Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Army Integration: A Change of Heart

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer"

Ol' blogdai has had a change of heart regarding Prachanda's big push to have Maoist combatants integrated into the Nepali army.

I say, "let em' in!"

Draw them out of the woods and villages and offer pay, training and discipline. Follow it up with a stern law against armed groups terrorizing villagers. After integration, no extortion, armed bullying or cooercion by any group claiming to be Maoist would be deemed lawful, as there would be no need for such groups-- only the Nepal Army.

Integrated Maoists won't need to raise money anymore and they won't need to force villagers to attend rallies. Without their oppressive presence in the villages, Maoist propaganda and ideology cannot spread.

The reality is, offering the Maoists a job in a real army would, let's face it, amount to a high-security form of cantonement. Something that Ian Martin and his ridiculously uniformed concepts never could have achieved.

Do the Maoists actually believe they would be accepted into the Nepal Army as equals? As "brothers in arms?" Hardly. What we would see would be the gradual sidelining of the poorly-trained Maoists, if not outright hostility and abuse, at the hands of Nepal's professional soldiers. Perhaps a fitting end for those who have killed and abused innocents in the past.

Ram Poudel and whats left of the Nepali Congress are dead opposed to the idea. Is there any wonder? The Maoists are the only real physical force the NC can allign with to press their demands. Integrating them into the Nepal Army would take away a key political pawn for Girija and his newly rabbled party. They would no longer be able to make the threat of another deal-with-the-devil Jana Andolan. The integration of the Maoists into theNepal Army would render the Nepali Congress toothless and impotent. Frankly, Girija's screaming little NC student wing just doesn't have the power to influence Nepali politics on a national level like those big-bad Maoist murderers did during Jana Andolan.

So fully integrate the Maoist, says blogdai. Give them a hot meal and a hearty bonus just for showing up at their local army post. Give them clean and snappy uniforms and teach them to march.

Maybe, just maybe, this will dissolve the worst cancer to infest human lives in Nepal's history.