March 03, 2007

CA textbooks lawsuit: Update and Appeal

CAPEEM's lawsuit against the officials of the State Board of Education has now moved into the Discovery phase. Prior to this, the Counsel for the officials of the State Board of Education (SBE) and the California Department of Education (CDE) responded to CAPEEM's complaint and denied CAPEEM's claims. The attorney for the officials of the SBE and CDE has been replaced. The defendants are now represented by the Office of the Attorney General of California. The change of attorney and the response to the complaint followed the court's denial of the Defendant's motion to dismiss CAPEEM's lawsuit.

During Discovery, CAPEEM will request documents from the SBE and CDE, and subpoena various interested parties so that CAPEEM can obtain documents and information necessary to strengthen its case. Discovery is a process that consumes time and resources. The SBE and CDE, and third parties such as Michael Witzel and James Heitzman, have already objected to CAPEEM's subpoena, and CAPEEM will likely seek judicial resolution of these objections. CAPEEM expects its expenses to shoot up considerably during the discovery phase. During the process so far, CAPEEM has come across many facts critical to the case. CAPEEM is confident that the lawsuit will result in a positive portrayal of Hinduism and ancient Indic civilization in American schools and will highlight the deficient process employed by the SBE and CDE in the most recent textbook adoption process.

The lawsuit has reached this stage after victories in the earlier rounds due to the largesse of supporters like you. CAPEEM seeks your continued support and urges you to make a generous contribution in order to sustain the lawsuit through the subsequent phases .

To Donate:

1. Write a check to CAPEEM and mail to: PO Box 280442 Northridge , CA 91328

2. Donate online to CAPEEM: Click here to donate online

or visit http://www.capeem.org and click on donate.

3. Write a check to HICAD and mail to: CAPEEM, PO Box 280442 Northridge , CA 91328
Please note that HICAD (Hindu International Council Against Defamation http://www.hicad.us)
is also raising funds for this lawsuit. HICAD is a tax-exempt (Tax-ID 22-3810334) non-profit organization.

California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials is a California based organization that has filed a lawsuit to achieve the fair representation of various religions in the History and Social Science textbooks of California. CAPEEM's application for 501(c)(3) status is in process.

Regards,
Murali Menon
Director, California Parents for the Equalization of Educational Materials,
(310) 804-5126
murali@capeem.org
http://www.capeem.org

The Vanishing Iranian General: Did He Leave or Was He Taken?

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report with DEBKA-Net-Weekly Background

March 2, 2007, 10:49 PM (GMT+02:00)

Istanbul Ceyland Hotel. He never arrived



Iran’s dep. defense minister for eight years up until 2005 - and before that a prominent Revolutionary Guards General, Alireza Asquari, 63, has not been seen since his disappearance in mysterious circumstances in Istanbul on Feb. 7.

The missing general has been identified as the officer in charge of Iranian undercover operations in central Iraq, according to DEBKAfile’s intelligence and Iranian sources. He is believed to have been linked to – or participated in - the armed group which stormed the US-Iraqi command center in Karbala south of Baghdad Jan. 20 and snatched five American officers. They were shot outside the Shiite city.

An Middle East intelligence source told DEBKAfile that the Americans could not let this premeditated outrage go unanswered and had been hunting the Iranian general ever since.

The BAZTAB Web site reported that Feb. 6, two non-Turkish citizens made a reservation for Gen Asquari for three nights at the Istanbul Ceylan Hotel paying cash. He arrived the next day from Damascus and immediately disappeared.

The Turkish foreign ministry said only: “It is a very sensitive intelligence matter and the Interior Ministry is dealing with this issue.”

BAZTAB speaks for the faction associated with Mohsein Rezai, former Revolutionary Guards commander, deputy head of Iran’s most powerful governing council and a man very close to top intelligence circles in Tehran

The Iranian general’s arrival at Ataturk international airport on a flight from Damascus is recorded at border control, but he never reached the hotel.

Instead, he booked himself into the more modest and cheaper Hotel Ghilan. He left his luggage in the room, walked out of the hotel – and vanished.

A police official in Istanbul said: “We are trying to find out whether he left or was taken. Clearly the reservation made for him at the luxurious Ceylan Hotel was made to mislead. Tehran’s application to Interpol, which has issued a yellow bulletin, means that the Iranians are not treating Asquari’s disappearance as a defection but as involuntary.

DEBKAfile adds: Tehran sees the hand of US undercover agencies or contract gunmen and believes Washington has stepped up its war against Iranian officers running Tehran’s clandestine operations in Iraq. The kidnapping of an Iranian general outside Iraq would expand President Bush’s permission for the capture or killing of Iranian agents helping Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda murder Americans in Iraq.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly 288 reported on Feb. 2 that the gunmen who abducted the American soldiers in Karbala - and then shot them dead execution-style – belonged to a special commando team of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, which was sent to Iraq especially for this mission.

To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE .

The team was made up of intelligence officers who speak American English and were trained to masquerade as US troops, kidnap US soldiers and hold them as hostages for bargaining.

These officers are from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and other Arab countries, who studied in the US and can talk like Americans - even in the idiom of US troops. Teams of these masqueraders roam at large in Iraq, clad in American uniforms, armed with US weapons and driving stolen American vehicles.

Tehran’s plan was to snatch a group of US soldiers and hold them hostage against the release of the 8 Revolutionary Guards paratroops in American custody. However, according to our intelligence sources, the plan went awry for some unknown reason and the Iranian commandos decided to execute their captives before making a fast getaway from the Karbala region.

Tehran views this operation as a fiasco because it did not achieve its goal. At the same time, Iranian intelligence has not been put off its plan to take American soldiers hostage in Iraq. Its chiefs are determined to do whatever it takes to obtain the release of the third top man of the Revolutionary Guards al Quds division, Col. Fars Hassami, who DEBKA-Net-Weekly reports is not the only high-profile Iranian officer in American hands. Another is Mohammad Jaafari Sahra-Rudi, who was the kingpin of Iran’s terrorist operations in large parts of Iraq. His long record includes leading the Iranian death squad which assassinated Iran’s Kurdish Democratic Party leader Dr. Abdol-Rahman Qasemlou in Vienna in 1989.

Austrian security services caught the assassin but sent him back to Iran as part of a secret transaction between the two countries.

Qasemlou operated in Iraq under his real identity and even met with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani just a few days before he was captured in the American raid of the Iranian “liaison office” in Irbil Jan 11.

The Iranians have explored every channel they can think of to break the agents out of American custody. When they realized that the United States was adamant about holding on to them, the heads of the Revolutionary Guards decided to go ahead with their campaign of abductions against US troops in Iraq. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad approved

Martial Law in Gilgit Baltistan

Follow letter was sent to IntelliBriefs by

Abdul Hamid Khan
Chairman
Balawaristan National Front (BNF)
Head Off:
Majini Mahla, Gilgit, Balawaristan
(Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan)
WEBSITE (Urdu & English) www.balawaristan. net
EMAIL: balawaristan@ usa.com



NO CC-2/2005-04- 25
Government of Pakistan
Deputy Commissioner Skardu

Date the 25th April 2005

To

1. The Chief Engineer NAPWD Skardu
2. The Superintendent of Police Skardu
3. The Medical Superintendent Skardu
4. The Divisional Forest Officer Skardu
5. The District health officer Skardu
6. The Deputy Director Education Skardu
7. The Deputy Director Agriculture Skardu
8. The Deputy Director LB & RD Skardu
9. The Assistant Director Animal Husbandry Skardu
10. The Assistant Commissioner Skardu/Kharmang/ Shigar
11. The Assistant Director Fisheries Skardu
12. The Assistant District Registrar NADRA Skardu
13. The Civil Supply Officer Skardu
14. The Social Welfare officer Skardu

Sub: INVOLVEMENT OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN POLITICS

It has been observed with great concerned that government employees of all departments get involved in negative politics. It has not only harmed the over all system but has also brought bad name for the Northern Areas administration in light of above you are directed to:

a) No temporary (contingent) and permanent jobs will be given to any one without the clearance of the Head Quarters 62 Brigade Skardu in future. Any violation in this regard will be dealt very severely and head of the department wil be responsible for the consequences. List of temporary (contingent) and recently appointed employees may be sent to Head Quarters 62 Brigade Skardu for clearance please.

