Jordan summons Israeli envoy over dual state idea

[SEE: The Jordanian Option has Always Been Zionism's Plan]

Jordan summons Israeli envoy over dual state idea

Published: May 27, 2009

AMMAN (AFP) – Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh summoned the Israeli ambassador on Tuesday to
protest a reported proposal to set up a Palestinian state within the kingdom of Jordan.
“Judeh summoned the Israeli ambassador today to inform him of Jordan’s protest and absolute rejection of the
proposal at the Knesset,” a Foreign Ministry statement said.
A Jordanian official told AFP that the proposal was about “creating two states on the two banks of the Jordan
River, one for the Israelis and one for the Palestinians.”
The statement said Judeh “demanded an official clarification from the Israeli government.”
Jordan, which signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, “believes in establishing an independent and viable
Palestinian state on Palestinian soil,” he was quoted as saying.
“This is a strategic Jordanian interest that comes in line with a two-state solution and the Arab peace initiative.”
According to media reports, the idea of a Palestinian state within Jordan was put forward by Aryeh Eldad’s
right-wing National Union party, which has four MPs in the Knesset.
Meanwhile, top Palestinian negotiator Ahmad Qorei said in an interview on Tuesday that they will not restart
peace talks with Israel unless it removes all roadblocks and freezes settlement activity in the West Bank,
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will present the conditions during his first official meeting with US
President Barack Obama in Washington on Thursday (tomorrow), Qorei said in an interview with the Haaretz daily.

“There will be no negotiations without a complete cessation of the settlements, including what you call ‘natural
growth,’” he said, referring to construction in existing settlement blocks.
“There will be no negotiations without an evacuation of the outposts established since 2001,” he said, referring
to settlements in the occupied West Bank built without authorisation from the Israeli government.
Qorei reiterated the Palestinians’ refusal to recognise Israel as a Jewish state as demanded by Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of a final agreement.
It “was not our business. Call your state whatever you wish,” he said.
Finally, the former Palestinian premier said that Israel would not be able to annex large settlement blocks like
Maale Adumim east of Jerusalem as part of a final settlement.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to tear down settlement outposts in the
occupied West Bank in return for US backing on its stance on arch-foe Iran, local media reported on Tuesday.
Netanyahu told his right-wing Likud faction on Monday that Israel would have to dismantle what it considers
illegal outposts, as demanded by Washington, since the issue of Iran was more important, newspaper reports
said. “I identify the danger and that’s why I am willing to take unpopular steps such as evacuating outposts. The
Iranian threat is above everything,” the mass-selling Yediot Aharonot quoted Netanyahu as saying.
“There are things on which you have to compromise.”

Tanks roll into S Waziristan

Tanks roll into S Waziristan

Published: May 27, 2009

Tanks roll into S Waziristan

PESHAWAR (Reuters) – Helicopter gunships attacked Taliban positions in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Tuesday, killing six militants, intelligence officials and residents said. The Army, armed with tanks and heavy weapons, entered the region on Tuesday.
The attack came as the military pressed on with an offensive against the Taliban in their Swat Valley bastion, about 350 km to the northeast of South Waziristan, in its most concerted attempt to push back an expanding insurgency.
Speculation has been mounting that the Army would soon turn its attention to South Waziristan, the headquarters of Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and a major base area for his Afghan Taliban allies battling Western forces in Afghanistan.
The Army sent in its helicopters shortly after militants fired rockets at a paramilitary force base in Siblatoi town, 60 km east of Waziristan’s main town of Wana.
“The helicopter gunships are still attacking and so far six militants have been killed and 14 wounded,” an intelligence agency official in the area said, adding that ground troops had secured the nearby village of Chakmali.
South Waziristan has been a militant hub for years.
Many Taliban and al Qaeda fighters fled there, and to neighbouring North Waziristan, after US forces and their Afghan allies drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in the weeks following the Sept 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.
The United States, which is pouring thousands of extra troops into Afghanistan this year, has been attacking militants in both South and North Waziristan with missile-firing drone aircraft.
Tension has been building in South Waziristan since President Asif Ali Zardari told Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper just over a week ago that the military would move against militants in Waziristan after clearing Swat.

Though Zardari is reported to have later denied that, military officials say an all-out offensive against militants in South Waziristan looks inevitable.
“We’re ready for an operation in South Waziristan. Now it’s just a matter of time,” a senior intelligence official said.
Military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said last week there would be an operation in Waziristan and its timing would depend on the national interest.
With tension rising, civilians have begun leaving. Authorities are already trying to help more than 2 million people displaced from Swat and nearby districts.
About 10,000 people have fled from South Waziristan in recent days, many to the town of Dera Ismail Khan on the lowland to the east, a senior government official said.
“Now they’re staying with relatives in Dera Ismail Khan and other areas but if the situation worsens then we’ll have to make arrangements for their shelter and needs,” said the official.
South Waziristan resident Mir Nawaz said he wasn’t waiting for the fighting to start in earnest before getting his wife and children out.
“We’re leaving our home because civilians die more than anyone else in such operations. I don’t want my children to be killed,” Nawaz said by telephone.
Monitoring Desk adds: The Army troops backed by tanks and heavy artillery entered the South Waziristan region from Jundola Scouts Fort on Tuesday, reported BBC.
They straight went into action bombarding militants positions. Local administration said the Army entered on Tuesday morning for action against Baitullah Mehsud group.
According to authorities, 800 Army soldiers, heavy artillery and four tanks entered the area. Meanwhile, hundreds of troops on foot are advancing on Taliban positions in the mountains.

Cracks emerge in TTP ranks

Cracks emerge in TTP ranks

By: Shaiq Hussain | Published: May 27, 2009

ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Taliban led by South Waziristan based Baitullah Mehsud is no more a solidly unified entity as fissures and cracks are emerging in its ranks and files.
“Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) of Baitullah Mehsud has not responded strongly to the ongoing military operation in Swat as a united organisation and whatever resistance that army is facing on the ground is by Swati Taliban, foreign fighters and some splinter Jihadi groups,” an official with knowledge of ongoing developments in Swat said on Tuesday desiring not to be named.
He said that not only the TTP was experiencing differences in its ranks but its leader was also facing another serious problem with a tribal commander Qari Zainuddin challenging his absolute writ in the Mehsud area of South Waziristan.
Qari Zainuddin had emerged as a strong militant leader and had been able to exhibit his prowess well by carrying out some successful attacks against the followers of Baitullah in his own domain, he said.
According to official, Taliban from tribal areas did go to Swat to help the Swati Taliban but that was much out of their own desire than something organized from the platform of TTP.
He said the Taliban decision to engage no more in fighting with the army in Mingora, as was announced by their spokesman in Swat Muslim Khan, also reflected their weakness in face of the strong military offensive.
“With little external help from the rest of the TTP, perhaps, the Swati Taliban have decided to save their strength, retreat, regroup and wait to reappear after the end of current testing time,” the official said.
Another official here when contacted expressed his ignorance about any intelligence information received in Islamabad that showed divisions in the files of TTP.
However, he said that fewer suicide attacks in the wake of Swat operation unlike their response to the past offensives reflected that Taliban had weakened and so was their ability to retaliate strongly as they did in the past.

The Recent Phenomenon of Suicide Bomb Attacks in Pakistan

Suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan

May 27, 2009: A suicide car bomber targets buildings housing police and intelligence offices in the eastern city of Lahore, killing about 30 and injuring more than 100. _

March 30, 2009: Gunmen armed with rifles and hand grenades attack a police academy on the outskirts of Lahore, killing at least12 people and wounding dozens.

March 27, 2009: A suicide bomber demolishes a packed mosque near the northwestern town of Jamrud, killing about 50 people and injuring scores more.

March 3, 2009: Gunmen attack the Sri Lankan national cricket team in Lahore, wounding several players and killing six policemen and a driver.

Sept. 20, 2008: A suicide truck bomb kills at least 54 and wounds more than 250 and devastates the Marriott hotel in Islamabad.

Sept. 6, 2008: A suicide car bombing kills at least 35 people and wounds 80 at a police checkpoint in Peshawar.

Aug. 21, 2008: Suicide bombers blow themselves up at two gates of a weapons factory in the town of Wah, killing at least 67 people and wounding at least 100.

March 11, 2008: Suicide bombs rip through seven-story police headquarters and a house in Lahore, killing at least 24 people and wounding more than 200.

Feb. 29, 2008: Suicide bomber strikes funeral of slain police officer in the Swat Valley, killing more than 40 people and wounding at least 60.

Jan. 10, 2008: Suicide bomber blows himself up among police guarding the High Court in Lahore, killing 24 people and wounding scores more.

Dec. 27, 2007: Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and 20 other people are killed in a suicide bombing and shooting attack in Rawalpindi, just south of the capital.

Car Bomb Attack on Lahore ISI Office

Suicide car blast in Lahore kills 23

// No one immediately claimed responsibility for the latest bombing. Police said one suspect was detained. — AFP Punjab Liberty, Manawan attackers linked to Waziristan

LAHORE: Gunmen detonated a car bomb near police and intelligence agency offices on Lahore’s Mall road Wednesday, killing 23 people and wounding more than 100, officials said.

At least four men with rifles stepped from the car and opened fire on the intelligence agency building, then set off a massive blast when security guards returned fire, officials said.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik suggested the attack could be retaliation for the government’s military offensive to rout Taliban militants from the northwestern Swat Valley.

Wednesday’s attack was the third major strike in Lahore in recent months.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the latest bombing. Police said one suspect was detained.

Raja Riaz, a senior minister in the Punjab provincial government, told reporters that about 30 people died. Fayyaz Ranjha, a senior health official, told Pakistan Television that at least 116 people were wounded. Police put the number of injured at 250.

The explosion sheared the walls off buildings in a main business district. TV footage showed bleeding bystanders and emergency workers carrying the injured toward ambulances.

‘The moment the blast happened, everything went dark in front of my eyes,’ witness Muhammad Ali said. ‘The way the blast happened, then gunfire, it looked as if there was a battle going on.’

Sajjad Bhutta, a senior government official in Lahore, told reporters that a car carrying several gunmen pulled up in a street between offices of the emergency police and the Inter-Service Intelligence.

‘As some people came out from that vehicle and starting firing at the ISI office, the guards from inside that building returned fire,’ he said. As the firing continued, the car suddenly exploded, he said.

The ISI and police buildings were both badly damaged. An AP reporter saw dozens of troops entering the ISI building to supervise the rescue work, while gunshots were heard from inside the building even one hour after the blast.

Television footage showed officers dragging a black-shirted man from the scene.

Malik blamed the attack on militants that government forces are fighting in the Swat Valley and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas near Afghanistan.

