Saturday, February 7, 2009

India's Washington Lobby Emulates AIPAC


India Post is reporting that 60 US lawmakers attacked Pakistan over its "inability to curb terrorist groups" at a January 27 reception hosted by the Indian American Task Force consisting of 200 representatives from nine Indian-American organizations in America. "Billions of dollars were poured into Pakistan in the hope that it will use them in the fight against the Taliban and al Qaeda, instead what we see is the inability of Pakistan to bring these people to justice," said Congressman Ed Royce.

"It's time to say 'enough'. No more US aid to Pakistan until Pakistan becomes part of the solution and not the problem." Congressman Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, said of the Mumbai terror attacks, "It is just inconceivable, but it reminds me again, that we are in a global war on terrorism and that's why the relationship between the United States and India has never been more important to defeat a common enemy." (India Post Feb 2, 2009)

The Indian-Americans' efforts appeared to be succeeding last week when Kashmir was dropped from special envoy Richard Holbrooke's mandate under pressure from the Indian lobby in Washington. According to Washington Post, India managed to "prune the portfolio of the Obama administration's top envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard C. Holbrooke -- basically eliminating the contested region of Kashmir from his job description". However, later news confirmed that Holbrooke will make India a part of his maiden visit to the region, refueling speculation that Kashmir will remain a central focus for US diplomacy in South Asia.

The Washington Post recognized the growing power of Indian lobbyists in September, 2007, when it reported as follows: "With growing numbers, clout and self-confidence, the Indian American community is turning its admiration for the Israel lobby and its respect for high-achieving Jewish Americans into a powerful new force of its own. Following consciously in AIPAC's footsteps, the India lobby is getting results in Washington -- and having a profound impact on U.S. policy, with important consequences for the future of Asia and the world."

Writing for Counterpunch website, South Asia scholar Vijay Prasad found evidence suggesting close collaboration between Indian and Jewish lobbies in Washington. Prasad wrote as follows: To prepare for the January 27 day of action, the Task Force released its “information document.” The primary author of the document is the US India Political Action Committee (USINPAC), a group founded in the aftermath of 911 with the close support and encouragement of the American Jewish Committee (AJCommittee) and the American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC). At a meeting of Jewish American and Indian American partisans of the right, Charles Brooks of the AJCommittee said, “We’re fighting the same extremist enemy. We want to help [the new Indian group] become more effective in communicating their political will.” Who is this “enemy”? Sue Ghosh Stricklett, who was then with USINPAC, told a conservative publication in 2003, “the terrorism directed against India is the same as that directed against the United States and Israel. We would like to see closer ties between the United States and Israel [with India].” Stricklett urges this alliance to deal with what these organizations often call “Islamic militancy” or “Islamic extremism,” or what the late Congressman Tom Lantos called it at an Indo-Jewish forum, “mindless, vicious, fanatic Islamic terrorism.” The USINPAC document on the Mumbai attacks argues, “We believe the problem of Islamic terrorism is global and requires an urgent global approach and solution.”

Undeterred by the efforts of the newly invigorated Indian lobby, however, a new bill will be introduced in the US Congress which will seek to more than triple US economic aid to Pakistan, according to Senator John Kerry, chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. In an interview to Pakistan's Dawn newspaper and another news outlet, Mr Kerry has assured Pakistan that no new restrictions would be imposed on US military assistance to that country. The legislation is expected to pass with no fundamental changes, in spite of the threatened poison-pill amendments offered by pro-India congressmen.

The committee Senator Kerry chairs will play a crucial role in passing the bill, which was introduced in the previous Congress but now has to be reintroduced. The measure already enjoys bipartisan support, the senator said.

The “Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act” would authorize $1.5 billion annually for 10 years. Mr Kerry said the proposed measure enjoyed bipartisan support on the Hill as the lawmakers believed “that it is important to have a relationship” with the people of Pakistan.

Fresh from their success with the Bush administration's approval of US-India nuclear deal, the emerging Indian lobby feels emboldened in continuing its agenda to isolate Pakistan and hamstring Obama administration's initiatives to help resolve the core issue of Kashmir to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan and South Asia. In emulating AIPAC, the powerful Israel lobbby in Washington, the Indian lobby is hoping to thwart the new administration's desire to act as an honest broker in one of the most dangerous, most populous and heavily nuclear-armed neighborhoods in the world.

There are isolated groups and organizations of Pakistani-Americans that have attempted to organize a loose coalition to lobby on behalf of Pakistani interests in Washington. One such coalition is organizing Pakistani American Community Advocacy Day on the Hill on February 26 in Washington. The effort is supported by a dozen different organizations including Pakistani American Public Affairs Committee (PAKPAC), Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C), Pakistani American Congress (PAC), Association of Pakistani Professionals (AOPP), Association of Pakistani Scientists and Engineers of North America (APSENA) Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA ), Pakistan American Chamber of Commerce Council (PACCC), Friends of Pakistan (FOP), The Pakistani American Council of Texas (PACT), Pakistani American Association of Connecticut (PAACT) and National Association of Pakistani Americans (NAPA).

As the AIPAC experience shows, powerful Washington lobbies are not built in a day or even a year or two. It takes consistent grassroots efforts and a lot of money and influence over a long period of time to build clout and effectiveness. Buoyed by its recent successes, it seems that the Indian-American lobby is poised to continue to gain momentum with rising wealth, influence and political awareness of its members. The grassroots efforts to build such a lobby are already underway. At a 2007 Indian Community Center (ICC) event in Silicon Valley, a number of US politicians compared the ICC in Silicon Valley with the JCC (Jewish Community Center) in Palo Alto and other parts of the United States. ICCs combined with IAC will serve as a vehicle for the Indian community to get involved in public service and the political process in the same way that JCCs have done by joining forces with AIPAC, the Isareli lobby. Steve Westley, in particular, went on to elaborate on the political "clout" of AIPAC in the United States and talked about how Indians can take "a leaf from AIPAC's playbook".

The success of India's lobbying effort in Indo-US nuclear deal should serve as a wake-up call to Pakistan and Pakistani-Americans. The growing power and influence of the Indian-American lobby is not likely to hurt Pakistan immediately in a big way, but it poses a serious long-term threat to Pakistan's interests in the United States and around the world. Isolating Pakistan will only make the world more unsafe than it is already.

Related Links:

Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan

The Next Big Lobby on the Hill

Obama's Kashmir Focus

Pakistan Advocacy on the Hill

Pakistan Lobby's Talking Points

India, Pakistan Lobbies in Washington

Rand Report: US Strategy in Muslim World Counterproductive

Nagl Talks With NPR Radio

Can Obama Win the Afghan War?

Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?

India-Israel-US Axis

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Riaz - This is where faith comes into picture. And by faith, I do not mean a particular religion but the faith that will eventually give victory to what is divinely true vs the games that are being played by these individuals who think that they are the lords of the ring. The enlightened people especially youth of the world know that truth has been a casualty in every major event that took place in this world. When India tries to lobby for removing Kashmir from the portfolio/job description of US ambassador to the region, it tells one thing for sure, that the truth is being assassinated again. So, truth is the biggest asset of the weak. Someday, majority of the same lobbyists or the children and grand children of these ICC or PACC or AIPAC will wake up to realize why world is turning out to be an undesirable place to inhabit and the change will begin...change that we all can believe. Yes..we can!!!

Jadev,India said...

I hope the truth is NOT printing fake currencies, narcotics to fund "terror activities",nuclear smuggling and proliferation, assassinating political leaders you don't like in other countries(and ur own country),treating neighboring country as slaves(Afghans), blaming greeds of tribal leaders when faced with groundswell insurgency at home, conducting genocides in Bangladesh, Baluchistan on Nazi scale,ethnic cleansing in Jammu & Kashmir of Hindus..etc

I hope this truth never wins..

Sathyameva Jayathe..oops..

Anonymous said...

