ISI’s Divide and Rule Policies–Jan. 8, 2001

[In a prescient description of Pakistan's sectarian issues and government multiplication of those divisions, written before 911, B. Raman describes Pakistan today.  Read HERE]

PAKISTAN’S INTER-SERVICES INTELLIGENCE (ISI)

Jan. 8, 2001

In their efforts to maintain law and order in Pakistan and weaken nationalist and religious elements and political parties disliked by the army, the ISI and the army followed a policy of divide and rule.  After the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, to keep the Shias of Pakistan under control, the ISI encouraged the formation of ant-Shia Sunni extremist organisations such as the Sipah Sahaba .  When the Shias of Gilgit rose in revolt in 1988, Musharraf used bin Laden and his tribal hordes from the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) to suppress them brutally.  When the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM—now called the Muttahida Qaumi Movement) of Altaf Hussain rose in revolt in the late 1980s in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur in Sindh, the ISI armed sections of the Sindhi nationalist elements to kill the Mohajirs.  It then created a split between Mohajirs of Uttar Pradesh origin (in Altaf Hussain’s MQM) and those of Bihar origin in the splinter anti-Altaf Hussain group called MQM (Haquiqi–meaning real).  In Altaf Hussain’s MQM itself, the ISI unsuccessfully tried to create a wedge between the Sunni and Shia migrants from Uttar Pradesh.

Having failed in his efforts to weaken the PPP by taking advantage of the exile of Mrs.Benazir and faced with growing unity of action between Altaf Hussain’s MQM and sections of Sindhi nationalist elements, Musharraf has constituted a secret task force in the ISI headed by Lt.Gen.Mahmood Ahmed, the DG, and consisting of Lt.Gen.(retd) Moinuddin Haider, Interior Minister, and Lt.Gen.Muzaffar Usmani, Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, to break the PPP, the MQM and the Sindhi nationalists.

This task force has encouraged not only religious political organisations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) of Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the Jamiat-ul-Ulema Islam (JUI) of Maulana Fazlur Rahman etc, but also sectarian organisations such as the Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi of Riaz Basra, living under the protection of the Taliban and bin Laden in Kandahar in Afghanistan, to extend their activities to Sindh.

These organisations have now practically got out of the control of the ISI.  Instead of attacking the PPP, the MQM and the Sindhi nationalists and bringing them to heel as Musharraf had hoped they would, they have taken their anti-Shia jehad to Sindh and have been recruiting a large number of unemployed Sindhi rural youth for service with the Taliban.  Sindh, which was known for its Sufi traditions of religious tolerance, has seen under Musharraf a resurgence of the street power of the JEI and the JUI, which had been practically driven out of the province in the 1980s, by the PPP, the MQM and the Sindhi nationalists, and has seen in recent months anti-Shia massacres of the kind used by Musharraf in Gilgit in 1988.  Over 200 Shias have been gunned down, including 30 doctors of Karachi, and the latest victims of the sectarian Frankenstein let loose by Musharraf in Sindh have been Shaukat Mirza, the Managing Director of Pakistan State Oil, and Syed Zafar Hussain Zaidi, a Director in the Research Laboratories of the Ministry of Defence, located in Karachi, who were gunned down on July 28 and 30,2001, respectively.  The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed responsibility for both these assassinations.

As a result of the policy of divide and rule followed in Sindh by the ISI under Musharraf, one is seeing in Pakistan for the first time sectarian violence inside the Sunni community between the Sunnis of the Deobandi faith belonging to the Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and the Sunnis of the more tolerant Barelvi faith belonging to the Sunni Tehrik formed in the early 1990s to counter the growing Wahabi influence on Islam in Pakistan and the Almi Tanzeem Ahle Sunnat formed in 1998 by Pir Afzal Qadri of Mararian Sharif in Gujrat, Punjab, to counter the activities of the Deobandi Army of Islam headed by Lt.Gen.Mohammed Aziz, Corps Commander, Lahore.

The Tanzeem has been criticising not only the Army of Islam for injecting what it considers the Wahabi poison into the Pakistan society, but also the army of the State headed by Musharraf for misleading the Sunni youth into joining the jehad against the Indian army in J & K and getting killed there in order to avoid the Pakistani army officers getting killed in the jehad for achieving its strategic objective.  The ISI, which is afraid of a direct confrontation with the Barelvi organisations, has been inciting the Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to counter their activities .

This has led to frequent armed clashes between rival Sunni groups in Sindh, the most sensational of the incidents being the gunning down of Maulana Salim Qadri of the Sunni Tehrik and five of his followers in Karachi on May, 18,2001, by the Sipah Sahaba, which led to a major break-down of law and order in certain areas of Karachi for some days.

Musharraf, the commando, believes in achieving his objective by hook or by crook without worrying about the means used.  In his anxiety to bring Sindh under control and to weaken the PPP, the MQM and the Sindhi nationalists, he has, through the ISI, created new Frankensteins which might one day lead to the Talibanisation of Sindh, a province always known for its sufi traditions of religious tolerance and for its empathy with India.

Musharraf is under pressure from sections of senior army officers concerned over these developments to suppress the Sipah Sahaba and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.  He and Lt.Gen.Haider have been making the pretence of planning to do so.  It is to be seen whether they really would and, even if they did, whether they would or could effectively enforce the ban on them.

In India, there is a point of view in some circles that the only way of effectively countering the ISI activities against India is to have an Indian version of the ISI, with extensive powers for clandestine intelligence collection, technology procurement and covert actions and that the proposed Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) should be patterned after Pakistan’s ISI rather than after the DIA of the US and the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) of the UK, which are essentially agencies for the analysis and assessment of military intelligence in a holistic manner, with powers for clandestine collection only during times of war or when deployed in areas of conflict and with no powers for covert action.

The principle of civilian primacy in the intelligence community is widely accepted in all successful democracies and the discarding of this principle in Pakistan sowed the seeds for the present state of affairs there.  In our anxiety for quick results against the ISI, we should not sacrifice time-tested principles as to how intelligence agencies should function in a democratic society.

In the 1970s,Indian policy-makers wisely decided that the Indian intelligence should not get involved in clandestine procurement of denied technologies since the exposure of any such procurement could damage the credibility and trustworthiness of the Indian scientific and technological community in the eyes of other countries.

This is what has happened to Pakistan.  Its intelligence community did some spectacular work in clandestine procurement and theft of technologies abroad.  But, once the details of this network were exposed, post-graduate students of Pakistan in scientific subjects, its academics, research scholars and scientists are looked upon with suspicion in Western countries and find it difficult to enter universities and research laboratories for higher studies and research and get jobs in establishments dealing in sensitive technologies and are less frequently invited to seminars etc than in the past.  In its anxiety to catch up with India in the short term, Pakistan has damaged its long-term potential in science and technology.

Pakistan refuses to hand over Taliban big guns to US

Pakistan refuses to hand over Taliban big guns to US

By Rahimullah Yusufzai

PESHAWAR: Pakistan is unlikely to hand over Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar and other recently detained Afghan Taliban leaders to Afghanistan despite the demand by President Hamid Karzai’s government and requests by the US authorities. Highly informed sources told The News that the government had decided in principle not to deliver the Taliban leaders to the Afghan government. “This decision is final,” a senior government official said.

According to sources, President Karzai had made the demand for Mulla Baradar’s extradition to Afghanistan soon after his arrest in Pakistan. He then sent Afghan Interior Minister Muhammad Hanif Atmar to Islamabad on a quick visit to discuss the arrest of Mulla Baradar and other Afghan Taliban leaders with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik and to look into the possibility of their early transfer to Afghanistan.

Afghan government officials in Kabul are arguing that since Mulla Baradar and other Taliban leaders captured in Pakistan were Afghans therefore they must be sent back to their country. These officials said the Afghan government at this stage wasn’t talking about putting the Afghan Taliban leaders on trial in Afghanistan, but simply wanted them to be returned to their homeland.

A number of US officials have also requested the Pakistan government to deliver Mulla Baradar to Afghanistan. Reports carried by sections of the US media said American officials would like to interrogate Mulla Baradar alone rather than in presence of Pakistani intelligence agents. It was pointed out that this could be done at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan where the US runs a detention centre.

The official sources said Pakistan had provided access to the US operatives to Mulla Baradar, but these interrogation sessions were held in presence of Pakistani officials. The US officials are reportedly interested in having exclusive meetings with Mulla Baradar and other detained Afghan Taliban leaders.

Several Afghan Taliban figures were recently captured in Pakistan. Besides Mulla Baradar, the other ranking Taliban leader who was arrested was MullaAbdul Kabir, the operational commander for the four eastern Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar and Nuristan. He had served as deputy prime minister and governor of Logar and Nangarhar provinces during Taliban rule. He was reportedly apprehended in Nowshera district in NWFP.

Mulla Abdul Salam and Mulla Mir Mohammad, the Taliban “shadow” governors for the northern Kunduz and Baghlan provinces, respectively, were also held in Nowshera district. But the Afghan Taliban leader who was arrested in Pakistan much earlier was Younis Akhundzada, also referred to as Akhundzada Popalzai. He had served in important positions in the Taliban government during 1994-2001 and was reportedly made the “shadow” governor for Zabul province.

The Taliban, it may be added, had appointed “shadow” governors for 32 out of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Meanwhile, Afghan Taliban sources said that replacements had been named for all their leaders recently detained in Pakistan. Though the Taliban are officially denying the arrests of all these leaders including Mulla Baradar, in private they have started conceding this fact.

Sir, the militants have multiplied

Sir, the militants have multiplied

—Sher Ali Khan

When Rana Sanaullah visited Jhang, it was a cause of great worry for the citizens when SSP leader Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi was included in the entourage and given full government protocol

The recent admission by Rana Sanaullah about his association with the banned militant group Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) illuminates that Pakistan is a country where a nexus between politicians and militants is still active. Since only a few political parties have picked up on this issue, it is worrying to assume that relationships between the government and militant outfits still exist. Furthermore, the core principle of any constitutional democratic set-up is that the representative of the government is an extension of the state; therefore by the minister associating with a banned militant group, the government’s policies regarding militants and terrorists have come into conflict. In understanding this, one has to realise that militants are non-state rogue actors and to combat them the resolve must start from within the government.

To begin with, the word militant is derived from the Latin word “militare”, which means to serve as a soldier. Militants are soldiers who are not associated with any government military organisation and are not accountable to the state. Thus historically, religious militants in world politics share a common set of characteristics. As non-state actors, militants are able to find several ways to integrate into society. Taking advantage of the weaknesses from within the state, religious militants disrupt the social order within society.

To disrupt the social order, the first denunciation by religious militants is of the secularism of the state. Secondly, they critique the domestic ills of society, which allows them to connect with the general public. Furthermore, as universalists, they apply their ideological pretences to anyone who is a believer. This allows them to develop a trans-state ideology, which transcends the physical borders of that respective country. The danger of being universalists means that anyone in society who is a non-believer is essentially a second class citizen. Consequently, militants in general do not fit into the framework of normal constitutional governance.