‘These terrorists were defeated in FATA and Swat and now they have come here,’ he told reporters.

Understanding the Der Spiegel upheaval

Understanding the Der Spiegel upheaval

By Michael Young
Daily Star staff

The article published in Der Spiegel accusing Hizbullah of being behind the assassination of the former Lebanese prime minister, Rafik Hariri, appears to use conceivably correct information to arrive at a conclusion the article itself never really substantiates: namely that “it was not the Syrians, but instead special forces of [Hizbullah] that planned and executed the diabolical attack.” At most, the article declares that Syria “is not being declared free of the suspicion of involvement,” but that “President Bashar Assad is no longer in the line of fire.”

The author, Erich Follath, tells us what French journalist Georges Malbrunot already did in an August

2006 article for the daily Le Figaro. Malbrunot, like Follath, reported that the investigation of telephone intercepts after Hariri’s killing revealed that one of those involved in the crime had broken protocol by calling a friend outside the circle of assassins. This mistake led Lebanese investigators to discover that the alleged assassin had ties with Hizbullah.

Malbrunot did not name the person, but Follath does. He may be Abd al-Majid Ghamlush, he writes, whose “recklessness led investigators to the man they now suspect was the mastermind of the terrorist attack: Hajj Salim … considered to be the commander of the ‘military’ wing of Hezbollah … [whose] secret ‘Special Operations Unit’ reports directly to Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.”

The differences between Malbrunot’s article and Follath’s are essential. In his article, Malbrunot cited “someone close to Saad Hariri”, as well as “a source close to the [Internal Security Forces]” who evidently had information on the telecommunication intercepts. At the time, the investigation of the intercepts was headed by ISF Captain Wissam Eid, later killed in a car-bomb attack in January 2008. Significantly, however, the Hariri source did not believe that Hizbullah had carried out the Hariri assassination on its own initiative. “Who had the capacity to bring the equivalent of 1,200 kilos of TNT into Lebanon”, the source asked, before answering: “Syria, a Lebanese security service working with it, and Hizbullah.” The direction of Malbrunot’s article was that the operation was Syrian, but that Hizbullah may have somehow been brought into it.

Follath’s informants appear to be different. He says his information comes from sources “close to the tribunal and [was] verified by examining internal documents.” In other words Follath’s source appears not to be an employee of the tribunal, but someone who has contacts with it and access to documents the tribunal is working with. That leads to suspicion that the sources are Lebanese who, to corroborate their information, showed Follath Lebanese documents from, or on, the Eid investigation, copies of which must also be in the possession of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon – hence the vague formulation “internal documents.”

Who would leak such documents, and why, remains to be seen. It seems improbable that this was done by a pro-Hariri source to affect Lebanon’s upcoming elections. After spending four years accusing Syria, the Hariri camp is not about to exonerate Damascus for uncertain electoral gains. The broader conclusions reached by Follath are his own, however, and are poorly argued. Nothing in his piece allows him to make the jump and push the burden of responsibility for the killing on Hizbullah. There appear to have been at least two “circles” participating in the crime; that Hizbullah members were, let’s say, in the second circle, which presumably was involved in shadowing Hariri, does not necessarily mean they were in the first circle, which supervised the actual assassination, whether directly or through a suicide bomber. Eventually, the Hariri tribunal may tell us the specifics of how Hariri was eliminated, but Follath’s article never even makes it clear which circle Ghamlush was in.

If Hizbullah did plan and execute the attack, a theory long discussed in Lebanon, it is virtually impossible to envisage that the party would have taken this action without receiving prior Syrian approval to do so. In fact, it is virtually impossible to envisage that it would have taken such action without Syrian direction to do so – direction that only Bashar Assad, given the centralized nature of Syria’s regime, would have signed off on.

Follath provides motives for the assassination that are laughable. He says that Hizbullah got rid of Hariri because his “growing popularity could have been a thorn in the side of the Lebanese Shiite leader Nasrallah. In 2005, the billionaire began to outstrip the revolutionary leader in terms of popularity.” Hariri also stood for what Nasrallah hated, Follath continues: close ties to the West and to moderate Arab regimes, as well as “an opulent lifestyle, and a membership in the

competing Sunni faith.”

This is nonsense. Those who had an overriding motive to kill Hariri were the Syrians, because his expected successes in the summer 2005 parliamentary elections, so soon after passage of Resolution 1559 by the Security Council, would have seriously threatened their hold on Lebanon. Successive reports by the United Nations commission investigating the crime repeated that hypothesis, which has never been challenged.

Follath, intentionally or unintentionally, is being used to draw the light away from Syria by casting it on Hizbullah. However, all the evidence that has filtered out from the UN investigation, as well as circumstantial evidence, leads in the direction of a principal mastermind: the regime in Damascus, regardless of who was implicated in the crime to guarantee everyone’s silence. It was only Syrian participation that could have pushed the Lebanese security agencies, then completely dominated by Syria, to corrupt the crime scene; it was only Syrian participation that could lead a Lebanese security chief to distribute the video of Ahmad Abu Adas claiming responsibility for the crime; and it was above all Syrian insistence after 2006 that pushed Hizbullah and Amal to block the creation of the tribunal through Lebanese state institutions.

Recall this crucial exchange in April 2007 between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Assad in Damascus. The Shiite ministers had left the government, and there was talk of establishing the Hariri tribunal under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Ban asked Assad to support the tribunal. Instead, Assad replied that Lebanon was a country of instability, which “will worsen if the special tribunal is established. Particularly if it is established under Chapter VII. This might easily cause a conflict that would degenerate into civil war, provoking divisions between Sunnis and Shiites from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea …”

Echoes of Assad’s message permeate the Der Spiegel article, which implicitly asks whether the truth about who killed Rafik Hariri merits a Sunni-Shiite war. The Damascus conversation was leaked by a UN source to the daily Le Monde, and stands as a telling document. For why would Assad have been so worried about a tribunal passed under Chapter VII authority had Syria been innocent of Hariri’s elimination?

If Follath was given documents from or on Wissam Eid’s investigation, that means someone may also be trying to discredit Eid’s work by generating such a furor now over the accusation against Hizbullah, that it will be very difficult in the future to use the disclosures in such a way that they won’t be tainted by politics. The article may also imply that Eid, unlike the UN commission, actually did his work properly, and that someone is worried about the results. Who showed the “internal documents” to Follath, and are they the same people who might have earlier revealed to Eid’s killers that he was on to something?

These questions will continue to remain unanswered, and the tribunal process will continue to be open to manipulation, for as long as the Special Tribunal for Lebanon does not come out with a formal accusation. We are witnessing the consequences of a slipshod UN investigation since 2006. The prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, may have lost control of his case, and those who leaked to Der Spiegel could well be pushing for its complete collapse.

Michael Young is opinion editor of THE DAILY STAR.

According to an Algerian newspaper, the Mossad recruits and leads Maghrebis in Israel

According to an Algerian newspaper, the Mossad recruits and leads Maghrebis in Israel

Google translation

Randa Al Fayçal – Dubaï

Logo MédiArabe.Info

Le journal algérien Ennahar affirme que l’Etat hébreu forme, dans des camps d’entraînement installés en Israël, des islamistes d’Al-Qaïda recrutés en Europe parmi la communauté maghrébine, afin de les utiliser dans des attentats terroristes durant l’été prochain ! The Algerian newspaper Ennahar State asserts that the Hebrew form, in training camps set up in Israel, the Islamist Al-Qaeda recruited in Europe among the North African community, for use in terrorist attacks during the summer !

Ennahar attribue cette « révélation » à des sources bien informées qui « surveillent Al-Qaïda et ses agissements », et qui ont découvert qu’Israël a créé des camps d’entrainement sur son territoire, depuis un an, afin d’y préparer ses recrues dans le but de commettre des attentats terroristes visant les intérêts occidentaux dans les pays arabes, notamment en Afrique du Nord. Ennahar attributes this “revelation” to well-informed sources who “monitor Al Qaeda and its actions,” and discovered that Israel had established training camps on its territory, from one year to prepare its recruits in order to commit terrorist attacks against Western interests in Arab countries, notably in North Africa. Selon le raisonnement du journal algérien – qui n’est pas à son premier exploit du genre – « Israël craint pour ses intérêts stratégiques et compte les protéger à travers le terrorisme ». According to the reasoning of the Algerian newspaper – which is not his first feat of its kind – “Israel fears for its strategic interests and protect them through terrorism.” Il souligne que « l’ancien attaché militaire israélien en Mauritanie aurait noué des contats avec les rébellions au Mali et au Niger, et sans doute avec Al-Qaïda dans le Grand Sahara ». He stressed that “the former Israeli military attaché in Mauritania have established contacts with the rebellions in Mali and Niger, and no doubt with Al-Qaeda in the Great Sahara. « Les réseaux islamistes pourraient ainsi être utilisés par le Mossad pour frapper les intérêts américains en Afrique du Nord, en représailles à tout changement de politique iranienne et irakienne que Washington pourrait engager dans les mois à venir », estime encore le journal. “The Islamist networks could be used by the Mossad to strike U.S. interests in North Africa, in retaliation for any change in Iranian policy in Iraq and that Washington could launch in the coming months,” said the newspaper yet.

Bien entendu, selon Ennahar , « les attentats seront revendiqués par Ayman Al-Zawihiri depuis ses repères afghans ou pakistanais. Of course, according Ennahar, “the attacks are claimed by Ayman Al-Zawihiri its cues from Afghan or Pakistani. Ce qui lui rendrait un énorme service puisque des attaques anti-américaines serviront à Al-Qaïda pour se refaire une santé, après les coups durs subis en Algérie notamment », conclut-il. What would make him a great service because of anti-American attacks serve to Al Qaeda to rebuild health after the setbacks suffered in Algeria in particular, “he concludes.

Traduction et synthèse de Randa Al-Fayçal Translation and synthesis of Randa Al-Faisal

Cheney’s Core Contradiction

Cheney’s Core Contradiction

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Perhaps the most remarkable passage in his speech to AEI last week was the following:

In public discussion of these matters, there has been a strange and sometimes willful attempt to conflate what happened at Abu Ghraib prison with the top secret program of enhanced interrogations. At Abu Ghraib, a few sadistic prison guards abused inmates in violation of American law, military regulations, and simple decency. For the harm they did, to Iraqi prisoners and to America’s cause, they deserved and received Army justice. And it takes a deeply unfair cast of mind to equate the disgraces of Abu Ghraib with the lawful, skillful, and entirely honorable work of CIA personnel trained to deal with a few malevolent men.

