Saturday, December 31, 2011

Horace In the Hills

Horace In The HillsLink

(click above)

dulce et decorum est pro patria mori: These words of Horace were drilled into European children so that they would die by the millions on the killing fields of France and Germany. One English poet, who had seen action, called it "the old lie". But the lie is alive and well (if that's the word). As reaction to Bengali nationalism, Chakma nationalism reared its head…. But the Franco-German export never travelled well here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Elegy For The News

An Elegy For The News

(click above for article)

The murder of 1.7 million Iraqi children through sanctions between 1991 and 2001 has been quietly overlooked by the media. This shows in the glorifying of its author, Bill Clinton. Other examples of media silence are also given.


As far as I know, only one man has pointed out the holocaust—for that is what it surely is—and he is Norman Finkelstein. “As in the Nazi holocaust, a million children have likely perished,” he observes in his book ‘The Holocaust Industry, (London : Verso, 2000, p 148): “ . . . the United States and Britain forced murderous UN sanction on that hapless country [Iraq] in an attempt to depose him [Saddam Hussein]. As in the Holocaust, a million children have likely perished. [more than a million, as The Economist tells us].” Madeleine Albright, Clinton’s lackey, went on television to say that the ‘price is worth it.’ And his partner in murder, Al Gore, has been rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize, a rapidly devaluing currency. Mass killers are anointed and beatified.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

urban shalish

While the press and others decry the actions of the rural shalish, nothing is being done to give voice to the victims of the urban shalish.

I refer here to the 'committees' formed in the new apartment buildings: give a person a gram of power, and they will exert a kilogram of force. They will usurp the legislative as well as the judicial function of the republic of Bangladesh, just like the rural shalish.

I refer to an ongoing battle of wills between a harmless provider of education to ten-to-eleven-year-old tykes in an apartment in Dhanmandi. It is a time-honoured practice to provide education to children. The poor man has neither used a signboard nor ever used the address of his residence for advertisement purposes. Needless to add, he and his wife do nothing illegal or immoral: they have been peacefully, and with the tacit consent of the community, been carrying on this activity for eight years.

It is to be observed that almost every other building in Dhanmandi has a transponder on its roof: a contract is signed between the all-powerful committee and the phone company and the commercial activity goes on unnoticed. Teaching (and health-care) are not commercial activities: neither a student nor a teacher is 'customer'. The entire ethics and economics of the sectors are different.

The omnipotent committee have, after eight years, suddenly decided that this harmless gentleman, who abides by all the rules, must leave the building, or refrain from the legitimate pursuit of earning his livelihood: this is a contravention of his fundamental rights as a citizen of Bangladesh - the rights to domicile and earning a legal livelihood.

Yet, alas, no NGO will come to his aid: they are focused on the villages. But I prophecy that the day will come when these committees will have to be dragged before the courts and forced to abide by the laws and the constitution of Bangladesh.

These committees will be poking their nose into whether you are married or not or merely 'cohabiting', whether you drink on the premisses, who your girlfriends are, whether you are mentally ill, and so on into your most intimate life.

John Stuart Mill observed that the tyranny of public opinion is as much tyrannical as the tyranny of a despot, and John Locke maintained that it matters little to the individual if he is tyrannized by a king or by the majority. I urge my compatriots to resist this new tyranny that threatens to stifle our liberty as surely as any action by any despotic power.

Friday, September 16, 2011

purpose in social science

Richard S. Rudner, in his book 'Philosophy of Social Science' takes as an example of a false teleology the statement 'Smith's goal, e.g., graduating with honours, explains or causes his present behaviour, e.g., studying hard' (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1966, p 85).

Here, apparently, the cause (graduating with honours) comes after the effect (studying hard). This, he says, is clearly absurd; yet social explanations seem to rest on such statements.

He dissipates the problem by restating the statement: 'Smith's present hard work is explained or caused by his (present) desire to achieve the goal of graduating with honours (italics original)'.

He claims that this solves the problem: the cause no longer lies ahead of the effect.

But the cause and the effect are simultaneous: how can a cause be simultaneous with its effect? He has solved one problem by creating another.

Surely purpose or teleology plays an all-important role in the social science, and this role requires a separate methodology: suppose his mother comes to visit and tells him he shouldn't work so hard to graduate with honours.

Suppose he says: "But, Ma, I'm not working hard to graduate with honours; I'm working hard to learn the subject. I don't care whether I graduate with honours or not."

We won't know his motivation just by looking at his behaviour: we have to show empathy, put ourselves in his place (easily done by interviewing him) and then get the reason for his behaviour. We can't impose an hypothesis on his behaviour.