(Signature)
Deputy Commissioner
Skardu

Copy to the Head Quarters 62 Brigade Skardu w.r. to their letter No. 699/2/BMCC dated 19-4-2005 for information please.



NOTE: See original letter in the “Tazah Halaat” (Urdu) of www.balawaristan. net

March 02, 2007

2nd edition of the Vigil book on NGOs

The response to "NGOs, Activists & Foreign Funds: Anti-Nation Industry", published by Vigil Public Opinion Forum, Chennai, ( www.vigilonline.com), was so encouraging that Vigil has brought out a second - and enlarged - edition! The 40 new pages include a chapter on the US-based AID, one by Shri Narendra Modi on NGOs as non-accountable businesses, and a Manderweb update that not only to the covert anti-nation NGOs (such as ActionAid and ASHA) adds Oxfam, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and the National Foundation for India, but also uncovers an undeniable mosque-based fund-raising link between Harsh Mander and jihad-supporting NGOs.

The book is packed with data about some very well-known USA, UK and India-based NGOs and "social activists" who receive extensive foreign support - and convincingly documents their anti-India agenda and their total lack of accountability. It includes a photograph that graphically depicts this agenda - "social activists" sloganeering that "Allah will destroy the terrorist state of India". It is, therefore, as the book's blurb notes, this is "a must-read and a wake-up call for all patriotic Indians and well-wishers of India."

The book is softback, Rs 400/- (+ p&h), and its distributor is Aditya Prakashan, 2/18 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110002 (tel 2327-8034, email contact@bibliaimpex.com )

Make sure you order your copy before this edition too is sold out!

And please circulate this book announcement to other patriotic Indians and wellwishers of our country.

Thank you,

Krishen Kak



The back cover blurb and the Contents page of the book are given below for your information.

"An explosive book that documents in convincing detail the treasonous agenda of some of our leading NGOs and activists.

There are hundreds of NGOs working with great dedication amongst the socially and economically backward sections of our society motivated only by the inspiring vision to transform social attitudes and the quality of life of the people amongst whom they live and work. This book is not about them.

This book is about NGOs and activists whose so-called peace and human rights activism cloaks deep political ambitions and objectives – political ambitions not just restricted to participating or influencing electoral politics but aimed at shaping the character and direction of Indian polity in a manner which derives from their warped notion of the Indian nation. Their political ambitions and activism are essentially undemocratic and anti-Indian nation. Their grassroots activism in many instances is only a fig-leaf for political activism, well-funded through an inflow of foreign money.

This book exposes the political and anti-nation agenda of some very well-known NGOs and activists, and clearly reveals their foreign sponsorships, donors and funds. It proves their double standards and their total absence of public accountability, and emphasises the urgent need for the Government of India to ensure a vigorous mechanism to counter this anti-nation industry.

A must-read and a wake-up call for all patriotic Indians and well-wishers of India."

CONTENTS

Foreword to the Second Edition

Foreword
Introduction: De-Hinduising the Indian Nation Radha Rajan
NGOs: Description and Regulations R Vaidyanathan
Social Movements to Totalitarianism: The role of NGOs Veera Vaishnava
"Yesterday Once More": a FOIL Primer Narayanan Komerath
The Lashkar-e-Pinocchio Rides Again Narayanan Komerath
An Oxymoron called AID Arvind Kumar
Scoring Against Paganism: Untangling the Manderweb Krishen Kak
NGOs and Activists: Singing for their Supper Radha Rajan
ASHA Projects: Where does all the money go? Nirupama Rajan and Radha Rajan
Closing Word: Who is afraid of the Hindu nation? George Thundiparambil

Appendices
The California Textbook Issue Vishal Agarwal
Modi's visa denial: Who did it? B Raman
List of signatories against the Prime Minister's comment re the Gujarat chief minister
List of signatories – Promise of India Appeal
Indian Muslim Council's First National Convention
The Peshawar Declaration
USCIRF special hearing on the Gujarat riots – names of attendees, and an excerpt from the Justice Tewatia report on the same riots
Two contrasting approaches to the USCIRF and the US State Department
Important data on terrorist atrocities in J&K
Getting it right on J&K Arvind Lavakere
Manderweb Update Krishen Kak
Open Letters to the Deccan Chronicle, Mr Harsh Mander & Mr Karan Thapar
The CIA and Disinformation Campaigns B Raman
NGOs as Non-Accountable Businesses Narendra Modi

About the Authors

Vigil Public Opinion Forum

Q revelations may raise a storm in India: Ex-envoy

Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi, March 2, 2007

A former Indian ambassador to Sweden says that if Ottavio Quattrocchi is extradited to India to face trial, his revelations may "create a storm" as he was brought into the multi billion dollar Bofors gun deal at the behest of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"Quattrocchi was brought into the picture by Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi discussed the Bofors gun deal with the then Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly October 24, 1985," BM Oza, India's ambassador to Sweden between 1984 and 1988 when the Bofors controversy erupted, told IANS in a telephone interview.

"When Rajiv Gandhi met Palme, he said India would give the gun deal to Bofors provided they agreed to four conditions," Oza said.

These were: first, it should match the French offer in terms of price. Second, it should offer export credit, and third it should sign a memorandum of understanding with India that it will continue to supply ammunitions and spare parts even during the event of a war.

"The fourth condition was that Bofors should change its India agent, who was Win Chadha at that time.

"Subsequently, Palme invited me for a meeting to his office. He referred to his meeting with Rajiv Gandhi in New York and told me about the new conditions," said Oza, who has detailed what he calls "incontrovertible evidence" about the complicity of Rajiv Gandhi in the Bofors scam in his book "Bofors: The Ambassador's Evidence".

"Palme asked me to help Sweden's vice minister of foreign trade with his programme as he was going to India. Accompanied by the chief of Nobel Industries Anders Carlberg and Bofors chief Martin Ardbo, he came to meet me," he said.

Later on, Bofors terminated its contract with Chadha and appointed in his place AE Services, a Britain-based company with a nominal capital of 100 pounds, which was later found by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to be a front for Quattrocchi.

Bofors and AE Services signed a six-month contract with Bofors, part of the Nobel group of companies, for the period November 1985-March 1986 with the stipulation that it will get around 1.5 percent of the $2.1 billion gun deal as commission.

"Quattrocchi had no experience or background in armament business. Yet he was paid money for pushing the gun deal. Why?" asked the former envoy, who had also served as ambassador to South Korea and Singapore.

"His calling card was his free access to top ministers and bureaucrats owing to his proximity to Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi," Oza said.

"It's a deliberate cover-up. They don't want any investigation into this matter for obvious reasons," Oza said while referring to the attempts by the Indian government to extradite Quattrocchi from Argentina where he was detained as a fugitive following an Interpol red corner notice.

