Friday, September 30, 2011
thanks! we just hit a milestone on this blog: 10,000 posts. kudos to the team of: Ghostwriter, san, KapiDhwaja, AGWorld, Darkstorm, karyakarta92
can we say 'useful idiot', #pakistan ? 'all-weather friend' #china snubs pak, pulls out of $19 billion deal: wsj
Thursday, September 29, 2011
this is indian silver. why isn't everybody screaming for it to be returned? compare them wanting to get their paws on ananthapadmanabha swamy's gold.
My suggestion: Greece should partner with Israel in exploring and exploiting hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. The EU should back them on this. If the Turks get in the way - well, there's nothing like a good war to get an economy out of the doldrums.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
From: sanjeev nayyar
US-Pakistan Tensions: China’s Cautious Stance
By B. Raman 27/9/2011
The Chinese media have started informing the Chinese people of the tensions in Pakistan’s ties with the US without any editorial comment so far. There have been no comments from the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry either till now.
2. On September 27, 2011, the “People’s Liberation Army Daily” carried a report of the State-owned Xinhua news agency datelined Islamabad stating that Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had gone to Saudi Arabia for talks with his Saudi counterparts.
3. The Xinhua despatch said that the decision to send Lt. Gen. Pasha to Saudi Arabia was taken on the recommendation of the Corps Commanders of the Pakistan Army, who met at Islamabad on September 25, “to brief Saudi leaders on the Pakistan-U.S. tension.” However, the Pakistani military spokesman Maj Gen Ather Abbas denied that Lt. Gen. Pasha had gone to Saudi Arabia and insisted that Lt. Gen Pasha was in Islamabad.
4. The Xinhua report added: “Pakistan is likely to send envoys to other friendly countries in view of the tension with the U.S., sources said.”
5. The party-owned “Global Times” carried two reports of the AFP/Reuters news agencies relating, inter alia, to the unconnected visits of General James Mattis, the US CENTCOM Commander, and Mr. Meng Jianzhu, the Chinese Minister For Public Security, to Islamabad and the cancellation of the visit of Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, Pakistan’s Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), to London.
From: Ram Narayanan
Date: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 10:02 AM
Subject: INDIAN FINANCE MINISTER EXPECTS INDIA TO SUSTAIN 8-9% GROWTH OVER NEXT 30 YEARS
“I am extremely pleased to be here this evening and have this opportunity to share some thoughts with investors, business leaders and industry captains of the two countries and the global community. Indeed, we seek your engagement in all aspects of economic activities in India, and likewise look for similar engagement for Indian enterprise in this land of opportunities. No country has been immune to the contagion from the fallout of global financial crisis in 2008. Though the economic downturn was moderated and growth resumed in the second half of 2009 in most economies, the pace of recovery remained uneven. Advanced economies grew more slowly than before, while emerging economies like China and India led the way, with Latin America and Africa following closely. It appeared that policy makers had learnt their lessons from history by honing and harmonising the use of macro-economic policy and keeping markets open. At the same time, countries in the developed and the developing world adopted revival strategies, in keeping with the needs of their respective contexts, though with varying degree of success.
more innocent pakistanis being investigated for terrorism, this time in birminghamistan, untied kingdom
Monday, September 26, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
explaining shifts in mobile phones: it is a rout for dumb phones, market moving fast to apple/android smartphones
Thursday, September 22, 2011
meg whitman will be named CEO of HP today: san jose merc news. does that mean webOS will stage a comeback?
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
India cannot become a global power via arms buildup
By Hu Zhiyong (Jiefang Daily)
Edited and translated People's Daily Online, 19/9/2011 India’s military has used China’s rising comprehensive strength as a cover for its non-stop military buildup in the recent years. India has sought to be a “military power” through active military buildup and budget increases in an attempt to continue to cement its leading position in South Asia and around the Indian Ocean, and develop from a regional power to an influential “global power”.
India has already become the world’s largest arms importing country. India will spend 30 billion U.S. dollars purchasing advanced arms by 2012, including 126 advanced fighters for its air force, Russian-made aircraft carriers and ship-borne weapons for the navy, and main battle tanks and anti-tank missiles for its land force. India has so far refused to sign the “Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty” and its strategic missile capacity has markedly improved. India has developed “Agni” strategic missiles that have three ranges of 700 kilometers, 2,500 kilometers and 3,500 kilometers and can cover all of its neighboring regions. India also started building its 25th nuclear power reactor in July 2011 and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. plans to put the new nuclear power reactor into commercial operations by June 2016. India decided at the end of 2010 to spend up to 5 billion U.S. dollars buying four long-range patrol aircraft and four amphibious warships, and purchase 250 to 300 fifth-generation jet fighters from Russia. India’s second independently developed stealth frigate “INS Satpura” commenced service on Aug. 20, 2011, marking a substantial improvement in the combat capacity of India’s navy. The third stealth frigate “INS Sahyadri” is expected to be put into service in 2012 and will be equipped with domestically made and imported weapon systems and sensors. The development and service of Shivalik-class frigates have marked that India has been among a few countries that can build stealth frigates. In addition, the navy of India is also planning to cope with future emergencies by building two aircraft carrier battle groups and equipping itself with several stealth battleships, submarines and long-range reconnaissance planes. Currently, India has mastered the technology of producing high-quality ship-body steel and therefore do not depend on foreign resources as much as before. The navy of India already possesses an aircraft named “Virat” bought from the United Kingdom, and is rebuilding and upgrading another named “Vikramaditya”, which will be completed and launched in December of 2012. In August of 2011, the Defense Minister of India A.K. Anthony said that, in addition to the six submarines being built, the navy of India would purchase another six “seventy-five plan” submarines to strengthen the battle effectiveness of its submarine force. Recently, Russia said that it would deliver the Akula-class nuclear-powered attack submarine named “Cheetah” to India at the end of 2012. According to the contract, India will rent the submarine for 10 years. Now, India is still a big regional power and its political influence and military strength are limited in the world. Taking the so-called "China Threat" as an excuse, India is expanding its military strength, but it is still uncertain that whether India will realize its dream of being a leading power, because India's weak economy is severely unmatched with the image of a leading military power. In addition, international communities and India's surrounding countries are all suspecting and even being on guard against this kind of unbalanced development mode. Considering it in the viewpoint of geopolitical strategy and regional security, international communities do not want to see a severe military imbalance in South Asia. International communities generally believe that a relatively balanced military situation in the South Asia and the normalization of the India-Pakistan relations are helpful for the stability and development of the Asia-Pacific Region.
Tricky questions and troop transfers in Afghanistan
By Ronald Neumann http://www.foreignpolicy.com/images/091022_meta_block.gif" width="14" />Friday, September 16, 2011
Ronald E. Neumann was U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 until 2007 and has visited regularly since. He is author of The Other War; Winning and Losing in Afghanistan.
Military commanders deciding how to reposition and withdraw U.S. forces in Afghanistan are now confronting decisions where mistakes could doom the war effort. NATO has achieved considerable success after brutal combat in the southern Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar. Violent incident rates are running in excess of 20 percent lower than during a comparable time period in 2010. Local Afghan government, for all its weakness, is expanding into districts that were long controlled by the Taliban. Even recruitment of southern Pashtuns into local police and security forces is going up in some districts that last year saw the local population watching passively while Americans fought Taliban insurgents. While such recruitment for the army is still well below what is desired, there are scattered reports, both in print and from local sources, of larger numbers of Pashtuns joining local police forces.
However, violence in eastern Afghanistan is not dropping. The threat from the Haqqani Network forces supported from bases in Pakistan has increased, as have Haqqani Network-originated spectacular attacks aimed at Kabul. The combination of apparent success in the south combined with the threat of eastern violence produce a strong argument for rapidly shifting forces east to mount a major campaign there before hard deadlines for U.S.troop withdrawals next year diminish the offensive power international forces can wield. Yet this military logic conceals critical political risks that deserve close attention.
The southern surge was intended to create conditions that would allow Afghan forces to take over population security and the expansion of governance and development. Claims by some serving and retired American generals that security gains in southern Afghanistan are irreversible seriously overstate the situation. None of my many Afghan contacts fully accept this view. Only half the mission is accomplished. Afghan Army performance has improved, and army units are supported by some police and a few small units of local village defense of varying political and military reliability. But nowhere have Afghan forces yet stood largely on their own. Their ability to do so remains an unproven theory, not an established fact.
The decisive battles for the south have also yet to begin. They will occur as U.S. forces thin out and insurgents try to regain control of the population. The Taliban's inability to confront Afghan security forces backed up by residual U.S. and NATO forces will not be the measure of success. Rather, success will only come when Afghan forces have the ability to maintain security for assistance workers, Afghan civil servants, and tribal leaders who have returned to their districts and cooperated with us and their government. All of them will be targeted by the Taliban, using threats and assassinations to intimidate others who might be on the fence. The struggle for control of the population will be the decisive battle.
