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Sorted by :  May  2009
by Sandhya Jain on 31 May 2009 10 Comments

Given the alacrity with which President Obama has called for “immediate and unconditional” release of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who became controversial when an American army veteran (read CIA agent) infiltrated her house detention from 3-5 May, it may be appropriate for the West to relieve the military regime of its u

by Amitabh Tripathi on 31 May 2009 6 Comments

Since the results of the 15th Lok Sabha elections were declared, a heated postmortem is on. The people’s verdict has been deciphered in various ways. Some analysts have concluded the era of smaller parties is over, yet the smaller parties garnered 220 parliamentary seats more than the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Another conclusio

by Noam Chomsky on 31 May 2009 0 Comment

The torture memos released by the White House elicited shock, indignation, and surprise. The shock and indignation are understandable. The surprise, less so. For one thing, even without inquiry, it was reasonable to suppose that Guantanamo was a torture chamber. Why else send prisoners where they would be beyond the reach of the law - a place, inci

by Ramtanu Maitra on 30 May 2009 1 Comment

In the 15th Parliamentary elections, the Indian electorate re-elected United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by the largest party within the Alliance, the Indian National Congress (widely known as the Congress Party), leaving it just ten seats short of an absolute majority. A number of regional parties are now vying to join the Alliance to provide

by Kamran Bokhari on 30 May 2009 1 Comment

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia historically has played a major role in the development of jihadism. Key pillars of the Saudi state — oil, Wahabism (a conservative form of Sunni Islam) and the strength of tribal norms — were instrumental in facilitating the rise of Islamist extremism and terrorism around the world prior to 9/11. These same

by Ishan Bakshi on 29 May 2009 1 Comment

Some have hailed it as the resurgence of the Congress party; some have described it as an inflection point; some have even called it the end of religious and caste-based politics in India. However one describes it, the results of Election 2009 took everyone by surprise.  Political observers, quick to proffer their explanations for what they ca

by Eric Walberg on 29 May 2009 0 Comment

The centrepiece of United States President Barack Obama’s PR campaign to show the world the US is the nice cop was to end the military tribunals, which he called “an enormous failure” during last year’s presidential campaign, and close the infamous Guantanamo prison. This was Obama’s first major “achievement&rdqu

by James Petras on 28 May 2009 2 Comments

“The Deltas are psychos…You have to be a certified psychopath to join the Delta Force…”, a US Army colonel from Fort Bragg once told me back in the 1980’s.  Now President Obama has elevated the most notorious of the psychopaths, General Stanley McChrystal, to head the US and NATO military command in Afghanistan.

by Shamus Cooke on 28 May 2009 0 Comment

When the reality of the economic crisis first made itself known, many who realized what was happening dubbed it “the greatest crisis since the Great Depression.” This description was more than bombast; it was a sober analysis of the immensity of the economic problems in the country - problems that had been building up for years. &n

by B R Haran on 27 May 2009 4 Comments

Buddhist-Hindu unity needed to extinguish external forcesIndia’s new External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna cautioned Sri Lanka to begin addressing the root causes of the island’s ethnic conflict: “Addressing the root causes would include political steps towards the effective devolution of power within the Sri Lankan Constitution

by George Friedman on 27 May 2009 1 Comment

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting Washington for his first official visit with US President Barack Obama [18 May]. A range of issues - including the future of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Israeli-Syrian talks and Iran policy - are on the table. This is one of an endless series of meetings between US presidents and Israeli p

by Sandhya Jain on 26 May 2009 13 Comments

When Mr. S.M. Krishna lost the Karnataka elections in 2004, the media naturally asked him what factors he held responsible for Congress’ defeat. He raised his right hand to stop speculation and said as leader he took full responsibility; there was no need for scapegoats.In 2009, Mr. L.K. Advani was nowhere to be seen when it became clear the

by B R Haran on 26 May 2009 2 Comments

Sinhala chauvinism may raise its head!As almost 85% of Sri Lankan Tamils are Hindus, the re-Hinduisation of their Tamil identity must be taken up on war footing as the Dravidian-Christian combo is in doldrums after the defeat of the LTTE, and will take time to recoup. The west, particularly the missionaries, NGOs, and the UN which is totally influe

by B R Haran on 25 May 2009 3 Comments

Re-Hinduise identity of Lankan Tamils“Tamils and Sinhalas are one people. They have the same DNA structure. There is no ethnic difference between them. Sinhala and Tamil have a large vocabulary in common with Sanskrit and Pali, which have evolved from Brahmi script and all those languages have originated from the Indian mainland. Both Buddhis