"Besides, what is he going to be tried for in India? He is required to depose in an Indian court and say whether he paid bribes out of huge commission money he was paid to important people to fix the gun deal," he said.

"If he does reveal names, it's going to create a storm in India," he stressed.

Although then Defence Secretary S.K. Bhatnagar had told representatives of the bidders of the gun deal tender that no Indian agent will be allowed, the contract signed with Bofors had no such stipulation about the role of middleman in the deal.

Finally, the contract for the supply of 410 Bofors 155 mm gun was signed on March 24, 1986 - a date that was very close to the expiry of AE Services' contract with Bofors.

When the tender for buying the howitzer guns was opened and evaluated, nearly a week before Indira Gandhi was assassinated October 31, 1984, the French Sofma gun's offer was found to be the best. It had the lowest price and also had some extra incentives which none else was willing to offer.

"What was scandalous and unethical was that Bofors was later allowed to change its bid without re-tendering the contract," said Oza.

http://hindustantimes.com/news/181_1942832,0008.htm



Bofors: What India does not know



An Observer
January 18, 2006

The columnist, who is writing on condition of anyonymity, is a retired senior Government of India officer with extensive experience within and outside India.


…I said, "I don't know Sweden. I have never been there. I have no contacts there. But, I understand the people who are making the allegations enjoy a high level of credibility there in governmental and non-governmental circles. Take them seriously. Don't try to discredit them through disinformation."
Unfortunately, that was exactly what the Government of India did.

Its damage control strategy had two tracks. First, overtly give the impression of taking the allegations seriously and investigating them thoroughly. The law should take its own course, as every lawbreaker is fond of saying and then preventing just that.

Second, covertly try to discredit those disseminating the allegations in India and abroad through disinformation and dirty tricks.


Even now, after nearly 19 years, this is what the government led by Dr Manmohan Singh seems to be doing…



The Bofors saga has brought out only the worst in our society, our political class and our bureaucracy so far, despite 19 years of the drama.



http://in.rediff.com/

The ineluctable Quattrocchi

http://www.asianage .com/



Kuldip Nayar

Remember the Jain hawala scam? You knew it was about corruption in high places. But you could not get hold of the details at that time. The details have now been given by a top retired official of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a book which says as much as Rs 1,000 crores passed hands and the persons involved were the then Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, the then chairman of Steel Authority of India, V. Krishnamurthi and the ineluctable Quattrocchi, an Italian national who was known for his contacts. His detention in Argentina is accidental, a fallout of the worldwide alert issued at CBI’s insistence some years ago.

The Jain hawala scandal which rocked the country in the Nineties was before the Supreme Court for more than two years. The then Chief Justice of India, J.C. Verma said that he was under pressure from an individual on the issue. He threatened to speak out, but never did. (Sic: He was later rewarded with a high post after retirement.) The case is not dead yet, but is gasping for breath. It all began with the arrest of Ashfaq Hussain, engaged in funding terrorist activities in Kashmir. He received money from abroad through hawala, a private channel which foreign banks used through Dubai. While conducting raids on a hawala dealer in Delhi, the CBI seized some diaries which contained the abbreviated names of serving and former ministers and bureaucrats. The money given was indicated against the abbreviated names. The amounts were kickbacks officials and politicians holding high positions had received for favours shown to Jain in various projects and economic deals.

As many as 115 people were booked, among whom J.K. Jain was the main culprit. He told the CBI about the mechanism: how he managed to get sanctions for various projects at inflated rates and how he distributed money thus earned among the high-ups. Quattrocchi worked at the highest political level — with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Prime Minister. Jain also helped senior politicians and senior civil servants "for transfer of their own funds from abroad." During the interrogation, according to this top retired CBI official, Jain said, "he had passed on Rs 3.35 crore to P.V. Narasimha Rao" who took over as Congress president after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination and subsequently became Prime Minister. "On the direction of Narasimha Rao, the money was moved to his account through Captain Satish Sharma, Chandraswami, etc." Jain also narrated the details of how and where a small part of the money was placed in the cupboard in a room at Narasimha Rao’s residence as directed by him.

Kickbacks averaged 10 per cent. Jain got three per cent and Quattrocchi seven. Not long ago, the Congress-led government helped Quattrocchi first to escape from India and then to get the kickbacks which the banks abroad had frozen at the request of the Central government. The Supreme Court asked the CBI how Quattrocchi got the money. Krishnamurthi was the chairman of Steel Authority then and the Durgapur steel plant was being modernised at a high cost. A Russian firm gave a cheque of Rs 15 crores as kickbacks under the cover of payment for a consignment of some cast iron equipment that was taken from India but shipped back in the form of components. The firm inflated the cost of the consignment to pay the Rs 15 crores. But the transaction was on paper.

The retired CBI official says that he wanted to "investigate Narasimha Rao, search if need be and charge-sheet if the evidence so warranted." The then CBI director not only stopped him from going ahead but shunted him out of the agency. I corroborated the facts when I met the retired official. I found him a forthright person who was punished through transfers: 23 times in 12 and half years.

A few days ago when the present CBI director told newsmen in Delhi how successful the agency had been last year, he could not naturally talk about pressures. But he was quite embarrassed when asked why the CBI was tardy in taking action against BSP leader Mayawati in the Taj corridor case. Since his press conference the CBI has filed a case against Mayawati. The Central government has yet to give permission because this is the practice for action against state chief ministers. The Congress president may think twice before giving permission because Mayawati has seats in the Lok Sabha and also counts in the UP election. Again, the Centre has dragged its feet on giving permission to the CBI to take action against former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi for accumulating assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. The Bihar government has filed an appeal last week to the embarrassment of the CBI.

Unfortunately, some CBI directors were more loyal than the king. They did not want to take any action against people who were either in authority or had connections with them. For example, retired CBI director K. Vijaya Rama Rao did not want to move against Narasimha Rao. Present director Vijay Shanker has taken too long to consider the pros and cons in the case of Lalu Yadav. It is apparent that the Manmohan Singh government does not want to displease Lalu Yadav. The Congress-led coalition needs to keep its brood intact.

The CBI is a special police establishment which was founded in 1948. It cannot move in any matter that takes place in a state without local permission. This can create problems at times. I think that the National Human Rights Commission’s suggestion to put the CBI on the Concurrent List has merit. Federal crimes are increasing and New Delhi cannot institute even an inquiry without the consent of the state concerned. But then the Centre too is not an honest broker. It plays politics.

There is no way other than making the CBI autonomous, not even under supervision of the Vigilance Commission, as was once suggested. It should report directly to Parliament. Only then would it be able to perform independently. Whatever else is done may only be a palliative. The malady is too deep. As long as the chief ministers in the state and the Prime Minister at the Centre are the ones to decide who will be prosecuted by the CBI and when, corruption in high places cannot be eliminated.

The Administrative Reforms Commission, appointed by the Manmohan Singh government, has said that the Prime Minister should not be brought under the ambit of Lokayukta (ombudsman). The suggestion has a point because the Prime Minister should not be involved in false cases to bring the government to a standstill. Yet, how does one deal with corruption cases against Prime Ministers like Narasimha Rao?

Andhra Pradesh : Not Reddy Raj but Christian Conspiracy

Dr T Hanuman Chowdary
March 2, 2007



At the launch of Akhilandra Kamma Samakhya in Hyderabad on 25 December 2006 a number of speakers especially the politically- minded, characterized the present government of Andhra Pradesh as Reddy –Raj. This is unfortunate and apparently untrue. The truth is otherwise.
Sri B.Gopala Reddy, N.Sanjeeva Reddy, K.Brahmananda Reddy, Dr N. Chenna Reddy, Sri N Janardhan Reddy, T.Anjaiah Reddy and Vijaya Bhaskar Reddy - seven of these Chief Ministers belonged to Reddy caste. During their tenure as Chief Ministers, Kammas had received due representation in the Cabinets as well as in all important government & semi-government offices.

