Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Perhaps our leaders are the reflection of what we ourselves are today? Or is it the case of POWER CORRUPTS AND ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY and since independence in particular the power has vested in the western educated manipulators, who knew well how to fool the public, divide and rule, play with the people's Hindu-oriented simplicity, their sentimentality, their non-violence and unsuspecting nature inherent in the Hindu religion and these rulers surrounded themselves by sycophants,(with no inhibitions), accumulated power and money and used these as tools, at times to frighten the public, and at other times to corrupt the general public, blah blah! It is an endless story and I don't see any easy exit from this state of affairs if ever.

Bhagwan Hindu dharm ki wa Bharat desh ki, jo kuchch bhi bacha hai, raksha karein.

- Hide quoted text -
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bharat Gajjar
Date: Wed, Jul 23, 2008 at 6:40 PM
Subject: Fw: [prohindu] NAKED TRUTH -
To: Undisclosed-Recipient

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, July 23, 2008 12:49 PM
Subject: [prohindu] NAKED TRUTH -
The Naked Truth
Rajinder Puri, Outlook

So Singh stays king with 275 for and 256 against, but it's clear that the emperor's got no clothes. It's been seen by one and all. Will this "historic debate" be a turning point?

The recent events inside and outside parliament provided this scribe immense satisfaction. Not because of what could or could not happen to the nuclear deal. Nor even by what was or was not spoken in parliament. Not even by which way the vote went.

The satisfaction came from the total exposure of politicians belonging to all parties and the political culture they revealed. The intellectuals and the media pundits, as well as the lay public, are at last waking up to the truth.

The nation's enemy is not this or that political party. It is the entire political class.

Some TV channels and newspapers, some politicians, put up a brave face trying to project the debate as proof of a vibrant democracy. They did not deceive the public. They deceived themselves. India's political class showed to the world how contemptible it was.

It clearly demonstrated that no mere political realignment could effect meaningful change. The system has failed. The system must change. The system must adhere to the true spirit of our written Constitution. That is the bottom line.

Why did public perception about the political class change? MPs charged other MPs of being bought. A senior leader named the price for an MP to be Rs 25 crore.

Never mind if this was contempt of Parliament, unless substantiated. Never mind if those who claimed to have received bribe offers became complicit in crime unless they named the culprits and initiated legal action.

Nev er mind if Parliament proceedings touched the lowliest of the lows when currency notes (reportedly worth one crore) by the BJP as alleged bribe money received from Samajwadi Party were produced on the floor of the house, in full view of the television cameras telecasting it live.

It is a new low, regardless of whether or not it was a genuine case, or just orchestrated drama to score political points

Law is least important in the prevalent Indian democracy. One senior leader lamented that the CBI cases against Mayawati exposed that agency as an official tool being used for political purposes. Goodness, how long it took for him to discover that! When CBI cases against Mayawati were stalled, was CBI not a tool?

On probes related to Bofors, Jain Hawala, Volcker and a host of other cases was CBI not a tool?

All these hypocrisies during the recent debate were not new. They had been exhibited before.

And horror of horrors, MPs convicted for serious crimes were asked to vote! But when convicted MPs voted in the presidential election was that acceptable?

Political parties and individual MPs sold loyalty and policy as brazenly as harlots in a red light district. This too had happened before. So why were the public's disgu st and the intellectual's disquiet aroused this time around? Because all this happened simultaneously.

The sheer volume of misdemeanors was mind boggling.

Didn't Marx say that beyond a point quantity creates qualitative change? The conduct of its political class has jolted India.

There is data being widely circulated on the Internet. It appears to be researched and accurate. It indicates what more and more young people complacent till the other day are beginning to perceive about the politicians who rule them.

There are 543 MPs in the Lok Sabha. Of them 117 have been charged and are being investigated for murder, rape, assault, extortion and robbery.

[When the current Lok Sabha was constituted, Outlook had listed as many as 100 way back in 2004 --Ed] Nineteen MPs have more than three criminal cases pending against them.

Twenty-nine have been accused of spouse abuse. Seven have been arrested for fraud. Seventy-one cannot get credit=2 0or loans due to bad credit histories. Twenty-one are current defendants in various lawsuits. Eighty-four were involved in offences and made to pay fines. These are the people who make our laws. They are the people who rule us.

Never mind the merits or demerits of the Indo-US nuclear deal. On any assessment can this ragamuffin bunch be trusted to render sober judgment on any issue of national importance?

MPs demonstrated in the recent debate that overwhelmingly their prime concern was narrow personal gain bereft of national interest.

The truth is that our political system is flawed because the Constitution was subverted from the day it was adopted by parliament.

It is an explicit written Constitution. It does not replicate the Westminster model. Our Constitution is presidential. This view was repeatedly voiced by this scribe for years. MPs have legislative responsibility and should have no executive responsibility. Former President Kalam said as much. In fact MPs are empowered to spend crores for development in their constituencies.

On July 11, 2007 this scribe after quoting relevant clauses of the Constitution wrote: "If the Constitution is read as originally written, India's parliamentary system would become presidential." Further in the same article it was proposed how the President could obtain a direct popular mandate after minor Constitutional amendments that would not infringe on its basic structure:

"Electoral changes that do not alter the structure of the Constitution are required. The terms of Parliament, State Assemblies and President need to be fixed and made coterminous. Nominations to them might be phased. Candidates for the presidency would be nominated by the outgoing legislators. The Presidential candidates might then campaign for the legislature candidates. Once elected after such a campaign, the newly elected legislators would elect the President. That would give the President a fully representative mandate."

These views were scoffed at or ignored for the most part. The recent debate seems to have altered perceptions.
Apart from reputed columnists suggesting a review of the prevalent political system, even the staid Times of India editorially commented: "Has the time come to think beyond the Westminster model that India has followed since independence? India should seriously consider a presidential system of government."

Jurists as yet are not admitting that our original written Constitution was in fact presidential. If a national debate on this subject leads to a reappraisal of the Constitution by uncluttered minds, they might also start saying that.

Monday, July 21, 2008



Special Question Archive

Isn’t it unfair to give the ‘amrut’ only to the Devas and deceive the Asuras? If you and me are in a joint business venture and I take all the profit for myself, is it justified?

I become angry and emotional when my little kids make mistakes and disobey me. Later I feel bad for it. Should I be continue to be strict to them and monitor them so that they can be mended or should I just be a silent spectator leaving everything to God’s will?

I am always tensed about my future and my life. That is spoiling my moment-to-moment happiness. My position is good now, however, the future is uncertain. The fear of future is killing me. I chant the Nama, but am not able to concentrate. What should I do?

Our religion says that the supreme God is one and is beyond name and form. Why then does our scriptures talk about so many Devas, Demigods and the like? Some even make fun of this. How come there are so many Gods as per our tradition?

How many forests constitute the Brindavan?

How long did the war between Sri Rama and Ravana last?

In the first chapter of the tenth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, it is said that a heavenly voice ('asarira vaak') foretold Kamsa’s death in the hands of the eighth child of Devaki. What is its purport?


Devotees Question Archive

Is temptation natural for every human? How can I avoid this? Is there an easy way out?

While it is evident in Kaliyuga that the bad actions have their almost immediate reaction, there is hardly any evidence of the good getting good or getting rid of their problems. Your views, please?

Like birth and death are not in hand of a man. Similarly ‘samaya’(time), ‘sthana’(place), and ‘sanskara’ (latent impressions) are not in your hands. What is the best technique to be satisfied with what you have and get the best benefit from them?

If the husband is the disciple a Guru, does the wife automatically become the disciple of the Guru?

Is the reading of ‘Chatusloki Bhagavata’ equivalent to reading the entire ‘Bhagavata’? How many lines will be there in 'chathusloka bhagavatha'

Does the remembrance of the Lord at the time of death depend on our past karma or because of spiritual endeavors during this life?

It is said that "Madhava Swami was an attendant of Bhagavan Ramana. He was born as peacock in his next birth. But, isn’t this in contradiction to the statement of Bhagavan to another devotee? Specifically, the devotee who wishes to have initiation from Bhagavan only and says "if you do not give me initiation, even you have to take another birth, as only you will be my guru" -- to this Bhagavan says, "Once you come here, where is the question of another birth?"
I am unable to reconcile these two statements (assuming both are factual and correct). Kindly explain.

I wish to know what is causal body(‘karna sarira’) and ‘anandamaya kosa’. Are they same and what functions do they have?

Where are our latent tendencies or vasanas stored?

Can women do Sashtanga Namaskar?


Is temptation natural for every human? How can I avoid this? Is there an easy way out?

Sri Sri Swamiji:

Temptation is natural, not only for humans, but also for all creatures on Earth. Instead of trying to avoid it, you can overcome it. The only way out is to chant, chant and chant. But you have to be patient. Don’t expect immediate results. But the results are guaranteed. The transformation will happen slowly.


While it is evident in Kaliyuga that the bad actions have their almost immediate reaction, there is hardly any evidence of the good getting good or getting rid of their problems. Your views, please?

Sri Sri Swamiji:

Even from the Nama Dwaar website you can see the benefits that people are getting by chanting the Mahamantra . This itself is a crystal clear evidence that in the Kali Yuga, the good deeds definitely give you fruits – and that the best deed to perform is chanting the Mahamantra.


Like birth and death are not in hand of a man. Similarly ‘samaya’(time), ‘sthana’(place), and ‘sanskara’ (latent impressions) are not in your hands. What is the best technique to be satisfied with what you have and get the best benefit from them?

Sri Sri Swamiji:

Repeat the above statement written by you as a ‘sloka’ at all possible times. That is enough.


