Saturday, July 16, 2011

Bombay - July 13 2011

There is no point in beating around the bush here - there are no leads at all. We have absolutely nothing .

I have no idea what Sri. Maria is talking about - everything we had two days ago is turning out to be a dead end. The well is completely and utterly dry.

When the terrorists stuck in November 2008, that was bad - but what appears to have been worse - was that the deaths of the police officers went unavenged. I had feared this would happen, but at that time there was a compelling case to simply use the threat of force as a lever to secure Pakistani cooperation, and I went along with that scheme because it seemed promising.

That scheme however is insufficient to maintain the balance of terror needed to keep the city from falling apart. I deeply respect the IPC and the CrPC, these form the closest thing to a policeman's Bible, Gita or Koran in India - but what holds the peace is not the IPC or CrPC, it is what my Pathan friends would call "badal" - the law of inseparable consequence.

When the deaths of the flag officers in the police department go unavenged - it creates a highly destabilising opportunity for criminal enterprise.

The lesser Jihad of Pakistani groups is simply a criminal enterprise. I had brought this up in the posts after the 2008 attacks, but groups like LeT want to advertise their ability to "resolve conflicts" in Bombay. This means exactly what it says - there is a thriving market in murder-for-hire in Bombay and the LeT wants a piece of the action. The LeT is like a big MNC that is entering the Indian market trying to out compete all the local supari wallahs by selling their brand of paan, gutkha, tambaccu or chuna to any available bidder.

Thanks to the thriving outsourcing business in Bombay - the LeT can outsource most of its operations to local players - and if everything is locally sourced - there is no need to for any connection back to the LeT. There is plausible deniability.

I don't like this kind of MNC, and I don't like this kind of outsourcing.

I think the time for delay is past.

Even if it is only an aging Kapothka - we still need it in the air.

And it is high time "Bhai" came home.


At 12:44 PM, Blogger maverick said...

and yes - if you are still wondering - a black flag is sitting on the IM's door.

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Hi Mav,

I have been in Mumbai the last few days ... arrived after the blasts. The city is *so* normal, it is unbelievable.

I will be going to Delhi tomorrow. Folks had asked me to change my plans to go to Mumbai, and all I could say was "This is India onlee".

I am traveling on an APS fellowship and I had no intention of changing my travel plans because of the blasts.

Except for the relatives of the dead, no one seems to care.

This seems crass, but this is my observation of the reality here.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger kgoan said...

This and Jadhavs refusal to comment is interesting.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Mani,

Have a nice trip in Delhi.

These attacks were too small to have any real impact on the city as a whole.

I am deeply troubled by the lack of any real leads. I have never seen that situation before.

I feel very uncomfortable when I see vast resources being expended on chasing shadows down a rabbit hole.

I understand that the IM had to be black-flagged for now - but this is an expensive affair.

In order to do this GoI has had to expose its entire hand vis-a-vis IM - after this there will be no more aces up the sleeve.

Hi Kgoan,

Yes and there is more.

That entire business in Silvassa and the connection to Dey's murder is back in the frame.

I would not be too surprised if the entire Provogue saga bubbles up again also.

incidentally - this is worth a read

At 2:40 PM, Blogger maverick said...

I think the Dey murder case may have to be reopened - if for no other reason than to clear up the Yemen angle.

At 6:58 AM, Blogger amberG said...

but too funny to miss...
Daily show - Where Mush / Jon Stewart lies to each other.. Mush when he said that he does not know where Osama was, and Jon when he said he read Mush's book...

Part 1 of yesterday
Part 2
Here is older clip:

At 7:29 AM, Blogger maverick said...

It seems some 7900 ISAF containers have gone missing in Pakistan over the last four years.

check out the comments about the requests for data from the PA-NLC and the manner in which the data was presented to the Pak FTO by the NLC. Apparently the NLC was not too keen to see its its records scrutinised.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger maverick said...

looks interesting.

At 11:35 AM, Blogger maverick said...

this is one for the LCA critics

At 7:57 AM, Blogger maverick said...

This looks very interesting.