Friday, August 26, 2011

contempt for intellectuals is healthy

When Hitler strove for power and legitimacy, no group - neither business nor the military - wanted the jumped-up pantry boy.

However, there was one class of Germans who greeted him with open arms: the intellectuals. One must remember the prestige of the German intelligentsia back in those days. German universities were the best in the world. Their research was world-class and Nobel prizes were showered on them. After the war, the American universities displaced the Germans.

And once this clique embraced Hitler, the rest of Germany fell into line, according to Niall Ferguson. German society is characterized by hierarchy and obedience. Stanley Milgram's experiment on obedience and power, when replicated in Germany, showed a compliance rate of 80%, as opposed to a compliance rate of 65% in the United States.

Bangladesh probably has a higher level of compliance to authority. Obedience is part of our culture. It has been suggested that the Rwandan genocide was possible because of a culture of obedience. A genocide in Bangladesh is easy to imagine.

In fact, we came close in January 2007, when the two political parties unleashed murder on the streets. Fortunately, the army stepped in and, thanks to the UN and Kofi Annan, the army remained neutral.

However, on August 23, the intelectuals tried to discredit the army by alleging that a soldier had slapped a young whippersnapper on a campus. One fictitious slap spiralled into nationwide arson and unrest. The reason, of course, for the mythical justification was that both the evil leaders of Bangladesh were in jail. Obedience to them entailed a rebellion against the forces of good.

Obedience to evil, then, was the prospect of the period. Eyewitness account informed me how the thugs gathered on Satmasjid Road in Dhaka. Some yanked a driver out of his car and set it alight near road 8A. The next morning, the denizens of Dhanmandi and Rayerbazaar found that every restaurant on Satmasjid Road had been burnt to cinders.

A healthy contempt for intellectuals is essential for civilised existence. Civilisation, observed G.K.Chesterton, is based on truisms, or it is not based at all. And intellectuals, ever since Socrates, have been making out the worse to be the better cause. It is a truism that murdering people on or off the streets is evil, and those who do so should be shunned. It is a truism that murderers should go to jail. It is a truism that one must not burn vehicles and restaurants.

Our obedience to intellectuals has resulted in our obedience to evil. Where will this take us? To what bestial depths shall we descend? Around 80 people are lynched every year because of the lawlessness encouraged by our intellectuals; around 50 student politicians murder themselves in the service of the two women who claim to be our leaders.

Besides, our intellectuals probably receive cash or other benefits from the Israel lobby - which would explain their strange silence on the Palestinian issue - making them minions of Israel as well as America. They are not on the side of the good, but on the side of the evil.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Democracy Shall Not Win

Democracy is a self-supporting system that delegitimizes all criticisms of the system. In Bangladesh, we never had lynchings under military rule: now, around 80 occur every year.

We have hartals where people are burnt to death: we live in terror of the government, the opposition and the mob that might lynch me on a mere suspicion.

But none of this gets blamed on democracy, where two rival parties, headed by two queens their flunkies obey unconditionally, create anarchy and violence.

Anarchy and violence are themselves seen as legitimate aspects of democracy.

For a well-argued case against democracy, read these lines by a Greek 'terror' group.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Iran's anti-Bangladeshi sentiment

My wife and I applied for tourist visas to Iran. Today we had our applications denied - in just 5 days. Apparently, this is normal for some countries. This shows a clear anti-Bangladeshi policy on behalf of Iran. They don't want tourists to go from Bangladesh to Iran. Perhaps they consider us 'meskin' (poor)?

We are a Muslim country - so Iran should welcome exchanges between brothers and sisters. Or is all that talk of Muslim brotherhood just talk? How can Muslim countries know each others' cultures if we are not allowed to travel freely to Muslim countries?

I hope the current ambassador will persuade the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they should promote understanding between Muslim countries - including Bangladesh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Bad Barrel Of Bangladeshi Democracy

I have just been boning up on 'Political Psychology'. It has answered many of my questions regarding the evil in Bangladesh, but a cultural/historical explanation seems also necessary.

Hierarchies of obedience
clearly play a part: our leaders are the wife and daughter of former dictators; they are like queens who must be obeyed; they are not only above the law, but above morality as well.

The Lucifer effect is the most fascinating: western donors, by insisting on democracy, have created a bad barrel. The barrel seems to attract the worst elements of society. Now,
Bangladesh is going through a 48-hour hartal: if I drive, my car will be incinerated, probably with me inside. What kind of people incinerate cars and people? The arsonists are members of the opposition: they are 'bad' apples...or are they? It's the barrel that's bad (democracy as 'bad barrel' has had a long history since Thucydides; S.E.Finer notes that in the west democracy used to regarded with 'horror'.}

In 2007 - 2008, the donors had to reinstall military rule because we were headed for civil war: the best elements of society came forward to be our temporary rulers. These men and women were honest. They were respected, and the man in the street was pleased. It was a 'good barrel'.

