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.”

Read more in Outlook Website

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sa'adat Hasan Manto: Why do people get drunk?

Manto (Image courtesy: Penguin India

"Hindustan had become free. Pakistan had become independent soon after its inception but man was still slave in both these countries - slave of prejudice … slave of religious fanaticism … slave of barbarity and inhumanity." This is how the veteran short story-writer and essayist Sa'adat Hasan Manto had summarized the grim reality following the collective schizophrenia that engulfed Indian subcontinent during India's partition. 

In this exceptionally well-articulated essay, Manto rebuffs the conventional ideas surrounding why people indulge in inebriants like tobacco and alcohol. He blends his astute observation skills with his own personal experience to build a remarkable and coherent theory as to why exactly people drink or smoke or ingest or inject the intoxicating substances. 

"Human life is comprised of the following two activities or dynamic forces: (1) to make one’s actions accord with his conscience, or (2) to choose not to heed the voice of his conscience in order to carry on with the normal course of his life."
"When do boys start smoking? Mostly when they’ve lost the innocence of childhood." 
"It is generally said (as I used to say myself) that smoking helps to do mental work well. This is certainly true, but only if quantity is the arbiter of “well.” The fact is, a smoker eventually loses his ability to probe and critique his thoughts. Generally it is assumed that a whole host of thoughts come into one’s mind while smoking. However, there is no guarantee that this, in fact, is the case. Actually, a smoker loses control over his thoughts and ends up drawing the wrong conclusions."
"People don’t drink to throw off their depressive state temporarily, or to have a good time because they think wine is an exhilarating substance, rather, they drink to drown out the voice of their conscience." 
"And yet people get drunk. When life fails to align with our conscience, it is the conscience that is twisted every which way to align with our life."
"So now, the minute those serious issues requiring attention get on his nerves and trouble him, he quickly reaches out for intoxicants to dispel his anxiety. All this stops the conscience from resolving those issues and they persist till the next occurrence of a spiritual moment. When such moments finally arrive, the same process starts all over again and the man uses the same methods to dispel them. He spends his whole life this way, leaving those moral issues as thirsty for resolution as ever, although life’s meaning and its entire dynamism lies in settling them." 
"A million or more tons of steel are used in building the tower, and, most comical, countless millions of people consider climbing the hideous monster their bounden duty. The presence of the tower evokes the desire in other people to build even taller towers of their own. Now think about it: would anyone in his right mind ever think of such asinine projects?" 
"In my opinion, never before in human history have people allowed such a gaping distance to exist between their conscience and their actions. It looks as though humanity has come to a dead end and frozen in its tracks, as if some external reason is obstructing it from adopting the natural state it must adopt collectively as a nation. Even though this may not be the only reason, it does drive people to intoxication and may be the biggest reason they lapse progressively into a state of infirmity and lassitude." 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pepe Escobar: Whose was the missile that brought down the Malaysian plane?

As in his every other opinion piece, Escobar keeps forward some incisive comments about what might have caused the disaster involving the Malaysian plane and tries to shed light on the disinformation campaign around the tragedy.

Just like in the article by The Saker that I shared yesterday in this blog, Escobar also avoids jumping prematurely into conclusion and tries to examine the facts on ground. This one will be of special importance for those who are being constantly bombarded by the mainstream media's version of how the tragedy happened. 

After all, the world has seen more grotesque attempts at misinforming people as was the case with Saddam's WMD. I, in particular, won't be surprised if it turns out that the cornered regime in Kiev turns out to be the credible culprit behind the crash despite all the premature conclusions being circulated in mainstream media. 

(Since I have no permission to carry the whole article unlike in case of The Saker's articles, I share the link to Asia Times Online at the bottom where the article was originally published.)

It was Putin's missile!
By Pepe Escobar 

And here's the spin war verdict: the current Malaysia Airlines tragedy - the second in four months - is "terrorism" perpetrated by "pro-Russian separatists", armed by Russia, and Vladimir Putin is the main culprit. End of story. Anyone who believes otherwise, shut up. 
Why? Because the CIA said so. Because Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton said so. Because batshit crazy Samantha "R2P" Power said so - thundering at the UN, everything duly printed by the neo-con infested Washington Post. [1] 
Because Anglo-American corporate media - from CNN to Fox (who tried to buy Time Warner, which owns CNN) - said so. Because the President of the United States (POTUS) said so. And mostly because Kiev had vociferously said so in the first place. 
Read more

Friday, July 18, 2014

Who brought down the Malaysian plane?

The rumor mill sets in and mainstream media already knows whom to blame

For Russia and the rebels in Eastern Ukraine, this could not have come at any worse time: the tragic crash of the Malaysian Airlines plane purportedly caused by a missile strike appears to have hit the crux of the ongoing geopolitical tussle.

As was the case with the Sarin gas attack in Syria, the fingers are being already pointed to the culprits of choice: the pro-Russian rebels and even Kremlin itself.

While it is too early to place blame on any side and to give a clean chit to others, a major media war has already started with most of the western media already passing the conditional verdict with 'According to American officials...'.

Monday, July 14, 2014

गुडबाई काठमाण्डु!