At 7:58 AM, Blogger maverick said...

hmm... I knew it.

"It’s the fact that a program this weighty started with a quirky contest to find a bunch of red balloons."

At 12:32 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Hi Mav,

Greetings from Narita airport.

I participated in the red balloon project alongwith the MIT postor who goes by the name of Dilbert here. It was a fascinating concept.

On another note, my meeting with DFC in Kolkata did not happen. Hope to see him in Delhi next month.

In general, I have a big beef with WiFi in India. For an "IT Superpower", the lack of general WiFI availability sucks. Even Bangkok had more readily available WiFi than Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata etc.

This needs t0 be fixed. I feel naked without WiFi.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Mani,

I see a lot of criticism levelled at the Nexus project in that article on Wired.

I feel Nexus is about as predictive as the data they recieve. Given how piss poor the US data collection in Afghanistan is - I feel it was a bad idea to put this into action in Afghanistan. After reading the article the blame for this mess lies squarely with the DARPA chief and not with the MIT team.

It would be interesting to see if Nexus can be used by the Ministry for Food and Public Distribution System for prediction of market irregularities in the price of essential commodities.

It would be even more interesting if Min. of Agriculture can use Nexus to predict microfamines.

If Nexus can be made to work to do that - I feel there is some chance it can be used to improve the effectiveness of governance in India.

I wonder if the USG is up to sharing Nexus codes with GoI. I would value that much more than any F16/18/JSF that they might want to sell India - frankly those are pretty useless when it comes to dealing with India's real problems.

In my mind's eye - I see a new kind of GoI, with an Ashokan Tri-Lion that is made up of ones and zeros.

This new GoI would rely on remote sensing platforms to gain real-time data on everything from the weather, to the stock market to the nature of China's military posture in Arunachal and then all the data collected would be processed in a series of unified data centres where alogithims like Nexus would create predictive maps of events. Anything that is flagged would be subject to a discussion by the appropriate council and then a task force would be assigned to mitigate the risks or contain the situation.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger maverick said...

When the Islamists carry out a bombing, there is a desire to create as big a sense of terror as humanly possible.

Seldom do you see an Islamist bombing that doesn't leave a crater behind.

I am not saying every bombing with a crater is necessarily Islamist in origin, but that when there isn't a crater - it means that the bomber/s weren't as bent on causing destruction as the Islamists usually are.

I was a little surprised by the absence of a crater in Oslo.

At 7:09 AM, Blogger maverick said...

If it is true that the Norway Intelligence community focused on Islamist groups to the exclusion of far right groups - then that is a very obvious statement of incompetence.

This will be a black mark against this intelligence community forever.

At 11:49 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Engineering is a dead end job. Most college trained engineers that I know don't even work in engineering. I know one GE engineer who actually works in his profession. He builds and installs jet engine gas turbine electric generating stations. Now dig this, GE told him "we want you to work in Accounting and Finance", so he tried it for 2 years. And hated it. So they let him go back to building and installing gas turbine electric stations. He's happy as a pig in a mud bath. One of the few I've met that is.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger dilbert said...

"...along with the MIT postor who goes by the name of Dilbert here."

Hi Prof,

You obviously have me confused with some other Dilbert. I'm not in MIT (not that smart) and I've never participated in the Red Balloons thing.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

oops, not Dilbert then ... it was someone else :)

At 12:55 PM, Blogger maverick said...

hmm... air traffic controllers not paid because Congress was too busy bickering about the debt ceiling...

what days have come...

At 1:24 PM, Blogger maverick said...

something about this norway incident is not sitting right.

lone wolf attacks are notoriously difficult to stop and lone-wolf tactics were at the core of right wing extremism in the US - but even with piss poor security like Norway - this is simply too much work for just one individual to pull off.

At 12:12 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

>>>> this is simply too much work for just one individual to pull off

forget the logistics, the guy supposedly wrote a 1600 page manifesto ... now, that is real work.

By the way, there is this news item that US supplies through Pak are down to 35%. I suspect that after some draw down of troops, this will be down to 0%. That is when the fun would start.

