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Saving Private Pakistan: Can it be Saved? Why and for Whom should Pakistan be saved?

July 29, 2012 4 comments

 

Pakistan has become the private club of the perverse military, conspiring secret police, battling Taliban warlords, scheming politicians and a regressive mullah community. Each wants Pakistan for their own faction. What of the Common Pakistani?

Back to do what, Parvezbhai? Loot again?  |  Zahoor cartoon of May 4, 2010; source & courtesy - paksir.blogspot.in  |  Click for image.

Back to do what, Parvezbhai? Loot again? | Zahoor cartoon of May 4, 2010; source & courtesy – paksir.blogspot.in | Click for image.

No! Pakistan cannot be saved.

Unless you save Pakistanis first. A Pakistani life is the cheapest in the world today. Every power-centre in Pakistan is waging war against Pakistanis.

To gain control and influence Pakistan for their own benefit.

Why should Pakistan be saved?

  1. So that its sad military can continue with its fun and games?
  2. To let mad mullahs drive Pakistanis into a regressive ditch?
  3. Or, that the Taliban warlords can become modern clones of ancient raiders and looters like Mohammed Ghori or Mahmud of Ghazni?
  4. Maybe for rich oligarchs to stay feudal, own the land, control the labour and economy for their private benefit?
  5. At the mercy of rich politicians and bureaucrats who promise a modern state. A modern State that will be able to do deals with Western Masters. Deals that ‘benefit’ Pakistani – but not Pakistanis?

Pakistan’s intellectuals, of late have become very protective about social media. See the future of Pakistan in social media. Nothing less than the capacity to ‘save’ Pakistan.

Tied to the West, but is that helping the Common Pakistani?  |  October 29, 2009, by ZAHOOR; source & courtesy - paksir.blogspot.in  |  Click for image.

Tied to the West, but is that helping the Common Pakistani? | October 29, 2009, by ZAHOOR; source & courtesy – paksir.blogspot.in | Click for image.

They claim

Social media needs to be protected because it is the only safe space for intellectual discussion in Pakistan.

Imagine that you are a person of independent thought in Pakistan. Now imagine further that you would like to discuss your thoughts with other people. Where can you go?

In the real world, the short answer is ‘nowhere’.

The liberation of the electronic press by General (retd) Pervez Musharraf changed everything. Prior to the advent of cable television, the entire English press in Pakistan probably had a combined readership of less than 100,000. The Urdu press probably accounted for a million people more. Compared with the population of the country, print circulation was nothing. On the other hand, the audience for cable television was in the tens of millions. Suddenly, people were no longer getting their news just from PTV but also from Geo and ARY.

At the same time, the liberation of the electronic press changed very little. The same talking heads that wrote columns in the press started fulminating on talk shows. At the end of the day, the number of people actually involved in public conversation remained very limited. If you weren’t a talk show host or a talk show guest, then your options for expressing or discussing opinions remained nil. It was all extremely parochial and elitist.

The arrival of social media is revolutionary. Back to the example I started with. The young independent thinker out in the virtual world, it’s a different story. As a cartoon in The New Yorker once put it, “On the Internet, no one knows you are a dog”.

Pakistan’s sharpest wit at this time is an anonymous individual who delivers one-liners under the name of “majorlyprofound”. If the good major were to present his one-liners before a physical audience, he would probably require medical attention. But (on) the internet, he is free to deliver his barbs.

More importantly, social media not only provides true freedom of speech but it also allows a public space where people with ideas can not only present their ideas to acclaim but also to criticism. In a country like Pakistan where decision-makers live their lives in cocoons of silence and sycophancy, this is incredibly important.

Obviously, social media is no panacea. Members of the social world are reasonably polite. The result is that people are not just talking to one another in the virtual world, they are getting to know one another as well.

Many people — even people who should know better — think of Facebook and Twitter as time wasting fripperies. That is why periodic efforts to ban either Facebook or Twitter are met normally with a shrug.

Unable to handle either Islam or Westernization, Pakistan's leadership should think of the people more - and less of the State  |  Cartoon on March 7, 2004 by Zahoor; source & courtesy - paksir.blogspot.in  |  Click for image.

