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Posts Tagged ‘America’

War On Terror – Desert Bloc Style

September 25, 2011 3 comments

One 9/11 Tally: $3.3 Trillion By Shan Carter and Amanda Cox; Published: Sep. 8, 2011 | Click for larger image. |  Short URL for Source  - http://goo.gl/YmjzV

One 9/11 Tally: $3.3 Trillion By Shan Carter and Amanda Cox; Published: Sep. 8, 2011 | Click for larger image. | Short URL for Source - http://goo.gl/YmjzV

Bush, CIA, FBI did not have to convince anyone of the need for war, killing, death and destruction. Frenzied activity by people and media to convince each other did the job.

Convince each other

A reading or search on the internet, about Saddam Hussein’s killings and genocide, reveals feverish discussions. At one internet forum after another forum, participants were quoting a non-existent report to convince each other.

Based on cyber-fluff. Circular references. At the centre of which, is a cyber vacuüm.

शून्य. Nul. Zéro. Null. μηδέν. ゼロ. нул. Cero.零. Darkness. Nothing. Zilch.

Saddam’s war with Iran, at the behest and encouragement of the West, was painted as ‘human-rights’ violations. Death of soldiers in any war, cannot be equated to civilian casualties. Soldiers are going to war, armed to the teeth, with eyes wide open, knowing fully well, that it is a case of kill or get killed.

The alphabet soup behind this

Bush, CIA, FBI did not have to convince anyone. Frenzied activity by people to convince each other of the need for war, killing, death and destruction did the job.

Wonder who created these viral and circular links, (now dead, but live at some time) on the web, without any source or existence. Which of the American agencies – CIA FBI, NSA, DEA, DOE, Bureau of ATF, DIA, NRO, NIMA, CTC. NPC. INR. DOE Intel., Army Intelligence et al?

But let us assume that vox americanum populi, vox dei (Voice of the American people is the voice of god), and accept the figure of less than 600,000 deaths under Saddam Hussein.

Ten years later

After the bombing of twin towers, on September 11, 2001, there has been much official sentiment and sanctity.

How much of that is real and balanced?

Note the racial undertones to the comments? (Cartoon by Ted Rall; dated 2011-09-16; Source and courtesy - rall.com). Click for larger images.

Note the racial undertones to the comments? (Cartoon by Ted Rall; dated 2011-09-16; Source and courtesy - rall.com). Click for larger images.

Slice of life

Three images capture an ‘objective’ and factual way of looking at the last ten years.

One was an ‘infographic’ presentation by New York Times (fig.1), that has been doing the rounds on the internet.

The slick presentation using an attractive and thin graphic, calculated the US$ trillions that these wars are costing. As though, it was American money, to start with.

Iraqi money and Iraqi oil was being used to kill Iraqi civilians – and then an accounting done on that money, as though it was American money. The Nordhaus report, used by the nytimes.com, says,

Iraq’s oil resources could satisfy current U.S. oil imports for almost a century.

Real people

Two Western estimates, of deaths in Iraq, (extrapolations from Lancet/John Hopkins estimate), and the statistical report by ORB (Operations Research Business) used a statistical sampling method.

A figure of one million Iraqi and Afghan civilian casualties has been arrived at by this estimation method. An estimation method commonly used and usually accepted.

Documented and cross verified reports by the Iraq Body Count, count more than a 100,000 civilian deaths in Iraq. To all those believe that only the Body Count report is good enough, I wonder why they don’t use the same standard for figures about deaths due to Saddam’s atrocities.

Whatever number one may chose, it is important to use the same standard. Saddam, it seems was a lesser evil.

Saddam killed far fewer Iraqis than the Americans have.

White House Trophy Room? (Cartoon by Herbjorn Skogstad | Published May 2011 | Source and courtesy - cagle.com) | Click for a larger image.

White House Trophy Room? (Cartoon by Herbjorn Skogstad | Published May 2011 | Source and courtesy - cagle.com) | Click for a larger image.

