Talk:Asia-Pacific Foundation

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Talk:Asia-Pacific Foundation/Archive Of Posts to May 2006

May 2006 - discussion

Hi Ben, I'd like to explain why I'm going to revert the edits you recently made to the following articles:

First, I have to say that the characterization you offered for the edits ("removed repetitions, dead links") seems rather inaccurate. For example, you have removed the mention of the Daily Excelsior article about the APF's founding conference from the Asia-Pacific Foundation article. This is neither a repetition nor a dead link. There are numerous other examples of this. You have gone through the articles arbitrarily deleting content, without offering a proper explanation.

If a link is dead, or the content of the page it points to has changed so that the link no longer supports the assertion being made in the article, the first step should be to check in the Internet Archive for a cached copy of the old version of the page, rather than simply deleting the link and the associated content.

A particular problem arises with the content of the old APF website, which is that shortly after I provided links to various pages on their website (which had been inadequately masked behind a new homepage), they removed those pages. So then I changed the links to point to copies in the Internet Archive... and it didn't take long before the APF requested that its site be removed from the archive. Do you spot a pattern here? The fact that the APF appears to have gone to some lengths to flush the old contents of its website down the memory hole is a good reason to keep that content alive, in my book.

Unfortunately, copyright reasons preclude me from simply uploading my saved copies (and screengrabs) of those pages and Word documents to SourceWatch. What I propose to do is this. I will create a sub-article called Asia-Pacific Foundation/Publications and website, with a summary of the contents of those saved pages and documents. This is legally OK under Fair Use, as far as I understand. I'm also sending a copy of those saved pages to SourceWatch's editor, so he has them in case of future queries.

Finally Ben, I'd like to suggest that if you want to make further changes to the articles, please make each change as a separate edit, offering a detailed justification in the Summary box.

Cheers, --Neoconned 13:52, 4 May 2006 (EDT)

