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Articles by: Dr Arshad M Khan

Killings Are Killing Secularism In India

Killings Are Killing Secularism In India

  Gauri Lankesh was shot to death on September 5, 2017.  A consistent critic of Hindutva politics and right-wing Hindu extremism, the journalist-activist edited Gauri Lankesh Patrike her own weekly.  She was not the first.  In August 2015, Malleshappo M. Kalburgi, a noted scholar who was opposed to superstition in Hinduism, was assassinated.  Both Lankesh and Kalburgi were staunch proponents[Read More…]

Trump The Terrible

Trump The Terrible

  For those living in the northern climes of our great country, the season is just beginning to change. Summer has lost its worst heat. The air smells and tastes different … like Spring except that unlike Spring, instead of freshness … there is an undertone of decay. At the end of the American century, her voice has become as[Read More…]

Cuba Has A Higher Life Expectancy Than The U.S- Why?

Cuba Has A Higher Life Expectancy Than The U.S- Why?

  So frequently is the word ‘freedom’ employed in the political vernacular, it has come to mean whatever the listener desires. For Mr. Trump, it is one word in the volcanic plume countering a society’s rhythm, designed to attract attention. That he has garnered in spades, enough to win him the highest office in the land. To many freedom is[Read More…]

Obama’s Legacy Is An Excuse For Trump

Obama’s Legacy Is An Excuse For Trump

  Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. is known for its regular polls. It asked voters what words came to mind when they thought of President Donald J. Trump. Different adjectives ascribed to him were subsequently ranked: “Smart” came in at number 28, but “idiot” was number one. In Mr. Trump’s home town, New York City, the public library reports fully[Read More…]

A Case For An Incompetent President

A Case For An Incompetent President

  Since January when this administration entered office, has anything significant been accomplished?  Not really.  The only  major bill slapping more sanctions on Russia was entirely the work of Congress.  Whether it is a positive or a foreign policy disaster is debatable, but one thing is certain:  we continue to antagonize, irritate, humble, press  militarily, encircle and threaten the only[Read More…]

What’s The Real Plan Behind Trump’s Fire And Fury For North Korea?

What’s The Real Plan Behind Trump’s Fire And Fury For North Korea?

It has been a week of barking out military options, a week of ‘everything is on the table’,  a week of threats no longer veiled.  Not an example of ‘cool as a cucumber’, rather a red-face turning to purple with the intensity of the phrasing. What brought on this apoplexy, the ‘fire and fury’ to be unleashed not just at[Read More…]

Fighting The Sanctions Against Russia And Laughing At Trump

Fighting The Sanctions Against Russia And Laughing At Trump

  The high level individuals leaving the Trump administration must be a record.  Eleven since the end of January averaging out to almost two per month.  The latest Mr. Anthony Scaramucci now holds a record of sorts as the shortest serving White House communications director in history.  He was in office exactly ten days when the White House Chief of[Read More…]

The U.S Media And Venezuela’s Fight For A New Constitution

The U.S Media And Venezuela’s Fight For A New Constitution

The Venezuelans go to the polls on Sunday (July 30) to elect delegates who will rewrite Venezuela’s constitution. In Latin America generally, society is broadly divided into three groups: whites, mixed race mestizos and the original native peoples. The elite ruling classes, namely whites, select and have elected white presidents. Evo Morales in Bolivia, the late Hugo Chavez and now[Read More…]

A US – Iran War

A US – Iran War

  There are two kinds of people:  those with, and without, grace.  President Trump can decide on which side he falls, although Mrs. Abe the Japanese Prime Minister’s wife has clearly made up her mind.  Anyone who can read a whole speech in English knows enough to say, ‘Excuse me, I do not speak English well’.  So, to not respond[Read More…]

The North Korean Dilemma Part II : Economic Ties And The Banyan Tree

The North Korean Dilemma Part II : Economic Ties And The Banyan Tree

About a hundred miles north of Bangalore, India, in the village of Thimmamma Marrimanu grows an eponymous banyan tree. There are all kinds of records for trees: the tallest, the stoutest, the oldest, and so on, but the record for the largest canopy, at an astounding five acres, is held by this banyan. And it also holds the key to[Read More…]

The North Korean Dilemma – Part I: War And Peace

The North Korean Dilemma – Part I: War And Peace

  The North Koreans sent us a gift on July 4th. In the morning, — their time, it was still July 3rd evening here — they launched a missile. It reached a height of 1741 miles (2802 Km) which was 400 miles higher than the earlier May 14 launch. Calling it the Hwasong-14, they have claimed it has a range[Read More…]

