Commentary — Public and International Affairs (English)

April 16, 2019

One should not throw out the ‘baby’ (Marxist analysis of Capitalism) with the ‘bathwater’ (Leninism).

April 4, 2019

Barr trying to bury the Mueller Report: Surprise surprise!! Nobody could have guessed that Barr was a partisan hack especially installed for this specific job!

March 23, 2019

I feel like everything Trump is doing with regards to the Middle East for his own petty political gains is going to backfire very horribly in the future with tragic consequences, just as it has in terms of what Bush did with Iraq and Obama did with Syria and Libya. Mankind will never learn!! 

March 22, 2019

I think when they are propagated and perpetrated by white-nationalists, anti-semitism and Islamophobia are two sides of the same coin. One cannot increase without the other being affected. Having said that, I do acknowledge that there is a presence of anti-semitism in some parts of the Muslim world as well, mostly related to the opposition towards Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territories and also partly due to the sheer bigotry of some Islamic extremist fractions. We Muslims need to put our own house in order as well, sadly!    

March 15, 2019

Donald Trump condemning any attack by a far-right, white-supremacist on immigrants, Muslims, Jews and other religious and racial minorities is like Hitler condemning Heinrich Himmler and the SS for running the concentration camps and perpetrating the Holocaust, or Mullah Mohammed Omar denouncing Osama Bin Laden for orchestrating the 9/11 attacks. The irony is not lost on us! President Trump, you are the Fuehrer of modern-day white supremacy, xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism, misogyny, anti-semitism, homophobia and bigotry of all stripes.

Mar 6, 2019

Somehow, I feel the media, the public and the politicians are a bit over-reacting with regards to the SNC-Lavalin Affair and jumping to conclusions too soon. I think this could also be a case of a civil war within the liberal party along the lines of anglophone vs. francophone or Quebec vs. non-Quebec. And I also suspect that both Raybould and Philpott might have leadership aspirations? Are they trying to make a mark here? Who knows, maybe one of them wants to be the party leader once Trudeau is gone?

March 5, 2019

If you ask me what are national borders and sovereign states? I will paraphrase the famous song by Kansas: “Dust in the wind, all they are is dust in the wind.” Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the world’s map of the past 5000 years with a 100-year interval. Where is the Roman Empire or the Holy Roman Empire? Where is the British Empire or the Spanish Empire? Where is the Mughal Empire or European colonies? Where are the Hapsburgs and Austria-Hungary? Where is Kaiser’s German Empire, and Hitler’s 3rd Reich that was supposed to last for a 1000 years!? Where is the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia and East Germany? Where are the Persian and Arab and Byzantian and Mesopotamian Empires? Where is Napoleon and his Grand Army? Or Alexander and his conquests? Or Genghis Khan and his hordes. Or Kings David and Solomon? Where are the Moorish rulers of Spain or the Italian and the Greek City States? Today’s empires are tomorrow’s vassal states. Yesterday’s superpowers are today’s failed states. The present centers of the world are the future peripheries. Ultra-nationalism is silly, fighting over borders and territories and resources are useless; maybe glorious for the present times, but meaningless to the books of time and tests of eternity. Just ask the Pyramids and the motionless people whose dead bodies they mark as glorified gravestones. Or ask the Tajmahal and the tombs of Emperor Shah Jahan and Empress Mumtaz Mahal; did they ever envision Agra not being the center of the universe? And finally, ask the poppies that grow on the killing fields of Flanders.

Mar 3, 2019

In these times of heightened tension of nuclear/conventional war between the two biggest nations of South Asia, all the sovereign states of the region, who claim inheritance to the combined Indus-Ganges-Brahmaputra valley civilization, and their leaders should remember the following:

“What did you lose that you cry about?
What did you bring with you,
which you think you have lost?
What did you produce,
which you think got destroyed?
You did not bring anything,
whatever you have, you received from here.
Whatever you have given, you have given only here.
Whatever you took, you took from God.
Whatever you gave, you gave to Him.
You came empty handed,
you will leave empty-handed.
What is yours today,
belonged to someone else yesterday, and
will belong to someone else the
day after tomorrow.
You are mistakenly enjoying the thought
that this is yours.
It is this false happiness that is
the cause of your sorrows.
Change is the law of the universe.
What you think of as death,
is indeed life.
In one instance you can be
a millionaire, and
in the other instance, you can
be steeped in poverty.”

— Excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita (part of the South Asian epic Mahabharata)

 

Mar 1, 2019

Congratulations to Mr. Jagmeet Singh for being elected to the House of Commons of Canada. However, I have been hearing that people are not happy with his leadership performance and style, and with the weak fundraising record of NDP under him. Some people say the party would have been better off with Tom Mulcair as the leader. I don’t know about that but, at the risk of sounding like counterfactual, I do think that the Canadian political scene would have been much different if Jack Layton had not passed away so suddenly!

Feb 28, 2019

As soon as I heard the first 4-5 minutes of the testimony of Ms. Jody Wilson-Raybould, I knew straight away that Trudeau was in trouble. But this is still kinda like “he said she said.” It’s all very ambiguous how to interpret the discussions within the various arms of a Govt. I guess we will learn the answer to all of that on election night. I don’t think Trudeau is in any kind of legal jeopardy other than that of standing convicted in the court of public opinion.

