Tuesday, August 19, 2014

के हो इबोला? मेरो अन्तर्वार्ता

This is the visual record of my audio interview given to Banepa-based Prime FM today morning. This relates to the nature and spread of Ebola virus infection. In this interview I discuss about the implications of the spread of Ebola virus infection beyond Africa. Even though the earlier part of the interview is missing, one can get some meaningful info.

खास गरी अंग्रेजी बुझ्न कठिनाइ हुनेहरुका लागि इबोला भाइरसले गराउने संक्रमण, त्यसका लक्षण, त्यसको ऐतिहासिक पृष्ठभुमि र त्यसबाट बच्ने उपायहरुबारे मैले एउटा एफ एमका लागि दिएको टेलिफोन अन्तर्वार्ताको अंश हो यो । इबोला मात्र नभएर डेंगु र बर्ड फ्लूजस्ता अन्य घातक भाइरल रोगहरु र नेपालमा तिनको खतराबारे पनि यसमा चर्चा हुन्छ । मोबाइलबाट खिचिएको भिडियोको शुरुवाती अंशमा दृश्य अस्पष्ट भए पनि भिडियोको धेरै जसो भाग स्पष्ट र उपयोगी छ । बीच बीचमा सुनसान हुनुको कारणचाहिं अर्कोतर्फबाट सोधिएका प्रश्नहरु रेकर्ड नहुनु हो ।

Monday, August 18, 2014

German people: Victims and not the accomplices on the US-Corporate kleptocracy


'Missouri tries another Idea: Call in the Guard' reads today's NYT headline about the ongoing protest in one American city after a teenager was blatantly shot dead in the middle of the street on August 9. 'Ferguson protesters, police in tense standoff' is the headline in CNN website and Washington Post keeps it this way: 'Holder to travel to Ferguson as US role expands'. 

In other words, the mainstream media is far more concerned about restoring peace and tranquility than ensuring justice for the victim's family and community and the content as well as the presentation on the issue is trimmed accordingly. 

Oceans apart in Europe, the MSM are depicting a vicious and intensifying tussle between Europe and Russia resulting from 'Putin's blatant violation of Ukraine's sovereignty'. With the real and biting sanctions from the EU and countermeasures from Russia, they appear to be really headed for a much more grave collision. 

But how does all that relate to the ordinary people in Europe, say in Germany? Can we gauge the mood of the German people--ordinary people working hard to feed and clothe themselves--from what is presented in the MSM? Can we judge a population by the deed of a leader like Angela Merkel? Where does the purportedly anti-Russian feeling in Europe fit in today's reality in the lives of ordinary people?

In this poignant and insightful mail to The Saker, this anonymous citizen of this world writes what the great reporters and editors at MSM cannot write even if they know it: that Germany is still formally under the yoke of American empire that inherited this 'asset' after the victory in WW II. The sense of frustration and suffocation that he/she explains here speaks a lot about the dominant mood in the country. 

"There is a complete disconnect between the world created for themselves by the leading German politicians and the real world where the Germans have to struggle day after day"

Many people see that when the wall came down and the two Germanies were reunited, the Soviets/Russians were fair. Just think about how much time has passed, when have the United States and the British made an attempt at the same fairness? I'm afraid the US would rather see Germany in ruins yet again, rather than leaving and giving the Germans freedom. I understand the resentment that many have for Germans, but am also shocked by how much hatred there is. Is it not the same principle in most places, that Governments do not act in accord with and represent the will of the people? And to what degree can we count on the will of the people when they are not given accurate information and facts, but are fed half truths at best and outright manipulation most of the time? 
Ironically I see a lot of Americans accusing us of cowardice for not taking a more aggressive stance against Russia. The same with the Polish. Merkel's behavior in this crisis makes no sense to me at all. At times she is bullying Russia, like the perfect US poodle, but then there are reports of her reaching out to Putin. Either she is completely soul less without a personal sense of direction, or she is more devious than she appears. No idea what her true aims are. They certainly don't seem to be what they should be. Part of her vow when sworn into office is to avert harm from the German people. She is steadily doing the opposite. She and her cronies along with her.

Seeing the hatred and outright ill will some have towards Germans really brought me down. It makes me wonder how we are ever going to manage to have some kind of stability in Europe and the world...

Here are some of the dynamics in Germany, as I see them. Most likely many will disagree and want to debate them, I don't claim they are how it is, just how I see it. I don't claim to know and understand it all. But it's something I would like people to think about, before they write off the German people as a whole.

Where do I start? Something that should be obvious is that Germany is not a free and sovereign country. From the start, when the Federal Republic was conceived, the Allies had a great influence on shaping the new Germany. Especially the Americans. It is somewhat subtle if you are used to how things are, but once you start observing it becomes clear that the American political circles have great influence on ours. Anyone interested can take a look at how many of our Politicians in the various established parties are members in transatlantic clubs. So guess where their allegiance lies? They are not even ashamed of it, it's normal to them. 

For decades we've had what you can call US whores. Not long ago I complained about that on a page of young transatlanticists and was quickly accused of being anti-American, they weren't interested in any of my arguments. Being anti-American is hardly possible since I am an American citizen. There is a divide between the common people, many of whom don't have anything against Americans but are not too keen on having them involved in German affairs, and many of our leaders who try to make us all believe that we need the United States as partner, come what may. 

The West's double game: Nurturing Petro-Islamic Terror for vested interests

Nauman Sadiq

The US first nurtured the Taliban. The Taliban devastated Afghanistan over a decade. Again came the US to 'fight' Taliban and completed the devastation. That was not enough: they moved to Iraq and devastated it. Then came Libya, Yemen, Syria and so on. Landscapes were flattened; blood flowed in the streets. Even the US proxies like Saudi Arabia became bold enough to send tanks to cull the unarmed protesters at neighborhood. One with a clear vision and working ears can see and hear all this.

Or does everybody? Do our dear mainstream media outlets let the information (that matters) to flow freely? Absolutely not. The era of apparent over-information has been so abjectly the hostage of distorted information--when it concerns to these issues of prime importance--that one feels like admiring the then USSR for its poorly executed media censorship. In a sense, we are blind and deaf with working eyes and ears.

In this mess, here I received this submission of an extremely well-articulated article from Sadiq from Pakistan. Besides stating the obvious from past, he relates how the latest series of tragedy from Iraq to Libya and Syria to Yemen is the continuation of the double game of The West. You may say the things will remain the same whether we decry these evil deeds or not; but in a world replete with absurdly distorted mass communication, there are people who have managed to keep their sanity intact and looking for real and informative materials. Here goes one. 

