American Resistance To Empire

Russia Plans Huge Zapad 2017 Military Exercises With Belarus

“As part of the maneuvers, units of the First Guards Tank Army are expected to establish a forward command post in western Belarus, and to hold exercises in training areas near Brest, on the Polish border, and Grodno, near Poland and Lithuania.”

Why the Suwalki Gap Keeps Top U.S. General in Europe Up at Night


LONDON — As a diplomatic standoff escalates between Washington and Moscow, another military challenge may be on the horizon. Thousands of Russian troops and tanks are preparing to take part in what may be the country’s largest military exercise since the Cold War.

The Zapad 2017 war-games will take place next month in Russia’s neighboring ally of Belarus. The drills scheduled to run between September 14 and 20 will also involve naval and air units operating in and around the Baltic and North Sea.

While Russian officials have said that 13,000 troops would participate in the exercises, whose name means “west” in Russian, Western estimates have run much higher.

Image: Servicemen take part in Zapad exercises in 2013 Image: Servicemen take part in Zapad exercises in 2013
Servicemen take part in Zapad exercises in 2013 RIA Novosti / Reuters

They have been planned for months, were previously held in 2013 and 2009 and have their roots in vast Soviet drills first held in the 1980s.

But this year they are garnering greater interest following the recent deterioration in diplomatic relations between the White House and the Kremlin.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed off on new sanctions against Russia for its aggression in Ukraine and Syria, as well as its alleged interference in last year’s U.S. presidential election.

In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the U.S. to cut hundreds of its diplomatic staff serving in his country.

Russia insists the long-planned Zapad exercises would only be used to defend against aggression by NATO, the U.S.-led 29-member military alliance founded in the aftermath of World War II. Experts say the risk of an open conflict is low.

But following months of uncertainty surrounding NATO — caused by Trump’s mixed messages — this year’s Zapad exercise may be designed to test the alliance’s resolve.

“Russia is not organizing defensive operations but instead an offensive threat, testing how serious we are about protecting the members of NATO,” said Jonathan Eyal, international director of the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank.

Belarus not only borders Russia, but also three of America’s key but relatively isolated NATO allies: Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia.

The latter two were occupied by Soviet forces for almost 50 years and they have remained a focus of the renewed standoff between Russia and the West. This breakdown was sparked by Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and worsened over military intervention in Syria and allegations of state-sponsored hacking.

“Russia is reminding us that the Baltic states are relatively indefensible,” Eyal added. “They want to see where the cracks are in NATO and where they can be widened.”

Image: A map of Belarus and the Baltic states

Trump caused alarm in Europe after he was slow to explicitly endorse NATO’s central promise of collective defense, known as Article 5. He also demanded member states up their military spending and suggested he wouldn’t defend them unless he did.

The rhetoric from Trump has since softened — with some members of his team expressing the U.S.’s strong and enduring support for NATO — but the mere suggestion of wavering was enough to give many Europeans the jitters.

NATO has reinforced its position in Eastern Europe, now maintaining a rotating force of 4,000 in Poland and the Baltics.

But hypothetical scenarios played out by the Rand Corporation last year found that it would take Russian forces just 60 hours to reach the outskirts of the Estonian and Latvian capitals of Tallinn and Riga.

In terms of this year’s Zapad exercise, what concerns some officials and experts is they aren’t exactly sure how big they will be — nor what is Putin’s true intention.

The official figure given by Russia is that there will be no more than 13,000 personnel taking part.

Some Western analysts say that it’s no coincidence that this is also the exact number of troops allowed in a military exercise before international observers must be invited.

The Vienna Document of 2011 is an agreement by members of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe — a group that includes Russia — which says that any exercise involving more than 13,000 personnel must allow observers from all other OSCE nations.

Trump silent as Putin expels diplomatic staff6:28

Russian officials, such as Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, are adamant they have nothing to hide.

“Our NATO colleagues know all too well that they were invited to attend these exercises, and that they are transparent,” Lavrov said in a June interview.

