[This isn't about race, it is about a colonizing power incrementally sweeping the inhabitants off the land. This is about the sixth most powerful military force in the world sweeping into an area of a few square miles with all its might, pretending that civilian collateral deaths are being avoided. Look at the destruction left in the wake of Cast Iron and the medieval siege that the Palestinian people have been barely living under ever since. Construction materials are weapons--SURE, RIGHT.
The Zionist state only knows a dialogue of weapons, yet it expects the world to treat everything that it does with kid gloves.]
by Hillel Fendel – Israel National News Jan. 31, 2010
Following his scathing critique of the Goldstone Report, for which Israel is preparing a response, Harvard Law School’s Professor Alan Dershowitz calls Goldstone an “evil man.”
Speaking with Army Radio on Sunday morning, Dershowitz said that Goldstone – whose report to the United Nations on Israel’s anti-terrorism Operation Cast Lead accused Israel of war crimes – “is a traitor using his Jewishness to malign Israel… He is an evil man, one who allowed himself to be used against the Jewish people, an absolute traitor.”
In his internet-publicized analysis of the Goldstone report, Dershowitz wrote that it is “much worse than most of its detractors (and supporters) believe. It is far more accusatory of Israel, far less balanced in its criticism of Hamas, far less honest in its evaluation of the evidence, far less responsible in drawing its conclusion, far more biased against Israeli than Palestinian witnesses, and far more willing to draw adverse inferences of intentionality from Israeli conduct and statements than from comparable Palestinian conduct and statements.”
Goldstone’s report, Dershowitz wrote, “is worse than any report previously prepared by any other United Nations agency or human rights group. As Maj.-Gen. Avichai Mandelblit, the advocate general of the Israeli Defense Forces, aptly put it: ‘I have read every report, from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Arab League. We ourselves set up investigations into 140 complaints. It is when you read these other reports and complaints that you realize how truly vicious the Goldstone report is. He made it look like we set out to go after the economic infrastructure and civilians, that it was intentional: It’s a vicious lie.’”
Methodology Worse than Conclusions
Dershowitz said that though the conclusions are harmful and unfavorable to Israel, it is Goldstone’s “methodology, analysis and substantive findings” that should be criticized. Dershowitz wrote that he has offered to debate Goldstone about his findings, but that Goldstone “has refused, as he has generally refused to respond substantively to credible critics of the report.”
Different Standards for Israel, Hamas
Prof. Dershowitz chiefly targets two aspects of the report. One is the fact that it uses different criteria for judging Hamas actions and Israeli actions: “Its writers applied totally different standards, rules and criteria in evaluating the intent of the parties to the conflict.” For instance, when faced with doubts about various incidents, in Israel’s case they were resolved against Israel, “concluding that its leaders intended to kill civilians,” while doubts regarding Hamas activities were resolved in favor of Hamas, “concluding that it did not intend to use Palestinian civilians as human shields.”
“Moreover, when it had precisely the same sort of evidence in relation to both sides – for example, statements by leaders prior to the commencement of the operation – it attributed significant weight to the Israeli statements, while entirely discounting comparable Hamas statements. This sort of evidentiary bias, though subtle, and perhaps not readily apparent to the non-legal reader, permeates the entire report.”
The Goldstone report also “takes a completely different view regarding the inferring of intent from actions. When it comes to Israel, the report repeatedly looks to results and infers from the results that they must have been intended. But when it comes to Hamas, it refuses to draw inferences regarding intent from results. For example, it acknowledges that some [Hamas] combatants wore civilian clothes, and it offers no reasonable explanation for why this would be so other than to mingle indistinguishably from civilians. Yet it refuses to infer intent from these actions.”
Conclusions are Wrong
Secondly, Dershowitz writes that the two central conclusions reached in the report are “demonstrably wrong.” The report’s two conclusions are that 1) Israel used the 8,000 Hamas rocket attacks on its citizens as an [excuse] for the real purpose of the operation, which was to target innocent Palestinian civilians for death, and 2) Hamas was not guilty of deliberately and willfully using the civilian population as human shields. It found “no evidence” that Hamas fighters “engaged in combat in civilian dress,” “no evidence” that “Palestinian combatants mingled with the civilian population with the intention of shielding themselves from attack,” and no support for the claim that mosques were used to store weapons… As we will see, the report is demonstrably wrong about both of these critical conclusions.”
Dershowitz told Army Radio that he feels Israel should respond to the report by conducting its own inquiry, by a committee headed by a former Supreme Court judge.
He said that he and Goldstone were friends and colleagues for a long time, “but now I see him as a traitor… It’s as if they would have taken a Jew to edit the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He uses his Jewish last name to kosher his slander of the Jewish People.”
[The Pakistani people share a common problem with the American people, besides the terror war that is consuming us both, that is, that neither of our great Nations will survive if we don’t rid ourselves of the two corrupt political parties that dominate us. In the US, both Democrat and Republican parties are dominated by a foreign entity, the Zionist entity and its powerful political lobby; Pakistan is dominated by the same power, flowing through American hands, right into the pockets of MQM and ANP politicians. Your survival requires their elimination, or at least, their disempowerment.]
PESHAWAR: Expressing grave concern over the bomb explosion and incidents of target killings in Karachi, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Sirajul Haq Saturday claimed that the Awami National Party and Muttahidda Qaumi Movement were preparing the ground for martial law.
Addressing a news conference, he said 45 people were killed during the last five days in Karachi including 35 from different areas of the Frontier province. He alleged that the hands of both ANP and MQM were stained with the blood of innocent Pakistanis, particularly the Pakhtuns.
He said that innocent Pakhtuns were being massacred in Karachi, while the so-called Pakhtun nationalist party was enjoying power. Had the ANP had the slightest concern for the Pakhtuns, it would have quit the Sindh government, he added.
The JI vice-president alleged that both the ANP and MQM were dancing to the tunes of their foreign masters and the possibility of US security agency, Blackwater, in the Friday’s Karachi blasts cannot be ruled out. He said with the increase in the US involvement in the internal affairs of the country, the terror activities have shown a considerable surge. He said that the US had deployed its security personnel under different titles at all the sensitive spots from Karachi to Khyber. He said that Malakand division too was on the hit list of the US.
Sirajul Haq said a JI delegation would visit Karachi to analyse the situation, meet families of the victims of the terror wave and hold meetings with different political parties to think over restoration of peace in the economic capital of the country.
He also criticised the Sindh government for its failure to restore peace in the port city. “If the Sindh government is unable to control the situation, it should better quit power,” he stressed.
By Munawar Hasan
LAHORE: Pakistan will take up the issue of low flows of western rivers on the sidelines of the routine site inspection being conducted by the visiting Indian delegation.
Talking to The News here on Saturday, Syed Jamaat Ali Shah, Indus Water Commissioner, said as per the treaty, both India and Pakistan were permitted to routinely inspect various water-related sites.
He added though there was no scheduled meeting during the five-day visit of the Indian delegation, Pakistan would take up the issue of low flows with India on the sidelines. “We will ask them to share facts about the rivers’ low flows,” he maintained.
To a question, he said Pakistan had decided to raise the construction of Kishanganga Hydropower Project with a third party as this issue could not be resolved at the commissioner level.
Low inflows have been witnessed in the Rivers Chenab and Jhelum for the past several months. Particularly, the flow of the Chenab is very low after construction of Baglihar Hydropower project by India in held Kashmir.
In recent months, flows of the River Jhelum are also not consistent, raising concerns in the country. Pakistan has demanded river flow data from India time and again. Despite a series of correspondence and meetings in the past, India is not willing to share data of western rivers.
According to the 1960 Indus Water Treaty, India was bound to share river flow data with Pakistan.
Meanwhile, a three-member Indian delegation, headed by Indus Water Commissioner of India Auranga Nathan, arrived from Delhi.
The Indian delegation will undertake a routine inspection of four different sites at rivers Ravi and Sutlej to review the water flow situation. These sites include Baloki Headworks, Sidhnai Headworks, Islam Headworks and Sulemanki Headworks. A delegation of Pakistan will also visit India for inspecting sites later.
APP adds: Jamaat Ali Shah said Pakistan would propose setting up of a court of arbitration and appointment of neutral experts over India’s Kishanganga hydropower project.
Speaking in a programme of Radio Pakistan, he said the proposal would soon be forwarded to New Delhi after getting complete information. He said the shortage of water is mainly due to less rains both in India and Pakistan and added at the same time the Indian commissioner has been contacted to verify any obstruction on their side.
Jamaat also proposed setting up of telemetry system by a neutral agency to monitor the distribution of water between the two countries under the Indus Water Treaty.
[What passes for world government these days has largely been shaped by American hands, this includes the negotiations regime for the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, more than any other. The United States has claimed for itself the privilege of determining who shall have nuclear weapons, but, since the Bush Administration, we have pursued non-proliferation by the path of confrontation, over cooperation. To call upon the world to unite in the quest to make the Iranian people more miserable than they already are, by hurting their government, is just the same old pig-headed bullying tactic that we have always relied on. To solve the issue of Iranian nuclear power, eliminate the nuclear fire at their backs that compels them to seek balance in the equation.
The Obama Administration has proven itself to be the mirror-image of the Bush/Cheney regime. Obama and Gates should stop lying to the world about our benevolent intentions. In the face of the monstrous nuclear arsenal of Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia would both be suicidal to NOT seek nuclear weapons as fast as possible. (Anyone who thinks that the Saudis do not have the same intentions is delusional.) That is the only issue here, the danger presented by Israeli nukes to everybody in the Middle East, all the way to Pakistan. Solve the problem of Israel’s “ambiguous” arsenal and you will end the compulsion of Islamic regimes to seek nuclear weapons in the Middle East.]