Does it matter

Of the nearly 1 million undocumented and estimated Iraqis dead or the documented 100,000 Iraqis dead, the number does not matter. Both the numbers, are huge numbers.

Not that this is the first time. After killing 20 lakh Vietnamese, the American Empire (and its respectable mouth-piece, Time magazine) only counts its own 60,000 killed. In Iraq, after 10 lakh dead Iraqis, the US Empire counts, its’ own less than 5,000 dead.

It is this part of the behaviour that is most revealing. Is self absorption an imperial trait?

Imperial Traits

The British Empire till well after its death, continued (s) to remain self-absorbed. As though other people did not exist, do not matter. Twentieth century, British writing about India, had deteriorated to pure drivel. Best epitomised by Chirol – Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol (28 May 1852 – 22 October 1929).

In case of Pax America, in an earlier Cold-War era, this self-absorption was marked by books like The Ugly American – which sold 5 million copies, in a nation of some fifty million households. Since, the writing of The Ugly American, the self-absorption has only deepened.

This self-absorption screams through these three images linked to this post.

Image no.1 – About my money. It was Iraqi oil and Iraqi money, by the way. A message to David Leonhardt, the Washington Bureau Chief of nytimes.com, evoked no response.

Image no.2 – Talks about my social position. If every month, hundreds of people, are blowing themselves up, there has gotta be a bigger problem, than your social position. Stop looking at Muslims. Look at yourself.

Image no.3 – About my trophies.

Do more words and more bombs, make the War on Islam, OK?

What to do

Possibly, all this killing and war is my problem, in my mind. Who is to blame, if I was brought up, believing,

ईशावास्यमिदं सर्वं यत्किञ्च जगत्यां जगत्।

तेन त्यक्तेन भुञ्जीथा: मा गृध: कस्यस्विद्धनम्।।

(God resides in all; All this here, is permeated by Brahman [The Supreme Soul], whatever there is in this world. Enjoy things by renunciation. Do not covet others’ wealth. – Ishopanishad; Shloka 1; note alternate translation comment below.).

How I wish, I could erase this shloka from my head!

The Leader Of The Free World …

September 4, 2011 3 comments

After putting two million people in jail and behind bars, I would imagine, The US of A, would have had enough. Apparently not.

Will one more make a difference? (Cartoon by Steve Greenberg; courtesy - cartoonstock.com). Click for source image.

Will one more make a difference? (Cartoon by Steve Greenberg; courtesy - cartoonstock.com). Click for source image.

There is something to this

The Leader of The Free World, The USA, has the largest prison population in the world.

Just why do so many people need to be in prison?

Just why does this Land of the Free have so much crime?

Why is the Leader of The Free World also the global capital of drug addicts?

Why does have the highest per-capita of prostitutes in the world?

With two million people in jail, the largest prison population in the world, law authorities would be reluctant to add more prisoners. The US of A would have had enough, one would think.

(Cartoon courtesy - http://www.bvblackspin.com; other credits embedded). Click for larger image.

(Cartoon courtesy - http://www.bvblackspin.com; other credits embedded). Click for larger image.

After spending 10 months in custody for a drug conviction rapper T.I headed straight back to jail, last night. The 30-year-old star was taken back into federal custody after he was transported in a luxury tour bus.

Cameras were recording the rapper as he was traveling to southern state as part of a documentary he is filming for VH1, which will chronicle his comeback from his prison time. According to authorities, inmates still under custody in low or medium security are allowed to travel in transport without an escort from prison to halfway houses, but they must specify what type of vehicle they will be using.

According to reports, T.I. did not disclose the exact nature of his method of transport, mentioning to officials he was traveling in a van instead of a party bus.

Meanwhile, the rapper’s wife Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle,  has been left furious about the situation, and told that police officials knew about her husband’s mode of transport and even posed for pictures with the rapper in front of the bus.