If the husband is the disciple a Guru, does the wife automatically become the disciple of the Guru?

Sri Sri Swamiji:

Yes, if the wife wishes so.


Is the reading of ‘Chatusloki Bhagavata’ equivalent to reading the entire ‘Bhagavata’? How many lines will be there in 'chathusloka bhagavatha'

Sri Sri Swamiji:

Comprising of a total of 7 verses, this is the ‘bheeja’ (seed) of Bhagavatam.

In order to provide vitamins to his body, a person takes vitamin tablets. Yet another takes delicious foods filled with vitamins to satisfy the same goal. Now, both tablets and delicious foods are means to the same goal of acquiring vitamins. But isn’t the latter more enjoyable and a pleasant method?

Reading the entire Bhagavatam is akin to the latter means of vitamin intake, where we read Bhagavatam with not only ‘punya’ in mind, but also for the blissful experience of reading it.


Does the remembrance of the Lord at the time of death depend on our past karma or because of spiritual endeavors during this life?

Sri Sri Swamiji:

The remembrance of the Lord at the time of the death is neither due to past karma nor due to the spiritual endeavors during this life. It is only due to the grace of the Guru or God.


It is said that "Madhava Swami was an attendant of Bhagavan Ramana. He was born as peacock in his next birth. But, isn’t this in contradiction to the statement of Bhagavan to another devotee? Specifically, the devotee who wishes to have initiation from Bhagavan only and says "if you do not give me initiation, even you have to take another birth, as only you will be my guru" -- to this Bhagavan says, "Once you come here, where is the question of another birth?"
I am unable to reconcile these two statements (assuming both are factual and correct). Kindly explain

Sri Sri Swamiji:

Bhagavan Ramana Himself never uttered that Madhava Swami being reborn as a peacock, nor did he confirm the statement.
It is only the belief of the Bhaktas that Madhava Swami was reincarnated as a peacock.


I wish to know what is causal body(‘karna sarira’) and ‘anandamaya kosa’. Are they same and what functions do they have?

Sri Sri Swamiji:

There are three bodies – the gross body (‘sthoola sarira’), subtle body (‘sukshma sarira’) and the causal body (‘karana sarira’). There are 5 Kosas.

The ‘anandamaya kosa’ is the ‘karana sarira’


Where are our latent tendencies or vasanas stored?

Sri Sri Swamiji:

The vasanas are stored in the causal body and are carried over by the subtle body.


Can women do Sashtanga Namaskar?

Sri Sri Swamiji:

According to the scriptures, only men are permitted to perform Sashtanga Namaskar.


It is incorrect to believe that God has a special preference for any one language. Numerous devotees have sung and spoken to the Lord in their respective native languages and won His grace.
-- Sri Sri Muralidhara Swamiji


शुक्रवार, 18 जुलाई, 2008 को 14:17 GMT तक के समाचार

लिखे जो ख़त तुझे, वो तेरी याद में...
प्यार में लोग क्या-क्या नहीं करते, इसकी ताज़ा मिसाल पेश की है ब्रिटेन के एक 82 वर्षीय प्रेमी ने.

टेड हार्वड ने 15 वर्षों की कड़ी मेहनत के बाद अपनी प्रेमिका को लिखे 98 पत्रों के दो हज़ार से अधिक टुकड़ों को दोबारा जोड़ दिया है.

टेड की पत्नी मॉली ने 1953 में अपने प्रेमी के लिखे सारे पत्र फाड़ डाले थे क्योंकि उन्होंने किसी और को वो ख़त पढ़ते देख लिया था.

1940 और 50 के दशक में यूरोप की यात्रा के दौरान टेड ने इंग्लैंड के कैम्ब्रिजशर में रहने वाली मॉली को होटलों के लेटरपैड पर अनेक पत्र लिखे थे.

अपनी पत्नी की मौत के बाद टेड ने 1993 में इन पत्रों को जोड़ना शुरू किया था, यह एक कठिन काम था क्योंकि मॉली ने सारे ख़तों को छोटे-छोटे टुकड़ों में फाड़कर एक तकिए के खोल में भर दिया था.

पिछले 15 वर्षों से टेड हर रोज़ एक घंटे का समय इन पत्रों को जोड़ने में लगा रहे थे. वे पहले ऊपर-नीचे के हिस्सों को जोड़कर बाक़ी टुकड़ों को उनके बीच में फिट करने की जुगत लगाते रहते थे.

टेड का कहना है कि वे अपनी पत्नी मॉली को बहुत याद करते हैं और इन ख़तों के सहारे वे बाक़ी का जीवन गुज़ार लेंगे.

वे कहते हैं, "ये पत्र मुझे सुहाने दिनों की याद दिलाते हैं, मुझे पहली ही नज़र में मॉली से प्यार हो गया था."

टेड का कहना है कि वे अपनी पत्नी की स्मृति को समर्पित करते हुए अपने संस्मरण लिखना चाहते हैं.

वे बताते हैं, "मुझे अच्छी तरह याद है कि 19 जुलाई 1948 को गाँव के एक मेले में मॉली से पहली बार मिला था, मुझे पहली ही नज़र में प्यार हो गया."

तब मॉली की उम्र 18 और टेड की 23 वर्ष थी, 1955 में दोनों ने शादी कर ली. उनके तीन बच्चे और छह पोते-पोतियाँ हैं.

टेड ने 'लाइफ़ ऑन द फ़ेन एज' नाम से एक किताब लिखी है जो जल्दी ही प्रकाशित होने वाली है, वे अपनी पत्नी को लिखे पत्रो पर भी एक किताब लिखना चाहते हैं.


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At 112, artist still going strong
Story Highlights
Frank Calloway, 112, paints murals at a mental facility in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Calloway has been institutionalized since 1952 after a diagnosis of schizophrenia

His work will be featured this fall at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (AP) -- Bent over or sitting at a table, gripping a ballpoint pen, marker or crayon, Frank Calloway spends his days turning visions from his youth into lively murals -- and at 112 years old, the images of his childhood are a window to another time.

Drawn on sheets of butcher paper and sometimes stretching to more than 30 feet long, the works mostly show rural agricultural scenes, with buildings, trains and vehicles straight out of the early 20th century.

And his colorful creations are gaining more attention in the art world.

The works by a man who has lived about half his life in state mental health centers will be part of an exhibit this fall at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

His caretakers have suspended sales of his artwork until after the show after finding out that some of his drawings could sell for thousands of dollars.

"They are unique in that they are of a rural, agrarian South, and they speak to a time gone by," said Sara Anne Gibson, executive director of the Kentuck Museum in Northport, Alabama, which hosted a monthlong exhibition of Calloway's works two years ago. See some of Calloway's artwork »

Calloway views art as his job and sits at a table by a window drawing for seven to nine hours a day, usually wearing blue denim overalls and a crisp dress shirt, said Nedra Moncrief-Craig, director of Alice M. Kidd Nursing Facility, a state home where Calloway lives.

"He draws all day long except for the time that he spends in activity and eating his meals," Moncrief-Craig said. "That's what he loves to do."

He was born July 2, 1896, and has lived in mental health centers since 1952, when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Moncrief-Craig said patient confidentiality prevents her from discussing his condition in depth but did say he shows signs of dementia. He lives in the geriatric division of the home on the Bryce Hospital campus in Tuscaloosa.

Details about Calloway's youth are few. He says he remembers growing up with brothers and, as a "little, bitty, little boy," playing under the quilts his mother made as if they were tents. He has no known family left, and there is no record of his ever being married.

He talks frequently about working hard and mentions laying railroad rails, cutting lumber, farming and working for a blacksmith, but there are no records of his life before he entered the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation system.

"I couldn't get time to go to school much, stopped in the third grade reader, that's all I could get, third grade reader," Calloway said. "A school teacher put me to drawing a long time ago, drawing pictures."

But aside from the occasional drawing, his talent lay dormant until he took an art class in the 1980s and began to draw again, which has continued to this day.

Calloway still has a full head of closely cropped white hair, gets around on his own and goes on excursions and restaurant outings organized by the nursing home, Moncrief-Craig said.

"Most people see his age. You know, what I see is his ability, the beauty that he actually puts on paper, that comes out of him and his mind," she said.

Calloway's circle of admirers extends outside Alabama.

"There's a presence with him, I'm telling you, that feels angelic," said Rebecca Hoffberger, founder and director of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, which will borrow 18 scrolls from Calloway for an exhibit in October called "The Marriage of Art, Science and Philosophy."

Hoffberger said she was charmed by Calloway's personality when she met him this year and equally impressed by his artwork.

"I was very dazzled by his choice of color," she said. "Also, there's a rhythm, maybe dictated by the long sheets of paper that he works on, that makes it seem like he's just going on and on, recording the memories of his life."

She said Calloway's work is a perfect fit for her museum, whose mission statement describes visionary art as that "produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself."

Hoffberger called Calloway brilliant and described looking through notebooks full of numbers he keeps and noticing that there was a definite logical pattern to the strings of figures. There is "an instinctive attraction to math that is so inherent in his work," she said.

Rows of numbers line the edges of some of his artwork, and he sometimes stops in the middle of conversations to methodically recite multiplication tables.

Calloway is content being quietly absorbed in his work, but he also enjoys talking if people ask questions, Moncrief-Craig said. He listens intently and responds at length in a deep, gravelly voice as he rocks gently back and forth, often punctuating the end of a story with a soft chuckle and a huge smile that lights up a broad face that has very few wrinkles.

Though he frequently goes on day trips outside the nursing home, Calloway seems to live in a long-gone era, pulling images from that time for his drawings, Moncrief-Craig said.

