Showing posts with label Global Terrorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Global Terrorism. Show all posts

Sunday, November 22, 2015

GuestSpeak: When the world can live without fear

"Terrorism" comes from the French word terrorisme

Terrorism is the biggest threat to today’s world and not a single nation has been able to put an end to terrorism. Every day it is the biggest problem for global political leaders, every day innocent live are lost. Who should the people blame? Are the Government and the intelligence agencies lagging behind in their attempt to control terror activity? People who  are attracted to terrorism because of money are killing themselves as suicide bombers because they are not even bothered about their own life and family and to think this is all because of the lure of money.

People who subscribe to terror should get proper education and if it’s poverty then, global political leaders should think about providing opportunities, so when they have proper education people will not enroll themselves to terror and this could be one way we can remove the steady stream of terror recruits.

Recently, France suffered from terror strikes, where large number of people were killed when terrorists rained bullets on innocent people. 100s of beautiful lives and their dreams were killed. Their ambitions snuffed. Who should people blame for last week’s terror attack? Was it the intelligence that failed? Was it that they were not aware of the information? People have become scared to go out of their houses. Breadwinners fear to step out because they may never return alive..

This is not just France. Every major country has faced terror attack in the last 15 years. The Government should take serious steps to control terror activity so that innocent life can be saved and we can live without fear.

This is a guest post by a good friend and fellow writer Vasu Hebasur
Opinions expressed here are personal and solely of the author's and we may not subscribe to it. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

While I was away... 2014!

Have you ever wondered why seemingly smart people make rules that don't seem to be so smart?
This month our apex bank, Reserve Bank of India, passed a law that said you can only make limited number of free cash withdrawals from ATMs. Defeats the purpose of having such a convenience if you are going to get charged for every withdrawal. This reminds me of the charge fee that Bank of America charged on their credit card holders. Time for an online campaign that could save all of us tons of money.

Talking about banks, cops caught the president of a regional cooperative bank for a Rs100 crore fraud. Beat that!

Modi continued to be the flavor of the season this month. Apparently, vacation's over for the country's highest-paid lazy-bums. Lok Sabha attendance jumped 104%. Finally!

While I still am not his biggest fan and didn't vote for him, I still think he is the smartest and the most promising politician to head the country and it's grossly unfair to question his motives and promises for the Acche Din. We stood by and watched Sonia and her unholy batch of political misfits loot and plunder trillions of dollars of wealth in the last decade. But suddenly we all want instant results. Zapp! Just like thatIf we wanted progress why did we put up with those bunch of nincompoops for the last decade. 

The Gandhi clan are planning a well-deserved vacation after their infamous drubbing. The more I think about the quagmire that is Indian Politics, the more I am convinced we need a limit on the number of political terms a person can occupy the top seat a'la the US.
But not before accusing Modi of stealing their spotlight. I know what you mean. So that was the spotlight? 
And what is with Rahul and his obsession with women's empowerment

Modi on the other hand has been all over the place. Putting out fires at home and building bridges out in his first 100 days as the Prime Servant of India. Pride!

He gave what will be remembered as one of the best Independence Day and the most 'chest-swelling in pride Bharat Mata Ki Jai' speech at the UN.
At the I-Day speech, he scrapped a bunch of redundant laws  and ditched the Planning Commission (which wasn't planning much anyway). He also made quite an impression with his nation-wide televised address to children on Teacher's Day.

Arun Jaitley had a 'foot in mouth' moment as he mocked the now (in)famous December 16 rape. Its a pity and a travesty of justice that we still have politicians that can talk this way

Meanwhile, it was all sour grapes for his political opponents (read Sonia G and Co.). 
Modi made the right noises at Nepal, , Japan and the US. It all summed up pretty well when a Congressman in the US Senate asked an Indian Journalist 'So you had to hold an election to choose this guy over Rahul?!". Take notes, Sonia.
And oh yeah, he also managed to get summons from a little known councilman in the US. Reminds me of a proverb in Malayalam 'No matter how mighty you are, a scorpion sting can still hurt'. But alas, as the Prime Minister, he enjoys immunity. Pray what immunity the Congress has?

The neighbor's house is restless too! It almost appears like Imran Khan can't wait to get married

With local legislative elections in major North Indian States, BJP is back into 'Mode: Election'. Enthused by its recent (and unprecedented) success, BJP appeared confident. Perhaps a little too confident? Because it lost the plot in UP to an old foe. Allegations and accusations flew fast and thick. 

