Thursday, March 24, 2011

Has Mahinda backed a winning horse by supporting Gaddafi

Has Mahinda Rajapakse backed a winning horse by supporting Gaddafi. Just a few days ago Sri Lanka "condemned airstrikes on Libya saying it was a violation of the territorial integrity of an independent country". Gaddafi has said he plans to hand over oil production to Indian, Chinese and Russian oil companies and throw out the UK and French oil companies.

Guess the million dollar question is if the US, UK and French bombing will help the rebels overthrow Gaddafi and institute regime change a la Iraq and Afghanistan.

Below by George Friedman founder of STRATFOR the world's largest private intelligence and forecasting company excerpts of an article that discusses the issues of regime change in Libya. Also excerpts from a NY Times article.

Basically Friedman argues, the rebels are a "cluster of tribes and personalities" having only one common agenda, i.e. get rid of Gaddafi. Other than that the rebels have no common ideology. Friedman goes on to argue, if Gaddafi is to be overthrown a troop invasion by the US UK and France is needed and the occupying force will have to remain if they dont want to Libya to be engulfed in civil war.

The NY Times says there are only about 1,000 military trained men in the rebel army and are having to
rely on the young people who are being provided with arms.
Libya, the West and the Narrative of Democracy By George Friedman
The West has been walking a tightrope of these contradictory principles; Libya became the place where they fell off. According to the narrative, what happened in Libya was another in a series of democratic uprisings, but in this case suppressed with a brutality outside the bounds of what could be tolerated. Bahrain apparently was inside the bounds, and Egypt was a success, but Libya was a case in which the world could not stand aside while Gadhafi destroyed a democratic uprising. Now, the fact that the world had stood aside for more than 40 years while Gadhafi brutalized his own and other people was not the issue.

As we have pointed out, the Libyan uprising consisted of a cluster of tribes and personalities, some within the Libyan government, some within the army and many others longtime opponents of the regime, all of whom saw an opportunity at this particular moment. Though many in western portions of Libya, notably in the cities of Zawiya and Misurata, identify themselves with the opposition, they do not represent the heart of the historic opposition to Tripoli found in the east. It is this region, known in the pre-independence era as Cyrenaica, that is the core of the opposition movement. United perhaps only by their opposition to Gadhafi, these people hold no common ideology and certainly do not all advocate Western-style democracy. Rather, they saw an opportunity to take greater power, and they tried to seize it.
According to the narrative, Gadhafi should quickly have been overwhelmed — but he wasn’t. He actually had substantial support among some tribes and within the army. All of these supporters had a great deal to lose if he was overthrown. Therefore, they proved far stronger collectively than the opposition, even if they were taken aback by the initial opposition successes. To everyone’s surprise, Gadhafi not only didn’t flee, he counterattacked and repulsed his enemies.
This should not have surprised the world as much as it did. Gadhafi did not run Libya for the past 42 years because he was a fool, nor because he didn’t have support. He was very careful to reward his friends and hurt and weaken his enemies, and his supporters were substantial and motivated. One of the parts of the narrative is that the tyrant is surviving only by force and that the democratic rising readily routs him. The fact is that the tyrant had a lot of support in this case, the opposition wasn’t particularly democratic, much less organized or cohesive, and it was Gadhafi who routed them.
In fact, the West is now supporting a very diverse and sometimes mutually hostile group of tribes and individuals, bound together by hostility to Gadhafi and not much else. It is possible that over time they could coalesce into a fighting force, but it is far more difficult imagining them defeating Gadhafi’s forces anytime soon, much less governing Libya together. There are simply too many issues among them. It is, in part, these divisions that allowed Gadhafi to stay in power as long as he did. The West’s ability to impose order on them without governing them, particularly in a short amount of time, is difficult to imagine.

