Iran Guards say Pakistan released Jundallah leader

Iran Guards say Pakistan released Jundallah leader

Mourners carry the coffins of Revolutionary Guard members, who were killed in Sunday’s suicide bombing in southeastern Iran, during a funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009. – AP

TEHRAN: The deputy head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards charged on Friday that Pakistan arrested and then released the leader of Jundallah a few days before a suicide bombing claimed by the Sunni rebel group.

‘We have precise information about the movement and places where terrorists are hiding,’ the Fars news agency quoted Brigadier General Hossein Salami as saying.

‘On September 26, Abdolmalek Rigi was arrested in one of the streets of Quetta but after one hour he was released following the intervention of the intelligence service of our neighbouring country,’ Salami said.

Quetta is the capital of Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, which borders Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province where Jundallah is active. Ethnic Baluchis, the community the rebel group says it is fighting for, straddle the border.

Some 42 people, including 15 Revolutionary Guards members, died in the October 18 bombing in the Sistan-Baluchestan town of Pisheen.

‘How is it possible that this guy can move freely (unless he is) under the protection of the intelligence services?’ the Guards number two said, according to Fars.

Iran has said those responsible for the bombing were based in Pakistan and has demanded that Islamabad hand Rigi over.

Islamabad has strongly denied that Jundallah (Soldiers of God) launched the attack from its territory.

On Thursday, Pakistani police said three Iranians arrested for illegally entering Pakistan may have been linked to the Pisheen bombing.

RAW hand visible in terrorism

RAW hand visible in terrorism

By: Mansoor Khan |

KARACHI – Solid proof of involvement of the Indian spy agency, Research Analysis Wing (RAW), in sponsoring and fuelling terrorism has come to surface after Pakistani investigators have found Indian origin explosives used in recent acts of terrorism in Pakistan.
TheNation has learnt through various official sources that Indian made explosives were used for the blasts that occurred in the FIA building in Lahore and Marriott Hotel Islamabad.
Following the revelations, the intelligence agencies have directed all concerned law enforcement agencies to keep up the surveillance of Hindu populated areas in the country.
According to the reports, intelligence agencies have also got tangible evidence of Indian Taliban carrying out terrorism activities across the country.
The sources, on request of anonymity, said that the containers carrying goods, weaponry and other stuff for Allied Forces stationed in Afghanistan are neither checked at the time of leaving the port nor at the time of their return, by Pakistani authorities.
The sources added that these empty containers, on their return, bring arms and explosives to Pakistan. It was revealed that in April last, the containers loaded with eggs imported from India bound for Kandahar and Kabul also carried arms and explosive materials. This happened a week after three of the nine containers along with the truck they were loaded were found parked at Hazar Ganji Truck Stand in Quetta. The alien odour emanating from the containers attracted attention of the people at the truck stand and when the containers were opened 46 dead and 60 unconscious people, all Afghan of various ethnic backgrounds, were recovered.
The revelation helped the intelligence agencies in solving the perplexing puzzle of procurement of such huge quantities of explosives, which were used by militants in carrying out massive explosions at FIA headquarters in Lahore, Marriot Hotel Islamabad and in various other tragic incidents.

“We had evidence even in 2006 that detonators manufactured by Indian companies were used in bomb explosions – both suicide and planted – making us believe that India was sending explosives and weapons to the militants in NWFP and Balochistan,” a security official told from Islamabad on condition of not to be mentioned his name or official position. The same official says that the information that Indian intelligence agencies had leaked to the Indian media about theft of more than 20 thousand kilograms of RDX explosive, 85 thousand detonators and more than 50 thousand meters of detonators fuse in 2006, left no doubt in the minds of the Pakistan security apparatus that the same explosive was smuggled to Pakistan via Afghanistan. SSP Operation Crime Investigation Department(CID), Fayyaz Khan, when contacted said that 150 kilograms explosive found in Karachi was manufactured by an Indian company, revealed the connection of India with militants. He disclosed that the arrested militants have confessed that the explosive was sent to Karachi from Waziristan and Qari Hussain Mehsud a notorious commander of TTP suicidal squad had delivered this huge quantity of explosive to the militants.
Qari Hussain Mehsud, a known commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and considered a mastermind of a number of terrorist attacks carried out inside the county and also familiar for his expertise in preparation of suicide jackets, explosive laden vehicles and other sorts of bombs.
SSP Khan explained that we have evidence that proves the involvement of RAW in terrorism in Pakistan, as detonators, explosive being used by Baloch insurgents in Balochistan and Sindh are manufactured by Indian companies.
Apart from the supply of explosives and weaponry to the insurgents groups of Sindh and Balochistan, RAW has also been training insurgents and using them in deadly attacks in Pakistan.
Interior Ministry has directed the concerned law enforcement and intelligence agencies to keep up surveillance of the areas where minorities (Hindus) are residing in majority. It has also directed them to check out the details of residents and collect the details of their relatives.
A source privy to the matter told TheNation that agencies have also got the information about the arrival of RAW agents in Pakistan though various bordering areas under anonymous covers who have spread out in different areas of the country. Source highlighted that mostly agents of RAW use the cover of worshippers and move towards the different sites of their worship places.
On the other side, a senior operative of TTP, introducing himself as Shakeel Mujahid, presently in Karachi, declined the allegations of coward bombings against innocents while saying that international agencies have made inroads inside the country and they usually carry out such kind of terrorist activities to defame Taliban. He pointed out that a number of undercover agents dispatched by RAW have been nabbed in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
He cited an example from Swat where a cleric leading a splinter group of TTP was intercepted by their operatives on some suspicious activities and later handed over to the government by the inhabitants of Swat. Evidence was found from his place which revealed that the cleric of Swat was actually from Afghanistan and was an old cadre of Taliban. He also explained that the said cleric was behind the bombing in schools and hospitals, which is against the policy of TTP.
“We have nothing to do with Pakistan, we are fighting against allied forces, forcibly occupying Afghanistan and having removed the Taliban regime” he said adding that in Pakistan, “we are fighting in our self-defence and against the security forces – those who have been fulfilling the agenda of America and trying to stop Jihad in Afghanistan”.

Is ISI Waging War Against the Generals?

[In the latest incident of motorcycle-riding assassins, yet another Brig. Gen. is targeted.  Is ISI upset at Army for upsetting its role-playing militant games?  Like a recent similar attack, where the sloppy attackers were apprehended with ISI identification cards, this hit and run tactic has been the M.O. of nearly all major hits, beginning with the assassins of Gen. Alavi.]

Third gun attack on brigadier in Islamabad

Gunmen on a motorbike on Friday wounded an army brigadier and soldier in Islamabad before escaping in the third such attack in two weeks, officials said. The officer and a soldier were shot while travelling in a jeep through the I-8 residential neighbourhood, police officer Mohammad Azhar told media. “Two gunmen riding on a motorbike opened fire on the jeep. Two people in the jeep were wounded. They were taken to hospital,” Azhar said, giving no further details. A doctor at the capital’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital said the victims were in a stable condition. “Two army officers, including one brigadier were injured when unknown gunmen opened fire on their vehicle,” Doctor Nasir Ahmad told media. “Both have firearms injuries but both are stable,” he added. The attack was the third targeting senior army commanders in the capital in around two weeks. On October 22, a Pakistani brigadier on leave from a UN peacekeeping mission was shot dead in the capital Islamabad. There was a similar gun attack on another military jeep on October 27, but no one was wounded. Friday’s shooting came four days after a suicide bomber killed 35 people outside a bank in Islamabad’s twin city of Rawalpindi, not far from Pakistan’s army headquarters.

Pampering the mullah

Pampering the mullah

Talat Farooq

After the government crackdown on certain madrassas in Islamabad recently, the representatives of the Wafaq-ul-Madaris aired their indignation on TV channels. They criticised the action on the grounds that madrassas have always been weapon/terror-free — including, if you please, the Lal Masjid — and, as such, cannot be held responsible for any anti-state activities The went on to add thatif the government officials wish to visit any of the premises, they must do so with the permission of Wafaq-ul-Madaris. In answer to such defiant outbursts, the interior minister meekly assured the Wafaq that the government never meant to violate the sanctity of these great places of learning and knowledge, and is only looking for some foreign Imams residing in some madressahs illegally. One fails to understand why the government has to be apologetic in carrying out such actions against any institution in Pakistan if it has reports of illegal activity there, especially when we are in a state of war. Madressahs, even if registered, are not sacrosanct or above the law. Unfortunately, it is this obsequiousness of our rulers toward the mullah since the creation of Pakistan that has emboldened the extremists over the last six decades.

The Muslim struggle for Pakistan did not include the Deoband or the Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind who opposed the idea of Pakistan tooth and nail. Nonetheless, once Pakistan became a reality the Wahabi-Deobandi groups made gradual inroads as our leaders acquiesced to their demands within a few years of independence. Since then their influence has remained unchecked by the state as it focused on short-term political goals, it is therefore not surprising that they have eventually assumed the mantle of our self-proclaimed saviours and architects of the national identity of Pakistan.

Be it the Objectives Resolution or the timing of the Anti-Ahmadiyya movement in the 50s that facilitated the first martial law; the ban on alcohol and declaration of Friday as a weekly holiday by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Naseerullah Babar’s Taliban idea during Benazir’s government, or Nawaz Sharif’s Shariah Bill of the 90s, staying on the right side of Maulana Fazl ur Rahman by successive governments or the on-going pampering of Wafaq-ul-Madaris by the incumbent administration, the political players of Pakistan have always put their own narrow interests before the interests of the nation.

The military dictatorships on the other hand have used the mullah to further their own specific interests. From Ayub Khan to Musharraf, all military regimes have sought the cooperation of one religious sect or the other. Zia in particular played the mullah card to promote American interests and Arab culture simultaneously, destroying national institutions in the process while Musharraf’s post-9/11 two-faced strategy ensured the continuity of extremism. Jointly, the politicians and the military dictators, with help from America and Saudi Arabia, have managed to create a monster that feeds on violence and bloodshed.

The religious clerics, whether Muslim or non Muslim, derive their political power from exploiting the insecurities of the masses by focusing on differences in religious and socio-cultural beliefs, thus leading to social divisions. In a multi-ethnic Pakistani society with a sizeable non-Muslim population, this has spelled disaster. Over the last three decades, the Deobandi/Wahabi mindset has transmuted ideological divisions into militant sectarianism that has been duly exploited by the Taliban and their domestic sympathisers that include mainstream religious-political parties.

Muslim states like Turkey, in keeping with the Ottoman tradition, have managed to keep their clerics under state control to ensure social order. In Pakistan, they have been given a free hand; what we are witnessing today in the shape of violence is the dark side of religiosity infused by religious extremists into the psyche of both the uneducated masses and the unsuspecting educated elite. This has transpired due to the manipulation of religious sentiments by vested interests and festering socio-economic and governance issues all rolled into one. But above all, this is due to the deliberate omission of critical thinking skills and philosophical knowledge from the national curricula, thus rendering a large majority of Pakistani population incapable of objective assessment. This omission is largely attributable to the direct or indirect influence of the mullah especially during and after the Zia era.