At 6:34 AM, Blogger maverick said...

>> 1600 page manifesto..

Oh... I don't know.. I have seen some consultant reports that come close. It is amazing how much garbage one human being can put together with MS Word.

At 6:48 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I am not seeing any link to any of the usual Christian fundamentalist agendas in Norway.

Evidence so far points at a lone wolf event - though I am open to the possibility of more than one attacker.

More than Beslan, this is bring back memories of Columbine in my mind.

At 10:00 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:10 AM, Blogger maverick said...

You can't say that the absence of evidence of Pakistani involvement is evidence of Pakistani involvement.

That kind of thinking is the path to madness.

There is no evidence in the July 2011 serial blasts.

As Inspector Sadhu Agashe says in Ab Tak Chappan...

"When we have information, we kill criminals... when we don't have information we kill time..."

relax ... have a charminar

At 8:51 AM, Blogger maverick said...

The debate in the US senate and congress is interesting.

I think it can be summarized as follows:

Obama - we need to raise the debt limit to allow the government to avoid default.

Republicans - Oh no you don't - govt. is too big already - we'll only agree if you sign up to cutting the size of govt.

Obama - okay - that sound fine - spending cuts and tax increases - that's the way to go.

Republicans - No no no ... you agree to our plan which saves 2 trillion dollars in 10 years. We don't want to see this big government.

Obama - err.. my plan saves 4 trillion in ten years.

Republicans - Err.. umm... no ... no... wait what... err no no no no no no no... big government is bad err.. er...

Obama - So are you okay with a 4 trillion dollar reduction over ten years? I want to cut big spending programs, trim safety net programs, reduce pork barrel stuff and cut tax dodges for the super rich.

Republicans - err no... tax raises are bad, err.. no... big government is bad... (drone incoherently)... we have a better plan.

Obama - Do you mean 2 trillion dollars reduction? How is that better than my 4 trillion reduction over the same period? Are you being obstructive?

Republicans - no no.. we are not being obstructive - see there is a simple way out to this - you can propose your 4 Tn reduction and we will reject it, and you can veto our rejection but then we simply won't override your veto...

Obama - err.. how is that "simple"?

Republicans - err... wait we have a better plan... you can raise the debt limit by 1 trillion in exchange for a promise to reduce the debt by 1.2 trillion in ten years..

Obama - I'm sorry - how is that "better" than the 4 Trillion reduction in ten years?

Republicans - err.. umm... errr... errr.. ummmn... umm... hmm... let me think...


Either the republicans have been inhaling too much of their own astroturfing and have simply cannot articulate meaningful policy ... or... President Obama is a master political strategist that just jammed the entire republican party into its political grave.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Yeh Akashvani hain...

At 12:06 PM, Blogger maverick said...

There seems to be a serious middleman/lobbyist problem in the US.

People like the ATR have gone to town raising funds from rich people by promising them that they would fight tax increases.

Now with the debt where it is - this is no longer possible. However if these lobbies are seen to fold without putting up a huge fight - they will lose credibility.

This is the same dynamic that was at work during the Indo-US nuclear deal. Unless the NPA ayatollahs put up a fight they would simply lose all credibility with their donors.

Whatever we are seeing by way of political incoherence in Republican party is more the result of the ATR and other groups digging in their claws. It hasn't help matters that the GOP has courted a number of Tea Party agendas to raise money. These agendas are now coming home to roost.

I don't even think it is the actual elected representatives that are the problem. I suspect the problem is the interaction between the minions/pages/aides of the representatives and the lobbyists - that is where all the policy gets made.

A split within the GOP seems plausible.

In all honesty, between Mr Norquist's credibility and the dollar's credibility, I think the latter is more important.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I don't understand

is the Tea Party's game to destroy the GOP from the inside?


is the Tea Party's game to create a situation where a taxation related debate opens just prior to the 2012 election?

