Try Understanding  the Middle East Conundrum

President Obama avoided military action in Syria by buying time for diplomacy for removing chemical weapons in Syria. The unilateral and go-it-alone US Military action would have damaged the American interest in that region even further from where we stand now, which is pretty low.

One Mr. K. N. Al-Sabah helps readers of The Financial Times to understand Middle East politics thus in his letter to the editor in August:

“Iran is backing Assad [of Syria]. [Persian] Gulf States are against Assad. Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood [in Egypt], and Obama is against General Sisi [of Egypt].

But Gulf States are pro-Sisi! Which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood.

Iran is pro-Hamas, but Hamas is backing Muslim Brotherhood!

Obama is backing Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US!

Gulf States are pro-US. But Turkey is with Gulf States against Assad; yet Turkey is pro-Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is getting backing from the Gulf States.

Welcome to the Middle East and Have a nice Day.”

Naming Rights, Desi Ishtyle

In the US corporations spend millions of dollars for naming rights for  stadiums and auditoriums, and individuals pay millions to universities to get the buildings and departments named after themselves. One city in India has adapted this feature with a uniquely Indian twist. Citizens of Raipur, the capital of Chattisghar state in Central India, have given to themselves the rights to name potholes after elected public officials to show their annoyance.

Angered at the potholes (gaddha in Hindi) on Raipur roads, citizens came up with a novel way to protest—naming potholes after elected officials. Now they have Brijmoham Gaddha (named after the public works minister), Raman Gaddha (after chief minister), and Munat Gaddha (after environment minister).

They also solemnized the event in different parts of the city with the namakaran (naming) ceremony with proper rituals with help from priests.

Probably they know that the potholes will never be filled. The priests could as well have uttered sotto voce the traditional Deerghayushman-bhava (may you have a long life) after the naming ceremony.

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