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Showing posts from February 19, 2012

The Analytic Marketing MBA

Overheard FEB 24, 2012 12:06am ET By Jim Ericson Girish Punj is a professor of marketing and director of executive education at the University of Connecticut School of Business in Storrs. For the last several years he’s been teaching graduate courses to students, mostly full-time managers at mid-Atlantic corporations. For almost 10 years he’s also been using the analytic tools derived from IBM’s acquisition of SPSS, now applied to his classes in a course on business analytics at UConn’s Stamford campus. Dr. Punj, is your analytics focus part of an IT or business curriculum? It's part of our marketing curriculum. I've found there are IT curricula that focus on analytics but what I think is the greater need is for chief marketing officers or people doing marketing strategy to get deeper into analytics. Until now, the domain of business analytics has mainly been in IT under the CIO. I see this transformation occurring gradually, but I w

A Gloomy Syrian Scenario

Jagdish N Singh February 24, 2012 Emboldened by the veto Russia and China exercised the other day on the Arab League-sponsored and Western-backed UN Security Council resolution, which sought the transfer of power by President Bashar al-Assad to his deputy aimed at bringing the anti-government forces to the negotiating table for ending the unrest in the West Asian nation, and the support they, together with Iran, extended subsequently to Syria in the General Assembly on the issue, the Bashar regime has intensified its crackdown against the rebels and their supporters. Apparently, the regime seems to be winning with the help of continued weapons supply from Russia and Iran as well as the support provided by the Iranian Islamic revolutionary Guards encampments based throughout Syria and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militants based in Lebanon. But one doubts if the current situation will last long. Given the pattern of Russo

Growing Maoist Activism in Assam: Sinister and Calculated Moves

Nihar Nayak February 24, 2012 The Government of India has, in recent years, suggested to states affected by left-wing extremist/Naxalite/Maoist movements to follow the so-called “Andhra model”. This is because the strategy followed by Andhra Pradesh has resulted in drastic decline in Maoist violence in the state during the past two years. At the same time, it must be noted that the Maoists have changed their tactics and have spread to new areas, Assam being one such area. Maoist presence and organisational activities in Assam are confirmed both by government and private sources, including the ULFA (United Liberation Front of Asom). Anticipating a further consolidation of the Maoists and their linkages with North-East based insurgent groups, possible arms support from China and, ahead of the visit of CPI-Maoist central committee members to Assam, the Union Home Ministry on February 16, 2012, asked the North-Easter

Syria explained: a losing battle 21 CommentsBOB BOWKER There will be no winners emerging from the mess unfolding in Syria, only losers. But my best guess is that the Assad regime will survive for an extended period, albeit in a weakened state. The insurgency has the capacity to continue, but not at a level of intensity or capability that would cause the regime to disintegrate. The militarisation of the revolt also works to the regime's advantage: it rallies the doubters, and leaves the Alawites no prospect of avoiding a sectarian bloodbath if the regime were to collapse. The sceptic in me also feels that the revolt is going to be the victim of the US news cycle before long. There is a limit to the newsworthiness of continuing carnage (now mostly limited to Homs, it seems). If the regime can bring the level of violence down to some extent after crushing resistance in Homs I suspect the media focus will move elsewhere. I also suspect Iran will lose

Rohrabacher Believes "Pakistani Government Does Not Deserve Respect"

Posted: 02/23/2012 3:30 pm Eddie Walsh Senior foreign correspondent; CSIS non-resident fellow Last week, Dr. C. Christine Fair of Georgetown University outlined her reasons for attacking the recent U.S. congressional hearing on Baluchistan. Yesterday, she followed up those comments with a new article on Huffington Post. Faced with such strong criticism from one of his witnesses, I wondered what Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), the chair of the hearing, thought about her remarks. We therefore discussed the four major points of criticism so that he could respond. "Stick it to the Pakistanis" First and foremost, Rohrabacher assails the claim by Fair that the underlying motive for the hearing was to "stick it to the Pakistanis." Rohrabacher readily admits that the alleged comment by his staff was "less than professional." But, he is not willing to shy aware from the sentiment behind the comment: "If the comment was made, it was a passing

Hearing in Congress on Baluchistan: Crossing the Rubicon or Political Theatre?

by Eddie Walsh The genocide and Right to Protect (R2P) arguments are two of the most prominent arguments made by the Baloch diaspora in the United States (U.S.) when advocating for U.S. diplomatic or military intervention in Baluchistan. However, it is highly unlikely that these arguments will gain serious traction in Congress absent a complete rupture in U.S.-Pakistan relations. While they might provide compelling “political theatre” for open hearings like the one scheduled for later today a few miles away in Congress, neither the majority of witnesses nor the larger community of outside experts who Congress holds in confidence are likely to support U.S. government and/or military initiatives aimed at so significantly undermining Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It therefore would be a major shock to informed observers if the hearing signaled increasing Congressional support for either the genocide or R2P claims. Instead, it is expected that the hearing will voice

CARTE BLANCHE: Balochistan: waiting for closure —Mehmal Sarfraz

The government’s offer, on the face of it, is good. The problem is the government cannot save the Baloch leaders from the military. Let’s not forget what happened to the Baloch leader Nawab Nauroz Khan. An oath taken on the Quran was violated by our military in his case “Maye sah inth Balochistan, maye jaan inth Balochistan, Maye zind-e-hamok dard-o-darmaan inth Balochistan. Percha man naban bandeeg, percha man naban koleeg, k zahr-en-teer ani dhem paan inth Balochistan” — G R Mulla. (Balochistan is my heart, my soul, A cure for all conceivable pains of life. Why should I not sacrifice, Or hesitate to suffer indignities of confinement, When my motherland is facing poisonous bullets.) Balochistan: a land so beautiful and a people so brave. A land full of hope, a people inspired. But today the soil of Balochistan is soaked with the blood of its children, its mountains reverberate with the harrowing wails of its women, its air haunted by the distraught cries of the older men, i

Nepal running on empty as energy crisis deepens

Added At: 2012-02-22 1:09 PM Last Updated At: 2012-02-22 1:13 PM The Himalayan Times - Saved Articles(s) AFP Residents desperate for fuel unload cooking gas cylinders to a waiting crowd after stopping a distribution truck in Kathmandu on February 1, 2012. A severe shortage of gas cylinders, essential for heating and cooking in a country with no mains supply, has increased the hardship for Nepalis already enduring seasonal daily powercuts of up to 14 hours. AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE KATHMANDU: Deepesh Aryal and two of his restaurant staffs set out in the dead of night and brave Kathmandu's biting wintry chill to meet a carefully-cultivated contact. As they count their cash, they could be planning a drug deal or a cloak-and-dagger meeting of spies -- but the truth is rather more prosaic: they are joining a 10-hour queue for cooking gas. Like thousands of traders in Kathmandu, 28-year-old Aryal will go to extraordinary lengths to secure the fuel he needs to run his business

Riyadh the Rogue Player in Iraq Saudi Arabia is trying to curb Iran's clout in Baghdad through anarchic means. By: Javad Mohammadi After formation of the first democratic government in the Middle East in the wake of the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, Iraq was the second country in the region which adopted a democratic system in the post-Saddam era. But from the very beginning of the establishment of such a fledgling democracy in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has taken a hostile approach toward it. Since 1979, the most prominent regional strategy of Saudi Arabia has been impeding the growth of political Islam led by Iran. The Islamic Republic on one hand is based on genuine Islamic tenets and historical precedent, and on the other, all of its senior officials, including the supreme leader, are elected by Iranian people. Therefore the Islamic Republic has set a unique example of compatibility and synergy between religion and democ

Israeli Diplomat Car bombing and India Iran relations

A sober and balanced article on Car bomb attack on Israeli diplomat in New Delhi and Tel Aviv’s crude attempt to exploit it to create dissensions between India and Iran . On the whole Indians barring ignorance based arrogant empty heads like Goswami or US/Mumbai corporate counts and countesses of IndExp , the coverage has been wholesome . 911, many Americans believe had Mossad’s hand. Israeli interlocutors on TV channels were pre-emptory and vulgar as if talking to US senators or congressmen , who if they do not obey Tel Aviv’s dictates can be defeated in the next elections. Even when Washington is not sure who did the bombing, Netanyahu etc, within half an hour were blaming Tehran .Many Indians were not amused and wondered if Israel had a hand in it. Some in Pakistan believe that US sacrificed its Amb with Gen Zia , since the former was not supposed to travel with Zia , who carried the envoy along with him into the plane . Tehran is too sophisticated and would not be party to such

