Exorcising The Demons
It took six days, but I'm back on line. The problem wasn't with my equipment (unlike the last time I was off-line for an extended period), but instead with my ISP's equipment, which succumbed to a major devil virus attack on the servers.
One also has to wonder what kind of spectres were pursuing a man who walked away from crashing a million-dollar Ferrari at 160 MPH while on PCH in Malibu.
That's Pacific Coast Highway for you non-locals, not the latest party intoxicant.
He told the police a really wild set of stories, which I won't go into completely right now. They are linked for your perusal.
But one odd thing did happen:
Most mysterious of all are the two men who turned up minutes after the crash, claimed to be from "homeland security", talked their way past police lines by flashing badges, interviewed Mr Eriksson and left again. Nobody has a clue who they were. They are now being sought by police.
And who ya gonna call, Bust Ghosters?
I have a theory: Back in 1970, Elvis dropped in on Richard Nixon and left with a DEA badge.
Can it be that Pioneers can have one just for the asking (and a $100,000 'application fee')?
But the really weird story is on the flip side.
Just as the flap over the Mohammad cartoons is cooling off, George has to go and offend the Hindus of India:
Hindu priests who look after the memorial of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi conducted a purification ceremony at the shrine after a visit from President Bush.
But it wasn't the president who offended them, it was the sniffer-dogs who scoured the area ahead of his visit. The dogs, flown in from the U.S., were part of the intense security surrounding the president, but the Hindu priests believe they tainted the site.
Letting dogs into the memorial also drew sharp protest from Hindu politicians and Gandhi's great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, who called the incident a "national shame," the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
This is bad enough, but there are other, much more deadly ghosts lurking about in South Asia, and there are some who just might invoke the presence of these evil sprites out of angry spite:
The difference between the two relationships [of the US with India and Pakistan] springs from the fact that India interests the US, but Pakistan worries it.
Therein lies the qualitative difference. Pakistan has had to review its security policies in the region, east and west, because they clashed with US interests after the 9/11 strikes.
The US priorities in South Asia can be assessed from what President Bush said at his joint press conference. It is clear that America's strategic partner in this region is India and not Pakistan.
This means that Pakistani policy makers also need to think in new directions. The time for depending too much on the US is perhaps over.
If the US can enter an agreement over civilian nuclear cooperation, Pakistan can do the same with China.
Good one, George. First you dishonor South Asia's Man of Peace, then you recreate the nuclear tensions which the nations of the region had almost completely exorcised - and without your bumbling 'help'.
You are also making an enemy of an ally and a friend:
In the light of all this, Pakistan should not be under any illusion. The Americans only know how to use others for their own interests. Mr Bush has said that he is battling political and jihadi Islam whereas politics and jihad are one and the same thing in the true Islamic spirit.
Pakistanis generally feel that he has not even given a lollipop to Pakistan. No resolution of the Kashmir dispute, no road map for democracy, no appreciation of Pakistan's energy needs and no attempts to cool down tempers over the blasphemous cartoons.
President Bush alone knows exactly why he visited Pakistan. It was being generally thought that President Bush's visit is aimed at strengthening President Musharraf personally, so that he may continue his fight against terrorism. But only time will tell Mr Bush has ended up strengthening or weakening his friend.
The Carlyle Group must be celebrating tonight! Their Pennsylvania Avanue Puppet has greatly enhanced their opportunities to 'earn' a rupee. At the same time, this discord over the unequal treatment accorded Pakistan for the benefit of India and their Atomic Arsenal could rupture the recent agreement to cooperate - with Iran and China - in constructing a natural gas pipeline intended to benefit all four countries. That means that the Texas Oil boys are seeing a return on their investment in Dubai-yah.
Who cares if the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are loosed upon the people of the world? After all, just like The Godfather's Salvadore "Sally" Tessio said: "It was business", and business must be good - or else.
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