Having looked at wikipedia's article on Fair Use, it seems to me that at it should be OK to upload at least some of my screengrabs of the deleted APF website pages, both on the grounds of public interest, and amount and substantiality. --Neoconned 14:25, 4 May 2006 (EDT)
Hi Neoconned,
There are numerous reasons why I made the appropriate changes, and which I totally stand by. I made those changes over a week ago, and on one page three weeks ago. If you had any issue with that you surely should have raised it back then. I am a 'sysop' of which I’m very proud of and I know it carries a lot of responsibility. I’m somewhat hurt by your comments that I’ve made arbitrary changes.
Perhaps I should have given a more detailed explanation, which I did not think was required, but which I will happily do so now. To some extent this is my fault as I have allowed these inaccuracies and selective reasoning to remain on those pages for far too long, and they should really have been corrected earlier. I feel it is absolutely essential that the integrity of SW is maintained at all times. Quoting from you, SW has very strict rules on referencing.
Firstly, all the pages unfortunately look like your own private blogs, full of conspiracies, maybe that’s not your intention, I’m sure it’s not, but they do strongly convey that you have a personal problem with these people, as many others have already suggested. Maybe you don’t, but whenever anyone has made a change you have reverted it and then added reactionary comments. Creating another page would only justify their perceptions and there is no need for that. You have done a good job on SW and added some important innovations and you are a valued member. However, on these pages I’m afraid to say that you are not being fair, nor accurate.
For instance, the Agra quote does not exist anywhere, other then on your screengrab. With respect, and I mean that, we don’t know if it is genuine or legitimate, many will say it has come from your computer, an image can easily be taken after the text is manipulated. Because of your strong intrest in these pages we certainly can’t be sure. Also, the Fair Use terms from wikipedia talks about images and pictures, not old web pages, because it cannot be proved that it is a true reflection of what existed. In addition, I also think it doesn’t proves anything. The APF website, if one can even call it that, is old, and they seem rather slow, archaic, at doing anything with it; but, all websites make changes or updates and replace old data, and that alone cannot be interpreted as an elaborate conspiracy theory that you seem keen to state as a fact.
Secondly, you choose what it seems is a selective paragraph about Agra, allegedly from a document, to justify your argument and then you picked on a very random and obscure source, the WSWS, to justify the argument. The WSWS is a known communist site. Have a look at the following links [1], [2],
Vajpayee’s own opponents have called him a man of peace. The WSWS has nothing to do with what Gohel allegedly said, it has to do with Vajpayee. Therefore it is not appropriate to keep it and I removed it as I did on the other links to do with the region because, as I’m sure you know, Pakistan was seen, after 9/11 and even more so after 7/7 as being an alleged base for al-Qaeda and Taliban, and for this reason Bush and the Neocons have forged such close links to President Musharraf despite his flagrant abuses of human rights and democracy. SW has articles on that like: Porter Goss; and Bush lies and deceptions: The Pakistani Exception.
Some of your other sources are very tenuous and again the credibility is somewhat lacking. The quote from “Daily Excelsior”, which it seems is an obscure regional newspaper, does not even get the spellings of names right. This is not a credible source. Secondly, in the article it does not say anywhere in it that the APF focused on Pakistan, people that spoke at the conference did, there is a clear difference. The newspaper deliberately chose a selective headline that you seem to have jumped on.
Other bizarre quotes are also from sites which are not well known and missing credibility. Quite frankly, no one would use them for any other SW page.
Lastly, there are ample repetitions in the names which looks strange, an article should not read like a bullet list. And, you don’t need three sources to illustrate exactly the same point.
You also made a reference to a comment which was ‘Blairite’. Again, that is in the realms of personal opinion and not fact. As far as I know, it is not what Blair has ever said but I had left that bit in there. I’ve tried not to change everything although, technically I could have. I had compromised.
SW should not become a vehicle for any personal issue that you, myself or anyone may have. Fairness and accuracy is all important, otherwise even one badly constructed page can hurt the entire SW effort.
I’ve tried to be fair and accurate which is why no one else from SW has ever queried my integrity. I’ve set up numerous new pages and tried to update many others, none of which you have taken issue with, nor anyone else.
The Talk page on the APF is totally outdated and issues have been resolved and again seem to mostly reflect your blog type edits. Other SW Talk pages have been changed overtime. In any case the info still remains in the history log for anyone to look at it.
Out of consideration to you, I have made some more compromises. The rest I am restoring as I strongly and adamantly feel they reflect accuracy and fairness. And, I will pursue this very robustly as I don’t like SW high standards being damaged, and which I hope you will agree with and support. Cheers.
-- Ben Malcom
Hi Ben,
Sorry I didn't deal with your latest edits earlier - I was away travelling.
You're right - I can't prove that I didn't concoct those screengrabs. Fortunately, it turns out that those APF pages are still in the cache of one of Google's many servers. I don't know why they haven't been dropped from that particular server, as they certainly aren't in the cache of most Google servers. The server in question is You can verify it is a Google server by using this NSLOOKUP facility:
Here is the cached copy of MJ Gohel's Agra article:
Here is the cached copy of the Organisation page:
Bob has just taken screengrabs of those two cached articles and will be uploading them shortly. Hopefully you're not going to accuse him of forgery as well! In the meantime, please could you check the cached articles, and confirm that my previous screengrabs were indeed accurate?
You claim that "many other" SW users have criticised what I wrote. This is false. Two other users have done so. One was User:Schmil who disappeared after a couple of days. Another was User:SARS, who despite grand promises about all the things he wanted to write about, has never contributed anything to SW apart from destructive edits to the APF articles, and writing his own user page. There has been no criticism of the content of the articles by either CMD staff or SW regulars. It's also worth noting that you, Schmil, and SARS appeared immediately after I wrote the APF articles (your very first edits were about them), and have shown a disproportionate interest in them.
You are completely wrong about deleting the talk page. It contains much that is still relevant, in particular some comments by you,
  • in which you praise the APF for promoting civil liberties
  • imply that you may have received country profiles from them
  • state you met one of their coordinators at a seminar
  • state you are satisfied by the way I have referenced my contributions in the APF articles (exactly the same references you are no complaining about, and/or challenging the authenticity of)
  • complain about the practice of listing past members of staff of organisations - with a reply by Bob explaining why it makes sense.
And of course the discussion about an article belongs on its talk page. It makes no sense at all to spread them around individual users's pages (although it's fine to cc individual comments of course).
I happen to think your comments about the Excelsior are both patronizing and offensive. If you bothered to check, you'd find it has the largest circulation out of all newspapers (not just English language ones) in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and has been going for 42 years. I doubt you'd regard it as "obscure" if you lived in that part of the world. If we were to ignore all regional newspapers in SW we'd severely limit our scope. My articles on the NHS have relied heavily on some excellent reporting in the Yorkshire Post. If that regional newspaper is suitable for SW, why isn't the Excelsior? Care to explain?
You said: "Secondly, in the article it does not say anywhere in it that the APF focused on Pakistan, people that spoke at the conference did, there is a clear difference. The newspaper deliberately chose a selective headline that you seem to have jumped on." True, that's why I wrote that "The Excelsior's report characterised the focus of the conference as being Pakistan's alleged support for terrorism in the region." I made perfectly clear that that characterisation of the conference was by the Excelsior's journalists.
However, there are plenty of second sources for that section in more well known (from a western-centric point of view) publications, and I will add them shortly to the article. What is appropriate is to expand the sources for a given section, not simply delete that section. Are you going to argue that information about the APF's founding conference doesn't belong in the article?
You said: "you picked on a very random and obscure source, the WSWS, to justify the argument". Again you are wilfully misrepresenting what I wrote. You imply that I disguised the source of that quote behind the acronym WSWS. In fact I wrote that "According to Kranti Kumara of the World Socialist Web Site..." So I don't think any SW reader would have been in any doubt that the WSWS is a socialist site. Again, let's add more sources to that section, instead of deleting it.
A couple of other points. You removed the section about the edits from a RUSI computer? Why? That is all backed up by SW's own editing history, and NSLOOKUP. Is it not noteworthy that such critical comments about the APF originated from a computer within RUSI? The section already carefully points out that it could just have been a student or visitor making the comments.
And you removed the section about Geopolitical Research Ltd. Again, why? Do a company records search and you'll find it's entirely accurate. Or perhaps you think the Companies House website is one of those "sites which are not well known and missing credibility" ?
What's striking is your constantly changing rationale for deleting almost all the information in these articles. The only thing that appears to be consistent is your desire to get rid of as much of their content as possible. My position is consistent. I don't have particularly strong feelings about the APF. I don't believe it is engaged in a conspiracy. I'm treating it in exactly the same way as I treat all the other topics I write about in SW. Your rather hysterical suggestion that I concocted those screengrabs sums up your clumsy approach to this issue. Unfortunately for you, I've been able to prove the screengrabs were genuine. I think you owe me an apology.
I'm reverting your edits again. Please stop vandalizing these articles.
--Neoconned 00:16, 8 May 2006 (EDT)

Let's take a deep breath here


As Neoconned has requested, I have verified the authenticity of the screengrabs in question and have noted so on the images' discussion pages.

This article covers ground that is a bit outside of my area of expertise, but I wanted to see if I could interject in this debate--you are both very prolific and valued SW contributors and I'd hate to see this degenerate any further.

Could you both post here your specific objections to the APF article as it currently stands? I'd like to see if we can come to a consensus position, keeping in mind SW's policies of requiring external sourcing, keeping speculation and opinion out, and generally erring on the side of not deleting other users' contributions if there is not something specifically inaccurate or grossly inappropriate about them.

I'm not try to set myself up as an arbiter here (I'm still fairly new and Congresspedia, not SourceWatch, is my bailiwick), but I thought if we took a breath here and tried to live with each other's contributions as fellow valued SW contributors, we might be able to find a consensus. If not I suppose we could have Bob sort it out, but it's better to solve these things amongst users, no?

--Conor Kenny, Congresspedia editor, 14:31, 8 May 2006 (EST).

Hi Connor - I appreciate your efforts. I will not as requested by you make any changes to the pages as they stand at the present time, I trust Neoconned will do the same.
What I will also do if that is ok, is that I will send you a detailed e-mail about my points and concerns. This is to avoid long debates and arguments appearing on a talk page that is already very big. There are many issues that need to be resolved. And I'll be e-mailing you about it. Best -- Ben Malcom
Hi everyone - Following Bob and Conor's interventions, I'm also perfectly willing not to make any edits to the articles for the time being. What I'll do instead is post any changes I'd like to make to a section on this talk page, where we can all discuss their merits or otherwise. I do agree with Bob [3] that Ben should make his criticisms of the article's content in public, rather than by email. The length of this talk page is really not an issue, as Bob has indicated. --Neoconned 07:21, 9 May 2006 (EDT)

List of sources for Ben to comment on

Since Ben has described the sources used by these articles as "not well known and missing credibility", I'd appreciate it if he would comment on this complete list of sources for the Asia-Pacific Foundation article, explaining which sources he has an issue with, and why. --Neoconned 23:08, 9 May 2006 (EDT)

These sources only appear in the External Links section:

May 2006 - proposed changes to the article

Could contributors please put any proposed changes to the article in this section, along with supporting arguments. Please use a separate subsection for each change. --Neoconned 07:25, 9 May 2006 (EDT)

Additional supporting references for the section on the APF's founding conference

  • Dushy Ranetunge, "Terrorist — the bell tolls for thee!", March 06, 2001. Reprinted on InfoLanka message board. I think this was originally published in The Island newspaper (Sri Lanka), as Ranetunge was its London correspondent at that time [4]. TO DO - need to find primary source for this.

Justification: It's certainly the case that this section could do with more references than one regional Indian newspaper. However, the APF's founding conference clearly should be in the article. Here are some more reports on the conference. --Neoconned

Other conferences organised by the APF

Google Archive May 2006

As the cached files of the APF website may not last much longer I have downloaded all the pages as pdf files which preserves the Google cache data, the original page and with a timestamp on when the pages were saved. I have uploaded the index of the pages as a pdf. --Bob Burton 22:00, 11 May 2006 (EDT) http://www.sourcewatch.org/images/e/ea/Google_Search_Results.pdf