by Virendra Parekh on 25 May 2009 11 Comments

"Many of us, utterly overcome by Tamas, the dark and heavy demon of inertia, are saying nowadays that it is impossible, that India is decayed, bloodless and lifeless, too weak ever to recover; that our race is doomed to extinction. It is a foolish and idle saying. No man or nation need be weak unless he so chooses, no man or nation need perish

by Pankaj Saksena on 24 May 2009 11 Comments

On 14 October 2008, the Booker Committee announced in London that Aravind Adiga will get the Man Booker Prize for his debut novel, ‘The White Tiger’. The writer, Aravind Adiga claims in an interview:“At a time, when India is going through great changes and with China, is likely to inherit the world from the West, it is important t

by Michael Hudson on 24 May 2009 0 Comment

Last month the G-20 authorized the International Monetary Fund to increase its loan resources to $1 trillion. It’s not hard to see why. Weakening currencies in the post-Soviet states threaten to raise default rates on foreign-currency mortgages as collapse of the Baltic real estate bubble drags down Swedish banks, while the Hungarian property

by Pepe Escobar on 23 May 2009 0 Comment

As Barack Obama heads into his second hundred days in office, let’s head for the big picture ourselves, the ultimate global plot line, the tumultuous rush towards a new, polycentric world order. In its first hundred days, the Obama presidency introduced us to a brand new acronym, OCO for Overseas Contingency Operations, formerly known as GWOT

by Eric Walberg on 23 May 2009 0 Comment

As Russian troops marched to celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany 8 May, NATO troops - 1,300 of them from 10 member countries and six “partners” - were beginning their month-long Cooperative Longbow/Lancer war “games” on Russia’s southern border. In deference to Moscow, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Serbia decide

by Ramtanu Maitra on 23 May 2009 0 Comment

South Asian nations, victims of their colonial past, have been steadily weakened over the years by violent forces undermining their sovereignty. These anti-nation-state warriors have adopted methods of religious and ideological warfare to change the governments and polarize the population. Recent events in Pakistan, in particular, indicate that if

by Radha Rajan on 22 May 2009 15 Comments

RSS – unwilling parent Both in 1997 and in 1998, the writer with her husband and daughter sat on the streets outside her poll centre, feverishly assisting people to find their names on the voters’ list. Prior to polling day, the family spent ten gruelling days banging on doors, house after house, building after building, handing out vot

by Sameer Bhagwat on 22 May 2009 10 Comments

The most surprising aspect of the Hindutva discourse has been that the leaders of the movement have been chosen by its visceral enemies. Take a recent example: Narendra Modi for a period of time, post-Godhra, was accepted as the tallest Hindu leader, and for many this still endures notwithstanding his staggering temple demolition drive.What was the

by Sandhya Jain on 21 May 2009 14 Comments

As the Gujarat BJP increased its Lok Sabha tally from 14 in 2004 to 15 in 2009, it is pertinent to ponder why this maintenance of status quo-plus was unanimously perceived as a failure of Chief Minister Narendra Modi, across the political spectrum. Why is this, along with the under-performance of the BJP nationally, seen as having punctured the pri

by Come Carpentier de Gourdon on 21 May 2009 4 Comments

On May 16 I talked to two good friends about the results of the general parliamentary elections in India, which had just given the ruling Congress-led alliance a comfortable majority with the quasi-assurance of retaining power for the next five years. I knew the reactions of my two friends would be poles apart. The first one, a prominent business p

by Radha Rajan on 20 May 2009 8 Comments

Abandoning Kurukshetra before the war is wonBJP’s loss in 2004 cast a pall of gloom over Hindu nationalists; for some of us even in 2004, the gloom came with intense anger. Five years later, the BJP’s loss in 2009 has caused more anger than gloom because five years is a long time for a determined person wielding state power to implement

by B R Haran on 20 May 2009 3 Comments

Compromise for powerThe 2004 defeat did not seem to have created any impact in the party’s attitude and style of functioning. The taste of power seemed to have diluted the ideological approach leading to compromising with allies in the name of coalition ethics. The decimation of the party in Orissa is clear proof of total compromise. Despite

by Virendra Parekh on 19 May 2009 6 Comments

There are certain aspects of the mandate which are deeply worrying and reflect poorly on the quality of Indian democracy. They show India’s political process and its much acclaimed voter in an unedifying light. It was totally unexpected. Not only the losers, but even the winners were surprised by the outcome of the general elections. Falsifyi

