The word ‘Villain’ describes a wicked or unprincipled character in a novel, play, etc., who opposes the protagonist or hero. Villain is someone or something regarded as the cause of a problem, difficulty, injustice, or great crime. It speaks about the evil nature of a person, very bad, disagreeable, or objectionable and such a person is often characterized as a ‘scoundrel’. I am pleased to share Ashok Malik’s review of the book “The Blood Telegram – India’s Secret War in East Pakistan” authored by Gary J. Bass. The book reveals Archer Kent Blood, the chief US diplomat in Dacca as the hero or protagonist who had suffered on account of the actions of President Nixon and Dr. Kissinger, the National Security Adviser during 1971 . The real character and nature of President Nixon and Kissinger as ‘Villains’ can be easily discerned by reading this historical story titled “The Blood Telegram.” The book talks of the courage and uprightness of Archer Blood who was a first-hand witness to the genocide in East Pakistan, the oppression of Bengali speaking Pakistanis, the mass murder and elimination of Hindu minorities and the humanitarian crisis that spilled into a massive refugee problem in India. Mr. Blood meticulously reported the massacres, the bloodshed in East Pakistan and had urged the US administration to take action to stop the military dictator of West Pakistan. Mr. Blood suffered greatly for his efforts and devotion to work. He was ignored, singled out and victimized by Dr. Kissinger. Mr. Blood’s career in the US State Department was utterly ruined and destroyed. This book is the story of what Mr. Blood did and how he suffered for being true to his conscience and his calling. It must be noted that the men and women who make up the State Department or work for the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) are often conscientious, well-meaning folks, schooled in the simplicity and goodness of small-town, middle class life in the heart of America. They are moral people, keen to use their country’s power to make the world a better place. Such conscientious people who belonged to the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) had rendered their service at a military organization in India known as Special Frontier Force or Establishment No. 22. Both the US President Richard M. Nixon, and Dr. Henry Kissinger, the National Security Adviser must be recognized as “WholeVillains” for their actions were motivated by an unprincipled desire to befriend Communist China without any concern for its involvement in killing its own people during the “Great Leap Forward” program of 1957-58, and during the infamous “Cultural Revolution” of 1966-69. The story reveals how Nixon and Kissinger were blinded by hate for India and Indians. They had visualized Pakistan as an essential ally and gateway to Communist China and had totally ignored the problem of human suffering in the Land that took a very painful birth as Bangladesh after India’s victory in a military battle during November-December 1971.
During 1971, I served in a military organization called Establishment No. 22, or Special Frontier Force which in reality represents a military alliance/pact between India, Tibet, and the United States to contain the military threat posed by Communist China’s illegal occupation of Tibet. It must be noted that Nixon had served as Vice President for two terms 1953-1956, and 1957-1960, during the presidency of Dwight David Eisenhower. President Eisenhower and his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles continued President Truman’s policy of containing Communism. In Southeast Asia, Eisenhower supported and had employed the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) to organize the Tibetan Resistance Movement since 1957-58. Later, President John F. Kennedy took the initiative to formulate the military alliance with India and Tibet that created the Special Frontier Force during 1962. The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has represented the US as our military partner and took the initial responsibility to impart the necessary military training to all personnel. The mission of this Organization is that of fighting a war to evict China from the Land of Tibet and the men are not used for spying, or gathering intelligence as undercover agents. The CIA has used the services of this Organization to monitor the nuclear activities of Communist China as China was conducting underground nuclear tests inside Tibet. During 1971-72, in a complete reversal of its foreign policy, the United States allowed the National Security Adviser to change the course of the country and to make decisions on foreign relations without giving any role to the duly appointed Secretary of State. Kissinger used the infrastructure of US State Department to orchestrate a policy that has ignored the vital US national interests and its commitment to Democracy and Freedom. Kissinger had chosen to support Pakistan’s military dictator and had used him to gain access to the Communist Leaders in Peking that paved the way for President Nixon’s visit to China during February 1972. This book reveals as to how Nixon was baffled and annoyed by American sympathies for India and he communicated this opinion to Pakistan’s military dictator General Yahya Khan and observed that Americans could be suffering from a “physiological disorder.” Nixon and Kissinger encouraged other countries to illegally ship their US supplied weapons to Pakistan in violation of US laws that prohibit such transfer of military equipment.
Kissinger had urged China’s Foreign Minister Chou En-Lai to open a second front and attack India to stop India from giving assistance to the people of East Pakistan. As India initiated the Liberation of Bangladesh, Nixon sent the US Seventh Fleet into Bay of Bengal without any concern about India’s logistical support to the US Army that was fighting a bloody war in Vietnam, a war in which Communist China had played a big role to ensure the defeat of the US Army.
During 1971, the US National Security Adviser, Dr Henry Kissinger had kept his visit to Peking as a big secret. However, at Special Frontier Force, Establishment No. 22, we were fully aware of his activities. The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) officials who were serving at Establishment No.22 as military instructors were abruptly asked to return to the United States. Communist China had insisted that it would agree to meet Henry Kissinger and receive him in Peking only after the United States removes all its personnel from India who at that time were employed in the Special Frontier Force/Establishment No. 22. After their departure, India and Tibet had agreed to jointly launch a military action in Chittagong Hill Tracts to initiate the Liberation of Bangladesh and to stop the genocide in East Pakistan.
INDIA’S SECRET WAR IN EAST PAKISTAN:
India launched a Secret War in East Pakistan to respond to the huge humanitarian crisis which could not be resolved. United States pretended its ignorance of this whole problem. This military operation was given the code name Operation Eagle. On November 03, 1971, while India’s Prime Minister was visiting Washington D.C. in a final bid to enlist the support of President Nixon, Special Frontier Force without the US personnel moved into Chittagong Hill Tracts. President Richard Nixon had failed to endorse our military action, but we executed this military action using military equipment, field gear and rations provided by the United States. The infantry weapons and all other tools that we had used were the same as those used by the US Army in its Vietnam War. We prevailed in the battlefield and forced Pakistan’s Army to withdraw from their entrenched positions. The official war of India with Pakistan was declared by India’s Prime Minister on December 03, 1971.
Rudra Narasimham Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162, USA
Special Frontier Force-Establishment No.22-Vikas Regiment
Personal Numbers: MS-8466/MR-03277K; Rank: Major.
Branch: Army Medical Corps/Short Service Regular Commission(1969-1972); Direct Permanent Commission(1973-1984).
Designation: Medical Officer.
Unit: Establishment No.22(1971-1974)/South Column,Operation Eagle(1971-1972).
Reference: National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 79. The Tilt: The U.S. and the South Asian Crisis of 1971.