Saturday, November 6, 2010


U.S. President Barack Obama speaks as first lady Michelle Obama looks on at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel in Mumbai November 6, 2010. 
REUTERS/Jason Reed

First a note from Peter Chamberlin of There are no sunglasses weblog:

 [Every finger that points at Pakistan and LET for the Mumbai attacks is a finger pointing directly at the CIA.  There can be little doubt that this paramilitary operation was just another round in a long series of CIA false flag attacks, staged to create the state of perpetual war that they are offering us and our children, as well as our grandchildren.   If Obama does not understand all of this, then he is just another stage monkey dancing to the invisible "organ grinder," just like Bush and Clinton.   SEE: David Colemann Headley Is A CIA-FBI Agent ]
Right: U.S. President Barack Obama's handwritten note is seen after signing a book during his visit to the 26/11 memorial at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, site of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai November 6, 2010. 
REUTERS/Jason Reed

 Barack Obama: “The Taj is a symbol of strength and resilience of the Indian people”
US President Barack Obama has said India and the US are united against terrorism, as he visited the scene of deadly attacks in Mumbai in 2008.
He said the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, where he and his wife are staying as guests, was a symbol of India’s “strength and resilience”.
Mr. Obama is on the first leg of a 10-day Asian tour designed to boost US exports and create jobs.
He is also due to visit Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.
“We will never forget,” Mr. Obama said at a memorial to the victims of the attack by Islamic militants.
The outdoor memorial is a fountain with floating flowers just off the lobby of the hotel.
He also wrote in a memorial book: “The United States stands in solidarity with all of Mumbai and all of India in working to eradicate the scourge of terrorism.”
More than 170 people died in a series of co-ordinated attacks across the city in November 2008.
Mr. Obama said he intended to send a signal by making Mumbai his first stop and by staying at the Taj hotel.
Later, the Obamas visited a museum in a former home of Mahatma Gandhi, seen as the father of Indian independence and revered as a global spiritual leader.
Mr. Obama wrote in the guest book that Gandhi “is a hero not just to India, but to the world”.
Big contracts
He is due to meet local business leaders and US executives. US officials say they expect major contracts to be announced.
The president’s tour follows US mid-term elections which saw heavy losses for Democrats, seen in part as punishment for the US administration’s inability to tackle high unemployment.
Mr. Obama’s plane, Air Force One, touched down in Mumbai at about midday (0700 GMT) after a 15-hour flight from Washington.
After being greeted by officials, he and his wife, Michelle, were then taken by helicopter to the Taj Mahal Palace hotel.
Warship patrol
Security is tight for Mr. Obama’s visit.
Thousands of Indian and US security personnel are deployed and a US naval warship is on patrol in the waters off the coast of the city.
The BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder, in Mumbai, says that while residents are celebrating Diwali – the festival of light – celebrations in the city are muted because of the huge security operation.
Left: President Obama and his wife, Michelle, visited a museum dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi
But while the president will pay his respects to victims, he will also be seeking to drum up business for the United States, our correspondent says.
Before the trip, Mr. Obama spoke of the need for greater US access to India markets as part of a drive to double US exports over the next five years and help revive the economy at home.
Trade between India and the US was worth about $40bn in 2008 – still significantly less than US trade with other partners like China and Europe.
‘Range of issues’
India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said Mr. Obama’s visit will expand strategic ties between the two countries leading to a more “productive” partnership.
“We are not at a stage in our relationship perhaps for another big bang but certainly there will be positive outcomes,” Ms Rao said on Wednesday.
“We will see concrete and significant steps in wide range of areas that will expand the long-term strategic framework in a way that we can create productive partnership for the mutual benefit and [will be] equally important to give substantive content and shape to the global strategic partnership,” she said.
White House officials say the administration plans 17 or 18 announcements during the trip on a range of economic, security and political issues.
Later on his trip, Mr. Obama will announce a “comprehensive partnership” including economic ties in Indonesia, attend a G20 summit of global economic powers in Seoul and participate in an Asia-Pacific economic forum in Yokohama, Japan.
Source: There are no sunglasesr  Images: Reuters

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