Feb 27, 2019

About the SNC-LAVALIN Affair: To me, it looks like the media and the opposition parties are stretching it a bit too far to score political points on an election year and to give Trudeau a bad name. But we will see what Ms. Wilson has to say, soon. For me, the real political scandal of the Trudeau administration has been how we have been doing the dirty work of Trump, from China to Venezuela!

Feb 18, 2019

I follow economic news outlets like CNBC, Bloomberg, Yahoo! Finance, the Economist etc. and the amount of vitriol and fearmongering towards the leftist Democrats coming out from the hosts and their guests (usually billionaires, Wall Street and Silicon Valley executives) is epic. The cry all day is “SOCIALISM.”

Feb 17, 2019

I have been enjoying (!) Ann Coulter’s comments about Trump of late. But just wondering if Trump has more power over the base than she does at this point. But no doubt, she is a powerful figure on the far-right.

Feb 16, 2019

My opinion regarding the controversy surrounding Amazon moving its headquarters out from NYC: most of those promised 25k jobs are technology jobs that local people would not get. Graduates from STEM disciplines and from the Business and Law schools of the Ivy League universities, MIT, Caltech, and Stanford will come and take them. Rent, property tax and living cost in NYC will skyrocket and local people will be suffering and might have to move out to some other area. Just look at London, UK. All the billionaires bought all the houses causing the property market to balloon while the local people are suffering from a homelessness crisis. I have a friend in the UK who works for the London City Council and she was saying they are facing a real problem. Meanwhile, I was talking to a friend who lives near Arlington, Virginia and he is already worried that Amazon will cause his rent to go up. Add to that the handing out of corporate tax breaks in the billions of dollars and no wonder many people on Main Street were not happy with Amazon. Keep in mind, it paid no federal taxes last year using tax code loopholes. And finally, Trump’s base must be very confused with all of this: on the one hand, they should be happy that Amazon got a rebuke from the public (as Trumps hates Amazon and Bezos) but on the other hand, they are supposed to hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and decry Socialism as well! LoL.

Feb 12, 2019

Some people complain that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is too far to the left. Not at all, in my opinion. She is speaking the truth. Maybe she is coming from a different angle. However, as Deng Xiaoping said, “It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice.” History shows in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s the marginal tax rate on the richest in the USA was high; actually, it was over 90% under Republican President Eisenhower. And as per Stieglitz and Krugman, that was the “golden age of capitalism” in the US. It was the Reagan administration that dismantled all of that with Reaganomics and its trickle-down theory, which set the stage for financial deregulation, and ultimately, to the Great Recession of 2008. People are tired of centrism; they want radical ideas. That’s how Trump won. Yes, of course, there is a tension within the Democratic Party between the left-leaning progressives and the more centrist, corporatist members.
However, I think the AOC-doubters/haters are thinking too much along the lines of neoliberalism proposed by people like Milton Friedman, Jagdish Bhagwati et al. Free market fundamentalism is a great threat to society. Totally unregulated markets lead to things like crises, depression and social chaos. The free market will never take care of climate change and health care and the disabled. This is known as the Tragedy of the Commons. I am not proposing Marxism, but if we believe even in John Maynard Keynes, govt. intervention and regulation are paramount for an equitable distribution of wealth so that the rich don’t get richer at the expense of the poor getting poorer. Free market capitalism alone will never ensure that. In fact, most of the European countries are far better off in terms of social, health, human capital, and economic indicators due to govt. regulations and interventions.

Feb 10, 2019

It is rumoured that Stalin once said, “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.” The same is true about scandals. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton are shamed for one or two mistakes. However, for Trump, scandals are just statistics.

Feb 4, 2019

Roger Stone is a pathological liar and a compulsive fraud just like his boss, Trump, and his idol, Nixon. Although after Trump, even Nixon looks better. I think the biggest joke of the century is calling Trump the president of the blue collar workers, the enemy of the elite, a revolutionary billionaire who will drain the very swamp that he profited from over the decades and all that nonsense.

Feb 03, 2019

The US and its allies got to stop interfering in the internal affairs of other countries and creating more instability in those countries and the wider regions. It is astonishing that they have not learned anything from what happened in Vietnam-Cambodia-South East Asia (1950s-1970s), Afghanistan-Pakistan (1980s-present), Lybia-North Africa-the Mediterranean (2011-present), and Iraq-Syria-Middle East (2003-present). But of course, there is a vast amount of oil involved here (Venezuela) as well. Although I like most of the current Canadian Govt. policies (acceptance of refugees, openness to immigrants, espousing diversity and inclusion, commitment to combating climate change, standing up to Saudi Arabia etc.), I am sorry that I will have to disagree with Canadian foreign policy and PM Trudeau on the Venezuelan issue.

Feb 2, 2019

To discern fake news from that of real, I guess one needs to take an average of what one reads by searching on Google and then apply his/her own judgment on it.  

Jan 30, 2019
 
Not impressed with Amy Klobuchar. She hasn’t got any new, exciting ideas like Bernie or Warren or AOC. I don’t have problems with her being a tough boss. But I find her to be too centrist and pro-establishment. No excitement. Although she will do well in some rural parts of the Midwest. Same could be told about Kamala Harris. The same old establishment Dem. So far, the most exciting candidate has been Sen. Warren. A true lefty with sound economic policies. But might not succeed in the primaries. She will be painted not only as a socialist but also as a “fake Native American.” In the end, some establishment and Wall Street-backed Dem will win the ticket. I don’t dislike Harris per se, as she is a woman of colour with her mother being a South Indian. It certainly wouldn’t bother me to see a half-South Asian in the White House, LoL.
 

