March 31, 2011

Indian sun dried tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are ripe tomatoes which are placed in the sun to remove most of the water content from the tomatoes. Cherry types of tomatoes will lose 88% of their initial (fresh) weight, whilst larger tomatoes can lose up to 93% during the process. As a result, it takes anywhere from 8 to 14 kilos of fresh tomatoes to make a single kilo of sun dried tomatoes.

After the procedure the tomato fruits will keep their nutritional value. The tomatoes are high in lycopene, antioxidants, and vitamin C and low in sodium, fat, and calories.

Sun dried tomatoes were created in the tile roofs of Italy as a way to store fresh tomatoes for the winter. This technique is still used for tomatoes, only in much larger quantities of tomatoes and for commercial use (commercially available tomatoes).

Sun-dried tomatoes can be used in a wide variety of recipes and come in a variety of shapes, colors, and tomatoes. Traditionally they were made from dried red plum tomatoes, but they can be purchased in yellow varieties of tomatoes as well.

Sun-dried tomatoes may also be preserved in olive oil, along with other ingredients such as rosemary, basil, dried paprika, and garlic.



Generally, when one speaks of a gourmet meal, one rarely thinks of dried food as being used for it. A meal is enhanced ever so much more by the lovely taste of sun-dried tomatoes. Many people think that the only way to get sun-dried tomatoes is from the shops. But instead of making a hole in your pocket by purchasing them, you can make your own sun dried tomatoes in the comfort of your own kitchen. The tomato season is just around the corner as summer approaches, so now would be the ideal time to start planning for your stock of sun dried tomatoes for the full year. Making sun dried tomatoes is not difficult. The only negative part of the entire exercise is the fact that the “drying” time can be very long. While the traditional method involves drying the tomatoes literally in the sun on covered trays, an alternative is to bake them to get a similar result. You can use your sun-dried tomatoes to prepare some mouth-watering dishes with them, throughout the year.
Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes Recipe
  • Pick your tomatoes. Ensure that you use only plum tomatoes so that you get the best results. Just keep in mind that they can shrivel into almost nothing (which is one reason why a small bag of sun-dried tomatoes costs so much at the supermarket).
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash the tomatoes and slice, with each slice being half an inch thick.
  • Without touching the sides of the slices, lay them on the baking sheet.
  • Place them in the oven and wait. Baking will normally take around 6 to 10 hours. While you can, of course, bake faster, quick baking will just ruin the consistency and the flavor of the tomatoes.
  • Check the tomatoes periodically since there are times when the slices nearer the edges of the baking sheet will cook faster than the ones in the center of it. You can rotate positions in order to make it uniform.
  • When the tomatoes are completely baked, they will have the consistency of fresh raisins. The undercooked ones will seem wet and sticky. The overcooked tomatoes will be dark brown and dry.
  • If you find that there are some slices that are baked before the others, remove those slices and continue baking the others.
  • Bring the tomatoes to room temperature on the baking sheets.
  • Put them into zip top bags and refrigerate them. They will last for as long as you would like to keep them.
  • You can soak them in olive oil, season them, or just use them plain, to add great flavor to many dishes and salads.

Caution over misadventure

March 31, 2011 2:50:05 PM

G Parthasarathy

Rather than go along with the West and back its duplicitous decision to ‘intervene' in Libya, India has decided to chart its own independent course in foreign affairs.

After emerging from a situation two decades ago, when the country was bankrupt and internationally isolated following the collapse of the Soviet Union, India can derive satisfaction with what has been achieved since then. The nuclear tests of 1998 and end of global nuclear sanctions by the Nuclear Suppliers Group in 2008, has led to worldwide recognition of India as a legitimate nuclear weapons power. It is now for India to negotiate skillfully with partners like Russia, France, the US and Canada, to see that agreements on nuclear power it signs are economically advantageous and meet the highest standards of transparency and nuclear safety.

With a sustained high rate of economic growth and increasing integration with the world economy, India is now a member of the G-20 and the expanded East Asia Summit comprising the members of ASEAN together with the US, Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand. India is closely linked to emerging economic powers like Russia, China, Brazil and South Africa, through forums like BRICS and IBSA. It is only a question of time before India joins the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, laying the grounds for a larger profile in Central Asia. But, it is crucial that despite its economic progress, India has to retain its strategic autonomy, if it is to be respected internationally.

India’s candidature for permanent membership of the UN Security Council has been endorsed by all its permanent members except China, which remains distinctly obstructive. But, given the absence of consensus on the size and composition of an expanded UNSC, it is evident that there is still a long way to go before India’s ambitions on this score are fulfilled. In the meantime, there have been unambiguous suggestions from the US and even American client states like the UK that India would be considered worthy of a permanent seat in the UNSC only if the ‘international community’ (a euphemism for the Nato members) is satisfied with how India ‘behaves’ with its voting on important contemporary issues as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. These are pressures India will have to resist and deftly deal with.

Despite these blandishments, New Delhi appears to have broadly shaped the contours of how it will proceed to deal with Western pressures involving the typical Western double standards on ‘human rights’ and their pet topic of ‘Responsibility to Protect’. One is all too aware of how Nato did not hesitate to dismember Yugoslavia in the 1990s after virtually demonising the Serbs. Force was then used to carve out and recognise Kosovo — an action mercifully not sanctified by a majority of UN member-states. The UN General Assembly Resolution of 2005 on the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ has been used at the convenience of the Nato members to pressurise and seek to remove regimes alleged to be guilty of “war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity”.

Needless to say, Nato would not dare to act on anything the Russians do in Chechnya, or against Chinese clampdowns in Xinjiang or Tibet. Genocide in Rwanda will be long ignored, because it is a poor African country with no oil or mineral resources. A blind eye will be turned when a Sunni minority ruling elite in Bahrain clamps down on the Shia majority in the country, because the US’s Fifth Fleet has bases in Bahrain. But, if Colonel Muammar Gaddafi clamps down in oil rich Libya, he is subject to a ‘No-Fly Zone’ and bombed by the virtuous British and French with American backing.

There now appears to be a clearer enunciation of Indian thinking on such issues. After consultations with like-minded emerging powers like Brazil and South Africa, India made it clear that on issues like developments in Libya it will first seek consultations with regional groupings like the Arab League and African Union before finalising its response. Rather than blindly following the Western lead, India would seek to forge and back a regional consensus in formulating its policies.