Unable to handle either Islam or Westernization, Pakistan’s leadership should think of the people more – and less of the State | Cartoon on March 7, 2004 by Zahoor; source & courtesy – paksir.blogspot.in | Click for image.

We all hear about how Pakistan is sinking into a Talibanised abyss of enforced ignorance. If we are to avoid that awful future, it is vital to preserve intellectual freedom. And at this point, there is nothing more essential to that quest than embracing and protecting social media.(via Saving Pakistan, one tweet at a time – The Express Tribune; original text edited for brevity. Linking text in parenthesis supplied).

Every one is trying to save Pakistan for his own faction.

But where does this leave the Common Pakistani.

As usual Nowhere.

With Nothing!


 

Drugs Use & Abuse: Why Some Estimates & Reports Make Me Wonder about Scale of Addiction to Narcotics

July 23, 2012 1 comment

While India is a safe-haven for ‘sex-and-drugs’ tourism to Russians in Goa and Israelis in Kulu-Manali, would Indians get reciprocal courtesy?

Is it emptiness? |  Cartoonist Drew Dernavich on Nov. 12, 2007 in New Yorker  |  Click for image.

Is it emptiness? | Cartoonist Drew Dernavich on Nov. 12, 2007 in New Yorker | Click for image.

A little over three years after Chabad House in Colaba was destroyed in an attack by Pakistani terrorists, the Jewish outreach center is struggling to find a new place to move in.

The Mumbai arm of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement is currently operating out of the Oberoi Hotel at Nariman Point after Ivanhoe building in Colaba, where it had rented an apartment for two years, refused to renew the lease citing security concerns.

Chabad House in Colaba was asked to move out of the five-storied Nariman House after the 2009 attack because the narrow lane in which the building is located was perceived to be a security risk. Six people were killed in the attack. Though Nariman House was rebuilt after the attack, the building remains unoccupied.

Chabad House’s two-year lease at Ivanhoe ran out on June 14, and ever since, its officials have been operating out of the Oberoi hotel.

“We tried our luck with five buildings, both residential and commercial, in Colaba, Nariman Point and Churchgate areas. However, our presence is now being perceived as a security risk and nobody is willing to rent space to us,” said a Chabad House official requesting anonymity.

The five-storied Chabad House, to which terrorists had laid a siege for three days, housed an educational center, a synagogue, a drug prevention unit, and a hostel.

While the outreach center in Oberoi is offering all these services, it can only be a temporary address because of the prohibitive costs.

via Shunned by housing societies Chabad House shifts to hotel – Mumbai Mirror.

Creative credits embedded  |  Click for image.

Creative credits embedded | Click for image.

Hidden stories

Did I sense a hint of disapproval in this report? Or was it my imagination? Or is it my keen olfactory sense? But that (imagined?) disapproval is the lesser part of the story.

Hidden in this report is a bigger story.

Drugs

Why does Chabad House need a drug prevention unit.

Who were the target group of this drug prevention unit? Indians? Unlikely. After all Indians are not significant drugs and alcohol consumers. Remember this is Chabad House for support of Jewish travelers in trouble at foreign shores. So, is it Jews and Israelis?

Yes.

So what drug trouble can Israelis have in India?

For all who have come in late …

Israel is a 70 lakh population country – roughly the population of Pune city. What is not mentioned is something that 2ndlook covered 4 years ago.

Why is India a popular destination for Israeli youth? Why do they wing their way to India?

Sex and drugs.

And where in the world, would Israelis get most ‘sympathy’ for their ’cause’?

India, again. In India’s anonymous crores.

India which is a known, large producer of opioid and narcotic compounds, for the last 2500 years at least, is a minor consumer of these substances.

Legal mind-altering chemicals like alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs together affect people deeply across the world  |  Andy Marlette of the Pensacola News Journal in 2007  |  Click for image.

Legal mind-altering chemicals like alcohol, prescription drugs and illegal drugs together affect people deeply across the world | Andy Marlette of the Pensacola News Journal in 2007 | Click for image.

In some other countries

Opium addiction brought China to its knees.

Current estimates of drug-consumers in the US stands at a 2 crore users – from a working population of 16 crores.

Is drugs usage a poor-only phenomenon?