Yep - the truth assassinated the 1+3 Gandhis...The Mahatama Gandhi, Indra Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi, and Rajeev Gandhi..the truth has been dancing around in Assam, Kashmir, Plaestine. The truth danced and annexed Juna Grh and Daccan....The truth invaded East Pakistan out of the goodness of its heart...the truth killed many Christian missionaries and truth then had its dance in Babri Mosque (oh...i though BJP recently apologized) and then truth had a blood bath in Gujrat.

You safron clad, mentally retarded, sliva sucking, filthy drunk with urine...Jadev

Anonymous said...

Jadev

instead of tauntting the pakis, sympathize with them. how would you feel if your country was the international den of terrorism ? As a paki, For decades your national identity has been based on ridiculing india, which is looking increasingly silly in today's world. No one wants to play cricket with you, but the whole world converges on india. If you do the right thing, you will realize that india has surged ahead in every sense.

instead, you continue to bang the kashmir drum, and lionize nuclear smugglers in a desperate attempt to simply be mentioned in the same sentence as india. now that is really sad.

Anonymous said...

Isolating Pakistan will only make the world more unsafe than it is already.

Oh yes. The old routine of negotiating with a gun to your own head. Tiresome.

Peaceful Indian said...

"Isolating Pakistan will only make the world more unsafe than it is already."

You know what is the biggest problem with Pakistan? An unstable Pakistan is dangerous, unsafe to the world. And a stable Pakistan is even more dangerous, unsafe to the world. So probably India & the world have to go with better option of the two.

Anon -
When you talk of truth, first see millions of islamic terrosists crying Jihad & killing people. The question is not, if every muslim is a terrorist. The question is - Is every terrorist a muslim? You & I both know the answers. The whole world knows.

Riaz Haq said...

Peaceful Indian:

You proclaim, "The question is not, if every muslim is a terrorist. The question is - Is every terrorist a muslim? You & I both know the answers. The whole world knows."

How many insurgencies are going on in the world? How many of the insurgents are Muslims? Are LTTE terrorists (created and funded by India) Muslim? Are FARC guerrillas in Columbia Muslim? Are Maoists in India and Nepal Muslim? Are Nagas in Nagaland Muslim? Are the VHP/RSS killers in Gujarat Muslim? Are the RSS killers of Christians in Orissa Muslim? The list is long. There are insurgencies and atrocities being committed by individuals, groups and governments in all parts of the world.

Please educate yourself before you make any more baseless pronouncements.

Riaz Haq said...

Peaceful Indian,

You opine, "You know what is the biggest problem with Pakistan? An unstable Pakistan is dangerous, unsafe to the world. And a stable Pakistan is even more dangerous, unsafe to the world. So probably India & the world have to go with better option of the two."

That doesn't sound very "peaceful", my dear peaceful Indian! That sounds very threatening!

Since you insist on calling yourself peaceful, you should know that making these threats will not contribute to peace. It'll only mean war, a devastating war that will not spare you in your little middle class comfort you enjoy in a sea of hunger and grinding poverty in India. Is that your idea of "peace" and "peaceful"?

Please reflect on the real meaning of what you say. Maybe it'll help make you a little less cavalier about it.

Anonymous said...

Jadev and Peaceful Indian, can you please Fix India first, before you make these plans to annihilate Pakistan.Like Riaz said do your homework first, I cant believe look at all the problems you guys are facing currently and you even have time to think of pakistan, I cant believe your animosity and frustration in your comments.

I was astonished to read about your capital of India the great so falsely glorified, this sounds like stone age, disgusting Dinosaur era filthy capital, try visiting Islamabad and you will feel the marked difference of cleanliness and state of art construction and land scaping,your democratic system is not working as it does in USA, because it seems Citizens demands of basic needs are not met by your lected leaders.Please read a story below on Delhis poor rotting infratstructure, wheres is that technological might? from BBC by their correspondent Rupa Jha:

'My life cleaning Delhi's sewers'

India may be spending billions on its high tech space programme but its spending on sewers is decidedly low tech and deadly, reports the BBC's Rupa Jha.
I live smelling death, but it is fine.

Rewa Ram, sewer worker

I will never forget the sight of that thin short man, wearing nothing but cotton underpants, strapped into a harness arrangement, disappearing down into a dark manhole beneath the streets of my home city.

The diameter of the hole was so small that he bruised himself while slipping down.

Inside was a dark well, full of sewage, with giant cockroaches sticking to the wall.

Before he climbed in I asked him his name. I was really surprised when he answered flamboyantly, "Rewa Ram - Son of Khanjan."

I thought: "He must be educated, seems to speak some English." But when I asked him, he said: "No. I'm a complete illiterate."

When I looked down that hole into the drains of Delhi, the smell was overwhelming. Down below, he was coughing, trying hard to keep breathing.

He was struggling to clear a blockage with his bare hands.

Dizzying smell

All of a sudden, a pipe protruding into the drain above his head started spewing out water and human faeces that poured over his body.

I began to feel dizzy just looking down into this mess.

My nostrils were filled with that obnoxious smell, a bit like of rotten eggs. I wanted to vomit. I felt weak and wanted to run away from the smell.

I was born and brought up in India and for the past 15 years I have lived in Delhi, the capital city of one of the world's most rapidly growing economies. I am a member of the growing, upwardly mobile middle class.

I suppose I represent the "roaring Tiger" India, but I am regularly shocked and surprised when I see the struggle for dignity that so many face here.

Literally beneath the glitter of the big city lies a vast network of these dark drains, where so many Rewa Rams are struggling with toxic gases and human waste. They suffer disease and discrimination in return for cleaning the city's sewage system.

Deadly job

Rewa Ram is just one of thousands of sanitation workers in India who work hard to keep the cities, towns and villages clean.

Most of them come from the community of lower caste Dalits as they are known, or untouchables.

Health experts working in the field told me most of these workers would die before their retirement because of the poor health and safety conditions they work in. Their life expectancy is thought to be around 10 years less than the national average.
Activists ask why India spends so much on space and so little on sewers

Dr Ashish Mittal, an occupational health consultant, did a survey of the working conditions of sewage workers.

He told me most of the workers suffer from chronic diseases, respiratory problems, skin disorders and allergies. He said they are constantly troubled by headaches and eye infections. I am not surprised.

Rewa Ram was pulled out when he started feeling dizzy from the toxic fumes in the manhole.

They were thick with a mixture of methane and hydrogen sulphide, both considered potentially fatal by the health experts.

He needed water to clean himself, just a splash on his face could have made him feel better.

His colleagues started banging on doors of the rich neighbourhood where he was working. Nobody opened their gate.

Ancient sewers

Human rights activists and trade unionists I have talked to ask a simple question. If the government of India can spend billions on its space programme, if Delhi can reach all its targets for the beautification of the city in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, including an underground train system, then why can't the sewage system be modernised?

Why does it still rely on sending practically naked men down below the streets to clear the drains with their bare hands, being exposed to noxious gases which could take them to a premature grave?
India's economy is growing rapidly, but not all are feeling the benefits

I put these questions to the authorities.

The reply? "We are trying our best."

It did not really feel good enough after what I had seen.

The law courts have passed several orders banning human beings from going into the sewage system unless it is an emergency.

In Delhi it looks as if every day is an emergency in the sewers.

Smell of death

I asked Rewa Ram, still breathless and covered with the sewage from the drain: "How do you feel about having to do this work?"

With folded arms, he replied: "I am not educated, I come from a very poor family of untouchables. What else can I expect?

"At least I have a government job and I am able to feed my children. I get into this hell everyday but then this is my job.

"I live smelling death, but it is fine."

But is it fine? Why should he expect so little just because he comes from a lower caste and is not educated?

How can our so-called civil society be so indifferent to the millions like him? I, for one, am left feeling guilty.

From Our Own Correspondent was broadcast on Saturday, 7 February, 2009 at 1130 GMT on BBC Radio 4. Please check the programme schedules for World Service transmission times.

Rupa Jha's report on India's sewage cleaners can be heard on the One Planet programme on BBC World Service on Thursday 12 February 2009 to Saturday 14 February. After broadcast you can download the podcast from

Anonymous said...

