Guyana Speaks!: The Indian Arrival!- Sunday 29 October 2017 – London


Dear All

You are invited to join us on Sunday, 29th October at The Classic, 28 Upper Tooting Road, London, SW17 7PG at 2pm.  Tickets are £5.00, payable at the door or via eventbrite:

This Guyana Speaks programme commemorates Indian arrival with a panel of three eminent speakers: Professor David Dabydeen, Peter Ramrayka and Lainy Malkani.  The programme offers an exciting blend of history, music, documentary, poetry and a reading from Lainy Malkani’s collection of short stories – ‘Sugar, Sugar: Bitter-sweet Tales of Indian Migrant Workers.  Books will be available for sale.

For more information please see the attached.

Meantime, thank you for your continued support!

Best regards,

The Guyana Speaks team

Photos from previous Guyana Speaks events

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  • Clyde Duncan  On October 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Trump Praises Pakistan – Hallelujah!

    M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline

    The Pakistani elites have shown once again that they can beat their Indian counterparts hands down in sucking up to the Americans.

    The manner in which they wormed their way back into the bed with the Trump administration takes the breath away.

    They apparently planted ‘actionable intelligence’ on the USA agencies regarding the whereabouts of American citizen Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband Joshua Boyle along with their three children, got the Americans, in turn, to request their intelligence to act on that bit of ‘actionable intelligence’ – and thereafter they acted with brutal efficiency to get the hostages released and handed over to the Americans.

    The USA President Donald Trump is beside himself with joy to flaunt a rare foreign policy ‘victory’ for his administration.

    Trump may not exactly be a bright mind, but, probably, the man senses that the Pakistanis may have tricked him.

    At any rate, never mind, because in the wasteland that surrounds his presidency, there is something to claim as ‘victory’ – finally – and that is all that matters for the moment.

    Pakistan claims it has hit the Haqqani group to rescue the hostages. We have no choice but to accept the Pakistani version. The story casts the Pakistani military in a favourable light when the whole world is talking about its mentorship of the Haqqanis.

    Don’t be surprised if the hostages have been under the control of the Pakistani intelligence all along.

    Stranger things have happened between the CIA and ISI. Remember the raid on Mullah Baradar, late Mullah Omar’s deputy in a raid in Karachi in February 2010?

    Or, the killing of the Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud in a USA drone attack in August 2009, where, again, the ISI was rumoured to have tricked the CIA?

    Or, the killing of Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in yet another drone attack in May 2016 (while returning from Iran) on the basis of a likely Pakistani tip-off?

    What happens next? Has Pakistan had a change of heart, as Trump insists on believing?

    The plain truth is that the more things seem to change, the more they stay the same. Pakistan’s capacity to string along the Americans is infinite. For the Americans, too, there is no choice but to chug along since they simply cannot maintain a military presence in Afghanistan without Pakistani acquiescence and ‘cooperation’.

    The release of the hostages has revived the cooperation between the Pakistani and USA intelligence agencies. Pakistan will ensure that the working relationship will now gain traction.

    The Pakistani tactic will be to cooperate with the USA to the extent necessary to keep the engagement with the CIA and Pentagon on track, while they advance on a parallel track their covert support for their ‘strategic assets’.

    While the Taliban may make an occasional hit at a NATO target, the ISI will ensure that the code of understanding is observed so that American blood is not spilled in Afghanistan in a way that could create problems for Mr. Trump back home.

    All this must become a morality play for the Chinese too, who have lately become more loyal than the subjects of the king in defending Pakistan’s credentials in the war on terror.

    A recent commentary in the Global Times by a Chinese pundit berated India for accusing Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism.

    It made the preposterous claim that India faces terrorism due to the unresolved Kashmir problem. The pundit apparently had never heard about the Khalistanis and the late KPS Gill [Kanwar Pal Singh Gill].

    Having invested so heavily in the CPEC, China too is in a position of vulnerability similar to the USA.

    The Russians are a shade better off by going slow in ‘thawing’ their frozen ties with Pakistan.

    For India, the sight of the USA and Pakistan kissing and making up overnight against the backdrop of what seemed like an imminent showdown, should not come as surprise.

    In fact, South Block’s professionals must be feeling a sense of déjà vu. The real embarrassment ought to be Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s.

    Rahul Gandhi has a point in mocking him. Modi should somehow learn to give up this cheeky habit of hugging any world statesman he comes across anywhere, anytime.

    If Modi thinks he is mentally bonding with them via this physical act, he is dead wrong.

    Trump, for example, is a cold-blooded personality. We will never know what thoughts crossed through Trump’s mind when Modi hugged him so intensely.

    They cannot possibly be very complementary. Trump’s unceremonious U-turn on Pakistan testifies to it.

  • Ron Saywack  On October 16, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    The above subject matter is Guyana Speaks.

    But the forum oddity finds yet another blatantly off-topic cut-and-paste ‘fix’ — Trump, Pakistan, and the Americans to satiate his strange obsession. It is like that pesky fly at a picnic. Everyone but the fly knows that it is not welcome.

  • Clyde Duncan  On October 17, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Cuban Missile Crisis Yields More Secrets

    M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline

    History lends itself to re-interpretation when more facts become available or when ulterior motives creep in.

    There is a surfeit of the latter happening in India currently. Nothing is spared, even symbolically, in India’s history today – starting from Nehru’s legacy to Taj Mahal to Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

    However, such revisionist history (‘historical negationism’) is interchangeable with fiction or folklore and on the whole it fails to stick. Historical reappraisals are an entirely different thing.

    Based on new archival materials becoming available every now and then, a slice of Cold War era history that is still dissected and understood from new perspectives is the so-called Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

    The narrative that was dominant initially was that the Soviets surreptitiously tried to deploy inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBM) to Cuba targeting the USA and the attempt was nipped in the bud with the Kennedy administration staring down the then Kremlin boss Nikita Khrushchev through a display of naval blockade of the island.

    As time passed, the informed sections of opinion came to know that it was a settlement negotiated through nerve-wracking back channel negotiations directly between the Oval Office and the Kremlin – even Fidel Castro was kept in the dark – that brought the crisis to an end, with the Soviets and the Americans rolling back their missile respective deployments to each other’s backyard – Cuba and Turkey.

    The Soviets, true to character, eschewed triumphalism so long as the strategic objective was realised — namely the removal of the missiles in Turkey — leaving the Americans free to claim ‘victory’.

    However, what still remains less understood is that the crisis in 1962 was not just about the Soviet missile deployment. There was also alongside a full-bodied American agenda of ‘regime change’ in Cuba.

    Incredibly enough, Pentagon had drawn up a detailed report on the overthrow of Fidel’s government by a military government headed by a USA commander and military governor – something like the American occupation of Japan led by General Douglas MacArthur in September 1945.

    Proclamation Number 1 that was to have been issued, vested “all powers of government, executive, legislative, and judicial and all jurisdiction in the occupied territory and over its inhabitants” in the hands of the USA military governor. The Proclamation stated:

    All persons in the occupied territory (Cuba) will obey immediately and without question all enactments and orders of the military government.

    Resistance of the United States Armed Forces will be forcefully stamped out. Serious offenders will be dealt with severely. So long as you remain peaceable and comply with my orders, you will be subjected to no greater interference than may be required by military exigencies.

    Also, leaflets were to be airdropped in their thousands all over Cuba advising that “U.S. armed forces will take temporary charge of your country.” They were to warn Cuban citizens to “remain at home” because “everything that moves is a target.”

    Meanwhile, the Soviets too were factoring in a possible American invasion of Cuba, the fledgling socialist state in the Western Hemisphere, and therefore had secretly deployed tactical battlefield nuclear weapons to Cuba.

    With all the formidable intelligence gathering capacity at the disposal of the United States of America, the Americans had no inkling that if they invaded Cuba, they would have had a nasty surprise.

    In sum, the crisis had every potential to escalate into an apocalyptic event. I am reminded of the recent bullish claim by our air chief that he knows precisely where and how to destroy Pakistan’s nuclear assets in one sweeping Indian air strike.

    The above are facts culled out from documents that have been declassified in the USA this week under the Freedom of Information Act. To my mind, the most fascinating document is the (redacted) post-mortem report on the entire episode of the Cuban Missile Crisis authored by the famous CIA spook Richard “Dick” Lehman who worked with 7 American presidents from John F. Kennedy to George H.W. Bush and was credited with creating the president’s daily intelligence briefing and regarded as one of 50 trailblazers who created the CIA.

    For connoisseurs of Cold War history, Lehman’s recount of his 33 years in the world of intelligence archived in the CIA’s Library makes fascinating reading.

    Much of what Lehman wrote will not come as stunning disclosure, but it is useful to know how carefully, meticulously, factually (backed with empirical evidence) an adversary’s strategic challenge needs to be studied and assimilated before the intelligence is taken to the desk of the political boss and it morphs into the stuff of decision-making.

    I wonder how India fared in the run up to the recent Doklam standoff with China.

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