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[url="http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34472"]Osama bin Forgotten[/url]


Posted: September 8, 2003

1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

WASHINGTON – Why is Osama bin Laden still a threat to America two years after President Bush promised to capture him "dead or alive"?

Why does Bush continue to appease Pakistan, where bin Laden is hiding, even when Pakistan bars our military from joining the hunt for him there?

Why does the president continue to cover for the Saudis, despite mounting evidence of their complicity in 9-11?

And why did he take a sharp turn into Iraq in the middle of a war on al-Qaida, when his own intelligence dossier ruled out Iraqi sponsorship of any "attacks against U.S. territory," including 9-11, and concluded Saddam Hussein wouldn't even try to join forces with al-Qaida unless "sufficiently desperate" and provoked by U.S. attack?

My new book, "Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism," answers these disturbing questions and others, such as the ones raised by the principals at Barnes & Noble.com in their recent interview with me. Here is the full exchange:

Barnes & Noble.com: "Crude Politics" is subtitled "How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism." Who are these "cronies"?

Paul Sperry: They include onetime Caspian energy industry lobbyist Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush's broker for regime change in Kabul and now Baghdad; Dick Cheney, whose Halliburton Co. has long been a player in both the Caspian and in Iraq; Condi Rice, longtime director of ChevronTexaco, the Caspian's biggest investor and also a player now in Iraq; Deputy Secretary of State Rich Armitage, formerly a powerful Caspian lobbyist in Washington; Commerce Secretary Don Evans, whose former oil firm is partly owned by Unocal, the original lead investor in the trans-Afghan pipelines that Khalilzad lobbied for and which are now on the fast track to development. The rest of the cronies are listed in the "Players & Power Brokers" section in the front of "Crude Politics." Many of them were among the principals who crafted the post-9-11 war strategy.

B&N.com: You're politically conservative, yet you criticize the approach Bush has taken to the war on terror. At what point did you start to feel that Bush wasn't doing the right thing?

PS: My doubts really crystallized in December 2001, when Osama bin Laden escaped from Afghanistan and many of my Special Ops and CentCom sources began griping about the Bush administration's odd military strategy of focusing on the Taliban and "regime change," while using local Afghan proxy fighters to hunt down bin Laden.

B&N.com: You cite our relationship with Pakistan, an ostensible "ally" in the war on terror, as an "unholy alliance." Why is that?

PS: Pakistan is the world's epicenter of anti-American terror. As I document in "Crude Politics," almost every terrorist act against the U.S. or its interests abroad has had a Pakistani connection. That includes September 11th. Pakistan is where terrorists, including senior members of al-Qaida, meet, train, study and hide out – all under the nose of Pakistani strongman [Gen. Pervez] Musharraf.

Why is Bush so deferential to Musharraf? Why has he bought him off with billions of dollars in U.S. aid? One reason is he agreed to sign a deal with U.S. puppet Hamid Karzai in Kabul, also a onetime energy consultant, to develop the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline, or TAP, which continues on through Pakistan. The Taliban, which Musharraf backed, was blocking its development. The multibillion-dollar gas pipeline is now on the fast track – unlike the hunt for bin Laden.

B&N.com: Should Saudi Arabia be included in any "axis of evil" when it comes to harboring and fostering terrorism? Why did the administration whisk Osama's relatives out of the country only days after 9-11?

PS: If the Bush Doctrine were applied evenly and apolitically, which it isn't, we would count Saudi Arabia among our enemies, not allies. In fact, there is far, far more evidence linking Riyadh to al-Qaida and September 11th than Baghdad. Of course, don't tell that to Bush, who has fudged the evidence in both cases. The main reason he allowed Osama's relatives to be whisked out of the country after September 11th is the same reason he won't declassify those 28 pages on Saudi in the 9-11 report: Prince Bandar. He and the Bush family go way back, and it was Bandar who lobbied the White House to spirit the bin Ladens out of the country, and it is Bandar and his wife and brother-in-law, Prince Turki, who are cited in the 9-11 report as possible co-conspirators.

What's more, it's a fact, not a rumor, that Bush's father and consigliere James Baker personally have done business with the bin Laden family. In "Crude Politics," I produce a secret letter between a top Bush administration official and a Saudi official that reveals the alarming degree of access and clout the royal family has with this administration. Bottom line: Bush is covering for the Saudis, and it's not just for strategic geopolitical reasons.

B&N.com: Is Bush guilty of exploiting one of the worst American tragedies of all time?

PS: I'm afraid so. The book's subtitle is not just for effect. They really did hijack this war to pursue their hidden agendas. But that doesn't mean they didn't want to bring al-Qaida leaders to justice, their royal benefactors notwithstanding. They did, and still do, it's just that the war provided a golden opportunity to do other things at the same time – namely, to open up new oil frontiers – and that's where they blew it. Trying to kill two birds with one stone sewed such a high degree of complexity into the operation that it caused them to take their eye off the main quarry, bin Laden, and now he's still threatening us two years after he attacked us.

I pray we get him tomorrow, before he can order another major hit on us. That would be the real victory, though it would still be somewhat pyrrhic. If we had caught him in the winter of 2001 – when we had a bead on him in southern Afghanistan, and a golden chance to take him out – I doubt the American people would have countenanced this messy Iraqi dogleg in the war on terror, or the further erosion of our civil liberties. And I'm certain our economy and mutual fund balances would look better.

B&N.com: Why didn't Bush send a massive number of ground troops into Afghanistan to get Osama, as he later did to get Saddam? Was it fear of a "quagmire," something we may well now be facing in Iraq?

PS: Well, that's the reason he gave, anyway. But the Afghan plan as drafted by senior White House security adviser Khalilzad, who staffed the Pentagon during the early 2001 transition, called for using local Afghan proxies to give the different tribal factions a stake in the new U.S.-approved regime. Unfortunately, they betrayed us by letting Osama escape across the border into Pakistan. Bush followed Khalilzad's blueprint right down to installing him as Afghan envoy and lifting the Pressler Amendment and other sanctions on Pakistan. The blueprint is documented in two policy white papers Khalilzad wrote, one of which is revealed for the first time in "Crude Politics."

And now Bush is following Khalilzad's plan in Baghdad, where he's grooming an oil-tied Iraqi defector to replace Saddam Hussein. The influential Khalilzad, an Afghan native and a Muslim, is not exactly a household name, and the White House likes it that way. He is a shadowy operator. He gets no mention whatever in Bob Woodward's book on the war, but readers will become well acquainted with Mr. Khalilzad in "Crude Politics."

B&N.com: The question of whether the Bush administration lied about the threat Iraq posed to us is running rampant in the headlines. Do you feel Bush and his people deliberately misrepresented the situation in order to get the American people behind the Iraq war?

PS: Absolutely, there is no question now that Bush sold the American people a bill of goods about the alleged Iraqi threat to them. And even if they stumble on some evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program or a clear al-Qaida link at this late juncture, it still won't confirm Bush's prewar rhetoric, because we now know the intelligence underlying the rhetoric was soft – and in some cases fabricated. The cat's officially out of the bag: We went into Baghdad on a hunch, not on hard intelligence. Any evidence we find now in Iraq isn't confirmation, it's luck.

That's no way to prosecute a war, and certainly no way to start a war. And it's the height of irresponsibility to do so in the middle of a war on al-Qaida, the real threat to America. Bush diverted resources – such as troops, intelligence assets, Arabic translators – from the hunt for bin Laden and his top henchmen like Dr. Zawahiri. That's inexcusable, and Bush supporters with any modicum of intellectual honesty should be mad as hell about it. And that's coming from someone who voted for Bush.

B&N.com: Considering that both Bush and Vice President Cheney, as well as a fair number of their appointees, have worked in the oil business, should we be all that surprised that they seem so eager to establish oil supplies in both Afghanistan and Iraq?

PS: Actually, as cynical as I am, I thought this would be one crisis in which politicians would shove their ulterior motives, hidden agendas and special interests down a deep dark hole and just do what's right for the country for a change. But the oil motive is something anti-war protesters assumed right off the bat – and it turns out they were right. They've been easy to dismiss, however, because they've failed to articulate the who-what-when-where-why-and-how when they have charged, "It's about oil!" "Crude Politics" documents it, chronicles it, provides new dots, makes all the connections, providing the actual road map to the conspiracy.

But again, the war has not been all about oil, as many protesters charge, and I should note that I viewed the Afghanistan counterstrikes as morally justified, and am more hawk than dove, but it certainly has been a good piece of it. To make any real sense of the administration's war strategy, you have to follow the oil. It really is that simple, although how they've gone about it is quite complicated. The political and corporate connections alone are fascinating.

B&N.com: Both Afghanistan and Iraq seem to be falling apart, after U.S. intervention was supposed to stabilize things there and "liberate" the civilians. What will both countries look like a year from now, in your opinion?

PS: The only thing that will be liberated in those Islamic nations is the U.N. economic sanctions on their rogue regimes – sanctions that until now had precluded U.S. oil companies from investing there. That's why "regime change," something you'll recall candidate Bush considered a bad word, suddenly became so important. Though there have been some successes, all we've really done in Afghanistan is scatter al-Qaida terrorists, like so many angry red ants, without killing their queen. Bush might as well have just taken a big stick and stirred up a giant anthill.

Same goes for Iraq, though we didn't even scatter al-Qaida there. We displaced a lot of Iraqi citizens, families, children, many of them Shiites who weren't at all a part of Saddam's regime and who are growing increasingly resentful of the U.S. occupation. But there's too much oil money at stake in both countries for us to leave. Our military will be there to provide security for U.S. investments for decades to come. Tragically, instead of just getting bin Laden and getting out, Bush only drove us deeper into a part of the world that already hates us.

I pray there will be no Bush blowback, like the blowback from his father's Saudi-centric actions in the Gulf 12 years earlier. I pray our young soldiers whom Bush put in harm's way over there won't continue to be sitting ducks. But I am not optimistic.

B&N.com: With Bush running hard for re-election, is it safe to assume he won't be getting your vote? Do you see anyone on the Democratic side you'd feel comfortable voting for instead?

PS: Like I said, I voted for Bush, but I don't plan to vote for a Republican or a Democrat this time. Both parties disgust me now, quite frankly.

Related offer:

Wonder why Osama bin Laden is still on the loose as we near the second anniversary of 9-11? Paul Sperry's explosive new book, "CRUDE POLITICS: How Bush_s Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism," answers that disturbing question and more. Order your copy now in WorldNetDaily's online store, ShopNetDaily!


Paul Sperry is Washington bureau chief for WorldNetDaily.
THE SEWING CIRCLES OF HERAT A Personal Voyage Through Afghanistan.

By Christina Lamb.

HarperCollins, $24.95

Traveling through Afghanistan shortly after the fall of the Taliban, Christina Lamb, an English journalist, confronted a shattered, chaotic world, a ghostly echo of the country she had previously known only in war. Returning after 12 years, she seemed unable to come to terms with a country that had haunted her since she left, forced out after the director general of Pakistan's Interservices Intelligence had her accused of spying for the exiled Afghan king, Zahir Shah. Arriving in the ancient, ruined city of Herat, Lamb found herself ''strangely disconnected as though watching what was happening from outside on some grainy film.'' This resonant description also succinctly captures the experience of reading ''The Sewing Circles of Herat,'' Lamb's rambling, disjointed account. She seeks to combine history and political analysis with an account of her travels, relationships and inner turmoil, and she jumps among subjects, times and places unconnected by narrative thread. Arresting details of daily life, historical vignettes and often fascinating portraits of Afghan people, both brave and corrupt, are lost, overwhelmed by meandering sentences and the muddled narrative structure of a work that cannot decide what it wants to be. Lamb begins with the declaration, ''My story like that of Afghanistan has no beginning and no end,'' a statement readers are advised to take as a warning. Claudia La Rocco

Source: NY Times.

Published: 02 - 02 - 2003 , Late Edition - Final , Section 7 , Column 1 , Page 20
The Saudis' Brand of Islam and Its Place in History - By RICHARD BERNSTEIN


The House of Saud From Tradition to Terror

By Stephen Schwartz

312 pages. Doubleday. $25.

In April 2002, eight months after the attacks of Sept. 11, a Saudi cleric named Sheik Saad al-Buraik, preaching in a mosque in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, called for the enslavement of Jewish women by Muslim men. ''Do not have mercy or compassion toward the Jews,'' Mr. al Buraik said. ''Their women are yours to take, legitimately. God made them yours.''

Mr. al-Buraik, it is important to note, was a member of the official Saudi delegation that accompanied Crown Prince Abdullah during his visit to President Bush in Crawford, Tex., at the end of April 2002. And Stephen Schwartz argues in ''The Two Faces of Islam'' that the closeness to power of one who proclaims Jewish women to be Muslim slaves illustrates the deep hypocrisy and corruption of politics in Saudi Arabia, a country that promotes and fosters an extreme, intolerant, terroristic Islamic cult even as it presents itself, in Crawford and other places, as pro-Western and moderate.

It has always been thus there, Mr. Schwartz contends, or, at least, it has been thus since the 18th century when an obscure, vengeful, narrow vagabond-cleric named Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab became the spiritual leader of a Saudi tribe, the House of Saud, that eventually became masters of most of the Arabian peninsula. Mr. Schwartz's book is essentially a history of Wahhabism, which is still Saudi Arabia's official, exclusive and, in Mr. Schwartz's view, darkly medieval religion.

His central theme is that Wahhabism has over the centuries waged a bitter struggle against all other variants of Islam, most particularly the tolerant, peaceful, poetically mystical schools of thought that, in Mr. Schwartz's view, are the true and admirable historic Islam. Moreover, he maintains that Wahhabism, which gave rise to Osama bin Laden and the Afghan Taliban among others, is the most dread menace faced in the world today by the forces of tolerance and pluralism, whether Muslim or otherwise.

''Wahhabism exalts and promotes death in every element of its existence, the suicide of its adherents, mass murder as a weapon against civilization, and above all the suffocation of the mercy embodied in Islam,'' Mr. Schwartz writes. ''The war against Wahhabism is therefore a war to the death, as the Second World War was a war to the death against fascism. But triumph over death is the victory of life.''

As that paragraph indicates, the emphatic Mr. Schwartz, a journalist and scholar who writes for several American publications, minces no words. The 4,000 members of the Saudi ruling family are, as he puts it, ''a vast mafia of princely parasites.'' He holds the Western oil companies, especially the Aramco partners and ''the American political and media elites that have served them,'' responsible for ''the continuation of dishonesty and injustice in Arabia.''

Contrary to the standard view of him, Mr. Schwartz writes, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Wahhabi extremism and actually represents ''the pluralist face of Islam.''

All of these assertions will bring rejoinders from those who have different views, but Mr. Schwartz's opinions are not just forcefully expressed; they are also born out of a sophisticated and informed vision of history, and he merits both an open mind and a close reading. His book demonstrates a comprehensive mastery of history and historical connections, as well as a deep humanistic concern for those who have been oppressed by Wahhabi ruthlessness.

When, for example, Mr. Schwartz turns to the powerful influence of Wahhabism during the years of the anti-Soviet ''holy war'' in Afghanistan, he not only shows that he understands Afghan politics, but he also makes a strong case that the American failure to understand the complexities of global Islam are one of the main reasons that Afghanistan fell into the Taliban-bin Laden camp.

In Mr. Schwartz's version of events, the Americans failed to understand that ''two faces of Islam'' were present in Afghanistan from the beginning. ''On one side, there was the bright aspect of Sufi traditionalism, ever renewed, happy, filled with love of God and humanity,'' he writes. ''On the other was the ugly visage of Wahhabi fundamentalism, narrow, rigid, tyrannical, separatist, supremacist and violent.'' The Taliban, the products of Saudi-financed Wahhabi schools in Pakistan, clearly represented this second visage, and Mr. Schwartz contends that they could have been avoided altogether had American policymakers only understood that.

But Mr. Schwartz argues that ''Islam, especially in the days of Khomeini, remained too alien and frightening'' for the State Department to make such distinctions. Or, if American policymakers did make distinctions, he says, they made the wrong ones, preferring the Saudi-backed guerrillas to anyone who echoed Khomeinism. Still, Mr. Schwartz writes, ''The real exporters of international Islamic extremism were the Saudis,'' though ''the Saudis did not miss the opportunity to stoke the Western fear of Iran in order to bolster their false image as Arab 'moderates.' ''

One might argue here that Khomeinism, which dispatched the terrorist Hezbollah, or Party of God, into the world, did its share of exporting extremism, as it did when it called on good Muslims to execute the writer Salman Rushdie for the crime of blasphemy. And while Afghan traditionalism may have been filled with love of God, over the centuries it produced its share of blood-letting even without the help of the Saudis. In other words, some of what Mr. Schwartz writes makes you want to argue with him, or at least raise some questions.

Nonetheless, there is an admirable shrewdness, a suffer-no-fools briskness, to his analysis, and he has that ability to make the hard-to-see historical parallels. Among the most interesting of them: in the first half of the 20th century, the Saud-Wahhabi alliance came to supreme power in Saudi Arabia by cleverly aligning itself with British imperialism; how similar that now seems to the Saudi ability to enlist unwitting American support for putting into power the Wahhabi faction in Afghanistan (at least until it was dislodged after Sept. 11). It is fascinating suggestions like this that give ''The Two Faces of Islam'' some of its value -- along with its more general ability to engage the mind, making it grasp matters in a new way.

Source: NY Times,

Published: 11 - 08 - 2002 , Late Edition - Final , Section E , Column 1 , Page 43
[url="http://www.biblio-india.com/articles/jf02_ar1.asp?mp=JF02"]The tragedy of great power politics: John Mearsheimer [/url]

Politics among nations is different from politics within nations. Although the sharpness of this distinction needs immediate qualification to account for civil wars—a growth industry in the last half-century—it is an important insight into the political arrangements of Homo sapiens. The technical formulation of this difference is that

intra-state politics is hierarchical in that the state ultimately undertakes to settle disputes between individuals or institutions and so the latter can plan on a more or less orderly existence in which they can realise gains from co-operation. By contrast, the international

state system is anarchic—the roughly 200 states on the planet have no one to watch over them, rather like William Golding’s children in The Lord of the Flies.

The reality of the last assertion is accepted by all students of world politics although its consequences are contested. Optimists, also called Liberals, going back to Immanuel Kant, have felt that a peaceful anarchy is possible provided some finite list of causes is addressed. Kant himself was the most clear-eyed of the lot and grand-fathered the ‘democratic peace’ thesis which holds that liberal democracies don’t go to war. But his successors have included Marxists who have blamed capitalism, Wilsonians who placed their faith in self-determination and Noam Chomsky’s Indian groupies who seem touchingly convinced that abolishing the United States will fix all of the world’s problems. (Alas, about all we can be confident of is that such an outcome will cause Professor Chomsky’s market value in India to drop precipitously.) Of these and like-minded folks, the democratic peace theorists are serious contenders and have actual facts on their side, more on which later.

Pessimists, who prefer to call themselves Realists, feel that anarchy is constitutive of global politics and that at the level of the strongest states in the international system (the ‘great powers’) little else counts than their inability to depend on anyone but themselves for their existence. In the absence of a world government, they believe, not much will change. Realism has always had a bad press since it ignores any differences in the internal politics of the great powers, which generally goes down badly with ordinary citizens of all countries who tend to be pretty sure that their country is motivated by excellent motives. It has had an even worse press in the West since the disappearance of the Soviet Union on Christmas day in 1991. More so with peace, democracy and free markets having settled in on nearly all of Europe including Russia as well as Central and South America, a long economic expansion and the seemingly unstoppable march of globalisation, for instance in the explosive growth of the Internet. Not only did it seem that kindness among states was breaking out, it appeared that the state itself was being outflanked by advances in technology favouring global citizenship. Even on the dark side of the ledger, the events of September 11th have been cited as proof that non-state actors are a bigger threat to the security of most nations than other nations, at odds with Realist theory. The book under review was finished before these events. However since it is plausible that the subsequent ‘war on terrorism’ is a contemporary version of the belated crackdown on the Barbary pirates in the 19th century, in which enough great powers decided to co-operate on ending a common menace without any real transformation of the international system, its central argument isn’t immediately affected. The times appear to call for theorists of international organisations, coalitions and regimes, not descendants of Carr and Morgenthau.

This has, unsurprisingly, not cut much ice with the descendants of Carr and Morgenthau. Last year Realism’s reigning Paramacharya, Kenneth Waltz, argued vigorously in the pages of International Security (Volume 25 Number 1), that it was alive and well, and this year his distinguished compatriot John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, has taken the argument, and much more, to a broader public in this lucidly written and tightly organised work of great scholarship. This context notwithstanding, the bulk of the book is concerned with detailing and documenting a realist variant, “offensive realism”, as a theory of international politics and it is only in a concluding chapter that Mearsheimer comments directly on current trends.

Mearsheimer is a realist among realists—the kind to whom other realists presumably turn for reassurance when they start feeling that the world may not be such a bad place after all. At any rate, his account of the roots of great power politics is concrete, precise, unsentimental and about as quantified as you might imagine a theory of international politics could get. What is surprising is that he is then not immediately wrong and how well his ideas work over the long stretch of European, American and East Asian history that he examines.

He starts with anarchy in the state system and, like other realists, does not examine the internal dynamics of the states themselves—they are “black boxes”. The great powers among them are defined recursively by requiring that they be capable of putting up a respectable fight against the strongest state in the international system. More colloquially, these are the big guys. Great powers are capable of harming each other even with relatively low levels of weaponry overall and certainly have been in a position to do so for centuries. While smaller states may depend on the great powers for their security, the great powers themselves have no one to call for help. If each great power could be sure that none of the other great powers would actually want to harm it, then it could relax and focus on co-operating with them. In practice that isn’t feasible even in the absence of actual disputes for intentions are hard to gauge and military capabilities are real. So the great power is forced to start assessing threats to its security without making presumptions of benevolence and to start planning to deal with them.

At this point Mearsheimer parts company with Kenneth Waltz and other structural realists (whom he calls defensive realists) who are, in this regard, balance of power theorists. The latter would expect a given great power to gather an ‘appropriate’ amount of power and rely on alliances to deter any stronger powers. Mearsheimer doesn’t see that this is the optimal strategy for any given state in a self-help system—why settle for the uncertainties of a multipolar world if complete self-sufficiency is possible? Hence he predicts that any state will generally strive to maximise its share of world power, and whenever possible, strive for hegemony itself. Hence, offensive realism.

This fundamental assertion is supplemented by Mearsheimer’s quantification of power, one of the more striking features of this book, and a theory of its limits. Mearsheimer avoids defining power as the capacity to influence the behaviour of others, since that has no predictive content that distinguishes cause from effect. Instead he focuses on military power and latent power, the latter being the capacity to generate military power. He measures latent power by GNP when possible and by proxies (energy and steel production) when not. As he notes this has its problems, but it does have the advantage of taking account of both population and economic sophistication that are the twin foundations of military power.

His theory of the limits of power starts from his insistence that even today land power is primary—armies win great power wars and even most wars between great powers and smaller fish—although airpower can and does play an effective support role. To this he adds the conclusion, drawn from his analysis of amphibious landings to date, that starting land wars across a large body of water is really difficult—which he terms the “stopping power of water”. Putting these together leads to the conclusion that on a planet with percolating oceans but non-percolating land, only regional hegemony is possible, which is then what great powers are likely to seek. The likely unachievable exceptional case is if a great power achieves nuclear hegemony in which case it will ipso facto achieve global hegemony as well.

Sadly, this core complex of ideas does a really good job over large stretches of modern history. Napoleonic France made a bid for European hegemony when it was in a position to take a shot at it even though you and I might have guessed that marching to Moscow might not have been a priority for people sitting in Paris. Mearsheimer’s examination of the histories of Japan, Germany, the Soviet Union and Italy documents a record of repeated and relentless expansion in their immediate geographical proximity from the second half of the 19th century till the end of the World War II. During this period Germany made two bids for European hegemony and Japan made one for Asian hegemony. With the end of the War and the defeat of the other three, only the Soviet Union remained a great power in the new, bipolar architecture of the international system. It then proceeded to expand in Eastern Europe and in the Far East and then into Afghanistan in 1979 before failing spectacularly and disintegrating in 1991. The United States did best of all, expanding from an enclave on the eastern seaboard of North America to a continental power that has excluded all other great powers from the entire western hemisphere—the only instance of successful regional hegemony in history. You see the power of the realist case that the nature of the internal political arrangements of the state seems hardly to matter as far as its desire for expansion are concerned—although there is perhaps the lesson that a democracy is more suited to carrying it out successfully, an insight more or less due already to Machiavelli!

