‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ to be enacted in Vanni?
"We destroyed several militant hideouts in heavy artillery shelling of suspected bases in the area," a senior military officer has told AFP. "The aerial attacks were launched … after fighters ignored warning to leave the area … fighter jets, helicopter gunships and tanks took part in the assault in an expansion of the operation,' said another press report. And continual shelling has killed several civilians and injured many in a densely populated area. Over 50,000 people have been displaced and counting. A terrible situation, isn’t it?
What do you think the world powers are doing about it? Are they calling for an end to indiscriminate shelling or planning an intervention to put an end to that kind of offensive warfare? No! They are demanding that more and more of such attacks be carried out relentlessly regardless of the civilian casualties. Why? Hell is thus being unleashed not on an LTTE-held area in Sri Lanka but on the Taliban-controlled terrains in Pakistan!
It was only the other day that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton threatened stern action against Pakistan unless it took steps to halt the Taliban in their tracks. President Obama, the dove, has transformed himself into a hawk. He has asked his foreign allies for more troops in Afghanistan and they have responded by pledging 5,000 more soldiers. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called the frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan 'a source of a chain of terror' reaching as far as the streets of Britain. He therefore wants Afghanistan and Pakistan tackled together with might and main.
Those two countries are now paying for the sins of America, which created Mujahidin to battle Russians. Anarchy and abject poverty that Afghanistan was plunged into thereafter with America doing precious little to rebuild that country led to the emergence of Taliban and Al Qaeda. Worse, in Pakistan the US engineered the downfall of President Pervez Musharraf, who was dubbed 'our man' by even a section of the US media in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, having exploited him to the fullest. Today, Pakistan has marauding terrorists heading for its capital!
The US has let the genie out of the bottle once again and Hillary is faulting Pakistan for not doing enough to defeat Taliban!
In an article below this comment today a writer argues that Sri Lanka should convince the international community that it is doing its best to adhere to the Geneva conventions. That suggestion has, no doubt, been made in good faith and one may have no difficulty in agreeing with him, but of what use is a country's effort to prove its compliance with the Geneva conventions to a group of world powers that are blatantly flouting all humanitarian laws in fighting their wars?
Humanitarian concerns are only an excuse some big countries are using to perpetuate Sri Lanka's conflict so that they could remain involved in this region in a big way and further their various interests including unsettling the rising India from without exactly the way they are planning to do after gaining a foothold in Myanmar as part of their strategy to destabilise China. Therefore, they cannot afford to allow Sri Lanka to wipe out the LTTE, which has over the years become a pliable tool in their hands.
The US, the UK, the EU etc are already aware of the true situation in Sri Lanka and that the allegations against its military pale into insignificance in comparison to the barbaric excesses their militaries have have been committing in their wars elsewhere. But, oppose Sri Lanka's war they must because of their hidden agendas.
The West and its media are making a hullabaloo over allegations that the army is using heavy weapons in spite of the government's recent promise to desist from training them on the civilian safe zone. Civilians' safety must not be compromised on any grounds. But, it is obviously not for civilians that these international do-gooders have taken up cudgels. They are all out to have the use of heavy weapons stopped at this stage of war so as to cause a military stalemate with the army finding it impossible to advance amidst incessant artillery fire from well-fortified LTTE bunkers, which cannot be demolished without heavy guns or aircraft.
The question is whether the US and British troops or the armies of the other members of the international community opposing Sri Lanka's war will ever advance without artillery and air cover amidst barrages of shelling from their enemies? In Afghanistan the US-led forces are conducting indiscriminate air raids so that their ground troops would be safe. According to the Human Right Watch (HRW), over the past two years (as of September 2008) about 3,105 Afghan civilians have died as a result of the US-led war. Of the casualties, 2,016 or approximately 65 percent resulted from insurgent operations, while 1,089 were caused by US/NATO airstrikes.
Intriguingly, a top gun of the UNP, which makes no bones about its opposition to war and is critical of the country's war effort, has inveighed against the government for having stopped the firing of heavy weapons and air strikes at this stage. The plain-spoken UNP MP Ranga Bandara is quoted by this newspaper today as having called on the government to maximize the use of artillery and air assets to finish off the LTTE. This strident call marks a startlingly radical departure from the UNP's position on the war and we hope MP Bandara won't come under heavy flak from the party leadership because of this comment. He had better have his defence ready!
The western powers, ably assisted by their INGO and UN lackeys, are obviously trying to expose Sri Lanka’s infantrymen to grave danger by slapping all kinds of obstacles in their way so that the government will find it difficult to go ahead with its final battle to capture/kill Prabhakaran and other criminals. They are apparently bent on having an adapted version of The Charge of the Light Brigade enacted in the Vanni by making the Sri Lankan soldiers ride into the valley of death and ‘snatch defeat from the jaws of victory’!
Should these shameless Tiger backers succeed in having soldiers trapped –– absit omen! –– since we don't have Lord Tennyson the genius around to pen a great poem on such a tragedy involving not jut noble six hundred men but maybe six thousand or even more, we would have to settle for inane press releases from some 'Blokes' in the Colombo-based diplomatic community brushing coat tails with Tiger on the sly.