Biden's Hypocrisy: Putin is a Killer But Modi is a US Ally

"Putin is a killer", declared President Joseph R. Biden in a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos  of ABC News. This stands in sharp contrast to what former President Donald J. Trump said in a 2017 Super Bowl Sunday interview Fox News when host Bill O'Reilly  authoritatively declared Russian President Vladimir “Putin’s a killer.” Trump replied with the question: “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

President Biden with Prime Minister Modi

Biden is declaring Putin a "killer" while at the same time embracing India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has killed thousands of Muslims. In fact, Modi was shunned by the United States and much of the civilized world for over a decade for his part in the 2002 Gujarat massacre of Indian Muslims. His policies as prime minister indicate that he's not a changed man. 

Biden needs to understand that Modi's Hindutva and America's Christian White Supremacists who attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 have a lot in common. He should listen to Meena Harris, Vice President  Kamala Harris' niece, who recently tweeted: "It’s time to talk about violent Hindu extremism”. Referring to a headline about "violent Christian extremism", Harris said "it's all connected". Hindu trolls have launched hateful misogynistic campaign against Harris and other western female celebrities who have recently tweeted in support of farm protesters. 

In response to a Hindu troll accusing Meena Harris of "Hinduphobia", she tweeted: "I'm a Hindu. Stop using religion as a cover for fascism".  

Rihanna, Greta Thunberg and Meena Harris

It started when singer Rihanna, who has more than 100 million Twitter followers, tweeted “why aren’t we talking about this?!”, with a link to a news story about an internet blackout at the protest camps where tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting for over two months. Teenage Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg also tweeted a story about the internet blackout, saying: “We stand in solidarity with the #FarmersProtest in India.” Both drew threats of rape and violence from hordes of Hindu trolls rampaging Twitter.  Some hailed the 2009 violent assault on Rihanna by singer  Chris Brown and said it was well-deserved. 

Meena Harris Tweet. Source: Twitter

"Is Rihanna Muslim" started to trend on Google. Many Hindu trolls talked of links between Rihanna and Muslims, Khalistan and Pakistan and even claimed  Rihanna was paid to tweet in support of farmers. 

India Leads the World in Internet Shutdowns in 2020 Source: Access Now

The phenomenon of Hindu trolls issuing threats of violence and rape is not new.  It has been well documented by Indian journalist Swati Chaturvedi in a book entitled "I am a Troll: Inside the Secret World of BJP's Digital Army" as far as 2017. She found that the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi follows hundreds of twitter accounts regularly tweeting abuses and threats of rape and other forms of physical violence against Indian actors, artists, politicians, journalists, minorities in India and individuals of Pakistani origin.
Until recently, the main target of violent Hindu extremists have been primarily Muslims and liberal Hindus. But now the threats of violence and rape against western celebrities are beginning to expose the ugly face of violent Hindu Nationalism. It is  now getting coverage in mainstream western media. 
Meena Harris is absolutely right in her assertion that "it's all connected". It is a historical fact that Hindu Nationalist ideology draws its inspiration from violent European movements like Fascism and Nazism. B.S. Monnje was the first Hindu nationalist who met Mussolini in 1931. 
Hindu nationalists, now led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in India, have a long history of admiration for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, including his "Final Solution". In his book "We" (1939), Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, the leader of the Hindu Nationalist RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) wrote, "To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races -- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by."  
It is important to note that the vast majority of Indian-Americans vote for Democrats but most still support India's Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Modi who endorsed former President Trump in 2020 presidential elections. In December 2020, the Carnegie Endowment published a study detailing the political attitudes of Indian Americans: 56 percent of Indian Americans self-identified as Democrats, 22 percent as independents, and 15 percent as Republicans; 72 percent of Indian Americans planned on voting for Biden this election, while 22 percent responded with support for Trump. The same survey found that while Indian American Trump voters and Republicans were much more enthusiastic about Modi, a majority of all Indian Americans supported Modi
Here's a video clip of American historian Dr. Audrey Truschke on the Nazi inspired Hindutva ideology:
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Here's a video of American journalist Mike Wallace asking Louis Farrakhan about Nigeria, calling the most populous African country "the most corrupt nation in the world": Here's Farrakhan's response: Every nation has its problems. Nigeria has serous problems. But it's only 35 years old. And America have been around for over 200 years and it is in no position to judge others on corruption and democracy. Black people in America got the right to vote only a few decades ago. And America has blood on its hands, the blood of millions of native Americans and the blood of the Japanese who died in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Let's not moralize. Let's help them.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/DfXLC4jQZ2M"; title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe>" height="315" src="https://img1.blogblog.com/img/video_object.png" width="560" style="cursor: move; background-color: #b2b2b2;" /> 