Talking about thick, Amma finally got the 'Go to Jail' card, after 18 long years. The ruffians in Tamil Nadu ran amok. I think she was (quite literally) just the biggest and dumbest fish in the pond. What I am waiting for is Sonia G and her mutant bunch of cronies to be arrested, jailed and forever disqualified from politics. Now that will be epic.

Moving on to World News, threats flew back and forth between Russia and the Rest of the WorldGaza continued to burn Uncle Sam decides to wear the sheriff's badge once again.  The US also determined that it was time to go back in and complete what it should have done decades ago - eliminate terrorism in the Middle East. Why you ask? Well, if there is anything movies like Iron Man has taught you, it is that someone has to buy arms and ammunition from America. Where would the US be if it weren't for all the problems in the Middle East? 

But if you thought the Americans truly wanted peace, you couldn't be more wrong. The US will make all the right noises, do all the posturing and promise us eternal peace but knowing how the Americans have always left things half-done, I doubt if this is the last we've heard about the ISIS. Made up of officers of the former Saddam regime, the ISIS has been on a beheading spree. For the muslim lunatics, everyday is a bakrid.
Like the LTTE and the Al Qaeda, the ISIS is a ruthlessly efficient multi-tiered organisation that is fueled by the same things that makes the Americans drool - Oil. 
Its not that the US can't do the job, but it's just that they don't have the will-power to see through it.  
So in the last fortnight, we've seen how patriot missiles have pounded much of the infrastructure to kingdom com and then there has been expensive gaffes as well. Rookie Iraqi pilots air-dropped arms and supplies meant for the rebels to the militants! Good show. Just what Uncle Sam wanted - More weapons sold! 

India promised the US a larger pie of its multi-billion dollar defence budget. Back home, we have been making huge strides in technology ourselves. We test-fired the Akash and even left one of our live missiles unguarded at a South Korean port for 10 whole months! Pakistan, please note.
And the US 'killed' a secret experimental hypersonic weapon that can reach targets anywhere in the world within 30 minutes. Gulp!

Meanwhile, a commuter plane crashed in an highway in Tehran and an Indigo aircraft caught fire while landing.
In more tidbits of news about the ill-fated Malaysian Airways MH370, recent findings suggests that the aircraft may have turned south-bound earlier than presumed, which now means the search areas will widen. Meanwhile, families of the victims have announced a massive reward for anybody with valuable information on this aircraft and its passengers & crew.
And we had an unidentified plane in Mumbai.
After coaxing and encouraging India's space agency to set higher goals and achieve better, ISRO made us all proud by being the first and only country to put a satellite in Martian orbit in its first attempt. Working on a shoe-string budget (which incidentally cost less than the Hollywood movie Gravity), we did the impossible. Now, the hypocrite among us will complain about the money we had to spend on an interplanetary mission when we still have to sort out the mess back home, here's the answer - a mission like this proves that we have the technology and the engineering capability to achieve excellence. Technology lessons learnt from space missions and Formula One and the 'God Particle' experiments have helped us make huge strides in inventing and improving everyday technology. Besides, to be the only country to be able to do this in its first attempt is simply awe-inspiring. 

In this month's 'Let's give a moment of silence' section, Hollywood lost 3 of its legends. 
Sir Richard Attenborough, who needs no description. 
Robin Williams, lost the his battle to depression and killed himself. And Lauren Bacall
May God give their loved ones the grace to find peace with this loss.

In home news, get ready to be scammed the next time you visit a local mall/grocer in Bangalore, because your wallet is about to get a lot lighter. 
And if you have trouble reaching the cops the old-fashioned way, try tweeting your troubles. It worked for this gentleman.

India's greatest symbol of non-cooperation after Gandhi, Irom Sharmila, was released from prison. The celebration was short-lived because she was arrested again. Decades after we won our freedom through peace non-cooperation in style, I am amazed at how petrified and paranoid we are about letting others practice it.

And much to the joy of Modi and the chagrin of Sonia G, Congress puppet and disgraced former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit resigned as the Governor of Kerala. Saved us a whole lot of drama, if you ask me

With the holiday season upon us, and spurred by the insane discounts of it's deep-pocketed rivals in the last couple of months, Air India announced tickets at
Rs 100. And true to the reputation of most government websites, the AI website crashed soon after Rs100 offer: 

With the way his former colleagues have been writing 'tell-all' books, I doubt if Manmohan Singh is enjoying his quiet sunset years with books. 

Apple's mantra is 'If you can't outsell them, ban them'. Thankfully, the courts didn't agree with this. 

