Just another brain-dead techie with views on everything under the sun!

Monday, March 31, 2003

Saddam Eyes Endgame, Gathers in His Elite Forces
The Iraq war is resolving itself into a battle of wits whose lines are deliberately blurred by the bravado, ambiguous maneuvers and half-truths propagated by both sides. The protagonists are US General Tommy Franks and Saddam Hussein. The score on Day 12 of the war is even. DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources and military analysts stress that both are perfectly aware that the war will end in an American battlefield victory. With an eye on the endgame, the two are maneuvering over its cost.
Exactly!! There are no two ways about the fact that the Coalition forces are going to win this war. It is inconceivable that the combined might of US and UK air-force, army, navy and dolphins could be defeated by the Iraqis. The only thing that matters for both the sides is the cost of war.Franks’ goal is a victory with the lowest number of American casualties, whereas Saddam, who has no inhibitions about the human cost to his army and people, seeks to extract from the conflict enough leverage to dictate the conditions for his and his sons’ survival.Saddam has been playing a game of chess in last couple of days. He has pulled back his Republican Guard from many major cities. In doing so he has beefed up the Republican Guard presence around his two centres of power. viz. Baghdad and Tikrit. All indications of the fact that Saddam knows that the war will never result in an Iraqi victory. Only thing that remains is to salvage his pride.

On another front, the Sunni Saddam is striving to enlist a powerful weapon, the rival Shiah, Iraq’s largest population segment.
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that, Sunday, March 30, Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei directed Iraqi Shiites not to rise up against Saddam Hussein or help the US-UK coalition topple his regime. The order was conveyed through their leaders – the Tehran-based SCIRI (Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution in Iraq) and the Dawa Party. The Tehran government’s calculus was simple: The Shiites can afford to stand aside while the Iraqis and Americans spill each other’s blood. The Shiites will gather the spoils whoever comes out on top.
Saddam, picking up fast on the Tehran-Shiite strategy, directed his spokesmen to start using Shiite terminology. The Iraqi officer who blew himself up to murder four American soldiers near Najef was posthumously renamed Al-Husayn Ben Ali after the son of the first Iraqi Shiite leader who lived in the Karbala region in the seventh century. This gesture was aimed at making the suicide bomber a martyr honored by the Shiites.
In the Arab world, its all about being a martyr for a cause. If the Shiites view the suicide bomber's death in the light that Saddam wants them to see, any hopes of a Shiite upsrising in the North or anywhere in Iraq would remain a pipe-dream for the Allies.
It is hard for the American psy-op machine to get a handle on these arcane yet tidal semantic currents or fit the coalition message into their powerful religious context. In the race for the hearts of the Shiites who make up more than half of Iraq’s population Saddam has the advantage of being able to manipulate these nuances, leaving coalition forces to address the Shiites in what sounds to them like an alien tongue.
The price for this unfamiliarity with shifting local mores was paid on Sunday, March 30, when British forces launched Operation James in the Basra region and failed to make headway after finding themselves let down by the predominantly Shiite citizenry. For Basra’s Shiites, the Imam Ali is clearly a far more potent icon than 007.
Clearly, Gen. Franks needs to chalk a strategy that takes into account Saddam's mind-games. Flyers and pamphlets do not make as much of a psychological impact as do the subtle communal machinations of the tyrant of Baghdad.

The battle between Donald Rumsfeld and The Pentagon
As the ground campaign against Saddam Hussein faltered last week, with attenuated supply lines and a lack of immediate reinforcements, there was anger in the Pentagon. Several senior war planners complained to me in interviews that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his inner circle of civilian advisers, who had been chiefly responsible for persuading President Bush to lead the country into war, had insisted on micromanaging the war’s operational details. Rumsfeld’s team took over crucial aspects of the day-to-day logistical planning—traditionally, an area in which the uniformed military excels—and Rumsfeld repeatedly overruled the senior Pentagon planners on the Joint Staff, the operating arm of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “He thought he knew better,” one senior planner said. “He was the decision-maker at every turn.”[link via WarFilter]

The real battle, folks, is yet to begin!
Who Are Saddam's Most Loyal Forces?