Last year, after a trip to Alabama's Gulf Coast, Calloway decided to draw boats. But the boats are big old riverboats propelled by paddlewheels, not the modern ones he'd actually seen.

Several years ago, when people started showing interest in buying Calloway's art, Moncrief-Craig decided he needed a guardian. Since 2006, Zondra Taylor Hutto has filled that role. The attorney is the Tuscaloosa County guardian, conservator and administrator for several residents, including Calloway.

Calloway used to give away some of his creations or sell them for $50, but Moncrief-Craig and Hutto have stopped dealing the work since an appraiser said they could be worth thousands. They hope to have more of an idea how much the art should go for after the Baltimore show.

Calloway has few expenses that aren't covered by Medicaid, so any profits will go into a special needs trust in his name so he won't lose his benefits. The money can be used for items such as art supplies that aren't covered by the government. When he dies, the remaining money will go to the state or to the state Medicaid agency, which has provided his care all these years.

Plans are for Calloway to attend the opening of the Baltimore show. It will be his first trip on an airplane and likely the first time he's left Alabama. Hutto said she looks forward to sharing his work with a wider audience.

"His art overcomes boundaries," she said. "People may say, 'Well, he's a folk artist. I don't like folk art.' But if you ever meet him, there is such life in what he creates, and you can't look at one of his paintings without seeing that smile, without seeing that gentle man."


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Celebrated soldier fell victim to 'demons'
Story Highlights
Enlisting after 9/11, Joseph Dwyer found himself at "the tip of the spear" in Iraq

He became famous after being photographed helping a boy near Baghdad

After his return, Dwyer increasingly lost touch with reality

31-year-old died in June after "huffing" cans of aerosol

PINEHURST, North Carolina (AP) -- Officers had been to the white ranch house many times before over the past year to respond to a "barricade situation." Each had ended uneventfully, with Joseph Dwyer coming out or telling police in a calm voice through the window that he was OK.

But this time was different.

The Iraq war veteran had called a taxi service to take him to the emergency room. But when the driver arrived, Dwyer shouted that he was too weak to get up and open the door.

The officers asked Dwyer for permission to kick it in.

"Go ahead!" he yelled.

They found Dwyer lying on his back, his clothes soiled with urine and feces. Scattered on the floor were dozens of spent cans of Dust-Off, a refrigerant-based aerosol normally used to clean electrical equipment.

Dwyer told police Lt. Mike Wilson he'd been "huffing" the aerosol.

"Help me, please!" the former Army medic begged Wilson. "I'm dying. Help me. I can't breathe."

A half-hour later, he was dead.

When Dionne Knapp learned of her friend's June 28 death, her first reaction was to be angry at Dwyer. How could he leave his wife and daughter like this? Didn't he know he had friends who cared about him, who wanted to help?

But as time passed, Knapp's anger turned toward the government.

A photograph taken in the first days of the war had made the medic from New York's Long Island a symbol of the United States' good intentions in the Middle East. When he returned home, he was hailed as a hero.

But for most of the past five years, the 31-year-old soldier had writhed in a private hell, shooting at imaginary enemies, sleeping in a closet bunker and trying desperately to huff away the "demons" in his head. When his personal problems became public, efforts were made to help him, but nothing seemed to work.

This broken, frightened man had once been the embodiment of American might and compassion. If the military couldn't save him, Knapp thought, what hope was there for the thousands suffering in anonymity?

"This is what I want to do"

Like many, Dwyer joined the military in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The son and brother of New York cops, he wanted to save people, not kill them. So he became a medic.

In 2002, Dwyer was sent to Fort Bliss, Texas, and immediately fell in with three colleagues: Angela Minor, Sgt. Jose Salazar and Knapp. They spent so much time together after work that comrades referred to them as the Four Musketeers.

Knapp had two young children and was going through a messy divorce. Dwyer stepped in as a surrogate dad, showing up in uniform at her son Justin's kindergarten and coming by the house to assemble toys that Knapp couldn't figure out.

When it became clear that the U.S. would invade Iraq, Knapp became distraught, confiding to Dwyer that she would rather disobey her deployment orders than leave her kids.

Dwyer asked to go in her place. When she protested, he insisted: "Trust me, this is what I want to do. I want to go."

Dwyer assured his parents, Maureen and Patrick -- and his new wife, Matina -- that he was being sent to Kuwait and would probably stay far from the action.

But Dwyer was attached to the 3rd Infantry's 7th Cavalry Regiment, what one officer called "the tip of the tip of the spear."

On March 25, 2003, near Baghdad, Iraq, Army Times photographer Warren Zinn watched as a man ran toward U.S. soldiers, carrying a white flag and his injured 4-year-old son. Zinn clicked away as Dwyer darted out to meet the man and then returned, cradling the boy in his arms.

The photo -- of a half-naked boy, a kaffiyeh scarf tied around his shrapnel-injured leg and his mouth set in a grimace of pain, and of a bespectacled Dwyer dressed in full battle gear, his M-16 rifle dangling by his side -- appeared on front pages and magazine covers around the world.

Suddenly, everyone wanted to interview the soldier in "the photo." The attention embarrassed Dwyer.

"Really, I was just one of a group of guys," he told a military publication. "I wasn't standing out more than anyone else."

A changed man

Returning to the U.S. in June 2003, after 91 days in Iraq, Dwyer seemed a shell to friends.

The 6-foot-1 soldier had dropped to about 165 pounds, causing the other Musketeers to immediately think of post-traumatic stress disorder. Dwyer attributed his skeletal appearance to long days and a diet of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), and his friends accepted the explanation.

But they soon noticed changes that were more than cosmetic.

At restaurants, Dwyer insisted on sitting with his back to the wall so no one could sneak up on him. He turned down invitations to the movies, saying the theaters were too crowded. The arid landscape around El Paso, and the dark-skinned Hispanic population, reminded him of Iraq.

Dwyer, raised Roman Catholic but never particularly religious before, now would spend lunchtime by himself, poring over his Bible.

When people would teasingly call him "war hero" and ask him to tell about his experiences or about the famous photo, he would steer the conversation toward the others he'd served with. Dwyer once confided that another image, also involving a child, disturbed him.

He was standing next to a soldier during a firefight when a boy rode up on a bicycle and stopped beside a weapon lying in the dirt. Under his breath, the soldier beside Dwyer whispered, "Don't pick it up, kid. Don't pick it up."

The boy reached for the weapon and was blasted off his bike.

In spring 2004, Dwyer was prescribed antidepressants and referred for counseling. But his behavior went from merely odd to dangerous.

One day, he swerved to avoid what he thought was a roadside bomb and crashed into a convenience store sign. He began answering his apartment door with a pistol in his hand and would call friends, babbling and disoriented from huffing.

In summer 2005, he was removed to the barracks for 72 hours after trashing the apartment looking for an enemy infiltrator. He was admitted to Bliss' William Beaumont Army Medical Center for treatment of his inhalant addiction.

But things continued to worsen. That October, the Musketeers decided it was time for an intervention.

Dwyer refused to surrender his guns but agreed to let Matina lock them up. Less than a week later, his paranoia reached a crescendo.

On October 6, 2005, Dwyer barricaded himself in his apartment. Imagining Iraqis swarming up the sides and across the roof, he fired his pistol through the door, windows and ceiling. After a three-hour police standoff, Dwyer was admitted for psychiatric treatment.

In a telephone interview later that month from what he called the "nut hut" at Beaumont, Dwyer told Newsday that he'd lied on a post-deployment questionnaire that asked whether he'd been disturbed by what he'd seen and done in Iraq. The reason: A PTSD diagnosis could interfere with his plans to seek a police job. Besides, he said, "I'm a soldier," he said. "I suck it up. That's our job."

Dwyer told the newspaper he was committed to embracing his treatment this time.

In January 2006, Joseph and Matina Dwyer moved back to North Carolina. But his shadow enemy followed him there.

Losing touch with reality

Dwyer was discharged from the Army in March 2006 and living off disability. That May, Matina Dwyer gave birth to a daughter, Meagan Kaleigh.

He seemed to be getting by, but setbacks would occur without warning.

In June 2007, Matina Dwyer told police her husband had become enraged when she took away his AR-15 assault rifle and threatened that "someone was going to die" if she didn't give it back. She moved out and sought a protective order.

The following month, Dwyer checked into an inpatient program at New York's Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He stayed for six months.

He came home in March with more than a dozen prescriptions. But within five days of his discharge, Dwyer's symptoms had returned with such ferocity that the family decided it was time to get Matina and 2-year-old Meagan out.

On April 10, Matina Dwyer filed for custody and division of property.

Dwyer's grip on reality loosened further. He was sleeping during the day and "patrolling" all night. Unable to possess a handgun, he placed knives around the house for protection.

In those last months, Dwyer opened up a little to his parents.

What bothered him most, he said, was the sheer volume of the gunfire. He talked about the grisly wounds he'd treated and dwelled on the people he was unable to save.

When Maureen Dwyer saw Zinn's photo, she'd had a premonition that her son wouldn't come home from Iraq.

"And he never did."

The health care "dance"

Police are treating Dwyer's death as an accidental overdose. Friends and family see it differently.

The day of the 2005 standoff, Knapp spent hours on the telephone trying to get help for Dwyer. She was frustrated by a military bureaucracy that would not act unless his petrified wife complained and with a civilian system that insisted Dwyer was the military's problem.

In a letter to post commander Maj. Gen. Robert Lennox, Knapp expressed anger that Army officials who were "proud to display him as a hero ... now had turned their back on him..." (Lennox said Dwyer "had a great (in my opinion) caregiver.")