This would mean that in developments in sub-Saharan Africa, Indian policies will take into account prevailing views and a consensus, if any, in the African Union. On Zimbabwe, the advice of South Africa would be more important than that of Whitehall. In Myanmar, India will seek to promote and back a consensus evolved in consultation with Asean. The views of the GCC would be of primary importance in formulating policies on developments like the Shia-Sunni divide in Bahrain. This policy makes it clear that India is not going to be a rubber stamp for Anglo-American and Nato policies of selective use of force against regimes considered distasteful.

Over 17,000 Indians living across Libya have safely returned home, thanks to commendable work by our Ambassador Manimekalai and her staff. Col Gaddafi knows that India is not exactly pleased by his use of air-power against his own people (as Pakistan is regularly doing in Balochistan and in its tribal areas). India nevertheless joined hands with Russia, China, Germany and Brazil in abstaining on the March 17 UN Security Council resolution on Libya because of the absence of carefully considered guidelines on the use of force amidst a raging civil war, the lack of specificity on the countries and organisations undertaking the military effort and the absence of any clarity on how a political solution would be evolved to end the Libyan impasse.

The fiasco in Somalia and the attempt for ‘regime change’ in Iraq demonstrate how misguided external intervention can have disastrous consequences. India is concerned that the military intervention in Libya is going to result in a prolonged stalemate and growing radicalisation in West Asia. It will inevitably be perceived there as an attempt to partition an oil rich Muslim state.

If ‘gunboat diplomacy’ was the hallmark of European colonial powers in the 19th century, ‘No-Fly Zone’ Nato diplomacy seems to be the order of the day after the Cold War. Lessons will be learned only after European powers, who have no appetite for real combat and body bags in tough places like Afghanistan, face the wrath of people opposing them, as the Americans faced by ill-advised military interventions in Lebanon in 1983 and in Somalia in 1993. Tired and tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Americans appear understandably more cautious in taking the lead in intervening in Libya.

Foreign Secretary saw closer cooperation on counter-terror with U.S. as ‘silver lining' of 26/11

Nirupama Subramanian

On the ground, though Indian investigators shared much evidence with the FBI, the distrust did not disappear

CHENNAI: Shivshankar Menon, who was Foreign Secretary at the time of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, believed that the crisis presented India with an opportunity to build closer cooperation with the United States.

In a cable dated November 30, 2008 ( 180629: confidential) accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks, U.S. Ambassador David Mulford wrote that Mr. Menon saw this as the “only silver lining” of the gruesome attacks.

Mr. Menon told the envoy that India had experienced incidents of terrorism earlier, but the Mumbai attacks were “on a whole new level.”

According to Mr. Mulford, the Foreign Secretary said: “My first thought was back to your frequent offers of counter-terrorism assistance, which it is clear we really need.”

Referring to a slew of newspaper editorials suggesting that India should learn from the experiences of the U.S. in such contexts, the Foreign Secretary told Mr. Mulford this could be a “silver lining.”

“We must make opportunity out of crisis,” Mr. Menon said, adding, “we look forward to cooperating as closely as we can.”

The Foreign Secretary's remarks have to be seen in the context of opposition in powerful sections of the Indian security establishment to counter-terrorism cooperation with the U.S., and their differences with the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) over this.

The opposition stemmed from the Indian security agencies' distrust of the U.S. and the perception that its cooperation with India was bound to be half-hearted as long as it continued to depend on Pakistan for counter-terror cooperation in Afghanistan.

The MEA has traditionally taken a more liberal view, and there is an illustration of this in a cable sent by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on July 10, 2006 ( 70813: confidential).

It quotes MEA Additional Secretary (International Organisations) K.C. Singh as telling Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission, that allegations in the Indian press that a U.S. diplomat used the joint Cyber Security Forum to recruit officers in India's National Security Council Secretariat and that the issue would give Indian intelligence agencies were an excuse not to cooperate with the U.S.

He suggested that a planned visit by a high-level envoy on counter-terrorism cooperation be postponed until a meeting of the India-U.S. Counterterrorism Joint Working Group in October or November 2006. The passage of time would allow for “a more conducive climate among Indian intelligence agencies,” he told Mr. Pyatt.

The cable noted that Mr. Singh himself was committed to counter-terrorism cooperation and had raised the allegations “more in a spirit of sorrow than anger.”

A face-off

Though Indian investigators subsequently shared plenty of evidence from the Mumbai attacks with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the distrust did not disappear.

Other cables published by The Hindu show that behind the scenes, India and the U.S. had a face-off over how much information from its own Mumbai investigation the FBI could share with Pakistan.

India eventually relented to a conditional sharing of the U.S. demand for information-sharing with Pakistan. As the cables reveal, even the FBI did not get an easy pass to investigate the attack.

When Mr. Mulford and Mr. Menon spoke on November 30, 2008, hours after the security forces had brought the situation in Mumbai under control, one of the items on the Ambassador's agenda was to tell the Foreign Secretary that wherever American citizens were among victims in such situations, his government “insisted” on enhanced law enforcement cooperation and intelligence liaison.

Mr. Menon was able to confirm to him that the Intelligence Bureau had already cleared an eight-member FBI team arriving on November 30 to participate in the investigations. But, he told the Ambassador, until the sites were secured, the team would have to work off-site.

The tensions would continue. But there was cooperation, too. Enough for National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan to declare to the new U.S. Ambassador, Timothy Roemer, on August 11, 2009, ten months after the attacks, that counterterrorism and intelligence-cooperation was “one of the most ‘vibrant' areas of U.S.-India cooperation” ( 220281: confidential/noforn).

Mr. Naryanan wanted the U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Cutler Blair to visit India by October 2009 to “build on our success.”

But when Mr. Roemer asked Mr. Narayanan if India would be willing to share its classified “after action report” on Mumbai, the envoy noted that the NSA “demurred.”

Pointing out that the report had been prepared by the Maharashtra government, he told Mr. Roemer that the Central government would share it as soon as it became available.

When Mr. Roemer suggested that the U.S. and India consider holding a conference to compare lessons learned from 9/11 (New York) and 26/11 (Mumbai), Mr. Narayanan suggested that perhaps an “off the record” brainstorming session would be most useful.

(This article is a part of the series "The India Cables" based on the US diplomatic cables accessed by The Hindu via Wikileaks.')

