Why there were no good guys in 2003

In the week marking the 10th anniversary of the illegal United States and British-led invasion of Iraq, a BBC TV Panorama programme carried material to the effect that six months and three months before the March 2003 invasion, two high Iraqi officials separately told the CIA and the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6 that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) — but the information was never passed on to the politicians. The invasion and its aftermath were riddled with procedural and institutional failures and gross illegalities, but the greatest political failures were the inability and unwillingness of the relevant representative assemblies, the U.S. Congress and the British Parliament, to perform their constitutional duty of scrutinising their respective executives.

The procedural failures themselves arouse suspicion. The Panorama programme, made by Peter Taylor and aired on March 18, says the first Iraqi source was Foreign Minister Naji Sabri, who, the then CIA station head in Paris learnt, hated Saddam Hussein for murdering his brother. The second was the head of Iraqi intelligence, Tahir Habbush Al Tikriti, who initiated contact and met a British agent. Yet the notes the CIA officer, Bill Murray, made in New York and posted to be typed up in Washington had their introduction modified, and then seem to have disappeared; a Senate inquiry said it could find no trace of them. As for the Habbush material, MI6 never passed it on; it apparently thought Saddam Hussein had designed it to mislead.


Taylor recognises that Habbush's approach may have been an attempt by Saddam Hussein to forestall an invasion — but Habbush was telling the truth, and was in fact saying what the United Nations weapons inspectors had been saying publicly for several years already. Neither the CIA nor MI6 seems to have tried to investigate the truth of either set of statements. On the other hand, bad intelligence, as Murray himself told Taylor, reached the top very quickly; that included the fantasies peddled by Ahmed Chalabi and by a contact called Curveball, an Iraqi-born and German-settled chemical engineer named Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi.

The latter, according to Martin Chulov and Helen Pidd of the Guardian , pulled off one of the “greatest confidence tricks” in the history of modern intelligence by keeping up the deceit for six months; the German government passed his fictions on to Washington before deciding he was lying. Al-Janabi was shocked to hear many of his own lies repeated by Secretary of State Colin Powell in the now infamous speech to the United Nations Security Council on February 5, 2003.

The failures by the security bodies were compounded by the way sections of the U.S. and British press created a climate favourable to the war. A 2003 Cardiff University study on British broadcast news for the first three weeks after the invasion found that the BBC displayed the greatest “pro-war” bias among the four main British broadcasters. In that period, 11 per cent of its sources were from the Iraqi coalition government or of military origin, and the corporation used government sources twice as much as the commercial broadcasters ITN and Channel 4 News. Secondly, Channel 4 used independent sources like the Red Cross three times as often as the BBC, and even Sky used such sources twice as often. The BBC also placed “least emphasis” on Iraqi casualties, mentioning them in 22 per cent of stories on the Iraqi people, and it was the least likely of the four stations to report on Iraqis who opposed the invasion.

In addition, some of the BBC's own staff seem to have accepted government statements without question. David Cromwell notes in Why Are We the Good Guys? (Zero Books, 2012) that the corporation's current affairs superstar Jeremy Paxman has said he himself was convinced by Mr. Powell's U.N. speech; he thought Mr. Powell had had access to all the relevant information, and he assumed that such an eminent person would not lie over this matter. As Carl Bernstein has written elsewhere, that is precisely what the mainstream U.S. press had thought 30 years earlier about the officials who tried to cover up the Watergate scandal. Paxman also later admitted to having been “hoodwinked” by the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Fabricated stories

Furthermore, as the investigative journalist Nick Davies shows in his book Flat Earth News (Vintage Books, 2009), the U.S. and British security services repeatedly planted fabricated stories in the mainstream media, which the latter, under commercial pressure to achieve sales and audience ratings, did not cross-check. Media gullibility and collusion with the political establishment over Iraq are well known; the New York Times later published an apology for not scrutinising the Bush administration's claims better.

Yet several institutions of state are also implicated in what amounted to failures of democratic processes and institutions. For example, the then British attorney-general, Lord Goldsmith, revised his earlier analysis and said the invasion would not breach international law, but he did so because the chief of military staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, now Lord Boyce, doubted the legality of the invasion enough to ask for a fresh legal opinion.

Lord Boyce even said that if he was going to end up in the dock of the International Criminal Court, he wanted to see 'other people', which he later admitted meant Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, indicted alongside him.

There were, of course, staff in the CIA and in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office who resigned over the fixing of intelligence to serve the politicians' purposes and over the neglect of analyses questioning the legality of the invasion. Those resignations, however, do not obviate the implication that some of the seniormost staff in the CIA and MI6 had themselves decided, like Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair, that Iraq had to be invaded irrespective of the evidence.

For the United Kingdom, an even greater problem is that neither the main executive body, the Cabinet, nor the representative and sovereign assembly, Parliament, so much as saw the complete text of Lord Goldsmith's 13-page document, dated March 7, 2003, which contained inter alia the attorney-general's doubts that the invasion would be legal without a further U.N. resolution. Secondly, the former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Butler, has said he was not aware that MI6 had the information Naji Sabri had given the CIA, but that if the CIA had provided that intelligence then “perhaps” MI6 was not permitted to share it with other British bodies. Lord Butler, in effect, has accepted that the CIA can pool information with MI6, a British body, but that the United Kingdom as a body politic has no right to that information. Despite Mr. Blair's documented subservience to the U.S. — something which may also have been driven by a fear that the opposition Conservatives would call him soft on terrorism — this constitutes a serious abdication of British sovereignty.

Worse still, Lord Butler told the Panorama programme that the British public has “every reason” to think it is the body which was the most seriously misled. This is crucial. Neither the media failures nor those of the professional public-service bodies would have mattered if the United States Congress and the British Parliament had scrutinised their respective governments properly. Steven Zunes notes inTruthout that Congress — members of which have large bodies of staff and are far better funded than many other legislators around the world — had many months to investigate the Bush administration's claims about Iraq. Mr. Zunes adds that “large numbers” of scholars, Middle Eastern political leaders, and former U.S. officials advised members of Congress that an invasion would probably cause a bloody insurgency, and a rise in Islamist extremism and sectarian violence.

As for the ruling British Labour Party, it had 368 MPs and a majority of 167 in the House of Commons at the time; in the end 139 Labour MPs, 15 of the opposition Conservatives, and all 63 Liberal Democrats, voted for an amendment stating that the case for war had not yet been established. The amendment got 217 votes and was defeated by a majority of 179; yet the Commons had never been given the full legal arguments.

Much is already known about the lies, deceptions, and institutional failures which made the invasion of Iraq possible, and detail has emerged about the effect on the Iraqi population of the invaders' chemical weapons and depleted-uranium ammunition. Yet the central assemblies of the two countries which led the invasion bear the heaviest responsibility. They failed to question their political executives, failed to use the powers they rightly hold, and failed to remember what they owe to the voters who legitimate their very presence in an elected assembly. They betrayed representative democracy itself.

The unwillingness of the U.S. Congress,

British Parliament and media to question their political executives was the greatest

democratic failure that led to the Iraq war

The Hindu(April 19, 2013)

Winning the battle but losing the war
The Indus Waters Treaty (IWT), signed in 1960, took 10 years to negotiate, primarily because of the thorny issue of balancing, on the one hand, the reasonable expectation by India that it could use the hydroelectric potential of “Pakistan's rivers” (the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus) before these rivers entered Pakistan and, on the other, the reasonable expectation by Pakistan that this would neither decrease the flow to Pakistan nor change the timing of the flow. This was dealt with in the IWT essentially by hard wiring into the Treaty limitations on the amount of manipulable (or “live”) storage which India could develop in its projects.

Stress point

As has often been recounted, the IWT worked well for decades, even through periods when India and Pakistan were at war. But the truth of the matter is that the Treaty was not really under stress until India started (quite appropriately, in my view) building hydro power plants across the Himalayas, and, in particular, on its side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir. The first case, where the Indian and Pakistani Indus Water Commissioners were unable to resolve their differences, was the one of the Baglihar hydro power project on the Chenab. At Pakistan's request, the World Bank appointed a Neutral Expert to evaluate the claims. After two years of work the Neutral Expert returned his verdict. The essence of the verdict was that the Treaty allowed for new knowledge to be taken into account, that new knowledge on sediment management meant that modern dams should be able to flush sediments through low-level gates and that this element of the design of the Baglihar dam was therefore acceptable. What the Neutral Expert completely ignored was that this change essentially meant eliminating the “limit live storage” provision of the IWT, a provision that was at the very heart of Pakistan's acceptance of the Treaty in the first place. Since there are a large number of hydro projects on the drawing board in Indian-held Kashmir, and since the cumulative storage on the Chenab alone has been estimated to be about 40 days, this essentially left Pakistan with no protection against unintentional or intentional harm from Indian manipulation of the dead storage they were now allowed to build.

Which brings us to the Kishenganga case. The far-sighted Indian and Pakistani engineers who drew up the IWT had foreseen the Kishenganga case quite specifically and had dedicated a whole section to this specific case. Annexure D para 15 states “where a Plant is located on a tributary of the Jhelum on which Pakistan has any agricultural use or hydroelectric use, the water released below the plant may be delivered, if necessary, into another tributary but only to the extent that the then existing agricultural use or hydroelectric use by Pakistan on the former tributary would not be adversely affected.” While lawyers might, à la Bill Clinton, ponder the meaning of “has,” it is clear to most that since there was no “then existing use” by Pakistan, India was well within its rights to build Kishenganga.

In my opinion Pakistan should never have taken this case to the International Court of Arbitration (ICA), because there was, in my view, no chance that they would win the case. Another Pakistani loss after Baglihar would have several consequences, all negative for Pakistan. First, they would have wasted a lot of resources paying for high-priced lawyers. Second, they could be spending their scarce human resources on more productive areas, like improving the management of water in Pakistan. And third, as the press headlines in both India and Pakistan trumpet “India wins, again,” this would reinforce the Indian claim that “victories” over both Baglihar and Kishenganga showed that India was playing by the rules while Pakistan just wanted to harass India on these projects.
But, as the Christian Brothers told me when I was a boy growing up in South Africa, the Lord works in mysterious ways. In this case there is no doubt that India has won the battle, but I think that it has, in fact, lost a far more important war.

Live storage

What is my reasoning? The battle is about Kishenganga. The decision of the International Court of Arbitration will, indeed, mean a loss of somewhere between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the generation capacity at Pakistan's Neelum Jhelum project, an economic and electricity cost which Pakistan can hardly afford. But this is a one-off case — the war is about the large number of projects which India plans to build on the Chenab and Jhelum. And here it is the finding of the ICA on allowable manipulable storage which is the key issue. The Baglihar decision would appear to have provided India with a green light to build these projects with as much live storage as they chose (as long as they classified it as “for sediment flushing”). What is enormously important is that the ICA has, according to early press accounts, addressed this issue head-on and, de facto , concluded that the Baglihar finding in this regard undercut the central compromise of the Indus Waters Treaty, was wrong and should not be applied to future projects. The ICA has, apparently, specifically ruled that the design and operation of Indian hydro power projects on the Indus, Chenab and Jhelum cannot include more live storage than allowed under the IWT, even if the justification for such storage is silt management.

This finding is of far greater significance than the one-off (and correct, in my view) finding relating to Kishenganga. It restores the central protection — put into question by the Baglihar finding — which Pakistan had acquired when Nehru and Ayub Khan signed the IWT in 1960.

Joint benefits

A final word. While it is good — in the view of this observer — that the ICA has put humpty-dumpty back together again, this is not enough. It restores the status quo ante Baglihar, but that is an uneasy and unproductive status quo. Without a change, of course, Pakistan will continue to object to every project on the Indus, Jhelum or Chenab in Indian-held Kashmir (and now, armed with the ICA conclusion on dead storage, Pakistan is likely to win). This will discourage investors from investing in these vital plants on the Indian side, and will escalate the tit-for-tat response (already patent) of India trying to impede needed international support for the construction of hydropower plants in Gilgit Baltistan, which lies on the Pakistani side of the LoC. What is needed is to use the resetting of the terms by the ICA for India and Pakistan to start out in a new direction. This should be one in which there is a search for joint benefits (such as hydropower plants built in the best possible sites, with power sold both ways, and with operating rules which benefit both parties built into the project). As a long-time student of this dynamic in the subcontinent it remains my conviction that the first step in breaking the long-standing vicious cycle must come from sustained, high-level, political leadership from India. I am confident that Pakistan would respond positively to such an overture. And I am equally sure that if this great strategic issue is left in the hands of mid-level bureaucrats, the future is likely to be more of the bad-for-both-sides past.

(John Briscoe served as Senior Water Adviser for the World Bank in New Delhi. Now at Harvard University, he was recently the lead consultant for the Water Sector Task Force of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan. The opinions in this piece are his own. The photograph is of theKishenganga hydroelectric project in north Kashmir.)

While allowing India to build the Kishenganga project, the International Court of Arbitration has de facto ruled that the Baglihar decision was wrong and should not be applied to future projects

Source -- The Hindu(February 22, 2013)
My DOB is 7th April but while filling form I entered 8th April. I have already paid using debit card. Is there any way to rectify it.

The only thing you have to do is to remember squares till 25 and remember them so well that if someone calls you in the night at 2 and asks you that what is square of 24 then you should say its 576 and not ki 'Sone Do'. So believing that we all are aware of first 25 squares we will start with squares from 26 to 75

Square of any number from 40 to 60

All you have to do is to check the difference from 50 and add/subtract it from 25 and by the side of this number you have to write the square of that difference in 2 digits only (in case of 4, write 04).
For example: if you have to find square of 44, the first thing you have to do is to find the difference from 50, i.e. 44 is 6 less than 50 so subtract 6 from 25, and you will get 19 and square of (-6) is 36. So 44^2 = 1936.

If you have to find 58^2, the first thing you have to do is to check difference from 50, i.e. 8, so adding 8 to 25, you get 33, and 8^2=64, so combining both of them, you can say that 58^2=3364

Square of any number from 26 to 40 and 61 to 75

Like the previous one the only difference here is that the square of the difference from 50 comes out to be a 3-digit number. So add the hundredth digit of the square to the sum obtained by adding/subtracting from 25.

For example: if you have to find 62^2, the difference from 50 comes out to be 12 and 12^2=144, so you have to add 1(hundredth place digit) to 25+12 and 25+12+1=38. So 62^2=3844

If you have to find 36^2, first of all, we have to check the difference from 50, and the difference from 50 is (-14), so subtracting 14 from 25 gives me 11 and (-14)^2=196, so we have to add 1 of 196 to 11(25-14), and we get 11+1=12, now combining every thing we get 36^2=1296

Square of any number from 90 to 110

All you have to do is to check the difference from 100 and add/subtract double the difference of that number to 100, and by the side of this number you have to write the square of the difference.

For example: if you have to calculate 106^2, all you have to do is to calculate the difference 100, (i.e. 106-100=6), now adding 6x2+100, gives me 112, now 6^2=36, so combining 112 and 36, we can say that 106^2=11236

If you have to calculate 93^2, firstly you have to check the difference from 100, i.e. 93=100-7; so I have to calculate 100-2(7)=86, and (-7)^2=49. So combining 86 and 49, we get 93^2=8649.

Square of any number from 76 to 89 and 111 to 125

Just like the previous part, all you have to do is to check the difference from 100,and add/subtract that difference with 100 and along with that add the hundredth digit of the square of the difference to that sum and along with that write the unit's and tenth of the square.

For example: if you have to calculate 112^2, all you have to do is to calculate the difference from 100 and 112-100=12 and 12^2=144, so adding double of the 12 and 1(hundredth place of 144) to 100, we get 100+2(12)+1=125 and putting it with 44, we get 112^2=12544.

And if we have to calculate 87^2, the difference from 100 is (-13), and (-13)^ 2=169, so adding double of (-13) and 1(hundredth place of 169), we get 100+2(-13)+1=75, and combining 75 and 69, we get 87^2=7569

Practise the above a few times & there you go !!

I have registered for xat. when paying through debit card i paid using SBI virtual card(VISA) but it shows failed transaction. Then i created another SBI virtual card(VISA) and again paid but this time transaction was successful.
But the problem is the amount was debited from both the cards. Now what can I do should I call the bank or xat admission office.
@manmeet_akali same here me too thinking ke kas kuch aur din hote.
But never mind r u giving irma.
in multiple ques next button is not working.
Im using chrome.
Have to refresh

Take part in it.