Monthly Archives: September 2015
Editor’s Note: In January, usindiamonitor came across a purely humanitarian issue of bringing home the remains of MIA American pilots who crashed in India during WWII and invited Gary Zaetz to write an editorial on the topic. This excellent piece I sincerely hope, brought some awareness to this long and hard battle. And today usindiamonitor is proud to publish Gary’s follow-up about the moratorium FINALLY being lifted by the Indian government after so many years.
We finally have confirmation in the press that the moratorium on Arunachal recoveries, in effect since the end of 2009, has been lifted by the Indian Government, in spite of the fact that the Chinese Government is still on record opposing these recoveries.
See this new article, by Indian journalist Manu Pubby, from India’s Economic Times. We thank Mr. Pubby and the Economic Times for giving this news the attention it deserves.
It compounds the tragedy of our MIAs’ loss that, while this cruel and heartless moratorium was in effect, many of these heroes’ closest relatives, like Dr. Stephen L. Chambers, Ethyle Renee Wolfe, and Fred Morris Oxford, passed away, forever denied their rights to see their loved ones’ remains given a proper burial during their lifetimes.
This is not a joke. usindiamonitor has decided to endorse Donald Trump to be the GOP nominee for president. We offer this endorsement in all due sincerity to our readers. I want him to be the nominee, and badly. Here is why.
The Donald Trump candidacy has become a 2015 political phenomenon in its own right. Trump has led the polls steadily for a number of months now. At 30% or over in national polling and early states including in Iowa and New Hampshire, the Donald has demonstrated more staying power than most pundits thought was possible. Even now, the smart money isn’t on him winning the nomination.
I began this election season amused, bemused, and mildly upset at Donald Trump’s rapid ascent in the polls, and especially dismayed about what his wide support said about America. As the long election season has worn on, however, something happened. I have come around to believing that all of the attention his campaign has attracted is a positive thing for him, for the Republican party, the Democratic party, and ultimately, for the country.
Donald Trump has struck a nerve among many Americans of all political stripes, including me. Both political parties truly suck right now at getting things done, and their leadership has been entirely uninspiring. Almost nobody likes Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Harry Reid, or Nancy Pelosi on either the right or left. Obama has had a very good year in spite of, not thanks to the help of, his party. He is the only varsity player on a junior varsity squad. Democrats have been disunited and in complete disarray for Obama’s entire time in office and provide weak support for administration policies at best. Gridlock and partisanship are arguably as bad as they’ve ever been. Both parties are seeing surges by anti-establishment candidates, with Sanders making waves on the other side. Americans are sick and tired of Washington at the moment, and most of all Congress. Americans have in fact lost their trust in government almost completely. Meanwhile, the Republican party of today is a very cruel joke.
Oddly, Trump may help in bringing about the solutions for all of this.
Verbal Diarrhea. Trump is the only GOP presidential candidate out of 17 who says whatever the hell he wants each and every day even though the media has followed him more closely than any other candidate from either party and jumps on every other word the man utters. This in itself is refreshing to see, and much needed, especially because most of the douche bags involved in politics these days don’t deserve the decorum (there- even I can do it- with an alliterative flourish). Trump doesn’t have focus groups or staff tell him what to say. His team has openly admitted that they can’t control his mouth anyway. How awesome is that in today’s constipated political reality?
We see the consequences of that, though. Among the things Trump says are cringe-worthy moments where immigrants, women, Obama, or journalists are insulted and the media piles on to say “he crossed the line” or “this will do him in.” So far, that hasn’t been the case. The reason is simple: he says whatever pops into his furry head at a given moment, many of them being ad hominem attacks on his rivals or journalists, and Americans see authenticity, or something they themselves would say in private amongst friends and family. When he insinuates that Rosie O’Donnell is a slob, that Megyn Kelly may have been on the rag during the Fox News debate, or that Carly Fiorina is ugly, he is only saying what the majority of American men think and say in their living room anyway. That he is unafraid to do it publicly, and refuses to apologize for it are unheard of in our overwhelmingly boring political atmosphere.
Let’s take the back and forth with Megyn Kelly as an example. Listen to anything she says. Megyn is a total airhead who happens to be eye candy- exactly the type of horse-race heavy, policy light female journalist Fox News and others like to strut on stage in order to draw horny eyeballs to the news. She asked Trump a dumb question that has no business being in a presidential debate, about his misogyny towards women. This had nothing to do with policy whatsoever- it was to tarnish his character. She specifically brought up Trump’s chauvinist quotes as part of the Republican establishment’s desperate and obvious agenda of taking him down. Fox News has always been the RNC’s mouthpiece and they in tandem are trying very hard to eliminate Trump. Kelly’s goal was to inform viewers about the terrible things he says, rather than to ask a real debate question, while coating the question with a condom of faux feminism by having a woman deliver the query.
Yet Megyn Kelly, Fox News, and the Republican party all lost that particular battle. Why? Because Trump rightly recognized they were doing a hatchet job on him, and fought back the only way he knows best: by saying inappropriate things about the moderator such as that he wouldn’t attack her at first and then on twitter late-night that she was on the rag, later pretending he meant that blood was coming out of another orifice not that one. Everyone knew what he meant- but not very many people cared outside of the Washington media squawk boxes. As always, there was nothing to apologize for from his camp. Perhaps in Trump’s mind he really did mean a different orifice after all- not that we want to crawl into that head of his to find out. His poll numbers continued to climb.
This is mostly because a majority of Americans including myself are sick and tired of having to be politically correct all the time, having to endure watching politicians pretend to be politically correct all the time, and unimpressed by the predictable phony media outrage every time somebody says something that makes people uncomfortable. Trump on the other hand admits it, nay, revels in it: he says what he feels, and if you don’t like it then don’t vote for him. He’s a modern day cowboy.
For the record, much of what his personal insults insinuate are spot on, or at least make some sense. One cannot sum up Jeb! Bush better than Trump does: low energy, boring, his speeches will put you to sleep. Trump has nailed the entire Jeb! Bush persona with just a few words- and it’s sticking. Bush is the establishment candidate, and is supposed to be the nominee, but he is getting his ass handed to him thus far.
People want to be him. Every now and again, I take a break from the rat race life of a working stiff to wonder what it would like to be a billionaire. I know I’m not the only one. Add to that being born with a silver spoon in your mouth to start life, a global business empire based in good old New York City, a series of hot wives and good-looking children on his arm, all the toys that money can buy like private jets, helicopters, over-the-top hair care, and massive fame and exposure in the media.
Who wouldn’t want that? Perhaps a true Swami deep in the Himalayas might take a pass. How could Trump NOT know how to make America great again if he has built such a great life for himself? Americans see him, and they want to be him. They admire his confidence and his brash style. There is something distinctly American about Trump. His schtick and dick swagger certainly wouldn’t play in most of the world’s political systems, but here it makes sense. We like it.
The fast-degrading campaign trail. Another reason to vote for Trump is because he is perfectly designed for the election in its current format. American news and American campaign politics 16 or 18 months before the general election are nothing but entertainment in a world of relentless and endless 24-hour news cycles. Accept that, and it’s a naughty, tasty treat. It’s time to openly recognize the silly season for what it is: specifically, we are witnessing a giant reality show, turned into the best one possible because of the highest stakes possible, leadership of the free world. Getting voted off the island is not quite as consequential as having to quit the GOP race like a listless Rick Perry finally did. On the Republican side, it is a straight-up circus with a clown car of candidates touring the nation as its main feature. It’s a two year long charade, and Trump is more entertaining by far than any of the other candidates. In fact, I would hazard that politics has never been this fun, as talked about and followed, or as hilarious in my lifetime so far. Trump deserves the credit for this raising of politics to the level of bloodsport for the first time.
I am enjoying every minute of Trump’s candidacy these days, especially the pure joy of entertainment that politics has lacked since the brawling Ross Perot ’92 (the man I credit with getting me hooked on politics). Trump is a slow-moving train wreck, and it is difficult to avert your eyes from a train wreck especially if you are not on the train, there is no chance of getting hurt, and there is nothing at all you can do to help avert the accident. I proudly rubberneck with the best of them.