To Live United or to Perish Like Fools

Dr. Jumma Khan Marri

by Dr. Jumma Khan Marri

We all speak and write for Baloch unity while hardly understanding its meaning and purpose. That is the reason the long awaited unity looks like an unachievable dream (“Whereas everybody wants heaven yet nobody is ready to die”.). Education is one of the main pillars for understanding the need and purpose of that unity. Fearing that unity, the government of Pakistan started its cruel inhumane acts of eliminating our educated youth. Today Baloch people are deprived of the candle of enlightenment and are kept in the darkness of ignorance, illiteracy and backwardness.

I beg my elders, leaders, tribal notables, let us unite and try to understand the meaning and purpose of unity. In English or any other language, the word unity means oneness, or togetherness. Why do we need this oneness and togetherness now and today? Because we have no other options left other then unity. Disunity is our death, take it or leave it. Die or live. Without unity we are bound to perish and face the defeat and humiliation and become slaves, living a life not better then a pig or dog.

Let us not blame our enemies but ourselves today. Read Baloch sites and go to every village in Balochistan. You will hear the sounds of a crying mother, a sister. With unity there can be more strength in opinion building. With unity we can easily convince both world opinion and send a strong message to the enemy. With unity there can be more strength in our actions and more strength in our character, decisions and responsibilities. This is a very simple and obvious fact. If one person tries his hand at some job, he will manage much less than what a group effort will achieve. This, in all simplicity, is what unity is all about.

Let us first discuss the smallest unit of our society--the family. If all members of a family go on divergent roads, the very semblance of a family disappears. A family indicates oneness. They live together. They work together. They enjoy together. They share their woes together. This is the basic strength of the unit--each member working with vigour and confidence in all others. All this on the simple basis of being one. When we lose this oneness, as of today we break the family, i.e. the very edifice of our construction.

From this smallest unit, we go to the bigger horizon of society. Baloch society is fragmented, unfortunately not without the help of Baloch enemies. Today the best sons of soil are pitched against each other and with their narrow tribal approach forget the bigger enemy in waiting to eliminate both. Where is our society today? It is broken into fragments--an individual family just looking after itself, as if we sternly believed in the adage, “everyone for himself, and God for all.” This has become the motto of the society at large today. This has lead to the loosening of the ties of the Baloch society today and this is the cause of the growth of so many social evils and corruption and disunity. When there is no strong bond in different segments understanding and cooperation and broken links in our society, it is bound to break into factions, and fractions thus lose its strength, both moral and social.

From the society, let us move on to the position of whole Baloch nation and Baloch country. This is the saddest side of our appearance today--a complete lack of unity and understanding of each other or unwillingness to unite to save the Baloch nation and Baloch country from imminent disaster, thereby allowing our enemies to creep deeper in our ranks and society with their evil intentions, into the very fabric of all our tribal political systems. The Baloch nation and country is today seen crumbling under its weight of self-imposed suspicions and disunity, so instead of getting together, we are continuously moving on the path of disintegration and thus weakening our people and the Baloch nation's dreams for freedom.

Today we must put our best minds and youth together and provide an example of unity, portraying ourselves as one united Baloch nation that is struggling for independence. Even though it is very difficult, we must struggle and put aside our differences for the greater cause. This is all what unity is about, and this is the magic that unity can play. I am sure that if Baloch do not unite in this war, our history would be forgotten and we will be like the Red Indians. The Baloch people have undoubtedly got an inbuilt strength of unity; I request the Baloch to stand together and be one and become a power to reckon with.

Let us all see the unique power of unity and consider and understand that unity is the password which heals all bruises big and small. It is this that helps us enjoy the few happy moments of life. In the good moments of a marriage, in the sad moments of sickness and death, it is the unity of the well wishers that makes the pleasure great and despair less. This is the unique power of unity. A lone individual or community can achieve nothing and neither can they enjoy the fruits of any achievement. The secret power of unity is strength, which is built up by mutual trust and faith and love for each other, and the oneness of a single well formulated goal.

To achieve our freedom and bury our misunderstandings and brotherly anger, lets open a channel of dialogue and understanding to address each other’s apprehensions and concerns. If our enemies had no unity, they would not have been able to cause as much destruction as they have succeeded in achieving. From our beloved Balochistan our people are migrating to Sindh, Punjab and Gulf countries, just because the terrorist enemy armies put their unity in action and succeed in disuniting us in thought and spirit. And so, they are able to destroy their target. Thus in order we are to make any significant achievement, the most necessary ingredient is unity. Your targets may be good or bad, but success is assured if you have a united consolidated group to work up to the goal.

Today torture killing and violence against innocent Baloch youth by the Pakistani police is becoming ever more brutal. These beasts’ corrupt and brutal forces heavily relay on torture as an investigation tactic. Hundreds of innocent Baloch youth lose their lives to illegal police detention and in the fake police encounters. Pakistani police and other spy agencies are an organized mafia with strong political influence in the Punjab and they are not accountable to anyone.

In the last 6 months of 2010 alone, more than 145 educated Baloch young men faced the worst police torture and deaths. Even though they were innocent, nobody questions the brutal Pakistani state about their fate. In Pakistan there is no law and code of conduct that governs the Pakistani police stations. Prisons centers have turned into the horrible ghost on the planet earth. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment became the fate of the Baloch people in the Islamic republic of Pakistan and this is clear violation of United Nation: Article 1.

The Pakistani media ignores Balochistan and Baloch problems which are created and sustained by that government. World media also has no reach or is ill-informed. It is up to the Baloch themselves to prove both to world and the Pakistani public the facts of the the illegal occupation and plunder of Baloch soil and national wealth. The slow, but steady genocide of the Baloch nation continues unabated.

I call upon Baloch stakeholders to unify your position. Unity of mind requires soaring above apparent differences. We must see farthest which ascends highest. Unity of mind does not mean we have to eliminate our differences. Live with them and achieve unity, not uniformity, for uniformity goes against Creation.

Differences are a blessing as long as we respect each other’s position and accept them; they activate and inspire the mind and accelerate the thinking process which leads to intellectual development. When differences are understood, they enrich us and lead to progress and development but we must eliminate negativity between us.

We have no choice but to work with people who are different than us. We can achieve unity and understanding only through accepting each other. Unity is life; its negation is death. Unity is strength, beauty, love, compassion, benevolence love and unity, for we are fruits of one tree.

Today our leaders make no effort to expand their process of thinking and improve their level of awareness. They have closed minds. They are not receptive to new ideas. We may remain together, but at the same time remain divided by difference in perceptions. We need to change our perceptions of each other and ignore small issues or differences exaggerated by cheap commentators who distort everything.

