New blogs

Leherensuge was replaced in October 2010 by two new blogs: For what they were... we are and For what we are... they will be. Check them out.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Muslim World in the Global Crisis


There's a pretty interesting
article by Spengler at Asia Times Online on the very apparent lack of viability of Muslim states within the context of the Global Economic (not just "financial", whatever some say) Crisis (not just "recession" certainly).

While I don't know how accurate this guy may be in his catastrophic forecasts, his reasoning makes some sense certainly. He argues that countries like Pakistan, Iran, Indonesia and even Saudi Arabia area already economically unviable and in the brink of disaster. The case of Pakistan, with its huge mostly illiterate population and nuclear weapons, is certainly the most worrying maybe but the case is that all these countries have a very bad prognosis, with bankrupt or nearly bankrupt governments totally dependant on subsidies to the vast poor masses for mere survival, subsidies that they cannot afford anymore as The Crisis grips the global economy and makes everybody to keep a close watch of their ficnances, including international lenders and donors.

Spengler argues that many more "Somalias" are to be expected soon in the future all through the Muslim World and that Pakistan is very likely to be one of them. This concern is also reflected in other articles in the same magazine, for example, Seeram Chaulia (I'd think he's an Indian, right?) argues that Pakistan is the only state in the world that negotiates with a un on its own head and he calls for an international mandate (something that sounds like an impossible endeavour, specially considering the situation in nearby Afghanistan and Iraq, much less populated and with no nuclear arsenal, as well as the failure of Ethiopian "mandate" in Somalia - not to mention the most dubious ethics of such "international police" projects).

Certainly I don't think that such colonialist intrvetions are possible anymore, certainly not at such huge scale as would be needed in Pakistan and certainly not in a time when the masses are largely politicied and are the enemy any potential invader must fear the most. Guerrilla warfare has long demonstrated that military intervention is often just not viable and, when it is, it becomes incredibly costly. The successes of the tiny ill-equipped colonial expeditions of Cortes, Pizarro, Judar Pasha or, more modernly, the less known conquerors of India and Africa... are not anymore replicable. This kind of military invasions are something of the past and are generally bound to fail nowadays. Even Napoleon had to admit that his worst error was invading Spain, where he just got a costly and impossible to win guerrilla warfare (that's the origin of the word guerilla, by the way, Spanish term meaning "small war"). Today all or nearly all the world, and very specially the strongly ideologized Muslim countries, has extremely high possibilities of becoming another "Spain" (or Vietnam or Afghanistan...) for those who dare to intervene in them. Not any realistic solution at all.

Back to Spengler's article, he also claims to have reliable sources that suggest that the recent attack to Mumbai's center was not any suicidal action but actually a larger operation by at least 30 people with relatively high expectations of survial. Naturally he mentions that such kind of military activity are much more likely to draw better combatants than the merely desperate (and probably scarce) suicidal volunteers. He claims that the Indian authorities are hiding information on the assault precisely because some 20 attackers apparently managed to escape the police and military siege, a shame they just cannot assume publically.

He also ponders my favorite question in such situations "cui bono?" (I thought it was spelled "qui bono" but seems I was wrong): to whom does this benefit? But provides no clear answer.

2 comments:

Manjunat said...

Yes, Sreeram must be an ethnic Indian.

Obviously hatred against muslims is having free run nowadays. The rulers can easily take control of these fundamentalist groups if they want. We have seen this in Egypt and Syria. Everything needs money. Even Jihadists need money. It's far more easier for the state to raise money and people than these Jihadists. I suppose there are more Iraqis and Afghans who want to become policemen and soldiers than they want to become Jihadists.

In the case of Pakistan the usual suspicion is many elements in the establishment are in connivance with these Jihadist elements. 'cui bono' is not really a question here. Everyone may have different goals. Let's say in the case of Pakistan;

- Some would like to see Kashmir being part of Pakistan
- Some would like to see some of the muslim ruled states like Hyderabad and Junagarh also becoming part of Pakistan
- Some would like to see Muslims again becoming ruling class of whole South Asia(just like a brief period of Mughal ruler Aurangazeb)
- Some would like to see complete Islamization of the subcontinent
- Some would like to see global dominance of Islam
- Some may just want to recreate barbaric Mongolians ruling over civilized Chinese meme.

But at present they are all working against common enemies.

Maju said...

The rulers can easily take control of these fundamentalist groups if they want.

Not always. And less so if they are fundamentalist themselves, that is precisely the kind of regime that the USA-Israel has been promoting the last decades (the Taleban and Al Qaida themselves are US-Zionist-Saudi creations largey, though Pakistan played a role too). Instead secularist regimes like the ones of Iraq and Syria are being persecuted and criminalized, probably because Israel and Saudia fear more modern illustrated, educated, and developed Muslims than such a bunch of sexist illiterate fanatics that can gain no legitimacy out of their sectarian ghetto.

