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[P]
From an average Indian

By thevor in Op-Ed
Wed May 29, 2002 at 11:14:24 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

I am an average Indian citizen and I want to take this opportunity to extend a hand of friendship to you, an average Pakistani citizen. And especially during these times, when the clouds of war are hovering above our countries.


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During these times, it may seem like we are enemies, standing on opposite sides of the battlefield. But are we really enemies? I don't think so. I have nothing against you and I hope that you have nothing against me. I am just your average person, trying to go through life in search of happiness and peace and I am quite certain that you are trying to do the same. And I am certain that you and I are similar in more ways than we are different, no matter how much anybody tries to convince me otherwise. As a child, I wanted to play, have a good time, do well at studies and everything else that I participated in, and make my parents proud. As I grew up, I wanted to find good friends that I could share my hopes and fears and moments of happiness and sadness with. Friends who would be loyal to me and look out for me, and in turn, I would be loyal to them and look out for them. Later, I wanted to find a loving partner who would be with me in sickness and in happiness, till death do us apart. And finally, I want to have kids who find this place worth living and who can grow up to lead normal, happy, content lives. Both you and I, feel happy when we do well or someone we love does well. And we feel the pain, when we lose a loved one or when a life is unjustly taken away. We feel the same high and we cry the same salty tears.

So then why does it seem that we are so different from each other and why does it seem like we are enemies? I think that it is so because people in power have a vested interest in making enemies out of us. It is no secret that there is bad blood between our countries. But I also think that it is self-evident that the leaders of your country care only about staying in power and not about the good of your people, and they are either unable or unwilling to improve the living conditions of your people. They are using the bad blood that exists between our countries to further their own perverted hidden agendas. The circumstances of war have been maliciously created because nothing unites a country behind its leaders like the prospect of war. If the leaders of your country really cared about the Pakistani people, they would take concrete steps to improve the living conditions of your people. They would spend less on defense and stockpiling nuclear weapons (which can only wipe out the hopes and aspirations of generations) and spend more on social-welfare, health-care, and education programs. And most of all, they would allow democracy to come back to your country so that you can have a say in the affairs of your country. Not to say that democracy is the silver bullet. Just because there is democracy, it doesn't automatically imply that the living conditions of everybody in the country will dramatically improve. That is not true even in the US after 250 years of democracy, where there are people with unimaginable riches but also lot of poverty, hatred and crime. Democracy and freedom, more often than not, brings out the best in products but the worst in people. And so people in power can always collude with the rich and elite and further widen the divide between the richest and the poorest. One can abuse any system, if that is what one is bent on doing. But still, it is incredibly important to have a democracy so that people have the freedom to speak their mind, pursue their dreams, and have a framework in place to change the system if they don't like it.

And this is not the case only in your country. I would be naive if I thought that was true. This is happening all over the world. The job of politicians, really, is to run the affairs of the country and do things to improve the lives of the people. But somehow when people get into positions of power, things change. The only goal that remains is to get into the position of ultimate power and to hold on to that position as long as possible. It's really true what they say: Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. And it's not just that the politicians are evil and that is the end of the story. Sometimes, the choices that the people of a country collectively make, forces the politicians to make certain choices. For e.g., the US consumes a lot of oil and the smooth running of the US economy is contigent upon that. So the US politicians have no choice but to maintain cordial relations with oil-supplying nations of the world. So all of us are collectively responsible for the choices that the leaders of our country make.

So what can we do, being the two average citizens of our respective countries that we are? I think we can do a lot. If nothing else, we can at least make a start and do our part. We can choose not to fall prey to the gospel of hatred that some leaders preach. We can become more compassionate human beings and we can try and make our kids more compassionate human beings, instead of planting the seeds of bigotry and hatred in their minds. All we really have to do is make sure that our kids don't grow up hating each other. And then if everybody does the same, collectively we would have achieved a lot. If you look at it this way, the overall task doesn't seem that daunting, does it? I have taken inspiration from Gandhiji, as I do many other times, who once said, "No matter how insignificant you think your actions are, it is very important that you do them." When he started his compaign against the social injustices that he saw around him, he too must have wondered (at least that is what I feel anyway) what he could achieve alone. But how different things would have turned out had he not done his part! Maybe, we wouldn't be citizens of different countries today. Maybe we would still be under British Raj. Who knows?

One other very important thing that we can do is never resort to violence to solve any problems. On the contrary, we should condemn violence in all its forms because violence doesn't really achieve what it promises because it leaves a trail of blood and hatred. Violence begets violence. Period. Look at what's happening in the Middle East if you need any convincing. And speaking of violence, I want to take this opportunity to condemn the Gujarat violence. Killing the 35 people on the Sabarmati Express was a ghastly act. But letting the mob rule and kill innocent Muslims was just as ghastly an act, if not ghastlier. What the Indian government should have done is impose and enforce a strict curfew in the region to prevent the mob from ruling, and reign in the people that actually committed the crime. I also want to take this opportunity to express my condolences for the death of all the innocent that were killed in that violence. Each one of the lives taken was unjustly taken. I know that my words cannot bring anyone back but I still want to say it in the hope that it heals at least some wounds.

And above all, we have to see and understand what is really happening in the world today. We have to see that the worst of humanity is at play here. And I don't want to sound as an embodiment of virtue, because I am not. I have all the vices in me as well, and I often wonder what choices I would make if I were in the position of ultimate power? (I have no way of knowing but I only hope that I would make the right choices.) But even when I am not in the position of ultimate power, I still have to fight everyday to make the right choices, when I have the power to make the wrong ones. In such circumstances, we often think to ourselves, "How is the world going to become any worse if I make this wrong choice?" But it does. What goes around, comes around. Lot of times, we make the wrong choices because everybody around us is making the wrong choices. So it is not inconceivable to think that if everybody around us was making the right choices, we would too, right? We have to constantly battle our darker side; we have to fight this jihad everyday. Or else, there will be nothing left to fight for!

Previously, I used to read what's happening in the world and feel bad about it, but I never used to do anything about it. And that used to multiply my feeling of helplessness and despair manifold. But now, I have chosen to do something about it and hence I have written this article. And I sincerely hope that I have converted you, not to Hinduism, or Christainity, but to humanism, a faith that is tolerant of all other faiths, a faith that looks at other faiths as simply different ways to get to the same destination.

In nature, all the species are continuously fighting for their survival. But man has thoroughly dominated the environment and there is no threat to our survival from other species. We have become our biggest threat. If we don't take a hard look at ourselves, if we don't check our greed and lust for power, and if we are not willing to share the world, we will end up destroying not only ourselves but a lot of other species as well, especially in this nuclear age. But at least, I am not going down without a fight.

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From an average Indian | 110 comments (104 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
most important thing on k5 in a while (4.00 / 9) (#3)
by turmeric on Tue May 28, 2002 at 10:16:26 PM EST

nobody will agree with everything you say, but its damned important to start talking about this sort of thing before it is too late. one big thing you lack is to address the greivances an average pakistani might have, to show that you are not blowing smoke up their ass. imho.

An article on dawn.. (4.66 / 9) (#4)
by pamri on Tue May 28, 2002 at 11:21:17 PM EST

which is a Pakistani newspaper,beautifully articulates that there still are people, who overcome prejudices for the good of the community.

Your real enemy (1.46 / 15) (#6)
by medham on Wed May 29, 2002 at 12:57:57 AM EST

Is the British, specifically graduates of Trinity College, Cambridge.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Why (none / 0) (#8)
by salsaman on Wed May 29, 2002 at 07:28:24 AM EST

Please explain. In particular why Trinity ?

[ Parent ]
Re: Why? (none / 0) (#20)
by julesb on Wed May 29, 2002 at 12:46:28 PM EST

You've obviously never met anyone from Trinity. Heh.
-- Get off the Internet
[ Parent ]
I resemble that remark (none / 0) (#41)
by fishpi on Wed May 29, 2002 at 04:51:16 PM EST

I'm currently at Trinity, and so are many of my friends. In my experience they're all sound people - not like those freaks at Johns. ;-)

[ Parent ]
You are Mike Corley (none / 0) (#9)
by djotto on Wed May 29, 2002 at 07:52:05 AM EST

And I claim my five pounds

[ Parent ]
You clearly (none / 0) (#29)
by medham on Wed May 29, 2002 at 02:01:38 PM EST

Don't understand much about British history or society, evidenced by your antiquated "pounds" remark. This is the era of the euro--get ready to clem, parasite.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Five pounds... (none / 0) (#34)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 29, 2002 at 02:57:41 PM EST

...he could have meant flesh.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Uh-huh (none / 0) (#36)
by djotto on Wed May 29, 2002 at 03:55:58 PM EST

Five pounds of Medham... closest to the heart, please. Yum.

(The reference, like anyone cares, is from the 1930s, I think. A Google search for "Lobby Lud" or "Kolley Kibber" will track it down.)

[ Parent ]

No, (none / 0) (#37)
by medham on Wed May 29, 2002 at 04:02:56 PM EST

You'll have to go back nearly another century or more. I suspect you were deprived of Mrs. Gaskell in your "school."

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

UK doesn´t use euro (nt) (none / 0) (#54)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:48:13 AM EST



[ Parent ]
You lost me (4.38 / 13) (#11)
by cpthuah on Wed May 29, 2002 at 08:52:47 AM EST

The tone of your article is amazing until you reach the point that you blame the Pakistani government for all of the ills of the current situation.  Without diving into the sordid history of India and Pakistan both of your nations are at fault.  Both of you rattle your sabers, both of you desire hegemony.
Your final line should have been that Ghandi was not a hindu or muslim he was a human.The legacy that he left to the region has been torn apart by lesser men but can be redeemed by the ordinary citizens that live in both Pakistan and India today by simply taking the hands of the brothers that they have been sundered from for 50 years.

No government can withstand the will of the people.  The form of government does not matter, the number of guns does not matter, the only thing that does matter is the will of the people to serve the government. Until the peoples of both countries determine that they will live in peace and force their governments to do likewise this will be the interminable result.

Power... (2.87 / 8) (#12)
by Elkor on Wed May 29, 2002 at 08:58:45 AM EST

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I disagree. Power corrupts, yes. But absolute power is kinda neat.

The problem is that nobody has absolute power. No, allow me to rephrase. Nobody we know about has absolute power, except maybe this guy.

It is my firm belief that if anyone has absolute power, they are sitting on a beach somewhere sipping fruity drinks thoroughly enjoying themselves.

And why shouldn't they? They can have whatever they want.

It's these idiots trying to get absolute power that are screwing things up.

Regards,
Elkor


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
Collective responsibility (4.40 / 5) (#14)
by bobpence on Wed May 29, 2002 at 09:34:14 AM EST

So all of us are collectively responsible for the choices that the leaders of our country make.

I am not to say "there ought to be a law," but I think a great deal of mileage would come out of a UN resolution declaring that a nation that resorts to using nuclear weapons forfeits its right to self rule and to statehood.

Among the mature nuclear powers, Russia and the U.S. particularly, it is understood that using nuclear weapons is inconceivable except as retaliation in kind. But India and Pakistan seem far too casual about the concept, and sometimes seem resolved to the potential loss of tens of millions. But since these states so value their independece, won within the lifetime of some citizens, it would send a powerful message for the community of nations to unite in declaring that nations and governments that use nuclear weapons do not have the right to continue as such, and uniquely qualify to become protectorates of the international community.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender

hard to pass (5.00 / 3) (#18)
by mongoose on Wed May 29, 2002 at 11:31:22 AM EST

Might be hard to get that passed, since the US would presumably vote and lobby against it.

As a US resident, every time a discussion of nukes and how 'nobody would use those' comes up, I find it interesting how effective our government has been in making everyone forget that *we* have used nuclear weapons in war. It makes me think that "using nuclear weapons is inconceivable except as retaliation in kind" is not really true (insert obligatory Princess Bride quote). What's really true is that "using nuclear weapons is inconceivable except as retaliation in kind, unless we can get away with it because we had a situation where the victims couldn't retaliate in kind." Thus the arms race during the Cold War; people may have refrained from using the nukes not because it was unthinkable but because they knew the other guy would take them out if they did.

I find this idea scarier, somehow, but I bet it's closer to truth.

As always, though, these views belong to someone who's avoided understanding politics for most of his life, so I may be full of it.

-m

[ Parent ]

You need to study history (3.00 / 2) (#24)
by wiredog on Wed May 29, 2002 at 01:46:34 PM EST

people may have refrained from using the nukes ... because they knew the other guy would take them out if they did...

I bet it's closer to truth

No shit. Really?

Congratulations, you have stumbled over the obvious. It's called "Mutual Assured Destruction" or "Massive Retaliation" and it's been the policy of every nuclear power since the late 1940's.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]

history? (none / 0) (#61)
by mongoose on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:15:19 AM EST

I'll thank you to not call the big bogeyman from my childhood history; I'm not *that* old. Heh.

I wasn't trying to claim MAD as a new idea. I also think it is obvious, but in a lot of discussions these days it gets lost as well-meaning people talk about it being plain out wrong to use these weapons and how that would be a deterrent. I happen to agree that it's wrong, but I think it's nuts to assume that moral objections will keep these things from being used.

My point was that (a) while a lot of people seem to think that the *main* force against using nukes is a moral one, (b) that's not the traditionally quoted reason, and (c) you can't trust politicians to do the right thing in these cases unless they're scared of something. I suppose I could have been more blunt about it, but then we wouldn't have had this charming little discussion, yes?

-m

[ Parent ]

True (none / 0) (#63)
by wiredog on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:55:09 AM EST



"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
Your Stereotype (3.33 / 3) (#23)
by hotsauce on Wed May 29, 2002 at 01:29:08 PM EST

Among the mature nuclear powers, Russia and the U.S. particularly, it is understood that using nuclear weapons is inconceivable except as retaliation in kind.

You are babbling nonsense, of course. It angers me everytime this stereotype is perpetuated. I will remind you that India is the only country on earth to have a no first-use policy.

Your "mature nuclear power" OTOH was happy to nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki even though it was winning the war. India first successfully tested an atomic weapon in 1974 but did not militarize it, choosing instead to fight for disarmament. Only decades later, when it was clear your "mature nuclear powers" had no intention of disarming and countries that had attacked her started stockpiling, did India develop nukes.


Resistance is not terrorism.
[ Parent ]
To nuke or not (5.00 / 1) (#32)
by panum on Wed May 29, 2002 at 02:41:05 PM EST

India is the only country on earth to have a no first-use policy

That is, in theory. Treaties, policies and pacts are just ink on a page, no more. In times of great crisis, treaties and truth are among the first casualties. Weren't there pacts against B/C-weapons at 1980's when Iraq and Iran waged war against each other? How about Yellow Rain used in the Soviet campaqin into Afghanistan? Agent Orange utilized in the Vietnam war?

As for nuking Japan, that happened some 57 years ago. How mature was any country on their nuke policies in '45?

I sincierly hope the attitudes about nuclear weapons have changed since that. After all, one can at least argue that nukes shouldn't be used ever again. Of course, even the first usage should have been avoided, but it is no use of crying over spilt milk. One should learn from past mistakes. Then again, someone put it nicely: we learn from history that we don't learn anything from our history.

-P



[ Parent ]
Somthing I've never understood ... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by jgp on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:50:06 AM EST

Your "mature nuclear power" OTOH was happy to nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki even though it was winning the war.

Q: Why bomb the cities? Why not wire the brass in Tokyo a 'Sign here ...'-surrender-form along with an invitation to watch a demonstration performed some nautical miles off the coast?

Surely this would have had a identical effect - near instant surrender. 'If you liked that one, we've got another couple circling in one of several other B-29 somewhere near some of your more populated areas. Your move.'

Truman's rejected ulitmatum [http://www.theenolagay.com/event.html] seems to see the use of the weapon on humans as the only next logical step.

(Of course, it is a utterly different situation as compared to now, but even as a child the way it panned out really upset me.)



[ Parent ]
Rewriting history? (5.00 / 2) (#64)
by bobpence on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:08:14 AM EST

Surely this would have had a identical effect - near instant surrender.

Nagasaki was bombed three days after Hiroshima, when a surrender was not forthcoming.
"Interesting. No wait, the other thing: tedious." - Bender
[ Parent ]

You can get over it now (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by aShogunNamedMarcus on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:22:48 PM EST

1. Truman only had two bombs ready. He couldn't afford to waste one on a demonstration that *might* have worked as well. Indeed, there was no surrender in the works after Hiroshima. B. Truman had no reason, no obligation and given his responsibility as CinC, no right to risk the little finger of a single US Marine to save Japanese lives.

[ Parent ]
hindsight's pretty durn clear, no? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
by el_guapo on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:45:47 PM EST

a couple of points: after hiroshima the japanese had made no plans to surrender, you REALLY think they would have if we'd shown them a mere "demo"? who was going to have to do the invading if they didn't surrender? answer: the marines who had already traipsed across the pacific island by island and a bunch of GI's that had just got done invading/liberating europe. there was VERY widespread "i've already done my part" low morale among allied troops then. also, they looked at the horrendous casualties from normandy; where the local populace WASN'T supporting the occupiers; and projected massively higher casualties invading japan; where the local populace was ready to fight with pitchforks if neccesary - did you know that TO THIS DAY, all the purple hearts handed out since WW2 were the ones they ordered for the invasion of japan? they haven't had have a single purple heart made since that order. that's rather telling by itself.
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Mature Nuclear Powers? (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by aprentic on Wed May 29, 2002 at 01:58:10 PM EST

Did you miss that the US and Russia are now in negotiations concerning the circumstances under which it would be acceptable to deploy tactical nuclear warheads? And no, "retaliation in kind" is not one of those circumstances.

[ Parent ]
Generally, this was a first rate article ... (4.00 / 10) (#15)
by pyramid termite on Wed May 29, 2002 at 09:38:45 AM EST

... and I voted +1 FP. But I have two criticisms.

1. I think you need not just to blame the Pakistani government but the demogoguery of India's government also. Both governments are acting childishly and irresponsibly.

2. Even though I voted +1 FP for this, k5 is not the place for this. Indian and Pakistani newspapers are. Time is short. You need to bring your views to your countrymen and your counterparts as quickly and as widely as you can. You need to reach out to them, not us, and you need to do it now, before your part of the world is faced with a terrible tragedy. Find others like you, Muslim and Hindi, work for peace now.

Good luck and may God be with you and all people on the subcontinent and may he save all of you from the path your leaders are taking you on.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
Childish? (4.50 / 6) (#17)
by shaunak on Wed May 29, 2002 at 11:29:07 AM EST

"1. I think you need not just to blame the Pakistani government but the demogoguery of India's government also. Both governments are acting childishly and irresponsibly"

Approximately 40 people die every month in terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. Civilians - men, women and children whose only crime was, it seems, being Hindu.

The government of Pakistan says it does not provide any help except moral support to these terrorist. Yet captured terrorists have testified to being trained in Pakistan occupied Kashmir by the pakistan army and intelligence agency.
Terrorist organisations operating in Kashmir have offices in Pakistan - their rallies are attended by the top brass of the Pakistan army and intelligence agency.

