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Showing posts from February 13, 2011

CIVIL WAR IN LIBYA:GADDAFI USES PAK & BD MERCENARIES?

B.RAMAN BASIC DATA (FROM BBC) * Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has led since 1969 * Population 6.5m; land area 1.77m sq km * Population with median age of 24.2, and a literacy rate of 88% * Gross national income per head: $12,020 (World Bank 2009) Latest reports indicate a state of civil war in the cities of Benghazi (1000 kms from Tripoli) and nearby al-Bayda in Eastern Libya with the protesters running into thousands and the Libyan army fighting each other with no holds barred. Despite the use of mortars and heavy guns by the Libyan Army, which has allegedly been using mercenaries from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Chad, the protesters, who are also allegedly aided by mercenaries from Egypt and other countries, have managed to overrun the local Brigade headquarters and capture large quantities of arms and ammunition with which they are fighting. Some reports, not yet confirmed, say that the armed opponents ofCol.MuammarGaddafi and the Arab mercenaries supporting them have ma

ISI's tacit support to Haqqanis hampering CIA's anti-terrorism efforts in Pak: Report

By ANI | ANI – Fri, Feb 18, 2011 3:40 PM IST Washington, Feb 18(ANI): Critical counter-terrorism efforts by US' Central Intelligence Agency in Pakistan's tribal region are apparently being hampered by the country's premier spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), which seems to be covertly helping the Haqqani network escape CIA's drone strikes.The CIA has long used intelligence from the ISI to help identify targets for drone strikes in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, but now, as officials on both sides say, it operates largely autonomously, especially since it has been concentrating its fire on the Haqqani militant network in the North Waziristan region, The Wall Street Journal reports. Faced with pointed questions from lawmakers about strained ties with Pakistan, CIA Director Leon Panetta acknowledged this week that relations between both nations' intelligence agencies were "one of the most complicated" he had ever seen.While the ISI cont

THE ARMS RACE INDIA IS LOSING, CHINA IS WINNING?

To: *Dear Friends:* *The following article focuses on: "THE ARMS RACE INDIA IS LOSING, CHINA IS WINNING."* *India need not necessarily lose. I HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE AND IT IS BAD NEWS FOR CHINA'S AGENTS IN INDIA: **India has the ability to leverage on the one great advantage she enjoys over China, viz. the access she now has to the most sophisticated weapon systems of the US which are NOT available to China AT THIS TIME*. *All that India needs to do over the next five-ten years, is to equip its army, air force, and navy with weaponry* *which the Chinese cannot match for a long time to come. Along with better planning and training,* *quality can defeat quantity* *should the Chinese ever think of repeating another "1962"........ * *It doesn't matter what China spends on its military -- which is three or more times what India spends . Let quality (supported by better planning and better training) win over quantity.* ** *THE GREATEST DANGE

India's Soft-Power:Call Comes From The East!

http://www.vifindia.org/article/2011/february/16/India-s-Soft-Power-Call-Comes-From-The-East Dr. Adityanjee, Senior Fellow, VIF Introduction: There has been renewed fighting over the last few weeks between two Asian nations Thailand and Cambodia, in India’s near abroad region, over the 9th Century Hindu Temple complex situated on a mountain-top. Preah Vihear is a Shiva Temple constructed by the Hindu Khmer kings from 9th Century to 11th Century CE. Later on it came under Buddhist influence when Thailand ruled over the northwestern Cambodia from the late 18th century until the early 20th century. In the early part of the 20th century French colonialists expelled the Thais to current international border. The dispute between the two nations is longstanding and is based on different interpretations of a French colonial map. In 1962 the International Court of Justice in The Hague awarded the temple complex to Cambodia. In July 2008 the temple complex was declared as the World Heritage Sit