Some wondered why the VA couldn't involuntarily commit Dwyer. But Dr. Antonette Zeiss, deputy chief of the VA's Office of Mental Health, said it's not that simple.

"Veterans are civilians, and VA is guided by state law about involuntary commitment," she said. "There are civil liberties, and VA respects that those civil liberties are important."

Zeiss said that although caregivers must be 100 percent committed to creating an environment in which veterans feel comfortable confronting their demons, the patient must be equally committed to following through.

"And so it's a dance between the clinicians and the patient."

Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, feels that the VA is a lousy dance partner.

"I consider [Dwyer] a battlefield casualty," he said, "because he was still fighting the war in his head."

Nightmares in his head

The Sunday after the Fourth of July, Knapp attended services at Scotsdale Baptist, the El Paso church where she and Dwyer had been baptized together in 2004.

On the way out of the sanctuary with her children, she checked her phone and noticed an e-mail: Joseph had been buried that day.

She made it to her car. Then she lost it.

Trying to explain, she told the kids that, just as they occasionally have nightmares, "sometimes people get those nightmares in their head and they just can't get them out, no matter what."

Despite the efforts she made to get help for Dwyer, Knapp is trying to cope with a deep-seated guilt. She knows that Dwyer shielded her from the images that had haunted him.

"I just owe him so much for that."

Since Dwyer's death, Justin, now 9, has taken to carrying a newspaper clipping of the Zinn photo around with him. He shows it to playmates and tells them about the soldier who used to come to his school and assemble his toys.

Justin wants them to know about Spc. Joseph Dwyer. His hero.

Check the box to include the list of links referenced in the article.

� 2008 Cable News Network

Friday, July 18, 2008


Self-important, obstinate, swept away by the pride of wealth, they ostentatiously perform sacrifices without any regard for their purpose. Egotistical, violent, arrogant, lustful, angry, envious of everyone, they abuse my presence within their own bodies and in the bodies of others.

-Bhagavad Gita 16:13–18

Thursday, July 17, 2008

BEHTI GANGA MEIN HAATH DHO LO, if you are a parliamentarian:

BEHTI GANGA MEIN HAATH DHO LO BHAIYO OR BEHANO, if you are a parliamentarian with a vote!Reply to all
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Sher Agrawal to bcc: AKS1001, bcc: anjalideshpande, bcc: CM, bcc: harigovind_s, bcc: Hindu_Rashtra, bcc: hinduhumanrigh., bcc: HinduUnity, bcc: JOSH18, bcc: larasati, bcc: LOCAPICA, bcc: Mahinder.wahi, bcc: MARYM, bcc: moekta, bcc: mohinder.37, bcc: News, bcc: pa1626, bcc: panorama, bcc: paswani, bcc: premendraagraw., bcc: Psinha67, bcc: rinmad, bcc: rukhsaar, bcc: shailesh54, bcc: sharmajagdish, bcc: Shrey_Shryans, bcc: SRIRAKU
show details 10:09 AM (0 minutes ago) Reply

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, Jul 17, 2008 at 9:37 AM
To: Undisclosed-Recipient


It is 'election-time' inside Lok Sabha proceedings, and government is on appeasing move for its voters (presently Parliamentarians). It is nothing but appeasing three valuable votes held in captivity by one of India's most opportunist politician Ajit singh that Union cabinet took a hurried decision to name Lucknow Airport after Ajit Singh's father Choudhary Charan Singh. It is most opportunist time that Ajit Singh may also force Manmohansingh government to announce Bharat Ratna for his father apart from brokering other undisclosed deals. It may be recalled that erstwhile Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had also once cleverly misused trump-card by awarding Bharat Ratna to MG Ramchandran to gain support of AIADMK.


(Guinness Record Holder for letters in Newspapers)

1775 Kucha Lattushah

Dariba DELHI 110006 (India)

Tel 23253636

Mobile 9810080011

Fax 23254036



Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Sher Agrawal

[sadhaka] On Cheerfulness of Mind - Gita 17:16 (July 16, 2008)

sadhak_insight Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 8:51 PM
:Shree Hari:

16th July, 2008, Wednesday
Aashaad Shukla Trayodashi, Vikram Samvat 2065, Budhvar

"Cheerfulness of mind, gentleness, calmness and contemplation, self-
control, purity of thought - are called, the penance of mind."
(Gita 17:16)

Manah prasaadah saumyatvam maunamaatmavinigrahah
Bhaavasamsuddhirityetattapo maanasamucyate." (Gita 17:16)

Let us focus just on the first word - "Cheerfulness of Mind." It is
called "Manahprasaadah. Cheerfulness due to contact of persons,
things, country, time, situations, circumstances, incidents etc., is
not permanent. It cannot stay with you at all times; because that
which comes and goes, is not the kind that remains the same at all

On leaving association of evils doers and actions, the ever present
and innate joy (inner cheerfulness, prasannataah) will manifest
naturally. This type of innate joy and cheerfulness remains at all
times. It seeps into the mind and intellect, and thereafter there
is never any loss of serenity and peace i.e. one remains joyful
(cheerful) at all times.

When does a man experience lack of peace, disturbances of the mind?
When he begins to depend on wealth, possessions, wife - son and
other perishable objects. Those things and persons that he is
depending on, are all the kind that are coming and going. It will
not remain stable with you. That is, in their coming together and
departing, the mind becomes restless. If the sadhak (spiritual
aspirant) leaves dependencies of those things that are temporary and
perishable, and depends only on Prabhu (God), who is Eternal and
Imperishable, then the meeting and departing of persons and things,
will not result in restlessness or loss of peace.

The method to remain cheerful (joyful) is -

1) One should remain free from attachment and aversion to persons,
objects, incidents and circumstances etc.

2) Out of egoism and selfishness, one must not be partial with any

3) One should fill the mind completely and entirely with divine
traits, such as compassion, forgiveness and generosity etc.

4) One should have feelings of welfare of all beings

5) One whose diet is balanced and regular, whose nature favors
living in solitude, who on being asked, shares at times insights
that are spiritually beneficial, in other words, speaks very little,
he who is moderate in sleep and recreation. In this manner, that
which is in accordance to the ordinance of the scriptures, such a
spiritual aspirant, gains cheerfulness (Joyfulness) of mind, very

From "Srimadh Bhagavad Gita - Sadhak Sanjivani" in English pg
1,800 and in Hindi pg 1,059 by Swami Ramsukhdasji.

Ram Ram

For full online discourses in Hindi, please visit Swami
Ramsukhdasji's website.
To gain clarification, please send questions to:
To read online books, visit:
To read all previous messages, please visit:
P.S. Please share this message to whomever you think can benefit
from the same



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SUBHASH MADHU to Undisclosed-Re.
show details 9:34 PM (9 hours ago) Reply


It refers to anti-public Haryana-government decision to allot high-value flats in premium location of Gurgaon and plots in Panchkula at subsidized-price much lower than market-value for all MPs and MLAs of Haryana. Is it proper to bear unnecessary and heavy revenue-leak to the exchequer for benefiting the elected ones in name of providing easily accessible accommodation near New Delhi for a limited term by providing prime-property for life? Logic of Haryana-government fails also when Parliamentarians from Haryana who already have accommodation in New Delhi, are also being given prime-property together with MLAs. If Haryana-government is so sensitive that its MLAs may have accommodation near New Delhi for public-good, it can provide flats to MLAs in Gurgaon for their terms as legislators. Likewise government-accommodation for their elected terms in Chandigarh leaves no logic for plots at Panchkula for life. Comptroller & Auditor General of India (CAG) should object to such a wrongful decision lest other states may follow likewise for benefiting their MPs and MLAs.

Study should be made about similar allotment of plots in Saket (New Delhi) to Parliamentarians decades ago.


(Guinness Record Holder for most letters in newspapers)

1775 Kucha Lattushah

Dariba DELHI 110006 (India)

Mobile 9810033711 Fax 23254036




---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Sher Agrawal"
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 05:33:23 -0700
Subject: Questions for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Respected Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji,

Namaskar. I have attended your five day course recently in Santa Clara, CA and am presently attending your evening course for three days at Hayat.

I am very much impressed with your courses and I am glad that you are instilling Yoga and Meditation especially amongst the Indian
origin young in the West, who do not have an inkling or idea of the Hindu religion and its derivatives which can benefit a human being to infinite happiness and prosperity. You are indeed sowing a seed which will bring out immense results for the mankind for its betterment in the immediate situations as also in the long run.

No doubt you are a gift of the Hindu Dharma and of India to the mankind.

At the beginning of the three day course a short film was shown, in which, among other things, was shown that how you have gone to the troubled spots of the world, like Kosovo, Iraq and Kashmir and met the leaders there in order to bring peace, etc. I particularly wish to ask you about Kashmir that as a result of your visit and meetings with the leaders there, will the Kashmiri Hindus be able to go back to their homes in Kashmir? Have some of them already gone back because of your message to the Moslems there.

My other question is that with the minorities presently ruling in India and being given preferences and reservations in every field, will the whole of India go the same way as Kashmir (which has happened during the independent India), i.e. will she become a Moslem/Christian dominated country. And Hindus eventuallly will either have to convert to Islam or be decimated? With the unchecked influx of moslems from Pakistan/Bangla Desh with the active encouragement of the Congress government for the vote bank it appears more than likely.

Sir, do you not see this ominous prospect for India? Or this is of no concern to you as your field is to spread yoga and meditation only irrespective of whatever happens to the country and the Hindu dharma. Also what, if anything, you have done or are able to do to save the Hindu dharm and Bharat Mata which has given personalities like you to the world.

