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Nor

Lubos,Your statement that "India is betetr off for having been colonized" is equivalent to saying - your mother is betetr off for having been raped. Her rapist was a high class guy after all.--Hitler was (unintentionally) the greatest liberator in history - his war destroyed the European powers, ended 300 years of colonial expansion, and most of Asia and Africa became politically independent. In the scale of things, Czechoslovakia was a small sacrifice for the sake of so much of humanity. Of course, Europeans had another horror to offer the world - Marxism, Stalinism and the like.---India was more literate in 1830 than it was in 1900 (when it was 10%) or 1947 (when it got independence). After British took full control of India in 1857, per capita income dropped by 50 percent by 1900. The British are responsible for as many deaths in India as the Nazis and Soviets combined. E.g., take a look at "Late Victorian Holocausts" - and read it, don't get mislead by the blurbs. The British destroyed all self-government in India, and all institutions, and tried to impose their own junk. Nazism, Marxism, Colonialism - they were all equally destructive. Yes, the Nazis invented jets and rockets and the Soviets put the first man in space; the Soviet Union was a scientific power, and did make most of its people literate, etc., but no part of Europe is the betetr for having had these. ----D.P. Agarwal."In fact, as early as 1804, the Governor of the Madras Presidency wrote to his masters (the President of the Board of Commissioners) in London: We have paid a great deal of attention to the revenue management in this country...the general tenor of my opinion is, that we have rode the country too hard, and the sequence is, that it is in a state of the most lamentable poverty. Great oppression is I fear exercised too generally in the collection of the Revenues.""A similar fate awaited the extensive network of Indian schools and institutions of higher learning when they began to be surveyed in the 1820s and 1830s. Ironically, it is mainly through the British archival records that one becomes aware of the extensive nature of the education network, as well as its speedy decay in the Madras and Bengal Presidency, and somewhat later in the Presidencies of Bombay and in the Punjab. " ---Anyway, it doesn't matter. Your illusions are too thick to be shatteredIf they were possible, you'd immediately see what Bush & Co are doing in Iraq is an attempt to resume history where it stopped (kind of) after World War II. The lies that "Iraq poses an imminent threat" have worn off - and a real threat is the only legitimate reason to go to war. Now the Kiplinguesque White Man's Burden is invoked - we have to democratize Iraqis, civilize them. Bombing occupied cities - did the Soviets do any such thing in Afghanistan - is immensely uplifting to a country, I'm sure. Anyway, forget it, and goodbye.---

Artemio

Lubos, I've lost the URL, but e.g, in Wisconsin, you can get a dioxin blood test for $400. I think that is less exvsienpe than an MRI. Anyway, people can look around and decide for themselves.I do think we have a different perspective on two things. First, perhaps the Czech republic had nothing that the West could steal, and for Czechs, the West was seen as the means of liberation from the Soviets. For someone from India (or most other parts of Asia or Africa) the West was a rapacious colonizer, destroyer of cultures, enslaver of peoples. As Mahatma Gandhi quipped, when asked what he thought of Western Civilization - "I think it would be a very good idea". Second, I believe that democracy is local. Ideally politicians are beholden only to their constituencies. A politician who takes foreign money is a foreign agent, less accountable to his constituents than he should be. In one way, the politicians who led Eastern Europe out of the Soviet embrace were foreign agents, in this case it happened to be a good result. But Saddam Hussein and Hosni Mubarak and Idi Amin and Suharto and the Shah of Iran, the royal family of Saudi Arabia, the Pakistani military dictators Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia-ul-Haq, Musharraf and so on were equally recepients of Western largesse/support, and it is to no good purpose. It helps prop up an unjust situation. American law too prohibits foreigners from contributing to American elections, but Americans seem to have no inhibitions in interfering abroad. If the American law is based on principle, then having the power to ignore principle does not make it right. On all counts foreign money in an election is wrong. Some good outcomes do not make it right. -Arun

Arm

dioxins are diuifcflt to detect and measure? The Environmental test agencies measure them at the level of picograms; e.g., the average UK intake of dioxins was measured to be 1.8 picograms a day in 2003.The following statement, by the clinician at where the blood test was done "Until recently there was no blood test for dioxin. This may be one of the reasons why this kind of poison, if it was a criminal act, was chosen" is not true, as far as I know. There have been blood tests for dioxin for a long time, at least for more than a decade, and at one time, they were going to do these tests on Vietnam veterans. If V.Y. has dioxin "1000 times the normal level" that amounts to what - we all are accumulating dioxins at the rate of about a picogram a day, more or less depending on what our diet is. So V.Y. has nanograms of dioxin in him? Question - who poisoned V.Y. with nanograms of dioxin, and what did they hope to gain from it?-Arun

Rudi

It's unfortunate that the focus of most media is fuosced on how to manipulate the audience emotionally but not on providing enough cogent facts to inform the people so they can lobby for comprehensive solutions that encompass all problems, not just the pet projects of politicians. It would seem that Mercury is much more dangerous: Yushchenko even after his disfigurement could still think clearly; victims of Mercury poisoning can not(as in the Mad Hatter of Alice and Worderland). The Dioxin story is used as a red herring to divert the attention of the dogs of reform.

Suellen

Dear Arun,concerning chemistry, I wrote that there are very just a few pecals in Europe today, in 2004, that can measure dioxins im blood. Be sure that I am not guessing and my sources are much more reliable than your random comments on this blog.Concerning the international help - your having no sympathy for a candidate because he is supported by the West really shows that you are standing on a very, very, very different side than I do. For me, what you say is just scary. Is it a sin to support the West and be supported by the West?BestLubos

Dileep

Well, it's not like I was helped by the cpmnaoy of a bunch of Russians and Tajiks who interpreted it in that direction throughout the whole film. You see? You see? This is truly what is happening in Russia these days This is the new interpretation of our country after we have lost our religion of communism This is what is happening. It is good against evil these days, but the evil is everywhere. And I do think that a great deal of Russians and people in the former USSR believe that this was the intent of the filmmakers.Also, as I noted, it's not like the brilliant dialogue ( Yo moyo! EEEYAIY! Chto eto??? ) helped, either. New Russian cinema seems to be turning into New Russian cinema, and I mean that in the worst possible sense.

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