Naxal statement on Darba Ghaati attack

Below is the official statement issued by the Naxalites on the Darba Ghaati attack in Chhattisgarh. The statement was sourced through Shankar Anand, a Deputy Editor at Three Headed Lion.

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)
DANDAKARANYA SPECIAL ZONAL COMMITTEE

May 26, 2013

Elimination of fascist Salwa Judum leader Mahendra Karma: Legitimate response to the inhuman atrocities, brutal murders and endless terror perpetrated on the Adivasis of Bastar!

Attack on top Congress leaders: Inevitable reprisal to the fascist Operation Green Hunt being carried on by the UPA government hand in glove with various state governments!

On May 25, 2013, a detachment of the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army conducted a massive attack on the 20 plus vehicles convoy of Congress party which resulted in wiping out of at least 27 Congress leaders, activists and policemen including Mahendra Karma, the bitter enemy of the oppressed people of Bastar and Nand Kumar Patel, president of the Congress’ state unit. It took place when the Congress party leaders were touring in Bastar region as part of their ‘Parivartan Yatra’ program (i.e. March of Change) keeping their eye on forthcoming assembly elections. At least 30 others also were injured in this attack including ex-central minister and veteran Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla. The dog’s death of Mahendra Karma, notorious tyrant, murderer, rapist, robber and maligned as corrupt, in this historic attack has created a festive atmosphere in entire Bastar region. Former state home minister Nand Kumar Patel was also had the history of suppressing the people. It was in his tenure, paramilitary force (CRPF) was deployed in Bastar region for the first time. It was also not hidden from anyone that the former central minister VC Shukla who had been in various portfolios including Home ministry, was also a people’s enemy who had acted as a loyal servant of imperialists, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and landlords and had played a key role in formulating and implementing exploitative government policies. The goal of this attack was mainly to eliminate Mahendra Karma and some other reactionary Congress top leaders as well. However, during this massive attack some innocent people and some lower level Congress party activists who were in fact not our enemies, were also killed and injured caught in the two-hour long gun battle that ensued between our guerrilla forces and the armed police forces. Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist) regrets for this and expresses condolence and sympathy to the families of the bereaved.

Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist) takes absolute responsibility for this attack. We send our revolutionary greetings to the PLGA commanders who led this daring ambush, to the red fighters who contributed in this success, to the people who took part in it by lending active support and to the entire revolutionary masses of Bastar region. This attack has once again proved the historic fact that those fascists who perpetrate violence, atrocities and massacres on the people, will never be forgiven and they would inevitably be punished by the people.

The so-called tribal leader Mahendra Karma was born into a feudal manjhi family. Both his grandfather Masa Karma and father Bodda Manjhi were notorious harassers of the people in their times and were acted as trusted agents of colonial rulers. His family’s entire history is known of inhuman exploitation and oppression of Adivasis. Mahendra Karma’s political life was started in 1975 as a member of AISF while he was studying the law. He was elected as MLA from CPI first in 1978. Later in 1981, when he was denied ticket by CPI, he joined Congress. In 1996, he had gone with a breakaway faction of Madhavrao Scindhia and became member of Indian Parliament as an independent candidate. Later he rejoined the Congress party.

In 1996, a massive movement took place in Bastar demanding the implementation of Sixth Schedule. Though mainly CPI had led that movement, our party – it was CPI (ML) [People’s War] then – also took active part in that movement mobilizing the masses on a large scale. But Mahendra Karma took bitter stand against that movement proving himself as representative of the selfish urban business people, who had come to Bastar as settlers and had accumulated massive wealth. Then only his anti-adivasi and pro-comprador nature was clearly exposed before the people. Since the 1980s, he had strengthened the bonds with big business and capitalist classes in Bastar.

Then in 1999, Karma’s name was exposed in a big scam called ‘Malik Makbuja’. A Lokayukta report revealed that in the period of 1992-96, Mahendra Karma hand in glove with timber black-marketers had made millions of rupees by cheating adivasi people and colluding with revenue and forest officials and the district collector. Though a CBI probe was ordered into this scam, nothing harm was done to the culprits as always happen.

Mahendra Karma was minister of jails in undivided Madhya Pradesh. Later became industries and commerce minister in Ajit Jogi’s government when Chhattisgarh state was carved out of it.  At that time a forceful land acquisition took place in Nagarnar for the proposed steel plant by Romelt/NMDC. While the local people refused to give up their lands, Mahendra Karma took stand against the people and in favor of the capitalists. He played a key role in forcibly taking away the lands by suppressing the people with support of brutal police force. The people who lost their lands in Nagarnar received neither compensation nor the employment as government had promised till now. They were forced to disperse.