Jan 31, 2019

I think it is the confluence of the old guard baby boomer reactionary instincts and the total political apathy, lightheaded selfishness and consumerism of the millennials that has given rise to the Trump era. Add to that impatience, and the troll and meme culture, and it’s the perfect storm. Typical millennials shooting in the foot and frivolity.

Jan 30, 2019

I am pretty excited about the policies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Although maybe he is getting too old, I would also love to see Bernie Sanders as the President. The dream combination for me would be a Sanders-Warren ticket; so that there is a plan of succession. But regretfully, we may end up with a Biden-Harris ticket! Biden has not yet announced his candidacy, although seriously contemplating it. However, in a nation-wide poll of Democrats, he is the top choice with 9% support. Kamala Harris has announced her official desire to run last week. She was the second most popular choice in the poll with 8% support. Barnie was 3rd with 4% (no official announcement yet), Beto O’Rourke 4th with 3% (still contemplating), and, astonishingly, Sen. Warren a distant 5th with 2% support. However, these are very early days and a lot can change in the next 2 years. And then there’s Schultz! So uninspiring and boring to the core. I will boycott Starbucks if he runs — another billionaire pretending to have a panacea. He is even not that — all he cares about is keeping tax rates low at any costs, even if that means taking away healthcare and social security. Total BS. Maybe he will get some of the never-Trump GOP votes.

Dec 22, 2018

As for Trump’s base, I have come to the conclusion that they would abandon him only if there is a major economic recession. And that too maybe only 30-40% of them. 

Dec 21, 2018

I was very enthusiastic about Beto O’Rourke and his potential bid to become the Democratic Presidential nominee, but I am less so now after learning about his pro-corporatist voting record as a congressman. The argument that being from Texas, he had to do it does not hold for me because Beto’s congressional district is heavily Democratic, so much so that it is bluer than some parts of Massachusetts. He is a so-called 3rd way Democrat just like the pro-business and pro-Wall Street Clintons. 

Dec 21, 2018

I have been closely following the French and Belgian protests. It is sad that environmental protection measures, minorities (especially Jews and Muslims), and migrants and refugees are being vilified by the far right so much. Gone out the windows are human rights and concerns about climate change. Although I do understand in France the anger was more towards Macron’s neoliberal policies and putting all the onus on the working class, and leftwingers also joined in. But Trump has been highlighting the anti-Paris agreement and more reactionary sections of the crowd to the world. Some people in Alberta (the recent event in Edmonton) are taking up the same tone as well. Very concerning indeed.  

Nov 29, 2019

Certain parts of the US has such a right-wing, macho culture that I doubt if it is ready for a female president or even a second black president. The country where Fox news is the most watched tv channel is just not ready for that kind of progressive politics. Maybe, under the current circumstances, a centrist, white male candidate has a better chance of defeating Trump. There was no doubt a BLACK-lash against President Obama and that partially explains the 2010 and 2014 midterm defeats of the Dems. The only female who has a chance to become a president right now is Ivanka Trump. Being Trump’s daughter and a Republican makes her as good as a man in the eyes of the misogynist Right! LoL.

Mid-Nov., 2018

I will be deactivating my Facebook account for a couple months, as a protest against Facebook’s sharing of user information to third parties, without our consent in many cases, and over profiting from user data. Also, it lets its platform to be used by right-wing groups and populist trolls, and countries like Russia, to sow discord in democracies and rig elections in favour of people like Trump, Salvini and Farage. Facebook needs to fix these things and stop making billions of dollars by selling user data without proper consent. Facebook is not a need for mankind but a want. 

Nov 15, 2018

I think, in hindsight, the Dems did really well give how the system is so structurally tilted against them (gerrymandering, voter suppression, antipathy from the rural USA and the South). It might not have been a splash but a creeping blue wave, for sure, that put them in a good position to retake both the presidency and the Senate in 2020.

Nov. 7, 2018

I was up till 3 am last night to watch the US Mid-term election results. I have mixed feelings: very happy with the House, of course, but very disappointed with the Senate. The Gubernatorial races were a mixed bag too, with some good news and some bad. But at least, there are some checks and balances back on Trump. The House of Rep. is a good starting point for the Dems. Hopefully, they will be able to win back the Senate and the White House in 2020 and start rolling back all of the reactionary legislation enacted by the Trump presidency. But the Supreme court is gone for a generation, and that is a big concern. I feel so lucky that the Canadian political system and society, in general, is so much more fair and progressive than the US.

Nov. 5, 2018

I didn’t know that the current Executive Editor of the National Review magazine is a brown guy called Reihan Salam — son of immigrant, Muslim parents from Bangladesh. These are the kind of people the American Conservatives could have kept in their folders. Instead, the Republicans choose xenophobia, racism and Trump.

