Obama faced with security problem at outset of transition process

Obama faced with security problem at

outset of transition process

Wayne Madsen Report — November 6, 2008


WMR has learned from informed U.S. intelligence sources that prospective Barack Obama White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel has an active FBI counter-intelligence file maintained on him. Emanuel’s rise to the Chief of Staff position may pose a significant security problem for President-elect Obama if the FBI insists on conducting the full background security investigation normally required for senior White House officials.

Questions about Emanuel’s links to the Israeli intelligence service, the Mossad, were allegedly so great that President Bill Clinton was forced to dismiss Emanuel from the White House staff in 1998. One of the FBI agents who discovered Emanuel’s dealings with Israeli intelligence was, according to our sources, the late FBI counter-terrorism Assistant Director John O’Neill. O’Neill retired after being set up in a smear operation involving a temporarily stolen brief case in 2001. O’Neill and another FBI agent who still works for the bureau and shall remain nameless at this point to protect him and his career discovered that Emanuel was heavily involved in the decision to place intern Monica Lewinsky close to President Clinton. O’Neill accepted the top security
position for Kroll Associates at the World Trade Center. O’Neill was killed in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. WMR has also reported that O’Neill was a close friend of slain retired Houston CIA station chief Roland V. “Tony” Carnaby, who was similarly investigating Israeli intelligence operations in the Houston area when Houston police shot and killed him last April.

Emanuel reportedly had knowledge of Israeli intelligence penetration of White House communications systems and Lewinsky, in sworn testimony before the Office of Independent Counsel, stated: “He [Clinton] suspected that a foreign embassy [it is now known that embassy was that of Israel] was tapping his telephones, and he proposed cover stories.” Lewinsky continued, “If ever questioned, she should say that the two of them were just friends. If anyone ever asked about their phone sex, she should say that they knew their calls were being monitored all along, and the phone sex was just a put on.”

WMR has learned from U.S. intelligence sources that Emanuel was discovered to be part of a political intelligence and blackmail operation directed against Clinton by Israel’s Likud Party and Binyamin Netanyahu to sink Clinton’s proposed Middle East peace deal. We have also learned that the FBI investigation of Emanuel is part of a file code-named the “Mega file.” “Mega” is a reference to a top-level Mossad agent in the Reagan administration who was said to have run a number of Israeli agents, including U.S. Navy spy Jonathan Pollard.”

Osama Bin Laden: An Inconvenient Truth

Osama Bin Laden: An Inconvenient Truth

John Chang

[Dec 7, 2001 tape very ill from Kidney Dialysis. A sick Bin Laden before he allegedly passed away in 2001.]

It was former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore who used the phrase “An Inconvenient Truth” in relation to his critically acclaimed film on Global Warming. However, it is apparent that this same phrase may also be applied to Osama Bin Laden. Elites of both the U.S. Republican and Democratic parties have pledged their determination to vanquish Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda “global terrorist network”. The threat of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda has been used to fundamentally inspire the bloating of a political-military-industrial complex to pursue a “War on Terror”. However, documented representation from credible sources suggest that Osama Bin Laden died at some time, long ago, and the idea that Al Qaeda exists as a terrorist-political network is a myth.

It was former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower who in 1961, warned of the dangers of a machinating, and ego-driven “military-industrial complex”, as a singular threat to “freedom and democracy”. It was also Leo Strauss, who championed the importance of elites creating “unifying myths” against a common enemy. Leo Strauss, who was a Jew, and Holocaust survivor, was ironically inspired by both Adolf Hitler and Nazi ideology.

In June 2004 edition of Harpers’ Magazine, Earl Shorris, wrote the article “Leo Strauss, George Bush, and the philosophy of mass deception”. The influence of neo-fascistic Straussianism in the U.S. President George W. Bush administration, and among America’s ruling elites in general, has been well documented. Could it be that alleged Crimes of Humanity that have been perpetrated under the pretext of a “War on Terror” have been supported by an industry of global; empire-driven myth-making associated with Osama Bin Laden who presides over an “Al Qaeda”?

