Hearing only what you want to hear


by Sunny
22nd November, 2005 at 3:32 pm    

The Daily Mirror today had the exclusive that George Bush planned to bomb Al-Jazeera but Blair talked him out of it.

A source said: “There’s no doubt what Bush wanted, and no doubt Blair didn’t want him to do it.” Al-Jazeera is accused by the US of fuelling the Iraqi insurgency.

The attack would have led to a massacre of innocents on the territory of a key ally, enraged the Middle East and almost certainly have sparked bloody retaliation. A source said last night: “The memo is explosive and hugely damaging to Bush. “He made clear he wanted to bomb al-Jazeera in Qatar and elsewhere. Blair replied that would cause a big problem.

If this comes as a surprise to you… then stop being so naive. After all, this is the same administration that bombed Al-Jazeera’s offices twice ‘accidentally’ (in Afghanistan and Iraq) despite knowing the exact coordinates, and even tried to take down its website.

Update 1: A civil servant has been charged for leaking the memo to the Mirror.

Update 2: The govt has legally banned newspapers to reveal more.

Meanwhile, The Sun has apologised for falsely accusing a Moroccan-born British citizen for being a fanatical terrorist. Don’t go overboard lads – if they had to apologise for everytime they falsely accused someone of being a fanatic, we’d be here all day.


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  1. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:56 pm  

    Too bad Blair stopped him.. a channel that paraphrases suicide bombings as “paradise operations” deserves a bombing or two

  2. leon — on 22nd November, 2005 at 3:58 pm  

    Not surprised at all, I remember the accidental bombing of Chinese embassy during the Kosovo “war”; the excuse that time was that they were using old maps.

    Thing is with lack of surprise though is it also tends to mean lack of outrage. No outrage means less likelihood of action…apathy is far from fun.

  3. Chris — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:01 pm  

    Do you believe this story?
    With the ex-ambassador to Washington spilling the beans about how ineffectual TB was, this sounds a bit like a planted story to show that TB did stand up to GWB – at least once!

  4. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:04 pm  

    LOL… I think this story is a bit fishy…

    We all know The Mirror would never distort the truth.

  5. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:23 pm  

    Oh well i didnt see that the source for this story was Mirror.

  6. Chris — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:25 pm  

    Agree that a bomb or two might have been in order!
    PS – does Sunny’s other link really demonstrate that the US govt was going to “take down” the Al-J website??

  7. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:26 pm  
  8. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:30 pm  

    Vikrant

    What a shocker to learn Al-Jazeera reporters stance on terror (one’s that haven’t already been arrested for terrorism offences!) /sarcasm

  9. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:32 pm  

    I suppose this Al-Jazeera reporter was peacefully heading an Al-Qaeda cell…

  10. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:41 pm  

    Hell we should strip that BBC guy whats-his-name-again who join Al Jazeera’s Intl channel.

  11. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:44 pm  

    Whether you agree with Al-Jazeera’s outlook on the world or not is immaterial. The western world’s dependence on democracy rests on the idea that there is freedom of the press.

    Those rules should apply to others as well as yours. It is anymore right that some Arab country, which doesn’t agree with Fox News’ garbage, should be allowed to bomb it? Also, try and remember that journalists got killed when America decided to “accidentally” bomb the Al-Jazeeras office.
    There was a documentary I saw on Al-Jazeera a few months ago which was fantastic. These people were not swallowing the rubbish that Centcom were giving out, but where as the CBS, NBC and CNN reporters grumbled about the crap, but dutifully reported it, Al-Jazeera refused to tow the US line.

    You’re either for freedom of speech in the press or you’re not.

  12. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:50 pm  

    Chris – Akamai admitted at the time it was under a lot of political pressure from the Pentagon.

    Update: a civil servent has been charged for leaking this to the Mirror, so I’m assuming there is some truth in all this.

  13. Chris — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:50 pm  

    Of course we’re for freedom of the press.

    Just poking fun at Al-J’s (dangerous) lunacy – and frankly doubting whether this story – how timely for TB for it to come out now – is in fact true!

  14. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 4:52 pm  

    Ditto

  15. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:14 pm  

    Sunny… seriously speaking these people arent reporters. They are puppets of islamists.

  16. sonia — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:23 pm  

    that may well be the case! however if you want to bomb them why’s that make you any different from an islamist? or a terrorist in general.

  17. Steve M — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:46 pm  

    Sunny is right. Al-Jazeera may appear at times to be apologists for terrorism but they understand full-well the rules of the game of civilisation. They’re a new organisation and, I thought, have some independence (but am I wrong here?). Journalists left free will have increasingly more in common with Pickled Politics than with Al Q-aeda.

  18. Bikhair — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:47 pm  

    No love loss for Al Jazeera, otherwise known as Hizbiyah T.V.

  19. Siddharth — on 22nd November, 2005 at 5:48 pm  

    Anyone who thinks Al-Jazeera and Fox News are not the mutual counterparts of each other is either biased or stupid. On this note I would recommend everyone to see Jehane Noujaim’s blistering documentary, The Control Room.

    What starts out as a fairly conventional, liberal documentation of what is Al Jazeera, the Arab satellite news channel, turns into a fascinating visualization of the dictum that truth is the first victim of war as the invasion of Iraq takes place while documentarian Jehane Noujaim and her crew are at the U.S. Army Command Central’s media headquarters in Qatar and Al Jazeera becomes a verbal and perhaps physical target of the U.S. government.

