Friday, 30 September 2016

Heroes and Zeroes

The reason I prefer ISIS to al Nusra is that the former is considerate enough to have a simple flag, easy for me to draw!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Armageddon of 2019, Redux

I seem to have inadvertently become famous.

Let me explain.

A little over three years ago, I wrote a speculative story about a war between India and Pakistan I predicted would take place in 2019. If you haven’t read it already, you can either click here...

<----------------- or look to the left of the page where it’s right on top of the list of popular posts, and where it seems determined to stay for all time to come.

In fact, at this point I strongly suggest you read it, if you haven’t already, so you know what it is that I thought might happen if India and Pakistan went to war.

It’s a story that’s got me a lot of vituperation, including multiple threats of violence and a couple desiring my death. All, without exception, of these threats were from anonymous persons purporting to be Indian patriots, that is, Hindunazis. I’m fairly certain not one of these gentlemen ever put on a uniform, or has any intention of putting on a uniform and laying his life on the line. For Hindunazis, the keyboard is their weapon and shield, the only thing that gives some validity to their lives.

But even then, a lot of people seem unable to differentiate between fact and fiction, to the extent that I’ve had people asking whether this actually happened. And Arsalan Ghumman, whom I’ve given a role in the story, told me that a Pakistani military person of his acquaintance informed him that this story was written by an Indian intelligence agency (RAW) “element”. Both of us had a good laugh, though it wasn’t funny.  

Yes, you imbeciles, it is a story. It is as much a story as the vainglorious crap you might prefer to read with Ramboesque Indian supersoldiers massacring evil Pakistani terrorists. Only it’s not fantasy, and if it doesn’t fit into your comfort zone, too bad. Nobody put a nuclear bomb to your head and made you read it.

Do I think India and Pakistan might actually go to nuclear war? No. But if India and Pakistan did go to full scale war, it could not, in my opinion, stop short of going nuclear. The reason is simple. In the far north, the frontier along the divided state of Kashmir is mountainous and heavily fortified on both sides. There is no way an Indian attack across the frontier there would achieve anything. Next is Punjab, which is also heavily fortified (I read of one Indian defence account which called the Pakistani fortifications “mind boggling”) . Any Indian attempt to attack there would be doomed. The southern end of the frontier, in Gujarat, is marshy and unsuitable for large scale troop movement. The only place where any Indian offensive has a good chance of success is in the central sector, where the Thar Desert lies across both countries. An offensive across this desert could cut Pakistan in two.

Pakistan is well aware of that possibility, and has prepared by mounting tactical nuclear weapons on short range battlefield missiles, to be used on its own territory. Those missiles essentially make any major Indian offensive impossible, and India cannot counter in the same way because it has no tactical nuclear weapons. It’s threatened to retaliate by nuking Pakistani cities, which is basically the only option open to it. And in that case, Pakistan, which has many more and likely better nuclear weapons than India, can do exactly the same. And then India will suffer massively because almost all of its industrial and economic centres are concentrated in the north and west of the country, within easy rage of Pakistani missiles and aircraft. Modi’s own home state, Gujarat, which is the westernmost Indian province, especially wouldn’t stand a chance.

No, a full scale war is not going to happen. But that doesn’t mean one can’t write speculative fiction warning of the consequences if it did.

[As I write this, I heard of the Indian government claiming it had conducted “surgical strikes” on “terrorist camps” in Pakistani Kashmir. I do not believe one single, solitary word of it, and anyone who does needs a brain transplant. The story is an obvious fabrication by the Modi regime to placate its right wing constituency and claim that it “defends the nation”.]

A few days ago, I discovered that a Pakistani television channel had done a programme based on my story. It’s basically a narration of my story in Urdu, with visuals added, mostly from films depicting the bombing of Hiroshima. It does compress things a lot and makes some errors, but these are relatively minor, not even worth discussing here. The thing is, someone read the story and thought it important enough to make a programme on it. And they did it not as entertainment, but as a plea for peace.

Here is the video:

It is significant that it’s the “warmongering” Pakistanis, who, according to one person who saw fit to comment on my story, only want their “72 virgins”, are the ones who used my story to make a plea for peace, while my allegedly “peace loving” Indian compatriots call anyone who wants peace a “commie traitor” or – as per one Twitter feed – “pro-Paki doves.” It is absolutely no surprise to me, though it may be to some people. India pretends to be peaceful, but it’s a hyper violent country with an enormous chip on its shoulder, which wishes it was a great power and reacts violently to reminders that it is not.

No, the Pakistani channel didn’t ask for my permission to make the programme, though they did show my photo and name. They should have asked, but I won’t make a big fuss on the point.

If it helps give some idiots a new perspective, it will be worth it.

Oh Batman Had A Baby

Oh Batman had a baby
He called him Lad Robin
He dressed him in shorty shorts
And dropped him in the bin.

Oh Lex Luthor found the baby
Who was quite cute, no doubt
Lexy took him along on crime sprees
To act as his look-out.

Robin grew to boyhood
A fine figure of a boy was he!
He wore bright clothes with shorty-shorts
And a mask through which to see.

Oh Luthor had a plan so good
It would make the world sit up, for sure
He needed Batman out of the way
For that he set a lure.

Robin put on his yellow cape
His yellow cape wore he!
And in his red and green and shorty-shorts
Stood down by the sea.

And the tide it began to rise
The tide it rose so high!
As the full moon, like a swollen balloon
Lurched slowly across the sky.

Someone saw Robin on the shore
As the tide surged around his feet
And signalled, the Batsign out
Glimmering above the nightswept street.

Then Batman came on his Batmobile
He roared along the beach!
Like a movie scene, stopped the mighty machine
By Robin, near close enough to reach.

And then it was that the Boy Wonder
Said, “You left me for dead.”
Took a stick, or maybe a brick
And smashed it on Batman’s head.

Batman fell with a hollow groan
And drowned in the rising tide
Yes, Batman drowned, in the rising waves
Drowned right until he died.

Then Batman was a goner
You can check if I lied!
And Lad Robin, with a wicked grin
Took the Batmobile for a ride.

Lex Luthor in the meantime crimed
Oh what a crime spreed he!
And with his load of ill gotten gains
 Back homewards he started to flee.

Now the cops were on his trail
And fast it was they came!
Lex Luthor moved his fastest
But it wasn’t the same.

It was as though it was all over
He’d lost everything once more
Bitterly he thought, and almost forgot
That he’d sent Robin to the shore.

But the Boy Wonder came roaring up
In the Batmobile he came!
And stopped by Lex, laughing aloud
As though it was a merry game.

“Get in, you bald old coot!”
He shouted, and he grinned
And the Batmobile, like the Devil’s wheel
Through the streets it spinned.

And Lex won to his hideout
Got home with all his take
And he lit a candle, on his laden mantle
For his arch-enemy’s sake.

“I’ve done enough,” he declared
“This heist I’ll never top,
So it makes sense, even to the dense
That now I’d better stop.

“I’m the King of Crime right now
What more could I ever need?
I have infamy and fortune
And the Batmobile as my steed.

“So I’ll hand over my reins
You’ll be the King of Crooks, won’t you?
Come with me and we’ll celebrate
With a trip to the zoo.”

And now it is that Lad Robin
Strides across the World of Crime
While Luthor sits in luxury
Batman’s bones roll in grime.

One day perhaps a Catman will rise
Or better yet, a Ratman grow
From out among the oppressed throng
And a gauntlet he’ll throw.

And then maybe the world will see
The beginning of Robin’s fall
But until then, the criminals’ friend
Will stand over the city tall.

And to think it was Batman’s fault
To bin the brat he bred!
It was indeed, that he deserved it
This had to be said.

Someday when the wind moans so
And the sky with clouds is filled
Look for his bones, among the beach’s stones
And if you find them, don’t be thrilled.

Batman was a selfish pig
A capitalist lord as well
And he deserved his warm reception
Among his partners down in hell.

Long may the Lad Robin shine
In his shorty-shorts and yellow cape!
And with his rule, you stupid fool
You yourself need to shape.

And Lex Luthor, holiday home
A blessing on his baldy head!
Long may it glow, in calm and in blow
Until we’re all long dead.

And then the world will be a better place
When Ratman and Robin see
That apart they’re enemies, but
Friends is the way to be.

Then it will be peace and calm
A Golden Age will come!
The only ones who demur then
Will be the criminal and the bum.

Oh Batman had a baby
He called him Robin, oh delight
And Robin killed Batman

And took the world overnight.

[Image Source]