After the cold war, the western donors enforced democracy on us: fifteen years of military rule were ended. These were the best years for
Bangladesh. The military rulers even amended the constitution to give greater power to the judiciary. The barrel was good, and good men served under the administration.

John Mearsheimer was right: we would regret the cold war. I miss it terribly for the sake of

But why is it that military rule was a 'good barrel'? The answer, I believe, lies in our culture and history. The culture is one of deference and hierarchy: military rule has been the only form of government in the Muslim world. Without a single chain of submission, society collapses. Today, we in effect have two dictators instead of one.

an invaluable poem

You promised me democracy,
But look what you have done to me.
You robbed my past,
and future stole,
and a present
left to me,
crushed beyond
a mending hope.
Ten years before invading me,
you broke my dams
and bridges bombed,
and power plants,
and sewage lines,
and water mains,
You fed the plants
with pesticide,
The baby food and medicine
you destroyed;
and the silos
of my grain
you set aflame.
So I may not
make good my loss
nor repair
my water mains,
you shackled me
in sanctions,
and a million kids
you starved to death.
I lived Saddam’s
nightmare through.
I knew what I
must watch out for.
But now I don’t know
where to hide
for death has lost
its pattern now.
He used to kill
and bury us,
friendless in
our unmarked graves;
but our names
he kept on files.
And now that you
are killing us,
we do not even
have a grave,
nor a number
nor a name–
thus in your books
we never lived.
He was your friend
who hurried us,
so many to their
early deaths,
with weapons that you
sold to him,
while you looked
the other way.
He was not
a ‘tyrant’ then,
which of late
he has become.
You merely changed
the label,
so you could come
and liberate,
the wealth that we
are sitting on,
and this you call
our liberation!
You promised me
but look what you
have done to me.
With bombs you won
my heart over,
with blows you changed
my mind.
You tore into
my home at night,
and pulverized
my only peace.
And shrieking as
my mother watched,
with frightened children
Gathered ‘round,
you floored my father
in a heap,
with kicks and blows
and rifle butts,
and tore my humble
home apart.
Then you led
our men away,
with tied hands
behind their backs,
and with their eyes folded blind,
into the endless prison night.
And there you tore
my father’s robe.
To cover then
his nakedness,
upon his head
you put the hood,
and leashed him like
a dog on show,
and your dogs
unleashed on him.
You promised me
but look what you
have done to me.
You took my youth
in prime away–
you shredded wedding
The little joys
that I had left,
merriment in
a broken life,
now in collateral
damage rest,
rising up
in smoke and flame,
of a mindless
bombing run.
‘Tis peel and husk
I have for food,
and water mixed
with sewage now
is all I have
to slake my thirst.
You even took
my sand away,
polluted by
uranium dust,
so when I have
my children they
shall be deformed,
unlovely and
and so unlike
your lovely kids!
My millions homeless
roam the road,
and orphaned children
beg in streets.
My women raised
in sanctity,
are now the stuff
of ravishment.
My men are slaughtered
out of hand,
and widows search
the morgues for them.
My dawn is dull,
and dusk is blood,
and bombs and blasts,
my afternoons.
My night in hopelessness is sunk,
when peace with me
a refuge takes,
and heaps on me
another dawn–
another search
of bodies lost;
another count
of heaped insults;
another day
to death evade,
call it life,
and celebrate.
So now when I
am fighting back,
my fearlessness
is causing awe.
but unafraid,
when I equalize myself,
and blow my only
life away,
you are shocked,
and label me
a terrorist!
I who want
my honor lost
and country back–
–a terrorist?
And you who came here
for my oil,
on crutches of
a shameless lie,
are and always
shall remain,
the humanist!
I know your type.
I see your greed
and hunger know,
but it is those
I want to know,
whose vote does so
empower you.
Do they not see
what they have done?
They promised me
but look what they
have done to me!

(c) 2010 by Saeed Malik

Friday, July 1, 2011

Zionism's Reach

On Nakba day (15th May) this year, the Palestinian Embassy held a program at a local hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

This was purely a Palestinian initiative. In the last thirty years, according to the embassy, there may have been one or two public discussions on Palestine in Bangladesh. Maybe.

The next day I looked up the major newspapers for any report, however skimpy, on the program. There was none. (Only an obscure local vernacular posted a 1 inch by 1 inch report.)