Republicans have done much hand-wringing after losing the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 elections. To counter that, the 2016 Republican field was supposed to be a much vaunted, highly regarded crowd of heavyweights including heralded conservative darling Senators, Governors, and policy jocks. This was supposed to be some equivalent of He-Man or the Avengers, ready to do battle to take back the White House from Obama/Ultron/Clintons/Skeletor this time around. Instead, we found out they are jokes, not jocks once the limelight was turned on- and nobody could be more upset about this than me, because I sincerely want there to be a strong GOP. Where is the proof that they are horrible candidates? There is no need to have an opinion on the mean-spirited campaigning, asinine comments, or apocalyptic fear-mongering that has become the GOP’s bread and butter; nor on the pandering to special interests and tea party. Just observe the polling, and how three shockingly egomaniacal deep outsiders Trump, Carson, and Fiorina are taking half the polling away from this pathetic junior high school prom squad in an unquestionably bloody spree of GOP regicide. Bush, Santorum, Huckabee, Christie, Perry, Paul, Walker, Cruz, Graham, Jindal, Rubio, and the list goes on. No Republican except John Kasich or Jon Huntsman should be anywhere near the White House- but unfortunately those two are too well-adjusted to ever threaten to get into office on a Republican ticket.
All comers have withered under the pressure and Trump has exposed them all as the lousy politicians and policy lightweights they really are, people who do not inspire either the base or moderates. Meanwhile, Trump is the only candidate that truly inspires a large swath of the electorate.
Unfortunately too many Americans do not see the campaign trail for what it is- a giant scam on America and the rest of the world, a reality show brought to us by a bunch of clowns who are quietly raising millions of dollars behind the tent in the nearby dressing rooms and brothels to buy PR and attack ads, turning the whole thing into an expensive children’s sandbox of juvenile insults and falsehood-laden fear mongering. The system is fully broken, and we are seeing the dark underside of democracy with weak financial regulation at work. By having Trump in the race, and having him perform well, it exposes America’s political charade for what it is, for all the world to see. It is a series of naked mud wrestling matches, and anyone who has tried mud wrestling with Trump so far has been stained. And all of those who have been damaged by Trump deserve every single bit of it.
The GOP’s Nervous Clown Car Breakdown. The damage being done to the Republican brand by Trump is far worse than the sum of all individual candidate stumbles. This is the most important reason why all Americans should hope and pray that Trump continues to lead the GOP race. The party is made up of milquetoast leadership trying hard to hold together a motley coalition of xenophobes, nativists, racists, evangelicals, corrupt business interests, misogynists, and ignorant fools- not that any of these are mutually exclusive. Trump has managed to capture the imagination of all of these, and even those who are none of those things. And this coalition is threatening to shut down the US government once again in order to hold hostage Planned Parenthood funds- and by extension, the American people, because some 3% of the PP budget is used for abortion and related medical issues.
Trump represents a most magical phenomenon. He has a chance to possibly win the GOP nomination, though it’s an outside chance. Meanwhile, there is zero chance he could ever win a general election. For the Democrats, Trump is a boon. He can cripple the GOP, but he cannot possibly harm the Democrats. This is why usindiamonitor is endorsing Donald Trump. The GOP is so morally bankrupt, so poorly run, and so entrenched in catering to the worst elements of American life, all of which Trump has easily exposed, that it needs a day of reckoning. There’s no better way to achieve this that I can see than Trump as the Manchurian candidate.
The Republican party was supposed to have done 3 years of soul-searching after being beaten hollow, against all odds, by a young black newcomer to Washington with no executive experience, twice in a row. Additionally this guy somehow managed to outmaneuver the opposition party over and over again on domestic and foreign policy. 2016 was supposed to be the year when immigrants, minorities and women were welcomed into the circus tent. But the carnival barkers at the door have scared folks away. Donald Trump has savaged these very groups so openly, so proudly, and so unapologetically that all demographics are guaranteed to come out in force to vote Democrat next year, including so many who have never voted before. That is true power, and nobody but Donald Trump has that kind of power. The damage is done, even if he drops out of the race today. He has tarnished the GOP for years to come already. If we risk bringing him to power, it will have been well worth it. People tell me, careful what you wish for.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for the GOP, too. The party is in dire need of new people and new ideas on the national level to rebuild itself again. The current crop of rising GOP stars do not qualify to right the ship (while the Democrats have a very strong bench that will be ready in a few years for the big time). Much of what conservatives traditionally stand for are things I would agree with, especially on the fiscal level. Obamacare is a prime example of Republican ideas in application- it was a plan written by Bob Dole and Mitt Romney more than anyone else, which Republicans disowned ONLY because Obama championed it. This idiocy is the reason why the GOP needs to be destroyed in its current form. As a group the party is irrational, cares about party success more than about the country, but does not even act in its own self-interest!
