Kashmir: The Slippery Ground for All Governments

The on-off nature of talks with Pakistan shows how poorly we have strategized on the issue. This time the talks are off because the Pakistani high commission in Delhi talked to the separatist Hurriyat leaders. The next time it could be something else. The problem is we are not sure why we are talking to Pakistan at all (For public consumption? For making our position on issues clear to the other side?). And we are not sure why we break off talks (any passing incident will do). I am sure the talks will resume within the next 12 months, but once more we won’t know why we are doing it. Narendra Modi is on the same wrong track as the UPA on Pakistan.
India has always been poor in defining its strategic focus. The problem is we know our end-goal (which is to get Pakistan to at least accept the part of Kashmir we currently hold as ours, even if they don’t return the parts they hold). But we don’t know – or pretend not to know – what they want. We are permanently in denial about their unholy intentions. Our first mistake was reference to UN under incorrect clause. Our complaint should have been regarding aggression by Pakistan; but Nehru , laboring under some mistaken notion, referred the matter to UN as a dispute.
And now we think they want Kashmir – but this is mostly wrong. Even if we were to hand over Kashmir to them on a platter tomorrow their enmity will not end. When your self-definition is that you are an Islamic state created to defend Islam and to defeat the “Hindu state” called India (never mind if they call themselves “secular”), it cannot be about Kashmir at all. The “and” in italics in the previous statement is important, for there are many Islamic states that do not define themselves in antagonism to India (though some do in antagonism to Israel). But Pakistan surely does. We should never forget that.
If you have this mindset, you won’t accept peace. Peace means defeat in the Pakistani scheme of things. Every India-Pakistan negotiation that ends up ceding some ground to our western neighbor will, in fact, embolden it to seek even more. The matter will never end till the Pakistanis themselves abandon the ideology of a religion-based state (especially a religion-based state that is also setting itself up in opposition to the idea of India.) But that realization is some decades away.
Western analysts are only now figuring this out. One of them is Christine Fair, an expert in south Asian strategic affairs. Her book Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War ought to be worth a read for all strategic thinkers in India and the West. In an interview to The Times of India recently, Fair puts it bluntly: “Pakistan is an ideological state. The Kashmir issue is not causal, it’s symptomatic. If there were to be any kind of negotiation on Kashmir that gives up any inch of territory, it is not going to fix the situation.”
There, what could be clearer? It is not something we don’t know in our heart of hearts, but we are eager to deny this to placate our unthinking peaceniks and “Aman ki Aashaa” propagandists, and for fear of offending our minorities back home. But even if politicians hesitate to speak openly about this reality, surely they can calibrate diplomacy and strategy from a sharper understanding of this truth about the Pakistani state?
One lie we are fond of telling ourselves is that the Pakistani army is different from the Pakistani government (or state) and both are different from the Pakistani people – who are “just like us.” All these presumptions are wrong.
First, the Pakistani army is the Pakistani state. So what applies to the Pakistani army applies to the state. The mere fact that elections are held to create civilian governments means little if it is the Pakistani army that ultimately decides policy towards India and the world. Christine Fair found that jihad is central to the Pakistani army’s strategic culture: “The use of jihad is a way to make it seem as if everything the Pakistani army does is Islamically justified.” If jihad is the army’s policy, it is the policy of the Pakistani state too.
Second, the Pakistani people are not always different from the state and the army. The question to ask is which Pakistani people are we talking about? There is surely an educated urban elite and upper middle class that we can bond with. But there are two other civilian forces we can’t ignore. One is the hardcore Islamist/Jihadist groups (the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the LeT, the JeM, etc) that hold sway in large parts of the country, including its vast tribal areas in the north-west. These “people” are even more anti-Indian than the army. Then there are the feudal powers that are closely aligned with the army. Pakistan is a crony-feudal state. The feudals can retain their landed riches only by backing the army and its monopoly on power. So these people have nothing in common with “us”.
The’people’ who may want peace are a tiny elite who are not only not representative of broader Pakistan, but may be completely marginalized or squashed between the jihadists and the army.
Of course, it is in our interests to see that this group is nurtured and allowed to expand its influence. In fact, this elite group has realized how the Pakistan they created has completely veered off course, but this realization has not sunk deeper into Pakistani society.
The problem is most Pakistanis find it difficult to acknowledge that their country was born with a “genetic defect” – a phrase that is not mine, but of veteran Pakistani journalist Babar Ayaz who wrote an eye-opening book on What’s Wrong With Pakistan? Ayaz says Muslims in India, after 650 years of rule in which they never thought of themselves as a separate nation, suddenly work up around 1857 to the fact that they may be a relative minority in a democratic polity of the future.
Muhammad Iqbal, Pakistan’s national poet, planted the genetically defective seed of the idea of Pakistan after “rejecting modern theories of nationalism, (and) constructed his own theory of Islamic nationalism.” Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, creator of the Aligarh Muslim University and a Muslim modernizer, was another author of the idea of keeping Muslims and Hindus separate in undivided India. He tried to keep the Muslims away from the Congress, thus sowing the seeds of segregation between the Muslims and the Hindus. This is the man whom the Congress party recently wanted to give the Bharat Ratna to.
Between Iqbal and Sir Syed, Pakistan’s genetic coding was set, and it was left to Mohammed Ali Jinnah to give it political shape that finally led to the creation of his “moth-eaten” Pakistan. Iqbal’s idea of Pakistan was not based on a European model of a nation-state, but on ‘an acute understanding that political power was essential to the higher end of establishing God’s laws.’ It was left to Gen Zia ul-Haq to bring all the elements of Iqbal’s flawed genetic idea together by making jihad central to the Pakistani army and the state it owns. Sangh activists raising the “Hindu nation” cry should learn from Pakistan’s travails and avoid landing us in the same ditch Iqbal, Sir Syed and Jinnah led Pakistan into.
If we accept this reality, we need to have our own counter-strategy to deal with an illogical Pakistan that is not driven by common motives of a nation-state. Whether to hold talks or not has to be part of strategy – not a sometimes-on-sometimes-off knee jerk response to events, as the Modi government demonstrated.
So should we talk to Pakistan’s government or not? My answer is yes. We should keep talking but without expecting them to lead anywhere. The purpose of talking is not to solve anything, but to tell the world that we are talking, and also to make our points strongly. The suspended round of foreign secretary-level talks, for example, could have been used to narrow the talks down to the Hurriyat issue, or to terrorism. If they don’t want to talk, let them call it off. The second purpose of talking is to make sure they understand our own no-nonsense approach. Too often, they interpret our decision to talk as a sign of weakness. Maybe we should use talk to appear stronger so that they don’t mistake our intentions.
More important, talking does not mean doing nothing to prepare for war or terrorist attacks. We have to counter every act of aggression on our borders or inside (through terrorism) with our own form of covert or overt retaliation – which has to be below the threshold of war. For this we need to develop deep intelligence and counter-terror skills – and the ability to keep them busy elsewhere.
We should encourage people-to-people talks so that the constituency for peace grows in Pakistan. But we should be under no illusion that this is going to happen anytime soon – perhaps not in the lifetime of the current generation.
As Christine Fair notes, Pakistan is setting up a “civilizational” conflict with India, and such conflicts are not short-term ones. This means we should forget about a deal on Kashmir whatsoever. Fair herself dismisses ideas of a “grand bargain” on Kashmir as “rubbish.”
We need a 100 year strategy to counter Pakistan, not an on-off response mechanism to Pakistani provocations. The Modi government should stay clear of grand theatrical gestures and focus on long-term strategy with respect to Pakistan.

The Unseemly Executive- Judiciary Tussle in India

A confrontation is brewing between the executive and the judiciary with the installation of a majority-backed Narendra Modi government. It started with the government’s decision to question the appointment of Gopal Subramanium as Supreme Court judge; the tensions were seemingly exacerbated by quick parliamentary approval for two National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bills, including one that gives the NJAC constitutional status.
One thing needs to be stated upfront. While the immediate triggers relate to the government’s actions, the confrontation was anyway building up for some time due to three other factors: the steady encroachment on legislative space by the judiciary (2G judgment on auctions, mining bans, setting up of SIT on black money, etc), the subversion of the original constitutional mandate on judicial appointments by the Supreme Court during an era of weak governments, and rising public concerns about corruption in the judiciary.
The reason why matters have come to a head now (and not earlier) is clearly the arrival of a strong government which is not willing to let the courts walk over its jurisdiction. With the NDA government giving its nod for the NJAC constitutional amendment bill to be sent to the states for ratification (15 states have to pass it before it becomes law), the Supreme Court will be hearing two petitions challenging the NJAC bills. With other matters involving government also washing up in the Supreme Court – including the constitution of the Lokpal that needs a leader of the opposition (LoP) to join the selection panel when there is no LoP possible now, given the Congress party’s low Lok Sabha numbers – tensions are bound to escalate.
Some tension between executive and judiciary is inevitable and even good because their jurisdictions are not watertight. While parliament has the unfettered right to pass laws, the courts have the right to check if these laws are in tune with the basic structure of the constitution. This creative tension keeps both the executive and the judiciary on guard – and mutually accountable. But if this tension degenerates into open war and ego tussles, it can be ruinous for the country and governance. This is what both government and judiciary must seek to avoid.
Right now, though, it is important for the judiciary to realise that it has encroached too must into executive/legislative turf, and must seek to withdraw gracefully.
Contrary to general assumptions, the current tensions between executive and judiciary have their origins not in the specific acts of the Modi government, but in the formation of relatively weak coalition governments for the bulk of the last 25 years. Starting with the VP Singh government in 1989, the central government has been politically weak most of the time. The only two periods of relative stability were during the Narasimha Rao and Atal Behari Vajpayee governments. The former was solidified by external financial bankruptcy, which muted the opposition, and the latter by the post-Kargil verdict that gave the NDA a clear mandate. But even Rao and Vajpayee did not run majority governments; the remaining coalition governments were politically even weaker.
Political power vacuums are an open invitation to other creatures of the constitution to extend their reach, and this what the courts did when executive authority declined – especially during the 1991-99 phase, and during the 2009-14 one, when the executive was weakened by the lack of a clear electoral mandate, sometimes worsened by bad political arrangements (Prime Ministers with no support, or nominated PM’s with no political authority).
In 1990s the Supreme Court completely trampled over the constitutional provision that the government will appoint Supreme Court judges after consulting the judiciary. It made the collegium system supreme in two judgments delivered in 1992 and 1998. In both years, political authority was weak. In contrast, in 1981, a year after Indira Gandhi stomped back to power with a hefty majority, the Supreme Court had, in fact, upheld the old constitutional scheme of government appointing judges after consulting the judiciary.
In 2011, with the moral authority of the UPA-2 eroded by scams and its political authority residing outside the government in Sonia Gandhi, the Supreme Court stepped into the power breach. In the 2G case verdict, it not only cancelled the telecom licences and spectrum awarded by A Raja through a dubious process, but also laid down policy on how scarce natural resources should be sold – only by auctions. Pricing of natural resources is in the area of policy, and outside the scope of the judiciary – unless the process itself is vitiated by unfairness or opaqueness.
Luckily, the UPA government gathered enough spine to force the court to re-examine the issue again through a presidential reference under article 143 (1), and the court backed off. It affirmed that policy is indeed the government’s domain. Only its unfair implementation would be looked into by courts. The presidential reference was answered in no uncertain terms by a bench headed by then CJI SH Kapadia thus: “There is no constitutional imperative in the matter of economic policies. Article 14 does not pre-define any economic policy as a constitutional mandate.”
The Supreme Court used an earlier judgment to stay out of policy formulation. That judgment held: ““We do not think that it is the function of this court or of any court to sit in judgment over such matters of economic policy as must necessarily be left to the government of the day to decide.”
The point is clear: the courts have backed off whenever governments have asserted their right to legislate and decide policy. They encroached on executive and/or legislative territory whenever governments were too weak to fight back.
This brings us to another issue – why courts may now have to back off from a confrontation over the NJAC bills.
Just as policy is not the court’s domain, neither is judicial appointment and transfer. Under article 124, the CJI and senior judges have a right to be consulted on such appointments, but they do not have the last word on them. The NJAC more than respects this principle of consultation and, in fact, gives any two members of the proposed six-member NJAC (three of whom will be judges) the right to reject a candidate. So the judiciary has even more powers under NJAC than what was given by the constitution to them. In any case, the collegium system was past its sell-by date.
The main objection raised to the replacement of the collegium system by NJAC is one of judicial independence. How will judges be independent if they are appointed by the NJAC, where politicians have a (minority) role to play? There are several layers to the answer.
First, independence is not about the process of appointment, but whether the judges are upright and honest. The collegium system was far from foolproof in the appointment of honest judges – as the allegations of corruption in judiciary highlighted by former judge Markandey Katju show.
Second, independence can be subverted in many ways. The UPA did not take the judiciary head-on, but it gave 18 of the 21 judges who resigned after 2008 post-retirement jobs. How can one presume these judges did a completely independent job when they were on the bench when, at the same time, they were angling for post-retirement jobs?
Third, independence is institutionalised partially by the current system of promoting judges to the position of CJI only on seniority. It can be institutionalised further by giving all judges a longer tenure – maybe by extending their retirement age to 68 from the current 65 (as long as they are otherwise physically and mentally fit).
In the US, Supreme Court judges never demit office till they themselves opt to retire. Justice Katju’s suggestion that CJIs should be appointed by merit is not a good suggestion because this would be open to executive misuse – even though there is concern over the quality of judges now in courts. A longer tenure and a ban on holding public office after retirement may be better guarantees of judicial independence.
Fourth, uprightness alone is not enough. The political orientation of a judge is not unimportant for his or her selection – even though it is not the primary concern. A left-winger like Prashant Bhushan, who might otherwise be eligible for the position of judge given his legal experience, might well have answered the presidential reference on 2G auctions differently from an SH Kapadia.
We need political neutrality in judges as much as independence to get a good judiciary.
Much has been made of political interference in judiciary due to NJAC, but here’s a poser for the judiciary itself: when it is an interested party in the NJAC litigation, how will it answer the charge that it faces a conflict of interest in this case, where it is both (indirect) litigant and judge? Most sitting and retired judges have opposed the NJAC, and so it is a safe bet that the judiciary does not want NJAC. There is little doubt that the Indian judiciary is under intense scrutiny. With former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju in a tell-all mood post-retirement, the dirty linen is being washed energetically in public view. Katju talked about how former Chief Justice SH Kapadia did nothing about a corrupt Allahabad High Court judge even after intelligence taps on his ‘agents’ revealed corrupt practices. The ex-CJI claimed he did not recollect the incident and anyway he did not recommend the elevation of any unfit judge to the Supreme Court. To which the irrepressible Katju retorted that in ex-CJI KG Balakrishnan’s tenure, one more judge with a negative reputation (PD Dinakaran) almost made it to the top court, and Kapadia was a part of the collegium that took this decision.
Given the widespread debate generated by Katju’s recent holier-than-thou volubility, a rattled Chief Justice, RM Lodha, has rushed to defend the collegium system of picking judges. He pointed out that he was one of the first judges to be so chosen after the system was put into place. “Don’t shake the confidence of the people in the judiciary,” he warned. He added that the entire current Supreme Court had been selected by the same collegiums system.
However, the honourable CJI needs to be contradicted. Merely because honest judges have also been appointed through the collegium system it does not follow that everything is all right with it. Even earlier, when it was the government which had the prime role in appointing judges, many honest judges were appointed. Does this mean giving primacy to the government in appointing judges was the best thing? However, we have to remember how the constitutional provision for the appointment of judges was essentially hijacked by the Supreme Court in the name of judicial independence.
Articles 124 and 217 of the constitution say that judges of the Supreme Court and higher courts will be appointed by the president (meaning the government) in consultation with the Chief Justice of India and other chief justices and judges of the high courts.
In a 1981 judgment, the Supreme Court itself upheld this system. But later, in two subsequent judgments, the Supreme Court decided that the government would merely have the right to express doubts over judicial appointments – which could be over-ruled by the CJI. This was how the collegium system came to dominate judicial appointments, with the Supreme Court arrogating to itself the right to appoint judges, something the makers of the constitution never intended.
The judgments in the second and third judges’ cases are an extraordinary tour de force in the name of securing the independence of the judiciary. The court has rewritten the provisions of the Constitution for the appointment of judges. The executive’s function in the appointment process has for all practical purposes been eliminated and reduced to the formal approving of a recommendation made by the CJI and his collegium.
Almost nowhere in the world do judges appoint judges for the simple reason that this makes for a complete lack of accountability in the judicial system, reducing elected leaders to mere rubber stamps in judicial appointments. Quite clearly, the CJI is wrong to defend this system, even though he is right to highlight the need to keep the judiciary independent.
Many suggestions for creating permanent judicial appointments commissions (even two such commissions) are doing the rounds. While these may not solve all the problems in finding good, honest judges for the higher courts, they will clearly be an improvement on the current system of judges doing the job behind closed doors.
The independence of the judiciary needs transparency in the processes of short-listing, selection and final appointments of judges. The Supreme Court can prove its independence by refusing to hear the case against the NJAC. The time to check its constitutional validity is when it is manifestly shown to have problems – not now. It is time for the judiciary to back off from a needless confrontation with the executive on this.