I have written before on the 'Biddable Intelligentsia'. But the intelligentsia is hyper-cautious: it doesn't wish to be seen to be contaminated even remotely by the Palestinian cause. That would jeopardize all that cash and career dished out by the United States and the western world in general.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Biddable Intelligentsia

The average IQ of the Bangladeshi intellectual is woefully low. There does not appear to be an atom of original thought in the Bangladeshi mind. Now, why's that?

You'd think that the hot shots like Mozaffar Ahmed, Rehman Sobhan, Mosharraf Hossain, Debapriya Bhattacharya, et al., would say something refreshing when they opened their mouths.

Why this antipathy towards the intellect?

One tempting answer is authoritarianism. Our culture, it may be argued, does not permit originality. This argument would be stupid. The Muslim civilisation has been around for fourteen hundred years. It has produced men of the highest calibre.

The answer lies elsewhere: in Bangladesh, the intellectual can be bought. He serves the interest of the neocolonial powers. He's the collaborator to the imperialist.

One striking aspect of the Bangladeshi intellectual is his total silence on Palestine. As a country of 150 million Muslims, one would expect us to show a flicker of solidarity for the Palestinians. There isn't a glimmer.

One wonders how much money is disbursed by the Israel lobby to the local intelligentsia. I suppose there will never be any research done on the subject, and for obvious reasons.

Mind you, young Bangladeshis don't start off as imbeciles. But they learn from their university teachers and their elders that they are required to be corrupt. I have taught very intelligent young boys and girls but somehow they later lose their steam. They become socialised.

Friday, June 17, 2011

salam, Dr. Zawahiri

Salam, Dr. Zawahiri!

As emir of al-Qaida, I greet you! You are a great man - a true Muslim. In your struggle against western civilisation, may you be triumphant. May you utterly destroy the Great Satan!

I cannot conceal my envy in my admiration: you have given up the path of dunya, and taken to the path of din. I can only and feebly offer my support.

May you be a beacon to the corrupt collaborators of the Muslim world - the men and women who every day betray our noble civilisation. Without these collaborators, the west is as nothing. But there are noble and great Muslims who are beyond corruption - yea, even beyond fear.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In The Beginning Was The Word (fiction)

In The Beginning Was The Word

(click above for fiction)

I have argued elsewhere that 'freedom' is an empty word without meaning in Asia because Asia lacks the experience of large-scale slavery. Zafar Shah tries to teach that words have meaning only in context but doesn't stand a chance against the tide of media indoctrination, historical defeat and the flood of dosh from the west.


General Haroon-ur-Rashid came to my flat, all pips and gongs.

"Well, Zafar, do you think the students will overthrow me?"

"No, not the students." I put my cold mango juice down. "The donors. By means of the students."

"And why’s that?"

"They don’t need any anti-communist bulwark, anymore."

"But I’m popular."

"I know. They know that, too. But they want free and fair elections. Something they call freedom."

"What can I do?"

"If we had had enough time, we could have fought one idea with another idea. Rather, one word with an idea."

"What are you going on about, Zafar?"

"The idea of freedom has gripped the students: they don’t understand the word, but they like the sound. And who can blame them? The entire western media have indoctrinated them. A few years ago, we could have countered the word with a Perso-Arabic expression: zel Allah."


The Raj is Still Here

I know an old man who has nothing better to do than pick holes in other people's English.

"Can you imagine that he said that!" he guffaws in bed.

He's a product of the British Raj, when the quality of your English ingratiated you with the sahiblog. Today, he's a buffoon. All that he has left in life is the ability to criticise other people's bad English.

This is what the intelligentsia has come to in Bangladesh. There are no honest writers or commentators - all of us are still lackeys of the Raj.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A civilisation of monekys

According to a special report on Turkey by The Economist: "Turkey has an especially significant place in the Muslim world. Thanks to the legacy of Ataturk, it is a rare example among Muslim countries of a functioning secular democracy. (23 October 2010)"

Really? A country that is virtually at civil war can hardly be said to be a functioning democracy. Kurds are 14% of the people, and yet Ataturk's continuing legacy of nationalism foments hatred between Turks and Kurds. This was Ataturk's real legacy: a brutish nationalism that denigrated Islam and denied Muslim brotherhood, thus turning Muslim Kurds into pariahs. He may have been a good soldier, but he was a disaster as a statesman.

And look at their funny alphabet: instead of the beautiful cursive Arabic script, they have adopted weird Latin letters with marks above and below that make them incomprehensible. I can read Farsi with relative ease, but Turkish is a different story. By adopting an alien script, Ataturk has completely cut off the Turkish child from his and her cultural roots in the Perso-Arabic world.

