- The Taking of Iraq (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Wars By Desert Bloc (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Faction Feuds of Desert Bloc – Should India Get Involved? (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Terrorism, waterboarding and CIA censorship: Ex-FBI agent Ali Soufan talks to The Star (thestar.com)
- CIA Heavily Edits FBI Agent’s 9/11 Book (newser.com)
Arvind Adiga (hereafter Adiga-bhau), ‘winner of the £50,000 Man Booker prize’ makes a complete hash in a lengthy book review. Reading Arvind Adiga for the first time, I am surprised at the man’s obtuseness. Adiga writes,
British Raj – The Golden Age
Indian businessman. Patriotic …?
Soon after WWII
Long list, Big names
The summer of hunger and poverty
The Ugly American
The Stick … and the carrot
Insult – but was there injury
After killing 20 lakhs of Viets, America cannot gloss over these deaths.
- Land of the Free … Home of the Brave (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Church, Religion & Go-Gooders (behind2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Pakistan: The Hidden Chapter (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Soft Power: Dragon on the dance floor (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Egypt raids on US NGOs (2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Behind Population Control (2ndlook.wordpress.com)
- Afghanistan: Obama’s Moment of Decision (thedailybeast.com)
- Nation: THE MY LAI MASSACRE (time.com)
- Readers’ reviews (guardian.co.uk)
- ‘The Korean War’ (nytimes.com)
- In praise of pragmatism (independent.co.uk)
- “Honoring War Heroes” and related posts (lewrockwell.com)
- My Lai Revisited (thedailybeast.com)
- Robert McNamara, Ex-Pentagon Chief, Dies (cbsnews.com)
- Why Was No One Punished for America’s “My Lai” in Iraq? (alternet.org)
- Afghan killings: The Devil dwells in all of us and when he possesses a soldier, it’s fearful to behold (dailymail.co.uk)
Global alarm about Pakistan, is triggered by a new and disruptive player, who has joined the power-grab game. Meet the mullah-madrasa-mujahhid combine.
Test of Political leadership
What do you say about a leadership that has two of the world’s super-powers, USA and China, swearing friendship and loyalty – at least once, every week.
Must be a rich, hi-tech country.
No. We are not talking of Saudi Arabia or Japan.
How about describing a leadership that gets economic and military aid – on its own terms, after flouting every previous conditionality imposed on it by the aid-givers?
Is it some super-power? Or a very poor country.
Even Haiti, Cuba, Congo, Ethiopia have to live with very strict conditionalities, imposed on them.
In your words describe a country that shelters and protects half of the world’s most wanted fugitives?
A-ha! We are talking of tax-evaders.
Sorry. Switzerland, it ain’t.
This country has also become a de facto nuclear power – and liberally auctioned nuclear technology, to anyone willing to pay for it.
Israel is not who we are talking of.
One hint. They have been doing this for 60 years.
All this – and more
Has India hurt Pakistan
Bal Thackeray: Why should I bother? Let them go to hell. I don’t want to know.
Going for broke
- You: Pak fuelling anti-India terror: alleges India (nation.com.pk)
- Saudi Bid to Curb Iran Worries U.S. (online.wsj.com)
- Clinton Urges Pakistan to Act Decisively Against Militancy – Voice of America (news.google.com)
- China ‘asks USA to respect Pak sovereignty’ / China has “warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China” (theboldcorsicanflame.wordpress.com)
- You: Pak-US relations at turning point: Clinton (nation.com.pk)
- ‘India must demonstrate that it is capable of making things difficult’ (wired.com)
- You: Improved US ties with Pak good for India: Napolitano (nation.com.pk)
- You: Pak, India talks from March 28: FO (nation.com.pk)
- Pakistan – Blackmail as State Policy (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Bad bargains with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan fostered 9/11 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- U.S. cannot solve Pakistan’s problems, says Hillary (hindu.com)
- Saudi Bid for Anti-Iranian Alliance Worries U.S. (foxnews.com)
- Saudi Arabia Urged To Halt Beheadings After Spike In Executions: Amnesty International (huffingtonpost.com)
- Beheadings increase in Saudi Arabia (cbsnews.com)
- Pakistani diplomacy – a tour de force (quicktake.wordpress.com)
Of mice and men
While the US dollar is weakening, by design, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are being bankrupted by a deliberately overvalued Euro.
an unexpected $7.3 billion trade deficit, the biggest in seven years. The nation’s (China’s) exports rose at the slowest pace since November 2009.