Nov. 3, 2018

I guess the US needs a new, third party which would be able to address the social conservative issues (e.g., pro-choice, pro-marijuana legalization) that many devout but moderate Christians raise (I know a few in Canada) while simultaneously being progressive on issues like health care, human rights, gun control, and economic and racial equality. Basically, a progressive or centrist version of the current Republican party that is not obsessed with immigration, guns, tax cuts for the rich and other forms of race discrimination. But I have never been to the US so I do not know whether what I am describing is feasible or not. Just sharing my educated observation.

Nov. 1, 2018

Eagerly waiting to see what happens in the Mid-term elections in the US on November 6th. Trump needs to be defeated if we are to nip white supremacy/ fascism / neo-nazism in the bud. Until now, I thought that the Dems would retake the House by a slim margin but the Senate was a foregone conclusion. However, some polls came out today giving the Dems substantial leads, at least in the House elections. Probably Trump’s handling of last week’s events (nation-wide bomb threats and the outrageous shooting at a Pennsylvania synagogue) turned some people towards the Dems. I think the GOP is acting in a more racist way than ever before and it is really shocking to see the level of anti-semitism coming from people inspired by Trump in the US. Also, the Dems have been quite successful in focusing on health care and tax. But suburban voters, on whom the Dems are depending, could be unpredictable. When the election day comes, they might vote their instincts and back Trump over the unfounded fear of an invasion by brown people coming from the southern border. But what can the Dems do? If they talk about redistribution then they are socialists. If they talk about climate change they are Chinese agents. When they talk about social justice then they are radicals And when they protest peacefully then they are a mob. Trump is truly a marketing and branding genius!

Oct. 08, 2018

A country’s leaders are as good as the average of the majority of the citizens. As they say, “garbage in garbage out.”

Oct. 03, 2018

It is a steep competition between Nixon, W. Bush, and Trump for the prized (!) position of “the Worst President since WW2.” While the Jury is still out, it is not a coincidence that all 3 of them are Republicans.

Sept. 28, 2018

If you want to know how much shameless, spineless, unhinged, cruel, reactionary, sexist, racist a political party can be, then look no farther than the Republicans.

Sept. 27, 2018

If Trump’s election dealt a blow to the credibility of the American electoral system, Kavanaugh’s (expected) appointment will bring to question the fairness of the Supreme Court and its selection process. With the already existing stalemate at the Congress, this will merely complete the dysfunctionality of all the three branches of the US Govt.: the Executive, the Judiciary, and the Legislature. And with such a defective political, and accompanying economic, system, no country can remain the sole superpower of the world. The Era of Trump will be marked in history as the beginning of the end for the USA the Superpower, as we know it.

Sept. 20, 2018

US Stock Market, you are drunk from drinking too much of the Trump alcohol. You should go home and take rest before it’s too late.

Sept. 12, 2018

I always feel the Holocaust wiped out such a rich, vital and creative part of the human civilization i.e. the European Jewry that produced Marx, Freud, Einstein, Kafka, Trotsky, Spinoza, Rembrandt, Durkheim and so many more. An irreparable loss for the humankind. Very very sad indeed.

Sept. 08, 2018

If, even after presenting all the scientific evidence, Climate Change Sceptics still argue that human consumption and economic activities have no effect on the environment, be sarcastic and point out that the world has 3 Amazons: two of them natural and another the result of human activities…LoL!

Sept 6, 2018

Many of my Western/Jewish friends have asked me that they would be curious to know if anti-Semitism is something I had witnessed back home in Bangladesh in a non-European context? In terms of Bangladesh, although there is no Jewish population there, I have noticed anti-semitic views and attitudes amongst many people, especially, who are on the right or religious extremists. And then there is ani-Zionism (which is not the same as anti-semitism) from the left based on Israel’s treatment and occupation of the Palestinian people. Part of it stems from their opposition towards Israel and its policies concerning Palestine. As a Muslim majority country, Bangladesh does not recognize Israel and supports the Palestinian cause. However, the govt. will support a two-state solution to the problem. The creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel will certainly alter much of the anti-semitic views in Bangladesh. But there will always be those who would hate anyways. Nothing will change the minds of the entrenched racists. These people absurdly claim Islam’s superiority over Judaism and Christianity, as Islam was the last of the Abrahamic religions to arrives. Their argument is since Islam is the last, it is the most up-to-date in terms of God’s will and nullifies all previous Abrahamic religions! I obviously find it ludicrous and offensive. And there are many people in the Bangladeshi society who would agree with me. I hope this gives the readers a better idea of attitudes towards the Jewish community in a Muslim-majority developing country of South Asia.

Sept 5, 2018

I have been following the politics in the UK closely and the Labour anti-semitism row has really surprised and upset me. One can expect Islamophobia from the Tories but I expected better from Labour and how they handled it. I had such high hopes for Corbyn and would have expected more aptness from him in providing leadership in handling the crisis. I hope he is able to turn things around. If Labour can address the problem of having anti-semites within it, that would be great and a sigh of relief. A good sign is that just today they have adopted the full version of the definition of anti-semitism; hopefully, this would help. 

August 22, 2018

If Donald Trump had declared today that he is the God, how much of a dip would his approval rating take amongst his base from the current 40%? Will it go down below 30%? Somehow, I don’t think so.

August 16, 2018

The best political scenario is a small liberal democratic state with a strong social democratic party.

August 12, 2018

All big/grand Asian countries with significant ethnic, linguistic, religious, sectarian etc. fault-lines are vulnerable to independence/ secessionist movements. It’s only a matter of time.

August 10, 2018

Wahhabism/Salafism is to Islam what Nazism is to nationalism.

August 09, 2018

Saudi Arabia is nothing but the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and the worst human rights abuser and the most reactionary medieval country in the world. This new impulsive Crown Price will destroy that country. Canada should not back down even an inch in dealing with the bullying, murderous and autocratic Saudi regime. Universal values come before doing business with a country that has produced Wahhabism, Bin Laden, and 15 out of the 19 terrorists of the 9/11 attacks. And, talking about interfering in some other country’s internal affairs, just today, another Saudi war crime was committed in Yemen when their air strike on a bus killed 29 children. To be clear, I have nothing against the Saudi people per se, who are victims themselves, but everything against the regime.

June 12, 2018

Amaq (the media wing of ISIS), the spread of the Arab Spring, the rise of Trump and Populism, the celebrity status and wealth of the Kardashian-Jenner family, tutorials of the Khan Academy, and this very social media post are all just different manifestations of the same modern-social phenomenon.

June 10, 2018

Although Alex Jones’ conspiracy theory of a second civil war in the US was nothing but a preposterous farce, the American political system does seem to exhibit deep flaws and fissures. The shift in demographic and social dynamics is creating deep divisions, which is emanating from the structure of the constitution and its inability to accommodate the former. If not resolved, this pent-up resentment could explode, and cause the US to implode one day in the not so distant future. For example, in the last election for the House of Representatives, the Democrats and the Republicans got roughly the same percentage of votes but due to the nature of congressional boundaries and its distribution, the Democratic Party has got far fewer seats. In the Senate, as well, more populous states like California and New York send the same number of Senators (i.e. 2) as do less populated states like Alaska and North Dakota. And we all know how the Electoral College system denied Democratic candidates who had won the popular vote from becoming the President. Even the structure of the Supreme Court with its far-reaching powers and influences and the lifetime tenure of its Justices, which no other modern democracy allows, have been called into question recently. We are witnessing all these gaps and loopholes in the US system come to life like a Frankenstein due to the sudden accession to power by Trump and the ensuring horror show. He lost the popular vote, his party controls both houses of the Congress despite being almost on a par with the opposition party in terms of votes won from the electorate, and he gets to pick 2 Supreme Court Justices who will be there for God knows how long bearing and executing his base’s conservative (read reactionary) ideology. This means the will of at least 50% of the population is being again and again overturned by the other half. It is projected that by 20140, 30% of the population will control 70% power in the Congress. It will be like a “tyranny of the minority;” akin to the way a tiny minority of White colonialists ruled over the vast populations of non-Whites in Asia, Africa and Latin America via the vehicles of the state apparatus. If this persists, then the US is ripe for an upheaval. It either reforms its system to grant the will-be majority what they want by truly democratizing its Presidential, Congressional and Judicial system, or it faces the threat of violent revolution or, worse still, separatism from those who see their interests no longer being served by and compatible with the current constitutional structure.

July 07, 2018

In 1914, no one thought that the war would be so long and bloody, and would turn into the “Great War.” Likewise, as the opening shots are being fired, we actually don’t know what will happen at the end of the “Trump Trade War.”

July 03, 2018

Social and political progress is the outcome of friction between revolutions and counter-revolutions.

June 29, 2018

If “books and texts,” whether written by the hand of the divine or man, have become outdated and the cause of sufferings and injustices, then it is high time we revised it.

June 26, 2018

Trump wants to aid the European populists in a bid to make himself look in vogue. However, he fails to understand that right-wing populist nationalism is hardly socialist internationalism crying out: “nations of the world unite.” Rather, once in power, Europe’s nationalists will act in a way which will be incompatible and directly at odds with Trump’s America First policies.

June 21, 2018

The Fascists and the Nazis in the 1920s and 1930s had right-wing paramilitary groups (the Blackshirts, the SA, the SS) to physically terrorize opponents in a bid for political power, whereas, although situated at a different level of analysis and far less menacing, the far-right populists these days have the social media vigilante groups to fall back on in order to psychologically intimidate online critics for grabbing power!

June 20, 2018

When political and socio-economic crises erupt, fringe parties and ideologies take the center-stage. This was true for the Bolsheviks, the Fascists, and the Nazis; and is true for the modern-day populists of Europe and America.

June 18, 2018

A united front in any trade war by unlikely partners in the form of China, the EU, the UK, Canada and Mexico against Trumpian America could deal a decisive blow to Trump and his party in the mid-term elections in November and in the 2020 Presidential election, assuming the counter-tariffs by the international coalition would inflict enough economic hardship in the agricultural heartland of the US to anger the voters against Trump’s futile policies. Especially, Chinese leaders do not need to worry about any election whatsoever and would, therefore, be in a much better position to absorb any domestic fallout of an all-out international trade war.

June 14, 2018

Another major lesson of history is that political borders of countries are temporal, human settlements are fluid, civilizations are evanescent, and socio-cultural norms are fleeting.

June 11, 2018

There will be “a special place in heaven” for Prime Minister Trudeau if he could continue to stand up to that pathetic, dishonest, incompetent, compulsive bully named Donald.