    The filmmaker over and over and over and over makes the point of how the channel is parallel to Fox News in patriotism to its pan-Arabism and in endeavoring to filter out Western biases to make events understandable to the typical Arab man in his cafe and bring the Arab viewpoint to U.S. officials.

    The problem is, is there is corresponding objective examination of Fox News that comes anywhere near as incisive as this? Of course there isn’t.

  20. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:01 pm  

    Control Room! That’s it. A really good doc. I watched it the ICA. Very fascinating look at Al-Jazeera and how journos from all over the world covered the war in Iraq (when it was actually still officially called a war).

    The fact that Al-Jazeera is constantly condemned by the govts of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Iraq and the rest is conveniently ignored by much of the right-wing western press.

  21. Chris — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:05 pm  

    Condemned by Saudi Arabia…is that good or bad?

    PS I’m not sure you have to be “right wing” to dislike Al-J do you?

  22. Jess — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:06 pm  

    “The problem is, is there is corresponding objective examination of Fox News that comes anywhere near as incisive as this? Of course there isn’t.”

    Depends what you mean by ‘objective examination’, but the best satirical critique of Fox I’ve seen has to be the Daily Show. I lived in California for a while and it was easily the best thing on 400 cable channels. They’ve just started showing it on More4.

  23. Chris — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:07 pm  

    PPS – and I see Bikhair dislikes them too.

    Now I don’t know what to think!!

  24. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:15 pm  

    Chris Sunny is your average Indian leftie… you’ll never undrestand how they think. Maybe KSA was criticising them for trying to put up more impartial coverage than they’ve done in past.

  25. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:22 pm  

    Vikrant – as opposed to the average Indian righty who is even more messed up on where they stand? That lame attempt at trying to dismiss my views just because they’re lefty won’t really work on a blog that calls it itself progressive and liberal. If you’re looking for conservatives you’re in the wrong place.

    A great documentary on Fox is Outfoxed.

    Jess – I love The Daily Show too. Specially when he has Bill O’Reilly on there.

  26. Siddharth — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:22 pm  

    Chris: Why does Bikhair not like Al-Jazeera? You’ll have to ask her. I suspect Bikhair is not right-wing in a social sense, she’s just holds religion paramount to politics. And specifically a skewed interpretation of Islam thereof. And Vikrant is right, the Saudis have problems with Al-Jazeera because it is not deferential enough to the Saudi Royal Family.

  27. Siddharth — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:26 pm  

    Jess: I love the Daily Show but have yet to see Jon Stewart take Fox News apart. If anyone is capable, it is he.

    Sunny: Outfoxed. Grats.

  28. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:29 pm  

    I’m Asian Indian. I’m conservative. And i’m proud of it. I’m not necessarily dismissing your views. Just articulating mine

  29. Vikrant — on 22nd November, 2005 at 6:36 pm  

    And my view being that lefties are excessively apologetic of Islamists.

  30. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 7:39 pm  

    BBC News website world affairs correspondent Paul Reynolds said: “An attack on al-Jazeera would also have been an attack on Qatar, where the US military has its Middle East headquarters. So the possibility has to be considered that Mr Bush was in fact making some kind of joke and that this was not a serious proposition.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4459296.stm

  31. j0nz — on 22nd November, 2005 at 8:16 pm  

    Off Topic but

    Pakistani racists murder white man

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4460778.stm

  32. Siddharth — on 22nd November, 2005 at 8:59 pm  

    And my view being that lefties are excessively apologetic of Islamists.

    And as if the right wing are not. Such skewed worldviews are lovingly embraced and propagated on Harry’s Place. Off you go.

  33. hippie — on 22nd November, 2005 at 9:35 pm  

    Don’t go overboard lads – if they had to apologise for everytime they falsely accused someone of being a fanatic, we’d be here all day.

    This made me laugh more than anything has all day!! Thank you!

  34. jamal — on 22nd November, 2005 at 9:57 pm  

    The fact such a story is not really a newsflash does not surprise me. What surprise me is that Blair is being regarded as some sort of hero for talking him out of it. The same blair who has supported him in this war from day one. There is some agenda to this story, im not sure what it is yet!

  35. Sunny — on 22nd November, 2005 at 11:33 pm  

    I’m conservative. And i’m proud of it. I’m not necessarily dismissing your views. Just articulating mine

    Vikrant – is “Sunny is your average Indian leftie… you’ll never undrestand how they think” – what you call articulating a view? Sounds like a terrible attempt at smear to me.

    “Oh look he’s a leftie, therefore he can’t have anything useful to say!” Listen mate – wear your conservative hat with pride – but this is a battle of ideas. If yours don’t stand up, then just shut up quietly instead of trying the typical (American) jibe of dismissing someone just because they’re liberal.
    The problem with the right-wing is that they’re just ignorants full-stop :|

    Hippie – my pleasure ;)

    j0nz – I’m glad those SOBs were indicted. Others are too.

  36. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 9:44 am  

    aww… hell i may have been a bit harsh on ya. lets kiss and make up.