Republican Guard
Controlled by Saddam's younger son and heir, Qusay, the Guard includes three divisions deployed around Baghdad and one near Saddam's hometown of Tikrit. Guard forces crushed a Shi'ite uprising in Basra in 1991. Though the Guard's heavy weaponry is outdated, U.S. officials believe Saddam may have deployed chemical weapons to the Medina Division.

Special Republican Guard
Largely recruited from Saddam's al-Bu Nasir tribe and other loyal groups, SRG troops are scattered throughout Baghdad and well-trained in urban combat. Its units protect Saddam and top Baath Party officials.

Fedayeen Saddam ("Saddam's Men of Sacrifice")
Formed in 1995, the fedayeen handpicks members as teenagers from loyal tribal areas and are considered among the fiercest of Saddam's fighters. Often disguised in civilian garb, fedayeen units have mounted attacks against coalition troops. Operating outside the law, the group has a "death squadron" that executes people in their homes

Al Quds (Jerusalem) Army
Size unknown
A volunteer civilian group, the Quds militia was founded by Saddam in September 2000 with the supposed purpose of "liberating Palestine." Now providing domestic defense, Quds fighters (which include women) are trained in basic combat. They have staged guerrilla attacks outside Baghdad, then faded into residential areas when pursued

Secret Police and Spies
Saddam has eight overlapping security agencies. These include layers of domestic and foreign spies, guerrilla operatives and "enforcers" who intimidate Iraqis to fight. Qusay leads the most powerful agencies, and members may have access to chemical or biological weapons. The U.S. believes more than 300 agents are working abroad under diplomatic cover

[from the April 7, 2003 issue of the TIME magazine]
And I'm sure the Allies will face a tough resistance from these forces. They are highly motivated and loyal to Saddam, unlike the rabble that is the regulation Iraqi army. Moreover, these forces will fight to the last man and probably use the civilians as shields, making it a tough urban battle in the Baghdad streets. Here, the air-superiority of the Coalition forces will not mean much, unless they are ready for huge (and I mean, huge!!) collateral damages.

Testing times, for sure!

Friday, March 28, 2003

CDMA Pushed on Postwar Iraq [link via Slashdot]
A coalition is underfoot in the U.S. Congress to replace European with American cell phone technology in Iraq as soon as the conflict is over and the country rebuilds.

The current reconstruction plan involves using U.S. funds to install a European-based wireless technology known as GSM (define) for a new Iraqi cell phone system. Issa's bill (HR 1441) would give preference to American companies, including QUALCOMM.

"If European GSM technology is deployed in Iraq, much of the equipment used to build the cell phone system would be manufactured in France, Germany, and elsewhere in western and northern Europe. Furthermore, royalties paid on the technology would flow to French and European sources, not U.S. patent holders," Issa said in his letter to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and USAID Administrator, Ambassador Wendy Chamberlain.
Idiots!!! Now, this coupled with the now-infamous Halliburton contract, seriously undermines the US claims that this war is simply about liberating Iraq or dethroning the tyrant Saddam.

Ohh! and I don't think only the Americans are to blame for this. What do you say to Tony Blair who rushed to US when it became apparent that the British were left in the lurch when it came to the post-war reconstruction contracts which the US companies are winning without even going through a formal bidding process!

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Rock the Vote releases new song by Lenny Kravitz "We want Peace"
Rock the Vote and Lenny Kravitz announced a new song by Kravitz called "We Want Peace," which is available exclusively at Rock the Vote's website, http://www.rockthevote.org.

The song, which says, "There won't be peace if we don't try" is an urgent call from Kravitz for America to be a peaceful leader in the world. Kravitz wrote the song and performed it with Kazem Al Sahir, Iraq’s #1 pop music artist, who is better known as Iraq’s Diplomatic Ambassador to the world and hailed as a true legend of Arabic Music. In addition, the song features Palestinian musician Simon Shaheen on the 'oud and violins and Lebanese artist Jamey Haddad’s on djembe and tambourines.

[song download available on the main page of Rock The Vote]
Nice gesture, don't you think? And yeah, the song's not bad either!!

