The World’s Most Dangerous Border – KASHMIR



According to a Rand Corp study, an Indo-Pakistani nuclear exchange would immediately kill two million living souls, injure or kill 100 million later, pollute the Indus River and send clouds of radioactive dust around the globe.
That is the excellent reason why we should keep a weather eye on Kashmir and press India and Pakistan to make a fair settlement of this exceptionally dangerous 66-year dispute. In other words, no military solution to the long standing dispute over Kashmir. Let diplomacy have its way over stupidity of war games in Kashmir.
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TO AVERT A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST,  WORLD MUST FIND A SOLUTION FOR KASHMIR 

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by Eric Margolis

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ISTANBUL –  Reports of fighting along Kashmir’s  cease-fire line don’t normally receive much attention in the western media.  Last week, for example, saw  a series of clashes on 8 and 10 January that killed both Pakistani and Indian troops.

One of the Indian soldiers was decapitated, provoking fury across India and calls from its extremist Shiv Sena Hindu party for a nuclear attack on Pakistan.

Gunfire is common on the 1947 cease-fire line known as the Line of Control that divided the beautiful mountain kingdom of Kashmir into Indian and Pakistani-controlled portions. Fighting in that tense region always has the potential to quickly escalate into a  major war – or even nuclear conflict.

Having been under fire numerous times on the LOC, I used the experience in my first book, “War at the Top of the World” to illustrate just how dangerous the simmering Kashmir dispute remains. 

A dispute that went from bad to critical after India and then Pakistan acquired and deployed nuclear weapons.  This, I wrote, was the most dangerous strategic threat facing the globe.

India and Pakistan have fought three  wars and some very large battles over Kashmir. Both claim the entire mountain state.  Pakistan’s intelligence service, ISI, has waged a long covert campaign to insert guerillas into Indian Kashmir to aid a series of spontaneous rebellions  against Indian rule by the state’s Muslim majority.

This writer has joined mujihadin fighting their way across the lethal Line of Control which is defended by Israeli-constructed fences, electronic sensors, minefields and Israeli-supplied drones. Losses  run very high among those trying to cross the line.

Muslim Kashmiris have been in almost constant revolt against Indian rule since 1947 when the British divided India. Today,  500,000 Indian troops and paramilitary police garrison rebellious Kashmir.  Some 40,000-50,000 Kashmiris are believed to have died over the past decade in uprising.

India blames the violence in Kashmir on “cross-border terrorism” engineered by Pakistani intelligence. Human rights groups accuse Indian forces of executions, torture, and reprisals against civilians.  Large numbers of Hindus and Sikhs have fled strife-torn Kashmir after attacks by Muslim Kashmiri guerillas.  It’s a very bloody, dirty war.

The Kashmir conflict poses multiple dangers.  First is the very likely chance that local skirmishing can quickly surge into major fighting involving air power and heavy artillery.  In 1999, a surprise attack by Pakistani commandos into the Indian-ruled Kargil region provoked heavy fighting.  The two nations, with more than one million troops facing one another, came very close to an all-out war.  I have on good authority that both sides put their tactical nuclear weapons on red alert.  Angry Indian generals called on Delhi to use its powerful armored corps to cut Pakistan in half.  India’s cautious civilian leadership said no.

Second,  the Kashmir conflict also involves India’s strategic rival, China.  Beijing claims the entire eastern end of the Himalayan border separating India and China, which Chinese troops occupied in a brief 1963 war.  China also occupied, with Pakistan’s help, a high strategic plateau on the western end of the Himalayas known as Aksai Chin that was part of historic Tibet.

China is Pakistan’s closest political and military ally.  Any major Indian attack on Pakistan would risk intervention by Chinese air, ground and missiles forces in neighboring Tibet.

Third, in the midst of all these serious tensions, India and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons – delivered by air and missile – are on hair-trigger alert.  This means that during a severe crisis, both sides are faced with “use it, or lose” decision in minutes to use their nuclear arsenals.

The strategic command and control systems of India and Pakistan are said to be riddled with problems and often unreliable,  though much improvement has been made in recent years.

A false report, a flight of birds, and off-course aircraft could provoke a nuclear exchange.  By the time Islamabad could call Delhi, war might be on.  A US Rand Corp study estimated an Indo-Pakistani  nuclear exchange would  kill two million immediately, injure or kill 100 million later, pollute the Indus River and send clouds of radioactive dust around the globe.

