Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rest In Peace Howard Zinn - 1922-2010

A man who punctured the media fog. A man who said that there were No Just Wars, just wars. A man who along with Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal always tried to ask who was in power and how were they profiting with their associates from the current grand narrative.
But Howard Zinn always struck as the better man, the better human of the three. Gore Vidal is a joker. Noam Chomsky is a joke. Howard Zinn never slided too far into the cynicism, sticking to the facts of events that occurred, unlike Mr Vidal who can't let a lecture go by without a little mimicry (his FDR is better than his Bush, cause we`re all tired of Bush), and unlike Noam Chompers, Mr Zinn never took himself too seriously.

An excellent speaker, his lectures were great at taking apart the hard cover of pretense`s people put on the foreign aggression of the United States, providing a template to take apart the foreign aggressions of other countries around the world.

Here is the last time I saw a lecture video of Howard Zinn, just three weeks ago. I did think he looked kind of frail:

Democracy Now was his best friend in terms of media exposure. I think there was a sincere friendship and camaraderie between Howard Zinn and Amy Goodman.

All of Howard Zinn's Appearances on Democracy Now as a Retrospective

Mr Zinn`s "A People's History" was the subaltern way to go in finally looking at the way the world turned from the bottom up. Looking at history from the point of the common man, the person at the bottom as opposed to those from the top, was an old idea; but Mr Zinn's genius was in popularising it; turning it into a teachable textbook.

I'm from Pakistan - I've seen what Tariq Ali has done for telling our history from the bottom. Maybe a textbook is now in order?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Welcome to These Long Wars

Ladies and Laddies, welcome to These Long Wars ! A blog on the feuds, fights, rivalries, resistances, battles and wars of the planet`s passive aggressive warriors aka the third world and what is still stuck in it.

Here you will find coverage of these long running fracas` and fights that represent the downtrodden and grudge-ridden of the world, amongst whom I have been blessed to be born: The South Asians of Pakistan! And India! And Afghanistan! And of course Iran, China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the rest of the perpetually feuding clan who make up the giant chessboard from the Southern Eurasian Rim up till the heartland of the Russian steppes themselves.

Georgie Orwell`s Nineteen-Eighty-Four, presciently predicted this as a perpetual battlefield in , the "disputed area" which he said lay "between the frontiers of the super-states", it forms "a rough quadrilateral with its corners at Tangier, Brazzaville, Darwin, and Hong Kong".

That`s about the rough geographical area I`m interested, give or take a subcontinent. And lo and behold but what lies at the centre of that region but the confluence of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, or as many would like to call it, the gateway to Central Asia. That little meeting point between these three areas is a little backwater of human civilization called Balochistan. Lovely Balochistan. Expect to hear a lot about that as well.

Low Intensity Conflict has been a fact of this region's life. This humble Blogistani will try his best to give you a rundown on what`s, what in this corner of the globe`s chessboard, because living next to it for at least two decades of my life, if there`s one thing I`m certain about; the answer to all my questions, to those of perpetual war and potential peace, lie some where in this region.

Cheerio !