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Showing posts from June 30, 2013

TWEET of the day

Subramanian Swamy  ‏ @ Swamy39 1 Jul What is a Communist like Javed Akhtar doing on the Board of Directors of Jet Airways--reading out poetry for finance?

Manmonia's FSB: 3% of GDP Surjit S Bhalla : Sat Jul 06 2013, 03:10 hrs The food security bill, sorry emergency ordinance, if implemented honestly, will cost 3 per cent of the GDP in its very first year We have an emergency of the rarest order. The BJP stops Parliament and therefore the government passes an emergency privilege provided by the Constitution to pass the food security ordinance. The bill, sorry ordinance, wants to provide food to the poor in order to eliminate poverty. This, according to the Congress, was Sonia Gandhi’s dream, and indeed was part of the Congress manifesto in 2009. Again, if Congress spokespersons are to be believed, this is a pathbreaking attempt to eliminate poverty. It will give the poor a legal right to claim their 5 kg of rice, wheat or coarse cereals a month at the subsidised rates of Rs 3, 2, and 1 per kg, respectively. This act-to-be follows the same pattern and motivation as the employment guarantee a

Crying wolf, foreign agendas and Israel's role in destabilising Syria

As Assad's brutal crackdown continues on opposition protesters, calls for foreign intervention are becoming more common. Last Modified: 01 Feb 2012 08:34 Suva, Fiji - It's been a dismally predictable, transparent and nasty lie by regimes under assault in the Arab Spring that the mass uprisings are being whipped up by foreign agitators - usually meaning Israel and the United States, maybe France, Europe generally, now sometimes Turkey or, heaven forfend, Al Jazeera journalists. Only the most gullible swallow these claims: their principal effect is to make the claimants look like buffoons. Still, a government's crying wolf doesn't mean a wolf isn't around somewhere. It's equally gullible to assume that foreign agendas have no role in Syria, for example. The flood of western money, supplies, intelligence agents, satellite and drone monitoring and promises of every kind has been lavish everywhere in the Arab Spring. They have been serving outside interests

The Great War’s End in Syria

Jaswant Singh on Monday, 1 July 2013 As the West begins to gear up for the centenary of the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the Middle East is being convulsed as never before by the legacy of the Ottoman Empire’s breakup. Look no farther than Syria, where one part of that legacy – the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the Levant into British and French spheres of influence even while the Great War still raged – is coming to a brutally violent end. Likewise, the current turmoil in Turkey is, at least in part, a consequence of “neo-Ottoman” overreach by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government. In seeking to establish the type of regional influence that Turks have not had since Kemal Atatürk founded the Republic of Turkey, Erdoğan has fallen prey to some of the Ottoman regime’s hubris. The Levant has, of course, been the scene of countless conflicts through the centuries. Sir Archibald Wavell

Cartoon of the day

Ishrat's diary shows LeT links: Gujarat police

By Our Special Correspondent AHMEDABAD, JUNE 20. The Gujarat police today claimed that Ishrat Jahan Raza, who was killed in a police shootout here on Tuesday along with three other alleged terrorists, was working as "secretary" to Javed Sheikh who was driving the car. According to the Additional Police Commissioner (Crime Branch), D.G. Vanjhara, the diary recovered from Ishrat's bag after the shootout revealed her links with the terrorists. Police called the statements made by Ishrat's mother, Shamima Raza, before the media after taking her daughter's body to Mumbra in Thane, a "lie". What she revealed before the Ahmedabad police during questioning corroborated some of the facts mentioned in the diary. She had told police that Javed lived in Mumbra for about three years in the late 1990s during which time they had "family relations." Javed later left for Dubai wher

The Horsemen are Back in Cairo

People power ousted Morsi, writes Dina Ezzat Weekly Al-Ahram, Cairo Note; Egypt’s population is about 84 million and GDP of about $ 220 billion. It is a very poor country with few natural resources. On the first anniversary of his inauguration as Egypt’s first ever elected president Mohamed Morsi found himself facing demonstrations, unprecedented in size, demanding his dismissal. At times it felt as if the entire population was on the streets, the vast majority asking Morsi to go. The size of nationwide protests on 30 June wrong-footed not just Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood leadership but also key Western capitals, not least Washington. The mass protests were accompanied by a show of sympathy for the Armed Forces whose leadership was receiving assessments suggesting that protester numbers would exceed 10 million. Demonstrators also received a sympathetic nod from both the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar and the pat