Bhagwan aapki raksha karein aur ham sab ki bhi,



from Seattle, WA, USA
Tel: 425 802 7347 or
408 261 3263


Sher Agrawal


raphal saha Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 3:44 AM




Call to the Muslims of the World

From Faith Freedom International

Dear brothers and sisters in humanity and Dear Muslims.

THE tragic incident of September 11 has shocked the world. It is unthinkable how anyone could be so full of hate as to commit such heinous act and kill so many innocent people. We people of Muslim origin are as much shaken as the rest of the world and yet we find ourselves looked upon with suspicion and distrust by our neighbors and fellow citizens. We want to cry out and announce that we are not terrorists, that those who perpetrate such despicable act are murderers and are not part of us. But, in reality, because of our Muslim origin we just cannot erase the stigma of "Islamic Terrorists" from our identity!

Most Muslims believe: "Islam would never support killing innocent people. Allah of Holy Quran never advocated killings. This is all the work of a few misguided individuals. The real Islam is sanctified against violence. Islam means peace. Islam means tolerance."

But is it true? Does Islam really preach peace, tolerance and non-violence? Those Muslims who perpetrate crimes in the name of Allah think differently. They believe that what they do is a Jihad (holy war). They say that killing the unbelievers is mandatory for every Muslim. They do not kill because they break the laws of Islam but because they think this is what a true Muslim should do. Those who blow up their own bodies to kill more innocent people do so because they think they will be rewarded in Paradise. They hope to be blessed by Allah, eat celestial food, drink pure wine and enjoy the company of divine consorts.

Are they completely misguided? Where did they get this distorted idea? How did they come to believe that killing innocent people pleases God? Or is it that we are misguided? Does Islam really preach violence? Does it call upon its believers to kill the "non-believers" ? We denounce those who commit acts of violence and call them extremists. But are they really extremists or do they actually do what the Holy book of Quran tells them to do? What does the Quran really teach? Have we read the Quran? Do we know what kind of teachings are there? Let us go through some of them and take a closer look at what Allah says.

What The Qur'an Teaches:

QURAN tells us to: "not to make friends with Jews and Christians" (5:51), fight them "until they pay the Jizya (a penalty tax for the non-Muslims living under Islamic rules) with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued" ( 9:29). "kill the disbelievers wherever we find them" (2:191), "murder them and treat them harshly" (9:123), "fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem" ( 9:5). Quran says that all those who disbelieve in Islam go to hell (5:10), they are najis (filthy, untouchable, impure) (9:28), and orders us to fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left (2:193). It prohibits a Muslim to befriend a non-believer even if that non-believer is the father or the brother of that Muslim (9:23), (3:28). It says that the "non-believers will go to hell and will drink boiling water" (14:17). It asks the Muslims to "slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers, that they be expelled from the land with disgrace and that they shall have great punishment in the world hereafter" (5:34). And tells us that "for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods" (22:19-22) and that they not only will have "disgrace in this life, on the Day of Judgment He shall make them taste the Penalty of burning (Fire)" (22:9).

Quran says that "those who invoke a god other than Allah not only should meet punishment in this world but the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to them, and they will dwell therein in ignominy" (25:68). For those who "believe not in Allah and His Messenger, He has prepared, for those who reject Allah, a Blazing Fire!" (48:13).

As for him who does not believe in Islam the Prophet says that after he dies it will be announced with a "stern command": "Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire. Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits! This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High. And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! So no friend hath he here this Day. Nor hath he any food except the corruption from the washing of wounds, Which none do eat but those in sin." (69:30-37)

The holy Prophet prescribes fighting for us and tells us that "it is good for us even if we dislike it" (2:216). Then he advises us to "strike off the heads of the disbelievers"; and after making a "wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives" (47:4). Our God has promised to "instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers" and has ordered us to "smite above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them" (8:12). and "to strike terror into (the hearts of the enemies" (8:60).

He has made the Jihad mandatory and warns us that "Unless we go forth, (for Jihad) He will punish us with a grievous penalty, and put others in our place" (9:39). Allah speaks to our Holy Prophet and says "O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and be stern against them. Their abode is Hell,- an evil refuge indeed" (9:73).

He promises us that in the fight for His cause whether we slay or are slain we return to the garden of Paradise (9:111). In Paradise he will "wed us with Houris (celestial virgins) pure beautiful ones" (56:54), and unite us with large-eyed beautiful ones while we recline on our thrones set in lines (56:20). There we are promised to eat and drink pleasantly for what we did (56:19). And have sex with "boys like hidden pearls" (56:24) and "youth never altering in age like scattered pearls" (76:19)

As you see, Allah has promised all sorts of rewards, gluttony and unlimited sex to Muslim men who kill the unbelievers in his name, not forgetting even those with pedophilic inclinations. We will be admitted to Paradise where we shall find "goodly things, beautiful ones, pure ones confined to the pavilions that man has not touched them before nor jinni" (56:67-71).

In the West we enjoy freedom of belief but we are not supposed to give such freedom to anyone else because it is written "If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good) (3:85).

As for women, the book of Allah says that they are inferior to men and their husbands have the right to scourge them if they are found disobedient (4:34). It advises men to take a green branch and beat their wives, because a green branch is more flexible and hurts more. (38:44). It teaches that women will go to hell if they are disobedient to their husbands (66:10). It maintains that men have an advantage over the women (2:228). It not only denies the women's equal rights, it decrees that their witness is not admissible in the courts of law (2:282). This means that a woman who is raped cannot accuse her rapist unless she can produce a male witness. Our Holy Prophet allows us to marry up to four wives and he licensed us to sleep with our slave maids and as many 'captive' women as we may have (4:3) even if those women are already married. He himself did just that.

[A word of warning for those who may find their version of Quran is translated differently from those appearing in this article: Almost all the translators of Quran have deliberately tried to soften the harsh verses of Quran. Yusufali especially goes out of his way to twists the meaning of the words and hide the harshness of Quran. For example he translates the verse (38:44) that says "take a green branch and beat your wife" as "take a little green grass and strike therewith". Or when he translates the verse (4:34) that says "beat your wife" he cannot help it but to add the word (lightly) in parenthesis.]

Dear fellow Muslims: Is this the Islam you believe in? Is this your Most Merciful, Most Compassionate Allah whom you worship daily? Could God incite us to kill other peoples? Please understand that there is no terrorist gene but there could be a terrorist mindset. That mindset finds its most fertile ground in the tenets of Islam. Denying it and presenting Islam as a religion of peace similar to Buddhism to the lay public is suppression of truth. The history of Islam between 7th and 14th century is riddled with violence, fratricide and wars of aggression, starting right from the death of the Prophet and during the so-called 'pure' or orthodox caliphate. And Muhammad himself hoisted the standard of killing, looting, massacres and bloodshed. How can we deny the entire history? The behavior of our Holy Prophet as recorded in authentic Islamic sources is quite questionable from a modern viewpoint. The Prophet was a charismatic man but he had few virtues. Imitating him in all aspects of life (following Sunnah) is firstly impossible and secondly dangerous in the 21st century. Why are we so helplessly in denial on this simple issue?

When the Prophet was in Mecca and he was still not powerful enough he called for tolerance. He said "To you be your religion, and to me my religion" (109:6). This famous quote is often misused to prove that the general principle of Quran is tolerance. He advised his follower to speak good to their enemies (2:83), exhorted them to be patient (Q. 20:103) and said that "there is no compulsion in religion" (2:256). But all that changed drastically when he came to power. Then killing and slaying the unbelievers was justified in innumerable verses with harshness and without mercy. The verses quoted to prove Islam's tolerance ignore many other verses that bear no trace of tolerance or forgiveness. Is it normal that a book revealed by God should have so many serious contradictions?

The Prophet himself set the example of unleashing violence by invading the Jewish settlements breaking the treaties he had signed with them and banished some of them after confiscating their belongings massacring others and taking their wives and children as slaves. He inspected the youngsters and massacred all those who had pubic hair along with the men and those who were younger he kept as slaves. He distributed the women captured in his raids among his soldiers keeping the prettiest for himself (33:50). He made sexual advances on Safiyah a Jewish girl in the same day he captured her town, Kheibar, and killed her father, husband and many of her relatives. Reyhana was another Jewish girl of Bani Quraiza whom he used as sex slave after killing all her male relatives. In the last ten years of his life he accumulated a score of wives, concubines and sex slaves including the nine-year-old Ayesha.

These are not stories but records from authentic Islamic history and the Hadiths. It can be argued that these behaviors were not unknown or unusual for the conquerors and leaders of the mediaeval world but these are not the activities befitting of a peaceful saint and certainly not of someone who claimed to be the Mercy of God for all the creation.

There were known assassinations of adversaries during the Prophet's time, that took place at his behest. Among them there was a 120-year-old man, Abu 'Afak whose only crime was to compose a lyric satirical of the Prophet. (Kitab al Tabaqat al Kabir, Volume 2, by Bin Sa'd, page 32) Then when a poetess, a mother of 5 small children, 'Asma' Bint Marwan, wrote a poetry cursing the Arabs for letting Muhammad assassinate an old man, our Holy Prophet ordered her to be assassinated too in the middle of the night, which was carried out while her youngest child was suckling from her breast. (Sirat Rasul Allah, A. Guilaume's translation, The Life of Muhammad, page 675, 676).

Dear conscientious Muslims: Question yourselves – isn't this compulsive dogma of following a man who lived 1400 years ago, leading us to doom in this changing world? Who are we deceiving? See how our Umma (people) have sunk into poverty and how we lag behind the rest of the world? Isn't it because we are following a religion that is outdated and impractical? In this crucial moment of history, when a great catastrophe has befallen us and a much bigger one is lying ahead, should not we wake up from our 1400 years of slumber and see where things have gone wrong? The hatred has filled the air and the world is bracing itself for its doomsday. Should we not ask ourselves whether we have contributed, unwittingly, to this tragedy and whether we can stop the great disaster from happening?

