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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Baithak Desi May 30: Amir Mir, Sajjad Malik, Daily Times, News, Balochistan Travelogue, A G Noorani, Headlines, Cartoons

According to highly-placed military sources, the unscheduled meeting between the president and the army chief took place amid media reports that Musharraf was flexing his muscles to replace General Kiyani with one of his confidants to tilt the balance of power in his favour. Kiyani has been adamant to keep the institution of the Army neutral in the ongoing confrontation between Musharraf and Zardari. The meeting on Wednesday night went on post midnight and lasted for more than three-and-a-half hours. Their longest ever one-on-one encounter, which is significant in view of the current political and security situation in the country, gained further importance as it took place after day-long consultations of the incumbent COAS with his corps commanders.
mir Mir:
Mush's days numbered as Kiyani sacks prez loyalists

And this by Sajjad Malik:
* President says ‘rumour-mongers’ trying to create differences between he and army
* Spokesman says Musharraf to complete five-year term
* Says president will not vacate Army House
* ISPR DG says transfer of 111 Brigade commander not ‘abrupt’ move
Musharraf slams resignation rumours

And to round up Daily Times Editorial after a balanced recount of the current situation says:
"... President Musharraf’s spokesman General (Retd) Rashid Qureshi says his boss has no intention of leaving, but given the public perception of his days in power, it would be advisable for him to reconsider. A stock-taking of how successful he was and how many mistakes he made while in power has been done elsewhere. It is now time to take the big decision. After all, no job is forever. And no contract for a job is ever iron-clad."

Meanwhile, highly placed sources revealed to The News that a special wide-bodied Air Bus A-310 plane has arrived here at the Chaklala base. It will take special passengers to a close neighbouring country. Packing at an important house in Rawalpindi is in full swing as the modalities have also been finalised for the exit of the significant family. The News - Plane arrives at Chaklala airport

The landscape remained like that for hundreds of miles until we reached Aab-e-Gum, a small station in Baluchistan. The scenery and feeling there was like that of being at a hill-station. The sun had set and it was quite pleasant there. Signs of greenery, seen after hundreds of dry miles, were very refreshing. A young boy with green eyes, golden brown hair and very fair complexion entered the train selling dates in a beautiful hand-made packet made of dried date-leaves saying 'pahari khajor le lo'. Each packet had a dozen dates and all it cost was Rs. 5 ! We could not really pronounce, '', the name of the place as written on the sign board of the station thus asked this boy. He replied innocently, "yahan pani nahe hota na is liye isko Aab-e-Gum boltay hain." When asked how they get water then, he replied, "jab pani bilkul nahe hota to water aata hay". "wo truck atay hain peso kaa water detay hain", he said when he was asked where does that 'water' come from. Baluchistan, as I saw it!

The dismissal of the foreign secretary of Pakistan, Mr Riaz Muhammad Khan, one of the most accomplished and respected diplomats, is the third in an unfortunate series in South Asia. Rajiv Gandhi dismissed Foreign Secretary Mr AP Venkateswaran in January 1987; Benazir Bhutto dismissed Dr Humayun Khan as foreign secretary in 1990. Killing the messenger —A G Noorani

Addressing the People's Lawyers Forum (PLF), Mr Zardari has said that there are some people who want martial law to be imposed in the country, and that if the lawyers want to start a movement, the government is ready for it. He said that they would present the constitutional amendment to the PLF (instead of to the coalition partners!) on the 31st. The cat is thus out of the bag. These are actually Musharraf and America speaking through Mr Zardari. This single statement has darkened the political horizon more than any event of the last few months. The PML-N will now probably have to quit the coalition, and the PML-Q and MQM will take their place. God be with us!The cat is out of the bag


A Q Khan Pakistan scientist's secrets 'false'
Online Matchmaking Sites Court U.S. Muslims
LEADER ARTICLE: There Are No Role Models
Puppeteer blames neglect of arts for extremism

The end of Taxila Salman Rashid
Managing and securing the bomb Khalid Banuri and Adil Sultan
Whats Really Driving The High Price Of Oil?
Pens And Swords


Maxim - Today's Cartoon
Manzoor Wattoo join PPP

Baithak World May30: Jim Lobe on WSJ, Mahatir, Headlines, Huffpollstrology, Brodner, RealNews

On the WSJ under Murdoch: Tuesday, it published yet another Islamophobic rant by its Global View columnist and former Jerusalem Post editor, Bret Stephens, comparing the recent guidelines by the departments of Homeland Security and State on the possibly counter-productive use of politically and religiously provocative words in the "global war on terror" with George Orwell's "Newspeak".

