Saturday, August 16, 2008

A New Prime Murderer

Unwilling to be contained any longer, new PM Prachanda's plan for Nepal balloons out and escapes from the side of his head.

A good title for Prachanda's biography: "Killing your way to the top."
Take a good look, Nepal. This is what you get when you don't pay attention to National politics.

Charles Haviland of the BBC and others gushingly say this election of Maoist strong-man Prachanda to the Prime Ministership paves the way for the creation of a "democratic government." How woefully uninformed. I especially love it when people like Haviland breathlessly chirp that the Maoists have "wide support in the villages." Dear God. They have wide support because people don't want to get killed for not supporting them. Hey Charles, if they are so well loved in the countryside, how come the poplulation of Kathmandu has tripled over the last 5 years? The capital city is swollen to the breaking point with refugees from the countryside. I guess they need a little break from all that "wide support" they're giving the Maoists, right?

Give him his due, Prachanda's may be the biggest political genius of all. He's found the one thing that unites Nepalis into a Nation: FEAR.

Hopefully it will be short lived. In what could be the perfect corner for "The Fierce One" (who incidentally didn't look so fierce with all those flower Mallas strangling him) to trap himself, Prachanda can no longer run back into the woods and hide. He's got to perform now. His biggest tool had always been the threat of "taking to the streets" in protest when things didn't go his way, now he will be forced to find political solutions to difficult issues or risk being labeled as yet another weak and ineffective Nepali Prime Minister. And don't think those vanquished politicians are going to sit quietly. They've got plenty of skill and power and will be looking to form any wedge they can in a Prachanda government.
The good part:

With any luck, the trappings of power and world attention will dilute Prachanda's violent and radical tendencies. Blinded by the light, blogdai hopes. He looked a bit overwhelmed by his victory so let's hope he stays overwhelmed by all the world attention and doesn't drop the repressive Mao hammer on the people.

Also, a Prime Minister as volatile as Prachanda will give Nepal what it sorely lacks in government: a true system of checks and balances. The RNA will keep its distance and monitor developments critically from now on. They're already an independent lot and won't tolerate Prachanda's continued insistence that Maoist fighters be integrated into the National army. Our army boys will be only too willing to step into the fray should Prachanda trigger a Communist ideological melt-down.

Next, new president Ram Baran Yadav genuinely seems to be a man of integrity and personal conviction. Forget his claimed "crisis" in Nepal; Yadav blatently snubbed the Chinese and their invitation to the Olympics. His very election threw the Maoists into a tantrum whereby they threatened to not form a government. He'll be no rubber stamp for Maoist plans, that's for sure.

The best part is that Girija is officially GONE! blogdai can barely contain the political joy at the prospects. Plus, Deuba, Makune, and Oli are relegated to the status of opposition party. As we said in past columns, if the Maoists can do nothing else right, we owe them some form of thanks for removing these greedy idiots and obstacles to progress from the halls of power.

The bad part:

I can see it now, YCL cadres seizing suites at the Radisson and demanding free room service.

Maoist cadres running wild in the villages sparking retalliatory killings and looting at will.

Prachanda's penchant for seizing property could take on grand proportions in Kathmandu.

The world community determines Nepal to be a rogue state and drastically curtails foreign aid.

Too many of these scenarios to list, I'm afraid....

The bottom line is: The new leader of Nepal has more blood on his hands than all the Rana kings combined. Our pain and suffering will be on the ground and in the villages, not in the halls of government. We are in for more turbulence, not less. When will we wake up?

At least we got rid of Girija.


Friday, August 01, 2008

No Summit for China

China's alleged torch summit of Everest, complete with no bearing for verification, a casual lack of exertion on the part of the participants, and moist breath with no rime ice.