    BTW Siddharth i’m not going anywhere. Funny how bigots who insult your nation of origin and your religion are tolerated by you (freedom of speech, diversity blah blah) but you cant stomach an Indian rightie. Oh the darn communalist.

  37. Siddharth — on 23rd November, 2005 at 9:49 am  

    I tolerate bigots? Thats news to me.
    Stomach an Indian rightie? I find they give me indigestion.

  38. j0nz — on 23rd November, 2005 at 10:13 am  

    I tolerate bigots? Thats news to me.

    Siddarth you postivley LOVE biggots. Defending the indefensible…As long as there Muslim biggots of course…!

  39. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 10:40 am  

    Oooh Siddharths a Bengali! No real surprises there.

  40. Siddharth — on 23rd November, 2005 at 10:55 am  

    Oooh Siddharths a Bengali! No real surprises there.

    No real surprises?! LOL.
    You’ll have to explain your sectarian bigotry to those who don’t follow this strange sentence, including me.

  41. Siddharth — on 23rd November, 2005 at 10:57 am  

    j0nz, i’ve done more for the fight against Muslim bigotry than you have English racism, I’m pretty sure.

  42. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 11:10 am  

    Or is it Rohin.. dont remember… dont care. Well Bengal has had a long tradition of producing finest Islamopologists. Just look at their state govt. while the demography of border areas has been irreversibly altered by Bangladeshi illegals while most Bengalis dont seem concerned. I’m not implying all Bengalis are Commies/Dhimmis but well they’ve got majority there.

    Indian Leftie maxim : “When being raped lay back and enjoy it”

  43. Sunny — on 23rd November, 2005 at 1:29 pm  

    aww… hell i may have been a bit harsh on ya. lets kiss and make up.

    and then.

    Indian Leftie maxim : “When being raped lay back and enjoy it”

    Yeah, that bout of sanity lasted for… all of 5 minutes?

  44. blue mountain — on 23rd November, 2005 at 2:07 pm  

    Well Bengal has had a long tradition of producing finest Islamopologists.

    Dont forget that it was only due to Bengalis that Hinduism ressurected from the mumbo jumbo,rag tag status that rest of India had reduced it

  45. blue mountain — on 23rd November, 2005 at 2:17 pm  

    If it was not Bengalis most of India would have singing paeans to Jesus Christ like North-Eastern States,(Nagaland, mizoram etc.),Goa, Phillipines etc.

  46. blue mountain — on 23rd November, 2005 at 2:36 pm  

    Tell why Rajasthan is the “r” of “Bimaru” states which is holding back India from taking a major step in development .

    Bimaru = Bihar +MP+Rajasthan+UP

  47. Bikhair — on 23rd November, 2005 at 3:45 pm  

    Chris,

    “PPS – and I see Bikhair dislikes them too.
    Now I don’t know what to think!!”

    Exactly why would I like Al Jazeera? What service to they provide to Muslims in the way of thier religion according to the Quran, authentic hadith, and the understanding of the three earliest generations of Muslims? They dont provide that service at all. What they do provide is rumors, hysteria, and every excuse under the sun for a Muslim to exceed the limits of the Sharia.

  48. Rohin — on 23rd November, 2005 at 4:54 pm  

    Indian right-winger maxim: “I’m a schmuck fuckface who plays around in my own faeces.”

    See what I did there? Made up a bunch of crap to make myself feel happy and smug. Like “most Bengalis don’t seem concerned”. Really? What are you basing that on?

    Vikrant, what are you talking about? You deduce that simply because I’m Bengali I must be some dhimmi Islamo-apologist (I lose track of the latest buzzwords).

    You have already mentioned you are 16 years old and unfortunately your age is showing. When I was 16 I was out scrumpin’ and getting into trouble on my rollerblades. I admire your interests at such a young age, I honestly do – that’s great, but you have plenty of maturing to do.

    I don’t blame you per se, you’ve probably heard only the nonsensical propaganda that enjoys such prominence amongst the Gujarati population here. You probably haven’t lived in India. I have, for many years.

    But please don’t talk out of your ass. Just about any Indian will tell you the importance of Bengal throughout India’s history. You think we’re a state of weak pushovers? Or have you not heard of Subash Chandra Bose?

    Tell me, are all Israelis Zionists? Likewise not all Bengalis are communist. Yes we have a socialist heritage of which I am very proud, but most of us are sick of the mindless rhetoric and guff the communist party espouses.

    You also emphatically denied being a card-carrying Hindutva right winger. At least have the balls to say what you are. You support the RSS, so say it. Don’t act all weak and spineless – that’s the Bengali’s job, remember?

    Either realise what bullshit is when you see it on Sword of Truth (if that’s still running) or Sulekha or buy a BMX and be a normal 16 year old. Moreover, don’t make assumptions about someone based on where they come from in India. Oh and go read up about Bengal instead of regurgitating whatever Hindutva garbage you’ve picked up.

  49. j0nz — on 23rd November, 2005 at 5:12 pm  

    Update 2.

    Even the liberal-democrats-anti-war-BBC thinks that Bush may have said this as a joke.

    I mean you really think Bush would want to attack Qatar – which is basically US headquarters in the middle east? Are you nuts?!

  50. Siddharth — on 23rd November, 2005 at 5:16 pm  

    Rohin-da, nice one. ;-)
    But WTF is scrumpin’?

