical disruption across Middle East, the biggest in size is focussed on Uncle’s pride – Europe, and the middle one is predominantly targeting the economy apart from Uncle’s Maritime Strategy. That’s at least three wars along multiple power domains. What are the odds, besides a massive drain on resources? There was this constant slide in the quality of personnel (think NATO for example) earlier; now possibly there is going to be a slide in the response quality too. Consider this very, very carefully: AN UNCLE BASE HAS COME UNDER MISSILE ATTACK AND HAS BEEN RUBBLED… and there has been no retaliation, no call to war, no nation invaded… nothing! When do you think that last happened?

This Assad airbase bombing reminds me of that dialogue in that Amitabh Bachchan movie, Sarkar: “Sarkar ek soch hai”… Sarkar is an image. You destroy the image; you destroy the man.

Tangible assets squatting all around the world (some in very dicey corridors), with a zero-sum outlook. Very, very tricky road to travel. I don’t know if Uncle realizes that. I don’t know the way Uncleistan planners think. But if I were to critically examine this example of Soleimani, I would probably come to the conclusion that they are stuck in a mid-twentieth century time warp where they fetishize about dictators strongmen and the likes; their logic revolving around the fact that you take the head off, and there would be none to contend with. That sums up their focus on Putin, Xi, Assad, and so on. Fact is, the world is not an extension of the Latin American banana republics of last century. These targeted assassinations – no matter however successful – are not going to change the tide in 21st century. The rules of engagements have changed. There are lesser and lesser heads to cut off these days. I thought that they’d realized that after they encountered Liquid Jihad during the GWOT phase. I am not sure now. 

About updates within the subcontinent: India’s assertion towards Hindu nationalism is not boding smooth with the Muslim majority neighbours. Bangladesh and Afghanistan have expressed some concerns; though not as bluntly as I’ve stated here. But they are there in a roundabout, decent manner of response as one would have expected them to. The meltdown of Im-the-Dim however, is curious. He’s said that he “won’t let” India to turn into a “Hindu nation”. On the surface, his entitlement level appears interesting. We had our share of Dharminders and Haider Bhais – promising young goons of the 90s. They would frequent the day colleges, sit it out in the canteen or the gallery and spend their days making passes at the girls. They had their college IDs; issued by friendly SFI unions. The Bhais remained bothered about who the girls dated or went to movies with. And would abuse, threaten or manhandle those poor boyfriends were they a little off-guard. Within their circle they referred to these girls as their ‘maal’ – property. Of course, they never could across most cases, muster the confidence to talk to them, let alone woo them. ‘Won’t let India…’ makes me wonder if Keble Oxford had one or more such ID carrying Khan Bhai in the 60s and 70s.

I think he is under tremendous pressure. Till he had opened his treasure trove of toxicity, I had little idea about his cool-quotient. He was cool in a way: lady-killer looks, mostly bowling pitches those days with Akram-Younis-Aqib and that fatass Qadir – he never needed to be strategic-cool like MSD – he was ‘kewl’ cool. In the aftermath of 370, the real Khan Bhai has come about peeping. There’s this whisper that these different protests, human chains etc shows against the NRC/CAA are being funded by certain outsiders. There were markers immediately after 370: recall Pirzada advising Kashmiri Muslims to kill Hindus, Imran promising a Pulwama repeat… I guess most of you have forgotten that. Anyway, more funds are lined up but finding it difficult to make inroads into the subcontinent. Across another plane, Soros has also been throwing tantrums, and you remember that. Khan Bhai is doing the same and for the same reason even though his/Pindi’s agenda is a little different from Soros’, and presently alligned without an alliance. 

So? Foreign funds – mostly illegal, and not in solidarity with any group. That’s the prime. Some of you might romanticize about multiculti, melting-pot, égalité’ and shit; that’s not the model by the way. We are suckers for low-resolution metanarratives; whoever’s story we find attractive, we rally behind. Precisely the reason why psy-warfare uses your ideology as a doormat. At times it doesn’t even need one (recall the HK protests versus the Yellow Vests of France). BJP’s sloppy trials to assert nationalistic policies has scratched the top layer of Indian secularism, which in turn has provided a decent entry point. And unless New Delhi has an intelligent counter to this, this is going to get uglier. While The Order wasn’t erected for fun or philanthropy, Pindi and ISI aren’t philanthropic about Indian Muslims either. If the woman who lost her baby in Shaheen Bagh doesn’t give a shit, what makes you think some Paki puppeteer would bother about a bunch of idiots he would never meet in his life?

The Game about India would perhaps be like this: Efforts to pry the country open further along ethnic/religious fault-lines to push the globalist agenda (with ISI at the sidelines, trying to snatch a spare bone and run) across one end, and, trials to stop them from enjoying the fruits all alone, at the other. BJP might surprise all of us by making a backdoor deal with Soros and the Order and dislodge its prospective partnership with Khan Bhai. Would the Order, that uses the regressive left and radical Islamists mostly globally to further its agenda, consider getting into a different arrangement for India? They already have a chunk of their direct or indirect recruits in place and at play. Or would they consider the BJP favourably since they command the power of the millions that remain out of bounds of the ivory-tower-volunteers of the Order?

Well? That which is profitable shall be pursued. And if that happens, Shaheen Bagh guys must tattoo ‘Please Kick My Ass’ on their foreheads.


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