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Showing posts from 2008

EDITORIAL: Sato's nuclear request

ASAHI.COM 2008/12/26 Former Prime Minister Eisaku Sato (1901-1975), who set Japan's three non-nuclear principles and was awarded the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize, was actually a tough negotiator who sought a U.S. nuclear attack against China in the event of an outbreak of war between Japan and China, according to Foreign Ministry documents that were declassified on Monday. A month before Sato became prime minister in November 1964, China jolted the world by conducting its first nuclear test while Tokyo was hosting that year's Summer Olympics. Japan's shock was profound. It was previously revealed that Sato hinted at Japan's readiness to arm itself with nuclear weapons when he met with U.S. Ambassador Edwin O. Reischauer immediately upon taking office. He said to the effect: "If the other side (China) has nuclear weapons, we should have them, too. That's common sense." But during his visit to the United States one month later in January 1965, Sato de

New Afghan strategy will compound U.S. problem

Japan Times Online Monday, Dec. 29, 2008 By BRAHMA CHELLANEY Even before U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has been sworn in, the contours of his new strategy on Afghanistan have become known: A "surge" of U.S. forces, not to militarily rout the Taliban but to strike a political deal with the enemy from a position of strength. Put simply, the United States intends to pursue in Afghanistan what it has done in Iraq, where it used a surge largely as a show of force to buy off Sunni tribal leaders and other local chieftains. Linking Afghanistan, Pakistan and India together in the same security equation, Obama has made known a dual strategy of outwitting the Taliban while ensuring Indo-Pakistan peace, even if it means the Pakistan-based masterminds of the recent 67-hour Mumbai terrorist attacks are not brought to justice. This strategy is likely to make things more difficult for Indian security , both by reinforcing U.S. dependence on the Pakistani military (more than thr


B.RAMAN Gen.David Petraeus, the Commander of the US Central Command, who previously headed the US forces in Iraq, was credited with bringing down the level of violence in Iraq and weakening the capability of Al Qaeda in Iraq by creating a divide between the secular Baathist Arabs of Saddam Hussein's army and local administration and the Wahabi Arabs of Al Qaeda by strengthening various local militias with names such as the Awakening Councils, which had come into existence even before he took over in Iraq. 2. When he was appointed by President George Bush to be the head of the Central Command, which, inter alia, is responsible for the US operations against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and in the bordering Pashtun areas of Pakistan, he was reported to have set up a brains trust to advise him on a new strategy to be followed against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. While the new strategy is still being worked out, some elements of it are alr

Me Mumbaikar

The gruesome battleground in South Mumbai has left us Mumbaikars fed up, scared, angry, willing to lash out, especially at the politicians. We now have an incoherent rant against "the other" or "the system". My heart goes out to the victims and this article in no way downplays the magnitude of the human tragedy. Yet as a lifelong Mumbaikar, I have not been able to shake a feeling that people have deliberately refused to grasp the essence of the problem because it is not conveniently gift wrapped with a bow on it. Simply put, there is no "other" to blame. Mumbaikars over decades of greed and rapacity, have destroyed rule of law and corrupted the systems which should have protected us. We are the system. We are the reality of Mumbai. We are its pestilence. It is convenient to demand action, to demand results, somehow, anyhow. Can we believe in a fantasy that a bureaucracy, government and law enforcement apparatus which have never delivered anything mea
BBC, Global Business All That Jazz ... not Not about this programme by Peter Day LISTEN DOWNLOAD Before I start, apologies; we have a problem this week: a programme that we cannot put out as a podcast. DOWNLOAD It’s a goodie, too. But the BBC has no rights to put out much of its broadcast music here on the Internet, and this week’s programme is full of music. Here is what you are missing, unless you catch the broadcast version. John Kao is American-born Chinese, and multitalented. He’s a Harvard MBA, a Master of Business Administration, and he’s also got a medical degree from Yale; he’s been an academic, an entrepreneur, a consultant and a best-selling author, with a worrying book on the future of the USA as his last publication: Innovation Nation. The magazine The Economist calls him “a serial innovator”. His father was a musician and John Kao is a talented jazz pianist. So I wanted him to show me how to use jazz improvisation to gain insights into the tricky business of co

A crash course in grasping a crisis

Jessica Bachman, The Moscow Times In the past three months, "financial crisis" has become a ubiquitous phrase for Russians: it glosses newspaper headlines daily and is more and more frequently appearing on billboard, print, TV and radio advertisements for banks and other private companies But does the average Russian citizen understand the "financial" in "financial crisis?" The answer, according to global financial literacy specialists, is no. But officials at the Finance Ministry, Central Bank and State Duma say they're working on a program -- together with banks and nonprofit organizations -- to improve the situation. "We are taking concrete steps toward the creation of a state program in 2009 that will raise the level of financial literacy in different segments of society, from school children to retirees," said Andrei Bokaryov, deputy director of the Finance Ministry's department of international financial relations. "The pr

Coercive Religious Conversion: A Crime Against Humanity

Dr. Babu Suseelan Religious conversion of Hindus is threatening individuals, families, communities and the nation. Coercive religious conversion of Hindus contains a threat to spiritual tradition and the freedom of choice. If carried unchecked, coercive religious conversion would threaten the very existence of India as a nation. Armed with a rigid dogma, and millions of foreign money, missionaries are on a warpath to forcefully convert hundreds and thousands of innocent Hindus. If unchecked, coercive religious conversion will have a cataclysmic impact on our freedom. "Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom. Missionaries are trying to deconstruct Hindu society by waging a psychological war


B.RAMAN Three ships of the Chinese Navy------ the missile-armed destroyers "DDG-171 Haikou" and "DDG-169 Wuhan" and the suply ship "Weishanhu"--- are reported to have sailed from the Yalong Bay naval base on the Hainan Island on January 26,2008, on a three-month mission to undertake anti-piracy patrol for the protection of Chinese ships and crew from attacks by Somali pirates. This will be the first time ships of the Chinese Navy will be operating in far-away waters outside the Pacific on defensive missions----though only against non-State actors. The three-ship task force will have a Chinese special forces unit (strength not known) and two helicopters. 2.The Chinese announcement came shortly after nine pirates attacked "Zhenhua 4", a Chinese cargo ship with 30 crewmen, in Somali waters on December 17,2008. The Chinese ship, owned by the China Communications Construction Co, was rescued by two warships and a helicopter of Malaysia.Tw

A Renaissance of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)

by Kalyan Singhal, University of Baltimore, SOURCE: Fifty eight years after the first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was founded in Kharagpur, the IITs at Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, and Roorkee have a lot to be proud of. The IITs are known for dedication of their faculties and for the strong motivation and work ethic of their graduates. Many IIT graduates hold important positions in academia and industry in India and abroad. 60 Minutes, an American TV newsmagazine, focused on undergraduate education at the IITs and hyperbolically described them as "Harvard, MIT, and Princeton" put together, and Business Week ran a cover story on undergraduate education at the IITs. The 50th anniversary of IIT Bombay at Mumbai prompts us to see how well they have met their goals and to discuss the opportunities ahead. 1. THE PROMISE OF THE IITs: SHAPED BY HISTORY 1.1 The Legacy and the Curse o