That is the excellent reason why we should keep a weather eye on Kashmir and press India and Pakistan to make a fair settlement of this exceptionally dangerous 66-year dispute.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2012

More from Eric Margolis on Wonders of Pakistan

1. Dangerous war games in Syria 2. Egypt headed for an explosion 3. Facing the Writing on the Wall in Kabul  4. Nuclear missile Viagra for India 5 Obama does the right thing in Afghanistan 6. Will the US back real democracy in Egypt? 7.The man  who prevented World War III
Eric Margolis is an American born journalist and writer. He is contributing editor to the Toronto Sun chain of newspapers, writing mainly about the Middle East, South Asia and Islam. He contributes also to the HuffPost & appears frequently on North American tv channels.

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Japan can’t keep avoiding the nuclear threat


Japan can build more anti- missile defenses and rely on the US Navy Aegis warships.  But a saturation missile attack would leak through Japan’s porous anti-missile shield.  Besides, Tokyo is reluctant to spend billions on such technology that lacks public support.
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JAPAN CAN’T KEEP AVOIDING THE NUCLEAR THREAT

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 by Eric Margolis

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The noisy Tokyo-Beijing fracas over uninhabited specks of rock in the China Sea are making Japan feel increasingly nervous and vulnerable.

Few expect the two nations to stumble into war over the barren Senkaku Islands (Daiou in Chinese) though they are believed to abut important underwater resources. But chances of an accidental clash are rising as ships and aircraft from the two sides – and now Taiwan – buzz about the islets like angry hornets.  The US nuclear-powered submarine “Ohio” is prowling menacingly off nearby South Korea. (more…)

Turkey totally loses its cool over Syria


Demonstrators shout slogans against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad outside the Friends of Syria conference in Istanbul on Sunday. (Emre Tazegul/Reuters)
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SYRIA TURKEY RELATIONS: AFTER LOVE THY NEIGHBOR,  ITS NOW ATTACK THY NEIGHBOR POLICY

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by Eric Margolis

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Play with fire, and you will get burned.   A mortar shell fired from Syria by either government troops or rebels as a provocation killed five Turkish villagers on the border.  Turkish heavy artillery riposted, killing Syrian soldiers.   Turkey’s parliament authorized military action against Syria.   One could almost hear the thunder of the great Ottoman war drums that heralded the arrival of the sultan’s armies and his fierce Janissary warriors. (more…)

Rogue Republicans


The true republicans have unfortunately been been replaced now by rural politicians from the deep south and west with no knowledge of the outside world and no sense of history or culture. America’s closet fascist neocons now write the GOP’s foreign policies.
Dr. Ron Paul was the last chance for the GOP to reform, redefine and renew itself. Paul was sidelined and ignored. As a result, Republicans may be marching towards irrelevance and unimportance.

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US ELECTIONS 2012: MITT ROMNEY LIKELY TO TRAIL BEHIND OBAMA

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by Eric Margolis

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NEW YORK – October 5, 2012 – The two titans of American politics, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, locked horns this week in the first televised debate of the election season.

Romney managed to show that he was still a viable candidate in spite of a barrage of recent criticism and increasingly negative polls. Obama spoke with his usual oratorical mastery and projected an air of deep thought and calm. But to many, the president appeared rather tired and lacking in his usual pep. Being president and campaigning at the same time is exhausting.

The first debate alleviated some of the gloom previously felt by Republicans and slightly lifted Romney’s poll standing. Yet neither candidate generated much emotion, unlike the waves of hysterical adulation for Obama in 2008. Instead of being the Expected One, Obama turned out to be another typical politician mouthing platitudes and making promises that are not kept.

Even so, the underlying arithmetic of the election was still against the Republicans – known as the Grand Old Party, or GOP.

White, middle-aged men are Romney’s key supporters, along with Bible Belt Republicans, farmers and ardent supporters of Israel. Say “Republican” and up pops the image of an angry, overweight, 60-something male golfer, shaking his putter in fury at the “socialist” “Muslim” president.

Problem is, there are not enough angry overweight white men and religious fundamentalists to give Romney a decisive victory. Evangelical Protestant fundamentalists voted 78% for George Bush in 2004 and 74% for John McCain in 2008.

But many of these “born-again” Christians, who make up 45% of Republican voters, are leery of Romney’s Mormon faith which is regarded as weird and heretical by mainstream Christians. Many may simply not vote for Romney.

