When Genghis Khan rode across Eurasia, he announced - 'All cities must be razed'. The Mongols preferred the open land. They hated cities. So did the ancient Vedic people - Indra's other name was Purandara, the destroyer of cities.
This week the battles over Aleppo (Syria) and Sirte (Libya) are substantially over. But in taking these cities, they have also been razed. So too was Kobané (Syria) and so will be Mosul (Iraq).
My column this week at Alternet is on Libya, where not only has Sirte been taken from ISIS, but ISIS has slipped the net and spread across the vast Liby
The death of Fidel Castro was not unexpected. He died at 90, even as he had faced hundreds of assassination attempts by the CIA and its associates. In The Hindu, I wrote an appreciation of Fidel's role as the voice of the Third World. It drew from my memories of hearing him speak at the 1983 Non-Aligned Movement meeting in New Delhi and the 2001 World Conference Against Racism. 'Castro, for the Third World', I wrote, 'was not merely another leader. He was the mirror of its aspirations. That mirror is now shattered'. You can read the short essay here. A longer discussion