The first time I saw a mini-skirt was in Istanbul - on a Turkish woman with, admittedly, good legs. The lower classes wore long skirts concealing their legs. This was in 1970, before I moved on to the real land of mini-skirts and hot pants: England. To monkey England and Europe seems to have been Ataturk's idea of civilisation.

To the best of my knowledge, monkeys don't have a civilisation. But they say six monkeys typing for a million years can produce a play by Shakespeare. I'm sure about that: I am equally sure that no number of monkeys typing away forever will ever produce even a verse by Sheikh Sa'adi.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


An empire cannot rule by force alone. A handful of Englishmen could not have ruled India by force. Today, Americans cannot rule over more than a billion Muslims with force alone. They need - and have - collaborators.

Most Muslims are collaborators. That is why the so-called 'terrorists' - in fact, jihadis - are such fresh - and refreshing - newcomers. They are the ones against whom America - and its allies in Europe, Canada and Australia - must use force, with the active connivance of the collaborators.

Naturally, the jihadis then turn against the collaborators, as in the recent shooting episode in Pakistan. War within the umma is to be deplored, but collaborators should be taken out wherever possible.

This raises a difficult question. According to al-Ghazali, a Muslim ruler, so long as he allows prayers and the sharia, must be obeyed no matter what else. That leaves the democracies - since these fall outside the purview of Muslim political philosophy, the jihadis can do their worst in these polities.

But, it would seem, not in an autocracy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daphne Du Maurier on the Palestinians and Israel

In her short story, The Way of the Cross, Daphne Du Maurier reveals quite a bit about the plight of the Palestinians and the sheer wickedness which had brought forth Israel.

"His wife had countered the business chat by holding forth about the distress and starvation amongst Arab refugees, which, she insisted, was the responsibility of the whole world. She might have contributed towards this, thought Babcock, by wearing a less expensive fur coat, and giving the money saved to the refugees."

"No one will ever settle down in this part of the world, and they'll still be fighting over Jerusalem when you and I have been in our graves for years."

The Colonel vividly recalls Jewish terrorism:

"We only acted under instructions, the Colonel told himself. They came direct from High Command. Terrorism was rife at the time, the Palestine Police Force couldn't deal with it, we had to take control. The Jews were laying mines at street corners, the situation was deteriorating daily. They had blown up the King David Hotel in July. We had to arm the troops, and protect them and the civilian population against terrorist attack. The trouble was, there was no political policy back at home, with a Labour government in power. They told us to go soft, but how can you go soft when people on the spot are being killed? The Jewish Agency insisted that they were against terrorism, but it was all talk and no action. Well, then we picked up this Jewish boy and flogged him. He was a terrorist, right enough. Caught him in the act. Nobody likes inflicting pain ... There were reprisals afterwards, of course. One of our officers and three N.C.O.'s kidnapped and flogged. Hell of a row about it at home."

Then there's the observation on illegal settlements:

"Kate Foster, having inspected the Al Aqsa Mosque, had resolutely turned her back on the entrance to the Wailing Wall--too many Orthodox Jews pressing forward over the enormous space where their government had had the ruthless audacity to bulldoze Jordanian dwellings and condemn more Jordanians to desert tents--and returned towards the Dome of the Rock."

Reading the story, you are convinced that terrorism pays - it has created the 'modern' state of Israel. Al-Qaeda's strategy, then, is a very sound one.

It'll probably work.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pearl Harbour: what did Roosevelt know?

On December 1, six days before Pearl Harbour, Roosevelt had given the British ambassador a clear commitment of support in the event of war. Why did he do so?

After Admiral Nagumo's force set sail for Pearl Harbour on November 26, the American government seemed - or appeared to seem - totally unaware of the movement of ships. They knew that Japanese forces were heading from Indo-China towards Malaya and Thailand: then why were they oblivious to this movement? After all, America had been doing its best to crush the life out of the Japanese economy with sanctions.

Churchill knew about Nagumo's fleet, and must surely have passed on the message to Roosevelt. What did he hope to gain by deceiving the Americans? The destruction of the American Pacific fleet could hardly have helped Britain.

Therefore, either Churchill or Roosevelt was withholding information - the former from the Americans, the latter from the American people. Since the first hypothesis must be ruled out, the second must be retained.

Roosevelt deliberately allowed around 3,000 Americans to be murdered so he could take America into the war.

Sound familiar?

Friday, May 13, 2011


It's been years since I've seen Antares. In Dhaka, living in a concrete box called an apartment, one can't even see the blue of the sky!

So I hope to venture out where there's no light or noise or dust pollution and watch Antares rise.

It is scheduled to rise at 7:11 pm, exactly when the sun is scheduled to sink. That means that Antares will be well-nigh invisible then - especially as Antares threatens to rise exactly in the south-east, almost opposite the sun in the north-west (azimuth 110 SE).

I love the name Antares! It is the opposite of Mars (Ares), the god of war, and war is abhorrent. So I love Antares, red and glowering from the night sky when the moon is absent. And I feel secure that it is not Mars.

How I love Antares! Pray that the clouds will not obstruct the view of Antares.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

the casus belli

What's the casus belli?

1.7 million children murdered
through sanctions (with Madeleine Albright gloating on prime time).

Another 1 million murdered after the second Iraq War.

God knows how many murdered in the Af-Pak wars!

Whether Bin Laden is alive or dead is immaterial: will the jihad go on? Will the westerners keep paying with their blood and lives? Let us pray and hope. This is jihad.

Jihad is a Muslim's duty: we may not all be able to pursue jihad, but we must - must - encourage those who can. How?

If we give money to jihadis, they will arrest us. Fine. Some people will risk arrest.

But we can also pray for them: no government can arrest us for that!

We can slaughter a cow or a goat for them.

We can ask mawlanas to say a prayer for them: it costs very little, and is perfectly legitimate. No state can arrest us for that.

Somehow or other, we must encourage the jihadis: if they killed 3 million in Iraq, then the loss of 3,000 American lives is nothing. It is a pathetic exchange.

Jihad is a duty: if we cannot perform it, we must encourage it.

Muslims of course are scumbags: so long as they are comfortable, they will not fight jihad. This must change. JIHAD!

Include a prayer in one of the five for the jihadis! Or is that too much to ask? Are yo so so in love with life and America that you can't offer up one prayer for your jihadi brother? Shame!

You have relatives in America? Then warn them to leave. If they don't, so much the worse for them. He who lives with ebles must suffer the fate of ebles.

The Great Satan is western civilisation: wish him luck who embarks on its destruction. Then pray.

World Trade Centre

My friend, who is a civil engineer, had these further comments to make about the WTC:

"Prolonged heating can get steel to its melting point.
But what's important is the mode of failure of a particular structure.
The towers in question had an inner concrete core which carried the bulk of the vertical loads, and an outer steel frame which are good for resisting lateral loads - like wind or earthquake.
When the plane struck the building, one side of the outer steel frame of 3 or 4 stories was knocked out.
No problem, the building 'stood', as expected.
It is possible for the concrete core to lose strength with prolonged heat at the affected levels.
But it is highly unlikely for the whole core to crumble vertically straight downwards, as had happened over there.
The upper part of the structure should have 'tumbled over' laterally, with the lower part remaining relatively unscathed."

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Facts Behind 9/11

I got this e-mail from my friend who is a civil engineer:

"the melting point of mild steel is approx 1300 degree Celsius (2400 F).
It boils at 3000 C (5400 F).
Jet fuel has ignition point of 200 deg C (400 F).
Thermite is a reaction by which the steel itself is used as a fuel and its melting point is lowered.
This reaction has explosive effects.
Jet fuel does not induce thermite reactions."

Yet architects and engineers have found evidence of thermite reaction in ground zero (see

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The many deaths of OBL

Has Osama Bin Laden been dead for seven years - and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror? | Mail Online: "In his book, Professor Griffin also endorses this theory. He says Bin Laden was treated for a urinary infection, often linked to kidney disease, at the American Hospital in Dubai in July 2001, two months before 9/11. At the same time, he ordered a mobile dialysis machine to be delivered to Afghanistan.

How could Bin Laden, on the run in snowy mountain caves, have used the machine that many believe was essential to keep him alive? Doctors whom Griffin cites on the subject think it would have been impossible.

He would have needed to stay in one spot with a team of medics, hygienic conditions, and a regular maintenance programme for the dialysis unit itself.

And what of the telling, small news item that broke on December 26, 2001 in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Wafd? It said a prominent official of the Afghan Taliban had announced that Osama Bin Laden had been buried on or about December 13.

'He suffered serious complications and died a natural, quiet death. He was buried in Tora Bora, a funeral attended by 30 Al Qaeda fighters, close members of his family and friends from the Taliban. By the Wahhabi tradition, no mark was left on the grave,' said the report.

- Sent using Google Toolbar"

I hate to pur cold water on a hot subject but it would appear that news of the death of Osama bin Laden has been wildly exagerated - his second death, that is, the one at the hands of brave US soldiers in Abbotabad.