May 25, 2018

Antisemitism is the archetypal example of racism. However, Islamophobia and Antisemitism share the same filthy cradle. The sooner Muslims and Jews understand this the better.

May 23, 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is suffering from what could be termed as the “Gorbachev Paradox” (you can EITHER be a communist ruler in a strictly controlled political system with a planned economy OR you can be a Western style, capitalist, liberal ruler. However, you cannot be both at the same time). Likewise, Prince Salman can EITHER be a Wahhabi-controlled, ultra-conservative, absolute monarch  OR he can be a liberal, modern, democratic reformer; but he cannot be both.

March 01, 2018

All that goes up has to come down: Trump’s popularity, his beloved stock market, and his p***s…

December 03, 2017

Trump has assembled the most “revolutionary” band of Generals and Billionaires into his cabinet the world has ever seen! It’s time to shake up the system!! LoL………

December 02,  2017

Now we know why Indian Prime Minister Modi and his BJP wholeheartedly supported the ethnic cleansing of the minority Rohingya Muslims in neighbouring Myanmar: he is planning his own in the Indian state of Assam against the Muslim minority there. We all know he is good at it proven by the killings of 2000+ Muslims in his own state of Gujarat in 2001 when he was the Chief Minister there.

December 02, 2017

The convergence of big business and identity politics is a poisonous and deadly combination e.g. Trump and Modi.

September 05, 2017

The Joker has somehow taken control of the White House — indeed, like a cruel clown from a horror movie.

June 12, 2017

“Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.”
–John of Gaunt, in Richard II, by Shakespeare

This reminds me of the Brexit fiasco and its continuous aftermath.

June 08, 2017

Comey and Corbyn might have done just enough to strike a blow to trans-Atlantic right-wing populism. Congrats! It only confirms that Donald is no Ron and Theresa is no Maggie.

June 07, 2017

International Super Thursday is coming up: Comey testimony in the US and General Election in the UK. Hopefully, we will get a thumbs-down for Trump and a thumbs-up for Corbyn. Fingers crossed.

June 04, 2017

Beware peace-loving, innocent, civilized citizens of the world! The Wahhabi/Salafi inspired Islamist terrorists are at it again. Their ‘Ramadan Offensive’ is in full swing. That is the reason behind the latest round of dastardly attacks, not only in the UK but also around the world in places like Afghanistan and so on. We have to be vigilant. The ongoing month would probably witness more outrageous terrorist incidents as it enters from one holy 10-day period to the next, and eventually reaches the 27th of Ramadan–the holiest of all days in Islam. The religious fanatics believe that killing infidels during this holy month and dying in the process will make them martyrs and grant them a place in heaven. And they can strike anywhere. Most probably, as usual, more moderate Muslims would lose their lives in Muslim majority countries than that of Westerners would by heinous acts of these Wahhabis/Salafi terrorists. This makes one wonder about the foreign and Middle East policy of the US, and especially that of the Trump administration. Saudi Arabia is the patron of all Wahhabi/Salafi movements of the world, which is the most ultra-conservative and extreme version of Sunni Islam. Yet, Saudi Arabia and its royal family are one of the biggest allies of the US. Just recently, the US has sold billions of dollars worth of arms to that country, which has defied all traditions of human rights and treats women like slaves. Saudi Arabia has poisoned the culture and practices of other Muslim countries through investing millions of dollars in promoting and preaching its version of Wahhabi Islam in those countries through religious schools, NGOs, political parties, the clergy, and the media. In many cases, a milder Sufi-version of Islam has been or is being replaced by Saudi petro-dollar aided Wahhabi Islam. That could only be a bad sign for the world for days to come because of the fact that almost all Islamist terrorist groups that want to kill non-Muslims and Westerners are exclusively Wahhabi/Salafi. Whereas Iran and Shia Muslims have rarely directly targeted Western countries. Their brand of Islam has been less violent and extreme (although Hezbollah is a Shia group, they are more focused on Middle Eastern power play rather than killing people in the West). Nevertheless, the US sees Iran as its chief adversary in the Middle East, due to the undue influence of the Israel lobby on its foreign and domestic politics. The US would do better by confronting Saudi Arabia instead of Iran if it really wants to curb Islamist terrorism. May peace be upon us all.

April 15, 2017

Only time will tell if Trump has found a Kissinger in McMaster.

March 24, 2017

Your party controls both the lower and the upper houses of the Congress and you still cannot get your flagship domestic policy (Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act) passed as the President? Boy, you must really suck at governing, politics and negotiation!! And you call yourself the master deal-maker? The jokes are on you…..LoL.

January 31, 2017

It was a sad day for Canada. Just goes to show extremism in all its forms and shapes is dangerous, not only religious but also political and cultural. May peace prevails in Canada and shields it from all extremist excesses.

Jan 28, 2017

The cost of full employment could be high at times. US factories were full of workers during WW1 and WW2. It is up to the US citizens to decide how higher a price they are willing to pay.

January 14, 2017

Canada is such a great country to live in. It is the new Crown Jewel of the Western Civilisation. It is the new Land of Opportunities. The new beacon of hope amidst the despair of Trump and that of the Far-Right in Europe. Thank you, Canada, for what you are, and I hope you would remain so.

December 10, 2016

If reports are true, US foreign policy would now be conducted from the Kremlin. LoL!!