From the very beginning, Mahendra Karma stood as an arch enemy of the revolutionary movement. The reason is clear – hailed from a typical feudal family and ‘grown up’ as an agent of big business and bourgeois classes. The first Jan Jagaran (‘awareness’) campaign was launched in 1990-91 against the revolutionary movement. The revisionist CPI had participated in that counter-revolutionary campaign. Karma and many of his relatives belonged to the landlord classes had actively participated in it. The second Jan Jagaran campaign was launched in 1997-98 led by Mahendra Karma himself. This was started in Mahendra Karma’s own village Faraspal and its surrounding villages and spread up to Bhairamgarh and Kutru areas. Hundreds of people were tortured and arrested and sent to jails. Many an incidents of looting and setting fire to houses took place. Womenfolk were raped. However, under the leadership of our party and mass organizations people came together and strongly countered this counter-revolutionary onslaught. Within a short time, this campaign was defeated.

Later the revolutionary movement became more consolidated. Anti-feudal struggles were intensified in many areas. Landlords like Podia Patel, the brother of Mahendra Karma, and some close relatives of him were killed as part of mass resistance actions. In many villages the power of feudal forces and bad gentry was thrown out and the process of establishment of People’s Revolutionary Power organs began. The feudal forces including Mahendra Karma were very furious as their lands were redistributed among the poor and landless peasants and the customs like unjustly forcing the people to pay penalties to the landlords were stopped. They opposed the progressive changes like stopping of forced marriages of women, discouraging polygamy etc. also. And at the same time, the revolutionary movement was seemed as a hurdle by the corporate houses like Tatas and Essars who started their attempts to plunder away the natural resources of Bastar region. So, they naturally colluded with the counter-revolutionary elements like Mahendra Karma. They fed him with millions of coffers in order to create conducive atmosphere for their arbitrary depredations. On the other hand, after the emergence of CPI (Maoist) as a country-wide consolidated party as an outcome of the merger between the genuine revolutionary organizations, exploitative ruling classes intensified their counter-revolutionary onslaught in the guidance of the imperialists so as to crush the revolutionary movement. Thus, a brutal attack in connivance with the Congress and the BJP has started in Bastar region namely ‘Salwa Judum’. So many followers and relatives of Mahendra Karma like Soyam Muka, Rambhuvan Kushwaha, Ajay Singh, Vikram Mandavi, Gannu Patel, Madhukarrao, and Gota Chinna etc. emerged as key leaders of Salwa Judum.

One can hardly find any examples in the history to compare the severity of the devastation and barbarity caused by Salwa Judum to the lives of the Bastar people. It killed more than one thousand people in cold blood; torched 640 villages into ashes, robbed thousands of houses; ate or took away chickens, goats, pigs, etc.; forced more than two million people to be displaced; dragged more than 50 thousand people into state-run ‘relief’ camps. Thus the Salwa Judum became anathema to the people. Hundreds of women were gang raped. Many women were murdered after rape. Massacres took place in many places. The atrocities perpetrated on the people and havoc created by the hooligans of Salwa Judum, the police and paramilitary forces, especially the Naga and Mizo battalions crossed all limits. There were several incidents in which people were brutally cut into pieces before being dumped in rivers. Cherli, Kotrapal, Mankeli, Karremarka, Mosla, Munder, Padeda, Paralnar, Pumbad, Gaganpalli… in many villages people were killed en masse. Hundreds of tribal youth were recruited as SPOs and were turned into hardened criminals. Mahendra Karma himself led the attacks on several villages in the name of conducting meetings and marches. Many women were raped by the goons with the direct instigation of Mahendra Karma. He was directly involved in many incidents of burning the villages, torturing and murdering the people. Thus, in the minds of the people of Bastar, Mahendra Karma remained as an inhuman killer, rapist, dacoit and a loyal broker of the big capitalists. In entire Bastar people have been demanding our party and the PLGA for many years that he must be punished. Many of them came forward voluntarily to give active support in this task. There were also a few attempts, but due to petty mistakes and other reasons he was able to escape.