A dialogue between us will foster mutual respect and deeper understanding of each other’s position. Listening provides opportunities for unity of mind that generates the necessary spiritual strength needed to overcome our differences.

Therefore, I call all the main stake holders in Balochistan, on behalf of the entire Baloch nation and those crying mothers and sisters, for the sake of all those youth who shed their blood for our liberty and freedom, please shun your difference. Come together and fight as one--now or never.

Additional copy editing by

'At Home and Abroad', India's Air Defence Planners Saddle Up to the SAM Procurement Challenge

Contributor: Laurent Rathborn

India faces unique air security challenges. It suffers from a quasi-belligerent, nuclear-armed neighbour at its border and an increasingly outdated Cold War air-defence system.
Consequently, the last fifteen years have seen efforts by the Indian Ministry of Defence to either purchase upgraded systems or, increasingly, internally develop their own. SAM (surface-to-air missile) systems can be mounted on a number of delivery platforms at sea and on the ground.
Moving on from legacy solutions
The bulk of India’s Cold-War era SAM systems are of the OSA-AKM [SA-8 Gecko] and ZRK-BD MR/LR-SAM type, which are rapidly being surpassed by modern offerings from suppliers such as France and Israel. The Ministry of Defence has also partnered with both countries to co-develop a replacement system, taking advantage of India’s growing technical knowledge-base. Three systems under development are of interest.

The first of these is Akash, a replacement for old SA-3 systems in the hilly northeast of the country, and a wholly indigenous development. Akash’s missile has a reported range of up to 30km and an altitude ceiling of 18000m. While primarily meant as an anti-air system, it has also been tested in an ABM role. The Indian Air Force completed trials for the system in 2007.
Post-trial phase, a Ministry of Defence contract signed late last year valued at INR 42.79 billion (about $925 million) will buy 6 squadrons of Akash medium-range SAMs from state-run Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL). This 750 missile order follows an INR 12.21 billion (about $250 million) order for 2 initial squadrons with 250 missiles total, back in January 2009.

Akash represents the first fully internally developed anti-air system that India has deployed to date. By contrast, two other systems flagged for acquisition are either joint-development projects with another country or a straight purchase from foreign manufacturers. Barak is an example of the former.

Barak is a supersonic, vertically-launched short range air defence system, with an operational range of about 10 km (6 miles). That pushes it past the standard ranges of shoulder-launched options with naval counterparts, like the MBDA Mistral/SIMBAD or Saab Boofors’ RBS-70, but short of other small vertical launch options like the RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow. India has ordered $300 million worth of these missiles as a substitute for the indigenous but long-delayed Trishul (“Trident”) missile project, and Barak systems now equip many of the ships in India’s Navy.
The Navy’s Barak-NG/ LR-SAM project aimed to give the missiles a much longer reach, with the intention of making it India’s primary naval SAM. Some variants of the Barak 8 missile reportedly extend its range to 60-70 km (approximately 41 miles), thanks to a dual-pulse solid rocket motor whose second “pulse” fires as the missile approaches its target.

The land-based version is under development by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) which will be the ‘prime developer’ for the MR-SAM project, alongside Israel. This contract has a Rs 2,300 crore (INR 23 billion, $450 million) indigenous component within an estimated Rs 10,000 crore (INR 100 billion, about $1.93 billion) total.
Indian Air Force dividends
The Indian Air Force will be a major partner, and has revealed plans to raise at least two regiments that will use the MR-SAM, each with 40 launchers and support equipment. In India, the MR-SAM will progressively replace the IAF’s antiquated Soviet-vintage SA-3 Pechora and SA-8 OSA-AK SAM systems.
A straight purchase of production rights from Israel concerns its SPYDER SAM system, a replacement for the indigenous Trishul system which has so far not made progress past the development stage. SPYDER is a low-level, quick-reaction, surface-to-air missile (LLQRM) system capable of engaging aircraft, helicopters, unmanned air vehicles, drones and precision-guided munitions.
The system provides air defence for fixed assets and for point and area defence for mobile forces in combat areas. The kill range is specified as being less than 1km, with a maximum range of 15km. The altitudes range from a minimum of 20m to a maximum of 9,000m. The system is capable of multi-target simultaneous engagement and also single, multiple and ripple firing at all times and in all conditions.
The contract with the IAF, signed in 2008 for $260 million, involves the supply of 18 SPYDER systems, with deliveries running through early 2011 to August 2012. The medium range and long range surface-to-air system (MR/LR-SAM) is an Rs10,000 crore (approximately $2.5 billion) project for use by India's land forces. As with Barak, the production phase is expected to be carried out in India by Indian technical staff.

As seen with both Barak and SPYDER, India is focused on moving into production partnerships with heavyweight arms manufacturers. While the intellectual rights may come from overseas, India’s strategy of using a mixture of foreign-designed and indigenous systems means that local technicians get the widest possible exposure to technical standards and design frameworks.
This is important in terms of future design and maintenance; since indigenous production requires domestic investment in terms of manufacturing facilities and technical education programmes, it makes sense for India to partner with “blueprint producers” and produce components in-house. Technical expertise passed on during the manufacturing process then makes upgrades and maintenance easier and cheaper over the lifecycle of the system, which also reduces reliance on third-party contracts for life extension programmes should the need arise.

India’s paradigm shift towards domestic procurement is not just confined to its SAM systems. The IAF has recently completed a series of trials on its in-house HAL Tejas MiG-replacement fighter aircraft, which should be ready to fly within the next few years, and is currently in the process of reviving its Airavat project, which is an indigenous airborne electronic warfare platform effort, as well as a light combat helicopter platform.

How Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen

Interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski Le Nouvel Observateur (France), Jan 15-21, 1998, p. 76*

Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?

Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.

Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?

Brzezinski: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?

Brzezinski: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic [integrisme], having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.

Brzezinski: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner and without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with 1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites the Christian countries.

* There are at least two editions of this magazine; with the perhaps sole exception of the Library of Congress, the version sent to the United States is shorter than the French version, and the Brzezinski interview was not included in the shorter version.

The above has been translated from the French by Bill Blum author of the indispensible, "Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II" and "Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower" Portions of the books can be read at: <>

Behind the Arab revolt is a word we dare not speak

24 February 2011

Shortly after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I interviewed Ray McGovern, one of an elite group of CIA officers who prepared the President’s daily intelligence brief. McGovern was at the apex of the “national security” monolith that is American power and had retired with presidential plaudits. On the eve of the invasion, he and 45 other senior officers of the CIA and other intelligence agencies wrote to President George W. Bush that the “drumbeat for war” was based not on intelligence, but lies.