In a political context inspired by Leo Strauss, one would expect the orchestration of fabrications and intrigues that can be used by elites to legitimate political narratives presented by elites through mass-media instruments. The political narrative presented by elites is that Osama Bin Laden through his Al-Qaeda network masterminded 9/11, and that the U.S and its “coalition of the willing” is seeking to defend “freedom and democracy” by executing a war to destroy Al Qaeda, and to find Bin Laden, who supposedly, “remains on the loose”. However, the fervent declarations of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) by the Bush Administration in Iraq, that was later shown to be based upon fabrications, proves that the entire “War on Terror” might very well be a Straussian-inspired ruse:

The present culture of public deception promoted and maintained through corporate-controlled media is very real, and has it’s recent origin in the neo- conservative philosophy of Leo Strauss.

Strauss was a German Jewish political philosopher who arrived in the United States in 1938. Strauss taught at several major universities, including University of Chicago. Among Strauss’s students were the architects of the neo-conservatism which has dominated and defined the agenda of the Democratic and the Republican parties of the past several decades.

Strauss saw the use of deception in politics as a necessity. While outwardly professing deep respect for American democracy, Strauss believed that societies should be hierarchical – divided between an elite who should lead, and the masses who should follow. Unlike philosophical elitists such as Plato, he was unconcerned with the moral character of these leaders.

Shadia Drury, Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary elaborates the following about Straussian ideology:

“Those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.”

It is furthermore illuminated that:

This philosophy requires an environment of “perpetual deception” in which the people are indoctrinated to a manufactured mythology, of simplistic character appropriate to their meagre powers of comprehension.

According to Drury, Straussian philosophy requires: “perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what’s good for them.” .

This philosophy of neo-conservatism also holds that: “While the elite few are capable of absorbing the absence of any moral truth, the masses could not cope. If exposed to the absence of absolute truth, they would quickly fall into nihilism or anarchy.”

Strauss also believed that “Because mankind is intrinsically wicked, he has to be governed.. Such governance can only be established, however, when men are united – and they can only be united against other people.”

A Straussian society then, requires a state of perpetual war. LINK

In Nazi Germany, Adolf Hilter used Jews, Gypsies, and “socialists” as scapegoats to inspire a sought primal hatred, that could be used to inspire the imperial desires of an elite. Could it be that Muslims are simply the scapegoats for a Straussian clique, that is also inspired by Adolf Hilter’s desires for a Third Reich and accompanying “New World Order”?

A translated article of the Egyptian Newspaper al-Wafd, published on Wednesday, December 26, 2001 Vol 15 No 4633 suggests that Osama Bin Laden died in 2001. The article was titled “News of bin Laden’s Death and Funeral 10 days ago”:

Islamabad — A prominent official in the Afghan Taliban movement announced yesterday the death of Osama bin Laden, the chief of al-Qa’da organization, stating that bin Laden suffered serious complications in the lungs and died a natural and quiet death. The official, who asked to remain anonymous, stated to The Observer of Pakistan that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial in Tora Bora 10 days ago. He mentioned that 30 of al-Qa’da fighters attended the burial as well as members of his family and some friends from the Taliban. In the farewell ceremony to his final rest guns were fired in the air. The official stated that it is difficult to pinpoint the burial location of bin Laden because according to the Wahhabi tradition no mark is left by the grave. He stressed that it is unlikely that the American forces would ever uncover any traces of bin Laden.

Pakistan’s leadership at the time of this article, in apparent confirmation of the authenticity of the article, also apparently thought that Bin Laden in fact had died:

‘Pakistan’s president says he thinks Osama bin Laden is most likely dead because the suspected terrorist has been unable to get treatment for his kidney disease’, writes CNN in connection with an interview with president Musharraf in 2002. The medical correspondent of CNN continues: ‘[...] renal dialysis — talking about hemodialysis — is something that really is reserved for patients in end-stage renal failure. That means their kidneys have just completely shut down.’ Also the Afghan president Karzai thinks that Laden probably is dead, as he tells CNN in 2002. A few weeks later CNN writes that it is possession of Bin Laden’s Will, but the authenticity of the document cannot be proven. LINK

Another representation by Baitullah Mehsud, who has been alleged to have assassinated Benazir Bhutto suggested that Bin Laden was killed 2 November 2007:

Mehsud also rejected claims by the government in Islamabad that he was responsible for the assassination in December of Pakistan People’s Party leader, Benazir Bhutto. “It wasn’t us who killed Bhutto,” he said.

He was quoted saying that the ex Prime minister was murdered because of the reason her leak to the media.

Benazir Bhutto had said Osama Bin Laden was murdered live on a British television interview with David Frost of the BBC on 2nd November 2007 has Benazir Bhutto mentioning that Osama Bin Laden was murdered 2 minutes into the video. LINK

But what about the bin Laden videos?

If it is true that Bin Laden is not alive any more, how can it be that we received a video message from him last year? WhatReallyHappened also has an answer to this. It cites the Washington Post which writes in an article with the heading When Seeing and Hearing Isn’t Believing: ‘Digital morphing — voice, video, and photo — has come of age, available for use in psychological operations’. WhatReallyHappened shows that Bin Laden in 2004 did not look like himself any more (see photo on left). He even became right-handed spontaneously (revealed in a published video). In short, it involves an actor, and not even a very good one. And his voice? In the meantime, thanks to technique, it is possible to totally forge a voice and let it say anything you want: ‘”Gentlemen! We have called you together to inform you that we are going to overthrow the United States government.” So begins a statement being delivered by Gen. Carl W. Steiner, former Commander-in-chief, U.S. Special Operations Command. At least the voice sounds amazingly like him. But it is not Steiner. It is the result of voice “morphing” technology developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. By taking just a 10-minute digital recording of Steiner’s voice, scientist George Papcun is able, in near real time, to clone speech patterns and develop an accurate facsimile. Steiner was so impressed, he asked for a copy of the tape’, writes the Washington Post. LINK

It is furthermore apparent that not only Bin Laden may very well be dead, but Al-Qaeda is also an apparent myth to keep Americans and the rest of the world in support of the ambitions of a political-military-industrial complex:

‘What is this al-Qaeda? Does such a group even exist? Some terrorism experts doubt it. Adam Dolnik and Kimberly McCloud reckon it’s time we ‘defused the widespread image of al-Qaeda as a ubiquitous, super-organised terror network and call it as it is: a loose collection of groups and individuals that doesn’t even refer to itself as al-Qaeda’. Dolnik and McCloud – who first started studying terrorism at the prestigious Monterey Institute of International Studies in California – claim it was Western officials who imposed the name ‘al-Qaeda’ onto disparate radical Islamic groups and who blew Osama bin Laden’s power and reach ‘out of proportion’. Both are concerned about the threat of terror, but argue that we should ‘debunk the myth of al-Qaeda”, writes Spiked.

‘There is also no evidence that Bin Laden used the term “Al Qaeda” to refer to the name of a group until after September the 11th, when he realized that this was the term the Americans have given it. [...]

‘The idea — which is critical to the FBI’s prosecution — that bin Laden ran a coherent organisation with operatives and cells all around the world of which you could be a member is a myth. There is no Al Qaeda organisation. There is no international network with a leader, with cadres who will unquestioningly obey orders, with tentacles that stretch out to sleeper cells in America, in Africa, in Europe. That idea of a coherent, structured terrorist network with an organised capability simply does not exist.’ LINK

The then retiring U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower appeared in 1961, to seek to warn Americans specifically, and the world in general, about the ambitions of a political-military-industrial complex to establish under its fascist guidance, a “Global Empire”. The lies that would be necessary to consolidate such an empire under “Globalization” and the “War on Terror” are viewed to be noble, in pursuit of an elite’s right to rule.

A broad constituency of learned scholars who include Dr. David Ray Griffin, engineers, investigative researchers, eyewitnesses, and others have suggested that official accounts of 9/11 are apparent Straussian deceptions. These representatives also critically cite continued elite orchestrated resistance to an truly independent investigation of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. This allegedly Bin Laden and Al Qaeda executed “terrorist attack” has in turn been used as the basis of an apparent genocidal war against Muslims, that has resulted in over one million civilian deaths. Could the questionable pretext of the War on Terror, that in turn is being used as a basis to divert many billions of dollars away from quality-of-living areas, and into a political-military-industrial complex, be as some suggest, simply the advancement of “noble lies” for imperial objectives?

John Lash’s accounts of the Pagan Gnostics suggest that Americans and the world in general, through an ethos of “blind faith”, have made themselves vulnerable to orchestrated deceit.

Gnostic insight documents how blind faith in relation to Western proselytized Judeo-Christian traditions in a regressive “alien spell”, may be used to sabotage the kind of critical thinking that would protect humanity from such deceit. Indeed, there is no apparent verifiable proof that Osama Bin Laden still lives, or that an “Al-Qaeda” is responsible for 9/11. But whole populations reject the idea that they could somehow be told a self-serving system of “noble lies”. The evidence presented by reputable scholars like David Ray Griffin is not even seriously regarded by the victims of an apparent “alien spell”, that shrugs off such evidence as the rantings of “conspiracy theorists”. Gnostics suggest that it is vital for humanity to raise its own consciousness toward making itself aware of an alien artificial intelligence conquest agenda, that seeks to pursue an ego-driven agenda, and accompanying mass deception.

America’s terrorism

America’s terrorism

T.J. Bronson

Last Sunday, our military launched a raid from inside Iraqi borders into Syria. The operation’s goal was to eliminate a former lieutenant of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq until he was killed back in 2006, according to BBC News. The U.S. said that it had asked Syria to hand over the lieutenant for quite some time, but Syria refused to comply.

A U.S. official said, “It was a successful operation. This undoubtedly will have a debilitating effect on this foreign fighter smuggling network.”

Our good ol’ friend and lame-duck president George W. Bush said, “America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.”

Defending the American people, is, of course, a good thing. Except for one annoying little detail: Most of this defense is taking place on foreign soil. It uses security as a code word for war.

I get the impression our military leaders have somehow forgotten that many of our enemies’ leaders have second-in-commands, and the second-in-commands have second-in-commands. Simply killing a single leader who will immediately be replaced won’t sole anything.

Every time you hear on the news that the U.S. has eliminated another terrorist leader, it’s supposed to be debilitating — but our soldiers are still falling victims to roadside bombings and other acts of terrorism. Seems like the debilitating effect isn’t as devastating as we’re being told. This case is no different. There has been little effect before, and there will be little effect again — except this time we may have gotten ourselves into another war.

First, one should wonder whether the U.S. has finally bitten off more than it can chew. Next, should follow the question, but usually doesn’t: whether we’re resorting to the same ruthless acts usually attributed to our enemies. The answer is something no one wants to admit out loud, but that doesn’t make it less true.

We can’t continue to ignore the ongoing war in Iraq…I mean Afghanistan. Wait, no — Pakistan. Next on the list: Syria and Iran. It’s getting hard to keep track of all the attack campaigns and wars that our country is supposedly winning.

The underlying theme, which also seems to get fuzzier as time goes on, is to protect those vastly broad concepts of freedom and democracy. But this time, our efforts may have gone too far, our resources stretched too thin.

Syria is laying the foundation for a declaration of war. The unspoken theory of what qualifies as a “just” war is a response to an act of aggression. Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Muallem called the attack a “war crime attempt” and an act of aggression, as it cost the lives of eight noncombatant civilians according to Syria, as reported by BBC.com.

But the deaths of civilians, while tragic, is not the biggest issue here. Fatalities aren’t the only measure of injustice. The issue is that there was an attack on Syrian soil, regardless of who was killed or how many were killed.

Middle Eastern countries are, quite understandably, very sensitive about aggression from the United States. Attacking another country is more than enough reason to say the U.S. has just gotten itself into another war. Think about it: If one of the people you hated the most decided to come push you or bump into you, if you were that bitter and angry toward them, you would feel entitled to take action. This is the same thing, just on a grander scale.

And these acts aren’t the end. The Bush administration is trying to apply this expanded self-defense idea to militant targets located in camps in Iran. This should strike fear into everybody’s hearts. Launching an attack inside Iran will undoubtedly provoke retaliation and consequences no one can imagine at the moment … but none of them are good.

George W. Bush and his administration are on the out. There are only so many more days that they can direct the action. But what goes on in the next three months will determine the future of this country for some time. None of us can honestly say that we saw this attack coming in advance, so there’s a limit to how much say we can possibly have in his last days in office. I’m not the only person who can’t remember what this “war on terror” was even supposedly about. But based on its actions, it seems that the U.S. is becoming the very thing that it claims to be fighting against: terrorists.

The Legendary Fighters of Waziristan

By Zubeida Malik

The smart, West Sussex home with a manicured lawn – and a rose archway over the garden gate – is a long way from the Afghan-Pakistan border.

But in it is a man who spent two years commanding 1,000 Khassadars – Waziri soldiers – between 1946 and 1948.

Today, Waziristan has become the new frontline in the so-called war on terror and is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world.

Cross-border US strikes in Waziristan, most by missile-firing pilotless drone aircraft, in the tribal areas – the area between Pakistan and Afghanistan – are causing unrest in Pakistan.

And deteriorating Afghan security has led to more aggressive US action against militant hideouts in Pakistan with about 15 missile strikes and one ground assault since the beginning of last month.

Frank Leeson, 82, living in quiet retirement, has been watching events unfold with great interest. He is the last surviving British officer to have served in North Waziristan.

During his time there Mr Leeson kept diaries and took hundreds of photos, which he has donated to the National Army Museum.

Now his knowledge of the area is being sought out by British and US defence officials.

Mr Leeson was called up in 1944 and sent to India, becoming a lieutenant in the Sikh regiment. In 1946 – at the age of 19 – he volunteered for a special mission in Waziristan. He was put in charge of a 1,000 Khassadars, or Waziri soldiers. He got to know them and the region well, learning Pashtu, the local customs and clan systems.

He wrote in his book and diary that it was “not easy to like the Wazir”.

“He takes a lot of knowing. If he is young he wears a flower behind his ear- though his country is a desert, and coryllium in his eyes – yet he is by no means effeminate.

“He loves fighting but hates to be a soldier; loves music but has a profound contempt for the professional musician.”

While based in Waziristan, Mr Leeson had to deal with an insurgency led by the Fakir of Ipi, a religious militant who had called for jihad.

More than 40,000 troops and £1.5m were spent in one year alone trying to track him down. He killed thousands of villagers and 1,000 troops, but was never caught.

Mr Leeson says the parallels with Osama Bin Laden are there, although the Fakir of Ipi’s jihad was not an international one and he never killed anyone outside Pakistan or Afghanistan.

Sitti signalling across the Shinki

The frontier hills “are difficult of access and easy to defend”

He says the Fakir had a strong spy network, was surrounded by loyal bodyguards and was always on the move, using the rough terrain to his advantage, with its caves, gorges and mountains as hiding places and escape routes.

Mr Leeson says that the terrain was on the Fakir’s side. “These frontier hills are difficult of access and easy to defend,” he wrote.

“When one speaks of them as hills, rolling downs on which tanks and cavalry can operate are not meant, but the worst mountain-warfare country imaginable – steep precipices, narrow winding valleys every vantage point commanded by another, and innumerable refuges and routes of escape.”

In 1938, the British offered the Fakir of Ipi a free pardon, but it was rejected.

The men who live in the tribal areas are famous for being good fighters, says Mr Leeson.

While he was based there, the fighting was usually between the various tribes and what he calls ‘blood feuds’ where even the smallest slight had to be avenged and where grudges would be held for years.

2

Waziristan is located on the border of Afghanistan, and is a mountainous region covering over 10,000 sq km. It is considered one of the most dangerous places in the world.

4

Thal Fort at the entrance to the Kurram Valley was besieged by the Afghan Army during the third Afghan War. Mr Leeson says that it was the worst mountain-warfare terrain imaginable.

5

The Datta Khel Fort was the post nearest to the Faqir of Ipi’s headquarters at Gorwekht. It sustained many sieges in the course of its history.

Obama to go ahead with Polish missile shield: Polish president

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Obama vows to go ahead with missile shield:

Polish president

WARSAW (AFP) — US president-elect Barack Obama has told Polish President Lech Kaczynski he will go ahead with plans to build a missile defence shield in eastern Europe despite threats from Russia, Warsaw said on Saturday.

“Barack Obama has underlined the importance of the strategic partnership between Poland and the United States, he expressed his hope of continuing the political and military cooperation between our two countries.

“He also said the anti-missile shield project would go ahead,” said a statement issued by Kaczynski after the two men spoke by telephone.

Warsaw and Washington signed a deal on August 14 to base part of a US missile shield in Poland, amid Moscow’s vehement opposition and mounting East-West tensions over Georgia.

The US wants to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland plus a radar facility in the neighbouring Czech Republic by 2011-2013 to complete a system already in place in the United States, Greenland and Britain.

Washington says the shield — endorsed by NATO in February — is aimed at fending off potential attacks by so-called “rogue states” such as Iran, and is in no way aimed at Russia.

The United States warns that Iran could develop long-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads by 2015-2017.

The plan has enraged Moscow, master of Poland and the then Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. Both countries broke from the crumbling communist bloc in 1989, joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004.

Regarding them as a grave security threat, the Kremlin has threatened to aim its own missiles at the planned US installations.

Just hours after Obama’s victory speech, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow would station short-range missile systems in its Kaliningrad enclave wedged between Poland and fellow EU member Lithuania.

US negotiator John Rood said Thursday that Washington had given Russia fresh proposals to try to ease its concerns and hoped the row could still be resolved.

He said the offer was sent “earlier this week,” before Medvedev announced his plans to deploy missiles in Kaliningrad.

Medvedev’s remarks on Wednesday amounted to a warning shot to Obama and Washington’s allies in central Europe.

Rood, the US under secretary for arms control and international security, said the proposals submitted to Russia built on previous ones that would allow Russian authorities access to the missile shield sites.

“We’ve elaborated on our previous proposals,” Rood told reporters without going into detail.

Rood planned to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov in the coming weeks, probably in Moscow, to discuss the proposals as well as other issues, including cooperation on avoiding nuclear terrorism.

He said he was still optimistic about a solution despite Medvedev’s threat to deploy missiles, which he called “disappointing” and “unwelcome.”

The European Union and NATO also expressed strong concern over Russia’s decision to deploy missiles on the EU’s doorstep.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier for his part urged Obama to discuss the missile shield plan with the Russians.

“I expect Obama to seek such a dialogue,” he told the daily Hamburger Abendblatt. “I expect the Russian government likewise to approach the Russians and Americans.”

Condemning Medvedev’s announcement, he said Russia had sent “the wrong signal at the wrong time,” with the arrival of “a new US president speaking of a new departure and new partnerships.”

Polish lawmakers have yet to ratify the US missile defence deal while the Czech government has called for a delay in a final vote on its radar agreements until the inauguration of President George W. Bush’s successor in January.

“We want a delay to make sure about the attitude of the new American administration,” Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said last month.

There had been suggestions that Obama could be less enthusiastic for the shield than his Republican rival for the presidency John McCain

Escalating U.S. Attacks Stir Opposition and Outrage in Pakistan

by Sharat G. Lin Friday Nov 7th, 2008 5:47 PM

Secular-minded workers, students, professionals, and concerned citizens joined a mass protest in the streets of Karachi, demanding an immediate end to the deadly raids by U.S. forces on Pakistani villages from bases in Afghanistan. The current U.S. policy of shifting combat focus from Iraq to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, apparently backed by both Republicans and Democrats, is galvanizing Pakistani public opinion decisively against the U.S. (Photos by Abira) 640_1.jpg original image ( 924x800)

Carrying signs saying, “No. 1 terrorist U.S. imperialism” and “Stop killing Pushtoons,” Pakistanis protested the latest cross-border U.S. airstrikes inside Pakistan. Marching from Regal Chowk to the Press Club in Karachi on 1st November 2008, concerned Pakistani citizens, workers, trade unionists, students, lawyers, and progressive political party members united behind the banner of Awami Mazahmat (Peoples Resistance) to condemn U.S. military aggression inside Pakistan’s tribal areas along its northwestern border with Afghanistan. In a country which has historically been more accustomed to right-wing, nationalist, and militarist politics – even in the universities – this demonstration was emblematic of new undercurrents in Pakistan. Instead of nationalist slogans, there were slogans defending life and human rights. There was a sea of red flags of labour and red-green flags of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (Pakistan Movement for Justice). After decades of U.S. support for unpopular Pakistani military dictators (Muhammad Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, Pervez Musharraf) and corrupt civilian politicians (Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif) who represent the ruling feudal and/or business classes, popular resentment against U.S. policy towards Pakistan has been mounting. The escalating U.S. raids into Pakistani villages have been stirring public outrage throughout the country. Widespread Opposition to Failed Policies After seven years of a failed U.S.-led “war on terror” in Afghanistan, the governments of both Afghanistan and Pakistan have moved towards the view that there is no viable alternative to talks among all parties to the conflict, including the Taliban. A joint Afghanistan-Pakistan tribal council held on 28 October 2008 agreed on the “urgent and imperative need for dialogue and negotiations with the opposition groups in both countries, with a view to finding a peaceful settlement of the ongoing conflict.” The U.S. government in its “global war on terror” claims a military justification to pursue al-Qaida and Taliban fighters operating in Afghanistan who take sanctuary across the border inside Pakistan. However, the majority of Pakistanis, while overwhelmingly opposed to the al-Qaida and Taliban insurgency, are becoming increasingly concerned about the massacre of innocent civilians in Bajaur, Swat, Waziristan, Kurram Agency, Khar, and Mahmond Agency by U.S. cross-border attacks. Before August 2008, U.S. military attacks from bases in Afghanistan into Pakistan had been limited to a half dozen or so sporadic intrusions into Pakistani airspace. However, since the beginning of August, the number of U.S. attacks, many employing missile-carrying Predator drone aircraft, has escalated to dozens of separate incidents on at least 18 different villages and towns. This culminated with the U.S. missile strikes near Mir Ali town in North Waziristan and near Wana town in South Waziristan on 31 October 2008. The two attacks reportedly killed 32 people, including an al-Qaida militiaman, other Arab fighters, and Pakistani civilians. The U.S. bombing came just hours after Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani demanded that NATO forces in Afghanistan stop violating Pakistani airspace, calling the tactics “counter-productive” to the country’s efforts in the war against terrorism. Gilani made the comments at the World Economic Forum in Istanbul. These events followed in the wake of another U.S. missile attack on the Pakistani village of Mandata Raghzai in South Waziristan on 27 October 2008, which killed as many as 20 people. Pakistan’s Parliament rushed to pass a resolution on the same day condemning the U.S. attack by Predator drones, saying that they undermine government efforts to defuse tribal militancy through dialogue. The resolution called on the Pakistani government to take “more effective measures” to stop such attacks. Apart from Predator drones, U.S. forces in Afghanistan have launched at least one helicopter-borne commando raid into Pakistani territory in September. The cross-border U.S. military operations have reportedly killed several thousand innocent civilians, including women and children. Hundreds of thousands of people in Pakistan’s tribal areas are believed to have been internally displaced by U.S. and Pakistani military operations. This latest U.S. violations of Pakistan’s sovereignty have so enraged Pakistanis, that many who had never protested against the U.S. before came out into the streets of Karachi. Although the Karachi protest had been announced well before the latest U.S. attack, the U.S. action served to swell the ranks of popular expressions of outrage. People’s Demands The coalition of some twenty political, trade union, professional, and civil society organizations issued these demands: · “We condemn the United States and Pakistan for their recent military aggression in the region.” · “We demand economic justice for FATA” (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). · “We urge the government to provide instantaneous relief to those affected by this war, and take urgent action to end the misery of refugees living in deplorable conditions all over Pakistan.” · “We demand that the affected people be provided reparations for the loss of life and livelihoods.” · “We urge the international community to take notice of the refugee situation and take action.” · “We also urge them to exert pressure on the United States to halt its attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan stop Pakistan from aiding the US war effort.” Protest organizers called on the Pakistani government to “seek political solutions backed by public dialogue and consensus. We want Pakistan to enforce a foreign policy that is independent of the agendas of foreign governments, like the United States, when it comes at the cost of Pakistani sovereignty, its economic prosperity, and its fundamental duty to protect its citizens.” Awami Mazahmat leaders expressed hope for “a society free from the chains of violence, weapons, and drugs, and we need media to help us build toward that.” The Federally Administered Tribal Areas comprise a rugged border region with a population of approximately 3.5 million. The Pushtoon inhabitants of the area move freely across the border with Afghanistan as they have for centuries. The region includes both North and South Waziristan where the U.S. alleges that Osama Bin Laden has taken refuge. Organizations participating in the march included Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, Awami Tehrik, Labour Party Pakistan, Pakhtunkwa Milli Awami Party, National Workers Party, International Socialists, Tabaqati Jehdojehad, Inqalabi Jamhoori Committee, Sindh Bar Council, Mehnat Jamhori Mahaz, Jeay Sindh, All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, National Trade Union Federation, Trade Union Defense Campaign, Mutaahida Labour Federation, Sui Gas Workers Union, Railway Workers Federation, Socialist Employees Front, Pashtun Peace Forum, Personal Foundation, and Karachi University students. Sharat G. Lin writes on global political economy, the Middle East, South Asia, and labour migration. Abira Ashfaq contributed to this report from Karachi.

Awami Mazahmat by Sharat G. LinPeoples Resistance, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, Labour Party Pakistan, and International Socialists. Red flags by Sharat G. Lin 640_3.jpg original image ( 1184x888)

Red flags by Sharat G. Lin

640_4.jpg original image ( 1184x888) Pakistani women lead protest by Sharat G. Lin

640_5.jpg original image ( 1184x888) Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf by Sharat G.