The DFW Desi, Vol. 189: Ponzi Scheme Worldwide | The Shoe Thrower

 

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vol. 189, Dec. 20, 2008

 
reflections from self…

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So you thought corruption only happened in third world countries…You thought con operations only happened to stupid people and suckers…pirates were only in comics, and people did not have guts to throw shoes at the leader of the free world…

Events over the last two weeks have shown that corruption and swindling can happen in a country like America, at the level of billions of dollars, all the way from the Governors and the elite down…pirates exist today, and shoe-throwers can become heroes…

As I always say, we live in interesting times…

feedback

so what’s new?

The Scandals.

Over in Southeast Asia, in a sign that India is moving on, while evaluating its options, the Taj and Trident hotels will reopen on Sunday, less than a month after the terrorist siege: “The hotel will have large baggage scanners. Every piece of hand baggage will be checked, metal detectors will be in place at every entrance and there will be an identity check. However, these surveillance and security measures will be as “unobtrusive as possible”

Sources say that India may conduct “Precision Strikes” against selected targets inside Pakistan – but some analysts feel that India will not provoke a full-scale war. According to the Indian Foreign Minister:The repeated appeals that we have made to our neighbors over the years to ensure that they do not provide any support to terrorist activities and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure have been ignored, despite assurances given by them. If a country cannot keep the assurances that it has given, then it obliges us to consider the entire range of options that exist, to protect our interests and our people from this menace,” he said, adding that the internal security situation in Pakistan continued to deteriorate”.

On the literary front, debates have been raging among the intellectuals around the attacks, with names like Arundhati Roy and Salman Rushdie providing fodder for the mill. Terms like “self-loathing” and “cynical duplicity” are being thrown around, and a e-petition to arrest Ms. Roy is making the rounds.

And on the sports front, the Indian Cricket tour of Pakistan in January has been cancelled.

Closer to home, Hillary returns, Caroline Kennedy is being launched, and the largest worldwide Ponzi scheme run by Bernard Madoff is unearthed. “As news that Madoff’s high-flying money management business apparently was nothing more than a Ponzi scheme made its way around the Street, the near-universal reaction was utter disbelief. Not disbelief that someone could brazenly rip off innocent investors; nobody in the financial community is capable of being shocked by that anymore. And not even disbelief at the scope of the crime, though at an estimated $50 billion, Madoff’s definitely would be a scam for the record books.

No, the reason so many Wall Street players couldn’t believe their ears was they couldn’t accept that Bernie Madoff, of all people, would have pulled something like this. “Not Bernie!” was a typical refrain.

Madoff was always one of the “good guys” in the dicey financial world, someone who championed the interests of the small investor. His career on Wall Street famously began with $5,000 he saved from his job as a lifeguard in Brooklyn…”

Till next time…

The DFW Desi


The DFW Desi is a free, independent newsletter published to share current news, views and events pertaining to the South Asian American community – over 17,000 strong and growing!

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in this issue

1. History, dissent cloud Pakistan’s Mumbai reaction

2. Madoff Scheme Kept Rippling Outward, Across Borders

3. In Iraqi’s Shoe-Hurling Protest, Arabs Find a Hero. (It’s Not Bush.)


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1. History, dissent cloud Pakistan’s Mumbai reaction

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — The black-and-white flag of Jamaat-ud-Dawa still flutters over a relief camp for survivors of an earthquake that hit a remote corner of Pakistan in October.

But bearded medics who work with the group had vanished from the huddle of tents and mud huts when a half-dozen police showed up to close the operation following allegations the charity was linked to militants blamed for the deadly Mumbai attacks in India.

How Pakistan deals with the Islamic group — popular among many for its aid to the needy — is a key test of its pledge to help investigate the Mumbai tragedy and, more broadly, to prevent militants from using its soil to attack both India and Afghanistan.

The U.S. and the U.N. say Jamaat-ud-Dawa is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group India says trained and sent the gunmen who attacked India’s commercial capital last month, killing 164 people and straining what had been improved relations between the countries.

Lashkar-e-Taiba has been an unofficial ally of the Pakistan army in Kashmir, a disputed territory claimed by both India and Pakistan.

Some believe the moment has come for Pakistan, which also backed the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, to make clear it has abandoned a shadowy policy of using militant proxies as a foreign policy tool.

The country stands before a “moment of change in people’s attitudes and thinking” toward militants, Sen. John Kerry said Tuesday in Islamabad.

Pakistan must see that Lashkar-e-Taiba has “morphed into a more al-Qaida-esque and radicalized entity” that is damaging the country’s interests, said Kerry, incoming chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Click here for the complete article.

     


Silk Threads


2. Madoff Scheme Kept Rippling Outward, Across Borders

 By DIANA B. HENRIQUES, NY Times

By the end, the world itself was too small to support the vast Ponzi scheme constructed by Bernard L. Madoff.

Initially, he tapped local money pulled in from country clubs and charity dinners, where investors sought him out to casually plead with him to manage their savings so they could start reaping the steady, solid returns their envied friends were getting.

Then, he and his promoters set sights on Europe, again framing the investments as memberships in a select club. A Swiss hedge fund manager, Michel Dominicé, still remembers the pitch he got a few years ago from a salesman in Geneva. “He told me the fund was closed, that it was something I couldn’t buy,” Mr. Dominicé said. “But he told me he might have a way to get me in. It was weird.”

Mr. Madoff’s agents next cut a cash-gathering swath through the Persian Gulf, then Southeast Asia. Finally, they were hurtling with undignified speed toward China, with invitations to invest that were more desperate, less exclusive. One Beijing businessman who was approached said it seemed the Madoff funds were being pitched “to anyone who would listen.”

The juggernaut began to sputter this fall as investors, rattled by the financial crisis and reaching for cash, started taking money out faster than Mr. Madoff could bring fresh cash in the door. He was arrested on Dec. 11 at his Manhattan apartment and charged with securities fraud, turned in the night before by his sons after he told them his entire business was “a giant Ponzi scheme.”

Please click here for the complete article.


3. In Iraqi’s Shoe-Hurling Protest, Arabs Find a Hero. (It’s Not Bush.)

 
 

BAGHDAD — Calling someone the “son of a shoe” is one of the worst insults in Iraq. But the lowly shoe and the Iraqi who threw both of his at President Bush, with widely admired aim, were embraced around the Arab world on Monday as symbols of rage at a still unpopular war.

In Saudi Arabia, a newspaper reported that a man had offered $10 million to buy just one of what has almost certainly become the world’s most famous pair of black dress shoes.

A daughter of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, reportedly awarded the shoe thrower, Muntader al-Zaidi, a 29-year-old journalist, a medal of courage.

In the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, people calling for an immediate American withdrawal removed their footwear and placed the shoes and sandals at the end of long poles, waving them high in the air. And in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf, people threw their shoes at a passing American convoy.

In street-corner conversations, on television and in Internet chat rooms, the subject of shoes was inescapable throughout much of the Middle East on Monday, as was the defiant act that inspired the interest: a huge and spontaneous eruption of anger at President Bush on Sunday in his final visit here. Some deplored Mr. Zaidi’s act as a breach of respect or of traditional Arab hospitality toward guests, even if they shared the sentiment. (Mr. Bush, having demonstrated his quick reflexes, then brushed it off as an expression of democracy.)

“Although that action was not expressed in a civilized manner, it showed the Iraqi feelings, which is to object to the American occupation,” said Qutaiba Rajaa, a 58-year-old physician in Samarra, a Sunni stronghold north of Baghdad.

For the complete article, please click here

 

 


Featured Non-Profit

A new section in this newsletter, providing exposure to deserving South Asian Non-Profits. Suggestions welcome

During the unprecedented attack on Mumbai between November 26 to 29, 2008, many people from the security forces, the police, fire service, hotel employees, guests of the Taj and general public were killed or wounded. In the aftermath of this terror attack, the Taj group has witnessed an outpouring of emotional support from well-wishers in India and across the globe, both for the restoration of the hotel and to offer relief for those affected by the attack. In response to this, the Taj group has set up a public service welfare trust fund named Taj Public Service Welfare Trust (TPS Welfare Trust).”

Phone: +91-22-6639 5515
Fax: +91-22-2202 7442
Emailtpswtrust@tajhotels.com

       

 

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A first hand account ofthe carnage at The Oberoi

Posted by: “sugrutha” sugrutha@yahoo.com

Mon Dec 1, 2008 4:53 pm (PST)

Rohan’s written account of his father’s ordeal, Apoorv Parikh who was
dining with lawyer Anand Bhatt and Pankaj Shah, both of whom died.

From: PARIKH Rohan
Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 6:36 PM
To: MOTWANI Dheeraj
Subject: FW: The Mumbai Attacks

Dear friends,

First, I wanted to thank you all for the incredible concern and
support that you’ll have given me over the past few days which have
been among the most emotionally and psychologically draining of my
life.

