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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2008

Lalin’s Column : France- 3rd World War looming

By Major General (Retd.) Lalin Fernando

Hundreds of innocent people were killed by the bestial IS and its affiliates in France, Nigeria, Lebanon, Kenya, sub Saharan Mali, the Cameroons, Iraq, Syria Pakistan and Afghanistan this November.

SL naturally shares the grief of the people of these countries every time such attacks take place as she too suffered immensely in 26 years of conflict with the terrorist LTTE. There was in particular an out pouring of grief for Paris in the western media. In SL the media was more subdued and reflective. The new pro west government condemned the attack in Paris with alacrity. The attacks on Asians and Africans did not merit that much attention. It never does.

The question now is whether this attack on Paris even while candles are lit, presages the start of WW3. The protagonists, for long practicing religious exclusivity, have a sordid history of war, slavery, colonization and in the case of IS and the Saudi Arabian wahabis, rabid intolerance and draconian codes of law. Barbaric response is common to both as the recent attack on a hospital in Kunduz Afghanistan, if not the 20 years of varied drone attacks on civilian targets, show.

While concerned Muslims in the West, about 99% of the world’s total Muslims oppose and say ’not in my name’ to the IS atrocities, others in the East, whose religions teach inclusivity, need to say ‘this is not our war’ as the candles burn out.

Will Russia lead the fight back? Will Turkey be a spoiler? It’s downing of a Russian plane over Syria on 24 Nov 15 makes it appears so. Russia will not forgive. Will NATO back IS supporting Turkey, even if it hasn’t already given covering approval for the strike? Iran, still not a nuclear power that lit candles in Teheran after 9/11, only to have sanctions slapped on it by an ungrateful USA, is coming in out of the IC created cold to battle the IS. Its Revolutionary Guards and Special Forces have already made an impact including the rescue of one Russian pilot in land occupied by Syrian Turkis. The other pilot was shot as he parachuted to earth. Will China that has its own problems with the Xinjian Uygurs of Turki descent, join in? Will it all lead to WW3?

The shooting down of a Russian rescue helicopter with a US made missile recalls the time when the USA helped the mujahadin oust Russia from Afghanistan only to be drawn in there after 9/11. It has been metaphorically if not physically cornered and quartered. Very soon it will bug out like Russia. The cost in human life lost has been at a horrible to all concerned.

There is a bonding of war mongering western and basically middle eastern countries in today’s violence. Most are the descendants of revelers of battlefields all over the world in the past 2 centuries. If the International Community (IC) does not stab Russia in the back as France mainly, UK and Sardinia with Turkey did in the Crimean war (1853-55).Russia calls it the Eastern War. IS could be defeated before the 30 years the USA makes believe it will take. Russia lost 250,000 dead, about 130,000 of them, in defending Sebastopol in Crimea. Alleged genocide of the Armenians by Turkey took place thereafter. A replay of that war that had religious connotations is taking place is already happening. The signs are ominous.

While Russia fights IS and other terrorists in Syria, USA and UK hesitate. They fret about the consequences of throwing the gauntlet down. Will they not have boots on the ground? Their experience when they did was murderously shambolic in Iraq and is ongoing in Afghanistan. It let loose the IS dogs of war. UK, under ‘pathetically un ambitious’ and blundering Cameron, is still on the bench, warming up. Cameron’s former Army and Secret Service chiefs have condemned him roundly for dragging UK by his actions against Libya into the vortex of the spiraling IS imbroglio.

The President of France after the Paris attack said “France will be ruthless in its response to the IS state. What we defend is our homeland and much more than that, it’s our values… France will bear its responsibilities”. The words remind us of what SL’s President said in 2006 when facing far greater threats and odds, and not only from the terrorists. SL won on the battlefield but he was defeated later at the elections. He had put nation before party then. France and the IC will need more than flowing words to diminish IS.

