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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud

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Monday, March 31, 2008

Bush regrets invasion of Iraq

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Posted by: danish Ahmed 3:50 AM

In a startling revelation, US President George W. Bush confessed that his un-mis-handling of American policies post 9/11 has actually harmed the US more than the attack itself. Sitting with the corespondent Ofol Lapir, in his Oval office , munching pretzel and savoring his last few days as its occupant, Mr. Bush thoughtfully says,"I now realize how foolish I have been, launching invasions and killing hundreds and thousands of Afghans and Iraqis. The 9/11 attack was a bait to manipulate us and make us deploy our troops in a region and in a situation in which we will be engaged in a long drawn battle of attrition which is hundred times costlier to us Americans than they are to those wretched Afghans and Iraqis. "

The President further confesses,"I know I have been stupid to take the bait hook, line and sinker but regardless of what I say to the press the fact is I'm not the only decider. There are other people too whose opinions count, sometimes even more than mine."
When asked if he was referring to his aides like Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice or corporate lobbies, President Bush looked at the reporter incredulously and continued,"How the heck am I supposed to know that? I am just a strong,decisive and wartime President who does what he is told to do, without giving a lot of attention to who actually said it."

However, he calms down the next second and continues,"I know my policies have earned us more critics than friends but I am resolved to make amends after my term is over."
Just when you think that Bush has made another of his mis-statements while saying that he will make amends after he is no longer in power, Bush Jr. surprises us by elaborating on his plans suggesting that his long stint at power or sight of horrendous bloodshed and gore he participated in might have left him a bit more mature.

Gone is the rustic cowboy mannerism and a ten-year old kid's IQ that had hitherto been an important part of the President's image worldwide. A wizened G. W. Bush now elaborates his post-retirement plan. "As I said earlier, my policies post 9/11 terror attack have earned America more notoriety than admiration and sympathy world-wide. Most governments have been supportive of our policies and are even taking active part in our war against terror as our allies but I am aware that the populations of those very countries are against my policies, in fact, a half of the American population itself is sorely opposed to my policies. Our decisions to launch armed assault and invasions have always been based on the ideals to bring in democracy and freedom, so far we have not been successful but what if we succeed ? Just imagine true democratic governments in all those countries where local populations are so vehement in opposition to our policies!"

"Realizing this towards the end of my second term I am unable to undo my mistakes, so I now plan to go on goodwill missions to countries with large hostile populations and work at the grass root level to eliminate misconception about our great nation."

President Bush's candid confession has created ripples in the global media. Earlier this month there were reports that Bush, taking a cue from former US president Bill Clinton and Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, was working on his memoirs which is said to be set for release shortly after his retirement. Bush's latest statements are also seen as effort to garner publicity for his yet to be released biography. However, many observers feel that the American president is not only incapable of writing an autobiography but is also incapable of articulating his views to another writer. A long time analyst observes, "It is really difficult to imagine Bush writing a book or getting someone to write one for him, maybe he is planning to write a two page essay, something like My Pet Goat but to say that he is working on his autobiography is bit too hard to believe".

* I hate to add this spoiler but some people just fail to see a joke when they come across one, even if its 31st March

Posted By danish Ahmed 3:50 AM

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The 8-Tag

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Posted by: danish Ahmed 8:44 PM

Taking up Busybee's tag "athe pe atha".

8 things Im passionate about:
(not in same order)
1. The first one is not a "thing" but a person.
2. Myself :D
3. Knowledge (R-W-X includes books, tv,gadgets...)
4. My ideology/principles
5. My friends
6. Team India
7. Hacking (its not what the media potrays )
8. Madhuri Dixit
Im also passionate about rights like the right to privacy which Busybee violated :D

8 things I want to do before I die:

1. Discover elixir of life !
If I really actually have to die

2. Do something to leave the world a tiny bit better place than the world I was born into.
3. Clear all dues, monetary and otherwise.(this actually covers everything)
4. Write a book (maybe more than one)
5. Spend a few days with ... in a beach resort or hill station.