Who armed Iraq? [link via Metafilter]
Iraq's Weapons Declaration underscores a tragic irony: The United States, the world's leading arms supplier, is taking the world to war to stop arms proliferation in the very country to which it shipped chemicals, biological seed stock and weapons for more than 10 years.

According to the December declaration, treated with much derision from the Bush administration, U.S. and Western companies played a key role in building Hussein's war machine. The 1,200-page document contains a list of Western corporations and countries -- as well as individuals -- that exported chemical and biological materials to Iraq in the past two decades.

Embarrassed, no doubt, by revelations of their own complicity in Mideast arms proliferation, the U.S.-led Security Council censored the entire dossier, deleting more than 100 names of companies and groups that profited from Iraq's crimes and aggression. The censorship came too late, however. The long list -- including names of large U.S. corporations -- Dupont, Hewlett-Packard, and Honeywell -- was leaked to a German daily, Die Tageszeitung. Despite the Security Council coverup, the truth came out.

A German company, for example, exported 1,000 ignition systems for Styx and Scud missiles capable of carrying biological and nuclear warheads.
Why were Bush and Powell so sure that Iraq possessed WMDs, even despite failing to produce hard evidence to corroborate their claims? Well... they knew, because they sold those weapons and launching capabilities to Saddam.
George Orwell's brilliant essay on empire and nationalism applies directly to the mendacity of the Bush administration:

"Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them. There is almost no kind of outrage -- torture, imprisonment without trial, assassination, the bombing of civilians -- which does not change its moral color when it is committed by 'our' side. . . . The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
Almost prophetic, aren't those Orwellian words?!

The Bharatiya Blog Mela # 5 is up at Ashwini's place. Click here to go and check out some of the choicest of this week's blogs from the Indian Blogosphere!!

And if you did not already know what a Bharatiya Blog Mela is, then well, its weekly affair that showcases a collection of the best Indian blog updates of the week. It does not aim to rate the blogs, but instead it is a collection of recommendations from various people of what they think are the better posts in the week from the Indian Blogland. To check out all the Blog Melas, you can go here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

I've quite erratic lately as far as this blog is concerned. Most of my posts have been links to some stories off the Net. The reason for this has been the cricket World Cup that was going on for over a month. I've been busy watching, eating, drinking, sleeping and blogging cricket.

In addition to blogging about the World Cup, I was also running a contest on my world cup site. With my friend Abhijeet giving invaluable help all along, both of us managed to keep the blog and the contest running up-to-date throughout the duration of the World Cup. 33 teams took part in the contest. Now that the world cup is over... here are the final standings. Congratulations to Dipali for winning the contest!! She managed to pip Faizan at the post by the slimmest of margins. And as Abhijeet explains, it was just a matter of one ball in the final match and it would've been Faizan who won the contest.

Well anyways, I think I'll be much more regular with my blogging on thi blog from now on. And I have lot to blog about. The war is a constant source of material which prompts a reaction, one way or the other.

Stick around folks... we're just getting started!! :-)

Monday, March 24, 2003

The Oscar Roll of Honour

Uncle OscarBest Picture: CHICAGO, Martin Richards

Actor in a Leading Role: Adrien Brody, THE PIANIST

Actress in a Leading Role: Nicole Kidman, THE HOURS

Actor in a supporting role: Chris Cooper, ADAPTATION

Actress in a supporting role: Catherine Zeta-Jones, CHICAGO

Direction: Roman Polanski, THE PIANIST

Animated Feature Film: SPIRITED AWAY, Hayao Miyazaki

Foreign Language Film: NOWHERE IN AFRICA, Germany, Directed by Caroline Link

Music (Score): Elliot Goldenthal, FRIDA

Music (Song): "Lose Yourself", Music by Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto, Lyrics by Eminem, 8 MILE

Visual Effects: Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook and Alex Funke, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (yayyyy!!)