The battlefield will also be psychological as much as physical. After 30 years of war, Afghans have a high pain threshold. If they believe they are on a winning side, they can and will put up with sacrifice, and replace assassinated officials. But if they become convinced that overall security is declining then we will again see local officials deserting their posts or living ineffectually in protected compounds. Tribal leaders will again flee to the cities. Confidence that has been slowly built in the south will be quickly destroyed. Worst of all, the word will spread rapidly that those who put their faith in improved Western- and Afghan-created security are taking suicidal risks, especially with the impending NATO force reductions. If this message goes forth it will undercut any possible military gains from repositioning forces.
These dangers do not mean that no forces can be withdrawn or repositioned. Indeed, transfer of control must occur if the whole strategy of Afghan forces taking over responsibility for security by 2014 is to achieve credibility. Further, it is important to expand secure areas in the east and diminish the threats to Kabul. The need for troops in both the east and the south is real. The time to make decisions has been reduced by President Obama's accelerated withdrawal schedule for 2012. Risk, as my military colleagues always remind me, must be taken somewhere. The point is that the risks must be considered in political and psychological terms far more than on a strictly military basis if we are not to waste the major gains of the last two years. Such considerations demand great prudence in two areas that must be worked out by our civilian and military leaders on the ground.
One is that turn over must be undertaken slowly enough that Afghan security forces can be tested when we still have the ability to correct after setbacks. War is a hard school taught by a capable and reactive enemy. There will be bad days. We must ensure that we retain the margin to work with our Afghan allies to rebound from problems, not let them be shattered by them.
Second, risk must be decided jointly with Afghan civilian and military authorities. They bear the ultimate cost of failure, and their confidence in the possibility of success is crucial to strategic credibility and their willingness to take the losses required to succeed. More progress has been made in the last two years than many Americans recognize. It must be solidified before it is excessively risked.
Here too, the Taliban say that an elaborate ruse had been created to gain Rabbani's trust by leading him into a pretense of negotiations. This enabled a pair of suicide bombers to gain close access to Rabbani, before detonating their hidden explosives.
This is a severe blow which shows that Taliban/ISI can never be trusted, especially when they claim to want to negotiate.
my piece in firstpost about why the robber-barons don't like modi, but don't mind anna. http://bit.ly/p0SY8q
Sunday, September 18, 2011
From: sri venkat
Date: Sat, Sep 17, 2011 at 3:54 PM
Subject: Five stages of appropriation of Indic traditions: Rajiv Malhotra
Please go to this interesting link to read more
Rajiv Malhotra has termed it as the U-Turn Theory. According to this
theory: "Appropriation occurs in the following five stages: 1. Student/Disciple: In the first stage, the Westerner is loyal to
the Indic traditions, and writes with the deepest respect. Many such
scholars have genuinely tried and aspired to give up their Western
identities and adopt Hinduism/Buddhism very sincerely. In many
instances, India has helped the person to "find" himself/herself. A
large number of scholars remain in this stage for life, while others
move on to subsequent stages, not necessarily in the exact sequence
below. 2. Neutral/New Age/Perennial Repackaging: In this stage, Indic
traditions are repackaged as "original" discoveries by the scholar, or
relocated by interpolating within obscure Greek, Christian or other
"Western" texts, or assumed to be generic thoughts found in all
cultures. In many instances, this is the scholar's personal brand
management to expand the market for the books, tapes and seminars, by
distancing oneself from the negative brands of the "caste, cows and
3. Hero's return to his/her original tradition: Once the ego takes
over and the scholar's native identity reasserts itself, he/she
returns to the Eurocentric tradition, typically Judaism or
Christianity, with bounties of knowledge to enrich it. Alternatively,
the scholar repackages the material in secular vernacular, such as
"Western psychology" or "phenomenology" or a "scientific" framework.
Now the sales mushroom, as the Western audiences congratulate
themselves for their culture's sophistication. In some cases, this
happens to Indians also who reject their Indian identity after gaining
enough mileage out of Indic sources. 4. Denigrating the source: In this stage, into which only some
scholars proceed intentionally, they denigrate the source Indic
traditions. It furthers their claims of "originality" and absolves
them from links to denigrated traditions. In some instance, stages 3
and 4 are in reverse sequence.
5. Mobilizing the sepoys and becharis: This is the phenomenon
whereby Indians become proxies for Western sponsors. Bechari is
typically an Indian woman who perpetuates the idea that the Indian
traditions are oppressive of women and only the Western feminism are
liberating, so as to get some kind of recognition or gain in the West.
These gains could be in the form of jobs, recognition as a scholar,
invitation to conferences etc. The perpetuation of 'becharihood' of
Indian women is used as a justification for 'white woman's burden'.
The sepoys also push the Eurocentric agenda and fight against the
natives, just like British hirelings did in 1857. They are the result
of the Lord McCauley's agenda of "producing Indians with Western ways
of thinking." Often they claim to be championing the subaltern causes,
using this stage to gain recognition in the West. Becharis and sepoys
tend to prove native cultures as the social criminal. This legitimizes
the subversion of native culture in the name of human rights and hence
becomes the civilizing mission for Western powers.