And the Indian govt, you say, acts childishly.
Think again.
40 deaths per month for the last 10+ years (And this is a very conservative estimate).
That's approximately 6000 civilian deaths.
Millitary personel and police casualties don't count in this number.

Also, almost all the Hindu population of Kashmir was driven out by these terrorists. Those that remained were slaughtered.

But the Indian government acts childishly.

When US citizens lives are threatened, bombing the hell out of anyone you can blame is 'War on Terror' but when Indians are involved, just a simple millitary build up is childish.

[ Parent ]

Not totally mature? (4.66 / 3) (#19)
by Death to false metal on Wed May 29, 2002 at 11:53:15 AM EST

Let's not get sidetracked. What you say is true, but all sides have to admit all their mistakes before progress can be achieved. Thus the parent post is correct to assert that inclusion of the faults of the Indian govt in the article would make it more powerful.
regards
DTFM

[ Parent ]
Sharing blame? (3.50 / 2) (#33)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 29, 2002 at 02:54:31 PM EST

While there is merit to the notion that blame is shared for pretty much any dispute of any scale, in the case of an asymmetric conflict where one party is engaging in terrorist attacks against civilians, there is a moral pedestal upon which the other party may stand alone.

It's so simple, but people keep missing this point: Terrorism is vile, psychotic, evil behavior. It is the premeditated murder of people that have not laid down the gauntlet. There are some pretty unsavory moments in the history of man, but the development of extremist Islamic terrorism over the past fifty-odd years is the ABSOLUTE, UNEQUIVOCAL penultimate low point in the history of man. THERE IS NO EXCUSE!! Yes, I am shouting!

Incidentially, the actual lowest point would be the genocide perpetrated against Jews in Germany, which is, interestingly enough, also a stated goal for many extremist muslim doctrines.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Don't bother (3.28 / 7) (#25)
by wiredog on Wed May 29, 2002 at 01:50:15 PM EST

When the US was attacked by Muslim terrorists, with thousands of Americans killed, many people here blamed the Americans. Because it couldn't bpossibly be the fault of the poor downtrodden Muslims. Remember, the smaller guy is always right and moral.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
I see ... (3.50 / 2) (#53)
by shaunak on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:40:26 AM EST

If you can't understand why the US was responsible in part for creating these terrorists, then I cannot hope to convince you about anything.
Take a hint.
The CIA trained Osama Bin Laden. The sooner you get your head out of the sand (or where ever it is stuck), the better, ostrich.


[ Parent ]
Asshole (none / 0) (#58)
by wiredog on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:44:50 AM EST

So. The people that died in the attack were responsible? Idiot. Remember, what goes around, comes around. Sooner or later it will come around on you.

"one masturbation reference per 13 K5ers" --Rusty
[ Parent ]
You fail to understand... (4.66 / 3) (#65)
by PixelPusher on Thu May 30, 2002 at 09:30:19 AM EST

The victims of the WTC were not complicit.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.  However, it could be argued that the victims in the Pentagon might have been.

The CIA recruited, trained and funded bin Laden to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan.  You gave him his start, and now he comes back to bite you in the ass and you scream up and down that it's not your fault, that you had nothing to do with it.

Sorry, but the US government is complicit.  And its not the only time.

Fifteen years ago, Saddam Hussein was a brave leader repelling the evil tyranny of the Iranian fundamentalist state.  And he received large wads of US cash to fund his war against them.  When that war ended, he had all this hardware bought with US money laying around, and nothing to do with it.  So, he attacks Kuwait, and overnight goes from brave leader to international pariah.  The worst part is that the propagan, err I mean, news seems to forget that he was once best buds with US interests, and paints him as having always been a madman and a tyrant and wholly couter to US ideals.

So, hey, I'm sorry, but this isn't a bolt from the blue.  As a nation, you'd do well to bitch-slap the CIA into shape, and get them to stop helping nearly every major dictator of the past fifty years getting their 15 minutes.  (Trust me on this fact, the list is extensive, and rather frightening.)

[ Parent ]

So, by analogy... (none / 0) (#59)
by curien on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:46:39 AM EST

The US government is responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing. After all, McVeigh was trained by the Army.

Moron.

--
Murder your babies. -- R Mutt
[ Parent ]

Who me? (none / 0) (#75)
by shaunak on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:42:26 AM EST

If your government trained psychotic fanatics in warfare and destruction, I'd say that makes your government a collection of morons, and not me.

[ Parent ]
No, you're missing the point (none / 0) (#78)
by curien on Fri May 31, 2002 at 07:33:03 AM EST

I'm saying that you cannot blame the teacher for the actions of a student (except, perhaps, while the teacher is in the process of teaching).

Was it moronic to train bin Laden? Absolutely! Does that make 9/11 the US gov't's fault? Absolutely not.

--
Murder your babies. -- R Mutt
[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#87)
by norge on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:56:28 PM EST

I can't blame teachers for the actions of their students?  I have to disagree with you pretty vehemently on that point.  

A couple of examples to illustrate by beliefs:  If Osama bin Laden did have a hand in training the 9/11 terrorists (which seems pretty likely), then I think he is absolutely partially responsible for that tragedy.  Similarly I hold the United States Army partially responsible for the thousands of death and disappearances in Central and South America perpetrated by graduates of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (formerly the School of the Americas).

The power that teachers have to mold students is a significant and they should be held (partially) responsible for the actions of their students if it is clear that the student's actions are related to lessons they learned from their teachers.

Benjamin


[ Parent ]

Yes, they ARE acting childishly ... (5.00 / 3) (#45)
by pyramid termite on Wed May 29, 2002 at 06:15:27 PM EST

... It's amazing how you make no mention of the human rights abuses and the number of dead Kashmir has suffered. I guess it's only terrorism when you're killed by someone who doesn't wear a uniform. And of course, if civilians kill thousands of Muslims and the government does nothing about it, that's not terrorism, either, is it?

By taking one side over another in this tragic conflict, you're taking the side of those on both sides who would rather have war and be "right", even if means nuclear war, than have peace and learn to compromise.

I'll admit that the US has been much more careless in its bombing of Afghanistan that it should have been. But as wrong as that may be, don't you think that threatening each other with weapons of mass destruction is a much worse act? In fact, seeing as I believe both sides would target civilian cities with these bombs, wouldn't that make both your governments terrorist states? I have no respect for either of your governments right now.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#52)
by shaunak on Thu May 30, 2002 at 05:34:36 AM EST

"And of course, if civilians kill thousands of Muslims and the government does nothing about it, that's not terrorism, either, is it?"

They're called riots. And it wasn't just the Muslims who died in those riots. Hindus died too (and I'm not talking about the 56 Hindus burned to death in the Train accident - I'm talking about those who died in the riots.)
Besides, it happened in one state, not the whole country. Law and order in India is a state issue, not the problem of the Union Govt. Besides, the Indian Army was rushed to Gujrat - the state government fucked up in deploying it (which is up to the state).
So if you want to accuse a government of terrorism, it's the state government of Gujrat which is NOT the Union Government of INDIA.

As regards the human rights abuses in Kashmir, in those cases where these abuses were found to have actually taken place, quite a few people (mainly the local police of Jammu and Kashmir) have been punished.
The main offenders when it comes to Human rights abuses were the local police force of J&K. Some have been brought to book. Others will be.

"By taking one side over another in this tragic conflict, you're taking the side of those on both sides who would rather have war and be "right", even if means nuclear war, than have peace and learn to compromise."

No, I don't.
War would be wrong in any situation. But that does not mean we sit on our thumbs while 50 odd people die every month because a foreign nation deems so.
India has time and again proposed a 'No First Use' pact with Pakistan with ref. Nuclear weapons, which Pakistan has refused to agree to.
Get your facts right.
No member of the Indian government or Army has said anything about using Nuclear weapons - OTOH, Pakistan Army Generals (Government officials) regularly say they would not shy from using Nuclear weapons first.

" But as wrong as that may be, don't you think that threatening each other with weapons of mass destruction is a much worse act? "

Again, India has not threatened Pakistan with weapons of mass destruction - Pakistan has threatened India. I'd suggest you go talk to General Musharraf and hammer some sense into his mind about this.

"In fact, seeing as I believe both sides would target civilian cities with these bombs, wouldn't that make both your governments terrorist states?"

I see - so targeting civilian cities with nukes makes a nation a terrorist state. Wouldn't that make the US of A the biggest terrorist state? They've done it twice.

[ Parent ]

Evasions of responsibility, etc. (none / 0) (#60)
by pyramid termite on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:06:19 AM EST

So if you want to accuse a government of terrorism, it's the state government of Gujrat which is NOT the Union Government of INDIA.

I'm sure that it must have been an incredible comfort to those being burned alive that the state government, not India was responsible and that they died in "riots" not terrorism.

War would be wrong in any situation. But that does not mean we sit on our thumbs while 50 odd people die every month because a foreign nation deems so.

I see. If anyone's going to kill your citizens it should be just your government that's allowed to. Or rioters encouraged by your government.

Quite bluntly, I believe both India and Pakistan have gone crazy.

India has time and again proposed a 'No First Use' pact with Pakistan with ref. Nuclear weapons, which Pakistan has refused to agree to. Get your facts right.

And, of course, pacts are always kept aren't they?

No member of the Indian government or Army has said anything about using Nuclear weapons - OTOH, Pakistan Army Generals (Government officials) regularly say they would not shy from using Nuclear weapons first.

Yes, indeed they have. I don't like it, but at least they're honest about it. I guess they feel that if they're going to lose a conventional war with India, they might as well make sure India pays some horrible consequences. It's madness, of course, but knowing that, why should your government be willing to risk pushing them to that point?

What's worse? 50 people a month dead, or millions in one day?

