Food Fight–Continued

Obviously, somebody is eating all that food. According to the latest UNCIEF Report,

With a rate of 46 per cent, the levels of children underweight in South Asia are staggering. Three countries – India, Bangladesh and Pakistan – account for half the world’s underweight children, despite having just 29 per cent of the developing world’s under-five population. Underweight prevalence in the region declined from 53 per cent in 1990 but the average annual rate of 1.7 per cent is insufficient to meet the MDG (UN Millennium Development Goals) target..

At 46 percent, South Asia has the world’s highest underweight average. Hmmmm….somebody is buying up all the food and eating them, but obviously not these children. Where in the world is the all the extra food going?

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Food Fight–Part Deux–USA vs India

The food fight between President Bush and India is showing no signs of dampening. Pradeep Mehta, the Secretary General of CUTS (Center for International Trade, Economics and Environment), a private economic research organization called Americans to slim down and eat less so that the poorest of the poor can eat marginally better has further aggravated the war of words. Jairam Ramesh, with the Indian Commerce Ministry, told members of Indian Press that President Bush

has never been known for his knowledge of economics,” and the remarks proved again how “comprehensively wrong” he is.

Mr. Bush and U.S. Secretary of State, Condi Rice are being thoroughly lambasted in the Asian Press for their grossly misleading statements. The graphic from the New York Times that roundly discredits Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice. Here compare for yourself, the average American Citizen chowed down 93 pounds of beef and 99 pounds of chicken in 2006, whereas in India the average consumption was 3 and 4 pounds respectively. Wow, no wonder the price of food is going up because…you know what it is obvious to me that Indians are eating more…hmmm….hmmmmm! Can’t the people in State Department learn to read statistics before they make uninformed statements.

Vacuity of the American Media

The last five days I have been watching network coverage of the Democratic Primaries. What really stuns me is the completely vacuity, self-congratulatory tone, non-stop coverage of the horse-race between Clinton and Obama. Now, strangely I find this very comforting, I can watch it for hours and not learn a thing. The tipping point is that nearly 50,000, by some accounts and 100,000 (BBC News) might have perished in the cyclone that hit Burma last week. None of the 24-hour networks have said word about it. If you live in the US, it is very easy to forget that other countries exist and things happen there that might be worth knowing and caring about. Did you know that yesterday India test-fired a nuclear capable missile? Did you know that today Vladimir Putin became the Prime Minister of Russia? Oh, he used to be the President of Russia until day before. Did you know that civil war is raging in Lebanon and that people are dying in Iraq? The war on terror is not going well in Afghanistan. Well, you didn’t know that did you? Yes, that is because to our ratings driven corporate media things such as Reverend Wright and the Right-Wing Pastor that McCain is associated with is worth covering ad nauseam.

Elections, America, and the World

We have been actively involved in following riveting race for the White House as a consequence it seems America’s attention on International Politics has gradually declined.  The war in Iraq does not seem to evoke as much passion or tension as it did few months back, but the killings and suicide bombings continue unabated in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The intensity has been particularly high in Iraq; a recent car bombing killed 23 people in Baghdad. Few days back a pair of female suicide bombers wrecked untold misery on innocent weekend shoppers.  The United States has called upon NATO to play a larger role in Afghanistan and warned of potential disaster if greater effort is not devoted towards maintaining peace and stability.  Meanwhile, a major election is due up on Feb 18 in Pakistan.  This particular election is pivotal because it will determine the future of Pakistani politics at a time of growing militancy in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWPF), growing unpopularity of President Musharaff both within and outside Pakistan, and the reverberating impact of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination during the last week of December 2007.  We won’t even mention the consequences of economic blockade on Gaza enforced by Israel and the massive chaos that erupted on the borders with Egypt.  As Americans look internally and closely inspect their presidential candidates, it is also important to look outward see what is happening in rest of the world and specifically ask ourselves the question what is America’s role in world politics.  Importantly, we should ask our presidential candidates in what way or manner can they bring about a change in the world of international politics.