DesPardes + PKonweb

‘Drums of War’ Amid Climate Change Protests and (Of Course) Lahore Smogfest!

All these blow hot and blow cold last week came as first lady Melania Trump unveiled patriotic-themed White House Christmas decorations, and as the President pardoned a turkey a day before Black Friday Blessed Friday.

IRSHAD SALIM — Headlines by major media outlets on Thanksgiving said more than 55 million Americans were expected to hit the roads, rails and skies for the holiday on November 27.

During the same period, the fringe and social media churned out headlines about major ongoing and potential conflicts, drums of war, climate change and their impacts, etc. –these hot spots are across the Atlantic and several thousand miles southeast of Washington and New York.

Keywords involve glaciers melting in Pakistan, the water tower in the region — the Himalayan Range — being in crosshairs of a potential war between two neighboring countries, India and Pakistan over Kashmir lockdown, and the Afghanistan peace talks stalemate. The Himalayas — Kashmir is its soft belly — is itself a climate change hot spot.

John Kerry has suggested the fight against climate change should be treated like a ‘war’ and comes as thousands inspired by 16-year-old Greta, protest ahead of Climate Change Summit this week in Madrid.

In Lahore, the annual Smogfest is on. The major city — Punjab’s capital — ranked the most polluted city in the world on Oct 29, on the global Air Quality Index (AQI).

Blame the pollution on India’s crop burning. Pakistan points finger at its warring eastern neighbor but citizens don’t agree.

That ‘war’ hopefully won’t entail, as Kissinger said back in 2011, “If you are an ordinary person, then you can prepare yourself for war by moving to the countryside and building a farm, but you must take guns with you, as the hordes of starving will be roaming.

This week he warned of ‘catastrophic conflicts’ between the US and China. A decade back he had warned: “If You Can’t Hear the Drums of War You Must Be Deaf”.

A somewhat similar warning comes from former Soviet-era President Mikhail Gorbachev. A ‘hot war is likely he says between the US and Russia’ which he helped emerge from the remnants of Soviet collapse as a result of his glasnost and perestroika.

The news is Iran, Russia and China are to hold joint wargames. All the three countries by and large straddle the wider region covering Afghanistan and Pakistan and of course the pristine landlocked water tower of the region, Kashmir.

“It is (Kashmir) the ground zero of the new world order” emerging in a multipolar environment, says nuclear expert Dr. S.M. Ali.

A defense expert said, “we are moving in the direction of pre-World War II like situation”.

Hmm. Well. I’m glad I observed a Thanksgiving (homecoming) in Islamabad — with a Christian-Muslim family in a first. Hopefully the tradition will continue if Kissinger is not right.

Still, the US warning Pakistan of risks from China’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure (CPEC) push (without it, read my lips) has me taken aback, just as the news of Brazil’s president blaming Leonardo DiCaprio for the Amazon forest fires.

Washington’s warning came as President Trump made unannounced trip to Afghanistan and said he’s willing to restart peace talks with the Taliban.

A historian made a cold prediction this week though: Trump support will collapse. It’s unrelated though to Trump being first to use PATRIOT Act to detain a man forever.

House Republicans are said to be ‘absolutely disgusted’ by the President, ex-GOP congressman says. Still, I might vote for him if he keeps adding more equity into the federal reserves via arms & trade deals abroad. Good for my Social Security JJ (Just joking).

But some 300+ Trump ads were taken down by GOOGLE, YOUTUBE, says a report unrelated though to his warnings. No reason given.

Campaign 2020 has banned Bloomberg reporters, a report says.

All these blow hot and blow cold last week came as first lady Melania Trump unveiled patriotic-themed White House Christmas decorations, and as the President pardoned a turkey a day before Black Friday Blessed Friday.

What stood, however, as a constant in the sea of ‘all the news that’s good to print’ was akin to Roy’s ‘The Silence is the Loudest Sound’ take on locked-down Kashmir.