December 10, 2001


 Search the Internet
Send this column to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on HP Laserjets
Recent Columns
Bechare, battered
      and besieged
Birds of a feather
     fight each other
Where are the
      green M&Ms?
No path to reformation
One word: Khilafat

Varsha Bhosle

Happiness is...

Happiness is... President Bush freezing the assets of the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, a "charity" that has funneled millions of dollars to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Said Treasury Secretary Paul H O'Neill: "This organization exists to raise money in the US to promote terror. Last year, Holy Land raised $13 million in the US." Heeheehee!

No, no, my unholy glee is not because of an aversion to "the holy land" or dubious aid organisations, but because the financial backing for my favourite Islamist society -- CAIR -- came from the "charity" that now finds place on the State Department's terrorist list. When founded in 1994 by Mousa Abu Marzook, chief of the political bureau of Hamas, CAIR received the initial $5,000 from HLF.

So what's CAIR like, some of you may ask yet again. Well, it's one that has objected, on the basis of "ethnic and religious stereotyping," to the prosecution of two men in Chicago for the "honour killing" of their female cousin, and sponsored a rally in Brooklyn at which an Egyptian mullah led the crowd in a rousing singalong of a number whose chorus went, "No to the Jews, descendants of the apes" (The Spectator, issue of December 1).

After the freezing of its assets last week, HLF's homepage was replaced by statements from CAIR and HLF, both denying that the "charity" assisted terrorists. However, nowhere did the groups deny that HLF has funded Hamas, which "openly claimed responsibility for this past weekend's suicide attacks in Israel that killed 25 innocent people, many of them teenagers, and wounded almost 200 other people." (President Bush, quoted by The Washington Times).

However, according to Pakistan's Dawn, HLF has been "targeted by pro-Israel organisations and individuals for several years because of what they said was the group's support for Palestinian militants." Israeli Prime Minister Sharon was said to have urged President Bush to close down the foundation, and so Bush ran to freeze HLF's assets. A joint statement by the AMA, American Muslim Council, CAIR, Islamic Society of North America, etc, etc, said: "We ask that President Bush reconsider what we believe is an unjust and counter-productive move that can only damage America's credibility in the Muslim world and create the impression that there has been a shift from a war on terrorism to an attack on Islam."

Déjà vu all over again: Islam khatre mein hai...

The Taliban has lost. Osama is on the run. Even in our favourite terrorist State, the mullahs now must mind their f's and j's. As for CAIR, it dare not threaten fact-relaying columnists anymore. Which all goes to show that jyaan ko raakhe Saiyaan, maar sake na koi. A good time for me to say - à la all the Semitic religions -- my god is bigger than your god, heeheehee!


Happiness is... being greeted in the morning with news like: "Senior [Pakistani] government officials estimate that as many as 8,000 Pakistani citizens are dead or missing in Afghanistan, casualties of an unacknowledged army that did battle for the Taliban even as Pakistan joined the US-led coalition... Even pro-Western liberals fear that Pakistan has now abandoned such young men to Northern Alliance warlords who may massacre them" (The Washington Post, December 1). Heeheehee!

No, no, my unholy glee is not because of any revulsion towards Pakistan, but simply because that's 8,000 raving-mad jihadis less for the Indian army to deal with. To tell you the truth, the main reason I've got so emotionally involved with the US' Afghan war is because of its repercussions on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir: Every jihadi slaughtered in Mazar-i-Sharif extended the life of one Indian security person or civilian -- towards whose safety, the contribution of our witless and spineless successive governments has been zero. God bless America!


Happiness is... being able to trash the dweeb who thinks he knows everything there is to know about the US media, and hence slammed my reference to the squelching of evidence in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing case. To refresh your memories: James Patterson reported that Timothy McVeigh did not act by himself; that a former FBI agent had evidence that McVeigh had been seen with "Middle Eastern men" in the months before the bombing and on the day of the attack; that this evidence was barred by the Department of Justice.

For said dweeb, The Indianapolis Star simply isn't good enough a source, lah-dee-dah. And, my reading it was a reflection of my stupidity. Well, too bad, but given the virulently anti-majority pinko rags, I'll take the Star any day.

As it happens, Accuracy In Media, a non-profit, influence-wielding, news-media watchdog that attempts to set "the record straight on important issues that have received slanted coverage," reported the following on November 29:

"The American media seems to show little interest in reporting a hair-raising new development in the Oklahoma City bombing. However, recent developments in the case should not be overlooked:
An FBI agent filed a complaint last week saying that the September 11 attacks could have been avoided if he had been allowed to continue investigating certain prior terrorist attacks.
Inside a house in Kabul, chemical formulas for making explosives were found that referred to Oklahoma.