But many in NATO remain unconvinced.

“We have every reason to believe that it may be substantially more troops participating than the official reported numbers,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference last month.

U.S. officials told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Russia could have as many as 100,000 personnel involved in the exercise — making it the country’s largest since the Cold War.

“The total number of Russian troops, security personnel and civilian officials in the broader exercise is expected to range from 60,000 to as many as 100,000,” the New York Times reported Monday.

As Keir Giles, an associate fellow at London’s Chatham House think tank, put it: “The official figures are hopelessly unreliable.” He said Russia could get around the 13,000-limit by having several drills going on at once.

The Russians are not transparent both in terms of the size and intent of their exercises, one U.S. defense official told NBC News on condition of anonymity.

“They continually send more troops than they report to the international community,” the official said, adding that they need to be honest about their intentions to avoid misunderstandings.

Image: Russian soldiers participate in a military exercise at the Baltic Fleet's Khmelyovka training center Image: Russian soldiers participate in a military exercise at the Baltic Fleet's Khmelyovka training center
Russian soldiers participate in a military exercise at the Baltic Fleet’s Khmelyovka training center in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad in September 2009 Konstantin Zavrazhin / Getty Images

Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza said: “Russia has conducted several large-scale snap exercises along NATO’s Eastern flank with little to no notice and in a non-transparent manner.”

The last Zapad exercise, in 2013, featured “more than 75,000 men, who were engaged in simulated operations in the air, on land and at sea,” according to a report by The Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based research institute.

For comparison, last year 24 NATO members held a military exercise named “Anakonda,” which included more than 31,000 service members.

Whatever the number, the exercises come against the backdrop of several close encounters between Russian and NATO aircraft and ships in recent years.

“There’s always a possibility for miscalculation when that’s going on,” Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, NATO’s supreme allied commander, told reporters last month, referring to these near-misses.

“I think that’s the importance of transparency, particularly on Russia’s part, to tell us about [the Zapad] exercise: What should we expect to see, what is the size of them, where will they operate?” he said.

What’s also unclear, according to some Western analysts, are Putin’s motives.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has dismissed as “nonsense in its purest form” any suggestion that the Kremlin is using the drills for anything other than defense.

But many Western experts say that Russian exercises are often used to disguise other objectives. Most notably, Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008 and annexation of Crimea in 2014 both followed military exercises that allowed Moscow to move troops into key locations.

Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the closing stage of Zapad 2013 Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the closing stage of Zapad 2013
Russian President Vladimir Putin watches the closing stage of Zapad 2013 at the Gozhsky firing range in Grodno, Belarus. RIA Novosti / Reuters

“These large-scale exercises … served as a means to obscure the movement of Russian units into the conflict zone,” according to the report by The Jamestown Foundation following the Zapad 2013 exercise.

One theory is that this year’s drill could be used by Russia to “leave troops behind” in Belarus in order to give Moscow a more-advanced forward base in Europe, according to Giles at Chatham House.

He described the exercise as “a hot topic and it’s going to get hotter and hotter” as it approaches.


Thanks To Trump, We Can Now Begin WWIII w/Russia As A Unified Nation

[Donald Trump promised leadership, despite the foreseeable problems which everyone knew, that he would be certain to have with Congress over past business dealings, many of which were apparently borderline criminal, just beneath the surface.  Now that Obama’s army of political saboteurs has effectively smothered Trump and many of his cronies with slime (Obama…Sore Loser, Wants Old Job Back…Hires Civilian Army To Sabotage Trump), he is folding-up under Democrat demands to perpetuate global conflict and giving-in to Republican/Neocon demands, for the “sake of national unity”, that the “terror war” be fought against Russia.]

Donald Trump Signs Russia Sanctions Bill

for ‘Sake of National Unity’



WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed a bill on Wednesday imposing new sanctions on Russia, putting to rest questions about whether he would support the legislation passed overwhelmingly by Congress last week while he still excoriated the measure as “significantly flawed.”

The bill sanctions Russia — citing its cyberhacking as well as aggression in Ukraine and Syria — while also slapping new sanctions on North Korea and Iran.

The legislation limits the ability of the president to lift the sanctions unilaterally, something lawmakers had insisted on.

Trump signed the bill behind closed doors, with no press coverage. In one White House statement released after the signing, referred to as the “official signing statement,” the president called some of the provisions “clearly unconstitutional.”

Trump Signs New Sanctions Bill Against Russia, Iran and N. Korea

In a second statement, Trump lamented that the bill “encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate.”

“The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice,” Trump said, adding that he signed legislation “for the sake of national unity.”

That statement goes on to chastise Congress for an entirely different issue — its inability to “negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking” — and finishes with a personal note: “I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”

Related: Read the President’s Entire Statement on the Sanctions

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Tuesday that neither he nor President Trump, “were very happy” about the way Congress put these new sanctions in place, but he anticipated the bill would be signed anyway.

“We were clear that we didn’t think it was going to be helpful to our efforts, but that’s the decision they made, they made it in a very overwhelming way. I think the president accepts that,” he said.

Tillerson: U.S.-Russian Relations at Historic Low

The sanctions bill was passed in both chambers of Congress with strong bipartisan support and by veto-proof margins. It passed in the Senate on Thursday with a 98-2 vote and in the House last Tuesday, 419-3.

Lawmakers pushed the sanctions, particularly those against Russia, in spite of the president’s conciliatory tone toward the country whose government U.S. intelligence agencies concluded meddled in the 2016 presidential election. Russian government officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have denied the allegations, both in the press and to Trump directly.

Trump has hedged repeatedly on the question of Russian responsibility for election meddling last year, saying it is possible Russia was involved but other countries could have had a role.

Putin voiced his objection to the proposed sanctions last week, accusing the U.S. of attempting to use “geopolitical advantages in competition to pursue economic interests at the expense of [U.S.] allies.”

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates Pay High Price For Botched Attack On Qatar



The pampered petro-states of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates expected a quick victory after imposing a quasi-blockade on neighboring Qatar. Past crises in relations had been peacefully resolved, but this time Qatar’s antagonists demanded its virtual surrender, particularly abandonment of an independent foreign policy. They believed they had Washington behind them.

Alas, the intervening weeks have not been kind to Riyadh and UAE. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis signaled their support for Doha. Tillerson demonstrated obvious impatience with demands he viewed as extreme and not even worth negotiating, and called Qatar’s positions “very reasonable.”

A general view of the Qatari side of the Abu Samrah border crossing with Saudi Arabia on June 23, 2017. On June 5, Saudi Arabia and its allies cut all diplomatic ties with Qatar and closed Qatar’s only land border, banning its planes from using their airspace and barring Qatari nationals from transiting through their airports. (KARIM JAAFAR/AFP

More than a few critics observed that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are even guiltier than Qatar in funding terrorism. One of them was Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, who complained that “The amount of support for terrorism by Saudi Arabia dwarfs what Qatar is doing.”  Doha took the opportunity to ink an agreement with the U.S. on targeting terrorist financing, which none of Qatar’s accusers had done.

Moreover, George Washington University Professor Marc Lynch observed that “The extremist and sectarian rhetoric which external forces brought to the Syrian insurgency was a problem extending far beyond Qatar.” The demand to shut Al Jazeera by nations which have no free press and even criminalized the simple expression of sympathy for Qatar was denounced globally.

Then came reports that U.S. intelligence concluded the UAE had hacked the official Qatar website a couple months ago, creating the incendiary posts allegedly quoting Qatar’s emir which helped trigger the crisis. In contrast, Bahrain and Egypt, which joined the anti-Doha bandwagon, looked like mere hirelings, doing as they have been told by states which provided financial and military aid. Having initiated hostilities without a back-up plan, the anti-Qatar coalition cannot easily escalate against U.S. wishes or retreat without a huge loss of face. But staying the course looks little better. Saudi Arabia and UAE caused Qataris to rally behind their royal family, wrecked the Gulf Cooperation Council, eased Iran’s isolation, pulled Turkey directly into Gulf affairs, and challenged Washington. Quite an achievement.