By the grace of God my father was rescued from the Oberoi on Friday
with two (minor) bullet wounds and is now speedily recovering. He did
however lose the two best friends he was dining with that fateful
night (who are like godfathers to me). We also lost a lot of other
friends and colleagues and have watched our beloved city reduced to a
war zone and brought to its knees.

On Wednesday night, my father and his two friends arrived at the
Indian restaurant on the first floor of the Oberoi Hotel for dinner
at about 10pm. They had barely sat down when they heard gun shots in
the lobby of the hotel. The terrorists, armed with AK-47s, grenades
and plastic explosives, had entered the hotel and were executing
everybody sitting in the ground floor restaurant. Realizing the
situation, the staff of the restaurant my father was in asked them to
quickly exit through the kitchen. As the guests tried to rush into
the kitchen, one terrorist burst into the restaurant and began to
shoot anyone that remained in the restaurant. At this point my father
was in the kitchen and along with his two friends rushed to the fire
exit. They had barely descended a few steps when they were trapped
from both ends by terrorists.

The terrorists then rounded up anyone alive (about 20 people) and
made them climb the service staircase to the 18th floor. On reaching
the 18th floor landing they made the people line up against a wall.
One terrorist then positioned himself on the staircase going up from
the landing and the other on the staircase going down from the
landing. Then, in a scene right out of the Holocaust, they
simultaneously opened fire on the people. My father was towards the
center of the line with his two friends on either side. Out of
reflex, or presence of mind, he ducked as soon as the firing began.
One bullet grazed his neck, and he fell to the floor as his two
friends and several other bodies piled on top of him. The terrorists
then pumped another series of bullets into the heap of bodies to
finish the job. This time a bullet hit my father in the back hip.
Bent almost in double, crushed by the weight of the bodies above him,
and suffocating in the torrent of blood rushing down on him from the
various bodies my father held on for ten minutes while the terrorists
left the area. When he finally had the courage to wiggle his arms he
found that there were four other survivors in the room. They
communicated to each other by touch as they were too afraid to make a
sound. My father moved just enough to allow himself room to breathe
and then lay still. The survivors passed over twelve hours lying
still in the heap of bodies too afraid to move. They constantly heard
gunfire and hand grenades going off in the other parts of the hotel.
They feared that any noise would bring the terrorists back. After
approximately twelve hours, the terrorists returned with a camera and
flashlight and joked and laughed as they filmed what they thought was
a pile of dead bodies. They then moved to the landing below where
they set up explosives. On their departing, my father decided that it
was too risky to remain where they were due to the explosives. Along
with the other three survivors he climbed the rest of the stairwell,
where they discovered a large HVAC plant room in which they decided
to take shelter. They passed the rest of the siege hiding in this
room trying to get the attention of the outside world by waving a
makeshift flag out of the window. They drank sips of dirty water from
the Air Conditioning unit to survive. Finally on Friday morning they
were spotted by a commando rescue team that was storming the building
and were evacuated to safety and taken to the hospital.

This is just one of the countless horror stories that unfolded in
those two days. There are many stories of entire families being wiped
out while eating their dinner, or young kids losing both parents, or
pregnant women being shot while pleading for their lives, or hostages
being beaten to death with the butt of a rifle so that their faces
were unrecognizable. The terrorists attacked on every level. They
killed middle class workers when they shot up the railway station,
they killed the elite in the hotels, they killed tourists and kids as
they ate in a café, and they killed the sick and dying when they
stormed three hospitals. They shot people in the roads, in stations,
in hotels, and even entered an apartment building. They killed
Indians, Americans, Britons, Israelis, and several other
nationalities. They killed men, women, children, policemen, firemen,
doctors, patients. This was systematic, cold-blooded, slaughter.

We have lost a lot of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Every
person who lives in South Mumbai has a story about how either they or
someone they love either died or had a narrow escape. The true extent
of the horror will only make itself clear over the next few days.

Mumbai is a proud city and we pride ourselves on bouncing back from
any adversity. We survive and prosper despite all the difficulties
placed on us. We are no strangers to terror and have had to pick up
the pieces and move on after several attacks. This time however, the
sheer scale and audacity brought the city to its knees. The openness
of our society, the bustling hoards in our train stations, the
vibrancy of our news media, and the thousands of tourists, diplomats,
and business leaders packing our hotels was used against us to
devastating effect.