Throughout history, mercenaries or militant outfits have been used as a security advantage for the state. Going back to the time of the Romans, barbarians were used in the army as a strategic advantage. To combat the possibility of disruption in public life, these barbarians would be kept on the outskirts and were not allowed to enter Rome with arms. When the barbarians were integrated into Rome, some problems occurred. The barbarians were then given federate status, which placed them above Roman law by not having to pay taxes or give up their arms. These federate troops fought under their own command and were not subject to the Roman Army’s training. Fed with clothes, weapons and shelter, the barbarians left Rome susceptible to an internal attack. This by many is seen as one of the reasons for the decline of Rome.

Like Rome, in Pakistan too the establishment has created accepted roles for militant groups in society that are separate from the common citizen. As a strategic advantage in places like Afghanistan and Kashmir, militant groups are put into the grey area of policy making. The hangs-ups of these policies create two very important issues: one is that these organisations remain rogue non-state actors and secondly they are not integrated into the public sphere with the same rules as the common citizen. Also, since their economic interests are separate from the state, their connection to Pakistan is further detached. That means that the militant interest in Pakistan flourishes only if the government meets their common interest.

In Southern Punjab, there are private and heavily armed militias roaming freely. To be specific, the threat of Deobandi-Sunni groups such as the SSP and Laskhar-e-Jhangvi is that they are connected in a universalist manner. Thus their ties with trans-national terrorist groups such as al Qaeda are active to this day. The lack of regulation regarding militant groups means that banned and unbanned militant groups continue to work openly, as seen when Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed was leading a procession on Kashmir Solidarity Day in Lahore recently. Then in Jhang, leaders of the SSP are often seen around the city with fully masked and armed men. When Rana Sanaullah visited Jhang, it was a cause of great worry for the citizens when SSP leader Maulana Muhammad Ahmed Ludhianvi was included in the entourage and given full government protocol.

Thus the impact of this incident with the provincial law minister is quite clear. For a country that is trying to fight terror on a national level, it has failed to make its own government representatives accountable to the national policy. It also means that the government — provincial and federal — is not implementing the writ of the state. Without the implementation of the writ of the state, order in the country cannot be sustained. Consequently, for a constitutional democracy, which is demanding by nature, the citizens and politicians have to obey a high standard of moral character and understanding. This is clearly lacking. Thus in circumstances like this when the state fails to follow the ethical guidelines of the constitution, it loses its respect and bond with the people. As a result, the state has to take steps to regain moral authority. This can only be done if the government works to socially and politically cast out such lawmakers and government representatives that openly give patronage to militant groups.

In any developing democratic system, the state has to provide a moral framework for governance. To implement its writ of state, the government will have to set a moral example for the people. When representatives of the government conflict with government policy, the government’s authority is maligned. If the government wants to combat the growing militancy throughout the country, it has to outlaw representatives of the government who associate with militant groups. Till this is achieved, the government’s resolve to fight militancy will be incomplete.

The writer is a freelance journalist and recent graduate from UC Riverside with a degree in Political Science. He can be reached at sherakhan46@gmail.com

Big question mark on Malik as his dismissal record unveiled

Big question mark on Malik as his dismissal record unveiled


By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik is not qualified to be a member of parliament as official documents prove he was dismissed from the service in 1998 and even his appeal against the dismissal was turned down by the president of Pakistan in 1999.

Article 63(i) of the Constitution clearly disqualifies a person from becoming member of parliament if a person has been dismissed from the service of Pakistan or service of a corporation or office set up or controlled by the federal government, provincial government or a local government on the grounds of misconduct or moral turpitude.

Documents available with The News show the then-president Muhammad Rafiq Tarar rejected Rehman Malik’s appeal on April 22, 1999 against his dismissal from service as additional director-general of the FIA.

Malik, who fled the country during the Nawaz Sharif’s tenure and had been declared an absconder by the courts, came back to Pakistan after eight years of self-imposed exile in 2007, along with Benazir Bhutto, and got elected as senator because of the National Reconciliation Ordinance, which had ostensibly erased his past record. However, the recent declaration of the NRO as void ab initio by the Supreme Court has revived the record and made Malik vulnerable to lose both his ministry as well as the Senate seat for being a dismissed government employee.

Despite messages left at this office, residence and even sent on his cell phone, Rehman Malik did not talk to this correspondent to clarify his position. However, his counsel Amjad Iqbal Qureshi when approached said he was absolutely ignorant about his dismissal from the government service. Qureshi said he had never represented Malik on service matters but guessed Mr Malik had resigned from service.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar when approached said he is not aware of Rehman Malik’s case but said perhaps he was once told by the interior minister that his dismissal was set aside by the competent forum.

Babar said the president has the authority under Section 23 of the Civil Servants Act of 1973 to set aside the dismissal order of any government servant. He, however, was not sure if in case of Rehman Malik the incumbent president had done so before he contested the Senate election.

Official record available with the Establishment Division, however, confirmed that Rehman Malik was dismissed from the government service and the situation remains unchanged as of today.

Documents reveal on May 21, 1998, Rehman Malik, the then-additional director-general of FIA, was placed under suspension with effect from November 17, 1997, through an interior ministry notification. He was issued a show-cause notice on August 13, 1998, through registered post as well as through a press advertisement on account of his unauthorised absence from Islamabad with effect from June 26, 1998.

He was also charged with receiving two Honda cars from Toyota Motors as illegal gratification; falsely involving two persons in an FIA case in Lahore; misuse of official position for obtaining quota of bitumen from the petroleum ministry for his brother-in-law at lower rates; misuse of official position for installation of telephone of telephone exchange at his residence; living beyond means as evident from telephone bills and electricity charges; theft of electricity at his residence by abusing his official position; and misuse of official transport. AW Qazi, the then food secretary, was the inquiry officer in this case.

Rehman Malik submitted his reply to the show-cause notice on August 17, 1998, to the authorised officer, denying the charges against him but did not request for personal hearing. Since Malik fled to the UK and was living in London, therefore, on account of his absence from the station duty the authorised officer recommended imposition of major penalty of dismissal from service upon him under the Government Servants (E7D) Rules, 1973. On Nov 4, 1998, through another interior ministry’s notification and following the approval of the competent authority his dismissal from service order was issued. Rehman Malik was, however, given the right to appeal to the appellate authority under the Civil Servants (Appeal) Rules, 1977, within a period of 30 days from the date of issue of the same notification.

Against his dismissal from the service order, Rehman Malik submitted an appeal to the president of Pakistan against the imposition of major penalty of dismissal from service on him. The then interior secretary Hafeezullah Ishaq on February 2, 1999 moved the summary to the president through the prime minister recommending in paras 7 and 8 of the summary that the appeal of the dismissed officer may be rejected.

On April 4, 1999, the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif accordingly advised the president, saying, “While filing the subject matter appeal, the appellant A Rehman Malik, former additional director-general (BS-21), FIA, has also misrepresented his current status vis-‡-vis the Service of Pakistan. The president is, therefore, advised in terms of Rule 2(a) and Rule 6 of the Civil Servants (Appeal) Rules, 1977, to approve recommendations of the interior division as per para 7 duly endorsed by the establishment division at para 10 of the summary; or to pass such orders, as the president may deem appropriate please. sd Prime Minister.”

Following the advice of the prime minister, the then president Muhammad Rafiq Tarar endorsed Rehman Malik’s dismissal, saying, “Perusal of the record reveals that the recommendation in para 8 of the summary proposing dismissal to reject the appeal of Mr A Rehman Malik, former additional director-general, (BS-21), FIA, in terms of Rule 2(a) and Rule 6 of the Civil Servants (Appeal) Rules, 1977. sd Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, President.”

Turning Local Writers and Intellectuals Into Weapons

Creel, Goebbels and us

By Jawed Naqvi
Some of the provisions of the US bill that purports to curb “anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East” have set off alarm bells in the Arab world. –Photo by AFP
It is a fallacy that dictatorships control our thoughts and democracies free them. The fact is that the two work in tandem, often as pacesetters to spur each other.Joseph Goebbels stands accused as the forefather of thought-control and mass hysteria the Nazis whipped up against anyone who came in their way. Goebbels, however, had a role model in George Creel, a veteran journalist of the Denver Post who was enlisted by President Woodrow Wilson to turn a nation of pacifist Americans into warmongers and haters of Germans.

Creel headed the Committee on Public Information set up by Wilson at the start of the First World War to coordinate “not propaganda as the Germans defined it, but propaganda in the true sense of the word, meaning the propagation of faith”. With the state’s enormous resources and with the help of a conniving (democratic?) media Creel found success within six months.

“The war-mongering population … wanted to destroy everything German, tear the Germans limb to limb, go to war and save the world,” wrote Noam Chomsky about America’s diabolical manouevre that the Nazis were to emulate years later. “It was a major achievement, and it led to a further achievement. Right at that time and after the war the same techniques were used to whip up a hysterical Red Scare, as it was called.”

Intellectuals, including eminent writers, were more vulnerable to the nationalistic virus than they are thought to have been. In Britain, around the same time as Creel’s exploits, David Lloyd George, chancellor of the exchequer, was given the task of setting up a war propaganda bureau (WPB). He appointed the successful writer and fellow Liberal MP Charles Masterman as head of the organisation.

Masterman invited 25 leading British authors to the WPB headquarters to discuss ways of promoting Britain’s interests during the war. Those who attended the meeting included Arthur Conan Doyle, Arnold Bennett, John Masefield, Ford Madox Ford, William Archer, G.K. Chesterton, Sir Henry Newbolt, John Galsworthy, Thomas Hardy, Rudyard Kipling, Gilbert Parker, G.M. Trevelyan and H.G. Wells. All the writers present at the conference are said to have agreed to the utmost secrecy, and it was not until 1935 that the activities of the WPB became known to the general public. Some who attended the meeting agreed to write pamphlets and books that would promote the government’s view of the situation.

The information ministry set up in Britain during the two wars was to become the prototype for similar ministries in India and Pakistan, and elsewhere in the developing world.  [It is apparent from the plethora of Pakistani and Indian writers who fit the bill that the British plot to use native writers and intellectuals as instruments of war is still working to fan the flames of hatred.  Beginning with the "Reagan Revolution," the effort to identify and develop writers to serve as the Empire's vanguard became American state policy.  This policy accounted for many of the younger neoconservative writers, as well as young foreign assets.  Who in Pakistan today fits that description?  Who provides the sharp incessant drumbeat against India, or for the joint US/Pakistani military mission in Pakistan? ] Like Creel, who had on his committee the secretary of state, navy and so forth, the ‘information ministries’ are ably assisted in India and Pakistan by every government department, led by the home and defence ministries and their intelligence outfits, to create and disseminate propaganda.

A new US bill aimed at taming the foreign media perceived as hostile to American interests is expected to continue to lean on the tradition set by Woodrow Wilson and which has been dutifully followed by eager beavers elsewhere. There are of course different ways of dealing with a channel like Al Jazeera for example. One is to not allow it to broadcast in a country by legal or bureaucratic fiat, as happens to be the case in India.

The other way is to bomb the supposedly recalcitrant broadcasters as happens in the Middle East.  [SEE: NATO Bombing of Serbian TV]

The remains of RTS in BelgradeRadio Television Serbia (RTS) in Belgrade

In Pakistan journalists can be killed or made to ‘disappear’. In India, in the tradition of Creel, they are co-opted.

Some of the provisions of the US bill that purports to curb “anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East” have set off alarm bells in the Arab world. The bill pleads gratuitously that though freedom of the press and freedom of expression are the foundations of free and prosperous societies worldwide, “with the freedom of the press and freedom of expression comes the responsibility to repudiate purveyors of incitement to violence”.

Then it comes to the point. “For years, certain media outlets in the Middle East, particularly those associated with terrorist groups, have repeatedly published or broadcast incitements to violence against the United States and Americans.”

“Television channels that broadcast incitement to violence against Americans, the United States and others have demonstrated the ability to shift their operations to different countries and their transmissions to different satellite providers in order to continue broadcasting and to evade accountability.”

“Television channels such as al-Manar, al-Aqsa, al-Zawra, and others that broadcast incitement to violence against the United States and Americans aid Foreign Terrorist Organisations in the key functions of recruitment, fundraising, and propaganda.”

So what is one to do about the US concerns? The American bill provides that the US would “designate as Specially Designated Global Terrorists satellite providers that knowingly and willingly contract with entities designated as [such] … to broadcast their channels, or to consider implementing other punitive measures against satellite providers that transmit al-Aqsa TV, al-Manar TV, al-Rafidayn TV, or any other terrorist owned and operated station.”

The United States would consider state-sponsorship of anti-American incitement to violence when determining the level of assistance to, and frequency and nature of relations with, all states.

And finally, it would “urge all governments and private investors who own shares in satellite companies or otherwise influence decisions … to oppose transmissions of telecasts by … Specially Designated Global Terrorist owned and operated stations that openly incite their audiences to commit acts of terrorism or violence against the United States and its citizens”.

How is Pakistan going to cope with its provisions? The best hope is that it will target only the ‘rogue’ channels in the Middle East, but who knows.

The truly amazing thing about the success of institutionalised propaganda is that it gets people worked up into such a frenzy that they readily embrace the absence of morality in their connivance.

A few weeks ago I met a group of pleasant, prosperous and generally agreeable Indians in San Francisco. The discussion revolved around the sacrifices that American democracy had to make to accommodate the authoritarian provisions of the Patriot Act.

Those present were Brahmins from Maharashtra, who would normally have fought the fascism of Mumbai’s Shiv Sena. But what one of them said to me on behalf of the others left me marvelling at the penetrating yet dangerous logic. “The Patriot Act has corroded some of my democratic rights, true. But I accept it because it has given me security against terrorism.”

The power of Creel and Goebbels over the people’s mind is like nuclear waste. It is not going away anytime soon, and its lethal effects could last for decades, even centuries.

The writer is Dawn’s correspondent in Delhi.

Disturbing moves to create super-police for Arab satellite TV stations

[This will prove to be a major blow to democracy and liberation movements in the Arab dictatorships.  Egypt and the Saudis are once again serving Zionist interests in Israel and the US by this attempt to ban freedom of the press when it tells the cold hard truth about any of the governments involved.]

Disturbing moves to create super-police for Arab satellite TV stations

Published on 23 January 2010

When Arab information ministers meet in Cairo on 24 January they are to discuss a joint proposal by the Egyptian and Saudi governments for the creation of a regional office to supervise Arab satellite TV stations.

The proposal is partly a response to bill adopted last month by the US House of Representatives that could result in satellite operators themselves being branded as “terrorist entities” if they contract their services to TV stations classified as “terrorist” by the US Congress. It is also an outcome of discussions begun by the Arab League in 2008.

“This proposal is disturbing, to say the least,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The danger is that this super-police could be used to censor all TV stations that criticise the region’s governments. It could eventually be turned into a formidable weapon against freedom of information.”

This “Office for Arab Satellite Television” would be in charge of enforcing guidelines aimed at ensuring that Arab TV stations respect the ethical standards and moral values of Arab society as well as ensuring that they no longer serve as fronts or outlets for “terrorist” organisations.

The original proposal for such an office was made in February 2008 by Arab League secretary-general Amr Moussa. It was recently revived by the Saudi government, which controls Arabsat, and the Egyptian government, which controls Nilesat.

It seems that Riyadh and Cairo hope to ride a current that supports the reaffirmation of traditional values. The main TV stations targeted by the proposal are Al Jazeera, the Hamas station Al-Aqsa TVand the Hezbollah station Al-Manar.

The Arab League’s 22 member countries are nonetheless far from being unanimous about the proposal. In fact, the battle lines have been drawn between those in favour and those against. The pro camp centres on Saudi Arabia and Cairo. Those already clearly defined as members of the contra camp include Lebanon and Qatar.

There are many stumbling blocks on the road to agreement. Some fear this office would end up controlling content on privately-owned TV stations. Others have voiced concern about loss of sovereignty. Technical questions have been raised. Who will be members of this office? How will they be appointed? What will their exact powers be? And what punishments will they be able to impose?

The issue of funding has also been raised as well as the more symbolic question of where the office will be located. Will it be attached to the Arab League’s secretariat or to the Standing Committee of Arab Media?

Holbrooke Refuses To Implicate America’s Old Ally–LeT

[SEE: The Lashkar-e-Taiba Was from the Outset Clearly a U.S. Enterprise ]

Lashkar-e-Taiba (ran a training camp) in Kunnad, Afghanistan. That camp and the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s sprawling base camp on 80 hectares in Muridke near Lahore were both in essence U.S. creations. The Kunnad camp had been a forward base to train Afghan terrorist groups that are engaged in the U.S.’ war against the socialist regime in Kabul. The Murdike complex was built with official patronage on land donated by former Pakistan President Zia-ul-Haq in 1987. The construction of the complex was one of the first major CIA-backed moves to create a base for operations against the Soviet Union-supported Gove-rnment in Afghanistan. If figures like bin Laden had no direct CIA links, theLashkar-e-Taiba was from the outset clearly a U.S. enterprise.Mar. 12, 1999

US envoy refuses to blame LeT for Kabul attack

By Our Correspondent
“In regard to this attack, I don’t accept the fact that this was an attack on an Indian facility like the (Indian) embassy,” he said. “They were foreigners, non-Indian foreigners hurt. It was a soft target. Let’s not jump to conclusions.” – Photo by Reuters.

WASHINGTON: US envoy Richard Holbrooke has rejected New Delhi’s claim that recent terror strikes in Kabul specifically targeted Indians.

At a Tuesday afternoon briefing at the State Department, Mr Holbrooke urged both India and Pakistan to stop blaming each other without substantial proof.

Responding to a question from an Indian journalist, Mr Holbrooke refused to accept claims by Indian and Afghan officials that recent terrorist attacks in Kabul were launched by Lashkar-e-Taiba and were aimed specifically at Indians.

“In regard to this attack, I don’t accept the fact that this was an attack on an Indian facility like the (Indian) embassy,” he said. “They were foreigners, non-Indian foreigners hurt. It was a soft target. Let’s not jump to conclusions.”

Mr Holbrooke also criticised the tendency in India and Pakistan to blame each other for such incidents.

“I understand why everyone in Pakistan and everyone in India always focus on the other. But please, let’s not draw a conclusion for which there’s no proof,” said the US envoy when asked to comment on a bomb attack in Kabul last week that also killed some Indian citizens.

Although he spoke at length on relations between India and Pakistan and how their rivalry posed a dilemma for the US, — which has good relations with both — he emphasised that he wanted to confine his comments to their role in Afghanistan and did not want to get involved in other issues involving the two countries.

Without uttering the “K” word, Mr Holbrooke debunked suggestions that Washington should help India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir issue as part of a regional approach to end the Afghan war.

“Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India… share a common strategic space,” he said. “And in order to understand America’s policy and America’s policy dilemma, one has to understand that both India and Pakistan have legitimate security interests in the region.”

Mr Holbrooke also rejected the suggestion that to bring stability to Afghanistan, it’s also necessary to address the Kashmir issue. “People who have advocated that are making a proposal which I believe runs counter to stability in Afghanistan. Afghanistan must be dealt with on its merits,” he said.

Stressing that Pakistan and India had a “complicated historic relationship” going back to the partition in 1947 and before, Mr Holbrooke observed that “people must respect” this historical background while dealing with the two countries.

This indicates a major shift in the previous policy of trying to persuade Pakistan to stop seeing India as an adversary.

“What happened then (in 1947) affects us today. But I need to stress that both countries have legitimate security interests (in Afghanistan),” he said.

But as President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other US officials “have said repeatedly, there are many countries that have legitimate security interests in what happens in Afghanistan”, he added.

Asked if the Indian demand that Pakistan hand over terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks had come up in his talks with officials from the two countries, Mr Holbrooke said: “Well, of course both sides raise issues like that, but it will not serve any purpose for me to make public confidential discussions.”

He stressed that America’s relations with both countries were good, but acknowledged that “both in New Delhi and in Islamabad, people come up to us and say, oh, you’re pro-the other country, you’re favouring one country over another”.

Dismissing such concerns as “not true”, Mr Holbrooke said that the US wanted to keep improving its relations with both.

“We seek to do everything we can to help Pakistan economically, which is, I think — which is my highest priority,” he said.

“And we work closely with India on a whole range of issues.”

Hillary Clinton slaps Britain in the face over the Falklands

Hillary Clinton and David Milband play footsie at NATO (Photo: AP)Hillary Clinton and David Miliband ‘joke around’ at NATO (Photo: AP)

The transcript of Hillary Clinton’s press conference in Buenos Aires with Argentine President Kristina Kirchner last night, has just been released by the State Department, and it is a real eye-opener. Her remarks represent an astonishing propaganda coup for the Peronist regime in its dispute with Britain over the Falklands, with Washington brazenly backing its position.

Here’s a snippet:

QUESTION: (In Spanish)
And for the Secretary, it’s about the Falklands. The – President Fernandez talked about possible friendly mediation. Would the U.S. be considered – would the U.S. (inaudible) consider some kind of mediation role between the UK and Argentina over the Falklands? Thank you.

PRESIDENT DE KIRCHNER: (Via interpreter) (Inaudible) what we have (inaudible) by both countries as a friendly country of both Argentina and the UK, so as to get both countries to sit down at the table and address these negotiations within the framework of the UN resolutions strictly. We do not want to move away from that in any letter whatsoever, any comma, of what has been stated by dozens of UN resolutions and resolutions by its decolonization committee. That’s the only thing we’ve asked for, just to have them sit down at the table and negotiate. I don’t think that’s too much, really, in a very conflicted and controversial world, complex in terms.

SECRETARY CLINTON: And we agree. We would like to see Argentina and the United Kingdom sit down and resolve the issues between them across the table in a peaceful, productive way.

And another:

QUESTION: (In Spanish)
Interpreter: The journalist was just asking how the U.S. intends to negotiate to get the United Kingdom to sit at the table and address the Malvinas issue.

SECRETARY CLINTONAs to the first point, we want very much to encourage both countries to sit down. Now, we cannot make either one do so, but we think it is the right way to proceed. So we will be saying this publicly, as I have been, and we will continue to encourage exactly the kind of discussion across the table that needs to take place.

