Netanyahu wants to postpone core issues in Mideast talks INDEFINTELY

Netanyahu wants to postpone core issues in

Mideast talks

by Ron Bousso

captcpsomd92111208191949photo00photodefault-355x5121AFP/File – Israel’s right-wing Likud party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, seen here in November 2008, thinks Middle …

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israel‘s right-wing Likud party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu thinks Middle East peace talks should focus on improving Palestinian daily life and not on core issues, his spokeswoman said Thursday.

The hawkish former premier, who polls say is likely to return to power after February elections, has been a staunch critic of the US-backed peace talks with the Palestinians that were relaunched in November 2007.

“Netanyahu does not oppose the continuation of the talks but he believes that the current negotiations are leading nowhere and their goal is not clear,” spokeswoman Dina Libster told AFP.

“He wants to continue the talks on tangible issues that can be carried out on the ground, such as the Palestinian economy and Palestinian living conditions. At the moment, discussing core issues is irrelevant.”

The latest round of peace talks has shown little progress on the so-called “core issues” of the decades-old conflict, including the future status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, Jewish settlements and final borders.

In a meeting on Thursday with 26 ambassadors who had requested clarification on Likud‘s electoral platform, Netanyahu said he would focus on repairing the Palestinian economy and creating a “positive atmosphere” for diplomacy.

“I believe that vigorous economic steps and a positive atmosphere that will be created on the ground will reflect on the future talks,” Libster quoted him as saying.

“Most Israelis, including myself, are not interested in ruling another people. I support them having all the prerogatives to rule themselves except for those prerogatives that threaten or damage Israel’s security.”

A close advisor to Netanyahu said a peace deal would not be possible in the near future due to “chaos on the Palestinian side.” That was a reference to strife between the moderate Fatah movement and the radical Hamas, which seized power in the Gaza Strip last year.

“It is commonly accepted that there is no possibility of reaching a permanent status agreement in the near future between Israel and the Palestinians,” Dore Gold told AFP.

“Even the policy advocated by (US Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice of reaching a shelf agreement acknowledged this situation,” said Gold, a foreign policy advisor to Netanyahu.

Earlier this week, Likud elected a candidate list dominated by hardliners, raising fears that a victory in the February elections could derail the peace process relaunched by interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, head of the centrist Kadima party and Netanyahu’s chief rival, has been leading the talks with the Palestinians.

Polls released earlier this week predicted Likud would win well over 30 seats in the 120-member assembly, putting Netanyahu on track to become Israel’s next prime minister at the head of a coalition government.

Petition: Stop America’s Undeclared War on Pakistan

Petition: Stop America’s Undeclared War on Pakistan

By British-Pakistanis

(InformPress.com) – Hizb-ut-Tahrir [Hut] Britain has launched a
petition campaign to expose and halt America’s [Bush-Cheney Tyranny's]
undeclared war on Pakistan. Seven years ago America invaded
Afghanistan [in 2001], then in 2003 it invaded Iraq and now Pakistan
is the target.

We the undersigned Muslims demand the following:

1. Pakistan must immediately withdraw support for America’s [Bush-
Cheney Dictatorship's] War on [all Pakistanis, Kashmiris, Afghans,
Indian-Muslims, Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians, Lebanese, Palestinians,
Sudanese, Arabs, Cubans, other humans] Islam and Muslims.

2. The armed forces of Pakistan must immediately stop the killing of
our own [Pakistani] citizens in FATA, NWFP and Baluchistan [Pakistan]
and defend the [Pakistani] people against American air and ground
attacks.

3. Pakistan must withdraw all logistical support for America’s [Bush-
Cheney Tyranny's] War in the [South Asian] region by preventing the
U.S. forces from using its land bases, air space and ports to attack
our [Pakistani] people.

4. The Pakistani Government must not be permitted to cause a civil war
in Pakistan as this weakness will be exploited by the Americans to
divide Pakistan. The Pakistani people should unite under the banner of
Islam. America [Bush-Cheney Dictatorship] has already divided Iraq
into three weak regions and placed itself in power. The same must not
be allowed to occur in Pakistan.

5. Dictatorship and Democracy have only produced [corrupt, tyrannical
and puppet] leaders who have facilitated the destruction of Pakistan.
We call upon the people of influence and power [especially in the real
Pakistan Army] to remove these [four] enemies [PPP, MQM, ANP, PML-Q]
of the [Pakistani] state and establish a sincere Islamic leadership,
the Khilafah [Khilafat or Caliphate: a group of patriotic,
nationalist, Muslim leaders], which will defend the interests of the
[Pakistani] people and save the country from this crisis.

6. The Muslims of Pakistan and Afghanistan should unite under the
banner of Islam and the Khilafah [cultural, economic and military
alliance of 57 countries of Muslims] to drive America and its
[terrorist] allies out of the [entire South Asian] region.

Australia target of Israeli ecstasy

Australia target of Israeli ecstasy

  • Jason Koutsoukis, Jerusalem

ISRAELI drug lords are increasingly targeting Australia for ecstasy smuggling.

Israeli police intelligence reveals that crime syndicates operating out of Israel view Australia as a booming market for the party drug.

Israeli crime syndicates control a significant share of the global ecstasy trade and have a long history of supplying the Australian market.

In March, 45-year-old Israeli man Benjamin Rosenfeld was sentenced to 21 years’ jail for importing 112 kilograms of the drug MDMA, the main ingredient of ecstasy, with a street value estimated at $45 million.

Rosenfeld organised the drug shipment from the northern Israeli port of Haifa.

According to Israel police, Israeli crime gangs are smuggling large quantities of ecstasy out of production houses in the Netherlands, then into Belgium and Spain.

From there the smuggling route can be traced through the Middle East to Thailand or Singapore, and then on to Australia.

“We are well aware that members of the organised families here have established connections in Australia and view it as a lucrative and growing market that they are looking to exploit,” a senior member of Israel’s Coastal Police central unit told The Age.

Speaking on condition of anonymity because he did not have authorisation to brief the media, the police source said that Israeli police believe organised crime gangs were making increasing use of couriers who carried smaller parcels of drugs.

“This has been the pattern, especially because South-East Asia and Australia are such popular destinations for Israeli backpackers when they finish military service,” he said.

“They are young people so this makes it easier for criminals to try to persuade them to carry drugs.”

Last month a Thai court sentenced two Israelis to death after convicting them of drug smuggling.

The two men were arrested last year as part of a major drug operation and were caught with 23,000 ecstasy pills.

The pills had been smuggled from Europe and were destined for sale in Australia.

In 2004 an Israeli backpacker was sentenced to 5½ years’ jail for his role in the importation of ecstasy worth up to $17.5 million.

A 2003 US State Department report said Israel was at the centre of the global ecstasy trade and that Israeli crime organisations had obtained control of the European ecstasy market.

“Organised crime has been getting stronger in Israel … Until we get more resources here to fight the criminals, we believe their smuggling operations will continue to get stronger,” the police source said.

AMERICAN GARRISON STATE 2009, MODELED ON UK

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Analysis: Is Britain turning into a police state?

Most Britons think UK is turning into police stateMost Britons think UK is turning into police state

Friday, 12, Dec 2008 12:01

Is Britain turning into a police state? Well, yes and no.

Lets take stock. Britain was the first country to attempt a database of every car journey taken within the UK through a camera network capable of reading number plates.

Don’t drive a car? Police are increasingly using London’s Oyster cards as an investigative tool, tracking their unique registration to find out where suspects have travelled and when.

The police have made similar use of Britain’s DNA database. A European court judgement last week failed to convince either Jacqui Smith or police representatives that it’s wrong to hold the DNA of innocent people. At the moment, this country has the biggest DNA database in the world, holding an extra 200 people a day, according to research published by the Liberal Democrats yesterday.

Protests have been all-but banned in parliament square, with demonstrators forced to acquire police approval before gathering within the area. Plans for 42-day pre-charge detention were dropped after sustained opposition from the Commons and the Lords. They’ll be back at the merest mention of even a minor terrorist attack.

In the future, only a change of government will stop ID cards being introduced, and eventually made compulsory. The government is similarly committed to maintaining a database of every phone call, text and email sent or received by a British citizen. The plans were in the communications bill. It was dropped from the Queen’s Speech this year, but government officials assure us it will be back as soon as they have time.

It looks bad. It looks, frankly, like an Orwellian state. But there is a crucial aspect to the police state which Britain doesn’t have: intent. The current motive of the government is not to set up a police state. The casual atrocities against British culture listed above were done in the name of efficiency, not fascism.

Labour prides itself on an ‘if it works’ approach to policy making. David Miliband made a hall of left-wingers roll with laughter during the Labour party conference by joking about Liberal Democrats who object to the governing party’s obsession with ‘workability’. “The trouble with you lot is all you care about is what works,” he impersonated. The hall clapped its approval.

But what ‘works’ is not the be-all and end-all of law making. There are other concerns which parties should consider, and which Labour has fundamentally failed to.

Tracking vehicles makes it easier to assess car usage, introduce road charging and catch hit and run drivers. DNA databases make it easier to solve crimes. ID cards make it easier to control immigration. Getting rid of habeus corpus makes it easier to stop terrorism. The government sees a problem and it tries to solve it. They don’t seem to care what effect that might have on the rights of citizens and the nature of Great Britain.

The process has come so far that genuine cock-ups like the police raid on Damian Green’s offices are instantly interpreted as fully-fledged attempts to set up a Mugabe-style political system. The arrest of Green was not an attempt to destroy the opposition. It was a cock-up. But the government has exhibited such disregard for British rights it is no longer entitled to the benefit of the doubt.

This is not a police state, because the government does not intend to run a police state. But sometime in the future another government will come into power with darker intentions. And when it does, it will sing the praises of New Labour.

Ian Dunt

LIVNI WANTS TO COMPLETE THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF ISRAEL IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN A RACIST STATE.

LIVNI WANTS TO COMPLETE THE ETHNIC CLEANSING OF ISRAEL IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN A RACIST STATE.

Tzipi Livni, Israel’s Foreign Minister and leader of the Kadima Party, has told students at a Tel Aviv high school that, once a Palestinian state has been created, Israeli Arabs should leave Israel to go and live in the new Palestinian state.

Confirming her racist credentials, she also told the students that: “The idea is to maintain two states for two peoples…”

Her expectation is that, after centuries of living in their homelands in what is now Israel, what few Palestinians still remain there will be expected to join those that were made refugees back in 1948 in what little there is left of the West Bank and the Gaza Ghetto.

These are also the policies of the extreme right-wing Zionist parties led by Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party that are vying for government at the upcoming Israeli elections to be held next February. The only difference between the Kadima party and the Likud is that Likud, despite their current electioneering propaganda, will never allow a Palestinian state to exist but want to push the Israeli Arabs out from Israel anyway through fear of being overwhelmed demographically at some time in the future, while Kadima actually talk of creating some kind of Palestinian state out of what’s left of the West Bank and the Gaza.

The reality is that there will never be a Palestinian state if Likud has anything to do with it and there will never be a Palestinian state acceptable to Palestinians that does not involve right of return of the refugees to their homelands, much of which is in what is now Israel, and without a totally settler-free West Bank based on borders being at the 1967 Green Line. In other words, while the Israeli Zionists have any say in it, there will never be a Palestinian state.

The only alternative is the binational secular one-state solution.