Cameron promised help to France, including the sharing of intelligence on IS. Obama, his looks constantly betraying his growing confusion that equates climate change as great a danger to the world as IS , promised to do the same. One wonders why it took them 2 years to even say so. Were they spying on each other? These three, once very powerful countries, were mainly responsible for the criminal invasion of Iraq that consequently led to the rise of IS. Will nemesis follow if they put boots on the ground in Syria? Is there no punishment for reconvicted offenders?

In 2009 the trio attempted to bully SL to negotiate when the fall of the LTTE was imminent. It appears that the IC is mute after Paris. No bullies from USA and EU have even hinted to France to negotiate with IS. Have they endorsed this all out war where planes and drones kill hundreds of innocents and guilty alike all over the world? It increases extremist support for IS. Is ‘negotiating’ with terrorists only for 3rd world countries now called ‘developing’ while the IC can bomb anyone, anywhere, with impunity. Why is the UN silent? Has the US ordered Ban Ki Moon not to switch to auto spout on HR? Do we see former playboy Darusman and Pillai and Coomaraswamy with Zeid Hussain bucketing HR tears for Paris?

What happened in Paris on 13 Nov 15 occurred regularly for 26 years in SL. Over 100,000 died. SL wishes that other countries who continue to suffer from terrorist violence, will prevail. SL did. It takes time though. France bombing ill defined targets in Ar Raqqah in Syria may however not be the best option. It is a flamboyant gesture, typical of France. It is practically worth nothing to hasten the defeat IS.

When terrorist affected countries finally triumph, the whole world will be a better place, as SL became when it won. That world includes China, arguably the world’s strongest economy, Russia the world’s biggest country, SL’s neighbour India and Brazil (BRICs). By worshipping the IC and demeaning BRICs among others, SL’s government shames itself.

France’s Minister Kouchner, the founder of MSF, played an importunate role with British green horn Milliband imagining they could stall SL just as the LTTE was caving in. Maybe the MSF needing publicity, led Kouchner along.

Many LTTE terrorists were trained in India. When India invaded SL in 1987 the IC did not light candles. Thousands died in Jaffna, including in its hospital when Indian troops went on a rampage. SL needs to remind smug India and keep the IC/HRC re informed.

Will the IC win its ‘merciless and ruthless’ war while the promoters of IS, al Qaida, fanaticism, extremism and terrorism in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain remain inviolate?

When IS is defeated as they must and will be, the victors will not be hauled up before the International courts to defend their and Hollande’s ‘ruthless’ and ‘merciless’ actions that were not prevented or opposed by the IC that invents the rules. That was how it happened at the Nuremburg Trials after WW2. A different set of rules, supported by its ‘joint resolution’ government, appear to be slapped down on SL.

Unlike in WW2, the victors today like SL , if they do not kow tow to the IC, are prosecuted for defeating its enemies. There is no warrant out or an Interpol search for LTTE cadres who escaped from Nandikadal or are living on the dole in UK like former Australian Adele Balasingham, the leader of LTTE women’s’ suicide bombers wing. The IC, those spies on its own people, must know where these criminals are but will not expose them.

Mineral rich Rwanda escaped recriminations as former rebel leader Paul Kagame, its present President, accused of genocide, is and was a US puppet. He was accused of shooting down over Kigali in 1994 the plane carrying Rwanda’s former President Habyarimana together with Ntaryamana, President of Burundi. This started the killing of 800,000 Rwandans in 100 days. There were accusations of genocide. Who helped Kagame escape punishment if it wasn’t mainly the USA? Would the attitude of the IC be different if SL had not won and continued to be suicide bombed and lost another 4,000 citizens annually?

The French and Belgians were military advisers to the Rwanda government. Today Brussels is in shut down mode. Dysfunctional Belgium’s responsibility for genocide in the Belgian Congo under Leopold II where 10 million Congolese were killed in 1885-1908 must haunt it too .Hundred thousand (100,000) died in the Congolese civil war that began days after Belgium abandoned the Congo. It wasn’t entirely Belgium’s fault even if the eventual leader and cruel dictator for decades, Mobutu, was their own former colonial sergeant major. Some may say this is about cause and just effect. USA, France and Belgium too are in the IS sights today while UK’s Cameron moves ever so cautiously in the shadows. As usual. Belgium, like it was in WW1 and WW2, is a cinch for any belligerent to over run.