I dont have a lot of plans but may be I would like to do stuffs like meet Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit and a few other celebs in person.
I cant think of anything else at the moment.( that are not x-rated :D )

8 things I always say.
i make conscious effort to not repeat words or phrases. But i'll still try to come up with a list.
1. Hi, hey, wassup, ASAK.
2. Sh*t, F*ck, d@mn, most vernacular slangs ( i notice that while i have no problems writing english slangs even if with * im not comfy doing the same with vernacular slangs- double standards ? )

3. Its simple/Its logical
4. I told you so.
5. Thank God, Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God)
6. Puhlease
7. Actually, obviously,really
8. Ok, tata, bye-bye, tc,ciao, phir milenge

8 books I have read recently:
I was really surprised that I remember the names and order :

1. Ibn Arabi's Heir to the Prophets.
2. Deathly Hallows
3. Been re-reading the Gita
4. Digital Fortress
5. The Bretheren
6. Athabasca
7. Bourne Legacy
8. 1984 by Orwell

8 songs I could listen to again and again :

1. Tere mere milan ki ye raina (Abhiman: Kishore/Lata )
2. Humein Tum Se Pyar Kitna (Kudrat: Kishore)
3. Karz numbers including Om Shanti Om and Ek Haseena thi by Kishore and Dard-E-Dil by Rafi.
4. Ye daulat bhi le lo ( Jagjit Singh)
5. Dil hoom hoom kare (Rudali: Bhupen Hazarika and Lata Mangeshkar)
6. Ka Karoon Sajani ( Sawan Ko Aane Do: Yesudas)
7. Allah Ke Bande (Waise Bhi Hota Hai- 2 : Kailash Kher)
8. Maa (Tare Zameen Par: Shankar Mahadevan)

8 things that attract me to my best friends :

1. Intelligence/Wit
2. Some degree of sophistication (I cant stand people with crass mentality)
3. Adherence to an ideology/religion.
4. Sense of humor.
5. Unorthodox/ Open to change.
6. Willingness and capability to participate unannounced and spontaneous verbal duels any time of the day or night.
7. Sucker for knowledge in any form.
8. Compassion

I pass the tag to Ghalib Fan (just found him back in bee's blog ), Angel, Zaina, Tanzim, PG, Phoenix and anyone who visits this post.

Posted By danish Ahmed 8:44 PM

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New SouthAsia policy for India

Posted by: danish Ahmed 3:04 AM

For a week now Scarlett Keeling rape and murder case has been hogging all the headlines. Columnists, bloggers, political/social commentators and the chatterati seem to have found a new diet for digestion. I am not complaining, it is not just the body of Scarlett Keeling that required a second autopsy, the whole incident and the roles of all involved should be subjected to a public autopsy. But other issues need to be addressed too. It was heartening to see all major political parties of India unanimously criticising US State Department's report on human rights violation in Nandigram. One can never cease from being amazed at American arrogance and idiocy. With the number of human rights violation USA commits everyday, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gautanamo Bay, it must require extraordinary arrogance to accuse an Indian state of human rights abuse. However, India has much to learn from the USA in this particular incidence. While releasing the report US did not allow its growing proximity with India to influence the report. It had no moral right to accuse West Bengal government of human right abuse but it did have the political right as have all other nation-states.
I have written before that India’s China policy almost always borders on extremes, Indian policy-makers view China as the greatest foe or the greatest friend but inter-state relations are hardly construed that way since there are too many factors involved. Right from the days of Nehru India’s foreign policy vis-à-vis China has never been pragmatic but it has taken a new form after the arrest of Tibetan protesters in India. As I write this news is coming in that at least seven protesters have been killed by the Chinese police in Lhasa, international community is concerned but India remains silent. Traditionally India has sympathized with the Tibetans and has accommodated a large number of Tibetan refugees including important political refugees like the Dalai Lama but has never been overtly critical of China's ruthless campaign of intimidation against Tibetan activists. But in recent years there has been a significant shift in India's foreign policy vis.a.vis China. And it is not just Tibetans whose suffering is being overlooked by the Indian government, a few months back when the international community was almost unanimous in condemning Burmese military junta's crack-down on pro-democracy protesters, India chose to look the other way.

This ideological shift in foreign policy is largely attributed to the new economic policy which requires better relationship with both China and Myanmar. In international politics relationships of nation-states are hardly ever defined in absolute terms leave alone emotionalism. Political strategies and statements need not always influence economic policies of a state unless the states are engaged in a major confrontation. Where economic co-operation is concerned, states are more likely to be influenced by mutual benefits rather than political statements. Had India been arming and training Tibetan and Burmese insurgent and secessionists the scenario would have been different. Ironically, Burma continues to shelter Indian insurgents but India instead of lodging complaint, is trying to appease the Burmese Junta by abandoning its support of the pro-democracy movement.

A similar situation may be arising in India's policy regarding Tibet. Being the largest and one of the most functional democracy in the region, it has certain responsiblities including support for democratic movements. Apart from its policy towards Pakistan, , India follows an over-cautious policy when other nation-states of the region are concerned. By distancing itself from pro-democratic movements India risks earning disfavor of Tibetan and Burmese populations. As it is India hardly has a neighbor whose population is favourably disposed towards it.

The US State Department's report should serve as an example to drive home the point that friendly relationship with another state should not deter us from criticising or speaking out against tyranny and suppression.