The experience has yielded several important lessons.

President Donald Trump huffs and puffs, but doesn’t have much to do with U.S. foreign policy. Despite having criticized Saudi Arabia in the past, he flip-flopped to become Riyadh’s de facto lobbyists in Washington. However, his very public preferences have had little impact on U.S. policy, which ended up tilting strongly against UAE and Saudi Arabia. He recently acknowledged that he and Secretary Tillerson “had a little bit of a difference, only in terms of tone.”

US President Donald Trump (C) and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (3-R), Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (3-L), Jordan’s King Abdullah II (2-R), Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R), pose for a group photo during the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh on May 21, 2017. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)


Saudi Arabia proved to be more paper tiger than regional leader. It spent lavishly on weapons, subsidized other Muslim states, sought to overthrow of Syria’s Assad regime, and launched a brutal war against Yemen, but had no response prepared when Qatar dismissed Riyadh’s demands. Then Secretary Tillerson effectively blocked any escalation. With the expiration of the Saudi-UAE ultimatum two weeks ago some observers feared that Saudi Arabia and UAE would impose additional sanctions, expel Qatar from the GCC, or even invade their independent neighbor. But all of those steps now would be more difficult if not impossible in practice.

Indeed, the secretary’s shuttle diplomacy last week to support the Kuwaiti mediation attempt even forced Qatar’s accusers to effectively negotiate what they had termed nonnegotiable. UAE Minister of State Noura al-Kaabi said “We need a diplomatic solution. We are not looking for an escalation.” No wonder Saudis, who once believed they had coopted America’s president, now complain that America’s secretary of state is backing Doha.

Saudi Arabia’s expensive overseas diplomacy has been of dubious value, gaining the Kingdom few friends. Riyadh and Abu Dhabi organized an inconsequential coalition featuring dependents Bahrain and Egypt, international nullity Maldives, and one of the contending governments in fractured Libya. Since then the group has failed to win meaningful support from any other state. The problem? The real issue isn’t terrorism, but far more selfish concerns, such as support for domestic political opponents.

The reputation of the accusers has tanked. Discussion of the controversy almost inevitably resulted in more attention to the misbehavior of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, particularly their brutal repression of any political and religious dissent at home, Saudi Arabia’s lavish funding for the extremist and intolerant Wahhabist strain of Islam, and UAE’s initiation of cyber-hostilities against Doha. Tom Wilson of the London-based Henry Jackson Society published a report calling Riyadh the “foremost” funder of terrorism in the United Kingdom and citing concerns that “the amount of funding for religious extremism coming out of countries such as Saudi Arabia has actually increased in recent years.” While Qatar was vulnerable to criticism over its backing for some radical groups, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi had been subject to even harsher U.S. attacks for the same reason.

Iran continued to gain more from the actions of its antagonists than its own efforts. Doha and Tehran are linked by a shared natural gas field. Their relationship is one of Saudi Arabia’s chief complaints. Iran is a malign actor, but Riyadh, a totalitarian Sunni dictatorship, is worse. Saudi Arabia intervened militarily in Bahrain to sustain the Sunni monarchy against the Shia majority and backed radical insurgents to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The reckless new Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, orchestrated the murderous, counterproductive war in Yemen and diplomatic/economic attack on Qatar in order to achieve Gulf hegemony. Now, without firing a shot, Iran helped thwart Riyadh’s latest scheme, won the gratitude of Qataris, and put a reasonable face on the Islamist regime.

Secretaries Tillerson and Mattis deserve special credit. By ignoring President Trump’s misdirected enthusiasm for the Saudi monarchy, they helped shift public attention back to Riyadh and Abu Dhabi. Neither has demonstrated sufficient interest in cutting terrorist funding.

For instance, in a lengthy cable dated December 30, 2009, released by Wikileaks, the State Department criticized Qatar and UAE, but was toughest on Saudi Arabia: “it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority.” Moreover, “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.” The kingdom “remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda” and other terrorist organizations. Despite Riyadh’s policies, “groups continue to send money overseas and, at times, fund extremism overseas.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir talks to reporters during a joint press conference with his Emirati, Egyptian, and Bahraini counterparts after their meeting in the Egyptian capital Cairo on July 5, 2017, discussing the Gulf diplomatic crisis with Qatar, as Doha called for dialogue to resolve the dispute. (KHALED ELFIQI/AFP/Getty Images)

If Saudi Arabia and UAE cared about terrorism, they would look inward first. And Riyadh would stop funding Wahhabism, an intolerant Islamic teaching which demonizes those who believe differently. Wilson charged that “a growing body of evidence has emerged that points to the considerable impact that foreign funding has had on advancing Islamist extremism in Britain and other Western countries.” The consequences of this funding may be more long-lasting than payments to the terrorist group du jour. Norwegian anti-terrorism analyst Thomas Hegghammer observed “If there was going to be an Islamic reformation in the 20th century, the Saudis probably prevented it by pumping out literalism.”

What really bothers Saudi Arabia and the UAE is Doha’s support for opposition groups. For instance, both Riyadh and Egypt fear the Muslim Brotherhood, which challenges their ruling regimes with a flawed but serious political philosophy—and, incidentally, does not promote terrorism. The Saudi royals are insecure because a kleptocratic, totalitarian monarchy holds little appeal to anyone other than the few thousand princes who live lavishly at everyone else’s expense. Saudi Arabia and the Emirates similarly despise the TV channel Al Jazeera, which has criticized both regimes.

Riyadh also wants to conscript Qatar in its campaign to isolate Iran. Ironically, the Kingdom so far has applied no pressure on UAE which, like Qatar, has maintained ties with the Islamist regime. Anyway, it would be far better to promote long-term change by continuing to draw Iran’s population westward in opposition to Islamist elites. By playing host to groups as diverse as the Taliban and Hamas, Doha actually has drawn controversial organizations away from more radical governments, such as Iran’s, and enabled the West to have unofficial contact with groups with which it is officially at odds, such as the Taliban.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have sown the wind. Now they will reap the whirlwind. Their attack on Qatar further destabilized the Middle East, unsettling several of Washington’s closest allies. The Saudis and Emiratis ended up in a global cul-de-sac, isolating themselves more than Qatar. The latter has little incentive to yield, while the former face humiliation if they abandon their claims. Other governments increasingly expect a lengthy stand-off. Secretary Tillerson predicted that the “ultimate resolution may take quite a while.”

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani listen to questions by journalists during a press conference in Doha, on July 11, 2017.The US and Qatar announced they have signed an agreement on fighting terrorism. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)

That will benefit no one, other than Iran, perhaps. Not Qatar. Not America. And certainly not Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The U.S. can’t impose a settlement on its dubious allies. But Washington can recognize that “there are no clean hands here,” as a State Department spokesman recently observed. The Trump administration should place full responsibility for the current stand-off where it belongs, on Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

British Empire Built On Loot, Pillage and Plunder


Indians tend not to dwell on the country’s colonial past. Whether through national strength or civilizational weakness, India has long refused to hold any grudge against Britain for 200 years of imperial enslavement, plunder and exploitation. But Indians’ equanimity about the past does not annul what was done.

Britain’s shambolic withdrawal from India in 1947, after two centuries of imperial rule, entailed a savage partitioning that gave rise to Pakistan. But it occurred curiously without rancor toward Britain. India chose to remain in the Commonwealth as a republic, and maintained cordial relations with its former overlords.