With this action we have taken revenge of over a thousand adivasis who were brutally murdered in the hands of Salwa Judum goons and government armed forces. We also have taken revenge on behalf of those hundreds of mothers and sisters who were subjected to cruelest forms of violence, humiliation and sexual assault. We have taken revenge on behalf of the thousands of Bastarites who lost their homes, cattle, chickens, goats, bald, pottery, clothing, grain, crops … everything and were forced to live a miserable life in subhuman conditions.

Immediately after this attack, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh etc. dubbed this as an attack on democracy and democratic values. One wonders whether these pet dogs of exploiter classes have any moral qualification even to take the name of democracy! Of late, on May 17, when eight people including three innocent children were killed by police and paramilitary forces in Edsametta village of Bijapur district, then why did none of these leaders bother to think about ‘democracy’? Between January 20 to 23, when villages named Doddi Tumnar and Pidiya of Bijapur district were attacked by your forces who torched 20 houses and a school house run by the people, did your ‘democracy’ flourish there? Exactly 11 months ago, on the night of June 28, 2012 in Sarkinguda village, 17 adivasis were slaughtered and 13 women were gang raped.  Were those incidents a part of your ‘democratic values’? Does your ‘democracy’ only applicable to the mass murderers like Mahendra Karma and ruling class agents like Nand Kumar Patel? Whether the poor adivasis of Bastar, the elderly, children and the women come under the umbrella of your ‘democracy’ or not? Are the massacres of adivasis a part of your ‘democracy’? Do any of those who are shouting loudly against this attack have any answer for these questions?

By the end of 2007, Salwa Judum was defeated by the resistance of the masses. Then in 2009, Congress-led UPA-2 has unleashed a countrywide offensive by name Operation Green Hunt (OGH). The US imperialists are not only giving guidance and help and support, but by deploying their special forces in India they also are actively participating in counter-insurgency operations. They are giving emphasis on killing the Maoist leadership. The Union government has so far sent more than 50 thousand paramilitary forces to Chhattisgarh as part of ongoing OGH, i.e. ‘War on People’. As a result, there has been manifold increase in massacres and destruction. 400 adivasis were killed by central and state armed forces here in Bastar so far since 2009. From mid-2011, Army troops have been creating bases in Bastar region in the name of setting up ‘training schools’. Both Chidambaram and Shinde, the former and present home ministers, including PM Manmohan Singh have been eagerly rendering all support to the Chhattisgarh government and expressing full satisfaction over Raman Singh government’s performance in crushing revolutionary movement. Raman Singh too has been expressing his gratitude on every occasion for Centre’s help. Therefore, in Chhattisgarh, there are no differences between ruling BJP and opposition Congress in terms of policies of suppressing the revolutionary movement. Only due to public pressure, as well as to gain electoral benefits, some of the local leaders of the Congress at times came in condemnation of incidents like Sarkinguda and Edsametta massacres. Their opposition is sham which is nothing more than opportunism. Both Congress and BJP are same in implementing corporate friendly and oppressive policies. The frequent penetration of Greyhounds forces across the Chhattisgarh borders from Andhra Pradesh, and the mass murders it committed first in Kanchal (2008) and recently in Puwwarti (May 16, 2013) are part and parcel of the oppressive policies adopted and implemented by Congress party. That’s why we have targeted top leaders of Congress.

Today, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Home Minister Nankiram Kanwar, Ministers Ramvichar Netam, Kedar Kashyap, Vikram Usendi, Governor Shekhar Dutt, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil etc.; DGP Ram Niwas, ADG Mukesh Gupta and other senior officials of the police, who are hell-bent on crushing the revolutionary movement of Dandakaranya, are in the big illusion that they are unbeatable. Mahendra Karma also has kept the illusion that Z plus Security and bullet-proof vehicles would save him forever. In the history of the world, Hitler and Mussolini were in the same pride that no one could beat them. In the contemporary history of our country, the fascists like Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi also were victims of similar misgivings. But the People are invincible. People only are the makers of the history. Ultimately, a handful of exploiters and a few of their pet dogs will only be thrown in the dustbin of the history.

Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee of Communist Party of India (Maoist) calls upon the workers, peasants, students, intellectuals, writers, artists, media persons and all other democrats to demand the governments to stop the OGH immediately; to withdraw all kinds of paramilitary forces from Dandakaranya; to give up the conspiracy of deploying the Army in the name of ‘training’; to put an end to the interference of Air Force; to release all the revolutionary activists and ordinary adivasis languishing in various jails immediately; to scrap the cruel laws like UAPA, CSPSA, MACOCA, AFSPA, etc.; to cancel the all those MoUs signed with the corporate houses with the aim of plundering the natural wealth of the country.

