India until the 1990s was a different country. It modeled itself on socialist Russia, its Cold War ally since independence in 1947, where the individual was subsumed by the might of the state and bureaucracy. In the 1970s and 1980s, the only way to breach the stranglehold of the state was to move to the West or the Gulf countries, where Indian entrepreneurs excelled. Doctors and engineers were in demand in the West, but formed a very small percentage of the youth who wanted to break the shackles that forced everyone to conform to an abstract higher good dictated by the thoughts of Karl Marx and the rest.As the Ashbrook Center's Steven Hayward points out, India is being very helpful in the war on terror, and we may need them very soon to help us mop up Pakistan. Musharraf's half-friend, half-enemy act can't be kept up for much longer; the long-term trend is for Pakistan to become the next terrorist state. It's not only China that we and India both need to worry about.
This, many observers say, was a complete antithesis of the way Indians are and have been for centuries. Like Americans, Indians have done best when allowed to excel in an uncluttered environment where individual excellence is recognized. The pursuit of high performance and efficiency, rooted in liberal values and individual rights and democratic principles, is where India and US stand on similar ground.
I also had a conversation with an American diplomat from the region more than a year ago, who told me of the significant support India is giving to the U.S. effort. Since India can’t sent any troops to Pakistan or Afghanistan because it would be unacceptable to the Paks, etc., India’s navy is doing things such as providing harbor guard for our ships in Singapore (to prevent another Cole-style bombing). But I also get the impression that if things went bad in Pakistain, India would gladly help clean the place out.
This is a happy turnabout since, as John points out, India was for all practical purposes on the other side during the Cold War.
London, 11 July (AKI) - Counter-terrorism officers involved in a massive police inquiry to track down those responsible for last Thursday's bomb attacks on London's transport system have identified about 30 alleged al-Qaeda fighters and sympathisers as the most likely suspects behind the attacks, the local daily The Independent reported on Monday. Among those fingered is the alleged mastermind of the train bombings in Madrid last March. The suspects are both foreign and British born, and the cell believed to have planned the attacks is thought to number from four to 12 people, the Independent said, citing unnamed anti-terrorist sources.
A report on the textbooks published by the Palestinian Authority was released Monday, exposing the teaching of Islamic supremacy, the illegitimacy of Israel and citing an infamous forgery as fact.
A Vietnamese immigrant is facing deportation after punching a high-ranking Vietnamese official visiting Washington late last month.Well, I'm not sure I would call punching a guy in the face "protest".
Tuan Phuoc Le, 34, of Atlanta, punched in the face Nguyen Quoc Huy, vice chairman of the Prime Minister's Office for the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, during a protest at the Willard InterContinental Hotel on June 21, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the District.
Mr. Le said Mr. Huy "was a communist" and "he killed my U.S. Marine father in Vietnam," court records show.
Ernestine Fobbs, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said legal immigrants can face deportation if they commit a serious crime.
"When you become a permanent resident, you swear you will adhere to regulations here in the U.S. and ... that you will be a lawful permanent resident," Miss Fobbs said. "If they commit a crime, since they're not U.S. citizens, they are subject to removal from the United States."
Most immigrants who become permanent residents are eligible for that status on the basis of a close relationship to a U.S. citizen, job skills needed by a U.S. employer or humanitarian concerns.
Mr. Le likely would be oppressed and imprisoned if he were sent back to the communist country, human rights advocates say.
"Dissidents are harassed, isolated and in some cases imprisoned," said Minky Worden, media director for Human Rights Watch. "Critics of any kind don't really fare very well in Vietnam."
Mr. Le was a member of a group called My Voice, My Country that protested Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai's visit to Washington last month, court records show. The group staged a large demonstration, replete with waving flags and blaring bullhorns.
Mr. Le spotted Mr. Huy, a member of the prime minister's delegation, in the rear of the hotel and punched him in the face, knocking him to the ground, the criminal complaint states.
Mr. Le is charged with assaulting and injuring a foreign official, a violation of Title 18 of the U.S. Code that carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court July 29.
His attorney, federal public defender David Bos, would not comment on the case but described it as a "very compelling story."
Deporting someone to Vietnam can be difficult because the communist nation does not have an immigration agreement with the United States, Miss Fobbs said. In fiscal 2004, ICE deported 18 Vietnamese nationals, 14 of whom were criminals.
Mr. Le's case has attracted widespread attention via Web sites such as www.tin360.com and www.nam360.com.
Duc Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant in Philadelphia, has followed the case. Mr. Le's story has made him a hero to many American-Asians who suffered under Vietnam's communist rule, he said.
"He broke the ice of fear for the first time," Mr. Tran told The Washington Times. "I want to see how the courts are going to interpret his act. In Vietnam we cannot protest, but here we can protest."
The Web site www.nam360.com carries comments from around the world in support of Mr. Le and Jerry Kiley, a Vietnam veteran facing simple assault charges after throwing red wine in Mr. Khai's direction at a banquet June 21.
The Web site -- founded by Mr. Kiley, other veterans and members of the Vietnamese community -- has raised about $25,000 in legal fees for the two men, Mr. Tran said.
Mr. Kiley told The Times that he shared a holding cell with Mr. Le after their arrests. Mr. Le did not at first fully understand that he might be sent back to Vietnam until Mr. Kiley explained it to him.
"If they ship him back to Vietnam, just do him a favor and shoot him here, because they'll torture him and murder him over there," he said.
Punch may cost Vietnamese man U.S. residency
FP: The presence of radicalized Muslims in London is quite large isn't it? What exactly were the British doing about it? Was this just a ticking time bomb?How is the EU's regime of welfare and asylum for terrorist masterminds any different than Saddam's coddling of Abu Nidal? Discuss.
Radu: On a speculative basis I suspect the perpetrators were North Africans, most probably Algerians, of whom the UK has managed to gather quite a lot, since they are now avoiding France as too well informed, too harsh and too smart.
Algerian "political refugees" - i.e. remnants of their lost war at home - have a record of terrorism in the UK, including possession of ricin, murder of a constable, etc. They also have experience, motivation and, probably, pre-existing cells. But this is, so far, just well-educated guessing. That is a good example of British cavalier approach to the issue of "political asylum."
But it gets worse - Abu Qatada, a Palestinian, Abu Hamza (Egyptian), are prominent ideologues, religious legitimizers and recruiters, operating from London for years - and all at the taxpayers' expense, both enjoying welfare. The former was behind Algerian GIA's mass massacres, the latter behind Yemen kidnappings and murders of tourists; none is a citizen. And yet, when Blair interned them - he cannot send them back because, God forbid, they may be mistreated, the House of Lords forced their release under EU "human rights" legislation. Compare that with France, where imams advocating wife beating are routinely sent back to Algeria.
One may add that the radicalization of British Muslims is not new - it has been demonstrated most recently in the parliamentary elections, when Galloway, Saddam's apologist, was elected in a district with a huge Muslim population - against the incumbent black/Jewish Labor MP.
In June 1940, embassies were transfered from Paris to Vichy which had become the capital of the new French Government. Nevertheless in each embassy residence in Paris a caretaker was left behind. Uncle Abdol Hossein Sardari, my mother's youngest brother, pictured left, who was in charge of consular affairs remained in the former French capital, now occupied by German Nazi military forces.
At that unfortunate time many Iranian Jewish families lived in Paris. My uncle who liked to entertain, established close contacts with the German authorities and at the outset made it clear to them that Iranian jews were Iranians since the time of Cyrus the Great and therefore fell under the protection of Iranian laws like any other Iranian. He added that it was the reason why religion was not mentioned in Iranian passports. A letter was sent to my uncle by the German ambassador in Paris assuring him that no Iranian citizen would ever be harmed. As a result, the Iranian jews of Paris were not subjected to the special nazi measures against the Jews.
When in 1942 round ups of Jews started, and news regarding the "final solution" began to spread, the head of the Iranian Jewish community, contacted my uncle about his french co-religionists who were in danger of being sent to concentration camps. My uncle had in his office had a good supply of blank Persian passports. He took upon himself to also issue them to non-Iranian Jews who were facing deportation. As Allied forces invaded Iran, our ambassador in Vichy ( Anoshiravan Sepahbody whose spouse was Sardari's brother) departed leaving Sardari in care of Iranian interests in Paris and all communications with Tehran cut. Refering to the humanitarian attitude of Cyrus the Great who had freed in 500 BC the Jews held captive in Babylon, Sardari had no doubt that the Shah and the Iranian government would confirm his decision after the war.
I was a diplomat in Paris during 1948 when the Iranian Jewish community (with its newly added "citizens') visited my uncle and offered him a silver plater signed by their leaders, as a token of their deep appreciation and gratitude. Sardari had also saved in extremis from the Gestapo Mr. Petrossian a well-known importer of caviar who had contacts with the French resistance.
My uncle later became chargé d'affaires in Brussels. ln the mid-fifties he joined the National Iranian Oil Company and passed away in London in 1981.
Written by Fereydoun Hoveyda - New York December 1997
This 1946 Sardari photo above left is by my cousin Farhad Sepahbody