Category Archives: Politics

Trumpy at the Bat by Socrates

 

This poem appeared as a comment on New York Times’ Editorial  
The TrumpRyanCare Debacle  on March 24, 2017
 

Socrates is a trusted commenter Verona NJ

Trumpy at the Bat

From ten thousand Fake News hamlets there rose a lusty yell;
it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
it knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
for Trumpy, mighty Trumpy, was advancing to the bat.Ten million angry eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands in slogans;
five million tongues applauded when he shouted ‘repeal Obamacare’.
Then while the pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
defiance gleamed in Trumpy’s eye, a sneer curled Trumpy’s lip.And now the Obamacare ball came hurtling through the air,
and Trumpy stood watching it in his detail-free universe.
As the sturdy batsman stood still in stupidity.
“That ain’t my style,” said Trumpy. “Strike one,” the umpire said.With a smile of fake Christian charity Trumpy’s pumpkined visage shone;
he signaled to the pitcher, and once more Obamacare sailed;
but Trumpy still ignored it, and the umpire said: “Strike two.”

“Repeal Obamacare!” cried the maddened misanthropes,
As the sneer faded from Trumpy’s lips, his teeth now clenched in hate;
he pounds his empty head upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball and he lets it go,
and now the air is shattered by the force of Trumpy’s trumpery.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
the sick are tended, and healthcare rights are safe again,
and somewhere an average American can see a doctor again.
American humanity is restored again,
but there is no joy in Trumpville — for mighty Trumpy has struck out.

Ujjal Dosanjh: Dear Donald Trump, you are an illegitimate President-elect;

http://indianexpress.com/article/blogs/dear-donald-trump-you-are-an-illegitimate-president-elect-you-will-be-a-less-than-legitimate-president-4472380/

Dear Donald Trump, you are an illegitimate President-elect; you will be a less than legitimate President

By Ujal Dosanjh

(Dosanjh is former Premier of British Columbia, and former Canadian Minister of Health.)

Dear Donald, you and your surrogates have been noxiously complaining that the US Democrats are raising the bogey of Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to delegitimise your electoral victory and undermine your presidency. I am a citizen of the increasingly smaller world: A Canadian citizen; and by heritage an Indian of India. I am baffled how one undermines something already illegitimate. I thought I should let you know well before your swearing in that as far as many Americans and people across the world are concerned your Presidency is void ab initio. You are an illegitimate President-Elect; and you will be an illegitimate President. Stop complaining about it. Just grin and bear it.

And you may ask why?

Where do you want me to start?

For beginners, as one who had sought to undermine the Presidency of a duly elected Barack Obama by leading the most disgusting chorus of the Birther Lie against the first black president in the history of the USA, you don’t deserve to be the President, and that too as the standard bearer of the party of the slayer and abolisher of slavery, Abraham Lincoln.

You campaigned on “draining the swamp” of the rich and powerful in Washington. That appears to have been another one of your grotesque lies because your proposed cabinet is full of billionaires and multimillionaires quite at home, and used to swimming, in the swamp of which they are an integral part.

Your electoral college victory was founded upon a campaign of hate and racism against Muslims and Mexicans that appealed to the latent racism of quite a significant section of white Americans still undoubtedly harbouring racism, fear of the other and economic anxieties afflicting them leading them to buy your snake oil of how everything will be fine when you ban all Muslims from entering the country, set up a mandatory registry for American Muslims, instantly deport 11 million Mexicans from the USA back into Mexico and build a wall on the border with Mexico. You lied to the American people that you will make Mexico pay for the wall which you are now asking Americans to pay for. And we are happy that it will be less than a wall; but still another lie.

To make matters worse you have told scores of other monstrous, consequential and inconsequential lies in your lifetime and in the campaign. So much so that it compelled James Warren writing in Vanity Fair to label you “the least honest politician alive”. And even after getting elected you haven’t stopped lengthening the already too long a screed of lies.
I confess Hillary Clinton was not the greatest opponent you could have faced. She had excessive baggage from years of being in the public and political domains: the history the Clinton Foundation, her own emails from her time as Secretary of State and much more. According to the report of the US intelligence, in came the Russians with the clear intent to sow distrust in the US election process, hurt the Clinton candidacy and help yours, their preferred candidate. The Russians hacked the DNC and other Clinton related emails and conspired with the Wikileaks to strategically release such materials during the campaign. The drip-drip of the Russian hacked and Wikileaks released material effectively damaged Clinton’s chances of beating you; Russia put its thumb on the scale to help you, their favourite candidate; you became Russia’s “Manchurian” candidate. Russia didn’t interfere with the voting machines or the tallying of the votes. But it certainly did interfere with and influence the election in your favour. With Russia’s clear and covert help, you defeated Clinton.

There are as yet unsubstantiated claims that the Russians possess a dossier of compromising personal and other information on you with which, if true, you could be subject to blackmail endangering the national security of the United States of America. The intelligence chiefs felt the information, though unproven, was germane enough to their duty to protect USA and its government that they briefed President Obama and you on it. The briefing material was leaked but according to the intelligence chiefs not by them or their organisations. You had a hissy fit during what the Guardian described as a train wreck of a press conference, and compared your intelligence chiefs to the Nazis. Such irresponsible conduct is more proof that you aren’t fit to be the President of the most powerful country on earth.

