The Happy Arab News Service




Friday, May 22, 2009




After the tigers, the dragons come

If claims that China's support was instrumental in the destruction of Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka are true, then the sudden and abrupt end of one of the world's most ferocious and sophisticated insurgencies is a monumental event that signals the beginning of a new era. For decades Western nations and international organizations armed with Geneva conventions, relief agencies and principle of proportionality have created, turned into intractable and internationalized numerous conflicts all over the world. This trend has escalated with the end of the cold war, when the US's obsession with spreading freedom and democracy across the globe was finally liberated from the constraint of having always to consider the Soviet competition.

This is not to say that the US has never experienced bouts of this particular lunacy before. Already under Carter the US was experimenting with a more ethical approach to foreign policy that ended with the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and Khomeini in Iran. The latter was a particularly painful setback that destroyed what used to be the most Westernized and sophisticated Muslim country in the Middle East and destabilized the region for decades to come. With the arrival of George Bush and his neocon revolution the transformation was complete and the confusion of ends with means, a standard feature of idealisms of all kinds be they the "scientific liberalism" of political correctness or the "Iraqis want freedom" George Bush style, has become permanent. Pakistan was the latest victim to fall to this fallacy when the country was set on its "long march" to hell by the departure of Pervez Musharraf who, like the Shah before, was denied America's support.

A $1 billion port China is reportedly constructing in Hambantota is about more than just China attaining a foothold at India's very doorsteps. President Obama has all but retraced his steps on promises (threats?) to renegotiate NAFTA and a host of bilateral FTAs, but uncertainty still surrounds pending agreements with Colombia and Panama. In Colombia the determination of president Uribe and unwavering support of Bush administration have defeated the world's another generations long insurgency and laid waste to the notion of "there is no military solution". But cracks started developing in this alliance after the congress led by Nancy Pelosi has derailed the unlucky FTA on accusations of human rights violations. China has been recently spotted on a buying spree in Latin America and elsewhere where it's generously throwing around multi billion loans and aid packages, as the new superpower is growing desperate for better places to park its enormous reserves in than the troubled US treasuries and asset backed securities. The US should better inject a good doze of sanity into its foreign policy and soon unless it does not care to discover one day a web of China's naval bases decorating a seascape much closer to its shores than the Indian Ocean.

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