And now, as they try to defeat Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s armed forces and militias, they will have to rely on allied airstrikes and young men with guns because the army that rebel military leaders bragged about consists of only about 1,000 trained men.
Those frank admissions came from Ali Tarhouni, who was appointed to the cabinet of the rebels’ shadow government on Wednesday as finance minister.
At the same time, all of the clamor to form a new government seems premature while the rebels struggle to defeat Colonel Qaddafi’s military and wrest cities from his control.
Mr. Tarhouni acknowledged the dilemma, saying that without heavy artillery and planes, the rebels were left to rely on the young people who had first faced the colonel’s army with stones.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Gathering Storm

This just had to be posted, given what is happening in the World. It is possibly esoteric stuff, but maybe well worth reading. Incidentally this is from a financial blog that is fairly doomster.

Guest Post: The Gathering Storm

Submitted by Jim Quinn of The Burning Platform
“Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” – Winston Churchill - The Second World War
A butterfly flapped its wings in Tunisia creating a hurricane that is swirling across the globe, wreaking havoc with the existing social order and sweeping away old crumbling institutions and dictatorships. The linear thinking politicians, pundits and thought leaders have been knocked for a loop. They didn’t see it coming and they don’t know where it’s leading. An examination and understanding of history would have revealed that we have been here before. We were here in 1773. We were here in 1860. We were here in 1929. We are here again. The Fourth Turning has returned in its predictable cycle, just as Winter always follows Fall.
Read complete article here:

Does the Uranus in Aries From March 11 2011 to 2018 and Pluto in Capricorn jive with the Fourth Turning ?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sinéad O'Connor versus MIA

I really dont know how to start, Oppressed peoples, historically or in recent times. Two songs from Sinéad O'Connor and one from M.I.A.

As this is a blog catering to Sri Lankan (hopefully) lets start with the Irish context, hopefully educational. (I am used to doing point form so let me go with that). To start with I love Sinéad O'Connor's music, and f**k you attitude heard here in her version of I don't know how to love him (re Judas) from Jesus Christ Superstar)
  • Sinéad O'Connor sings about the Vikings who invaded around 800 -1200 (approximately Parakramabahu 1123-1186 times).
  • Then she sings about Cromwell who invaded and occupied Ireland in 1649. By this time the Portuguese had conquered Jaffna and occupied coastal Sri Lanka.
  • Finally Sinéad O'Connor sings about the Irish Famine, consequence of real English jack boot laws that in the 17th and 18th centuries prohibited Irish Catholics with penal laws from owning land, from leasing land; from voting, from holding political office; from living in a corporate town or within 5 mi (8.0 km) of a corporate town, from obtaining education, from entering a profession, and from doing many other things that are necessary in order to succeed and prosper in life. Thats around the time the England occupied the whole of Sri Lanka, i.e. 1800's.
For summary do we Sri Lankans really think, or even have music that really makes us sad about the past, even as late as the British occupation in the early 1850's. My friend thinks British colonialism was the best for Ceylon.

Now next to M.I.A. In 2005 couple of NYC Williamsburg hipster room mates mentioned that I should see this Sri Lankan woman who was going to perform at Summerstage NYC. Managed to sneak in and it was crowded. The next time M.I.A. was around at the Mermaid Festival. Do have a photo (see here). I love seeing a real representative south south Asian woman, such as M.I.A. i.e. skinny black/brown woman hitting the charts. Doesn't hurt thats the kind of looks I like.

Back to Politics and M.I.A. Does she have a video or one that even articulates her Sri Lankan /Eelam ideas. Compared and contrasted to Sinéad O'Connor's heartfelt songs about the the oppression of the Irish by the English, M.I.A seems sadly lacking. To the contrary of what little political message she sings, she has sold out and joined the establishment. i.e. she

"speaks about terrorism and Sri Lankan politics and all the while lives in a fancy house in a tony neighborhood with her billionaire husband."

Bottom line, M.I.A. cant articulate what if any oppression the Tamils have had, just a lot of "Agitprop Pop" music. The music is good, but M.I.A. is probably a milquetoast messenger advocating war for moralfags.