Again, India has not threatened Pakistan with weapons of mass destruction - Pakistan has threatened India.

If India invades Pakistan. And naturally, if Indian cities are bombed, India's going to strike back, right?

I'd suggest you go talk to General Musharraf and hammer some sense into his mind about this.

I used that link below to petition both Musharraf and your leader and urged them to have peace, not war. There's little else I can do.

I see - so targeting civilian cities with nukes makes a nation a terrorist state. Wouldn't that make the US of A the biggest terrorist state? They've done it twice.

Not the biggest or worst of that time, by any means. The Naking Massacre, the Holocaust, and for that matter the firebombing of Dresden killed more people.

War is hell. Just because the world made some dumb mistakes 60-70 years ago doesn't mean your countries have to.

They just need to stop. Your countries have a choice. None of this is inevitable.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Re: Evasions of Responsibility (none / 0) (#77)
by Tippanni on Fri May 31, 2002 at 06:11:22 AM EST

First off, let's not mix issues. I don't think the riots have got anything to do with the current tensions. The riots were perhaps the worst manifestation of everything that is wrong with human beings, just as any violence directed at a weaker entity is. A war may be far far worse... not just for India and Pakistan but the entire world. Which is why India as a stronger force needs to exercise restraint. And till now, I must admit, it has. But I think a few things need to be kept in mind: 1)India has made attempts to engage Pakistan in a dialogue in the past: The Agra Summit for instance. 2)India has a no-first-use policy. Pakistan doesn't. 3)Being a smaller, less powerful country doesn't give it the right to sponsor terrorism, the effects of which have been too well-chronicled to bear repeating. Neither does it give it the right to threaten India with nuclear weapons. 4)The most aggressive noises are emanating from Pakistan. Its president and its diplomats are all busy rabble-rousing when what the situation needs is some calm talking. They have their reasons of course. While the world condemned Pakistan's missile tests, India dismissed it as an internal matter. 5) Pakistan is a haven for hardcore Indian criminals, including one who is prime accused in the serial Bombay blasts. And it is actively protecting them. 6) Pakistan is hive of terrorist training grounds, the products of which threaten world peace, not just India's. We have all heard of ISI. Let us not kid ourselves on who is the aggrevied party and who is acting childishly. Maybe you could suggest a course of action that India should take. But having said all that, I think and I fervently hope, that India de-escalates the crisis. But for India to do that, the world, and especially, the US has a huge role to play. There is no way the Indian government can withdraw now, without losing face (though I would prefer that to a war). The world should give India very concrete assurances that Pakistan will not be allowed to continue being a rogue state. The world should condemn unequivocally across-the-border terrorism, and pressurise Pakistan to stop it. The world should condemn the actions and talk emanating from the Pakistan leaders. And, yes, India should take a deep breath -- and a step back.

[ Parent ]
Not many good choices left (none / 0) (#81)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:47:23 AM EST

Maybe you could suggest a course of action that India should take. But having said all that, I think and I fervently hope, that India de-escalates the crisis. But for India to do that, the world, and especially, the US has a huge role to play. There is no way the Indian government can withdraw now, without losing face (though I would prefer that to a war).

I'm afraid withdrawing now and opening talks over Kashmir with Pakistan is the only real logical option left to India. Pakistan has asked several times for talks, and several times it's been refused. Occupying a country under dispute is simply not going to be a long time solution - the people of Kashmir, and yes, that would mean the Hindus that were hounded out of it, also, need to decide for themselves what they want.

As far as some of your other comments go, the riots were supported by some elements of the government, and are remarkably similar to those actions the Indians find so hateful; religious extremists killing people of another religion they dislike. I do see this as part of the overall situation - and more importantly, I'm sure many Pakistanis do also.

Pakistan certainly has had a hand in encouraging terrorism and has learned to its regret that many of these terrorists are now turning on their former benefactors. But India's insistence that all acts of terrorism committed in India are cross border acts from Pakistan doesn't wash. There are many citizens within India who are more than capable of terroristic acts against the government or Hindus, and not all of them are even Muslim. India has other insurgencies going on - but Pakistan stands to be the most likely scapegoat.

It's a bad situation - two governments under the sway of the fundamentalists of two religions, sharing a continent with a troubled history. It's not just nuclear war India risks here, but civil insurrection.

The world should give India very concrete assurances that Pakistan will not be allowed to continue being a rogue state.

I'm not sure how we could do that. Right now the U.S. is doing all it can do. We can't make Pakistan, or India, do anything.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Re: Not many good choices left... (none / 0) (#91)
by Tippanni on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:59:49 PM EST

We are treading the same path again... :)
I guess we will spare the dead horse the flogging...

[ Parent ]
Oh yeah, like they have any credibility left ... (none / 0) (#102)
by shaunak on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 08:33:39 AM EST

"Pakistan has asked several times for talks, and several times it's been refused."

Well, the Lahore declaration was signed by the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers in Lahore in 1999. A year later, about 3000 infiltrators backed by the Pakistani army (Pakistani army regulars were among the infiltrators themselves) crossed the Line of Control (LOC) and captured peaks in the Indian side of Kashmir. They fortified their positions in the peaks with RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) bunkers. The war that ensured (let's not kid about it - it was a war) cost about a thousand lives on the Indian side and many more on the Pakistani side.
How the fuck do you expect that country to have any credibility here?

[ Parent ]

Oh sure. (none / 0) (#103)
by shaunak on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 08:36:34 AM EST

"But India's insistence that all acts of terrorism committed in India are cross border acts from Pakistan doesn't wash. There are many citizens within India who are more than capable of terroristic acts against the government or Hindus, and not all of them are even Muslim. India has other insurgencies going on - but Pakistan stands to be the most likely scapegoat."

Well, the insurgency in the north east (United Liberation Front of Assam among others) are funded and guided by the ISI (Pakistani intelligence agency) - there are intercepted radio messages and cash deposits traced to prove it.

There are people within India capable of terrorism - I agree. Just as there are people in the US of A who are capable of terrorism. Just as people in Russia who are capable of terrorism. But just having people capable is by no means proof of their involvement.
Stop blabbering.

[ Parent ]

Oh sure... (none / 0) (#104)
by shaunak on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 08:39:47 AM EST

"Occupying a country under dispute is simply not going to be a long time solution - the people of Kashmir, and yes, that would mean the Hindus that were hounded out of it, also, need to decide for themselves what they want."

The choice was given by the British to the ruler of the kingdom, who acceeded to India. Now how the fuck does that make the state a country under dispute? And don't give me arguments about the right of the people to decide for themselves. If the people of California decided to form an independent nation, I'm pretty much sure your country would have half its army there to make sure this doesn't happen.

[ Parent ]

No, India will sit on it's thumbs and turn. (none / 0) (#101)
by shaunak on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 08:28:17 AM EST

"If India invades Pakistan. And naturally, if Indian cities are bombed, India's going to strike back, right?"

Sitting on our thumbs and turning round and round would, I guess, be the only sane thing to do if you're right.

[ Parent ]

Indian behaviour... (none / 0) (#80)
by Curieus on Fri May 31, 2002 at 09:11:28 AM EST

As regards the human rights abuses in Kashmir, in those cases where these abuses were found to have actually taken place, quite a few people (mainly the local police of Jammu and Kashmir) have been punished. The main offenders when it comes to Human rights abuses were the local police force of J&K. Some have been brought to book. Others will be.

I am sorry to say that this is not entirely true...

Just recently two dutch men/boys were shot in the kashmir/Jammu area. They were shot by indian soldiers at a check point. The soldiers at the check point claimed that it was self defence.
Of course a completely neutral Indian army commision investigated the case and stated that the soldiers did shoot in self defense. It is an assurance to know that the research committee had no vested interest at all in this conclusion.
Questioning the locals would have given you a completely different picture. According to the locals the soldiers themselves planted the knives and pistols on the boys, and later shot them.

Now i am not claiming that the locals are not biassed, but it still raises a question: If these locals are speaking the truth, then indian soldiers do plant weapons on "suspicious" looking people. How long has this been going on before they made a mistake by planting them on two persons from western europe, thereby creating immediate media attention

I you cannot 100% discount this possibility, if you don't have 100% confidence in all the troops stationed in Kashmir, then don't be too quick in dismissing claims of indian cruelty.
Then in would be far safer to asume that both parties have behaved irresponsible



[ Parent ]
Did you pull that out of your ass? (none / 0) (#100)
by shaunak on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 08:26:44 AM EST

"Just recently two dutch men/boys were shot in the kashmir/Jammu area. They were shot by indian soldiers at a check point. The soldiers at the check point claimed that it was self defence. "

Can't seem to find it.
Which decade are you talking about?

[ Parent ]

My ass isn't big enough.... (none / 0) (#107)
by Curieus on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 05:23:31 AM EST

You want links?
link in dutch , also dutch

And for the dutch language impaired:
link in english

[ Parent ]
I guess it isn't. (none / 0) (#108)
by shaunak on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 10:07:26 AM EST

But nowhere in the article do I see anything regarding the involvement of the whole *state machinery* as you implied in your comment.
The state home minister (the equivalent of The Undersecretary of State) has initiated an enquiry into the incident and I personally have read about guilty soldiers in other cases having been punished.

While accusing the Indian government of Human Rights abuses, you conveniently ignore the abuses perpetrated by Pakistan backed terrorists.

Also, what I honestly do not understand is whether only terrorists have human rights. Aren't the army personnel humans? Do they not have human rights? Agreed, some of them may get trigger happy. But consider the conditions under which they have to work.

Ever heard of a fidayeen squad? That's about 4 or 5 heavily armed Terrorists hell bent on killing themselves. They're generally armed with AK-47s/56s, more ammo than that shown in all Bruce Wills' movies combined, many KGs of RDX (2 gms is enough to blow up your whole hand). How do they operate? Simple - an all out attack on an amry camp. They first walk close to the guards at the gate, dressed as civillians, open extremely heavy fire using aformentioned weapons, point blank, and then once security is overwhelmed, they go inside, fire indiscriminately at Army personnel, their wives and children, and then blow the whole place up.
How do you prevent this if you're an army officer/enlisted man posted at the gate? It depends on identifying possible terrorists before they walk up to you, and being ready with your finger on the trigger of your LMG.
How is that for psychological pressure?
And you expect them to be 100% perfect?
They're human. They make mistakes.
If they make mistakes, they're punished for it.

There was no terrorism in Kashmir untill the late 1980s. Local uprising? Hell no. About one half of the terrorists caught or killed turn out to be Afghanis, Arabs or Pakistanis. So, from where do they enter India? Through China? Bzzzzzt. Wrong answer - Pakistan is the correct answer, you lose your life.

The next time you make comments like that, please consider both sides of the coin.


[ Parent ]

Not really describing my position (none / 0) (#110)
by Curieus on Wed Jun 05, 2002 at 04:39:46 AM EST

My position isn't that pakistan isn't innocent of terrorism. In contrary i expect that they funded part of the incursions. I doubt however that they fund all of them.

My position here was that India isn't as innocent as they claim. A more recent investigation from independent/sensationalist (depending on ones preference :-) ) can be found here: http://www.omroep.nl/vara/tv/zembla/archief.html
(in dutch)

The fact remains that if you'd live there it doesn't really matter who kills your relatives. What you do know is that all group are dangerous.
If your relatives are killed by terrorists, then you become pro india.
If they are killed by indian soldiers that plant evidence, then you become pro terrorist.

I wonder about a solution. Neither india, nor pakistan, nor china wants to give up territory to any of the other parties. Understandable,
but how if they all gave up territorial claims to kashmir. Make it a separate country. I wouldn't know why this would or wouldn't work, so it probably is just fancy fantasizing :-).

[ Parent ]

This is why war will never become obsolete (5.00 / 1) (#68)
by epepke on Thu May 30, 2002 at 02:25:48 PM EST

People think that "look what they have done" is evidence in support of "our shit don't stink."


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
misaddressed (1.58 / 12) (#16)
by tps12 on Wed May 29, 2002 at 11:23:28 AM EST

This must have reached me by mistake, as I am not an average Pakistani citizen.

:(

Nice sentiments....... (4.83 / 12) (#21)
by sunnyATbarfi on Wed May 29, 2002 at 12:54:14 PM EST

I have to say its heart warming to read stuff like this, when the stupid Indian newspapers are baying for blood like nuclear war or any kind of war is actually desirable.

As an Indian, I have to say one thing though, we have to take the blame too.

The current situation has arisen mainly because the Indian govrnment wants to divert attention from its other state sponsored terrorism - the genocide in gujrat. Why else would they start so forcefully talk about war when this has been happening for ages?
Does the Indian government really care about Indians? frankly, no. But what is worse is that it actively act against the interests of the other minorities, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians in particular.

If the goverment cannot look after its Muslim population (very obvious in Gujrat), then why should the Kashmiri Muslims trust the BJP? After all, the Kshmiri muslims have been opressd by the Indian forces for ages.

Just as Pakistan needs to accept that its helping these terrorists cross over to KAshmir, we have to accept that our forces in Kashmir are making things worse.... thereby encouraging even more terrorism. We can kill as many pakistani militants as we can, but what about homegrown kashmiri militants?

There is a long way to go before our countries develop trust, the governments do nothing to help that, the people must build it, and lead this revolution. But at th same time, we must both accept our faults and stop pointing fingers.

If anyone is interested, I wrote an article on the Gujrat violence, as objectively kept as posible. Another article on this looking war is also forthcoming.

Attitudes (none / 0) (#55)
by Herring on Thu May 30, 2002 at 06:32:30 AM EST

Don't know if any other brits saw the Channel 4 news piece last night. There was a line like "most of the populace seem to think that nuclear weapons are just like really big grenades to be lobbed into the other persons yard".



Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
[ Parent ]
This could be beneficial (1.21 / 28) (#22)
by SkullRape on Wed May 29, 2002 at 01:04:44 PM EST

A full out nuclear war between the two countries might be beneficial anf *fun* to watch. First, population control. All the countries in that region are grosly over populated. A few nukes would surely help aleviate the problem. And the fun factor can not be ignored either. The devices that they have are very primitive. They could easily detonate half dozen or so without too much enviormentatl damage. The price for this? Several dozen million deaths. Sure, that might seem like a lot, but taken in context, that's what, like .01% of the total population over there? Plus, I've never ever seen a mushroom cloud out side of pictures. It would be *FANTASTIC* to see that in my life time. I say let the nukes fly!

a modest proposal to say the least (nt) (none / 0) (#26)
by Subtillus on Wed May 29, 2002 at 01:52:47 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Not as much fun as you might expect.... (none / 0) (#35)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 29, 2002 at 03:00:55 PM EST

The bad news is that their crummy old nukes are likely to be ground bursts, which kick up lots of fallout that can spread around and screw things up outside the immediate region. Also, don't forget that America and Britain's most elite soldiers are within a few kilometers of what would be ground zero, which can't be a good thing for those of us on the civilized side of Earth.

(Yes, my tongue is cheekbound).
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Nukes May Be Fun ... BUT! (4.50 / 4) (#39)
by Zancarius on Wed May 29, 2002 at 04:33:50 PM EST

As interesting as it would be to observe the effects of relatively low-yield nuclear devices, there are some significant long-term consequences that would affect a large number of people.  To illustrate, my mother lived in Woomera, Australia which happened to be down-wind from a significant number of above-ground nuclear tests conducted in the French Atolls.  Incidentally, a large number of people who once lived in Woomera (including my mother) contracted cancer -- sometimes very rare forms.  In fact, it has become so common among residents of that particular small town that the locals have often refered to cancer as the "Woomera-disease."

I suppose this should go without saying, but the population in southern New Mexico, USA, also suffer from high rates of cancers and leukemia -- which happens to be the location of the first atomic bomb's detonation (Trinity site).  And how long ago was that detonated?  (Granted, southern New Mexico is also known to have a higher level of radon gas seeping into homes than other parts of the United States.)

Another interesting point.  Those of us who have held a fascination with nuclear weapons are acutely aware of the implications of nuclear war, no matter where it is centered.  India is, to some degree, supported by the West and Russia.  Pakistan by China and other States.  If India and Pakistan go to war using or threatening to use nuclear weapons, the entire region will be affected.  Who's to say that it won't stop there?  I believe someone also mentioned the number of British and American nationals who are currently residing in India and Pakistan -- clearly flat-out nuclear war would affect these individuals since weapons of mass destruction have a bad habit of being non-discriminatory.  How do we know that two nations' war wouldn't create a similar situation to what we faced in pre-World War I?  The treaties, the ties, the tangled cob-web of diplomatic paperwork -- it could all come tumbling down at any moment.

If anything, even though I oppose the idea that the West should serve as a police force of the world, I think that it is our responsibility to ensure that the situation does not destabilize any further.  Sure nukes are "fun" when you're clicking around in a game or whatnot ... but this is real-life we're dealing with.  I think this is a situation none of us, not even those of us in the West, can afford to ignore.

[ Parent ]

Sorry to hear about your Mum. (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by BillyD on Wed May 29, 2002 at 11:43:58 PM EST

How do you figure Woomera is downwind from Tahiti? I think it far more likely that the nuclear tests carried out in Australia, around Woomera in fact, were the cause of the unfortunate side effects still being felt today.

[ Parent ]
We will all fry together... (3.00 / 1) (#67)
by LilDebbie on Thu May 30, 2002 at 01:41:59 PM EST

...since weapons of mass destruction have a bad habit of being non-discriminatory.

See? Nuclear weapons aren't all bad. They bring people of all races, cultural backgrounds, and nations together in brotherhood while they incinerate a well-distributed mass of humanity.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Should trolling... (4.00 / 1) (#44)
by d40cht on Wed May 29, 2002 at 05:46:09 PM EST

Really be this offensive?

[ Parent ]
the average Indian doesn't care about Pakistan (1.94 / 17) (#27)
by tps12 on Wed May 29, 2002 at 01:56:59 PM EST

The average Indian just wants the paleface to give him back his buffaloes.

lol ot (1.00 / 2) (#31)
by Jevesus on Wed May 29, 2002 at 02:15:35 PM EST

har har har, very funny. unless you we're actually serious; that would make it hysterically funny.

- Jevesus
[ Parent ]
I Am Pakistani (4.85 / 14) (#30)
by EraseMe on Wed May 29, 2002 at 02:09:23 PM EST

I live in America, but my extended family is in Pakistan (Islamabad). Thanks for the friendly sentiments. We don't hate you either, man. Sorry that some of us are acting like jerks. Terrorism is always wrong, regardless of the circumstances. Please don't invade, because we are no match for India in a conventional sense, and we are kind of freaking out, and some of us feel that nuclear weapons are our only defense. Let's resolve this in a way that is best for the Kashmiris (who always get forgotten, poor guys).

Umar? (OT) (none / 0) (#38)
by mattbelcher on Wed May 29, 2002 at 04:03:06 PM EST

Is this the same Umar who attended the University of Florida? I've been looking for your email address. Funny to run into you on k5.

[ Parent ]
MATT!!!! (none / 0) (#73)
by EraseMe on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:00:32 PM EST

Hey man, it is me! It's great to hear from you! I don't want to put my email address on K5, so I left a comment for you on your rockin' website, under the story about copyright. Hit me up!

