Archive for the ‘India’ Category

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, September 19th, 2011

India Eyes Latin America
The South Asian giant’s burgeoning presence in the Western Hemisphere is unambiguously good for both Latin America and the United States.

Cristina, Guevara, la patria liberada

Big Fears on Big Food Prices

Evo Morales llegará a Cuba el domingo para reunirse con Raúl Castro
El presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, llegará el domingo a Cuba para una visita de trabajo de dos días durante la que se reunirá con el gobernante Raúl Castro, informó este sábado un comunicado oficial.

Bush, Bismarck and Brazil

Brazilian politics
A packed chessboard

The Road to Rio is America’s Road to Ruin

Rescued Chilean miner in rehab

New Chilean telescopes push the boundaries of astronomy
With two gigantic telescopes coming in the next decade, Chile is gaining a reputation as one of the best places in the world for stargazers.

Libyan rebels execute 10 Colombians thought to be FARC mercenaries

Paramilitaries and Colombia’s government
The biggest fish so far
: Jorge Noguera

Six Months for Letting Grandma Do His Laundry

Colombian mountain cyclists try to pedal out of poverty toward glory in Europe

Bill Richardson went to Cuba to intercede on Alan Gross’ behalf and was resoundedly turned down: Alberto de la Cruz writes on how the Obama State Dept. authorized Richardson to offer concessions in exchange for Gross

Taxes in Cuba
Get used to it
The Castros’ subjects get acquainted with that other sure thing

Trips Back to Cuba Draw Fire

Big Labor’s Yanqui Imperialism
The U.S. trade representative is trying to deny due process to Guatemala in defiance of free-trade agreement rules.

Good news: ATF’s Gunwalker may have helped Mexican cartels buy rocket launchers

Cloward-Piven: The Ultimate Goal of Gunwalker?
It’s hard to think of a more logical reason for Gunwalker to exist.

Free speech in Mexico
Be careful what you Tweet

Time for Another Reminder

Panamanian politics
With friends like these

Masked intruders rob casino in Puerto Rico

Officials: Teen goes on rampage at Puerto Rico school, stabbing 37 classmates with needle

Venezuelan government providing support to terrorist Carlos the Jackal

Human Rights Court rules in favor of Leopoldo Lopez, slaps Chavez tactic of illegally disqualifying opposition

Chavez is in Cuba for a 5th round of chemo, instead of going to the UN this week. He claims it’s “the last round.” Evo Morales stopped in Caracas and they both flew together.

Since Chavez is not going to NY, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will visit him in Caracas on his way back from the UN Assembly.

Smoke and Mirrors in the Chavez Revolution: Oil and Research

This is the lawyer of Chavez defending what cannot be defended

The week’s posts:
The AFL-CIO vs. Guatemala
Mexico’s cartels vs bloggers, part 3
Mexican cartels now going after bloggers, part 2
Venezuela to withdraw from the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes

At The Green Room,
Mexican cartels now going after bloggers


Chavez throws BRICs for Gaddafi

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

In yet one more display of stupidity and showmanship, the increasingly bloated Hugo Chavez is calling for the BRICs (Brasil, Rusia, India and China) – along with the ALBA countries – to stand up and fight for Muammar.

He also urged Gaddafi to continue resisting,

“Nobody knows where Qaddafi is,” Chavez said today in a phone interview broadcast on state television. “I’m sure that he’s very far from thinking about leaving Libya. He’ll resist with what power he has left.”

Chavez, who last month pledged support to Qaddafi and called the armed conflict in Libya the result of “imperial insanity,” said he doesn’t have information on the leader’s whereabouts. He said that by resisting, Qaddafi can lay the groundwork for a lasting peace in Libya.

Yeah, right.

Hugo isn’t offering any help, though, not even one of the planned “socialist cars

When asked if he would offer Qaddafi asylum, Chavez recalled a conversation he had with Cuba’s Fidel Castro about the capture of Saddam Hussein after Iraq was invaded. Chavez said Fidel told him that in such situations “what we have to do is win or die.”

Blah blah blah.

The BRICs ignored Chavez’s blather while Gaddafi pulled a Sir Robin,


Obama’s pearls of wisdom to India: Get more bureaucrats!

Monday, November 8th, 2010

President Obama blew India’s mind with his insane teleprompter skills and his 30-minute speech,

On Monday, the red sandstone columns of Indian parliament were wrapped with marigold garlands. The hall was packed, with dozens of members of parliament standing, said lawmaker Rajeev Chandrasekhar. Some members argued with security guards and asked for extra chairs. A few male lawmakers reluctantly gave up their seats for women members

Once settled, the audience had the privilege to hear the POTUS tell them India needs more bureaucrats.


