Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Highlights 2nd May 2006

The Third Anniversary of "Mission Accomplished"

Back in the days of "mission accomplished" Our chief was landing on the deck The sun was setting on a golden photo op Back in the days of "mission accomplished" Thousands of bodies in the ground Brought home in boxes to a trumpet's sound No one sees them coming home that way Thousands buried in the ground Thousands of children scarred for life Millions of tears for a soldier's wife Both sides are losing now Heaven takes them in Thousands of children scarred for life We had a chance to change our mind But somehow wisdom was hard to find We went with what we knew and now we can't go back But we had a chance to change our mind. "I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world." --- Stephen Colbert at the White House Press Correspondents dinner April 30, 2006. (See below "I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument.") [open one of the following links in a new window to hear Let's Impeach the President or the full Living with War Neil Young album, including "Shock and Awe", while reading this post

Bangladesh new center of 'Islamic terrorism': book

'Bangladesh, under the present regime, is fast becoming the new epicentre for Islamic terrorism,' according to 'Global Jihad: Current Patterns and Future Trends', authored by journalist Rajeev Sharma. 'This network is real, and partisan diplomacy and selective anti-terrorism warfare will only let loose this Frankenstein,' says Sharma, referring to the attitude of the West towards the emerging trends in Bangladesh. The book says the jehadi network in Bangladesh directed against India was mushrooming. 'Given the Indian geographical region the network is targeting, it could be far more dangerous than the Kashmir insurgency.' The book says that the Bangladesh jehadi outfits, enjoying both internal and external patronage, were working for multiple thrusts into India....More

The awesome threesome

Khaleda Zia deserved a proper dressing down in the matter of the resurgence of Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh. Apart from that, for those who want to know more about Islamic terrorism and its origins, recommended reading is Maloy Krishna Dhar's excellent work 'Fulcrum of Evil: ISI-CIA-Al Qaeda Nexus'. Dhar, incidentally, is a former joint director of the Intelligence Bureau and he should know what he is writing about. It is as much a damning indictment of Islamic Terrorism as of the CIA. The manner in which the CIA helped financially and in other ways the Al Qaeda makes one wonder who the real criminal is: The United States or Bangladesh and its colonial masters in Islamabad......More

For Nepal, and India, the road ahead is difficult

Instead of the Indian embassy and ambassador, acting on the instructions of the Ministry of External Affairs, being the sole conduit for messages between India and the Nepalese establishment and political parties, a large number of interlocutors and busybodies have involved themselves in the process. There are the special envoys with their one-on-one meetings with King Gyanendra, where nobody else knows what is discussed. There are the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of the Army Staff, who believe in running their own lines of communication with the RNA. Then there are tantric interlopers and Hindutva fanatics who further contribute to the radio clutter. More noise also comes from our legion of ex-rajas, rajvadas and `cadets' who have family ties with the Narayanhiti Palace and who intercede at crucial moments with the ruling party to ensure that India does not side with the people of Nepal. Somewhere in the middle of this unholy mess are the intelligence agencies, which also appear not to know what India should be doing. For example, their agents turned a blind eye to meetings between the Nepal Maoists and the SPA, which were crucial to the mass mobilisation witnessed on the streets of Kathmandu in April. But their boss, India's intelligence czar, worries endlessly about the security threat posed by the Maoists and is reportedly keen on turning the RNA's weapons tap back on again.....More

Second wife’ and suicide bid follow Taliban terror

The trauma of slain telecom engineer K. Suryanarayana’s family deepened today when his widow Manjula tried to commit suicide following the appearance of a “second wife” in the morning. Gogula Swapna, 28, had arrived at the Malkajgiri house carrying a one-year-old baby allegedly fathered by Suryanarayana. Her relatives said the child should be given a share of the Rs 55-lakh compensation. She was turned away from the doorstep but in the evening, Manjula poured a bottle of phenyl down her throat. Doctors at the hospital said she was out of danger. Swapna, a former schoolteacher from Warangal, claims Suryanarayana married her at a temple on August 31, 2002, after a year’s courtship while he was posted in the town during his stint with Tata Teleservices. “When Nidhisha was born, Surya signed the hospital register as her father,” she claimed. “I am ready for a DNA test on her.”....More