Posted By danish Ahmed 3:04 AM

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Elephant and the Dragon

Posted by: danish Ahmed 5:42 PM

(This is a repost of my article published here in June 2007 )

Last week the Chinese Foreign Minister has reiterated his country's claim over Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian Prime Minister on his part said that China was India's greatest neighbor and vowed to do everything to cement the relationship of both countries. No, it is not "Lage Raho Munna Bhai" hang over and not because he didn't call the Chinese Foriegn Minister 'sick' but because it was not an unprecedented move. Way back in the 50's Jawaharlal Nehru after unsuccessfully backing Chang Kaishek reversed his policy by becoming one of the first to recognize People's Republic of China. Soon afterwards followed the Panchsheel accord and the "hindi-chini bhai bhai" slogans, and Nehru as opposed to Sardar Patel began to perceive China as a potential ally to form a formidable Asian axis. He was in for a rude shock when the Chinese attacked and captured an Indian outpost first and later captured a huge stretch of land. i do not intend to say that the Chinese attack was unprovoked but only that for some mysterious reasons Nehru just didn't believe that China would actually launch an invasion and as a consequence India had to suffer a humiliating defeat. Nehru's mishandling of the Chinese threat was the one of the greatest mistake he committed in his long political career.
Coming back to the present, i think i am not the only one who is reminded of Nehru's mistake when reading Manmohan Singh's statement, it has been widely discussed since. i do not intend to say that India should consider China as the biggest threat, what i want to say is that China doesn't have to be either India's greatest friend or its greatest foe, it is just not pragmatic. It is one of the things we are yet to learn from China itself, that a foreign policy should be based on pragmatism and not emotion. Even if the border dispute were solved overnight, i wouldn't expect the two countries to become the greatest friends because of some fundamental factors that go against it. For instance, India views China as a regional bully with imperialistic design to assume a position which rightfully belongs to India. China on the other hand has a very identical view on Indian policies. Besides, China's assistance to Pakistan and India's sympathy for Tibetans would always be an impediment in developing closer ties. Further, India just cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that China still occupies a vast stretch of Indian territory. Then again it would be difficult to forget that China has repeatedly objected to India's bid for a permanent seat in the UN. But the most interesting part is that India never had a comprehensive China policy, i am reminded of a statement made by an American diplomat, whose name i forget, but the statement ran like "if you want to empty a drawing room full of Indian diplomats, just raise the China issue."
That was my brief argument on why China cannot be India's greatest friend, but there is no reason why we should have a hostile attitude either. Both the countries face similar domestic problems like which would only worsen if both of them take a confrontationist attitude. But the most important factor is that both India and China are developing economies that need each others assistance to achieve their aims. This single factor overrides all negative factors that should hamper reconciliation. However, i am not very sure if Indian officials and their masters are taking a pragmatic approach. The latest controversy erupted after India sent a list of IAS officers it wanted to send to China as a delegation and China denied to issue visa to an IAS officer from Arunachal Pradesh arguing that he was already a citizen of China. Chinese claim on Arunachal is not new and it was not expected that it would have relinquished it. There were no such indications yet the MEA went ahead and sent the Arunachal officers visa request. Contrast this with China's response to the escape of the 17th Karmapa from Tibet to Sikkim in 2000. China did not lodge a protest against India since it did not recognize Sikkim as part of India then (however, it recognized Sikkim as part of India 3 years later.) i am not sure if sending the Arunachal officer's visa request was a "salami tactic" to ascertain China's position on Arunachal but whatever the motive may have been the result was embarrassing.
Speaking of motives, i remember reading in the newspaper that our experts were having problems trying to interpret the statement of the Chinese foreign minister and guessing his motive behind issuing such a statement at such a time when the two countries were about to sign a bilateral trade agreement. i wont be foolish to try interpreting the statement of a Chinese minister but i can hazard a few guesses. To start with, it may be that the visa request was seen by the Chinese as an attempt to get them recognize India's sovereignty over Arunachal. Another guess which is unlikely is that the statement may be a tactic to probe India's reaction. In games theory this kind of move is called "Salami tactics", where one actor tries to gain small concessions at first and if the other actor doesn't resist the first one is encouraged to take more concessions until it is too late for the second actor. China actually has used this strategy before the 62 war by constructing a highway in Ladakh.
But as i said before this motive is unlikely which makes me wonder if it was a subtle way of China saying, okay, we are going to do business together but don't expect us to change our policies. All border disputes and other issues may remain unresolved and we can still conduct business. This would actually be a more pragmatic and mature way of handling things as opposed to Indian policy maker's tendency to view China as the greatest friend or greatest foe.

Posted By danish Ahmed 5:42 PM