What Congress Should Ask McChrystal (Updated)

What Congress Should Ask McChrystal (Updated)

By Noah Shachtman Email Author

 

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Top American and International Security Assistance Force commander General Stanley McChrystal is getting set to testify before the Senate and the House this week. Here are some of the questions we’d ask, if we were Congresscritters. Tack on your own questions in the comments.

* You’ve said the primary mission of ISAF forces should be to secure the population. So why are 9,000 of the 30,000 surge troops headed to largely rural Helmand province? Why are Marines now assaulting thelargely abandoned city of Now Zad?

* Counterinsurgencies are most successful when troops live among the population. Remind me: How many ISAF troops are currently stationed at the giant military bases at Kandahar and Bagram Air Fields?

* You’ve said that training the Afghan army and police is now the primary mission there. So why are you devoting only one of the surge brigades to that task?

* What good are more cops and soldiers, if the government that controls them is still corrupt?

* Your boss, General David Petraeus, described Afghanistan and Pakistan as a “single theater” of war. How often do you work with the American officials conducting the war on the Pakistani side?

* You’ve been able to reduce civilian casualties by severely restricting air strikes. But that’s also put ISAF forces at risk. Have any troops been hurt or killed as a result of lack of air support?

* Despite your rules on air strikes, there have been several instances of ISAF bombing runs killing large numbers of civilians. What are the results of the investigations into the September 4th air strikes on Kunduz? The November 6th air strike in Baghdis province?

* Do you expect the rules of engagement for air strikes to change, with the escalation of the war?

* By some estimates, as many as 1,000 320 civilians have been killed by American air strikes in Pakistan. Should your rules of engagement be applied to Pakistan, too?

* In your tactical guidance, you told ground commanders to consider retreating, rather than fire into populated compounds. How often has that happened?

* In your August assessment, you stressed the need for ISAF troops to learn Afghanistan’s local culture. How many troops currently speak more than 10 words of Pashto or Urdu?

* Fuel can cost the military as much as $400 per gallon in Afghanistan, after all the logistical costs are added in. What’s being done to reduce those logistical costs — or our troops’ reliance on fuel?

* The current offensive in Helmand province is named “Cobra’s Anger.” Will other operations have such awesome monikers? Will they also evoke Saturday morning cartoons? May we suggest “Decepticon Fury?”

UPDATE: Spencer Ackerman wants to know “which population centers will we secure, and which areas will we neglect? What’s the measurement? And how do we mitigate against insurgents taking hold in the places we’re not going?” Adam Serwer wants to know what’s up with the black jail at Bagram.

Josh Foust weighs in with some doozies, including perhaps the most important question of all: “Tell me how this ends. What’s your idea end-state? What is an unacceptable end state? At what point do you think the costs of our continued involvement outweigh any potential or actual benefits we can get?”

* Given the many problems with ANA and ANP training, retention, and operational capacity, how will you balance an accelerated force expansion with training requirements?

* Today, Admiral Stavridis suggested Iraq, the Balkans, and Central America as models for Afghanistan. Is a half-dysfunctional narco-state with an active terrorist movement really the best we can hope for?

* Why is the North being conceded? Why is religious language being invoked (”going after the Taliban’s religious center”) when discussing escalation in Kandahar? Do you find that problematic?

* Do you see a danger in the war in the south morphing from a counterinsurgency to a counternarcotics war? Why should our soldiers fight and die to clear some poppy fields? Do you think the public would support the war if it looks like it is focusing on opium-rich areas and ignoring Taliban-rich areas like Kunduz, Paktika, and Kunar?

* How does this escalation put pressure on the militias operating in Pakistan?

Iran powerless to stop revolution by proxy

Iran powerless to stop revolution by proxy

By Alec Robinson

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Protests, violent clashes and government crackdowns are now regular events (AFP: Ali Safari )

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Illegal satellite dishes are set up on a roof in the Iranian capital of Tehran. (ABC News)

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A police van with darkened windows is parked on a footpath in Tehran. (ABC News)

Six months on from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s disputed election victory, reports of gunfire and beatings are still coming out of Tehran almost weekly.

In the past 24 hours there have been reports shots have been fired in Tehran, as security forces have yet again clashed with student protesters.

In an attempt to prevent the protesters from getting organised, the government has been shutting down communication lines, but it seems to be making little difference.

Before Iran’s disputed elections this year, publicly criticising the leaders of the country was almost impossible, but there was a chink in the Government’s armour that’s now being exploited.

Despite the deliberate daily intimidation, of police vans and armed guards constantly lurking the streets, the Iranians were already perfecting ways of getting their message out.

Now that protests, violent clashes and government crackdowns are regular events, those methods are helping the young Iranians organise protests and fight on the propaganda front.

Early hints of quiet opposition

"You can find me on Facebook," a man called Mehdi told me last year. I’d met him in the desert town of Yazd in central Iran and, in the typically hospitable nature of all Persians, he’d helped me translate the Farsi writing on my bus ticket.

"I thought those [social networking] sites were banned in Iran?" I said.

"Yes, but you can still view it through a proxy site. It means the government cannot see that you are looking at a banned site."

I asked him to show me what he meant, so we went to his work and he fired up a computer.

Mehdi showed me a number of different internet sites where you view a site within the site – hiding what you’re really looking at.

He even confidently typed "Iran’s nuclear installation sites" into a search engine within a fake websites and up popped a satellite map of reported nuclear sites. I found out that the young Persians also use these sites to download illegal Farsi rap which is critical of the President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

All over Iran, students are using these proxy websites and servers to send images of the protests to the outside world and keep in touch with one another.

Early this morning I spoke to a 21-year-old Tehran University student, Ashraf.

Ashraf confirmed the reports that the government has shut down the mobile phone network and blocked access to political sites and satellite television.

Satellite TV was already illegal in Iran, but in another daily act of defiance most rooftops have makeshift dishes propped up by bricks. Police occasionally raid homes and apartment blocks, confiscate the dishes and fine the owners, who then go out and put up a new one and keep watching.

Ashraf says the government has now found ways of blocking the satellite signals.

He says now all the channels, including BBC Persia, the US-sponsored Voice of America, and others including Arabic movie channels, just don’t work any more. So the only option is to watch state-controlled media.

Songs of protest

The blocks on mobile phones and political websites have not stopped Ashraf and others like him from seeking free information online. He and others have also been editing together images of the protests and uploading them to the internet, complete with rousing Persian soundtracks.

One of these clips is set to a song called Rahe Rahayie, or Salvation Way. Loosely translated, the lyrics run: "Our country is good, the weakness of our enemy is good and it’s good to lose our life for freedom."

This is exactly the kind of dissident message the Iranian government wants to shut down, but there’s a problem.

While we were speaking, Ashraf showed me another way they get around the blocks on political websites. We both logged onto an online networking and file-sharing site.

"Here. Open this link," said Ashraf as he transferred me the address of a website in support of the Opposition leader Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

"It’s all in Farsi," I said. "What should I be looking for?"

"Nevermind. Just click on the sharing icon next to my name. Can you see it? Now select the ‘share full-screen’ option."

I clicked on the option and Ashraf was able to view my computer screen and navigate through the site, reading messages for Opposition supporters.

Ashraf was using my computer in Sydney to find out information about what was going on in his country, but which the Iranian government had blocked.

In July, New York-based internet expert Professor Clay Shirky told the ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program that shutting down infrastructure like the internet could not be sustained by the Iranian government.

"What this class of dissidents has done is not just discomfort the government locally," he said. "It’s given them a kind of political auto-immune disease in which they have to attack their own infrastructure to shut the dissent down.

"But that class of attack can’t be sustained for weeks, much less months. No advanced economy can survive the wholesale shutdown of its communications function and survive over the long haul."

That prediction by Professor Shirky has proven to be the chink in Mr Ahmadinejad’s armour.

By targeting the political websites the government avoids a "wholesale shutdown" of the country’s internet access.

At the same time it allows the protesters to get around the bans, even if it means using a computer in Sydney to find out what’s happening in Tehran.

Death to the Middle Class

Death to the Middle Class

Fighting Delusion

http://www.delusionaldemocracy.com

The American middle class is an endangered species. It is being squeezed to death. Middle class Americans are being pushed against their will into the Lower Class. Such is the nature of all the trends in the American economy over many years, not just a consequence of the current Great Recession. This is happening as the rich and powerful Upper Class continues to enjoy their incredible wealth.
The current unemployment crisis will persist for many, many years. Together with a terrible housing market and continued mortgage foreclosures coupled with rising health care costs there is nothing but doom for millions of Americans who once thought of themselves as comfortably middle class, living the American dream. Their children surely are questioning their futures, especially because college graduates are now facing great trouble finding good jobs and anyone with an ounce of smarts knows that the enormous national debt spells higher taxes and lower benefits for the rest of the century.
Older Americans facing major losses in their savings and higher costs face precarious golden-turned-to-lead years, especially as they worry about reduced Medicare benefits and increasingly look for food banks and pantries to get some free food.
Absolutely nothing being done by Congress and President Obama is doing anything useful to save the middle class. Nothing will rebuild the once great manufacturing sector that offered good jobs and the route to middle class comfort and security. And professional jobs requiring college degrees will continue to be outsourced to lower cost educated people in many foreign countries. All that is left for the majority of Americans are low pay jobs in the retail and service sectors. For the lucky few there are jobs in government and health care, but the odds are thousands to one against getting good ones.
In years past people could borrow money outright, use credit cards and use their homes to get loans and offset the lower economic status from good paying jobs, but those days are gone. You hear a lot about people saving more, but that is desperation and also means lower consumer spending that keeps the economy depressed and means still less jobs.
Sound bad? You better believe it. Connect all the dots and what you should understand is that the political system has become a willing partner in a class war of the rich and powerful against the middle class. All we have is misrepresentatives in Congress who, like those in the Executive Branch, are primarily serving the interests of the Upper Class which provides the money to keep them in office.
Welcome to the delusional democracy where even delusional prosperity is gone. And smart people know that they cannot vote the nation out of this misery, not as long as the corrupt two-party plutocracy maintains its iron grip on our political system and government. There must be some way out of this, you think. Think again. Take a serious look at the materials at the website of Friends of the Article V Convention foavc.org and the goal of using what the Constitution offers as the way out. Join our group and help us make Congress obey the Constitution. Because Congress will never truly reform the political system, but a convention of state delegates could. At least it’s worth trying rather than sticking with the status quo.

Musharraf Barred Pak Army Troops from American-Occupied Predator Base at Jacobabad

Army stopped from entering Jacobabad airbase: Gen Shahid

Musharraf obliged US without informing corps commanders; Former CGS talks to Hamid Mir in Capital Talk of Geo News

ISLAMABAD: Former chief of General Staff (CGS) Lt-Gen (retd) Shahid Aziz has said he, along with other senior Army officers, opposed to give Pakistan’s airbases to the US but the then president and chief of Army Staff Pervez Musharraf did it without informing his corps commanders.

Former CGS and former chairman of the NAB Shahid Aziz made this revelation while talking to Hamid Mir in Geo TV’s show “Capital Talk” on Monday night.

He said the Pakistani troops were moved from Quetta to Jacobabad for taking control of the local airbase, but “we were surprised when our troops informed us that the US Army had not allowed them to enter the Jacobabad airbase.” He said that after sometime, he came to know privately from a PAF officer that the US had also taken over the Pasni airbase and as the CGS, he was not aware of all these developments.

Shahid Aziz said Pervez Musharraf took most of the sensitive decisions without informing his corps commanders.

Responding to a question, he said Pakistan never benefited from the US presence in Afghanistan. In fact, India is using Afghanistan to destabilise Pakistan and this is happening under the nose of the US troops in Afghanistan, he said, adding Pakistan must say goodbye to the US war on terror now.

He admitted that Pervez Musharraf, his COS Hamid Javaid and Tariq Aziz forced him to close down the investigations against Benazir Bhutto and when he refused to implement the orders, he was asked to resign from the NAB chairmanship in July 2007. He said Musharraf was also responsible for facilitating many criminals through the NRO and he would definitely provide evidence against Musharraf in any court of law, if summoned.

Former interior minister Faisal Saleh Hayat also agreed that Pakistan must keep its distance from the US in the so-called war on terrorism. He claimed that India and Israel were involved in sponsoring terrorism in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Dictator Must Stand Trial, So Must America’s

MPs demand Musharraf’s trial for Bugti murder

Call for amnesty, withdrawal of forces

By Asim Yasin and Muhammad Anis

ISLAMABAD: As the joint sitting of parliament started debate on the pros and cons of Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package, voices were raised for giving amnesty to Baloch leaders: both in and out of the country, trial of Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf for assassinating Nawab Akbar Bugti and complete withdrawal of the Army as well as the Frontier Constabulary from Balochistan as part of the confidence-building measures.

On the first day of three-day session, though no one rejected the package outright, doubts were expressed about its implementation. The session was marked by lack of interest in the debate and only a few parliamentarians were present in the house when it was adjourned. A majority of parliamentarians left the house as soon as Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani left the parliament house.

