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asian affairs The American Election 2020

asian affairs

SERGE BERTHIER:

Editorials and commentaries since 1997

NEW U.S PRESIDENT, SAME INTERNATIONAL STORY?

Apparently the 2020 U.S. Presidential election is over.

As far as I am concerned, the winner is not Biden or even the Democratic Party, but rather the Pentagon and its clique. The American President, whoever they are, seems to be powerless as soon as we touch on the crux of the matter - the permanent state of war sought by the Pentagon and its clients.

We were given proof of this recently, while chaos reigned in the not so United States.

While the U.S. was tearing itself apart and the media doing its best to minimise the massive electoral fraud that occurred during this last election (making the country a banana republic), Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State, ex-Army officer and Director of the CIA (may it protect us), announced that the Turkistan Islamic Movement (TIM), established in 1998, was no longer a terrorist organisation. Obviously, he asked neither the opinion of the president who was busy counting his votes nor that of the United Nations whose designation this is – one that prohibits countries from selling weapons and offering financial support to those organisations labelled as such. And of course, this all occurred under the seamlessly unseeing eye of the Western media.

So, TIM, having recently acquired a new virginity by changing its name from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), will soon be the delighted beneficiary of guns and cash from the Pentagon issued through various streams. The funds no doubt come from the budget that had been previously allocated to Syria to finance the anti-Assad Kurds.

Who runs TIM?

One of its leaders is Abdulkadir Yapuquan, a Chinese Uyghur, 62, who was charged and imprisoned twice in China for terrorist acts. He currently lives in Turkey alongside the rest of the management of this radical Islamic group. Having lived in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia after fleeing China where he is still wanted, Abdulkadir Yapuquan is no choir boy, nor is he an objective source of information on events in the Xinjiang which he left in 1996.

The West discovered this group which had been previously obfuscated by the dalai lama when that was all that mattered in that part of the world, the day an American judge brought it up in an event which made the headlines. The year was 2006. This judge demanded that 17 Uyghur prisoners in Guantanomo Bay be released. They had been captured in Afghanistan and accused of being Taliban.

It must be said at this point that the Uyghurs are Turkic. The Turkish President Erdogan, through questionable ethnic approximations, claimed them as his own and stood up to defend his blood brothers. This logic has the potential to generate a rather big family – the majority of Azerbaijan for instance is Turkic, as is a large part of Mongolia.

It subsequently became apparent (five years later) that these Guantanomo Uyghurs were no ordinary fighters. When the war broke out in Afghanistan, they had initially fled to the Pakistani border - not to China where they supposedly came from. There they were captured by the Pakistani services and handed over, for a ransom, to the Americans.

To get them out of prison, their lawyer announced that they had fled China where they had allegedly been the victims of prosecution. Nobody bothered to check whether this was true. Later (they had by then been evacuated to Albania and likely live in Turkey today), we learned that they were in fact not Afghan Talibans at all but part of an obscure organisation – ETIM.

ETIM’s first victims go back to 1992, when a bomb exploded at a Kashgar bus stop, causing three deaths. This was followed by nine fatalities in an attack in 1997, and sixteen in 2008 in an attack carried out using the preferred method of fanatics in Europe: the theft of a truck which was driven into a crowd, followed by indiscriminate knife stabbing as people panicked. The group and its sponsors’ creativity when it came to creating chaos seemed to know no limits, though granted, in 2020, it is hard to know where those limits lie.

In 2009, just before the cotton harvest, which requires large numbers of day labourers, 48 terrorists attacked civilians at random with syringes. More than 500 people were hospitalised. Yet the reaction of the population was not what had been hoped. Panic rapidly turned into score settling between the Uyghurs and the Chinese migrants in Xinjiang. In the riots that followed, 297 people died and 1,600 were injured.

The local Communist Party leader, Li Zhi, was immediately sanctioned by the central government, having failed to see any of this coming (we on the other hand like to keep our elite guilty of neglect and incompetence in power).

48 people were accused of terrorist acts by the government. A number of them were executed and ETIM’s network in Xinjiang was dismantled. Public order measures followed, which were all labelled in the Western media as being against Uyghurs’ individual freedoms.

Yet we are the first to know how dangerous fanatic Islamic groups can be, our own innocence no doubt setting the stage for a number of terrorist attacks in Europe.

What does TIM want?

A caliphate that would encompass Xinjiang (which was never in majority Muslim), part of Turkmenistan (Muslim), a piece of Afghanistan (Muslim) and a Pakistani valley (Muslim).

So, while we are officially being told that the Americans will shortly (!) withdraw from Afghanistan after a crusade that was as expensive as it was useless, they are already preparing the next abscess. One cannot help but be reminded of the Moujahidin and Ossama Bin Laden in 1980 in a scenario which, as we know, led to the creation of Al Qaeda when the CIA lost control of its pawn.

We have already replaced the leader of Daesh, Al Baghdadi, barely dead, with someone else. And as it seems that the strategists of the American military-industrial complex have learnt nothing from the past, we must ask ourselves if we are not wrong about them. It is not out of stupidity that they repeat ad nauseum the same plans, which they actually consider to be very effective.

So the question is, what is their objective?

Clearly, it is not neighbourly peace. Nor is it democracy and freedom of conscience for all, as TIM is not exactly a strong supporter of these ideas.

This time is different in one way. The target is not a society Islamised by extremists but a secular community in a powerful state, China. Nor is it the multi-denominational Syria which seemed an easy prey and later became a human nightmare, as well as a cash drawer for Washington.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for TIM to become a real problem, not in China which will take stock of the group, but in the oil states, all the ‘stans’ peripheral to Russia, and potentially also Turkey.

In the meantime, let us ask one question. What is the point of our elections if nothing changes, neither here nor elsewhere, except the name of the so-called leader?

Serge Berthier

November 2020