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      Volume 10 |Issue 18 | May 13, 2011 |


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TV does not tell a thousand words


Some recurring and customary, now almost traditional, talk-show guests are absolutely brilliant actors, if anything. They are not off-screen what they appear to be on; suave, humble, non-communal, and in love with the public they are actually not. Once, finding such a member of the elite group suddenly face to face, I commenced a routine and courteous salaam, and she (believe it or not!) turned her face away. Were there millions teeming between HRH and I? No, other than she and I, there was only another gentleperson in the room. Since then, as before, I have seen her espouse many issues that would make you cry and your heart bleed in passion. But gratefully due to technology, I have to tolerate her barely, as I have the option to switch to fifty other channels.

I also switch off sewer-mouthed Navjot Singh Sidhu , whose likening Aamar Sonar Bangla to cockroaches, albeit obliquely, during the last WC is too much to swallow, although some vouch that, boiled, they are good for asthma or sorts. Never try that with a Sidhu, but we green-and-red shirts would definitely look forward to boiling the Punjab da Puttar at the first opportunity. Meanwhile, I request BCB through this column not to have anything to do with this BJP politician-cum-abderian clown, because in 2006 the Punjab and Haryana High Court found this former India cricketer guilty of culpable homicide, not amounting to murder, in a case dating back to an incident in Patiala in 1988 when he and his friend dragged an elderly man out of his car and showered him with blows after a road accident. (Cricinfo) Kya kya cheez aata hain TV par!

In divulging to the world that Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan's Abottabad, Obama also had to act up his part on global TV, live on camera. There are details that he knows and has seen that he cannot share, and yet he has to make the world believe that indeed the enigmatic Al-Qaeda leader is dead; no enviable task that even for any accomplished actor.

A few days after the compound-raid by four US silent helicopters (that's a new one for me) Al-Qaeda supposedly broke its silence accepting the death of their director of operations. But that announcement could well be made up. Pictures of the dead persons could have helped, but that could also be edited to suit the purpose the publicist's client.

On 1 May 2011, CBS News broke the news thus: “After 10 years of hunting, a team of CIA officers and Navy SEALs kill bin Laden in a fire-fight near the Pakistani capital.”

That was what the world media in general reported, but there were concurrent misgivings about Osama's reported janaza and burial at sea. Who attended, where, when...

On 4 May 2011, conspiracy theorist to some and self declared libertarian radio host Alex Jones' Prison Planet website brought in another twist with a report from Paul Joseph Watson.

“Top US government insider Dr. Steve R. Pieczenik, a man who held numerous different influential positions under three different Presidents and still works with the Defense Department, shockingly told The Alex Jones Show yesterday that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001...

“Back in April 2002, over nine years ago, Pieczenik told the Alex Jones Show that Bin Laden had already been 'dead for months', and that the government was waiting for the most politically expedient time to roll out his corpse. Pieczenik would be in a position to know, having personally met Bin Laden and worked with him during the proxy war against the Soviets in Afghanistan back in the early 80's.

“Pieczenik said that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001, 'Not because special forces had killed him, but because as a physician I had known that the CIA physicians had treated him and it was on the intelligence roster that he had (a degenerative genetic disease) marfan syndrome,' adding that the US government knew Bin Laden was dead before they invaded Afghanistan.

'He died of marfan syndrome, Bush junior knew about it, the intelligence community knew about it,' said Pieczenik, noting how CIA physicians had visited Bin Laden in July 2001 at the American Hospital in Dubai, ... and that Bin Laden died shortly after 9/11 in his Tora Bora cave complex.”

In apparently further meandering from the truth, the Pakistan Prime Minister began blaming the world intelligence for its failure to find Osama. Pakistan would do well to go along with Pieczenik's line because you cannot find a dead man alive; that's intelligence at its supreme.

In this month of Bangla's first Nobel Laureate's Shardhashata, (seriously a new one for me) I cannot but conclude without letting you ponder on the relevance of his verse to Obama's catch.

“The butterfly flitting from flower to flower ever remains mine, I lose the one that is netted by me.” Rabindranath Tagore, philosopher, author, songwriter, composer, painter, and educator. (1861-1941)


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