Western complicity in nurturing Islamic Extremism

The mainspring of Islamic extremism and militancy is not the democratic political Islam, because why would people turn to violence when they can exercise their choice to vote their rulers in and also to vote them out? The mainspring of Islamic militancy is the despotic political Islam of the Gulf variety. The Western powers are fully cognizant of the reality that the mainstream Muslim sentiment is firmly against the US intervention in the Middle Eastern affairs, especially after the end of Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when the US after defeating a staunch rival turned its guns against the Muslim world in order to further exploit their energy resources. 

In its July 2013 report [1] the European Parliament identified the Wahabi-Salafi roots of global terrorism, but the report conveniently absolved the Western powers of their culpability and chose to overlook the Western complicity in nurturing Islamic extremism and violent Jihadism all over the Islamic world during the Cold War against the erstwhile Soviet Union; and even today, in the Libyan Jihad against the Qaddafi regime in 2011; and the Syrian Jihad against the Alawi (Shia) Assad regime. This is the principal thesis of this write-up which I will discuss in detail in the following paragraphs.

In my previous write-up: The role of Saudi Arabia, as de facto Caliphs of Islam, in sponsoring Islamic extremism and violent Jihadism [2] I stated that an exponential growth in the phenomena of petro-Islamic extremism can directly be attributed to the generous funding of the Islamic charities and madrassahs all over the Islamic world by the Gulf countries after the 1973 oil embargo when the price of oil quadrupled and the Arab Sheikhs’ contribution to the spiritual ‘well-being’ of the Muslims increased proportionally.

Peaceful or not, Islam is only a religion just like any other religion whether it’s Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism. Instead of taking an ‘essentialist’ approach, which lays emphasis on ‘essences,’ we need to look at the evolution of social phenomena in its historical context. For instance: to assert that human beings are evil by ‘nature’ is an essentialist approach; it overlooks the role played by ‘nurture’ in grooming humans. Human beings are only ‘intelligent’ by nature, but they are neither good nor evil by nature; whatever they are, good or evil, is the outcome of their nurture or upbringing. Similarly, to pronounce that Islam is a retrogressive or violent religion is an ‘essentialist’ approach; it overlooks how Islam and the Quranic verses are interpreted by its followers depending on the subject's cultural context. The Western expat Muslim would interpret a Quranic verse in a liberal fashion; and urban-Pakistani Muslim would interpret the same verse differently; and a rural-tribal Muslim would find meaning in it which could be extreme. It is all about culture rather than religion or scriptures per se.

Moreover, I said that Islam is only a religion ‘just like any other religion.’ But certain reductive neo-liberals blame the religion, as an institution and ideology, for all that is wrong with the world. I have not read much history, I am only a humble student of international politics; that’s why I don’t know what the Crusades and the Spanish Inquisition were all about? Although, I have a gut feeling that those were also political conflicts which are presented to us in a religious guise. However, I am certain that all the conflicts of the 20th and 21st centuries were either nationalist (tribal) conflicts; or they had economics and power as their goals. Examples: First and Second World Wars; Korea and Vietnam wars; Afghanistan and Iraq wars; and Libya and Syria wars.

When the neo-liberals commit the fallacy of blaming religion for all our woes, I am not sure which ancient global order they conjure up in their minds, the Holy Roman Empire perhaps? Religion may have been a paramount factor in the ancient times, if at all, but the contemporary politics is all about economics and power: the Western corporations rule the world, and politics and diplomacy is all about protecting the trade and energy interests of the Corporate Empire.

Friday, August 15, 2014


विनोदविक्रम केसी

कविताले पेट भरिंदैन, आङ पनि ढाकिंदैन । तर पनि त्यसो भनेर कविहरुले कविता लेख्न छाड्दैनन् । साहित्यका विभिन्न विधाहरुमध्ये कविता पनि एउटा शक्तिशाली विधा मानिंदै आएको छ । 

उसो त कविता र कविको खिस्सी उडाउने चलन पनि त्यति नौलो छैन र हाम्रो समयका कथित बेस्टसेलरहरुमध्ये कविताका पुस्तकले विरलै ठाउँ पाउँछन् । हुन पनि मानिसले कति कविता पढ्छन् भन्ने कुरा समाजमा मानवीय संवेदना कत्तिको छ भन्नेमा भर पर्छ । त्यसै गरी कत्तिको राम्रा कविता लेखिन्छन् भन्ने कुरा चाहिं कति साधनाशील र प्रतिभाशाली कविहरु छन् भन्ने कुरामा भर पर्छ । 

इमान्दार भएर भन्नुपर्दा म आफैं त्यति धेरै कविता पढ्ने मानिस हैन तर आफैंले कहिलेकाहीं लेख्ने गरेका झूर कविताको सापेक्ष राखेर हेर्दा कतिपय कविका कविताहरुले ज्यादै प्रभावित बनाउँछन् । भुपि शेरचन र श्रवण मुकारुङका शक्तिशाली कवितापछि मलाई त्यही स्तरमा विनोद विक्रम के सीका कविताले छोएका छन् । त्यसैले कविको मौखिक अनुमति लिएर यो एउटा शक्तिशाली कविता यहाँ प्रस्तुत गरेको छु । 

साँझ साँझतिर
रामप्रसादको पुरानो घरमा
आइपुग्यो भूमण्डलीकरण
त्यो भन्छन् नि अङ्ग्रेजीमा ‘ग्लोबलाइजेशन ’
हे, आइपुग्यो ‘ग्लोबलाइजेशन ’

नीलो आँखा भएका,
त्यो भन्छन् नि अंग्रेजीमा ‘ह्याण्डसम ’
हो, ‘ह्याण्डसम’ भूमण्डलीकरण

राम्रसादले यथासक्य गर्यो अतिथि सत्कार
भूमण्डलीकरणले आफ्नो झोला खोल्यो
र, बाँड्न थाल्यो
पहिलो विश्व
त्यो भन्छन् नि अंग्रजीमा ‘फस्र्ट वल्र्ड’
 हो, ‘फस्र्ट वल्र्ड’का चिल्ला कोसेलीहरु

रामप्रसादको कान्छो छोरोलाई
एक डिब्बा चकलेट दियो
उः दंग पर्यो

जेठो छोरोलाई
एक दर्जन कण्डम दियो
उसले अप्ठ्यारो मान्यो

रामप्रसादकी छोरीलाई
ब्रा, मेकअप किट र जेतेमेते दियो
ऊ लाजले रातो भई
रामप्रसादकी आमालाई
छातीमा ‘सेक्सी लेडी’ लेखिएको 
रातो स्वेटर दियो
बूढी मक्ख परिन्

रामप्रसादकी श्रीमतीलाई 
घुँडामा फाटेको जिन्स प्यान्ट दियो
उसले अलिक चित्त दुखाई

रामप्रसादको पालोमा 
झोला रित्तियो
उदार भूमण्डलीकरणले 
आफूले पिइरहेको क्यानवियर थमाइदियो उसका हातमा

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

इबोलासित किन डराउने?