Right now it is a little confusing - I am not sure if the Tea Party is necessarily working to the GOP's favour.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

It happens from time to time that a small group of men refuse reason. When Caesar was ordered to come home and stand charges for overstepping his authority he asked for a negotiated settlement. Caesar waited in Northern Italy with his Legions fresh from conquering Gaul. The roman Senate had a group of conservatives called the Optimates (versus the Populares) who refused to negotiate. They didn't want any change. Caesar didn't want to be put on trial and executed. The vote came down to 377 for negoiations and 22 against. The Optimates however would not allow the bill to take effect. So Caesar and his legions crossed the Rubicon river. And marched on Rome. Eventually there was a battle on the plains of Greece and Caesars Legions broke the Optimates army. When Caesar saw the dead bodies of the Optimates laying on the battlefield he said "Hoc volerunt", roughly translated "They asked for it". The 400+ year old Republic was dead and became the Roman Imperial power fo the next 500 years.

At 11:47 AM, Blogger maverick said...


Very good point.

I think very few people appreciate what happens when a parliament ceases to function on a critical issue like this - few (if any at all) understand that this is exactly how a republic dies.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

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At 4:45 AM, Blogger maverick said...

> "I am smiling".

And I am adding LOLs after all my tweets and texts...

the magic of kabuki.

always entertaining.

At 5:45 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Actually there is one more thing that is disgusting.

A police officer being denied entry to a place of worship because of his sect. This happened recently in a very progressive southern state.

I think it is time we made it clear to everyone who wants to bang their head in front of a stone somewhere in the country and hope for absolution - that a police officer can walk on top of that very stone with their shoes on if they feel like it. If the faithful want - they should feel free to to touch the police officer's shoes at any time.

Sometimes when I read this - I recall the good old days in Sri Lanka, when a balidan bagdewallah simply locked the temple in the morning and night and all the saffron clad people had to kneel before the vardi wallah to open the door as he ate pork.

It is at times like this that I feel the ID parade and CASO routine setup by the BSFboyz and the RRBoyz in Kiloland - needs to be extended to the rest of India. Especially around large religious institutions where the criminals may be sheltering in robes of various colours.

If that doesn't bring this problem to heel, I feel we should feel free to call up KS Brar, Mohd. Israr and let their boys with some lads from 16 Cav sort things out.

Honestly, these religious leaders are becoming incredibly annoying.

At 7:13 AM, Blogger maverick said...

nick schmidle gets "scoop" on "getting bin laden"!!

good job Nick!!

At 7:55 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

ok, here is my rant ... GOI always makes stupid generalized rules to deal with particular problems.

For example, one politician got drunk on an airplane so they banned alcohol on airplanes ...

Here is my gripe ... following 26/11 they made a rule that one can't visit India twice within two months ... this is their answer to solving DCH type dude ...

So, I was in India last month and I would lie to go again this month, but now I did some Mega Exception to the rule and some sort of "permission for re-entry" which involves a 4-page long form and a day wasted at the San Fran consulate ...

What a load of crap!

At 2:41 PM, Blogger maverick said...

GOI's ability to come up with non-solutions to problems is stuff of legend.

Still-- atleast we are not a hair away from default now.

Small mercies.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Ram said...

oh man, on BRF, lol, guruprabhu was alok n?

At 2:20 PM, Blogger Ram said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Wah wah Ram ji, jodi kya banai LOL

At 7:13 AM, Blogger maverick said...


Is it fair to say that Anonymous and Lulzsec are at "war" with the USG?

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Oh Anonymous and Lulzsec probably think they are at war with the USG but that is like an ant crawling up an elephant's leg with rape on his mind.

These guys are a felony anoyance at the most.

Heck, Chinese nationalists (aka Sons of China) cause more damage to corporate America and the USG with their outright thefts of data over the past 5 to 10 years. All for the Motherland. Personally, I think MNCs deserve them. In fact, they should hire more of them. After all, they're way more smarter than native born US citizens. hee, hee.

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

Are any of you guys beginning to smell the aroma of "we don't give a f**k about the global economy or American Startegic Global Presence" arising from the American electorate? Or from Congress?

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

You might want to check out It is an American website that deals with Chinese hacking activiites. There are some good articles there including a small one about chinese hackers and India.

At 2:19 PM, Blogger maverick said...

