Wednesday, May 27, 2009
1. Before you say anything to anyone, ask yourself 3 things:
Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?
2. Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully.
3. Never miss the opportunity to compliment or
say something encouraging to someone.
4. Refuse to talk negatively about others;
Don't gossip and don't listen to gossip.
5. Have a forgiving view of people.
Believe that most people are doing the best they can.
6. Keep an open mind; Discuss, but don't argue.
(It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. )
7. Forget about counting to 10. Count to 1,000
before doing or saying anything that could make matters worse.
8. Let your virtues speak for themselves.
9. If someone criticizes you,
see if there is any TRUTH to what is being said;
If so, make changes;
If there is no truth to the criticism,
ignore it and live so that no one will believe the negative remark.
10. Cultivate your sense of humor;
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
11. Do not seek so much to be consoled, as to console;
Do not seek so much to be understood, as to understand;
Do not seek so much to be loved as to love.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Chand Baori is a famous stepwell situated in the village Abhaneri near Jaipur in Indian state of Rajasthan.
The Chand Baori, a vast well with flights of steps on three sides, is a 10th century monument situated in Abhaneri. It is a fine example of the architectural excellence prevalent in the past. This impressive step well is as deep as a seven storeyed building. The famous Harshat Mata temple situated opposite to this well shows that there must have been a religious connection with the step-well. The well is 35 m on each side with steps leading down from each side and water can be drawn from any level.
Legends say that ghosts build it in one night and that it has so many steps to make it impossible for someone to retrieve a coin once it's been dropped in the well.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Now that Islamist marauders are sweeping the country with violence, ... perhaps we should consider
an alternative approach to this splintering, renegade state.
A better strategy's obvious. But Washington has trouble with the obvious. ...
What should we do? Dump Pakistan. Back India.
Washington's deep thinkers will cry, "But China might move in!"
If China wants Pakistan, let Beijing have it. Take on the Taliban? That would be fun to watch.
Given China's ghastly ineptitude in dealing with its Uighur Muslims, more power to 'em.
READ ON ...
JUST WALK AWAY
By RALPH PETERS
May 4, 2009 -- WHAT Washington calls "strategy" is usually just inertia: We can't imagine not supporting Pakistan because we've "always" supported Pakistan.
No matter how shamelessly Pakistan's leaders looted their own country, protected the Taliban, sponsored terror attacks on India, demanded aid and told us to kiss off when we asked for help, we had to back the Paks.
Because that's just the way things are.
Well, now that Islamist marauders are sweeping the country with violence as the generals in Rawalpindi mull "To be or not to be" and President Ali Asif Zardari knocks back another scotch behind closed doors, perhaps we should consider an alternative approach to this splintering, renegade state.
A better strategy's obvious. But Washington has trouble with the obvious. At our pathetic State Department, habit trumps innovation every time. And the Pentagon can't seem to see beyond the immediate battlefield.
What should we do? Dump Pakistan. Back India.
Washington's deep thinkers will cry, "But China might move in!"
If China wants Pakistan, let Beijing have it. That would be fun to watch. Take on the Taliban? Given China's ghastly ineptitude in dealing with its Uighur Muslims, more power to 'em.
Anyway, China knows that India's the prize. Indian neutrality is essential to any future conflict with the United States. Beijing isn't going to do anything to drive New Delhi into a closer relationship with Washington (and the US Navy).
So set the "China syndrome" fears aside. Move on to the integrity issue: We claim -- or used to claim -- that we're serious about combating terrorists and punishing their backers.
Yet, we've been abetting the forces of terror by supporting Pakistan unreservedly. Islamabad merrily sponsors terror attacks on India, knowing that America will step in and convince New Delhi not to retaliate.
Apart from the myriad Pak-backed terror strikes in Kashmir, we've seen gruesome attacks in New Delhi and, most recently, in Mumbai. Pakistan's intelligence services did everything but put up billboards announcing that they were behind the terrorists.
India prepared to strike back. But we stepped in every time.
As long as Pakistan's obsessed India-haters know there won't be any penalties for terrorism, they'll keep at it. The formula isn't hard to figure out.
Suppose we just left Pakistan, even withdrawing our embassy personnel? Without us to protect them when they go rogue, would Pakistan's murky intel thugs still launch terror strikes on India?
Pakistan would have to behave responsibly at last. Or face nuclear-armed India. And Pakistan's leaders know full well that a nuclear exchange would leave their country a wasteland. India would dust itself off and move on.
Of course, there's also the issue of the Pentagon's bewildering incompetence in placing 50,000 of our troops at the end of a 1,500-mile supply line through Pakistan, rendering our forces virtual hostages of Islamabad.
The answer's another dose of common sense: Instead of increasing our troop numbers in Afghanistan, cut them. Instead of embracing the hopeless task of building a modern nation where no nation of any kind has ever existed, concentrate exclusively on killing al Qaeda terrorists and the hard-line Taliban elements who help them.
Instead of pretending the Kabul government has any validity, arm the factions with which we share common interests. We're really not obliged to cut massive welfare checks for our enemies.
Our sole mission in Afghanistan should be killing terrorists. To that end, we need a smaller, lethal, unfettered force, not more agricultural experts and con-game contractors.
Bottom line: Let India deal with Pakistan. If the Chinese want to engage, just smile. Focus on killing our enemies, not buying them ice cream. And get serious about strategy. How is it that the leaders of the most powerful state in history think like small-time operators?
Briefing Washington audiences, I warn them that, when the boss tells them to think outside the box, he really means, "Come back with new reasons why I was right all along."
It's time for some genuine outside-the-box thinking. Because the Pakistani box looks increasingly like a coffin.
Jihadi Perils in Pakistan
By Moorthy Muthuswamy
To say that religious freedom in Pakistan is increasingly compromised is an understatement.
Extremists in the form of Taliban and others have begun to control large swaths of Pakistan's territory. Although the militants have retreated from their initial march toward the Pakistani capital, their ability to destabilize the nation remains. Doubts persist whether the Pakistani government and its powerful military are able or willing to consistently stop the extremist advance. The nuclear-armed Pakistan has thus become a major strategic issue for the Obama administration.
Unable to contain the Taliban movement, the ruling Zardari regime caved in recently to agree to the imposition of a medieval Islamic law called sharia in the Swat valley as part of a "peace" deal. However, the Taliban have reneged on the terms of the deal by not laying down their weapons. The heavily armed religious extremists are dictating the lives of the people under their control though the enactment and enforcement of the sharia. Predictably, some powerful clerics in Pakistan have now called for the imposition of the sharia in all of Pakistan and beyond.
Some interesting statistical analysis of the Koran and other Islamic foundational texts carried out recently may explain the gradual descent of countries such as Pakistan into extremism. Importantly, this analysis may also teach us how to nudge Pakistan toward a moderate path.
Bill Warner of the Center for the Study of Political Islam has done some pioneering scientific analysis of Islamic doctrines. He has found that about 61 percent of the Koran speaks ill of unbelievers or calls for their violent conquest and subjugation, but only 2.6 percent of it talks about the overall good of humanity. The overwhelming measure of the stats -- 61% vs. 2.6% -- likely makes their implication impervious to subjectivity.
These statistics may explain the empirical observation that increased funding for propagation of Islam around the globe by the likes of Saudi Arabia for the past 20-plus years has coincided with increased violence conducted in the name of Islam.
This is particularly true of Pakistan which has seen an extensive network of madrassas or Muslim religious schools set up with Middle Eastern funding. The special circumstances surrounding the birth of Pakistan too have contributed to the conundrum Pakistan has become.
Created in 1947 as a nation for Muslims living in British-ruled India, Pakistan has found itself having to define its national aspirations in terms of religion. One could argue that the Koranic statistics discussed above would favor Islamists in their ideological battle with secular democrats in defining a vision for the nation. Indeed, this appears to be the case. When Hindu-majority India, the other nation created from British-ruled India, was building quality higher educational institutions of learning, Pakistan was focusing on jihad or a religious war. Even its army's focus is jihad - the motto reads: "faith, piety and holy war in the path of Allah."
Pakistan has been embarking on jihad-building, not nation-building. It was inevitable that this jihadist infrastructure has been used to sponsor terror in nearby Afghanistan and against India. It is now widely acknowledged that the majority of the over 10 billion dollars of the American aid given to Pakistan since 2001, intended for combating Islamic extremism, has instead, gone to build this jihadist infrastructure.
The Obama administration, in promising even more funding to "develop" Pakistan, appears not to realize that without first making Pakistanis dissociate from jihadist politics, nation-building there is just not possible.
The recent Taliban sponsored attacks in Pakistan's biggest and richest province Punjab, and the Taliban call for the imposition of sharia in all of Pakistan, including Punjab, has created consternation and fear in the civic society there. This may have, for the first time in decades, created an opening to drive a wedge between the extremists and others in Pakistan.
Whether the United States and its allies can take advantage of this opportunity to transform Pakistan remains to be seen.
Moorthy Muthuswamy is author of the new book: "Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War."