Apparently, there is no divide. A recent report based on anecdotal evidence, traces significant usage of narcotics (especially cocaine) on Wall Street.

Intricately linked to crime statistics, politics and policing, the market for drugs across the world is a puzzle, worth quantifying. The price-decline of cocaine, an argument goes, is reducing crime in the USA.

Israeli Drug Resort – in India

With India’s thin police system, low crime rates, some 3000 Israelis have set up a drug resort at  Kulu Manali.

For Israelis, by Israelis and to Israelis. When there is trouble, that local authorities won’t or cannot cover-up anymore, I presume, these drug-crazed Jews are brought to Chabad House.

Quietly.

All this would be fine by me.

My question is, would Indians get that courtesy in Israel?


Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya

July 23, 2012 1 comment

How roots of the Indian Rubber Tree are trained to build bridges across streams upto 30 metres long, in Meghalaya.

A living root bridge in the Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India (courtesy of flickr user Seema K K)

A living root bridge in the Khasi Hills, Meghalaya, India (courtesy of flickr user Seema K K)

In the northeastern Indian state of Meghalaya, where Ficus elastica are large, native outdoor trees that live near water, the local people have been using the ficus’s roots as bridges for generations.

These aren’t trees that have fallen naturally over streams, though, which are commonly used as bridges in other places. Instead, the people train the trees’ roots to grow over the streams, guiding them over a period of 20 or so years into the shapes of paths and handrails until they have a bridge strong enough to carry many people at once. And as the tree grows, so does the bridge, gaining in strength over time, as the magazine Geographical noted earlier this year:

Once the roots have been trained across the stream bed, they anchor in the soil of the opposite bank, providing the foundations for a living bridge. Usually, several roots are threaded together for strength, while others provide handrails and supports for longer spans. Flat stones from the stream bed are used to fill gaps in the bridge floor and, in time, these are engulfed by woody growth and become part of the fabric of the bridge itself.

A root bridge takes around 20 years to become fully functional. Once complete, however, it will probably last for several hundred years and, unlike its non-living counterparts, will actually increase in strength with age.

Known in the Khasi language as jingkieng deingjri (‘bridge of the rubber tree’), the bridges may be anywhere from ten to 30 metres in span. Unlike most artificial structures, they are able to withstand the high level of soil erosion brought about by monsoon rains and, being living material rather than dead wood, are resistant to the ravages of termites.

There is even a double-decker bridge supposedly capable of handling the weight of 50 people at a time. (via Amazing Living Root Bridges in India | Surprising Science).


Pakistan’s ‘sevadar’: DAG of Pakhtun tribe polishes shoes in India

July 15, 2012 5 comments

An action, sometimes, can be so powerful and loud, that all you can do is watch with your mouth agape.

Khan performed a deed which only a handful of politicians would contemplate doing. PHOTO: FILE

What is the meaning of this?

Pakistan’s Deputy Attorney General during a visit to India polished shoes at the Golden Temple, Birla Mandir and Jamia Masjid (Chandigarh) – to expiate the sins that he had committed in his life.

On the online edition of Express-Tribune, this story attracted 37 comments. Of the 37 comments at 21:13 IST, only 5 negative comments. 2 by Indians. 32 comments from Indians and Pakistanis commended this action. Were some comments moderated’ – and not published.

One commenter complained of his comment not getting cleared? That complaint was approved. But not the comment?

Also read an earlier story – on Lahoris wanting Indian mythological serials back on cable TV.

https://twitter.com/majorlyprofound/status/224397029579821056

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on Saturday issued a show cause notice to Deputy Attorney General (DAG) of Pakistan Khurshid Khan at the Peshawar High Court, for ‘defaming’ the country during a recent visit to India.

DAG Khurshid Khan performed a deed which only a handful of politicians would contemplate doing: Polishing shoes, sweeping floors and washing dishes to promote interfaith harmony at the Jamia Masjid in Chandigarh, the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the Birla Temple in New Delhi.

A delegation of 200 members of the SCBA, including President Yasin Azad, Muneer A Malik, Tariq Mahmood, Ali Ahmed Kurd and Asma Jahangir, along with present and former office bearers of bar associations and DAG Khan visited India in March to interact with lawyers from across the border. The visit was meant to enable interaction with the legal fraternity of India and to establish contacts amongst the legal communities of the neighbouring countries.