UPDATE

Netanyahu has been telling foreign visitors that, if there ever is a Palestinian state, Israel would have to have control of its airspace and that such a state would have to be demilitarised.

Hardly an ‘independent soverign state’, is it? Palestinians are never likely to accept such demands and conditions, which, of course, Netanyahu is quite aware of.

The world should know that Israeli Zionists will NEVER accept ANY kind of Palestinian sovereign state and that the various Israeli political parties’ talk of ‘peace’ is just pure propaganda designed solely for the dumb and gullible masses and to extract every last dollar they can from the US government.

AMERICA Must Have a Resistance of Ideas, NOT FIREBOMBS!

ATHENS – INSIDE U OF A(NARCHY)

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Why’s everybody so up in arms over the riots in Greece? These are the same kids who went fucking bonkers when the Vandals played a USO show over there. Really think they’re going to sit on their hands after a cop shoots a 15-year-old without just cause? Anyhow, while since last weekend every major media outlet has been sputtering commentary from their ergonomic desk chairs about the situation, we went right to the source and got in touch with some Greeks to see what was really doing. A day and a half later they sent over a bunch of amazing photos. An interview’s coming soon too.

Most of what they gave us took place at the National Technical University of Athens, all shot the night after the riot police attacked them with smoke bombs, stun bombs, and tear gas. They ran in through the gates of the university compound as the riot squads were closing in and beating them down.

Historically, the university’s been a place for revolutionary-minded individuals to organize and mix Molotov cocktails in peace. In 1973 it was the site of the Athens Polytechnic uprising, a giant, fiery fuck you to the dickwad junta in power at the time. University campuses are supposed to be neutral ground under Greek law—a sort of asylum that is technically off-limits to police and government officials. Being that this whole thing erupted because cops in Greece don’t give a shit about “rules,” we’re wondering how long before they drive a tank through the gates of the school just like they did in ’73. Not very long from the looks of things (although there are reports that things are cooling off).

In case you haven’t been following this as closely as you should have been, allow us to make it crystal clear that it isn’t just anarchists who’re firebombing buildings and setting cars ablaze. A lot of these rabble-rousers are just fed-up students. They’re kids who are pissed about having no future in a country where the government is a joke. They wholeheartedly believe that the system is beyond busted and there is no way to fix it. Obviously they aren’t letting the press slither around the place, so you’re not going to find stuff like this anywhere else. As far as we know, this is the first time anyone has published photographs from inside the walls of the university during this week’s riots.

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The Greek on the wall reads “16 years dead.” In Greece, when you’re 15 they say you’re “going on 16.” This wall refers to the kid who was shot.

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Here’s a statue outside the Academy where one of the most important libraries of the country was burned. The dean and his assistants resigned.

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Mike, 15-year-old anarchist, with petrol, his weapon of choice, which is thrown on the cops and then lit.

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Three rioters taking a breather before they head out to the “battle” with cocktail in hand. That is not beer.

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An impromptu lesson in making bombs at the Polytechnic University.

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Anarchists with a flag from Alpha Bank, one of the banks they destroyed.

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Crowbar and gasoline, just in case.

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At one point the guys got stuck in the university. It was impossible to leave—at one entrance riot police were going crazy and at the other some skinheads were stabbing everyone.

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Breaking the university marbles for ammunition.

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The protesters get hit by plastic bullets and fall with their bombs, which end up burning the shit out of them. An extinguisher to put out those fires.

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At the cemetery gates.

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A scorched building and a scorched car.

All photos by Freddie F. and Stathis Mamalakis. Go here for a blog about the riots written by the shit-disturbers themselves.

Plastic People Need No Pay

People who are uninformed do not realize what this planet is going to be like in 20-30 years……..we already have 6.7 BILLION people on the planet……..by 2050, it is projected we will have between 8 and 10 BILLION……….well before 2050, there will be ANDROIDS who will have taken over jobs like bank teller and fast food cashier and assembly line worker……..don’t believe it?….think I’m exaggerating?…..think this is some kind of science fiction?………well, read the article below….IT IS NOT…THEY ALREADY EXIST AND ARE BEING PERFECTED DAILY BY SCIENTISTS………these androids LOOK JUST LIKE HUMANS and you can bet within the next 20-30 years, scientists will have perfected these and the GREEDY CAPITALISTS WILL ENSURE that they replace as many humans as possible so that the GREEDY CAPITALISTS won’t have to pay health and welfare benefits and won’t have to worry about androids revolting……you think unemployment of humans is bad now?……wait until capitalists lay off billions of humans and use these androids instead…………CAPITALISM MUST DIE for a myriad of reasons including the fact that it is one of the largest factors leading to extinction of life on the planet due to its emphasis on consumption, consumption, consumption………before all the natural and mineral resources are consumed on this planet, you can bet the GREEDY CAPITALISTS will squeeze every last drop of MONEY out of any kind of resource that they can EXPLOIT……humankind will be discarded……hundreds of millions of people on this planet would face starvation and poverty on a scale unseen and unheard of…………..PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET MUST STOP BAILING OUT THESE CAPITALISTS BECAUSE THAT JUST PROLONGS THE ROTTEN SYSTEM AND THE GREEDY PEOPLE AT THE TOP WHO WANT THE ROTTEN SYSTEM TO CONTINUE………..either way, whether capitalism ends or not, this planet is facing extinction of all life on it……..people can bury their heads in the sand and do nothing or they can CHOOSE to become informed and do something………THE QUESTION IS WHETHER WE WILL ALLOW CAPITALISM (AND ITS RESULTING CONSUMERISM AND EXPLOITATION OF PEOPLE AND THE EARTH’S RESOURCES) TO BRING AN END TO LIFE ON THIS PLANET……..it is going to be painful to address decades of waste and greed—regardless of whether capitalism ends now or 10 years from now or 100 years from now………..but we do not have the luxury of 10 or 100 more years to end capitalism because the scientists have already told us that we have reached a tipping point in terms of addressing the dangerous levels of CO2 AND METHANE………..LET THE 3 AUTO MAKERS FAIL………LET US ALL SUFFER………IF THESE AUTOMAKERS ARE BAILED OUT, THEN WE ARE BAILING OUT THE RICH AND POWERFUL WHO WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP THEIR FEET ON OUR NECKS……….IF WE DO NOT BAIL THEM OUT, WE WILL ALL FEEL THE PAIN—NOT JUST THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS………THE POWER IS WITH THE PEOPLE…….LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN—-THE POWER IS WITH THE PEOPLE………WW

By David Whitehouse
Science editor, BBC News website

Repliee Q1Expo plus Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro (Getty)

Professor Ishiguro (r) stresses the importance of appearance in his robots

Japanese scientists have unveiled the most human-looking robot yet – a “female” android named Repliee Q1Expo.

She has flexible silicone for skin rather than hard plastic, and a number of sensors and motors to allow her to turn and react in a human-like manner.

She can flutter her eyelids and move her hands like a human. She even appears to breathe.

Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University says one day robots could fool us into believing they are human.

Repliee Q1Expo is not like any robot you will have seen before, at least outside of science-fiction movies.

She is designed to look human and although she can only sit at present, she has 42 actuators in her upper body, powered by a nearby air compressor, programmed to allow her to move like a human.

We have found that people forget she is an android while interacting with her
Prof Hiroshi Ishiguro

“I have developed many robots before,” Repliee Q1Expo’s designer, Professor Ishiguro, told the BBC News website, “but I soon realised the importance of its appearance. A human-like appearance gives a robot a strong feeling of presence.”

Designed to look human

Before Repliee Q1Expo, Professor Ishiguro developed Repliee R1 which had the appearance of a five-year-old Japanese girl.

Its head could move in nine directions and it could gesture with its arm. Four high-sensitivity tactile sensors were placed under the skin of its left arm that made the android react differently to differing pressures.

Robot (Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro)

Scientists think that, one day, robots could fool us into believing they were human

The follow-up has the appearance of a Japanese woman. To program her motion, a computer analysed the motions of a human and used them as a template for the way Repliee Q1Expo moves.

She can be designed to follow the movement of a human wearing motion sensors or to act independently.

“Repliee Q1Expo can interact with people. It can respond to people touching it. It’s very satisfying, although we obviously have a long way to go yet.”

Professor Ishiguro believes that it may prove possible to build an android that could pass for a human, if only for a brief period.

“An android could get away with it for a short time, 5-10 seconds. However, if we carefully select the situation, we could extend that, to perhaps 10 minutes,” he said.

“More importantly, we have found that people forget she is an android while interacting with her. Consciously, it is easy to see that she is an android, but unconsciously, we react to the android as if she were a woman.”

Israeli Conditioning of Homeland Security

Security Solutions International (SSI)

Acclaimed Homeland Security Training in

Israel: US Cities Respond

February trip to Israel will feature infrastructure protection, school and hotel security among many other subjects.

Miami, FL (PRWEB) December 12, 2008 — The deadly attacks in Mumbai may have altered the US perception of the threat from terrorism and refocused efforts to avoid horror scenarios here in US cities. Live exercises have been held recently in New York City. Officials are saying that hotels, schools and other soft targets should be monitored more closely. Chief Timoney of Miami recently pointed out to USA Today that attacks by water are nightmare scenarios for the USA.

Israel’s much acclaimed Homeland Security training in Israel, attended now by more than 300 individuals representing more than 150 agencies and cities in the USA is set to leave in February for a hands-on approach to training the leaders of US Homeland Security in better security practices. Israel has brought the toll of attacks down from 14 suicide attacks in one month to only a single attack last year. “Ways to prevent, detect and respond to attacks like Mumbai are what Israel knows best and it probably has the best record for counter terrorism in the context of a democratic society defending itself,” says Henry Morgenstern, President of SSI. “We know from past testimonials that cities in the USA have changed their policies after attending our training.”

The training mission leaves from Newark and features 8 action-packed days. Participants begin with a briefing on cross-cultural tips to optimize their experience, and move quickly to high level briefings and visits: Power Plants, Oil Refineries, Malls, Universities, Stadiums, Government buildings and historical sites, like the Old City of Jerusalem, are all presented by the actual professionals responsible for their protection. Special attention is given to aviation security, VBIED’s, Improvised Explosive Devices, VIP protection and more. Groups are limited to 30 qualified professionals.

About Security Solutions International

SSI ® – Security Solutions International develops and delivers training for First Responders in the US. The company has trained more than 700 different Federal, State and local agencies. The company is also the publisher of The Counter Terrorist Magazine – read by more than 15,000 US First Responders. The magazine is an extension of the company’s commitment to first-class content and information. The electronic version of the magazine goes out to nearly 65,000 First Responders bi-monthly. Best known for the Homeland Security Training in Israel program, the company has a wide variety of law enforcement training, first responder training and counter terror training.

Are You a Potential Victim of Lawfare?

SSI’s non-profit organization, “Protecting the Homeland”, is our newest initiative in championing democratic processes. In the dynamic arena for counteracting Islamic extremism masked under the exploitation of civil liberties, many have fallen victim to Lawfare–the formula is predictable. So-called anti-terrorist organizations, aligned with Islamic extremism, blatantly abuse the laws, freedoms and loopholes of the most liberal nation on earth to help finance and direct the world’s most violent international terrorism cells.

The “Protecting the Homeland” organization charter embodies two main objectives: ceaseless dedication in counter-acting Islamic radicals who repeatedly attempt to threaten our constitutional freedoms, and channeling funds to educate US First Responders through sponsorship of training programs in the USA and Israel.

