There is a Gujarati saying – Putra naa lakshan parnaa maa thi ney ne vahu naa lakshan barnaa maa thi. It translates that the future behavior and nature of a newborn can often be predicted from its first days in the cradle and that of a new daughter-in-law in a joint patriarchal Indian family, from the early moments when she steps into the home of the in-laws.
If one overlooks the nature of the patriarchal joint family Indian society, the adage is a decent predictor the future.
Another fable is that of a monkey and an alligator who become friends while dwelling on a tree on the river bank and the river. The monkey often tossed sweet berries into the river and the alligator learned to love the sweetness thereof. After some time the alligator offered the monkey a ride on his back along the river.
The initially hesitant monkey succumbed to repeated affectionate offers and accepted dependence and interoperability. When the alligator reached the middle of the wide river, he said to the monkey, “Since you eat these sweet berries all the time, your heart must be even sweeter”. The monkey being smarter than Manmohan Singh, promptly replied, “It is very sweet, but I left it back on the tree to prevent it from getting wet. Would you like to see it”? The alligator’s predatory nature triumphed over his guile and he said, “Sure, I wouldn’t mind even licking it to taste its sweetness. The monkey asked him to return to the bank and promised to show him the heart and let him lick it. As soon as the alligator reached the bank, the monkey jumped on to the bank and up the tree and sighed with relief.
The thoughts, words and actions of any agent can often be used to predict the correct outcomes of interactions between two or more parties. For what happens when idiotic puppet leaders act without thinking, and are incapable of figuring out intentions, see my article of a modified version of an old Hindu fable – Educated Fools and Illiterate Nemesis. Below are some examples in developmental embryology and international relations.
Lewis, Nusslein-Volhard and Wieschaus were given the 1995 Nobel Prize for Medicine for their work on genes controlling development. There are a set of genes called Hox genes which are arranged serially from head to neck to thorax to abdomen in an anterior to posterior order even on a chromosome. A gene named Hox-c8 determines the boundary of development between the cervical (neck) vertebrae and the thoracic vertebrae which have a rib attached on each side. A vertebral level where this gene is expressed develops as a thoracic vertebra with a rib on each side. Human beings have seven cervical (without ribs) and twelve thoracic vertebrae (with ribs). Since many Indian politicians are more mice though looking like men, it is not surprising that mice also have seven cervical vertebrae, but they have thirteen thoracic ones. Since Indian leaders sometimes are chickens, it is important to know that chickens have fourteen cervical vertebrae and seven thoracic ones (long neck, short body).
It so happens that the Hox-c8 gene is expressed exactly in the same distribution as the number of thoracic vertebrae. The gene is more or less identical in the chicken, mouse and man. All these animals have the same number of genes which are mostly similar, but their genes have different promotional and inhibition switches and are turned on at different times and sites giving a dessert (halwa or cake), salad and vegetable entree from the same carrot, with different spices added at different times. Occasionally in humans, a mistake occurs and the gene is expressed in the last or seventh cervical vertebral level and these persons have an extra cervical rib on each side. Oh incidentally, in some animals the Hox-c8 gene is expressed in all vertebrae due to a generalized mutation in the switches of all vertebrae. The result is an animal with all vertebrae having a rib on each side and the total number of vertebrae varying in number from individual to individual. If you guessed American Democrats have variable backbones, you are close. The answer is snakes and pythons. They are also venomous or crush their victims like your guess.
Knowing the thoughts, words or location of gene expression should alert a smart thinking person to intentions and outcomes. As the Latin saying goes “Premonitus premunitus”, forewarned is forearmed. In an arms race analysis, the Soviet Union was mortally scared after Truman nuked Japan. In fact one of his reasons for doing so was to warn the Soviets not to engulf more countries and extend the iron curtain. The Soviets by efforts and espionage got their own atom bomb in just a couple of years. American political hawks and scientists like Edward Teller, lobbied to get a fusion weapon (hydrogen bomb). The Soviets were aware of the effort and got their own hydrogen bomb shortly and much quicker after the Americans. The Soviets then beat the US in the Sputnik satellite, but America’s efforts soon caught up and overtook them. It had more ICBMs than the Soviets and that is why Kruschev tried to put nuclear missiles into Cuba to counter the larger number of US missiles and those closer to Russia, based in Turkey. After that nuclear standoff, the Soviets vowed to and caught up with the US missile numbers on land. The US then led in nuclear submarines and the Soviets made a heroic effort to equal America as documented even in an American movie K-9, starring Harrison Ford.
Eventually, the two sides reached a second strike capability and achieved MAD (mutually assured destruction). Reagan with his star wars pushed the Soviets into breakup and the US on the way to the same. But madcap Bush Jr. Opted to renege on the ABM treaty and started building up a ballistic missile defense. It is a major offensive not defensive weapon because it allows one side to neutralize and counter missiles attacking it, while leaving its own missiles intact and the other side vulnerable. No wonder Russia and China are upset. The reality is that experts have serious doubts about the effectiveness of a BMD system. This and the attack on Iraq and Libya explains why North Korea and Iran are going nuclear to counter the US and Israel (both for Iran and only US for North Korea). It also explains why India went nuclear to counter China and Pakistan went nuclear to counter India. India’s development of BMD is pushing Pakistan to develop or borrow from China, nuclear tipped cruise missiles, which are invulnerable to BMD because of their low altitude trajectory and short distance between Pakistan and India.
