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An interesting perspective.



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An interesting perspective.
Barun


>The Wall Street Journal, 17th September 2001
>
>American's Allies for the Long Haul
>
>By: Tunku Varadaranjan
>
>THE U.S SHOULD SEEK COMMON CAUSE WITH INDIA, ISRAEL AND TURKEY. THESE
THREE
>STATES HAVE A VISCERAL NEED TO VANQUISH ISLAMIC TERROR, AS WELL AS A
>MILITARY CAPACITY TO FIGHT IT.
>
>In the war against Islamic terrorism- and not merely in the impending
>strikes against its practitioners in Afghanistan- the U.S should be
aware
>that there are two classes of ally among the many states to which it
will
>turn for cooperation. The first is the kind whose common cause will
emerge,
>ad hoc, with each battle, and whose enthusiasm for an anti-terrorist
>crusade will depend on the regional or strategic contours of each
>engagement. This kind of ally might accurately be described as
>opportunistic, or mercurial, and example would be Pakistan, whose
military
>dictator, Pervez Musharraf, has formally- albeit through gritted teeth-

>offered logistical support to U.S ground and air forces.
>         The second truer kind of ally is the one whose support for any
war
>on Islamic terror is not opportunistic, but instinctive and
philosophical.
>Its fight against this terror is driven by the deepest conviction;
indeed,
>its fight is driven also by dire need, for not to fight would spell
doom
>for its society, and for its civilization. A perfect example of this
kind
>of state, and ally would be Israel, whose very existence depends, daily
on
>combating and overcoming terror. Another example is India, which
grapples
>with organized Islamic terrorism- both state sponsored and freelance-
on a
>scale that no country, bar Israel, can match. A third example is
turkey,
>which, while a state of Muslim, is not a Muslim state.
>         Outside the western world, as geographically defined, these
three
>states are perhaps the only ones on which the U.S can count, virtually
>unconditionally, to show an immutable opposition to Islamic terrorism.
>Crucially, they are all situated at terrorist nodes, in a vast,
seething
>region in which Islamic states are heavily preponderant. Israel is
>surrounded by hostile forces that seek its extirpation from this earth;

>turkey boarders Iran and Iraq, but its aversion to militant Islam stems
as
>much from cartographical misfortune as from its own AtaTurkist history.

>India shares borders with Pakistan. Whose interservice intelligence not

>only helped establishes the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, but also
hosts
>about a dozen major terrorist training camps on Pakistani soil.
>         These camps are now temporarily closed for business, and for
the
>first time in over a year, Indian troops have recorded no broader
>incursions by terrorist infiltrators. Gen. Musharraf, left with no
choice
>but to accede to Washington's demands, has scrambled to ensure that
>Americans laser gaze is not fixed also on the groups that enjoyed
Pakistani
>sponsorship. These include names which are as yet unfamiliar in the
West,
>but which are, in India, as much the stuff of dread as Hamas is in
Israel,
>or the Hizbollah. They are the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the Harkat-ul-
>Mujahideen, the Harkat-ul- Jehadi-Islami, the Tehreek-e-Jehadi-Islami,
the
>Lashkare-Tayyiba, and the Jaish-e-Mohammad, whose Afghan and Pakistani
>cadres wage holy war on Indian soil.
>         The U.S would do well to encourage the formation of an
anti-terror
>alliance between India, Israel and Turkey. In the long-term war against

>Islamic terrorism these are the states in the region with visceral need
to
>vanquish Islamic fundamentalism as well as the military capability to
fight
>it. Importantly, they can be relied on to keep their resolve, for they
will
>not be fighting as proxy combatants. Their separate wars against the
>expansionist forces of militant Islam predate that of the U.S. Besides,

>India is in a position to take on major role as a leader of a global
anti-
>terrorism alliance, unencumbered, as it is by Israel's diplomatic
>disadvantages. It is inconceivable; for example, that Muslim Arab
states
>would object to the participation of Indian troops in an anti-terrorist

>enforcement action. An Israeli presence, on the other hand, would have
the
>effect of fracturing any broader coalition.
>         Turkey, for its part, would be almost indispensable member of
this
>alliance. Indeed, if the military and strategic assault on Islamic
>terrorists is to be accompanied by an intellectual and cultural
offensive,
>what better example than turkey's to demonstrate that a distinction can
be
>made between an Islam that is secular and one that is intolerant,
>aggressive and terrorist. The threat of the spread of such militant
Islam
>into Central Asia can be checked by an India-turkey alliance, and with
the
>secular "Turkification" of the old Silk Road countries.
>         In the war against Islamic terrorism the U.S needs allies who
are
>in it for the long haul, not ones who pick and choose their battles,
laying
>conditions that vary from time to time, India, Israel and Turkey-
>collectively and, where necessary, discretely can give Washington the
sort
>of stable, unwavering comradeship in arms and ideas that President Bush

>(and, lets face it, his successors) will need, at least for another
>generation. This is not going to be a brief war, nor will there be a
swift,
>decisive victory. The U.S must choose its allies well, and give them
>assurance, too, of unflinching support and friendship. Only then will
>Islamic terror, currently so grotesque and violent, be snuffed out.



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