The present Chief Minister is only a nominal Reddy. His father converted to Christianity and Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy is a practising Christian who very demonstratively celebrated his birthday by a pilgrimage to Bethlehem in Palestine/ Rome, the seat of the Pope. No Congress Chief Minister has lasted so long as Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy since the exit of Brahmananda Reddy in the 1960s. This is entirely due to the total support he receives from the Italian –born, Roman Catholic leader of the Congress Party. Every Congress Chief Minister since the 1960 had been felled, down within an year or two by people within the Congress. But Dr. Y.S.Rajasekhar Reddy continues only because he is a Christian blessed by Dr. Sonia Maino Gandhi.

Many Christians including Bishops and Pastors are official and unofficial Advisors and conspicuously present in his office and elsewhere. Crypto -Christians that is, SC persons who had converted to Christianity but in the government records are SCs are appointed as Advisors after retirement. Crypto Christians are also the chair -persons of State organs like the SC Finance Corporation. Most sensitive police and IAS posts are also filled up by Christians with a few crumbs thrown to Muslims.

These minorities, that is, Christians & Muslims, the former with the power of the state are in a conspiracy to divide Hindus by caste – 254 of them in Andhra Pradesh and over 6000 in the whole of India. In Andhra Pradesh, the powerful castes because of their land holding, their education and their business are Kammas and Reddys with the Velamas ( Raos) and Kapus following. If these influential castes can be set against one and another and inter-caste strife and jealousy and even street fights could be instigated and encouraged and inflamed then the attention of the Hindu society will be diverted from the large scale conversion of Hindus, diversion of TTD and government funds for construction and repair of churches ( and mosques), subsidy to Christian pilgrimage to Bethlehem, reservations for Dalit Christians etc.

The Hindu caste will be busy with mutual battles and Christian missionaries can tell the ignorant and the indigent that then upper caste Hindus are not caring for the poor but are engaged in battles to garner more of the wealth of the state whether it be land or businesses.

It is therefore not Reddy-raj that we see in Andhra Pradesh. It is the machination of the evangelizing and converting Christian organizations acting through the Christian Chief Minister that are largely responsible for the war of the Christian - led government (with a christianize Director General of Police and many important posts in the police and the IAS) on Kammas. Their businesses like those in the media, real estate, cinema, educational institutions etc., are to be harassed and ruined. Hindus especially Kammas must not be misled into believing that a Reddy government that is ruling the state. It is the unseen hand of the Christian minority interested in promoting conversions and destroying the Hindu-samaj that is waging the war on Kammas. Kammas will do well to understand this and not hurl themselves against Reddys and others. Their ultimate welfare and prosperity lie in their fraternity with all Hindus especially that of Reddys, Raos and Kapus. They must also carry the less fortunate especially the traditionally discriminated, with them. Their community should be for education for all, better education, excellence in education and entrepreneurship. No community has ever been uplifted by government action. They come up by their own vision. Nadars and Ggounders in Tamilnadu and Pais in Karnataka are examples. Those who attain prosperity through government are only invader rulers and their indigenous collaborators. When once the invader government is gone, their backwardness in regard to intellectual pursuits business attainment, self -help and entrepreneurship become evident. Muslims in India are an example of a community with enjoyed prosperity only by brute force . When majority rule came, the minority’s backwardness, socially, intellectually and economically becomes evident.

Source Link :www.crusadewatch.org

The Iraq War Crash- by Justin Raimondo

The Iraq War Crash
Stock market takes a dive – along with the prospects for peace in the Middle East


It's the Chinese Year of the Boar, not very propitious if you're looking to have an easy time of it. Chinese astrologer Raymond Lo predicts:

"The Year of the Boar will not be very peaceful. Boar years can be turbulent because they are dominated by fire and water, conflicting elements that tend to cause havoc."


China's booming stock market – a monument to the victory of China's "capitalist-roaders" over the last remnants of Maoism – doubled last year, and the speculators were drawn to it like … well, like this, or this. The Shanghai Exchange was about due for a big correction when it dropped by 9 percent the other day, an event which many blame for the 500 point drop in the Dow Jones – and the advent of what seems like a new era of economic turmoil, as the slide continues into Thursday. Which raises the whole question of – why now?

Read More
The Iraq War Crash- by Justin Raimondo

March 01, 2007

Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit opposes proselytization




Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger showers lavish praise on Advani

By Organiser Bureau

The Opposition Leader’s residence became a meeting place for the religious heads of three major faiths in the world, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. It was a pleasant surprise for everybody, Indian Muslim scholars and theologians met Israeli Jewish Rabbis on the night of February 6 to call for peace in West Asia at this dinner.

Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger made a touching reference to the lasting contribution made by the BJP leader L.K. Advani in furthering the friendship and co-operation between India and Israel. The Chief Rabbi, the highly regarded Jewish pontiff, was lavish in his praise for India’s Leader of Opposition, as he was speaking at a dinner hosted at the Prithviraj Road residence of the BJP leader.

The Chief Rabbi said, “It is seldom that I go to somebody’s residence to participate in a reception. Our custom does not allow this. But, here, I came to Shri L.K. Advani’s residence, as if I were going to my own home. It is a debt that we owe to the leader. As India’s Internal Minister, he was the first Indian top official to visit Israel. He played a major and sustained role in furthering and cementing the relations between the two countries. We immensely value this gesture. Our people are greatly indebted to India. This is one country where Jews were never persecuted and enjoyed great hospitality. It is as a mark of gratitude that I am here, in this dinner, hosted in my honour.”

The Opposition Leader’s residence became a meeting place for the religious heads of three major faiths in the world, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam. It was a pleasant surprise for everybody, Indian Muslim scholars and theologians met Israeli Jewish Rabbis on the night of February 6 to call for peace in West Asia at this dinner. RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri Suresh Soni was also present at the dinner. The Chief Rabbi of Israel was joined by several senior Rabbis from European countries and Israeli Ambassador David Danieli. Muslim scholars from India included Prof. Akhtar-ul-Wasey, director, Jamia Milia Islamia, Sirajuddin Qureshi, President of India Islamic Cultural Centre, Wasi Ahmed Nomani, Jurist, Jameeluddin Iiyasi president of All India Imams Organisation and Umer Ilyasi, president, Sufi Sant Sangam.

Highly respected leaders of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha including Swami Dayananda Saraswati was also present on the occasion.

Shri Bawa Jain, secretary general of World Council of Religious Leaders (WCORL), that organised the three-day Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit said the conference would not have been possible but for the help of the Leader of Opposition. He recalled the sterling leadership qualities of the BJP leader and his tireless endeavour towards unity of religions, interfaith dialogue and peace among faiths.

Shri Advani, in his brief welcome speech, emphasised the great Indian tradition of equal respect to all faiths. He said, the distortion of Indian secularism had reached a stage where, secularism has come to mean a state eschewing religion. The language of religion has a significant role in shaping the character of the state. It is not a state without religion, but a state that respects all religions, that is at the essence of secularism. The distortion and intolerance to religion have come because of the spell of Marxism on Indian political leadership, he said.

The World Council of Religious Leaders and All India Movement for Seva effectuated the signing of a declaration between Hindu and Jewish leaders in New Delhi on February 6. The protocol of co-operation was signed between Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger and Swami Dayanand Saraswati, convener of the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha in the presence of leaders of both the ways of worship.

