Sunday, April 25, 2010

From Agrichemicals to Crops , US Corporate Control !


                                        FOUNDATION FOR INDO-TURKIC STUDIES                     

Tel/Fax ; 43034706                                                          Amb (Rtd) K Gajendra Singh                                                      

Emails;                                                   A-44 ,IFS Apartments                                                                     Mayur Vihar –Phase 1,                                                                Delhi 91, India .

                                                                                                              25 April .2010


From Agrichemicals to Crops , US Corporate Control !

Early History of Plant Genetic Engineering


Recently there were heated debates in India on the use of Genetically Modified (GM) seeds, in regard to the vegetable brinjal ,not always well informed or unbiased , since politicians and so called experts are for sale or in for making a fast buck.


As the ongoing sleaze oozing out of Indian Cricket's Premier League shows ,bhagidari -a nexus between corrupt Indian politicians almost across the spectrum, corporate houses and administrators , has emerged, circumventing rules and making opacity the norm. Many millennia old Brahmin imposed hierarchic order doesn't comprehend the rule of law or equality before law , a European construct which emerged out of prolonged social evolution and bloody revolutions.


Discussions in media did not bother to bring out fully the long term damage of GM cotton when efforts were being made to bulldoze use of GM brinjal  , which is sometimes used even for medicinal purposes . ( Turks have created dozen of delicious dishes out of brinjal known as patli jan in Turkish). Any thing which could expose western, mostly US corporate interests is soon suppressed by their agents in India .

While the environment ministry imposed a moratorium on the release of GM brinjal until independent studies established its safety and there is scientific consensus ,the pressure from the agriculture and food ministry ,US corporate interests and their agents in India continues .

Regarding GM cotton ,Dr Keshav Kranthi acting director of the Central Institute of Cotton Research in Nagpur, warned that poor management of the technology has spawned an abundance of predictable and unexpected problems. The rapid adoption of GM cotton by farmers across the country has coincided with the rise of hitherto unknown insect pests, increased pesticide applications by farmers, and declining cotton productivity over the past three years.

Indian regulators approved GM cotton engineered with a bacterial gene to resist an insect — based on technology similar to that in GM brinjal — in 2002. GM cotton, now grown in up to 90 per cent of the crop in some areas, has virtually eliminated its target pest — bollworms. India's annual cotton output has jumped from 3 billion kg to 5.3 billion kg over the past decade.

But new insects, including one called a mealybug, not known as cotton pests, have emerged, causing significant economic losses, Kranthi said in a government report with his comments on GM brinjal. "Cotton is a tricky crop — we should have been more careful." "There are lessons to be learnt from this experience for future genetically modified crops, brinjal or anything else," he added.

Dr Shiv Chopra, a Canada-based microbiologist and well known human rights activist ,in his book, Corrupt To The Core - Memoirs Of A Health Canada Whistleblower, writes that the corruption in governments around the world endangers public food supply and health of the people . He succeeded in getting the Bovine Growth Hormone banned in Canada and the European Union in 1999. He says that hormones, antibiotics, slaughterhouse waste, genetically modified organisms and pesticides are unsafe. The European Union, led by Denmark, has banned hormones, antibiotics and slaughter house wastes entering the food supply.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) first of all, do not bring any benefit to either health or the economy in terms of increased production. The increased production is because pesticides are attached to them, which will kill any kind of life ,even insects which normally share some of nature's bounty. "Roundup" of Monsanto, will kill absolutely anything that is green in sight; grass, trees, plants, anything that is green and in soil. Except the crop that one wants to grow, everything else will be killed. When you kill plants, on the plant there are insects, worms and nitrogen fixing bacteria; all that gets destroyed.

The multinational companies like Monsanto and others are so powerful that one does not hear many scientists or politicians talking about the harmful effects of GMOs? In his book, Dr Chopra quoted from a 1990 speech given in Canada by a Monsanto executive , who said, "MNCs will soon rule the world through intellectual property rights . We can take over the White House, the Parliament of England, France, Japan and Germany, and once we do that, we will see that China and India would come along and then we can take Africa for granted." This is what is happening . America is not run by the American people any more; but by these multinational corporations. Sadly, everywhere neither the media nor the scientific journals report the correct facts.


In a calculated move GM brinjal was chosen first for Indian market : a simple vegetable that many people do not even like? Brinjal is an unimportant vegetable belonging to the Solanaceae family, of other popular vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes and chillies.

The release of GM brinjal would be the beginning of the end of Indian agriculture. US Agri-multinationals are here to make money as do others by selling arms to opposing countries and militias , which brings death and destruction and profits to the multinationals. .

If GM brinjal enters the farms in India, everything will automatically becomes GM. Once GM brinjal is widely grown, they do not have to introduce GM potato, GM chilly and GM  tomato; the GM gene will automatically get into the food supply. Soon  potato, tomato, chilli will contain the GM gene and there will be no ordinary tomato or potato crop that can be grown by the farmer. Only the GM species will thrive. Even crops like rice and maize can get contaminated.

With only GM seeds in the farms, all the seeds needed for Indian agriculture will be owned by a private company and thousands of varieties of, say, brinjal will automatically get wiped out. That is because we will be forced to buy only one kind of seed.

Following the introduction of various harmful medicines , pesticides ,GM foods the Americans are far from healthy people not as projected by Bay Watch series with silicone busts .Just look at the people at the US airports , streets , unwieldy ill-formed bodies fed on hormones and GM foods . US spends 16 per cent of their GDP on healthcare ,it will be 20 per cent after the recent bill but with millions still without any healthcare .Never mind most of it is pocketed by the medical , pharmaceuticals and insurance mafias. Americans do not live any longer than other people in the world.

