Expect new drones along border with Afghanistan’

Expect new drones along border with

Afghanistan’

* Unmanned aircraft flight hours have doubled every 3 months
* US plans to outfit RS-7 Shadow with laser designators wings

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: US Central Command officials are pushing for more capable drones to support Afghanistan operations, Aviation Week & Space Technology has revealed. Already, a report in the magazine’s February 9 issue says, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) flight hours in Afghanistan have doubled every three months.

The Pentagon’s UAS fleet is growing and providing new capabilities for war efforts as planners weigh options for the next generation of systems. The first Navy Global Hawk has arrived in the Middle East and its first flight is imminent. Navy officials say the aircraft will conduct maritime surveillance missions in the region using a sensor optimised for this requirement. It will likely be tested with US Air Force Global Hawks operating from the United Arab Emirates.

Meanwhile, the air force is proceeding with verification of its active electronically scanned radar (AESA), designed to identify and track moving targets. After three verification flights, the Air Force has validated the software for the synthetic aperture radar (SAR) modes; similar flights are set for the ground moving target indicator (GMTI) in the next couple of weeks. Central Command officials are pushing for more SAR and GMTI capabilities to support Afghanistan operations.

Pentagon acquisition chief John Young recently approved the army’s incremental approach to acquiring and fielding its MQ-1C Warrior UAS. The army has notional plans for an “Enhanced Warrior” system, which could carry about 500lb of additional payload on the centreline of the aircraft. This could possibly be used to add fuel and endurance to the system. The air force is also testing its MQ-9 Reaper, a variant of the Predator. To date, the aircraft has dropped six, 500lb GPS-guided Joint Direct Attack Munitions. Testing is expected to conclude this month.

Modifications: The army is also proceeding with plans to equip its RQ-7 Shadow UAS, a tactical, rail-launched system, with laser designators and new, larger wings. These are expected to support operations in US Central Command next year. As Shadow flight hours decrease in Iraq, UAS flight hours in Afghanistan have doubled every three months in large part due to Shadow operations. The Marine Corps, which also operates Shadow, has begun planning for a replacement by 2016.

On the wish list for this new Marine Corps system is 14-30 hours endurance; a flight radius of 350-450 nautical miles; possible weapons; and payloads of at least 1,500lb. The mission is not yet defined, but it could handle some electronic warfare, electronic surveillance and — possibly — electronic attack missions.

Among the vertical-lift UASs, Fire Scout is beginning sea trials this week on the frigate USS McInerney. Its earliest deployment is expected to be in support operations in Southern Command, which oversees support for the counter-narcotics missions. The Fire Scout has BriteStar II electro-optical and infrared payload as well as a communications relay. Radar is being integrated, and the system could eventually carry weapons.

The Marine Corps, is also looking at a vertical-lift UAS for cargo. Notionally, this system would be shipboard capable. The Marines are hoping for a system that could haul 1,000-6,000lb of cargo and execute a range of 300 nautical miles. Meanwhile, the navy has stated its objectives for another new UAS, called the Small Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System to be ready to be fielded in 2011 for the Marine Corps and navy. The Marine Corps is currently using small Raven B and Wasp UASs, to look short distances ahead for dismounted soldiers. Demand for small UASs is growing.

No more flyaways: The army is outfitting its Raven with a digital data link to eliminate ‘flyaways’ — a break in connectivity – that sometimes results in the loss of the aircraft. Both the army and navy are also working with new, small, hovering UASs. The navy plans to buy about 90 systems, or 180 vehicles mostly for explosive ordnance disposal missions.

Iranians demand US to restore Iran`s rights if is true with change

Iranians demand US to restore Iran`s rights if is true with change

Posted: 2009/02/10
From: MNN

Tehrani Bahman 22 ralliers on Tuesday said that the US slogan of change will prove right only if occupation and tyranny come to an end in the world and the rights of Iranians, including nuclear rights, are recognized.

Tehran, Feb 10, IRNA — “The US administration has spared no effort to weaken the Islamic Republic in the past 30 years. As the late Imam put it, America has been known in the Iranian literature as the `great Satan’. Its despair in confronting the people of Iran, in its occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, in its intervention in the Middle East together with the growing hatred toward expansionist policies, have eventually forced America to adopt the slogan of `change’. We stress resistance in the face of any plot, be it soft or hard, and are closely watching any real change in the policies of the `great Satan’ and believe the slogan of `change’ will prove right only if occupation and tyranny come to an end in the world and the rights of the people of Iran including nuclear rights are recognized, its assets are unfreezed, all sanctions are lifted and political pressures eased,” read a 12-point resolution issued at the end of Tuesday’s rallies.

The resolution reads, “We regard to the rising power of the Islamic Resistance in defeating the Zionist army and its supporters in Lebanon’s 33-day war and Gaza’s 22-day onslaught as indications of divine aid in fulfilling this sacred goal.”

The ralliers hailed “the powerful” men running Islamic Resistance groups in Lebanon and Palestine, especially the democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and lent strong support to them.

They also appreciated the world public opinion’s support for Gazans and condemned “the mean” stances of some Arab countries regarding the catastrophes in Gaza.

The resolution also condemned the EU’s removing the terrorist Mujahideen Khalq Organization from the list of terrorist groups.

“The people of Iran, who are themselves victims of international terrorism, strongly condemn the new move of the European Union in removing the MKO from its terror list and urge the Union to promptly change their stance.”

They stressed the need for enlightening the world public opinion by disseminating accurate information on the rightfulness of the Islamic Revolution and the values and brave acts of the Iranian nation.

The 10th point of the resolution says the huge turnout in the 10th presidential elections will once again display the true concept of religious democracy.

The document renewed allegiance with the aspirations of the martyrs and said Iranians are grateful to those who gave their lives for the cause of the revolution.

It appreciated “the invaluable” services of the government and underscored all-out efforts by the executive, legislative and the judiciary coupled with all organs’ precise implementation of the policies envisaged in the fifth comprehensive development plan that the Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has put forward within the framework of the 20-year outlook document.

Elsewhere, the resolution reads that the theory of the late Imam Khomeini on the `rule of the religious jurisprudence’ on whose pillars the foundation of the Islamic Republic are based, is the only doctrine for attaining dignity, honor and progress.

Calling on all officials to close ranks regardless of their political inclinations and tastes, the resolution insisted continued support for the oppressed and for resistance movements in the world.

It once again emphasized the indisputable right of Iran to accessing nuclear know-how for peaceful purposes, condemning new wave of divisive plots against ethnic groups.

“We … stress the need to seriously take heed of the prudent warnings of the leader of the Islamic Revolution and call on world committed leaders, scholars, thinkers and elite as well as the media in the Muslim World to effectively confront the conspiracies and put on top of their agenda maintaining unity among the Shia and Sunni Muslims.”

The Growing Army of Angry Men Whose Lives Have Been Destroyed by the Federal Government

The Growing Army of Angry Men

Whose Lives Have Been Destroyed by

the Federal Government

by Mark R. Crovelli

One of the hardest things to deal with in the current economic depression is the disgusting hypocrisy of the U.S. congress, the new president, and the members of the Federal Reserve System. It is one thing to be told, as we all are, that we must hand over fat wads of our hard-earned money to these warmongering and thieving snakes or face jail terms, but one feels a whole new level of revulsion when these people make statements to the effect that they, and they alone, are in a position to “save the economy” by “creating jobs.” These statements are made by people who have done virtually everything in their power to destroy the American economy over the last few decades, but who have now proclaimed themselves to be our saviors. Only the most naïve and unlearned among us could possibly be falling for the idea that a bunch of self-serving politicians, bureaucrats and bankers are going to “save” us from problems they have caused.

On its face, the idea that politicians, bureaucrats, and bankers could “save” the economy is laughable. These are people, after all, who live exclusively at our expense. That is, these are people whose entire livelihoods are dependent upon taking money away from productive people and spending it on themselves and their favorite wasteful projects. It’s true that they do not all share the same ideas about how to spend the money they take from us. Some prefer to use it to blow up innocent people in foreign lands, while others simply want to take our hard-earned money without our consent and hand it over to other people. The bankers, on the other hand, merely content themselves with printing vast amounts of new money out of thin air that they either hand over to the Treasury Department, or gift to their other banker-buddies to lend out at a profit at our expense. Nevertheless, it should be crystal clear that these people do not actually produce anything themselves (except the bankers, who are very skilled counterfeiters of money). They take money from us through taxation and inflation, (and threaten us with severe punishments if we refuse to obey), and then spend every last penny of it – and more – on war, socialized boondoggles, and welfare. These are the people who would have us believe that they can “save” the economy? How exactly would they accomplish such a thing? More taxes, more idiotic socialized projects, more war, and more newly-printed green paper? Do these actions really seem likely to produce a vibrant and healthy economy, or do they seem more like the actions undertaken by the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.?

They would also very much like for us to believe that they are the only people in the world capable of “creating jobs” in the United States. A more ridiculous idea would be hard to find. Again, these people are only in the business of taking money from productive people, and either wasting it entirely (e.g., war), keeping it themselves, or giving it to other people (e.g., entitlement programs, foreign aid, and paychecks for bureaucrats). As such, any actions undertaken by these people will necessarily depend for funding upon those who are forced to pay taxes; namely, the increasingly-dwindling group of productive people who have not yet lost their jobs in the private sector. Does it really seem possible that this sort of parasitism on the productive people of the United States really can create jobs that produce the things that people actually want? If socialized job creation is the only way out of this economic quagmire, as the politicians would have us believe, then why don’t they socialize the entire economy? If it were indeed the case that the federal government can “create” productive jobs better than the private sector, then why don’t they take over all aspects of the American economy, and we can all live happily ever-after in a brave, new, socialized America where everyone is enslaved, I mean employed, by the State.

And don’t think for a moment that the politicians and bureaucrats are themselves going to help the productive people shoulder this onerous tax burden. On the contrary, politicians and bureaucrats do not actually pay taxes. As Murray Rothbard has noted in this regard:

“If a bureaucrat receives a salary of $5,000 a year and pays $1,000 in ‘taxes’ to the government, it is quite obvious that he is simply receiving a salary of $4,000 and pays no taxes at all. The heads of the government have simply chosen a complex and misleading accounting device to make it appear that he pays taxes in the same way as any other men making the same income. The UN’s arrangement, whereby all its employees are exempt from any income taxation, is far more candid.”

Hence, while Mr. Obama is fond of telling us that “we” are going to have to get out of this recession together, what he really means is that those of us who are employed in productive private lines of work in this country are going to have to hand over more and more of our hard-earned money to those people in this country who pay no taxes at all; namely, men like Mr. Obama himself and the rest of the fat, parasitic political and bureaucratic class that infests this country.

Some of the more shameless of the political class in this country, or their academic lackeys, have even tried to convince us that the trillions of dollars they are wasting in Iraq and Afghanistan are going to help us get out of this depression. They have been taking our money and blowing it up in these two dreadfully poor countries year after year, and they would like for us to believe that this senseless destruction of wealth is going to make us richer. Often known as “Military Keynesians,” this group is perhaps more aptly described as the “kill ourselves rich” crowd. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that neither you nor I are made better off when the federal government steals our money, hands it over to Lockheed Martin to purchase bombs, and then uses those bombs to blow up Pakistani civilians. The only people who benefit from this forceful expropriation of our money and indifferent murder are the merchants of death occupying lucrative posts at Lockheed, Blackwater and the Pentagon.

What the political and bureaucratic classes are actually accomplishing very well, however, is creating a veritable army of angry men whose lives have been destroyed by the federal government. Many have lost their jobs, thanks to the collapse of the largest artificial economic boom in American history – a boom that was directly caused by the actions of the federal government and the Fed. In addition, thanks to years of merciless and ceaseless money creation by the Fed, this army of men has found that their savings purchase fewer and fewer goods over time. This depreciation of the dollar will inexorably increase astronomically over the next few years as the massive amount of new money the Fed and treasury have already jointly printed, and are planning to print over the coming months and years, floods the system.

This army of angry men has very little to be optimistic about in the near future. At best, they might be able to keep their present jobs in the private sector – shouldering a heavier and heavier portion of the tax burden that funds the congress and president’s wars and socialization schemes, while the value of their savings continues to erode into dust. Those who have lost their jobs might be permitted to work on Mr. Obama’s “public works” projects, and thereby become virtual slaves to the whims of the political and bureaucratic classes. Many others will simply find it easier to start sucking at the state’s teat in the form of unemployment insurance or food stamps, et cetera, and thereby lose all respect for themselves. One thing is certain for every member of this army of angry men, though; every single one of them will now find it very difficult, if not impossible, to carve out a living for himself, on his own terms, and without being at the complete mercy of politicians, bureaucrats, and bankers he has never even met. The age of the independent, responsible, and free American citizen is now dead.

The hour is fast approaching when each and every one of us will have to decide for ourselves whether we will try to fight this devastating government machine, or join it.

February 10, 2009

Mark R. Crovelli [send him mail] writes from Denver, Colorado.

Copyright © 2009 LewRockwell.com

UK government suppressed evidence on Binyam Mohamed torture because MI6 helped his interrogators

UK government suppressed evidence on

Binyam Mohamed torture because MI6 helped

his interrogators

The Government suppressed evidence on the torture of terror suspect Binyam Mohamed because the documents reveal that MI6 helped his interrogators.

Material in a CIA dossier on Mr Mohamed that was blacked out by High Court judges contained details of how British intelligence officers supplied information to his captors and contributed questions while he was brutally tortured, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.

Intelligence sources have revealed that spy chiefs put pressure on Mr Miliband to do nothing that would leave serving MI6 officers open to prosecution, or to jeopardise relations with the CIA, which is passing them “top notch” information on British terrorist suspects from its own informers in Britain.

Mr Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian, was granted refugee status in Britain in 1994. He was picked up in Pakistan in 2002 on suspicion of involvement in terrorism, rendered to Morocco and Afghanistan, tortured and then sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2004. All terror charges against him were dropped last year.

Two High Court judges last week said they wanted to release the full contents of a CIA file on his treatment but they held back seven paragraphs of information after David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, argued that it could compromise intelligence sharing with the US.

A British official, who is regularly briefed on intelligence operations, said: “The concern was that the document revealed that intelligence from the British agencies was used by the Americans and that there were British questions asked while Binyam Mohamed was being tortured.

“Miliband is being pushed hard by the intelligence agencies to protect the identity of those involved.”

The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed’s genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, “is very far down the list of things they did,” the official said.

Another source familiar with the case said: “British intelligence officers knew about the torture and didn’t do anything about it. They supplied information to the Americans and the Moroccans. They supplied questions, they supplied photographs. There is evidence of all of that.”

David Davis, the former shadow home secretary who first highlighted the case, said: “What has become clear is that the information being held back is not protecting the American government who have made a clean breast of their involvement in torture, but the British government, where at least two cabinet ministers have denied any complicity whatsoever.

“It is very clear who stands to be embarrassed by this and who is being protected by this secrecy. It is not the Americans, it is Labour ministers.”

The full document on Mr Mohamed could still be released. President Barack Obama is under pressure from the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee to release the unedited report.

A source on the committee described the case as “shocking” and told The Sunday Telegraph: “If the President doesn’t act we could hold a hearing or write to subpoena the documents. We need to know what’s in those documents.”

The Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, is now considering whether British intelligence officers can be charged in the UK. Her office says the matter is still under review.

Clive Stafford-Smith, Mr Mohamed’s lawyer, offered to supply the Attorney General with his files of evidence in December, but he has heard nothing back. He condemned the government’s attitude to the documents as “an attempt to define as classified that which is merely political embarrassing”.

He expects Mr Mohamed, who is currently on hunger strike, finally to be sent home from Guantanamo this week.

Despite the criticism of the government’s stance, intelligence sources have revealed that there was a second, legitimate, reason for doing as the US government asked in restricting the material published: MI5 is more dependent than ever on the CIA for help in monitoring the 2,000 terrorist suspects in the UK.

The CIA is now running a large network of its own informers in the British Pakistani community. Their information has helped thwart terrorist attacks in the UK and locate senior al-Qaeda operatives abroad.

The US has stepped up intelligence gathering in the UK to such an extent over the last 18 months that one in four CIA operations designed to prevent a repeat of the 9/11 attacks on the US homeland is now conducted against targets in the UK.

The Israeli Torture Template

The Israeli Torture Template

Rape, Feces and Urine-Dipped Cloth Sacks

By WAYNE MADSEN

With mounting evidence that a shadowy group of former Israeli Defense Force and General Security Service (Shin Bet) Arabic-speaking interrogators were hired by the Pentagon under a classified “carve out” sub-contract to brutally interrogate Iraqi prisoners at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison, one only needs to examine the record of abuse of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners in Israel to understand what Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld meant, when referring to new, yet to be released photos and videos, he said, “if these images are released to the public, obviously its going to make matters worse.”

According to a political appointee within the Bush administration and U.S. intelligence sources, the interrogators at Abu Ghraib included a number of Arabic-speaking Israelis who also helped U.S. interrogators develop the “R2I” (Resistance to Interrogation) techniques. Many of the torture methods were developed by the Israelis over many years of interrogating Arab prisoners on the occupied West Bank and in Israel itself.

Clues about worse photos and videos of abuse may be found in Israeli files about similar abuse of Palestinian and other Arab prisoners. In March 2000, a lawyer for a Lebanese prisoner kidnapped in 1994 by the Israelis in Lebanon claimed that his client had been subjected to torture, including rape. The type of compensation offered by Rumsfeld in his testimony has its roots in cases of Israeli torture of Arabs. In the case of the Lebanese man, said to have been raped by his Israeli captors, his lawyer demanded compensation of $1.47 million. The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel documented the types of torture meted out on Arab prisoners. Many of the tactics coincide with those contained in the Taguba report: beatings and prolonged periods handcuffed to furniture. In an article in the December 1998 issue of The Progressive, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb reported on the treatment given to a 23-year old Palestinian held on “administrative detention.” The prisoner was “cuffed behind a chair 17 hours a day for 120 days . . . [he] had his head covered with a sack, which was often dipped in urine or feces. Guards played loud music right next to his ears and frequently taunted him with threats of physical and sexual violence.” If additional photos and videos document such practices, the Bush administration and the American people have, indeed, “seen nothing yet.”

Although it is still largely undocumented if any of the contractor named in the report of General Antonio Taguba were associated with the Israeli military or intelligence services, it is noteworthy that one, John Israel, who was identified in the report as being employed by both CACI International of Arlington, Virginia, and Titan, Inc., of San Diego, may not have even been a U.S. citizen. The Taguba report states that Israel did not have a security clearance, a requirement for employment as an interrogator for CACI. According to CACI’s web site, “a Top Secret Clearance (TS) that is current and US citizenship” are required for CACI interrogators working in Iraq. In addition, CACI requires that its interrogators “have at least two years experience as a military policeman or similar type of law enforcement/intelligence agency whereby the individual utilized interviewing techniques.”

Speculation that “John Israel” may be an intelligence cover name has fueled speculation whether this individual could have been one of a number of Israeli interrogators hired under a classified contract. Because U.S. citizenship and documentation thereof are requirements for a U.S. security clearance, Israeli citizens would not be permitted to hold a Top Secret clearance. However, dual U.S.-Israeli citizens could have satisfied Pentagon requirements that interrogators hold U.S. citizenship and a Top Secret clearance. Although the Taguba report refers twice to Israel as an employee of Titan, the company claims he is one of their sub-contractors. CACI stated that one of the men listed in the report “is not and never has been a CACI employee” without providing more detail. A U.S. intelligence source revealed that in the world of intelligence “carve out” subcontracts such confusion is often the case with “plausible deniability” being a foremost concern.

In fact, the Taguba report does reference the presence of non-U.S. and non-Iraqi interrogators at Abu Ghraib. The report states, “In general, US civilian contract personnel (Titan Corporation, CACI, etc), third country nationals, and local contractors do not appear to be properly supervised within the detention facility at Abu Ghraib.”

The Pentagon is clearly concerned about the outing of the Taguba report and its references to CACI, Titan, and third country nationals, which could permanently damage U.S. relations with Arab and Islamic nations. The Pentagon’s angst may explain why the Taguba report is classified Secret No Foreign Dissemination.

The leak of the Taguba report was so radioactive, Daniel R. Dunn, the Information Assurance Officer for Douglas Feith’s Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Policy (Policy Automation Services Security Team), sent a May 6, 2004, For Official Use Only Urgent E-mail to Pentagon staffers stating, “THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT IS CLASSIFIED; DO NOT GO TO FOX NEWS TO READ OR OBTAIN A COPY.” Considering Feith’s close ties to the Israelis, such a reaction by his top computer security officer, a Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), is understandable, although considering the fact that CISSPs are to act on behalf of the public good, it is also regrettable..

The reference to “third country nationals” in a report that restricts its dissemination to U.S. coalition partners (Great Britain, Poland, Italy, etc.) is another indication of the possible involvement of Israelis in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners. Knowledge that the U.S. may have been using Israeli interrogators could have severely fractured the Bush administration’s tenuous “coalition of the willing’ in Iraq. General Taguba’s findings were transmitted to the Coalition Forces Land Component Command on March 9, 2004, just six days before the Spanish general election, one that the opposition anti-Iraq war Socialists won. The Spanish ultimately withdrew their forces from Iraq.

During his testimony before the Senate Armed Service Committee, Rumsfeld was pressed upon by Senator John McCain about the role of the private contractors in the interrogations and abuse. McCain asked Rumsfeld four pertinent questions, “. . . who was in charge? What agency or private contractor was in charge of the interrogations? Did they have authority over the guards? And what were the instructions that they gave to the guards?”

When Rumsfeld had problems answering McCain’s question, Lt. Gen. Lance Smith, the Deputy Commander of the U.S. Central Command, said there were 37 contract interrogators used in Abu Ghraib. The two named contractors, CACI and Titan, have close ties to the Israeli military and technology communities. Last January 14, after Provost Marshal General of the Army, Major General Donald Ryder, had already uncovered abuse at Abu Ghraib, CACI’s President and CEO, Dr. J.P. (Jack) London was receiving the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah’s Albert Einstein Technology award at the Jerusalem City Hall, with right-wing Likud politician Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski in attendance. Oddly, CACI waited until February 2 to publicly announce the award in a press release. CACI has also received grants from U.S.-Israeli bi-national foundations.

Titan also has had close connections to Israeli interests. After his stint as CIA Director, James Woolsey served as a Titan director. Woolsey is an architect of America’s Iraq policy and the chief proponent of and lobbyist for Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress. An adviser to the neo-conservative Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs, Project for the New American Century, Center for Security Policy, Freedom House, and Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, Woolsey is close to Stephen Cambone, the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, a key person in the chain of command who would have not only known about the torture tactics used by U.S. and Israeli interrogators in Iraq but who would have also approved them. Cambone was associated with the Project for the New American Century and is viewed as a member of Rumsfeld’s neo-conservative “cabal” within the Pentagon.

Another person considered by Pentagon insiders to have been knowledgeable about the treatment of Iraqi prisoners is U.S. Army Col. Steven Bucci, a Green Beret and Rumsfeld’s military assistant and chief traffic cop for the information flow to the Defense Secretary. According to Pentagon insiders, Bucci was involved in the direction of a special covert operations unit composed of former U.S. special operations personnel who answered to the Pentagon rather than the CIA’s Special Activities Division, the agency’s own paramilitary group. The Pentagon group included Arabic linguists and former members of the Green Berets and Delta Force who operated covertly in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan. Titan also uses linguists trained in the languages (Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, and Tajik) of those same countries. It is not known if a link exists between Rumsfeld’s covert operations unit and Titan’s covert operations linguists.

Another Titan employee named in the Taguba report is Adel L. Nakhla. Nakhla is a name common among Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, however, it is not known if Adel Nakhla is either an Egyptian-American or a national of Egypt. A CACI employee identified in the report, Steven Stephanowicz, is referred to as “Stefanowicz” in a number of articles on the prison abuse. Stefanowicz is the spelling used by Joe Ryan, another CACI employee assigned with Stefanowicz to Abu Ghraib. Ryan is a radio personality on KSTP, a conservative radio station in Minneapolis, who maintained a daily log of his activities in Iraq on the radio’s web site before it was taken down. Ryan indicated that Stefanowicz (or Stephanowicz) continued to hold his interrogation job in Iraq even though General Taguba recommended he lose his security clearance and be terminated for the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

In an even more bizarre twist, the Philadelphia Daily News identified a former expatriate public relations specialist for the government of South Australia in Adelaide named Steve Stefanowicz as possibly being the same person identified in the Taguba report. In 2000, Stefanowicz, who grew up in the Philadelphia and Allentown areas, left for Australia. On September 16, 2001, he was quoted by the Sunday Mail of Adelaide on the 911 attacks. He said of the attacks, “It was one of the most incredible and most devastating things I have ever seen. I have been in constant contact with my family and friends in the US and the mood was very solemn and quiet. But this is progressing into anger.” Stefanowicz returned to the United States and volunteered for the Navy in a reserve status. His mother told the Allentown Morning Call in April 2002 that Stefanowicz was stationed somewhere in the Middle East but did not know where because of what Stefanowicz said was “security concerns.” His mother told the Philadelphia Daily News that her son was in Iraq but she knew nothing about his current status.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He served in the National Security Agency (NSA) during the Reagan administration and wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth. He is the co-author, with John Stanton, of “America’s Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II.” His forthcoming book is titled: “Jaded Tasks: Big Oil, Black Ops, and Brass Plates.”

Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com

Jews tell Vatican: Holocaust denial is a crime

Jews tell Vatican: Holocaust denial is a crime

By Philip Pullella
Bishop Richard Williamson is pictured at Frankfurt airport in this February 28, Reuters – Bishop Richard Williamson is pictured at Frankfurt airport in this February 28, 2007 file photo. (Jens …

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – World Jewish leaders told Vatican officials that denying the Holocaust was “not an opinion but a crime” when they met on Monday to discuss a bishop they accuse of being anti-Semitic.

The meetings, the first since the controversy over Bishop Richard Williamson, who denies the extent of the Holocaust, began last month, took place three days before Pope Benedict is due to address a group of American Jewish leaders.

Williamson told Swedish television in an interview broadcast in January: “I believe there were no gas chambers.” He said no more than 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, rather than the 6 million accepted by most historians.

“Today we strongly reaffirmed that the denial of the Shoah is not an opinion, but a crime,” said Richard Prasquier, president of the French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, using the Hebrew word for Holocaust.

Prasquier and Maram Stern, deputy secretary of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), held talks with Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Vatican office that handles religious relations with Jews.

“We want the Vatican to realize that by accommodating anti-Semites like Williamson, the achievements of four decades of Catholic-Jewish dialogue … will be put into doubt,” WJC President Ronald Lauder said in a statement.

“We now believe that our message has been understood. The controversial debate of the past three weeks has had a positive impact,” said Lauder, who did not attend the meetings.

Catholic-Jewish relations have been extremely tense since January 24, when Benedict lifted excommunications of four renegade traditionalist bishops, including Williamson, in an attempt to heal a schism that began in 1988 when they were ordained without Vatican permission.

Among those who have condemned Williamson and the pope’s decision are Holocaust survivors, progressive Catholics, U.S. legislators, Israeli leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Jewish writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

A Church source said Israel’s Chief Rabbinate, which had pulled out of dialogue, has decided to resume talks and will come to the Vatican either in late February or mid-March.

The Vatican has ordered Williamson to publicly recant his position. Over the weekend, traditionalist leaders said he had been removed as head of a seminary in Argentina.

Germany’s Spiegel magazine on Saturday quoted Williamson as saying he first had to review historical evidence on the Holocaust before considering an apology to Jews.

“I ask everyone to believe me that I did not deliberately say something false. I was, on the basis of my research in the 1980s, convinced of the accuracy of my comments. Now I must examine everything again and look at the evidence,” he said.

Williamson failed in a bid on Monday to get an injunction from a German court on the broadcasting of his views on television and the internet.

“There are no valid infringements of his rights,” said the Nuremberg-Fuerth court in southern Germany.

Williamson is part of the ultra-traditionalist Society of St Pius X (SSPX), which does not accept all the teachings of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council. It repudiated the concept of collective Jewish guilt for Christ’s death and urged dialogue with other religions.

The Vatican has said the SSPX must accept all Council teachings before they can be fully re-admitted into the Church.

Older Article Reveals Plan to Re-plant the US Hitman Dahlan and Abbas in Gaza, Riding In On Israeli Tanks

Egypt’s Intelligence head Suleiman: “Nobody in the Arab World can Afford to say NO to Egypt!”

This article, which I only found yesterday, thanks to my friend Susanne, is slightly dated by a few weeks, but it is an absolutely astonishing document revealing the behind-the-scenes goings on prior to the current cease-fire in Gaza. Italian journalists of Arabmonitor, the first portal of the Arab World in Italy, have interviewed several of the key players who reveal steps Egypt has taken to block Turkey’s efforts at obtaining a ceasefire, their pressure on Hamas to “declare defeat”, the training of special troops of Dahlan in Egypt for a re-entry into Gaza, and the elation that Abu Mazen felt at the news of the assassinatin of Saed Siyam . Shocking reading….

THE EGYPTIAN NEGOTIATOR SHOUTED AT THE REPRESENTATIVES OF HAMAS: NOBODY IN THE ARAB WORLD CAN AFFORD TO SAY NO TO EGYPT
Damascus, January – The high-level representative of Hamas we had the opportunity to talk to chose to remain anonymous, considering the delicacy of the statements he had to make. With but a few hours into the assassination of Saed Siyam in the Gaza Strip and with equally short time left before the opening of the Arab-Islamic summit hosted by the Emir of Qatar, our interlocutor had been granted only two hours of sleep the previous night and his red-veined, deeply sunken eyeballs tell it all. He reveals to us that it’s not Egypt who is actually negotiating the terms of a cease-fire for Gaza, but Turkey: at least, as far as the demands from the Islamic resistance are concerned.
That is how we get to know that what the delegates of Hamas obtained from Egypt was not a draft for a cease-fire proposal, but a dictate: a lull in fighting for an initial two-weeks period, in order to allow for humanitarian aid to be distributed in the Gaza Strip and during which the terms for a durable long-term cease-fire would be negotiated. Cairo would actually opt for a twenty-years truce, but surely for nothing less than a fifteen-years duration of it, demanding at the same time the resistance to sign up on an unconditional defeat, to renounce armed struggle and refrain from military training for its members, as well as from producing and importing weapons.During the short-term lull, the two-weeks halt of fire, there would be no opening of border crossings and even humanitarian aid allowed to pass into the Gaza Strip would do so at the discretion of Egypt and Israel.

“We thanked them, but explained that it was unacceptable. General Suleiman (head of the Egyptian intelligence) was furious and shouted: Nobody in the Arab world can afford to say no to Egypt”.

To describe the kind of game Cairo had been playing from early on in the run-up towards the Israeli aggression (starting 27 December), our interlocutor told us that on 26 December the Egyptians asked Hamas to “raise the white flag”, to declare defeat “and then we (the Egyptians) will intervene with the Israelis to guarantee your personal safety”. In any case, during this talk, which took place in the presence of some of Suleiman’s aides, the Egyptian interlocutors assured the Palestinians they had received guarantees from Israel that no military attack against Gaza was on the time-table. “In these three weeks of war there were days in which for periods of up to 48 hours they denied any passage through the Rafah crossing, even to gas canisters urgently needed by the surgical wards of Gaza hospitals.

That’s not all: since about ten days 400 of Mohammad Dahlan’s men (the former strongman of Fatah, the USA and Israel in the Gaza Strip) are guests hosted at an Egyptian military centre in al-Arish (provincial capital of Sinai), where they are being trained by Egyptians”. The plan is for these 400 to return to the Gaza Strip, if not on the back of Israeli tanks, then with the support from Egypt.

In recent days the waters of the Nile began to look very troubled, because Egypt did not appreciate at all the efforts of the Turkish delegation to mediate the terms of a cease-fire. General Suleiman initially even prevented the Turks from meeting the representatives of Hamas, demanding that he himself act as messenger between the two delegations. At a certain point, Ahmed Davotouglu, the senior advisor of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, ran out of patience and the Turkish delegation from Ankara obtained permission to access the Palestinians.

“The Turks went ahead with a quite pragmatic approach. They held out to Suleiman that the Egyptian proposal was, realistically speaking, unacceptable for us and came forward with ideas that would contain guarantees for us as well as for the Israelis. For instance, they proposed to establish a presence of international monitors directly at the crossings, in joint venture with Palestinian forces from the Authority in Gaza, who at the Rafah crossing ­ but only at the Rafah crossing ­ could also consist of a a mixed forces, that is, those of the Palestinian National Authority in addition to our own. According to the Turkish proposal, the international presence would be different from the one set up by the European Union at the Rafah crossing years ago, which practically implemented orders given by Israel through remote control by monitors. According to the new proposal, the forces at the border crossings would act as an independent authority. And again it were the Turks who proposed a time-table of possibly one year for the duration of the cease-fire. We consider Turkey a partner with whom to negotiate, because it has shown much realism”.

Among the key conditions proposed by the Palestinian Islamic resistance movement for a cease-fire there is the demand for a complete and definitive halt of the Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip, the immediate withdrawal of the invasion troops, who “could withdraw within two hours”, but whose evacuation should be accomplished latest within a couple of days, an end of the siege imposed on the area and the opening of all crossings, foremost of the Rafah crossing with Egypt.

We asked our talks partner to give us his evaluation of Abu Mazen’s performance during the present crisis. “Listen, shortly after the outbreak of the Israeli aggression he was called up on telephone by the Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad Ramadan Shallah (who lives in Syria, in exile), asking him to make a gesture and to call Ismail Haniye in Gaza, to find out what was going on. Abu Mazen rejected the plea. We know from absolutely trustworthy sources that yesterday, when news reached them at the Moqata (Abu Mazen’s seat at Ramallah) that Saed Siyam had been killed, the political leaders present, among them Abu Mazen, congratulated themselves and handed out sweets. What could I ever say, at this point?”.

Abu Mazen’s term as President of the Palestinian National Authority has expired on 9 January. “Yes, but given the current circumstances, we don’t want to create additional problems and prefer to suspend the issue until after the end of the war against Gaza, following which, last not least, we must address the task of reconstruction in Gaza”.

Our interlocutor told us that last year, ahead of the Arab League summit in Damascus, Egypt had tried by every means to persuade Palestinian Authority President to boycott the meeting, but Abu Mazen responded: “If I don’t go there, my seat will be occupied by Khaled Meshaal (head of the Political Office of Hamas)”, which was the reason why he went to Damascus (at the recent Arab-Islamic emergency meeting in Doha, from which he remained absent, the seat for the leader representing the Palestinians was indeed occupied by Meshaal).

The Europeans also, who in public always took care to present themselves as “virtuous” in avoiding any contact with Hamas, during the past weeks held more than once talks with the Palestinian Islamic Resistance. “Some of them approached us to express their negative feelings over the fact that we, according to them, refused to abide by the existing cease-fire. When we pointed out to them, that is was in fact Israel who violated the cease-fire by refusing to lift the siege on the Gaza Strip, these countries slipped away.

However, three European countries kept the lines open and we are still in contact with them. They offered their help to find a way out of the crisis. I can’t tell you the names of two of them, only that they are European Union members, one of them a leading power, and the other one driven by an ambitious policy. The third one to offer us their help is Norway”.

Nevertheless, on the American front some interesting developments are coming up. Daniel Kurtzer, former US Ambassador to Israel, who is quite close to Barack Obama’s team, has met twice “as a private citizen” with Hamas leaders. His aim was to “pick up ideas”. The two talks took place in spring 2008 and then again last November, following Obama’s electoral victory. And then, how could we fail to recall that former US President Jimmy Carter had asked for a personal encounter with Khaled Meshal, and with other figures from the Hamas leadership, in April last year as well as in November.

source:

Chavez Government Attempts to Put Blame on Jews For Attack on Venezuelan Synagogue The Venezuelan government arrested 11 suspects in the attack on the Caracas synagogue over the weekend, but in a press conference on Monday, Interior and Justice Minister El Aissami tried to put the blame on the Jews themselves.

Chavez Government Attempts to Put Blame on Jews For Attack on Venezuelan Synagogue

The Venezuelan government arrested 11 suspects in the attack on the Caracas synagogue over the weekend, but in a press conference on Monday, Interior and Justice Minister El Aissami tried to put the blame on the Jews themselves.

By Jeremy Morgan
Latin American Herald Tribune staff

CARACAS – President Hugo Chávez’ government would appear to be totally intent on depicting the recent attack on a synagogue in the Venezuelan capital as a deliberately self-inflicted act aimed at discrediting the regime.

The idea that the attack and occupation of the synagogue was some sort of owngoal-on-purpose has been hanging in the air for some days, and has now been given the official seal of approval by Interior and Justice Minister tarek El Aissami.

On Monday, the minister announced that 11 people including seven police officers and four civilians – two of whom were said to be “common criminals” – had been arrested in connection with the attack on the synagogue in the Maripérez district of Caracas.

All the suspects have been named, including Víctor Eduardo Escalona Lovera. The minister described him as the security chief at the synagogue and bodyguard of the rabbi – and, he alleged, had “directed” the armed assault on the building.

It was also revealed that Escalona Lovera was an officer in the Metropolitan Police force. The six other police suspects include five other officers of the Metropolitan Police, a deputy inspector from the PoliCaracas force in the Libertador municipality in west Caracas and a female detective from the homicide squad at the scientific and investigative police, Cicpc.

El Aissami then went on to say that the results reinforce the hypothesis of internal complicity as the chief of this band of security personnel met the rabbi of this synagogue until December 2008.

El Aissami explained that this officer was well aware of Metropolitan Police operations and the internal structure of the synagogue, as well as the points where the security devices were located in the temple.

With this in mind, El Aissami reiterated that “the complicity of one of the guards, who facilitated the operation led by the rabbi’s bodyguard, was one of the determining factors for the commission of this crime.”

Here are the names of the 11 men arrested: Alexander Edgar Cordero, Soledad Torres Muñoz Yadira Charles Angelo de Jesus, Luis Eduardo Castillo Guerrero, Francisco José Pérez Díaz, José Mejias Milla Alonso, Víctor Eduardo Escalona Lobera (security head of the temple), Rafael Enrique Colina Mogollón Orlando Perez and Jose Diaz, the latter two being identified as common criminals.

The synagogue was forcibly entered by a group of 15 individuals carrying firearms late at night on January 30. They then occupied the building for the following four hours, inflicting a degree of damage on the interior and exterior of the building, mostly involving paint spraying.

A newspaper report late last week quoted unidentified investigators as having said that religious icons including the Torah (Jewish Bible) were left unscathed. These details have been held up to support the argument that the attack was carried out by members of the Jewish faith. The attackers left behind no indication of their religious or political orientation, and nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.
The assailants left before dawn the next day. Ever since, there have been persistent questions about how they could have gotten away from the scene of the crime after spending so much time inside the building.

El Aissami and the government have been under pressure to produce results in the investigation of the case, amid suspicions that some of president’s hard line supporters may have been responsible.

The attack on the synagogue came after Chávez directed harshly worded criticism against Israel for its recent military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Late last week, a newspaper report cited unidentified “investigators” as “not ruling out” a “self-attack” on the synagogue.

Leading Venezuelan Rabbi Pynchas Brener expressed his surprise that the government would try to blame the Jews for these attacks. “Jews feel that these are anti-Semitic expressions equal to the attacks upon Jews that have taken place over the centuries claiming that Jews are kidnapping children and using their blood for Passover Mass,” Brener told the Latin American Herald Tribune. “It is simply not true.”
The minister declined to say whether any of the suspects were linked with the opposition, but said there were indications that other people had been involved in the incident.

Faced with the suspicion that the attack involved hard line supporters of the president, El Aissami declared there was “nothing more distant from being a revolucionary than he who generates violence, that with irrationality tries to impose his arguments.”

The minister reiterated the government’s earlier insistence that violence instigated for racial or religious reasons would not be tolerated.

That said, a virulently anti-Israeli statement worded in language that can only be described as fascistic recently appeared on a website described as one of “major importance” to the president’s supporters or chavistas.

The statement was posted, apparently on January 21 this year, in the name of an individual identifiying himself as Emilio Silva, who claimed to be a Professor at UBV, the Bolivarian University of Venezuela founded by Chavez in 2003 on Apporea.com, the leading website of Chavez supporters. (www.apporea.org/ddhh/a70960.html was the exact address, but it has since been removed). This spoke of the “savageries of the Zionist Jews” and noted that “two Jewish citizens occupy high positions” at the national telecommunications commission, Conatel.

It went on to describe Salomón Cohen, proprietor of the Sambil chain of shopping malls – including an almost completed project in downtown Caracas that Chávez has announced he’s expropriating – as “this imbecile.”

Multinationals “linked with the Zionist regime in Israel” should be shunned, the statement continued, going on to name a string of some of the biggest names best known to Venezuela’s army of avid consumers.

Then the statement went further: Businesses belonging to “Zionist Jews” or which backed the “Nazifascit” Jewish state should be confiscated. Jews should be obliged in public to proclaim in favor of Palestine, and Jewish officials should be weeded out of state jobs, it added.

The state intelligence agencies were urged in the statement to detect “hidden agents of Mossad” – the Israeli intelligence network – and members of non-governmental organizations who had received advice or financing from the “artificial state of Israel.”

Also singled out for action by the statement were “squalid students at private and autonomous universities” – “escaulido” has long been the president’s pet epithet for middle class or upper income people who don’t happen to agree with him.

Departing from the domestic scene, the statement called for an international conference to confront the “Eurogringo genocidal colony of Israel” and for Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the Venezuelan terrorist more commonly known as Carlos The Jackal who is jailed in France, to be freed “without condition.”

More seriously, former Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel in his regular column under his “Marciano” byline wrote an article last week accusing opposition leaders Yon Goicochea, Antonio Ledezma and Henrique Capriles of being a “Satanic Trio” having the backing of Mossad and setting up an intelligence network to destabilize the Government with Mossad’s help.

“Many in the Jewish community feel that the climate of confrontation in the country — the discrediting of Israel, the breaking of relations with Israel, the expelling of the Ambassador of Israel — has created a hostile environment against Jews in the country,” leading Venezuelan Rabbi Brener told the Latin American Herald Tribune. “Venezuelans do not differ between Jews and Israelis, and the aggressive and conflictive environment that the government’s statements create — equating Zionism with racism, for example — permit these kind of things to happen. Regrettably, this is not an isolated event.”

Tribal leaders demand end to military operation

Tribal leaders demand end to military operation

Staff Report

PESHAWAR: Jamaat-e-Islami’s (JI) three-day protest camp ended on Monday with tribal leaders demanding an end to military operation and withdrawal of army from the tribal areas.

The protest camp set up in front of the Peshawar Press Club began on February 7. A large number of affected people belonging to Waziristan, Bajaur, Mohmand and other tribal agencies participated in the camp that was visited by a number of political leaders, civil society organisations and people from various segments of society.

Former JI Member of the National Assembly (JI) Haroonur Rashid told Daily Times “barbaric operation” had been continuing in Swat, Bajaur, Mohmand and other tribal areas for a longtime, causing killing of innocent people and severe damage to public places, madaris, schools, bazaars, houses and infrastructure.

The JI leader said thousands of innocent people including women and children had been killed and as many wounded. “Around one million people from troubled areas have left their homes for safe places,” he said. The former MNA said the aim of the protest camp was to make the rulers realise that the present policy was a disaster for the country.

“The rulers are pleasing America and this policy in not in the country’s interest. It’s a disaster for the country and the nation,” he said.

Haroon said tribal people were patriotic citizens of Pakistan and rendered numerous sacrifices for the country, particularly in the Kashmir freedom movement. The JI leader said a new operation would be launched in Bajaur from tomorrow (today). Haroon demanded the government stop military operation in all troubled areas and implement the parliament resolution against terrorism. “The government should change its pro-US policy, withdraw army from troubled areas and compensate affected people,” he said.

Zar Noor Afridi, JI FATA general secretary, said about 10,000 tribal people including innocent children had so far been killed, 18,000 wounded, over one million left their homes and around 15,000 houses had been destroyed. “We want an end to this cruel operation and withdrawal of army from Swat and all tribal agencies,” said Afridi. Afridi demanded the government restore peace in affected areas to enable internally displaced persons (IDPs) to return to their homes.

Most IDPs complained about what they called “inhuman treatment” by Peshawar’s Katcha Garhi camp administration towards the IDPs and demanded the government take action.

Afghan military copters violate airspace in N. Waziristan

Afghan military copters violate airspace in N. Waziristan

By Our Correspondent
MIRAMSHAH, Feb 9: Two military helicopters violated Pakistan’s airspace and hovered over the border town of Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan on Monday morning.

Officials said the helicopters which had come from the direction of Afghanistan’s Khost province flew at a high altitude for about 20 minutes.

Local people reported seeing four unmanned spy planes which flew over the area about the whole day.

Meanwhile, an Afghan national was killed in Shera Tala area of Speen Wam subdivision on Monday on charge of being a US spy.

According to AFP, the bullet-riddled body of 30-year-old Islamuddin was found dumped by the road in the area, 40 kilometres north of Miramshah.

The man, who was kidnapped two weeks ago, had multiple bullet wounds on his body, local police official Mehboob Khan said.

A note found on the body said he was “spying for the US,” the official said.

Iran may give India access to Afghanistan

Iran may give India access to Afghanistan



NEW DELHI: Iran on Monday said India could soon have a sea-cum-land route that would give Indian goods access to Afghanistan and further on to Central Asian countries, bypassing Pakistan.

Tehran also said that as a friend of both Pakistan and India, it would “have to play a role” in reducing tensions between the two countries and ensure that differences over the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline are overcome.

Speaking to journalists here, Iran’s Ambassador in India Syed Mahdi Nabizadeh said Iran was attempting to make its Chabar port viable by declaring it a free trade zone and improving the logistical infrastructure. A road or rail line from the port could take Indian goods to the Afghan border.

From there, a 217-km India-built road from the Afghan border town of Zaranj will provide the last-mile connectivity to Delaram located on the “garland highway” of Afghanistan which connects most of its major cities, including Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif and Kunduz. Some of the offshoots of this road, also called the North-South corridor, go into Central Asia.

The link would also give Iran an all-weather access into Afghanistan . As the Iranian Ambassador noted, “Both India and Iran have tried to help in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. However, elements in Afghanistan tried to deny Iran a role in the reconstruction. But we were able to provide useful help in the construction of infrastructure and other important facilities. Our help in the form of manpower and construction material was also instrumental in the construction of the Zaranj-Delaram road.”

Observing that neighbours should tolerate each other, Mr. Nabizadeh said Iran held the view that the presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan would not be able to establish peace and security in the country.

On the IPI gas pipeline, he felt the project would materialise. “Though there is the issue of security in between, we believe it can be removed by trilateral agreements and dialogue.” Iran’s agreement with Pakistan has been framed in such a way that India could join it in future. “But we hope the delay will not be so long that there is no room for India. We believe the implementation of the project will help in the establishment of security in the region.”

Balkans: Staging Ground For NATO’s Post-Cold War Order

Balkans: Staging Ground For NATO’s Post-Cold War Order

The world hasn’t begun to recover from the events of 1991, a true annus terribilis whose watershed nature was insufficiently appreciated at the time and has been practically ignored since.

The year initiated the first attempt in history to enforce worldwide military, political, economic and cultural unipolarity; the advent in earnest of neoliberalism with all the devastating economic and social consequences it has wrought since then; the genesis of US-led and Western-supported air, ground, counterinsurgency and proxy wars against defenseless targets from the Middle East to the Balkans, South Asia to Africa.

The major political events of the year were three:

1. The Operation Desert Storm war against Iraq and the inauguration of US-engineered gratuitous wars of convenience waged under the auspices of self-designated coalitions of the willing – major NATO powers and whichever client states could be bribed or bullied into providing false plumage for the alias adopted then and ever after, the “international community” – as often as not impersonating the United Nations or even more presumptuously humanity.

2. The seemingly instantaneous breakup of the Soviet Union into its fifteen constituent federal republics.

3. The beginning of the fragmentation of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with the largely German-instigated secession of, first, Croatia and Slovenia, and then Macedonia.

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, Europe saw the end of the only two simultaneous multi-ethnic and multi-confessional federated nations in Europe, leaving only Serbia and Russia (meaningfully) now in that category.

With these two concomitant dismemberments, 1991 also issued in the demolition of the edifice of the entire post-World War I and -World War II system of international relations which had often been observed even in the breach, with the main institutional manifestation of the second, the United Nations, undermined and supplanted, and the confirmation and codification of the post-World War II definition of state-to-state principles in Europe, the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, torn to shreds.

The Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe (Helsinki) Final Act of August 1, 1975 states in its section on Inviolability of frontiers that:

“The participating States regard as inviolable all one another’s frontiers as well as the frontiers of all States in Europe and therefore they will refrain now and in the future from assaulting these frontiers.

“Accordingly, they will also refrain from any demand for, or act of, seizure and usurpation of part or all of the territory of any participating State.”

In its statement on Territorial integrity of States the Final Act adds:

“The participating States will respect the territorial integrity of each of the participating States.

“Accordingly, they will refrain from any action inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations against the territorial integrity, political independence or the unity of any participating State, and in particular from any such action constituting a threat or use of force.”

Strongly implicit in the above principles is the acknowledgment that national borders in Europe as decided upon at the 1945 Yalta and Potsdam conferences and confirmed in the United Nations at its founding in 1945, however imperfect in various respects, were inviolable and all the signatories to the Helsinki Final Act – including the US and all its NATO allies – committed themselves to the irrefragable territorial integrity of all European nations as constituted after the end of the world’s most deadly and devastating war, one caused by the last attempt to redraw borders in Europe and Asia.

There are now nineteen nations in Europe (including the South Caucasus) that could not be found on a map at the time of the Helsinki Final Act: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Germany (united), Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, and one aborted pseudo-state, Kosovo.

All but reunified Germany (itself only two years old at the time) didn’t exist until 1991 and many are nations that never were independent countries until that year.

If Operation Desert Storm was the opening act in defining the Post-Cold War new American and NATO order, and the breakup of the Soviet Union allowed for its full implementation and the launching of a new Eurasian Great Game from the Baltic to the Black and from the Black to the Caspian seas, Yugoslavia and its former republics would be the main laboratory for the post-post-Yalta and post-Helsinki world.

In reference to the Balkans wars of the 1990s, the aftermath of which alone will be dealt with here, suffice it to say that a veritable mountain range of selective hyperbole, inverted logic, puerile bromides, the attribution of collective and exclusive guilt to one party (the Serbs), the ‘clairvoyant’ ascription of evil motives to only one of the belligerents (again the Serbs, at almost all times to almost all Serbs), ad nauseam, the popularized distillation of them has been summed up by most all Western commentators with two cliched chestnuts: Yugoslavia broke up because of a mythic Greater Serbia project and former and late Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic “started and lost four wars.”

Parroting the last two inanities is all that’s required to pass muster as a Balkans expert in most circles in the West and much of the rest of the world.

Starting in the summer of 1991 this writer asserted that the entire compendium of such received prejudices could be refuted, could be demolished, with one word: Macedonia.

The events in Macedonia at that time are a subject fairly begging for book-length examination and analysis, but this synopsis will due for now:

Following the NATO takeover of the Serbian province of Kosovo in June of 1999, with their so-called Kosovo Liberation Army allies in tow, the latter almost immediately metastasized into similar armed formations in South Serbia (Liberation Army of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja) and Macedonia (National Liberation Army) as well as suspected offshoots in Montenegro and northeasten Greece (Epirus).

The NLA of Ali Ahmeti, also a founder of the KLA, launched murderous attacks inside Macedonia from its bases in NATO-occupied Kosovo, at times marching right past American Kosovo Protection Corps (KFOR) troops, even dragging artillery with them as they did so. Macedonia was in the opening stages of a full-fledged civil war instigated from neighboring Kosovo.

While then NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson initially referred to the NLA invaders as “murderous thugs,” NATO, the US and the EU threatened the Macedonian government into signing the Ohrid Framework Agreement on August 13, which legitimized the NLA, brought it into the national parliament as a political party (under a different name) and even installed Ahmeti as a cabinet minister in the federal government.

The above is detailed for two reasons: There is only a negligible Serbian minority in Macedonia and at the time former Yugoslav president Milosevic was languishing in a prison cell in the Hague, where he had been taken after being illegally whisked away from Belgrade in a NATO helicopter.

Remember the Western mantra: Serbian nationalism and Sloboban Milosevic were culpable for all unrest and violence in former Yugoslavia.

Having unleashed the prototype of the now infamous ‘color revolutions’ that have since afflicted Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Lebanon and toppled the government of Slobodan Milosevic in the autumn of 2000, the US and NATO now had governments installed in all six former Yugoslav federal republics that would permit what the Rambouillet Appendix B ultimatum to Yugoslavia ten years ago had aimed at, the rejection of which by Belgrade had been used by NATO for its 78-day bombing war against Yugoslavia the same year, particularly this provision:

“NATO personnel shall enjoy, together with their vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment, free and unrestricted passage and unimpeded access throughout the FRY [Federal Republic of Yugoslavia] including associated airspace and territorial waters. This shall include, but not be limited to, the right of bivouac, maneuver, billet, and utilization of any areas or facilities as required for support, training, and operations.”

What has occurred in the interim incontrovertibly reveals what was hidden behind the mask of NATO’s ‘humanitarian intervention,’ replete with cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions, graphite weapons and terror bombing, arming and training racist pogromists for ethnocide and murder, demolishing bridges, factories, broadcasting stations and the Chinese embassy in Belgrade: To turn the Balkans into a permanent military colony for the subjugation of the region and for the expansion of NATO to points east and south, along its new silk route to the Chinese border and throughout the so-called Broader Middle East and into Africa.

In the seminal and near-prophetic presentation “Why Is NATO In Yugoslavia?” of January of 1996, the late and irreplaceable American scholar Sean Gervasi remarked of NATO’s first military deployment, in Bosnia of the preceding year, that its objectives included a far broader strategy:

“These have to do with an emerging strategy for securing the resources of the Caspian Sea region and for “stabilizing” the countries of Eastern Europe – ultimately for ‘stabilizing’ Russia and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States….Not a few commentators have made the point that Western actions in extending NATO even raise the risks of nuclear conflict….” (The paper is worth reading in its totality at: http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/GER108A.html)

A recent news item offers the latest verification of the claim regarding the current escalation of war in South Asia:

“Navy Captain Kevin Aandahl, spokesman for the US Transportation Command [said] one route could go from the Balkans to …south through Central Asia to Afghanistan.” (Agence France-Presse, February 6, 2009)

NATO’s longstanding plans to transform the Balkans into one large military colony for bases locally, troops for wars further afield and a staging ground for military actions to the east and the south will be explored nation by nation and after that in terms of the general strategy at the end of this article.

The consolidation of US and NATO military integration of the Balkans as a whole, the former Yugoslavia in particular, has proceeded unremittingly and inexorably over the past ten years and is most disturbingly exemplified by recent developments in the world’s newest nation, Montenegro, and the West’s new, less than a year old, “NATO pseudo-state,” Kosovo.

Montenegro declared its unilateral abrogation of the Union of Serbia and Montenegro, itself created from the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 2003, on May 21, 2006.

It is the 192nd and latest state to join the United Nations.

Within seven months, perhaps before it even completed putting its national seal on government stationary, it was absorbed into NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.

Montenegrins themselves were never consulted on the matter:
“Polls have suggested that 70% of Montenegrins would vote against joining NATO if given a chance to do so.

“One of the primary reasons for the citizenry’s resistance to the desires of their political leaders is lingering resentment for the NATO’s intervention in the Balkans in 1999.” (Montenegro Times, April 4, 2008)

Last June NATO’s Norfolk, Virginia-based Allied Command Transformation conducted a Euro-Atlantic Partnership Work Programme (EAPWP) seminar in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica, which was described as being “designed for regional Partnership for Peace (PfP) defence and military officials who are responsible for security and defence policy, strategic planning and execution.

“Partners were introduced to transformational principles for maintaining competitive military advantage over potential adversaries in the 21st
Century….” (NATO International, Allied Command Transformation, June 12, 2008)

Less than two weeks later NATO launched an Intensified Dialogue with Montenegro after “Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ms Dragana Radulovic and Deputy Minister for Defence Mr. Drasko Jovanovic met with NATO’s Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Security Cooperation and Partnership [and for the Caucasus and Central Asia] Robert F. Simmons Jr….”(NATO International, June 25, 2008)

Only five months later, such is the accelerated pace of integration, the US’s and NATO’s long-term man in Podgorica, President Milo Djukanovic, after announcing that he had been assured by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer that ‘NATO is not tired of enlargement,’ “handed over Montenegro’s formal application for NATO’s membership action plan [Individual Partnership Action Plan]…seen as the last step before full membership….” (Associated Press, November 5, 2008)

Less than a month afterward – - note the breathtaking telescoping of time and stages – Montenegro joined Bosnia in being pulled into the Adriatic Charter, which is “a cooperation mechanism initiated by the United States in 2003 [and] consists of Albania, Croatia and Macedonia [which] aims to co-ordinate NATO membership preparations.”(MakFax [Macedonia], December 4, 2008)

Albania and Croatia are slated to be granted full NATO membership at the Alliance’s sixtieth anniversary summit on April 3-4, with Macedonia to follow once the ‘name dispute’ with Greece is settled.

The next, inevitable, step soon followed.

On December 17, 2008 Montenegro’s ambassador to the US, Miodrag Vlahovic, signed a NATO Partnership for Peace Status of Forces Agreement, which establishes terms and conditions for the stationing of NATO nations’, including the US’s, military forces in a partner nation.

The very same day the Montenegrin parliament authorized the first, nominal but precedent setting, military deployment to Afghanistan to serve under NATO’s command.

This is in keeping with the simultaneous withdrawal of troops by fellow Balkans NATO partners – Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Macedonia – from Iraq in December and the announcement that all four would increase their troop commitments in Afghanistan.

On January 27 of the current year a NATO delegation arrived in the capital of Montenegro “for the evaluation of the IPAP [Individual Partnership Action Plan}" just commenced last November, the demands of which are far-reaching enough to include "[C]riteria for NATO and EU membership [including] the significant role of the Directorate for Anticorruption Initiative in drafting anticorruption laws [and a] recently initiated process of drafting the Law on integrity, which is completely a new piece of legislation in Montenegro [and projects] planned in the field of local self-government, public administration and the private sector.”(Government of Montenegro, January 27, 2009)

To be NATOized is to be subordinated in every category, even being dictated to in matters of “local self-government.”

Only days ago Frank Boland, head of NATO’s Defense Policy Planning Directorate, told a Balkans daily “Montenegro could become a NATO member in 2012 given the overall progress the country has made thus far” but that “Montenegro first will have to get rid of its old weapons, which needs to be stored safely and later destroyed. The country also needs to adjust troop training in line with NATO standards.” (MakFax, February 2, 2009)
….
Kosovo, which seceded from Serbia on February 18, 2008, after the mediation of Britain, France, Germany and Italy – the very four nations that ‘mediated’ Nazi Germany’s seizure of the Czech Sudetenland 60 years earlier at Munich – is, almost a full year later, only recognized by 54 of the world’s 192 nations.

It is the site of Camps Bondsteel and Camp Monteith, built after Serbian forces were expelled from the province and the largest overseas US militay installations constructed since the Vietnam War.

The majority of the countries recognizing the illegal secession are NATO members, candidates and partners with an assortment of ‘coalition of the willing’ entities – so far has the stature and influence of the West waned in the past few years – as Belize, Liechtenstein, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Somoa.

Within five months of the US- and NATO-engineered breaking off of the historical heart of Serbia, Kosovo’s prime minister and former KLA commander Hashim Thaci, who then US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright first started grooming as a future head of state in 2000 when she personally squired him around the State Department, United Nations and Democratic Party nominating convention in Los Angeles, delivered himself of the pledge that:

“We will present our goal and vision that Kosovo be part of the Euro-Atlantic family, part of NATO and the European Union as soon as possible.”  (Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, July 9, 2008)

Eight days later Thaci was in Washington, his first visit as ‘head of state,’ meeting with Albright’s successor once removed Condoleezza Rice, where he effused that “Kosovo and the people of Kosovo bow before the government and the people of America for their support.” [Office of the Prime Minister of Kosovo, July 18, 2008)

To be recalled the next time one reads in reference to Kosovo such elevated terms as independent, free, self-determined. Thaci's 'capital' as of last December now has a George Bush Street as well as a statue erected to Bill Clinton.

The following month Kosovo Defense Minister Fehmi Mujota (readers can add as many inverted commas here and afterward as they choose) affirmed that "Kosovo will build a continuous partnership with NATO, fulfilling its standards and necessary capacities in the defense field" and that the "Kosovo Security Force will be the nucleus of the future Kosovo army matching NATO standards." (New Kosova Report [Sweden], August 19, 2008)

In a remarkable feat of historical and geographic legerdemain, Thaci last month asserted that Kosovo was “never Serbian” and that “We are part of the European family, we will be part of the EU and NATO…..” (Tanjug News Agency, January 24, 2009)

A demonstration of the diplomacy and statesmanship taught to him by his tutors Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and former United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) chief Bernard Kouchner, now French foreign minister.

Local Serbs, whose ancestors lived in Kosovo for at least 800 years, of course have, to the West, the temerity to differ with Thaci’s revisionist history and NATO’s KFOR troops have dealt with them ruthlessly on behalf of Thaci and his fellow KLA veterans.

The commander of French NATO forces in Kosovo, General Michel Yakovleff, early last month threatened besieged Serbs with the warning to “Be aware of the strong determination of KFOR to respond, even brutally if necessary, to all forms of violence.” (Deutsche Welle, January 9, 2009)

That is, to any attempts by ethnic Serbs and other minorities to defend themselves after thousands of Serbs, Roma, Ashkalis, Egyptians, Gorans and Turks have been murdered and ‘disappeared’ since June of 1999 and as many as 4-500,000 have been terrorized into fleeing the province.

A week earlier a Kosovo separatist authority announced that the former KLA, current Kosovo Protection Corps would be transformed into a Kosovo Security Force – the embryo of a national armed forces – and that a “nine-week training course would be run by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the Kosovo Force, or KFOR, an international peacekeeping mission led by NATO.” (Associated Press, February 2, 2009)

Within days NATO announced it was in fact forming a new Kosovo army.

In a dispatch titled “NATO says new Kosovo force to be launched on Jan 21,” it was announced that “[The Kosovo Security Force] will replace the KPC [Kosovo Protection Corps], a 3,500-strong …force backed up by some 2,000 reservists that was mostly composed of former Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas who fought against Serbian rule” and that “Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu has named KPC [and before that KLA] commander Sylejman Selimi to head the new force.”
(Reuters, January 14, 2009)

The Kosovo Security Force’s uniforms will be supplied by the US Pentagon (B92 [Serbia], January 17, 2009) and its troops “will be trained by British Army officers, with their uniforms provided by the U.S., and their vehicles by Germany.” (Beta News Agency {Serbia], January 20, 2009)

And if any doubts could remain regarding the organic and inextricable links between NATO and the KLA (in whichever avatar), a former KLA commander has eliminated them.

“The Kosovo Security Force is striving to become part of NATO…said Kosovo Security Force commander Sylejman Selimi [who added] ‘NATO has been showing interest in assisting the establishment of the Kosovo Security Force and I believe that the cooperation will go on. We are happy to acquire NATO’s experience in training, equipment and infrastructure’”(Focus News Agency [Bulgaria], January 23, 2009)

NATO returned the favor the next day by formally announcing on its website that “KFOR representatives will present the concept of the recruitment campaign for the new Kosovo Security Force to the public at the University of Pristina.”
(NATO International, January 24, 2009)

The above immediately drew the well-warranted ire of both Serbia and Russia, with, in addition to current Serbian government officials, former prime minister Vojislav Kostunica complaining that “”NATO is making and arming Kosovo’s army” and that NATO (and its KFOR operation) are “no longer paying any attention to Serbia, and are implementing the Ahtisaari plan openly, building a Kosovo army.”