Today the same extremist elements continue to spread their hatred of one another as well as propagate against Pakistan’s national interests by promoting conspiracy theories and blind anti-Americanism from the pulpit. And while doing so, they fail to mention the negative influence of certain policies of the Saudi government toward Pakistan. The anti-American and anti-government slogans after the Islamic University bombing would have sounded more genuine had they been accompanied with anti-Taliban slogans. Pakistan will never become a self-respecting nation unless it disengages itself from not only American shackles but also the ones imported from Saudi Arabia. This requires a mature political leadership that believes in impartial analyses and practical strategies, not to mention courage and wisdom.

The Waziristan operation is in full swing and if the religious parties cannot support it for fear of life, they can at least remain quiet. By stoking the fire of anti-Americanism to garner support for the Taliban through ill-timed rallies and referendums, they are doing no service to Pakistan. The nation is being driven into a frenzy that can only spread more intolerance and spawn fear and anxiety. Furthermore, it serves as a diversion because it deflects people’s attention from the real issue of good governance and allows religious and secular leaders, whether in the government or opposition or outside the parliament, to play their petty games without having to shoulder the required responsibilities to steer the country out of the present quagmire.

Religion is a strong social phenomenon and has been employed by many in human history to serve political ends. Muslim history is no exception. The mullahs of Pakistan have employed the same dispensation since 1947 to gain political power. This has eventually led to the rise of a ferocious militant element never known in Muslim history. Not even the Hashashins of Hassan Sabah killed with such merry abandon. It is high time for the state to check the spread of unbridled hatred. It is time to stop pampering the mullah.

The writer is executive editor of Criterion, Islamabad. Email: talatfarooq11@gmail.com

‘New Georgia war to breakout’

‘New Georgia war to breakout’

MOSCOW: Russian military intelligence believes Georgia might again attack South Ossetia, the pro-Moscow region over which the two countries fought a war last year, a powerful spy chief said on Thursday.

Alexander Shlyakhturov, who in April took over command of the military’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), said the situation was strained and accused Nato countries of continuing to supply arms to Georgia.

“The situation with Georgia remains tense because the current Georgian authorities do not just refuse to recognise the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but are trying in every way to return these countries…to their jurisdiction,” he said in a rare interview with state news agency ITAR-TASS.

“You have to add to this the unpredictability of attempts by the Georgian leadership, headed by (President Mikheil) Saakashvili, which may give in to temptation to use force to tame these obstinate republics as they did last year,” he said.

“We do not rule out such a development,” said Shlyakhturov, who controls Russia’s biggest spy agency with agents across the globe and thousands of special forces troops inside Russia.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away from Georgian government control in the early 1990s. Russia recognised both as independent states after last year’s five-day war, when its forces repelled a Georgian attack on South Ossetia.

But only two other countries, Nicaragua and Venezuela, have followed Russia’s lead, and the rest of the world regards the two regions as part of Georgia. Saakashvili has said he is committed to a unified Georgia but has no pretensions to retake the breakaway areas by force.

GRU chiefs rarely speak to the media. Thursday’s interview was given to mark 91 years since the spy service was created in 1918 by revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky.

Swine Flu Cases Overestimated? – CBS News

Swine Flu Cases Overestimated?

By Sharyl Attkisson

CBS News Exclusive: Study Of State Results Finds H1N1 Not As Prevalent As Feared

  • (iStockphoto)

(CBS)

If you’ve been diagnosed “probable” or “presumed” 2009 H1N1 or “swine flu” in recent months, you may be surprised to know this: odds are you didn’t have H1N1 flu.

In fact, you probably didn’t have flu at all. That’s according to state-by-state test results obtained in a three-month-long CBS News investigation.

The ramifications of this finding are important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Britain’s National Health Service, once you have H1N1 flu, you’re immune from future outbreaks of the same virus. Those who think they’ve had H1N1 flu — but haven’t — might mistakenly presume they’re immune. As a result, they might skip taking a vaccine that could help them, and expose themselves to others with H1N1 flu under the mistaken belief they won’t catch it. Parents might not keep sick children home from school, mistakenly believing they’ve already had H1N1 flu.

Why the uncertainty about who has and who hasn’t had H1N1 flu?

Attkisson Blogs: Freedom of Information Stalled at CDC

CBSNews.com report on H1N1

In late July, the CDC abruptly advised states to stop testing for H1N1 flu, and stopped counting individual cases. The rationale given for the CDC guidance to forego testing and tracking individual cases was: why waste resources testing for H1N1 flu when the government has already confirmed there’s an epidemic?

Some public health officials privately disagreed with the decision to stop testing and counting, telling CBS News that continued tracking of this new and possibly changing virus was important because H1N1 has a different epidemiology, affects younger people more than seasonal flu and has been shown to have a higher case fatality rate than other flu virus strains.

CBS News learned that the decision to stop counting H1N1 flu cases was made so hastily that states weren’t given the opportunity to provide input. Instead, on July 24, the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists, CSTE, issued the following notice to state public health officials on behalf of the CDC:

“Attached are the Q&As that will be posted on the CDC website tomorrow explaining why CDC is no longer reporting case counts for novel H1N1. CDC would have liked to have run these by you for input but unfortunately there was not enough time before these needed to be posted (emphasis added).”

When CDC did not provide us with the material, we filed a Freedom of Information request with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). More than two months later, the request has not been fulfilled. We also asked CDC for state-by-state test results prior to halting of testing and tracking, but CDC was again, initially, unresponsive

Video above: A CBS News producer asks the director of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Frieden, for this information at a press conference on Sept. 19.

While we waited for CDC to provide the data, which it eventually did, we asked all 50 states for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. The results reveal a pattern that surprised a number of health care professionals we consulted. The vast majority of cases were negative for H1N1 as well as seasonal flu, despite the fact that many states were specifically testing patients deemed to be most likely to have H1N1 flu, based on symptoms and risk factors, such as travel to Mexico.

(CBS)

It’s unknown what patients who tested negative for flu were actually afflicted with since the illness was not otherwise determined. Health experts say it’s assumed the patients had some sort of cold or upper respiratory infection that is just not influenza.

With most cases diagnosed solely on symptoms and risk factors, the H1N1 flu epidemic may seem worse than it is. For example, on Sept. 22, this alarming headline came from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.: “H1N1 Flu Infects Over 250 Georgetown Students.”

H1N1 flu can be deadly and an outbreak of 250 students would be an especially troubling cluster. However, the number of sick students came not from lab-confirmed tests but from “estimates” made by counting “students who went to the Student Health Center with flu symptoms, students who called the H1N1 hotline or the Health Center’s doctor-on-call, and students who went to the hospital’s emergency room.”

Without lab testing, it’s impossible to know how many of the students actually had H1N1 flu. But the statistical trend indicates it was likely much fewer than 250.

CDC continues to monitor flu in general and H1N1 through “sentinels,” which basically act as spot-checks to detect trends around the nation. But at least one state, California, has found value in tracking H1N1 flu in greater detail.

“What we are doing is much more detailed and expensive than what CDC wants,” said Dr. Bela Matyas, California’s Acting Chief of Emergency Preparedness and Response. “We’re gathering data better to answer how severe is the illness. With CDC’s fallback position, there are so many uncertainties with who’s being counted, it’s hard to know how much we’re seeing is due to H1N1 flu rather than a mix of influenza diseases generally. We can tell that apart but they can’t.”

After our conversation with Dr. Matyas, public affairs officials with the California Department of Public Health emphasized to CBS News that they support CDC policy to stop counting individual cases, maintaining that the state has the resources to gather more specific testing data than the CDC.

Because of the uncertainties, the CDC advises even those who were told they had H1N1 to get vaccinated unless they had lab confirmation. “Persons who are uncertain about how they were diagnosed should get the 2009 H1N1 vaccine.”

That’s unwelcome news for a Marietta, Georgia mom whose two children were diagnosed with “probable” H1N1 flu over the summer. She hoped that would mean they wouldn’t need the hastily developed H1N1 flu vaccine. However, since their cases were never confirmed with lab tests, the CDC advises they get the vaccine. “I wish they had tested and that I knew for sure whether they had it. I’m not anxious to give them an experimental vaccine if they don’t need it.”

Speaking to CBS’ “60 Minutes,” CDC Director Dr. Frieden said he has confidence that the vaccine will be safe and effective: “We’re confident it will be effective we have every reason to believe that it will be safe.”

However, the CDC recommendation for those who had “probable” or “presumed” H1N1 flu to go ahead and get vaccinated anyway means the relatively small proportion of those who actually did have H1N1 flu will be getting the vaccine unnecessarily. This exposes them to rare but significant side effects, such as paralysis from Guillain-Barre syndrome.

It also uses up vaccine, which is said to be in short supply. The CDC was hoping to have shipped 40 million doses by the end of October, but only about 30 million doses will be available this month.

The CDC did not response to questions from CBS News for this report.

Diagramming Bush Family Criminal Connections

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Japan Uses Controverisal Nuke Fuel

[If the only country in the world to experience the generational curse caused by two radiation exposures cannot stop this development, then the world will have to deal with a whole new level of radioactive contamination and waste disposal problems in the future.  SEE: Human Health Effects of Radiation

SEE: CHERNOBYL BIRTH DEFECTS]

Japan Uses Controverisal Nuke Fuel

Critics of Weapons-Grade “MOX” Fuel Say It’s Too Volatile and Generates High Amounts of Radioactive Waste

  • Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s nuclear plant is seen in Kashiwazaki, northeastern Japan, July 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s nuclear plant is seen in Kashiwazaki, northeastern Japan, July 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara) (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

(AP) Japan used weapons-grade plutonium to fuel a nuclear power plant Thursday for the first time as part of efforts to boost its atomic energy program.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. said workers fired up the No. 3 reactor at its Genkai plant in the southern prefecture of Saga using MOX fuel – a mixture of plutonium oxide and uranium oxide.

The reactor is scheduled to start generating electricity Monday for a monthlong test run, and then begin full-fledged operations after a final government inspection and approval in early December, company official Futoshi Kai said.

The Genkai plant marks the beginning of Japan’s use of MOX fuel for so-called “pluthermal” power generation, approved by the Cabinet more than a decade ago.

MOX fuel is a central element of Japan’s plans to reduce its dependence on energy imports. Supporters say nuclear power is a viable clean energy that will support global efforts against climate change because it is essentially carbon-free.

Critics say MOX is too volatile and produces highly radioactive waste. Dozens of protesters rallied outside the government office in Saga on Thursday, raising safety concerns about the use of plutonium-based fuel.

Saga Gov. Yasushi Furukawa said he reminded Kyushu Electric to give safety top priority, and promised local residents that officials would closely monitor plant operations.

Japan, which now relies on nuclear plants for a third of its electricity needs, aims to raise that to nearly 40 percent in 2010. The government has said it hopes to convert as many as 18 nuclear reactors that now use more common uranium to those that use MOX.

