The attack on Khan Sheikhoun, the third since Syria used chemical agents at Ghouta in 2013 and east Hama last December, has led to calls for an international investigation. For its part, Russia and Syria deny responsibility, claiming that jets hit a jihadist stockpile. The images of the 70 killed at Khan Sheikhoun, though, should not blind us to the larger horror underway. Few weeks pass in Syria without far larger numbers of civilians losing their lives and limbs to conventional weapons. Yet, Khan Sheikhoun is being spoken of as “red line” crossed — as if an estimated 5,00,000 dead and almost 11.5 million displaced were not “red line” enough.
There was a time when victory over enemies was about bashing heads, seizing their women and enslaving their children. It still happens of course. The cost-effective way is for the powerful to dictate, the weak to submit, hands to be shaken with the key representatives of the respective parties facing the camera, a show of bonhomie and crisp statements about long-standing historical friendships. Heads don’t get bashed, but enslavement is what it is all about.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, a rising star in the administration of President Donald Trump, has made another blunt statement that has drawn the ire of a third country and elicited a restatement of more traditional policy by the State Department.
China reacted angrily to the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh - a territory that it claims is theirs - and said that by ignoring Beijing's concerns over the issue New Delhi has caused "serious damage" to bilateral ties. India reiterated that no political colour should be attributed to the Tibetan spiritual leader's visit to the northeastern state.
Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221
Title: Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War; Author: Myra Macdonald; Publisher: Penguin Random House India; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 599
The story of Afghanistan -- of the war against the Soviets and of terrorism that has gripped the landlocked country ever since -- is in many ways also the story of diplomat Masood Khalili, who motivated his people and led them...
Title: The Golden Legend; Author: Nadeem Aslam; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Pages: 376; Price: Rs 599
Over the Years, a collection of 106 short articles, offers us interesting sidelights on the currents and cross- currents in the public life of India during two distinctive periods: (I) 1987 to 1991 and (II ) 2010 to the present.