Hillary Clinton’s statements at this press conference are highly significant, as they demonstrate a clear shift in US policy from neutrality (last week’s position) towards siding with the Argentine position of pressing for negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands at the United Nations.

The Secretary of State, a highly skilled political operator, knows exactly what she is doing here. She is giving her full support for the official stance of Buenos Aires, despite the fact that Great Britain has made it clear that the sovereignty of the Falklands is non-negotiable. She makes no reference at all to the fact that Argentina recently threatened a blockade of the Falklands, or that its close ally Venezuela has beenthreatening war against Britain.

Hillary Clinton’s dire performance in Buenos Aires was not only an appalling display of appeasement towards a corrupt and authoritarian anti-American regime, which barely has the support of 20 percent of the Argentinian people. It was also an astonishing betrayal of the United Kingdom by her closest ally, and yet another slap in the face for Britain from the Obama administration.

Clinton has demonstrated, not the first time, strikingly poor judgment as Secretary of State. While currying favour with a third rate kleptocracy in Latin America, she is alienating America’s most loyal and valuable friend at a critically important time. She also underestimates the resolve of the British people, who will never negotiate the future of the Falkland Islands. If the Argentines want the Falklands they will have to fight for them, and if they choose to do so they will be emphatically defeated, just as they were in 1982. Hillary Clinton can cry for Argentina if she wants to, but the Falklands will be forever British.

Barack Obama’s top 10 insults against Britain

Barack Obama speaks outside Number 10, Downing Street in 2008 (Photo: Getty)Barack Obama speaks outside Number 10, Downing Street in 2008 (Photo: Getty)

Last week’s appalling declaration by Washington that the US would remain neutral in the conflict between Britain and Argentina over the Falklands, has prompted this list of the ten biggest insults so far by the Obama administration against America’s closest friend and ally. For a government that pledged to “restore” America’s standing in the world, it is doing a spectacularly bad job, kowtowing to America’s enemies while consistently kicking her allies.

Without a shadow of a doubt, Barack Obama has been the most anti-British president in modern American history. The Special Relationship has been significantly downgraded, and at times humiliated under his presidency, which has displayed a shocking disregard for America’s most important partner and strategic ally.

There are a multitude of reasons forPresident  Obama’s dismissive approach to the UK, and here are a few: an obsession with engaging and appeasing America’s enemies rather than cultivating allies; personal animosity towards Britain because of his grandfather’s role as a Mau Mau supporter in 1950’s colonial Kenya; Democrat resentment over British support for the Bush Administration over Iraq; left-wing disdain for the idea of Anglo-American exceptionalism and world leadership; support for supranational institutions such as the European Union over the supremacy of the nation state.

So here’s my top 10 list, which will no doubt be expanded to a top 20 in a few months.

1. Declaration of neutrality over the Falklands

For sheer offensiveness it’s hard to beat last week’s incredible statementfrom the State Department on the Falklands dispute, not least considering the fact that 255 British soldiers died retaking the islands from Argentina in 1982. Here it is:

“We are aware not only of the current situation but also of the history, but our position remains one of neutrality. The US recognises de facto UK administration of the islands but takes no position on the sovereignty claims of either party.”

As I wrote previously, over the course of the last year, we’ve seen a staggering array of foreign policy follies by this administration, from the throwing under the bus of the Poles and the Czechs over missile defence to siding with Marxists in Honduras. But this latest pronouncement surely takes the biscuit as the most brazen betrayal so far of a US ally.

2. Downgrading of the Special Relationship

Barack Obama never refers to the Special Relationship, and has not even mentioned Britain once in a major policy speech, either before or after taking office. The Anglo-American alliance is barely a blip on Obama’s teleprompter screen, and he acts as though it simply does not exist. The Special Relationship has also been largely erased from the official lexicon of the State Department, and is not even used by US officials in London. Despite being America’s only major reliable ally when the chips are down, London is now treated in Washington as though it were the same as any other European power, albeit less charitably than either Paris or Berlin.

3. Support for a federal Europe

The Obama administration’s relentless and wrongheaded support for the creation of a federal Europe, from backing the Treaty of Lisbon to the European Security and Defence Policy, is a slap in the face for the principle of national sovereignty in Europe. While the Bush Administration was divided over Europe, the Obama administration is ardently euro-federalist, despite the fact that the likely next British government will probably fight them tooth and nail over it. British sovereignty is non-negotiable, and Obama’s willingness to undermine it is both insulting to Britain and self-defeating for the United States.

4. Undermining of British influence in NATO

Despite Nicolas Sarkozy’s distinctly unflattering opinion of Barack Obama, the president has gone to great lengths to appease French interests, even going as far as apologising to the French people in Strasbourg for hurting their feelings over the war in Iraq. The Obama administration has also done its best to give Paris a lead role in the NATO alliance at Britain’s expense, granting it one of two supreme NATO command positions – Allied Command Transformation (ACT). And this, despite the fact that France has for decades been ambivalent and obstructionist over NATO, and is failing to carry its weight in Afghanistan. And as I noted before, there is currently not a single British general in charge of any of the big five supreme and operational commands in the alliance (in contrast to two Frenchmen and a German), even though Great Britain provides more troops for NATO operations than any member apart from the United States.

5. Refusal to recognize Britain’s sacrifice in Afghanistan

It is particularly galling that the president cannot even be bothered to acknowledge the sacrifice made by over 250 British servicemen and women on the battlefields of Afghanistan alongside their American allies – especially evident during his lacklustre speech at West Point in December. Britain currently has as many soldiers stationed in Afghanistan – 10,000 – as all the other major European powers combined. In contrast to George W. Bush, who frequently thanked the British armed forces and people for their role in the War on Terror, Obama has spectacularly failed to do so.

6. Throwing Churchill out of the Oval Office

It is hard to think of a more derogatory message to send to the British people within days of taking office than to fling a bust of Winston Churchill out of the Oval Office and send it packing back to the British Embassy – not least as it was a loaned gift from Britain to the United States as a powerful display of solidarity in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Obviously, public diplomacy is not a concept that carries much weight in the current White House, and nor apparently is common sense.

7. Insulting words from the State Department

The mocking views of a senior State Department official following the Prime Minister’s embarrassing reception at the White House in March last year says it all:

“There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment.”

One would have thought that this kind of hugely damaging gaffe would have resulted in at least a formal apology and a reprimand for the official involved, but unfortunately Obama administration apologies are strictly reserved for the French and assorted enemies of the United States.

8. DVDs for the Prime Minister

Readers of this blog will know I’m no fan of Gordon Brown, but whatever one thinks of his less than stellar leadership skills or his downright awful policies, Brown travels abroad not as a private individual but as the leader of America’s closest ally. He represents 61 million Britons including the Armed Forces, as well as a huge amount of British trade and investment with the United States. He was treated shabbily when he visited the White House last March, and denied a Rose Garden press conference as well as a dinner. To cap it all, the decision to send him home with an assortment of 25 DVDs ranging from Toy Story to The Wizard of Oz – which can’t even be played in the UK - was a breathtaking display of diplomatic ineptitude that would have shamed the protocol office of an impoverished Third World country. And we haven’t even mentioned Obama’s iPod for the Queen.

9. Refusal to meet the Prime Minister in New York

Not content with humiliating the Prime Minister with a bargain basement DVD collection, President Obama proceeded to give him the run-around at the UN General Assembly in New York last September in a farce worthy of an episode from Benny Hill, declining to meet with him privatelyafter no less than five requests. I can understand why Obama might not want to spend much time with the dour and easily angered Brown, who was apparently mightily enraged over the whole affair. It is also the case that Brown himself has done a good deal to undermine the Special Relationship and shares much of the blame himself for this debacle. But it is insulting to the British people as a whole when the president of the United States is happy in principle to sit down and negotiate with tyrants like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but won’t hold a bilateral meeting with the leader of America’s top ally, when thousands of British troops are fighting in Afghanistan.

10. Robert Gibbs’ embarrassing attack on the British press

No list of Obama administration slights against Britain would be complete without mention of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ sneering rant against the British press (first reported by Politico) after spotting an article in The Telegraph he disagreed with. Here’s what Gibbs said:

“Let’s just say if I wanted to look up, if I wanted to read a write-up of how Manchester United fared last night in the Champions League Cup, I’d might open up a British newspaper. If I was looking for something that bordered on truthful news, I’m not entirely sure it’d be the first pack of clips I’d pick up.”

As I wrote at the time, this kind of attack would normally be made against the likes of the North Korean or Iranian state media, but in the current climate of “engagement” with America’s enemies the White House is far more likely to attack its own allies. And by the way, Gibbs, as my colleague James Delingpole noted in a superbly penned response, it’s the “Champions League” not the “Champions League Cup”.

Chile doubles troops on quake-hit streets as chaos grows

Dominic Phillips in Talca and Jenny Booth

Thousands more troops have been deployed in towns across Chile as security forces battle to contain the mass looting and unrest that followed Saturday’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

President Michelle Bachelet has doubled the number of troops patrolling the worst-hit areas to 14,000, as an overnight curfew in the city of Concepción was prolonged by six hours until midday.

“We understand your urgent suffering, but we also know that these are criminal acts that will not be tolerated,” Ms Bachelet said, amid growing anger that troops were standing guard over stores laden with supplies.

She also rejected criticism of the Government’s handling of the quake, which officially killed more than 700 people. The death toll is likely to rise sharply as relief teams reach more isolated areas.

In Concepción, 310 miles (500km) south of Santiago, residents roamed the streets looking for food and water as the first aid supplies began to arrive, four days after the 8.8-magnitude quake struck.

Several stores in the country’s second city were set alight by mobs yesterday when troops barred them from ransacking the shelves and more than 160 people have already been arrested.

Huge flames and clouds of black smoke billowed over Concepción as rescue teams picked through the debris trying to find people still alive in the rubble.

Armed self-defence groups set up fires on the night-time streets, darkened by power cuts, to keep looters away from their homes.

Jacqueline Van Rysselberghe, the city’s mayor, said that the criminal elements were becoming more organised and systematic and warned against serious “social tension” in the city.

“We need food for the people. We are without supplies, and if we don’t resolve that we are going to have serious security problems during the night,” she said.

“We are at the end of the month. There are no stocks in the households. But nothing justifies looting, vandalism and theft. We have seen people coming out of supermarkets with plasma screens. If we don’t resolve this problem of food today, we could have a very confrontational situation.”

Eduardo Aundez, a Spanish professor, said: “I feel abandoned by the authorities. We believe the Government didn’t take the necessary measures in time, and now supplies of food and water are going to be much more complicated.”

Three new towns were also put under curfew, the first imposed in the country since the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

The deputy interior minister, Patricio Rosende, said that the Government had purchased all the food in Concepción’s main supermarkets so that it could be distributed free and more supplies were being shipped in.

“When we have a catastrophe of this magnitude, when there is no electricity and no water, the population… starts losing the sense of public order,” Mr Rosende said.

Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, arrived in Santiago carrying boxes of satellite phone equipment requested by the Chilean Government, after it dropped its initial reluctance and appealed for international aid.

“The US is ready to respond to the requests that the Government of Chile has made, so that we can provide not only solidarity but specific supplies to help you recover from the earthquake,” Mrs Clinton said. She was also due to meet Ms Bachelet’s successor, Sebastián Piñera, who takes over as president in less than two weeks’ time.

The capital, mostly built to strict codes in a country used to regular earthquakes as it sits on the deadly Pacific ring of fire, escaped the worst of the damage.

But as journalists and aid workers slowly trekked across damaged roads, the extent of the quake – one of the largest ever recorded – is gradually coming to light. Two million people, or one eighth of the population, are said to have been affected.

The aid effort suffered a blow last night when a small aircraft carrying a rescue team to Concepción crashed, killing all six people on board.

In the town of Talca, two hours’ drive inland from the earthquake’s epicentre and one of the latest towns to be placed under curfew, soldiers are on the streets as food shortages remain acute.

There is little to no electricity and water supplies are slowly returning for the 200,000 residents. Supermarkets are only opening for limited hours to reduce the risk of robbery and are rationing the food they sell to customers.

“We need troops, it’s chaos here, people are too scared to go out,” said Carolina Van Ristenberger, the mayor of Talca.

Damian Vera Vergara, 68, said: “We have not got any help from the Government. We were expecting more and are still waiting for the three basics – food, water and electricity.”

The old heart of the city crumbled in minutes when the quake hit at 3.45am. In street after street, homes built of mud-and-straw adobe, some a century old, collapsed. Up to 95 people were reported to have died.

The main hospital in Talca was damaged, forcing patients to cram into just one of the seven hospital buildings, cutting bed capacity from 600 to 150. The hospital authorities have put a high security presence at the doors as worried relatives congregate outside waiting for news, obstructing doctors and patients trying to enter and leave the building.

Chilean troops are setting up a mobile field hospital across the street with three wards of 20 beds, to cope with the flow of injuries from the earthquake. Broken pelvises, legs and arms and head wounds are said to be common.

Exact figures for the number of deaths and injuries are impossible to verify. One official spoke of 600 deaths across the six towns and cities in the Talca area, but with the national death toll standing at just over 700, that figure was being treated with scepticism.

State television reported that more than 300 bodies had been found in the fishing village of Constitución.

Boats tossed like toys lay in the streets in the town of Talcahuano, where Chilean troops were on patrol.

Some coastal areas, swamped by a massive tsunami triggered by the quake, remained cut off today.

“This part was full of houses. There were more than 100,” said Silvia Aparicio, a community leader, pointing to the beachfront in Pelluhue, turned into a desolate, sandy wasteland.

“And that’s nothing compared to what happened in the Marisquero,” she added of a nearby district.

USA Gun Owners Buy 14 Million Plus Guns In 2009

USA Gun Owners Buy 14 Million Plus Guns In 2009

– More Than 21 of the Worlds Standing Armies Combined

That is 14,033,824,000 billion+ rounds of Ammo..you think that is why we have an Ammo shortage?

Total NICS Gun Buyer Background Checks 2009Total NICS Gun Buyer Background Checks 2009

AmmoLand Gun NewsAmmoLand Gun News

Washington, DC --(AmmoLand.com)- Data released by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for the year reported 14,033,824 NICS Checks for the year of 2009, a 10 percent increase in gun purchases from the 12,709,023 reported in 2008.

So far that is roughly 14,000,000+ guns bought last year!
The total is probably more as many NICS background checks cover the purchase of more than one gun at a time by individuals.

To put it in perspective that is more guns than the combined active armies of the top 21 countries in the world. countries by number of troops

Of the NICS background checks preformed less than and average .005% were denied, showing, overwhelmingly, that law abiding American citizens are the ones buying guns and that criminals are getting their guns elsewhere.

14,033,824,000 billions rounds of Ammo
Assuming each gun buyer bought 1000 rounds of ammo for each purchase, and you and I know that it is way, way more than that, that would be easily 14,033,824,000+ billions rounds of ammo fired by USA gun owners.

What percent of people were killed or injured by this ammo…it is just to infinitesimally small for me to calculate?

Crime At Record Lows
This record year in firearms background checks show that Americans are solidly in-favor of exercising their civil right to Keep and Bear Arms.

In a year were crime has reached an all time record low what is plainly clear is that more guns equal LESS CRIME!

Countries By Number Of Troops: Source Wikipedia

People’s Republic of China 2,255,000
United States 1,473,900
India 1,414,000
North Korea 1,106,000
Russia 1,037,000
Pakistan 619,000
South Korea 687,000
Iran 545,000
Turkey 514,850
Vietnam 484,000
Egypt 450,000
Myanmar 428,250
Indonesia 400,000
Brazil 369,000
Thailand 306,600
Syria 296,000
Republic of China 290,000
Colombia 285,554
Germany 284,500
Iraq 273,618
Sri Lanka 266,700
13,785,972
People’s Republic of China 2,255,000
United States 1,473,900
India 1,414,000
North Korea 1,106,000
Russia 1,037,000
Pakistan 619,000
South Korea 687,000
Iran 545,000
Turkey 514,850
Vietnam 484,000
Egypt 450,000
Myanmar 428,250
Indonesia 400,000
Brazil 369,000
Thailand 306,600
Syria 296,000
Republic of China 290,000
Colombia 285,554
Germany 284,500
Iraq 273,618
Sri Lanka 266,700

This is an evaluation of overall firearms and ammunition purchases based on low end numbers per Federal NIC instacheck data base Statistics. The numbers presented are only PART of the overall numbers of arms and ammunition that have been sold.

The actual numbers are much higher.

Firearms Manufactures Working Hard To Keep UpFirearms Manufactures Working Hard To Keep Up

Distributed to you by AmmoLand.com – The Shooting Sports News source.
People’s Republic of China 2,255,000
United States 1,473,900
India 1,414,000
North Korea 1,106,000
Russia 1,037,000
Pakistan 619,000
South Korea 687,000
Iran 545,000
Turkey 514,850
Vietnam 484,000
Egypt 450,000
Myanmar 428,250
Indonesia 400,000
Brazil 369,000
Thailand 306,600
Syria 296,000
Republic of China 290,000
Colombia 285,554
Germany 284,500
Iraq 273,618
Sri Lanka 266,700

Native Indian Genocide: Parallels in Palestine

Chinook Indian Girl

Native Indian Genocide: Parallels in Palestine

By Yuram Abdullah Weiler

March 3, 2010

“One of the greatest crimes against humanity occurred right here in the United States of America. Support for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People is a start to right this great wrong,” declared the American Indian Movement in a press release on 24 September 2009.

Perhaps my natural sense of outrage and revulsion at the injustices and atrocities inflicted upon indigenous peoples by the U.S., Zionists and other colonizing powers is inherited from my mother. Before she died, she told me that ancestors on her father’s side of the family traced their roots back to the Iroquois nation.

The United States of America, of course, voted against the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Only a country that denies the rights of its own Native Indians could object to the right of self-determination for other indigenous peoples.

Likewise, only a country that had itself executed genocide on its own native peoples on a massive scale could be such an ardent supporter of the Zionist regime, which is currently engaged in a native Palestinian genocide.

How massive was the Native Indian genocide committed by the Euroamerican colonizers? According to the late Professor Howard Zinn, of the 10 million Native Indians who lived north of present-day Mexico when Columbus arrived, less than a million remain. Other scholars put the indigenous population in 1492 as high as 18 million. Based on a nadir population of 250,000 around 1900, the American Indian holocaust perpetrated by Euroamerican colonizers claimed at least 9 million lives.

“That there was tragedy, deception, barbarity, and virtually every other vice known to man in the 300-year history of the expansion of the original 13 Colonies into a Nation which now embraces more than three million square miles and 50 States cannot be denied,” grudgingly conceded a U.S. Senate committee on Indian Affairs.

How did the U.S. colonizers usurp Native Indian lands? The pattern was already in place by 1713 with the Treaty of Utrecht, which established a “buffer” zone of Native Indian land between French and British colonial powers. Caught between the two, Native Indians defended their homes, families and lands with understandable ferocity against an invasion by Euroamerican colonizers who ignored the treaty and settled in the buffer zone. Characterizing Native Indian resistance as unprovoked attacks on peaceful settlers, the invaders demanded U.S. Army protection from the “uncivilized savages.”

Forced eviction, relocation and starvation were among the atrocities committed by the U.S. government to carry out its genocide. Native Indians were removed at gunpoint from their homes and forced to resettle on reservations whose total area was only a small fraction of their ancestral lands. Some Indian nations were deliberately divided, such as the Cheyenne and the Seminole, separating relatives and extended families from one another by great distances. The viscously cruel tactic of destroying food crops and slaughtering buffalo led to the starvation and near extinction of many American Indian nations.

And if forced eviction, relocation and starvation proved insufficient to break the Native Indian will to resist, then the U.S. Cavalry supplemented by settler militias were called in with Howitzers to execute a massacre. One such bloodbath occurred in November of 1864, when 700 militiamen, many of them drunk, surrounded and attacked a peaceful Cheyenne and Arapaho village at Sand Creek, Colorado. At the end of the one-sided battle, 200 Native Indians had been killed and mutilated, over half women and children.

Looking at the methods employed by the Zionist colonizers against Palestinians, one immediately sees parallels to those used by the U.S. government to exterminate Native Indian peoples. The same methods of massacres, forced eviction, relocation and starvation used to colonize native lands in the U.S. have been employed in Palestine.

In March of 1948, Zionist forces launched a systematic plan to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its indigenous population. Heavily armed Zionist militias seized control of numerous multiethnic cities such as Jaffa, Haifa Safat and Tiberias, and ruthlessly drove out native Palestinian inhabitants. Massacres took place in Deir Yasin, where 100 men women and children were killed, Tantura, where 200 men were murdered and in 368 other Palestinian villages and cities. By the winter of 1948, 90 percent of the native population–some 750,000 Palestinians–had been turned into refugees.

Ethnic cleansing continued and by 1952, Palestinians had been forcibly evicted from another 40 villages. Settlements were built on top of the rubble of the 370 villages destroyed in 1948 to obliterate all evidence of the former Palestinian residents. Not satisfied with the Palestinian territory it occupied, “Israel” attacked Egypt and Jordan in 1967, seizing Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the West Bank and Gaza, creating another 275,000 Palestinian refugees.

Currently, “Israel” is tightening its grip on the Occupied West Bank aided by U.S. and E.U.-trained security forces, and is starving out Gazans, denying them desperately-needed food and medical supplies, with its ongoing blockade helped by Egypt’s new steel wall. Like the American Indians of the 18th century caught between French and British colonizers, Gazans today find themselves caught between the U.S.-supported Israeli-Zionist regime and the U.S.-controlled Egyptian dictatorship, while Palestinians in the West Bank are squeezed between U.S. “ally” Jordan and the apartheid wall.