“It was 95 per cent charade,” McGovern told me.

“How did they get away with it?”

“The press allowed the crazies to get away with it.”

“Who are the crazies?”

“The people running the [Bush] administration have a set of beliefs a lot like those expressed in Mein Kampf... these are the same people who were referred to in the circles in which I moved, at the top, as ‘the crazies’.”

I said, “Norman Mailer has written that that he believes America has entered a pre-fascist state. What’s your view of that?”

“Well... I hope he’s right, because there are others saying we are already in a fascist mode.”

On 22 January, Ray McGovern emailed me to express his disgust at the Obama administration’s barbaric treatment of the alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning and its pursuit of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. “Way back when George and Tony decided it might be fun to attack Iraq,” he wrote, “I said something to the effect that fascism had already begun here. I have to admit I did not think it would get this bad this quickly.”

On 16 February, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a speech at George Washington University in which she condemned governments that arrested protestors and crushed free expression. She lauded the liberating power of the internet while failing to mention that her government was planning to close down those parts of the internet that encouraged dissent and truth-telling. It was a speech of spectacular hypocrisy, and Ray McGovern was in the audience. Outraged, he rose from his chair and silently turned his back on Clinton. He was immediately seized by police and a security goon and beaten to the floor, dragged out and thrown into jail, bleeding. He has sent me photographs of his injuries. He is 71. During the assault, which was clearly visible to Clinton, she did not pause in her remarks.

Fascism is a difficult word, because it comes with an iconography that touches the Nazi nerve and is abused as propaganda against America’s official enemies and to promote the West’s foreign adventures with a moral vocabulary written in the struggle against Hitler. And yet fascism and imperialism are twins. In the aftermath of world war two, those in the imperial states who had made respectable the racial and cultural superiority of “western civilisation”, found that Hitler and fascism had claimed the same, employing strikingly similar methods. Thereafter, the very notion of American imperialism was swept from the textbooks and popular culture of an imperial nation forged on the genocidal conquest of its native people. And a war on social justice and democracy became “US foreign policy”.

As the Washington historian William Blum has documented, since 1945, the US has destroyed or subverted more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and used mass murderers like Suharto, Mobutu and Pinochet to dominate by proxy. In the Middle East, every dictatorship and pseudo-monarchy has been sustained by America. In “Operation Cyclone”, the CIA and MI6 secretly fostered and bank-rolled Islamic extremism. The object was to smash or deter nationalism and democracy. The victims of this western state terrorism have been mostly Muslims. The courageous people gunned down last week in Bahrain and Libya, the latter a “priority UK market”, according to Britain’s official arms “procurers”, join those children blown to bits in Gaza by the latest American F-16 aircraft.

The revolt in the Arab world is not merely against a resident dictator but a worldwide economic tyranny designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries like Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with half the population earning less than $2 a day. The people’s triumph in Cairo was the first blow against what Benito Mussolini called corporatism, a word that appears in his definition of fascism.

How did such extremism take hold in the liberal West? “It is necessary to destroy hope, idealism, solidarity, and concern for the poor and oppressed,” observed Noam Chomsky a generation ago, “[and] to replace these dangerous feelings with self-centred egoism, a pervasive cynicism that holds that [an order of] inequities and oppression is the best that can be achieved. In fact, a great international propaganda campaign is under way to convince people – particularly young people – that this not only is what they should feel but that it’s what they do feel.”

Like the European revolutions of 1848 and the uprising against Stalinism in 1989, the Arab revolt has rejected fear. An insurrection of suppressed ideas, hope and solidarity has begun. In the United States, where 45 per cent of young African-Americans have no jobs and the top hedge fund managers are paid, on average, a billion dollars a year, mass protests against cuts in services and jobs have spread to heartland states like Wisconsin. In Britain, the fastest-growing modern protest movement, UK Uncut, is about to take direct action against tax avoiders and rapacious banks. Something has changed that cannot be unchanged. The enemy has a name now.
Source :

Things to learn from Japan: How it handled the recent natural calamity?

Many thanks to Dinesh Agrawal Email: dinesh1234 @

10 things to learn from Japan after the recent natural calamity that country faced and how it dealt with it?

Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated.

Disciplined queues for water and groceries. No looting and irrational complaining. Not a rough word or a crude gesture.

The incredible architectures, for instance: Tall Buildings swayed but didn’t fall. Earthquake proof building codes are strictly enforced and followed.

People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something. No reports of hoarding or inflating the prices

No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding and consideration for fellow human being.

Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors fully aware that they were risking their lives. How will they ever be repaid?

Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak.

The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that.

They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No silly reporters. No stupid and childish comments. No exploitation of human tragedy for raising TRPs. Only calm reportage.

When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly

March 30, 2011



"Any exercise to demotivate the Pakistani state and help it to rid itself of its fears---which are seen by its army as real and by India as imaginary--- has to start with frequent and sustained interactions between the institutions of the two countries---- political parties to political parties, parliament to parliament, army to army, intelligence to intelligence, Foreign Office to Foreign Office and Home Ministry to Home Ministry. Increasing institutional contacts is as important as increasing people to people contacts to remove imaginary fears of each other.
How to achieve this increase in institutional interactions between India and Pakistan.? That should be the basic question to be addressed. It should be addressed in the context of an over-all vision statement between the two countries. The imaginary fears are more in Pakistan’s mind than in our mind. The Indian Prime Minister should take the initiative for visiting Pakistan to set the ball rolling towards an agreed common vision. "

2. So I wrote in my paper of March 15,2011, titled "Is it Possible to Visualise A Shared Future for India & Pakistan? " available at
" . This paper was written by me at the request of Prof.Stephen Cohen of the Brookings Institution, US, for an edited volume on Pakistan's future that he intends bringing out.

3. In the background of these suggestions, it is gratifying to note that the two concrete outcomes of the wide-ranging "conversations" between visiting Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani and our Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh at Mohali on March 30,2011, have been exchanges of visits by parliamentary delegations of the two countries and an invitation from Mr.Gilani to our Prime Minister to visit Pakistan. The invitation has not yet been formally accepted by our Prime Minister, but during her media briefing at Mohali on March 30 , our Foreign Secretary,Mrs.Nirupama Rao, gave an indication that we are having an open mind on this issue.

