Wednesday, August 31, 2005

White people find things. Black people loot things.

aug 31st

forwarded by arvind kumar.

a shining example of reporting. is this why some wag said 'reporters sans frontieres' are actually 'racists sans frontieres'? when it comes to racism against indians, rsf has never given us the benefit of the doubt. and here against blacks, too.

melanin is key to life, clearly.

even as i feel concerned about my friends in the new orleans area, including prof subhash kak and his family, i cannot help but observe two things:

a. we who were so harsh about mumbai's inability to cope with 3 feet of rain (in one day) should understand that no city can cope with natural calamities of that magnitude (how would new york city deal with 10 feet of snow in one day? that's the equivalent of 3 feet of rain). not to excuse mumbai's municipal types, but one has to be reasonable

b. the accusation that they deliberately let a lot of people in new orleans, esp. poor blacks, die, is believable. the normal lives of blacks in new orleans and the entire delta is pretty miserable, and clearly the higher-ups don't care about them. it is one of the most interesting cities in the us, but the gulf between rich and poor is wide too.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Thanks to

White people find things. Black people loot things.
Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store after Hurricane Katrina came through the area in New Orleans, Louisiana.(AFP/Getty Images/Chris Graythen)
A young man walks through chest deep flood water after looting a grocery store in New Orleans on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2005. Flood waters continue to rise in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina did extensive damage when it

Monday, August 29, 2005

[PINR] 29 August 2005: Growing Signs of Unrest in the Maldives

aug 29

more fun, fun, fun in our backyard. china recently got a long way towards getting a base in the maldives, too. interesting, 'godless communists' and islamists allying with each other. the sino-islamist axis gains another adherent.

Power and Interest News Report (PINR)

29 August 2005


Growing Signs of Unrest in the Maldives
Drafted By: Dr. Sudha Ramachandran

The Maldivian government's use of excessive force in mid-August to quell demonstrations by opposition activists demanding democratic reforms indicates that its commitment to establishing multi-party democracy in the country remains weak. There is a danger that its foot dragging on democratic reform and the suppression of its secular-moderate opponents could clear the way for assertion of hard-line Islamists in the country.

mckinsey quarterly: Special India weekly update, number 1

The McKinsey Quarterly New this week from
The McKinsey Quarterly:
Fulfilling India's promise
The following are the first articles from "Fulfilling India's promise," a Quarterly special edition offering insights into the challenges and opportunities of the Indian market. As a convenience to subscribers of the Asia alert, each week you will receive a single e-mail highlighting the newly posted articles from the edition.

View the table of contents for the full list of articles to be published over the next several weeks and to learn how you can receive the print edition.
When to make India a manufacturing base
Multinational corporations are starting to see the country's potential. (Premium)

Unearthing India's mineral wealth
There's a gold mine out there—if the government eases restrictions on market entry and improves infrastructure. (As a special bonus for Asia-alert subscribers, we are offering you free access to this premium article through September 5. Click directly from this e-mail to read it.)

India's economic agenda: An interview with Manmohan Singh
The prime minister discusses his plans to modernize the country's infrastructure, attract foreign investment, and create jobs—all in the service of eliminating chronic poverty and disease in India.

>> Coming next week:
Ensuring India's offshoring future
Winning the Indian consumer

Sunday, August 28, 2005

bloomberg: why oracle bought iflex

aug 28th

is the answer software products? a return on investment of 600x would argue so. and this guy seems to think so too.

for this IPR based growth to materialize, there has to be a change in mindset and investment in india.

none of the IT majors in india is investing enough to bring a product to market, which in my  opinion will cost something like $25-$50 million. they are all piddling around with $5-$10 million investments, which will generally come to nought. the product can be built for $2-$5 million, but marketing it will cost at at least 3-4x as much.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

me on rediff on nanavati commission report

aug 22nd

totaliarianism and semiticism, paleo-, meso- and neo- variants thereof

aug 27

the totalitarian mindset can be summarized in one word: semitic.

all semitic ideologies have two characteristics:
1. the demonization of the Other
2. blind, unquestioning, unreasoning faith

and a meta-characteristic:
3. a faith/ideology of this type is often a cult with an army behind it enforcing adherence

there are several categories of semites based on when they attained semite-hood. but underneath they are almost exactly the same, with some differences based on whether they have power (totalitarian tyrants in that cases) or have been powerless (more mellow). for instance, zoroastrians have been decent since they were overwhelmed by more muscular meso-semites, but zarathustra was the one who initially popularized the idea of absolute good and absolute evil, the basis of Other-ization.

paleo-semitic faiths: zoroastrianism, judaism
meso-semitic faiths: christism, mohammedanism
neo-semitic faiths: marxism, 'dravidianism', nehruvian-stalinism

this is only a sample, there are neo-semitic faiths being created practically daily, and they each have their martyrs -- eg. che guevara, their saints -- eg. ems, their catholic mother church -- eg. soviet union, their protestants -- eg. china, their primate -- eg. whoever is china's strongman, their bible -- eg. marx's books, their schism -- eg. soviet union vs china and cpim vs. cpi, their reformation -- eg. deng's ideas, their missionaries -- eg. cpim, their colonies -- eg. tibet, etc.

in fact it is eerie how similar marxism is to christism.

PS. the word 'semitic' has always been misused. there is no such thing as a 'semitic' race: the people referred to as semites (mostly jews and arabs) are white people. 'anti-semitic' is used to mean anti-jewish, but it actually means anti-jewish and anti-arab. so is an arab who is anti-jewish anti-semitic?

the origin of the word 'semitic' is from the biblical shem and ham; the sons of shem are supposed to enslave the sons of ham. and this, incidentally was the christist mythological justification for slavery, as blacks are supposed to be the sons of ham.

it is appropriate to overload this term to mean a shorthand for the totalitarian mindset that developed most particularly in the west asian desert where semitic languages exist.

economist intelligence unit: foreign banks getting fleeced by china

aug 27

i guess BofA and RBS deserve what they get. fools stepping in where angels fear to tread, or words to that effect.

wharton: special report on indian r&d

aug 27

a series of articles that summarize current state of the art in r&d in india.

interesting analogy between fading us and fading uk: guardian

aug 26th
forwarded by a friend.
the decline of the us is a fact. i suspect the analogy with the boer war is a little strained. i am not surprised to hear that the british (the oh-so-civilized ones, according to their own propaganda) were into concentration camps and exceptional brutality in the boer war; they were so in other campaigns. right bloody-minded, they are (as also demonstrated by their national symbol, the football hooligan).
the casual equation of india-china with germany-united states as rising powers now and then is appealing. quite amazing that in the span of a couple of years, india-china hyphenation has become the norm, as opposed to the india-pakistan hyphenation. in all fairness, i suspect jaswant singh had a lot to do with it, and pv narasimha rao.
i have no problem with the india-china hyphenation, that is the right perspective for us, as our competition is only the us and china. as a fringe benefit, it vexes the chinese no end :-) as it deflates the 'south asia' playpen into which they want to corral india. (that reminds me of a stephen cohen gem: "india is trying to be the preeminent power in south asia". dear stephen, india already *is* the preeminent power in south asia, while you were no doubt sleeping off the effects of too much pakistani-supplied champagne. india should now be trying to be the preeminent power in the indian ocean, and later, in asia.)
india's national goal and obsession should be "beat china". like canon used to have the strategic intent of "beat xerox". india can do it, if india puts its mind to it. of course, india's 'leaders' are too busy with sycophancy and feathering their own nests.
why on earth has india been cursed with positively the very worst politicians in the world? the assholes in other countries are at least patriotic assholes who have the national interest in mind.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

why michael graham was sacked

aug 25th

the CAIR got michael graham fired for publishing this. evidence of dhimmitude in america. there is no freedom of expression when powerful lobbyists are involved.

but in india, one javed akhtar, whose main claim to fame is that his second wife is the famous 'secularist' shabana azmi, was able to attack sri sri ravisankar in very harsh terms and get away with it.

moral of the story: nobody is allowed to say anything critical of islam. but muslims have every right to criticize anybody else's religion.

not quite symmetric, is it?

The tragedy of Islam

Posted: August 22, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Editor's note: The following commentary is what led to talk-show host Michael Graham recently being fired from ABC Radio station WMAL in Washington, D.C., after pressure was applied by the Council on American-Islamic Relations .

By Michael Graham
© 2005

I take no pleasure in saying it. It pains me to think it. I could very well lose my job in talk radio over admitting it. But it is the plain truth: Islam is a terror organization.

For years, I've been trying to give the world's Muslim community the benefit of the doubt, along with the benefit of my typical-American's complete disinterest in their faith. Before 9-11, I knew nothing about Islam except the greeting "asalaam alaikum," taught to me by a Pakistani friend in Chicago.

Immediately after 9-11, I nodded in ignorant agreement as President Bush assured me that "Islam is a religion of peace."

But nearly four years later, nobody can defend that statement. And I mean "nobody."

Certainly not the group of "moderate" Muslim clerics and imams who gathered in London last week to issue a statement on terrorism and their faith. When asked the question "Are suicide bombings always a violation of Islam," they could not answer "Yes. Always." Instead, these "moderate British Muslims" had to answer "It depends."

Precisely what it depends on, news reports did not say. Sadly, given our new knowledge of Islam from the past four years, it probably depends on whether or not you're killing Jews.

That is part of the state of modern Islam.

Another fact about the state of Islam is that a majority of Muslims in countries like Jordan continue to believe that suicide bombings are legitimate. Still another is the poll reported by a left-leaning British paper than only 73 percent of British Muslims would tell police if they knew about a planned terrorist attack.

The other 27 percent? They are a part of modern Islam, too.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is outraged that I would dare to connect the worldwide epidemic of terrorism with Islam. They put it down to bigotry, asserting that a lifetime of disinterest in Islam has suddenly become blind hatred. They couldn't be more wrong.

Not to be mean to the folks at CAIR, but I don't – care, that is. I simply don't care about Islam, its theology, its history – I have no interest in it at all. All I care about is not getting blown to smithereens when I board a bus or ride a plane. I care about living in a world where terrorism and murder-suicide bombings are rejected by all.

And the reason Islam has itself become a terrorist organization is that it cannot address its own role in this violence. It cannot cast out the murderers from its members. I know it can't, because "moderate" Muslim imams keep telling me they can't. "We have no control over these radical young men," one London imam moaned to the local papers.

Can't kick 'em out of your faith? Can't excommunicate them? Apparently Islam does not allow it.

Islam cannot say that terrorism is forbidden to Muslims. I know this because when the world's Muslim nations gathered after 9-11 to state their position on terrorism, they couldn't even agree on what it was. How could they, when the world's largest terror sponsors at the time were Iran and Saudi Arabia – both governed by Islamic law?

If the Boy Scouts of America had 1,000 scout troops, and 10 of them practiced suicide bombings, then the BSA would be considered a terrorist organization. If the BSA refused to kick out those 10 troops, that would make the case even stronger. If people defending terror repeatedly turned to the "Boy Scout Handbook" and found language that justified and defended murder – and the scoutmasters in charge simply said "Could be" – the Boy Scouts would have driven out of America long ago.

Today, Islam has entire sects and grand mosques that preach terror. Its theology is used as a source of inspiration by terrorist murderers. Millions of Islam's members give these killers support and comfort.

The question isn't how dare I call Islam a terrorist organization, but rather why more people do not.

As I've said many times, I have great sympathy for those Muslims of good will who want their faith to be a true "religion of peace." I believe that terrorism and murder do violate the sensibilities and inherent decency of the vast majority of the world's Muslims. I believe they want peace.

Sadly, the organization and fundamental theology of Islam as it is constituted today allows for hatreds most Muslims do not share to thrive, and for criminals they oppose to operate in the name of their faith.

Many Muslims, I believe, know this to be true and some are acting on it. Not the members of CAIR, unfortunately: As Middle East analyst and expert Daniel Pipes has reported, "two of CAIR's associates (Ghassan Elashi, Randall Royer) have been convicted on terrorism-related charges, one (Bassem Khafegi) convicted on fraud charges, two (Rabih Haddad, Bassem Khafegi) have been deported, and one (Siraj Wahhaj) remains at large."

But Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf admits what CAIR will not. He's called for a jihad against the jihadists. He's putting his life on the line (Islamists have tried to assassinate him three times) in the battle to reclaim Islam and its fundamental decency.

He remembers, I'm sure, that at a time when Western, Christian civilization was on the verge of collapse, the Muslim world was a bastion of rationalism and tolerance. That was a great moment in the history of Islam, a moment that helped save the West.

Let's hope Islam can now find the strength to save itself.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

ali sina on useful idiots

aug 24th

forwarded by a friend.

interesting. ali sina points out that chou en lai called nehru a useful idiot for looking after china's interests more than india's.

Fwd: mckinsey's rajat gupta interviews manmohan singh

forgot the url:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rajeev Srinivasan <>
Date: Aug 24, 2005 7:48 PM
Subject: mckinsey's rajat gupta interviews manmohan singh

aug 23

the interview sounds good, but it has nothing to do with what's going on on the ground.

the congress is preparing for a snap poll is what the cognscenti are saying.

calculation: congress rule has been so sterling for the common man, and the bjp is so much in disarray, that a new election (cost: $5 billion) will entrench sonia and co in power on their own without the need for the pesky marxists to support them.

possible reality: $5 billion dollars later it will be another hung parliament, with the congress at 125 seats (a little less than what they have), the bjp at 120 seats (a little more than what they have), marxists win in w bengal and kerala with thumping majorities. status quo ante, but $5 billion has vanished in unaccountable ways. nice way of greasing the wheels.

nobody is bothered about the strategic and other problems the nation is facing (small and non-exhaustive sample below):
a. defanging of entire nuclear arsenal via intrusive IAEA inspections
b. pak gets nuclear capable cruise missiles from china
c. china gets bases in maldives, bhutan and nepal
d. japanese FDI which had picked up after anti-japan riots in china, plummets after anti-honda riots
e. continued attacks on hindu institutions and leaders
f. the huge difference sky-high oil prices make; investment in alternate energy is near zero, as the energy ministry runs panting after iran, kazakhstan and, absurdly, china
g. the runaway activism of the courts and rogue elements in government intent on re-toxification
h. continued paralysis in infrastructure improvement
i. the severely deteriorating education system
j. huge opportunity for pork-barrel spending based on the insane 'employment guarantee program' which will transfer $100 billion into the pockets of party functionaries. it is worth noting that the *biggest* employment mechanism in recent times has been the deregulation of telecom and the emergence of millions of PCOs. the second biggest employment mechanism has been the deregulation of broadcasting and the emergence of hundreds of thousands of cable operators. note: in both cases, the predatory State withdrew and individual entrepreneurship blossomed
k. the end of liberalization, as the divestiture program has been formally canceled
l. the continued downgrading of agriculture (note that manmohan singh once again repeats the conventional wisdom that people must be moved out of agriculture. on the contrary, as rajat gupta asked, the point is to upgrade agriculture with processing and transportation investment, as india has great competitive advantage therein and it can provide sustainable employment)

meanwhile indians happily plough ahead listening to the same old warmed-over nostrums of fifty years ago: all of which have proved to be inane.

mckinsey's rajat gupta interviews manmohan singh

aug 23

the interview sounds good, but it has nothing to do with what's going on on the ground.

the congress is preparing for a snap poll is what the cognscenti are saying.

calculation: congress rule has been so sterling for the common man, and the bjp is so much in disarray, that a new election (cost: $5 billion) will entrench sonia and co in power on their own without the need for the pesky marxists to support them.

possible reality: $5 billion dollars later it will be another hung parliament, with the congress at 125 seats (a little less than what they have), the bjp at 120 seats (a little more than what they have), marxists win in w bengal and kerala with thumping majorities. status quo ante, but $5 billion has vanished in unaccountable ways. nice way of greasing the wheels.