22 seals dead in one single strike!

Dear God...

what a terrible day for the unit.

That entire Abbotabad operation had two vulnerabilities - the resupply/QRF chinooks and the black hawk refueling operation.

Looks like the enemy exploited one of those in Wardak.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger maverick said...


yes - some of those congress/senate people can talk like that.

President Obama can't.

The electorate, it is understandable if public opinion lags economic reality.

At 5:48 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

We're not perfect. We're merely good. We make mistakes from time to time. Sending in a low and slow chinook filled with troops into a hot zone was a mistake. Perhaps sending smaller, faster helicopter guns ships would have been more appropriate? This will be analyzed endlessly by the Pentagon. I noted that some on BARF took pleasure in the SEALs death including Shiv. Those messages are now gone. That's a shame. Why hide what you really feel about it? Be up front like the Pakis.

At 6:46 AM, Blogger maverick said...

I feel that is a lot of people to lose in a single shot.

Every special unit in the world is deeply aware of how hard that kind of loss hits.

In Kargil, a similar tactical vulnerability took out a large number of people from 9 Para. In another event LS and Vikas took similar losses due to bad luck.

I don't recall seeing Americans lining up share in India's grief at any of these times.

We lose such people in Kiloland all the time. Their deaths are usually graced by editorials about the Indian Army's human rights record in the NYT.

Heck - when NSG and MCF people were lost on 26/11 all that was heard in the US press was bullshit about how the Indians weren't armed right and didn't know simple tactics. There was one asshole who went on Fox news and offered bs gratuitous advice on how to hold an MP-5.

Can't speak for Shiv, but I doubt "glee" is what he feels. He may simply be wistfully stating that the US is developing a deeper appreciation of the problems of dealing with Pakistan.

How the Pakistanis feel should be no surprise - unless people didn't get the hint from the burning NATO resupply tankers.

I suppose the Seals will get to see a PR fiasco, it is likely that the names of the personnel killed or their relatives will end up being released to the public.

I am seeing all these local newspapers in the Dam Neck area filing stories about the grieving relatives. It is difficult to see how the security of the Team Six will be preserved if these news items continue to appear.

At 1:35 PM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear YIP,

I think it is just bijness... nothing to do with namak.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger maverick said...

fwiw - i also suspect it was a stinger.

Naturally I don't think much about Ms. Rocca's buyback program.

Keeping the funeral off limits for the media is the key to keeping team six secure. It is bad enough an entire troop has been wiped out - it would be much worse if more people are identified and their relatives targeted.

This concern about relatives and loved ones being targeted was brought up in the khan-i-khanan's visit to the celebrate the success in Abbotabad.

It is a valid concern. Given that border security in khan land is very very poor.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Ralphy said...

In the first place I don't even know what the SEAL team was doing there. Probably double super secret. If rescuing Rangers was the reason perhaps it would have been more appropriate to send in the Marines? Although rangers would never allow something like that to happen. Marines get blown out of the sky all of the time. Read about the Mayaguez(?) incident. Three Marines were even left behind on the island to be executed by Pol Pots henchmen. SEALs are peculiar about dying. A bunch of them got wiped out trying to take the airport in Panama which is definitely a Marine or Ranger job. The SEALs there after decided they would not do those kinda jobs anymore.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger maverick said...

In India, special units are used to do things that it would take too long for the regulars to learn properly and get right.

Mountain warfare is one of those things that you can't just have regular troops do - because the learning curve is simply too sharp. Special units with advanced light infantry skills and highly motivated and intelligent personnel are best suited for this role.

In Kargil (or Siachen) for example, India used special troops to create routes on snow capped mountain tops - essentially set up the pathways for regular troops to scale the mountain side.

Typically special units like LS or Vikas would conduct preliminary recon missions, identify enemy positions. After this information was relayed to brigade HQ, the brigade brass would sit with the SF and seek out an approach to flank enemy positions. Once that was done - a path opening crew comprising of SF units would head out with mountain gear and secure the path for the regulars to climb on. This allowed India to use its regulars more effectively in a high altitude environment.

