Upsurge Continues in Nepal
U.S. Interests, Plots, and Intrigues
Revolution #045, May 1, 2006
On April 21, as demonstrations continued
to escalate in the streets of Nepal, King Gyanendra delivered
a televised speech in which he said he called for elections
and asked the political parties to recommend a Prime Minister.
This was immediately rejected by those who have been demanding
an end to the monarchy and people continued to demonstrate
in the streets.
Gyanendra's speech came after 16 straight
days of demonstrations involving hundreds of thousands of
people, in Kathmandu and around the country. The police had
shot and killed at least 11 people and wounded hundreds.
Over a year ago, on February 1, 2005, King
Gyanendra grabbed absolute power and dissolved the parliament.
This was a desperate move in response to the government's
inability to crush the People’s War led by the Communist Party
of Nepal (Maoist). The CPN(M) began their armed struggle against
the government in 1996 and now control some 80 percent of
the countryside. Gyanendra's Royal Nepalese Army—backed by
political, financial, and military support from the United
States, India, and the UK—has waged a brutal counterinsurgency.
But the People's War continued to grow and expand, and the
king became increasingly isolated and determined to defend
his autocratic and brutal rule. This is what set the stage
for the current demonstrations--which started with a four-day
strike called by an alliance of seven parliamentary parties.
The U.S. and India have been very upset by
Gyanendra's refusal to share power with the parliamentary
parties. And it appears they were directly behind the king's
Just two hours before the king's address,
U.S. ambassador James Moriarty, told the press that the king
had no choice but to give in to the opposition parties' demands
for a return to democratic rule.
The day before, Special Envoy from India
Karan Singh returned home after visiting Gyanendra for two
days and told reporters, "I do not want to preempt or
predict what the announcement may be, but we are hoping that
there will be some major step in reinstating democracy. I
think it will defuse the crisis."
In response to the king's speech, U.S. Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice admitted that the U.S. is working
"very closely with the Indian government” to resolve
the crisis in Nepal.
All this maneuvering is not about bringing
democracy to Nepal. It's about trying to ensure that the “resolution
of the current crisis ” will be in the interest of the U.S.
and India and will not lead to any gains by the Maoists.
U.S. Interests and Sinister Plans
The position of the United States with regard
to the Maoist People's War in Nepal has been forcefully and
adamantly that “they cannot be allowed to win.” James Moriarty,
the U.S. ambassador to Nepal, has repeatedly urged the king
and parliamentary parties to work together in order to defeat
the People's War. And he has harshly criticized the parties
for working with the Maoists.
A few days before King Gyanendra's speech,
the International Crisis Group issued a “policy briefing”
titled, “Nepal’s Crisis: Mobilising International Influence.”
The International Crisis Group (ICG) is basically
an imperialist think tank. In the name of “working to prevent
conflict worldwide” it analyzes the situation in different
countries (usually poor, Third World countries)” and comes
up with plans for various levels of political and military
intervention by the United States and other powerful countries.
The ICG has been closely following developments
in Nepal over the last several years and has issued several
papers about the situation. What is striking about this latest
briefing is that it makes very concrete and detailed suggestions
for how the U.S., India, the UK, and other countries should
The ICG starts by arguing for the formation
of a “Contact Group” made up of India, the U.S., and UK which
will come up with “strategy and tactics to maximize international
influence in assisting Nepal’s escape from its worsening conflict.”
One focus of this Contact Group is to threaten the Maoists
that “if they obstruct progress towards a peace process or
fail to respect the understanding they have entered into with
OHCHR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights), donors and the mainstream political parties,
Contact Group members will coordinate efforts to apprehend
senior leaders and interdict any cross-border movements.”
The ICG recognizes there is widespread hatred
among the Nepalese people for Indian domination and takes
this into account, saying: “India knows that it can only achieve
its policy goals in Nepal unilaterally at a great cost. Working
within a multilateral framework would allow the same goals
to be reached without the risk of appearing to be overtly
interventionist.” And the briefing goes on to spell out what
kind of intervention is necessary: “The Contact Group should
lead planning for a small international mission with 100 to
200 members but not including troops from India or the U.S.
(given the extreme political sensitivity of deploying their
forces in Nepal). Such a mission would require helicopters
in order to investigate quickly any local incident or ceasefire
The viewpoint of the ICG is not identical
to the position of the U.S. State Department. But the ICG
suggestions do seem to be in line with and serve the basic
stance of the U.S. that “the Maoists in Nepal must not be
allowed to win.” And the ICG plan for dealing with the current
crisis does reflect the geostrategic concerns and interests
of the United States, India, and other foreign powers involved
The U.S. has been quite open and blatant
about its intervention in Nepal. And to this, we have to ask,
what the hell right does the United States and India have
to impose their will on Nepal, to intervene, to try and put
a lid on the struggle of the people and crush the Maoist people's
war? The U.S. has a whole history -- whether it's Vietnam,
Indonesia, or Chile, or Iraq -- where it has been behind bloody
coups and other “regime changes” with thousands and hundreds
of thousands killed in order to safeguard U.S. interests.
The U.S. Assistant Secretary of Central and
South Asian Affairs, Richard Boucher, recently said: “We need
to work as much as we can to pressure the King to restore
democracy, to encourage the parties to stay together and to
come up with a workable, functioning democracy. And to be
able to expunge the Maoists from Nepali society. I think it’s
very much the attitude of governments in the region including
India.” He revealed that U.S. “diplomats are in touch with
everybody in Kathmandu, all the players, the political parties
and the King.” And said that the U.S. is “coordinating with
other countries who are represented” in Nepal.
Taking such statements seriously, it is instructive
to look at how this recent ICG papermay indicate about what
the U.S. is up to in Nepal, and the real possibility of even
more direct intervention by the U.S. in some form or another.
What the U.S. Hates and Fears
When the U.S. ambassador to Nepal says the
parliamentary parties must not work with the Maoists, when
the United States vilifies the CPN(M) and says “they cannot
be allowed to win,” when Richard Boucher says the political
parties should come up with a functioning democracy and “expunge
the Maoists from Nepali society,” -- what is it the U.S. is
so adamantly against?
What the U.S. cannot accept is a revolution
that takes up arms in order to overthrow a regime that serves
U.S. interests. What the U.S. cannot allow is a revolution
which aims to fundamentally change the current economic, political,
and social relations under which the masses of Nepalese people
are oppressed. And what the U.S. must seek to crush is a revolution
that aims to put an end to all the economic and political
relationships under which Nepal is dominated and oppressed
within the world imperialist system.
In 1996, when the Communist Party of Nepal
(Maoist) initiated armed struggle against the government,
they set out on the path of a New Democratic Revolution --
which aims to overthrow any regime that represents
feudalism and big capitalist forces aligned with and serving
foreign and imperialist domination. They set out to carry
out a revolution aimed at uprooting semi-feudalism in the
countryside and kicking out foreign capitalism. And with such
goals, the CPN(M) has been carrying out new democratic tasks
in the base areas under their control. Redistribution of land
is a central part of getting rid of inequalities in the countryside.
Developing collective forms of owning and working the land
is an essential part of breaking free of foreign domination.
And criticizing and doing away with feudal traditions, culture,
and thinking are crucial to the building of a new revolutionary
way of running society.
These revolutionary changes being carried
out in the Maoist base areas are a concrete expression of
the New Democratic Revolution. This revolution, which is widely
supported by the people, remains as the only way to liberate
the masses of people in Nepal--and is exactly what the United
States is so threatened by and determined to stop.
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolution
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