Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: civil war

Hitler Store

Last year some Jews objected to the title of a TV serial Hitler Didi. Some Indians who generally support freedom of speech and expression supported the Jews. I wrote in favour of the title. The producers held on to the title.

This time a store in Ahmedabad is under attack for its name, Hitler men’s garment store. The proprietors said they decided to change the name due to political pressure and it may take a few days to change the shop’s board.

Israeli Consul General Orna Sagiv was in Ahmedabad on 3/9/2012. Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) had received many e-mails demanding a change of name. Employees of AMC visited the shop and showed the copies of e-mails to proprietors. Proprietors used to get at least 10 calls daily from USA, UK, Dubai, Germany and Israel, many at odd hours.

Americans make fun of many things. Sometimes some Indians get hurt. Jay Leno once showed the picture of Golden Temple as Mitt Romney’s summer palace. Sikhs were offended. Indian government protested. American government spoke of freedom of speech and expression. When after Assam riots Indian government shut down some sites and pages because they were posting misleading and provocative content with morphed pictures that led to threats and attacks of people of North-East and demanded to know the ownership of miscreants from Facebook and Twitter, American government spoke of internet freedom. Here AMC instead of defending freedom of speech and expression succumbed to pressure.

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson had at least six children from a slave, Sally Hemings. Abraham Lincoln ordered terrorist activities against Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Harry Truman ordered dropping of atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There is no demand to change the names of Washington DC, Washington State, and many places and institutes named after George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Harry Truman.

White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) immigrants to USA killed “Indians” and conquered their lands. Surviving Indians were confined to reservations. These Wasps are heroes for their descendants. Hitler was like Wasps. The difference was that Wasps kept their conquered territories, Hitler lost.

Many in USA and Europe defended Danish cartoons. When there were protests more newspapers published the cartoons. Hitler has admirers even in Russia. AMC should permit the name Hitler and tell protestors India has freedom of speech and expression.

NATO and regime change

In December 2010 demonstrations began in various Arab countries. Someone at that time questioned why they were taking place. He felt some people were behind those demonstrations. In Tunisia the president resigned. In 2011 Tahrir Square in Cairo made news. USA wanted Hosni Mubarak to quit. He quit. USA talked of democracy. Many said revolutions were sweeping Arab countries. Protests continued in many countries but the leaders held on. Bahrain demolished Pearl Square or roundabout. Saudi Arabia sent its army to Bahrain. In Yemen the leader held on.

Demonstrations began in Libya. It seemed Muammar Gaddafi will flee or that was the impression given by some people. That did not happen and there was civil war. Gaddafi held on and took back territories held by rebels. Arab League wanted a no-fly zone. UN authorized a no-fly zone. The resolution was worded in such a way that any country could interpret it in anyway. Russia, China, Brazil, India and one more member of Security Council abstained on the vote on resolution.

NATO took the task to enforce no-fly zone. France recognized the rebel government. Libya was bombed. Arab countries were aghast. They had not asked for bombing of Libya.

France, UK and USA want regime change in Libya. They say Gaddafi has killed his own people. NATO did nothing when dictators killed their own people in Sudan or Burma. In USA there is opposition to involvement in Libya. USA is involved in Afghanistan and Iraq, it has budget deficit and other problems and people don’t want involvement in a country where the future is not clear. Someone said the rebels are shouting jihadi slogans and not God Save America. There is talk of Muslim Brotherhood gaining strength in Egypt. Jihadis taking over Arab countries, some of them USA allies, is a possibility which many Americans detest.

NATO countries have not talked of regime change in Bahrain, Syria or Yemen. Rulers of Bahrain and Yemen do not seem to be in a mood to oblige USA. Arab countries know what happened in Iran when the Shah was deposed. Many in USA know that and do not want hostile governments to take over Arab countries.

Now it is known that people who led demonstrations had training in USA. Groups like Freedom House, National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute had trained those leaders. Arab governments will not be happy about such things.

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