ROME: U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday urged the international community to work together to bring pressure on the Iranian government rather than its people to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
"If the international community will stand together and bring pressure to bear on the Iranian government, I believe there is still time for sanctions and pressure to work," he added. "But we must all work together," Gates told a news conference in Rome.
"Pressures that are focused on the government of Iran, as opposed to the people of Iran, potentially have greater opportunity to achieve the objective," he said.
TIMERGARA: NWFP Senior Minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour on Saturday said the guards of Blackwater were present in the province to provide security to US officials.
“Yes, Blackwater is responsible for providing security to the international non-governmental organisations and the US embassy staff in the province,” the minister told reporters after his visit to the hospital, where he met those injured in the recent suicide bombing in Dir Lower district that killed, among others, three US soldiers.
The ANP leader said his party had launched an all-out war against the militants and there would be no deal with the enemies of peace.
Bashir Bilour, however, also condemned the US drone strikes in the tribal areas and termed the attacks a blatant violation of the country’s sovereignty. He added that unity was essential for the defeat of the militancy in the region.
He said the security situation in the Malakand region had improved and it would be further strengthened in the next six months. He said talks would be held with only those militants, who renounce militancy, as there would be no leniency towards those fighting against the state.
During his visit to the District Headquarters Hospital, he directed the doctors to provide best possible treatment to the victims of the blast.
The senior minister distributed compensation cheques among the families of the blast victims, including the four schoolgirls, who were killed.
[I hate to say this, but it seems to be true, in my conversations with Pakistanis, that everybody in Pakistan hates someone else. I blame most of this intolerance upon the intense Islamisation of Pakistan by Zia and those who followed him, to feed the CIA/ISI "mujahidin" program. I think that the rest can be described as leftover hostility from the religious divisions that were amplified in the struggle for Pakistani statehood.]
Coming on the heels of the Ashura tragedy, the two blasts in Karachi on Friday are a reminder that sectarian violence poses one of the greatest threats to Pakistani society. Well over 4,000 people have been killed in the past two decades in sectarian — involving primarily Shias and Sunnis — violence.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for Friday’s attacks, fingers are pointing at banned sectarian outfits such as Jundullah and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. No doubt, radicalised militants are behind the kinds of anti-Shia attacks we saw on Dec 28, and again on Friday. But the time has come to put sectarian violence in a broader perspective.
Such violence can no longer be denounced as the work of fringe elements, an accident of history or politics. Instead, it must be recognised as a symptom of an increasingly intolerant and divisive society.
Indeed, intolerance is very much a characteristic of Pakistani society, a fact obvious to anyone who follows the media. Take, for instance, the highly sensationalised, racist jibe at Senator Babar Ghauri by Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan. Khan resorted to racism as a response to Ghauri’s accusation that he had an illegitimate child. But the ease with which he opted for the race card — and the resounding applause that met his comment — indicates that intolerance is thriving here.
Khan’s one-off insult cannot, however, compare with the consistent intolerance preached by other prominent personalities. Pakistani bloggers have made much of self-proclaimed strategic analyst Zaid Hamid’s Wake Up Pakistan campaign, which is explicitly anti-India. Although the campaign calls for an “ideological revolution” that restores the Muslim identity of the Pakistani state, Hamid’s dream of Radio Pakistan broadcasting from New Delhi has come to symbolise the no-compromises attitude of this particular movement.
Meanwhile, Pakistani grievances against US government policies such as escalating drone attacks and the use of private security firms may be justified. But anti-Americanism is slowly becoming conflated with anti-white sentiments: local websites, for example, publish photographs of any white person spotted here, identifying them as Blackwater or CIA agents.
Similarly, in the last year or so, public disdain for the Taliban has been expressed through discriminatory attitudes towards all Pushto-speaking people, who are being pushed out of jobs and increasingly find themselves the victims of arbitrary arrests and harassment.
Returning to a religious context, there is no shortage of examples of intolerance. Sunni-Shia sectarian violence seems to be on the rise in Karachi. Religious parties and the opposition PML-N hushed up calls for the repeal of the controversial blasphemy laws — long identified as anti-minority — after eight Christians were killed in Gojra last year. In September 2008, popular televangelist Aamir Liaquat declared that Islam sanctioned the murder of Ahmadis. Subsequently, at least two Ahmadis were murdered in cold blood. Need one go on?
The government has fuelled this widespread intolerance by employing vague terminology and heaping all the country’s problems on ‘non-state actors’ and ‘foreign elements’. This language has perpetuated a belief in an amorphous, elusive enemy that is defined by one characteristic alone: not being Pakistani. This allows anyone who believes they can define the traits of a Pakistani (increasingly synonymous with Sunni Muslim) to fill in the vague outline of the enemy with that which is considered the ‘other’: Hindu, American, Israeli, Shia, Ahmadi, Christian, Sikh.
And this practice is no longer confined to political, extremist or media circles: the trend is proliferating among Pakistan’s urban, educated middle classes. Just this week, I heard of two incidents that betray the extent of xenophobia and religious intolerance in our society. After an intense medical examination, a friend was using yogic breathing to compose herself when another patient in the waiting room asked her contemptuously if she were Hindu.
Across town, incidentally in another hospital waiting room, an aunt decided to say her prayers. When she was done, a woman spitefully asked her if she belonged to the Ahmadi community. When she responded that she was not, the woman asked, “how can you not be, if you pray with nail polish on?”
In other words, we now live in a society in which any evidence of divergent beliefs or differing practices invites judgment. Rather than embrace diversity and pluralism, or respect people’s personal choices, we are becoming a people who label, despise and even attack that which is deemed to be variant.
A 2005 International Crisis Group report concluded “sectarian conflict in Pakistan is the direct consequence of state policies of Islamisation and marginalisation of secular democratic forces”. But, as the above examples suggest, sectarianism and other forms of intolerance have gone well beyond the political realm, and are now in danger of becoming social norms.
Indeed, a January 2010 report by the Legatum Institute, a London-based think tank, argues that Pakistani society will become more Islamist in the coming years. The report says that religious parties will not win more votes, but will exercise more ‘soft power’ through participation in political coalitions. This power will manifest itself in a move towards ‘Islamic values’, which will be articulated in increasingly conservative and intolerant legislatures; for example, Sharia-compliant laws to govern the banking system, limited women’s participation in the public sphere, public displays of piety, and the further marginalisation of minorities.
This means that the horrors Karachi saw on Friday, and that the country has grappled with for decades, will no longer be the extreme activities of militant groups — they will be an expression of public sentiment. We can already see how incitement to hatred is a prerequisite for representing Pakistanis, while religiously, racially and ethnically motivated violence is becoming intertwined with nationalism.
If our politicians, public figures and media personalities do not make a concerted effort to preach and practise tolerance, Pakistan will continue to head down an explosive path.
The rally on Thursday will commemorate the 31st victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
Intelligence forces, according to Borna News Agency, arrested the men who had plans to leave the country for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and then head to the United States.
According to the report, some of those arrested work for the US-backed Radio Farda, a Persian language station based in Prague and Washington.
The Agni-III missile was fired from Wheeler Island, off the coast of the eastern state of Orissa
By Pratap Mohanty (AFP) – 8 hours ago
BHUBHANESWAR, India — India successfully tested a nuclear-capable missile on Sunday, a defence ministry spokesman said, days after the government proposed a resumption of talks with arch-rival Pakistan.
The surface-to-surface Agni-III missile with a range of more than 3,000 kilometres (2,000 miles) was fired from Wheeler Island, off the coast of the eastern state of Orissa.
“It hit the target with pin-point accuracy and met all the mission objectives,” ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar told reporters in New Delhi.
The trial meant “now the missile system will be fully inducted into the armed forces,” he said.
It was the fourth test of the weapon, which can carry conventional or nuclear payloads of 1.5 tonnes and uses solid fuel.
Defence Minister A.K. Antony congratulated organisers on the “remarkable success” of the project, which came as a breakthrough appeared possible in India’s fraught relations with Pakistan.
India on Wednesday said it was open to foreign secretary-level talks with its neighbour, signalling an improvement in ties badly damaged by the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.
The two nuclear-armed nations launched a peace dialogue in 2004 that helped lower tensions but India halted talks after the Mumbai siege and steadfastly refused to restart them until Islamabad brought those behind the attacks to justice and cracked down on militant groups on its soil.
India blamed the assault on its financial hub on the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group.
Observers said India’s latest proposal of talks would not amount to a resumption of the full-scale dialogue, but would be a step in that direction.
The United States, battling the Taliban in Pakistan’s neighbour Afghanistan, is keen to calm friction between New Delhi and Islamabad to prevent any further regional instability.
Pakistani officials have pushed Washington to persuade India to resume the dialogue, claiming the perceived threat from India limits Pakistan’s capacity to fight Al-Qaeda and its own Taliban insurgency.
The rival countries have fought three wars since their independence in 1947, two over Muslim-majority Kashmir, which is divided between them but claimed in full by both.
Large separatist protests have erupted in Indian Kashmir over the last week, sparked by allegations that the police were responsible for the deaths of two teenage boys.
The Indian-built Agni-III missile — Agni means fire in Sanskrit — was first tested in 2006 and brings major cities in China, such as Shanghai, within striking distance, defence analysts say.
The missile tested on Sunday was fired from a mobile rail launcher, government sources said.
Copyright © 2010 AFP.
LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Taliban militants are massing and preparing for a big fight ahead of a major NATO offensive in an insurgent stronghold in southern Afghanistan, villagers fleeing the area said on Sunday.
U.S. Marines are set to launch a massive operation within days to take Marjah, a dense warren of canals and lush farmland in the center of Helmand, the country’s most violent province.
Military commanders are dubbing the area the last big Taliban enclave in the province. The offensive, one of the biggest of the eight-year-old war, will mark the first major show of force since U.S. President Barack Obama ordered in 30,000 extra troops.