करीब एक दशकअगाडि हामीले स्नातक तह पढ्दा डेंगु रोगको अध्याय पढ्न पटक्कै मन लाग्दैनथ्यो । कारणः अफ्रिकाको कुनै अनकण्टार देशमा हुने र भारतीय उपमहाद्वीपमै नभएको रोगबारे किन चिन्ता लिने जस्तो लाग्थ्यो ।

हुन पनि त्यतिखेरसम्म सिंगो एसियामा कतै डेंगु थिएन । तर अहिले आएर नेपालको सापेक्षतः चिसो र लामखुट्टे कम लाग्ने काठमाडौंमा समेत डेंगु देखिइसकेको छ, भित्री मधेश र तराइको त कुरै छाडौं ।

ठ्याक्कै डेंगु भाइरसको पदचाप पछ्याउँदै तर ज्यादै रफ्तारमा अहिले अफ्रिकाबाट इबोला भाइरस संसारभर फैलिने क्रममा छ । स्वास्थ्यकर्मीहरुमार्फत् उत्तर अमेरिकी महादेशमा पुगिसकेको यो भाइरस एसियामा र नेपालमा कति दिन वा सातापछि आउने हो भन्ने मात्र अहिलेको प्रश्न हो ।

विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठनको पछिल्लो अपडेटअनुसार गिनी, लाइबेरिया, नाइजेरिया र सिएरा लियोन गरी चार देशमा अगस्ट ७ देखि ९तारिखसम्म अर्थात् गत बिहीबारदेखि शनिबारसम्म तीन दिनमा ६९ नयाँ इबोलाग्रस्त बिरामी फेला परेकोमा उक्त रोगबाट ५२ जनाको मृत्यू भएको छ । अमेरिकी महादेशमा पुगेको केही दिनमै म्याड्रिडमा एक मिशनरी प्रिस्टको मृत्यूसँगै युरोपसम्म पनि पुगेको छ ।

निश्चित उपचार नभएको उस्तै प्रकृतिको डेंगुभन्दा यो भाइरस किन फरक छ भने, यसको मृत्यूदर अचाक्ली बढी अर्थात् ५० देखि ९० प्रतिशतसम्म छ ।

नेपालमा विशेष खतरा किन?

हामी नेपालीहरुको चरित्र के छ भने, कुनै नयाँ खतरासँग हामी तबसम्म मात्र डराइरहन्छौं, जबसम्म त्यो खतराबारे सञ्चार माध्यमले रातदिन तर्साइरहन्छन् । खतरा र जोखिम बढ्दै गइरहे पनि सञ्चार माध्यमहरु अन्य विषयमा व्यस्त हुनासाथ मानिसहरु ढुक्कसित पूर्ववत् अवस्थामा फर्किहाल्छन् ।

पहिले सार्सको हल्ला चल्यो तर त्यो चीन, ताइवान, हंगकंगतिर केन्द्रित भयो र भाइरसका आफ्नै विशेषताका कारण संसारभर फैलिएन । अनि स्वाइन फ्लू र बर्ड फ्लूको हल्ला चल्यो । स्वाइन फ्लूको मृत्युदर सापेक्षतः कम भएको तथा बर्ड फ्लू भाइरस पनि संयोगवश पंक्षीबाट मानिसमा फैलिने अवस्थासम्म पुगे पनि हालसम्म मानिसबाट मानिसमा सर्ने चरणमा नपुगिसकेका कारण ती रोगबारे वैज्ञानिकहरुले गरेका डरलाग्दा भविष्यवाणी सत्य भइसकेका छैनन् । केही हप्ता पहिले विषादीले गराउने क्यान्सरबारे समाचारहरु आए र मानिस हरिया तरकारीहरुसँग तर्से तर एकाध दिनमा सञ्चार माध्यमको ध्यान अन्यत्र लागेसँगै पूर्ववत् विषादीयुक्त तरकारीहरुको खरीदबिक्रीमा कुनै फरक रहने छैन ।

यस्तो किन पनि भएको छ भने, छिमेकी मर्दासम्म पनि घरको सदस्य कोही मरेको छैन भने क्षणिक लाभ हुने कुनै अवसर छाडेर आम मानिसको स्वास्थ्यप्रतिको जोखिम कम गर्न हामी तयार छैनौं ।  बर्ड फ्लूलाई हेरौंः पहिलोपल्ट रोगको समाचार आउँदा सरकार र व्यवसायीले रोग नियन्त्रणका लागि देखाएको तदारुकता र आम मानिसले देखाएको सरोकार अहिले शुन्यमा झरेको छ । व्यवसायीहरुमध्ये धेरैले बर्ड फ्लू लागेको पुष्टि हुन दिएर र सञ्चार माध्यममा समाचार पुग्न दिएर ठूलो क्षति खप्नुभन्दा धमाधम मरेका कुखुरा गाड्दै संक्रमित भए पनि ज्यूँदा कुखुरा बजारमा पठाउँदै एउटा भयावह महामारीलाई निम्त्याउँदैछन् । एक त कुरा नबुझ्ने, अर्को बुझे पनि जो कोहीलाई नपत्याउने आम मानिसहरु पनि कुनै सावधानी विना कुखुराको मासु खान अभ्यस्त भइसकेका छन् । फलस्वरुप समस्या कति गहिरो छ भन्नेसमेत सम्बन्धित निकायलाई थाहा छैन र जुन दिन बर्ड फ्लूको भाइरस मानिसबाट मानिसमा सर्ने चरणमा पुग्छ, त्यतिखेर हजारौंको संख्यामा चिहानमा पुग्नुको विकल्प छैन ।

किन भयावह छन् खास भाइरसहरु?

