Month: December 2015 (Page 1 of 3)

Racism is a major driving factor behind Trump’s poll numbers

Donald Trump’s attacks on illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, foreigners, Hispanics, Muslims, and other minority groups seem to have had their intended effect. He is winning the racist vote.

Many of his supporters have gone beyond just shrieking about immigration and globalization to using racist slogans like “White Genocide.”

Ralph Johnson of the “White Genocide Project” wrote a post “thank[ing]” Donald Trump “for exposing White Genocide.” As their tweets show, they can hear the whistles Trump is blowing, and they want to thank him for blowing those whistles.

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Get back to work

Few blog posts for your holiday weekend reading!

Well, I apologise for not being regular, hectic week. But here’re a few publications by me. It’s that time of the year. When we celebrate the birth of our Lord of Scientific Reasoning, Sir Isaac Newton. 12436640_10203967247220283_1423912340_o

On the ongoing battle of Ramadi. Just remember, this Christmas, there are men and women fighting and dying so that others can live for free.

On what IR theory tells us about what’s happening in South China Sea. (Psstt…it’s called Buckpassing)

On why Turkey and Saudi Arabia are a major threat to Western credibility when it comes to Human Rights.

On the top four takeaways from Putin’s annual Presser. Where he answered some “tough” questions by Russian journalists on about what perfumes he like and how men look up to him on villages. It was surreal to watch, like anything on Russia.

And finally, what according to me, are the top geo-political changes of 2015 and the top challenges of 2016.

That’s pretty much it from me to end this year…Merry Christmas from all of us! Have a wonderful time, with your loved ones! God Bless.

 

“Best of” Posts and Weekly Readings – Part 1 : Highlights and Controversies 2015

That time of the year, when we sum up the best and worst of the year, and by God, I had my fair share.

Here are some career highlights.

  1. I finished one whole year as a regular foreign affairs columnist, and I am still continuing.
  2. I started my PhD research at the University of Nottingham.
  3. I started my job as a research assistant at the same University.
  4. I continued to write for Center of Land Warfare, New Delhi.
  5. We relaunched Bombs and Dollars!!!

Pretty good, huh?

Hopefully next year is going to be better, as one research paper, and one book review is under consideration in the Journal of International Relations (Medzinárodné vzťahy), and Political Studies Review, respectively, as well as couple of fellowships, talks of which are undergoing. I will also finally start teaching at Nottingham, two whole years after I stopped teaching at University of Otago, New Zealand.

So, I decided I am going to do some best of posts, highlighting some decent old posts, for readers, who might have missed it on the first go. Here’s the first few, pretty random mix, in no certain order.

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Today’s satires of SJWs are tomorrow’s student-led SJW campaigns

This July Bombs and Dollars editor Sumantra Maitra and I were laughing on Twitter about a Salon article that claimed belly dancing is cultural appropriation. It won’t be long before food is considered cultural appropriation, we joked!

Other #SalonPitches for @Salon: Why white people can’t eat Chinese food. Why Chinese ppl can’t dance salsa. Why Eminem sucks at rap. – Mitchell Blatt

And now this from the Oberlin Review:

CDS Appropriates Asian Dishes, Students Say

CDS Appropriates Asian Dishes, Students Say

Today’s satires of Social Justice Warriors are tomorrow’s SJW student protests.

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What would you pay for security?

Security is an expensive and precious commodity in the current age. Over the last decade in particular there has been an almost inconceivable increase in the amount of data available online. Equivalently, there has been a huge increase in the danger posed to the individual with an online presence.

Governmental bodies and software companies have taken advantage of the very real cyber threat by asserting standards of certification and authentication, normalizing online behaviour, and offering security packages designed to increase (the perception of) online security. Unfortunately, and as is becoming increasingly evident, security in cyberspace may be a pipe dream, at least in the sense of assured or total security.

I’m sure everyone has read at least the headlines of a half-dozen or more articles this year alone screaming about the massive loss of client or customer data by this firm or that. You’ve probably read or heard about the JPMorgan Chase hacks, the credit card info stolen from Target; maybe you yourself have been the victim of cyber exploitation. The point is, cyberspace is looking more and more like the American Wild West. Or possibly a game of Snakes and Ladders cut with the worst-ever game of Monopoly (pay each player $….). So, what would you do to remain (or become) safer online? 

