Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor


US Security myths shattered
Wars have as strange way to spread out just as any jungle fire. Even though Neo-con's blue-print of exploiting US armed strength to colonize Muslim world countries, fortunate or unfortunate enough to possess natural oil deposits that became the life-blood of western economies, never scripted homeland becoming another battlefield, war came to the US, even after 9/11. US strategists, who were expert in instigating civil wars in other countries for their 'divide and rule' game-plans, saw the sad day, when the Iraq war rebounded back to US mainland. A deranged medical officer, supposed to ease the pains and traumatic experiences of the returning US war soldiers, himself cracked and took to arms to fight his one man anti-war with the US armed forces, trying at symbolically, to stop US soldiers going to Iraq and killing innocent people there. Much that US armed services, as no doubt all armed forces are proud of their disciplined volunteers, it is human to develop one's own judgments over, if the war that the country is inflicting on others is legitimate or not. Major Nidal Hasan, of US army, not only was against the war in Iraq, but desperately decided to physically do something to stop at least some soldiers from going to Iraq and thus present a challenge to Obama to honour his own commitment to call back US troops from Iraq. Discredited US President George W. Bush, who either used or was himself used by his own diabolic second in command, Dick Cheney (an unannounced master-mind of American Jewish Neo-con strategist group) to misuse US forces to invade Iraq on spurious and illegal pretexts and kill up to million innocent civilians in Iraq, with his cowardly aerial bombings, went down in history as the worst US President not only by US popular standards, but even by global consensus. America became Ugly America once again, not too, not very long after Vietnam was got buried in short human memories. The world appeared clueless, impotent, as well as outraged. There was no stopping this fascist thug machine. With the denouement of the cold war, there was no Soviet power to counter America's perfidious assault on world conscience. It is unfortunate that the one that cracked in that Texas army centre bears a Muslim name. But that should not give a handle to the propagandist to turn the incident into an anti-Muslim twist to corrode Americas' secular polity with their poisonous intents. Thousands will share Major Nidal's abject distaste for using unbridled wars to achieve nefarious aims of a vocal minority out to hijack America. Nevertheless, It is regrettable that Nidal chose the same illegal and despicable method that President Bush did. Both in Texas deserve the same justice that Texas is known for. Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai II The US public was understandably outraged by the loss of life at the military base last week. President Obama and various congress people have stated in the Fort Hood aftermath that all Americans are outraged and hurt by American military fratricide. But there is no profound sense of anger by the same public or by its president over US military murders of Iraqis or other non-Americans around the world. Why the discrepancy? Why are American lives so much more valuable than non-Americans? If we understood this, we could better understand how easily the US public tolerates wars for the sake of the empire. We could understand the raw numbers of non-Americans killed by US-style industrial warfare in the last hundred years. The North Koreans, North Vietnamese, Somalis, Salvadorians, Afghans and the Iraqis know this. And they all know that US shipped its troops to their lands, against the wishes of their masses, and then killed wantonly in wars it chose to conduct in the interests of American consumers and corporations. America is an empire and its only regrets are when its self-generated violence blows back on its own citizens and citizen warriors. What happened in Ft. Hood will never be forgotten, just as the lives and deaths of the millions of victims of deliberate, sanctioned, American mass murder will never be remembered. Safiya Sameena, Vijayawada - 520010 III Following Obama's June 4th Cairo speech to the Muslim world, a horde of analysts rushed to interpret his message. While the media was awash with all kinds of opinions, the dominant one took the view that America's new kid on the block was determined to reverse strained relations with Muslims caused by the Bush administration's belligerent policies. Many Muslims too were overwhelmed with a new sense of expectation. However, Hillary Clinton, five months later has in an unambiguous manner revealed that Obama's Cairo debacle was no more than a farce. Muslim observers who remained skeptical at the time and who insisted that deeds - not fancy words - will be the acid test for Obama's 'sincerity' now feel vindicated. The pro-Israel pundits who attacked and demonized Obama at that time are probably surprised that his Cairo stunt was no more than a sop. As an after-thought they could be relishing their harsh stance towards him as a direct contribution to what clearly amounts to an embarrassing about-turn by Obama on his "settlement freeze" policy. The illusion of hope, particularly raised in Palestinian circles too has been misplaced, given the fact that Obama established his anti-Palestinian credentials during the elections with his promise that Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.  