November 11, 2016

If the Satan of Fascism and Racism can come alive from its inglorious purgatory, so can the Giant of Marxism and Socialism from its dormant hibernation to fight the evil, as it did in the 1930s and ’40s.

November 10, 2016

The moral of the story: Quantitative Economists and Statisticians are not always right with their numerical analysis, for they do not take into account human psychology, social dynamics, and political ideologies. That which makes perfect economic sense might not spit out the perfect politics and society. This is why Arts and Social Sciences is still so relevant, despite common attitude otherwise. Only these disciplines can keep a tap on the pulse of the masses, as opposed to just market-driven STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects.

Oct. 31, 2016

If Muslims think the value of their intangible religious sentiment is greater than the value of non-Muslims lives, livelihoods, property, and peace, then it is high time to put away such destructive, and frankly stupid, sentiments.

September 02, 2016

The Al-Saud family are not the traditional hosts and managers of the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj. For almost a thousand years, it was the Hashemite family, who are direct descendants of Prophet Muhammad, that had the privilege of protecting the two holy sites of Islam–Mecca and Medina. After WW1, Hashemites, who led the great Arab revolt against the Ottomans, became the rulers of the Kingdoms of Hejaz, Jordan (still are), and Iraq. Then in 1925, the Al-Saud family from the Kingdom of Najd, who did not participate in the Arab revolt, invaded and defeated the Hashemite King of Hejaz with the aid of the ultra-conservative Wahhabies. They merged the two kingdoms into one Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. So the claim that they are the protectors of the two holy mosques, from where their brand of Wahhabi Islam draws wide legitimacy and acceptance among the general Muslims, is only partially true, as they actually conquered the two cities that housed the two mosques from the original protectors and then imposed their extreme-right-wing Wahhabism on the occupied territories. Therefore, the latest comments by the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, have much substance. The process of Hajj pilgrimage should become more democratic, as Mecca and Medina are not the family properties of the Al-Sauds’ and the Wahhabis, but are for all Muslims. And the proceeds from the pilgrimage should directly go to the underprivileged Muslims around the world, which should be managed by an inter-governmental body formed by all Muslim states.

September 02, 2016

For former French Prime Minister Francois Fillion, French colonization of Africa, Asia and North America was just “sharing its culture.” LoL…..what next? Racism, sexism, homophobia, slavery is “good” too? Bravo……Vive la France.

August 30, 2016

After talking to my new Saudi housemate, I have realized that Saudi Arabia considers Pakistan as its ‘bitch.’ Bangladesh should and must avoid becoming Saudi Arabia’s ‘mistress’ as well. Nevertheless, the recent trend has not been encouraging.

August 29, 2016

We need to know more about the ancient Egyptian “Book of the Dead.”

August 25, 2016

Some of the starkest criticism of the State of Israel and the Zionist movement comes from the Jews themselves, Noam Chomsky being a case in point. It is time the most poignant criticism of Islamic extremism and Jihadi terrorism comes from the Muslims themselves.

August 21, 2016

Most of the American Conservative media is bigoted, racist, Islamophobic and twisted.

August 18, 2016

Terrorists and Trump, both are dangerous. Terrorists have suicide bomb(er)s and Trump would have Nuclear bombs.

August 17, 2016

The Jews, the Christians and the Muslims all have the same Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Only the CEOs and HR policies are different.

August 13, 2016

After the darkness of ISIS, comes the Kurdish Female Fighters. You are the light and hope of the Middle East. Bravo!

July 26, 2016

The World, especially moderate/progressive/secular Muslims, shall never bow down in front of this mindless, murderous onslaught of Wahhabi/Salafi Jihadist Terrorism.

July 24, 2016

The Value of the life of a Person of Colour = The Value of the life of a pet dog of a White Person (Adopted from Syed Mujtaba Ali). This ‘fact’ was borne out by the former colonial masters, the British, of the Sub-continent, where European Clubs put up a warning on their gates: “Dogs and Natives are not allowed.”

July 18, 2016

The big question is: what will happen to the Kurds after they help the West defeat ISIS? The same that happened to the Arabs after they had helped defeat the Ottoman Turks? The same that happened to the Afghans after they had helped defeat the Soviet Union? The same that happened to Saddam after he helped the West contain Iran under Khomeini? Would the Kurds, too, be regarded as a bunch of rouge, armed Muslim people? Or even worse, as terrorists?

July 06, 2016

The only point on which I agree with Trump is that the world would have been a much safer place if Saddam Hussain had not been removed from power by an illegal and aggressive war, which did not have the backing of the UN. Isn’t it time to bring criminal charges against Bush and Blair?

July 01, 2016

The very idea that one religion is better than the other, or people of one particular religion will go to heaven and others will end up in the hell is, by definition, classic racism. This idea is, and has been for long, behind much malice and suffering in the world: from the desecration of temples and idols in the Middle East and South Asia to violent Islamist Jihadism and terrorism, from the Crusades to the Holocaust to various branches of Christian fundamentalism, from the Crucifixion of Jesus and persecution of early Christians to Jewish Zionism, from the discriminatory Cast system to ultra-conservative Hindu Nationalism, from ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka and Myanmar to right-wing Buddhist extremism.

June 26, 2016

Germany has finally achieved through peace and cooperation what it could not achieve through war and destruction: the leadership of Europe and the marginalization of the UK.