Opposition Leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who initiated the debate on the Balochistan package, observed it was not sufficient to address grievances of the Baloch people. He said it was good to note that the government, soon after assuming power, apologised to the people of Balochistan for past injustices and promised to come up with a comprehensive package but their expectations turned into disappointment when the package was announced. “The package has been rejected by the Balochistan governor and the chief minister, who belongs to the PPP, has also uttered no word in favour of the package,” he said. He said the PML-N would extend its full support to the government on the Balochistan package if all the stakeholders in the province accepted it.

Nisar demanded of the government to immediately register an FIR against Gen (retd) Pervez

Musharraf under Section 302 for murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti if it was sincere in healing the wounds of the Baloch people. “The people of Balochistan demand that the killers of Nawab Akbar Bugti, Lala Munir and other Baloch leaders be punished,” he said.

He said the federal government should have taken all stakeholders, including those Balochistan leaders who are outside the country into confidence. “If the government wants to save the country, it will have to tolerate the harsh language and attitude of the Baloch leaders,” he said.

Nisar suggested the government should announce amnesty for all Baloch leaders and workers and it should not restrict itself to the limits set by the Army and agencies. He also proposed setting up of a delegation of parliamentarians who should communicate with the angry Baloch leadership, currently outside the country. “The government should establish contact with them and they should be brought into the national mainstream,” he said.

The PML-N leader criticised Interior Minister Rehman Malik for saying that he would resign if any evidence of presence of Blackwater in the country was produced. “Who is working with different names and titles and have hired so many houses in Islamabad? They are present in every nook and corner of the country,” he said.

The opposition leader regretted neither any inquiry was held so far about the presence of Blackwater in Islamabad nor parliament was taken into confidence. Chairman of the parliamentary committee on Balochistan Mian Raza Rabbani commended the opposition leader for wholeheartedly supporting the government in implementing the Balochistan package.

He said the government would welcome suggestions from parliamentarians to fine-tune the package. He said the government is serious in implementing the package to ensure rapid socioeconomic and political development of the province.

Senator Hasil Bizenjo said this package would not fill the trust gap. “Our trust has been being breached for decades since the creation of Pakistan,” he said. Bizenjo went a step ahead of Shahid Bugti and said it was not Musharraf alone who was responsible for the murder of Nawab Bugti; rather the Army as an institution was responsible for his murder. “If the government is helpless in bringing Musharraf back, it should try other officers who are present in Pakistan,” he demanded.

Expressing doubts over the government’s ability to implement the package, he said a government, which could not change a single Army officer, could not be expected to give Balochistan its due rights. Bizenjo warned the government that the Baloch people were very sensitive about any demographic changes in their province and demanded that non-Baloch should be prohibited from getting Balochistan identity or buying property there.

He said it is strange while former interior minister Aftab Sherpao has put the missing persons figure at 4,000, Rehman Malik says only 1,100 people were missing. He said if the government was really sincere in investigations it should investigate the loot of land in Gwadar. “The prime minister should announce the cancellation of land purchases, take this land into the government control and we will support it,” he said.

He said they support a strong federation but not at the cost of their rights. “The concept of a strong federation has brought us to this point. If we give the provinces their rights it will strengthen Pakistan,” he said.

Senator Shahid Bugti of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) said: “After Akbar Bugti was killed, Pervez Musharraf praised his men by saying: well done boys.” He said since an FIR against Pervez Musharraf had been registered for killing Akbar Bugti, there was no need of constituting any inquiry commission.

The Baloch parliamentarian said since independence the Baloch people were never accepted as Pakistanis and every effort was made to marginalise them. “Had Musharraf succeeded in his nefarious designs, the Baloch people would have been living like Red Indians,” he said.

He said during Musharraf’s tenure, thousands of Baloch people were picked up and they are still missing. He said he was not blaming the Army as the military men had to obey orders of their officers. He said in the package it had been mentioned that cases would be withdrawn against Baloch leaders and workers except those who are involved in heinous crimes. “Who will draw the line between heinous and petty crimes?” he asked. He said some false cases of rocket firing were registered against innocent people during Musharraf’s tenure.

Shahid Bugti said it was wrong to dub struggle for rights as terrorism, saying he totally rejects this notion. He said the government has admitted that the military operations were still continuing in Balochistan. He said not only the Army, but the Frontier Constabulary (FC) should also be withdrawn from the province. “The FC is the root cause of all problems in Sui, Dera Bugti and other parts of Balochistan,” he said.

Moulvi Asmatullah said sincere efforts were not made in the past to resolve the Balochistan problem on a permanent basis. He was of the view the issue can be settled by giving due weightage to area in distribution of resources under the NFC award to ensure development of the province. He believed that release of political workers and recovery of missing persons was necessary to create an atmosphere conducive for political dialogue.

Mir Ahmadan Khan Bugti proposed that the National Assembly should have one seat each from every district of Balochistan so that the province could get proper attention during formation of the government.

He appreciated creation of 5,000 vacancies in the province but wanted more efforts to reduce poverty and unemployment. He said no military operation was being conducted in Dera Bugti. He, however, said the law-enforcement agencies have the right to defend themselves if targeted. He demanded that private jails in the province should be eliminated.

Minister for postal services Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri said the package contains a number of good things and welcomed the announcement of the government that it was not an alternative to provincial autonomy.

He demanded that cases against all political prisoners should be withdrawn and they should be released irrespective of charges against them. He hoped commitments made with regard to abolition of check-posts and conversion of B-Areas into A-Areas would be translated into reality.

He said there was some opposition to development of Gwadar as the local people fear that they might be turned into minority if labour was brought from other provinces. Surrayya Amiruddin congratulated the government for presenting a comprehensive package and said the rights of all those living in Balochistan, including settlers and Pashtuns, should also be safeguarded.

She said there was brain-drain from the province, especially from educational institutions, due to target killing of settlers. Haji Muhammad Adeel demanded that the provinces should be given more autonomy and the centre should keep only four subjects: defence, foreign affairs, currency and communications. He hoped Balochistan would get its due share of gas development surcharge under the new NFC award.

He said the military operation in some areas of the NWFP and Fata was for a just cause but operation was unnecessarily launched in Balochistan in the past. Tahira Aurangzeb urged all political leaders to visit Balochistan and enter into political dialogue with the tribal leaders. She demanded that the lives of the people of Balochistan should be protected and they should be brought into the national mainstream.

Rehana Yahya demanded that the people of Balochistan should be given control over the natural resources of province. She said the problem should be resolved through political means and rights of the province be safeguarded. She said the province needs more resources for development of its primitive infrastructure.

APP adds: The joint sitting also offered Fateha for the victims of Rawalpindi and Peshawar blasts. At the start of the joint session, Minister for Labour and Manpower Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah asked for offering Fateha for the blasts victims.

War Upon Pak Legal System Coincides with NRO Revelations–Coincidence?

[Court bombings and recent attempt on Chief Justice's life, coinciding with NRO revelations, testimony that someone wants to disrupt whatever is running through the Court System right now.  It is not the militants who defrauded the state in this matter, but the politicians and the bureaucrats.  Convincing evidence of links between them and the bombers, don't you think?]

11 die in suicide attack outside Peshawar court

By Javed Aziz Khan

PESHAWAR: Eleven people, including two policemen, were killed and 45 others sustained injuries when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance of the sessions courts here on Monday.

The attack was second of its kind outside the court buildings in less than three weeks. Earlier, a suicide bomber attacked the Judicial Complex on Khyber Road on Nov 19, killing 21 people, including policemen, and injuring 52 others.

The site of the Monday blast is next to the MPAs Hostel and opposite the Home Department building. It is in close proximity to the Governor House, the Peshawar Museum, the Civil Secretariat and the Central Prison. Windowpanes of the nearby buildings were smashed by the impact of the explosion.

Heavy police contingents cordoned off the site and traffic was diverted from Sher Shah Suri Road to the Railway Road immediately after the incident. Those coming to enquire about their relatives and those stranded on the court premises were not allowed to come close to the site following reports that there were threats of another attack. An eyewitness, Ashfaq Ahmad, told The News that a boy aged 16 or 17 came in an auto-rickshaw (registration number 7848) and rushed towards the sessions courts building around 12:30 pm.

“When a policeman challenged him to stop outside the gate, he detonated the explosives fastened on his body, causing a huge blast. The next moment there was nothing else but mutilated and burnt bodies and people lying in a pool of blood and crying for help,” recalled a visibly shaken, Ashfaq.

The dead were identified as assistant sub-inspector (ASI) police Rahimullah Jan, head constable Muhammad Naseer, who was a player of the NWFP Police cricket team, Irshad, Iftikhar Ahmad, Hussain Khan, Salman, Nauroz Khan, Sikandar Khan and Nadir Khan. The 11th was apparently the suicide bomber, though official handouts reported the death of 11 people in the attack.

At least 36 wounded people were taken to the Lady Reading Hospital, where emergency was declared. Doctors from other wards also rushed to the Emergency Department to treat the injured. Hundreds of people gathered outside the hospital to donate blood. Four of the injured were said to be in critical condition.

Horrible scenes were witnessed at the bombing site after the blast. Bodies and those critically-injured were seen lying all over the place on the Sher Shah Suri Road and inside the court building.

“Some cops were panicked by the blast. When I ran towards my car, they opened fire. Others pushed me back to the court building where a large number of people were already stranded due to the security arrangements for ministers, who were paying ‘useless’ visits to the blast site,” complained another eyewitness, Naseer Khan.

The blast also triggered a fire that engulfed several vehicles parked outside the court building. Ten cars and two auto-rickshaws were destroyed or partially damaged in fire. The car of this correspondent parked outside the court building was also slightly damaged in the blast.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of the bomb disposal unit Tanveer Ahmad estimated that six to seven kilogrammes of explosives were used in the attack. “It was a suicide attack. Apart from explosives, a large number of ball bearings and bolts were used to cause maximum damage,” the official added.

NWFP Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour, while visiting the blast site and later enquiring after the health of the injured, said neither the US nor the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, were involved in these attacks.

“The attacks are being carried out by terrorists who are killing our children. Our generals are also being killed but Almighty Allah is with us and we will fight the terrorists. We will even sacrifice our lives for the defence of Pakistan,” the ruling ANP leader said.

NWFP Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti, Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain and Sports Minister Syed Aqil Shah also paid visits to the LRH to enquire after the health of the victims and attended the Namaz-e-Janaza of the two slain cops at the Police Lines.

The city police were already on alert after intelligence reports that three explosives-laden vehicles had been sent to carry out attacks in the city.Saddar Bazaar and parts of the old inner city remained sealed for a day but security was later relaxed keeping in view the problems being faced by the public.

“The police deployed at the entrance to the sessions courts building had been conveyed intelligence reports a couple of days back. The brave cops on duty had stated that they were ready to face any terrorist and would continue to perform their duty to protect the public,” a court official recalled a cop on the main gate telling him three days back. He added that the cops didn’t allow the suicide bomber to enter the court building and cause large-scale destruction.

Meanwhile, the United States Embassy in Pakistan, in a press release, condemned the bombing. “This vicious attack was yet another attack on the democratic institutions of Pakistan and the rule of law. We express our deep condolences to the victims’ families and pray for a speedy recovery of all those injured,” the statement added.

APP adds from Islamabad/Lahore: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani have strongly condemned the bomb blast in Peshawar.

In their separate messages, the president and the prime minister said such incidents of cowardice would not deter the government’s resolve to fight terrorism. They prayed to Almighty Allah to rest the departed souls in eternal peace and grant courage to the bereaved families to bear the loss with equanimity. Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar and Patron-in-Chief of Tehrik Minhajul Qur’aan Dr Muhammad Tahirul Qadri also condemned the blast.

Qadiani Savior of Pakistan Promises to End Terror in Few Hours

[Does the next would-be Musharraf propose to end terrorism with more violence, or a simple phone call to its perpetrators?  Pakistanis would be wisely warned if they remembered the deeds of last May in Karachi.  SEE: Eyewitness: Karachi
AND THIS: Comments

AND THIS: Waging War Upon Ourselves]

MQM to wipe out terrorism if came into power: Altaf


LONDON: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Tuesday said that his party could eliminate the terrorists in just few hours with the support of people.

Speaking at the rallies taken out by the MQM workers in different cities, including Karachi, Hyderabad and Lahore, he said that if MQM came into power, it would wipe out the militants in just few hours.

“MQM is the only hope to defend Pakistan. MQM and Altaf Hussain will save the country,” he said.

Hussain also expressed solidarity with the people of Punjab over Moon market blasts, which killed dozens of innocent people, including women and children.

“We have to face the challenge of terrorism with courage and bravery,” Altaf vowed.

The MQM chief said terrorists are the enemies of Pakistan and offering prayers led by Ulema supporting the terrorists was also ‘haram’.

He said we should not look toward security agencies only for the security of country. It is the duty of every Pakistani to think against the militancy.

Was India’s Nuke Test Data Falsified?

