RAG TAG TAG

March 22, 2008

Since I have been TAGGED by none other than our esteemed designer Mr. Athaley (www.theycallitfilming.blogspot.com/) I shall honour his call, and give you my 2 cents worth on these questions. 

What is one weird thing about you that nobody knows till date?
I’d sell my own soul to the devil for a plate of KFC!
Favourite Ice cream flavour?
Chocolate

The craziest dream you had in the past one week?
I dreamt i was dead.
One embarrassing thing you’ve done in public, which comes to your mind right now?
On a clear blue sky-ed day, i parked my scooter in the market place, and just as i got off the damned vehicle, my helmet, seeking freedom, leaps from my grasp and on to the road. the next thing i know, im part of my own Tom and Jerry special as i chased my helmet all the way down a slope. it ended up at the feet of a policeman. His paan filled mouth could still open a millimeter, and thus he laughed his laugh!    sigh!  one man’s misery…
Are you going to be attending MMSC? Why or why not?
probably. theres some freak rains going on now in manipal, so unless i catch Pneumonia or Pissed-Off-By-Rain-ia, i think i will attend.

and to further these insightful questions, i tag Raga, Ram, and Venkat

Imagine if…

December 31, 2007

Here’s an imaginary situation. The way of writing this post is actually inspired by this blog www.invalidsearch.blogspot.com. The content however, is completely fictional and should not be assumed to reflect on current world issues. Trust me, it’s much worse today than what this post imagines!

NAZI Germany wins WW2.

NewsPaper Reporter: So Mr. Hitler, what is your reaction to the War?

Adolf Hitler: Well I think the boys have done really well. I commend them on their spectacular efforts to win this war. Now we have a stronger Germany, a more prosperous Germany.

NPR: err…but Berlin is almost in ruins. Munich is no better. likewise for others. How do you plan to re-build yourself?

AH: oh yeah! but don’t worry. The many millions that we recruited through our labour camps shall aid us in our efforts.

NPR: You mean those that look like skeletons.

AH: Exactly. They’ve had more than 4 years of practicing labour in these camps. That was the whole point of building them wasn’t it?

NPR: But what about the 4 million dead in the Extermination camps? What was the point for that?

AH: well…err…that was a bit of a mistake you see. They were intended to be labour camps, but the soldiers there just got a bit more bored than others. Come on, we all get a little work related stress!

NPR: But International agencies say you allowed horrific medical experiments to go on in these camps, especially on children.

AH: aah! yes. you see i had been having a huge problem keeping my libido up. Because of that, Eva, my wife, (Braun) kept running off to that idiot Goerinng. I had to find a solution to that MEDICAL problem. And after many trials, my faithful doctors provided the cure. Now, I can go a full 30 mins. Want me to show you?…EVA! EVA! come here …you’re needed again!

NPR: err..no thanks! I think we’ve got enough answers.

Summing up

December 27, 2007

  

This was a report that appeared in the Canadian Press, a few hours after the assasination. Contains a few bits of information already given in an earlier post, but on the whole it represents a good report of the incident and the ensuing aftermath. The end too, is quite interesting in my opinion.

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan – Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday by an attacker who shot her after a campaign rally and then blew himself up. Her death stoked new chaos across the nuclear-armed nation, an important ally for the West in the war on terrorism.

At least 20 others were killed in the attack on the rally in Rawalpindi, where the 54-year-old former prime minister had just spoken.

At least five people were killed across the country in rioting that broke out in the aftermath of the assassination. In the southern port city of Karachi, angry Bhutto supporters shot at police and burned a gas station.

At the hospital where Bhutto died, some supporters smashed glass and wailed, chanting slogans against President Pervez Musharraf. Musharraf blamed Islamic extremists for her death and said he would redouble his efforts to fight them.

“This is the work of those terrorists with whom we are engaged in war,” Musharraf said in a nationally televised speech. “I have been saying that the nation faces the greatest threats from these terrorists. … We will not rest until we eliminate these terrorists and root them out.”

Musharraf convened an emergency meeting with his senior staff, where they were expected to discuss whether to postpone the Jan. 8 elections, an Interior Ministry official said.

The government announced three days of mourning for Bhutto, including the closing of schools, commercial centres and banks.

Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister and leader of a rival opposition party, announced his party would boycott the upcoming election and demanded Musharraf resign immediately.

The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, about 18 kilometres south of Islamabad, the capital.

She was shot in the neck and chest by the attacker, who then blew himself up, said Rehman Malik, Bhutto’s security adviser.

Sardar Qamar Hayyat, a leader from Bhutto’s party, said he was standing about 10 metres away from Bhutto’s vehicle – a white, bulletproof SUV with a sunroof.

“She was inside the vehicle and was coming out from the gate after addressing the rally when some of the youths started chanting slogans in her favour. Then I saw a smiling Bhutto emerging from the vehicle’s roof and responding to their slogans,” he said.

“Then I saw a thin, young man jumping to her vehicle from the back and opening fire. Moments later, I saw her speeding vehicle going away.”

Party supporter Chaudry Mohammed Nazir said that two gunshots rang out when Bhutto’s vehicle pulled into the main street and then there was a big blast next to her car.

A doctor on the team that attended to Bhutto said she had a bullet in the back of the neck that damaged her spinal cord before exiting from the side of her head. Another bullet pierced the back of her shoulder and came out through her chest, he said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Bhutto was given an open heart massage, but the main cause of death was damage to her spinal cord, he said.

In Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the assassination a threat to democracy. He said the Jan. 8 election is important to democracy and urged Musharraf to let it go ahead.

Harper also said he’s concerned about increased instability in the region. Canadian troops are deployed in neighbouring Afghanistan as part of a NATO force supporting the Afghan government.

Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier condemned “in the strongest terms this attack … Today’s violence is especially heinous in view of the upcoming elections on Jan. 8, 2008. The anti-democratic intent of the perpetrators could not be more obvious,”

In Crawford, Texas, U.S. President George W. Bush said: “The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice.”

No one claimed responsibility for the assassination.

Bhutto’s supporters blamed the president for complicity, but suspicion was likely to fall on Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida and the Taliban, who hated Bhutto for her close ties to the Americans and support for the war on terrorism. A local Taliban leader reportedly threatened to greet Bhutto’s return to the country from exile in October with suicide bombings.

At least 20 others were killed in Thursday’s blast, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene.

Bhutto was rushed to the hospital and taken into emergency surgery. “At 6:16 p.m. she expired,” said Wasif Ali Khan, a member of Bhutto’s party who was at Rawalpindi General Hospital.

Hours later, her body was carried out of the hospital in a plain wooden coffin by a crowd of supporters. Her body was expected to be transferred to an air base and brought to her hometown of Larkana.

Next to Musharraf, Bhutto was the best known political figure in the country. She had served two terms as prime minister between 1988 and 1996. She was respected in the West for her liberal outlook and determination to combat the spread of Islamic extremism, a theme she returned to often in her campaign speeches.

Her death will leave a void at the top of her Pakistan People’s party, the largest political group in the country.

As news of her death spread, supporters at the hospital in Rawalpindi smashed glass doors and stoned cars. Many chanted slogans against Musharraf.

In Karachi, shop owners quickly closed their businesses as riots broke out. Fayyaz Leghri, a local police official, said gunmen shot and wounded two police officers.

One man was killed in a shootout between police and protesters in Tando Allahyar, a town 190 kilometres north of Karachi, said Mayor Kanwar Naveed. In the town of Tando Jam, protesters forced passengers to get out of a train and then set it on fire.

Violence also broke out in Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and many other parts of Pakistan, where Bhutto’s supporters burned banks, state-run grocery stores and private shops. Some set fire to election offices for the ruling party, according to Pakistani media.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who met with Bhutto just hours before her death, called her a brave woman with a clear vision “for her own country, for Afghanistan and for the region – a vision of democracy and prosperity and peace.”

Bhutto had returned to Pakistan from an eight-year exile on Oct. 18. Her homecoming parade in Karachi was also targeted by a suicide attacker, killing more than 140 people. On that occasion she narrowly escaped injury.

Bhutto was killed just a few kilometres from the scene of her father’s death 28 years earlier.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a former prime minister and the founder of the party that his daughter would later lead, was executed by hanging in 1979 in Rawalpindi on charges of conspiracy to murder that supporters said was politically motivated by the then-military regime. His killing led to violent protests across the country.

As Bhutto addressed the rally Thursday, she was flanked by a massive picture of her father.

Minutes later, the area was awash in blood.

Myths-2

December 27, 2007

Here is one more myth about the Adolf Hitler era:-

  • the word NAZI: The Political Party led by Adolf Hitler was the NSDAP and not the NAZI party. While most people who (rightly) hated the actions of the NSDAP referred to them as the NAZI’s it is interesting that the party members all the way upto Hitler himself hated the term. Indeed, it was an insult to call an NSDAP member a NAZI. It was originally coined as a “pissing off” tactic by anti-Hitlerites.
  • Hitler’s own Citizenship: Hitler’s idealogy included persecution against what he termed “foreign invaders” i.e. Jews, etc. Purely on a level of rhetoric, he himself was not an official German citizen, though he certainly made himself out to be. He was made one only in 1932, by his own party members who used usual corruptive methods (bribery, force) to grant him his official German Citizenship. In a more medically related issue, Hitler’s NOSE was of the same structure as that of Atilla the Hun…a foreign invader if there ever was one!

