Pakistan is the world’s most serious problem. As 2011 approaches so does the fragile nature of the international geopolitics focus on oil.
RED ALERT – Possible Geopolitical Consequences of the Mumbai Attacks
If the Nov. 26 attacks in Mumbai were carried out by Islamist militants as it appears, the Indian government will have little choice, politically speaking, but to blame them on Pakistan. That will in turn spark a crisis between the two nuclear rivals that will draw the United States into the fray.
At this point the situation on the ground in Mumbai remains unclear following the militant attacks of Nov. 26. But in order to understand the geopolitical significance of what is going on, it is necessary to begin looking beyond this event at what will follow. Though the situation is still in motion, the likely consequences of the attack are less murky.
We will begin by assuming that the attackers are Islamist militant groups operating in India, possibly with some level of outside support from Pakistan. We can also see quite clearly that this was a carefully planned, well-executed attack.
Given this, the Indian government has two choices. First, it can simply say that the perpetrators are a domestic group. In that case, it will be held accountable for a failure of enormous proportions in security and law enforcement. It will be charged with being unable to protect the public. On the other hand, it can link the attack to an outside power: Pakistan. In that case it can hold a nation-state responsible for the attack, and can use the crisis atmosphere to strengthen the government’s internal position by invoking nationalism. Politically this is a much preferable outcome for the Indian government, and so it is the most likely course of action. This is not to say that there are no outside powers involved — simply that, regardless of the ground truth, the Indian government will claim there were.
That, in turn, will plunge India and Pakistan into the worst crisis they have had since 2002. If the Pakistanis are understood to be responsible for the attack, then the Indians must hold them responsible, and that means they will have to take action in retaliation — otherwise, the Indian government’s domestic credibility will plunge. The shape of the crisis, then, will consist of demands that the Pakistanis take immediate steps to suppress Islamist radicals across the board, but particularly in Kashmir. New Delhi will demand that this action be immediate and public. This demand will come parallel to U.S. demands for the same actions, and threats by incoming U.S. President Barack Obama to force greater cooperation from Pakistan.
If that happens, Pakistan will find itself in a nutcracker. On the one side, the Indians will be threatening action — deliberately vague but menacing — along with the Americans. This will be even more intense if it turns out, as currently seems likely, that Americans and Europeans were being held hostage (or worse) in the two hotels that were attacked. If the attacks are traced to Pakistan, American demands will escalate well in advance of inauguration day.
There is a precedent for this. In 2002 there was an attack on the Indian parliament in Mumbai by Islamist militants linked to Pakistan. A near-nuclear confrontation took place between India and Pakistan, in which the United States brokered a stand-down in return for intensified Pakistani pressure on the Islamists. The crisis helped redefine the Pakistani position on Islamist radicals in Pakistan.
In the current iteration, the demands will be even more intense. The Indians and Americans will have a joint interest in forcing the Pakistani government to act decisively and immediately. The Pakistani government has warned that such pressure could destabilize Pakistan. The Indians will not be in a position to moderate their position, and the Americans will see the situation as an opportunity to extract major concessions. Thus the crisis will directly intersect U.S. and NATO operations in Afghanistan.
It is not clear the degree to which the Pakistani government can control the situation. But the Indians will have no choice but to be assertive, and the United States will move along the same line. Whether it is the current government in India that reacts, or one that succeeds doesn’t matter. Either way, India is under enormous pressure to respond. Therefore the events point to a serious crisis not simply between Pakistan and India, but within Pakistan as well, with the government caught between foreign powers and domestic realities. Given the circumstances, massive destabilization is possible — never a good thing with a nuclear power.
This is thinking far ahead of the curve, and is based on an assumption of the truth of something we don’t know for certain yet, which is that the attackers were Muslims and that the Pakistanis will not be able to demonstrate categorically that they weren’t involved. Since we suspect they were Muslims, and since we doubt the Pakistanis can be categorical and convincing enough to thwart Indian demands, we suspect that we will be deep into a crisis within the next few days, very shortly after the situation on the ground clarifies itself.
Who’s Behind the Mumbai Massacre?
By SIMON ROBINSON Friday, Nov. 28, 2008
Even as the siege of Mumbai was still going on, the finger-pointing began. India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said "external forces" were behind the attacks, a thinly veiled reference to India’s neighbor and longtime foe Pakistan. Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee went further, telling reporters that "elements with links to Pakistan" were involved. But Pakistan’s President and Prime Minister both condemned the attacks and rejected any talk of Pakistani involvement. Pakistani officials also announced that the head of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence organization (ISI) often accused of orchestrating terrorist assaults on India would travel to India to offer assistance in investigating the Mumbai massacre.
India blames "elements" in Pakistan for attacks
By MUNEEZA NAQVI 4 hours ago
NEW DELHI (AP) India pointed the finger of blame at Pakistan on Friday, saying preliminary investigations into the bloody attacks on its commercial capital showed that "some elements" inside the rival nation were responsible.
The coordinated series of attacks, which began Wednesday night, targeted 10 sites across Mumbai, including an iconic hotel and a landmark train station. More than 150 people were killed in the rampage, including at least 16 foreigners four of them Americans.
Local media speculation quickly settled on Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, a Pakistan rebel group that has fought troops in Indian-controlled Kashmir, but newspapers and TV channels have offered little evidence for the suspicion.
Indian federal home minister Jaiprakash Jaiswal said a captured gunmen had been identified as a Pakistani while R. R. Patil, a top official in Maharashtra state, said, "It is very clear that the terrorists are from Pakistan. We have enough evidence that they are from Pakistan."
Earlier, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh blamed "external forces" for the violence a phrase sometimes used to refer to Pakistani militants, whom Indian authorities often blame for attacks.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
NEVER say never.
Al Qaeda’s Goal: Cripple Amtrak’s N’east Corridor
Heightened Security In Place At Penn Station; Attack Could Paralyze Transit Between Boston, Washington…Cops, Feds Armed With M16s On Patrol For Forseeable Future
NEW YORK (CBS) The world’s economic fears were violently pushed aside on Wednesd ay by another global threat — terrorism.
A massive coordinated attack was launched in Mumbai, India just hours after the FBI warned that Al Qaeda may be targeting New York’s subways and railroads.
If Al Qaeda terrorists have their way there will be chaos and mayhem here this holiday season, a mass transit bomb plot that would probably affect all the subway and train lines at Penn and Grand Central stations.
"The threat is serious, the threat is significant, and it is plausible," said Congressman Peter King, R-Long Island, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Uniformed officers, including this NYPD Counter Terrorism Squad members and Amtrak cops with M-16s, flooded Penn Station Wednesday after the FBI said it had received a "plausible but unsubstantiated" report that Al Qaeda operatives discussed a plan two months ago to bomb New York City’s mass transit system.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
The naked and pool short sellers who have decimated people seeking safety by illegal means should focus on a harsh but accurate insight of an early economic theorist known as "The Prince"
"Kill a man’s father, and he will hate you. Take away a man’s property, and he will kill you."
The power-tripping Toronto cliques should consider that what they have done has in truth taken more property from people than most wars in history and all crimes since the Jurassic Age.
So far they have practiced their demonic craft with impunity, but things are turning. Everything has it’s season, and I assure you that theirs is over here and now.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
We have gone through plans A to J and are now on K.
It is starting to look like children in a panic.
Which PR hack makes up all these names?
Treasury Adds Two Programs to Financial Rescue Plans
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
It’s been 60 days since Congress gave the Treasury Department authority to launch a massive rescue of the financial markets — and in those 60 days, the plan has changed three times.
When the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was first authorized, the idea was to use the lion’s share of the funds to buy toxic assets on financial companies’ balance sheets. That quickly morphed into the Treasury instead opting to buy equity stakes in financial companies and backing off buying the bad assets. Now the Treasury has done an about face and over the past weekend announced it will indeed by toxic assets at least from Citigroup.
But wait — there’s more.
On Tuesday, the Treasury Department posted on its Web site details of another new program to save the financial institutions called the Systemically Significant Failing Institutions Program and a third unnamed program to provide the financial institutions with government cash.
A Treasury spokesperson told Fox Business Network’s Peter Barnes the $20 billion in capital infusion to Citigroup on top of the $25 billion it got when the government bought stakes in the banks, did not come from the Systemically Significant Failing Institutions Program, but the third, unnamed program. The spokesperson said details of the new unnamed program will be forthcoming.
“It’s a separate program — neither the capital purchase program or the program AIG was under,” said Treasury spokesperson Brookly McLaughlin in an email to Fox Business Network. American International Group’s (AIG) $40 billion investment by the Treasury Department fell under the Systemically Significant Failing Institutions Program. When asked for detail on the third program, McLaughin said: “the law required reporting on all that after the transaction closes.” Based on the timing for when the Treasury posted details on the program used to help AIG, details on the third program could come in about two weeks.