Archive for September, 2012

P.C. Roberts: How The U.S. Government’s Lies Become Truth

September 30, 2012

 

 

 

By , opednews.com, Sep 29, 2012

 

In my last column, “A Culture of Delusion,” I wrote that “Americans live in a matrix of lies. Lies dominate every policy discussion, every political decision.” This column will use two top news stories, Iranian nukes and Julian Assange, to illustrate how lies become “truth.”

The western Presstitute media uses every lie to demonize the Iranian government. On September 28 in a fit of unmitigated ignorance, the UK rag, Mail Online, called the president of Iran a “dictator.” The Iranian presidency is an office filled by popular election, and the authority of the office is subordinate to the ayatollahs. Assange is demonized alternatively as a rapist and a spy.

The western media and the US Congress comprise the two largest whorehouses in human history. One of their favorite lies is that the Iranian president, Ahmadinejad, wants to kill all the Jews. Watch this 6 minute, 42 second video of Ahmadinejad’s meeting with Jewish religious leaders. Don’t be put off by the title. Washington Blog is making a joke.

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War: what the US does best and cares about least

September 28, 2012

When Washington sees a problem anywhere on the planet its version of a ‘foreign policy’ is to call in the US military

A Pakistani protester holds a burning US

Pakistani protestors burn the US flag in response to US drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal region in February 2012. Photograph: S.S. MIRZA/AFP/Getty Images

It’s pop-quiz time when it comes to the American way of war: three questions, torn from the latest news, just for you. Here’s the first of them, and good luck!

Two weeks ago, 200 US Marines began armed operations in?

a) Afghanistan

b) Pakistan

c) Iran

d) Somalia

e) Yemen

f) Central Africa

g) Northern Mali

h) The Philippines

i) Guatemala

If you opted for any answer, “a” through “h,” you took a reasonable shot at it. After all, there’s an ongoing American war in Afghanistan and somewhere in the southern part of that country, 200 armed US Marines could well have been involved in an operation. In Pakistan, an undeclared, CIA-run air war has long been under way, and in the past there have been armed border crossings by US special operations forces as well as US piloted cross-border air strikes, but no Marines.

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PA President Abbas ready to drop Oslo, Paris Protocol and security coordination with Israel

September 25, 2012
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Editors remarks: President Abbas has played for long to the tunes of America and Israel even though he can’t be blamed for the predicament he found himself in because he has been pushed around and deceived both by American Government and Israeli Zionists, who are united in their common goals to create Greater Israel, an aim which they pursue single-mindedly. The presence of PA or absence of it is not going to change much. The process of taking over the enclaves of the West Bank are in full swing and soon there will be only pockets of truncated Palestinian dwellings left surrounded by terrorising Zionist settlers throughout the West Bank. If Mr Abbas decides to close the Palestinian Authority then at least the illusion of the so-called Palestinian Government will disappear. That will enable an oppressed and subjugated people to take a realistic view of the situation and carry on the struggle of national liberation from the clutches of Israel and America. PA has been a dead horse; it is not able to move or move anything.

Nasir Khan, Editor

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Middle East Monitor, Monday, 24 September 2012
Abbas ready to drop Oslo, Paris Protocol and security coordination with Israel
Abbas expressed his deep anger at the demonstrators’ slogans calling for him and his Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to resign.

Reliable Palestinian sources have revealed that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ready to drop the Oslo Accord, the Paris Protocol and security coordination with Israel. He made this momentous claim in a meeting of the PLO leadership in Ramallah. So keen was Abbas for the meeting to go ahead while the demonstrations against the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories were going on that he did not wait until he got back from a trip to India.

Abbas accused most of the PLO factions, especially Fatah, of “standing behind the demonstrations” which swept the West Bank recently in protest against the waves of prices rises; he refused to pin the blame solely on Hamas. He threatened to step down and make them go ahead with the legislative and presidential elections without him.

The sources quote one of the senior Fatah members who were present as saying that the meeting was “the most dangerous one” ever held by the leadership. They added that Abbas told those present at the meeting that “not only were the supporters of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad participating in the demonstrations, but also those who are sitting here at this table, the forefront of which are Fatah, the Popular and Democratic Fronts and the People’s Party”. Everyone, Abbas said, had operations rooms to stir the street “which is already festering”, and to raise the pace of popular anger.

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Report: “Counterproductive” US Drone Program “Terrorizes” Pakistan

September 25, 2012

Joint study by Stanford and NYU law schools casts doubt on the legality of drone strikes; Says secretive program fosters anti-American sentiment

Common Dreams staff, September 25, 2012

US drones do not just kill ‘terrorists’ says new report. They kill innocent people, including women and children, and they sow deep and long-lasting instability. (U.S. Air Force/Lt Col Leslie Pratt/ Flickr)Rejecting the dominant narrative that insulates most Americans from the reality of the US drone program in Pakistan—a narrative that says drones are a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer from “global terrorism” with minimal downsides—a new report by researchers at the Stanford and NYU schools of law says that the program itself is “terrorizing” and that its overall impact is “counterproductive” when it comes to addressing international law, security, and human rights.

The newly released report, Living Under Drones, follows nine months of intensive research—including two investigations in Pakistan, more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, and experts, and review of thousands of pages of documentation and media reporting—and presents evidence of the damaging and terrorizing effects of current US drone strike policy. The study provides new and firsthand testimony about the negative impacts the ongoing program is having on the civilians living under drones in Pakistan and seeks to foster a public debate about how to challenge the program and change its current course.

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THE 42 COMMANDMENTS OF ANCIENT EGYPT

September 22, 2012

THE 42 COMMANDMENTS OF ANCIENT EGYPT

 

 

I. 

Thou shalt not kill, nor bid anyone kill.

II. 

Thou shalt not commit adultery or rape.

III. 

Thou shalt not avenge thyself nor burn with rage.

IV.

Thou shalt not cause terror.

V. 

Thou shalt not assault anyone nor cause anyone pain.

VI. 

Thou shalt not cause misery.

VII. 

Thou shalt not do any harm to man or to animals.

VIII. 

Thou shalt not cause the shedding of tears.

IX. 

Thou shalt not wrong the people nor bear them any evil intent.

X.

Thou shalt not steal nor take that which does not belong to you.

XI.

Thou shalt not take more than thy fair share of food.

XII.

Thou shalt not damage the crops, the fields, or the trees.

XIII.

Thou shalt not deprive anyone of what is rightfully theirs.

XIV.

Thou shalt not bear false witness, nor support false allegations.

XV.

Thou shalt not lie, nor speak falsely to the hurt of another.

XVI.

Thou shalt not use fiery words nor stir up any strife.

XVII.

Thou shalt not speak or act deceitfully to the hurt of another.

XVIII.

Thou shalt not speak scornfully against others.

XIX.

Thou shalt not eavesdrop.

XX.

Thou shalt not ignore the truth or words of righteousness.

XXI.

Thou shalt not judge anyone hastily or harshly.

XXII.

Thou shalt not disrespect sacred places.

XXIII.

Thou shalt cause no wrong to be done to any workers or prisoners.

XXIV.

Thou shalt not be angry without good reason.

XXV.

Thou shalt not hinder the flow of running water.

XXVI.

Thou shalt not waste the running water.

XXVII.

Thou shalt not pollute the water or the land.

XXVIII.

Thou shalt not take God’s name in vain.

XXIX.

Thou shalt not despise nor anger God.

XXX.

Thou shalt not steal from God.

XXXI.

Thou shalt not give excessive offerings nor less than what is due.

XXXII.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

XXXIII.

Thou shalt not steal from nor disrespect the dead.

XXXIV.

Thou shalt remember and observe the appointed holy days.

XXXV.

Thou shalt not hold back the offerings due God.

XXXVI.

Thou shalt not interfere with sacred rites.

XXXVII.

Thou shalt not slaughter with evil intent any sacred animals.

XXXVIII.

Thou shalt not act with guile or insolence.

XXXIX.

Thou shalt not be unduly proud nor act with arrogance.

XL.

Thou shalt not magnify your condition beyond what is appropriate.

XLI.