A Sad day for Democracy

December 27, 2007

27th December, 2007 

Pakistani People’s Party leader Benazir Bhutto was assasinated today (alongwith 20 other party members and supporters,  as she left an election rally in Rawalpindi. What is surprising is that only a few days ago, youths were caught outside a rally in karachi with bombs. 2 months ago, when the former PM returned to the country after an 8 year self-imposed exile, her celebratory parade turned tragic with a bomb attack that left close to 140 dead. Butto fortunately escaped.

Pakistan’s other main political faction is led by another former PM, Nawaz Sharif. In one of his own rallys , he was attacked in similar fashion, which resulted in 4 of his party workers dead.

Who is to answer for these moves that seem so politically motivated. Pakistan’s general elections were due to start on January 8th. However, it is quite obvious that a cloud hangs over this last chance of Pakistan’s return to democracy, now that its most charismatic leader is dead. Pervez Musharraf convenes an emergency meeting just hours after the killing and then makes a formal statement on the tragedy. He condemns the killing and asserts that the Pakistani flag would be flown at half-mast. All indications that the former military dictator (now supposed to be out of uniform) is in no way involved.

I on the other hand believe that Musharraf is directly involved in this. The reasons are quite obvious. He has been pretty much forced to abdicate his uniform, and had bhutto not been killed, elections would have deposed him as president, owing to widespread dissent for his goverment. Further explanations are of course availible on the various news sites, but this is the long and short of it.

And there is very little evidence to point in his direction. Bhutto had been a supporter of American involvment in the insinuation of democracy in pakistan. This is obviously against the beliefs of the hundreds of Islamist radical groups operating in Pakistan itself. Musharraf can simply blame one of many and once again be the guy who’s simply trying to eradicate the problem. He promoted his “im the good guy here” image after 9/11 in his support of the Bush admin’s War on Terror.

 Hence, I feel that emergency is the next step that Musharraf will take and General Elections scheduled for Jan 8th are no longer going to be held. Nawaz Sharif is the next potential target for similar attacks, and thus Musharraf’s remaining political rival will be out of the scene.

Please further this discussion with more posts on ur respective blogs. Dictatorship is never the answer to a Nation’s problems.

Myths

December 25, 2007

For the past few months, I have delved deep into the History of Germany, indeed the history of the World in an era most would rather forget. I’m talking about post World War I upto 1947. Of course I fully understand the reasons for trying to block out all that happened. 50 Million dead (military and civilian), countless homes, towns, villages destroyed, millions left as refugees. It’s an age that is perhaps best forgotten. However, I have observed and heard several myths about this era, one of which I feel is a gross misunderstanding of events that took place and thus is an affront to the millions who suffered.

Included in the afore mentioned death toll is a number (9 million) that most found unbelievable when they first heard, not only because of the sheer magnitude of it, but also for the Modus Operandi. Today, this is referred to only in the most reverential tones. Between 1935 and 1945, close to 9 million people were systematically murdered (exterminated) in a State sponsored program by Germany’s then ruling party: The Nationalist Socialst German Workers Party (in German, this abbreviates to NSDAP).

Frequently termed the NAZI’s, the “rulers” based their actions on an idealogy of Race superiority, that of the white skinned Aryan Races. They believed themselves to be superior to races such as African Americans, Jews, Jehovah’s witnesses, Freemasons etc. In their zeal to rid Germany and Europe (and seemingly the world)of these inferior races, they embarked on a persecution spree the likes of which had rarely been seen. I will not attempt to compare that to persecution of the recent past simply because I have limited information about the same.

In September 1935, Adolf Hitler (You wondered when I’d mention him didn’t you?), the Reich Chancellor, enacted the Nuremberg Laws, which basically deprived the German Jewry of their basic rights (free speech, assembly, business, religion). In further acts of “legal terror”, the night of 9th November, 1938 (termed Kristallnacht : the night of the broken glass) , the SS and the SA (the NSDAP police factions) went around Berlin and other major cities of Germany and broke every piece of glass that was on a Jewish building, shop, or Synagoge. Besides this, thousands of Jews were dragged outside and beaten up, shops and synagogues completely destroyed and German Jewry in general abased. In the final act, hundreds of thousands were continually deported first to Ghettos and then to concentration camps in Germany and occupied Europe as part of the “Final Solution”. I will not describe the horrors of the camps here because for me it is quite emotionally upheaveling and because most of you I’m sure are already aware of them.