[ Parent ]
I really love the Internet... (1.00 / 1) (#94)
by Maserati on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 01:30:19 PM EST

...when things like this happen.

--

For the wise a hint, for the fool a stick.
[ Parent ]

You were doing great.... (4.77 / 9) (#40)
by mindstrm on Wed May 29, 2002 at 04:43:28 PM EST

Until you blamed the problems on the Pakistani government. Yeah. That's a GREAT way to reach an understanding.

"Hey.. we all want peace, you and I are basically teh same.. except YOUR govermnet is the one that is wrong"

Both sides are equally to blame.

Sense of mistrust (none / 0) (#43)
by bayankaran on Wed May 29, 2002 at 05:26:11 PM EST

Both sides are equally to blame.

Kashmir militancy can be attributed to the botched and rigged election of 1987. Pakistanis did not waste a second afterwards with the 'We are here to help you' message. That together with the CIA trained mujahideens made the whole state hell. Who cares about Kashmiris. They would have never imagined such a turn of events where lives are taken for granted.

After all what is Pakistan and India...till the British helped divide the country it was one and the same. A new generation without the baggage of partition can help solve India Pakistan problems to some extent.

[ Parent ]
Turn that around (4.00 / 3) (#49)
by dachshund on Wed May 29, 2002 at 10:45:33 PM EST

After all what is Pakistan and India...till the British helped divide the country it was one and the same. A new generation without the baggage of partition can help solve India Pakistan problems to some extent.

On the flipside, 'til the British united the country a century or so before, it was a collection of disconnected kingdoms.

I recall seeing a fascinating "waterfall" chart in an Indian museum depicting the various kingdoms of India through their amalgamation by the British, and subsequent partitioning and independence.

Now I can't say that the British didn't make things worse (they probably did), but then again it's sort of wild to believe that the subcontinent would have been one big happy family without them.

[ Parent ]

One big family (4.00 / 1) (#57)
by bayankaran on Thu May 30, 2002 at 07:32:07 AM EST

The independence movement unified a country that had 10 times the diversity of Europe. The contribution of British in unifying the small kingdoms with their East India company probably made the whole process easier and smoother.



[ Parent ]
No kidding. (4.00 / 2) (#46)
by forii on Wed May 29, 2002 at 07:07:00 PM EST

I was the first person to give a suggestion during the editing phase of this article, and this was exactly what I pointed out as something that should be changed. "Unnecessary Antagonism" was what I called it.

Oh well. You can lead a horse to water...
Proud member of the ACLU, the NRA, and the EFF.
[ Parent ]

equally? (none / 0) (#97)
by startled on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 04:24:30 PM EST

Come on-- while the Indian government is being stubborn in retaining territory it rather dubiously acquired some time ago, the Pakistani government is actively fomenting rebellion in Kashmir. They supply arms, fund terrorists, and occasionally invade and ambush Indian soldiers.

Given the undemocratic Pakistani government's very warlike actions over the past decades, if we're going to weigh blame then "equal" seems highly inaccurate. If you mean that both governments could do better, well, of course.

[ Parent ]
Why should both sides be always equally to blame? (none / 0) (#99)
by bigbug__ on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 07:27:45 AM EST

I am quite ignorant on the conflict, but somehow I have the feeling that you are falling into some unnecesary political correctness. Isn't it possible that, occasionaly, one side is more to blame? Hey, we are not politicians, nor are we resolving disputes between mom and dad. We can blame someone, if we think we are right.
On the other hand, I also think that the paragraph on how the Pakistani government fails to do this and that is unnecessary for the discussion.
I myself have no opinion whatsoever on who's to blame, I just don't like the idea that no one ever is guilty and all governments syncronize their mistakes amazingly well to maintain a perfect dynamic ballance of fault.

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. -- Alan Watts
[ Parent ]
Something You Can Do (5.00 / 3) (#42)
by hotsauce on Wed May 29, 2002 at 05:00:48 PM EST

Hello,

I'm really concerned about the situation in Kashmir.  Please join
me in calling on the leaders of India and Pakistan to cool down.

The conflict is edging ever closer to a nuclear war.  A nuclear
exchange between these rival nations could kill 12 million people
and spread radioactive fallout around the globe.  Through
MoveOn.org, I'm calling on President Musharraf of Pakistan and
Prime Minister Vajpayee of India to step back from the brink of
holocaust.  

You can join us and sign a message from concerned citizens of the
world at:

   http://www.moveon.org/nonukesoverkashmir/

Both leaders are currently banging the drums of war.  Recently,
Pakistan tested its third missile in as many days, emphasizing
its ability to deliver nukes to the large Indian city Delhi in
under three minutes.  Prime Minister Vajpayee told the 700,000
troops stationed along the border of Pakistan that he was
preparing for "a decisive victory."

While India has stated that it will only use its nuclear bombs in
the case of an attack, Pakistan has made clear that it will
strike first if threatened.  And there's reason to believe that
it will follow through on this policy: in 1999, such an attack
was narrowly averted, over the protest of then-General Musharraf.

If India and Pakistan were to go to war, the effects would be
felt around the world.  The trade winds above the two countries
are ideally situated to spread nuclear fallout.  Essentially
highly radioactive dust, fallout can cause leukemia and many
other kinds of cancer, as well as radiation poisoning.

Assuming either nation survived the attacks, it's unlikely that
the conflict would even be resolved.  Instead of pushing their
countries toward Armageddon, Mr. Vajpayee and Mr. Musharraf must
re-establish diplomatic ties, disavow the use of nuclear weapons
under any circumstances, and work toward a comprehensive
agreement on the future of Kashmir.  

Please let them know that you're concerned about the escalating
conflict today:

   http://www.moveon.org/nonukesoverkashmir/

The lives of millions of Indians and Pakistanis could be at
stake.

Thanks.

Resistance is not terrorism.

That's so cute. (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by mech9t8 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 12:13:31 AM EST

"Well... the death tolls will be in the millions.  We've be dealing with fallout for decades.  We're going to destabilize the world, possibly leading to World War 3 and armageddon.  We're probably not going to live through this, and by the time it's over the only way there will be peace if there's so much blood that violence become unthinkable.  Pray, gentleman, because I'm about to launch the first nuclear weapon in anger since World War II."

"But sir!  Wait!  I've got an internet petition condemning nuclear war!"

"An internet petition!  Stop the countdown!  Stop!  Obviously, this is madness!  If only I had thought of what a few idealistic web surfers had thought about this, this whole thing could've been avoided!"

Perhaps that was little mean. ;)

Nevertheless, this is not "something you can do" to save lives.  This is "something you can do" to feel like you're doing something, to relieve the frustration at being powerless to prevent whatever's going to happen.

I doubt there's anything average people can do.  Maybe huge, simultaneous protests, where masses of Indian and Pakistani ex-pats gather in front of their respective embassies demanding sanity.  Maybe huge protests within Pakistan and India demanding sanity and true democracy for Kashmir.  Maybe huge masses of Pakistani citizens going out and stopping terrorists themselves; maybe huge masses of Indian citizens standing in front of Indian tanks.  Maybe.

But an Internet partition is just something you can do to feel better.  Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but I hate seeing people deluding themselves...  if you want to relieve the feeling of helplessness, go do something where you can actually make a difference... go help the homeless in your community, work a soup kitchen, volunteer at an animal shelter, etc.  You're not going to solve any huge issues, but you might made someone else's life just a bit better.

Signing internet petitions is about as useful as, well, not signing internet petitions...

</cynic mode>

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

Here's what you can do: go on strike. (none / 0) (#76)
by Hiram on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:46:09 AM EST

If you're in India or Pakistan, talk to workers in factories and in the fields. Ask them what the war would give them. Nothing, obviously. Ask them who rules the country -- or rather, who rules both countries. Not people like them, obviously, but people who, strangely, seem to enjoy toying with the idea of a nuclear war.

Working people in both countries hold the key to solving the conflict. In fact, the working people in India and Pakistan have no conflict over Kashmir.

Strike.
Refuse to fight.
Wave white flags, maybe add a few red ones to make your point.
Down with warmongers and the cynical bourgeois military! All power to the toilers!

[ Parent ]
Learned futility ... (none / 0) (#82)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:02:23 AM EST

Nevertheless, this is not "something you can do" to save lives. This is "something you can do" to feel like you're doing something, to relieve the frustration at being powerless to prevent whatever's going to happen.

And of course, pointing this out is "something YOU can do to feel smug and superior to those naive peace patitioners". Until the bombs fall, and you get to watch the horrible videotape of the whole bloody thing on the news, at which time your attitude's going to seem rather futile and irrelevant to you, isn't it?

Well, fuck it. At least I said something against this war. At least I can say that if I'm confronted with those images. And no, that's not meaningless to the world at large.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
"Well, I did my part" (none / 0) (#83)
by Dephex Twin on Fri May 31, 2002 at 10:42:11 AM EST

I think what was pointed out originally is that yes, you are doing something by doing that, but it's not going to make any more of a difference than, say, posting on k5. Which amounts to essentially nothing.
Well, fuck it. At least I said something against this war. At least I can say that if I'm confronted with those images.
Yes, at least you'll have peace of mind, thank goodness. If it happens, then who the heck cares what you can say about it? It sounds like you want to be able to say and feel like you said something against it, and then you don't have to feel guilty about what happens. If it does nothing for anyone else, then you're doing it for yourself.
And no, that's not meaningless to the world at large.
No?

