Excerpts from a war-game on the Iranian situation..
What about a pre-emptive strike of our own, like the Osirak raid? The problem is that Iran’s nuclear program is now much more advanced than Iraq’s was at the time of the raid. Already the U.S. government has no way of knowing exactly how many sites Iran has, or how many it would be able to destroy, or how much time it would buy in doing so. Worse, it would have no way of predicting the long-term strategic impact of such a strike. A strike might delay by three years Iran’s attainment of its goal—but at the cost of further embittering the regime and its people. Iran’s intentions when it did get the bomb would be all the more hostile.
Here the United States faces what the military refers to as a “branches and sequels” decision—that is, an assessment of best and second-best outcomes. It would prefer that Iran never obtain nuclear weapons. But if Iran does, America would like Iran to see itself more or less as India does—as a regional power whose nuclear status symbolizes its strength relative to regional rivals, but whose very attainment of this position makes it more committed to defending the status quo. The United States would prefer, of course, that Iran not reach a new level of power with a vendetta against America. One of our panelists thought that a strike would help the United States, simply by buying time. The rest disagreed. Iran would rebuild after a strike, and from that point on it would be much more reluctant to be talked or bargained out of pursuing its goals—and it would have far more reason, once armed, to use nuclear weapons to America’s detriment.
Most of our panelists felt that the case against a U.S. strike was all the more powerful against an Israeli strike. With its much smaller air force and much more limited freedom to use airspace, Israel would probably do even less “helpful” damage to Iranian sites. The hostile reaction—against both Israel and the United States—would be potentially more lethal to both Israel and its strongest backer.
A realistic awareness of these constraints will put the next President in an awkward position. In the end, according to our panelists, he should understand that he cannot prudently order an attack on Iran. But his chances of negotiating his way out of the situation will be greater if the Iranians don’t know that. He will have to brandish the threat of a possible attack while offering the incentive of economic and diplomatic favors should Iran abandon its plans. “If you say there is no acceptable military option, then you end any possibility that there will be a non-nuclear Iran,” David Kay said after the war game. “If the Iranians believe they will not suffer any harm, they will go right ahead.” Hammes agreed: “The threat is always an important part of the negotiating process. But you want to fool the enemy, not fool yourself. You can’t delude yourself into thinking you can do something you can’t.” Is it therefore irresponsible to say in public, as our participants did and we do here, that the United States has no military solution to the Iran problem? Hammes said no. Iran could not be sure that an American President, seeing what he considered to be clear provocation, would not strike. “You can never assume that just because a government knows something is unviable, it won’t go ahead and do it. The Iraqis knew it was not viable to invade Iran, but they still did it. History shows that countries make very serious mistakes.”
So this is how the war game turned out: with a finding that the next American President must, through bluff and patience, change the actions of a government whose motives he does not understand well, and over which his influence is limited. “After all this effort, I am left with two simple sentences for policymakers,” Sam Gardiner said of his exercise. “You have no military solution for the issues of Iran. And you have to make diplomacy work.”
Here are some interesting historical stories that affected the English language expressions! I am sure you would find them interesting!
In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are “limbs,” therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the _expression, “Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.”
This is an intriguing story on a strange phenomenon of babies dying while sleeping on sofas… with a parent!Sleeping with a baby can be dangerous
Cases of babies dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) have fallen dramatically over 20 years but deaths while sleeping with a parent on a sofa have risen 400 percent, researchers said on Wednesday.
The findings by doctors at the Royal Hospital for Children in Bristol, England show that campaigns to inform parents about SIDS, or cot deaths, have had an impact.
The first India-Pak cricket test in Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium was a run fest! The HIGHEST runs per wicket EVER IN HISTORY were scored! Here is a piece on how Virendra Sehwag – the Indian opener – worries the Pakis! Last year he scored the first triple century by an Indian and he has already started with a 250+ score in the opening game! So are the Pakis worried? HECK YES! Here is a story from rediff:
Being in politics is like being a football coach. You have to be smart enough to understand the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.
In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language.
Genius might be described as a supreme capacity for getting its possessors into trouble of all kinds.
Tokyo Stock Exchange had a sort of “meltdown” yesterday.. due to a little known tech stock “Livedoor”! Here is the news:
Japan’s main stock market nose-dived for a second day Wednesday on growing investor jitters from “Livedoor shock,” the widening criminal investigation at an Internet startup that has sparked a sell-off, especially in technology shares. The benchmark for the Tokyo Stock Exchange plunged 2.9 percent Wednesday in a session that had to be shortened by 20 minutes because of a surge in transactions.
I wanted to bring some pictures of my life long friend (yeah we started together in school when we were less than three years!) – Gurinder Osan. He is a photo editor at Associated Press and I think he is one heck of a photographer.
His photograph of “A family in northern India took refuge in a tent after a powerful earthquake in October in Kashmir” has made to the Photographs of the Year at New York Times for 2005 in the World Category!!
Deepak Chopra speaks about the influence of the Body Type in medicine… Here is what he said:
Despite the fact that many people had a typical lunch of sandwich, French fries, and coffee, the food is sitting heavily in some stomachs, tossing nervously in others, and passing unnoticed in most of the rest. In some bodies, hearts are beating faster because the sidewalk feels too crowded; others are pouring out excess gastric acid or experiencing a rise in blood pressure. It takes all types to make a world – but has medicine really noticed what types there are?
In conventional medicine we pay much more attention to differences among diseases than among people.
Here is an interesting story on how some tourists from the West are finding “Experiences” in India that enrich them in their lives… and not just visiting the country!
It is just not other place for foreign tourists to have fun and pay for it. It is an experience, which remains with them throughout their lifetime. With the day full of fun and frolic the night seems to be even more eager to embrace the foreign guests and embrace them in its twirls of darkness with a big bonfire with a story of its own.
This has got to be the most hillarious story I have heard! From Bike in home to burnt butt to broken collarbone – this guy could never get it right!!
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An interesting change of tide for two of the most amazing tech companies in the history! Also, a reflection of how the things can change in business.. got this story from Business2.com
This is a crazy story of a lady who gave this guy 20,000 Pounds to find a hitman to kill her.. and this guy didn’t do that.. and what does he get for saving this lady? JAIL! So, in Britain if someone hires you to kill themselves.. Damn it! Just KILL THEM!!
A 53-year-old woman was so depressed and desperate to end her life that she agreed to pay a friend to arrange for a hitman to kill her, a court heard.
Christine Ryder ended up handing over a total of £20,000 to Kevin Reeves after he agreed to murder her himself.
But Reeves, 40, of Saltings Road, Snodland, near Rochester, failed to keep his side of the bargain and she shopped him to the police.
Here is a quote that I posted on this site:
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
- Horace Walpole
I wanted to add an extension to this – and it becomes:
“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
And just a drama to those who neither feel nor think!”
The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.
This “New Horizons” spacecraft will reach Moon in NINE HOURS!! Thats faster than I can reach Europe from Texas!! And it will reach Pluto in 10 years! This is a great step for mankind!
It will fly faster than a speeding bullet.
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One lady units for prostitution with a receptionist are ok with the British Govt… they have ”reserved” the oldest profession for the small scale enterprises!
The law could be changed to allow two prostitutes and a receptionist or maid to work together legally in brothels, the government has confirmed.
Currently only lone prostitutes can offer sex from flats or other premises without breaking the law.
Launching the new prostitution strategy for England and Wales, minister Fiona
Here is an interesting blogpost from Mridula on the power of Rs 100!
I get drawn to the sidewalks and the signs of life there much more than the swank shops and the malls. I was really drawn to these sellers selling the colorful firkis and they posed for me quite willingly. I do not know how much they make in a day. Is it enough to keep them going? What kind of dreams they have?
A little ahead, and still in my quest for feel good clothes I met a few small and smiling girls. They were selling flowers and I simply love flowers. The flowers were not so fresh but I felt drawn to the kids. I asked them how much for one bunch? The girl in the left hand corner of the picture below told me that one bunch was for 10 rupees. I bought one and this prompted the others to try and do some hard selling, which was quickly turning simply into pleas for money.
I think reading this post by Krish made me respond the way I did, I said, I would buy some food for them but I will not give money. The kids readily agreed.
We started with these three and I was wondering where they would take me and calculating how much it would cost? I am so used to paying Rupees 150 for a single dish of rice or more than Rupees 100 for two plates of Momos or more than Rupees 1000 for a few pizzas. I tried chatting up with them but they were not too interested. One girl said she was from a small town in UP. I asked why she left home? She mumbled something about not having a home but all the kids that were hanging around were living together. I wonder where they live? I wonder if they are safe on the streets? I only know they smiled quickly while talking with me.
The kids took me to a road side stall selling chole-kulche (vegetables with a kind of India bread). On the way our number increased to four. By the time the person started giving out the food to the kids the number went up to nine. When it came to paying for it, my bill came to a total of Rupees 90!
Interesting story on how Prizes are being used these days to bring about a social difference! I believe this is the oldest and most time-tested way to foster innovation and improve the mankind!
• The Clay Mathematics Institute in Cambridge, Mass., is offering seven $1 million prizes for the solutions to seven classic problems in mathematics. The institute, founded in 1998, issued its challenge in May 2000. So far, no prizes have been awarded.
• Inspired by the X PRIZE’s success, NASA has created its Centennial Challenges Program, funding a number of $250,000 challenges aimed at speeding space exploration.
DesiPundit gives a link to a blogger who talks of things in China based on his recent visit there. Here is his post:
As I come back from china after a brief trip, just thought shall briefly post a follow up post to domain blocking in china. In this visit as well, I could not get past through the the great firewall of china.
It seems the Indian Space research Organisation (ISRO) is really looking ahead for the future… to go as far as they can in the space quest. Great going!
After the moon mission, India wants to reach out to Mars and the government is keen to jump onto a possible global bandwagon for this potentially exciting planetary exploration.
Indian Space Research Organisation Chairman G Madhavan Nair said the United States and Europe appear to favour a global partnership in this context, and India would be more than willing to be a partner in this huge exercise.“For mankind, the next interesting thing (after moon) is Mars,” Nair told PTI in Bangalore.
There has been a huge controversy on the refusal of the Government to let Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore to open a branch in Singapore. I am for moving on wherever we can… but not some other people who are hell-bent on taking the India of the future back 60 years to its socialist past!!
Here is a speech from Narayana Murthy… always a great speech-maker!
India had failed to build world-class educational institutions due to government regulation in the higher education system giving limited opportunities to colleges and universities to adapt and change, Infosys chief mentor and chairman N R Narayana Murthy has said.
Addressing students and faculty of the Cochin University of Science and Technology after being conferred with the honorary degree of science (honoris causa), Murthy, who is also the chairman of the governing body of the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, said on Sunday: “Our institutes of higher education must stay relevant in a changing world.”
He said: “They must be at the centre of the nation’s efforts in managing change and sustaining growth and must play an effective growth role in knowledge creation and innovation.”
The educational institutions should also help Indian industries face the challenges of a competitive globalised economy.
This is what this blogger Krish says about Racism and how it is only an obsession of a “primitive” society – whoever heard of Europe’s or Australia’s racism.. or that in the US?! The truth is that as Gaurav says – its a natural instinct.. which those who are more balanced and less judgmental can overcome and call the bluff of this negative “streak” that comes from throes of Power.
Since I am still in the mood of continuing my debate with Libertarians, I thought I will give a point by point analysis/response to Gaurav’s recent post on caste.
Any wonder why?
Here is an interesting take on people from various states of India.. HILLARIOUS!
One Bengali is a poet.
Two Bengalis is a film society.
Three Bengalis is a political party.
Four Bengalis is two political parties.
One Punjabi is a 100 kg hulk named Pinky.
Two Punjabis is a Pinky with his brother Twinky.
Three Punjabis is an assault on the McAloo Tikkis at the local
Four Punjabis is a combined IQ equal to one.
And this is a very interesting URL – which tells you the searches that were done for words similar to a tag word! Just type in a word and then click enter.. and it will show similar word combos and the number of searches that were done in the last month!
Here are streaming audios of two major speeches from Martin Luther King Jr.
I Have A Dream
The famous speech delivered in 1963 to more than 200,000 civil-rights marchers at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The above audio is an excerpt of the speech!
Let Freedom Ring
Here are some nice places to livein the US!
This is a debate which rages within and outside the country a lot! Here is a speech from Lee Kuan Yew where he gives his thoughts on India’s evolution.
Also read the commentary of Atanu Dey – a leading blogger from India – on this speech:
Traveling on Indian Roads is an almost hallucinatory potion of sound, spectacle and experience. It is frequently heart-rending, sometimes hilarious, mostly exhilarating, always unforgettable — and, when you are on the roads, extremely dangerous. Here is the Indian Traffic Constitution created by “We, the People”!
- ARTICLE I:
The assumption of immortality is required of all road users.
- ARTICLE II:
Indian traffic, like Indian society,is structured on a strict caste system. The following precedence must be accorded at all times. In descending order, give way to:
Is this the future of air travel? If the noise, heat and friction could be reduced at high speeds – then it could mean more efficient aircrafts!
Purdue University engineers have developed a wind tunnel that is the only one of its kind in the world capable of running quietly at “hypersonic” speeds, helping researchers to design advanced aircraft and missiles.
No other wind tunnel runs quietly while conducting experiments in airstreams traveling at Mach 6 – six times the speed of sound, said Steven Schneider, an aerospace engineer and professor in Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Looks like the Indian cricket is in for another round of fresh talent in batting after Tendulkar and Dravid go away! With Dhoni already whipping it up and Sehwag going strong… influx of these kids in the next 5 years could create an unbeatable Team India!
When Rahul Tondulkar (IES VN Sule Guruji School) surpassed Vinod Kambli’s unbeaten 349, the city was just as surprised as happy.
Kambli’s triple (for Shardashram HS) was the highest individual score in the Harris Shield after the city’s inter-school tournament became ‘time-based’. Earlier the event was played on a ‘play to finish’ format (teams play on till there is a result).
It took close to two decades for someone like Tondulkar to break it.
And as he was gearing up to represent the Mumbai under-17 side against Assam in Kolkata yesterday, little did he know that his record would barely last a week.
Just seven days after Tondulkar’s achievement, Yash Gandhi (Don Bosco, Matunga) went ton to score an unbeaten 365 against St Sebastian (Marine Lines) at Azad Maidan in the Plate Division semi-finals.
Gandhi’s colossal knock came with the help of 40 boundaries after the opponents were dismissed for 198.
… read more