American women, particularly younger ones, are totally turned off by the wooden Romney and his deer-slaughtering vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan. Polls show women 40 to 60 against Romney – a potential kiss of death in the race.

I suspect that Romney reminds many American women of all the things they didn’t like about their fathers. Obama reminds them of the kind of fast-talking cool cat that their fathers warned them against. The GOP’s jihad against abortion, public health care, and benefits for poor blacks has further angered many women.

Polls show 93% of black Americans will vote for Obama – provided they vote at all. Obama mania has cooled among blacks. Latinos, the most important new voter group, back Obama by 68% to 26% for Romney.

Independents will prove vital in key “battleground” states that determine the election: Florida, Ohio, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. Many of these better-educated voters are turned off by Romney’s warlike bluster and by Obama’s continuation of Bush policies.

America has rapidly turned brown and yellow. The days of white supremacy are over. There are 2 million Muslims living in the great melting pot of America. East Asians top all the educational surveys. Latinos have the fastest growing families.

For the first time, whites have become a minority in California, the 11th biggest economy on earth.

Unless there is an unexpected revival, the Republican Party seems destined to become a fringe party of the far right and religious fundamentalists. GOP leaders loudly advocate war against all sorts of enemies, assassinations around the globe, torture and indefinite jailing of suspected anti-Americans, and the endless growth of military spending – without raising taxes. As the party shrinks, it will likely grow more extreme.

I have been a card-carrying Republican all my life. A signed picture of President Dwight Eisenhower hangs over my desk. I’m a veteran of the regular US army.

But today’s Republican party is no longer my Republican party. Back in the day, the GOP was run by East Coast elite of well-educated, sophisticated internationalists who exercised America’s great power with restraint.

Alas, they have been replaced by rural politicians from the deep south and west with no knowledge of the outside world and no sense of history or culture. America’s closet fascist neocons write the GOP’s foreign policies.

Dr. Ron Paul was the last chance for the GOP to reform, redefine and renew itself. Paul was sidelined and ignored. As a result, Republicans may be marching towards irrelevance and unimportance.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2012

More from Eric Margolis oWonders of Pakistan

1. One of America’s Finest Hours – Rescuing the Balkan Muslims from genocide 2. America is deluded by its Drone Warfare Propaganda 3. Americans need the truth about 9/11 4. HUMILATING AMERICA 5. Spending America into ruin 6. The `Peace President’ wants to keep America’s nukes 7. Dangerous war games in Syria 

Eric S. Margolis is an American born journalist and writer. For 27 years, ending in 2010, he has been a contributing editor to the Toronto Sun chain of newspapers, writing mainly about the Middle East, South Asia and Islam. He contributes to the Huffington Post and appears frequently on Canadian television broadcasts, as well as on CNN.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

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DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

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One of America’s Finest Hours – Rescuing the Balkan Muslims from genocide


 During the mid 1990’s, World turned its back on the massacres of Muslims in Bosnia. The UN would not call it genocide because that would have demanded military intervention. Most shamefully, the Muslim world also closed its eyes as up to 160,000 Bosnian Muslims were slaughtered, starved and tortured in Serb-run concentration camps. At least 10,000 Muslim girls and women were gang raped, some in special rape camps.
Instead, the west readily accepted the lie made by Serbs and their rightwing western supporters that the slaughter in Bosnia was the result of “ancient Balkan feuds.” It was not. All wars create crimes. But the Bosnian crimes were mainly the result of a rebirth of Nazi ideology and racial hatreds in ex-Yugoslavia, whipped up from 1987 by the Serb demagogue, Slobodan Milosevic.
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MILOSEVIC SERBS WERE SCUM OF THE GUTTER, CRIMINALS, RACISTS AND FANATICAL PRIESTS

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by Eric Margolis

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NEW YORK – Most people don’t know, or have forgotten the horrors of the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.

Not a leading New York Rabbi, Arthur Schneier. Last week, he was the sole invited speaker as 520 newly discovered or identified bodies of Muslim victims were buried at Sarajevo’s cemetery.

Rabbi Schneier rightly termed the massacres of Muslims in Bosnia by Serb soldiers and paramilitary thugs as “genocide.” Jews know the smell of genocide.