  51. Sunny — on 23rd November, 2005 at 5:17 pm  

    I thought instead of setting the boy straight myself, it would be far more amusing to watch Rohin do it. And he never disappoints.

    j0nz – funny how you like to believe the BBC when it suits you.

  52. Mirax — on 23rd November, 2005 at 5:33 pm  

    Rohin,

    ‘Tell me, are all Israelis Zionists?’

    this lil’ bit struck me. By the most basic definition of zionist, surely ALL Isrealis ARE zionists.
    Btw, zionist is not a bad word to me, the way it apparently is to some of you. I have already noticed Sonia and Rohin use it in a rather slanted way. I put it down to thoughtlessness more than anti-semitism.

  53. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 5:36 pm  

    Hindutva: I’m not one of thos fundy whackos. Hell i’m not even a practising Hindu.

    As for that Bengal statement… i agree i shouldnt have said that. Tongue shooting faster than brain.

    BM – I’m a Rajput but not from Rajasthan but Maharashtra!

    I’m no Islamophobe as you take me. But my point is why am i being hounded while vitriolic bile from Bikhair,Raz et al. is tolerated? Seriously how many people has Hindutva affected globally? I agree its a shit philosophy thats on wane in India itself but thats not saying India’s Muslim rulers were saints. Being a Rajput i know better.

    Live in your Hindu-Muslim bhai bhai bubble if you want to. Islam has erased all pre-Islamic memories of sub-continental Muslims. Just pick up any “Pakistan Studies” book and you’ll know the thorough anti-India, anti-Hindu,Sikh indoctrination these fellas go in schools. Why is it in Bangladesh that ethnic minorities are being cleansed at alarming rate while no one seems to care.. same for Kashmiri Pandits. Its a shame that Hindutva has hijacked these causes, but you lefties dont seem concerned at all.

    Adios

  54. Siddharth — on 23rd November, 2005 at 6:21 pm  

    Mirax: When Theodor Herzl ‘created’ Zionism in the 1890s, he did not really care what it would mean for the rights of Palestinians living there and who would have to be uprooted from their homeland to make room for more important European Jews. No Israeli will doubt that. That is to say, from its very outset, it denies the rights of non-Jews in its approach. This is no more or less heinous than the denial of rights of Ahmadiyya Muslims by radical Sunnis in the SubContinent. Why is Zionism a lesser evil than the anti Ahmadiyya movement, which I have noted you have, rightly, spoke out on?

  55. Siddharth — on 23rd November, 2005 at 6:22 pm  

    Live in your Hindu-Muslim bhai bhai bubble if you want to.

    Actually, Its quite nice in here. Beats living in a backwater in Surrey. :-D

  56. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 6:29 pm  

    Surrey aint no ha-penny-two-penny place. About 10% of British Asians live here. Though concentration is higher in Guildford, Surrey Heath which is adjoining to Hounslow also has high Asian population. Though its only Nepalis here in Aldershot.

    imam Vikrant

  57. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 6:30 pm  

    i hereby delcare Mr.Siddharth of London as non-Desi.

    Regards

    Imam Vikrant

  58. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 6:38 pm  

    As for Zionism… its the Ottoman officials who were only too willing to sell the land to Joos. In 1890 Palestinian population wasnt much.Zionist Kibbutzium turned desert into productive land. Frankly the Arabs by adopting the ostrich tactics threw away opportunities to limit Zionism. They instead responded with crude barbarism by adopting anti-Jewish attitude.

    Imam Vikrant

  59. Rohin — on 23rd November, 2005 at 7:52 pm  

    Vikrant, as you can see from my posts today (I have very limited access at the moment) I am no more tolerant of Bikhair. Anyway, perhaps the reason I am less pithy with you is because I think she’s a lost case but I think you’re just young and have been subjected to some erroneous information. Plus I live a literal stone’s throw from the Surrey border, in SW London!

    I find it risible you think I’m some Pakistan-loving loonie. On the contrary, I’m a fiercely proud Indian and have written quite a bit about issues you mention like Kashmir. But it’s possible to be a proud Indian, aware of Pakistan’s threat but also NOT be a hawk, NOT be anti-Islam and NOT be blinded to misdeeds by any group. You can’t ascribe the same views to everyone who happens to agree on certain issues.

    Lastly, you revealed yourself to be the Islamophobe you claim not to be by saying “Live in your Hindu-Muslim bhai bhai bubble”. Why would anyone NOT want to live in a bhai-bhai world? Damn, you WANT Hindus and Muslims to continue to be enemies? You want the mistrust to keep going? Excuse me if some of us want everyone to be friends. You say we’re idealists, I say right wing hawks suck balls. (I’m not very eloquent.)

  60. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 7:58 pm  

    I’m just stating that if majority of Pakistani Muslims think of us that way, then theres very little you can do about it. Ofcourse i’d love to see Indians and Pakistanis co-operating with each other, but even with all this peace process the anti-Indian (read anti-Hindu) propoganda continues to be distributed in Pakistani government school.You can make friends with people with balanced world view but most of these guys have been brainwashed into hating Hindus by their governments.

    I’d like to rephrase that statement.
    Live in your Indian-Pakistani bhai bhai bubble if you must.

