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Showing posts from October 5, 2008

Icelandic meltdown ‘Vulgar ambition’ among the country’s sheltered elite was at the root of its financial collapseTony Allen-Mills, Reykjavik A FEW days before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the then-prime minister of Iceland was in lyrical mood as he addressed a meeting of his country’s diplomatic corps. David Oddsson was renowned for his literary interests. He wrote two plays in the 1970s, translated an Estonian history textbook and now he was quoting WH Auden, the British poet, who had written of Iceland half a century earlier: “Fortunate island/ Where all men are equal/ But not vulgar — not yet.” Oddsson said his government’s aim was to “manage things so well” that future poets would return to Iceland to pay similarly handsome compliments. Instead, the 60-year-old former prime minister finds himself at the eye of the financial storm that last week swept away his country’s banks and provoked a decidedly vul

US strategic review of Afghanistan may consider Indian involvement 11 October 2008 Increased violence along the Afghan-Pakistan border, and a rapidly changing security environment in Afghanistan, warrants a full review of American strategy, a top US military officer said yesterday. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the review would look at broadening the scope of the Afghanistan strategy and apart from improving interagency coordination in this war-torn country would also look at including Pakistan and India in the overall effort to combat the Taliban and the al-Qaeda. Adm. Mullen noted that both countries have long historic links to Afghanistan and have an important role to play there. Diplomatic sources in Washington stressed that the idea of allowing India a larger role in the Afghan strategy, or even including them in any joint force to control the Pak-Afghan border has not been discussed formally between US and Pakistani authorit


B.RAMAN A bleeding stalemate on the ground in Afghanistan, a bleeding Pakistan tottering towards a possible collapse of the State and a total policy confusion in the corridors of power in Washington DC and other NATO capitals. 2. That has been the outcome of seven years of Operation Enduring Freedom, which was launched by the US on October 7,2001, in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist strikes by Al Qaeda in the US. 3.In Afghanistan, the US and the other NATO forces and the Afghan National Army (ANA) control Kabul, the Capital, and other major towns and the Neo Taliban, resurrected from the pre-10/7 Taliban , controls the rural areas. Neither is in a position to dislodge the other from the areas controlled by it, but each is able to inflict bloody casualties on the other--- the US and other NATO forces through the use of heavy artillery and air strikes and the Taliban through weapons of Pakistani origin and through the inexhaustible flow of suicide terrorists. 4.In Pakistan, a Pakis

National Seminar on Terrorism : LK Advani's Speech

BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY Speech by Shri L.K. Advani Leader of the Opposition (Lok Sabha) Inauguration of National Seminar on Terrorism Organised by Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini New Delhi – 4 October 2008 - - - - - Our commitment: To make India terror-free è POTA will be re-enacted; Strong action will be taken to bust terrorist cells that have mushroomed in different parts of India. è The contrast is between NDA and UPA is that one alliance cares for India and the other cares only for its vote-bank. è Stigmatising any faith or community in the fight against terror is wrong. è Maligning of security forces is a dangerous new trend. è Obnoxious propaganda by the likes of Arundhati Roy must be firmly countered. è Our vision is not limited by the considerations of where will our Party be after the next elections. Rather, it extends to caring about whether India will be united and strong after a hundred years, after a thousand years. - - - -

Even confidence is in crisis

00:27 | 11/ 10/ 2008 MOSCOW (RIA Novosti economic commentator Oleg Mityaev) - On October 7 the Russian Government adopted a new anti-crisis package. Apart from the trillions of rubles allocated for short-term and mid-term financing of the banking system, Russia's largest banks will receive another 950 billion rubles for five years and beyond. According to the Government and Central Bank's plan, these funds are to filter down to smaller banks and businesses, which are in acute need of refinancing. However, the crisis of confidence, which has spread over the Russian credit market, may frustrate these plans. Starting in the U.S. mortgage market over a year ago, the financial crisis has crept all over the world causing a chain reaction of distrust in the banking sector. To increase financial security, even those American banks that were not affected by the mortgage crisis have tightened credit for home loans, not so mention the European loans. At the same time, the European b

US Foreign Policy under Bush: Balance Sheet and Outlook

This analysis addresses the power of the US to shape international relations under President Bush. The author explains that efforts to establish a new order in the Middle East have failed. He argues that in Asia and the post-Soviet space, too, Washington’s influence has been weakened. The analysis concludes that the partial renunciation of the neoconservative project during Bush’s second term in office was not enough to amend the country’s loss of reputation. © 2008 Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich Download: English (PDF · 3 pages · 1.0 MB) Author: Andreas Wenger Series: CSS Analyses in Security Policy Volume: 41 Issue: 3 Publisher: Center for Security Studies (CSS), Zurich, Switzerland

