Sunday, October 30, 2005

War And Peace

After yesterday, Indians need to wake up and know we are at war.

This blog has long lamented the constant softening of India. Our people are living a delusion from newly-found riches that "peace" with our mortal enemies is the ticket to power and prosperity. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

There is no such thing as peace. All we can hope for, in the best case, is an absence of active hostility, that too at gunpoint. This too we do not have.

Having said this, whatever Indian hawks (like us) have been saying and doing is not effective either. Our military remains a sheathed weapon, our intelligence agencies are seemingly just as ineffective as the CIA, our police merits little respect, our politicians want to forgive and forget cold-blooded murder of our innocent people, our best minds are constantly glorifying the absurd idea of "peace" with predators -- and we, the hawks, have failed to demand a change from this cowardly and mind-numbing status-quo whose daily drumbeat of murder seems to fall on deaf ears of a soft people splurging and giggling at the mall.

We are at war, people. India has to wage this war wherever our enemies hide. This requires enormous investment of economic and political capital. The criminally wasted Government resources by our bureaucracy and the crippling opportunity losses from non-existent economic reforms inflicted by our political Left are resources we could have used to build better walls at the frontier, and better fire to scorch our enemies beyond it.

Those who defend such waste and oppose reform are thus impeding national security. It's time they pick up their guns and join this war or move out of the way. Nothing else matters more now -- for prosperity, for power, for social harmony -- than winning this war.


libertarian said...

I completely agree that we are at war. However, we still have a giant pacifist hangover. Further, massing troops on the border in 2002 and not acting hurt our military credibility - "these guys will blink".

So we hawks need to address some burning questions: how do we build consensus on the seriousness of the threat? What is our plan for prosecuting this war? How do we influence our paralyzed polity that the time act is now.

Here are some options: choke off economic aid to their military; we have little leverage with them and have to corral too many donors (US included). Seccession of Balochistan, and NWFP for starters, and Sindh at some later date; this is the most promising option. The US will likely not buy it while they are in the neighborhood though. Another option is to build consensus with the US and Israel that our collective interests are served by taking out their nuclear facilities.

At the minimum, I expect New Delhi to sound Pak in particular, and the world in general, that we will respond "at a place and time of our choosing" - that further talk is meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Are we being naive to expect stern actions from the govt? Past history suggests that the most that will be done is a strong speech condemning this act. The govt didn’t act in previous instances? Why would they now? The perpetuators know this fact, and are taking advantage. Unless the govt acts now, more will come. Lets hope that they do.

laks said...

It would pay to mobilize public opinion to take action against our enemy. We should no longer consider the victims of 29.10 as a statistic but real people who suffered a terrible tragedy. Atleast the very minimum we can do is build a memorial for these terror victims. This should atleast raise public conscience that Indian life is not cheap.

In addition, we should tackle by not only taking anti-terror measures back home, but to the enemy camp. This means going after the jihadi pigs and their Pak-Army enablers. The various 'foundations' and front companies like Fauji foundation, Fauji cements, etc run by the Paki military establishment comes to my mind.

In this endeavor, we expect nothing less than full support from Uncle Sam.

piyushgupta said...

Missing from the hue and cry of who is responsible for the latest terror attacks in Delhi will be the fact the no one has been willing to take the current Congress-led Communist-supported UPA government to task (not that the previous BJP-led NDA government was much better on this score) that governance in India has collapsed because the government has failed to protect its citizens. A government loses its mandate and legitimacy to govern if it fails to protect the citizens. This failure is made even more culpable by the fact that the actions or omissions the current government has made, and continue to make, India a soft state.

The foremost clause in a people’s social compact in forming a state is that in exchange for giving up the inherent liberty to arm themselves and use force to protect themselves, their loved ones and the community in which they live, the primary responsibility of the state/government will be to protect its citizens, and that if for some reason the government fails in providing such protection, it will take all steps necessary to prevent the reoccurrence of such events, and that it will not offer (i) effete excuses predicated on the pleas of some utopian concept of peace, (ii) non-sincere condemnation of such terror acts, and (iii) non-existent resolve to tackle those who indulge in such acts or their apologists who rationalize such heinous crimes, instead of taking some concrete measures. If the government cannot protect its citizens (or in the current Indian feudal-democratic context, its subjects), then such government has failed in its primary purpose and lost its legitimacy to govern. Alas! and if only such thinking prevailed in our nation and we heard such rationale and arguments from our opinion makers. Instead, as usual, we will be offered platitudes upon platitudes.

Cross posted on Suniti.

laks said...

Surprise edit from TOI. First time I am agreeing with it in a long time. Go read it.,curpg-1.cms

nukh said...

first try to determine who is culpable in the bombings.
then take the shareable info to the international community [read only uncle sam and israel] who as libertarian pointed out we need to convince to throw in their lot with us and against "them"....covert for now and overt down the line.
and then engineer "domestic disharmony" within the borders of our enemy....and everytime an incident occurs in india, one should occur across the border...the sooner the better.

Jaffna said...

A reality check though. The Government of India has pledged n unprecedented US$ 25 million for earthquake reconstruction in Pakistan and has agreed to go-ahead with the opening of the border/line of control on November 7 in a few areas. Moreover, the Government press spokespersons refused to name likely perpetrators of the act. I see no resolve in New Delhi what so ever except for bland statements that "India will not succumb to terrorism".

libertarian said...

laks, the TOI edit is surprisingly unambiguous. A welcome change. nukh I like your eye-for-an-eye idea - we calibrate the response to the severity of the crime. Israel has mastered this dark art. We should learn from them.

Anonymous said...

It is ironical that Jaffna writes about Indira's belief in a strong India on the same day as the terrorist attacks on Delhi. There cannot be any illusion about Pakistan and its deep desire to "destroy" India. In that sense Indira Gandhi made a mistake: she should have rendered West Pakistan impotent. We should have taken Karachi. She was not worried about the 7th fleet in Indian waters, but more by the pressure from Leonid Brezhnev. Pakistan remains the greatest destabilizer of India. And Manmohan/Natwar do not realize that.

cynical nerd said...

back track

history_lover said...

I have no doubt that we can win in a conventional war against Pakistan but will that be sufficient to destroy the current pakistani system ?
Encouraging the breakup of Pakistan as we did earlier in the case of Bangladesh did not prove to be particularly useful to us.

libertarian said...


If the war were guaranteed to be conventional, we would make short work of Pakistan. The Indian military is at least twice the size on any dimension. More importantly, their military leadership is woeful - PR pointed that they've lost every war they initiated.

Breaking up Pak into W. Pak and Bangladesh did us a giant favor. You can deal with them separately. The same logic applies to Punjabistan and it's vassal states.

libertarian said...

Oi, what's this?

Sachin Kumar said...

I think the public opinion is for a one-time deal this way or that. The political opinion is not that clear in this regard. On one hand they talk about opening borders, on other they don't name Pakistan clearly (inspite of clear evidence) and now it's looking like they are trying to put this on the back burner.
Is it because the Americans are weighing in more than usual as their spokesman's press conference also might have indicated, or they have an alternate plan (highly doubtful given history to the contrary). The political response has only been the usual, timid and the ambiguous. No reason that the Pakistani generals are not bothered about it, and have responded with the usual response.

They know that Indians are going ahead with opening border and it will be of benefit to them by sending in whoever they want. They are not that stupid enough to let the opportunity go useless, may be that explains a little harsh tone in the response. In a short while when things start getting hot for Jihadis in PoK because of presence of US and NATO, they would find shelter in Indian Kashmir.

I've never seen such docile and impotent governments (Singh's Congress and Advani's BJP) anywhere else in the world.


Blog Archive