tinder and kindling

When he landed in Pakistan after UNGA last week Imran Khan gave a speech in Hindi about what he wants for the Indian Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir. These are a few things he said (in bold type), with my imagined Indian responses (in italics).

Imran: “It is jihad. We are doing it because we want Allah to be happy with us.”

Gen. Bipin Rawat: Ah! He finally admitted it.

Imran: “Kashmiris will win if the Pakistani people stand by their side.”

Tamilian: Win what?

Kashmiri: Freedom!

Assamese: From what?

Kashmiri: India!

Gujju: To do what?

Kashmiri: I can’t answer that!

Kashmiri Pandit: Oh, let me answer that! These people chased us, Kashmiri Pandits, out of the valley in 1990. They killed nearly 50,000 of us. They occupied our homes and grabbed everything we owned. We now live in a refugee camp in Delhi. We were a minority, a small percentage of the population, even before the genocide. The freedom to change the demography of Kashmir and destroy its syncretic culture, then secede from India – this is what they want to ‘win’.

Punjabi: Abey, don’t you see that’s losing, not winning? Job nahi, paisa nahi, kya faltu azadi hai … 

Kashmiri: Indian government uses your taxes to take care of us, we don’t need jobs! And we get Rs. 500 each for stone-pelting every time!

Malayalee: Don’t worry Imran bhai, we’ll stand by the side of the Balochis too, and make them win. 

Imran: “India must lift inhuman curfew and release all political prisoners.” 

Bengali: What will you do if we lift the curfew?

Kashmiri: Pelt stones at the Indian Army, na-nana-naa-nah!

Mumbaikar: Release prisoners – like the guy responsible for the attack on the Taj Hotel here? The one who was released in a hostage exchange after an Indian plane was hijacked…?

Kashmiri: Exactly!

Imran: “If there is a face-off between India and Pakistan there will be consequences.”

With that, PM Imran Khan thanked his nation, and his third wife, for channeling divine strength to support him in the forty-five minutes it took to say all that he wanted to say to the world.


Of course, this threat of consequences is a commonly used template all over the world.


It is a holy war.

We are doing it because we want Yahveh to be happy with us, his chosen people.

Palestinians will ‘win’ if they give up West Bank and East Jerusalem to Israel.

Palestinians must stop killing our soldiers and our people in Israeli settlements.

If there is a face-off, there will be consequences.


It is a war against immigrants.

We are doing it because we want the American people to be happy.

Mexicans and DACA kids will ‘win’ if they go back, because ICE won’t hound them any more.

We don’t want more of them coming across the border.

If there is a face-off, there will be consequences.


It is a war against sanctions.

We are doing it – enriching our Uranium – because we want to use our stash our way.

The Saudis will ‘win’ if they ask the US to lift the inhuman sanctions imposed on us. Otherwise, schadenfreude over their anonymously bombed oilfields is all they get from us.

If there’s a face-off, there will be consequences. We will catch a random oil tanker passing through the Strait of Hormuz and hold the Indian or Filipino crew hostage!


It is a war for space.

We did it because we need Sevastopol to dock our Black Sea fleet.

Ukraine will ‘win’ if it doesn’t try to join the NATO, or station its army close to us like it did in 2014 (only 500 km from Moscow!).

If there’s a face-off . . . it’s just as well they elected a comedian as their President!


It is a war for profit.

We do it – supply drugs to American kids – because we need the money.

America will ‘win’, now that they have legalized weed and might’ve thus paved the way to legalize our other stuff as well.

If there is a face-off, there will be consequences. El Chapo isn’t the only one, tenemos muchos más hombres como él.


It is an economic war.

We are doing it because Catalonia gives us one fifth of our GDP. It’s our golden goose. We can’t lose it.

Catalonians will ‘win’ if they stop fussing – see what happened to Puigdemont?

No more face-offs, okay?


It is a cultural war.

We are doing it because we want to protect our culture.

The British will ‘win’ if they honour our laws and stop entering our neighbourhoods to impose their laws.

The British must not expect us to assimilate into their culture.

If there’s a face-off, there will be consequences, but we’d rather talk about them after Brexit, when it’s just them and us, with no EU to side with them!


This is not a war. There are no opponents.

We are doing this because communism is the only way for a country to prosper.

The Uighurs will ‘win’ if they cooperate with us in the camps we have set up for them.

There will never be a face-off – we pre-empted it!

Like in everything else we do, there’ll be no consequences for us! Check out our latest islands in the South China Sea!


Each of  these is like a stack of seasoned firewood. Never know when somebody will pile on kindling, sprinkle some tinder, strike a match and start a raging fire in one of them!


6 thoughts on “tinder and kindling

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