1. I remember when Bush junior came out with the “Mission Accomplished” sign half a decade back, we observed ridicule all across the planet, with media craving for his blood. Iraq is going to be another Vietnam, it will give rise to countless Taliban type fanatics…yada yada yada. Neither happened however. Funny enough, Obama Continue reading
Remember back in the days when Daily World Watch was not so serious? We used to have photos, and have “comment competitions” below?
Any comment, preferably funny, and sarcastic, and NOT profane or abusive…would stand a chance of winning, and a mention in the next post. Continue reading
Before starting, I would like to say that much of being a journalist or anyone with an interest in Foreign Affairs, is to follow world news and analysis stories. Now while doing that, the easiest option of getting a round up is searching Google news World…or following Praveen Swami’s Twitter. For those who know, well…much of the news you read here, you must have already come across. (Though you will miss my rapier wit and opinions.) For those who don’t, he is the Diplomatic Editor of the Daily Telegraph, London. If you are a student of the World politics, and you still don’t follow him, go drown…
Here is the latest World Watch. Basically everything latest, that you ought to read. Or in other words, another OBL hangover. Because, what else can dominate newsrooms anyways?
1. First comes Obama. Anything good he does, is automatically drawn in with a sneer of his previous peacenik image, his irrational foreign policy before when he was elected, and his change, because of the practical humbling lessons of general real-politik and world affairs. The bloke got his eye opened from the dreamy self he had before, due to the running of the cold, cynical World, which is good…
Here, the “Good Talibans” (which is an oxymoron) he once supported, says that they firmly are part of Al Qaeda. Which brings us to this tribute of George W Bush. About time, the man gets some respect and recognition he deserves.
2. Apparently, the “Democratic Egypt” with the winds of change, is not quite the place which the World imagined it would be…its rapidly going down to the Pakistan of Middle East, with military rule, and massive persecution of minorities…
3. The reactions in the Arab World, regarding OBL having a “fishy” demise at the bottom of the sea…
4. Which brings us to this excellent gem of a piece, which basically proves, USA supported every country from Mediterranean sea, to the Bay of Bengal, which it should not have supported. The only country it didn’t support till Bush reversed decades old US foreign policy, was India. Thankfully now, things are different…
5. Finally, the only pretty face of the lass peeping through a group of macho men, in the now-iconic Situation room photo, was Audrey Tomason. Yes, the only lass, as I consider Hillary to be pretty manly.
(This piece also came out in Pravda. Cross Posting it for my readers.)
Enough newsprint is wasted over millions of strategies on the War on Terror, since the term was coined after September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. With a decade gone, little progress is evident to wipe out extremism across the globe. With the current US President getting a Nobel Prize even before he probably uttered a single word in his State Address, many hoped to see the deciding times in this global phenomena, which has spiraled ever since. But unfortunately it was not so. Here’s five reasons why:
1. Foreign Policy based on “Hope”:
Nothing is more naïve and impractical when a distinct foreign policy is based on perceptions and hope, and when that foreign policy is related to war, it is nothing short of catastrophe. Obama dealt with the Arab world reset in his Cairo speech, based on hope. The reset with Russia, hope again. Engagement with the neo rebellions and monarchies in the Arab Street, based on hope. He infact even hoped that traditional terrorist organizations will take his hopeless rhetoric, and even listen to a ceasefire without no active engagement. Result, money flow, blood flow, and gunpowder smoke. Not much changed since 2001. Not much will also, as Hope can never be an alternative for practicality.
2. The Eastern Eye.
The need to engage with Russia was an absolute must. Russia has a traditional sphere of influence over the Central Asian republics, Russia is itself a victim of Chechen terrorists who are heavily linked with Al Qaeda and global Jihad. Russian intelligence is experienced in dealing with these cancers since the Afghanistan days. Any active cooperation would have resulted in massive data exchange, intelligence gathering, opening of new corridors in Central Asia, under Russian supervision and cooperation, as an alternative route to Pakistan for Afghanistan theatre, which is specifically the hotbed of the global Jihadi movement. It could have proved a major turning point and balance shift in this war. Even joint operations like the one against the drug lords in Afghanistan would have been hugely beneficial. But…there is one thing…which is a major hitch…the Cold War Confrontational mindset…
One country can take up a whole point of argument in any debate, and the credit goes to Pakistan. The recent Raymond Davis affair, the ISI warning to USA, to cut down Drones, while Pakistan itself refuses to take any action against their own terrorists raising the baseless “Eastern Front against India” bogey, was symbolic of a rot that went deeper than the skin. Pakistan is unchangeable now, despite their almost non-existent liberal civil society, the overwhelming poverty, illiteracy, and urban apathy. It’s a lost state. And history is proof to the fact that a lost state only knows the voice of the iron mace. The policy on Pakistan is a hugely unpopular one even in US domestic front. With billions of dollars aid money going to the hand of the terrorists, Coalition trucks on the border being sitting ducks to the whims and fancies of Talibans operated by the Pakistani intelligence, and the general indifference of the Pak army to take on the challenges head on, this policy of appeasing is going to be a failure. Pakistani Government has a habit of using the word “core” in every official document, they use. Kashmir being a core issue, drone being a core irritant. What the world fails to understand is the failed state is a core problem for the security of the world, as the Chechen, Al Qaeda, Somali, Arab, and Taliban terrorists, all find refuge in the mountaneous North West Waziristan. This core problem needs to be addressed, and addressed urgently and globally.
4. Empire strikes back.
How exactly otherwise, can one, explain the reaction of Britain and France on Libya! With exceptional evidence of Al Qaeda in the ranks of the rebels of Libya, with their own admission, with the country being no threat whatsoever against any national security, with Gaddafi being an overwhelmingly secular leader, and one who dismantled his WMD programs, and even allowed the UN inspectors, why on Earth did US even got influenced to attack Libya, is a puzzle that’s baffling analysts World Wide. Russia, China, India, Brazil, didn’t support intervention, that’s almost one third of humanity. Even Germany, a major member of EU and NATO, went practically against the flow. Everyone expected a better judgement from the Obama, who is speculated to be cold and analytical and much different than his predecessor. But the quest for easy glory and immortality is always alluring, more so if it comes through the smoking guns. This knee jerk action will have its reactions, as Libya is slowly sliding to be a “tunnel without end”, and this wisdom, or the lack thereof will haunt Obama for the rest of his Presidency, and perhaps for the rest of his life.
5. The need to look beyond.
Look beyond clichés, look beyond NATO, or the speak of democracy and bringing freedom and all those hackneyed talks. NATO is redundant and superfluous now. It has grown massively, diluting its homogeneity and practically a framework which doesn’t have any responsibility, sense of camaraderie and undertaking. It would much help in small 3-4 country engagement, zonewise, with the regional powers. For example, there’s problem between Saudis and Iran, let them solve it themselves, with the greater powers supervising that it doesn’t break into cold war. There are much greater perils facing the World, and the faster USA understands the genuine causes behind these perils, without generalizing, and gunslinging, the better for her.
2. Burqa Ban (in France!). Oh man…exactly how many op-eds came out supporting, and dissing this? Millions…here’s one more, for all those who were saying its a matter of choice for the women, to decide on what she wants to wear…and not the state and the community.
3. This is the best news I have read so far, a speech by Mahmoud Ahmedinejad of Iran. Apparently, the Arab-Persian, Shia-Sunni, centuries old sectarian clashes are all created by USA. Who would have thought that. Some brilliant A1 piece of oratory we see here.
“America and its allies are trying to create an Iranian-Arab tension, they seek to sow discord among Shiites and Sunnis… but their plan will fail.” (Yes, for centuries…the first one to create this discord among brothers is probably George Washington.)
On a side note, however, as he said that speech, 12 Iranian engineers were kidnapped in Afghanistan…by the Talibans.
4. Its a ongoing fashion in Africa, to have riots, and civil war, just as after someone wins a Presidential elections. This time in Nigeria, a man named, Goodluck Jonathan won the elections, and is set to be the new President. Immediately after that, riots broke out…
5. Epic. The aftermath of the Egypt revolution, which USA supported…
I was looking back at my blog, and couldn’t find the last time I actually came out with a “World Watch” piece. The last few pieces were so unbelievably
boring serious, that I guess I owe my readers with one view on the rumors thats going on the internet. So here it goes…
2. At one point of time, the Germans used to fight the whole world alone. And the French used to surrender. Well, not anymore. France, the country which was surrendering to almost everybody since say about 200 BC, was the first country to bomb Libya, as Germany moved away its warships from the Mediterranean in order to be out of any conflict. And now, after Libya, its the turn of Cote d’Ivore. Okay that sounded hideous, Ivory Coast. France is on a roll, and Germans are shying away from the war in Libya. Strange, strange times! Can we call this the French blitzkrieg? Or that will be too politically incorrect?
