The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, May 25, 2003

Write view
Is Iraq war the beginning of end of American glory?
Randeep Wadehra

War on Iraq
by Dr. Sharad S. Chauhan (I.P.S). APH, New Delhi. Pages viii+425. Rs 795.

 War on Iraq THE power of the USA is at its zenith. The next step may well be downhill. Is the invasion of Iraq the beginning of the end? Bush has given a notice to the world. There is going to be only one bully in the global village. The others can only be his sidekicks a la Blair. What were the compulsions for invading Iraq? Its WMD? But where are the weapons? To liberate the people of Iraq? But was there any such call from the people? And how were they "liberated"? By bombing them out of existence?

Obviously, there was some reason for this bloodbath. Perhaps oil was the reason — Iraq has the second largest oil deposits in the world. More importantly, it was to prevent potential blackmail from other producers of oil; hence the talk of restructuring the Islamic world. Iraq was no supporter of jehad; hence the talk of Saddam being another Osama is all waffle. The author has painstakingly made a case for the American invasion of Iraq. He has, sadly, parroted the Israeli-Anglo-American line. At best, he tells us only a part of the story. The Saddam Hussein regime’s lies and deceptions were no different from similar acts by, say, Pakistan. In fact, there is documented evidence of Pakistan encouraging terrorism on a global scale.

But must innocent children pay the price of an individual’s presumed perfidy? The photographs of children’s bodies bathed in blood, so callously scattered on the ground, send shivers up one’s spine. Oscar Wilde had once remarked, "As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular." And this was the most unpopular war ever.


Perhaps George W. Bush nurtures the visions of being the 21st century’s first global emperor? Not satisfied with being the elected potentate of the most powerful and prosperous nation in the world, the man wants to grab even what the less fortunate possess. He, or his successors, might well succeed in building the largest-ever empire, but one must remember what the late French writer, Baron de Montesquieu, once remarked, "An empire founded by war has to maintain itself by war."

Aligning the Economic Cycle with the Time Cycle
by Charu Bahri. Writers Club Press, New York. Pages 102. $ 11.95.

Aligning the Economic Cycle with the Time CycleTime and economic thought are related. Or so declares the author. The book says that there are, broadly speaking, two types of people: takers levtas and givers devtas. Takers believe in the linear nature of time. In other words, they feel that an opportunity to take, if missed, will never come back; so take what you can — making the most of a favourable period of time. Such people always feel insecure. On the other hand, greed and insecurity do not affect givers. They do not hoard money, and, instead, contribute to general prosperity. Even though Bahri has studied and quoted various thinkers, very little empirical evidence appears to have been collated. But then this is a slim volume that attempts, to the best of my knowledge, a new genre that perhaps could be called Philosophical Economy. As the US economist, Milton Friedman remarks in Essays in Positive Economics, "Factual evidence can never ‘prove’ a hypothesis; it can only fail to disprove it, which is what we generally mean when we say, somewhat inaccurately, that the hypothesis is ‘confirmed’ by experience."

Charu Bahri points out that both time and economics are inter-linked by their very nature, viz., the cyclical repetition. However, in order to understand time a "clear understanding of the self" is imperative. The self rules the mind, the thought generator. Thoughts are followed by actions. The feeling of time passing can only be experienced in the mind. The author has tried to marry the dismal science with esoteric philosophical and metaphysical concepts like time, space, etc.