SCBA President Azad made it clear that Khurshid ‘defamed’ Pakistan by polishing shoes outside the places of worship.

“Khurshid told us that he did this to be pardoned for all the sins he has committed in his life,” Azad claimed.

When contacted, Khurshid told The Express Tribune that he was waiting to receive the show cause notice and was prepared to reply to it, adding that since he is the DAG, the attorney general was supposed to issue the notice. He questioned the basis on which the show cause notice was issued. “Have I been charged for violating an Indian law? There was no code of conduct we were told to follow.”

Khurshid stated that he was bestowed the status of a State Guest by Chief Minister of Indian Punjab Parkash Singh Badal and that his mission was to convey a better image of Pakistanis in general and Pakhtuns in particular.

“What is constituted as defaming the country, Ajmal Kasab’s alleged killing of Indians or a Pakistani polishing the shoes of Hindus, Sikhs and Christians outside their places of worship,” he questioned.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2012.

via Pakistan’s ‘sevadar’: DAG issued notice for polishing shoes in India – The Express Tribune.

What can you say to something like this?


Mao proposed sending 10 million Chinese women to US as China has too many women

July 15, 2012 3 comments

China’s infatuation with the West started right at the top. Mao Ze Dong’s belief in population control was possibly another import from the West.

Mao Ze Dong With Dwarakanath Kotnis circa 1939; source & courtesy - http://blog.sina.com.cn  |  Click for image.

Mao Ze Dong With Dwarakanath Kotnis circa 1939; source & courtesy – http://blog.sina.com.cn | Click for image.

Big Trouble in China

Fifty years after the Boxer War, he Communist Party was able to impose its authority on mainland China – ending more than 25 years of civil war in China. China, during this war, went through considerable dislocation.

India medical aid team on arrival in Guangzhou; source & courtesy - cctvpic.com  |  Click for image.

India medical aid team on arrival in Guangzhou; source & courtesy – cctvpic.com | Click for image.

In 1937, after the Japanese invasion of China, the communist General Zhu De requested Jawaharlal Nehru to send Indian physicians to China. Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the President of the Indian National Congress, made arrangements to send a team of volunteer doctors and an ambulance by collecting a fund of Rs 22,000 on the All-Indian China Day and China Fund days on July 7–9. He had made an appeal to the people through a press statement on June 30, 1938. In Modern Review S.C. Bose wrote an article on Japan’s role in the Far East and denounced the assault on China. The key element of this mission was it was from a nation itself struggling for freedom, to another nation also struggling for its freedom. The mission was reinforced with Nehru’s visit to China in 1939.

A medical team of five doctors (Drs. M. Atal, M. Cholkar, D. Kotnis, B.K. Basu and D. Mukerji) was dispatched as the Indian Medical Mission Team in September 1938. All, except Dr. Kotnis, returned to India safely.

via Dwarkanath Kotnis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Dwarakanath Kotnis - before he went to China.  Image source & Courtesy - cctvpic.com  |  Click for image.

Dwarakanath Kotnis – before he went to China. Image source & Courtesy – cctvpic.com | Click for image.

Adversity can teach wrong lessons

Over the years after the fall of the Qing dynasty, China’s infatuation with the modern West (in China, earlier the West was India) has only grown. This infatuation has only driven the Chinese to learn the wrong lessons.

One such lesson was on population control – which Chairman Mao himself was an eager convert.

Chinese leader Mao Zedong proposed sending 10 million Chinese women to the United States, in talks with top envoy Henry Kissinger in 1973.

The powerful chairman of the Chinese Communist Party said he believed such emigration could kickstart bilateral trade but could also “harm” the United States with a population explosion similar to China, according to documents released Tuesday by the State Department on US-China ties between 1973 to 1976.

In a long conversation that stretched way past midnight at Mao’s residence on February 17, 1973, the cigar-chomping Chinese leader referred to the dismal trade between the two countries, saying China was a “very poor country” and “what we have in excess is women.”

