The US Army Document That Proves the US is the World’s Number One Sponsor of World Terrorism

The US Army Document That Proves the US is the World’s Number One Sponsor of World Terrorism

In a ‘manual’ which is officially to be released only to ‘students from foreign countries on a case-by-case basis only’, the US Army outlines a program of what it now calls ‘irregular warfare’, in fact US state sponsored terrorism, insurgency, and PSYOPS.

1-21. Waging protracted IW depends on building global capability and capacity. IW will not be won by the United States alone but rather through combined efforts with multinational partners. Combined IW [Irregular Warfare, euphemism for TERRORISM] will require the joint force to establish a long-term sustained presence in numerous countries to build partner capability and capacity. This capability and capacity extends U.S. operational reach, multiplies forces available, and provides increased options for defeating adversaries. The constituent activities of IW are:

  • Insurgency.
  • COIN.
  • UW.
  • Terrorism
  • CT.
  • FID.
  • Stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations.
  • Strategic communication (SC).
  • PSYOP.
  • Civil-military operations (CMO).
  • Information operations (IO).
  • Intelligence and counterintelligence (CI) activities.
  • Transnational criminal activities, including narco-trafficking, illicit arms dealing, and illegal financial transactions that support or sustain IW.
  • Law enforcement activities focused on countering irregular adversaries.

1-22. The above list of operations and activities can be conducted within IW;…–Headquarters, Department of the Army, Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare, September 2008[PDF]

Ignoring 1) the mountainous body of evidence that US policy and the CIA, specifically, is the root-cause of the vast majority of the what is commonly called ‘world terrorism’; and 2) the equally impressive body of hard evidence that 911 was an inside job, the Army cites 911 as the pretext by which the US should embark above the policy as outlined above.[See: Terrorism is Worse Under GOP Regimes

]

1-18. The 9/11 terrorist attack on the United States highlighted the increased danger of warfare conducted by other-than-state enemies. Recognizing that such irregular threats by nonstate actors would be a likely and even dominant pattern throughout the 21st century, national policy makers dictated that planners must analyze and prepare for such irregular threats. It was clear that previous assumptions about the terms “conventional,” “traditional,” or “regular” warfare, and reliance solely on a “regular” or “conventional warfare” doctrine were inadequate. IW was a significant theme in the 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review Report. In April 2006, the Pentagon drafted the execution roadmap for IW as a means of combating this growing threat from actions beyond conventional state-to-state military conflict.–Headquarters, Department of the Army, Army Special Operations Forces Unconventional Warfare, September 2008 [PDF]

Elsewhere, the document cites the threat posed to the US by “WMD—such as nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. But I have yet to find a single word, phrase, sentence or paragraph in which the manual mentioned the threat posed the rest of the world by some forty years or more of US meddling, threats, covert operations, US sponsored assassinations, and overt threats of bombing and/or war and invasion. Instead, we get platitudes that are made absolutely meaningless by the remainder of this arrogant, imperialistic document.

A-64. Democracy and the protection of fundamental liberties were the basis for the creation of the United States more than 200 years ago. Since then, a central goal of U.S. foreign policy has been to promote respect for democracy and human rights throughout the world. The DOS— .. Promotes democracy as a way to achieve security, stability, and prosperity for the entire world. .. Helps establish and assist newly formed democracies. op cit

It is odd that as the US is said to be ‘defending’ Democracy, it is subverting it. It is said that the United States must be concerned about the possibility that terrorists may acquire WMD, ignoring the fact that the US leads the world in the manufacture, sale and distribution of WMD. Let’s put this another way: the US military spending is greater than that spent by the rest of the world’s nations combined.If terrorists should ever obtain WMD, the chances are good that they will get them from the US, perhaps with monies raised selling cocaine to the one of the largest drug dealers on the planet Earth: the CIA!

During the 40s and 50s, most of the public was unaware of what the CIA was doing. Those who knew thought they were fighting the good fight against communism, like James Bond. However, they could not keep their actions secret forever, and by the 60s and 70s, Americans began learning about the agency’s crimes and atrocities. (3) It turns out the CIA has:

  • Corrupted democratic elections in Greece, Italy and dozens of other nations;
  • Been involved to varying degrees in at least 35 assassination plots against foreign heads of state or prominent political leaders. Successful assassinations include democratically elected leaders like Salvador Allende (Chile) and Patrice Lumumba (Belgian Congo); also CIA-created dictators like Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic) and Ngo Dinh Diem (South Vietnam); and popular political leaders like Che Guevara. Unsuccessful attempts range from Fidel Castro to Charles De Gaulle.
  • Helped launch military coups that toppled democratic governments, replacing them with brutal dictatorships or juntas. The list of overthrown democratic leaders includes Mossadegh (Iran, 1953), Arbenz (Guatemala, 1954), Velasco and Arosemena (Ecuador, 1961, 1963), Bosch (Dominican Republic, 1963), Goulart (Brazil, 1964), Sukarno (Indonesia, 1965), Papandreou (Greece, 1965-67), Allende (Chile, 1973), and dozens of others.
  • Undermined the governments of Australia, Guyana, Cambodia, Jamaica and more;
  • Supported murderous dictators like General Pinochet (Chile), the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos (Phillipines), “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” Duvalier (Haiti), General Noriega (Panama), Mobutu Sese Seko (Ziare), the “reign of the colonels” (Greece), and more;
  • Created, trained and supported death squads and secret police forces that tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians, leftists and political opponents, in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Iran, Turkey, Angola and others;
  • Helped run the “School of the Americas” at Fort Benning, Georgia, which trains Latin American military officers how to overthrow democratic governments. Subjects include the use of torture, interrogation and murder;
  • Used Michigan State “professors” to train Diem’s secret police in torture;
  • Conducted economic sabotage, including ruining crops, disrupting industry, sinking ships and creating food shortages;
  • Paved the way for the massacre of 200,000 in East Timor, 500,000 in Indonesia and one to two million in Cambodia;
  • Launched secret or illegal military actions or wars in Nicaragua, Angola, Cuba, Laos and Indochina;
  • Planted false stories in the local media;
  • Framed political opponents for crimes, atrocities, political statements and embarrassments that they did not commit;
  • Spied on thousands of American citizens, in defiance of Congressional law;
  • Smuggled Nazi war criminals and weapon scientists into the U.S., unpunished, for their use in the Cold War;
  • Created organizations like the World Anti-Communist League, which became filled with ex-Nazis, Nazi sympathizers, Italian terrorists, Japanese fascists, racist Afrikaaners, Latin American death squad leaders, CIA agents and other extreme right-wing militants;
  • Conducted Operation MK-ULTRA, a mind-control experiment that gave LSD and other drugs to Americans against their will or without their knowledge, causing some to commit suicide;
  • Penetrated and disrupted student antiwar organizations;
  • Kept friendly and extensive working relations with the Mafia;
  • Actively traded in drugs around the world since the 1950s to fund its operations. The Contra/crack scandal is only the tip of the iceberg –- other notorious examples include Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle and Noreiga’s Panama.
  • Had their fingerprints all over the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcom X. Even if the CIA is not responsible for these killings, the sheer amount of CIA involvement in these cases demands answers; [editor's note, see: Evidence That the CIA Murdered RFK]
  • And then routinely lied to Congress about all of the above.

The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (4) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an “American Holocaust.”–Steve Kangas: The Origins of the Overclass

The US Army document, cited above, is an arrogant, imperialistic and ill-considered response to a growing ‘threat’ –but a threat that is posed only to US monopolists and death merchants, i.e., the Military/Industrial Complex, a fancy name for Murder, Inc. The US has, in fact, squandered the limitless goodwill that had been extended our nation at the end of World War II. The US has failed to make positive use of the world support for allied efforts to codify war crimes, to hold Nazi War Criminals responsibility for heinous crimes. But now –we have a recent US military document that the US Army would prefer to keep secret no doubt because it reveals to the world that those principles espoused at Nuremberg are either no longer operative or they were a fraud, the US didn’t really mean it. Or perhaps they forgot to tell the world that the laws applied to everyone but themselves. The Army has now revealed to the world that no nation is safe from US terrorism, US attack, US subversion of indigenous cultures and governments, US bullying or the US use of WMD against them. That is because the US believes itself to be a world-wide empire, in fact, a single nation that presumes to rule the world.

The well-informed countries –western Europe –know perfectly well what our game is. General de Gaulle took France out of NATO because he suspected that we were in the empire–building business, and he didn’t want to go along with it yet, simultaneously, France remained an ally in case there was a major war with the Soviets. I don’t think we should take too seriously those eastern European countries. In due course, they will wake up, as Turkey did, that we are dangerous.–Gore Vidal, The Erosion of the American Dream

I have repeatedly stated that the US regime of George W. Bush was not legitimate. How can I make it any clearer? “Illegitimate” means that the regime of George W. Bush was no more legitimate than the crooked regimes of tin horn dictators in banana republics. The Bush regime differed little in terms of competence or statesmanship. Now, in a cynical document that the US Army had never intended be disseminated publicly, we have confirmation that the position of the US vis a vis the rest of the world is based not upon Democracy or legitimacy. It is, rather based entirely upon force, aggression and US terrorism.Addendum:

Is the United States going to put dictatorship into effect under the guise of the anti-terrorist struggle? What may trigger another major transformation in 2009? The answer is obvious: another 9/11 in the USA.

Terrible and bloody events are in store for the world in the beginning of 2009. Most likely, the world will witness a reality show with a nuclear blast, which will be used as a reason for the US administration to change the world order again and leave the new Great Depression behind. There is every reason to believe that the Russian Federation may suffer as a result of this possible initiative too.

Joe Biden made a sensational statement on October 19, 2008. He said that Barack Obama would have to undergo an ordeal during the first six months of his stay in the White House. It will be the time of a very serious international crisis, when Obama would have to make tough and possibly unpopular decisions both in home and foreign politics.

Biden said that there were four or five scenarios for the development of the international crisis. Afghanistan, North Korea or the Russian Federation may become the source of one of them.

When Obama learned of Biden’s speech, he tried to explain everything with rhetorical exaggerations. However, Biden’s remarks gave food for thought, taking into consideration the fact that former secretary of state Madeleine Albright described his remarks as statement of fact. –USA needs nuclear explosion to turn the world into dictatorship

Additional resources:

Something completely different:The Original Latin Bombshell

Lebanese Army defuses rockets pointed at Israel

Lebanese Army defuses rockets pointed at Israel

Lebanese Army defuses rockets


pointed at Israel
UNIFIL, LAF step up border patrols
By Andrew Wander

BEIRUT: UN and Lebanese military patrols along the Israeli border have been stepped up following the discovery of eight rockets connected to timers that were just hours from firing into Israel on Thursday.

Lebanese soldiers on a routine patrol discovered the Katyusha and Grad rockets after being alerted by a farmer who had found them armed and pointing toward Israel in Hammoul, northeast of Naqoura, military officials told The Daily Star on Friday.

If the rockets had been successfully fired, the attack could have represented a serious breach of the cease-fire agreement that ended the 2006 war. Israeli officials have reportedly warned that if the attack had not been thwarted, it would have caused “friction and fighting” on the Lebanese border.

The UN peacekeeping force in South Lebanon, UNIFIL, dispatched a team to assist the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in defusing the rockets, which military experts say would have launched themselves within seven hours of their timers being armed.

Yasmina Bouziane, a UNIFIL spokesperson, said that the incident had prompted a heightened security presence along the border. “Both UNIFIL and the LAF have deployed additional troops in the area to carry out patrols,” she said. “The force commander is in contact with senior LAF and [Israeli military] officials regarding this.”

She emphasized that the investigation into incident was being led by the LAF with UNIFIL assisting in a support capacity.

There has been no claim of responsibility and officials say it is too early to say who set up the rockets, but the area in which they were found is a known Hizbullah stronghold. In 2005, the resistance group launched their first unmanned drone nearby and during the 2006 war the following year the area was fiercely defended against invading Israeli soldiers.

The occasional cross-border rocket attacks that have occurred since the war ended have been blamed on Palestinian militant groups rather than Hizbullah. Hizbullah officials contacted by The Daily Star had no comment to make on the discovery of the rockets.

Experts who have seen photographs of the rockets say that they appear to be too outdated to be from Hizbullah’s current stockpiles. “It’s a very old model, maybe 30 or 40 years old, and with a short range. It doesn’t look like a model that Hizbullah has in stock,” said Timur Goksel, a Beirut-based academic who served with UNIFIL for more than 20 years.

He said that the modus operandi of those responsible did not match Hizbullah’s usual tactics. “Firing rockets with timers is not Hizbullah’s style,” he said. “Why wait seven hours to fire a rocket when you can do it in 15 minutes? It doesn’t signal a great deal of professionalism.”

Goksel said that the rockets could have been set up by an unknown militant group trying to attract attention or an established Palestinian group trying to send a “message of solidarity” to inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, where a six month cease-fire between Hamas and Israel expired last week.

LAF officials warned that had the rockets fired, they would have constituted a “threat” to security. “Now they have been found they are more of a message,” the official said. He refused to speculate over whether the rockets were part of a serious attempt to attack Israel, or were intended to be found before they were launched.

The discovery comes after a spike in tension between Israel and Lebanon following the capture of two farmers by Israeli troops near the border last week. The brothers say that they were on the Lebanese side of the border when Israeli troops crossed, tying them up and taking them to Israel. They were handed over to UNIFIL a day later apparently suffering from dog bites. The Israeli military say the two men had crossed the border and were interrogated as a result.

An investigation has been launched by both the LAF and UNIFIL to establish where the two men were when they were captured. The incident prompted condemnation from across the political spectrum in Lebanon. Prime Minister Fouad Siniora described the Israelis’ behavior as a “violation,” and Hizbullah issued a statement demanding to know how the UN Security Council would respond. – With additional reporting by Mohammed Zaatari

URUKNET FLOODED WITH REPORTS ON GAZA (CONTINUING UPDATES)

URUKNET FLOODED WITH REPORTS ON GAZA (CONTINUING UPDATES)

By Outrage pours into URUKNET from around the world
Dec 27, 2008, 20:30

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Editor’s Note: As outrage is voiced by the people, around the world, Axis of Logic carries this unprecedented special report to point to the articles that are flowing into our brother/sister media platform – URUKNET. URUKNET is without doubt, the premier, uncompromising website on western imperialism in the Arab world. These reports are coming from writers internationally, providing their analyses and expressing their outrage at the Israeli Massacre in GAZA on December 27 and 28, 2008 and continuing. While the U.S. and European media remain silent or support Israel and attack the victim, our Internet fills the vacuum. We believe there is a qualitative and historical difference that distinguishes this vicious attack on Palestine from all of Israel’s former massacres of innocents. Read the articles below, think about the timing and ferocity of this attack or simply observe the sheer volume of articles and writers below to understand. Introductions to the articles below are included with links for continued reading on URUKNET. The Zionist genocide continues. - LMB

(We resume this listing in 8 hours. In the meantime, visit URUKNET for the latest updates)


URGENT! BOMBS OVER GAZA!
Carlos Latuff

vl2.jpg

As if putting 1.5 million people at risk of starvation was not enough, Israel weighed a brutal attack on Gaza today, killing more than 200 people, with 750 injured, including women and children. Once again I beg you reader, my brothers and sisters-in-arts, to spread these cartoons. Reproduce them in posters, newspapers, magazines, zines, blogs, everywhere. Let’s make the voice of the Gaza people to be heard all around the world. Thank you, in the name of the Palestinians of Gaza….
continua / continued avanti - next [49984] [ 28-dec-2008 07:16 ECT ]

Malegaon case: ATS questions Abhinav Bharat chief

Malegaon case: ATS questions Abhinav Bharat chief

The Mumbai [Images] Anti-Terrorism Sqaud investigating the Malegaon blasts case questioned Abhinav Bharat president Himani Savarkar for over three hours on Sunday.

Almost all those accused arrested in connection with Malegaon blast are affiliated to the organisation, sources said.

Savarkar, who has been head the outfit since April, was questioned at the ATS cell in Pune and was told that she could be summoned again if required.

Over ten accused including Lieutenant Colonel S P Purohit, Sadhwi Pragya Singh Thakur, ex-army man Ramesh Upadhyay and Swami Dayanand Pande were arrested in connection with the blast.

Sources in the ATS said since the investigations had shown that almost all accused in the Malegaon case were affiliated with the organisation, it was imperative that Savarkar be questioned.

Savarkar who has been in the forefront of a drive to collect money for the legal defence of those accused in the case, is the daughter of the Late Gopal Godse, brother of Nathuram Godse, and married to the nephew of Hindu Mahasabha founder V D Savarkar.

Sources close to the Abhinav Bharat chief said she was questioned regarding the ideological profile of her organisation and role of the accused members of the outfit in the Malegaon blasts.

Savarkar told her interrogators that the organisation was working for national integration and reforms in the British-oriented educational system in the country, sources said.

She also denied the involvement of any of the members, pointing out that the organisation did not believe in violence.

Abul Gheit Justifies Israel’s Attack, Criticises Hamas

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Abul Gheit Justifies Israel’s Attack, Criticises Hamas

28/12/2008 Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit Justified Israel’s bloody offensive against Gaza that has killed more than 270 Palestinians in less than two days saying “there are reasons that must be taken off so that Israel stops its attack”, signaling the resistance group Hamas.
Abul Gheit was speaking in a joint press conference with PA president Mahmoud Abbas. He said that Egypt had informed the Palestinians in Gaza that Israel will launch the offensive.

A Hamas official told The Jerusalem Post that the reason why security installations in the Gaza Strip had not been evacuated before the attack was because the Egyptians had assured his movement that there would be no Israeli attack in the coming days.
“Only hours before the attack, the Egyptians told our representatives that they were under the impression that Israel would not launch an operation,” the Hamas official said. “We believe the Egyptians deliberately deceived us because they had given Israel a green light to attack.”

Abul Gheit accused Hamas without naming it, of preventing hundreds of Palestinians wounded in Israeli air strikes from leaving Gaza for treatment in Egypt. Asked why the wounded were not being let through, Abul Gheit said: “Ask those who control Gaza. We are waiting for the wounded to cross — they’re not allowed to cross.”
Egypt opened the Rafah crossing Saturday to receive wounded Palestinians after a months-long closure in the framework of the Israeli imposed blockade on Gaza.

Gaza Facing Genocide: At Least 270 Martyrs

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Gaza Facing Genocide: At Least 270 Martyrs

Mohamad Shmaysani Readers Number : 350

28/12/2008 Israel continued its bloody offensive against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip for the second successive day on Sunday, the worst since 1948, rising the number of martyrs so far to more than 270 people and the number of injured to well over 700. The death toll is likely to increase dramatically given the number of serious injuries and the lack of medicaments and first aid means. “Palestine has never seen an uglier massacre,” said Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh. In Damascus, Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Meshaal called for a third Palestinian Intifada against Israel. Hamas has vowed revenge including martyrdom operations deep inside the Zionist entity.

BARAK WILLIING TO EXPAND OPERATION; CALLS IN THOUSANDS OF RESERVISTS
Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday that his forces could launch a ground operation in the Strip as part of the offensive dubbed ‘Operation Cast Lead’. “We are ready for anything. If it’s necessary to deploy ground forces to defend our citizens, we will do so,” Barak’s spokesman quoted him as saying.
An Israeli government official said the Israeli army has called in thousands of reservists including combat units and home front units.

HAMAS: EGYPTIAN LEADERS DECEIVED US
The Palestinian and Arab public opinion expressed deep disappointment over the failure of the Arab and Islamic governments to exert pressure on Israel to halt its bloody offensive that has been described as a war crime and genocide.

A Hamas official told The Jerusalem Post that the reason why security installations in the Gaza Strip had not been evacuated before the attack was because the Egyptians had assured his movement that there would be no Israeli attack in the coming days.

“Only hours before the attack, the Egyptians told our representatives that they were under the impression that Israel would not launch an operation,” the Hamas official said. “We believe the Egyptians deliberately deceived us because they had given Israel a green light to attack.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Tsibi Livni announced Israel’s will to launch an offensive against Gaza from the office of Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, hours before the operation started.

The Hamas official pointed out that both President Mahmoud Abbas and the Egyptian leaders had announced shortly before the Israeli attack that they were engaged in attempts to resume “national dialogue” between Fatah and Hamas.

Taher a-Nunu, spokesman for the Hamas government, accused “third parties” of involvement in the Israeli effort to overthrow Hamas. However, he refused to name the third parties.
The Jerusalem Post quoted a top Palestinian Authority official in Ramallah as saying that the PA was prepared to assume control over the Gaza Strip if Israel succeeds in overthrowing the Hamas government. However, he denied the PA had urged Israel to launch a massive attack to overthrow the Hamas government.

Comprehensive Review of Alliances and Near-alliances in Caucasus Battle Zone

Military Rivalry in Central Asia

Stephen Blank | 22 Dec 2008

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The attacks of 9/11 and the ensuing war in Afghanistan did not start the new “Great Game” in Central Asia. Local governments had already grasped the Islamist threat, as well as Russia’s neo-imperial longings to dominate the region. Central Asia’s great energy stakes, meanwhile, had already determined American resistance to Moscow’s policy.

However those events undoubtedly imparted a pronounced military aspect to the great power rivalry for political influence and energy access there. Since 2001, the U.S., Russia, Germany, France and India have all acquired local military bases, and their uses or potential missions have grown in importance (although France’s presence at Dushanbe airport and Germany’s base at Termez in Uzbekistan remain small operations). China, too, has sought bases in Central Asia, expressing interest in a Kyrgyzstan base in 2005, soon after that country’s “tulip Revolution,” with the clear intention of forestalling any further upheavals. And when Uzbekistan evicted the U.S. from its base at Karshi Khanabad in July 2005, China sought that base as well, although the move was ultimately blocked by Russia.[1]

The U.S. military presence in Central Asia could conceivably grow further, due to the Obama administration’s declared emphasis upon winning the war in Afghanistan. The redoubled effort there could be used to justify moving U.S. supply lines from Pakistan, where they are exposed to great risk from terrorists and their supporters, to other locations in Central Asia.[2] Already, Kazakhstan has recently allowed the U.S. to use the aerodrome at Almaty for emergency landings of coalition air forces.[3] And Uzbekistan also granted the U.S. limited use of the base at Termez, which it had allowed Germany to use as a “friendship bridge” from which to deliver non-military supplies to Afghanistan. Now, “Individual Americans attached to the NATO International Staff can use the German air-bridge from Termez to Afghanistan on a case-by-case basis.”[4] However, even an expanded U.S. military presence in Central Asia would not change the fact that the U.S. and Franco-German military presence there is confined to prosecuting the war in Afghanistan.

Other cases of foreign military bases reflect different considerations. India’s base at Ayni in Tajikistan, for instance, owes more to the Indo-Pakistani rivalry than to anything else. While India formally eschews offensive military projections to intervene unilaterally in other countries, it had sought an air base in Central Asia — to defend its flights and to gain a capability to threaten Pakistan from the rear — after Pakistan closed its air space to Indian commercial flights to Europe in 2002. While little is known about the air base (India didn’t announce that it had been operational until 2006), it could conceivably be used for operations against Central Asian insurgents, Pakistan, or to support a friendly government.[5]

The base may not be India’s last in the region, or remain small. Indeed, it could become the spearhead of a deepening Indian involvement in Central Asian defense, as India also hopes to improve military logistics in Iran, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.[6] India’s ties with Tajikistan led to joint Tajik-Indian military exercises in 2003, involving the air, airborne, and ground forces of both sides.[7] Tajikistan has subsequently appealed to India to deepen existing military ties and provide arms sales since its forces lack modern, effective weapons and equipment.[8]

Today, this base is surprisingly collocated with a Russian air base at Farkhor, Tajikistan — surprisingly, because Russian officials have frequently and publicly opposed any foreign bases in Central Asia.[9] Specifically, in 2004, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Trubnikov, now ambassador to India, stated publicly that Russia opposes any foreign bases in Central Asia, making specific mention of Chinese bases. Subsequent official statements reiterated this point.[10]

Russia’s Military Presence

Despite these modest inroads, however, the most far-reaching and comprehensive defense presence in the region remains Russia’s, whose Central Asian policy is openly and frankly neocolonialist. Indeed, Putin’s tenure in office since 2000 has been accompanied by a heightened interest and attention to ensuring that Central Asia remains firmly under exclusive Russian influence.[11] Even if one argues that Russia’s primary goal is to stabilize the status quo, Russia approaches that objective in ways reflecting its fundamental denial of Central Asian governments’ full sovereignty. Russia’s “tutelage” aims not just to forestall all significant change but also to ensure that local political change does not then trigger a crisis within Russia. In other words, its regional policies are in some respects a domestic stability operation. Indeed, Russian strategists openly assume that no other power will take responsibility for providing Central Asian security.[12]

By 2003, Russia had already claimed the right to intervene in Central Asia against a threat to existing regimes there or to its vital interests as it alone defined them.[13] Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov subsequently reiterated that Russia regarded any attempt to disturb the “existing constitutional order” there as its greatest security threat.[14] Despite Russia’s public support for America’s bases and military presence in Central Asia, immediately after these bases were built, Moscow announced that it regarded them as temporary ones that would be removed after the end of hostilities in Afghanistan. Indeed, by 2003, Ivanov was reportedly opposing the continuation of those bases.[15] Moscow also lost no time in persuading Kyrgyzstan to grant it a different base at Kant. Since 2002, it has steadily reinforced that base and sought and obtained others, most recently the base at Giesar in Tajikistan.[16]

Russia cheered the Uzbek eviction of the U.S. from Karshi Khanabad in 2005, and then promptly negotiated a new accord with Uzbekistan, obtaining access to a base at Navoi in December 2006. While that agreement indicates that both Tashkent’s and Moscow’s anxieties transcend terrorist attacks, it also registered Uzbekistan’s wariness of Russian intentions. Compared to an earlier, November 2005 bilateral treaty between them, which contained language enabling Moscow to aid Uzbekistan’s government, the new agreement limited such aid, as well as Russian access to Navoi, to the case of emergencies or what some reports called “force majeure” contingencies.

It’s likely that Russia wanted more access to the base than this, as Uzbekistan will probably become the regional headquarters for a unified air defense for Russia and several Central Asian governments, as it was in Soviet times. This regional system will become a component of the CIS Unified Air Defense system based upon pre-existing Soviet facilities and structures. Thus the deal represented a “reanimation” of the Soviet defense structure. Meanwhile Uzbek SU-27 and MiG-29s will be posted there as a regular peacetime deployment.

Moscow’s need for the base, with its air defense capability, was evidently driven by Russia’s interests in Uzbek uranium production and enrichment, which now take place at the Navoi Mining and Smelting plant. The new capability will allegedly help protect those works from air attacks — the Taliban had its own aircraft and combat pilots — and international terrorism.[17] Nevertheless, the idea that Afghan-based terrorists could launch air strikes in Central Asia anytime soon is far-fetched, and neither Moscow nor Tashkent is sending forces to fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Which suggests that Moscow and Tashkent had other enemies in mind.

Access to Navoi enhances Russia’s capability to project air and air defense assets in and to Central Asia against potential domestic insurgencies, a reflection of both the considerable Russo-Chinese anxiety over their inability to intervene in Kyrgyzstan in 2005′s Tulip Revolution, and the subsequent efforts both made to achieve that power projection capability. The Navoi base is also part of Russia’s broader efforts to encompass all of Central Asia in a single defense organization whose aims are both counterrevolutionary and anti-democratic. Moscow is clearly the gendarme here, on the lookout against any domestic unrest lest another “color revolution” break out, a contingency openly discussed by Russian planners with regards to Central Asia.

Some Russian military analysts consider that if Kyrgyzstan were overtaken by a complete political collapse, Russia and Kazakhstan could impose some kind of protectorate until stability could be reestablished and new elections held. In this scenario, the United States would allow Moscow to take action in Kyrgyzstan, because most of its own resources would already be mobilized in Iraq and Afghanistan — and probably in Iran and Syria. Russian help would then be welcomed, because much preferred to that of China. Indeed, if Russia did not dare to put itself forward as a stabilizing force, China might use Uyghur separatism to do so.[18]

A second objective relates to Russian fears of U.S. air strikes originating from Central Asia or the Indian Ocean, including carrier-based air strikes against Iran. The Russian military clearly regards the United States and NATO’s forces as its main enemy and largely expects any first strike to come from long-range air strikes. Since 1991, much of Russia’s air defenses and early warning systems were disrupted to the point where Russia was actually often “blind” to potential attacks. To remedy this situation, “reanimating” the old Soviet air defense system is crucial, as is exclusion of U.S. forces from Central Asia. Furthermore, Russia is building an integrated land, sea and air force to project power throughout the Caspian basin, while excluding all foreign rivals by expanding existing bases or building new ones. A unified air defense is critical to the protection of all those forces. [19] Russia now has bases in 12 of the former Soviet republics.[20] This process of building an integrated power projection force possesses multiple dimensions.

Russia also champions its Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) as an umbrella defense pact of all Central Asian states (except Turkmenistan) to defend against terrorism and insurgency, not to say invasion. Russia supplies the members with subsidized weapons, attempting thereby to restore the “All-Union” defense industry system. Russia also leads the CSTO in conducting exercises, building headquarters and staffs, planning for forces to man them, and in securing bases for itself in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. By 2006, Russia had begun building its integrated land, sea and air force that could be stationed in the Caspian Sea and at local airbases, while also developing a rapid power projection capability.

Efforts to integrate the region into a Russian-dominated defense architecture include a proposed Caspian naval force (CASFOR) to exclude non-littoral states, and attempts to tie local defense industries to its own. Moscow also intends to preclude Central Asian states’ ability to defend themselves without — or against — Russia, to collaborate on their own in regional security organizations, or to be attached in some way to NATO and is utilizing its organizational resources particularly within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the CSTO, to advance its aims.[21]

Next page: Regional security arrangements. . .

If Gaza falls . . .

If Gaza falls . . .

Sara Roy

Israel’s siege of Gaza began on 5 November, the day after an Israeli attack inside the strip, no doubt designed finally to undermine the truce between Israel and Hamas established last June. Although both sides had violated the agreement before, this incursion was on a different scale. Hamas responded by firing rockets into Israel and the violence has not abated since then. Israel’s siege has two fundamental goals. One is to ensure that the Palestinians there are seen merely as a humanitarian problem, beggars who have no political identity and therefore can have no political claims. The second is to foist Gaza onto Egypt. That is why the Israelis tolerate the hundreds of tunnels between Gaza and Egypt around which an informal but increasingly regulated commercial sector has begun to form. The overwhelming majority of Gazans are impoverished and officially 49.1 per cent are unemployed. In fact the prospect of steady employment is rapidly disappearing for the majority of the population.

On 5 November the Israeli government sealed all the ways into and out of Gaza. Food, medicine, fuel, parts for water and sanitation systems, fertiliser, plastic sheeting, phones, paper, glue, shoes and even teacups are no longer getting through in sufficient quantities or at all. According to Oxfam only 137 trucks of food were allowed into Gaza in November. This means that an average of 4.6 trucks per day entered the strip compared to an average of 123 in October this year and 564 in December 2005. The two main food providers in Gaza are the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the World Food Programme (WFP). UNRWA alone feeds approximately 750,000 people in Gaza, and requires 15 trucks of food daily to do so. Between 5 November and 30 November, only 23 trucks arrived, around 6 per cent of the total needed; during the week of 30 November it received 12 trucks, or 11 per cent of what was required. There were three days in November when UNRWA ran out of food, with the result that on each of these days 20,000 people were unable to receive their scheduled supply. According to John Ging, the director of UNRWA in Gaza, most of the people who get food aid are entirely dependent on it. On 18 December UNRWA suspended all food distribution for both emergency and regular programmes because of the blockade.

The WFP has had similar problems, sending only 35 trucks out of the 190 it had scheduled to cover Gazans’ needs until the start of February (six more were allowed in between 30 November and 6 December). Not only that: the WFP has to pay to store food that isn’t being sent to Gaza. This cost $215,000 in November alone. If the siege continues, the WFP will have to pay an extra $150,000 for storage in December, money that will be used not to support Palestinians but to benefit Israeli business.

The majority of commercial bakeries in Gaza – 30 out of 47 – have had to close because they have run out of cooking gas. People are using any fuel they can find to cook with. As the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has made clear, cooking-gas canisters are necessary for generating the warmth to incubate broiler chicks. Shortages of gas and animal feed have forced commercial producers to smother hundreds of thousands of chicks. By April, according to the FAO, there will be no poultry there at all: 70 per cent of Gazans rely on chicken as a major source of protein.

Banks, suffering from Israeli restrictions on the transfer of banknotes into the territory were forced to close on 4 December. A sign on the door of one read: ‘Due to the decision of the Palestinian Finance Authority, the bank will be closed today Thursday, 4.12.2008, because of the unavailability of cash money, and the bank will be reopened once the cash money is available.’

The World Bank has warned that Gaza’s banking system could collapse if these restrictions continue. All cash for work programmes has been stopped and on 19 November UNRWA suspended its cash assistance programme to the most needy. It also ceased production of textbooks because there is no paper, ink or glue in Gaza. This will affect 200,000 students returning to school in the new year. On 11 December, the Israeli defence minister, Ehud Barak, sent $25 million following an appeal from the Palestinian prime minister, Salaam Fayad, the first infusion of its kind since October. It won’t even cover a month’s salary for Gaza’s 77,000 civil servants.

On 13 November production at Gaza’s only power station was suspended and the turbines shut down because it had run out of industrial diesel. This in turn caused the two turbine batteries to run down, and they failed to start up again when fuel was received some ten days later. About a hundred spare parts ordered for the turbines have been sitting in the port of Ashdod in Israel for the last eight months, waiting for the Israeli authorities to let them through customs. Now Israel has started to auction these parts because they have been in customs for more than 45 days. The proceeds are being held in Israeli accounts.

During the week of 30 November, 394,000 litres of industrial diesel were allowed in for the power plant: approximately 18 per cent of the weekly minimum that Israel is legally obliged to allow in. It was enough for one turbine to run for two days before the plant was shut down again. The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company said that most of the Gaza Strip will be without electricity for between four and 12 hours a day. At any given time during these outages, over 65,000 people have no electricity.

No other diesel fuel (for standby generators and transport) was delivered during that week, no petrol (which has been kept out since early November) or cooking gas. Gaza’s hospitals are apparently relying on diesel and gas smuggled from Egypt via the tunnels; these supplies are said to be administered and taxed by Hamas. Even so, two of Gaza’s hospitals have been out of cooking gas since the week of 23 November.

Adding to the problems caused by the siege are those created by the political divisions between the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and the Hamas Authority in Gaza. For example, Gaza’s Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU), which is not controlled by Hamas, is supposed to receive funds from the World Bank via the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) in Ramallah to pay for fuel to run the pumps for Gaza’s sewage system. Since June, the PWA has refused to hand over those funds, perhaps because it feels that a functioning sewage system would benefit Hamas. I don’t know whether the World Bank has attempted to intervene, but meanwhile UNRWA is providing the fuel, although they have no budget for it. The CMWU has also asked Israel’s permission to import 200 tons of chlorine, but by the end of November it had received only 18 tons – enough for one week of chlorinated water. By mid-December Gaza City and the north of Gaza had access to water only six hours every three days.

According to the World Health Organisation, the political divisions between Gaza and the West Bank are also having a serious impact on drug stocks in Gaza. The West Bank Ministry of Health (MOH) is responsible for procuring and delivering most of the pharmaceuticals and medical disposables used in Gaza. But stocks are at dangerously low levels. Throughout November the MOH West Bank was turning shipments away because it had no warehouse space, yet it wasn’t sending supplies on to Gaza in adequate quantities. During the week of 30 November, one truck carrying drugs and medical supplies from the MOH in Ramallah entered Gaza, the first delivery since early September.

The breakdown of an entire society is happening in front of us, but there is little international response beyond UN warnings which are ignored. The European Union announced recently that it wanted to strengthen its relationship with Israel while the Israeli leadership openly calls for a large-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip and continues its economic stranglehold over the territory with, it appears, the not-so-tacit support of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah – which has been co-operating with Israel on a number of measures. On 19 December Hamas officially ended its truce with Israel, which Israel said it wanted to renew, because of Israel’s failure to ease the blockade.

How can keeping food and medicine from the people of Gaza protect the people of Israel? How can the impoverishment and suffering of Gaza’s children – more than 50 per cent of the population – benefit anyone? International law as well as human decency demands their protection. If Gaza falls, the West Bank will be next.

Sara Roy teaches at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies and is the author of Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict.

Plans to partition Pakistan ‘on schedule’, compliments of Mumbai incident: The cost of creating the map of the ‘New Middle East’

Plans to partition Pakistan ‘on schedule’, compliments of Mumbai incident: The cost of creating the map of the ‘New Middle East’

How to Start a Civil War:
Last year we learned that the United States was planning to start a Civil War in Pakistan when new classified American military documents revealed that the United States government was intensifying efforts “to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban, as part of a broader effort to bolster Pakistani forces against an expanding militancy.”

“If adopted, the proposal would join elements of a shift in strategy that would also be likely to expand the presence of American military trainers in Pakistan, directly finance a separate tribal paramilitary force that until now has proved largely ineffective and pay militias that agree to fight Al Qaeda and foreign extremists.”

Some of the elements of the campaign were approved in principle by the Americans and Pakistanis and awaited financing, “including $350 million over several years to help train and equip the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force” that at the time had about 85,000 members recruited from border tribes. This was at par to the four hundred million dollars that George Bush received to conduct covert operations in Iran to destabilize that country, which for all intents and purposes is an act of war.

It is extremely important to remember that arming one group in a country and pitting them against another is by all definitions funding and starting a civil war.

Pakistanis flee into Hell:

Just how bad is the situation in Pakistan?

In January of 2008, at the same time that the United States was revealing that they were about to ramp-up military operations in Pakistan, BBC was reporting that thousands of Pakistanis were fleeing into Afghanistan due to the security situation deteriorating in Pakistan.

This revelation was frightening on multiple levels: It proved that the NATO occupation in Afghanistan was a complete disaster and that the chaos it had created was spreading; it showed us how desperate the situation was/is in Pakistan if people were willing to escape into what is considered to be hell on earth; and it indicated that Pakistan was about to become another major war zone the likes of which had not even been seen in Afghanistan.

The implications of what the above BBC news report was revealing can not be over emphasized. Tens of thousands of human beings were being forced to leave a once peaceful homeland for what is considered to be one of the most brutal and violent places on earth, where life expectancy is only 46 years. Based on this report, we can only assume that all hell had broken loose in Pakistan (a nuclear country).

Just to make sure that this really sinks in; Pakistani refugees, in their search for a safe haven, were being forced to flee into a country that has been at war for over 30 years. This can only mean that every other escape root was either cut off, or that the surrounding regions were much worse off than Afghanistan. This is the frightening reality. This is what Western intervention has created in this region, complete chaos.

The Implications of the Mumbai incident:

United States military operations, both covert and overt, have destabilized all major powers in this region. The Mumbai attacks are related to this, may they be false flag operations, instigated by foreign powers, or conducted by domestic groups opposed to the government. The only question that we need to be asking ourselves is what the strategies of resistance ought to be?

As the attacks on 911 had severe global consequences, so will the Mumbai incident. All indications are that the Indian government is casting blame on the Pakistani government.

To divert attention away from the attacks in Mumbai being from domestic groups, the Indian government along with Western powers are involved in a public relations campaign to put the blame on Pakistan.

“It is not clear the degree to which the Pakistani government can control the situation. But the Indians will have no choice but to be assertive, and the United States will move along the same line. Whether it is the current government in India that reacts, or one that succeeds doesn’t matter. Either way, India is under enormous pressure to respond. Therefore the events point to a serious crisis not simply between Pakistan and India, but within Pakistan as well, with the government caught between foreign powers and domestic realities. Given the circumstances, massive destabilization is possible.”

Why is all this happening and at what cost?

The only political explanation that I have been able to come up with is that the United States, with the help of some NATO countries, is in the beginning stages of implementing the World War III option, two of the goals for which are to create the New Map of the Middle East and to maintain the status quo of Western economic dominance over global financial markets.

What is happening right now is very likely related to US plans to create a New Middle East, the plans for which were revealed in 2006 by retired Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. The map, with the redrawn borders of the Middle East, indicates that Turkey would lose a large portion of its territory while Iraq would be split into three autonomous regions. This map also shows plans to partition Pakistan and reduce Iran’s territory, along with numerous other imperial agendas.

Present Middle East

afjpeters_map_before2

New Middle East
afjpeters_map_aftersource

Unfortunately for the world however, such an endeavor as redrawing the borders of so many countries would be nothing less then World War III. A conservative estimate of how many people would die in this global war can be obtained by assuming that the same percentage of people that died in World War II would also die in World War III.

In the 1940’s the world population was approximately 2.3 billion. World War II resulted in 72 million deaths (42 million of which were civilian casualties). This means that approximately 3.1% of the worlds population was killed.

At present, the world population is approximately 6.7 billion. If we assume that the same percentage of people will die during this world war than the last, it would mean that over 200 million people will be dead in the next few years. This is a conservative estimate since nuclear weapons were introduced at the end of World War II, while they are being proposed at the beginning of World War III. The number of wounded will be well over 1 billion if we assume a kill to wounded ratio of 1 to 5.

A Solution:

One way to defuse the situation and dampen the hatred that locals must have towards the United States and its allies is, as Taliq Ali and Malalai Joya suggest, an immediate and complete withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan. This will at least reduce the number of people joining the fight to free their country from occupation and will actually be an incentive for people to disarm and go back to living a normal life with their families because they would no longer feel obligated to defend their country from foreign invasion and occupation.

Unfortunately, however, it appears as though the new US administration of Barack Obama will be continuing with the agenda of the expansion of war

Iran/India vs. Pakistan/India, Which Alliance Is Stronger?

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shakes hands with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee during a meeting in Tehran, 07 February 2007. Mukherjee, currently in Iran on a two-day visit, discussed energy cooperation with his counterpart and others including Ahmedinejad. India believes that an agreement on a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline from oil and gas rich Iran to energy-starved India through Pakistan could be signed by June, an Indian oil ministry spokesman told From Getty Images by AFP/Getty Images.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shakes hands with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee during a meeting in Tehran, 07 February 2007

Iran vs. Pakistan

It is well understood that the way to Iran goes through Islamabad. The US won’t launch a war of aggression against Iran without first taking care of Pakistan’s military strength. However, it sounds a bit odd that Iran will assist in any adventure against Paksitan because, for Iran, this will amount to shooting itself in the foot. The following two reports suggest otherwise though.

Also remember that the media war against Pakistan is at its climax. So anyhting that appears in the “mainstream” controlled media or published by the think-tanks, run by the warlords, could be nothing for tools for demoralizing Pakistani leadership and forcing them into total surrender.

Surrender in the case of Pakistan at this stage means, willingness to intensify the war within Pakistan; the willingness to continue using the army against its own people; the willigness to stabbing its soul and cutting its own juglar vein. All this is necessary to make the final onslaught on Pakistan easy for the US-UK-Israel alliance. In ordinary surrenders, one just drops his weapons and accept arrest. In this unique case, Pakistan is expected to keep killing itself.

India can use Iranian bases for war with Pakistan


Strategic shift in south Asia

29 January 2003

In an effort to garner international support for their side of the endless Kashmir dispute, both India and Pakistan have been doing their best to attract the friendship of the United States since the beginning of the ‘war on terrorism’. The US is seen as the only third party that could intervene to solve the Kashmir dispute. While Pakistan holds US President George W Bush’s immediate attention, India seemed to be winning the long-term battle, at least until now. We reveal what is going on.
India surprised both Pakistan and the US in the signing of its recent accord with Iran. This strategic agreement, which will allow India the use of Iranian military bases in the event of any outbreak of tensions with Pakistan, affects the future of the sub-continent. The revelation by India of the pact not only heightens tension in south Asia, but also leaves the US with a dilemma: how to react to India’s alliance with Iran, which remains part of the US ‘axis of evil’.

The pact was signed a week before the visit of Iran’s President, Mahammad Khatami, to India to join the celebrations for India’s national day on 26 January. Signed in Tehran by the Indian naval chief and the Iranian minister of defence, the pact marks a complete turnaround by Iran, which used to be a close ally of Pakistan. How the pact fits in with India’s defence relationship with Israel is unclear, but the threat this can pose to Pakistan is all too real.

Iran benefits by gaining access to Indian military expertise, which will include upgrades of its fighters, as well as new tanks and artillery. India will also help train the Iranian army and navy. India will be allowed to deploy troops and equipment in Iran during a crisis with Pakistan and gain access to Iranian ports. It looks very much like an encirclement of Pakistan by India. The pressure on Pakistan’s defences would be almost overwhelming. We expect Pakistan to respond. Much will depend on the reaction of the Bush administration.

India-Iran Strategic Accord: Wheels within wheels

by Ehsan Ahrari
Global Beat Syndicate (KRT)
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia –
March 3, 2003

While next to no one was paying attention, reports from New Delhi tell us India and Iran have signed a strategic agreement with major, and highly destabilizing consequences.

Described recently by Defense News as a “startling new accord,” the deal gives India the right to use Iranian military bases in the event of a war with neighboring Pakistan, while India will now provide Iran “military hardware, training, maintenance and modernization support.” Pakistan will not only take note, but will surely reassess its own ties with neighboring Iran. India has indeed pulled off a diplomatic and geopolitical coup. Several specific aspects of the new strategic accord are somewhat bizarre, given the extremely tense relations between India and Pakistan.First, this agreement establishes closer military ties between India and Iran than ever before. Indian naval technicians will be stationed “at Iranian military bases to maintain and give mid-life upgrades to Iran’s MIG-29 fighters.”

Indian ordinance factory technicians will travel to Iran “to refit and maintain T-27 tanks, BMP infantry fighting vehicles, and 105 mm and 130 mm towed artillery guns.” Indian and Iranian troops and navies will conduct “operational and combat training for warships and missile boats.”

As if this were not enough to raise major alarm flags in Pakistan, the accord will enable India’s military planners “to quickly deploy troops, armored personnel carriers, tanks, light armored vehicles and surveillance platforms to Iran during crises with Pakistan.” Given that the chief operational focus of India’s current rapid mobility capabilities “are aimed at defending the Indo-Pakistani borders,” this particular feature of the Indo-Iranian strategic accord deprives Iran of any neutral role between the two South Asian rivals. In fact, Pakistan may now be forced to view Iran as a potential enemy. At the same, it provides India a major strategic advantage, and one likely to tilt a very delicate strategic balance further in favor of India.
Analysis of these closer Tehran-New Delhi ties makes clear that the two partners have very different, but equally significant needs that are being addressed. As a rising power, India has always found itself at a great disadvantage vis-à-vis China, which has received the lion’s share of attention and preference from every U.S. president – from Richard Nixon to Bill Clinton. President George W. Bush has changed the nature of strategic dialogue in South Asia, labeling China as a strategic competitor and pursuing a strategic partnership with India. The seeds for that partnership were sown during the Clinton administration.
India would have continued to reap the benefits of Bush’s preference for it over China, had it not been for September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Since then, to India’s chagrin and dismay, Pakistan has emerged as a frontline U.S. ally. Fortunately, from India’s point of view, Iran’s strategic options have been severely limited. Tehran was a victim of the U.S. policy of dual containment during the Clinton presidency, and after September 11, President Bush lumped Iran into his “axis of evil,” along with North Korea and Iraq.
After the collapse of the Taliban government, Pakistan and Iran rejuvenated their ties. Iranian President Mohammed Khatami visited Pakistan last December, and during that trip and prior to it and afterward he continued to dangle the carrot of $3.5 billion pipelines in front of Pakistan. The pipelines would carry Iranian gas through Pakistan to India. Pakistan’s annual royalties from the proposed arrangement are expected to be around $500-600 million. But Khatami also emphasized that the gas pipelines cannot become a reality until India and Pakistan agree to resolve their mutual differences peacefully.
In the face of the new accord, what are Pakistan’s choices? Pakistani leaders will have to meet with their Iranian counterparts to get a clear sense of the real intentions of this new Indo-Iranian accord. Pakistan cannot allow Iran to do anything that alters the regional strategic balance so significantly in favor of India without taking countermeasures. At present, Islamabad’s choices are limited. What works best to its advantage is the fact the political instability in Afghanistan and Central Asia in general is so evident that Pakistan’s present strategic disadvantages may be very temporary. And on the other side of the coin, it behoves Iran to ensure that Pakistan remains a friend and an ally.

THE MAPS TELL THE TRUE STORY

THE MAPS TELL THE TRUE STORY

The truth is that far from being the poor victim it likes to portray itself as, Israel is in fact the most aggressive and belligerent nation in the region, having invaded pretty much everyone it shares a border with.

The following maps show what Israel has actually done.

The above map is Israel as it was first created by UN declaration in 1947. The blue portion is Israel, the rest is all Arab lands. Note that Jerusalem was completely within Arab lands and Israel was much smaller than it is today. Note also that there is NO Israeli presence inside the area surrounding Jerusalem. No settlements, certainly no IDF.

The red square outlines the approximate region shown in the map to the right.

This is Israel as it is today. Note that the western border of Palestine has been pushed up to Jerusalem. Such a land grab is NOT the result of a defensive act, but of an invasion to bring Jerusalem under Israeli control, even though Jerusalem was not originally part of Israel. The maps clearly tell the story of an Israel conquering lands which do not belong to it. Since Sharon took office, Israel has built more illegal Jewish Settlements on Palestinian land. Note on the above map that the majority of the lands which were originally Arab lands when Israel was created, are now under complete (white) or partial (orange) Israeli control. Only the black areas remain to the Palestinians, and those are shrinking by the minute.

How does a defensive action result in the total conquest of someone else’s lands? The answer is that it does not. Israel is the aggressor. The maps of Israel then and now prove it.

Stop buying into what Sharon claims Israel “has to do” and look at what Israel has actually done. The maps tell the story of a nation eager to conquer lands which do not belong to it. Israel has invaded virtually every nation it shares borders with, including Syria and Lebanon, and as the map above shows has almost conquered Palestine and is ready to “ethnically cleanse” the region. Far from being the poor victimized society desperately defending itself Israel likes to pretend it is in order to wrest more money from Americans, Israel is in fact the most militarily aggressive nation in the region.

Israel has ALWAYS portrayed non-Israelis as animals, in order to make it easier for the American tax payers who pay for the weapons accept their killing. And Israel has always resorted to staged terror bombings to further its agenda, such as the Lavon affair and more recently when a supposed suicide bomber turned out to be a known Israeli collaborator. In one recent case photos showed that what was reported as a suicide bomb in Jerusalem was actually a car bomb

Even now, the Israeli media admits that nobody (other than the purported bomber) was actually hurt in this latest bombing. Now, would a real anti-Israel suicide bomber, obviously able to select where and when the bomb is to go off, really choose to detonate the bomb when there is nobody around, damaging ONLY buildings?

So, if you are being lied to about the Jerusalem bombings, and with Israel’s past use of, indeed PRIDE of, deception as a tool to be used against friend and enemy alike, it’s time to take another hard look at the fact that every other nation on Earth except the United States is opposed to what Israel is doing.

You know, if the United States REALLY wanted peace in Palestine, all they have to do is stop signing the checks that pay for Israel’s war machine.

“Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.”
– Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001.

HISTORICAL PALESTINE

Another claim that Israel likes to make is that Palestine never really existed to start with.

“How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.” Golda Maier, March 8, 1969.

“There was no such thing as Palestinians, they never existed.” Golda Maier Israeli Prime Minister June 15, 1969

Again, maps tell a different story.

click for larger map of Palestine ca. 1851

click for larger map of Palestine ca. 1864

click for larger map of Palestine ca. 1866

click for larger map of Palestine ca. 1887

Protectionist dominoes are beginning to tumble across the world

Protectionist dominoes are beginning to tumble

across the world

The riots have begun. Civil protest is breaking out in cities across Russia, China, and beyond.

Greece has been in turmoil for 11 days. The mood seems to have turned “pre-insurrectionary” in parts of Athens – to borrow from the Marxist handbook.

This is a foretaste of what the world may face as the “crisis of capitalism” – another Marxist phase making a comeback – starts to turn two hundred million lives upside down.

We are advancing to the political stage of this global train wreck. Regimes are being tested. Those relying on perma-boom to mask a lack of democratic or ancestral legitimacy may try to gain time by the usual methods: trade barriers, sabre-rattling, and barbed wire.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is worried enough to ditch a half-century of IMF orthodoxy, calling for a fiscal boost worth 2pc of world GDP to “prevent global depression”.

“If we are not able to do that, then social unrest may happen in many countries, including advanced economies. We are facing an unprecedented decline in output. All around the planet, the people have reacted with feelings going from surprise to anger, and from anger to fear,” he said.

Russia has begun to shut down trade as it adjusts to the shock of Urals oil below $40 a barrel. It has imposed import tariffs of 30pc on cars, 15pc on farm kit, and 95pc on poultry (above quota levels). “It is possible during the financial crisis to support domestic producers by raising customs duties,” said Premier Vladimir Putin.

Russia is not alone. India and Vietnam have imposed steel tariffs. Indonesia is resorting to special “licences” to choke off imports.

The Kremlin is alarmed by a 13pc fall in industrial output over the last five months. There have been street protests in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Vladivostok and Barnaul. Police crushed “Dissent Marchers” holding copies of Russia’s constitution above their heads in Moscow’s Triumfalnaya Square.

“Russia has not seen anything like these nationwide protests before,” said Boris Kagarlitsky from Moscow’s Globalization Institute.

The Duma is widening the treason law to catch most forms of political dissent, and unwelcome forms of journalism. Jury trials for state crimes are to be abolished.

Yevgeny Kiseloyov at the Moscow Times said it feels eerily like December 1 1934 when Stalin unveiled his “Enemies of the People” law, kicking off the Great Terror.

The omens are not good in China either. Taxis are being bugged by state police. The great unknown is how Beijing will respond as its state-directed export strategy hits a brick wall, leaving exposed a vast eyesore of concrete and excess plant.

Exports fell 2.2pc in November. Toy, textile, footwear, and furniture plants are being closed across Guangdong, now the riot hub of South China. Some 40m Chinese workers are expected to lose their jobs. Party officials have warned of “mass-scale social turmoil”.

The Politburo is giving mixed signals. We don’t yet know how much of the country’s plan to boost domestic demand through a $586bn stimulus package is real, and how much is a wish-list sent to party bosses in the hinterland without funding.

Shortly after President Hu Jintao said China is “losing competitive edge in the world market”, we saw a move towards export subsidies for the steel industry and a dip in the yuan peg – even though China already has the world’s biggest reserves ($2 trillion) and the biggest trade surplus ($40bn a month).

So is the Communist Party mulling a 1930s “beggar-thy-neighbour” strategy of devaluation to export its way out of trouble? Such raw mercantilism can only draw a sharp retort from Washington and Brussels in this climate.

“During a global slowdown, you can’t have countries trying to take advantage of others by manipulating their currencies,” said Frank Vargo from the US National Association of Manufacturers.

It is a view shared entirely by President-elect Barack Obama. “China must change its currency practices. Because it pegs its currency at an artificially low rate, China is running massive current account surpluses. This is not good for American firms and workers, not good for the world,” he said in October. The new intake of radical Democrats on Capitol Hill will hold him to it.

There has been much talk lately of America’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which set off the protectionist dominoes in 1930. It is usually invoked by free traders to make the wrong point. The relevant message of Smoot-Hawley is that America was then the big exporter, playing the China role. By resorting to tariffs, it set off retaliation, and was the biggest victim of its own folly.

Britain and the Dominions retreated into Imperial Preference. Other countries joined. This became the “growth bloc” of the 1930s, free from the deflation constraints of the Gold Standard. High tariffs stopped the stimulus leaking out.

It was a successful strategy – given the awful alternatives – and was the key reason why Britain’s economy contracted by just 5pc during the Depression, against 15pc for France, and 30pc for the US.

Could we see such a closed “growth bloc” emerging now, this time led by the US, entailing a massive rupture of world’s trading system? Perhaps.

This crisis has already brought us a monetary revolution as interest rates approach zero across the G10. It may overturn the “New World Order” as well, unless we move with great care in grim months ahead. This is where events turn dangerous.

The last great era of globalisation peaked just before 1914. You know the rest of the story.

Comments: 110

US Angry that Pakistan is thinking of self-defense

US Angry that Pakistan is thinking of self-defense, instead of playing the CIA fake “Taliban” game in FATA.

Pakistan warned against neglecting terror front

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan risks a rise in terrorist activity if it lets tensions with India divert its attention and troops away from battling Taliban and al-Qaida militants along the Afghan border, leading Pakistani newspapers warned Sunday.

Hours after the editorials were published a suicide car bomb targeting voters killed 26 people in that troubled northwest region.

The commentary in some of the Muslim nation’s biggest dailies came after reports that the army was redeploying thousands of troops away from the northwest toward the eastern border with India following last month’s attacks in Mumbai, which India blames on Pakistani militants. Islamabad also has restricted military leave, but leaders of both countries insist they want to avoid a fourth war between the nuclear-armed rivals.

Pakistan “just cannot afford to redeploy any large number of its troops on the eastern border, leaving the ‘wild’ west in a free fall,” Dawn newspaper, a leading English-language paper, wrote in an editorial.

“Isn’t that the area where the world’s best intelligence says the extremist militants are holed up in significant numbers and planning to strike targets everywhere? They cannot be allowed a breather at a time when military operations are ongoing to clear the area of their roguish presence.”

India and Pakistan insist they do not want to fight, but tensions have repeatedly spiked since the three-day November siege of Mumbai that killed 164 people. India blames the attack on banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Pakistan has detained some alleged masterminds and clamped down on a charity alleged linked to Lashkar, but it has also demanded that India back up its claim with evidence.

Pakistan has been battling militants entrenched in pockets of its northwest for years. It has deployed more than 100,000 troops in the region, which includes the semiautonomous tribal areas where al-Qaida and the Taliban have flourished. The military is engaged in two major offensives in the northwest, one covering the Bajur and Mohmand tribal regions and the other in the Swat Valley.

But the violence has also spread beyond those areas. On Sunday, a suicide car bomb at a polling station killed at least 26 people and injured 15 more in Buner, a district bordering Swat, police official Beharmand Khan said. The polls were open for a by-election for a National Assembly seat.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since their independence from Britain in 1947, two over Kashmir, a majority Muslim region in the Himalayas claimed by both countries.

But most analysts say another war is unlikely because both countries have too much to lose. Some speculate, however, that the Mumbai attackers sought to distract Pakistan from its troubles along the Afghan frontier.

The Daily Times, another major English-language paper, urged Pakistan to avoid that trap. “Moving partially or fully out of the tribal areas will leave the fight against the terrorists unfinished,” it wrote.

Daily Jang, a major Urdu-language newspaper, put the onus on the United States, which considers Pakistan a critical ally in its efforts to stem the growing Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and which has sent envoys to South Asia to try to defuse tensions.

“In this situation, if Pakistan moves even a small number of troops from tribal areas to eastern border, it will certainly have a negative effect on the war on terror,” the paper wrote. “It is in the interest of America to stop India from making the situation worse, so that Pakistan is not forced to withdraw all of its troops from tribal areas as a last resort.”

Two Pakistani intelligence officials — requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation — said Friday that elements of the army’s 14th Infantry Division were being redeployed from Waziristan in the northwest to Kasur and Sialkot, towns close to India.

Witnesses reported seeing long convoys carrying troops and equipment toward India on Thursday and Friday.

Another intelligence official, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saturday that up to 1,300 troops had also been pulled out of the Bajur region. Their final destination was not immediately known.

The army has refused comment on any troop movements, but a senior Pakistani security official Friday denied that soldiers were being deployed to the Indian border.

Pakistan has said it would not launch a first strike, but its troop redeployment was seen as an indication that it will retaliate if India tries to take out militant targets on Pakistani soil.

Pakistan has witnessed scores of attacks on its territory as it has struggled to wrest control of the tribal regions from militants.

In North Waziristan tribal region, police said the bullet-ridden bodies of three people, including an Afghan national, were found Sunday in two villages. Police official Yousuf Khan said the bodies bore notes accusing the victims of being U.S. spies.

Leaders of Pakistan’s young civilian government have repeatedly sought to convince the world that they understand the threat.

“We ourselves have accepted that we have a cancer,” said Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who marked the one-year anniversary of the assassination of his wife, ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, in a gun-and-suicide bomb attack blamed on terrorists.

Associated Press Writer Asif Shahzad in Islamabad, Bashirullah Khan in Miran Shah and Riaz Khan in Peshawar contributed to this report.

The Trepca Mine Story (the reason that everyone wants Kosovo)

Trepca Mine Story (the reason that everyone wants Kosovo)

Gold 0192101001076996198 and 52 other minerals

Mineral List:

  • Actinolite
  • Anglesite
  • Ankerite
  • Aragonite
  • Arsenopyrite
  • Baryte
  • Bismuth
  • Bornite
  • Boulangerite
    var: Falkmanite
  • Bournonite
  • Calcite
    var: Manganoan Calcite
  • Cerussite
  • Chalcanthite
  • ‘Chalcedony’
  • Chalcophanite
  • Chalcopyrite
  • Childrenite
  • ‘Chlorite Group’
  • Coronadite
  • Cosalite
  • Covellite
  • Crandallite
  • Cubanite
  • Diopside
  • Dolomite
  • Enargite
  • Epidote
  • Galena
  • ‘Garnet Group’
  • Gold
  • Gypsum
  • Hedenbergite
  • Hematite
  • Illite
  • Ilvaite
  • Jamesonite
  • Limonite
  • Löllingite
  • Ludlamite
  • Magnetite
  • Marcasite
  • Melanterite
  • ‘Melnikovite’
  • ‘Plumosite’
  • ‘Psilomelane’
  • Pyrargyrite
  • Pyrite
  • Pyrrhotite
  • Quartz
  • Rhodochrosite
  • Scheelite
  • Siderite
  • Smithsonite
  • Sphalerite
  • Stannite
  • Stibnite
  • Struvite
  • Tennantite
  • Tetrahedrite
  • Valleriite
  • Vivianite
  • Wollastonite

    Dalits- India’s “Untouchables”

    [THE FOLLOWING IS A RARE GLIMPSE INTO THE INDIA THAT THE HINDU-CONTROLLED PRESS DOES NOT WANT YOU TO SEE.]  It is easy to see why so many factions in India are ready to take-up arms against the government, as a route to freedom and proper care for their families.  Muslims in India are treated like the lowest class, the “Dalits” (the “untouchables”).  In India, like in America, you have the privileged wealthy minority, and you have the poor struggling majority.  Those who consider themselves “superior” to others, for any reason, believe that they have a “divine right” to the spoils of unrepentant capitalism.  Anything done to the less deserving “useless eaters” of this world is acceptable, as long as the superior elite gets everything.  This is the direct cause of the global economic collapse that we are witnessing today, just as it is the cause of so much of the world’s misery.

    The following is testimony of the fate of so many angry Indians, the ones who want to tear the government down.  If all goes according to the supremacists’ plans, it will soon be our fates, as well.

    Estimates range as high as 300,000,000 people born into a slave class, to serve Brahmins, some shoveling human filth, others performing different inhuman tasks, but all existing under a special caste-system class designation  Other Backward Class (OBC)

    Dalit Voice of India offers testimony of Dalit (a more proper name for untouchable)  life:

    Secret of Brahminists undergoing military training

    OUR CORRESPONDENT

    Bangalore: When the Brahminical people (15%) are the rulers of the land, hold most of the property, positions and power, why are they taking military training? And against whom? When the country’s defence services, police and paramilitary forces headed by them are there only to protect the rulers, why they are so much worried and established private military training colleges? The Brahminical Social Order (15%) is headed by its 2.5% Brahmins who call themselves the Bhoodevatas. They are literally worshipped and held in great reverence. Their 33-crore Hindu gods are at their beck and call to frighten all of us. Right from the Prime Minister down to the lowly panchayat every one is literally their servant. The executive, judiciary, bureaucracy, media, entire financial and education sectors are headed by their own chosen people. Their dictatorial control extends even over Muslim, Christian, Sikh and every shade of people. That means they are the monarch. But the Monarch is afraid of whom? In the DV of Nov.16, 2008 p.6, after raising this question, we said we have the answer:-

    The so-called Hindus— comprising the Brahmin (2.5%), Kshatriya, Vaishya and shudra — form not even 15% of India’s population. The first three are the dwijas — the twice-born

    The rest are SC- 20%), ST- 10%, BCs – 35% (who are the once born), Muslim -15%, Christian and Sikh-5%. Together they form 85%.

    BLOOD ENEMIES OF BRAHMINS

    This is the broad demographic picture of the country. Even the Brahminical Social Order (BSO) comprising the first category is not a homogenous whole. The Vaishyas and Kshatriyas intensely hate the Brahmins. The divide becomes more visible when it comes to SC/ST/BCs. Particularly the first one, Dalits, are the blood enemies of Brahmins.

    That is why we very often say that India is not a nation but a country divided into hundreds of nations.

    Of the lot, Brahmins (2.5%), being at the apex of the caste pyramid, are the most hated by the rest of humans. Of this the Dalits 20% are the angriest and the most uncompromising enemies of Brahmins.

    DALITS USED TO KILL MUSLIMS

    The BSO has been trying to use the Dalits by hinduising (enslaving) them. But this exercise is failing because of the existence of caste division. This is what we described as “caste killing the casteists” (BSO) in our book, Caste — A Nation Within the Nation, (Books for Change, Bangalore).

    The hard-core Brahminists under the RSS Mafia have been training the Dalits to kill the Muslims — an exercise found effective to hinduise the Dalits. But the electoral compulsions of the Congress and other Backward Caste parties are coming in the way of ant-Muslim mayhem. BJP is the only party backing the anti-Muslim violence but even this party lost in the last parliament election.

    DANGER FACING IN “HINDU” WORD

    It could not “build” the temple to their god Ram after demolishing the Babri Masjid. Nor could it rename India as Hindu Rashtra.

    That is why the Brahmins being a micro-minority are deeply worried that if the “caste identity” gets stronger, the society gets divided on caste and regional basis, and the Dalit-Muslim unity gets stronger all their “Hindu unity” business will collapse like a house of cards.

    Brahmins are deeply worried about their serious numerical weakness, coupled with their physical weakness, compounded by the all-round hatred they generated by their commission and omission.

    That is why the micro-minority Brahmins have decided to seek self-protection by setting up military training colleges. This is the secret.

    But there is one big danger which the Bahujan leadership (85%) has not realised. Already the BJP chief Rajnath Singh has warned that the latest “reckless” arrests of “religious leaders” may anger the “Hindus” and the “Hindus” may retaliate. BSO will certainly use the current arrests to rouse the Hindus and “unite the Hindus”.

    The BJP chief’s warning has already unnerved the Congress and other parties aligned with it because all of them also claim to be Hindu.

    That is why we warn that the name “Hindu” will be counter- productive because “Hindu unity” will certainly lead to disunity of India.

    The problem is our political leaders are also guided by the BSO. And that is how they clubbed the non-Hindu if not anti-Hindu Dalits (20%) also along with the Hindu.

    The fact is only the Aryan Brahmins (2.5%) are Hindu. None else. Even the Kshatriyas and Vaishyas are not ready to join them. The non-Aryan SC/ST/BCs anyway are not Hindu and never Hindu. This is the verdict of Dr. Ambedkar.

    “HINDU” IS A TRAP

    Backward and Dalit political parties, therefore, should not accept that SC/ST/BCs are Hindu. If they fall a prey to Brahminical machinations, what will they do when BJP accuses the Congress of infuriating Hindus by “recklessly arresting Hindu sadhus and sadhvis”?

    The term Hindu is a trap and if Dalits are caught in this trap it is difficult to escape until “caste identity” is fully established.

    GITA ADVOCATES VIOLENCE

    Meanwhile, the RSS Mafia, has fully backed the Malegaon terrorists —rubbishing the theory that Hinduism stands for the nonsense of nonviolence. Who said Hinduism is the world’s only religion that stands for non-violence? Stupid. Did not the country’s topmost Brahmin authority, B.G. Tilak, in his book, Gita Rahasya, say that their god Krishna himself fully sanctioned violence in the Bhagawad Gita?

    The Malegaon arrests have once for all proved that the Bhoodevatas are indeed India’s biggest terrorists.

    RAW FOOTAGE: Victims of Israeli State Terrorism

    [VIDEO PULLED BY YOUTUBE CAVING TO ZIONAZI PRESSURE]

    Israel warns of ground offensive as jets pound

    Hamas in Gaza

    GAZA CITY (AFP) — Israel warned on Sunday it could send ground troops into Gaza as its warplanes continued pounding Hamas targets inside the enclave where more than 280 Palestinians have been killed in just 24 hours.

    Hamas responded by firing rockets the deepest yet into Israel, with one hitting without causing casualties not far from Ashdod, home to Israel’s second-largest port some 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Gaza, medics said.

    In the latest international call for an end to the violence, the United Nations Security Council after an emergency session urged an immediate halt to all military operations.

    However Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak vowed to expand the mammoth bombing campaign, unleashed in retaliation for ongoing militant rocket fire.

    “The IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) will expand and deepen its operations in Gaza as much as necessary,” he told reporters before a cabinet meeting.

    “We are ready for anything. If it’s necessary to deploy ground forces to defend our citizens, we will do so,” his spokesman quoted him as saying earlier.

    Israeli television said the army had begun concentrating ground forces near the tiny Palestinian enclave, where medics said air raids have killed more than 280 people and wounded more than 600 since early on Saturday.

    Warplanes continued to pound the impoverished and overcrowded territory of 1.5 million, with at least six people killed on Sunday as jets hit targets in northern Gaza , sending thick columns of smoke barreling into the air.

    “Israel launched a military operation yesterday in the Gaza Strip in order to regain a normal life for the citizens in the south who have suffered for many years from incessant rocket, mortar and terror attacks,” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting.

    Israel is “aiming to change the situation on the ground whereby in the future there will be a tranquil border between Israel and Gaza,” Isaac Herzog, the welfare minister, told reporters before the meeting.

    Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian movement branded a terror group by Israel and the West, remains defiant.

    Its exiled leader Khaled Meshaal called in Damascus for a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising, against Israel and promised more suicide attacks. Hamas last carried out a suicide bombing against Israel in January 2005.

    The Israeli onslaught — one of the bloodiest single days in the 60-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict — has sparked massive international concern.

    In New York, the UN Security Council called for an “immediate halt to all violence” and on the parties “to stop immediately all military activities,” without mentioning Israel or Hamas by name.

    The Israeli campaign has been slammed by many Arab nations and on Sunday, 30 Jordanian lawmakers demanded the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

    Israel’s main ally the United States has blamed Hamas “thugs” for provoking the campaign by firing rockets into the Jewish state from Gaza, and urged Israel to avoid causing civilian casualties in its bombing raids.

    “If Hamas stops firing rockets into Israel, then Israel would not have a need for strikes in Gaza,” White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

    Amid the bombing, Barak also authorised the passage of an aid convoy into Gaza on Sunday, his spokeswoman said.

    Israel has kept Gaza largely sealed off since Hamas violently seized power there in June 2007, overrunning forces loyal to secular president Mahmud Abbas.

    Egypt, which had slammed Israel for the bombing campaign, on Sunday blamed Hamas for not allowing hundreds of wounded to pass through the Rafah border crossing — the only one that bypasses Israel — to receive treatment.

    “The wounded are barred from crossing” into Egypt, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said in Cairo, blaming “those who control Gaza. We are waiting for the wounded to cross.”

    Israel unleashed “Operation Cast Lead” against Hamas targets mid-morning on Saturday, with some 60 warplanes hitting more than 50 targets in just a few minutes, and Barak vowing it would continue for “as long as necessary.”

    Hamas has responded by firing more than 90 rockets and mortar rounds into Israel, killing one man and wounding a handful of others.

    The Israeli bombing came after days of spiralling violence that followed the expiry of a six-month Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and Hamas.

    It also comes less than two months ahead of Israeli snap elections called for February 10.

    Yevpatoria apartment blast that killed at least 27 people NOT gas explosion

    [SEE: Apartment Explodes Ukraine, 22 killed]

    Tymoshenko: Household gas not behind Yevpatoria apartment blast that killed at least 27 people

    Kyiv, December 27 (Interfax) – The recent apartment block explosion in Yevpatoria, Ukraine, which claimed dozens of lives, was not caused by household natural gas, said Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
    “We can ascertain that this was not a natural gas explosion but that it happened in a workshop located in the basement of this house,” Tymoshenko said at a government meeting on Saturday.

    The government has conducted a “thorough and comprehensive investigation to find out what caused the explosion,” Tymoshenko said.

    The government will seek criminal prosecution of officials from the Yevpatoria administration whose negligence led to the explosion, she said.

    Volodymyr Boiko, the prosecutor of Crimea, had said late on Friday that none of the theories pursued by investigators had yet been proven by experts.

    In an interview with the Dzerkalo Tyzhnia weekly newspaper, Boiko said the investigators were considering an explosion of oxygen and acetylene tanks in the basement, an explosion of household gas in one of the apartments, unauthorized interference in the gas supply infrastructure, and an explosion of other substances among possible reasons behind the tragedy.

    “Each theory has sub-theories, but there is not enough evidence to confirm either of them,” Boiko said.

    The explosion in a nine-section five-story apartment block in Yevpatoria late on December 24 totally ruined two sections, killing at least 27 people.

    U.S. blames Hamas for ceasefire break with Israel

    White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe thinks that Hamas was asking for it.  Israel continues to commit crimes against humanity on a scale seldom seen and the United States continues to blame the dead for deserving to be killed.  Shameless!!

    U.S. blames Hamas for ceasefire break with

    Israel

    By: Tabassum Zakaria

    CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) – The United States blamed Hamas for breaking a ceasefire and provoking Israeli air strikes on Saturday that killed more than 200 people in Gaza, which is controlled by the Palestinian group.

    Washington did not call for an end to the Israeli attacks but urged it to avoid civilian casualties and placed the onus for ending the violence squarely on Hamas, which it

    considers a terrorist organization.

    “What we’ve got to see is Hamas stop firing rockets into Israel, that’s what precipitated this,” said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe, calling the Islamic group “thugs.”