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Comment by Riaz Haq on April 11, 2021 at 5:02pm

#Putin's Blank Check to #Pakistan: "I came with a message from my president that tell Pakistan we are open for any cooperation, whatever Pakistan needs Russia is ready for it" #Lavrov said in closed door meeting with #Pakistani officials in #Islamabad https://tribune.com.pk/story/2294265/putin-offers-blank-cheque-to-p...

When Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Islamabad last week after a gap of nine years, he had delivered an "important" message to the Pakistani leadership. The message was from President Vladimir Putin.

"I came with a message from my president that tell Pakistan we are open for any cooperation, whatever Pakistan needs Russia is ready for it," Lavrov was quoted by a senior Pakistani official, who attended the closed door meeting between the Russian foreign minister and Pakistani authorities, as saying.

"In other words, the Russian president offered us a blank cheque," said the official, who requested not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The official revealed that Putin had conveyed to Pakistan through his top diplomat that Moscow would help Islamabad in any manner. "If you're interested in gas pipelines, corridors, defence or any other cooperation, Russia stands ready for it," the official quoted FM Lavrov as saying when asked what he meant by "blank cheque".

Pakistan and Russia are already working on the North-South gas pipeline project. The two sides had entered into the agreement in 2015 to lay a pipeline from Karachi to Lahore. The project is estimated to cost $2 billion.

The work on the pipeline could not kick off because of possible American sanctions. The two sides, however, recently agreed to approve a new structure that would pave the way for the start of the work.

Russia is also keen to revive the Pakistan Steel Mills, which it originally built. Similarly, Moscow has interest in hydroelectric projects. Overall, Russia is thought to be willing to make $8 billion investment in different areas.

"It is now up to us to follow up this successful visit," the official said.


When asked the possibility of Pakistan acquiring Russian air defence systems, the official said he could not talk about the specifics but Russia had shown willingness to expand the cooperation with Pakistan.

At the joint news conference with his Pakistani counterpart, the Russian foreign minister had said Moscow was ready to supply Pakistan with "special military equipment" to enhance its anti-terrorists potential. He, however, did not provide further details.

Relations between Pakistan and Russia have undergone transformation in recent years thanks to the new alignments and strategic realities.

The rapprochement between the former Cold War rivals began in 2011 when Pakistan's relationship with the US hit the rock bottom. At that time, a decision was taken to bring a strategic shift in Pakistan’s foreign policy. The shift envisaged reaching out to Russia as part of Pakistan’s efforts to diversify its foreign policy options.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 13, 2021 at 10:01am

#India's FM Jaishankar’s slip of tongue, #Lavrov’s #Pakistan trip — why all’s not well with India-#Russia. Describing the time-tested and very cordial nature of the relationship, Jaishankar said “India-US,” instead of “India-Russia.” https://theprint.in/opinion/global-print/jaishankars-slip-of-tongue... via @ThePrintIndia

More seriously, though, Lavrov’s visit has been interesting for a number of reasons, not least because his visit to Pakistan from Delhi has been construed as terrible Russia policy. In an interview with this reporter, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s close aide and confidante Vyacheslav Nikonov emphasised that New Delhi need not take the Pakistan trip too seriously, because Pakistan hardly figured on Russia’s foreign policy agenda.

