Stories about Washington

When the pot met the kettle: How Modi made India a lackey to the US

Finally, the pot and the kettle met, shook hands and hugged each other. Analysts world over are still debating possible gains and losses of a meeting between two unique characters of world politics today – Donald Trump and Narendra Modi. They represent two very vibrant democracies of the world but they are not recognised as the real faces of their multi-cultural nations. They are treated more as aberrations of history, a mistake of time rather than a true face of the era and people they got their mandate from. They both defy the norms of Greek and Shakespearean tragedy. Their past sins and acts are not holding them back from achieving ...

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Pulling out of the Paris climate agreement may be Donald Trump’s only success story

In the cold and grey Washington, the news cycle has been eternally hot lately. The fire refuses to simmer down. The breathtaking pace at which events occur makes it tough to keep up with the war of words from the movers and shakers in a town where, post November 9, 2016, things have been constantly on the edge. While it is safe to say that all politicians are born actors and blatant liars, Donald Trump’s White House has legitimised the art of lying and given an official seal of approval to “alternative facts” – a term that essentially masks any untrue statement ...

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Trump has a Yates problem and it ain’t going away anytime soon!

I don’t even know where to begin but let me start with this – at the time of writing these lines, the bizarre saga of Russia hacking the US presidential election is moving along at a breath-taking pace. The number of people allegedly involved from the Trump camp is as high as the sky, and if justice is allowed to take its due course, we may see a few heads rolling, and by that I mean some seriously important heads! Sally Yates is a real life American hero. On the night of January 30th, when she stood up against Donald Trump’s ...

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Russia will never sabotage its alliance with Iran for Donald Trump

As I write these lines, Washington is abuzz with the news of Donald Trump’s top security advisor, Michael Flynn’s resignation. The White House is trying to clean up the mess Flynn’s rather over-zealously erratic act created, ending up in critics looking at the election victory in a whole new light.  Ironically, Trump saw in Flynn the capability to penetrate the Russian iron curtain by virtue of his connections with Moscow. Ironically also, it was Flynn who had put Iran on an unexplained and unelaborated ‘notice’ early February – an ill-conceived, rhetoric ridden, flash in the pan type of a half-step that really just reiterated Washington’s unsavoury ...

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Washington may be broken, but it’s not broken enough to let thugs like Trump enter the Oval Office

It seems just like yesterday when a far-right Republican, who I had the misfortune of knowing, told me that he’d rather vote for a donkey than vote for President Barack Obama. That was back in 2012 when the president was running for his second term against Mitt Romney. Now, Romney may not have been as eloquent or academically gifted as Obama, but he certainly was not dope. He was a former governor, an established businessman and the backbone of the Mormon faith. Donkey he certainly was not. Fast forward to today’s campaign season, it appears that the Republican prayers have been answered. Thanks ...

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Will Pakistan learn from its mistakes with Afghanistan to save its ties with Iran?

Even though tensions between Islamabad and Kabul over the Torkham border crossing are yet to be settled, Pakistan has laid the foundation of “Pakistan Gate” near the Iranian border in Taftan. The gate is said to check any illegal trade occurring via Iran, and also help the border guards effectively manage and monitor the border crossing. What makes this gate different from the one in Torkham is that it is not only built with mutual consent from both Pakistan and Iran – but also on special demand from Tehran, as it has already built a gate of its own ...

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Is India making the same mistake Pakistan made by allying with the US?

The post-colonial history tells us that Uncle Sam has been more of a destabiliser than a divine presence in the region. Pakistan has been a close ally of the US since the 50s. But has the Islamic country been a real beneficiary by playing the western world’s game in South Asia? In its blind desire to get military parity with India and neutralise the existential threat from its eastern neighbour, Islamabad became a front for Washington in the NATO’s war against communist Soviet Russia. As a result, Pakistan, a newly born country, lost its strategic autonomy quite early in its life and became a pawn in the larger game ...

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With Vietnam’s astonishing human rights record, is lifting the arms embargo a smart call?

President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Vietnam and his monumental full removal of the arms embargo was a clear signal that the leader of the free world will not be content with adopting a laid-back approach in his final year in office. He’s alive and kicking and means business! While the race for the White House gets nastier by the day, the president carries on strongly spreading goodwill and doing damage control as much as he possibly can both at home and abroad. Every nation has its own foreign policy goals and the US is no exception. Those goals may not necessarily fundamentally agree with the aspirations of other ...

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Can The Night Manager be as good as a small-screen James Bond?

The Night Manager is one of the many adaptions based on the work of the bestselling espionage novelist, John le Carré.  The Night Manager, the book, was published in 1993 and was brought to TV by BBC and AMC as a mini-series comprising of six episodes. This mini-series is directed by Susanne Bier, staring  Tom Hiddleston as Jonathan Pine and Olivia Colman as Angela Burr. The Night Manager, adapted by the BBC and due to be screened later this yearPhoto: Mitch Jenkins/The Ink Factory/AM Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier, currently working as a night manager of a hotel in Egypt, is hired by intelligence agents for an exciting yet dangerous mission. ...

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The loving humanitarian efforts of an American in Pakistan

Due to frequent media images of violent anti-American protests as well as repeated travel-safety warnings from the State Department, most Americans avoid visiting Pakistan. However, Todd Shea, the founder of Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS), has adopted Pakistan as his home and is running several welfare projects there. I learnt about Todd Shea on Facebook several months ago when I was browsing through a list of ‘People you may know’. Pleasantly surprised to learn about the humanitarian work he was doing in Pakistan, I began to closely follow CDRS activities on social media. The 2005 earthquake and the great need to help its victims brought Shea to ...

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