Sunday, January 01, 2006

Backed Into a Corner

Maoist strongman Prachanda, showing by upraised fingers, how many options his Maoists have left.

The "Farce One," Prachanda has really backed his Maoists into a corner this time.

World attention has been focused on his little non-ceasefire and now he has nowhere to hide. Tomorrow the ceasefire supposedly ends, and the Maoists have to make a no-win choice on whether to extend the ceasefire or resume their militaristic terrorism.

If they extend, they show the world that they are weakened and are submitting to world opinion, as they have already milked all the tactical advantages possible from this move. Remember: Maoists only talk, negotiate or call a ceasefire when they feel they can either get some advantage from the process, or that they are out of options.

If they don't extend, they have to show how ending their ceasefire is somehow going to result in a resumption and an escalation of military activity. (Blogdai wonders how they will resume anything since they never stopped their activities in the first place.) The point is, calling off the ceasefire will signal that the Maoists feel they are strong enough to go it alone.

In fact, the ceasefire "deadline" itself will nullify the continuance of any tactical advantages the Maoists may currently be realizing by forcing them to publicly declare their intentions anew: Change course and lose support or stay the course and the "deadline" turns into an ill-conceived and irrelevant point of weakness. The last thing Prachanda should have done was to trap himself in this political day of reckoning.

We've already stated here that the Maoists are no longer capable of large-scale military operations, and the RNA is now striking at the teeth of Maoist-Central: Rukum,--freeing some 1000 conscripts in the process--so what will the Maoists do tomorrow if they end their ceasefire? Blogdai doubts there is a massive counter attack planned by the Maoists in Rukum, so where will this fearsome resumption start and how can it possibly be significant in the face of RNA advances in Rukum?

We also have the FNJ and other groups demonstrating in the streets imploring the Maoists to extend the ceasefire. What kind of "People's Movement" would it be if Prachanda does not heed their call?

And, oops! Calling off the ceasefire puts our little 7-party alliance squarely in the Maoists corner. They are such close buddies with the Maoists that they surely must have been consulted and therefore, complicit.

Blogdai is honestly torn as to what Prachanda will do. Extend or not, what the Maoists decide tomorrow will give observers and pundits alike the most definitive clues yet on the current state of Maoist military capability and resolve.

That is why tomorrow's decision is significant. Prachanda has played his last trump card with this ceasefire. The world thinks he is a good guy for doing so and thinks the King is a meany for not reciprocating. So, tomorrow, in front of a now attentive international community, Prachanda will decide whether he will remain a weakened good guy, or resume his terror campaign to the universal and final condemnation of the world.

OK, here's the call: Watch the old man. Koirala must know something we don't because he is calling for the Maoists to extend the ceasefire and give the King "one more chance." This is a typical Girija move: step in and take credit for an inevitable, if not obvious move. Blogdai thinks the Maoists will agree to extend the ceasefire only if the King does likewise. They are too weak to call it off and go it alone, but will try to use the King as an excuse for ending their brand of unilateralism. They will voice their displeasure by disrupting the upcoming polls and will spin the whole thing to the gullible international community as an example of a despotic King not wanting peace. So, blogdai says, if the Maoists have the spine, they will hide their weakness and end the ceasefire; it will be their last large-scale act of defiance.



At 9:04 PM, January 01, 2006, Anonymous Sarki ko chhoro said...

Now that the word is already out that Maoists most probably wouls extend the (non)ceasefire for 15 more days. Let's wait and see. As you write they are in a no-win situation.

At 1:25 AM, January 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether Maoists extend the ceasefire or not. That's not the big issue. The big issue is with their Ceasfire, Maoists have gained a lot of traction in Nepali people and the international community. Even if they decide to resume violence, people will blame the King more than they would blame the maoists. Most would say they give King the chance. If the King is not willing they were simply forced out to go back to violence.

In my judgemmt Moists were never a big threat militarily. They knew it very well, this was just a "red meat" to their foot soldiers. Strategically, with the help of the seven party alliance they have brought the political parties to closer to Maoits' main agenda of republic Nepal. If the King dicks around a little more like this the seven party alliance and all the civic and internal community would be glad to see the King gone for ever. Mark my words King's days are numbered. With the King gone Maoists will get a soft landing and would participate in multi pary democracy in new republic Nepal.

At 2:06 AM, January 02, 2006, Anonymous Brit said...

anon - I think you misunderstand 'people' - resumption of violence may be 'blamed' on intransigence of King but violence is violence and only the violent believe it is justification. The maoists will lose credibility - not that they ever had much outside small groups of intellectualists, 'followers' whose limited education makes them believe the myths of the former and those with an eye on individual personal power.

At 8:31 AM, January 02, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Looks like our prediction was just about spot on: Maoists end the ceasefire and blame the government.

This makes the Alliance not only targets from here on, but also shows everyone how the Maoists played them like a fine violin.


At 11:32 AM, January 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

brit - you are right that "people" will be the main victims if the violence resumes. Also do not forget that "people" are the majority of the victims from the RNA's actions. So, for an ordinary Nepali the State and Maoists create the same problems. The RNA and police are not any better than Maoists in their cruely, believe me.