(Gudsa Usendi)
Spokesperson
Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee
CPI (Maoist)

(This is translated and slightly abridged version of Hindi original)

More information on Naxal attack on Congress leaders in Darba Ghaati

BY SHANKAR ANAND

The latest deadly Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, in which 27 Congressmen (including some senior leaders) were killed, has again brought the issue of Naxalism into the forefront.

According to sources, the audacious attack has been carried out jointly by Naxal cadres from Chhattisgarh, Andra Pradesh, Jharkhand and Orissa. Read below for more information revealed by reliable sources on the ground.

  • The three main people associated with the attack were Gaganna, Gudsa Usendi, and Ganapathi (alias Ganesh VK). Gudsa was at the forefront of planning the entire operation while Gaganna led the front attack group during the operation. Involvement of politburo member K Sudarshan in the planning of the attack is also suspected.
  • This was a three-pronged attack and was carried out under the leadership of Naxal cadre from Andhra Pradesh.
  • The cadres were divided into three groups. The group, led by senior Naxal leader from Andhra Pradesh Gaganna, was in the forefront of the attack on the convoy of Congress leaders passing through Darba Ghaati area.
  • The second group comprised naxal cadres from Jharkhand and Orissa and it provided backup to the Naxals carrying out the attack in the front.
  • The third and the final group was led by a Naxal commander from Chhattisgarh and its main task was to provide security cover to the attack group and also keep a watch on possible movements from security forces if any. Their task was to keep the first and the second group updated with information as being locals they were better placed to do this task. As the news of the attack spread, local journalists tried to reach the spot but they were discouraged to visit the area by this third group of naxals.
  • According to Alok Shukla and Bikas Sharma, two local journalists, around 500 Naxals participated in the attack. Shukla also did not rule out the hand of some local leaders in facilitating the deadly attack as some of the injured politicians had pointed to the fact that a local leader had advised a last minute route change.
  • Some of the eyewitness who were injured in the attack said the Naxals were neither able to speak properly in Hindi nor in the local language.
  • Vinod alias Pandu, who trains naxal cadres of Andra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, also played a crucial role in this attack. Pandu is believed to be a close associate of top Andhra Pradesh Naxal leader Ramanna.
  • According to sources, around 70-80 female Naxal cadres trained by Pandu in border area of Malanjkhand played a lead role in this attack.

(Shankar Anand is a Deputy Editor at Three Headed Lion, a leading distributed market intelligence, research & risk management company. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)

MI6, Operation Overlord, World War II and a secret kill list

The British National Archives recently released files related to intelligence operations during World War II. This particular set of declassified documents contain discussions about the possibility of the British Foreign Office and Security and Intelligence Services (SIS – also known as MI6) “providing a list of French and Germans who would be priorities for assassination (possibly by Special Operations Executive) at the time of Operation Overlord” (codename for the battle of Normandy).

Charles Peake, attached to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), wrote to Peter Loxley from the Foreign Office on April 15, 1944 that from the German side Stulpnagel, Runstedt, and Rommel look likely, but there may be some Vichy collaborators whose removal from the scene would assist.”

Another ‘Top Secret’ letter from Thomas E. Bromley to SHAEF’s Peake in May 1944 states:

“If we go on record in any way as having started assassination and having designated victims, there may be a revulsion of feeling later on and the Germans may also take reprisals on our prisoners, a game at which they always win. A further consideration is that if German officials and officers are murdered in France, this may start a wave of murderings which will probably last when we are in occupation of enemy territory, with the result that the lives of members of our control and other commissions will also be endangered.”

Read all the declassified documents related to this here

Sardar Patel’s letter to Girja Shankar Bajpai on Tibet

Letter from Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel to Secretary-General of External Affairs Ministry Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai in 1950 on Tibet.

NEW DELHI
4 November 1950

My Dear Sir Girja,

Thank you for your letter of the 3rd November 1950. I am sending herewith the note which you were good enough to send me. I need hardly say that I have read it with a great deal of interest and profit to myself and it has resulted in a much better understanding of the points at issue and general though serious nature of the problem.