A careful, in-depth study, of Graphs 4 and 1 of Ramachandran’s September 25, Frontline article “Pokhran Row” reveals:

a) Graph 4 is titled: “Gamma-Ray Spectrum of a Typical Sample of a (H-bomb) Thermonuclear Test”—not of the specific H-bomb test conducted on May 11, 1998!

b) The vertical ‘Y’ axis of Graph 4 is merely titled “Counts”

c) There are no numbers at all on the ‘Y’ axis of both Graphs.

Serious mistakes of physics have been committed here

i) (b) and (c) are appalling; no professional scientist would commit such blunders, unless it has been deliberately done. ‘Counts’ have to be converted into Disintegrations through calibration of the Gamma Ray Sensors to take due account of the sensor efficiency across a fairly wide range of gamma ray energy values to get any meaningful, let alone accurate, results. Moreover, as the error margin goes as the square root of the counts/disintegrations the error margins would be very high; how high were they? No indications at all!!

ii) Graph 1 does not indicate the range of depths involved of the samples derived from the post-test molten core mass. Furthermore, the ratio of the Manganese isotope 54 (Mn54) to Cerium isotope 144 (Ce144) is seen to fluctuate wildly in the case of Test ‘A’ viz. the H-bomb test—and very much more so than in the case of Test ‘B’—which is the Atomic Bomb test. There is no valid nuclear physics reason for the former—i.e. the H-bomb test’s massive fluctuations other than the H-bomb detonation having been so marginal that, what should have been a pure “nuclear melt”, was actually, so seriously contaminated by its surrounding rock and earth, that a truly large and pure melt from an H-bomb of 45 kilo tons yield, as claimed by Chidambaram, was just not achieved! This argument is strengthened by the fact that the fluctuations in the case of the A-bomb on the same Graph 1 are far far less because the A-bomb not only worked but worked perfectly with a substantial yield of 25 kilo tons of TNT explosive equivalent and creating a crater 25 metres in diameter and 20 metres deep!!!

The Manganese: Cerium ratio is stated by Ramachandran to have been normalised to 1 in the fission device. Since the Y-axis in Graph 1 is a ratio, and is shown to be linear i.e. a straight line, the value on that axis for the Mn54: Ce144 ratio is only a factor of 2 i.e. only double in the H-bomb test as compared to that in the A-bomb case. Yet, at his September 24 press conference in Mumbai (see The Hindu, September 25, p. 12), Chidambaram stated: “In the Manganese-54: Cerium-144 yield ratios from the samples taken from the two test sites—A-bomb and H-bomb—this ratio for the thermonuclear (H-bomb) test samples is seen as a high multiple of the ratio for the fission (A-bomb) test samples.”!! How could he say so when, as we have shown, the ratio is only two times? Two times cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be termed “a high multiple” i.e. 8, 10 or 20 times!! Graph 1 does not indicate this AT ALL!! Moreover, there are no numbers on the Y-axis of both Graphs! Graph 1 is merely titled “Ratios of yields of Manganese 54 and Cerium 144 in Fission (A-bomb) and Thermo-nuclear (H-bomb) explosions undertaken on May 11, 1998”. What is more, the above referred to observations cannot be lightly disposed off as being “for reasons of Non-Proliferation objectives”, as Chidambaram unsuccessfully and incredibly tries to in his press conference! They do not reveal any details of the design of either the H or A-bombs and so Chidambaram cannot use the totally unwarranted “secrecy trick” to hide a major technical failure!! Any nuclear phycist worth his salt, who has really and objectively measured the radioactive samples’ Gamma Ray Spectrum, will very strongly question Chidambaram’s claims at the press conference as we do, strongly and categorically. So, the harsh, cold facts presented by AP and KS in their article: “Pokhran II Thermonuclear Device (H-bomb) Failed: BARC must learn to Tell the Truth” in the September 17 issue of The Hindu [reproduced in Mainstream (September 26, 2009)], remain totally valid.

To come now to Graph 4 in Ramachandran’s article. The Graph, in two halves, depicts the Gamma Ray spectra obtained from a sample taken from the 1 at the Pokhran Test Site in which the H-bomb was detonated, A Gamma Ray spectrum from a nuclear device/bomb sample, allegedly generated by an equipment called a Multi-channel Analyser, is shown in the two halves, but the Scale in “Counts” on the vertical ‘Y’ axis has no numbers on it! This causes serious doubts regarding the very veracity of Graph 4 as a whole!! The radioactives Isotopes are marked DAE/BARC claim that this “spectrum” shows the Manganese 54 (Mn54) isotope and sodium 22 (Na22) isotope which are those produced by the H-bomb neutrons. However, the corresponding Gamma Ray lines from Shaft 2 in which the A-bomb was detonated is not shown! Why? Did the Gamma Ray Lines of Mn54 in that spectrum, give a very different picture? The answer to that key question is crucial to sustain the DAE/BARC arguments and contentions. Or is DAE/BARC again hiding something crucial here, as they have done earlier? If not, why is this information not being made public?! What appears in that spectrum is a very important piece of information—but it is denied to the reader! Why?

This detailed analysis apart, Ramachandran’s article states (see second para, column two, page 24): “Graph 4 shows gamma radiation peaks due to fission and neutron activation products, which are much higher in the case of the TN sample than in the case of pure fission samples.” How can Ramachandran so conclude when there are no numbers even of ‘Counts’ on vertical ‘Y’ axis of Graph 4 and it also does not indicate which half of Graph 4—top or bottom—shows fission test gamma counts and which fusion ones!! Why would the latter do that? See later.

How does all this happen? Simple, Graphs 4 and 1 have nothing to do with any aspect of the Pokhran-II tests at all, let alone of the H-bomb device. They have been lifted from totally different sources, contexts and places, if not totally fabricated! How does one come to this appalling conclusion? Because: (a) there are no numbers on the ‘Y’ axis of both Graphs; (b) all the other Graphs in Ramachandran’s article have specific numbers on vertical ‘Y’ axis as also site, date and technical specificities. Graphs 4 and 1 are the Only ones that do not! Finally, as highlighted at the beginning of this article, Graph 4 is titled “Gamma-ray spectrum of a typical sample thermonuclear test”. It does not say it is of the H-bomb test of Pokhran-II detonated on May 11, 1998, as ALL the other Graphs do!! The reader can come to his own conclusions!!

P.K. Iyengar is a former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission; Director, BARC; Deputy to Ramanna in the Pokhran-I (P-I) test of May 18, 1974 and an internationally renowned nuclear weapons expert. Ashok Parthasarathi is a former S&T Adviser to late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and one who was deeply involved in P-I. K. Santhanam is a former Chief Adviser (Technologies) and Special Secretary, Defence R&D Organisation; and Programme Director, Pokhran-II of 1998.

Wacky War Solutions–Afghan Victory Through Trancendental Meditation

[Ommmmmmm.......  More of the wacky "Men Who Stare At Goats" warrior philosophy coming from the First Earth Battalion guys at Special Forces.  This is evidence of the influence of one of the original "Warrior Monks" from First Earth, Col. John Alexander, who is an advisor over at Joint Special Operations University.  Either the US military has gone completely over the deep edge in this super-soldiers program, or they have info that the rest of us don't have, which wouldn't be surprising, considering that they have been at the world's cutting-edge in brain research, particularly in relation to electromagnetic radiation.]

image

Enlightenment to Every Individual, Invinciblity to Every Nation

The Perfect Military Intervention in Afghanistan

By Dr. Kurt Kleinschnitz and Dr. David Leffler

“We are in Afghanistan to prevent a cancer from once again spreading through that country. But this same cancer has also taken root in the border region of Pakistan. That is why we need a strategy that works on both sides of the border.” — United States President Barack Obama, speech at US Military Academy at West Point, December 1, 2009

A scientifically tested, immediate military solution to the Afghanistan conflict is now available that will work on both sides of the border and throughout the Middle East, thereby fulfilling President Obama’s greatest hopes for the region.

Before we describe this solution, first consider the question, “What would be a satisfactory set of outcomes in this conflict?” Five sets of interests need to be considered: those of 1) the US and the Western alliance; 2) the Afghani rulers; 3) the Afghani opposition; 4) the Afghani people; and 5) Afghanistan’s neighbors. These interests appear to be very difficult to reconcile.

President Obama wants to withdraw from Afghanistan 18 months after sending 30,000 additional U.S. troops there because the costs to the US and the West are unsustainable. The purpose of the US and Western participation is principally to deny terrorists a haven in Afghanistan. The US and West, upon their departure, wish to leave behind a stable government, a growing economy, improved quality of life, less extremism, a government sensitive to and able to resist foreign meddling, and a reduced drug trade. They do not want a civil war, a takeover of Afghanistan by its neighbors, a flood of refugees, or a never-ending tale of woe.

Islamist extremists may well be happy to see the US and Western militaries bogged down in an expensive, endless conflict in Afghanistan. In this situation, extremists have increased freedom to pursue their own objectives without fear of attack — a reasonable course of action from their perspective, given the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq, formerly the strongest military nation in the Islamic world. Thus, the Afghanistan conflict represents for these groups an opportunity to blunt and defeat any further Western attempt to defeat Islamist extremism through military means.

The government and its opposition are in a struggle for power and advantage. Corruption, drugs, and the enormous sums of money expended in the conflict further exacerbate this struggle. The opposition seizes whatever measures available for its own advantage, including fanning the flames of extremism, so worrisome to the US and the West.

Thus, the Afghanistan situation appears to be intractable. These competing interests illustrate the thorny problems faced on the ground: as long as any party to the conflict is not satisfied, its members have the power to continue the conflict. In the confusion and incoherence in Afghanistan, there seems to be no vision of “victory” and no path to attain it.

It may be a surprise to military leaders, then, to hear that a scientifically validated military solution to the Afghanistan conflict exists. The Afghanistan conflict, in fact, provides an ideal arena to demonstrate the efficacy of this new approach — which can be implemented in a few months, not years. The solution is very inexpensive — less than 1% of the amounts currently being spent. Moreover, it is humane — once it is applied, all parties to the conflict find their interests are being fulfilled.

At the core of this proven military solution is the establishment and deployment of a “Prevention Wing” of the military, in which a large cadre of military personnel or contractors is trained to create coherence in the “collective consciousness” of a nation through the application of specific, field-tested technologies of consciousness. The “fog of war,” the incoherence created by the deep-seated religious, political, and ethnic tensions that fuel conflict, is itself the enemy. A Prevention Wing dissipates this confusion and incoherence by boosting coherence in the collective consciousness of the nation — and if the Prevention Wing is sufficiently large, these effects spread to the surrounding region as well.

Basic training for the Prevention Wing cadre is instruction in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program, the most extensively studied practice of meditation in the world today, as well as instruction in the advanced applications of this program. The cadre would assemble twice daily to practice these technologies of consciousness, which create profound brainwave coherence in the individual, as verified in studies of EEG and biochemistry. As shown in over 50 replications and 23 published studies, this effect of coherence radiates from the group out into society and creates a measurable influence of order and positivity in social trends. This phenomenon is known to science as the “Maharishi Effect” in honor of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the technology and the first to predict its impact in society. As these studies show, war violence drops dramatically only days after deploying a coherence-creating group practicing this technology. For example, during the Lebanon war, seven independent replications confirmed that war intensity, war casualties, war injuries all declined precipitously through the application of this human resource-based approach to peace.

In addition to its impact on war, this technology also influences many other measures of social well-being. Indicators of order in society improve, including the economy (reduced inflation, increased valuation of businesses, etc.), creativity (more patents), and intelligence (degrees conferred, etc.). Indicators of disorder decrease dramatically, including crime rates, disease rates, accident rates, etc.

The technology has been successfully deployed in hotspot nations around the world. Joachim Chissano, former President of Mozambique, credits this technology with ending approximately 30 years of conflict in his nation. “First,” he said, “I started the practice of Transcendental Meditation myself, [and] then introduced the practice to my close family, my cabinet of ministers, my government officers, and my military.” Once a Prevention Wing of the military had been established, he was very impressed with the aftereffects: “The result has been political peace and balance in Nature in my country,” he said.

For the Afghanistan situation, characterized by significant turbulence and influenced by neighbors on every side, a group large enough to create an influence throughout the entire region will be required. For the US, with a population of 300 million, a group of 1,750 is predicted to produce the necessary impact. For the populations of Afghanistan (28 million), Pakistan (180 million), Iran (74 million), and the whole region, a similar-size group will be necessary. To expand this peace-creating influence to the global population, only 8,250 trained experts would be sufficient to produce the desired impact.

There is ample space in the vicinity of Bagram Air Base to deploy the Prevention Wing onsite in Afghanistan. Peace-creating experts from many nations are available for prompt intervention until indigenous personnel can be trained. Alternatively, as shown by research, the group could be established in a nation adjacent to the conflict, where risks and costs would be significantly less.

The implementation of this program would create measurable effects in Afghanistan within three months — a reduction in hostilities, more civil discourse between political parties, improved quality of life in the nation, and greater progress towards peace.

We hope that President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief of the United States military, will examine this new approach, appreciate its merits, and implement it.