    The United States has worked to isolate Hamas since it won a Palestinian parliamentary election in January 2006.

    Israeli officials said the assault on the Gaza Strip in pursuit of Hamas may last some time.

    Saudi King Abdullah spoke about the situation with President George W. Bush, who is at his Texas ranch, said Johndroe, who offered no details of the conversation.

    The air strikes followed a decision by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s security cabinet to widen reprisals for Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel.

    The United States had been aware of that authorization to pursue Hamas and U.S. officials had been in contact with Israeli officials, Johndroe said.

    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed concern about the escalating violence and called for immediate restoration of the ceasefire. “We strongly condemn the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and hold Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire and for the renewal of violence there,” she said in a statement.

    In an apparent warning to minimize the risk to civilians, Rice said, “the United States calls on all concerned to protect innocent lives and to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza.”

    BLOODIEST DAY

    The number of people killed in Gaza was the highest one-day death toll in 60 years of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Militants in the Gaza Strip, who have launched dozens of rocket attacks against Israel since a truce expired just over a week ago, fired more salvos that killed one Israeli man.

    The United States is Israel’s strongest ally and the Bush administration has taken the position that Israel has the right to defend itself.

    Bush had hoped to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before leaving office and in November 2007 hosted a conference at Annapolis, Maryland, to relaunch talks aimed at reaching agreement on a Palestinian state by the end of this year.

    But the Annapolis process stalled and all sides acknowledged that there was no chance for a peace deal before the Republican president leaves the White House on January 20 when Democrat Barack Obama will be inaugurated as president.

    Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii, did not comment on the Israeli air strikes. His national security spokesman, Brooke Anderson, said the president-elect was “closely monitoring global events, including the situation in Gaza, but there is one president at a time.”

    Obama visited Israel and the occupied West Bank in July. In an apparent jab at Bush’s last-minute efforts to secure peace, Obama pledged at the time not to “wait a few years into my term or my second term if I’m elected” to press for a deal.

    Lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace has eluded efforts by many U.S. presidents and the new Obama administration will have to grapple with calming tensions in the region as well as dealing with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a crumbling global economy.

    (Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Washington; editing by Chris Wilson)

    With fear and hope

    With fear and hope

    HARSH MANDER

    While the politics of hate ran amok causing communal violence across the country, there were also a few signs of hope…


    But it is also a year in which ordinary women and men struggled to hold onto their faith, in each other, in governments that have repeatedly failed them, and in their own capacities for resilience, courage and humanity.


    Some years are etched in the collective psyche of the people of this land for the epic tragedies that unfolded in the course of those years, leaving many unhealed wounds and permanent scars. 1947 is remembered as much for the blood-drenched Partition of India as for India’s independence from colonial rule; 1948 for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination in the hands of religious bigots; 1962 for India’s humiliating defeat in war; 1975 for the declaration of the Emergency and the crushing of democratic freedoms; 1984 for the massacre of Sikhs following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi; 1992 for the demolition of the Babri Masjid; and 2002 for the brutal State-sponsored carnage in Gujarat.

    It is too early to estimate whether 2008 will be similarly recalled in coming decades as another such year of iconic collective suffering, because of the daring commando terrorist attack in one of the most elite enclaves in the country, in south Mumbai. But, no doubt, memories of this year will long echo with the reverberations of machine gun fire and grenades thrown by radicals on suicide missions — armed with sophisticated automatic weapons and explosives, as well as mindless hate and chilling rage — as they slaughtered innocents on railway platforms and elegant hotel rooms.

    Grim shadows

    However, even before this, 2008 had been a turbulent and troubled year in many ways, lived stoically under the grim shadows of persistent terror. Hate took a heavy toll of lives in many corners of the country, as bombs exploded in crowded market squares with sickening regularity, in Bengaluru one day, Jaipur another, in Gujarat, Delhi, Maharashtra, Assam… The bombs were planted by unseen men and women from shadowy organisations, who left in their wake not just dismembered bodies, blood on sidewalks and mangled vehicles, but also fear, anger and more hate.

    Hate also played out in other ways, of mass communal violence that resurfaced in many parts of the country. The target in 2008 was most of all the Christian community, as churches, orphanages, hospitals and homes of Christian people were torched and demolished in mob attacks, nuns and priest were assaulted and an estimated 300 villages “cleansed” of their Christian populations. This continued unabated with impunity for many weeks in Orissa, and the State government was unconscionably laconic in reigning in the lumpen combatants of organisations like the Bajrang Dal. This violence against the Christian community spread like an epidemic to other corners of the country, most gravely in Karnataka but to several other States as well.

    There was more communal violence this year since 2002 against the Muslim community. Some of the gravest attacks were in Assam, where Muslims of Bengali origin (who have been migrating to the State for well over a century) are universal hate objects, in a dangerous cauldron of competing oppressed ethnicities. I visited Udalgiri and Darrang in Assam where survivors of these latest waves of violence are clustered in camps organised on religious communal lines, and experienced the deepest disquiet at the uncompromising ethnic loathing openly voiced in the camps. Dhulia in Maharashtra saw this year the bloodiest episodes of communal violence since Independence. Even more worrying was the communal violence targeting Muslim Gujjar tribal communities in Jammu, and sporadic violence against truck drivers during the blockade against the movement of goods to and from the Kashmir valley in the agitation around the disputed land allocations to the Amarnath temple trust. Even at the height of the militant violence in Kashmir for azadi, never were Hindu tourists or residents targeted with mob or terrorist violence. It is enormously tragic that politicians of various hues have manifestly succeeded in their systematic efforts for injecting the virus of communal hatred in a region with a wonderful tradition of religious pluralism and tolerance of centuries.

    Signs of hope

    And yet amidst all of this, there were many signs of hope and resistance visible among the ordinary people wearied by politics that are founded on hate and difference. Not a single of the terrorist attacks except in Assam were followed by mob communal violence. It was heartening to observe a mood in which Indian Muslims were not widely held to account in the popular mood for acts of terrorist violence committed allegedly by people who claim allegiance to Islam. The elections held in Delhi and Rajasthan in the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai attacks saw a large turnout even in middle class colonies, and the results confirmed that the voters were not influenced by parties and ideologies that sought to communalise the attacks on the basis of religious identities. Indian Muslims organised a number of massive gatherings of religious ulemas to articulate publicly their emphatic rejection of the misuse of the Islamic faith to justify political violence. People of Muslim faith in many parts of the country wore black bands during Bakr Eid prayers after the Mumbai attacks as symbols of their shared grief and opposition to the terrorist attacks. I felt saddened that they felt so compelled to display publicly their sorrow in ways that people of other communities did not, but it did send out a message that we continue to stand together in the face of grave threats posed by international terrorism (in which there is mounting evidence of the involvement of Pakistani nationals and possibly segments of the Pakistani military and intelligence establishments).

    The worry still remained because of the fears that terror does have home-grown Indian support. This year, there are growing official claims of indigenous support to terror. Terror attacks of earlier years were routinely ascribed officially by the police in India first to Pakistani groups and administration, and then to Bangladesh. Not Mumbai, but governments claimed that some of the earlier terror attacks this year were supported by Indian terror groups like the Indian Mujahideen. However, these claims need to be backed by a great deal more of evidence.

    A stunning development this year was, however, of the belated official acknowledgment of the growth of another stream of native, locally-nurtured terror, and this was of women and men who laid claim to the Hindu faith, including Hindu nuns and serving and retired army officials. Human rights groups for years have argued that it is not self evident that all terror attacks, especially on Muslim places of worship and habitations, are also organised by “Islamist” terror groups. The evidence now confirms a large network of organisations and individuals who claimed allegiance to Hinduism, who organised attacks with explosives and other acts of individual terror, with dual objectives of hitting “the enemy” and then blaming them for the attacks. It is tragic that Hemant Karkare, who led the investigations into Hindutva terror and was bitterly reviled for this, was killed in Mumbai, fighting Islamist terrorism. Hemant represents the finest traditions not only of public service but of citizenship in a secular democratic polity, and his loss has left all of us poorer.

    Credible evidence

    The evidence of Hindutva terror lays to rest finally the canard that “all terrorists are Muslims”. The role of Hindutva organisations in organising and fomenting hate, right from the Partition riots to many subsequent riots and pogroms was known, but it is now credibly established that segments of these formations are also using tactics of individual terror. Hindutva commentators and political leaders, including L.K. Advani, complained against media descriptions of “Hindu terrorism”. They passionately insisted that terror has no religion, that describing terror coupled with the name of a religious faith unfairly taints and labels all who follow that faith, that a person is innocent until proved guilty and that everyone should be investigated and tried while guaranteeing democratic protections and the rule of law. All of this is utterly unexceptionable; there is irony only in that for many years when Muslims were tainted, labelled and denied democratic protections in the name of the war on terror, they had never thought it fit to protest.

    Democratic freedoms continued to be compromised in large swathes of India, in both its north-eastern and north-western frontiers, and many forested interiors, where security forces operate with impunity untrammelled by the protections of the secular democratic Constitution. Representing the enormous alienation of citizens denied these elementary freedoms is Sharmila in Manipur who has refused to eat since 2000, in an epic non-violent individual battle. A doctor and human rights activist, Binayak Sen, continues to languish in jail thorough the entire year of 2008, with little hope of early release. Muslim youth are routinely detained and tortured, and sometimes killed in police “encounters” after every terror attack.

    This was a troubled year for the economy globally as well. In the wake of a banking scandal of global dimensions in the United States, stock markets in India crashed, and with it crumbled the savings and investments of millions. But hundreds of millions of Indians could not tell the difference. They live stoically at the edge of survival, often hungry at night, denied elementary public health care and schooling, often without work and bonded, and migrating long distances to hostile city streets to keep their families alive. They lived this way before the global economic meltdown, and they continue to do so. Their fortunes could hardly change for the worse.

    An unheard India

    The news of this other India of six to eight hundred million people continued its long exile from newsprint, television screens and the cinema. Yet, for them too, there were small glimmerings of hope. India is the only country to now guarantee 100 days of wage work a year to any family which seeks it, and there is evidence that this has begun to slowly dent the worst distress in States where this guarantee is being implemented. Pensions have at last been universalised for all impoverished old people, and for many it is their only life-line. Court orders have guaranteed hot cooked school meals to a hundred and forty million children. Impoverished and middle class people are using their right to information to fight corruption and injustice in government.

    So how will the year 2008 be remembered in history? It is a year in which terrorist violence and the global economic meltdown dangerously breached the security of India’s wealthy. It is a year in which the politics of hate and fear, nationally and globally, pushed further its frontiers. But it is also a year in which ordinary women and men struggled to hold onto their faith, in each other, in governments that have repeatedly failed them, and in their own capacities for resilience, courage and humanity. It is perhaps just one more year in which they were pushed to the edge, and yet they held on. One more time!