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Showing posts from 2004

Tim Russert's Sunday interview of Michael Scheuer

Very interesting excerpts from Tim Russert's Sunday interview of Michael Scheuer, the previously anonymous author of "Imperail Hubris."


MR. RUSSERT: I want to read something else from your book. "....many of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims hate us for actions, not values, will get America out of this war.""Actions, not values." What are the actions that created this hatred in the Muslim world?

MR. SCHEUER: Our foreign policy, sir, about six items that bin Laden has isolated...He has created an agenda that appeals to Muslims whether they are fundamentalists or liberals or moderates. Our unqualified support for Israel is one. Our ability to keep oil prices low, enough for Western consumers, is another. Our presence on the Arabian peninsula certainly is another. Our military presence in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, in Yemen, in the Philippines, in other Muslim countries is a fourth. Our support for governments that are widely viewed as suppressi…

Imran Khan and the problems of Pakistan

In recent days Imran Khan has emerged as a real sensable spokes person. First when asked whether Altaf Hussain should have said what he has said in Delhi, Imran defended Altaf's right of free speech though at the same time differed with his views greatly. Then he said that he is ready to form an alliance with any political party on three issues; independent judiciary, independent election commission and independent accountability bureau. And then just yesterday he said that he cannot rule out an alliance with some major political force in the coming elections. All three instances show that he is maturing as a politician. Freedom of speech and tolerance of a good listener is probably the most important trait that our society needs right now. Anyone must be allowed to say anything and express any views and yet at the same time even if we disagree with his or her opinion, the practice of labelling people as traitors and kafirs must stop here. Neither our religion nor nationalism is w…

Democratic Pakistan

Back to The Future

The opposition parties seem all set to start a nationwide movement against General Musharaf on the issue of uniform. His opponents believe that with the changing geopolitical environment, General’s time is up. But whether now or later, General has to go one day and, if history is anything to go by, with him will go his system too. We can hope that once he is gone the country will revert to the track of relatively legitimate elections and a democratic course as happened in the years following Gen. Zia or even his predecessors. But if there is anything to be learnt from the post-Zia democratic experience, this time around, the political class of the country must be ready to take up the challenges left by the legacy of 5 years of provisional rule. So just when they are gearing up to start a movement against the General, this time it will be wise for them to plan for the times to come.

Partly contributed by the provisional government and partly by the external and internal factors, Pakist…
How often has the sky seen the coffin of a General be accompanied by 40 heads of states? How often have you seen a death being commemorated around the world? How often have you seen a funeral of a leader being completely taken over by the ordinary masses from the authorities and organizers? And how often have you seen a stateless hostage imprinting his significance and relevance throughout the region after being declared irrelevant by the Caesars and Czars of Washington and Israel.

His departure from Ramallah was the departure of a popular leader. The state ceremony on his departure from Paris was the departure befitting a revolutionary. His funeral in Cairo was the funeral of the biggest leader of the region. And his burial in Ramallah was the burial of a freedom fighter, peoples' leader (US needs democracy in the Middle East yet they were not willing to talk to the most popular leader of Palestine). In the words of an Indian columnist – The icon is dead but the legend lives on.…