by B R Haran on 19 May 2009 5 Comments

“This election is significant, more important than the 1977 general elections. Even during the emergency the situation was not so precarious as at present. The five-year UPA regime has brought the nation down and pushed it into peril. The voters must realize this sad truth and cast their votes in such a way that this government is not returne

by Sandhya Jain on 18 May 2009 15 Comments

It took just 46 days for my warning to the BJP leadership to undertake an urgent course correction or face electoral rout to come true: “Something is gravely amiss in the BJP. It has lost its character and sense of direction. Unless the party quickly takes the right turn, Mr. Advani could find himself walking out of the gates of History,

by Radha Rajan on 18 May 2009 9 Comments

On parasites and spitting partnersThe first grim warning signal that the BJP was ready to cast its distinctive ideology aside came during the 1999 elections to the Lok Sabha. The BJP made the (mis)calculated choice of not going to the people with its own manifesto but with something called NDA Agenda for Governance (NAG). As early as in 1999, barel

by Radha Rajan on 17 May 2009 9 Comments

When ambition overrode ideologyKaran Thapar accurately summed up the election results in a telling one-liner – while both the Congress and the BJP faced a host of problems until three weeks ago, Congress’ problems dissolved into nothingness while BJP tripped over them. A truer thing was never said. What Karan Thapar did not say was that

by B R Haran on 17 May 2009 3 Comments

As the issue of ‘Tamil Eelam’ became one of the talking points in the recent elections in Tamil Nadu, AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa made a huge shift in her stand (more to it than mere politics) and fell in line with the LTTE demand for a separate Tamil Eelam.As part of this volte face, Jayalalithaa asked Chief Minister Karunanidhi to rev

by George Friedman on 16 May 2009 0 Comment

After US air strikes killed scores of civilians in western Afghanistan this past week, White House National Security Adviser Gen. James L. Jones said the United States would continue with the air strikes and would not tie the hands of US generals fighting in Afghanistan. At the same time, US Central Command chief Gen. David Petraeus has cautioned a

by B R Haran on 16 May 2009 1 Comment

“Bofors controversy is a dead issue and no longer an embarrassment for the party. Misusing CBI is a systemic issue. All parties in power can put pressure on its agencies”- Rahul Gandhi  “The Quattrocchi case is an embarrassment for the government of India. We have tried to extradite him from Malaysia. We have tried to ex

by Tom Engelhardt on 16 May 2009 0 Comment

A front-page New York Times headline last week [1 May] put the matter politely indeed: “In Pakistan, US Courts Leader of Opposition.” And nobody thought it was strange at all. In fact, it’s the sort of thing you can read just about any time when it comes to American policy in Pakistan or, for that matter, Afghanistan. It’s j

by Virendra Parekh on 15 May 2009 0 Comment

Say no to Bangalore and yes to Buffalo. That neatly sums up the logic underlying US President Barack Obama’s tax reform proposals unveiled on May 4. With characteristic flourish, he lashed out at companies “shirking” their responsibilities and the iniquities of a “broken” tax system that rewarded firms for creating job

by Karen J. Greenberg on 15 May 2009 1 Comment

These days, it’s virtually impossible to escape the world of torture the Bush administration constructed. Whether we like it or not, almost every day we learn ever more about the full range of its shameful policies, about who the culprits were, and just which crimes they might be prosecuted for. But in the morass of memos, testimony, op-eds,

by Hilda Raja on 14 May 2009 1 Comment

Rahul Gandhi after his Press Meet at Ashok hotel was diagnosed with foot in the mouth disease! But the one affected was Veerappa Moily. The poor man thought he would put the record straight because Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was firmly with the NDA and is not a man to fall prey to allurements and flatteries. Rahul’s overreach to Nitish

by Michel Chossudovsky on 14 May 2009 0 Comment

The WHO announced on May 1st that it will be dropping the designation of “swine flu.” The flu will henceforth be designated A H1N1, to be known more broadly as “the Mexican Flu,” intimating that the disease originated in Mexico through human to human transmission. Swine influenza refers to “strains of influenza virus t

by F William Engdahl on 14 May 2009 3 Comments

WHO takes a page from a Michael Crichton NovelAs the late great American poet Yogi Berra might have put it, ‘this just gets absurder and absurder.’ The international agencies supposedly responsible for monitoring worldwide dangers of new pandemic threats, the WHO and CDC are acting like the directors of a Hollywood ‘B’ grade