Myanmar to wipe out ULFA bases

Though there is no precise intelligence report of the number of ULFA militants in Myanmar, sources said the cadre strength was believed to be in several hundreds and fluctuated periodically because of re-entering into Indian soil and infiltration into Myanmar for operational purposes. Sources said some of the camps even have women and children cadre. The centre is concerned that Pakistani Intelligence Agency could use its links with top ULFA leaders based in Bangladesh to spread trouble in those belts, the sources added....More

PROFILE: Vigilante Group Ranvir Sena

Among all the private armies that exist in Bihar, the Ranvir Sena is the most powerful. It is a private army of upper-caste landowners and is known to be operating in central Bihar. The Ranvir Sena came into existence primarily to counter the influence of various left-wing extremist, Naxalite, groups and the Communist Party of India, Marxist-Leninist [CPI-ML] (Liberation) in central Bihar. It was founded in September 1994 in Belaur village of Udwantnagar block, Bhojpur district following the merger of private caste armies like Savarna Liberation Army and the Sunlight Sena. The forerunners to the Ranvir Sena in Bhojpur district were the Brahmarshi Sena and Kuer Sena, Kisan Morcha and Ganga Sena. These senas were smaller in size and operated with a limited area. They could not sustain for long and had withered away owing to repeated Naxalite onslaughts. Dharichan Chaudhary of Belaur had founded the Ranvir Sena. Its founding and continuing commander is Brahmeshwar Singh of Khopira village.....More

'There is a fury Building in India' : Arundhati Roy

The battle in the Narmada Valley has raised radical questions about the top heavy model of development India has opted for. But it also raises very specific questions about specific dams. And to my mind, though much of the noise now is centered around the issue of displacement and resettlement, the really vital questions that have not been answered are the ones that question the benefits of dams. Huge irrigation schemes that end up causing waterlogging, salinisation and eventual desertification have historically been among the major reasons for the collapse of societies, beginning with the Mesopotamian civilisation. I recommend Jared Diamond's wonderful book Collapse to all those who wish to take a slightly longer, and less panicked view of 'development'. India already has thousands of acres of waterlogged land. We've already destroyed most of our rivers. We have unsustainable cropping patterns and a huge crisis in our agricultural economy. Even vast parts of the command area of our favourite dam - the Bhakra - is water-logged and in deep trouble. So the real issue is not how ordinary farmers in Gujarat will benefit from the Sardar Sarovar, but how they will eventually suffer because of it.....More

Mazaar razed, Vadodara enragedAdd to Clippings

What started as Vadodara Municipal Corporation's (VMC) encroachment drive on Monday morning in the walled city, turned into a major communal riot by afternoon. At least four people were killed and more than 30 injured in police firing and violent clashes in other sensitive parts of the city. Two of the dead had bullet injuries and the other two stab wounds. Most of the injured had bullet injuries in their legs. Trouble began when the VMC team reached Mandvi area to demolish a mazaar on the roadside as part of their drive against
illegal shrines which were roadblocks. Hundreds of Muslims turned up in no time at the mazaar, which belongs to Chisti Rashid-ud-din and is believed to be more than 300 years old. Some leaders had also approached the municipal commissioner on Monday morning and requested him to pull back his team. However, the commissioner refused, and it was pointed out that several temples had also been removed during earlier part of the drive. Initially, an argument started between the VMC officials and the residents over the legality of the mazaar.....More

Debate: Atheism vs. Agnosticism
Statuis: Ongoing

Many of my religious friends have told me that in their religion, they learn about acceptance and how "God" accepts all people. If that's the case, how come so many people of religion treat people of non-religion as though God is never going to forgive them for the choice that they've made. (Again.. why the non-religious person would care is beyond me.)To wrap things up, if you are religious - be accepting of those who aren't. They've made their decision and more likely than not, what you say is not going to sway that decision. They don't need your judgements, they need your support. With the decision to not believe in a higher power, or to just believe in a higher power but not a "God", come many reasons. Some may be more open than others to share with you their reasoning (when people start a debate with me, the first thing we get into is why I chose not to be religious. Personally, I am very open about it. I am not ashamed to tell you why I don't believe.) Don't force the person to tell you their reasons -- in due time, they may open up and let you in. Until then, just be there for them. Making a decision like this is a lot harder than you think....More


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