The Japanese public, however, has grown increasingly wary of the nuclear power industry following a spate of safety problems, shutdowns and cover-ups.

Human Health Effects of Radiation

Human Health Effects

Radioactive Contaminants of Concern


Radioactive and toxic substances used in the production of plutonium and its resulting waste are dangerous to both Hanford workers and the public. These substances may have been inhaled or ingested through drinking water.

All of the following radioactive contaminants have reached the groundwater at Hanford.

Strontium (Sr-90) is a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 29 years. Sr-90 is a byproduct of the fission of uranium and plutonium in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. It is not harmful unless ingested or inhaled. It can bioaccumulate in the bones and bone marrow and replace calcium in the human body, causing bone tumors and blood cell cancers.

Tritium is the only radioactive isotope of hydrogen. It has a half-life of 12 years. As with all ionizing Radiation, exposure to tritium increases the risk of developing cancer. About 80 percent of tritium in the environment is from former nuclear weapons production and fallout from past testing. At Hanford, tritium in the groundwater was produced by irradiation of reactor cooling water.

Technetium-99 (Tc-99) is a silver-gray, radioactive metal that is manufactured. It has a half-life of 210,000 years. Technetium-99 has no significant industrial use. It is found primarily in radioactive wastes from former nuclear weapons facilities as a byproduct from the operation of nuclear reactors. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, most Tc-99 in the environment comes from detonation of nuclear weapons (especially atmospheric weapons tests), nuclear reactor airborne emissions, nuclear fuel reprocessing plant emissions, and facilities that treat or store radioactive waste. Ingestion is the primary way people are exposed to Tc-99, either by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. Exposure to technetium-99 increases the likelihood of developing cancer.

Iodine-129 is a radioactive isotope in spent nuclear fuel and in the waste from operating nuclear reactors and fuel reprocessing plants. Iodine moves through soil to the groundwater and represents one of the largest contaminated groundwater plumes at Hanford. The half-life of iodine-129 is more than 15 million years. When ingested, it is concentrated in the thyroid gland where it may cause cancer in humans.

Carbon 14 is a naturally occurring radioactive isotope of carbon, best known for its use in radiocarbon dating. It has a half-life of 5,700 years and is present in the low-level radioactive wastes at Hanford. Large amounts of carbon 14 were also released to the atmosphere as a result of nuclear weapons testing. It can enter the body through inhalation, contaminated drinking water, or contaminated food. The health hazard of carbon 14 is associated with cell damage caused by the ionizing radiation that results from radioactive decay, with the potential for subsequent cancers.

Uranium is both radioactive and toxic. It is a naturally occurring element that is very dense and heavy. The greatest health risk from large intakes of uranium is toxic damage to the kidneys. Uranium-238 is used to produce plutonium-239, which was the primary mission at Hanford. It is mildly radioactive and has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) only considered the radioactivity of uranium, not its toxicity, in its modeling. Uranium-238 is a primary groundwater contaminant in the 300 Area at Hanford.

Why Does The U.S. Have An Empire In Asia?

Why Does The U.S. Have An Empire In Asia?

By Paul Craig Roberts

The US government is now so totally under the thumbs of organized interest groups that “our” government can no longer respond to the concerns of the American people who elect the president and the members of the House and Senate.

Voters will vent their frustrations over their impotence on the president, which implies a future of one-term presidents. Soon our presidents will be as ineffective as Roman emperors in the final days of that empire.

Obama is already set on the course to a one-term presidency. He promised change, but has delivered none. His health care bill is held hostage by the private insurance companies seeking greater profits. The most likely outcome will be cuts in Medicare and Medicaid in order to help fund wars that enrich the military/security complex and the many companies created by privatizing services that the military once provided for itself at far lower costs. It would be interesting to know the percentage of the $700+ billion “defense” spending that goes to private companies. In American “capitalism,” an amazing amount of taxpayers’ earnings go to private firms via the government. Yet, Republicans scream about “socializing” health care.

Republicans and Democrats saw opportunities to create new sources of campaign contributions by privatizing as many military functions as possible. There are now a large number of private companies that have never made a dollar in the market, feeding instead at the public trough that drains taxpayers of dollars while loading Americans with debt service obligations.

Obama inherited an excellent opportunity to bring US soldiers home from the Bush regime’s illegal wars of aggression. In its final days, the Bush regime realized that it could “win” in Iraq by putting the Sunni insurgents on the US military payroll. Once Bush had 80,000 insurgents collecting US military pay, violence, although still high, dropped in half. All Obama had to do was to declare victory and bring our boys home, thanking Bush for winning the war. It would have shut up the Republicans.

But this sensible course would have impaired the profits and share prices of those firms that comprise the military/security complex. So instead of doing what Obama said he would do and what the voters elected him to do, Obama restarted the war in Afghanistan and launched a new one in Pakistan. Soon Obama was echoing Bush and Cheney’s threats to attack Iran.

In place of health care for Americans, there will be more profits for private insurance companies.

In place of peace there will be more war.

Voters are already recognizing the writing on the wall and are falling away from Obama and the Democrats. Independents who gave Obama his comfortable victory have now swung against him, recently electing Republican governors in New Jersey and Virginia to succeed Democrats. This is a protest vote, not a confidence vote in Republicans.

Obama’s credibility is shot. And so is Congress’s, assuming it ever had any. The US House of Representatives has just voted to show the entire world that the US House of Representatives is nothing but the servile, venal, puppet of the Israel Lobby. The House of Representatives of the American “superpower” did the bidding of its master, AIPAC, and voted 344 to 36 to condemn the Goldstone Report.

In case you don’t know, the Goldstone Report is the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict. The “Gaza Conflict” is the Israeli military attack on the Gaza ghetto, where 1.5 million dispossessed Palestinians, whose lands, villages, and homes were stolen by Israel, are housed. The attack was on civilians and civilian infrastructure. It was without any doubt a war crime under the Nuremberg standard that the US established in order to execute Nazis.

Goldstone is not only a very distinguished Jewish jurist who has given his life to bringing people to accountability for their crimes against humanity, but also a Zionist. However, the Israelis have demonized him as a “self-hating Jew” because he wrote the truth instead of Israeli propaganda.

US Representative Dennis Kucinich, who is now without a doubt a marked man on AIPAC’s political extermination list, asked the House if the members had any realization of the shame that the vote condemning Goldstone would bring on the House and the US government.   The entire rest of the world accepts the Goldstone report.

The House answered with its lopsided vote that the rest of the world doesn’t count as it doesn’t give campaign contributions to members of Congress.

This shameful, servile act of “the world’s greatest democracy” occurred the very week that a court in Italy convicted 23 US CIA officers for kidnapping a person in Italy. The CIA agents are now considered “fugitives from justice” in Italy, and indeed they are.

The kidnapped person was renditioned to the American puppet state of Egypt, where the victim was held for years and repeatedly tortured. The case against him was so absurd that even an Egyptian judge order his release.

One of the convicted CIA operatives, Sabrina deSousa, an attractive young woman, says that the US broke the law by kidnapping a person and sending him to another country to be tortured in order to manufacture another “terrorist” in order to keep the terrorist hoax going at home. Without the terrorist hoax, America’s wars for special interest reasons would become transparent even to Fox “News” junkies.

Ms. deSousa says that “everything I did was approved back in Washington,” yet the government, which continually berates us to “support the troops,” did nothing to protect her when she carried out the Bush regime’s illegal orders.

Clearly, this means that the crime that Bush, Cheney, the Pentagon, and the CIA ordered is too heinous and beyond the pale to be justified, even by memos from the despicable John Yoo and the Republican Federalist Society.

Ms. deSousa is clearly worried about herself. But where is her concern for the innocent person that she sent into an Egyptian hell to be tortured until death or admission of being a terrorist?

The remorse deSousa expresses is only for herself. She did her evil government’s bidding and her evil government that she so faithfully served turned its back on her. She has no remorse for the evil she committed against an innocent person.

Perhaps deSousa and her 22 colleagues grew up on video games. It was great fun to plot to kidnap a real person and fly him on a CIA plane to Egypt. Was it like a fisherman catching a fish or a deer hunter killing a beautiful 8-point buck? Clearly, they got their jollies at the expense of their renditioned victim.

The finding of the Italian court, and keep in mind that Italy is a bought-and-paid-for US puppet state, indicates that even our bought puppets are finding the US too much to stomach.

Moving from the tip of the iceberg down, we have Ambassador Craig Murray, rector of the University of Dundee and until 2004 the UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, which he describes as a Stalinist totalitarian state courted and supported by the Americans.

As ambassador, Murray saw the MI5 intelligence reports from the CIA that described the most horrible torture procedures. “People were raped with broken bottles, children were tortured in front of their parents until they [the parents] signed a confession, people were boiled alive.”

“Intelligence” from these torture sessions was passed on by the CIA to MI5 and to Washington as proof of the vast al Qaeda conspiracy.

Ambassador Murray reports that the people delivered by CIA flights to Uzbekistan’s torture prisons “were told to confess to membership in Al Qaeda. They were told to confess they’d been in training camps in Afghanistan. They were told to confess they had met Osama bin Laden in person. And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed these themes.”

“I was absolutely stunned,” says the British ambassador, who thought that he served a moral country that, along with its American ally, had moral integrity. The great Anglo-American bastion of democracy and human rights, the homes of the Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, the great moral democracies that defeated Nazism and stood up to Stalin’s gulags, were prepared to commit any crime in order to maximize profits.

Ambassador Murray learned too much and was fired when he vomited it all up. He saw the documents that proved that the motivation for US and UK military aggression in Afghanistan had to do with the natural gas deposits in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The Americans wanted a pipeline that bypassed Russia and Iran and went through Afghanistan. To insure this, an invasion was necessary. The idiot American public could be told that the invasion was necessary because of 9/11 and to save them from “terrorism,” and the utter fools would believe the lie.

“If you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route. It’s what it’s about. It’s about money, it’s about energy, it’s not about democracy.”

Guess who the consultant was who arranged with then-Texas governor George W. Bush the agreements that would give to Enron the rights to Uzbekistan’s and Turkmenistan’s natural gas deposits and to Unocal to develop the trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

It was Karzai, the US-imposed “president” of Afghanistan, who has no support in the country except for American bayonets.

Ambassador Murray was dismissed from the UK Foreign Service for his revelations. No doubt on orders from Washington to our British puppet.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term.  He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal.

Undercover US operations: The Down Low in Pakistan

Undercover US operations

The Down Low in Pakistan

cilogoIn at least two Pakistani cities, undercover US intelligence operatives have been arrested by Pakistani police.  These American operatives are running an undercover operation in Pakistan that uses the cover of the US Embassy.  On at least three occasions, these operatives, who presented themselves as US ‘diplomats’, were roaming Pakistani streets in cars with fake number plates and wearing Afghan dresses and sporting Taliban-style beards.  Most importantly, these operatives were carrying sophisticated weapons that were not licensed to the US Embassy.  Four such US ‘diplomats’ were arrested a few hours before the arrival of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Pakistan.

When asked about the incident, she said she had no idea who those people were and what exactly they were doing.  She was not lying.  This is a standard procedure for US diplomats when US intelligence operatives get busted.  Pakistani civilian and military officials have enough evidence of the illegal activities of CIA in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the American spy agency is using the help of Karzai’s and India’s spy outfits.  Can Pakistan learn to stand for itself?

Army Doctor Nidal Malik Hasan Allegedly Kills 12 at Fort Hood

Sources Close to the Major’s Family in Ramallah Say He Was Unhappy About an Impending Deployment Overseas

[Prison must be better than going to Iraq.]

By EMILY FRIEDMAN, RICHARD ESPOSITO, ETHAN NELSON, DESIREE ADIB and AMMU KANNAMPILLY
Nov. 6, 2009

Twelve people died and 30 were wounded at a Texas military post in a shooting rampage that officials believe was carried out by an Army psychiatrist who was about to be deployed to Iraq.

Photo: Seven Soldiers Killed, 20 Wounded in Fort Hood Shooting: One Suspect in Custody, Search Is on for Second Shooter

The suspected gunman in the shooting at Fort Hood, Tex., was identified by ABC News as Army Major Malik Nadal Hasan, a psychiatrist trained by the military.

(ABC News Photo Illustration)
More Photos

The suspected gunman has been identified as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan would have been deployed to Iraq later this month, an Army official said.

It would have been his first deployment, two sources told ABC News.

Hasan is believed to be of Palestinian origin: His grandfather moved to the United States in the 1940s. One of Hasan’s two brothers recently moved to Ramallah and works in the West Bank, the sources said. Hasan’s family is said to own a number of apartments in Ramallah.

The family has refused to speak to reporters, but a person close to the family told ABC News that Hasan had told his family he was unhappy about his impending deployment abroad.

UN General Assembly adopts Goldstone Report

The United Nations General Assembly is calling on Israel and the Palestinians to investigate war crime allegations leveled in a UN report on the Gaza war.

The 192-member body adopted the resolution Thursday by a vote of 114-18, with others absent or abstaining.

The resolution calls on the Security Council to act if either side fails to launch credible investigations within three months.

It endorses a report by an expert panel chaired by South African Judge Richard Goldstone which concluded both Israel and Palestinian militants committed war crimes and possible crimes against humanity.

The harshly worded draft resolution, composed by Arab member states, has not been softened despite U.S. and European efforts.

Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev told Haaretz that she didn’t plan to take part in the vote. “I won’t lend a hand to a debate whose conclusions are predetermined. It was a predictable Arab game.”

However, Israel and the United States were among those voting against the resolution. A total of 44 countries abstained.

The resolution enjoyed wide support among the Non-Aligned Movement bloc and the Arab bloc. These states comprise an automatic majority of 120 votes.

The draft resolution includes a demand for the Israeli government to carry out an “independent and credible” internal investigation of its own conduct during Israel’s 3-week offensive in Gaza, which left over 1,000 Palestinians dead.

Hamas isn’t mentioned in the draft resolution. Instead, it calls on the “Palestinian side” to carry out an investigation into the Goldstone report findings that relate to Palestinians.

The draft resolution also includes a recommendation to convene the signatories of the fourth Geneva Convention treaty for an emergency session to discuss Israel’s violations of the treaty.

Apart from Israel and the United States, a number of European countries including Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the Czech Republic voted against the resolution. But the European Union was split, with others including Britain and France abstaining. Most developing countries voted in favor.

There is no veto in UN General Assembly votes, but the assembly’s resolutions are non-binding. However, resolutions adopted by the General Assembly grant legitimacy to Security Council initiatives. But the five permanent members of the Security Council have the power to veto any resolution put up for a vote. Thus, any Arab initiative for an extreme resolution against Israel, such as the submission of the Goldstone report to the International Criminal Court, will likely be torpedoed by the veto-wielding U.S.

If the matter is put up for a Security Council vote, there is also the possibility that the U.S. and its allies – Britain or France, will block an official resolution, and instead issue a presidential statement or a press release.

An Israel delegate denounced the adoption of the resolution as a “mockery of reality” after Israel seized a vessel packed with weapons believed to have been sent by Iran to Hezbollah.

Israel’s Deputy Ambassador Daniel Carmon told the assembly the resolution “endorses and legitimizes a deeply flawed, one-sided and prejudiced report of the discredited Human Rights Council and its politicized work that bends both fact and law.”

U.S. Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff said the resolution was flawed in several respects, including its failure to name the Hamas militant movement that rules Gaza. He also said a demand for international supervision of any Israeli and Palestinian investigations was “unhelpful.”

DoD Inspector General’s report affirms Aafia’s narrative

DoD Inspector General’s report affirms Aafia’s narrative

“Why do they hate us?” This simple, yet loaded five word question has literally outperformed the thousands of answers that have been put forth. This is because comprehensive responses are rarely as powerful as a simple question. Aafia Siddiqui’s case suffers from the very same dynamic; it is complex, it is detailed and it raises disturbing issues that reach far and wide.

Consider the following claims against the U.S. and allied/contracted forces:

1) Abduction of a mother and her three children with the children used for extortion
2) Long term captivity in secret prisons
3) Rape, torture, mental and physical abuse
4) Use of elaborate disorientation and false flag techniques

This laundry list is definitely sensational enough for a kneejerk rejection from the average American patriot. However, what are we to think when these very same allegations are listed in a recently declassified Department of Defense’s Inspector General’s report entitled Review of DoD-Directed Investigations of Detainee Abuse[i]?
There are other serious questions surround this impending trial:

Why is she considered such a high profile suspect when the charges against her are not related to terrorism[ii]?
What caused the interest in Siddiqui in the first place?
How long has she been in custody?
Where have her children been all this time?
Who was responsible for them?
Did we outsource her and her children’s detention and interrogation to other nations?

Despite all these issues, there is one central theme in Siddiqui’s ordeal. It holds true regardless of ones status as a supporter or detractor. As an American, the one inescapable question is: how we, the U.S., treated and continue to treat her.

How Dr. Aafia Siddiqui was and will be treated matters

Why? The reasons are plentiful, but let us examine one of our more important relationships: Pakistan, a strategically vital U.S. ally. Pakistan is a nation that seems to continuously suffer from regime changes, political assassinations and other stability issues; these are conditions conducive to the widespread popular support that Aafia Siddiqui is receiving.

Siddiqui has been transformed from a “U.S. person of interest,” into a galvanizing symbol of the Pakistani people. Her growing status as a focal point of that nation’s pride and desire for true sovereignty is evident. The streets are regularly flooded with pro-Aafia rallies and demonstrations that on occasion number in the tens of thousands.

Popular singers, poets and artists continue to release tributes to Siddiqui as their chosen symbol for all of Pakistan’s missing persons and other popular, pro-Pakistani sentiments. Siddiqui’s story serves as a common rallying point for both Pakistan’s secular and religious as well as for their conservatives and their liberals. Aafia Siddiqui’s case has even overcome bitter rivalries between Pakistan’s competing political movements.

Siddiqui’s status is growing in influence, even transcending Pakistani politics and reaching the broader Muslim world as new and persistent allegations of abuse surface against the U.S. These allegations, especially when women and children are involved, undermine our standing in the world and provoke very serious and avoidable diplomatic problems.

This report legitimizes the hard to accept claims put forth by Aafia Siddiqui’s supporters.

It can no longer be claimed that abusive `interrogation techniques’ and assaults on detainees have not been either approved or perpetrated by our servicemen and contractors. This is the second reason that U.S. treatment of Aafia Siddiqui is the central issue of this case; it is directly related to our values as Americans.
To illustrate the point, let us examine the claims made by Aafia Siddiqui’s supporters with the DoD report’s findings:

CLAIM 1: The abduction of a mother and her three children/ children used for extortion

REPORT: The use of scenarios designed to convince the detainee that death or severely painful consequences are imminent for him and/or his family:… – pg 36

CLAIM 2: Long term captivity in secret prisons

REPORT: CIA detainees in Abu Ghraib, known locally as “Ghost Detainees,” were not accounted for in the detention system. With these detainees unidentified or unaccounted for, detention operations at large were impacted because personnel at the operations level were uncertain how to report or classify detainees. – pg 59

REPORT: …DoD temporarily held detainees for the CIA – including the detainee known as “Triple-X” – without properly registering them and providing notification to the International Committee of the Red Cross. This practice of holding “ghost detainees” for the CIA was guided by oral, ad hoc agreements… – pg 78

CLAIM 3: Rape, torture, mental and physical abuse

REPORT: At the extremes were the death of a detainee in OGA custody, an alleged rape committed by a US translator and observed by a female Soldier, and the alleged sexual assault of a female detainee. – pg 59

CLAIM 4: Use of elaborate disorientation and false flag techniques

REPORT: …military personnel improperly interfered with FBI interrogators in the performance of their FBI duties. – pg 86

REPORT: False Flag: Convincing the detainee that individuals from a country other than the United States are interrogating him. – pg 97

REPORT: …our interviews with DoD personnel assigned to various detention facilities throughout Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrated that they did not have a uniform understanding of what rules governed the involvement of OGAs in the interrogation of DoD detainees. That DoD interrogators improperly impersonated FBI agents and Department of State officers during the interrogation of detainees. – pg 86
How our nation treats its detainees will continue to become more and more significant during the progression of Aafia Siddiqui’s trial. It will be a reoccurring theme in all similar trials as well. Regardless of verdicts, our treatment of detainees if not addressed properly will continue to degrade our nation’s image and standing in the world. This fact cannot be tempered by our stance on the all important and most immediate question of when did the U.S. take custody of Aafia? There are enough claims of mistreatment for either scenario of when Siddiqui came under U.S. authority.

Supporters contend that Aafia was abducted and handed over to U.S. Authorities in April 2003. This claim is supported by an NBC News clip available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xwCHha5ITM .

This claim is corroborated by Siddiqui’s family’s statements expressing their belief that she was dead from 2003 until her capture in Afghanistan.

While convenient, it should be noted that the NBC and other media reports of Aafia’s abduction in 2003 have been denied/contested[iii].
What is certain is that once captured in Afghanistan, Siddiqui has been shuffled between mental and maximum security facilities, both with documented histories of abuse especially toward Muslims[iv] [v] and women[vi] inmates.

Currently, despite the fact that she is held in solitary confinement, under video surveillance, Siddiqui under goes regular, forced, strip searches, when making any outside contact – effectively denying her reasonable access to her attorneys. It is also a matter of record that after Siddiqui was officially in U.S. custody, she was shot by U.S. personal in Ghazni, Afghanistan and that the medical care she needed was at best delayed and inadequate[vii].

For most American’s, there might just be too many allegations against the U.S. for us to sallow. This type of thinking will miss the lessons that are to be learned as information comes to light. Siddiqui’s case, how she was treated and what we will do about it going forward, will define, in part, our capability for leadership in the world. Most importantly, it will serve as a window for who we are or who we have become.

[i] http://fas.org/irp/agency/dod/abuse.pdf
[ii] http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2008/September/08-nsd-765.html
[iii] http://therepublicofrumi.com/archives/aafia01.htm
[iv] http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2004/05/19/maddy/index.html
[v] http://cryptome.org/bop-abuse.htm
[vi] http://www.aclutx.org/article.php?aid=252
[vii] http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSN11499491

Protect Your Sons from Shady Recruiters, Fatten Them Up!

[If we had only thought of this during Vietnam.  We could have dodged the draft by simply overeating.]

75 Percent of Young Americans Are Unfit for Military Duty

WASHINGTON (Nov. 3) — Are America’s youth too fat, dumb or dishonest to defend the nation against its enemies?

The latest Army statistics show a stunning 75 percent of military-age youth are ineligible to join the military because they are overweight, can’t pass entrance exams, have dropped out of high school or had run-ins with the law.

So many young people between the prime recruiting ages of 17 and 24 cannot meet minimum standards that a group of retired military leaders is calling for more investment in early childhood education to combat the insidious effects of junk food and inadequate education.

Army recruitment center

Mark Mainz, Getty Images

“We’ve never had this problem of young people being obese like we have today,” said Gen. John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He calls the rising number of youth unfit for duty a matter of national security. “We should be concerned about how this will impact this overstretched Army and its ability to recruit.”

Shalikashvili is among dozens of retired generals, admirals and civilian Pentagon officials who have banded together as Mission Readiness: Military Leaders for Kids. The group, which includes former NATO commander and presidential candidate Wesley Clark, will appear with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the National Press Club on Thursday to urge immediate action to reduce dropout rates and improve the physical and moral fitness of the nation’s youth.

They will cite research that shows quality early childhood education raises graduation rates by up to 44 percent and reduces the odds of being arrested for a violent crime by age 18.

Douglas Smith of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command said 2008 data shows about three in 10 youths have an initial barrier to enlistment.

Most aren’t insurmountable. “If you’re overweight, we tell you to come back when you’ve lost the weight. If you don’t score well on the armed forces aptitude test, we suggest you study and take it again,” he said.

Between 2004 and 2008, the Army more than doubled the number of “conduct” waivers it granted to would-be soldiers with criminal or misdemeanor records. The loosened standards proved necessary in a time of war and amid a booming economy that forced military recruiters to work overtime to fill the ranks.

The new warnings about a generation of couch potatoes comes just weeks after the Pentagon announced its best recruiting year since the all-volunteer force began in 1974. The economic meltdown and rising unemployment, combined with bigger military bonuses and benefits, enticed hundreds of thousands to enlist despite the inevitability most would be sent to war.

The plethora of would-be recruits allowed the military services to be choosier after years of taking in more high school dropouts and those needing extra physical training to meet weight requirements.

Recruiting may have gotten easier, but “the good times don’t stay forever,” warned David Segal, a University of Maryland military sociologist. When the economy recovers and young people are able to get jobs or can afford to go to college, the military will be faced with the same out-of-shape, ill-prepared pool of recruits as before.

“Recruiting will get tough again,” he said. “The trend line is clear: The youth population is getting less healthy.”

Hillary’s Love of Zionazism and Netanyahu’s Love for Himself, as They Screw the Palestinians

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Hillary Clinton gives Obama’s Middle East game away

Chris Marsden

 

WSWS, 5 November 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spent the past days trying to limit the damage from her praise of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for making “unprecedented” concessions to the Palestinians by offering to “limit” settlement construction on the West Bank.

Clinton made her remarks after meeting Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas in Abu Dhabi, where he reiterated his refusal to restart talks unless Israel freezes all settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

After travelling to Jerusalem to meet Netanyahu, Clinton demanded that the Palestinians resume negotiations and denied that an end to settlement construction had ever been a precondition for talks. “There has never been a precondition. It’s always been an issue within the negotiations,” she said.

Netanyahu was delighted, responding that demands for a full Israeli settlement freeze were “being used as a pretext … as an obstacle that prevents the re-establishment of negotiations.” The Palestinians should “get a grip,” he added.

Clinton’s endorsement of Netanyahu’s supposed concessions flies in the face of numerous public declarations by President Barack Obama. In doing so, she has provided an unvarnished insight into Washington’s real intentions and priorities.

An end to settlement construction was included in the “Road Map” drawn up by the US, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations in 2002 and has remained the formal US position ever since. The Road Map also states that the issue of East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as their capital, will be determined in the final phase of negotiations. Netanyahu’s offer of a “restraint” on settlement activity excludes East Jerusalem.

Obama came to the White House promising to bring about a negotiated settlement creating a Palestinian state, pledging in this way to rebuild the reputation of the US in the aftermath of the Iraq war. In a major policy speech in Cairo in June, he promised to “personally pursue” the realization of a Palestinian state and stressed that “it is time for these settlements to stop.”

Netanyahu has treated such public pronouncements with contempt, confident that the US relies on Israel as a regional enforcer and that its professions of even-handedness are for public consumption only.

On September 4, he announced a massive program of housing construction involving a total of 3,500 units on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. Obama made ritual statements of opposition, but by the time he met with Netanyahu and Abbas in New York on September 22, this stance was abandoned. He instead praised Netanyahu for having “discussed important steps to restrain settlement activity” [emphasis added] and insisted that both leaders show a “sense of compromise.”

US envoy George Mitchell followed Obama’s statement by telling the Jerusalem Post, “We are not identifying any issue as being a precondition or an impediment to negotiation.” A settlement freeze was merely one of several US “requests.”

Clinton’s speech only echoed the positions previously expressed by Mitchell and indicated by Obama. But she has nevertheless been forced to make a humiliating public retraction.

At a regional forum in Morocco Monday, where she met with various Arab leaders, she said that Netanyahu’s offer to limit settlements “falls far short” of a settlement freeze and that “successive American administrations of both parties have opposed Israel’s settlement policy.” Speaking to Al Jazeera, she added that Obama had been “absolutely clear” on wanting a “halt to all settlement activity,” and “perhaps those of us who work with him and for him could have been clearer in communicating that that is his policy.”

In Cairo Wednesday, Clinton stated that Washington does not accept the legitimacy of the West Bank settlements and wants to see construction halted “forever.”

Her extraordinary volte face has been necessitated by the anger generated in the Occupied Territories and throughout the Middle East by her fawning before Netanyahu.

Tensions in the Palestinian Authority are already explosive, with Israel’s beginning of various settlement projects accompanied by the demolition of numerous Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. There has been a series of protests, riots and violent confrontations between Palestinian youth and Israeli police in the compound surrounding the al-Aqsa Mosque.

Under these conditions, Abbas could have been delivered a fatal political blow by Clinton. He is already despised as a Western stooge, particularly after last month, when he initially agreed to a request from Obama not to support a UN report accusing Israel of war crimes in its 22-day assault on Gaza last December and January.

Commenting on Clinton’s remarks, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki warned, “We should not put the credibility and the legitimacy of the Palestinian Authority again under jeopardy. … They started accusing my president and the Palestinian leadership of treason [and] of selling the suffering of the Palestinian people in exchange of one item and another.”

Similar concerns were reflected throughout the Middle East. Amre Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, said, “I am telling you that all of us, including Saudi Arabia, including Egypt, are deeply disappointed. … Failure is in the atmosphere.”

Clinton’s back-pedaling is a desperate effort to restore the illusion that the US under Obama will act as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians. But this pretense, which is critical to the stability, if not survival, of the venal Arab bourgeois regimes in the region, has been shattered and cannot be restored.

The claim that Obama’s presidency marks a new era for the Middle East has been utilized from the start for the basest purposes. By posing as a friend of the Palestinians, Obama has attempted to make it easier for the despots in Cairo, Riyadh, Tripoli, et al., to line up behind the US in its ongoing threats against Iran, which are aimed at consolidating US hegemony over the region.

Clinton was in Morocco primarily to engage in discussions with the Arab leaders over supporting US threats against Tehran—hence the need for her public recantation. The Wall Street Journal noted that Arab leaders have warned many times that their governments “could be attacked by their publics for conspiring with Israel against another Muslim nation without getting anything in return.”

Even as these sordid discussions are taking place, the US is engaged in joint military maneuvers with Israel, Operation Juniper-Cobra, involving 2,000 personnel and testing sophisticated long-range radar and Patriot anti-missile devices. Commander Carl Meuser of the US Navy destroyer Higgins told the press, “We’re here for some very specific reasons, some specific threats that the Israelis are interested in, that we’re interested in.”

The clear intention is to prepare a possible Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, while guarding against any possible reprisal. This is the essential content of US policy in the Middle East. Its exposure will hasten the day when the Arab regimes will indeed be attacked by “their publics.”

Nine of Obama’s Victims in Helmand

NATO strike kills nine civilians in Helmand (Photogallery)

AP

 

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LASHKARGAH , Nov 5, 2009 : The body of a teenager killed by a rocket attack of the NATO-led soldiers lies in a vehicle after the residents of Babaji brought the body to the provincial capital, Lashkargah, as a protest against the killing of nine civilians. PAJHWOK/Zainullah Astanakzai

LASHKARGAH , Nov 5, 2009 : Two civilians killed by foreign troops in southern Helmand province late Wednesday night. Relatives of the victims brought the dead to provincial capital as a protest. PAJHWOK/Zainullah Astanakzai

The dead body of a local civilian lies in a civilian vehicle after he was killed in a rocket attack in the southern Helmand province late Wednesday nigh. PAJHWOK/Zainullah Astanakzai

An Afghan man accompanies a dead Afghan boy as the vehicle heads to Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. Villagers in southern Afghanistan claimed an overnight air strike by international forces killed several civilians, including children. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)

Afghan men peer into a car carrying a dead Afghan man in Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/Abdul Khaleq)

November 5, 2009

Afghan villagers say NATO strike kills 9 civilians

KANDAHAR, AP, Afghanistan – An overnight rocket strike by international forces killed nine civilians, including at least three children, villagers said Thursday. Local Afghan authorities said they had no reports of civilian deaths.

NATO said the target of the strike was a group of people believed to be planting a bomb and that the alliance was investigating the allegations.

The incident illustrates the confusion and blame that regularly result from night raids and strikes in Afghanistan and threaten U.S.-led efforts to curb the Taliban.

In Kabul, the head of the U.N. mission warned that Afghanistan cannot count on international support indefinitely unless the government tackles corruption and bad governance.

Residents of Korkhashien village drove the bodies to the governor’s office in the nearby provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, and Associated Press footage and photos showed at least two children among the dead.

Helmand provincial spokesman Daoud Ahmadi confirmed a strike in Korkhashien, but said eight Taliban militants were killed while hiding out in a compound.

However, President Hamid Karzai’s office condemned “the attack on civilians” in a statement. Ahmadi could not be reached to see if his information had changed.

NATO said a rocket fired from the ground hit nine people whom the international coalition believed were planting a bomb. The NATO forces “were not aware of any civilians in the vicinity at the time of the strike,” it said in a statement. It said no other people were targeted. NATO said it was investigating the incident but did not give further details.

The NATO force “takes all credible allegations of civilian casualties very seriously and investigates each allegation to determine the facts,” Navy Capt. Jane Campbell said in the statement. “If any civilians were injured through our actions, we deeply regret it.”

Villager Abdul Rashin said the people were killed while harvesting corn in their fields.

The convoy of vans and station wagons from Korkhashien drove from the governor’s office to a central market, where the villagers shouted blame at both Karzai and his international allies.

“Death to Karzai! Death to the foreigners!” they yelled as passers-by looked through the car windows at the blanket-covered corpses. The villagers had propped open the rear doors of the cars to show off the bodies, and a young boy on a bicycle stopped to peer in.

Though NATO forces have retooled their mission to focus on protecting the population — and have been issued new rules for airstrikes aimed at reducing civilian casualties — it is often difficult to distinguish militants from civilians in areas where the Taliban live among the people and often grew up in the villages they hide out in.

In eastern Khost province, several hundred people demonstrated Thursday against an overnight raid that killed a resident of Baramkhil village. Walishah Hamat, head of the Mandozayi district government, said the dead man was innocent.

NATO said the man was a militant who was killed when Afghan and international forces were pursuing an insurgent leader who had been recruiting foreign fighters to the area.

More than eight years into the Afghan war, NATO forces are still struggling to fight off the Taliban movement and win the trust of the people they are defending.

NATO forces often struggle in the parallel propaganda war, even though Taliban attacks have killed many more civilians. Late Wednesday, a Taliban rocket killed five civilians when it hit a family’s house, said Gov. Jamaldin Bader of Nuristan province.

A fraud-marred presidential election this summer has also weakened support for the Karzai government among its international allies.

Karzai was declared the winner of the presidential race this week after his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew from a runoff that he said could not be free and fair.

Kai Eide, the top U.N. official in Afghanistan, issued a stern warning to Karzai on Thursday, saying it was imperative that his new administration reform and crack down hard on corruption or risk losing the support of countries that have been providing Afghanistan with funds and with foreign troops to establish security.

“There is a belief among some that the international commitment to Afghanistan will continue whatever happens because of the strategic importance of Afghanistan,” Eide said during a news conference in Kabul. “I would like to emphasize that that is not correct. It is the public opinion in donor countries and in troop-contributing countries that decides on the strength of that commitment.”

Increasing violence in the country is also threatening the U.N. mission there. On Thursday, the world body said it was temporarily relocating more than half of its international staff while it looks for safer accommodation for them, following an attack last week on a guesthouse that killed five staffers.

In an initial speech welcoming his re-election, Karzai promised to create an inclusive government and banish the corruption that has undermined his administration. But he did not spell out how he would institute reforms, and he was flanked during his news conference by his two vice presidents — both former warlords widely believed to have looted Afghanistan for years.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said 17 militants have been killed in three separate clashes in the last 24 hours.

___

Associated Press writers Elena Becatoros in Kabul and Alfred de Montesquiou in Uzbeen contributed to this report.

A Nation of Golems


A Nation of Golems

By William A. Cook

 

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November 5, 2009

‘Even the most perfect of Golem, risen to life to protect us, can easily change into a destructive force. Therefore let us treat carefully that which is strong, just as we bow kindly and patiently to that which is weak. Everything has its time and place.’ (Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, 1512-1609)

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 344-36 in support of H. Res. 867, a vote to reject the Goldstone Report Findings and Recommendations, thus protecting Israel against indictment for crimes against humanity and illegal acts of war as determined by the United Nations Human Rights Council’s special investigation of the Christmas invasion of Gaza this past year. The House of Representatives, acting as a body, embodies the most heinous machinations of the ancient legend of a mythical beast called the Golem.

The most famous of the Golem stories comes out of Medieval Prague where Rabbi Loew contended with the paradox of human existence as driven by human desire to control life on the one hand and God’s absolute power over life, “from dust to dust,” on the other. The good Rabbi, it is alleged, turned to the forbidden scriptures to give life to a human form created out of the mud of the Vltava River that flows through Prague; this figure constructed of clay, inanimate matter, a shapeless mass, imperfect, unformed, a body without a soul, responds in perfect obedience to his master.

He symbolizes the ultimate protector of the victimized as he assumed in ancient Prague protection of the Jews who were to be expelled or killed from their ghetto. To bring this monster to life, the Rabbi carved in Hebrew the word EMETH on his forehead, the meaning of which is “truth.” This being, living yet not whole, becomes a servant and protector of the people, a tool of his maker, but in time his purpose is slighted, his use abused by those who think only of their desires and self-indulgence.

In time this virtual Faustian figure seeks to know himself, rule himself, become his own master and in his soulless state, his ambition and arrogance assume control as he spreads his massive shadow of malevolence across the ghetto. Only the Rabbi can control him by rubbing out the first letter on his forehead, Aleth, leaving Mem and Taw—Death. Once loosed on the world, the Golem becomes a destroyer and hence the Rabbi’s admonishment above.

How do our representatives become a Golem? By obedience to their master. That master is Israel through its Zionist government and its multiple lobbies in the U.S., by their use of extortion and threat, and by control of monetary resources. There is no need to recount how these charges are true; books have been written about it, most especially those by former Congressman Paul Findlay and the recent study by Mearsheimer and Walt, Grant Smith’s America’s Defense Line, John Hosteller on the Iraq war, Aaron David Miller on the peace process, and Stephen Sniegoski’s Transparent Cabal.

A cursory review of the U.S. Knesset actions taken on behalf of Israel demonstrates conclusively the obedience “our” representatives pay to their owners: 2003, a resolution supporting force against Palestinians, 399-5; 2004, a resolution forbidding a return to the 1967 borders, 407-9; 2006, a resolution defending Israel’s illegal invasion and destruction of Lebanon, 410-8; 2009, a resolution defending Israel’s Christmas invasion of the defenseless people of Gaza, 390-5; and today, a resolution condemning the Goldstone Report issued by the UNHRC, 344-35. Every one of these resolutions support Israel’s illegal actions while the remainder of the world’s nation, excepting a few controlled by the U.S., vote against the crimes of the state of Israel. Their resolution, if adopted and acted upon in the Security Council, would make the state of Israel immune to law.

Rabbi Loew’s incantations brought to life the Golem of Prague’s ghetto, a mythical image that reflects a mind conditioned by massive oppression and defenselessness, a need to believe that there could be a way to protect the innocent against the terror that encircled them in their ghetto. But that mindset of necessity rejects the true power over life, the God that gives life, in favor of a dream of self-control over the forces that exist in the world, thus replacing obedience to God with a soulless form that is obedient to the hubris that contaminates a mortal. The myth explores the conflict between the self proclaimed overlord and belief in the God of the Jews. It is the confrontation of the essence of Judaism and the power of the secular forces that forego the true Torah, the polarity battle between oppression and indifference or compassion and love.

There is, as Rabbi Loew knew well, a Golem in each of us, the human form that we desire to be but cannot form because we are not alone in this world, because we must exist within a community of others, because we understand that to inflict our will on others gives license to others to inflict theirs on us, because we form societies to protect each other realizing that forging a society to fear its own survival breeds violence against its perceived enemies resulting ineluctably in devastation and death.

That is the curse of the Golem, to be brought into existence without knowledge of its master’s intent, yet obedient to that intent; to witness life behind the walls of the ghetto but locked into the mind of the elders that portray life beyond the walls; to feel the pulse of life beneath the carved “truth” that is emblazoned on the forehead, yet know no other truth than that imposed by the masters; to sense, as time passes, the masters’ inner passions, that gave rise to the creation of the Golem, erupt in vengeance against their own phantoms of inadequacy as they command the Golem to destroy all but those who will obey them, and know, that he is the means to avenge; hence the image of the Golem as the corrosive being within us that, once loosed, releases its acid throughout the body and the mind because we have become but a shapeless mass, unformed, imperfect, an artificial creature without natural sympathies, soulless—the obedient slave to another’s will.

This is the fate of our congressmen and women, indeed, it is the fate of the Jewish people in Israel who have built a wall around themselves, as the Jews in Prague did in the 16th century, fearing all but themselves, victims of all beyond the wall. Golems all, abandoning their God to placate their masters, the ruling secular Golems that have created a state of fear instead of a state for Jews, a state of oppression and indifference, a state of molded minds lacking human sympathy, a state willing to use its only friend in the community of nations for its own ends turning its representatives into pliant, obedient, mindless, soulless clay forms as heedless of the weak as their masters.

“Whence did you come?” asks Nathaniel Hawthorne. “Whence did any of us come? Out of the darkness and mystery; out of nothingness; out of a kingdom of shadows; out of dust, clay, mud…And why are you come? Who can tell? Only one thing I am aware of,–it was not to be happy. To toil and moil and hope and fear; to love in a shadowy, doubtful sort of way, and to hate in bitter earnest, –that is what you came for!” (Works, XIII, 18-19)

It is time for the good Rabbi Loew to remove “Aleph” and let our Congress rest in “Mem” and “Taw.”

-William A. Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California and author of Tracking Deception: Bush’s Mideast Policy.

Abbas: I will not seek second term

Abbas: I will not seek second term

Ma’an News

 

November 5, 2009

Ramallah – Ma’an – President Mahmoud Abbas announced in Ramallah on Thursday he would not seek a second term in office.

Confirming rumors of his impending retirement, Abbas said the decision came amid Israel’s intransigence on settlements and the international community’s indifference to it.

“I have informed the PLO Executive Committee and Fatah’s Central Committee that I do not intend to seek a second term in the upcoming [January 2010] election,” he said in a televised address. “This decision is not up for debate or negotiation.”

The president said he decided to step down when it became clear the US would not alter its position in favor of Israel and its settlement enterprise. His announcement came days after Palestinians were left stunned when US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised as unprecedented Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to limit construction in West Bank settlements to 3,000 additional housing units.


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More disappointing, Abbas said, is that the US and PLO actually agree on most substantive issues, yet somehow the Americans continue to back Israel on the ground. “The stated position of the United States regarding settlements and the Judaisation and annexation of Jerusalem are well-known and appreciated by us. Nevertheless, we’ve been surprised that they still favor Israel’s position.”

“We pledged, us and the Israelis, with the participation and backing of the international community, to reach a two-state solution,” he added. “Yet month after month, year after year, there has been procrastination and an increase of Israeli settlements on our land, which compromise the credibility of peace talks.”

Saying the world looks on in silence when Israel violates its signed agreements, Abbas noted, “I want to remind you that we asked, in tandem with the international community, that Hamas’ government in 2006 adhere to previously signed agreements… A lot less is being asked of the current Israeli government; how is it that the international community accepts that?”

Addresses leaders of Hamas, Israel

But the president also cited Hamas’ refusal to sign an inter-Palestinian unity agreement as a contributing factor in his decision. “More dangerous than anything we’ve yet seen domestically has been the bloody coup that Hamas perpetrated in the Gaza Strip.”

“Egypt began undertaking honest efforts during recent times to broker an agreement between us and Hamas, which Hamas thwarted at every turn under false pretenses,” Abbas said. “In not signing the Egyptian document, which they have seen and agreed to… has benefited only Israel, whose leaders can finally say, ‘There is no Palestinian partner.'”

“The time has come for Hamas’ leadership to reconsider its destructive policies, which are counter to the national project, and stop taking orders from regional interests,” he added. “Think, for once, of the people’s interests, whose problems won’t be solved by taking a little money here, a little there, through smuggling tunnels that have enriched them, and killed dozens of our young children from poor families.”

Addressing “the Israeli government and public, simply and clearly,” Abbas said: “Peace is more important than any political gain to any political party. Peace is more important than [maintaining] a coalition government that pushes the region toward an unknown abyss.”

“It has been my vision for many years that peace is possible, and I have sincerely worked toward it,” he concluded. “The sum of my experience has demonstrated the two-state solution – Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security – is still possible, despite the dangers that we face, the severity of which has recently increased.”

Italy Convicts 22 CIA Agents for “Rendition” Abduction and Subsequent Torture

[The world has begun to hold America accountable for the actions of its warriors, just as it has begun action against Israel for the war crimes in Gaza.  The idea that there are two standards of "justice" in the world, one for America and Israel and another for everybody else, is an idea that has finally met the wall or moral resistance.  Creating terror to fight terror is completely immoral.]

CIA agents guilty of Italy kidnap

Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, pictured in 2007

Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr was snatched from a street in Milan

An Italian judge has convicted 23 Americans – all but one of them CIA agents – and two Italian secret agents for the 2003 kidnap of a Muslim cleric.

The agents were accused of abducting Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known as Abu Omar, from Milan and sending him to Egypt, where he was allegedly tortured.

The trial, which began in June 2007, is the first involving the CIA’s so-called “extraordinary rendition” programme.

The Obama administration has expressed its disappointment at the convictions.

“We are disappointed by the verdicts,” state department spokesman Ian Kelly said in Washington.

He declined to comment further pending a written opinion from the judge, but said an appeal was likely.

Three Americans and five Italians were acquitted by the court in Milan.

Symbolic ruling

The Americans were all tried in their absence as they have not been extradited from the US to Italy.

For us, this first case puts the war on terror on trial
Joanne Mariner
Human Rights Watch spokeswoman

The CIA’s Milan station chief at the time, Robert Lady, was given an eight-year term, while the other 22 Americans convicted – one of them a US air force colonel – were sentenced to five years in prison.

Lawyers for the 23 Americans said they would appeal against their convictions.

The two Italian agents, who were convicted as accomplices to kidnapping, were given three-year prison terms.

The court also ruled that those convicted must pay 1m euros ($1.5m) in damages to Abu Omar and 500,000 euros to his wife.

CIA spokesman George Little in Washington declined to comment on the convictions, telling the Associated Press news agency: “The CIA has not commented on any of the allegations surrounding Abu Omar.”

Secrecy laws

Italian prosecutors said Abu Omar was taken as part of a series of extraordinary renditions carried out by the CIA – when terror suspects were moved between countries without any public legal process.

Judge Oscar Magi, 4 Nov 2009

Judge Oscar Magi acquitted some of the highest-ranking defendants

They told the court he had been kidnapped in daylight on a Milan street in February 2003 and flown to Germany, and then Cairo, where he was held for years until being released without charge.

Judge Oscar Magi acquitted the CIA chief for Rome, Jeffrey Castelli, saying he was protected by state secrecy rules, as were the former head of Italy’s military intelligence agency, Nicolo Pollari, and his deputy, Marco Mancini.

Mr Pollari, who resigned over the affair, told the court earlier this year that documents showing he had no involvement in the kidnapping were classified under secrecy laws.

Prosecutor Armando Spataro rejected the argument that legal provisions could shield those accused from prosecution, saying any agreement to carry out a kidnapping was “absolutely against Italian law”.

He had sought a 13-year jail term for Mr Castelli and Mr Pollari and 12 years for Robert Lady.

Activist group Human Rights Watch welcomed the verdict, saying it sent “a strong signal of the crimes committed by the CIA in Europe”.

Spokeswoman Joanne Mariner said: “For us, this first case puts the war on terror on trial.”

Afghan Resistance Statement Who are Behind the Chaos in Afghanistan?

Afghan Resistance Statement
Who are Behind the Chaos in Afghanistan?

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

 

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Monday, 02 November 2009

The Americans follow contradicting programs in Afghanistan. These contradictions have greatly contributed to the chaos and corruption now rampant in the country. After invasion in 2001, Americans announced the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reconstruction (DDR) program which was aimed at encouraging former warlords and gunmen to surrender their arms for cash incentives, employment opportunities and vocational training. After a time, they left the program uncompleted, and opted to raise their own militias under the name of Campaign and Security Guards. These so-called security guards escort American and other NATO member countries military and logistical convoys from one province to another, particularly to Urozgan, Helmand, Farah and other provinces in the south. Some militias are used to detain suspected Afghans. Recently, New York Times disclosed that following the American invasion of Afghanistan, Wali Karzai created the Kandahar Task Force which is involved in various human rights violations. According to the Times Weekly, Wali Karzai frequently used the Kandahar Task Force against his opponents and on one occasion, they killed police chief of Kandahar province. Similarly, Americans pay tens of millions of dollars to private militia annually for escorting their convoys.

The private militias extort money from common people and levy agricultural tax on farmers named Ushar. They are involved in burglary, kidnapping and other unscrupulous activities. All these are overlooked by the invaders as the militia support them in their fight against so-called terrorism.

Applying The Sons of Iraq replica to Afghanistan, the invading Americans have created militia from among the Afghan minorities in the north of the country. Recently, they created such militia in Qazal Qila and appointed a Turkmen as commander. The Turkmen and Uzbek are ethnical minorities and their militias are notoriously known for human rights violations during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.

To many observers who closely monitor developments in Afghanistan, these moves by the invading Americans can be part of plan dubbed as Chaostan, which was unveiled by Mc Crystal, American top commander in Afghanistan during his recent speech in London. According to this plan, the Americans want to create chaos in Afghanistan by plunging the country into geographical, racial and religious fighting once again.

Mullah Brader Akhund, Deputy-Amir of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in one of his interviews said that Mujahideen had captured several groups of armed men who were involved in destroying schools and bridges. They admitted that they were paid by foreign intelligence agencies to do so. In this year Eid ul Fitre message, the Amir ul Momineen, Mullah Omar Mujahid instructed all Mujahideen of the Islamic Emirate to disarm armed groups who are involved in encroachment on people’s life, property and honor on the provocation of the enemy.

Similarly, the bomb blasts in congested places, which have killed hundreds of innocent civilians, is of great concern to the Mujahideen and the Afghan people. This year in the holy month of Ramadan, a bomb went off in Kandahar just at the time when people were to break their fast. More than 50 people were killed in the explosion. The Islamic Emirate denied having hand in the explosion and condemned it as a horrendous and despicable event. Later Dawa Khan Mina pal, a Radio Liberty reporter was detained by police of the Kabul puppet regime when he was trying to investigate the blast to find out who were behind this gruesome event.

Many observers agree that foreign intelligence agencies are involved in anti-human activities to malign the good name of the armed Mujahideen who are fighting Americans and other forces of the NATO member countries. Recently, the Afghan surrogate president Karzai complained in a press conference that unknown helicopters were airdropping armed men in the north. According to him, these armed men disturb peace and security there. But Mujahideen in the area say, the foreign invaders airdrop the militia there to target Mujahideen hide-outs during the night and they also attack ethnically sensitive areas in order to provoke racial fighting.

The Americans think, by doing so, they can justify the presence of their troops and enlist supporters from among Afghan minorities against Taliban. These hidden agendas are driving our country into an unknown direction. Unequivocally, the foreign military presence in Afghanistan is part of the Afghan problem. The more they stay in our country, the more, they will plunge our country into chaos and uncertainly. The only solution is that the invaders leave Afghanistan and let the Afghans to form an Islamic government where people from all ethnicities can participate in the government making on the basis of their talent and services to the people. This will vault out the country from the current vortex of conspiracies and ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and the whole region.

Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’

[This is the immoral horror that is OK, when its done by our guys, but terrorism when its done by our adversaries.  Nothing on this earth or beyond justifies sticking broken bottles up men's asses, or boiling them alive.  The so-called "war on terror" has proven to be an excuse for sick individuals in our government to "go medieval" on fellow human beings and unleash their own depraved desires to create hell on earth, in the "service of their country."]

Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’

Daniel Tencer

craigmurray Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people to be raped with broken bottlesThe CIA relied on intelligence based on torture in prisons in Uzbekistan, a place where widespread torture practices include raping suspects with broken bottles and boiling them alive, says a former British ambassador to the central Asian country.

Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland and until 2004 the UK’s ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the CIA not only relied on confessions gleaned through extreme torture, it sent terror war suspects to Uzbekistan as part of its extraordinary rendition program.

“I’m talking of people being raped with broken bottles,” he said at a lecture late last month that was re-broadcast by the Real News Network. “I’m talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession. I’m talking of people being boiled alive. And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA, and was being passed on.”

Human rights groups have long been raising the alarm about the legal system in Uzbekistan. In 2007, Human Rights Watch declared that torture is “endemic” to the country’s justice system.

Murray said he only realized after his stint as ambassador that the CIA was sending people to be tortured in Uzbekistan, country he describes as a “totalitarian” state that has never moved on from its communist era, when it was a part of the Soviet Union.

Suspects in Uzbekistan’s gulags “were being told to confess to membership in Al Qaeda. They were told to confess they’d been in training camps in Afghanistan. They were told to confess they had met Osama bin Laden in person. And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed these themes.”

“I was absolutely stunned — it changed my whole world view in an instant — to be told that London knew [the intelligence] coming from torture, that it was not illegal because our legal advisers had decided that under the United Nations convention against torture, it is not illegal to obtain or use intelligence gained from torture as long as we didn’t do the torture ourselves,” Murray said.

IT’S THE PIPELINE, STUPID

Murray asserts that the primary motivation for US and British military involvement in central Asia has to do with large natural gas deposits in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. As evidence, he points to the plans to build a natural gas pipeline through Afghanistan that would allow Western oil companies to avoid Russia and Iran when transporting natural gas out of the region.

Murray alleged that in the late 1990s the Uzbek ambassador to the US met with then-Texas Governor George W. Bush to discuss a pipeline for the region, and out of that meeting came agreements that would see Texas-based Enron gain the rights to Uzbekistan’s natural gas deposits, while oil company Unocal worked on developing the Trans-Afghanistan pipeline.

“The consultant who was organizing this for Unocal was a certain Mr. Karzai, who is now president of Afghanistan,” Murray noted.

Murray said part of the motive in hyping up the threat of Islamic terrorism in Uzbekistan through forced confessions was to ensure the country remained on-side in the war on terror, so that the pipeline could be built.