But Nikonov also admitted that Lavrov’s visit was “a signal” to New Delhi about the changing world order. That if Delhi wanted to expand its own repertoire of friendships, notably with the US – which had outright refused to downgrade its own ties with Pakistan – then it could not expect Moscow’s total fidelity in this regard.

That’s why Jaishankar’s slip of tongue is important – it signifies not just the shrunken measure of the India-Russia relationship, it is a tell-tale sign that the “time-tested” relationship is getting misshapen because both sides simply don’t care enough about the sensitivities of the other.

First of all, the trip to Pakistan. There was simply no need for Lavrov to travel to Islamabad at a time when India has clawed its way back into the Afghan great game, which both Pakistan and its patron, China, have successfully prevented all these years.


Lavrov was probably influenced by his own joint secretary equivalent in charge of South Asia, Zamir Kabulov. Now Kabulov used to be Russia’s ambassador to Afghanistan a decade or so ago and left no stone unturned in pushing the point that Russia must maintain close ties with Pakistan, because of the leverage it has over the Taliban – keeping especially in mind Russia’s own significant Muslim population.


This is the same US argument – and, presumably, a Chinese one. Which is that it is essential to maintain close links with those who have influence, or leverage, in this case Pakistan. Russia is following the same maxim.

Second, Lavrov was unable to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi because the latter was campaigning in West Bengal – although John Kerry, the US presidential envoy, did manage a meeting the following day. So what prevented Lavrov from coming in one day later, or staying on, like Kerry did?

Considering protocol is more than half the time spent by foreign office diplomats, either the Russians messed up by not insisting on a Lavrov-Modi meeting, or the Indians just shrugged their shoulders and didn’t persuade Modi’s schedule-keepers to try and find a slot for Lavrov – or, probably both.

Third, the perception that India is moving into the US camp is increasingly gaining ground. In addition to all of the above, Modi had quite an encounter with the visiting US defence secretary Lloyd Austin. Then there is the more recent illegal navigation by the US Seventh Fleet guided missile destroyer, the USS John Paul Jones through India (and Maldives) exclusive economic zone because – well, the waters were in its path – without so much as informing the Indian authorities.

The Americans argue that they do not abide by the UN Convention on Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) and therefore found no need to inform India about its freedom of navigation operations. The MEA issued a statement of concern.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 13, 2021 at 6:37pm

Both Russia and China are opposed to an open-ended US military presence in Afghanistan, a country where both have grand infrastructure development designs and security concerns.

Specifically, America’s military presence in Afghanistan is seen as a stumbling block for the completion of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) trade and integration schemes.

Chinese diplomatic officials have recently claimed in press briefings that the US is using its military and intelligence presence in Afghanistan to stir trouble in China’s far-western Xinjiang region, where as many as one million ethnic minority Uighurs have been interned in so-called “vocational” camps.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 16, 2021 at 7:40am

I Got A Front-Row Seat To The Decline Of My (#Indian) #Democracy. Hoped that #Modi would bring prosperity, but instead, India’s democracy has crumbled. Ham-fisted decisions like banning most banknotes destroyed India’s cash-based #economy https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/pranavdixit/indian-government-... via @PranavDixit


I was in a cavernous college auditorium on the frigid winter afternoon in New Delhi in 2015 when Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, was selling the promise of India, his home country and the company’s largest market, to 2,000 high school and college students.

“Part of the reason we’re all very interested in India is that it’s an amazingly young country,” he said. “It’s a vast country, and in so many ways, we do think the trends of the future will come from places like that.”

Over the next few years, American tech companies hungry for growth set their sights on India, where hundreds of millions of people were coming online for the first time thanks to cheap Android phones and crashing data prices. Venture capital coursed through Bangalore’s clogged streets. Millions of Indians were suddenly booking their first Uber rides, receiving their first Amazon packages, watching their first Netflix shows, and having their first WhatsApp chats, some of it powered by the free Wi-Fi that Google was blanketing the country’s railway stations with. A great churning was upon us.