He first suggested sending “thousands” of women but as an afterthought proposed “10 million,” drawing laughter at the meeting, also attended by Chinese premier Zhou Enlai.

Kissinger, who was President Richard Nixon’s national security advisor at that time, told Mao that the United States had no “quotas” or “tariffs” for Chinese women, drawing more laughter.

But Mao dragged the talks back to the topic of Chinese women.

“Let them go to your place. They will create disasters. That way you can lessen our burdens,” Mao said.

“Do you want our Chinese women? We can give you ten million,” he said.

Another image of India medical aid team with Mao Zedong; image source & courtesy - cctvpic.com   |  Click for image.

Another image of India medical aid team with Mao Zedong; image source & courtesy – cctvpic.com | Click for image.

Kissinger noted that Mao was “improving his offer.”

Mao continued, “By doing so we can let them flood your country with disaster and therefore impair your interests. In our country we have too many women, and they have a way of doing things.

“They give birth to children and our children are too many.”

A shrewd diplomat, Kissinger seemed to turn the tables on Mao, replying, “It is such a novel proposition, we will have to study it.”

But Mao again lamented, “We have so many women in our country that don’t know how to fight.

The assistant Chinese foreign minister, Wang Haijung, who was at the meeting, then cautioned Mao that if the minutes of the conversation were made public, “it would incur the public wrath.”

Kissinger agreed with Mao that the minutes be scrapped.

But when Kissinger joked that he would raise the issue at his next press conference, Mao said, “I’m not afraid of anything.

“Anyway, God has sent me an invitation,” said the Chinese leader, who coughed badly during the talks.

Mao died in September 1976. US-China diplomatic relations were restored in 1979.

via AFP: Chairman Mao proposed sending 10 million Chinese women to US: documents.

Letter to Chairman Mao – from 2ndlook

Chairman Mao Sir,

On the eve of your departure to god’s kingdom, you lamented, that China had too many women.

There is good news.

Well! Now, China has fewer women.

Looks like god has been kinder to your country. He has reduced more women than, you Sir, probably wanted.

Fewer than what experts believe China should have. Did you specify exactly how many less you wanted, Chairman Sir.

A wise rishi once told me Be careful with your wishes! Careful with what you wish for and ask from god. He may just decide to go ahead and grant you your wishes.

Anyway, I thought I would let you know. Hope you are having a good time There.

Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai

Best Wishes,

– 2ndlook


In Yumm-Rika There is no Corruption or How IAC Completely Gets The Story Wrong!

July 14, 2012 6 comments

For reasons that are unclear to me, Indian activistas think that India alone faces a corruption issue. Ignorance or willful negligence?

Globally Govt. has become a set of slogans.  |  Matt Wuerker cartoon in politico.com on December 01, 2011  |  Click for image.

Globally Govt. has become a set of slogans. | Matt Wuerker cartoon in politico.com on December 01, 2011 | Click for image.

https://twitter.com/fgautier26/status/216437980523536384

Impotent pin-pricks

This tweet refers to report by India Against Corruption (IAC) on the link between Omita Paul and Pranab Mukherjee. Based on significant surmise, innuendo, conclusions, suspicions, this report is quite short on fact.

To start with, the commendation of Rajat Gupta’s conviction, makes me doubt the integrity of this report. Domestic and global media who have tracked Rajat Gupta’s prosecution agree that the trial was based on circumstantial inconvenience of Rajat Gupta – rather than any evidence.

Subsequent events have shown far bigger scandals – for which the US DoJ or other Western authorities have done little. There is nothing that makes me doubt that the DoJ went after weak targets like Rajat Gupta. The DoJ team, led by Preet Bharara, went after Rajat Gupta, while in the same Goldman Sachs there were more viable and pressing targets – like David Loeb.

Hundreds of trillions of loans are done on the basis of the LIBOR – a compromised benchmark, for which no one is going to jail?

Of course waste by US Govt. does not mean that Indian Govt can also ahead and waste.  But these silly examples of 'It does happen in the US.' has to stop.  |  Matt Wuerker cartoon from .politico.com on January 26, 2011  |  Click for image.

Of course waste by US Govt. does not mean that Indian Govt can also ahead and waste. But these silly examples of ‘It does happen in the US.’ has to stop. | Matt Wuerker cartoon from .politico.com on January 26, 2011 | Click for image.