Thou shalt do no less than your daily obligations require.

XLII.

Thou shalt obey the law and commit no treason.

 

 
The 42 Principles of Ma’at, the Goddess who personified the ideals of Truth and Righteousness, were known to all the ancient Egyptians. They have been rephrased here in Biblical Commandment form to make them more intelligible and familiar to moderns. In the original form they were preceded with “I have not” as in “I have not stolen.” The Egyptians believed that when they died, their souls would be judged by these principles. Moses and the Israelites, who were originally Egyptians, would have been familiar with these principles, but after wandering for forty years they seem to have only remembered 8 of them (those highlighted in orange). Moses added three new non-secular commandments; the one about not honoring the other gods, the honoring of their parents, and the one that included their neighbor’s wives and slaves as coveted chattel. The remarkable thing about the principles of Ma’at is not only how much more advanced they are in comparison with the Hebrew Commandments, but how most of them are strikingly relevant to this day.

Stephen Lendman: US Media War on Islam

September 21, 2012

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Washington’s war on Islam supported by media scoundrels.

By opednews.com, Sep 21, 2012

 

America never treated Muslims respectfully. US media and Hollywood play lead roles. Jack Shaheen’s book “Reel Bad Arabs : How Hollywood Vilifies a People” documented how American filmmakers slander them.

For decades, they’ve been fair game. From silent to more recent films, prejudicial attitudes were fostered. They still are regularly. They disparage Islam in contrast to manufactured notions of Western values, high-mindedness, and moral superiority.

Islamic tenets are ignored. The Koran teaches love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not selfishness; and tolerance, not terrorism.

Its five pillars include profession of faith, prayer five times daily, fasting during Ramadan, charity, and performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime for those able to afford it.

Nonetheless, Muslims are stereotypically portrayed as dangerous gun-toting terrorists. Hate messages repeat regularly. Fear is stoked. Imperial wars of aggression are called justifiable ones.

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Perry Anderson: How India took possession of Kashmir

September 19, 2012

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Extracts from:

Perry Anderson, After Nehru, LBR, Vol. 34 No. 15, 2 August 2012

This real achievement has, in what by now could be termed the Indian Ideology, been surcharged with claims to a largely imaginary status: the notion that the preservation by the Indian state of the unity of the country is a feat so exceptional as to be little short of a miracle, in the standard phrase. There is no basis for this particular vanity. A glance at the map of the post-colonial world is enough to show that, no matter how heterogeneous or artificial the boundaries of any given European colony may have been, they continue to exist today. Of the 52 countries in Africa, the vast majority arbitrary fabrications of rival imperialist powers, just one – Sudan – has failed to persist within the same frontiers as an independent state. In Asia, the same pattern has held, the separation of Singapore from Malaysia after two years of cohabitation not even a break with the colonial past, of Bangladesh from Pakistan enabled by external invasion. Such few sports of history aside, the motto of independence has invariably been: what empire has joined, let no man put asunder. In this general landscape, India represents not an exception, but the rule.

That rule has, in one state after another, been enforced with violence. In Africa, wars in Nigeria, Mali, the Western Sahara, Ethiopia, Congo, Angola; in South-East Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, Sri Lanka. Typically, military force deployed to preserve postcolonial unity has meant military government in one guise or another in society at large: state of emergency in the periphery, dictatorship at the centre. India has escaped the latter. But it has exhibited the former, with a vengeance. It is now 65 years since Congress seized the larger part of Kashmir, without title from the colonial power, though with vice-regal connivance, in the name of a forged document of accession from its feudal ruler, the assent of its leading politician and the pledge of a plebiscite to confirm the will of its people. Having secured the region, Nehru – the prime mover – made short work of all three. The maharajah was soon deposed, the promise of a referendum ditched. What of the politician, on whom now rested what claims of legitimacy for Indian possession remained?