To learn more about your constitutional rights and protecting the homeland, visit www.protectingthehomeland.org

Copyright © 2008 Security Solutions International; all rights reserved.
For more information contact:
Security Solutions International
www.thecounterterroristmag.com
www.homelandsecurityssi.com
Telephone: (866) 573-3999
Fax: (786) 573-2090
Mobile: (305) 401-6906

Nuclear Weapons Obsolescence

more about “Worlds Largest Nuke Explosion“, posted with vodpod

Nuclear Weapons Obsolescence

For the purposes of foreign policy, the nuclear weapons of the United States of America are obsolete. This may seem like a truism to peace activists, which has been voiced for decades by unknown millions and by well-known personalities alike:

Mohandas K. Gandhi (1946): “I have no doubt, that unless big nations shed their desire of exploitation and the spirit of violence of which war is the natural expression and the atom bomb the inevitable consequence, there is no hope for peace in the world”,

Bertrand Russell (1955): “In view of the fact that in any future world war nuclear weapons will certainly be employed, and that such weapons threaten the continued existence of mankind, we urge the governments of the world to realize, and to acknowledge publicly, that their purpose cannot be furthered by a world war, and we urge them, consequently, to find peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute between them”, (from the Russell-Einstein Manifesto),

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1967): “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. America, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, can well lead the way in this revolution of values. There is nothing, except a tragic death wish, to prevent us from reordering our priorities, so that the pursuit of peace will take precedence over the pursuit of war. There is nothing to keep us from molding a recalcitrant status quo with bruised hands until we have fashioned it into a brotherhood. This kind of positive revolution of values is our best defense against communism. War is not the answer. Communism will never be defeated by the use of atomic bombs or nuclear weapons. Let us not join those who shout war and through their misguided passions urge the United States to relinquish its participation in the United Nations.”

The policy-makers of the major atomic powers (the permanent members of the UN Security Council) viewed any “ban the bomb” unilateral nuclear disarmament sentimentality as foolishly naïve. However, after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, they recognized the value of regulating their nuclear-armed Cold War and improving emergency communications between heads-of-state, to help prevent an accidental nuclear war. These “rules of the game” have been elaborated in three significant treaties.

The Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963 banned above-ground nuclear explosions — atmospheric weapons tests — by the signatories. Most countries have signed and ratified this treaty; notable exceptions are the People’s Republic of China, France and North Korea.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty of 1968 binds its nuclear-armed parties to refrain from transferring nuclear weapons technology to non-nuclear states; its non-nuclear parties agree not to acquire nuclear weapons; the right to develop civilian nuclear power is affirmed; and a vague commitment to eventual nuclear disarmament is also promised. All nations except four are parties to this treaty (189 parties), the exceptions being India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.

The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty of 1996 bans all nuclear explosions, whether undersea, underground, above-ground, atmospheric or in space. There are 180 signatories to the CTBT (nuclear and non-nuclear states). This treaty will go into effect after nine more of 44 specifically named nuclear-capable states sign and ratify; the nine hold-outs include the United States, the People’s Republic of China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea.

Within the last two years a new chorus has added their voices to the call for “a world free of nuclear weapons”:

Nuclear weapons today present tremendous dangers, but also an historic opportunity. U.S. leadership will be required to take the world to the next stage — to a solid consensus for reversing reliance on nuclear weapons globally as a vital contribution to preventing their proliferation into potentially dangerous hands, and ultimately ending them as a threat to the world… We endorse setting the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and working energetically on the actions required to achieve that goal…1

Progress must be facilitated by a clear statement of our ultimate goal. Indeed, this is the only way to build the kind of international trust and broad cooperation that will be required to effectively address today’s threats. Without the vision of moving toward zero, we will not find the essential cooperation required to stop our downward spiral… The U.S. and Russia, which possess close to 95% of the world’s nuclear warheads, have a special responsibility, obligation and experience to demonstrate leadership, but other nations must join.2

These new converts to “nuclear weapons-zero” may surprise you: George P. Shultz (Reagan Administration secretary of state from 1982 to 1989), William J. Perry (Clinton Administration secretary of defense from 1994 to 1997), Henry A. Kissinger (Nixon Administration national security advisor and secretary of state from 1969 to 1973, then Ford Administration secretary of state from 1973 to 1977) and Sam Nunn (chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1987 to 1995). Their two op-eds have many endorsements from former officials of the military-industrial-congressional complex, and even foreign ex-government officials.

Why are these elite former Cold Warriors now ready to ban the bomb? We can discount the possibility they’ve all experienced a “satori” for peace, or a sudden anti-imperial moral transformation like Saint Paul (more on this later). The new enthusiasm for nuclear weapons-zero must spring from two sources: the nature of reality and the nature of ego. First, consider reality.

The major nuclear powers could never use nuclear weapons in disputes among themselves. However you imagine such a scenario playing out, the “winner” would emerge with devastating damage, and very likely a permanent loss of political power and economic capability. The nuclear war would be an abrupt transition from a former level of “greatness” to a subsequent lesser state; an advantage to non-combatant rivals. Similarly, a war between major economic powers, one armed with nuclear weapons and the other conventionally, would still diminish the economic viability of the nuclear-armed victor because today’s advanced economies are highly interdependent. Any nuclear war between advanced capitalist nations would damage capitalism generally — that is, reduce wealth — regardless of how it altered the relative balance of advantage between the combatants. In all these cases, non-combatant nations might shun nuclear armed combatants after the war, adding to the political and economic costs of causing a nuclear war.

No advanced nuclear power has any need to use its nuclear arms against a weak non-nuclear state that opposes its authority. The conventional military forces of the advanced nations are more than sufficient to overpower small, weak and poor states — and such wars of the strong against the weak occur often enough without significant opprobrium. Using nuclear weapons in such wars would cause unnecessary fright to the “world community”, and this global disapproval would unquestionably lead to a collective punitive response by economic and political measures.

In short, nuclear weapons are entirely obsolete as instruments of foreign policy by the advanced nations. The integration of world economies makes the use of nuclear weapons anywhere a net loss of power and wealth for world capitalism generally. Also, the combination of electronics, computer and space technologies has so improved the target detection and shooting accuracy of conventional military systems that large-area blasts are no longer needed; and modern conventional forces are more than adequate to exert authority over weak opponents, without the inconvenience of radioactive fallout. This is the significant news in the enthusiasm for nuclear weapons-zero by the Hoover Institute elders noted earlier.

People who are marginalized and exploited by world capitalism, and who despair over improving the lot of their communities, can see acquiring nuclear weapons as a useful means to revolution, for the exact same reasons the Hoover Institute elders see them as such a threat to the American Empire: sub-state insurgents — “terrorists” — with nuclear weapons could poke painful, bloody holes through the fabric of world capitalism, and exponentially enhance their own political power. Because this threat is so serious, and nuclear weapons are now obsolete for imperial control, the Hoover Institute elders urge a rapid convergence to nuclear weapons-zero.

To underscore the credibility of the threat (or, opportunity, depending on viewpoint), let me cite one observation. A recent study I read on the probability of smuggling nuclear material and components for a crude radioactive explosive device (or anything) across the coastline into the United States concluded that there was only a 4 percent chance the Coast Guard would intercept any single shipment when carried by small craft (a boat). To minimize the loss from any single “pinch”, the smugglers might plan to convey the consignment over several shipments. The odds of success for radioactive rum running are high. What has prevented the introduction of a terrorist nuclear device into the U.S. is the control over the radioactive source material here and abroad, not the security of the coastlines and land borders.

Taking nuclear weapons systems out of active deployment; removing nuclear warheads from missile bodies and munitions depots; disassembling warheads to store the nuclear material (e.g., uranium, plutonium) at remote high-security sites, destroying the warhead shell; and breaking fissile bomb parts into granular material for mixing into lower grade nuclear fuel, which would be “burned” in civilian nuclear power reactors to recover some of the costs sunk into the original weapons, is how nuclear weapons would physically be taken toward zero. Yes, there will still be the usual problem of reactor waste, but this has to be seen as a reasonable alternative to having finished warheads and even machined bomb parts of highly refined plutonium in circulation around the world. Reactor waste may be radioactive, thermally hot and toxic, but it cannot be compressed to criticality to produce nuclear yield — no bomb.

So much for the realities, now for the psychology of nuclear weapons-zero’s elite evangelists. Scanning the names of people endorsing the Hoover Institute elders’ nuclear weapons-zero stance, I was struck by the many former government (or, military-industrial-congressional complex) officials I recall being on active duty before and during my career in one of the US nuclear weapons labs. Two of these individuals are former high-ranking nuclear weapons lab managers (Ray Juzaitis, whose career climb to a lab directorship was rumored to have collapsed before whispers of “is he safe?” by rival upper level back-stabbers, because Juzaitis had been the manager over Wen Ho Lee in 1999,3; and Siegfried Hecker, director of the Los Alamos lab from 1986 to 1997, who was replaced after a series of safety and security lapses,45

While these former movers and shakers now enjoy lucrative sinecures, they can hardly find these activities sufficient, because they all have big egos and aggressive career drives. How else would they have risen as far as they did? Can they really be satisfied teaching BS courses on “policy” to spoiled, young patricians being trained for the imperial bureaucracy? Can they really retain their enthusiasm attending another droning symposium on knotty and speculative analyses of imperial fortunes? Can they really look forward to displaying themselves at another reception for the rich dull “donors”, who want same face-time and flesh-press value for their impressive tax-deductable foundation donation, along with a trophy snapshot alongside the honored has-been? What these elite retirees really want is to be players again, authoring (usually plagiarizing) the compelling policy ideas of the day, directing the key actions that set the karmic wheels of nations a-spinning, focusing the attention of their peers and the wider public onto their renewed glory. It chafes to “sit on the bench”, to be “passed over”; and it stings to watch the next generation — the Obama generation — briskly undo or recycle, as suits them, the elders’ political legacies without acknowledgment. It is hard to accept that one is “finished”. So, one finds a cause, something big, something that has the potential of erasing the often distasteful memory of an elder’s past exploits, by bathing them in a new and holy aura they hope will elevate their pedestals in the necropolis of the nation’s history. Other well-known examples of this psychology are: Jimmy Carter and Palestine, and Al Gore and climate change.

Like many former “spear carriers for empire” (to use Chalmers Johnson’s phrase) I, too, might be a minor example of the psychology of post-career redemption. This prompts me keep an open mind and allow for the possibility that some of the former military-industrial-congressional complex leaders now committed to nuclear weapons-zero might really have matured to a new more humane identification with the rest of humanity. This is always something to welcome. Our lives, after all, can only be fashioned in the present; our past is set and our future is out of reach. We can express a new character or a new understanding of the world from any present moment. Reforming, becoming a “better person”, “changing our ways” can be initiated at any instant, once we acquire the conception to do so. There may be some admixture of genuine feelings for peace and compassion in the participation of former government leaders who champion the elimination of nuclear weapons. Having extended this olive branch, let me confess that I do not believe this factor is significant among the retired military-industrial-congressional elite. So much for the psychology of the new nuclear weapons-zero evangelists.

The humanist “ban the bomb” sentiment is intrinsically anti-imperial and was summed up in the Russell-Einstein manifesto as: “We appeal as human beings to human beings: Remember your humanity, and forget the rest.” Nuclear weapons would be eliminated by meeting human needs globally — sharing (organized as an equitable U.N.) — so strong and wealthy nations would refrain from using their power to exploit the weak; and poor, disadvantaged and under-developed populations would not seek nuclear weapons, nor resort to “terror” tactics, because they would have effective and non-violent avenues to advance their societies. The new Hoover Institute-incubated nuclear weapons-zero evangelism is a pragmatic formulation aimed at preserving the American Empire by reducing one potential threat against it, which could be formed by combining the unrelieved resentments of the “service” and “waste” populations of world capitalism, and the terror potential of nuclear weapons and nuclear material.

Previously, the American situation was seen as a choice between: the absence of empire and nuclear weapons versus empire with nuclear weapons. Obviously, the first choice was forbidden. The new view states the alternatives as: empire with nuclear weapons versus empire without nuclear weapons. Note that absence of empire is not accepted as an option. The positive aspect here is that empire and capitalism without nuclear weapons, though far from our ideal, is still better than what we have today. If the Hoover Institute nuclear weapons-zero evangelism goes beyond the post-career narcissism of its clergy and actually accelerates nuclear disarmament, then it will have some value.

  1. full text of January 4, 2007 op-ed. []
  2. WSJ op-ed, full text of January 15, 2008. []
  3. NYT on WHL in 2001. []
  4. Hecker’s 1997 testimony to congress:
    “Although the [Los Alamos] Laboratory’s long-term record for safety is impressive, in the last two years we have experienced a series of serious accidents, seemingly unrelated but suggesting weakness in the systems and structures that provide a safe working environment. On December 20, 1994, an employee of our contractor security force was killed during a training exercise when live ammunition was accidentally loaded into a weapon. On November 22, 1995, an employee lost control of a forklift and was severely injured when it rolled over. He subsequently recovered. On January 17, 1996, a contractor laborer received a severe shock when he jackhammered into a 13.5-kilovolt power line during an excavation project. He remains in a coma. On July 11, 1996, a graduate student working on energized, high-voltage equipment received a severe shock. He has recovered. As a result of these accidents, we have been subjected to intense scrutiny by DOE and the University of California.” []
  5. NYT on Hecker/WHL:
    ‘Mr. Hecker was cited for failing to follow through on ”an express request by senior management to develop a plan for limiting the suspect’s access, for failing to inform department’s management that the plan had failed, and for failing to take alternative actions,” according to a statement by Mr. Richardson. Though he did not name Mr. Hecker, other officials said his reference was to Mr. Hecker.’

and

SF Chronicle on Hecker/WHL. []

This is Obama’s chance to leave the world a lasting legacy

12/12/2008 9:23:00 AM
US President-elect Barack Obama has shown he has the power to change hearts and minds. Soon he’ll also have the power to render the planet dead and uninhabitable for the rest of time with just the press of a button.Despite the end of the Cold War, the United States still maintains a supersized arsenal of 10,000 nuclear warheads, more than half of them deployed, and about a quarter of them on hair-trigger alert. They come at a whopping cost of $US50 billion ($A76 billion) a year, roughly the amount needed to pay for universal health care for every US citizen.

Most of America’s nuclear weapons are hundreds of times more powerful than the two atom bombs that obliterated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Each of them directly threatens global security and human survival. No doubt Barack Obama will find it more than a tad discomforting when, come January, he’s granted this incredible power. Unlike the last three Oval Office occupants, he believes that the world would be better off without nuclear weapons.

In his race for the top job, he told a crowd of adoring fans that the elimination of nuclear weapons ”is profoundly in America’s interest and the world’s interest”, and he committed to make abolition a ”central element of US nuclear policy” which has generated great hope among anti-nuclear campaigners everywhere.

But words must be met with action. And it’s too soon to know if Obama has it in him to steer the world towards sanity and survival. Will he be courageous enough to take on the military-industrial complex which stands solidly in his way? And does he have the knack to persuade other countries, in particular Russia, to jump aboard the disarmament bandwagon? Clearly, the two Cold War foes have a special responsibility to lead the charge on eliminating nuclear weapons because together they possess 95 per cent of global stockpiles. As a first step, they need to end the lunacy of keeping their weapons on high-alert status, followed immediately by deep and irreversible cuts in the size of their arsenals.

At the earliest opportunity, all countries should come together to negotiate a new multilateral treaty to outlaw nuclear weapons, as proposed by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. It would be similar in form to laws already banning biological weapons, chemical weapons, landmines and cluster bombs. Obama could make this happen.

Unlike the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the new protocol would include mechanisms to verify compliance. Importantly, it would also require the same of all nuclear-armed states meaning there’s no good reason why countries like Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea shouldn’t join.

Commendably, the Australian Labor Party promised before last year’s federal election that in government it would ”drive the international agenda for a nuclear weapons convention”. But it hasn’t followed through, choosing instead to continue the usual mantra of countries with powerful nuclear-armed allies like the US: it’s too soon to be thinking about an abolition treaty.

Many pundits resolutely disagree. The influential Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, which was headed by former UN weapons inspector Dr Hans Blix, argued in its 2006 report: ”A key challenge is to dispel the perception that outlawing nuclear weapons is a utopian goal. A nuclear disarmament treaty is achievable and can be reached through careful, sensible and practical measures.”

This October, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded the idea of a new treaty in his UN Day speech, and the Dalai Lama had earlier said that a nuclear weapons convention is ”feasible, necessary and increasingly urgent”. Indeed, if we’re to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and avert nuclear catastrophe elimination through a binding treaty is our only option. Now is the time to pursue it.

All countries have a legal obligation, under the Non-Proliferation Treaty and customary international law, to achieve nuclear disarmament. It cannot be postponed indefinitely. This is the ruling of the world’s highest court, the International Court of Justice.

The global environment is right for change. Opinion polls in Europe and the US show that the overwhelming majority of people want nuclear weapons abolished, once and for all. And hard-hitting military honchos have started questioning the usefulness of these weapons in an age of terrorism.

History will judge Barack Obama, the next American leader, by his success or failure on this crucial issue. Ridding the planet of nuclear weapons the ultimate instruments of terror could be his single most important legacy.

Dr Helen Caldicott is president of the Nuclear Policy Research Institute in Washington. Tim Wright is president of the Peace Organisation of Australia.

ANOTHER CIA TERROR STRIKE ON PAKISTAN

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Suspected US air raid kills six militants in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: An overnight airstrike, suspected to be carried out by US forces based in Afghanistan, killed at least six Islamist militants in

Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal district, officials and local residents said on Friday.

A missile believed to be fired from a pilotless Predator aircraft hit a house Thursday night in Azam Warsak area some 15 km west of Wana, the region’s main town.

“Informants have put the death toll at six,” an intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told DPA.

There were no immediate US comments on the incident.

INSIGHT: Strategy of dislocation

INSIGHT: Strategy of dislocation

—Ejaz Haider

Modern states and societies are complex. But perpetrating violence against them, as Mumbai has shown, can be simple. Juxtapose the cost of the operation by the group of 10, with the cost to India and now to South Asia and one should understand that

Among the various remarks US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made at the Delhi airport, one was very significant. “Seven years after the war on terror,” she told the media, “there are still people planning and plotting such attacks”.

Correct. But have any lessons been learnt? No.

There are two levels of difficulty here and both complement each other. Fighting terror in a “flat” world is difficult enough but to take the wrong approach in fighting it makes putting it down even more difficult.

The terrorist wants to change the context. But he also operates in and through the existing context. He is prepared, by the very nature of what he wants to do, to turn efforts against him to his advantage. Hence the need, for any successful counter-measures, to dislocate him from the context which strengthens him.

When Heracles went into a contest with Antaeus, one of the sons of the earth goddess Gaia, he grew tired wrestling him because every time he would throw Antaeus to the ground, the latter would rise up stronger. It was not until Heracles lifted Antaeus off the ground and holding him aloft crushed him to death that he could win the contest.

This is what we now call the strategy of dislocation; this is what has been absent in all efforts made thus far to fight terrorism.

That terrorists hate our values and ideology is not only a simplistic explanation, it is also misleading. Hate is as much a function of the law of causality, absurd though that casual chain may be, as other things in this physical world. Behind hate, as behind love, there are always reasons. To be successful against terrorism, therefore, it is important to dislocate the terrorist from the context which sustains him.

Take the specific example of Mumbai. Assume that India and Pakistan come together and work out cooperative strategies to fight this problem, a problem which, to be precise, goes back to state ideologies, policies and actions, whether it be the free world’s war in Afghanistan or the Kashmir problem. Will they be successful? At best, partially.

Here’s why.

States can make about-faces. Cardinal Richelieu gave us the term raison d’État. For reasons of state he could incite the Swedish Protestant king to attack the Holy Roman Empire. Societies, at least large sections of them, can’t undergo abrupt changes after being led in one direction by the state(s).

Pakistan is facing the consequences of this disconnect. Seven years of fighting in the NWFP and the Tribal Areas has taken its toll and the situation is exacerbated by the unsuccessful war and rebuilding efforts by coalition forces in Afghanistan. The area has become one large operating ground for various groups who are networked and funded from multiple sources, including poppy in Afghanistan that NATO-ISAF troops say they cannot destroy because doing so is not part of their mandate!

It is a veritable witches’ cauldron. States, with powerful armies meant to fight industrial, inter-state wars, are spending huge amounts to fight elusive enemies. But even as their rivalries have created this monster, and even as they bleed from its various cuts, no one is prepared to change the context despite talking about cooperative strategies.

So, even if those cooperative strategies are put in place at the state level, and even if they result in a higher degree of success as far as pre-emption is concerned, we would still be left with a bad case of eczema that will keep recrudescing.

The other problem, just in case anyone has missed the point, deals with societal and state reactions to every such attack, each making it that much more difficult to address the causes because each spawns emotions which, as part of historical trajectories of exclusivist and often inimical nationalisms, become difficult to control.

But this horrific cycle is precisely what needs to be broken.

The Pakistani state became the front line of the free world’s effort against communist aggression in Afghanistan. It then diverted those groups towards India because Kashmir remains the problem between the two states. The proxy war fought through the nineties empowered these groups. India countered it through launching a massive counter-insurgency operation in Kashmir. At the socio-political level, within India it gave a fillip to anti-Muslim sentiments and provided grist to the Hindutva ideology.

The state of Pakistan then made a volte-face. It has tried to put down those groups but they have metastasised. The state is now fighting them, and losing. There is almost no buy-in for the policy at the societal level.

Ironically, what we see in Kashmir is a deep sense of alienation which has nothing to do with Pakistan, the latest round being a testimony to that, regardless of the turnout in the state elections.

Corollary: even if states (governments representing them) hug and make up, there are sentiments on both sides, and large sections of populations, that would remain opposed to such a move — and all because it would be seen, or made to be seen, as a sell-out.

The Mumbai attacks are a godsend for the Hindu rightwing which was reeling under pressure from the investigations that threatened to net more of their cadres inside and outside the armed forces. With the ATS chief heading those investigations now killed, and Delhi and Islamabad in a downward spiral, the focus has already shifted. But the menace for India won’t go away. The recent attack will now help to spread the cancer.

Can something be done? Yes. But no one should go away from the table thinking this is going to be easy — or neat. It will be messy at every stage of the game. There is the short-term and then the long-term. In the first, states have to cooperate to control the fallout from this event; in the second, they have to begin to address the context in which such things happen.

Modern states and societies are complex. But perpetrating violence against them, as Mumbai has shown, can be simple. Juxtapose the cost of the operation by the group of 10, with the cost to India and now to South Asia and one should understand that. That understanding must also inform measures to counter the threat.

Ejaz Haider is Consulting Editor of The Friday Times and Op-Ed Editor of Daily Times. He can be reached at sapper@dailytimes.com.pk. This article originally appeared on Tehelka.com on December 5

Rumsfeld blamed in detainee abuse scandals

Donald Rumsfeld

Chip Somodevilla / EPA
A bipartisan Senate report released today concludes that decisions made by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were a “direct cause” of widespread detainee abuses at Guantanamo Bay.
Chip Somodevilla / EPA
A bipartisan Senate report released today concludes that decisions made by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were a “direct cause” of widespread detainee abuses at Guantanamo Bay.
A bipartisan Senate report calls decisions made by the former Defense secretary a ‘direct cause’ of inhumane treatment of prisoners of war. Other Bush officials also are faulted.
By Greg Miller and Julian E. Barnes
December 12, 2008

Reporting from Washington — A bipartisan Senate report released Thursday concludes that decisions made by former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were a “direct cause” of widespread detainee abuses, and that other Bush administration officials were to blame for creating a legal and moral climate that contributed to inhumane treatment.

The report, endorsed by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee, is the most forceful denunciation to date of the role that Rumsfeld and other top officials played in the prisoner abuse scandals of the last five years.

The document also challenges assertions by senior Bush administration officials that the most egregious cases of prisoner mistreatment were isolated incidents of appalling conduct by U.S. troops.

“The abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own,” the report says.

Instead, the document says, a series of high-level decisions in the Bush administration “conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody.”

The document aims its harshest criticism at Rumsfeld’s decision in December 2002 to authorize the use of aggressive interrogation techniques at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Although the order was rescinded six weeks later, the report describes it as “a direct cause for detainee abuse” at Guantanamo Bay, and concludes that it “influenced and contributed to the use of abusive techniques, including military working dogs, forced nudity and stress positions, in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

The report also criticizes President Bush, although less harshly. In particular, it cites a presidential memorandum signed Feb. 7, 2002, that denied detainees captured in Afghanistan the protections of the Geneva Conventions, which ban abusive treatment of prisoners of war.

Bush’s decision to bypass an international law that had been observed by American troops for decades sent a message that “impacted the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody,” the report says.

That message was bolstered by a series of memos from the Justice Department, the report says, that “distorted the meaning and intent of anti-torture laws” and “rationalized the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody.”

The Senate report represents the culmination of an 18-month investigation by the committee’s staff. It is the latest, and in many respects the most comprehensive, in a series of government investigations started after photographs surfaced in April 2004 of prisoners at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq being stripped of their clothes, piled in pyramids and strapped to what appeared to be electrical wires.

Those abuses “cannot be chalked up to the actions of ‘a few bad apples,’ ” said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, referring to a line used by former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz in an attempt to downplay the scandal.

Levin said it was “both unconscionable and false” for Rumsfeld and others to blame troops and escape accountability. Even so, the report does not call for further investigation or punishment.

The findings were approved last month by the 17 committee members in attendance, indicating the report had the support of at least four of the panel’s Republicans. Committee officials did not identify which senators on the 25- person panel were not present for the vote.

Among the panel’s members are several GOP senators who have criticized the administration’s conduct on detainee matters, including John McCain of Arizona, John W. Warner of Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

Levin said the committee had reviewed thousands of documents and conducted interviews with more than 70 people, and received written responses from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The investigation did not focus on the CIA’s treatment of detainees, or the agency’s operation of a network of secret prisons.

But the inquiry turned up new information showing that the Defense Department had consulted with the CIA on interrogation matters, and that White House officials had reviewed CIA methods earlier and in more detail than previously acknowledged.

Most of the findings had been disclosed in the panel’s interim reports or in other investigations. But the report released Thursday traces the origins of aggressive interrogation techniques to U.S. military survival training programs. It follows the use of coercive methods as they migrated from Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan, then to Iraq and Abu Ghraib.

The techniques — based on practices detailed in military courses on survival, evasion, resistance and escape, known as SERE — included stress positions, the removal of clothing and the exploitation of phobias, including fear of dogs.

One month after Rumsfeld issued his order approving such methods at Guantanamo, they were part of a presentation witnessed by Army Capt. Carolyn Wood at Bagram air base in Afghanistan, the report says. Wood has been criticized by human rights groups for her role in U.S. interrogation techniques, and was singled out in one investigation as failing to properly oversee interrogators.

The committee said the Afghanistan techniques eventually became standard procedure for all U.S. forces in Iraq. And by summer 2003, Wood, then serving in Iraq, proposed that the practices become the interrogation policy at Abu Ghraib.

After Wood proposed extending the use of the techniques and pressure mounted to acquire intelligence about the insurgency, the top commander in Iraq, Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, authorized interrogators on Sept. 14, 2003, to use stress positions, “sleep management” and dogs when questioning detainees.

A month later, he rescinded permission to use the techniques.

“The new policy, however, contained ambiguities with respect to certain techniques, such as the use of dogs in interrogations, and led to confusion about which techniques were permitted,” the Senate report says.

Miller and Barnes are writers in our Washington bureau.

REPUBLICAN HARD ASSES BLOCK AUTO COMPANY SURVIVAL

Senate Abandons Automaker Bailout Bid

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Thursday night abandoned efforts to fashion a government rescue of the American automobile industry, as Senate Republicans refused to support a bill endorsed by the White House and Congressional Democrats.

Brendan Smialowski for The New York Times

The failure to reach agreement on Capitol Hill raised a specter of financial collapse for General Motors and Chrysler, which say they may not be able to survive through this month.

After Senate Republicans balked at supporting a $14 billion auto rescue plan approved by the House on Wednesday, negotiators worked late into Thursday evening to broker a deal but deadlocked over Republican demands for steep cuts in pay and benefits by the United Automobile Workers union in 2009.

The failure in Congress to provide a financial lifeline for G.M. and Chrysler was a bruising defeat for President Bush in the waning weeks of his term, and also for President-elect Barack Obama, who earlier on Thursday urged Congress to act to avoid a further loss of jobs in an already deeply debilitated economy.

“It’s over with,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said on the Senate floor, after it was clear that a deal could not be reached. “I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight.”

Mr. Reid added: “This is going to be a very, very bad Christmas for a lot of people as a result of what takes place here tonight.”

The Republican leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said: “We have had before us this whole question of the viability of the American automobile manufacturers. None of us want to see them go down, but very few of us had anything to do with the dilemma that they have created for themselves.”

Mr. McConnell added: “The administration negotiated in good faith with the Democratic majority a proposal that was simply unacceptable to the vast majority of our side because we thought it frankly wouldn’t work.”

Moments later, the Senate fell short of the 60 votes need to bring up the auto rescue plan for consideration. The Senate voted 52 to 35 with 10 Republicans joining 40 Democrats and 2 independents in favor.

The White House issued said it would consider alternatives but offered no assurances.

“It’s disappointing that Congress failed to act tonight,” Tony Fratto, the deputy press secretary, said. “We think the legislation we negotiated provided an opportunity to use funds already appropriated for automakers, and presented the best chance to avoid a disorderly bankruptcy while ensuring taxpayer funds only go to firms whose stakeholders were prepared to make difficult decisions to become viable. We will evaluate our options in light of the breakdown in Congress.”

Markets reacted quickly in Asia. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index closed down 5.6 percent after the proposal failed and other markets registered substantial retreats as well.

Immediately after the vote, the Bush administration was already coming under pressure to act on its own to prop up G.M. and Chrysler, an idea that administration officials have resisted for weeks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers called on the administration to use the Treasury’s bigger financial system stabilization fund to help the automakers, but there may not be enough money left to do so.

About $15 billion remains of the initial $350 billion disbursed by Congress and Treasury officials have said that money is needed as a backstop for existing programs.

Democrats instantly sought to blame Republicans for the failure to aid Detroit, while a number of Republicans blamed the union. But on all sides the usual zest for political jousting seemed absent given the grim economic outlook.

“Senate Republicans’ refusal to support the bipartisan legislation passed by the House and negotiated in good faith with the White House, the Senate and the automakers is irresponsible, especially at a time of economic hardship,” Ms. Pelosi said in a statement.

She added: “The consequences of the Senate Republicans’ failure to act could be devastating to our economy, detrimental to workers, and destructive to the American automobile industry unless the President immediately directs Secretary Paulson to explore other short-term financial assistance options.”

Senator George V. Voinovich, Republican of Ohio, and a supporter of the auto rescue efforts, said: “I think it might be time for the president to step in.” Senator Christopher S. Bond, Republican of Missouri, also urged the White House to act.

So far, the Federal Reserve also has shown no willingness to step in to aid the auto industry.

Democrats have argued that the Fed has the authority to do so and some said the central bank may now have no choice but to prevent the automakers from entering bankruptcy proceedings that could have ruinous ripple effects.

G.M. and Chrysler issued statements expressing disappointment.

G.M. said: “We will assess all of our options to continue our restructuring and to obtain the means to weather the current economic crisis.”

Chrysler said it would: “continue to pursue a workable solution to help ensure the future viability of the company.”

Earlier in the day, G.M. said that it had legal advisers, including Harvey R. Miller of the firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, to consider a possible bankruptcy, which the company until now has said would be cataclysmic not just for G.M. but for Chrysler and the Ford Motor Company as well.

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Ask Mrs. Karkare: Was It Lashker or BJP?

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Ask Mrs. Karkare: Was It Lashker or BJP?

The timing of Mumbai terror is well planned, just before state elections!  So who will reap the benefit? Lashkar-e-Taiba or BJP? If ISI did it, then they must be stupid. And they are not.

By NAEED-UD-DIN KHALID

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—If the America’s lapdogs in the Pakistani government had any brains, they would have demanded that Mrs. Hemant Karkare, the wife of the Indian antiterrorism chief killed in the very first hours of Mumbai attack be allowed to speak up. Also, a retired Indian army officer, a close friend was told by Karkare in writing a few hours before he was killed that his life was under threat by Hindu terrorists and their handlers in the Indian military intelligence. Both Mr. Karkare and the secret letter written by her husband have been suppressed.

Also consider:

  1. Unlike other terrorists in similar situations, the terrorists in Mumbai did not demand anything. They didn’t even demand the release of their supposedly jailed colleagues or ask for money. Why? What was their target then?
  2. Unlike other so-called Islamic jehadis with beards and turbans, the Mumbai terrorists came with strange looks, wearing jeans and T-shirts, clean-shaven, no turbans nor any sign of ‘Muslims terrorists’.

  1. Mumbai’s ‘Pakistani terrorists’ were a funny brand of ‘Muslim terrorists’: beer guzzling terrorists. True to the fancy world of Indian movies, Mumbai’s Jehadis go to a bar and stock up on beer before they launch their crusade.

  1. Mumbai terrorists (as shown by media) had close similarities with RSS cadres: The alleged lone survivor happens to be the same guy whose pictures were conveniently captured by Indian photographers and as he walked to make his kill, intriguingly wearing a yellow band on his right hand wrist in the typical style of Hindu terrorist RSS cadres.

  1. Mumbai terrorists immediately find their targets by killing ATS leaders [Hemant Karakare, CP Ashok Kamthe & Vijay Salskar) in the first 15 minutes of the attacks. Karakare was wearing a bullet proof jacket. He was fired right on his neck! He was in a crowded place, so it was not easy to find and identify him. How they got so much information? Why they targeted him? How and why they so specific the clearly chose ATS leaders? And the terrorists immediately ran away? Making Karkare’s murder a puzzle that can’t be solved? ATS was investigating BJP involvement in terrorism, Colonel Prohait , Samjhoota Express Blasts, etc. [See http://www.ocnus. net/artman2/ publish/Defence_ Arms_13/India_ Hindu_Supremacis t_Terror_ Network.shtml
    http://www.sahilnew s.org/english/ news.php? catID=voice&nid=4133&viewed=0]

  1. When Indian soldiers deliberately gorged out the eyes and defaced every one of the terrorists, how come one was caught alive, and that too the one who was – conveniently – photographed by some unknown Indian photographer?

  1. The precision and swiftness of the terrorist action in Mumbai leaves no doubt the perpetrators were not outsiders. There is no way anyone can hold a huge city like Mumbai hostage for three days without knowing the city and the Indian security system inside out.

  1. Prime Minister, Sonia & L.K. Advani visit Mumbai, but no clues or no claims about ISI or Pakistan. However, the Number One Indian Terrorist, Gujarat Chief Minister Narinder Modi rushes to Mumbai and declares that Pakistan is behind the attack without any doubt! Note: no other Indian chief ministers travel to Mumbai. Modi, the killer of 2,500 Indian Muslim women and children in 2002, offered rewards to every military man killed to the tune of several million Indian rupees, which is something that didn’t occur to either the Indian government or the opposition.
  2. Media was widely reporting that there were IDs of terrorists recovered that show Malaysian and Mauritius IDs. However, such references disappear after Modi’s arrival.
  3. The timing of Mumbai terror is well planned, just before state elections!  (So who will reap the benefit? lashkar-e-taiba or BJP?) The timing of Mumbai terror is well planned, just before state elections!  So who will reap the benefit? Lashkar-e-Taiba or BJP? If ISI did it, then they must be stupid. And they are not.

  1. We are told the terrorists came from Pakistan by sea. Was the Indian navy asleep? We are told they came by speed boats. Is it possible to travel such a long distance on such boats? I don’t know.
  2. It took hundreds of Indian soldiers 60 hours to stop the terrorists. Is the Indian army and commandos a bunch of circus clowns?

  1. Karkare’s wife declined ‘Modi’s compensation offer’. It was her sown special way of identifying the real perpetrators. See http://www.expressi ndia.com/ latest-news/ Karkares- wife-declines- Modis-compensati on-offer/ 392207/

Mr. Khalid can be reached at Dosama_isb AT yahoo.com

Karkare’s wife declines ‘Modi’s compensation’ offer

p_patil_3 Karkare’s wife declines ‘Modi’s compensation’

offer

Mumbai The family of slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare has declined Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s offer of monetary help, sources said on Saturday.

Modi on Friday visited the residences of Karkare and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar, who were killed while fighting militants on Wednesday night.

Modi also announced that his government would give Rs 1 crore to Maharashtra for the families of policemen killed in the attacks.

Karkare’s widow and other family members have declined Modi’s offer, the sources said.

14 Maharashtra police personnel, including two IPS officers, sacrificed their lives while fighting terrorists.

Terror attack planned by RSS and allies?

Terror attack planned by RSS and allies?

Public Voice

The dastardly Mumbai terror attack of November 26 & 27, has claimed the lives of over 125 people and injured scores more. This terror attack in our analysis has been planned & orchestrated by the Sangh Pariwar and its allies within the security apparatus to counter the investigation of the ATS led by Hemant Karkare, so as to nullify and divert attention from the true face of BJP-RSS Parivar’s involvement in fermenting terror attacks in the country.

The basic aim was to totally subvert every attempt by the ATS (Anti-Terror Squad) that was undoubtedly uncovering the nefarious terrorist cells within the various branches of the Sangh Pariwar as well as their RSS abettors & sympathizers within the army, IB, RAW and the entire security apparatus. The Mumbai terror attacks will thus draw away attention, as well as serve to justify the terrorist activities of the Sadhvi Pragnya’s and the Purohit’s and further lend to their glorification.

It will basically shore up the sagging credibility of the BJP-RSS, especially that of L. K. Advani, who had taken a public posture of both defending the alleged terror cells and attacking the ATS. This was utterly myopic on the part of a leader who is unfortunately considered to be the next PM. Also L. K. Advani who has vehemently and publicly attacked Hemant Karkare, is now cynically praising the man after he was murdered. Moreover we also question as to why PM Manmohan Singh chose to accompany L.K. Advani to Mumbai and have only him by his side to the exclusion of every other national & regional leader??

Also similar is the Jaipur terror attacks (March 13, 2008) which undoubtedly aided the BJP to win a majority in Karnataka, the Mumbai terror attacks could also prove useful to the fortunes of the BJP in the upcoming elections across 5 states.

One of the most disheartening events was the deaths or rather the murders of the courageous ATS Chief Hemant Karkare as well his associates, Ashok Kamte & Salaskar, who were spearheading the investigation. Hemant Karkare was not shot in the chest as was reported, but was shot in the neck. Even prior to this terror attack, Hemant Karkare was receiving a series of threats to his life for persisting with the investigation which was and has infact unravelled a terror network with deep roots in the various organization of the RSS and included the BJP, ABVP, VHP and the Abhinav Bharat amongst others. The cousin sister of Hemant Karkare as well the mother of Salaskar have appeared on TV and have expressed strong doubts about the deaths of their loved ones and have strongly hinted at other possibilities. It was also reported that when the death of Karkare was announced, the RSS members rejoiced and celebrated.

We thus demand a judicial inquiry to look into the deaths of the three courageous ATS officers whose deaths are a blow to the morale of the entire police force. The feeling that Karkare and his comrades were the prime victims of this plot is now widespread amongst the people and is matter of serious popular discussion and a number of TV channels are discussing this possibility.

The death of Karkare and his comrades has sent out a strong signal to all those who would dare to challenge this diabolical Hindutva nexus within our security apparatus. This again is not unique to India as we are witness to the phenomenon of the religious right and its influence within the military establishment in countries as diverse as Pakistan (Islamist Right), USA (Christian Right) and Israel (Jewish Zionists). There is thus a need to weed out all such individuals and groups from within our security apparatus. The Zia’s, Sharon’s and Bush’s have all proved far too detrimental for their respective nations and the world at large.

The first media reports began to inform us of a previously unheard of group called the “Deccan Mujahedeen”. Let it be made clear that neither the Deccan nor the “Indian Mujahedeen” exist. The Indian Mujahedeen is a creation & the front organization of the Indian security apparatus. The role of the “IM” is to seek to entrap Muslim youth. Organizations like the IM are created with the backing of criminal elements from within the Muslim community as well as informers. The IM is known to be linked to the Fazlulrehman gang as well as the Bhatkal brothers with similar criminal antecedents. We believe that it is fairly easy to entrap 15 odd Muslim youth annually out of a population of 15 crores, by showing them CD’s of Gujarat and Ayodhya and by emotionally drawing them to “avenge” the oppression and exploitation of a beleaguered minority. Intelligence agents in the garb of Muslim clergy have been known to indulge in this activity, whilst informers like Safdar Nagori have also helped in this process.

As far as the terrorists who attacked Mumbai are concerned, they are in all likelihood highly indoctrinated and extremely well trained terrorists determined to die for their “cause” & are basically controlled by the American CIA, the Pakistani ISI and the Israeli MOSSAD. There is a long and recorded history of the CIA and the MOSSAD along with the intelligence agencies of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, deploying these groups in Afghanistan , Chechnya , Bosnia and Kosovo amongst others.

The stunning report that stated that Indresh Kumar a senior RSS operative in Nepal received Rs 3 CR from the ISI, was known to Togadia, Purohit and Vaidya the ex-RSS chief. This till date has not been denied by the RSS. This hints of a collusion between the ISI and the RSS at certain mutually beneficial levels and should come as no surprise and needs further investigation.

It was clear to the BJP-RSS that the threat that lay from the ATS investigation could destroy them as it went to the core of the leadership and names such as Advani, Modi, Togadia, Rajnath Singh and Vaidya began to appear.

Thus they would have to organize a major spectacular terrorist attack to thwart the investigation.

In our estimation, the MOSSAD and the CIA have aided and abetted the BJP-RSS in the planning and execution of this terror attack. What was required in this extended sordid drama was the need for a genuine terrorist group of Pakistani origin, which was provided for by the ISI with a bit of prodding from its masters in the CIA and the MOSSAD if required. The ISI is a mercenary organization with no scruples and is out there for the highest bidder. Moreover there exist various factions within the ISI, some which are basically controlled and paid for by the CIA and the MOSSAD.

The terrorist group would have no clue to the larger plot and would only be a pawn in the entire episode in which it would be given to believe that it was serving the cause of Islam by waging Jehad against Hindu India.

The terrorists were also given targets which included nationals of the US , UK and Israel as an added incentive. In one such announcement the terrorist spokesperson announced that they were here in Mumbai as part of their battle against the Jewish people and the faith of Judaism. Thus the Nariman House building in Colaba, that unknown to most is inhabited by Israeli-Jewish families was also attacked and hostages taken. This incident will only serve to cement ties between the Zionist elites of Israel and the Brahmanical elites of India.

The fact of the matter is that there exists a strong ideological bonding between Zionism & Brahmanism. Both are committed to racial, religious & caste superiority. Both also have a history of collaboration with Imperialism and the exploitation of their people.

Let it be clear to one and all, that Muslims have never had any sort of antipathy or hatred for the Jewish people or for Judaism for that matter and history is proof of this fact. What Muslims like all other peoples and nations are opposed to is Zionism and its colonial apartheid state called Israel. The fact of the matter is that at the heart of International politics lies the Palestine / Israel conflict and only a just solution will finally bring peace to the world. Till then Israel will continue to destabilise Muslim societies across the world so as to spread Islamophobia and further weaken and isolate the Muslim community as is very apparent in India.

The key is to understand the difference between Judaism and Zionism. Judaism represents the ethical and moral values of the Jewish faith whilst Zionism is a racist, fascist and colonial ideology.

Both India and the world stand at the crossroads.

The scourge of terrorism has become the political and social challenge of our times and needs to be fought as it is we the ordinary people who are the victims of terror.

The politics of terror has replaced the politics of communal riots and is the new strategy of communal fascism.

The only way that we can fight the demon of terrorism is by revealing the truth and thus uniting the people across religions and nations for our common struggle against imperialism and for a global human society based on the principles of secularism, democracy and social justice.

The battle is for the very Soul of India !

The battle is for the very Idea of India !

The battle if for the very Unity of India ! and

We the People will win the war for Peace !

Feroze Mithiborwala, Kishore jagtap, Sayeed Khan, Varsha V V, Amol Madame, Arif Kapadia, Afaq Azad, Chetna Birje, Reshma Jagtap, Irfan Mulla, Jagdish Nagarkar, Mulniwasi Mala, Ghazala azad, Munawar Khan, Saeeda Khan, Noorjehan Momin, Tito Eapen, Winnie Thomas, Inayat, Jyoti Bedekar, Anil Hate, Avinash Kamble, Chand & Harshwardhan Vartak

India: Hindu Supremacist Terror Network

India: Hindu Supremacist Terror Network

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones,


The police investigation into the synchronised September 29 bombing attacks in Malegaon, a city in the west Indian state of Maharashtra, and Madosa, in the neighbouring state of Gujarat, has rattled India’s political establishment.

The police have thus far arrested 11 people, while indicating that others, potentially many others, may yet be implicated in what they have termed an “extensive” Hindu-extremist terror network.

The arrested include a lieutenant colonel attached to the Indian Army’s Military Intelligence Corps and a retired army major. Two of the suspects, a Hindu sadhu (holy man) and a sadhvi (holy woman), have long-standing and extensive contacts with prominent politicians and businessmen. All of the alleged principals in the bombing plot have ties to one or more of India’s major “Hindu-nationalist” organisations: the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the official opposition in India’s parliament, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP, World Hindu Council), and the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh or RSS.

The police have said that they are investigating whether those arrested, or their as-yet-unidentified associates, are responsible for other terrorist atrocities, including the 2007 Samjhuata train bombing, which killed 68 people, most of them Pakistanis, travelling to Pakistan from India.

The Malegaon bombing killed 5 Muslims and injured more than 80 others, while the Madosa bombing resulted in one death.

Although the September 29 bombings clearly targeted Muslims—they were set off near mosques—the police and press immediately blamed them on Islamicist terrorists, and a number of Muslims were subsequently caught up in a police dragnet.

But less than two weeks later, the Maharashtra state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) said it had uncovered evidence that the bombing attacks were carried out by Hindu extremists and made the first in a series of arrests. Initially, the ATS named the sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who was long active in the BJP’s student movement, as the mastermind of the plot.

Later, the ATS arrested Lieutenant Colonel Srikant Purohit. He is now said to have led the terrorist cell that carried out the Malegaon bombing. He is alleged to have given military training to the other suspects and, even more importantly, to have provided them with the military-grade explosive RDX.

Purohit and retired army Major Samir Kulkarniand, who also helped train the alleged bombers, are reputed to be the co-founders of Abhinav Bharat (AB, Young India Society)—a fanatical Hindu-supremacist organisation established in 2006 ostensibly to defend Hindus and fight against their “oppression.”

RDX was used in the Malegaon bombings and several other recent terrorist atrocities in India. Since RDX is very difficult to obtain, its use has been cited by Indian authorities, until now, as proof that those perpetrating the bombings must be from Islamicist organisations with ties to Pakistani or Bangladeshi military-intelligence agencies.

Purohit’s arrest has shaken India’s military high command. It has rushed to dismiss him as a single rogue officer. But there have been repeated media reports suggesting several other current army officers have been implicated in the terrorist plot.

Monday’s Indian Express reported that Purohit has implicated a serving Indian Army colonel, and a television broadcast, later that same day, claimed five army officers are being investigated for their links with the Abhinav Bharat.

The November 12 arrest of a self-styled Hindu sadhu named Dayanand Pandey has also caused considerable disquiet in the Indian establishment.

In pleading yesterday for a Mumbai court to authorise the continued detention and interrogation of Pandey, a government lawyer said that police have recovered evidence from Pandey’s laptop showing he had several meetings with Sadhvi Thakur and Lt. Col. Purohit shortly before the September 29 bombings. Special Prosecutor Rohini Salian claimed that in a video clip on Pandey’s computer, he, “Sadhvi, Purohit and other persons, whose name cannot be disclosed, are seen talking about RDX, chemicals, hand grenades and training.”

The head of a shrine in Kashmir, Pandey was, according to news reports, frequently visited by high-profile politicians and businessmen.

The exposure of a Hindu-supremacist terrorist network has thrown the BJP and its allies in the Sangh Parivar, a “family” of organisations historically led by the RSS, into crisis.

Initially, the BJP tried to distance itself from the sadhvi Thakur, but very quickly this gave way to a campaign aimed at discrediting and derailing the police investigation.

The BJP has long hailed the ATS, denouncing as traitors anyone who questioned, let alone criticised, its actions, including its frequent use of mass arrests. India’s official opposition has also repeatedly attacked India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for rescinding the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), which among other things placed the burden of proof in terrorist cases on the accused.

But in recent weeks, the BJP has suddenly found much wrong with the ATS. The BJP has suggested that, under pressure from the government, it is targeting Hindu holy people and other Hindus, demanded that it immediately provide proof against the accused or let them go, and trumpeted claims by Purohit and his associates that the police have tortured them.

Bal Thackeray, the supremo of the Shiv Sena, a longtime ally of the BJP, has forthrightly accused the ATS of framing the Malegaon bombing accused. But he also said that if they did orchestrate the bombings, they should be defended because such murderous attacks on Muslims are justified.

Campaigning yesterday in Delhi, where state elections are soon to be held, the BJP chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, accused the Congress of maligning the military by imputing that it is involved in terrorist activities. “What Pakistan was not able to do in the last 20 years,” declared Modi, “the Manmohan Singh government has achieved in just 20 days. They have succeeded in branding our soldiers as terrorists.”

The exposure of a Hindu-supremacist terror network is extremely damaging for the BJP not just because some of the accused have long-standing ties to the BJP and/or its sister Hindu-supremacist organisations.

The BJP has long made clear that it intends to place at the centre of its campaign in the next national election, which must be held in the first half of 2009, the spurious charge that the Congress is “soft” on terrorism. For years, the BJP has claimed that the UPA government will not “crack down” on terrorism because of “vote bank politics”—that is, its alleged fear of alienating Muslim voters.

Nor can it be ruled out that prominent cadres of one or more of the major Hindu supremacist organisations could themselves be implicated in the Hindu terrorist network. The VHP, RSS, and BJP all have a long and bloody record of inciting violence against India’s religious minorities.

The Indian Express claimed earlier this week that Lt. Col. Purohit told India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that VHP General Secretary Pravin Togadia was instrumental in founding the Abhinav Bharat.

The government has responded to the Hindu right’s vehement campaign in defence of the accused in the Maleagon bombing with a series of conciliatory gestures. After BJP prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani charged that the sadhvi Thakur had been “physically and psychologically tortured” by police, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arranged for Advani to receive a briefing from National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan.

In a further attempt to get the BJP-RSS leader “on side,” police have reportedly revealed to them that Purohit’s group had plans to assassinate one or more senior RSS leaders.

This could well be true. The Hindu right is a toxic and highly unstable political movement. In recent years, the RSS and BJP, many of whose senior leaders, Advani included, are lifelong RSS activists, have been criticised, with increasing vehemence, by fellow Hindu supremacists, including the VHP leadership. The BJP, for example, has been chastised for not more aggressively pursuing key Hindutva causes, including the building of a Hindu temple at the site of the razed Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya and eliminating Kashmir’s special constitutional status, when it led a national coalition government from 1998 to 2004.

If the Malaegon bombers did plot to assassinate RSS leaders it would have been with a double purpose, with the aim of eliminating “traitors” to Hindutva and providing a pretext for inciting violence against Muslims, since such an attack would invariably have been blamed on “Muslim extremists.”

India’s corporate media and political and military-security establishments have expressed shock at the phenomenon of Hindu-supremacist terrorism.

But this is only because they have been willfully blind.

Willfully blind because it has served their ends to present the problem of terrorism in India as exclusively “foreign-born” and blind because they do not want to acknowledge the extent to which the “world’s largest democracy” has given rise to an aggressive Hindu communalism, in which fascist elements flourish, and their own complicity in this process.

Evidence of the existence of Hindu-supremacist terrorists significantly predates the events of September 29.

In April 2006, two leaders of the VHP’s youth movement, the Bajrang Dal, were killed when a bomb they were building exploded in Nanded, a city in southeastern Maharashtra. Four others injured in that explosion later told authorities that the dead had been responsible for a series of bomb blasts in 2003 and 2004.

In 2007, a further explosion in Nanded killed two people including a Shiv Sena activist.

The Times of India, in a report published November 8, said that at the time of the first Nanded explosion, police were provided evidence of the extensive involvement of retired military and Intelligence Bureau personnel in training Hindu extremists, but these ties were not aggressively investigated.

Even more importantly, there is the long record of Hindutvite-led and inspired mass violence against religious minorities—violence that has repeatedly demonstrated the Hindu supremacists’ willingness and ability to perpetrate murder and terror. To mention only the two most notorious examples: the 1992 razing of the Babri Majid mosque, which led to the worst communal rioting since the 1947 partition of India, and the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat, which killed some 2,000 and left a further 100,000 homeless.

Source:Ocnus.net 2008

Discredible India

Discredible India

These 10 young men had the Indian Police, Black Cat Team and army by their necks for three days. Stupidity is one vice which should not be attributed to them. Take one look at the terrorist caught on camera; he could pass for a south Indian low budget film hero, clean shaven and all. Definitely not a Jihadi fighting in the name of Allah. Here is why there is no logical reason for this to be Lashker-e-Taeeba’s job, no matter what absurd proof the Indians may come up with.

By Laila Sohail
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The Indian media had passed its judgment within only a couple of hours into the Mumbai attack. It was convinced that 10 men had taken a cruise from Karachi to Mumbai, fully equipped with ammunition and explosive material, bypassed the Coast Guard, and made their way into the heart of the city.

One of the reports had a fisherman claiming that he had himself questioned one of the terrorists, after seeing the explosives in the bag. It is a wonder how the reporter could keep a straight face as this fisherman armed with a fishing line in one hand and a net in the other, claimed to be nothing short of Superman, while the terrorist responsible for killing so many people was meek enough to simply continue the remaining journey on foot.

Within minutes, they had an animation/cartoon film to depict his tale. While flipping news channels, I came across a film trailer, and I said to myself, damn that Ram Gopal Varma, he does not give up making atrocious Hollywood rip off suspense thrillers. Only this wasn’t a trailer, but a documentary on one of the Indian channels, complete with dramatic music effects.

In spite of it, the Indian medias propaganda was beginning to seem rather rusty.

The channels could not decide on the number of the terrorists, their guesses ranging from 9 to 15. They haggled over the name of the mastermind [Kamal, Qasab or Rahman chacha being some of the options]. There was ambiguity about whether the terrorists had spent a night in some hotel, or came right before the attacks. The Indian channels made a mockery out of this tragedy.

In the initial stages of the operation, one of the Indian journalists while questioning the terrorists on live TV asked where he was from and the reply was Hyderabad. On cue the spontaneous reaction was, “Pakistan Hyderabad?and the terrorist responded with amusement and a distinctively Indian dialect, “Nahi sahb DeKHan, apna DeKHan” [No, sir, Deccan, OUR Deccan].

Where did that guy go? He must be lying somewhere along with the other eight killed, with his face disfigured beyond recognition.

There were 10 men, and the forces only managed to capture one. We are told that he was a Pakistani, based on the testimony of 9 dead people. The faces of those killed were disfigured so that they were unrecognizable. The doctors said, though unidentifiable, the bodies were those of the ‘terrorists’. How did they know? The Indian government officials told them. How credible.

If the evidence is manufactured, whoever was responsible should be fired. Credit cards, SIM cards, satellite phones, at least they have been more original. The Indian media claimed that it took 6 months for the terrorists to prepare for this difficult operation, so why were there phone calls made to Karachi during the operation? This is really amusing. On the one hand they were so intelligent that they planned this attack six months back but on the other hand they were so stupid that they called Pakistan from their mobile phones while in India. These 10 young men had the Indian Police, Black Cat Team and army by their necks for three days, stupidity is one vice which should
not be attributed to them. Take one look at the terrorist caught on camera; he could pass for a south Indian low budget film hero, clean shaven and all. Definitely not a Jihadi fighting in the name of Allah.

Indian Lies Have Precedent In 2006

On July 16, 2006, The Times of India reported this, “Lashkar-e-Qahhar, which says it has links with the terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), on Saturday claimed responsibility for the 11/7 serial blasts that ripped through Mumbais commuter trains killing over 200 people.”

The information was received by a TV channel via e mail.

But investigations showed the involvement of Indian Army’s Lt. Col. Srikanth Purohit and his accomplices in this act of terrorism. It shows the extent to which hard core elements have crept into the institutions within India. How can the baseless claims put forward by the Indian media have any authenticity considering its past record?

The media and the Indian government are convinced that Lashker-e-Taeba is behind these attacks. Why would the Lashker do something like this? The only reasonable explanation would be to make a point, to show retaliation to the Indian authorities, in other words to make themselves known. The Lashker has accepted responsibility for instances in the past such as Jammu May 31, 2007 Bhaderwah encounter, so why is it quiet this time?

One of the Lashkir members in Kashmir denied responsibility and said that this is just a sham by the Indian
government to discredit the Kashmir movement.

What Would Lashkar Achieve?

So if the Lashker is somehow behind this, what has it achieved? The only explanations offered by the Indian media for the saffron wrist band band and the non-Muslim attire of the terrorists is that they tried to pass themselves off as Hindus. If they were indeed Muslim terrorists, why the hell would they do that? In other words, there is no logical reason for this to be Lashker-e-Taeeba’s job, no matter what absurd proof the Indians may come up with.

India has murdered over 250,000 Sikhs since 1984, according to figures compiled by the Punjab State Magistracy It has also killed over 90,000 Kashmiri-Muslims since 1988, 2,000 to 5,000 Muslims in Gujarat, more than 300,000 Christians in Nagaland since 1947, and thousands of Christians and Muslims elsewhere, as well as tens of thousands of Assamese, Bodos, Dalits, Manipuris, Tamils and other minorities. The Indian Supreme Court called the Indian Government’s murders of Sikhs ‘worse than genocide. Even a fragment of the Hindus [dalits] are a target of murder, rape and violence, thanks to the caste system. With 25 separatist movements going on within India, the first blame is still put on Pakistan. The terrorists had no problems finding their way around Mumbai. The security forces admitted that the operation was harder as they did not know the lay out of the hotels, which the terrorists seemed to be well familiar with. They even entered the hotel through the kitchen. How could it be done without inside connections? The internal mess should be cleared up before any fingers can be pointed towards external elements. The situation inside India should be highlighted on humanistic grounds.

India has a history of bloody politics, with leaders being assassinated by angry separatist groups and extremist parties wining on the basis of Hate agendas. Looking at the success the BJP is having in the elections, the strategy seems to have worked. Pakistan has been a victim of terrorism. The terrorists are condemned, a war has been
waged against them and the people of Pakistan accept them as criminals. Indians should be careful. They might just be voting for them!

With all the Incredible India posters and bollywood latka jhatkas, the fact remains the same; the face of India today is a distorted and disfigured one. What we saw on the 26th of Nov, was an outbreak of that ugliness hidden behind the sparkle of the mask. Rape, murder, poverty, injustice. This is India in the 21st century.

But they make great films: that I admit to. So congrats Bollywood for disillusioning the world … and shame on patriotic Indians for losing sight of their own Hindu terrorists taking over their country.

This is an attempt to trap Pakistan in a conflict on the eastern border. The Indian intentions are now more than clear. The U.S. has repeatedly urged both countries not to indulge in an armed conflict as the removal of the Pakistan army troops from the western borders would mean the NATO forces being skinned; still it acts as a bribed
policeman ready to pass judgment before trial. It has already given indication of where its support lies. This would be the time to bring forward all the proof that Pakistan has against the Indian intelligence. We need to take a stand and turn the tables around.

Be it disgruntled Pakistani artists or government officials; we need to have a national consensus.

Laila Sohail is a young Pakistani commentator. She can be reached at blabbersboo AT gmail.com

Pakistan To Demand Handing Over Of Col. Purohit From India

lt-col-prasad-purohit

Pakistan To Demand Handing Over Of Col.

Purohit From India

By Makhdoom Babar

Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Mail.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—The Government of Pakistan is set to demand the extradition of Col. Shrikant Purohit of the Indian Army, the first serving Indian Army officer arrested for terrorism and the main accused in the 2007 Samjhauta Express inferno, the ‘friendship’ train, in which 69 Pakistani passengers, returning from India to Pakistan, were burned alive, The Daily Mail has learned on good authority.

Highly reliable sources have revealed to The Daily Mail that Pakistan is going to insist on handing over of Col. Purohit because he was proven guilty of killing 69 Pakistanis in 2007 by India’s own investigative agencies.

The 69 Pakistanis were murdered on Indian soil.

It may mentioned here that India’s anti-terrorism specialist and former RAW officer Mr. HemantKarkare , who was investigating Samjhauta Express inferno and Malegaon Blast in his final conclusion report, framed Col. Purohit as the main accused and mastermind in both the cases and arrested Col. Purohit for further investigations.

However Mr. Karkare and two other members of his Investigation Team were later killed by Saffron Terrorists, as Hindu terrorists are known, belonging to Sang Parivar’s Aatma Ghataki Pathak (Hindu Suicide Squad), during Mumbai carnage, while after Karkare’s assassination Col. Purohit was released on bail by the court and there are no further investigations on this direction and the matter has been hushed up.

The Daily Mail’s investigation reveals that the Pakistani authorities have taken an exception to the findings of Karkare’s investigation and are very anxious to get hold of Lt. Col. Shrikant Purohit to investigate him further to ascertain his involvement in the killing of many other Pakistanis in different terror attacks inside Pakistan and also in India, since it has been established through Karkare’s report that Col. Purohit is an important member of the network of Hindu Extremists and the networks of likeminded officers in Indian Army.

The authorities believe that the handing over of Col. Purohit, a proven killer of 69 Pakistanis, is more important than handing over of certain Pakistani ‘suspects’ doubted to be involved in Mumbai carnage.

It may be mentioned here that the Pakistan has already prepared a list of 35 most wanted terrorists that are to be sought from India, however Col. Purohit’s name was earlier not on that list. The reason is that his name is supposed to be given separately in the wake of the Karakare investigations.

However, due to the Mumbai incident that occurred soon after release of Karakare’s report, Islamabad could not initiate the move. But now it has become imperative to go ahead with Col. Purohit’s extradition demand. It is yet to be decided when and how this demand is to be made and conveyed to the Indians.

Foreclosure Storm Will Hit U.S. in ‘09 Amid Job Loss (Update1)

Foreclosure Storm Will Hit U.S. in ‘09 Amid Job Loss (Update1)

By Dan Levy

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) — U.S. foreclosure filings climbed 28 percent in November from a year earlier and a brewing “storm” of new defaults and job losses may force 1 million homeowners from their properties next year, RealtyTrac Inc. said.

A total of 259,085 properties got a default notice, were warned of a pending auction or were foreclosed on last month, the seller of default data said in a report today. That’s the fewest since June. Filings fell 7 percent from October as state laws and lender programs designed to delay the foreclosure process allowed delinquent borrowers to stay in their homes.

“We’re going to see a pretty significant storm next year,” Rick Sharga, executive vice president of marketing for Irvine, California-based RealtyTrac, said in an interview. “There are two or three clouds that suggest a pretty heavy downpour.”

Rising unemployment, expiring foreclosure moratoriums and state efforts that “run out of steam” will push monthly filings toward the record of more than 303,000 set in August, Sharga said. The number of homes that revert to lenders, the last stage of foreclosure and known as “real estate owned” or REO properties, will increase to 1 million from as many as 880,000 this year, he said.

Job Losses

“The forces leading to foreclosure are hard to offset in most cases and impossible in many,” Robert Hall, a Stanford University professor and chairman of the National Bureau of Economic Research committee that calls the beginnings and ends of recessions, wrote in an e-mail. “Job loss is a major source of defaults at all times, and job losses are running at extreme levels now.”

Initial jobless claims increased to 573,000 in the week ended Dec. 6, the highest level since November 1982, while the number of workers staying on benefit rolls reached 4.429 million, also the most since 1982, the Labor Department said today. U.S. companies slashed payrolls by 533,000 last month, the fastest pace in 34 years, for a total of 1.9 million job cuts so far this year.

“The labor market is facing its worst crisis since 1982, and it is certainly not over yet,” said Harm Bandholz, a U.S. economist at UniCredit Markets and Investment Banking in New York.

Home prices have fallen by about a fifth from the mid-2006 peak, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.

‘Devastating Consequences’

“The decline in prices and its devastating consequences” will continue next year with no indication of when they will stabilize, Hall said. Programs that modify the terms of loans, including efforts by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. can’t help thousands of borrowers, he said.

“Something like 70 percent of subprime foreclosures are beyond the reach of modification programs because the owners are investors, because the owner is in default for the second time on the property, or because the owner has disappeared,” Hall said.

The share of mortgages delinquent by 30 days or more in the third quarter rose to a seasonally adjusted 6.99 percent while loans already in foreclosure rose to 2.97 percent, both all-time highs, the Mortgage Bankers Association said in a Dec. 5 report. The gain in delinquencies was driven by an increase in loans with payments 90 days or more overdue.

No Improvement

“Until we see a turnaround in the job situation, we’re not going to see these numbers improve,” said Jay Brinkmann, chief economist of the Washington-based bankers group.

In November, one in every 488 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing, RealtyTrac said. Nevada had the highest rate for the 23rd straight month with one in 76 households in some stage of foreclosure, more than six times the national average. Filings more than doubled from a year earlier to 13,962.

Florida had the second-highest rate, one in 173 households, and the second-most filings at 49,190, an increase of 68 percent. Arizona had the third-highest rate, one in 198 households, and ranked fifth in total filings with 13,136, up 128 percent.

California, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Utah and Idaho also ranked among the top 10 highest rates, said RealtyTrac, which collects property data from more than 2,200 U.S. counties that represent more than 90 percent of the population.

California

California had the most filings with 60,491, up 51 percent from a year earlier, and a rate of one filing for every 218 households, more than twice the national average.

Michigan ranked third in filings with 14,594, up 27 percent, and had a rate of one for every 309 households, according to RealtyTrac. Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Texas, and Virginia were among the top 10 states with the most filings.

New Jersey had the 15th highest rate, one in 622 households, and had 5,582 filings, up 32 percent from a year earlier. New York had the 39th highest rate, one in 3,040 households, and had 2,601 filings, a decrease of 55 percent, RealtyTrac said.

Florida had three metropolitan areas among the top 10 highest rates, including Cape Coral-Fort Myers in first place with one in 59 households in a stage of foreclosure. Fort Lauderdale was seventh at one in 117 households, and Port Lucie- Fort Pierce was eighth at one in 118 households.

Las Vegas ranked second at one in every 61 households in a stage of foreclosure.

California had six metro areas in the top 10, led by Merced in third place with a rate of one in 76 households in a stage of foreclosure. Modesto, Stockton and Riverside-San Bernardino ranked fourth through sixth, Bakersfield was ninth and Vallejo- Fairfield was 10th, according to RealtyTrac.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dan Levy in San Francisco at dlevy13@bloomberg.net