Mind you, Russia isn’t unique in the world in trying to subvert other nation’s politics and governments. American governments have been no international angels. They have encouraged countless coups and revolts and interfered in elections all over the world. The government s your country helped come to power in other countries were equally illegitimate, be it the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines or Augusto Pinochet in Chile.

Russian interference and influence in the US election in your favour, more than the lies and hate you spewed, has certainly meant the demise of your presidency’s legitimacy at its very beginning. Your campaign of lies, hate and racism along with the well documented help you received from the Russians in damaging your opponent has made yours an illegitimate presidency.

But you, your supporters and surrogates argue the fact that you have been elected should be the end of discussion; perhaps so, particularly because the American electorate has never been considered to be well informed and aware anyway. As the late Gore Vidal once lamented, “Half of the Americans have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half”.

So the world is the poorer for having to live with your less than legitimate Presidency. Do us a favour: Just grin and bear it.

The views expressed by the author are personal. Dosanjh is former Premier of British Columbia, and former Canadian Minister of Health.

 

 

Harry Reid Exposes FBI Director’s Partisan Move

 

 

harry-reid_letter-to-director-comey-10_30_2016

Syrian Crisis Explained (!)

From WhatsApp

If in case it was all too confusing for you, here’s a summary:

President Assad (who is bad) is a nasty guy who got so nasty his people rebelled and the Rebels (who are good) started winning (hurrah!).

But then some of the rebels turned a bit nasty and are now called Islamic State (who are definitely bad!) while some continued to support democracy (who are still good.)

So the Americans (who are good ) started bombing Islamic State (who are bad ) and giving arms to the Syrian Rebels (who are good ) so they could fight Assad (who is still bad) which was good.

There is a breakaway state in the north run by the Kurds who want to fight IS (which is good) but the Turkish authorities think they are bad, so the U.S. says they are bad while secretly thinking they’re good and giving them guns to fight IS (which is good) but that is another matter.

Getting back to Syria.

So President Putin (who is bad because he invaded Crimea and the Ukraine and killed lots of folks, including that nice Russian man in London with polonium poisoned sushi, has decided to back Assad (who is still bad) by attacking IS (who are also bad ) which is sort of a good thing (!?).

But Putin (still bad) thinks the Syrian Rebels (who are good) are also bad, and so he bombs them too, much to the annoyance of the Americans (who are good) who are busy backing and arming the rebels (who are also good).

Now Iran (who used to be bad, but now they have agreed not to build any nuclear weapons with which to bomb Israel are now good) are going to provide ground troops to support Assad (still bad) as are the Russians (bad) who now have ground troops and aircraft in Syria.

So a Coalition of Assad (still bad) Putin (extra bad) and the Iranians (good, but in a bad sort of way) are going to attack IS (who are bad which is good, but also the Syrian Rebels (who are good) which is bad.

Now the British (obviously good, except that silly anti-Semite who leads the Labor Party, Mr. Corbyn in the corduroy jacket, who is bad) and the Americans (also good) cannot attack Assad (still bad) for fear of upsetting Putin (bad) and Iran (good/bad) and now they have to accept that Assad might not be that bad after all compared to IS (super bad — see Paris, November 2015).

So Assad (bad) is now probably good, being better than IS and, because Putin and Iran are also fighting IS, that may now make them good. America (still good) will find it hard to arm a group of rebels being attacked by the Russians for fear of upsetting Mr. Putin (now good) and that nice mad Ayatollah in Iran (also good?) and so they may be forced to say that the Rebels are now bad, or at the very least abandon them to their fate. This will lead most of them to flee to Turkey and on to Europe or join IS (still the only consistently bad).

To Sunni Muslims an attack by Shia Muslims (Assad and Iran) backed by Russians will be seen as something of a Holy War. Therefore, the ranks of IS will now be seen by the Sunnis as the only Jihadis fighting in the Holy War and hence many Muslims will now see IS as good (duh).

Sunni Muslims will also see the lack of action by Britain and America in support of their Sunni rebel brothers as something of a betrayal (might have a point?) and hence we will be seen as bad.

So now we have America (now bad) and Britain (also bad) providing limited support to Sunni Rebels (bad ) many of whom are looking to IS (good/bad ) for support against Assad (now good) who, along with Iran (also good) and Putin (now, straining credulity, good ) are attempting to retake the country Assad used to run before all this started.

Got it?