SL was hauled up to Geneva every year after the conflict ended. It apparently had the impertinence to ignore the IC’s wish to protect and defend the LTTE. But SL does not have nuclear weapons and was deemed far too close to China. She became a sitting duck for the IC hunters. The IC politicians, driven by the desire to win nearly half a million Diaspora Tamil votes, were obsessed with the desire to punish SL’s then rulers. HR charges, covertly supported by some sly SL politicians, were brought against SL’s past leaders for the manner by which they removed its 26 year scourge. Some arrogant political leaders in the EU backed them.

It will be interesting to see how the IC finishes off the IS. It will certainly corner them. Will it then nuke them? Nothing is beyond the IC. They considered doing so in the Korean War (1950) and twice in Vietnam (to save Dien Bien Phu - 1964) and in the 1970s, when the USA was losing. Whatever means it uses will not be considered a war crime. This year, a SL delegation in newly tailored suits, performed according to its US script for the IC at Geneva. It later celebrated being made honorary IC members if not collaborators.

It is however highly unlikely that France will have any politicians who would denigrate, mock, belittle, insult and shame its armed forces while they fought to do their duty by the nation. Shockingly when the LTTE terrorists were cracking up some SL opposition MPs did exactly that. It is unthinkable that any one in any country, other than this lot, will breed such perfidious people. One incredibly stupid minister even mocked the rank of SL’s first Field Marshal. The minister was par for the course for politicians who mocked their own military.

SL has descendants of traitors who betrayed the last King of Kandy. They subscribed to its subjugation for 150 years and then became leaders of the newly independent country. It was just as the former colonial rulers wanted.

Napoleon had 26 Marshals. Some were shot for treason for supporting Napoleon when he came back from exile for 100 days. They included the dashing and best cavalryman ever, Murat. He reassured the hesitant firing squad that soldiered with and revered him, that they should do their duty. He ordered them to shoot him but to try not to disfigure his face. Marshal Ney the most gallant and heroic of them all, advised Napoleon against making a comeback. Yet through loyalty he supported Napoleon when he did return. Ney commanded the rear guard in the historic and tragic winter retreat from Moscow. (Principle of war-‘never march on Moscow). At Waterloo when others demurred, he heroically led the troops into action at Mont St Jean as he did at Jena, Friedland and Borodino. It was his swan son too. He was not spared by the reinstalled Royalist rulers.

What a coincidence. In SL some of its bravest and best Generals who spent their entire careers fighting the LTTE, have the IC’s ‘joint resolution’, if not Damocles’ sword, hanging over them today. Some SL politicians while pirouetting around the Welikada gallows sang with mock sincerity that the nation’s heroes would never be betrayed. Who believes them? The terrorists and their kin in the North and South, with the backing of the IC, are turning defeat into victory. Will the hangmen be ‘hybrid’ too?

The LTTE, avowedly fighting for the Tamil cause held 300,000 people of its own ethnicity (Tamil) hostage and used them as human shields. The IS, ignoring Islamic chivalry as upheld by Saladin in the Crusades, too has no compunction to hide among civilians. France will have no alternative but to take out the IS redoubts including those sponsored by the Saudis, with all the force it can muster.

SL however did not use its full military force. Neither was it merciless even if it was ruthless. Instead it rescued 290,000 of the Tamil hostages even as they were being murdered by the terrorists who also infiltrated suicide bombers among the escapees. The hostages were fed and cared for including medically, throughout the 26 years of conflict by the SL government. The ICRC and the WFP endorsed that. After being rescued, they former hostages were held as displaced people, not refugees.They were treated far better than the Syrian and other refugees are in Europe.

