четверг, 30 июня 2011 г.

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  • unitednations
    07-09 01:03 PM
    UN..after I read your story..

    god..you r so gutsy.. must appreciate you..!!


    Just follow the law. There are lots of protections in it for us.




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  • sumanitha
    01-07 10:22 AM
    Dude..

    I am not against any religion.. but at the same time when something bad/evil is pointed out in any religion, try to accept it as a part and if you can try to mend it..

    First try to accept thy mistake... then point fingers... (It applies to everyone.. including me)

    Keep barking the same thing again and again. This is not going to make even a small dent on my faith. The more you hate, the more we love our faith.




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  • alisa
    01-04 02:13 AM
    Please don't kid yourself ...all these points seem so shallow that there's no way one could read too much into it. I find this exchange meaningful though it took me 4 posts. Please keep playing your game.I think you proved the point that I initially raised.

    Like someone pointed out before you can't wake up someone that's pretending sleeping.

    Thank you.

    OK.
    But I still can't figure out what your argument really is.

    Lets agree to disagree, I suppose. Let me know, if you can, what exactly and specifically it is that you didn't like about what I said.




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  • unseenguy
    06-24 11:51 PM
    Why are be debating 3 - 4 years rent vs own? As the subject indicates "long" term prospects of buying a home..we of all the ppl should know the meaning of the word "long" based on our "long" wait for PD (which I think should be renamed to retrogress date because I see nothing priority about it)..the point being lets debate 10 years rent vs own..as against 3-4...I think over a 10 year timeline the buyers would come out ahead of the renters..maybe not in CA but in other states that's quite likely..

    coz, next 3-4 years make it special due to immigration status and special status of the economy and you can plan for 5-7 years but whats going to happen after that is beyond anyone.



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  • mirage
    08-06 09:28 AM
    Rolling floods,
    What is your PD ? EB2-India is Jun2006. It is just 2 years back. So I am guessing your PD is even less than 2 years and you are getting so restless that your are seeking to get more rulings done in place where 2000 thousand unnecessary laws & rulings exist for a 'could be an easy' process. I think instead of talking to lawyers you need to see a doctor...




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  • bigboy007
    09-29 11:17 PM
    We can argue this for long and long ... some ppl say obama is good some ppl say McCain is good... Neither we have chance to determine who would be next. Please dont jump on me...

    But we can discuss on what we can do or have to do based on "IF" "Obama is elected president and as understandable Senator Durbin determines the rules of the game for EB Immigrants.." what are our options , what can we do overcome the crisis through IV , I think this is constructive discussion... and what direction would and will benefit all of us , I see this happening as nightmare.

    Some ppl might argue that its in hands of Congress and Senate... thats right who ever would have followed on CIR 2007 debate its understandable thats the basic rule. But if you see last year the reason bill was defeated was with narrow voting. There is a good chance these numbers might change due to elections new senators might come in. Also argument is there might not be much heat as elections are over , IF not we are all happy and if comes again we need to pursue this again as we did in 2007. But things might change we should be prepared to handle in the apt and best way we can for our best benefit.

    Taking in to other direction if McCain might win I dont see any -ve challenges if not positive. Lets change our direction from whoz best to what to do if such scenario arises ... there are lot of ppl from INdian origin in Obama campaign.. will they help...

    My point is if McCain is elected, there is no chance for GC debates. The economy will become so bad that there won't be any support from any law makers. Nobody will touch the immigration bill.



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  • alisa
    01-04 02:13 AM
    Please don't kid yourself ...all these points seem so shallow that there's no way one could read too much into it. I find this exchange meaningful though it took me 4 posts. Please keep playing your game.I think you proved the point that I initially raised.

    Like someone pointed out before you can't wake up someone that's pretending sleeping.

    Thank you.

    OK.
    But I still can't figure out what your argument really is.

    Lets agree to disagree, I suppose. Let me know, if you can, what exactly and specifically it is that you didn't like about what I said.