Great Lakota Nation leader Russell Means, speaking to American Indian students in 1995, reminded them, “At Wounded Knee in 1973, we were surrounded by the armed might of the United States of America, the most militarily powerful country in the world, but we were free.” Similarly, Palestinians in Gaza and the Occupied West Bank may be surrounded by the armed might of the U.S.-financed Zionists, but they too will be free.

“The white man knows that he is alien and he knows that North America is Indian,” observes Native American scholar Vine Deloria, Jr. Similarly, the Eurozionist colonizer knows that he is alien and that “Israel” is Palestinian.

Someday, Palestine will be free of Eurozionist colonizers, the Americas will be free of Euroamerican colonizers and indigenous people everywhere will be free to exercise their right of self-determination.

Someday, the United States, Britain, Israel, France and all who are complicit in colonizing lands belonging to Native American Indians, Palestinians and other indigenous peoples around the world will be held accountable for their crimes.

- Yuram Abdullah Weiler is a freelance writer and political critic who has written many articles on the Middle East and U.S. policy. Yuram resides in Denver, Colorado USA with his wife..

:: Article nr. 63854 sent on 04-mar-2010 02:28 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=63854

Link: www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=15776

What Next In Pakistan’s Pashtun Belt?

What Next In Pakistan’s Pashtun Belt?

By B.Raman

(March 04, Chennai, Sri Lanka Guardian) The Pakistan Army and the US intelligence are making headway in the battle against jihadi terrorism — the indigenous as well as the global varieties— in Pakistan’s Pashtun tribal belt in the Malakand Division of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

They are working in tandem in some places such as the Swat Valley of the Malakand Division and South Waziristan in the FATA and separately of each other in co-ordinated, but not joint operations in other areas such as the Bajaur and the North Waziristan Agencies of the FATA. While the Pakistan Army has been exclusively handling the ground situation in the Bajaur Agency with very little US involvement, the US has been keeping up relentless pressure on the terrorists in North Waziristan and occasionally in South Waziristan through its Drone (pilotless planes) strikes.

There is a gentlemen’s agreement between Islamabad and Washington that the former will keep making proforma protests against the Drone strikes without trying to stop them. If Pakistan protests really and vehemently, the US will have to stop them. The US is able to continue them because the Pakistani protests are a charade. Pakistan knows it is benefiting from the Drone strikes and wants them to continue. Fears that disproportionate civilian casualties might add to anti-American feelings have been belied. Civilian casualties there have been, but they are not as heavy as made out by some US analysts. Even the Pakistani civil society and the local tribal population no longer protest against the civilian casualties. They have realised that by eliminating the jihadi terrorist leaders of not only Al Qaeda, but also indigenous organisations such as the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the anti-Shia Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ) and trans-border organisations such as the anti-Chinese Islamic Movement of East Turkestan (IMET) the US has given them some relief from the intimidation and terror imposed on the local population by these terrorist groups.

There are signs of a jihadi fatigue in the Pakistani Pashtun belt. This fatigue should account for the remarkable decline in public protests over the Drone strikes. It has also contributed to the increasing flow of valuable intelligence to the US agencies. Almost all the successful US Drone strikes were intelligence-driven. Initially, the intelligence came overwhelmingly from technical sources. Now, they are coming more and more from human sources. When there is popular fatigue with the terrorists, intelligence flow improves. We are witnessing this in the tribal belt.

The remarkable successes of the US intelligence in North Waziristan have been accompanied by the headway made by the Pakistani security forces in the Swat Valley, South Waziristan and the Bajaur Agency. These operations cannot be described as successful in terms of identified terrorist leaders neutralised by the Pakistan Army. Many of the terrorist leaders operating in these areas have escaped capture by the Pakistan Army. Their trained followers have dispersed and peeled off. They have retained a capability for re-grouping and striking back at a later stage if the Army pressure eases.

6. Despite this, the Pakistan Army operations have been successful in the sense that it has been able to re-establish territorial control over Swat, South Waziristan and the Bajaur Agency and deny the use of this territory to the terrorists. Is this territorial control ephemeral or will it be enduring? The training and equipment given by the US to Pakistani para-military forces such as the Frontier Corps have improved their morale and made them fight better to wrest control of the territory from the terrorists, but their ability to hold on to the “newly liberated” territory in the face of a renewed assault is yet to be tested.

Any comprehensive operation in this area has to have three components—liberate, hold on to it and develop. Only the first component is now being attempted by the Army with US assistance. US policy-makers and Pakistani civilian leaders are yet to pay attention to the other two components. Holding on to the “liberated” territory demands massive investments for a crash development of roads and other means of communications. One sees no signs of any such investments and related activity. It also demands a robust civilian governing machinery which enforces the civilian authority, brings the liberated areas into the national political mainstream from which the entire FATA had remained excluded ever since Pakistan became independent in 1947 and undertakes massive economic development programmes.

The elected civilian Government in Islamabad has shown very little interest in the civilian follow-up to the military actions. It has left all the initiatives in the FATA in the hands of the Army. There is hardly any thinking or discussion in Islamabad or the rest of the country on how to increase the extent and effectiveness of the civilian governing machinery in the tribal belt. The civilian leaders have no interest in the tasks of governance in the tribal areas. Even US policy-makers and experts have shown not much inteterest in following up on the military successes by undertaking a programme for changing the political and economic landscape of the tribal areas.

This total lack of interest in “what next” could facilitate re-grouping and a come-back by the terrorists and insurgents.

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

UN panel probes Pakistan army’s role in Bhutto murder

UN panel probes Pakistan army’s role in Bhutto murder

In a new twist, the UN Commission, probing into the assassination of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is now suspecting involvement of Pakistani soldiers in the plot.

Pakistani officials said they were searching for four military personnel who had disappeared just before the suicide attack on Bhutto during an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.

The missing soldiers were retired army personnel who were among the eight army men related to the main accused and a proclaimed offender in the case Ibad Ur Rehman, interior ministry officials said.

The investigators were facing difficulties in determining the exact status of these soldiers and so far no record had been provided. The four other soldiers are still serving the army, the officials told DawnNews.

The four missing army personnel had never been mentioned before in the legal proceedings.

Pakistan had sought a UN probe a year ago after its own investigations and those by Scotland Yard failed to make headway into Bhutto’s killing Dec 27, 2007 in a gun and bomb attack as she left a political rally in the garrison town of Rawalpindi.

The four-member probe commission which was constituted in June last year is expected to submit its report by the end of this month.

Sixty people die in India temple stampede, police say

[It never ceases to amaze me just how often human beings behave like a herd of cattle, especially when it involves destitute people and an attempt to give them some kind of help.]

Sixty people die in India temple stampede, police say

map

At least 60 people have died in a stampede after the gate of a Hindu temple collapsed in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, police say.

Another 25 devotees were injured at the temple in Pratapgarh district, some 650km (400 miles) south-east of Delhi.

Devotees had gathered for a ritual feast, police told the BBC.

It is still unclear what caused the gate to collapse. Hundreds of people have been killed in stampedes at crowded Indian temples in recent years.

In 2008, nearly 300 people were killed in stampedes and scores injured in two different Hindu temples in Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh states.

Thursday’s disaster happened at a popular Ram Janaki temple in the town of Kunda in Pratapgarh district. The temple is owned by a Hindu holy man, Jagadguru Kripalu Ji Maharaj.

“The toll is likely to rise further as many women and children are injured. At least 20 are serious,” one police officer told Reuters news agency.

The BBC’s Ram Dutt Tripathi in the state capital, Lucknow, says the temple gate was under construction when it collapsed, causing the stampede.

Devotees had gathered for a ceremonial feast and free distribution of clothes.

Elaborate “Tora Bora”-Like Cave System Captured

[It would be interesting to see more of these 156 caves, whether they are machined, like this one.  From the clearly defined horizontal drill marks running down the walls and ceiling and the apparent smoothness of the cave floor, it is obvious that this cave was constructed by professional miners and stone craftsmen.  This tunnel was not the work of a bunch of cave-dwelling hermits, using picks and hand tools.   Was this done by bin Laden's crew, or has this been constructed since then?]

Soldiers sort through a fox hole, which the Pakistan Army said was built and used by the Pakistan Taliban in Damadola in Bajaur Agency
Blankets were left strewn across the network of 156 caves, used by Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy.

Zahid Hussain, Damadola

Pakistan’s Army takes control of al-Qaeda cave network on Afghan border

Pakistani forces have taken control of a warren of caves that served until recently as the nerve centre of the Taleban and al-Qaeda and sheltered Ayman al-Zawahiri, the second-in-command to Osama bin Laden.

“It was the main hub of militancy where al-Qaeda operatives had moved freely,” Major-General Tariq Khan, the Pakistan regional commander, said as he gave journalists a tour of Damadola yesterday.

The village, nestling among snow-capped peaks in the Bajaur region along the Afghan border, has been fought over for 16 months. It is the first time that the Pakistani Army has set foot in the village, which had long been dominated by the insurgents operating on the both sides of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

“Al-Qaeda was there. They had occupied the ridges. There were 156 caves designed as a defensive complex,” said General Khan, head of the Frontier Corps responsible for Pakistan’s counter-insurgency campaign in the region. He said that his forces had killed 75 foreign and local militants and cleared a zone up to the Afghan border, and that the campaign against the insurgents was in its final stage.

The army began operations in Bajaur in August 2008 and claimed victory in February last year, only for the insurgents to seep back when the Government’s focus switched to Pakistani Taleban fighters in the Swat Valley and South Waziristan.

Journalists were shown caves strewn with blankets and pillows, left in haste as the army approached in January. The village has been largely destroyed by the fighting.

A large mud compound on a hilltop was once believed to be the hideout of al-Zawahiri, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, who was the subject of a $25 million (£18 million) bounty. “He has been spotted here by the local residents in the past,” said Colonel Nauman Saeed, an army commander.

Al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian doctor, narrowly escaped when missiles fired by a CIA drone struck a house in Damadola in January 2006.

According to officials he and some other al-Qaeda operatives had been attending a dinner but left just before the attack. The ruins of the house hit by the missiles were still present.

Pakistani officials and local residents said that al-Zawahiri had even married a local girl. “He would regularly travel between Bajaur and the Afghan province of Kunar,” Colonel Saeed said.

While the military has been showing off its gains many Taleban fighters and their leaders — including the main regional commander, Faqir Mohammad, have escaped the sweep and may try to return as they have done before. “I would give you a rough estimate that about 25 per cent must have gone across the border; another 10 or 15 per cent might have melted back into the areas of Swat, where they had come from,” General Khan said. “A substantial amount of them have been killed, but that is just an estimate.”

Feeding the Cycle of Violence–Grenade Attack On Baloch Students and the Payback Attack

[The grenade attack upon the peaceful student concert seemed to have no other purpose than to inspire revenge attacks.  The unanswered question is--Who would want to cause revenge attacks upon Frontier troops, and why?  The easy answer would be to say that it was the "Taliban," but why would the Taliban care what goes-on in Balochistan, when they have their hands full in Afghanistan and in NWFP?  Don't argue that it was to divert pressure off them from the ongoing offensive, when these kinds of attacks have been going on for years.

