Dr. Arshad M. Khan
Dr. Arshad M. Khan is a former Professor based in the US. Educated at King's College London, OSU and The University of Chicago, he has a multidisciplinary background that has frequently informed his research. Thus he headed the analysis of an innovation survey of Norway, and his work on SMEs published in major journals has been widely cited. He has for several decades also written for the press: These articles and occasional comments have appeared in print media such as The Dallas Morning News, Dawn (Pakistan), The Fort Worth Star Telegram, The Monitor, The Wall Street Journal and others. On the internet, he has written for Antiwar.com, Asia Times, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, Eurasia Review and Modern Diplomacy among many. His work has been quoted in the U.S. Congress and published in its Congressional Record.
On the eve of the last presidential debate, some observations on this unique election are in order. In the forty years I have been following US presidential elections, I have never seen a more crass, a more vulgar and for most citizens a more embarrassing election campaign. Bimbos to the left of them, bimbos to the right of them, onward charged the two candidates -- with apologies to Lord Tennyson.
The week past in the U.S. has seen a spate of multiple killings. Moreover, incidents of road rage leading to murder are also increasing at an alarming rate. On Friday, the Eisenhower Expressway in President Barack Obama's adopted hometown of Chicago was closed for two hours in the morning because a man killed another driver and severely wounded a female passenger after an altercation. Here's the shocker: a few hours after the expressway re-opened, there was yet another road-rage killing on it.
Imagine a volleyball packed with lies being bounced back and forth across a net by one well-practiced in the art of mendacity and the other blissfully unaware of any truth. Then add a referee correcting the lies of one side but not the other, and you have a picture of the debate. Then post-debate spin masters on both sides get busy pushing their candidate as the winner.
The United States has been at war for 15 years -- wars intensified by a Nobel Peace Laureate. The cost is now estimated by reliable sources in the trillions and worldwide casualties in the millions. Post-traumatic stress disorder has reached epidemic proportions: an average of 22 US veterans are committing suicide ... each day.
China and Russia conducted joint naval exercises in the South China Sea last week. Five Russian and ten Chinese ships participated in eight days of drills covering joint air defense, anti-submarine operations, landing, island-seizing, search and rescue operations, and weapons use. In the single largest naval exercise undertaken by the two, the Russian fleet comprised an Udaloy class anti-submarine destroyer, the Admiral Tributs, while the Chinese supplied surface ships, including landing craft, and submarines. The message, in the wake of the international tribunal's ruling against China's claims in the South China Sea, is crystal clear.
Born out of cataclysm in 1948, the Kashmir problem remains alive and unwell. In the latest iteration of the long self-determination struggle, 75 protesters have been killed by Indian security forces firing pellet loaded shotguns to control the demonstrations; over 7000 have been injured including 117 who have fully or partially lost eyesight, a tragedy worsened by their young (around 18 - 22) age.
What did Dilma Rousseff do to warrant impeachment? According to her opponents, she falsified the accounts to exaggerate the health of the economy, a practice not uncommon among governors. In her case, a fiscal court rejected the 2014 accounting report, which under normal circumstances would have prompted a revision; instead the Senate plotters seized upon it to draw up impeachment papers.
In July, the Caine Prize for African Writing was awarded to Lidudumalingani Mgombothi. The 10,000 pounds sterling award recognizes African writers for short stories written in English. His story, "Memories We Lost," is graced with beautifully expressed sentences, and one in particular is apt for the role often played by governments: "Secrets stay buried for so long, but one day they rise to open like seeds breaking free from the earth."