About the authors:

Dr. Kurt Kleinschnitz, a physicist and college professor, spent two decades in US Naval Aviation and its Naval Reserve. Dr. Kleinschnitz conducted a detailed review of all research on the Maharishi Effect, with special focus on the physical mechanism. He personally helped organize several of the large-scale research projects. He aids military organizations applying proven technologies of consciousness both to achieve mission-specific objectives and for heightened unit readiness.

Dr. David Leffler, a United States Air Force veteran, is the Executive Director of the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) http://www.StrongMilitary.org

ISI Relocates Within Peshawar

ISI Peshawar offices shifted

Tariq Khattak

Islamabad—Pakistan’s main intelligence agency has shifted its offices in Peshawar to another safe location following a deadly bombing last month.

A car bomber on November 13 hit the offices of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in the Peshawar cantonment area killing at least 12 people and injuring over four dozen including civilians and military personnel.

It was widely believed that Taliban insurgents were behind the bombing but some top police officials had openly blamed foreign elements.

The blast partially destroyed three-storey building of the premier agency that compelled the authorities to shift it from main Khyber Road to another location within the cantonment area.

Now the offices of ISI have been shifted to a safe house located at Artillery Road, an official informed.

He added that the offices of chief of ISI Maj. Gen. Sajjad Ali Khan Wazir and his deputy Brig. Hanif Khan have been shifted to the 11th Corps Head Quarter.

An official who avoided to disclose his identity, said that the explosive substance used in the bombing is not available in Pakistan. “It is only available with US army operational units in Afghanistan,” he added.

He also claimed that such material is also available with mercenaries of Black Water.

The security of the offices of Military Intelligence, Air Intelligence and Special Branch has already been enhanced by closing roads leading towards Shaheen camp and airport.

Military Police units have been deployed to safeguard these installations with the help of metal detectors, CCTVs and some other equipment. Boundary walls have also been fortified. A source said that Taliban and other militant groups consider Americans their enemy No. 1 but they are being ignored due to reasons best know to them. On the other hand, innocent are being slaughtered almost daily.

Hundreds of Americans are freely roaming in Peshawar and other cities like their own country, a concerned citizen said.

Militants Attack Traffic Checkpoint Near ISI in Multan, Spy Agency/Militants Maintain Fake War Drama

[In yet another incident of militants attack near ISI offices, but do not actually hit the militant-supporting spy agency.  In a replay of the last alleged attack upon the spy agency in Peshawar, militants opened fire on a nearby traffic checkpoint with rocket-propelled grenades, seemingly focused on the police block, rather than the building.  The same pattern, bombing checkpoints near ISI buildings,  was seen in the alleged attack upon ISI HQ in Lahore, in May.  This is exactly what is to be expected from a militant-supporting spy agency that is putting-on a fake war for American viewers.  Each time they do this, Western media screams "militants attack ISI," when all the people of Pakistan know it to be a lie.  Such is the nature of our war based on lies.]

Militants attacks Pakistan spy agency office, 9 dead

Asim Tanveer
MULTAN, Pakistan
Security officials survey the site of a suicide bomb attack in Multan December 8, 2009. Militants armed with rocket-propelled and hand grenades and a car bomb attacked an office of Pakistan's main security agency in the city of Multan on Tuesday killing nine people, officials said. REUTERS/Stringer

MULTAN, Pakistan (Reuters) – Militants armed with rocket-propelled and hand grenades and a car bomb attacked an office of Pakistan’s main security agency in the city of Multan on Tuesday killing nine people, officials said.

WORLD

The bomb attack in the eastern city was the third in Pakistan in two days and underscored the relentless security troubles facing the U.S. ally whose help is vital in efforts to stabilize neighboring Afghanistan.

The violence coincides with rising political tension with the Supreme Court hearing challenges to an amnesty order that could heap pressure on President Asif Ali Zardari.

Doubts are growing that Zardari can survive in the long term, let alone lead the fight against the al Qaeda-linked militants who have demonstrated time and again they can penetrate security on the approaches to sensitive buildings.

Top Multan city official Mohammad Ali Gardezi said body parts of two of the nine dead, believed to have been suicide attackers, were strewn over a road outside the office of the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency.

“Our security agencies were on alert and they didn’t let the attackers reach their target,” Gardezi told reporters, adding 47 people had been wounded.

Between two and four attackers fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a checkpost outside the ISI office, then threw hand grenades and set off their car bomb, police said.

The fronts of several homes by the checkpost were destroyed.

Pakistan’s military, once a staunch supporter of Afghan militants in their fight against Soviet occupation in the 1980s, now faces brazen Taliban insurgents on its own soil.

Northwestern Peshawar has suffered the most from retaliatory bombings that have killed hundreds of people since October, when the army launched an offensive in South Waziristan on the Afghan border, part of a region seen as a global militant hub.

But two bombs went off in a market in the eastern city of Lahore on Monday evening killing 49 people and wounding more than 100.

The attack in Multan will compound fears that the militants are pushing their campaign out of the northwest.

Pakistan’s main stock market index headed lower after the attack and was 1.92 percent down at 8,820.44 at 0958 GMT.

U.S. PRESSURE

Many of the militant attacks have been on the security forces, including the army headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi.

A suicide car-bomber killed 10 people in an attack on an ISI office in the northwestern city of Peshawar on November 13.

Pakistan’s priority is defeating the Taliban at home, but the task has been complicated by U.S. pressure to root out fighters who cross the border to Afghanistan to attack U.S. troops.

President Barack Obama sent a clear message to Pakistan last week in his speech outlining plans to send 30,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan. Pakistan, he said, must not allow its territory to be used as a sanctuary for militants.

In Islamabad, the Supreme Court continued a hearing into challenges to an amnesty decree which, if struck down, could spark a political crisis for embattled President Zardari.

The amnesty was introduced by former president Pervez Musharraf under a plan to bring Bhutto back from self-imposed exile under a power-sharing pact. Bhutto returned in October 2007, but she was assassinated just weeks later.

Zardari, the widower of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, cannot be prosecuted whatever the outcome of the case because of presidential immunity.

But criminal cases could be reopened against government officials, including the interior and defense ministers, if the court strikes down the decree.

(Additional reporting by Zeeshan Haider, Kamran Haider; Writing by Robert Birsel; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Hunger, family homelessness on rise in U.S. cities

Hunger, family homelessness on rise in U.S. cities

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Hunger is spreading while the number of homeless families is increasing as a result of the recession and other factors, according to a report on Tuesday.

U.S.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors said cities reported a 26 percent jump in demand for hunger assistance over the past year, the largest average increase since 1991.

Middle-class families as well as the uninsured, elderly, working poor and homeless increasingly looked for help with hunger, which was mainly fueled by unemployment, high housing costs and low wages.

The 2009 report is based on a survey of 27 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia and San Francisco, that comprise the group’s task force on hunger and homelessness.

Looking ahead to 2010, cities said they expect it will be difficult to meet increased demands for food due to the impact of state and local budget cuts, a decrease in grocery store donations and higher food costs.

Just over three-fourths of the cities reported a jump in homeless families due to the recession and lack of affordable housing. Individual homelessness, on the other hand, was level or down in 16 of the cities.

“This is an indication of the success of policies aimed at ending chronic homelessness among single adults with disabilities,” the report said.

Only 10 cities reported having so-called tent cities or other concentrations of the homeless.

Most of the cities in the survey received additional funding to combat hunger and homelessness from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“Cities are using (housing funds) to develop central intake systems for homeless services, coordinate services more closely with surrounding areas, or offer homeless prevention assistance for the first time,” the report said.

(Reporting by Karen Pierog; Editing by James Dalgleish)

The More They Get Attacked the More Open They Become

["The more they get attacked internally...the more open they may be...to us"? If this is not an admission of American complicity in the attacks, then it is at least wishing the terrorists success!]

US Ready to Expand Military Help for Pakistan

Al Pessin

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the United States welcomes Pakistan’s increased operations against militants in its autonomous tribal areas near the Afghan border, and offers as much assistance as the Pakistanis want.

Pakistani troops patrol on a hill top post in Ladha, a town in the troubled tribal region of South Waziristan along the Afghan border, 17 Nov 2009

“We are prepared to move ahead with that relationship and cooperation just as fast as they are prepared to accept it,” says US Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the United States is prepared to expand defense cooperation with Pakistan as quickly as that country wants, particularly in the wake of continuing attacks inside Pakistan by groups linked to the Taliban and al-Qaida.

Gates, who arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan on Tuesday morning, told reporters during his flight that the United States welcomes Pakistan’s increased operations against militants in its autonomous tribal areas near the Afghan border, and offered as much assistance as the Pakistanis want.

“We are prepared to move ahead with that relationship and cooperation just as fast as they are prepared to accept it,” he said.

The United States has long called on Pakistan to be more aggressive against the militants in the border region.  Gates said the Pakistani government and military have done more than any U.S. officials would have expected, or believed possible, a year or so ago.

Still, U.S. officials want Pakistan to take even more action against the militants, and the secretary said recent attacks might lead to that.

“The more they get attacked internally, just like this terrible attack in Rawalpindi at the mosque, the more open they may be to additional help from us.  But we are prepared to expand that relationship at any pace that they are prepared to accept,” he said.  [This almost sounds like an admission of American guilt in the string of horrible attacks befalling the people of Pakistan, doesn't it?

"The more they get attacked...the more open they may be..."

W.T.F.?]

Gates said Pakistan is in a “serious fight” with the insurgents and will receive all of the support the United States can give.

Either an Attack Upon an ISI Office, or a Convincing Enactment of One

Police: Attack on Pakistan intel office kills 12

By KHALID TANVEER, Associated Press Writer

MULTAN, Pakistan – A team of militants launched a gun, rocket andsuicide attack on an intelligence office in central Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 12 people in a strike that showed the insurgents can hit deep in the heart of the country.

The raid in Multan signaled the relentless determination of militants, despite being pressured by a major army offensive in one of their Afghan border havens. It came a day after twin bombings at a market in the eastern city of Lahore killed 49.

Tuesday’s blast ripped the facades off several buildings in a part of the town largely reserved for government and security agencies. Also damaged was the apparent target of the blast, a building housing an office of Pakistan’s most powerful spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence.

Senior police officer Agha Yusuf said at least three militants in a car carried out the attack. One of them first fired a rocket and an automatic weapon at a police checkpoint. Then the men drove the car to theintelligence agency and detonated it.

He said security force members were among the 12 dead.

Taliban spokesman Azam Tariq claimed responsibility for the attack in a conversation with an Associated Press reporter in the Waziristanarea of the Afghan border region.

The attack came as U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited nearby Afghanistan, where he said Washington was ready to work more closely with Pakistan to fight the militants.

“The more they get attacked internally … the more open they may be to additional help from us. But we are prepared to expand that relationship at any pace they are prepared to accept,” he said.

The U.S. has waged its own campaign of missile strikes against insurgent targets in the border region. The latest suspected airstrike destroyed a car carrying three people in a village near Mir Ali, a main town in North Waziristan. The identities of the three dead were not immediately known, said two intelligence officials.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

Most militant attacks in recent weeks have been directed at security forces, though several have targeted crowded public spaces such as markets, apparently to create public anger and increase pressure on the government to call a halt to the South Waziristan offensive. At least 400 people have been killed since October.

The Taliban generally claim responsibility for attacks on security officers, but not those that kill civilians, though they — or affiliated extremist groups — are suspected in all the strikes.

Late Monday, twin blasts and a resulting fire ripped through the Moon Market, a center in the eastern city ofLahore that is popular with women and sells clothing, shoes and cosmetics. Lahore police chief Pervaiz Lathore said Tuesday the death toll in the blasts reached 49, with more than 100 people wounded.

Authorities initially said both bombs at the market were believed to be remote-controlled, but they later said asuicide bomber was suspected to have detonated at least one of them.

Earlier Monday, a suicide bomber killed 10 people outside a courthouse in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Lahore is Pakistan’s second-largest city. It has been hit several times by militants over the past year, including an attack on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team and several strikes against security installations.

By attacking Lahore and Multan, militants are bringing their war to the heart of Pakistan. Both are cities inPunjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, and one far from the northwest regions where al-Qaida and the Taliban have more easily proliferated.

Peshawar has been a more frequent target. The northwestern city lies on the main road into the lawless tribal belt. Of all the attacks since the start of October, the deadliest occurred in Peshawar, where at least 112 people were killed in a bombing at another market.

___

Associated Press writers Rasool Dawar in Mir Ali, Babar Dagar in Lahore, Munir Ahmad in Islamabad and Anne Flaherty in Kabul contributed to this report.

Copenhagen Fraud–Preparing the Next Derivative Bubble

[Carbon trading is the next Enron-type scam of the bankster/gangsters, and the leftist environmentalists are swallowing it hook-line-and-sinker. This is the reason I have been telling my (former?) friends that the environmental movement is a scam, meant to divert attention away from the real destroyers of this world and to co-opt the left in service to the military/industrial complex.  Wake-up people, Copenhagen will do nothing for the environment and everything for our banker overlords.  Let's bring this fraud to an end, so that we can bring an end to them.]