Russia to build 100 new military bases and airfields

28/06/2013 RIA Novosti About 100 new defense infrastructure facilities, including airfields and Army and Navy maintenance and supply bases, will be built in Russia to accommodate new weapon systems, a top military official said Thursday. By 2016, 316 garrison towns are to be built, their number due to increase to 495 by 2020, said General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces, adding that more than 3,000 facilities, including barracks, parking lots, cafeterias, etc., would be built in those locations. All of those facilities will be put into operation months before new arms and military equipment are delivered, he said. Other installations are slated to include air, land and naval test sites and advanced training centers. All of that will help significantly enhance personnel training standards and make the Armed Forces more efficient, Gerasimov said. In early May, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the share of new weaponry in service with th

Nabucco: How the pipeline became a pipedream July 2, 2013 Rakesh Krishnan Simha Nabucco was the lynchpin of America’s grand strategy to isolate Russia, but in the end the hunter became the hunted. The covert energy war for domination of Caspian energy has ended in a humiliating defeat for the West, with the American midwifed Nabucco pipeline being stillborn. Nabucco failed because it was a political pipeline. The $31 billion gas bridge was conceived to detach Central Asia from Russian influence. This gigantic pump was designed to divert 30 billion cubic metres of gas (nearly 10 percent of Europe’s annual consumption) away from Russian pipelines. Egged on by the United States, the Europeans began to have fantasies about dirt cheap energy from a region floating on a sea of oil and gas. Like small minded shopkeepers they forgot that barring the 2006 spat with Ukraine, the Russians had been reliable suppliers of Siberian gas for over 3

It's the Egyptian Identity, Stupid

By: Wael Nawara for Al-Monitor Posted on July Observers are shocked. They do not understand as they watch millions of Egyptians marching in protest, in every major city in Egypt, against President Mohammed Morsi. In Cairo alone, some estimated the number of protesters to be 5 to 7 million. That is roughly a quarter to a third of the capital’s population. The crowds on June 30 may have been part of the largest political protest in history. The first Egyptian revolution was about freedom, justice and dignity, but the new wave of protests is about defending Egyptian identity . Author: Wael Nawara Posted on: July 2 2013 Categories : Originals   Egypt Political analysts are baffled. Egyptians put up with the fraudulently elected Mubarak for 30 years, but now seek the departure of the democratically elected Morsi after only one year? Did they expect the man to have a magic wand that would allow him to solve all of Egypt's economic problems with a single stroke? It's not

The Next Phase of the Arab Spring

Analysis The Arab Spring was an exercise in irony, nowhere more so than in Egypt. On the surface, it appeared to be the Arab equivalent of 1989 in Eastern Europe. There, the Soviet occupation suppressed a broad, if not universal desire for constitutional democracy modeled on Western Europe. The year 1989 shaped a generation's thinking in the West, and when they saw the crowds in the Arab streets, they assumed that they were seeing Eastern Europe once again. There were certainly constitutional democrats in the Arab streets in 2011, but they were not the main thrust. Looking back on the Arab Spring, it is striking how few personalities were replaced, how few regimes fell, and how much chaos was left in its wake. The uprising in Libya resulted in a Western military intervention that deposed former leader Moammar Gadhafi and replaced him with massive uncertainty. The uprising in Syria has not replaced Syrian President Bashar al Assad but instead sparked a war between him and an Islam

Understanding China’s maritime aspirations

BY XIE ZHIHAI SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES JUL 2, 2013   MAEBASHI, GUNMA PREF. – One strong signal that the Chinese Communist Party's 18th National Congress sent to the international community in November 2012 was that China had included becoming a sea power in its national strategy for the coming decade. What followed were the vigorous maritime institutional reforms announced during the annual National People's Congress meeting in March 2013, which marked the actual once-in-a-decade leadership transition. China established a National Maritime Committee and combined a series of fragmental governmental sectors into the highly integrated and greatly enlarged National Maritime Bureau under the direct supervision of the Ministry of National Territory and Resources. This was a major step to strengthen the governance and management on ocean and maritime affairs, both ci