nobody is bothered about the strategic and other problems the nation is facing (small and non-exhaustive sample below):
a. defanging of entire nuclear arsenal via intrusive IAEA inspections
b. pak gets nuclear capable cruise missiles from china
c. china gets bases in maldives, bhutan and nepal
d. japanese FDI which had picked up after anti-japan riots in china, plummets after anti-honda riots
e. continued attacks on hindu institutions and leaders
f. the huge difference sky-high oil prices make; investment in alternate energy is near zero, as the energy ministry runs panting after iran, kazakhstan and, absurdly, china
g. the runaway activism of the courts and rogue elements in government intent on re-toxification
h. continued paralysis in infrastructure improvement
i. the severely deteriorating education system
j. huge opportunity for pork-barrel spending based on the insane 'employment guarantee program' which will transfer $100 billion into the pockets of party functionaries. it is worth noting that the *biggest* employment mechanism in recent times has been the deregulation of telecom and the emergence of millions of PCOs. the second biggest employment mechanism has been the deregulation of broadcasting and the emergence of hundreds of thousands of cable operators. note: in both cases, the predatory State withdrew and individual entrepreneurship blossomed
k. the end of liberalization, as the divestiture program has been formally canceled
l. the continued downgrading of agriculture (note that manmohan singh once again repeats the conventional wisdom that people must be moved out of agriculture. on the contrary, as rajat gupta asked, the point is to upgrade agriculture with processing and transportation investment, as india has great competitive advantage therein and it can provide sustainable employment)

meanwhile indians happily plough ahead listening to the same old warmed-over nostrums of fifty years ago: all of which have proved to be inane.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

how lovely christian rule in india has been!

aug 23

about the portuguese inquisition in goa from a jewish point of view.

we can look forward to more of this in nagaland, mizoram, etc. soon, and then in kerala, tamil nadu and andhra pradesh, as soon as ratzinger and co have managed to convert enough people. kerala is about 50% christian now (if you count all the steath converts who have been advised to keep their hindu names for public consumption and/or reservation benefits while all of them appus and ramans are josephs and mathais in church regularly every sunday), and southern tamilnadu (kanyakumari district) about 80%, with nadars having converted en masse.

as we know, south korea went from 80% buddhist to 50% christian in one generation. mizoram and nagaland are now 99% christian. the naga siege of manipur recently was a clear religious battle: manipuris have refused to convert and so they were being punished by the (ex-headhunter) nagas. once again, praise be to the First Prime Minister of India (Registered Trademark) who invited australian and nz missionaries and gave them free hand in the northeast.,1,3940527.story?coll=la-headlines-bookreview&ctrack=1&cset=true

sandhya jain: on terrorism

aug 23

sandhya is one of my favorite writers in india. always worth reading, immaculately logical.


UN must define terrorism


Sandhya Jain 


            With Islamic fundamentalists determinedly leaving their signature tune upon hitherto unvisited world capitals, and religio-ethnic violence taking a grim upturn in Jammu & Kashmir with the recent beheading of a woman and slitting of throats of five men, India needs to take a pro-active interest in getting the United Nations General Assembly to define "terrorism" at its forthcoming annual meeting in September.


            As of now, there are indications that UN officials are keen to take up the issue of defining terrorism. As a nation that has been consistently targetted by terrorism for several decades, and particularly after Western nations refused to name India as a victim- country in the wake of the London blasts, India must ensure that the September summit yields an international consensus on the definition of terrorism and terrorists. This must be followed up by a comprehensive treaty against terrorism.

            The time has never been more opportune. The growing nervousness in Western capitals over the planting of Al Qaeda or like-minded terrorist 'sleeper' cells in their respective societies; even worse, the possibility that home-grown ideologically motivated West-hating potential suicide bombers may be ticking away silently, has effectively neutralized the specious plea that one nation's terrorists are another country's freedom fighters. Hence this is the time to press for international recognition that targeting and killing civilians cannot be justified or legitimized in any circumstances.


New Delhi must also firmly reiterate India's position on Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan-sponsored terrorism, and Western capitals which support Gen. Musharraf's stand that the murderers of innocents in the valley are 'freedom fighters' may be informed that India can retaliate by supporting claims for division of territory by their respective Islamic citizens. This threat already looms over several European nations, and is hence a rather potent weapon.  


New Delhi should also avail of the opportunity to highlight the ethnic cleansing of Bangladeshi Hindus by fundamentalist elements in the present regime in Dacca, and to demand that those responsible for this continuing outrage be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The international body must be urged to stop these atrocities forthwith, failing which India would be within her rights to take appropriate measures to protect these unfortunate victims.


In this context, it is worth noting that in the wake of the London blasts, Conservative leader and former Prime Minister John Major committed his party to unwavering support for strong governmental measures against those who live in the country and yet "spit hate" against the Anglo-Saxon way of life. Sir John was forthright enough to state that freedom of speech could not be used as a cover to incite people to violence and that the protection of the public was the first duty of the Government.


Calling for deportation of all terrorists, Sir John told the BBC Radio 4 that from the time he demitted office in 1997, he was aware of an increasing number of Islamist terror groups in the country and hence it would be wrong to say the Iraq war was responsible for the new wave of Islamist attacks. In fact, he said, terrorism had been growing for the past thirty years and did not threaten only the West.


            This is strong stuff. It is also a lesson to all political parties in India about how mature and responsible leaders conduct themselves in the face of terrorist attacks upon their nations and peoples. Far from using the London blasts to corner the Blair Government and canvass minority votes for his party for future elections, Mr. Major spoke up uncompromisingly against the politics of terror. Even more impressively, he dared defend the tragic shooting by the London police which resulted in the death of an innocent Brazilian national, saying: "I rather prefer the expression shoot-to-protect rather than shoot-to-kill. I think that is a more accurate description of what happened."


Sir John's remark about the local roots of an internationally connected terrorism effectively sums up the nature of the threat facing the world. While it is true that key terrorists in the London blasts had a Pakistani connection, the fact of the matter is also that there has been a home-grown radicalism of Britain's Islamic community, especially after the 2003 Twin Towers tragedy. This is a reality the hitherto indulgent Blair Government will have to admit, a fact Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was quick to point out.


So while it is true that the London bombers visited Pakistan prior to the attacks, it is unlikely that they went there for ideological training. As Pakistani scholar Admed Rashid recently told Spiegel Online, it is far more likely that they came to make contacts with militant groups and for training. This is likely because several Pakistani madrassas have been taken over by terrorist groups which are using them as recruiting platforms. And the reason why Gen. Musharraf cannot genuinely shut them down is because they are run by groups whose support he needs for some aspects of his foreign policy, most notably regarding Jammu & Kashmir and Afghanistan.


It is therefore unlikely that Pakistan, which is emerging as the global fulcrum of international Islamic terrorism, would be able to close down the military training camps conducted by terrorist-run madrassas or the ISI; hence the world is likely to witness more and more instances of terrorism with the ISI connection. India constitutes the hinterland of ISI-Islamic terrorism, but now the latter has extended its footprint into the front garden of Western nations. There has never been a better moment for an organized campaign to combat terrorism.  


Pioneer: Losing a natural ally

aug 23

as usual, trenchant and insightful commentary by claude.

The Pioneer
August 24

Losing a natural ally

Claude Arpi

One of my most vivid memories is travelling on a motorbike from Varanasi to Pokhara, in Nepal, some 20 years ago with my wife. On the way, we had stopped at Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha. This famous pilgrimage site is located just two km inside Nepalese territory. The peace around this sacred place, and especially near the peepal tree, deeply moved us.

There was also something I remember till today: The feeling that we were not in a foreign country. Nothing in the flat landscape, the food or the atmosphere showed that we had left India. Indeed, Nepal and India have never been foreign to each other; for thousands of years people moved freely across a border which did not exist.

A few years later, I travelled to Tibet via Nepal. The first thing which struck me on crossing the Friendship Bridge marking the border was the change in landscape, language and atmosphere. It was a totally different environment, a different country. India and Nepal have always been 'natural' partners. Unfortunately, this seems to have recently changed.

In early August, India's Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee spoke of his concern about the situation in Nepal which could "go out of hand" because the Nepalese Army's efforts to crush the Maoist rebellion "were proving ineffective". Though the suppression of democracy can certainly not be defended, it is clear that India has not whole-heartedly supported its Himalayan neighbour in its fight against the Maoists, though this would have been 'natural' given that Delhi faces similar problems in several States.