Oh, yes.

“I would just suggest that I hope some of you decide to go ahead and get involved in public service — which can be frustrating,” he said. “But India is going to need you not just as businessmen but also as leaders who are helping to reduce bureaucracy and make government more responsive and deliver services more efficiently.”

IBD editorial points out,

Probably no nation has been so choked by its bureaucrats as India. Words like “satrap” and “panjandrum,” commonly used to describe bureaucrats, are from, well, India.

The reality is that bureaucrats stifled economic growth for decades; indeed,

the only reason India’s technology industry was able to take off at all was that bureaucrats were unable to stifle it.

His [Nandan Nilekani, founder of Infosys] company grew because “we experienced little of the labor problems and strikes that plagued India’s traditional industries. Since the government did not recognize us as a ‘conventional’ business for a long time, their regulations did not hamper us, and we worked outside the controls that stifled companies in manufacturing and agriculture. … We did not have to build relationships with bureaucrats, or make periodic visits to Delhi,” Nilekani wrote.

Obama is acting consistently. His distaste for private enterprise is clear:

business leaders, even the few who continue to be Obama-friendly, say they are convinced he is hostile to free markets and the private sector. Some of these executives have balance sheets flush with cash but are reluctant to add jobs or expand in part because they don’t trust Obama’s instincts for growth.

“He used anti-corporate, confrontational rhetoric too for legislative gain and kept doing it after folks found it gratuitous,” a top executive said.

A member of the packed audience was so overwhelmed by Obama’s pearls of wisdom, he gave Obama his pearl necklace (described as “a golden chain with south sea pearls”) – which Obama took.

Makes you wonder if the US bureaucrats will make him report the gift.

Welcome, MOTUS readers!


Obama’s India trip to cost $200million/day? VIDEO

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Depends on who you listen to:
The New Delhi Chronicle,
Obama trip to india: obama india trip cost around $200 million daily
Meanwhile India says that it will not prejudge outcome of Obama visit

Or the White House,
$200 million-a-day cost for India trip ‘wildly inflated’: White House.

The Wall Street Journal checks out the fuzzy math and concludes,

the report is demonstrably incorrect. It says the White House had blocked off the entire Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai – it hasn’t – and that the press traveling with Mr. Obama will be staying there. We won’t. Besides, the press pays its own way at considerable cost to the media outlets, not the U.S. taxpayer.

Here’s their video,

Allahpundit looks at other rumors,

Near as I can tell, the mega-bombshell about Obama introducing a teleprompter to India’s parliament remains tragically, pathetically true. Exit question: What about this new blockbuster from the Telegraph about the mass coconut culling happening around the city’s Gandhi museum to protect the presidential noggin? Dude, I think it’s real.

The question remains, What Will Michelle Obama Wear in India? Hopefully not a lehenga.


My own travels continue, but definitely not on a $200million/day budget.


Recession? Let’s fly out to India!

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

President Obama will visit India for two days starting November 6, and will be in the company of hundreds, from the looks of it, while definitely running up the overhead,
Barack and Michelle’s Mumbai darshan plans (emphasis added)

To ensure fool-proof security, the President’s team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.

The officer said, “Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets. There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President’s convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.”

Over 700 hotel rooms for a presidential visit? Why? What’s going on that the contingent is so enormous?

I want to know, will the White House provide a list of exactly who the people are that will be accompanying the POTUS on the taxpayers’ dime?

But, never fear,

The President will be accompanied by his chefs,

and the teleprompter, too.


The Farmer’s Daughter

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

No, not this farmer’s daughter,


But Rukhsana Kausar, this farmer’s daughter,


Farmer’s daughter disarms terrorist and shoots him dead with AK47
An Indian farmer’s daughter disarmed a terrorist leader who broke into her home, attacked him with an axe and shot him dead with his own gun.

Rukhsana Kausar, 21, was with her parents and brother in Jammu and Kashmir when three gunmen, believed to be Pakistani militants, forced their way in and demanded food and beds for the night.

Their house in Shahdra Sharief, Rajouri district, is about 20 miles from the ceasefire line between Indian and Pakistani forces.

It is close to dense forests known as hiding places for fighters from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, which carried out the Mumbai terrorist attack last November.

Militants often demand food and lodging in nearby villages.

When they forced their way into Miss Kausar’s home, her father Noor Mohammad refused their demands and was attacked.