Game Plan- Create Dissention in each Group that Voted for Modi

From WahtsApp by Pankaj Ojha

मई 2014
मोदीजी pm बन गए
रिपोर्ट आई की
इस बार मोदी को
एक तरफ़ा वोट मिला
1) नोजवानों से ,
खासकर कॉलेज छात्रों से
2) कमजोर तबकों से,
खासकर दलितों से
3) हिन्दू समाज से,
खासकर मध्यम वर्ग से
4) गुजराती लोगों से,
खासकर पटेलों से
5) मुस्लिम समाज से,
खासकर गरीब मुस्लिम से
6) महिलाओं से,
खासकर धर्मप्रेमी महिलाओं से
7) व्यापारी वर्ग से,
ख़ासकर छोटे मझोले वर्ग से
8) देश के थिंकटैंक से,
खासकर बुद्धिजीवी वर्ग से
ऐसे कई कई वर्गों ने अपनी
पुश्तैनी राजनीतिक निष्ठां
को दरकिनार कर मोदी को
वोट दिया। कश्मीर से
कन्याकुमारी तक यही देखने में
आया।
हर राजनीतिक दल इसे महसूस कर
पाया,
पुरे भारतवर्ष में।
इसका तोड़ निकाला गया।
नतीजा आज आपके सामने है।
हर उस वर्ग को सबसे पहले
चिन्हित किया गया जिसने
मोदी को एक तरफ़ा वोट
दिया। फिर उस वर्ग की
“दुखती नस” मार्क की गई और
खेल शुरू हुआ।
बेहद सटीक और बारीकी से
चुन चुन कर इन वर्गों को टारगेट
करना शुरू हुआ।
किरदार लिखे गए और
हर वर्ग को एक टार्गेटेड
किरदार दिया गया।
उसकी टाईमिंग तय की गई।
और अपने हाथ में रिमोट रखा
प्रमुख विपक्षी दल ने ।
भांड मीडिया इसमें अहम रोल
अदा करने वाला था।
मकसद इन सबका एक था-
हर वर्ग को तोडना,
हर वर्ग को जहर से भरना,
हर वर्ग को छिन्न भिन्न करकें
रखना ,
ताकि फिर वो भविष्य में,
कभी एक होकर,
मोदी को वोट ना दे
अब आप खुद इस बड़े से खेल को
समझिये,
इनकी परफेक्ट टाइमिंग को
समझिये,
इनके वेल प्लेसड किरदारों को
देखिये,
बेहद खूबसूरत स्क्रिप्ट को
पढ़िए। हर बयान की एक परफेक्ट
टाइमिंग
स्पष्ट रखी दिखेगी।
1) नोजवानों के लिए
JNU वाला उमर खालिद
किरदार
2) दलित वर्ग के लिए
रोहित वेमुला वाला किरदार
3) हिन्दू वर्ग के लिए
फ़िल्मी खान वाला किरदार
4) गुजरती पटेलों के लिए
हार्दिक पटेल वाला किरदार
5) मुस्लिमो के लिए
अख़लाक़ वाला किरदार
6) महिलाओं के लिए
शनि शिंगापुनकर वाली
किरदार
7) व्यापारी वर्ग के लिए
GST वाला किरदार
8) बुद्धिजीवी वर्ग के लिए
असहिष्णडू वाला किरदार
मजे और आश्चर्य की बात यह की
इसमें नया कुछ भी नही है। वर्षो
से समाज में चली आ रही
बुराइयों को ही आधार बनाया
गया है।
सिर्फ मोहरे बदल कर
नए वो किरदार लाये गए हैं
जो जवान है
जोश से भरपूर हैं।
ये तो बानगी है उन किरदारों
की अब तक सामने आ गए हैं।
भविष्य में और भी सामने आएंगे ,
अपनी परफेक्ट
स्क्रिप्ट और टाइमिंग के साथ।
आपको ,
हमको ,
हिंदुस्तान,
को तोड़ने की साजिश के साथ।
सजग रहिएगा
होश से काम लीजिएगा
अपने विवेक को
मरने न दीजियेगा
अपनी एकता बनाये रखना
किसी भी उकसावे में न फँसना
हम “अनेक” थे
हम “अनेक” हैं
हम “अनेक” ही रहेंगे
अपनी इसी
“अनेकता में एकता”
में हमारी ताकत और
सुनहरा भविष्य निहित है
हमारी सोच और कल्पना से भी
आगे/बड़े ,
इस गेमप्लान की हवा को,
सिर्फ हमारी
शालीन ,गरिमापूर्ण,
मजबूत एकता से ही निकला जा
सकता है।
धीरज संयम रखकर,
मोदीजी को आपका और आपके
बच्चों का
सुनहरा भविष्य बनाने का
मौका दीजिये
क्योंकि वे अब तक की हर
अग्निपरीक्षा में सफल हुए हैं

My comments: BEWARE of the Wolves. Stay United. 2019 battle has already started. Take this message to every home and also to BJP leaders in your area.

Dear Mr. Shourie (from Gaurang Vaishnav)

Dear Dr. Arun Shourie:

Namaste.  A few days back you came down hard on Modi government. You made an uncharitable remark that “The Modi government believes that managing economy means “managing the headlines” and that people have started recalling the days of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.” I didn’t like it but you are an expert on the subject and I am not, so I swallowed it. You further said, “The way to characterize policies of the government is – Congress plus a cow. Policies are the same.”  http://m.timesofindia.com/india/This-government-is-Congress-plus-a-cow-Arun-Shourie-says/articleshow/49544316.cms?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=TOI

That was a cheap pot shot and insulting to Hindu sensitivities. Yet, I let it ride thinking that even the best of the people lose balance sometimes in anger and say things that they later regret.

People have surmised that you are frustrated because you were not given a ministerial position in the new government, not even a place in the Niti Ayog. I didn’t agree with that assessment. I didn’t think you were that petty and hunkering after name and fame.

