Category Archives: International Politics

thecatapult.in

thecatapult.in is a new blog focusing on the matters concerning the Indian national interests, strategy and the affairs of the State.

The First Post today is about the Chinese side war gaming a scenario on the Tibetan plateau and the border with India in case of a (planned?!) steady deterioriation of relations leading to war with India after the conclusion of the Beijing Olympics.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Military, International Communism, International Politics, National Security, PRC, The Indian Subcontinent

UN Watch Blasts the UNHRC

And see the intolerance of the UNHRC to any criticism of its conduct and the threat to ban the UN Watch representative’s speech. This has become a stalinist organisation through and through dominated by the same third world dictatorial thugs from many parts of Asia, Africa, the Arab world and latin America who are supposed to be held accountable by this body.

Also Watch the Speeches Not Banned at the UNHRC by UN Watch.

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Filed under Freedom of Speech & Information, Geopolitics, India and the World, International Communism, International Politics, Liberal Extremists

The Race for the Riches of the Arctic region

As the Earth’s icy north melts due to Global warming the countries around the Arctic ocean make a mad rush to gain control of its natural resources.

Riches Await as Earth’s icy North Melts

The latest report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the ice cap is warming faster than the rest of the planet and ice is receding, partly due to greenhouse gases. It’s a catastrophic scenario for the Arctic ecosystem, for polar bears and other wildlife, and for Inuit populations whose ancient cultures depend on frozen waters.

But some see a lucrative silver lining of riches waiting to be snatched from the deep, and the prospect of timesaving sea lanes that could transform the shipping industry the way the Suez Canal did in the 19th century.

The US Geological Survey estimates the Arctic has as much as 25 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas. Russia reportedly sees the potential of minerals in its slice of the Arctic sector approaching $2 trillion.

All this has pushed governments and businesses into a scramble for sovereignty over these suddenly priceless seas.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India and the World, International Politics, Science & Space

The Indo-US Nuclear Deal Plods On

The Public spotlight that was on the Indo-US nuclear deal until it was passed by the US Congress and signed by President Bush into law in December last year has dissipated. But it is now that the real drudge work to hammer out an 123 agreement, getting NSG approval and an India specific safeguards agreement with the IAEA has to be done.

Brahma Chellaney in an op-ed piece titled Long-Maul Exercise in The Asian Age analyses the action that is taking place behind the scenes.

The controversial US-India nuclear deal may not be in the news these days but it quietly continues to ferment new issues. Even as America and its friends persist with their hard sell of the deal, increasing doubts about the wisdom and costs of pushing ahead with it on terms set by the US Congress have gripped the Indian establishment.

The projected timeframe for stitching up the final deal continues to slip. When the agreement-in-principle was unveiled on July 18, 2005, it was sanguinely claimed by both sides that by spring of 2006, the deal would take effect. Then when the Hyde Act was passed, US officials voiced optimism that the final deal would be before Congress by July 2007.

Now Washington has further revised the deadline to late 2007 or early 2008. Even that seems overly optimistic when one bears in mind that after almost 20 months, only the first of the five phases has been completed to clinch the final deal. There is still a long road ahead for the two sides to traverse.

Let’s not forget that the US-China nuclear deal, signed in 1984, took nearly 14 years to come into force, and another nine years thereafter for Beijing to place its first import order for US reactors. The US-India deal, in fact, involves more processes and complicating factors. Long after the original actors involved in the July 18, 2005, accord have faded into history, India would still be grappling with the deal-related issues.

Indeed the deal’s main benefit for India remains the symbolically important message of July 18, 2005 that the United States, reversing a three-decade punitive approach toward India, has embraced it as a “responsible” nuclear state.In other words, India is already savouring the main gain from the deal.

The actual incentive proffered by the US — the lifting of civil nuclear sanctions — is of less significance because high-priced imported commercial power reactors can play only a marginal role in meeting India’s energy needs.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Foreign Policy, Indo-US relations, International Politics, Neglected/Sidelined News

Swiss Imperialism On the Rise

It seems that the Swiss are bored of their centuries old neutrality( and pocketing loot from both sides in a conflict) and starring in the background of Bollywood duet songs. Now they want to have some real fun.