Rohrabacher's "Blood Borders" in Balochistan C. Christine Fair Assistant Professor, Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program Posted: 02/22/2012 6:27 pm On February 9, 2012, the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs convened a hearing on "Baluchistan" [sic], chaired by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R - CA). I, along with Messrs Ralph Peters, T. Kumar, Ali Dyan Hasan and Dr. M. Hosseinbor, testified as a witness in that hearing. When I agreed to participate, I was told that the hearing was intended to be a general introduction to the various crises in Balochistan, their causes and the impact of these issues on U.S. interests. However, as the date of the hearing neared, I learned that the event would serve other purposes. When I sought guidance about the precise issues I should discuss in my testimony, the committee staff member told me, in some exasperation, that "we want to s

Will support US, Nato or Indian intervention: Brahamdagh Bugti

23.02.2012 QUETTA: Supporting the US congressional bill on Balochistan, Baloch Republican Party’s self-exiled chief Brahamdagh Bugti has welcomed all foreign intervention in the province whether it is by the US, Nato or India. “America must intervene in Balochistan and stop the ethnic cleansing of Baloch people,” said Brahamdagh, 30, as reporters listened with rapt attention to his telephonic address on Wednesday at the Quetta Press Club. “We know that foreign countries have their personal interest but we must think of our greater interest.” A resolution was introduced on February 17 by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and co-sponsored by two other congressmen in the US House of Representatives, calling upon Pakistan to recognise the Baloch people’s right to self determination. The bill has outraged Pakistan and leaders and lawmakers have called it against the country’s sovereignty and an unwelcome intervention by the US. “Baloch women, political leaders, activists, students, writers,

Khan of Kalat lobbied US lawmaker on Baloch resolution

22.02.2012 LONDON: Khan of Kalat Mir Suleman Daud Khan played a crucial behind-the-scene role in lobbying US Congressman Rep Dana Rohrabacher, who last week introduced a resolution in the US House, saying the “Baloch nation has a historic right to self-determination.” The News has learnt that the Cardiff based self-exiled Khan of Kalat and Dana Rohrabacher, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Oversight and Investigations of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, held several meetings in European cities in the last few months and discussed the ways of helping Balochistan at the bigger level. In an email exchange, Dana Rohrabacher, the lawmaker behind the effort, confirmed to The News that during his meetings with Khan of Kalat, they “discussed the repression of the people of Balochistan in Pakistan and Iran and their desire for self determination”. The two met, along with many influential representatives from the US think tanks and Congressmen, in Berlin, Germany, only a few days bef

Gohmert: Pakistani province’s independence would create ally in Mideast

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2012 4:00 am | Updated: 7:15 am, Wed Feb 22, 2012. By Glenn Evans | 3 comments Independence for an obscure province in Pakistan would be one of the best things America could leave behind when it withdraws troops next year, the congressman from Northeast Texas said Tuesday. U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, says an independent Balochistan would be the “enemy of our enemies,” on a piece of ground through which arms now flow to the Taliban in Afghanistan. “These people are Muslims, but they are friends. They want to be America’s friends,” Gohmert said of the Baloch people of western Pakistan. “Before 1948, they were not part of Pakistan. (Baloch annexation) gave Pakistan some mineral-rich areas as well, and at the same time the Pakistani government has been abusive of the Baloch people.” It also wouldn’t hurt America’s strategic interests in the region to have a grateful friend on Iran’s eastern bo


B.RAMAN ( An edited version of this has been carried by “The Hindu” on February 23,2012 ) Before 9/11 the assessment in the US was that terrorist threats to the US from abroad would be more serious than home-based threats.The responsibility for co-ordinating preventive action was, therefore, vested in the Central Intelligence Agency ( CIA), which handles external intelligence. The CIA had a Counter-terrorism Centre (CTC) to perform tasks of co-ordination and follow-up action on the intelligence collected by the various agencies. The CTC had officers taken on deputation from different agencies. They worked under a CIA officer. The Government of AtalBehari Vajpayee set up in May 2000 a Task Force for the Revamping of the Intelligence Apparatus headed by ShriG.C.Saxena, former head of the R&AW and the then Governor of J&K. Among its members were ShriM.K.Narayanan, former Director, Intelligence Bureau, ShriK.Raghunath, former Foreign Secretary, Shri P.P. Shrivatsava, former Spec