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  • Ramba
    09-30 02:08 PM
    I love to see Obama in White House too. My only concern is who drives his Immigration Policy. Sen. Durbin? The provisions in CIR 2007 were scary.

    I am here legally in this country from Sept 2000.
    Applied for GC in March 2006 (EB3 I), filed 485 in July 07, used AC 21 in April 08 and now working on EAD.

    I already had backup plan for Canada. If I wanted to keep my Canadian PR current I had to fulfill the 2 yrs out of first 5 requirement and was required to relocate to Canada in Aug 07. After July 07 fiasco and getting EAD, I thought of giving up on that back-up plan. It was not an easy decision, but we decided to bite the bullet and were thinking that AC-21 memo and EAD are good enough safe-guards for any denial if and when it comes. Also other thing I thought as it is it's going to take ages for my date to become current by that time at least my child's education will be done (he is in high school) and he doesn't have to go through relocation pains as far as school is concerned. He has already done that 4 times in last 8 years. So all in all we were satisfied with the decision to abandon Canadian PR and using AC 21. But now all of a sudden I see there are so many denials for straight forward AC21 cases and moreover if Obama wins then immigration policy are driven by Durbin. AC-21 is the thread that I am hanging on to, if that goes away then what....just don't want to think about it.

    AC21 denial is nothing to do with immigaration policy of Durbin or Obama. It is due to lack of regulations in USCIS or USCIS not efficient to follow the law/rules or bad customer service. This is where we need Obama. Becuase, he is favor of more/stright regulation or more accountability or strong government.



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  • dontcareanymore
    08-07 05:21 PM
    Now worst thing is that Lion can not change his job profile till he gets the green card. He will be forced to act like a monkey so that it matches with his monkey job profile mentioned in his PERM application. All he can hope for is to invoke AC21 after couple of years to join a new zoo, that too on a similar job profile. :D:D Gurus what are the Lion's options at this point of time?? :D:D:

    Irony is that if our Lion stays in USA on monkey visa for couple of years, and finally goes back to India, his Lion skills will be obsolete, and Indian zoo's will not entertain a Lion acting like a monkey. Our poor Lion is totally doomed. :D:D

    Or better yet ; Go to a Desi Zoo in US and they will be happy to process Lion visa even for a Monkey :):)




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  • mrajatish
    07-08 10:07 AM
    Hi,
    I applied for GC under schedule A in may06 .My husband filed as derivative.He received a notice of intent to denial last month .Reason being he did not have paystubs for a period of more than 6 months during 2000 and 2001.His employer at that time did not pay him even after he worked for 4 months then he took few more months to change his company(more than 180 days)In 2002 he went to India and came back .and in 2004 filed for a GC as primary petitioner and me as a derivative .last year he withdrew the petition after he received several RFE`S fearing the worst.Even though he no longer has GC filed as primary petitioner he received notice of intent to deny for the petion filed through me saying that his H1 was not legal as could`nt show proof for several months and that when he filed for AOS he used those years as work experience.
    and now another problem is I applied for EAD in march and have not received new ead.my old ead expired 10 days ago.and now Iam not working.
    We bought a house last year thinking that under schedule A we`ll get GC in no time.Now we know it is a terrible mistake.Now both of us can`t work and had to take my son out of daycare. and we have house payments to make.We put our house for sale weeks ago and so far no offers.I contacted local representative to expedite My EAD and also contacted USCIS to expedite it,
    citing financial burden.We are spending sleepless nights and have no clue what to do for my EAD and his AOS.pLEASE HELP.
    Did anyone face similar situation .Any suggestions are welcome.

    1. When you filed I-485, you should file under 245(K) immediately - I believe someone already mentioned that below. For derivative applications, the derivative applicant may be "out of status" for any length without any issues for AOS approval.

    2. For the 6 mos period he was without pay check, does he have any proof of employment and correspondingly any letter showing that he was on vacation/leave of absense. I had a 15 day period between 2 jobs where I took time off but had no vacation, hence leave without pay but I have leave letter from my manager in letter-head (I know a lot of people do that as taking vacation between jobs gives them a fresh start).