Film Editing: Martin Walsh, CHICAGO

Cinematography: Conrad L. Hall, ROAD TO PERDITION

Art Direction: John Myhre (Art Direction); Gordon Sim (Set Decoration), CHICAGO

Makeup: John Jackson and Beatrice De Alba, FRIDA

Costume Design: Colleen Atwood, CHICAGO

Sound: Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella and David Lee, CHICAGO

Sound Editing: Ethan Van der Ryn and Michael Hopkins, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS

Short Film (Live Action): THIS CHARMING MAN (DER ER EN YNDIG MAND), Martin Strange-Hansen and Mie Andreasen

Short Film (Animated): THE CHUBBCHUBBS!, Eric Armstrong

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Screenplay by Ronald Harwood, THE PIANIST

Writing (Original Screenplay): Written by Pedro Almodóvar, TALK TO HER

Documentary Feature: BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, Michael Moore and Michael Donovan

Documentary Short Subject: TWIN TOWERS, Bill Guttentag and Robert David Port

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Australians are World Champions!

The Aussie "Shock and Awe" blitzkrieg knocks off the Men In Blue.


Friday, March 21, 2003

In one of the first major victories for the Coalition of the Willing in Operation Iraqi Freedom, US Marines raised US flag over an Iraqi Port.
U.S. Marines raised the Stars and Stripes flag over the new port of Umm Qasr on Friday after taking the installation in the face of only light resistance
[Read more]
Following the taking of old Umm Qasr, came some more encouraging news for the Allies.
U.S. armored forces thrust deep into southern Iraq, meeting only sporadic resistance on Friday, and the United States said it still hoped to topple President Saddam Hussein without an all-out war.

The U.S. 3rd Infantry Division had advanced from Kuwait at least 90 miles into Iraq by early Friday, racing north toward Baghdad.

[Read more]
So, after the embarassing initial TLAM attacks on the first day (the "Targets of Opportunity" attack) that led to nothing worth the effort, today's victories will give some hope to the war planners that the war might be over pretty quickly.

Well, at least we all hope that it does!

Thursday, March 20, 2003

A warm welcome into the blogging world to my friend Ashwin.

Source: Reuters
That is not sun rising over the Baghdadi skyline. Instead, its an explosion at dawn that greeted the citizens of Baghdad who spent a sleepless night waiting for the inevitable.


President Bush ordered the beginning of a war on Iraq tonight, and his spokesman, Ari Fleischer, said at about 9:45 p.m. Eastern time that American forces had begun to disarm Iraq and would depose Saddam Hussein. [NY Times registration required]

Here's the report from Rediff on the same.

By the way, there are 11 Indians who have gone to Iraq to act as Human Shields against the American attack. Their reasons for doing so are quite misguided though!

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Now this is getting pretty regular!! In yet another incident of its kind, there has been another
Mahanagar Gas pipe leak near Chandivali Studios in Andheri(East). And even this time, the leaked gas caught fire. Four fire engines battled to bring the fire, which gutted a canteen, under control.

This place is less than a minute away from my office. I went and saw the fire in my lunch break. It was blazing at that time and three fire engines were already there at that time.

Reason to be proud or reason to be embarassed, for Indians?

Sun sued for 'favouring' Indian workers
Sun Microsystems, the Silicon Valley computer giant, was hit with a lawsuit on Monday alleging that the firm laid off thousands of US high-tech workers in order to replace them with younger, lower-paid engineers from India.

As evidence, the lawsuit cites statements made this year by Khosla on a CBS program on IIT where he was quoted as saying that at Sun, people from India 'are favored over almost anybody else.'

The lawsuit, for which class-action is being sought, was brought by Walter Kruz, a 52-year-old, a former software engineer manager at the company. Kruz claims discrimination based on race, national origin and age. He seeks compensation for lost wages, attorneys' fees and unspecified punitive damages.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Check this out people... Winning the Web. It's a moodpiece on the online buzz about the cricket World Cup.

And the reason I'm asking you to have a look at it is because... I feature in it! ... muahahaha ;-) :-P

[update] My World Cup Weblog is back online as all the problems with the host have been sorted out.[/update]

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Protest for the sake of protesting...