In 'Weird enough to be News' news,
Read about some hard love in Erotic Erosion
UP rapists to walk free.
After famously supporting Indian cricket, Poonam Pandhey cheered for FIFA and did the Ice Bucket challenge. I'd like to b*tchslap the idiot who nominated her in the first place.
Diageo Board appoints Malya as Chairman with one caveat: He must clear the wilful defaulter tag to stay in the position. Checkmate! I bet he didn't see this coming.
Pistoris (aka The Blade Runner) was convicted of culpable homicide and will be sentenced. And that's how the world lost an otherwise gifted athlete. 
Hundreds of coal blocks that were illegally auctioned by the previous Congress-led coalition government were cancelled because of gross violations of rules. And the plot just got thicker here..

The world had no shortage of smut this past month, when a hacker stole 1000s of (nude) selfies of Hollywood actresses from Apple's iCloud. Lessons learnt?
One of India's 'leading' national newspaper, Times of India rehashed a photograph of Deepika Padukone and ran looped video montages of her cleavage to reveal her 'inner strength' on Twitter. To saute insult to injury, TOI even complimented her cleavage.
What followed was pure anarchy. Hell hath no fury like a scorn of a Bollywood actress! 
Poonam Pandhey must be really upset everyone snubbed her ample and overflowing 'inner strength'.

In 'Things you need to watch out for' section, 
Modi put his weight behind the RuPay. Way to Go!
Watch out for ebola. With recent studies showing how the virus has already mutated atleast once, things are suddenly getting out of hand. Thousands have already died in the outbreak and with the way India's (and most of the developing countries') medical infrastructure is grossly under-prepared for a crisis like this, we cannot afford to slip. Do whatever it takes to spread the awareness and stop this epidemic.
We also got a first peep into what could be new traffic rules
Watch out for yet another over-hyped Indian blockbuster starring Rajnikanth. 
Pakistan arrested the gunmen who attacked Malala. Knowing how unstable the country is, I think the prisons are the safest places to be. 

I'd previously posted a video documentary on how young girls are trafficked from the impoverished North East. This news only proves that there are a lot of people who do the utterly thankless job of making sure women have the right to a dignified life. 

One of the greatest irony in India today is how our courts (and society) believes marital rape is okay but pre-marital consensual sex is rape. Today, 1000s of women use this legal sword to make sure the men they are having sex with, will marry them.
Case in point: Union Railway Minister and former Karnataka Chief Minister DV Sadanand's son was served with a lawsuit after his (ex) girlfriend accused him of raping her after promising to marry her. 

What I can't understand is, 
One- why would she wait this long before she files the case, and 
Two - What does she expect to achieve from this? Notoriety? Maybe. Does she expect him to marry her and live the life of the privileged political bahu? I don't think so.

In another instance of our double-standards, we all pounced on Swetha Basu when she was busted in a prostitution ring. While I can't support her for the decisions she's made, I applaud her for the courage she's shown to be honest and come clean. Bravo!

And then we have more brave-hearts than we'd like to admit. Enter Sarita Devi. Indian Boxer. Stung like a bee, yet took the high road. While the International boxing federation AIBA let her off with a slap in the wrist, I hope this doesn't snuff out the flame inside her. I admit I didn't know much about her until this happened, but when this did, I googled for and watched the recording of the match and saw how wrong the referee was. Nepotism in sport (or anything else for that matter) isn't new and as Indians we resign ourselves to this fact of living. We could all argue till we are blue around the gills about the right way to have fought this injustice. But the truth is - she did what she had to do, because it mattered to her. She sacrificed her time away from her new born and her family for her career. She lost the match. To us, she is just another medal statistic. For Sarita, this is the fruit of her toil snatched away. The metal on the medal doesn't matter. The validation does. 

In a few years from now, and in future matches, we will look out for Sarita. Because we know she is passionate about what she does.

Since my last post and now, the Scots have debated and finally decided to stay within the United Kingdom. The Brits let out a huge collective sigh of relief. It was a close call though. 

Saving the best for last, here's an interesting statistic: Between the time you woke up today and the time you drag your tired body (and mind) back to bed, 92 Indian women were raped.
Today it was some random lady/girl/child. You don't know her. You'll probably never cross paths with her. Today this is just a statistic for you. 
Tomorrow it could be your mother/sister/wife/daughter/girlfriend.
I'll let that sink in.


Thursday, April 05, 2012

Will the real Saeed please stand up? [95/365]

Oh Shit! 
The FBI recently announced a bounty on the head of Hafiz Saeed, founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). A $10 million bounty. That's a lot of rupees, you see.

Predictably, the Pakis have already issued their standard issue rebuttal and expressed their indignation at being told that a terrorist is living on their soils. How dare the western infidels think we are harboring terrorists? Funny people, don't you say?!

