Saturday, November 29, 2008

Links For The Weekend

Stuff to read:

A column in the Hindustan Times raises an excellent point regarding the difference between bombings and the Mumbai attacks, one that I had not thought of before:
Bomb blasts are painful, traumatic events. But this long drawn-out crisis is far worse in the damage it has done to the Indian psyche. The inability of the authorities to bring the situation under control in a few hours has worried and frightened Indians. With each hour that the crisis continued, we felt vulnerable, impotent and humiliated. It was as though we had lost control of our destiny. And we would never feel safe again.

Speaking of the Mumbai blasts, Pakistan makes a U-turn on its decision to send Ahmed Shuja Pasha, the head honcho of the ISI, to help "investigate" the attacks. The government has now decided to send a lower level representative, which makes more sense in my view.

Last Mumbai-blast-related stuff for the day: for the non-Indians out there, I recommend reading Amit Varma's blog India Uncut and Prem Panicker's blog Smoke Signals. Both are reasonable guys who write well and have some interesting links. Check 'em out.

Recession? What recession? Russian oligarchs live it up (although less well than before):
"This clearly isn't a good time to invest. But we Russians have always got money hidden away somewhere, often in the refrigerator," Aivazov said, strolling off to look at designer skis. Nearby was a stand selling Gulfstream private jets; around the corner a property company was offering a private island. Other items on sale included an 18-metre yacht at £1m.

Welcome to Moscow's millionaire fair - a luxury goods and entertainment event in a giant exhibition hall on the edge of the capital. The fair is a sort of one-stop supermarket for the super-rich, where you can simultaneously purchase a beachside villa and a helicopter to take you there.


Practice? We talkin' about practice? Yes, AI, we're talkin' about practice.

An excellent post by Matthew Yglesias on the policy differences between Hillary and Obama. As he points out, thus far, almost all analyses of Obama's move to offer SoS to Hillary have been about the politics of it, not the policy of it. But Hillary occupies that gray zone between neo-conservative and liberal internationalist, whereas Obama is more realist in his view. Doesn't this matter?

A caption contest: George Bush congratulates Paul Krugman on his Nobel.

This is a post on Pakistan's wheat crisis from many months ago, but I found it to be a fantastic read so I thought I'd pass it along. Highly informative and pretty funny too.

2 comments:

Rabia said...

I can't make any sense of any of reports about the interrogation of the terrorist they caught, but the LeT link is certainly very believable and Hafiz Saeed, the leader of Lashkar-e-Taiba is going around giving friday khutbas to large crowds. So, it looks really bad for us. The U-turn might have been a good idea but it's not going to look good to India.

Ahsan said...

Rabia:

To be clear, the only reason I think the U-turn was a good idea is because you don't play your best card in the first round of the game (mainly because it leaves NEITHER side any wiggle room in later diplomacy/negotiations).

This is the reason, to quote another example, why lower level bureaucrats met each other much more often than Vajpayee/Mush during the initial stages of the peace process. Wiggle room is key. I'm not against Pasha going to India some time soon, just against him going first up.