*

Abdullah, the Lion of Kashmir as he enjoyed being styled, was a Muslim leader who, like Badshah Khan in the North-West Frontier Province, had been an ally of Congress in the years of struggle against the Raj, and become the most prominent opponent of the maharajah in the Valley of Kashmir. There his party, the National Conference, had adopted a secular platform in which local communists played some role, seeking independence for Kashmir as the ‘Switzerland of Asia’. But when partition came, Abdullah made no case of this demand. For some years he had bonded emotionally with Nehru, and when fighting broke out in Kashmir in the autumn of 1947, he was flown out from Srinagar to Delhi by military aircraft and lodged in Nehru’s house, where he took part in planning the Indian takeover, to which he was essential. Two days later, the maharajah – now safely repaired to Jammu – announced in a backdated letter to Mountbatten, drafted by his Indian minders, that he would install Abdullah as his prime minister.

For the next five years, Abdullah ruled the Valley of Kashmir and Jammu under the shield of the Indian army, with no authority other than his reluctant appointment by a feudatory he despised and Delhi soon discarded. At the outset, Nehru believed his friend’s popularity capable of carrying all before it. When subsequent intelligence indicated otherwise, talk of a plebiscite to ratify it ceased. Abdullah enjoyed genuine support in his domain, but how wide it was, or how deep, was not something Congress was prepared to bank on. Nor, it soon became clear, was Abdullah himself willing to put it to the test. No doubt acutely aware that Badshah Khan, with a much stronger popular base, had lost just such a referendum in the North-West Frontier Province, he rejected any idea of one. No elections were held until 1951, when voters were finally summoned to the polls for a Constituent Assembly. Less than 5 per cent of the nominal electorate cast a ballot, but otherwise the results could not have been improved in Paraguay or Bulgaria. The National Conference and its clients won all 75 seats – 73 of them without a contest. A year later Abdullah announced the end of the Dogra dynasty and an agreement with Nehru that reserved special rights for Kashmir and Jammu, limiting the powers of the centre, within the Indian Union. But no constitution emerged, and not even the maharajah’s son, regent since 1949, was removed, instead simply becoming head of state.

By now, however, Delhi was becoming uneasy about the regime it had set up in Srinagar. In power, Abdullah’s main achievement had been an agrarian reform putting to shame Congress’s record of inaction on the land. But its political condition of possibility was confessional: the expropriated landlords were Hindu, the peasants who benefited Muslim. The National Conference could proclaim itself secular, but its policies on the land and in government employment catered to the interests of its base, which had always been in Muslim-majority areas, above all the Valley of Kashmir. Jammu, which after ethnic cleansing by Dogra forces in 1947 now had a Hindu majority, was on the receiving end of Abdullah’s system, subjected to an unfamiliar repression. Enraged by this reversal, the newly founded Jana Sangh in India joined forces with the local Hindu party, the Praja Parishad, in a violent campaign against Abdullah, who was charged with heading not only a communal Muslim but a communist regime in Srinagar. In the summer of 1953, the Indian leader of this agitation, S.P. Mookerjee, was arrested crossing the border into Jammu, and promptly expired in a Kashmiri jail.

This was too much for Delhi. Mookerjee had, after all, been Nehru’s confederate in not dissimilar Hindu agitation to lock down the partition of Bengal, and was rewarded with a cabinet post. Although since then he had been an opponent of the Congress regime, he was still a member in reasonably good standing of the Indian political establishment. Abdullah, moreover, was now suspected of recidivist hankering for an independent Kashmir. The Intelligence Bureau had little difficulty convincing Nehru that he had become a liability, and overnight he was dismissed by the stripling heir to the Dogra throne he had so complacently made head of state, and thrown into an Indian jail on charges of sedition. His one-time friend behind bars, Nehru installed the next notable down in the National Conference, Bakshi Gulam Mohammed, in his place. Brutal and corrupt, Bakshi’s regime – widely known as BBC: the Bakshi Brothers Corporation – depended entirely on the Indian security apparatus. After ten years, in which his main achievement was to do away with any pretence that Kashmir was other than ‘an integral part of the Union of India’, Bakshi’s reputation had become a liability to Delhi, and he was summarily ousted in turn, to be replaced after a short interval by another National Conference puppet, this time a renegade communist, G.M. Sadiq, whose no less repressive regime proceeded to wind up the party altogether, dissolving it into Congress.