She said that they: ‘Walked him over, took pics and told him good luck in life.’. She believes that they should have said something before he left the Arkansas prison. ‘This is a bunch of bulls**t … they should have said something before he got on the bus … T.I. would have politely gotten into a van,’ she said. (via Rapper T.I. heads back to prison just one day after his release… following a trip to a halfway house on a luxury tour bus | Mail Online).

Did Rapper TI have to go back to jail for taking a ‘bus’ instead of a ‘van’? There is more to this.

Much more.

Does India ignore Sikhs?

June 17, 2011 3 comments
Births and deaths in Mumbai city (Graphic courtesy - timesofindia.com). Click for a larger copy.

Births and deaths in Mumbai city (Graphic courtesy - timesofindia.com). Click for a larger copy.

Bending backwards

Christian community in the city recorded negative population growth as against Hindus and Muslims who are growing at a faster rate, birth and death figures from the civic health department showed.

Last year, 3,763 infants were born to Christians while 3,887 members of the community died, indicating a fall in growth rate. (via Mumbai’s Christian population falls – The Times of India).

Tales from the table

Now the same study also showed that in absolute numbers, Sikh births had reduced from 315 to 298. Whereas Christian births had increased by a nominal number – from 3749 to 3763. All other communities showed increase in absolute number of births – except Sikhs and (Others).

If Delhi has too many Sikhs, Mumbai needs some Sikhs. Their can-do attitude, their jugaad, is something that seems to be bubbling forever. Every city in the world needs some Sikhs.

But this report does not mention the decline in Sikh births at all. Not once. In fact the word Sikh does not appear even once in the post. When it comes to Sikhs, whether it is the 1984 riots or attacks on Sikhs in USA, we all seem to be keeping quiet.

What’s with us?

Racial attacks on Sikhs in USA continue

June 16, 2011 5 comments
Legal or illegal immigrants - Xenophobia Rules ("Illegal Immigrants" Named "Texan Of The Year" by Dallas Morning News; Cartoon by Daryl Cagle; courtesy - cagematch.dvorak.org). Click for larger image.

Legal or illegal immigrants - Xenophobia Rules ("Illegal Immigrants" Named "Texan Of The Year" by Dallas Morning News; Cartoon by Daryl Cagle; courtesy - cagematch.dvorak.org). Click for larger image.

A Sikh Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employee was sucker-punched by a man in Brooklyn who accused him of being related to Osama Bin Laden.

Jiwan Singh, 59, an Indian immigrant, was riding a Brooklyn train from his home in Richmond Hill, when the incident took place, the New York Daily News reports.

“He said, “You are the brother of Osama, and I replied, “I am not Osama. I have nothing to do with him,” said Singh, who lost three teeth from the blows. (via Sikh loses three teeth in ‘Osama’s brother’ racial attack in New York – Times Of India).

West – Thy middle name is freedom

In the Land of The Free, Home of the Brave, in the years after 9/11, more than 200 attacks occurred in the US. Among 500,000 Sikhs, in an US population of 30 crores (300 million).

I am not even counting attacks on ‘guilty’ Arabs and other Muslims. Let us not even talk about the Afghan and Iraqi invasions by the US – after 9/11.

Truth of prejudice is stranger than fiction of freedom. (Cartoon By Joe Heller, Published by Green Bay Press-Gazette  -  4/26/2010 12:00:00 AM; courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Truth of prejudice is stranger than fiction of freedom. (Cartoon By Joe Heller, Published by Green Bay Press-Gazette - 4/26/2010 12:00:00 AM; courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

West does not need immi-grunts – for now

A serious problem is many believe that the Western world is about freedom, choice, individual rights, et al. After all even Kasab wants to go to Yumm-rika!

When the West wanted cheap labour from the Rest of the World they changed laws – and made a charade of change. During the Great Recession, with economic stagnation – they no longer need immi-grunts.