My colleague Mat Honan described those years as a “manifestation of the hope and excitement of the next billion not only coming online, but coming into power,” when he profiled Pichai in 2016. “It feels like a nation on the make.”

Tech made us and unmade us. Before Facebook let misinformation thrive, before Twitter let the trolls run wild, and before WhatsApp got Indians lynched, tech companies unshackled us and promised a billion people a seat at the same table the rest of the world was at — as long as they had an inexpensive data plan.

But at the same time, a different kind of churning was underway. In 2014, a year before Pichai flew down to India, millions of Indians had voted for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a right-wing politician with deep roots in the RSS, a Hindu nationalist organization that his Bharatiya Janata Party draws its ideology from. Many people had hoped that Modi would usher in economic prosperity, but instead, India’s democracy has crumbled. Ham-fisted decisions like banning most banknotes destroyed India’s cash-based economy, while crimes against minorities shot up. Journalists were harassed, jailed, and shot; human rights activists languished in jail for years without trials; communal clashes erupted in the capital; millions spoke out against a contentious new citizenship law that fast-tracks Indian citizenship for members of major South Asian religions except Islam; and for months, farmers have protested new agricultural laws that they said would hurt their businesses.

Tech made us and unmade us.
For years, I let these incidents play out in the background of my consciousness. I grimaced as I scrolled through my Twitter feed full of bloodshed and violence and anger each week, and drowned weekends in alcohol and video games to numb the pain. But each Monday, I threw myself back into tech news, trying to keep up with Silicon Valley, a world away from India’s dust and grime and blood and murky politics. To friends in the country who write about crime and politics from the frontlines, I sent WhatsApp texts of admiration and solidarity. But I told myself that I didn’t need to get mixed up. I was a tech reporter, I reasoned, and the biggest news in my industry each September was new iPhones.

Separating what I cover from the horrors unfolding around me became my coping mechanism. But unfortunately, it hasn’t worked for a while. For years, I tried to live in the comforting fiction that what was happening in India and what was happening in the world of tech were separate things — but that isn't true anymore.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 18, 2021 at 7:37am

#Tech giants happy to do Narendra #Modi’s bidding in return for access to #Indian market. The Indian leader’s autocratic tendencies do not seem to have posed great ethical difficulties for #Facebook and #Twitter. #Hindutva #Islamophobia | John Naughton https://www.theguardian.com/technology/commentisfree/2021/apr/17/te...


Through his wildly successful promotion of Hindutva ideology, Modi is poised to remake India into a Russian-style ‘managed democracy’ – one retaining all the trappings of democracy while operating as a de facto autocracy.”

Quite like Hungary, in fact. Looking at his record, Modi seems to have been following the playbook of Viktor Orbán, that country’s prime minister, except that Modi has added religious and ethnic dimensions to his programme. But the formula seems pretty similar, based as it is on a thumping electoral majority and weak parliamentary opposition. The formula is to promise economic reform and then, when that falters, suppress opposition, control mainstream – and then social – media and undermine the judicial system. To this Modi has added his own distinctive flourish: radical and sustained use of internet shutdowns to hamper the mobilisation of opposition. And, so far, the strategy seems to be working: last year, Freedom House, an organisation that continually monitors the health of democracies, had judged India to be a “free” society. This year, the country’s rating is “partly free”.


Facebook planned to remove fake accounts in India – until it realized a BJP politician was involved

All of which impales American tech giants, especially Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix, on the horns of an ethical dilemma. For them, India represents a huge market – bigger than China, in a way, because of the firm grip that the Communist party has on the operations of tech companies in its jurisdiction. The Indian market, being less centrally controlled, has enormous potential for growth. But in order to thrive there the companies must reach an accommodation with an authoritarian government that doesn’t brook criticism, never mind opposition.

In February, Modi’s administration announced sweeping new rules to regulate social media firms, streaming services and digital news outlets. Companies will be required to acknowledge takedown requests of unlawful and violent content and misinformation within 24 hours and deliver complete redress within 15 days. In sensitive cases such as those surrounding explicit sexual content, firms will be required to take down the content within 24 hours and will also be required to appoint compliance, contact and resident grievance officers whose names and contact details will be shared with New Delhi to address official concerns. Each will also be required to set up a local office in India, which means they will have employees on the ground who can be arrested and jailed.

