[lit-ideas] Paranoia or Fighting terrorism in Nepal

  • From: Teemu Pyyluoma <teme17@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 02:46:08 -0700 (PDT)

One more or case of totally clueless US foreign
policy. In a nutshell, USA is arming the Nepalese
government (latest is $70M US or 20 000 M16s) which is
battling  demonstations and strikes by pretty much
every political party in the country (they want
democracy restored) and the Maoist rebels (they are
your usual mix of socialists fighting for the poor and
plain thugs.) The battle between the rebels and RNA
(Royal Nepal Army) is getting increasingly nasty. Like
in pretty much every conflict, most of the population
is just dodging bullets and praying for peace.

So why is Washington involved? Nepal has no natural
resources to speak of, and is generally speaking a
small insignificant nation in the Himalayas. US
ambassador offers the following: "It's a long way from
the United States, but we're concerned that areas in
Nepal don't get out of control, don't become a vacuum
where terrorist groups can move into and use Nepal for
whatever."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3593849.stm

Translation: there is no threat but the new doctrine
says that there shall be no place on earth without
effective law and order. Pure paranoia.
 
One curious aspect of the conflict is that both
Maoists and the government have done everything
possible not to hurt foreigners. Tourists still come
to the country that is practicly in a civil war, in a
bizarre twist rebels asking for donations have
actually become a sight! After US announcement on
April, Maoists swiftly declared they will be attacking
tourist targets starting on June. Which effectively
means that the porr country lost its biggest industry.

Can anyone explain this to me? The article above
mentions some sort of master plan to intensify the
conflict in order to get the Maoists back to
negotiating table, but having been to the country I
second the opinion that the terrain is guerilla
heaven, and as such there is little hope for RNA
victory. 


Yours,
Teemu
Helsinki, Finland


        
                
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