PEPE ESCOBAR: The India-China, Himalayan Puzzle

25 June 220 — Consortium News

The Indo-China border is a strategic chessboard and it’s gotten way more complex.

Valley near Kangan, Kashmir. (Kashmir Pictures, Flickr)

By Pepe Escobar
Special to Consortium News

It was straight from an Orientalist romantic thriller set in the Himalayas: soldiers fighting each other with stones and iron bars in the dead of night on a mountain ridge over 4,000 meters high, some plunging to their deaths into a nearly frozen river and dying of hypothermia.

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Is Kashmir a US Trap to Confront Russia and China?

20 June 2020 — Global Research

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), founded in 2001 by the Shanghai Five (China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan) and to which Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan were later added would be the ALBA and Iran countries hard core of resistance to world hegemony of the United States and Great Britain. Consequently, the avowed objective of the United States would be to dynamite this organization, having Balochistan, Kashmir and Xinjiang as scenarios for its destabilizing operations.

With eye on Trump, India scrambles for Russian support By M.K. Bhadrakumar

23 August 2019 — Indian Punchline

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) at informal meeting in Sochi in May 2018

Within a week of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s consultations in Moscow on August 21, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is travelling to the Russian capital for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

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India’s move on Article 370 came six months late

8 August 2019 — Indian Punchline


The site where a Taliban car bomb detonated in Kabul on Aug 7, 2019, killing 14 people and wounding 145.

The statement issued by the Taliban on Thursday regarding the situation surrounding the state of Jammu & Kashmir merits serious attention.

The statement recalls media reports on the abrogation of the special status of J&K by the Modi government, the deployment of additional troops in the state, and the lockdown in the valley that have created “difficulties and hardships for the Muslim population.”

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India’s Tryst with Destiny: Freedom Struggle from Exploitation and Degradation Is Global By Colin Todhunter

7 August, 2019 — Global Research

Today, we are in the grip of a globalised system of capitalism which drives narcissism, domination, ego, anthropocentrism, speciesism and plunder. A system that is using up oil, water and other resources much faster than they can ever be regenerated. We have poisoned the rivers and oceans, destroyed natural habitats, driven wildlife species to (the edge of) extinction and have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere with seemingly devastating effects.

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China reacts to J&K, India demands reciprocity

7 August 2019 — Indian Punchline


Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, on lockdown. File photo.

In the aftermath of the Modi government’s decision to remove ‘special status’ for J&K and bifurcate the state into two union territories, the most keenly awaited regional and international reaction — and a hugely consequential one — would be that of China’s, not the US’ or even of the other three P5 member states.

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Wikileaks Newslinks 11 August 2011

11 August 2011 —

Shmoop Snoops the Facebook Profiles and Email Inboxes of the Gods, Launches …
San Francisco Chronicle (press release)
@shmoop went all WikiLeaks on us… mere mortals are all up in our Olympian business. SOCTLB* According to an anonymous Valhalla-based publicist, Shmoop’s team of private investigators infiltrated some seriously personal files and facts about the Greek …

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New at Strategic Culture Foundation 23-30 July 2011

30 July 2011 — Strategic Culture Foundation

A US-Iran pantomime over Iraq
30.07.2011 | 10:25 | Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR
 Al-Qaeda’s virulent Wahhabi, anti-Shi’ite ideology is sheer poison for Iran…The US has sought and obtained Iran’s acquiescence in its strategies in Iraq ever since the invasion in 2003…The “pro-West” Persian Gulf states are terrified of Shi’ite empowerment, for which they blame US misadventure in Iraq. On the other hand, Israel is hopping mad that it faces regional isolation and Obama isn’t resolute about vanquishing Iranian influence, especially in next-door Egypt, which used to be Israel’s playpen. And, of course, Israel dreads to think Iran may gain direct access to the Levant via Iraq…

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In India and Israel, the burden of protest falls on the victims of injustice By Pankaj Mishra

6 June 2011 — The Guardian – Comment

The moment of truth is approaching for Obama and his like who preach the high morality of non-violence to the powerless

At a dark moment in postcolonial history, when many US-backed despots seemed indestructible, the great Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, whose centenary falls this year, wrote: “We shall witness [the day] when the enormous mountains of tyranny blow away like cotton”. That miraculous day promised by the poet finally came in Egypt and Tunisia this spring. We have since witnessed many of the world’s acknowledged legislators scrambling to get on the right side of history.

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New at Strategic Culture Foundation 29 January – 4 February, 2011

5 February, 2011 — Strategic Culture Foundation

A Thaw in Kashmir or Shimmering Volcano?

04.02.2011 | 08:39 | MAHAPATRA Aurobinda (India)
Last year till the end of August, the Kashmir valley witnessed some of worst incidents in a decade with loss of more than hundred lives… The developments this year has further raised the issue whether peace in Kashmir will remain as fragile as it is, or there will be something spectacular as in the fashion of some north African Arab countries… Reportedly, the users of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter in Kashmir have widely circulated the recent protests in Tunisia and Egypt…

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Statement on Media and Mobs By Arundhati Roy

1 November, 2010 — Znet Communications

New Delhi, October 31: A mob of about a hundred people arrived at my house at 11 this morning (Sunday October 31st 2010.) They broke through the gate and vandalized property. They shouted slogans against me for my views on Kashmir, and threatened to teach me a lesson.