 जीवनमा दुख परेको बेला धेरै चोटि यस्तो लाग्छः यो चरम अवस्था हो, योभन्दा बढी दुख र मानसिक यातना मानव जीवनमा सम्भव छैन, त्यसैले अब हुने परिवर्तन भनेको सुखद हुनु मात्र सम्भव छ । कति चोटि त्यस्तो निष्कर्ष साँचो प्रमाणित हुन्छ भने धेरैचोटि चाहिं हुँदैन । अर्थात्, दुखमा हामी छिटै आत्तिन्छौं र आफ्नो चित्त बुझाउन अनेक तर्क गर्छौं । हामीले तर्क गर्दैमा त्यो सत्य हुँदैन ।
'The Scream' by Edvard Munch

त्यस्तो तर्क महिनैपिच्छे फेल खाँदै गरेको अवस्थाको कुरा हो ।

अक्सर त्यस्तो अवस्थामा मानिसले जीवनका प्राथमिकता र उदात्त उद्देश्यलाई या त पूरै बिर्सिन्छ, या त तपसिलमा राख्छ अनि दुइटा कुरामा ध्यान केन्द्रित गर्छः पहिलो भौतिक शरीर बचाउने अनि दोस्रो मानसिक स्वास्थ्यलाई असामान्य हुन नदिने ।

त्यस्ता क्षणहरुमा व्यक्तिको दैनिक जीवन आफैंमा यातनापूर्ण हुन्छ अनि उन्नति र प्रगति तपशिलको कुनै दुर्गम कुनामा कैद भएर बस्छन् ।

अंग्रेजीमा भिसियस साइकल भनिने त्यस्तै चक्रव्यूहबाट गुज्रिरहेको बेला मलाई त्यसबाट निस्किनु सम्भव छ भन्ने विश्वासै थिएन किनकि त्यस्तो चक्रव्यूहभित्र दिग्भ्रमको एउटा बाक्लो न बाक्लो कुहिरो लागेको हुन्छ । त्यो कुहिरोभित्रको निसासिंदो वातावरणमा बाँचिरहन एउटा खास किसिमको मनस्थिति आवश्यक हुन्छ, पशुको जस्तोः न हिजोको पश्चात्ताप, न आजको हतारो, न भोलिको चिन्ता ।

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Majestic Manang (Photo-essay)

The pictures defy description. See for yourself a glimpse of landscape in Manang.
(With help from Bipin Poudel).  

Independence for whom: A question America is yet to answer

Fifty long years have passed since 'I have a dream', the passionate speech of Martin Luther King, reverberated across the world; hundred and a fifty since the historic Emancipation Proclamation. So have the King's dream come any closer to realization over these five long decades? Having never visited the United States, I am not in exactly favorable position to answer the question. However, people from The Hampton Institute--what they call a working-class think tank'--have done this wonderful job for me. Here is a passionate statement from these hard-working and incisive people from America.  
The lack of freedom is made all the more insidious when coupled with the illusion that we are free. Yet, this illusion is shattered every day when a police officer beats and brutalizes an unarmed citizen, a bank takes a home from a family, a worker is unable to find a job, a woman is raped with no recourse, a child’s father is deported, and another young Black male is sent to prison. How do we control our own destinies when, in this sham we call a democracy, politicians are bought and paid for by corporations and seek to do the bidding of their donors rather than the people?

Today, we are told, is Independence Day. Today, we are told, the United States declared its freedom from the tyranny of Great Britain. Today, we are told, is a day we should revel in and celebrate.
But, we must question that. Yes, the United States’ independence was declared, but who was truly free? Let us not forget that while the ‘Founding Fathers’ were signing their names, slaves were screaming in agony as they bore the pain of the lash. Nor let us forget that the country itself was founded on the forced removal of Native Americans, with a near-genocide occurring by the time the US had fully expanded to the Pacific Ocean. For slaves, women, indentured servants, and poor and working-class Americans, the world after the signing of the Declaration of Independence looked eerily similar to the world prior – both groups were still exploited, suppressed, and used by those at the top.
238 years later, this oppression remains. The class that ruled when the country first began – rich men – still rules today, although the club has expanded and globalized. The power of the state is still used to uphold laws that protect the rich and oppress the disenfranchised. From minimum wages so low that you can’t even survive to the recent Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision which frees corporations from paying for female birth control even though such medicine is used for much more than just sex. While some may argue that progress has been made, their arguments ring hollow when one simply looks at the statistics of marginalized groups.
We are not truly independent or free. While we may be able to speak our minds (hence this post), even such talk has limits. Because as soon as words become influential enough to question and expose fundamental power structures en masse, like in the case of Martin Luther King, Jr., they are dealt with. And if and when any marginalized community puts forth a concerted effort to gain basic human rights, American history tells us they will be suppressed and destroyed by force or sabotage as with the WWI vets of the “Bonus Army,” the workers of various labor struggles, much of the Civil Rights movement, the Black Panther Party’s humanitarian efforts in poor communities, and the Occupy Wall Street movement; or co-opted as with the current LGBT rights and labor movements.
This lack of freedom is made all the more insidious when coupled with the illusion that we are free. Yet, this illusion is shattered every day when a police officer beats and brutalizes an unarmed citizen, a bank takes a home from a family, a worker is unable to find a job, a woman is raped with no recourse, a child’s father is deported, and another young Black male is sent to prison. How do we control our own destinies when, in this sham we call a democracy, politicians are bought and paid for by corporations and seek to do the bidding of their donors rather than the people?
This may not be our day, but despite the seemingly insurmountable struggle, true freedom and independence remain possible. However, it will not come by protesting or pushing for reforms. We will gain our freedoms by dropping out of this system entirely. This system is not meant to serve the poor or working-class or any other marginalized group. We get the scraps from the table while those at the top eat a five-course meal. And many of us get nothing at all.
Rather than participating in a system based on coercive competition – a Hunger Games-like competition that is designed for us to fight one another while the rich and powerful reap the rewards – we need to organize together to make alternative systems that circumvent the status quo entirely. From these new systems we will be able to fully realize ourselves as human beings, we will be able to truly reach our potential. We will have found true independence.
This system has failed us. It has failed our parents. It is failing our children. And it is only a matter of time before the system itself becomes unsustainable. Where will you be after the clock strikes midnight? Organize. Educate. Discuss. Create unity with your working-class sisters and brothers.
Our fight for freedom and independence has yet to begin.
In solidarity.
The Hampton Institute Newsletter

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Saker: Ukrainian imbroglio- Can Russia be attacked?