Abdullah, meanwhile, sat in an Indian prison for 12 years, eventually on charges of treason, with two brief intermissions in 1958 and 1964. During the second of these, he held talks with Nehru in Delhi and Ayub Khan in Rawalpindi, just before Nehru died, but was then rearrested for having had the temerity to meet Zhou Enlai in Algiers. A troubled Nehru had supposedly been willing to contemplate some loosening of the Indian grip on the Valley; much sentimentality has been expended on this lost opportunity for a better settlement in Kashmir, tragically frustrated by Nehru’s death. But the reality is that Nehru, having seized Kashmir by force in 1947, had rapidly discovered that Abdullah and his party were neither as popular nor as secular as he had imagined, and that he could hold his prey only by an indefinite military occupation with a façade of collaborators, each less satisfactory than the last. The ease with which the National Conference was manipulated to Indian ends, as Abdullah was discarded for Bakshi, and Bakshi for Sadiq, made it clear how relatively shallow an organisation it had, despite appearances, always been. By the end of his life, Nehru would have liked a more presentable fig-leaf for Indian rule, but that he had any intention of allowing free expression of the popular will in Kashmir can be excluded: he could never afford to do so. He had shown no compunction in incarcerating on trumped-up charges the ostensible embodiment of the ultimate legitimacy of Indian conquest of the region, and no hesitation in presiding over subcontracted tyrannies of whose nature he was well aware. When an anguished admirer from Jammu pleaded with him not to do so, he replied that the national interest was more important than democracy: ‘We have gambled on the international stage on Kashmir, and we cannot afford to lose. At the moment we are there at the point of a bayonet. Till things improve, democracy and morality can wait.’ Sixty years later the bayonets are still there, democracy nowhere in sight.

Pakistan: Center of the Grand Chessboard

September 16, 2012

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Luke Rudkowski, uruknet.info, September 15, 2012

An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle takes flight on a targeted mission from Shamsi Airfield, an airstrip subleased to the United States by the UAE from inside the southwest region of Pakistan. At the same time a farmer awakes, in northwest Pakistan, happy; a husband and father of four with his youngest daughter just married the day before. After reaching a service ceiling of 25,000 ft. and cruising speed of 103 mph the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator begins descending to its destination.  Hamid Abdullah, a refugee I met during my travels to the northwest border region, was a hardworking man, kind, loving and very caring of his family, finds his pantry empty and leaves for the market to collect groceries.  The Predator drone now in range locks on the target. Upon reaching the Bazaar, Abdullah, from behind him he hears a thundering explosion. After firing an AGM-114 Hellfire missile the drone begins to circumnavigate. As a concerned human, the Pakistani man, naturally inclined, runs to see what happened and to perhaps provide aid to anyone hurt. He approaches, and with crushing and crippling realization, his entire home in total destruction. The world of happiness, his family, lay dead in the rubble, wrenching vibrations send him to his knees. An hour later the UAV locks in the second Hellfire missile as the operator from Creech Air force Base in Nevada reaches to quench his thirst from a freshly refilled ice tea. In the tribal region of Pakistan first responders, neighbors, other civilians and business owners run with haste to pull out the dead and injured.  As temporary funeral preparations are made a $68,000 guided weapons system developed by Lockheed Martin strikes the same location inciting terror on a new level, killing the entire procession of emergency services, tripling the original death toll of, not just innocent civilians, but honorable servicemen duty bound by the code of humanity.

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Perry Anderson: Kashmir under Indian military occupation

September 16, 2012

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Extracts from:  Perry Anderson, After Nehru,

