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Significance of Singapore meetings

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08th-Jun-2018       
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M A Hossain :
The much-awaited historic summit between the US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still on the track. The July 12th summit would most definitely change the political landscape in the Korean Peninsula. It will establish American dominance in that part of the world, while would certainly minimize Sino-Russian influence to a great extent. Right from July 12th, the clock will start clicking towards the demise of decades-old authoritarian Kim dynasty in the North. Kim Jong Un's days will be numbered. In this particular case, neither China nor Russia could salvage the sinking 'boat' of the Stalinist regime in North Korea. Once again, after many years, President Trump has proved, America is the only and mightiest superpower in the world. Kim Jong Un is for sure, destined embracing the fate of Libya's executed leader Muammar Al Gaddafi. No one can save him. Neither China - nor Russia. He already has been left at the mercy of the United States.
Ever since assuming his office, President Donald Trump has been vigorously and effectively taking bold initiatives in freeing the world from autocratic rules. The only exception here is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. But, in my opinion, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman(MBS) has been taking series of initiatives in transforming a very conservative and corruption-plagued Saudi monarchism into a moderate one.
He has been relentlessly working in sweeping-off social orthodoxy from the Saudi Arabia. It is anticipated, within next 2-3 years, Saudi societies will emerge as much liberal and modern than the United Arab Emirates. For this particular reason, and for an extra-offensive diplomacy towards Iran and a softer diplomatic approach towards Israel, MBS most possibly has become one of the top-most allies of the Trump administration. Being an important member of the Arab League, Saudi Arabia, for the first time has shifted its diplomatic policy towards the Palestinians. This has also made MBS a silent ally of the Jewish State.
Trump administrations economic diplomacy with China has also been extremely harsh and even punitive for Beijing. Although six of the seven member countries of the G-7 - especially France already has signalled of beginning an economic war with the United States, but in my own views, such threats won't actually work as the combined military strength of the European Union and even China and Russia  are much behind than that of the United States. Moreover, Brexit actually has turned the European Union into a teethless entity.
They have lots of challenges - economic crisis, unemployment and even illegal migrant and refugee issues. For the European Union and or the six member nations of the G-7, it isn't the time of either beginning or winning any economic war with the United States.
America's massive influence has also been once again exhibited when ambassador Nikki Haley not only vetoed a resolution drafted by Qatar and moved in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in defence of the Palestinians; she also used terribly strong words against the nations supporting this resolution.
Britain, along with few more nations had abstained from voting, while Russia, China and some other nations had voted in favor. Due to the veto of the United States, this resolution had also dried-up. This time again, ambassador Nikki Haley has clearly shown - America is the greatest and second to none. This very resolution has also proved - Russia, China, the European nations etc are just nothing in front of the tremendous power and influence of the United States
. Two particular entities - Qatar and the United Nations may face consequence sooner or later for this resolution. There would be emergence of domestic political turbulence in Qatar and most possibly a change of the government. This time, Saudi Arabia will most definitely play vital role alongside the United States in giving a befitting lesson to the Qatari rulers. I won't be surprised, if an anti-monarchism revolution will begin in Qatar.
Ahead of Trump-Kim summit, the United States defense secretary James Mattis has been meeting some leaders in Singapore. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has met the US defense secretary seeking Washington's help in Indo-China conflict over the South China sea issue. Mr. James Mattis, has assured the help-seeker Indian Prime Minister the help of Washington in this regard.
Through this meeting, Sino-India relations will get further bitter. Most importantly, by seeking help from the United States like an obedient help-seeker, Narendra Modi has clearly proved to the world- India is no factor at all and it does not deserve the minimal scope of proclaiming to be a global power. In front of the United States, India's so-called military strength or political intellect is actually similar to that of any struggling Asian nations.
Through this meeting, Modi had to pledge his support towards America's demand of surrendering all sorts of verifiable nuclear weapons and installations by Kim Jong Un. It is not unlikely that India now may even abruptly shift its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
This actually is the beginning of a new era of America's sole supremacy on world affairs. Every nation must listen to what Washington desires.
Narendra Modi's latest exposure of being a mercy-seeker of the United States rings an alarming bell for the ruling party in Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina, who has been thinking, India can once again help her in remaining in power for the consecutive third term has virtually turned into a daydream.
Actually it is United States, who can keep Sheikh Hasina in power. Not India. Not even China or Russia. Those days of a weaker America under the bankrupt rule of Barack Obama is a history now. President Donald Trump will not allow India or any other nation in playing any wrong game in keeping any government in power in South Asia through another fake election.
This is the harsh reality. In my personal judgement, President Trump may even want to see Indian National Congress back to power.
That means, a discreet connection between Washington and the Indian National Congress might have already been established. As Ivanka Trump is expected to become the first American female President in 2024, Washington may desire seeing a young Rahul Gandhi to be the next Indian Prime Minister.
Political steering in India will actually go into the hands of young leaders like Rahul Gandhi. For Narendra Modi, most possibly, the coming months will be filled with series of political challenges and setbacks.
The Trump administration also may extend support towards the millions of Muslims in Assam, who are fearing to be expelled by the Modi government. In fact, the sleeping volcano of independence in the north-eastern part of India will re-emerge and start erupting soon. As I said, days of India's dadagiri(dominance or big brotherly attitude) in the region has already become lifeless.
Christopher Giddings, an influential member of the Republican Party, commenting on the forthcoming general election in Bangladesh said, "Members of the US Senate and Congress, irrespective of their political affiliations turn greatly dismayed when any government or nation insult any of the American constitutional institutions. Bangladesh has been showing total ignorance and had even shown the audacity of dishonoring the US House Resolution HR-64/2007 passed in defence of the freedom of expression.
We are fully aware of the very wrong decision of the Bangladeshi authorities in blocking several websites of prominent newspapers. Such actions are similar to those of any isolated and authoritarian regime. We know, Obama administration could not play effective role in putting pressure on Bangladesh in showing respect to the aforesaid House Resolution. But, onwards, its not gonna happen again. Bangladeshi ruling party must hold a free, fair and participatory election. We are closely watching things in that country".
He added, "Democracy has to be restored in Bangladesh. Rule of law, human rights and rights to religion must be ensured. There should be an end to intimidation on the media".
A source in the Capitol Hill said, " We are aware of the facts about the ongoing drive of the Bangladesh government against narcotics.
Through Dhaka's local press and the social media, we have taken note of the gruesome murder of Akramul Haque in Teknaf area in Bangladesh ; where two officers of the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) and Rapid Action Battalion(RAB) had taken active part. Why the government isn't yet taking any action against these perpetrators of heinous crime? That doesn't reflect Bangladesh's claim of the existence of rule of law".
He said, " Blocking the websites of any newspaper or news portal aren't smart job in this age of advanced technology. People always can use proxy gateways. By blocking The Daily Star, Bangladesh authorities had already proved, there are strong ingredients and substantial evidences on the crimes committed by the members of the law enforcing and security agencies. A content on the web gets spread and shared (even in PDF formation) within minutes. So, blocking it actually doesn't work".   

(M A Hossain, a political and defense analyst served in the United Nations).

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