On the state and local levels, Republicans are dominating like never before, but they are no longer viable in presidential races. There is no better way to precipitate the end of this drought than to upend the party from within first. The GOP will need to stand for something rather than simply being against everything Obama does, which currently defines the party and its base. Repeal Obamacare, piss on the Iran deal, and threaten to defy Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage are not coherent policies. Those few policies that arguably make any sense by GOP presidential candidates, such as increasing military spending, starting new wars, or dismantling environmental regulations are geared toward the “lizard brain,” catering to those most basic human impulses so that these dinosaurs can drag us back in time to a fairy-tale existence that, well, never existed.
On the issues. Even on certain policy issues, Trump is doing the country a service. By rightly claiming to be the only Republican candidate who isn’t a slave to special interests, Trump has highlighted the devastating consequences of Citizens United on the electoral process. He has shown that billionaire oligarchs like him could end up being the only folks eligible to run for president or pick who does, with all of the glaring downsides that brings. Trump has superior credibility when he says he wants to tax the rich more in order to balance the budget, because he would tax himself and as a businessman he has had to ensure the ledgers get balanced, despite his commercial failures. Finally, on Mexican immigration, Trump has taken a position that is so ridiculous, so outside the realm of possibility- forced deportation of millions of illegals back to Mexico- that the only possible result (besides Americans of all types and especially liberals swarming to the ballot boxes) would have to be the exact opposite, as the rest of his party is forced to denounce the plan, apologize, U-turn, paving the way towards the two parties finally coming together for a humane and reasonable amnesty solution that has remained elusive for so long.
If Trump helps get conversations started to precipitate campaign finance reform, higher taxes on billionaires, and immigration reform while helping the GOP re-invent itself he will have done the nation massive favors already, even if he never reaches office.
Please, primary voters. Prove the polls true. Vote for Trump in real elections.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor. He approves this message.
Mahanth S. Joishy is Editor of usindiamonitor
As was widely reported in Indian media in recent weeks, a “hotline” or 24/7 secure line of telephone communication has been operationally inaugurated between President Obama and Prime Minister Modi. “This is a secure line between two very, very close partners so that they can exchange views at the heads of state level…exchange views and co-ordinate approaches to solving real problems,” said Peter Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asian Affairs at the US National Security Council, to the Times of India.
On the face of it, this might not seem like such a big deal. Obama and Modi, thanks to their undeniably strong personal rapport, could already find a way to reach one another on the phone if they really urgently wanted to prior to the hotline. They’ve met personally twice already, and will be doing so again in New York later this month when Modi comes back to the United States for the UN General Assembly and to address the powerful brown community in Silicon Valley.
However, a hotline denotes several advances. First of all is prestige. It symbolically represents the two nations coming closer together, for India has never had a head of state hotline with any other country before, while only three other nations- China, Russia, and Great Britain- have a hotline to the president. In the cases of China and Russia, the hotlines clearly exist to diffuse a suddenly emerging crisis, such as nuclear conflagration or quite possibly World War III. Meanwhile the US has a hotline with UK because they are publicly acknowledged best friends. The Obama-Modi hotline seems to be closer in scope to the latter than the former- though crisis mode is never far when it comes to South Asia. We can now expect more frequent contact between the two leaders and their national security staff. This can only be a good thing, and should be seen as a welcome gesture after a long history of mistrust between the two countries.
As of early September 2015, businessman Donald Trump continues to lead early polling among the 17 (or whatever the latest number du jour is) Republican candidates for President of the United States. Republican party establishment candidates who were expected to be at the front of the pack, such as Jeb Bush with his much-heralded endorsements and large donor base are lagging far behind.
There is no doubt that Donald Trump has struck a nerve with a large number of citizens across the nation at just the right time. Americans are increasingly fed up with gridlock in Washington, the constipated effects of money and special interest groups on the political process, their weakening purchasing power, and the perception that China, India, or Mexico are defeating America in the game of life, or at some game or the other. In comes Trump, promising to make America “great again” with his bad hair, unrestrained ego, and fearless abuse of immigrants, journalists, other candidates, President Obama, or anyone else who crosses him, or crosses his mind. With the limelight focused squarely upon him, Trump is making his brand more and more well-known to America and the rest of the world, one insult at a time.
Much lesser known are Donald Trump’s connections to India and Indian-Americans. His real estate empire in particular extends into many countries, and that includes India as well. Perhaps this shouldn’t be a surprise, considering the man named his signature Atlantic City casino after the one and only Taj Mahal of India and imported elements of its gaudy design all the way to the Jersey Shore.