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Blogging, PB & Barack

August 4, 2007

Just a quick note, dear readers, that we’ll start blogging soon.

Saif and I have been distracted. Saif with moving, and I, with, well, Dhaka traffic.

I like to sit inside cars caught in traffic. I like being in cars generally. It’s like being in your own private world, your room for example, except it moves so you can experience the public while being suitably cloistered. Yes, I am shy.

Meanwhile, check out ProgressiveBangladesh and a recent article you may have read an unedited version of, on Star magazine. I did send Star an edited version, but they liked the one with typos. Go figure.

Also read Shalimar the Clown, while we get back to blogging.

Finally, what do you make of fiery Barack? Excerpt from very publicized recent speech:

As President, I would make the hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional, and I would make our conditions clear: Pakistan must make substantial progress in closing down the training camps, evicting foreign fighters, and preventing the Taliban from using Pakistan as a staging area for attacks in Afghanistan.

I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Syed permalink
    August 4, 2007 12:48 pm


    The Pakistani response to this ‘rant’ by Obama was rather caustic. They called his statement “ignorant”. This means they rightly assessed that Barak’s chance of winning the nomination , let alone the presidency is nil. Otherwise they wouldn’t dare say such a thing to a “master”. The purpose of this statement was to show that he has “balls” and more importantly to split the resourceful India lobby behind Hilary.

    Americans have used predator strikes inside Pakistan [FATA regions] before and will continue to do so IF they get actionable intel. But that’s inconsequential, as this man does not reflect the official policy of the United states. At some point though s… will hit the fan…as Afghanistan will soon start looking like Iraq II. Problem is if they push the pakis too hard [ I don’t it’ll be necessary if Benazir can be installed in power to oversee a crackdown on mullahs] they may end up with a hostile Pakistan and a hostile Iran at the same time. I don’t think America will take it to that extreme until it sees no choice but to go to WWIII [ Nothing to do with Islam or terrorism or ME….but everything to do with loss of US strategic/economic/financial prevalence by 2010].

  2. August 4, 2007 3:19 pm

    Sajid bhai,

    I feel he’s just playing to the domestic audience after being criticised for saying that he’d meet leaders of the “Axis of Evil”. Other than that, I don’t see him pursuing such an unilateralist strategy without going into detailed negotiations with the Pakistanis.

    Funnily enough, you’ve just summarised the exact reasons why I’d own a car back home!

  3. Syed permalink
    August 5, 2007 4:18 am

    If we did say to balance “toughness” with his prievious comment by this rant for his domestic audience….it shows how unsuited for leadership he really is. You don’t threaten other nuclear powers to gain votes. That’s insane.

  4. Syed permalink
    August 5, 2007 4:28 am

    I meant ‘if he’ in the first line

  5. Sajid permalink
    August 5, 2007 5:07 am

    All good points. The India lobby is a good point, as is the “balancing” one.

    As for the car comment, I should footnote Kiarostami for this insight. He was asked why a lot of dialog in his films happen inside cars. That’s how explained he felt inside cars.

  6. August 5, 2007 5:58 am


    The breadth of your cultural references is really starting to amaze me. I’ll try and check this Kiarostami guy out.

  7. Sajid permalink
    August 5, 2007 8:01 am

    Haha. Tai?

  8. August 5, 2007 4:18 pm

    AsifY – dude, I don’t believe you haven’t seen A Taste of Cherry. One of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

  9. August 5, 2007 5:52 pm

    Saif, trust me, the number of (good) movies I haven’t seen could shock anyone… while not to go completely off-topic, has anyone here been able to sit through Citizen Kane? I ask because neither I nor any of my good friends have been!

    Funnily enough I was thinking of doing a post on a few movies last night even before I saw Sajid’s comments.

  10. August 6, 2007 8:47 am

    So what’s so good about the clown?

  11. Sajid permalink
    August 6, 2007 11:48 am

    You mean Rushdie or Shalimar?

  12. August 6, 2007 5:59 pm

    I adored Midnight’s Children, and think Moor’s Last Sigh was underrated. I hated the tedious prose of Ground Beneath Her Feet, which is why I did not bother reading Rushdie’s last two novels.

  13. August 7, 2007 7:02 am

    I meant Shalimar.:)

    Midnight’s is possibly one of the best books written in the past 50 years, and none of his other books came anywhere close. While Shame and Satanic were good, the former was a very grim read, and he overreached with the latter. I think he repeats himself in Moor’s. The next two were pretty poor, and his collection of essays was also pretty ordinary. I think the fatwa got to him, and we are all worse off for it. So I don’t have much expectations about SHalimar, and while I was given a signed copy, I haven’t actually read it yet.

    Are you telling me that my presumtption is misplaced? If so, why?

  14. Sajid permalink
    August 10, 2007 6:10 am

    I haven’t finished Shalimar. So far, its interesting. I’ll write more.

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