जसरी म्यामेलियन भन्दैमा सबै स्तनधारी प्राणीहरु उस्तै हुँदैनन्, भाइरस भन्दैमा पनि सबै भाइरस एक खालका हुँदैनन् । सामान्य रुघाखोकी गराउनेदेखि दादुरा गराउने भाइरसहरुसम्मको के विशेषता हुन्छ भने हाम्रो शरीरले एकचोटिको संक्रमणपछि रोग प्रतिरोधी क्षमता विकास गर्छः रुघाखोकीमा झैं खास समयका लागि वा दादुरामा झैं जीवनभरका लागि । फलस्वरुप फेरि संक्रमण भए पनि त्यो शरीरमा फैलन र रोगका रुपमा विकास हुन पाउँदैन ।

यस्ता भाइरसविरुद्ध शरीरको प्राकृतिक प्रतिरोधको नक्कल गरेर भ्याक्सिनहरु बनाउन सम्भव हुन्छ । खाली भ्याक्सिनकै भरमा विफरजस्तो डर लाग्दो रोग अहिले संसारबाटै उन्मूलन भैसक्यो भने पोलियो पनि उन्मुलन हुने दिशामा छ ।

तर त्यस्ता भाइरसभन्दा विशुद्ध फरक अरु भाइरसहरु छन् जो छेपाराले रङ फेरे झैं आफ्नो परिचय जनाउने आणुवंशिक रुप फेर्छन् । बीस वर्ष लगाएर एउटा भ्याक्सिन बनायो भने बीस दिनमा भाइरसले अर्कै रुप ग्रहण गर्छ र भ्याक्सिनले काम गर्दैन । ब्याक्टेरियाहरुलाई एनिटबायोटिकले र भाइरसलाई भ्याक्सिनले नियन्त्रणमा राख्दै आएका वैज्ञानिकहरुका लागि यस्ता भाइरस ज्यादै ठूलो चुनौती बनेर खडा भएका छन् । भाइरस आविष्कार भएको तीन दशक कटिसक्दा पनि एचआइभी एड्सको प्रभावकारी भ्याक्सिन बन्न नसक्नुका कारणहरुमध्ये प्रमुख उक्त भाइरसको यही विशेषता हो ।

तर एचआइभी भन्दा पनि द्रुत गतिमा बदलिइरहन सक्ने बर्ड फ्लू गराउने इन्फ्लुएन्जा भाइरसले बदलिंदै जाँदा कुन क्षणमा मानिसबाट मानिसमा सर्ने क्षमता ग्रहण गर्छ, त्यो सम्भाव्यताको कुरा मात्र हो र अहिलेको गतिमा भाइरसलाई फैलिन दिइरहने हो भने निकट भविष्यमा नेपाल र भारतजस्ता शुन्य नियमन र न्यून चेतना भएका मानिस बस्ने भुभागहरुमा त्यस्तो प्रलय हुने सम्भावना टड्कारो छ ।

अब आयो डेंगु र इबोला भाइरसका कुरा । यी भाइरसचाहिं आफैं बदलिइरहनेभन्दा पनि यीविरुद्ध हाम्रो संक्रमण प्रतिरोधी क्षमता काम नलाग्नुले प्रमुख भुमिका खेलेको हुन्छ । खास गरी डेंगुमा अरु सामान्य भाइरसभन्दा उल्टो पहिले संक्रमण भएपछि पुनः संक्रमण हुँदा तीव्र रक्तस्राव हुने डेंगु हेमोरेजिक फिभर कसरी हुन्छ भन्ने सम्म वैज्ञानिकहरुले यकिन गर्न बाँकी नै छ ।

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Saker: How Europe shot at its own feet and will bleed for long, long

Putin approaching his personal Waterloo: this has been the fascinating notion making rounds of the mainstream media across the world amid multiplying troubles for him particularly following the tragic crash of the Malaysian plane in eastern Ukraine.

Indeed the latest of the increasingly crippling sanctions against Russia imposed by the US and the European Union seemed to make Putin pay for his follies in Ukraine with his own flesh.

If only a hand could clap. Putin was yet to throw his cards. After taking his time, he has thrown them in the form of sweeping embargo targeting the 'aggressors'. There is no noise made in the mainstream media about his moves but that does not make them any less effective or catastrophic for the parties concerned. Moreover, cover up is one of the most important way of communication in the modern media: the more one-sided and biased the presentation, the more effective the message.

In this prompt analysis, The Saker highlights the damage that can be done particularly to the economies of European countries.

You wanna be Uncle Sam's bitch? Pay the price!

The Saker 

Dear friends,

I just took a short break from my life in "meatspace" to comment upon the great news of the day:  Russia is introducing a full 12 months embargo on the import of beef, pork, fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and the Kingdom of Norway.  Russia is also introducing an airspace ban against European and US airlines that fly over our airspace to Eastern Asia, namely, the Asia-Pacific Region and is considering changing the so-called Russian airspace entry and exit points for European scheduled and charter flights. Furthermore, Russia is ready to revise the rules of using the trans-Siberian routes, and will also discontinue talks with the US air authorities on the use of the trans-Siberian routes.  Finally, starting this winter, we may revoke the additional rights issued by the Russian air authorities beyond the previous agreements.  This is such an interesting and major development that it requires a much more subtle analysis than just the crude calculation of how much this might cost the EU or US.  I will attempt no such calculation, but instead I would point out the following elements:

First, this is a typically Russian response.  There is a basic rule which every Russian kid learns in school, in street fights, in the military or elsewhere: never promise and never threaten - just act.  Unlike western politicians who spent months threatening sanctions, the all the Russians did was to say, rather vaguely, that they reserve the right to reply.  And then, BANG!, this wide and far-reaching embargo which, unlike the western sanctions, will have a major impact on the West, but even much more so on Russia (more about that in an instant).  This "no words & only action" tactic is designed to maximize deterrence of hostile acts: since the Russians do not clearly spell out what they could do in retaliation, God only knows what they could do next! :-)  On top of that, to maximize insecurity, the Russians only said that these were the measures agreed upon, but not when they would be introduced, partially or fully, and against whom.  They also strongly implied that other measure were under consideration in the pipeline.

Second, the sanctions are wonderfully targeted.  The Europeans have acted like spineless and brainless prostitutes in this entire business, they were opposed to sanctions from day 1, but they did not have the courage to tell that to Uncle Sam, so each time they ended up caving in.  Russia's message to the EU is simple: you wanna be Uncle Sam's bitch?  Pay the price!  This embargo will especially hurt southern Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Greece) whose agricultural production will greatly suffer from it   These countries also happen to be the weakest in the EU.  By hitting them, Russia is maximizing the inevitable friction inside the EU over sanctions against Russia.