4. How to give a forward push to the relations between the two countries without creating an euphoria which may prove to be unwarranted and may come back to haunt us should there be a fresh terrorist strike originating from Pakistan organised by elements determined to derail the "re-engagement" and "re-connecting" process at the top political level set in motion by the two Prime Ministers? That is the question that has been sought to be addressed by the two Prime Ministers during their "conversations". The Foreign Secretary underlined that what the two Prime Ministers had during their interactions at Mohali were "wide-ranging conversations" and not "talks" .

5. The apparently deliberate attempt to avoid a joint statement or a joint media briefing at the end of Mr.Gilani's visit was to create and maintain an air of relaxed informality about the process of "re-engagement" started by the two Prime Ministers without giving it an over-projected formal cloak that could have proved counter-productive.

6. What one saw at Mohali was a refreshingly different approach to the exercise to impart a strategic new dimension to the bilateral relations. There are two defining characteristics of this new approach---- a carefully calibrated "re-engagement" process begun and taken charge of by the two Prime Ministers themselves and the continuation of the resumed dialogue process agreed upon by the two Prime Ministers when they met in Thimpu last year under the watch of concerned Ministers and senior bureaucrats.

7. The first stage of the resumed dialogue process was completed just before the two Prime Ministers met at Mohali when the Home/Interior Secretaries of India and Pakistan met at New Delhi and reached some positive agreements on issues arising from the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai and decided to set up a hotline between the two of them to enable faster and direct communications as part of a joint approach to internal security.The Home/Interior Secretaries' meeting is expected to be followed by a meeting---possibly in July---between P.Chidambaram, India's Home Minister, and Rehman Malik, Pakistan's Interior Minister.Thus, the two Prime Ministers have left it to their Ministers responsible for Internal Security the responsibility for finding mutually acceptable solutions to the issues relating to terrorism that could come n the way of the "re-engagement" process.

8. The resumed dialogue process set in motion at Thimpu would continue with forthcoming meetings between the Commerce and Foreign Secretaries of the two countries followed by meetings at ministertial level. The strategic "re-engagement" process and the tactical "dialogue process" will move side by side with the two Prime Ministers focussing on the "re-engagement" proces and concerned Ministers and officials focussing on continuing the dialogue process.

9. To prevent an attempt to derail the "re-engagement"process by elements which are against it, it is important that the "wide-ranging conversations" initiated at Mohali are kept moving forward by the two Prime Ministers by taking an early decision by our Prime Minister on his acceptance of the invitation from Gilani and by quick follow-up on the visits of parliamentary delegations.

10.The goodwill and the benign interest in each other generated by the World Cup cricket semi-final was taken advantage of by our Prime Minister to make the "re-engagement" and "re-connecting" process possible. He should readily accept the reported suggestion of Gilani for a friendly cricket match between the two teams in Pakistan in the near future and visit Pakistan to keep this process of strategic discovery of each other going forward. (31-3-11)

( The writer is Additional Secretary(retd), Cabint Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )

Target Col Gaddafi,Western Democracies Descend to Middle Ages

by K. Gajendra Singh 30 March,2011

UNSC Cover for Euro-US Bombing for Libyan Oil
Undermines Moral & Legal Authority of WWII Alliance

Moscow cries foul, too late; interference into the internal, civil war not sanctioned by the UN Resolution

“This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land...”

“To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and--more profoundly--our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” Barack Obama

"In his March 28 speech, Obama justified his air strikes against Libya on the grounds that the embattled ruler, Gadhafi, was using air strikes to put down a rebellion --- against state authority as presently constituted—However the current US president and the predecessor Bush/Cheney regime have murdered many times more people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia -- using air strikes and drones --than Gadhafi has murdered in Libya.” Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the treasury and former editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal,

“The Westphalian principle that nation states could run their internal affairs as they pleased helped to reduce war for 300 years. That principle is now increasingly abandoned, not just in Libya but through the International Monetary Fund and other non-democratic international organizations. (UNO!) The consequences are hugely hazardous, while putting at risk the immense benefits the ancient treaty brought.” - Martin Hutchinson

“—Rebels have seized control of the bulk of Libya’s oil industry – including the country’s largest oilfields in the so-called Sirte basin and the main terminals –-with the assistance of NATO air strikes. A Libyan opposition leader said that Qatar had also agreed to sell oil on its behalf in international markets –Washington made clear that opposition oil sales need not be subject to the sanctions imposed on Libya.” Financial Times, London

"We believe that coalition's interference into the internal, civil war has not been sanctioned by the UN resolution. Protection of the civilian population remains our priority," Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on 28 March, 2011

“--The object of bombing are barracks of the Libyan army, around which are densely populated residential areas, and next to it - the largest in Libya's Heart Centers. Civilians and the doctors could not assume that common residential quarters will be about to become destroyed, so none of the residents or hospital patients was evacuated. –

“With full responsibility as witnesses and participants of what is happening, we state that the United States and its allies are thus carrying out genocide against the Libyan people - as was the case in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Crimes against humanity, carried out by coalition forces akin to those crimes committed by the fathers and grandfathers of today's Western leaders and their henchmen in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan and in Dresden in Germany, where civilians were also being destroyed in order to deter, to break the will of the people to resist (Germany remembers it, and therefore refused to participate in this new slaughter house). Today they want in such ways to make the Libyan people surrender their leader and the legitimate government and meekly lay down their national oil wealth for the countries of the coalition.” From a letter to president Medvedev from Russian doctors working in Libya.

“Gaddafi's acquiescence to demands to end his own program for developing nuclear weapons, and the price the North Koreans say he is now paying--North Korea may be right: its nuclear program does provide a solid deterrent against any notion of doing anything - even if North Korea isn't actually going to explode one of those things for real,” Donald Kirk

In early 21st century, with Nobel Peace Prize (awarded in advance!) winner US president Barack Hussein Obama leading from front and then from the back, white European nations, the former colonial powers known for their genocide, carnage, loot and worse along with some client Arab states and a reluctant Turkey ruled by Riyadh supported Islamist AKP, have relentlessly Cruise and Tomahawk missiled and bombarded cities and positions held by the legitimate forces of Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddafi and the tribes supporting him. This action has been opposed by African Union, Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Venezuela, Argentina and many other nations who rightly demand its cessation as it is not sanctioned by UN Resolution1973.

Obama’s predecessor George Bush had declared United Nations irrelevant before invading Iraq under patently false charges, for its oil. Now Washington with some Euro-nations and an assorted group are destroying whatever prestige and authority UN has been left with since its inception, under a feckless and wimp of a secretary general. Washington hated the guts of two secretary generals, Kofi Annan and Boutrous Ghali who did not act like US doormats.

