Category Archives: Middle Eastern Politics

Diego Garcia and the Fate of Its Its Indigenized Chagossian People

 

ONE = A Summary Report

Diego Garcia is part of the Chagos Atoll, a “group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean” (Jayaweera 2018). Though discovered in 1512 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Mascarenhas, it was uninhabited till the French moved in and took over in 1783. The atoll passed to the British after the Napoleonic wars in 1814/15. Thereafter the atoll was administered from Mauritius and was considered part of its domain. Over the years the overseers and workers imported to work the plantations and settlements on the islands became indigenized as “Chagossians” and by the 1960s are said to have been around 1500 in number (note the imprecision).

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Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, British colonialism, British imperialism, centre-periphery relations, colonisation schemes, discrimination, economic processes, foreign policy, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, legal issues, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, Responsibility to Protect or R2P, security, self-reflexivity, sri lankan society, transport and communications, trauma, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, working class conditions, world events & processes, World War II

Does Terrorism Work? The Palestinian Story, 1939-47

Bruce Hoffman

ABSTRACT: Does terrorism work? Its targets and victims steadfastly maintain that it does not; its practitioners and apologists that it does. Scholars and analysts are divided. But, if terrorism is as ineffective as many claim, why has it persisted for at least the past two millennia and indeed become an increasingly popular means of violent political expression in the twenty-first century? Using the Jewish terrorist campaign against the British in Palestine during the 1940s, this article attempts to shed light on this question.

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Filed under arab regimes, atrocities, authoritarian regimes, British imperialism, ethnicity, foreign policy, historical interpretation, jihad, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, martyrdom, Middle Eastern Politics, military strategy, patriotism, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, truth as casualty of war, world events & processes

Mahatma Gandhi’s Opposition to the Seizure of Palestine for the Jews

The Editor, News in Asia,  29 January 2018, where the title is as follows:: What Mahatma Gandhi said about Jews’ bid to seize Palestine”

When the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came to India recently, he was taken to Gujarat by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ironically, the itinerary there included a visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s  Sabarmati Ashram. These steps seemed very odd and hypocritical as Gandhi had been against the establishment of Israel or the forcible settlement of Jews there without the consent of the Arabs, who were long settled there.

 Mahatma Gandhi on his frequent tours

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, historical interpretation, human rights, legal issues, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, unusual people, world events & processes

Wahhabi Ideology is the Root of Islamic Extremism

Nur Yalman, courtesy of Colombo Telegraph, where the title runs Islam, Extremism & Hypocrisy” … highlighting emphasis is that of th Editor, Thuppahi

Suicide attacks in beloved Barcelona. We are once again left aghast at the cruelty of an entire group of malevolent people. These evil acts should have no place in civilized existence. Where do they come from? What is their purpose? What is to be done? First of all we must note that these murders are part of a “Death Cult” associated with the profound radicalism deriving from an unusual Wahhabi version of Islam.

 

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Filed under accountability, Afghanistan, Al Qaeda, american imperialism, arab regimes, authoritarian regimes, British colonialism, centre-periphery relations, disparagement, foreign policy, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, life stories, LTTE, Middle Eastern Politics, military strategy, nationalism, politIcal discourse, power politics, security, self-reflexivity, world events & processes

Reviewing “Ports of the Ancient Indian Ocean”

Richard Fynes,  reviewing Marie-Françoise Boussac, Jean- Françoise Salles & Jean-Baptiste (eds.) Ports of the Ancient Indian Ocean,  Delhi: Primus Books. 2016. ISBN 97893840820792  …………… in IIAS Newsletter,  Summer 2017

This edited volume delivers much more than is suggested by its title, since it includes discussions of emporia as far inland as Delhi, the time-scale covered by its articles extends from the 20th century BC to the 18th century AD, and since not only the Indian Ocean, but also the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, the Bay of Bengal and the South China Sea are discussed by the various authors. Given the wide range and disparate nature of the twenty-four papers in the volume, how should one orient oneself among them? Best to begin with Elizabeth Lambourn’s ‘Describing a Lost Camel’ – Clues for a West Asian Mercantile Networks in South Asian Maritime Trade (Tenth-Twelfth Centuries AD). The volume taken as a whole forms a contribution to the genre of world history and Lambourn provides a clear-eyed assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of that genre. Although Lambourn’s paper is primarily concerned with the two hundred years from the tenth- to the twelfth centuries AD, her masterly analysis of the sources and criticism of the various methodologies in which they are employed provide the reader with a prism with which to view the remaining papers in the volume. Lambourn begins her account with a review of the relevant archaeological and documentary evidence. It is salutary to learn just how insecure is the dating of many South Asian ceramic types and consequently of the archaeological sites whose dating has been largely derived from ceramic evidence. Lambourn notes the problems posed by pluridisciplinary character of the sources and their simultaneous use. Her paper focuses on the port of Sanjan, in the domain of the western Indian dynasty of the Rastrakuta, where, for the tenth century there is rare conjunction of evidence from archaeology, Arabic geographical writings and Indian epigraphy. Her discussion is rich both in evidence and insight, and she gives due acknowledgment to the work of Ranabir Chakravarti, whose work has led scholars to reformulate the questions they ask of the sources. Lambourn’s findings lead her to speculate on the nature of world history and the relationship between micro- and macro history, as she expresses dissatisfaction that she is “left with an eclectic collection of small insights and few satisfactory larger narratives.” Such honest appraisals of the conclusions of one’s research invite further questions and are thus a stimulant to further research. Continue reading

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Filed under centre-periphery relations, cultural transmission, ethnicity, growth pole, heritage, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, Indian religions, Indian traditions, landscape wondrous, Middle Eastern Politics, population, Portuguese in Indian Ocean, transport and communications, unusual people, world events & processes

Police Counter-Terrorism in UK via Hannah Stuart

Policy Exchange’s Hannah Stuart discusses police counter-terrorism operations on BBC Radio 5 Live……..May 2, 2017 …. https://policyexchange.org.uk/news/hannah-stuart-5live/

Following the recent terrorism related arrests, Hannah Stuart, Policy Exchange Co-Head of Security and Extremism, discusses police counter-terrorism operations on BBC Radio 5 Live:

Hannah Stuart on BBC Radio 5 Live

About Us = Policy Exchange is the UK’s leading think tank. As an educational charity our mission is to develop and promote new policy ideas which deliver better public services, a stronger society and a more dynamic economy.

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Filed under accountability, atrocities, fundamentalism, historical interpretation, Islamic fundamentalism, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, legal issues, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, politIcal discourse, power politics, world events & processes, zealotry

Bomb Blast as Ideological Assertion

Raffaello Pantucci, courtesy of The Telegraph, 23 May 2017, where the title isCars and knives are easier to use, but bombs will always be central to terrorist thinking” **

Terrorism has a predictable brutality to it. And yet, the idea of a bombing is something that still surprises us when it happens. The attack in Manchester in some ways appears a flashback to a different time when the terrorists we worried about detonated bombs, rather than using vehicles as rams or stabbing people. The reality is that terrorism’s only constant is its desire to shock and kill. For any group or ideology, the fundamental point is to make yourself heard as dramatically as possible. Groups and individuals will use whatever tools they have to gain that attention.

 The successful use of a bomb is unusual among recent terror attacks CREDIT: JOEL GOODMAN/LNP

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Filed under accountability, arab regimes, atrocities, cultural transmission, historical interpretation, immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, life stories, Middle Eastern Politics, politIcal discourse, power politics, self-reflexivity, suicide bombing, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, trauma, vengeance, world events & processes