In the end one tries to make sense of all this. Barack Obama said
about the killers of 9/11: “My powers of empathy, my ability to reach
into another’s heart, cannot penetrate the blank stares of those who
would murder innocents with such serene satisfaction.”

Unfortunately, this is becoming an all familiar scene in today’s
world. While I cannot understand, I recognize again and again the
hatred, anger, and desperation of the terrorists and the cold
blooded, targeted, ruthlessness of those that dispatch them. They
respect nothing but their own twisted beliefs and to achieve them
have declared war on an entire way of life. India now finds itself as
a major front of this global war.

How do we fight such hate? How do we inject humanity into such
monstrosity? How do we convince those who think they kill in god’s
name that no God would condone such barbarity? How do we maintain our
own values and humanity when faced with such hate and provocation?

Over the next week as we say goodbye to those we lost and help those
that survive, Mumbai and India will ask themselves these questions. I
hope the rest of the world does too.

I will remain in Mumbai for at least a week to help out with various
things, after which I will probably return to complete P2 at INSEAD.
Right now, though I miss all everyone at INSEAD, I cannot fathom
sitting in a classroom.

Thanks again for all your thoughts and prayers.

Rohan

Bombay: wealthy owe lives to hotel’s cummerbund heroes

From

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5254371.ece

Bombay: wealthy owe lives to hotel’s cummerbund heroes

Staff shielded guests from gunmen’s bullets

A hotel worker is helped by a colleague after jumping from a higher floor

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A hotel worker is helped by a colleague after jumping from a higher floor

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They were heroes in cummerbunds and overalls. The staff of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel saved hundreds of wealthy guests as heavily armed gunmen roamed the building, firing indiscriminately, leaving a trail of corpses behind them.

Among the workers there were some whose bravery and sense of duty led them to sacrifice their own lives, witnesses said.

Prashant Mangeshikar, a guest, said that a hotel worker, identified only as Mr Rajan, had put himself between one of the gunmen and Mr Mangeshikar, his wife and two daughters.

“The man in front of my wife shielded us,” Mr Mangeshikar said. “He was a maintenance section staff member. He took the bullets.” For the next 12 hours, before Mr Rajan was finally taken out of the hotel, guests battled to stop the bleeding from a gaping bullet wound in his abdomen. It is not known if he lived.

The Taj Mahal had been renowned for its sublime service for decades. Few of the hotel’s wealthy patrons would have predicted, however, that the men and women who delivered their meals and carried their bags – people earning a fraction of the sums of those they served – would display such courage and composure as the death toll quickly rose around them.

As the terrible events of Wednesday night unfolded, the staff of what had been Bombay’s finest hotel leapt into action. Scores of tales later emerged of unnamed workers hiding guests, barricading doors, tending the vulnerable and issuing orders.

Dalbir Bains, a British businesswoman, was with friends beside the hotel pool when the first crackle of automatic gunfire was heard a short distance away. “We heard shots and saw a man who’d just been shot. The terrorists were just behind us as we ran,” she said.

She made her way upstairs to Sea Lounge, a café on the first floor of the hotel, where the guests were still unaware of the fast-approaching threat. “Within seconds the staff had locked the doors, turned off the lights and told everybody to get on the floor,” she said. “They were fantastic. They saved lives.” Yesterday, as the most sophisticated terror attack to be mounted in India moved into its third day, Indian special forces from the crack Marine Commando Force (Marcos) gave an account of their mission to liberate the Taj – and the scenes of horror that staff and guests had witnessed.

The soldiers said that they were led by a hotel employee as they fought a sequence of running battles with gunmen in corridors and rooms strewn with dead bodies and seriously injured guests.

They also described the ferociousness of the gunmen. “They were the kind of people with no remorse – anybody and whomsoever came in front of them they fired at,” said a senior Marcos officer, clad in black, his face masked to protect his identity.

Faced with conditions that the troops, India’s toughest soldiers, said had tested them to the limit, the staff of the Taj Mahal remained astonishingly composed, witnesses said.

With the gunmen only metres away, a waiter at the Golden Dragon, the hotel’s Chinese restaurant, barricaded the doors. The staff then led the diners to the hotel’s business centre, which became a makeshift bunker for hundreds of guests. Parizaad Khan, 26, who sheltered there, said: “They handed out blankets, drinks. Despite the chaos all around they didn’t stop working for a second. They were amazingly calm.”

Before the attacks, the Taj Mahal was possibly one of the most civilised places on earth, largely thanks to the people who worked there.