What purpose does United Nations serve now, specially its Security Council, except for the mighty powers who can go for their illegal objectives by naked brutal force? Why have this façade of an organization which was ostensibly set up to usher in lasting peace, freedom from want, social security, labor rights and disarmament as well as self-determination, free trade and freedom of religion. It has failed or not come up to expectations on most counts.

“Few Americans realize it, but our leaders who lack military experience tend to be more hawkish than leaders who have served in the military,” Matt Pottinger.

Three Deadly Ladies

It was the axis of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined by US Ambassador to UN Susan Rice and the influential Office of Multilateral and Human Rights Director Samantha Power who argued for airstrikes against Libya. Their advice triggered an abrupt shift in U.S. policy, overturning more cautious administrations' counselors. Both Obama and defense secretary Robert Gates opposed ‘intervention’ in Libya and No Fly Zone. This is the first time in U.S. history that a female-dominated diplomatic team has urged illegal military action.

Invasion by air of Libya is a present day version of old gunboat diplomacy by former rapacious Christian powers, and not any humanitarian intervention i.e. to protect rebel civilians in Libya. It is like the erstwhile White man’s burden and the mission of saving souls and civilizing the natives. But it always was to rule over them, grab and exploit their resources. This version is being enforced by Cruise and Tomahawk missiles and field trial of the latest weapons of destruction to help Libya’s ragtag opposition composed of opportunists, Al Qaida and other such elements, recognized by France and now Qatar too.

29th March London Conference on Libya

Xinhua net reported on 30th March about the London Conference with top diplomats from 40 countries meeting to discuss Libya’s future. They agreed to form a contact group to direct political efforts in the country. Military action will continue. A statement released by the British foreign secretary, William Hague, says participants reaffirmed their commitment to full and swift implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on Libya and to continuing military action to enforce them. The statement claimed that the military intervention in Libya has so far been “successful in protecting countless civilians from Gaddafi's forces and ineffectively wiping out Gaddafi's air capability." Hague added that possible sanctions will be pursued at the UN and regional organizations.US and Saudi proxy Qatar which has recognized the rebels was cautious. PM Hamad BinJassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani said, "We are not talking here about invading Libya, nor we are inviting any military ground (troops) to be, but we have to evaluate the situation, because we cannot let the people suffer for so long, we have to find a way to stop this bloodshed."

Libyan Rebels, A Work in Progress –Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton acknowledged that the US-led coalition doesn't know as much as it would like about the rebels, whether they include al-Qaida or other extremists. She said, "We are picking up information, a lot of contact is going on... so we're building an understanding, but at this time obviously it is, as I say, a work in progress," she told reporters. Clinton said the conference is taking place at a moment of transition, as NATO takes over as leader of the coalition mission, an undertaking in which the US will continue to play an active supporting role. She says there is no timeline and it appears Gaddafi has made no decisions yet about his future.

If Ms. Clinton had her way, she will try for a regime change in Syria too, except that massive demonstrations took place in Damascus supporting president Bashir Assad. Syrians know what the West is up to, having seen it across the border in Iraq.

Of course these combative and charming ladies do not talk about repression and protests in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Ms. Clinton, having had her ambition thwarted to sleep in the White House in her own right, still believes that Washington remains the hyper power as it was claimed when she lived there with Bill Clinton. But that was before 2003 and the unraveling of US military and economic power since then.

Another London Conference!

It will be a repeat of what happened to and in Iraq, if Western powers are not stopped, right now.

It is necessary to recapitulate what western powers promised and what they achieved.

More than a millions Iraqis have been killed, a million widows added, 5 million orphaned, 4 million refugees in and outside Iraq and a country and a civilization destroyed. The country has been divided into Shia, Sunni and Kurdish sectors.

Let me quote from my article dated 17 February, 2003, just before the March 2003 invasion,

“MIDDLE EAST- Iraqi Mosaic in Pandora's Box; Saddam’ heirs, proxies and pretenders.”

"Just you wait until we have democracy in Iraq, and I'll throw you in jail!" one lifelong opponent of Saddam Hussein to another at the December 2002 Iraqi opposition conference in London.

“The Anglo-Saxons organized a conference of Saddam Hussein’s opponents in London in mid-December 2002 to back their claim aired from time to time that they wanted to usher in stability and democracy as part of the regime change in Iraq. It was held after many postponements and much prodding. That the conference finally took place was an achievement itself. Many a times the proceedings looked like the scene from the film "Lawrence of Arabia" starring PeterO’Toole, with the Arab tribes squabbling and fighting after taking over Damascus following the withdrawal of the Ottoman troops. The French had chased them out.

“The conference brought together north Iraqi Kurdish parties, KDP and PUK - who are at each other’s throat inside Iraq , Iranian-backed Shia group SAIRI , the Constitutional Monarchy Movement and the National Accord Movement. One of the prime movers of the conference was the Iraqi National Congress (INC), headed by Ahmad Chalabi, on the run from Jordan’s law, but now a creature of Washington. Those who did not participate were the Iraqi Communist Party, the Socialist Party and the pro-Syrian branch of Iraq's ruling Ba’ath party. The Shia Muslim al-Daawa Party also did not attend, as the purpose of the conference implied an US attack on Iraq and installation of a pro-US regime.

“The only apparent agreement reached was that after Saddam Hussein USA should not run Iraq (like making an advertising film without the product and the message). There was no agreement on the kind of political system or general frame work for a Constitution. The only common denominator to emerge was some vague form of federalism. The Kurdish parties argued for a bi-national model with an Arab and Kurdish state, (like Cyprus!) while others called for geographic and not ethnic decentralization.

“US favorite Chalabi of INC wanted a government in waiting (with himself of course at the head); a political authority to provide legitimacy against political power vacuum after the fall of the present regime .The US strongly opposed the formation of a government-in-exile, arguing that it would alienate serving Iraqi generals and others who might mutiny once a war starts. Then Saddam Hussein, his government and people would fight till the bitter end, which left little flexibility with USA. But those wanting to come over to US side might well consider the fate of two highly placed sons-in-law of Saddam Hussein, who had defected to Amman a few years ago. They were rebuffed by the west. Unwanted and turned into pariahs, they returned but were brutally disposed off soon after crossing into Iraq.

