Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The happy martyrs

....Hamas initially denied any link to the June attack....Last month, the group acknowledged responsibility......"Hamas praises the role martyrs Abu Aysha and Kawasme played in chasing down Israeli settlers...their assassination will not weaken the resistance"....
The two Hamas lads...so happy to have helped ignite another war, even more happy that 2000 of their own (including small children) have been killed by the enemy (it all comes down to who wins the propaganda war), and now happiest ever in death (to be celebrated as martyrs for all time).

It is an article of faith amongst the (western) Left that an alliance with Islamists will bring down the enemy (and in the long run this prediction may indeed come to be true). We are told that compromise is a dirty word (and the enemy believes in this creed as well). The muslim lands must be liberated at all costs.

Meanwhile back in the real world, Israel is building up alliances with Egypt and Saudi Arabia (and when Kurdistan becomes an independent nation there will be one more all-weather friend). Hamas has been kicked out of Qatar and given shelter in Turkey. The flames in the Central Middle East is visible from space. North Africa is terribly troubled (except for Morocco and Tunisia). Afghanistan is likely to sink deep into mud starting next year. Pakistan is in a precarious position with everyone interested in gaining power (but none so keen on ruling).

It is not that we should ignore the crimes of Israel (and for that matter India) as belonging to some lesser category. But we are not able to discern any constructive message that will make the people in the Middle East North Africa even a tiny bit hopeful (perhaps we are biased and being blinded by hatred). At this rate the world will simply learn to ignore MENA, except for periodic bouts of "lawn mowing" by the Israeli Defense Forces. Fighting thousand year wars with infidels will not bring any peace and over time even the oil fueled prosperity will look like a mirage.
Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday and the military said they were members of Hamas responsible for the killing of three Israeli youths in June, an attack that led to the Gaza war.

Pakistani makes the largest political bet in history -

It seems us Pakis are instinctively Unionist (which makes sense - God save the Queen).

Describing himself as a committed unionist of Pakistani-German heritage, he said he had been partly motivated to gamble that much money – the largest political bet in British history and believed to be one of the largest worldwide – because it was good publicity for the pro-UK campaign.
But he added: “The first thing I should say is: don’t try this at home. Perhaps I have a bit of a unique background given what I do given I have been involved in markets and as my daughters tell me, I’m a bit of a data geek and information nerd.”
Nicknamed “Peter” by Vine after he insisted on remaining anonymous, he said he had studied more than 80 polls on the academic referendum website whatscotlandthinks.org, overseen by the Strathclyde University polling expert Professor John Curtice.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Multiculturalism with Chinese Characteristics

Multiculturalism with Chinese characteristics...China's war on terror becomes a war on conservative Islam. 

Not that I am anti-Chinese. I am also a fan of China. Actually I am a fan of everyone. Why not? In our Indian culture we never got too worked up about faraway places anyway, which I think is eminently sensible. and with the current civlizational crisis in the Islamicate world, much worse may happen in less Chinese countries.

But while I can sort of let it go, I dont think the Paknationalist dream of a Chinese-Islamic partnership with Pakistan as China's Muslim enforcer will get away unscathed. I assume they will try to put all of this in the catergory of "American propaganda", but some of it does seem to be true. That could become an issue. 

"China’s campaign against separatism and terrorism in its mainly Muslim west has now become an all-out war on conservative Islam, residents here say.
Throughout Ramadan,police intensified a campaign of house-to-house searches, looking for books or clothing that betray “conservative” religious belief among the region’s ethnic Uighurs: women wearing veils were widely detained, and many young men arrested on the slightest pretext, residents say. Students and civil servants were forced to eat instead of fasting, and work or attend classes instead of attending Friday prayers...

btw, those thinking I am joking about the paknationalist dream have not met Pakistani Nationalists of the senior army officer type... See Zaid Hamid  for details (paid generously for his efforts by the ISI, as reported by his own ex-accountant). Its a load of crap, but that doesnt mean it doesnt have believers....

And meanwhile, the bombs go off.  At least three explosions have been reported in China's Xinjiang province, killing two people and injuring several more, Chinese state media has said.

Shanghaiist reports on Project Beauty: the chinese effort to make Uighur women show their face

Miss Tourism Queen Xinjiang, Finals

CCTV reports on Miss Tourism Xinjiang.
Miss Tourism Queen International kicks off on Sunday in Urumqi, the capital city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Sunday. 

Xinjiang cultural troupe in Pakistan

China Post reports on Beard informants.

Brand Brown Muslim

....Rahman was born into a family of struggling Bangladeshi immigrants....Putting himself through Oxford, Cambridge, Munich and Yale, he has been a mathematician, investment banker and international human rights lawyer........one is often tempted to speculate about which of the two characters derives from Rahman himself.....Is it the brilliant, Bangladeshi Zafar?....Or could it be the aristocratic Pakistani investment banker with no name?.... 
In a way (and we accept this with great reluctance) the founding fathers of Pakistan had it right. There is a lot to be said for the creation of a "Medina in South Asia" as the authentic voice of sub-continental Sunni muslims. We have strong reasons to believe that once the memories of the dead and afflicted have faded, the sub-surface links between erstwhile East and West Pakistan will re-assert themselves.
It is a shame that the (West) Pakistanis did not really recognize the Bangali muslims as their peers and equals. The gaps are now slowly mending (even as the gap with India and Indians is rising). With the help of imaginative leadership (aided by generous Gulf dollars) a broad coalition of Sunni muslim countries across South Asia (and perhaps even beyond) is possible.

If such a federation comes to life, a huge vote of thanks will be due to ...who else...the imperialist United Kingdom (and the West as an extension). The Brown Muslims of London and New York who feel alienated by Western ways and discriminated by Western elites will be the prime movers in any reconciliation, rapprochement and if it comes to that even the hard work of federation building.

Already Bangla-Pak alliances are popular in the West...and why not? The BMs are defined (and constrained) by what they are and what they are not...not Indians (but browns), not Arabs (but muslims), not Westerners (but living in the West).

While inter-marriage will help, the heavy lifting must be done by powerful, sublime literature that help underline the commonalities between Bangladeshis and Pakistanis and subtly (and not so subtly) highlight the differences with other people. Thus we have "In the Light of What We Know" by Zia Haider Rahman a cultural (and spiritual) sibling of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" by Mohsin Hamid and one which adds to the growing (and unique) voice of Brown Muslims. May such a thousand flowers bloom. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lehman Sisters (India)

Indian women (elites) are doing superbly, as may be judged by the 2014 Fortune top-25 list for Asia/Pacific. Worldwide, Indra Nooyi is ranked #3 right after Mary Bara (GE) and Gini Rometty (IBM).

In A/P we have a total of eight Indians out of twenty five. If there is a quibble, there are too many bankers (in the left-liberal world bankers are considered evil) starting with Gail Kelly (Australia, Westpac) at #1.

Then again feminists have forcefully argued that the global recession of 2008 could have been avoided if only there were a band of Lehman Sisters at the steering wheel instead of the mad, bad brother-hood. Taken in that spirit there is much to cheer about the Indian lady-brigade- the Sisters are in charge of half of the assets of the country. It is good to see a world-beating number that you can feel good about. Go team!!!!

In the top ten we have the fav four of Chanda Kochhar (2) of ICICI Bank, Arundhati Bhattacharya (4) of State Bank of India, Nishi Vasudeva (5) of Hindustan Petroleum, and Shikha Sharma (10) of Axis Bank.