Military News Analysis - What else could fall in the War against Terror apart from Saddam and the Taliban

- Syria, Iran and later…..the Royal House of Saud, the Musharraf Regime?

- newsonterror News Analysis -

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New York, with inputs from our Washington Bureau:

Going by the ground situation today, we see the coming months in the War Against Terror to be quite eventful. We foresee the fall of regimes that are dependent on the Charisma of one individual or a close group of individuals. As it is most the governments in most Muslim countries are not elected by people- democracy being an alien concept to a Muslim society. The driving force of raw street power is what decides the fate of a Muslim country.

Most governments in the Islamic World owe their existence more to the sentiment in the mosques and bazars rather than what the majority votes for

The governments there owe their existence more to the sentiment in the mosques and bazars rather than what the majority votes for and even less on what educated tomes in drawing rooms feel. So it is not considered and freely exercised majority opinion through the medium of a general election does not decide what kind of Govt., a Muslim country has.

In this context the governments of most Muslim countries are not representative of the will of their people and so there is always a dichotomy between what the government wants and what the evident majority of the people want. This dichotomy become more acute with dangerous portends during times of crisis such as the present War on Terror.

We shall focus on Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. Neither of the two countries have government that have been elected by the people. It is another matter that the formal policy of both these Governments till today has been to co-operate with the US in the War on terror. And in doing so both these Governments have drawn the ire of the man on the street.

The reason why the anti-US protests in Saudi Arabia have been relatively muted is the tight and paranoid security that the House of Saud has exercised over its populace over the last 7 decades

The reason why so far the anti-US protests in Saudi Arabia have been relatively muted. This owes itself to the tight and paranoid security that the House of Saud has exercised over its populace over the last 7 decades since the first world war when the Royal House of Saud came to power when a popular movement triggered by a British citizen named Lawrence led a anti-Turkish revolt and freed the country from rule of the Ottoman Turks.

Today the Saudi monarchy has a love-hate relationship with the USA- the Petro-dollar connection

Today the Saudi monarchy has a love-hate relationship with the USA. A month before the September 11 attacks the crown Prince Abdallah (son of King Fahd) had said that a time has come for the USA and Saudi Arabia to go their separate ways. The latent anti-US feeling in the Saudi royal family is revealing after six decades of pro-US alignment and the Petro-dollar connection. The fact remains that it is a citizen of Saudi Arabia that is today leading th Jihad (Osama Bin Laden), that 15 out of the 19 Hijackers of September 11th are Saudi citizens, that you cannot take a bible into Saudi Arabia, that preaching Christianity is a punishable offence! Despite all this an un-natural alliance has existed between the world's most powerful democracy and the cradle of Islam! But now this un-natural alliance is about to be aborted.

The strain of street frenzy during Ramzan would be tumultuous of a ferocity that has never been seen so far

The strain of street frenzy during Ramzan would be tumultuous of a ferocity that has never been seen so far. The month of Ramzan would see this frenzy becoming unprecedentedly acute. Coming events will testify to this prognosis.

The fallout of this would be that the Saudi monarchy may not last long after Ramzan. Also those pro-US regimes that are not representative and are dependant on one person (like say Pervez Musharraf), would find it difficult to last through Ramzan and would fall soon thereafter, if not during the month of fasting.

In this context we need to sound a note of caution that the coming UN Assembly would be an ideal opportunity for the forces inimical to such regimes to strike when the head of state is away. This is especially so for Pervez Musharraf who came to power while he was travelling to Sri Lanka. Then it was a pro-Musharraf military officer corps that did the job in his favour. Today the same elements who are now disgruntled at being shunted off could use the growing tumult against Pervez Musharraf's pro-US policy to unseat him. We wold counsel Musharraf to take his family with him to New York and leave them behind when and if he returns to Pakistan.

The unrest during the next few months could be triggered by a dirty bomb attack on the West. The crux is when, and not if, the Jihadis get nuclear capability.Another event that would prove to be a seminal one is the death of Osama Sorry for this plainspeak - but there is no alternative.

Meanwhile the real fallout of the fall of the House of Saud and the Musharraf regime would be evident in the policies of the radicalised Islamic regimes that would replace them. They would take the War on Terror to a newer level of ferocity, tenacity and viscousness. We need to be ready to face this eventuality.

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- On behalf of the newsonterror team

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