December 4, 2022

Victoria’s Fairy Tales

The sole aim of America’s foreign policy is to advance US national interests; all else is secondary. It has used the West Asia as a doormat and has enslaved the EU though fissures have started appearing. America’s sole aim is to destabilise nations and regions and make money out of it. It has done nothing (or rather did not dare) while China militarised the South China Sea (SCS) over the years. The Ukraine conflict has shown it does not have the spine to directly fight Russia or China. But it seeks Indian participation in the SCS as part of the Quad

By Lt Gen Prakash Katoch

This is not about Victoria’s Secret, the American lingerie line which has been struggling since 2016 due to shifting consumer preferences and ongoing controversy surrounding corporate leadership’s business practices. Instead, it is about Victoria Nuland, US Under Secretary for Political Affairs who recently visited Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka to market her fairy tales hoping none will be able to see through her and the American duplicity.

In Bangladesh, Victoria managed to get Bangladesh to approve one ‘draft’ foundational agreement. Addressing reporters along with Bangladesh’s Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, she said that the two sides have passed the draft agreement on the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). She said, “Finally, GSOMIA is the gateway to being able to do more on the security front.”

According to Bangladesh officials, the US wanted Bangladesh to sign two foundational defence agreements — GSOMIA and the Acquisition Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA). Bangladesh would be wary of the US since December 10 last year, the US Treasury Department had imposed sanctions on Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and seven of its current and former officers. These sanctions were imposed on the last day of US President Joe Biden’s virtual Democracy Summit to which Bangladesh and Bhutan were not invited but Pakistan was (sic). Bangladesh slammed the US for levelling these allegations and imposing sanctions unilaterally. 

Victoria probably pleaded to Momen to at least agree to one draft agreement least she goes back empty handed and gets fired by Biden. Bangladesh authorities conveyed that punitive measure against the RAB, which draws personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, affect combating terrorism. Victoria acknowledged these concerns but said sanctions are a “complicated and difficult” issue since “our security and counter-terrorism cooperation is so important”.

Mention of counter terrorism by Victoria simply sucks considering America’s links with global terrorist organisations, using them as proxies and assisting terrorist regimes to power – Taliban in Afghanistan and Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt being two examples.   

In India, Victoria’s fairy tales were weirder. The whole emphasis was to detach India from Russia, side with the US in the next US-sponsored UNSC meet to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal, and prepare the ground for the upcoming India-US 2+2 Dialogue where Blinken and Austin would sing more lullabies and sell some more goodies.  

The world is witnessing that America has become a Global Autocracy gone terribly rogue; what with arbitrary sanction which are illegal without UN approval, and denying money of other nations by cutting them off from the SWIFT system while in February 2022, the US Federal Government debt breached US$30 trillion mark for the first time in the history.

In Bangladesh, Victoria managed to get Bangladesh to approve one ‘draft’ foundational agreement. Addressing reporters along with Bangladesh’s Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen, she said that the two sides have passed the draft agreement on the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). She said, “Finally, GSOMIA is the gateway to being able to do more on the security front.”

Victoria gave an interview to Indian media after meeting External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar and her counterpart Harsh Vardhan Shringla, excerpts of which are:

  • The US, allies and ‘partner’ Ukraine spent “months and months and months” to negotiate settlement with Russia before it invaded Ukraine. 
  • Putin being brutal, Biden called him a war criminal. Russia is “seeking and seeking” help from China which is not good for India.
  • Putin has talked about chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons. Democracies must stand together and we feel a real understanding and evolution in India’s position.  
  • Russia cannot be a reliable defence supplier for India having lost so much equipment and poorly Russian equipment performance on the battlefield (sic).
  • The US and allies have supplied Soviet-made equipment and other equipment to Ukraine and we can also provide alternatives for India. India should not get trapped in a dependency with a guy like Putin!
  • This is a major inflection point in the autocratic-democratic struggle, and we want and need India’s voice in that (UNSC vote).
  • As for CAATSA with respect to S-400, I am not going to get ahead of the process (sic).
  • The Indo-Pacific strategy is to ensure a free, open, prosperous, technologically-open Indo-Pacific. We are fighting for the same in Ukraine. 
  • The way the EU, North American and Asian countries came together to impose sanctions on Russia, we need similar structures and systems against China.
  • As for Biden saying that among the Quad, India is being “somewhat shaky” in terms of showing support against  Russia invading Ukraine, India is coming from a different historical context. But India is making its own evolution.
  • It is jarring, painful and awful to see the course that Putin has taken. Their impact is important for India and the US to work together.

According to Victoria, the Russia-China alliance over Ukraine is a debate between democracies and autocracies. But why she doesn’t recognise that America has transformed into the worst autocracy in the world could be because of the intellectual deficit in successive US administrations, false superiority complex taking others for fools, or excessive use of marijuana.

Victoria’s diatribe against Putin reflects the frustration that despite Washington’s dirtiest of efforts, Putin has more or less achieved his core military objective in securing the Donbas region despite the Ukrainian genocide unleashed in that region following the CIA backed coup in Ukraine in 2014; killing over 14,000 civilians and all types of atrocities against the large Russian population in the region.

America is directly responsible for Russian special operations in Ukraine because of the continuing forward march of NATO, breaking promises and out-rightly rejecting Putin’s genuine demands related to Russia’s existential security. Zelensky is the war criminal who on the behest of Biden has no intention to stop the bloodshed; otherwise he could telephone Putin directly to negotiate a ceasefire. Biden’s hands are equally blood soaked as he continues to fuel the conflict.

Victoria’s reference to Putin mentioning NBC weapons is to downplay the discovery of the US Department of Defense (DoD) developing and storing dangerous pathogens in Ukraine (as admitted by her separately and mentioned by Tulsi Gabbard) and doing the same in another 24 countries. It is quite possible that Biden will ask puppet Zelensky to release viruses in Ukraine and blame it on Putin. But then can Russia be faulted for using tactical nuclear weapons ‘within’ Ukraine considering America nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki 77 years ago in 1945 despite the fact that Japan had already been flattened with conventional bombs?

The mention of the supply of Soviet-type weapons to Ukraine is laughable – mentioned for the first time. But when Poland rejected America’s request to send its MiG-29s to Ukraine and offered that the same could be flown out to Ukraine from US bases, Washington chickened out – so much for Biden’s resolve.  

The sole aim of America’s foreign policy is to advance US national interests; all else is secondary. It has used the West Asia as a doormat and has enslaved the EU though fissures have started appearing. America’s sole aim is to destabilise nations and regions and make money out of it. It has done nothing (or rather did not dare) while China militarised the South China Sea (SCS) over the years. The Ukraine conflict has shown it does not have the spine to directly fight Russia or China. But it seeks Indian participation in the SCS as part of the Quad. 

In India, Victoria’s fairy tales were weirder. The whole emphasis was to detach India from Russia, side with the US in the next US-sponsored UNSC meet to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal, and prepare the ground for the upcoming India-US 2+2 Dialogue where Blinken and Austin would sing more lullabies and sell some more goodies

Finally, why does the US want India’s support when it has been meting out every conceivable sanction arbitrarily? This question is even more relevant given that America’s demonstrated credibility and reliability over the decades has been extremely poor and it has no resolve to directly take up arms against China or Russia?

The author is an Indian Army veteran. Views are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of https://strategicaffairsindia.in

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