Everything about them was just so, from the impressive moustaches of the impeccably dressed porters who opened guests’ car doors, to the perfectly pressed waistcoats of the bartenders and to the silk saris of the female concierge staff.

This army of workers had been brought together from the four corners of the world – Japanese sushi specialists served daily delicacies; there was a Turkish head chef at the famed Lebanese restaurant, Souk, an establishment favoured by the wealthy Arabs who regularly pass through. For an ordinary citizen of Bombay, a city where half the population lives in slums, a trip to the Taj would leave a memory that would last a lifetime. The hotel staff prided themselves on serving maharajas and princes, heads of states, tycoons, captains of industry and modern-day corporate nomads.

The Taj’s architectural influences are Moorish, Oriental, Indian and Florentine. Public areas have vaulted alabaster ceilings, hand-woven carpets and crystal chandeliers. And the staff were just as classy as the décor.

Mumbai terror rage ends after 60 hours, 195 dead

Mumbai terror rage ends after 60 hours, 195 dead

1_India_Shooting.sff.jpg

Indian commando soldiers are given roses and thanked by residents of Mumbai after they retook control of the Taj Mahal Hotel after hours of gun battles militants in Mumbai Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. Indian commandos killed the last remaining gunmen holed up at the luxury Mumbai hotel Saturday, ending a 60-hour rampage through India’s financial capital by suspected Islamic militants that killed people and rocked the nation. Associated Press © 2008

2_APTOPIX_India_Shooting.sff.jpg

People congratulate Indian commandos after the completion of an operation against terrorists at Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. Indian commandos killed the last remaining gunmen holed up at a luxury Mumbai hotel Saturday, ending a 60-hour rampage through India’s financial capital by suspected Islamic militants that killed people and rocked the nation. Associated Press © 2008

A 60-hour terror rampage across India’s financial capital ended Saturday when commandos killed the last three gunmen holed up in a luxury hotel engulfed in flames. At least 195 people died.

After the final siege ended, adoring crowds surrounded six buses near the hotel carrying weary, unshaven commandos, shaking their hands and giving them flowers. The commandos, dressed in black fatigues, said they had been ordered not to talk about the operation, but said they had not slept since the ordeal began. One sat sipping a bottle of water and holding a pink rose.

“What happened is disgusting,” said Suresh Thakkar, 59, who reopened his clothing store behind the hotel Saturday for the first time since the attacks. “It will be harder to recover, but we will recover. Bombay people have a lot of spirit and courage.” Mumbai was formerly known as Bombay.

Officials said they believe just 10 well-prepared gunmen were behind the attacks that brought the city of 18 million to its knees for three days.

“Nine were killed and one was captured,” Maharshta state Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh told reporters. “We are interrogating him.” Another official said the captured attacker is Pakistani and the gunmen were constantly in touch with a foreign country.

With the end of one of the most brazen terror attacks in India’s history, authorities were searching for any remaining victims hiding in their hotel rooms and began to shift their focus to who was behind the attacks, which killed 18 foreigners including six Americans. At least 20 Indian soldiers and police were also among the dead.

A previously unknown Muslim group with a name suggesting origins inside India claimed responsibility for the attack, but Indian officials said the sole surviving gunman was from Pakistan and pointed a finger of blame at their neighbor and rival.

Islamabad angrily denied involvement and initially promised to send its spy chief to India to assist in the investigation. But it withdrew that offer on Saturday, saying it would send a lower-ranked official instead.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari blamed the about-face on a “miscommunication” with India. However, the reversal followed sharp criticism from some opposition politicians and a cool response from the army, which controls the spy agency.

A team of FBI agents was on its way to India to help investigate, and President George W. Bush pledged full U.S. support.

“As the people of the world’s largest democracy recover from these attacks, they can count on the people of world’s oldest democracy to stand by their side,” Bush said at the White House.

About 300 people were wounded in the violence that started when heavily armed assailants attacked 10 sites across the city Wednesday night.

Read the rest of the story at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=97602358&ft=1&f=1004

Interview with Reva Bhalla regarding the Mumbai violence

Reva Bhalla is the director of Geopolitical Analysis, at Stratfor, a private geopolitical intelligence company in Austin, Texas. She has offered her analysis on the current situation in Mumbai through major media entities like NPR and CNN.

The DFW Desi interviewed Bhalla today on her views about the unfolding situation in Mumbai.

DD: How are the current attacks different than the previous bomb blasts?

RB: The biggest difference in these attacks are they are planned at a strategic level – strategic as far as the location of targets, as well as the people impacted.

The choice of the Taj and the Oberoi hotels, where most of the foriegn dignitaries congregate, as well as the Chabad House to cover the Israeli angle are noteworthy. This has immidiately given international exposure to the incident – with pressure on both India and Pakistan to show leadership at this time of crisis.

The second difference is the level of planning behind these attacks – this shows that these attacks have been planned quite a bit in advance, leading to speculation about who is really behind these attacks.

DD: So who is behind these attacks?

RB: Given the pre-operational surveillance, planning and coordination of this unprecedented attack, it appears that the domestic elements involved in the operation received outside support, most likely from al Qaeda in Pakistan, which already has close ties to many of the groups operating in India, particularly Lashkar-e-Taiba. That one of the militant name game attacks targeted the Jewish Chabad House (an atypical target for the more indigenous Islamist militants operating in India) indicates more of a transnational jihadist linkage. Groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, Harkat ul Jihad al Islami and the Student Islamic Movement of India are all Islamist militant groups that have collaborated with each other under the Kashmir banner and appear to have now coalesced under the name Indian Mujahideen. The group Deccan Mujahideen, which claimed the Mumbai attacks, is likely an affiliate of the group. In the bigger picture, however, the militant name game is unimportant, since it is meant primarily to confuse India’s security forces. What is important is the link that can be drawn back to the Pakistani ISI.

The Mumbai attacks covered a large number of Western-focused targets over an extended period of time. While the attacks did not require the skills of a bomb maker, they did require scores of young men who were dedicated enough to essentially launch a suicide operation. Such an attack requires a high level of planning, training and coordination that has not been seen by the more homegrown Islamist militant groups operating in India over the past several years.

It is quite possible that these Islamist militant groups received substantial support from intelligence elements in Pakistan in carrying out the attack. Since 9/11, the Pakistani government and military’s command and control over the ISI has become more nebulous, as many of the handlers who worked directly with the militant groups have struggled to maintain a balance between obeying orders from above to crack down on their militant proxies and assisting in operations against India and the United States. In any case, it is up to the Indian government to decide how far it will take the Pakistani link in its response to the attacks.

There is also a high probability that the Mumbai underworld was involved in this attack. Mumbai has a very active organized crime scene that has a great deal of influence over the city’s ports as well as the country’s movie-making industry. The triangular marine area between the coastal regions of India, Pakistan and Dubai is concentrated with organized crime elements that are heavily involved in smuggling operations. Many of these criminals are Muslim and harbor pro-Islamist and anti-India sentiment. To transport the number of militants and ammunition used in this attack, particularly by boat, could very well have required some level of cooperation from Mumbai’s organized crime scene. In fact, there is historical precedent for this: Mumbai organized crime had links to both the 1993 and 2001 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

DD: So what happens now?

RB: As Stratfor has emphasized, the Indian government will not be able to downplay its response to an attack of this magnitude, raising the potential for India to spin up the Pakistani linkages in the attack to create a crisis along the Indo-Pakistani border. Stratfor has learned that discussions are already taking place among senior Congress officials in New Delhi to amass troops along the border in Kashmir, a situation reminiscent of the Indian response to the 2001 parliamentary bombing in Mumbai that led to a near-nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan.

From the Pakistani side, arrangements are being made for the ISI chief to come to India to offer assistance. It is yet to be seen how this olive branch is accepted by the Indians.

Hindi notices in the polling station

I voted at the polling station in Las Colinas (Dallas), TX today – why wait till the last minute? because I went three times to the early voting location, but everytime the lines were 30-40 min long. However at 8 am today, I had to wait 10 minutes for my turn, and voted uneventfully.

However, the interesting thing was on the door of the location, there were signs in Chinese and Hindi (along with English and Spanish) giving directions like “Enter” etc.

How many Indians do you think came to vote and could not read English? and of those that couldn’t, how many could read Hindi?

:0

In Dallas this week…(Oct 13-18)

Ahh…no travel this week! Its great to sleep in your own bed…

What’s going on in Dallas this week? New Bollywood movie Karz releases in both the major desi theaters here, Karva Chauth is being celebrated by lots of women across town, and NetIP has a mixer tonight…

Diwali is coming up, and there is a huge Diwali Mela at the Texas Stadium…but nothing like the bustle of Delhi markets, the card parties and festivities around Diwali in India…