There are many unanswered questions in the Oklahoma City bombing investigation and the new developments add to the list of suspicions that the Oklahoma bombing may have been a terrorist attack.

The New York Times, on November 18, reported that inside a house bearing Taliban and defense ministry insignia, notes were left behind regarding chemical formulas for making explosives: 'In an apparent reference to the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh, one chemical formula at the defense ministry is annotated in Bosnian: Was used in Oklahoma.' This reference builds up more suspicions in the Oklahoma City bombing case. The media should be looking into this issue. As mentioned, NYT did include the Oklahoma reference in a small article regarding what was found in the Afghanistan house, but it did not pursue the topic. As well, we have not found that any other media outlet in the US has reported this revelation."

So, dweeb, what say you now...? Heeheehee!


Happiness is... the Daisy Cutter , a 12,600-lb high-blast bomb packed with an explosive called GSX, and thrice more powerful than the bunker-buster. It is so large a bomb -- as big as a Volkswagen Beetle -- that it's ferried only by the lumbering C-130 aircraft. The Daisy Cutter's fiery explosion is bad enough, but more damage is caused by the resulting shockwave, amounting to 1,000 lbs per square inch. Because the bomb explodes above ground, the damage is not confined to a crater; the blast flattens everything within a diameter of 600 yards -- with the shockwaves felt miles away. Robert Hewson, editor of Jane's Air Launched Weapons, said of the effect on a person trapped in the shockwave-area, "He'd simply be flattened. Crushed. There'd be severe damage to one's internal organs."

I'm ashamed to admit, I was among those who thought that the US would have a damn hard time against the Beards, and wasted quite a few evenings arguing over it with my man. He was serene in his belief in US fire-power: "Say what you want. But let me know a month later if your opinion still stands." It doesn't. The Taliban's collapse shattered two myths -- Islamic invincibility and American weakness.

Moi being moi, Frank Dempster Sherman's poem, Daisies, sprang to my mind thus, as an ode to the bomb:

At evening when I go to bed
I see the Taliban scowl overhead;
They wear the little turbans white
That dot the meadows of the Night.

And often while I hallucinate so;
Across the sky the C-130 will go;
It is a plane, large, slow and fair
Which comes to harvest turbans there.

For, when at morning I arise,
There's not a Talib left in the skies;
It's picked them all and dropped them down
Into the graveyards of the town.


Happiness is... reading in, of all the newspapers, The New York Times, that Al Qaeda and Harkat-ul Mujahideen and Pakistan are undeniably linked to the 1999 Indian Airlines hijacking: The presence of Harkat's jihadis in Kabul "suggests why a Taliban-run Afghanistan was of such strategic importance to Pakistan over many years: the country provided a haven for Islamic militants who could later be deployed to fight Indian rule of mainly Muslim Kashmir. Successive Pakistani governments have attached great importance to this campaign."

During the search of a house abandoned by the Taliban, business cards of Harkat's general secretary, enrollment forms, letters of introduction from Jaish-e-Mohammad (for enrollment of young men arriving in Afghanistan "in school"), terrorist training manuals, artillery instruction booklets with "Al Qaeda" printed on the cover, a guide on making weapons with a dedication to bin Laden, etc, were found in the same room as the hijackers' ticket stubs from the IA flight, their boarding passes and an IA Airbus 300 safety procedure card -- along with a handwritten list of the hostages' names.

NYT writes: "The documents could prove embarrassing to the Pakistani military, which American officials believe has covertly supported Harkat for years." Which begs the question: Why isn't America doing anything about the terrorist State of Pakistan...?

Which is a totally idiotic way to think. For, it's not others but India itself that should be doing something about its enemies. However, not only does the Indian government NOT protect its civilians from being mowed down by Paki bullets -- which is a *daily* occurrence -- but it also demands that other countries join the ranks of the Lashkar-e-Hijada.

On December 5, the entity that escorted terrorist Masood Azhar to Kabul deplored Israel's air attack on Palestine and warned Israel against any attempt to undermine the position of arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat. (You know, it's much easier to understand the likes of Akbar's underlings, "Raja" Man Singh and Jai Singh now.) True, every other "secular" party said the same thing -- and we all know why. But, none of them grabbed or seeks to grab power in the name of hardline nationalism. Whether it's the CPI-M or the RJD or the Congress, their reactions are predictable and in line with their ideologies (if that can be called such). But these "saffronites"... Pshaw! I shouldn't have brought up this subject, for it's turned all my happiness to dust.

Varsha Bhosle

Tell us what you think of this column