The Chinese advance into Tibet upsets all our security calculations. Hitherto, the danger to India on its land frontiers has always come from the North-West. Throughout history we have concentrated our armed might in that region. For the first time, a serious danger is now developing on the North and North-East side; at the same time, our danger from the West or North-West is in no way lessened. This creates most embarrassing defense problems and I entirely agree with you that a reconsideration of our military position and a redisposition of our forces are inescapable.

Regarding Communists, again the position requires a great deal of thought. Hitherto, the smuggling of arms, literature, etc. across the difficult Burmese and Pakistan frontier on the East or along the sea was our only danger. We shall now have to guard our Northern and North-eastern approaches also. Unfortunately, all these approaches-Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and the tribal areas in Assam-are weak spots both from the point of view of communications and police protection and also established loyalty to India.

Even Darjeeling and Kalimpong area is by no means free from pro-Mongolian prejudices. The Nagas and other hill tribes in Assam have hardly had any contact with Indians. European missionaries and other visitors have been in touch with them, but their influence was, by no means, friendly to India and Indians. In Sikkim, there was political ferment some time ago. It seems to me there is ample scope for trouble and discontent in that small State.

Bhutan is comparatively quiet, but its affinity with Tibetans would be a handicap. Nepal (we all know too well, a weak oligarchic regime based almost entirely on force) is in conflict with an enlightened section of the people as well as enlightened ideas of the modern age. Added to this weak position, there is the irredentism of the Chinese. The political ambitions of the Chinese by themselves might not have mattered so much; but when they are combined with discontent in these areas, absence of close contact with Indians and Communist ideology the difficulty of the position increases manifold. We have also to bear in mind that boundary disputes, which have many times in history been the cause of international conflicts, can be exploited by Communist China and its source of inspiration, Soviet Russia, for a prolonged war of nerves, culminating at the appropriate time, in armed conflict.

We have also so take note of a thoroughly unscrupulous, unreliable and determined power practically at our doors. In your very illuminating survey of what has passed between us and the Chinese Government through our Ambassador, you have made out an unanswerable case for treating the Chinese with the greatest suspicion. What I have said above, in my judgment, entitles us to treat them with a certain amount of hostility, let alone a great deal of circumspection. In these circumstances, one thing, to my mind, is quite clear; and, that is, that we cannot be friendly with China and must think in terms of defense against a determined, calculating, unscrupulous, ruthless, unprincipled and prejudiced combination of powers, of which the Chinese will be the spearhead. There might be from them outward offers or protestations of friendship, but in that will be concealed an ultimate hideous design of ideological and even political conquest into their bloc. It is equally obvious to me that any friendly or appeasing approaches from us would either be mistaken for weakness or would be exploited in furtherance of their ultimate aim. It is this general attitude which must determine the other specific questions which you have so admirably stated. I am giving serious consideration to those problems and it is possible I may discuss this matter with you once more.

Yours sincerely,

VALLABHBHAI PATEL

Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai, I.C.S.,
Secretary-General, External Affairs Ministry,
New Delhi.

Also Read:

Washington and Moscow trying to square a circle in Syria

BY SAEED NAQVI

After 70,000 Syrians have paid with their lives in the foreign induced conflict in Syria, why has the American perspective changed? Even so, it was nice to see Secretary of State, John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, embrace each other two weeks back in Moscow.

Kerry also met President Vladimir Putin who, in Kerry’s presence, asked Lavrov to take over the task of navigating the Syrian crisis towards a peaceful resolution.

At about the same time two years ago Hillary Clinton, with an imperious wave of the hand, was demanding that “Assad, get out of the way”. Why then would the US, and its allies, accept the Geneva Communiqué, which envisages an end to violence and creation of a transitional government which could include members of the Assad regime.

If Israeli air strikes inside Syria and allegations of use of chemical weapons either by the regime or the Opposition had not captured recent headlines, there would be pretty little for Kerry to discuss with the Kremlin leadership. What transpired in Moscow under the circumstances, appears to be an endorsement of the Lavrov-Assad line on Syria which has, in essentials, remained unchanged over the past two years.

What was the purpose of Israeli air strikes on Syrian targets? They were a reminder that the splintered opposition needed help because it was no longer being able to hold ground.

The strikes came in the wake of an anti-Assad regime whispering campaign about chemical weapons having been used. The situation was confused with deliberation to accommodate air strikes. Just when this rumour began to acquire wings, appeared from within the ranks of an otherwise supine United Nations, one Carla del Ponte, member of the UN panel investigating the conflict in Syria. She threw a monkey wrench right into the heart of all the chemical weapons propaganda.