In Afghanistan, iirc, the Soviets used Airborne troops to conduct heliborne ops during the "Panjshir" series of operations. The key to these operations was a team of Spetsnaz that would secure the valley heights quickly so that ground troops could move in the valley with the security of having Spetsnaz looking over them and directing air cover.

At 12:07 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


LS == Ladakh Scouts?

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Ram said...

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At 12:31 PM, Blogger Ram said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Ram said...

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At 12:33 PM, Blogger Ram said...

Keep having repeats..
Mani ji, Archan and Suraj on BRF have both said it was AlokN as GuruPrabhu and now you are permanently banned. saves your time from sankufication I guess.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger maverick said...



At 1:49 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Ram Ji,

Those are fictional characters in cyberspace - why worry about them so much?

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

^^^ also, who knows how many sleepers are sleeping ... :)

At 6:38 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


Please read through this ISAF press release:

Very odd to say the least...

At 6:45 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Sparsh,

The report is very terse.

I imagine the first thing the commanding officer said when he reached the site was to find the responsible persons.

Thing is though - Mullah Some-body and Taliban Area Commanders are a bit like dadas in Mumbai localities.

They don't have the aukadh to pull a stunt like this. They like to talk big and because they think it makes people respect them, but fundamentally - the level of hand eye coordination needed to pull this stunt is too much for these fellows.

I know very little about the local scenery in Wardak province.

It is difficult to judge where the sudden success in air defence comes from.

I think it is only possible to do this when the motion of the helo is relatively slow. It could be a simple matter of hitting the helicopter when it had just landed, or is in a vertical ascent or descent or a sharp turn.

There are some suggestions that an IRAM ( was used in this situation, but I have heard no confirmation of that. The IRAM is traditionally used for attacks on urban targets from a long range. In Iraq the weapon is camoflaged and driven to within a few km of the target and a volley launched.

You may recall seeing these some years ago in London when the PIRA or the RIRA people tried to strike downing street using a similar tactic.

This can't take down a helicopter unless it is by accident.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Sorry Sparsh,

To complete the previous post.

I don't think an IRAM can do this unless it is pure dumb luck.

I suspect a stinger was used and that stinger came from Pakistan.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Sparsh said...


Here are my thoughts on that very odd ISAF press release:

The Chinook would be most vulnerable during a landing approach when its speed is relatively slow and flight path is somewhat predictable but at the same time its altitude is high enough for a crash to be fatal. Even in these circumstances, it would require more luck than skill to hit it with a weapon as inaccurate as an RPG especially since the shooter cannot be too close due to the open terrain. The way to overcome this would be to have multiple teams firing volleys of RPGs from different directions.

But then that raises the question: How did the local Taliban commander know which of his men took the fatal shot? Its not as if they had time to get together for a debrief. To me this suggests that he knew only one particular man could have taken the fatal shot and this would imply the weapon in question was more likely a missile than a RPG. It is possible that there was just one man who took a shot at the Chinook with a RPG and happened to get lucky but then why take him and make a run for the border?

That the local Taliban commander chose to personally escort the shooter to the border and safe havens of Pakistan not only supports this conclusion but also suggests that the shooter was Pakistani - he was someone considered valuable enough to get to safety but could not be safely hidden among the locals.

I think it is likely the shooter was a Pakistani soldier in mufti and that there may be more like him waiting to be infiltrated for a campaign of high profile attacks on helicopters. The timing of such a thing has exactly the right mix of escalation, arrogance, and idiocy that pervade the perfumed princes in GHQ.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Hello Sparsh,

I think you are right.

Chak district is in east Wardak. It seems Mullah Habibullah and the shooter were headed east.

At 8:04 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Paksat-1R is for the PA NCA's communication purposes.

They don't want to use foreign satellites for fear of intrusion or interception.

It is part of their C&C chain.

That is why Kidwai et al were there.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Oh... and they are saying "2040" because GoI has already laid claim to "2020" in its "vision" documents - so GoP has to come up with something different.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear SSridhar,

"Almost all Muslim Leaguers were dapper men led by none other than Mr. Mohammed Ali Jinnah himself, in contrast to almost all the Congress leaders who were very simply dressed led by a half-naked fakir.No wonder that Jinnah said, 'by all canons, we are a separate nation'."