Exploiting Hate in the World’s Largest Democracies: Violence for Gain

Exploiting Hate in the World’s Largest Democracies: Violence for Gain

  The well-known journalist, Seymour Hersch, has published an article in the German newspaper Die Welt refuting President Trump’s assertions blaming the Syrians for the chemical incident at Khan Shaykhun on April 4th. Worse, it accuses him of ignoring the intelligence that supported the Syrian and Russian version of events. Mr. Hersch’s source(s)? Senior U.S. intelligence operatives. The subsequent bombing[Read More…]

Two And Half Minutes To Midnight

Two And Half Minutes To Midnight

  There is a disturbing, discordant dissonance in the world. It is an uncomfortable feeling that something really bad is about to happen. Events unfold almost daily each of which would have been cause for shock and alarm once upon a time. Worshipers leaving after Ramadan prayers at Finsbury Park Mosque were attacked by a man driving a van, killing[Read More…]

Valuing Human Life In The UK

Valuing Human Life In The UK

  Arnold Turling is a very angry and unhappy man — vindicated but at what cost. Three years ago, he advised the All Party Parliamentary Rescue Group that cheap flammable insulation filler inside the new waterproof cladding and lack of a sprinkler system made buildings like Grenfell Tower a disaster waiting to happen. Mr. Turling is a Chartered Surveyor as[Read More…]

For May And Trump Storms On The Horizon

For May And Trump Storms On The Horizon

  When Donald Trump began his presidential campaign no one believed he could possibly be elected. When David Cameron went to the country on EU membership, he could not imagine ‘Remain’ losing. So it was with Theresa May. Ahead in the polls by 21 points she sought an unassailable majority. Whatever the reasons — and there are many — she[Read More…]

A Coarse Trump And The Disunited States Of America

A Coarse Trump And The Disunited States Of America

  This Thursday, June 1, the U.S. decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Like Brexit, the process is not like instant coffee; if anything, it is much more of a slow brew to which one could add harvesting or even growing the coffee in the first place. To prevent disruption for other members, it calls for a period[Read More…]

epa05990111 US President Donald J. Trump (L) and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (R) grab for a seat during a working dinner meeting at the NATO summit in Brussels, Belgium, 25 May 2017. NATO countries' heads of states and governments gather in Brussels for a one-day meeting.  EPA/Matt Dunham / POOL

Trump Bullies Europe As Daesh Kills

  The thirst for war is ancient. As old as disputatious neighbors or rival tribes, it is enticing — a siren call for the strong, presenting as it does a quick, easy and final solution. That it is often not, has hastened the end of royal dynasties (Hohenzollerns, Hapsburgs and Romanovs after WWI) and empires, including the British. There are[Read More…]

On Being Presidential And The Judgment Of History

On Being Presidential And The Judgment Of History

  There is in the U.S. a certain notion of being presidential.  Toss missiles at Syria or bomb Afghanistan and everyone reflexively calls it presidential.  Added to warmongering is peace making, visiting foreign countries, meeting with foreign leaders, holding joint press conferences with a slew of foreign reporters, all in a whirlwind of activity eagerly seized upon by the home[Read More…]

Climate Change Proof To Convince Even The Most Irrational

Climate Change Proof To Convince Even The Most Irrational

  The People’s Climate March on Saturday, April 29, 2017, flooded Washington, DC, with over 100,000 protesters. Organizers claimed 150,000, with marches in 330 other cities across the country and in three dozen solidarity events abroad. Coinciding with President Trump’s 100th day in office, the marchers also protested his anti-environmental actions. The previous Saturday (April 22, 2017), thousands of scientists[Read More…]

Is The U.S. Going To War With North Korea?

Is The U.S. Going To War With North Korea?

  In a continuation of the theater of the absurd, all 100 U.S. senators were driven to the White House to listen to a top-secret intelligence briefing on North Korea.  North Korea now has missiles capable of reaching Hawaii and will soon be able to extend its reach to California. As they also have nuclear weapons, putting two and two[Read More…]

Books, North Korea And Trump’s Sanity

Books, North Korea And Trump’s Sanity

  How many books have been authored by Donald Trump?  The answer:  a steady stream totaling a whopping 17 — more than enough to keep a full-time writer fully occupied without all of Mr. Trump’s other activities.  The word ‘writer’ of course is key, for Mr. Trump has not actually written any of them.  He hires a ghost writer and[Read More…]