Swiss “accidentally” invade Liechtenstein

ZURICH, Switzerland – What began as a routine training exercise almost ended in an embarrassing diplomatic incident after a company of Swiss soldiers got lost at night and marched into neighboring Liechtenstein.

According to Swiss daily Blick, the 170 infantry soldiers wandered just over a mile across an unmarked border into the tiny principality early Thursday before realizing their mistake and turning back.

A spokesman for the Swiss army confirmed the story but said that there were unlikely to be any serious repercussions for the mistaken invasion.

“We’ve spoken to the authorities in Liechtenstein and it’s not a problem,” Daniel Reist told The Associated Press.

And the Liechtensteinians are being good dhimmis.

Officials in Liechtenstein also played down the incident.Interior ministry spokesman Markus Amman said nobody in Liechtenstein had even noticed the soldiers, who were carrying assault rifles but no ammunition. “It’s not like they stormed over here with attack helicopters or something,” he said.

Liechtenstein, which has about 34,000 inhabitants and is slightly smaller than Washington DC, doesn’t have an army.

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Filed under Geopolitics, Humour, International Politics, Just Plain Weird

Rewards for a Female Martyr?

Slate discusses the rewards a female Martyr can expect to find in Paradise.

A female suicide bomber detonated a vest filled with explosives at a university in Baghdad Sunday, killing more than 40 people. If male martyrs can expect to find 72 virgin maidens in paradise when they die, what rewards can female suicide bombers expect?

very few commentators enumerated the rewards for women. Ninth-century scholar Al-Tabarani did argue that women will be reunited with their husbands in the next world, and those who had multiple husbands can pick the best one to be their eternal spouse. (Other commentators added that a woman who never married can marry any man she wants in paradise.)

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Filed under General, History, International Politics, Terrorism

B Raman’s Open Letter to Kasuri

B Raman writes a open letter to Kasuri who called for intelligence co-operation between Indian and Pakistani agencies, recounting the history of the attempted Indo-Pak intelligence co-operation from the 1980s onwards calling it a dialogue of the deaf where the Pakistanis repeatedly stonewall and lie through their teeth even in the face of overwhelming evidence.He ends his letter by summarizing as follows.

You would now understand, I hope, why there is not much enthusiasm in India to the idea of a Joint Mechanism for Counter-Terrorism Co-operation. They say once bitten, twice shy. India has been bitten thrice — after the Shimla talks between Indira Gandhi and Z A Bhutto; after the meetings between Verma and Hamid Gul; and after the meeting between A B Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif at Lahore in February 1999.

Mr Foreign Minister, Pakistan has handed over so many terrorism suspects to the US and other countries. Forget about terrorists. Can you recall even a single instance where Pakistan has handed over even a cattle-lifter to India? Whenever India has asked Pakistan to hand over a terrorist or other criminal, Pakistan’s response has been that India has not been able to produce convincing evidence against him. And whenever India has asked Pakistan to hand over a non-Muslim terrorist, Pakistan’s response has been: ‘Yes, we agree you have good evidence against him, but your information that he is in our territory is wrong.’ The handing-over of the Sikh army deserters is the only instance of such action by Pakistan that I can recall. I cannot understand even today why Gul did it. Was he planning to use them to collect military intelligence from India?

All Pakistan has to do to demonstrate its sincerity is to hand over some of the terrorists from India living in Pakistani territory before the first meeting of the Joint Counter-Terrorism Mechanism. It will have a big impact in India and many sceptics will start supporting the mechanism.

India would do well to heed this lesson of history and dump that nonsense called the joint anti-terrorism institutional mechanism. It too is doomed to suffer the same fate as above.

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Filed under History, India, Indian Foreign Policy, International Politics, National Security, Pakistan, Terrorism, The Indian Subcontinent