There are two options in trying to understand this passage: a) It reveals a profound and disturbing level of denial about his own record; or b) It is one of the Biggest of Big Lies ever told by a vice-president of the United States. Perhaps the easiest way to show this is to cite the final and definitive “Conclusion 19″ of the Senate Armed Services Committee Report:

The abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own. Interrogation techniques such as stripping detainees of their clothes, placing them in stress positions, and using military working dogs to intimidate them appeared in Iraq only after they had been approved for use in Afghanistan and at GTMO. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s December 2, 2002 authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques and subsequent interrogation policies and plans approved by senior military and civilian officials conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody. What followed was an erosion in standards dictating that detainees be treated humanely.

There is no factual dispute as to the real origin of what Cheney calls the “disgraces” of Abu Ghraib: Dick Cheney via Don Rumsfeld. Cheney himself has boasted of the most dramatic of the torture and abuse techniques, waterboarding. He also pioneered and now defends a program in the CIA and at Gitmo that, in what it does to human beings suspected of being terrorists, is identical to the photos of Abu Ghraib. Look at the photos again.

Forced nudity: approved by Cheney. Hooding: approved by Cheney. Stress positions: approved by Cheney. Use of dogs: approved by Cheney. It is not just me arguing that Abu Ghraib was a function of a Capt5 policy dictated and approved at the highest levels. It’s the entire Republican Senate leadership of the Armed Services Committee. It’s every objective journalist’s conclusion. It’s in several Pentagon reports. It’s demonstrable in the photos themselves. So who are you going to believe: Cheney or your lying eyes?

It was obviously not meant to be photographed and displayed as happened at Abu Ghraib. Some of the sexual excesses were clearly not authorized (but at Gitmo, recall, we know that lesser sexual abuse was authorized). It was meant to be conducted by more professional personnel than at Abu Ghraib. It was not supposed to murder anyone – as happened at Abu Ghraib and many other torture sites in the Cheney war. But the methods were exactly the same. We know where they came from. Call them what you will. There they are. Cheney knew them all, pushed for them all, and yet cannot own them when they are in front of his eyes. In fact, he has to push them into a corner called “disgraces.” That’s a strong word for a policy you created and enforced, against much of the military and intelligence and diplomatic agencies in government.

So why does Cheney tell such a big lie? Why does he do what he specifically says he would never do – blame a few underlings for policies he devised, pushed through against the law, and still champions as “honorable”? The only salient defense of the techniques of the CIA program as kosher and the Abu Ghraib photos as horrific is that these identical techniques are okay when used by some in the CIA but not okay when used by a low-ranking grunt on the night shift following orders. This is the core contradiction. You can’t scapegoat Lynndie England while championing the methods she was told to use.

If Cheney wants to defend his program of torture and abuse then he owes it to us to own it as well. You either support what we saw at Abu Ghraib as the policy of the United States or you don’t.  So which is it, Mr Cheney? A disgrace? Or an achievement? On that there is no middle ground, as someone might say.

Pakistan attacks Waziristan region

Pakistan attacks Waziristan region

Pakistani helicopter gunships launched operations in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Tuesday.
Tuesday, 26 May 2009 12:15

Pakistani helicopter gunships launched operations in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Tuesday, killing six pro-Taliban fighters, intelligence officials and residents said.

The attack came as the army pressed on with an offensive against the Taliban in their Swat valley bastion, about 350 km (220 miles) to the northeast of South Waziristan.

Speculation has been mounting that the army would soon turn its attention to South Waziristan, the headquarters of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and a major base area for his Afghan Taliban allies resisting Western forces in Afghanistan.

The army sent in its helicopters shortly after fighters “fired rockets” at a paramilitary force base in Siblatoi town, 60 km (35 miles) east of Waziristan’s main town of Wana.

“The helicopter gunships are still attacking and so far six militants have been killed and 14 wounded,” said an intelligence agency official in the area said, adding that ground troops had secured the nearby village of Chakmali.

The United States, which is pouring thousands of extra troops into Afghanistan this year, has also been attacking fighters in both South and North Waziristan with missile-firing drone aircraft.

“Extending offensive”

Tension has been building in South Waziristan since President Asif Ali Zardari told Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper just over a week ago that the military would extend the offensive to Waziristan from Swat.

“We’re ready for an operation in South Waziristan. Now it’s just a matter of time,” a senior intelligence official said, though Zardari is reported to have later denied that.

Military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said last week there would be an operation in Waziristan.

The offensive in the Taliban bastion of Swat, about 120 km (80 miles) northwest of Islamabad, has sparked an exodus of 2.3 million people, according to government figures, but about 200,000 people are believed to be still in the valley.

“Not waiting to die”

About 10,000 people have fled from South Waziristan in recent days, many to the town of Dera Ismail Khan on the lowland to the east, a senior government official said.

“Now they’re staying with relatives in Dera Ismail Khan and other areas but if the situation worsens then we’ll have to make arrangements for their shelter and needs,” said the official.

South Waziristan resident Mir Nawaz said he wasn’t waiting for the fighting to start in earnest before getting his wife and children out.

“We’re leaving our home because civilians die more than anyone else in such operations. I don’t want my children to be killed,” Nawaz said by telephone.

“Lift curfew for help”

Hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis trapped by a military offensive in Swat face catastrophe and authorities should lift a curfew to enable them to get out and for help to get in, a rights group said.

Severe shortages of food, water and medicine were creating a major humanitarian crisis for the trapped civilians, the U.S.-based group Human Rights Watch said.

“People trapped in the Swat conflict zone face a humanitarian catastrophe unless the Pakistani military immediately lifts a curfew that has been in place continuously for the last week,” said Brad Adams, the group’s Asia director.

“The government cannot allow the local population to remain trapped without food, clean water, and medicine as a tactic to defeat the Taliban,” Adams said in a statement on Tuesday.

Civilian casualties from army shelling

Human Rights Watch said it was getting persistent reports of civilian casualties from army shelling and aerial bombardments.

“The Pakistani government should take all possible measures including air drops of food, water, and medicine to quickly alleviate large-scale human suffering in Swat,” Adams said.

“Both sides should allow a humanitarian corridor that would let civilians escape the fighting and for impartial humanitarian agencies to evacuate and aid civilians at risk,” he said.

Military spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.

A top U.N. official said on Monday the United Nations was considering asking the military to temporarily halt its offensive to enable aid to get to trapped civilians.

“A humanitarian pause is a subject of discussion … it is obviously something that we would not shy away from asking for,” Manuel Bessler, head of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Pakistan, told AlertNet.

The Israeli Hasbara Dept. Needs Some Fact Checkers

Bolivia rejects report it is supplying uranium to Iran

Updated: Tuesday, May 26, 2009

17:40GMT—1:40PM/EST

Washington, 26 May (WashingtonTV)—Bolivia on Tuesday denied a report by Israel’s Foreign Ministry that it was supplying uranium to Iran for its nuclear program, saying that the country has never produced the element.
According to the Bolivian daily, La Razon, Bolivia also plans to send a formal complaint to the Israeli government over the allegation.
“There isn’t even a geological study (of uranium deposits), much less export” of uranium to another country, said Mining Minister Luis Alberto Echazu, according to the Associated Press.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry report also accused Venezuela of supplying Iran with uranium, a key ingredient for nuclear energy and arms.
According to AP, Venezuela has yet to comment on the report.
Iran rejects Western accusations that it is seeking a nuclear weapon, saying its atomic work is solely for peaceful purposes.

Sources: La Razon newspaper, in Spanish, Associated Press

© WashingtonTV 2009. All rights reserved.

Curfew after Sikh shooting

Curfew after Sikh shooting

The protesters were demonstrating against the murder of Sant Rama Nand, who was killed by fellow Sikhs in a temple in the Austrian capital of Vienna. — PHOTO: AP

AMRITSAR (India) – TOWNS and cities across the northern Indian state of Punjab were under strict curfew on Tuesday after riots sparked by the shooting of a guru in a clash between rival Sikh communities in Austria.

Army and police patrols enforced orders that shops, offices and schools would remain closed following the violence in which angry mobs torched trains, smashed bus windows and blocked roads.

The protesters were demonstrating against the murder of Sant Rama Nand, who was killed by fellow Sikhs in a temple in the Austrian capital of Vienna as he addressed 200 worshippers on Sunday.

Restrictions would remain in place across Punjab, the home to the majority of the world’s Sikhs, as ‘the situation is still tense’, a police spokesman told AFP.

Two men died in Monday’s rioting and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, issued an appeal for calm.

Sant Rama Nand, 56, died and 16 other people were injured in the Vienna temple attack, which was reportedly over a dispute about the role of castes in the Sikh religion.

A second guru, or teacher, Sant Niranjan Dass, 66, was among those wounded as Sikhs fought each other with guns and knives inside the temple.

The two gurus, who belong to a group representing low-caste Sikhs, were visiting Vienna to meet worshippers.

Leaders at the temple, which opened in 2005, have campaigned against the caste system, but their stance has angered other Sikhs in Austria. — AFP

Time for transparency at Der Spiegel?

Time for transparency at Der Spiegel?

Franklin Lamb Beirut

“We don’t know where the Der Spiegel magazine did get their information from and we don’t know where they brought this story from. No one in the prosecutor’s office has spoken to the German magazine about anything. We have a clear policy of not leaking any information about the tribunal through media outlets, and we have been stressing this since the beginning. When Der Spiegel spoke about Bellemar’s spokesperson, they meant me. They emailed me and asked a few questions. My answer was that the tribunal does not deal with investigation files through the media and adopts the policy of direct announcement by the part of Mr. Bellemar.If we had something to say, we would have said it directly, not through media outlets.”

Radiya Ashouri, Spokeswoman for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) (5/24/09)

“It is a black fabricated campaign adopted by known groups to harm Hezbollah. It is not the first time such lies are published. Tthe timing of the accusations and the immediate hype of the report by Saudi Arabia’s Al-Arabia TV-“which is known for its political affiliation”– leaves no doubt that it is a campaign aimed at affecting Lebanon’s upcoming elections and to deflect attention from the news about the dismantling of spy networks working for Israel on the other.”

Hezbollah Media Relations Department statement 5/24/09

The Der Spiegel headline was dramatic. Even provocative. Some Lebanese were surprised but others said they knew it all along. It offered bold “new information” that the strongly pro-Israel German Weekly Der Speigel claimed came from secret sources based on documents reporters and editors may have seen. No documents were published and no blured or redacted copies shown to its readers. The shocking claims were said to based on “Inside investigative sources who were working on the Rafic Hariri assassination and they had now solved the mystery and the case could soon be wrapped up. Eye catching.

The Der Spiegel breakthrough ‘exclusive’ with ‘new evidence pointing to those who were guilty. It was published on October 24, 2005, nearly four years ago.

The Headline screamed, in arguably poor taste:

“BYE-BYE, HARIRI!”
UN Report Links Syrian Officials to Murder of Former Lebanese Leader”
By Erich Follath et al.

That was then back in 2005. Syria was accused in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri of being the ‘real’ assassins. A massive international anti-Syria campaign was launched by the Bush Administration and Israel to demonize its government.

But things have changed. This weekend, a new exclusive, secret, investigative report showing the real real assassins was published by the same weekly, Der Speigel. Same author. Same editor. New target.

This time Der Speigel’s Erich Follath claimed solo that the international committee investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister martyr Rafik Hariri has reached” surprising new secret conclusions”, this time pointing to Hezbollah.

The new Der Spiegel head line (5/24/09)

BREAKTHROUGH IN TRIBUNAL INVESTIGATION
New Evidence Points to Hezbollah in Hariri Murder

By Erich Follath,

According to this weekend’s article, which offers information provided by the Der SPIEGEL source, the long investigated case may finally have been “cracked.”

The German weekly claims the target is now Hezbollah after the Tribunal pressured the Lebanese government to release four Lebanese Generals last month for lack of evidence- given the growing outcry in the international legal and human rights community. After the generals release, more questions are being raised such as why the four Generals were never charged if there was inadequate evidence, or release years ago or given a bail bond, house arrest, or allowed to face their accusers or even see the supposed evidence against them. The credibility of the Tribunal diminished with each day the four remained jailed.

In many respects the 2009 Der Spiegel article is similar to the 2005 piece:

“There are signs that the investigation has yielded new and explosive results”, “Spiegel has learned from sources close to the tribunal and verified by examining internal documents that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn”, “Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to a new conclusion, this time that it was not the special forces of Syria, but instead special forces of Hezbollah that planned and carried out Hariri’s Feb. 2005 murder, the weekly said.

Similar to 2005, Der Speigel claimed the investigator’s “apparently want to hold back the information that they have been aware of for about a month”.

Without offering any proof, Der Spiegel asserts that “According to the Lebanese security forces, all of the telephone numbers involved (by the assassins -ed) apparently belong to the ‘operational arm’ of Hezbollah.”

Without an apology for what some thought was a ‘hatchet job’’ on Syrian President Bashar Assad four years ago, Der Speigel’s the new article added that President Assad is no longer as suspect. “Hardly anything suggests anymore that he was personally aware of the murder plot or even ordered the killing”, Follath writes.

Suspicions are widespread this afternoon in Beirut over the Der Spiegel article suggesting a link between the assassination of Rafic Hariri and Hezbollah.

Ricocheting around Lebanon’s capitol and on the Internet ( Syria.comment.org) are comments questioning the timing of the report as if aimed to cause maximum damage to the Hezbollah led opposition, the supposed source of the ‘leaks’ and why now since the UN investigative office has taken great pains not to leak or politize its work in contrast to former Investigator Detlev Mehlis, Hasan Nassrallah has never been known to order the killing of rival politicians, the 2005-2006 accusations against Syria where shown to be fallacious and based on a false witness, Der Spiegel has a rumored long history with Israeli intelligence, the “key” eight phones were never in the hands of Hezbollah but rather a Muslim Sunni organization in Trablus as Detlev Mehlis claimed to have documented, where were “the surprising new conclusions” when the Court was set up but claimed no solid case had been put together.

One claim that this observer found odd is the suggestion that a senior Hezbollah member would call his girl friend on a secure line was ‘on duty”. I know of two cases where female students at AUB became quite angrywhen their Hezbollah boyfriends up and disappeared from Campus and did not even call them for a whole month. When they returned “from duty” to resume classes both tried to explain that they could not make contact while ‘working’. I find Der Spiegel’s girl friend telephone call story a bit awkward and very ‘un-Hezbollah’.

Puzzling also is the German weekly’s claim that it learned “from sources close to the tribunal” and verified by examining internal documents, that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn.” Der Speigel does not make it clear if it was the source that examined the internal documents or if it was Der Spiegel that examined these documents. If it is the latter, did the source to take these documents outside the very tight security building in The Hague? Surely, the investigation should be able to track this so-called source.

No evidence is offered by Der Spiegel for any of its “revelations” such as Hezbollah members who supposedly trained in Iran, bought phones, “two men who report only to their superior” (who else would they report to?) etc. How does Der Spiegel know all these secret things and why not offer some proof? How does Der Spiegel know, for example who reports to who in Hezbollah? Far too much left to the imagination by the author. Does some of this highly secret information come to Der Seigel via recently apprehened Israeli spy cells—passed on from the three Israeli intelligence agencies known to be here in Lebanon or sources connected with them?

Too volatile for Lebanon’s Campaign?

So far none of Lebanon’s political parties are crediting the article. As my neighbor mentioned this morning, in Lebanon there are so many ‘Reports’ that turn out not to be true that many here are very skeptical without solid proof.

MP Walid Jumblatt, Druze leader of the Progressive Socialist Party currently allied with the pro-US March 14th majority, commenting on the Der Spiegel article, warned in a Sunday speech dedicated to announce his Chouf candidates, that the article is “the game of nations that could, God forbid, derail justice and use it for things that we don’t believe in.”

The Saad Hariri led Future Movement refused to comment on the article.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawsi Salloukh labeled it as “totally false and all lies”, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem challenged Der Spiegel and the author of the report to show evidence. “This article is politicized and reminds us of (former international investigator) Detlev Mehlis’s practices,” Moallem added. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri said the report “was nothing but a new attempt to sow sedition among the Lebanese.”

“This is a media fabrication that only lacked the stamp: ‘Made in Israel’,” Berri said.

Hezbollah responds to Der Speigel

Hezbollah candidate Nawaf Moussawi predicted last month that the campaign against Hezbollah would intensify, especially after the release of the four generals who were held, without trial or charge, for nearly four years over the assassination of Hariri. “The Der Spiegel report is not the first baseless report posted by this magazine,”Moussawi said during an interview with NBN TV. He made a comparison between the magazine’s report and” previous reports by Lebanese journalists who deluded the public opinion during the investigation into the Hariri murder, and published reports about a similar scenario.”
He stressed the campaign launched against Hezbollah and the resistance “paves the way for the assassination scheme Israel is preparing against the party’s Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.”
Hezbollah Media Relations Office issued a statement on Sunday in which it dismissed allegations published by Der Spiegel and broadcast by Al-Arabiyya Channel saying that it is nothing less than “police fabrications”. The statement said, “It’s not the first time that a magazine or newspaper aimed at publishing such fabrications and previously Kuwaiti paper “Al-Siyasa” has repeatedly published such reports along with other dailies.” However, the statement continued “It is nothing more than police fabrications cooked in the same black room that has been keen on fabricating such stories for over four years regarding the Syrians and the four Lebanese officers and others.”

The statement added that “publishing this report by Der Spiegel and promoting for it by Al-Arabiyya is suspicious in its timing and its political and psychological exploitation especially for two reasons: “First it is a pure fabrication aimed at influencing the election campaign in Lebanon on one side, and to deflect attention from the news about the dismantling of spy networks working for Israel on other.”

“The report comes just two weeks ahead of a June 7 parliamentary election in Lebanon. One Hezbollah member commented: “We look forward to seeing the purported evidence in this case.”

Questions for Der Spiegel

The German Embassy in Beirut claims not to have heard about the article and would have no comment.

By press time, neither Mr. Follath nor his editors at Der Spiegel has replied to any of the following questions forwarded by this observer:

· Why was the “new investigation findings” released by Der Speigel two weeks before the election where similar rumors have been circulation from the time of the 10/24/05 Der Speigel Report?

· Could you comment on what some in Lebanon feel is the suspicious timing of the Report at a time where Israel is being pressured at the UN Security Council over its continuing violations of UNSCR 1701, the uncovering of several Israeli spy cells in Lebanon, growing US-Israel fears over the outcome of the upcoming election on June 7, US-Israeli concerns that Hezbollah and Lebanese security forces are cooperating closely on a number of issues and suggestions that a “solution” to Hezbollah’ weapons may be announced within the coming weeks

· How is it that Israel’s Foreign Minister Lieberman reportedly knew about the article before it was posted and apparently told aids he was “going to give this story legs” as he dictated the following statement which was reportedly embargoed until the story broke: “To the best of my understanding, if this is the conclusion of the investigators an arrest warrant must be issued immediately. If it is not, he must be forcibly arrested and brought to the International Court of Justice.”

·
Why did Der Spiegel run the sensationalist Hezbollah story, first on its website, departing from Der Spiegel’s policy of posting on its website articles from its print edition only after, not before, the latter is published. Der Spiegel website runs some Spiegel print stories but only a few days after they appeared in the print edition published them. According to someone who knows the policy of Der Speigel this was a first ever switch. ( pulsemedia.org) and the weekly was in a major rush to get the story out and to its ‘online partner” the New York times where it will may appear any minute.

· Why did the author cite only an anonymous source or sources,

· Why does the article allude to “anonymous documents” to bolster its claims, but fails to offer the reader any description or at least the title page of the report to give the reader some confidence in the articles veracity?

· Almost all of the Hezbollah operatives allegedly involved in the assassination are dead or missing. The Lebanese officer investigating the cell phones connection was killed, and Imad Mughniyeh, who oversaw the “special forces” unit, also was killed in Damascus last year, making the allegations tough to verify.

· Although the report examines both Hezbollah’s motives in wanting to assassinate Hariri and the tribunal’s motives in allegedly keeping the accusations against the group under wraps, it leaves aside questions regarding the motive of the leaker, who timed the revelations just before the Lebanese elections and at a juncture when Israel and Washington are trying to coax Syria away from Iran and Hezbollah.

Hopefully will answer these inquiries in a follow-up article.

Franklin Lamb works with the Sabra Shatila Foundation in Beirut. He is reachable at: fplamb@sabrashatila.org.

-###-

Franklin P. Lamb, PhD
Director, Americans Concerned for
Middle East Peace, Wash.DC-Beirut
Acting Chair, the Sabra-Shatila Memorial Scholarship Program Laptop Initiative
Shatila Palestinian Refugee Camp
fplamb@SabraShatila.org

FOR YOUR INFORMATION PLEASE:
The Price We Pay: A Quarter Century of Israel’s use of American Weapons against Lebanon (1978-2006) is available at Amazon.com.uk or Lebanese Bookstores The Revised and Arabic Edition was released on 8/12/08. The Farsi and French Editions are expected this Fall.
And in the USA, the title is available at www.LebaneseBooks.com, and currently enjoys Free Standard Shipping.