    3. Did the period length where he did not have a pay check exceed 180 days at a stretch?

    Bottomline, it seems an overzealous USCIS officer is trying to find ways to deny your application - you should involve a good lawyer and get immediate rebuttal for Notice of Denial.



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  • apt29
    07-29 03:36 PM
    I regret the day when Obama became the president, he is just another politician who does not give a damn about EB2,EB3....he is just worried about "re-uniting families" (aka supporter of illegal immigration)


    I am no supporter of either party. To be fair, the economy could have collapsed without him and most of us could have been back home by now.




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  • NKR
    03-28 08:06 PM
    Job is never guaranteed ..so watch out !! I agree it is highly personal - so if you can and have purchased it --good for you. I was giving my opinion and also to educate about the myth that home is a great investment ..it is not ..it is just a place to live..and so is an apartment..I guess both have advantages and disadvantages ..
    to answer yr question on top ...do you mean to say kids won't grow up in an apartment ?? I feel at v.young age they find more friends in apartments.
    or do u mean to say young kids ( 2 - 6) years lead inferior lives in apartments ?? I big NO ..by renting I come home early and spend more time with kids and they love that ..now if you are able to buy house near your work then that is good for you ...but where I stay (and for many) they cannot do that because of the bubble !!
    to answer yr other post ..actually you should have framed it this way ...would I buy an house if I get green card (SINCE I BELIEVE I WILL GET GC BEFORE PRICES GO UP ..i.e. with in next 2 years). my answer ..
    if I get GC ..yes ...irrespective of price going up or not ..within a period of 6 months after getting GC, I would buy house ..credit is good and have downpayment.
    on EAD and I need more space ...(I would need extra space only when my son grows up and he needs his own space and room)..before this happens I believe I would get a GC ..if I don't get GC then I would try to rent a home.
    EAD and don't need 2000 sq feet (i.e. sons are still small) ..then I would continue to rent (and watch the falling prices !! and perhabs thank USCIS just for this i.e. preventing me from buying a house at inflated prices !!).

    You keep mixing up things, You are both for/against in your own post. On one hand you say that apartment is good for kids since they find other kids to play with, on the other hand you say that if you get a GC, you will buy a house within six months. So what exactly are you trying to tell. If the market is good, is buying a house good thing or bad thing.

    Home might not be a great investment, after a couple of years it becomes a necessity. Living in a house is not a great thing, nor living in an apartment is less pleasant. Like I have said it all depends on one�s situation and what one wants. A person and his/her family including kids should be happy wherever they are, it�s all that matters.



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  • radhay
    04-08 04:16 PM
    As many have already suggested, location and time frame you have is the key. If you are in an area where there are more jobs being created and population is growing (parts of TX, NC) you should seriously consider buying if you plan to stay there for atleast 3 yrs.
    We are in a period of stagnant income growth for most of the population and increased inflation and hence there is little money left to pay for inflated houses.




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  • sab
    01-08 01:50 PM
    Both these incidents make you shudder in disbelief and disgust for those who believe in wars and bloodshed.



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  • soni7007
    08-06 10:04 AM
    Personally I think "Obviously" response was derogatory and not funny at all.

    I agree with "singhsa".
    I was reading through this thread and couldn't help replying.

    Before i voice my opinion, i would like to mention that I have a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering (2002-2006 from a very reputed univ. in the US). My husband's employer (non-IT) had applied for his GC in EB3 - in 2005 which makes sense since the job required a B.S (Even though he was MS and was working for this company since 2002). We have our 485s filed and are using our APs/EADs. Now, i haven't applied for GC through my employer yet, but if i apply, it would most likely be EB1 or 2, and would love to port my PD of 2005. The reason i haven't done that is because i personally do not think that getting a GC couple of years earlier is going to make my life any different than it currently is.