Having known your contribution to BJP and your scholarly and philosophical mind, having read your books, I have held you in high regards for decades, so I did not want to label you as another Modi hater just because of that one interview.

Then came another of your interviews with NDTV. It opened my eyes and changed my perception.  I want to pick only a few points from that interview and tell you that Mr. Shourie, you are wrong.

http://www.indiatvnews.com/politics/national/pm-modi-keeping-silent-just-to-win-bihar-elections-arun-shourie-33514.html

(1) “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is deliberately maintaining silence on incidents like Dadri lynching while his ministerial and party colleagues kept the issue alive merely to win Bihar elections.”. Maybe he is and that is a prudent way; if you had the good of the country at the heart and didn’t want Congress or its proxy to rear its head again, you would have kept quiet too. And why should he comment? Just because it was a Muslim death? Why did you not mention that he should make a statement also on the murder of Prashant Poojary, a Hindu by Muslims? So you are also falling in media trap of labeling Modiji as a PM of Hindus only.

(2) You cited a Pakistani analyst to say that “while the neighboring country was trying to get out of the pit, India was slowly going down its way.” So now, to you suddenly an analyst from Pakistan carries more weight? And is Pakistan really trying to come out of the pit? It doesn’t look like looking at what they are doing in Kashmir.

(3) You have said “the writers, authors and artists were conscience-keepers of the country and their motives cannot be questioned.”  Ha, ha, ha! So where was their conscience in 1984 Sikh genocide, in 1989 when Pundits in Kashmir were massacred, in 2002 when 58 Hindus were burnt alive at Godhra in a railway coach when Professor Joseph’s hands were cut by the Jehadis in Kerala? So these guys’ motives cannot be questioned but Modi’s can be?

(4) ” Praising scientists like P M Bhargava and Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy, who have expressed concern over these incidents, you questioned how these people can be called rabid, a term used by Arun Jaitley.”  One only needs to do a Google search on Bhargava to see where his ideological loyalties lie.  Bhargava has been supporting AAP from the very beginning and has leftist, pro-Naxal leanings. He is not a neutral, ‘oh, so ever gentle soul.’ Mr. Murthy is a Ford Foundation Trustee. Do we need to know more?

(5) ” These people have contributed immensely to the country and those who attacked them have not read a book in the last 20 years. Those who cannot write two paragraphs are sitting in judgement over writers.”  This is so absurd an argument that it takes the cake. If we were sitting in judgement of their literary work, the argument would make sense; here we are judging their action of Award Vapasi and political motive behind it, which doesn’t require literary skills but common sense.

Your strident support of politically motivated writers and artists’ return of awards makes it crystal clear that in the last innings of your life, you have thrown away your wicket. You are so enamored with your righteousness that you have lost all sense of proportion. Up until now, I thought that Advaniji was the only icon whom I had held in high esteem and who had failed BJP and the nation at the crucial juncture. Now I know that he is in good (!) company.

I am one of 1.25 billion Bharatiyas. Though I happen to reside away from Bharat, my heart beats for Bharat. I blog, twit and use Facebook. I am not a scholar; I have not written incisive books; I have not been a minister; I have not been a darling of think tanks and conclaves; I am not a speaker; hey, I am not even a member of BJP. Yet, I dare say that Shourie Ji you have lost it. All your lifelong contributions have come to a naught because you have decided to become a tool in the hands of Adharma, i.e., in the hands of anti-Modi, anti-Hindu, and to an extent, anti-Bharat media. It is no different than Bhishma or Dronacharya deciding to side with the Kauravas.

Finally, I can write “more than two paragraphs” and I have read 50 or so book in last twenty years.

May you find peace within.

Gaurang G. Vaishnav

Edison, New Jersey, USA

(facebook: <vicharak1>, twitter: @vicharak1)

Poor Branding Is Not Pakistan’s Biggest Problem

This incisive article from an expert on South Asia affairs got 27 comments, 22 of which are from Pakistani Muslims. I have responded to 20 of them. Please read.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aparna-pande/poor-branding-is-not-paki_b_8328442.html

Posted: 10/19/2015 12:27 am EDT Updated: 10/19/2015 12:59 pm EDT

PAKISTAN NAWAZ

In anticipation of the visit to Washington by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, scheduled for October 21-23, Pakistan’s public relations machinery has gone into over-drive to build expectations of a new partnership between Pakistan and the United States. Americans are expected to overlook everything that has happened in the past — from the notorious Dr A.Q. Khan’s nuclear proliferation to support for the Afghan Taliban to the discovery of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad — and embrace this ‘important, valuable and strategic ally’ of the United States.

A recent piece on the Forbes website, titled “Pakistan-U.S. Nuclear Weapons Talks May Lower Chance Of Nuclear War With India” argues that Pakistan should be given a civil nuclear deal similar to the one given to India in 2005. The article builds upon a Washington Post column by David Ignatius who sought to remind Americans that they cannot afford to forget Afghanistan and Pakistan and in the process hinted at a civil nuclear deal, much coveted by Islamabad, as a means of winning over the trust of Pakistan.