Some years later, Winston Churchill asked Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who had spent nearly a decade of his life in British jails, about his apparent lack of bitterness. Nehru replied that “a great man,” Mahatma Gandhi, had taught Indians “never to fear and never to hate.”

But, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary, the scars of colonialism have not fully faded. I learned that firsthand in the summer of 2015, when I delivered a speech at the Oxford Union decrying the iniquities of British colonialism — a speech that, to my surprise, inspired a powerful response across India.

The speech quickly went viral on social media, with one post racking up more than 3 million hits in just 48 hours, and with websites across the globe reposting it. My right-wing opponents stopped trolling me on social media just long enough to hail my speech. The speaker of the Lok Sabha, Sumitra Mahajan, went out of her way to compliment me at a function attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who then congratulated me publicly for having said “the right things at the right place.”

Schools and colleges played the speech to their students. One university, the Central University of Jammu, organized a daylong seminar, at which eminent scholars addressed specific points I had raised. Hundreds of articles were written in response, both in support of and in opposition to my statements.

Two years later, strangers still approach me in public places to praise my “Oxford speech.” My book on the same theme, “An Era of Darkness,” has remained on Indian bestseller lists since its publication three months ago. The British edition, “Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India,” hits bookshelves next month.

Given India’s longstanding attitudes about colonialism, I did not expect such a reception. But perhaps I should have. After all, the British seized one of the richest countries in the world — accounting for 27 percent of global GDP in 1700 — and, over 200 years of colonial rule, reduced it to one of the world’s poorest.

Londoners marvel at their magnificent city, knowing little of the rapacity and plunder that paid for it. Many British are genuinely unaware of the atrocities their ancestors committed.

Shashi Tharoor

Britain destroyed India through looting, expropriation and outright theft — all conducted in a spirit of deep racism and amoral cynicism. The British justified their actions, carried out by brute force, with staggering hypocrisy and cant.

The American historian Will Durant called Britain’s colonial subjugation of India “the greatest crime in all history.” Whether or not one agrees, one thing is clear: Imperialism was not, as some disingenuous British apologists have claimed, an altruistic enterprise.

Britain has been suffering from a kind of historical amnesia about colonialism. As Moni Mohsin, a Pakistani writer, recently pointed out, British colonialism is conspicuously absent from the UK’s school curricula. Mohsin’s own two children, despite attending the best schools in London, never had a single lesson on colonial history.

Londoners marvel at their magnificent city, knowing little of the rapacity and plunder that paid for it. Many British are genuinely unaware of the atrocities their ancestors committed, and some live in the blissful illusion that the British Empire was some sort of civilizing mission to uplift the ignorant natives.

This opens the way for the manipulation of historical narratives. Television soap operas, with their gauzy romanticization of the “Raj,” provide a rose-tinted picture of the colonial era. Several British historians have written hugely successful books extolling the supposed virtues of empire.

In the last decade or two, in particular, popular histories of the British Empire, written by the likes of Niall Ferguson and Lawrence James, have described it in glowing terms. Such accounts fail to acknowledge the atrocities, exploitation, plunder and racism that underpinned the imperial enterprise.

All of this explains — but does not excuse — Britons’ ignorance. The present cannot be understood in terms of simple historical analogies, but the lessons of history must not be ignored. If you do not know where you have come from, how will you appreciate where you are going?

This goes not just for the British, but also for my fellow Indians, who have shown an extraordinary capacity to forgive and forget. But, while we should forgive, we should not forget. In that sense, the powerful response to my 2015 speech at the Oxford Union is encouraging.

The modern relationship between Britain and India — two sovereign and equal countries — is clearly very different from the colonial relationship of the past. When my book hit bookstores in Delhi, British Prime Minister Theresa May was just days away from a visit to seek Indian investment. As I have often argued, you do not need to seek revenge upon history. History is its own revenge.

• Shashi Tharoor, a former UN undersecretary-general and former Indian minister of state for external affairs and minister of state for human resource development, is currently chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and an MP for the Indian National Congress.

©Project Syndicate