I love India but I cannot stand the safronism displayed by the likes of Jadev....Would annihilating Pakistan solve all the problems for India? Over a decade ago, I went to school with a guy name Venkatesh....who once said in a response to my his titled "revolving people around development vs revolving development around people" said to me..population is the only problem that India has...If somebody drops those two bombs (that US dropped on Japan) then we will emerge as a much stronger economical power then Japan... I responded back to Venkatesh by saying that charity begins at home...will you make sure that your family and near ad dear ones are right there when your wishes get fulfilled...Venkatesh did not speak with me for months until he learned that I (a Pakistani Muslim) was the top donor to aid the Gujrat/Bhuj earthquake victims. To cut the long story short, a Shining India will only be truly shining if the glittering shifts from media and bollywood stars to the sewage workers of Delhi and other less fortunate places of India...so help me God!

Jadev,India said...

First of all..
This is not an "opinion"..These are facts well documented..not a "saffron opinion"..whatever that is..
No world leader contests the fact that "Paki-land is the most dangerous place on earth" even without nuclear weapons...
Even Iran has warned recently that if more attacks continue from Pakistan, they would come in and solve it for you..
@12:19 anon
who said said about annihilation of pak as a solution..I never said that..
It should be pretty expensive to gather enough munitions to kill all paki-stanis. But the main threat today comes from sleepers of Paki-diaspora in places like Canada,Britain etc. De-fanging Pak Army enough to deter from adventurism is what I think is ideal.

Kartik Swaminathan said...

It is time Pakistanis stopped judging India. India might have a million problems yet it will chug ahead. Economy will go on inspite of global recession, elections will take place in Kashmir and other naxal prone areas inspite of insurgencies, people will live and work together inspite of RSS and SIMI. It has time and again defeated the well researched predictions of famine in the 60s to disintegration in the 70s to economic chaos in the 90s. For in India the common man has an opportunity to live the way he wants to, marry the person he likes, earn a honest livelihood in a chosen career, change the people who govern him every five years. Because in India we have the guts to look inside and correct ourselves.
How many of the above is possible in Pakistan? Accept it Guys you have messed it up. You are in such a mess that India will not have to fight you but just keep the international pressure ensuring delay in the aid packages. Pakistan will naturally crack.

Riaz Haq said...

Kartik,

You express the ardent hope of many of your fellow Indians by saying, "Pakistan will naturally crack".

Do you know that this hope has sustained the "Maha Bharat" dream since 1947? May I suggest that this hope and dream of yours will most likely collapse long before any collapse in Pakistan. In fact, to be realistic, you should realize that any collapse in Pakistan, if and when it occurs, will not spare your nation either.

Indian said...

Dear riaz
You said in the previous comment that pak sustains the Maha Bharat dream. Then how come Bangladesh came into existence? From Mars ?! Perhaps maybe, because pkistanis like u are very foolish

Riaz Haq said...

Indian,

You ask, " Then how come Bangladesh came into existence? From Mars ?! Perhaps maybe, because pkistanis like u are very foolish"

Two points:

1. Pakistanis made a lot of mistakes, but ultimately, Bangladesh could not have materialized without India's military invasion. So Pakistan did not crack by itself, it took the force of arms from an outside power. The situation today is very different. In spite of internal insurgencies in Pakistan (not as many as in India), India does not have the capacity to do what it did in Bangladesh now, without risking massive damage to itself.

2. Bangladesh has been a major disappointment to the dreamers of Maha Bharat. In some ways, Bangladeshis are more anti-India than Pakistanis. Pakistani investigators have found evidence to suggest that Bangladeshis participated in the recent Mumbai attacks.

Anonymous said...

Riaz, it's interesting how you keep calling out the Indian "middle class" for their right-wing orientation. That "middle class" is - depending on your source - any where from 150M to 400M. Here's a McKinsey report on the size and growth trajectory of that middle class. You can keep calling out your 2 data points of "grinding poverty in India" and "half of Mumbai's people are below the poverty line" (6M is not half btw - it's more like 33%). Won't change the "middle class" dynamic.

Question is: don't you think that Pakistan is road-kill in a propaganda game if the (hordes of the) Indian "middle class" is pitted against the (miniscule) Pakistani elite - as seems to be the case on your blog?

Riaz Haq said...

Anon:

You ask, "don't you think that Pakistan is road-kill in a propaganda game if the (hordes of the) Indian "middle class" is pitted against the (miniscule) Pakistani elite - as seems to be the case on your blog?"

Pakistan would be "road-kill" if the members of the Indian middle class calling for "doing a Lebanon" had their way. But Indian middle class would suffer massive damage and risk becoming "roadkill" itself. As NY Times reporter Somini Sen Gupta put it, "the retaliation from Pakistan would be swift and massive" and no major Indian city where the Indian middle class lives would be safe. She said that in an NPR radio interview where most of the callers were the creme de la creme of the hawkish Indian middle class in America. Each caller, it seemed, wanted India to immediately attack and demolish Pakistan's "terrorist camps". Thank God that your leadership was not swayed by such foolish callers and Indian media people who dominated the Indian media and the Internet in the aftermath of Mumbai.

Anonymous said...

Stop the paranoia Jadev, stop this commotion about Pakistan, every country goes through a phase. We were all fine until foreign forces started interfering in Afghan-soviet war creating all these mercenaries/terrorists, THEY WILL SOON BE CRUSHED. Either way your India cant do anything about it, but you are welcome, thanks to Riaz saheb, keep on venting here, I bet you get bored with your massively congested life style. You definitely hate Pakistan, go on with your frustrations as it is not going to come to a conclusion and stop demanding all of you Pakistan haters, that what we need to do. Gone were the days of 1971 when India dictated the terms, after Kargil you guys must have realized you are dealing with a power. So be tranquil, only choice left is to enjoy the show till its conclusion and maybe make another awesome bollywood movie on Pakistani theme please do include your sexy hot Indian girls and your handsome Muslim actors with good songs. But remember that after god almighty will its in our hands too what we prefer to do about it in a civilized manner for the sake of all of us and our next generations, what do you want? really a sad or a happy ending. So choose the path of peace for a change as you are not dealing with a banana republic ok.

@ Kartik, India has survived and Pakistan will survive too. Your population explosion which is out of control is a huge issue. I wish it survives for centuries to come, but even the giant Soviet union collapsed eventually. So think about it.

To Indian:
My friend at the time of Bangladesh creation, Pakistan was not as strong as it is now, thanks to our Brave defense forces, otherwise you guys would have ventured into Pakistan during Kargil days, your forces just had a huge expensive Picnic on the border for days..Dont worry about us, keep eating low quality Daal+rice (major chunk of good quality exported by you democratically elected leaders to Gulf and rest of the globe) and keep producing a billion more to create a severe shortage of food and keep supporting your DEMOCRATIC leaders to make a trillion dollar defense budget( with under the table kickbacks for your Govt leaders), while your middle class vanishes, hope not.Sometimes I watch Indian news channell and get astonished by your so called leaders, they look like PAAN walaas or doodh walas, except for your primeminister all look Conartists, sorry about the comment, poorly groomed, and they represent you.Who elects them, I think its a corrupted system of election just like pakistan, soon Rajiv's son will be Priminister, that will be a good choice, but are you guys gonna vote for him, just because he is a ghandi, automatic selection, thats democracy?After reading the article on Delhi and security of Mumbai, I was very disappointed, you still are not a developed nation as I had always thought, its just big like PREHISTORIC dinosaur that's all, with big ego like you guys, face the Stark reality of the filthy conditions you guys are living in, its pathetic. If I was an Indian I would first fix the country's dark issues, because its like an infestation of termites or would definately move to another prosperous nation anywhere in the globe.

Its my fault as I see bollywood movies and get a different clean picture, which is just a 0.1% of population, rest I read on BBC and its really sad what I see happening in India. Its beyond my comprehension, what your elected officials do, do they really serve you or themselves in this biggest democracy of the world. Its just a Glorified version of democracy with its burning churning melting pot of poor and middle class Indians.
All of you Indians inspite of all your massive issues, failed infrastructure, are suddenly imitating as a Big power. Be careful of any misadventure as Pakistan being a Power itself has many defense agreements with the KING in the region CHINA (remember 1962 Indo-china war, India lost a huge chunk of its territory).
I predict with the stabilization of Afghanistan, Pakistan has a very bright future, we are there to exist forever due to the strong will of our Defense forces and its great masses.I hope you enjoyed reading my views.

Anonymous said...

I predict with the stabilization of Afghanistan, Pakistan has a very bright future, we are there to exist forever due to the strong will of our Defense forces and its great masses.I hope you enjoyed reading my views.

And then you woke up? :-)

Anonymous said...

anon @ 11:49 PM, actually Baby you finally woke up after 60 years of dreaming maha bharut or whatever BS is that and now you are confused.Pakistan and its masses are FULLY AWAKE since independence because of Indias evil designs and hate mongers like you.Thats why we have created finally something verygood for you, incase a misadventure is planned.Enjoy Riazs blog and your filthy, congested lifestyle, what else you can do really,you are really trapped, just vent it out here.I can understand your poor socioeconomic life style (conjested life styles) and your discrminating caste system.Think of Peace for a change, you will benefit more, dont creat a fire which will burn you down to the ground too.Like Pervez Mussharuf recently said" Hum NAe bhee koiee Chooorian nahee pehan rukhee hein.

Anonymous said...

Thats why we have created finally something verygood for you, incase a misadventure is planned.

I'm truly scared now.

Like Pervez Mussharuf recently said" Hum NAe bhee koiee Chooorian nahee pehan rukhee hein.

Of course not - many of you trace your roots to some brave central-Asian warrior. Us poor dark Indians - we have no such genetic advantage. Why would we take on racially superior people of central-Asian stock? We're just dirty, crooked Hindu banias - fighting's not for us. Congested lifestyle you know.

Get a clue. Pakistan is a bhikhari with a bad attitude. Latching onto Uncle Sam for sustenance like a baby - Rosemary's Baby.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 2;23 pm, you better be scared, because its real stuff, unless you decided you are sick and tired of your conditions.
No you have genetic superiority in one thing i.e. your gorgeous babes in bollywood, wow.
Bhikhari? well my friend its costs a lot of money and sacrifice highly trained man power to fight the so called war on terror in that unusual terrain, nobody you know would give for the sake of giving even to a Bikharee.
But here is the point I want to make, India exports all its MEGA high quality food supplies to the globe and what is left low quality stuff, is you know for ....., comprende.What kind of democracy is that where citizens have no say to make their lives better, its the same corruption both sides of the border. Wake up and work for peace in a civilized manner. PEACE, think about it.

Anonymous said...

We all get agitated a little soon. Nobody is going to attack nobody (atleast this is what I hope). Direct war will be disaster for both the countries and for the world. I know we don't have the smartest personnel running our countries but they are smart enough not to open a direct war.

In short to medium term India will continue to persue diplomatic pressure against the Pakistan and Pakistan will continue the proxy war against India.

No point in counting each other's problem (but people enjoy I suppose). India do have massive hunger and all other problem that Riaz states once in a week in his articles here or there but still it has some of the positives which can't be ignored(No point listing the positives, people here are too close minded). Pakistan has major Image problem now which should be biggest issue for them.

Bullitt said...

Face it guys... Azadi for Kashmir is a non-starter... Both the Abdullah's and the Gilani's of the world are very corrupt.... The Indian government throws millions in Kashmir every year... These so-called leaders, who are the voice of Kashmiris know the game, keep the Azadi pot in simmer, never let it boil over. India is never gonna cede an inch of land in Kashmir. If the Israel palestine conflict has taught us anything, real-estate however battled scarred, is the most valuable asset of any nation. I envision a long term plan in which many of the Kashmiri pandits can be resettled back in Kashmir, change the demographics to majority Hindu, thereby nullyfing any plebiscite.

Anonymous said...

hey bullhit without the 's' b/4 'h', did u spend enough time on making up this screen name.But I still agree with your concept of real estate being the most valuable asset of any nation and the part about corruption amongst Kashmiris leaders, its believable.But do you know Pakistan almost had the entire kashmir during Kargil war, read about that highly sophisticated covert operation, thanks to brillaince of Mushharuf/china and ofcourse our brave soldiers, but a super power came in between and it was an instantaneous dead end, also read about how badly equipped Indian army or I would say ww 2 siphaees, inadequate equipment for that terrain and still is till current day surprisingly.So dont dwell firmly on this concept BS Iam sorry BULLIT.

Anonymous said...

Riaz

Why are you jumping at india. Pakistan is breaking [ your heart knows it but your false pride does not allow to accept it ] due to its own internal difference. Nothing to do with india or any other country.

Best of luck of your efforts to destabilize other countries around including india but i think it is not that easy.

Proabably you could focus your efforts in bring togather the diverse force if possible, rather than jumping it on india.

Anonymous said...

Probably pakistan might require an aid of 1.5 billion usd per annum for the next ten years. India does not require. Rather america require india to buy nuclear reactor for their economy engine to run.

India has graduated into a trading partner and pakistan still continuous as receipient of aid.

abdlsy said...

@anon 7:13 pm, India has graduated into a trading partner and pakistan still continuous as receipient of aid.

Yes as always at expense of the lower caste and the blood of all the 80% of Indias poor populations, BRAVO, hey a ho l s, this is a pakistani blog, what do you expect, put pakistan down, why? look who is negotiating with pakistan inspite of all the dirty assumptions, face the reality, think of peace.

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a BBC report providing a glimpse of India lobby's work in Washington:

The recent US foreign aid bill for Pakistan is a good example. Pro-India groups lobbied hard for all sorts of conditions to be inserted into the bill.

Sanjay Puri was part of this campaign. This was not about supporting India's interests, he insists, and neither was it motivated by hostility towards Pakistan.

"Our activities are not aimed against the people of Pakistan or against the State of Pakistan," he told me.

"It is about accountability and transparency. We are very active in making sure that when US taxpayers' money is being spent, especially in these difficult economic times, there has to be a level of transparency."

The Indian-American community, he told me, "is supportive of aid that relates to democracy in Pakistan, education, reforms progress on women's rights and so on".

"But if Pakistan says that it needs F16 jets to hunt down terrorists," he adds, "I don't think the average American is going to buy that."

For a referee in this struggle, I turned to Professor Walter Andersen, director of the South Asia programme at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

A former diplomat, he has watched the development of these US-based lobbying groups with great interest.

The galvanising event he told me, was the struggle over the US-India nuclear deal which came to a head in 2008.

The US wanted to help India with civil nuclear technology but was prevented from doing so by legislation banning the export of fuel or know-how to any country that had not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. So the Bush administration sought to make an exception for India.

"The Bush team very smartly contacted the India lobby," Professor Andersen told me, "and worked very closely with it."

The US Chamber of Commerce and its India section also got involved because of the prospect of business.

"So you had American business interests, the administration and the Indian-American lobby all very actively pushing for this. There was a lot of opposition. In some ways it went down to the wire," he noted, "but their persistent effort paid off."


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8331612.stm

Riaz Haq said...

Here is a BBC report providing a glimpse of India lobby's work in Washington:

I have come to a downtown Indian restaurant in Washington DC to try to gauge the balance of forces in a growing battle for influence on Capitol Hill.

Across the table is Sanjay Puri, the chairman of US Inpac - the US India Political Action Committee.

Sanjay Puri says that Inpac's goal is to give a political voice to some 2.7m Indian-Americans.

"This is not about representing India's interests," he insisted.

"We look at things from an American perspective.

"It is in America's interests," he went on, "to have strong trade ties with India.

"It is important for us to have a strategic relationship with India, which happens to be the democracy in a region where we need a stable partner."

Across town, in a small office building not far from the Senate, I visited Taha Gaya, the executive director of Pal-C - the Pakistani American Leadership Centre.

'Not fighting'

Taha is a law graduate and has worked as a congressional staffer on Capitol Hill.

Describing himself as a second-generation Pakistani-American, he seeks to lobby on behalf of his community and insists that he is not fighting the Indian-American lobby.

"There is no doubt that India is the growing economic power in the region," he told me - but he said that there was also "no reason why Pakistan should not benefit from the economic growth of its neighbour next door".

Taha Gaya explained that on some issues the two lobbies had sometimes worked together.

But the Mumbai attacks last year changed all that.

"When Mumbai happened," he explained, "we saw a resurgence of participation from the older generation of Indian-Americans - those who had grown up in India" - who, he claimed, reverted to what he described as "the old more negative dynamic".

Inevitably then the two lobbies seem destined to be on different sides of the barricades.

The recent US foreign aid bill for Pakistan is a good example. Pro-India groups lobbied hard for all sorts of conditions to be inserted into the bill.

Sanjay Puri was part of this campaign. This was not about supporting India's interests, he insists, and neither was it motivated by hostility towards Pakistan.

"Our activities are not aimed against the people of Pakistan or against the State of Pakistan," he told me.

"It is about accountability and transparency. We are very active in making sure that when US taxpayers' money is being spent, especially in these difficult economic times, there has to be a level of transparency."

Riaz Haq said...

It seems a little too early for a challenge to USINPAC emerge among Indian-Americans, but it seems there is at least a nascent challenge to AIPAC coming from "J Street" on influencing US policy toward Israel.

Here's a NY Times report on it:

The tensions and sharp disagreements that have ripened among many American Jews over President Obama’s approach to Middle East issues were on public display here this week as a fledgling Jewish group held its first convention.

Mr. Obama sent his top national security aide to the convention of the group, known as J Street, but the Israeli ambassador pointedly stayed home. Some members of Congress agreed to be part of the event, only to withdraw their support in the face of criticism from their own political backers.

J Street has only a small fraction of the resources and membership of more established pro-Israel groups, like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and it remains unclear how potent it will be in presenting itself as an alternative. Nonetheless, it has had great success in quickly becoming a major reference point in the complicated debate over President Obama’s Middle East policy as well as the more emotional issue of the appropriate role for American Jews in supporting Israel.

While opinions in the Jewish community have never been uniform or monolithic, several analysts, elected officials and pollsters said the debate over Mr. Obama’s approach to Israel and its neighbors has sharpened boundaries between those who strongly support him and those who have grown more wary.

J Street has tried to position itself as a counterweight to groups like the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or Aipac, which J Street supporters say require the United States to support the Israeli government too reflexively.

The main issue that set the polarization in motion, many say, was the administration’s public feud in the summer with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after an American demand that Israel immediately freeze any construction in the settlements.

Steve Grossman, a former president of Aipac and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said that the administration’s approach on the settlements issue had caused “an enormous sense of anxiety” among many American Jews.

“It seemed that too much was being laid on Israel without any commensurate demand on the other side,” he said, noting that it created “an emotional chasm.”

The issue of how much any American administration should press an Israeli government to make concessions for peace is at the heart of delicate and long-unresolved questions among American Jews. At the least, say the traditional supporters of Israel, any disagreements should not be aired publicly.

At the height of the American-Israeli disagreement in June, Aipac was able to get more than 300 members of Congress to sign a resolution that in effect urged that disagreements between Israel and the United States be dealt with privately.

J Street officials have said one of their principal beliefs is that any administration, Mr. Obama’s included, should have some room to disagree with Israel’s government in order to become a more effective broker in the region.

A senior administration official said that the president and his advisers were aware of the restiveness caused by the summer’s dispute with Mr. Netanyahu over settlements. But the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Obama’s stance on settlements was not a drastic departure from longstanding policy and that relations with the Netanyahu government were now excellent.

Jim Gerstein, one of J Street’s founders, said his research and other polls found that most American Jews were uncomfortable with Israel’s settlement policy. But he said Orthodox Jews generally did support it.

In Israel itself, Mr. Obama’s favorable rating dropped in August to about 4 percent, according to a poll for The Jerusalem Post.

Riaz Haq said...

Lately, there have been some arrests of American-Muslim and Pakistani-American youths on suspicions of terror. The Internet has been identified as a tool for radicalization and proposals made to deal with it. Here's an interesting post by Reem Salahi in HuffingtonPost on this subject:

Yet even in cases where agent provocateurs were not employed, the reality is that the government and media have too long treated Islam and Muslims as a homogeneous, non-dynamic, suspect group. Whenever a Muslim engages in a criminal act, the individual is always qualified by his religious background. Very rarely do we see similar treatment of non-Muslims. For example, I have never read an article describing Timothy McVeigh as the Christian white man. But nearly every article on Nidal Hasan qualifies him as a Muslim and Palestinian within the first few sentences.

As a consequence, Muslims are forced to account for the (negative) actions of a fourth of the world's population. Ironically, I have never been congratulated for the positive actions of other fellow Muslims. The acts of a few bad apples or even a few misguided youth become the norm and not the exceptions. Put differently, it would be like suspecting that every White high school student was prone to commit a massacre as Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the killers at Columbine High School, did.

The reality is that the discourse on radicalization and homegrown terrorism is fundamentally racist and Islamophobic. It is based on seeing Muslims as the "other" and viewing our actions through an "orientalist" lens which frames any Muslim's questionable action as terrorism. Hence, a Muslim overstaying an immigration visa or improperly filing taxes or even paintballing becomes evidence of terrorism and radicalization, justifying the government's infiltration of our mosques, surveillance of our youth groups, and mapping of our populations. Maybe, just maybe, Muslims don't need to be understood by a different rubric than other populations. Further, by framing Muslims as terrorists and as the internal enemy within, the government and media have alienated and disenfranchised many law-abiding Muslims who seek nothing more than to actually live "unremarkable" lives.

Those in the media, in the government, and in Muslim organizations who have jumped on the bandwagon, you have missed the boat. Muslims and Muslim youth are not intrinsically prone to radicalization through the aid of the internet, just as White youth are not intrinsically prone to commit massacres or lynch ethnic minorities in solidarity with the KKK. Rather, the problem is the media and the government's continued vilification and the consequential disenfranchisement of the Muslim community. It is the government's infiltration of mosques and community centers with informants and agent provocateurs. It is the FBI's prolonged fishing expeditions and false prosecutions of many innocent Muslims. And it is an ever-worsening foreign policy that wastes away our tax dollars on killing innocent civilians throughout the world. So please stop parroting the misguided construct of homegrown terrorism and Islamic radicalization as the problem, when the real problem is xenophobia couched in politically correct terms.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from an Op Ed by ex Indian diplomat Bhadrakumar:

Clearly, relations with the US are of the highest priority for India, as they are for Russia or China. But the similarity ends there. For the foreseeable future, despite the heart-warming prognosis by the world community hailing India as a potentially emerging global player, the hard reality is that such a prospect remains distant in the scheme of things. When it comes to issues such as the situation around Iran, India lacks the wherewithal of Russia or China.
---
On the other hand, India is almost similarly placed vis-a-vis the US as Brazil or Turkey are. The fact that these two countries, which are close partners of the US, have not drawn Washington's ire shouldn't go unnoticed. New Delhi's apprehensions that any independent line on the Iran nuclear issue might upset the rhythm of US-India relations seems, in introspect, to have been entirely unwarranted. Countries that have taken an independent line on the Iran nuclear issue during crucial IAEA votes - Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Egypt - have not exactly come to grief. On the contrary, India's traditional ties with Iran grievously suffered when it began blindly toeing the American line.

Worse still, Tehran harbors a suspicion that New Delhi might have used its ''Iran card'' to ingratiate itself with the George W Bush administration. The signs are that Tehran has made a cool analysis about damage control and has decided to more or less relegate its ties with New Delhi to a place on the backburner, even while going through the occasional motions of friendship and exchange of views that the two neighbors cannot do without.

