[Reader-list] more on choose-day

Pradip Saha prosaha at hotmail.com
Tue Sep 18 00:39:34 IST 2001

what about another more heart-felt one to osama bin for targeting US and 
making them angry about terrrorism? very linear and poor understanding of 
islamic politics, deception, south asia, IMF, WB, economic reality, and 
above all mediation at gunpoint. why do u think nato is taking so long to 
strike? one reason could be the reluctance of several european leaders to do 
a rambo. another is probably the US administration realises that a dead 
osama is more powerful than a live one. his followers seriously believe that 
they have been wronged, and that is their political believe. its another 
matter that it finds expression in a "religious" packaging.

----Original Message Follows----
From: Philip.Pocock at t-online.de (philip pocock)
Reply-To: philip.pocock at t-online.de
To: siddhartha chatterjee <atthemoment at hotmail.com>
CC: reader-list at sarai.net
Subject: Re: [Reader-list] more on choose-day
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 18:49:55 +0200

i suggest the list draft a letter of heartfelt thanks to the United
Nations Mission of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for their bravery
and peace-loving attempt to stabilize the current momentous conflict as

of course there will be rants concerning history, other conflicts, let
them aside. there is  sometimes only a 'present' and pakistan's action
is the most intelligent peace-loving immune response to a global viral
infection unconnected to the legitimacy of human dramas of oppression
and denial that unfold unfairly from so many sides.

considering pakistan's vast economic, social and political dilemmas,
their action today lends greatness to the entire name of their country
as Islamic, a Republic and Pakistan.

siddhartha chatterjee wrote:

 > Hi
 >  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns =
 > "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
 > This is my first posting, condens(at)ed from some of the often
 > inflammatory exchanges Iíve had with friends and others over the last
 > few days. But since Iíve often been privy to steam coming out of the
 > multi-hued ears of this reader-listís subscribers, I figure- why not?!
 > Itís not my imagination- thereís less and less debate in the Public
 > Domain (wherever that, in a truly engaging accessible sense, is these
 > days), and what appears to be a falling quantity (and possibly also or
 > therefore quality) in even spaces such as this. *
 > Rant on people. It may be especially important in tragic times like
 > this.
 > As Blake (?) once said, ìto generalize is to be an idiotî. We all
 > generalise (blake there does too), especially in an analytical vacuum,
 > and in the absence of evidence. Sweeping abstractions and a
 > reductionist economy of icons have their uses. But what we seem to
 > need more than ever is a focus on the particulars, and patience.
 > Warmly,
 > Siddhartha
 > * But I see I spoke way too soon- more postings on the 17th Öthan Iíve
 > seen in recent memory. Heartening.
 > More marginalia to forward to whoever will take the time to wade
 > through it... especially any blinkered citizens of the world's only
 > (and naturally angry) superpower and its many (and naturally
 > self-interested) allies, (m)any of whom you may feel are particularly
 > susceptible to the righteous myopic tripe put out by chauvinist
 > leaders and our largely vacuous sensationalist media (deep!breath)
 > It seems nearly 90% of Americans support war, over 65 %accepting
 > "collateral damage"- or in less escapist terms - civilian killings...
 > (where DO they take these polls?) The Indian govt. too (no reliable
 > poll figures yet unfortunately) seems toíve bought into the Necessity
 > for Retaliation- "exceptional support" has been promised in the words
 > of Colin Powell. Finally Indiaís war on terrorism is Americaís, and
 > therefore the ìcivilisedî worlds, war. And itís going be on our
 > borders. Hurray.
 > What a pickle.
 > "Terrorists have roused a mighty giant" Bush holds forth unabashedly,
 > following mention of an American ìCRUSADEî against (Islamic)
 > terrorism- What an ASS! Weíve seen many faces recently- the clearly
 > felt compassion, the fiery rhetoric, the upbeat jacket-clad address
 > from a bunkerÖ itís a great pity he so clearly displays the shallowest
 > of appreciations for history and the culpability of the worldís
 > ìcivilised nationsî in sustaining the wars of faith begun in the 11th
 > century, originally against The Muslim Infidel. (Needless to say,
 > these misadventures and wars of religion and ideology have continued
 > across centuries and continents- communism the latest enemy to fall.
 > To be ironically superceded by the terrorism of outfits like the
 > Hizbul Mujahedin, once supported by the US against communism) So
 > nearly a millennium later we have terrorist groups pursuing what they
 > call a holy war - Jihad against the American infidel. Once again an
 > amoral (in terms of human ! loss- or, depending on your polarization,
 > profoundly ideologically moralistic) assault on a way of life. Not
 > driven by a need to convert and plunder, but to obliterate it for past
 > wrongdoings. Calling a response to this terrible assault a crusade
 > foolishly legitimises a lot of terrorist propoganda. I doubt Bush will
 > use the term again. But who cares? His approval rating has jumped (so
 > CNN repeats ad nauseam) from below 50% to nearly the highest ever for
 > a president- the 89% papa Bush hit after the Gulf War. And we know how
 > successful THAT war was.We now have Saddam Hussein sagely advising
 > restraint. This time, the coalition against the enemy (however poorly
 > and xenophobically identified) has bypassed the doddering United
 > Nations completely. There seems this inability (reluctance?) by policy
 > makers, and especially the rabid packs attacking American Sikhs and
 > Muslims, to differentiate between extremists, fanatically fearlessly
 > com! mitted to a cause (men like McVeigh in fact, the home-grown
 > Oklahoma C ity bomber) and vast and often-oppressed communities too
 > worn down, or cynical, to uphold their moderate ideals (ideals upheld
 > by every world religion including Islam). White supremacists (and the
 > idiots whoíve been targeting Arabs and Sardars since Tuesday) are not
 > seen as representative of the ëChristian worldí. Itís incredible (and
 > a sign of a phenomenally deluded society) that a network of terrorists
 > is seen to represent the turbaned/ëIslamic worldí.
 > Pakistan has given the Taliban 72 hours to hand over Bin Laden. The
 > Taliban has said that shown ìcredible evidenceî that he is directly
 > responsible, they will hand him over to the US. Ha. Of course a mentor
 > and supporter isnít Directly responsible for followersí
 > transgressions. If the US starts its bombing before presenting
 > irrevocable evidence though, that could spark off a whole cycle of
 > aggrieved retaliations, (maybe even the world war that Nostradamus is
 > claimed to have foreseen in the 16th century) But for Security Reasons
 > of course, US Intelligence (which I think, following Gandhiís take on
 > Western Civilisation, would be a really good idea) will not divulge
 > much. Proof will have to wait while the FBI chases its 40,000 leads,
 > the rubble is cleared and the dead recovered, people overcome their
 > grief, nurse their anger and try to get back(?) to normal, and the
 > white house continues operations ìon a war footingî, inevitably
 > selective in what it feeds int! o public discourse.
 > Opinions, biases, moralising, simplification, assumptions, even
 > accusations and heated debate - ok. Wrath, war, more armed Crusades ?
 > please. Thatís just incredibly vicious, egotistical, shortsighted, and
 > well, likely. Whatís scary is that historyís been known to repeat
 > itself, repeatedly.
 > One of the few things we know for sure? Come crisis, and tobacco
 > companiesí profits soar! Hope we never run out of non-smoking zones
 > siddhartha
 > Like everything else the above rant reflects biases. The inevitably
 > polluted wellspring of debateÖ
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