I think the suggestions to really help out and make people's lives better is a very good one. If there was more of that there'd be less bad stuff going on in the world right now. Terrorism is thriving because there are desperate people who have nothing to lose.

mark


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]
Then why even bother to post? (nt) (none / 0) (#89)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:37:36 PM EST


On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
For discussions like these? (none / 0) (#105)
by Dephex Twin on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 12:41:05 PM EST

Just not to effect change in the world.  Deal with it.

mark


Alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. -- Homer Simpson
[ Parent ]

Hmm... no, I don't think that's it. (none / 0) (#84)
by mech9t8 on Fri May 31, 2002 at 11:03:53 AM EST

And of course, pointing this out is "something YOU can do to feel smug and superior to those naive peace patitioners".

Errmmm.... no, I don't think that's it.  I mean, IMHO, having the position that "internet petitions are useless" is kinda like having the position that "nuclear war is bad" - too obvious a position to actually take pride in it.

My hopes are actually twofold:

  1.  That people who actually have the drive and energy to set up and spread the internet petitions consider directing that drive and energy towards something actually worthwhile.
  2.  That when people do send out these internet petition things, they do it with a bit more hubris.  Instead of saying "You must act now to sign OUR petition because we're going to SAVE the WORLD and if you don't the WORLD will be DESTROYED!", they could say something a bit more reasonable, like: "We know it's probably not going to save the world.  But, it's something... and it's not going to hurt, right?"  I betcha they'd get more signatures with that attitude then with alienating people with the self-righteous attitude.
(Obviously, #2 is more of a pet peeve than something I feel is really important.)

I mean, if you really think it'll help you feel better that you signed an internet petition when confronted with the horror of war, go ahead... but, I think it's just a placebo.  I know, for me, writing this message, or signing an internet petition, or telling people about the conflict, or walking in protests, is going to be cold comfort when confronted with the actual war.

If you really want to feel better about yourself when watching how horrible people can be to one another, I'd suggest your actually do something that'll actually make a difference in other people's lives.  Show cynics like me that humanity is capable of working hard and making sacrifices for others, instead of being driven by greed and ego ("You must sign MY petition because I'M going to SAVE the WORLD, and you must agree with MY bold position that nuclear war is bad!").

Of course, that's just my opinion. ;)

--
IMHO
[ Parent ]

Logically, someone halfway across the world ... (none / 0) (#88)
by pyramid termite on Fri May 31, 2002 at 04:30:17 PM EST

... can either ignore or despair of the situation, take forceful measures to change the situation (although the U.S. government doesn't seem to have come up with any and if they can't do it, why would we be able to?), or speak out about the situation and attempt to persuade others who are closer to the situation to do something. Those are our three choices.

I believe the first choice, yours, is useless, and the second choice impossible. That leaves me with the long shot represented by the third choice.

By the way cynicism has something in common with a placebo - as more is learned, it becomes less effective. In fact, cycicism IS a placebo -something taken in the belief that it will make one feel better when it has no effect at all. Yes, you think it'll ease the pain of having to live in a fucked up world, but it only worked for a short while, didn't it? And the world's just as fucked up as it was.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Creates Awareness (none / 0) (#109)
by hotsauce on Tue Jun 04, 2002 at 03:30:22 PM EST

I agree that a petition by itself is not going to do anything. But it creates awareness that does do things, in a democracy and even in a dictatorship. There are people on the subcontinent that do not fully understand the implications of nuclear war, and there are many people in the US who do not know that India and Pakistan are nuclear powers or even where they are.

If the petition circulates via email and gets people informed and to think, it will go a long way towards influencing those with direct power in the matter.



Resistance is not terrorism.
[ Parent ]
I will probably be moderated to hell for this.. (none / 0) (#106)
by Steeltoe on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 05:24:04 PM EST

I will say this for those who are listening. The other people will just skip it anyways or ridicule it. It doesn't matter. If you are an open person, you will read it even though you don't understand why it would work.

I've heard from people I consider very clueful in such matters, that astrologically speaking the world is in a very difficult time now. The destructive potential is greater than many many 9/11's. This is not something to fear, because I believe we are more than our lives here on earth.

However powerless the global events may make you feel, claim your power now. If you believe you are more than this body, then know you are consciousness. You decide what to experience, you just have to shift your focus - attend to positivity. Whatever you send out in the world, eventually comes back to you. So your actions can in subtle ways help others as well as yourself. There are a number of things you can do:

1) For those who are meditating regularly I suggest to do so more often now than not. If you do not know how to, just sit alone in silence for 10 minutes, eyes closed.

2) Live a regular life, go to bed early. Eat well at regular points during the day.

3) Join a satsang group or choir, sing, dance and be happy.

4) Stop reading newspapers and listening to the radio. Do not play violent computer games and play hard music (I know that one can be though ;-). But what is more important, a few hours of gaming or a more stable earth-consciousness? Do not discuss negative things with other people.

5) Attend to positive activities. Go out in the nature, get a tan, hug a tree. Haha, it might look silly, but they really like it! :*)

6) Pray that the best outcome of the conflict will happen, whatever that might be. Pray to God, the universe, or to yourself, it doesn't matter. But if you do so sincerely, and not out of fear or hatred, you will have a positive say in the matter because everything is connected. It may not stop the rolling ball, but it will shift the world toward higher state.

Your thoughts and action will always make a difference. It is just your doubts and confusion that will limit you.

It is very important to start a bit before 10th of July. It's between 10th and 15th of July bad action is most likely to happen. 7:00 AM GMT 9th of July many people all over the world will come together for satsang. Go find a group to join, start one or just do your own thing alone at that time. A coordinated effort will have great effect and you can easily be a part of it.

Do not fear, do not hate, do not judge.

Instead, know that everything that happens have a greater purpose. If something seems void of purpose, it can easily be given one.

Do not listen to those who worship negativity. If things start to happen, immediately shut off your senses and find a quiet spot to meditate/be in silence. You'll have the information that you want in a week or two.

Do not avoid news because it makes you feel bad, focus on positive action because it makes you feel good.
Explore the Art of Living

[ Parent ]

One of my favourite quotes about War: (4.00 / 2) (#47)
by bertok on Wed May 29, 2002 at 09:06:16 PM EST

"We really don't have enemies. It's just that some of our best friends are trying to kill us."

What this is saying is that people have no reason to go to war unless they live in the same environment, use the same resources, and have similar goals. In other words, you don't see Microsoft using its monopoly power to squeeze local bakeries out of business. Conversely, the reason Pakistan and India are (nearly) at war is because they are so similar. They both want the same piece of land for the same reasons, but they don't want share.

Arguing that "We shouldn't go to war because we are so alike.", is a step in the right direction, but is unfortunately based on incorrect logic.


--
"If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least
once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things."

Marshall Berman said something once... (3.00 / 3) (#48)
by dolo on Wed May 29, 2002 at 09:12:16 PM EST

The day I can make a difference or have an impact on society is the day Hell freezes over. I can only affect changes locally and by stimulating people around me. Even then, they are all pretty set in their modes. Have you ever tried to really change someone? You can't!

Marshall Berman (author: All That is Solid Melts Into Air) maintained that no one can stop the tide of progress and any fool caught in the undertow is doomed. I think he's correct. He went on to say that the only thing you can try to do is steer progress one way or another. That must be like navigating a giant oil tanker right through the South Pole -- molasses and liquid nitrogen!!

India and Pakistan are set on a collision course -- and the madmen are at the helm playing chicken.

Saint Seraphim of Sarov said something pertinent (4.50 / 2) (#51)
by Anonymous 242 on Wed May 29, 2002 at 11:51:30 PM EST

If you acquire the spirit of peace, thousands around you will be saved.

In other words, the only way we can save the world is to save ourselves. We ought to stop trying to change the world and start trying to change ourselves. If and when we find peace, others will follow.

[ Parent ]

I don't know about you ... (4.00 / 1) (#62)
by pyramid termite on Thu May 30, 2002 at 08:17:55 AM EST

... but I make an impact on society every day I go to work. It's not much of one, but it's there. I'm helping the world by performing one small function in it.

I'm truly sorry you don't feel that way.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Its the political system (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by Siddhi on Thu May 30, 2002 at 03:04:08 PM EST

I am an Indian, and the problem is that any solution will require compromises, and the moment any compromises are reached, the opposition will cry foul and say that the government is killing off the nation. Its unfortunate, but that is the way it is. It would take a leader with lots of guts, a huge margin in parliament and ready to give up any hope in politics to do anything. It is interesting, a surprisingly large number of people that I know (including me) are willing for some compromise to end the problem. In fact, I am willing to have the line of control converted to an international border. We will keep that part that we administer, and Pakistan can keep the part that they have occupied. I think this is fair, considering that we would be giving away part of our land to just settle the problem. I am still in favour of it, if the problem will be solved. But there are a number of important questions. Will the terrorism stop once the problem has been resolved ? I doubt it. They are foreign terrorists, with no connection to the problem in hand. Why should they stop once the problem has been solved ? Unlike the popular peception, this is not just a 50 year problem. The history traces far back into British occupation, where they pitted the various communities against each other in order to keep them from challenging British domination. The Kashmir issue has become an ego issue in the fight, more than anything else. In that case, it is only Pakistan that can stop the terrorists. Because there is no possible solution if the terrorists will keep coming forever.

