The War President

President Barack Obama (R) greets troops during a visit to Camp Victory, just outside Baghdad, on April 7, 2009. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Karl 2 By JONATHAN KARL

We’ll get to health care in a moment, but first a reminder that for all the bold domestic initiatives, President Barack Obama is a war president.  Unwelcome and uncontrollable developments on

the war front have a way of overshadowing everything else.  Just ask Lyndon Johnson.

We are not there yet, but consider today’s headlines:

• U.S. soldier taken hostage.  The Taliban released a 28-minute video of Pfc Bowe Bergdahl.  It’s a typical propaganda video, featuring Private Bergdahl, clearly under duress, speaking about his family and against the war.  The vigil in his tiny Idaho hometown dominated the network morning shows and will likely continue to do so.

• Another coalition soldier was killed late yesterday, bringing the death toll so-far this month (52) to the highest since the war started in September 2001.

• The death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan is on the verge of 5,000.  A reminder of that toll will come later this week when, the LA Times reports, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is scheduled to visit Arlington Cemetery.

• A civilian helicopter working with NATO crashed, killing 16 aid workers.   British and American fighter jets also crashed over the weekend.

• The Drug Enforcement Administration, belatedly perhaps, is surging its own agents into Afghanistan in an effort to target.  The LA Times calls this  “a new kind of ‘surge,’ targeting trafficking networks that officials say are increasingly fueling the Taliban insurgency and corrupting the Afghan government.”

• The Wall Street Journal reports that the White House is going to miss a Congressionally mandated deadline to submit its plan for closing Gitmo.  Does anybody outside of the administration think the gitmo prison will be closed by January?

• The NYT reports the even bigger detainee problem:  the 15,000 held in nightmarish prisons inside Afghanistan.  Under consideration:  a new, U.S.-built Afghan prison “for the hard-core extremists who are now using the poorly run Afghan corrections system as a camp to train petty thieves and other common criminals to be deadly militants.”  Could this Gitmo with a different address?

For now, President Obama seems to have the confidence of the public, most Congressional leaders and even Republicans for his Afghan policy.  In today’s ABC News/Washington Post poll, 62 percent give him high marks on Afghanistan.

But President Obama’s political and national security teams know support may be fleeting.  Privately, senior White House officials will tell you they have at most a year to start turning things around before losing Congressional Democrats who, if a Republican were in the White House, would already be demanding tangible progress, firm benchmarks, and a timetable for withdrawal.

Saving Room At Nabucco Table for Subdued Iran

Iran hidden in Nabucco agreement to avoid risking US support, say Nabucco officials

Some Nabucco officials claim that the agreement signed by the prime ministers of Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania included provisions for Iranian involvement hidden in some articles.
Some Nabucco officials claim that the agreement signed by the prime ministers of Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania included provisions for Iranian involvement hidden in some articles.

Although initially deemed an integral part of the grand Nabucco pipeline project that aims to transport Caspian and Middle Eastern natural gas to European markets, Iran was left out of the signing ceremony of the intergovernmental Nabucco agreement last week in Ankara. There was consensus among energy market pundits that Iran was advertently kept off the list of the invited nations due to its deep clashes and adversity with the US, especially over its uranium enrichment program, and having US support for the project was vital to make it an effective alternative to Russia’s pipelines.

Due to this policy of avoiding vexing the US by posing together with Iran, the Nabucco partner countries opted to put distance between themselvesand the recalcitrant Middle Eastern nation, at least in appearance. However, some Nabucco officials claim that the agreement signed by the prime ministers of Turkey, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania last week in a glamorous ceremony still included Iran, hidden in some articles. Iran’s exclusion had caught international energy market analysts by surprise since without the vast resources of Iran, Nabucco’s target quantities would be extremely difficult to achieve.

Speaking to Today’s Zaman on the condition of anonymity, Nabucco officials said the final decision on Iran will be shaped by international developments.

Section Eight of Article 2 of the agreement defines the Initial Entry Points as “the starting points of the Nabucco Project at any three points on the eastern or southern land borders of the Republic of Turkey as selected by Nabucco International Company, and, subject to agreement by the Nabucco Committee in consultation with Nabucco International Company, any other point at the eastern or southern Turkish border. The exact location of the Initial Entry Points at the respective borders is subject to the standard permitting and related authorization procedures.”

This article, officials say, points to Iran in its mention of three, plus one optional, entry points but avoidance of naming them. A Nabucco official said this sentence was intentionally devised to let Iran later in the project, but it used the expression of “entry point” instead of “supplier country” to dodge alluding to Iran’s potential inclusion.

The 3,300-kilometer gas pipeline project will have a potential capacity of 31 billion cubic meters of gas annually starting from 2015 and is expected to cost $11 billion.

Although it has been officially invited to be a supplier for the pipeline several times, Russia has clearly rejected joining the project and instead has accelerated the construction of a new alternative route to transport its resources to Europe. Russia has also explored striking gas purchase deals with several potential Nabucco suppliers around the Caspian Sea. Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Egypt and Syria are so far the only countries that have pledged to pump gas to Europe via Nabucco.

The state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAŞ) currently has pipelines for gas from Iran and Azerbaijan but must construct new pipelines to access the resources of Iraq and Egypt.

Russia has the world’s largest natural gas reserves, with 47.65 trillion cubic meters of proven reserves. Iran comes second with 28.13 trillion cubic meters of gas beneath its soil, and then come Qatar and Saudi Arabia, with 25.36 trillion cubic meters and 7.7 trillion cubic meters of reserves, respectively.

The idea that Nabucco is destined to arrive stillborn without the inclusion of major gas providers like Iran has been backed by the statements of Nabucco officials and of partner countries. None of them have publicly ruled out Iran as a gas supplier to the pipeline so far; in fact, there have been numerous remarks claiming the contrary. For example, in an interview with Today’s Zaman last week, after the agreement was signed, Reinhard Mitschek, the managing director of Nabucco Gas Pipeline International, said that Nabucco would not exclude any potential source and will be open for the transportation of any gas meeting quality requirements from every potential gas supplier, including Iran and Russia.

“Nabucco has never, ever excluded any source. Bottom line, we have to buy the gas. The national gas companies will evaluate the political aspect, the commercial aspect, the technical aspect and then they will decide to buy gas from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, Iran and Russia,” said Mitschek.

21 July 2009, Tuesday
İSMAIL ALTUNSOY ANKARA

India interfering in Balochistan: Gilani

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani delivers his speech during the flag hoisting ceremony to mark the country's independence day in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. As Pakistan marked the 61st anniversary of its independence from Britain in ceremonies, Gilani pledged to defeat extremism, saying the fight was a \
(photo: AP / Anjum Naveed)

India interfering in Balochistan: Gilani

18 Jul 2009, 2020 hrs IST, PTI

ISLAMABAD: Two days after the controversial Indo-Pak joint statement in Egypt, prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday night blamed India

for “interference” in Balochistan and “other areas” and said the document reflected Pakistan’s concerns over this.

The joint statement signed by him and prime minister Manmohan Singh “underlines our concerns over India’s interference in Balochistan and other areas of Pakistan”, Gilani told his first press conference after his return from Sharm-el Sheikh.

At the outset, he showered praise on Singh for agreeing to restart dialogue, saying the Indian leader had shown “political sagacity” and “statesmanship” in realising that talks were the only way forward.

The statement, which has been attacked by opposition parties and commentators in India, in a brief reference to Balochistan said that Gilani had “mentioned that Pakistan has some information on threats in Balochistan and other areas.”

Referring to the document, Gilani said it provides for discussion on all outstanding issues with India.

Asked when Pakistan will give proof to India about its “interference” in Balochistan, he said “as and when talks take place, it will be handed over. Right now we are talking about talks.”

During his long interaction with journalists, Gilani was congratulated by them for “showing courage” during the talks with Singh and getting Balochistan onto the table.


Zardari, from Mostaque Ali

Zardari.

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From Wikipedia:

Asif Ali Zardari (Urdu, Sindhi: آصف علی زرداری) (born 26 July 1955) is the 11th and current President of Pakistan and the Co-Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Zardari is the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who twice served as Prime Minister of Pakistan. When his wife was assassinated in December 2007, he became the leader of the Pakistan People’s Party. He is considered to be among the five richest men in Pakistan with an estimated net worth of US$1.8 billion (2005).[4]

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($3 billion by 2009 ????)

Charges of corruption

French, Polish, Spanish, and Swiss documents have fuelled the charges of corruption against Bhutto and her husband. They faced a number of legal proceedings, including a charge of laundering money through Swiss banks. Though never convicted, her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, spent eight years in prison on similar corruption charges. After being released on bail in 2004, Zardari suggested that his time in prison involved torture; human rights groups have supported his claim that his rights were violated.[28]

His wife is killed; his country’s falling apart whilst he’s at the helm, but the foreign back clown is happy…..and the USA/UK adore him, thats what counts in Pakistan.

A 1998 New York Times investigative report[29] claims that Pakistani investigators have documents that uncover a network of bank accounts, all linked to the family’s lawyer in Switzerland, with Asif Zardari as the principal shareholder. According to the article, documents released by the French authorities indicated that Zardari offered exclusive rights to Dassault, a French aircraft manufacturer, to replace the air force’s fighter jets in exchange for a 5% commission to be paid to a Swiss corporation controlled by Zardari. The article also said a Dubai company received an exclusive license to import gold into Pakistan for which Asif Zardari received payments of more than $10 million into his Dubai-based Citibank accounts. The owner of the company denied that he had made payments to Zardari and claims the documents were forged.

Bhutto maintained that the charges levelled against her and her husband were purely political.[30][31] An Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) report supports Bhutto’s claim. It presents information suggesting that Benazir Bhutto was ousted from power in 1990 as a result of a witch hunt approved by then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The AGP report says Khan illegally paid legal advisers 28 million rupees to file 19 corruption cases against Bhutto and her husband in 1990–92.[32]

His wife is killed; his country’s falling apart whilst he’s at the helm, but the foreign back clown is happy…..and the USA/UK adore him, thats what counts in Pakistan.

Yet the assets held by Bhutto and her husband continue to be scrutinized and speculated about. The prosecutors have alleged that their Swiss bank accounts contain £740 million.[33] Zardari also bought a neo-Tudor mansion and estate worth over £4 million in Surrey, England, UK.[34][35] The Pakistani investigations have tied other overseas properties to Zardari’s family. These include a $2.5 million manor in Normandy owned by Zardari’s parents, who had modest assets at the time of his marriage.[29] Bhutto denied holding substantive overseas assets.

Switzerland

On 23 July 1998, the Swiss Government handed over documents to the government of Pakistan which relate to corruption allegations against Benazir Bhutto and her husband.[36] The documents included a formal charge of money laundering by Swiss authorities against Zardari. The Pakistani government had been conducting a wide-ranging inquiry to account for more than $13.7 million frozen by Swiss authorities in 1997 that was allegedly stashed in banks by Bhutto and her husband. The Pakistani government recently filed criminal charges against Bhutto in an effort to track down an estimated $1.5 billion she and her husband are alleged to have received in a variety of criminal enterprises.[37] The documents suggest that the money Zardari was alleged to have laundered was accessible to Benazir Bhutto and had been used to buy a diamond necklace for over $175,000.[38] The PPP has responded by flatly denying the charges, suggesting that Swiss authorities have been misled by false evidence provided by the Government of Pakistan.

His wife is killed; his country’s falling apart whilst he’s at the helm, but the foreign back clown is happy…..and the USA/UK adore him, thats what counts in Pakistan.

On 6 August 2003, Swiss magistrates found Bhutto and her husband guilty of money laundering.[39] They were given six-month suspended jail terms, fined $50,000 each and were ordered to pay $11 million to the Pakistani government. The six-year trial concluded that Bhutto and Zardari deposited in Swiss accounts $10 million given to them by a Swiss company in exchange for a contract in Pakistan. The couple said they would appeal. The Pakistani investigators say Zardari opened a Citibank account in Geneva in 1995 through which they say he passed some $40 million of the $100 million he received in payoffs from foreign companies doing business in Pakistan.[40] In October 2007, Daniel Zappelli, chief prosecutor of the canton of Geneva, said he received the conclusions of a money laundering investigation against former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on October 29, but it was unclear whether there would be any further legal action against her in Switzerland.[41]

Poland

The Polish Government has given Pakistan 500 pages of documentation relating to corruption allegations against Benazir Bhutto and her husband. These charges are in regard to the purchase of 8,000 tractors in a 1997 deal.[42][43] According to Pakistani officials, the Polish papers contain details of illegal commissions paid by the tractor company in return for agreeing to their contract.[44] It was alleged that the arrangement “skimmed” Rs 103 mn rupees ($2 million) in kickbacks.[30] “The documentary evidence received from Poland confirms the scheme of kickbacks laid out by Asif Zardari and Benazir Bhutto in the name of (the) launching of Awami tractor scheme”, APP said. Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari allegedly received a 7.15% commission on the purchase through their front men, Jens Schlegelmilch and Didier Plantin of Dargal S.A., who received about $1.969 million for supplying 5,900 Ursus tractors.[45]

His wife is killed; his country’s falling apart whilst he’s at the helm, but the foreign back clown is happy…..and the USA/UK adore him, thats what counts in Pakistan.

France

Potentially the most lucrative deal alleged in the documents involved the effort by Dassault Aviation, a French military contractor. French authorities indicated in 1998 that Bhutto’s husband, Zardari, offered exclusive rights to Dassault to replace the air force’s fighter jets in exchange for a five percent commission to be paid to a corporation in Switzerland controlled by Zardari.[46]

At the time, French corruption laws forbade bribery of French officials but permitted payoffs to foreign officials, and even made the payoffs tax-deductible in France. However, France changed this law in 2000.[47]

His wife is killed; his country’s falling apart whilst he’s at the helm, but the foreign back clown is happy…..and the USA/UK adore him, thats what counts in Pakistan.

Helicopter scandal

In 1998-1999, an enquiry was conducted by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament to investigate the matter regarding the purchase of the helicopter. The case involves defrauding substantive sum of $2.168 million and $1.1 million public money. The record shows that the case was not pursued properly nor diligently. FIR No 1 of 1998 was registered with Federal Investigation Agency State Bank Circle Rawalpindi on the complaint of Cabinet Division. Thorough investigation was conducted by the committee headed by Chaudhry Muhammad Barjees Tahir and two other members, namely Faridullah Jamali and Jamshaid Ali Shah. During this investigation the committee Chairman Barjees Tahir summoned both the former President Farooq Leghari and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto along with others, and they were investigated. The case received extensive media coverage both inside and outside Pakistan. The recommendations of the committee, obtained from the file, are as follows:

6.1: That FIR be lodged against (1) Malik Allah Yar Khan of Kalabagh, (2) Zia Pervez Hussain, (3) and Dr M.A. Khan, and that criminal proceedings be instituted against them for defrauding the government.

6.2: That the amount of $2.168 million be recovered from Malik Allah Yar Khan, Zia Pervez Hussain and Dr M.A. Khan by attaching their properties etc in Pakistan or abroad for this purpose. FIA may be directed to take steps to recover this money through Interpol, if necessary. Any banker or foreign national involved in this fraud may also be taken to task by the Federal Investigation Agency.

6.3: That since Benazir Bhutto is clearly responsible for this loss to the exchequer as major decisions in respect of this contract were taken with her approval or direction and passed on to Cabinet Division through former PS PM (Ahmad Sadiq), FIR may be registered against her for causing loss to state by misuse of her authority as PM, and criminal proceedings be initiated.
6.4: That since
Farooq Leghari knows that his name has visibly come up in this case, and he has tried to plead innocent; and since it is unimaginable that those operating in this scandal could have easy access to the top bureaucrats like Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and even to the Prime Minister herself without the backing and active support of the President, FIR against him must also be registered and criminal proceedings initiated.
6.5: That as for the senior civil servants involved in the case, Ahmad Sadiq former PS PM, Humayun Faiz Rasul, and Sahibzada Imtiaz former Cabinet Secretary, no action can be taken against them at this stage as they already stand retired/superannuated.

The case was further referred to the National Accountability Bureau in 2000-02 but no action was taken.

His wife is killed; his country’s falling apart whilst he’s at the helm, but the foreign back clown is happy…..and the USA/UK adore him, thats what counts in Pakistan.

Western Asia

In the largest single payment investigators have uncovered, a gold bullion dealer in Western Asia was alleged to have deposited at least $10 million into one of Zardari’s accounts after the Bhutto government gave him a monopoly on gold imports that sustained Pakistan’s jewellery industry. The money was allegedly deposited into Zardari’s Citibank account in Dubai. Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast, stretching from Karachi to the border with Iran, has long been a gold smugglers’ haven. Until the beginning of Bhutto’s second term, the trade, running into hundreds of millions of dollars a year, was unregulated, with slivers of gold called biscuits, and larger weights in bullion, carried on planes and boats that travel between the Persian Gulf and the largely unguarded Pakistani coast.

His wife is killed; his country’s falling apart whilst he’s at the helm, but the foreign back clown is happy…..and the USA/UK adore him, thats what counts in Pakistan.

Shortly after Bhutto returned as prime minister in 1993, a Pakistani bullion trader in Dubai, Abdul Razzak Yaqub, proposed a deal: in return for the exclusive right to import gold, Razzak would help the government regularize the trade. In November 1994, Pakistan’s Commerce Ministry wrote to Razzak informing him that he had been granted a license that made him, for at least the next two years, Pakistan’s sole authorized gold importer. In an interview in his office in Dubai, Razzak acknowledged that he had used the license to import more than $500 million in gold into Pakistan, and that he had travelled to Islamabad several times to meet with Bhutto and Zardari. But he denied that there had been any corruption or secret deals. “I have not paid a single cent to Zardari,” he said. Razzak claims that someone in Pakistan who wished to destroy his reputation had contrived to have his company wrongly identified as the depositor. “Somebody in the bank has cooperated with my enemies to make false documents,” he said.[48][49][50][51]

Bhutto’s niece and others have publicly accused Bhutto of complicity in the killing of her brother Murtaza Bhutto in 1996 by uniformed police officers while she was Prime Minister.[52]

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28. “C’wealth apprised of Asif’s ‘illegal’ detention – Dawn Pakistan”. http://www.dawn.com/2003/11/09/local35.htm.
29. a b Bhutto Clan Leaves Trail of Corruption in Pakistan, by John F. Burns, The New York Times, 1998-01-09
30. a b Bhutto’s Husband Appeals 11 May 1999
31. World News Briefs; Bhutto’s Jailed Husband Sworn In as Senator 30 December 1997
32. “The Bhutto saga takes a new turn”. http://www.indiaenews.com/india/20060725/16131.htm.
33. Corruption amnesty may release millions for Bhutto, The Sunday Times, 2007-10-14
34. Asif Zardari lays claim to 4-mn-pound UK estate, The Times of India, 2004-08-22
35. £4 m Surrey mansion in Bhutto ‘corruption’ row, The Sunday Times, 2004-11-21
36. South Asia Bhutto ‘corruption’ documents reach Pakistan, Thursday, 23 July 1998
37. Swiss Want Bhutto Indicted in Pakistan for Money Laundering, 20 August 1998, Thursday, by Elizabeth Olson
38. Swiss Want Bhutto Indicted in Pakistan for Money Laundering, August 20, 1998, Thursday, by Elizabeth Olson
39. Asia: Pakistan: Bhutto Sentenced In Switzerland 6 August 2003
40. THE BHUTTO MILLIONS; A Background Check Far From Ordinary, 9 January 1998, Friday, By JOHN F. BURNS (NYT)
41. Swiss prosecutor gets case against Bhutto, 29 October 2007, Monday, by The Associated Press
42. £4 m Surrey mansion in Bhutto ‘corruption’ row 21 November 2004
43. Poland gives Pak papers on $ 2-mn Bhutto bribe 6 May 1999
44. World: South Asia Poland linked to Bhutto corruption charge, Friday, 7 May 1999
45. NAB says Swiss order names Benazir: Ursus tractor case 22 July 2004
46. “Sweet Economic-Political Deal”. http://72.14.235.104/search?q=cache:bpWZNto3YNEJ:www.thepost.com.pk/OpinionNews.aspx%3Fdtlid%3D123803%26catid%3D11+AGP+1990+Bhutto+report&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=6&client=firefox-a.
47. “Steps taken by France to implement and enforce the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions”. https://www.oecd.org/document/35/0,3343,en_33873108_33873838_36428195_1_1_1_1,00.html.
48. House of Graft: Tracing the Bhutto Millions — A special report.; Bhutto Clan Leaves Trail of Corruption January 9, 1998
49. Bhutto and Her Legacy: Death in Rawalpindi December 28, 2007
50. The Gold Connection, New York Times, 1998
51. Graft charges against Benazir lead to UK April 14, 1998
52. “Murtaza Bhutto’s Murder” by Fatima Bhutto retrieved Sun, December 30, 2007
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Busharaf was destabilized from early 2007, with urgings from his “friends” that he should relinquish his position as head of the armed forces, and promised political power and patronage as a civilian president by his “friends”. Which he does. He entered into a “deal” brokered by the USA, where upon Bhutto and Zardari can come back into Pakistani politics with a clean chit and “share” power working together within a new democratic set up in Pakistan. Benazir is killed, and Musharaf is destabilized again, with Zardari’s party allegedly winning the elections.

What can be learnt from all this for any aspiring Pakistani politician?

Don’t get into any power sharing arrangements which compromises your future ability to maneuver policy wise…………Pakistani politics is not India.

More importantly don’t enter into any power sharing agreements entered into and arranged by the Pakistan military or the USA………..this de-legitimate your position and popular mandate. If you do, then you become beholden t0 them and their whims and wiles….as they deem you as their puppet who must obey on all matters. For Zardari such an arrangement is not a problem, but for a honest decent Pakistani politician it should be. On substantive policy areas you find that you have very little room to maneuver…..you are a non-government. Dutifully shaking hands for the camera, attending countless irrelevant international meetings and state functions, and reporting regularly to the American embassy in Islamabad. BUT NOT actually GOVERNING THE COUNTRY.

Is he saluting the wrong country? Maybe not.

So why was Busharaf removed, the well celebrated/entertained pro-American chamcha chamar chaud who basically did whatever he was told?

1) He opened Pakistani military bases to America which operates to reinforce America in Afghanistan, and the nation through which 80% of the vital logistics of the occupation forces run through into Afghanistan.

2) He withdrew Pakistani military personnel and logistics from the Taliban in 2001, substantially if not wholly, after investing huge amounts of Pakistan’s military and logistical support to them for 7 years running.

3) He maintained and reinforced the “al-Qaeda” myth and lie for Israel/America/UK that such a fake organization actually existed, and that they carried out 9/11. Did Musharaf kill OBL in December 2001 using Omer Sheikh, to prevent him repeatedly airing his side and angle about 9/11, contrary to the official Jewish narrative?????Further that a good deal of “al-Qaeda’s” members were in Afghanistan/Pakistan…handing over 650 innocents to be tortured, murdered, raped and humiliated….with his full knowledge, some of them Pakistani.

4) Conducted military operations in FATA for the Americans against Pakistanis mainly, killing many Pakistani civilians in the process.

5) Accepting some $12 billion in American aid.

6) Unproven secret guarantees between the USA and Pak military about Pakistan’s nuclear sites.

7) In relation to point 1, the opening and handing over of Pakistani bases to be used by the Americans to attack Pakistani targets in Pakistan, in the process of fighting a fake counter-insurgency war. The use of Pakistani bases by America against Iran and the training of Jundallah.

8) Related to point 3. The advertisement through omission and commission by Busharaf of the idea that Pakistan was the “most dangerous state on earth” harboring OBL into 2008 and his “al-Qaeda”, and that Musharaf was the only man capable/qualified/loyal in fighting this danger for America/Israel/UK. To be sure $12 billion worth of military and economic aid might be of some good for Pakistan if its not pocketed by corrupt babus and military men in Pakistan……………however what is far far far more dangerous is if Pakistan is perceived to be a dangerous failed state, about to collapse into the hands of the “al-Qaeda” and Taliban. Busharaf in his 9 years in power at the helm with more or less dictatorial powers as a”military strong man” has played a no small part in this dangerous scenario and development in Pakistan, for the JEW.

Hence, with all this service to America and the Jew, as an after thought the attempt at his rehabilitation into Pakistani politics more recently by his American masters.

Why remove Busharaf in the first place? For the Jew behind America enough is never enough……..more, more, and more, onwards towards Eretz Israel….the Pakistan nukes must be secured for Israel…………….for Israel to destroy many Middle Eastern countries there should not be any other nuclear power in the vicinity (not Iraq, not Iran, not Pakistan).


Busharaf for all his “service’ to America was not enough of a Chamcha chamar chaud to the Jews (meeting and greeting Sharon, and Barak in NY and Paris). The Jew wanted to realize the dream of securing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons finally, and that maybe Busharaf was an obstacle for that final objective and what was needed was a civilian government in Pakistan, extremely weak and corrupt which the Jew could then use as an excuse to say that Pakistan was a unstable failed state about to fall apart, and thus required America to “save” it, ……just like Iraq and Afghanistan by the Jew proxy forces.

From Pakistan’s counter strategy perspective, Zardari should not be allowed to operate as President of Pakistan…………not a day longer.

An effective civilian government must be installed in his place.

The reinstatement of Chaudri symbolically is good; someone ordinary Pakistanis can believe in who is good, honest, upright, decent, moral, Pak working for Pakistan within the state apparatus of Pakistan……..psychologically this is an important need for ordinary Pakistanis……….the civilian politicians and the military have not provided this.

However Chaudri’s reinstatement with the tacit approval of the military, and my guess the Americans behind them, does not address the substantive issues and challenges mentioned above about ZARDARI, and why he was brought into power by America/UK in the first place. Thats why some Pakistani commentators have described the recent saga as “the Judge and the fudge.”……………..its more of a symbolic victory for the Pakistani people, more so if Chaudri was reinstated with certain “pre-conditions” which he has tacitly or otherwise accepted………..1) No questions asked about Musharaf 2) No questions asked about Zardari and his numerous business deals 3) No questions asked about disappeared Pakistanis and the validity of GWOT within Pakistan, around which the Pakistani security system is geared..4) The Sharifs permanently barred from Pakistani politics.

……….so the Sharifs will have to resort to “other’ means to obtain power………..in essence that is what the latest Supreme Court ruling is saying…………but for God sake, when you’ve got Zardari as President running the show with his background and a “popular mandate’ than technically on a level playing field any old bandoor from a Zoo in Pakistan should be allowed a chance to challenge him WITHIN THE SYSTEM.

Otherwise by default you are stating that Sharif is the rightful and legitimate President/PM of Pakistan, but for the nefarious use of the judiciary in Pakistan, and presumably the reason why Chaudri came into office officially on Tuesday and not Saturday as originally stated.

Finally, if you are an officer and a soldier in Pakistan, and you haven’t been to America/UK to be trained and brainwashed, then maybe its time to think about how to defend Pakistan comprehensively, despite the nations leaders.

Pakistan Tip-Toes Towards Washington’s Waziristan Problem

PESHAWAR (Reuters) – More than a month has elapsed since Pakistan announced plans for an offensive on the Taliban stronghold in Waziristan, but security analysts doubt whether an all-out assault is as imminent as many people think.
Code-named Rah-e-Nejat, or “Path to Salvation”, optimists hope the operation will demonstrate Pakistan’s determination to push back the spread of militancy across the northwest and beyond by eliminating Pakistan’s Public Enemy Number One: Baitullah Mehsud.
The head of the Pakistani Taliban and Al-Qaeda ally is holed up in his tribal lands in South Waziristan with an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 fighters. Mehsud country is a maze of serrated ridges, dried out river beds and gullies ideal for guerrilla warfare.
The army’s gone in before with limited success. A campaign in 2005 was dubbed “Operation Enduring Failure” by a Pakistani magazine, as the iron-fisted tactics further alienated the recalcitrant tribes, the army suffered heavy casualties and ended up signing peace deals with militants.
Waziristan will be more difficult to clear than Swat, a broader alpine valley far to the east, where the army has been fighting since late April against an enemy estimated at no more than 2,000 hard core fighters after the criminal opportunists who had gathered around the Taliban quickly melted away.
For now, the army has moved up some troops to more advanced positions and sought to seal off the roads, while warplanes carry out occasional strikes, and sometimes medium-range artillery pounds the militants’ positions over the hills.
“Right now, I don’t see any large-scale preparations which suggest that operation is imminent,” Brig (r) Mahmood Shah, a former security chief of the tribal areas, said.
A serving senior security officer said any full-scale operation would have to wait. “The basic strategy is to choke them off and keep pounding their positions as and when intelligence is available,” he said.
Still finishing the operation in Swat, where some 20,000 troops are tied up, the army does not want to be overstretched, or risk stirring up a hornets’ nest in the tribal belt.
“The government does not want to open too many fronts with the militants and that might be the reason for delay in the Waziristan operation,” Rahimullah Yousufzai, a respected analyst on tribal areas said.
The army’s other constraints include a reluctance to take troops away from the eastern border facing India, and a compulsion to help a US campaign in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, by deploying more troops in Balochistan. A good many Mehsud families have quit their tribal lands in anticipation of worse to come. Tribesman Noor Alam Mehsud has taken his family to Dera Ismail Khan, the nearest city where the army is garrisoned.

“Military planes have frequently hit our lands. That’s why I fled here because if they launch an operation all roads will be blocked and I won’t be able to get my family out,” he said.
One factor staying the army’s hand could be fear that other Taliban factions in Waziristan could erupt in open revolt if there is a full-fledged military campaign against Mehsud.
Though Mehsud lands are not contiguous with the Afghan border, his fighters have a corridor through the territory held by the other main tribe of the region – the Wazirs – whenever they want to go to fight Western and Afghan government forces.
Unlike many of the Wazir Taliban factions that support the Afghan insurgency, the focus of Mehsud’s activity has been against the Pakistani state.
Mehsud is blamed for the wave of suicide attacks on politicians and security forces since 2007. His most famous victim is said to be Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister and late wife of President Asif Ali Zardari. The authorities have been trying to drive a wedge between Mehsud and other militants.
Wazir factions, led by Maulvi Nazir Wazir in South Waziristan and Hafiz Gul Bahadur in North Waziristan, have around 5,000 men apiece, according to a diplomat following military affairs, and till recently had avoided attacking Pakistani forces.
But they are angry that the government has not done more to stop US drones launching missile strikes, and fear the army could come after them after Mehsud.
Last month Bahadur’s fighters ambushed a convoy and killed 16 soldiers, while Nazir’s intentions are unclear, analysts say.
Mehsud has already shown what can happen to militants who side with the government. Last month Qari Zainuddin, a militant who denounced Mehsud as an enemy of Pakistan, was shot dead just days later in Dera Ismail Khan.

The importance of East Turkistan


The importance of East Turkistan

FIKRET ERTAN

Since the end of the Cold War and its aftermath, new strategically important regions have been emerging in the world.
Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) is one of them.
The struggle there will certainly have far-reaching consequences globally. Somalia, its environs and its waters is another example of these new strategic regions. The ongoing civil war and the resurgent piracy in its waters will have a global impact in one way or another.China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, or East Turkistan, can also be designated as a new strategically important region. One look at the world map is enough to see this fact.

The region, which consists about one-sixth of the total area of China, borders on Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and both sides of the Indo-Pakistani Line of Control in Kashmir, as well as the Chinese Line of Control, claimed by India. The region also has borders with Russia and Mongolia in the north as well as the Tibet Autonomous Region in the south, which also has a long history of unrest and resistance to Chinese rule.

So, in terms of geopolitics, it is quite appropriate to say that the Uighur region is a gateway to Central Asia as well to the Indian sub-continent and that China is more than conscious of this fact. Its enormous natural resources are, of course, the second reason why China attributes so much importance to it.

In this regard, it is a well-known fact that the Uighur region holds enormous amounts of oil, natural gas, coal and many types of precious metals, including large deposits of uranium. According to Chinese sources the region has about 20 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves. The region represents one-seventh of China’s current oil production and nearly one-quarter of its oil reserves. It also holds over two-fifths of its coal reserves.

For these reasons China has been extracting oil, gas, coal and metals from the region and building roads and pipelines to transport them into China proper.

The West-East Gas Pipeline (WEGP) is the most important of them. Starting in East Turkestan’s Tarım Basin and running some 4,000 kilometers, it terminates in Shanghai. Its primary aim was to reduce China’s dependence on coal for electricity generation, particularly coal-generated residential electricity, by using gas.

The WEGP was opened in 2005 with a volume of 12 billion cubic meters per year, a figure projected to increase to 17 billion cubic meters per year. Construction of a second gas pipeline to run 9,000 kilometers (including its eight sub-lines and interconnections) from the northwest of the region began in early 2008. It will run parallel to the first WEGP and be interconnected with it up to Gansu before diverting to Guangzhou.

The volume of the second WEGP is planned to be 30 billion cubic meters per year and will be supplied largely by the Turkmenistan-China pipeline, which is now under construction across Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. In fact, recent news suggests that it has just reached the Chinese border. Furthermore, there are also plans to build a third and a fourth and possibly even a fifth WEGP across the region to support China’s growing gas demand.

In addition to these lines, China is also interested in the proposed IPI gas line, which will start in Iran, cross Pakistan and end in India. Iran and Pakistan agreed on the construction of the line two months ago; however, India has still not made up its mind. Seeing India’s indecision, China announced that it can take the place of India and could become the end country.

All in all, with these already active and planned lines and policies, China intends to exploit the natural wealth of the region to the fullest, whatever happens to the actual owners of the region, the Uighur Turks. That is why the region is so important to China.

Middle East atomic conflict would kill tens of millions: report

Middle East atomic conflict would kill tens of millions: report

Most strategists agree there are three obvious targets that will have to be destroyed to damage Iran's nuclear program -- including the uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, pictured. Mohammad Khatami/Getty Images Most strategists agree there are three obvious targets that will have to be destroyed to damage Iran’s nuclear program — including the uranium conversion facility near Isfahan, pictured.

War would contaminate entire region

Peter Goodspeed,  National Post  

It’s the nightmare that haunts the modern Middle East –Iran succeeds in its quest for nuclear weapons and goes to war with Israel, causing massive human casualties and destruction on a demonic scale that in turn could trigger a worldwide economic collapse.

Now, researchers at Washington’s Center for Strategic & International Studies have tried to assess the extent to which civilian targets will be damaged in any Iran-Israel nuclear exchange.

The initial fireball accompanying a 100-kiloton nuclear bomb exploding in the heart of Tel Aviv will instantly kill 8,966 people and injure 3,243 more, say Anthony Cordesman and Abdullah Toukan.

But within three weeks, that death toll will soar to nearly 800,000 as a plume of radiation spreads across the country.

Given its tiny size and 7.2 million population, a single nuclear blast could devastate Israel.

It could “wipe Israel off the map in a matter of seconds,” Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, said recently. The Iranians could “accomplish in a matter of seconds what they denied Hitler did, and kill six million Jews, literally.”

“Any missile with a nuclear warhead landing in Tel Aviv, Israel, will affect the West Bank, causing a large number of fatalities and injuries to the Palestinian inhabitants, pollute and contaminate the agricultural land and resources that lie in the Jordan Valley and, over the longer term, fallout radiation would reach the outskirts of Amman, Jordan, which is some 108 kilometres from Tel Aviv,” the study warns.

Retaliatory Israeli nuclear strikes, with higher-yield bombs and accurate rocket delivery systems, would be far more destructive.

A single 500-kiloton Israeli nuclear bomb dropped on Tehran would instantly kill 56,771 people and the death toll would soar to 1.47 million, with 5.1 million injured, within a week.

A full-fledged Israeli nuclear response, using some, but not all, of its 200 nuclear weapons, would target most major Iranian cities and major military bases. It would kill 16 million to 28 million people within three weeks.

Metropolitan Tehran, with a population of 15 million, is “a topographic basin with mountain reflector — nearly an ideal nuclear killing ground,” the study said.

With thousands of centrifuges spinning away to produce highly enriched uranium, Iran gets closer to owning nuclear weapons with each day that passes.

“I don’t see a lot of space between where Iran is headed and the potential of where that development might lead,” U. S. military chief Admiral Mike Mullen told a Washington think-tank recently. “My concern is that the clock continues ticking. I believe that Iran is very much focused on getting that capability. This is a very narrow space we have.”

For now, the United States is committed to finding a diplomatic way to dissuade Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Israel, on the other hand, is said to be seriously looking at military ways to destroy or substantially degrade Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“Time is working in Iran’s favour, and barring military action, Iran’s possession of nuclear weapons is only a matter of time,” the Israeli Institute for National Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv said in a report two years ago.

Now, Israeli intelligence agencies predict Iran could have a nuclear weapon later this year or in 2010. The U. S. intelligencecommunity estimates it won’t happen before 2013.

So what would an Israeli strike against Iran look like, what are the targets and the chances for success?

In another study by the Center for Strategic&International Studies this year, Mr. Cordesman and Mr. Toukan concluded, “A military strike by Israel against Iranian facilities is possible…[ but] would be complex and high risk and would lack any assurances that the overall mission will have a high success rate.”

The main problem facing Israeli military planners is a lack of clear intelligence on Iran’s complete nuclear program.

Most strategists agree there are three obvious targets that will have to be destroyed to damage Iran’s nuclear program — the uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, where 50,000 centrifuges are being installed, a uranium conversion facility near Isfahan and a heavy-water reactor at Arak.

But, if Iran has a parallel secret uranium enrichment program, destroying the three obvious targets will do little to stop it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

As it is, the three prime targets are heavily defended, partially buried underground and protected with a thick sheath of steel-reinforced concrete.

That means Israel might have to rely on nuclear-tipped bunker-busting bombs.

Any attack force will also have to negotiate a dense air-defence system that includes surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns and combat planes.

It’s also possible Iran has already bought and deployed a mobile anti-missile defence system from Russia.

An Israeli air strike would have to use 80 to 90 F-15 and F-16 aircraft (almost 20% of its fighters) as well as all nine of its aerial tankers to refuel the fighters.

Possible attack routes would see the Israelis fly north over the Mediterranean and refuel from airborne tankers before flying east over Turkey or Syria into Iran. A shorter route would run through Jordan and Iraq and directly into Iran, while a third possibility would be to fly southeast and then east along the Saudi-Iraq border to the Persian Gulf, attacking from the south.

Israel is believed to favour the northern route over Turkey. Last summer, it held a major military exercise over Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, with more than 100 F-16 and F-15 fighters and refuelling tankers.

About the same time, an Iraqi news agency cited Iraqi Defence Ministry sources as saying Israeli warplanes were flying in Jordanian airspace and landing in Iraq to practise raids on Iranian nuclear sites.

The report said the Israeli planes flew at night and landed at U. S. air bases near Haditha in western Iraq and Nasiriyah in the south.

An alternative to conventional air raids could see Israel attack the three key Iranian sites with ballistic missiles. Strategists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studied the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran two years ago concluded “after years of modernization, Israel now possesses the capability to destroy even well-hardened targets in Iran with some degree of confidence.”

The operation appears to be “no more risky” than the attack in June 1981 on the Osirak reactor in Iraq, which was destroyed by Israel to prevent Saddam Hussein getting nuclear weapons.

A similar attack on Iran “provides at least as much benefit in terms of delaying Iranian development of nuclear weapons,” said researchers Whitney Raas and Austin Long.

Tajiks say 5 foreign terrorists killed in clash

Tajiks say 5 foreign terrorists killed in clash

By OLGA TUTUBALINA (AP) – 23 hours ago

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Five militants were killed in a gunfight at a remote military checkpoint near Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan, officials said Monday.

Law enforcement agencies issued a joint statement Monday claiming the perpetrators of the attack, which happened Thursday, were suspected terrorists with Russian citizenship. The statement said two of the attackers, aged between 20 and 26, were from Russia’s largely Muslim southern fringe, which is beset by daily violence blamed on Islamist insurgents. Regarding the others, one was ethnic Kazakh, one hailed from Tatarstan in Russia, and another was an ethnic Russian, the statement said.

No evidence that they were terrorists was offered, and no terrorist organization was named.

But the attack was a sign that foreign fighters may be contributing to worsening security Tajikistan, an ex-Soviet nation, and appeared to underscore increasing concerns about the difficulties in protecting its borders. The mountainous Central Asian nation shares a poorly protected, 1,300-kilometer (830-mile) border with Afghanistan.

“All the individuals neutralized were members of an organized terrorist group and were in possession of firearms, including Kalashnikov assault rifles, cartridges of various calibers, and grenades,” the Interior Ministry and the State National Security Services said in a joint statement released Monday.

Police say they have been conducting further sweeps in the area to locate other militants.

Tajikistan says its army is currently carrying out a large anti-drug sweep, dubbed Poppy-2009, in the east of the country. But some observers believe the operation may be a cover to pursue anti-government militants hiding out in the region.

Authorities say that earlier this month a rebel commander in Tajikistan’s 1990s civil war who later became a government minister was killed by members of a militant group he had allegedly joined recently. The Interior Ministry says Mirzo Ziyoyev had joined with a militant group led by Narzulo Azizov in the Tavildara, an opposition stronghold in the civil war, and had promised to help him with a plot to attack the provincial government facilities.

The government says Azizov was a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, or IMU, an al-Qaida-linked militant group that has operated in ex-Soviet Central Asia and Afghanistan.

The IMU, which had training camps in Afghanistan and fought on the side of Taliban, is believed to have suffered a setback in the U.S.-led operations there. Some analysts have speculated that security operations along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan may have compelled militants to return to their home countries in ex-Soviet Central Asia.

Pakistan is separated from Tajikistan by a narrow corridor of Afghan territory.

Waging War for Water, Better to Burn Than to Die of Thirst?

Resolve Our Water Problems, We Have to Wage Nuclear War with India, We Will’ – Water Disputes Between India and Pakistan – A Potential Casus Belli

By: Tufail Ahmad *

Introduction

Concern is growing in Pakistan that India is pursuing policies in an attempt to strangulate Pakistan by exercising control over the water flow of Pakistan’s rivers. The concern is most related to Pakistan’s agricultural sector, which would be greatly affected by the building of dams and by the external control of the waters of several rivers that flow into Pakistan.[1] The issue has a layered complexity, as three of the rivers flow into Pakistan through the Indian portion of Jammu & Kashmir, the territory over which the two countries have waged multiple wars.[2]

Pakistani columnists, religious leaders, and policymakers are increasingly articulating their concern over the water dispute in terms of a traditional rivalry against India and in terms of anti-Israel sentiment that has been fostered by the country’s establishment over the years. In one such recent case, Ayaz Amir, a renowned Pakistani columnist, warned: “Insisting on our water rights with regard to India must be one of the cornerstones of our foreign policy. The disputes of the future will be about water.”[3] Hamid Gul, former chief of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), charged: “India has stopped our water.”[4] Pakistan’s Indus Basin Water Council (IBWC), a pressure group that appears deceivingly authoritative as an organization whose central purpose is to address Pakistani water concerns, currently maintains near hegemony over the pubic debate of the issue. IBWC Chairman Zahoorul Hassan Dahir claimed that “India, working in conjunction with the Jewish lobby” is using most of the river waters, causing a shortage of food, water and electricity in Pakistan.[5]

The Pakistani concern involves six rivers that flow into Pakistan through northern India, including the disputed state of Jammu & Kashmir and the state of Punjab, both of which have been ideologically divided between India and Pakistan since 1947. After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, disagreements began to arise over sharing of river waters, leading to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, an attempt at a resolution brokered by the World Bank.[6] Though the treaty is perhaps the most enduring pact between the two nuclear powers, it is coming under increasing strain.  (more here)

Who Is the Big Dick Afraid Of?

President Barack Obama authorizes extended Secret Service guard for former VP Dick Cheney

BY James Gordon Meek and Thomas M. Defrank
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/060524/060524_cheney_vsmall8p.widec.jpgFormer Vice President Dick Cheney will have another six months of Secret Service protection.

WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Dick Cheney’s Secret Service protection has been extended for at least another six months, beginning Tuesday.

Normally, ex-veeps only get six months of protection at taxpayer expense. But Cheney asked for an extension, and President Obama – whom Cheney has excoriated in several interviews since leaving office – recently signed off.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano signed the order extending Cheney’s security detail, her spokeswoman Sara Kuban confirmed Monday.

If the Obama administration hadn’t gone along with Cheney’s request, he would have been forced to hire his own security agents – or go without.

Cheney’s friends have said he has become more concerned about his privacy and personal safety in recent years.

Like all “protectees,” Cheney can petition the government for additional extensions of Secret Service protection, and several sources close to Cheney predicted he will do so once this new extension lapses.

Normally, the “threat level” diminishes dramatically after Presidents and vice presidents step down. In the post-9/11 world, that may no longer be the case.

Since 1997, former Presidents have been limited to 10 years of government protection. Bill Clinton – and wife Hillary – is the last ex-President entitled to a lifetime taxpayer-funded security cocoon.

meek@nydailynews.com

Afghanistan’s Untouchables

Afghanistan’s Untouchables

In a land where corruption is king and justice a mug’s game, Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabet has found that trying to enforce the law produces only frustration after frustration.

Rosie DiManno

In the past 20 months, Attorney General Abdul Jabar Sabet has arrested some 300 top-echelon Afghan officials and charged them with corruption.

“Ask me how many of them are in jail.”

How many of them are in jail?

“Not one.”

There is the chronic malady of Afghanistan in a nutshell. Justice is a mug’s game, the rule of law more useless than the paper it’s written on.

Izzatullah Wasifi, head of the anti-corruption department said during “accountability to the people program” session that he himself has several documents which prove that Attorney General Jabar Sabet himself is engaged in corruption and land-grabbing.

RAWA, April 16, 2008

Not a single authority in the nation, right up into the president’s office, has the clout to oppose a powerful alignment of forces that are a law unto themselves: Warlords, ministers, parliamentarians, the military, police, tribal elders and wealthy entrepreneurs who are making a killing in the free-for-all of multi-billion-dollar international aid, a tsunami of cash that has made tycoons out of two-bit larcenists and filchers.

“It is very frustrating,” sighs Sabet, running long fingers through a cascading white beard, shaking his leonine head.

He looks like Moses, but his word is not quite law in these parts.

“In theory, I have the power to arrest anyone in this country if he’s involved in corruption. But in practice, there are some people who are above the law, unfortunately, and I cannot bring them to justice.

“I call them The Untouchables.”

They are in the central government, the provincial governments, the district centres, police stations, army garrisons, the banks, the aid agencies – not a sector of Afghan society is without contamination of corruption.

Even, Sabet admits with a wince, inside his own department.

“I have not even been able to clean my own house,” he told the Star in an astonishingly frank interview this week.

“We have a lot of dirty, dishonest prosecutors.”

He has lived in Montreal – a wife and three grown children still reside there – spending years in the comparative law department of McGill University before being tapped by the United Nations for a post in post-Taliban Afghanistan. President Hamid Karzai appointed him attorney general just under two years ago.

There are some – in the diplomatic community and the media – who have pointed an accusatory finger at Sabet himself.

Last month, during his formal “accountability to the people program” session – a kind of public performance report card – Sabet burst into tears when a journalist inquired about the posh mansion he’s building in Kabul’s most deluxe neighbourhood, an enclave he’ll share with some of Afghanistan’s richest drug kingpins.

Sabet – believed by some to covet the presidency – never really did provide an answer, launching into an oration about his office’s inability to arrest the super-powerful violators of Afghan law.

The most notorious case involves Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, who flagrantly ignored a warrant issued for his arrest after the Uzbek warlord allegedly attacked a rival – head of the Afghan Turk Association – in his Kabul home recently, beating him so badly that the man was hospitalized.

“At least I was able to suspend him from his job,” Sabet told the Star, meekly. “So I have been successful … a little bit.”

Dostum had been chief of staff to the Afghan army commander, a symbolic position.

At the accountability session, 63-year-old Sabet spoke of corruption in a number of ministries, claiming those ministers had secured release of the accused.

He vilified the governors of several provinces for corruption and embezzlement, heaping abuse particularly on the governor of Nangarhar province, an Ultra-Untouchable who Sabet says has misappropriated about $6 million intended for reconstruction projects.

Among those Sabet charged in the last year were deputy governors, chief provincial financial officials, judges, and “a good number of police generals.”

All of them waltzed, either buying their way out of jail or using influential friends and tribal affiliations to secure unfettered release.

“It makes me crazy,” Sabet mumbles.

Venal parliamentarians are even greasier to the touch, utterly beyond his reach. “Parliamentarians are protected by the constitution.”

The system demands that before a parliamentarian can even be charged, the prosecutor must send a letter detailing the allegation to the minister of parliamentarian affairs.

At the accountability session, 63-year-old Sabet spoke of corruption in a number of ministries, claiming those ministers had secured release of the accused.
He vilified the governors of several provinces for corruption and embezzlement, heaping abuse particularly on the governor of Nangarhar province, an Ultra-Untouchable who Sabet says has misappropriated about $6 million intended for reconstruction projects.
Among those Sabet charged in the last year were deputy governors, chief provincial financial officials, judges, and “a good number of police generals.”

Toronto Star, May 10, 2008

That minister then informs the appropriate house – lower or upper – which in turn votes on whether to proceed with an investigation. “But so far that has never happened.”

So Sabet takes his triumphs from the “smaller fish” that have been nabbed and convicted in trials held behind closed doors. Few are allowed to witness the incompetence of jurisprudence as practised in Afghanistan.

This, says Sabet, is his primary focus – elevating the quality of prosecutors and judges.

He has about 2,800 prosecutors around the country but few of them have any real legal training, especially in the provinces. In Khost, for instance, out of 74 prosecutors, only four are genuine lawyers, the rest just laymen.

“We had war in this country for 30 years. Educated prosecutors were either forced to leave or they retired. Now, we do not have many educated people to work as prosecutors.”

At the Rome conference on the rule of law in Afghanistan a year ago, Afghanistan was promised funding specifically for this purpose.

It hasn’t materialized. Italy, which was given the task of working with the justice sector, has taken precisely one candidate – Sabet’s own secretary – for legal training in Rome.

Ideally, Sabet would like to implement a three-pronged justice-training program. Long-term: Sending as many prospects to Western universities for solid legal training. Mid-term: A one-year intensive course in Kabul for newly graduated lawyers. Short-term: A two-month crash course for non-lawyer prosecutors from the provinces, “so they can at least learn the basics of law, investigation, collecting evidence.”

Jabar Sabet
RAWA: Jabar Sabet, Afghanistan’s attorney-general is a dark-minded person who has been a member of the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar terrorist band in the past.

So far, there isn’t the money for any of that.

“The international community makes a lot of promises. But nobody has come up with anything real.”

The Americans, however, have indicated they will airlift “some” bright lawyer candidates to the U.S. for training, soon.

They also pay the $27,000 monthly rent on the attorney general’s building where Sabet takes petitions from the public three days a week.

In the meantime, Sabet will continue trying to weed out the worst offenders from his own legion of corrupt prosecutors.

“We have corruption in all our law enforcement agencies – police, judges, prosecutors. Now, I would not use this as an excuse for their behaviour, but my prosecutors make only $60 a month.

“That’s less than you would pay for a week’s parking in Toronto.”

Afghan group slams Karzai’s ‘warlord’ vote ticket

Afghan group slams Karzai’s ‘warlord’ vote ticket

Another “ruthless warlord” Mohammad Muhaqiq came out in public support for Karzai because he was promised two provinces and at least three ministries in government, ARM said.

An Afghan rights watchdog on Tuesday slammed President Hamid Karzai’s choice of two “notorious warlords” for his August re-election bid and accused him of promising ministries to supporters.

In a report, the independent Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) called on the United States and United Nations, which are bankrolling the landmark election, to intervene in defence of democracy.

Karzai has successfully squashed challenges to his two vice president running mates, Mohammed Qasim Fahim and Karim Khalili, ARM said.

Hamid Karzai with Fahim and Khalili
Human Rights Watch: “He [Fahim] is widely believed by many Afghans to be still involved in many illegal activities, including running armed militias, as well as giving cover to criminal gangs and drug traffickers.”

Both are believed to have links with illegal militia and criminal groups, it said, adding Karzai “has chosen two notorious warlords as his election mates in a bid to win votes from former mujahideen militias.”

Human Rights Watch and Western diplomats have complained in particular over Fahim, a former anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban military commander alleged to be involved in past and present crimes.

In its report “The Winning Warlords,” ARM said challenges were registered to bar Fahim and Khalili from standing on August 20 over alleged war crimes and crime but a “corrupt procedure” allowed them into the vote.

The poll is the second presidential election in Afghan history but ARM said pre-election deals to sew up the result had dashed hopes it would allow Afghans to exercise new-found democracy.

“Undemocratic forces that have constantly gained power and wealth over the past several years seem to be hijacking the election process to ensure their future interests and legitimise their grip on political and public institutions.

He (Karzai) has chosen as his vice-presidential running mates former guerrilla leader Mohammad Qasim Fahim, a Tajik from Afghanistan’s second-largest ethnic group, and Hazara leader Karim Khalili. Kabul-based ARM said warlords and other factional leaders had become rich after helping U.S.-led forces topple the Taliban and that such people had “no respect for democratic principles and will block reforms and modernity”.

Reuters, Jun. 30, 2009

“These forces which include former and current warlords, militia commanders and human rights abusers have money, power and influence across the country which make them incomparably stronger than the ordinary voters,” it said.

The report claimed that criminal charges pending against infamous Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum and his suspension from a senior army post were dropped in exchange for the votes he would bring from his party.

“Those close to President Karzai and Dostum say the warlord has been promised at least three ministries in Karzai?s future government,” it said.

Another “ruthless warlord” Mohammad Muhaqiq came out in public support for Karzai because he was promised two provinces and at least three ministries in government, ARM said.

It called for election authorities to investigate “suspicious deals and trade-offs” and for the United Nations to intervene in defence of democracy.

“It is not enough for the US and other major donors to only bankroll the electoral operations with funds — they must do every effort to ensure the meaningfulness and fairness of the process,” it said.

CIA Claims of Cancelled Campaign are Hogwash

CIA Claims of Cancelled Campaign are Hogwash

By Eric Margolis

July 20, 2009 “Toronto Sun” — CIA director Leon Panetta just told Congress he cancelled a secret operation to assassinate al-Qaida leaders. The CIA campaign, authorized in 2001, had not yet become operational, claimed Panetta.

I respect Panetta, but his claim is humbug. The U.S. has been trying to kill al-Qaida personnel (real and imagined) since the Clinton administration. These efforts continue under President Barack Obama. Claims by Congress it was never informed are hogwash.

The CIA and Pentagon have been in the assassination business since the early 1950s, using American hit teams or third parties. For example, a CIA-organized attempt to assassinate Lebanon’s leading Shia cleric, Muhammad Fadlallah, using a truck bomb, failed, but killed 83 civilians and wounded 240.

In 1975, I was approached to join the Church Committee of the U.S. Congress investigating CIA’s attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro, Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, Vietnam’s Ngo Dinh Diem, and Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Add to America’s hit list Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan’s Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Indonesia’s Sukarno, Chile’s Marxist leaders and, very likely, Yasser Arafat.

Libya’s Moammar Khadaffy led me by the hand through the ruins of his private quarters, showing me where a 2,000-pound U.S. bomb hit his bedroom, killing his infant daughter. Most Pakistanis believe, rightly or wrongly, the U.S. played a role in the assassination of President Zia ul-Haq.

To quote Josef Stalin’s favourite saying, “No man. No problem.”

Assassination was outlawed in the U.S. in 1976, but that did not stop attempts by its last three administrations to emulate Israel’s Mossad in the “targeted killing” of enemies. The George W. Bush administration, and now the Obama White House, sidestepped American law by saying the U.S. was at war, and thus legally killing “enemy combatants.” But Congress never declared war.

CHENEY’S SQUAD

Washington is buzzing about a secret death squad run by Dick Cheney when he was vice-president and his protege, the new U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal. This gung-ho general led the Pentagon’s super secret Special Operations Command, which has become a major rival to the CIA in the business of “wet affairs” (as the KGB used to call assassinations) and covert raids.

Democrats are all over Cheney on the death squad issue, as are some Republicans — in order to shield Bush. But the orders likely came from Bush, who bears ultimate responsibility.

Americans are now being deluged by sordid scandals from the Bush years about torture, kidnapping, brutal secret prisons, brainwashing, mass surveillance of American’s phones, e-mail, and banking.

In 2001, as this column previously reported, U.S. Special Forces oversaw the murder at Dasht-e-Leili, Afghanistan, of thousands of captured Taliban fighters by Uzbek forces of the Communist warlord, Rashid Dostum.

CIA was paying Dostum, a notorious war criminal from the 1980s, millions to fight Taliban. Dostum is poised to become vice-president of the U.S.-installed government of President Hamid Karzai. Bush hushed up this major war crime.

America is hardly alone in trying to rub out enemies or those who thwart its designs. Britain’s MI-6 and France’s SDECE were notorious for sending out assassins. The late chief of SDECE told me how he had been ordered by then-president Francois Mitterrand to kill Libya’s Khadaffy. Israel’s hit teams are feared around the globe.

DISGRACE

History shows that state-directed murder is more often than not counterproductive and inevitably runs out of control, disgracing nations and organizations that practise it.

But U.S. assassins are still at work. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, U.S. drones are killing tribesmen almost daily. Over 90% are civilians. Americans have a curious notion that killing people from the air is not murder or even a crime, but somehow clean.

U.S. Predator attacks are illegal and violate U.S. and international law. Pakistan’s government, against which no war has been declared, is not even asked permission or warned of the attacks.

Dropping 2,000-pound bombs on apartment buildings in Gaza or Predator raids on Pakistan’s tribal territory are as much murder as exploding car bombs or suicide bombers.

© 2009 Toronto Sun