Up close with Tiger-turned-MP

10 Oct 2008 The elusive Colonel Karuna Amman at a temporary hideout at a resort some 20 kilometers outside of Colombo. The photographer was blindfolded during the trip and Karuna vacated the area immediately afterwards. Blindfolded and taken to an undisclosed location, ISN Security Watch's Anuj Chopra talks to elusive Colonel Karuna, a former LTTE commander recently nominated to the Sri Lankan parliament and now topping the Tiger hit list. By Anuj Chopra in Sri Lanka for ISN Security Watch Once a battle-hardened, underground guerrilla, Vinayagamoorthi Muralitharan, more popularly known by his nom de guerre Colonel Karuna Amman, eastern commander of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), now rubs shoulders with MPs as a part of Sri Lanka's political mainstream. The erstwhile Eastern LTTE commander was appointed as a member of parliament, supported by the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance led by President Mahinda Rajapakse. At one point, he was LTTE

Iron Law of Economic Ignorance

"The worse and more widespread the ignorance of the causal connections between human actions, the higher the level of political intervention in society. The more one understands the causal connections between human actions and grasps the effects of political interventions, the more one opposes the more "obvious" and "easy" policies"

Political Power and Economic Ignorance Daily Article by Jeremie T.A. Rostan | Posted on 10/9/2008 Georges Bush's recent speech in defense of his bailout plan was quite a tour de force. Indeed, it managed to explain the pending recession of the US economy by a previous situation of "easy credit" without mentioning the monstrously inflationist policy of the Federal Reserve — which reached its climax in 2003 and 2004, when it lent dollars at a negative short-term interest rate, and resulted in the creation of more dollars in a seven-year period (2000–2007) than had been created cumulatively in the two centuries since the founding of the United States. According to the 43rd President, the fault rests entirely on "foreign investors" willing to profit from the competitiveness of the US economy. Logically, the lengthening of the structure of production brought by net investment should have resulted in aggregate profits and economic growth — but not this time. For some reason


B.RAMAN There have been signs of renewed support for the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamils across the political spectrum in Tamil Nadu, except from the Congress (I), which continues to adopt an ambivalent attitude. This support has come not only from the traditional supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), but also from other parties such as the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) of M.Karunanidhi and J.Jayalalitha of the Anna DMK, the main opposition party. Even the Tamil Nadu branch of the Communist Party of India (CPI) has come out in support of the Sri Lankan Tamils. 2.Karunanidhi, who is generally not given to using strong or emotional language, has given emotional expression to his anguish over what he perceives as the continuing policy of the Government of Mahinda Rajapaksa of suppressing the Tamils. He has conveyed his concerns to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and stressed upon him the need to take up the matter strongly with Rajapaksa in order to stress

Pak now the world's top suicide bomb death capital: CSM

Fri, Oct 10 01:05 PM New York, Oct.10 (ANI): Pakistan has overtaken Iraq and Afghanistan in suicide-bomb deaths this year, its intelligence agency reports. Suicide bomb attacks have spiked in Pakistan, from two in 2002 to a record 56 in 2007, according to the Institute for Conflict Management, based in New Delhi. As of August of this year, the country had seen 25 suicide-bomb attacks, ICM reports. In a grim indicator of the rise in attacks, according to Pakistan's intelligence agency, this year Pakistan has overtaken Iraq in suicide-bomb deaths. It counted 28 suicide bombings in Pakistan that killed more than 471 people in the first eight months of this year. By comparison Iraq saw 42 such attacks and 463 deaths; Afghanistan, 36 incidents and 436 casualties. According to the Christian Science Monitor (CSM), Thursday's suicide bomb attack at the headquarters of the Anti-terrorism Squad of the Islamabad police force, has added to the rise in bomb attacks in Pakistan. The CS

India to be Iran's Top Oil Customer

TEHRAN (FNA)- India will be the top Asian customer of oil from Iran in 2009 followed by China and Japan, according to a high-ranking NIOC official. "We are negotiating with a few Indian companies for sales of crude oil in 2009," said Ali-Asghar Arshi, Managing Director of International Affairs for the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). "Currently the leading customers of Iran's crude oil in Asia are Japan, China and India but in the upcoming year the top ranking will change to India, China and Japan," he added. The oil official said the reason for India's jump to top ranking customer is an increase in demand for Iranian crude by the country, adding that the Indian government's energy strategy is to increase the capacity of India's refineries to enhance its energy security. India has been trying for some years to enhance refinery capacity, and both public and private sectors in the country have increased investment in refineries. Arshi no

Is Pakistan’s war against militants India’s too?

Post a commentPosted by: Sanjeev Miglani Time was when every time militants set off a bomb in Pakistan, India’s strategic establishment would turn around and say “we told you so”. This is what happens when you play with fire … jihad is a double-edged sword, they would say, pointing to Pakistan’s support for militants operating in Kashmir and elsewhere. Not any more. When India’s opposition Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party – which has consistently advocated a tougher policy toward Pakistan – tells the government to be watchful of the fallout of the security and economic situation in Pakistan, then you know the ground is starting to shift. “Pakistan is on the verge of an economic and political collapse,” party leader and former foreign minister Jaswant Singh said in remarks that seem to have escaped much public attention. “It is time we understood the influence and be prepared to