Washington hopes the Marine operation will help decisively turn the momentum this year in a war that commanders accept has not been going their way. They have also not kept the planned offensive a secret, hoping the militants will give up the fight.
“It has to do with letting people know what’s coming in the hope that the hardcore Taliban, or a lot of the Taliban, will simply leave, and maybe there will be less of a fight,” U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in Turkey on Saturday.
According to some of the villagers escaping Marjah in fear of their lives, fighters are digging in rather than fleeing.
“The Taliban are not going to leave Marjah. We have seen them preparing themselves. They are bringing in people and weapons. We know there is going to be a big fight,” said Abdul Manan, a man from Marjah who had fled to Helmand’s capital, Lashkar Gah.
“The Taliban are very active in Marjah. They are planting mines there and in the surrounding areas,” said another villager, Abdul Khaleq, after arriving in Lashkar Gah with his family.
The Taliban have stepped up their fight against Afghan and foreign troops in recent years. They have largely shied away from face-to-face combat, relying instead on deadly homemade bombs.
Abdullah Nasrat, a Taliban commander in Nad Ali district where Marjah is located, told Reuters by telephone there were some 2,000 insurgents there ready to fight to the death.
“We are well prepared and will fight until the end. We don’t have sophisticated weapons like the Americans with tanks and air planes, but we have Islamic zeal. That is the power we have to fight against the infidels,” he said.
“WRATH OF AMERICANS”
Around one hundred families have fled Marjah and surrounding areas, seeking refuge in Lashkar Gah over the last week, the provincial governor’s spokesman Dawood Ahmadi said. Afghan families average around six members.
Some of those had fled from areas around Marjah where British “shaping” operations have been taking place ahead of the Marine offensive.
“On the government side, we are ready to help these people. We are ready to help up to 50,000 displaced people,” he said, adding there was a possibility of more people fleeing. Those who fled said they feared for their lives.
“We know that the wrath of the Americans is coming upon us. We left Marjah to save our lives and our families’ lives,” Khaleq said.
“We have no shelter, no property. We left our farms. We appeal to the government to help us,” he said, adding that other families had fled to nearby Sangin and Nawa districts.
Many of those arriving in Lashkar Gah told Reuters they had set up in open-air compounds normally used for storage in the city. Helmand has a harsh desert climate where temperatures can soar in summer and drop below freezing in winter.
“We don’t know what will happen to Marjah and to our property. This could go on for months,” said Manan..
TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday told Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization to start work on producing nuclear fuel for a Tehran research reactor, further raising the stakes in a dispute with the West.
Ahmadinejad’s announcement is likely to irritate Western powers which want Iran to send most of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad in return for higher-refined fuel for the Tehran reactor producing medical isotopes.
Last year, Iran and six major powers discussed making such a swap as a way to ease international concern about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but they have failed so far to agree on how to implement the plan.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said the Islamic Republic can make fuel enriched to 20 percent itself if there is no agreement on obtaining the material from abroad.
“We had told them (the West) to come and have a swap, although we could produce the 20 percent enriched fuel ourselves,” Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech.
“We gave them two-to-three months’ time for such a deal. They started a new game and now I (ask) Dr Salehi to start work on the production of 20 percent fuel using centrifuges,” he said, referring to atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi.
But he added at a ceremony marking Iran’s laser technology achievements: “The doors for interaction are still open.”
Ahmadinejad also said Iran had the capability to enrich uranium using laser technology, without elaborating.
On Tuesday, the president had appeared for the first time to drop long-standing conditions Tehran had set for accepting the U.N.-brokered fuel proposal, saying Iran was ready to send its enriched uranium abroad in exchange for nuclear fuel.
But the United States and Germany said on Saturday they saw no sign Tehran would make concessions on its nuclear program, despite upbeat comments from Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki over prospects for a deal.
An accord on exchanging fuel could mark a breakthrough in the long-running dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, which the West fears could be used to produce an atomic bomb. Iran, a major oil producer, says it only aims to generate electricity.
Mottaki said on Friday he saw good prospects for agreement, but restated two conditions that could be stumbling blocks — that any fuel exchange must be simultaneous and that Iran would determine quantities involved.
He said on Saturday he had “a very good meeting” with the head of the U.N. nuclear agency on the fuel swap plan.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director-General Yukiya Amano said he wanted dialogue with Iran to speed up.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told ISNA news agency on Sunday: “Iran’s stance on the nuclear fuel swap has not changed. Iran is still ready to do such an exchange and if the other side is ready we can negotiate over the details of such a deal.”
(Writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Dominic Evans)
By Ladane Nasseri
Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) — Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asked his country’s Atomic Energy Organization to start enriching uranium to 20 percent, the level needed to power its Tehran research reactor.
“Dr. Salehi, start making 20 percent with the centrifuges,” Ahmadinejad said today, addressing the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi.
Ahmadinejad also said his country is still willing to negotiate a deal with Western powers to send low-enriched uranium abroad and have it refined into nuclear fuel. “Even recently we told them let’s swap,” Ahmadinejad said in remarks broadcast live on state television. “We can enrich up to 20 percent, but let’s swap. They made a fuss about it.”
Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said on Feb. 5 that his country was “approaching a final agreement” on having nuclear fuel produced outside the Islamic Republic. The U.S., the other four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany are working to persuade Iran to give up enrichment of uranium, which could be used to produce fuel or make a bomb.
“The road is still open,” Ahmadinejad said today. “If they say we will swap without any conditions and cooperate then we will say very well.”
Iran has a stockpile of 1,500 kilograms of low-enriched uranium and needs to refine it to 20 percent purity to operate a research reactor in Tehran. Iranian officials say the facility, which makes medical isotopes used to diagnose and treat cancer, will run out of fuel in about a year.
Most modern atomic weapons contain about 25 kilograms (55 pounds) of the heavy metal enriched to 90 percent purity.
–Editor: Louis Meixler, Peter Hirschberg.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Beirut at +961-398-6076 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
By David Brunnstrom and Mark Trevelyan
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) – NATO should develop closer ties with China, India, Pakistan and Russia and become the forum for consultation on global security, the alliance’s head said on Sunday, but a senior Russian politician reacted with scepticism.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen speaks during a news conference at the end of the Informal meeting of NATO Defence Ministers in Istanbul February 5, 2010. (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)
The four countries all had interests in stability in Afghanistan and could do more to help develop and assist the country, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said.
“What would be the harm if countries such as China, India, Pakistan and others were to develop closer ties with NATO? I think, in fact, there would only be a benefit, in terms of trust, confidence and cooperation,” he said.
NATO should become the global forum with other nations on a host of security issues extending from terrorism, cyber attacks, nuclear proliferation, piracy, climate change and competition for natural resources as well as Afghanistan, he said.
“NATO can be the place where views, concerns and best practices on security are shared by NATO’s global partners. And where … we might work out how to tackle global challenges together,” he told a conference in Munich ahead of discussion of a new NATO Strategic Concept due to be approved in November.
Rasmussen said NATO was already working with Pakistan, and other countries stood to gain from a stable Afghanistan. “India has a stake in Afghan stability. China too. And both could help further develop and rebuild Afghanistan. The same goes for Russia,” he said.
A senior Russian politician reacted sceptically to the proposals, saying NATO first had to think globally, and complained that Russia had not been involved in the process.
“I believe the problem of NATO today is that NATO develops in reverse order — it tries to act globally more and more but continues to think locally,” said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Duma’s International Affairs Committee.
“As soon as NATO starts to reach beyond its borders this is no longer just an internal matter for NATO,” said Kosachev, who was also speaking the annual Munich Security Conference.
Moscow still views NATO, its Cold War adversary, with deep suspicion. Ties were severely strained by the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia and by U.S.-backed plans to invite more former Soviet states to join the alliance.
Kosachev accused the alliance of provoking the Georgia-Russia conflict by promising Tbilisi eventual membership and of failing to tackle the drugs problem in Afghanistan. He urged NATO to show it was serious by having proper discussions with Russia about Moscow’s security concerns and proposals.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, chair of a group of experts drawing up the Strategic Concept, and Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay backed Rasmussen’s vision of NATO as the preeminent forum for global security discussion.
“I think we are talking about how we can have some coordinating mechanism for all the various organisations that exist in the world,” Albright said, adding that the question was “which organisation can make the biggest difference.”
“While I am a great admirer of the United Nations, I know what it can and cannot do,” she said, noting that it was NATO cooperation that halted the killing in Kosovo in the 1990s.
Rasmussen said he did not see the Western military alliance, which groups 26 European nations, Canada and the United States, becoming a competitor to the United Nations.
“We are talking here about a group of nations consulting, formally or informally, on security. Nothing more.
“In fact, I think it would actually benefit the UN. NATO is operating almost without exception in support of UN resolutions. Allies are all strong and active UN members,” he said.
(Editing by Dave Graham and Dominic Evans)
Copyright © 2008 Reuters
Russia used the stage at the Munich Security Conference to lash out at NATO’s eastward expansion, but the Western alliance was quick to dismiss Moscow’s position as not being sufficiently anchored in the real world.
Europe and the United States should end their “bloc approach” to security based on NATO and instead sign up to Russian proposals for a new security system, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told delegates at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, January 6.
According to the Russian foreign minister, the end of the Cold War gave the opportunity to make the 56-member Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which includes both Russia and the US, the main security organization in Europe.
“Unfortunately, this opportunity was missed, since the choice was made in favor of NATO’s expansion policy, dividing Europe into zones but moving these lines deliberately to the East,” Lavrov said.
His criticism came a day after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev approved a new Russian military doctrine that singles out NATO expansion, describing it as a military threat that undermines efforts to improve ties between the Western military alliance and Moscow.
NATO’s leadership was quick to reject the new Russian military doctrine and insist that the two sides share common interests.