Mr Mukherjee himself admitted to the close links between the Maoists and many Naxalites groups in India: "Many of them have the fancy idea of setting up a liberated corridor starting right from the Terai region and going through parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and Maharashtra." But nothing is being done from the Indian side to counter this dangerous trend. After a meeting between with the Nepalese King in Jakarta in April, Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh agreed that the shipment of military equipment to Nepal could be resumed despite strong objections from the all-powerful Indian Communist comrades.

The Defence Minister made it clear that Indian support to Nepal is still conditional: "We are trying to impress upon the Nepalese Government to tackle the Maoists. But, unfortunately, certain recent developments in that country, like the suppression of its constitution and the multi-party system, had set back anti-Maoist initiatives." The bad will is two-sided: Recently, Kathmandu refused its airspace usage to an IAF helicopter to airlift a Kailash-Mansarovar pilgrim who had fallen ill on the Chinese side of the yatra. The Nepal Government also declined to lend a Royal Nepali Army chopper for the operation. Finally, it was Beijing which allowed an Indian chopper to fly from UP to Taklakot in Tibet to airlift the lady patient to Bareilly.

Of course, the first reaction of South Block was to 'think afresh' about its relations with Nepal and it did not rule out applying further pressure on the King's regime. Sadly, it will mean further deterioration in the relations. Worse, the Nepalese Army accused a state-run Indian arms manufacturer of having supplied faulty assault rifles to the kingdom; which resulted in heavy human loss in a gun battle with the Maoists earlier this month.

The Nepalese soldiers, who had taken part in the 10-hour encounter with the Maoists, declared that the Indian rifle frequently grew too hot and the soldiers had no alternative but to wait for it to cool before using it again. Though the officials of the rifle factory in West Bengal denied the poor quality of the guns, blaming poor maintenance of the weapons instead, the fact remains that 43 Nepalese soldiers lost their lives and 75 other are still missing.

Delhi is stuck on its one-point programme: The immediate restoration of democracy. When the National Security Council met on August 11 to review Indo-Nepal relations, the Indian Prime Minster could only declare that he hoped "King Gyanendra would adhere to his commitments to restore the political process". During this time, the relations between Nepal and China have reached new zenith; one could even speak of a `honeymoon'.

In mid-August, Nepal's Minister for Foreign Affairs Ramesh Nath Pandey left Kathmandu for Beijing on an 11-day official visit to the People's Republic of China on the invitation of his counterpart. Mr Pandey's objective was to take "the age-old good relations between Nepal and China to a new height". During his scheduled meetings with President Hu Jintao and other Chinese officials, he hoped "to strengthen the affable ties between the close neighbours and make (them) more fruitful".

The Nepalese Foreign Minister's first stop in Lhasa will have an immediate consequence: The Kathmandu-Lhasa bus service which had stopped two months ago due to a complicated visa procedure will be reopened. It was decided to hand over the task of processing travel documents to a Kathmandu-based private travel agency which will be fully responsible for processing permits required by passengers travelling from Nepal to the Tibetan capital. A steady flow of Nepalese can now be expected to visit the Tibetan capital for trade or tourism.

During Mr Pandey's visit to China (the third high official to visit the country during the last two months) several bilateral agreements on trade, commerce and culture will be signed. Furthermore, Beijing has offered $12 million aid to the kingdom. While most of Nepal's donor countries stopped aid and halted military cooperation to pressurise Kathmandu to return to democracy, Beijing never criticised Kathmandu and, on the contrary, has greatly increased its assistance to Nepal in fields such as telecommunication, road construction, health or economic development.

During a seminar in Kathmandu earlier this month, 'Nepal-China Relations: Future Prospects', marking the golden jubilee of Nepal-China diplomatic relations, the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Sun Heping spoke of the extent of coziness between the two countries: "Many Nepalese friends often appreciate both political and economic help given by China... China is also grateful to Nepal for its firm and strong support in the issues of Taiwan, Tibet and human rights."

Another development, which seemed innocuous at first, was the dialogue between China and Nepal on making the Himalayan kingdom the trade corridor between India and China. Beijing expressed its support to the "project which could be beneficial" (to China?). With Delhi and Kathmandu making the stand-off an ego issue, the situation is far from healthy. But for India, the loss of a second buffer zone, 55 years after the loss of Tibet, could have catastrophic repercussions on its security.

Recently, I came across one of the scariest books I have ever read. Unrestricted Warfare, written by Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui, two brilliant senior colonels of the People's Liberation Army, is a war manual detailing how a nation such as China can conduct asymmetric warfare. One chapter speaks of "Ten Thousand Methods Combined that Transcend Boundaries". One of these methods is to enlarge one's circle of influence without conducting war.

The two Chinese colonels had certainly read The Art of War written some 2,000 years ago by Sun Tzu. According to this war manual, which influenced Napoleon and Mao Zedong in their military campaigns, the ultimate art is to win a war without going to war. Is this not what we are witnessing in Nepal today? When will Delhi wake up to the threat of losing a natural ally and a buffer zone, especially at a time when the Maoist movement is becoming bolder in North and Central India.

telegraph (calcutta): sl rao on marxist modus operandi

aug 23rd

this is an exceptionally sensible article by s l rao.

communist plan = one man, one vote, one time.

once they take over the levers of the state, they will never let a mere election dislodge them. they will hang on by sheer muscle power. in effect, today, there is no way a non-marxist candidate can win an election in w bengal. if a non-marxist runs as a candidate, he/she will be murdered. ergo, the marxists get 100% of the seats, and probably 150% of the votes via booth-capturing etc. a reprise of what happens in n. korea, china etc.

the only difference is that the n koreans are korean nationalists. the chinese are chinese jingoists. the indian marxists are... chinese patriots! these people ought to be lined up and shot.

you guys saw the latest about the cpim student wing sfi objecting to sri sri ravi shankar's art of living. will they ever object to fellow-semitic  stuff? the cpim used state funds to give that ghoul m. teresa a state funeral. the cpim is perfectly happy to have islamists preach and teach violent religious fundamentalism. but when a hindu teaches something sensible, oh no, it bothers them.

i can see how one might even sympathize with that maniac pat robertson who wants the marxist chavez shot in venezuela. the marxists in india all deserve to be shot, or better still, sent to chinese gulags as 'guests of the state'.

the one good thing about the bangladeshi muslim invasion of bengal is that it will cleanse bengal of marxists. when they declare the new mughalistan or whatever they are calling it, we can be sure that all the bengali marxists would have migrated to safe parts of india to work their charm there.

Monday, August 22, 2005

nytimes: the end of oil

aug 22nd
semi-good news. for a while the saudis will make more money as oil goes through the roof, but then there is enough incentive for everyone else to explore alternatives.
the biggest issues facing us in the future will be energy and water. so it is imperative for india to create non-oil-dependent energy sources, such as nuclear.

nytimes: beslan survivor's account

aug 22nd
an eyewitness speaks about the beslan atrocity.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

harvard magazine: india's promise?

aug 21st

fairly typical american-ishtyle analysis of what's right and wrong in india. this fellow mouths the usual 'secular' claptrap about congress rule being *so* much better for the country. yeah, minorities are safe under the congress: just ask the 10,000 sikhs killed in 1984. and it's extremely unfair to lump the naxalites (who kill on average 2-3 people a day, cold-blooded murder) with the poor RSS (which goes around saving people, including, in a comical instance, christian priests, when they are in need). in fact, RSS people are likely to be murdered with impunity by naxalites and marxists (just go to kannur in kerala).

what is really wrong? in a word, governance. the country has become ungovernable because of the excessive interference by every vested interest. this is jawaharlal nehru's (Registered Trademark: India's First Prime Minister) true legacy: endemic corruption; not to mention the nehruvian rate of growth we are rapidly approaching again.

the suggestion that the state is so weak that india has an indonesia-like future is sobering. this of course argues for a china-style totalitarian state. maybe that's what all these american (and FOB indian-american) pundits really want: a totalitarian state that's easy to deal with, because it will shoot any dissenters.