Syria Chemical Weapon Attack:  Truth Comes At A Cost

Syria Chemical Weapon Attack:  Truth Comes At A Cost

  Shooting from the hip with unerring accuracy was the Wild West according to Hollywood.  As anyone who has ever fired a pistol will tell you it is improbable, and historically the West’s few gun duels were rather unremarkable.  The latest hip-shooter is of course Donald J. Trump whose foreign policy seems to turn on a dime — from not[Read More…]

Fake News In The U.S Endangering Russian Ties While Corruption Pays Off Big

Fake News In The U.S Endangering Russian Ties While Corruption Pays Off Big

  The incessant drumbeat demonizing Russia has reached a crescendo here in the U.S. Half-truths lead, and outright lies follow. A Congressman on National Public Radio accuses the Russians of interfering in the November election; as a member of the Intelligence Committee, he should know better. The hacking was during the primaries six months previously. It revealed a corrupt Democratic[Read More…]

Is Trump’s Wall Necessary? Mexican Migration Over The Last Century

Is Trump’s Wall Necessary? Mexican Migration Over The Last Century

With all the focus on a wall to (in a way) quarantine Mexico and President Trump’s notorious disinclination to read, one wonders if he would be interested in a brief history of Mexican immigration … For years and years there was an informal guest worker program. Farmers and fruit growers had a need for farm labor — work that was[Read More…]

Trump’s Actions And Address To Congress: Some Thoughts

Trump’s Actions And Address To Congress: Some Thoughts

  Coming from Donald J. Trump it was a remarkable speech, the measured tone, the presidential timbre …  plus it offered something to everyone.  Increased military expenditure of $54 billion to establishment Republicans, immigration controls to the Tea Party wing, tax cuts and a repeal of Obamacare for both, and the sop of family leave to the Democrats. Thus went[Read More…]

The Insane And The Sane As Bigotry Unleashed: Indian/Pakistani Victims

The Insane And The Sane As Bigotry Unleashed: Indian/Pakistani Victims

A disheveled, unkempt, unclean Steve Bannon finally emerged from his warren this week to claim outstanding success for this administration in its first month in office.  Disheveled, unkempt, unclean is how Mr. Bannon always looks.  The American Psychiatric Association Manual of disorders DSM-IV defines a mental disorder as a “clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern …”.  Add Mr.[Read More…]

Chaos And A Surreal Trump

Chaos And A Surreal Trump

  For the ancient Greeks logos meant reason, dialogue and debate.  It could also mean speech, the power of language for good or self-gain, an aspect demagogues know well and the sophist Gorgias (5th century BC) warned against. ‘The Greeks had a word for it’ is an English expression and they often did.  ‘Hubris’ would be the word to understand[Read More…]

Is Rising Inequality A Failure Of U.S. Democracy?

Is Rising Inequality A Failure Of U.S. Democracy?

It is a conceit of democracy that opposing parties, after months of trying to convince the public the other would be a disaster for the country, should after the election cooperate for the good of the whole. In fact, with rare exception, what happens was postulated by the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto over a century ago.  Power is contested between[Read More…]

Another Missile Crisis or More Chaos?

Another Missile Crisis or More Chaos?

Iran test-fired a missile and the U.S. government went ballistic. It put Iran ‘on notice’ — a phrase meaning little but with a distinct menace. Rummaging around in the Obama administration files, the new arrivals soon discovered well-prepared plans for sanctions should Iran’s actions displease. Iran was no longer ‘on notice,’ it was sanctioned. The Iranians are furious, saying nobody[Read More…]

A Bully Pulpit or A Bully’s Pulpit

A Bully Pulpit or A Bully’s Pulpit

Such a flurry of activity in the first week as executive orders poured out of the Oval Office at a fast and furious pace.  To what end … Yes, a wall is going to be built … except it might be a fence and might not cover the whole stretch.  The chief of the border patrol has resigned/fired over disagreement. [Read More…]

A Letter To Two Presidents

A Letter To Two Presidents

January 20th is unique … unique in that it has been inauguration day in the U.S. since 1937.  Thus it is on this day the people have two presidents, one before noon and the incoming one after.  This letter then is addressed to two presidents starting with President Barack H. Obama who ends his term of office. I Mr. President [Read More…]

An Uncertain Future Follows Obama’s Farewell

An Uncertain Future Follows Obama’s Farewell

President Obama’s farewell address focusing on the state of our democracy offered a lofty perspective coupled with a homily on the responsibility of citizenship. Thrown in were elements of legacy seized upon by numerous commentators from the left and right. The trouble is an aloof president on a lofty perch is unlikely to get much of anything done in the[Read More…]

Another Mass U.S Shooting: Wars And Consequences

Another Mass U.S Shooting: Wars And Consequences

Yet another mass shooting in the U.S., this time at Ft. Lauderdale airport, Florida’s second largest.  A certain Esteban Santiago flew from Alaska changing planes en route at Minneapolis.  Arriving, he headed to the baggage collection area, claimed his suitcase, opened it in the privacy of a toilet, removed a gun, methodically loaded it, and began shooting in the baggage[Read More…]

Hacking or Leak And Expelling Diplomats

Hacking or Leak And Expelling Diplomats

  In the U.S., the big news lately has been the expulsion last week of 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee that revealed a corrupt leadership. The claimed hacking was on May 16, 2016 and the information released just prior to the Democratic Convention held July 25 – 28, 2016. How it[Read More…]

Reviving Israel’s Dying Two State Solution

Reviving Israel’s Dying Two State Solution

The Christmas season is when people in the Christian world are encouraged to think of those less fortunate, including of course people oppressed for no other reason than being a particular ethnic or national group by birth.  And iconic in such misery are Palestinians.  Palestinians are both Christian and Muslim.  Few in the West know, for example, that the late[Read More…]

Killing The Messenger: The Politics Of Bringing Up The Russian Hacking Story Again

Killing The Messenger: The Politics Of Bringing Up The Russian Hacking Story Again

  Stealing elections is not new. Most observers can recite examples. It was also clear something was wrong. The size of Bernie Sanders rallies for one in comparison with Hillary Clinton’s even when exaggerated by the main stream media (MSM). It turns out the MSM had been bought in other ways also, printing positive op-eds for Hillary and vice versa[Read More…]

Is The U.S Fighting Terrorism Or Manufacturing It?

Is The U.S Fighting Terrorism Or Manufacturing It?

President Obama’s final foreign policy speech at MacDill air force base in Tampa, betrayed its purpose through the venue.  The Tampa, Florida, base is home to Special Operations Command and Central Command — Special Operations playing an ever increasing role in counter terrorism. The gist of the speech seemed to assert that the US is and should stay true to[Read More…]

Donald Trump And The Spike In Hate Incidents In USA

Donald Trump And The Spike In Hate Incidents In USA

An unequal society is like tinder, dry and just waiting for a match to set it off.  In the US case, add multi-ethnicity, a surfeit of guns, joblessness resulting in the blame game, and the environment is not only virulent but dangerously explosive. Early last Sunday morning in New Orleans one man was shot and killed and nine injured in[Read More…]

Beggars Among The Rich Is A Clue To The Working Class Vote For Trump

Beggars Among The Rich Is A Clue To The Working Class Vote For Trump

This is the week of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.  For many in our increasingly unequal society it is not a happy holiday. Triangulation has been the byword for President Obama’s party — a kind of centrism embraced by Democrats who did the work of the Republicans in the economic sphere while adopting a left-leaning social agenda.  The author[Read More…]

Can A President Trump Follow His Signature Agenda?

Can A President Trump Follow His Signature Agenda?

This has been the first presidential election in living memory where it was difficult to cast a vote. As the voting numbers show, many stayed away. Better the devil you know … goes the adage. The choice between ‘crooked’ Hillary and, well, the Donald … He who thumbed his nose at the establishment, was labeled a neo-Nazi, was shunned by[Read More…]

Will The American Political Nightmare End With The Election?

Will The American Political Nightmare End With The Election?

  In a few days the election, and what to many Americans is a political nightmare, will be over. But will it? Who can imagine Trump graciously disappearing from the scene if he loses, or for that matter Hillary. He is likely to parlay his greater celebrity into a new enterprise, and she into another run with the same political[Read More…]

Hillary, Trump, Sartre And Existentialism

Hillary, Trump, Sartre And Existentialism

In the US, the political system has now disgorged two candidates the citizenry cannot be less enthusiastic about.  Driven by ambition more than a love of the people or a sincere desire to serve, one can be forgiven for wondering if they are just as trapped by their motivations as the public in its two-party myopia.  No authentic leader among[Read More…]

The Appalling U.S. Presidential Election

The Appalling U.S. Presidential Election

On the eve of the last presidential debate, some observations on this unique election are in order.  In the forty years I have been following US presidential elections, I have never seen a more crass, a more vulgar and for most citizens a more embarrassing election campaign.  Bimbos to the left of them, bimbos to the right of them, onward[Read More…]

The Cant Of The Powerful: Killing People To Save Them

The Cant Of The Powerful: Killing People To Save Them

Friday, October 7 went by quietly unnoticed by major US media. It was the 15th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan — a war with no foreseeable end in sight. The number of troops due to remain in Afghanistan has been raised 50 percent to 8400. Drones based in Pakistan continue to play their deadly role. On the anniversary date,[Read More…]