Al Qaeda (fundamentalism in general), let's admit it, is the perfect enemy: it will never gain any sympathies among anyone that is not already a fanatic Muslim. Instead Panarabists can be seen as "one of us" in the West or nearly anywhere.

We have seen this in Egypt and Syria.

And Hussein's Iraq...

Egypt nevertheless is not any stable country. One of the reasons being that the regime is already somewhat Islamist, unlike Syria. In Egypt Sharia works and people have their supposed religious identity printed in their ID cards. You cannot be atheist in Egypt, not officially. And the Muslim Borderhood remains the main opposition bloc anyhow, what is plainly ridiculous considering how fundamentalist the regime already is.

Everything needs money. Even Jihadists need money. It's far more easier for the state to raise money and people than these Jihadists.

Actually it may be not. Al Qaeda gets loads of money from the wealthy ones in Saudia and other Persian Gulf states. And, not being the state, they have much lower expenses (they do not have to pay subsidies to the poor, such a large administrative bureaucracy, the most costly elements of a military like airplanes and missiles - that anyhow are worthless in a guerrilla war, etc.) In fact if your main support is an ideology, moreso a fanatic religious ideology like Islamism, you can even expect people to work for you gratis and even give you their money and their lifes. No postcolonial feeble patriotism can compete with that.

(And that would bring me to the issue of how viable are artifcially created states with no ethnic/historical identity of their own, like most of those in Africa or West Asia - but better leave it for another day).

I suppose there are more Iraqis and Afghans who want to become policemen and soldiers than they want to become Jihadists.

But soldiers and police have to be paid, trained equipped... and, after you've done that, you need to keep their moral high, so they don't become corrupt or just mine the system from inside while working secretly for the enemy anyhow. That takes time, money, high ethic standards and continuous motivation. Let's not forget that policemen are first of all workers (they want a decent job, a good salary and raise a family maybe), while militants are first of all that: militants (they want their cause to succeed first and foremost).

Maybe you can only fight a militant ideology, specially when lacking money, with another militant ideology. But which one? Panarabism or other secular nationalisms? Socialism? All have been tremedously weakened in the last times and Islamism has taken their place where possible. And the West and their allies in Asia are guilty of this evolution because they found Islamism less threatening for Israel and the oil protectorates than the others. Look at Syria: it's the only "decent" Arab country, yet it's being squeezed, the same that happened qith Iraq before.

In the case of Pakistan the usual suspicion is many elements in the establishment are in connivance with these Jihadist elements.

Yes and it would seem that the new rather weak but eclectic government has the challenge of turning the tide. In fact it seems that, using the Mumbai attacks as pretext, it has already outmaneouvered some of the islamo-fascist elements inside it. But how far can it go? Can they really control the boiling volcano that is Pakistan?

'cui bono' is not really a question here.

It's alway an important question. If you look at 9/11, "cui bono" gives us the only meaningful answer: the Bush gang and the Zionists. Now, in the case of Mumbai it may be different but certainly it may help to reform the guvernamental structures (specially police, army and secret services) in both India and Pakistan. Pakistan is already doing it and I would nt be surprised that in India this will eventually end up with a stronger federal government. These are anyhow just early speculations. But the question is relevant always.

Everyone may have different goals. Let's say in the case of Pakistan;

- Some would like to see Kashmir being part of Pakistan
- Some would like to see some of the muslim ruled states like Hyderabad and Junagarh also becoming part of Pakistan
- Some would like to see Muslims again becoming ruling class of whole South Asia(just like a brief period of Mughal ruler Aurangazeb)
- Some would like to see complete Islamization of the subcontinent
- Some would like to see global dominance of Islam
- Some may just want to recreate barbaric Mongolians ruling over civilized Chinese meme.


Well all that list basically follows the "utopic" pattern of Islamism. You could have done with one or two lines probably.

Ayhow, yes, Islamist networks are also benefitted, specially if the info that 20 militants escaped is confirmed. But, IMO, Islamist networks only benefit Zionism and US imperial intrests out of the (ver limited) ideological boundaries of Islam.

Doesn't all this Islamist violence in India secure that the second largest state of Asia, of Earth, stays by the side of USA-NATO-Israel? Doesn't it help to Pakistan sliding back to the same allignement, reinforcing the pro-western and rather friendly to India current government? Doesn't it help to justify further military intervention in the most dissident madrassa networks and the NW frontier provinces?

Not sure but it's not just something that benefits the Islamists, specially as they are just unable to expand beyond their idological ghetto (large but terribly limted an unmodern).