“I have to say that this new doctrine does not reflect the real world,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the conference. “NATO is not an enemy of Russia,”
The Western alliance froze ties with Moscow in 2008 over Russia’s intervention in Georgia. But since then, NATO has gradually resumed formal contacts.
“I think Russia and we share the same interests in success in Afghanistan,” Rasmussen said.
Visiting Moscow in December, Rasmussen had rebuffed the Kremlin’s call for new defense arrangements in Europe, saying he saw no need for a new security treaty as proposed by Russia.
Medvedev had published a draft post-Cold War security pact on November 29, saying this could replace NATO and other institutions and restrict the ability of any country to use force unilaterally. It is a reiteration of Russian calls made since 2008 to outlaw “one state enhancing its security at another’s expense.”
NATO countries reacted skeptically, seeing the Russian plan as an attempt to divide the alliance and saying that the existing Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was the right place to discuss security issues.
Editor: Toma Tasovac
[Obama slight-of-hand to save Harry Reid's hide from anti-nuclear constituents by ending plans for Yucca Mountain, opting for untested site in Utah. SEE: Utah accepting nuclear waste before review ;
The Obama administration promised Monday it would withdraw the application to open a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.
WASHINGTON — After all the years spent fighting the proposedYucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, a phone call on a Wednesday in July between the Senate majority leader and the new energy secretary turned the tide.
The Senate was facing a late-night vote on the Energy Department’s 2010 spending plan, and Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, had the backing of his colleagues to slash funding for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review of a license for the nuclear waste dump.
Reid picked up the phone and got Energy Secretary Steven Chu on the line.
Although President Barack Obama was no friend of Yucca Mountain, Chu was intrigued by the scientific lessons that could be learned studying the nation’s 25-year attempt to build a nuclear waste repository in the Nevada desert. Chu, a Nobel laureate, had said repeatedly since joining Obama’s Cabinet that although Yucca Mountain was no longer an option, he saw value in pressing on with its license application before the commission — a prospect that sent shudders through Nevada’s anti-dump contingency.
Reid had other plans. He believed the licensing process had to end and wanted to pare Obama’s budget for that review.
The conversation between Reid and Chu was brief, as they often are with the majority leader. When the call ended, Reid told his staff what had transpired.
“Chu’s on board to zero out Yucca,” he said, referring to the coming year’s budget.
From that moment on, the cards were stacked against a dump at Yucca: no money, no project.
Much later, Chu’s office would say it came to understand that pursuing a license for the sake of science wouldn’t be worth the cost.
Like so many decisions in Washington, the one made last week to pull the plug on Yucca Mountain’s license application was the product of painstaking deal-making, crafted with carrots and sticks needed for compromise.
It was forged in part by political pressures — a new president keeping his vow to a state that helped elect him, while boosting a chief ally, the majority leader, who faces a difficult re-election race.
The decision also highlights Obama’s pragmatic streak as he forced the powerful nuclear industry to accept demise of a dump at Yucca while also handing out major sweeteners to the industry, a key ally.
As the Obama administration unveiled plans for Yucca last week, it also announced $36 billion in new federal loan guarantees for construction of nuclear plants. Moreover, the industry was given a seat on the administration’s new commission that will spend 18 months studying alternatives.
Kevin Kamps, a longtime anti-nuclear watchdog at Beyond Nuclear, said the exchange was a reminder that “the nuclear power industry is one of the most powerful players in Washington.”
“In my mind, that’s kind of a trade-off: The Obama administration is following through on its promise to Nevada on Yucca while giving this windfall to the nuclear industry,” Kamps said.
When Chu first began expressing desire to keep the Yucca license intact, his comments were considered missteps by a politically naive professor-turned Washington player — a new Cabinet secretary not adhering to the talking points.
But Chu’s belief there was value in pursuing a license for a Yucca repository appeared deeply felt.
“Even as we bring an orderly end to the Yucca Mountain project, the department believes that the license application process can offer useful guidance on how the NRC will approach future applications that could help us toward securing alternatives to Yucca Mountain,” Chu said in a May statement as the president unveiled his first budget.
That worried Yucca Mountain’s foes, particularly staff at Nevada’s Agency for Nuclear Projects, which had fought the dump for decades. If the license were allowed to proceed, a new administration, perhaps without Reid as majority leader, could revive the project.
Chu’s task was complicated by the fact that the government, by law, is responsible for the waste under a deal reached with industry in 1982. Companies have been successfully suing the federal government for failing to open Yucca Mountain, and killing the project could cost billions more.
Meanwhile, the nuclear industry needed to reassure investors that the death of a Yucca dump would not impede the construction of nuclear plants or reverse the government’s commitment to take nuclear waste off the industry’s hands.
But waste was only part of the industry’s problem. New plants are expensive, costing as much as $10 billion each, and the industry needed money to finance construction at a time when Wall Street credit had dried up.
Federal loan guarantees for nuclear plant construction had been a topic of conversation between the industry and Obama long before he became president. During the presidential campaign, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry’s main lobby, brought candidate Obama its wish list.
“Industry was well engaged with the administration on loan guarantees,” institute spokesman John Keeley said.
Obama, from Illinois, is in favor of nuclear power. Unlike Nevada, Illinois is home to nuclear power plants and has more waste stored at plants than any other state.
Obama’s first budget, presented in 2009, was a lesson in compromise. He slashed Yucca Mountain’s budget, allowed the licensing process to continue and called for a national panel to study alternatives.
It didn’t take the dramatic steps some had expected, but pro- and anti-Yucca forces seemed satisfied.
Reid initially accepted the administration’s path, deferring to the Nobel-winning energy secretary’s pursuit of scientific inquiry. But Reid quickly understood that route was not good enough for Nevada and the license must be pulled to guarantee the project’s demise.
Reid pushed to end the project and ensure Allison Macfarlane, a George Mason University professor who has conducted extensive nuclear waste research, was appointed to the panel studying alternatives. Macfarlane is a respected expert who has raised crucial questions about the storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain.
These decisions combined to create a Washington chess game — each side finding ways to advance its goals as the other positioned itself.
Reid wasn’t involved in the loan guarantees for the industry. He has the needed leverage. If the industry hopes to win congressional approval for the beefed-up loan package in Obama’s budget, it will need to go through the majority leader.
Reid is not opposed to incentives for nuclear power “if they’re provided in the context of significant progress on national renewable energy development and part of a compromise clean energy and climate bill that creates jobs and makes us more energy independent,” his spokesman said.
After Reid secured Chu’s commitment to kill Yucca’s budget, his staff asked whether the White House was also onboard.
Reid sealed the deal with Obama’s senior advisers. The next day, the senator’s office issue a news release stating that Obama would zero out dump development funding in 2011.
When the president unveiled his proposed 2011 budget last week, Yucca’s funding had been eliminated and the administration would “take steps” to withdraw the license. Again, the president had made a pragmatic decision to please all sides: Yucca’s license would be pulled but the industry’s loan guarantees, with the addition of $36 billion, would triple.
The energy secretary played his role by announcing simultaneously that the license application would be withdrawn within 30 days, sooner than some had expected.
Chu, who had balked in December at having the project’s budget eliminated, succeeded in shifting as much as $55 million to another Energy Department office so he could close the Yucca project in an orderly way that preserves the scientific research.
As for Chu’s earlier intent to allow the repository process to play out? A spokeswoman said Friday the department decided it was not worth it.
“During the budget process, the department concluded that any information gained from continuing the license application would not outweigh the cost,” spokeswoman Stephanie Mueller said.
“We have begun the process of withdrawing the application to focus our resources on closing down the Yucca site and charting a new path forward through the blue-ribbon commission.”
By Kazim Aizaz Alam
After a bomb attack on the Ashura procession on December 28 in Karachi that killed 43 people, ‘unidentified’ arsonists let loose a spree of carnage in Bolton Market. They burnt 4,500 shops, set ablaze hundreds of godowns and destroyed the entire wholesale market. According to the traders, the total financial loss amounted to Rs40 billion. The market kept burning for three days (so much for the city government’s efficiency). This is one of the biggest scandals of Pakistan’s history. Let’s try to put things in perspective.
As soon as the bomb blast occurred it was called a suicide attack. After two days the FIA said it wasn’t so. The electronic media, however, started dancing to the MQM’s tune and the attack was given the sectarian/Taliban dimension. In the ensuing violence the mobsters wearing mourners’ black cloths burnt property of billions of rupees, and the police, the rangers and other law-enforcement agencies didn’t stop them.
The MQM said it was a reaction to the bombing. The only representative group of Shias with a known history of violence is Imamia Students Organisation (ISO). The Sipah-e-Mohammad, which was the Shia counterpart of the Sipah-e-Sahaba, could not be involved in this organised crime since it has long been disbanded and in any case it was never a mass party and had a very small cadre. So that leaves us with the ISO – the only organised body of Shia youths with militant leanings. Could the ISO burn 4,500 shops and confront the huge contingents of the police and the rangers deployed to provide security for the annual Ashura procession? Only an idiot would believe it. Also the police didn’t fire even a single teargas shell to disperse the arsonists. The fire-brigade department, which comes under the city district government, could not contain the fire in 72 hours with its fleet of 32 fire-tenders. There was no immediate release of any CCTV camera footage of the rampage, and after a couple of days when the selective bits of the footage were finally released they mainly showed Pakhtuns running amok and damaging public property. Moreover, within three hours of the blast banners and posters were put up by the MQM in every nook and cranny of the eighth largest city of the world condemning the attack as well as the Talibanisation of Karachi. How did the MQM have thousands of banners and posters ready across the city on a three-hour notice – that too on a public holiday when all businesses, including printing houses, were closed on account of Ashura?
The thing is: for years the MQM wanted to relocate the wholesale market to a suburb (around Northern Bypass) and get hold of the prized land in the heart of the city whose price runs into billions of rupees. In fact the city government had officially floated this proposal some years back which met resistance from the business community. The land mafia – a euphemism for the MQM and the city government – had its eyes on the prime real estate for years. MQM leader Farooq Sattar visited the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industries along with Interior Minister Rehman Malik after the looting spree where both of them were booed off the stage by angry KCCI members. Traders rejected the government’s ‘offer’ to relocate the market outside the city and protested against it. Meanwhile, some odd phone caller told the media that the TTP accepted the responsibility for the bombing. The MQM heaved a sigh of relief upon hearing this. But who indulged in looting and burning of thousands of shops in the heart of the city in broad daylight in the heavy presence of the police and rangers is, at least to the MQM spokesman, unclear. The MQM supremo supported the shutter-down/wheel-jam strike on Moharram 11 despite the fact that it was his city government, his provincial government and his federal government that failed to stop the mayhem that went on for hours and couldn’t put out the fires whose thick, black smoke hovered over the city skyline for three days. You are in government at all levels and still call for a wheel-jam/shutter-down strike against the unseen Taliban in the city that you literally remote-control from London. And on Friday (tomorrow) the MQM would ‘support’ another wheel-jam/shutter-down strike called by the Sunni Rahbar Council. Shrewd politics indeed.
Explore posts in the same categories: Karachi, MQM, Mass media, Taliban, War against the Pakhtuns, War on terror This entry was posted on December 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm and is filed under Karachi, MQM, Mass media, Taliban, War against the Pakhtuns, War on terror.
[The Tahir Plaza attackers used the same "white powder" (white phosphorus?) that was used in the Bolton Market arsons.
THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT FROM: MQM apologists
"So the moral of the story is that if you want your ‘liberty’ intact in Karachi you will have to support the MQM. OK, but may I ask her who burnt half a dozen lawyers alive after locking them up in Tahir Chambers on main M A Jinnah Road on April 11, 2008? And who held the whole swathes of Karachi hostage on May 12, 2007, and killed at least 52 people in broad daylight? And what to talk of ‘liberty’ when just a couple of months ago, the MQM instigated a pogrom in certain Pakhtun-dominated areas of Karachi and blatantly killed innocent people?"]
By S. Raza Hassan
KARACHI, April 10: When an armed mob set fire to Tahir Plaza in what appears to be a pre-planned attack, the horrifying deaths suffered by six people who were unfortunate enough to be at the wrong place at the wrong time illustrate that it is always ordinary citizens who bear the brunt of politically-triggered unrest.
Once the inferno had died down, rescue workers recovered five bodies from the sixth floor office of advocate Haji Aftab Abbasi, who occupied room 616 in the building which housed various lawyers’ offices and lies adjacent to the City Courts. A sixth body was found late Wednesday night and rescue workers told Dawn that it had apparently been wearing bangles, suggesting that at least one woman died in the blaze.
Charred beyond recognition, the bodies were taken to the Sohrab Goth Edhi morgue. While two were taken away by their heirs for burial, Dawn witnessed a number of people at the morgue on Thursday, endeavouring to find in the blackened corpses some evidence identifying them as their missing loved ones.
Amongst these grieving people was Rasheeda Begum, who feared that her relatives Razia Batool (wife of Nadeem) and Sobia (wife of Shoaib Raza) died in the Tahir Plaza arson attack. The sisters-in-law left their Gulistan-i-Jauhar block 9 home on Wednesday afternoon to visit Mr Abbasi in connection with a bail application for a relative. “Razia left her three-year-old child at home,” said Rasheeda Begum in a trembling voice. “It is not possible to identify the bodies by simply looking at them. The investigation officer said that he is in possession of some rings and bangles recovered from these remains – perhaps they will help us in the identification process.”
Waiting outside the morgue on this sombre business, Rasheeda Begum nevertheless held on to a slim ray of hope – that the two women were rescued and taken to some hospital. “I keep praying that their cell phones start working again,” she told Dawn.
No such hope is available to the family of 23-year-old Danish Akhtar and his brother-in-law Syed Dawar Hussain Rizvi, who are confirmed to have been burnt alive during the arson attack.
“Danish was married just a day before his death,” his cousin Ghulam Haider told Dawn. “On Wednesday, he and Dawar went to advocate Aftab Abbasi’s office to collect the marriage certificate. They left home at about noon and at around 3:30pm or so, Danish called his mother and told her that they were soon about to head home. That was the last we heard from him.”
When Haider reached the scene of the arson attack, he found the qazi who had performed Danish’s nikah also there. “He told us that Danish and Dawar were still in the building,” said Haider. “The bodies were burnt beyond recognition. We were able to recognise Danish from a fragment of his trousers and his melted cell phone. He also had a missing tooth, which proved to be key evidence in establishing his identity.”
Danish was laid to rest in Orangi Town on Thursday night. Meanwhile his brother-in-law Dawar was also identified through personal belongings found on the body. “Perhaps it was Dawar’s turn to be called to his Maker yesterday,” said his grieving father Syed Yawar Hussain as family members attempted to console him at the Rizvia Imambargah in the afternoon.
Advocate Abbasi, meanwhile, remained with his clients to the end as he too died in the blaze and was laid to rest in Lyari. The sixth body was identified as that of 35-year-old Basit Mehmood, who the Muttahida Qaumi Movement claims was the brother of one of the party’s workers. His funeral prayers were offered in Azizabad.
Witnesses to Wednesday’s torching of Tahir Plaza termed it a “well-planned and coordinated attack.”
An eyewitness told Dawn that following the clash at the City Courts, about a hundred young men on motorcycles arrived at Tahir Plaza and first ransacked an eatery located on the ground floor. “About half of them entered the building and started beating the caretaker,” he said. “As they entered, some of the people who sensed danger in the air ran out of the building despite being roughed up by the attackers.”
The witness said that the young men went first to the third floor office, room 309, of Naeem Qureshi. “They were carrying China-made padlocks and sacks of what appeared to be a highly-inflammable powder,” he said, a conclusion confirmed by the chief fire officer who said that such a powder had been used in most of the incidents of arson that took place on Wednesday.
“They would first padlock the doors to each office and then break the glass panes with the butts of their pistols and throw in the powder,” said the witness. “After that, a burning match tossed into the room was enough to ignite a full-blown fire.”
The witness told Dawn that in this way, the youths set fire to rooms 309, and 308 which belonged to advocate Tasuvar Hussain, rooms 116 and 117 which belonged to advocate Ali Qureshi as well as rooms 105 and 109 on the first floor.
They repeated the same procedure on the sixth floor, first locking the grille with a china lock and then throwing in the inflammable powder followed by a light. But advocate Aftab Abbasi and five of his clients were trapped in room 616; they were burnt alive by the arsonists’ actions.
Witnesses said that after the building had been thoroughly gutted, the arsonists made good their escape while resorting firing into the air, forcing everyone in the vicinity to dive for cover.
COMMENTS FROM: MQM apologists
March 6, 2009 at 11:29 am
I AM COPYING BELOW EXCERPTS FROM THE NEWS REPORTS OF NEXT DAY’S DAWN AND THE NEWS.
Six lawyers burnt alive in Karachi
Two women among those killed in building housing lawyers’ chambers; five others die in city violence; rival lawyers clash
April 10, 2008
By Salis bin Perwaiz
KARACHI: Eleven people were killed, at least six of them feared to be lawyers, and several others injured when violence broke out in various parts of the city following a clash between two groups of lawyers outside the City Courts on Wednesday afternoon.
The most horrifying incident took place at Tahir Plaza, where six charred bodies including those of two women were recovered. The police said that the six bodies were of lawyers. The rioters also torched around 50 vehicles in different parts of the metropolis.
The clash between the lawyers at the City Court left eight members of the MQM Legal Aid Committee injured, who were taken to the Civil Hospital. They were identified as Javed Hashmi, Aurangzeb, Shagufta Ijaz and others. Soon after, violence gripped the city, with masked armed men roaming around firing in the air and torching vehicles.
There was unprecedented violence in the vicinity of the City Courts, where unidentified miscreants locked the main gate of the Tahir Plaza, situated opposite the courts. There are more than 200 offices of lawyers in the building. The miscreants opened indiscriminate fire at the building and later set it ablaze.
AND NOW FROM DAWN.
The five people who were burnt beyond recognition were trapped for four hours inside Tahir Plaza, a building near the City Courts housing lawyers’ offices. “We had to break the lock to enter the room and during search we found the charred bodies.”
Fives bodies were recovered from the sixth floor, where Aftab Abbasi, an advocate, had an office.
March 8, 2009 at 5:47 am
I am baffled that educated people of Karachi can only take an X-cabbie as a leader?
Kaloo is a parasite and a traitor; for starting the ethnically supercharged political environment in our lovely city Karachi.
Last thing I want to hear is ignorant people talking about greatest scarify made by people of Karachi in 1947. It was Punjabis coming across the border who got slaughtered; educated Indian Muslims, that now Kaloo seems to tell every one he belongs to, came on the boat. You ignorant, parasitical morons go read your history; you cell phone snatchers!
Kaloo is in state of paranoia and is an incidental learner; he does not seem to get it right the first time:
He starts a party MQM calls it Muhajir movement (I dare to disagree with this term – what about others who migrated and did not speak Urdu? Are they not Muhajir; who gave Kalo the authority to reduce sons and daughters of finest Muslims of India who moved from India to be called Muhair for rest of their life; even after their sons and daughters have born in Pakistan? ).
Then kaloo learns it’s not flying well with everyone nationally or internationally, kalo tries to fit in and changes with is decree to Mutahida. I truly believe it Mustaqill Quomi Musibet!
From the 83’s onwards a truly peaceful city and its people have been stuck with the fool! I want to know who killed Azeem Tariq; Hakeem Saeed and other nobilities. Who threatens living nobilities like Edhi? Who reduces a well trained and groomed (Musharaf) brave national hero an army general to an Urdu speaking only general, an ethnic hero?