Pakistan-India Water Woes

The water may or may not be cause of the World war III, but it definitely does create a sceneio of Indi-Pak conflict. It’s just not about dams. The reality is that water scarcity poses an existential threat to Pakistan. It also endangers the welfare of Kashmiris in India. With interests conflicting over water, Indian Kashmiris are objecting to the 54-year old Indus Water Treaty, which they believe is detrimental to their well-being. The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, considers the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) “the biggest fraud with the people of Jammu and Kashmir”. Abdullah believes that rivers running through the State “are first for the people of the state. They are our right first.”
As Kashmiris struggle to assert their territorial and water rights against India and Pakistan, the right to use and abuse the water flowing in Indus and its tributaries could get mired in petty politics. Instead, it should be dealt with the aim to conserve and manage water, the scarcest resource in the subcontinent.
The Kashmiri leadership in India is concerned about the control exerted by the Indian National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) on developing new hydel projects in the State. In a letter to the Indian Prime Minister, the presidents of the three chambers of commerce in the Indian-held Kashmir recently criticized the decision to award large sums to NHPC to develop new hydro-electric projects. In addition, Kashmiri leaders want the Indian government to revert control of functioning hydel projects to the State and to have the provision for all future projects be reverted to the State after being in operation for a specified time.
The Kashmiri leaders also want a greater share of the electricity generated in Jammu and Kashmir. They also seek compensation from the Indian government for the missed opportunities to develop water and hydro-electric projects because of the restrictions imposed by the IWT.
Pakistani is reportedly objecting to additional hydro-electric projects being built upstream on the three eastern rivers: Jhelum, Chenab, and Indus, whose waters were primarily allotted to Pakistan under the Treaty. Specifically, Pakistan has objected to the construction of the 850MW Ratle, 1,000MW Pakal Dul, 120MW Miyar and the 48MW Lower Kalnai hydropower projects on river Chenab. Pakistan has also expressed reservation on Kishanganga Dam being developed upstream on Neelam River. “Pakistan had asked for changes in the design, especially with reference to the spillways and poundage, which affects the intake location. The intake of water should go up, spillways are low in elevation and these needed to be taken up,” reported BBC.
Signed in September 1960, the IWT is almost 54-years old. Despite the routine disagreements over the IWT, the Treaty has served the people of India and Pakistan well. Its greatest achievement is the fact that while India and Pakistan have fought traditional and untraditional wars since 1960 over other disputes, they have avoided an armed conflict over water.
The Treaty created the necessary institutions for sustained conflict resolution, negotiations, monitoring, and exchange of data and information. Even when the Commissioners fail to agree, the Treaty provided mechanisms to escalate the matter to higher levels of the establishment. When all possible avenues for a bilateral resolution of the conflict are exhausted, the Treaty provides for the appointment of a neutral expert and even for a court of arbitration.
The piles of polarising discourse over the IWT does disservice to the Treaty that was signed in good faith by Prime Minister Nehru and President Ayub Khan in Karachi. It becomes obvious now that the interest and welfare of Kashmiris was overlooked in the process. That explains the recent rise in Kashmiri misgivings for the IWT.
THE recently issued Kishanganga arbitration award has again proved what I have been saying all along: that by invoking the dispute resolution mechanism of the Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), Pakistan cannot halt India from undertaking various upstream hydroelectric projects and it needs to bilaterally take up this matter. In this regard, certain observations in the award are actually quite helpful and Pakistan must make use of them.
But let’s be clear. Pakistan can blame India’s conduct as an upper riparian state only up to a point for the water issues. What of its own conduct and responsibilities as a lower riparian state? Lamentably, it has been wasting its water resources with almost criminal negligence and abandon. In fact Pakistan must share responsibility for the wastage of water on its territory as its people and successive governments have failed to undertake effective measures for the storage of water or its more constructive utilization.
Under international law, a positive obligation to not inflict unreasonable harm on the lower riparian state restricts the sovereignty of the upper riparian state. However, while the upper riparian is almost like a trustee for the lower riparian and must therefore adopt suitable measures to preserve the catchment areas, its failure to do so does not absolve the lower riparian from its independent obligation to manage water flowing through its territories so as to ensure both equitable and reasonable utilization of shared water resources.
Crucially thus, the optimal management of water through means such as storage facilities and dams remains the equal responsibility of a lower riparian state like Pakistan.
Moreover, international law binds Pakistan to better manage its territorial water resources in order to secure the right to water of its citizens under Articles 11 and 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which Pakistan ratified in 2008. Failure to give effect to its obligations under the ICESCR may now have consequences of its own in the context of recently granted GSP Plus status by the European Union.
Given this legal framework, the provinces ought to appropriately approach the matter of management of rain and floodwater as well as of construction of dams in the light of Pakistan’s legal compulsion under international water law. Importantly, a possible failure to reach consensus on the Kalabagh dam should not prevent the federal government and the provinces from planning and undertaking an extensive program of construction of several other dams in order to fulfill Pakistan’s international legal obligations.
Presently, under the water accord of 1991, the provinces remain focused on the agreed upon water flows while completely ignoring Article 6 of the accord which states that “the need for storages, wherever feasible on the Indus and other rivers was admitted and recognized by the participants for planned future agricultural development”. Thus far, the provinces have planned no water storage pursuant to Article 6. Significantly, this noncompliance by provinces also hinders the federation from fully performing its international law obligations.
Since provinces are subsets of the federation, they are also bound by international law obligations. Therefore, irrespective of Article 6, the upper riparian province has a responsibility to let flow the water while the lower riparian province has the responsibility to preserve and make storage to avoid wastage of water resources.
In addition to the construction of dams for efficient management of water resources, international customary water law also mandates Pakistan to preserve water during floods and rains. At present, no provincial plan for the management of floodwaters exists. In this regard, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah of the Lahore High Court penned a highly illuminating judicial inquiry tribunal report in 2010 extensively detailing the reasons and causes of floods. The report also highlights the critical role of dams in water management and recommends construction of several dams. The lower riparian provinces ought to seriously implement the report’s recommendations.
The Kishanganga Award must be assessed holistically in the light of the above context. If, as the lower riparian state, Pakistan had taken an early initiative in the planning of Neelum-Jhelum, it would then have been able to persuade the International Court of Arbitration to allow more flow of water into Pakistan.
Although this delay has been costly for Pakistan, it also reinforces the importance of fulfilling its obligations of managing and conserving water resources as a lower riparian state. The abject failure of the federal and provincial governments to plan for construction of dams and water reservoirs legally and politically weakens Pakistan’s stance against India which is constructing several more dams in a far smaller catchment area than Pakistan’s.
Whereas India has built 63 large dams in its northern areas in the last 30 years, Pakistan has only built two large dams along the Indus passing through a stretch of over 2,000 kilometers on its territory. There is no question that Pakistan has been acting as an irresponsible lower riparian state.
In the wake of greater provincial autonomy after the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, it is imperative that provinces demonstrate greater responsibility and resolve in managing the country’s water resources. Extensive plans for the management of Indus waters as well as flood and rain waters must be developed and initiated without any delay.
Also lacking in the public discourse is an appreciation of the understanding reached on the use of waters. It does not help when India starts new hydel projects in secret upstream on rivers, whose waters are available to India for restricted use only, or when Pakistan cries foul every time before asserting the facts over what is actually transpiring.
The Pakistani media and those involved in negotiations have created the false impression that India has no right over the waters of the three western rivers – Chenab, Jhelum, and Indus – and their tributaries. Such assertion is false.
The treaty explicitly made provisions for India to use these water under specific restrictions. The Pakistani media and experts will be well served to review the Treaty in detail, especially Annexure C, Annexure D, and Annexure E, which stipulate the provisions for India to use the waters from the three western rivers for agriculture use, generation of hydro-electric power, and storage.
Pakistan has challenged the Indian plans with limited success in the past. For instance, Professor Raymond Lafitte, a Swiss engineer, was appointed as the neutral expert to study Pakistan’s objections over the construction of Baglihar Dam. After reviewing the evidence, the Swiss engineer asked for only minor modifications to the Indian construction plans.
Even more interesting is the December 2013 verdict of the Court of Arbitration, headed by Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, which deliberated over the Kishenganga hydel project (KHEP). The Court recognised India’s right to develop the Kishenganga hydel project.
The Court reviewed all evidence brought forth by the two parties and unanimously decided that India would ensure a minimum flow of 9 cubic meter per second (cumecs) downstream of KHEP at all times. The December 2013 verdict was a follow-up to the February 2013 verdict that recognized India’s right to develop the KHEP as a run-of-river plant, provided for in the IWT.
The power and water crisis in Pakistan is a direct result of Pakistan’s failure to manage its water resources over the past five decades. The construction of earlier large hydel projects in Pakistan were a gift of the IWT that made millions available to Pakistan in aid and loans from the World Bank and $170 million in compensation from India.
While India has also lagged in harnessing and conserving water resources, Pakistan’s inability to conserve water resources and generate power is a colossal failure in public policy and governance.
Equally lacking is the human capital in Pakistan to deal with the water and power crisis. Engineering universities in Pakistan have yet to recognize the existential threats faced by the nation. Instead of focusing on water, they are obsessed with computer engineering. Water resource engineering, dam construction, and related topics are only partially covered in the undergraduate engineering curriculum. Hardly any notable doctoral dissertations have been produced in Pakistan on hydel projects.
Review the list of experts brought to testify before the Court of Arbitration for KHEP. Pakistan couldn’t find indigenous civil engineering experts to make its case and relied on foreigners and non-engineers. Review page 11 of the final award, where experts representing Pakistan are hairsplitting on the use of regression models, revealing their limited understanding of the subject matter as it relates to the use of seasonal factors in the statistical models to capture seasonality in the water flow. Such ignorance on matters that pose existential threat to Pakistan should have caused some heads to roll as it ought to have been unforgivable.
While India conveniently serves as the bogeyman for Pakistan’s domestic water disputes, it has delayed the much-needed arbitration on water resources within Pakistan. The tragedy of Pakistan is that while provinces continue to protect their turf on water and power, the nation continues to lose its potential and is jeopardizing the welfare of its future generations.