Copenhagen’s Hidden Agenda: The Multibillion Trade in Carbon Derivatives

WASHINGTON’S BLOG

As I have previously shown, speculative derivatives (especially credit default swaps) are a primary cause of the economic crisis.

And I have pointed out that (1) the giant banks will make a killing on carbon trading, (2) while the leading scientist crusading against global warming says it won’t work, and (3) there is a very high probability of massive fraud and insider trading in the carbon trading markets.

Now, Bloomberg notes that the carbon trading scheme will be centered around derivatives:

The banks are preparing to do with carbon what they’ve done before: design and market derivatives contracts that will help client companies hedge their price risk over the long term. They’re also ready to sell carbon-related financial products to outside investors.

[Blythe] Masters says banks must be allowed to lead the way if a mandatory carbon-trading system is going to help save the planet at the lowest possible cost. And derivatives related to carbon must be part of the mix, she says. Derivatives are securities whose value is derived from the value of an underlying commodity — in this case, CO2 and other greenhouse gases…

Who is Blythe Masters?

She is the JP Morgan employee who invented credit default swaps, and is now heading JPM’s carbon trading efforts. As Bloomberg notes (this and all remaining quotes are from the above-linked Bloomberg article):

Masters, 40, oversees the New York bank’s environmental businesses as the firm’s global head of commodities…

As a young London banker in the early 1990s, Masters was part of JPMorgan’s team developing ideas for transferring risk to third parties. She went on to manage credit risk for JPMorgan’s investment bank.

Among the credit derivatives that grew from the bank’s early efforts was the credit-default swap.

Some in congress are fighting against carbon derivatives:

“People are going to be cutting up carbon futures, and we’ll be in trouble,” says Maria Cantwell, a Democratic senator from Washington state. “You can’t stay ahead of the next tool they’re going to create.”

Cantwell, 51, proposed in November that U.S. state governments be given the right to ban unregulated financial products. “The derivatives market has done so much damage to our economy and is nothing more than a very-high-stakes casino — except that casinos have to abide by regulations,” she wrote in a press release…

However, Congress may cave in to industry pressure to let carbon derivatives trade over-the-counter:

The House cap-and-trade bill bans OTC derivatives, requiring that all carbon trading be done on exchanges…The bankers say such a ban would be a mistake…The banks and companies may get their way on carbon derivatives in separate legislation now being worked out in Congress…

Financial experts are also opposed to cap and trade:

Even George Soros, the billionaire hedge fund operator, says money managers would find ways to manipulate cap-and-trade markets. “The system can be gamed,” Soros, 79, remarked at a London School of Economics seminar in July. “That’s why financial types like me like it — because there are financial opportunities”…

Hedge fund manager Michael Masters, founder of Masters Capital Management LLC, based in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands [and unrelated to Blythe Masters] says speculators will end up controlling U.S. carbon prices, and their participation could trigger the same type of boom-and-bust cycles that have buffeted other commodities…

The hedge fund manager says that banks will attempt to inflate the carbon market by recruiting investors from hedge funds and pension funds.

“Wall Street is going to sell it as an investment product to people that have nothing to do with carbon,” he says. “Then suddenly investment managers are dominating the asset class, and nothing is related to actual supply and demand. We have seen this movie before.”

Indeed, as I have previously pointed out, many environmentalists are opposed to cap and trade as well. For example:

Michelle Chan, a senior policy analyst in San Francisco for Friends of the Earth, isn’t convinced.

“Should we really create a new $2 trillion market when we haven’t yet finished the job of revamping and testing new financial regulation?” she asks. Chan says that, given their recent history, the banks’ ability to turn climate change into a new commodities market should be curbed…

“What we have just been woken up to in the credit crisis — to a jarring and shocking degree — is what happens in the real world,” she says…

Friends of the Earth’s Chan is working hard to prevent the banks from adding carbon to their repertoire. She titled a March FOE report “Subprime Carbon?” In testimony on Capitol Hill, she warned, “Wall Street won’t just be brokering in plain carbon derivatives — they’ll get creative.”

Yes, they’ll get “creative”, and we have seen this movie before …an inadequately-regulated carbon derivatives boom will destabilize the economy and lead to another crash.

Jews Defined by Occult Ideology, Not Nation/Race

Jews Defined by Occult Ideology, Not Nation/Race

HENRY MAKOW

I had an “Eureka” moment when I read an interview with Shlomo Sand, the author of “The Invention of the Jewish People.” He shows that the Jews today are not the descendants of Biblical Hebrews but are people of different races who converted to Judaism down through the centuries.

According to Sand, the description of Jews as a wandering and self-isolating nation of exiles, “who wandered across seas and continents, reached the ends of the earth and finally, with the advent of Zionism, made a U-turn and returned en masse to their orphaned homeland,” is nothing but “national mythology.”

“I asked myself how such large Jewish communities appeared in Spain. And then I saw that Tariq ibn Ziyad, the supreme commander of the Muslims who conquered Spain, was a Berber, and most of his soldiers were Berbers…who converted to Judaism.”

Elizabeth Dilling said the same thing in 1964 in “The Jewish Religion: It’s Influence Today”
(Chapter IX)  Somehow I missed it.

“Present day Jews are a pot pourri of every race of man,” she writes, “and they do not have any genealogical or racial derivation from the ancient peoples of the Holy Land.”

MY NEW PARADIGM

I had the misconception that Jews were a race because of their traditional antipathy to intermarriage. This was enforced by Hitler’s racially-based treatment of Jews. But I couldn’t explain why Jews differed racially and discriminated against each other on this basis.

Moreover,  I couldn’t reconcile race with the fact that the Illuminati, the secret inner core of Judaism, actively sought intermarriage with non-Jews and were happy to sacrifice other Jews to slaughter.

My paradigm has now changed. My latest thinking is that, like its proxy Freemasonry, the  defining element in Judaism is the “ideology.” Race doesn’t matter. Anybody can join the club: Marilyn Monroe, Sammy Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna, BritneyAs with American Express, “membership has its rewards.”

And like Freemasonry, Judaism is characterized by the fact that the membership is ignorant of the true agenda. Only the “Illuminated” are in on the secret. The rest are manipulated and disposable.

As with Freemasonry, the hidden agenda is Pagan and Satanic. Judaism uses the Old Testament to draw people into the fold. But it is actually defined by the Talmud and Cabala which spurn the Old Testament.
dilling150.jpg(left, Elizabeth Dilling, 1894-1966)

Talmudic Judaism used “the Old Testament to cover its negation of every moral law of the Old Testament as its promotes practice of all the occult demonistic abominations excoriated by the Old Testament,” writes Elizabeth Dilling.

Dilling shows how Moses’ injunctions against bestiality, sodomy, adultery, incest, necrophilia etc. in the Old Testament are overturned in the Talmud. (Chapter V)

The picture of Jews as a nation-race is another way of controlling and manipulating them. It’s essential for Jews (and Freemasons) to understand that the best parts of the ideology are for public consumption and to attract the innocents. From this pool, only the corruptible are informed of the true agenda and allowed to rise. They become part of the Illuminati.

But if there is trouble, the Illuminati will plant the blame on the innocent Jews and Masons, the outer layer of dupes who run interference and serve as their human shield.

SATANIC?

The hidden (Talmudic/Cabalistic) agenda of Judaism and Freemasonry is to supplant the natural and spiritual laws of the universe (God) with the tyranny of the Illuminati bankers. They will define reality. For example, homosexuality, bestiality, incest etc. are being normalized. What is healthy (i.e. marriage, family) is deemed sick; what is false (i.e. climate change) is deemed true; what is obscene and ugly (modern art, entertainment) is deemed beautiful.   This is the New World Order.

The Cabalist bankers have been waging war on humanity for centuries. Ordinary Jews and Masons are in jeopardy by virtue of their association with this scourge.

According to the Old Testament, Jews must wait for the Messiah before reestablishing Israel. But the Talmud says, the Messiah is already here and it is the “Jewish people” themselves. By “Jewish people” they mean the Illuminati bankers who sponsor and run organized Jewry.

For example, the Talmud Kethuboth 111a, states: “The Messiah is without metaphor the Jewish people.” (Dilling, Chapter VI)

The Cabala teaches that God (“En Sof”) is not moral, and has no characteristics. God is composed of nature. Since the highest expression of nature is man, he is God. And since only Jews are human, and above the level of beast, Jews (i.e. Illuminati bankers) are Divine.

According to the the Jewish Encyclopedia, the Cabala teaches that the relation between man and God is erotic, “religion being identical with love, sensual pleasure, and especially intoxication.”  (Ch 6)

The Passover song “Only the Kid” heralds the day when all the world’s great nations destroy each other in war, and only Israel is left.  (Chapter XIV)

CONCLUSION

Have no illusion, mankind has been inducted into a Satanic cult based on the Talmud and Cabala. Gradually we are being sedated and offered up as a tribute to Lucifer by his disciples, the Illuminati bankers.  Mankind is doomed to an ersatz life, a perpetual rerun of the past.

Anti-Semites are protecting the Illuminati by blaming the “racial” Jew. The true villain is the Illuminati banker and his lackeys of every ethnicity and “religion,” who embrace the Satanic ideology of the New World Order.

Comments (5)
  • |08-12-2009 07:33:54Dr. Gunther Kümel, Germany  – A HIERARCHY OF PROXIES!
    :woohoo: “ANTISEMITISM” :dry: :

    90% of Jewry is descendant from the Khasars, so one should not call the Jews “Jews” but KHASARS. 9 % of Jewry is descendant from Berber tribes in N-Africa; the only descendants of the old Hebrews are the Palestinians, who converted to Islam. Numerous other blood lines have combined in this group, whatever its definition, as the Polish Khasars resemble the Poles, the oriental Jews resemble the Arabs, the Spanish Jews (actually Berber) mirror the Spanish typus, and so on. Therefore, if the non-semitic Khasars, alien to the Holy Land, murder the
    semitic descendants of the ancient Hebrews, the Muslim Palestinians, it can be designated not other than plein antisemitism.

    Thus, the Khasars are no nation, no “race”, and there does not exist anything like specific “Jewish blood”, Jewish genes. Many of the most powerful “Jews are atheistic and they do not adhere to any other ideology.
    Thus Jewry is not a religious group either.

    But we notice the awful and destructive might of “The Jews” every day, the protagonists of the banksters fraud are all “Jews”, the war heads of Israel are a menace to the civilized world. The “New World” obviously is knit to further privilege “Jewry”. How does that fit?

    It does indeed fit, and I suggest a further modification of the paradigm:
    Judaism, the Jewry as a whole, the powerful state of Israel, the AIPAC and the rest of the lobby, the Bilderbergers, the various “councils”, the Freemasons and even the Illuminati, all the Iinstitutions like World bank, FED, and the other instruments of plutocracy are nothing else than the proxies of a tiny minority of superrich, super powerful individuals and their gang.
    All these can be understood as a hierarchy of proxies, instruments of that minority of individuals like Rockefeller, Rothschild, Soros and the like.

    This tiny group of course is not concerned with issues of our welfare.
    But it is only slightly more concerned with the issue of the welfare of “Jewry”, or else, Israel.
    And surely it does not adhere to any religion, to any cult, to any ideology, be it Judaism, Suprematism, Satanism, Kabbalism or anything else. Neither the OLD Testament nor the Talmud or the Rabbinic scripture is the “Wholy Book”.

    The final aim is nothing else than world domination, even more power (id est money) for the tiny group at the control panel. Expropriation and control of the majority.

    So it would not be relief for the nations of the world, if Israel was given back to the Palestinians, if the population of Israel, or else, the Bronx, immigrated to Birobistan or pepper land, if the Bilderburgers were all killed or if all countries united to forbid the Freemasons. The minority at the control panel would just grin about the loss of one of their proxies.

    Anybody suggesting a real solution??