New Delhi needs to take stock that Obama is an extraordinarily gifted politician endowed with intellectuality and it is conceivable he may come up with new thinking and a new approach to the problem. Monday's swap deal underscored indisputably that US policy on Iran is in a cul-de-sac. A reversal becomes inevitable. To be sure, Obama has taken note that Turkey and Brazil highlighted the existence of a whole world beyond the secretive, cloistered framework of the "Iran Six".

New Delhi has of late been attempting to follow in the footsteps of Russian and Chinese policies. Here too, a rethink is in order. India needs to factor in gains accruing to Russia and China from a continuing US-Iran standoff. The Western embargo against Tehran is keeping Iranian energy exports out of the European energy market that might otherwise have competed with Russian supplies. Energy exports constitute the single-biggest trump card of Russian foreign policy to modulate Western policies toward Moscow.

As for China, it is indeed having quite a field day as an exporter of goods and services to Iran as well as for advancing plans to evacuate Iranian gas and oil through pipelines across Central Asia that are nearing completion. In sum, Beijing has done splendidly well.

--------
India's diplomatic ingenuity lies in working on the US thinking to persuade it to become a partner in the Iran pipeline project. The prospect offers a "win-win" situation. Iran doesn't hide its panache for Big Oil. The US has stakes in India-Pakistan normalization. India and Pakistan's energy markets offer massive business for American oil companies. The US involvement acts as a guarantee for the pipeline. Least of all, Washington too wishes to make Tehran a stakeholder in regional stability.

Riaz Haq said...

Diplomat Bharakumar Op Ed on Iran-India contd:

Russia and China, therefore, have complementary interests in shepherding Iranian energy exports to the Asian market. How is India placed in the energy equations? On balance, India in no way benefits out of the US-Iran standoff and, in fact, has a great deal to lose as regional tensions prevail in a region which forms its extended neighborhood. The Iran nuclear issue potentially can complicate the US-India strategic partnership as New Delhi will be firmly opposed to any use of force in the resolution of the problem.
Equally, the bottom line is that Iran is a major source of energy supplies for the expanding Indian economy. In geopolitical terms, a leap of faith uncluttered by the debris in the India-Pakistan relationship will dictate that the Iran gas pipeline project offers a rare opportunity for New Delhi to make its western neighbor a stakeholder in regional cooperation. Even at the height of the Cold War with nuclear armies preparing for Armageddon, pipelines criss-crossed the Iron Curtain. Alas, the Indian strategic community has a closed mind, as things stand, when it comes to developing a matrix of regional cooperation that even remotely includes Pakistan.

India's diplomatic ingenuity lies in working on the US thinking to persuade it to become a partner in the Iran pipeline project. The prospect offers a "win-win" situation. Iran doesn't hide its panache for Big Oil. The US has stakes in India-Pakistan normalization. India and Pakistan's energy markets offer massive business for American oil companies. The US involvement acts as a guarantee for the pipeline. Least of all, Washington too wishes to make Tehran a stakeholder in regional stability.

New Delhi should closely study Turkey's motivations on the Iran nuclear issue. Turkey has interests almost similar to India's and its supple diplomacy enables it to astutely position itself for the day when the US-Iran standoff dissipates. Turkey estimates that Iran is a neighbor (although they have had a troubled relationship) while the US is a key North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally and any midwifery in the inevitable US-Iran rapprochement becomes a strategic asset for Ankara's growing stature as a regional power.

Indian diplomacy has lately made some interesting moves toward Iran, beginning with Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's visit to Tehran in February. The desire to craft a fresh approach is also evident in External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's consultations this week in Tehran. The path is strewn with thorns, as the Iranians harbor a deep sense of hurt about India's stance at the IAEA votes. Therefore, as the US's tug-of-war with Iran intensifies, New Delhi faces the challenge of not treading on Tehran's sensitivities all over again.

On the whole, Indian policy is principled, especially its line that the IAEA ought to be in the driving seat rather than a cabal of states with dubious intentions. But New Delhi is lurking in the shadows in a blissful state of masterly inactivity.

India should openly join hands with Turkey and Brazil in opposing the need for a continued push for UN sanctions against Iran. No doubt, the diplomatic initiative by Turkey and Brazil creates an altogether new situation and Indian diplomacy should grasp its importance and seize its potentials.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a revealing piece by Mark Glenn, an American and former high school teacher turned writer and commentator:

Today, while driving through town, I wound up behind a minivan that had a big sticker on the back. The sticker had an Israeli flag in the middle of it, and under it the quotation from the book of Genesis that reads "I will bless those who bless thee."

I would like to take this time to list my own reasons for thanking and blessing Israel, our lone ally in the Middle East, for everything she has done for us, since I am quite sure most Americans are unaware of just what kind of friend she has been to us.

For extorting from me and my fellow Americans $16,000,000,000 (billion) a year for the last 4 decades, we bless thee.

For taking our most sophisticated weapons technology and stealing it for yourself without paying the American patent holders, we bless thee.

For taking that high-tech military technology and selling it to our enemies, such as the Russians and Chinese, thus further endangering us, we bless thee.

For using that weaponry in a sustained attack against a United States ship, the USS Liberty, in an attempt to sink her, thus preventing US servicemen from revealing to the rest of the world information concerning the war crimes they witnessed you commit against Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Desert during the Six Day War, we bless thee.

For killing 35 and wounding 170 American sailors aboard the USS Liberty, we bless thee.

For bribing the United States government into covering it up, preventing any justice from being done for the benefit of the families of the lost sailors - as well as the American People, we bless thee.

For sending your agents into Egypt and blowing up American buildings for the purpose of blaming the Arabs in an event known as the Lavon Affair, we bless thee.

For sending your agents into Libya during the Reagan administration, and broadcasting radio messages in Arabic that were designed to sound like "terrorist cell planning" so that the US would initiate military strikes against Khadafi, we bless thee.

For withholding information from us concerning the planned attacks against the US Marine barracks in Lebanon, attacks you knew about through your moles in the Islamic world and about which you deliberately refused to warn us in order to further your interests against the Arabs, we bless thee.

For employing Jonathon Pollard, an American serviceman paid to spy for Israel in order to steal even more of our National Security secrets for your parasitic purposes, we bless thee.

For blackmailing President Clinton through one of your intelligence agents, Monica Lewinsky, in order to prevent a coherent peace program from being pushed forward between yourself and the Palestinian people that you have brutalized and murdered for the last 50 years, we bless thee.

For breaking every agreement you have made with your Arab neighbors, stealing their land, displacing, murdering, and treating them like the animals you see them as, we bless thee.

For using your agents within the first Bush administration to involve us in the first Gulf War, causing the deaths of American men and women, and exposing our servicemen to whatever bioweapons were/are responsible that has led to Gulf War Syndrome, we bless thee.

For your role in the September 11 attacks in this country, and for blackmailing and bribing the US government into deporting back to Israel the 100 or more intelligence agents that were arrested after the attacks, we bless thee.

For supressing the information from the American people of your involvement in the September 11 attacks and sending us in the wrong direction in search of answers, we bless thee.

For using one of your agents in the US Army Weapons Lab, Lt Colonel Philip Zack to steal anthrax and distribute it into our mail system, terrorizing US citizens and killing several in order to blame the Arabs, we bless thee.

Riaz Haq said...

Mark Glenn Piece Contd:

For supressing the information from the American people of your involvement in the September 11 attacks and sending us in the wrong direction in search of answers, we bless thee.

For using one of your agents in the US Army Weapons Lab, Lt Colonel Philip Zack to steal anthrax and distribute it into our mail system, terrorizing US citizens and killing several in order to blame the Arabs, we bless thee.

For using your agents in the US Government, namely, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Abrams, and the rest into initiating this war in the Middle East so that you could bring to heel all the enemies you have made during the last 50 years, we bless thee.

For using your agents in the media to lie to us on a minute by minute basis about the war, how "just" this cause is, and what the real reasons behind it are, we bless thee.

For using your agents in the Christian Evangelical community, such as Falwell, Graham, Swaggert, and the rest who praise you as God's chosen people and further keep Americans in the dark about who you really are, what you have done, and what you are truly about, we bless thee.

For bringing idiots like Limbaugh, Liddy, Hannity, Beck, and Savage to the forefront as paid liars that will support you and further lead Americans astray, we bless thee.

For making America your attack dog, and for sending her sons and daughters to fight and die in all your future wars, we bless thee.

For using your influence in the media to hide the real statistics about the war, the dead and wounded on both sides, we bless thee.

For using us in such a way that not only further inflames the Arab world against us, but as well has succeeded in our alienating ourselves against those nations with whom we have been friendly for over a century, we bless thee.

And finally, for using your influence in our media and academia to flood our minds with pornography and lies, as well as inculcating in us a hatred for our history, religion, and culture, for dividing our nation between races and sexes, and for releasing into our society all of your plagues and filth that have left us a rotted out corpse of a once great nation, oh Israel, our friend,we bless thee.

Note:

For further information regarding the above cited events, read either books written by ex- Israeli Intelligence agent Victor Ostrovsky entitled "By Way of Deception" and "The Other Side of Deception".

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from a piece "Soldiers Tripping on Shanti" by UC Davis professor Sunaina Maira:

We left Israel to visit India after the wedding, and what did we see? Many things that were hopeful, including street protests against corruption and for women's education, and also some things that gave us pause—such as Israeli tourists in search of "shanti." Beginning about ten years ago, there has been a flood of young Israelis visiting India, usually after they finish their reserve duty in the Israeli military, flocking to Goa to do drugs or to Rajasthan to see the Pushkar fair. Some are in search of an Orientalized mystical culture and peaceful way of life that is labeled "shanti" culture in Israel—as if trekking in the Himalayas could absolve former soldiers from shooting children in Gaza or demolishing homes in the West Bank and Lebanon.

The sight of former Israeli soldiers flocking to India is strange for someone who grew up during the time when India did not have official relations with Israel, like other nations who supported the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. India's solidarity with the Palestinian movement began even before 1948, for Indian leaders opposed the 1917 Balfour Declaration to establish a Jewish state on Palestinian land. In fact, in 1946, Gandhi wrote that Jewish settlers "have erred grievously in seeking to impose themselves on Palestine with the aid of America and Britain and now with the aid of naked terrorism ... Why should they resort to terrorism to make good their forcible landing in Palestine?" Gandhi was referring to Zionist terrorist organizations, such as the Irgun and Stern gangs. It is ironic that today, a romanticized notion of Gandhian non-violent resistance is used as a weapon to condemn Palestinian resistance.

India was host to many PLO members and Palestinian students in exile who came to study in colleges all over India. India was in fact the first non-Arab nation to recognize the PLO in the United Nations, expressing solidarity with other anti-colonialist struggles during the Non-Aligned Movement era, as documented by Vijay Prashad in Namaste Sharon: Hindutva and Sharonism Under U.S. Hegemony. Even though India unofficially recognized Israel in this period by allowing an Israeli consulate in Bombay, Nehru's closeness to Arab nationalist leader Abdul Gamel Nasser led the Congress to distance itself from Israel. In fact, India voted to censure Zionism as Racism in the UN in 1975.

The landscape has changed since the Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in India in 1988 and established official relationships between India and Israel, deepening the military and economic ties that were already in place. India now buys half of its arms from Israel, making it Israel's biggest customer. It is thus funding the Israeli occupation, because the Israeli economy rests on its defense industry, its main export, as well as the inflow of US tax dollars. The military agreements, collaboration on nuclear and missile defense, and sharing of intelligence has continued even with the new United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. India and Israel have found a shared enemy to target in their respective "anti-terrorism" operations, conflating Kashmir and Pakistan with Palestine, and also common agreement on a framework that has gained global currency with Bush's "war on terrorism," resulting in the new "India-Israel-US axis."

Riaz Haq said...

Is AIPAC a WikiLeaks Op? asks Prof Juan Cole on his blog:

In 2003 Larry Franklin, the ‘go-to man on Iran’ at the Pentagon under undersecretary of defense for planning Douglas Feith, carried a draft confidential finding on Iran out of the building and gave it to Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman of AIPAC’s Middle East Bureau. They not only were happy to receive the classified document, but they ran with it right over to the Israeli Embassy and delivered it to Naor Gilon, the embassy official with the Iran portfolio.

Rosen and Weissman, and probably AIPAC in general, were under FBI surveillance on suspicion of espionage, and that is how they were caught. The FBI field officers were astonished when Franklin came into the picture unexpectedly. Less astonished, I suspect, when Naor Gilon did.

Franklin confessed to wrongdoing, and spent some years in jail was sentenced to the 10 months he spent under house arrest; he may still work for the Pentagon! But Rosen and Weissman maintained they had done nothing illegal, since under US law for someone who is not a government employee to receive classified documents from a third party is not illegal, nor is sharing them with others once they have been received. AIPAC fired them, so they had to fight their own legal battles. The prosecution was ultimately dropped. The Neoconservatives say that the case should never have been brought, since it just criminalized the routine horse-trading in information typical of Washington.

Rosen has now launched a $20 million wrongful termination suit against AIPAC. He maintains that his action of delivering the classified document to the Israeli embassy was standard operating procedure in AIPAC, and that he did nothing out of the ordinary, and that he should not have been fired. He is also threatening to name details of this routine spying.

Rosen, ironically, was hired by Daniel Pipes’ so-called ‘Middle East Forum.’ Pipes runs Campus Watch, which is a neo-McCarthyite attempt to intimidate US college professors into toeing the Likud Party line whenever they talk about Israel and Palestine. So it is only natural that an indicted spy for Israel, Rosen, should be on staff and energetically using dirty tricks to smear the reputations of patriotic Americans.

What Steven Rosen is alleging is that AIPAC, which arranges for millions to go to the campaigns of American politicians, is in essence a Wikileaks operation, only instead of posting the ferreted-out classified material to the Web, they channel it to the Israeli government. (Of course, the Israeli government sometimes acts as a Wikileaks as well; Seymour Hersh was told by US intelligence officials that Israel shared with the Soviets some of the intel it got from spy Jonathan Pollard.)

Whether the allegations about AIPAC routine spying are true or not, Rosen and Weissman certainly did exactly the same thing Julian Assange did, and yet they are free men.

Rep. Pete King (R-NY), who wants Eric Holder to prosecute Julian Assange of Wikileaks, hasn’t objected to the cases against Rosen and Weissman being dropped, and hasn’t asked for an investigation of AIPAC. One of the problems congressmen like this will have in crafting anti-Wikileaks legislation is that they may well be driving a nail into AIPAC’s coffin, as well. King, who keeps accusing Americans of being terrorists, is also known as a long-time supporter of the Irish Republican Army.

You have to love hypocrisy when it is taken to this Himalyan scale. It has a kind of putrid beauty.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an Op Ed piece "The US as Israel's Enabler in the Middle East" by KATHLEEN CHRISTISON:

Before the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty, the United States never considered that Egypt was quite the strategic asset that it became when it surrendered its military capability in the interests of Israel. The same can be said about the United States’ relations with several other Arab states. Its involvement in Lebanon over the years -- including its effort to remove Syrian forces from Lebanon --
---
The recent Wikileaks releases of State Department cables and particularly al-Jazeera’s release of a raft of Palestinian documents dealing with negotiations over the last decade also demonstrate with striking clarity how hard the United States works, and has always worked, to help Israel in the Palestinian-Israeli negotiating process. U.S. support for Israel has never been a secret, becoming less and less so in recent years, but the leaked documents provide the most dramatic picture yet of the United States’ total disdain for all Palestinian negotiating demands and its complete helplessness in the face of Israeli refusal to make concessions. It is striking to note from these papers that the U.S. role as “Israel’s lawyer” -- a description coined by Aaron David Miller after his involvement in negotiations during the Clinton era -- is the same whether the administration is Bill Clinton’s or George W. Bush’s or Barack Obama’s. Israel’s interests and demands always prevail.

Beyond the Arab world, U.S. policy on Iran is dictated more or less totally by Israel. The pressure to attack Iran -- either a U.S. attack or U.S. support for an Israeli attack -- which has been brought to bear for most of the eight years since the start of the war on Iraq, ...
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It has been clear to most analysts for years, even decades, that the United States favors Israel, but this reality has never been revealed so explicitly until recent events laid the relationship bare, and laid bare the fact that Israel is at the center of virtually every move the United States makes in the region. There has long been a taboo on talking about these realities, a taboo that has tied the tongues of people like my interlocutor. People do not mention Israel because they might be called anti-Semitic, they might be attacked as “singling out” Israel for criticism; the media fail to discuss Israel and what it does around the Middle East and, most directly, to the Palestinians who live under its rule because this might provoke angry letters to the editor and cancelled subscriptions by Israel supporters. Congressmen will not endanger campaign funds by talking honestly about Israel. And so Israel is taken off everyone’s radar screen. Progressives may “mention Israel in passing,” as my friend told me, but they do no more. Ultimately, because no one talks about it, everyone stops even thinking about Israel as the prime mover behind so many U.S. policies and actions in the Middle East.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts from an Op Ed in The Hindu on Wikileaks cables showing growing US and Israeli influence in New Delhi:

The publication and analysis of the US embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks is ongoing, but what has been made available so far reveals a disturbing picture. The US has acquired an influential position in various spheres - strategic affairs, foreign policy and economic policies. The US has access to the bureaucracy, military, security and intelligence systems and has successfully penetrated them at various levels. The cables cover a period mainly from 2005 to 2009, the very period when the UPA government went ahead to forge the strategic alliance with the US.
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The volte face by the Manmohan Singh government in voting against Iran in the IAEA in September 2005 was one such crucial event. The cables illustrate how the US government exercised maximum pressure to achieve this turn around. The Indian government was told that unless India takes a firm stand against Iran, the US Congress would not pass the legislation to approve the nuclear deal.
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Other cables reveal how the United States succeeded in getting India to coordinate policy towards other countries in South Asia like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The close cooperation with Israel under US aegis is also spelt out.

The success achieved in getting India's foreign policy to be "congruent" to US policy is smugly stated in an embassy cable that Indian officials are ‘loathe to admit publicly that India and the US have begun coordinating foreign policies'.
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One of the cables from the US ambassador to the American defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld spells out the agenda which the Americans hope to accomplish during the visit. The Defence Framework Agreement was the first of this type to be signed by India with any country. It envisages a whole gamut of cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries. It is evident from the cables that the US government and the Pentagon had been negotiating and planning for such an agreement from the time of the NDA government.
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The cables show the growing coordination of the security establishments of the two countries reaching a high level of cooperation after the Mumbai terrorist attack. The then National Security Advisor, M K Narayanan was seen by the Americans as eager to establish a high degree of security cooperation involving agencies such as the FBI and the CIA.

The cables also provide a glimpse of how the Americans are able to penetrate the intelligence and security apparatus. Among the forty cables which were first published by the British paper, The Guardian, there are two instances of improper contacts. In the first case a member of the National Security Advisory Board meets an American embassy official and offers to provide information about Iranian contacts in India and requests for his visit to the United States to be arranged in return. In another case the US embassy reports that it is able to get access to terrorism related information directly from a police official serving in the Delhi Police, rather than going through official channels.
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The collaboration between the intelligence and security agencies of the two countries had already resulted in American penetration. Two cases of espionage had come up. During the NDA government, a RAW officer, Rabinder Singh was recruited by the CIA. When his links were uncovered, he was helped by the CIA to flee to the United States. During the UPA government a systems analyst in the National Security Council secretariat was found to have been recruited by the CIA, the contact having been established through the US-India Cyber Security Forum.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/resources/article1568273.ece

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on US Congressman Kucinich speaking to Pakistani-American doctors in America:

WASHINGTON: A United States Congressman from Ohio has called on his government to apologise to Pakistan, and for NATO to pay compensation to the families of 24 soldiers killed in a NATO air strike on a Pakistani border check post on November 26.

Speaking at an event organised by the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, a Democrat, said relations with Pakistan was a critical issue. “We need to apologise to the people of Pakistan, NATO must pay reparations to the families of the soldiers.”

His remarks come a day after US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham called for Pakistan’s funding to be reviewed.

(Read: Key US Senators urge review of Pakistan funding)

Pakistani doctors face visa wall to working in US

Dr Zaffar Iqbal, a member of the 17000-member strong APPNA said “Last year, only 90 doctors came to work in the US.”

Speaking to The Express Tribune on the sidelines of an event organized by APPNA at the Rayburn House Office Building to highlight to Congressmen the issues faced by Pakistani physicians applying for visas to work in the US, Dr Iqbal said numerous young physicians applying for visas to work in the US are facing delays or are being rejected by the US embassy and consulates. “They don’t get their visas on time, and hence can’t join their residencies that they’ve been offered.” Dr Iqbal said that hospitals then become reluctant to offer residencies to Pakistani physicians.

He added that due to less Pakistanis being given visas, the number of Indian doctors coming to the US to work has more than doubled in the past few years.

Dr Manzoor Tariq, President of APPNA, said that they had held meetings with the State Department and Homeland Security to urge them to facilitate the process.

The event also saw a number of members of Congress attending, and looking at APPNA posters highlighting statistics of the decrease in Pakistani physicians coming to the US. APPNA says that a majority of Pakistani doctors work in the rural areas of the US, and provide a vital service to the country.

Addressing the event, Congressman Kucinich said, “I’m aware of complexities around US-Pakistan relations, but you are our brothers and sisters, and we need to help facilitate those who want to take care of people here”.

Paying tribute to the Pakistani community in her district of Nevada, Congresswoman Birkley added that the US was facing a shortage of medical professionals, and offered her support to APPNA to push for more visas for Pakistani doctors.

Other members of Congress who attended the event and lent support to APPNA included Senator Bob Casey, Claire McCaskill, Congressman Guthrie and others.

Addressing the event, Tim Lenderking, the head of the Pakistan desk at the State Department, said that it was important to talk to the Embassy. “Pakistan has done a great job in contributing to healthcare in the United States, and we want to support that.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly quoted Dr Iqbal that this year 90 doctors from Pakistan came to the US. Also Congressman Kucinich was listed a Republican. This is incorrect. The error is regretted.


http://tribune.com.pk/story/303012/us-should-appologise-to-pakistan-nato-pay-reparations-to-soldiers-congressman-kucinich/

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian Express story on how much Indians "like" Israel on Facebook:

Israel today said it's official India Facebook page has the most 'Likes' after that of the US and the United Kindgom.

The ISRAEL in INDIA Facebook page, launched by the Israelian Embassy in August, 2010, has received almost 20,000 'likes', a figure surpassed only by the pages of the US and the UK.

Two decades after India and Israel established full diplomatic relations, ties between the two nations are extending far beyond traditional diplomacy, the Embassy said in a statement.

Less than two years after the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi launched its activity on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other virtual platforms, Israel managed to gain “exceptional popularity” in the Indian social media arena, it said.

The Embassy also launched a new website recently, which provides frequent updates on Israeli activities in India as well as a fresh and young look at Israel's society, history, culture and economy. The Embassy also operates specialised websites in Hindi and Urdu.

“These results are impressive”, said Alon Ushpiz, Israel's Ambassador to India.

“They mirror the warmth and friendship that we Israelis feel across India and they are yet another indication of the immense potential that lies in our relationship”, he added.


http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-likes-israel-the-most-after-us-and-uk-embassy/962009/