The Ignatius piece was clearly an attempt to reignite interest in Pakistan at a time when Washington appears almost to have forgotten the nuclear-armed country where US marines located and killed Osama bin Laden only four years ago. But the Forbes article went farther in painting Pakistan as a victim of American foreign policy amnesia and was written by a University of Baltimore Professor, Charles Tiefer, who is not exactly known for direct expertise on South Asian affairs.

Forbes.com allows contributors to write and post directly on the website, which is whyan expert in government contracts, as Prof. Tiefer is described on the University of Baltimore website, could indulge his love for Pakistan without editorial scrutiny. In the last five months, Forbes.com has had four articles on Pakistan and all of them have been positively disposed -almost to the point of being puff pieces. That is absolutely the opposite of how other media outlets have been reporting on Pakistan for a while.

An earlier Forbes piece by Tiefer, in 2015 titled ‘Today’s India-Pakistan Armed Tensions – Will New U.S. Military and Nuclear Aid to Modi Inflame Them?‘ argued that the United States should not see India as a counterweight to China as that would “inflame India-Pakistan armed tensions.” Had the professor known as an expert in government contracts argued that it would be bad for U.S. government contracts, at least he would have been simply making a wrong argument about his own subject. In this instance, he only revealed his ignorance of the history of U.S.-Pakistan and U.S.-India relations.

The Americans provided Pakistan with weapons to fight communism from the 1950s to the 1980s. The Reagan administration hoped a militarily strong Pakistan would feel sufficiently secure to keep its promise of not building nuclear weapons. Instead, Pakistan used American weaponry to initiate wars against India in 1965, 1971, and 1999, failing to win any of them and running back to the US to ask for more assistance. Pakistan’s covert war against India continues unabated.

Since 9/11, Pakistan has received $23 billion in civilian and military assistance ostensibly to fight terrorists while the US State Department remains unable to certify to Congress that it is, in fact, acting against all terrorist groups operating from Pakistan’s soil. Unlike Pakistan, the US has no complaints against India of harboring global Jihadi terrorists or of exporting nuclear material to third countries. India’s bilateral trade with the US ($50 billion in 2014) is ten times the size f Pakistan’s trade with the US ($5 billion). Still Mr. Tiefer argues that the US should not give ‘military aid’ to India to keep Pakistan on America’s side.

Ironically, India has rarely sought or received American military aid, with notable exceptions like in the aftermath of the 1962 India-China war. India is not asking for and the US is not giving India military and nuclear aid. Instead India is purchasing American defense equipment that will help American companies and provide jobs to Americans. More importantly India has never used any weapon – bought or given- through a terrorist proxy ever, even against China or Pakistan.

Moreover, no Indian military operation has ever caused the death of Americans, whereas Pakistan’s policy in Afghanistan has led to numerous American deaths, both civilian and military. Mr. Tiefer nonchalantly writes that the various Pakistan jihadi groups like Lashkar e Taiba and Haqqani network “work with Pakistan’s powerful intelligence service, ISI” but does not see that as reason for the US to shun Pakistan.

He argues that if the United States continues siding with India against China this will “antagonize Pakistan” and lead “the potentially scariest confrontation in the world.” In effect, he is saying that Pakistan’s sponsorship of jihadi groups should not come in the way of it being an American ally but the US must not ally with India because of Pakistan’s fear of India!!

The naiveté is hardly limited to the security arena. In August 2015, Forbes ran an article asking for a dramatic overhaul of US-Pakistan ties and pitching a US-Pakistan Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Another Forbes article attempted to sell Pakistan’s threat of going deeper into China’s embrace, changing the entire region around it, and insinuating that the United States should compete with China in currying Pakistan’s favor.

The author of the first article, titled ‘Pakistan: The Next Colombia Success Story?’ Daniel Runde, too was a novice as far as knowledge of Pakistan is concerned. Had he worked on Pakistan for any length of time he would have known that Pakistan is the only American ally that has failed to sustain significant growth or human development even after receiving more than $40 billion in US aid since 1950.

Mr. Runde should have examined why US aid to Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and even Europe under the Marshal Plan catalyzed their economies into self-sustaining growth while the largesse towards Pakistan only increased Pakistan’s dependence. The reason lies more in how Pakistan spent that money, in how its military and intelligence service view their ties with the US and in how disproportionately large the military is to the size of the country’s economy and any real threats it faces.

Mr. Runde suggests, that Pakistan suffers from “a terrible country brand.” But certain harsh realities persist and are not just a ‘branding’ problem. The politicized Pakistan army may have conducted some military operations against militants responsible for attacks inside Pakistan but the Pakistani army is still following its old policy of sparing terrorists targeting India, Afghanistan and the United States. Sartaj Aziz, advisor to Premier Sharif on National Security and foreign affairs, has openly asked, “Why should Pakistan target militants that do not threaten the country’s security?

Despite dealing with Pakistan for decades some Americans still seem to believe they can change Pakistan’s behavior by giving in to its demands or responding favorably to its PR efforts. Pakistan needs to change its militarized national mindset and is more likely to reform under fear of international isolation than in response to praise based on falsehoods. Both the U.S. and Pakistan might benefit more from recognizing the history of the relationship and correcting their course substantively instead of obsessing only about appearances.

Readers Comment on Republican Presidential Debate

Some readers’ comments on an article  in New York Times on August 7, 2015

Winners at the G.O.P. Debate Did Not Include Bush and Trump

Nate Cohn

Select comments:

historylesson

Norwalk, CT 5 hours ago

What is most disturbing about this column is the total lack of discussion about the horrific things a bunch of men said about women’s lives and health. Mr. Cohn, do you have any idea what it is like to listen to these men pontificate about pregnancy termination, and women’s right to live?
Forget Trump’s vicious remarks about the way women look. He’s no physical prize himself, and ugly remarks about a woman’s appearance may wound, but they don’t kill.
Last night a candidate said he believed in no exceptions for abortion, not even when the life of the mother is at risk. Do you have any idea of the enormity of
that statement? What is says about Walker’s humanity? Yet you pick him as a winner? Forget outrage for a minute — where is your acknowledgement of this issue, and what those ten men said? Especially since you state the outcome of the debate “depends a lot more on how the news media covers the debates than the performances themselves.”
Well, you’re news media. You covered this debate by failing to mention that Walker prefers to let women die than end a life threatening pregnancy.
Walker’s answer re abortion was “concise and sharp.” Which seems to matter more to your analysis than the lives of women.
What I saw last night was ten men thoroughly ill-equipped to run our nation.
What you watched seems to be an entirely different show.

Lianna

Potomac, MD 2 hours ago

By not running far to the right like many of the other candidates on stage, I think that John Kasich proved he was the only one that could appeal to moderate democrats, independents, and republicans; thus making him the most viable candidate for the general election, but the least likely to win the GOP nomination. By not getting caught up in the name-calling/Benghazi/e-mail foolishness that some of the other candidates were distracted with, Kasich was able to eloquently tell the American people of his accomplishments. His heartfelt response about gay marriage seemed to resonate with many.

The republican base is too caught up in hearing about what Hillary Clinton did and could care less about hearing what their candidates will do; which is why Kasich stands no chance unless he starts to call Hillary a pant suit wearing devil. The one who spews the most vitriol at Hillary will win. Issues are not of any importance to GOP voters easily distracted by shiny, new objects like Donald Trump.

Sophia

chicago 12 hours ago

Wow. I completely disagree about Walker. He came across as uninformed about the Middle East and truly horrible on women’s issues. Regarding abortion, he doesn’t think there should be any exception for the life of the mother.

Think about that.

This callous disregard for our very lives is outrageous. Walker’s attacks on the teachers of Wisconsin are well-known to me, since I live in Illinois, but I hadn’t been aware that his anti-choice stance extends to a complete disregard for women’s lives let alone our health, freedom of choice, privacy, and our knowledge of what’s best for ourselves, our bodies, our futures, our finances and our families including our existing children.

That’s outrageous. I’m surprised that Nate Cohn didn’t find that alarming, reactionary and undemocratic.

Attitudes this extreme need to be reported. Not everybody had the time or opportunity to watch the debate, therefore they depend upon journalists for facts and interpretations of facts.

A man who is willing to let a woman die shouldn’t be anywhere near a powerful political office in the 21st century, let alone in America where we supposedly believe in equal rights for women.

newsjunky

Boston 6 hours ago

Well it wasn’t child appropriate viewing. I watched with elementary school children. Rubio and others who wouldn’t consider saving “the life of the mother” reduced my grandson to tears. That was the debate electricity in our house. Is it likely that adults are also revolted by this position – when they think of their wives, daughters sisters, and friends?

Humble Pi

Providence RI 6 hours ago

I don’t think that extreme anti-women stance was limited to Walker. It appeared that one by one, they were all pushed to say that they endorsed forcing women to die or raise a rapist’s child rather than have a medical procedure to save themselves, physically or psychologically. Rubio blurted it out, and Huckabee – well, we should be prepared to be charged as murderers in the unlikely event of a Huckabee administration. I think there’s not one of them qualified to lead a nation that includes women. Period.

Moira

Ohio 5 hours ago

I can’t believe you treat Walker’s stance on abortion so cavalierly. He doesn’t believe in abortion even to save the life of the mother, let the woman die. This needs to be screamed from the rooftops. There is a man who is a governor in the United States, a man that wants to be President, that thinks it’s perfectly fine for a woman to die instead of having an abortion that could save her life. This is outrageous and totally unacceptable. Walker is an ignoramus and dangerous to women and that was crystal clear to every woman who watched last night. Too bad you missed it Nate.

Jim in Tucson

Tucson 7 hours ago

Ironically, Trump has put Fox News in a very difficult position. By all rights, his refusal to unconditionally support the final Republican presidential candidate should disqualify him from any further debates. But by denying him a place on the stage, Fox would certainly force him to run as an independent, which would just as certainly hand the keys to the White House back to the Democrats. As it stands right now, Fox can’t guarantee the Republicans can retake the Presidency, but it can certainly guarantee the Democrats do.
Sixteen years after Ralph Nader put George W. Bush the White House, Donald Trump might well do the same for Hillary. Revenge may not always be a dish best served cold; warmed-over might work as well. Either way, the irony is delicious.