    Having said that, I completely understand what "rolling flood" is trying to say. And I also agree to what his point of view is. When a person who initially agreed to apply with EB3, changes his mind/company/ or whatever and wants to apply in EB2, he should theoretically start over. Why is it reasonable that he/she cuts in line ahead of a person who was already there. There is a reason why these categories are formed.

    Shady means or non-shady means, EB2 means that u have superior qualifications and you are more desirable in the US.
    EB3 means there are a lot like u, so u gotta wait more. Period.




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  • Macaca
    05-27 05:26 PM
    Immigration: You can't rely on E-Verify (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/opinionla/la-ed-arizona-20110527,0,7225123.story) Los Angeles Times Editorial

    On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that permits local officials to revoke the licenses of businesses that knowingly hire illegal workers. The decision makes sense in principle but not in practice.

    Under the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act, business owners are required to use the federal E-Verify program to confirm if a person is authorized to work in this country. Employers must electronically check workers' names against databases kept by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. Workers found to be ineligible have up to eight working days to straighten out the problem before employers would be required to fire them. If a company is found to have knowingly hired an undocumented worker once, it can have its licenses suspended; twice, the company may be shut down.

    The problem with the Arizona statute is not that it penalizes employers who break the law. Businesses that hire undocumented immigrants should face fines or sanctions, as called for under current federal law (although many would disagree with the court's conclusion that states may impose such penalties). The problem is that the law relies on E-Verify, which isn't ready for prime time.

    Until now, E-Verify has generally been used on a voluntary basis by employers because of concerns about its accuracy. Conservative estimates put the program's error rate at just under 1% � meaning that one out of every 100 legal job applicants could be found ineligible to work. Nearly half of those will not be able to fix the problem even though they are citizens or legal workers, according to the National Immigration Law Center. The reality is that the error rate may be much higher. Consider that in 2008, Intel Corp. reported that just over 12% of its workers were wrongly tagged as ineligible, according to the Migration Policy Center in Washington. Or that a survey by Los Angeles County of employees found an error rate of 2.7 in 2008 and 2.0 in 2009, according to a report submitted to the Board of Supervisors. The error rate is especially high in cities with large immigrant communities.

    Furthermore, E-Verify doesn't detect identity theft or prevent unscrupulous employers from moving their workforce off the books. Nor does the law guarantee employers that they will be immune from losing their licenses if E-Verify mistakenly allows them to hire an undocumented worker. That lack of protection may, as Justice Stephen G. Breyer noted in his dissent, persuade some business owners to avoid hiring those who look or sound foreign-born.

    At the very least, the court's ruling should prompt the Obama administration to act quickly to fix E-Verify and improve its accuracy. And the White House should seek a qualified candidate to serve as the Justice Department's special counsel in charge of enforcing the anti-discrimination provisions of the immigration law.

    But the court's ruling doesn't fix the bigger problem: the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Arizona and other states that have passed similar measures are stumbling to create their own immigration laws because the current system isn't working. Thursday's decision should put Washington on notice that in the absence of a federal solution, states will step in to fill the void.


    D.C. region�s Asian population is up 60 percent since 2000, census data show (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-regions-asian-population-is-up-60-percent-since-2000-census-data-show/2011/05/25/AGvgndBH_story.html) By Carol Morello and Dan Keating | The Washington Post
    A Bond for the Homeland (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/24/a_bond_for_the_homeland) By NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA, DILIP RATHA | Foreign Policy
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    Don't worry about the booming global population -- celebrate it. (http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/23/more_people_please)
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    How Latinos Got Stung (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2011/05/22/how_latinos_got_stung_109943.html) By Ruben Navarrette | Denver Post
    What immigrants contribute (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-immigrants-contribute/2011/05/19/AFjy9L9G_story.html) By Alejandro Becerra | The Washington Post
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  • hiralal
    06-25 10:35 PM
    I agree with you .
    I am not asking anyone to buy or rent .. its a personal decision but if you believe that one year down the line you will get a more cheaper house and the interest rates would still be at 5 % you should think twice .

    House is not an investment but a side effect of home ownership is that you will end up with a property but if you continue to rent you are sure to end up with nothing .
    I disagree ... all the reports say that prices will fall down for atleast a year. house is good if you need extra space and if you get it at a correct price (atleast once it stops falling) ..I agree that timing is difficult ..but in this economy it makes sense to rent when you are on temporary status.
    btw ..Renting gives you flexibility and you end up with more money in the bank !! but if you have a GC (or very close to getting it) and you get a house in bargain (or at the correct price) / and you need the space plus u intend to stay there for long long time ..then yes, buying makes sense.

    but as an example ..my friend in california, who few months ago was saying that california is the best, smart people etc etc is now saying that he is giving the advice to everyone to stay away from cali ..he unfortunately is stuck because he has a house there. (major layoffs in his company is giving him stress and sleepless nights).

    similarly..you need to be very cautious to buy within your means ...another friend in atlanta (businessman) bought a 1million home for 800K ..he kept on beating his own drum that he is smart and others are fools ..now his house is in foreclosure and he lost around 200K ..so u can end up with nothing when you buy a house too.
    -----------
    Renting is not throwing money away..why ? for one - you get a place to stay, flexibility, maintenance / property tax paid by property owner, you can rent closer to your work and move around as per needs etc etc.. housing has its own benefits (but renting has its own too .."it is not as easy as saying renting is throwing money away" ..I have been asked to write about this in detail in the IV wiki ..will post a link here later




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  • unitednations
    08-02 06:58 PM
    this is interesting: If I invoke AC21, and get a letter from a new employer, they can still ask me for a letter from old employer saying they intended to hire me?? The fact that they submitted a future employment letter with my 485 and did not revoke the approved I-140 for 6 months not enough to prove that the intent remained at the end of 6 months?
    Did the USCIS officer suspect fraud or something? Is there a specific legal basis for this denial? I thought past 6 months there is no dependency on that old employer (future-employment or otherwise) and all depends on your new employer and his employment letter.


    People always read what they want to read.

    Read the memo and they always mention "intent", "good faith".

    USCIS always leaves significant wiggle room for themselves when they want to deny cases.




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  • Macaca
    12-30 05:49 PM
    India-China Relations Negotiating a Balance (http://www.ipcs.org/pdf_file/issue/IB160-Banerjee-India-China.pdf) By Dipankar Banerjee | Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.

    Now that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao�s visit to India in Nov 2010 has ended, it is necessary to reflect on the nature of India-China relations and where it is headed. Kishore Mahbubani, the distinguished Asian thinker from Singapore, described India-China relations as, �the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st Century�. Indeed, historically, civilizationally, from the perspective of economic benefits to the region or from peace and security in Asia and the world; this is a relationship that is likely to shape the global future.

    There is no scope for mistakes. Two large nations that are simultaneously reemerging at a rapid pace, thus this relationship has to be based on carefully balanced enlightened self interests. To achieve this will call for delicate negotiations based on our respective genius, taking account of our differences, yet accommodating the genuine concerns and interests of both. It is important to be clear that tension and conflict, easy to generate in an atmosphere of fear and distrust, can do immense harm to all.

    HISTORICAL & CULTURAL LEGACIES

    Historically near neighbours, India and China had very little contact or understanding of each other. Two long but intermittent periods in early history may be considered as exceptions. One was the epoch of the Nalanda University in India, which flourished nearly two millennia ago and brought the world�s scholars to its gates. This was amongst the biggest confidence building measure in the history of Asia. The other was through the Great Silk Routes emanating from China with some branches passing through India and going to the world, enriching both countries. This was an early example of globalized commerce that benefited the entire then known world.

    The absence of recent contact failed to develop in India an understanding of the �Middle Kingdom�. On its part China has never quite grasped the importance of democracy, pluralism and diversity of India, which with all its imperfections, constitute the quintessence of the Indian state and its nationalism.

