Tag Archives: Washington Post

In Conversation With A Well-Known Author: A Discussion On Future Of West Asia With Bill Kirkman

Obama: Trying To Change The Approach!

Obama: Trying To Change The Approach!



Not much has changed in Middle East since my last conversation with Bill Kirkman in 2006. Israel and Palestine relations continue to remain tense even as US has given way to tactical shift in its policies aimed at bringing stability in that region. It has become more people oriented than relying absolutely on state-to-state negotiations.

Obama’s words make that aspect very clear– “Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see…..Look to the future that you want for your own children – a future in which a Jewish, democratic state is protected and accepted, for this time and for all time. … There will be many voices that say this change is not possible. But remember this: Israel is the most powerful country in this region. Israel has the unshakeable support of the most powerful country in the world. Israel has the wisdom to see the world as it is, but also the courage to see the world as it should be.” 

It would be interesting to know the views which flowed between us as we discussed this very sensitive issue seven years back.

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My Viewpoint:

This has reference to Bill Kirkman’s article A war that is morally indefensible published in The Hindu on August 06, 2006. Well, the kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers by the Hamas and brutal murder of some of its soldiers by Hizballah were enough to fan the suppressed desires of Israeli. It’s time to acknowledge the fact that in war both the sides end up as losers. Let’s not intercept it as clash of civilization but clash of religious ideologies. However, it’s a harsh reality that none of the religious ideologies advocate violence but the fallacious interpretation of them by their followers leads to volcanic atmosphere. A situation which is cashed-in-on by the US and its like-minded allies to serve their vested interests. Unless the followers come to elevate their consciousness, it would be nothing sort of foolhardiness to expect miraculous changes in the future. 

President Bush must heed to the words of Churchill: ” The statesman who yields to war fever ….is no longer the master of policy but the slave of  unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.” Surely, the way events have taken shape in Iraq, shattering American hopes one after another, should be enough for the US to intercept the dangers in pursuing imperialist designs in the name of restoration of human rights. 

However, Americans love to ignore the lessons offered by past debacle. Had US remembered setback it received in Vietnam, it would have certainly curtailed its habit of pulling the strings of weaker nation on one pretext or another.

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Words Of Bill Kirkman: 

Thank you for writing. I was interested in your comments. I agree that in war both sides end up as losers. I take a very gloomy view of the future of West Asia.

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About Bill Kirkman: 

” He began his career as a journalist on the Wolverhampton Express & Star, which he joined on graduating from Oxford. Bill then moved on to The Times, where he was Africa Correspondent and Commonwealth Staff Correspondent in the early 1960s, covering the period of rapid de-colonisation. He is the author of Unscrambling an Empire (Chatto & Windus 1966) and has been a columnist for The Hindu since 1994. He was a frequent broadcaster with the BBC World Service and Africa Service in the 1960s, and with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire in the 1990s. In 1983 Bill was awarded the MBE for services to journalism…..Bill was Head of the University Careers Service from his arrival in Cambridge in 1968 until 1992 (following four years as Careers Advisor at Oxford) and University Advisor on Public Relations 1992-1996.” 

Source: Wolfson College Cambridge

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A War Takes Its Toll On Innocents!

A War Takes Its Toll On Innocents!

Suggested Reading:

Bill Kirkman: A war that is morally indefensible; The Hindu, Aug 06, 2006.

Max Fisher: How Obama just reframed the Israel-Palestine conflict;  The Washington Post, March 21, 2013.

Pics Credit:

Pic One

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Silence is not always golden, Mr Prime Minister

The Washington Post: Not Far Away From The Truth Yet Misses The Point

The Washington Post: Not Far Away From The Truth Yet Misses The Point


The stars are not favouring Prime Mininster Manmohan Singh. He seems to be chased by problems instead of solutions and that’s turned him into a sorry figure. The Washington Post’s article is not far away from the truth. It’s not entirely based on figment of one’s imagination. If you read between the lines, Simon Denyer has not conveyed anything unusual and bizarre. He has reiterated facts which we all know quite well. So it’s really hard to understand why the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) acted in such an amateurish fashion, hell bent on seeking apology on part of The Washington Post? It’s true that the Washington Post, like any other Western Media publication, relied heavily on points which served its interests instead of making an attempt to create a perfect balance. I am compelled to say that because it attempted to portray the reality not through well established facts but via remarks made in lighter vein at the meetings.    

It’s ironical that such a reputed newspaper preferred to be swayed by popular sentiments in an issue which demanded a serious approach. It should have made serious efforts to know what really caused this transformation? What were the factors responsible for turning “scrupulously honorable, humble and intellectual technocrat” into a “dithering, ineffectual bureaucrat presiding over a deeply corrupt government”? The Washington Post in its article has presented India’s economic growth in wrong light, stating that “economic reforms have stalled, growth has slowed sharply and the rupee has collapsed.”

Incidentally, it’s worth noting that US President Barack Obama in an interview given to PTI in Washington in July, 2012, not only treated this “ineffectual bureaucrat” as his friend with whom he worked closely but also “valued the insights of the Indian leader at various international fora including the recent G20 meeting in Mexico”. Referring to economic growth in India Obama stated that “Indian innovation is an engine of the global economy. And even with the recent challenges, the Indian economy continues to grow at an impressive rate. The Indian people have displayed a remarkable capacity to meet India’s challenges.”

It’s pretty clear that despite taking a bold step of presenting the Prime Minister’s image, on par with popular perceptions, the newspaper miserably failed to substantiate its stand with hardcore logic. We would have loved to know why Indian Prime Minister became like captain of a cricket team, having players treating the captain with disdain? It should have let us know that he had ministers like A Raja in his cabinet who could dare to ignore the recommendations made  by the Prime Minister and frame their own “unconstitutional and arbitrary” policies. He gave rise to one of the biggest scams, 2G Spectrum Scam, which made Time to place it “at number two on their ‘Top 10 Abuses of Power’ list”. In fact, in his regime we became aware of the fact that how the big names in media and the big corporate houses influenced policy making power of the government.

So what was the stand of PM on these scams? Nothing more than that of being a mute spectator, reminding us about classic character in Mahabharata named Dhritarashtra. The recent remarks by Supreme Court in the water-share dispute, provide a glimpse into the happenings taking place inside PMO. “For fixing a date for the CRA meeting, you seek the convenience of the states. It is the PM who should see his convenience. For fixing a date, you see the convenience of the PM or the states?…We had already expressed our anguish the last time. It still doesn’t matter to them. This is very, very shocking. This is what happens in the PMO.”

It has never happened before that Cabinet Ministers instead of fixing the problem openly attack the Constitutional bodies for revealing the harsh truths. It is really tragic that there is constant effort to weaken the Constitutional bodies by such scathing comments. So what’s the role of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG)? In the congress regime, it just keeps adding zeroes! And what’s the perspective of Prime Minister on such serious charges leveled against the government? “My silence is better than a thousand answers; it keeps intact the honour of innumerable questions.” Well, his remark says all. It gives you an idea about the attitudes and beliefs operating in Congress regimes. It’s time to realize that silence is not always golden. More so in times, when corrupt practices rule the roost.  

Manmohan Singh: Silence Is Not Always Golden!

Manmohan Singh: Silence Is Not Always Golden!

References/Credit: 

The Washington Post

The Washington Post

BIZINDIA

Daily News

Wiki

The Telegraph

The Indian Express

CAG

Business Standard

Pic Credit:

Pic One

Pic Two

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