Franklin Lamb: Time for Transparency at Der Spiegel?

Franklin Lamb: Time for Transparency at Der Spiegel?

Mohamad Shmaysani Readers Number : 582

25/05/2009 Prominent US analyst Dr. Franklin Lamb described the Der Spiegel headline on Hezbollah’s alleged involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri as “dramatic and provocative.

In an article titled “Time for transparency at Der Spiegel”, Lamb points that the “pro-Israel German weekly” offered what it called “new information” that came from secret sources based on documents reporters and editors may have seen. However, Lamb adds, “no documents were published and no blurred or redacted copies shown to its readers.”

“The shocking claims were said to be based on ‘Inside investigative sources who were working on the Rafic Hariri assassination and they had now solved the mystery and the case could soon be wrapped up.’  Eye catching,” Lamb writes.

“Nearly four years ago, precisely on October 24, 2005, Der Spiegel published Erich Follath’s report titled: Bye-Bye, Hariri. UN Report Links Syrian Officials to Murder of Former Lebanese Leader.”
Lamb elaborates saying that during that time, Syria was accused by the western-backed March 14 bloc of allegedly committing the Hariri crime, without proof and even before the beginning of the international investigation.

“A massive international anti-Syria campaign was launched by the Bush Administration and Israel to demonize its government (headed by Prime Minister Omar Karameh), Dr. Lamb recalls in his article.
But things have changed, he says. “This weekend, a new exclusive, secret, investigative report showing the real assassins was published by the  same weekly, Der Speigel.  Same author. Same editor. New target. “

Follath, according to Lamb, claimed solo that the international committee investigating the Hariri murder has finally cracked the long investigated case and reached “surprising  new secret conclusions”, this time pointing to Hezbollah.

The American analyst notes that the 2009 Der Spiegel article is similar to the 2005 piece in many respects. He points that similar to 2005, Follath claims in his 2009 report that the investigator’s “apparently want to hold back the information that they have been aware of for about a month”.

“There are signs that the investigation has yielded new and explosive results”, “Spiegel has learned from sources close to the tribunal and verified by examining internal documents that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn”, “Intensive investigations in Lebanon are all pointing to a new conclusion, this time that it was not the special forces of Syria, but instead special forces of Hezbollah that planned and carried out Hariri’s Feb. 2005 murder, the weekly said.

Without offering any proof, Der Spiegel asserts that “According to the Lebanese security forces, all of the telephone numbers involved (by the assassins -ed) apparently belong to the ‘operational arm’ of Hezbollah,” says Lamb.
Without an apology for what some thought was a ‘hatchet job’’ on Syrian President Bashar Assad four years ago, Der Speigel’s  the new article added that President Assad is no longer as suspect.  “Hardly anything suggests anymore that he was personally aware of the murder plot or even ordered the killing”, Dr. Lamb quotes Follath.

Lamb the timing of Follath’s report now that the UN investigative office has taken great pains not to leak or politize its work?  “In contrast to former Investigator  Detlev Mehlis, (Sayyed) Hasan Nassrallah has never been known to order the killing of rival politicians, the 2005-2006 accusations against Syria where shown to be fallacious and based on a false witness, Der Spiegel has a rumored long history with Israeli intelligence, the “key” eight phones (mentioned in Follath’s report) were never in the hands of Hezbollah but rather a Muslim Sunni  organization in Tripoli (north Lebanon) as Detlev Mehlis claimed to have documented, were “the surprising new conclusions” when the Court was set up but claimed no solid case had been put together,” he says.

Lamb also find puzzling the German weekly’s claim that  it  learned “from sources close to the tribunal” and verified by examining internal documents, that the Hariri case is about to take a sensational turn.”

“Der Speigel does not make it clear if it was the source that examined the internal documents or if it was Der Spiegel that examined these documents. If it is the latter, did the source to take these documents outside the very tight security building in The Hague? Surely, the investigation should be able to track this so-called source.”

“No evidence is offered by Der Spiegel for any of its “revelations” such as Hezbollah members who supposedly trained in Iran, bought phones, “two men who report only to their superior” (who else would they report to?) etc.  How does Der Spiegel know all these secret things and why not offer some proof? How does Der Spiegel know, for example who reports to who in Hezbollah?  Far too much left to the imagination by the author. Does some of this highly secret information come to Der Seigel via recently apprehended Israeli spy cells—passed on from the three Israeli intelligence agencies known to be here in Lebanon or sources connected with them?”

It seems that even Hezbollah’s rivals in Lebanon are not crediting Follath’s report.
Druze MP Walid Jumblatt warned in a Sunday speech that the article is “the game of nations that could, God forbid, derail justice and use it for things that we don’t believe in.”

Lamb also poses interesting questions for Der Spiegel.
The German Embassy in Beirut claims not to have heard about the article and would have no comment.
By press time, neither Mr. Follath nor his editors at Der Spiegel has replied to any of the following questions forwarded by this observer:

·        Why was the “new investigation findings” released by Der Speigel two weeks before the election where similar rumors have been circulation from the time of the 10/24/05 Der Speigel Report?

·        Could you comment on what some in Lebanon feel is the  suspicious timing of the Report at a time where Israel is being pressured at the UN Security Council over its continuing violations of UNSCR 1701, the uncovering of  several Israeli spy cells in Lebanon, growing US-Israel fears over the outcome of the upcoming election on June 7, US-Israeli concerns that Hezbollah and Lebanese security forces are cooperating closely on a number of issues and suggestions that a  “solution” to Hezbollah’ weapons may be announced within the coming weeks

·        How is it that Israel’s Foreign Minister Lieberman reportedly knew about the article before it was posted and apparently told aids he was “going to give this story legs” as he dictated the following statement which was reportedly embargoed until the story broke: “To the best of my understanding, if this is the conclusion of the investigators an arrest warrant must be issued immediately. If it is not, he must be forcibly arrested and brought to the International Court of Justice.”

.       Why did Der Spiegel run the sensationalist Hezbollah story, first on its website,  departing  from Der Spiegel’s policy of posting on its website articles from its print  edition only after, not  before, the latter is published. Der  Spiegel website runs  some Spiegel print stories but only a few days after  they  appeared in the  print edition published them. According to someone who knows the policy of Der Speigel this was a first ever switch. ( pulsemedia.org) and the weekly was in a major rush to get the story out and to its ‘online partner” the New York times where it will may appear any minute.

·        Why did the author cite  only an anonymous source or sources,

·        Why does the article allude to “anonymous documents” to bolster its claims, but fails to offer the reader any description or at least the title page of the report to give the reader some confidence in the articles veracity?

·        Almost all of the Hezbollah operatives allegedly involved in the assassination are dead or missing. The Lebanese officer investigating the cell phones connection was killed, and Imad Mughniyeh, who oversaw the “special forces” unit, also was killed in Damascus last year, making the allegations tough to verify.

·        Although the report examines both Hezbollah’s motives in wanting to assassinate Hariri and the tribunal’s motives in allegedly keeping the accusations against the group under wraps, it leaves aside questions regarding the motive of the leaker, who timed the revelations just before the Lebanese elections and at a juncture when Israel and Washington are trying to coax Syria away from Iran and Hezbollah.

God’s “Chosen People” Tending Their Cattle (Goyim)

God’s “Chosen People” Tending Their Cattle (Goyim)

Submitted by: Khan
The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.” – Samuel P. Huntington (author The Clash Of Civilisations)


Making sure they get to school.


Helping Ladies across the street..


Providing childcare.


Allowing them a place to rest (permanently)


Access to Healthcare.


Construction projects (demolition)

Respecting American and British pacifist resisters (such as American Rachel Corrie)

And others.

And if you are not satisfied, now, with the truth the following pictures are war crimes as defined by the UN, The Hague and the Geneva Convention.


Using images of your enemy dead or alive (violation)


Human shields (violation)

Live Burial Torture (violation)


And as a last resort, Execution (violation)


These IDF soldiers have faces… I can clearly see them…Cant you? Why are they not being prosecuted? Because it is systematic process that is driven by the government designed to force the people of Palestine into exile so Israel can claim all the land and resources.

This where my American tax dollars are going, do you know where your tax dollars are at? TAKE THE TIME TO FIND THE TRUTH. So many lives depend on it. I, like so many Americans, am Caucasian, non-Arab, and religious. I can no longer sit back with good conscience and do nothing while my government is supporting the types of terrorist actions that we have condemned Muslim Fundamentalist for. Call your Congressman and Senator, send an email to the White House and demand that our government negotiate FAIRLY with both sides and bring a fair and just solution to Palestine and Israel .


(CRUELTY OF ISRAEL


PLS DELIVER TO YOUR FRIENDS

Israel to Use Excuse of Anti-aircraft Missiles to Derail Democratic Elections and Ignite Third Lebanon War

[Its spy rings exposed, opening new propaganda ploy blaming Hezbollah for Hariri assassination (probably the work of Mossad and/or CIA), proclaiming new "red line" tripwire of surface-to-air missiles, Zionist war-mongers prepare the world for next war that Obama cannot derail.  Look-out Lebanon, the bogeyman is back to disrupt democratic elections!]

‘Israel Fears  Hezbollah Anti-Aircraft Missiles Could Spark War’

Readers Number : 130

26/05/2009 “The defense establishment is concerned that Hezbollah will try to smuggle advanced anti-aircraft missiles into Lebanon in the near future – yet another reason for the rising tension on the Israel-Lebanon border,” Haaretz newspaper said on Tuesday.

“Israel has made it clear in past statements that it will consider such a development as crossing a red line, which might necessitate preventative measures,” the daily said. “It is believed that Hezbollah would like to deploy SA-8 batteries in Lebanon. Such weapons could pose a threat to Israel Air Force jets flying over the country.”

According to Haaretz, the Soviet-made missiles are part of Syria’s military arsenal, and Hezbollah resistance fighters have received training on their use, inside Syrian territory.

It said Syria remains the main channel through which arms are transferred to Hezbollah, adding that almost a year ago, Israel relayed messages to both Damascus and Hezbollah, through several channels, warning that the Jewish state would consider launching air strikes against the convoys delivering the weapons, if they were brought into Lebanon.

“Then-prime minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak hinted publicly that these weapons would “upset the (existing) balance” and that Israel would not tolerate such a development,” Haaretz added.

The Israeli daily said the past few weeks witnessed growing concern about the missile transfers in the wake of the June 7 Lebanese parliamentary elections in a show of force.