Unfortunately the answer to the first question is yes. Yes, we have contributed to the rise of fundamentalism by merely claiming Islam is a religion of peace, by simply being a Muslim and by saying our shahada (testimony that Allah is the only God and Muhammad is his messenger). By our shahada we have recognized Muhammad as a true messenger of God and his book as the words of God. But as you saw, those words are anything but from God. They call for killing, they are prescriptions for hate and they foment intolerance. And when the ignorant among us read those hate laden verses, they act on them and the result is the infamous September 11, the result is human bombs in Israel, massacres in East Timor and Bangladesh, kidnappings and killings in Philippines, slavery and genocide in Sudan, honor Killings in Pakistan and Jordan, torture in Iran, stoning and maiming in Afghanistan and Iran, violence in Algeria, terrorism in Palestine and misery and death in all Islamic countries. We are responsible because we endorsed Islam and hailed it as a religion of God. And we are as guilty as those who put into practice what Quran preaches and ironically we are the main victims too.

If we are not terrorists, if we love peace, if we cried with the rest of the world for what happened in NYC, then why are we supporting Quran that preaches killing, that advocates holy war, that calls for murder of non-Muslims? It is not the extremists who have misunderstood Islam. They do literally what Quran ask them to do. It is we who misunderstand Islam. We are the ones who are confused. We are the ones who wrongly assume that Islam is the religion of peace. Islam is not a religion of peace. In its so-called pure form it can very well be interpreted as a doctrine of hate. Terrorists are simply doing that and we the intellectual apologists of Islam are justifying it.

We can stop this madness. Yes we can avert the disaster that is hovering over our heads. Yes we can denounce the doctrines that promote hate. Yes we can embrace the rest of humanity with love. Yes, we can become part of a united world, members of one human family, flowers of one garden. We can dump the claim of infallibility of our Book and the questionable legacy of our Prophet.

Dear friends, there is no time to waste. Let us put an end to this lie. Let us not fool ourselves. Islam is not a religion of peace, of tolerance, of equality or of unity of humankind. Let us read the Quran. Let us face the truth even if it is painful. As long as we keep this lie alive, as long as we hide our head in the sands of Arabia we are feeding terrorism. As long as you and I keep calling Quran the unchangeable book of God, we cannot blame those who follow the teachings therein. As long as we pay our Khums and Zakat our money goes to promote Islamic expansionism and that means terrorism, Jihad and war.

Islam divides the world in two parts: Darul Harb (land of war) and Darul Islam (land of Islam). Darul Harb is the land of the infidels, Muslims are required to infiltrate those lands, proselytize and procreate until their number increase and then start the war and fight and kill the people and impose the religion of Islam on them and convert that land into Darul Islam.

In all fairness we denounce this betrayal. This is an abuse of trust. How can we make war in the countries that have sheltered us? How can we kill those who have befriended us? Yet willingly or unwillingly we have become pawns in this Islamic Imperialism. If this sound to you abhorrent, we ask you how can you support a doctrine that is so deceiving, so cunning and so ruthless? Let us see what great Islamic scholars have to say in this respect.

Dr M. Khan, the translator of Sahih Bukhari and the Quran into English wrote: "Allah revealed in Sura Bara'at (Repentance, IX) the order to discard (all) obligations (covenants, etc), and commanded the Muslims to fight against all the Pagans as well as against the people of the Scriptures (Jews and Christians) if they do not embrace Islam, till they pay the Jizia (a tax levied on the Jews and Christians) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued (as it is revealed in (9:29). So the Muslims were not permitted to abandon "the fighting" against them (Pagans, Jews and Christians) and to reconcile with them and to suspend hostilities against them for an unlimited period while they are STRONG and have the ability to fight against them. So at first "the fighting" was forbidden, then it was permitted, and after that it was made obligatory.” [Introduction to English translation of Sahih Bukhari, p.xxiv.]

Dr Sobhy as-Saleh, a contemporary Islamic academician, quoted Imam Suyuti the author of Itqan Fi 'Ulum al-Qur'an who wrote: The command to fight the infidels was DELAYED UNTIL THE MUSLIMS BECOME STRONG, but when they were weak they were commanded to endure and be patient. [Sobhy as-Saleh, Mabaheth Fi 'Ulum al-Qur'an, Dar al-'Ilm Lel-Malayeen, Beirut, 1983, page 269.]

Dr Sobhy, in a footnote, commends the opinion of a scholar named Zarkashi who said: "Allah the most high and wise revealed to Mohammad in his weak condition what suited the situation, because of his mercy to him and his followers. For if He gave them the command to fight while they were weak it would have been embarrassing and most difficult, but when the most high made Islam victorious He commanded him with what suited the situation, that is asking the people of the Book to become Muslims or to pay the levied tax, and the infidels to become Muslims or face death. These two options, to fight or to have peace return according to the strength or the weakness of the Muslims." [ibid p. 270]

Other Islamic scholars (Ibn Hazm al-Andalusi, Ga'far ar-Razi, Rabi' Ibn 'Ons, 'Abil-'Aliyah, Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Zayd Ibn 'Aslam, etc.) agree that the verse "Slay the idolaters wherever you find them" (9:5) cancelled those few earlier verses that called for tolerance in Quran and were revealed when Islam was weak.

Can you still say that Islam is the religion of peace?


WE know too well that it is not easy to denounce our faith as it means denouncing a part of ourselves. We are a group of freethinkers and humanists with Islamic roots. Discovering the truth and leaving the religion of our fathers and forefathers was a painful experience. But after learning what Islam stands for, we had no choice but to leave it. After becoming familiar with the Quran, the choice became clear: it is either Islam or it is humanity. If Islam is to thrive, humanity has to die.

We decided to side with humanity. We are still Muslims culturally but we no more believe in Islam as the true religion of God. We are humanists. We love humanity. We endeavor for the unity of humankind. We work for equality between men and women. We strive for secularization of Islamic countries, for democracy and freedom of thoughts, beliefs and expressions. We have decided not to live anymore in self-deception but to embrace humanity, enter into the new millennium hand in hand with people or other cultures and beliefs in amity and in peace. We denounce the violence that is eulogized in Quran as holy war (Jihad). We condemn killing in the name of God. We believe in sacredness of human life, not in the inviolability of beliefs and religions. And we invite you to join us and the rest of the humanity and be part of the family of humankind with love, camaraderie and peace.

Faith Freedom International

THIS message was sent by Faith Freedom International to several newspapers for publication. Faith Freedom Foundation is an organization of freethinking Muslims and Secular Individuals who uphold the concept of secular humanism. []

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Quotes from the Holy Quran and Holy Hadith.doc


Monday, July 14, 2008


Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:34 am (PDT)

Author: R. Frank on Friday, July 11, 2008 - 12:58 AM Printable page Email to a friend
From: R. Frank

Yes. Mohammed was undoubtedly a pedophile.

One of the most disturbing things about Islam is that it does not categorically condemn pedophilia. Indeed, it cannot, for to do so would draw attention to the pedophilia of Mohammed, the founder of Islam. Mormonism has the same problem with its founder, Joseph Smith. Mormons cannot categorically condemn pedophilia either without denouncing Smith as a false prophet. Smith took 30 wives, one a 14-year-old. He planned unsuccessfully to marry a 12-year-old. Mohammed had planned to marry a baby, but she died as a result of an attempted poisoning before he could do so. The two men were false prophets, they created their own alleged revelations and they were pedophiles. History does repeat itself.

Pedophilia is the sexual exploitation of children. The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders says that pedophilia is "an abnormal interest in children…a disorder that is characterized by recurrent intense sexual urges and sexually arousing fantasies generally involving…children, or other nonconsenting persons. Pedophilia is also a psychosexual disorder in which the fantasy or actual act of engaging in sexual activity with prepubertal children is the preferred or exclusive means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification…Pedophilia is defined by mental health professionals as a mental disorder, but the American legal system defines acting on a pedophilic urge as a criminal act."

Please note the words: "the preferred…means of achieving sexual excitement and gratification." From the age of 54 until 64, Mohammed preferred the very young Aisha to the rest of his large harem and sex slaves. He had fantasies about Aisha before asking for her hand. He passed these fantasies off as "revelations" from the Supreme Being.

The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders: "Some researchers attribute pedophilia to arrested emotional development; that is, the pedophile is attracted to children because he or she has never matured psychologically. Some regard pedophilia as the result of a distorted need to dominate a sexual partner. Since children are smaller and usually weaker than adults, they may be regarded as non-threatening potential partners. This drive for domination is sometimes thought to explain why most pedophiles are males."

Mohammed's emphasis on controlling or dominating others and his use of savage, irresistible force to make them "submit" to his will is consistent with the narcissistic urges of a pedophile who enjoys the domination and submission of a small, vulnerable person.

James Hord, a psychologist in Panama City, Florida, who specializes in treating sexually abused children, agrees that pedophiles "need to feel they have power and control in a relationship, which is easy with children."

Pedophilia is an abuse of power.

The Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders: "Some pedophiles offer rationalizations or excuses that enable them to avoid assuming responsibility for their actions."

Mohammed rationalized and excused every urge to dominate and control others, even to commit the sin of pedophilia, by using Allah as his alter ego, offering him a perfect justification for his other brutalities as well. The compliant source of his revelations gave Mohammed whatever justification he needed for unethical behavior.