If this was not bad enough

These attacks are worse than the 1984 Sikh riots in India – which were not spontaneous, but engineered by political elements. These incidents in the US are obviously spontaneous. Osama was on the opposite side of the world. What could a New Yorker – of any race, colour, have to do with him?

Melting pot, eh?

PS – Thanks for the story, Poonam.

Why does Gujarat-Godhra riots get special treatments from the Supreme Court? Cartoon courtesy - churumuri.wordpress.com). Click for larger image

Why does Gujarat-Godhra riots get special treatments from the Supreme Court? Cartoon courtesy - churumuri.wordpress.com). Click for larger image

News related to 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots

The Hindu : News / National : Anti-Sikh riots: Supreme Court to give verdict on Sajjan’s appeal

CBI had filed two chargesheets against Kumar and others on January 13 in the riots cases registered in 2005 on the recommendation of Justice G. T. Nanavati Commission which inquired into the sequence of events leading to the riots.

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Trial to continue against Sajjan Kumar, says Supreme Court | The India Daily

The Supreme Court today refused to quash the charges of murder and other offences against senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar and said the trial will continue against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Show details of compensation to 1984 Sikh riot victims: HC – Times Of India

The high court on Friday summoned the secretary concerned, dealing with the payment of compensation to victims of Sikh riots of 1984, on December 22 with records, inquiry reports and list of persons to whom compensation has been paid. The court also appointed a local government lawyer as amicus curiae to extend assistance to it in the matter.

The order was passed by a division bench of Justice D P Singh and Justice S C Chaurasia on a petition of victim, Amar Singh Virk. The petitioner was aggrieved by the meagre payment of compensation to the member of the family, who had died in riots that had occurred in 1984.

A nation of immigrants hates 'immigrunts'! (Cartoon By Dario Castillejos, Dario La Crisis  -  6/9/2010 12:00:00 AM : courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

A nation of immigrants hates 'immigrunts'! (Cartoon By Dario Castillejos, Dario La Crisis - 6/9/2010 12:00:00 AM : courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Related Posts – Racial Attacks on Sikh in USA

Sikh youth brutally assaulted in ‘racial’ attack in US : World: India Today.

A Sikh student was “racially abused” and brutally assaulted after being thrown into a swimming pool in west Texas, the Sikh Coalition, an advocacy group for the community in the United States, said.

Four men brutally assaulted the unnamed graduate Sikh student, who works as a part-time pizza delivery person, the advocacy group said.

US: FBI to probe attack on two elderly Sikhs – Rediff.com India News

A troubled Sikh community shocked by the shooting of their two elderly members on Monday offered a reward of US $ 30,000 for any information leading to the culprits, as the local police said they suspected it to bea hate crime and have called in the Federal Bureau of Investigation to join the manhunt.

The West Sacramento Police in California said they suspect that the tradition turbans worn by the Surinder Singh, 68, and Gurmej Atwal, 78, could have become beacons for an attack on them.

NY Sikh Victim of Brutal Racial Attack May Lose Vision

Jasmir Singh, a 21-year-old Sikh college student was savagely attacked and stabbed in his left eye during an unprovoked attack on Sunday outside a grocery store in Queens, New York by three young men wielding a glass bottle. Jasmir sustained injuries to his left-eye, head, face, and back, and has not regained his vision after undergoing a five hour surgery where he received 18 stitches to his eye.

Police arrested two of the suspected attackers nearby, but the third remains at large. The two arrested have been charged with assault in the first degree and robbery in the first degree, both serious felony charges. United Sikhs is working with the NYPD Community Affairs Liaison to urge police to charge the attackers additionally with hate/bias crime charges.

Democracy – How Think tanks shape policy making

June 15, 2011 3 comments
Finally, less than 100,000 people have the power to shape the world in a manner they deem fit. Concentration of power. (Cartoon BY - ANDY SINGER, Courtesy - POLITICALCARTOONS.COM  -  2/4/2010 12:00:00 AM). Click for larger image.