Third, not only will EU carriers suffer from much higher costs and flight times on the very important Europe to Asia route, but the Asian carriers will not, giving the latter a double competitive advantage.  How is that for a way to reward one side while hurting the other?  The EU got one Russian airline in trouble over its flights to Crimea (Dobrolet) and for that the entire EU airlines community could end being at a huge disadvantage vis-à-vis its Asian counterparts.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Thinking the unthinkable again: Why Is Washington Risking War With Russia? -The Nation editors

As Israel ruthlessly executes its murderous mission in Gaza, America is busy penalizing Russia, a rather curious coincidence. As a 'reputed' Ukrainian journalist calls for extermination of 1.5 millions of people in Donbass, the mainstream media is busy depicting Kiev as the naive and innocent victim of the evil designs of a monster named Putin.

After an insightful article by The Saker with similar theme, here  I share another article from The Nation, a publication rather away from the mainstream media. Here the authors say the things that are obvious to a skeptical eye yet are completely blacked out by the mainstream media. The central theme of the article is that far from being a megalomaniac and even a belligerent bully, Putin has been forced to react the way he has been doing.

Why Is Washington Risking War With Russia?

Indeed, Kiev cannot wage this war on its own citizens—a UN spokesperson says nearly 5,000 civilians have been killed or wounded, which may constitute war crimes—without the Obama administration’s political, economic and military support. Having also created hundreds of thousands of fleeing refugees, Ukraine is bankrupt, its industrial infrastructure damaged, and it is in political disarray, using ultranationalist militias and conscripting men up to 60 years of age.
All of this is unfolding in the context of Washington’s misleading narrative, amplified by the mainstream media, that the Ukrainian crisis has been caused entirely by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “aggression.” In reality, his role has been mostly reactive.

Read more in The Nation 

Monday, August 4, 2014

किन टुंगोमा पुग्दैन वीर अस्पतालको आन्दोलन?

वीर अस्पताल र न्याम्सको आन्दोलन अदालतमा पुगेपछि आन्दोलनरत आवासीय चिकित्सकहरुलाई ग्लानि र पश्चात्ताप एकसाथ हुने अवस्था आएको छ । 

ग्लानि यसर्थ कि अस्पताल र संस्थाको यस्तो दुर्गति हुँदा पनि सम्बन्धित निकायहरु नौ नौ दिनसम्म चुप लागेर बसेका छन् । अनि पश्चात्ताप यसर्थ कि त्यो दुर्गतिका बीच यतिका वर्ष बितेर यति बिरामी र यति आवासीय चिकित्सकहरु पीडित हुँदा पनि यस अघि यत्तिको सशक्त आन्दोलन वा अभियानको शुरुआत भएन । 

तत्काल त्यो अवस्था कसरी आयो भने, वीर अस्पतालमा हडताल गरिएका भन्दै -जबकि अस्पतालका जागिरे चिकित्सकहरुले अहिले यथावत् सेवा प्रदान गरिरहेका छन् र त्यो अभिव्यक्ति आफैंमा गलत थियो_ त्यो बन्द गरेर सेवा सुचारु गरिपाऊँ भन्ने व्यवहारको रिट सर्वोच्चमा परेकोमा आवासीय चिकित्सकहरुका विरोधी वकिलले आफ्नो बयान यसरी शुरु गर्नुपर्योः यो आन्दोलनका मागहरु पूरै जायज र न्यायोचित छन् । 

अर्थात्, वीर अस्पतालको यथास्थिति बचाउ गर्न मिल्ने खालको छैन र यसले विपन्न नेपालीहरुलाई न्यूनतम सेवा दिने हो भने पनि यसको सञ्चालन र व्यवस्थापनमा आमूल परिवर्तन आउनुपर्छ भन्नेमा अब न्यायालयदेखि आन्दोलनको विरुद्ध वकालत गर्ने कानुन व्यवसायीहरुमा समेत दुविधा छैन । 

तर लोक लाज र उत्तरदायित्वबोध दुवैबाट विच्छेदित भएर राजनीतिमा प्रवेश गरेका राजनीतिज्ञ, तिनले भर्ती गरेका र यथास्थितिमा बीरबाट बिरामी तस्करी गरेर धनी भइरहेका कर्मचारीहरु यो कुरा मान्न तयार छैनन् । राजनीतिज्ञ बिरामी भयो भने सरकारले ससम्मान विदेशका महँगा अस्पतालमा पठाउने व्यवस्था गरिहाल्छ भने वीरमा हाजिर मात्र गरेर ओभरटाइम र नाइटभत्ता समेत पचाउने कर्मचारीहरुले वर्षौंको बिरामी तस्करीबाट एउटा नर्सिङ होम खोल्ने पैसा जुटाइसकेका छन् । तिनका लागि प्राण बचाउने अन्तिम आश्रय सम्झेर बीरमा आउने बिरामीहरु दुहुना गाइजस्तै हुन् । 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rwanda-type genocide in Ukraine? Ukrainian journalist calls for extermination of 1.5 million people

" ...the most important thing that must be done - no matter how cruel it may sound - is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated."

Journalists are supposed to keep their sanity in most insane of the circumstances.

 When they start doing the job of an unconscionable puppet of  despot or a thug, all hell breaks loose, so to say.

Prime example of this is Egypt where an entire generation of sycophants including the ‘journalists’ and ‘intellectuals’ have been gratifying themselves with the grotesque deeds of the new Mubarak in the form of omnipotent Sisi.

But as things evolve, the situation in Ukraine seems to take increasingly dangerous turns.

Is it, after all, a giant bully neighbor called Russia interfering and intimidating a tiny and innocent Ukraine as depicted in the mainstream media across the world?

Reality says otherwise, as represented in these statements of Bogdan Boutkevich, a ‘reputed’ Ukrainian journalist.

Here is the translated version of his statements:

Bogdan Boutkevitch: Ok, you ask me "How can this be happening?" Well, it happens because Donbass, in general, is not simply a region in a very depressed condition, it has got a whole number of problems, the biggest of which is that it is severely overpopulated with people nobody has any use for. Trust me I know perfectly well what I am saying.

If we take, for example, just the Donetsk oblast, there are approximately 4 million inhabitants, at least 1.5 million of which are superfluous. That's what I mean: we don't need to [try to] "understand" Donbass, we need to understand Ukrainian national interests.

Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. I don't claim to have a quick solution recipe, but the most important thing that must be done - no matter how cruel it may sound - is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated.
Translated from Ukrainian by Valentina Lisitsa; Source: Vineyard of the Saker

Unless it is an absolutely chaotic situation as in the Rwanda of 1994, only a lunatic or a suicide bomber would make such blatant remarks. But these people, who reside in posh dwellings and have one eye at home and another at the US dreamland are far more dangerous than actual suicide bombers. Most a suicide bomber can do is detonate himself/herself to kill a group of people at a location. The war at behest of these people often annihilates entire communities and population. That is what happened in Rwanda. And Ukraine seems ready to peek that abyss soon enough if people like Boutkevich prevail, an unfortunate but likeliest of the potential scenarios.