  61. Rohin — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:01 pm  

    I don’t live in an Indian-Pakistani bhai bhai bubble. That’s a completely different kettle of F16s and somewhat like Bikhair, you’ve changed the argument entirely. Got to run.

    Sid, scrumpin’ is nicking apples. Hence – Scrumpy Jack.

  62. Vikrant — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:05 pm  

    And Rohin,
    Most of the Islamic world isnt exactly sympathetic about Hinduism. Just look at how pathetically they treat Hindus from KSA to “progressive” Malaysia. Just a visit to http://www.umma.com (or org?) is sure to turn any gullible Hindu guy toiwards Hindutva. I’m not a sympathiser of Hindutvavadis and their vitriolic divisive bile but leftists go on painting a rosy picture of Indian and Islam which is untrue.

  63. Mirax — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:06 pm  

    siddarth,

    your post re zionism deserves a full and clear answer, but since i am going to bed now (a few time zones away from you lot), it will have to wait until tomorrow or the day after.

  64. Mirax — on 23rd November, 2005 at 8:21 pm  

    Vik,
    a quick point. The islamic world is not just a few internet boards. Individual muslim attitudes are more nuanced than one of simple hatred towards hinduism.

    The semitic religions- Christianity is the worst imo- are full of misrepresentations of hinduism but why get upset over someone else’s stupidity?

    My own personal experience, x’tian evangelistic morons have accosted us in our own home and insulted my (hindu) family as idol and devil worshippers not once but many times. I have had no qualms about ripping into such idiots but the offence has been direct and personal. But I do not think it right to get into a kneejerk tit-for-tat reaction and tar all christians insensitive morons.Perspective, proportion, need to come into play. You claim to be atheist; try not to get into group-think so readily and fight culture/religious wars before you even know who you are (you are only 16 for goodness’ sake!)

  65. raz — on 23rd November, 2005 at 10:11 pm  

    t’s a shame that the menace of Hinduvata has captured the impressionable Vikrant at such a tender age. Hopefully a progressive site such as this may rescue him before its too late . We will endeavour to save you, young Vikrant :)

  66. The Don — on 23rd November, 2005 at 11:38 pm  

    Vikrant,

    Never reveal personal details on the net, man. They’re going to keep bringing this up. WTF.

  67. Sunny — on 23rd November, 2005 at 11:41 pm  

    I’m just stating that if majority of Pakistani Muslims think of us that way, then theres very little you can do about it. Ofcourse i’d love to see Indians and Pakistanis co-operating with each other, but even with all this peace process the anti-Indian (read anti-Hindu) propoganda continues to be distributed in

    You’ve been reading more bollcosk than you think Vikrant. Your actions should be judged by yourself and based on your own principles.

    I treat everyone equally and with respect (apart from idiots of every religion/race) simply because that is in my nature and that’s how I want things. Why do your actions and your philosophy have to based as a reaction to others? Thats stupidity. Plus it looks like you don’t have many Pakistani friends. Talk to some. They’re humans… they listen to the same music and speak the same language. Many are nice people. You might find that they’re not so different after all.

    After all, if we’re comparing websites I can show you plenty of Hindu hating Sikhs, Muslim hating Hindus, everyone hating Christians etc etc. You’re young, you have so much to learn.

  68. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 11:48 am  

    Oh.. i’m not getting in to this some-Pakistanis-are-my-best-friends bs. I know very few BUT i’m refering to Pakistanis from Pakistan. Mind you with all the storm over saffronisation in India and Left’s Sanskrit-phobia, the historically revisionism in Pakistani textbooks is glaring making “Saffronisation” look like a walk in the park.

    Raz have guts to accept what imbeciles from Pakistani military have done to Pakistan. They must owe up to their act and certainly the blatant anti-Indian brainwashing must go. Ofcourse if you want to imagine your selves to be a part of what Wikipedia terms as “Greater Middle East” so be it.

  69. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 11:51 am  

    Sunny,

    You cant pretend to look the other side in wake of glaring evidence. NYT some months ago pointed out the some gems from Pakistan Studies.

  70. Sunny — on 24th November, 2005 at 12:35 pm  

    I never said Pakistan wasn’t biased. But I hold myself up to better standards.

  71. raz — on 24th November, 2005 at 12:53 pm  

    For the record, I don’t have anything against Hindus or Indians per se. It is the nation state of India, and the perpetual menace it presents to both its own people and the citizens of other nations such as Pakistan, which I criticise and I am well within my rights to do so, just as Rohin and Sunny criticise Pakistan. Until I see credible evidence that India has accepted the reality of Partition and dropped its obsession with destroying Pakistan, the Indian nation will always be a threat to the lives of 160 million Pakistanis.

  72. Jai Singh — on 24th November, 2005 at 2:48 pm  

    With all due respect to everyone concerned, I’m finding it a little distasteful that people are using Vikrant’s youth as an excuse to dismiss his views. You shouldn’t patronise him, even if you don’t necessarily agree with what he’s saying.

