The Time is out of Joint

The Pak Banker - - 4EDITORIAL - Shahid Zubair

THE sign­ing cer­e­mony in Shang­hai in May 2014 for the $400 bil­lion nat­u­ral gas sup­ply deal left no se­cret about the pres­ence of some kind of an un­der­stand­ing be­tween the two su­per pow­ers: Rus­sia and China. The set­tle­ment of bor­der is­sues be­tween them is a fur­ther de­vel­op­ment. Their mu­tual sup­port to each other on Tai­wan and Ukraine is­sues is an eye­opener for those who think of con­tain­ing China or who al­low rude march­ing demon­stra­tion at bor­ders be­tween an East­ern Euro­pean coun­try and Ukraine.

In pres­ence of two strong lead­ers, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jin­ping, the United States (US) for­eign pol­icy which was al­ready suf­fer­ing from a state of in­er­tia has al­most de­te­ri­o­rated to a state of paral­y­sis as it is con­firmed from John Kerry's visit to Moscow on De­cem­ber 15, 2015 to plead and ask for a cease­fire in Syria.

Al­though of­fer for cease­fire was made to stop blood-bath of rebel forces and IS (Is­lamic State) trained ter­ror­ists fight­ing against Bashar-al-As­sad of Syria, yet the re­cently al­lied group of 34 coun­tries un­der the shadow of the US as the word in press goe­sat this cru­cial mo­ment, would com­pel Vladimir Putin to ponder deeply about the cease­fire of­fer and its im­pli­ca­tions for the fu­ture.

Fur­ther­more, af­ter gain­ing se­ries of suc­cess in Aleppo, Marj al Sul­tan and Latakia with strong sup­port from Rus­sia, Ira­nian mil­i­tary ex­perts and Le­banese Shi­ite Hezbol­lah, why would Pres­i­dent As­sad go for any peace at­tempt when he is so close to de­feat­ing the op­po­si­tion which has brought to­tal war tur­moil and chaos to his coun­try? Who would like to loose on the ne­go­ti­at­ing ta­ble which one has won in the bat­tle-field?

The war has di­vided the world into two camps. The camp be­long­ing to Rus­sia and China has its al­lies in the form of Demo­cratic Peo­ple Re­pub­lic of Korea (DPRK)(which has tested a Hy­dro­gen Bomb Blast last week), Iran, Iraq and Syria which the US has­been ad­dress­ing as rogue states. They would like to im­press upon Putin to go for max­i­mum gain in terms of their free­dom, se­cu­rity, pros­per­ity and in­flu­ence in the comity of na­tions as the US Spe­cial En­voy, Staffan Mis­tura, has been ad­vised to chalk out a cease­fire plan.

Cease­fire plan, with­out neu­tral­is­ing the trou­ble­mak­ers, would be in­ef­fec­tive. Sim­i­larly any one cease­fire for­mula ap­pli­ca­ble to the whole of Syria will be a fu­tile ex­er­cise be­cause of the poles-apart sit­u­a­tion in ar­eas con­trolled by Bashar-alAs­sad and, rebels and ISIS, ir­rec­on­cil­able from point of view of Western in­ter­ests.

The ques­tion which one would like to ask is, "How far Rus­sian Putin and Chi­nese Xi Jin­ping would be able to cor­ner Amer­i­can Obama?"Un­til now, Rus­sia has blocked all ef­forts. Who would agree to re­move Bashar-al-As­sad? Does this sit­u­a­tion fore­tell an­other fe­ro­cious war such as a Nu­clear, not yet ex­pe­ri­enced by hu­man­ityat large?

China has been hand in hand with Rus­sia to nul­lify Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion on Ukraine as the na­tives were com­pletely left at the mercy of Rus­si­aby the Western Pow­ers. Just one day af­ter John Kerry's visit to Moscow, the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund (IMF) jus­ti­fied Rus­sia in its claim of $ 3 bil­lion. Good­ness Gra­cious, Jus­tice done! So quickly!

Rus­sia can use Syria as a base to move for­ward to­wards MENA (Middle East-North­ern Africa) from where SS-18 and fast cruise mis­siles as Topal­can cre­ate unimag­in­able havoc.

The treat­ment meted-out to Turkey af­ter the shoot­ing down of two Rus­sian S-24 pas­sen­ger air­planes is suf­fi­cient to un­der­stand that Putin means what he says.

With Rus­sian readi­ness of war goes Chi­nese's straight­for­ward "No" to John Kerry about build­ing is­lands over Spratly reefs. China is dom­i­nant in South-East Sea de­spite the US bases in Re­pub­lic of Korea, Philip­pines, Ja­pan and Tai­wan. And yet Chi­nese trade is go­ing strong. New trade av­enues are open­ing up. Mil­i­tary bud­get has also been raised re­cently and con­sid­er­ably. As per heresy, the big pow­ers are en­gaged in mil­i­ta­riza­tion mainly in and around Asia, both on land and sea wa­ters.

While the US econ­omy is dwin­dling through dif­fi­cult times; to be ex­act, there is no US for­eign pol­icy. The US sanc­tions against coun­tries like Rus­sia or Iran have proved in­ef­fec­tive. That is why more na­tions have started look­ing to­ward East.

The tense sit­u­a­tion is a clar­ion call for the US to wake up be­fore it is too late. More­over, nei­ther would Rus­sia like to in­vite trou­ble which to­mor­row could be harm­ful to its in­ter­ests nor the US want to dis­en­gage it­self from the Middle East at a time when Rus­sia has placed its nu­clear sub­marines to hit Turk­ish tar­gets if Turkey tries to es­ca­late war on NATO (read US) provo­ca­tion.

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