I firmly believe that when people can not see beyond their feet they can not get much far, and this is the story of MQM. They are as much to blame of current Pakistani mess as are the Taliban and any other kind of mafia. What was the judgment of the Canadian court?
We will take Karachi (Pakistan Juggler v) back from kalo and his thugs. Remember, when you have small dreams you become a small person/nation. To achieve big things you have to dream big and that includes thinking beyond ethnicity.
Long live Pakistan; Log live Karachi!
Watch the truth: How people been kept hostage!
By Abdus Sattar Ghazali
06 February, 2010
Three US Marines were killed and another two injured in a suicide attack in Dir, northern Pakistan on Wednesday. The Americans, disguised in traditional Pakistani dress, were traveling with Pakistani military officers in a five-car convoy to attend the inauguration of a girl school, which had been renovated with the U.S. humanitarian assistance. Four schoolgirls and a paramilitary soldier were also killed in the attack while more than 120 school girls were injured.
To many Pakistanis the most shocking aspect of the latest Taliban suicide bombing the question was: What was a team of American soldiers doing in a volatile corner of North West Frontier province?
According to Pakistan’s leading newspaper, The News, the three US soldiers were apparently in the area to train the paramilitary Frontier Corp personnel engaged in the military operations against the Taliban in the area.
The suicide bombing on Wednesday was the first against the US soldiers in Pakistan. And it was the first time that so many American soldiers were killed and injured in Pakistan. A US Embassy statement said they were the US military personnel in Pakistan to conduct training at the invitation of the Frontier Corps.
The News reported that the slain US soldiers were part of a 100-member strong special American military training unit which was dispatched to Pakistan in 2008 to raise a 1,000-member strong well-trained paramilitary commando unit which could conduct guerrilla operations against the Taliban militants active in the Pak-Afghan tribal belt.
The military training program was never officially announced by Pakistan to avoid a possible backlash by the masses which are opposed to the American military presence on the Pakistani territory. Interestingly, the US-funded training course for the largely under-equipped and under-trained Frontier Corps included both classroom and field sessions.
The News said that besides dispatching American marines to train the Frontier Corps personnel, the Pentagon had also sent a special team of its Special Forces military advisers, communication experts, technical specialists and combat medics to help establish coordination centers on Pak-Afghan border so that the American and Pakistani officials could share intelligence about al-Qaeda and Taliban elements in and around the tribal areas.
In the beginning, the American military trainers confined themselves to training compounds due to security concerns in Pakistan. However, they had now started accompanying Pakistani troops on special guerrilla operations against the Taliban, eventually leading to the Wednesday incident in Dir Lower which shares a border with Afghanistan and with the restive Swat district, where the Army had carried out a massive military operation last year.
Pakistani press reports indicated that the American soldiers were part of a $100 million Pentagon-funded training program which is meant to equip the Frontier Corps with new body armor, vehicles, and surveillance equipment, and plans to spend $75 million more during the next year. As per the program, the Pentagon intended to spend around $400 million more in the next few years to train and equip the Frontier Corps. This is in addition to a 7.5 billion dollars US assistance for the next five years announced last year under controversial the Kerry-Lugar Act. But behind the scenes the US is engaged in other ways. Over the past decade it has given over $12bn in cash directly to the military to subsidize the costs of fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida. Ominously, part of the money doled out to Pakistan’s mercenary army by the Pentagon is for what United States Special Operations Command (USSOC) calls Foreign Internal Defense (FID) a key pillar of Special Forces’ Unconventional Warfare doctrine.
El Salvador Option:
Unconventional or irregular warfare is conducted “by, with, or through surrogates.” According to Unconventional Warfare doctrine: Irregulars, or irregular forces, are individuals or groups of individuals who are not members of a regular armed force, police, or other internal security force. They are usually nonstate-sponsored and unconstrained by sovereign nation legalities and boundaries. These forces may include, but are not limited to, specific paramilitary forces, contractors, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistance or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketers, and other social or political “undesirables.” (Unconventional Warfare, Defense Department, September 2008, p. 1-3)
Significantly, as in El Salvador, Colombia and a score of other global “hot spots” tagged for resource extraction or geopolitical control by America’s corporatist masters, the USSOC manual calls for the direct training of paramilitary forces.
United States Special Operations Command (USSOC) touts the “success” of their “mission” in El Salvador as an applicable model for countering insurgencies in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
For 12 years, beginning in 1979, the United States assisted the El Salvador military in becoming a more professional and effective fighting force against the Communist-backed Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN). A U.S. military group assisted the El Salvadoran army by establishing a facility for basic and advanced military training. SF advisors, primarily from the 7th Special Forces Group, served with El Salvadoran units to support small-unit training and logistics. The advisors helped the El Salvadoran military become more professional and better organized, while advising in the conduct of pacification and counter guerrilla operations. Advisors were also present at the brigade levels assisting in operations and intelligence activities. From 1985 to 1992, just over 140 SF officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) served as advisors to a 40-battalion army. From a poorly staffed and led force of 8,000 soldiers in 1980, SF trainers created a hard-hitting (counter insurgency force) COIN force of 54,000 by 1986. U.S. forces supported U.S. interests by creating an effective COIN force that fought the guerrillas to a standstill and established the groundwork for a negotiated settlement by 1991. (Foreign Internal Defense (FID) document p A-6)
Translation: between 1980-1991 Special Operations Forces “assistance” to the brutal Salvadoran military produced 75,000 civilian deaths, by and large the result of Army massacres carried out in tandem with far-right narco-trafficking death squads who ruled the roost with an iron fist.
The “hard-hitting COIN force,” while shying away from battles with tough FMLN guerrillas, kidnapped and “disappeared” peasants, labor organizers, students, Catholic priests and nuns, or just plain folks caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, often subjecting them to hideous torture before lining the roads with their brutalized corpses.
Today, Pentagon planners and their cheerleaders in the corporate media are touting these tactics as a “fresh approach” to beat back the Taliban. In Afghanistan and Pakistan today, to ensure that effective measures of “populace and resource control” (PRC) are brought to bear to stem the insurgent tide, FID theorists recommend widespread political repression and panoptic methods of surveilling the “target” population.
The authors’ aver: Rights on the legality of detention or imprisonment of personnel (for example, habeas corpus) may be temporarily suspended. This measure must be taken as a last resort since it may provide the insurgents with an effective propaganda theme.
PRC measures can also include the following:
* Curfews or blackouts.
* Travel restrictions.
* Restricted residential areas, such as protected villages or resettlement areas.
* Registration and pass systems.
* Control of sensitive items (resources control) of critical supplies, such as weapons, food, and fuel.
* Checkpoints, searches, and roadblocks.
* Surveillance, censorship, and press control.
* Restriction of activity that applies to selected groups (labor unions, political groups, and so on). (FID, op. cit. p. A-12)
We see implementation of these measures in the current Pakistan army military operations in South Waziristan as well as in Swat which is occupied by the army in the aftermath of last year’s military operation that displaced more than three million people, killed thousands of innocent people and destroyed neighborhoods and economic centers. At least 400,000 people have been displaced in the current operation in South Waziristan while millions of so-called Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) on return find their homes, shops and neighborhoods damaged by the indiscriminate air strikes and shelling by the army.
If the army atrocities in May-July 2009 operation against the militants in Swat are any indication then we may find extra-judicial killings and mass graves in South Waziristan as uncovered in Swat. Returning residents of Swat displaced by the army operation often found unclaimed bodies dumped in agricultural fields, by the roadside or on the banks of Swat River. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) sent a fact-finding mission to Swat which documented accounts of not only extrajudicial killings but also the discovery of mass graves.
While the Swat displaced people are still clamoring for rehabilitation, the South Waziristan operation has created another humanitarian problem. More than three months after the Pakistani military launched the US-financed offensive, humanitarian aid organizations are only now gaining access to the people who have fled the fighting in the region.
Not surprisingly, according to the Defense of Human Rights of Pakistan, between 8,000 to10,000 people disappeared in Pakistan since General Parvez Musharraf government joined the US “global war on terror.”
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility
A Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Azam Tariq has claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s bombing, saying the dead Americans belonged to the Iraq-ill famed US mercenary army Blackwater – now known as Xe. “We claim responsibility for the blast,” Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Azam Tariq said in a call from an unspecified place. “The Americans killed were members of the Blackwater group. We know they are responsible for bomb blasts in Peshawar and other Pakistani cities,” he said.
Pakistan’s government could now face further anti-American feeling as the deaths disclosed the extent of the unpopular US military involvement. Tensions over American Predator drone missile strikes against Taliban and al-Qaeda militants on Pakistani soil have already led to widespread anti-American protests. In the most intense barrage yet an estimated eight drones fired at least 17 missiles at different compounds and vehicles in North Waziristan on Tuesday which killed at least 31 people.
The American soldiers were probably made targets as a result of the drone strikes, according to Syed Rifaat Hussain, professor of international relations at Islamabad University. “The attack seems a payback for the mounting frequency of the drone attacks,” Professor Hussain said.
If the American soldiers were the targets, the attack raised the question of whether the Taliban had received intelligence or cooperation from within the Frontier Corps. Pakistani analysts said Wednesday’s bombing underscored the strength of militant networks in the area despite the military presence and last year’s bloody offensive. “The attack shows maybe they had some advance information that the convoy had some foreigners… and that the militants’ intelligence is still active, and this is a matter of concern,” said retired intelligence officer Saad Khan. “The situation in the area is still not normal and it is not going to be over soon.”
According to Khalid Aziz, a former chief secretary of the North-West Frontier Province, which includes Swat and Dir, it was odd that American soldiers would go to such a volatile area where Taliban militants were known to be prevalent even though the Pakistani army insisted that they had been flushed out.