Friday, September 16, 2011
recommended: rajiv malhotra's new book. ANNOUNCING: Provocative New Book on Indian/Western Civilizations
From: Rajiv Malhotra <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, Sep 17, 2011 at 3:16 AM
Subject: ANNOUNCING: Provocative New Book on Indian/Western Civilizations
Well, what do they expect us to do, when they are moving ahead in putting men and materiel into POK? If they move into our yard, then we'll move in on theirs.
Thorium and India's energy independence: forbes. So far India has managed to screw up royally on fast-breeders, of course
From: Harish Rajeev,
From: Vijay Rajiva
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 4:05:45 AM
Subject: Fw: Who remembers Rajbala?
From: Friends of Tibet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, Sep 13, 2011 at 2:57 PM
Subject: [FoT] Dr Nicholas Bequelin on "Human Rights in Tibet" (Report & Photos)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Dr Nicholas Bequelin on "Human Rights Issues in Tibet"
A report on "Human Rights Issues in Tibet" talk by Dr Nicholas Bequelin, Senior Asia Researcher of Human Rights Watch at the Jawaharalal Nehru University campus in New Delhi organised by Friends of Tibet (Delhi) and the Tibet Forum of JNU on August 11, 2011.
New Delhi: The talk by Dr Nicholas Bequelin, Senior Asia Researcher of Human Rights Watch at the Jawaharalal Nehru University campus in New Delhi was of mostly surrounding the details that the recent bouts of violence Chinese-occupied Tibet had witnessed. Giving a brief overview of the incidents that led to the monks setting themselves on fire, in retaliation to specific demands that the Chinese government was making on the Tibetan monasteries, the talk centered on the significance of these acts of resistance in today's context. He was speaking on "Human Rights Issues in Tibet" at a function organised by Friends of Tibet (Delhi) and the Tibet Forum of Jawaharalal Nehru University at the JNU, New Delhi on August 11, 2011.
Dr Bequelin was also able to show, simultaneously, why the reports like the ones Human Rights Watch bring out in such systemic and drawn out acts of violence that the Chinese are carrying on, over the Tibetan people, play very important roles in the way China's perception in world continues to remain negative. It is on the bases of the data that the HRW Report provided Human Rights organisations can still try to take a strong stand against China's policies today, given the illegitimate economic clout it currently enjoys.
In response to the persecution of the monks in the Kirti Monastery, Dr Bequelin stated that "the judicial sentences on the monks were patently unjust verdict and the outcome of a purely political prosecution, and that it comes against a background of unprecedented persecution against the Monastery of Kirti, from where the Chinese government has already taken into arbitrary detention dozens of monks."
Dr Bequelin's audience was mostly the research scholars of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and the group mostly consisted of the younger generation of Tibetans who are born in exile. Most Tibetan Students are enrolled in the School of Languages, mostly Chinese, and the School of International Studies. The group calls itself the Tibet Forum, and so, the talk was co-hosted by the Tibet Forum and Friends of Tibet. In the coming few years, therefore, we will get to see a fresh take on Tibet and China, from the perspective of these young exiles. Researching and understanding China, is thus, gradually taking on very interesting tones, as the nation-less nationals are beginning to talk back. The discussion with Dr Bequelin, in such a scenario, becomes doubly significant, as he brings together several profound insights that would help their field of research. Thus, the notion of politically charged research is finally making its way into the field of Chinese Studies in India.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
About the Speaker: Nicholas Bequelin is a senior researcher on China at Human Rights Watch, based in Hong Kong, and a fellow at the Universities Service Centre for Chinese Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He obtained his PhD in History from the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS,) Paris, in 2001, and is a graduate in Chinese from the School of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO), also in Paris. His publications have appeared in The China Journal, The China Quarterly, Asian Studies as well as many newspaper and magazines such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The International Herald Tribune. He is a regular interviewee of major international media on legal, political, and human rights developments in China. Dr. Bequelin's former speaking engagements include The Council on Foreign Relations, Chatham House, Jardines Matheson, and Yale University, where he was a visiting scholar in spring 2010. (For more on Human Rights Watch reporting on China, please visit: www.hrw.org/china)
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Friends of Tibet is a people's movement to keep alive the issue of Tibet through direct action. Our activities are aimed at ending China's occupation of Tibet and the suffering of the Tibetan people. Friends of Tibet supports the continued struggle of the Tibetan people for independence. Friends of Tibet is also one of the principal organisers of World Tibet Day around the world.
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