G. Morris

NY and NJ 4 hours ago

I found most of the candidates frightening. They would not allow a 15 year girl access to abortion if she were raped. They are telling young American women they do not have the right to live if they develop serious medical issues while pregnant. I hate abortion. Abortion rates in Western Europe are a small percent of the United States. Ask candidates why that is? Affordable access to effective birth control would allow our abortion rate to plummet while defunding Planned Parenthood would make the abortion rate rise.

Kasich appeared to be the only candidate to care whether Americans could survive their political values/bigotry.

barnesen

brooklyn 3 hours ago

The Republican platform: “I hate Obama, I hate Hillary, Obama is wrecking the country, Hillary will wreck the country, the terrorists are coming.”

4 hours ago

II wanted to see a group of candidates who would respond in earnest to important policy questions. I did not see much of that. The questions were often unprofessional and off-point for the overarching issues we face today. And the responses mostly were not very insightful.

Why does this party still boast it will repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank? Why do they reflexively say they want to cut Social Security and Medicare? Why do they proudly say they will not expand Medicaid, all in knee-jerk fashion? There are real human beings out there who need these. Are these people so out of touch that they cannot see how these issues affect the daily lives of real people?

And then there is the willingness to start another war. Again, real people will fight those wars and possibly die. Do these candidates care about that? Show me people with heart and a true desire to be a statesman, not a bunch of armchair generals. John Kasich seemed to have some warmth and humanity and a knowledge that what he may do will affect people’s lives. The others all seemed out solely for themselves.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/08/upshot/bush-and-trump-arent-among-the-gop-debate-winners.html?mabReward=A4&action=click&pgtype=Homepage®ion=CColumn&module=Recommendation&src=rechp&WT.nav=RecEngine&_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

AHEAD OF THE GAME: Narendra Modi’s prime ministry is not the big gamble it seems

By N.V. Subramanian (29 September 2014)

28 September 2014: In some ways, Narendra Modi’s prime ministry appears more counter-intuitive than those of his predecessors. You would imagine that he would seek to make friends and allies in the ruling establishment to stabilize and strengthen his position. By that logic, he would placate his party colleagues in and outside the government and the extended Sangh Parivar which assisted him to gain power. He would wire the permanent civil service in his favour and give it a share of power as happened in the previous United Progressive Alliance regime. He would curry favour with the press, appear beholden to the fat cats of the financial world, and gush at big business. 

Counter-intuitively, Narendra Modi has done none of these things. 

The media loathes his guts. Every passing day of his prime ministry makes it more irrelevant. Industrialists are not crowding Delhi as in the past; the prime minister is said to have pulled up some of his more errant ministers who thought to cozy up to them on the sly. After last week’s bloodless massacre, which saw scores of mid-career officials transferred, the Central bureaucracy is alternatively terrified of and enraged with the prime minister. At a private dinner of Indian Administrative Service and Indian Foreign Service officers, there were powerful voices urging sabotage of the Narendra Modi government. One dialogue resonated above all else, and that was, “We have to break the prime minister before he breaks us. He has to be made to realize he cannot do without us.” 

Nor is the sentiment in Bharatiya Janata Party circles in favour of Narendra Modi. Lok Sabha members from North India feel specially let down. Their group-talk follows this general pattern: “We thought we would make money and have fun in Delhi. No way. Modi has put a stop to all that. We literally drink milk and go to bed. We don’t know when this man will summon us for a late-night meeting. If we smell of alcohol, it is the end of us.” 

This may be typical cow-belt exaggeration. But the fear of Narendra Modi is real. In their fears, he appears omnipotent and omniscient. In any other administration, you would expect MPs to be vying to become ministers; not in this dispensation. Junior MPs plead not to be recommended for ministerships. They consider it a prison sentence, with Modi being the fearsome head warden. Equally, senior members of Sangh Parivar front organizations are unhappy with the prime minister because he won’t slacken the purse strings for them. At one meeting apparently, he exasperatedly explained to them that he was answerable for every naya paisa of government expenditure; they left disgusted. 

Over and above all this, the opposition won’t give him any quarter. If he succeeds in this term and wins another, the dynastic parties are finished for the next twenty years; there will be a generational wipe-out. The Nehru-Gandhis, the Mulayam and Laloo Yadavs and the Karunanidhis won’t stand for that at any cost. Hence the exultation at the victories notched in the Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat by-polls, which may be premature. 

At the same time, Narendra Modi’s foreign policy successes are stirring envy at home and new competition abroad. The Chinese leadership cannot countenance a strong Indian prime minister who would once for all erase the ignominy of the 1962 debacle. Pakistan has already moved into reflexive obstructionist mode, with the Pakistan military stoking jihadi terrorism again in Jammu and Kashmir. And if India rises with Modi, the great powers shan’t be ecstatic; it will mean more multi-polarity. 

Some of the opposition to rising India and Modi is inevitable and unstoppable. If the country’s rise is peaceful, as it is bound to be in India’s case, that would bring its own acceptability. But why would Narendra Modi wish to stir up so much domestic opposition to him after such a handsome victory? Perhaps the answer resides in two things. One is that by nature he is transformative; the status quo does not satisfy him. Second, India is in a political, economic, financial and military-strategic mess; this is all too apparent. Unless Modi cracks the whip, the system will not reform and deliver. But isn’t he making enemies in the system? Won’t the system strike back? 