Even with the resumption of violence I don't think the Maoists lose any credibilty. Most nepali people and the international cimmunity will blame the King most. And if we were to believe the rhetoric coming out of maoists lately, they might be more selective in regards to their violence. I am not saying this is any better, but politics is a propoganda game and Maoists will win on this every time. This pains me, someone who supprted the Feb 1 takeover to say that I trust Maoists more than I trust the Gyane chor and his henchmen. For last 3-4 months I blame nothing but the king for the failure to achieve peace in Nepal.

At 1:19 PM, January 02, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Thanks again, anon, but your line of reasoning is absolutely nuts.

So, Maoists walk away from peacetalks, refuse to cease firing under their own ceasefire, extort, kill and abduct citizens and you trust them more? I challenge you to name one, just one, example of any Maoist action that would qualify as trustworthy. One!
You speak of RNA atrocities yet seem to completely igore an exponentially larger amount of Maoist atrocities. Can we say bias?

And let's not start this cycle of the RNA being just as bad. The Maoists started this whole thing, they use villagers as human sheilds and blend into village life so as to conceal their numbers. Don't buy Prachanda's ridiculous argument about the RNA firing on "innocent" maoists either. The RNA was retalliating for a Maoist attack gone awry a few days prior. Should the "evil" RNA just have sat still, as Prachanda opined, and just let the Maoists attack? RNA atrocities and mistakes are in no way comparable to the mass abductions, murders and atrocities committed by the Maoists.

Ask yourself, what is the RNA doing in remote villages in the first place? Does it make sense that they would spend money, time and materiel in order to simply harass villagers? No. They are going after Maoists. The nature of this conflict means that there are going to be mistakes; tragic ones. Fortunately, like in Rukum last week, the RNA gets it right and is able to rescue 1000 citizens enslaved by the Maoists. That is what an army does; and may I remind you, it most certainly is NOT what Maoists do.

You obviously can't get over this bias of yours so I will no longer try to convince you. Let's just say that your argument, any argument, is strengthened by the presence of at least some form of rational perspective.

Step outside of your emotions for a while and try to find some.


At 4:38 PM, January 02, 2006, Anonymous Sarki ko chhoro said...

Maoists never ceased violence against the people, be it during the ceasefire period or non-ceasefire period.

They have beheaded people, murdered them in the past for people being from the "old regime" (purano satta), gauged thier eyes out, hammered people to death, chopped off limbs ....

Nothing justfies these kind of violence against fellow Nepalese.
How dare anybody say Maoists are anything but the worst kind of terrorists ...

At 4:39 PM, January 02, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

And now, here comes the spin. The big bad old government made us do it. Even the little elf, Madhav Kumar says that bloodshed will resume and its the King's fault.


This is the era of terrorism.
Only the most short-sighted and brain dead analysis would paint the Maoists as victims here.

For those of us who can remember events more than 5 minutes old, we see a violent, murdering group calling its own ceasefire, continuing in its violent ways during the ceasefire, ending the ceasefire, vowing to return to violence and blaming a third party for doubting their sincerity.

Is there something wrong here? As Brit alluded to: there is no justification for returning to violence. Violent acts are free choices made by violent people.

Human's have the responsibility as individuals to not act violently towards each other: it is what separates us from animals.

THERE IS NO CAUSE, REASON OR JUSTIFICATION FOR VIOLENCE, PERIOD. There is, however, every justification in the world for saving the lives of your countrymen and acting in the cause of national defense.

Everything the Maoists have done has been tactical.

Turning the tables in mid-stream and claiming self-defense won't work either, Prachanda. Not while you continue to attack, kidnap and murder villagers. If you feel that you are being unfairly attacked, lay down your arms and come to the negotiating table. You and only you are responsible for perpetuating this cycle of violence.


At 11:28 PM, January 02, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree from the side of peace both agressors are blamable
ends do no justify means
think of our children, I have good hopes people see the end of all this. But is does take for the agressors to see what they can do within themselves to contribute to Nepal we can work and build future for the children.Processes of reconciliation are long and painful. And have not started yet. Nobody is alone in this world not mao not military, get off your own opinions.please.
In a buddhist centre I heard that the good thing about these times of wars and great difficulties worldwide also ecologically is, that a new way of thinking is rising, and a culture of peace is positively desired for.

At 8:36 AM, January 03, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

I like that thinking.

It does seem impossible for the world to maintain this level of violence. There must be some sort of "peace backlash" on the horizon.


At 6:21 PM, January 16, 2006, Anonymous Felicity said...

Blogdai "stupid" is a start but I would like to add "cowards" to the list describing the "people's army."

The job of an army is to fight battles against opposing armies. The murder of policemen and women, kidnappings, extortion, and conscription of children are all cowardly acts. There is no credible justification for acts of violence against non-military persons.

Urban guerilla warfare would be a disaster for the valley. The populus must decide when enough is enough.I am pro elections because I have not heard from the people, only Pachandra's rantings, the Maoists cowardly acts, and the King's travel plans make the news.

I am not a fan of "G" and am still waiting for him to show some benevolence towards the people of Nepal. As America remembers Dr. Martin Luther King today, I would like to remind "G" that:

"The measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

"G" it is time to stand up to the challenges or leave.


At 8:02 PM, January 16, 2006, Blogger blogdai said...

Fair and well-conceived comments, Felicity.

G is traveling all around western nepal these days because I'm not really sure he knows what to do in the "strong leader" department.

I lean more and more--daily--towards the idea that Nepal may not be suited for a press-the-flesh leader who drums up public support. Nepalis seem to respond better to the appearance and display of power.

My two cents...



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