Who would care enough about independence movements in Balochistan to take actions intended to make the Balochis look bad?  That leaves the Army (which treats the Frontier Forces as "cannon fodder") or the ISI.  Pakistan has historically proven to be a nation ruled by brutal military force.  As hard as it is to believe that a "civilized" government would choose to rule by provoking sectarian and nationalist conflicts, in order to brutally put them down, it seems that this is business as usual in Pakistan.  SEE: Is It Pakistan’s Army?]

Taliban’s attack on Baloch cultural concert in Khuzdar blacked out by Pakistani media

March 3rd, 2010Abdul Nishapuri


An injurer student is treated at a hospital after a blast in Khuzdar, southwestern Pakistan, on March 2, 2010. Source: Xinhua

Once again, Pakistani media has almost blacked out an act of violence by Taliban extremists. This time the Taliban’s target was a Baloch cultural day and musical concert in the University of Engineering and Technology, Khuzdar. The blast occurred in the premises of local engineering university when a number of students and other people were attending a cultural gathering. Two innocent students were killed, numerous others were injured.

Contrast the almost negligible coverage to the Khuzdar attack with the enormous coverage given to the attack on the International Islamic University, Islamabad.

The reason for this disparity in media approach is quite clear. In the International Islamic University case, there was a powerful lobby of Islamist students (Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba) who have direct links with the Pakistani media. In the Khuzdar Engineering University case, it were poor Baloch students who were on the receiving end, hence not worthy of any support or coverage in the mass media.

Does Balochistan exist in Pakistan? Are Baloch people entitled to same rights as are granted to the people of Lahore and Islamabad? Will Hamid Mirs, Talat Hussains, Shahid Masoods and Javed Chaudhries of the Pakistani media pay some attention to this gruesome attack by Islamists on a musical concert in a far flung town in Balochistan?

Here are some relevant news items:

Blast claims lives of two students in Khuzdar

Wednesday, 03 Mar, 2010

QUETTA: Two students of Khuzdar Engineering University were killed and nine others injured when a bomb exploded on the university premises on Tuesday night.

Khuzdar DIG Asif Ejaz Sheikh said the cause of the blast was being investigated. Police and security personnel took the bodies and the injured to the Khuzdar civil hospital. Sources said two of the injured were in a serious condition. One of the deceased was identified as Junaid Baloch, a son of a university official. — Saleem Shahid

Source: Dawn

Who is responsible?

There was no claim for responsibility, but local security officials linked the incident to violent rivalry between two clans in the tribal area.
Pakistan has also seen a growth in religious conservatism in parts of the northwest and Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, with militants opposing music and films and instead advocating Islamic education.

Source: AFP

However, according to Baloch nationalists, the attack was carried out by Pakistan Army (or the Taliban-ISI duo?).

Khuzdar: B.S.O Azaad Media Cell has reported that Baloch Students Organisation (Azaad) and Baloch Culture Forum were observing the International Cultural day in Khuzdar Engineering University. When the personal of Pakistan FC (frontier corps) hurled three hand grenades on the crowd. Speaking to Radio Gwank a Baloch student has said that more than 18 youth have sustained injuries including a teacher Mr Jalal Shah and some senior BSO (A) leaders. According to Radio Gwank report the FC has surrounded the University after the attack. The injured have been shifted to Hospital and many youth were heading to the hospital to donate blood to their injured comrades.

BSO Azaad media cell circulated the following initial report. Once Again Pakistani Agencies Attacked on BSO Azaad 2nd March International Balochi Culture Day Cultural Show Organized by BSO Azaad Khuzdar Zone …Three Blasts were done in this attack with Hand Grenade (Said by Eyewitnesses).
In which Sangat Junaid Baloch (BSO Azaad Member) University Accountants achieved Martrydom & More than 24 Injured…

In which 3 got serious injuries & Sent to Karachi for Better Treatment..

Blood needed for the Above Injuried .. We Appeal TO BALOCH Nation to Donate Blood to their Beloved Brothers..

For Blood Donation Further Contact:
0321-2885995

B.S.O Azaad Media Cell

Source: Baloch Warna

ATTEMPTED PAYBACK

FC convoy ambushed in mashkay. 19 Pakistani security officials killed


on 04-03-2010 (41 reads)
Occupied Balochistan: A convoy of FC (frontier Corps) was ambushed by BLF (Baloch Liberation Front) fighters in district Mashky’s pakkea region on Tuesday. According government reports 19 officials including an inspector were injured in this attack. BLF spokesman colonel Doda Baloch accepted the responsibility for the attack and said such attacks on Pakistani security forces will continue till the freedom of Balochistan.

Separately in Sui Dega Bugti one man have been killed and another sustained injuries in a land-mine blast. Hand grenades were hurled at Naal and Surab police stations but no loses of lives have been reported in these attacks.

Meerak Baloch of BLA has claimed the responsibility of killing a government spy in Khuzdar and heralding a hand grenade on Surab police station.

BBC Discovers Fallujah’s American Genetic Warfare

14fatima-15212335.jpg

[SEE: The Truth Of Iraq's City Of Deformed Babies

Soaring birth deformities and child cancer rates in Iraq

Deformed babies in Fallujah, Iraq LETTER TO THE UNITED NATIONS

ISRAEL GIVES BIRTH TO STRANGE CREATURES IN GAZA'S HOSPITALS

Dameer: Birth defects increased in Gaza due to Israel’s use of chemical weapons

Shocking revelations about the war on Gaza]

Birth defects ‘have risen since US Falluja operation’

By John Simpson
World affairs editor, BBC News

Iraqi families leave the outskirts of Falluja, Iraq (file image from 15/11/2004)

Many families left the town ahead of the US-led operation in 2004

A paediatrician and parents have told the BBC of a high level of birth defects among children in Falluja, Iraq, blaming weapons used by the US.

Six years ago, in 2004, there were fierce battles as US forces subdued two uprisings in the town.

Now, one hospital doctor told the BBC that they see two or three cases of birth defects each day.

The US military says it is not aware of any official reports showing an increase in birth defects in the area.

It says it always takes public health concerns about any population now living in a combat theatre “very seriously”.

I am a doctor, I have to be scientific… I have no proof and I have nothing documented, but I can tell you that year by year they were increasing
Local hospital doctor

“No studies to date have indicated environmental issues resulting in specific health issues,” said US Military Health System Communications Director Michael Kilpatrick.

“Unexploded ordinance, including improvised explosive devises, are a recognised hazard,” he added.

But local people blame the weapons used by the US troops during the fighting.

It was hard to find doctors at the brand-new, US-funded hospital in Falluja who were prepared to talk about the problem.

‘Savage epidemic’

I was told they were scared to speak because the Iraqi government did not want to create trouble for the Americans.

Map locator
40 miles (64km) west of the capital Baghdad
Major city in the predominantly Sunni province of Anbar, a hotbed of insurgency following US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003
Burned corpses of four ambushed US contractors dragged through the streets of the city in March 2004
Scene of major US-led offensive against insurgents in November 2004, when thousands of marines stormed the city
US military’s use of white phosphorus munitions in that offensive widely condemned
Situation in Anbar as a whole calmer since 2006, when tribal “Awakening Councils” turned against al-Qaeda in Iraq

The official line is that Falluja has only two or three cases of birth defects a year more than normal.

But, in the children’s ward, I spoke to a paediatrician who told me he saw as many as two or three cases a day, mainly cardiac defects.

That would mean that this medium-sized town has some 1,000 cases of birth defects a year.

Every doctor, and every parent I spoke to there, believed the problem was the highly sophisticated weapons the US troops used against Falluja six years ago.

The rubble from the damaged buildings was bulldozed into the river – and people in Falluja have got their drinking water from there ever since.

I went to a house where all three young children were suffering from paralysis or brain damage.

A man who heard I was there brought his daughter to show me – she had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, and suffered from several serious diseases.

Falluja is in the grip of a savage epidemic, and the victims are the weakest and most vulnerable of all.

TTP Leadership’s Names Not On Federal Wanted List

TTP leadership’s names missing from FIA ‘red book’

The list was put together with the assistance of provincial police departments and Islamabad police. — Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: A list of wanted persons prepared by Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) names 119 individuals including those involved in attacks on former premier Benazir Bhutto, Pervez Musharraf and on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad. However, the list does not include names of prominent Taliban leaders, a BBCUrdu report said.

Although the list formulated with the assistance of intelligence officials working with provincial police departments is not complete, it includes sufficient information on suspected militants.

The list received by BBCUrdu was prepared in October 2009. The published list, also known as the ‘red book,’ includes details on the most dangerous individuals and has been put together with the assistance of provincial police departments and Islamabad police.

The list also includes names of 11 wanted individuals with respect to the Mumbai attacks but there are no details on the bounty in case of their arrests. Similarly, the list does not include names of prominent militant leaders from Swat and Fata. The list mostly includes individuals working for or with banned outfit Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.

The interesting bit is the absence of names of militant leaders from Fata from the FIA’s Special Investigation Group’s list. Wanted persons from the four provinces and Islamabad have been mentioned but there is no mention of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s leadership. The list includes the names of 25 wanted individuals from Punjab, 24 from Sindh and 18 from Balochistan. Surprisingly, the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) has the least number of wanted individuals (16). This is despite the fact that the province has been the hardest hit by militancy.

An important name in the list is that of Attock’s Abdur Rahman, the report said. Abdur Rahman is also said to be associated with the group formed by Darul Uloom Haqqania’s Qari Ismail. According to the ‘red book,’ Abdur Rahman was involved in the attack on Benazir Bhutto on the instructions of former Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud. Abdur Rahman also used to operate a militant training camp in Khyber agency’s Bara tehsil.

Similarly, the ‘red book’ says Rana Ashfaq Ahmed, wanted in the attack on Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel, was associated with Qari Saifullah’s group in Waziristan. Ahmed is also said to be associated with militant organisation Hizb-i-jihad and was allegedly receiving monthly income from the organisation since 1997. Ahmed has been accused of sheltering the suicide bomber involved in the attack on Marriott Hotel. He has also previously worked as a driver to Maulana Alam Tariq, the brother of former Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) chief Maulana Azam Tariq.

The book also details identification information on the wanted indiviuals and there are cases in which photographs are also available.

Other details are also available. However, journalists and analysts are of the view that the information available in the book is insufficient and that they have better information on the listed individuals.

Holbrooke Denies Reality In Kabul Bomb Whopper

[The Indian medical mission was obviously the primary target, with terrorists calling-out for known Indian personnel by name.  It came the day after the Indian-Pakistani talks ended in acrimony over anti-Indian terrorism coming out of Pakistan.  Holbrooke is just upset over his getting his cover blown over the Rigi incident.  SEE: Wayne Madsen Nails Real Story of Rigi’s Arrest]

India upset with Holbrooke view on Kabul attack

AfPak envoy says India was not the target

New Delhi: Indian officials have described as “absolutely incorrect” the statement by Washington’s AfPak envoy, Richard Holbrooke, that India was not the target of last week’s terrorist attack in Kabul.

The officials expressed surprise and even consternation at this assertion, which, they said, ignored the fact that the terrorists’ primary target was a building used by the Indian medical mission. The U.S. assessment, they said, also ran counter to what Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, has established so far.