  • |08-12-2009 07:54:46andrewwinkler  – Re: Anybody suggesting a real solution??
    ‘Lamp posting’ and the good old French guillotine is the first thing that comes to mind as far as their leadership is concerned, the likes of Henry Kissinger, the Rockefellers, Windsors and Rothschilds. We should start treating ‘Jewishness’ approprietely, that is as part societally harmful pathological mental disorder, somewhere in between manic-depression and psychopathy, part membership in an extremely dangerous criminal organisation, of an evilness beyond comprehension, making the likes of the mafia, red brigades etc seem like toddler groups.
  • |08-12-2009 05:50:22Bob Sherman  – Jews and 9/11
    Please note that Jesus Christ was a Kabbalist. So was Newton; Plato; Galileo and countless other great thinkers. To lump them together as Jews is ignorant. There are many Christians and non jews that study Kabbalah today. The Zohar, their sacred texts can be described as the metaphysical/ spiritual aspect of the Torah (Old Testament.) While the descendants of Rothschild and other many ultra-wealthy jewish business tycoons are inspired by the Satanic “desire to receive for oneself” is prominant amongst bankers and other so called leaders in commerce, the technology and spirituality should not be confused with the typical Jewish persona.
    The real test for all Jews is to accept and realize that Rabbi Dov Zakheim was the Comptroller of the Pentagon when Donald Rumsfeld admitted the day prior to the incidents of 9-11 that 2.3 TRILLION DOLLARS was missing from the DofD budget. Most Jews think they are superior when in fact are just plain old wealthier sheeple. To realize that the U.S. media is controlled by 6 or so major entities does not allow the free flow of news and opinions. They want to continue to be the mouthpiece for the Illuminati. We must all have faith that good will eventually prevail over evil. Until the critical mass of sheeple understand that Sept.11th was a controlled and manipulated set of events, MK-Ultra, HAARP and other mind control powers are very dangerous and explain the dumb down of Amerika.
andrewwinkler
I think what Henry Makow is talking about is what DEFINES a Jew. I agree with Makow that it’s neither religion nor race, because many Jews don’t believe in any other religion than mammon, and modern Jews are made up of three distinct ethnic groups, even though there has been some degree of interbreeding, due to commerce and the import of rabbis. Having said that, close to 90% of modern Jews are Ashkenazis, that is the descendants of a Mongolian ethnic Turk tribe that raped and pillaged Europe as part of Attila’s hordes and converted to Talmudism after getting embarrassed over their traditional phallus cult. Due to centuries of inbreeding, those Ashkenazis have a statistically significant high incidence of physical and mental diseases. Some people suggest, psychopathy is one of them, which would go a long way to explain their total lack of empathy for their victims.

Your men helping terrorists, Shuja tells CIA chief

Your men helping terrorists, Shuja tells CIA chief

PEER MUHAMMAD
Friday, 20 Nov, 2009 5:12 pm

ISLAMABAD : Pakistan on Friday expressed its serious concerns over the US Central Intelligence Agency’s interference in the country’s internal matters, including its covert support to some terrorists and the terrorist activities they carried out over the past few weeks or months and presented to the visiting CIA chief some proof in this regard.

Sources said that during the meeting of CIA chief Leon E. Panetta, who is on an unannounced visit to Pakistan, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha said that CIA officials were assisting the terrorist elements who were carrying out terror attacks on Pakistan and asked him to shun such practices.

Sources said that ISI chief told him that Pakistani intelligence agencies had incriminating evidence about the CIA officials’ involvement in providing assistance to perpetrators of some terrorist activities within Pakistan, which had negative impact on Pakistan’s efforts towards war on terror.

The sources said that ISI chief also told the CIA top official that Pakistan was fully committed to flushing out terrorists from Pakistani soil, adding that there is no reality about the presence of any “Quetta Shura” and the presence of al Qaeda or Taliban leadership as perceived by the US.

Sources further said the CIA chief also met President Zardari. The President emphasised that US must fully share its Afghan policy with Pakistan and that his country’s input should also be included in the new policy. It has also been learnt that the President also underlined that the US policy towards Afghanistan must take into account Pakistan’s concerns relating to the possible surge of US and Isaf forces in Afghanistan, which may entail negative implications for the situation in Balochistan.

The CIA chief also met Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani. The Prime Minister conveyed to the US that its new Afghan policy should not disturb the regional balance in South Asia. Gilani emphasised that the US must fully share the contours of its roadmap for Afghanistan and ensure incorporation of Pakistan’s input in its new policy. In the meeting, the US Afghan policy review also came under discussion.

He stressed that the new Afghan policy of US government should not disturb the regional balance in South Asia. Gilani said it was imperative to remove misgivings, build trust and seek to align the respective strategic concepts of both Pakistan and the US to steadfastly move forward in strategic partnership between the two countries.

The Prime Minister stressed the need for close co-ordination between the intelligence agencies of both sides to effectively counter the prevalent misperceptions in the relationship. The Director of US Central Intelligence Agency assured the Prime Minister that the US was fully conscious of Pakistan’s pivotal role in the war against terrorism and restoration of stability in Afghanistan.

“The US considers Pakistan a strategic partner with whom it wants to build a long-term and sustained relationship even beyond the co-operation in countering the militancy and extremism,” he added. He agreed with the Prime Minister that operational functioning between the two militaries and intelligence agencies was the need of the hour against the threat of terrorism.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2009

PAKISTAN ACCUSES THE CIA

PAKISTAN ACCUSES THE CIA


On 7 December 2009, two bomb blasts hit a market in the centre of Pakistan’s second largest city, Lahore, killing at least 30 people.

On 20 November 2009, CIA chief Leon E. Panetta was in Pakistan meeting Pakistan’s spy boss(ISI boss) Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

Reportedly, Pasha told Panetta that CIA officials were assisting the terrorists who were carrying out the terror attacks in Pakistan. (Evidence of CIA involvement in Pakistan.)

On the left, Admiral Mike Mullen; on the right Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha (far right).

“Pakistan on Friday (20 November) expressed its serious concerns over the US Central Intelligence Agency’s interference in the country’s internal matters, including its covert support to some terrorists and the terrorist activities they carried out over the past few weeks or months and presented to the visiting CIA chief some proof in this regard.

“Sources said that during the meeting of CIA chief Leon E. Panetta, who is on an unannounced visit to Pakistan, Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Ahmed ShujaPasha said that CIA officials were assisting the terrorist elements who were carrying out terror attacks on Pakistan and asked him to shun such practices.

“Sources said that ISI chief told him that Pakistani intelligence agencies had incriminating evidence about the CIA officials’ involvement in providing assistance to perpetrators of some terrorist activities within Pakistan, which had negative impact on Pakistan’s efforts towards war on terror.” (Your men helping terrorists, Shuja tells CIA chief)

“In one story, Kayani (Army Chief of Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani) presented Clinton with ‘evidence’ of a conspiracy involving the CIA, Israel’s Mossad and India’s intelligence agency, RAW. According to the story, the three agencies had been responsible for some of the terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds in Pakistani cities.

“In the other, Kayani supposedly told Clinton that Pakistan was aware the U.S. has been talking to the Taliban through the good offices of Saudi King Abdullah and didn’t appreciate it. Indeed, Kayani did dispatch his ISI chief, Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha, to Riyadh to meet the king.” (Power struggle threatens Pakistan’s leader )

~~

aangirfan: PAKISTAN TALIBAN ARMED WITH WEAPONS FROM USA, GERMANY …

aangirfan: GLADIO IN PAKISTAN?

aangirfan: Pakistan and China versus Mossad, CIA, RAW and MI6

TERRORISM COME TO ITS IDEOLOGICAL CENTRE

[Dr. Yusafzai has his own blog now.  Check it out here, or at the link to his site on our home page :  Dr. Khurrum Yousafzai]

TERRORISM COME TO ITS IDEOLOGICAL CENTRE

Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.

Multan was hit with a Bomb Blast killing 10 people in Southern Punjab, a day after Bomb struck a Shopping centre in Lahore. Many People lost thier Lives.  For People of Peshawar and NWFP it is no surprise as they see this almost every day.
However, it was a Big Surprise for me as no Bomb had hit this city even when it is just 70 Km from DI Khan and Tribal areas of Waziristan and FATA.  Although Peshawar is more then 200 Km form there the 210 bomb Blasts in NWFP was a Surprise too that why Terrorist are taking Pains to Hit Peshawar and Forgetting Punjab , this Puzzle I had not solved and Nobody could give me satisfactory Explanations either.
This first Car bomb attack in almost a three decade of war on terrors and jihads, in Multan may be Terrorist effort to settle the record now.  Multan and Southern Punjab forms the Ideological centre of TTP which is formed by almost 40% southern Punjabis along with Local Tribals, not the as Pashtuns but as Tribal which they prefer to call themselves as such and not Pushtuns.
They are closer to Federal government of Islamabad Dominated by Predominantly Punjabis and Tribals do not have a Heart with the Pashtuns of NWFP. As NWFP has no role in FATA and its governance.  The Interest of Tribals is Money, Drugs and smuggling and Transport Business which are controlled by Federation.
As these Terrorist can satisfactorily explain themselves why they were not Targeting Punjab they only Targeted it  22 Times by Bomb Blasts while they Targeted NWFP the hit it 210 times, in the same period in 2009 as I collected accurate statistics from Terrorism Institute of South Asia .
While NWFP has negligible role in Foreign Policy making, and Pakistan Foreign Minister and PM belong to Multan. The PM had established a satellite PM secretariat there too which functioned and he could hold Procession and Huge Gatherings while in NWFP ANP cannot even come out of there offices as a suicide bomber is standing outside to greet them if they dare to come out for Public Work.
This can be explained only  as Establishment is afraid of Pukhtunkwa / Pashtunistan Issue as it was since late 1950,s and they don’t want the ANP to become as heroes after thier Only Successful strategy on  War on terror among all the political Parties of Pakistan.
As the other Parties have no effective strategy at all to curb Terrorism , which is cleaning of FATA from Terrorist Nests and then combining it with NWFP as one Province as provided by ANP .
As this will provide Administrative setup just like the NWFP,  to FATA too which works in Governance Vacuum. This is Opposed by Pro- Establishment Parties of PML-N, Q and the Religious Parties too.
ANP ( Awami National Party ) of NWFP , successfully  negotiated with Taliban and Sufi Mohammed and exposed them and thier Agenda of Total domination of  Pakistan  through Terror of Mullahs .
They effectively could counter and changed people’s perception of Taliban in Pakistan who were Perceived as heroes and saviors of Islam and Government of Afghanistan from US domination.
Taliban were Perceived as last Bastion of Islam and it Image which existed in Old book of Medieval Islam an Image loved by Punjab and its people particularly the Establishment .
The Pro-Establishment Party of PML-N gave 300 million dollars worth fo Fuel and Food to Taliban in 1998 when they were starving in Afghanistan after this Mismanagement of Agri – Economy of Afghanistan through their Incompetence.
Nobody thought of the Massacres Taliban were doing to Other Muslims like the Afghans  Muslims , and now when Mosques and  Innocent children and Pakistani Muslims people are being Targeted in Punjab too , Hue and cry is being raised and Multi Media slick campaign are being run by  the Establishment .
The Establishment has nobody to Blame then their own Pakistani axis of Evil like Israel , India and America , although it is strategic Partner with all three of them in this Neo – Great game , as said by Obama in his Latest Speech as he termed Pakistan as Pivot of all this and very Important to America.
Although it is America Surely which has brought this Dirty works of CIA which it usefully implemented in South America and in Africa Rwanda etc all places where Oil and gas interested of US was involved and now in Pakistan , Iraq and Afghanistan . Which enables it to stay in these Oil rich areas and run in Military Industrial complex if Global share exists in just one country the United States of America, that is 98 % of total by Budget and Finances of these Complexes.
This Military Industrial complex had no justification of existence as a Giant when the Russians refused to Compete after Gorbachov and Fall of Berlin Wall and after the Cold War finished.
After all It is Osama Bin Laden and just 100 Al- Qaeda men in Af-pak region which they don’t want to Find and in fact the US let him go to  Protect him , when they nailed him in a cave in Tora Bora in  December 2001 by Green Barrett Special Services and CIA .
Now they claim they have no idea where he is even after they have world best Intelligence services . The Whole Intelligence network of CIA and Pentagon and FBI was paralyzed by Neo-Cons to let Osama bin Laden and the Hijackers by obstructing their work and transferring the able agents to other desk jobs.
As America needed their loyal agent Osama Bin laden to work for them and establish IMU (Islamic Moment of Uzbekistan) and Jandolla group for them against China and Iran, the enemies of USA and Israel and continuing the Dirty Works.
Especially by People of Southern Punjab and Punjab who are more Anti – Drone then NWFP people.
Infact Surprisingly many People in Swat NWFP would curse Taliban and to be bombed by Drone, which never came to Swat during Military Operation last year.
This Feelings are shared by FATA Tribals too who are weary and tired of Taliban too who have destroyed the Total Fabric of their Antique culture which existed there and not tolerated by Taliban when they killed more 1000 Malik and Sardars who were local Leader of tribes .
The People of NWFP had formed Lashkars towards the Taliban and Tribals who were Partners of Taliban, in Dir and in Peshawar and in Mommand Agency too .
These Pashtun Lashkars are not provided any Protection by the Military and ISI and police too and many of its leaders   are killed in routine by Suicide Blasts and Car bomb Blasts and are most successful in Protecting Peshawar and NWFP
While in Punjab there is no Notable resistance by locals is found in Southern Punjab and Punjab as a Whole towards the Ideology that is grown here, and espoused by Punjabi Establishment, which belongs to Punjab.
The religious Parties which, forms the Breeding ground of this terrorism is based in Punjab too like Jammat Islami, JUI and lashkar Toiba, Jaish-i- Mohammed and Lashker Jhangavi too. Most are Punjab based Political parties.
Most of them were called them devout Muslims, as in a speech by lawyer Mr Doogar when he defended Lashkar Toiba Hafiz Sayed in court successfully because India unsuccessfully could not provide evidences of Bombay Blasts, as it had none to fight a Legal Battle.
India has economic Interests in Great Game, wants justification to Stay in Afghanistan too , through False, and trumped up Charges of Fighting as Partner of America in the War on Terror and Its own terror charges against Taliban / Jihadis in Kashmir and Afghanistan.
For this it needs the Villains just like America badly needs too for its Occupations of Oil rich Places.
It may be noted that Multan in southern Punjab is centre of many Deobandi Madrassahs, which are Ideological Center of Taliban.  Many TTP Leaders have studied in Madrasshas there and they consider as their second home in southern Punjab.
Recently when US journalist tried to Interview in Bhakkar southern Punjab the Culprits of Lahore ISI Office Blast, Police stopped her.
It seems the Establishment wants to Protect this assets of Jihadis a Bit more for some Future time as no Notable leaders are arrested of TTP in Pakistan.
Similarly, in a Month Hitting of Peshawar high Courts, twice by Suicide Bomber are again a Question Mark that is in Minds of People. Combine this with Attempt on Life of Chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry by Policemen who parked their Vehicle in front of high Speed convoy of Chief Justice with Multiple vehicles hitting each other in a pile and injuring many.
It seems there is some Players in Establishment that wants to Take over government by these Tactics and Maligning the ruling Coalition as Incompetent. While there, are Politically Motivated cases of NRO, being discussed too?