An alarming South Asia powder keg

By Juan C. Zarate Sunday, February 20, 2011 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/18/AR2011021805662.html In 1914, a terrorist assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo - unleashing geopolitical forces and World War I. Today, while the United States rightly worries about al-Qaeda targeting the homeland, the most dangerous threat may be another terrorist flash point on the horizon. Lashkar-i-Taiba holds the match that could spark a conflagration between nuclear-armed historic rivals India and Pakistan. Lashkar-i-Taiba is a Frankenstein's monster of the Pakistani government's creation 20 years ago. It has diverse financial networks and well-trained and well-armed cadres that have struck Indian targets from Mumbai to Kabul. It collaborates with the witches' brew of terrorist groups in Pakistan, including al-Qaeda, and has demonstrated global jihadist ambitions. It is merely a matter of time before Lashkar-i-Taiba attacks again. Signifi

Crisis of confidence

By M K Bhadrakumar http://www.deccanherald.com/content/138996/crisis-confidence.html Grossman’s appointment is a tacit recognition that the US needs someone with experience, tact and tenacity to leverage the Pak military. Full two months it has taken for the Barack Obama administration to find a suitable successor to late Richard Holbrooke, United States’ former special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of course, it isn’t easy to replace a titanic figure. But life ought to move on. Some speculate that the issue became the stuff of turf war between the White House and the State Department. Be that as it may, the appointment of former career diplomat Marc Grossman as Holbrooke’s replacement indicates an element of ‘continuity’ insofar as the incoming special representative is broadly in the same mould as his predecessor. Grossman has some pluses as well, given the unusually long stint he had in the American embassy in Islamabad (1976-83) when, too, Pakistan was a ‘frontli

Debasing the Dollar for the Greater Good

Rising Food Prices Through the Scope of Quantitative Easing Eric Fry Reporting from Laguna Beach, California... If only the world's poor, starving masses understood the benefits of Quantitative Easing, they probably would not be rioting in the streets over rising food prices. We simply need to educate these people. Sure, the prices of wheat and corn are soaring, but so are the profits at Goldman Sachs. These poor people just need to understand that debasing the world's reserve currency serves a greater good. It's not just about whether they can eat; it's also about whether we Americans can weasel out of our massive debts. The momentary food problems of the poor people over there -wherever they are - are a small price to pay for our resurgent economic activity over here. And remember, if we don't make lots of money over here, we can't send any handouts over there. Such is the logic that seems to inspire Chairman Bernanke's QE campaigns. During this wee

The Food Crisis is a Dollar Crisis

Dan Amoss The Daily Reckoning At this week's hearing on Capitol Hill, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke demonstrated a lack of understanding about what causes inflation. His comments reflected a belief that GDP growth causes inflation. But true economic growth is production-driven, and adds to the supply of goods and services in the economy. True economic growth is not inflationary. Rather, inflation is driven by runaway government deficits and bloated central bank balance sheets. And right now, we have plenty of both. So we have every reason to expect the CPI, even with all of its window-dressing shenanigans, to soar past 2% in short order. I'm surprised at how complacent the stock market remains in the face of obvious pressure building on the CPI. If the Fed doesn't react to a rising CPI by tightening policy, Treasury yields will keep soaring, and inflationary psychology will take root among most producers. If the Fed does react by ending QE and raising short-term rates, it do

BAHRAIN: A NERVOUS WATCH

B.RAMAN BASIC DATA (From BBC) * King Hamad, 61, a Sunni, has been in power since 1999 * Population 800,000 (70 per cent Shias); land area 717 sq km, or 100 times smaller than the Irish Republic * Ranks 48 out of 178 on corruption * A population with a median age of 30.4 years, and a literacy rate of 91% * Youth unemployment at 19.6% * Gross national income per head: $25,420 (World Bank 2009) Latest reports from Bahrain speak of considerable tension marked by anti-King and anti-Government slogans shouted by thousands of Shia mourners attending the funerals of seven persons killed during a crack-down by the riot police on a group of young people demonstrating against the Government from the Pearl Square since February 14,2011. 2.The protest movement started as a movement of solidarity with the Egyptian youth on February 14, turned into an anti-Government movement on February 15 after the death of two Shias due to alleged use of force by the Police and then t