“The intelligence assessments regarding the missiles follow a long series of unusual developments in Lebanon that are contributing to rising tensions,” including the discovery of Israeli spy rings, the Der Spiegel report on Hezbollah’s alleged involvement in the assassination of ex-Premier Rafik Hariri, and the unsettled score for the killing of Hezbollah military commander Martyr Imad Mughniyeh.

Pakistan attacks militants in Waziristan, 6 dead

Pakistan attacks militants in Waziristan, 6 dead

By Alamgir Bitani

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) – Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked Taliban positions in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Tuesday, killing six militants, intelligence officials and

residents said.

The attack came as the army pressed on with an offensive against the Taliban in their Swat valley bastion, about 350 km (220 miles) to the northeast of South Waziristan, in its most concerted attempt to push back an expanding insurgency.

Speculation has been mounting that the army would soon turn its attention to South Waziristan, the headquarters of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and a major base area for his Afghan Taliban allies battling Western forces in Afghanistan.

The army sent in its helicopters shortly after militants fired rockets at a paramilitary force base in Siblatoi town, 60 km (35 miles) east of Waziristan’s main town of Wana.

“The helicopter gunships are still attacking and so far six militants have been killed and 14 wounded,” said an intelligence agency official in the area said, adding that ground troops had secured the nearby village of Chakmali.

South Waziristan has been a militant hub for years.

Many Taliban and al Qaeda fighters fled there, and to neighboring North Waziristan, after U.S. forces and their Afghan allies drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan in the weeks following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

The United States and Afghanistan’s U.S.-backed government have long pressed Pakistan to do more to root out militants from their border strongholds.

The United States, which is pouring thousands of extra troops into Afghanistan this year, has been attacking militants in both South and North Waziristan with missile-firing drone aircraft.

RESIDENTS FLEE

Tension has been building in South Waziristan since President Asif Ali Zardari told Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper just over a week ago that the military would move against militants in Waziristan after clearing Swat.

Though Zardari is reported to have later denied that, military officials say an all-out offensive against militants in South Waziristan looks inevitable.

“We’re ready for an operation in South Waziristan. Now it’s

just a matter of time,” a senior intelligence official said.

Military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas said last week there would be an operation in Waziristan and its timing would depend on the national interest.

With tension rising, civilians have begun leaving. Authorities are already trying to help more than 2 million people displaced from Swat and nearby districts.

About 10,000 people have fled from South Waziristan in recent days, many to the town of Dera Ismail Khan on the lowland to the east, a senior government official said.

“Now they’re staying with relatives in Dera Ismail Khan and other areas but if the situation worsens then we’ll have to make arrangements for their shelter and needs,” said the official.

South Waziristan resident Mir Nawaz said he wasn’t waiting for the fighting to start in earnest before getting his wife and children out.

“We’re leaving our home because civilians die more than anyone else in such operations. I don’t want my children to be killed,” Nawaz said by telephone.

Authorities have accused Pakistani Taliban leader Mehsud of being behind a wave of attacks over the past two years, including the 2007 assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

The United States announced in March a reward of $5 million for information leading to his location or arrest.

(Additional reporting by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Robert Birsel and Paul Tait)

Pakistan to Airdrop Relief Goods to Civilians Trapped in Swat

Pakistan to Airdrop Relief Goods to Civilians Trapped in Swat

By Farhan Sharif and Khalid Qayum

May 26 (Bloomberg) — Pakistan plans to airdrop food and medicine to thousands of civilians trapped in the northwestern Swat Valley as troops battle Taliban insurgents in an attempt to clear the region’s biggest city.

“People are trapped, injured and desperately in need of food and medicine,” Adnan Khan, spokesman for the government’s emergency response unit said by telephone from Peshawar. “We have asked the army today to help us airdrop relief goods into those areas which we can’t reach.”

Authorities have imposed curfew as troops are trying to clear as many as 1,500 Taliban militants from Mingora, the main city in Swat, in a battle to regain control of the northwestern district. The government offensive, that began four weeks ago after the Taliban advanced toward Islamabad, has forced 2.3 million people to flee their homes in the country’s biggest migration in 62 years.

The curfew has led to a “major humanitarian crisis,” as people in trapped areas run out of food, water and medicine, New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement today.

“Civilians continue to suffer at the hands of the Taliban and now their misery is being compounded by the military’s disregard for civilians and refusal to allow them to leave the conflict zone,” Brad Adams, the New-York based group’s Asia director, said in a statement today.

The insurgents had flouted a February accord that introduced Islamic law in the northwest in return for peace. The Obama administration has criticized the accord, saying militants threaten the stability of the nuclear-armed nation and endanger American security.

Rebuild Damages

Pakistan says it may need $1 billion to rebuild property damaged in the fighting. International donors, including the European Union, Canada, China and Japan last week pledged $224 million, according to the government in Islamabad. Pakistan has appealed for increased international support.

Other nations, especially the U.S., should do more to help the relief effort as winning the hearts and minds of affected civilians is essential to combating extremism, state-run media cited Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani as saying yesterday.

Gilani met yesterday with U.S. Democratic senators Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Mark Warner or Virginia and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, the official Associated Press of Pakistan reported. They discussed the Swat conflict and U.S. assistance to the nation, APP said.

President Barack Obama has said an aid package to Pakistan worth $1.5 billion a year would be conditional on the government tackling Islamic extremists.

Ski Resort

Pakistan’s military said yesterday it secured Swat’s Maalam Jabba ski resort, which militants were using as a training and logistics base. Troops are getting ready to fight Taliban militants in the tribal area of South Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan, the Dawn newspaper reported today.

Security forces say it may take several days to clear Mingora of militants. The military says it has killed about 1,100 insurgents in the Swat, Buner, Lower Dir and Malakand districts since the offensive began. More than 50 soldiers have died, it said. Casualty figures couldn’t be independently verified.

Maulana Fazlullah, the Taliban chief in Swat, told his fighters to stop battling the troops in Mingora to avoid loss of civilian life, Agence France-Presse reported, citing spokesman Muslim Khan. The Taliban spokesman asked people who have fled the area to return to their homes, AFP said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Farhan Sharif in Karachi, Pakistan at Fsharif2@bloomberg.net; Khalid Qayum in Islamabad at kqayum@bloomberg.net.

Showdown looms in South Waziristan as military moves in

Showdown looms in South Waziristan as military moves in

By Alamgir Bhittani

A police officer checks documents of Tribals fleeing the fighting between security forces and Taliban militants in Tank, South Waziristan. —AP

TANK: Security forces are reported to have moved tanks and heavy artillery into the Frontier Region of Jandola for a possible showdown with militants in the adjacent South Waziristan agency.

According to sources, sporadic clashes between militants and troops continued in South Waziristan for the fourth day on Monday. Local people said that the troops used artillery and hit positions of the militants who fired rockets at two forts in Jandola.

Three children were wounded when a rocket fired by militants hit a residential area in Jadeedabad.

The sources said that troops, backed by tanks, armoured personnel carriers and artillery, left their base at Umar Adda in Tank district for Shozza and Khaisera areas in Jandola.

Shozza and Khaisera are close to the area of Mehsuds in South Waziristan. The movement of troops and continuous shelling have sparked fear in the area and families have started leaving Jandola and adjacent areas.

The sources said that heavy movement of troops had also been witnessed in Thall area of Hangu district, which adjoins the Kurram, North Waziristan and Orakzai regions. It may be mentioned that warplanes bombed a number of militants positions in Orakzai on Sunday.

Meanwhile, elders of the Mehsud tribe held a meeting with Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud at an unspecified place. Former MNA Maulana Merajuddin led the elders.

The sources said that Baitullah had withdrawn most of the demands earlier presented to the government.

But he is insisting on withdrawal of troops from checkposts in Speen Kai Raghzai area.

Baitullah had earlier demanded withdrawal of troops from the entire Mehsud area and asked the government to get drone attacks in the tribal region stopped.

Army dismisses Taliban ‘ploy’

Army dismisses Taliban ‘ploy’

Tuesday, May 26, 2009
ISLAMABAD: The Taliban on Monday urged civilians to return to the Swat Valley’s main city, promising they would not attack security forces battling for control out of concern for the safety of trapped residents. Pakistan’s military dismissed the gesture as a ploy that would allow the militants to blend in with the residents of Mingora, and said it had no intention of halting its offensive in the valley. The appeal also appeared designed to play off the growing public concern for thousands still stuck in Mingora amid shortages of foodand water.

Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan told The Associated Press late Sunday and Monday afternoon that the Taliban’s pledge was not a formal cease-fire offer and that the militia’s ‘aides’ would stay in the city. “I would like to appeal to the people of Mingora to get back to their homes and start their routine life as we will not fire even a single shot,” Khan said in a phone call from an undisclosedlocation.

Afghan floods kill 94, make thousands homeless

Afghan floods kill 94, make thousands homeless

Afghan children play in flooded water in northern Afghanistan. At least 94 people have been killed and thousands of families left homeless by flash floods, officials said. –AFP Photo

KABUL: Heavy flooding and landslides have killed 94 people and left thousands of families homeless in northern Afghanistan since May 20, the United Nations said on Monday.

Some 8,000 houses in 207 villages have been totally or partially destroyed after heavy rain across five provinces, affecting 13,689 families, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

The flooding damaged more than 100 bridges and around 600 kilometers of roads.

Around 30 people were also killed by flooding in northern areas of the country earlier this month.

The mud-built homes that house most Afghans in rural areas are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters in a country at risk from earthquakes, floods and landslides.

Austrian Sikh temple attack sparks riots in India

Austrian Sikh temple attack sparks riots in India

Policemen stand behind a burning vehicle in Jalandhar, in the northern Indian state of Punjab. -Reuters

CHANDIGARH: Thousands protested in the Indian state of Punjab on Monday, torching a train, vehicles and shops after a Sikh preacher was killed on Sunday in an attack on a temple in Austria’s capital Vienna, police said.

Authorities imposed a curfew on parts of the state and the army was put on standby after members mainly of the Dalit or ‘untouchable’ community protested against the attack in Vienna that killed one of their leaders, according to police.

‘The situation remains tense but under control,’ said senior superintendent of police R.K Jaiswal, from Jalandhar town in Punjab where the violence was centred.

At least 16 people were wounded on Sunday when six armed men attacked two preachers visiting from India with a gun and knives during a ceremony in a Vienna temple.

Guru Sant Rama Nand, died in the night after an emergency operation, police said. The second, Guru Sant Niranjan Dass, is in a stable condition. Both had suffered bullet wounds.

Four of the attackers were severely wounded, two of them life-threatening, when they were overpowered by worshippers. The other two were only lightly wounded and are in police detention.

