Stories about World War II

The Afghans are to Pakistan what the Muslims are to Trump

They have been wreaking havoc in our country since the early 80s. The spread of drugs and the Kalashnikov culture is blamed on these poor souls and rightly so. Their help in the conduct of terror plots throughout the country is widely known; the Army Public School (APS) attack in December 2014 is a case in point. With Zarb-e-Azb in its final stage, fighting internal and external threats in FATA and dealing with border skirmishes, it is safe to say Pakistan already has enough on its plate. Yet, it has been the only country gracious enough to grant three million Afghan refugees an unlimited stay. Rather than acknowledge the good will, ...

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In beauty is a wound, Eka Kurniawan proves that he is the literary heir to Salman Rushdie and Garcia Marquez

Every once in a while a novelist surfaces on the literary landscape from a bookishly dormant and reclusive country, whose literature has been ignored and underrepresented in the Western literary consciousness for far too long, and takes the entire book world by storm. Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie from Nigeria, Han Kang from South Korea, Yuri Herrera from Mexico, Aminatta Forna from Sierra Leon and Porochista Khakpour from Iran are a just a few contemporary examples. And now, Eka Kurniawan, a young and precocious Indonesian novelist, is a thrilling new discovery and an exciting addition to the list. In Kurniawan, Indonesia has, at ...

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Is the Nazi scare tactic being used against refugees in Europe?

Warning: The images in the post may not be suitable for audiences under the age of 18 years.  Billing itself as a ‘brave young Polish weekly’, W Sieci wasn’t particularly brave in their choice of cover: a blonde woman wearing the European Union flag as a toga, being groped by meaty, hairy arms. W Sieci’s cover story was titled ‘Islam’s rape of Europe’. Photo: Twitter It wasn’t too youthful, either. The title references Roman myth — Jupiter’s rape of princess Europa. But the creepy image of swarthy hands defiling a fair white maiden is a 20th-century scare tactic. The United ...

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Why are we blaming Japan for whaling and not Iceland?

Post World War II Japan was starving. The country had lost two cities – Hiroshima and Nagasaki – to atomic bombs and over 1.74 million Japanese servicemen and one million citizens. The Japanese people had lost everything and their hunger was compounded by a disastrous harvest and the fragile chaotic economy. The devastating effects led the Japanese to commercially pursue a tradition dating back to 10,000 BC – whaling. In 1947, whale meat made up almost half of all animal protein consumed by the country. Nearly 20 years later, whales continued to make up nearly one-quarter of the Japanese diet. ...

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Is Putin’s ‘holy war’ aimed at saving the Middle East or bolstering Assad’s regime?

The last time Russia conducted military operations in the Middle East, the word ‘Nazis’ was not preceded by the prefix ‘neo’ and Russians were still called ‘Soviets’ without any accompanying nostalgia. In other words, the last time Russia warred in the Middle East, it was World War II. That is, at least, according to CBS News’ Steve Kroft, who last week interviewed President Obama on 60 Minutes. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan seems to have been lost to oversight, but that’s another matter. Perhaps in tribute to the American adage of ‘coming back with a bang’ (but don’t tell the Russians that), Mr Vladimir ...

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1965: You didn’t win the war India, but neither did we, Pakistan

There is no doubt that the 1965 Indo-Pak war over the status of Jammu and Kashmir ended in a United Nations (UN) mandated truce that compelled India to accept the ceasefire on September 21, 1965 while Pakistan agreed to it on September 22, 1965. The Tashkent peace agreement constrained Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and Pakistani President Ayub Khan to quit all territorial claims and pull back their armies from the disputed terrain to pre-conflict positions by February 25, 1966. Although it is also evident that the conflict was halted with a truce due to the policies of the US and the Soviet Union – who were engaged in the Cold War at ...

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All the light we cannot see – a novel that blends beauty and pain

The year that produced surreal and absorbing books by American literary titans such as Marilynn Robinson and Joyce Carol Oates, what turned out to be the best read of the year was the brisk and spellbinding World War II novel ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ by a relatively obscure author, Anthony Doerr. Doerr’s sprawling and riveting novel has emerged as the astonishing bestselling smash hit of the year. Soon after being published, it was instantly hailed by critics and triumphantly made its place in the best seller lists by storm. It was also chosen as one of the 10 best ...

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150,000 dead and counting: When will Af-Pak’s killing spree end?

Wars are a nasty killing business, the culmination of a failure of diplomacy or resolution of conflicts in a peaceful manner. Like religious fanaticism, where reason and logic stop and aggression gives way to hostility, mankind and nations often take refuge in manoeuvring and manipulating to go one up and control situations by non-peaceful methods. For the lack of a better expression, wars are the awakening of the animal instinct in human beings. The effects and repercussions that armed confrontations leave behind are far reaching. Scars of sorrowfulness and grief that wars bring to the teeming millions are virtually an irremovable ...

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Russia: The one country the US cannot bully

This week US Foreign Secretary John Kerry met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Russian Black Sea resort, Sochi – the same place where the Winter Olympics took place, which the West boycotted – for the first talks since the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis back in the autumn of 2013. Kerry held discussions for more than four hours with Lavrov before he sat down with President Putin. Among the topics discussed were the themes which the US cannot handle without support from Russia, i.e. the Iran nuclear talks and the situation in Yemen and Libya. But apart from these topics, ...

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Is World War III round the corner?

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones” – Albert Einstein The world is far from complex. While presenting it as such certainly puts food on the table for many people, the solutions to the contemporary world’s problems are generally quite obvious. The basic formula behind them is no different to that of Europe in 1939, or even that at the time of the Ancient Rome – powerful leaders and the citizens of powerful nations, overtaken by the urge for establishing their hegemony. But we all strive ...

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