  73. Rohin — on 24th November, 2005 at 3:21 pm  

    Fair point Jai Singh. I, for one, was not trying to patronise him. I praised him for his interests at such a young age – but I wanted to be honest as I remember when I was that age (not THAT long ago I hasten to add!) and I almost slipped down the same road. When I started uni, I fell in with a bunch of people from the National Hindu Students’ Forum and took what they said to be the gospel truth. It took me a year or so to open my eyes and realise that they were feeding their congregation as much bullshit as the ISOCs. I don’t want to portray them as institutionally bad – I’m only speaking for some of the people I met. They also put on some wonderful events – but take everything with a pinch of salt.

    I only highlight Vikrant’s age as it reminds me of how I was.

    Having said that, I can respect where Raz is coming from more. He has the tendency to be a one-trick uncle on here ;) , always bringing up Pakistan. But at least he respects my right to the opposite opinion on his country.

    Vikrant, why do you think wanting Pakistan to be our friends is a bad thing? I don’t think they are our friends NOW. But wouldn’t it be nicer for us to spend less on the military and more on poverty? Wouldn’t it be nice for Kashmiri Pandits to leave refugee camps and go home? These things can’t happen by crushing Pakistan into the ground, only by concerted, slow, negotiations. As India grows in stature and might, Pakistan will be more keen to resolve things peacefully as they get economically left behind.

    Why do you use ‘left’ as such a blanket term? As if it’s some monolithic group where all members act the same? What left Sanskrit phobia are you talking about? I’ve heard of no such thing. My family have all been schooled in Sanskrit and we’re firmly on the secular left.

  74. raz — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:00 pm  

    “As India grows in stature and might, Pakistan will be more keen to resolve things peacefully as they get economically left behind”

    LOL :)

    While I’m an admirer of the recent Indian economic boom, don’t get carried away. Pakistan outperformed India for most of its existance – indeed there was a time
    when nations such as South Korea copied out development plans. Only thanks to the corruption of the (democratic) Bhutto/Sharif regimes did we fall behind. Since Musharaf came to power, and particularly since the 9/11 attacks, the Pakistani economy has been moving steadily forward. Pakistans growth rate of 8.4% last year was second only to China in the region, Forex reserves are at record levels and the KSE has been the best performing market in the world for the last few years. It wouldn’t suprise me if Pakistans GDP per capita overtakes India again in a few years.

    Instead of worrying about Pakistan, worry about the 350 odd million Indians (something like 35% of the population as opposed to about 13% in Pakistan) who live on under $1 a day.

    Maybe I am a one trick pony sometimes (I am trying to reform myself, honest :) ), but let’s be honest, this site has plenty of Indians already. No harm in letting the other side have its say too :)

  75. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:08 pm  

    They’re humans… they listen to the same music and speak the same language. Many are nice people. You might find that they’re not so different after all.

    Except when ummah comes calling we are filthy kaffirs. I know there are many Muslim Rajputs. They just dont realise we share same ethnicity and ancestors. Peddling of Saudi-style-Wahhabism in Pakistan by KSA has been a disaster for Hindu-Muslim relations in sub-continent.

    And mind you theres a very litle hope that Kashmiri Pandits can go back. Its their very own people who turned against them. Ethnic cleansing of minority is impossible without complicity of majority populance of area.

  76. Rohin — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:09 pm  

    “this site has plenty of Indians already. No harm in letting the other side have its say too”

    Absolutely, I meant to write this and I forgot.

    One of PP’s strengths is that we have Hindus, Muslims, atheists (dammit why don’t we get a capital letter?), Brits, Americans, whites, browns, Indians, Pakistanis, the odd Bangladeshi and so forth. It’s CRUCIAL we have all sides otherwise this becomes an agree-fest which is what often lets down a site I otherwise love, our American cousins Sepia Mutiny.

    Raz you put your finger on why Pakistan has been moving forward economically – 9/11. Once again I’m getting ejected from an Internet café (London I miss you so), so let’s not begin a big debate – we’ll save it for another day! But Pakistan has, essentially, benefitted hugely from the War on Terror. The yanks have pumped cash in since then.

  77. raz — on 24th November, 2005 at 4:19 pm  

    Rohin, good post.

    You’re very much correct that the war on terror has been a great filip for us. The Yanks owe us a favour anyway, after the way they backstabbed us after the Soviet pullout from Afganistan and the 1998 nuclear tests (India’s larger economy was far less damaged by sanctions than Pakistans – and remember who tested first :) ) But don’t forget that Shaukat Aziz’s economic policies have also been very effective -the World Bank has singled out Pakistan for praise for its recent economic upturn. I have no doubt that if Musharaf stays for the next few years, you will see Pakistan going onward and upward. It’s testament to the current economic positon of Pakistan that most analysts agree the terrible recent earthquake will not significantly impact Pakistan’s growth (of course, we are relying on those billions of dollars pledged to us in aid actually materialising :) )

  78. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 5:43 pm  

    Raz,

    As for those impressive figures you quote, boom in Pakistan is reaching out only to the elite class from which you are most likely to belong. Economic must translate into infrastructural development especially in Balochistan and NWFP. I hear the Sindhis arent happy too with all the Pathans,Mojahirs and Punjabis migrating to Sindh. Well thats what a Sindhi friend of mine says. As for growth figure, when an economy is small and it develops, thegrowth is boundto be astronomical but it slows down as country becomes more affluent. India is 4th largest Asian economy man.

  79. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 5:56 pm  

    Rohin:

    Here are a few things i’d like to say.