Europe’s Nuclear Secret – US Carelessness Could Recoil

From 1999 through 2010, Time magazine wrote a number of articles about “Europe’s dirty secret.” What is that secret? The fact that America stores hundreds of nuclear weapons there. Most people are completely unaware of this situation. Even those who are scrutinizing it don’t fully understand the dangers posed by these weapons. When we talk about European nations with nuclear weapons, we usually think of Britain and France. But there are five other nations with nuclear bombs, bombs that technically belong to America.
In Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Turkey, the United States has about 150 to 200 thermonuclear bombs. It originally deployed those bombs and more to NATO nations in Europe during the Cold War from 1947 to 1991. At the peak of this program, America had over 7,300 tactical nuclear weapons in Europe. Since the Berlin Wall came down, those numbers have steadily fallen. But many of these weapons remain there.
Are those bombs still necessary? Is it still worth the risk to leave nuclear weapons in nations that were America’s enemies as recently as World War II? Does anyone remember the destruction these nations caused, or the devastation nuclear weapons have wreaked?
Think about this statement from a 2005 report by Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists: “[One] interesting feature is that nuclear weapons that were withdrawn from two German bases, two Turkish bases, and one Italian base is the mid-1990s were not returned to the United States but transferred to the main U.S. base in those countries. … In all of these cases, the weapons continue to be earmarked for ‘host nation use’ and delivery by the national air forces.” The exact number of tactical nuclear weapons deployed, stored and earmarked for host nation use is classified. But when you add these that were supposed to be “withdrawn” yet still exist in host nations to the numbers reported as still actively deployed, then the nightmare only gets worse.
Nuclear weapons are a horrific menace. Just one can vaporize a city full of people. Two hundred of them are enough to destroy the whole world! Yet America has given those bombs to these five nations—two of which were our bitter enemies just 70 years ago!
The crucial question is, does the United States really have control over those bombs? How Secure Are These Weapons? Time magazine said these weapons technically belong to Washington, but do they in reality? They remain under U.S. control unless permission is given to hand them over to the host nation in times of war. However, following a series of blunders over the years, the security of these nukes has been called into question.
“According to a Blue Ribbon Review set up by the U.S. Air Force in 2008, most U.S. nuclear weapons storage sites in Europe do not meet U.S. Defense Department security standards,” wrote Tom Sauer and Bob van der Zwaan in a May 2011 report for the Harvard Kennedy School, called “U.S. Tactical Nuclear Weapons in Europe After NATO’s Lisbon Summit: Why Their Withdrawal Is Desirable and Feasible.”
The Kleine Brogel Air Base in Belgium is one of the bases that hosts America’s tactical nuclear weapons. In 2001, this base was the target of an al Qaeda extremist named Nizar Trabelsi. In 2010, the same base was penetrated by peace activists. The activists climbed the perimeter fence and wandered around the base for more than an hour, videotaping their escapade. When they were finally caught, base security didn’t even confiscate the videotape!
It is appalling that the U.S. is so careless with something so deadly dangerous! This is the kind of mistake that will have terrible real-world consequences. Do you think that the European nations that host these weapons are as indifferent about them as America is? America designed those hundreds of bombs to mount to planes in their host country. In a Dec. 2, 2009, article titled “What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes?” Time wrote, “Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dutch, Belgian, Italian and German pilots remain ready to engage in nuclear war” (emphasis mine throughout). That’s right, Germany and Italy—America’s bitter enemies in World War II—are ready to wage nuclear war with bombs that belong to the United States!
The NATO alliance was built during the Cold War primarily as a protection against the Soviet Union. NATO’s website says this about the alliance’s nuclear capacity: “Nuclear forces based in Europe and committed to NATO provide an essential political and military link between the European and the North American members of the alliance. The alliance will therefore maintain adequate nuclear forces in Europe” (April 24, 1999).
But now there are new enemies on the world scene—and the U.S. can’t see who they are! Think about the potential for a nuclear debacle. Little could stand in the way of those nations taking over those bombs and using them however they choose. Those weapons could conceivably be turned back on America!
Washington officials are planning to upgrade the B61 nuclear weapons that are stored in Europe. The new B61-12 will replace the older types 3, 4, 7, 10 and 11 and B83. The new weapon is to replace bombs that are already 90 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima (Der Spiegel, Nov. 6, 2013). Hans Kristensen described it as an “all-in-one nuclear bomb on steroids.”
This new bomb is designed to be deployed from German Tornado fighter planes. The multinational version of the Joint Strike Fighter will also have inbuilt capabilities to carry and deliver these weapons. Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey have already committed to purchasing these aircraft. The new B61 bomb will be the most powerful and deadly nuclear weapon ever deployed in Germany and other nuclear sharing nations.
How naive is America to entrust this immense firepower to nations that so recently—and throughout history—have proved to be enemies of the free world! Tactical weapons are usually carried by short-range delivery vehicles like cruise missiles or fighter/bomber aircraft with ranges under 850 miles. They are not capable of intercontinental launch—but they are small enough to be shipped wherever needed in the back of a truck!
Another horrific consideration to contemplate: These smaller devices are at risk of theft by rogue nations or terrorists. These are immensely powerful weapons! Can we really trust other nations with such firepower?
Right now, Germany seems to be an ally of the United States. But what if this nation—our archenemy in World Wars I and II—turned against us in the next war? We want to trust Germany, but history screams that we shouldn’t! Yet, not only do we equip the Germans with our weapons, but we train their air force on American bases such as Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
America has forgotten what Hitler-led Germany and Mussolini-led Italy did in World War II. But this problem isn’t just confined to World Wars I and II. The combination of Germany and Italy is really the heart of the “Holy” Roman Empire, which has risen up six times to cause bloodshed like no other empire in history! SIX TIMES—so far! Germany’s alliance with Italy against America and Britain in World War II, just seven decades ago, was the sixth resurrection of this centuries-long, destructive church-state combine called the “Holy” Roman Empire.
And now, this empire is back. The seventh and last revival of that empire has now formed. When the moment is right, it will once again rise up as a horribly destructive, nuclear-armed church-state combine that will wreak destruction and death like you can hardly believe!
Boyden Gray, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, said that Germany is America’s “most important ally.” Does his saying that make it so.
Near the close of World War II, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt presented a document promising they would never allow Germany to arm itself again. They were motivated by their recent experience and the long history of German warfare, which actually goes all the way back to ancient Assyria. That promise has long been forgotten. Do you know that today, Germany is actually building components needed in nuclear weapons?
Prof. Michel Chossudovsky wrote an article published by Global Research on March 21, 2013, titled, “Belgium or Iran, Where’s the Nuclear Threat? Europe’s Five ‘Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States.’” In it he wrote, “While Germany is not categorized officially as a nuclear power, IT PRODUCES NUCLEAR WARHEADS FOR THE FRENCH NAVY. It stockpiles nuclear warheads (made in America) and it has the capabilities of delivering nuclear weapons. Moreover, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), a Franco-German-Spanish joint venture controlled by Deutsche Aerospace and the powerful Daimler Group, is Europe’s second-largest military producer, supplying France’s M51 nuclear missile.” That is astounding! In a single lifetime, we have gone from denying Germany the right to ever militarize again—TO LETTING IT BUILD NUCLEAR WARHEADS!
By starting World War II, Germany and Italy caused the deaths of some 50 million people! Now, because we think these nations have changed, we have given them our nuclear bombs. But have these nations really changed? Are we absolutely sure they will never repeat their past? Many authors have shown that after World War II, the Allies spent just two years de-Nazifying Germany. Then we stopped and told the Germans to de-Nazify themselves. Now, based on our assumption that they completed the job, we risk nuclear annihilation.
The truth is that at the end of World War II, when they knew defeat was inevitable, Nazi leaders began to prepare to go underground. Major corporations like Messerschmidt and Volkswagen committed to hiring some of the top Nazi officials so they could continue their plan for German domination underground until World War III.
That is documented history! In the 1990s, U.S. intelligence declassified that information for all to see—after shamefully keeping it secret for 50 years! When proof of this secret plan became public, Elan Steinberg of the World Jewish Congress said, “The central question is whether it has been carried out.” We have shown repeatedly that it was carried out! There are elites within Germany who never did give up on the plan to conquer the world. And now, America has turned control of some incredibly powerful U.S. weaponry over to this nation!
This is an insane policy, even by normal standards of common sense. But God sees it for what it really is. He says America and Britain are worse than a prostitute: We are like a woman who has forsaken her husband and become a prostitute who pays the customer to come to her. The sobering reality is that any one of the countries that have those bombs could take control of these weapons by force and use them against the U.S. Two hundred nuclear bombs are sitting in European countries—enough to destroy the world—and the proliferation is spreading!