(Note: Preamble to these statements in The Saker’s blog (Video footage is also available in the blog):

 Hromadske TV (Which broadcast this interview) is now officially the Ukrainian version of Rwandan RTLM. Just like RTLM called for the extermination of the Tutsi, calling them Inyenzi, or cockroaches, so now Hromadske TV is legitimizing the genocide of the population of Novorossiya. From Inyenzi to Colorados, we have come full circle. Hromadske TV, this mouthpiece of Ukrainian genocide, is financed directly by US and Dutch embassies. The blood of the population of Novorossiya is on all our hands - we have allowed this to happen. Please circulate this as widely as you can and stand witness to this Holocaust.)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Saker: Thinking the unthinkable- Is US finally waging war on Russia?

Is Obama willing to fight Putin down to the very last Ukrainian?

Unthinkable things happening: it is uncommon, even rare but it is still possible. As a political and military analyst, The Saker had been arguing for long that a full scale confrontation between Russia and US/West at whatever pretext was a non-option. Not quite suddenly, but he appears to have changed his mind of late. 

So, does the world face a potentially annihilating confrontation between two determined powers? What have the latest developments to do with the change in attitudes, if any, of the two powers about the potential confrontation? If indeed these developments including the MH17 crash in Ukraine have such momentous effects on the geopolitics, which aspects of these are we missing? 

 You won't get any insightful article in these issues on any mainstream media outlet: the sanitization and distortion on behalf of the corporate houses and the 'establishment' (the US and Western European rulers) simply does not tolerate that. Here, Saker analyzes the available facts and tries to elaborate why he has changed his mind on the subject. 

 [For those new to his articles: here Novorussia means the Parts of Eastern Ukraine where people prefer autonomy or even annexation to Russia over Kiev's rule and have waged a rebellion centered around Donetsk city; Banderstan pejoratively means parts of Ukraine ruled by Kiev 'Junta';]

 Thinking the unthinkable

 The Saker


I have been putting off writing about this topic for a very long while.  In fact, I wrote several articles trying to explain the self-evident truism that the US/NATO/EU does not have a military option in the Ukrainian war.  

First, in an article entitled Remembering the Important Lessons of the Cold War I tried to explain that the reason the Cold War did not turn into a hot, shooting, war is that both sides understood that they simply could never win and that any escalation in strikes and counter-strikes could very rapidly lead to a intercontinental nuclear war, something which neither side was willing to risk.   

In a piece entitled Making Sense of Obama's Billion Dollar Hammer I tried to show that all the money the US will by pouring into "European security" is just a grandiose bribe for some European elites and that it had no real effect on the ground.  

A few days later I posted an article entitled Why the US-Russian Nuclear Balance is as Solid as Ever in which I tried to dispel the myth prevalent in the West about the putative state of disrepair of the Russian military in general, and of the Russian nuclear forces in particular.  

Lastly, in a piece entitled Short Reminder about US and Russian Nuclear Weapons I tried to show that in reality it was the US nuclear forces who were in a state of disrepair.  

And over and over again, in many comments, I tried to lay out the reasons for which I simply did not believe that the US/NATO/EU would dare to attack Russia.  In summary, I will say this: the US is not nearly as powerful as the US propaganda claims.  Without going into long debates about what "victory" and "defeat" mean, I will just say that in my personal opinion the last time the US military fought well was in Korea, and even there it had to accept a draw.  After that, it was all downhill.  

This is not the fault of the US solider, by the way, but by the fact that big money and politics got so heavily involved in the US military that they corrupted everything.  This is most evident in the USAF which still has superb pilots, but who are given a terrible choice: either fly on good but old aircraft or fly on new but terrible ones (I believe that given the choice, most would chose the former).  As for the European NATO allies, they are such a joke that they hardly deserve mention.  They even look bad on a parade.

As for a military option in the Ukraine, it appears unthinkable to me not only because, frankly, I don't see a single military in the West capable of taking on the Russian military in full-scale battle, but also because geography powerfully argues against such a crazy idea (the very same geography which would make it impossible for Russia to try to invade western or even central Europe).

And yet, something in all this very logical reasoning felt wrong to me.  A few days ago it finally hit me.  What bothered me was

The American Duck

Among the many beautiful and witty expressions and neologisms Americans use, I always loved this one: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.  This so-called "Duck test" is funny, but it is also a powerful logical method which ended up chewing at me day after day after day.  Here I was, all sure and certain that the US/NATO/EU would never consider such a ludicrous notion as the one of an military attack on Russia or on Russian forces.  But kept hearing the voice of the American Duck telling me: look at what they are doing, what does that look like to you?  Suspend your conclusions and just tell me what are you observing?  Tell me, if they had decided to escalate to the point of a military confrontation with Russia, would they be doing things differently?  And a few days ago, I threw in the towel (at the duck, of course) and had to accept that while I did not know what they were thinking or what their intentions really were, it sure looked to me like the western plutocrats had decided to escalate the crisis has high as possible.

In truth, I have to admit that when I studied the theory of deterrence in the 1980 my teachers always insisted that this theory of deterrence was predicated on what they called a "rational player".  To put it simply - how do you deter a lunatic?  Or a desperate man with nothing to lose?  Or a person hell-bent on mutual destruction?  The truth is, you cannot.  Deterrence assumes a rational actor making a logical decision about unacceptable costs.  As far as I know, nobody has ever developed a theory of deterrence applicable to a madman.  When I initially wrote my pieces explaining why I believed that a US/NATO/EU attack was impossible a lot readers posted comments saying that while maybe the top US military command was still mainly composed of rational men, the US imperial elites had clearly gone crazy a long time ago and that they were so stuck in their arrogance, their imperial hubris, there delusion of invincibility and their knee-jerk and systematic use of violence that they could no more be considered as rational.  At the time I replied that, yeah, sure, maybe, but what is the point of analyzing something crazy.  How do you try to make sense of the suicidally insane?

And yet, this is what I propose to do today.  I will try as best I can to try to place myself in the mind of these lunatics and see what they could try doing, and what the consequences of that would be.  I will go through several possible plans that these crazies might have starting from the most limited one and then going up the insanity slope.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Gabor Maté: Beautiful dream of Israel has become a nightmare

Amid the disheartening sights of well-fed Israelis rejoicing the maiming and murder of hungry Palestinians in Gaza, here comes an immensely insightful opinion piece from Gabor Mante, Vancouver-based author and speaker, Jewish by birth but totally opposed to the less-than-sane Zionist project that today's Israel has become. 
Even though it is not the original content of this blog, this post is intended to guide the readers on the burning issue of the day. Additionally, this article gives the unique opportunity to observe how Judaism as a faith and the Zionist project are becoming increasingly incompatible.  

And what shall we do, we ordinary people? I pray we can listen to our hearts. My heart tells me that “never again” is not a tribal slogan, that the murder of my grandparents in Auschwitz does not justify the ongoing dispossession of Palestinians, that justice, truth, peace are not tribal prerogatives. That Israel’s “right to defend itself,” unarguable in principle, does not validate mass killing.

As a Jewish youngster growing up in Budapest, an infant survivor of the Nazi genocide, I was for years haunted by a question resounding in my brain with such force that sometimes my head would spin: “How was it possible? How could the world have let such horrors happen?”
It was a naïve question, that of a child. I know better now: such is reality. Whether in Vietnam or Rwanda or Syria, humanity stands by either complicitly or unconsciously or helplessly, as it always does. In Gaza today we find ways of justifying the bombing of hospitals, the annihilation of families at dinner, the killing of pre-adolescents playing soccer on a beach.
In Israel-Palestine the powerful party has succeeded in painting itself as the victim, while the ones being killed and maimed become the perpetrators. “They don’t care about life,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says, abetted by the Obamas and Harpers of this world, “we do.” Netanyahu, you who with surgical precision slaughter innocents, the young and the old, you who have cruelly blockaded Gaza for years, starving it of necessities, you who deprive Palestinians of more and more of their land, their water, their crops, their trees — you care about life?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Letter of solidarity to the doctors in Gaza and condemnation of the assault on hospitals and civilians by Israeli Defense Force

To be submitted to the Embassy of Israel, Kathmandu, Nepal

This is to express our solidarity to the fellow doctors working under extremely challenging and even life-threatening conditions across the Gaza strip. 

While we strongly denounce any form of violence from either side, we are particularly worried by the unfathomable degree of ruthlessness shown by the Israeli military on bombarding the civilian targets in Gaza including the schools and hospitals. While a loss of life at any site and condition is regrettable, it is doubly so when people get killed in hospitals where they are supposed to get safety and treatment.

We have highest appreciation for our colleagues in Gaza who are defying such horrible work conditions to save lives of people at the moment of crisis. As there is little material help that we can offer from Nepal, we are expressing our moral support and solidarity towards their extraordinary work.

Regardless of our political persuasions and our individual views regarding the particular conflict, we urge both the sides to end the violence at once on humanitarian grounds if not anything else. Even if that is not possible, we strongly demand that the Israeli military avoid repeating the senseless and shameful acts of shelling the hospitals. 

Whatever the outcome of the current conflict, we firmly believe that the indiscriminate killing of civilians in hospital or elsewhere only shows the contempt of the guilty side to the whole cause of humanity. 

As all human lives are sacred and we value all of them equally, we demand the international community to impartially investigate the acts committed during this conflict that contravene the international agreements and accords related to war. That will go a long way towards dissuading any future aggressor from resorting to such dastardly acts thereby saving lives of the civilians. It is our sincere belief that only an unbiased international system that holds the guilty sides accountable can ensure that no civilians lose their lives for no fault of theirs. 

Signees of the letter:
Dr. Jiwan Kshetry  Dr. Madhur Basnet, Dr Deebya Raj Mishra, Dr. Aayush Khanal,  Dr. Jagadeesh Chandra Bist, Dr.  Bikash Gauchan, Dr. Santosh Kumar Dhungana, Dr.  Niraj Shrestha, Dr.  Bishnu Pokharel, Dr. Surya Prasad Rimal, Dr. Rakshya Parajuli, Dr. Aayusha Gautam, Dr. Santosh Basnet, Dr. Santosh Maskey

--on behalf of Nepal's medical fraternity.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Open Letter to the Conscience of Humanity

Roger Tucker
Editor and Publisher, One Democratic State

It is only right and fitting that a proper response be made to the OpEd written by Moshe Feiglin, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, and head of the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel’s governing Likud party, entitled My Outline for a Solution in Gaza and published in Arutz Sheva on July 15th, 2014.
1. An international commission should be established to bring Israel and its supporters to account for its ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people, dating back to the first terrorist attacks on Palestinian and British targets in Palestine by the Irgun and other Jewish terrorist organizations starting in 1937. This near century long crime can properly be termed a holocaust, as its ruthlessness, intensity, longevity and destruction of lives and property is on a par with, or exceeds, the crimes of those prosecuted by the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials.
2. The first task of this commission would be to identify the most culpable of the Zionist criminals still living, not to exceed one thousand people. Millions are guilty but bringing those most responsible for the suffering of the Palestinians, the Lebanese, the Iraqis, the Libyans, the Iranians, the Egyptians, the Syrians et al and the many millions of other direct and indirect victims of the Zionist project, would best serve the cause of justice.
3. Those people so identified should be drawn from the various sectors of society that have been primarily responsible for the heinous war crimes and crimes against humanity committed over these years, regardless of their countries of residence, particularly among the politicians, the major corporations, the military, the media, the financiers, the public intellectuals, academics, the religious leaders and the leaders of Zionist organizations. Those found guilty would be sentenced to a minimum of life in solitary confinement without parole.
4. In addition to those specifically indicted, all of those people who have actively provided material, organizational or public support for this genocide should be rounded up and interned in camps designated for this purpose. Given the very large numbers of such people, the FEMA camps in the United States would be suitable for this purpose. An alternative site could be constructed in the Siberian Oblast set aside by the Soviet Union for the Jewish people. An appeals process would be instituted to ensure that only the clearly culpable would remain in these camps. Those adjudged guilty would be consigned to hard labor and re-education designed to eventually make them suitable for re-entry into human society, if that is at all possible.
5. Given the impotence of the United Nations, due to the veto power and influence of those countries that have historically aided and abetted the aforesaid crimes, such a commission could not be instituted through its auspices. The UN must first either be reformed to make it a truly representational international body, or it must be replaced by a new organization that represents the highest norms and values of humanity, rather than merely an instrument of control by the victors of the last world war. The International Criminal Court would be the ideal venue, if the jurisdictional problems (the US and Israel are not signatories) and the political will can be mustered.
6. The greatest obstacle to the realization of such a process is the current tribal Jewish hegemony over the Western democracies and their allies in the Arab world. But there is nothing absolute about this power. Many Jews, not to mention others, are beginning to understand the fate that will inevitably befall them if they don't join the struggle against Zionism and its lackeys. The historical pattern is perfectly clear.
7. Finally, it goes without saying that Palestine would be returned to its rightful owners.
(This piece has been carried here from the author's site One Democratic State  in solidarity.)