False Flags

More than this remark on Rajat Gupta, the basis of IAC campaign is false.

It rests on two very weak pillars.

One – Corruption exists in India alone. Indians alone are corrupt. Indians alone tolerate corruption. None of this true.

Two – You can have an ever-expanding State that will rule with brutal honesty – and the State will  have more powers, more money, and become wiser and more benign.

Compared to the US$3 trillion that the US Department of Defence is unable to account for, this talk of notional loss of US$30 billion in the 2G scam makes for poor form.

Most recently, during the Iraq and Afghan Wars, the US Department of Defense has not able to properly account for (to the satisfaction of US Govt. auditors) a sum of (still being estimated) of US$2.3 trillion, says Donald Rumsfeld – to US$10 trillion, an estimate by Stephen Glain author of State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire.

In fiscal 1999, a defense audit found that about $2.3 trillion of balances, transactions and adjustments were inadequately documented. These “unsupported” transactions do not mean the department ultimately cannot account for them, she advised, but that tracking down needed documents would take a long time. Auditors, she said, might have to go to different computer systems, to different locations or access different databases to get information. (via Reforming Financial Management System Can Save Big  |  By Jim Garamone  |  American Forces Press Service).

For the accounting entries, $2.3 trillion was not supported by adequate audit trails or sufficient evidence to determine their validity, $2 trillion was not reviewed because of time constraints, and $2.6 trillion were supported. via DoD Audit Report No. D-2000-091 February 25, 2000 (Project No. 0FI-2115.01).

taking a look at the Department of Education, which, for the last three years hasn’t been able to get a clean audit. Then I understand that the Department of Defense shares many of the same problems that we have with the Department of Education. I think the IG just notes that in one of the audits that you went through of the 1999 financial statements included adjustments of $7.6 trillion — that’s trillion — in account adjustments, of which 2.3 trillion were supported by un — by reliable documents — were unsupported by reliable documentation. (REP. PETER HOEKSTRA (R-MI) – Testimony before the House Budget Committee on the FY 2002 Defense Budget As Delivered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Comptroller Dov Zakheim, Cannon House Office Building, Wednesday, July 11, 2001.?

Pentagon contracting has been broken for decades. Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said — on September 10, 2001 — that “according to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” The next day was 9/11, and counting Pentagon dollars was no longer a top priority. (via The Pentagon’s Marauding Fraudsters|Time).

“We know it’s gone. But we don’t know what they spent it on,” said Jim Minnery, Defense Finance and Accounting Service. (via The War On Waste).

DoD financial experts, Zakheim said, are making good progress reconciling the department’s “lost” expenditures, trimming them from a prior estimated total of $2.3 trillion to $700 billion. And, he added, the amount continues to drop. (via Zakheim Seeks To Corral, Reconcile ‘Lost’ Spending).

Problems, solutions, systems and procedures of governance have become standardized across the world.  |  Gary Varvel cartoon of May 18 2012  |  Click for image.

Problems, solutions, systems and procedures of governance have become standardized across the world. | Gary Varvel cartoon of May 18 2012 | Click for image.

In the case of the US$3 trillion (equal to notional loss of 100 2G scams), no arrests, no charge sheets, no court case. Heck, even a police report has not been filed. Thirteen years after the audit report was filed.

And IAC would like to hold the Rajat Gupta conviction as a candle to the 2G prosecution? The U.S. DoD scam was more money than the entire GDP of any other country in the world in 1999.

The Defense Department cannot account for $1.1 trillion that seems to have vanished within the tangled system of financial accounting put in place by private contractors.

Every year trillions of dollars are unaccounted for by federal agencies, and every year these same agencies are called before congressional oversight committees to explain this mismanagement of taxpayers’ funds.

Year after year the bureaucratic mea culpas are longer on process and shorter on substance, leaving overseers with little or no information that is useful to correct the gross mismanagement. Take, for instance, the financial mess at the Department of Defense (DOD).