During the mid 1990’s, the world turned its back on the massacres of Muslims in Bosnia. The UN would not call it genocide because that would have demanded military intervention. Most shamefully, the Muslim world also closed its eyes as up to 160,000 Bosnian Muslims were slaughtered, starved and tortured in Serb-run concentration camps. At least 10,000 Muslim girls and women were gang raped, some in special rape camps.

Slobodan Milošević was the President of Serbia (from 1989 to 1997) and President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000.  Milošević led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its foundation in 1990. His presidency was marked by the breakup of Yugoslavia and the subsequent Yugoslav Wars. In the midst of the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Milošević was charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

Instead, the west readily accepted the lie made by Serbs and their rightwing western supporters that the slaughter in Bosnia was the result of “ancient Balkan feuds.” It was not. All wars create crimes. But the Bosnian crimes were mainly the result of a rebirth of Nazi ideology and racial hatreds in ex-Yugoslavia, whipped up from 1987 by the Serb demagogue, Slobodan Milosevic.

In 1988, I wrote warning that Milosevic would create disaster in Bosnia and Kosova, the Albanian-majority region of southern Serbia. I was denounced in Belgrade and declared an enemy of the Serbs. In truth, I had always been an admirer of Serbs as courageous, intelligent people. But the Serbs that Milosevic rallied were the scum of the gutter, criminals, racists, brutal pig farmers, fanatical priests.

As I look back on Bosnia, I remain revolted by the inaction of the Muslim world and the hypocrisy of the British and French governments. Two Turkish Army divisions could have ended genocide in Bosnia. But its anti-Muslim generals did nothing. Other Muslim nations offered soothing words and some cash. At least Iran tried to get arms to the Muslim-Croat forces.

While addressing a world Muslim conference I said, “if the victims in Bosnia had been Jews, the Israeli armed forced would have been there promptly and brought the Serb war criminals Milosevic. Karadzic, and Mladic back in a cage.

France had been an ally of Serbia for a century. It quietly sabotaged efforts to rescue Bosnia’s Muslims, fearing a tiny Muslim state might somehow inflame its own large Muslim population. Paris quietly armed Serbia. Britain’s Conservatives were even more anti-Muslim than the French.

I interviewed Lord Owen, the chief British so-called “peacemaker.” He played a key role in thwarting action against Serbia. As I listened to his elegant lies and evasions, my blood boiled.

Seventeen years ago this month, Serb forces, led by Gen. Mladic, stormed the supposed UN security enclave at Srebrenica. Cowardly Dutch UN troops tasked with defending its Muslim refugees refused to fight. A senior French general vetoed air strikes against Serb forces, claiming the request was made – on the wrong form!

A senior Canadian general was secretly paid by Serb groups in the US to misinform Congress and the media that much of the killing was due to Muslims. He was finally exposed as a fraud by American journalist, Roy Gutman.

Up to 20,000 Muslims are still missing. Serb forces destroyed many bodies, or bulldozed, dug up, and re-buried bodies. Many were thrown down mineshafts or dissolved in acid. The criminals were covering their tracks. That is why 520 newly found bodies were only buried by their families this week.

Unfortunately, the world, particularly Muslim world, has forgotten how America finally saved Bosnia’s Muslims – and later those of Kosova – from total genocide. US Jewish groups raised hell in Washington, pressuring President Bill Clinton to act. When Americans finally saw the horrors of Bosnia on TV, they demanded action.

In one of its finest moments, America used its power to rescue a tortured people and halt genocide in a region where the US had no strategic interests. Sadly, the ensuing invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq quickly obscured America’s admirable role in the Balkans.

Today, little Bosnia remains in permanent mourning, a broken nation, haunted and traumatized by the horrors of the war.

copyright Eric S. Margolis 2012

More from Eric Margolis on Wonders of Pakistan

1. Dangerous war games in Syria 2. Egypt headed for an explosion 3. Facing the Writing on the Wall in Kabul  4. Nuclear missile Viagra for India 5 Obama does the right thing in Afghanistan 6. Will the US back real democracy in Egypt? 7.The man  who prevented World War III 
Eric S. Margolis is an American born journalist and writer. For 27 years, ending in 2010, he has been a contributing editor to the Toronto Sun chain of newspapers, writing mainly about the Middle East, South Asia and Islam. He contributes to the Huffington Post and appears frequently on Canadian television broadcasts, as well as on CNN.
[Source]    [Title image]   [Cartoon Milosevic]
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

We at Wonders of Pakistan use copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.
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