Its the political system (5.00 / 3) (#71)
by Siddhi on Thu May 30, 2002 at 03:56:46 PM EST

I am an Indian, and the problem is that any solution will require compromises, and the moment any compromises are reached, the opposition will cry foul and say that the government is killing off the nation. Its unfortunate, but that is the way it is. It would take a leader with lots of guts, a huge margin in parliament and ready to give up any hope in politics to do anything. It is interesting, a surprisingly large number of people that I know (including me) are willing for some compromise to end the problem. In fact, I am willing to have the line of control converted to an international border. We will keep that part that we administer, and Pakistan can keep the part that they have occupied. I think this is fair, considering that we would be giving away part of our land to just settle the problem. I am still in favour of it, if the problem will be solved. But there are a number of important questions. Will the terrorism stop once the problem has been resolved ? I doubt it. They are foreign terrorists, with no connection to the problem in hand. Why should they stop once the problem has been solved ? Unlike the popular peception, this is not just a 50 year problem. The history traces far back into British occupation, where they pitted the various communities against each other in order to keep them from challenging British domination. The Kashmir issue has become an ego issue in the fight, more than anything else. In that case, it is only Pakistan that can stop the terrorists. Because there is no possible solution if the terrorists will keep coming forever.

Just as a practical matter... (none / 0) (#85)
by cathryn on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:23:07 PM EST

>In that case, it is only Pakistan that can stop >the terrorists. Because there is no possible >solution if the terrorists will keep coming forever. Really, Pakistan can't even stop terrorists in its own country -- that is the bombing of the French and the Pearl kidnapping. I'm not sure, practically, how much power Musharref has to stop terrorism in J-Kashmir. If India wants to get rid of terrorism in Kashmir, what they should do is chill out, and let the US fight the war with Pakistan against Al Queda. The Indian threats screw all this up -- and empower the fundamentalists in the back country in Pakistan. It will result in more terrorism in Kashmir. It's madness.

[ Parent ]
As a practical matter... (none / 0) (#86)
by cathryn on Fri May 31, 2002 at 03:24:37 PM EST


>In that case, it is only Pakistan that can stop >the terrorists. Because there is no possible >solution if the terrorists will keep coming
>forever.

Really, Pakistan can't even stop terrorists in its own country -- that is the bombing of the French and the Pearl kidnapping. I'm not sure, practically, how much power Musharref has to stop terrorism in J-Kashmir.

If India wants to get rid of terrorism in Kashmir, what they should do is chill out, and let the US fight the war with Pakistan against Al Queda. The Indian threats screw all this up -- and empower the fundamentalists in the back country in Pakistan. It will result in more terrorism in Kashmir. It's madness.

[ Parent ]

Role of the British (3.00 / 1) (#92)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 03:38:42 AM EST

The history traces far back into British occupation, where they pitted the various communities against each other in order to keep them from challenging British domination.

Did these tactics really start with the "British" in India? I'm not that familiar with Indian history, but from what I know of it, there were ethnic,religious and caste struggles that go back there a long ways.

The British people had a rather nasty colonial experience under the Romans, French and others. One of the great strengths of the Indian people is that Indian history seems far more intact even after the Raj than that of the Brits. Hell, there isn't even an academic consensus on what the language of the Picts was. Can you understand that a people that loose their history as part of an occupation also loose quite a bit in the way of independence?

The government that got the Raj ramped up was hardly "British"(with a bunch of Germans in the higher ranks of the nobility and a prime minister like Disraeli--in the American south we call those kinds of folks "carpetbaggers"--the term is not a compliment).

I can't believe that the Raj would have lasted as long as it did without lots of collaborators. Who were these folks? What is their role in India today? Certainly, Anglo-Indians play a rather prominent role in Britain today. The Kashmir issue has become an ego issue in the fight, more than anything else. In that case, it is only Pakistan that can stop the terrorists. Because there is no possible solution if the terrorists will keep coming forever

I'd suggest that General M of Pakistan simply cannot stop support of terrorists in India by people in Pakistan. If India is serious around stopping that terrorism, it will have to replace General M with some type of government that can(which means either a more militant Islamic government that is willing to cut a deal or an Indian puppet government willing and able to use exceptionally brutal tactics). I don't think that the carpetbagger George Bush will support either policy. Bush is a creature of Arab and Islamic interests that want to work with the US actively-he simply couldn't have gotten the presidency without their help. For that matter, a big chunk of the Bush family fortune was made doing business with Arabs.

There are folks in the Arab countries that dislike having American government interests in Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan just as much as many southerners in the US disliked reconstruction(and this latest travesty of governers like Brothers Bush in Florida and Texas). Personally, I think it is utterly idiotic for the US to be committed to an insane policy of subsidizing imports of oil from the middle east(the price of defense of that oil were factored into the cost at the pump, no oil would be imported from the middle east). The US backs Israel and those oil companies with seats in the UN(i.e. Kuwait etc) because of influence of global elites on the US political process and culture. It isn't really the position of the US people that is at stake-it is rather that the middle eastern situation threatens to shake up the political situation in the US if only because in wartime bozos like Clinton and Bush are the kind of military leaders that inspire that time honored American custom of "fragging" officers(something the Americans inherited from their British Ancestors that used to take care of bad leaders as did MacBeth).

[ Parent ]

bush? arab puppet? (none / 0) (#96)
by delmoi on Sun Jun 02, 2002 at 05:47:42 AM EST

I don't think that the carpetbagger George Bush will support either policy. Bush is a creature of Arab and Islamic interests that want to work with the US actively-he simply couldn't have gotten the presidency without their help. For that matter, a big chunk of the Bush family fortune was made doing business with Arabs

Are you serious? Bush supported the Taliban before 9/11, and he didn't even know who Musharef was before he was elected. He's certanly not Israli's biggest detractor either...
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
Why Arabs Supported Bush (none / 0) (#98)
by nomoreh1b on Mon Jun 03, 2002 at 01:33:17 AM EST

Are you serious? Bush supported the Taliban before 9/11, and he didn't even know who Musharef was before he was elected. He's certanly not Israli's biggest detractor either...

Bush was simply the biggest detractor of Israel that had any chance of getting elected president(i.e. someone like Pat Buchanan simply wouldn't have a shot that the race-the media would bury him).

Bush's stand on the Taliban kind of makes my point. Look at the razor thin margin by which the guy got elected. If the Arab Anti-Defamation League hadn't of supported Bush, Bush couldn't have gotten elected-the race was that close. The Oil business is a small fraternity. There aren't a lot of heavy Israel supporters in the oil business-the Arabs just plain don't want to do business with them. Bush's stand on the Taliban was another example of this guy really trying to not offend major Arab interest.

Personally, I think this whole business of basing the American economy on imported oil has been a looser from day one. If we didn't have folks like Bush that got rich off that business, a nationalistic American government would:
a) shift taxes away from the income tax an onto imported oil(to pay for the expense of defending that trade route.
b) seriously look into alternative energy-particularly forms that might keep the rest of the world from getting pissed off about our C02 production.
c) cut Israel loose.
Bush will do none of these things. He simply lacks the guts. He cares more about his friends in the oil business than about his country.

I think the Arabs supported Bush the carpetbagger because the alternative was having a pro-Israel fanatic a heartbeat away from the presidency.

I think the cooler heads in the Arab world would rather fight a war against a whore like Bush--there is only so much enthusiasm in the US for these military adventures that don't have anything to do with the real interests of the American people.

Frankly, I think the Arabs have some real concerns about the US. Can you imagine what might happen if someone like Leiberman got his hands on nukes? Someone that truly believes deep in his heart that some fairy tale Jehovah gave Israel to Jews? I wish those folks afraid of Israel had a little better taste than supporting Bush, but frankly the leadership on nationalistic side is in pretty dang poor shape(about all the US Right has is whores like Bush and various religious nutcases that tend to support Israel).

[ Parent ]

Good job (4.00 / 4) (#72)
by krek on Thu May 30, 2002 at 04:10:28 PM EST

I really liked the way you would promote peace and understanding btween the Indian and Pakistani people in one breath and then turn around and blame the Pakistanis in the next.

The REAL problem with India/Pakistan, and the whole world in general is that everyone belives that they are right, and not just correct, but RIGHT, as in RIGHTEOUS.

I am reminded of a saying that I heard once:

Opinions are like assholes; everybody has one, and everyone else's stinks!

I think it was a movie.

a lot in common (4.00 / 2) (#79)
by danny on Fri May 31, 2002 at 07:52:05 AM EST

I've been to both India (in 1998) and Pakistan (in 1999). Though I only saw a very small part of either country, they have rather a lot in common. Indian films and music are entertainment staples in Pakistan. Hindi and Urdu are basically the same language (written in different scripts). And both national airlines like to confiscate batteries from passengers...

Culturally, the Pakistani and Indian Punjabs have way more in common with one another than they do with either Kerala or Bangladesh.

Danny.
[900 book reviews and other stuff]

Fallout will kill thousands over next years in USA (3.00 / 1) (#93)
by ejpusa on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 10:49:30 AM EST

Forgetting the rest of the world, I was watching the tube last nite, one of the concerned scientist said that based on prevailing winds, over the next few decades thousands of people in the USA will develope cancers because of the radioactive fallout from a nuclear conflict in Asia; yet the US does nothing, and England still wants to SELL MORE weapons to BOTH India and Pakistan. Have we lost our minds? Maybe knock off the men, and put the women in control. Us guys have fucked up big time, I'm sure the female of the species could do no worse. Lets give them a chance, we had ours, and failed. They're version 2.0 right?

[ Parent ]
UK&US (none / 0) (#95)
by nomoreh1b on Sat Jun 01, 2002 at 02:08:30 PM EST

Both conducted quite a few open-air nuclear tests in the 50's. If what that scientists you cited said is correct, those tests killed thousands of people-that rather limits the moral legitimacy of the UK and US governments on these questions doesn't it?

As far as UK on the arms trade: What else can the UK and US export these days?

[ Parent ]

Indus Telegraph (3.00 / 1) (#90)
by cfynx on Fri May 31, 2002 at 05:50:28 PM EST

Just thought that folks who found this article interesting might be interested in a new Scoop site called Indus Telegraph - www.industelegraph.com.

From an average Indian | 110 comments (104 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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