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Showing posts from December, 2006

The Killing Fields

Its ironic, as I flipped the channels from CNN tired of watching the death dance over Saddam, I came across the movie, "The Killing Fields" on HDNMV, a movie about yet another despot - Pol Pot - coming to power and maintaining power through ruthless killing of his own people. The world never seems to tire from producing such tyrranic despots.

Darfur, Sudan, Somalia, North Korea - how many more are we to go through?

Exactly What is Wrong With Death Penalty

CNN, BBC is reporting that those witnessing the hanging of Saddam Hussain were dancing around his body after his death. There is so much to be reviled about the dictator, but death of any human being deserves some degree of decorum and respect - otherwise there remains no difference between us and the vile dicator.

This is why I am not in favor of death penalty.

Death of Saddam closes one of the dirtiest chapters in the history of the middle east. Yet, his death is likely to change little in Iraq. Iraq is in a downward spiral, and this downward spiral can only be stemmed if the Iraqi people decide that religious differences between Shia and Sunni should be set aside in favor of Iraqi unity.

Not likely. Under Iranian "guidance" you are likely to see strengthening of the Shiias at the expense of Sunnis. Lets keep a close watch on Saudi and other Arab reaction to the Persian influence in Iraq.

Shiiaites Gaining Ground (literally) in Bagdad

This is what the Saudis are afraid of...Sunnis being driven out of the power center district by district.

Meanwhile, the Saudis have a new ambassador to US, and apparantly, Prince Turki left because he did have a difference of opinion with Prince Bandar. Bandar advocates a go touch approach with the Iranians, while Turki would like to negotiate with them. The hawks are winning.

Meanwhile, the Saudis have convinced the US that its in our best interest to increase the troops, the Generals seem to capitulated. So soon we will likely have more US troops in Iraq, not less!

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is going to hell in a hand basket!

Bigotry In This Season of Goodwill

Christmas is supposed to be the season of goodwill and faith. Yet despite the holiday season, national politics still seems to be laced with a certain degree of bigotry. NY Times reports a story - Virgill Goode the Republican congressman from Virginia - has demonstrated his disdain for Islam, and his own Christian faith and caused an outrage by criticizing the Muslim congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesotta for his choice of Koran as the religious scripture for taking the oath of office. The whole point of holding a sacred book in ones hand is to ensure that the person takes the oath with utmost seriousness, and no text can bring this seriousness into a person that the religious text they rever the most. How does one ensure this reverence if the individual is holding a book that holds no significance to him or her? You might as well be holding Rogets Thesarus in your hand.

Beyond bigotry though, Mr. Goode has also demonstrated a lack of tolerance for the America ideal - respect for …

Bigotry In This Season of Goodwill

Christmas is supposed to be the season of goodwill and faith. Yet despite the holiday season, national politics still seems to be laced with a certain degree of bigotry. Virgill Goode has demonstrated his disdain for Islam, and his own Christian faith and caused an outrage by criticizing the Muslim congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesotta for his choice of Koran as the religious scripture for taking the oath of office. The whole point of holding a sacred book in ones hand is to ensure that the person takes the oath with utmost seriousness, and no text can bring this seriousness into a person that the religious text they rever the most. How does one ensure this reverence if the individual is holding a book that holds no significance to him or her? You might as well be holding Rogets Thesarus in your hand.

Beyond bigotry though, Mr. Goode has also demonstrated a lack of tolerance for the America ideal - respect for the differences of our fellow countrymen. America is a melting pot wh…

Our Friends Kids

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Oumila & Prashant's Pride & Joy, Neil D'sa

Truth or Dare For Nepal

In NY Times today, Soumini Sengupta writes about the world of change Nepal has undergone since Kind Gyanendra gave up power. I wasn't a great fan of the King, and his absolute power, and I wasn't a great fan of Prachanda (Pushpa Kamal Dahal), the maoist gurrilla leader whose followers committed untold attrocities on the Nepali people who didn't agree with them. Yet, when the Maoist agreed to form a new government with the Opposition politicians, I applauded them.

It appears that so far things have been moving in the right direction. Recently Pushpa Kamal Dahal was in New Delhi trying to sell the Indians on how the Nepalese People's Army had laid down arms and were reconciled to peaceful co-existence with the Koirala government.

Now that the easy part of forming a government is over, the tough part of holding people accountable to the crimes begins. in this regard, I wonder what was given up by the opposition in bringing the Maoist to the table. As Sengupta report…

The Three Acts of the Drama In The Middle East

It looks like the other shoe is dropping on the Neocons. The Saudis have served the papers - US, you walk from Iraq and we will start a conflagration. It wasn't supposed to be this way - we were supposed to be welcomed into Iraq, and the Kingdom of Saud was supposed to be happy about us removing a major threat to its regime in the Mid-East. And now what do we have? Lets see...

Iraq is burning
Lebanon is smoldering
Mullahs in Iran have gone "nukilar"
The Saudis are threatning to finance a Sunni war against the Shias, and
Israel, fresh from the loss of face in Lebanon, is itching to put Iran in its place

Not exactly the kind of "democratization" we expected from ousting Saddam!

How the hell did we get into this kind of holy mess? Where are the rosy scenarios Wolfovitz and his ilk painted for us when we were lied into attacking Iraq? To be fair, the Saudis were always a bit wary about the Iraq war. On one hand they were secretly happy that George Bush, in the proc…

ISI support of Taleban continues unabated

Thanks to Pakistani ISI's support of Taleban and al 'Qaeda, the Asian neighborhood has always been a dangerous place. There is little doubt that ISI (the secretive security and intelligence agency of Pakistan) has been fomenting trouble in both India and Afghanistan for decades, but with the entry of US in the Afghan war there was hope that perhaps this lawless agency will be reigned in. Not so.

As has been well documented in the book
"Punishment of Virtue" by Sarah Chayes, ISI is very much continuing on with its support of Taleban.

Yesterday, in NY Times there was an article about how
the South Waziristan region of Pakistan has become a haven for theTaleban
and foreign fighters.

Today, there is another article on the impact ISI's support of the Talebani extremist elements on its own soil is having on Agfhanistan.

So what do we do about this?
We continue with our unconditional support of Pakistani military, and
We are transferring more of our responsibilities in Afg…