But the timing of such an announcement is simply perfect. Coming just a few days before the Pakistani Prez visits India, it's arch enemy and bitter sweet neighbor, this was the best way the US could have stepped up the pressure. (Read the non funny story here)
Seeing as how the rivalry between the neighbors have been counter-productive, Pakistan needs the peace with India more than ever before. With an announcement that put a bounty on a guy who India has got within her cross-hairs for a long time, it is a fool's guess what is going to be the topic of heated discussion on Sunday.

Besides the timing, an announcement like this corners Pakistan, who does not seem to have much credibility especially after OBL was found right under the nose hairs of the Pakistani military. The US and Pakistanis have never been great allies and probably never will.
But they need each other more than they would like to admit it.
The Americans need the Pakistanis mainly because of the strategic reach that the country has with radicals.
And the Pakistanis need Uncle Sam to fund its economy. And to buy Chinese nukes.
In the midst of all this, Indians are having a big chuckle.

Of course, now that Saeed is officially one among the most wanted men in the world, it should be easy to catch him, right?
Because here is how things will go-
  • Pakistan will vehemently protest the insinuation that Saeed (or any terrorist scum) is in Pakistani soil. Growling.
  • The Americans will barely let a sigh out.
  • The Indians will say 'Ha, see we told you that the Pakistanis are hiding all the scum in this world'. Feeling vindicated.
  • The Pakistanis will ask for evidence (aka dossiers) that Saeed is in their country.
  • Uncle Sam: "Thought you'll never ask". Here you go.
  • Pakistanis get satellite photos and all kinds of incriminating evidence including the postal zip code of the Mr S.  Damn!
  • By now, you're thinking the Pakistanis will give up? Heck no. Pakistanis: "Not enough evidence". Whimpering.
  • Wikileaks steps in. (And you know how that'll go)
  • Indians will stand cowering and posturing by the side, sniggering. With a smug smile.
  • Tired, the Americans will send in their drones with a 'care package' for Mr S.
End of Story.

Repeat above cycle until Pakistan is clean of all of the scum of the world or until the end of the world, whichever comes early.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Osama- the guy everyone loved to hate

It is said that you will remember where you were and what you'd been doing when you hear the news of an important event in your life.
Ten years ago, I was at a garage, with a friend of mine, when I first heard about the 9/11. He had a son who lived very close to the WTC in NY. I remember the grief when he couldn't reach him for many days after that.
I was still an undergraduate then. I then witnessed unparalleled aggression and then suddenly all everyone was ever talking about was Global Terrorism and Al Qaeda.
When I joined AOL, then an epitome of American capitalistic excellence, I was seething with anger over how America was policing the world. I remember asking my interviewer on what he thought of America now that it is trying to invade other countries. He didn't say much.

I've worked in four companies since, seen many anniversaries of the 9/11, we've heard the theories behind 9/11 and a change of guard at the Capitol Hill.
Last Sunday, I'll again remember where I was when Obama announced the death of Osama (aka Usama Bin Laden), or the Most Wanted man in the planet.
In what can be described as a pivotal moment in history, I can almost smell how this going to set the stage for a fresh spate of tragedy on people who 'deserved' it only because they were Americans or Arabs.

Dissecting the murder, death, kill of the guy the world grew to hate, the world will continue to ruminate over what led to the death of the man, and will chew over all the juicy details of everything like his sex life to what his servants ate for many months to come. 
The American president will have something to pat himself on his back and the American public; an unknown fear of reprisal.

Rumors abounded in the Internet that this was not the real Osama. Rumours that Obama and Al Qaeda laid to rest when they announced that the big O was indeed dead.
But it is wondrous how the most powerful country in the world spent $1.4 trillion in catching one man. And mind you, all this is money that you and I have contributed in some way or the other.
It is wondrous how the world's most wanted guy lived in relative peace and great health in a modestly furnished yet sprawling mansion securely guarded by the American watchdog.
It is wonderful how Obama went ahead with a decision that could've cost him his presidency.

While Pakistan has got itself a new sobriquet ; 'Terroristan', I pity the fate of ordinary hard working Pakistanis the world over. Already the unfortunate victim of most racist attacks in the many parts of the civilized world, I gather they will stand apart as a sore thumb for a very long time to come.
Even ordinary citizens who I've spoken with, now swear by the double standards and the sheer amount of lies that the government espoused. These are truly horrendous times for anyone from that country. I liken this situation to that of a dishonest teenager who is known to be a lier but is far too delicate to be bullied and tries hard to portray an image of honesty by supporting your cause, and then suddenly his cover is blown by irrefutable proof. Wham! I can't imagine living with the shame.
Though there is no good news in a country like Pakistan, this is certainly horrible news for its leaders. Hurtling as it is towards being a failed society, its time Pakistan or at-least the people in power come out of the cleaners and redeem itself. My parents have always taught me that of all the things you earn in your life, earn respect and a good name.
Respect, good name and integrity are things that once lost/broken are impossible to rebuilt.