That the US came to a halt in the Americas around 1900, Mearsheimer attributes to water as he does the otherwise striking anomaly that Britain failed to conquer Europe despite possessing nearly 70 percent of Europe’s total industrial might between 1840 and 1860. The first seems reasonable but I must confess the second seemed to me not terribly convincing even within Mearsheimer’s terms of reference. The English Channel is no Atlantic Ocean and could not have deterred Britain from translating its power advantage into actual physical control of the continent if it had so wished. It seems to me more plausible that it worked in reverse: it provided a powerful Britain with a moat that made it especially secure and kept it from starting down the offensive realist computation in the first place. Indeed, the behaviour of the US is likely better explained in that fashion as well. Regardless, in both cases the states concerned felt able to function as “offshore balancers” in which they confined themselves to making sure that no other power achieved regional hegemony— in Europe for both Britain and the US, and in Asia for the US—and thereby enough power to seriously threaten their security. (Incidentally, one problem with crediting the stopping power of water too much is that it would leave little incentive for either the US or Britain to play such a balancing role.)

The history that fits uneasily into the theory at this point is the behaviour of Japan. It is an island nation and yet sought expansion on the closest continent. Mearsheimer credits the relative weakness of Asian states and Russia’s engagement on its western frontier for permitting this outcome and that seems reasonable. It does go against the revisionist version I offered above since this should have allowed Japan to feel even more secure. Either way, I was unable to quite fit the history of the three ‘island’ powers into a crisp narrative as I went through the book. This is probably a sign that other ingredients are lurking beyond the margins. Certainly one feature of the period under review is colonial expansion in distant continents, missing from the book, which did not form part of campaigns for regional hegemony although it did fit the desire to maximise economic power and even military power as in the case of the British Indian Army. Exactly where Japanese expansion in Asia fell between ‘normal’ and colonial expansion is probably important for a consistent offensive realist account of the island powers.

Incidentally, something that does fit well into offensive realism is the nuclear competition between the superpowers in the second half of the 20th century, driven precisely by the sorts of calculations of gaining security via an absolute advantage that it predicts are endemic to state behaviour.

The concluding set of ideas in Mearsheimer’s edifice concern the strategies states follow in an offensive realist universe and how those interact with the structure of the system to produce war or maintain peace. A state that can, will seek to expand its hegemony. Threatened states will either balance against it or seek to pass the buck (“buck-pass”) to another state if they can do so. The choice in turn depends on the architecture of the state system. If it is bipolar, no buck-passing is feasible and the system is stable even though characterised by a security competition between the two powers as in the good old days of the Cold War. If it is multipolar, then buck-passing is an option. Mearsheimer argues that this makes multipolar systems less stable—there is more room for miscalculation. He also argues that multipolar systems with a potential hegemon—a state with the wherewithal to dominate all others—are maximally unstable. Europeans whose history includes the Napoleonic Wars and the two major wars involving Germany will concur. They may, however, draw scant comfort from learning that Germany could have made a bid for hegemony in 1905 with likely greater success than in 1914 (it had just passed Britain in industrial output and Japan has just knocked Russia out of the European balance of power) and that its failure in 1941 to defeat the Soviet Union was a failure in translating latent power into actual weapons rather than overreaching as a matter of principle (despite enjoying an economic power advantage of at least 2:1 throughout the War, Germany produced only half as many tanks as the Soviet Union).

A popular account of the Cold War in the West is that the last great totalitarian tyranny of the 20th century was vanquished by a coalition of European liberal democracies under the leadership of the US thus bringing ideological history to an end. While the first part of the statement is surely true, to Mearsheimer and other realists this is an epiphenomenon masking the reality that the US kept the Soviet Union from achieving regional hegemony in Europe or Asia in order to prevent it from becoming a really serious competitor to it. Consequently, with the Soviet Union having collapsed, the logic of US engagement around the world is now greatly diminished and its troops posted in Europe and Asia are due home. The expansion of NATO since 1991 Mearsheimer suspects is a combination of inertia with regards to Russia or the “pacifier” logic of keeping the Europeans from fretting about each other, perhaps, most pithily summarised in the old formula that the purpose of NATO was “to keep the Americans in, the Russians out and the Germans down.” He predicts that this will not last—a Russian resurgence being unlikely for a while; the US will likely abandon its European commitment in the decade ahead. At this point, Germany will instantly become a potential hegemon. It already has a 6.6:1 advantage in wealth over Russia today, greater even than it enjoyed in 1913, and a larger conventional army (516,500 versus 348,000) and technologically can acquire nuclear weapons any time it wishes to.

Exactly where this leads may be the natural experiment that discriminates between Realism and its most serious liberal competitor—democratic peace theory. The latter holds that democracies don’t go to war against each other and that fundamental proposition also has impressive empirical support, if not as an absolute claim. (But to pick just one counter-example, Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan was certainly formally a democracy at the time of Kargil.) If the latter is on the mark and Russia deepens its democracy, we will see a peaceful Europe despite American withdrawal. If not, watch for heightened suspicion of Germany everywhere in Europe and a German acquisition of nuclear weapons.

It does seem to me that there is a third possibility, which lies in between these two extremes. There are two great experiments in multi-ethnic integration over the past half century—India and the European Union. In the Indian case colonial rule instigated a cultural area into transforming itself (modulo the Partition) into a modern nation-state whose nationalism has gradually strengthened, even as its institutions exhibit the weakness and inwardness characteristic of its multi-ethnic composition (“India as Austria-Hungary”). Europe, having escaped colonisation by China, is undergoing a slower integrative process, which is leading to even weaker federal institutions. Nevertheless, the European Union is a potential India in the making and a scenario in which it will balance Russia would seem not completely farfetched. Such an evolution of an aggregated identity would be a partial triumph of democratic peacemaking in the odd fashion that it would enable a hierarchical security structure to emerge for a selected set of states.

In Asia, China is clearly the huge variable. For the first time in modern history there is a state that is engaged in rapid economic growth, which has a significantly larger population than the US. As a matter of principle this makes China a potential Asian hegemon, and one, which would be extremely difficult for the US to contain as it could surpass the US in power. As a matter of practice, China’s economy is still only a quarter of Japan’s even without factoring in its relative technological backwardness. So from the point of view of the US, China isn’t really a potential Asian hegemon at this point and probably not even a real threat across the Taiwan straits. If China’s economic growth slows then any prospect of it overpowering all of its neighbours in East Asia will fade and Mearsheimer expects the US to bring its troops home and leave the task of balancing China, Japan and Russia to themselves. Should Chinese economic growth not slow, the US will have its work cut out for it and Asia will develop its own “German problem”. For this reasons Mearsheimer recommends that the US should change tack and work to slow Chinese economic growth instead of encouraging it as it has in recent years.

A popular account (in India) of Indian international behaviour holds that the Nehruvian idealism of its policies has been frustrated by a cruel world. It seems useful to ask :

a) if the Indian State has really been more Nehruvian than realist, and

<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='B)' /> if the realist vantage point suggests important corrections to the current course of Indian foreign and security policies. (Liberal vantage points would suggest others, probably most compellingly with regards to future arrangements within the subcontinent itself.)

A fully realist state will attempt to maximise economic power and military power. Evidently, Nehruvian India has not done that over its history as a modern state. To get past the simplifying assumptions of perfect rationality among states, Realism needs, as Waltz has explicitly noted, a theory of the state much as economics needs a theory of the firm and there are certainly explanations for India’s behaviour. That said, the subcontinent has some degree of autonomy (“the stopping power of mountains”) and one can ask how well realists ideas explain Indian behaviour.

Clearly, the Indian State has sought subcontinental hegemony. The termination of the independent existence of the princely states, especially the bid for Kashmir backed up by force, the desire to enforce the formal British borders against China, the operations to annex Goa and Sikkim, the dismemberment of Pakistan and the creation of a weak Bangladesh, the limits placed on Sri Lankan, Nepalese and Bhutanese behaviour are all fine things for an spiring hegemon to engage in. India’s failures have arisen from a failure to comprehend the world beyond the subcontinent: the failure to contest Tibet’s fate with China and then to contest China’s support for Pakistan which has enabled Pakistan to defy Indian hegemony by going nuclear, and even take the battle to India over the last two decades of insurgencies in Punjab and Kashmir. All in all it has failed to really try and balance China but has otherwise done fine by the offensive realist canon. All of this is not to say that India is not a better state than its neighbours in its treatment of its citizens, and that in each case there weren’t good reasons that seem compelling to an Indian, but that a realist account of its behaviour certainly works well.

The failure to balance China has already extracted a terrible price in terms of the likely vanishing of Tibet as even a recognizable cultural area contiguous to India, the pain that Pakistan has inflicted on India and the consequent need to live with a balance of nuclear terror with that country. Unfortunately, this may get worse if India’s self-destructive economic policies that have allowed China to gain a 2:1 advantage in economic power since rough parity even as late as 1990, do not come to an end. At the moment of writing India is trying mightily to pass the buck to the US—in trying to get it to constrain Pakistan’s support of terrorist entities and its hostility to India more generally, but while the narrower (anti-terrorist) agenda should succeed, any broader progress seems questionable with such an approach. Bluntly, it appears unlikely that a Pax Americana with an Indian junior partner will descend on the subcontinent anytime soon. Essentially there isn’t a major US interest in the subcontinent beyond counter-terrorism at this point and it doesn’t really need India enough for other tasks to undertake an enterprise of that magnitude. That then leaves India with the choice of actively balancing Chinese power and crafting a benign hegemony that Pakistan can accept, inevitably with American help, or submitting to a Pax Sinica with China’s substantial chorus in India playing a mediating role.

In this context the Vajpayee government’s actions in testing nuclear weapons, making more noises about China, reaching out to the US, resuming dealing with Myanmar’s military junta, and attempting to reach out to Pakistan and implicitly detach it from China make eminent realist sense. They would therefore have appeared attractive to any government at this time although Jyoti Basu would probably have found it a bit harder to describe the US as India’s natural ally without working in a reference to Cuba’s moral splendour. That Vajpayee has had trouble getting his party to see sense over Pakistan is a corresponding blindness of the Right.

Realism suggests that balancing China’s growing power is the challenge to the Indian State at this time. In this task it would help greatly if India’s decision-making elite could see the challenge clearly. I can think of no better way of improving their eyesight, than for Mearsheimer’s book to be made compulsory reading for anyone passing within ten miles of South Block.
This is not a new book and has been around a couple of years, but the material it contains is original and this itself will make the book a reference for a long time to come. The mystery of why India took the J&K issue to the UN becomes ever clearer. It was the direct result of a misplaced trust of the British colonial master. The real question is why the Indians placed so much trust on the integrity of the Brits. Surely this was naivete of high order or was it lack of confidence in the ability of the Indians to govern themselves effectively and decisively.

A Review of Chandrashekhar Dasgupta's War and Diplomacy in Kashmir,

1947-48 Sage Publications, New Delhi. 2002. ISBN: 0-7619-9588-9.

Price: US$17.75. 239 pages)


May 21, 2002 atimes.com

By Sreeram Chaulia

Peace will come only if we have the strength to resist invasion and

make it clear that it will not pay.

- Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to Governor General Louis

Mountbatten, December 26, 1947

Having won accolades for more than 30 years as one of the brightest

and best Indian Foreign Service officers, the legendary

Chandrashekhar Dasgupta has once again proved his mettle by writing a

highly original, revelatory and myth-shattering book on the genesis

of the Kashmir imbroglio. No competent historian until now has been

able to portray the undeclared 1947-8 India-Pakistan war over Kashmir

from the standpoint of British strategic and diplomatic calculations.

It comes as no surprise that the Promethean "CD" (as Dasgupta is

admiringly called by the "old boys" of his St Stephen's College,

Delhi, and in the diplomatic corps) decided to fill the gap with a

lucid and well-referenced treatise on the perfidies of Whitehall and

its representatives who remained in authoritative positions on the

subcontinent even after formal transfer of power to the domains of

India and Pakistan.

While the origins of the Kashmir conflict are highly contested by

both the claimant parties and this debated history has produced

several partisan as well as impartial accounts, Dasgupta's work is

the first to unearth the complex military and diplomatic decision-

making in the crowded 15-month war that was influenced and distorted

by Britain.

British aces on the eve of the Kashmir crisis

Immediately after Indian and Pakistani independence, by a peculiar

quirk of circumstances, Britain had a number of "men on the spot" at

its disposal to protect and buttress its interests. First, the

governor-general and head of state in India was Lord Louis

Mountbatten of the British Royal Navy. True to his blue-blooded

lineage and decorated career rendering yeoman service to "His

Majesty, the King of England", Mountbatten took

regular "appreciations" and advice on his role in India from Clement

Attlee, Defense Minister Alexander Albert, the UK chiefs of staff,

British high commissioners in Delhi and Karachi, and the Secretary of

State for Commonwealth Relations, Noel Baker. In the words of

Mountbatten's aide, Ismay, anything that brought the two dominions,

India and Pakistan, into a crisis "was a matter in which the

instructions of His Majesty the King should be sought [by the

Governor-General]" (p 21).

Second, Field Marshall Auchinleck remained supreme commander of the

British Indian army even after August 15 1947, and closely conferred

with Commanders-in-Chief Rob Lockhart and Roy Bucher, Air Chief

Marshall Thomas Elmherst and a host of other generals in both India

and Pakistan. Their importance as trump cards for guaranteeing

British strategic objectives was underlined by the Commonwealth

Affairs Committee in London, which proclaimed that in an emergency

involving India and Pakistan, "the Minister of Defense, in

consultation with the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations,

should send instructions to the Supreme Commander" (p 33). Throughout

the Kashmir war, Nehru and Patel had occasions to be furious with the

solicitation of external instructions by British commanders who owed

primary loyalties to London.

With nationals of a third country leading the opposing armies and top

executive structures of India and Pakistan, the Kashmir war of 1947-8

was unique in the annals of modern warfare, yet fell into the

predictable pattern of third world conflicts that were "moderated"

or "finessed" by great power pressures. Without full national control

over respective armies, India and (to a lesser extent) Pakistan were

unable to determine the course and outcome of the war as their

political elites wished.

Twin British 'instructions' and the fatal tilt

Two broad British interests, conveyed and acted out through

Mountbatten and other operatives, were at stake in an India-Pakistan

war. One was integrity of the commonwealth and avoidance of inter-

dominion warfare. Reduced to a "half great power" by 1945, London

foresaw immense prestige and economic and political merit in

retaining both India and Pakistan in its sphere of influence and knew

the dangers inherent in taking sides, irrespective of the legality or

morality of the Indian or Pakistani case. In July 1947, Whitehall

issued a "Stand Down" instruction to British authorities if

hostilities broke out between the two dominions "since under no

circumstances could British officers be ranged on opposite sides" (p

19). Averting open war thus became a sine qua non of British purpose,

regardless of the relative rectitude of the two sides.

"Stand Down" was not, however, meant to be neutrality, leave alone

benevolent neutrality, for the larger geopolitical reassessment

conducted by British planners in 1946-7 was clear that "our strategic

interests in the subcontinent lay primarily in Pakistan" (p 17).

Hopes of a defense treaty with India were present but not deemed as

vital as the retention of Pakistan, "particularly the North West",

within the commonwealth. The bases, airfield and ports of the North

West were invaluable for commonwealth defense. Besides, the UK chiefs

of staff reasoned that Pakistan had to be kept on board to preserve

British "strategic positions in the Middle East and North Africa".

Employing typical communal logic, the former colonial masters also

felt that estranging Pakistan would harm Britain's relations with

the "whole Mussulman bloc", a premise that would be fatal when the

Kashmir war came up before the UN Security Council. Briefed that

the "area of Pakistan is strategically the most important in the

continent of India and the majority of our strategic requirements

could be met … by an agreement with Pakistan alone" (p 17),

Mountbatten and the British personnel on the ground knew whom not to

displease if it really came to a choice between India and Pakistan.

Prelude in Junagadh

A curtain-raiser to this tilt came over the disputed accession of

Junagadh in September 1947, when British service chiefs tried to

falsely convince Nehru and Patel that the Indian army was "in no

position to conduct large-scale operations" to flush out the Nawab's

private army from neighboring Mangrol. Patel rebutted bitterly to

Mountbatten, "senior British officers owed loyalty to and took orders

from Auchinleck rather than the Indian government" (p 26). The

governor-general, who constituted a defense committee of the cabinet

during the stand-off appointing himself, not Nehru, as the chairman,

backed off and allowed Junagadh's incorporation into the Indian

union, not before cheekily suggesting "lodging a complaint to the

United Nations against Junagadh's act of aggression". Kashmir would

be a different kettle of tea because Pakistan had a much greater

interest in it and the British were wary of the dangers of "losing"

Pakistan from their grand strategic chessboard.

Constraining India at war

Before the Pakistani "tribal" invasion of Kashmir in October 1947,

General Lockhart was secretly informed by his British counterpart in

Rawalpindi of the preparations underway for the raids. The commander-

in-chief shared the crucial information with his two other British

service chiefs but not with the Indian government (Nehru discovered

this delinquency only in December, leading to Lockhart's dismissal).

After the invasion and the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India,

Lockhart and Mountbatten worked feverishly behind the scenes to

prevent inter-dominion war, which in fact meant restraining Indian

armed retaliation against the invading Pakistani irregulars.

Patel's directive that arms be supplied urgently to reinforce the

Maharaja's defences "was simply derailed by the commander-in-chief

acting in collusion with Field Marshal Auchinleck".
(p 42).

Mountbatten, privately chastising Jinnah for actively abetting the

tribal invasion, publicly advised the Indian government that it would

be a folly to send munitions to a "neutral" state since Pakistan

could do the same and it would end up a full-scale war. Nehru and

Patel were certain than an informal state of war already existed and

urged an airlift of Indian armed forces to relieve Srinagar from the

rampaging Pathans. The service chiefs warned that an airlift

involved "great risks and dangers", but Nehru refused to be deterred.

In November, as the situation worsened in the Jammu-Poonch-Mirpur

sector and Nehru asked for immediate military relief, Mountbatten and

Lockhart painted somber pictures of the incapacity of the Indian

armed forces. When Nehru still insisted on action to "rid Jammu of

raiders", the British slyly changed the order to mean

merely "evacuating garrisons".

In the absence of Pakistani "appeals" to the raiders to withdraw and

with more evidence of invader brutalities in Kashmir, the Indian

cabinet exhorted more and more forceful policies - air interdiction

of Afridi invasion routes and even a counter-attack into West

Pakistan to "strike at bases and nerve centres of the raiders". A

desperate Moutbatten then mooted complaint against the tribal

invasion to the United Nations as the proper course of action and

simultaneously promised full military preparations for a counter-

attack. Nehru accepted this in good faith, hoping the British service

chiefs would keep their part of the agreement. "This proved to be a

fatal error. The Governor-General was determined to thwart the

cabinet" (p 101). General Bucher saw to it that no measures were made

for a lightning strike across the border and Britain also imposed a

sudden cut in oil supplies in early 1948, with serious implications

for India's capacity to carry out military operations in Kashmir.

Ismay, Mountbatten's chief of staff and British high commissioner to

India, Shone, reported to London that Pakistan was "the guilty state

conniving in actual use of force in Kashmir" (p 58). Attlee was, of

course, unprepared to alienate Pakistan and "the whole of Islam" and

accepted the latter's contention that Karachi could appeal to the

tribal invaders only after a "fair" solution was reached in Kashmir.

Noel Baker marshalled this thinly veiled pro-Pakistan approach at the

Commonwealth Relations Office and then transferred his communal bias

to the UN Security Council (UNSC) in the early months of 1948.

British skullduggery at the UN

Around the same time, the partition of Palestine earned bitter Arab

recriminations against Britain and America, and the Foreign Office in

London decided, "Arab opinion might be further aggravated if British

policy on Kashmir were seen as being unfriendly to a Muslim state" (p

111). Aneurin Bevin's pro-Pakistan line, shared by Noel Baker, meant

that British proposals in the Security Council were supportive of

Pakistan on every major point. Kashmir's accession to India was

ignored and the problem of irregular invasion pushed under the

carpet. "The only yardstick used by Bevin and Noel-Baker was

acceptability to Pakistan. Indian reactions, not to mention legal or

constitutional factors, were hardly taken into account" (p 114).

Close British allies America, Canada, and France were brought around

to supporting the Pakistani stand, but not before US Secretary of

State George Marshall plainly stated that his government "found it

difficult to deny the legal validity of Kashmir's accession to India"

(p 121). But in the desire not to present a rival proposal and thus

convey to the USSR divisions in the "Anglo-Saxon camp", Washington

reluctantly followed the British agenda. American ambassador to

India, Grady, went on record saying the US "would have adopted a more

sympathetic attitude to India, had it not been for the pressure

exerted by the British delegates". Even as loyal a Briton as

Mountbatten had to record, "power politics and not impartiality are

governing the attitude of the Security Council" (p 123). Attlee

himself was disturbed at the undue discretion Noel Baker was

exercising in New York and wrote: "all the concessions are being

asked from India, while Pakistan concedes little or nothing. The

attitude still seems to be that it is India which is at fault whereas

the complaint was rightly lodged against Pakistan" (p 129). Following

a rethink by the major players, the April resolutions of the UNSC,

despite Noel Baker's best efforts, called for withdrawal of the

invaders from "Azad Kashmir" for which "Pakistan should use its best

endeavours", to be followed by a plebiscite as Nehru had agreed. The

August 1948 UNCIP (United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan)

resolution restated the sequential de-escalation with greater


The Bucher-Gracey deal

Baker's pitch that "stabilization" of the situation required the

induction of regular Pakistani army soldiers into Jammu and Kashmir,

though not succeeding in the UNSC, found another votary in General

Roy Bucher, Lockhart's replacement as commander-in-chief of the

Indian army. Behind the back of his government, Bucher had top-secret

confabulations with his British counterpart in Pakistan, Douglas

Gracey, in March 1948. An informal truce was agreed upon (with the

assent of Pakistan premier Liaqat Ali Khan) where Bucher promised not

to launch any offensive into territory controlled by the "Azad

Kashmir" forces and to withdraw Indian troops from Poonch town and

the environs of Rajouri. "Each side would remain in undisputed

military occupation of what are roughly their present positions … and

it will be essential for some Pakistan Army troops to be employed in

the Uri sector" (p 139). Upon learning of this scheme, Nehru and

Patel flatly rejected it as unauthorized contradiction of their aim

of expelling occupants from the entire territory of Jammu and


The Bucher-Gracey deal never materialized, but it presaged Pakistan's

unilateral push of its regular battalions into raider-held areas in

May, a crucial movement known to Bucher in advance but conveniently

hidden from Nehru until it was too late. Noel Baker hush-hushed the

violation of "Stand Down" when Gracey personally ordered the influx

of the Pakistani army with British officers into Kashmir, citing

threats to British interests: "Pakistan might leave the Commonwealth;

the hostility of the Muslim population of the world to the UK might

be increased" (p 160).

A 'very secret' alliance

In September 1948, as an Indian advance into Mirpur looked imminent,

Pakistan sent its deputy army chief to London on a "very secret

mission" to negotiate a defense treaty with Britain. Attlee welcomed

Liaqat's demarche and the preliminary discussions "served to enhance

the pro-Pakistan tilt in British policy" (p 170). As a reward for

Pakistan's eagerness to join the West, London offered the Pakistan

army "hints", "tips" and "assurances" about Indian army plans in the

last three months of the Kashmir war. Most appallingly, while

maintaining the fa?ade of neutrality, the UK High Commission in

Karachi noted, "from London, assurance had now been given by H M G

that an attack by India on west Punjab would not be tolerated" (p

171, emphasis original). Bucher restricted Indian offensive action to

the utmost and relayed all vital intelligence to his opposing number

in Pakistan, allowing the latter to relocate forces in most

vulnerable sectors. Attlee also bent the rules of "Stand Down" in

favor of Pakistan, what with British officers planning and

executing "Operation Venus" in Naoshera.

Besides military aid, Pakistan's offer of a defense pact elicited

Noel Baker's promise to return the Kashmir question to the UNSC

before India evacuated invaders from the whole of Jammu and Kashmir.

In November, Britain tried mobilizing support in the UNSC for

an "unconditional ceasefire", freezing the trench lines but

permitting Pakistan to retain troops in Jammu and Kashmir. America

turned it down as "inappropriate" and inconsistent with UNCIP and

UNSC resolutions. John Foster Dulles complained, "the present UK

approach to Kashmir appears extremely pro-Pakistan as against the

middle ground" (p 195). The final UNCIP proposals, reaffirming the

earlier resolutions, fell short of Indian expectations, but Nehru had

no other option than accepting them since Bucher and his cohorts had

convinced the cabinet with their "superior expertise" that India

was "militarily impotent".


Quote:Drawing upon recently declassified British Foreign Office

archives, "CD" has dug out some of the most telltale and hermetically

sealed secrets of Whitehall malfeasance during the first Kashmir war.

The much-trumpeted British "sense of fairness" comes unstuck in this

damning book, inducing the reader to wonder what kind of neutrality

it was that caused General Cariappa to remark he was "fighting two

enemies - army headquarters headed by Roy Bucher and the Pakistani

army headed by Messervy" (p 137). What kind of impartiality was it

that the British high commissioner in India could upbraid the British

chief of the Indian Air Force for "foolish, unnecessary and

provocative action" (p 209)? The counter-factual conclusion one

gleans from War and Diplomacy in Kashmir is that the history of

Kashmir and of the subcontinent would have been a lot different had

Britain not toyed with facts and legality to serve its ulterior ends

through eminences grises in India and Pakistan or had America taken a

keener interest in the region and not left the nitty-gritty in the

hands of its "Anglo-Saxon ally".
The real naivete of Indians comes through in the sentences above. The question Indians should have asked themselves is why should Britain help India, after all the Congress had wrested the Crown jewel in the British empire and now the Brits are supposed to help them govern themselves !

Incidentally, "CD"'s research has also demythified Nehru's alleged

pacifism, feebleness and "softness" towards Pakistan. The Indian

prime minister emerges from the narrative as, to use a term he

disapproved, a courageous "realist" who thoroughly understood the

geopolitical and military context of Kashmir. It has, of late, become

fashionable in Indian politics to demean Nehru as a dreamy utopian

who practiced appeasement and squandered Indian advantages in foreign

policy. "CD" has shown that whatever mistakes India made in 1947-8

had to do with the sabotage of external agents who kept Nehru in the

dark on several outstanding counts.
While i do not quibble with this assessment, it remains undeniable that it was Nehru who asked Mountbatten to remain as GG and it was he who decided to retain the British service chiefs to head the armed forces. surely the thought must have occurred to him , as to the loyalty of these high level Brits to India

In terms of policy relevance, this book should be read by those who

currently advocate "third party arbitration" to solve South Asian

disharmony. It is useful to know from history that facilitators and

mediators had and have their own gooses to cook in Kashmir.

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Freedom of Expression Secular Theocracy vs Liberal Democracy

by Sita Ram Goel

New Delhi, Voice of India, 1993

135 + xxxv pages, Rs 120 (PB).

Reviewed by Dr. N.S. Rajaram


The phrase ‘secular theocracy’ holds the key to the book, which is in two distinct parts. The first part consists of several cases in which the Indian Government, sworn to uphold ‘secularism’, persecuted individuals who were only expressing their views on various topics from religious freedom to communism. Prominent among the victims was the compiler of this volume under review, Sita Ram Goel, who for several decades has carried on a tireless and sometimes highly risky battle against the forces of theocracy. As he correctly points out, in India, this theocratic tyranny is carried out in the name of ‘secularism’. No one should be fooled by this Orwellian rhetoric, for what is at stake is freedom of expression which is sought to be subverted by controlling institutions of the government and centers of learning. The skeletons now tumbling out of the academic closet bear eloquent testimony to how deep the rot has been during the decades of ‘secularist’ dominance.

The second part of the book consists of twelve reviews of the famous book Why I Am Not A Muslim by Ibn Warraq. It is a sad commentary on the state of scholarship in India that this celebrated book has been barely noticed. It is not available except in pirated copies. There has been only one important review in an Indian publication — a Telugu magazine. (Happily it is a highly competent review.) And yet the authors of the reviews — from Daniel Pipes to Jan Knappert — could be taken from a Who is Who of Islamic scholarship, attesting to its importance. The titles of the reviews also, like "Islam is Religious Fascism", "Far More Dangerous than Nazism" give an idea of the scope and thrust of the book. The only Indian review of Why I Am Not A Muslim describes it as "a deeply felt intellectual tour de force by a great Muslim scholar whose heart bleeds for the fate of his fellow Muslims, and whose thirst for knowledge has led him on a path of incomparable research and study."

A welcome feature of the book is a collection of related articles by outstanding scholars like Ram Swarup, Arun Shourie and Koenraad Elst. Not the least among these is the long Preface by Sita Ram Goel. An intriguing aspect of Goel’s article is the role of Mahatma Gandhi that led to an intellectual and political climate in India that makes a critical examination of Islam all but taboo. (At the heart of this problem is Gandhi’s principle of sarva dharma samabhava — which this reviewer has pointed out, protects not tolerance but moral relativism. This allows Muslims to be intolerant and violent, while asking Hindus to be tolerant and nonviolent.) The book under review is a welcome shaft of light in this Stygian darkness. One hopes that it will lead to a more enlightened climate.

Subscription site hence posted in full

From N Y Times.

'Why America Slept': Conspiracy of Silence


Published: October 12, 2003

Gerald Posner has built his literary career in no small part on debunking popular conspiracy theories. First came ''Case Closed,'' the well-received 1993 book in which Posner dismantled the arguments that John F. Kennedy's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, did not act alone. Five years later, in ''Killing the Dream,'' he turned his investigative and writing skills to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in order to disabuse skeptics -- including members of King's own family -- of the notion that James Earl Ray was not the true killer.

So it will no doubt surprise some of his followers to see Posner now tackling another seminal event in recent American history -- the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- in an effort not to shoot down conspiracy theories but to fuel them. The theory of ''Why America Slept,'' saved for the provocative final chapter of this smart and evocatively written book: the Saudis were in on it.

The basis for this charge, Posner writes, is the C.I.A.'s interrogation of one of America's biggest catches in the campaign against Al Qaeda -- a senior aide to Osama bin Laden named Abu Zubaydah, who was captured in March 2002 in western Pakistan by American and Pakistani forces. Relying on two unnamed government sources to provide new information about the intelligence gleaned from the interrogation, Posner writes that C.I.A. interrogators manipulated the injured Zubaydah's pain medication to wear down his defenses. They tricked him into believing he was in Saudi custody (I had mentioned elsewhere if all these captured AQ/paki jihadis we put in a nice looking garden with couple 72 scantily dressed ones making them believe that they are in 'jannat' with their 'houris', the chances of them singing like a canary will be better <img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' /> ) -- and were then shocked to hear what a relieved Zubaydah finally had to tell them. He instructed them to call a senior member of the ruling Saudi family, Posner writes, and gave them a phone number from memory. ''He will tell you what to do,'' Zubaydah said. He went on to tell his interrogators that bin Laden had struck a deal in the late 1990's to gain the blessing and support of top Saudi leaders in exchange for assurances that his holy war would spare the Saudi kingdom. This testimony, an American investigator says, was ''the Rosetta stone of 9/11.'' Still more intriguing, three of the Saudi leaders whom the prisoner named as allies (including Prince Ahmed bin Salman, probably best known to Americans as the owner of the Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem) wound up dead within a week of one another in three separate incidents; a Pakistani military official also named by Zubaydah was killed seven months later in a plane crash.

The allegations will no doubt provide grist for those eager to link the Saudis to the Sept. 11 attacks. But as with all conspiracy theories -- as Posner himself has shown in his past work -- there is reason for skepticism. Qaeda prisoners like Zubaydah have become notorious for providing misinformation to their captors, American officials have not rushed to broadcast the information prisoners have given them and the Saudis have vigorously denied any links to bin Laden, despite the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers hailed from the kingdom. (Last month, in fact, Saudi officials asserted that bin Laden intentionally recruited Saudis for the Sept. 11 mission in order to strain relations between the United States and the kingdom.) Still, Posner's reputation for sober, exhaustive journalism and his access to classified intelligence signal that his theory should not be dismissed out of hand.

The preceding 18 chapters of ''Why America Slept'' reveal conspiracies of a much subtler but equally disastrous variety. As he traces the growth of Al Qaeda and Washington's never-ending turf battles in confronting terrorism in the years before the Sept. 11 attacks, Posner suggests that the government was victimized by what amounted to a conspiracy of silence. The assertion that America missed many warning signs that could have prevented 9/11 is, by now, an oft-heard one. What sets Posner's book apart is not only the accumulation of detail and the lively writing he uses to make that point but also the remarkable characters he develops to narrate that story. In one camp are those who warned for years about the rising threat of Islamic fundamentalism: people like Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism guru in the Clinton and Bush administrations; James Woolsey, the director of central intelligence under Bill Clinton, who had a hard time even getting the president's attention; and Neil Herman, the F.B.I. agent who led the investigation into the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and had sought three years before to show that the murder of Meir Kahane, the extremist rabbi, was part of a broader terrorist conspiracy. On the other side, Posner argues, are people like Clinton, George W. Bush and many of their senior advisers, who failed to give terrorism the urgent attention it demanded, and let repeated opportunities to kill or capture bin Laden slip away. Typical of this mind-set was the reception given a report on global terrorism released by the former senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman just days after Bush took office in 2001. The prescient report received scant attention in either the White House or the news media. ''It was not that the Bush administration did not think terror was an important issue, but rather that it did not take seriously a blue-ribbon panel's report that it considered better suited for a think tank discussion than for implementation as government policy. So Bush officials decided to set the administration's policy on fighting terrorism in their own time and style,'' Posner writes.

Oddly, Posner mentions only in passing a briefing that Bush received on Aug. 6, 2001; it included speculation about the possibility of Qaeda operatives hijacking commercial airliners. And at times he seems a bit too fixated on the public's fascination with media spectacles like the O. J. Simpson trial and JonBenet Ramsey's murder, as if to suggest that journalists and the public were needlessly distracted from more important stories like terrorism.

But fortunately, such diversions are rare in a narrative that takes on the frenetic pace of a spy thriller as it recounts two decades' worth of terrorist activity, clandestine plots, government malaise and fumbled opportunities that led up to the Sept. 11 attacks. This account, Posner writes, ''is a far more infuriating book'' than the one he set out to write. But in the ever-growing collection of volumes on the Sept. 11 tragedy and the lessons to be learned from it, ''Why America Slept'' should go down as one of the best.

-Eric Lichtblau covers the Justice Department and terrorism issues for The Times.
Kaushal: move it if the thread used is not appropriate

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National Security An Overview

Editor : Milind Gadgil


Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Mumbai

Sita Niwas, Second Floor,

Dr. Ambedkar Road, Near Railway Ground,

Parel, Mumbai - 400 012.

Tel. 2410 5414, 2413 0438 Fax: 2410 5412

Email : vskmum@vsnl.com


Brief Note about the volume on National Security

The volume will project a multifaceted, multi-dimensional,

interdisciplinary view on National Security. First, it will define the

comprehensive nature of national security and define the long-term

national goals and interests. Second, it will identify the threats posed

to these interests both from forces within and without.

Thus it will discuss the emergence of fissiparous tendencies due to

faulty economic and fiscal policies i.e. the inter-states regional

imbalances and the intra-state regional imbalances in economic


Language as a divisive factor, the emergence of cultural

sub-nationalism, social fabric and religious / caste milien, and the

changing demographic profile in the coastal and border areas. Secondly,

it will discuss the threat perceptions to India.

Thirdly, it will discuss the role of diplomacy with reference to

national security. This shall include a discussion on the present Nature

of India's foreign policy towards various global and regional power

blocs as well as towards our immediate neighbours and identity the scope

for improvement in the future and the limitations thereof.

Fourthly, it will debate the various aspects of National Security Policy

Planning in India and the adequacy or otherwise of the present National

security approach including the Armed forces, Paramilitary forces etc.

It will also discuss Civil Defence measures, civil-military relations

etc., and above all the role of intelligence.

Fifthly, it will address the issue of Defence Economics including

Defence Budget, Defence Production, scope for indigenisation etc.

Sixthly it will discuss the Non-military dimensions of National Security

like gender issues, human rights, energy crisis and environmental


Lastly, it will attempt a projection into the future. In short, the

volume will try to bring home to he reader, We state of India's security

mechanisms in totality. The authors include economic experts, military

experts, foreign policy experts, intelligence experts, sociologists,

political pundits. Thus it will be a broad spectrum of national talent.


Vishwa Samvad Kendra, Mumbai is planning to bring out a volume on

National Security. It is the first attempt to critically and objectively

debate all issues involved in India's National Security and to provide a

road map for the future, to be debated at the National level.

Vishwa Sanivad Kendra, Mumbai is a Registered Trust and all donations to

the Trust, enjoy tax benefit under IT Act article 80-G. All donations

will be properly and duly acknowledged in the volume.

Alternatively you could sponsor the pages by advertisement strips valued

at Rs. 50,000 each. The page will carry a photograph of Param Veer

Chakra awardee, with a quotation, appropriate to the subject, at the top

of the page.

We hope that you'll appreciate the crying necessity of a vigorous and

candid debate on National Security and extend a warm, helping hand to



Chapter 1: Defining key concepts

Nation / Nationalism / Nation State / National Security /Role of the

State / National Power

Chapter 2: Concept of National Security

Components of National Security, Internal / External, Development

Diplomacy, Defence

Chapter 3: Foundations of Indian Security Concepts

International / Regional / National Scenario,

Economic / Political / Technological / Socio-Cultural dimensions,

Defence Institutions

Army / Navy / Air Force / Paramilitary

Chapter 4: Internal Security

Concept, Issues / Religion, Caste etc.,

Areas / North-East etc.

Chapter 5: International Security

International / Regional / National,

Issues of Concern / Technology transfer, Economic relations, Trade and

commerce etc., Regions

Chapter 6: Contemporary Issues of Security Non-strategic dimensions

Environment, Human Rights, Gender etc.

Chapter 7: Defence Planning in India

National Defence Planning / Economic / Science and Technology /

Diplomacy / Political National Security Organisation National Security


Paramilitary / Civil Defence, Intelligence

Chapter 8: India's Nuclear Policy

a) Recognised Nuclear Weapon State,

Definition, Present Status Future plans, implications

<img src='http://www.india-forum.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='B)' /> Nuclear Command Structure,

Political Control, Operational Control

Organisational Structure,

Political / Military / Bureaucratic

Technology - Developments

c) Capabilities and Potential, Present,

Immediate future - 2010-2015

Long-Term - 2015-25,

Deterrent Capabilities, Second Strike

Destruction Capability; Future Options

Chapter 9: India and South Asia

All South Asian Powers and SAARC

Chapter 10: India and the Indian Ocean

Maritime Interests, Present Scenario,

Challenges for the future

Capability needed to meet them

Chapter 11: India and the Major Powers

US, European Union, Russia, China

Chapter 12: India and Asia Pacific

Asean, Apec etc

Chapter 13: India and Central Asia-West Asia

Chapter 14: Terrorism

Concept, Current Issues, Indian Policy

Chapter 15: Vision for the Future
The Saffron Book
Many splendoured Hindutva
320 pages
By: Prafull Goradia
Published by: Contemporary Targett, Delhi.

About | Reviews | Excerpts

About the book

Hindutva, an important but much misunderstood idea, has been written and spoken about often in bits and pieces. The Saffron Book cannot claim to be a comprehensive thesis but it certainly is an attempt to think through Hindutva, a concept which has not only a past and a present but also a future. With the demise of communism, the decline of socialism and the disappearance of Nehruvian secularism very much in sight, an ideological vacuum has emerged in India.

As you read on, you will find that the core of Hindutva is self-actualisation. Consequently, it is averse to the subjugation of others. If all the countries in the world could be influenced by a similar volition, surely the earth would be a more peaceful place. All in all, Hindutva is a many splendoured ideology. The book offers glimpses of this splendour.

The author believes that now on Hindutva will hold the ideological centre stage in Indian politics.


"At last, a book on Hindutva written by someone who is knowledgeable, worldly, well-versed in western culture and fluent in English…a must-read for those who wish to understand the Hindu psyche."
- Francois Gautier, India Today

"The Saffron Book echoes the BJP’s pre-NDA days fervour with gusto."
- Debashish Mukherji, The Week

"Provocative and eminently readable."
- M.V. Kamath, Organiser

"The aim of the author is to promote nationalism because it is the precondition of any collective mobilisation for modernising India."
- Christophe Jaffrelot, Outlook

"Goradia has much more to say than ask for the noses of Indian Muslims to be rubbed in the dirt of the past. His book deserves to be read."
- Khushwant Singh


After centuries, a unique opportunity has come our way. The current can be the Indian century provided we Indians amalgamate as metals in an alchemy. Combined to create a national synergy so that the efforts of four Indians lead to the result of five or six. That is the only way we can generate surpluses in order to leapfrog across lost centuries.

For the greater part of history, brawn has dominated brain, muscle has overruled mind. World War II was an epic example of the resulting brutality. Now, at last, a time has come when the brain is beginning to ride the body. The greed of nations no longer covets the territory of other countries. Colonialism ended decades ago as land ceased to be the principal source of wealth. In the process, trade has replaced war as the instrument for centuries to enrich themselves. The Indian generally, and the Hindu in particular has preferred trade to war.

At the dawn of this millennium, there are high hopes and many expectations. With the advent of the computer revolution, we are set to play a big role in information technology. Five million or more Indians are likely to get rich as a result. That is a matter not only of hope but also honour. But India is a nation of a hundred crore. What about the rest of our people? Just as a chain is as weak as its weakest link, a society is as woeful as its poorest section. Unless we enable all our people to have a chance to be well off, India will not be united enough to seize the opportunity.

Apart from the difference between the poor and the rich, there are several obstacles in the path of Indian unity. The Muslim contempt and the Hindu hatred must be overcome.

This is the deepest and the wildest schism in our society. Without removing or bridging it, India cannot be truly one nation. I have therefore devoted a great deal of space to this syndrome. Many leaders ranging from Emperor Akbar to Bhakta Kabir to Mahatma Gandhi have all failed to bridge the schism except temporarily or in a few sectors. Their approach was to placate whereas mine is to be open and frank. Unless everyone is enabled to express oneself freely, no true dialogue, or understanding can come about. After all, there can be no true friendship without frankness. How can there be a true friendship unless the two speak up the truth about each other?

Women must get their equal place in society. Casteism must go. There should be no need for anyone to feel like a dalit or a neglected tribal. This book shows how these gulfs can be bridged. Unless every region of the country makes equable progress, national unity will be difficult to sustain. The backward region would have a grievance while the prosperous area would consider the poor an economic drag. The vast difference in the employment prospects of those educated in English and the rest has to be removed, if ours is to be a united society.

A bane of our country are the anti-Hindu Hindus who enjoy all the legitimacy of their Hindu pedigree including names such as Sitaram, Harkishan and yet spend all their lives trying to divide our society by inciting the poor without reducing their poverty, instigating the Muslim without redressing his grievance. In fact, they form a perennial fifth column. Are they not a symptom of a masochistic trait? Or, are they a cancer that destroys the pride and self-confidence of Indians as a nation? Or else how can India tolerate a street in the middle of New Delhi that commemorates Aurangzeb?
Hindu Masjids
346 pages
By: Prafull Goradia
Published by: Contemporary Targett, Delhi.

About | Reviews | Excerpts

About the book

Read about and see vivid photographs of how the Hindu legacy has been trampled upon by iconoclasts.

Hindu Masjids: Symbolises the longstanding conflict between Hindus and Muslims, and tries to offer a solution. From Emperor Akbar to Rajiv Gandhi, many have tried to build bridges of friendship between the two communities but all of them, including Mahatma Gandhi, have failed. As the last five decades have proved, the partition of 1947 did not solve the problem.

Is it to escape facing the truth about the past? Or is it to placate Muslim sentiments? Is it to avoid a controversy which might adversely affect one or more electoral verdicts? But how can all the political parties have a vested interest in the suppression of the same facts? Surely, if some party might lose out by the facts coming to light, another should gain as a result. Ruling parties at the centre as well as in the state change from time to time. Yet, no party has shown any real inclination in letting the people of India know facts of their collective past? Is the reason then, a countrywide fear of a community's wrath? If it be so, how can there be friendship between one community being the cause and the other the casualty of fear?

Several scholars have, over the years, listed hundreds of temples and described their desecration but none before the author has drawn a clear distinction between a mandir converted into a masjid in contrast to a mosque built with the rubble of a demolished temple. Even Cunningham, who toured North India extensively in the course of 1838-1855 and published his surveys in 23 voluminous reports, did not make the distinction.

Prafull Goradia has visited every masjid or dargah that has been discussed. Not alone, but accompanied by a research scholar as well as an excellent photographer. He now appeals to Muslims to abandon and not use these ill-gotten or looted edifices for praying to their one and only god, Allah.


Prafull Goradia. s bombshell book Hindu Masjids, is a study of Hindu temples converted into mosques from the medieval ages. According to him, praying in such edifices is like holding on to stolen property in full and continual public view.
- Balbir K. Punj, The Asian Age

This book is on Hindu temples that were deserted and converted into mosques. The best part of the book is the photographs.
- Bibek Debroy, The Financial Express

Hindu Masjids is photographic evidence of Muslim iconoclasm on Hindu-Jain-Buddhist temples summarily converted into mosques. This is certainly an antidote to the propaganda machinery which propagates that Muslims have never committed any wrong.
- Priyadarsi Dutta, The Pioneer

No book in recent times has brought out in such vivid - and well-researched-detail the havoc caused against Hindu temples in India by Islamic forces from ancient times right up to the twenty first century as Prafull Goradia's Hindu Masjids.
- M.V. Kamath, Organiser

Yet nowhere else is the hatred as chronic and deep rooted as in India. Why? Because here, like did not oppress like. The Hindu psyche is entirely different from the Muslim assumption. In Hindustan there was a clash between coexistence and domination, two radically different mentalities. Not merely the Muslim but Judaic peoples generally are born and bred on the assumption that it is Legitimate to dominate others. Whereas the Hindu thrives on accommodation and coexistence.

The Jews and the Muslims clash and kill each other in West Asia. They get hurt but neither is traumatized. The Christians and Muslims fought the crusades no less ruthlessly. They maimed or bled one another and destroyed churches and mosques, and it was like battling like. Hence there was no injury but no real trauma, no ultimate surprise. Everyone spoke, as it were, the same language of combat and understood the legitimacy of one trying to dominate the other, depending on who was stronger. Not so the votary of co-existence, the Hindu.

Jehovah to the Jew, Jesus to the Christian and Allah to the Muslim are well known. Each is omnipotent, omnipresent and only one supreme divine or the ultimate in domination; the Almighty to his followers. The Judaic faith begins here. It is legitimate for the followers of Jehovah to displace those of Jesus or of Allah in the race for winning more followers. A devout Christian would be happiest if all the world's people prayed to Christ. As a pious Muslim would have done his ultimate duty to Allah if he could get every human being to tasleem or accept His will. In the process, he might have to desecrate, fight or even kill.
Muslim League's Unfinished Agenda
394 pages
By: Prafull Goradia
Published by: Contemporary Targett, Delhi.

About | Reviews | Excerpts

About the book

The Hindus of Nehruvian India bent over backwards to placate the Muslims. Section of the Constitution, for example Articles 29 and 30, which were proposed early in 1946 in order to try to persuade the Muslims to withdraw their insistence on partition, remained in the supreme statue even after 1947. The reactionary Muslim Women's Bill was passed to overturn the Supreme Court judgement in the Shah Bano case. Yet the Community, by and large, has been unhappy.

In the midest of such hopelessness, patriotic citizens search for solutions, anywhere and everywhere. One obvious solution lay in the vision of Qaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah who had demanded not only territorial vivisection of India, but also an exchange of population whereby all non-Muslims would migrate to Hindustan and all Muslims would inhabit Pakistan. UNFINISHED AGENDA is the story of this unfulfilled dream.


"Within half a year of his magnum opus Hindu Masjids, Praful Goradia is back with Muslim League's Unfinished Agenda. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during his July 2001 visit to India spoke of Kashmir as an unfinished agenda of Partition. Then President KR Narayanan blunted him by saying that peaceful co-existence between the two dominions, India and Pakistan, was an equally unfinished agenda. Evidently, both missed, or dared not speak about, the original unfinished agenda of Partition set by the Muslim League. It is to the credit of Prafull Goradia, ex-MP and former editor of BJP Today, to redeem it. Exchange of Population was the `Unfinished Agenda' of the Muslim League as envisaged by the father figures of Partition."
- Priyadarsi Dutta, The Pioneer

In response to the 23 March 1940 resolution of the Muslim League for the creation of Pakistan, a number of questions were raised. One of the most important was: no matter where the line of demarcation was drawn, there would be Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs on either side in a minority. They would overnight become aliens and foreigners in their own homes. Mohammed Ali Jinnah initially evaded this question, but later began to promise protection to the minorities. However, there was no question of Hindus and Sikhs obtained citizenship or equal status with the nationals of Pakistan. If they could, why divide India was his question? Not satisfied himself with his own logic, he suggested an exchange of population as the realistic solution.

As if to avoid exploding a bomb or to shock people, Jinnah was slow and gentle in bringing up the question of population transfer. But wise and educated as he was, it is fair to believe that he was familiar with the European experience where, at the beginning of the 20th century, some two and a half million people had undertaken transfer of residence across national frontiers. Muslim Bulgarians were resettled in Turkey and many Turks were transferred to Bulgaria in pursuance of the Turko-Bulgarian Convention of 1913. This was also done officially under the Treaty of Lausanne signed on 30 January 1923 Between Turkey and Greece.

Professor M. Mujeeb, Vice-Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi had an interesting experience. In his words, quoted from his book Islamic Influence on Indian Society, Meenakshi Prakashan, Meerut, 1972:

At a party given during the U.N. General Assembly Session in 1949 I had the pleasure of being placed next to the Turkish representative. He looked at my name card, saw that I was a Muslim and at once asked, are there still any Muslims in India? The impression then created does not yet seem to have been removed and it is believed that the sub-continent had been divided between Muslims and Hindus, with all Muslims on the one side and all Hindus on the other.

Jinnah must surely have been aware of the philosophical mainspring of Pakistan. Ever since British captured power and the consequent displacement of Muslim rule, there was widespread feeling that a Dar-ul-Islam in India had been replaced by a Dar-ul-Harb or a land of struggle. There is a principle as old as Islam that a jehad has to be fought for acquiring a Dar-ul-Islam. On the other hand, when there is no hope of achieving it, a Dar-ul-Harb cannot be tolerated indefinitely. The solution for the Muslims then was hijrat or migration to a land of Islam. Incidentally, devout faithful believe that they were fighting a Jehad against the British right through the 19th century. A hijrat was also undertaken by several hundred thousand Muslims who migrated to Afghanistan in 1920 on their realization that the British would not allow the Sultan to continue on the throne of Turkey and thus remaining the Khalifa for all Sunnis. Nearly 20,000 Indian Muslims succeeded in entering and settling in Afghanistan.

For the Muslim leaders therefore the idea of a population transfer was neither novel nor surprising. Even Prophet Muhammad had undertaken hijrat from Mecca to Madina while founding Islam. No wonder then that Khan Iftikhar Hussain of Mamdot had said that the exchange of population offered a very practical solution for the problem of the Muslims, reported by Dawn, 3 December 1946. Pir Ilahi Bux, the Sindhi leader, had said that he welcomed an exchange of population for the safety of the minorities, as it would put an end to all communal disturbances as reported by Dawn, on 4 December 1946. So also felt Raja Ghazanfar Ali who later became Pakistan's envoy to New Delhi. Dawn, of 19 December 1946. Reported his having asked for the alteration of the population map of India. His detailed plea is reproduced in a clipping given in this chapter. Sir Ivan Jenkins, the Governor of Punjab, had then observed that by asking for an exchange of population, the Muslim League was planning to forcibly drive away Hindus from Punjab.

It was implicit in these statements that the League objective was to undertake ethnic cleansing soon after partition. That this was not mere conjecture was proved by the fact that almost all Hindus were driven out from West Pakistan in a matter of two to three years. Evidently, the League leadership had fears that ethnic cleansing on their side would invite a similar action in Hindustan, causing untold miseries to their Muslim brethren. In any case, the Dar-ul-Islam that they were pursuing was for all Muslims of the subcontinent. Why should those, who happened to be in Hindustan, be condemned to live indefinitely in a hopeless Dar-ul-Harb?

There were no stray threats either by Mamdot or Pir. Jinnah, while addressing a press conference at Karachi on 25 November 1946, said that the authorities, both central and provincial, should immediately take up the question of exchange of population, as reported by Dawn, on 26 November, 1946. Sir Feroze Khan Noon, who later rose to be Prime Minister had earlier on 8 April 1946, threatened to re-enact the murderous orgies of Chengez Khan and Halaqu Khan if non-Muslims took up an obstructive attitude against population exchange. Ismail Chundrigar, who also eventually rose to be Prime Minister of Pakistan, had said that the British had no right to hand over Muslims to a subject people over whom they had ruled for 500 years. Mohammad Ismail, a leader from Madras had declared that the Muslims of India were in the midst of a jehad. Shaukat Hayat Khan, son of the Prime Minister of Punjab, Sir Sikander Hayat Khan, had threatened, while the British were still in India, of a rehearsal of what the Muslims would do to the Hindus eventually. The point that came through clearly was that transfer of population was an integral part of the demand for Pakistan.

What the politicians said was confirmed by Professor M. Mujeeb, in this erudite work. He said that the Muslim League demanded the creation of a separate homeland for Indian Muslims. He further stated that in the elections held early in 1946, the League, whose dominant manifesto was the creation of Pakistan, secured 425 seats out of 492 reserved for Muslims. The League insisted that the right to a separate homeland should be conceded first and all other negotiations could be held thereafter. He went on to say.

The decision in regard to exchange of populations applied only to Eastern and Western Punjab. A large proportion of the Hindus in the North West Frontier Province and in Sind would have stayed on if they could. On the other hand, there would have been much less of immigration of the Hindus of East Pakistan into West Bengal and anti-Muslim sentiment in eastern and northern India would not have been constantly revived.

These thoughts were no doubt unsavoury, if not also repulsive to the Hindu, but is has to be admitted that the Muslim League leaders had a clear vision. Their demand for not only partition but also population transfer might have seemed abhorrent, but the fact was that the Muslim leadership had thought through the implications of creating Pakistan. If a division was to be made, it had to be thorough and comprehensive. It is the Congress leadership which faltered in thought and floundered in action. It would have seen a different matter, if they had not conceded partition. But having agreed to the division, quite clearly on the basis of the two-nation theory propounded by the League, did they have the right of being confused over its consequences? If they could not visualize what was to follow, they had every opportunity to consult the Hindu leaders of east Bengal and Hindu and Sikh leaders of Punjab, Sind and North West Frontier Province. But those who were likely to be affected the most, were ignored. This made the blundering by the Congress leaders quite unforgivable.

Uncannily, once M. A. Jinnah took over leadership of the Muslims, the initiative was held by the League with the Congress being continually on the defensive. Nevertheless, the Congress did not even react. However ill-conceived partition might have seemed to many a Hindu, as well as to a number of Muslim leaders, like Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the fact was that Jinnah achieved it on his own terms.

The League demand for an exchange of population was loudly voiced and widely debated. Merely to get a flavour of the contemporary reports, read a few clippings from the 1946 issues of Dawn. It was a daily then published from Delhi, and now from Karachi. The Journal was founded by Jinnah.
248 pages
By: Prafull Goradia
Published by: Contemporary Targett, Delhi.

About | Reviews | Excerpts

About the book

Anti Hindus has been an attempt by Prafull Goradia to highlight the contempt towards the Hindu ethos that prevails amongst the intelligentsia in India.

Anti-Hindus, Prafull Goradia says, consists of sadists, like painter Maqbool Fida Hussain, who harbour contempt for the Hindus; as well as masochists, like S. Gopal, who derive gratification by flagellating their own people.

<b>Anti Hindus talks in detail about M F Hussain's paintings and draws a comparison between Hindu and Muslim subjects. Ironically, Muslim and Christian subjects have been portrayed as fully clothed decent people while Hindu subjects have been dealt in an embarrassing manner in his paintings.</b>
To make the readers fully aware of the corrupt ideas of Hussain, Anti Hindus has 32 colour photographs of his paintings that describe him as a sexually perverse person whose revolting paintings of Hindu Goddesses and women copulating with animals are bound to throw any normal person into a state of frenzy.

There can be no greater perversity than shown by the portrayal of deities in union with animals in Hussain's paintings and also the anti-Hindu features written by Hindus themselves, Goradia writes. Men like Hussain were sadistic in drawing satisfaction by hurting the sentiments of Hindus, Goradia feels.

Anti-Hindus also focuses on how Gandhi, a devout Hindu, slowly started getting more and more anti-Hindu as his public life progressed. Goradia feels that Gandhi was so obsessed by the belief of Hindu-Muslim unity that he was ready to sacrifice or sell out Hindu interests, Hindu honour and Hindu blood.

Anti-Hindus further describes India's first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru as an anti-Hindu. The book talks about how Nehru, being Gandhi's favourite, was chosen over Sardar Patel as the Congress president in 1946. In fact, none of the members of the provincial committee had voted for Nehru for the post. So Nehru was a leader without any followers at that point of time. Afraid of Hindu nationalism and looking around for allies, he soon found support in the Muslims who had not emigrated to Pakistan. Internationally then, the Third World was largely pro-Soviet, one whose leader was Nehru. So at home, the communists sided with Nehru making him a pro-Muslim, a pro-communist and an anti-Hindu.

In this manner, Anti Hindus, packed with various news paper articles, writings, excerpts from books and photographs tries to do justice to the analysis of the prevaling anti-Hindu sentiments in India.


If there is one book that our so-called secularists should compulsorily read, it is Praful Goradia’s well-researched book ‘Anti-Hindus’. If anything it is a damning indictment of our self-proclaimed secularists and their pretensions. What is so important about this book is that it relies fully and convincingly on evidence.
- M.V. Kamath, Free Press Journal


Maqbool Fida Hussain comes through as a sexually perverse person. To paint nudity is an old tradition. To portray sex play may be pornographic, but it is not unnatural and not considered perverse. But to depict copulation between an animal and a woman is revolting to the normal person.

An individual suffering from a mental disease is ultimately his personal concern. But when the fallout of his perversity touches persons unknown to him, it is slanderous. When the pornography or the perversity embroils deities, it is sacrilegious.

Prima facie, Hussain has insulted the Hindu ethos in general and believing Hindus in particular. Can he be forgiven for painting Durga and Saraswati naked? And Sita masturbating on the long tail of hanuman; in another painting she is shown sitting naked on the thigh of Ravana. Imagine a bull copulating with Parvati and Shankar watching the act on Shivratri. Or Durga in union with her lion! The painting of Krishna with his flute sitting on a cow but with no feet and no hands. How can so many instances be by inadvertence?

The most misleading Hindu however was the 20th century anti-Hindu Hindu. The beginning of this perversion goes back to the launching of the Khilafat movement in 1920. Its prima facie objective was to pressurize the Government of Great Britain into retaining the Sultan of Turkey on his throne. This was the only way to save the institution of the Caliph, or the representative of Prophet Muhammad as the spiritual cum temporal head of the world's Sunni Islam. Strangely enough, it was Gandhi who became the head of this movement. His vicarious motive was to placate the Muslims of India in order to get them on his side against the British empire. The great man must have, no doubt, realized that his action was against Indian nationalism. For the simple reason, that the Caliph represented pan-Islamism which was essentially a supranationalist institution.

Gandhi has never called the Muslims to account even when they have been guilty of gross crimes against Hindus.

It is a notorious fact that many prominent Hindus who had offended the religious susceptibilities of the Muslims either by their writings or by their part in the Sudhi movement have been murdered by some fanatic Musalmans…The leading Moslems never condemned these criminals. On the contrary, they were hailed as religious martyrs…This attitude of the Moslems is quite understandable. What is not understandable is the attitude of Gandhi.

Gandhi's callousness to the suffering in Malabar rose to a new height when he wrote in Young India of 29 September 1921. " We have forgotten the divine out of dying for our faiths without retaliation..The Hindus must have the courage and the faith to feel that they can protect their religion in spite of such fanatical eruptions."

He warned the government against excessive repression of the Moplahs. The ending of the revolt was a matter not only of urgency but of simple humanity: 'Be the Moplahs be ever so bad, they deserve to be treated as human beings.' It has been estimated that in the course of the rebellion, no less than 600 Hindus were killed and 2500 Hindus forcibly converted to Islam."

On 10th September 1924, several hundred Hindus were butchered by the Muslims in rioting which had begun the previous day. Gandhi along with Maulana Shaukat Ali went to Rawalpindi on the 4th of February 1925 to meet the Hindu refugees and the Mussalmans of Kohat.

Instead of finding these happenings to be heartrending, Gandhi commented (Collected Works, 1925): I fear the truth is bitter than is put here if I am to credit the Hindu version. I must say in fairness to the Mussalman friend that he did not regard these acts as conversion at all. Taking it at its lowest, the performance is humiliating alike for the Mussalmans and the Hindus. It would have redounded to the credit of the Mussalmans concerned, if they had steeled the hearts of the unmanly Hindus and offered them protection in spite of their remaining Hindus and retaining the symbols of Hinduism. The Hindus would have gone down to posterity as martyrs and heroes of whom mankind, let alone Hindus, would have been proud if they had preferred death to denying their faith, albeit outwardly, in order to live.

I can only suggest solutions of questions in terms of swaraj. I would therefore sacrifice present individual gain for future national gain. Even if Mussalmans refuse to make approaches and even if the Hindus of Kohat may have to lose their all, I should still say that they must not think of returning to Kohat till there is complete reconciliation between them and the Mussalmans, and until they feel that they are able to live in peace with the latter without the protection of the British bayonet. But I know that this is a counsel of perfection and not likely to be followed by the Hindus. Nevertheless, I can tender no other advice. For me it is the only practical advice I can give. And if they cannot appreciate it, they must follow their own inclination. They are the best judges of their own capacity. They were in Kohat not as nationalists. They want to return not as nationalists but for the purpose of regaining their possessions.

I want to ask Muslim friends: Does their religion teach them to abduct anyone's wife and make her a Muslim? It is unbearable for me if any woman living in the Frontier province is forcibly violated. If it is argued that she has embraced Islam, I am not prepared to believe it. That is why I want to tell you that if you hold your religion dear, then do not go back as long as Muslims there do not say," Come back with honour"; you should not go till then.

To Gandhi, the Muslims of Kohat were friends while the Hindus, ho comprised a miniscule proportion of the area's population, were cowards!
South Asia Analysis Group
Paper no. 657 09. 04. 2003


By Dr S Chandrasekharan.


Here is a tract from a straight talking, straight shooting, thinking soldier. These qualities I suspect were the ones that stood in the way of Dr Subhash Kapila reaching greater heights in his Army career.

Dr Subhash Kapila is no stranger to the readership of the South Asia Analysis Group of which he is the Consultant, Strategic Affairs. He has made extensive contributions in terms of analytical papers on International Relations and Strategic Affairs.

The last sentence in this book states: “If this book could ignite a strategic mindset in all Indians and make them conscious of matters connected with national security, the end aim would have been achieved.” Towards this end this book has made an admirable effort to present complex national security issues in a manner facilitating easy comprehension by even an average lay reader.

Dr Subhash Kapila maintains in this book that:

* India after more than half a century of independent existence faces today multiple threats to her security both external and internal. These threats have grown exponentially.

* Threats to India’s security have arisen because India all along has been apologetic to the acquisition of military power and has shied away from using military power to protect her national security interests. India needs the WILL to use power.

* India’s “Soft Power” image has therefore invited aggression in every decade of the last 50 years.

* Successive Indian Governments have always tackled threats to India’s security in a reactive manner rather than a pro-active manner, commensurate with her national power attributes available in plenty.

* In the absence of strategic culture in India’s political leadership and lack of political culture which gives national security and military preparedness over-riding priority, it falls on the average Indian citizen to sensitise himself to matters military relating to India’s national security, namely: WAR, STRATEGY, NATIONAL POWER & MILITARY POWER and THREAT ASSESSMENTS.

* Then only will future Indian Governments be responsive to Indian public opinion on national security issues and not shroud them in a veil of secrecy.

Each chapter of the book, therefore provides a grasp of the subjects listed above. Rather, than deliver a theoretical monologue, the author has chosen to devote the first part of each chapter in articulating strategic thought of noted strategists and thinkers on military security in original with some amplification. The second part of each chapter is a comparative analysis of India’s defence policies in relation to strategic thought and has attempted to interpret how defiance of strategic logic has cost India dearly in the past. The author frankly maintains that the interpretations in the comparative analysis are his own and therefore open to debate.

The concluding chapter has been titled as “PRESCRIPTIONS FOR INDIA’S NATIONAL SECURITY” and focuses on vital issues like: India’s Need for Strategic Vision, India’s Strategic Culture: The Need for Reinvention, India’s Foreign Policy: The Will to Use Power, India’s National Honour: The Need for Sensitivity, India’s Political Governance: The Need for a Qualitative Change and India’s Need for Declaratory Strategic Doctrines drawing ‘Red Lines’ for adversaries not to cross. These are thought provoking. One may not agree fully with the analysis or even some of the statements made by the author on the political leadership since independence. But, what is admirable is his courage of conviction and his forthright and fearless views on matters of national importance.

The book should go a long way in igniting a strategic mindset in all Indians and is a recommended reading for all those tasked with India’s national security and all others who are sensitive about India’s national security.

The book can be obtained from

G-628 Ram Vihar
Noida- 201313 India

Tel: ++91-120- 2456040
1. India: Rs 395* Defence Services: Rs 295* (*Rs 50 postage extra )

2.Overseas: US $18(inclusive of air freight charges)
I think this book should be discussed, especially since this is written by an Indian General.

Perhaps just a fiction ..!


<b>Gen 'Paddy' checkmates Uncle Sam in his war novel


NEW DELHI : Move over the Tom Clancys and the Humphrey Hawksleys of the world, Paddy is here with his guns blazing! Paddy who? "Paddy" as in General Sunderajan Padmanabhan: The man who led the country's 1.1 million-strong Army when India almost went to war with Pakistan after the December 2001 Parliament attack.

In an unusual endeavour for a Service chief, Gen Padmanabhan, India 's 20th Army chief who retired in December 2002, has come out with a <b>work of fiction which paints a sensational war scenario in 2017. </b>

Service chiefs are not particularly known for their proclivity to write fiction. In recent memory, only the late Gen K Sundarji wrote a fictionalised account of an Indo-Pak nuclear war — Blind men of Hindoostan.

But "Paddy", who was part of the Cabinet Committee on Security meetings which contemplated an offensive against Pakistan after the Parliament attack, has gone further. <b>India takes on the global superpower, the US , in his book.

America , in the novel, gets into the war on the side of Pakistan after the latter contemplates the use of nukes following comprehensive degradation of its forces by the Indian forces. </b>

The book title, The writing on the wall: <b>India checkmates America 2017, is indication of how the futuristic war unfolds. The missiles launched by US carrier groups are destroyed by India 's "national missile shield". </b>

The Indian retaliation is swift: <b>"selective electro-magnetic pulse attacks" against Washington DC and the manufacturing facility for cruise missiles in Arizona .

That's not all. India carries out "cyber attacks" against New York and other commercial centres in the US "to plunge her administration, commerce and banking sectors into chaos". </b>

The attacks and counter-attacks continue, with <b>Russia and China aligning with a resilient India . The war finally ends after the UN intervenes. </b>

Incidentally, during the 2002 confrontation, Paddy had famously warned Pakistan of a "punishment so severe" that its "continuation in any form would be doubtful" if it dared to use a nuke against India .
two interesting books - need reviews

"a secular agenda" - arun shourie

"the iitans" - sandipan deb
I generally shy away from essays or books written about the psyche of the Indian, for the very simple reason that india is a very dvierse country and there is avast difference between the tribals of the North east and the Chettiars of South India, and any attempt to generalize may prove to be too facile. be that as i t may, this book may prove to be an exception.

The inscrutable Indians
Being Indian by Pavan K Varma
Just finished off reading Hawksley's DragonFire. A good read, but some details /nitpicks Hawksley should have spend more time researching on.

<b>***SPOILERS AHEAD***</b>

#1. The conflict is between India Vs China & TSP, but most of the time is spent at DC & London, hence Hawksley didn't spend enough time to develop the Indian characters.

#2. Pakistan is cut off from the war as a you take out a fly from a bear. A B52 conventional bombing mission over Chaklala doesn't end LotaLand as a nation. <b>This was one major flaw.</b>

#3. Chinese Xia Class subs roaming around in the Indian Ocean, and as per Hawklsey IN is vacationing on the moon.

#4. The end comes too soon. All of a sudden it's over - result declared.

#5. I highly doubt Indian PM would play the idealistic/moral role of not nuking Chinease cities when there is a big-@$$ mushroom cloud over Mumabi & Delhi.

Overall, not a bad read but IMO Mainak Dhar's <b>Flash Point</b> was much better developed than Dragon Fire............but then maybe it depends on who's righting it.
Maoist insurgency in Nepal. Our Chinese friends are up to no good

New light on old problem
Shastri Ramachandaran
This may have been posted earlier. A must read for those who want to know about the depths of chicanery that this Nobel prize winning charlatan can stoop to.

Kissinger a Biography by Walter Isaacson ( available as a used book)

Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing
by William Sargant

About the Author
Charles Swencionis, Ph.D. teaches at the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York.

Excerpted from Battle for the Mind: A Physiology of Conversion and Brainwashing by William Walters Sargant, William Sargent. Copyright © 1997. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
"This mechanism holds the possibility of explaining and understanding much of how people suddenly change direction in life, and some of the strangest religious and spiritual behavior ever described among human beings. Perhaps most important, understanding it can give us insight into the formation of social bonds, the development of gangs and groups, and allow us to make more informed choices as individuals, as a society, and as a culture, how we want our own groups to develop." Charles... read more

Book Description
How can an evangelist convert a hardboiled sophisticate? Why does a POW sign a "confession" that he knows is false? How is a criminal pressured into admitting his guilt? Do the evangelist, the POW's captor, and the policeman use similar methods to gain their ends? These and other compelling questions are discussed in the definitive work by William Sargant, who for many years until his death in 1988 was a leading physician in psychological medicine. Sargant spells out and illustrates the basic techniques used by evangelists, psychiatrists, and brain-washers to disperse the patterns of belief and behavior already established in the minds of their hearers, and to substitute new patterns for them.

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:

The Danger of Brainwashing., January 20, 2002
Reviewer: zosimos (see more about me) from EVROPA.
_Battle for the Mind_ presents a model for the physiological processes behind dramatic religious or political conversions and brainwashing based on the experiments of the Russian neuro-physiologist, I. P. Pavlov. Pavlov conducted experiments on dogs and found "equivalent" (in which the brain gives the same response to both strong and weak stimuli), "paradoxical" (in which the brain gives a response to weak stimuli but not to strong stimuli), and "ultra-paradoxical" (in which the brain gives a positive response to weak stimuli and a negative response to strong stimuli) behavior patterns present in the dogs under different conditions. From his experiments, he concluded that all dogs have a "breaking-point". Using these results, William Sargant (who worked with patients suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTSD) symptoms during the war) examines the phenomena of religious conversion and persuasion as well as brainwashing. Sargant conjectures that similiarly, all humans have a "breaking-point". <b>The book includes discussion of war victims, religious and political conversions (especially emphasizing the techniques of Wesley in his mass conversions of people to Christianity), possession and rhythmic dance, brainwashing in ancient and modern times, as well as the eliciting of confessions. </b>Much food for thought is presented as the author retells the stories of various individuals who have undergone drastic conversions or who have exhibited various forms of "paradoxical" behavior under the presence of sufficient stressors. The discussion of confession is particularly interesting, in that it reveals that often the interrogator becomes just as deluded as the confessor may be. In a world in which the masses are continuously bombarded by propaganda from all angles and the government, where cults are able to seize possession of individual minds and checking accounts, in which brainwashing takes place in totalitarian states, and in which the average person at any moment may be exposed to severe stressors, it is most important to study the human brain and the physiological processes behind conversions. The book is not reductionistic, the author allows the possibility of an external force or power to be the causal agent of any conversion. William Sargant's study will remain a classic for those of us who worry about the effects of political and religious propaganda and modern day stressors.

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful:

One of the best!, February 23, 2001
Reviewer: W PHILLIPS from North Harrow, Middlesex United Kingdom
This is one of very few books that I have read twice, and like several previous reviewers it would be very high on my list of essential reads. The first time I read it was soon after it was published. I was in my late teens, and it was a friend's recommendation. It made little immediate impact on me, but as time when by its resonance gave me insights into life changing incidences that I saw in others and myself (religious conversion, career changes, etc.).

The book is a clear exposition of those mechanisms for growth adaptations (or changes) within all our personalities, how these changes occur naturally, and how they can be artificially induced. He also discusses techniques that can inhibit the natural mechanisms for change.

I read it again 10 years ago to regain some insight into several intelligent and capable friends that, although hating their work, appeared to have had their ability for change inhibited by their use of soft drugs.

This book has a curiously positive unanimity amongst its reviewers, could we have been brainwashed :-)

I am pleased that it is back in print and feel almost honour bound to buy a copy (I borrowed it previously from our local lending library)

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