Category Archives: Regional conflict

Palestine flag would be raised at UN

Palestine flag would be raised at UN
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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Obviously, there is a broad light not just in the Mideast tunnels, but also in the corridors of UN General Assembly building with UN itself getting ready to greet the Palestinians, longing for freedom and sovereignty from the occupation forces of Israel, with their official flag unfurled at the UN to decorate the global forum.

The United Nations is expected on 10 September to allow Palestine to raise its flag at its headquarters in New York in a symbolic move highlighting Palestinian aspirations for statehood. The General Assembly will vote at 3 pm (2330 IST) on a draft resolution that diplomats say is almost certain to garner a majority in the 193-nation forum. The Palestinian representative to the UN Riyad Mansour said that it is a positively symbolic thing, but another step to solidify the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena.

The UN General Assembly upgraded the status of the Palestinians to that of non-member observer state in 2012, signaling a full statehood for Palestine in due course. Palestinians have been pressing for statehood for years but Israel, brutally occupying the Palestinian territories, employs manipulative strategy to obstruct the Palestinian move for their legitimate rights to have their own home on their own lands.

Every Zionist action, including aggression and expansionist ideology has so far, unfortunately, had the backing of the USA, the most powerful nation on earth and USA has used its veto to shield the Israeli military crimes against humanity.

The UN General Assembly resolution would allow the flags of Palestine and the Holy See — both of which have non-member observer status — to be hoisted alongside those of the member states. If adopted, the UN would have 20 days to implement the move, which would be in time for a visit by president Mahmud Abbas on 30 September.

Mansour said the initiative had the potential to “give our people some hope that the international community is still supporting the independence of the state of Palestine. “Things are bleak, gloomy, the political process is dead, Gaza is being suffocated. This flag resolution is like the small light of a candle to keep hope alive for the Palestinian people.”

Diplomats say the only unknown is how broad support for the resolution will be, and in particular the attitude of the Europeans who have been divided over the initiative. Most Europeans voted for Palestine against the wishes of USA and Israel.

Israel and USA have always hijacked the UN and other world bodies by using the US veto and their coercive efforts to influence many nations. Both Israel and the United States have, as their joint colonialist policy, expressed strong opposition, with Israel’s ambassador to the body Ron Prosor slamming “a blatant attempt to hijack the UN.”

Upon the UN vote last time, making Palestine a observer state, USA is reportedly considering sympathetically the Palestine claims and it supports the Palestine efforts for full membership on UN, it would regain its lost glory of a genuine mediator in regional disputes.

However, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner called it a “counterproductive” attempt to pursue statehood claims outside of a negotiated settlement which is being prolonged by Israel. Officially Washington does not want to seen to abandon a basically criminal state like Israel that kill Palestine children to help fascist minded and illegal settlers win in general elections.

Claiming to be the lone democracy in West Asia with Palestinian blood on its palms, Israel continues to play mischief with Palestinians and UN. Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Netanyahu are among world leaders converging on UN headquarters as of 25 September for an anti-poverty summit and the annual General Assembly debate.

Pope Francis is expected to make a much-anticipated address on 25 September.

The Vatican has officially recognized Palestine as a state.

The very sight of Palestine flag at the UN when it appears would be a positive signal for all freedom seeking nations on this planet.

US President Obama musters more Senate votes for peace, in favor of nuclear deal with Iran!

US President Obama musters more Senate votes for peace, in favor of nuclear deal with Iran!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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US President Barack Obama has secured 42 US Senate votes for the international nuclear deal with Iran, more than enough to keep Congress from passing a resolution disapproving of the pact., more than enough to block the Senate from passing a Republican-backed resolution to disapprove the deal and to ensure that the Iran nuclear deal will go into effect even as the US Congress returns on 09 September to begin a frenzied fall legislative session to debate the nuclear deal, which will include votes on the Iran deal before a Sept. 17 deadline.
Forty-two votes is one more than the minimum needed in the 100-member Senate to block a Republican-backed resolution of disapproval of the nuclear deal, announced on July 14. That would spare Obama the embarrassment of having to use his veto power to protect a deal reached with five other world powers, seen as a potential legacy foreign policy achievement for his administration.
Obama had been guaranteed enough votes to sustain a veto once he reached 34 “yes” votes in the Senate, but backers say avoiding the veto process would send an important message to Iran, and the world: Washington is unified behind it.

Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal, Gary Peters, Ron Wyden and Maria Cantwell announced they would support the agreement, just as lawmakers returned to Washington from a month-long summer recess. The last hope of bipartisan Senate support was dashed when Senator Susan Collins, the chamber’s last undecided Republican, announced her opposition.
All of the senators supporting the deal are Democrats or independents who caucus with them. Every supporter in the House of Representatives is a Democrat. At least 17 House Democrats have also said they would vote with Republicans against it. Senator Joe Manchin became the fourth Senate Democrat voting against the deal.

As Obama’s support reached on 08th September 41 in the Senate in favor of the Iran nuclear agreement, enough to block the Senate from passing a Republican-backed resolution to disapprove the deal, opponents of the deal began criticizing Democrats for, as they say, preventing an up-or-down vote on the deal by blocking its forward motion.

Republicans are trying to turn the vote for nuclear deal into anti-Iran vote. But Democrats gave President Barack Obama the votes he needs to prevent the Senate from passing a measure disapproving of the Iran nuclear deal. Reaching the threshold to filibuster means the President likely won’t need to veto the measure, even though opposition to the Iran deal enjoys majority support in the House and Senate. Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Michigan Sen. Gary Peters and Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden all announced in rapid fire succession they would support the deal, putting Obama at 41 votes of support in the Senate.
That would leave Republicans short of the 60 votes needed to force a Senate vote, unless some members who support the Iran deal argue that the chamber should have a chance to vote on it. The legislation permitting an up-or-down vote was agreed to by Obama after weeks of bipartisan pressure for Congress to have a say. The Senate would need 60 votes to advance a measure rejecting the deal for a floor vote. If all 41 Democrats who support the deal vote to filibuster, it would not reach a final vote in the Senate. Not all have pledged to do so, though they have pledged to vote with the President on the deal otherwise.
Senators Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon said they will support the deal. The three new Democrats’ support came as another member of the party announced his opposition to the Iran deal. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin made a total of four Democrats who have come out against the deal. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he opposes the agreement. The other Senate Democrats opposing the deal are Chuck Schumer of New York, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Bob Menendez of New Jersey. Only one, Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, remains undecided.
A few senators said they would “reluctantly” vote against a motion of disapproval because I believe that doing so will protect the credibility of the United States to hold Iran accountable to adhere to every single obligation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Many pro-deal senators believe that many overlapping provisions will make it exceedingly difficult for the Iranians to build a nuclear weapon in the short term and will lengthen the time required should they choose to break their commitments and try to build one in the future. “While this is not the agreement I would have accepted at the negotiating table, it is better than no deal at all,” Blumenthal said.
Both camps have been increasing their lobbying efforts on the deal. Republican presidential candidates including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and real estate mogul Donald Trump will headline an anti-Iran deal rally on Capitol Hill. And former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a fiery speech against the deal, calling it “madness”. Opponents also circulated a letter from 15 governors voicing their opposition to the deal and pledging to keep state-level sanctions on Iran in place. All four of the current governors running for president signed, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. India wants Jindal an Indian to be the next US president.
It seems there is no precedent in recent history for an issue of this magnitude getting consideration in the Senate without having to secure 60 votes. The deal would ease economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on the country’s nuclear program. Obama has lobbied hard for Democratic support and has made pitches to US Jewish leaders to counter opposition to the deal by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, said he will insist that 60 Senate votes are required to pass a resolution of disapproval.
Obama’s 41 votes will ultimately protect the Iran deal, seven more than needed to uphold his veto of any measure of disapproval passed by Congress. The 435-seat House has more than the 218 votes needed to pass a resolution of disapproval in that chamber. At least 230 Republicans and 15 Democrats are opposed to the deal. At least 105 of the chamber’s Democrats support the agreement, while the rest have yet to announce their position.
Democratic front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will deliver her own speech on the Iran deal, where she’s expected to unequivocally supporting it. US Congress could still oppose the deal, but Obama has now enough votes to override any resolution of disapproval. He has said the deal cuts off every pathway to a nuclear weapon for Iran. Republicans like Israelis have been unified in their opposition to the Iran accord, saying the deal would only “embolden” Iran.
Like Israel, the republicans are annoyed and disappointed that their dream of a war with Iran has been short lived.
However, it was not just USA or Iran that won the deal but active and pro-active diplomacy did the magic for humanity which is seeking peace in West Asia baldy.
One fails to know as to why Israel is so deadly interested in defeating the Obama deal with Iran, causing damages to US diplomacy and Obama’s efforts for peace in West Asia.
However, that does not matter at all!

Turkey to hold second parliamentary poll on November 1

Turkey to hold second parliamentary poll on November 1
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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Turkey is heading towards a new election amid escalating violence between Turkey’s security forces and Kurdish rebels, and as Turkey is taking a more active role in the US-led campaign against Islamic State.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during televised remarks on August 21 that the second legislative election will be held on November 1 this year and so the Turks will be back to the ballot box once again, after the poll produced a hung parliament and parties failed to agree on a coalition in an initial round.
The election board had proposed the date November 1, according the state-run Anadolu news agency. The official 45-day mandate to form a government ends on Sunday, after which the date for the fresh election can be made formal. It is meant to be set by the election commission.
Erdoğan’s Justice and Development party (AKP) lost its overall majority in the June election for the first time since it came to power in 2002. Coalition talks saw wide divides between the AKP and the other three parties in parliament, in part over the role Erdogan would play in governance. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, now the leader of the AKP, already announced this week he was giving up trying to form a coalition with a junior partner. Davutoğlu formally told Erdoğan this week that he had failed to form a coalition government. Erdoğan told reporters he had no intention of giving Turkey’s opposition leader the mandate to try and form a government.
The snap elections come just months after the last poll in June, which saw the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which Erdogan helped found, fail to achieve a majority in parliament for the first time since it swept to power in 2002. AKP has been facing discontentment among sections of population fueled by the essentially anti-Islamic opposition on account of policies like part destruction and Erdogan’s fight with his one time ally Golan.
However, Erdogan was directly elected as president last year. He has since taken on powers not wielded by his predecessor as head of state and has called for this de facto situation to be recognized through constitutional changes.
In the campaign before the last election, Erdogan had urged voters to back the AKP so it could enact legal amendments and empower the presidency, but this bid failed.
Erdogan is expected to meet the speaker of parliament on 24 August to prepare for the next stages, including the formation of a temporary government to carry the country over until the election. This government could contain members of all parties in parliament, should they be willing.
The June election also saw the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) enter parliament for the first time. Last month, the ceasefire between the armed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the state broke down, putting pressure both on the ruling party and the pro-Kurdish civilian movement.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey will hold a snap election with an interim government to be formed in the meantime, if necessary with members from outside parliament,. The president will ask Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu early next week to form the temporary power-sharing government, senior officials said, after weeks of efforts to agree a coalition with opposition parties before a 23 August deadline failed.
Erdoğan said he would form an interim government that will lead Turkey until the election, and could appoint figures who currently don’t hold seats in parliament. Turkish law requires that the interim government include members of all four parties represented in parliament, but two opposition parties have already said they would not participate.
Erdoğan appears to be betting that a new ballot could revive the fortunes of his Islamic-rooted party which he founded and led for more than a decade, and thus put him back on course to reshape Turkey’s democracy into a system in which the president would have executive powers. A coalition government would also have limited his ability to influence the government.
Dozens of people have been killed in renewed clashes between Turkey’s military and rebels of the Kurdistan Workers’ party, or PKK. Last month, Turkish jets raided Isis targets in Syria and PKK targets in Iraq while US jets also launched their first air strikes against Isis targets from a Turkish air base near Syria.
Opponents have accused Erdoğan of attacking the PKK in a bid to win nationalists’ support and discredit a pro-Kurdish party, whose gains in the June elections deprived the ruling party of its majority. “God willing, on November 1st, Turkey will go through what I like to call repeat elections,” said Erdogan.

Russian president Putin calls USA a racial state!

Russian president Putin calls USA a racial state!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Behind all nice “value” smiles and “hearty” talks about democracy and its place in any civilized society, Americans, generally speaking, are also racial by nature and instinct. The regular incidents of attacks on blacks in United States reveal American brand racism even under a Black president which demolishes their claim of being the most civilized people on earth the people from entire world must learn a lot from.

Targeting weak nations to destabilize them, committing awful genocides freely is one thing, but attacking minority people in a country on the on the basis of the skin color is another.  As the only superpower, United States of America, unfortunately, pursues both. However, Americans do not criticize the negative phenomena.

However, facts reveal that the real picture of social relations in USA is quite different from what is being reported in the US media. Racial slurs and attacks on the Blacks, among other minorities, are a common phenomenon across the USA.

The incumbent US President Barack Obama, himself a Black but successful politician, also, like predecessors who were Whites, does not seem to take steps to end racial discriminations in the country.  Racal discriminations have been on the rise even in America.

It is not at all shocking, but quite a valid statement, therefore, that Russian President Vladimir Putin has said racial intolerance in America would have shocked Martin Luther King Jr. In his National Breakfast address in Kremlin on May 13, Putin said that America was “full of magnificent travesty – a place where, in past many years, people of a particular color have, on several or most of occasions, been targeted by peoples of white color, simply due to their skin color and their racism.”

This startling comment from Putin comes on the backdrop of recent racial tensions in United States of America. There were incidents of unrest in Ferguson over shooting of Afro-American youth by a White police. Even after protests and pressure, the deaths of blacks in the hand of white police never reduced. Last week, yet another racial minority youth was killed in police custody.

Explaining to his audience, Putin continued, “It will be better if Obama and his America cared about their internal problems before trying to poke their nose into our affairs. They cry about Crimea, but look at their Crime rates. The rate at which American do crime, they can change their country name to Crimea, so that I can invade it next year.”

After a round of laughter from the audience, Putin continued, “America had blacks as slaves, then they fought a war among themselves on whether to keep blacks as slaves or not. Then, they fought with blacks on suffrage rights of blacks, educational right of blacks, employment rights of blacks. Martin Luther King Jr sacrificed his life to uplift black and end racial discrimination in America. But, now, seeing the current plight of blacks in his country, MLK would have cried in his grave. This kind of racial intolerance in America would have shocked him. I feel sorry for him.”

Raising a cup of wine for a toast, Putin concluded, “I just want to remind Obama to look after his own country and try to solve the racial riots that are happening under his nose. If a black president was unable to create an amicable situation for blacks in USA, then I wonder what the whites will do to those minorities. Stop the killing of blacks or resign Mr. Obama”.

Russians resent anti-Russia rhetoric of US leaders and western media lords made on a regular basis to belittle that nation especially when sanctions have been slapped on it by USA and EU. Putin has repeatedly said anti-Russia campaign is a roaring business of many Americans and it must stop. Maybe, his comments on racial discriminations in USA are to drive home the point that attacking Russian brand democracy cannot go on forever.

Maybe, President Barack Obama thinks the racial discriminations are a necessary evil that needs to be supported for some political expediency reasons, but the approach, if any, is totally wrong and anti-human as it works against the real progress of minorities in the country.

USA should shed its  racist slur and discriminatory practices and become a model secular and truly democratic state for all other nations to emulate.

US-Russia nuclear arms race: Kremlin to face NATO provocation!

US-Russia nuclear arms race:  Kremlin to face NATO provocation!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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With Russian President Vladimir Putin warning on June 19 Western countries against  meddling in Moscow’s affairs and that no one should speak to Russia through ultimatums, fears of a new nuclear arms race are being rekindled by the actions of arch rivals USA and Russia.

There are reasons to believe that Russia is angry with NATO’s attempt to contain Russia, the leader of former Soviet Union. In facing the containment policy of USA by using former Soviet republics, Vladimir Putin said on June 16 that Russia would add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year.

Putin made his announcement a day after Russian officials denounced a US plan to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO states on Russia’s border as the most aggressive act by Washington since the Cold War. Intercontinental ballistic missiles have a minimum range of more than 5,500 km (3,400 miles). Putin gave no more details of which missiles were being added to the nuclear arsenal. He has said several times that Russia must maintain its nuclear deterrence to counter what he sees as growing security threats, and Moscow reserves the right to deploy nuclear weapons in Crimea. Following annexation of Crimea, the West, led by the European Union and United States, has imposed punitive economic sanctions on Russia.

The Kremlin portrays spending on the Russian arms sector as a driver of economic growth, but Putin’s critics say it is excessive and comes at the expense of social needs. “More than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles able to overcome even the most technically advanced anti-missile defence systems will be added to the make-up of the nuclear arsenal this year,” Putin, flanked by army officers, said in a speech at an arms fair west of Moscow.

Such comments have helped whip up anti-Western sentiment in the former Soviet space and rally support behind Putin but have caused concern in the West, particularly countries on or near Russia’s borders. Russian officials warned that Moscow would retaliate if the United States carried out its plan to store heavy military equipment in Eastern Europe, including in the Baltic States that were once in the Soviet Union. “The feeling is that our colleagues from NATO countries are pushing us into an arms race,” RIA news agency quoted Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov as saying during “Army 2015”, a fair at which arms and other military equipment are on show.

This Russian action would likely to increase alarm in the West. Tension has resurged between Russia and Western powers over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis, in which pro-Russian separatist forces have seized a large part of the country’s eastern provinces after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in early 2014.

Putin has however added Moscow will not be drawn into a new arms race although Russia is modernizing its armed forces. Putin said in his speech that 70 percent of the military equipment in use would by 2020 be the most up-to-date and top-quality. But lavish military spending is weighing heavily on Russia’s national budget at a time when the economy is sliding towards recession, hit by low oil prices and Western sanctions.

With the USA and Russia in a state of renewed cold war for over a year now, it was inevitable that the nuclear arms race, far more important attribute of the first Cold War, would soon return with more force.

Russian president was speaking at an arms race fair and his plan for more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles into service in 2015 as part of a wide-reaching program to modernize the military not a joke.

The move is in response to what Russia has slammed as an aggressive expansion of military presence in NATO states in Eastern Europe, which would provoke Russia to respond by stationing its army on its western borders. Stationing of heavy US military equipment in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe would amount to the most aggressive step by the Pentagon and NATO since the Cold War. Interfax news agency quoted a Russian Defense Ministry official General Yuri Yakubov as saying:”Russia would be left with no other option but to boost its troops and forces on the western flank.” 

The U.S. Navy is among those participating in a NATO landing exercise in Sweden. Around the same time, U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James announced that it could be sending some of its most advanced warplanes to Europe in a show of force. Already, the Pentagon has rotated B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15Cs and A-10 attack planes as well as Army and Navy assets through Europe for exercises with allies under what’s called Operation Atlantic Resolve. James said the F-22 Raptor, the Pentagon’s premier fighter, could soon join them. This is all in addition to previous U.S. military actions in support of Ukraine and several Baltic countries, some of whom fear Russian President Putin — either directly or indirectly — will come after them next.

In reaction, Russia’s foreign ministry on Monday accused NATO countries of “sliding into a new military confrontation with destructive consequences.” That’s not to say Moscow hasn’t taken military action of its alone — most conspicuously with its aircraft.  The NATO late last year announced that it intercepted more than 400 Russian military planes in 2014 alone — a 50% increase from the previous year. Then there was the Russian jet in May came within 10 feet of an American military plane in international airspace above the Black Sea. Putin upped the ante beyond provocative aerial maneuvers that same day, as he announced that he is buttressing his country’s nuclear arsenal with an additional 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

USA and European leaders are already considering an additional round of sanctions they would impose on Moscow if it makes further military moves in Ukraine.

And since nuclear escalation usually takes place in a tit-for-tat mutual defection regime, earlier it was reported that the Americans are preparing a set of various measures, and among them the placement of heavy weaponry in Poland and other countries will be very important. And sure enough Russia, which it says is merely responding to NATO escalation, was promptly accused of escalating even more by the same NATO that keeps parking its own forces ever since the US-orchestrated Ukraine presidential coup was meant to convert Kiev into a potential NATO country and military base.

Nato and Western leaders accused Russia of sending soldiers and heavy weapons, including tanks and missiles, to the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly denied this, insisting that any Russians fighting there are “volunteers”. Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the statement from Putin was “confirming the pattern and behavior of Russia over a period of time; we have seen Russia is investing more in defense in general and in its nuclear capability in particular”. He said: “This nuclear sabre-rattling of Russia is unjustified, it’s destabilising and it’s dangerous.”

And just to stabilize things, NATO may well deploy some of its own tactical nukes in the region as a deterrence measure now that the second nuclear arms race is fully up and running. To be sure Stoltenberg essentially admitted that the next retaliation by NATO countries will also be a nuclear one: that “what NATO now does in the eastern part of the alliance is something that is proportionate, that is defensive and that is fully in line with our international commitments.

the BBC’s estimate of Russia’s existing nuclear arsenal: Military stockpile of approximately 4,500 nuclear warheads; These include nearly 1,800 strategic warheads deployed on missiles and at bomber bases; Another 700 strategic warheads are in storage along with roughly 2,700 non-strategic warheads; A large number – perhaps 3,500 – of retired, but still largely intact warheads await dismantlement.

Back in December 2013 Russia stationed nuclear-capable Iskander (ss-26) missile launchers, as one of the first nuclear moves in the current Cold War 2.0 arms race, along the polish border to deter the US missile defense system in Poland. As such, all that the current second nuclear arms race needs is a spark. Incidentally, back in 1937 a comparable Fed rate hike such to the one the Fed is currently contemplating, led to a 50% crash in the stock market. More importantly, less than two years later, World War II broke out. On the day after the crash, investigators said they had reviewed the flight recorders, and confirmed that there were no technical problems with the Soviet-built aeroplane, ruling out initial theories that the 20-year-old aircraft was at fault. The Russian maker of the Buk air defence missile system says it has concluded that Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was downed by an older version of the missile. It says the type is not in service with the Russian military but is in Ukrainian arsenals.

The war of words between America and Russia is escalating. So, too, is the movement of implements of war — from US fighter jets to Russian nuclear weapons. the rhetoric and actions from both sides have definitely ratcheted up in recent days, raising concerns of a new arms race — if not worse — amid tensions both sides blame on each other. The major players all claim their movements are defensive and necessary responses to their foe’s provocation. None has talked of an invasion.

Nearly every American and European attempt at deterring Putin has instead triggered an opposite reaction: more military exercises, more provocative behavior and a persistent refusal to back down in the face of Western demands.

US and Russian nuclear arsenals as of April 2010

US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, signed a landmark nuclear arms treaty in the Czech capital, Prague in April 2010. The treaty commits the former Cold War enemies to each reduce the number of deployed strategic warheads to 1,550 – 30% lower than the previous ceiling. Here is a breakdown of their respective arsenals.

USA RUSSIA
Intercontinental ballistic missile
Name No. Warheads Name No. Warheads
Minuteman* 450 550 SS-18 (Satan) 50 500
SS-19 (Stiletto) 60 360
SS-25 (Sickle) 150 150
SS-27 (Topol)* 71 80
SUBTOTAL 450 550 331 1,090
Submarine-launched ballistic missiles
Name No. Warheads Name No. Warheads
Trident 288 1,152 SS-N-18 M1 (Stingray) 64 192
SS-N-23*
(Skiff & Sineva)
96 384
SUBTOTAL 288 1,152 144 576
Bombers
Name No. Warheads Name No. Warheads
B52 Stratofortress 44 350 Tu-95 (Bear) 62 682
B-2A Spirit* 16 150 Tu-160 (Blackjack)* 13 156
SUBTOTAL 60 500 75 838
Nonstrategic (short-range) forces
Name No. Warheads Name No. Warheads
Tomahawk*cruise missile 325 100 53T6 (Gazelle) 68 68
B61 bombs 400 SA-10 (Grumble)* 1,900 630
Bombers/fighters 524 650
Subs/Ships/Air 700
SUBTOTAL 325 500 1,492 2,000
TOTAL 1,123 2,702 2,042 4,600
Source: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Note: The data for the US relates to 2009. That for Russia, 2010.

Former ideological super power rivals USA and Russia with huge piles of arms arsenals do not seem to enforce nuclear disarmament globally. The US vested interests in maintaining upper hand in arms arsenals, especially WMD has emboldened Russia to ignore global nuclear disarmament and go slow in the hopeless arms reduction talks.

G7 summit focuses on global economy, sanctions on Russia!

 

G7 summit focuses on global economy, sanctions on Russia!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized countries have convened on their annual summit in Germany, where they are expected to discuss current crises, such as the wars in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya, and long-term issues like climate change and the economy.

The leaders of seven major industrialized countries led by supper power USA are meeting for their annual summit, with the first day devoted to the global economy and talks to liberalize trade rules. But the meeting will now focus on the continued sanctions on Russia. The leaders also want to agree on a climate change policy for a key meeting in Paris in December, where the goal will be to reach a global agreement to reduce carbon emissions.

US President Barack Obama said it is a list of difficult challenges. Obama also said: “We’re going to discuss our shared future,” he said, “the global economy that creates jobs and opportunity, maintaining a strong and prosperous European Union, forging new trade partnerships across the Atlantic, standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine, combating threats from violent extremism to climate change.”

For the second year, a key topic will be Russia’s involvement in Ukraine. Russia was expelled from the group last year after it invaded and annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region, and it continues to support, train and equip rebels in two eastern regions. (The elite G8 group in which Russia is a member is no more existing) G7 countries are among the leaders of an extensive sanctions regime designed to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to change his policy.   Western powers, annoyed that the Kremlin has taken back the Crimea from Ukraine, now demand Russia to end Ukraine crisis by withdrawing Russian forces from east Ukraine, but Putin says Russia supports Russian fight for freedom but insists that Russian forces have not gone to Ukraine. However, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Moscow has sent 9,000 troops into “the area”, but Russia denies the claim.

 

The West accuses Moscow of supporting the insurgents in eastern Ukraine, a charge that Russia denies. The truce singed by Kyiv, Moscow and separatist rebels at talks mediated by Germany and France requires the warring sides to withdraw heavy weapons from the line of contact, but the provisions have been routinely violated.

President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel say economic sanctions against Russia should only be eased with Moscow’s full implementation of a shaky truce in eastern Ukraine to end fighting between pro-Russian insurgents and Kiev’s forces.

The US and German leaders insist that the sanctions should remain in place. The leaders also expected to discuss world crises including gains by the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and the crises in Libya and Yemen.  There are also the pressing issues related to China, which is building islands in the Pacific that could be used to control shipping lanes. The American and German leaders met before the G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps. The White House said both leaders agreed the duration of the sanctions should be “clearly linked” to Moscow carrying out February’s cease-fire deal and showing “respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty.”

More than half the meeting Obama had with Merkel was devoted to show unity in confronting Russia over the destabilizing actions in Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement. Merkel told German public broadcaster ARD that Moscow should stay out of the G7 “community of values” over its actions in Ukraine. “There is a barrier at the moment and I cannot really see how it can be overcome,” she said. European Council President Donald Tusk, said the European Union and the G7 leaders remain firm in their support of Ukraine in its fight against pro-Russian separatists.

Before meeting privately, Merkel and Obama drank beer and ate sausages at a table with local residents in the picturesque Alpine village of Kruen, a few kilometers from the summit site.  Chancellor Merkel called the United States “our friend and our partner” and referred to the American leader as “dear Barack.”

the G7 leaders will be joined by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to discuss the fight against Islamic State, and some African leaders will join the meetings for a discussion of development, women’s rights and health policy.

G7 communiques on such issues are often greeted with indifference. In its annual assessment, the G7 Research Group based at the University of Toronto said the G7 does make a difference, particularly on such issues as financial regulations, health care, helping refugees and infrastructure development in Africa.

Like all G7 summits and similar events, this one has attracted Chanting and singing, some of them briefly blocked roads in the area early Sunday, and one group walked across a field where protesters had been allowed to camp out, trying to reach the summit hotel.

More than 15,000 German security personnel are keeping the protesters who blame the 7 big powers for many of the world’s problems, at bay and ensuring the leaders are safe as they uphold the G7 tradition of spending a couple of days largely on their own, discussing the world’s most pressing issues and deciding a common strategy  against their perceived ”foes” like Russia, China and others.  .

 

Issues before Indian PM Modi as he visits Bangladesh on June 6-7

Issues before Indian PM Modi as he visits Bangladesh on June 6-7

-Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches Bangladesh on June 6 to a red carpet reception to be accorded for two days by the Awami League government of Sheikh Hasina who is eager to use the occasion to settle score with her political opponents led by Khaleda Zia. Reports suggest the West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who stood against Teesta Accord to meet the water requirement of her own state would a part of PM Modi entourage consisting of top business magnets, among others.

While in Dhaka PM Modi would advance Delhi’s long-cherished goal of transit treaty with Bangladesh leaving behind the promised Teesta water sharing agreement for future. Teesta Barrage project in West Bengal is the biggest irrigation project that support irrigation in the entire region. The project provides irrigation to 9.22 million hectares of land and generates 67.50 mw of hydroelectric power. Teesta flow is restricted before it enters West Bengal with construction of more than ten hydro projects in the upstream.  After meeting its own requirement West Bengal has little flow of Teesta water during the dry season to share with Bangladesh. Teesta issue is emerging as a major threat to the two countries’ multi-faceted bilateral ties and raising the wall of mistrust between India and Bangladesh.

Although India is projecting Modi’s ensuing visit as the expansion of trade and mutual cooperation, but his priority is transit corridor for military purposes in North East. Arunachal Pradesh in the Northeast is a disputed area, claimed by China as part of Tibet. India’s intelligence agency claimed China was behind the unity move of the separatist groups and some of their leaders were in Beijing seeking material support in their struggle for independence from India. About two lakh regular army and paramilitary forces remained deployed in the Northeastern States for decades to combat the insurgents in guerrilla warfare. They need quick and smooth supplies.

In fact, Bangladesh has already been providing transit facilities to India. Heavy machinery for power plant in Tripura transported from the West through Bangladesh free of cost. Similarly, rice and other essential goods are transported to the insurgency troubled Northeastern States through Bangladesh territory. The 2010 agreement between Sheikh Hasina and Dr Manmohan Singh ­ a broad ranging communiqué issued after her visit to Delhi marks a dramatic improvement of relations between the two countries. The communiqué included a promise to allow transit facilities and India’s commitment to energize bilateral trade by drawing down tariff and certain non-tariff barriers to Bangladeshi products.

What Narendra Modi wants during his short visit, and Awami League Government in Bangladesh ready to oblige in favor of heavy service charges, is to renew the existing transit facility with amendment for expansion of its scope for greater connectivity. It is worth recalling that after the 1947 partition of India, Pakistan had sought from India transit facility between East and West Pakistan. India had outright rejected the proposal. Pakistan had also sought Calcutta port facility for a period of six months to make Chittagong port operative. India’s then Home Minister Sardar Patel rejected the proposal saying ‘not for even six hours’. Again, President Ziaur Rahman made a treaty with Nepal for bilateral trade through India and port facility to landlocked Nepal. But India denied transit facility over its land and the agreement could never be implemented.

Bangladeshi trade gap with India in the first nine months of the current financial year continued to hover at $4.06 billion despite a slight increase in exports to the neighbouring country. The trade gap was still high as different non-tariff barriers continued to limit Bangladesh’s exports to the neighbouring country, said economists and experts. Bangladesh’s imports from India stood at $4.45 billion in July-March of the FY 2014-2015 whereas exports stood at $396.43 million during the period.  The trade deficit of Bangladesh against India was still high as different non-tariff barriers continued to limit Bangladesh’s exports to the neighbouring country. The businesspeople have long been raising their concern in this connection but the India’s government is yet to mitigate the problem.

Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh executive director Mansur said that the country had been facing a large trade gap with China and India for a long time due to lower export earnings against higher import payments. The country’s industrial sector has also facing a production crisis due to the recent political unrest and that might have played a role in the large trade deficit between the two countries. The government should give pressure to India on political ground so that the country’s businesspeople would be able to increase their export items.  Mansur said the commerce ministry should take initiative to avoid non-tariff barriers with India that would help the exporters to increase their items to India.

India, which has had an uneasy relationship with China for decades, has long fretted over Beijing’s military cooperation with its South Asian neighbours, especially Pakistan. India is also worried China is creating a so-called “string of pearls” across the Indian Ocean by funding port developments in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bangladesh. China had built close ties with Bangladesh as part of its South Asia diplomacy and that this was a concern for India. The number of PLA (China’s People’s Liberation Army) visits to Bangladesh is nearly the same as to India. Shrewd Modi is trying to counter it with his neighborhood outreach. Narendra Modi has reached out to all of India’s neighbours since he took office a year ago except Pakistan.

Any Indian concerns about Bangladesh’s growing military ties to China, including the planned sale of two Chinese diesel-electric submarines, are likely to fall on deaf ears in Dhaka, said a former Bangladeshi military officer and an Indian expert. China was the source of 82 percent of Bangladesh’s arms purchases from 2009-2013, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), making Dhaka one of the top three buyers of Chinese weapons in the world. SIPRI data showed Bangladesh bought anti-ship missiles, tanks, fighter aircraft and other arms from China between 2008 and 2012. Last year it commissioned two new frigates from China. “China became the largest supplier of military hardware to Bangladesh when relations with India were strained,” said retired Bangladeshi brigadier general Shahedul Anam Khan. A government official in Dhaka said Bangladesh’s first submarines, costing $206 million in total, could be delivered before 2019. China was expected to provide training, said Chinese experts on the country’s ties with South Asia.

China is helping Bangladesh upgrade its main Chittagong port while the China Harbour Engineering Company has been seen as the frontrunner to win a contract to build an $8 billion deep water port on Sonadia Island off the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazaar in the Bay of Bengal. A Bangladeshi government official said it was unclear when a decision on Sonadia would be made, adding that port operators from the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands were also interested. “China, in my opinion, is the best option,” said Munshi Faiz Ahmad, a former Bangladesh ambassador to China, adding that Chinese firms had built big infrastructure projects in a number of countries including Bangladesh, where they have constructed power plants, bridges and roads.

India was alarmed last year when Chinese submarines docked ports in Sri Lanka. A new government in Colombo has since ruled out submarine visits in the near future. China’s defence ministry’s had no immediate comment on military ties with Bangladesh. Cooperation between the two countries was normal, China’s Foreign Ministry said. Bangladesh has never hosted a naval ship from China. Modi will take border settlement and water sharing deals to Bangladesh as part of his drive to erode Chinese influence in South Asia, although Dhaka is likely to remain dependent on Beijing for military equipment.

What worries Indian military planners is that China might see Bangladesh, which shares the Bay of Bengal with India and Myanmar, as an ideal place for its warships and submarines to dock. The Indian Navy is watching China’s growing military ties with Bangladesh closely. It’s setting up missile batteries and radar surveillance on Sagar island, near the Indian-Bangladesh border, with plans to develop a deep sea port there that would provide easy access to the Bay of Bengal, military officials said.  “The worry is not Bangladesh’s military capabilities,” said former Indian ambassador to Dhaka, Pinaki Chakravarty. “It is about Chinese influence next door.”

Modi has won parliamentary approval for an agreement that will transfer a small amount of territory to Bangladesh that previous Indian governments failed to ratify for fear of a domestic backlash. The issue dates back to British India’s partition in 1947. Prime Minister Modi has also persuaded a Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to drop her opposition to share water equally from a key river that flows through India before reaching Bangladesh. The migration of tens of thousands of people from Bangladesh into India has long been a sensitive issue in India, with the then opposition Bharatiya Janata Party making it a key campaign plank. But since coming to power, Modi has fallen silent on the migration issue and has instead focused on securing India’s strategic objectives in Bangladesh.

The Modi government in India said will soon be providing Bangladesh $2 billion line of credit for development of water, rail and road transport. The funds should be used for development of the railway, power, health, education, ICT and water transport on a priority basis. A deal for this is expected to be signed during the Indian prime minister’s visit to Dhaka on June 6. Finance ministry officials said the terms of the LOC will be same as the previous $1 billion line of credit extended by India, under which at least 75 percent of the goods and services for the projects would have to be procured from India. The credit will also have an interest rate of 1 percent which is a little higher than World Bank loans.

India gave Bangladesh $1 billion line of credit in 2010. The then Indian finance minister and now President Pranab Mukherjee later announced that no interest would be charged on $200 million of the $ 1 billion loan. The rest $800 million, on which 1 percent interest would be charged is being used to implement 14 projects, seven of which have already been completed.

India has succeeded in dissuading Sri Lanka to deny China any right to dock its vessel at Lankan ports. The new government under President Sirisena has assured New Delhi not to let the Chinese ships to dock in the Island nation. However, PM Modi would not e able to get Bangladesh on board to be strict with Beijing. China-Bangladeshi military ties have been very strong for years and are indeed growing further. Chinese presence in Bangladesh is being felt as a national phenomenon. India can do very little to disrupt the relationship Dhaka courts with Beijing voluntarily..

Indian judiciary: Public prosecutor considers Jayalalithaa’s acquittal by court flawed!

Indian judiciary: Public prosecutor considers Jayalalithaa’s acquittal by court flawed!
-Dr. Abdul Ruff
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The ADMK supremo and ex. CM of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa very effectively coerced the judiciary to deliver a judgment in her favor. T he credit for this unique achievement goes to her skillful multi-pronged strategy. She can also declare that money and contracts can do wonders in India.

Now that the AIADMK chief has been acquitted, her counsel B Kumar states that there is no impediment for her to become chief minister. Her party cadres and followers are keen that she does so at the earliest. The current Chief Minister O Panneerselvam is set to submit his resignation. Sources say that she is likely to be sworn in once again as CM on May 17. She may have to contest a by-election within six months, but that may well be a cakewalk for her. Jayalalithaa may now work on rebuilding and strengthening her party in the state once again.
Jayalalithaa was not present in Bangalore at the High Court as it pronounced her acquittal in the disproportionate assets case but it appears she knew the judgment beforehand. She stayed back home in Poes Garden in Chennai, but has reportedly been receiving updates via her party men and media reports. The AIADMK chief issued a statement saying, it was a victory for justice and defeat for those who had conspired to defame and malign her legacy and the legacy of her mentor MGR who was never charged with corruption.
AIADMK suffered a serious setback when she was convicted and if the conviction had been upheld on May 11, it would have shattered the party and led to the likely resurgence and return of the DMK. However, DMK which is now fragmented due to internal politics, is likely to face a tough time now that she has been freed of all charges. There is widespread speculation that Jaya will call for early elections, but her party men say she is likely to wait till May 2016.

All the welfare schemes that Jaya (Amma) had initiated had slowed down since she stepped down. For instance, there are 100 more Amma canteens that are in the pipeline, waiting to be launched. Though O Pannerselvam was her chosen man to be CM, he feared her and didn’t make major decisions during his tenure. In fact even in deciding simple matters he would consult her before making decisions. Initiatives like the Metro rail project and Global Investors Meet were held up as the government didn’t deliberately want to move them forward without her.

In a dramatic manner, Karnataka High Court has cleared the deck for former CM Jayalalithaa to return to power as CM. She can now return as Tamil Nadu chief minister but must be elected as a state law-maker within six months. The 67-year-old had quit office after her conviction last year.

AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa’s cup of woes is just brimming over. Even as her supporters are still celebrating her acquittal, her political opponents and critics have raised doubts that Justice CR Kumaraswamy might have made huge errors in calculations while delivering his judgment yesterday. The errors render the whole basis of the judgment meaningless.

Jayalalithaa’s acquittal on May 11 by the Karnataka High Court has irked many legal luminaries and also provoked severe criticisms, including from senior lawyers. The public prosecutor BV Acharya has alleged that the court decision to declare J Jayalalithaa not guilty in a corruption case may have been based on deeply flawed math. Mere assumptions cannot be the basis of judgments. “In terms of percentage there is a glaring arithmetical error,” he said.

The Karnataka High Court said that the Tamil politician Jaya had been “incorrectly charged” with accumulating wealth disproportionate to her known sources of income during her first term as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She had said her monthly salary was just a rupee. The prosecution said that in five years, her assets including property and jewelry added up to 66 crores. But the judge in the judgment said that the prosecution had mixed up assets of firms owned by her with her personal wealth.
Justice CR Kumaraswamy, hailing from Tamil Nadu, found that after taking office, Ms Jayalalithaa’s wealth increased by about 8% – which was “relatively small” and “within the permissible limit of 10 per cent”. The prosecution claims that the rise in her illegal wealth was miscalculated and far exceeds the limit.

Prosecutor Acharya said according to page 852 of the Karnataka High Court judgment, the former Tamil Nadu chief minister’s loans add up to almost Rs. 11 crore, while the judge calculated her borrowings at 24 crores – around 13 crores more.

Jayalalithaa’s disproportionate assets, therefore, add up to around Rs. 16 crore and not Rs. 3 crore. “So her assets are disproportionate by 76% and not 8.12 (as stated by the judge). Since the glaring mistake has come to our notice only now, we are considering all options available,” said Acharya, who fought the case on behalf of the government of Karnataka, which is where the trial was shifted from Tamil Nadu in 2003 to ensure it would not be impacted by the politics of Ms Jayalalithaa’s home state.

As per the judgment, Jayalalithaa’s total assets stand at Rs 37 crore. Deducting the total income (Rs 34.77 crore) from this, the judge has arrived at a figure of Rs 2.82 crore. This figure shoots up to Rs 16 crore, once we replace the total income with the correct number of Rs 21.2 crore. As per this calculation, the percentage of disproportionate assets is a whopping 76.5 percent of Jayalalithaa’s income and not 8.12 percent as the judge has said in the judgment

Here’s another explanation of the judgment mistake. As per the table on Page 852 of the judgment, Jayalalithaa and her associates have taken loans worth Rs Rs 24.2 crore, which has been considered by the judge as lawful income. However, a simple addition of all the 10 heads in the table shows that the actual aggregate loan amount was only Rs 10.67 crore. This means there has been an error of about Rs 13.5 crore.
The correct calculation shows that the lawful income of Jayalalithaa would reduce by Rs 13.5 crore to just Rs 10.67 crore. The mistake has been pointed out by the DMK in a statement, according to media reports. Further, as per the judgment, about Rs 6 crore has been deducted from the loan amount as the income assessed by director of vigilance and anti-corruption, which reduces the loan amount to Rs 18.2 crore. According to a report in The News Minute, the loan amount has to be Rs 4.67 crore. Here too the error is Rs 13.5 crore, the report says. The error in the loan amount has a cascading impact as the figure had been used in many other calculations by the judge. On Page 913, in the statement of the income of the accused, the first head, loan as income, has been put at the said Rs 18.2 crore. Once this is replaced with Rs 4.67 crore, it again results in a mismatch of Rs 13.5 crore.

In other words, with a loan amount of just Rs 4.67 crore, the total income drops to Rs 21.2 crore from the judge’s figure of Rs 34.77 crore. The same is the case with calculation of disproportionate assets, where total income is subtracted from the total assets.

It may also explain why BJP leader Subramanian Swamy termed the judgment a “tragedy of arithmetic errors”. Dr. Subramanian Swamy said he would approach the Supreme Court against the judgment. “In my appeal to SC in JJ DA case, I will prove that the KHC judgment is a “tragedy of arithmetic errors”. JJ will have to resign again if CM. Subramanian Swamy, who started the ball rolling, is likely to appeal her acquittal in the Supreme Court. Jayalalithaa and her counsel will fight these charges. Will she be CM again or not? Speculations are indeed thrilling like in movies.
The prosecution has three months to appeal in the Supreme Court against Ms Jayalalithaa’s acquittal. Reports suggest there would many appeals at the apex court against the Karnataka High court in Bengaluru judgment on disproportionate assets of Jayalalithaa who actually belongs to Karnataka.

My educational path: My favourite teacher: Random thoughts

 

My educational path: My favourite teacher: Random thoughts

 – Dr. Abdul Ruff

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Do we have favorite teachers?

I would rush to say that as a self made person I am my own teacher, favorite or otherwise, and I don’t wish to consider anybody else as my favourite teacher. That view would indeed be a highly individualistic and, in fact, a  selfish approach to one’s own life. That amounts to negation of truth. Without truth life, even if successful, is meaningless.

As a student I perhaps had many favorite teachers certainly more than one. But we small boys never discussed those issues. I looked upon teachers as very precious people born to help children like me.

You will agree with me that that is not a genuine understanding of one’s life. We have learned a lot of good and bad things from the society, from the people around and in the school itself.

Teachers from school to university help us with the proper and genuine development of our character.  This very crucial task of character building exercises cannot be done by our parents or friends because parents upbring children in their “colorful” ways so that their sweet children become big guys and important ladies, with or without genuine understanding of life that helps in them mould strong character.

It is likely at times that a few parents also try to mould the character and positive mindset of their children but very often than not they do not succeed and they invariably fail to train or make any lasting impact on their own children like what teachers do.

Unfortunately, the parents negatively influence their children because they do not have any genuine rapport and therefore keep quarreling, abuse one another, insult one another, thereby making their children feel insecure. This is because they lack the necessary parental aptitudes. At times by showering over-affection on the little children and refusing to punish their wrong doings, mistakes parents in fact spoil them in their early life itself. That is indeed harmful for the future of children. News reports let us know that some misguided parents force chidden to run away, to commit crimes, to commit suicide. That is cruel.

Of course, not every teacher proves self to be inspiring, motivating or positive and some of them could be dangerously dull and pathetically weak and unproductive.   However, even if one teacher is bad, misbehaves and negative in attitudes towards life and education and in relations with pupils, there are many teachers there to help the little children mold their character.

When I think of spotting my best or favourite teacher, frankly, I don’t get any particular teacher in the role, maybe because I am also a teacher trying to communicate with a large section of common people.

But believe me what comes to my mind quickly when such questions rise is entire my university life in New Delhi altogether that may have molded me into what I am, if at all,  capable of today.

Jawaharlal Nehru University, or in short JNU, remains my lifeline and that multidisciplinary institution by and large could be my favorite teacher if I have to concede. Conversely, had I not been a student and teacher of JNU perhaps, please trust me, I would have been different, may be a useless human being.

Generally speaking, plenty of officals in Indian Administrative Services, Foreign Services and Police Services belong to JNU. I keep JNU in high esteem not because of that. Of course, I am not unhappy that I am not one among them. Frankly, I am not as intelligent, hard working or studious as they are and so I can’t compare me with them. After getting enrolled for a master’s or research program at JNU they spent most of their time at JNU preparing for administrative services or trying to go abroad for higher studies or work.  I wonder if these hardworking youth focus on their studies for which they take admissions at JNU, possibly the quality of university education and research would have gone up considerably, taking JNU to the level of many high standard western institutions. But then India also needs good administrators to help central and state governments run the governance as smoothly as desirable. .

I could very easily justify my keeping JNU on top of my life by saying  it give a job fairly easier than I thought it would be and easier than many of my classmates got there or elsewhere. That is not the reason as I would have got a job elsewhere too, except in states like Tamil Nadu or Kerala where bribes make wonders in appointments.   Certainly I would not have offered bribes to the “concerned” to get a job. But I would have got a job in some university where bribes do not make a criterion for selection. Not only JNU gave me an initial job it also gave me an orientation necessary to face the educational world. However, the forces around me were so strong I could not survive the pull and push of them. Maybe, communal or community troubles or something else more than that are behind my bad luck. I am not sure.  I failed to detect people scheming against me. I collapsed, unable to comprehend or control my own steps, my own destiny…. I expected God, who knows everything, to do the needful. I don’t think I am mistaken.

I admire JNU for its role in my life. I learned a lot from being I at JNU for many years, first as a student and research scholar and then as a s a teacher. Believe me it was at JNU that I realized that the world has got many good souls as well.

At times, I think about possible life had I continued to study in my district of Tamil Nadu perhaps I would have got a job or I would have ended in some odd job to sustain my family. Or, worse, some examiner would have failed me at examination in practical as I would have been a science student for graduation. Thank God I had the fortune to join JNU to learn about life. .

Only those who have got no resources to pursue studies alone would know the importance of an institution that offers free education with scholarship and hostel facilities almost everything was free. I studies ignoring opposition from my guardian in New Delhi who refused to give the initial fee to register for an honors program. As my guardian pressed me to do some work instead of studies, I had tough time getting those some rupees from him for registration and by the grace of God, I managed and after words, I did not require any financial help from him as I could depend on scholarship. As my studies progressed in the first year, my guardian left for Kashmir for business there, leaving me to my own fate, now officially.  I began my independent life.  Thanks to my kind teachers I could  pass the  honors and MA but  I decided  to switch  disciple and I was denied fellowship  by “experts”  for M. Phil program in International studies where such matters are decided  by high level influences that I did not have. Then my teacher came to my rescue and gave me a job to continue my studies.  Thus I became a university teacher all of a sudden. As my fate began playing its own role, I kept on changing places not knowing where exactly I was heading for.

I thank God for being so kind to let me have education, as much as I desire, even more than I could expect from my little life, I certainly do not blame  Him  for all the troubles I had to face in service to nation.

The SIS experts who come with their own “favorite” candidates for fellowships for research programs reminded me of those anti-social elements that sell tickets in black at cinema theatres. Here I don’t blame my own poor fate.

I have studied in private institutions, for instance for PG Diploma in Educational Administration in an Institute at Vellore, Tamil Nadu but I had pay a lot money and incur other expenses. The IGNOU charged big money for a PG Diploma in Distance Education but then I was already employed and earning. I could afford paid special education. Once as I was returning to Hyderabad from Vellore,  I was given tea with something that made me unconscious from early morning to evening and I found myself sitting  at  Green  café at Secunderabad (Telengana) and I was weak and found some  people, most probably from railways,  were watching me. I was helpless and at the mercy of Indian network people. I still do not know why did they do that way- keeping me in an unconscious way, almost dead for a whole day – and where exactly.

Somebody told me that the Interpol guys are behind all this, but why?

When I was pursuing my second PhD at JNU after my nasty and bitter experience with EFLU where worked most of my career, I was attacked in a running train by the so-called security forces BSF in civil dress but I was saved by fellow passenger. The BSF guys quarreled with him for coming in their way. .

Most of the students at JNU as well as teachers were rich. With plenty of money in their pockets as regular expenditure sum, students just enjoy life, even begin to smoke, drink alcohol and use drugs because they are free from the parental control mechanisms. However, many students and even researchers very tactfully escape that awful route. I am one among them.

When I unambiguously declare JNU as my best teacher of life, by no means I say  other institutions with which I have been fortunate to be  associated with either as students/researcher or teacher.  Obviously I benefited greatly from my studies or service or both with institutions from primary school to university.

A little Girl’s primary school very close to my house in native town where I began my educational life with no family educational background and without enough books, food and proper clothing and then the VKP High School not far way of my house and later Laskhmirpuram College of Arts and Sciences which was 3 miles walking distance then – all gave me lessons on life I practiced after that at JNU. In fact, in JNU I was first recognized as a useful person.

I need to mention here that quite a lot of teachers from primary school right up to university were fond of me and really helped me come over difficulties. Some of them are warm people.  I prefer avoiding names here because the list would have been too long. Moreover, if I leave out a couple of teachers by chance – that is possible given a large number of teachers in my life –  that would be unfair on my part as injustice would be done to those persons. Let them all live in my heart even after I leave this world, finally forgetting all my tiny achievements and great disappointments….

Indian institutions like IGNOU, Mysore University, CIEFL (now EFLU), Uniferro International Limited did influence greatly my life. They made me human, helped me live with some sort of dignity. They honored me by degrees, diplomas, certificates, doctorates, etc. My education at the Pushkin Institute in Moscow had a deep impact on my perceptions of life.

In fact, not just conventional educational institutions that contributed to my swings in my life patterns. Sermons in Mosque, Church and other religious discourse also may have shaped my world views, although I may not have changed much in any sense of the term.

The surroundings, journeys, among other constructive studies could have improved my understanding of life and people. That is indeed highly impressive development. Recently I was listening to some film music and the lyric by poet Kannadasan impressed me much for his philosophical ideas that are conveyed in fine music tunes. I feel I am just nobody, or maybe a small fry in a very large ocean of talented people.

It is not how much successful I am in life at this point of time. But I am fully satisfied with my title life. Those who know my early school and college life would testify the pivotal importance of my grandmother in my life and without her own commitment to my education I would not have gone beyond 7th class- seriously! In fact, I was forced to stop my studies at 7th std and I resumed school after a couple of years.

On the one hand, it gives me enormous happiness and sense of satisfaction that despite stiff opposition, protests and negative attitude by my own parents, relatives, without sources for proper food I could get the high level of education in India by the grace of God and with active support and help from my teachers.

Fate has always been ruthless with me; it never allowed me to be a good human to others, to myself. .

Journalistic writings, for which I seem to have developed some flair, are fairly easier to engage with than say prose or poetry.  Prose and poetry generally require not just planning but more than anything else the necessary basic literary sensibilities, creative mindset. These cannot be generated artificially and without genuine aptitude for creative writing, literary works die prematurely.

Even in literary works, poetry is more difficult than prose writings like stories or novels though they are lengthy and too elaborate. Poetry differs from prose not only in the format itself, in rhymes and meters, but by the way poets choose words and phrases – they use a fewer words than prose writers to describe life. That the poets can employ fewer words than prose writers to express the same human or living feelings and life situations makes them a special category of litterateurs.

I know too well that poetry or prose is not my cup of sweet tea I love to drink. Also, I am not very sure if my journalistic writings have been able to articulate good thoughts I wish for others and put across positive ideas to the global readers who might be reading me.  But this is safest medium that came to me so that I can communicate with the world.

I was enjoying life, for the first time in life in Moscow – Indian government had sent me to pursue research and text book production – , travelling in metro trains, trolleybuses, eating ice cream in cold winter, when I received a letter from University of Mysore appointing me as a lecturer. I decided to return to India thinking of serving India but not knowing the future consequences for that crucial, if not unwise, decision.  Though my return made my grandmother happy and my home safe, in the longer times the decision of the devils has pushed me to sideways.  I tried for a job in my home state and neighboring state Kerala but devils in these regions had the upper hand to deny me opportunities. As fate played its role aggressively, I left University of Mysore, not in a hurry of course (I conducted my last classes to my students for a few days even after I tendered resignation), to join the CIEFL (EFLU) hoping for a new life in Hyderabad but not knowing well the life would be more difficult for me there.  Initially I was proven wrong but slowly devils began to laugh at me, again …

There is definitely one area where parents as well as teachers – even piers- play significant role in one’s life:  inculcating a sense of disciple into children. Children try to pick up a few elements of discipline both from parents and teacher, others. If they don’t, their only resort is self discipline which is very difficult However, if children have cultivated a sense of self discipline, then, nothing can shake him in life. I don’t know if I have acquired discipline or perfected in self discipline, I always admire those who are genuinely disciplined.

Self disciple, if at all, may have saved me from total collapse. I can’t blame God for what the devils, official as well as private, do in my life.

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Nukes of China, India, Israel and Pakistan pose serious threat to Asia, world peace!

Nukes of China, India, Israel and Pakistan pose serious threat to Asia, world peace!

-Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal

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  1. Weapons of mass destruction (WMD)

Nuclear weapons are the deadliest tool developed by nuclear powers to end human race and destroy all living beings on earth, do not target only select person in a crowd but annihilated masses in one go and hence they are known as weapons of mass destruction (WMD). However, nuclear powers have not taken the issue as seriously as it really merits.

Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-weapon-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated. Nuclear disarmament groups include the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Greenpeace, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Mayors for Peace, Global Zero, and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Proponents of nuclear disarmament say that it would lessen the probability of nuclear war occurring, especially accidentally. Critics of nuclear disarmament say that it would undermine deterrence.

In 1945 in the New Mexico desert, American scientists conducted “Trinity,” the first nuclear weapons test, marking the beginning of the atomic age. Even before the Trinity test, national leaders debated the impact of nuclear weapons on domestic and foreign policy. Also involved in the debate about nuclear weapons policy was the scientific community, through professional associations such as the Federation of Atomic Scientists and the Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs.

On August 6, 1945, towards the end of World War II, the Little Boy device was detonated over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Exploding with a yield equivalent to 12,500 tonnes of TNT, the blast and thermal wave of the bomb destroyed nearly 50,000 buildings (including theheadquarters of the 2nd General Army and Fifth Division) and killed approximately 75,000 people, among them 20,000 Japanese soldiers and 20,000 Koreans. Detonation of the Fat Man device exploded over the Japanese city of Nagasaki three days later on 9 August 1945, destroying 60% of the city and killing approximately 35,000 people, among them 23,200-28,200 Japanese civilian munitions workers and 150 Japanese soldiers. Subsequently, the world’s nuclear weapons stockpiles grew.
Operation Crossroads was a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the United States at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean in the summer of 1946. Its purpose was to test the effect of nuclear weapons on naval ships
Radioactive fallout from nuclear weapons testing was first drawn to public attention in 1954 when a Hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific contaminated the crew of the Japanese fishing boat Lucky Dragon. One of the fishermen died in Japan seven months later. The incident caused widespread concern around the world and “provided a decisive impetus for the emergence of the anti-nuclear weapons movement in many countries”. The anti-nuclear weapons movement grew rapidly because for many people the atomic bomb “encapsulated the very worst direction in which society was moving”. Peace movements emerged in Japan and in 1954 they converged to form a unified “Japanese Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs”.

Only insane people can love deadly WMD. One can love Pakistan, India or China as their favorite nation for some specifically positive reasons except for the nukes they possess because loving or supporting their nukes qualifies them to be the enemies of humanity seeking peaceful environment. Jews all over the world can rejoice at the Israeli nuke arsenals obtained illegally without UN approval but the Jewish nukes are not less dangerous as many in USA seem to believe. Israel can destroy the world if it is not allowed to be an arrogantly fascist in Mideast.
Israel, a close ally of USA retains the exclusive right to own nukes illegally without having the obligation to report to the IAEA or UN and big powers, including declared nuclear powers doo not question Israeli nukes, threatening peace in West Asia. They remain monstrous threat to human civilization.
It is argued sometimes by nuclear powers that nuclear arsenals help maintaining peace and therefore they are graceful deterrence. They also argue conventional arms cause tensions between nations. Nuclear powers India and Pakistan in South Asia have sustained mutual hatred, mutual suspicions causing tensions and regular cross fires.

 

  1. Promotion of self-destruction by Asian WMD

The size and shape of the US nuclear arsenal has always been inherently tied to the defense of its Western European allies, with the Asia-Pacific as a secondary consideration. Relatively recent literature on the subject suggests that it is indeed allies that have always been a major hindrance in US-Russian nuclear arms-control negotiations.
Certainly there was constant debate about what constituted “stability” between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but there were a number of factors that could be applied to evaluating the degree of instability, leading to a nuclear exchange. These included arsenal size, readiness and alertness, MIRV numbers, survivability of forces, and megatonnage. These factors, in turn, would help analysts assess the strength of concepts such as deterrence, pre-emption, second-strike capability, escalation control, and escalation dominance which, in turn, would be used to assess “stability” between NATO and the Soviet Union.

Asia with large sections of hungry people without shelter is in danger. China as the exclusive veto power of Asian continent has freedom to blast and manufacture as many nukes as the red Army desires. India and Pakistan keep on adding more nukes for “peaceful purposes” when many people this largest democracy sleep on pavements and in leaking huts all over the country. In order not to lag behind India, Pakistan too is busy increasing its nuke arsenals, while more and more, and haplessly poor Pakistanis, also terrorized by NATO-Pak joint military attacks on them, continue to eat grass if allowed by the military. Rich Pakistanis, including Islamic media lords, however, enjoy life with cocktail parties in US embassy.
Chinese may love their nukes as much as Indians do the same but Pakistanis love nukes the most because its conventional arm arsenals are inferior to Indians and they would unhesitantly use nukes if India for any reason attacks it for a long war. Islamabad has made the point clear to India as a matter of caution if not warning. So far they fought only short wars and exchanged cross fires over the issue of Jammu Kashmir which both occupy along with China. Indian occupational strategy has been extra brutal.
Humanity in Asian continent should seriously consider the existential threat the nations of this continent face from the ever increasing nuke arsenals of China, India and Pakistan. Thank god Bangladesh is not in nuclear race with India or Pakistan, while Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal do not have the resources for extensive nukes. Afghanistan, badly destabilized by NATO democracies in order to end Islamization process by successfully enacting Sept-11 hoax, has not time to think about nukes at all. Maldives is more worried than Sri Lanka about climate change that threatens its existence than nukes.
The Asian nuke powers – China, India, Israel and Pakistan – must be proud of their nukes and damn sure nothing would happen towards any credible denuclearization or disarmament and world powers are just making gimmicks by way of summits and talks. Arms reduction treaties are also not very encouraging. But people in these nuke enabled countries in South Asia region as well as Asian continent in general should be deeply concerned about the perpetual threat from nuclear arms they face in the neighborhoods.

Pakistan now has an arsenal of as many as 110-120 nuclear weapons and is expected to triple that in a decade, and an increase of that size makes no sense, especially since India’s nuclear arsenal, estimated at about the same 110-120 weapons, is growing more slowly.
Reports emanating from Washington and London say that Pakistan has got the world’s fastest-growing nuclear arsenal, and is unquestionably the biggest concern for Asia, especially in South Asia. Reports say Pakistan plans to purchase eight diesel-electric submarines from China, which could be equipped with nuclear missiles, and test-firing a ballistic missile that appears capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to any part of India. It noted that a senior adviser, Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, reaffirmed Pakistan’s determination to continue developing short-range tactical nuclear weapons whose only purpose is use on the battlefield in case of a war against India – the only country Islamabad fears. When India blasted its first bomb in Rajasthan, close to Pakistan, the ruling elite got panicky as Pakistanis were taken aback by the big explosion in India.
Advanced military equipment – new submarines, the medium-range Shaheen-III missile with a reported range of up to 1,700 miles, short-range tactical nuclear weapons – are of little use in defending against such threats. Even more troubling, the Pakistani Army has become increasingly dependent on the nuclear arsenal because Pakistan cannot match the size and sophistication of India’s conventional forces. But Pakistan is hardly alone in its potential to cause regional instability. China, which considers Pakistan a close ally and India a potential threat, is, according to estimates, continuing to build up its nuclear arsenal, now estimated at 250 weapons.
India, a corrupt but vibrant democracy, has focused so far on becoming a regional economic and political power. Achieving a nuclear free nation is the last thing New Delhi wants because India would not have got nukes in the first place had it not been its motto. In contrast, Pakistan, terrorized by occupation forces for the West and insurgency from within to drive the forces away from Islamabad, has sunk deeper into chaos, threatened by economic collapse, the weakening of political institutions and, most of all, a Taliban insurgency that aims to bring down the state. Islamabad also does not want to make Pakistan WMD free in the region and Asia at large, at least so long as India remains a nuclear power.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, like Indian media lords, thinks that the 2008 Mumbai attack was committed by Pakistanis who had come to India’s financial capital by a fishing boat , unnoticed by Indian Navy’s big high precision radar screens monitored by experts. Under pressure from USA and on duress from New Delhi which wants to increase cross border trade with Indian businessmen Pakistani government tired a few Muslims charging them with terror attack on Mumbai but recently one by one they are set free by the judiciary since they had nothing to with boat or Mumbai attack. However, Narendra Modi has made it clear that Pakistan can expect retaliation if “Islamic militants” carry out a terrorist attack in India, as happened with the 2008 bombing in Mumbai.
Compared to China’s expansionist tendencies today, the role of the Soviet Navy was primarily to defend coastline, and Moscow did not rely on the seas so much for trade as the United States did. But the focus has shifted, with nuclear strategy and conventional deterrence becoming much more important in the Asia-Pacific.

 

  1. Nuclear arms vs. conventional weapons

Nuclear path is very costly and dangerous. Increasing number of nukes is said to be a rationale that denies common people their legitimate share in terms of welfare measures and also allows the generals to maintain maximum power over the government and demand maximum national resources. Military intelligences maintain their control over policies so much that governments have to divert maximum money for military. No questions are asked in parliaments on the military expenditures, making military the super power of governments.
Nuclear reductions and disarmament are not necessarily smart ideas especially no nuclear power wants to rid of its nuke arsenals. Dependence on WMD made the conventional arms look primitive and their role unimportant. Even with the successful elimination of nuclear weapons, the tasks of strategy – deterrence, extended deterrence, and arms control – do not go away. Instead, they become even more difficult to manage. That is disturbing, given that Asia is now the center of global strategic gravity.

Given escalating tensions between the USA and Russia and China, nuclear disarmament will not happen any time soon. US President Barack Obama’s initial goals of further reducing the U.S. nuclear stockpile should force us to think very carefully about the desirability of relying on conventional military balances for deterrence, because a world with significantly fewer nuclear weapons would graphically expose conventional imbalances between states, which in many instances have remained partially hidden in the current nuclear age. It is upon these imbalances that any remaining system of deterrence would increasingly rely.
Historically, the South and East Asian regions, rather the wider Asia-Pacific, has been much less interested in arms control than Europe. Indeed, most arms control and disarmament policies (both conventional and nuclear) have been conceived and adopted by non-Asian countries. Arms control is desirable, and could help alleviate regional tensions, achieving agreement on limitations is fraught with difficulties linked to geography, defense spending, cross-cutting geopolitical interests, alliance dynamics, re-armament capabilities and the dual nature of evolving military technology.
The British did not like submarines, pointing to the indiscriminate destruction they had wrought in previous naval battles. Syria repeatedly stated that it would not agree to a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone (WMDFZ) unless Israel renounced its air superiority. For Iran to agree, the U.S. would need to significantly reduce its presence in the region, and Israel would need to limit its offensive capabilities and its aggressive rhetoric. Indeed, Syria’s build-up of Scud-B and Scud-C missiles since 1974 was a direct response to Israel’s conventional superiority and Syria’s growing regional isolation. It was believed that, mated to chemical and biological warheads, some of these could provide a deterrent also to Israel’s use of nuclear weapons against Syrian territory.
Do the nuclear weapon states focus on reducing their nuclear arsenals as a precondition for conventional disarmament? It would be a good idea to reduce nuclear weapons before reducing conventional forces. However, the discourse by all the nuclear weapons states except the United States indicates that nuclear weapons are seen as but one component of the overall military balance between states.

Even the Cold War saw significant attempts at non-nuclear arms control, the most important of which was the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty. These initiatives were influenced by the nuclear forces of both the U.S. and USSR. Russia recently withdrew from the Treaty and threatened nuclear weapons against Denmark if it decided to host U.S. missile defenses. For Russia, NATO expansion was a means of bypassing the provisions of the Treaty.
Consider questions about the relationship between nuclear and conventional military power for arms control. Could the United States still continue to “extend” deterrence with conventional forces only? Any buildup of U.S. conventional forces in the Asia-Pacific region would surely be provocative for challengers (say China or Russia) to the current regional order.

Alliances were a major factor in the ultimate failure of the League of Nations that led to its exit and replacement by UN. In all its history up until the Second World War, the United States was a more or less isolationist power. It is also easy to take for granted just how impressive a feat it was for the United States to establish alliances with countries in Asia, for instance, half a world away. U.S. nuclear capabilities, and their long-range delivery systems, played an important part in that enterprise. Without the bomb, Washington might have had neither the appetite nor the audacity to undertake such vast and significant security commitments.

The efforts for total disarmament and denuclearization have failed owing to disconnect between USA and Russia , the nations with largest nuke arsenals, over issue while all nuclear powers have continued to manufacture more nukes even as readying with nuke enabled high precision intercontinental missiles.
The challenges of strategy, both on the road to nuclear “zero” and in a “disarmed” world, are significant. If one advocates for nuclear disarmament, then the responsible corollary task is to advocate for formal arms control agreements that benefit the greatest possible number of states in the international system; to create an alternative system of strategic stability. However, as my research on the historical record shows, international politics has thus far been incapable of yielding any enduring limitation on conventional military forces. Issues of conventional military power will re-emerge with new prominence and increase in danger, especially in the Asia-Pacific where the Asian tigers have not yet figured out how to share a mountain.
The issues of non-nuclear arms control might, in fact, make it even more difficult to assess and navigate the relative balance of power in international politics. Indeed, one of the biggest issues in the realm of conventional arms control is finding any agreed concept of equilibrium. Would the condition for the Chinese giving up their nuclear weapons be the complete withdrawal of US power projection capabilities from the region? Importantly, many issues illustrate the fact that proponents of arms control agreements (especially the NPT, the INF, and CFE Treaties) commit the mistake of assuming that the world can remain static, both geopolitically and militarily.
In January, Pope Francis touted nuclear disarmament as a major goal alongside climate change in his speech to the Vatican’s diplomatic corps and last year the Vatican submitted a paper calling for total nuclear disarmament to the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons. However, unless the nuclear powers decide to dismantle their own arsenals first emerging nuclear nations won’t be assured of any nuke free world.
Pope could not lend his high office to repeat what Israel or USA says Iran and would do well by asking Israel to dismantle its WMD at the earliest so that world has at last some hopes for peace. Maybe, he should press the White House, responsible for Israel obtaining nukes illegally, to positively influence Tel Aviv to destroy its deadly nukes.
One more word: Arms control should be able to contribute to reduce the probability of war, and to minimize death and destruction if war comes. But world has not yet begun debating conventional arms control agreements so that credible talks could take place on denuclearization. Many Indians, who are worried about increasing nuke arsenals in India and Asia at large, however, sincerely want more nukes in Indian arsenal until USA and Russia disown their nuke arsenals first, paving way for credible disarmament and denuclearization.
On the way to formal arms control, great powers should be willing to drastically reduce their conventional forces so that denuclearization process becomes credible and serious. World leaders should now ensure that.

There is no alternative to disarmament and denuclearization in a step by step manner!

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