IN this short piece, The Saker examines whether the latest theory that the Ukrainian turmoil will lead to a western-backed attack on Russia has any merit. 

Could the Ukraine, backed by NATO, attack Russia?

The Saker

On at least three occasions I tried to dispel the notion that the US/NATO could attack Russia or Russian forces in the Ukraine (see here, here and here).  I tried to show that geography, over-reach and politics made a conventional attack impossible and I tried to show that a nuclear attack, whether tactical or strategic, could not succeed.  There is a new theory which is apparently going around now which goes something like this: the Ukraine will re-arm and re-organize with the technical and financial help of the AngloZionist Empire, and then it will attack Crimea, possibly with the support of NATO airpower.  Sounds scary, but the good news is that it is just as implausible as the other theories.  Today, I want to explain why.

First and foremost, from a military point of view there can be no such thing as an "attack in Crimea" separate form a full-scale attack on Russia itself.  Crimea is not a distant island in the middle of nowhere (like the Malvinas) and it will soon be fully integrated into the Russian defense system.  Second, being a peninsula, Crimea is extremely hard to attack as the British and the Germans have found out.  So no matter how you try to package it, from a purely military point of view, to have any chance of success an attack on Crimea would have to include a full scale attack on Russia. 

And let me immediately put to rest the argument about NATO airpower: not only did it miserably fail in Bosnia, it did not even have what it takes to attack Syria, nevermind Iran.  The USAF is flying either very good old aircraft or very bad modern aircraft whose attrition rate trying to deal with both the Russian Air Force and the Russian Air Defense Network, especially around Crimea, would be huge.  Bombing an almost defenseless Serbia for 78 days (for pathetic results!) is one thing, trying to bomb Crimea and Russia proper is harder by several orders of magnitude.  As for US/NATO ground forces, they would have a hard time even getting anywhere near Crimea.  Which leaves the US Navy.

Unlike the US Army and Air Force, the USN is in much better shape and far more powerful than the Russian Navy.  But to meaningfully participate in an attack on Crimea it would have to act from the eastern Mediterranean as entering the Black Sea would be not only suicidal, but even impossible for US Aircraft Carriers (not to mention completely contrary to US Naval doctrine).  In reality, the USN could inflict far more devastating attacks on Russia in the Pacific, the Kola Peninsula or even the Baltic Sea than in southern Russia.

Which leave a hypothetical "future Ukrainian military" (the current one is unable to take Slaviansk or Kramatorsk, and could not even hold on to Krasnyi Liman).  We can hypothesize all we want about how motivated this future Ukrainian military would be, but I personally cannot imagine what would motivate a future Ukrainian soldier to go and fight Russia, even for Crimea.  But even if we assume a tremendous motivation, the fact is that the most the Ukraine can hope for in the next 1-10 years is to put a lot of men under arms and use outdated military hardware augmented with modern electronics, communication gear, targeting systems, command and control networks, etc.   But even this relatively modernized Ukrainian military would face the very same problem which defeated the Swedes, the Crusaders, Napoleon and Hitler: no, not the "General Winter" canard, but Russia's strategic depth.  Let me give just one example.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

एन्टिबायोटिक युगको अन्त र चिकित्सा विज्ञानको अन्धकार यात्राः पृष्ठभुमि

जीवन क्षेत्री
होमो स्यापिएन्स अर्थात् मनुष्य जाति पृथ्वीको बिरानो वा बाहिरिया प्रजाति हो । यो ग्रह ब्याक्टेरियाहरुको हो । पृथ्वीमा अरु सबै जीवित प्राणीहरुभन्दा धेरै ब्याक्टेरिया छन् र मानव शरीरमा आफ्ना कोशिकाभन्दा धेरै ब्याक्टेरिया छन् । हामी अहिलेसम्म मूर्खतापूर्वक आशावादी भयौं कि अन्ततः भाइरल नभए पनि ब्याक्टेरियल इन्फेक्सनलाई हामीले जितिसक्यौं । हामी कति गलत थियौं! अन्ततः ब्याक्टेरियाहरुले यहाँ श्रेष्ठता हासिल गरेका छन् र मानव जातिविरुद्धको युद्धमा विजय प्राप्त गरेका छन् ।

मार्च १९४२ मा कनेक्टिकटको एउटा अस्पतालमा स्ट्रेप्टोकोकल सेप्सिसबाट मरणासन्न ३३ वर्षे महिलालाई पेनिसिलिन नामको भर्खर आविष्कार भएको एन्टिबायोटिकले स्वस्थ बनाएको थियो । साठी वर्षपछि सान फ्रान्सिस्कोको ७० वर्षे पुरुषलाई भ्यांकोमाइसिन रेसिस्टेन्ट एन्टेरोकोकस फिकियमले संक्रमण भएपछि त्यस्तो संक्रमणका लागि उपलब्ध विश्वकै उत्कृष्ट एन्टिबायोटिकले पनि काम गरेन र उनी संक्रमण लिएरै मरे । पूरा वृत्ताकारमा घुमिसकेपछि हामी अब एन्टिबायोटिक आविष्कार हुनुभन्दा अघिको अवस्थामा पुग्दैछौं ।

—“एन्टिबायोटिक रेसिस्टेन्ट बग्स इन द ट्वेन्टी फस्ट सेन्चुरीः अ क्लिनिकल सुपर च्यालेन्ज”मा सिजार एरियस र बारबरा मुरे

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

चिकित्सामा आरक्षणः विद्यार्थी राजनीतिको भाँडभैलो नछिरोस्!

विद्यार्थी राजनीति दलीय राजनीतिको बिकाउ हतियार नभइदिएको भए आज नेपालको समग्र शैक्षिक अवस्था यस्तो हुने थिएन । हाम्रा सरकारी कलेजहरुले स्तरीय शिक्षा दिन सक्ने वातावरण भएको भए आज देशको एउटै आर्थिक गतिविधि श्रम निर्यात गर्नु पनि हुने थिएन । त्यसै गरी चिकित्सकहरुले देशको समग्र प्रणाली सुधार्ने क्षमता र इच्छा शक्ति दुवै राख्दैनन् । तर चिकित्सा र स्वास्थ्य क्षेत्रमासम्म उनीहरुको नेतृत्वमा सुधारको अपेक्षा गर्न सकिन्छ । र पूर्णकालीन राजनीति गर्नेहरुलाई यो क्षेत्रमा खेल्न दिनु भनेको आइओएम लगायतका जिम्मेवार निकायहरुलाई अन्य कुनै सरकारी क्याम्पसजस्तै दलीय राजनीतिको अखडा बनाउनु हो ।
चिकित्सामा स्नातकोत्तर तहको ढिलो भइसकेको शैक्षिक सत्रका लागि हाल चलिरहेको अनलाइन फाराम वितरण रोक्नुपर्ने र विद्यार्थी भर्ना दोब्बर पार्नुपर्ने जस्ता माग राखेर अठार विद्यार्थी संगठनले आइओएमलाई तालाबन्दीसम्म गरेर त्यहाँ आरक्षणका लागि दबाब दिने भएछन् ।

के अर्थ छ त विद्यार्थीहरुको विरोधको?

आरक्षणको मुद्दामै यसअघि दुईवटा लेखहरु (यहाँ यहाँ)मा चर्चा भइसकेकाले फेरि त्यही कुरा नदोहोर्याऊँ । तर विद्यार्थी संगठनहरुले घोषणा गरेको नयाँ कार्यक्रमको पृष्ठभुमिमा केही कुरा स्पष्ट पार्नैपर्ने देखिन्छ ।

शायद विज्ञप्तिमा सही गर्ने सबै विद्यार्थी नेताहरुलाई थाहा पनि छैन होला, स्नातकोत्तर तहमा पढ्ने व्यक्तिहरु सबै एमबीबीएस वा बीडीएस डिग्री लिइसकेका चिकित्सकहरु हुन् । विद्यार्थी भनिए पनि ती दर्ता भइसकेर अभ्यास गर्दै गरेका चिकित्सक हुन् र भइसकेका चिकित्सकहरुको विशेषज्ञताका लागि हुने स्नातकोत्तरको पढाइका बारेमा चिन्ता लिन चिकित्सकहरुका आफ्नै संघ संगठनहरु सफल छन् ।

त्यसबाहेक संस्थालाई भागवण्डाको राजनीतिले थला पारेको विरोधमा स्नातक तहका विद्यार्थीहरुले समेत आइओएमका दलीय विद्यार्थी संगठनहरु भंग गरिदिएको बदला लिने र यहाँ फेरि जरा हालेर मारमुंग्रीको राजनीति गर्ने अभीष्ट ती संगठनहरुको रहेको देखिन्छ ।

आइओएममा आरक्षण चाहिन्छ भनेर आन्दोलनरत पक्षहरुको हालसम्मको रवैया के रहँदै आएको छ भने अन्तरिम संविधानको उनीहरुको व्याख्यालाई मान्ने हो भने नेपालभरमा कुनै स्नातकोत्तरको एउटा सीट छ भने त्यो पूरा गर्न विभिन्न समुदायका व्यक्तिहरुका अंगहरु काटेर समावेशी मानव तयार पारेर त्यो सीट दिइनुपर्छ ।

बेलाबेलामा खुकुरी हानाहान गर्ने विद्यार्थी संगठनहरु यो मुद्दामा एक ठाउँमा रहेको भान पार्न खोजेका छन् र यो आन्दोलनबाहेक तीमध्ये कतिको अस्तित्व कहाँ थियो भनेर खोज्नुपर्ने अवस्था छ । तर अंक अठार पुर्याउँदा उनीहरुले भुलेको कुरा के छ भने, यो देशमा चानचुन सय राजनीतिक दल छन् र तिनका तीभन्दा बढी विद्यार्थी संगठन ।

Friday, June 6, 2014

आरक्षणको बहसः अफवाह, यथार्थ र अबको बाटो

Earlier in the series: एमडी/एमएसमा पनि आरक्षण चाहिन्छ?
भोलिका दिनमा के होला भन्न सकिंदैन तर हाललाई नेपाल भन्ने देश अस्तित्वमा रहेको र त्यसको जिम्मा मधेश वा हिमाल वा पहाड, एउटा भुगोल हेर्ने नभई समग्र देशकै नागरिकहरुको स्वास्थ्य हेर्ने भएकाले र आइओएमको प्रकृतिको नेपालमा एउटा मात्र निकाय भएकाले न त त्यहाँ कसैले जय पहाड वा जय महिला वा जय दलित भनेर आफ्नो एजेण्डा लाद्न पाउँछ, न त डिन कार्यालय आफूले तिनीहरुबीच कुनै भेदभाव गर्न पाउँछ । संविधान व्याख्या गर्ने जिम्मा पाएको अदालतले आरक्षण कायम गर्नु भनेर आदेश दिएको अवस्थामा त्यसो गर्न आइओएम बाध्य हुन्छ र त्यसो नभएको अवस्थामा विवेक प्रयोग गरेर कसैमाथि अन्याय नहुने गरी नीति नियम बनाउन र कार्यान्वयन गर्न यो सक्षम छ र हालसम्म भइरहेको पनि कम्तीमा यो मुद्दामा मोटामोटी त्यही नै हो । 