June 26, 2016

Oh well, both Hitler and Mussolini were populist leaders too. This is what happens if you let right-wing skunks like Farage, Trump, Le Pen etc. loose……..

June 24, 2016

It would be interesting to watch how the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) and Northern Ireland maintains its own unity after breaking the unity of the European Union.

June 14, 2016

We are trying to fight ignorance with more ignorance; hate with more hate; reactionary religious fascism with even more reactionary nationalistic Nazism. War is the worst form of terror. Racism is the worst form of belief. As Mahatma Gandhi said: An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

June 13, 2016

Why do we think killing is the only form of solution? Why do we think war is the only form of negotiation? Why do we think bigotry is the only form of tradition? Why do we think denial is the only form of communication?

June 12, 2016

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”. All of us (in the East and in the West) need to revisit the 4 Ps (philosophy, politics, policies, and practices) in which we believe.

June 11, 2016

It is high time Wahhabism / Salafism, which is a root cause of many terrorist acts, is controlled in South Asia, where Sufi Islam used to be the main practice.

Feb 28, 2014

Crimea, Sevastopol, Balaclava, Rostov, Black Sea Fleet, Tatars — all words that invoke memories of great wars of yesteryear……

Oct. 04, 2013

President Obama said that the US is the strongest economy in the world. The US may still be the biggest economy in the world, but I have my doubts about whether it is the strongest or not. Or even if it is, will it remain so in the future. Apart from the 2008 financial meltdown and the ensuing ‘great recession’, a banking system that is still not in proper order, or America’s waning influence in the world (a recent example being the ‘circus’ over Syria), the current political deadlock over the ‘Obamacare’ and the resulting partial shutdown of the US government will only erode confidence in the political and economic stability of the US system. It has, no doubt, sent a very wrong signal to the rest of the world about the widening disagreement between the Democrats and the Republicans and how that can jeopardize the very institutions of a system that advice the whole world on what to do or what not to in every sphere, including the economic. Add to that the possibility of a looming crisis over the ‘debt ceiling’ of the US federal government. A country that runs on debt and cannot repay those is anything but the strongest economy in the world. An elephant might be the biggest land animal, but an old and sick elephant cannot claim to be the strongest animal. The US is a tired and sick elephant. The rhetoric of President Obama seems like a facade to a lot of people.

September 01, 2013

The world does not believe the US on Syria for it lied to the whole world on Iraq. Looks as though the US must bear the consequences of Bush junior’s policies. One of my friends joked that “we cannot stop the war, let’s enjoy it!!” I guess he is right: when war is inevitable, capture the footage on video, and sit back and enjoy it as an exciting documentary.

August 16, 2013

 

Thoughts regarding the recent tumultuous and bloody events in Egypt: Marx’s words come back again and again……”History repeats itself, the first as tragedy, then as farce.” Some people like to blame the US and Israel for anything that happens to the Middle East. However, things might not be that simple. There are many internal factors at play as well. It is always easy to blame the US and, of course, the “good old Jews” for everything.

June 18, 2013

This is a peculiarity of democracy: there is no weighted average of the franchisees. The vote a Dr. Salimullah Khan (an eminent Bangladeshi public intellectual) carries the same weight as that of a Salim Miyan (a John Doe). In this age and time of liberal democracy, I do not have the guts to ask whether it is wrong or right. But, how right is it? As Stanley Baldwin once said: “We have to make democracy safe for the world.”

May 22, 2013

BBC World reports that in Sri Lanka, some ultra-nationalist Buddhist groups are now targeting minority Muslims after crushing the Tamil Tiger rebels. Muslims constitutes only 8% of the Sri Lankan population, dominated by ethnic Sinhalese. The Buddhist groups blame Muslims for converting the neighbouring South and South East Asian countries e.g. Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia etc. from Buddhism to Islam. They fear that the high fertility rate of the Muslims will, one day, also result in Muslim domination of Sri Lanka. The groups are propagating discriminatory and repressive laws for Muslims residing in the island-nation. Does this sudden rise in Buddhist fundamentalism has any ties with the similar attitude of Buddhists of Burma? Will this be a common trend of the future in South and South East Asia? What will happen to the peace-loving and non-violent image of the Buddhist religion? Questions need to be answered on the eve of the Holy Buddha Purnima.

July 24, 2011

Not only has the US acquired the highest amount of wealth in the world but it has also garnered the largest bank of knowledge as well: The Library of Congress holds almost 60 million copies of books, journals, and audio-visual references. This accumulation and nurture of knowledge is the base of its super-power status as opposed to merely military might. This is true for all the great powers in human history.

June 13, 2011

I protest, therefore I am. So, let us protest against discrimination and violence in all its manifestations. May those who are victims of violence find strength and solace.

May 13, 2011

The fall of the Left Front in West Bengal marks the end of an era. We will have to wait to fully comprehend the ramifications of this on the Marxist movements of the Sub-Continent. Meanwhile, let’s see what Mamata Banerjee can do.

August 11, 2010

What affects shall this devastating flood carry on the Af-Pak war?

May 18, 2010

Children still eat mud in India out of hunger but the Indian government acts like they are some Superpower. To understand what I’m saying try getting an Indian visa. Meanwhile, all the procrastinating b******t about SAARC goes on………….

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