Friday, August 24, 2012

The Sino-Indian War 50 Years On

Even though it happened 50 years ago does the Sino-Indian War still has something to teach us here in the 21st Century? 

By: Ringo Bones 

The Sino-Indian War, also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict was a military engagement between The People’s Republic of China and India. The initial cause of the conflict was a disputed region of the Himalayan border in Arunachal Pradesh, known to the Beijing government as South Tibet. Fighting began on the 20th of October 1962 between the People’s Liberation Army and the Military of India. The first heavy engagement of the war occurred when a Mainland Chinese attack on an Indian patrol north of the McMahon Line. 

The conflict eventually widened to include the region of Aksai Chin – which the People’s Republic of China regarded as a strategic link via the China National Highway route G 219, between the Beijing-administered territories of Tibet and Xinjiang. The war ended when the People’s Republic of China captured both disputed areas and unilaterally declared a ceasefire on the 20th of November 1962 – which went into effect at midnight local time. 

The Sino-Indian War was notable for the harsh conditions under which much of the fighting took place, entailing large-scale ground combat at elevations over 14,000 feet or 4,267 meters. This presented numerous logistical problems for both sides – not to mention the thin-air, cold and arid conditions experienced by the combat troops. Even though the conflict officially ended in 1962, from time to time, major skirmishes between Mainland Chinese and Indian troops do occur. The last major one happened back in 1987. 

To those too young to experience the war first hand – either by being actually there or in live news broadcasts, the Sino-Indian War of 1962 was often used as a clever literary device by science fiction and TV series writers. The most famous ones are by Gene Roddenberry which a later, larger-scaled conflict, served as a backdrop for his Earth: Final Conflict TV series and on Prison Break, where an environmentally sustainable form of large-scale solar power generation threaten to restart the Sino-Indian War of 1962. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Todd Akin: Misogyny In The US Republican Party?

With his insensitive gaffe against women rape victims that even offended President Obama, is Republican senate candidate turning the GOP into the political party of misogyny? 

By: Ringo Bones 

In one of his televised campaign tours across America, US Republican Party senate candidate, Todd Akin manage to unload a hitherto unprecedented “gaffe-bomb” in which he said that women can cope with “legitimate rape” with relative ease. The unconventional “Pro-Life” statement supposedly a declaration of Akin’s supposedly conservative Evangelical Christian anti-abortion stance horribly backfired into a unabashed declaration of misogyny, further reinforcing the perception harbored by most women in America that the US Republican Party is currently conducting a “war on women”. 

When President Obama made a televised statement on his disappointment over such unprecedented thinly-veiled misogyny disguised as a conservative Evangelical Christian Pro-Life stance, many now wonder if the 2012 US Presidential Elections are just merely about the GOP dominated Congress blocking President Obama’s economic and unemployment relief plans. Whether Republican senate candidate Todd Akin’s views on “legitimate rape” / “genuine rape” / “true rape” will become a fodder of late night talk-show comedians or on Saturday Night Live is anyone’s guess at the moment. Even Piers Morgan got pissed when Todd Akin apparently became too ashamed to appear on his talk-show on CNN. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pussy Riot: Politics of Russian Punk Rock?

Given that punk rock had been pigeonholed as an inherently political music genre, did the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot ever have a chance of a fair trial in Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

By: Ringo Bones 

Punk rock aficionados will be sure to agree that it is a highly political genre of music since it gained a modicum of mainstream fame during the mid 1970s. Who can ever forget the Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen – a somewhat harsh polemic of HRH Queen Elizabeth II that became an anthem for “Generation-X”? But the question now is, will the Marxist-Leninist Socialism inspired protest against social injustice in Vladimir Putin’s Russia by the Russian punk rock band called Pussy riot forever shape the perception of how the international community sees the inherent lack of freedom of expression in Russian society this day and age? 

The rather harsh sentencing of the three members of Pussy Riot over their anti Vladimir Putin protest inside Moscow’s main cathedral had attracted international condemnation not just of Pussy riot’s loyal fans but also of the British and US governments and also of the EU. Guilty of hooliganism or not, one is left to wonder whether sentencing the three members of Pussy Riot to two years a harsh labor camp could eventually put a dent on Russia’s tourism revenue. With an inherent lack of the rule of law, who knows what passes as “hooliganism” in Vladimir Putin’s Russia these days? Prospective tourist could be steering clear of Russia from their travel itinerary in droves. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

London 2012 Olympics: Politically Correct Olympics?

With a lot of the preparation and execution done just right by present standards, will the London 2012 Olympics go down in history as the first “Politically Correct Olympics”? 

By: Ringo Bones 

They may have been some “bad” aspects that plagued the preparation of the London 2012 Olympics – the private security contractor failing to hire enough qualified security personnel that got exploited by a far-right fear-mongering US presidential candidate. Scores of unoccupied seats on the more popular events during the first few days, not to mention the main sponsors are peddling unhealthy products that can cause chronic health problems to their unwary consumers. But I think that enough good has been done to make the London 2012 Olympic Games to go down in the annals of history as the first ever politically-correct Olympic Games. 

London 2012 was the first time ever that all of the Olympic events were open to both men and women – which make it score highly in the political correctness stakes. All of the Olympic facilities that had been constructed didn’t involved evicting some disadvantage ethnic minorities from their ancestral homes, as in not a single Druid was evicted during the construction of the London 2012’s main stadium. Unlike what is currently happening in the preparation of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and during the Beijing Olympics back in 2008. And London 2012 did manage lower Britain’s unemployment rate.