Kostunica in the same statement urged a reevaluation of Serbia’s Partnership for Peace status, which had been secured by NATO two years ago, in the (certain) event that the Alliance persists in building its proxy army.

The Russian ambassador to Serbia Aleksandr Konuzin was equally vehement in his denunciation, stating “Forming these forces is a remilitarization of Kosovo and, in itself, runs counter to Resolution 1244.” (FoNet/Danas [Serbia], January 27, 2009)

Lastly on this topic, Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac claimed at the end of last month that the new Kosovo army is also being prepared, in addition to suppressing minority and other loyalist forces in Kosovo, for integration into NATO military operations aboard, presumably to join their Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Romanian and Slovenian Balkans counterparts in Afghanistan and future NATO war zones.

In 2004 arch-war criminal and then head of the Kosovo Protection Corps Agim Ceku offered members of the Corps, referred to by Western officials and journalists as a “civilian emergency services organisation,” to the US for use in the war in Iraq.
….
Serbia itself is not to get away unmolested and its sons and daughters spared the fate of their neighbors.

It was dragged into NATO’s Partnership for peace along with Bosnia and Montenegro in 2006 and last October NATO Secretary Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and Serbian Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac signed a security agreement that “will facilitate military-to military cooperation between Serbia and the alliance.” (New Europe, October 6, 2008)

In 2003 the Western press was full of accounts of 1,000 Serbian troops being sent to Afghanistan to fight under NATO command.

The deployment never materialized, but with Serbia the only former Yugoslav Partnership for Peace member without troops there, the prospect still remains.
….
Bosnia is the first former Yugoslav republic to have suffered the presence of NATO troops.

In the opening days of this year the Bosnian government, which had just recalled its last troops from Iraq, transparently in response to US and NATO demands, revealed that it had authorized the first deployment of troops to Afghanistan to serve with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
….
Croatia, which has been shepherded toward full NATO membership over the past five years through the US’s Adriatic Charter along with Albania and Macedonia, will be inducted into the Allance at the April summit.

Preparatory to its final initiation, the US signed an ‘Additional SOFA’ (Status of Forces Agreement) with the nation last summer described at the time as “an international agreement between Croatia and the US determining issues regarding US forces’ presence in Croatia within the framework of cooperation connected with the NATO and PfP.” (Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, July 3, 2008)

In the spring Croatia hosted an international NATO exercise called MEDCEUR 08, which in addition to the US, its sponsor, included “12 members of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program – Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine,” in an illustration of how NATO is jointly integrating Balkans and former Soviet states into its global army. (Agence France-Presse, May 2, 2008)

Shortly thereafter Croatia was also the site for Adriatic Shield 08, an international “exercise…being held under the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) that was launched by the United States in 2003.

“The three-day exercise…is co-organized by Poland and the United States, with Bosnia-Hercegovina, Croatia, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia also taking part.”
(Agence France-Presse, May 12, 2008)
….
Albania, another Adriatic Charter graduate, for years hosted NATO forces in Durres.

Last November its Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha met with NATO chief Scheffer and pledged assistance in the creation of Kosovo’s new army. The nation has troops stationed in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and Chad. In April it will be brought into NATO as a full member.
….
In November of 2008 Macedonia held the largest military exercise in its history, Macedonian Flash – 04, “an air-land exercise aimed at evaluating the preparedness of ARM [Army of the Republic of Macedonia] troops for deployment in NATO-led missions,” for which a “NATO team [was] tasked to observe and evaluate the units’ operational capabilities, their inter-operability and application of the NATO standards in conducting of the training exercises” (MakFax, November 2, 2008), indeed “watched by 70 NATO representatives from 26 Alliance’s member states. (MakFax, November 3, 2008)

A month later a high-ranking delegation of the NATO Military Committee, led by the committee chairman Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola, arrived in Macedonia to discuss “the current and future participation of Macedonian troops in missions abroad.” (MakFax, December 8, 2008)

Early last month Macedonia deployed another contingent of troops to Afghanistan to serve with a NATO mechanized infantry unit. A few days ago a delegation of the French armed forces visited the country to evaluate the “participation of its troops in missions abroad.” (Focus News Agency, February 4, 2009)
….
Slovenia, one of the first two Yugoslav federal republics to secede from the nation, is the first and to date only one to be fully integrated into NATO, being absorbed after the Istanbul summit in 2004.

Before leaving office last month US President George Bush included Slovenia and the other six newest NATO members in the classified nuclear information agreement ATOMAL.

Last November its troops were among those participating in a joint NATO-Afghan army Joint Multinational Training Command exercise in Germany.

A month earlier a NATO flotilla of four warships and 800 sailors docked in the Slovenian port of Koper.

Days ago its government announced a modest increase in troops being deployed to Afghanistan in addition to sending security personnel to Gaza.

NATO has plans to open a center for training mountain troops in Slovenia, if it hasn’t done so already.
….
Bulgaria and Romania became full NATO members after the Istanbul summit also.

The next year the US commenced plans to take over three bases in Bulgaria and four in Romania as ‘forward operating sites’ and ‘pre-positioning’ staging grounds for operations to the east.

The Pentagon is to station several thousand troops at these full spectrum – infantry, air force, naval – locations.
….
In October of 2008 US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at a meeting of the Southeast European Defense Ministerial (SEDM} in Maccedonia “urged Eastern European leaders to shift their military efforts from Iraq to Afghanistan, where their forces are more urgently needed.” (Associated Press, October 9, 2008)

At the time of the ten non-US members of the SEDM nine – Italy, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Slovenia and Croatia – had a combined level of 5,100 troops in Afghanistan. The last, Bosnia, has now pledged troops also in responses to Gates’ orders.

A concise summary of the SEDM is as follows:

“The SEDM currently includes Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Italy, Romania, the United States, Slovenia, Turkey, Croatia, Ukraine and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and such observer countries as Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro.

The Southeastern Europe Defense Ministerial was set up in 1996….as a bridge with Euro-Atlantic organizations, particularly NATO.” (National Radio Company of Ukraine, October 9, 2008)

Before his appearance at the SEDM meeting Gates was in Kosovo meeting with leaders of the separatist regime there and “went from Kosovo to Macedonia, where he participated in a southeastern Europe defense ministers conference. While there, he met with his Ukraine counterpart and expressed America’s support for NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. He also spoke to the defense ministers of Montenegro and Macedonia about recognizing Kosovo. Both nations did so Oct. 9.” (United States European Command, October 14, 2008)

That is, the US Pentagon chief went to Kosovo to meet with US troops stationed there and with Kosovo officials, surely Hashim Thaci among others, then left for Macedonia where he ordered the host government and that of Montenegro to recognize Kosovo’s independence, which both do the following day.

Also in October US President Bush, while signing papers formalizing Washington’s support for Albania’s and Croatia’s NATO admission, “reiterated U.S. support for prospective NATO members Ukraine, Georgia, Montenegro, and Bosnia-Herzegovina,” and added, “’The door to NATO membership also remains open to the people of Serbia should they choose that path.’” (Agence France-Presse, October 24, 2008)

A sentiment seconded by former Bulgarian foreign minister and current reputed candidate for NATO’s top post Solomon Passy, who said at practically the same moment “I hope this won’t stop until the other countries from the West Balkans (Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as Kosovo) become NATO member states” and said that “if this happens, one third of NATO member states will be from the Balkans….”(Focus News Agency, October 23, 2008)
….
At the beginning of 1991 Yugoslavia was a united country, a member and founder of the Non-Aligned Movement, with no foreign bases on its soil and no troops stationed abroad.

In the intervening eighteen years it has been torn to pieces and its fragments turned into little better than NATO military occupation zones and recruiting grounds for foreign wars.

The prototype for what awaits much of the world if the developments of 1991 aren’t soon halted and reversed.

Pakistan’s Khan on Mossad ‘hit list

Pakistan’s Khan on Mossad ‘hit

list

Abdul Qadeer KhanIsrael’s notorious spy agency, Mossad, plans to kidnap or kill Pakistan’s famous nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan and his colleagues.

A recently published book by Gordon Thomas on the history of Israel’s spy service Mossad, writes that Israeli spies have traced the travel paths of Khan’s associates to some countries, the Times of India reported on Sunday.

The book called ‘Gideon’s Spies’ also records how Mossad moved these scientists and Khan from an earlier ‘detain’ list to a ‘kill’ list, Thomas added.

Thomas noted that in May 2003, Khan hosted six Pakistani nuclear scientists at his home in Rawalpindi.

Khan, at the centre of a nuclear proliferation scandal, was released by a Pakistani court ruling on Friday after five years of house arrest.

Meanwhile, Pakistani officials have barred US interrogators from a face-to-face confrontation with Khan, insisting the United States has been given full access to his revelations.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Sunday Khan’s network has been broken and it no more exists.

Egypt hinders investigations into Gaza war

Egypt hinders investigations

into Gaza war

gholami20090209125949343Egypt has refused entry into the Gaza Strip to members of an international committee in charge of investigating Israeli war crimes.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) set up the committee.

Four French and Norwegian lawyers comprise the committee. The ICC had earlier started preliminary analysis into alleged Israeli war crimes in the Gaza war.

Israel’s 23-day onslaught in the Gaza Strip killed over 13,00 Palestinian and wounded nearly 5,500 others, a large number of them women and children.

Israel has been accused of using banned weapons against civilians including white phosphorus munitions and depleted uranium