For Facebook, with its long history of accommodating tyrants, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. A recently revealed internal memo released by Sophie Zhang, a former employee who was a data scientist on the company’s “site integrity fake engagement” team, reveals how relaxed Facebook was about the activities of supporters of Donald Trump and foreign autocrats from Honduras, Azerbaijan and Ukraine on its platform. Zhang also observed “a lack of desire from senior leadership to protect democratic processes in smaller countries”. So Facebook’s boss and India’s prime minister will doubtless get along fine. After all, they’re both autocrats.

Twitter, for its part, had a brief flirtation with defiance of the ruling regime. But in the end it seems to have bowed to the facts on the ground. At any rate, after it was pulled up by the government for non-compliance, the company blocked 1,398 of 1,435 accounts that had been flagged by the IT ministry for allegedly spreading misinformation about the farmers’ protests that had been enraging the government.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 25, 2021 at 9:36am

Asked about a “thaw” in India-Pakistan relations and Pakistan Army Chief Javed Qamar Bajwa’s remarks that India and Pakistan should “bury the past”, (Shiv Shankar) Menon called it “a fishing expedition”. He said Islamabad is motivated to know how much pressure India is under after what happened on the border with China.

https://theprint.in/diplomacy/india-china-ties-set-for-hard-times-o...


The India-China relationship will be marked by “hard times” over the next five to 10 years, former national security advisor (NSA) Shivshankar Menon said Tuesday as he discussed his new book during an online event hosted by Harvard Kennedy School.

India now faces a China that is “in a hurry” to seize a moment of opportunity outlined in its global ambitions, Menon said during the event. “Xi Jinping sees China as central to Asia.”

However, he said India-China tensions won’t be permanent. “The fact is China is part of our neighborhood and on our periphery… it is never going to be a purely competitive adversarial relationship and it also never was a purely cooperative one. It swings between these two,” he explained.

India and China have been working to ease tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh since the Galwan border clash in June 2020. Last week, both sides held the 11th round of corp commander meeting at the Chushul-Mondo border.

Asked about a “thaw” in India-Pakistan relations and Pakistan Army Chief Javed Qamar Bajwa’s remarks that India and Pakistan should “bury the past”, Menon called it “a fishing expedition”. He said Islamabad is motivated to know how much pressure India is under after what happened on the border with China.


Asked about the formation of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, Menon observed that it has evolved beyond just a security dialogue. “As long as it was a security dialogue, it had a limited purpose. It ran the risk of when any one of the members pulled out or saw those security issues differently, the Quad itself would collapse. That’s what happened to it in 2008,” he said.

Initiated in 2007, the Quad is a strategic and security framework under the Indo-Pacific construct between the US, Japan, Australia and India. The Quad countries held their first summit-level meeting virtually on 12 March.

“Quad is not a closed shop. It can’t deal with the Indo-Pacific unless it involves other people in the Indo-Pacific,” said Menon. This does not mean the Quad must admit new members, but rather find new partners to work with, he added. The group should also be a “catalyst” for economically integrating Europe into the Southeast Asia region, he said.

On FONOP row
Commenting on the US Navy’s Freedom of Navigation Operation (FONOP) in India’s exclusive economic zone last week, which caused a row in India, Menon remarked: “We’ve just had a reminder that we [India and US] have slightly different interpretations of freedom and navigation and the law of the sea.”


He said there are other ways to enhance maritime security, adding: “I’m not sure that FONOPs is the way to go.”

High expectations for India-US relationship
Observing that the India-US relations are at an all-time peak, Menon said expectations are now high for the two countries. They must find “new directions” in this relationship given that the world is changing considerably, he said.

India and the US can do more on the bilateral front in terms of students and education, agriculture, technology and such areas that affect the lives of ordinary people, he said.