It also published a particularly unenlightening - and not very credible - excerpt from ultra-Likudist Doug Feith's recent book, War and Decision. Although it's hard to figure out exactly why the Journal published the article other than to help him promote the book - Stephens wrote a glowing review (unfortunately not available online) of it a few weeks ago - the excerpt appeared designed to reassure readers that Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and terrorist ties really were the main reasons President George W Bush took the nation to war in Iraq (a thesis that has once again been cast into doubt by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan's new book) and that he, Feith, was right and everyone else was wrong about the administration's post-invasion "communications strategy" that made democracy promotion the principal justification. Dispatches from America by Jim Lobe DISPATCHES FROM AMERICA : Now it's a blockade against Iran Jim Lobe

Today trillions of dollars are being expended on the development and production of ever more lethal weapons of mass destruction. Poor countries are forced to buy these weapons by playing on their false sense of pride. They buy these expensive weapons so as not to be less well-equipped than their neighbours. Yet these weapons are often not used at all. Still they have to be upgraded or replaced with newer versions at tremendous cost. Mahatir: The Criminalisation of War

The corrupt politicians are not a Pakistani monopoly, it is the same in Israel A whole generation wants cash

Not all of Israel's politicians have been 18-karat gold. We have had a defense minister who was an alcoholic and another who looted archaeological treasures that rightfully belonged to the state. We have had a banker slated to become finance minister who, it was discovered, led a double life with a lover and a second piggy bank overseas. We have had cabinet ministers and other prominent officials who embezzled funds and have been tried, convicted and sentenced to prison. We have had a president who secretly received money from a friend and who - because of his lofty position, age and poor health - cut a deal that let him swap a resignation letter for a decision not to put him on trial. And what about opposition leader and former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu? Let him wait outside


Huffpollstrology: Candidates' Horoscopes, Polls And More For May 30
Ex-aide attacks 'deferential' Rice
U.S. Economy: The Worst is Yet to Come

New York Times Perpetuates the Myth that George Bush Won the 2000 Election
Human Rights Report Blasts "Hollowness of the U.S. Administration's Call for Democracy Abroad"
Pre-Iraq War Coverage: "Pretty Good Job" or "Embarrassing?"
Even the FBI Is Outraged over U.S. Torture
THE MOGAMBO GURU : Pawning for the payroll
Barack Obama supporter Brzezinski accuses Jewish lobby members of McCarthyism
The Third World War: Why NATO Troops Can't Deliver Peace in Afghanistan
A giant backward step on Iran
Diplomatic Deadlock: UN and EU at Loggerheads Over Kosovo Mission
Poisonous Legacy: Is Dow Chemical Liable for Bhopal?
Nicholas Kristof: Terrorism and the Olympics
Tutu shocked by Gaza conditions
Tutu: Gaza blockade abomination
The Super Power Withdraws Fulbright Grants to Gaza
Bahrain names Jewish ambassador
Modernity meets monasticism in Egypt's desert
Disturbing 2008 Global Peace Index Report
Bin Laden brother wants to build a bridge over the Red Sea
'Sharp Teeth': A Ferociously Good Read
Russian scientist proposes small nuclear plants as clean northern energy source
Ken Levine: Tech Support (?)
Sex And The Curvy Girl
6 most frequently quoted bullsh*t statistics.
An Ongoing Case Study of Der Spiegel: Shop Stewards
Essay: Indebtedness and the Possibility of the Gift by: Dan Briggs

Scott McClellan, former chicken, reincarnated rooster, crowing up the sun...which blasts light, as it was destined to do, on the most sludge-laden White House of all time (the fact that he, McChicken, was responsible for much of it notwithstanding). The Bush administration, seen to be a lock-stepping death machine, still in lockstep, responds by saying it is "puzzled." No doubt. That stuff can really clog your brain. PS: Er, fraud...impeachable, eh?

Scott McClellan

Brodner's Cartoon du Jour: Scott McClellan

Paul Jay presents RealNews
Israel: Olmert corruption scandal grows
Ehud Barak threatens to take Israeli Labour Party out of governing coalition unless Olmert steps aside view

Gene Giants: Climate saviors or profiteers?
Biotech companies seek hundreds of patents for genetically modified "climate-ready" seeds view

A precarious future in the rice paddies
Guardian: Part 2 on world food crisis, Philippine rice farmer on problems he faces feeding six children view

Peacekeepers and aid workers accused of sex abuse
Save the Children report alleges sexual abuse of children by peacekeepers and international aid workers view

Friday, May 30, 2008

Derek Walcott's The Mongoose

Extracts from Derek Walcott's The Mongoose - a searing attack on VS Naipaul at the Calabash International Literary Festival in Jamaica as heard by Daniel Trilling

Naipaul / Walcott Feud

War of words: Nobel Prize-winner Derek Walcott, right, has continued a literary feud with Naipaul, left, in verse

So the old mongoose, still making good money

Is a burnt out comic, predictable, unfunny

The joy of supplements, his minstrel act

Delighting editors endorsing facts

Over fiction, tearing colleagues and betters

To pieces in the name of English letters

The feathers fly, the snow comes drifting down

The mongoose keeps its class act as a clown

It can do cartwheels of exaggeration

Mostly it snivels, proud of being Asian

Of being attached to nothing, race or nation

It would be just as if a corpse took pride in its decay

After its gift had died and off the page its biles exude the stench

of envy, "la pourriture" in French

cursed its first breath for being Trinidadian

then wrote the same piece for the English Guardian

Once he liked humans, how long ago this was

The mongoose wrote "A House for Mr Biswas"

This is a transcript taken from Derek Walcott's reading and while we've made every effort to report it accurately, the original may not look like this in terms of layout, punctuation etc.

Baithak World May 29: US Made Oil Disaster, Headlines, RealNews, Brodner

In response to the collapse of the credit and speculation boom, the Fed has set a deliberate re-inflationary objective in order to reverse falling asset prices. It has aggressively resumed its expansionary monetary policy since August 2007, cutting the federal funds rate from 5.25% to 2% with a consequent faster expansion of money supply, resulting in a rapidly depreciating dollar and disrupting stability in commodity markets, propelling oil prices from US$65 to $135 per barrel.

Iraq is widely predicted as having one of the world's two largest oil deposits. Yet the country, having produced only about 2.6 mbd in 1999 under the United Nations sanctions regime, is today producing even less, at about 1.9 mbd. The broader state of varied political tensions throughout the Persian Gulf region reduces the attraction long-term investment in oil and gas infrastructure. (The extent that this is due to US policies toward the region will be discussed in a future article.) Even so, global oil output could be expanded by up to 10 mbd and natural gas supplies by the equivalent of another 5 mbd within five to seven years if sanctions on Iran were lifted, the Iraqi conflict was brought to a halt, and Saudi Arabia's expansion programs came on stream. That would be enough to transform the global energy market. US-made oil disaster has mileage By Hossein Askari and Noureddine Krichene


Huffpollstrology: Candidates' Horoscopes, Polls And More For May 29
SPIEGEL Interview with Warren Buffett: 'Germans Know Something About Business'
Human Rights Report: 'Germans Have Undermined their own Credibility'
Ex-Bush spokesman says Bush shaded truth on Iraq
Ex-White House spokesman Scott McClellan says senior Bush officials misled him
White House Responds To Scott McClellan's Accusations
Russian think-tank rattles US
John Bolton To Face Citizen's Arrest In Wales
Amnesty: Israel harms Palestinian civilians, exploits foreigners
Bulldozed: "Now we have nothing left"
Tutu leads rights mission to Gaza
Closed-door Arctic deal denouced as 'carve-up'
UK moves to ban cluster bombs
Kay Goldstein: The Inner Life: Putting Life "On Pause": 3 Mini-Meditations for People Who Don't Have Time to Meditate
Dunkin Donuts Pulls Ad Featuring Rachael Ray In A Scarf That Looks Too Arab
WTO's formula for failure
LBJ's Secret Israel Tapes
Dr. Michael J. Breus: Got Sleep Apnea? Go Green, as in Green Tea
Ari Fleisher Tells FOX He's "Hearttbroken" About Scott McClellan's Book
Arianna Huffington: Scotty Come Lately
The unembedded truth
Archbishop Tutu meets devastated Gaza family
Ayaan Hirsi Ali restyles herself with launch of children's book
After Olmert
We are all Olmert's partners
Islam's holiest city set for 130-skyscraper redevelopment
Cardinal urges Muslim leaders to oppose violent jihad
Bill O'Reilly and Dick Morris Worried About Losing Their Jobs
Pat Buchanan Blames Britain For Holocaust