London Review of Books, Vol. 34 No, 15, 2 August 2012

At the last of the Trimurti values, dissent comes close to vanishing altogether. Democracy may be imperfect, secularity ambiguous, but unity – of the nation and the land belonging to it – has become virtually untouchable. Here the heritage of the past has had its own weight. Hindu culture, exceptionally rich in epics and metaphysics, was exceptionally poor in history, a branch of knowledge radically devalued by the doctrines of karma, for which any given temporal existence on earth was no more than a fleeting episode in the moral cycle of the soul. No major chronicles appear till the 12th century, over a millennium later than Herodotus or Sima Qian, and no histoire raisonnée as a cumulative body of writing ever emerged. Gandhi’s dictum dismissing the worth of any memory of the past – ‘history is an interruption of nature’ – is a famous modern expression of this outlook. In such a historiographic vacuum, when the nationalist movement arose, legend encountered no barrier. ‘In an overwhelmingly religious society,’ one subcontinental scholar has written, ‘even the most clear-sighted leaders have found it impossible to distinguish romanticism from history and the latter from mythology.’ It follows that ‘if the idea of India is suffused with religious and mythical meanings, so is the territory it covers,’ Nehru explaining to Zhou Enlai that the Mahabharata entitled him to the McMahon Line. Today the cult of Indian unity has typically worked itself free from such mystical origins, territory as such becoming the bond unifying the nation, regardless of any religious – let alone ethnic or cultural – trappings. Meghnad Desai’s The Rediscovery of India is recent example, in many ways an unusually free-spirited work that dismantles not a few nationalist myths, only to end with the purest hypostasisation of another, for which the ‘one element central to the narrative of nationhood’ becomes simply ‘territorial integrity’, under whose idyllic shelter ‘all Indians, as individuals, are willing to co-exist under the same legal and constitutional system,’ ‘all regions have agreed to be part of the union,’ and ‘all take part in the vibrant democratic process.’

The reality is otherwise. In these pages, there should be little need for any reminder of the fate of Kashmir, under the longest military occupation in the world. At its height, in the sixty years since it was taken by India, some 400,000 troops have been deployed to hold down a Valley population of five million – a far higher ratio of repression than in Palestine or Tibet. Demonstrations, strikes, riots, guerrillas, risings urban and rural, have all been beaten down with armed force. In this ‘valley of scorpions’, declared Jagmohan – proconsul for Nehru’s daughter in Kashmir – ‘the bullet is the only solution.’ The death toll, at a low reckoning, would be equivalent to the killing of four million people, were it India – more than double that, if higher estimates are accurate. Held fast by Nehru to prove that India was a secular state, Kashmir has demonstrated the exact opposite: a confessional expansionism. Today, the bureaucracy that rules it under military command contains scarcely a Muslim, and jobs in it can be openly advertised for Hindus only. In what was supposed to be the showcase of India’s tolerant multiculturalism, ethnic cleansing has reduced Muslims, once a majority, to a third of the population of Jammu, and Hindu Pandits to a mere handful in the Valley.

How is this landscape received by the Indian intelligentsia? In late 2010, readers of the Indian press could find a headline ‘Nobel Laureate takes India to task for tolerating tyranny.’ Where would that be? Below, Amartya Sen uttered a plangent cry. ‘As a loyal Indian citizen,’ he exclaimed, ‘it breaks my heart to see the prime minister of my democratic country – and one of the most humane and sympathetic political leaders in the world – engaged in welcoming the butchers of Myanmar and photographed in a state of cordial proximity.’ Moral indignation is too precious an export to be wasted at home. That the democracy of his country and the humanity of his leader preside over an indurated tyranny, replete with torture and murder, within what they claim as their national borders, need not ruffle a loyal Indian citizen. If we turn to Sen’s book The Argumentative Indian, we find, in a footnote: ‘The Kashmir issue certainly demands political attention on its own (I am not taking up that thorny question here).’ Nor, we might infer from that delicate parenthesis, anywhere else either. Nobel prizes are rarely badges of political courage – some of infamy – so there is little reason for surprise at a silence that, in one form or another, is so common among Indian intellectuals.