Highlighting the objective of the summit, which began on February 5 at Hotel Taj Palace, Shri Bawa Jain, sa

Tuesday's Market Meltdown; Greenspan's "invisible hand"

SOURCE: Atlantic Free Press

Tuesday's big drop in stock market averages and questionable financial market conditions bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s.

A great many economic conditions, as well as the structure of the financial markets, are different from those of the 1920s. Not all of the differences, however, are reassuring.

Recent news reports tell us that banks' reserves against risky loans such as sub-prime mortgages are at low points. Money is pouring into hedge funds and private equity groups. The massive prevalence of derivative securities in portfolios of pension funds, insurance companies, and commercial banks is worrisome. In 1998, the cratering of Greenwich's Long Term Capital Management, because of unanticipated consequences of its derivatives investments, threatened to sink the international financial markets.

The first broad parallel to the 1920s is the excessive creation of bank credit by the Federal Reserve. For details on the events of the 1920s, the best sources are Benjamin M. Anderson's Economics and the Public Welfare and Murray Rothbard's America's Great Depression.

READ MORE
Atlantic Free Press - Hard Truths for Hard Times - Tuesday's Market Meltdown; Greenspan's "invisible hand"

February 28, 2007

BJP's poster boy

Sunday New Indian Express 25-02-2007


Swapan Dasgupta
---------------
Actually, the emergence of Modi as the BJP leader-in-waiting was becoming increasingly apparent. For the past four years the Gujarat Chief Minister has been working assiduously to transcend the image of a sectarian leader. He has focussed on firm leadership, efficient administration and a no-nonsense economic policy. Helped in no small measure by the entrepreneurial culture of the state, he has built Gujarat as a show-case for high-voltage development. Apart from those who regard him as a Hindu icon, he has steadily won the admiration of Indian business -- as was evident from the resounding success of the Vibrant Gujarat summit last month. Politically too he has emerged as the BJP's main poster boy, even outside Gujarat. His rallies, whether in Maharashtra or Kerala, have elicited huge responses.


For the moment, Modi has to focus on winning the Gujarat Assembly election for the BJP. If he succeeds, the pressure by BJP supporters to bring him to national politics and project him as the prime ministerial candidate will become very hard to resist. As things appear at present, only a self-goal can prevent Modi from assuming Vajpayee's mantle. In retrospect, the BJP may well thank Rajnath for bringing subterranean currents to the surface.


One of Indira Gandhi's most enduring but disagreeable contributions to public life lay in obliterating the distinction between politics and politicking. In 1969, she sacked Morarji Desai, her main rival in the Congress, and then proceeded to nationalise the banks and abolish privy purses. Putting an ideological gloss to what was essentially a factional struggle, she projected herself as a decisive leader, split the Congress and won a resounding mandate in the 1971 general election.


In steamrolling her way to absolute power, she also set the parameters of what has come to be regarded as decisive leadership by the political class: the ability to bludgeon all potential challengers. In 1990, Vishwanath Pratap Singh emulated this model by implementing the Mandal Commission report on reservations so as to steal the thunder from Devi Lal, his foremost challenger in the Janata Party.


The Bharatiya Janata Party has maintained that it does not seek to emulate the culture of the Congress and its various offshoots. Its self-perception is not so much that of a voluntary association as an extended parivar (family). A parivar may well have internal strains and rivalries; there may even be serious disagreements on key issues. However, the unwritten convention is that the integrity of the parivar has to be maintained at all costs. It is obligatory for the nominal karta (head of the family) to take everyone along. This includes those who have lost their immediate utility, are in disagreement with prevailing policies and even those who are a complete nuisance. The parivar approach implies that the personal stamp of an individual leader cannot become the hallmark of the party. Somewhere along the line, aggregation has to prevail.


The late Kushabhau Thakre, a full-time RSS pracharak who was assigned political responsibilities as early as 1951, epitomised this consensual approach. When confronted with contentious choices, his invariable advice was: ''Please discuss it among yourselves, come to a decision and that will be my verdict.'' It was neither a particularly political approach nor did it correspond to the lessons in leadership proffered by modern management colleges. Yet, Thakre was widely respected in the BJP and wielded awesome moral authority.


By convention, the BJP, in line with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has attached more importance to the process of decision-making rather than the decision itself. In theory, the party president is vested with extraordinary powers. What is unstated, however, is that the exercise of powers is coupled with wide-ranging consultations. An individual may get his way despite objections of colleagues but not before it goes through a filter. Even flights of whimsy have to be approved in committee -- Vajpayee was adept at playing this game. One of the serious allegations against L K Advani was that he didn't bounce his controversial views of Mohammed Ali Jinnah with colleagues before making them public in Pakistan.


The corollary of this fanatical devotion to consultations is the insistence on total discipline. Since it is understood that all decisions are considered, it follows that no one has the right to question them in public.


This may explain why BJP President Rajnath Singh's controversial appointment of party office-bearers has elicited no public statements by those who are apparently dissatisfied. The exclusion of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi from the Parliamentary Board and the Central Election Committee was an audacious step. At the 2002 National Executive in Goa and immediately after the 2004 general election, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had tried to force Modi's resignation. On both occasion, there was an outcry in the party and the moves came to nought.


The question is: how was Rajnath allowed to do what he did earlier this month and that too when Assembly elections in Gujarat are just some 10 months away? What is also significant is that the move came at a time when Modi has successfully reinvented himself as the high priest of development and administrative efficiency.


Since Rajnath has a track record of both second-guessing the RSS and acquiescing in all their suggestions, many analysts are justified in deducing that the snub delivered to Modi must have had the backing of Nagpur. Modi's strained relationship with a section of the RSS in Gujarat and his feud with the local wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad are, after all, not state secrets.


Information from within the party suggests that Rajnath did indeed inform Vajpayee and Advani of his plan -- the latter apparently hinted that it would be injudicious. Yet, there was absolutely no basis for his claim that the move was inspired by the RSS. Someone somewhere may have been consulted, but did those individuals pass their personal preferences as the collective view of the RSS? The full story may never be known but the upshot is that the RSS, which claims to be a cultural organisation, has taken a dim view of the BJP President trying to use it as a cover for a decision whose logic is to be found in Indira Gandhi's legacy of politicking.


Yet, even by the exalted standards of political guile, Rajnath was found wanting. If the RSS distances itself from the organisational rejig, where will it leave him? Will he not then be accused to lowering the presidency to the level of a faction?


The appointment of office-bearers has cleared the air on a crucial issue. For the past two years, the BJP and BJP voters have been agonising over the choice of a successor to Vajpayee. In targeting Modi, Rajnath has clearly identified the man he considers his foremost challenger.


Actually, the emergence of Modi as the BJP leader-in-waiting was becoming increasingly apparent. For the past four years the Gujarat Chief Minister has been working assiduously to transcend the image of a sectarian leader. He has focussed on firm leadership, efficient administration and a no-nonsense economic policy. Helped in no small measure by the entrepreneurial culture of the state, he has built Gujarat as a show-case for high-voltage development. Apart from those who regard him as a Hindu icon, he has steadily won the admiration of Indian business -- as was evident from the resounding success of the Vibrant Gujarat summit last month. Politically too he has emerged as the BJP's main poster boy, even outside Gujarat. His rallies, whether in Maharashtra or Kerala, have elicited huge responses.