Paul Jay presents RealNews
Spinning the IAEA report on Iran's nuclear program
US corporate media put slant on report despite IAEA finding no proof of continued nuclear arms program view

Why is peace not patriotic?
The Washington, DC chapter of Veterans for Peace is barred from DC's Memorial Day Parade view

Arctic powers duel for potential energy wealth
Arctic powers meet in Greenland to decide the division of vast oil reserves - serious conflict possible view

Living on the breadline
Guardian: First of series on the world food crisis, struggling to get by in Cairo after price increases view

The full-frontal foreign policy debate gets hotter everyday. McCain thinks there are votes in attacking Obama as "anti-war." These new pieces for The New Yorker are about where that connects with Bush and how that winds up conferring bona fides on Obama in his nomination fight. The print piece is an homage to Diane Arbus' Boy With the Straw Hat. The movie is our special recipe for egg salad. Hanoch Piven calls it "disgusting." Serge Bloch agrees. Well, none of these people have actually tasted this. Maybe that's a good thing!

Boy With Straw Hat
Brodner's Cartoon du Jour: Boy With The Straw Hat

Baithak Desi May 29: Triple One Brigade, Jon Elia, Headlines, Cartoons

Brigadier Faheem Rao has taken over the command of the Triple-One Brigade in place of the president's loyal commander Brigadier Aasim Bajwa. The commando unit looking after the security of the Presidency has been changed with another unit. Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

ACCORDING to Dr Mohammad Ali Siddiqi, Jaun Elia was among the most important and popular ghazal writers of the second half of the 20th century. I agree. Yet, in the following lines, I would like to add that he was one of the most neglected nazm writers of the same period, as part of the unfortunate general phenomenon of neglect of nazm by critics of Urdu poetry as well as the poetry lovers in the general public.Jon Elia: Prometheus chained
There are more articles here by the Writers Forum of Canada


CULTURE-PAKISTAN: Afghan Refugee Poets Behind Pashto Revival
Pakistan's Gilani Wants U.S. Help
KSE plunges 567 points as rumours trigger pa...
Stock index plunges to 9-month low
Warrants against Saif-ur-Rehman, others issued
Must Read: 10-minute office workout to stay fit!
KARACHI: Documentary tribute to the Gulgee
Sindh’s cold mountain resort in cold storage
AQ Khan may disclose facts at right time


Maxim - Today's Cartoon
Battle of Audio Tapes

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jinnah’s better half - Khwaja Razi Haider

THIS book fills a void in the literature on Mohammad Ali Jinnah and his wife, Ruttie, and fills it most admirably. Hitherto, a memoir by Kanji Dwarkadas, a devoted friend of the couple, held the field. It was a slim volume of 63 pages published by the writer himself in 1963 Ruttie Jinnah – The Story of a Great Friendship. It contained interesting letters, including some from Ruttie. Kanjibhai, as he was called, was a follower of Annie Besant and wa s Secretary of the All India Home Rule League when she was its leader and Jinnah its president in Bombay. He was active in the labour movement and wrote two volumes of memoirs, India’s Fight for Freedom and Ten Years to Freedom. Opposed though he was to the partition, he never wavered in his affection for Jinnah, for which another friend, Sardar Patel, teased him often.

Rutten Bai, daughter of Sir Dinshaw Petit, Baronet, married Jinnah on April 19, 1918, after she converted to Islam. She was 18 and he was 42. She died on her 29th birthday in early 1929, a few months after they separated. Ruttie was intelligent beyond her years, refined and cultured. An ardent nationalist and a devoted wife, she would be seen in the Visitors Gallery when Jinnah was due to speak and was present in the High Court when Jinnah defended one of the accused in the famous Bawla Murder case.