    Instead, our awareness of each other in modern times can be traced to the 19th Century, where it was coloured by colonial influences with their national interests firmly centred in European capitals. This brief interlude in history was the only period when neither India nor China was a leading nation in the world with neither in a position to shape its own destiny. Yet, it may be argued that spared outright conquest, Beijing secured its national interests somewhat better than Delhi. Many of today�s problems originate from that period, even though goodwill between both nations remained intact. Examples from India were Rabindranath Tagore and Dr Kotnis.

    In his highly controversial first visit to China in 1924 Tagore said at a lecture in Shanghai, �I want to win your heart, now that I am close to you, with the faith that is in me of a great future for you, and for Asia, when your country rises and gives expression to its own spirit -a future in the joy of which we shall all share.� Tagore visited China purely as a poet, yet his words set the tone and trend for India-China relations till the 1950�s. Premier Wen Jiabao hit the right note, when in his first engagement in Delhi in 2010 he visited a school named after Tagore and drew attention to the renewed attention in China today to his humanistic writings.

    Congress Party sent a small medical mission led by Dr Kotnis to help the Eighth Route Army in its War of Resistance in 1938. This team�s dedication and service to the People�s Liberation Army left a deep impression in the minds of the members of the Long March generation. This was the backdrop in which Nehru reached out to China in the 1950�s.

    A rude awakening to the Cold War realities of the 20th Century came about in the deteriorating relations in the end of 1950�s and to the 1962 War. The impact of this was different in the two countries. In China the average citizen had little knowledge of this War. They were in the grip of a totally controlled media. Besides, the population at large was grappling with life and death questions of the consequences of the Great Leap Forward. But, the impact in India was traumatic. Essentially it transformed in to a deep sense of betrayal at several levels, a sentiment that left deep scars.

    This contrast was reflected personally to me in June 1991 in many places in China where as a General Officer of the Indian Army and as the first Indian military guest of the PLA in over three decades, one was repeatedly accosted with the statement; �there are a thousand reasons why we should be friends and none at all why we should be enemies�. This was a sentiment that few would have shared in India at the time. As a first step in reconciliation we need to put this current history firmly behind us. This possibility was brought home to me personally through a brief encounter in Vietnam in the autumn of 2010. Shocked to see the utter devastation caused to innocent Vietnamese civilians in the most massive bombing in world history, in the deep underground bunkers north of Ho Chi Minh city, we asked if it was possible to forgive an enemy that caused these horrors. I was struck by the response of the young Vietnamese guide. He said; �If we were to hate the Americans, then how can we not also hate the French, the British, the Australians and the Chinese? We need to put history behind us if we hope to build a future�.

    Many would object to this idealistic approach to hard issues of national interests and they have a point. But, continuing with historic animosities is not the best foundation for national policy. In the realpolitik world of the 21st Century we will need to carefully craft a balance between our concerns and interests and evolve a cooperative relationship.

    THE NEED TO CHANGE MINDSETS

    The litany of issues between us is long and complex. A short paper such as this will only indicate broad approaches that India should adopt on some of the more important issues.

    The border issue easily heads any list and is also the most urgent. Even though no shot has been fired in anger across the Line of Actual Control since the last twenty six years, an unresolved border can no longer be �left to the next generation� to resolve. Already more than a generation has passed since Deng Xiaoping�s statement and this generation has not proved wiser. There is too much at stake today to pend this issue for long. Lingering problems tend to fester and often can be brought to light from hidden memories to buttress misgivings on other issues. Political sensitivity of this issue to both India and China however, has to be accepted and haste has to be made even if slowly.

    The fundamental reality about borders in the 21st Century is that none can be changed arbitrarily between two sovereign nations of some consequence without causing great destruction. Copious blood has already been shed over this border and today both nations have substantial nuclear weapons as well as conventional arms capability to persuade us to rule out this option. If that much is accepted, the only option that remains is a negotiated settlement. There is no doubt that each side should be prepared to make substantial compromises. But, the framework of a settlement has already been agreed in 2005 at Premier Wen�s last visit in 2005 under the Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the IndiaChina Boundary Question. This clearly rules out the possibility of exchanging populated areas.