Bottomline, French armed forces technology came a long way from this.
3. This is amazing! Guess who’s the “original King Julian” of the dance floor?
5. ” The reality is that Obama has some 15 countries in the current Libya coalition. President Bush put together close to 50 countries for the Afghan coalition, some 40 countries for the Iraqi coalition, more than 90 countries for the Proliferation Security Initiative and over 90 countries in the Global War on Terror, and yet as your question suggested, he was called a “unilateralist.” “
That sums up this absolute gem of an interview of Donald Rumsfeld, in Der Speigel. A must read.
It finally came. I am talking about the war speech of the US President. The speech was much expected, before the war itself began. The much maligned George Bush, with all his success and failure, never started or went to a war, without a solemn and deep address to “My fellow Americans”. There was nothing even remotely humble from Obama, but nonetheless it was finally addressed after almost one week of the onset of “coalition” bombing of Libya.
I won’t debate on the legality of the war, (and I will call it a war and not an intervention) or the morality of it, as it is already much discussed and dissected. Instead here are few counter points to the speech.
1. But when our interests and values are at stake, we have a responsibility to act. That’s what happened in Libya over the course of these last six weeks.
No direct or indirect American interests or values are at stake in Libya. It is not a military threat, it is in no way related to any anti-American activities or even for that matter anti Western activities for quite some time now. It directly dismantled its program of WMDs, allowed UN observers, and even slowly started to reform its age old economy to market liberalism, under the next generation of leaders.
2. Last month, Gadhafi’s grip of fear appeared to give way to the promise of freedom. In cities and towns across the country, Libyans took to the streets to claim their basic human rights.
The fact that how many Libyans are fighting for this revolution is a cause yet to be determined. From initial reports, and I mean even western reports, this revolt is not a mass movement, rather a bunch of “rag-tag” rebels, including leftists, Islamists, and the eastern tribal warlords, who didn’t quite get the importance during Gaddafi’s rule.
3. Confronted by this brutal repression and a looming humanitarian crisis, I ordered warships into the Mediterranean.
Warships were already in the Mediterranean. Rather before the intervention, when Robert Gates was asked about “no-fly zone” he curtly negated it with saying, “let’s call a spade a spade, no-fly zone starts by bombing the air defence systems. The position of USA was distinctly anti-intervention initially.
4. We knew that if we wanted — if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city nearly the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.
Apparently, he means Rwanda, Darfur didn’t stain the conscience of the World. Or he means Libya is more strategically important, and a direct threat to the West, when technically, Syria and Iran the same thing is happening , in Iran since 2008 fraud elections. And they are of more vital immediate danger to USA, Israel and West than Libya.
5. We struck regime forces approaching Benghazi to save that city and the people within it. We hit Gadhafi’s troops in neighboring Ajdabiya, allowing the opposition to drive them out. We hit Gadhafi’s air defenses, which paved the way for a no-fly zone. We targeted tanks and military assets that had been choking off towns and cities, and we cut off much of their source of supply. And tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gadhafi’s deadly advance.
The coalition forces bombed Tripoli, so this justification of “stopping Gaddafi’s advance” is utter prevarication. The coalition forces are not stopping Gaddafi’s forces anymore, rather they are actively helping the rebels to topple the Government. The same rebels who, according to their own admissions, have Al Qaeda fighters in their ranks. So apparently the US, UN, and EU are fighting alongside, Al Qaeda. Which is amazing.
6. In this effort, the United States has not acted alone. Instead, we have been joined by a strong and growing coalition.
If he could kindly provide the number of US forces of all capability and the number of other total forces! The first day when Bill Gortney, the army spokesperson was asked about who led the missile assault, he said he got the support of a British submarine. When pressed more he said the rest were all US. Lets face it, there is NO country in the present coalition who can actively, dominatingly assert their military presence other than the US. During the Balkan crises, also, EU wanted to do a lot of benevolent thing, but after years of bickering and infighting, it took US to bomb the Serbs .
7. NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. Last night.
The USA gives command to NATO, which is led by the USA. The nominal head of operations is a 3 star Canadian general, who is in turn under US Chief of staff Africa command.
8. 40 years of tyranny has left Libya fractured and without strong civil institutions.
Libya has the highest GDP in Africa, highest distribution of wealth, highest social security, and lowest infant mortality rate. Fact. Statistics.