Nowhere in the world has any government done anything as much. In Malaya, the British starved the Chinese to overcome its ‘Communist’ enemy in the 1950s. The Indian Army stormed the revered Golden Temple of the Sikhs in the city of Amritsar in the 1980s. The IC did not cry foul even though India did not have a nuclear weapon then. Neither does the IC now when atrocities take place regularly in places like Kashmir or Kunduz.

The last bastion of the LTTE, Nandikadal, was even referred to as Dien Bien Phu (Seat of the Border County Prefecture) in North Vietnam. In 1964, about 13,000 besieged soldiers of the French Army including Foreign Legion and (South) Vietnamese troops held out for 56 days (the battle took 209 days) in the most appalling conditions before succumbing. Against them were 4 Viet Minh (North Vietnam) infantry divisions, one infantry brigade (regiment) and a heavy division, a total of about 90,000. The Germans held out for 76 days at Stalingrad, the USA 66 days at Bataan and 26 days at Corregidor. The French and Viet Minh took prisoners and repatriated seriously wounded. The Viet Minh allowed 718 seriously wounded French troops to be airlifted after the cease fire at Dien Bien Phu.

At Nandikadal the defending LTTE had about 25,000 volunteer cadres and probably about 50,000 conscripts in the battle zone incorrectly called a No Fire Zone. Gordon Weiss the UN security chief in Colombo said about 7,000 civilians died but changed his mind several times later. Channel 4 said 40,000 were massacred. Frances Harrison had a vision it was 100,000. The new Northern Chief Minister called it genocide. While thousands of mines have been lifted, not one skeleton of the ‘massacred’ thousands has been found. The chief minister is under direct fire from his own side.

SL took 12,000 LTTE prisoners but the LTTE executed towards the end, every one of the 20 odd prisoners they had. The LTTE had in the 1990s executed by shooting in the head, over 800 and 1,000 SL soldiers captured at Pooneryn and Mullativu respectively. They also murdered 600 policemen in the East. Most were buried alive in graves they were forced to dig. The order to surrender was given by the government of Premadasa in the 1990s. Premadasa together with 3 Generals also gifted the LTTE with weapons, ammo, cash and cement. Not one MP of his party objected, resigned or committed suicide. The same people today say they are willing to die for the country.

It is unthinkable that France or any other country will have such politicians. Two French deputies volunteered to parachute into Dien Bien Phu when the end came. Gen Navarre’s ADC did so. French nurse Genevieve de Galard too. But General Vichy, a WW1 hero, collaborated with Nazi Germany in WW2 to be PM of Vichy (truncated) France. Did something similar nearly happen in SL in 2001-4?

Uniquely it is however the SL forces and not the bestial LTTE that have to face charges of HR and war crimes violations consequent to a joint SL resolution with the USA in Geneva in 2015. This is despite expert opinions being given in the Udulagama report by Sir Desmond de Silva QC and others including a British General who was former SAS Commander and two other famous judges. They shredded the Darusman report on which the IC has based its allegations. SL hopes that this will not be the fate of France once victory is achieved. France surely does not have politicians of the same ilk as the collaborators in SL. Some SL politicians saw victory over the terrorists as a severe if not mortal blow to their political ambitions. It superseded any concern they had for the nation. Will anyone in the IC or anywhere else ever be so vile?

France has USA and the EU on its side. The IC ‘A’ team no doubt - in its hour of peril if not survival, not only for France but the IC itself. SL did not trust the IC. IS may have wanted to repay the IC for its sins of conquest and colonization down the ages. There were many. Much of the anger is against the military intervention by the IC driven by the US that supports Israel and protects feudal, despotic and inhuman Arab rulers. The USA/UN/IC overthrew the rulers of Iraq, conspired to over throw Syria’s ruler Assad, helped kill Gaddafi and nearly handed Egypt over to IS. IS thrived, recruiting hundreds, in the power vacuums created by IC action.