And now the myth:-

  • We all blame Hitler…and Hitler alone: Having researched extensivley on the “NAZI” era, I went on to gather opinions from everyday people on that period of persecution. Most of them were openly abusive of Adolf Hitler. And rightly so. The Branau born pseudo-painter and anti-semite was able to wiggle his way into the German political scenario through dramatic oratory and subtle anti-semitism, which won the minds of the already angry german public. The restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles (WWI) were humiliating enough to be angry at communists and capitalists, and Hitler exploited this by naming the Jew as responsible. However, it is perhaps noteworthy that Hitler could never have acheived what he did without the help of so many other key figures within the NSDAP regime who also deserve the same hatred as the Fuehrer. Yes, I say hatred because for me these people deserve our hate. You might hear several Holocaust survivors who harboured their hate for the regime, but I hate because I refuse to accept and understand actions of that nature (the holocaust, camps etc) that were committed by people who were FELLOW human beings. If I can feel pain at another’s suffering then so could they, and the fact that they did not oppose these tortures is why they deserve my hate (at the very least). But speaking of accomplices, Heinrich Himmler, the in-effect second-in-command, rose from a petty SS member to the Supreme Commander of the same and also the executor of Hitler’s “Final Solution”. It was Himmler who ordered the construction of the Extermination camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Maidanjek, Bergen-Belsen etc. It’s said that once on a personal visit to Auschwitz, Himmler wanted to view first hand the extermination process. As the mass killing of 100 Jews began, a piece of Brain matter from one of the dead splattered on Himmler’s cheek. At this point, Himmler is reported to have turned green and vomitted. One of his sub-ordinates had to rush forward to keep him from falling. After wiping his face clean with a silk handkerchief, Himmler urges the SS soldiers carrying out the killings to do so keeping in mind the “highest moral laws of the Party”.  LOL! Now that’s Hypocrisy of the highest order! The person who orderd the deaths of 6 million Jews had ironically, never been a Soldier himself, and yet was the commander of the SS. Himmler committed suicide (biting a cyanide capsule) before he could be put on trial for his inhumanity.      Next we have Joseph Goebbels, another of Hitler’s inner circle. He claimed in the Nuremburg War Trials that he had no knowledge of the “Final Solution” and that he was a mere messenger in the NSDAP regime. Yet, as propoganda minister, it was he who recruited the many hundred thousand men for the SS. Goebbels was not actually an anti-semite, but feigned such to gain access to Hitler’s circle. He used Propoganda to sway Germany towards War by falsifying reports to the greatest possible extent. He was also responsible for NAZI Germany’s Music & Arts Scene. He became the deciding factor for what could be heard and written and what could not. If Hitler did not like a cetain performer, then Germany was supposed to harbour the same feelings and subsequently the said artist was banned under threat of force. In a separately aimed incident, the Kristallnacht riots were in fact Goebbels doing. As a party meeting took place in the BuergerBrau Keller in Berlin (9th November, 1938), Goebbels informed Hitler that “spontaneous” fightings had broken out against Jews all over Germany. Hitler agreed and allowed those “spontaneous fights” to continue. Goebbels took this as a YES and ordered the SS and the SA to begin their terror. In an ironical end, Goebbels was made Reich Chancellor by Hitler hours before the Dictator committed suicide in his Berlin bunker, even as allied forces closed in. In his last will and testament, Hitler decreed a “Scorched Earth” policy, wherby all of Germany’s buildings were to be destroyed since by virtue of losing the war Germany had “forfeited the right to survive”. In his own last testament, Goebbels, for once in his life, disobeyed his beloved Fuehrer and refused to pass on the order. Instead he passed his last will  (where he stated his disobedience and regret at the same) to the Army high command that was abandoning the bunker.He asked an SS doctor to kill his six children by injecting morphine and then  feeding a cyanide capsule each. Lastly he and his wife committed suicide. He shot himself. His wife took cyanide.

Of course there are so many others who had their own anti-semitic views. Hitler had his own just like them. All he had to was work the same hatred and convert it to make it look like the anti-semitism was in-effect Nationalism. The German people, socially hurt by World War I (which was started by Germany itself) and the Treaty of Versailles, were looking for an excuse to strike back. Hitler, forever a great judge of character, employed the resentment and found people like Himmler (who was a confirmed anti-semite).

Recently I came across an old Movie : “After Mein Kampf” describing the story of Adolf Hitler. In the introduction, there are some scenes shown from WWI and then a black and white picture of Hitler, complete with the small moustache and front fallen hair. The narrator (in continuation) says something to the effect, “The War to end all Wars was over (referring to WWI) but Europe would soon be engulfed in another War and one man…one man alone would be responsible for it….Adolf Hitler”. As this is said, the picture of Hitler slowly morphs into a half-face half-skull, which presents a rather scary looking visual, and certainly to a layman this would have the required Propagandist effect.

What do I feel? Hitler was most certainly the kingpin, but if it hadn’t been Hitler, it would have been Himmler. If it hadn’t been Himmler, it would have been someone else.

The above was one of the myths that I seek to debuff. If you see sense or even non-sense, in what I have said then do comment. I will be writing more on this in further posts.

Hello world!

December 25, 2007

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