Dr. Khurrum Shaukat Yusafzai.
khurrumuk@gmail.com

$300/hr. Swinging Door for Retired Generals

How some retired military officers became well-paid consultants

Retired military officers cash in as well-paid consultants

By Tom Vanden Brook, Ken Dilanian and Ray Locker, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Six months after Marine Lt. Gen. Gary McKissock retired in 2002, he did what many other ex-military leaders do: He joined the board of directors of a defense contractor, a company doing business with his former service.

McKissock also had a second job. The Marines brought him back as an adviser, at double the rate of pay he made on active duty. Since 2005, the Marines have awarded McKissock contracts worth $1.2 million, in addition to his military pension of about $119,000 a year.

McKissock is one of at least 158 retired admirals and generals the Pentagon has hired to offer advice under an unusual arrangement. Most of the retired officers, one to four stars in rank, have been paid hundreds of dollars an hour by the military even as they worked for companies seeking Defense Department contracts, a USA TODAY investigation found. That’s in addition to pensions of $100,000 to $200,000 a year for officers with 30 or more years of service.

MILITARY MENTORS: 158 retired generals consulting for the Pentagon

As "senior mentors," as the military calls them, the retired officers help run war games and offer advice to former colleagues. Some mentors make as much as $330 an hour as part-time government advisers, more than triple what their rate of pay was as high-level, active-duty officers. They earn more — far more, several mentors said in interviews — as consultants and board members to defense companies.

Retired generals have taken jobs with defense contractors for decades, reaping rewards for themselves and their companies through their contacts and insights. But the recent growth in the use of mentors has created a new class of individuals who enjoy even more access than a typical retired officer, and they get paid by the military services while doing so. Most are compensated both by taxpayers and industry, with little to prevent their private employers from using knowledge they obtain as mentors in seeking government work.

Nothing is illegal about the arrangements. In fact, there are no Pentagon-wide rules specific to the various mentor programs, which differ from service to service.

Based on interviews and a review of public records, USA TODAY found:

• Of the 158 retired generals and admirals identified as having worked for the military as senior mentors, 80% had financial ties to defense contractors, including 29 who were full-time executives of defense companies. Those with industry ties have earned salaries, fees or stock options as consultants, board members or full-time employees of defense firms.

• Mentors are paid from about $200 to $340 an hour, plus expenses — many times the rate of pay for active-duty generals, who typically make $170,000 to $216,000 a year, including a housing allowance.

• Mentors are hired as independent contractors and are not subject to government ethics rules that would apply if they were hired as part-time federal employees. They don’t have to disclose, either to the military or the public, the identities of their clients. Mentors are not barred from lobbying the same officers they are advising, from advertising their military adviser role on company websites, or from taking commercial advantage of insights gleaned through their government work.

• Mentors operate outside public scrutiny. Although the services have released broad pay rates, most won’t say how much individual mentors have been paid, and one, the Missile Defense Agency, declined to release any names. Other services released some names but couldn’t say the lists were complete. USA TODAY identified many mentors by scouring military documents and other public records.

• In some cases, mentors also work for weapons-makers who have an interest in the military planning the mentors are assisting. A Marines exercise last year, which explored how to launch operations from ships, employed mentors who also had financial relationships with companies that sell products designed to aid those operations.

"This setup invites abuse," says Janine Wedel, a George Mason University public policy professor and author of a forthcoming book on government contracting. "Everyone in this story is fat and happy. Everyone, of course, except the public, which has virtually no way of knowing what’s going on, much less holding these guys to account."

If retired generals advising the Pentagon also are "being paid by somebody who wants to make money off the government, I think it’s important the public know that," says Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who chairs the subcommittee on contracting oversight. "The reason … is so the people have confidence that the decisions are being made based on merit, and not based on inside baseball."

Marine Gen. James Mattis is the commander of Norfolk-based Joint Forces Command, which pays at least 34 senior mentors to train active-duty generals and admirals. He confirms that mentors who also work for defense clients may pick up information that benefits their private employer, but he believes that’s the only way to ensure that top experts are teaching officers.

"If your concern is that we’re exposing them to things that would allow them to have an advantage for their company, I doubt if that can be refuted," Mattis says. "I believe that’s a reality. The only way to not have that would be to have either amateurs on their boards of directors, or amateurs in our thing."

Imposing "an assumption of distrust and firewalls," could sour retired generals on the mentoring program, Mattis says. "Ultimately it comes down to trust."

‘Way below industry average’

Mentors say they police themselves and would never abuse their positions.

Retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, 66, served as a mentor for a Joint Forces strategy exercise last year. "If it ever came across that you were pitching a product (as a mentor), I don’t think you’d ever be invited back," he says.

Zinni, who retired in 2000 as chief of U.S. Central Command, is chairman of the board of BAE Systems, a large U.S. defense contractor. He had been executive vice president for Dyncorp International, another major defense firm, which paid him $946,000 last year, securities records show. Zinni is eligible for an annual pension of about $129,000, according to military formulas.

"Obviously it informs how you think about things," he says. "I don’t think you can deny that. But sometimes your involvement in the defense industry is exactly what they’re looking for beyond your military experience."

The Joint Forces Command says it cannot disclose what Zinni and others were paid as mentors because the information is held by a government-paid contractor, Northrop Grumman, which hires the mentors as subcontractors. The rate for three-star generals — Zinni is a four-star — is around $1,600 a day plus expenses, the command said in a statement.

The Marines say its mentors are paid $187 an hour for labor alone, while the Navy released figures showing mentors were paid an average of $330 an hour including expenses. Air Force mentors are paid $160 to $486 an hour, not including expenses, the Air Force says.

Retired Army Gen. Gary Luck, 72, helps coordinate the mentor program for Joint Forces Command. Luck says he considers the pay "way below the industry average. … I’m almost embarrassed about this."

He says he tells mentors, "Look, part of your pay is being kept up to date, being included, so you’re getting paid in two ways — monetarily and informationally."

Luck, the former top commander in Korea, serves on the advisory board of TASER International, a defense contractor. He says it poses no conflict with his full-time mentoring work.

Information learned by mentors has great value, says Richard Aboulafia, chief aerospace analyst at the Teal Group, which consults for the government and industry on aerospace issues. Teal doesn’t employ retired generals.

"It’s the most valuable form of market intelligence for a lot of companies," Aboulafia says of senior mentors in war games. "The companies get an insight into what kind of technologies and products are needed to meet emerging strategic visions and requirements."

After Lt. Gen. McKissock retired and started mentoring the Marines on managing supplies, his specialty, he joined the board of Sapient Corp., a Marines contractor. He worked closely while on active duty. As a Sapient director, he was paid a total of $663,000 from 2003 to 2009, securities records show. He left the board this year.

While McKissock was the Marines’ senior mentor, Sapient continued to win supply management contracts from the Marines. In 2006, the company was named a prime vendor by the Marines for business services.

McKissock says he "never talked to a soul in the Marine Corps" about Sapient while he was on the company’s board.

"I lose money when I do it," McKissock says of serving as a mentor. He was paid $166,500 plus expenses as a mentor in 2009, Marine records show.

Some retired officers say they would not work as mentors if they couldn’t also work for defense firms.

"My wife wouldn’t let me," says Adm. Gregory Johnson, 63, the former commander of U.S. naval forces in Europe.

Johnson says he works as a mentor for about five weeks a year and consults for undisclosed defense firms. Additionally, he was paid about $133,000 last year to serve on the board of defense contractor CACI International, securities records show. With mentoring alone, "you can’t make enough money," he says.

"I don’t buy that. That’s baloney," counters Maj. Gen. Waldo Freeman, an analyst at the non-profit Institute for Defense Analyses who mentors part time. "I think it’s absolutely wrong for somebody to have one foot in both camps.

"I don’t see how somebody can be on some (corporate) board, and then be a senior mentor — whereby he is learning information that could advantage his company — and say that’s ethical."

‘Not your business’

The U.S. Army says it began paying retired generals to come back as mentors in the late 1980s. The Joint Forces Command program dates to 1995. The Air Force began a mentoring program in 2000, the Marines in 2002 and the Navy in 2004, according to the military services and commands.

Some mentoring is done in classrooms at war colleges, some in meetings at the Pentagon and some in war zones. Though they are modeled after one another, the programs are separate — run by the military branches and various commands, not the Defense Department. There is no single budget or set of policies.

In fact, Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz in May ordered his staff to determine the number, location and compensation of Air Force mentors, according to the general doing the review, Brig. Gen. John R. "Bob" Ranck.

In interviews, Mattis, Ranck and other active-duty officials extol the benefits of the programs, calling them an invaluable way to train leaders and hear from experts who no longer have to worry about career advancement. Mentors give advice untainted by their business interests, they say. "They’re pretty self-policing," Ranck says.

Spending on the programs has grown in recent years. The Navy, for example, went from spending $112,000 to pay mentors in 2005 to $838,000 for its four mentors in the current year, according to figures that service released, which do not include the Marines. Other services would not release similar spending figures, but said the programs have expanded. The Army now uses mentors in 70 exercises a year, up from 31 in 2002, says Col. Steven Boylan, an Army spokesman.

Other information is kept from public view. For example, the military services have never made public a full list of their senior mentors. All but the Marines say they are unable to disclose how much each mentor has been paid. They can’t do so, they say, because the information is the property of contracting firms who pay the mentors as subcontractors.

The Air Force, Marines, Army and Navy released some names after repeated requests by USA TODAY. Spokesmen for the Air Force, Marines and Army said they could not be sure the lists were complete. The Air Force, for example, was only able to provide names for the most recent fiscal year. The Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Department’s missile defense research, testing and deployment arm, refused, without explanation, to disclose the names.

None of the services collects data about the mentors’ private business affiliations.

"Government ethics laws are in place for a reason," Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said in a statement. "These laws require that any potential conflicts of interest be disclosed, evaluated and managed. I would expect the Pentagon to fully comply with both the letter and spirit of these requirements. The invaluable expertise of retired military officers should be utilized without sacrificing transparency and accountability."

Some mentors earn more as part-time advisers than they did while serving.

For example, the Marines say they paid retired Lt. Gen. Martin Berndt $212,000 plus expenses to be a part-time mentor in the 12 months that ended Sept. 30. Berndt, 62, retired in 2005 as commander of Marines forces in the Atlantic region, a job that paid about $148,000 a year.

In 2008, he was paid $133,787 in stock and fees to serve on the board of Point Blank Solutions, which sells body armor to the Marines, securities records show.

There was no conflict of interest, he says, because he played no role in the Marines buying from Point Blank, whose board he left in June.

"My role as a board member did not involve selling or marketing," he says.

Others, who are full-time consultants or employees of defense firms, spend just a few weeks a year mentoring. Retired Adm. Robert Natter, who commanded the Atlantic fleet from 2000-03, is a senior mentor and helps lead a U.S. Pacific Command war games exercise each year in Taiwan, he says. The military did not disclose his pay for mentoring.

Natter, 64, is a registered lobbyist for the city of Jacksonville, Fla., who lobbies the Navy and Defense Department on military basing issues, Senate lobbying records show.

He is also a defense consultant and a board member of weapons-maker BAE Systems. From 2004 through 2006, his firm received $1.5 million from the state of Florida to lobby the Navy and Congress on base-closing decisions, federal lobbying records show.

Natter declined to discuss the full list of his clients, saying, "It’s my business, not your business." The website for his consultancy, R.J. Natter & Associates, says clients have included Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, IBM andEmbraer North America.

"The reality is that you know that the people in the room are not stupid," he says, when asked how he juggles potential conflicts of interests while mentoring. "And secondly, you very seldom get into specific systems of ships or tanks or things like that."

Natter was a mentor last year on a Marine exercise designed to explore how to build bases using ships at sea. In 2006, a BAE executive told Defense Daily the company was developing a close-range gun that could be mounted on ships used for what is known as sea basing. The system is still in development, BAE spokesman Scott Fazekas says.

