Monday, September 24, 2007

Awaiting Ahmedinijad's Speech

The president of Iran will speak today in Columbia university. It isn't everyday when a so-called "enemy of state" speaks in Public - and is perhaps an opportunity that is unique to truly liberal societies. Here's my two cents on the whole US-Iran standoff.

Firstly, let me condemn Iran for its obvious lack of civil liberties. It is disgusting that a nation, in this day and age, adopts sexism as a national policy. It is disgusting that leaders attempt to deny (more out of convenience than anything else) perhaps the most shameful and horrendous acts ever perpetrated on western society (viz. the Holocaust). Let me also condemn other transgressions of civil liberties in Iran - the enforcement of a maniacal dress code, the extreme censoring of the press and intolerance of dissent.

The enforcement of a ruthless interpretation of the sharia law might be barbaric, but I am of the firm belief that when western states go to war on other states because they are deemed "barbaric" - then there's a hidden agenda somewhere. (read O.I.L).

Firstly, Shia Iran hates Sunni Al-Qaeda. If Iran ever made a nuclear bomb, it would surely never fall into UBL's hands. Their main incentive to develop the bomb is to keep the Israeli/US forces at bay to make sure they do not attack. They are not surely stupid enough to use it on the US or Israel first. The subsequent nuclear blitz will vapourise their nation instantly. A nuclear Iran, frankly isn't such a big deal.

Let's face it. Iran has a loud-mouthed hard-liner for president. Someone whose electoral future depends on how much "testosterone" he shows on international grounds (as long as he does not make a huge mess out of his internal affairs). Because, he is Iran's Bush. Iran's right wing cow-boy. The people who vote for him are those religious patriotic zealots.

Why all the vitriol? He knows the US won't attack Iran. He's calling the US bluff. Look at the population of Iraq. 25 million under a dictator they hated. Now, in Iran, it's 65 million - in a more democratic society. The entire US army will not be able to handle Iran and Iraq together.

And if Bush attacks Iran, crude prices go north. Iran won't sell crude. Petrol (gas) hits $10 a gallon. US economy gets hit. Corporations lose. Republicans lose. There's never going to be a war with Iran. Ahmedinijad is trying to derive as much political mileage as he can from that bluff. And it's working. But he does need all the mileage he can get - considering the economic mess that his policies have got the proud Persians into.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

That Pesky Inconvenience Called Reality

Just today, for a reason similar to the one I watch Fox News for, I was reading the Indian "news-paper" (and I use the term loosely), Times of India. And the very first article (this link will die soon) on the paper was a survey from a Swedish Firm - some Karios Future or something - which seemed to Imply that the young Indians are the happiest in the world.

It figures. Last time I was in India (in Hyderabad) - the young beggars requesting for the rupee seemed to have a smile on their faces. They walked about with a spring in their step. Oh, and the auto-wallas were ecstatic to have me in their auto. They talked as the drove me all around the Ahmedabad city and charged me Rs 200 for what should have been Rs 70. There was a certain joy in their eye when I paid them Rs 200. The same stroke of opportunistic happiness that one might experience when one watches a generous rich uncle step into a room.

The journey to Surat from Hyderabad was fun too. The boy who cleaned the coach for money seemed to me much happier than the average boy-who-cleaned-the-coach before I left for the US two years ago. The heavy rains in Gujarat left many low lying houses (adjacent to the railway track) inundated. There were people who had no place to go to but the roof. Though the elderly people on the roof were markedly grumpy, there was a certain mirth in the grins of the younger ones on the roof.

Young women forced to commit sati do so more happily than they did before. Once can hear them laugh in glee as they are burnt to death in the funeral pyre. Young Indians deprived of a seat in the college of their choice (due to some confused reservation policy) laugh all the time as they settle for something less exciting.

And the downtrodden lower castes - they're happier than ever before. They laugh as they are kicked out of temples and enjoy explict bigotry here there and everywhere. Young couples marrying outside their caste and religion enjoy every moment of their lynching by angry mobs.

And all this makes the Indian youth the happiest in the world.

If you could not smell the sarcasm in the above post, then you're stupider than I imagined.

Actually, I feel vindicated. It looks as if the nomenclature touted by yours truly in an older post is being taken seriously. The survey said "Indians", that 5% of the sub-continental nation - not the Bharatwasis! It is quite easy to see why the Indians would be doing well. They know how lucky they are - and they are therefore happy. Little reason else.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mr Karat Needs an Education

Wheras one does not doubt the US' imperialist tendencies (40% of the rants on this blog lament the same), one cannot help but notice a marked illiteracy in Mr. Karat's recent statement. (The Karat in question is a so-called "Indian Communist" - he has all the right intentions - but seems intellectually misguided - and blinded by Karl Marx).

For those who came in late, here's what he said (I quote a report from the Hindu).

Karat said India's foreign policy has been governed by consensus and non-alignment for the last 50 years. "But if the nuclear deal is through, it will break the 60 years of our foreign policy. "We are not against the people of America or against America as a country. We are against the imperialistic America and the most hated Bush adminstration", he said.

Karat should take a few courses in Economics. An in the first good course he will find what Adam Smith said quite interesting. "It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest"

To expect America to "help India" out of pure benevolence is ridiculous - but then again, if you blindly believe in Marxism - how smart can you be? Of course, they have their own axe to grind! Everybody has their own axe to grind. The world is just a lot of little people with their own little axes to grind.

If you try to suppress selfish agendas ( like the communists tried to do) - you get long, long queues for potatoes, rampant poverty, omniscient corruption, a disgruntled and demoralized proletariat and a significant unregulated unofficial free market economy - the black market. If you think I am wrong: just look at India - which seems to be in a sort of corrupt social equilibrium*.

Mr Karat is a shrewd man. It seems quite ironic that he would be blind to such obvious facts. Unless, unless, he knows it all - but is trying to tell his vote bank what it wants to hear. He is trying to capitalize on what he perceives as a global Islamic disenchantment with Bushco, perhaps. Another of those morally bankrupt politicians that we keep ranting about?