Brazen celebration of India’s goodwill in Kashmir, its peace troubled only by terrorists infiltrated from Pakistan, is a staple of the media more than the academy. There, discreet allusion to ‘human rights abuses’ that have marred the centre’s performance are quite acceptable, excesses that any decent person must deplore. But any talk of self-determination is another matter, garlic to the vampire. More than ordinary intellectual conformism is at work here. To break ranks on India’s claim to Kashmir is to risk not only popular hysteria but legal repression, as Arundhati Roy – brave enough to speak of freedom for Kashmir – bears witness: to question the territorial integrity of the union is a crime punishable at law. The same degree of pressure does not obtain outside the country, but Indian intellectuals abroad have not made notably better use of their greater freedom of expression. There the leading production comes from Sumantra Bose. Kashmir: Roots of Conflict, Paths to Peace does not embellish the record of Indian rule, and covers in some detail the insurgencies which broke out against it in the 1990s, the extent of the assistance they received from Pakistan, and the way they were put down.

Descriptively, there is little it avoids. Prescriptively, however, it simply underwrites the status quo, on the grounds that the confessional and ethnic pattern in the region is now too complicated for self-determination to be applicable, and anyway India is not going to permit any such thing, so why not settle for the existing Line of Control, naturally assorted with appropriate placebos and human rights? Thus, on the one hand, ‘the myth of freely and voluntarily given consent to Indian sovereignty is exploded by the appalling record of New Delhi-instigated subversion of democratic procedures and institutions and abuse of democratic rights in IJK over fifty years.’ But, on the other hand – immediately following, on the same page – ‘that India’s dismissal of the plebiscite [promised to the UN in 1947] is fundamentally opportunistic does not detract from the reality that after more than fifty years of conflict [note the way the description of the fifty years has changed in the space of two sentences], the plebiscite is indeed an obsolete idea.’ Why so? ‘Self-determination is untenable given realpolitik, the entrenched interests of states, and the internal social and political diversity of IJK and of J&K as a whole.’ Even an independent Kashmir, let alone one that opted for Pakistan, ‘would be seen as an intolerable loss of territorial integrity and sovereignty by Indian state elites and the vast majority of the Indian public’. Upshot? ‘Erasing or redrawing the Line of Control in Kashmir is neither feasible nor desirable.‘ We hold what we have: ‘The de facto Indian and Pakistani sovereignties over their respective areas of Kashmir cannot, should not and need not be changed.’

No Indian general could put it better. Bose, who worked as an understrapper for Strobe Talbott (second in command at the US State Department in the era when Clinton was congratulating Russia on the ‘liberation’ of Grozny, and ‘intimately involved in diplomacy on the South Asian subcontinent’), situates his solution for Kashmir in a constructive wider vision, in which ‘India’s maturity and confidence as the world’s largest and most diverse democracy’ and ‘well-founded aspiration to be an economic and political player of global stature’ should be able to find the right partner across the border in a future ‘relatively moderate Pakistan which happens to be strongly influenced by its relationship with the United States’. If only there were a Sadat or Mubarak in Islamabad, Kashmir could enjoy the blessings of another Oslo, and Delhi the good conscience of Tel Aviv.

Johan Galtung: The Arab Spring and the Image of Islam

September 13, 2012

EDITORIAL

by Johan Galtung, 11 Jun 2012 – TRANSCEND Media Service

Talk at the Advanced Studies Research Center, Brussels, Belgium

The multi-season Arab Spring is the third anti-imperialist Arab revolt in less than a century: against the Ottoman empire, the Western Italian-French-English empire, and now the US-Israel empire.  The empires hit back.    The Ottomans were weak, but England-France-Israel even invaded Egypt in 29 October 1956–in the shadow of the Hungarian revolt against the Soviet empire that crumbled 23-25 years later.  And now it is the turn o USA-Israel to try to maintain an illegitimate structure.

So much for the background.  In the foreground is class, pitting the powerless at the bottom against the powerful at the top.  Wealth flows upward accelerated by corruption; military, police and secret police forces protect the top against revolts; decision-making is by dictatorships; all of this that used to be justified by the fight against communism is now hitched on to fight against islamism.

Needless to say, we can have corrupt, brutal dictatorships in Arab countries without any imperial backing.  Like in former colonies –Libya-Palestine-Iraq-Lebanon-Syria–where borders were drawn regardless of inner and outer fault-lines, trusting that by sheer force they could contain such “indigenous, tribal” conflicts.  Their successors followed in their tracks, with dictatorship and force.  But less so for Egypt and Tunisia: they were old, established countries.

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