His daughter was hiding under a bed when she heard him crying as the gunmen thrashed him with sticks. According to police, she ran towards her father’s attacker and struck him with an axe. As he collapsed, she snatched his AK47 and shot him dead.

She also shot and wounded another militant as he made his escape.

Interestingly, the article doesn’t call the attacker the “t” word until the third paragraph from the bottom,

She may also receive a £4,000 reward if, as police believe, the dead terrorist is confirmed as Uzafa Shah, a wanted Pakistani LeT commander who had been active in the area for the past four years.

At least they used the “t” word twice in the title.

The article also forgets to mention that the Pakistani LeT is an Islamist Jihadi group.

(hat tip: DaMav)

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Why the U.S. should listen to India’s voters

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

400 million voters, in a 60% turnout, just made a crucial decision for the future of the world’s largest democracy.

What does it mean for the US?

Michael Barone, writing for the Washington Examiner, explains Why the U.S. should listen to India’s voters

The Congress vision of India was built on three pillars: socialism, autarky and secularism. Socialism meant a government-driven economy policed by a Permit Raj — government bureaucrats had to approve every economic change. Autarky meant cutting India off from world trade, so that local industries could grow. Secularism meant toleration of religious diversity in a nation with both a large Hindu majority and the world’s second largest Muslim population.

The fall of the Soviet Union removed two of these three pillars. Manmohan Singh, then finance minister and now prime minister, began dismantling the Permit Raj. Successive governments led by the Congress party and the Hindu nationalist BJP opened up India to trade, and export industries grew. Secularism remained, embraced by the Congress and not entirely repudiated by the BJP.

With the de facto alliance with the Soviets defunct, India was now open to an American alliance. Bill Clinton became the first U.S. president to visit India in years. George W. Bush moved further, cultivating closer ties with India and signing and getting ratified a nuclear cooperation treaty.

It became obvious that we had much in common. Both countries have a large and capable military, both have nuclear weapons, both have electoral democracies and English common law traditions, and both are prime targets of Islamist extremists. After Sept. 11, when Pakistan’s Gen. Pervez Musharraf made a U-turn and promised to help the United States in Afghanistan, he did so in the awareness that the U.S. had a friend on the other side of his border.

India also has the potential to contain the power of China, in conjunction with other well-armed democracies around its periphery — Japan, South Korea and Australia. Its economy has been growing almost as fast as China’s, and it now has a middle class of perhaps 200 million people.

The election held over four weeks in April and May has produced a result very much to our advantage. The Congress party has been returned to power with a larger share of the vote than indicated by pre-election and exit polls, and will no longer need Communists and left-wingers for majorities in the Lok Sabha. The BJP attacked Congress for being too close to the United States; voters evidently decided that this was not a minus but a plus.

This NYT op-ed puts the election in context:

This was a new, largely young (60 percent of the electorate is under 35 years) and forward-looking India sending out an unmistakable message: We want stability and good governance, not the politics of caste and religion.

The message went home. On Monday morning, the Indian stock market — which hit a three-year low last March and has been fluctuating wildly since — soared. By the end of the day, it had gained the highest number of points in its history. Indian business was smiling again.

The election had been a face-off between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the Congress Party and the 81-year-old Lal Kishen Advani, leader of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). It turned out to be a no-contest.

The mild-mannered, scholarly Singh was widely seen as the face of liberalization and economic reform. He was also admired for his integrity. Advani, who had led the 1991 march of Hindu zealots to the Babri mosque, culminating in its destruction and the unleashing of communal riots, was still identified as a Hindu fundamentalist.

Singh pointed to the future, Advani to the past. Singh belongs to the minority Sikh community (just 15 million out of over one billion Indians), while Advani is a Hindu (85 percent of the population). It was clear whom the voters preferred. Religion, which has often strongly colored Indian politics, took a back seat.

Back to the Barone article,
So what is the Obama administration doing?

Continuing its pattern of ignoring our best allies, as it has with the UK, Colombia, and others, and trying to mollify our enemies:

All of which puts the ball in Barack Obama’s court. He has scarcely mentioned India in public since he became president, even as he has been making emollient noises to the mullah regime in Iran. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, said publicly she wouldn’t object to China’s abuses of the human rights, which India has worked hard to uphold. The U.S. is preoccupied with the turmoil inside Pakistan, as well as with Pakistan’s problematic role in the fight against the Taliban. But building closer relations with India would give us more leverage in Islamabad. Clinton, who played a constructive role in her husband’s outreach to India, should understand this. Perhaps Obama does too.