    While there may be concerns today to make the borders porous, access to holy lands and pilgrimage places should have easy though controlled access. This will address so called claims based on religious sentiments. Fortunately most places along our common borders are uninhabited and hence minor changes in lines drawn on maps should have easier chance of acceptance.

    The question of the Kashmir border with China has caused recent concern in India. This need not really be the case. Once again on the Jammu & Kashmir question the position of both India and Pakistan has evolved. An exchange of territory, howsoever desirable to either side is not a realistic and even a desirable option. Hence converting the de-facto to de-jure is the issue between India and Pakistan. This will also have to be the option between India and China. This would require a leap of faith and bold political leadership.

    Admitted that such leaps are not the preferred options for realistic politicians aspiring to return to office a background of trust and friendship has to be created. Which in turn should be based on carefully crafted win-win situations for both. This is where other major approaches become important.




    Macaca
    05-02 05:45 PM
    Glass Half Full on Obama's New National Security Team (http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/8696/the-new-rules-glass-half-full-on-obamas-new-national-security-team) By THOMAS P.M. BARNETT | World Politics Review

    President Barack Obama reshuffled his national security team last week, and the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. The White House proclaimed that this was the "strongest possible team," leaving unanswered the question, "Toward what end?" Obama's choices represent the continued reduction of the role of security as an administration priority. That fits into his determined strategy to reduce America's overseas military commitments amid the country's ongoing fiscal distress. Obama foresees a smaller, increasingly background role for U.S. security in the world, and these selections feed that pattern.

    First, there is Leon Panetta's move from director of the Central Intelligence Agency to secretary of defense. When you're looking for $400 billion in future military cuts, Panetta's credentials apply nicely: former White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Bill Clinton, and 9-term congressman from defense-heavy California. But, truth be told, Panetta wasn't the president's first choice -- or his second, third, fourth or fifth.

    According to my Pentagon sources, the job was initially offered to Hillary Clinton, who would have been a compelling candidate for the real task at hand: working to get more help from our European allies for today's potpourri of security hotspots, while reaching out to the logical partners of tomorrow -- like rising China, India, Turkey, South Africa and Brazil, among others. She would have brought an international star power and bevy of personal connections to those delicate efforts that Panetta will never muster. But Clinton has had enough of nonstop globe-hopping and will be gone at the end of Obama's first term.

    Colin Powell, next offered the job, would have been another high-wattage selection, commanding respect in capitals around the world. But Powell demanded that his perennial wingman, Richard Armitage, be named deputy secretary, and that was apparently a no-go from the White House, most likely for fear that the general was set on creating his own little empire in the Pentagon. Again, too bad: Powell would have brought a deep concern for the future of U.S. national security that Panetta -- with the "green eye shades" mentality of a budget-crunching guy -- lacks.

    Three others were then offered the job: Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed; former deputy secretary of defense and current Center for Strategic and International Studies boss John Hamre; and former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, who was long rumored to be Obama's preferred brainiac to ultimately replace Gates. But Reed feared exchanging his Senate seat for a short stint in the Pentagon if Obama loses; Hamre had made too many commitments to CSIS as part of a recent fund-raising drive; and Danzig couldn't manage the timing on the current appointment for personal reasons.

    All of this is to suggest the following: Panetta has been picked to do the dirty work of budget cuts through the remainder of the first term and nothing more. If Obama wins a second term, we may still see a technocrat of Danzig's caliber, such as current Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michelle Flournoy, or a major-league star of the Clinton/Powell variety. But for now, the SECDEF's job is not to build diplomatic bridges, but to quietly dismantle acquisition programs. And yes, the world will pick up on that "declinist" vibe.