Asked about the role of “internal cohesion” in the US and India, Menon said democracy is “still a work in progress” in India. “The social contract, the fundamental political contract itself, is in the process of being renegotiated [in India],” he said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 25, 2021 at 10:42am

Performance legitimacy in the age of COVID

How regime type and governance quality affect policy responses to COVID-19: A preliminary analysis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7898984/


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has slowed down economies, upended societies, and tremendously affected the daily lives of ordinary people throughout the world. In the international context, various government responses have thus given rise to many political debates and discussions centered around the handling of these impacts and the novel coronavirus itself. Here, emphasis is often placed on how regime type (i.e., democratic or non-democratic) and governance quality influence policies aimed at responding to the ongoing crisis. By examining relevant scientific resources, including the COVID-19 Global Response Index (developed by FP Analytics), Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), and Bjørnskov-Rode regime data, this study found that regime type was indeed related to governmental policy responses to COVID-19. Results specifically showed that governance quality (especially effectiveness) had moderate impacts on how well these policies were implemented. Due to several limitations, however, these findings should be regarded as preliminary evidence.

As a worldwide pandemic, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had already caused more than one million deaths fewer than nine months after the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan, China. Still, the number of infections continues to increase at an unprecedented rate due to the dangerous transmission speed of the virus (Harb and Harb, 2020). As with many previous pandemics, scientific research has been pivotal in fighting COVID-19 through the development of drugs and other treatments. By contrast, political discourse has contributed very little to these life-saving measures, but has nonetheless resulted in the formation of targeted policy responses. However, little is currently known about how related political factors have impacted government responses to the pandemic.

Given this situation, Greer et al. (2020) called for synergistic collaboration between individuals working in comparative politics and scientific research. They further identified four variables that require continued investigation in order to explain how nations are responding to COVID-19, including (a) social policy, (b) regime type, (c) political institutions, and (d) state capacity (Greer et al., 2020). A variety of political science studies have addressed issues related to COVID-19 and past pandemics, particularly in regard to the debate on regime type, state responses, and how good governance affects outcomes.

Recent political science debates have focused on a possible link between regime type and national response to the COVID-19 crisis. Judging the timeliness of various government responses, Alon et al. (2020), Cepaluni et al. (2020), and Piazza and Stronko (2020) have argued that authoritarian regimes more promptly impose stringent public health measures, compared to democracies. Indeed, research has shown that nations with stronger democratic institutions tend to implement measures for combating coronavirus at a slower pace (Sebhatu et al., 2020). This tendency is also evident in historical events (Stasavage, 2020), such as the SARS outbreak of the early the 2000s (Schwartz, 2012). In contrast, while authoritarian regimes can more rapidly impose stringent health measures, they may also exercise their power to devise cover-ups that turn local contagions into a global pandemic (Alon et al., 2020). Frey et al. (2020) provided a contrast to the abovementioned studies, contending that democracies mount more effective responses to control the spread of COVID-19 by reducing its geographic mobility.

Comment by Riaz Haq on April 28, 2021 at 8:30pm

2034: A Novel of the Next World War
What a US nuclear war with China would look like

World Socialist Website

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/03/25/nuke-m25.html

2034 is co-written by a man who would be a leading architect of such a war. Stavridis was one of the Pentagon’s most prominent political commanders, having been vetted as a potential running mate by the Clinton campaign and a possible secretary of state by President-elect Donald Trump in the fall of 2016.



----------

Finally, the military dynamics are themselves totally unrealistic. The central assumption of the book is that there exists such a thing as a “tactical” nuclear war. Military actions are calmly and rationally discussed and deliberated.

Even so, it is only through an absurd and unbelievable plot twist that a strategic nuclear exchange is avoided. In a ridiculous deus ex machina, India attacks both Chinese and US vessels, bringing about an end to the war.

There is no such thing as a “tactical” nuclear world war. There has never been a full-scale war between two countries armed with nuclear weapons. More importantly, there has never been a full-scale war between “great powers” armed with 21st century technology.