But it’s hard to tell. Obama has continued military operations in Iraq and stepped them up in Afghanistan, but otherwise he is banking heavily on the proposition that he can convince those who have been our sworn enemies that they should be our friends. Maybe that will work. But in the meantime, it would not hurt to show some solicitude for our friends in India, with whom we share strategic interests and moral principles. The 700 million voters of India have chosen to be our ally. We should take them up on it.

Can’t say I’m holding my breath on it. The Summit of the Americas showed that Obama is more interested in reaching across the crowded room to our enemy than he is to our friends. John Hinderaker is thinking in similar terms:

India is one of the world’s most important and dynamic countries with enormous strategic importance in Asia. Strengthening our alliance with India was one of the Bush administration’s major foreign policy achievements. Maybe Obama considers that a reason to ignore India; let’s hope not.

Both the alliances with India and Colombia were great foreign policy achievements for the Bush administration. Will Obama therefore try to undo them?

Look to Brasilia, Not Beijing

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Bruce Gilley, writing on India, Brazil and South Africa’s diplomatic initiatives:
Look to Brasilia, Not Beijing
The rising challenge to China’s great power aspirations.

But a more compelling challenge to the current world order may be emerging from an unlikely trio of countries that boast both impeccable democratic credentials and serious global throw weight. They are India, Brazil and South Africa and their little-noticed experiment in foreign policy coordination since 2003 to promote subtle but potentially far-reaching changes to the international system has the potential to leave fears of a rising China in the dustbin of history.

The quasi-alliance of these three powers has serious implications for the international system, and its major underwriter, the U.S., depending on how the challenge is handled. But an equally important, and quite unintended implication, is the sabotage of China’s great power ambitions. By robbing China of its claims to represent developing countries, this new cooperative trio could sideline China from the major debates in international affairs. That may be good news for domestic reform in China, which has long been stunted by the country’s great power ambition.

In that sense, this is a good thing; who did it get started?

The origins of the India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum (IBSA) lie in South Africa’s quest for a new allies more consonant with its interests and ideas following the end of apartheid in 1994. The immediate impetus came from Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who floated a formal cooperation scheme in early 2003. In June of that year, the foreign ministers of the three countries inaugurated the group in Brasilia, calling for a strengthening of international institutions to address the concerns of developing countries in areas like poverty, the environment and technology. Since then, according to Sarah-Lea John de Sousa of Madrid’s FRIDE think tank, the trio has been gaining support as “spokesmen for developing countries at the global level.”

Democracy is not just about IBSA’s membership requirements; it bears on the very purposes of IBSA. IBSA is not a security alliance — Brazil and South Africa, after all, are harsh critics of India’s nuclear program. What it is, rather, is an alliance that seeks to use democratic ideals to effectively reshape the U.N. and other international institutions to serve poor countries better. In a strange way, IBSA is a community of democracies from hell — a group of countries with impeccable democratic credentials who are using that common identity to challenge rather than advance U.S. interests. International relations scholars call this “soft balancing” because rather than confronting the U.S., they are simply trying to restrain and reorient it. The reason this may work is that, as democracies, these countries have the moral stature in the international system to achieve those goals. Indian and Brazilian diplomats in particular, already among the world’s best, can advance the IBSA agenda because they share common ideals.

And that is good news.

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“Pak textbooks build hate culture against India”

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

The Times of India describes how Pak textbooks build hate culture against India

Terrorism in Pakistan has its roots in the culture of hate and the ethos of inequality on the ground of religious faith, leading to their being deeply ingrained in the Pakistani psyche and mindset.

One factor that has played a crucial role in creating this culture of hate is the educational policy of the government of Pakistan pursued since 1977. The officially prescribed textbooks, especially for school students, are full of references that promote hate against India in general, and Hindus in particular.

A cursory glance at Pakistani school textbooks – especially the compulsory subjects like Pakistan studies and social studies – gives an idea of how history has been distorted and a garbled version prescribed to build this mindset and attitude.

The objective of Pakistan’s education policy has been defined thus in the preface to a Class 6 book: “Social studies have been given special importance in educational policy so that Pakistan’s basic ideology assumes the shape of a way of life, its practical enforcement is assured, the concept of social uniformity adopts a practical form and the whole personality of the individual is developed.” This statement leaves no doubt that “social uniformity”, not national unity, is a part of Pakistan’s basic ideology.

Some of the stuff is quite astonishing, including this one:

“Previously, India was part of Pakistan.”