In light of the new information being reported on the wires about Chinese olympic "ethics," such as the reversal to allow journalists unfettered access to the internet, the blatant forging of 14 year old gymnast He Kexin's olympic application so that she appears 16 and thus, within olympic rules; and the increase, rather than decrease of stringent clamp-downs on all manner of dissent; we here at blogdai feel its time to report on a story we've been working on for a few months now. Most of you know of blogdai and June's repulsion at Chinese bullying, so we have been very careful to verify sources, interview those present, and intensely study all film footage involved so as not to present the facade of impeachable bias against the Chinese. So, after almost 2 months of research we here at blogdai have concluded:

China faked their olympic torch run to Mt. Everest.

We have friends who were among the first to summit Everest after the climbing ban was lifted. Their comments help inform this report. Plus, we've interviewed climbers, famous and lesser for their opinions and their startling insights.

Some observations supporting our theory:

----No "money shot." All photos taken are from close range making verification of the summit difficult. Most, if not all expeditions take the photo proof shot, regardless of weather. Proof lies in showing a recognizable land feature or peak who's perspective in a summit photo proves the altitude and angle that confirms a successful bid. The Chinese offered nothing more than close-in shots. Even an "immediate space" shot was not available (at least none that we could find) to verify the approximate dimensions of the summit area. Also, there was no apparent evidence of the old, faded prayer flags that mark the summit and have been known to stay in place for a few seasons or more. Prayer flags in Chinese photos stand alone and look newly placed.

----China's dubious ascent in 1960. They've done this before, apparently. Sketchy verification of a summit bid in 1960 is still in dispute in some climbing circles. They claimed to have climbed it at night so verification was difficult. Hmm.

----The claim of "mysterious lights" near the summit. Hard to buy since Nepal maintained armed guards from camp II upwards on the Nepal side to prevent anyone sneaking up on the Chinese. What were those "lights" then? Perhaps a loose-lipped expeditioner was seeing members of his own support team near the much lower level that they were actually reporting from.

----Chatter boxes. Through the summit torch lighting ceremony on Youtube video, women climbers are heard chattering away in the background with out a hint of the exertion expert climbers feel at the summit of Everest. They are talking in long, single-breath sentences. Ask anyone who's summited Everest and they'll tell you it's not a place for a monologue. Short, clipped sentences are all most can manage at that altitude.

----Moisture. No one we've spoken with who has summited Everest has ever remembered there being fog-like moisture coming from a climber's breath. They few times moisture has been present in the atmosphere near, but much lower than the summit, other phenomenon present themselves as one of our experts mentions below:

The one thing that struck me funny about the footage; if you watch it, you see peoples breath. In my 8 years on that hill, the air is too dry on top to see your breath that much. They were also not that iced up, if it indeed was a moist enough storm to see breath, they would have been covered in rime ice. They would have seen no other lights, as the military at camp 2 on the Nepal side made sure no one went above them.

Friends of blogdai at summit of Everest just a few weeks after the China's alleged summit. Peaks in the background give reasonable verification. "Game's Over: Free Tibet" banner was a nice touch.

---- Chinese footage on Youtube showing a long line of climbers traversing a long pitch is not recognizable as a portion of the north face ascent of Everest and may be tied to a secondary peak.

----Climbers and blogdai contributors who were among the first to summit Everest after the alleged Chinese bid report no new flags, momentos or any evidence that the olympic torch ever reached the summit.

----By their own claims, the Chinese torch bid was doomed to fail simply by their planning hubris. A quick, alpine-style ascent is a sure recipe for failure on Everest (Unless you are Reinhold Messner) Our blogdai consultant was waiting to summit from the Nepal side during this time and filed this dispatch:

The (Chinese) truly (expletive) themselves with an elementary mistake, by the sounds. Drop your camps in the windy spots, don’t leave them up unattended to get ripped apart...


So, blogdai has a request: climbers and anyone who knows, chime in here. Thousands of you were in the Khumbu at the time of the Nepal ban and the Chinese attempt. We want to hear from you. In the interest of fairness, we will give first priority to those who can offer definitive PROOF that the Chinese actually made the summit of Everest with their damn torch.

Even more, blogdai opens up the discussion to anyone with an opinion on this. Get informed first. Google "China Everest Torch" or anything similar; go to and watch all the footage you can on the Chinese bid and report your opinions here. Good luck and good hunting.