Biplab Deb, who is the chief minister of the north-eastern state of Tripura, has become an international clown after claiming that the Internet was invented thousands of years ago by ancient Indians. He now competes as the world’s least intelligent person with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan who claimed that Muslims discovered America.
There is another horrific report from Pakistan where village elders ordered a “revenge rape” as a punishment. After a man was accused of raping a woman in Pir Mahal in the Toba Tek Singh district of Punjab province, the village council formed and ordered the sister of the accused to be raped by the brother of his victim as justice. They all then reportedly watched the rape.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expanded his destruction of civil liberties and secular government with a new call for the arrest of students opposing war as “terrorists.” Erdogan was not content with arresting or firing thousands of intellectuals in Turkish schools. He now wants to arrest free-thinking students — leaving Turkish colleges occupied by government-approved faculty stooges and government-controlled students. He has also barred the teaching of various subjects including evolution. Erdogan’s ire was directed at students at Bogazici University. I had the pleasure of speaking at Bogazici University years ago and it was considered one of the finest academic institutions in the World. The university attracted the top students in the country and it is little surprise that Erdogan and his religious parties would view the students as a threat.
We have previously discussed the unparalleled bravery of the women fighting discriminatory Islamic law requiring them to wear veils and limiting their freedoms due to their gender. This is particularly true of the women engaged in protests over compulsory headscarves in Iran. Now however the Islamic regime is cracking down and not just arresting women but charging them with “inciting prostitution.” It is the perfect sexist charge to go with deeply sexist legal system. A woman who asserts her most basic right to expression and religious choices is treated by the Islamic government as fostering prostitutes.
Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the Gates plea deal and what Special Counsel Robert Mueller could be hoping to achieve beyond sealing the fate of Paul Manafort. In guaranteeing the testimony of Manafort’s close associate, Mueller may have practically limited the options to a plea or a pardon for Manafort. For the moment, Manafort seems more likely to wait for the latter than the former. He chastised his former aide as lacking “the strength to continue the battle to prove our innocence.” Perhaps, but Mueller clearly believes that whatever strength is lacking in Gates as a person will be made up as a witness facing 48-71 months in prison.
Here is the column: