Sunday, September 23, 2001

Shetubondhon - 9/11: Some points to ponder

Dear Mr.Mahfuzul Turjo,

Here is my response to your queries:

According to the BBC documentary (Panaroma I believe), they spent around 6 hrs training on the simulators. Now is it technically possible to practice on simulators and then go ahead and strike with the actual thing with a 75% success rate (considering that 3 planes made the target)? Also how confident were the terrorists (who's planning seemed to be meticulously precise) of fulfilling their missions from training relying on primarily simulator-experience.

The answer to that question is a yes and no. Other than the simulator training I understand that there are many computer games of simulation of 767 aircrafts, (my son 16 years old owns one - he claims he can 'technically also fly an F16!) - which means just about anybody can fly those aircrafts! Do we really needs pilots?

We've been mentioning about skills and experience behind the terrorists' coordinated attack, but have u noticed their carelessness - the arabic flight manual 'left' in a car near the Logan Airport; two passports left back in their hotel rooms(I presume); some of them left 'suicidal notes' - even one luggage bag (recovered from airport) is supposed to have contained a Qur'an Sharif, flight manuals and fuel consumption calcualtor. This last point is not confirmed by CIA or FBI.

Well I have a hypothesis that may need some corroboration by other 'knowledegeable' individuals on this forum. This comes from my 15 years
experience in the airlines business. But before my hypothesis there are a few questions that I need to satfisfy myself with - and any answer is more
than welcome:

1. Why is it that we have not heard anything about communication's between the aircraft and Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) moments after the plane was taken over by the hijackers?

2. The ATC transcripts of all 4 flights have not been made public? While it is said that the hijackers switched off the communication transponders - what about the moments or seconds before that happened? The media is projecting that the hijackers had to 'fight their way into the cockpit' - so it is not as if the pilots were taken by surprise?

3. Why is it that for more than 20 minutes at least one passenger spoke to his wife on the flight that crashed in Pittsburgh via cell phone, yet in the first ten minutes the wife claimed that 'everything sounded peaceful' in the background and it was only before the incumbent 'hero' and some other passengers made an attempt to overpower the hijackers with 'plastic knives from breakfast' that they heard shouts and commotion and then NOTHING?

4. Interestingly the passengers father in the above case called an emergency alert who tapped into the cell phone conversation with his wife - and did nothing? What does this tell us?

5. Why is it that there is a systematic downplaying of the Pittsburgh crash, and the only television footage we have seen so far is from the edge of a forest only - and one 'hero's memorial? The recent footage taken from the air suggest a deep crater where the aircraft crashed - yet no evidence of the charred or broken remains of the aircraft or its passengers?

6. Has anybody heard the names of the other passengers of the 4 flights other than the names of the hijackers? I have not other than some Arabic names!

I'm not a scholarly person, my realm of knowledge isn't beyond newspapers, and I haven't really cared about world affairs since very recently. But everything I hear and see don't seem to be complementary to one another. And I can't also believe that the american intelligence is going to bluff the whole world. So what is actually happening??

It is not a question of being 'scholarly' - yet if one reads between the line, or reads between the overplayed image there seems to be many things that have gone amiss. the American intelligence may not have bluffed the whole world, but somebody defintely is doing it today and I think it is the ultimate power of the west - THE MEDIA?

My hypothesis are as under:

1. There were no hijackers on the aircraft. It is possible that somebody managed to alter the guidance control, and in essense the pilots were unable or helpless to control the course of their aircraft which carreened on to the WTC and the Pentagon- and which was perhaps manipulated by somebody on the ground?

2. If the US can send cruise missiles (unmanned) crashing into specific 'addresses' in Baghdad from some 700 miles away (remember Desert Storm)- that somebody 'jimmied' with the passenger aircrafts navigation controls that crashed into WTC and the Pentagon, cannot be ruled out. A piece of cake!

3. The crash in Pittsburg was probably accidental shooting down by the American airforce aircrafts in those first desperate minutes, or more likely that the plane was headed for a nuclear reactor and had to be shot down. The airforce therefore swept the area clean and kept the media busy with the WTC and Pentagon, for a full week while they did that.

4. How do we explain that Presdident Bush was in his airborne headquarters, and later at a nuclear bunker moments after the attack?

Thursday, September 06, 2001

A Prosaical Poesy: Polls 2001 - 'Political Atheism' and a question of faith

I have been a depressive most of my life.
Man does not know what triggers a depression. It is believed, that the best way to fight out the 'blues' is KNOWLEDGE - and to get as busy as possible with whatever chores it is that you want to indulge in and whatever it is that makes you eminently and elusively happy, or is it happily sad?

Writing is one of my chores, and by the end of this I might find a cure.

By knowledge what is meant, is an ability to sit back and reason with oneself as to what is causing the dark swing in moods and a 'frank assessment' of events past and present.

Together comes an honest appraisal of future course of actions: which often calls for deeper introspection, and a rigid rejection
of whatever it is bothering you,
supposedly is the almighty cure!

It is essentially a question of faith. A Faith in yourself, in God and the events that surround you.

The hope that wrongs will be righted and evil will be won over by reason and civility. Those millstones will be milestones, and being carefully careless will not caress your career to newer crevasses and careen you back to chaos, all the way down, down and OUT?

Over the last two weeks my depression has been pronounced, and a failure to find the so-called 'shrink-less cure' had me exasperated!

More, a kind of paranoia has overwhelmed me, specially when I make a more than a 'slightly' harder attempt to reason with recent developments in Bangladesh.

again is an apathetic disability to trust anyone or a permitted ability to distrust - take it or leave it.

If 'willing suspension of disbelief constitutes poetic faith', the 'improper poet' lurking deep in the mysterious ME, hopelessly believing and licensing the notion, that prose is a form of poesy - DIES- a slow yet sure death.

Being 'consciously conscious' in a conscienceless country, is a crime, and a PRICE
I know, I will always have to pay, if I have not already overpaid?

I have no records of credits anyway and forget pensions.

The bank account of my defeated desolation sings dirges, about my 'broke' pocket and heart, yet has thankfully not defaulted or committed adultery to 'reschedule' IOU's of thievery, or robbery from my nation all to 'stand' or vote in a meaningless general election.

One vote lost is no loss for Bangladesh
- or am I wrong?

Banks thankfully are the unsafe place in Bangladesh to store your riches; unsafe is your home. So, go blow it stingy saver - enjoy it and forget it, for tomorrow you will again be a poor poet in the pocket, yet safe in the heart, safer than the safest stainless steel safe. Richer - that you have not reneged with your conscience - if you have one?

Some idiot said 'that the days of the Poet began on the day, the days of the Prophets ended'. If he was right, I shudder to think - as to who will replace the Poets when their days ends?

God half trivially interceded and I thought gave me an answer last night - 'who else but your POLITICIANS'.

I hope I am wrong?.. dead. Dead - WRONG, hopefully it wasn't God but the Yang from the Ying yapping away. Satan, no way?

Let this not sound profane friends, 'My God', is not the stern, merciless 'THING' like yours!

He has a sense of humor, but there is this fine line between mischief and wickedness that I never could quite understand, and wonder why we fail to make a serious note about 'mercy and benevolence'?
Are those only justifiable attributes of god and not MAN?

If that be, then I am only left only to ponder and wonder who to reject - god or MAN?

If 'Mighty god is a living MAN' - who is it that we look UP or DOWN at? Any answers out there? I have none.

Anyway, the pet peeve of my on-going perturbation - here goes...

What is it going to be like for days coming to Bangladesh?

No easy equation. The best of the worst have failed and vice versa, and have failed miserably in written or viva voce. We never have had a mediocre chance for success in the 'Daddy's land' or 'Hubby's land' called Bangla-land - have we?

Because I know for certain, that nothing will be righted, the wronged will be further wronged, and recycled lies will fill the stagnant times with a newer compost that we will be forced to drool over momentarily, as we will find the time for more and more excuses in exonerating our excessive excesses.

Spectre of salivating seductively - perhaps? A premature ejaculation of hopes, so be content and satiated - mother Bangla-land.

The illegitimacy of our desires fornicates with the legitimacy of our betrayed hopes.

Having said all of that, I have come around believing, THAT god MUST BE BENGALEE - else how do we explain our thirty long YEARS of survival!

'Me Lord's' have in the meantime, discarded their fancy satin bellow-y coats, wigs and collars, and make a mockery out of caretaker sustenance whilst holding court, on claims to power by the departed 'penguins' and the incumbent wannabe's in 'safari suit's'.