China as fascist state: Brahma Chellaney

aug 21st

brahma is on the money as usual. china is the worst imperialist nation around. of course, the little missionary lambs they've seeded in india with small amounts of money can only see china with rose-colored glasses. i have long been of the opinion that china is the nazi state of the day, only worse, because they are a continent-sized state with a successful history of  recent imperialism (eg. tibet) which has whetted their appetite for more.


Times of India, Sunday Debate, 21 August 2005

Should India consider China a friend or rival?

It is a rival as its rise challenges Asian and global security

Brahma Chellaney
Strategic affairs expert

No nation has done more to undermine Indian security than communist
China. In fact, no sooner had the communists come to power than they
extended China's military frontiers up to India by gobbling up Tibet.
Then, behind the cloak of Hindi-Chini bhai bhai rhetoric, they
furtively encroached on Indian territories before setting out to
"teach India a lesson". In recent years, their strategy has blended
containment with engagement. Pakistan's new Chinese-supplied cruise
missile epitomises their continuing antagonism.

China has shed ideology in favour of increasingly fervent nationalism.
But its friends in India remain ideologically indebted to it. Such is
their fidelity that they present a foe of India as a friend. Indeed,
they oppose India undertaking the very measures that are making China
powerful. As China dumps cheap manufactured goods in the Indian
market, its friends oppose India acquiring similar capability through
reform of antediluvian labour laws and open competition in
labour-intensive manufacturing. China relentlessly expands its nuclear
and missile armouries, while continuing its WMD aid to Pakistan. But
its uncritical friends unleash criticism against their own country's

These China-lovers unabashedly portray China as a benign state, and
contend that the onus is on India to change its mindset. It is like
exhorting a victim to look up to its attacker. The apologists also
argue that if China wanted to do more against India, it could have
done so. It could have grabbed more territory in 1962, it could have
further aided Pakistan militarily, and it could have mounted
additional threats. Thus, according to their logic, India should look
at China positively. It is like urging a victim to be beholden for not
being raped again.

The appeasers believe the only alternative to appeasement is
provocation. They cannot grasp the simple truth that between
appeasement and aggravation lie a hundred different options. These are
the options India needs to explore and pursue vis-à-vis China — with
the same hardnosed realism and national-interest focus that Beijing

China's entrenched authoritarianism, vibrant centralised economy,
growing military and unbridled ambition to be "a world power second to
none" raises the spectre of an emerging fascist state. Its rise will
increasingly challenge Asian and global security. Just as India bore
the brunt of the rise of international terrorism because of its
geographical location, it will be frontally affected by the growing
power of a next-door opaque empire practising classical
balance-of-power politics.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

economist: china is getting more authoritarian

aug 18th

amazing! who'd've thought they'd become more totalitarian? certainly not the rose-colored-glasses economist of yore.

the sad fact though is that this is exactly what the upa, the congress and the left are doing in india as well. all liberalization is out the window so that there is no way to make any progress for the masses. we will soon be back to the nehruvian rate of growth.

there was an excellent article by a former director of an economic think tank which said something to the effect that the marxist tack in w bengal has been to prevent all progress until their cadres have completely taken over the state, and now they are trying to bring in investment. that is, no mere election is going to dislodge them. it would be really ironic if the bangladeshi muslims they have imported in large numbers start killing them for being godless communists. you must have noted the simultaneous bomb blasts in bangladesh demanding more islamism.

if bengalis are so prone to marxism, how come there aren't any in bangladesh? answer: the islamists there have killed them all or pushed them into india. besides, in a startling display of casteism, the uppercaste bhadralok w bengali moshoi of the cpim does not care about the lowercaste hindus being killed steadily in bangladesh.

the same is true in kerala too. the uppercaste and high-sudra cpim leaders are perfectly happy when the low-sudra thiyya/ezhavas who form their support base are killed in droves.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

bloomberg: ongc and mittal for kazakh oil, vying with china

aug 16th

this is the first time the deal between lakshmi mittal and ongc has resulted in a bid. expect more of the same.

bloomberg on satyam's rural BPO initiative

aug 16th

good stuff, this rural extension of the BPO boom

morgan stanley: on singapore-india trade pact

aug 16th

if the singaporeans can get over their sniffy chinese racism (lee kuan yew once said that if singapore had a majority indian population it would never have progressed, although he has been singing a different tune lately) this agreement could be useful. singaporeans have bloodied their noises and lost a fair amount of money in china, so they are a little less cocky these days.

happy new year to malayalis

aug 16th

tomorrow, chingam 1st (chingam = simham = leo), is the beginning of the malayalam new year 1081 Malabar Era (i think).

Saturday, August 13, 2005

happy (early) independence day!

aug 13th

let me wish you guys in india a happy independence day couple of days in advance.

guardian (uk): we hasten to add it had nothing, repeat nothing, to do with 7/7

aug 13th

the plot thickens. quite amusing, this.

a q khan's son-in-law beats up british diplomats and 'cusses' them.

august 13th. the day before pakistani independence day.

so obviously the khan son-in-law and pals were taking revenge for jallianwallah bagh. such patriotism! watch maleeha lodhi come out with this spin tomorrow. ROTFL.

the british consul will agree. it had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with the fact that pakistani fingerprinters were all over the 7/7 bombings, which those few britons who are not afflicted with dhimmitude have actually noticed.,11538,1548458,00.html

businessweek: on india and china and taiwan

aug 13th

a bunch of articles on india, china, taiwan. there have been some commentaries recently suggesting that india and taiwan become more friendly. i think this is timely, given chinese war-like noises against both taiwan and japan, not to mention against the us. in fact it was timely as long ago as 25 years ago.

Friday, August 12, 2005

FBI: "China is the biggest [espionage] threat to the U.S. today,"

aug 12th

forwarded by a friend.

now why doesn't this surprise me? the chinese are known to be unscrupulous to the max.

also, someone had mentioned on this blog that the key chips for the ipod were made by portal player (who's prohibihited from talking about it) of hyderabad. does anyone have more details about this?



Phantom Menace 

FBI Sees Big Threat From Chinese Spies;
Businesses Wonder

Bureau Adds Manpower, Builds
Technology-Theft Cases;
Charges of Racial Profiling 

Mixed Feelings at 3DGeo
August 10, 2005; Page A1

WASHINGTON -- Back in the 1980s, David Szady was among the premier Soviet spy catchers at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, studying every aspect of the Kremlin's mole network. Today, he's mobilizing agents across the country to sniff out spies from a new rival: Beijing.

"China is the biggest [espionage] threat to the U.S. today," says Mr. Szady, now 61 years old and assistant director of the FBI's counterintelligence division.

In one of their biggest initiatives after the fight against terrorism, the FBI and Justice Department have sent hundreds of new counterintelligence agents into the bureau's 56 field offices, many with a specific focus on China. There is a cloak-and-dagger element to some of this: A principal FBI team focusing on Chinese economic espionage, including some undercover operatives, occupies an unmarked floor in a Silicon Valley office park near a popular Chinese restaurant.

But this is an altogether different battle from the one with the Soviets. Thousands of Chinese nationals regularly come to the U.S. as students and businessmen, some working for major U.S. defense contractors -- something the Russians could only have dreamed of during the Cold War. They are welcomed with open arms by universities and companies who prize their technical acumen and links to capital and low-cost labor back home.

The vast majority of them are here innocently working or studying. Counterespionage experts say the trouble often starts when they are contacted by Chinese government officials or one of the more than 3,000 Chinese "front companies" the FBI alleges have been set up in the U.S. specifically to acquire military or industrial technologies illegally. Sometimes they are wooed with cash, but often the motivation is nationalism.

"They can work on so many levels that China may prove more difficult to contain than the Russian threat," Mr. Szady says.

Even as concerns mount in Washington about China's growing economic and military might, the government faces charges of racial profiling from Asian-American advocacy groups and ambivalence from some business groups. Working with sometimes vague laws on technology exports, it is having trouble making some of its cases stick.

The government is currently prosecuting about a dozen cases against individuals alleged to have sent technology -- sometimes designs, sometimes software, sometimes high-tech equipment -- to China illegally. FBI officials say at least three more cases will likely go ahead in the coming months. Over the past five years, the total number of such charges has grown by around 15% annually, according to some FBI agents.

Most of the cases involve small, lesser-known tech firms. But Sun Microsystems Inc. and Transmeta Corp. were the targets in one alleged plot, where two Chinese nationals who had worked at the software and semiconductor giants were arrested at the San Francisco airport allegedly holding proprietary data from the companies. The pair were charged with economic espionage and the case is pending. The FBI's Business Alliance, established a year ago, has been meeting regularly with leading defense contractors to understand what technologies they're developing and what potential threats are posed by company employees. The participants include Lockheed Martin Corp., General Dynamics Corp. and Raytheon Co.

Growing Threat

The FBI campaign is part of a broader shift in Washington, where more and more policy makers see China's rapid economic rise as a threat to the U.S. both militarily and economically. That growing sentiment is seen in the heated debate over the recent failed bid by China's state-owned oil company Cnooc Ltd. for California's Unocal Corp. The Pentagon has caused a stir in recent months by raising the prospect that China's secretive military buildup could pose a significant long-term threat to Asia and the U.S.

Chu Maoming, the spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, calls the FBI's assertion that Beijing is coordinating spying activities inside the U.S. "totally groundless."

Many people in Silicon Valley are concerned that the FBI is overreaching. Asian-Americans worry about a new wave of racial profiling and say the crackdown is reminiscent of the 2000 case of Wen Ho Lee, a Taiwan-born American scientist who was fired from his job at Los Alamos National Laboratory and was prosecuted for allegedly giving away nuclear secrets to Beijing. After months in solitary confinement, all the espionage charges were eventually dropped, though Mr. Lee pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of mishandling top-secret information.

Business executives, meanwhile, fear a chill in commerce. "There's a bit of a disconnect between how the law-enforcement agencies see" the risk of espionage and how the business community does, says Harris Miller, the Arlington, Va.-based president of the Information Technology Association of America, one of the high-tech industry's principal lobbying groups. He says many U.S. companies are dependent upon manufacturing and conducting research in places like China -- and on the talents of Chinese employees.

"There's a real advantage to work with foreign nationals, as they're very talented," Mr. Miller says. "You don't want to turn them away just because they are not born in the U.S."
Even some of the victims of alleged Chinese espionage have mixed feelings about the FBI's campaign.

Software maker 3DGeo Development Inc. suspected it had a spy problem when it brought in for training Yan Ming Shan, an employee of one of 3DGeo's clients, state-owned oil company PetroChina Co. The Chinese oil giant had earlier sent an employee to train at 3DGeo's Santa Clara, Calif., campus, but he was ejected after trying to gain access to the software company's secured systems. Mr. Shan then appeared and was expelled after doing the same thing. Mr. Shan was later arrested at San Francisco International Airport and accused of seeking to pass on some of 3DGeo's proprietary software programs to PetroChina.

Mr. Shan, a Chinese national, was sentenced last December to two years in prison for illegally accessing 3DGeo's computers.

Dimitri Bevc, 3DGeo's president, says the episode highlights a dilemma for the company, which is seeking to secure its intellectual property but also expand its business in Asia. "There's incredible demand from Chinese firms that are hungry for technology," says Mr. Bevc. "But we are built on our own intellectual property."

Now Mr. Bevc is afraid his company is being punished in the Chinese marketplace. The company is still seeking payments from PetroChina for work completed in September 2001, says Mr. Bevc. Meanwhile, 3DGeo's sales representative told Mr. Bevc his Chinese sales prospects have been drying up. "What we heard back was...that 3DGeo did something wrong" by taking action against Mr. Shan, who served most of his sentence while awaiting trial and has since returned to China, says Mr. Bevc.

PetroChina declined to comment on the case. Nicholas Humy, an attorney for Mr. Shan, said his client pleaded guilty only to illegally accessing 3DGeo's computer system and not to stealing the company's software or seeking to pass it on to a foreign entity. "The government never proved to a jury...that Mr. Shan was trying to commit industrial espionage," Mr. Humy said.

October Trial

On the military side, prosecutors at the San Jose, Calif., offices of the Department of Justice are preparing for an October trial of two Silicon Valley residents. The pair were indicted in June 2004 for allegedly signing contracts with Chinese military-related entities to provide high-tech gear and consulting work for the mass production of thermal-imaging cameras. Technology industry officials say the case highlights the murkiness of export laws.
The case involves Night Vision Technology Corp., a San Jose-based firm that procures infrared technology and other high-tech equipment for overseas buyers, particularly in Taiwan. The company is headed by Martin Shih, 62, a Taiwanese-Canadian executive with wide experience as an electrical engineer, working both in Canada and in California with satellite-communications company Loral Space & Communications Ltd. Mr. Shih's Taiwanese-American consultant, Philip Cheng, was also charged.

Pretrial motions filed by the two men's attorneys speak to the belief of many in the technology industry that U.S. laws guarding technology exports are difficult to interpret because so often the technologies have legitimate commercial applications. They also say products like infrared cameras can't be blocked for export because they have numerous commercial applications, such as use in consumer-electronics items. The lawyers also point out that the equipment can be purchased on the open market in countries such as France.

"The indictment does not allege -- and the government cannot plausibly argue" that the infrared products "were 'specifically designed, modified, or configured for military use,' " according to one of the motions by the lawyers, quoting from the indictment.

An attorney for Mr. Shih, K.C. Maxwell, said her client would plead not guilty in the October trial. An attorney for Mr. Cheng, Matt Pavone, declined to comment.

The FBI has had a difficult time making similar charges stick against other alleged Chinese spies. In May, Qing Chang Jiang, a Chinese national in the import-export business, was acquitted in a California court on charges of illegally selling microwave amplifiers, which can be used in radar and missile systems, to the Beijing government.

The technology is involved in so many nonmilitary commercial applications that many companies aren't aware they need a license to export it, say attorneys who have worked on these cases. Mr. Jiang's lawyer says that the U.S. company he got the technology from, L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.'s Narda Microwave-West, told him he didn't need a license and so he went ahead with the sale.

A spokeswoman for L-3 Communications declined to comment. But the U.S. Department of Commerce said L-3 Communications was aware an export license was required and that the company worked closely with the government on the case.

Mr. Jiang was convicted on a lesser charge of making false statements to federal investigators and is currently awaiting sentencing in California. His attorney, Tom Nolan, believes the U.S. government is systematically targeting Asian businessmen. "They're trying to prevent Chinese industry from doing business in the U.S.," he says.

Asian-American community leaders note that the number of Asian-Americans applying for government research jobs plummeted after the Wen Ho Lee case, and warn of a similar mutually destructive chill now. "At a time when the U.S. government is so dependent on the scientific skills of our community, it seems crazy that they've taken steps that dampen our desire to serve," says Cecilia Chang, a Fremont, Calif.-based Asian-American activist who led many protests and donation drives for Mr. Lee.

And that could have a big impact on American academia and commerce. About 150,000 Chinese students are currently studying in the U.S., according to the FBI, and the number of new admissions has been rising. Nearly 64,000 Chinese students entered the U.S. last year, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, up from 55,000 in 1998. All told, about 700,000 Chinese tourists and business executives visit the U.S. each year.

The swirl of suspicions and tensions between the FBI, China and the Chinese-American community has surfaced even among the bureau's own agents. Mr. Szady has made a point of hiring more Asian-Americans into his counterespionage network. Yet in the past two years, the FBI brought charges against two of its own Chinese-American employees in Los Angeles, accusing them of having aided Beijing. One case was thrown out this year and the other is pending.

Mr. Szady acknowledges the inherent complexity of monitoring the Chinese community in the U.S., and says he's trying to find a balance: "How do you protect without being overbearing?" But he argues that it's the Chinese government, not the FBI, that is blurring the lines between legitimate transborder commerce and national rivalry. He says that Beijing doesn't recognize the concept of Chinese-American. In the government's eyes, "they are all overseas Chinese," says Mr. Szady, a lanky former chemistry student dubbed the "Z Man" by his agents.

Warming Relations

Mr. Szady and other FBI experts believe China began intensifying its spying operations in the late 1970s, when warming relations between Washington and Beijing opened the way for hundreds of thousands of Chinese to begin visiting the U.S. annually. These analysts say units of the People's Liberation Army and China's Ministry of State Security oversee intelligence operations, and that the state-run Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics has targeted U.S. weapons labs.

In addition, the Beijing government runs an extensive, informal, decentralized spy network, counterespionage experts allege. In most cases, Beijing's spy agencies don't send trained agents to the U.S. to penetrate companies and government agencies, but rather simply seek to glean information from the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who visit and study in the U.S. every year. They also try to get Chinese-Americans to provide information, appealing to their desire to help uplift China's economy.

"In almost all of its collections operations, China is not so much looking at opportunities for stealing devising all sorts of opportunities for you to come to the conclusion that you would be willing to give at least some of these things," says Paul Moore, who was the FBI's top China analyst from 1978 through 1998. "It's the mundane, day-to-day contacts that are killing us, not the exotic spy operations."

Write to Jay Solomon at


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Global terrorism - The Pakistan-Saudi Arabia nexus

aug 12th

forwarded by  ram narayanan.

i have been shouting from the rooftops for years that the true axis of evil is china, pakistan and saudi arabia. alas, i have been cursed with the cassandra syndrome: of being the ignored prognosticator.

and there is absolutely no reason to hope that saudi arabia will change in any way. even while fahd was alive, abdullah was the de facto ruler, so what's the difference.

the only way saudi arabia will change is if/when we find alternate forms of energy, and petroleum becomes a valueless commodity. then the saudis will go back to being desert nomads.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ram Narayanan <>
Date: Aug 12, 2005 2:47 PM
Subject: Global terrorism - The Pakistan-Saudi Arabia nexus
To: Undisclosed-Recipient

Dear Friends:
A good article by Ambassador Parthasarathy.. Also see
in which Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy says:
>> While Pakistan has certainly played and continues to play a very nefarious role as a statesponsor of Islamist extremism, the worldwide growth of violent Islamism would simply not have occurred without the extraordinary involvement of Saudi Arabia in cultivating it at each and every stage
and concludes:
>> Faced with this unprecedented Islamist subversion and the reality of Muslim ghettoes throughout Europe being transformed into violent, crime-ridden Islamist anti-societies, European governments continue to make sense of extremism by spouting multicultural platitudes and blowback inanities. Worse still, the West still operates under the delusion that the likes of Saud's kingdom and Musharaf's duplicitous regime are somehow our strategic allies. A delusion that will cost us dearly in the long-term for as Lao Tzu told us centuries ago you can't win a war if you don't know who the enemy is.
Ram Narayanan
 "But the Pakistani-Saudi Arabian nexus goes beyond terrorism. In July 2000, the Petroleum Intelligence Weekly reported that Saudi Arabia was sending 150,000 barrels of oil per day virtually free of cost to Pakistan. These supplies, currently valued at $ 3.2 billion annually, still continue. "
 Global terrorism — The Pakistan-Saudi Arabia nexus

G. Parthasarathy

There is no dearth of evidence that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are partners in global terrorism. Mosques and jehadi-oriented madrassas in both countries spout anti-Western venom. Terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba have links in Saudi Arabia. There are reports of extensive nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia since 1994. Hopefully, says G. Parthasarathy, the new Saudi monarch, King Abdullah, will avoid the path of sponsoring terror abroad.

WHEN SAUDI ARABIA'S ailing ruler King Fahd died after a prolonged illness on August 1, his last rites were performed according to strict Wahhabi traditions, with people going about their normal lives. But the one person who reacted as though his beloved uncle had died and proceeded to mourn publicly, was Pakistan's President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, who promptly declared a week-long state mourning and became the first non-Arab ruler of a Muslim country to announce that he would be present in Saudi Arabia at the last rites of the Saudi monarch.

What is it that prompted this show of grief and solidarity by Gen Musharraf? He had, after all, paid an official visit to the Wahhabi Kingdom barely six weeks ago? Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are now finding themselves in the same boat on issues of global terrorism. Pakistan's ISI continues to provide support to the Taliban and such Jehadi groups as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed, whose cadres are being arrested worldwide for inciting and promoting terrorism. There are strong suspicions that government-backed Saudi charities such as the Al Harmain Islamic Foundation, the International Institute for Islamic Thought, and the International Islamic Relief Organisation continue to fund extremist and terrorist activities worldwide and disturb peace and harmony in pluralistic societies.

King Abdullah, who has just ascended the throne in Riyadh, is respected as a moderate who realises the dangers of funding and supporting terrorism abroad.

The same, however, cannot be said of others in the Royal Family, including members of the powerful Sudairi clan, who have controlled the levers of power and defied Abdullah even when he was the kingdom's de facto ruler, after King Fahd became incapacitated. It is no secret the influential Royals of the Sudairi clan such as the Governor of Riyadh Prince Salman have funded extremist Islamist causes worldwide.

Prince Salman, for example, channelled huge funds to Islamic extremist groups in Bosnia, He is also known to have assisted in the provision of arms and training to Chechen rebels. King Fahd's "favourite" son Prince Abdul Aziz (popularly known as Azouzi) is reported to have sent millions of dollars through a known associate of Osama bin Laden to "slaughter Russian soldiers and civilians alike" in Chechnya.

Azouzi is also known to have transferred huge sums of money to countries Germany, Spain and the US to fund Wahhabi Islamic causes that preach hatred of the west.

His love for opulence is such that he was permitted by an indulgent father to spend $4.6 billion for constructing a palace outside Riyadh. Not surprisingly, one of America's leading experts Robert Baer, who was formerly in the CIA, says that Saudi Arabia is ruled by "an increasingly bankrupt, criminal, dysfunctional royal family that is hated by the people it rules'.

One would have expected that after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 the Americans would come down heavily on Saudi Arabia's rulers. Washington has instead chosen to tread cautiously.

It is well-known that humanitarian causes dear to influential people such as Mrs Barbara Bush and Mrs Nancy Reagan have been funded by the Saudi Royals. Influential Americans including the Vice-President, Mr Dick Cheney, and Messrs George Schultz, James Baker, Colin Powell and Henry Kissinger have all been associated with companies such as the Carlyle Group, Haliburton and Chevron-Texaco that deal extensively with Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis are estimated to have invested over $500 billion in the US. They remain a major buyer of American arms and are the largest supplier of oil to the US. They have also played ball with the Americans in keeping global oil prices at levels that the Americans find acceptable. But while the Bush Administration has avoided public criticism of the links of Saudi Royals with international terrorism, American writers such as Robert Baer, Gerald Posner and Craig Unger have been given access to information about their terrorist links.

Gerald Posner recently revealed that when the FBI captured a top Al Qaeda man Abu Zubaydah in Faisalabad, the terrorist revealed that his main contacts in Saudi Arabia were Prince Ahmed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, a wealthy royal with a passion for racehorses, Prince Sultan bin Turki al Saud, a nephew of King Fahd, and Prince Fahd bin Turki, another relative of the monarch.

Zubaydah told his American interrogators that the Royal Family struck a deal with the Al Qaeda for the latter not to target it. He also revealed that Prince Ahmed was informed beforehand that the Al Qaeda was planning to strike American targets on September 11, 2001.

Zubaydah further revealed that the Al Qaeda had also struck a deal with the Pakistani military and informed Pakistan's Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir of the impending 9/11 attacks.

Not surprisingly, the Bush Administration has remained silent on these allegations. More ominously, the 43-year-old Prince Ahmed died mysteriously in his sleep a few weeks after Zubyadah's revelations. His cousin Prince Sultan bin Turki died the next day in a "car accident" while proceeding to attend Prince Ahmed's funeral. Prince Fahd bin Turki died mysteriously a week later of "thirst" while he was said to be driving in the desert. Finally, the last person whose identity was revealed by Abu Zubaydah as having known of the impending terrorist attacks of 9/11, Air Chief Marshal Mir, died in a mysterious air crash in Pakistan.

According to Posner, the air crash in which Air Chief Marshal Mir died is widely believed to have been an act of sabotage. There is no dearth of evidence now that if Pakistan and China are partners in nuclear and missile proliferation, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are similarly partners in global terrorism. Mosques and jehadi-oriented madrassas in both countries spout anti-Western venom. Terrorist groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba have links in Saudi Arabia.

This is evident from the phone calls made by Lashkar militants operating in India to contacts in Saudi Arabia. But the Pakistani-Saudi Arabian nexus goes beyond terrorism. In July 2000, the Petroleum Intelligence Weekly reported that Saudi Arabia was sending 150,000 barrels of oil per day virtually free of cost to Pakistan. These supplies, currently valued at $ 3.2 billion annually, still continue.

Robert Baer has reported that the US has known of extensive nuclear cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia since 1994. The Saudi Defence Minister, Prince Sultan, was given unprecedented access to Pakistan's nuclear facilities in Kahuta in May 1999.

Dr A. Q. Khan visited Saudi Arabia shortly thereafter. According the Pakistani writer Amir Mir, Gen Musharraf's visit to Saudi Arabia on June 25-26 was primarily to discuss how to deny the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to information about the Pakistan-Saudi Arabia nuclear nexus. Saudi Arabia is said to be resisting pressures to adhere to the IAEA's Additional Protocol, which Iran has been compelled to accept.

Saudi Arabia has been a consistent supporter in the Organisation of Islamic Conference of Pakistan's protégés in the Hurriyat Conference in Jammu and Kashmir. It is going to take a long time for members of the Saudi Royal Family to stop funding extremist Islamic causes that destabilise pluralistic societies across the world. One sincerely hopes King Abdullah will avoid going down the path chosen by Gen Musharraf. No country can insulate itself from the inevitable consequences of sponsoring jehad and extremism abroad, while piously proclaiming its abhorrence of such causes. Words necessarily have to be matched by deeds.

(The author is a former High Commissioner to Pakistan.)


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

sikh genocide, nanavati commission, crimes against humanity

aug 9th

i am reminded of the great, classic film 'z' by costa-gavras, which is based on real-life events. a fascist right-wing conspiracy murders a leftist candidate for president, and a judge of great integrity and courage unravels the mystery and sentences a large number of the perpetrators to jail sentences. however, the witnesses mysteriously begin to die. the photographer who unearthed crucial evidence 'leaps to his death' from a 10-storey building while in police custody. in the end, there is a coup d'etat and the judge himself, although he escapes being killed, loses his job.

i am sure this salutary experience was in justice nanavati's mind as he wrote the report of the commission. the indian state acts as a fascist leftist state (i once wrote about the predatory indian state, which is a direct descendant of the predatory muslim state and the predatory christian state which we have endured: for instance, ask yourself why the local administrator is called a 'collector'. his job is to collect taxes, not to serve the public), and there is no telling what the consequences could be to the judge and others. therefore, nanavati treads lightly.

nevertheless, a case for crimes against humanity should be filed in the international criminal court against the perpetrators and their friends in high places. according to official numbers, 3,000 sikhs were massacred. going by the way the press has multiplied official estimates in other cases, this may mean 5x, ie 15,000 sikhs were actually killed. this is not an insignificant number in absolute terms for a small community such as the sikhs.

if there could be an international enquiry into rwanda and into bosnia-serbia, there is no reason why there shouldn't be one into this.

i have always been highly respectful of the sikh contribution to india, see an old column of mine 'remember jallianwallah bagh'. they were the great patriots, the 'first-born innocents' who were always there to defend mother india. for the ruling party of the state to have turned against them in this genocidal manner is historically unforgiveable. it is true that there was sikh terrorism incited by, as usual, the pakistanis, but that is no reason for this deliberate and pre-meditated pogrom against a defenseless, easily identified minority group. unlike muslims and christians, who are majority groups worldwide and have powerful godfathers abroad, the sikhs are a classic minority group. the fact that genocide against them went unpunished ipso facto supports that claim--powerless minority.

in ethics, there is the concept of deontological analysis: that is, how a certain act affects the most deprived and powerless constituency. in this case, the sikhs, a small and numerically powerless group whose vote-bank value is minimal, were severely affected. from a deontological perspective, this implies a major ethical failing. heads should roll for this. if the government had any sense of ethics, they would resign; certainly they would not attempt to protect the specifically accused ministers. otherwise they are no better than the british eulogizing general dyer after jallianwallah bagh: colonial masters intent on theft, with no sense of responsibility for the colonized.

if so, then india is clearly a pseudo-democracy. in fact it is a kakistocracy, rule by the very worst.

moi on rediff re the 7/7 bombings and related

aug 9th, nagasaki day. i have actually been to nagasaki a few times; there is a peace park there with many monuments from all over the world, but not from america.
i am not at all convinced that there was a need to bomb nagasaki. it was an instrument of terror, the atomic bomb.
there are no saints when it comes to large-scale terrorism, especially among the semitic/abrahamic types.

indian express: 'dravidians' fiddle, india burns

aug 7th

the sethusamudram project is a 'dravidian' thing for that exercrable t. baalu, who is a hindu-hater. he once told a christian fundamentalist audience that he was ashamed to have been born a hindu.

the idea is multifold: a. destroy the ancient rama's bridge from the mahabharata times
b. give his pet port in tuticorin a boost. incidentally, for this purpose, he recently axed the proposal for a deep-water container terminal at vizhinjam, trivandrum. this container port would have competed with tuticorin, which is a minor port. vizhinjam, with 56 feet depth near shore -- this is the highest draught available on the west coast, even greater than karwar, where the new indian naval station is -- would have been able to capture a lot of the container ships that now go to colombo or to singapore since they cannot be docked in india, and the containers are then transferred to smaller ships that can dock in southern india.

these dmk types will destroy india for the momentary glory of some obscure part of tamil nadu. they cannot see beyond narrow-minded tamil concerns. of course, baalu will be happy to be a christian tamil, if he's not already one. like most of the tamil tiger leaders are too: velupillai prabhakaran, methodist. anton balasingham, catholic. and so on.

Stephen Cohen's Views on the US-India Nuclear Technology Agreement

aug 9th
stephen cohen shows once again that he is
a) biased in favor of pakistan
b) not particularly knowledgeable
such is one of america's major 'south asia' experts. in the usual american way, if someone has transited through mumbai airport en route to singapore, he has become an 'india expert'.
someone i know has consistently shown how second-rate a 'scholar' cohen is, by asking him simple questions which have made him go 'ummm... uhh..., but, but...'
yet, these ignorami are able to run rings around indian delegations consisting of jnu alumni and other nehruvian stalinists. that shows the intellectual caliber of the indian teams.
forwarded by ram narayanan

i am reposting this with only the link. why waste blog space on something that is mostly an advertisement for cohen's latest book?

interesting business news

aug 8th

cisco may buy nokia.

huawei of china (cisco knock-off) may buy marconi of the uk.

reliance finds 3.75 trillion cubic feet of gas in madhya pradesh. india's total gas reserves are in the 30 tcf range.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

daily times of pak: muslim doublespeak

aug 7th

takes guts for a muslim to say this in pakistan about how they should give up on their ummah and concentrate on being good citizens of their country. forget what's happening to some random muslim somewhere else. their problems are their problems and let them solve them.

such a refreshing counter to the gandhian blunder of supporting the khilafat movement which was worried about the replacement of the caliph in far-off turkey. in response, muslims in malabar went on a dance of death in 1921 and killed, raped, converted 10,000 completely un-involved hindus. of course, that brought the caliph back to power in turkey. what do you mean, it didn't?

thanks to reader arvind for forwarding this.

nytimes: krugman on sowing doubt

aug 7th

precisely what the indian jnu-nehruvian stalinist establishment has done with ayodhya. there is overwhelming proof about the hindu antecedents, but they keep raising the bar. the only evidence the 'eminent historians' will accept is a videotape of babur personally demolishing the rama temple. and then they will 'prove' that the videotape has been doctored.

a powerful force, the seeding of doubt. in the us the religious fundies do it; in india, the chinese-funded and vatican-funded jaichands do it for their 30 silver coins. and they have their 'scholarly papers' [see 'eminent historians' for shourie's take on how they do them; on this blog i once posted a dada engine reference for how these papers can be generated automatically by a nonsense-spewing computer program]