Posted Thu, 04/08/2010 – 14:10
By Juan Dominguez
April 7, 2010
Our plate’s quite full: The economy is in a near free fall, we’re stuck in two wars with budgets that are more obese than our children, and oh, yeah, there’s a pesky Persian who might nuke us. Quite the fix. In this column, I’ll be suggesting an idealistic but creative route to solve the latter two problems.
Eight years, seven months and counting in Iraq and Afghanistan, casualties keep racking up, we can’t befriend the villages, and every now and then, that elusive rascal we see as our arch-nemesis will film himself in another hidden location, condescendingly threatening our lives. The war on terror hasn’t gone our way. It is hard to fathom how the most powerful country in the world (rights not reserved on that title) can’t claim victory. The Taliban in Afghanistan has been identified as one of the core targets in this crusade against Islamic extremists; however, they’re a midget standing next to the giant that is the United States. Let’s do the math: We have the most sophisticated weaponry, while they, for the most part, don’t even have bulletproof vests. We pour billions of dollars into this war and they fuel it through drugs and arms trade. Yes, substantive, but not comparable. We have the help of over 20 countries. They are but a minority of fundamentalists primarily located in the Middle East. So what are we doing wrong? Well, I really am not an expert or political analyst, but I believe the quickest way to Kabul is Kashmir.
Solving the six-decade-long conflict between India and Pakistan could be the United States’ key to success in the Middle East. The main point of contention between the two countries is a region called Kashmir. India identifies the region as primordial in their own “war on terror,” having launched multiple offenses against militants. Allegations of human rights violations have followed suit, further straining the Pakistan relations. However, hopes of peace between Pakistan and India were revived a few weeks ago when foreign secretaries of both nations met for the first time since the Mumbai attacks in late November of 2008. The “talks about talks,” as described by India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, have eased concerns over a nuclear standoff and also opened a window of opportunity for Washington.
The United States could potentially be the stepping stone to peace by first advising that Pakistan end their support for anti-Indian terrorism. Then, by assisting India in their obsessive pursuit for a permanent seat on UN Security Council, we could easily convince Rao of the need to demilitarize the Kashmir and possibly cede it to Pakistan. But perhaps this is too radical?
September 26, 1959, we started a war that would end up costing billions and prove to be a massive failure. Yep, Vietnam. The communist threat was seen as imminent and contagious, when it was really just a nationalist movement against French colonial rule. Ironically enough, our relations with Vietnam ended up being in the pink, while they would spit at the mention of fellow Red nations, like China.
Kashmir is predominantly Muslim anyways, and polls show the majority of people would like to become a part of Pakistan. Let’s not let history repeat itself; India should give it up.
The last ingredient to dealing with the Taliban would be to have Pakistan move their forces from east to west. Presently, the security on their border with Afghanistan represents a wicket fence, allowing the terrorist group to traffic their illicit trades (drugs, arms and human trafficking) at will. However, if Pakistan replicates our anti-Chicano fortifications, barring the trade that fuels the Gringo-labeled “Jihad” against the West, the Taliban will need to find another route for their cash. Iran could and appears to already be that substitute. Good news for the United States.
The United States has been unlucky with the economic sanctions it wants to impose on Ahmadinejad’s Islamic republic, but unluckiness also runs out. Tehran has been linked to Taliban training camps in both Iran and Afghanistan. U.S. military and intelligence officials also believe arms and munitions have been supplied by the Persian side to the terrorist group. This news comes at a time when emerging powers like China have been edgy on supporting the sanctions. If the connections between Iran and the Taliban are made certain and obvious, even Brazil won’t be able to refute them. The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva’s warm embracing of the renegade republic has many on their toes and questioning whether the world can have another Iraq. Let’s hope we channel our strengths and get it done, though, because it’s no longer a question of whether or not there will be another attack against Americans, but when? –