BY M. K. BHADRAKUMAR | INDIAN PUNCHLINE | JULY 19, 2022
If the metaphor of the “Great Game” can be applied to the Ukrainian crisis, with the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) at it core, it has begun causing reverberations across the entire Eurasian space. The great game lurking in the shade in the Caucasus and Central Asian regions in recent years is visibly accelerating.
A new book by the UN’s top man on the ground in Libya during the anti-Gaddafi uprising argues Nato indulged in “mission creep” and gave “unconvincing” arguments for promoting regime change in the name of protecting civilians.
The Pentagon is not ready for a war on China. Iran is too strong and would respond to an attack by launching its huge missile arsenal on Israel and U.S. allies in the Gulf. This leaves Syria*. It is unlikely by chance that the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the U.S. is coordinating Israeli airstrikes in that country:
The U.S. empire has a playbook for balkanizing countries. It inflames ethnic tensions by fabricating atrocity stories, and spreading them around in the areas where it wants conflict to arise. To do this, it singles out an ethnic group (represented by a vilified government) and paints it as a perpetrator of genocide. It backs terrorist groups to fight against the demonized government, or installs leaders that will fulfill Washington’s goals for proxy warfare, or both. It provokes the targeted country into responding, then imposes sanctions on the country. It uses “humanitarian” narratives to give the region’s breakup the illusion of having occurred organically, and of having been done in response to human rights abuses or war crimes supposedly committed by the target.
Raffaello Pantucci, a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that the Islamic State Khorasan (Isis-K) had identified the perpetrator of the suicide bomb attack on worshippers in a mosque in the Afghan city of Kunduz in October as a Uygur.
US policymakers are paying more attention to the growth of China’s geopolitical influence through programmes like the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – which includes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – as Washington’s relationship with Beijing has frayed on multiple fronts.
“It used to be the Uygur militants that tended to be responsible for attacks on Chinese diplomats or Chinese businessmen in Kyrgyzstan,” Pantucci added. “Increasingly we see Kyrgyz in general being quite angry towards the Chinese … and we can see similar narratives in Kazakhstan.”
Still, anger against Chinese does not mean that Americans are welcome, Jennifer Brick Murtazashvili, founding director at the University of Pittsburgh’s Centre for Governance and Markets, said.
“The US lost so much credibility because of the way it left Afghanistan,” she said. “Regardless of how you may feel about the intervention, regardless of how you may feel about the withdrawal of decision to withdraw the way the US left, I think it left a very bitter taste in the mouth of many people in the region.”
After all that work, instigating terrorists, they’re still not welcome back! Wonder why?! 🙄
The unannounced arrival of the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to Tehran on Sunday makes yet another wrinkle to the geopolitics of West Asia. In a short trip of a few hours, Assad had meetings with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raeisi and returned to Damascus.
There is media buzz lately about an anti-Taliban insurgency struggling to be born in Afghanistan. A former Afghan army general, Sami Sadat, has sailed into view as the West’s favourite to don the mantle of leadership of a pan-Afghan “resistance” movement against repressive Taliban rule.