In May, DOD Deputy Inspector General Robert Lieberman reported to Congress that “the extensive DOD efforts to compile and audit the FY [fiscal year] 2000 financial statements for the department as a whole and for the 10 subsidiary reporting entities like the Army, Navy and Air Force General Funds, could not overcome the impediments caused by poor systems and unreliable documentation of transactions and assets.”

Without ever using the word “money,” a practice common among inspectors general (IGs), the deputy IG at the Pentagon read an eight-page summary of DOD fiduciary failures. He admitted that $4.4 trillion in adjustments to the Pentagon’s books had to be cooked to compile the required financial statements and that $1.1 trillion of that amount could not be supported by reliable information. In other words, at the end of the last full year on Bill Clinton’s watch, more than $1 trillion was simply gone and no one can be sure of when, where or to whom the money went.

via DOD Can’t Find $1.1 TRILLION – Rumsfeld Inherits Financial Disaster.

And this was just one department of the US government. What about other departments?

Weak foundations

The fact is in an expanding State (an idea that IAC supports), executive discretion, latitude are essential – and misuse, abuse, doubtful use can always be alleged. The option is to either reduce the role of the State (which most of these activistas don’t want) or keep a balance between healthy accountability and executive freedom based on trust – and not on paranoia and distrust.

Exactly the opposite of Bharattantra – and all of recorded history.

End of the road. End of the cycle. It is Bharattantra from now on  |  Matt Wuerkar cartoon in politico.com on February 15, 2012  |  Click for image.

End of the road. End of the cycle. It is Bharattantra from now on | Matt Wuerkar cartoon in politico.com on February 15, 2012 | Click for image.

The entire IAC-Anna campaign is based on distrust, paranoia and suspicion. If accountability is what is needed, prosecution like the 2G is the path to be followed. Based on evidentiary basis that will withstand Third Party scrutiny.

Not only was Dimon conflicted in his role on the New York Fed but the President and CEO of the New York Fed had an equally dubious conflict of interest.

William C. Dudley has been employed by the New York Fed since January 1, 2007, first heading up the powerful Markets Group. That Group manages the supply of bank reserves in the banking system according to the mandate of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). On January 27, 2009, Dudley was elevated to President and CEO of the New York Fed. Financial disclosure forms for 2008 through 2010 show that Dudley’s wife, Ann Darby, was a former Vice President of JPMorgan and had holdings of more than $1,500,000 in deferred income accounts at the firm as well as between $250,000 to $500,000 in a 401(K) plan there.

In a letter dated January 22, 2009, authored by the New York Fed’s General Counsel, Thomas C. Baxter, Jr. and Deputy General Counsel, Michael Held, two financial waivers were sought for Dudley. One involved $1.45 million in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) and the other involved a small monthly pension of $124.38 that Dudley would receive from his previous employer, Goldman Sachs, at age 65. (Dudley’s financial disclosure forms show over $1 million in his Federal Reserve Retirement Thrift Plan, which seems an extraordinary sum for his 5-year tenure. It could be that he was permitted to roll over most of his Goldman pension into the Federal Reserve plan, explaining why his monthly Goldman benefit at age 65 is so small.)

via Revealed: JPMorgan Paid $190,000 Annually to Spouse of Bank’s Top Regulator | Economy | AlterNet.

Similarly, without thinking Indian activistas seem to suggest that Indian Government is the most oppressive – and the US government is the most free and l9iberal.

Facts as delineated earlier in 2ndlook posts are otherwise.

On January 23rd, the Obama administration charged former CIA officer John Kiriakou under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists about the waterboarding of al-Qaida suspects. His is just the latest prosecution in an unprecedented assault on government whistleblowers and leakers of every sort.

Kiriakou’s plight will clearly be but one more battle in a broader war to ensure that government actions and sunshine policies don’t go together. By now, there can be little doubt that government retaliation against whistleblowers is not an isolated event, nor even an agency-by-agency practice. The number of cases in play suggests an organized strategy to deprive Americans of knowledge of the more disreputable things that their government does. How it plays out in court and elsewhere will significantly affect our democracy.

Punish the Whistleblowers

The Obama administration has already charged more people — six — under the Espionage Act for alleged mishandling of classified information than all past presidencies combined. Prior to Obama, there were only three such cases in American history. (via Obama’s unprecedented war on whistleblowers – Salon.com).