The article lists more, and I expect people familiar with Palestinian propaganda against Israel will be able to draw paralels to that:

On Indo-Pak wars, the books give detailed descriptions and openly eulogize ‘jihad’ and ‘shahadat’ and urge students to become ‘mujahids’ and martyrs and leave no room for future friendship and cordial relations with India.

Not to be underestimated is the “blame” mentality: I attended a lecture by the new Pakistani minister of the exterior a couple of months ago and his entire theme was blaming someone else: mostly Afghanistan and the US, but India was not spared, either.

Richard Fernandez, on the other hand, explores syncretism.

The news today: Pakistan redeploying troops to Indian border

Pakistan began moving thousands of troops from the Afghan border toward India, officials and witnesses said Friday, raising tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbors and possibly undermining the U.S.-backed campaign against al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The country also announced that it was canceling all military leave in the aftermath of last month’s terror attack on the Indian financial capital of Mumbai.

India has blamed Pakistani militants for the terrifying three-day siege; Pakistan has demanded that India back this up with better evidence.

Pakistan’s latest moves were seen as a warning that it would retaliate if India launches air or missile strikes against militant targets on Pakistani soil – rather than as an indication that a fourth war was imminent between the two countries.

This changes Obama’s plan:

Any significant troop movement would likely dash President-elect Barack Obama’s strategy of having Pakistan concentrate on the threat emanating from the lawless tribal regions close to Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders are believed hiding out.

Pakistan denies the troop movement,

However, a senior Pakistani security official denied that the troops were being deployed to the Indian border.

He said a “limited number” of soldiers were being shifted from areas “where they were not engaged in any operations on the western border or from areas which were snowbound.”

Add one more challenge for the incoming Obama administration, which wants to cut the Pentagon’s budget.


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Mumbai hero: Sandra Samuel

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Via Yid with lid, a real hero: The Jerusalem Post has her own words,

“I was like…just take the baby and run,” she said. “Frankly, I don’t even know what I was thinking. I just picked up the baby and I ran, and that other worker was with me, Jackie, and we ran. Like mad we just ran.”

“When I hear gunshots, it’s not like one or two, it’s like hundreds of gunshots. 10, 20 grenades, bombs in the Chabad, so…I don’t think of fear,” she recalled. “Does anyone think of dying at that moment when a small, precious baby’s…no.”

Mark Steyn: Jews get killed, but Muslims feel vulnerable

At the Chabad House, the murdered Jews were described in almost all the Western media as “ultra-Orthodox,” “ultra-” in this instance being less a term of theological precision than a generalized code for “strange, weird people, nothing against them personally, but they probably shouldn’t have been over there in the first place.”

Are they stranger or weirder than their killers? Two “inflamed moderates” entered the Chabad House, shouted “Allahu Akbar!,” tortured the Jews and murdered them, including the young rabbi’s pregnant wife. Their 2-year-old child escaped because of a quick-witted (non-Jewish) nanny who hid in a closet and then, risking being mowed down by machine-gun fire, ran with him to safety.

The Times was being silly in suggesting this was just an “accidental” hostage opportunity – and not just because, when Muslim terrorists capture Jews, it’s not a hostage situation, it’s a mass murder-in-waiting. The sole surviving “militant” revealed that the Jewish center had been targeted a year in advance. The 28-year-old rabbi was Gavriel Holtzberg. His pregnant wife was Rivka Holtzberg. Their orphaned son is Moshe Holtzberg, and his brave nanny is Sandra Samuels. Remember their names, not because they’re any more important than the Indians, Britons and Americans targeted in the attack, but because they are an especially revealing glimpse into the pathologies of the perpetrators.

In a well-planned attack on iconic Mumbai landmarks symbolizing great power and wealth, the “militants” nevertheless found time to divert 20 percent of their manpower to torturing and killing a handful of obscure Jews helping the city’s poor in a nondescript building. If they were just “teenage gunmen” or “militants” in the cause of Kashmir, engaged in a more or less conventional territorial dispute with India, why kill the only rabbi in Mumbai? Dennis Prager got to the absurdity of it when he invited his readers to imagine Basque separatists attacking Madrid: “Would the terrorists take time out to murder all those in the Madrid Chabad House? The idea is ludicrous.”

And yet we take it for granted that Pakistani “militants” in a long-running border dispute with India would take time out of their hectic schedule to kill Jews. In going to ever more baroque lengths to avoid saying “Islamic” or “Muslim” or “terrorist,” we have somehow managed to internalize the pathologies of these men.

Go read the rest.

Via Newton, Chabad of Mumbai‘s website.


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