Here is further news from an old edition of the Guardian: "Two months before September 11 Osama bin Laden flew to Dubai for 10 days for treatment at the American hospital, where he was visited by the local CIA agent, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.

The disclosures are known to come from French intelligence which is keen to reveal the ambiguous role of the CIA, and to restrain Washington from extending the war to Iraq and elsewhere.

Bin Laden is reported to have arrived in Dubai on July 4 from Quetta in Pakistan with his own personal doctor, nurse and four bodyguards, to be treated in the urology department. While there he was visited by several members of his family and Saudi personalities, and the CIA."

Naturally, the American hospital denied having him there; after 9/11, they would. But he was an already wanted man.

How could he have survived 11 years on dialysis? End-stage Renal failure (ESRD) doesn't give you many months to live - and it seems from the Mail Online report that he has been dead for some time.

Then again, there are the videos: look at the pictures. The one on the left shows a man with a Semitic, straight nose, while the other guy has a flat nose; and the ring proves the impostor for Wahabbi men strictly do not wear gold. There are other signs in the article.

What to make of all this? They say he was buried at sea to prevent his grave from becoming a rallying point. Rallying point for whom? His followers? Then a man dumped in the sea would have even angrier followers.

Therefore, he does have a following - and a very powerful following, too. Therefore, al-Qaeda is no longer headless; indeed, if his followers are so emotionally close to him, they will redouble their efforts after his 'death'.

No, that cannot be the real reason.

He was buried at sea because America's cover-ups have tied that lying country in knots.

"And what of the telling, small news item that broke on December 26, 2001 in the Egyptian newspaper Al-Wafd? It said a prominent official of the Afghan Taliban had announced that Osama Bin Laden had been buried on or about December 13.

'He suffered serious complications and died a natural, quiet death. He was buried in Tora Bora, a funeral attended by 30 Al Qaeda fighters, close members of his family and friends from the Taliban. By the Wahhabi tradition, no mark was left on the grave,' said the report.

The Taliban official, who was not named, said triumphantly that he had seen Bin Laden's face in his shroud. 'He looked pale, but calm, relaxed and confident.'"

Now, why would the Taliban lie about his death? To save him from US wrath? To save themselves from US wrath? After all, they were being bombed day and night. That's a good reason to lie.

But then, the US would ask to see the body? And they would had to produce it, otherwise the pounding would go on. Then why lie? What good would it have done them?

And bin Laden denied again and again that he had nothing to do with 9/11. Maybe the 'Architects and Engineers for 911truth' are on to something. They claim to have found evidence of bomb-making material on the site of the WTC building 7 - which was not hit by a plane. Check it out, please.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Cowboy Nation

Bin Laden (dead or alive) has effectively - once and for all - exposed the nature of American democracy. It is a brutal system that does not believe in the rule of law, does not care about human life, tears up international treaties when they don't suit, tortures innocent people, kills a man without proving him guilty, is still the nation that killed the Native Americans (they call it Thanksgiving) and imported the black slaves.

This is American democracy, and no one can ever again look up to it because these events - unlike the other crimes - are recent and still unfolding.

Cowboy nation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

They never die

A jihadi never dies. So says the Koran. Even if Osama has been killed in the flesh, he is not dead. No pious Muslim (that is, 1 billion people) will ever believe that he is dead. A jihadi does not die. He cannot be killed. He always lives. His flesh will not decay, and his spirit is everlasting.

No Muslim will ever say or believe that he is dead. The Koran says he lives, on and on....

Bin Laden knew this when he chose jihad....He knew he would never die. No matter what the enemy did to him, he was deathless, as the Koran has said.

How can the west fight against such belief?


It's as if the west is fighting with a ghost: as if they are fighting against an idea with bullets and helicopters. Don't they realise they can never kill a jihadi? No true Muslim will ever say of a jihadi, "He is no more!". It would be blasphemy.

He will live always.

Never try to kill a jihadi: it simply won't work. A billion jihadis will spring up....

Monday, May 2, 2011

How others die

"The American people cannot visualize the spectacle of a hundred thousand...German children starving by slow degrees as a result of the British blockade, but they can visualize the pitiful face of a little child drowning amidst the wreckage caused by a German torpedo."

So said the former German Colonial Secretary Bernhard Dernburg after the torpedoing of the Lusitania, a British ship mysteriously sailing in contested waters and carrying 128 Americans.

Nothing has changed...Americans today cannot visualize 1.7 million Iraqi children slowly dying through lack of medication...or Afghan families being suddenly bombed to pieces.

They care only about American lives. Until that changes, there will be more revenge.

Osama's Supposed Burial at Sea

He didn't die at sea, so why was he buried at sea? That's not a Muslim custom.

And who was the Muslim cleric who read the namaz-e-janaza? The Muslim practice is to wash the body, drape it in a shroud, take it to the mosque where a special prayer is said by the entire congregation present, and then bury the body with the family present, and a final prayer is said by all mourners over the grave.

The burial of bin Laden was a disgusting travesty of Muslim burial rites, which are very sensitive, delicate and respectful of the dead.

Even the washing of the body has to be performed by trained people who fear for their own salvation after death if they get it wrong.

This burial at sea by Christians/atheists/agnostics will go down very, very badly if it actually took place.

Expect reprisals.

Osama lives

Where is the corpus delicti? Where is the evidence of his death? Must we believe American sources? They say he was buried at sea: why?

America would have tried to get as much mileage out if his dead body as they could: instead they discreetly give him a watery burial in keeping with 'Muslim practice'. Really!

No Muslim will ever believe that he's dead; and even if they do, does it matter? The man is a cause, and the cause lives on.

Prior to 9/11 the US killed 1.7 million Iraqi children through sanctions. How much is 1.7 million minus 3,000 (the US casualty)? : that's how many at least remain to be avenged.

And how much is 3,000 divided by 1.7 million? : that's the proportion of grief that should be expended on the victims of 9/11.

Osama lives.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Coconut Island (short story)

Coconut Island

(click above for story)

A young girl dies while attending a school for the uber-wealthy of Bangladesh on St.Martin's Island. Did she kill herself? Zafar Shah travels down there at her mother's request and uncovers the unexpected, to say the least.


"The silence lay like a blanket, and the heat emanated from the hills in waves. We forget that sound and light are substances and that they beat on our bodies like any other substance. The quiet of the place affected the body: only a few crickets could be heard, and sometimes the bark of a dog or the call of a child from the village nearby. A plume of smoke rose from between the areca and coconut palms, indicating cooking. Otherwise there was hardly any sign of human activity. The quiet of the place affected the body: there seemed a sudden oneness between mind and body. At night, the darkness affected me similarly. And the moonlight – for it was full moon – clothed the hills and forest in silver. All stress seemed to escape the body: only the heat remained to affect it strangely. The heat of the hills was different; it was an enveloping, ambient heat; it did not descend from above, or rise from below, but embraced one from all sides; it was an erotic heat, suffusing – with the darkness and the silence and the moonlight - the entire personality; it reminded me of an elephant in must."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Theory and Data

Even sociologists tend to put theory before data (and not just economists and imperialists).

In the sociology of religion, European and British sociologists have maintained that, just as Europe became secular over the centuries, modernity in the rest of the world would lead to a similar demise of religion.

Thus, according to Steve Bruce, secularization is an integral process in a liberal democracy: given religious choice, people will lose faith and turn away from religion.

Yet America has been a democracy for two hundred fifty years, and it is still a vigorously religious place. It seems that Bruce et al just don't want to acknowledge facts.

"Towards the end of the twentieth century, however, a step change occurred in the debate," observes Grace Davie in her book 'The Sociology of Religion'. Until the early 1990s, the links between modernization and secularization were still generally assumed." However, looking at America "Europe begins to emerge as the exceptional case".

Sociologists like Peter Berger began to renounce the secularization thesis. "My point that the assumption that we live in a secularised world is false," notes Berger. "Although the term 'secularisation theory' refers to work from the 1950s and 1960s, the key idea of the theory can indeed be traced to the Enlightenment. The idea is simple: Modernization necessarily leads to a decline of religion, both in society and in the minds of individuals. And it is precisely this key idea that turned out to be wrong."

In fact, the wellsprings of the sociology of religion are themselves poisoned. The founding fathers of sociology, from Marx to Weber, were convinced of the inevitable redundancy of religion. Subsequent researchers have simply mimicked them.

Interestingly, in the 2001 British Census, when religious identity was first included in the survey, it was found that, against expectations, it was not the inhabitants of the industrialized North who revealed themselves to be non-traditional; those with 'no religion' were concentrated in the cities in the South, largely in the university towns, among the faculty and the employees.

At this point the subjects becomes terribly relevant to Bangladesh and the Muslim world. Bangladesh was founded on the principle of 'secularism', a principle that was shot down by successive military governments. Recently, there has been an attempt to sideline Islam and resurrect the corpse of secularism by the ruling political party (whose leader is the daughter of the pater patrie) and the intelligentsia.

These dinosaurs hark back to the earlier views on modernity and secularism: indeed many, if not most, were trained in universities here and in Europe, in the doctrines of the founding fathers.

Let us hope they go the way of those earlier beasts.