A recent report in French Le Monde shows how powerful US corporate interests can even bend the Europe Union .On March 2 the first notable act of the new European Commission presided over by José Manuel Barroso was to shatter the 1998 moratorium on authorization of genetically modified organisms (GMO) that had been established in Europe. Mr. Barroso - and the "elites" - deem the citizens wrong. So the commission chose to authorize the cultivation of a transgenic potato. The decision was taken without a meeting of the commissioners and transferred from the environment commissioner , to the commissioner charged with "health and consumer protection," as though the GMO question were nothing but a health issue.

The authorization involves a GMO that contains an inserted antibiotic-resistant gene, which the discussions during the 1990's had concluded that such genes must not be used .The report concluded that it was a  ratification of Europe's weakness in the direction desired by the "godfather" it never succeeds in ridding itself of - the United States. The Godfather's hand was also manifest in Copenhagen.

But campaigning by environmental groups and the general public has weakened the Bulgarian government's resolve to allow the cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. In January 2010, the Bulgarian parliament voted, on a first reading, legislation allowing the release of GM organisms into the environment. But the Environmental Parliamentary Committee under public pressure accepted a five-year moratorium on GM cultivation and a ban on testing near organic fields and beehives.Environmentalists are now want the new legislation to be dropped completely

India is in serious danger from the use of GM seeds in agriculture , says Tom Mysiewicz ,political commentator, researcher, and creator of newsletter BioEngineering News and DJM Enzyme Report in addition to the annual Bio1000  Directory of Biotechnology Companies


 " By tying everything to non-reproducible seed--and in the process damaging the crops of neighboring farmers who attempt to retain traditional cultivars--they will eliminate millions of Indian farmers.  Large corporate farms will become the norm.  What will happen to the surplus rural population? " He writes that India being a largely vegetarian nation and MORE dependent on agriculture (as opposed to Brazilian-type ranching) , will feel the impact of declines in food quality, food-related diseases due to incorrect protein conformation and amino-acid structure, and increases in food costs due to hikes in GM seed prices."
India must introduce GM seeds in India, their use be limited to restricted areas--ones where the wind patterns do not spread the pollen to non-GM crops.  (Recombinant plant-virus vectors can be spread through pollen and can "infect" other crops with exogenous DNA.) Also GM food products should be clearly labeled for Indian consumers for those who wish to avoid them.


Here is what Tom Mysiewicz has to say on GMOs and related multinationals.
Early History of Plant Genetic Engineering
by Tom Mysiewicz
I was editor of the weekly biotechnology news service BioEngineering News from 1980 through 1993.  I covered plant genetic engineering from its inception and was even allowed (under secrecy agreement) to attend the first Gordon Research Conference on plant genetic engineering.  (No reporter had ever been allowed to attend one of these conferences before--since the secrecy agreement later hampered me as to what I could write about the subject, I suspect that may have been the reason.)
The main push behind this technology was to move profit centers from agrichemicals into the seeds, thereby securing complete commercial control of food crops.
In the
U.S., seed companies traditionally were money losers and used as tax shelters by wealthy families.  Starting in the early 1980s a Rothschild-created company in Wisconsin, Agrigenetics, was formed ostensibly to develop genetically engineered cultivars.  However, BioEngineering News discovered investors' monies were mostly being plowed into the rapid purchase of U.S. seed companies rather than the fertile soil of Wisconsin
!  The story was even briefly covered in an issue of the Spotlight.
So angry was a (Jewish) top executive of this company that he would actually stand up at scientific meetings, red=faced, and yell at me and denounce me, to the chagrin of his colleagues.  He even sent mailings around calling my publication a "mendacious yellow rag".  However, with the exposure, investment sources dried up and the company's pyramid scheme ran into financial difficulty.  The assets and seed companies were ultimately sold to Lubrizol, a manufacturer of industrial adhesives' and specialty products and lubricants.
The USDA and FDA gave plant genetic engineering a big boost by recognizing the products of such research as GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) meaning they were not subjected to rigorous animal testing.
Initial genetic modification of plants was done with recombinant strains of crown-gall virus Agrobacterium tumefaciens.  Subesquently, other plant-disease vectors were developed as was non-disease "shotgun" genetic technology (which fired genes directly into plant cells whose cell walls had been enzymatically removed--so-called protoplasts.)  Surprisingly (to some) it turned out many of the genetic modifications were passed on through the seeds.  To help safeguard DNA technology, some companies developed "suicide gene" technology that would cause a seed line to self destruct after a few generations, preventing farmers from saving and planting their own seeds.
I have been out of the industry a long time and have not had time to review papers on cumulative health effects of GM crop ingestion.  My suspicion is that the culprit in ill-health effects could be mutant amino acids (resulting from genetic engineering) whose structure is different from those found in nature.  This could also relate to breathing of pollen and the transmission of cloned genes into humans and animals.
There have been cases of genetic engineering companies, like Monsanto, suing farmers for patent infringement and theft of trade secrets whose non-GM crops were contaminated by pollen from adjacent fields.  I have suggested these farmers countersue the GM-crop companies for contaminating their crops!
In my estimation, the spread of GM pollen around the world may be killing honeybees and bats (who ingest pollinating insects) and spreading to non-GM crops and even wild plants.  A worst-case scenario would be a large-scale die-off of useful plant species, resulting in worldwide famine.

K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author. E-mail:


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Monday, April 12, 2010

Geopolitical battle in Kyrgyzstan over US military Lilypond in central Asia

                         FOUNDATION FOR INDO-TURKIC STUDIES                     

Tel/Fax ; 43034706                                                                 Amb (Rtd) K Gajendra Singh                                                      

Emails;                                                   A-44 ,IFS Apartments                                                                     Mayur Vihar –Phase 1,                                                                      Delhi 91, India .

                                                                                                               11 April .2010


Geopolitical battle in Kyrgyzstan over US military Lilypond in central Asia


After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, a triumphant US led capitalist West went about dismantling the Union of Socialist Republics and 'induced' Moscow's erstwhile allies in Europe to join Nato. US & Nato forces , dismembered the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual Slav and orthodox Yugoslavia , which with religious and ethnic affinities was strategically closer to Russia .


Using as pretext the 119 attacks on US symbols of economic and military might in New York and Washington , which more and more people are now coming round to believe was an inside job or at best allowed to happen like "Pearl Harbour " which brought US into WWII ,Washington , instead of attacking Saudi Arabia and Egypt , from where most of the hijackers originated , first bombed Afghanistan , coercing ally Pakistan into joining it or get bombed to stone age and installed a former UNOCOL consultant Hamid Karzai as the new ruler in Kabul after the Taleban leadership disappeared into Pakistan and northern Alliance marched into Kabul. Then on flimsy grounds illegally invaded Iraq in 2003 for its oil.


Taking advantage of the unraveling of USSR into many states now in utter disarray , under the pretext of  US led 'War on terror ' in Afghanistan ,Washington acquired bases in the heart of central Asia ; in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan , the last next door to China's turbulent Turkic speaking Uighur province of Xinjiang .


Washington then organized US franchised ( like Mcdonalds ,KFC outlets ) street revolutions financed by US non governmental fronts and organisations , CIA and Washington's envoys in former Russian allies in Europe and in Moscow's near abroad .It succeeded in Serbia ( from which Montenegro was detached making it landlocked) ,Georgia and Ukraine , but failed in Belarus .In Uzbekistan , where the regime change was attempted a few weeks after Kyrgyzstan regime change in March 2005, feisty Islam Karimov expelled the US forces from its base .

Throughout history ,the former Soviet Union steppes have been the scene of decisive battles and wars by chariot riding Indo-Europeans and horse riding Turkish, Mongol and other tribes who moulded the history of the then known civilized world in Asia , Middle East , Eastern Europe and Mediterranean. Once again it occupies a central strategic space , and along with the energy and other resources of the Middle East , has become an arena of rivalry and for control.


"Lilypad" concept of mini-bases for U.S. forces to leapfrog around the globe.

In the post Berlin Wall Fall era , fancy schemes were crafted in Pentagon under defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld , his deputy Paul Wolfowitz and others . In 2004 , still gloating over its 'Mission accomplished' in Iraq ,in ignorance of the ground realities of an Iraqi resistance on the rise, the Pentagon after acquiring new bases in former Warsaw pact powers like Bulgaria and Romania ,as part of America's new "imperial lifeline" wanted an all comprehensive link to new U.S. bases being built across Central Asia, Pakistan, Iraq, and the Gulf, designed to cement Washington's hold in Middle East and Central Asia to exploit its natural resources.

Army heavy tankers and artillery were to be replaced by light, Canadian-made wheeled armoured vehicles. Troops were trained in counter-insurgency operations and urban warfare. A "lilypad" concept of austere, rapidly created skeleton mini-bases would allow
U.S. forces to leapfrog around the globe.


The US armed forces were to be restructured for "expeditionary warfare" (the British used to call it "the imperial mission"). This planning process was begun a decade earlier , but accelerated under the Bush administration, which under the influence of the military-industry complex has relentlessly militarized US foreign policy. US now spends as much as the rest of world put together ,ostensibly on defense aka defending , strengthening and expanding its hegemony around the world. The bases in the central Asian republics and elsewhere were the lillipads for quick transfer of mobile lightly armed forces to occupy the bases till heavier equipment and larger forces arrived .


But Manas base in Kyrgyzstan just outside the capital Bishkek is more than a lilipad .Its strategic location in the heart of central Asia is a lynchpin in the US armed forces' movement of troops and supplies in and out of Afghanistan. When the Kyrgyz government threatened to cancel the lease to the base last summer, the president was wooed with a private letter and other inducements .Yes the rent on the lease were tripled . But little benefit from this "strategic relationship" trickles down to the impoverished people of Kyrgyzstan.


US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke in his new Avatar paid his first visit in February to Kyrgyzstan , and the three other former Soviet Central Asian republics which border it, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan , and said ,"35,000 US troops were transiting each month on their way in and out of Afghanistan." At the rate he mentioned, it adds to 420,000 troops annually. It is no small lilipad ,it is a lilypond. While US military movements have never been disrupted , movements by troops by regional countries were hampered .

Another 'Revolution' in Kyrgyzstan , now pro-Moscow !


After Kyrgyz President. Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the capital Bishkek on 7 April , in the wake of wide spread violence in which 75 people were killed  and 400 wounded Ms. Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, announced that she would lead a "people's government" until a new constitution could be written and elections held.


Dr Andrea Berg , a Berlin-based Central Asia researcher with Human Rights Watch commented recently. "The human rights situation has deteriorated in the last two to three years, and especially in the last six months. There have been physical attacks and murders of journalists, closures of newspapers, trials against high-ranking opposition members. I think the last straw was the socio-economic problems, increase of the prices for energy, and on cell phone fees. The US has criticised certain developments in Kyrgyzstan, but in general the main concern was about stability. Human rights came second."

Ms. Otunbayeva played down reports that Russia had helped the Opposition to win power after another senior figure, Omurbek Tekebayev, said that Moscow had "played its role" in deposing Bakiyev. Tekebayev cited to The Times a series of critical articles in Russian newspapers which had emboldened the Opposition and "acted as a signal that Russian authorities would not support Bakiyev".

Bakiyev had infuriated Moscow by reneging on a pledge to close the US base last year after receiving $2.15 billion (£1.4 billion) in Russian loans , even though in the same month, the Kyrgyz parliament voted to end the U.S. presence. The lease was ultimately renewed with higher rent.

Russia has been the first country to recognise the new regime amid speculation that it wants the US airbase closed .Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin has spoken to Otunbayeva twice since 7 April and offered financial aid and support. Ms. Otunbayeva had visited Moscow earlier this year in January and March.

Ms. Otunbayeva has sent a team led by Almazbek Atambayev, her deputy to Moscow to discuss  aid with Putin to rebuild the country .Officials have accused Bakiyev of ransacking the state treasury before he fled Bishkek .The frozen banking system contained only $22 million (£14 million). "The state coffers are almost empty. All the funds have been transferred," Edil Baisalov, Ms Otunbayeva's chief of staff, said.


Ms Otunbayeva insisted that she had no plans at present to revise the agreement on Manas base with Washington, The "the status quo would remain", she said .But who knows , this could change . The annual rent of about $60 million the US pays to use the base could be renegotiated. But comments from a Kremlin official said that "in Kygryzstan, there should be only one base — Russian".

According to New York Times ,Washington made its first high-level contact with the interim government on 10 April and reportedly got assurances that the new leadership would allow American use of the Manas airport which is so important in supplies for the war effort in Afghanistan. But a statement on the State Department Web site did not say exactly how long the US could count on using the airport.


The agreement was renewed last June and is due for renewal in July this year . Secretary of state Hillary Clinton telephoned Ms Otunbayeva in Bishkek and assistant secretary of state Robert O. Blake sent to Bishkek . Earlier on 10 April , the United States Embassy in Bishkek issued a statement that stopped short of endorsing the new government. "We remain a committed partner to the development of Kyrgyzstan for the benefit of the Kyrgyz people and intend to continue to support the economic and democratic development of the country," it said.


Bakiyev who fled from capital Bishkek in the north is now holed up in south of the country in his home town of Jalalabad , in the very heart of Ferghana valley. He was installed after the overthrow following an organized street violence in March 2005 named 'Tulip'  revolution by Western leadership and media .Then the fall guy was Askar Akayev , who was earlier promoted as poster boy of democracy by the West .Washington had even manipulated Kyrgyzstan entry into WTO . A poor country Bishkek was an unlikely candidate for WTO .

In exchange US had a free run of Kyrgyz territory adjoining China's turbulent Turkic speaking Uighur province of Xinjiang. Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked country of 5 million impoverished people without oil, is strategically located, sharing its eastern border with Xinjiang and has Kazakhstan and Russia in north, Uzbekistan in the west and in south Tajikistan.


US became suspicious in 2005 when  the  pliant Akayev , seeing the consolidation and rise of the Russian federation under President Vladimir Putin was taking steps to come closer to the Kremlin . Ever since 2003 when Akayev allowed Russia to establish a full-fledged military base in Kant in Kyrgyzstan "he was not with us –America ' .So Washington  organized the Tulip revolution in the wake of earlier successful Rose revolution in Georgia and Orange revolution in Ukraine and installed as President Bakiyev. Putin acquiesced , China watched in dismay but it was not a complete success for Washington either. Akayev fled to his patrons in Moscow.


"The base at Manas will stay as long as the situation in Afghanistan requires," Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov said during a news conference with Rumsfeld in July 2005 . "Once there is stabilization, there will be no need. But now I agree with [Rumsfeld], who said the situation in Afghanistan is far from stable." This was Rumsfeld's second visit to Bishkek that year. Tongue in cheek he added that independent countries made decisions without any pressure or outside intervention. 


President Bakiyev had thanked Rumsfeld for the US support and thanked Washington for its contribution in ensuring that the elections were pronounced democratic and legal. He said that the US administration was always with Kyrgyzstan in its democratic and economic development since its independence. The US reportedly provided $750 million in aid to Kyrgyzstan since its independence in 1991. Claims in the Russian media that the United States granted $200 million in financial assistance for continued access to the Manas air base after 2005 regime change, were denied by Kyrgyz officials


It is not that the Manas base pumps about $156,000 a day into the local economy and accounted for about 5% of Kyrgyzstan's GDP but the period of laissez faire under deposed President Akayev helped infiltrate US friends in to positions of power in Kyrgyzstan. The country was infested with US supporters .The training provided to police and military personnel by USA in Kyrgyzstan and elsewhere is very useful in subverting the loyalty to wards it .This was a routine Cold War game played by the two super powers .

While US leaders and captive corporate media never stop lecturing others on corruption , nepotism and cronyism , human rights violations , you name it ,Washington has allowed proxies like Bakiyev Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine or Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili to do the same .The Bakiyev family became extremely rich following contracts awarded  by the Pentagon ostensibly for providing supplies to the US air base in Manas .Some estimates put the figure that the Pentagon awarded last year businesses to members of the Bakiyev family amounting to US$80 million.  (US proxies around the world , knowing their time is short make hay since somebody is always ready to replace them and obey US commands . )


Since the days of Akayev , Kyrgyzstan has also allowed US facilities to keep an eye on Xinjiang , via highly sophisticated electronic devices that could "peep" into Xinjiang where key Chinese missile sites are located. Since centuries Kyrgyz and Uighur tribes , specially when pressurized or harassed by Communists in USSR and China have moved from Kyrgyzstan to Xinjiang and vice versa . A sizeable Uighur community lives in Kyrgyzstan and almost 100,000 ethnic Kyrgyz live in Xinjiang. This facilitates flow of information and organize other activities .Because of extreme poverty hundreds of Kyrgyz nationals work in Russia and Kazakhstan.


Strategic moves across Eurasia


After the regime change in Bishkek in 2005 ,Bakiyev's Kyrgyz government allowed continued use of its Manas air base by the US forces. However a few days later following an attempt to overthrow Karimov in Tashkent  ,the Uzbek government courier delivered a  note to the US Embassy in Tashkent demanding that Washington wind up its Karshi-Khanabad (K2) base in south Uzbekistan in 180 days. It only increased Manas's importance for implementing US policy in the region.


But soon after there was an announcement of joint Russian Chinese military exercises sending a clear message to the United States and others. In an unprecedented move China and Russia carried out  joint military exercises from August 18 to 25 near Russia's far-east port city of Vladivostok, before moving to the Yellow Sea and then to an area off the coastal Chinese province of Shandong. Apart from 2000 Russian troops, the exercises involved Russia's Il-76 transport planes with paratroopers, Tu-95MS bombers firing cruise missiles at targets in the sea and Su-27SM fighter jets simulating coverage of ground forces.


On 5 July , 2005 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) sent a notice to USA to set a time table for withdrawal of its troops from bases in central Asia .These , and other strategic moves were made on the Eurasian chess board to counter US led Western intrusion into eastern and even central Eurasian lands , by Russia and former Soviet republics along with China. Moscow is also using regional multilateral organizations, including the SCO and the CSTO to undermine the American influence and presence in Central Asia.


Russia separated the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) into a core group to transform it into a full-fledged collective security organization. Along with India, Iran and Pakistan have been admitted as Observers to the SCO.


Tulip 'Revolution' in Kyrgyzstan


For Washington's regime change in Kyrgyzstan in March 2005 after successes in Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine brought the Great Game right into the heart of central Asia , see my piece

Briefly ,a wide spread uprising in Kyrgyzstan was instigated following disputed parliamentary elections held on February 27 and March 13, 2005 ,first in Osh in south, bordering Uzbekistan, which then spread to the capital Bishkek on 24 March in north, forcing President Askar Akayev to flee to in Moscow.


Opposition leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who led the uprising, was sworn in as Prime Minister and acting President by the new Parliament on 28 March, after a compromise with the old Parliament, which gave way to the new one. The new leaders won support and help from Russian President Vladimir Putin , who bided his time .He promised to send emergency aid in food and fuel which Bishkek desperately needed. The new leadership promised no radical changes in its foreign policy.


"The coordinates of external policy will be the same. Russia is our close ally and the central Asians are brotherly neighbours... (We will) develop our relations with European countries and the West and first of all with the United States," acting Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva told reporters. She said that the new government would stick to agreements with Moscow and Washington, allowing them to keep their military bases in the country. Bakiyev said that the U.S. Ambassador Stephen Young was "one of the first people who came to congratulate me."


For the time being both Moscow and Washington appeared to have a common goal to preserve stability in the region, concerned about extremist Islamic groups. The Ferghana Valley, which the author visited in 1998 is shared by Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with a crazy quilt like mix of ethnicities .It is also considered a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism. When Afghanistan was under the Taliban, Kyrgyzstan had come under attack in the Ferghana Valley from militants led by Osama Bin Laden's associate Juma Namangani, an ethnic Uzbek. The radical Uzbek Hizb-e Tahrir Hizb ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation -based and encouraged by the British – you guessed it , they are everywhere stoking disruption and divisions ) has cells in southern Kyrgyzstan too.


Then there is the old north-south divide in Kyrgyzstan .Bakiyev's  stronghold is in south ,which is predominantly ethnic Uzbek. Kyrgyzstan's ethnic divide is a problem. Its population is about 65% Kyrgyz with about 14% ethnic Uzbek. A bigger danger is that the instability may seep into the Ferghana Valley and affect Uzbekistan too . Osh in south has traditionally been at odds with Bishkek in the north. A few sparks from the inter Kyrgyz conflagration in Osh, which has a sizeable Uzbek minority, with a history of Uzbek-Kyrgyz tensions and rioting, could ignite Kyrgyz- Uzbek conflict and could even engulf the whole of the Fergana valley partitioned between Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan by Stalin in 1920s with their mixed populations and enclaves, claims and counter claims. British too left similar divisions behind to fester in Palestine, India and Cyprus.


Changed international situation.


Unlike 2005 when US was able to organize overthrow of Moscow leaning Akayev and install its proxy Bakiyev ,the international scene has change dramatically and changing further to Washington's disadvantage  .US armed forces are caught in the Iraqi quagmire , with its military broken down as proclaimed in 2006 by former decorated Marine Congressman John Murtha .The collapsing nature of US economy based on ephemeral and fancy financial instruments and services lies exposed , with its iconic institutions like Lehman Brothers and Merryl Lynch collapsing on 15 September, 2008 . Highly indebted ,US economy is accruing even more debt ,with little signs of real economic recovery .It is being sustained by artificial stimulus of 3 trillion dollars which exists only on computer screens .The second shoe of economic decline could fall any time this year .


US and Israeli protectorate Georgia encouraged by its masters was given a bloody bashing by Russia when to test Moscow's will two years ago , Georgia tried to recover the disputed south Ossetia , which was transferred to Tbilisi by Georgia born Marshal Stalin .Apart from south Ossetia , Abkhazia was also brought back under Moscow's control .Since then next door US ally Azerbaijan , strategically located on the Caspian, is also becoming cool towards Washington .


A vital blow was stuck against US led encroachment on Russian strategic space of Ukraine , when its President Viktor Yushchenko , installed  by US franchised Orange revolution in 2005 got  5% votes in the first round of presidential elections early this year .His Orange revolution partner, the ambitious ,glamorous but erratic Yulia Tymoshenko was defeated by pro Russian Viktor Yanukovich, who is undoing the damage in Russian-Ukrainian relations done by his predecessor . See my


Recently US's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan , Richard Holbrooke , who used Nato power to break up Yugoslavia toured the region. He spoke of Al-Qaeda threat to Central Asia, suggesting that NATO had a role to play in the region as the only viable security organization .His  tour was followed by the intensive two-day consultations in Bishkek by the US Central Command chief, David Petraeus. Any US's future strategy in Central Asia now lies in shambles.


What policies the Kyrgyz government would follow will have repercussions beyond Bishkek  .
It could affect U.S. and NATO plans for the largest military offensive of the Afghan war scheduled to begin in two months time in Kandahar province.

It could also determine the future of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the two major potential barriers to Western military running amuck across the immense Eurasian space.

After much dillydallying ,Washington finally signed the new strategic nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia in Prague. It is ironical that the regime change in Bishkek took place on the same day that US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart President Dmitry Medvedev were meeting to sign the first major US-Russia arms control pact of the post-Cold War era, which is supposed to set in motion the "reset" of relations between the two countries.

 Obama and Medvedev did discuss Kyrgyz regime change before signing the arms treaty. Michael McFaul, Obama's senior director for Russian affairs, emphasized that the U.S. did not view the conflict ( in Bishkek ) as any kind of proxy struggle between the U.S. and Russia, even though Russia previously tried to lay claim to an air base in the country that the U.S. obtained from the regime now under assault.

" The people that are allegedly running Kyrgyzstan ... these are all people we've had contact with for many years," McFaul said. "This is not some anti-American coup,  that we know for sure. And this is not some sponsored-by-the-Russians coup, there's just no evidence of that."

U.S. troops working at Manas base outside the capital of Bishkek, have been restricted to the facility . with humanitarian missions and other trips temporarily suspended, Manas air field spokesman Maj. Rickardo Bodden said on 9 April that  NATO troops and supplies flying in and out of Afghanistan and have been cut back.


McFaul claimed that the cooperation over Kyrgyzstan was another sign of improved U.S.-Russia relations. He added that there was no specific decision on how the two nations might respond, though he raised the prospect of a cooperative measure such a joint statement.

"We're trying to keep the peace right now. We talked in general terms of things we've got to coordinate " McFaul said.


Air Force General Duncan McNabb, chief of the U.S. Transportation Command, said last December that although Manas is "very essential" to U.S. operations in Afghanistan, "we obviously have other options," While most U.S. troops arrive in Afghanistan via Manas, only about 20% of their cargo does. Roughly half travels overland through Pakistan, and the rest comes in from the north via rail and truck lines, largely through Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. If the U.S. were to lose Manas, U.S. officials would likely seek a replacement base in the vicinity, exploring options in Azerbaijan, Georgia or even Uzbekistan.

As part of Obama's plan to send 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan by fall, more than 1,500 U.S. soldiers cycle through the base every day, either heading into or out of Afghanistan. Flights between Manas and Afghanistan are aboard Air Force C-17 and other military aircraft, while those from Manas to Europe use commercial airliners. But beyond that bus terminal mission, it's also key to lifting supplies into and wounded troops out of Afghanistan. Air Force KC-135 aerial refueling tankers also are based at Manas.

But when it comes to coordinating and guarding their power in UNSC and nuclear hegemony , US and Russia with China and UK and France guard an exclusive t club as can be seen regarding making the UNSC  more democratic and in tune with the realities of 2nd decade of 21st century and not a an apartheid club of WWII victors and the also ran.


K Gajendra Singh, Indian ambassador (retired), served as ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan from August 1992 to April 1996. Prior to that, he served terms as ambassador to Jordan, Romania and Senegal. He is currently chairman of the Foundation for Indo-Turkic Studies. Copy right with the author. E-mail:  


The battle for the FIH Hockey World Cup Drag n' drop

Friday, April 2, 2010

Is America Becoming a Third World Country in Innovation !

When It Comes to Innovation,
America Becoming a Third World Country?


India's ignoranti producers and victims of US soft diplomacy at venues like India International centre allegedly funded by Washington , Habitat centre and even Indian Council of World Affairs , remain besotted with US's  eternal manifest destiny and hegemony , even when it was clear to those who do not rely only on New York times, Washington Post ,Wall Street Journal  ,the Times of London and CNN and BBC that US decline began in end 2006 ( but not a sign in Indian media) if not earlier with the signs of  the housing mortgage crisis .Many even believe in the so called green shoots in the reviving US economy , when in fact the situation is getting worse .Trillions of US dollars created on computer screens by Wall Street banksters in Obama administration are sloshing around the world and perking up share prices in Shanghai and Mumbai .But for how long ! The first shoe fell on 15 September ,2008 , when iconic Lehman Brothers and Merryl Lynch collapsed . Would the second shoe fall this year , as many serious economists still maintain !


When I last visited US in 1995 , I spent considerable time waiting at the airports and saw middle class US travelers , badly dressed in misshapen bodies , a result of fast food and BT seeds which Indian ministers are insistent on introducing into India presumably for a consideration .Those who form opinions about the Americans by watching Bay Watch and other Soap Operas believe how healthy and wholesome they are . But the reality is quite different.


At a Seminar at Indian Council of World Affairs on 13 July, 2009 on "Obama's New West Asian Policy: Prospects and Challenges"- Obama's speech in Cairo came for praise (Can one take seriously his claim that US cannot be at war with Islam –then what all is going on ,war on Muslim countries for their oil resources or strategic space and for energy transfer etc) . Most speakers and the audience at the seminar , barring a few exceptions , were all praise .These gentlemen disseminate and promote US policies in India .


I said that Obama was but a product of Chicago Jewish machine and those who have brought down US economy , contributed 600 million dollars for his election ,so do not  expect anything new. US is ruled by Military-Industry and energy complex and that America is on fast decline. This only produced a chorus of protests against me , with some the Seminarist claiming US will remain supreme .          

Both Roman -Byzantine and rival Persian empires declined and collapsed after centuries of confrontation and warfare and their  territories were easily conquered first by desert Arab bedouins and then Turkish nomads .Similarly defense over reach and expenditure first brought down USSR in 1990, now it is America's turn , which spends as much on defense aka 700 billion dollars as the rest of world put together , equivalent to its trade deficit which has grown into 7-8  trillions dollars of debt to China, Japan, Oil states and others .US has failed to even tackle housing mortgage crisis ,it has still to face the credit card crisis among others.


How ever many Indians , even seasoned and perceptive diplomats with US experience remain in awe of the scientific research and innovation being carried out in US .Yes expensive research in weapons of mass destruction which also has some dual civilian use . But even in this USA is slowly losing out to other countries and centres .


"In a study of 120 countries, researchers found that every 10 percent increase in broadband adoption increased a country's GDP by 1.3 percent." But we have Mulayam Singh Yadav , who is even opposed to computers , so was the other Yadav, Lalu , who after cooking the Bihari goose , cooked up figures of profits by Railways under his charge .He should be prosecuted .They all decry English education ,but send their children to English media schools .


All rising powers and empires attract talented persons from other countries as in Arab , Ottoman and US empires .But even if India's highly talented professionals try to do something in India , they can not with the Yadavas ,Lals ,Reddys and other dynasties looking after their castes and regions . In my opinion  US does favour only to itself by giving visas and employment to highly educated Indian professionals .


Read the interesting article on innovations below .


Cheers and take care Gajendra 2 April, 2010.


Note .I had my second eye operation by Dr Mahipal Sachdev at the Centre for Sight , so I was occupied in visits for check ups , operation on 27 March , and post operation checkups , so no new articles or even comments .I am recuperating well , so do not worry .

When It Comes to Innovation,
America Becoming a Third World Country?

By Arianna Huffington

March 31, 2010 "Huffington Post" March 29, 2010 --  Is America turning into a third world country? That was the provocative topic of a panel I took part in last week at a conference sponsored by The Economist entitled "Innovation: Fresh Thinking For The Ideas Economy."

Once upon a time, the United States was the world's dominant innovator -- partly because we didn't have much competition. As a result of the destruction wreaked by WWII, the massive migration of brainpower to the U.S. caused by the war, and huge amounts of government spending, America had the innovation playing field largely to itself. None of these factors exist as we enter the second decade of the 21st century.

America now has plenty of countries it's competing with -- many of which are much more serious about innovation than we are. Just look at the numbers:

A report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation looked at the progress made over the last decade in the area of innovation. Out of the 40 countries and regions it examined, the U.S. ranked dead last.

A study on innovation by the Boston Consulting Group concluded that America is "disadvantaged in several key areas, including work force quality and economic, immigration, and infrastructure policies."

In 2009, patents issued to American applicants dropped by 2.3 percent. Those granted to foreign-based applicants increased by over 6 percent.

Why are we falling behind like this? For one thing, we've lost our educational edge. America once led the world in high school graduation rates. We are now ranked 18th out of 24 industrialized countries.

And the percentage of 15-year-olds performing at the highest levels of math is among the lowest. South Korea, Belgium and the Czech Republic, among others, have at least five times the number the U.S. does.

Plus, we are no longer investing in innovation. Until 1979, around 50 percent of all research and development funds were provided by the federal government. That number has fallen to 27 percent. And, during the 1990s, the bottom fell out of U.S. funding for applied science, dropping by 40 percent.

The economic crisis is also taking a toll on innovation. Venture capital investment in the U.S. for the first three quarters of 2009 was $12 billion. Over the first three quarters of 2008, it was $22 billion.

These numbers may not place us in the third world ... yet. But the trend is not a good one.

Adding to the problem is the sense that America's best days may be behind us. Many economists and historians are warning that our current economic downturn has created a new normal. That the country will never be the same. Things are, of course, going to be different. But that doesn't have to mean that they are going to be worse. However, if we don't get serious about innovation, they will be. When it comes to our approach to innovation, we desperately need some innovation.

For starters, we need to kick our high-speed Internet plans into high gear. A robust, broadband-charged, countrywide information superhighway is going to be key to staying ahead of the innovation curve.

As FCC Chair Julius Genachowski explains, broadband isn't just important for faster email and video games -- it's the central nervous system for democracies and economies of the future:

Broadband is indispensable infrastructure for the 21st century. It is already becoming the foundation for our economy and democracy in the 21st century... [and] will be our central platform for innovation in the 21st century.

How indispensable is it? In a study of 120 countries, researchers found that every 10 percent increase in broadband adoption increased a country's GDP by 1.3 percent.

Unfortunately, when it comes to broadband, America is also falling behind.

In 2001, the United States ranked 4th among industrialized countries in broadband access. By last year, we had dropped to 15th. As for average broadband download speed, we rank 19th.

Nearly 93 million Americans still don't have broadband in their homes. And while 82 percent of those who attend college in the U.S. have access to broadband, only 46 percent of high school graduates do.

To help close the widening gap between us and the rest of the digitally connected world, the Obama administration has proposed a National Broadband Plan, with the goal of increasing broadband access from around 65 percent currently to 90 percent by 2020.

The proposed plan would make high speed broadband available to 100 million Americans by 2020, and ensure that every high school graduate is digitally literate.

This sounds great. But 2020? Given that we're already behind, how about initiating a broadband version of the Manhattan Project? If it's truly a priority, and, as seems obvious, important to national security and the relative position of the United States in the world, why put it off for a decade?

Another focus of innovation is the green economy. One proposal that would jumpstart green innovation is the creation of a Green Bank, which, according to John Podesta and Karen Kornbluh, would "open credit markets and motivate businesses to invest again," and "enable clean-energy technologies -- in such areas as wind, solar, geothermal, advanced biomass, and energy efficiency -- to be deployed on a large scale and become commercially viable at current electricity costs."

Such a bank would also help loosen the available credit for small businesses, and establish the reliable source of funding entrepreneurs need to know will be there if they devote themselves to green technologies and start ups.

Fortunately, such a proposal is already making its way through Congress. Reed Hundt, the former FCC chair under President Clinton, is now the head of a group called the Coalition for Green Capital, whose goal is "to establish a government-owned, wholesale, non-profit bank that would fill the void that exists in clean-energy legislation in America today." Hundt is currently joining Congressman Ed Markey in trying to make the Green Bank proposal part of the next jobs bill. Which makes sense, since, according to Hundt's group, a Green Bank would create about four million jobs by 2012.

Another area ripe for innovation is our immigration policy -- particularly when it comes to granting visas to foreign-born entrepreneurs.

Great ideas come from all over the world, and if we don't welcome the people with those great ideas and make it easy for them to come here, they will go elsewhere. Indeed, they already are going elsewhere. Right now the U.S. has an immigration limit for skilled workers of 65,000, and an additional 20,000 slots for those with advanced degrees from U.S. universities. This kind of rigid cap doesn't make sense in today's world. The "visa process has been plagued with backlogs resulting from this quota," says Jonathan Ortmans, a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation. "As a result, high-skilled immigrants are looking for opportunities elsewhere in an increasingly competitive global labor market, taking their innovative ideas with them."

Enter the people behind, a group with an innovative proposal for increasing America's share in the global idea marketplace. They want to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to come to America and start job-creating business.

Our current law allows foreign investors to get a visa if they start a business in the United States with $1 million in capital that creates at least 10 jobs here. The venture capitalists behind Start Up Visa want to shift the emphasis from foreign investors to foreign entrepreneurs who can get funding from American investors. The idea is to reward good ideas. And by requiring those with good ideas to first get foreign funding, you make it more likely they will just decide to create their companies someplace else too.

This proposal is also in the legislative pipeline. The Start Up Visa Act is co-sponsored by Sens. John Kerry and Richard Lugar. Their bill would create a two-year visa for immigrant entrepreneurs who are able to raise a minimum of $250,000, with $100,000 coming from a qualified U.S. angel or venture investor. After two years, if the immigrant entrepreneur is able to create five or more jobs (not including their children or spouse), attract an additional $1 million in investment, or produce $1 million in revenues, he or she would become a legal resident.

Kerry and Lugar made their case in a recent op-ed:

At a time when many are wondering whether Democrats and Republicans can come together on anything, there is at least one area where we're in strong agreement: We believe that America is the best country in the world to do business. And now is the time to reach out to immigrant entrepreneurs -- men and women who have come from overseas to study in our universities, and countless others coming up with great ideas abroad -- to help drive innovation and job creation here at home.

The senators, who hope to pass the measure this month, are positioning it as a jobs initiative, not an immigration reform initiative, and hope to include it as part of a larger bill aimed at helping small businesses add jobs. "This bill is a small down payment on a cure to global competitiveness," Kerry told BusinessWeek.

These, of course, are just three ways of promoting innovation. But they are prime examples of what we need if we are to shake off our complacency and avoid the slow slide to third world status.

America is rich with resources -- both natural and human -- but we can no longer afford to utilize them so inefficiently. We can't afford to be the only nation in the industrialized world in which half the country doesn't have access to broadband. We can't afford to allow other nations to take the lead in creating a green economy. And we can't afford to keep making it so hard for people with job-creating ideas to start their businesses here.