This is why India is more interested in Israeli BMD technology as Israel also faces hostile neighbors immediately adjacent, and needs to neutralize that threat. This also raises an important point about foreign policy and the conflict between principles and realpolitik. For decades after 1947, India under the stupid policies of Nehru tried to pander to its own Muslim minority and other Islamic states even though some of the first and most of the second constantly favored Pakistan on the basis of a common religion. As a matter of truth and justice, it supported the Palestinian cause. It took a long time before the fluorescent light in the minds of its leaders finally lit up and it played the Israeli card to improve its military strength and technology.
The problem India faces is the one that the US falsely applies to Iran by claiming that its government is fanatic and irrational and will nuke Israel or America. The real fanatic irrational and crazy ones are Pakistan, its government, armed forces and population, with its lighted nuclear missile replicas in major cities and suicide bombers and terrorists bent on dying and killing. A joke widely circulated on the internet describes a depressed suicidal American worker bankrupted by the economy and job loss, calling the suicide hot line for help. Unbeknownst to him, the local city government in the US has outsourced the service to a Pakistani call center. The depressed American tells the Pakistani psychologist that he wants to die by committing suicide. Instead of supportive sympathy, the American hears a chuckle and laughter and a query from Pakistan asking whether the American can drive a truck?
There is another US military strategy from which the world can draw worrisome conclusions. The US is buying hundreds of the newest Global Hawk reconnaissance and armed drones at 220 million dollars a piece. This is substantially more than the price of most of its current combat aircraft and almost equal to the F-22 price. These newer Northrop planes can be controlled from Nevada but need to take off near to the target zone, like the Pakistani airbase for Afghanistan and FATA, and Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for Yemen and Somalia. It is also developing a similar plane which can take off from a carrier or a ship, which could be placed in the Persian Gulf near Iran in case it is unable to get an agreement for bases in Afghanistan and Iraq. It already has long range stealth bombers at Diego Garcia in the Indian ocean. It is also spending nearly ten billion dollars a year to equip and maintain a JSOC (joint special operations command) force of over 60,000 which is currently carrying out night raids in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
These forces are of no use within the US or in Europe or in any war against a regular army of any nation. Thus it will be used to fight insurgencies and terrorists and thus mainly in the Middle East and North Africa. This explains the US strategy of a thousand foreign bases and lily pads. Any country whose neighbor has given the US such military facilities would be vulnerable to aerial assassination or assassination squads. Pakistan which has given the US such facilities is itself not immune from such attacks. India has nothing to fear from all this at present, but should be wary of a closer embrace and the risk of alienating Russia, which is helping it with the FGFA and nuclear ATV. India should be friendly with the US as the two have many common interests, but a suffocating embrace would only hurt India because the US is hell bent on world military dominance and its own caliphate, even at the cost of economic meltdown, bankruptcy and impoverishment of its own citizens.
A final example and analysis is that of China’s strategic foresight. While America was still reeling from a stalemated war in Korea following WW2, China smartly took over Tibet, betting that the US and Britain were unlikely to open another front in another war. By doing this it markedly increased its landmass, got a border next to Afghanistan and Pakistan. It made Pakistan cede a portion of Kashmir. By these actions it achieved a control over the headwaters of its own rivers and those of India and Pakistan (Indus), Bangladesh, India (Brahmaputra), Vietnam, Cambodia (Mekong), Burma (Irawaddy) and Thailand (Salween). Then when the US and the Soviet Union were involved in a nuclear standoff, it attacked India in 1962, knowing that they would be too preoccupied to help India. It then went nuclear in 1964 and got grandfathered as a nuclear state and NPT founding member, while foolish Nehru turned down the American offer to India for China’s permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
In timely fashion it abandoned and alienated the Soviet Union which was threatening it, by cuddling up to America under foolish Nixon. It used the new relation to build up a three trillion dollar reserve and convert America to a bankrupt debtor. It gave Pakistan arms and nuclear weapons to stunt India’s growth and ambition and now claims Arunachal Pradesh, gives separable visas to Indian Kashmiris, challenging India’s claim to Kashmir. It is going to build a rail line to Gwadar from Sinkiang and may develop a string of pearls naval bases to surround India. It has begun deep ocean mining in the Indian ocean. It has built rail lines right up to the Indian border and even in Nepal. Our idiot leaders did not even build roads or rail lines in the northeast and failed to maintain airbases along the Chinese border. Their insanely idiotic strategic thinking was that such roads or rails would allow a Chinese offensive to thrust even deeper into India after a successful invasion, as they had failed to adequately provide defensive capability to our armed forces. The current UPA government delayed purchase of aircraft, ships, tanks and instead spent money on enriching the ministers. Our foolish present prime minister announced that China’s building of a dam on the Brahmaputra would not hurt India, as the fluid in his brain would more than compensate for any water loss. Furthermore the prime minister wants to concentrate on appeasing Pakistan by open borders, to ease any inconvenience to those terrorists who desire to blow up the cities of India.
In the meantime China is flush with money to rescue the sinking periphery of Europe and US economy, buy technology and hack and steal what it cannot buy (recent McAfee report) and it is time for the bamboos to flower in Mizoram (when every 48 years there is a rat proliferation induced famine).
The modified version of the eighth verse in the fourth chapter (adhyaya) of the Gita –
paritranaya pakistananam (sadhunam) For the protection of Pakistan
vinasaya ca murkham (dushkrutam) And destruction of fools
adharma-samsthapanarthaya (no a) To establish the opposite of Dharma
sambhavami yuge yuge I become (invade) from time to time.
Note: The original Verse from the Gita reads as:
paritranaya sadhunam vinshaye cha dushkrtaam
dharma-samsthapanarthaya sambhavami yuge yuge