ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Dilemmas of Imperialism:Enfeebled Dollar

There are no buoyancy factors within the US internal market that could give a fillip to a US upturn. The international market, with the exception of China, has similarly entered a state of sustained deceleration. Hence the plight of the wobbly dollar bodes ill as US capitalism lurches from one crisis to another.

Only Alternative to Global Terror

The ongoing strikes on Afghanistan have once again focused attention on the dual strands of terrorism that bases itself on communalism and imperialism. Both strands seek to repress various freedoms and in cases, even justify the human rights violations on the part of their perpetrators. The need then is to uphold virtues of secularism, for only a truly secular state can safeguard human and democratic rights for all concerned. Further, institutions and machinery to deal with violations of fundamental rights become equally vital in situations where governments persistently fail to do so.

Afghanistan, Islam and the Left

In the debate on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and its violent manifestations, the space has been dominated by those who take a strictly religious position and those who are apologists of the realpolitik of the US-led western alliance. A Leftist perspective has been missing in the whole discourse.

Science and Reason vs Unreason

The recent decision by US president George W Bush to stop federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, apparently on the advice of the Pope, can be seen in the light of the age-old struggle between the idealistic and materialistic approaches to science. The conflict between the two ideologies continues despite the phenomenal growth of science and technology. A study of the 'political' aspect of this struggle can help us unravel its true meaning.

The America Bashing Game

Bashing America has gained a fervour after September 11 that threatens to match in unreasonableness the insane act of the terrorists.

September 11: Many Messages

The terrorist attacks of September 11 hold major messages for the US, the rulers of Muslim countries and for terrorists who speak in the name of Islam.

Bioterrorism : Lessons in Coping

Over the last 10 days in the US, since the first exposure to anthrax resulted in a death, the early anxiety expressed so freely and publicly, without any evidence whatsoever, that the country may be made a target for bioterrorist attacks, appears to have been borne out. The authorities and the media immediately attempted to link the anthrax exposure to a Florida lab in the proximity of which one of the hijackers was reported to have stayed. And since then such has been the scare that there have been daily reports of ‘white powder’ being received in the mail, although only very few have been identified as having contained anthrax spores. This growing paranoia about bioterrorism prompts numerous concerns.

Fall-out of September 11

Tighter security and police/military methods alone will rarely end terrorism, whether in the US or in Kashmir. The possible targets are too many and the methods are varied and uncontrollable. The key is avoiding situations where a section of the people gets so alienated that it starts believing that terror and violence are the only means to get 'justice', or at least attention. Political solutions are a must.

Beyond Afghanistan

The bomb and missile attacks by US and British aircraft on targets in Afghanistan connected with the Taliban regime and with Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organisation, which got under way on Sunday, had been prepared for elaborately from the moment the US pinpointed bin Laden and Al Qaeda as the prime suspects in connection with the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. As the world watched with bated breath, the US and Britain had set about putting together the most awesome assembly of military personnel and materiel all around Afghanistan for precisely this operation. A relentless diplomatic effort too had been mounted to get an impressive number of countries to permit combat aircraft to use their air-space and some also to agree to the stationing of troops on their territories. The air attacks on Afghanistan have been on for less than a week and there is no indication yet of when the expected, but far more problematic, land operations would begin. But already it is clear that, even if the US government’s most optimistic expectations of it are fulfilled, the military effort directed at Afghanistan cannot be the all-important, or the most effective, element in the success of the drive against terrorism that it has been made out to be by the Bush administration.

Steel : Time to Look Inward

Indian steel has been virtually shut out of the US following the notification by the latter of final anti-dumping duties on imports from India, along with eight other countries. The levies, to apply for five years on US imports of hot-rolled coils, range from 29.35 per cent on Essar Steel to 43.04 per cent on Ispat. Tata Steel, Steel Authority of India and Jindal Vijayanagar Steel have been slapped with a weighted average duty of 33.17 per cent. The levies also include countervailing duties, ostensibly to counter the subsidies received by Indian steel exporters from the government. Hot-rolled steel exports to the US, India’s largest export market, earned Rs 900 crore in 2000. The Indian industry has called the US commerce department’s move protectionist. Huge imports from more efficient producing countries in recent years have pushed several US steel mills into bankruptcy and layoffs. The patriotic fervour to protect the US industry appears to have gained ground after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The US administration appears to have moved rather quickly to defend the interests of its high-cost steel producers.

Future of a Fatal Symbiosis

Caught between a forgetful people encouraging their rulers to go berserk in their homicidal revengefulness, and a starving people imprisoned in a cage of religious memories created by fanatical zealots who are bent on an equally vengeful suicidal retaliation, the world in the new millennium seems to be readying itself for another catastrophe.

'Terrible Tuesday': Worm's and Bird's Eye Views

There are two views, the worm's and the bird's on every event, including 'Terrible Tuesday'. The worm's (or the FBI's) view might tell us how the tragedy was planned and who were involved in the act. In contrast, the bird's (or the scholar's) view tells us why the tragedy occurred and how long it has been in the making. To make sense of the disaster we need to look at it from both angles.

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