त्रि वि चिकित्साशास्त्र अध्ययन संस्थान (आइओएम)मा स्नातकोत्तर तहमा आरक्षण गर्ने वा नगर्ने भन्ने विषयमा शुरु भएको विवादले विकराल रुप लिने स्थिति देखा परेर अझै साम्य भइसकेको छैन । अझै पनि सापेक्षतः सजिलो निकासको बाटो बन्द नभइसके पनि जिम्मेवार व्यक्तिहरुले परिस्थितिको गम्भीरतालाई नबुझ्ने हो भने यो विवाद भयानक रुपमा चर्केर जाने सम्भावना अद्यापि कायम छ ।

के हो त आरक्षणको विवाद?

नेपालको अन्तरिम संविधानले महिला, जनजाति, मधेशी, दलित, आदि पिछडिएका लैंगिक, जातीय र क्षेत्रीय समुदायहरुका लागि राज्यका सबै निकायहरुमा ४५ प्रतिशत आरक्षणको व्यवस्था गरेको छ । हालसम्म त्रि वि अन्तर्गतको आइओएममा त्यस्तो आरक्षण लागू भएको छैन । यो विवाद अघिल्लो वर्ष स्नातक तहको प्रवेश परीक्षाकोे बेला अदालतमा पुगेर त्यहाँबाट आइओएमजस्तो स्वायत्त संस्थाले विशेष अवस्थामा आरक्षण कायम नगर्न पनि सक्ने भन्ने फैसला भएपछि प्रवेश परीक्षा सुचारु भएको थियो ।

यो वर्ष स्नातकोत्तर तहको प्रवेश परीक्षाका बेला केही समुदायका प्रतिनिधिहरु र आइओएमका डिनबीच यो तहमा आरक्षण कायम गर्ने समझदारी भएपछि अहिलेको विवाद शुरु भएको हो । लगत्तै शिक्षण अस्पतालका शिक्षक–प्राध्यापक र रेजिडेन्ट चिकित्सकहरुको कडा आपत्ति र तालाबन्दीपछि डिनले आरक्षणको निर्णय फिर्ता लिने प्रतिबद्धता जनाएपछि तालाबन्दी खुलेको थियो ।

तर लगत्तै पहिले डिनसित सम्झौता गर्ने मधेशी समुदायका प्रतिनिधिहरु अन्य जनजातिका प्रतिनिधिहरुसमेत ल्याएर फेरि आरक्षणका लागि दबाब दिन र रेजिडेन्ट चिकित्सकहरु त्यसको विरोध गर्न गएपछि स्थिति एकाएक फेरि तनावग्रस्त बनेको थियो ।  अद्यापि अन्योल र तनाव कायम छ र डिनले तत्काललाई त्रि वि उपकुलपतिलाई एउटा चिठीमार्फत् यो विषयमा निर्देशन मागेको व्यहोराको चिठी लेखेर आन्दोलनरत संगठनहरुलाई बोधार्थ पठाएपछि हाललाई अन्योल अरु बढेर गएको छ र प्रवेश परीक्षा सञ्चालनमा व्यवधान हुन सक्ने सम्भावना कायम रहँदा एमडी, एमएस र एमडीएस तहको एउटा पूरा शैक्षिक सत्र नै अन्योलमा परेको छ ।

कसबाट र किन हुँदैछ आरक्षणको विरोध?

आरक्षणको दायराभित्र पर्ने समुदायहरुको चिकित्सक, कर्मचारी र विद्यार्थी तहमा उल्लेख्य उपस्थिति भएको शिक्षण अस्पतालमा हालसम्म आरक्षणको पक्षमा खुलेर लाग्ने मानिसहरुको संख्या ज्यादै न्यून छ । सामाजिक सञ्जालमा प्रधानतः आरक्षणमा नपर्ने व्यक्तिहरुले आरक्षणको कडा विरोध गरेको र आरक्षणमा पर्नेहरुमध्ये मधेशी समुदायका धेरै र जनजाति समुदायका केही व्यक्तिहरु खुलेर आरक्षणको पक्षमा बहस गरिरहेका छन् । तर यसैबीच उल्लेख्य रुपमा केही आरक्षणमा पर्ने समुदायका चिकित्सकहरुले एमडी एमएस मात्र नभई उच्च शिक्षामै आरक्षणको विरोध गर्दै खुला प्रतिष्पर्धाको पैरवी गरिरहेका छन् ।

यति हुँदाहुँदै बहसमा नजरअन्दाज गरिएको कुरा के छ भने, आरक्षण यो आन्दोलनमा लागेको कुनै एक पक्षले अर्को पक्षको माग पूरा गर्ने कुरा हैन, यो व्यवस्था त संविधानमा अंकित भएर त्यसको पालना गराउने जिम्मा राज्यले लिने कुरा हो र संविधानको कुनै प्रावधानमा विवाद उठेमा अदालतले त्यसलाई व्याख्या गर्दै विवादलाई साम्य पार्ने हो ।

यो अवस्थामा आरक्षणको व्यवस्था हुनै हुँदैन, यसले खूला प्रतिस्पर्धालाई निषेध गर्छ र आरक्षणको आधार नै एउटालाई अन्यायमा पारेर अर्कालाई न्याय दिनु हो भन्ने एउटा पक्ष छ भने राज्यले ऐतिहासिक रुपमा संगठित तवरले विभिन्न समुदायहरुलाई उत्पीडनमा पारेकाले त्यसको क्षतिपुर्ति गरेर समाजको सन्तुलित विकास गर्ने हो भने आरक्षणलगायतका व्यवस्था अनिवार्य हुन्छन् भन्ने अर्को पक्षको जिकिर छ । छिमेकी मुलुक भारतमा अझै चलिरहेको यस्तो बहस हामीकहाँ पनि छिटै टुंगिने देखिंदैन ।

