Friday, August 29, 2014

False Dawn?

.....Suzuki Motor has shifted the technology transfer paradigm into reverse, importing transmission technology developed in India and installing it in the new Carry commercial vehicle in Japan......Auto Gear Shift...automated manual transmission with an electro-hydraulic actuator.....Unlike computer-assisted automatic transmissions, Suzuki's relatively low-cost technology is structurally simpler and improves fuel efficiency by around 5%......
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The Indian economy is finally showing signs of life. After such a long time in coma, it will take a considerable amount of nursing to build things back up. We are not close to any industrialists but we see mostly relief at the end of ...uncertainty. In that sense what Narendra Modi is to India, Pakistani Army is to Pakistan.  

The problem with dictatorships however is that .....in the words of one famous person....it creates a nation of cowards. The global system run by the elites would love to have countries filled with political cowards and economic consumers. The freedom to eat..but not to talk. Ask no questions and ...Jiyo Life. What is not to like?
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Egypt shows the way

....Khan is unpredictable....proudly calls his supporters junoonis -- or "crazies"....The military might enjoy the troubles Khan gives the prime minister, but it is unlikely to tie its institutional fortunes to Khan....Pakistani democracy continue to muddle along as it has in the past. Pakistan optimists will be disappointed....But things could be worse.....
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The American establishment and its paid interlocutors (not meant in a derogatory sense) have now responded to the soft coup in Pakistan. Short answer: after observing what happened in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world, the focus is back to stability over anarchy. Shorter answer: "but things could be worse."

We are not sure why the veil of modesty is required though. The whole world and his uncle knows now that Nawaz Sharif is finished. In Pakistan (just like in Egypt and in Thailand) it is clear that Army rule (the most trusted institution) is preferred over mob rule (politicians are hated for cronyism, inefficiency,...).

One of the primary reasons for Army putting down Sharif is that he wanted better relations with India (and acted on it by not meeting with Kashmiri separatists/nationalists). In this way Kashmir is shown up as the third rail of Pakistani politics, you touch it, you die. 


Soft coup-

I think the Army has emerged as the comprehensive and legitimate winner of this Pakistani imbroglio.

Democracy has been defanged until the next election but at the same time the fiction of it's legitimacy has been maintained.

Compared to the results of the Arab spring (Egypt, Libya, Syria); a stable military is very good for unsteady democracies. Kudos to GHQ for steering an optimal outcome for all parties concerned.

Zone One

In addition to a fairly exhausting travel schedule I've been consuming a fair few iBooks.

I'm currently trying to finish my trilogy of Zombie Apocalyptic novels (Zombie survival guide, World War Z & Zone One). Now of course the first two are written by the same author (Mel Brooks's son, Max Brooks) and thankfully I saw the film before I read the book because that way I didn't have to complain.

Nonetheless I came across Xone One in some tendentious article complaining about the lack of colored people in Sci-fi (right now the main divide being address is the gender one, my book club just had an interview with Ms. Leckie of Ancillary Justice) but while I simply zoomed through WWZ & even ZSG, Zone One tends to be less easier as a read. It's simply more elaborate, less plot driven and doesn't have the pace that Apocalyptic novels demand.

The age of Multi-culti is fast waning to an end, the hidden rise of Indo-China is soon shaking West out of its stupor and complacency as the World's greatest hegemon (LA-LON is a good axis but it's not insuperable) and so we pass an age where somehow the colour of ones skin someone incurs automatic advantages. Race will have a novelty factor but the counter-stereotyping of Hollywood (which is still stuck in a black-white dynamic as the only real operating one) sooner or later will have to align to reality..

Thursday, August 28, 2014

When is a genocide not a genocide?

......by the 1990s, genocide had a “super stigma,” ....as the international court for Rwanda put it, it was the “crime of crimes” .....When it came to the Khmer Rouge, this development was only complicated by the peculiar political usage of “genocide” in Cambodia.....In 1999, the UN Group of Experts announced...not take a position on“whether the Khmer Rouge committed genocide with respect to part of the Khmer national group.” ......
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Cambodians are enthusiastic about play-acting to honor the memory of the victims of Pol-pot and company. We can sympathize as we sense that there will be a fuller sense of closure that way.  

As far as justice is concerned...unfortunately all we have (again) is a lot of play-acting and word-playing and a bit of fore-playing (but much more expensive to enact at $220 mil...all those lawyer fees....).

We love international law. Majority community killing their own is not considered genocide. However, majority community killing minorities is appropriate for the g-tag.

Thus Chicoms killing 45 mil Hans is not considered suitable for the worst of the worst tag. Neither is the 30mil killed by Stalin and company. Not even the 3 mil Khmers killed by Pol Pot qualifies as genocide.

As a saving grace the 20k Vietnamese and 90k Cambodian muslims (Cham) killed by the Khmer Rougue may finally see some justice. Regardless of definitions, evil men need to be taken down by other (righteous) men on earth, not any supernatural agency.

Incidentally something which aroused our curiosity is the Cambodian word for genocide: prolai pouch-sas. We are no linguists but "prolai" in Sanskrit (used in Bengali as well) denotes a state of crisis (at the end of times level). Perhaps a person who knows will step forward and clarify?
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August 7 was supposed to be judgment day for the last two leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Thirty-five years after the end of Pol Pot’s calamitous agrarian revolution, a United Nations-backed court in Phnom Penh found the movement’s chief ideologue Nuon Chea and the former president Khieu Samphan guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced them to life in prison.