    1. Secularism and Left are not synonymous. Indian left has used casteism and communal appeasemnt to its own benifit. You can be Right-wing and you can be secular.

    Just as when left (commies to be exact) supported the USSR and behaved irresponsibly towards the nation, their current activities have highlighted their irrelevance to the needs of Indian politics and the wishes of the people. I won’t be surprised if, a decade from now, we’ll hear of a “revaluation” of the achievements of Dr Kalam. As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    It’s called “tunnel vision.” left are blind to the reality around them and obsessed with one particular idea: In India, they call it “secularism.” The rest of us recognise this drive and drivel as anti-nationalism fed by a hatred of Hinduism itself and the desire to break up the polity into tiny, more easily exploitable pieces (the accursed caste factor). Therefore, anybody who stands between India and balkanisation is promptly labelled a fascist-communalist-force that must be defeated. Including Dr Kalam.

    Here are a few nuggets by some of the most objective and detached analysts ever to grace op-ed pages — Praful Bidwai, Amulya Ganguli and Seema Mustafa:

    * Kalam has many outlandish ideas, including combining the occult with hardcore science, powering airliners with nuclear fission, and putting “bio-implants” into “deficient” brains. But in common with “the Advani thesis” is his abiding faith in the military-industrial complex as the motor of progress.
    * Dogged advocacy of militarisation is the sole public face of Kalam, an engineer-turned-manager, wrongly called a “scientist” by sections of the media which go into a paroxysm each time a missile is test-flown.
    * But Kalam may be too much of the RSS’s “poster-boy Muslim”
    * And what is the image of a nationalist Muslim as represented by Kalam? A man who swears by the nuclear bomb, who has no reservations about military conflict and who is not a religious, or overtly practicing Muslim.
    * He is also a vegetarian and a bachelor “like us” as the VHP just declared.
    * It was imperative to counter the BJP propaganda that it was supportive of Muslims (of the bomb variety?)
    * According to him… “it would require a strong, highly-willed nation” to decide on building the missiles. By adopting this simple-minded macho attitude, Kalam relegated virtually all the world, except the Big Five, into the category of weak-willed nations. But it isn’t ICBMs alone which make a country “strong.”
    * But it has to be remembered that however thrilled Kalam may have been with his big bang, it made a mess of India’s finely crafted nuclear policy.

    Can’t guess which line belongs to which “secularist,” right? Well, that’s one symptom of their tunnel-vision malady.

  80. raz — on 24th November, 2005 at 6:01 pm  

    Vikrant, India has more people living in Poverty than any nation on earth, both in terms of sheer numbers and percentage (35% of Indians vs 13% of Pakistanis). You’re in no position to lecture about the economy benefiting only ‘elite classes’ when your own country is BY FAR the worst offender in this regard. India’s per capita economy is not much better than Pakistans, and only overtook Pakistan during the 1990′s thanks to corruption of Pakistans government at that time. As Pakistans economy continues to grow since Musharaf took over, Pakistan will most probably overtake India in this regard within a few years. No wonder Indians hate Musharaf so much, they know if Bhutto/Sharif are returned to power Pakistan’s progress will be halted. Having the 4th biggest economy in Asia means nothing when 350 million Indians live on less than $1 a day.

  81. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 6:17 pm  

    Raz has Pakistan ever had a credible census since 1981?

    As for percentage.. its around 25% AND dropping And by sheer numbers India does have 400 million people who enjoy same/comparable lifestyle as we in the west. Ofcourse India is bound to have many poor since it has 1.1 billion people but if you are talking about percentage, c’mon man, Most African nation and Even many Asian countries fare badlythan India.Musharraf is there to serve himself. As for education Indian literacy stand at 66% and Pakistan even with much smaller population barely manages 47%. Moreover Indian exports are much more diversified and huge as compared to Pakistan. You really cant compare those two economies as they are very different in nature.

    As for poverty figures UN doesnt agree with you Raz. Seems to them that it stands at 40%. Nicetry but i’m not buying it. Both nations have many poor people lets not get into typical nationalistic trapping of my-nations-figures-are-btter-than-yours.

  82. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 6:17 pm  
  83. raz — on 24th November, 2005 at 6:57 pm  

    Vikrant, that article is not an official UN report. And crucially, it has no sources. I know you’re a GCSE student, but you’ll be held to a higher standard here. BTW, seeing as you’re using the UN as your barometer, the official UN global standard of poverty is set at $1 a day. By this calculation, India has 35% of its population living under the poverty line, Pakistan 13%.

    If you want the UN stats about both countries go here:

    http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/india_statistics.html

    http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/pakistan_pakistan_statistics.html

    And nobody was discussing literacy here, so don’t try an divert the topic in your usual fashion, unless you want me to bring up the Indian HIV epidemic again. If you were following my conversation with Rohin, you would see that my bone of contention is that I don’t believe Rohin can claim that Pakistan has been ‘economically left behind’ by India when:

    1 – Indias GDP per capita is hardly better than Pakistan.
    2- Pakistans economy has been resurgent since 9/11 and its growth rate is now second only to China in the region.
    3- Pakistans GDP per capita may well overtake India in the next few years.
    4- India has (by your own UN standards) more poverty than Pakistan.