While Jewish analysts at the time may have held the view that Obama's speech validated an Arab and Muslim narrative; Muslims and Palestinians in particular remain convinced that the new kid on the block holds as much promise of a "just world" as his war-mongering predecessor. Mohd. Salahuddin, Mulund (W), Mumbai - 400080 The mess in Palestine Mahmoud Abbas is fed up and therefore withdrew his candidacy for the coming presidential election in the Palestinian Authority. He felt betrayed by none other than Obama who, when he was elected, aroused high hopes among the Palestinian people as well as in the Israeli peace camp. At long last there here was a US President who understood that he had to put an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Everybody believed that a new era had begun. Instead of the Clash of Civilizations, the Axis of Evil and all the other idiotic but fateful slogans of the Bush era, a new approach of reconciliation, mutual respect and practical solutions. As high as the hopes were then, so deep is the disappointment now. Nothing of all these has come about. In fact the Obama administration has shown by its actions and omissions that it is not really different from the Bush's administration. And the decisive test came in the battle of the settlements. The American insistence on freezing the settlements was the flag of Obama's new policy. But it has not happened. Obama has himself given up the clear demand for a total freeze and to add insult to injury, Hillary troubled herself to come to Jerusalem in order to flatter Netanyahu for the sacrifices he is making for peace. That was too much even for Abbas as a consequence of which he threw in the towel. Safiya Sameena, Vijayawada - 520010 II It is unfathomable that the recurrent unrest in and around the Aqsa Mosque compound are individual spats of violence unrelated to any larger picture. Anyone even slightly versed in this entangled conflict knows that every statement, every move in Jerusalem is laced with political overtones and is a tiny piece of a much larger canvas. So, the recent events in Jerusalem's old city can only be viewed as one more link in Israel's master plan for the city and for the Aqsa Mosque compound in particular. For the second time in the past month, extremist Jewish groups announced their intent to enter the mosque and for the second time, Palestinian Muslims in Jerusalem staved them off. The prospect of Israel attempting to pull off something of the sort at Al Aqsa is not so far-fetched. Israel seems to have a policy of, "If we can do it, then we will." There is no doubt that Israel, being the occupying power backed by the world's only superpower, "can do it." However, if it does decide to inch towards this eventual goal, it should know by now that the backlash will be severe. The burning tires, stones and flying chairs are just a hint of what will happen should Israel try to take full control over Al Aqsa. Palestinians are sure not to go down easily, if they go down at all. Sandeep Ghiya, Mumbai III  
A national-leader must make a War of liberation or alternatively, a leader must make Peace and preferably achieve a Just-Peace. Mahmoud Abbas did none of that. The only thing Abbas did was to cash his salary to enrich his family and to kiss the hands of his occupiers. The Oslo-plan was ultimately to flood the Palestinian leadership with money and aid , in order to make them drawn in their own corruption. It happened , Abbas is now a Millionaire who will retire in exile.......... to enjoy his fortune..........It is a classical scenario......... of corrupting any revolution until its members become over-fed , fat and selfish. Do not assume that Abbas left us because he has any conscience: Abbas is leaving because Hamas is really coming !! Raja Chemayel, a Christian for Hamas and for Palestine   Vande Mataram Vande Mataram cannot be imposed on Muslims - Popular Front Popular front of India strongly condemns the attempts of Sangh Parivar to create communal divide and to question the patriotism of Muslim community in the context of the resolution passed by  Jamiatul Ulema Hind regarding singing of Vande Mataram. The BJP which is in crisis due to internal feuds is just capitalizing the issue for political motives. Any community has the right to uphold its belief system and to impose upon them a worship contrary to their tenets is against freedom of faith and secularism. To question the loyalty of Indian Muslim on the ground that it reject the concept of worshiping motherland is nothing but a mockery of patriotism. It is ridiculous that an organization like RSS whose leaders and ideologues had stayed away from the struggle for the freedom of the motherland is now pointing fingers at Muslims. The Indian constitution has provided space for each and every community to adhere to its religious beliefs. Respecting the religious sentiments of each community is the binding force of a pluralistic society. The forces which tend to divide the nation by propagating hatred against the right of Muslim to practice monotheism and abstaining from worshiping another deity are positing a real threat to the integrity of the nation. Popular Front of India also condemns the criticism leveled against the Home Minister P. Chidambaram for attending the Jamiatul Ulema Hind Conference. We fear that the apologetic stand later taken by the Home Minister distancing himself from the issue has only emboldened the communal elements. Popular Front of India expects all secular sections of the society especially the political parties to support the fundamental right of Muslims to keep away from singing a song which is against their religious belief system.  