Finally, less than 100,000 people have the power to shape the world in a manner they deem fit. Concentration of power. (Cartoon BY - ANDY SINGER, Courtesy - POLITICALCARTOONS.COM - 2/4/2010 12:00:00 AM). Click for larger image.

Old boys club

Council on Foreign Relations sounds like a pretty harmless group, which has a few academics that potter around – and release an occasional irrelevant paper.

Not quite. If not harmful, they are atleast pretty powerful.

In 1952, Eisenhower and Richard Nixon became the first CFR members to be elected President and Vice President of the USA.

Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic candidate beaten by Eisenhower and Nixon, was also a CFR member.

‘The Council was starting to dominate American politics at the highest levels,’ write Burnett and Games.

‘The pattern would be repeated four years later, with Stevenson again losing out to Eisenhower and Nixon.

‘Although Nixon was to narrowly lose the next election in 1960 against John F Kennedy, the charismatic Bostonian was another member of the CFR.

‘Nixon would return in 1968 to defeat fellow CFR member Hubert Humphrey, and win again in 1972 against George McGovern.

‘Although not a CFR member in 1972, McGovern saw the light and joined afterwards.’ (via Southern Times – Why Africa needs secret societies).

Red herrings – the challenge ahead

English language media at least, is dominated by a few news agencies like Reuters, Bloomberg, API, and AFP. These agencies in turn are fed by various think tanks and reserch organizations, which then dominate global debate.  In the last few years, top 10 websites control 75% of the web traffic. Hollywood dominates the big screen.

For instance the highly flawed model of Transparency International promotes a narrative of corrupt Africa and Asia. To dominate the debate, censorship is not the only solution. It is not even a preferred solution.

More noise is equally effective. 

Finally a few media conglomerates drive the global mindset. Usually censorship is not needed. More noise is equally effective. (Cartoonist - Ares, Courtesy - Cagle Cartoons, www.caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Finally a few media conglomerates drive the global mindset. Usually censorship is not needed. More noise is equally effective. (Cartoonist - Ares, Courtesy - Cagle Cartoons, http://www.caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Capture and exploit

After this kind of media capture, the West drives the narrative. And exploits this narrative. To get over the ‘problem’ of economic stagnation, the West has created artificial ‘crisis’ situations.

These are major diplomatic offensives using media, academia, events and situations, to

  • Maintain superior negotiating positions
  • Define the agenda – which usually means non-substantive issues.

But for an India to match the trade and tariff barriers, propaganda and diplomatic offensives, calls for more resources.

The image of corrupt politician, Congressman, has become easy to promote, driven by Transparency International's flawed data. The role of these Think Tanks gets concealed. (Cartoon - BY PAT BAGLEY, Published by SALT LAKE TRIBUNE  -  1/27/2010 12:00:00 AM; courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

The image of corrupt politician, Congressman, has become easy to promote, driven by Transparency International's flawed data. The role of these Think Tanks gets concealed. (Cartoon - BY PAT BAGLEY, Published by SALT LAKE TRIBUNE - 1/27/2010 12:00:00 AM; courtesy - caglecartoons.com). Click for larger image.

Benign designs?

The manner of funding Indian NGOs by external sources, especially the West, is not benign anymore. More than 33 lakh NGOs operate in India, with foreign funding that is estimated at US$4 billion. This figure is double the official Government figure that is based on declared receipts, which reports say, are under-declared.

In times to come

Is the West aiming to capture these Indian ‘think-tanks’? The promotion of Western Climate Change agenda by Amartya Sen, under the auspices of the Aspen Institute India is indication of times to come.

Mechanics of माया maya?

War on drugs – Call it off say leaders

June 15, 2011 2 comments
The War on Drugs has now been on for 50 years. No success. (Cartoon by Barry Deutsch; Courtesy - leftycartoons.com). Click for larger image.