She said there were “strong, concrete suspicions” that Syrian rebels had used poison gas. When the plot boomeranged, a shiver went up and down many spines. White House spokesman, Jay Carney, introduced a delightful bit of ambiguity: “We are highly skeptical of any suggestion that the opposition used chemical weapons.” But he banished skepticism in the next observation: “We think it highly likely that the Assad regime was responsible…….” This is one White House attitude and Kerry’s in Moscow quit another. Which one do we believe? No condemnation of use of chemical weapons? Such global indifference?

Diplomatic grapevine has been abuzz with President Barack Obama’s telephonic exchange with President Putin urging the Russian leader to restrain Damascus from any retaliation which would cause the region from spiraling out of control. The UN has been told that Syria had the right to retaliate but it would choose its own moment. Damascus has already declared it can no longer restrain Palestinian Resistance along Israel borders on the Golan Heights.

Kerry-Lavrov duet has, after months of stalled co-operation, announced an International Conference, possibly by the end of May, to bring the civil war to a close and pave the way for a peaceful settlement. The question that will plague the conveners of the conference will be: how to create a coherent delegation out of 148 disjointed groups.

Assad will be able to put together his representation at the conference quite easily. This contrast will cause deep consternation in Congressional circles in the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, UK, France and, quite undisputedly after the recent air strikes, in Israel. After the airstrikes, Israel is very much in the frame.

The idea clearly is for Washington and Moscow to be armed with a positive document on Syria at the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland on June 17 to 18.

On current showing, there is no coherence between the White House and the State Department even on the issue of chemical weapons in Syria. Place the US Congress, Pentagon, CIA in this calculus, and parties arrayed behind the Syrian opposition have enough time, upto mid June, to wreck whatever architecture Kerry may have in mind for the G8 summiteers to consider. Who knows, the arch wrecker may be within that August body itself.

Remember, Iranian Presidential election results will be out on June 14, by which time Riyadh, Doha, Ankara and Tel Aviv will have worked themselves into a frenzy about their red-hot Syrian project taking a disastrous route to peace. Are Obama and Kerry strong enough to withstand pressure from the rest of the Washington establishment plus Saudi Arabia, Qatar and, more tepidly, Turkey.

Incidentally, the establishment does have a handful of peaceniks and they can be certified. With us in Damascus two years ago was a senior US ex-Ambassador to several Arab countries – Ed Peck. In those days, US ambassador in Syria, Robert Stephen Ford, with his French counterpart in tow, was driving from Dera to Homs to Hama, presumably stoking a popular rebellion.

Peck shared with a friend his personal impressions of Americans in Damascus: “I have been dismayed by the accolades and support given to Ambassador Ford, our man in – and now out of Syria, for stepping well out of the traditional and appropriate role of a diplomat and actively encouraging the revolt/insurrection/sectarian strife/outside meddling, call it what you will, that is still going on.  It is easy to imagine the US reaction if an ambassador from anywhere were to engage in even distantly related activities here.  I fear my country remains somewhat more than merely insensitive, and is sliding into just plain rampant and offensive arrogance.” Well, here is potential support for Kerry in his peace seeking incarnation. But on what the future portends, I shall reserve judgement atleast until the summit in Northern Ireland. I am even willing to wait until the Obama – Putin summit in Moscow in September possibly before the UN General Assembly session.

After Ben Ali in Tunis and Hosni Mubarak in Cairo became casualties of the so called Arab Spring, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia emerged from convalescence in Europe and, along with the Emir of Qatar, took charge. They rented NATO for the Libyan action and coaxed Washington and Europe to help stoke internal conflict in Syria. This column had argued then why Assad would not fall. Well, he is not about to fall quite yet. But Riyadh and Qatar have been encouraged to invest too much in the conflict to call back the dogs of war. They have nothing to show as a trophy except a destroyed nation. They face a greater existential crisis today than they did in February 2011. A looming spectre of peace in Syria will cause them to beat their breast and throw a ginger fit on the other side of the presidential desk right inside the Oval office.

(Saeed Naqvi is a senior Indian journalist, television commentator, interviewer, and a Distinguished Fellow at Observer Research Foundation. Mr. Naqvi is also a mentor and a guest blogger with Canary Trap)