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Archive for May, 2012

Pakistan: Two Observations

Pakistan threatens Yumm-rika-Mend your ways! Otherwise, we, Pakistan, will mend relations with India.

Pakistan's ability to 'self-launch' itself  |  Cartoonist - Muhammad Zahoor on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | via Daily Times  |  Click for image.

Pakistan’s ability to ‘self-launch’ itself | Cartoonist – Muhammad Zahoor on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 | via Daily Times – ZAHOOR’S CARTOON:.| Click for image.

There’s a near-universal sense of victimhood and betrayal, which overlooks that if Pakistan’s borders are porous with respect to terror attacks on other countries, and its authorities don’t act on this, then ‘national sovereignty’ can’t be a hallowed principle and those borders are liable to be porous in the other direction as well.

Pakistani ire at the bin Laden raid as well as American drone attacks on its tribal territories may, however, have had a paradoxically beneficial effect. America has risen and India fallen in its demonology – facilitating a substantial improvement in India-Pakistan ties. In the long term, that’s the key to a peaceful and prosperous South Asia. (via Our mandarins, their mandarins – The Times of India).

One-way sovereignty?

Pakistani cannot expect its sovereignty and territory to be intact – after terrorists launch attacks on other sovereign nations from Pakistani soil. So, Pakistani ‘outrage’ at Abbottabad seems hypocritical.

Though the implications of Abbottabad for the Indian sub-continent are more ominous.

With Anglo-Saxon Bloc running amuck in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is India immune?

Hindi-Paki Bhai-Bhai?

The recent change in Pakistani mood towards India is only reactionary. Use India to blackmail USA.

Yumm-rika, if you don’t mend your ways, we will mend our relations with India. Then what leverage will you have with us is the idea behind Pakistani ‘warmth’.

This again for India means, that US and the West will keep the Pakistani dagger against India, sharp and shining.

If not always, for some time to come.


India & Bangladesh – A Worried West

May 27, 2012 1 comment

Even as it keeps West at a distance, Bangladesh has got the West worried.

Cartoon by Muhammad Zahoor (Peshawar, Pakistan); 2008 via Cartoon Competition Winners Announced!

Muhammad Zahoor (Peshawar, Pakistan)
via Cartoon Competition Winners Announced!.

the squabbling has turned into a crisis (see article) which threatens to make life still worse for the 170m poor Muslims who suffer under one of the world’s worst governments. Since Bangladesh’s political leaders show no interest in their fate, outsiders need to do so.

The outside world is trying to do its bit. The World Bank has scrapped a deal to pay for a big bridge because of its suspicions of corruption. EU ambassadors have denounced the treatment of Mr Yunus and the harassment of activists. Hillary Clinton flew to Dhaka this month to stand by Mr Yunus.

But the government seems unmoved. In a snub to Mrs Clinton, it announced a review into ownership of Grameen, a move to take over (and probably destroy) the bank. The only country to have much influence in Dhaka is India. Until recently the regional superpower tolerated Sheikh Hasina’s excesses, in part because Bangladesh has cracked down on Islamists. India now seems to be hedging its bets between the two parties. But if it still wants to have a functioning democracy next door, it needs to speak out far louder in favour of it. (via Bangladesh’s toxic politics: Hello, Delhi | The Economist).

First …

The Economist is wrong on one count – to start with.

Bangladesh is not exactly the hottest or happening economy in the world – or even the region.

Never was. Can’t get worse for Bangladesh.

In the past, Bangladesh’s political leadership has not displayed the calibre to win anything – except opprobrium. So, the new direction chosen by Bangladeshi leaders can only take Bangladesh up. Is there is a downside.

Talking about ‘political leaders (who) show no interest in their fate, outsiders need to do so’. In a certain part of the world, people have been complaining loudly.

Visibly.

Two …

Across Europe, riots, protests, elections, have only shown that the people of Europe have shown trust or confidence on their leadership.

Looking at Europe’s decline in the last 50 years or even the last 100 years, the lack of trust and confidence is logical. Across the pond, in USA, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) will soon see its first anniversary on September 11, 2012.

Now compare European leadership with India and China. From historic lows, 100 years ago, even 50 years ago, China and India have assumed positions of significant importance in the world. Going by performance between Western leadership, Indian and Chinese leadership wins hands down.

Time for outsiders from China and India to ‘ensure’ that Europe gets its’ act together.

Three …

That brings us to the third point. Why is The Economist so worried about India having a voice in Bangladesh?

Maybe Bangladesh leadership is more intelligent than Western leadership. Maybe Bangladesh has learned lessons from Pakistan! We have seen how Pakistan has descended into incendiary situation on a permanent basis. Bombs, explosions, guns, assassinations, civil war – all the benefits of Western attention.

Still blame Bangladesh for not wanting the Pakistan Experience?