The range, cheapness, and speed of offensive weapons, including drones and high-speed missiles, will mean that a third world war will be conducted everywhere at once, at dizzying speed and complexity. The logic of these phenomena—the complexity of global relations and domestic opposition, the expansion of the battlefield to the entire globe, the delegation of warfare to artificial intelligence—makes nuclear war impossible to control and limit to the “tit-for-tat” military exchanges depicted in the book.

A normal person, that is, one for whom moral derangement is not a professional requirement, would read Stavridis’ book with horror and do everything to avoid the massive level of death it depicts. But the fact is that, for its intended audience within the Beltway and the Pentagon, the tactical nuclear exchanges depicted in the book, constitute, in the words of Dr. Strangelove’s Gen. Buck Turgidson, “getting our hair mussed”—an entirely acceptable consequence of the use of nuclear weapons.

Stanley Kubrick’s masterful Dr. Strangelove, Sidney Lumet’s Fail Safe, and, more obliquely, John Frankenheimer’s Seven Days in May (all released in 1964) were scathing critiques of the military and of nuclear war. No such critical works are being written and produced today, and ground has been ceded to Stavridis’ sanitized depiction of nuclear war from the standpoint of a practitioner.

2034 is a wake-up call. The US military is actively planning and discussing a nuclear war, based on the false claim that such wars can be managed and contained. No, they cannot. Nuclear war threatens the annihilation of humanity. These well-advanced war plans must be opposed and stopped before it is too late.

Comment by Riaz Haq on May 22, 2021 at 4:40pm

Meena Harris, #US VP Kamala Harris’ niece says those who are neutral on #Israel-#Gaza have ‘chosen the side of the oppressor'. The evictions in #shaikhjarrah are emblematic of an #Israeli government that is trying to push #Palestinians out of #Jerusalem. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/kamala-harris-niece-israel-gaza-op...

(Meena) Harris, a 36-year-old lawyer and businesswoman shared a statement seen across Instagram, along with the caption "If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. I stand in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah."

Sheikh Jarrah is a neighborhood in East Jerusalem where six Palestinian families are facing eviction in favor of Jewish settlers. The evictions have led to violent clashes in the streets. The Israeli government has said the matter is a real estate dispute that Hamas is using to stoke tensions, but some Palestinians say the evictions are emblematic of an Israeli government they say is trying to push them out of Jerusalem.

The post she shared read, "One cannot advocate for racial equality, LGBT & women’s rights, condemn corrupt and abusive regimes & other injustices yet choose to ignore the Palestinian oppression. It does not add up. You cannot pick & choose whose human rights matter more."

Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that controls Gaza, is no champion of LGBT rights - being gay is punishable by 10 years in prison, and in 2016, Hamas executed one of its own fighters for same-sex relations.

The post had also been shared by model Gigi Hadid, who is of Palestinian and Dutch descent.

In a subsequent post, Meena Harris shared a statement that described Israel as an "apartheid state."

Meena Harris’ take on the Middle East violence seemingly puts her at odds with President Biden. Biden said Thursday he had not seen a "significant overreaction" from Israel in response to Hamas’ rocket attacks, and said that they had been "indiscriminately fired into population centers."

Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Biden in the call asserted Israel’s "right to defend itself." White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Biden team had had "dozens of calls" with Israeli and Palestinian leaders focused on de-escalating the crisis over the past week.

But earlier this week Psaki said the U.S. had expressed concerns that Israeli evictions in East Jerusalem worked "against our common interests" in finding a solution to the conflict.

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on July 19, 2021 at 8:30am — 3 Comments

    Pakistan's Demographic Dividend: Record Remittances From Overseas Workers

    Pakistan has received nearly $30 billion in worker remittances in fiscal year 2020-21, according to the State Bank of Pakistan. This is a new record representing about 10% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). This money helps the nation cope with its perennial current account deficits. It also provides a lifeline for millions of Pakistani families who use the money to pay for food,…

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    Posted by Riaz Haq on July 13, 2021 at 10:30am — 6 Comments

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