“Naturally USA did not want to tie its own hands in advance concerning Iraq’s rulers and its political fate. More importantly about the economic status of its oil reserves. Of course US’s dear wish, proclaimed from the White House press room and by others, remains that someone would assassinate Saddam Hussain or there would be a coup d’état. From time to time, Donald Rumsfeld, Jack Straw and others, have talked of amnesty to Iraqi officials and generals and political asylum to Saddam Hussein and family, in Saudi Arabia or somewhere else.

War & Chaos All Around

“Every party i.e. "heirs, pretenders and proxies" remains worried about the ambitions of the others. Chalabi is rightly worried about the Kurdish plans. While there is little official version to go by but there would be a mad scramble for power. Kurds with their peshmar gas and other groups would try to fill in the vacuum. Chris Kutschera of Middle East Report magazine and others have written that high-level Kurdish military personnel admitted that it was not just the oil-rich city of Kirkuk - the so-called Kurdish Jerusalem - that the Kurds sought, but they wanted a share of power in Baghdad. "We have an agenda for all possibilities."

Western Propaganda

Government controlled BBC and US corporate media (80% in USA) are gleefully showing states with nearly US $ trillion annual military expenditure bombing Libya with a defense expenditure of less than $ one billion only. West’s usually lying media trills that a level playing ground is being created for the unknown, mysterious and shady rebels in Bengazi.

The message is that after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the law of jungle has descended on the earth.

Has UNSC Become a Tool for NATO’s Expansionist Policies?

United Nations Security Council dominated by five nuclear armed bullies with Veto power has disgraced itself first by passing resolution 1973 and then allowing the crusader nations to interpret it as they did the treaties with natives in 19th and 20thcentury. Moscow and Beijing have allowed the violation of UN charter, invasion of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Libya.

They could have stopped it. Have they made deals with US!

And reports suggest that now NATO will coordinate the military operations against Gaddafi’s forces. Since when has NATO been designated the military arm of UNSC. Without UNSC or General Assembly approval! What is the role of UN now?

And who are the deserving rebels needing protection. The unholy axis of Washington, Paris and London and other hangers-on have little to say about them as Ms. Clinton confessed at the London conference. There are reports that British special forces are already active inside Libya. But the axis is already talking of helping the ragtag rebels even with arms to take over oil producing areas and refineries and then invite in European and US oil companies.

Remember that it was for Iraq’s oil and its strategic location that US carried out 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' which it continues to occupy. The Iraqis have not allowed oil production to reach level of President Saddam Hussein era. The US army lies broken and is caught in a quagmire in Iraq;

What does UN Stands for?

It is time to expose the claim and the myth that the United Nation Organization represents the will of the states or peoples of the world. More often than not in recent past, the so-called international community is nothing but Washington with poodle London and a small coalition of the coerced, bribed and not so willing. But this time around two of the armed nuclear powers, Russia and China with veto in UNSC have allowed the western warmongers to have their way. If this does not denote the demise of the UN like its predecessor the League of Nations then what else would. Tomorrow, Washington, which already has an Africa Command, with Paris and London, could start, protecting civilians in other African states with minerals and energy resources.

Except during the Cold War, when fears of retaliation and the Mutual Assured destruction (MAD) maintained a kind of armed to high destruction level truce, international law was often violated, mostly by Washington. Will brute military power, with the capability to deliver nuclear arms and inflict unbearable destruction be the only safe guard a country? Will it remain the main currency in the world pecking order and the strategic equations where the big powers can accommodate each other and smaller nations like north Korea are forced to acquire nuclear and missile capability for their very survival?

UN, a Legacy of the WWII

The current pecking order with the Gang of the Five at the top is a legacy of the outcome of the WWII. So let us be clear about the concept and the evolution of the United Nations. It did not begin with the signing of the Charter in 1945. This agreement was the culmination of complex military and political efforts and maneuvering of big WWII military powers that commenced in 1941.

The documents and the records of the war years include countless references to UN’s origin as a strategic engine of victory in WWII. The document formalizing the Nazi defeat in the war includes the words: “This Act of Military Surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by, any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of, the United Nations on Germany…” US President Truman broadcast on8 May that: “General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations”.

The “United Nations” was the official name for the coalition fighting the axis powers since January 1942, when Roosevelt and Churchill had led twenty-six nations, including the Soviet Union.

The historical records clearly show that Winston Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt created the United Nations to win the war both militarily and politically, and to create the foundations for a lasting peace. Churchill remarked during the height of the fighting in 1944 that the “United Nations is the only hope of the world”. But the first expression of the Anglo-American policy was in the Atlantic Charter of 1941; this included freedom from want, social security, labor rights and disarmament as well as self-determination, free trade and freedom of religion. How military power corrupts!

Thus the UN is not some liberal organization but a construct structured out of hard, realistic political necessity for the victors of WWII to dominate the post war era, which is now clearly askew and outdated.

Everyone realizes that UN has to be restructured after its being almost irreparably damaged by US administration under George Bush and further infliction of wounds on its moral and legal standing by the US administration in coalition with a bankrupt Britain and Sarkozy in Paris, who hopes to increase his popularity by this imperial undertaking for the presidential election next year. The reverse is most likely to happen.

The world is now reaching a situation when there is clear decline of US and European nations who colonized and exploited the nations of South and East after the Ottoman arms were repulsed from the Gates of Vienna in 16th century .The UN had emerged after the demise of the League of the Nations after WWII, though incubated during the war itself as brought out earlier. So sooner than later a change in UN must be brought about .It will depend on the decline of US, whose economy is in disarray and is being artificially kept alive by creation of trillions of dollars on computer screens, which has turned the world bourses into a Casino. The question is when the 2nd shoe will fall; the first fell in September, 2008. The misadventures in north Africa called ‘Odyssey Dawn’ would only hasten that fall like ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ and Operation Iraqi Freedom’ did.

K.Gajendra Singh 30-Mar-2011,Delhi

K Gajendra Singh served as ambassador of India to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he was ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. Apart from postings in Dakar, Paris, Bucharest , the author spent his diplomatic career in North Africa , Middle east and Turkic countries ( ten years in Turkey in two tenures ).
He spent 1976 with National Defence college , New Delhi , established the Foreign Service Institute for training of diplomats ( 1987-89), was chairman / managing director of IDPL , India’s largest Drugs and Pharmaceuticals company ( 1985 and 1986 ) and while posted at Amman( 1989-92) evacuated nearly 140,000 Indian nationals who had come from Kuwait. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies.