It’s not just Afghanistan; it’s everywhere from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

It’s not just Afghanistan; it’s everywhere from Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan by babasteve

Central Asia has oil and gas.

And heroin.

Journalist Simon Reeve said of his trip to the Stans, such as Uzbekistan:

“Most people I met longed for a return to the financial security of Communism…

Tajikistan kids by babasteve

“Unemployment is now rampant in Central Asia.

Poverty, censorship and government repression are the norm.” (BBC NEWS Meet the Stans)

Craig Murray, the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2004, has written about how ISLAM KARIMOV, President of Uzbekistan, boils people Alive.

It was the CIA that promoted Islamism in Central Asia, as a way of ending control by Russia. (CIA activities in Uzbekistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

The CIA now has an intelligence alliance with the Uzbek government of Islam Karimov,[1] .

The CIA has funded and trained a counterterrorism unit of the Uzbek military. (CIA activities in Uzbekistan – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

Who gets to control the oil, the gas and the pipelines?

Rick Rozoff, at Global Research, 10 July 2009, wrote Military Escalation: From Afghanistan To the Caspian Sea and Central Asia

Among the points made:

1. Countries involved in Afghanistan include Germany, Romania, formerly neutral Finland and Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates and Macedonia.

2. Pentagon And NATO are fanning out from Afghanistan into Central Asia and the states of the Caspian Sea.

3. In June 2009, in Kazakhstan, the defence chiefs of 28 NATO countries and 22 partner countries held a meeting of its Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).

Kazakhstan has the largest proven reserves of oil and natural gas in Central Asia.

NATO’s partner countries in Central Asia are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

Kazakhstan Presidential Palace by Em and Ernie

4. Top Pentagon officials have paid a number of visits to countries such as Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.

These US officials want from these countries:

A. military bases.

B. troop commitments

C. the right to move war materials through these countries.

5. The Pentagon has recently regained use of the Manas Airbase in Kyrgyzstan.

Kyrgyzstan by sjameron

6. The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative to Central Asia and the South Caucasus is Robert Simmons, an American.

Simmons has recruited a force of Georgian troops for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has gathered additional Azerbaijani soldiers for the same purpose.

Who gets to control the oil and gas?

7. Turkmenistan now allows overflights by the USA. It also allows US troops on its territory. It has offered the US the use of the air base at Mary.

The USA wants Turkmenistan’s oil and gas to go not to Russian pipelines but to the Western-controlled pipelines which deliberately bypass Russia, Armenia and Iran.

8. Turkmenistan has put up 32 Caspian oil and gas field units for international tenders. Bidders include US and European companies.

Turkmenistan people by minifastcar33

9. The USA supports the Nabucco pipeline.

A US spokesman said: “An inter-governmental agreement on the Nabucco project envisaging natural gas supplies from the basin of the Caspian Sea to Europe avoiding Russia will be signed in Ankara on July 13….

Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Iraq are considered as among potential energy resources for Nabucco.

“The US stands against Iran’s participation in Nabucco’s realization but supports gas transportation to Europe from Iraq.”

Azerbaijan by teuchterlad

10. The US and NATO are active in Azerbaijan.

The U.S. wants military cooperation with Azerbaijan in the field of land forces.

Azerbaijan has a lingering dispute with Armenia over Nagorno Karabakh.

Armenia is an ally of both Russia and Iran.

11. Reportedly, the USA and NATO want to bring Armenia over to their side.

‘Colour Revolutions’ were used by the USA and NATO to win over Georgia and the Ukraine.

Russia is being ringed in by NATO states and partners.

Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) is currently a de facto independent republic. Azerbaijan wants it back.

12. If Azerbaijan goes to war against Nagorno Karabakh, countries that could be drawn into the conflict include Armenia, Russia, Iran, Turkey, and NATO states including Turkey and the United States.

The USA and NATO have been increasing cooperation with Azerbaijan.

13. Israel is deeply involved in the Caspian area.

On 28 June 2009, Israeli President Shimon Peres visited Azerbaijan, before going on to Kazakhstan.

According to an Armenian news site, “Israel rearms Azerbaijani army”.

Israel supplied neighboring Georgia with drones for its war with Russia in August 2008.

14. On 1 July 2009, The Jerusalem Post reported: “Israel gains ground in Central Asia.”

According to the Jerusalem post, “Israel played the central role in rebuilding and modernizing the Azeri military after its losses in Nagorno-Karabakh.”

Russian analyst Andrei Areshev was quoted by an Armenian news source as saying “It’s unclear whether Israel plays its own game or acts as an agent of another power wishing the destabilization of Russia and Iran.”

15. In an Azerbaijani news report called “Israeli air force to join overseas exercises with eye on Iran,” it was revealed that the Israeli Air Force “will take part later this year in a joint aerial exercise with a NATO-member state…”

16. It’s a long war.

Back in 1978, the USA was training Moslem warriors in Afganistan.


It is not yet clear who is winning. Alliances can shift.

On 13 July 2009, we learn a Nabucco Europe gas pipeline deal has been agreed BUT that the Turk PM wants Iranian and Russian gas in Nabucco

Turkey and four European Union countries, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Austria, have signed an agreement to construct the Nabucco natural gas pipeline to bring gas from the Caspian and the Middle East across Turkey and into Europe.

It has still to be agreed where the gas will come from.

Azerbaijan will be the main source of Nabucco’s gas when the pipeline is opened, due by 2014.

However, two weeks ago, Azerbaijan agreed to sell some of its gas to Russia.

Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Egypt are possible suppliers to Nabucco in the longer term.

Russia is planning two of its own new gas pipelines to Europe.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on 13 July 2009 that Turkey wanted Iranian gas to be transported to Europe via the planned Nabucco pipeline “when conditions allow.”

The USA opposes this.

The Nabucco Consortium has mentioned Russia as a source for gas.

Erdogan also said he believed Russian gas could be transported to Europe via Nabucco.

The USA opposes this.

RAW & Mossad, The Secret Link

Story from:

Thirty-five years ago, in September 1968, when the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was founded with Rameshwar Nath Kao at its helm, then prime minister Indira Gandhi asked him to cultivate Israel’s Mossad. She believed relations between the two intelligence agencies was necessary to monitor developments that could threaten India and Israel.

The efficient spymaster he was, Kao established a clandestine relationship with Mossad. In the 1950s, New Delhi had permitted Tel Aviv to establish a consulate in Mumbai. But full-fledged diplomatic relations with Israel were discouraged because India supported the Palestinian cause; having an Israeli embassy in New Delhi, various governments believed, would rupture its relations with the Arab world.

This was where the RAW-Mossad liaison came in. Among the threats the two external intelligence agencies identified were the military relationship between Pakistan and China and North Korea, especially after then Pakistan foreign minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto visited Pyongyang in 1971 to establish a military relationship with North Korea.

Again, Israel was worried by reports that Pakistani army officers were training Libyans and Iranians to handle Chinese and North Korean military equipment.

RAW-Mossad relations were a secret till Morarji Desai became prime minister in 1977. RAW officials had alerted him about the Zia-ul Haq regime’s plans to acquire nuclear capability. While French assistance to Pakistan for a plutonium reprocessing plant was well known, the uranium enrichment plant at Kahuta was a secret. After the French stopped helping Islamabad under pressure from the Carter administration, Pakistan was determined to keep the Kahuta plant a secret. Islamabad did not want Washington to prevent its commissioning.

RAW agents were shocked when Desai called Zia and told the Pakistani military dictator: ‘General, I know what you are up to in Kahuta. RAW has got me all the details.’ The prime minister’s indiscretion threatened to expose RAW sources.

The unfortunate revelation came about the same time that General Moshe Dayan, hero of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, was secretly visiting Kathmandu for a meeting with Indian representatives. Islamabad believed Dayan’s visit was connected with a joint operation by Indian and Israeli intelligence agencies to end Pakistan’s nuclear programme.

Apprehensive about an Indo-Israeli air strike on Kahuta, surface-to-air missiles were mounted around the uranium enrichment plant. These fears grew after the Israeli bombardment of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981.

Zia decided Islamabad needed to reassure Israel that it had nothing to fear from Pakistan’s nuclear plans. Intermediaries — Americans close to Israel — established the initial contacts between Islamabad and Tel Aviv. Israel was confidant the US would not allow Pakistan’s nuclear capability to threaten Israel. That is why Israeli experts do not mention the threat from Pakistan when they refer to the need for pre-emptive strikes against Iraq, Iran and Libya’s nuclear schemes.

By the early 1980s, the US had discovered Pakistan’s Kahuta project. By then northwest Pakistan was the staging ground for mujahideen attacks against Soviet troops in Afghanistan and Zia no longer feared US objections to his nuclear agenda. But Pakistani concerns over Israel persisted, hence Zia decided to establish a clandestine relationship between Inter-Services Intelligence and Mossad via officers of the two services posted at their embassies in Washington, DC.

The ISI knew Mossad would be interested in information about the Libyan, Syrian, Jordanian and Saudi Arabian military. Pakistani army officers were often posted on deputation in the Arab world — in these very countries — and had access to valuable information, which the ISI offered Mossad.

When young Israeli tourists began visiting the Kashmir valley in the early nineties Pakistan suspected they were Israeli army officers in disguise to help Indian security forces with counter-terrorism operations. The ISI propaganda inspired a series of terrorist attacks on the unsuspecting Israeli tourists. One was slain, another kidnapped.

The Kashmiri Muslim Diaspora in the US feared the attacks would alienate the influential Jewish community who, they felt, could lobby the US government and turn it against Kashmiri organisations clamouring for independence. Soon after, presumably caving into pressure, the terrorists released the kidnapped Israeli. During negotiations for his release, Israeli government officials, including senior intelligence operatives, arrived in Delhi.

The ensuing interaction with Indian officials led to India establishing embassy-level relations with Israel in 1992. The decision was taken by a Congress prime minister — P V Narasimha Rao — whose government also began pressing the American Jewish lobby for support in getting the US to declare Pakistan a sponsor of terrorism. The lobbying bore some results.

The US State Department put Pakistan on a ‘watch-list’ for six months in 1993. The Clinton administration ‘persuaded’ then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif to dismiss Lieutenant General Javed Nasir, then director general of the ISI. The Americans were livid that the ISI refused to play ball with the CIA who wanted to buy unused Stinger missiles from the Afghan mujahideen, then in power in Kabul.

After she returned to power towards the end of 1993, Benazir Bhutto intensified the ISI’s liaison with Mossad. She too began to cultivate the American Jewish lobby. Benazir is said to have a secret meeting in New York with a senior Israeli emissary, who flew to the US during her visit to Washington, DC in 1995 for talks with Clinton.

From his days as Bhutto’s director general of military operations, Pervez Musharraf has been a keen advocate of Pakistan establishing diplomatic relations with the state of Israel.

The new defence relationship between India and Israel — where the Jewish State has become the second-biggest seller of weapons to India, after Russia — bother Musharraf no end. Like another military dictator before him, the Pakistan president is also wary that the fear of terrorists gaining control over Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal could lead to an Israel-led pre-emptive strike against his country.

Musharraf is the first Pakistani leader to speak publicly about diplomatic relations with Israel. His pragmatic corps commanders share his view that India’s defence relationship with Israel need to be countered and are unlikely to oppose such a move. But the generals are wary of the backlash from the streets. Recognising Israel and establishing an Israeli embassy in Islamabad would be unacceptable to the increasingly powerful mullahs who see the United States, Israel and India as enemies of Pakistan and Islam.

Ancient Israeli Myths Deter Peace

Netanyahu: a tyrant like Moses?

Ancient Israeli Myths Deter Peace

by Robert Parry*

Does Israel’s claim to be a Jews-only state have any legitimate foundation? Not according to Israeli historian, Shlomo Sand, whose investigative findings suggest that Israel’s rationale rests purely on Biblical mythology rather than historical facts. The question is not simply rhetorical, at a time when Netanyahu has recently backtracked on earlier agreements by demanding that Palestinians not only recognize Israel as a state (which the Palestinians did as part of the 1993 Oslo Accords) but specifically as a “Jewish State.” With the intrusion of such myths dampening the prospects for finally achieving peace in the region – yet again, one is left wondering whether peace is indeed on Israel’s agenda. Has the time come to deconstruct them once and for all?

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Charlton Heston starring as Moses in “The Ten Commandements”, 1956 film by Cecil B. DeMille.

The rationale for formally designating Israel a Jewish state – as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now demands [1] – rests on three religious-political pillars: God’s purported covenant with Moses instructing the ancient Israelites to conquer the land, the injustice of the Roman-era Diaspora that supposedly removed them centuries later, and the brutal persecution of European Jews in the Holocaust.

Yet, the first two of these pillars appear to be based on almost no historical reality, the stuff of legend and possibly even lies that crumble under any serious scrutiny.

Normally, such ancient stories might be regarded as harmless tales that some people treasure as part of their Judeo-Christian faiths, except that Netanyahu’s new demand means that these myths now threaten peace in the Middle East and conceivably could push the modern world into more bloody warfare. Therefore, they must be given fresh examination.

Ironically, it was the Nazis’ drive to exterminate European Jews during World War II that is the one pillar founded on historical reality, although some extreme enemies of Israel insist on making Holocaust denial a central feature of their attacks.

Also, some adversaries, like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have argued that it is unfair to make the Palestinians pay for a crime against humanity committed by the Germans. [2]

Yet, the Holocaust is not in historical dispute. That horrible reality – an industrial-style extermination campaign that also targeted Gypsies, homosexuals and Communists – was proven after the World War II from a multitude of Nazi records, photographs and eyewitness accounts.

It is the tales of Moses from the Torah (or the first five books of the Old Testament) and the legend of the Roman Diaspora that lack serious historical underpinnings.

The Diaspora myth has been addressed in a new book by Israeli historian Shlomo Sand [3], When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? [4] It debunks the notion that Rome removed the Jewish people en masse from the Holy Land in the First and Second Centuries A.D. and scattered them across Europe.

Instead, most East European Jews appear to be descendents of converts, principally from the Kingdom of the Khazars in eastern Russia, who embraced Judaism in the Eighth Century, A.D. The descendants of the Khazars then were driven from their native lands by invasions and – through migration – created the Jewish populations of Eastern Europe.

Thus, Sand argues, many of today’s Israelis who emigrated from Europe after World War II have little or no genealogical connection to the land. According to Sand, a bitter irony of Israel’s founding may be that it displaced Palestinians who could be the actual descendants of the ancient Israelites, who stayed on the land and eventually converted to Islam.

Other descendants of those ancient Israelites maintained Judaism as a strong presence in the Middle East, both in Palestine and in successful communities from Egypt to Iraq and Iran. These Jews faced few religious pressures until after Israel was founded in 1948, when this new European intrusion into Islamic lands was viewed in the context of the Crusades a millennium ago.

The Moses Myth

Yet, while questioning the Diaspora myth is a sensitive topic for many Israelis and their supporters around the world, it is even touchier to challenge the Biblical claim that God, through Moses, struck a covenant with the Israelites to conquer the land and possess it for all time.

Because the Torah is sacred to Jews – and to many Christians as the revealed word of God in the Old Testament – it has been dangerous to examine the factual history behind these texts in an objective manner.

For centuries, the Catholic Church and some Protestant faiths persecuted anyone who questioned Moses’s supposed authorship of the chapters even though their internal contradictions and the description of Moses’s death at the end of Deuteronomy made that long-held belief untenable.

As Richard Elliott Friedman recounts in his 1987 book, Who Wrote the Bible?, “Religious opposition to the new investigation (into the traditional belief about Moses’s authorship) persisted during the 19th Century” and didn’t collapse until 1943 when Pope Pius XII “encouraged scholars to pursue knowledge about the biblical writers.”

Modern Biblical scholars now agree that Moses was not the author of the Torah, that the stories were passed down orally from the 14th Century B.C. and were put into writing centuries later. But the legendary figure of Moses has remained almost beyond criticism, not only for many Jews but for people of the Christian and Islamic faiths. (He is treated as a holy messenger in the Koran.)

Many Americans think of Moses as the angry but righteous leader as portrayed by Charlton Heston in the 1956 epic “The Ten Commandments”, or they think of their feel-good Bible studies as children. Yet, many archaeologists believe that the Moses stories were largely made up.

“This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel,” summed up Professor Ze’ev Herzog, director of the Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University.

“The many Egyptian documents that we have make no mention of the Israelites’ presence in Egypt and are also silent about the events of the Exodus.”

However, other scholars believe that some did emigrate to Egypt, suffered in servitude there, and may have been led back to Canaan by Moses or a Moses-like leader.

Nevertheless, because of the powerful influence of the Torah (and the Old Testament), the biblical Moses carries extraordinary religious and historical weight, inspiring Israeli settlers to claim Palestinian lands as rightfully theirs and rallying fundamentalist Christians across the American heartland to embrace whatever actions the Israelis take.

A Tyrannical Leader

But who was Moses?

According to biblical lore, Moses was a Hebrew child raised in the royal Egyptian court before breaking with his protectors and remaking himself into a leader of Hebrew slaves. He guided them out of Egypt and transformed them, as they wandered for decades in the Sinai desert, into an Israelite nation, giving them specific laws and detailed rules of behavior.

During that time, Moses announced a covenant with God that granted the Israelites permanent dominion over the lands across the Jordan River, and he instructed them to destroy other peoples inhabiting those territories. Moses, however, never returned to the Promised Land, dying near the Jordan, before the conquest began.

Though Moses is regarded by many as a great law giver (the Ten Commandants) and as a major force in the formation of monotheism (the belief in one God), the text of the Torah present him as a cruel and tyrannical leader.

From a modern perspective, Moses might be viewed as a “dictator who killed his own people” when they disobeyed him and an advocate of genocide against outsiders. His claims that he spoke with the Lord sound more like a megalomaniac who believed he could scare a primitive people into following his orders by claiming they were edicts from God.

Indeed, over the centuries, many tyrants have used religion (especially monotheism) to justify repression and to eliminate enemies and rivals. The religious wars in Europe during the Middle Ages are a classic example of how kings and popes wrapped their personal power in the bloody cloak of religion, torturing and burning alive “heretics” who wouldn’t submit.

The biblical Moses appears to have been such a tyrant, though the Sunday school version often played down this extreme side of his personality.

In Exodus, for instance, there is the famous story of the Israelites, creating a visible idol of their God in the form of a golden calf while Moses is absent on Mount Sinai. When Moses returns with stone tablets conveying laws of behavior, he is furious and smashes the tablets.

According to the Torah, Moses then grinds up the golden calf, mixes it with water and makes the Israelites drink it. Then, Moses recruits what we would today call a “death squad.”

The Torah reads: “Moses stood at the gate of the camp and said, ‘Whoever is for the Lord, to me!’ And the Levites gathered round him. And he said to them, ‘Thus said the Lord God of Israel, “Put every man his sword on his thigh, and cross over and back from gate to gate in the camp, and each man kill his brother and each man his fellow and each man his kin”’ And the Levites did according to the word of Moses, and about three thousand men of the people fell on that day.”

In other words, Moses ordered a massacre of Israelites whom he regarded as his enemies, people who had challenged his authority in the form of dancing around the golden calf.

Robert Alter in his 2004 book, The Five Books of Moses, comments on Moses’s instruction: “each man kill his brother,” etc.

“This chilling command enjoins the sword-wielding Levites to show no mercy to friend or kin,” Alter wrote. “The figure of three thousand dead in the next verse indicates that this is not an indiscriminate massacre but an assault on the ringleaders – or perhaps, those guilty of the most egregious excesses – among the orgiasts.”

Higher Authority

It also seemed that whenever Moses was setting some rule, whether as grand as the Ten Commandants or as minor as personal hygiene, he always invoked the Almighty.

In Leviticus, for instance, God supposedly takes a direct interest in dictating how women should be treated after childbirth, with one set of rules for giving birth to sons and another for daughters.

According to this account, the Lord tell Moses, “Speak to the Israelites, saying ‘Should a woman quicken with seed and bear a male, she shall be unclean seven days, as in the days of her menstrual unwellness she shall be unclean. And on the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. And thirty days and three she shall stay in her blood purity. She shall touch no consecrated thing nor shall she come into the sanctuary till the days of her purity are completed.

“And if she bears a female, she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation, and sixty days and six she shall stay over her blood purity. And when the days of her purity are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring a yearling lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for an offense offering to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest. And he shall bring it forward before the Lord and atone for her, and she shall be clean from the flowing of her blood.”

If you think that’s a lot of unnecessary detail, you should read the Lord’s instructions via Moses for how to assess whether a boil is leprosy or not.

In Deuteronomy, Moses explains to the Israelites about their right to reclaim the land of their forefathers, again speaking for God:

“And the Lord your God shall bring you to the land that your fathers took hold of, and you shall take hold of it, and He shall do well with you and make you more multitudinous than your fathers.”

Moses also makes clear that God expected the conquest to include massacres and genocide. Again speaking for the Lord, Moses said:

“I will bring back vengeance on My foes and My enemies I will requite. I will make My shafts drunk with blood, and My sword will eat up flesh from the blood of the fallen and captive, from the flesh of the long-haired foe.”

In his final blessing to the Israelites, Moses makes the genocide message even more explicit, painfully so. He called on them to “smash the loins of [the Lord’s] foes, that His enemies rise no more. … Your enemies cower before you and you on their backs will tread.”

So, more than 3,000 years later, should a modern state like Israel be demanding that Palestinians recognize Israel as an explicitly Jewish state, as Netanyahu now says?

The Diaspora Myth

The second pillar – the Roman Diaspora – also comes from ancient times though not as far back as the stories of Moses. If anything, however, the Diaspora has less of a historical basis.

In When and How Was the Jewish People Invented? Dr. Sand, an expert on European history at the University of Tel Aviv, says the Jews were never exiled en masse from the Holy Land and that the myth of the Diaspora was used by Zionists over the past century to buttress their argument for creating Israel.

Sand, a European Jew born in 1946 to Holocaust survivors in Austria, argues that until the Zionist movement arose, Jews thought of themselves as Jews because they shared a common religion, not because they possessed a direct lineage to the ancient tribes of Israel.

However, at the turn of the 20th Century, Sand asserts, Zionist Jews began assembling a national history to justify creation of a Jewish state by inventing the idea that Jews existed as a people separate from their religion and that they had primogeniture over the territory that had become known as Palestine.

The Zionist movement also invented the idea that Jews living in exile were obligated to return to the Promised Land, a concept that had been foreign to Judaism, Sand states.

If Sand’s thesis is correct – and it has faced no substantive rebuttal – it would suggest that many of the Palestinian Arabs have a far more substantial claim to the lands of Israel than do many European Jews who arrived there asserting a God-given claim.

Indeed, Sand theorizes that many Jews, who remained in Judea after Roman legions crushed the last uprising in 136 A.D., eventually converted to Christianity or Islam, meaning that the Palestinians who have been crowded into Gaza or concentrated in the West Bank might be direct descendants of Jews from the Roman era.

In his book – and in an interview with Haaretz about his book [5] – Sand challenged the myth that the Romans relocated the Jews by force to Europe. In the interview, he said:

“I started looking in research studies about the exile from the land – a constitutive event in Jewish history, almost like the Holocaust. But to my astonishment I discovered that it has no literature. The reason is that no one exiled the people of the country.

“The Romans did not exile peoples and they could not have done so even if they had wanted to. They did not have trains and trucks to deport entire populations. That kind of logistics did not exist until the 20th Century. From this, in effect, the whole book was born: in the realization that Judaic society was not dispersed and was not exiled.”

The True Descendants

Asked if he was saying that the true descendants of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah are the Palestinians, Sand responded:

“No population remains pure over a period of thousands of years. But the chances that the Palestinians are descendants of the ancient Judaic people are much greater than the chances that you or I are its descendents.

“The first Zionists, up until the Arab Revolt 1936-1939, knew that there had been no exiling, and that the Palestinians were descended from the inhabitants of the land. They knew that farmers don’t leave until they are expelled.

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Palestinian farmer: early 20th century.

“Even Yitzhak Ben-Zvi, the second president of the State of Israel, wrote in 1929 that, ’the vast majority of the peasant farmers do not have their origins in the Arab conquerors, but rather, before then, in the Jewish farmers who were numerous and a majority in the building of the land.’”

Criticism of Sand’s book has focused mostly on his credentials as an expert on European history, not ancient Middle Eastern history, a point that Sand readily acknowledges.

One critic, Israel Bartal, dean of humanities at the Hebrew University, attacked Sand’s credentials, but disagreed mostly over Sand’s assertion that the Diaspora story was created as an intentional myth by Zionists seeking to fabricate a direct genealogical connection between many of the world’s Jews and Israel.

“Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions,” Bartal wrote in the newspaper Haaretz. “Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely.”

In other words, Bartal is not so much disputing Sand’s historical claims about the Diaspora or the origins of Eastern European Jews, as he is contesting Sand’s notion that Zionists concocted a false history for a cynical political purpose.

But there can be no doubt that the story of the Diaspora has played a key role in the founding of Israel and that the appeal of this powerful narrative has helped generate sympathy around the world, especially in the United States.

“After being forcibly exiled from their land, the people remained faithful to it throughout their Dispersion and never ceased to pray and hope for their return to it and for the restoration in it of their political freedom,” reads the preamble to the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

As recently as Israeli’s bombardment of Gaza [6] in January 2009, the myth of the Diaspora was used to justify the slaughter of some 1,400 Palestinians dead, including many children and other non-combatants. When the Israeli government investigated alleged war crimes by its army, Israeli troops testified that extremist Rabbis had proclaimed the invasion a holy war.

The troops said the Rabbis brought them booklets and articles declaring: “We are the Jewish people. We came to this land by a miracle. God brought us back to this land, and now we need to fight to expel the non-Jews who are interfering with our conquest of this holy land.”

Today, with the emergence of a new Likud-led government in Israel, the Diaspora myth and Moses legends are intruding again on the prospects for finally achieving peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has insisted on a new precondition for talks – that the Palestinians must agree to a “public, binding and unequivocal” recognition that Israel is “the nation state of the Jewish people,” [7] not simply the nation state of the people of Israel. Netanyahu is making this demand although Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population.

This appears to be another case of ancient bloody myths contributing to a modern bloody reality.

 Robert Parry

The campaign in Afghanistan is a patriotic duty.

The campaign in Afghanistan is a patriotic duty.

This is a speech not made by Gordon Brown.

I know that this has been a difficult summer.

These sacrifices that have hurt so many families in our country are ones that the whole of Britain will want to acknowledge.

The campaign in Afghanistan is a patriotic duty.

The USA needs to keep the heroin flowing into Europe.

Heroin profits help to finance the CIA’s terrorist operations.

The USA needs military bases in Afghanistan, because Afghanistan is next door to Iran, Pakistan, China and other countries that we want to destabilise.

To the north of Afghanistan lie huge quantities of oil and gas.

We want to control the oil, the gas and the pipelines.

When it comes to the threat of terrorist attacks on the streets of Britain, just remember that Britain has a long history of arming and using militant Moslem groups to carry out acts of terrorism.

Britain used militant Moslems in Sumatra to undermine Sukarno.

Britain used the Moslem Brotherhood to undermine nationalists in Egypt, Syria and Iran.

Some of Bin Laden’s mujahideen trained in Britain.

And the so-called mastermind of the London tube bombings, Mr Aswat, apparently worked for MI6 in the Balkans.

Our troops are making progress as they attempt to turn Afghanistan into an American colony.

And what about all these Pakis in your neighbourhood?

I can assure you that they are useful as cheap labour; and they mainly vote for Labour.

Some of our leading councillors are Pakis and some have done very well financially, thanks to us.

Remember to fly the flag.

That was a speech not made by Gordon Brown.



Tortured and humiliated, I felt the power of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s regime — and the ‘fearsome resource’ of the dissidents.
By Zarah Ghahramani
July 12, 2009
As an Iranian citizen of voting age, I was entitled to cast my ballot in the June 12 national election. I didn’t do so. It was with good reason I have placed 10,000 miles of safety between myself and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Still, distance couldn’t diminish the anxiety I felt as I watched Iranians in great numbers protesting what they saw as election fraud. I feared for the life of every outraged citizen whose face flashed across my television screen.

The last time protesters swarmed into the streets of Tehran to vent their frustration with the regime, I was among them. That was in the winter of 1999. Hundreds of thousands of undergraduates like me clamored for more freedom to choose what we wore, what we said, what we were permitted to study. We’d grown up after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, had only ever known fundamentalism, and we were sick of it. We marched in a delirium of hope, believing that the justice of our cause was irresistible.

We were foolish in certain ways, but it was good foolish, happy foolish. “Something’s happening,” we said to each other. “Everything will change.” The crowds of Tehranis who watched us marching smiled and called out, “God be with you!” And those few who weren’t smiling? We pitied them; their day was past.

Then one fine morning — a morning on which we didn’t march — the people who’d been watching us without smiling struck back hard. I was walking home from the Tehran University campus after studying in the library when a car pulled up beside me on a quiet street. A man and a woman who said they were police officers (they were not wearing uniforms) hustled me into the back seat. I thought, absurdly, “How rude!” An hour later, I was in a detention center with 20 or more prostitutes who wouldn’t risk talking to me openly because I was, as they explained in whispers, “a political.” Later that day, I was taken to Evin Prison in north Tehran.

Over the month that followed in Evin, I learned that the people I’d pitied, the people whose day was past, had merely been biding their time. A highly detailed dossier was placed on a table before me during my first interrogation. The blindfold I was compelled to wear whenever I wasn’t in my cell had been removed. The dossier included hundreds of photographs of me and my friends engaged in all sorts of innocent activities — drinking coffee together on the steps of my faculty building, chatting, laughing, flirting, waiting for a bus.

“We know everything about you,” my interrogator said. I thought, “So what?” I was still cocky, in quite a snobbish way; I didn’t believe that the smelly, ill-educated man hovering over me had any right to ask a well-educated person such as myself any questions at all. His Farsi grammar was dreadful.

But then the torture began, and that changed everything. My cockiness lasted about 10 seconds. Over that month in Evin, I was beaten, lashed, tied to a chair in a stress position for what must have been 12 hours or more, kept in solitary confinement, tormented with tales of what was being done to fellow students who’d marched with me in the street. My head was shorn down to bare skin. I was told to admit to all sorts of dire things — that I’d spied for America, betrayed my native land, chased boys — all of which were nonsense, and all of which I confessed to. Torture works. But it doesn’t produce truth.

Nobody knew for sure I was in Evin. But my family and friends made an educated guess, for although I didn’t know it until later, thousands of student protesters had been arrested at the same time I was. A friend of a friend was able to exert influence, and I was released. Once free, I took months to recover from the ordeal, if mounting rage at what had been done to me can be called recovery. I had been warned by my interrogator before I left Evin that there was more, and worse, to come if I acted up again. It became apparent to me that if I remained in Iran, I would have to act up again. I knew my rage would one day overwhelm me and I would begin screaming in the streets. The only safe course was to leave my native land — my native land! I did.

I fear that the protesters who are being picked up by state security on the streets of Iranian cities right now will be forced to endure what I endured nine years ago. I fear they will be tortured, humiliated, made to sign false “confessions.” It will seem to some of those who survive their ordeal that the regime of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has such fearsome resources of repression at its disposal that all protests are futile. That’s what I thought when I was released from Evin, and that sense of futility contributed to my rage.

I think differently now. I remember my interrogator saying to me: “We can do what we like. No one can help you.” Later, alone in my cell, I thought, “It’s true, they can do what they like.”

But even as I said that, I was imagining freedom. That is something the interrogator and the regime he served don’t dare to do. And in the long term, that is our advantage; our own fearsome resource. We can imagine freedom.

Zarah Ghahramani is the coauthor, with Robert Hillman, of “My Life as a Traitor.” Hillman assisted in the writing of this article.

Petition: Colonialism IS to BLAME for Africa’s PROBLEMS!

Petition: Colonialism IS to BLAME for Africa’s PROBLEMS!

President Obama
Sponsored by:
President Obama,
Enough is Enough!   Young African American students are baffled by your audacity to suggest that the contemporary problems of Africa should be disengaged from the legacies and exigencies of colonialism, neo-colonialism and western oppression.
As people of African descent and on behalf all those who embrace principles of human equality from around the world, we go on record to express our outrage by your words which the media is broadcasting around the world – “African leaders, stop blaming colonialism and Western oppression for the continent’s manifold problems.”

We invite people of good will to join us.   We insist that you   reconsider the basic assumptions, language and values that you bring to critique and create America foreign policy towards Africa in the 21 st century .

Your comments epitomize blaming the victim analysis, and at the same time give a pass to those who are most responsible for the conditions of Africa without benefit of a genuine apology, much less reparations.
Your very words poison the spirit of balanced analysis of very complex issues and suggest a tone of chastisement and condescension that is more than hurtful.   Your comments fuel the culture of entitlement and racism that has so permeated the consciousnesses of people all over the world.
Words have power. As president of the United States , your words can be lethal in that they represent America support and justification for systemic and on-going economic exploitation of Africa ..

The African continent, consisting of   diverse countries, many carved out by the European interests of the 1886 Berlin Conference ,   has been devastated by the centuries of slavery, human and material exploitation upon which western wealth was built.   This same kind of exploitation has led to the near extinction of native people in the United States .

We are not in a post-racial America or world.   African nations have literally been free of colonial rule for 52 years and less. And, the systemic legacy of European and American oppression is still present. We would expect you and your administration   to exhibit a greater level of empathy and understanding of the complexities and interconnections between how the interests of western powers control the options and environment in which very young African nations meet their global realities. We expect no less consideration or respect than you give to the Middle East and   Eastern Europe and emergent Asian nations that have emerged from embroiled liberation struggles of varying degrees.
We have expected more from you not only because you are the leader of  the most powerful nation in the western world, but also because you have first-generation  genetic linkage to Africa.  Understandably, we  are are extremely disheartened by your words and by your politics.  We are disheartened most especially because, as  young people, we bought into your message of hope and transformation.  It pains us, therefore, to think that the caption for your administration of change might very well be  politics as usual.
Sign Here:

Israel plans to settle 15,000 Jewish fanatics in Wadi Ara

Israel plans to settle 15,000 Jewish fanatics in Wadi Ara

[ 12/07/2009 - 09:13 AM ]

NAZARETH, (PIC)– The Arab center for alternative planning in 1948 occupied Palestine has warned that the Israeli housing ministry was planning to install 15,000 Jewish Haredim (fundamentalists) in Wadi Ara area south of Haifa.

Raja Khouri, the director of the center, said in a press statement published on Saturday that the Israeli ministry had already started planning the city that is expected to include 3,000 housing units to accommodate 15,000 Jewish Haredim.

The director called for an urgent consultation meeting for Arabs in the area to discuss means of foiling the racist scheme.

Wadi Ara is witnessing a growing Israeli demolition streak of Arab homes at the pretext of lack of construction permit.

Afghanistan: a war we cannot win

Afghanistan: a war we cannot win

British soldiers firing at Taliban positions in Afghanistan’s Helmand province Photo: NEW YORK TIMES

So what exactly does Obama have to say regarding Afghanistan? Is it any different from what Mr. Bush had to say? He says in a recent speech, given below, that Afghanistan is undermined by corruption, doesn’t deliver basic services to its people, and the economy suffers from a booming narcotics trade that encourages criminality. If, Obama says, the Afghan government falls to the Taliban or allows al-Qaeda to go unchecked, then the country will continue as a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can. Now isn’t that a sentence right out of the State of the Union bullshit that Mr. Bush used to send over the airwaves? Exactly the same! The same bullshit lies over and over, to brainwash the American people and the world that American and British troops have some kind of crazy moral right to be in that country and maim and kill its people and poison its land, air and water with depleted uranium. Americans and British are not in Afghanistan to stop al-Qaeda or the Taliban. They are there to protect the pipelines. Americans and British are always around oil pipelines. Check anywhere in the world. Americans and British don’t give a rat’s ass whether the basic services are being provided to the Afghan people. Rather, they just go on killing civilians, destroying those same basic infrastructures causing millions of civilians to flee eastward across the border into Pakistan where they live horrid lives of neglect and starvation. Those refugees fled the Americans and Brits – not the Taliban and al-Qaeda. So maybe Obama and any British counterparts need to get off the lecture circuit for once and start creating some kind of heart in their body that has the capacity to feel the sufferings of the common people. Then, aside from the oil, there’s the drug trade. Now in 2001 when Bush wanted to take over Afghanistan, the Taliban told him to get lost. They had stopped all opium production as they understood it was destroying their people. Bush told the Taliban, you resume opium production or we bomb you. And that’s exactly what he did. That’s one time he kept his word, isn’t it. Check out Michel Chossudovsky’s numerous substantiated articles on opium production in Afghanistan, who wants it to continue and where all those millions or billions go, into whose pockets! So let’s understand that Obama’s line about “terrorists” wanting to kill as many of us as they possibly can is a fabrication, a lie, told over and over a la Goebbels, to hoodwink the ignorant masses. Nobody is coming to the US from Afghanistan. It is arrogant, murderous Americans who are going over to Afghanistan – to invade, occupy, rape, maim and murder. Don’t believe the media lies. See the reality. – Garda Ghista

The threat posed by al-Qaeda is exaggerated; the West’s vision of a rebuilt Afghanistan ultimately flawed, says former soldier, diplomat and academic Rory Stewart

By Rory Stewart
Published: 10 Jul 2009

We are accustomed to seeing Afghans through bars, or smeared windows, or the sight of a rifle: turbaned men carrying rockets, praying in unison, or lying in pools of blood; boys squabbling in an empty swimming pool; women in burn wards, or begging in burkas. Kabul is a South Asian city of millions. Bollywood music blares out in its crowded spice markets and flower gardens, but it seems that images conveying colour and humour are reserved for Rajasthan.

Barack Obama, in a recent speech, set out our fears. The Afghan government “is undermined by corruption and has difficulty delivering basic services to its people. The economy is undercut by a booming narcotics trade that encourages criminality and funds the insurgency… If the Afghan government falls to the Taliban – or allows al-Qaeda to go unchallenged – that country will again be a base for terrorists who want to kill as many of our people as they possibly can.

“For the Afghan people, a return to Taliban rule would condemn their country to brutal governance, international isolation, a paralysed economy, and the denial of basic human rights to the Afghan people – especially women and girls. The return in force of al-Qaeda terrorists who would accompany the core Taliban leadership would cast Afghanistan under the shadow of perpetual violence.”

When we are not presented with a dystopian vision, we are encouraged to be implausibly optimistic. “There can be only one winner: democracy and a strong Afghan state,” Gordon Brown predicted in his most recent speech on the subject.

Obama and Brown rely on a hypnotising language that can – and perhaps will – be applied as easily to Somalia or Yemen as Afghanistan. It misleads us in several respects: minimising differences between cultures, exaggerating our fears, aggrandising our ambitions, inflating a sense of moral obligations and power, and confusing our goals. All these attitudes are aspects of a single worldview and create an almost irresistible illusion.

It conjures nightmares of “failed states” and “global extremism”, offers the remedies of “state-building” and “counter-insurgency”, and promises a final dream of “legitimate, accountable governance”. It papers over the weakness of the international community: our lack of knowledge, power and legitimacy. It conceals the conflicts between our interests: between giving aid to Afghans and killing terrorists. It assumes that Afghanistan is predictable. It makes our policy seem a moral obligation, makes failure unacceptable, and alternatives inconceivable. It does this so well that a more moderate, minimalist approach becomes almost impossible to articulate.

Every Afghan ruler in the 20th century was assassinated, lynched or deposed. The Communist government tried to tear down the old structures of mullah and khan; the anti-Soviet jihad set up new ones, bolstered with US and Saudi cash and weapons from Pakistan. There is almost no economic activity in the country, aside from international aid and the production of illegal narcotics. The Afghan army cannot, like Pakistan’s, reject America’s attempt to define national security priorities; Afghan diplomats cannot mock our pronouncements. Karzai is widely criticised, but more than seven years after the invasion there is still no plausible alternative candidate; there aren’t even recognisable political parties.

Obama’s new policy has a very narrow focus – counter-terrorism – and a very broad definition of how to achieve it: no less than the fixing of the Afghan state. Obama combines a negative account of Afghanistan’s past and present – he describes the border region as ”the most dangerous place in the world” – with an optimism that it can be transformed. He assumes that we have a moral justification and obligation to intervene, that the US and its allies have the capacity to address the threat and that our global humanitarian and security objectives are consistent and mutually reinforcing.

Policy-makers perceive Afghanistan through the categories of counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, state-building and economic development. These categories are so closely linked that you can put them in almost any sequence or combination. You need to defeat the Taliban to build a state and you need to build a state to defeat the Taliban. There cannot be security without development, or development without security. If you have the Taliban you have terrorists, if you don’t have development you have terrorists, and as Obama informed the New Yorker: “If you have ungoverned spaces, they become havens for terrorists.”

These connections are global: in Obama’s words, “our security and prosperity depend on the security and prosperity of others.” Or, as a British foreign minister recently rephrased it, “our security depends on their development”. Indeed, at times it seems that all these activities – building a state, defeating the Taliban, defeating al-Qaeda and eliminating poverty – are the same activity. The new US army and marine corps counter-insurgency doctrine sounds like a World Bank policy document, replete with commitments to the rule of law, economic development, governance, state-building and human rights. In Obama’s words, “security and humanitarian concerns are all part of one project”.

This policy rests on misleading ideas about moral obligation, our capacity, the strength of our adversaries, the threat posed by Afghanistan, the relations between our different objectives, and the value of a state. The power of the US and its allies, and our commitment, knowledge and will, are limited. It is unlikely that we will be able to defeat the Taliban. The ingredients of successful counter-insurgency campaigns in places like Malaya – control of the borders, large numbers of troops in relation to the population, strong support from the majority ethnic groups, a long-term commitment and a credible local government – are lacking in Afghanistan.

General Petraeus will find it difficult to repeat the apparent success of the surge in Iraq. There are no mass political parties and the Kabul government lacks the base, strength or legitimacy of the Baghdad government. Afghan tribal groups lack the coherence of the Iraqi Sunni tribes and their relation to state structures: they are not being driven out of neighbourhood after neighbourhood and they do not have the same relation to the Taliban that the Sunni groups had to “al-Qaeda in Iraq”.

Afghans are weary of the war but the Afghan chiefs are not approaching us, seeking a deal. Since the political players and state structures in Afghanistan are much more fragile than those in Iraq, they are less likely to play a strong role in ending the insurgency.

Meanwhile, the Taliban can exploit the ideology of religious resistance that the West fostered in the 1980s to defeat the Russians. They can portray the Kabul government as US slaves, Nato as an infidel occupying force and its own insurgency as a jihad. Its complaints about corruption, human rights abuses and aerial bombardments appeal to a large audience. It is attracting Afghans to its rural courts by giving quicker and more predictable rulings than government judges.

Like some government officials, the Taliban has developed an ambiguous and sometimes profitable relationship with the drug lords. It is able to slip back and forth across the Pakistani border and receive support there. It has massacred Alokozai elders who tried to resist. It is mounting successful attacks against the coalition and the Afghan government in the south and east. It is operating in more districts than in 2006 and controls provinces, such as Wardak, close to Kabul. It has a chance of retaking southern towns such as Musa Qala and perhaps even some provincial capitals.

But the Taliban is very unlikely to take over Afghanistan as a whole. Its previous administration provided basic road security and justice but it was fragile and fell quickly. It is no longer perceived, as it was by some in 1994, as young student angels saving the country from corruption. Millions of Afghans disliked its brutality, incompetence and primitive attitudes. The Hazara, Tajik and Uzbek populations are wealthier, more established and more powerful than they were in 1996 and would strongly resist any attempt by the Taliban to occupy their areas.

The Afghan national army is reasonably effective. Pakistan is not in a position to support the Taliban as it did before. It would require far fewer international troops and planes than we have today to make it very difficult for the Taliban to gather a conventional army as it did in 1996 and drive tanks and artillery up the main road to Kabul.

Even if – as seems most unlikely – the Taliban was to take the capital, it is not clear how much of a threat this would pose to US or European national security. Would it repeat its error of providing a safe haven to al-Qaeda? And how safe would this haven be? And does al-Qaeda still require large terrorist training camps to organise attacks? Could it not plan in Hamburg and train at flight schools in Florida; or meet in Bradford and build morale on an adventure training course in Wales?

Furthermore, there are no self-evident connections between the key objectives of counter-terrorism, development, democracy/ state-building and counter-insurgency. Counter-insurgency is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for state-building. You could create a stable legitimate state without winning a counter-insurgency campaign (India, which is far more stable and legitimate than Afghanistan, is still fighting several long counter-insurgency campaigns from Assam to Kashmir).

You could win a counter-insurgency campaign without creating a stable state (if such a state also required the rule of law and a legitimate domestic economy). Nor is there any necessary connection between state-formation and terrorism. Our confusions are well illustrated by the debates about whether Iraq was a rogue state harbouring terrorists (as Bush claimed) or an authoritarian state that excluded terrorists (as was the case).

It is impossible for Britain and its allies to build an Afghan state. They have no clear picture of this promised “state”, and such a thing could come only from an Afghan national movement, not as a gift from foreigners. Is a centralised state, in any case, an appropriate model for a mountainous country, with strong traditions of local self-government and autonomy, significant ethnic differences, but strong shared moral values? And even were stronger central institutions to emerge, would they assist Western national security objectives?

Afghanistan is starting from a very low base: 30 years of investment might allow its army, police, civil service and economy to approach the levels of Pakistan. But Osama bin Laden is still in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. He chooses to be there precisely because Pakistan can be more assertive in its state sovereignty than Afghanistan and restricts US operations. From a narrow (and harsh) US national security perspective, a poor failed state could be easier to handle than a more developed one: Yemen is less threatening than Iran, Somalia than Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan than Pakistan.

Yet the current state-building project, at the heart of our policy, is justified in the most instrumental terms – not as an end in itself but as a means towards counter-terrorism. In pursuit of this objective, Obama has committed to building “an Afghan army of 134,000 and a police force of 82,000″, and adds that “increases in Afghan forces may very well be needed.” US generals have spoken openly about wanting a combined Afghan army-police-security apparatus of 450,000 soldiers (in a country with a population half the size of Britain’s).

Such a force would cost $2 or $3 billion a year to maintain; the annual revenue of the Afghan government is just $600 million. We criticise developing countries for spending 30 per cent of their budget on defence; we are encouraging Afghanistan to spend 500 per cent of its budget.

Some policymakers have been quick to point out that this cost is unsustainable and will leave Afghanistan dependent for ever on the largesse of the international community. Some have even raised the spectre (suggested by the example of Pakistan) that this will lead to a military coup. But the more basic question is about our political principles. We should not encourage the creation of an authoritarian military state. The security that resulted might suit our short-term security interests, but it will not serve the longer interests of Afghans.

What kind of anti-terrorist tactics would we expect from the Afghan military? What kind of surveillance, interference and control from the police? We should not assume that the only way to achieve security in a developing country is through the restriction of civil liberties, or that authoritarianism is a necessary phase in state-formation, or a precondition for rapid economic development, or a lesser evil in the fight against modern terrorism.

After seven years of refinement, the policy seems so buoyed by illusions, caulked in ambiguous language and encrusted with moral claims, analogies and political theories that it can seem futile to present an alternative. It is particularly difficult to argue not for a total withdrawal but for a more cautious approach.

The best Afghan policy would be to reduce the number of foreign troops from the current 90,000 to perhaps 20,000. In that case, two distinct objectives would remain for the international community: development and counter-terrorism. Neither would amount to the building of an Afghan state. If the West believed it essential to exclude al-Qaeda from Afghanistan, then it could be done with special forces. (The West has done it successfully since 2001 and could continue indefinitely, though the result has only been to move bin Laden across the border.) At the same time the West should provide generous development assistance – not only to keep consent for the counter-terrorism operations, but as an end in itself.

A reduction in troops and a turn away from state-building should not mean total withdrawal: good projects could continue to be undertaken in electricity, water, irrigation, health, education, agriculture, rural development. We should not control and cannot predict the future of Afghanistan. It may become more violent, or find a decentralised equilibrium or a new national unity, but if its communities want to work with us, we can, over 30 years, encourage the more positive trends in Afghan society and help to contain the more negative.

Such arguments seem strained, unrealistic, counter-intuitive and unappealing. They appear to betray the hopes of Afghans who trusted us and to allow the Taliban to abuse district towns. No politician wants to be perceived to have underestimated, or failed to address, a terrorist threat; or to write off the ”blood and treasure” that we have sunk into Afghanistan; or to admit defeat. To suggest that what worked in Iraq won’t work in Afghanistan requires a detailed knowledge of each country’s past, a bold analysis of the causes of development and a rigorous exposition of the differences, for which few have patience.

The fundamental assumptions remain that an ungoverned or hostile Afghanistan is a threat to global security; that the West has the ability to address the threat and bring prosperity and security; that this is a moral obligation; that economic development and order in Afghanistan will contribute to global stability; that these different objectives reinforce each other; and that there is no real alternative.

The exact assumptions were made in 1868 by Sir Henry Rawlinson, a celebrated and experienced member of the council of India, concerning the threat of a Russian presence in Afghanistan: “In the interests, then, of peace; in the interests of commerce; in the interests of moral and material improvement, it may be asserted that interference in Afghanistan has now become a duty, and that any moderate outlay or responsibility we may incur in restoring order at Kabul will prove in the sequel to be true economy.”

The new UK strategy for Afghanistan is described as: “International… regional… joint civilian-military… co-ordinated… long-term…focused on developing capacity… an approach that combines respect for sovereignty and local values with respect for international standards of democracy, legitimate and accountable government, and human rights; a hard-headed approach: setting clear and realistic objectives with clear metrics of success.”

This is not a plan: it is a description of what we have not got. Why do we believe that describing what we do not have should constitute a plan on how to get it? In part, it is because the language is comfortingly opaque. A bewildering range of different logical connections and identities can be concealed in a specialised language derived from development theory and overlaid with management consultancy. What is concealed is our underlying assumption that when we want to make other societies resemble our (often fantastical) ideas of our own society, we can.

In 1868, Rawlinson’s views were defeated. Sir John Lawrence, the new viceroy, persuaded Lord Derby’s government that Afghanistan was less important than it appeared, that our resources were limited, and that we had other more pressing priorities. Here, in a civil service minute of 1867, he imagines what would happen if the Russians tried to invade: “In that case let them undergo the long and tiresome marches which lie between the Oxus and the Indus; let them wend their way through poor and difficult countries, among a fanatic and courageous population, where, in many places, every mile can be converted into a defensible position; then they will come to the conflict on which the fate of India will depend, toil-worn, with an exhausted infantry, a broken-down cavalry, and a defective artillery.”

He concludes: “I am firmly of opinion that our proper course is not to advance our troops beyond our present border, not to send English officers into the different states of Central Asia; but to put our own house in order, by giving the people of India the best government in our power, by conciliating, as far as practicable, all classes, and by consolidating our resources.”

A modern civil servant might express such an argument as follows: “The presence of Nato special forces, the challenging logistical and political conditions in Afghanistan and lack of technological capacity, are likely to impede al-Qaeda from posing a significant threat to UK or US national security. Instead development in South Asia should remain the key strategic priority for the UK government.”

Lawrence might have been expected to have a more confident or arrogant view of British power than policy-makers today. But he believed that the British government lacked power, lacked knowledge (even though he and his colleagues had spent decades on the Afghan frontier) and lacked legitimacy (“the Afghans do not want us; they dread our appearance in the country… will not tolerate foreign rule”).

The argument is contingent, cautious, empirical and local, rooted in a very specific landscape and time. It expresses a belief not only in the limits of Russian and Afghan threats but also in the limits of British power and capacity.
This is an edited extract from an article that first appeared in the London Review of Books (

*RORY Stewart has been a soldier, diplomat and academic and has travelled extensively in Afghanistan and Iraq.

As a student at Oxford, he was a summer tutor to Princes William and Harry. After a short period with the Black Watch, he joined the Foreign Office. He was British Representative to Montenegro in the wake of the Kosovo campaign. After the coalition invasion of Iraq, he was appointed deputy governor of Maysan and senior advisor in Dhi Qar, two provinces in southern Iraq.

His first book, The Places in Between, a New York Times bestseller, was an account of a walk across Afghanistan in the winter of 2001/2. In 2005, he founded an NGO in Afghanistan and moved to Kabul. He is Ryan Family Professor of the Practice of Human Rights and the director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

The Extremists of Pakistan

The Extremists of Pakistan


THEY have no tolerance. They speak, abusively if necessary, and desire little debate in return. They order and demand to be obeyed. They care not of another’s grievance or state of affairs, nor make any effort towards an understanding of such. They choose to remain ignorant of the world around and its realities that impact them. They wish their every whim to be met and every diktat to be followed by all. They are prepared to use violence – brutal, unrelenting and destructive violence – until they get their way.

Bearded, uneducated, warrior tribes from the North West reaches of Pakistan? No. The real extremists of Pakistan are the pseudo-intellectual, liberal elite dining away and making merry in the posh settings of Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad.

For it is at their insistence that the might of the Pakistan army has been hurled indiscriminately at an entire civil populace, resulting in its wake the displacement of over 3 million people and the death of thousands. This now stands as the largest unsettlement of humankind caused by man since the Rwandan massacres in Africa fifteen years ago and further bigger than the migration during the Indian partition itself. All because of the US backed lie that a few thousand rag tag group of fighters could capture the capital and hence overrun the country.

These extremists sitting at the helm of the country have swallowed every instruction and propaganda issued by the Americans and in doing so have taken Pakistan down a path of self obliteration. The entire army now stands pitted against a major ethnic race in Pakistan and this in turn bodes only one outcome for the country – civil war leading to state level disintegration akin to the loss of East Pakistan.

Such individuals have chosen to completely overlook the fact that a major foreign power has shifted its entire focus on the region after having just meted out the same policy on Iraq where it has succeeded in destabilising the entire state and engulfing the country with ethnic and sectarian flames. They have ignored the fact that the USA has a brutal and dark track record of using its intelligence agencies to ferment such turmoil in countries and that these very agencies have now settled in Pakistan and have been given a free reign to run amok. The CIA and FBI are openly known to have offices in every main city, airport and a thorough presence in the capital Islamabad.

Such extremists, falling into two overlapping camps, are both drawn from the sitting and opposition political leaders, bureaucrats, elements of the so called `civil society’ and serving and retired military leaders. The first group has continued to grip the reins of power in the country and all the perks that come with it; essentially the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the USA for the trough from which only their snouts will gorge out of. The second group is a fanatically secular band that will turn vile the moment the words Islam and society are mixed in the same sentence.

Together, they have managed to execute quite immaculately the American plan to turn the US’s War on Terror into Pakistan’s War on Terror, since the people of Pakistan have simply refused to back the former.

But perhaps the biggest shame is that the real intellectual element of our society has gone along with this, or at best is standing idle at the wayside as silent observers, for it has been very easy to accept the mistruths churned out by the extremists.

The real truth – a lot harder to swallow – is that the US wishes to achieve complete domination in the region. It has to ensure that the planned oil and gas pipelines from Central Asia running through Afghanistan, down to the ports of Pakistan, remain undisturbed. Further it must guarantee that the waterways near the coast of Pakistan are never threatened by any other power and that the control of this vital Middle-Eastern oil artery remains completely under its domain. In doing so the US has concluded that the only real way to implement this is to militarily occupy the region and eventually carve up Pakistan into smaller, weaker and hence more manageable states.

However, this is something which the Muslim community in the `AfPak’ region have declined to play ball with as they simply refuse to be a subjugated people; they demonstrated this with the British over a century ago, they demonstrated this with the Soviets twenty years ago and they are now making this clear to the Americans. As long as these fighters attack the US troops in Afghanistan, and continue to disrupt their main supply line which comes from Pakistan, the US will not be able to achieve its materialistic objectives in the region.

After repeated drone attacks the US simply cannot stamp out this resistance. Nor has it been able to send its own troops across the border to tackle these elements, partly due to the immense anti-American public opinion in Pakistan. But what the US has now succeeded in doing is to get the Pakistan army to fight its war.

But how long will the sincere elements of Pakistan stand by and watch the country being torn apart for a foreign objective under the whims of such extremists? How long will the sincere officers in the Pakistan army continue to act submissively under the orders of their traitor commanders and continue with this utter madness that has gripped the country? They must act now and listen to the voices of reason around them that call them to a new future for our Islamic nation. They must act now otherwise very soon it will be too late and America would have won.

Asif Salahuddin is a writer and could be contacted at

The Israel Project’s Secret Hasbara Handbook Exposed

The Israel Project’s Secret Hasbara Handbook Exposed

By: Richard Silverstein

July 13, 2009 “FDL” —  Imagine for a moment you’re a general about to embark on a decisive military campaign and your intelligence service secures a copy of your opponent’s entire campaign strategy. You open it and you see his battle plans laid out before you, key forces, weaponry, lines of attack, points of weaknesses, etc. You suddenly understand just how weak his forces are and precisely how to mercilessly attack and eviscerate him. The plan makes you understand that his forces are largely based on artifice and sham. It gives you confidence that you are entirely on the right course and tells you how to stay on that course. Victory is assured, your enemy’s defeat certain. Douglas Bloomfield and Newsweek have done pretty close to that against the Israel lobby. Specifically, they’ve exposed a secret hasbara handbook written for The Israel Project by star Republican marketer, Frank Luntz.

The oddly-named Global Language Dictionary (pdf) is a veritable goldmine of arguments, strategy, tactics. At 116 pages, it’s not for the faint of heart. But anyone who wants to get inside the head of the Israel lobby must read this document. I know my enthusiasm will mark me as a real I-P wonk, but this is the real deal and worth spending some time parsing and deconstructing.

The first thing to say is that the entire document is a pathetic piece of propaganda. While it ostensibly is addressed to TIP’s leaders and advises them how to shape a pro-Israel message when they lobby Congress, the media and other critical power brokers, the entire thing reeks of desperation and a lost cause.

It goes without saying that the arguments offered are not only devoid of truth, they’re devoid of rigor or credibility. There is literally no substance to the claims offered on Israel’s behalf. It’s an empty exercise in every sense of the word. Reading this makes you realize that the entire Israel lobby edifice is a house of cards.

Perhaps I’m letting my shock at the shabbiness of the Dictionary get the better of me and overstating the case it reveals against the Lobby. After all, any political network that exists for six decades and achieves as much as this one has doesn’t topple overnight. But I’ll just have to let you be the judge.

One aspect of this I find extraordinary and entirely dubious is the choice of the Republican campaign pollster Frank Luntz to write this report. This indicates, as I’ve always maintained, that the Lobby is totally tone deaf to the political environment. We have a democratic president and two Houses of Congress under Democratic control for the first time in a few decades. Pragmatic liberalism is ascendant. Neo-conservatism and Bushian Republicanism are in retreat. And who does TIP chose to make the case for Israel? A right-wing Republican spinmeister. Remarkable. But one thing I must say is that this is a good sign for our side. If our opponents are as wooden as they appear, then they will topple themselves without needing much help from us. The first chapter, 25 Rules for Effective Communication opens with:

The first step to winning trust and friends for Israel is showing that you care about peace for BOTH Israelis and Palestinians and, in particular, a better future for every child. Indeed, the sequence of your conversation is critical and you must start with empathy for BOTH sides first. Open your conversation with strong proven messages such as:“Israel is committed to a better future for everyone – Israelis and Palestinians alike. Israel wants the pain and suffering to end, and is committed to working with the Palestinians toward a peaceful, diplomatic solution where both sides can have a better future. Let this be a time of hope and opportunity for both the Israeli and the Palestinian people.”

The first thing we learn is that this passage, as with everything else printed in the handbook, is empty meaningless drivel. It’s a perfect example of political three-card monty in which there appears to be a card which isn’t there at all. It’s all a sham. There is no substance. The rhetoric here is even worse than that offered by spokespeople like Mark Regev on behalf of the Israeli government.

In the following passage, we can see that Luntz has lifted shamelessly lifted arguments from MEMRI and former Mossad officer, Itamar Marcus’ Palestine Media Watch. Others before me have demolished these tawdry arguments, but it’s instructive to read the lies and distortions that TIP instructs its representatives to parrot. Throughout, the document drips noblesse oblige and fake concern for Palestinian children:

“As a matter of principle, we believe that it is a basic right of children to be raised without hate. We ask the Palestinian leadership to end the culture of hate in Palestinian schools, 300 of which are named for suicide bombers. Palestinian leaders should take textbooks out of classrooms that show maps of the Middle East without Israel and that glorify terrorism.”As a matter of principle, children should not be raised to want to kill others or themselves. Yet, day after day, Palestinian leadership pushes a culture of hate that encourages even small children to become suicide bombers.

Iran-backed Hamas’s public television in Gaza uses Sesame Street–type programming to glorify suicide bombers. As a matter of principle, no child should be abused in such a way. Palestinian children deserve better.”

As a matter of principle I believe that no child (Israeli or Palestinian) should be raised in fear that their mother, father, sister, brother, grandmother or grandfather could be killed for no other reason than they happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and a frightened, trigger hungry 18 year army recruit decides to make an example of them.

As for maps, before Frank Luntz or Itamar Marcus make their specious claims about Palestinian textbooks, I’d like them to show me a single Israeli textbook that features a map of Palestine. You will certainly find Judea and Samaria. But will you find any acknowledgment of the millions of Palestinians who live in the Territories?

Further, the arguments are entirely dated. Suicide bombings were a serious phenomenon in years past. But Palestinian militants have largely abandoned this tactic, at least in part due to its unpopularity among average Palestinians. You certainly wouldn’t know this from Frank Luntz’s agitprop. It’s like he’s living in a time warp and its still the first Intifada (circa 2000).

Clearly differentiate between the Palestinian people and Hamas. There is an immediate and clear distinction between the empathy Americans feel for the Palestinians and the scorn they direct at Palestinian leadership. Hamas is a terrorist organization – Americans get that already. But if it sounds like you are attacking the Palestinian people (even though they elected Hamas) rather than their leadership, you will lose public support.

Another characteristic of the Dictionary is the dubious distinctions it draws, as in this example. There is no way to distinguish between the Palestinian people and their leadership. In effect, the passage concedes the illogic of its argument with this phrase: “even though they elected Hamas.” Of course they elected Hamas. That’s precisely the point. They had an election and chose who they wanted to represent them. So for the lobby to say they sympathize with Palestinians, but not with the leaders they chose is an empty statement.

Yet another example of noblesse oblige (and it’s entirely dubious to claim that these words “work”):

WORDS THAT WORKWe know that the Palestinians deserve leaders who will care about the well being of their people, and who do not simply take hundreds of millions of dollars in assistance from America and Europe, put them in Swiss bank accounts, and use them to support terror instead of peace. The Palestinians need books, not bombs. They want roads, not rockets.”

Clearly passages like this are designed to score debate points but are entirely devoid of accuracy. The claims of embezzlement, of course, go back to the days when Yasir Arafat ran things and tolerated rampant Fatah corruption. But Arafat has been dead for lo these many years. Someone ought to roll over and tell Tchaichovsky and Frank Luntz the news.

As for Palestinians wanting roads, they do. They’d like some of those wonderful Israeli bypass roads that run directly through former Palestinian farmland and whisk settlers from their settlement homes to their jobs inside Israel proper. The same apartheid roads which are off-limits to Palestinians.

One thing you’ve got to give Luntz, he’s not above stealing ideas from anyone, even Israeli peace activists (see italics):

MORE WORDS THAT WORK“The obstacles on the road to a peaceful and prosperous Middle East are many. Israel recognizes that peace is made with one’s adversaries, not with one’s friends. But peace can only be made with adversaries who want to make peace with you. Terrorist organizations like Iran-backed Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are, by definition, opposed to peaceful co-existence, and determined to prevent reconciliation. I ask you, how do you negotiate with those who want you dead?”

There is an amazing insularity in the arguments presented here, with absolutely no conception that Palestinians feel precisely the same emotions as Israelis. In other words, they too ask how and why they should negotiate with a state of Israel that would just as soon kill them as live with them in peace.

More obliviousness, with no awareness of the dark irony of this statement:

“We may disagree about politics…But there is one fundamental principle that all peoples from all parts of the globe will agree on: civilized people do not target innocent women and children for death.”

Do I hear any concern here for the “innocent women and children” of Gaza who were slaughtered in their hundreds during the Gaza war? No, of course not.

Of course, there is unintentionally comic discourse:

Don’t pretend that Israel is without mistakes or fault. It’s not true and no one believes it. Pretending Israel is free from errors does not pass the smell test. It will only make your listeners question the veracity of everything else you say.Admit Israel make mistakes. Don’t specify them. Change the subject as quickly as possible and hope no one notices what you’ve just conceded. And then point out how much more guilty the Palestinians are than the Israelis for the conflict.

Use humility. “I know that in trying to defend its children and citizens from terrorists that Israel has accidentally hurt innocent people. I know it, and I’m sorry for it. But what can Israel do to defend itself? If America had given up land for peace – and that land had been used for launching rockets at America, what would America do?

Use fake humility. Pretend that Israel is the U.S. and that there has been no Occupation and no injustice perpetrated against Palestinians. Pretend their lands have not been stolen. Pretend they have not been turned into refugees in the hundreds of thousands. Pretend that Israel has a right to expect Palestinians to behave like Canadians or Mexicans, who have not had a border dispute with the U.S. in 150 years.

Here is more fakery in the guise of concern. And note the conflation of American Jews with Israelis as if we are them (a little identity confusion?):

WORDS THAT WORK“Are Israelis perfect? No. Do we make mistakes? Yes. But we want a better future, and we are working towards it.

And we want Palestinians to have a better future as well. They deserve a government that will eliminate the terror not only because it will make my children safer—but also because it will make their children more prosperous. When the terror ends, Israel will no longer need to have challenging checkpoints to inspect goods and people. When the terror ends we will no longer need a security fence.”

There is virtually no terror on the West Bank, yet 500 checkpoints remain there. Why? Tell me why, Mr. Luntz.

If there is a money quote in this document that reveals that the lobby is now running scared it is this:

We’re at a time in history when Jews in general (and Israelis in particular) are no longer perceived as the persecuted people. In fact, among American and European audiences—sophisticated, educated, opinionated, non-Jewish audiences—Israelis are often seen as the occupiers and the aggressors. With that kind of baggage, it is critical that messages from the pro-Israel spokespeople not come across as supercilious or condescending.

More unintended irony:

WORDS THAT DON’T WORK“We are prepared to allow them to build……”

If the Palestinians are to be seen as a trusted partner on the path to peace, they must not be subordinated, in perception or in practice, by the Israelis.

What is the Occupation if not “subordination” personified??

Here’s right back at ya, buddy:

WORDS THAT DO WORK“Achieving peaceful relationships requires the leadership…of both sides. And so we ask the Palestinians … Stop using the language of incitement. Stop using the language of violence. Stop using the language of threats. You won’t achieve peace if your military leadership talks about war. You won’t achieve peace if people talk about pushing others to the sea or to the desert.”

Israel’s military and political leaders speak the language of violence, incitement and war virtually every day. No acknowledgment of that, of course, by Luntz. As for “pushing Jews into the sea,” I haven’t read a real live Palestinian resident of the Occupied Territories make such a statement in several decades. So this argument is circa 1970 or so. Nice try though, Frank.

“Israelis know what it is like to live their lives with the daily threat of terrorism.

As do Palestinians.

Remind people – again and again – that Israel wants peace. Reason One: If Americans see no hope for peace—if they only see a continuation of a 2,000-year-long episode of “Family Feud”—Americans will not want their government to spend tax dollars or their President’s clout on helping Israel.

Bingo. Here Luntz inadvertently speaks the truth. Israel wants peace in the same vague way that a 13 year-old girl may want to be whoever the teen idol of the moment happens to be. Israel has no plan. No means of getting to peace. So to say that Israel wants peace is, once again, meaningless. And the fear lurking in the hearts of the lobby is that some day Israel will be exposed and Americans will abandon it because they will come to understand that whatever Israel may claim it wants, there will never be peace under terms acceptable to Israel. That will be a day of reckoning that the lobby wants to avoid at all costs.

Churchill’s Bengali Holocaust

Churchill’s Bengali Holocaust

By Gideon Polya

Inadvertent confessions of Britain’s #1 war criminal

History ignored yields history repeated. Mainstream media that ignore the 9-11 million excess deaths so far in the Bush (now Obama) wars also ignore how in 1943-1945 the British under Winston Churchill deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death in what was described in India at the time as a Bengali Holocaust. However, to the best of my knowledge, in his lifetime Churchill made no public references to this atrocity that killed more people than died in the WW2 Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation).

The WW2 Bengal Famine was associated with horrendous military and civilian sexual abuse of as many as 0.3 million starving women and girls (30,000 in Calcutta alone) but Western media, politicians and academics have ensured that this has been effectively deleted from history – while the “comfort women” sex slave abuses of the Japanese army in WW2 are well known, even in Japan. [1].

Ethical and humanitarian MWC News has of course reported this “forgotten”  Bengali Holocaust”, specifically in the context of current huge food price rises that threaten a repetition of the 1943-1945 Bengal Famine on a global scale and for the same reason – when defenceless, disempowered, First World capitalism-dominated, impoverished people are unable to buy food due to food price rises they simply starve to death. [2-3].

MWC News continues to report like atrocities against humanity that are occurring today in the American Empire under “yes we can” Obama that are most succinctly summarized by the current authoritative answer to the anti-war chant from the 1960s of “Hey, hey, USA, how many kids did you kill today?”. Answer: 1,000. [4].

However, in a wider context, 16 million people die avoidably each year (9.5 million being under-5 year old infants) from deprivation and deprivation-exacerbated disease on a Spaceship Earth with a merciless, racist First World at the helm. [5].

The racist, lying, holocaust-ignoring British Establishment of media, politicians, corporations and academics has an appalling record of hiding the awful truth. Thus in this  past week the UK Government announced an inquiry into the War in Iraq (no UN sanction for the consequently illegal, war criminal invasion; so far 1.0 million post-invasion non-violent excess deaths; 1.3 million post-invasion violent deaths;  2.3 million post-invasion violent and non-violent Iraqi excess deaths, 0.6 million post-invasion under-5 infant deaths; 6 million refugees) – but the inquiry will be held in secret.

Winston Churchill’s involvement in the deliberate, sustained  mass murder of 6-7 million Indians; his subsequent comprehensive ignoring of the WW2 Bengali Holocaust in a process of extraordinary holocaust denial; and his inadvertent and secret confessions of complicity in this immense atrocity are revealed in a series of quotations “from the horse’s mouth” provided below.

1. Churchill’s hatred for Indians is on record as revealed by the following quote of Winston Churchill to Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India (1942): “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion.” [6].

2. Winston Churchill (1953) in an egregious act of Nobel Prize-winning Holocaust Denial in which he totally wipes out any mention of the 6-7 million Indians he deliberately starved to death in 1943-1945: “No great portion of the world population was so effectively protected from the horrors and perils of the World War as were the peoples of Hindustan. They were carried through the struggle on the shoulders of our small Island.” [7].

3. Winston Churchill in his major speech to the House of Commons on India made after the Bengali Holocaust on 16 May 1946 and which totally ignores any reference to the 6-7 million Indians he had deliberately starved to death in 1943-1945:  “The Cripps mission [1942] failed. The answer which Mr. Gandhi gave to the British Government at that moment of mortal peril was “Quit India”, and he and the Congress proceeded to raise or encourage a revolt , or widespread disturbances, affecting, principally, the communications on which the British and Indian Forces relied for holding the  threatened fronts. These disorders, although seriously fomented, were suppressed with surprising ease and very little loss of life, and the incitement to revolt found practically no response, outside the political classes, from the great masses of the Indian people. We persevered with the war, we toiled on; and presently the tide turned. India was successfully defended, and it emerged from this second world war convulsion of our lifetime protected from external violence by the army, sea power and diplomacy at the disposal of the British Empire including, of course, the valiant contribution of the Indian Forces themselves and the Gurkhas from Nepal.” [8].

4. Churchill made an  implicit confession to complicity in mass murder in India 8 years before the Bengali Holocaust.  Churchill was well aware of the fragility of Indians under a British régime that kept 300 million Indians on the verge of starvation and the consequences of reduction in available food (as occurred under Churchill, notably after his halving of Indian Ocean shipping in 1943) as seen in this quote from a Winston Churchill speech to the House of Commons (1935) that constitutes a confessional admission: “In the standard of life they have nothing to spare. The slightest fall from the present standard of life in India means slow starvation, and the actual squeezing out of life, not only of millions but of scores of millions of people, who have come into the world at your invitation and under the shield and protection of British power.” [9].

5. Churchill, while deleting any mention of the Bengali Holocaust from his public writings, made this secret confession of his involvement and lack of action in a letter to Roosevelt (1944) from London, April 29 1944: “Prime Minister to President Roosevelt Personal and Top Secret.

a. I am seriously concerned about the food situation in India and its possible reactions on our joint operations. Last year we had a grievous famine in Bengal through which at least 700,000 people died. This year there is a good crop of rice, but we are faced with an acute shortage of wheat, aggravated by unprecedented storms which have inflicted serious damage on the Indian spring crops. India’s shortage cannot be overcome by any possible surplus of rice even if such a surplus could be extracted from the peasants. Our recent losses in the Bombay explosion have accentuated the problem.

b. Wavell is exceedingly anxious about our position and has given me the gravest warnings. His present estimate is that he will require imports of about one million tons this year if he is to hold the situation, and so meet the needs of the United States and British and Indian troops and of the civil population especially in the great cities. I have just heard from Mountbatten that he considers the situation so serious that, unless arrangements are made promptly to import wheat requirements, he will be compelled to release military cargo space of SEAC in favour of wheat and formally advise Stilwell that it will also be necessary for him to arrange to curtail American military demands for this purpose.

c. By cutting down military shipments and other means, I have been able to arrange for 350,000 tons of wheat to be shipped to India from Australia during the first nine months of 1944. This is the shortest haul. I cannot see how to do more.4.  I have had much hesitation in asking you to add to the great assistance you are giving us with shipping but a satisfactory situation in India is of such vital importance to the success of our joint plans against the Japanese that I am impelled to ask you to consider a special allocation of ships to carry wheat from Australia without reducing the assistance you are now providing for us, who are at a positive minimum if war efficiency is to be maintained. We have the wheat in Australia but we lack the ships. I have resisted for some time the Viceroy’s request that I should ask you for your help, but I believe that, with this recent misfortune with the wheat harvest and in the light of Mountbatten’s representations, I am no longer justified in not asking for your help. Wavell is doing all he can by special measures in India. If however he should find it possible to revise his estimates of his needs, I would let you know immediately.” [10].

History ignored yields history repeated. Peace is the only way but silence kills and silence is complicity. Please inform everyone you know about Mainstream media, politician, corporation and academic lying by omission over Western atrocities – whether the 6-7 million Indians murdered in the Bengali Holocaust in 1943-1945 or the 9-11 million excess deaths so far in the 1990-2009 Bush (now Obama) wars in the Muslim world. As I concluded in my book “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (p186) :  “Continuing, horrendous global avoidable mortality is fundamentally due to violence, deprivation, disease and lying.”


[1]. Sangmie Choie Schellstede (editer), Soon Mi Yu (photographer),  “Comfort Women Speak: Testimony by Sex Slaves of the Japanese Military : Includes New United Nations Human Rights Report (Science and Human Rights Series, 1)” Holmes & Meier Publishers, 2000.
[2]. Gideon Polya, “World War 2 Bengal Famine remembered. Rice price triples in 1 year”: .
[3]. Gideon Polya, “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History. Colonial rapacity, holocaust denial and the crisis in biological sustainability”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 1998 & 2008.
[4]. Gideon Polya, “Hey, hey, USA, how many kids did you kill today?. Answer: 1,000”. Bellaciao, 2009.
[5]. Gideon Polya,  ”Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950”, G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007.
[6]. Winston Churchill (1944), in Diary of Amery (Secretary for India), September 9, 1942; quoted by Ziegler (1988), pp 351-352 [Ziegler, P. (1988), Mountbatten. The Official Biography (Collins, London) ].
[7]. Churchill (1954), vol. 4, p181 [Churchill, W.S. (1954), The Second World War. Volumes I-VI (Cassell, London)].
[8]. Robert Rhodes James, editor (1974), “Winston S. Churchill. His complete speeches 1897-1963”, vol. 7, 1943-1949 (Chelsea House Publishers/R.R. Bower Company, London & New York).
[9]. Winston Churchill, Hansard of the House of Commons, Winston Churchill speech, Hansard Vol. 302, cols. 1920-21, 1935; quoted by Jog (1944), p195 [Jog, N.G. (1944), Churchill’s Blind-Spot: India (New Book Company, Bombay)].
[10]. Kimball, W.F. (1984) (editor), Churchill & Roosevelt. The Complete Correspondence Volume I. Alliance Emerging October 1933 – November 1942 (Princeton University Press, Princeton), p117.

Dr Gideon Polya,  MWC News Chief political editor, published some 130 works in a 4 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London, 2003), and is currently writing a book on global mortality —
Other articles by this author

Some News, July 15

TEHRAN: A Russian-made Iranian passenger plane nearly 170 people crashed shortly after takeoff Wednesday, smashing into a field northwest of the capital and shattering to pieces. State television said all on board were killed.

The plane’s tail burst into flames in the air and it circled in the air as if looking for a place to land before it crashed, an unidentified witness told the semi-official ISNA news agency.

The impact gouged a deep trench in the dirt field, which was shown littered with smoking wreckage in footage shown on state TV. It showed a large chunk of a wing, but much of the wreckage appeared to be in small pieces, and emergency workers and witnesses picked around the shredded metal for bodies and flight data recorders to determine the cause of the crash.
Iranian plane crash kills all 170 on board
The Caspian Airlines Tupolev jet had taken off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport Wednesday and was headed to the Armenian capital Yerevan. It crashed about 16 minutes after takeoff near the village of Jannat Abad outside the city of Qazvin, around 75 miles northwest of Tehran, civil aviation spokesman Reza Jaafarzadeh told state media.

At Yerevan’s airport, Tina Karapetian, 45, said she had been waiting for her sister and the sister’s 6- and 11-year-old sons, who were due on the flight. ‘What will I do without them?’ she said, weeping, before she collapsed to the floor.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known, but Iran has frequent crashes that are blamed on poor maintenance of its aging fleet. Hossein Ayaznia, an aviation police official, said emergency workers were searching for the plane’s black box.

The deputy chairman of Armenia’s civil aviation authority Arsen Pogosian told reporters in Yerevan there were 154 passengers and 15 crewmembers on board the TU-154M. Earlier, Jaafarzadeh had put the number at 153 passengers and 15 crew, and the reason for the discrepancy was not immediately known.

Six Armenian citizens and two Georgian citizens were on the flight, and the rest were likely Iranians, Pogosian said.

Serob Karapetian, the chief of Yerevan airport’s aviation security service, said the plane may have attempted an emergency landing, but reports that it caught fire in the air were ‘only one version.’ He did not elaborate.

Qazvin emergency services director Hossein Bahzadpour told the IRNA news agency that the plane was completely destroyed and shattered the pieces. ‘It is highly likely that all the passengers on the flight were killed,’ he said.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a statement expressing condolences for the deaths and urging a swift investigation of the cause.

Also among the passengers were eight members of Iran’s national youth judo team, along with two trainers and a delegation chief, who were scheduled to train with the Armenian judo team before attending competitions in Hungary on Aug. 6, state TV said.

Tehran blames the maintenance woes of its airlines in part on US sanctions that prevent Iran from getting spare parts for some planes. However, Caspian Airlines – an Iranian-Russian joint venture founded in 1993 – uses Russian-made Tupolevs whose maintenance would be less impaired by American sanctions.

In February 2006, a Russian-made TU-154 operated by Iran Airtour, which is affiliated with Iran’s national carrier, crashed during landing in Tehran, killing 29 of the 148 people on board. Another Airtour Tupolev crashed in 2002 in the mountains of western Iran, killing all 199 on board.

The crashes have also affected Iran’s military. In December 2005, 115 people were killed when a US-made C-130 plane, crashed into a 10-story building near Tehran’s Mehrabad airport. In Nov. 2007, a Russian-made Iranian military plane crashed shortly after takeoff killing 36 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards. —AP
India donates a cash assistance of $200000 to Tajikistan for …
Times of Central Asia (subscription) – ‎3 hours ago‎
The Government of India has donated a cash assistance of 200000 US dollars as humanitarian assistance to the Government of Tajikistan for mitigation of …

China issues alert in Algeria
China has urged its citizens in Algeria to take extra care, after reports that a militant group might take revenge for the recent deaths of Muslim Uighurs.

On Tuesday a UK-based security firm reported that an al-Qaeda-linked group had threatened to target Chinese workers in north Africa.

The Chinese foreign minister recently appealed for understanding within the Muslim world in the wake of the unrest.

Officials say 137 Han Chinese and 46 Uighurs died in the riots, in Urumqi.

Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang province, is currently under heavy police and military control.

Safety precautions

On Tuesday the London-based risk firm Stirling Assynt reported that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb had threatened to target Chinese workers in north Africa.

In response to the report, the Chinese embassy in Algiers has urged all 50,000 Chinese who live and work in Algeria to be more aware of safety precautions.

It told residents to strengthen security measures “in consideration of the situation after the 5 July incident in Urumqi”.

Exiled Uighur organisations have said they oppose all forms of violence and condemn the alleged al-Qaeda threat.

One nation which has seen a particularly strong anti-China reaction in the wake of the Urumqi violence is Turkey.

Demonstrations have been held across the country to protest against the Chinese government’s handling of the incident, and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Chinese of “genocide”.

Uighurs are Turkic-speaking people and share linguistic and cultural bonds with Turks.

Turkish news agency Anatolia reported on Wednesday that a Chinese diplomat, Song Aiguo, was in Ankara for talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Mr Song, a former ambassador to Ankara, said the Chinese government felt sorrow over the Xinjiang incidents, adding that he was in Ankara to avoid possible damage to Sino-Turkish ties.

Contentious film

Meanwhile Chinese diplomats in Australia are reportedly trying to block the screening of a film about exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.

The director of the Melbourne Film Festival, Richard Moore, said that when the programme for next month’s festival was published, a Chinese consular official contacted him and insisted he withdraw it.

Mr Moore said he had declined the request.

The film – The Ten Conditions of Love – explores the impact on the family of Ms Kadeer of her fight for the rights of China’s Uighur minority.

China blamed the Xinjiang riots of Ms Kadeer, a claim she vehemently denies.
Saodat Mahbatsho 7/14/09

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The mysterious killing of Mirzo Ziyoev, a former opposition commander and cabinet minister, is prompting foreign officials to voice concern about instability in mountainous areas of Tajikistan along the Afghan border. Tajik officials, while attempting to project an image that they remain in control of the security situation, say the rising violence in the South is connected to the return of militants from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Ziyoev, according to official accounts, was killed July 11 in a gunfight between security agents and members of a narcotics trafficking gang. The official version of Ziyoev’s demise was laid out by Deputy Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimov at a news conference.

Rahimov alleged that Ziyoev was a member of a gang involved in an armed attack on a police checkpoint on July 8 in Tavildara, a key transit route linking eastern and western Tajikistan. One official report suggested Ziyoev was trying to take control of the district center. The gang was reportedly led by a long-time Ziyoev acquaintance, Nemat Azizov.

The deputy minister went on to assert that the Azizov/Ziyoev gang was part of an “international terrorist” network that had links to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archive]. The group supposedly relied on trafficking profits to fund its militant activities. “The group included several Russian citizens of Chechen origin aiming to transport large amounts of money through Tajikistan to support terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” Rahimov claimed.

After the July 8 skirmish, Ziyoev and several other members of the gang were arrested. He was killed as he tried to assist government forces in disarming the remaining gang members, the deputy minister explained.

“Mirzo Ziyoev agreed to cooperate with the military forces, and even agreed to show the places where weapons were stored, and to conduct negations with the rest of the terrorist group,” Rahimov said. “However, on the way, members of the Nemat Azizov group attacked the government military forces. Ziyoev was killed and several soldiers of the government agencies were injured.”

Ziyoev was a leading commander of United Tajik Opposition fighters who battled forces loyal to President Imomali Rahmon during Tajikistan’s 1992-97 civil war. As part of the peace agreement, Ziyoev joined the government as minister for emergency situations. But he lost his ministerial portfolio in 2006, amid a purge carried out by Rahmon of UTO elements within the government.

In recent months, Tajikistan has experienced rising violence that government officials have attributed to drug trafficking, and, now, militants. Tajikistan’s porous border is a major smuggling route for drugs originating in Afghanistan, though some analysts have said that a much-touted operation, Poppy 2009, officially designed to weed out drug smugglers in the Rasht Valley and Badakhshan regions, is actually targeting former members of the opposition. Government officials have made repeated public denials that the ongoing Poppy 2009 operation is designed to curb the Islamic militant presence in southern and eastern areas of the country.

Despite the denials, a senior Interior Ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity to EurasiaNet, said that militant former opposition members may be forging new ties with Taliban fighters who are being driven out of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area. Poppy 2009, he added, is indeed intended to drive out foreign-based insurgents with links to the former opposition.

“With military operations in Waziristan [Pakistan] and Afghanistan, a majority of the former Tajik opposition leaders who escaped after the [civil] war started coming back to the country. At the end of February 2009, Abdullo Rakhimov, also known as Mullo Abdullo, also came back to the country and started meeting with the former opposition leaders,” the official said on July 13.

The Interior Ministry official suggested Ziyoev had established ties to Abdullo’s band.
“Mirzo Ziyoev did not agree to join them at the beginning and was working more towards supporting the government, but ultimately [he] joined this group,” the official said.

The issue of returning militants to Central Asia is attracting the attention of the international community. Speaking at a news conference in Dushanbe on July 14, Ambassador Pierre Morel, the European Union’s Special Representative in Central Asia, said, “the European Union is highly concerned about the situation in Pakistan and its reflection on Tajikistan.”

“We support the current politics of the country directed towards eradication of armed terrorist groups and drug traffic to Tajikistan,” Morel added.

Whether Ziyoev was really killed during a drug-gang ambush, or died under different circumstances remains a matter of speculation, local political analysts say. But whatever the truth concerning Ziyoev’s death, the militant-return issue is one that can no longer be ignored. “This [Ziyoev’s death] reflects the geopolitical situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan as many former opposition members are coming back to Tajikistan and seeking bases here,” said political analyst Parviz Mullojanov.

Abdugani Mamadazimov, chair of the National Association of Political Scientists, agrees that insurgents are fleeing Pakistan for Tajikistan, using a route they know from the end of the civil war in the 1990s. “When recent operations started in Pakistan [in the Swat Valley], which is located not far from [Badakhshan Province], the terrorists were pressured to move north. In 1999 and 2000, the members of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan used this corridor to escape from Tajikistan to Pakistan,” he said. The Tajik government “created Operation Poppy 2009 to eliminate them.”

The situation in the Tavildara District and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region near the Afghan border remains tense. Locals in Tavildara say the security situation in the district is sketchy. Military operations are ongoing, they add.

Border attacks on Tajik territory by insurgents and drug smugglers have grown more brazen in recent weeks, suggesting the Tajik border service is struggling to cope with the threats. In a July 3 skirmish in the southern Khatlon region, for example, Tajik troops managed to kill two Afghan infiltrators, but 200 fighters escaped and fled back over the border.
Editor’s Note: Saodat Mahbatsho is the pseudonym for a Tajik journalist.

Posted July 14, 2009 © Eurasianet

Pakistan calls for sealing border to check Taliban inflow from Afghanistan  2009-07-15 21:18:02      Print
    By Hadi Mayar

    ISLAMABAD, July 15 (Xinhua) — Toning down its objection to the deployment of more U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Pakistan has now renewed – more vigorously – its call for sealing the Afghan border.

    The demand was reiterated on Tuesday by Rahman Malik, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, in an interview when he called for checking material and manpower support to the Pakistani Taliban militants from across the Afghan frontier.

    “Two years ago, we were being criticized by the West for our ISI (Inter Service Intelligence), helping the Taliban cross into Afghanistan,” he said in reference to the spate of allegations the United States and the Afghan government had been leveling against the Pakistani intelligence agency, accusing it of supporting Afghan Taliban fighters.

    “We have stopped the border crossing,” he asserted, but prompted to add: “Now we are facing the same situation – they (Taliban) are coming from the other side, bringing arms and fighters from Helmand into Balochistan and Waziristan.”

    Ever since the United States, under its new strategy, announced on March 27, to send additional 21,000 troops to Afghanistan. However, Pakistani officials, including Prime Minister Syed YousufRaza Gilani, and the media have been arguing that such a massive U.S. troop deployment in Afghanistan would push the insurgent Taliban into the Pakistani territory.

    Islamabad has already alleged that the Pakistani Taliban, including even those operating in Swat – far from the Afghan border – have been receiving arms and ammunition and manpower support from their Afghan counterpart.

    Security forces operating in the troubled Swat area claim that the arms and equipment they have seized from Taliban fighters carry Western mark, which mean they were supplied to the militants from Afghanistan.

    Pakistan has also been alleging that Afghanistan’s territory is being used for maneuvering insurgent activities in Pakistan.

    “Activities against Pakistan are being directed from Kunar (a province of Afghanistan),” Rahman Malik alleged.

    For quite some time, the United States and the Afghan government had been alleging that the Taliban in Afghanistan received arms and funds from across the Durand Line, calling on Pakistan to plug the border.

    Just last week, Afghan officials claimed to have arrested a would-be suicide attacker crossing into Helmand province from Pakistan.

    Pakistan has deployed over 100,000 troops along the 2,600-kilomter long border, establishing 1,000 check points all along the frontier to stop support for the Afghan Taliban from Pakistani side.

    Although the Pakistani officials have, over the past several months, relented in their opposition to the deployment of more U.S.forces in Afghanistan, they are continuously calling for checking support for the Pakistani Taliban from the other side of the border.

    “NATO troops in Afghanistan should have first sealed the border before stepping up the fighting. If we cannot seal it totally we should seal it as much as possible,” the Pakistani Interior Minister said.

    Earlier, Pakistan had called for fencing of the Afghan border on the pattern of its frontier with India, which the latter has fenced with barbed wire “to check infiltration of terrorists from across Pakistan.”

    However, Afghanistan, which officially does not recognize the Durand Line as an international frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan, has outrightly rejected the demand.

    Durand Line was demarcated in 1893 under an agreement signed between Afghanistan and the then colonial British government of undivided India.

    “We have 1,000 checkpoints on our side (of the border) – they (Afghans) have only 100 of which only 60 are working,” Rahman Malik said, adding that “it made no sense to both fighting either side of the border without stopping the militants crossing.”
Editor: Fang Yang