Mukti

Meddling foreigners

Posted in cold war, democracy, foreign policy, history, politics, US by jrahman on October 18, 2015

Updated: 431pm 19 Oct 2015 BDT

As I try to get back to writing, I asked an old friend and longtime reader about potential topics.  Syria came up, hardly surprising given the recent news.  I have, however, been quite surprised with the way Bangladeshi cyberspace has been reasonably united in reaching the conclusion that Putin’s Russia is the ‘goodie’ in the conflict and America is responsible for everything that has gone wrong in that benighted country.

I have nothing particular to add on Syria except to observe that the United States and allies occupied a country to get Saddam Hussein, bombed another but stopped short of invasion to get Muammar Qaddafi, and did neither when it came to Bashar Assad, and yet Syria is just as much a mess as Iraq or Libya — so the ‘it’s all America’s’ fault line doesn’t really gel with me.  But hey, if it unites Shahbag revellers, Shapla Chattar mourners, and everyone in between and beyond, who am I to disagree.

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The not-so-quiet Americans

Posted in democracy, elections, foreign policy, politics, US by jrahman on November 22, 2013

Graham Greene’s The Quiet American was published in 1955, after the Dien Bien Phu, but years before America bumbled into Vietnam.  A film version was released in 2002, after Tora Bora, but before America bumbled into Iraq.  Without giving away the story, anymore than you can discern from the trailer above, this is one of the best work on the unintended consequences of American intervention.

Americans are, of course, interested in Bangladesh too.  They have been for a while.  In the post-9/11 world, how can they be not interested in one of the largest Muslim countries in the world?  And their interest has been registered not as quietly as was the case in Greene’s Saigon.  In 2007, as in now, their interest was expressed vocally.  Nonetheless, the plot went awry in 2007.  Will this time be different?

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.  Well, bonus holiday edition of 20 trashes.

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The POTUS post

Posted in books, Drama, elections, movies, politics, thriller, TV, US by jrahman on November 8, 2012

So Barack Obama has been re-elected as the Emperor of the World President of the United States.  Cool.  I guess I should do a post, just to mark the occasion. 

The thing is, until very late in the game, I couldn’t get excited about this election.  You see, until the first debate, betting markets consistently had Obama as the odds on favourite.  And on most issues, I agree with the president’s politics.  So what was there to get excited about?  It’s not like any of this would ever happen. 

Then, for a while after the first debate, it looked like things could shake up a bit.  Except it didn’t.  By mid-October, the betting market had gone back to portraying Obama as the favourite.  And yesterday, the votes reflected the punters’ expectations.

But imagine if Obama had a better first debate?  Would that have led to a landslide?  Imagine if Michelle Obama had cut the president’s tie?

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The redneck factor

Posted in democracy, elections, politics, US by jrahman on November 1, 2012

I am not an American.  But as a de facto subject of the de facto American Empire, obviously I have an interest in who our next Imperial Overlord will be.  Four years ago, I urged my American readers to vote for Barack Obama.  Those arguments, broadly speaking, still holds.  So, dear reader, if you’re an American and for some reason still undecided, please re-elect your president.

Four years ago, I thought Obama was going to win, and acted on that belief.  I was lot more sanguine about the better angels of America than my friends with whom I wagered — they were convinced that America wasn’t ready for a black president with middle name Hussein.

Turns out, I was lucky.  According to a fascinating paper, racism might have won the election for John McCain.  And if these estimates are right, Mitt Romney might easily be the next Global Emperor President of the United States.

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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সাতকাহন

To compensate for the recent hiatus — caused by microcosmic organisms with evil side effects — a double edition of trashes collected by the senses.  Normal ramblings should begin soon.

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সাতকাহন

Posted in economics, foreign policy, India, macro, music, Rights, rock, US, West Asia by jrahman on July 6, 2012

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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সাতকাহন

Seven trashes collected by the senses.

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