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Obama’s Pakistan connection

January 23, 2009

The reason Obama pronounces P-A-A-K-I-S-T-A-N correctly probably has a lot to do with this strange looking fellow.


His name is Sohail Siddiqui and was Obama’s roommate at Columbia University. He apparently taught Obama how to make chicken curry.

To read an article by the college-going Obama himself on anti-war student groups at Columbia, go here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. sabahat permalink
    January 24, 2009 12:58 am

    Interesting blog you have here. I’m particularly interested by your analysis of the ME crisis. Would you agree that peace is not possible at all in that region? That a vicious cycle of violence plagues that land and the cycle is unlikely to end anytime soon? I look forward to your response. Perhaps a post would be a good idea?

  2. Secret Dhaka permalink
    January 24, 2009 8:17 am

    Hi Sabahat, thanks for reading. Of course, the answer to your question can be detailed and complex. But here’s an attempt at a brief response.

    The vicious cycle of violence will probably end in the near future, albeit not permanently, I fear. At least not in the larger Middle East, South Asia, and elsewhere. I can’t imagine Al Qaida not using this conflict for purposes of aggressive recruitment drives; Hamas not re-grouping; or this not strengthening the ties between Iran, Syria, Hezobllah and Hamas in preparation for the next face-off. 500 deaths among Hamas ranks, however devastating, doesn’t mean that they will roll over. Which is why I insisted that such military solutions are hardly permanent.

    Of course this war will have repurcussions elsewhere as well. Think the much antagonized British Pakistanis and their recent history of worsening relationship with their state. Or the Pakistani jihadis in the north-west and their stance towards the Pak Government’s foreign policy viz-a-viz the US. Or the Egyptian and Kuwaiti Muslims and how they view their government’s tacit support of western policies and silence in the face of Israeli aggression. Or worse, and perhaps more pressingly, Indian Muslims and their relationship to the government viz-a-viz India’s blossoming ties with Israel. Lots of possible repurcussions with their own geopolitical uniqueness. The sum of it can’t be good either for the so-called local jihads in these countries or the so-called global jihad waged by Osama and company. Much depends on the American President and the new government and how it handles the two-state solution.

    In fact, that seems to me to be the only source of solution to this, given both the lack of friends of Palestinians as well as the relativeness irrelevance of the states that speak for them. Hamas is insignificant ultimately because at the root of this conflict is the much-deserved and long-awaited statehood of Palestine and Palestinian’s right of return. Will Obama deliver and engineer the promised two-state solution to the crisis? If you go by the history of US Foreign Policy towards Israel and the inability of American Presidents to talk tough with Israel–then of course, the answer is a resounding no. Of course, Obama can initiate process that bring about change in the future. Is that realistic? I certainly hope so, but can’t tell, really.

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