For the moment, Modi has to focus on winning the Gujarat Assembly election for the BJP. If he succeeds, the pressure by BJP supporters to bring him to national politics and project him as the prime ministerial candidate will become very hard to resist. As things appear at present, only a self-goal can prevent Modi from assuming Vajpayee's mantle. In retrospect, the BJP may well thank Rajnath for bringing subterranean currents to the surface.

Interview : Global Space Protector - General James E. Cartwright

Interview with General James E. Cartwright
Commander, United States Strategic Command Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.


General James E. Cartwright is Commander, United States Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. He is responsible for the global command and control of U.S. strategic forces to meet decisive national security objectives. USSTRATCOM provides a broad range of strategic capabilities and options for the president and secretary of defense. Command mission areas include full-spectrum global strike, space operations, computer network operations, Department of Defense information operations, strategic warning, integrated missile defense, and global C4ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance), combating weapons of mass destruction, and specialized expertise to the joint warfighter. General Cartwright was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Crops in November 1971. He attended Naval Flight Officer training and graduated in April 1973. He attended Naval Aviator training and graduated in January 1977. He has operational assignments as an NFO in the F-4, and as a pilot in the F-4, OA-4, and F/A-18. General Cartwright’s operational assignments include: Commanding General, First Marine Aircraft Wing (2000-2002), Deputy Commanding General Marine Forces Atlantic (1999-2000), Commander Marine Aircraft Group 31 (1994-1996), Commander Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (1992), Fixed Wing Operations Marine Aircraft Group 24 (1991), Commander Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 (1989-1990), Administration Officer and Officer-In-Charge Deployed Carrier Operations VMFAT-101 (1983-1985), Aircraft Maintenance Officer VMFA-235 (1979-1982), Line Division Officer VMFA-333 USS NIMITZ (1975-1977), Embarkation OIC VMFA-251 & 232 (1973-1975). General Cartwright’s staff assignments include: director for Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, J-8 the Joint Staff (2002-2004); Directorate for Force Structure, Resources and Assessment, J-8 the Joint Staff (1996-1999); Deputy Aviation Plans, Policy, and Budgets Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps (1993-1994); assistant program manager for Engineering, F/A 18 Naval Air Systems Command (1986-1989). General Cartwright was named the Outstanding Carrier Aviator by the Association of Naval Aviation in 1983. He graduated with distinction from the Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell AFB 1986, and received his Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, Newport, R.I., in 1991. He was selected for and completed a fellowship with Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.

General Cartwright was interviewed by MAT Editor Rodney L. Pringle.

Global Space Protector - General James E. Cartwright - Military Aerospace Technology

Mutual network-centric capabilities : Research Across the Atlantic

Spurred in part by the experience of their coalition operations in Iraq, the U.S. and British militaries have launched a joint research and development effort, known as the International Technology Alliance, aimed at improving mutual network-centric capabilities and information interoperability. Read more
Research Across the Atlantic - By Karen E. Thuermer - Military Information Technology

Business Intelligence Gets Collaborative

Over the next several years, expect to see the business-intelligence, collaboration and knowledge-management segments converge. Likewise, expect to see such interactive Web 2.0 technologies as AJAX, blogs and wikis revolutionize the business intelligence experience.

Collective intelligence is an organization's most precious asset. It's what makes the difference between a successful enterprise, one that can pool its expertise to address common opportunities and threats, and a competitive also-ran.

Traditionally, the business-intelligence industry has offered little to directly address the collaboration environment. Most business-intelligence applications focus on delivering targeted reports, analytics, dashboards and other key data to users, who are expected to rely on their own social intelligence, and on third-party collaboration tools, to decide when and how to share this information with colleagues.


Enterprise I.T. - Business Intelligence Gets Collaborative

February 27, 2007

A MOMENT OF TRUTH HAS ARRIVED

A MOMENT OF TRUTH HAS ARRIVED



Two major events, both taking place this week, underscore the fact that the Anglo-Dutch oligarchy, centered in the City of London, is arrived at a moment of truth that could determine, in the immediate hours and days ahead, whether the planet is plunged into a civilizational dark age.

Very few people and institutions around the world have the faintest idea that this is happening, and among those who would pose an alternative to this potential true global tragedy, only Lyndon LaRouche has a clear idea of what can and must be done to politically defeat this horror show. The events themselves, that signal this moment of truth, are the following:

First, we have the arrival in the Sea of Oman this week of the USS Stennis-led second US Navy carrier group. This means that the naval assets are in place in the Persian Gulf region to orchestrate a premeditated "accidental" confrontation between the US and Iran, which could trigger a full-scale American pre-emptive attack on Iran. In the past 24 hours, BBC has aired an exclusive expose of new US war plans, that would target the entire military infrastructure of Iran for a massive bombing campaign—not just limited strikes against a few purported secret nuclear weapons installations. This event is occurring as both Vice President Dick Cheney and President George Bush are on long-scheduled overseas trips.

Second, we have the meeting this week of the Bank of Japan, where the decision will be made whether or not to abandon the yen carry trade, by raising interest rates. If a rate hike occurs, it could trigger a blow-out of the entire dollar-based global financial system. As LaRouche has emphasized , the entire global financial system is under the top-down control of Anglo-Dutch financiers centered in London. They run the system through the yen carry trade, and through the related emission of floods of US dollars through the Fed's printing press. The US government no longer reports M3 money supply data because they are willfully covering up this element of the one, global hyperinflationary bubble.

The yen carry trade and the M3 pump-priming are run out of the City of London, and they are all part of the biggest John Law financial bubble in history. Now, with the Persian Gulf deployment and the Bank of Japan interest rate decision both on the table at the same moment, we are seeing manifestations—shadows on the cave wall—of a faction fight between two rival factions within the Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy, otherwise known as the Club of the Isles. There is one faction that is out to permanently destroy the United States now—once and for all. They are ready to pull the plug on the whole system, to bring down the United States and the entire nation-state system at this moment. They want the sudden-death destruction of the United States. The other, rival faction, wants a more managed process of destruction. They want to bleed the United States to death more slowly. The goal of the two factions is identical. Their approach differs.

The key thing that must be understood, is that there are no significant issues beyond this global showdown. It is noteworthy and interesting that Senator Levin and others are grappling with legislation to bring the hedge funds under control; but Levin and his co-sponsors do not understand the nature of the beast. They are blind to the fact that the hedge funds are instruments in the hands of the Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy. The measures that they are considering will not solve the problem, even though their impulse is important to note.

There is only one way to defeat this top-down Anglo-Dutch drive to break up the nation-state system and plunge the world into a prolonged dark age. That is a political solution, coming from the Government of the United States. The lead must come from the institution of the Presidency. This is why Cheney and Bush have to go now!

Once the Presidency has been restored, the U.S. can proceed with an alliance with Russia, China, and India to impose a political solution, based on what FDR did with the war mobilization and the creation of the Bretton Woods fixed-exchange-rate system. That is the only alternative to the plunge into hell.

February 26, 2007

Baloch Desperation to get Persian Attention is Fruitless

The recent escalation of violence against Baloch by the Persian chauvinistic Islamic regime of Iran in which hundreds of Baloch youth have been murdered by the way of either hanging or shooting have set Baloch leadership on the move again. They are desperate to draw world attention towards the misery through which Baloch under Iranian occupation are going now. The media is the most powerful way with the help of which they can pass their message to all human loving people and authorities around the world.


