Nixon in trouble: From Blood Telegram to Dhaka Fall.

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It was the Cold War era. The USSR was expanding its power. There was a wall of values ​​in front of the US. Governments used to cross this wall, but they tried not to let the public know. The US becomes helpless in the face of public pressure. This is what happened to it when one of its important allies collapsed.

In 1971, Pakistan along with the whole world was going through severe stress.. In East Pakistan (which is now Bangladesh), a rebellion had started to secede from the state. In order to crush this rebellion, the Army started a military operation in East Pakistan which ended in the collapse of Pakistan.

Pakistan consisted of two parts, East and West Pakistan. There was a distance of more than 1000 miles between the two parts and in the middle was India, Pakistan’s enemy.
From the beginning, the people of East Pakistan had this idea that the power, authority and federation were occupied by the people of West Pakistan and from this a new tragedy started to be born.

Mujibur Rahman was a popular politician in East Pakistan. He won the 1970 elections by a landslide on promises to reduce the power of the federation and give greater autonomy to the provinces. At that time Martial law was in effect in Pakistan. Martial law Administrator General Yahya started negotiations with Mujib. He wanted to stop Mujib from fulfilling his election promises, but Mujib did not agree. Finally, General Yahya approved the military operation in Dhaka. The operation started on March 5, 1971. For this, all personnel were called from West Pakistan (now Pakistan).

President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger were supporting this military operation. It seemed to them that Russia and its ally India wanted to divide the American ally Pakistan into two parts. Later reports from Indian sources revealed that India had long wanted to attack West Pakistan to separate it from Pakistan.

India attacked Pakistan on December 3, 1971

By the time the operation began, the Pakistani army was confined to cantonments and airports. Outside, Bengali resistance and freedom fighters were everywhere.
On March 5, 1971, the army received orders to clear Dhaka, the capital of West Pakistan. Tanks, armored personnel carriers and military vehicles entered the city in the dead of night.The initial Forces of the Bengali resistance retreated. but as the army personnel advanced, their difficulties began to increase. They started firing indiscriminately. In the morning, there were dead bodies everywhere. The army started a ruthless operation. Thousands of people were shot dead. In the first few days , thousands of people were killed in Dhaka. Within days the city was cleared and the remaining areas were soon under control.
(Here we are ignoring the torture and killing of hundreds of people of other ethnicities before and after the operation by the resistants)

Milan Kundera writes: “bloody massacre in Bangladesh caused Allende to be forgotten, the din of war in the Sinai Desert drowned out the groans of Bangladesh, . . . and so on, and on and on, until everyone has completely forgotten everything.”

Pakistan Army was dependent on US for weapons. As the crackdown began, Bengalis begged U.S. diplomats not to allow American-supplied weapons to be used for “mass murder.” The Nixon administration made no move against Pakistan’s use of U.S. weaponry; instead, the State Department, ducking embarrassing press questions, tried to avoid headlines about U.S. Small arms and aircraft dealing out death in Pakistan.

At that time, Archer Blood was the American Consul General in Dhaka. He sent news to the Nixon administration several times about the blood bath taking place there and requested that support to Pakistan should be stopped.
But Henry Kissinger dismissed these reports.
Archer began writing the word “selective genocide” in his correspondence. Which made President Nixon very uncomfortable. Because he could go to any lengths for his ally Pakistan, and Blood’s words like this could have caused him to face a lack of support in Congress and the State Department.

When Archer blood felt his words were being ignored, he made a historic decision that will forever be remembered in American diplomatic history. He opposed the US policy and wrote a statement signed by himself along with other members of the Council.

Gray J. Bass writes on this: “The confidential cable, with the blunt subject line of “Dissent from U.S. policy toward East Pakistan,” was probably the most blistering denunciation of U.S. foreign policy ever sent by its own diplomats.”

Blood sent this cable to the US Foreign Ministry and American ambassadors in other countries. The initial part of this historic cable was as follows:
” With the conviction that U.S. policy related to recent developments in East Pakistan serves neither our moral interests broadly defined nor our national interests narrowly defined, numerous officers of American Consulate General Dacca … consider it their duty to register strong dissent with fundamental aspects of this policy. Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to denounce atrocities. Our government has failed to take forceful measures to protect its citizens while at the same time bending over backwards to placate the West Pak dominated government and to lessen likely and deservedly negative international public relations impact against them.”

President Nixon and Henry Kissinger wanted to give all kinds of military aid to Pakistan. But the State Department blocked their way. Gray J. Bass writes in his book: “The State Department outfoxed Nixon and Kissinger, quietly using its bureaucratic power to jam the shipment of U.S. weaponry to Pakistan. In response, Nixon and Kissinger raged against the bureaucracy and tried to fire or demote some of the most influential dissenters, foremost among them. Blood and Keating. The president and his national security advisor plowed ahead with their support of Pakistan as best they could, but were impeded by the consciences and the best advice of a surprisingly large.”

India attacked Pakistan on December 3, 1971. President Nixon had to angrily say that Russia’s friend is tearing our friend apart and I can’t do anything. He was unable to give any kind of help to Pakistan. Henry Kissinger sent a message to China to move its military to help Pakistan. President Nixon told Kissinger to ask Turkey and Iran to hand over American weapons to Pakistan.
Although he knew that if it got out, he could face serious dangers, but he still decided to do it.

Before those arms reached Pakistan. Before that, China would make a military move. December 16 came. The Pakistani army surrendered in Dhaka and Pakistan broke up.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan allowed the trial of civilians in military courts.

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