“There are designs of this pipeline, and if you look at the deployment of US forces in Afghanistan, as against other NATO country forces in Afghanistan, you’ll see that undoubtedly the US forces are positioned to guard the pipeline route. It’s what it’s about. It’s about money, it’s about oil, it’s not about democracy.”

The Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline is slated to be completed in 2014, with $7.6 billion in funding from the Asian Development Bank.

Murray was dismissed from his position as ambassador in 2004, following his first public allegations that the British government relied on torture in Uzbekistan for intelligence.

The following videos were posted to YouTube by the Real News Network on Oct. 26 and Nov. 4, 2009.

more about “Former UK ambassador: CIA sent people…“, posted with vodpod

more about “UK/USA made use of Uzbek torture Pt2“, posted with vodpod

Turkey invests $4b in South Pars gas field

Turkey invests $4b in South Pars gas field

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South Pars gas field is estimated to hold about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about eight percent of total world reserves.
Turkey is to invest around $3.5 to $4 billion in Iran’s South Pars gas field, an Iranian Oil Ministry official has said.

“The investment (by Turkey) will be made in phases 6 and 7 of South Pars gas field,” Ibrahim Radafzoun deputy Oil Minister for planning told Fars news agency on Monday.

He added that Iran and Turkey, during the visit of Turkish Prime Minister to Iran, are to discuss Turkey’s investment in the two phases of South Pars gas field as well as other mutual issues.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his high-ranking delegation arrived in Tehran on Monday night.

Erdogan’s talks with Iranian officials will focus on, regional issues, ways to enhance bilateral ties and negotiations on economic and trade transactions.

South Pars gas field is estimated to hold about 14 trillion cubic meters of gas, or about eight percent of total world reserves.

// Comments

Another Pakistani General Shot By Their Frankenstein Creation

Third gun attack on brigadier in Pakistan capital

By Khurram Shahzad (AFP) – 4 hours ago

ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani brigadier escaped assassination Friday in the third gun attack targeting army officers in the capital since the military launched a major offensive against the Taliban in the northwest.

Gunmen travelling on a motorbike shot the brigadier and his driver at close range in the ordinarily peaceful, middle-class neighbourhood of I-8 on the outskirts of the leafy capital during the morning rush hour, police told AFP.

There was no claim of responsibility but Pakistan’s security establishment has been in the crosshairs of increasingly brazen militant attacks underscoring the extremists’ reach in the frontline state of the US-led war on Al-Qaeda.

“Two army officials, including one brigadier, were injured when unknown gunmen opened fire on their vehicle,” Doctor Nasir Ahmad told AFP at the capital’s Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences hospital.

“Both have firearms injuries but both are stable,” he added.

Security officials identified the brigadier as a military intelligence official. Gunmen apparently followed his vehicle after he left his home and opened fire when he was on way to his office, they said.

“It was around 9:15 am (0415 GMT). I woke up after hearing sudden gunfire,” said property dealer Amin Chughtai.

“I thought my house was under attack. I peeped out of my window. People had gathered outside. I was scared. I didn’t go out. I found out later that gunmen targeted a vehicle and some people were wounded,” said the 46-year-old.

Watchman Hakeem Shah said shards of glass littered the street immediately after the attack, but the vehicle was removed and the casualties evacuated.

Friday’s shooting was the third targeting senior army commanders in Islamabad since the military last month put 30,000 troops into battle against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the tribal region of South Waziristan.

On October 22, a Pakistani brigadier on leave from a UN peacekeeping mission was shot dead. On October 27, a gunman opened fire on a car carrying another brigadier with his mother, but the driver sped off and no one was wounded.

Tensions are high in and around the capital, where police checkpoints have mushroomed and high-security targets have increasingly disappeared behind giant concrete blast walls following a two-month spike in bloodshed.

Most audacious was an assault last month on army headquarters in Islamabad’s twin city Rawalpindi where 10 gunmen kept up a nearly 24-hour siege claimed by TTP.

The recent attacks, in which more than 300 people died last month alone, come amid Pakistan’s latest offensive, launched on October 17, in the tribal belt on the Afghan border where Al-Qaeda is accused of plotting attacks on the West.

Since the three-pronged offensive began, commanders claim to have captured a string of TTP-held towns and villages in their most ambitious offensive yet against homegrown Taliban, which has displaced tens of thousands of civilians.

Kilian Kleinschmidt, a senior UN refugee agency official, said that 330,000 displaced people from South Waziristan had been registered, although only 165,000 people have so far been verified by a national database authority.

So far, the military says 422 militants and 42 troops have been killed in South Waziristan — far fewer military losses than in previous offensives into the same forbidding mountains that ended with controversial peace deals.

The military provides the only regular information coming from the frontlines. None of the details can be verified because communication lines are down and journalists and aid workers barred from the area.

Do Saudi Air Strikes In Yemen Equal War On Iran?

Saudis launches offensive against Yemen rebels

In this photo taken Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, F-15 warplanes of the Saudi Air Force AP – In this photo taken Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009, F-15 warplanes of the Saudi Air Force fly over the Saudi Arabian …

By AHMED AL-HAJ and SALAH NASRAWI, Associated Press Writers Ahmed Al-haj And Salah Nasrawi, Associated Press Writers 1 hr 4 mins ago

SAN’A, Yemen – Saudi Arabia sent fighter jets and artillery bombardments across the border into northern Yemen Thursday in a military incursion apparently aimed at helping its troubled southern neighbor control an escalating Shiite rebellion, Arab diplomats and the rebels said.

The Saudis — owners of a sophisticated air force they rarely use — have been increasingly worried that extremism and instability in Yemen could spill over to their country, the world’s largest oil exporter. The offensive came two days after the killing of a Saudi soldier, blamed on the rebels.

Yemen denied any military action by Saudi Arabia inside its borders. But Yemen’s president is a key ally of the Saudis, making it highly unlikely the kingdom would have launched the offensive without tacit Yemeni agreement.

A U.S. government official said the Yemenis were not involved militarily in the fighting. The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The offensive immediately raised concerns of another proxy war in the Middle East between Iran and Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally. Shiite Iran is believed to favor the rebels in Yemen while Saudi Arabia, which is Sunni, is Iran’s fiercest regional rival.

The same dynamic has played out in various forms in Lebanon, where Iran supports the Shiite militant Hezbollah and Saudi Arabia favors a U.S.-backed faction, and in Iraq, where Saudi Arabia and Iran have thrown support to conflicting sides in the Sunni-Shiite struggle.

A top Saudi government adviser confirmed "a large scale" military operation underway on the Saudi-Yemeni border with further reinforcements sent to the rugged, mountainous area.

"It is a sustained operation which aims to finish this problem on our border," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. He said Saudi troops were coordinating with Yemen’s army, but Yemen’s defense ministry denied the Saudis were inside the country.

The northern rebels, known as Hawthis, have been battling Yemeni government forces the past few months in the latest flare-up of a sporadic five-year conflict. They claim their needs are ignored by a Yemeni government that is increasingly allied with hard-line Sunni fundamentalists, who consider Shiites heretics.

The rebels said the Saudi airstrikes hit five areas in their northern stronghold Thursday but it was not possible to independently verify the reports. They said there were dead and wounded, and that homes were destroyed. The rebels’ spokesman said people were afraid to get near the areas being bombed, making it difficult to count the casualties.

"Saudi jets dropped bombs on a crowded areas including a local market in the northern province of Saada," Hawthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam told The Associated Press. "They claim they are targeting al-Hawthis, but regrettably they are killing civilians like the government does."

He said the attacks were followed by hundreds of artillery shells from the border.

"So far, three killed have been pulled out of the rubble, including a woman and a child who perished when their houses were bombed and burned down," said Abdel-Salam.

The fighting is more than 600 miles from Saudi Arabia’s oil fields on the kingdom’s eastern Persian Gulf coast. But northern Yemen overlooks the Red Sea, the world’s busiest route for oil tankers.

Two Arab diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saudi Tornado and F-15 warplanes had been bombarding targets inside Yemen since Wednesday afternoon, inflicting significant casualties on rebels. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to talk to the media.

They said army units and special forces also had been sent to northern Yemen, and that several Saudi towns on the border had been evacuated as a precaution.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters he had no information about whether the conflict had spread across the border but expressed Washington’s concern over the situation.

"It’s our view that there can be no long-term military solution to the conflict between the Yemeni government and the Hawthi rebels," Kelly said. "We call on all parties to the conflict to make every effort to protect civilian populations and limit damage to civilian infrastructure."

The weak central government of Yemen, which has little control outside the capital San’a, is fighting on multiple fronts including the northern rebels and a separatist movement in the south. But the most worrisome is a lingering threat from al-Qaida militants.

The U.S. also fears any Yemeni fighting could spill over into Saudi Arabia and is concerned that Yemen could become a haven for al-Qaida militants hiding out in the nation, at the tip of the Arabian peninsula.

The Yemeni government openly accuses Iran of arming the Hawthis rebels, but there has been no public evidence to back those claims, said Joost Hiltermann, deputy program director of the Middle East program for the International Crisis Group think tank in London.

"I think Iran is probably pleased with what is happening, but that is not the same as saying they are supporting the Hawthis," Hiltermann said.

Simon Henderson, director of Gulf and energy policy at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in Washington, agreed that there is no clear evidence that Iran funds the rebels. But he said there is a wide assumption that Iran favors the Hawthis and the Saudis are backing Yemen’s Sunni president.

"So it is a Saudi-Iranian proxy war," he said.

Saudi Arabia, rich in oil, has one of the world’s most sophisticated air forces but rarely uses it.

The bulk of its air power, with more than 350 combat aircraft, derives from squadrons of F-15s and British-supplied Tornados, according to the military and intelligence analysis group GlobalSecurity.org. The kingdom also for decades has received U.S. military assistance in the form of training.

The Saudi incursion marks the first time since the 1991 Gulf War that the country has deployed military might beyond its borders.

In that war, Saudi forces assisted the U.S. Marine Corps, providing staging grounds for airstrikes and in joint operations targeting Iraqi positions in Kuwait with artillery fire and ground offensives.

The incursion is not, however, Saudi Arabia’s first involvement in internal Yemeni conflicts. During Yemen’s 1962-70 civil war, sparked by a military coup that overthrew Yemen’s royalist government, Saudi Arabia supported the royalists against the Egyptian-backed government.

When civil war erupted again in 1994, it was widely believed that the Saudis sided with southern secessionist rebels against the central government.

A security official told Saudi Arabia’s state news agency that the soldier died when gunmen infiltrated from Yemen and attacked security guards patrolling the Mount Dokhan border area Tuesday. Rebels said that area was among the bombing targets Thursday.

The Gulf Cooperation Council, the region’s main diplomatic forum, condemned what it called the "violation and infiltration" of Saudi Arabia’s borders. "Saudi Arabia is capable of protecting its lands," it warned in a statement.

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Nasrawi reported from Cairo. Associated Press Writers Omar Sinan and Ben Hubbard in Cairo and Pamela Hess in Washington contributed to this report.