तर चिकित्सामा स्नातकोत्तर तहमा आरक्षण दिने कि नदिने भन्ने आधारभुत रुपमा फरक बहस हो । स्नातक तहमा, त्यसपछि हुने सरकारी जागिर प्रवेशमा र स्नातकोत्तर तहपछि हुने सरकारी जागिर प्रवेशमा आरक्षण कायम हुँदाहुँदै चिकित्सक–चिकित्सकबीच हुने प्रतिस्पर्धामा किन आरक्षण चाहियो भन्ने यो बहसको जरो हो । र व्यवहारिक तहमा स्नातकोत्तर तहमा आरक्षण कायम गर्ने हो भने राज्यले पहिले आरक्षणमार्फत् वा खुल्ला प्रतिस्पर्धामार्फत् नै आएका भए पनि चिकित्सकहरु आरक्षित समुदायमा जन्मेका छन् भने उनीहरु फेरि आरक्षण गर्न पर्ने गरी पिछडिएका हुन्छन् भनेर स्वीकार्नुपर्ने हुन्छ, जुन आधारभुत रुपमा गलत हो र त्यो स्वीकार्न ती समुदायका धेरै चिकित्सकहरुसमेत स्वभाविक रुपमा तयार छैनन् ।

यसै पनि स्नातक तह र सरकारी जागिर प्रवेशको बेला हुने आरक्षणका कारण तथा विभिन्न आरक्षित समुदायबाट खुला प्रतिस्पर्धाबाटै अगाडि आउन सफल चिकित्सकहरुका कारण अहिले एमडी एमएस गर्न नपाएर तथा सरकारी सेवामा पनि छिर्न नसकेर वर्षौं त्यसका लागि पर्खने चिकित्सकहरुमा आरक्षण नपाउने समुदायका चिकित्सकहरुको बाहुल्य छ । त्यसबाहेक चिकित्सक भैसकेपछि अर्को तहका लागि आरक्षण माग्नु भनेको आफ्नै योग्यताको खिल्ली उडाउनु हो भन्ने मान्यता आरक्षित समुदायका धेरै चिकित्सकहरुको भएका कारण चिकित्सक समुदायमा यो तहमा आरक्षणका लागि समर्थन न्यून छ ।

यति हुँदाहुँदै किन चर्किंदैछ त आरक्षणको आन्दोलन? शीघ्र लाभको राजनीतिले देशको कुनै क्षेत्रलाई अछुतो नराखेको नेपालमा आरक्षणको मुद्दालाई हतियार बनाएर राजनीतिक लाभ हासिल गर्न चाहने समुहहरुको होडबाजी रहेको छ । त्यसबाहेक एमबीबीएस र एमडीबीच फरकसमेत थाहा नभएका तर जातीय र क्षेत्रीय राजनीति गरेर जीवन बिताएका, चिकित्सा क्षेत्रसित दुरको साइनोसमेत नभएका मानिसहरुका लागि चाहिं पछिल्लो समय ओरालो लागेको राजनैतिक भाग्यलाई फेरि जगाउन यो मुद्दा एउटा सहज विकल्प हुने देखिन्छ । त्यसैले चिकित्सा क्षेत्रको अवस्था र चिकित्सकहरुको भविष्य जे भए पनि उनीहरु आफ्नो राजनैतिक स्वार्थका लागि जुन हदसम्म जान पनि तयार छन् ।

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

India: How the secularists caused their own downfall

The triumphant victory of the religious right in India's elections has been possible with a series of follies on part of the incumbent rivals. But the particular fall of two secularist icons, Manmohan Singh and Tarun Tejpal, aptly represents the decadence of the secularist camp. 

Finally, the world’s largest electorate has given a clear verdict. After a decade-long rule of the secularist Indian National Congress (INC)-led coalition marred by incompetence and rampant corruption, the baton has been passed to the opposition coalition led by rightwing Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) in India paving way for the premiership of its firebrand leader Narendra Modi. This more than makes up for the humiliating defeat of the BJP in 2004 when the Congress-led coalition had upset the incumbent’s applecart by outsmarting their glossy ‘India Shining’ narrative by meticulous work-up at the grassroots level.

With the formal coronation ceremony, Modi will now start the real task of governing the colossus of 1.25 billion people plagued by lingering poverty, increasing inequality and rampant corruption. Much of the media attention will be focused on whether he will be able to replicate much of his reported success in the realm of governance in Gujarat state where he has served for more than a decade as the Chief Minister.

Here, however, let’s explore a slightly different theme: what happens now to the so called secular fabric of Indian state in face of a stable government led by a firebrand Hindutva leader? This, of course, depends upon the future course taken by Modi and his government and many analysts argue that the sheer magnitude of power and responsibility will have the much-needed moderating effect on Modi thereby forcing him to focus on economic prosperity of his people rather than to push for any ideological agenda.

That said, the secularist incumbents in India, set to remain in opposition for at least five years to come and potentially for much longer, have a lot to do now in terms of soul-searching.  

Friday, May 16, 2014

न्यायधीश नियुक्तिमा काँग्रेसः क्यान्सर घाँटीमा, अपरेशन पेटको?