America’s Epidemic Of Violence

America’s Epidemic Of Violence

Multiple killings in the U.S. are becoming so common (almost daily in the week past) that they no longer attract top billing in the news.  Moreover,  incidents of road rage leading to murder are also increasing at an alarming rate.  On Friday, the Eisenhower Expressway in President Barack Obama’s adopted hometown of Chicago was closed for two hours in the[Read More…]

The U.S. Presidential Debate: A Back And Forth Volleyball Of Lies

The U.S. Presidential Debate: A Back And Forth Volleyball Of Lies

Imagine a volleyball packed with lies being bounced back and forth across a net by one well-practiced in the art of mendacity and the other blissfully unaware of any truth. Then add a referee correcting the lies of one side but not the other, and you have a picture of the debate. The post-debate spin masters on both sides are[Read More…]

As We Sow So Shall We Reap

As We Sow So Shall We Reap

The United States has been at war for 15 years — wars intensified by a Nobel Peace Laureate. The cost is now estimated by reliable sources in the trillions and worldwide casualties in the millions. Post-traumatic stress disorder has reached epidemic proportions: an average of 22 US veterans are committing suicide … each day. So inured to violence, the police[Read More…]

Goodbye To The World Of The Single Superpower

Goodbye To The World Of The Single Superpower

  China and Russia conducted joint naval exercises in the South China Sea last week. Five Russian and ten Chinese ships participated in eight days of drills covering joint air defense, anti-submarine operations, landing, island-seizing, search and rescue operations, and weapons use. In the single largest naval exercise undertaken by the two, the Russian fleet comprised an Udaloy class anti-submarine[Read More…]

The Kashmir Problem

The Kashmir Problem

  Born out of cataclysm in 1948, the Kashmir problem remains alive and unwell. In the latest iteration of the long self-determination struggle, 75 protesters have been killed by Indian security forces firing pellet loaded shotguns to control the demonstrations; over 7000 have been injured including 117 who have fully or partially lost eyesight, a tragedy worsened by their young[Read More…]

A Flimflam Impeachment: The Overthrow Of Dilma Rousseff

A Flimflam Impeachment: The Overthrow Of Dilma Rousseff

What did Dilma Rousseff do to warrant impeachment? According to her opponents, she falsified the accounts to exaggerate the health of the economy, a practice not uncommon among governors. In her case, a fiscal court rejected the 2014 accounting report, which under normal circumstances would have prompted a revision; instead the Senate plotters seized upon it to draw up impeachment[Read More…]

Can Trump Win?

Can Trump Win?

In July, the Caine Prize for African Writing was awarded to Lidudumalingani Mgombothi.  The 10,000 pounds sterling award recognizes  African writers for short stories written in English.  His story, “Memories We Lost,” is graced with beautifully expressed sentences, and one in particular is apt for the role often played by governments:  “Secrets stay buried for so long, but one day[Read More…]

The Devolution Model For Peace In Kashmir

The Devolution Model For Peace In Kashmir

While there may be no real evidence of a historical Moses (for the Egyptians were obsessive about recording significant events, as an exodus of 2 M people would have been), the Hollywood version with Charlton Heston demanding, “Let my people go,” tells us not much has changed in human nature. Human lives and economic damage notwithstanding, India clings on to[Read More…]

Dissecting Suicide Bombing For Answers

Dissecting Suicide Bombing For Answers

That perception is prelude to reality is implicit. We may believe it in our bones but it is not always so, particularly in the case of suicide bombing. For example, our gut reactions for prevention would only exacerbate the situation. And the origins of suicide bombing it turns out belie common belief. So asserts the University of Chicago’s Robert Pape,[Read More…]

Should India And Pakistan Invite Back British Rule?

Should India And Pakistan Invite Back British Rule?

  Preposterous! you say.  Take a closer look: The countries have now been independent for 69 years.  Just a few days before the recent Independence Day(s) festivities — the two countries have a difference of opinion on when and celebrate on different days — a man named Matibool returning home from a night shift as a security guard was run[Read More…]

Can Peace Overtake The Violence In Kashmir?

Can Peace Overtake The Violence In Kashmir?

The choreography of violence is being staged yet again in Kashmir.  This time the spark lighting the accumulated tinder has been the killing of a popular militant leader.  And the elected leaders cowering inside their guarded residences bear silent testimony to the cogency of the state’s democracy. Crowd control is not the usual remit of the military.  Yet long periods[Read More…]

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