Pope Aims At Revival of Holy Roman Empire

In recent weeks the world has finally started to pay serious attention to the barbarism of the Islamic State, the radical Islamist group taking over Iraq and Syria. The growing outcry includes voices from Pope Francis and the Vatican, who are concerned about the genocide of Christians in the Middle East. Criticized for his weak, uncommitted response to the Islamic State, the pope appears to be changing his tune.
During his Sunday blessing on August 10, “Pope Francis used unusually strong language to condemn the actions of [the Islamic State],” according to the Guardian (emphasis added throughout). “Unusually strong language” is probably an overstatement by the Guardian. Compared to previous popes, and considering the dramatic cruelty of the terrorist group, it is easier to make the case that Francis’s remarks are merely stronger than they were before. However, the pope’s remarks, and some recent decisions made by the Vatican, clearly reveal that the Vatican is toughening its stance.
Two recent moves signal how serious the Vatican and the pope are about the situation in Iraq. Pope Francis is dispatching his close ally, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect for the Congregation of the Evangelization of Peoples, as a personal envoy to the country. Also, according to the Guardian, the Vatican is planning to meet with all its envoys from the region in September. It is internal encouragement added to external pressure that has prompted the pope to speak out.
Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the president handling Eastern Catholic churches, in his August 7 statement published by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches thanked the pope for his “attentive closeness” to the developing situation and called the Islamic State’s actions “acts against God.” Catholic.org, a hub for the dissemination of Catholic news, has kept its readers abreast of developments in Iraq. The website has even provided gory photos of brutality it believes are a result of the Islamic State’s violence. Many of the victims are women and children. One caption for a photo of a decapitated little girl exhorts: “All humanity owes a debt to this baby girl, to find her murderers and bring them to justice, dead or alive. That the nations of the world and its citizens sit complacent is the greatest embarrassment to civilization and should be the source of deep shame to all. Everything less that we do … pales by comparison. We have a moral imperative to act.”
This is a big change from last August when Pope Francis was opposed to using force in Syria. On August 12, the Vatican continued its call for more action, even condoning military intervention. Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the pope’s ambassador to Baghdad, told Vatican Radio that United States President Barack Obama’s decision to bomb Islamic State militants was “something that had to be done.” Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican envoy to the United Nations in Geneva, followed that up by telling Vatican Radio that “military action in this moment is probably necessary.”
While returning from a five-day trip to South Korea, Francis continued his push for Western intervention by suggesting that the West must stop the Islamic State with whatever legal means available. “Where there is unjust aggression,” he told reporters, “I am not saying ‘bomb’ or ‘make war,’ but ‘stop him.’ The means by which he can be stopped must be evaluated. Stopping the aggressor is legitimate.”
USA Today noted that Francis’s remarks were “a rare pronouncement that goes against the Vatican’s usual guidance against the use of force.” As the article goes on to explain, just last year during an open-air August mass, Francis objected to the idea of military intervention in Syria stating, “Violence and war are never the way to peace.” Francis also wrote to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in what Britain’s Daily Mail described as “an ‘urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway.’” Francis wrote, “The tragic experiences of the 20th century, and the most basic understanding of human dignity, compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.” Many have taken Francis’s ongoing comments as a push for war.
In what could be a related response to Vatican efforts to generate a response to the Islamic State, Germany has also agreed “in principle” to send various armaments to Kurdish forces fighting the terrorist group. Currently, the militants are better armed with superior American military equipment and weapons obtained from retreating Iraqi forces. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier explained that the barbaric violence in Iraq and the growing threat to Europe was the reason for the decision. European leaders are concerned that the Islamic State will advance further; thus, putting Kurdish forces on an equal or better footing with the terrorist group is a growing priority.
If Germany does send armaments to the region, it will join other European nations, including France, which has already sent arms to Kurdish fighters. Italy is also contemplating sending used machine guns, ammunition and anti-tank rockets. Such braggadocio is sure to have gained the Vatican’s attention.
In recent months, the Islamic State has taken aim at both Europe and America, but its turn toward Europe is most notable and geopolitically significant. When the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the Islamic State a “caliphate” on the first day of Ramadan, June 29, he said, “Rush, O Muslims, to your state. Yes, it is your state. Rush, because Syria is not for the Syrians and Iraq is not for the Iraqis. … The land is for the Muslims, all the Muslims. … This is my advice to you. If you hold to it you will conquer Rome and own the world, if Allah wills.” “Rome” is a code word for the Vatican and the Catholic religion. So we should expect the Vatican to continue to marshal its considerable political power and influence against the Islamic State and radical Islamic terror.
As the butchering and pillaging in Iraq continues, and as the Islamic State’s threats against Europe grow, the Vatican will strengthen its own calls for action. Someone must fill the vacuum created by the astonishing decline of American power. Prophecy boldly states that void will be filled by Germany, guided by the Vatican. In the future, expect Europe and Germany take the lead in dealing with the Islamic State’s threat.
One of the most prophetic events of 2014 happened in late May. It was Pope Francis’s visit to Jerusalem, May 24 through 26. The news media failed to recognize its significance. Though most people are unaware of it, this visit was extremely momentous. It shed light on the future of Europe and of the world, and showed us where we are in Bible prophecy. The pope’s visit took place amid some very disturbing acts of anti-Semitism in Europe. The day he arrived, four people, two of them Jews, were shot to death in a museum in Brussels. Hours later, two brothers were beaten badly as they left a synagogue in Paris. And these attacks came just after European Parliament elections, when Europeans alarmed people by electing many far-right members and even some neo-Nazis.
Some commentators talked about these elections in terms of the Fourth Reich. In Germany, the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party won 1 percent of the vote and will send a man who called Adolf Hitler “a great man” to the European Parliament. France elected the daughter of a convicted Holocaust denier and racist, even though many feel that she thinks very much like her father. Israeli Knesset member Dov Lipman warned, “Make no mistake about it. There is a direct connection between the way European leaders speak about Israel and the rise in anti-Semitism.” On May 26, the World Jewish Congress released this statement about Europe’s rising political extremism as revealed in the election results: “The future of European Jewry is at stake.” You can read more about this trend in our article “What 79 Million Europeans Think of Jews.”
During his visit to Israel, the pope addressed the murders and said he was sorry that things like this are happening. The Times of Israel also said he also discussed the elections. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said these events are happening because of noxious anti-Jewish sentiments and statements spreading all over Europe. Many Jewish leaders are expressing shock and rage because of this trend in Europe.
People looking only at the surface would view the pope’s visit as a sign of his support of Israel. But if you look closely at what the pope said and did in Jerusalem, you can see how, in reality, he is much more closely connected with the anti-Jewish attitudes simmering in Europe!
People often forget that the oldest political dictatorship on Earth is the Vatican! The Roman Catholic Church is far more than a religion. It is also politically a world power. … And how many people know that the real objective of the Catholic political power is precisely the same as the goals of communism and fascism—to gain dominance, control and rule over the whole world! … Of course it is generally known that most nations send ambassadors to the Vatican, and papal ambassadors are established in most world capitals. But it has not been generally grasped that this Roman system is much more than a church—it is a STATE, called in the Encyclopedia Britannica an Ecclesiastical World Empire—it is a political dictatorship—it is a world power whose influence in many respects outweighs that of any nation on Earth”.
Undoubtedly, The Vatican is a dictatorship. It is literally a state, with political interests, foreign policy, sovereign independence, recognition under international law, official relations, diplomatic immunity, administrative departments, ambassadors, a central bank, a capital, a very centralized government—and a man who dictates. How many people really understand that? How many Catholics understand that? The Vatican governs 1.2 billion Catholics around the world, and it influences millions of other people, as well as national governments.
Where does the Vatican have its strongest power? Europe. And that is where the perfect storm of anti-Jewish sentiment is brewing. And it is to be noted that the Pope did not fly straight to Israel for his visit to the Middle East. Instead, he flew to Jordan on May 24. He spent most of the next day in the Palestinian territories. It is significant that he visited the Palestinians first. And it was there that he made the most eye-catching and significant move of his visit to the Holy Land.
In between scheduled engagements, the pope ordered his motorcade to make an unexpected stop in Bethlehem. He got out of his popemobile and made his way to a section of Israel’s security wall. This is an often-photographed section of THE WALL WITH HEAVY GRAFFITI THAT COMPARES PALESTINIAN BETHLEHEM TO THE JEWISH WARSAW GHETTO. Near a spot where someone had very recently sprayed “FREE PALESTINE,” the pope touched the wall and began to pray. Of course, cameras were everywhere capturing that moment.
Why would the pope want to have a photo op there? These are images that will be shown from now on when people talk about the Jews and the Palestinians. This man took the eyes of the world and put them on this wall with “Free Palestine” graffiti. The Jews had invited Pope Francis to Jerusalem. They were hoping he would use his power of symbolism to create a big photo op at their holiest site, the Wailing Wall. But it was this security wall outside Bethlehem that got all the publicity.
Why is this wall, which the Palestinians and the pope hate so much, even there? Britain’s liberal Guardian newspaper described it this way: “Built by Israel as a so-called security fence … [i]t has become an emblem of the Israeli occupation.” So-called? The government built this fence to limit the ability of Palestinian weapons smugglers and suicide bombers to travel into Jewish population centers! Palestinians and everyone else are still free to move about—they just have to pass through a checkpoint so Israelis have a better chance to stop someone from walking onto a bus full of innocent people and blowing them up!
“Reasonable people disagree about the contribution the security fence makes to the security of the Israelis,” Caroline Glick wrote in the Jerusalem Post on May 28. “But no one can reasonably doubt that it was built to protect Israelis from Palestinian terrorist murderers. And Francis ought to know this. Francis’s decision to hold a photo op at the security barrier was an act of EXTREME HOSTILITY against Israel and the Jewish people.” That is exactly right! Yet almost nobody criticized Francis for this provocative act.
Why would the Guardian and other news media label it a “so-called security fence”? What is its purpose, if not security? Well, it must be there to just pen those poor Palestinians in—like Nazis penning the Jews in the ghettos! Forget the fact that Palestinians are repeatedly attacking unarmed Jewish citizens. And why call it “an emblem of the Israeli occupation”? What do they mean occupation? The Arabs came at the Jews and tried to destroy them in 1967. Israel fought back and conquered some of their land—but to the Guardian, the Israelis are “occupiers.” “Surrounded by Palestinian children,” the Guardian wrote, “Francis’s progress towards the concrete barrier was followed carefully by photographers and television cameras as well as Israeli soldiers revealed in silhouette at the window of a nearby watchtower. ‘I know all about this,’ he is reported to have told one Palestinian official.” The Vatican spokesman said the pope planned this move the day before. I wouldn’t doubt that he planned it long before that.
THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION, WITH CATHOLIC DOCTRINE OR THE CATHOLIC PEOPLE. BUT IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH POLITICAL DICTATORSHIP! The pope knows how to use symbolism, and this is the symbol he created to show the world. It did not happen by accident! He created a photo op at that place for all it symbolized—a “symbol of division,” the Guardian calls it. That implies that it is a symbol of the Nazi spirit, with the JEWS as Nazis.
The fact is, the pope wanted the world to see this image. Forget about what happened in World War II, he is saying. Isn’t he implying that the Jews are the Nazis today? Many people will think so. Look around Europe: Many Europeans are starting to believe that about the Jews!
Prime Minister Netanyahu was troubled by the stop. “According to the prime minister’s office, Netanyahu said he ‘explained to the pope that building the security fence prevented many more victims [of] Palestinian terror, which continues today,’” the Washington Post reported. “A VATICAN SPOKESMAN CONCEDED THAT ‘SOME HAD DIFFICULTY UNDERSTANDING HIS ACT AT THE WALL YESTERDAY’” (May 26).
Francis clearly favors the Arabs, and he is projecting a distorted view of the Jews in the Middle East. On his trip to Bethlehem with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the pope made a prepared statement referring to “the state of Palestine,” and to Abbas’s office as the “presidential palace.” He also called Mahmoud Abbas “a man of peace and a peacemaker.” Abbas is chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization and head of the Fatah political party. He recently created a Palestinian unity government with Hamas, a recognized terrorist organization. Hamas is undisputedly engaged in terrorism against Jews as a way of life! Yet the pope apparently sees no problem with Abbas allying with this bloody group—calling him “a man of peace and a peacemaker.”
DURING SUNDAY MASS ON HIS TRIP, Pope Francis prayed with Fouad Twal, a Palestinian archbishop who serves as the Catholic Church’s Latin patriarch of Jerusalem. “In his sermon, Twal accused Israelis of being the present-day version of Christ-killers by referring to the Palestinians as walking in the footsteps of the divine child, and likening the Israelis to King Herod. In his words, ‘We are not yet done with the present-day Herods who fear peace more than war, and who are prepared to continue killing’.
What did the pope do after hearing these violent and outrageous words? Not only did he not condemn them, he added to them! “Who are we as we stand before the child Jesus? Who are we standing as we are before today’s children?” the pope asked. “Are we like Mary and Joseph, who welcomed Jesus and cared for Him with the love of a father and a mother? Or are we like Herod, who wanted to eliminate Him?” Apparently the pope really believes the Jews are “present-day Herods … who are prepared to continue killing”! And remember, THIS WAS AT A SUNDAY MASS! Most in the media and politicians must think it’s all right for the world’s most visible religious leader to make such vile statements! At best this is gutter politics!
On top of that, “Francis embraced the Palestinian mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein. Departing from his scripted remarks which called for the pope to refer to the mufti and his associates as ‘dear friends,’ Francis called them his ‘dear brothers’. Who is this Sheikh Muhammad Hussein? “In 2012 Hussein said it was the destiny of Muslims to kill Jews, who he claims are sub-human beasts, and the enemies of Allah. He has also praised suicide bombers and said their souls tell us to follow in their path. Francis didn’t condemn him” (ibid). Such people are the pope’s “dear brothers”?
The pope—whom so many millions view as a peaceful, religious man—didn’t condemn any of this when he was right there among these people so full of hate. He only increased their stature. Is he really looking for peace? HOW COULD A MAN WITH NORMAL HUMAN AFFECTION COZY UP TO PEOPLE WHOSE GREATEST PASSION IS TO WIPE THE JEWS OFF OF THE MAP? That is what a political dictator with fearsome power can do. Everyone, including the Jews, is too intimidated to speak out against the pope and the Vatican. The pope’s words and actions on this Jerusalem visit are a dark sign for the future of Europe and the world.
The pope knows how to keep the media on his side though. He used his mastery of symbolism to divert criticism. Later in his visit, he prayed at the Wailing Wall, put a wreath at the grave of the founder of Zionism, and visited a memorial to victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks (but only after the Israelis requested that he add this unscheduled event to his itinerary to try to counterbalance what he had done in Bethlehem).
Pope Francis also spent 45 minutes at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, where there were six Holocaust survivors. One by one he took the hands of these elderly people and kissed them. Israelis applauded the pope for these gestures—even though he had just visited the wall that slows Palestinians down from trying to destroy the Jews! Even though he praised Palestinian leaders who have proclaimed that they do not want peace, and do not recognize Israel’s right to even exist. He called Palestinians, who are working toward another Jewish holocaust, “dear brothers”! Where is the goodness and the love of God in that? Here is what Francis wrote in the Yad Vashem guest book: “With shame for what man, who was created in the image of God, was able to do. With shame for the fact that man made himself the owner of evil. With shame that man made himself into God and sacrificed his brothers. Never again!! Never again!! Francis.” He also said, “Never again, Lord, never again. Here we are, Lord, shamed by what man created in your own image and likeness was capable of doing.”
Francis blamed the Holocaust on “man.” But the real culprit was the Nazis. The Nazis were responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews and 60 million people total in World War II. And THERE IS A MOUNTAIN OF EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT THE VATICAN WAS COMPLICIT IN THAT COLOSSAL HOLOCAUST!
One Catholic author received access to Vatican records, and he was shocked at what he found and how anti-Semitic and hateful the Vatican was toward the Jews. It has been absolutely proved that even after the Nazis committed all these horrific crimes and then lost World War II, it was the Vatican that helped almost all of the Nazi officers escape through the “ratlines.” For example, Adolf Eichmann, who probably killed more Jews for Adolf Hitler in World War II than any other man, escaped to the pope’s home country of Argentina! And he did it with help from the Vatican. (We have an e-book you can download for free, proving this critical point.)
How could the pope go into Israel and not hang his head in shame for this history? Why didn’t he specify that the Vatican helped the movement that did such evil? Why didn’t he lament and repent of what his church did to cause that shame? He and the leaders of his church have never repented of what it did! FOR THE POPE TO KISS THE HANDS OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS CAN ONLY BE VIEWED AS A FRAUD! It was a symbol designed to keep people from focusing on the evil that church has been involved in.
Caroline Glick wrote, “Francis stridently condemned the anti-Jewish attacks in Brussels and Paris. And during his ceremonial visits to Yad Vashem, the Wailing Wall, and the Terror Victims Memorial, he said similarly appropriate things. But all his statements ring hollow and false in light of his actions”. She concluded by saying: “Israelis and Jews around the world need to be aware of what is happening. FRANCIS IS LEADING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN A DISTRESSINGLY ANTI-JEWISH DIRECTION.”
How did this man who carefully designed and stage-managed all of his symbolic moves in the Holy Land treat the prime minister of Israel? The Economist on May 28 characterized the pope’s demeanor as “standoffish.” “In one of his blander pronouncements during the papal visit, Netanyahu mentioned on Monday that Jesus spoke Hebrew,” Glick wrote. “There was nothing incorrect about Netanyahu’s statement. Jesus was, after all, an Israeli Jew. But Francis couldn’t take the truth, so he indelicately interrupted his host, interjecting, ‘Aramaic!’ Netanyahu was probably flustered. True at the time, educated Jews spoke and wrote in Aramaic, and Jesus was educated, but the language of the people was Hebrew, and Jesus preached to the people in Hebrew. Netanyahu responded, ‘He spoke Aramaic, but He knew Hebrew’.
Netanyahu ought to have reacted more strongly. But this is the pope—you just don’t do that to a dictator of his stature! “Reuters’ write-up of the incident tried to explain away the pope’s rudeness and historical revisionism, asserting, ‘Modern-day discourse about Jesus is complicated and often political,’” Glick continued. “The report went on to delicately mention, ‘Palestinians sometimes describe Jesus as Palestinian. Israelis object to that.’ “Israelis ‘object to that’ because IT IS A LIE.”After discussing some success the pope has had with befriending Middle East leaders, the Associated Press reported, “The atmosphere was starkly different in Francis’s one-on-one with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has expressed anger with politicians who have reached out to Abbas at a time when the Palestinian leader is reconciling with the Islamic militant group Hamas. Israel considers Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, a terrorist group” (May 26). I would think so, since Hamas lobs missiles at Israeli cities time and time again.
The Washington Post wrote, “The pontiff had said his visit would be ‘strictly religious,’ but it was not. Francis on Sunday secured a promise from Israeli President Shimon Peres, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, to meet with him at the Vatican next month to pray together and talk peace”. Francis’s invitation was unexpected, and everybody was buzzing about it. Both Peres and Abbas were eager to pray with the pope.
“‘The humility in your nature and the power in your spirit, raised a spiritual elation and a thirst for peace,’ Peres told him in a ceremony in the garden of the presidential residence. But the pope’s gesture seemed to send a powerful message to the region’s leaders not to give up, weeks after the latest round of peace talks collapsed” (Associated Press, op. cit.). The peace process has been a disaster for the Jews! Biblical prophecy describes it as a bleeding wound . A prayer meeting with the pope will keep that wound flowing with blood.
Francis does not have a normal sense of repentance or even shame for what his state did. He is hostile toward the Jews. Where does that hostility come from? Why is he siding with people who want to put the Jews through another Holocaust? Why does he call those people his brothers?Symbolism—like the pope’s photo op in Bethlehem, or his warm gestures toward Abbas, Twal and Hussein—is one of the Vatican’s greatest tools. Why? BECAUSE OF PEOPLE’S IGNORANCE. If people had the perceptiveness of Caroline Glick, for example—or if they just remembered history—there is no way the pope could get away with promoting Palestinian propaganda! Outside of terrorists and others who want to murder Jews, everyone else would scoff and jeer! Look back in history. The fact remains that in the Middle Ages the Catholic Church killed about 50 million people in an Inquisition. That is the extreme to which it will go to increase its power. And it will do everything it can to blot out that history. Look at the horrors the Vatican-guided “Holy” Roman Empire has committed throughout the ages. The Bible literally gives you a picture of it. God is the greatest and most masterful user of symbols, and He depicts the Holy Roman Empire very appropriately: as a beast—a great monster like you’ve never seen before! A political-military beast guided by a political-religious beast. That Holy Roman Empire is about to burst on the world scene, led by Germany and the Vatican.
Historically speaking, since A.D. 554 this empire, through its secular agents, has routinely KILLED PEOPLE who don’t submit to its power, shedding more blood than any other church could even begin to do! WHY? NOT BECAUSE OF ITS DOCTRINES OR ITS PEOPLE—BUT BECAUSE IT HAD POLITICAL DICTATORS WHO WERE OUT TO CONTROL THE WORLD! Yet it has never repented of that evil. And according to prophecy, the seventh and final resurrection of that empire will be the very worst! Even as it talks about peace, that Holy Roman Empire is coming again! Was this trip to Jerusalem about the Catholic people the pope rules over? Was it about the Catholic religion? No, it was about a political dictator who wants to rule the world.

The New Thirty Year War

History repeats itself- the only change is change of protagonists and jargaon. The Thirty Years’ War was fought from 1618 until 1648 between Protestants and Catholics and political struggles between the Holy Roman Empire and other powers. It ended with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The rivalry and destruction brought famine and economic hardship to all of Europe. Some pundits are arguing that MENA may be entering a period of long-term instability with no end in sight. The expansion of the Islamic State, the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli violence, and the arc of instability across Africa may see several decades of upheaval and change. Are we in the beginning of such a period of time? The answer is yes.
When General William Tecumseh Sherman burned the city of Atlanta in 1864, he warned, “I fear the world will jump to the wrong conclusion that because I am in Atlanta the work is done. Far from it. We must kill three hundred thousand I have told you of so often, and the further they run the harder for us to get them.” Add a zero to calibrate the problem in the Levant today. War in the Middle East is less a strategic than a demographic phenomenon, the resolution of which will come with the exhaustion of the pool of potential fighters. Sherman’s 300,000 at that time and the Caliphate’s Three Million now balance
The key to the issue of a new Thirty Year War – from 2014 to 2044 – is searching for the common denominators. Clearly religion, terrorism, and proto-state formation are the greatest factors. Quite recently, the Islamist militant group Ansar al-Sharia declared Benghazi an “Islamic Emirate” after claiming to have taken total control of Libya’s second largest city, seizing military barracks with rockets and ammunition. The official spokesperson of the extremist group told local Radio Tawhid that “Benghazi has now become an Islamic emirate.” The announcement makes for the creation of yet another Islamic state-let in the MENA region including the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Jabhat al-Nusra intends to form an Emirate in Syria in the near future.
Of course, there have been other Islamic Emirates announced in the past notably in Afghanistan, Egypt, Gaza, and Iraq before the Arab Spring. But there seems to be a new urgency—and opportunity—to create these alternative state-lets.
The Middle East is a region wracked by religious struggle between competing traditions of the faith. But the conflict is also between militants and moderates, fueled by neighboring rulers seeking to defend their interests and increase their influence. Conflicts take place within and between states; civil wars and proxy wars become impossible to distinguish. Governments often forfeit control to smaller groups – militias and the like – operating within and across borders. The loss of life is devastating, and millions are rendered homeless.
Well and good: I predicted in 2006 that the George W. Bush administration’s blunder would provoke another Thirty Years War in the region, and repeated the diagnosis many times since. How does one handle wars of this sort? In 2008, I argued for a “Richelovian” foreign policy, that is, emulation of the evil genius who guided France to victory at the conclusion of the Thirty Years War in 1648. Wars of this sort end when two generations of fighters are killed. They last for decades (as did the Peloponnesian War, the Napoleonic Wars and the two World Wars of the 20th century) because one kills off the fathers in the first half of the war, and the sons in the second.
The emergence of Emirates based on Salafist-Jihadist thought is a troubling development. Although these emirates illustrate the collapse of governance across a broad expanse of territory, endangering lives, creating chaos, and forcing the evacuation, deportation, arrest, and even execution of those not “inclusive” of the new “regime”. There is also other attributes at play: the mosaic of ethnicity, tribes, religion, and secularism that are at war with each other on multiple levels that allows Salafi-Jihadists to come to power. According to an Arab official, these Emirates are an alternative state structure that excludes everyone but the pious. But there are other more subtle attributes that make these states—Emirates—more dangerous for the entire region.
Salifist-Jihadist Emirates are the wave of the future in the turbulent areas of the MENA region. The events in Libya, specifically in Benghazi, are the most recent manifestation of an Emirate experiment and it is important to connect the dots on Emirates formation. Of course, some may question the creation of the Islamic State as part of this effort. The announcement of the Islamic State by “Caliph Ibrahim” on the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan this year is not related to the events in Libya directly but is instead part of the evolution of the Jihadi-Salafist universe that are recognizing that now is the time to announce proto-states. These proto-states build alternative government structures and are attractive recruitment tools across the region and beyond because they offer “a new vision”. Such emirates could erupt on the Sinai Peninsula and in Houthi controlled areas of Yemen in the coming year or two.
The ongoing warfare between Hamas and Israel may ebb and flow but there continues to be major trouble on the horizon. Israel’s ongoing Gaza operation means that Israel is now completely surrounded by threats. Not only will Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Popular Resistance Committees, and the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades not give up, but they will continue to attempt to kill as many IDF personnel as possible through terrorism. To the north, east, and south, Hezbollah, the Islamic State, and al-Qaeda affiliates are all threatening to Israel—mostly in terms of separate agendas. This threat to Israel not only takes the shape of Hezbollah-backed, Iranian Quds, Syrian troops but also the Islamic State and the groups attempts to penetrate Jordan. While ISIS tried once already to enter Jordan, there will likely be future attempts that will be used to draw the Israelis into Jordan as well as the United States due to existing security agreements between Amman, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C. The result may be an unholy mess, one where the IDF will not want to be engaging enemies on all fronts—and a threat that seems to have no end in any reasonable amount of time.
This new Thirty Years War has its origins in a demographic peak and an economic trough. There are nearly 30 million young men aged 15 to 24 in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran, a bulge generation produced by pre-modern fertility rates that prevailed a generation ago. But the region’s economies cannot support them. Syria does not have enough water to support an agricultural population, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of farmers into tent cities preceded its civil war. The West mistook the death spasms of a civilization for an “Arab Spring,” and its blunders channeled the youth bulge into a regional war.
The way to win such a war is by attrition, that is, by feeding into the meat-grinder a quarter to a third of the enemy’s available manpower. Once a sufficient number of those who wish to fight to the death have had the opportunity to do so, the war stops because there are insufficient recruits to fill the ranks. That is how Generals Grant and Sherman fought the American Civil War, and that is the indicated strategy in the Middle East today.
It is a horrible business. It was not inevitable. It came about because of the ideological rigidity of the Bush Administration, compounded by the strategic withdrawal of the Obama administration. It could have been avoided by the cheap and simple expedient bombing of Iran’s nuclear program and Revolutionary Guards bases, followed by an intensive subversion effort aimed at regime change in Teheran. Former Vice President Dick Cheney advocated this course of action, but then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Bush that the Muslim world would never forgive America for an attack on another Muslim state.
The occupation of Iraq in the pursuit of nation building was colossally stupid. It wasted thousands of lives and disrupted millions, cost the better part of a trillion dollars, and demoralized the American public like no failure since Vietnam – most of all America’s young people. Not only did it fail to accomplish its objective, but it kept America stuck in a tar-baby trap, unable to take action against the region’s main malefactor. Worst of all: the methods America employed in order to give the Iraq war the temporary appearance of success set in motion the disaster we have today. I warned of this in a May 4, 2010 essay entitled, General Petraeus’ Thirty Years War(Asia Times Online, May 4, 2010).
Across Northern Africa, is an arc of instability rising where religion and insurgency plays a major, seemingly unstoppable role. The nexus of piracy, terrorism, drugs, and transnational crime are turning the entire northern part of the continent—including the Sahel and the Maghreb, into a wide arena of instability. Terrorist groups and trans-regional criminal organizations are benefiting from the remnants of the pirate economic model from ransom to illegal trade to launch attacks against governments and civilians thereby hurting state stability in a number of different countries from Kenya, Nigeria, Yemen and North Africa. In the Horn of Africa, Al-Shabaab continues to enjoy the freedom to organize, train and access logistics, including weapons and munitions, attacking at will both soft and hard targets in Somalia and Kenya. Weapons supplies for Al-Shabaab are increasingly coming from Yemen and Libya where arms and ammunition transit due to weak border controls and internal upheaval. In addition, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is considerably different than piracy off the coast of Somalia where more states are under severe duress.
Poor governance in Nigeria has produced insurgent-like activities, which have in turn produced piracy including groups such as Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPV), Boko Haram, Ansaru, the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MOJWA) and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Transnational organized criminal networks seize on this chain of instability for political and economic gain and spread their operations throughout West Africa. When combined with the upheaval of the Levant, then it is clear that that there is a wide arena of grievances that will afflict the region for years and perhaps decades to come.The great field marshal of the Thirty Years War of 1618-1648, Albrecht von Wallenstein, taught armies to live off the land, and succeeded so well that nearly half the people of Central Europe starved to death during the conflict. General David Petraeus, who heads America’s Central Command (CENTCOM), taught the land to live off him. Petraeus’ putative success in the Iraq “surge” of 2007-2008 is one of the weirder cases of Karl Marx’s quip of history repeating itself first as tragedy second as farce. The consequences will be similar, that is, hideous.
Wallenstein put 100,000 men into the field, an army of terrifying size for the times, by turning the imperial army into a parasite that consumed the livelihood of the empire’s home provinces. The Austrian Empire fired him in 1629 after five years of depredation, but pressed him back into service in 1631. Those who were left alive joined the army, in a self-feeding spiral of destruction on a scale not seen in Europe since the 8th century. Wallenstein’s power grew with the implosion of civil society, and the Austrian emperor had him murdered in 1634.
Petraeus accomplished the same thing with (literally) bags of money. Starting with Iraq, the American military has militarized large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia in the name of pacification. And now America is engaged in a grand strategic withdrawal from responsibility in the region, leaving behind men with weapons and excellent reason to use them.
There is no way to rewind the tape after the fragile ties of traditional society have been ripped to shreds by war. All of this was foreseeable; most of it might have been averted. But the sordid players in this tragicomedy had too much reputation at stake to reverse course when it still was possible. Now they will spend the declining years of their careers blaming each other.
Three million men will have to die before the butchery comes to an end. That is roughly the number of men who have nothing to go back to, and will fight to the death rather than surrender.
ISIS by itself is overrated. It is a horde enhanced by captured heavy weapons, but cannot fly warplanes in a region where close air support is the decisive factor in battle. The fighters of the Caliphate cannot hide under the jungle canopy like the North Vietnamese. They occupy terrain where aerial reconnaissance can identify every stray cat. The Saudi and Jordanian air forces are quite capable of defending their borders. Saudi Arabia has over 300 F-15′s and 72 Typhoons, and more than 80 Apache attack helicopters. Jordan has 60 F16′s as well as 25 Cobra attack helicopters. The putative Caliphate can be contained; it cannot break out into Saudi Arabia and Jordan, and it cannot advance far into the core Shia territory of Iraq. It can operate freely in Syria, in a war of attrition with the Iranian backed government army. The grim task of regional security policy is to channel the butchery into areas that do not threaten oil production or transport.
Ultimately, ISIS is a distraction. The problem is Iran. Without Iran, Hamas would have no capacity to strike Israel beyond a few dozen kilometers past the Gaza border. Iran now has GPS-guided missiles which are much harder to shoot down than ordinary ballistic missiles (an unguided missile has a trajectory that is easy to calculate after launch; guided missiles squirrel about seeking their targets). If Hamas acquires such rockets – and it will eventually if left to its own devices – Israel will have to strike further, harder and deeper to eliminate the threat. That confrontation will not come within a year, and possibly not within five years, but it looms over the present hostilities. The region’s security will hinge on the ultimate reckoning with Iran.
Overall, the pieces are all in place for a new Thirty Year War. The groups operating from Mali to Iraq are slowly turning into one overarching network of communication, duplication of objectives, subverting economies and governments, and rallying portions of the trans-regional populations—specifically youth– to turn against their elected leaders, regimes, and clergy. The fighters who are in today’s killing fields will be tomorrow’s leaders of radical, violent groups who share one goal in common: State meltdown. State meltdown will continue to be a phenomenon for the foreseeable future unless there are strong, robust efforts to fix these problems now before the next five years elapse or the following 25 years will be extremely traumatic for the entire world economy and supply chain networks. So instead of the “old” Thirty Years War mostly confined to Europe, the “new” Thirty Years War will be global. The contingencies for such a new war need to be planned now.

The Chief Executive – Nay, The Thief Executive

Political leaders live up to dictum of Lord Acton and are prime examples of venality, corruption and unethical behavior. The political thieves who masquerade as protectors are dime a dozen- Imelda Marcos, and Nazi leaders, are just symbols of such persons. Amid the plethora of left-field cultural interventions that indicated some Americans were less than thrilled by the presidency of George W. Bush was a catchy song by Sonny Meadows titled ‘I Never Thought I’d Miss Richard Nixon’. It wasn’t intended to vindicate the 37th president of the United States, who resigned in August 1974 — the first time an American chief executive had exercised that option.
Much of the US heaved a collective sigh of relief when a helicopter conveyed Nixon away from the White House on Aug 9. His unelected successor, Gerald Ford, declared that the nightmare was over, and most Americans accepted the notion that the presidency, after having descended to its nadir, had been rescued by a broader system that worked.
The idea behind Meadows’ lyrics was to point out that there was, in many ways, worse to come.
Reflections on the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s dishonorable exit this past week have inevitably focused largely on the Watergate scandal, which related to the break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee by ‘plumbers’ tasked by the White House. A pair of young reporters at The Washington Post, intrigued by the fact that one of the culprits was directly associated with the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP), decided to dig further.
Much of the US was relieved when Nixon resigned. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were astonished by what they began to discover — a chain of culpability that seemed to stretch all the way to the apex of the American political structure. Yet the first few months of their reportage barely seemed to register in electoral terms, given that Nixon was returned to the White House by an unprecedented landslide in November 1972.
By then the White House was in full cover-up mode. But Nixon had surreptitiously set up a system for recording all conversations in the Oval Office and its environs. Amazingly, the hidden microphones remained in place even after the cat was out of the bag.
On more than one occasion, Nixon ordered his chief of staff, Bob Haldeman, to destroy all the tapes. For reasons that are not altogether clear, the order was never carried out. Once the existence of the tapes became public knowledge, some of them were legally subpoenaed. It is widely acknowledged that but for the incriminating tapes, Nixon would not have felt obliged to quit.
He resigned in the face of impeachment proceedings that cited not just the Watergate affair but the secret bombing of Cambodia as part of the Vietnam War effort. In fact, it was activists opposed to that war who first provoked Nixon to violate the law.
Arguably, one of the Nixon administration’s worst misdemeanors was to thwart a Vietnam peace initiative launched in the dying days of Lyndon Johnson’s presidency. In certain other respects, though, Nixon pursued a relatively enlightened foreign policy, which notably included the overdue establishment of ties with Mao Zedong’s China (with assistance from Yahya Khan’s military regime in Islamabad, which was rewarded with the infamous ‘tilt towards Pakistan’ in 1971) as well as détente with the Soviet Union.
Even on the domestic front there were some progressive initiatives. The primary trend, however, was overwhelmingly reactionary, and included relentless pursuit of the “southern strategy” whereby the Republican Party became the natural home for Americans disenchanted by the Democrats’ adoption of the civil rights agenda.
The bitter and paranoid personality Nixon brought to the White House in 1969 was in some part a consequence of his conviction that the Kennedy family had stolen the 1960 presidential election. He is subsequently likely to have rued the fact that his downfall was precipitated not by constitutional violations per se, but by the almost accidental discovery of his direct role in crimes and cover-ups. And the dogged pursuit of the truth not just by Woodward and Bernstein, but by the likes of district court judge John Sirica, Senator Sam Ervin and special prosecutor Archibald Cox.
“Forty years later,” Bernstein told the BBC’s Owen Bennett-Jones recently, “what we see is that the truth was far worse than we thought at the time. That the criminality was far more extensive, pervasive and basic to what this president and his presidency was.”
Several of Nixon’s closest aides and advisers served time in prison, but the ring leader got away thanks to a pre-preemptive presidential pardon from his successor.
Back in the day, meanwhile, artists considerably more prominent than Sonny Meadows were singing a different tune. Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Presidential Rag’ featured the lines “You’re the one we voted for, so you must take the blame/For handing out authority to men who were insane”. And Phil Ochs, well before Watergate, had rewritten one of his best-known songs to say: “Here’s to the land you’ve torn out the heart of/Richard Nixon find yourself another country to be part of”.

Pakistan Ideology Needs Reapprisal

It is often heard that Pakistan is a not a nation state, that it is an ideological country, that it is religious anachronism. Is it so? The very concept of conflicting views about Pakistan as an ideology need to be reappraised. Most Pakistni school text books relating to the subject often called ‘Pakistan Studies’ usually begin with the words, ‘Pakistan is an ideological state’. It was introduced as a compulsory subject – as result of panic attack- by the Bhutto regime soon after the country lost a war in 1971 and consequently its eastern wing (East Pakistan).
Over the decades these books have gradually evolved into becoming one-dimensional manuals of how to become, believe and behave like a ‘true Pakistani’. Though the content in these books pretends to be of historical nature, it is anything but that. Only a new breed of intellectuals can save Pakistan from its existential dilemma
It is a monologue broken into various chapters about how the state of Pakistan sees, understands and explains the country’s history, society and culture — and the students are expected to swallow it whole. These books propagate a world-view from the lens of what is commonly known as the ‘Pakistan Ideology’ (Nazariya-i-Pakistan). This term is also at the center of many political and ideological discourses that take place in the country. And yet it was missing from the vocabulary of the founders of Pakistan in 1947.
In an essay, ‘Conjuring Pakistan’, eminent historian and scholar, Ayesha Jalal, writes that the term ‘Pakistan Ideology’ was first used by the Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) in early 1960s. The party leadership, headed by renowned Islamic scholar and Political Islamist, Abu Ala Maududi, had most likely used it to explain JI’s stance on the 1962 Constitution that was drafted by the Ayub Khan regime and which, the JI thought, was too secular and (thus) ‘against the dictates of the Pakistan ideology’.
Further research into the matter suggests that JI did not seem to have defined the ideology itself. It simply used the term more as a rhetorical expression of dissent against the Ayub government’s ‘secularism’.
Another historian, Dr Mubarak Ali, however, suggests that the term ‘Pakistan Ideology’ was first coined in 1969 during the short Yahya Khan dictatorship. In his book, Pakistan ‘In Search of Identity’, Dr. Ali claims that as the tensions between the state and Bengali nationalists in the former East Pakistan grew, and after Ayub resigned due to an intense protest movement against him by the leftist student groups and workers unions, it was during the regime of his successor, General Yahya Khan, that the term ‘Pakistan Ideology’ first came into play.
At the height of the Civil War in East Pakistan in 1971, 11 prominent Pakistani historians were invited by the state-owned Radio Pakistan and asked to define the situation in East Pakistan in the historical context of the Pakistan Ideology i.e. to define the Pakistaniat of the citizens of Pakistan of all ethnicities and creed by highlighting their history of a shared struggle against British colonialists and Hindu nationalism, and how the ‘enemies of Pakistan’ were conspiring to break up the country by creating animosity between its various ethnicities.
There is no point in saying and oft repeated reality that as usual with ostrich like jingoists, the clumsiness of the past governments and the state in the handling of sensitive ethnic issues were not touched upon, but the most interesting thing about the initial project to launch a Pakistan Ideology is that the term was an almost entirely secular concoction at the time of its birth!
Dr. Ali gives two reasons why this was so: firstly, the popular Zeitgeist of the period was leaning heavily on leftist ideologies and the state of Pakistan too wanted to explain itself as being a progressive and enlightened entity.
Secondly, the need to conjure something called Pakistan Ideology was almost entirely aimed to appease the rebelling Bengalis in East Pakistan who had suspected that religion was being used by the state as a tool to undermine Bengali culture.
So at the time of its birth, and keeping in mind the eleven lectures delivered in 1971 by some of the country’s leading national historians, the Pakistan Ideology meant explaining the creation of Pakistan as an intellectual and political emergence from the minds and efforts of progressive and enlightened Muslims who created a Muslim country that was to eschew the religious communalism that the Muslims of India had faced, and evolve a separate state and society based on a progressive and democratic understanding of Islam, and many of its egalitarian and universal aspects.
Personally speaking, I think this was a rather promising beginning of an idea of collective Pakistani nationhood that could have further evolved in an even more progressive manner during the populist democratic era that followed Yahya’s fall in December 1971.
But unfortunately the tragedy of East Pakistan breaking away to become a separate country (Bangladesh), and Pakistan’s subsequent defeat in its 1971 war against India, rendered the early notions of Pakistan Ideology obsolete and even detrimental.
Z.A. Bhutto took over as Pakistan’s new head of state and then government in December 1971. Though his party, the PPP, had won the majority of the seats in the former West Pakistan during the 1970 election from a populist socialist platform, he not only had to run his regime’s progressive program but also preside over the creation of a more aggressive notion of Pakistaniat that would work as a deterrent against any further ethnic fissures and break-ups.
Thus ironically, it was under the parliamentarian and left-leaning Bhutto regime that the concept of Pakistan Ideology began to be moulded into a more conservative and reactive idea.
In 1973 the government invited a host of intellectuals and scholars to thrash out a more detailed understanding of the term that now began to see Pakistan as a Muslim state that was created so it could evolve into becoming a democratic Islamic entity with a constitution enshrined by laws culled from the teachings of the faith.
The ideology became more airtight, and warned about ethnic separatists who were being used by the ‘enemies of Islam’ to further dismember Pakistan.
Although despite the ideological dichotomies of the Bhutto regime, the state and society in general remained largely progressive. But he had uncannily laid down the pad for the members of the political and intellectual right to launch themselves into the mainstream and eventually monopolize the construction of the narrative behind Pakistan Ideology.
This trend peaked during the reactionary Gen Zia dictatorship in the 1980s. Pakistan Ideology now explained the creation of Pakistan as a natural outcome of the waves of Muslim invaders who began to arrive in the region from 8th century onward. A conscious attempt was also made to divorce Pakistan’s heritage from its South Asian moorings and place it in the deserts of Arabia.
In other words, Pakistan was not made by the Muslims of India as such, but by those whose ancestors had come to India from elsewhere.
Two and a half decades after this version of the Pakistan Ideology flourished, it too has begun to look and sound obsolete, especially in the wake of unprecedented sectarian and sub-sectarian violence and the rise of religious extremism and militancy. Just like it did in 1971, Pakistan once again is facing a serious existentialist dilemma. Its diverse sects and sub-sects are at each other’s throats and the state is at war with exactly the same ‘mujahids’ that the country’s ideology had eulogized in the 1980s.
So one can ask, where is Pakistan’s new breed of scholars and intellectuals who can remold and redefine the Pakistan Ideology according to the nature of the existentialist threat that Pakistan faces today?
Just as the progressive lot’s idea of Pakistan Ideology fell apart after the break-up of Pakistan in 1971, the conservative version of this ideology that was largely furnished in the 1980s is looking archaic in the wake of what Pakistan is currently going through. In fact, at this point in time this version of the Pakistan Ideology may actually be justifying certain actions of the extremists! It needs a drastic overhaul and sooner the better.

History’s Greatest Generals Created 7 Management Strategies

Some of the world’s greatest generals, from Napoleon to Alexander the Great, have managed their troops in a manner that should be deemed to be case studies of management strategy, These generals, were able to achieve success not only because of their bravery and innate leadership, but also beacuse they created, adopted and carried out management strategies to lead and conquer.
Napoleon Bonaparte created an empire stretching across Europe from 1804 to 1814. Before his exile, return, and then ultimate defeat in 1815, Napoleon was a brilliant general who understood the dynamics of leading a large group to victory. “The moral is to the physical as three is to one,” Napoleon once said. He meant that his troops’ fighting spirit was crucial in the outcome of the battle. With motivated soldiers he could beat an army three times the size of his own.
The specific ways these world’s greatest generals, from Napoleon to Alexander the Great, managed their troops are a lesson that can enable CEOs to learn and apply these same tactics to boost the morale of the employees and maximize their productivity: The basic strategies adopted by them are:
Unite People Around a Cause :
Give your team something to fight for. The cause can be anything you wish, but you should represent it as progressive: It fits the times, it is on the side of the future, so it is destined to succeed. Remind your employees that they are part of a company competing with others in a marketplace, and inspire them to beat their competitors.
When Oliver Cromwell was made a Parliamentarian colonel in the English Civil War in 1643, he began recruiting soldiers who were inexperienced but shared his fervor for the Puritan religion. United around a holy cause, singing psalms as they entered battle, Cromwell’s army of commoners outperformed his previous cavalry of trained soldiers by a wide margin. In 1645, they defeated the Royalist forces and brought an end to the first stage of the war.
Keep Them Busy :
When soldiers are on the defensive, waiting to react to the next strike, their spirits are lower and they become complacent or anxious. A similar thing happens to a company that is not moving an initiative forward.
Napoleon was named commander of the French forces fighting the Austrians in Italy in April 1796, and he wasn’t welcomed by his troops. They found him too short, too young, and too inexperienced to be a leader, and they were already losing hope in fighting for the ideals of the French Revolution. After a few weeks of being unable to motivate them, Napoleon decided to propel them into action. He brought them to a bridge he knew he could easily win, and rode to the front of his men. He gave them a rousing speech and then propelled them forward to a relatively effortless victory. After that day, Napoleon had his men’s full attention.
Keep Them Satisfied :
You do not need to spoil your workers, but you need to meet their basic needs. Otherwise, says Greene, they’ll react to feeling exploited by behaving selfishly and drifting away. You may lose your best employees to the competition if you focus solely on your company’s goals and not on their happiness.
Napoleon knew that many of his troops were homesick and weary. It’s why he made it a practice to get to know individual soldiers, sharing personal stories, writes Greene. He often saved his promotions of soldiers for moments of low morale, since they communicated to his troops that he cared and was paying attention to individual sacrifices.
Lead From the Front :
The enthusiasm of even the most motivated workers will wane, and so you need to let them know that you’re right there beside them. “In moments of panic, fatigue, or disorganization, or when something out of the ordinary has to be demanded from them, the personal example of the commander works wonders,” wrote German field marshal Erwin Rommel, whose war tactics earned him the respect of his enemies US Gen George Patton and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Appeal to Their Emotions:
The best generals have a sense of drama. Lower your employees’ defenses with a story or a joke, and then approach them more directly with their task. The great general Hannibal of Carthage knew how to make a passionate speech that would ignite his men before a battle with the ancient Romans. But he also knew these speeches would hit that much harder if his men were relaxed in their downtime. Hannibal entertained his men with gladiator battles and his jokes could get all of his soldiers laughing.
Balance Punishment and Reward :
Make your soldiers compete to please you. Make them struggle to see less harshness and more kindness. This doesn’t mean that in the workplace you need to reprimand employees who don’t meet your expectations, but excessive kindness regardless of performance will make your team take you for granted.
During the “Spring and Autumn” period of ancient China, the lord of Qi promoted Sima Rangju to general to defend his region from the armies of Jin and Yan. When two of the lord’s men disrespected Rangju in the field, Rangju executed one and killed the attendants of the other. His men were terrified. The general, however, also proved to have a compassionate side, sharing food and supplies equally among his troops and caring for the injured and weak. His men saw that he would reward those who followed him and punish those who did not, and they went on to defeat Jin and Yan.
Build a Group Myth :
Soldiers who have fought alongside one another through many campaigns forge a kind of group myth based on their past victories. Success alone will help bring the group together. Create symbols and slogans that fit the myth. Your soldiers will want to belong.
When General George Washington searched for a place to encamp his troops during the harsh winter of 1777-1778, he settled for Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Washington and his men endured months of extreme cold, very little to eat, and the spread of disease. By the end of February 1778, 2,500 of his troops had died. Those that survived, however, felt that they proved to themselves that nothing would stop them from winning the war against the British. In May, the troops celebrated the announcement of the crucial alliance with the French and pushed forward, more determined than ever.
These generals created history by these innovative strategies that evolved out of their capabilities and needs of the times. They came, they strategized and they won. And you can too.