The War on Drugs has now been on for 50 years. No success. (Cartoon by Barry Deutsch; Courtesy - leftycartoons.com). Click for larger image.

A high-level international panel slammed the war on drugs as a failure. Compiled by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, the report concludes that criminalization and repressive measures have failed with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. It called on governments to undertake experiments to decriminalize the use of drugs, especially marijuana, to undermine the power of organized crime.

The 19-member commission includes former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, Greece’s prime minister, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former U.S. officials George P. Schultz and Paul Volcker, the writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, and British billionaire Richard Branson.

At a news conference launching the report, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who chairs the commission, said ending the war on drugs does not imply complete liberalization.

Instead of punishing drug users, the commission argues that governments should “end the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.”

Cardoso said the commission called for regulation rather than legalization “because we don’t think that’s the moment’s come for legalization.” Even regulation and decriminalization are not a solution, he said, unless they are accompanied by information, publicity campaigns, and improved health care and treatment. (via High-level commission calls drug war a failure, recommends legal regulation of marijuana – The Washington Post).

Options, anyone?

With 2 crore (20 million) drug users in the USA, prisons overflowing with more than 20 lakh (2 million) prisoners, the American policy establishment is stuck for answers. The 2 crore (20 million) figure is more than 16% of the working-age, labour population of the USA – which stands at 16 crores (160 million). Similarly, when drugs became cheap and abundant in China, thanks to the British, China became the largest consumer of opium in the world.

But …

Interesting case

Why has drugs never become a big problem in India? Even, as Indians are significant producers, Indians themselves are not high on consumption lists – or have significantly profited from it.

2 million prisoners - and another 5 million on trial, parole etc. Does this war make sense? (cartoon courtesy - hightowerlowdown.org). Click for larger image.

2 million prisoners - and another 5 million on trial, parole etc. Does this war make sense? (cartoon courtesy - hightowerlowdown.org). Click for larger image.

The police actions against drug cartels have given little benefit. The heavy-handed legal approach of criminalizing possession of drugs too has yielded no results either.

in the past 40 years, the U.S. government has spent over $2.5 trillion dollars fighting the War on Drugs. Despite the ad campaigns, increased incarceration rates and a crackdown on smuggling, the number of illicit drug users in America has risen over the years and now sits at 19.9 million Americans.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair declare(d) last week that the Mexican government had lost control of its own territory. President Felipe Calderón responded by pointing out that his nation shared a border with “the biggest consumer of drugs in the world and the largest supplier of weapons in the world.” (via The War on Drugs).

Touché!

Guns & Crime

June 7, 2011 1 comment
Crime Stats - Top 18 countries (Source - http://www.nationmaster.com). Click for source interactive graph.

Crime Stats - Top 18 countries (Source - http://www.nationmaster.com). Click for source interactive graph.

Anglo-Saxon systems

Interestingly, UK and USA, two countries with Anglo-Saxon system of jurisprudence, have the highest crime incidence.

But the surprise element is India.

India – with the largest number of poor people. More than in sub-Saharan Africa. With also the largest arsenal of firearms outside the US. Most of these guns are unlicensed – and logically, a number of these guns are with the poor. Another newspaper reported that the cost of these illegal firearms is less than US$100 or Rs.4500.

India had the world’s second-largest civilian gun arsenal, with an estimated 46 million firearms outside law enforcement and the military, though this represented just four guns per 100 people there. China, ranked third with 40 million privately held guns, had 3 firearms per 100 people.

Germany, France, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil and Russia were next in the ranking of country’s overall civilian gun arsenals. (via U.S. most armed country with 90 guns per 100 people | Reuters).

Iceberg ahoy

India with the lowest police-to-population ratio and the highest police-to-illegal-guns ratio. Either crime levels must be high, or imprisonment levels have to be stratospheric.

Strangely, none of these ‘logical’ things are happening. Crime is at low-to-average levels, imprisonment is at a global low, police force is seriously undermanned – and firearms are common.

What gives?

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