Over last few weeks, I've been following with interest the storm that has been raised over the installation of Swatantryaveer Vinayak Damodar Savarkar's portrait in the Central Hall of the Parliament. It's as if the Government has put up the portrait of Satan himself. It's almost childish... the arguments put forth by Savarkar's detractors. Half of them do not know the facts and most of them, I'm sure, do not even know Savarkar's full name... leave alone his ideology. Reading the various articles penned by the pro and anti Savarkar columnists and "intellectuals", I can't help but feel that the attacks and the defense are oriented at one or two specific instances from Savarkar's eventful life i.e. his pro-Hindu ideology, his much-maligned act of seeking forgiveness for getting himself released from the notorious Cellular Jail at Andaman and his two-nation theory.

We have seen the most vociferous opposition coming from the Communists. The entire Left abstained from attending the portrait unveiling ceremony. Picking up the refrain, the Congress started opposing the installation of the portrait as well. Seeing the opposition up in arms, the Government could not keep quiet and launched a counter attack defending its decision. Thus started the war of words which has since then spilled out of the Parliament halls and into the media, tarnishing the name of a grossly misunderstood figure from India's history. To top it all, I'm amazed at the reaction of the public. They have unleashed a vitriolic campaign comparing Savarkar to Hitler... Please!!... excuse me while I barf!

Let us look at facts... and only facts!

Any decision to install a portrait in the Central Hall of the Parliament can never be a unilateral decision by the government in power. It's a decision taken by a committee which looks into the merits and demerits of such an action and the contributions made by the historical figure in question. Such a committee was formed this time as well... to decide on installing Savarkar's portrait. And it included Pranab Mukherji from the Congress and... hold your breath... Comrade Indrajit Gupta, veteran Communist Parliamentarian. The committee's decision to install Savarkar's portrait was unanimous. Where, then, did the seed of opposition germinate??

Swatantryaveer Savarkar has a sprawling memorial dedicated to him in Mumbai. It's a beautiful but simple structure with a huge statue of Savarkar on a large terrace overlooking the Dadar Chowpatty at Shivaji Park. It was built on the recommendation of a committee headed by Jayantrao Tilak (a Congress leader and the grandson of Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak). Another Congress leader, Yashwantrao Chavan was the member of that Committee too. And the funds for the memorial came partly from the personal account of none other than the then PM, late Indira Gandhi. And now... the same Congress headed by the Desh ki bahu Sonia Gandhi is staunchly opposing Savarkar!

One of the biggest argument against Swatantryaveer Savarkar is that he advocated the two-nation theory. This is crap. As a proponent of Hindutva, Savarkar always advocated the concept of Akhand Bharat rather than work towards partitioning India on communal lines. Savarkar's Hindu Mahasabha had rejected the British Cabinet Mission Plan of May 1946 which proposed that provinces (formed on the basis of communal/religious majority) would have their own constitutions. It was Jinnah's acceptance of this pan that led to fruitless discussions and consequently, scrapping of that plan. The only option left for the British government was to transfer power to a partitioned India. This plan was accepted by both, the Congress as well as Jinnah. There are numerous examples where Savarkar agreed to side with the Congress on the condition that it would ensure the unity and integrity of the Indian nation.

Arvind Lavakare's column on Rediff, titled "Hitler, Vatican and Gandhi" only just begins to stir the surface of the controversial parts of the freedom struggle. It highlights the role that Gandhiji played in the partition of India while showing clearly how Savarkar's two-nation statement was not the cause of the partition of India. And the best thing about the column is that Mr. Lavakare quotes history texts and documents to support his claims rather than shooting his mouth off.

The Communists have no right to even begin to accuse Savarkar of being a proponent of the two-nation theory. Coomunists have always advocated until recently that India is a confederation of nationalities. They have advocated, as recently as the sixties, that provinces like Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, etc. are not states or provinces but nationalities which are a part of the Indian confederation. We have seen how this kind of communist confederation has crumbled into nothingness when USSR broke up. If Savarkar is being accused of promoting two nations, Communists have been guilty of advocating a divisive, multi-nation theory... and that too a good twenty years after the independence. Clearly a case of pot calling the kettle black.