A routine roulette game forever but for once they are less than 'holier than thou', and wear well pressed business suits and ties, that more often betrays their cavorting and promenades of dinners and press announcements to their failed pronouncements.

"Charlie (Shabuddin) Chaplin" meanwhile has grown an inch taller in 'popularity and respectability'! His business suits are far better pressed than say 1990!

On a 'note of unity' :
in every case where 'Me Lord's' have ordered the demolition of shanties and bustees and left only the hopeless and the hapless poor without a roof on their heads as mother's suckle their babies to their naked breast, 'penguins' and 'safari's' have jointly resisted all the police onslaughts - no question asked my friends as to WHO was 'for' or 'against' our so-called liberation? Politics make strange bedfellows and the beds have never been warmer than now.

And down at the old Portuguese distillery of the fine cashew nut wine called Feni, this at the heart of New-Kelly, the Lord gun father Hazari goes scott free, hoodwinking more than a thousand well armed khakis - and some camouflages - or eye washes.

The 'Empress Penguin' meanwhile stands for his antecedents, ensures his nomination, as also his 'saintly purity', while a bottle of carnal excitement VIAGRA is discovered together with dirty porn and dirtier carbine magazines.

The 'Empress Penguin' even knows that 'he

never used them'! Ssssh ...have our children heard this? So much for decency 'sheikh'!

Out of all the rumblings, fumbling and mumbling, we go stumbling into a stupor of secrecy about our security.

Yet 'Empress Penguin" has more than a thousand durwans from the posse of SSF and others - we are dumb founded into a realization, that only a few hundred weapons have been traced from more

than two hundred and fifty thousand.

While the likes of Jimmy Carter have bartered their favors for our prosperity and democracy in photo opportunities and 'cease-fires' for the time being,
Mr. Caretaker has tongue in cheek announced that 'all the guns cannot be recovered - but steps are being taken to ensure that they are not used on election eve'.

Who are we kidding Mr. Caretaker?

Admitted that most of them are obsolete, 'Country made and inaccurate', what has been conveniently forgotten is that all those two hundred and fifty thousand weapons 'can also maim and KILL' and is enough intimidation for a fair and neutral election.

Two questions Mr. Caretaker :

Imagining, two hundred and fifty thousand guns in hand. Two hundred and fifty thousand people can kill, and two hundred and fifty thousand HUMANS can die on Election Day and may easily overwhelm your army of less than two hundred thousand?

Does your assurance of 'guns not being used' mean that you will be making phone call's to all Gun Lords in Bangladesh?

If you are that sure, will it be wrong to ask a supplementary question, if you know all the leaders of 'Terrorist' personally, or may we know if you are also the 'caretaker' of all our terrorist leaders in our ravaged democracy? Impertinently,
Are you a terrorist leader 'Me Lord"?

'May Paradise be yours' is what I want to wish you Mr. Caretaker in appreciation of our miseries, for the picture of Hell is only a misnomer in Bangladesh.

Believing you or our POLITICIANS or our President tantamount to a disbelief in GOD.

One vote in Bangladesh will NOT be cast on the 1st October 2001 - and it is my vote that I will burn to reflect the ashes of your irresponsibility, incompetence and injustice.

Let this be the sole vote of dissent.

I'd rather be a 'Political Atheist', yet tragically a Bangladesh citizen.

Tuesday, September 04, 2001

Alaap: Abul Kasem's Article in NFB [Mac's response]

Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 18:43:27 -0000
Subject: [eshomabesh] Re: Abul Kasem's Article in NFB [Mac's response]

This is in response to post #3594, viewable below:

Dear eShomabesh members,

I write on this forum and I also co-moderate another forum, Alaap

We received the same article for a post on Aalaap. Because the names of one of Aalaap's prolific contributors, Mr.Maqsoodul Haque [Mac] and an eminent person, Farhad Mazhar, were cited on the article, Aalaap decided hold off on the post and first seek permission from both Mr.Haque and Mr. Mazhar, as we did not wish to guess their opinion on the nightmare-context in which their names were cited. We are waiting for Mr. Mazhar's response, while Mr.Haque has sent a response to my personal inquiry.

I felt it would be best for eShomabesh readers to read the relevant comments from the first person who might be humorously [?] insinuated into a nightmare episode, WITHOUT being offered the opportunity to exercise his FREEdom of choice!

Thank you.

~Syed Munir Islam

[Personal response from Mr.Maqsoodul Haque, slightly edited]:

Dear Munir,

I am pretty much used to taking insinuations of even very wild kind, and in comparison Mr. Kasem's looks quite benign and mild by standards. I do not think my reputation (if I have any!) is so fragile that this frivolous post will have it all shattered.

However, what I cannot seem to understand, is why Avijit is pushing so hard for Mr. Kasem's article to be posted in Aalap - when it really should have been the author of the piece doing so with you guys directly? Either Avijit is being asked to do this (which also implies that Mr. Kasem has no [strength] to stand by his own written words) or perhaps Avijit has some 'grudge' against me on some issue, which I do not know. I do hope I am wrong on both counts.

My comments are as under:

Mr. Abul Kasem wrote:

"Our national anthem will be replaced by one imported from Karachi, the seat of Urdu culture in Pakistan. Of course, Dhaka's Islamic Foundation with the help of Dhaka's poet "philosopher" Farhad Mazhar will modify it. Also, dHAKA-fame eminent rock artist Mac (Maqsood) will be requested to set tune to the Urdu-Bongo lyric in the fashion of Bollywood-Bangla-Bhangra fusion music, which is his forte these days. To purify the adulterated new culture of Bangladesh all works of Rabindranath Tagore and other Hindu writers, all works of Humayun Ahmed and other secularists as well as some selected writings of Kazi Nazrul Islam will be completely banned."

My comment:

Now these are nightmares of all the 'pro chetona', 'pro-independence' segments of our middle class who have nothing better to do. Obviously Mr. Kasem has not read any of my articles or knows nothing of my position, for if he had done so he would have known about my Marxist-Leninist background, and that I dislike India for the same reason I dislike Pakistan; i.e., I LOVE BANGLADESH.

Like the Pakistanis who would raise the fatwa of 'Islam being in danger' whenever we spoke for Independence, so are these 'neo-chetonawalas' who would say the country is in 'grave danger from anti-liberation forces'. Fact of the matter is Bangladesh has remained independent for 30 years and will remain so for many years to come. Also keep in consideration that 65 percent of the Bangladesh population is between the age of 15-35 and have really no time for the [frivolity] of these elements. I happen to stand for this generation - and it is ironic but true, that Avijit is also part of that generation.

Some people can be the product of a brainwashed mind, fouled by eczema of the soul - that uttering the word of a Muslim God is tantamount to prejudice on a Hindu God or vice versa!! ...Let me also remind them that I will fight till the last breath has left my body that Bangladesh does not become a theocracy. I am sure I am not the only one.

I cannot say anything in defense of Farhad because he has his own mind...- but I have sent him a copy of this article. However, knowing him, he may not have much to say that will make Avijit or Mr. Kasem engage him in any debates!!

Mr. Abul Kasem wrote:

"In cultural arena, all zari, sari, bhatiyali, murshidi, baul songs, polli giti, etc., will be banned. These will be replaced with hamd, nat-i-rasul,and qauwali. Only modern song you'll ever hear will be our new national anthem (Farhad Mazhar-Mac'; creation). Likewise, Dhaka University's Fine Arts building will be closed forever and the building will be fumigated first and then modernized to house Islamic arts and crafts such as display of decorated swords, and rehels (for holding Qur'an above the feet level)."

My response:

Unknown to Avijit or Mr.Kasem is the amount of time we have spent to encourage jari, shari, bhatiali, baul and murshidi etc. They have not heard 'Bauliana' or any of my murshidi songs or kirtan and bhajan. They do not know that Farhad Mazhar's 'Nobopran Andolon' (NA) have spent decades researching on these folk forms, and that NA have chapters in India and Nepal! How can they possibly think that we can ban things that we are trying so hard to make sure that they survive?

Last if not the least I strongly suggest that they both read Farhad's 'Ebadatnama' that is postmodern interpretation of Gita and the Upanishad and seeks the Unity of the Muslim and Hindu Gods and its many pantheons. Incidentally 'Ebadatnama' is a text in postmodern literary theology at Columbia University in the US. All of that happened very quietly - without much fanfare!