Gedrosia گدروشیا: Baloch Desperation to get Persian Attention is Fruitless

Decagonal and Quasi-Crystalline Tilings in Medieval Islamic Architecture

Peter J. Lu1* and Paul J. Steinhardt

The conventional view holds that girih (geometric star-and-polygon, or strapwork) patterns inmedieval Islamic architecture were conceived by their designers as a network of gzagging lines,where the lines were drafted directly with a straightedge and a compass. We show that by 1200C.E. a conceptual breakthrough occurred in which girih patterns were reconceived as tessellationsof a special set of equilateral polygons (“girih tiles”) decorated with lines. These tiles enabled the creation of increasingly complex periodic girih patterns, and by the 15th century, thetessellation approach was combined with self-similar transformations to construct nearly perfect quasi-crystalline Penrose patterns, five centuries before their discovery in the West. Read more

Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India's Present

South Asia Seminar

Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India's Present

Angana Chatterjee (California Institute of Integral Studies)

[venue] University of Texas at Austin, WCH 4.132 :: Austin, TX 78712
March 1, 2007

3:30 PM
Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118

Angana P. Chatterji, Ph.D., is associate professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at California Institute of Integral Studies. Professor Chatterji has integrated scholarship, research, and activism in linking the roles of
citizen and intellectual. A rigorous and passionate advocate for social justice, she has been working with postcolonial social movements, local communities, institutions and citizens groups, government and donor agencies in India and internationally, since 1984, toward enabling participatory democracy for social and ecological
justice.




2006/2007 Christopher
Ondaatje Lecture on
South Asian Art


Hindu Violence in Gandhi's Country

Register online at:
http://webapp.mcis.utoronto.ca/EventDetails.aspx?eventid=3417
Speaker: Arjun Appadurai (The New School for Social Research)

Friday, Apr. 20
4:00 PM-6:00 PM

Room 108
Koffler Institute for
Pharmacy Management
569 Spadina Avenue
University of Toronto
Centre for South Asian Studies

THE MAN WHO KNOWS MORE ABOUT NATANZ THAN CIA

by B. Raman

In the present debate on the need for a deniable air strike on Isfahan, where Iran produces the uranium hexafluoride gas, and Natanz, where it converts the gas into enriched uranium, the relevant question is not whether Iran has secret plans for acquiring a military nuclear capability.

2. The relevant question is when the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz will go into full steam with at least 3,000 centrifuges functioning smoothly. The present indications are that unless the Iranian nuclear scientists and engineers face unexpected technical problems or Iran suffers the loss of more key scientists and/or engineers due to "mysterious deaths", the plant in Natanz should go into full steam by October 31, 2007. If that happens, the danger of serious environmental damage in the Gulf region as a result of a successful air strike on Natanz---either by Israel or by the US or by both acting in tandem-- could increase immeasurably. The damage could even affect Israel eventually.

3. President Ahmadinejad of Iran is exercising tremendous pressure on his scientists to complete the installation of all the centrifuges and commission the facility as quickly as possible. He is calculating---rightly or wrongly--- that once the plant goes into full steam, the dangers of a deniable air strike by Israel/US will decrease.

4.He is confident---rightly, in my view--- that the US, in view of its experience in Iraq and current predicament there, cannot afford to repeat an Iraq-like invasion of Iran.

5. The option of a direct military invasion and occupation can be ruled out. Israel and the US have only two options against Iran--- a deniable air strike on Natanz and Isfahan or at least on Natanz and covert destabilisation operations with the help of the Sunni organisations of Iran. Destabilisation operations will take a long time to produce results. The air strike on Natanz cannot afford to wait till then.

6. To make Natanz a non-starter, two options are available--- an immediate airstrike, which would be secret and deniable with possibly a simultaneous decapitation of the Iranian Air Force and missile capabilities and/or bringing about a collapse of the computer network of the Natanz facility. If the US and Israel can bring about a collapse of the computer network of the Iranian nuclear establishment as a whole, all the more better.

7. Unless the US and Israel have already been working on the information warfare option, this too would take time. If they make progress in developing a capability for successful information warfare against Iran's nuclear establishment, this option, if successful, can make the uranium enrichment facility non-functional even after it goes into full steam. The prospect of an effective information warfare capability will reduce the pressure for an immediate air strike. If the prospects are poor, the pressure will increase.

8. The US should mobilise the services of the IT whiz-kids and let them loose on the computer network of Iran's nuclear establishment.

9. For a successful air strike, the US and Israel would need precise information about Natanz and Ispahan and a dependable assessment of the likely after-effects. It will be risky to rely on the hearsay of Iranian political exiles. It will need to talk to scientists and engineers, who have been to these places and seen the facilities.

10. It is likely that A.Q.Khan, the Pakistani nuclear scientist, who clandestinely collaborated with Iran with the approval of the Pakistan Army and supplied the centrifuges, is a storehouse of information on Natanz---if not on Ispahan. It is very important that the US gets hold of him and interrogates him thoroughly before finalising its options.

11. Finally a word of caution to President Ahmadinejad: The Egyptian people paid a price for the irrational rhetoric of President Nasser and his inability to think lucidly. The Yugoslav people paid a heavy price for the rhetoric of the Serb leaders and their inability to think lucidly. The people of Iraq paid a heavy price for the rhetoric of President Saddam Hussein and his inability to think lucidly. Please don't make the people of Iran pay a heavy price for your rhetoric and inability to think lucidly.

12. If the crisis over Iran moves towards a point of no return, it could have an impact on India---in terms of its environment and energy security if Iran carries out its threat to block oil supplies through the Straits of Hormuz. The Government of India has two options---keep quiet hoping that the crisis will somehow be contained, if not resolved, or be prepared with a workable crisis management plan. If our leaders are wise, they will choose the second and set in motion a process of brainstorming on crisis anticipation and management.

(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: itschen36@gmail.com)



Special Report: The Khan Network
Where is the justice?

The unmaking of a nuclear smuggler

India-China-Russia: alliance in the making?

Guest Column: By Rajiv Sikri

(This article was published by Rediff.com and the author has authorised its republication in SAAG. The views expressed are author's own)

The long-awaited meeting of the Foreign Ministers of India, China and Russia in New Delhi on 14th February was, at one level, merely the latest in a series of trilateral meetings at this level held annually since 2002, generally on the margins of multilateral gatherings. It was, however, only the second stand-alone meeting, the first one having taken place in Vladivostok in June 2005. It was also the first meeting of the three Foreign Ministers after their leaders met in St. Petersburg in July 2006 on the margins of the G-8 summit. The fact that the latest meeting took place in one of the capitals, again a first, gave it comparatively much higher profile and visibility.

Russia has been the keenest proponent, and the driving force, of the concept of closer consultation and cooperation among India , China and Russia . The idea of trilateral cooperation was initiated by then Russian Prime Minister Primakov in 1998. It was Russia that hosted the first Foreign Ministers’ meeting in New York , the first stand-alone meeting at Vladivostok and the leaders’ summit at St. Petersburg . Last week, the Russian Foreign Minister made a special visit to Delhi for the trilateral meeting, which was dovetailed with the Chinese Foreign Minister’s bilateral visit to India .

Russia ’s enthusiasm for trilateral cooperation is easy to understand. From being the co-equal of the United States (in its incarnation as the Soviet Union ), it was contemptuously, if mistakenly, relegated by the West to strategic irrelevance in the post- Cold War era. Yeltsin’s overtures to get Russia accepted by the West into its fold were spurned. Meanwhile, as NATO steadily crept eastwards, to the very borders of Russia, and the US succeeded in getting a foothold in Russia’s strategic neighbourhood, especially Ukraine and Georgia, Russia’s security fears were heightened. From a strategic perspective, Russia realizes that on its own it is not strong enough to challenge the West, specifically the US . China and India are the only countries that are large enough players and sufficiently independent-minded to be potential partners in this strategic balancing act. Russia may also have felt that a triangular relationship involving Russia could facilitate better understanding between India and China . This would minimize possible contradictions in Russia ’s ties with two of its most important partners, and thereby ward off unpleasant choices for Russia .