At least some attackers were residents and had previously asked for asylum in Austria, prosecutors said. Around 2,800 Sikhs lived in Austria in 2001, according to the last census.

Austrian news agency APA quoted temple officials as saying members of rival temples had threatened violence if he appeared.

Police denied it had been warned of a possible attack. The Guru who died was said to be from the Dera Sach Khand, a religious sect which draws large support from the Dalit community and is considered separate from mainstream Sikhism.

Sikhism officially rejects caste but social hierarchies still prevail in the state, and followers who protested from the Dera Sach Khand identified themselves as from the Dalit caste.

Activists from a powerful political party, which draws its support mainly from Dalits, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), have joined the protests.

On top of being popular among the lower castes, Dera Sach Khand also differs from mainstream Sikhism on religious points, some of which draw the ire of pious Sikhs, analysts say.

‘Sects like the Sach Khand broadly follow Sikhism but make their own diversions and as such cannot be included in Sikhism,’ Dr. Parmod Kumar, a political scientist, said.

‘The Dera Sach Khand follow a living guru which Sikhism cannot accept at all,’ he said. ‘Sikhs react strongly to this and that is why the clashes between the Dera followers and mainstream Sikhs occur.’

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called upon people in Punjab to ‘maintain peace and harmony': ‘Invoking the teachings of the Gurus, I appeal to all sections of the people in Punjab to abjure violence and maintain peace,’ he said in a statement.

People take on Taliban

People take on Taliban

The people may be be an asset in a conflict that has countrywide ramifications. —AFP/File photo

EVEN the worm turns. For long left at the mercy of the Taliban, the people of the Swat valley now seem to be mustering the courage to stand up to the rebels and fight back. As reported in this newspaper on Saturday, the effectiveness of the army’s operations against the Taliban has encouraged the non-combatants to organise their own defence to foil the Taliban’s attempt to re-enter the villages from where they had been dislodged by the army. Last Thursday non-combatants in Kalam beat back attempts by the rebels to get a foothold in the area to resume their activities. Even though a minority, the Taliban have shown ruthlessness in their attempt to impose their version of religion on the people of Swat, who traditionally have been cosmopolitan in outlook because of the valley’s tourism economy. The most barbaric aspect of the Taliban philosophy revealed itself in their attitude towards women: they beat up even those who had the ‘audacity’ to go to bazaars for essential shopping wearing a burka. They also brazenly advertised their anti-modernity ideology by blowing up schools and colleges. Devoid of the rudimentary concepts of compassion and mercy, the Taliban have slaughtered people and shown off their acts of barbarism on video.

Having destroyed the once-flourishing tourist trade, the Taliban further hurt the people’s livelihood by threatening tailors and barbers and blowing up CD shops. No wonder the people of Swat have realised that it is their own survival that is at stake and that they have no choice but to help the army crush the rebels. What the government should note is that this change in attitude has occurred because the army has finally decided to do its job to destroy the enemy. If they have confidence that the government will not once again make a ‘deal’ with the Taliban, and the army will not abandon them, the people may be more encouraged to fight the Taliban and be an asset in a conflict that has countrywide ramifications.

Taliban torched over 200 schools in Swat in 2 years: Report

Taliban torched over 200 schools in Swat in 2 years: Report

24 May 2009, 0855 hrs IST, PTI

LONDON: Taliban militants have burnt down more than 200 schools in Pakistan’s restive Swat valley in the last two years and made all out efforts

to prevent girls from

receiving education, a media report here said on Sunday.

The militants told the residents in the valley that if they were good Muslims they would stop sending their daughters to schools, ‘The Sunday Times’ said in a report from Mingora, the capital of Swat.

“Every evening (Taliban commander) Maulana Fazullah, nicknamed ‘Radio Mullah’, broadcast the names on the radio of girls who had stopped going to school – it would be, ‘Congratulations to Miss Kulsoon or Miss Shahnaz, who has quit school.’ Then he warned others if they continued with their education they would go to hell,” the paper said.

The Taliban have torched over 200 of Swat’s 1,500 schools in the last two years, it said.

The military offensive against the militants resulted in what Martin Mogwania, the acting UN humanitarian coordinator, called “the most dramatic displacement in the world.”

According to UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, more than 1.7 million people have been rendered homeless in just three weeks. On Friday, the UN appealed for 340 million pounds, while officials urgently tried to find new sites for camps.

The newspaper also gave a graphic account of the havoc created by Taliban in Swat. A 22-year-old medical student from the valley had secretly catalogued the horrors of life in Swat under the Taliban.

The burning-down of schools, bodies hanging upside down, public lashings and decapitated heads with dollars stuffed in their nostrils and notes reading, ‘This is what happens to spies,’ were all captured on the student’s mobile phone at great personal risk, the report said.

The paper noted that Fazullah in December announced a deadline of January 15 for all girls to stop attending school.

The medical student’s account was corroborated by Ziauddin Yusufzai, who ran two schools in Swat and was spokesman for the private school association until he fled the bombing three weeks ago.

“Once, my wife went shopping in a market popular with women and a man with long hair and a gun came and terrorised them and shouted, ‘Haven’t we warned you women not to come to shops? Next time we’ll kill you.'”

Yusufzai, too, admitted that Fazullah won widespread popularity early on. “Fazlullah used his radio to spread venomous propaganda,” he said.

“He was winning the support of many people. The whole town would go to Friday prayers and he would arrive on a horse, his long hair flowing, as if he were the prophet.”

Fazlullah’s call for the restoration of Islamic law was broadly supported. The Taliban were also seen by many as a class movement – occupying the homes of wealthy residents. Yusufzai estimated that by the end of 2007 the Taliban controlled 30 per cent of Swat.

Two army operations intended to remove the Taliban merely tightened their grip, the paper said. “The army would tell people to leave their villages, but instead of clearing them of militants it seemed they were cleared for militants.”

It was the combination of international pressure and the militants’ proximity to the federal capital Islamabad that finally persuaded the army to act. “They’re not going to salute a Mullah Omar, no way,” explained President Asif Ali Zardari in an interview to the newspaper.

“It was fine when the militants were just tools but now the tools have come to threaten the masters. It’s a different fight,” he said.

Rehman Malik, the Interior Minister, said: “We had a choice: either we hand over the country to the Taliban or we fight, and we have decided to fight. We will not stop now until we have cleared them all.”

About 15,000 members of the security forces are fighting between 4,000 and 5,000 militants in Swat. According to the army, more than 1,000 militants and 50 soldiers have been killed, though the lack of media access to the area meant it was impossible to verify those figures.

According to the Interior Minister, Fazullah’s forces have been receiving help from Al-Qaeda. Malik said that among those captured in Swat were four Saudis, a Libyan and an Afghan, all currently under interrogation.

Tiger dead, a secret spills

Tiger dead, a secret spills

SUJAN DUTTA
Prabhakaran

New Delhi, May 18: Sri Lanka’s military triumph over the LTTE that peaked with the announcement of Prabhakaran’s death today was possible with active assistance — including a defined naval deployment against the Sea Tigers — from India.

The aid increased steadily this year but New Delhi asked Colombo to keep it quiet till the election was over.

The Indian military assistance came on a specific request from the Sri Lankan government. The first military medical mission was despatched in April.

But far more significant than that benign assistance was the deployment of three fast attack boats and a missile corvette by the Indian Navy that were specifically tasked to patrol the Palk Straits, search for and catch hold of LTTE fugitives and, if necessary, destroy Sea Tiger craft.

The operation was executed by the Indian Navy’s Southern Command that co-ordinated with the integrated defence staff here. The missile corvette deployed was the INS Vinash, a boat indigenously made and capable of chasing the Sea Tigers’ vessels and pushing them back into Lankan waters to a waiting Lankan navy.

The “sea denial” and “naval blockade” by the Indian Navy was first requested by Colombo in May 2007. Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested New Delhi to amend its hands-off policy and be more pro-active with military support for the island’s armed forces.

Lanka made the request after a daring attack by the Sea Tigers on the island of Delft near Jaffna. India was still chary of active military assistance. But it effected a course correction from the end of last year.

The course correction was prompted largely by a growing Chinese presence in Sri Lanka. With India hesitating to supply lethal arms to the Sri Lankan forces, Colombo turned to China and Pakistan. It also gave major port and road-building contracts to Beijing, much to New Delhi’s anxiety. India was to supply radars and was training Sri Lankan military personnel.

From early this year, Delhi shifted gears and increased the quantum of support. It quietly agreed to aid in the naval blockade against the Sea Tigers — India has also handed over “LTTE fugitives” to the Lankan forces — on the condition that this was not publicised.

Foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menon and national security adviser M.K. Narayanan visited Colombo on the 23rd of last month in the middle of the elections.

Second, it also sent a military-medical mission. The military-medical mission is being turned around. A team of 60 doctors, paramedics and nurses is going to Sri Lanka on the 20th of this month to set up a hospital in Vavuniya to treat refugees in the warzone.

India is also working on a package of humanitarian assistance for Lanka. A team of engineers is also in Lanka to de-mine roads in its northern province.

Snakes, scorpions turn IDPs’ nights sleepless F.P. Report

Snakes, scorpions turn IDPs’ nights sleepless F.P. Report

PESHAWAR: The Provincial Government has set up 22 relief camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) of war-affected areas of Malakand Division in various districts of the province to give then shelters and relief. Though the government and other agencies were busy in providing relief and immediate aid to IDPs but, many of them were complaining about the useless relief items at the moment. Khurshid Iqbal who was standing under the direct sun light at Jalaozai Relief Camp Informed desperately to The Frontier Post that a UN Agency has provided him a bag of wheat and mosquito net in its relief package. What he can do with wheat and from where he would grind it, he questioned. He further added that where they can fix mosquito nets as they don not have bed and stand for its utilization. These items were useless for them at the moment he said and added that government should provide them necessary items which they can use. Mardan, about 70km northwest of Peshawar, capital of the NWFP, is the first place those fleeing volatile areas like Buner, Swat and Dir come to, and the government has established four relief camps in the district including Jalala, Mazdoor Aabad, Sheikh Yasin and Sheikh Shahzad. According to Provincial Government, so far 2.5 million people uprooted by fighting in the Malakand Division. According to IDPs in Jalala, the camp contains more than one thousand families, and conditions are “awful”. “It’s very hot and we are not used to this heat,” said Sher Bahadur Khan, 24. “Sitting in tents is like being in a `tandoor’.” Despite the heat, he said, women had no choice but to remain cooped up inside as they observed `purdah’. “Because they have to remain in tents, the majority of women and children are suffering from scabies, diarrhoea and high fever,” he said, adding that toilets and water were far away, so women could not bathe enough. “There is not enough water; the toilets are in a terrible state and food is always short,” said Bahadur Khan. Taimur Shah, 18, another IDP, said that while wheat was being distributed “we cannot grind it into flour.” Naeem feared if the weather got any worse and the sanitary conditions did not improve in the camps, there could be outbreaks of diseases. “It’s very, very hot and these cool environment mountain people were not used to the heat in the plains. Many may not survive June and July, when temperatures may rise further,” he said. But, if the days are bad, the nights are even worse. “We hardly sleep, because of the fear of snakes, rats and scorpions,” said Shah Bibi. “Because there is no light in the night and it is pitch dark, people often enter the wrong tents and that causes much discomfort for women observing `purdah’. Then women cannot go and relieve themselves or take the young ones to the toilet because they fear stepping on snakes.” Another lady Razia said that they can not sleep at nights as there is always fear of snakes and scorpions. She said “we turn over the buckets and sit our children on that to protect them from such deadly reptiles. Mosquitoes exacerbate their woes. The place seems to be the perfect breeding ground for them, said Razia and added that the condition would improve if government materialize it claims of being providing electricity to relief camps. Ahmed Waheed said that there is no vaccine of snake-bite in the medical camps and if any case reported the poor victim might hardly to survive.