David Loeb

Did America really win the Cold War?

July 13, 2012 3 comments

Boer War, WWI, WWII. After each victory, the British Empire became weaker. Is that what is happening to Pax Americana.

With the collapse of Soviet Union, the US became the single global power. With that position came adulation from client states.  |  A 1992 cartoon By David Horsey  |  Published December 27, 2011  |  Click for image.

With the collapse of Soviet Union, the US became the single global power. With that position came adulation from client states. | A 1992 cartoon By David Horsey | Published December 27, 2011 | Click for image.

The presidents of Russia and Cuba signed a strategic partnership and several other documents on Friday aimed at rekindling an alliance that collapsed after the cold war. They pledged to expand cooperation in agriculture, manufacturing, science and tourism, but studiously avoided a public discussion of military ties.

It had been nearly a quarter century since a Cuban leader had set foot on Russian soil. President Raúl Castro’s visit to Moscow this week had little of the pomp and propaganda of the cold war days, when he and his brother Fidel were greeted with parades in Red Square and Soviet leaders affectionately referred to Cuba as the “island of freedom.”

But almost two decades after a crumbling Soviet Union hastily withdrew financial and ideological backing from Cuba, Russia is seeking to expand economic ties with the island and possibly forge stronger military relations in an echo, as yet still faint, of an alliance that lasted some 30 years.

It is part of a larger Russian push into Latin America to secure new markets, and also to swipe at the United States for what Moscow considers Washington’s meddling in Russia’s historic sphere of influence, particularly in Ukraine and Georgia, former Soviet republics.

via Russia and Cuba Sign Agreements During Raúl Castro’s Visit – NYTimes.com.

Tired Battles

As WWII ended, the Anglo-French alliance tried re-imposing their hold on their colonies – using Israel for local support. (In relation, Read on Indian Foreign Policy here).

But were soundly bested in each confrontation.

Across The World

In February 1946, Indian Naval Ratings raised the flag of independence. And lowered the Union Jack. Within a week, Clement Attlee announced a time-table for withdrawal from India – and this time there was no going back.

In the Middle East, Anglo-French forces in tandem with Israel tried to reinforce their writ in Egypt in the Suez War (1956). Roundly and soundly beaten, these forces had to retreat. Since the British were defeated, in English media and books, it was not a war but the Suez Crisis.

In Kenya, the Mau Mau War finally forced the British to vacate Kenya – after unprecedented brutality was used against Kenyan freedom fighters. Same story in Malaya – now Malaysia.

The French against the Vietnamese lost at Dien Bien Phu.

Birth of Pax Americana

But while the old powers were retreating – the US was rapidly building its own imperial system.

Using Communism as an excuse, nearly 1 million American soldiers between 1950-1975, killed 5 million Asians (Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Thailand) and imposed Pax Americana in Asia.

Unlike the British or French colonies, the American Empire Pax Americana does not appoint Viceroys or Governors. Primarily covert, Pax Americana has subverted sovereign governments with war (Iraq, Libya in recent memory), regime changes (Kwame Nkrumah in Africa, Haiti) assassinations (Mossadegh in Iran, Allende in Chile, Lumumba in Congo), financial allurements (development aid).

Since the inner workings of the American Empire is hidden behind steel doors, for ordinary people, there is doubt if Pax Americana even exists.

20 years of celebrations

America has now been celebrating the fall of Soviet Union for nearly twenty years.

In the meantime, the successor State to Soviet Russia, freed of imperial obligations, is running with State debt at less than 5% of GDP – the only G-20 economy with such low debt levels. In contrast, the US government owes more than 100% of its GDP as debt.

Russia in the meanwhile, is gradually winning back old allies. Soviet allies, ignored by the US after the fall of USSR. With many allies and without an Empire, Russia may still be the last man standing.

The US did nothing for nearly twenty years to wean away Cuba from the Russians.

Why?

Was it hubris? Arrogance … Pride … Maybe, it makes the Inner Circle makes feel ‘more special’ if some countries, like Cuba are excluded. In some cases, more than their own inclusion in Pax Americana’s Imperial Court, the exclusion of the poor or the unconnected, is a source of satisfaction.


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