This writer is convinced that Modi has evaluated the risks and feels no threat to his position so long he can deliver. To deliver, he needs the system, which means the ministers, the bureaucrats, the party apparatus, and so on. He knows the system inside out; he is confident of dominating it. But he needs a bigger alliance with the people to win their recurrent legitimacy and to gain the cushion of time to deliver; hence his direct address to masses via new vehicles of communications like Teacher’s Day and the improvisation of older forms such as the Independence Day speech: defying expectations, he spoke in it of toilets for girls and admonished mothers who wouldn’t rein in their wayward sons. 

Isn’t all this a big gamble; thrusting ahead on people power with a dysfunctional system and a mutinous crew? It is. But Narendra Modi believes he can pull it off. He works harder than anyone in government; he is streamlining the system; he is weeding out the corrupt and plugging the loopholes against bleeding the exchequer. He is imposing new moral norms on his ministers and setting right the warped steel frame of the civil service. The conviction of J.Jayalalithaa indicates the depths to which the country has fallen. Years from now, Modi’s ministers would be glad that he kept them on a tight leash. 

Imperceptibly, the country is changing. Honesty and integrity count for more than ever in public life. The spread of communications, education, knowledge and awareness has diminished the hold of political power on people. Narendra Modi is alive to this vital change and his actions are complimentary. They are probably not as counter-intuitive as they seem. 

 

GIBV Congratualtes Shri Narendra Modi and Voters of India

   NaMo              Mission-2014GIBV Logo

    

  Global Indians for Bharat Vikas

12 Pendleton Place, Edison, NJ 08820, USA http://www.gibv.org, <m2014.gibv@gmail.com>, 570-884-GIBV

India: Basement, Meera Manan Arcade, Parimal Garden, Amdavad-380006, 079-2640-7771

May 18, 2014

Global Indian for Bharat Vikas (GIBV) is very happy to congratulate Shri Narendra Modi on leading BJP and NDA a to unprecedented and historical victory in the recently concluded national elections of India.

This election has far reaching consequences for India and the world. After 30 long years, era of coalition politics has come to an end. A stable government where BJP has clear majority will be able to take critical decisions without succumbing to pressures from small regional parties with narrow interests. India has huge potential for development. It has rich natural resources and largest population of people under age 35. Shri Narendra Modi is capable of unleashing this potential and harnessing energy of the youth and employing it for all round progress.

Another salient point of this election is end of dynastic rule of Nehru-Gandhi family. Congress, led by this family forever has been reduced to a paltry 44 seats, failing the minimum threshold to qualify for leader of opposition in the Loksabha. Most of its ministers and seasoned members have lost spectacularly. Shri Modi had promised Congress Mukta Bharat and the process has begun. Congress has failed to win a single seat in seven states and has not been able to cross double digit in any state. Disintegration of Congress is now only a matter of time.

From BJP’s tally in UP and Bihar, it is clear that people have voted crossing barriers of caste and religion and in favor of development and stability. Decimation of BSP and SP in their bastion points to the beginning of the end of caste driven politics. As a matter of fact thousands of migrant workers and employees of major corporations in Gujarat who hail from UP, Bihar and Odisha and have experienced benefits of Gujarat model firsthand became brand ambassador for Shri Narendra Modi in their respective states.

Shri Narendra Modi deserves praise for conceiving, planning and executing a superb campaign using all the tools available, be it the social media or Chai Pe Charcha. He has led from the front and enthused millions of volunteers across the globe to work for a clear majority for BJP and a formidable tally for NDA. He has turned every obstacle, every insult thrown at him into a formidable weapon, be it Chaiwala or Jehar ki Kheti (poison farming) or Nichee jati (lower caste.)

Under Shri Narendra Modi’s leadership, we look forward to a time when India will lead the world, not as a superpower but as a cultural Guru, where age old and time tested ethos of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam (The whole universe is a family) and Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah (May all be happy) will lead to an era of cooperation instead of conflict and nations would compete to provide better living conditions to their citizens instead of stockpiling weapons in a game of one-upmanship.

Congratulations are also in order to the voters of India. They voted in big numbers. They voted judiciously and decisively. They voted for better future. This exhibits maturity of Indian electorate.

We at Global Indians for Bharat Vikas, a USA based international organization interested in the long term development of India with a Nationalist government at the helm are proud to have 1000+ volunteers across the globe who helped Shri Modi’s campaign in different ways. We will continue to help a government headed by Shri Narendra Modi by providing critical input on issues of importance to the nation.

We wish Narendrabhai Modi grand success as he sets out to tackle seemingly insurmountable problems of a weak economy, all pervading corruption, stagnant job market, instability, terrorism, etc. We feel proud that a giant of a Man , a visionary and a nationalist is going to be sworn in as the Prime Minister of India within a few days. Indeed, Better Days are Ahead.

Dr. Mahesh Mehta               Gaurang G. Vaishnav                       Anjlee Pandya

President                                 National Convener                           Secretary, India   operations

Boston., MA                             Edison, NJ                                     Amdavad, Gujarat

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