The New Delhi meeting will compel the US to sit up and take notice. A few years ago, when the US straddled the world like a colossus, these three countries thought it prudent not to provoke the US , with whom the stakes of each of these countries were higher than with one another. Thus, the early trilateral meetings of Foreign Ministers were formal and devoid of substance, with deliberately low-key publicity. As the three countries’ economic and military clout have risen, so has their self-confidence, and their willingness to challenge the US world view, even if this is accompanied by a reiteration of ostensibly reassuring and loud disclaimers that trilateral cooperation is “not directed against the interests of any other country.” Objectively, too, the US remains very important to each of the three countries, and the Foreign Ministers cannot be faulted for their caution. At the same time, President Putin’s extremely significant, blunt address at the Munich security conference earlier this month, China ASAT test, and India ’s conscious efforts to reach out to Iran and Myanmar are signals to the US that all three countries intend to follow an independent foreign policy that serves their respective national interests.

The Joint Statement issued after the New Delhi meeting contains many interesting nuances in this direction. It is noteworthy that its overwhelming emphasis is on the convergence of views on broad strategic issues, rather than on specific areas of trilateral cooperation. In a thinly veiled critique of US global policies and behaviour, the Foreign Ministers, we are told, emphasized the “strong commitment” of the three countries to multilateral diplomacy, and exchanged views on “how international relations are being presently conducted.” Their discussions on developments in Iran , Iraq , Afghanistan , West Asia, and the Korean peninsula, brought out their common approach on these issues, and a global perspective clearly very different from the US world-view. The absence of any specific mention of regional issues in the Joint Statement may be only because the Ministers may have thought it prudent not to directly provoke the US by coming out with an agreed formal formulation on these issues. More areas of strategic convergence are likely to emerge if Russia and China agree to India ’s proposal to host a trilateral seminar, with the participation of not only scholars but officials too, later this year on the “emerging geo-strategic trends.”

In calling for a “more even distribution of development resources and influence,” and the attainment of a “more stable and balanced” multi-polar world order through the instrumentality of the UN, the three countries have, for the first time, collectively signaled that they too, not just the West, must have a say in how the world is governed and how its limited resources are exploited. The disaster in Iraq and the looming confrontation with Iran explain their common concern that cooperation rather than confrontation, with an important role for the UN, should govern approaches to regional and global affairs.

Central Asia also came up for discussion. Although since the mid-20th century the foreign policies of Russia , China and India were broadly oriented in a direction away from Eurasia and towards Europe, East Asia and South Asia respectively rather than towards the continental landmass, today’s changed circumstances compel all three countries to look at developments in Eurasia much more seriously. As continental powers whose respective back doors, so to speak, open in the fragile, volatile and strategically important region of Central Asia, it is perfectly logical that India, China and Russia should be actively exploring avenues of cooperation to ensure that this region remains peaceful and stable. The broad strategic convergence of the policies of these three countries in this region is evident in their participation in the Central Asia-centric Shanghai Cooperation Organization, where Russia and China are members, and India an observer.

Given the institutional weaknesses of the Central Asian states, there are many potential dangers emanating from this region that could threaten the security and stability of all three countries. Separatist tendencies and terrorist activities exist precisely in those regions of India , China and Russia that are contiguous to Central Asia . Faced as all three countries are with terrorist and separatist activities ( Chechnya for Russia , Xinjiang for China , and Kashmir for India ), there was considerable meeting ground on this issue among the three Foreign Ministers. Against this background, they had little difficulty in agreeing that there can be no justification for any act of terrorism irrespective of motivations, as well as in rejecting selective approaches and double standards in countering terrorism. There was agreement in conceptual terms and in the intention to develop practical cooperation in multilateral and regional frameworks and through coordinated trilateral action. It remains to be seen what would be the concrete forms of such cooperation.

In addition, the US military presence in the region, which is likely to be a long-term one, poses an incipient threat to all three countries about which none of them can be sanguine. The formulation in the Joint Statement that Russia and China “would actively facilitate early realization of mutually beneficial contribution of India to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation,” and a recent statement by the Russian Ambassador to India, provide indications that India may soon be invited to become a full member of the Central Asia-centric Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Were that to happen, it could become a matter of serious strategic concern to the US that tends to regard the SCO as an anti-US alliance.

While many ideas for trilateral cooperation have been discussed among scholars in a number of trilateral academic meetings organized over the last few years, no visible progress on the ground has been made so far. The Ministers identified energy, transport infrastructure, health, and high technology as promising areas for joint cooperation and collaboration. Hopefully, the proposed expert-level meetings, and the Business Meet in India later this year, will come up with practical areas of trilateral economic cooperation.

Energy is an obvious area of mutually beneficial cooperation if the three countries are willing to think creatively and boldly. Energy-deficient, fast-growing and geographically proximate India and China could become long-term reliable markets for energy-surplus Russia , provided Russia takes a strategic decision that its enormous energy resources should be available to fuel the growth of India and China instead of being committed principally to Western markets. The considerable hydropower potential in Siberia and Tibet could be tapped for transmitting electricity via Xinjiang and Tibet to the large Indian market just across the mountains. Overland pipeline projects, if technically and economically feasible, could transport Russian and Caspian oil and gas to markets in India via China , as well as to global markets via India ’s warm water ports. This could be cheaper and also obviate many of the risks associated with exclusive reliance on maritime energy supply routes. China is already exploring alternative routes via Pakistan for transporting Gulf oil to China . It may well find a sea-land route via India more reliable and secure, particularly if there is a reciprocal dependence – India’s on Russian and Central Asian gas transiting China on its way to India, and China’s on Gulf oil transiting India on its way to China. Joint India-China-Russia investments in energy projects in Russia and elsewhere, and swap deals are other possible areas of cooperation.

Another exciting and potentially very significant area of cooperation is high technology. If the three countries pool their assets and synergize their strengths, they could emerge as an alternative nucleus for development of futuristic technologies, and break the current technological dominance of the West. Information technology and biotechnology have already been identified as areas meriting special attention. There is some talk of developing civilian aircraft that could break the duopoly of Boeing and Airbus, and of cooperation in the field of pharmaceuticals that could pose a challenge to the cartel of American and European multinational pharmaceutical companies. Controlling between them about one and a half trillion dollars of foreign exchange, the three countries have also talked of cooperation in financial services.

The New Delhi meeting of the Foreign Ministers of India, China and Russia has put trilateral cooperation firmly on the rails. There will be regular Foreign Ministerial meetings, with the next to be hosted by China . Gone is the tentativeness and hesitation that characterized earlier meetings. The atmospherics of the latest meeting were good, its outcome substantive, and the mood of the participants upbeat and confident. The burgeoning trilateral consultations and cooperation constitute the most serious and credible endeavour to craft a multi-polar world. But there is no strategic alliance – at least not yet. What we are seeing is a demonstration of how in today’s complex global scenario there can be issue-based coalitions of states. It is the fructification of even one or two large projects of the kind indicated above that would hardwire the three countries into a long-term mutual interdependence and lead to a true strategic alliance. For this, conscious strategic decisions will be needed in all countries. Are the leaders of India , China and Russia ready for a radical conceptual breakthrough to take advantage of the new geo-political realities of the 21st century?

Rajiv Sikri is a former member of the Indian Foreign Service who retired recently as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. He can be contacted at rajivsikri@gmail.com