The American Psychiatric Association says: "An adult who engages in sexual activity with a child is performing a criminal and immoral act that never can be considered normal or socially acceptable behavior."

Dutch psychologist Gerard van den Aardweg points out that "non-coerced" sex is a misnomer because there is always an element of coercion -- involving a misuse of adult authority, [my italics] and a misuse of the child's need for affection. If a researcher sees no harm, "it may be because he is using the wrong glasses...not because there is nothing to see."

Dr. David Finkelhor, a leading U.S. researcher in the field of child sexual abuse, describes some of the consequences of childhood seduction: confusion about sexual identity and sexual norms; inability to differentiate sex from love; confusion between care-getting and care-giving, with lowered respect for adult authority; guilt, shame, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, depression, vulnerability to drug and alcohol abuse, and impaired ability to judge the trustworthiness of others.

"Ultimately," says Dr. Finkelhor, "I do continue to believe that the prohibition on adult-child sexual contact is primarily a moral issue. While empirical findings have some relevance, they are not [to be] the final arbiter."

Fallacious Arguments from Islamists:

Arguing that Mohammed reflected the practices of his time is to admit that Mohammed was not inspired by God and he was a false prophet. He did not raise the bar of morality to adult monogamy, but behaved the same as pagans. Moreover, by making marriage alliances, he revealed his true motive was his personal political power, rather than the religious or moral betterment of society. Far from showing Mohammed as a moral leader, this argument shows the reverse: that Mohammed was morally a pagan and a scheming politician. True revelation would have categorically denounced pedophilia as evil.

Islamists further use the "Fallacy of the Circular Argument" or "Begging the Question" to answer this question. They begin by stating "Mohammed was a moral example given by God, so he could not be pedophile." They are merely "begging" us to believe that Mohammed's character was excellent in spite of evidence to the contrary. Since no moral person could be a pedophile, they conclude Mohammed was not a pedophile. This is the basic Islamic argument, but this reasoning is circular and fallacious. There were many people in Mohammed's day who considered him immoral. The Hadiths record that he had most of them exterminated. The use of violence to persuade others to "submit" is not a moral argument, but another logical fallacy. The Fallacy of the Appeal to Force in place of a reasoned argument is the most prevalent argument in the Hadiths and Koran.


Obviously, we all cringe when we think of pedophilia and acknowledge that it is a shameful act of immorality, whether committed by Mohammed, Joseph Smith, a priest or others. The main conclusions of this article are

1) Mohammed was a pedophile because he preferred his child bride to the others and planned to marry a baby.

2) not everyone at the time approved of his marriage to Aisha,

3) Mohammed's pedophilia and multiple marriages caused huge scandals in his small community that required special revelations to restore confidence in him; these are recorded at length in the Koran,

4) a true prophet would have been inspired by the Supreme Being to denounce the evil of pedophilia, rather than commit it,

5) pedophilia is backward, uncivilized and barbaric and destroys the life of a woman,

6) Muslims cannot condemn pedophilia even if they would like to, for they would have to abandon Islam. Muslims tacitly approve of pedophilia, even if they are embarrassed to say so. So mesmerized are Muslims by the example of Mohammed's pedophilia that they are unable to categorically denounce pedophilia or feel shame. It is prevalent in many Muslim countries disguised as child marriage. The UN is today trying to stop the evil of child marriage among the backward Islamic regions of Asia and Africa. The future of some 300 million young girls depends on it.


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"Islamic Separatism and Kashmir - A Pattern of Jihad That Must End,"
Posted by: "Dalip Langoo" dlangoo
Sun Jul 13, 2008 11:35 am (PDT)
"Islamic Separatism and Kashmir - A Pattern of Jihad That Must End," Panel Concludes
A Panel Discussion exploring the relationship between religion and the Kashmiri tangle was held on July 9, 2008, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, at MIT, Cambridge, MA. The panelists were Dr. Andrew Bostom, Dr. Subramanium Swamy, Mr. Asoke Pandit, Mr. Ashwani Chungroo, and Dr. Mahesh Mehta. Dr. Bikash Verma served as the moderator. Over 150 people attended the panel discussion.
The five experts deliberated on the role that Islamic theology has played in shaping the Kashmiri conflict. The conflict they concluded was primarily rooted in the non-negotiable desire of Islamists to have absolute and brutal domination over parts of the world where Muslims are in majority.. Dr. Subramanian Swamy, a prominent Indian lawmaker and former minister in Indian cabinet, suggested that only through resolution and determination, dangerous ideologies like the one which drives Kashmiri separatism can be arrested and contained. He argued that progress in this direction will come only if Hindus of India develop clarity on questions pertaining to their identity, and collectively resolve to deter the global rise of Islamic fanaticism through ways which are effective, direct, forthright and yet consistent with modern civilizational norms.
The evening started with a social hour, in which everyone enjoyed the delicious snacks provided.
Dr. Bikash Verma opened the evening by introducing himself and the panelists. "The problem of Kashmir is multi-dimensional: political, cultural, strategic, historical, and religious," noted Dr. Verma. "While significant attempts have been made to understand Kashmir from these diverse standpoints, the role played by religion in the tangle has been more or less ignored." The panel discussion attempted to understand Kashmir from a religious standpoint.
A very moving and graphic documentary on terrorism in Kashmir and the forced exodus of Hindus from Kashmir made by Mr. Ashoke Pandit, one of the panelist, a prolific author and a cultural activist from Kashmir valley, brought tears to the eyes of the many in the audience. The film clearly traced the trigger for the violent exodus to Madam Benazir Bhutto's hateful, exhortations. That fiery speech ignited the Muslim separatist in Kashmir valley against the Hindus. The propaganda spawned deep Muslim hatred against all “non-believers”. Ms. Bhutto repeatedly called for “jihad” against all non-Muslims. Directed and produced by Mr. Pandit, the documentary vividly captured the chronology of the turbulence that resulted from that deliberate and violent act.
The film questioned why intellectuals, humanitarians, the Indian Parliament, indeed the whole world remained silent against this holocaust.. Mr. Pandit said that Kashmir was just a trailer, a teaser of how terrorism would affect not only India but the whole world. The havoc wreaked in the Mumbai blasts, in which 200 people were killed in just 3 minutes, was a portent of things to come. He called on the saints of India to unite the people to fight against terrorism and the rights of the Hindus in their own land.
Dr. Andrew G.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Widowed Indian returns alleging torture

Indian American couple to pay $1 mn to maids in slavery case
Indian is Britain's youngest doctor
Spanish police apologises to Sikh NRI for removing turban
Indian doc finally listed as WTC victim
UK allows Indian professionals to return
British Police chief denies race bias
Over 3,000 Indian workers detained in Abu Dhabi
Bomb found on bus with Indians in Afghanistan

Do Indian students face bias in the West?

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Press Trust of India
Saturday, July 12, 2008 (Attari (Punjab))
After her fairytale online courtship and marriage across the border abruptly ended in widowhood two months ago, a pregnant Asha Patil on Saturday returned to India alleging that she was kept imprisoned in a room for many days by her in-laws in Lahore.

The Mumbai resident, who took the name Ayesha Khalid on converting to Islam, told reporters at the Wagah-Attari border that she underwent ''mental agony and physical torture'' after her husband Mumtaz Khalid, a Lahore stockbroker, died.

''We had gone to attend a marriage where Khalid suffered a massive heart attack and died. Just two days earlier, we had come to know that I was two months pregnant,'' she said.

The 28-year-old said she experienced ''a hellish life'' from then on, with Khalid's brother-in-law Yasin Chattha and parents ''keeping me imprisoned in a single room for many days''.

Patil alleged that the family mounted pressure on her to leave Pakistan as soon as possible, holding her responsible for Khalid's death, but thanked the Pakistani government, media and people for their cooperation and support.

She expressed gratitude to Lahore police who on the instance of a local NGO and politicians ''rescued me from solitary confinement''.

The young widow plans to go back during the advanced stages of pregnancy and also intends a pilgrimage to Mecca.

''It was my husband's wish that the child should be born on Pakistan's soil. He told me that if it's a boy he should be named Khalid and if a girl, the name should be Fatima,'' Patil said.

Patil said Chattha was arrested by Lahore police following her complaint and granted interim bail after a ''written assurance'' from the family that she would neither be harassed nor prevented from going to India.

Her in-laws had returned her jewellery and passport and the Pakistani authorities made arrangements for her return to Mumbai.

''I have been also been provided police protection at the Hasilpur residence of my husband in Lahore,'' she said.

For the past few weeks, Ayesha had been living with a cleric associated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam in Lahore.

Her marriage was the culmination of a protracted courtship of six years after meeting in an Internet chatroom in 2000.

The couple married on the web in 2006 and Patil converted to Islam before coming to Pakistan last year.

After Khalid's death at the age of 30, Patil registered an FIR against her in-laws accusing them of harassing and torturing her.

Story Finder 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002


Widowed Indian returns alleging torture
Indian is Britain's youngest doctor
Spanish police apologises to Sikh NRI for removing turban
Indian doc finally listed as WTC victim
UK allows Indian professionals to return
British Police chief denies race bias
Over 3,000 Indian workers detained in Abu Dhabi
Bomb found on bus with Indians in Afghanistan

Indo-Asian News Service
Saturday, July 12, 2008 (New York)
A multi-millionaire Indian American couple, already sentenced to jail for virtually enslaving two Indonesian maids, has been ordered by a US court to pay nearly $1 million in back wages to the women.

The federal judge ruled on Friday that the workers were entitled to double the amount of unpaid wages they were owed by their employers, Mahender and Varsha Sabhnani.