For Europe, the grand prix is to replace the dollar as the currency of international trade – especially oil trade. Euro as a international trade-currency-of-choice, will give the Euro region access to more than 1 trillion euros in zero-cost floating balances.
China is expecting the yuan to play a similar role. Such are plans made by mice and men.
Monsieur Murphy says
What can go wrong with these plans? Plenty.
The eternal enemy of currency manipulation – gold. As a million bureaucrats work on the mechanics of their plans,
Sales of gold coins are on track for the best month in a year amid the worst commodities rout since 2008, a sign that bullion’s longest bull market in nine decades has further to run, if history is a guide.
The U.S. Mint sold 85,000 ounces of American Eagle coins since May 1 as the Standard & Poor’s GSCI Index of 24 raw materials fell 9.9 percent. The last time sales reached that level, bullion rose 21 percent in the next year. Gold will advance 17 percent to a record $1,750 an ounce by Dec. 31 and keep gaining in 2012, the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 31 analysts, traders and investors shows.
UBS AG, Switzerland’s biggest bank, had its second-best day this year for physical sales on May 9, according to a report the following day. The bank’s sales to India, the world’s top bullion consumer, are more than 10 percent higher than in 2010. (via Gold Coins Show Bull Market Unbowed in Commodities Decline – Bloomberg).
You take free advice …?
Back in late January, as the world’s important people rubbed elbows in Davos, billionaire investor George Soros had some rather definitive thoughts to offer on gold, which he called “the ultimate asset bubble,” according to reports.
However, he neglected to mention that his hedge fund had been buying.
Another report points out that the liquidation (by people like Soros) of investments in public investment vehicles may be replaced by private investments.
The new filings from funds “may show that big names exited ETPs and this news may cause prices to slip in the very short term,” said Bayram Dincer, an analyst at LGT Capital Management in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland. Some funds switched to holding gold directly so they wouldn’t have to announce it publicly, he said.
Is gold a bubble?
A rather disbelieving journalist writes of the situation in the West
Gold is in a bubble. Anyone will tell you that. They’ve been saying it since gold was about, oh, $500 an ounce. But it’s a funny kind of a bubble. It’s the only one I’ve encountered where so few people seem to own the asset in question.
During the dot-com bubble, you met lots of people with tech stocks. Taxi drivers told you what dot-coms they owned. During the housing bubble you met normal, ordinary people who were trading up to expensive homes using adjustable-rate mortgages, buying new condos off plan to flip, and cashing out their fictional “equity” through a refinance mortgage.
But who actually owns gold? I keep hearing about the gold bubble, but every time I ask people if they own any themselves, they say, “no, no, of course not, it’s a bubble.”
Central banks around the world are printing more dollars, euros, pounds and yen. Gold may simply be a less awful currency than all the others. Banks can’t print any more of it, so its price should probably rise while other currencies fall.
For this year, the question in India seems to be, “Will gold cross Rs.25000, by 2011 Diwali?”
- Gold Coins Show Bull Market Unbowed in Commodities Decline (businessweek.com)
- Soros Sells Most of Gold ETP Holdings During First Quarter (businessweek.com)
- A closer look at George Soros’ big quarter of selling gold (financialpost.com)
- Why is George Soros selling gold, but John Paulson not? (theglobeandmail.com)
- China Is Now Top Gold Bug (online.wsj.com)
- Gold Investment Demand in China (lonerangersilver.wordpress.com)
- Chinese set new standard in buying gold (ft.com)
- Gold grand prix – The Chinese challenge (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Shanghai Planning Gold Exchange-Traded Funds as Demand Jumps (businessweek.com)
- Oil, gold back in demand (news.theage.com.au)
Fat and lazy
Between 1875-1935, Britain was dependent on India for gunpowder, on USA and Iran for oil, on Malaya and India for rubber. British economy had grown fat and uncompetitive – unlike Italian, German and Japanese economies.
Even though Britain won WWII, their economy was a lost cause. Though Germany, Italy and Japan were losers, with their economy in shambles, they could make a brilliant recovery and vastly out-compete Britain.
The story of Middle East oil is similar for USA and West. The Welfare State, built on a diet of cheap oil, easy dollars, is now too expensive for the West to sustain. The above book extract gives an excellent snapshot of the oil industry in the 20th century.
And the shadow of oil on the 21st century.
- Onward, American Soldiers! Another million await death. (quicktake.wordpress.com)
- Out with the old? (bbc.co.uk)
- UK economy trailing (thesun.co.uk)
- Skidding Oil Prices: A Blip or a Trend? (green.blogs.nytimes.com)