Sarojini Naidu commented on the marriage: “So Jinnah has at last plucked the Blue Flower of his desire. It was all very sudden and caused terrible agitation and anger among the Parsis; but I think the child has made far bigger sacrifices than she yet realises. Jinnah is worth it all – he loves her; the one really human and genuine emotion of his reserved and self-centred nature. And he will make her happy.” (A letter to Syed Mahmud; A Nationalist Muslim and Indian Politics by V.N. Datta and B.E. Cleghorn; page 31.) BERT BRANDT/ACME/AFP

Ruttie’s death-bed letter to him on October 8, 1928, is heart-rending. “Darling thank you for all you have done. If ever in my bearing your once lined sense found any in ability or kindness be assured that in my heart there was place only for a great tenderness and greater pain – a pain my love without hurt. When one has been as close in the reality of life – (which after all is death) as I have been, dearest – one only remembers the beautiful and tender moments – and all the rest becomes a half veiled mist of unrealities. Try and remember me beloved as the flower you plucked and not the flower you tread upon. I have suffered much sweetheart because I have loved much. The measure of my agony has been in accord to the measure of my love…I have loved you my darling as it is given to few men to be loved. I only beseech you that our tragedy, which commenced with love, should also end with it. Darling good night, and good-bye. Ruttie.”

Kanji was by Jinnah’s side at her funeral, and he wrote: “When Ruttie’s body was being lowered down the grave, Jinnah was not able to control his emotions. He broke down and wept like a child. Then, as the nearest relative, he was the first to throw the earth on the grave, and he broke down suddenly and sobbed, and wept like a child for minutes together.”•

book review by A G Noorani

Intizar Hussain's Basti by Frances W. Pritchett.

The following is an excerpt from the introduction to Intizar Hussain's Basti by Frances W. Pritchett. She is a lover of Hindi and Urdu literature and her "A Desertful of Roses" site, commenting on Ghalib's ghazals and couplets is in a league of its own. If you want to read her translation of Basti, click HERE.


Intizar Husain chose to call his now-famous novel Basti, a word that can refer to any place where groups of people live, from a neighborhood to a city. The novel itself is full of towns, including not only present ones in Pakistan and India, but also at least one from the past (the Delhi of 1857), some mythic ones from Muslim and Hindu story tradition, and two invented ones, Rupnagar and Vyaspur. Although all the outward events clearly take place during Zakir's adult life in Lahore, Lahore is never identified by name -- it remains "this city" from first to last. And the inward events take place in Zakir's memory and imagination alone, as he moves among the times and places of his personal and cultural history. The author has in some cases blurred the transitions. I have tried to clarify them a bit by providing breaks in the text to show movements in time and place, and using " . . . " where fantasy passages begin. Parts of Chapters Seven, Eight, Ten, and Eleven include fantasy and tangled thoughts. While I have provided footnotes identifying quotations and references, the tangle itself is part of the writer's artistry.

Some Pakistanis have criticized my choice of this novel, on the grounds that it offers a "negative impression" of their culture, a mood of "nostalgia." Certainly Basti has been controversial; and certainly it is nothing like a definitive, complete picture of modern Pakistan. But surely no intelligent reader will expect it to be. Self-critical literature is one mark of an open and confident society; sophisticated literature is one mark of a rich and healthy language. Basti is not a perfect novel, but it is a fine one, and revelatory, and very powerful at its best. I hope it will become part of a growing repertoire of good Urdu novels translated into English; there are a number of promising modern works that would well repay the translator's efforts.

I am grateful to Professor Muhammad Umar Memon of the University of Wisconsin, who proposed this project. For insight into the Urdu text I thank Professor Razi Wasti, former Qaid-e Azam Visiting Professor at Columbia University, who answered many questions; Janab Qamar Jalil of the Berkeley Urdu Language Program in Pakistan, who had previously compiled a useful serial glossary; and my students at Columbia, who read parts of the novel with me and shared their thoughts and feelings about it. My special thanks go to the author, Intizar Husain, for his kindness and patience with my many questions during my visit to Lahore in 1988. For valuable comments on the translation as a work of English prose, I am indebted to my teacher and friend C. M. Naim of the University of Chicago, to my friends David Rubin and Jennifer Crewe, and especially to my mother, who is a superb grammarian and detector of small errors. All the calligraphic designs that appear in the book were generously provided by my friend Adil Mansuri. Chapter One of the novel recently appeared in Edebiyat, and I thank the editors, Michael Beard and Julie Meisami, for their comments and encouragement.

Above all, I am deeply grateful for the help of my best friend and collaborator, the distinguished critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, who listened to me read my whole draft aloud while he compared it with the original. His comments not only saved me from numerous mistakes, but immeasurably increased the subtlety and depth of the translation. I have had the best possible help in this task, and any errors that remain are mine alone.