K. M. Shareef, Gen. Secy., Popular Front of India II Reporting the 3-day 30th general session of the Islamic seminary Jamiat-e-Ulama Hind at Deoband, UP, held on 3 November, newspapers of Delhi came out the next day with a resurrected story of a long dead and buried issue, and creating the impression that the gathering of over 10,000 Muslim scholars was held there to discuss whether “Vande Mataram” was anti-national or not. They had nothing better to do, it appears. The Song in Bankim Chandra’s Anandmath, an out-right anti-Muslim fiction, written with the specific purpose of deepening the communal divide in order to promote the British strategy of divide and rule, was opposed by Muslims as early as in the 1930s, and the matter ended then and there. Lifting it out of context and giving it the status of a national song is revolting to the very concept of secularism. The passage of years since the fatwa against singing the song by Muslims does not change the situation. It stands valid even today. But what one fails to understand is the evil intent with which the news was resurrected. The Deoband meet adopted several important resolutions on the condition of Muslims, their problems like lack of educational facilities, employment and on many other vital issues of Muslims. But dismissing vital problems discussed by the meet and digging up a long-burried issue and displaying it prominently is lop-sided reporting, an instance of yellow journalism smaking malicious intent.               K.P. Prakasam, Mayur Vihar, Delhi III With an apparent relief the Home Miniser Chidambaram has stated that he was not present when Jamat-e-Ulema passed the resolution endorsing earlier fatwa declaring the national song un-Islamic. If he implied, thereby, that if he was around he would have stopped the resolution from being adopted, he has given no such indication. The session of the Jamat was a planned affair. The Home Minister presence was scheduled. Surely the resolution of such a controversial import was on the agenda. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi of the BJP is right in thinking that the Home minister’s association with the programme has given legitimacy to the resolution. The Minister has not pleaded even ignorance of such a resolution on the agenda. Nor has he expressed even a mild disapproval of the resolution. The Congress party, on the contrary, has stated that the matter is a sensitive one involving religious sentiments and no controversy should be raked up over it. It is strange that the Congress party failed to state that the matter was settled way back in 1937 and no controversy should have been raked over it. Dr. Mookhi Amir Ali, Mumbai IV Let me clarify at the very outset three important issues related to 'Vande Matram' controversy which is raised at a time when it was not at all being discussed. Firstly that this song is completely Un- Islamic, secondly that Jamiatul-Ulema has always been the stooge of Congress, and thirdly the sound health of 'Hindutva forces' is a pre-requisite condition for the so-called secular parties to entice Muslim community on emotional issues, so that it may throw its legitimate demands into oblivion. The stronger the Hindutva forces, the greater prospects for Congress and other so-called secular outfits to capture Muslims through the false slogans of 'secularism'. If our memory is not too weak, we may recollect that a few years back the then H. R. D. Minister Mr. Arjun Singh was the person who declared that the centenary of 'Vande Matram' would be celebrated with its singing in all institutions. As expected, the Muslims reacted aggressively, giving an opportunity to Hindutva forces to spew venom against the community. Arjun Singh later on withdrew his circular, and emerged as secular figure in the eyes of Muslims. The purpose was served , i. e. to divert the community's attention from the basic issues of 'give and take'. This time again, as the Muslims are showing tilt towards Congress, but with a rider of their demands, like the implementation of Sacher Committee report, which it cannot concede for the fear of losing Hindu support, the safest via media before it is to raise some emotional issue by which to reinvigorate the degenerating health of 'Hindutva forces'. Using its old faithful stooges, it has succeed to a considerable extent. The so-called Deoband 'Fatwa' against Vande Matram has activated the dying cells of B. J. P. The unholy nexus between 'Hindutva forces and the 'fictitious secularism' is the most effective instrument since independence to deceive Muslims, and the hypocrites with the community are always used as the tool in that mechanism. Dr. Mustafa Kamal Sherwani, Sitapur Raod, Lucknow, U. P. sherwanimk@yahoo. com   Unequal compensation Government grants varying amounts of compensation to victims of accidental death. But what is the criteria? Prevailing election-related conditions? Let our esteemed judiciary fix equal and appropriate price of human life.  S.A.U. Patel, Khanpur Deh - 392 150     Pakistan Takes The Bush Option That Demostrably Failed Pakistan's two days bloodshed on the country's symbols of government, uncannily resemble the 9/11 bloodshed when America's symbols of grandeur were targeted. Now that Pakistan is marshalling a force of 30,000 troops to attack South Wazirastan, it is dutifully following the same Bush action-reaction strategy without any thought for its suitability or unsuitability, given the worldwide condemnation of Bush moves on Iraq and Afghanistan. Pakistan is being forced into a civil war that is not of its choosing. Sane elements should force a reconciliatory and dialogue approach that Obama so obsessively recommended and failed to impose. Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai