To advertise on this space
Per inserzioni pubblicitarie
Um hier Werbung zu machen


All the news not fit to print
To advertise on this space
Per inserzioni pubblicitarie
Editorial correspondence | Back to Politics | Back to the world news
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.

The next Afghanistan?

  • (August 2005) The next Afghanistan?. Obscured by the vastly more popular trouble in Iraq, the civil war in Nepal is largely neglected by the international media. Battles between the army and the Maoist rebels have claimed the lives of dozens of soldiers, just like in Iraq, although in a more convetional kind of warfare. On august 9 the government announced that 140 soldiers were unaccounted for. The situation has deteriorated to the point that the King Gyanendra assumed absolute power, arresting politicians and journalists, banning political activities and restricting civil rights. The reason the international media show little interest for Nepal's fall into anarchy is that neither the Maoists nor the government are targeting foreigners. Foreigners are free to hike the beautiful Nepalese mountains and enjoy the proverbial Katmandu atmosphere.
    Despite being a favorite destination of international tourism since the 1960s, Nepal has remained one of the poorest countries in the world. Rampant corruption, inept governments and the communist rebellion are among the factors that have made Nepal a textbook case of how to remain undeveloped when both its huge neighbors (China and India) are prospering.
    The Maoists themselves are a symbol of how Nepal still lives in the past. Inspired by Peru's "Sendero Luminoso", the men of "Comrade Prachanda" (real name Pushpan Kamal Dahal) are leading a struggle to install the kind of regime that China itself abhors. But the peasants who support the Maoists live in a world that is hard to imagine for modern Chinese and Indian consumers and high-tech employees.
    Even if the king of Nepal or someone on his behalf knew what to do, it would be difficult to win this war, because the only way to win it would be to bring social and economic development to the countryside, but the Maoists won't let this happen.
    The parallels with Iraq (where Islamic fundamentalists want to disrupt the reconstruction in order to keep the Sunni minority disgruntled and therefore receive support from it) are many. The difference is that both the Maoist rebels and the Nepalese regime are lightly armed and cannot cause the carnage that the insurgents and the USA troops are causing in Iraq.
    It is surprising that the powers show so little interest in the future of Nepal. If there is one country that could become the next Afghanistan, that is Nepal. When the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan they were widely regarded as a bunch of crazy nuts ruling over a useless piece of land. A few years later the world's superpower was attacked on its own soil by a terrorist organization who had used the Taliban regime to grow. It turned out that the Taliban were the ideal vehicle for a new kind of political movement (one founded on Islam) to grow. Today the world's powers are witnessing a similar kind of civil war in a similarly poor country, and they are discounting its importance because of a similar remoteness and isolation of the country. The Maoists, just like Al Qaeda, have publicly advocated the mission to "use Nepal as a base for the world's revolution". There are one billion disgruntled poor people in the world among whom the Maoist message could reverberate, just like there were one billion Muslims among who the Al Qaeda message reverberated.
    History has not taught much to the USA and the other "powers".
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
    Back to the world news | Top of this page
Editorial correspondence | Back to the top | Back to Politics | Back to the world news