यो देशको सार्वभौमसत्ता जनतामा छ भन्नु खोक्रो आडम्बर मात्र हो । त्यो कतै छ भने देशको कालो वा अनौपचारिक अर्थतन्त्रको साम्राज्य हातमा लिएर बसेका राजनीतिज्ञ र तिनका अन्डरवल्र्ड साझेदारहरुकहाँ छ ।

न्यायधीश नियुक्तिमा काँग्रसको भुमिकालाई यसरी संक्षिप्त गर्न सकिएला ।

संस्थागत शुष्कता, गतिविहीनता र भ्रष्टचारले थला परेको न्यायालयलाई सर्वोच्चका न्यायधीश नियुक्तिमार्फत् पुनः जीवन दिने अवसर आयो सरकारको तथा कानुन मन्त्रालयको जिम्मा सम्हालेको काँग्रेसलाई ।
न्यायालयलाई बिरामी मान्ने हो भने, त्यसको घाँटीमा क्यान्सर थियो, सांकेतिक रुपमा । तर कानुन मन्त्रीका सल्लाहकारहरुले के सुझाव दिए भने, अपरेशन त गर्नु नै छ, पेटको गरे पनि त भैगो, अपरेशन आखिर अपरेशन नै हो  ।

क्यान्सर मिर्गौलाको हो भनेर दाबी गरेर मिर्गौला नै झिकिदिएपछि ढिलो चाँडो न्यायालय निको त होला तर तलमाथि गर्ने भावी राजनीतिज्ञहरुलाई समात्ने दुस्साहस गर्ने छैन भन्नेमा ती मानिसहरुको मतो मिल्यो जसका कुरा कानुनमन्त्री सुन्थे ।

योजना बन्यो, मतियारहरु खोजिए । न्याय परिषद्का अध्यक्षले एक छिन आनाकानी गरे तर उनको फर्मायशमा पेटका अरु एक दुई अंग झिकिदिने भएपछि उनी पनि माने । न्याय परिषद्का अन्य सदस्यमध्ये एकलाई पूरा बलका साथ निर्णयको बचाउ गर्ने जिम्मा दिइयो, चाहे त्यसका लागि जतिसुकै तुक नभएका कुरा बोल्नु परोस् र चाहे तिनलाई मानिसहरुले पागल नै किन नभनुन् ।

अपरेशन टेबलमा न्यायालयलाई राखियो र पेटको छाला काटियो, अपरेशनका लागि । भित्र स्वस्थ मिर्गौला देखियो र उताचाहिं क्यान्सरग्रस्त घाँटी ।

अरु सबैले भन्न थालेः जे भयो भयो, अब पेटलाई बन्द गरेर घाँटीमा अपरेशन थालौं । अब काँग्रेस पर्यो दोधारमाः पेट बन्द गर्यो भने गल्ती स्वीकारेर शिर निहुराउनुपर्ने, मिर्गौला झिकौं भने सबले बुझिसके क्यान्सर कहाँ थियो  कुन अपरेशन हुनुपथ्र्यो ।

अहिलेको काँग्रेसको अवस्थालाई प्रतिनिधित्व गर्ने अर्को एउटा अवस्था पनि छ । खाने कुरा भनेर रछ्यान मुखमा हाल्यो । निलौं भने रछ्यानमा के के छ, बिरामी पार्ला भन्ने डर, ओकलौं भने सबैले देखेर कुरीकुरी गर्लान् भन्ने डर ।

यति भनिसकेपछि अब काँग्रसले कुन बाटो लिनुपर्ला र कुन बाटोले काँग्रसलाई कहाँ पुर्याउला भनेर कुनै बहस गर्नु जरुरी छैन ।

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Saker: What if the World War III is in our doorsteps

Like most of his articles, this one from The Saker is rather provocative. But it definitely goes beyond that: here he views the Russia vs West tug of war from a different and pragmatic angle by delving into what exactly could unfold in case of an overt confrontation between the two nuclear superpowers. His inferences are worthy of note for anyone interested in the geopolitics of Cold War II. Are there any realistic chances that the conflict will snowball into WW III? You may well like to read The Saker first. As usual, this piece first appeared in the author's personal blog, The Vineyard of the Saker. 


Remembering the important lessons of the Cold War

The Saker 

 What makes me believe that we are in a crisis potentially much more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis is that at that time both the US and the USSR fully understood how serious the situation was and that the world had to be brought back from the brink of nuclear war.  Today, when I listen to idiots like Obama, Kerry, Psaki. and Co. I am struck by how truly stupid and self-deluded these people are.  Here they are playing not only with our existence, but even with theirs, and they still are acting as if Putin was some Somali war lord who needed to be frightened into submission.  But if that tactic did not work with Somali warlords, why would they think that it will work with Putin?


If anything the past 24 hours have proved, once again, that the US and NATO are opposed to any form of negotiations, confidence-building measures or any other type of negotiations with the Donbass and with Russia.  Even though Putin tried really hard to sound accommodating and available for a negotiated solution, the US/NATO policy is clearly to provoke and confront Russia and its allies in every imaginable way.  The same goes, of course, for the junta freaks whose forces have acted with special brutality during repressive operations in the city of Mariupol.  As for the AngloZionist Empire, it is organizing all sorts of military maneuvers in Poland, the Baltic states and elsewhere.  Logically, many of you are coming to the conclusion that a war is becoming a very real possibility and I therefore want to repeat a few things yet again.

First, there is no military option for the AngloZionists in the Ukraine, at least not against Russia.  This is primarily due to three fact things: geography, US overreach and politics.  Geography, it is much easier for Russia to move a ground forces to the Ukraine than it is for the US/NATO, especially for heavy (mechanized, motor-rifle, armored, tank) units.  Second, simply too many US forces are committed elsewhere for the US to have a major war in against Russia in eastern Europe.  Third, for the time being the western public is being deceived by the corporate media's reports about the "Russian paper tiger", but as soon as the real fighting starts both Europeans and Americans will suddenly wonder if it is worth dying for the Ukraine.  Because if a shooting war between the USA and Russia really begins, we will all be at risk (see below).

