Reasons for its retreat are not the same as reasons for the fiasco.

Asaldin, whose son Dilawar died in U.S military custody at Bagram Airbase in December 2002. Asaldin told his family not to seek revenge against the Americans, “I am angry with them, but this was the will of God,” he said. “God is great, and God will punish them.” At his home in Yakubi, Khost province, May 2005. Picture Credit: Keith Bedford.

The temptation to disengage from Afghanistan has always existed. However, it gave way to realism as the Finally, the United States has dealt with its fears or been pushed to do so, given the emergence of more prominent threats.

The U.S military withdraws from the Bagram military base, the nucleus of American operations in Afghanistan for almost 20 years. The exit is expected to complete in September 2021, before the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The stepping down of General Scott Miller, the leading commander of the US security forces…


Picture credit: Pawel Kuczynski.

“Thinking in terms of great-power clashes, and sparring over who is the bigger hypocrite, will neither resolve international disagreements nor solve common problems. The only way to do that is to focus on what achieving common goals actually requires,” says Harold James, a professor of History and International Affairs at Princeton University. [1]

The rationalization and ‘absolute’ geographical determinism that geopolitics bleeds to straighten out the contours of the world are not befitting anymore, for the kind of world we now live in represents that no one has any interest in rules and boundaries set by the most powerful.


Press and Politics

With a solid and classifiable voice against the Chinese government, Apple Daily had the bullseye painted on its back.

Arriving at the Chinese embassy following a hearse, RSF representatives in Paris staged a mock funeral procession, delivering a coffin and funeral flowers with a placard inscribed “Apple Daily (1995–2021).” https://rsf.org/en/news/rsfs-funeral-protests-highlight-urgent-risk-death-press-freedom-china-following-closure-hong-kong

There is no better tool than the press to catechize the government. Bullies attack, censor, jail, and murder journalists because dissentious truth threatens their survival and loosens their grip on power. Deforming the truth by falsely accusing the press of distortions and chipping away at their freedom in this day and age can backfire.

Markets and Government

How to make it function towards the broader public interest?

Photo Credit: ‘Capitalism’ by Richard Votch

“Cage the People, Free the Money. The only thing that is allowed to move freely — unimpeded — around the world today is money…capital.” Says Arundhati Roy in conversation with John Cusack in their book, Things that can be and cannot be said.

Democracy has a lot to do with how money circulates in the system. If that functions more in favor of certain people and their interests, it effectively makes a mockery of democracy and everything that the Constitution proclaims.

Before anything else, the institutions and processes that created a monster out of already notorious capitalism need rectification.


The damage done is incrementally becoming irreversible.

If the traditional filibuster was restored, would Republicans use it so flagrantly? Illustration by Andy Friedman

“As long as the Senate remains a kill switch that reactionary white conservatives can hit whenever they choose, it is difficult to see how America can meet the challenges it faces,” says Adam Jentleson in his book Kill Switch, The Rise Of The Modern Senate And The Crippling of American Democracy.[1]

Democracy gets eroded when an unyielding minority impairs the first principle of majority and imposes its malicious will on them. The use of unintelligible and cloudy tactics is not only harmful to the nation and democracy, but also the Republican party since an unprogressive approach like this would remain…


Does the queer contrast of Trump’s dissipation from the national discourse but his augmenting prominence in the Republican party hint at the politics of fear?

President Donald Trump shushes journalists as they attempt to ask him questions during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House on Friday. (Washington Post photo by Jonathan Newton)

“Leadership means inspiring us to manage through our fears. Demagoguery means exploiting our fears for political gain. There is a crucial difference,” says Al Gore in his book, The Assault on Reason.[1]

Trump is desperately despotic. And so is the Republican party. They sell you their ideology so…


It is an amalgamation of complex disagreements, conflicting perceptions, and coexisting truths.

An armed Palestinian policeman stands before ‘The Armoured Dove’, a graffiti painting by Banksy depicting a peace dove wearing a flak jacket with crosshairs on the bird’s chest, painted on a wall at the entrance to the West Bank city of Bethlehem, as photographed on January 6, 2019. EPA

“What when conflict parties prefer to repeat familiar scripts than undergo the discomfort of strenuous strategic engagement? Or powerful players are able to ignore the positions of others (opponents and third parties) and have strategic reasons not to engage with them? Or possessors and challengers in asymmetric conflicts are controlled by intransigent leaders who crush the possibility of collective internal strategic thinking? Or, in disintegrated war zones, conflict parties are too disaggregated to sustain coherent strategic thought and action?” asks Oliver Ramsbotham in his book When Conflict Resolution Fails.

Conflicts are generally based on “differentially distorted prisms”[1] of reality that…


Will Modi be able to pull this off on account of his ‘strong Hindutva halo’?

Photo credit: GETTY IMAGE

Not even the masquerade of religion and passage of time can guard Modi against history’s final verdict on him for failing terribly to save India from the second wave and equally for not taking accountability for the same.

All the doomsaying about the second wave has turned out to be worse than predicted for India. Declaring victory too early along with a promise to export vaccines abroad, based on the premature assessment, without having a solid plan for its own people shows little experience the Modi government has in handling a pandemic.


India’s blind love affair with Modi is not blind anymore.


India is experiencing a raging virus that has exhausted the entire system, including its hospital staff, workers, doctors, and patients who are gasping for oxygen in horror that can save them from the jaws of death. As a result, we are witnessing a public health crisis in India at a scale never been experienced in a pandemic before. Deep at the heart of COVID failure lie irrationalities among people and political leaders along with their messed-up priorities, lack of empathy, and last but not least, administrative and systemic flaws.

Credit: ‘She Can’, a work by Guess Who


The restructuring of this nature demands social responsibility and conscientiousness from citizens to not undermine human values and principles along the way.

Adapting is not a threat to people’s freedoms. It does require a change in their perception of freedom, though. Limits placed on individual freedoms to deter them from acting as they wish are not to be regarded as a diminution of their freedoms rather a strategy that would lead to stability for all. In this day and age, when individual freedom of thought and action has gained considerable ground, the responsibility that comes with the freedom has to be taken more seriously than ever.

Democracy requires reciprocity from citizens. which places trust…

Sakshi Kharbanda, Ph.D.

Learner| Researcher| Writer. Writes on Democracy, Capitalism and Inclusion. Fascinated by Mathematics and Mathematicians.

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