Natter says he is unaware of any specific products by BAE or any of his consulting clients related to sea basing.

"The taxpayers are getting a steal," Natter says about his mentor pay.

A game with few rules

Private defense companies have long been hiring retired senior officers to help them do business with the military, and Congress periodically has sought to regulate the practice.

Post-Watergate ethics laws prohibited senior government officials from immediately lobbying their former agencies. A decade later, amid a massive Pentagon bribery scandal, Congress strictly regulated the purchasing system to insulate it from outside influence.

Nevertheless, access and insider knowledge are still prized. A Government Accountability Office report last year found that as of 2006, defense contractors employed 2,435 former generals, admirals, senior executives, contracting officers or others in acquisition positions senior enough to be subject to lobbying rules.

Retired generals and admirals, like other senior government officials, are barred from representing companies before their agency for a year after leaving office. They are prohibited for life from representing a company about a particular matter they worked on, such as a specific contract. After a year, however, they are free to lobby their former colleagues on new matters.

The U.S. government, and the Pentagon specifically, also has ethics rules for hiring consultants.

"In the Department, almost all consultants and all members of advisory committees are appointed as Special Government Employees," says guidance posted on the website of the Defense Department’s Standards of Conduct Office. "This means that upon appointment, you assume the responsibilities, obligations and restrictions that are part of public service."

Employees who work more than 60 days in a year and are paid at an executive rate are required to file public financial disclosure reports. They also are forbidden from lobbying the agency about contracts and other specific matters, according to the Office of Government Ethics.

Senior mentors for the military don’t have to follow those rules, however, because they are contractors, not employees.

The Marines hire mentors directly on individual personal services contracts, while the other services contract with a defense company and require that firm to hire the retired generals as subcontractors. Luck, the head Joint Forces mentor, called that arrangement an accounting device, a "pass-through. There’s no question to anybody where I work, who I work for."

Ranck, the general examining Air Force mentoring programs, says one reason that mentors are not hired as employees is so they can get higher pay and have freedom from the government ethics bureaucracy. Special consultants can only be paid up to $80 an hour, he says, and the ethics rules constrain their ability to consult for private companies.

Not all mentors consider it appropriate to also work for defense contractors. Admiral Henry Chiles, 71, who retired in 1996 as commander of the U.S. Strategic Command and who now mentors at the National Defense University, says he steers clear of defense companies. "I think by virtue of doing that work for the government, it behooves me not to represent defense contractors," he says.

Under a policy directive issued last week by Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, the Air Force will encourage that mentors be hired as government employees when possible. Senior mentors hired on contract who might "potentially influence procurement decisions" would be required to file a confidential financial disclosure under the policy. The Air Force says the new policy is unrelated to USA TODAY’s inquiries.

Ranck says retired four-star generals probably would continue to be hired as contractors because they would want the higher pay and freedom from government ethics rules.

A rule barring senior mentors from representing defense firms before the military "would cause people to reassess," says Air Force Gen. Gregory "Speedy" Martin, who retired in 2005 as commander of the Air Force Materiel Command. He now mentors for Joint Forces Command and the Air Force. His consulting clients have included Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, he says. He also advises a private equity firm whose website boasts that its stable of retired generals has "a nearly unmatched sense of how the armed forces will spend its money."

Martin acknowledges he has contacted Air Force officials involved in acquisitions on behalf of firms paying him. He says he always identified his clients and never did anything inappropriate. He would not be more specific.

Martin recognizes that the insights gleaned while participating in classified planning exercises could make him a more valuable defense consultant. "I am sure that I am getting current information and updates that could make me ‘useful’ to some aerospace contractor," Martin says in an e-mail.

However, he adds, the information he got through mentoring is no more useful than what he got through other connections with active-duty officers, including briefings and social contacts. "The question," he says, "is what you do with that information."

Peshawar: The City That Was


Saad Khan

Saad Khan

Freelance journalist and activist from Islamabad


Peshawar: The City That Was

It is no more a secret that Pakistan is facing a Taliban insurgency. Except the southern parts of Pakistan, all other areas have become the targets of terrorist attacks. North West Frontier Province (NWFP) is the worst affected as most of its inhabitants share their ethnicity with the Taliban i.e. Pashtuns. Sharing borders with Afghanistan and home to almost-autonomous tribal areas, NWFP is nothing short of a war- torn country.

Peshawar is the capital of NWFP and the city that is seeing an unabated flurry of terrorist attacks. In fact, it has become a daily feature and government authorities are not doing anything to contain them. The semi-armed police cannot take on the Taliban threat and some unseen hands in the Pakistani security establishment are not eager to call armed forces into this region. At the end of the day, it is the ordinary citizens of Peshawar that are suffering from this criminal negligence.

This piece, however, is not related to the current security situation in Peshawar. It is an ode to a city that has seen millenniums of chaos and prosperity but has remained resilient and booming. Peshawar is as old as they come with its historical origins rooted in the evolution of Silk Road and invasion by Alexander the Great. The Purushapura of the Buddhists is bleeding profusely.

I would not go into the centuries of historical perspectives as people are no longer interested in bygone eras. Until only a decade ago, Peshawar was the cultural hub of Pashtuns, both Pakistanis and Afghans. Although the Taliban were controlling Kabul, Pakistani areas were safer. Pakistani intelligence agencies were supporting the Taliban and so was the Pakistani government. This lull before the storm provided great cultural and entertainment opportunities in Peshawar.

There were regular sessions of music and dance at the local theaters. Pushtu movie industry, on the other hand, was going strong. Interestingly, Pushtu films were almost always based on making heroes out of villains and quite gory in their outlook — with a liberal dose of skin show. Peshawar was also known for its gastronomic delights. Beef ‘Tikka‘ was the most popular cuisine followed by "Chappal Kebabs" (spicy minced beef with onions, tomatoes and herbs).

Apart from the cuisine, everything has been in tatters in Peshawar. It all started when President Musharraf entered an alliance with the Taliban and their interlocutors i.e. Islamist parties. He and other military agencies, especially ISI, saw to it that all major Afghan Taliban factions are secured in the havens in Pakistani tribal areas.

He maneuvered the 2002 Pakistan elections to help Islamist parties gain strong foothold in NWFP and Baluchistan. It was a ploy to welcome pro-Taliban elements in government along the border regions with Afghanistan. As soon as the Islamist parties came into power, they banned music, sprayed black paint over hoardings that displayed women and put an end to the cultural and theatrical performances. This proved to be a turning point for the centuries old Pashtun culture of music, dance and performance art.

The worst blow was to woman rights as they were effectively barred from education, health and other facilities. Education was not banned like the Taliban rule but there were enough unseen roadblocks that many women teachers ultimately decided to stay at home. This badly affected women education in that region.

Islamist parties took a beating in the 2008 national elections and a moderate government was set up in NWFP. There were high hopes of a resurgence of Pashtun culture but the genie of terrorism emerged from the bottle of Pakistani intelligence agencies.

They were nursing the Taliban for decades and it was now a payback time. Taliban insurgency in Swat and tribal areas spread to other parts of NWFP. As always, women became their first target and they started blowing up women schools and colleges. Entertainment came next with slaying of singers and dancers and burning/bombing of video rental shops. Hundreds of professional singers and dancers have fled the region or have stopped their activities. Video rental stores still offer video rentals of Indian movies but in a hush-hush manner. They advertise themselves as selling Islamic DVD and keep the stack of movies hidden in the secret chambers of their stores. Even the famous Peshawar museum — with hundreds of Buddhist artifacts, is not really accessible for public.

As of now, Peshawar and other cities of NWFP bear a deserted look. Peshawar, in particular, has become a city of death. I recently visited the famous Qissa Khawani market of Peshawar that was the hub of traveling caravans for centuries. They used to sit in the open lounges of tea vendors (Pashtun version of street cafes) and narrate their stories. Although telephone and other means of communication had already sealed their fate years ago; there were many story tellers in this area. Now, the whole area is devoid of any activity. Tea vendors have closed their shops due to low patronage and there are no story tellers. There is not even any typical hullabaloo that is associated with a major market of a cosmopolitan city.

A local press report said that only one business has flourished in Peshawar in recent years i.e. of coffin makers. They are doing roaring business and are striving hard to meet the high demands. So that is the fate of Peshawar for now; a city of coffins. There is still a hope of recovery as the citizens of Peshawar, known as Peshawaris, are resilient and can tackle the Taliban. This, however, is not possible as long as elements of the Pakistani security establishment continue propping them up and Islamist parties charge ahead with their message of intolerance.

AntiWar Protester Facing Criminal Case

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AntiWar Protester Facing Criminal Case

Monday, 7 December 2009, 3:19 pm
Press Release: SFWCW Mwdia

AntiWar Protester Facing Criminal Case: Hearing Monday Dec. 7

Oakland (Alameda County) – A Bay Area woman well-known for leading anti-war protest still faces a criminal case over demonstrations in 2008 against military recruiters in Berkeley. After repeated postponements of her trial, this Monday Stephanie Tang will appear before an Alameda County judge for a hearing that could bring this case nearer to conclusion

The hearing on Monday December 7 is set for 9:00 AM in Department 104 of the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse at 661 Washington St., Oakland. [Note: Courthouse security processing for entry requires approximately 30 minutes.] Tang and her attorney, noted Oakland civil rights attorney Walter Riley, will be available for comment before and after the hearing.

In February 2008, at a nonviolent protest march against military recruiters who had opened an office in downtown Berkeley – a city where no one can recall the last time a recruiting station existed within city limits – Tang was clubbed by a Berkeley police officer charging into the march. As a leader of the anti-war group World Can’t Wait, she is well-known to the police and other city officials.

Tang was not arrested at the time. She was also not arrested while being treated for her injuries at a hospital emergency room, by Berkeley police officers who rushed there in an unsuccessful attempt to interview her even after she refused to speak to police without a lawyer present. Weeks later, by postal mail, Tang was notified that the Alameda County District Attorney was criminally charging her with one misdemeanor count of obstruction of a police officer. Police reports underlying the charge were flagrantly un-factual, sensationalized, and included a request for an 8-block stayaway order to keep Tang out of downtown Berkeley.

“War criminals responsible for an illegitimate, immoral war and torture are walking free, including Bush and Cheney on down to John Yoo right here at UC Berkeley Law — and we who work to stop this war get clubbed, prosecuted, and sent to jail? Something’s wrong there!” commented Tang, the day before the hearing.

World Can’t Wait and many supporting organizations and community forces continue to call for the case against Tang to be dropped.

“As Barack Obama sends 30,000 more troops in to escalate America’s death and destruction in Afghanistan – now more than ever, protest and resistance can not be silenced, and that’s the goal of this trumped-up prosecution against me,” she said.

ANTIWAR: Rochester, mad as hell

[Ah, yes, the SDS.  Smells like the sixties to me.  It’s about freakin’ time!]

ANTIWAR: Rochester, mad as hell

Rochester Students for a Democratic Society marched on city streets late Friday afternoon to protest Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan and the US presence in Iraq.

Funk the War 3 went off without the controversy and violence of SDS’ October march, which led to a hostile confrontation with police and the arrests of several SDS members.

Rochester had its share of demonstrations last week, with two antiwar rallies on Friday and an earlier rally to protest the State Senate’s defeat of marriage equality.

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Market bombs ‘kill dozens’ in Pakistan’s Lahore

Market bombs ‘kill dozens’ in Pakistan’s Lahore

Local television shows the fire still burning and other buildings smoking

Two bomb blasts have ripped through a busy market in the centre of Pakistan’s second largest city, Lahore, killing at least 30 people, police and medics say.

The attack, which injured some 100 people, sparked a huge blaze at the city’s Moon Market at 2045 local time.

The toll may rise further as fire-fighters battle to control the blaze.

The blasts came just hours after a suicide bomber on a rickshaw killed at least 10 people in Peshawar when he blew himself up near the courthouse.

In Lahore, emergency vehicles and police officers are at the scene of the blast, where television pictures showed smoke rising and cars burning.

Market blaze

One official said the blasts happened in quick succession and that dozens were injured when the blast struck the market, crammed with shoppers and traders.

“The fire engulfed a building and shops. There were two blasts with an interval of about 30 seconds,” senior city police official Shafiq Ahmad told French news agency AFP.

“One was in front of a bank and one was in front of a police station.”

The two buildings targeted were about 30m apart – one on the edge of the market and the other at its centre.

The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool, in Islamabad, says eyewitnesses say that much of the market remains inaccessible.

Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the bombs were apparently remote-controlled devices, AP reports.

More than 400 people have been killed during a string of attacks mounted by Islamist militants in recent weeks, as an army offensive targeting the Taliban stronghold in the country’s north-west continues.

Close to the country’s border with India, Lahore has been hit several times by militants over the past year.

Earlier in the day, a suicide bomber detonated about 6kg (13lb) of explosives outside a courthouse in the north-western city of Peshawar.

The attack killed 10 people – including a policeman – and wounded 44 others.