Remember how the very same media promised that the poorly equipped, poorly trained, poorly commanded and poorly motivated Russian military could not crack the "tough nut" represented by the NATO-trained Georgian military?

Second, we have to remember that it is never possible to oppose to forces on paper and say that "A" is stronger than "B".  Afghanistan and Iraq are perfect examples of the kind of misguided conclusions a self-deluding political leadership can reach when it begins to believe its own lies.  So without committing the political "crime of crimes" and suggesting that the invincible US military is anything but invincible, let me suggest the following: if the Russian conventional forces were to be defeated you can be absolutely sure that Russia would have to engage its tactical nuclear capabilities at which point the situation would escalate into a well-known Cold War conundrum.  The theory of deterrence suggests that you should reply at the same level, but not above, then your adversary's first move.  So, a Russian tactical nuclear strike in, say, Poland or even the Ukraine would have to be met by a similar US strike.  But where?  Where is the Russian equivalent of Poland for the USA?  Belarus?  But that is much more like a Russian strike on Canada - really close to home.  Kazakhstan?  Ridiculous - too far.  Obviously not Armenia.  So where would the US retaliate?  Against Russian forces in the Donbass, but that is right across the border.  Maybe in Russia itself?  But that would mean striking at the Russian territory proper.  What will Russia do in this case - strike at Poland?  Germany?  The 'equivalent' response would be to strike at the US mainland, of course, but that would be inviting a full-scale US retaliation, which would inevitably be followed by a Russian one. And since neither side can disarm the other in a counter-force disarming strike, we are talking about a nuclear world war a la Dr Strangelove, with nuclear winter and all.

Some might find this kind of reasoning ridiculous, but anybody who has participated in the Cold War will tell you that the best minds in the USA and USSR were busy full time grappling with these issues.  Can you guess what they concluded?  That a nuclear won cannot be won.  But that, in turn, means that no war opposing the USA to Russia can be won because any war of this kind will inevitably turn nuclear before the weaker sides surrenders.  Let me put it to you in a somewhat silly but truthful way: the survival of the USA depends on Russia not losing a war.  Yes, that's right.  And the converse is also true: Russia's survival is contingent on the USA not being defeated either.

This is why Foreign Minister Lavrov has been repeating over and over again that no one side can achieve security at the expense of the other and that security has to be collective and even mutual.  But was anybody listening to him across the Atlantic?

Of course, for the time being and for the foreseeable future, this will only be true for a war directly opposing Russian and US military forces.  Proxy wars are okay, as are covert operations and wars against third parties.  But for the time being, only Russia and the USA have the kind of full-spectrum nuclear capabilities to be able to completely destroy the other side "no matter what".  Let me explain.

It has often been said that the Russian and US nuclear forces have to be on high alert and that to avoid being destroyed in a counter-force (counter military) first strike they would have to launch on warning i.e., to launch while the other side's missiles are incoming and before they hit their targets.  The fact is that both countries practice what is called "launched under attack" which is launching while some enemy missiles have already hit.  But the truth is that both the USA and Russia could afford what is called "riding out the attack" completely and still have enough strategic nuclear weapons to destroy all the key population centers of the other side.  This is due to their highly redundant strategic nuclear forces.  The fact is that even if, say, the USA managed to destroy every single Russian bomber and every single Russia nuclear silo, and every single Russian strategic nuclear missile carrying submarine, even those in port (who can launch right from there if needed), Russia would still have enough road-mobile ICBMs to wipe off the USA a a country.  The exact same can be said of a Russian first strike on the USA which, even if unrealistically successful would still expose Russia to a massive retaliation by USN strategic nuclear missile carrying submarines.  And in the real world no first strike is 100% successful.  Even 95% successful is not enough if the remaining 5% can still be shot back at you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

न्यायधीश नियुक्तिः आत्मघाती हमला हुने अवस्था नआओस्!

कुनै विख्यात इतिहासविद्ले भनेका छन्ः इतिहासले कसैलाई केही सिकाउँदैन, खाली नसिक्नेलाई दण्डित मात्र गर्छ । 

हो, इतिहासले केही सिकाउँदैन, या भनौं, इतिहासबाट नसिक्ने स्वतन्त्रता हामी सबैलाई छ । 
के हो त हाम्रो इतिहास? के हुन् इतिहासबाट सिक्न सकिने तर सिक्नैपर्ने बाध्यता नभएका पाठहरु?

हाम्रो इतिहास भन्छ, समाज गतिविहीन र स्थिर भएर रहँदैन, यो चलायमान हुन्छ । विभिन्न आरोह अवरोहबीच पनि जुन समाजको गति सालाखाला निर्माण र सामञ्जस्यतिर हुन्छ, त्यो समाजले ढिलोचाँडो पग्रति गर्छ । भविष्यप्रति दृष्टि भएको नेतृत्व र न्यूनतम इमान्दारीका साथ कर्ममा जुट्ने नागरिकहरु भएको समाजले प्रगतिको बाटो नभेट्टाइ रहँदैन । 

अर्कोतिर जुन समाजका सबै गतिविधि जम्मा पार्दा ध्वंश र विग्रहको वर्चस्व हुन्छ, त्यो समाजले प्रगति हैन, दुर्गति देख्छ । त्यस्तो समाजमा नेतृत्वले पूरा राजनीतिलाई आफ्नो लाभ हानिको खेलमा परिणत गर्छ भने नागरिकहरु आ आफ्नो औकातअनुसार एक अर्कालाई ठग्ने वा आक्रमण गर्ने दाउमा हुन्छन्, कर्म तिनको प्राथमिकतामै पर्दैन ।

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