by Ramtanu Maitra on 13 May 2009 3 Comments

India’s marathon five-phase 15th Parliamentary elections, which will conclude on May 13, span over a month (April 16, April 22-23, April 30, May 7, and May 13), but the overall impression one gets is that the Indian electorate, known for its keenness to exercise its voting rights, is mostly disinterested. The voting percentages in the first t

by Hilda Raja on 13 May 2009 5 Comments

The UPA government’s unprecedented step of inviting the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to visit Gujarat and Orissa is not only disturbing, but also portents greater harm to the harmony and unity of the country. It exposes India to international policing which has ramifications on the integrity and soverei

by Dahr Jamail on 13 May 2009 0 Comment

One of the definitions of the word “occupation” is: the action, state, or period of occupying or being occupied by military force. Throughout history, areas or countries occupied by military force have always resisted, and this resistance has caused the occupier to devise more suitable methods of subduing the population of the area bein

by Sandhya Jain on 12 May 2009 4 Comments

When Chinese wish the wrath of heaven upon one, they invoke it gently: ‘may you live in interesting times,’ a euphemism for living without peace and stability. A prolonged spell of ‘interesting times’ is now upon our Himalayan neighbour, ironically Beijing’s budding ally. At the time of writing, President Ram Baran Yad

by C I Issac on 11 May 2009 6 Comments

Pope John Paul II is known for his smash agenda of elevating 482 persons to sainthood; about 300 were put on a pedestal of different stages on the road to the final destination of sainthood. It was an all time record in the long history of 261 pontiffs so far. He introduced a new precedence by using fast-track proceedings to elevate persons to sain

by Saurav Basu on 11 May 2009 3 Comments

The Christian missionary drive has in recent years acquired a new academic dimension. The mission to uproot tribals from their ancestral roots and impose an alien way of life has the full blessings of our secular journalists. Harvard sociologist Pitrim Sorokin observes: “During the past few centuries the most belligerent, the most aggressive,

by Shamus Cooke on 10 May 2009 0 Comment

At first glance Obama seems to have softened US policy toward Latin America, especially when compared to his predecessor. There has been no shortage of editorials praising Obama’s conciliatory approach while comparing it to FDR’s “Good Neighbour” Latin American policy.It’s important to remember, however, that FDR&rsquo

by George Friedman on 10 May 2009 0 Comment

The Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), a group vehemently opposed to the Cuban government, came out in favour of easing the US isolation of Cuba last week [9 April]. The move opens the possibility that the United States might shift its policies toward Cuba. Florida is a key state for anyone who wants to become president of the United States

by Hilda Raja on 09 May 2009 0 Comment

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Quattrocchi case is an embarrassment for the Government of India. ‘We have tried to extradite him from Malaysia, from Argentina, and the courts said we don’t have a strong case. Now it is not a good reflection on the Indian legal system that we harass people while the world says that we have no cas

by Mike Whitney on 09 May 2009 1 Comment

Due to the lifting of the foreclosure moratorium at the end of March, the downward slide in housing is gaining speed. The moratorium was initiated in January to give Obama’s anti-foreclosure programme - which is a combination of mortgage modifications and refinancing - a chance to succeed. The goal of the plan was to keep up to 9 million stru

by Hilda Raja on 08 May 2009 8 Comments

Rahul Gandhi’s press meet betrays his lack of political maturity. This is not strange, but his comments and opinions make one shudder that he aspires to be Prime Minister some day. And he was projected by Dr. Manmohan Singh and his sister Priyanka, as being of prime ministerial material. Rahul Gandhi likes to speak the truth, or so he said as

by Eric Walberg on 08 May 2009 0 Comment

In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), United States President Barack Obama authorised the release by the US Justice Department of four detailed memos describing and justifying torture techniques used by the CIA to gather information from prisoners. Bush’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC

by Fred Burton & Scott Stewart on 08 May 2009 0 Comment

On April 8, British authorities mounted a series of raids in Merseyside, Manchester and Lancashire that resulted in the arrest of 12 men suspected of being involved in a plot to conduct attacks over the Easter holiday weekend. In a press conference the following day, Prime Minister Gordon Brown noted that the men arrested were allegedly involved in

by B R Haran on 07 May 2009 5 Comments

In a shocking incident on the evening of Saturday, 2 May, several hundred hooligans belonging to the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK) attacked an Army convoy on the Nilambur Bypass Road near Coimbatore. Around 300 army personnel were returning from Hyderabad after completing a three-month training ca

by Michel Chossudovsky on 07 May 2009 0 Comment

What is the flu? Influenza (the flu) is a serious contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Millions of people in the United States get the flu each year. Most people are sick for about a week. Some people (especially young children, pregnant women, older people, and people with chronic health problems) can get very sick and may d