Baithak Desi May 28: Mumtaz Bhutto, Rauf Klasra, Aatish Taseer, The Problem, Shireen Mazari, Headlines, Cartoons

Cases here normally do not take less then fifteen to twenty years to conclude (the writer is speaking from personal experience) and it is usually the accused or defendant who resorts to various means to avoid a verdict a long as possible. Delay has become the best defence. However, the corruption cases filed in England and Switzerland against Asif Zardari stand proved and sentences of confiscation and auction of Surrrey Palace and sealing of accounts worth about $70 million with six months imprisonment has already been imposed. Anyhow, what is beyond dispute is the fact that the previous two PPP governments which were dismissed on charges of murder and corruption (the dismissals upheld by the Supreme Court) consisted mainly of those who are in government today, which raises the question what political pilgrimage have they performed to cleanse themselves of their natural propensities? And what reform school for disgraced politician have they attended to raise hopes of better performance? However, the most negative factor in the present PPP government is the absence of Shaheed Benazir, which is an unfathomable minus. When this lot could not show the required integrity and ability under her guidance, how are they going to prove equal to the task now?The reconciliation hoax - Mumtaz Bhutto

First they raped the country now they want to join the march

Aatish Taseer

It won't be easy to translate theory and campaign promises into practice, and it may not work. Allies and the surrounding region are likely to be impatient, and there is good reason to worry that Pakistan's voters will tire of terror long before the government sorts itself out. Indeed, a hasty treaty with insurgents -- distressingly similar to one that failed two years ago -- already conflates motion with progress. And familiar worries will continue to plague the government: no one knows what the army -- thus far unusually cooperative -- will do if a new political compact doesn't show immediate progress. The whims of a truculent president who refuses to step down are unknown, too. If parliament can't survive the enormous pressures of this transition to civilian government, these policies, if not the parliament itself, may be short-lived. The Problem With Pakistan's Government

Had we understood the basis of why these powers were opposed to our nuclear capability, we would have spent less energy and even fewer national resources in trying to satisfy them. Now while Dr Khan continues to suffer, all others of his so-called network are free souls and the Swiss government has actually destroyed the records involving their countrymen since they felt this was a threat to the country's defence and security. If the US is presently riding roughshod all over our national life it is because we have allowed them to do so. Today, as our leaders quiver like pygmies, our nuclear achievement lies wasted and the achievers' are either incarcerated or killed. Shireen Mazari


US signals Zardari to remove Musharraf
Meeting Pakistan's most feared militant
Zardari, Nawaz agree to cut President's powers
'I like Musharraf's support for democracy': PM Gilani
Paula Newberg: Pakistan's Governance Imperative
Between covers, the story of Pakistan
Battle of Tapes: PML-Q presents tapes against PML-N
Billionaires still poles apart
The inside story of the PPP CEC’s big ‘no’
A forgotten hero: Air Commodore Nazir Latif

Maxim - Today's Cartoon
You are right uncle

Baithak World May 28: US Academic Deported, Saleem Shazad -Taliban III, Creative Accident, justjournalism, Headlines, Brodner, RealNews

Norman Finkelstein, the controversial Jewish American academic and fierce critic of Israel, has been deported from the country and banned from the Jewish state for 10 years, it emerged yesterday. Finkelstein, the son of a Holocaust survivor who has accused Israel of using the genocidal Nazi campaign against Jews to justify its actions against the Palestinians, was detained by the Israeli security service, Shin Bet, when he landed at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport on Friday. Finkelstein is one of several scholars rejected by Israel in the increasingly bitter divide in academic circles, between those who support and those who criticise its treatment of Palestinians. Last year, Israel's most contentious "new historian", Ilan Pappe, left his job as senior lecturer in political science at the University of Haifa after he endorsed the international academic boycott of Israeli institutions, provoking the university president to call for his resignation. US Academic Deported and Banned for Criticizing Israel

I have witnessed how the Taliban rule the Pakistani Mohmand and Bajaur tribal agencies and the Kunar Valley without any formal government. The Taliban are undoubtedly the real regional force "which can only be heard but cannot be seen". The Taliban are more a feeling than a physical presence in these tribal areas, yet they are a force that can transform society. AT WAR WITH THE TALIBAN, Part 3 In the footsteps of Osama ...By Syed Saleem Shahzad
(Part 1: Ducking and diving under B-52s
Part 2: A fighter and a financier)

Richard Feynman, a Nobel Laureate physicist, had an interesting practical test that he applied when reaching a judgment about a new idea: Did it explain something unrelated to the original problem? In other words,

  • What can you explain that you didn't set out to explain?
  • What did you discover that you didn't set out to discover?

In 1938, 27 year old Roy Plunkett set out to invent a new refrigerant. Instead, he created a glob of white waxy material that conducted heat and did not stick to surfaces. Fascinated by this "unexpected" material, he abandoned his original line of research and experimented with this interesting material, which eventually became known by its household name, "Teflon." The Creative Accident: Are You Looking for the Unexpected?

Here is a new website justjournalism that analysis media reporting in Britain - and check this: Israel: From independence to intifada


Huffpollstrology: Candidates' Horoscopes, Polls And More For May 28
Girish Karnad on Vijay Tendulkar
Wrong Heaven by Rabindranath Tagore
New Film Gives Glimpse of Our Water Future in 2035
Pentagon Audit Finds $15 Billion in Iraq Funds Unnaccounted For
Who Paid for the flight?Air Force One Flies Bush To Private McCain Fundraiser (VIDEO)
West Wing: From Superpower to Soft Power
Unfair to Bush? Unfair to Clinton?: Campaign coverage was unfair to voters
WSJ Asks: Do The Rockefellers Still Matter?
Ghost In A Bottle: Yours For $20
Iraq War May Have Increased Energy Costs World Wide by a Staggering $6 Trillion
Ralph Nader: Stop the Oil Speculators
Bush 'plans Iran air strike by August'
Israel: Carter Offers Details on Nuclear Arsenal
THE BEAR'S LAIR : Invasion: Time to do something about oil
Debits & Credits: the FT Investigates
Opening Bell: Bearn Stearns Saga, In Three Acts
Charity: 6-year-olds forced into sex for food
Whatever Happened With the Jena 6?
Economic Crisis: Worse Than It Seems
A Brief History of the Kama Sutra
Meditation: The New Psychotherapy
Were Buddhists and Jains Persecuted in Ancient India?

This Memorial Day remembering Marine Lance Cpl. Jeff Lucey who was lost to his family, friends, and the rest of us fighting the war that stayed in him after Iraq. The anguish, pain, and suffering resulting from this war continues to afflict 300,000 veterans every day. One hundred twenty take their own lives every week. To a very great degree vets are left to their own devices to cope with this and related illnesses. These American patriots need to be put at the top of the list, shown the way out of PTSD to the mental health services they desperately need. Jeff’s pain was unrelenting, although hidden. He did relate his stories in letters. He claimed to have been ordered to shoot two Iraqi soldiers at point-blank range. He anguished over their age and the moral depravity of war. He took their dog tags and wore them himself. He took his own life June 22, 2004.

Here's the story in a local Massachusetts paper

Marine Lance Cpl. Jeff Lucey
Brodner's Cartoon du Jour: Marine Lance Cpl. Jeff Lucey

Paul Jay presents RealNews
Canada refuses to allow Iraq war deserter to stay
US denies soldiers the right to question the illegality of the war in Iraq view

Will Cheney get his war?
Gareth Porter: Military is against it, but more support in Congress for an attack on Iran (5 of 5) view

Myanmar opens doors to foreign aid workers
Joe Belliveau of Medecins Sans Frontieres sees no signs of reconstruction view

Baghdad, city of widows
Alive in Baghdad: Remembering the Iraqi husbands and children who have died due to war view

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Baithak Desi May 27: From News, Our Man Haqqani - Anjum Niaz, Headines, Cartoons

Washington appears to be engaged in a last ditch effort to persuade the PPP to allow President Musharraf to retain office, even if it is without his powers, or else to work out a face saving 'minus two' formula under which both the president and Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would make an exit. While the US embassy has denied any plans for a visit by the State Department's John Negroponte, who has so far stood in Musharraf's corner throughout his contest with democratic forces, two visiting US senators are reported to have brought with them this message. The senators have been meeting key figures in Islamabad, including the president, the prime minister and the PPP co-chairperson, Asif Ali Zardari. Indeed it is Mr Zardari's latest attacks on Musharraf that seem to have prompted Washington to begin a new effort to rescue its floundering friend. The senators have also discussed bilateral trade and the war on terror during their visit. Editorial from the News

The co-chairman of the PPP is currently a very busy man accommodating his loyalists. I am sure he must be inundated with reminders from all those bounty hunters claiming to have been his foot soldiers during his "dark" days in exile. So far the pattern has been predictable. Without any waste of time, Husain Haqqani, Rahman Malik, Siraj Shamsuddin and Salman Farooqi were appointed as soon as the Dogar court made the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) a permanent fixture. Malik, Haqqani and Farooqi, who had cases of wrongdoing filed with the NAB (National Accountability Bureau), not only earned reprieve but got appointed to high positions. (Even Farooqi's brother Usman Farooqi has received a fiduciary clean bill of character.) Our Man Haqqani - Anjum Niaz


real or doctored? taped coversations
Elahi to sue Ahsan over Nawaz charges
Nisar says PPP’s package meant to divert attention
Abbas Ansari on protocals and priviledges
Emran Qureshi and Heba Raouf Ezzat - Are Sharia Laws and Human Rights Compatible?
Musharraf has bought an island in Turkey- Nazir Naji
Science books in Urdu soon
Osama in White House Basement?

Maxim - Today's Cartoon
Pandora Box

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Baithak World May 27: The Space Archaeologists, Headlines, Cartoons and more

If it weren’t for the landmines, Lingapura would be a great place to dig. For part of the 10th century, this pocket of northwestern Cambodia was the capital of the famed Angkorian empire, a sprawling city studded with homes, irrigation channels, and more than 1,000 temples crowned with stone lingam, or phalluses. But ever since Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge dotted Cambodia with millions of landmines in the 1970s, Lingapura’s ruins have sat mostly untouched.

For Damian Evans and Bill Saturno, now surveying Lingapura from atop a crumbling 1,000-year-old tower, the mines don’t really matter. Evans and Saturno are among a growing group of archaeologists who use radar, satellite imagery and other advanced technologies to uncover the mysteries surrounding ancient civilizations. This young vanguard of scholars explores not only regions where violence rules out groundwork, but also sites previously invisible from the ground: the ocean floor, dense jungle, even buried cities. They are transforming archaeology from a gritty, hands-on profession into an office job—what NASA terms, in program-funding documents, “space archaeology.” In doing so, they’re unearthing whole civilizations and rewriting history books: reshaping, in a few short years, the study of our preindustrial past.

The Space Archaeologists


Who is being reckless, Obama or McCain? - Eric Margolis
Jimmy Carter calls for US to make friends with Iran after 27 years
Israeli award goes to Palestinians
As Bush's Neoceonservative Approach Crumbles, Allies Step Into the Breach
When is it not under Emergency?
Egypt extends 'state of emergency'
Crazy about Barack: Obamamania Infects Germany
MIDEAST: A Quick Guide to Some Stumbling Blocks
The Courage of Rachel Corrie
ANALYSIS: Price of quiet in Lebanon is Hezbollah in power
MIDEAST: Israel Targets Iran Through Syrian Friendship
MIDEAST: Lebanon Deal Confirms Qatar's Honest Broker Role
Jimmy Carter says Israel has 150 nuclear weapons
Oil Crisis? Blame It on Bush Wars
Diane Francis: Oil Shock: Mexico and China Not Exxon Stupid
Shahid Buttar: Bush v. Gore Rears Its Head: The Politicization of Voting Rights (Part I of III)
Canada's foreign minister resigns
Uri Avnery: Escaping Forwards
FOX Distorts Obama's Wesleyan Commencement Speech
No Context, No Balance: It's about TIME
Director Sydney Pollack dies of cancer at 73
Some of Sydney Pollack's films
Hay festival: Kureishi slams creative writing courses

'The Man Who Loved China' by Simon Winchester
Shashi Tharoor:This mini-league of nations would cause only division
Muslim TV channel to stage interfaith game show
A Night at the Opera

'Indiana Jones'-Like Archaeologist Says He's Found Cleopatra's Tomb

Getting the ball rolling and keeping it going
Writers and Money
The Colbertian Guide to Foreign Policy Coverage.


Paul Jay presents RealNews
US system of deportation inhumane
Immigrant rights under threat by poor detention and deportation procedures view

US and Iran: Is an Iraq grand bargain possible?
Gareth Porter: Iraq regime torn between US and Iran; US wants a deal, but on its own terms (4 of 4) view

How clean Is Clean Coal?
American News Project takes a look at the controversial practice of coal-ash dumping view