Swatantryaveer Savarkar has been accused of asking for pardon instead of undergoing an imprisonment. History is replete with examples of revolutionaries asking pardon and forgiveness from the powers that imprisoned them. The great Italian nationalist (Soniaji, please note!) Giuseppe Mazzini did the same thing. So did Yogi Arvind, who was a staunch revolutionary before running away from the British and seeking asylum in the French controlled Pondicherry before giving up his ways to become a spiritual leader.

Revolutionaries like Savarkar or pacifists like Gandhi, were working for a common cause, freedom for India. Armed struggle alone could not have achieved the objective. Neither could Gandhiji's method of non-violence and submission persuade the British to eave the country. Both kinds of freedom fighters have their place in history and seeing one through the glasses of the other will only result in unnecessary hatred and misunderstanding.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

Darn this Haloscan!! It keeps on going down so often!! I think I may go in for a different commenting system if it does not improve soon!!... psch!!

Folks please leave ur comments on the zonkboard! ... or take some time to sign the guestbook... or mark your spot on the guestmap! :-)

Thursday, March 13, 2003

[Update] The latest shocking news is that 6 bombs have been found and defused at New Delhi Railway Station. Read more here. [/Update]

Another blast rocks Mumbai!! It's almost as if the peace in Mumbai is destined to be punctuated by a bomb blast every couple of months. At around 8:40 PM IST, a bomb blast occured in a crowded Karjat bound local train at the Mulund railway station in Mumbai.

As I am sitting at home listening to the continuous news coverage of this unfortunate event on TV, the body count is rising steadily. When I reached home less than an hour back, the news channels reported that 6 people had been killed. Right now, as I write this post, the count has gone up to 10. Added to this are around 65 people who are injured, some seriously. You can read more about it here.

This blast comes only one day after the 10th anniversary of the blasts that rocked Mumbai leaving 260 people dead.

Moreover, it comes less than three months after the bomb that blasted in a public transport bus in Ghatkopar in Mumbai... and the one that rocked a crowded street in Vile Parle in January this year.

The latest blast looks to have been caused by a crude bomb planted in the first class ladies compartment of the local train. As a result, most of the casualties have been ladies.

Authorities have confirmed that this was a planned terrorist attack and not an accidental explosion.

Three bomb blasts in three months in Mumbai. All of them in non-strategic locations. All of them in places that the people have come to trust. Bus, market and train. All of these point to a planned attack on the psyche of the Mumbaikar... aimed at creating panic and distrust.

The death toll in the blast has risen to 12.

The latest news is that another bomb has been found in Mumbai. This bomb was found in a BEST bus near IIT Mumbai. Details are not known yet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

India develops cryogenic engine. A report published on MSN says...
In a significant boost to India's space programme, scientists have successfully developed an indigenous cryogenic engine, which can power heavy communication satellites into orbit.
India now joins the select club of nations which posses this capability. The other nations in this exclusive club are US, Russia, France, China and Japan.

Way to go, India!

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Do we live in a Doughnut shaped Universe? This new study[NY Times registration required] seems to suggest so.
Long ago in the dawn of the computer age, college students often whiled away the nights playing a computer game called Spacewar. It consisted of two rocket ships attempting to blast each other out of the sky with torpedoes while trying to avoid falling into a star at the center of the screen.

Although cartoonish in appearance, the game was amazingly faithful to the laws of physics, complete with a gravitational field that affected both the torpedoes and the rockets. Only one feature seemed outlandish: a ship that drifted off the edge of the screen would reappear on the opposite side.

Real space couldn't work that way.

Or could it?

That is the picture of space, some cosmologists say, that has been suggested by a new detailed map of the early universe. Their analysis of this map has now provided a series of hints — though only hints — that the universe may have a more complicated shape than astronomers presumed.

Rather than being infinite in all directions, as the most fashionable theory suggests, the universe could be radically smaller in one direction than the others. As a result it may be even be shaped like a doughnut.

"There's a hint in the data that if you traveled far and fast in the direction of the constellation Virgo, you'd return to Earth from the opposite direction," said Dr. Max Tegmark, a cosmologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Hmmm!! Interesting, don't you think!