Actually I also feel that is a very important distinction between Indian and Pakistani psychologies.

Indians think dressing like a commoner is better than dressing like a failed prince.

Pakistanis thing dressing down is equal to losing status.

Pakistanis attach more importance to outward appearance than Indians do. Some Indians are also more image conscious, but most don't think too much of such things.

You see this everywhere - in graduate schools in the US - the Pakistanis are usually much better dressed than their Indian counterparts.

Back when I was in undergraduate, we used to say, our cousins in Delhi are much better dressed then us "poor" folks in Bombay. It is something like that.

At 8:25 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Actually you see this all the time.

Even when our diplomats dress up - they wear something that is made by some local darzi in old Delhi or in Navy nagar in Bombay.

Their diplomats get their suits stitched in Paris or Milan. (it is out little secret ofcourse that the people in Milan or Paris - eventually outsource the stitching to some darzi in Dharavi... but ignore that for now).

Their foreign minister looks like she should be in a movie or tv show.

Our foreign minister looks like he is more comfortable with a beedi in his hands sharing a cutting chai with the policewallah standing outside the venue.

The foreign minister delivers precise speeches in a dulcet tone.

Our minister, occasionally burps in the middle of his speech, mixes up names and muddles around as he tries to give the Portuguese minister's speech instead of his own.

Our leaders are a reflection of who are as a nation.

Honestly I think I like our minister better.

At least the poor man knows that his words are irrelevant. I don't think their minister knows that part.

At 6:01 AM, Blogger maverick said...

It is misguided to blame "Pakistani society" for all the terrorist groups sheltering on Pakistani soil.

Yes- Pakistani society seems unusually permissive when it comes to terrorists and, yes - saying that you are killing innocent women and children in the name of Allah - appears to give you the keys to the six year old daughters' bedroom in Pakistan, but honestly - you can't blame "pakistani society" for this kind of behaviour.

A great deal of this kind of behaviour is cultivated by a group of people in Pakistan who run an international murder-for-hire business. Whatever latent criminality exists in Pakistan, it is these people - these powerful terrorism CEOs - that are making it much worse.

You have to bring these people to justice.

There are no real alternatives to that.

If ANYONE - by that I mean the US/UK/China/Saudi Arabia/little-green-men-from-Mars whoever - wants to play an effective role in South Asia - they have to help contain this terrorism-for-hire industry in Pakistan.

The Osama in Abbotabad solution won't work with these people - you have to bring these people before a court of law and they have to tried for their crimes.

Otherwise this all a complete waste of time.

The Nazis weren't defeated by American bombs - Nazi ideology was defeated when the Nazis that survived were asked to answer for their specific crimes.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger dilbert said...

Hi Mav,

"Our leaders are a reflection of who are as a nation."

IMO this statement is only half right. I can see how India's diplomats/ministers etc. may be a reflection of India (i.e. a mixture of common sense and goofiness, success and failure etc.), but Paki diplomats/ministers are NOT a representation of "typical Pakistanis", and they don't even pretend to be. In fact, Paki ruling classes (the so-called RAPE) have absolute contempt for mango Abduls/Ayeshas (especially the Ayeshas). If they wanted to be truly representative of the dominant ideas in Paki society, they would send bloodthirsty terrorists or screaming mullahs as their representatives to international bodies. Zaid Hamid is a much more honest representation of the state of Paki society than that Qureshi fellow (I forget his name, the Foreign Minister who resigned during the Raymond Davis halla-gulla). And Hina Khar is an absolute joke.

What would Indians do if GoI tried to make Aishwarya Rai the Foreign Minster? Throw shoes at MMS and laugh the GoI out of power? (Of course BRF would love to do that anyway with no such provocation, but that's another discussion altogether).

At 8:12 AM, Blogger dilbert said...