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The great Indo-Japanese hype

India and Japan broke through their deadlock about nuclear co-operation, as Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited India with promises of first high-speed train, defense pacts that will enable Japan to sell weapons to India, a rare event given Japan’s reluctance and India’s notorious policy paralysis. These deals were announced following a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, both of whom know each other personally for over a decade due to previous business dealings, and share a strong rapport. Politically they are both center right nationalist leaders with a strong economic boost and security focus.

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Was Putin ever a friend of the West? — New working paper published at SSRN

Realism and the Rise and Decline of Putin’s Rapprochement with the Bush Administration after 9/11

Sumantra Maitra takes on conventional wisdom with his Working Paper Series for SSRN. Here’s the abstract:

It is a common notion among a lot of analysts, including but not limited to Dmitri Trenin of Carnegie Moscow, that Vladimir Putin was a “friend of the West,” and that due to causal and structural reasons, like Iraq War, NATO expansion, Eastern Europe missile defenses and oil price index, he turned into a revanchist ruler that he is today.

I argue, that was not the case, and this essay highlights that he was always a shrewd Realist, on a tactical alignment with the West, looking to chart his own course at his earliest convenience. The study of this time period, of Putin’s first two terms, highlights the importance and suggests future policy course in dealing with him.

This paper is expository and tests the theory of Realism with Russian actions under the first two terms of Vladimir Putin, which broadly coincides with the George W Bush Administration.

Download the full paper here.

Suggested CitationMaitra, Sumantra. Working Paper Series : “Was Putin Ever a Friend of the West? Realism and the Rise and Decline of Putin’s Rapprochement with the Bush Administration after 9/11” (Dec 16, 2015). Available at SSRN – http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2704623 

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CNN Republican Debate Live Tweeting

Watching the Republican Debate? Tweet about it with Bombs and Dollars writers and editors with the hashtag #BDDebateWatch. And follow the tweets here:

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A girl named Sanaa Taleb – Part 2

Introduction in the fight of Sanaa Taleb

Sanaa Taleb in colours μ.μ.

Sanaa Taleb, a woman who resists forced deportation

The trial against Sanaa Taleb was postponed a month ago. Sanaa was handcuffed, accompanied by 6 police officers back to women prison cells for undocumented migrants Elliniko in Athens. (See our earlier coverage here

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Weekly Reading List: What to read before the Vegas GOP debate

Tonight the Republicans face off in Las Vegas for another presidential debate. Want to bone up on the debate topics? Read these articles.

With the San Bernardino terrorist attack having happened recently, terrorism should be a big topic at the debate. Here is my latest article on terrorism:
Not All Shooting Sprees Are Terrorism

The definition of terrorism in the U.S. Code is a good starting point: “the term ‘terrorism’ means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents…”

Think about the fatwa against “The Satanic Verses” or the murder of Theo van Gogh and the Charlie Hebdo attack. The point of each of those brutalities was to scare people into shutting up about Islam. They were largely successes insomuch as many media outlets have subsequently censored publication of newsworthy cartoons mocking Muhammad or Islam.

When James Holmes stepped into the theatre and pulled the trigger, spraying wildly at the 100 or so people watching “The Dark Knight,” what was his motivation? What was he trying to coerce people into doing or refraining from doing? Many of these shootings have no discernible ideological motivation.

Read full article.

The entire Los Angeles Unified School District–640,000 students attended in total–shut down this morning due to terrorist threats sent last night. But New York received similar threats, and the NY authorities say they were a hoax. Here’s ABC News: LA Public Schools Shut Down After Unspecified Threat, but NYC Deems Similar Threat Not Credible.

Trump’s rallies continue to get ugly. As a protester was kicked out, Trump supporters called for him to be beaten or set on fire, and one made a Nazi salute. Here’s NBC News: Trump Audience Member Yells Nazi Salute as Protester Removed From Las Vegas Rally.

Marco Rubio continues to do well in general election polls. In one, he even threatens to win the youth vote from the Democrats. Here’s Slate’s analysis: Why Young Voters May Choose Marco Rubio Over Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump is feeling threatened by Ted Cruz, who is rising in the Iowa polls, and has taken aim at him. He even questioned Cruz’s religious views by citing Cruz’s father’s country of origin. As Tommy Christopher at Mediaite said, it is a racist attack: Donald Trump Goes Full Racist on Ted Cruz and Nobody Notices.

Even the right-wing fever swamp dwellers who usually support Trump may be turned off by him going after a conservative hero. Radio talk show host Mark Levin, often a critic of the so-called “establishment,” fired back at Trump: Mark Levin Slams Trump For Calling Ted Cruz a ‘Maniac’.

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