Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Mumbai attack, and what it means for Beijing

More melamine deaths (CNN and Epoch Times) and an export sector in serious trouble (BBC and the Epoch Times); Communist China was facing growing domestic problems just as anti-Communism was becoming the consensus in India.

Suddenly, India suffers a major terrorist attack in its chief commercial center (Mumbai, known to many Westerners as Bombay) - an attack that was authored by the Lashkar-i-Taiba terrorist group - and this from a captured terrorist himself (Washington Post).

Where has Lashkar-i-Taiba had a refuge and support from friendly government officials for nearly two decades? The answer is Pakistan - the very same Pakistan that has been an ally of the Chinese Communist Party for six decades.

Before anyone thinks I've gone over the edge here, I am not claiming that Beijing had a hand in the Mumbai attack. However, I have noticed that it has refused to join in the American and Indian demands that Pakistan help catch the perpetrators (Washington Post).

How has Pakistan responded? Well, a senior military official there suddenly decided it was a good time to call Taliban warlords "patriots" (Weekly Standard Blog), while others are talking about shifting Pakistan units away from figthing terrorists on the Afghan border and put them n the Indian border - where they would effectively be protecting terrorists.

Clearly, the duplicity of the Pakistani military did not change with the election of a new government. Still, Pakistan's Beijing allies continue to avoid responsibility for their longtime alliance with Pakistan (although it would help a great deal if Washington wised up and stopped calling Pakistan an "ally").

Robert Kagan (also in the Post) would give the Communists the chance to reveal their true colors:

Have the international community declare that parts of Pakistan have become ungovernable and a menace to international security. Establish an international force to work with the Pakistanis to root out terrorist camps in Kashmir as well as in the tribal areas. This would have the advantage of preventing a direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan. It might also save face for the Pakistani government, since the international community would be helping the central government reestablish its authority in areas where it has lost it. But whether or not Islamabad is happy, don't the international community and the United States, at the end of the day, have some obligation to demonstrate to the Indian people that we take attacks on them as seriously as we take attacks on ourselves?

. . .

Would the U.N. Security Council authorize such action? China has been Pakistan's ally and protector, and Russia might have its own reasons for opposing a resolution. Neither likes the idea of breaking down the walls of national sovereignty -- except, in Russia's case, in Georgia -- which is why they block foreign pressure on Sudan concerning Darfur, and on Iran and other rogue states. This would be yet another test of whether China and Russia, supposed allies in the war against terrorism, are really interested in fighting terrorism outside their own borders.

Indeed it would.

Given that Kagan is although one of the few anti-Communists in the American punditry, I doubt he's holding his breath on this one. Neither will I and neither should you.

The fact is, the CCP has long been a quiet terrorist sponsor, hoping that the rest of the world doesn't notice. Why? Because the CCP has relied on radical nationalism to justify its regime for years, and will need it even more now that its domestic economy has sputtered. Thus, the regime has become like American slavery of old - it must expand its influence and breadth, or it will die. Whether it's crushing the island democracy on Taiwan (otherwise known as "reunification"), replacing Japan as the lead power in East Asia, or replacing the United States as the lead world power while making sure India doesn't take the role, the CCP's greatest obstacles to its own survival are the two largest democracies on Earth.

So, instead of having to defend itself against parents whose children were poisoned, or foreign importers who won't touch anything it ships out, the CCP gets to defend Pakistan and the terrorists who use Pakistan as a shelter and the Pakistani military as a de facto sponsor. With any luck (for Beijing), the resulting brouhaha will be so bad it turns Afghanistan into a complete disaster (with Pakistan's soldiers handing the border regions over to the Taliban so they can point their weapons at India) that sours America on the entire War on Terror.

This is yet another reminder just how much said war is actually part of the Second Cold War. Victory in both can only come when China is free.

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