Pranab Mukherjee to attend G-20 finance ministers' meet in Paris

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/pranab-mukherjee-to-attend-g-20-finance-ministers-meet-in-paris/articleshow/7513896.cms NEW DELHI: Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will leave for Paris on Thursday evening on a three-day visit to attend G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors' meet from February 18. During his stay in Paris, Mukherjee will hold his first meeting with his French counterpart Christine Legarde on Friday where the two leaders are expected to discuss both bilateral and multi lateral issues of mutual interest, including revenue related matters. Later, he would attend BRIC Finance Ministers meeting which would be attended among others by the Finance Minister of host China, the Finance Ministers of Brazil, Russia and South Africa. The agenda would include G 20 framework and mutual assessment, reform of the International Monetary System, preparations for BRIC Summit (Beijing) and BRIC economic co-operation. In the evening, a rece

MAULANA FAZLUR REHMAN'S MYSTERIOUS VISIT TO INDIA

B.RAMAN The Lucknow correspondent of Rediff.com has reported as follows on February 17,2011: " The two-day India visit by Islamic hardliner and Pakistan's Jamiat-ul-Islami chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman is believed to be aimed at reinforcing the anti-Vastanvi forces at the Darul-Uloom Deoband seminary in Uttar Pradesh , where the recently appointed vice chancellor Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi had drawn much flak for praising Narendra Modi's governance in Gujarat. "Ostensibly, Rehman was in Deoband and New Delhi earlier this week to broker peace between the two warring factions of Indian Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind led by rival Madnis -- uncle Arshad Madni and nephew Mahmood. "However, informed sources at Deoband suspect that the Pakistani cleric's 'real intent behind bringing the Madnis together was to strengthen the anti-Vastanvi lobby.' "Vastanvi's fate is to be decided at a meeting of Deoband's 'Majlis-e-Shoora', the highest decision

The Threat of Civil Unrest in Pakistan and the Davis Case

February 16, 2011 1750 GMT By Scott Stewart " The Threat of Civil Unrest in Pakistan and the Davis Case is republished with permission of STRATFOR." On Feb. 13, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) issued a statement demanding that the government of Pakistan execute U.S. government contractor Raymond Davis or turn him over to the TTP for judgment. Davis, a contract security officer for the CIA, has been in Pakistani custody since a Jan. 27 incident in which he shot two men who reportedly pointed a pistol at him in an apparent robbery attempt. Pakistani officials have corroborated Davis’ version of events and, according to their preliminary report, Davis appears to have acted in self-defense. From a tactical perspective, the incident appears to have been (in tactical security parlance) a “good shoot,” but the matter has been taken out of the tactical realm and has become mired in transnational politics and Pakistani public sentiment. Whether the shooting was justified or

TVU issue: US assures Rao of ‘fair solution’

Ashish Kumar Sen in Washington http://www.tribuneindia.com/ 2011/20110217/world.htm#6 The Obama administration has promised a “fair solution” in the case of Indian students who were enrolled at a sham university in California, according to Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao. Indian officials have urged their US counterparts to find a solution that does not harm the students’ future and allows them to transfer to genuine universities in America. “Our emphasis has been on seeking a solution that will help the students who have been affected by this unfortunate development and enable them to find alternative placements in bona fide universities without affecting their future,” Rao told reporters at the end of her two-day visit to Washington on Tuesday. On January 19, Tri-Valley University became the target of a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) criminal investigation. ICE officials said the TVU was a sham. At least 1,550 students have been affected. Most of them are Indian, and a

Algeria, a Diplomatic Mistake

Javid Ghorban-Oghli, Iran’s former ambassador to Algeria. http://www.irdiplomacy.ir/index.php?Lang=en&Page=21&TypeId=&ArticleId=10372&BranchId=28&Action=ArticleBodyView Tsunamis have two defining elements: they are unpredictable and their ambit depends on their primary magnitude. Tunisia’s tsunami affected Egypt and ousted Mubarak from power in 18 days. If Mohamed Bouazizi’s immolation in the small country of Tunisia exponentially echoed in Egypt, then the political transformation in Egypt will resonate much more powerfully in other Arab countries. The time and intensity of these developments will, of course, differ according to state structure, level of public welfare, civil and political freedoms, level of corruption, and autocracy in each country. For some Arab countries -including Algeria, Jordan and Yemen- the North African tsunami has had immediate impact. It will also leave a trace on other Arab countries, most of which witness citizen discontent with the