DOOMED AMERICAN FANTASY – WAKE UP CALL FOR AMERICA
37th US President Richard M. Nixon’s China Fantasy placed America on a Slippery Slope with tragic consequences including Military Disaster in Vietnam.
Nixon-Kissinger China Fantasy formulated US Policy of “Conceptual Failure,” and “Strategic Blunder” which holds no Promise for America’s Future.
“The Writing On The Wall” is clear. America need to Read The Writing On Made In China Label. Prophet Daniel warned Belshazzar, last King of Babylon about impending Doom. It’s not too late. To avoid Downfall, to avert Disaster, to prevent Catastrophe, and to halt Calamity in its tracks, America needs to Dump China Fantasy. The next US President Trump has to start afresh to ‘Make America Great Again’.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER
The New York Times
America’s Dangerous ‘China Fantasy’
By JAMES MANN
OCT. 27, 2016
Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, American business executives and political leaders of both parties repeatedly put forward what I label the “China fantasy”: the view that trade, foreign investment and increasing prosperity would lead to political liberalization in the world’s most populous country.
“Trade freely with China, and time is on our side,” said President George W. Bush. He was merely echoing his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, who called the opening of China’s political system “inevitable, just as inevitably the Berlin Wall fell.”
To say the least, things in China haven’t turned out that way.
Over the past few years, the Chinese regime has become ever less tolerant of political dissent – to such an extent that, these days, American leaders have become far more reluctant to make claims about China’s political future or the impact on it of trade and investment. The “China fantasy” got the dynamics precisely wrong: Economic development, trade and investment have yielded greater political repression and a more closed political system.
This amounts to a new China paradigm: an intensely internationalized yet also intensely repressive one-party state. China provides the model that other authoritarian regimes, from Russia to Turkey to Egypt, may seek to replicate. As a result, the United States will find itself struggling with this new China paradigm again and again in the coming years.
In using the word “repression,” I am talking about organized political activity, not private speech. Visitors to China are sometimes surprised to find that cab drivers, tour guides or old friends may speak to them with candor, even about political subjects. However, what such people can’t do is to form an organization independent of the Chinese Communist Party or take independent action to try to change anything.
Wang Qiaoling, left, and Li Wenzu with photos of their husbands, human rights lawyers in China who have been detained since July 2015. Credit How Hwee Young/European Pressphoto Agency
Indeed, over the past two years the Chinese government has been moving in new ways against people and institutions that might, even indirectly, provide support for independent political activity. It has tightened the rules for nongovernmental organizations. More recently, it has been arresting Chinese lawyers. It has also been staging televised confessions, a practice reminiscent of Stalin’s show trials.
Why is it that trade and investment have led to a Chinese regime that represses dissent more than it did five, 10 or 20 years ago? The answer, put simply, is that the regime thinks it needs to do so, can do so and has fewer outside constraints inhibiting it from doing so.
First, it needs to because as the economy develops and grows more complex, Chinese citizens are having new grievances of the sort that would otherwise lead to organized political activity. Environmental problems have multiplied. Consumers worry about product safety (tainted milk, for example) and accidents (like train wrecks). And at least to educated Chinese, internet censorship can be an annoyance, if not an insult.
Second, China’s security apparatus has a much greater capacity to repress dissent than it did in the past. Technology gives it greater capacity to control both physical space (the streets) and cyberspace (the internet).
Finally, the world’s increased commercial involvement with China over the past two decades has made foreign leaders more reluctant to do anything in response to Chinese crackdowns, lest the Chinese regime retaliate. This is in large part a problem of perception: In fact, the Chinese regime cares about its standing in the world and would seek to avoid international condemnation if world leaders took strong stand and work together.
Almost forgotten now is that in the 1990s, the United States, possessing far greater economic leverage in dealing with China than it has today, threatened trade restrictions if Beijing did not improve the human rights climate. After intense debate, the Clinton administration eventually backed away from threats to limit trade with China.
The aftermath of that debate was disastrous. American leaders overreacted by deciding to avoid any further strong actions in support of human rights in China. Instead, they offered the “China fantasy”: the idea that change would come inevitably.
At one point, giving voice to the optimism and the false assumptions about how trade would liberalize China, President Clinton told China’s president, Jiang Zemin, at a Washington news conference, “You’re on the wrong side of history.” History, however, is rendering its own judgment – that America’s confidence in the political impact of trade with China was woefully misplaced.
Looking forward, we are obliged to deal with a China capable of moving endlessly from one crackdown to another, no longer interrupted by the occasional easings or “Beijing Springs” of the past. It will be a different China, in which educated, middle-class people may be less loyal, but their views also less influential.
What we can do is to keep expressing as forcefully as possible the values of political freedom and the right to dissent. Democratic governments around the world need to collaborate more often in condemning Chinese repression – not just in private meetings but in public as well. We should also find new ways to single out and penalize individual Chinese officials involved in repression. Why should there be a one-way street in which Chinese leaders send their own children to America’s best schools, while locking up lawyers at home?
The Chinese regime is not going to open up because of our trade with it. The “China fantasy” amounted to both a conceptual failure and a strategic blunder. The next president will need to start out afresh.
James Mann, a resident fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and former Beijing bureau chief for The Los Angeles Times, is the author of “The China Fantasy.”
· © 2016 The New York Times Company
The Cultural Revolution in Tibet: A Photographic Record
By LUO SILING, OCT. 3, 2016
Tsering Woeser’s father, an officer in the People’s Liberation Army in Lhasa when the Cultural Revolution broke out in 1966, photographed many public attacks on Tibet’s old ruling class and religious leaders. Here, a Buddhist nun wears a sign labeling her as a counterrevolutionary. Credit Tsering Dorje
In 1999, the Tibetan writer Tsering Woeser came across Wang Lixiong’s book “Sky Burial: The Fate of Tibet.” On finishing it, she sent Mr. Wang photographs taken by her father, who was with the People’s Liberation Army when it entered Tibet in the 1950s and documented the early years of the Cultural Revolution in Lhasa in the 1960s. Mr. Wang wrote back, saying, “It’s not for me, as a non-Tibetan, to use these photos to reveal history. That task can only be yours.”
Ms. Woeser began tracking down and interviewing people who appeared in the photos. This resulted in two books published by Locus in Taiwan in 2006: “Forbidden Memory: Tibet During the Cultural Revolution,” based on her father’s photographs, and “Tibet Remembered,” an oral history narrated by 23 people who appear in them. Meanwhile, Ms. Woeser had begun taking her own photos, using her father’s camera, of the places he photographed. Many were included in a new edition of “Forbidden Memory,” published this year on the 50th anniversary of the start the Cultural Revolution.
Ms. Woeser was born in Lhasa in 1966 to a Tibetan mother and her father, Tsering Dorje, who was half Tibetan and half Han, the dominant ethnicity in China. But in 1970, her father, who had served as deputy commander of the Lhasa military district, was transferred to Sichuan Province. It wasn’t until 1990 that Ms. Woeser returned to Lhasa, where she became editor of the journal “Tibetan Literature.” In 2003, she published “Notes on Tibet,” a collection of essays and short stories that was soon banned by the Chinese government. She is now a freelance writer and poet based in Beijing with Mr. Wang, whom she married in 2004. In an interview, she discussed what she learned from her father’s photographs of Tibet’s experience of the Cultural Revolution.
How did your father manage to take these photos?
In 1950, Mao Zedong ordered the People’s Liberation Army into Tibet, and on the way it passed through my father’s hometown, Derge, which is in the present-day Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan. At the time my father, who was only 13, was sent away by his Han father to enlist in the P.L.A. His mother was a local Tibetan. During the Cultural Revolution, my father served as an officer in the political department of the Tibet Military District. I suppose he was able to take photos because of his privileges as a P.L.A. officer.
It’s curious, however, that for all the photos that my father took, he was able to keep the photos and negatives. This certainly could not have happened if the army had assigned him to take the photos. This indicates that my father’s activity was not commissioned by the military.
|Tibet Occupation – Unforgotten Memory – Crime Against Humanity|
On Aug. 24, 1966, in Lhasa, Buddhist scriptures were burned as part of the campaign against the “Four Olds” – old customs, old culture, old habits, old ideas. Credit Tsering Dorje
Very few people had cameras then, and even fewer had the chance to take photos of public events. There were several media agencies active in Tibet then. They produced lots of documentaries, photos and reports. And yet in the newspapers and posters from then you can’t find any photos of ruined temples or “struggle sessions” against “counterrevolutionary monsters and demons.” I’ve looked at all the issues of Tibet Daily from 1966 to 1970 but can find no such photos.
What do your father’s photos show?
Mostly mass meetings and “incidents.” By mass meetings I mean large-scale gatherings such as the celebration by tens of thousands of Chairman Mao’s launching of the Cultural Revolution. Incidents include the destruction of temples and struggles against “monsters and demons.” The photos contain many identifiable figures including the Communist leaders of Tibet, the founder of the Tibetan Red Guards, individual Red Guards, as well as nobles, clergy and officials of the old Tibet society who were targeted in “struggle sessions.” In my investigations most of my efforts were focused on these people, because it’s through them that the photos have their greatest value. Over six years, I interviewed about 70 people in the photos.
How do your photographs and your father’s, taken in the same locations, differ?
In 1966 and 1967, my father took photos of mass meetings and rallies of Red Guards and the P.L.A. in front of the Potala Palace. In 2012, when I went to the same place to take photos, two self-immolations by Tibetans had taken place in Lhasa that May. As a result, the government tightened its policy of ethnic segregation and took more security measures against Tibetans, especially those from outside Lhasa. The measures were first implemented in March 2008, when protests broke out across the Tibetan region, and became more severe in 2012. As I took my photos, I noticed a curious phenomenon: the palace square was filled with men in black. They had umbrellas on their backs, which they would use to block people from taking pictures if an incident broke out. They lined up in rows and monitored the people passing by. They prohibited anyone from sitting in the square.
Another example: In 2014, I was standing where my father had taken photos in front of the Jokhang Temple. What did he see back then? Red Guards trying to hang Chairman Mao’s portrait on the roof of the temple, where the Chinese flag was also planted. Though I didn’t see any Mao portraits there, the flag was waving in the same place. Also, there were quite a few believers kneeling and praying, as well as a crowd of tourists fascinated by their actions. On the roof of a house diagonally across from the temple there were sharpshooters from the armed police. Ever since 2008, sharpshooters have been deployed on the roofs of buildings around the temple.
Comparing today with the Cultural Revolution, there were no believers kneeling back then, and the temple was ruined, while today the temple offers a bustling scene where believers may freely worship. But these are only superficial differences. Religious worship is still strictly controlled. Furthermore, there is now commercialized tourism, with gawking tourists who treat Tibetans like exotic decorations and Lhasa as a theme park.
Who was the founder of the Lhasa Red Guards?
Tao Changsong, born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province. In 1960, he graduated from East China Normal University and volunteered to move to Tibet, where he became a teacher of Chinese at Lhasa Middle School. During the Cultural Revolution he was the main force behind the creation of the Lhasa Red Guards, as well as commander of the Lhasa Revolutionary Rebels Headquarters. When the Revolutionary Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Region was formed, he became its deputy director, a position equivalent to vice chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region today. He also went to Beijing many times and met with Zhou Enlai, Jiang Qing and other key members of the Central Revolutionary Committee. In 2001, I interviewed him twice. I didn’t show him my father’s photos, assuming he might not tell me the story if he saw them, since he appears in one. It shows him at the Dalai Lama’s summer palace, the Norbulingka, leading a team of Red Guards hanging up a poster on which is written “People’s Park.”
There were two “rebel factions” in Lhasa during the Cultural Revolution. One was the Revolutionary Rebels Headquarters. The other was the Great Alliance of Proletarian Revolutionaries Command, or Great Alliance Command for short. The two fought each other for power. In the later period of the Cultural Revolution, the Headquarters faction lost ground, while the other faction achieved total control, and retained it even after the Cultural Revolution [which ended in 1976]. Headquarters members were purged from the party. Tao Changsong was investigated on suspicion of belonging to the “three types of people” – “people who followed the Lin Biao-Jiang Qing counterrevolutionary faction,” “people with a strong factionalist bent” and “people who engaged in looting and robbery.” After the mid-1980s, he worked at the Tibetan Academy of Social Sciences and served as assistant editor of the journal “Tibet Studies” and as deputy director of the Modern Tibetan Research Institute. Now he’s retired and lives in Chengdu and Lhasa, where he is in good standing with the government.
Mr. Tao is a lively talker with a sharp memory. He also showed his cautious side when he began having difficulty answering my questions about the Red Guards’ campaign against the “Four Olds” at the Jokhang Temple. The statement in his account that left the deepest impression on me concerned the P.L.A.’s crackdown on “second rebels” [Tibetans who revolted in 1969]. He said: “The Tibetans are too simple-minded. If you execute them they say, ‘Thank you.’ If you give them 200 renminbi they also say, ‘Thank you.’ ”
Tibet was an exception to the general practice of purging the “three types of people” after the Cultural Revolution. In Tibet there were few purges of that kind. When Hu Yaobang came to Lhasa in 1980, he put an end to the purging of the “three types.” Why? Because there were many Tibetans among them. Hu thought if you purged them, the party wouldn’t be able to find reliable agents among local Tibetans. So the party couldn’t purge them. And some of them not only were shielded from purges but even received promotions. As a result, the people who rose in power during the Cultural Revolution still dominate Tibet, whether Tibetan or Han.
|Tibet Occupation – Unforgotten Memory – Crime Against Humanity.|
Two Red Guards in Lhasa in 1966. Credit Tsering Dorje
Tell us about the people in the photographs who were victims of the struggle sessions.
There were about 40 of them. They belonged to a variety of professions in the old Tibet: monks, officials, merchants, physicians, officers, estate overlords and so on. The settings included struggle sessions at mass assemblies, in the streets and at local neighborhood committees that methodically conducted their sessions by turns. The time frame was from August to September 1966. After that, the division between the factions led each to conduct its own separate struggle sessions. The people attacked in these sessions were incorporated into the “monsters and demons” unit, where they were ordered to attend long-term labor and study sessions at their assigned neighborhood committee.
What’s most interesting about these victims is that most were members of the upper class whom the Communist Party from the 1950s to the eve of the Cultural Revolution had designated as “targets to be won over.” And since they did not follow the Dalai Lama and flee the country during the 1959 uprising, the party rewarded them with many privileges. In other words, they were partners of the party. One of them, a monk, even served as an informant for the military.
But after the Cultural Revolution began they were labeled “monsters and demons” and suffered humiliating attacks. In the end they were overtaken by madness, illness and death. Some died during the Cultural Revolution, others afterward. Most of the victims died. Of the few who survived, some went abroad. Some, however, remained in Tibet, where they took up the party’s offer and joined the system to regain their high status. Today these people are found in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the National People’s Congress and the Buddhist Association, where they fulfill ceremonial functions needed by the party.
Given the fate of most of the victims, the people I interviewed were mostly their relatives, or in some cases the disciples of victimized monks. They told me so many stories.
Then there was the “female living Buddha” – an erroneous term; we call them rinpoche – Samding Dorje Phagmo Dechen Chodron. Historically there have been very few female living Buddhas in Tibet. She was the most famous. In 1959 she followed the Dalai Lama and escaped to India. But she was persuaded by party cadres to return to Tibet and was held up as a patriot who had “resolved to shun the darkness and embrace the light.” She even met with Mao. After the Cultural Revolution started she was labeled a “monster and demon” and humiliated at struggle sessions.
Today, Dorje Phagmo is vice chairwoman of the Tibetan Autonomous Region and a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Standing Committee. She often appears on television attending various conferences.
Did you interview the Red Guards in the photos?
In one of my father’s photos there is a female activist, a quite vicious one during the Cultural Revolution. She once led a team to ransack a house where she not only seized the owner’s property but set fire to manuscripts bequeathed to the owner by the great Tibetan scholar Gendun Choephel. A Tibetan scholar called this a major crime against Tibetan history and culture. Later this woman became party secretary at the Wabaling neighborhood committee. When I found her there, she looked quite insignificant. As soon as I brought up the Cultural Revolution, her facial expression immediately changed. She refused to give an interview or let me take her photo.
There was also a former monk I interviewed who had smashed Buddhist stupas and burned scriptures during the Cultural Revolution. Afterward, he volunteered to be a janitor at the Jokhang Temple and worked there for 17 years. He told me: “If it weren’t for the Cultural Revolution, I think I would have lived my entire life as a good monk. I would have worn monk’s robes. The temples would still be there. Inside the temples I would have devotedly read scriptures. But the Cultural Revolution came. The robes could no longer be worn. Though I have never looked for a woman or abandoned monastic life, I am not fit to wear the robes again. This is the most painful thing in my life.”
Follow Luo Siling on Twitter @luosiling.
This article was adapted from a three-part interview in the Chinese-language site of The New York Times.
© 2016 The New York Times Company
14th DALAI LAMA VISITS MONGOLIA – BEIJING DOOMED
In 1574, Mongol Emperor Altan Khan offered Sonam Gyatso,Tibetan High-ranking Lama, the title of ‘Dalai Lama’ which literally means ‘Ocean of Wisdom’. As the title was applied posthumously to two of his preceding Lamas, Sonam Gyatso became the Third Dalai Lama of Tibet. In 1588, he died while teaching in Mongolia. The Great Fifth Dalai Lama founded the Ganden Phodrang Government of Tibet in 1642. The successive Dalai Lamas have headed the Tibetan State for nearly four centuries.
The 14th Dalai Lama is on a four day visit to Mongolia despite Red China’s objections. His visit strengthens centuries-old Tibet-Mongolia Relations.
|BEIJING DOOMED – DALAI LAMA VISITS MONGOLIA|
|BEIJING DOOMED – 14th Dalai Lama Visits Mongolia.|
|BEIJING DOOMED – 14th DALAI LAMA VISITS MONGOLIA, 19th & 20th NOVEMBER, 2016.|
|Beijing Doomed – 14th Dalai Lama Visits Mongolia.|
|Beijing Doomed – 14th Dalai Lama Visits Mongolia.|
|Beijing Doomed – 14th Dalai Lama Visits Mongolia.|
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Visits Gandan Tegchenling Monastery in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
November 20, 2016
By Staff Writer
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, 19 November 2016 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama left Japan for Mongolia late yesterday morning. As the plane descended through the clouds over Ulaanbaatar, a white blanket of snow covered the land as far as the eye could see.
[His Holiness the Dalai Lama arriving at the airport in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on November 18, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Taklha/OHHDL]<http://tibet.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016-11-19-Mongolia-N01-PB180009.jpg>
His Holiness was greeted at the door of the plane by Khambo Lama Choi Gyamtso with other senior Mongolian lamas, a representative of the Indian Embassy, and Representative Telo Tulku from Moscow.
A large number of monks awaited His Holiness in the arrival hall and he spent a few minutes talking to dignitaries who had come to receive him. He gave a brief interview to Mongolian National Television. Expressing happiness at being able to visit Mongolia once again, he said he was looking forward to giving Buddhist teachings, visiting Gandan Tegchenling Monastery and interacting with members of the younger generation over the next four days.
This morning, a short drive through Ulaanbaatar brought His Holiness to Gandan Tegchenling Monastery. After first paying his respects in the Vajradhara Temple, he took his seat in the Gandan Assembly Hall. Khambo Lama Choi Gyamtso offered the mandala and three representations of the body, speech and mind of enlightenment on behalf of the entire congregation. Following prayers and a tsok offering, His Holiness gave the oral transmission of his ‘Praise to the Seventeen Masters of Nalanda’.
Lunch, offered in His Holiness’s honour by Gandan Tegchenling Monastery, was served in a traditional Mongolian yurt.
[His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking at Yiga Choeling Dratsang in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on November 19, 2016. Photo/Tenzin Taklha/OHHDL]<http://tibet.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016-11-19-Mongolia-N02-MG_5266.jpg>
In the afternoon, several thousand people braved extremely cold weather to greet His Holiness in front of the Avalokiteshvara Temple. He briefly told them too how happy he was to be in Mongolia again. He urged the crowd not only to perform rituals and prayers, but also to study what Buddhist teachings mean. He promised to explain how to do this during teachings he is scheduled to give tomorrow.
More than 1000 monks packed into the Yiga Choeling Dratsang to listen to His Holiness. He explained to them how he has been holding discussions with modern scientists for more than 30 years, focussing primarily on four fields-cosmology, neurobiology, physics, especially quantum physics, and psychology. Since both sides have learned a great deal from each other, their dialogue has been richly and mutually beneficial.
“I first started talking to scientists out of simple curiosity. But as our conversations developed, I realized that there were some things they knew about that we could usefully learn about in our monastic institutions. Consequently, we have introduced the study of some aspects of science into the curriculums of several of our major monastic universities in India.”
[Some of the over 1000 monks listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at Yiga Choeling Dratsang in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on November 19, 2016. Photo/Igor Yanchoglov]<http://tibet.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/2016-11-19-Mongolia-N05-IMG_2882.jpg>
His Holiness also stressed the importance of studying the classic texts composed by Nalanda masters.
“It is not enough just to have simple faith, as many people in the past have done. It is essential that our faith is based on knowledge and reason. This is why these days I advise Tibetans to be 21st century Buddhists, which means following Buddhist teachings on the basis of sound understanding. It’s also important to be able to sustain faith and religious tradition in the light of modern knowledge. So, I advise you Mongolians to be 21st century Buddhists too.”
His Holiness answered several questions from the audience before returning to the Guest House where he is staying. Tomorrow, he will teach Je Tsongkhapa’s ‘In Praise of Dependent Arising’ and ‘Three Principal Aspects of the Path’ and give a permission of Je Rinpoche in conjunction with the Deities of the Three Families.
|ULAN-UDE, RUSSIA. IVOLGINSKY DATSAN MONASTERY. SINCE 1992, DALAI LAMA PAID FIVE VISITS TO THIS MONASTERY.On theculturetrip.com|
2016 Central Tibetan Administration
On this Day, November 13, 1982, near the end of a week long National Salute to Americans who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC. The Memorial is a simple V-shaped black-granite wall inscribed with names of the 57, 939 Americans who died in the Conflict. At Doom Dooma, we share their Values and share this National Grief.
Doom Dooma Doomsayer Salutes Vietnam War Veterans for this emotional connection is formulated by Weapons of Warfare we shared hoping to Defeat Communism in Asia. Today, I Remember this Unfinished War on Communism
DOOM DOOMA DOOMSAYER SALUTES VIETNAM WAR VETERANS
On this Day, November 13, 1982, near the end of a week-long National Salute to Americans who served in the Vietnam War, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. The Memorial is a simple V-shaped black-granite wall inscribed with the names of the 57, 939 Americans who died in the Conflict.
Doom Dooma Doomsayer Salutes Vietnam War Veterans for this emotional connection is formulated by Weapons of Warfare we shared hoping to defeat Communism in Asia.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
PAKISTAN IS EVIL – MUTILATION OF INDIAN ARMY SOLDIER BRINGS HER DISASTER
I pay my tribute to Indian Army Sepoy Mandeep Singh whose mutilated body was discovered on Saturday, October 29, 2016. I hold Pakistan responsible for this Evil action.Words may have no effect, but ‘EVIL’ actions have consequences. The word ‘Evil’ means Calamity, Catastrophe, and Disaster. Pakistan cannot pay ransom to ward off effects of her Evil actions.
I invoke this consequence of Calamity, Catastrophe, and Disaster on Pakistan using words of Prophet Isaiah. I share his sense of pain and anguish.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
SPECIAL FRONTIER FORCE
MUTILATION OF INDIAN JAWAN: SMOKING PEACE PIPE WITH PAKISTAN NEVER PAID DIVIDENDS
Author: Sreemoy Talukdar
Date: October 29, 2016
We can all pretend to be uppity about Pakistan’s repeated breach of the Geneva Convention but the point is, to expect a nation that uses terrorism as a state policy to uphold the sanctity of law is illusory and self-defeating. The mutilation of Mandeep Singh’s body is a grim reminder that unless India substantially raises the cost of Pakistan’s delinquent behaviour, the rogue republic will continue to unleash atrocities against us.
There is a sad sense of déjà vu in India’s handling of Pakistan. It doesn’t matter if the government at the Centre is leftist, rightist or centrist. Each head of Indian state suffers from an illusory notion, aided by an army of entitled influencers with deep ties to the enemy state, that relationship with Pakistan can be and should be stabilized and the onus of doing it lies with us.
Therefore, every act of atrocity that the unstable, terror-sponsoring nation inflicts on us is followed by a predictable pattern. We outrage, foam at the mouth, try some maneuvers which have long exhausted their sell-by date and then eventually settle into a prolonged ennui followed by renewed attempts at restoring ties.
And we are doomed to repeat this fallacious cycle as long as we do not realize that Pakistan is not a modern Westphalian nation-state. It is the original Islamic State that seeks to spread Islamism as a politico-religious-cultural movement with the stated goal of establishing a Caliphate. This explains its lust for Kashmir and why it shall remain congenitally opposed to the pluralistic, multicultural, heterogeneous, secular idea of India and consider the fight against ‘Hindustan’ a holy war, or jihad.
And because the existence of Pakistan as an idea depends on continuing this perpetual jihad against India (a point author C Christine Fair elaborated in her seminal work Fighting To the Finish), any Indian overtures for peaceful relationship is bound to fail. If we as a nation do not understand it, the fault the lies with us, not history.
We only have to turn over the pages to recall that soon after Atal Bihari Vajpayee took a bus-full of goodwill and Bollywood stardust to Lahore in 1999, he was answered with Kargil and a hijacked Air India flight. And few would forget the bestiality of Pakistan Army in treating our war heroes during Kargil. In gross violation of Geneva Convention, the barbarians subjected Captain Saurabh Kalia and his unit to horrendous torture.
As a News18 report recalls, Captain Kalia and his sepoys’ “ear drums were pierced with hot iron rods, eyes punctured and genitals cut off. The autopsy of the bodies also revealed that they were burned with cigarettes butts. Their limbs were also chopped off, teeth broken and skull fractured during the torture. Even their nose and lips were cut off.”
Pakistan still maintains that the bodies of these Indian soldiers were found in a pit where they ostensibly died due to “inclement weather”.
Treatment of PoWs or showing respect to the dead in war is accorded the highest importance under Geneva Convention. In an article on crimes of war, H Wayne Elliott writes: “The treatment of the battlefield dead can be divided into two aspects. First, there is a prohibition on deliberate mistreatment of the body, either through failure to treat it with appropriate respect or through mutilation. Second, there is a prohibition on pillaging the dead. These mandates concerning the dead are as much derived from the customary laws of war as from the Geneva Conventions.
To understand why Pakistan’s BAT (Border Action Team, an amalgam of its army and pet terrorists) killed and then apparently beheaded Mandeep Singh of 17 Sikh Light Infantry, we must recognise that the situation has to come to such a pass because for far too often the Pindi Khakis have been rewarded for their bad behaviour. If a criminal is paid handsomely for crimes what else can we expect except a recurring nightmare?
As The Times of India had reported back in January 2013, bodies of Lance-Naiks Hemraj and Sudhakar Singh of the 13 Rajputana Rifles were found in the Mendhar sector of Jammu & Kashmir in a badly mutilated state.
“Although the Indian Army did not give more details of the barbarism, sources said the retreating Pakistani soldiers had chopped off the head of one of the Indian soldiers and taken it back with them.”
This is why the surgical strikes on 29 September and its public acknowledgment by the Narendra Modi government were crucial. It broke the template and introduced an element of unpredictability in Indian response. The Army has already reiterated that Pakistan Army will get “an appropriate response” for their bestiality and callous disregard for all norms. But we must not stop there. The punishment from India should be brutal and swift because barbarians only understand the language of violence.