Anyone who cares for what is happening to Pakistan,

[A most interesting and relevant comment from Baitullah Mehsud's Time is Up.]

Anyone who cares for what is happening to Pakistan,

by Shamsudin Abdullah

It’s pointless (and dishonest) to blame people like Maulana Sufi, Fazlullah, Baitullah or Osama for the violence & terror that is killing our children. For years we have been promoting and condoning the use of violence and terror to achieve our “national interest” and “strategic depth”, and all this is done in the name of Islam & Jihad. Now the monster which we so lovingly created and nurtured to spread destruction, bloodshed, misery and hate amongst the kafir has decided that we, it’s erstwhile masters, are kafir too. It is the height of denial and self-delusion for us to try to disown them now.

What kind of immoral, perverted logic is it that allows us to celebrate and praise someone as a hero and freedom fighter for Jihad fisabil Allah when he kills someone else’s children only to call him a terrorist when he kills ours? What is this depraved creed that we follow which teaches us that we can do evil in the name of good, and not be defiled by it?

We have been indulging in this moral schizophrenia for so long that we can no longer tell right from wrong. The result is corruption and decay: our Nation dismembered, our infrastructure crumbling (unless you live in Defence Colony), our education a joke, our democratic institutions dysfunctional, our children (those too poor to escape overseas) look forward to either being a perpetrator or victim of suicide bombing.

But all that aside, the most grievous consequence is the effect on our Nation’s soul. Our moral blindness infects our hearts and our children’s too; it replaces the teachings of Allah with hate, unreason & beastliness; gone are mercy, forgiveness, love and peace. Eventually, we lose our humanity and become twisted, hateful monsters ourselves, living short, brutish and nasty lives, just like in the time of Jahilia.

Am I being unfair in assigning responsibility to us, the people of Pakistan, instead of our leaders? No, I am not. People everywhere get the government that they deserve, and so did we. May Allah help us find our moral compass again.

by Shamsudin Abdullah April 27, 2009

Baitullah Mehsud’s Time Is Up

Baitullah Mehsud’s Time Is Up

February 22, 2009

Dan Qayyum | PakistanKaKhudaHafiz.com

It seems Baitullah Mehsud has outlived his shelf-life and is of no further use to his American and Indian masters.

After receiving a kicking in Bajaur and the implementation of Sharia in Swat, he has now been cornered into South Waziristan with his area of influence having been greatly reduced in recent days. In what seemed like a sign of desperation, he hit out at Kashmiri jihadi groups last week, threatening to eliminate their leaders if they did not join him in fighting the Pakistan army.

Accusing them of ‘only fighting external enemies such as the US and India’, Baitullah Mehsud’s ‘Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan’ (TTP) justified attacking members of these Jihadi outfits by pointing out that these outfits ‘do not fight the Pakistan Army’ and commit mass murder of innocent Pakistani citizens like the TTP has been doing for a some time now.

It is also interesting to note that the Afghan Taleban’s Supreme Commander Mullah Mohammad Omar had issued a statement over a year ago distancing himself and the Afghan Taleban from the TTP and its chief Baitullah Mehsud. He had also condemned Baitullah Mehsud in strong words for fighting against the Pakistan Army instead of with the NATO forces.

This recent report in NYT makes interesting reading.

It is unclear why the Obama administration decided to carry out the attacks, which American and Pakistani officials said occurred last Saturday and again on Monday, hitting camps run by Mr. Mehsud’s network. The Saturday strike was aimed specifically at Mr. Mehsud, but he was not killed, according to Pakistani and American officials.

For months, Pakistani military and intelligence officials have complained about Washington’s refusal to strike at Baitullah Mehsud, even while C.I.A. drones struck at Qaeda figures and leaders of the network run by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a militant leader believed responsible for a campaign of violence against American troops in Afghanistan.

According to one senior Pakistani official, Pakistan’s intelligence service on two occasions in recent months gave the United States detailed intelligence about Mr. Mehsud’s whereabouts, but said the United States had not acted on the information. Bush administration officials had charged that it was the Pakistanis who were reluctant to take on Mr. Mehsud and his network.

It now increasingly looks like Baitullah Mehsud is living on borrowed time. It would be interesting to see who gets to him first, the Pakistanis or the Americans. Pakistani Army would be well advised to attempt to capture him alive, something that the Americans and Indians would try and ensure does not happen.

Tell me why, does it have to be like this…

[Submitted by: Maqsood Kayani]

by Declan Galbraith

In my dream, children sing
A song of love for every boy and girl
The sky is blue and fields are green
And laughter is the language of the world
Then i wake and all i see
Is a world full of people in need

Chorus:
Tell me why(why) does it have to be like this?
Tell me why (why) is there something i have missed?
Tell me why (why) cos i don’t understand
When so many need somebody
We don’t give a helping hand
Tell me why?

Everyday I ask myself
What will I have to do to be a man?
Do I have to stand and fight
To prove to everybody who I am?
Is that what my life is for
To waste in a world full of war?

Chorus:
Tell me why(why) does it have to be like this?
Tell me why (why) is there something i have missed?
Tell me why (why) cos I don’t understand
When so many need somebody
We don’t give a helping hand
Tell me why?

Chorus:
(children)tell me why?(declan)tell me why?
(children)tell me why?(declan)tell me why?
(together) just tell me why, why, why?

Chorus:
Tell me why(why) does it have to be like this?
Tell me why (why) is there something i have missed?
Tell me why (why) cos I don’t understand
When so many need somebody
We don’t give a helping hand
Tell me why?

Chorus:
Tell me why (why,why,does the tiger run)
Tell me why(why why do we shoot the gun)
Tell me why (why,why do we never learn)
Can someone tell us why we let the forest burn?
(why,why do we say we care)
Tell me why(why,why do we stand and stare)
Tell me why(why,why do the dolphins cry)
Can some one tell us why we let the ocean die?
(why,why if we’re all the same)
Tell me why(why,why do we pass the blame)
Tell me why (why,why does it never end)
Can some one tell us why we cannot just be friends?
Why,why

Pity the nation… that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting, farewells him with hooting, only to welcome another with trumpeting again.
– Khalil Jibran

It is not if we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists will we be?
– Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”.
– Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.”
– Angela Monet

“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains.”
– Jean-Jacques Rousseau

“Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.”
– Voltaire

“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”
– Samuel P. Huntington (author The Clash Of Civilisations)

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
– “Michael Jordan

Admiral Mullen Hypes the Iranian Threat

Iran closer on nuclear weapons: US

Monday, May 25, 2009
Tehran producing anti-cruise missile cannons; Rezai says he can stop Israel with ‘one strike’

WASHINGTON/TEHRAN: Iran is clearly moving closer to acquiring a nuclear weapons capability but military strikes to counter the programme would have serious unintended consequences, the top US military officer said on Sunday.

“I think the unintended consequence of a strike against Iran right now would be incredibly serious, as well as the unintended consequences of their achieving a weapon,” Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

“That’s why this engagement, dialogue is so important,” he said in an interview on ABC television, referring to President Barack Obama’s aim to engage Iran diplomatically. Mullen said the United States would approach Iran “with all options on the table.”

“So that would leave a pretty narrow space in which to achieve a successful dialogue and a successful outcome, which from my perspective means they don’t end up with nuclear weapons,” he said.

Mullen said he did not believe Iran’s claims that it is developing its nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes, but he said the aim of diplomacy would be “to really bring out whether that is how the senior leaders feels.” “Certainly from what I’ve seen in recent years, Iran is on a path to develop nuclear weapons,” he said.

“Most of us believe that it is one to three years (away from acquiring nuclear weapons), depending on assumptions about where they are right now. But they are moving closer clearly and they continue to do that,” he said.

“And if you believe that is their strategic intent, as I do and certainly as my Israeli counterpart does, that’s the principal concern,” he said.

Meanwhile, Iran’s former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezai warned on Sunday he could stop Israel with “one strike” and said it would not dare to threaten the Islamic republic if he is elected president.

“My government… understands missiles and tanks as well as foreign policy and knows exactly where Israel’s sensitive spots are. It could stop them forever with one strike,” Rezai told a news conference.

“If government falls into our hands Israel will not dare threaten Iran because the Israelis and the Americans know us and our friends,” said Rezai, who is one of three candidates challenging President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June 12 election.

“Our presence in government will act as a deterrent to threats,” said the veteran conservative who headed the elite Guards force for 16 years to 1997, including during Iran’s war with Iraq in the 1980s.

His comments came after an opinion poll by Tel Aviv University showed one in two Israelis back an immediate attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Israel and Washington accuse Iran of trying to develop atomic weapons under the guise of a civilian nuclear programme, a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied.

In a related development, Iran launched on Sunday a production line for manufacturing cannons for warships which can be used against cruise missiles, the Fars news agency reported.

“The final range of the 40-millimetre naval cannon, named Fath (victory), is 12 kilometres (more than seven miles) and it shoots 300 projectiles per minute,” Defence Minister Mohammad Mostafa Najjar said in a statement reported by Fars.

“It can be used against cruise missiles … It is an anti-aircraft low-altitude weapon for use on warships,” he said, adding that it was being entirely built by Iranians.

Iran has boasted in the past of developing new weapons systems only for its claims to be met with scepticism by Western defence analysts.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced on Wednesday that Iran had successfully test-fired a new medium-range missile, named Sejil-2, drawing a warning from Israel that Europe too should now worry about the Islamic republic’s ballistic programme.