SL watches as Russia that had much to do with the liberation of Europe in WW2, losing 20 million people, once again comes to its rescue leading the fight against IS while the gung ho USA has learned its lessons. The IC avoided taking on IS over the years as it looked for the defeat of Assad’s Syria by so called ‘rebels’ many of them extremist Salafist cadres backed by Saudi Arabia. The disadvantaged in the IC, many in ghettoes from Sweden to France, seek revenge for the humiliation, deprivation, discrimination and isolation they suffered ever since the IC parceled out the Middle East among themselves after the forced collapse of the Turkish Empire at the beginning of the 19th century. It then patronized the despotic and despised Arab rulers that took over.

SL is grateful to France for the principles of liberty, equality and fraternity that eventually became the watchword for human emancipation globally. It must hope that generations of distrust and fear of Russia will not again prevent the ‘civilized’ world from repeating the mistakes of Crimea by ganging up against Russia. That is if the IC really wants to destroy IS. It may mean that Russian leads Europe while China finances it. These 2 countries were side stepped by the new IC leaning SL government to please the USA and UK. Iran was vilified and Pakistan carefully boxed in.

SL says ‘Vive la France’. As their rousing national anthem says – ‘Citizens to Arms. Let the battalions march. Destroy the tyrants (they are everywhere) and the tigers that come to despoil women and children’. So did SL say for 26 years especially about ‘tigers’. Let the ‘Marseilles’ inspire and bind the IC now.

It is somewhat ironical to reflect that the IC liberated Iraq from Saddham, freed Afghanistan from the Taliban, rid Libya of Gaddafi, lost and won Egypt for the Generals and bomb Syria to replace Assad with Jihadists. Death, disease, mayhem, chaos, starvation, homelessness and terrorism reign. The IC has caused more than a million deaths, dislocated tens of thousands of people, destroyed buildings massively and led to an exodus of nearly a million. World war III looms. Neither the UN or the EU really cares for the suffering masses. There is no HR investigation. One can only hope the hands that control nuclear bombs are not itchy too.

In SL there is an investigation led by UN HR hybrids after SL’s conflict ended. However the affected people and the areas liberated have never had it so good. More infra structure and national development has taken place than ever before in 550 years . Chaos and mayhem may take place where ever politicians assemble but there is peace, absolute peace, in every inch of the land among the people of a multi ethnic and religious land. As it was 550 years ago. There is no fear of terrorism, shut downs, feelings of revenge, humiliation, deprivation and isolation nor do ghettos exist except in the minds of artful politicians.

According to SL’s President liquor and cigarettes are a permanent danger to politicians. One Minister says sugar, and another casinos, are SL’s biggest dangers. The politicians call each other corrupt. The people think the biggest dangers are increasing lawlessness, (rape, murder and robbery), RTAs, disease (introduced mainly by the ancestors of the IC) and politicians. It is in this SL that the IC ferrets for a Government hybrid licence to dig into the vitals of its national fabric, starting with its defence forces that regained SL from terrorism. People may be forgiven if their thoughts go back to the 2001-5 period while the IC, like the SLMM then, adds to the farce.

SL however with others in the ‘developing world’ must not get ensnared into what is surely becoming a white eyes IC versus IS ‘war’. This may possibly be another crusade. However if this situation is going to lead to WW3, it is not our concern. All empires finally fall. There will be no tears in the 3rd world when that happens. Dien Bein Phu hastened the end of colonial empires. Nandikadal saw the end of 26 years of terrorism in SL. Crimea was followed by the collapse of the Ottoman Turkish Empire which its erstwhile Crimean partners then carved up among themselves. It led inexorably to what is going terribly wrong in the Middle East today .What has Paris signaled that has spread panic in the world of the IC , terrorism and over reaction in Turkey and led to Russia being master of ceremonies if not dominating events?

- Asian Tribune -

 Lalin’s Column :  France- 3rd World War looming
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