Thursday, 29 September 2011

Is Islam a Threat to the West?

Threats can be real, or perceived from a souring relationship with an adversary. However, it can also be construed as a pretext to justify wanton aggression; the invasion of Iraq, using the pretext of a WMD threat is a well-known example of this, as was the disproportionate Israeli ‘retaliation’ in 2008 that resulted in a massacre of largely defenceless civilians in the Gaza ‘concentration camp’.

The ‘rocket’ attacks of Hamas done in retaliation were amplified through the Zionist dominated media as substantive, to justify the disproportionate Israeli response. The facts show, the damage caused by the so-called rockets was like a minor nuisance, in comparison to the death and destruction inflicted by the Israeli armed forces. In the end, the score sheet read: about 10 Israeli dead against 1,800 Palestinians, plus the injured. The same argument can be brought against the US decision to use the Atomic bomb over Japan, who posed no threat as it was on its knees. In fact, Japan requested the US through Stalin to ‘negotiate’ the terms for surrender, but Harry Truman, a cruel bloodthirsty leader wanted to test the weapon, so he bombed two cities populated by ‘Orientals’ with no military significance. 

For any nation to demonstrate the threat, it has to show that:

a) The threat itself is not a response to one’s earlier aggression.

b) Provide actual evidences of the impending threat.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

9/11 – Revisiting Islam versus the Capitalist West

After a decade, the zeal for war seems to have waned on both sides. It would be premature to say permanent peace is on the horizon, but certainly, the ‘war on terror’, a coded term for war on Islam and Muslims, is not as pronounced since the early days of post 9/11.

In my humble opinion, there are certain political and economical factors that have led to the changes in the course of history, even if that change is a temporary deviation.  

Within the US, the nasty neo-conservatives that operate through the Republican Party were replaced by the more pliant looking Democrats. And surprisingly, the Americans elected the first black President. They have come a long a way from the days of running slave labour camps in the farms and plantations. The election of black Obama can be translated as the benign silent majority of the US population speaking through the ballot box against the neo-conservative extremists.

Barack Hussein Obama began well, in the historic Cairo speech he made grand statements; it was an attempt to reach out to the Islamic world after a decade of overt hostility shown from the Bush dynasty. However, very little has materialised, Guantanamo remains open, Israel has continued to build settlements in the occupied territory; whilst operations in Iraq were scaled down, drone attacks have increased significantly in Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing many civilians.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The Art of Taxation is not to Tax

Tax is almost as old as civilisation itself. The conquering emperors of the past would raise taxes to wage wars. Many historical rebellions, civil wars, and uprisings have been driven by resentment against taxation. In recent history, income tax was introduced by William Pitt the Younger 200 years ago, to fight the Napoleonic wars. Today, tax is associated with providing public service and national ‘defence’, which is a euphemistic term for war.

There is a constant debate between the right and left of politics about the level of taxation. The former advocates lower taxes, because they argue that tax saps incentives of those who create wealth, and the latter says taxing is about protecting the poor and needy of society, so they advocate higher taxes.

There are four axioms in this tax debate.