Sunday, March 09, 2003

"I top the list of Bush haters", says MaheshBhatt.

Now this is what you call having illusions of grandeur. What do you say about this?!

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Security Council members with pivotal Iraq votes receive billions in aid from U.S.. Hmmmmm!! ... they say this is a just war! ... and I guess, anything goes, eh?! ... including buying votes!

But I wonder... if President Bush says he's ready to go to war with Iraq with or without the UN backing... then why go through the charade of trying to win the vote in the UN... and that too by spending so much in buying the votes?!
[link via Metafilter]

Thursday, March 06, 2003

Every coin has two sides, they say! Well, even if that is true... this is ridiculous!

My friend sent me these links today. The news item in question is not a breaking news story. On the contrary, its an old news.

On Sunday, 12th January 2003, a fire broke out in the premises of National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) in Pune. This news item was reported widely in all kinds of media... print, online, broadcast.

Rediff reported it too. Here's Rediff's version of the incident. Click here.

Our next door neighbours seem to be pretty interested in every single incident in India, that they can proceed to dismantle and twist according to their own whims and fancies. Have a look at this. It's a report of the same fire that had erupted in NCL in Pune on 12th January.

Here are some of the outrageous things that appear in that Paki report...
This facility is used by India to build outlawed biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.
Shudder! Shudder!! ... after Saddam, its gonna be Vajpayee, is it?!!
The fire which engulfed the Organic Technical branch of NCL was brought under control by firefighters after frantic efforts.
Hehe!... notice the subtle sarcasm... frantic efforts! :-))
However, it surprised the world by confessing to maintaining stocks of undeclared chemical biological weapons which she has undertaken to destroy by April 26, 2007.
When was this?!!... I missed this news!! :-P
According to well informed sources, though the CWC prohibits preparation, storage and trade in chemical weapons, India has reportedly continued with the clandestine research and is secretly maintaining stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons in its satellite state, Bhutan, which surprisingly is not a signatory to the CWC. Thus circumventing the controls of United Nations and stockpiling biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.
Oooh!! brilliant reporting! My compliments to the author of this piece!!

So... what do you people think??

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Happy Birthday to my friend, Rochelle!! :-)

Monday, March 03, 2003

Now, this is taking a turn for the comical! On the eve of a crucial Pool A match against Zimbabwe, the Pakistani players are at blows among themselves instead of sitting down to chalk out a strategy for the do-or-die match.

The incident, which occurred during a football match, was witnessed by reporters and photographers.

Tempers flared when Younis Khan challenged Inzamam-ul-Haq for the ball. The pair squared up and when team mate Saeed Anwar tried to defuse the situation he was pushed to the ground by Inzamam.

Skipper Waqar Younis said: "It's nothing new. We always have this problem when we play soccer."

Take a hint mate!... Stick to cricket!! ;-)

It may be noted that the short-tempered Inzamam-ul-Haq is known to throw his weight around at the slightest provocation. In a India-Pak match, for the Sahara Cup, at Toronto, a few years back, he jumped over the advertising boards on the boundary and attacked a heckling spectator with a cricket bat.

What's it with these Russians?!! They seem to be obsessed with Harry Potter. Some time back, I had blogged about how Dobby, the house elf resembles Vladimir Putin. And now this...

A Russian man is hoping to produce a little magic to get him elected a regional governor, by taking the name of Harry Potter.

Russian NTV television reported that the 32-year-old man, who has stood unsuccessfully in past elections, has parliamentary and even presidential ambitions if he gets elected in the Ural mountain Sverdlovsk region.

Read more about it here.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Don't like to drink milk??! Well, here's a list that gives you Top 10 Reasons Why Humans Should Not Consume Cow's Milk . And here are some more reasons to avoid milk.

But then... here's something in support of milk... "why milk".

So... take your pick! :-)
[via Metafilter]

Sameer/Male/27. Hails from India/Maharashtra/Mumbai/Prabhadevi, speaks Marathi, English and Hindi. Spends 60% of daytime online. Uses a Faster (1M+) connection. And likes Reading/Computers.