The Untold Story of Indo-Canadian Parents

Hundreds of Indians emigrate every year: for higher education, lucrative jobs, better lifestyle and to join our spouses abroad. As we inch closer to our goals, dreams become a reality propelling us into the orbit of success. In this process we leave behind all that we wished to escape in India, but at the same time knowingly or unknowingly, we leave behind our biggest treasure – our parents.
With a lump in my throat, I write about the people who made it possible for children to get where they are in life. These are the folks who toiled away several years of their youth, spent a chunk of their retirement savings, took out loans and made sure they left no stone unturned to get us to our destination. It is on these stooped shoulders that we stood tall so we could reach unimaginable heights. No, they don’t remind their children of this. After all, this is what most Indian parents do and how can they have any complaints when they are the much envied, admired parents who managed to run ahead of the rat race and send their offspring abroad. Often perceived as the lucky ones whose children fulfilled their dreams of leaving Indian shores and settling abroad, they are the parents who holiday abroad, get expensive gifts sent by their children and for whom money is not supposed to be a problem. And it’s true in most part.
But between the broad smiles, behind the cheerful exterior and in those moist, rheumy eyes lies an untold story – A tale of loneliness, anxiety, fear and uncertainty that they would rather leave untold.
Here is a look behind the scenes at the lives of parents of non-resident Indians. Once the children have flown the nest, after the initial euphoria has settled, realization dawns that one’s children are miles away. Not hundreds, but thousands of miles apart, several hours of travel time away. The anxiety of being away from one’s children in times of illness and emergencies sets in. Moreover, worry for the safety and wellness of their children takes over their minds. Regular phone calls are reassuring but knowing that one cannot aid or be aided, long distance, by near and dear ones in times of need, plays on the mind, time and again. Simple chores and mundane errands like going to the bank, standing in queue for a gas cylinder or paying a bill become a challenge. Going to the doctor or dentist becomes an ordeal. They are lucky if still fit and healthy to live on their own and if other children live close by. Otherwise, Indo-Canadian parents have to depend on neighbours, other relatives and friends who cannot and are not willing to take on the responsibility of the children. Then there is the social loneliness. No one to celebrate festivals with, no one to cook special meals for, Mother’s Day and Father’s day all celebrated long distance, via Skype and flowers dispatched by online couriers. The need to socialize has given way to senior clubs in big cities where parents of Indo-Canadians come together forming kitty groups and find a pretext to meet up, alleviate some of the loneliness and share experiences.
Of course, we invite our parents over to our place and take them around sightseeing and touring. Occasionally, we send them on group Europe tours, with other similar parents. On their visits to us, they get to spend quality time with their grandchildren and all seems well. But once the attraction of sightseeing wears off, settling into the routine in a foreign land different from India gets difficult.
We expect them to look after the house, cook, babysit the children and they dutifully oblige. But often, our parents are elderly and it is difficult to adapt to new surroundings where the lifestyle is different from what they are used to in India. Using strange gadgets and equipment around the house like a washing machine or dishwasher, using an awkward slippery bathtub for a shower when they are used to a bucket and mug, using a western-style toilet, using the cooking hob, getting used to fire alarms, wearing unfamiliar winter clothing- all become daunting tasks. Not being able to go out alone by public transport and being dependent on one’s children to go everywhere, especially in the Canada, is something that takes times to get used to.
Not having any company of their age is another factor to come to terms with. Once the children have left for work and grandchildren are off to school, there is nobody to see either outside or in the house, with alien television channels for entertainment. The weather is the biggest adversary, especially when it’s bitterly cold compelling them to stay indoors for fear of falling down or falling ill. Ill health is a big worry as medical insurance will not pay for a lot of conditions and the last thing they want to do is be a burden on their children in any way. Most parents bring along their medication from India for all the months they will stay abroad and are constantly worried about their medicines falling short or if they need new medication.
Spending time with grandchildren can be challenging too as they may not understand their ‘foreign’ accents and have a hard time communicating if the grandchild does not speak their language and they themselves speak limited English.
Our parents come to our rescue in times of need. When we want to pursue higher career goals and need someone to look after our own children and homes, who better than the parents? So parents and in-laws, who are themselves Indo Canadian parents, arrive and work in rotation. When one set leaves, the other set arrives and takes over. They do it with a sense of duty, although their duty was completed many years ago when we became adults and left our shores, leaving them to fend for themselves.
What about our duty as their children? What do we give them beyond materialistic happiness and intermittent bouts of satisfaction? Making them a visa to relocate abroad is not always desirable, feasible or possible. Most parents prefer to stay on in India in their own homes, persevering independently until they can. It is too much to expect them to start their lives anew in a foreign land. They are happy for us, proud of our achievements and watch our progress from a distance. They are not going to complain and will continue to take things in their stride. Although, the fear of ageing without their children and uncertainty of how life will unfold is at the back of their minds, they will rarely, if ever, give us a glimpse of this unease.
There are no easy solutions for some issues. We made a choice in leaving our home and our parents. Having chosen this way of life, we realize that we pay a heavy price for our choices. We learn that money cannot buy our parents’ happiness and that one certainly cannot have it all. The best thing is to leave them back in their homes, where they have their own support groups,where they have their roots and where they can spend the twilight of their lives at least in company of the people who can relate them. Spare them the isolation, the pain and agony of loneliness.

Beware Established Religions: Non-Belief is Resurgent

Good heavens! Now the gods, or God if you prefer, must contend with some serious media opposition. American Atheists have announced the launch of Atheist TV, available through the streaming service Roku and the internet. At its launch party last week American Atheists president David Silverman said the channel would provide a breadth of content, from science to politics and comedy, all focused on “our common freedom from religion”. Note the preposition; not freedom ‘of’ but freedom ‘from’ religion. For religion, say atheists, oppresses.
Those Indians who are aware of the origins of atheist thought might shrug at the news. Scholars of religious philosophy broadly agree that the world’s first atheists probably emerged in ancient India. For instance, in the recent book Imagine There’s No Heaven: How Atheism Helped Create The Modern World, Mitchell Stephens says that the first known atheist may have been Ajita Kesakambli in the 4th or 5th century BCE. Asked by a king to give his view on religion, Ajita said: “It is an empty lie, mere idle talk, when men say there is profit therein”. He rejected the claim that some blessedly enlightened beings have “understood both this world and the next”.
Stephens goes on to list the arguments of the Charvakas, a sect of non-believers in India, who rejected the supernatural and insisted: “Only the perceived exists.” However, India today, along with America, has the largest proportion of religious believers, perhaps nearly nine out of 10 persons, reveal recent global surveys.
Atheists are vastly outnumbered in the world as a whole. A 2012 Pew survey suggests atheists comprise just 2.01% of the world population. But if you add the proportion of the ‘non-religious’, the overall percentage of non-believers may tally between 16% and 18% of humanity. But the numbers are growing. Even in deeply religious America, those who don’t believe in any particular religion plus atheists and agnostics are today said to total close to 20% of the population.
Statisticians caution that surveys on religious belief are difficult to conduct because people vary widely in how they personally define religion and faith or atheism and agnosticism. Without entering into complex debates on definition or any argument over the existence or non-existence of a divine prime mover and cosmic godfather, we could select two aspects of atheism that, to my mind, are eminently humane.
Atheist TV, its promoters assert, will advocate the absolute separation of church and state and a view of life that emphasizes the here and now and provable. In other words, it won’t present science fiction or pseudo-scientific claims as science fact.
This fits neatly into a secular view of life. In that worldview, assertions of bigoted charlatans, who masquerade as scholars, that ancient Indians knew about stem cells, motor cars and computers should either find no place in modern discourse or must be vigorously dismissed. Atheists and non-believers are well positioned to challenge such idiotic obscurantism. Secular science forms today’s foundation of knowledge.
A second happy feature of atheism and non-belief is that all need for an exclusive religious identity is obviated. Every devotee of any religion defines a path to truth at the exclusion of every other religious view. Implicit, and sometimes explicit, hostile difference and potential violence are ingrained in religious belief no matter how each belief-system asserts peace and tolerance towards all. Religion divides us.
Secular humanism emerged in modern civilization as an antidote to religious division. A humanist advocates a sober, even humble, understanding of nature and the current extent of knowledge. A humanist celebrates uncertainty to advance incrementally our understanding of life, its origin and the future of the human race.
Writes British philosopher A C Grayling in his book The God Argument: “Having intellectual courage to live with open-endedness and uncertainty, trusting to reason and experiment to gain us increments of understanding, having the integrity to base one’s views on rigorous and testable foundations, and being committed to changing one’s mind when shown to be wrong, are the marks of honest minds.”
Religion offers quick palliatives to our existential anxieties. Life is harsh, you’ll be happy in heaven; or, the gods know what they are doing even when things go grievously wrong; it’s all for the good, piety will save you. Really? I wonder, says the humanist.

Failed State – An Excuse to Meddle

When any country exists in a manner that is not in conformity with your own peculiar notions, the easiest way is to barns it a failed state. We tend to call any country a failed state without considering the historic, social, cultural and parameters that might help it govern. There are countries that might be deemed to be backward, simply because the do not follow sheep-wise the established mores of Western Democratic system.
And branding a country as a failed state is the first step to enslave it- politically, economically and culturally.The term itself was coined by two men, Gerald Helman and Steven Ratner, both employees of the US State Department in 1992. In an article appearing in Foreign Policy (which also hosts the dubious index, that has since been renamed the Fragile States Index), the duo argued that new countries emerging on the world’s map were incapable of functioning or sustaining themselves as members of the international community.
What these weak countries (which, it was implied, were near-delusional in imagining themselves as functioning equally in the international realm) needed was the ‘guardianship’ of the Western world. This, in turn, would ensure the ‘survivability’ of these poor hapless countries. This was the white man’s burden- ridiculous for some, useful for the west who found these failed states an excellent market.
In simple terms, the idea of state failure itself was premised on the assumption that weak or new states should allow and welcome inter meddling from Western overlords whose ‘guardianship’ was really something to be grateful for.
Not surprisingly, in the years hence, the term has become a mainstay of justifying interventions and inter meddling via the ‘guardian’ countries themselves or international institutions whose hold over global economics permits them similar licence.
It is common to brand countries like Pakistan a failed state. But is it really so? The familiar questions often raised in Pakistan’s dark times: is the state failing, has it failed, will it fail? These are all questions that have appeared in ink in Pakistani newspapers, fallen from the lips of new analysts, been scattered around by politicians.
A centerpiece in the scientific analysis of governance, a sense of gravity, is invested in the idea; and, consequently, ‘state failure’ is imagined as an objective standard against which existing inadequacies can be tabulated.
Looking at the chaos of Pakistani politics — the inveterate corruption, the endemic nepotism, the lack of oversight and objectivity — the prospect of standards, especially objective ones, gleams and glistens. In this climate of developing-nation despair, therefore, the term “failed” state has been embraced.
But tell me which country has not its own brand of venality, corruption and nepotism. Then why brand Pakistan to be so? Not that I am an advocate of this nepotism, but let us not forget that the ethos of Pakistan are submission to feudal lords and religion.
Foreign commentators, many of whom make their living on their expertise on Pakistan’s unraveling, have offered their own affirmations. Writing in 2012, following the immediate release of the Failed States Index 2012, Robert Kaplan — the chief geopolitical strategist for Stratfor — dictatorially declared: “Perversity characterizes Pakistan.” Many of his ilk have happily followed suit, heaping all sorts negative terms, each supposedly attached to the pristine numerical objectivity of the ‘failed states measure’.
The new colonialism, like the old, presents the shadows of intervention as weightless. As it turns out, the term “failed state” is a hoax designed precisely to capitalize on the insecurities of struggling sovereignties like Pakistan. In an article published in The Guardian newspaper over a year ago, commentator Elliott Ross exposed both the term’s origins and the nefarious intentions for whose fulfillment it was coined. The term and the Failed States Index which accompanies it is the child of a man named J.J. Messner, a former lobbyist for the private military industry.
Not only does Mr Messner not disclose this inconvenient fact about his past employment history, he also refuses to release any of the raw data that goes behind the index that he publishes. Despite this, many political scientists who are usually quite vigilant about trawling through each other’s data to verify claims have accepted the presence of the index in their midst.
An attached plethora of jargon has emerged to support and affirm the concept, which is now alloyed with partners such as ‘ungoverned spaces’. All of them are geared towards the central purpose of defining countries in the developing world as crucially, inherently and ultimately lacking.
The moral underpinning of this framing is that imperial overreach is not something dirty and unwarranted, colonial and corrupt, but necessary, even benevolent. The intervening states are grandfathering, helping along, assisting, and aiding. They are not meddling, provoking, or engaging in self-interested puppetry geared towards accomplishing their own strategic interests, positioning their pawns for their own proxy wars.
Words and typologies determine the way we see the world and our own position in it. The dominance of the jargon of state ‘failure’ means not simply the lens of the world averted from the moral wrongs that emit from intermeddling but also Pakistan’s own image of itself.
Poised against the idea that Pakistan is a ‘failed’ country, the definition of nationalism or its attached patriotism becomes in turn equally deluded. If the world heaps the vacuous term ‘failure’ in order to whitewash the strategic intermeddling of the more powerful on our borders, those opposing it imagine global isolation as a response.
In this oppositional game, opposing the vocabulary of failure seems to require, in turn, a denial of all inadequacies, an imagined Utopian purification all poised on a turning away from the world. The cumulative result is a double distortion, where actual problems are hidden away under the dictates of political gloss from within countries or from their would-be overlords without.
In studying international politics and global demarcations, those who are or would be analysts of Pakistan’s condition, or of the post-colonial quandaries and infrastructural inadequacies of any developing country, must be wary of the vocabulary of development and global benevolence.
In the proliferation of glib terms like ‘failure’ and ‘rentier’ and ‘ungovernability’ are the mis-characterizations and deceptions of the new colonialism. Like the old, it presents the shadows of intervention as weightless and the obligations of aid as never, ever, nefarious. The arrangement of data, the selection of criterion, and the ranking of the always-wanting must, because of this, be open to epistemology questioning.
The idea of the ‘failed’ state is a fiction; digging out from its wreckage of self hood and sovereignty requires not its discounting, but a double challenge that goes beyond both the incorrect characterizations of others and the real flaws we know to be our own. It is an instrument to intervene posing as a benevolent uncle with an implicit desire to rob. We need to stop being impacted by such motivated terms

The Toothless Tiger – OIC

There is no other group of countries that is more archaic or is based on concept of religion. From Pakistan through the Fertile Crescent to the Maghreb and the Sub-Saharan region, the Muslim world is witnessing one of its history’s greatest ideological conflicts. The very fact that it is an anarchism, makes OIC an impotent organization that has neither any utility nor any effect.
On the day the National Assembly called upon the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to take “effective action” against the Israeli attack on Gaza, the 57-member body’s secretary general did some plain-speaking, admitting that the Arab component of the Muslim world could do little to stop the Israeli state from destroying Gaza.
The lawmakers’ speeches contained little beyond emotionalism, and the unanimous resolution passed in Monday’s sessions called for an “emergency session” of the OIC to stop “Israeli brutality against innocent civilians forthwith”.
however, I must acknowledge that not far from Parliament House, Iyad Ameen Abdullah Madani showed a lot of realism in his speech to the Institute of Strategic Studies, referred to the loss of the West Bank, Sinai, Gaza and the Golan Heights in the 1967 war and said there was nothing the Arabs could do “practically” to confront Israel.
The OIC wanted to press war crimes charges against Israel, but, said Mr Madani, “preachers of human rights” were not only supporting Israel but serving as a “political shield” for the Jewish state. Mr Madani, however, claimed, and not unjustifiably, that the OIC had played a positive role in issues concerning Muslims in Myanmar and the Central African Republic.
It is, however, Mr Madani’s views on what ails the Muslim world that deserve attention and analysis. That the current scene in the Muslim world is dominated by debilitating internal conflicts stemming from extremism and sectarianism is obvious.
The Muslim world is witnessing one of its history’s greatest ideological conflicts which have turned such countries as Iraq and Syria into one big charnel house. More people have been killed by ISIS than were killed in World war I. An end to the fratricide doesn’t seem in sight, because well-armed militias with motivated cadres have weakened state authority by occupying large chunks of territory but are themselves unable to acquire the status of de facto governments.
This has added to mass misery, forcing the people to go looking for the basic necessities of life during anarchy. The point to note, however, is that even when this anarchy was absent — as when powerful dictators gave phony stability to their states — the Muslim world’s collective voice didn’t count for much owing to the absence of some of the basic elements of geopolitical power.
Because of clashing national interests, it was not possible for OIC states to have a collective security system, but at least the organisation could have fostered closer collaboration in science and technology. Such cooperation was feasible, if the OIC had drawn up a comprehensive plan for active collaboration between oil-rich countries and those with a pool of scientific manpower.
What Muslim countries need today is internal peace and democracy in which to organize their societies along scientific lines to give the Muslim peoples the tools to face the social and political challenges confronting them, rather than have an organization that is superfluous and redundant.

The India-Israel Axis To Contain Terrorism

Muslims of die hard variety have three main enemies: Jews, Hindus and Christians. And enemy of enemy is by implication a friend. The new emerging Israel-India axis is natural to face a common enemy who is ruthless and ignores all mores of humanity. So, it should be natural for two New Delhi appears ready to suggest publicly what many officials already acknowledge privately: A burgeoning strategic partnership with Israel matters more to India than reflexive solidarity with the Palestinian cause. The government of new Prime Minister Narendra Modi refused to bow to pressure to censure Israel in Parliament. This show is seen in different ways – cultural, political, defense, industry, trade and so on. I am reminded of the 2009 Aero India trade show in Bangalore, where the Israeli arms company Rafael screened a Bollywood-themed music video. It features an Israeli man in a leather jacket pirouetting with a woman dressed in gauzy Indian clothes. “I promise to defend you,” he sings, “fulfill your expectations. Shield you and support you, meet my obligations.” Instead of Bollywood’s more typical trees, the couple dances around missiles garlanded with flowers. Pictures of Hindu deities look on from the walls. The woman representing India leans into the man with her hands pressed against her chest. “Together, forever,” she croons, “I will hold you in my heart.” At its end, the video cuts to black with the message: “Rafael, your partner for indigenous air systems.” Well this partnership is a curtain raiser for intimate relationship.
The tongue-in-cheek video underscored serious business. Rafael won a $1 billion contract that year to provide India with surface-to-air missile systems, and along with other Israeli companies it has supplied New Delhi with an estimated $10 billion in military gear over the last decade, according to the Economic Times. Israel now ranks second only to Russia as the biggest supplier of military equipment to India. In keeping with the metaphor of the Rafael video, outgoing Israeli ambassador Alon Ushpiz last June hailed his country’s relationship with India as one in which “two intimate partners who trust each other start thinking of challenges together and solutions together and what follows together.”
There was no such coziness two decades ago, when India refused even to keep an embassy in Israel. But where protests and public denunciations of Israeli excesses were once routine, today many commentators see India’s traditional support for Palestinians as anachronistic and inimical to the national interest.
India backed a call for a United Nations Human Rights Council investigation into Israel’s ongoing onslaught in Gaza last week (the United States was the only country to oppose the resolution). But that was a largely symbolic vote. At home, the newly elected government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) blocked parliamentary votes to condemn Israeli actions.
It is clear that New Delhi appears ready to suggest publicly what many officials already acknowledge privately: A burgeoning strategic partnership with Israel matters more to India than reflexive solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
Until the end of the Cold War, India had maintained consistent support for Palestinians. Mahatma Gandhi had poured scorn on the idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East. “Surely it would be a crime against humanity,” he wrote in 1938, “to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home.” India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, voted against Israel joining the United Nations in 1949. And the Nehruvian principle of solidarity with anti-colonial causes guided Indian foreign policy for much of the 20th century. In 1974, India became the first non-Arab state to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the official representative of Palestinians. It treated Israel with much the same diplomatic disdain it reserved for apartheid South Africa.
Critics of India’s traditional Israel policy dismiss it as a cynical bid to court India’s large Muslim vote, but many officials saw an echo of their own worldview in the struggle of a secular and multi-religious PLO against an Israeli state defined by religion. Some even saw that as an echo of India’s own confrontations with Pakistan. Both Israel and Pakistan were born after World War II with religious identity as their central organizing principle, as a result of partition policies adopted by the departing British colonial authorities.
It’s a parallel not lost on Pakistani leaders. Former military dictator Gen. Zia ul-Haq claimed in 1981 that “Pakistan is like Israel, an ideological state. Take out the Judaism from Israel and it will fall like a house of cards. Take Islam out of Pakistan and make it a secular state; it would collapse.” In 2012, another former military dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, urged the establishment of better ties with Israel.
India’s foreign policy shift on Israel began with the international impact of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Non-alignment and anti-colonial solidarity seemed moth-eaten in a world of unrivaled American power and triumphant capitalism. India pivoted, aligning itself more closely with the United States. It also began to strengthen ties with Israel, with both countries exchanging ambassadors in 1992.
India’s engagement with Israel has grown substantially in the last two decades on military, scientific, commercial and agricultural matters. The affinity has been less ideological than pragmatic, each side understanding the other’s needs. Israel remains uncomfortable about India’s close ties with Iran, just as India looks warily at Israel’s relationship with China. Neither side allows their bilateral relationship to be imperiled by India’s rhetorical condemnation of Israeli actions — dismissed by one Israeli journalist as India’s “periodic lip service to the Palestinian plight.”
Material benefits are not the only reason for India’s foreign policy establishment building friendly relations with Israel. There’s also the feeling that New Delhi has been poorly compensated for supporting Palestine. It may be home to the world’s second largest Muslim population, but India has been consistently blocked from involvement in the Organization of the Islamic Conference. It is also disappointed by what it sees as the Arab world’s simplistic position on the thorny issue of Kashmir. “India has received no worthwhile backing from the Arab countries in the resolution of problems it faces in its neighborhood, especially Kashmir,” wrote Harsh V. Pant, a scholar of international relations at King’s College London. “There have been no serious attempts by the Arab world to put pressure on Pakistan to reign in the cross-border insurgency in Kashmir.”
Though India’s realpolitik shift is not the work of a particular party or faction, India’s resurgent right-wing is far more ideologically sympathetic to Israel. Prime Minister Modi, then-chief minister of Gujarat with a reputation as an anti-Muslim firebrand, visited Israel in 2006. The Indian conversation about Israel and Palestine has become tinged by India’s own politics of religion and identity. India’s defenders of Israel see both nations engaged in a common conflict against Islamist extremism, placing Hamas in a continuum that runs all the way to South Asia.
There is no denying the fact that Israel has far more friends in India than TV anchors and left-leaning policy correspondents realize. The same Internet army of right-wing Indians that supported Modi’s election has mobilized in support of Israel. The Twitter hashtag “#IndiaWithIsrael” trended across the country, galvanizing real-life rallies in support of Israel’s campaign in Gaza.
Israeli embassy spokesman Ohad Horsandi emphasized the shared experience of terrorism. “Israel, India and other like minded countries,” he told Indian media, “are facing terror threats from organizations with similar radical ideology such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based militant outfit accused of committing the 2008 Mumbai attacks and other atrocities in India] and Hamas. These organizations are committed to kill, kidnap and terrorize civilians and should be treated as terrorist organizations.”
Public opinion in India remains divided, however, and Indians of all stripes have expressed horror at the Israeli siege of Gaza. But the extent of public support in India for Israel’s current offensive would have been unimaginable a decade ago. Where once the anti-colonial rhetoric of Gandhi and Nehru might have guided Indian affinities, in today’s enthusiasm for the “war on terror” we see traces of another 20th century Indian ideologue.
Savarkar was at odds with the secular pluralism of India’s mainstream independence struggle and his book, Hindutva, provided the theoretical underpinning of the Hindu nationalist tradition that eventually birthed the BJP. Inspired by Zionism, Savarkar believed that Hindus and Jews shared a history of oppression at the hands of Muslims, and that both deserved redress. “It must be emphasized that speaking historically, the whole of Palestine has been, from at least 2,000 years before the birth of the Muslim prophet, the national home of the Jewish people,” Savarkar said. In Hindutva (published in 1923), he underlined his support for the Zionist cause. “If the Zionists’ dreams were realized, if Palestine became a Jewish state, it would gladden us almost as much as our Jewish friends.”
Under Modi’s leadership, India looks set to build closer friendship with Israel, no matter what degree of devastation is unleashed in Gaza this summer. Most supporters of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party see the Jewish state more like most Americans do – as a doughty democracy standing up to terrorism in a rough neighborhood. Both countries face a threat from Islamist terrorists.
Even as pro-Palestinian protestors take to the streets of London and Paris, Israel’s ties with the world’s largest democracy are on the upswing. For the first time in a decade, New Delhi appears ready to suggest publicly what many officials already acknowledge privately: A burgeoning strategic partnership with Israel matters more to India than reflexive solidarity with the Palestinian cause.
India’s new warmth toward Jerusalem is unmistakable. Two days after Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8, India’s Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the “tragic loss of civilian lives” in the Gaza Strip. But it also signaled alarm at “cross-border provocations resulting from rocket attacks” on Israel.
Why the change? To begin with, the Modi administration arguably has more natural affinity with Israel than any previous Indian government. Modi visited Israel as chief minister of the western state of Gujarat and has spoken publicly about emulating the Jewish state’s remarkable economic success. Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj used to head an India-Israel “friendship forum” in Parliament. Several parliamentarians and intellectuals aligned with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party have traveled more than once to Israel.
Unlike India’s leftists, who tend to view Israel as a “neoimperialist aggressor” oppressing the Palestinians, most BJP supporters see the Jewish state more like most Americans do—as a doughty democracy standing up to terrorism in a rough neighborhood. Both countries face a threat from Islamist terrorists.
The pursuit of closer ties with Jerusalem is hardly a BJP monopoly. Congress Party Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao ended India’s Cold War hostility toward Israel by establishing full diplomatic relations in 1992.
But Rao acted when the Nehru-Gandhi family’s sway over Congress was at its lowest ebb. India’s founding Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was an outspoken partisan of the Palestinians. Under his daughter, Indira Gandhi, bear hugs for the blood-soaked Palestine Liberation Organization’s Yasser Arafat became commonplace in India.
In 2004, when Congress returned to power under Sonia Gandhi after ousting the BJP, India-Israel ties turned frosty. Instead of simply maintaining its longstanding support for a two-state solution, India threw its weight behind the Palestinian demand for East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. High level government visits between India and Israel lost momentum, though bilateral trade, defense and intelligence ties set in motion by previous governments quietly continued to grow.
Though dressed up in principle, Congress’s tilt toward the Palestinians was all about domestic politics. It assumed that India’s 150 million Muslims are almost uniformly hostile to Israel and care more about the issue than do other Indians.
By the reductionist logic of Indian politics, you don’t win votes by backing Israel but you can lose Muslim votes if your support is too obvious. Two years ago, on the campaign trail in Uttar Pradesh, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked an opponent for allegedly promising to make a drought-stricken region bloom like the Israeli desert, a dog whistle aimed at Muslim voters.
For India, an end to the so-called Muslim veto is unambiguously good news. Indian farmers of all faiths can benefit from Israeli expertise in drip irrigation. Start-ups in Bangalore and Hyderabad see Israeli firms like Check Point (software) and Teva (pharmaceuticals) as role models. The rise of radical Islam across South Asia and the Middle East has raised the stakes for intelligence sharing between Jerusalem and New Delhi. The global norm that Israel is fighting to uphold—that terrorism has consequences—directly benefits India.
In terms of military cooperation, few countries have backed New Delhi as Israel did by supplying artillery shells during the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan. Since then, Israel has emerged as India’s second biggest arms supplier after Russia.
The arguments put forward against closer ties with Israel—India’s dependence on energy supplies and worker remittances from the Gulf—date to the 1970s. They downplay the facts that oil and gas are freely traded international commodities, and that Gulf economies that rely on Indian labor are hardly doing India a favor by employing its workers. The challenge for India’s new government is to consolidate this positive sentiment toward Israel to ensure that no future administration can backslide again. It’s time to finally bring the India-Israel relationship out of the closet—for good.

Israel Bested by Islamic lobby

In the very first meeting of OIC ( organization of Islamic Countries) in Rabat, India , with the second largest Muslim population was humiliated thanks to Muslim lobby. Israel, in defending its citizens, from devious goons, is facing universal condemnation- again thanks to sustained taqqiya used by powerful Muslim lobby. And the tragedy is that Jewish lobby is widely considered to be most potent. Here faced with Muslim lobby, it becomes a cropper.
There are more than 50 countries in the world which have an Islamic constitution or where the majority of the population follows the Islamic faith. The Organization of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) has 57 nations as its members. It is the second largest international organ only preceded by the United Nations. India was not included in this international body because Pakistan actively opposed India´s participation.
Over the years we have seen how this international organization has used its platform to lobby and coerce other states into following norms that may be alien to their cultural practices. OIC even tried to internationalize the Kashmir issue, which India insists is an internal matter. Let us stop beating around the bush. There is something called Islamic lobby and it is far stronger than Jewish lobbym.
We saw how the world opinion was shaped in the present Israel-Palestine conflict. Muslims in European countries are also getting highly organized and are now demanding removal of journalists with Jewish background from the function of newsreader or as hosts on TV programs. One such case was recently noticed in Denmark when Martin Krasnik, a host at a popular news analysis program, was dubbed an incompetent Zionist, and thousands of signatures were collected to demand his removal from his post, just because he is of Jewish origin.
In Europe more and more mosques are funded from abroad, creating room for increasing the possibility of cultural influence. Very few dare to question the sources of the funding. But as soon as some writers try to question the validity and impunity of Hamas, or Hezbollah or ISIS, then eyebrows are raised.
Israelis are unfairly singled out because of their acts of self-defense, but simultaneously the examples of genocide committed by Islamic countries are just glossed over. It is acceptable to cite example of Sri Lanka´s civil war, where 40,000 were killed. But nobody mentions the genocide committed by West Pakistan on Bangladesh in 1971 where 3 million people were killed. One does not have to go far back in history. The death toll in the present war in Syria is soon to surpass the total of 200,000. It is an example of atrocity committed by one Muslim group on another. But Israel always faces the brunt of international pressure for defending, relatively speaking, a tiny piece of earth compared to the vast area of earth controlled by Islamic countries.
It is welcoming news that Israel is withdrawing its troops from Gaza, but the damage is done to its international image. If the Jewish lobby was so strong, how come they did not manage to influence and win the world opinion to their side?
We are witness to a growing global anti-Israel animosity spreading right across the globe. Hamas, which is a terrorist organization, enjoys impunity when one-sided criticism of Israel is endorsed in the United Nations resolution singling out Israel for condemnation.
It is simply a myth that the Jewish lobby is strong. Compare it with the influence of Islamic countries which are so many in numbers and which have constantly opposed India´s and Israel´s positions on sensitive issues.
The present Indian Modi-government should really dig into and find out if it was the pressure from Islamic countries that prevented India from developing a healthier and closer relation with Denmark. After Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, published a cartoon of the prophet Mohammed, India has been tip-toeing and not wanting to be seen in the company of Denmark. How come we were ready to throw a very good relation on board? I am very well aware of the fact that the official reasons cited were masquerading as something altogether different.
It is high time for India´s relations with Denmark to improve drastically as both can benefit from investment and growth. Nevertheless, it once again drives my point home that a strong Islamic lobby exists, and it pressurizes non-Islamic countries to accept Islamic norms and values. Today it is Israel´s turn. Tomorrow it will be India´s. Both India and Israel are victims of growing global Islamic lobby.