9. The writ of the United Nations Security Council would have been shown to be little more than empty words, crippling that institution’s future credibility to uphold global peace and security.
Writ of the Security Council, rather, with 65% vote. General assembly was not consulted.
10. One young Libyan who came to his aid said, “We are your friends. We are so grateful to those men who are protecting the skies.”
The Afghan Mujahideens said that too. It is needed to distinguish who genuinely means friendship, and who comes just to take advantage. Unfortunately, the World have too many examples of historical blunders…
That’s more or less the important points. Rest all hackneyed, overused “freedom and light” statement. Only this time they look clichéd, unlike President Bush in Afghanistan, or Iraq. No statement about tentative time, no statement about number of deployment, no statement of future contingency plans nothing. No clear justification of the threat quotient either. Not a mention of Iran, Syria, and ongoing Ivory Coast, where the largest mass killing is going on now, without any media glare. None at all. Over all one of the most half hearted attempt to address hurriedly the questioning World on this hypocritical sudden bout of conscience.
Time will speak whether Obama sided with the right or wrong side of history, whether he supported genuine rebels seeking for democracy, or paved the way for the middle east to be a giant Talibanistan. But for now, he has lost both his right and credibility to criticize the Republicans for their interventionist adventurism. The questions he raised during his election campaigns will haunt him through the rest of his presidency, and probably through the rest of his life.
Okay, the Korean comedy is nothing new…the two countries, the oldest existing Cold War border…the states divided between communist, spitfire, moronic, impoverished, Type-O-dong wielding “Great Li’l Kim”, the angelic, chosen one, messiah leader’s paradise North, and the Jack Daniels drinking, puke porn watching, epic money making, hot babeland, practical, lively, Capitalist South…frankly, the people between the two states can’t be differentiated, atleast not by features…cause they look exactly the same…but still the eventuality continued. North keeps on bugging the hell out of South by torpedoing warships at night killing 48 sailors, and shelling non militarised populated islands, and South keeps on threatening the North that they will retaliate…if only they attack “two more times” (Mitchell Blatt…obvs…)
So here’s what happened…
And here’s a cool map, which will help everyone to understand the real situation…(ripped it from the National Post!)
US Prez Barry Obama was woken up at 4 AM , and promptly took shelter under his desk…(okay, the last part might not be true! But just visualise! :-))
So how is it apparently different this time? It’s different ’cause thiiis time, the trigger was pulled not by Li’l Kim, may peace be upon him, but by his son, the identical double chinned Tiny Kim, who is apparently fulfilling a criteria of mandatory bombarding South Korea, before his formal throning ceremony…
Or…maybe…it’s just youth Hormones, you know…like we play “Counter Strike” or “Project IGI”…only too real, and thousand times more deadly, with the spineless and appeasing World cowering down, in order to avoid confrontation…..
1. Model French Imam, supporting pocket sized French president Nick Sarko, and also the Burqa-ban, is under attack from his own “secular” community…nothing new anyways though, as it already happened before in Englistan.
[Well...Number 1, proves a couple of things, Religion is disgustingly offensive, and a neccessary evil, a tool of exploitation in the hand of the communists, who just needs opportunity to shout, and is a masive negative point for capitalism, and right wing economic movement as a whole. Number 2, that I am uber-unbiased...]
4. Yellow peril, is finally coming true it seems, a hundred years after it’s coinage…
5. The British Obama is no fluke, as he continues to rip up Labour and Conservatives single handedly…charming the starry eyed Brits with his superficial promises, just as Obama did, a year back…Only good thing…Gordon Brown continues to screw up…
1. SWAT, Pakistani version of Las Vegas, and the place where RAMBO 3 was shot, (how ironic!) is getting it’s incredibly voluptuous dancing babes back… (woohoo! happy days are here again!)
2. Syria, U.S.A.’s long time lover, wants to creep back to Lebanon, now that Hezbollah has failed miserably fighting alone against Israel…
3. Talking about Israel…here’s what Obama and other morons doesn’t understand, or bothers to understand…
4. Once upon a time, there was a brave and proud race called the Germans, very macho, strong, willful and positively manly…the greatest proof of which is Boris Becker, who made a woman preggo by just having a quicky with her for 5 mins! Not anymore…now they can give Scooby Doo a serious complex…
5. Okay…the United Nations, a zero efficiency organization, with a habit of saying things which people already knows, again said something which we knew since ages…