Bollywood Powers Ahead

May 26, 2012 9 comments

How and why does India produce as many films as China and US put together?

Cinema in China is booming. In 2010 box-office revenues grew by 64% to just over 10 billion yuan.  |  Image source & courtesy -  economist.com  |  Click for image source.

Cinema in China is booming. In 2010 box-office revenues grew by 64% to just over 10 billion yuan. | Image source & courtesy – economist.com | Click for image source.

Cinema in China is booming (see chart). In 2010 box-office revenues grew by 64% to just over 10 billion yuan. More than 520 films were made—about as many as in America. Only India produces more. (via China’s film industry: Kung fu propaganda | The Economist).

What The Economist does not mention is that India alone produces as many as China and US together. And that Nollywood comes in at No.2 position.


Behind Delhi Car Bomb Blast: Iran?

In the last 65 years, only the Soviet Union took payment in rupees for oil. And now Iran. Why would Iran trigger bomb blasts in New Delhi?

Israel will still blame Iran even if it's a CNG blast, Saying the gas is Iranian  |  Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; 15 Feb 2012; source & courtesy-mumbaimirror.com  |  Click for image.

Israel will still blame Iran even if it’s a CNG blast, Saying the gas is Iranian | Cartoon by Ajit Ninan; 15 Feb 2012; source & courtesy-mumbaimirror.com | Click for image.

An explosion on Aurangzeb Road in New Delhi damaged an Israeli embassy car, and injured its occupants.Tal Yehoshua Koren, the wife of the defense attache at the Israeli embassy was seriously wounded. She is in critical care. She was on her way to pick up her children from their school. It is unusual for a diplomatic vehicle to be attacked on the streets of New Delhi. The Delhi police went into action. The international media wanted to know who had done the attack minutes after it was reported.The police was wary. Let us conduct our investigation, they said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went before his parliament and accused Iran of a terrorist act. “The elements behind these attacks were Iran and its protege, Hezbollah.” Iran, he said, is “the largest terror exporter in the world” and Israel “would act with a strong hand.” This was all the confirmation that BBC needed. It began to report the attack as an Iranian act against an Israeli diplomat on Indian soil.

Why would Iran conduct an attack on an Israeli diplomat in India, particularly as India is in the midst of trying to negotiate a delicate arrangement with Tehran to pay for Iranian oil? The question mystifies. (via Asia Times Online :: India’s dilemma: How to pay for Iranian oil).

For more on the Oil-India-Iran-USA matrix, read the first post in the related articles section below – titled Indian diplomacy: Heavy Lifting.


Are we not lucky?

May 23, 2012 1 comment

Why does the global debate revolve around One idea. Spend more on mega public sector projects, that will create more jobs and create ‘demand’.

Same ideas; different 'authors'  |  Eureka cartoon from newyorker.com; artist & publication date absent at source  |  Click for image.

Same ideas; different ‘authors’ | Eureka cartoon from newyorker.com; artist & publication date absent at source | Click for image.

Bad times bring out bad ideas

With the global economy in a slowdown now for the fourth year, there is ‘consensus’ that the ‘government must do something’.

Apart from the problem of economic distortion that State intervention brings, there is an additional problem of consensus on what the governments must do.

Spend more.

The world, eurozone and UK economies are in a far worse state than expected. Yet Mr Cameron insists that “we are moving in the right direction”. Who is this “we”? UK gross domestic product is stuck at 4 per cent below its pre-crisis peak in what is the longest such slump since the 19th century, with no end in sight. Even if one believes that part of the pre-crisis output was an illusion, why should one accept that the UK economy has lost the capacity to grow altogether? How can Mr Cameron believe the economy is moving in the right direction when it is not moving?

As Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, argues in a recent blog post: “With long-term government borrowing as cheap as in living memory, with unemployed workers and plenty of spare capacity, and with the UK suffering from both creaking infrastructure and a chronic lack of housing supply, now is the time for government to borrow and invest. This is not just basic macro-economics, it is common sense.”

With real interest rates close to zero – yes, zero – it is impossible to believe that the government cannot find investments to make itself, or investments it can make with the private sector, or private investments whose tail risks it can insure that do not earn more than the real cost of funds. If that were not true, the UK would be finished. Not only the economy, but the government itself is virtually certain to be better off if it undertook such investments and if it were to do its accounting in a rational way.

Yet, instead of taking advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime to repair and upgrade the capital stock, as Mr Portes notes: “Public sector net investment – spending on building roads, schools and hospitals – has been cut by about half over the past three years, and will be cut even further over the next two.”

He recommends a £30bn investment programme (about 2 per cent of GDP). I would go for far more. Note that the impact on the government’s debt stock would be trivial even if it brought no longer-term gains. Indeed, it would be modest at many times this level.

The result is likely to be a permanent reduction in the output of the UK, not to mention permanent damage to a whole generation of the unemployed. I have words for such behaviour. Not on this list is the word “sensible”. (via Cameron is consigning the UK to stagnation – FT.com).

Create life and death situations - and then present, only one option  |  Old tricks served me well cartoon from newyorker.com; artist & pub. date absent at source.  |  Click for source.

Create life and death situations – and then present, only one option | Old tricks served me well cartoon from newyorker.com; artist & pub. date absent at source. | Click for source.

What’s wrong

And the spending must be on ‘productive’ asset building.

Build more schools, roads, bridges, airports, docks, et al. Anything wrong with this, could seem like a valid question.

Plenty. Plenty wrong.

Big Bucks for Big Guys

We already have a situation where a paltry twelve corporate entities control our food supplies, another selected ten control news and thought flows; fewer than ten companies control the global car industry.

How about an interest subsidy of GBP30 billion to small businesses? That will mean GBP600 billion of lending to small business – based on lending equal to 20 times of interest. If it takes GBP100,000 to create a job, we are talking of 6 million jobs – @10,000 jobs for each GBP1 billion.

But this is, I am sure, not ‘possible’. So, lets go back to …

Big Spending …

Who will get the contracts for all these roads, buildings, airports, schools, docks. The same 10-20 major construction corporations that dominate the global economy.

And we will get jobs.

Aren’t we lucky that so many people in the academia and media think about our jobs – and our welfare.


Bilderberg: Silly stories …?

May 23, 2012 4 comments

The occasional stories about Bilderberg meetings seem outlandish – make no sense at all.

What is it that Bilderberg wants to do, which is not being done already  - in public knowledge  |  Chris Madden cartoon; more at chrismaddencartoons.wordpress.com  |  Click for image.

What is it that Bilderberg wants to do, which is not being done already – in public knowledge | Chris Madden cartoon; more at chrismaddencartoons.wordpress.com | Click for image.

Bilderberg annual meetings are held in Europe – France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Denmark, England, Scotland, Norway – this US election year they’re again gathering at the Westfield Marriott Hotel in Virginia from May 30 to June 3. Either they’re very fond of that place… or of US elections… or both…!

A favorite Bilderberg method consists of inviting wannabe future heads of state to their meetings to determine whether they will go along with their agenda. We thus saw George H. W. Bush attend their 1985 meeting, Bill Clinton attend their 1991 meeting, Tony Blair in 1993, and Romano Prodi, former head of the EU Commission, in 1999.

So what exactly is Bilderberg? It’s neither an organization nor a lobby. The “Bilderberg Meetings,” as they dub themselves in their (apparently) official website http://www.bilderbergmeetings.com, is a “by-invitation-only” club of around 140 very high-power people from business, finance, oil, politics, media, industry, academia and nobility who come together in a very private no-media / no cameras / extremely-tight-security surroundings to discuss… Well… there’s the rub: what exactly do they discuss?

They describe themselves as “a small, flexible, informal and off-the-record international forum in which different viewpoints can be expressed and mutual understanding enhanced. Bilderberg’s only activity is its annual Conference. At the meetings, no resolutions are proposed, no votes taken, and no policy statements issued.”

True enough. Actually, they don’t need to because each individual member’s power is so very vast that whatever they agree will forcefully span the globe through their far-reaching leverage and clout.

Though very high up on the Pyramid, Bilderberg is not the Global Elite’s power center.

Rather, Bilderberg is a key group within a much more vast, more complex, less centralized, and highly effective Global Power Network, where they interact and overlap with other organizations, clubs, lobbies and groups, all having common economic, financial, social and (geo)political objectives in the Globalist Agenda.

This includes such key entities as the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations (long-term geopolitical planners), its London-based sister entity Royal Institute of International Affairs (aka “Chatham House”), RAND Corp., CSIS, the American Enterprise Institute (strategic affairs specialists), Tavistock Institute in London (mass psychology research), the Carnegie Endowment, and the Trilateral Commission “umbrella” entity (founded 1973 by Rockefeller / Morgan / Rothschild interests, geared to coordinating the Americas, Europe and the East).

These so-called “Think Tanks” in turn interact with consultancies like Kissinger Associates, The Carlyle Group (specializing in oil strategies and having the Bush, Bin Laden and Baker families as key shareholders), or Trilateralist Claus Schwab’s World Economic Forum.

Thus, Bilderberg is basically part of that very powerful Global Private Power Web; a “node” so to speak… And a very powerful one at that!!

European nobility regularly attend too: the Dutch Queen, the Spanish King and Queen, Norway’s Crown Prince…

Bilderberg’s high-power participants interact with, and are cross-represented on, the global private power web through membership and directorship in the Trilateral Commission, CFR, AEI, governments, corporations, banks, media and others.

Interestingly, also in attendance are founders and top executives of giant Internet management and intelligence gathering companies as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and Microsoft. (via Bilderberg power masters meet in the US — RT).

Declared and known

Is there anything that the rich and powerful cannot do? What is not in the public domain?

Salvador Allende, Patrice Lumumba – heads of state have been killed by the US. On any day, today, US Special forces are carrying out some actions in more than 75 countries of the world. Obama’s election was ‘foretold’ by a bestseller – by John Grisham.

So, what is not in the public domain.

Seeing is disbelieving

More than anything else, what makes me disbelieve tales of such ‘organizations’ is the fact that when Fortune-500 is already in existence, when the rich and powerful people meet at Davos openly.

Why would they need such a ‘secretive’ organization?

At all!

Why would the rich and powerful do anything furtively – when they are already doing everything in the open.

Murder, mayhem, poison, maim, torture, imprison, regime change, loot, pillage – everything.

Blatantly.

Old poisons in new bottles

After the end of overt and open Euro-colonialism, we have seen the birth of a covert Pax Americana. As Britain, France and the Dutch vacated colonies in Asia and Africa, America wriggled itself as a replacement.

Using groundless justifications like Domino Theory, creating fears of a Communist takeover (as though Communism was any worse), the US waged wars against recalcitrant countries.

Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea saw close to 5 million people killed. More than a million US soldiers were based in Asia between 1950-1975. Puppet rulers were installed. The USCAP strategy was implemented.

What more can the Bilderbergs discuss?

If all this is done, known – and out in the open.


2ndlook at global oligarchy

What You Dont Know and They Wont Tell – Pax Americana

Belgium regrets the assassination of Patrice Lummumba

War and crimes

A Genocide Debate: History, Cause & Effect

May 22, 2012 4 comments

How comparable are Rwandan warlords and Bosnia’s killers to George Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan? The genocide debate …

Comparing a Rwandan warlord with George Bush is gross logic. One is the head of a super-power while the other is a temporary and accidental upper-hand in a civil war  |  Cartoonist - Kevin Moore on 11/8/04; titled Mandate with the Devil; source & courtesy - incontemptcomics.com  |  Click for image

Comparing a Rwandan warlord with George Bush is gross logic. One is the head of a super-power while the other is a temporary and accidental upper-hand in a civil war | Cartoonist – Kevin Moore on 11/8/04; titled Mandate with the Devil; source & courtesy – incontemptcomics.com | Click for image

Though, in 1995, the women and children of Srebrenica were first removed from the killing grounds by Bosnian Serb troops, though the 8,000 men and boys they killed were a small proportion of the Bosnian Muslim population, it meets the definition. So the trial of Ratko Mladic, the troops’ commander, which began last week, matters. Whatever one thinks of the even-handedness of international law, and though it remains true that men who commissioned or caused the killing of greater numbers of people (George Bush and Tony Blair, for instance) have not been brought to justice and are unlikely to be, every prosecution of this kind makes the world a better place. (via My fight may be hopeless, but it is as necessary as ever | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian).

Here is an interesting Western debate – between members of self-identified Left. On the issue of genocide.

George Monbiot  of The Guardian tries to persuade Noam Chomsky, John Pilger that the Aboriginal genocide in Australia or the extermination of the Native Americans is somehow equal or problematic as civil war killings by warlords in Balkans and Africa (specifically in Rwanda and Bosnia).

There are two aspects that seem important to me.

One – There is a difference between systematic killings by the State – like in the case of Native Americans, Australian Aborigines, and the killings by factions in a civil war – like in Rwanda and Bosnia. There is also a good case that these two cases of killings (Rwanda and Bosnia) were in fact based on the structures erected and supported by Western imperialism.

Two – A significant difference is status of the killers.

Can a Rwandan warlord who kills nearly a million Africans in a civil war be an equal to a George Bush who initiated war against Iraq based on patently false grounds?

George Monbiot seems to say yes!


Related posts

Iraqi vs American Lives: Comparing Relative Value of Lives Lost

Gold – Will the West buy or kill?

Looking Back At Arab Spring

Welcome to Libya’s ‘democracy’

What do good Christians do? War, Kill, Death, Bomb, Fire

‘Progress’ in Libya

Media Role In Iraq War

War On Terror – Desert Bloc Style

The Taking of Iraq

Shopping With Iraq’s $1.2 Trillion – What It Can Buy For The US

War and crimes

The shadow of oil

Onward, American Soldiers! Another million await death

Islamic world changing?

Carnegie, I can see you

How was Churchill different from Hitler …

Buffalo Soldier burial used to Whitewash ‘Red Indian’ genocide

Vatican uses short codes to blame Hinduism for Hitler’s Holocaust

Roma Gypsies face Northern Ireland ethnic violence

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