The OB Vans of NDTV, Times Now and News 24 were already in place ostensibly to cover the event live. TV reports say that the mob consisted largely of members of the BJP’s Mahila Morcha (Women’s wing).

After they left, the police advised us to let them know if in future we saw any OB vans hanging around the neighborhood because they said that was an indication that a mob was on its way. In June this year, after a false report in the papers by Press Trust of India (PTI) two men on motorcycles tried to stone the windows of my home. They too were accompanied by TV cameramen.

What is the nature of the agreement between these sections of the media and mobs and criminals in search of spectacle? Does the media which positions itself at the ‘scene’ in advance have a guarantee that the attacks and demonstrations will be non-violent? What happens if there is criminal trespass (as there was today) or even something worse? Does the media then become accessory to the crime?

This question is important, given that some TV channels and newspapers are in the process of brazenly inciting mob anger against me.

In the race for sensationalism the line between reporting news and manufacturing news is becoming blurred. So what if a few people have to be sacrificed at the altar of TRP ratings?

The Government has indicated that it does not intend to go ahead with the charges of sedition against me and the other speakers at a recent seminar on Azadi for Kashmir. So the task of punishing me for my views seems to have been taken on by right wing storm troopers.

The Bajrang Dal and the RSS have openly announced that they are going to “fix” me with all the means at their disposal including filing cases against me all over the country. The whole country has seen what they are capable of doing, the extent to which they are capable of going.

So, while the Government is showing a degree of maturity, are sections of the media and the infrastructure of democracy being rented out to those who believe in mob justice?

I can understand that the BJP’s Mahila Morcha is using me to distract attention from the senior RSS activist Indresh Kumar who has recently been named in the CBI charge-sheet for the bomb blast in Ajmer Sharif in which several people were killed and many injured.
But why are sections of the mainstream media doing the same?

Is a writer with unpopular views more dangerous than a suspect in a bomb blast? Or is it a question of ideological alignment?

Arundhati Roy
October 31st 2010

I Pity The Nation That Needs To Jail Those Who Ask For Justice By Arundhati Roy

26 October, 2010 — ZCommunications

Part 1

For her recent talk on Kashmir writer Arundhati Roy has come under threat of “sedition” charges in India. These speeches are currently being analyzed by Delhi police. 

Her response to the threat is below and was issued from Srinagar.

I write this from Srinagar, Kashmir. This morning’s papers say that I may be arrested on charges of sedition for what I have said at recent public meetings on Kashmir. I said what millions of people here say every day. I said what I, as well as other commentators have written and said for years. Anybody who cares to read the transcripts of my speeches will see that they were fundamentally a call for justice. I spoke about justice for the people of Kashmir who live under one of the most brutal military occupations in the world; for Kashmiri Pandits who live out the tragedy of having been driven out of their homeland; for Dalit soldiers killed in Kashmir whose graves I visited on garbage heaps in their villages in Cuddalore; for the Indian poor who pay the price of this occupation in material ways and who are now learning to live in the terror of what is becoming a police state.

Yesterday I traveled to Shopian, the apple-town in South Kashmir which had remained closed for 47 days last year in protest against the brutal rape and murder of Asiya and Nilofer, the young women whose bodies were found in a shallow stream near their homes and whose murderers have still not been brought to justice. I met Shakeel, who is Nilofer’s husband and Asiya’s brother. We sat in a circle of people crazed with grief and anger who had lost hope that they would ever get ‘insaf’—justice—from India, and now believed that Azadi—freedom— was their only hope. I met young stone pelters who had been shot through their eyes. I traveled with a young man who told me how three of his friends, teenagers in Anantnag district, had been taken into custody and had their finger-nails pulled out as punishment for throwing stones.

In the papers some have accused me of giving ‘hate-speeches’, of wanting India to break up. On the contrary, what I say comes from love and pride. It comes from not wanting people to be killed, raped, imprisoned or have their finger-nails pulled out in order to force them to say they are Indians. It comes from wanting to live in a society that is striving to be a just one. Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds. Pity the nation that needs to jail those who ask for justice, while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who prey on the poorest of the poor, roam free.

Arundhati Roy
October 26 2010

Strategic Culture Foundation 2-8 October, 2010: US Dollar vs. Yuan / Elections in Brazil / Kashmir as a Great Game Pawn? / Europe / Ecuador / US Right

8 October, 2010 — Strategic Culture Foundation

US Dollar vs. Yuan: Reasons Behind the Conflict

08.10.2010 | 17:42 | SALITZKI Alexander
Debates between the US and China over the valuation of the yuan are currently gathering momentum. A new campaign of pressure on Beijing is initiated by the US Congress which proposed a bill authorizing the government to slap duties on China’s imports based on the view that the yuan is grossly undervalued. The lower chamber approved the legislation…

Elections in Brazil and the US Intelligence Community

07.10.2010 | 20:14 | NIKANDROV Nil
…For the latter, the way is to suppress any socialist initiatives across the continent, to abstain from joining regional integration projects unless they are patronized by the US, to oppose the populists’ efforts aimed at forming a Latin American defensive bloc, and to impede the escalating Chinese economic expansion…

Kashmir as a Great Game Pawn?

06.10.2010 | 13:10 | MAHAPATRA Aurobinda (India)
For the past few weeks Kashmir has ascended to the circle of international politics more vigorously. It has acquired new dimensions on the eve of Obama visit to India in November. The scenario has become so assorted and complicated it has become almost impossible to sift facts from fictions. Whilst the international politics of South Asia takes its zigzag course the fact remains that the Kashmir issue has once again acquired the centre stage in the perimeters of foreign policy making of India, Pakistan, the US and China…

Collapse of the Alliance for European Integration

05.10.2010 | 12:11 | LUPU Marian (Moldova)
I hope the political forces will prevail in Moldova which are fully aware of the importance of healthy, pragmatic, and mutually beneficial relations with Russia and of the fact that such relations would be optimal from the standpoint of our own national interests. As for the Alliance for European Integration, it is practically dead…

Ecuador Coup Attempt Engineered by the CIA

03.10.2010 | 23:25 | NIKANDROV Nil
The success of the operation which led to the ouster of president Manuel Zelaya in Honduras inspired the US hawks to put similar schemes to works elsewhere in Latin America, Washington’s eventual goal being to isolate Hugo Chavez and remove his allies from power across the region. The US Administration reckoned that Ecuador was the easiest target on its political hit list. The subversive activity targeting president Correa is coordinated by Heather Hodges who was appointed as the US ambassador to Ecuador in August, 2008…

State Sabotage and the US Right: More to Come?

02.10.2010 | 17:44 | KERANS David (USA)
The Republicans’ resurgence in Washington is real, and will affect domestic and foreign policy, whether they unseat President Obama in 2012 or not.The Republicans’ exploitation of this resurgence, however, will surely diverge from their promises. In place of the promised efficiencies of outsourcing,the Iraq experience generated colossal waste, perhaps 20 % of the first $85 billion allocated for reconstruction. Already in 2005 watchdog organization Transparency International warned that the reconstruction of Iraq threatened to become “the biggest corruption scandal in history”. For, to the American right, corruption is no longer a function of opportunism, where a few people find a way to enrich themselves. To so many leaders of the right and the business class, corruption has become programmatic, a corollary to their disdain for the state…


6 July, 2009 For immediate release — Middle East Report 251 Summer 2009

“Not a real country or nation but an acronym.” “An incubator of Islamist violence.” “The central front in the war on terror.” Thus do ex-leftist commentator Christopher Hitchens, Der Spiegel columnist Erich Follath and President Barack Obama, respectively, describe the much feared and little understood country of Pakistan. To outside observers, Pakistan has been “a problem” since its inception in 1947 — because its generals are enemies of Western-friendly India, because its frontiers are uncontrolled by the capital, because its nuclear arsenal is controlled by a coup-prone state. The summer 2009 issue of Middle East Report, “Pakistan Under Pressure,” peels back the clichés to examine the complex place underneath.

In Washington, Pakistan is mainly a security concern, the less tractable half of the dyad clumsily referred to as “Af-Pak.” In Islamabad, as veteran reporter Graham Usher writes, the question of Afghanistan is inseparable from the issue of Kashmir and, more importantly, the decades-long impasse with India. Any lasting solution for “Af-Pak” will require some resolution of the larger regional conflict.

For Pakistanis, the big strategic picture is no mere abstraction, because the state’s efforts to please its foreign patrons and contain its domestic foes deeply affect daily life. Humeira Iqtidar of Cambridge University details the social activism that has entrenched Islamist groups, including those with militant armed wings, in the country. Stephen Dedalus reports on how state sectarianism has generated Sunni-Shi’i animosity in the troubled province of Balochistan.

Despite intermittent military rule, Pakistan boasts a vigorous civil society. Princeton University’s Daud Munir narrates the dramatic struggle of Pakistani attorneys to bolster the rule of law and curtail the arbitrariness of power. Middle East Report interviews “typewriter guerrilla” Imran Aslam of Pakistan’s Geo TV on journalists’ battle to enlarge the space for discussion, debate and dissent.

Also featured: Lisa Hajjar reviews the grim “lessons learned” from the US experimentation with torture; Christopher Davidson explains why the economic bubble burst in Dubai; Rebecca Bryant outlines the new dimensions of the Cyprus dispute; and more.

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Middle East Report is published by the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), a progressive, independent organization based in Washington, DC. Since 1971 MERIP has provided critical analysis of the Middle East, focusing on political economy, popular struggles and the implications of US and international policy for the region.

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