The killing of the three US soldiers was a deep embarrassment to the US client Pakistani government of President Asaf Ali Zardari. The Pakistani public has been increasingly upset about the alleged activities of the US military and Blackwater (Xe) in their country. There is a general impression among Pakistanis that the wave of bombings besetting their country, blamed by the mainstream on the Taliban, is secretly carried out by American agents, in order to destabilize Pakistan and justify a US imperial presence.
A survey last August for international broadcaster al Jazeera by Gallup Pakistan found that 59 percent of Pakistanis felt the greatest threat to the country was the United States. A separate survey in August by the Pew Research Center, recorded that 64 percent of the Pakistani public regards the U.S. “as an enemy” and only 9 percent believe it to be a partner.
Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Executive Editor of the online magazine
American Muslim Perspective: www.amperspective.comEmail: email@example.com
Latest Exchange Rates: 1 United States Dollar = 84.95734 Pakistani Rupee
Rs.3.6 billion = $42,352,941/1 year
PESHAWAR: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan are spending almost Rs.3.6 billion on around 15,000 of its fighters in the country, said Governor of the NWFP Owais Ghani, on Saturday.
Ghani said that the militant group is able to spend extraordinary amounts of money due to the funds it receives from the opium trade in Afghanistan. He claimed that opium being smuggled out of Afghanistan amounts to approximately 93 per cent of the world’s supply.
The governor also stated that Pakistan is situated at the geo-political fault line and the prevailing circumstances are the destiny of our country. He said that only a political solution can deliver in the region, military action was no more a realistic solution
Sabeel’s 5th International Young adult Conference: 12 Days in Israel- Palestine: July 21st – August 1st Jerusalem 2010
For young adults between 18-35 years of age with an open mind and ready for a REALITY TOUR of Israel Palestine and an alternative pilgrimage experience to the Holy Land that emphasizes active engagement with NONVIOLENT Palestinian Muslims, Christians and Israeli Jews, please check it out asap for application deadline is June 1st and you may just qualify for Financial Aid to help pay your way, so don’t delay:
A few of my SABEEL experiences and related articles follow.
On November 3, 2006, Reverend Naim Ateek, a modest soft-spoken man, 21st century prophet and the Founder and Director of Sabeel/The Way Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, addressed over 330 international ecumenical Christians who had gathered in Jerusalem in the Notre Dame Conference Center for Sabeel’s 6th International Conference: The Forgotten Faithful.
He sent chills through me when he stated, “Israel will not survive unless it does justice! The situation is deteriorating and we must frustrate Israel’s plans and actions because they are not built on justice. All we are asking for is that they honor International Law! Israel is afraid of International law and this proves something is very wrong with Israel. We want Israel to live in peace and with security. The only way is honoring International law. That is the bottom line and what we work and pray for.”
Reverend Ateek’s classic Justice and Only Justice laid the foundation of a theology that addresses the conflict over Palestine and explores the political as well as the religious, biblical and theological dimensions. From a position of faith, Reverend Ateek seeks solutions based on justice, peace, nonviolence and reconciliation.
On November 8, 2006 Reverend Ateek spoke again, “In Israel officially speaking of Palestinians is taboo: we are referred to as Arab Christians. When I say the Holy Land I include both Israel and Palestine. Ultimately only God knows about the future of Christianity in this place. We live in the scientific world and God has given us wisdom, knowledge, technology to be used for good and our future and destiny are in Gods hands.
“There are many red lights; external and internal dangers. What can we do at the grass roots level? The Palestinian Christian community must rise above petty denominational differences. The impending dangers force us to ask what can we do, what must we do?
“There is no future in isolation or passivity. Our futures are all linked together. There is an urgent need to articulate and work with other faiths, especially Islam. Our future depends on good relations with all our brothers and sisters. We need a Committee of Christian and Muslim leaders to dialogue and work together to confront militant extremist fundamentalism.
“Our relation with Israel is the most important issue for there can be no peace without justice. There can be no effective policy without ending the occupation in accordance with all UN Resolutions. The city of Jerusalem must be shared and there must be a just solution for refugees.
“Pressure on Israel must be done with nonviolent needs and the way is the way Christ taught: nonviolent and forgiving. The achievement of peace is not the end; but the beginning of reconciliation. The survival of Christianity in the Holy land is through true democracy. We must avoid the minority complex. We cannot depend on the good will of people in power. We want to be protected by a constitution with full citizenship and nationality must be combined. Only in Israel is there a distinction between nationality and citizenship. Only good democracy can guarantee all citizens are treated equally under the same law.”
“What can the West do? There is an urgent need for education about the roots of Christians in Palestine and to challenge the myths. Seek out Palestinian Christians in your midst and relate to them. Be aware of Palestinian concerns for justice and human rights. Work for a just solution of the conflict which is equal human rights for all. Support projects to increase the Christian witness: visit the Holy land and meet with Palestinian Christians. Forge closer links with churches in the West and in the Holy Land. Challenge Christian Zionism. Think Creatively!
“In the beginning the Jesus movement was very small. It began with 12 committed citizens. It began with love and Christ addressed his followers: FEAR NOT little flock! You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. To capture the essence of what Christians should be is to be salt and light. You don’t need a lot of salt to add flavor and even a small light can illuminate the way for many.
“To be salt and light is to be truthful, honest, have integrity and to be of service and do it with humility. Salt affects change: it is active, never passive. To be a light is a global challenge and when the light is seen clearly so is the glory of God. Sabeel means the way, and the way is to love all your neighbors and labor on with God.”
Every birth begins with labor and pain but joy and love follow. Only when there is justice for Palestinians will there be security for Israelis and that will be the beginning of the way to win the “war on terrorism.”
The morning of March 18, 2006, began with a tour of the Old City of Jerusalem.
A sacred hush filled the cypress canopied stone streets of The Noble Sanctuary that lead us to the Dome of The Rock, the site where Abraham offered to sacrifice his son and where it is reported Mohammed ascended to heaven.
We all removed our shoes and all the women covered their hair with scarves, then we silently tread the crimson carpet inside the Mosque.
I was awed by the domed mosaic ceiling, geometric designed stained glass and massive crystal chandeliers above my head and the silence although the mosque was filled with people.
Our group was split into two: some took the basic tour but a few Dutch, Japanese, Canadians, two Brits and I went the political route.
Our guide is Mahmoud whose father was from Chad, his mother Palestinian and he was born in Jerusalem.
Mahmoud tells us with a smile, “I was at the Ambassador Hotel for the public meeting the other day and was arrested and detained for eight hours. The Israelis will not allow Hamas and the PFLP to have public meetings at all. At that same time they claim this is a democracy, but how can that be if they do not allow political groups to meet and discuss the situation and search for solutions?
“When I was nineteen I was arrested for being a member of the PFLP/Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and spent the next 17 years in jail. I was nervous when I got there and I was tortured for months. Then a strange thing happened. They gave me a shower, clean clothes, then put me in a clean room and spoke to me like a human being. Then the French Ambassador came in and told me he could get me out because my father had French citizenship. He asked me where did I want to go and I answered; Jerusalem! He said it was impossible, I was not allowed. I told him I would rather remain in prison if I could not go home and so I spent 17 years and that is where I learned there is no justification for anyone to take another life. Those who kill are not Muslims.
“I was an eyewitness on October 8, 1990 when a group came to put a cornerstone where they want to rebuild the Temple. The Dome of The Rock is also what the Israelis call The Temple Mount, [the site where Abraham went to sacrifice his second born son, Isaac]. They want to destroy our Holy site but no archeologist has been able to say exactly where The Temple had originally been and they have been digging for seventy years.
“On that day they came I heard women shouting and crying. They were fainting from the tear gas! People got angry and threw stones at the soldiers and guards. Then hundreds of guards came onto The Noble Sanctuary and started shooting and 17 people were killed and 1,500 injured. They claimed we were throwing stones at the Wailing Wall but a Rabbi who had been over there said it wasn’t true at all.”
We walked the narrow stone streets that wind around and into an alley and come to a site known as the “Little Western Wall”, which is in the heart of the Muslim quarter. Construction had begun for a synagogue for women that will also prevent access in and out of the inner area, which is an apartment building where two or three Muslim families share one toilet.
Throughout the tour of the Muslim quarter Mahmoud points out the many cameras on the ancient stone walls and where the colonists/settlers have illegally confiscated Palestinian homes.
“Within the Muslim and Christian quarters there are 70 locations where 1,000 Jews now live. We are under occupation and trying to have a better life and we have had some success. Before 1967 we had no universities and now we have twelve in the West Bank. I am a citizen of the Universe, but I live in Jerusalem.”
We climbed to the roof of Al Quds University in Jerusalem where short courses in Arabic are taught. The ancient stone buildings are marred by satellite dishes and lookout towers.
After saying goodbye to my Sabeel group at our final dinner at The Tent Restaurant on March 20, 2006, I traveled alone three hours away from the Little Town in Occupied Territory of Bethlehem to the Mount of Beatitudes in Israel.
This awe inspiring site sits above the shimmering Sea of Galilee where Christ preached the Sermon on the Mount. The Sabeel Reality Tour had concluded and I needed to be alone and silent.
But I ended up delivering my own Sermon on the Mount!
Four Franciscan Sisters, one each from Syria, Jordan, Malta and Italy care for the shrine and the pilgrim guests at the Hospice Center where I spent two nights and a day of silent reflection of all I had witnessed the previous nine days.
At dinner a Catholic Pentecostal from Scotland introduced himself and asked me why I was there and what church I was from. I responded I have Irish Roman Catholic, Polish Jew, Russian Orthodox and Episcopal roots but that my rock is The Beatitudes.
He looked even more perplexed when I told him I came to the Mount of Beatitudes to decompress and reflect upon my nine days in Occupied Territory. I asked him if he were aware of the work of Sabeel, the Palestinian founded organization that promotes a theology of liberation based on justice, peace, non-violence and reconciliation for all, regardless of faith path or nationality.
He sternly admonished me, “God gave this land to the Jews! The Bible never mentions Palestine, and that is that! God gave this land to the Jews and that is that!”
I responded just as fervently that the Palestinian Christians are the descendants of those who first followed Christ and they have been denied inalienable human rights by the Israeli government. I told him the Christians in the Holy Land have shrunk from 20% of the total population to less than 1.3% since 1948 and if things don’t change soon, there will be no Christian witness in the land where Christ promised that it is the peacemakers who are the children of God.
He sputtered, “But the Jews have suffered! God gave this land to the Jews and that is that!”
This really got my Irish up and I retorted, “Yes they did because good people did nothing for far too long, and now the oppressed have become the oppressors. In the 21st century good people are unaware, ignoring or are in total denial of the injustice in the Holy Land. And what about all the Hebrew prophets, such as Micah who reminded the Jews of what the Lord requires: To be just, to be merciful and to walk humbly with your God!”
I could NOT shut up although I knew that that Scotsman was trying to get away-he also looked a bit terrified! But, I was on a tear and barely took a breath as I told him that instead of staying in Israel for his entire visit, he should go and witness life in the occupied territories; go and see the effects of The Wall on his spirit and see what it has done to the Palestinian economy. I told him he should go and tour some of the 58 year old refugee camps and see the ruins of all the uncompensated home demolitions. I brought it on home by telling him that I also doubt that God was ever in the real estate business!
His eyes had bugged out and his mouth had dropped open while the torrent of words spewed out of me. After I finally shut up, he stammered, “But there is suffering everywhere!”
“Yes there is and Christ always stood up for the poor and the oppressed. And he told us what ever we do or don’t do for the least and the outcast; we do it or don’t do it unto God.”
He shook his head and turned and walked quickly away and never again looked my way. Nobody else spoke to me the rest of the evening or the next day. That was fine with me, for I was listening to the voice within and what I kept hearing was Luke 23:34: “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
But when you know, if you are of good will, you must do something. The fastest growing cult in the USA-and also perhaps in Scotland: is the cult of Christian Zionism.
What is Christian Zionism?
Christian Zionism is an extremist Christian movement which supports the claims of those who believe that the State of Israel should take control of all of the land currently disputed between Palestinians and Israelis. It views the creation and expansion of the modern state of Israel as a fulfillment of biblical prophecy toward the second coming of Jesus.
Christian Zionism is a modern theological and political movement that embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism, thereby becoming detrimental to a just peace within Palestine and Israel. The Christian Zionist program provides a worldview where the Gospel is identified with the ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it laces an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.
What is the Christian Zionist connection with the Holy Land?
Believing that God fights on the side of Israel, Christian Zionists call for the unqualified support for the most extreme political positions related to the Holy Land. Christian Zionist spokes persons have attributed Hurricane Katrina to God’s wrath over our failure to stop Israel from pulling out of Gaza. They consistently oppose any moves towards a solution to the conflict which would validate the political aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis.
Who Supports Christian Zionism?
Christian Zionism has significant support within American Protestant fundamentalists, who number between 10 and 20 million. Its reach is broad, by virtue of its favorite themes related to the “End Times” and an Israel-fixated Christian media. Christian Zionism is both a political movement and a way of interpreting current events. Its focus is on Israel and the Middle East, as much an ideology as a “movement.” Its promoters share many beliefs but are not organized through any one institution.
Throughout history Christians have at times twisted scripture to justify violence: for the Crusades, for Anti-Semitism, and for slavery. Too often the church has been slow to respond to these biblical distortions with disastrous results.
Today Christian Zionists – particularly those with dispensationalist leanings – are at it again. Although their motives are couched in terms of compassion toward the Jewish people based on a literal reading of scripture the political agenda of territorial expansion advocated by Christian Zionists has given rise to injustice against Palestinians and added fuel to the fire of conflict in the Middle East. For some time, individuals, and theologians have spoken out against Christian Zionism. In the past few years, whole church bodies are adding their official voices to the distortions and injustices perpetuated by Christian Zionism.
The GOOD NEWS is that some mainstream churches have spoken out against this inherently anti-Semitic theology. What follows are but a few words from some of those who have.
The Presbyterian Church in the USA at its July 2004, National General Assembly issued a statement on Confronting Christian Zionism: “Christian Zionism promotes a theology that justifies grievous violations of basic rights of people who are also made in the image of God, and is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The United Church of Christ in July 2003, at its National General Synod offered An Alternative Voice to Christian Zionism: “We believe that the tenets of Christian Zionism neither reflect the intention of the teachings of Jesus and the prophets, nor promote peace in the Middle East, and respectfully recommend …an alternative voice to this theology.”
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in June 2005 at its Chicago Metropolitan Synod issued a Resolution to Encourage the Study of Christian Zionism: “the movement of Christian Zionism based on these biblical interpretations seeks to influence U.S. policy toward Israel in a manner that would arguably facilitate mistreatment of Palestinians, continued occupation of the land, opposition to a two-state solution, and exclusive Israeli control of Jerusalem.”
The United Methodist Church, in June 2005 at its Illinois Conference on Unwrapping the Rapture warned, “Every household should give prayerful consideration as to how God will actually judge us for our silence about and complicity in the crushing of the Palestinian people.”
The Episcopal Church, in November 2004 at its Diocese of Chicago Confronted Christian Zionism: “A partial response to Christian Zionism would be to say that we read Scripture in light of [Jesus’] two great commandments – to love God and our neighbor.”
In 2006, The Nation reported that Christians United For Israel/CUFI pressed White House officials to adopt a more confrontational posture toward Iran, to refuse aid to the Palestinians and to give Israel a free hand as it ramped up its military conflict with Hezbollah.
The White House has not revealed the names of the officials who met with the CUFI lobbyists, which is a venomous tentacle from the Armageddon-based foreign-policy view of its founder, John Hagee. Hagee is a fundamentalist, fire-and-brimstone preacher and a leader of the fastest growing cult in America: Christian Zionism, which is inherently anti-Semitic.
While Jewish Zionism began with the hope that all Jewish people would have a safe and peaceful dwelling place, these corruptors of the gospel Christ preached, adhere to a 200 year old convoluted interpretation of disparate scriptures that they have chosen to weave together to support their fear based judgmental narrow minded doctrine.
Hagee has mesmerized nearly 18,000 misled Christians at his Cornerstone Church with his take on whom the anti-Christ is. He also hosts a major TV ministry where he explains his views of how the end times will unfold. He blatantly corrupts and denies the message that Christ preached. Hagee, Hal Lindsay and the Left Behinder’s are doomsday false prophets who believe that the only way to defeat-what they and the Bush Administration refer to as- “Islamist fascists” is with a full-scale military assault.
John Hagee CUFI
conference in Miami
The cult of ‘Christian’ Zionism is what the concept of the Anti-Christ is all about.
This heretical theology of Premellenial Dispensation worships a god of Armageddon and not the God of love, forgiveness and compassion that Jesus/AKA The Prince of Peace modeled even while being nailed to a cross.
The Left Behind series of fiction is the epitome of what millennium of theologians have always understood to be what the term anti-Christ is truly about.
The term “antichrist” only appears five times in the Bible, but a cult not based on sound theology has created an urban legend that seeks Armageddon. The term “antichrist” never appears in John’s Revelation or Daniel, two disparate works of literature written three centuries apart and under very different circumstances, yet the Left Behinder’s weave them together.
The small texts that mention the “antichrist” were written to attack the Gnostic understanding of who Christ was. A Gnostic relies on intuition and not on dogma and doctrine. Gnostic’s were most certainly free spirits and most all of the writings we have about Gnostics, have been the attacks upon them. That all changed when the Nag Hamadi Library was translated and published, for what had been deemed heretical by those in power in the fourth century can now be read in most every language.
Only in Solidarity do "we have it in our power to begin the world again."-Tom Paine
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
Q1 2010 – New Market Report Published
New report provides detailed analysis of the Defence market
Published on February 06, 2010
by Press Office
(Companiesandmarkets.com and OfficialWire)
Over the forecast period, India arguably faces greater security challenges from non-state actors than from traditional rivals such as Pakistan or China. Quite aside from the conflict in Kashmir, which involves a number of non-state armed groups, as well as the armies of Pakistan and India, India faces challenges on three fronts. First, various groups within India – of which the Naxalite/Maoists in the north of the country are most important – are engaged in disputes that have nothing to do with Pakistan. Secondly, various groups within Pakistan are in conflict with the government of that country. In general, these groups’ disputes have nothing to do with India. However, in the event that the government of Pakistan completely lost control of the country, millions of refugees could cross the border into India. Thirdly, a deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan could have consequences for Pakistan – and consequences that could spill over into India. A fourth threat presented itself starkly in November 2008, with attacks in Mumbai that killed at least 173 people. The only terrorist who was captured alive disclosed that the attackers were members of a Pakistan-based militant organisation.
New Delhi is currently preparing to launch a large-scale offensive against the Naxalite (communist rebel) insurgency in a bid to prevent additional damage to the investment appeal of India’s poorer eastern regions. The stakes are high, however, and we are worried that heavy-handed tactics could provoke even more rural unrest, playing into the hands of the Naxalites. From our perspective, the long-term solution must lie with encouraging inclusive economic growth in order to prevent a further widening of regional income disparities.
A host of macroeconomic data released on 1 September reinforce our view that India’s road to economic recovery will be rocky and gradual. While a poor monsoon is raising risks to agricultural output and private consumption, we believe this will be offset by a nascent recovery in manufacturing and strong government expenditure underpinning the service sector. We thus maintain our 6.1% GDP forecast for FY2009/10 (April-March).
India Defence and Security Report Q1 2010: http://www.companiesandmarkets.com/r.ashx?id=J5AXMND56264753