On this GuruPrabhu thing, of course I have no idea of GP's real identity and I don't want to speculate, but I will say that IMO he was one of the few voices of sanity and de-Sankufication on the nuke thread (AmberG and Amit were two others).

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

^^^ BRF and Sanku-ji are one and the same ... why argue with perfection?

Greetings from Bengaluru.

Am here for a lecture series at IISc. This city is a delightful, yet frustrating, study in irony. It pretends to solve the world's problems and yet lives in complete chaos.

I am living in an island of sanity called Indranagar ... getting out of here is impossible. People who blame the "traffic" miss the important concept that "traffic" is a concept of organization ... no clues of such an idea in this city.

I suspect I am a stone's throw from some BRF stalwarts ... I can understand what keeps them glued to their computer ... attempting anything else is madness.

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Ralphy said...

This is intriguing news and could be global changing technology:

And here is the the guy's C.V.

At 12:22 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

I witnessed Independence Day celebrations today ... charming ... the flag display culture has really caught on ... lot of 3-wheelers had flags hoisted and all the kids had little flags ...

Meanwhile, is this transformation possible:

DFC -> WKK ??


At 6:27 AM, Blogger maverick said...

Dear Dilbert,

I don't know if Zaid Hamid is any more a representative of the true will of the Pakistani people than Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar is.

They all seem to belch fire on America at one moment and then in the next moment - they do something over-the-top to ape the Americans.

The disconnectedness of the Pakistani leadership is a symptom of the dysfunctional nature of the Pakistani nation.

By contrast, we in India are a bunch of paan-chewing lungi dancing bullock cart drivers.

If the Pakistanis are wannabe Americans, we Indians - are the original Naciremas.

At 10:14 AM, Blogger maverick said...

It is such great comfort to know that the tone of the editorials in western press about India has not changed in 64 years.

As Western plutonomies head sequentially into the crapper, the media there still finds a sense of pride and convenient distraction in pissing on India.

Anyway - rejoice, all ye faithful.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger maverick said...

And yes - to the Angels of Aabpara Chowk - your greeting has been received by all our state governments.

We didn't send you a similar greeting for fear that you might shit yourself in sheer fright.

Happy 64th birthday Pakistan.

At 2:21 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Hi Folks,

I was at Freedom Park in Bengaluru where Judge Hegde is fasting ... electric atmosphere ... I was wrong above about the name of this place ... it is Gandhinagar, not Indranagar ... Freedom Park is next doors ...

I have a feeling that something major is happening with this Anna Hazare protests ...

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Flew into Delhi tonight and headed straight for India Gate ... the crowd had thinned a lot but there were small pockets of hunger strikers ... overheard slogans:

Sonia jis ki mummy hai
woh sarkar nikammi hai

gali gali mein shor hai
saarae neta chor hai

Anna ke hain char sipahi
hindu, muslim, sikh, isaai

etc, etc ...

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Until this afternoon, MMS had been very quiet ... then he addressed the Lok Sabha but got boo'ed ...


interestingly, this morning at the conference, the chair of the session made the usual appeal regarding cell phones at the beginning ... however, what he said was this:

"Please put your phones in Man Mohan Mode"


At 7:26 PM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

Some INC dude (Sibal?) on TV was saying that this is nothing ... "JP drew crowds of lakhs when there was no TV even" ...

This is precisely the wrong conclusion ... when there was no TV, folks, especially rural ones, traveled to venues to get a glimpse of their leader ... now, with 24x7 TV, there is no need to do so ...

So, I think a gew 10s of thousand volunteer demonstrators is quite serious ...

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Mani_Tripathi said...

I was there at Ramlila grounds today when Anna arrived ... absolutely incredible what is happening ...

I talked to a few cops deployed for security ... they all said, "I can't say it openly but I support Anna".

This is indeed something that I have never seen in India ... modern day equivalent of Quit India movement may be in the making ...

At 6:01 AM, Blogger deepak ludhiarich said...

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employment news in Banking, Railway, Teaching etc.Get Updates for all goverment jobs in all states of India.

At 10:04 PM, Blogger Sootha Muni said...

AWOL all the Jholawallahs chased away by Cheddi walas? he he


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