    Never did I argue that Pakistan was somehow economically ‘better’ than India, although in your normal bigoted way that is what you have assumed. Why didn’t you read the first line I posted:

    “I am an admirer of the recent Indian economic boom”

    I wonder if we would ever see you posting about being an admirer of the recent Pakistani economic boom? I doubt it somehow. My point to Rohin was that India is NOT in a position to be lecturing Pakistan about economic matters when so much of its population still lives in poverty.

  84. Vikrant — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:17 pm  

    Raz,

    per capita income is nothing. India has population of 1.1 billion people whlist Pakistan has 160 million. If Pakistan’s per cpaita income in less than India’s inspite of far lesser population than it indeed a shame. What i’m pointing out is lets not get into the figures game. Its leads us nowhere.Both countries are poor lets accept that simple fact.

  85. Sunny — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:28 pm  

    Oh sheesh, we’re back to dick-sizes here. Listen, I love both countries and want them both to do well. So what if India is doing better on certain things and worse on others. Vikrant you’ve got this chip on your shoulder which, from here, doesn’t look any different to the defensiveness Raz has over Pakistan. there is too much bad press on Pakistan which distorts impression.

    Either way, by throwing these UN figures at each other, you’re not getting anywhere. This conversation could and probably will go on forever. I’ve seen so many of them, and participated in a few myself, that I realise how futile they are. The sooner you two also accept that, the better.
    We all need to do better economically and socially.

  86. raz — on 24th November, 2005 at 7:38 pm  

    “per capita income is nothing”

    This shows your ignorance. Per capita income is everything. The fact that both Pakistan and India have such low per capita incomes is proof that neither can lecture the other on economic matters.

    “Both countries are poor. lets accept that simple fact”

    LOL, don’t you understand. This is exactly the point I was making to Rohin. Indians should not talk about ‘Pakistan being left behind economically’ when so many of their own people live in poverty. Likewise, Pakistanis cannot claim to have left India behind when Indians economy is so much bigger than Pakistan. Sadly, in your usual ‘Jai Hind’ mode, you interpreted my words as somehow claiming that Pakistan was superior to India economically.

    BTW, as I stated before, I’m a great admirer of the economic progress made in India, and I would like to see Pakistan emulate this (gasp says Vikrant – Hindu hating, India bashing Islamofacist Raz admires something about India?!) Also, while Pakistan fares better than India in terms of economic poverty, India has the advantage in terms of human poverty due to better literacy (double gasp says Vikrant – Hindu hating, India bashing Islamofacist Raz admits India is superior to Pakistan in some way??!!). This doesn’t mean I think India is a superior nation to Pakistan – it means I am realistic enough to admit that there are some things that Pakistan can learn from India. Now the question is: Will we ever see Vikrant admiring Pakistan? Will we ever see Vikrant admitting Pakistan is superior to India in some ways? Will we ever see Vikrant wanting India to learn something from Pakistan? He may be young and misguided, but I still have faith in young Vikrant to pull through :)

    There’s a famous Latin proverb which I think Vikrant (and indeed all Asians) could benefit from:

    “It is right to be taught, even by an enemy”

    Sunny, I hope you’ll agree :)

  87. blue mountain — on 25th November, 2005 at 7:08 am  

    Raz writes:

    It’s a sad indictement of the ignorance about the holocaust manifest within the younger generation that Vikrant could utter such a foolish thing.

    It’s a shame that the menace of Hinduvata has captured the impressionable Vikrant at such a tender age. Hopefully a progressive site such as this may rescue him before its too late . We will endeavour to save you, young Vikrant .

    For the record, I don’t have anything against Hindus or Indians per se. It is the nation state of India, and the perpetual menace it presents to both its own people and the citizens of other nations such as Pakistan, which I criticise and I am well within my rights to do so, just as Rohin and Sunny criticise Pakistan. Until I see credible evidence that India has accepted the reality of Partition and dropped its obsession with destroying Pakistan, the Indian nation will always be a threat to the lives of 160 million Pakistanis.

    I must admit admit Raz that you are a good practioner of the English language.

    BTW…How old are you ? 15 or 16 ?

  88. blue mountain — on 25th November, 2005 at 7:48 am  

    Raz writes:

    The Yanks owe us a favour anyway, after the way they backstabbed us after the Soviet pullout from Afganistan and the 1998 nuclear tests (India’s larger economy was far less damaged by sanctions than Pakistans…..

    oh yah ? the Yanks owe you an apology ???

    Year after year since independence Pakistans fiscal Deficit has been covered by American dollars. If the Americans hadn’t supported you financially you would have long ago stand disintegrated into chaos.

    How did they backstab you ? Zia , ISI ,military officers, Jihadis and Pakistan’s military-industrial complex made millions from American grant. Why the fuck would they keep on paying after the soviets withdrew from Afganistan ?

    Remember mate ….Pakistan nation would not be able to survive a day without the West. And how you have repaid the West?

    For fuck’s sake be grateful to Americans.

  89. raz — on 25th November, 2005 at 8:57 am  

    We have always appreciated freedom loving USA as opposed to despotic India which backed the evil Soviet Union (and lost :) ). Pakistan proved its worth to US many times over last 50 years, its about time US proved their worth to Pakistan.

  90. Jai Singh — on 25th November, 2005 at 10:21 am  

    This conversation has gone wildly off-topic…..

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