    Moving Gen. David Petraeus from commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan to director of the CIA has puzzled many observers, and more than a few have worried that this represents a renewed militarization of the agency. But here the truth is more prosaic: Obama simply doesn't want Petraeus as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, something conservatives have been pulling for. By shifting him to CIA, the White House neatly dead-ends his illustrious career.

    As Joint Chiefs chairman, Petraeus could have become an obstacle to Obama's plans to get us out of Afghanistan on schedule, wielding an effective political veto. He also would have presented more of a general political threat in the 2012 election, with the most plausible scenario being the vice-presidential slot for a GOP nominee looking to burnish his national security credentials. As far as candidate Obama is concerned, the Petraeus factor is much more easily managed now.

    Once the SECDEF selection process dropped down to Panetta, the White House saw a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Plus, Petraeus, with the Iraq and Afghanistan surges under his belt, is an unassailable choice for an administration that has deftly "symmetricized" Bush-Cheney's "war on terror," by fielding our special operations forces and CIA drones versus al-Qaida and its associated networks. If major military interventions are out and covert operations are in, then moving "King David" from ISAF to CIA ties off that pivot quite nicely.

    The other two major moves announced by the White House fit this general pattern of backburner-ing Afghanistan and prioritizing budget cuts. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who partnered with Petraeus in Iraq during the surge, now takes over the same post in Afghanistan. Crocker is supremely experienced at negotiating withdrawals from delicate situations. Moving CENTCOM Deputy Commander Gen. John Allen over to replace Petraeus in Afghanistan is another comfort call: Allen likewise served with Petraeus in Iraq during the surge, when he was the key architect of the Sunni "awakening." Low-key and politically astute, Allen will be another quiet operator.

    Obama has shown by his handling to date of the NATO-led Libyan intervention that he is not to be deterred from his larger goal of dramatically reducing America's global security profile, putting it more realistically in line with the country's troubled finances. What the president has lacked so far in executing that delicate maneuver is some vision of how America plans to segue the international system from depending on America to play global policeman to policing itself.

    Our latest -- and possibly last -- "hurrah" with NATO notwithstanding, Obama has made no headway on reaching out to the world's rising powers, preferring to dream whimsically of a "world without nuclear weapons." In the most prominent case, he seems completely satisfied with letting our strategic relationship with China deteriorate dramatically while America funnels arms to all of Beijing's neighbors. And on future nuclear power Iran? Same solution.

    It's one thing to right-size America's global security profile, but quite another to prepare the global security environment for that change. Obama's recent national security selections tell us he remains firmly committed to the former and completely uninterested in the latter. That sort of "apr�s moi, le deluge" mindset may get him re-elected, but eventually either he or America will be forced into far harder international adjustments.




    kedrex
    12-27 04:48 PM
    I myself am originally from Mumbai so please dont doubt the deep sense of outrage that I feel. But amid all this talk about going to war, here are a few things to ponder

    1. Think about how long it takes to construct a single runway of an airport. In the developed countries, it takes about 2-3 years, for India safe to say 5-6 years. One of Paki's first responses would be take out entire airports not just runways. Can you imagine how long it would take us to recover

    2. Why should India kill Pak when it is killing itself every day. At this rate, just imagine how long this country will last. Sitting back and being a spectator could just about be the best option

    3. If we are outraged by 200 civilians/police/NSG dying, do we really have the stomach to absorb 1000s, lakhs ........

    4. Talking of "surgical strikes" - surgical strikes on what? Even the dumbest terrorist knows that its probably not a good idea to be in a terror camp right now.

    5. Do we really want to unite all those crazy Punjabis, Balochis, Taliban and the Paki army

    6. Ok, what about assassinating Kayani. Wonderful, we have destroyed the last institution in Paki land. Get ready to welcome millions of refugees

    I know I know that I am not coming up with any good course of action, just pointing out the flaws in the rest of them. But thats all my layman's strategic vision gives me. Maybe with just 1/100th the cost of war, we can improve our border/maritime security and also our intelligence apparatus

    Personally, I think war is going to happen. I just wish people even remotely understand what it is that they are asking for.



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