वीर अस्पतालको आन्दोलनः उपभोक्तावादी र अदालतलाई चुनौती

पदसँगै जिम्मेवारी पनि जोडिने देश नेपाल हुन्थ्यो भने वीर अवस्थाको नाजुक अवस्थाका जिम्मेवारी लिएर एउटा स्वास्थ्य मन्त्रीले राजीनामा गथ्र्यो र अर्को सक्षम मानिस काम गर्न आउँथ्यो । हामीकहाँचाहिं घिटिघिटी अवस्थामा पुगिसकेको अस्पताल ठप्प हुन लाग्यो भन्दा पनि त्यसबारे सोच्न एक घण्टा समय निकाल्न जरुरी ठान्दैनन् स्वास्थ्य मन्त्रीले । कारणः त्यो व्यक्ति अरु मन्त्रीजस्तै पदको जिम्मेवारी बोध भएर पदमा पुगेकै छैन, दलभित्रको गुटको तागतका हिसाबले मन्त्री पदको भागवण्डा गर्दा उसको भागमा परेर मन्त्री भएकैले उसको सोझो उत्तरदायित्व पार्टी हेडक्वार्टरप्रति हुन्छ, वीर अस्पताल वा त्यसका बिरामी वा त्यहाँका चिकित्सकप्रति हैन ।

वीर अस्पताललाई बिरामी घोषित गरेर शुरु गरिएको आन्दोलन विभिन्न चरण पार गर्दा पनि मागहरुको सुनुवाइ नभएपछि सेवा प्रभावित हुने अप्रिय चरणमा पुगेको छ ।

आफ्नो नित्य स्वभाव अनुसार सरकार चुपचाप छ, किनकि उसको चासोका विषयहरु अर्कै छन् ।

अब हुन्छ चाहिं के तर?

अहिलेसम्म त्यसो नगरेको भए उपभोक्ता हित संरक्षण मञ्च नामको एउटा संस्थाका मानिसहरु अब दुलोबाट निस्कन्छन् र सर्वोच्चमा मुद्दा हाल्छन् । अदालतले सेवा सुचारु गर्ने आदेश दिन्छ, तर अस्पतालको अवस्था जस्ताको तस्तै रहन्छ ।

टोलटोलमा निस्केर बुज्रुकहरुले निन्दा गर्छन्ः डाक्टरहरु भएर अस्पताल गर्ने, यी कस्ता डाक्टर हुन्?

भोलिदेखि टीभी च्यानलहरु लाम लागेर बिरामीको बिचल्ली भएको समाचार प्रत्यक्ष प्रसारण गरिरहन्छन्, मानिस समाचार वरपर झुम्मिन्छन् र आ आफ्नो गच्छेअनुसारको टिप्पणी गर्छन् ।

यथार्थ यही हो । तर हुनुपर्ने यस्तो थिएन ।

हुनुपर्ने के थियो भने वीर अस्पतालजस्तो विभिन्न विषयका विशेषज्ञता तहको जनशक्ति उत्पादन गर्ने अस्पतालमा काम गर्ने अवस्थाको सीटी स्क्यान र एमआरआइ हुनुपर्यो भनेर वीरमा नियुक्त भएर आउनेबित्तिकै यसका पदाधिकारीले पहिलो काम ती मेशीन खरीद गर्नुपथ्र्यो । यदि वीर अस्पतालमा नियुक्त गरेर पठाइएका् कुनै पदाधिकारी निकम्मा सावित भयो र बिरामीले दुख पाए भने नियुक्त गर्ने मन्त्रीले त्यसलाई बर्खास्त गरेर अर्को नियुक्ति गर्नुपथ्र्यो ।

Danny Schechter: Suicide bombers over Gaza?

"Israeli military superiority belongs to the past. There is no future for the Jews-only-State in Palestine; they may have to try somewhere else." - Gilad Altzom, Israeli writer
A war is not a free lunch, after all. Amid the vicious and ghastly damage that the IDF is causing in the Gaza strip, the long term repercussions of the conflict are not going to favor Israel according to an increasing number of analysts.

In this hard-hitting piece, Danny Schechter of News Dissector delves into how exactly the current conflict is exacting its toll on the Israeli side.

More interesting to see, however, will be the long term impact of the conflict. At a time when the ground itself in which both the sides are standing is shifting palpably, the fighting has resumed, as I write these words, after a brief lull.

To gauge the insight from Schechter's article, let's read the statements of Gilad Altzom, an Israeli writer that Schechter quotes in his article:
“In spite of clear Israeli technological superiority and firepower, the Palestinian militants are winning the battle on the ground and they have even managed to move the battle to Israeli territory. In addition, the barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv doesn’t seem to stop.

IDF’s defeat in Gaza leaves the Jewish State with no hope. The moral is simple. If you insist on living on someone else’s land, military might is an essential ingredient to discourage the dispossessed from acting to reclaim their rights. The level of IDF casualties and the number of bodies of Israeli elite soldiers returning home in coffins send a clear message to both Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli military superiority belongs to the past. There is no future for the Jews-only-State in Palestine; they may have to try somewhere else.”

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Debating partition of India: culpability and consequences

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Why I write...

I do not know why I often tend to view people rather grimly: they usually are not as benevolent, well-intentioned and capable or strong as they appear to be. This assumption is founded on my own self-assessment, though I don’t have a clue as to whether it is justifiable to generalize an observation made in one individual. This being the fact, my views of writers as ‘capable’ people are not that encouraging: I tend to see them as people who intend to create really great and world-changing writings but most of the times end up producing parochial pieces. Also, given the fact that the society where we grow and learn is full of dishonesty, treachery, deceit and above else, mundanity, it is rather unrealistic to expect an entirely reinvigorating work of writing from every other person who scribbles words in paper.

On life's challenges

Somebody has said: “I was born intelligent but education ruined me”. I was born a mere child, as everyone is, and grew up as an ordinary teenager eventually landing up in youth and then adulthood. The extent to which formal education helped me to learn about the world may be debatable but it definitely did not ruin me. There were, however, things that nearly ruined me. There came moments when I contemplated some difficult choices. And there came and passed periods when I underwent through an apparently everlasting spell of agony. There came bends in life from which it was very tempting to move straight ahead instead of following the zigzag course.

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