The victims, identified only as Samirah and Enung, deserved the money because they ''were beaten, tortured and subjected against their will'' while they worked 24 hours a day and seven days a week for the Sabhnani household in Muttotown in Long Island, US District Judge Arthur Spatt in Central Islip said in the ruling.

The Sabhnanis, who run an international perfumes business, have been ordered to pay Samirah, who worked for them from Feb 2002 to May 2007, $620,744, while Enung, who worked at their house from Jan 2005 to May 2007 is owed $315,802.

Judge Spatt also said the federal government could seize not only the Sabhnanis' house, but also an attached office of the couple's multimillion-dollar perfume company. The estimate value of the home and office is $2 million.

After the ruling, Varsha Sabhnani's lawyer, Jeffrey Hoffman, told a daily, ''We continue to believe the Court of Appeals will reverse the convictions and the financial judgments''.

While the prosecutors had claimed that the actual wages amounted to $1.1 million, the Sabhnanis' defence lawyers said that figure was vastly exaggerated and pared it down to $214,000.

The women, who were brought as household helps from Indonesia, had testified in court that they were beaten with brooms and umbrellas, slashed with knives and forced to take cold water showers for perceived ''mistakes''.

The Sabhnanis were convicted in December last year on 12 counts including modern-day slavery, forced labour, involuntary servitude and harbouring illegal aliens.

Varsha, 46, was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined $25,000, a punishment some Indian Americans found too harsh, while her 51-year-old husband was sentenced to three years and four months in prison and fined $12,500.

Story Finder 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

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Saturday, July 12, 2008


Without blame or praise
Anger or rejoicing.

He gives nothing.
He takes nothing.

He wants nothing,
Nothing at all.

-Ashtavakra Gita 17:13
From "The Heart of Awareness


Subject: Fw: Art of Living Foundation in Dallas claims to be not Hindu

Is this news true? How can true Hindus understand and accept this?

--- On Sat, 7/12/08, Naresh Khanna wrote:

From: Naresh Khanna
Subject: Art of Living Foundation in Dallas claims to be not Hindu
To: "Rana Kumar"
Date: Saturday, July 12, 2008, 10:57 AM

Ajay Nair and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar... A comparison

If Ajay Nair at Columbia University, called the honor killing an aberration on otherwise peaceful

South Asian families, thereby completely obfuscating the disctinction between Hindus and Muslims;

thereby failing entirely to acknoledge that honor killing is a frequent Muslim occurrence, and

has nothing to do with Hinduism; thereby selling out the Hindus to the South Asian identity - here

is another embarrassment.

Today, the Art of Living Foundation in Dallas is holding an event in Dallas, where Rishi Nithya

Pragya is being featured. When we asked for permission from them to distribute the Hindu Unity

Day Flyer to the audience at that event, we were refused permission based on the fact that

"The Art of Living" is not a Hindu Religion based organization.

Such is the state of our people - They take the word "Rishi", "Nithya" and "Pragya"; They do

"Sudarshan Kriya"; sing "Bhajans" and "Kirtans" praising "Rama" and "Krishna" and then

they turn around and say "They are not a Hindu organization". Hinduism gives and gives, and

allows anyone to take anything from it - Thus it is possible for anyone to take "Some Yoga;

Some Philosophy; Some Pranayama: some Karma Yoga" and rebrand it as "Jeevan

Mukti Yoga" or "Transcendental Meditation" etc. and give it a new sounding name, and on top

of it simply refuse to acknowledge where they got it from - i.e. and say that they are not a Hindu

based group at all.

May be it is a marketing gimmick - May be it is a way of attracting non-Hindus to the Art of Living;

May be it is a way of bringing people into something without the Hindu word associated with it;

But I would prefer that they had the guts to invite non-Hindus to Hindu Dharma; and not take

things from Hindu Dharma and resell it as something else.

It is at this point that I am torn between my love and admiration for Sri Sri Ravishankar, my pride

and regard for all that he has accomplished and my pain at their inability to acknowledge

that this too is Hinduism; This too is Sanatana Dharma; This too is knowledge that came to

us from the Rishis.

Let's contrast this with Bhagwan Shri Krishna in the Bhagvad Gita, who says, candidly to Arjuna,

"I am not teaching you anything new - It has always been part of a tradition".

Sri Sri Ravishankar has a responsibility to clean up the image of Hinduism - Not avoid it, and take

everything from it and repackage it and resell it as something else. In the process he may attract

many foreigners to the Art of Living, but he also creates numerous Hindus who get even more

confused about their own "Hindu-ness".

I would like to know why Sri Sri Ravishankar believes that the Art of Living is not a Hindu based

organization. I want him to define what indeed is the Hinduism that he so wants to avoid ? How

is this Hinduism different from Sanatana Dharma ? Or is he now teaching something that is even

outside the pale of Sanatana Dharma itself ?

It is a pipedream - that people think they can attain some kind of spiritual growth, and even attain to

Moksha without first attending to Dharma. No amount of breathing, bhajans and kirtans will help

us attain to Moksha, until we discover Dharma in our lives. And part of our Dharma is to protect

that Dharma itself. Merely doing Pujas, and singing Bhajans and chanting something is not enough.

I wish I could do something about this too. I am afraid we have a long way to go.

Kalyan Viswanathan

614-668-1668 (cell)

Friday, July 11, 2008


Sizing up Iran's oil threat
The country can strangle nearly 30% of the world's oil output and could send prices to $250 a barrel, but some say all the tough talk is still just that.
By Steve Hargreaves, staff writer
Last Updated: July 10, 2008: 10:18 PM EDT
NEW YORK ( -- Iranian missile tests. Reports of covert U.S. operations inside the country. Israeli military exercises designed to simulate an attack on Iran.

The signs are unmistakable: Tensions in the oil-rich Persian Gulf are heating up.

And that matters to oil markets.

Iran sits atop the Persian Gulf, through which pass 20% of all the world's oil. Its missiles are also within easy striking distance of the giant oil fields of Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Together, the Middle East produces 25 million barrels of oil a day, or 30% of the world's total daily production of 86 million barrels.

What's more, some Iranian officials have threatened to wield the country's strategic position like a weapon.

So just how likely is it Iran will be attacked, what would that do to oil prices, and how might the Iranians hit back?

Price point
To start, experts are divided on whether a threat is imminent.

"The likelihood of an attack is the highest it's ever been," said Christopher Ruppel, an energy analyst at Execution LLC, a broker and research firm for institutional investors like hedge and mutual funds, who puts the chances of an attack at 50%. "Right away prices would go above $200 a barrel."

Some observers believe the Israelis - threatened by comments from Iran to annihilate the Jewish state - may see the remaining days of the Bush administration as the best time to strike Iran and set back its nuclear program, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes only.

On Thursday, following a third Iranian missile test that caused oil prices to spike $5 a barrel, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to Israel.

"We take very strongly our obligation to help our allies defend themselves and no one should be confused about that," she said.

Most analysts believe Iran would not initiate a nuclear strike against Israel, which is widely believed to have its own nuclear arsenal. Ruppel said an Iranian A-bomb would give the country more bargaining power and embolden it in its support of Hamas and other groups fighting Israel.

In response to a preemptive strike from either Israel or the United States, Iran would be tempted to fire missiles on key production facilities in neighboring states, according to Ruppel. Targets could include Iraq's oil loading facility in the port city of Basra, which exports most of the country's daily output of more than 2 million barrels, or Saudi Arabia's massive Abqaiq plant, which process over 6 million barrels of crude a day.

A successful attack on Abqaiq, he said, would cause sustained oil prices of $200 to $250 a barrel.

"If you do it right, you could do a phenomenal amount of damage," he said.

Supply link
Then there's the Strait of Hormuz - the only ocean access for tankers leaving the oil-rich Persian Gulf.

Seventeen million barrels a day, mostly bound for markets in Asia, flow through the strait as narrow as 21 miles wide. Iran borders it to the north and its shores are lined with surface-to-surface missiles. Mine-laying ships ply its waters.

The U.S. government would likely plan for an Iranian attack on oil fields or an attempt to seize control of the strait.

Analysts say that given the strength of the U.S. Navy, Iranian control over the strait would likely be short-lived.

Ruppel said the U.S. military has been beefing up the anti-missile systems in Bahrain, designed to protect Saudi Arabia from just such an attack, although he noted the poor performance of such systems during the first Gulf War.

Other measures to calm oil prices in the event of a strike on Iran could include releasing oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve or using existing pipelines that can carry about 60% of Persian Gulf oil around the Strait of Hormuz, according to Heinrich Matthee, a Middle East analyst in London with the security-consulting firm Control Risks.

But Matthee believes it won't come to that.

He said the Iranians would have to be backed into a corner - by being hit with U.S. nuclear weapons or facing a land invasion from U.S. troops, for instance - to attack oil installations.

"There are no retaliatory measures for Iran that won't have an impact on themselves," he said.

A cheaper and more likely response to an American or Israeli airstrike would be for Iran to use its considerable influence in Iraq to step-up attacks on U.S. forces.

With signs that the violence in Iraq may be abating, the Bush administration would not want to face a new escalation, said Matthee, who thinks there is just a 10% chance that the bluster with Iran will actually turn into a shooting war.

The war of "psychological pressure" is already underway, he said. "They don't need to do much to increase oil prices - a conflict itself will do that."

Other analysts think a shooting war is far from near.

Sadegh Zibakalam, a political science professor at Tehran University, said many Iranians are prepared to sit down and talk with the United States.

"There are many moderate Iranians within the Islamic regime that also think that there must be some kind of compromise over the nuclear issue or any other outstanding issue between Iran and the United States," Zibakalam told CNN.

First Published: July 10, 2008: 5:06 PM EDT