But I guess with a generation that has a short attention span, Pakistan only needs to wait for a few weeks before the world latches on to its next big news/scandal/tragedy. Nuclear holocaust in Japan but whats breaking news about it, right?

Abbottabad can go back to its idyllic and peaceful living and Dawood can perhaps move back to his mansion in Pakistan.

Mr O, has propelled himself on the popularity charts, but must keep pulling out the rabbits from the hat, because the elections are still a year away and voter euphoria will soon die and their attention will fall on the thousand domestic issues that plague its cathartic economy.

But until then, controversies will reign on how much the Pakistanis knew.
They will deny everything that the US will pile on them, and will cry short of blue murder.
Pakistan and its rag tag bunch of crony countries will decry the American's unilateral Geronimo operation in a garrison city of Pakistan. They will even demand that the US apologise for having done what it did. The US will pooh pah all of the demands with a flourish.
Arab Extremists will accuse Pakistanis of the death of Bin Laden because of the fact that Americans were able to conduct such an operation only because it gave the US permission to use its bases and its airspace. Of course the Pakistanis will on their part deny this until their face is blue. But the fact remains that Pakistani leaders or whoever it is that controls its government deserves all that is coming to them, simply because of the complicity at which Bin Laden could stay in one of its cantonment towns, barely 60 miles from its capital. How can you not know who stays at the largest house in town?
Americans on their part have only inflicted wounds that will start paining in a few months, once the adrenalin rush is over. Little did they realize that they are the mirror image of they enemy they were professing to fight, when they celebrated the death of Bin Laden. Woe to America. Your celebrations should've been measured and sensitive.

Must American taxpayers still support Pakistan with billions in aid even after the pathological lier has been revealed? There will be dozen of debates on this but those who are emotional will always argue that it must stop, however the far sighted will agree that the US will need to maintain a close relationship with a country that cannot be dispensed with simply because of the amount of poison it can inject into the world. It after all pays to keep a close watch over the thief.

For the world, his death was the end of a saga that might have been a welcome relief to a person who could've lived a much better life but ended up as a virtual prisoner of his own ideology.
This could be the beginning of a new era in world history. One that will seek revenge in an endless cycle of bloodshed and unprecedented unrest.
The proverbial calm before the storm. I can almost sense the feverish pitch of succession within the Al Qaeda. Whoever comes next will have a god to worship, a death to avenge and his own agenda. Evil only begets evil.

But was he really that evil?
I don't think so. Sure, he did kill a lot of people. But so did a tyrant in Iraq. Not many remember him now. He was taken off the list a long while ago. His name is Saddam Hussein. He along with his psychotic sons captured, tortured and raped at will. Plundered two nations and several generations of people. What he did still affects me in more ways than one, just because I've lived through the Gulf War of 1990. The gruesome pictures and stories of how he took pleasure at torturing innocent civilians should have been enough for any person of conscience to hunt him down most brutally. But nay.
The US of A couldn't find him or hunt him down for over three decades only because he never killed a single American in America. Infact he served their purpose, in that the US was able to establish their unique brand of 'fear factor' politics on the oil rich countries of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Dubai. I doubt if the Americans really had an agenda to kill Saddam or we would've been saved from so much trauma two decades ago.

But we are not talking about Saddam now, are we? He was just a pawn. Forgotten.
Hitting closer home, many argue India must strike and avenge Pakistan for 'sheltering' Dawood and like scum who has killed thousands like so many rats.
Fortunately, Pakistan has a neighbor who neither has the political will nor the military strategy to strike the way Uncle Sam has done. Pakistan should be grateful that we are inept and impotent.

The death of Mr O on the other hand is the end of an era of journalism that focused on him, and the awesome fear that a mere mention of his name held within the western world. He made a lot of writers really rich!
But what's really funny (bordering on the amusing) is the fact that Pakistan feels its modesty/sovereignty has been outraged.
It is so LOL funny that they have demanded that (or rather expected) the Americans to apologize for their unilateral action.
It is just beyond me on how they can even deliver an ultimatum warning that if Americans do an 'Abbottabad' again, they will 'review' ties and maybe even sever them.
And I was rolling on the floor laughing when Pakistan ordered Americans to reduce their troops in Pakistan.

"Listen Rascalas. You need us more than we need you, so you better behave or we're going to bomb you so bad that even Google won't find you"

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