by George Friedman on 07 May 2009 0 Comment

US presidential candidates run for office as if they would be free to act however they wish once elected. But upon election, they govern as they must. The freedom of the campaign trail contrasts sharply with the constraints of reality. The test of a president is how effectively he bridges the gap between what he said he would do and what he finds h

by Rashneek Kher on 06 May 2009 7 Comments

[On Sunday, 3 May 2009, Roots in Kashmir organised a silent sit-in at Jantar Mantar, to protest the en mass removal of evicted families from the electoral rolls and the discrimination in providing the Internally Displaced Persons facilities to vote on a nation-wide basis. As the Election Commission collects accolades for conducting free and fair el

by Krishen Kak on 06 May 2009 4 Comments

The British so-called charity ActionAid’s politico-communal interventions are on record.  Oxfam, another British so-called charity, is no different.  The Oxfam (India) Trust’s Violence Mitigation and Amelioration Project (VMAP) in 2003 published the blatantly communal “The impact of violence on the student community in K

by Fred Burton & Ben West on 05 May 2009 0 Comment

For several years now, STRATFOR has been closely monitoring the growing violence in Mexico and its links to the drug trade. In December, our cartel report assessed the situation in Mexico, and two weeks ago we looked closely at the networks that control the flow of drugs through Central America. This week, we turn our attention to the border to see

by John Kozy on 05 May 2009 0 Comment

Classical/neoclassical economics has consistently protected the wealth of the privileged; it has preserved the status quo. This is capitalism’s intent, and the evidence for it is overwhelming. It has impeded the improvement of the human condition for two hundred years, and unless it is scrapped, it will continue to do so. No mere change in go

by Rashneek Kher on 04 May 2009 0 Comment

Che Kamyu Kareneay taveez panYaaro van bale yaaro vanWho hath cast thy spell on thou?Speak up my friend, speak upWahab Khar, the 18th century poet, probably had the power to see future. How else does one explain the above verse, unless he knew that Sajjad Lone, the most vociferous of the Kashmir separatists, would one day take a U-turn (strategic,

by Al Giordano on 04 May 2009 2 Comments

Smithfield farms fled US environmental laws to open a gigantic pig farm in Mexico, and all we Got was this lousy swine flu. US and Mexico authorities claim that neither knew about the “swine flu” outbreak until April 24. But after hundreds of residents of a town in Veracruz, Mexico, came down with its symptoms, the story had already hit

by Sandhya Jain on 03 May 2009 9 Comments

America reported its first swine flu death, of a 23-month-old child in Texas, on April 29. After triggering worldwide panic over a virus for which there is NO known cure – despite hysterical and heartwarming (for the pharmaceutical company) sales of something called Tamiflu (useless during the previous pandemic called Avian flu, which also sp

by F William Engdahl on 03 May 2009 0 Comment

If we are to believe what our trusted international media report, the world is on the brink of a global pandemic outbreak of a new deadly strain of flu, H1N1 as it has been labelled, or more popularly, Swine Flu. As the story goes, the outbreak of the deadly flu was first discovered in Mexico. According to press reports, after several days, headlin

by P C Dogra on 02 May 2009 0 Comment

The Jihadi attack on Mumbai, the financial capital of India which epitomized the integration of markets, entrepreneurs and ideas, is an attack on the very heart of India. A handful of terrorists could paralyse the financial capital, kill nearly 200, injure more than 300, inflict several billions of dollars worth damage, speaks copiously about the c

by Richard Cook on 02 May 2009 0 Comment

The level of public ignorance on the topic of the US and world monetary system is astonishing. This is part of the plan, of course, because the monetary elite control not only the financial system but also the news media, the publishing industry, and the educational system. The blueprint for control was put together over a century ago by Cecil Rhod

by Radha Rajan on 01 May 2009 30 Comments

In his carefully chosen Christ-like white robes, with his artfully artless locks billowing fetchingly around his face, Sri Sri Ravishankar, the religion-neutral New Age guru is dabbling in high politics. This political dilettante, this wannabe Hindu pope, travelled to J&K and posed for photographs hugging Yasin Malik; travelled to Seattle and f

by Eric Walberg on 01 May 2009 0 Comment

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Special Conference on Afghanistan, held in Moscow on 27 March, marks a new stage in the international community’s relations with this beleaguered country. It reflected the growing clout of Russia and China, the founders of the SCO, which includes Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan a

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