On Tuesday, NSD spokesman Saeed Ansari told AP in Kabul that there was evidence Urdu-speaking Pakistanis from the Lashkar-e-Taiba had been involved in the attack and not the Afghan Taliban.

According to Indian officials, the NSD has established that the terrorists were indeed looking for Indians and had specific information about who was present, including NGO women from SEWA and a senior diplomat on secondment to the Afghan Interior Ministry.

For now, officials here are guarded about which Pakistan-based terrorist outfit might be involved. “Groups like the Haqqani network, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and LeT are all mixed up with one another,” an Indian official said on condition of anonymity. “What we know at present is only circumstantial but [things] should be clearer in a while,” said another official, adding, such are “the glorious uncertainties of barbarism.”

Speaking to reporters in Washington on Wednesday, Mr. Holbrooke said: “I don’t accept the fact that this was an attack on an Indian facility… There were foreigners, non-Indian foreigners hurt. It was a soft target. Let’s not jump to conclusions.” He added: “I understand why everyone in Pakistan and everyone in India always focuses on the other. But please, let’s not draw a conclusion for which there’s no proof.”

New Delhi, however, believes there is no room for doubt. “A huge bomb is detonated just outside the Indian medical mission. A terrorist walks in lobbying grenades and firing from room to room. He had prior knowledge about the occupants… If this is not an attack targeted on Indians, what can it be?” said a senior official.

Indian officials also said the Afghans would not make an allegation of Pakistani involvement loosely. “From their point of view, this is a risky statement to make since their government is making overtures to Pakistan,” said an official. “So for their intel people to say the LeT was involved and that it has close ties with the ISI — obviously they are taking a huge risk and must have very good information.”

Afghan investigators have noted that last week’s terrorist attack was very different from the January 18 Taliban strike at the Faroshga mall in central Kabul. The gunmen had allowed Afghan shoppers to leave before training their fire on the security forces and destroying the building. In contrast, the Afghans guarding the Indian medical mission were the first to be shot dead by the terrorist who entered the compound following the huge explosion triggered outside. “The guards shouted ‘Don’t kill us, we’re Afghans’ but they were shot all the same,” an Indian official said.

Is It Pakistan’s Army?

[Mostaque Ali, the author of the following article, is quite excellent at raising people's hackles, especially when his topic is Pakistan.  In Pakistan, it seems as if the military can do no wrong, giving way to reactions of anger whenever the motives of the Army are challenged.  Considering the underhanded manner in which the military ran the country under Musharraf, it would cause the people to question whatever the secretive military does.  Mostaque raises many relevant questions about the real connections between the American government and the Pak Army.  The most important question is--Who does the Pak Army really serve, the American government or the Pakistani people?  Was the real mission of Pakistan's militants to convince the people to embrace civil war?  Was that the Army's true mission, as well?

Please ignore the brutal honesty which might border on disrespect.--Peter]

Yes its the elite AND the military.

.
.
.
.

Cool sinister chain smoking Kianni of the ISI, brain washed in the USA. During his tenure as head of the ISI you can imagine what criminality took place in Pakistan, AND is taking place now.

An excellent article which deconstructs the myth of Indian arms in Swat, and defacto claims of an Indian hand in the training of the TTP from their “numerous” consulates in Afghanistan….actually 4 in the 1960′s, and still four now.

India is not massively destabilizing Pakistan through Taliban proxies, these are lies propagated by the Pakistan military, as this article HERE from a rational thinking Pakistani quite clearly shows.

Besides the corrupt elite, the main danger and threat to Pakistan’s viability is the Pakistan military with their various covert operations both within Pakistan and outside of Pakistan. The key decisions and actions of the Pakistan military since the 1950′s has led to the Failed State situation of Pakistan presently.

The Pakistan military is the number one threat to Pakistan.

The Pakistan military created and set up the Swat Taliban, as I said over a year ago………Afghan Taliban don’t cover their faces, because why should they, they are fighting for their country…..and they are proud of this fact. On the other hand a good deal of the Swat Taliban did cover their faces……why this little girl ashamed behavior? Because many of them were from the Pakistan military.

The Afghan Taliban welcome the attention of the Pakistan media, because the more attention they get in Pakistan especially, the more volunteers, money, and publicity will flow in their direction……for all counter-insurgency groups the host media is an important part of winning their war; This basic rule of counter-insurgency did not apply to the Swat Taliban. The Swat Taliban shunned media attention from Pakistani journalists; The Pakistani military later reinforced that by declaring Swat a no go area; The Swat Taliban had free rein of the radio airwaves until the end; the Swat Taliban by contrast killed Pakistani journalists…….why? Because a good seasoned Pakistani journalist would have smelled the real situation in the Swat Valley, without the benefit of military briefings.

3,000 “Swat Taliban” marching undefeated towards Islamabad, remember last year? And the 800,000 Pakistan military backed by 300,000 paramilitary couldn’t stop them. Does this sound real? Obviously not. The Swat Taliban’s mission for the Pakistan military was to march towards Islamabad, just close enough….where upon the Pakistan military would step in to “save” the nation from the weak incompetent politicians.

America and Hilary Clinton had other plans, and gave the Pakistan military its marching orders, and lo in complete reverse the Pakistan military found the resolve to “fight” in inverted commas, their created proxies…….the USA had created an aid packages totaling $25 billion for Pakistan in the coming years (USA loans, WB, IMF etc), not just so that the Pakistan military could step in through a defacto coup, and lord over such huge aid funds. Though I fear in truth most of the victims of that particular military operation were in fact hapless Pakistani civilians.

Pakistan does need saving from weak, corrupt, criminal, incompetent politicians, BUT NOT in THIS WAY…….one wrong corrected by a bigger wrong does not make a right……..only defers the main problem further down the line.

Now you know who is behind ALL terrorist ops in Pakistan, especially in the NWFP.

If we remember the actions of the Pakistani military which led to 3,000,000 civilian deaths, 10,000,000 million refugees into India, and 500,000 rapes in East Pakistan.

If we remember the actions of the Pakistani military which led to 50,000–100,000 deaths in Baluchistan between 1973–1977.

It is quite simply the worst military in the world, which has a strong track record of fighting its most vicious and aggressive wars against its own people.

Which then begs the question, is the Pakistan military a real national defense force which protects the people or country, for which the brow beaten Pakistani citizen pays its salary, or is it a subversive anti-state tool which serves the interests of a narrow elite based in the Punjab and other foreign entities abroad, in the USA especially?

Some simple questions ordinary Pakistanis must ask when they pay the salary of the Pakistan military. ALL feelings of awe and deference for the Pakistan military must be removed first:

1. The Afghan Taliban is run by the Pakistani military to achieve “strategic depth” in Afghanistan for Pakistan. This “strategic depth” idea was given to them by the USA administration in 1993/1994 by Sandy Berger and other Jews visiting Benazirs Pakistan. In Pakistan the elite don’t filter any ideas that come from the USA….they just say “acha sahib”. The Pakistan military created the reality of the Taliban and hand picked mullah Omer, provided them with arms, training, men from the regular Pakistan military and especially the ISI, disguised as Taliban (remember Swat Taliban…..this stuff is bread and butter to the Pakistan military). The Taliban is Pakistan’s proxy army in Afghanistan.

Couple of Questions:

(i) How many Pakistani civilians must be sacrificed in order to protect the Afghan Taliban in Pakistan, whilst the Americans pursue them into Pakistan with drones and other such action?

(ii) What destabilizing effects will a Taliban government in Kabul have on Pakistan, if they ever get back into power eventually?

(iii) Why did the Pakistan military choose the lowest common denominator from Afghanistan, in the form of the Taliban (formerly psycho Hekmatyar) to lead, and spearhead a critically important strategic mission for Pakistan costing $ billions to represent Pakistan’s interests in Afghanistan? Can fundies of this type be taken out of the box, used and be put into the box again, just like that?

(iv) Could the slippery ever unreliable whimsical Americans (Ayub, Zia, Musharaf with said experience) use the excuse of the presence of the Afghan Taliban in Quetta to attack Pakistan, AND was this their original goal when they requested the Pakistan military to set up the Afghan Taliban for them in 1994? Using Islamic Fundamentalists as a fifth column to both destabilize certain countries, then deligitimate them, and then invade them, and occupy them. Was that why Osama was allowed to escape to Pakistan in 2001 from Tora Bora?

(v) The Pakistan military know “al-Qaeda” does not exist, so why do the Pakistan military continue maintaining this myth? Who benefits from this myth? Israel, maybe Likud Israel, but how does Pakistan benefit, beyond the negative attention of the USA? Osama died in 2001, so why doesn’t the Pakistan military say so clearly? (Press conference: Major General Athar…”We have clear evidence that OBL has passed away………….” Why does the Pakistan military maintain and support Israel’s security perspectives around GWoT and the “al-Qaeda”?

(vi) The Americans have been launching drones into sovereign Pakistani territory in pursuit of “al-Qaeda” and also against the Pakistan controlled Taliban…………how long is this going to go on for? Into 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019? When is the actual cut off date and cessation of these drone attacks? 95% of the victims of these drone attacks are civilian Pakistani nationals…….what compensation does the Pakistani or American governments actually pay for the victims of these attacks? Is the life of a Pakistani national not worth anything for the Pakistan military? If the Pakistan military don’t value Pakistani civilian lives, why should the Americans working on the direction of Israel? Why should the Americans value and respect Pakistani military men for that matter, or are we saying the Pakistani military institution is a separate entity from the Pakistani people? What if the Americans decide to spread the drone attack to other cities like Quetta, what will the Pakistan military do? How will it respond?

(vii) If Pakistan has been harmed by the USA, and the majority of Pakistanis know this to be the fact, why do the Pakistani military have a different perspective on this simple common logic and fact in contrast to the common man? On what basis is Pakistan cooperating with the USA, that has meaningful benefits for Pakistan in the realm of security? How long will Pakistan continue with civil wars on its own people just to please America? Is the American presence and influence in Pakistan increasing or decreasing? Is Pakistan’s dependency on America increasing or decreasing? What would happen to Pakistan’s integrity if Pakistan increased its reliance on China and India, over and above the USA?

(viii) Why does the Pakistani military have the dubious distinction of killing more of its own citizens then any other military on earth (East Pakistan: 3,000,000. Baluchistan: 50,000—100,000. NWFP: 20,000—30,000) Why does the Pakistan military always fights its best, most vicious and longest wars against its own people? What can we say about such a military?

(IX) What qualifications does the Pakistani military have of running Pakistan, which they are now doing from the back seat? The Pakistan military have killed millions of innocent civilian Pakistanis, and have been responsible for the biggest failures of the state to date…………but other than these illustrious records, what other distinction do the Pakistan military have for running Pakistan?

(x) This sorts out the coolie chamar chaudis from the rest……if you are given $30 billion worth of arms, most of which is second hand, surplus stuff………………………………. OR no foreign military aid (At least not from the USA), so you are left to develop your own arms industry over 60 years slowly steadily, AND enjoy full independence from a foreign power, where you exist in a modicum of dignity, AND enjoy political stability domestically (Foreign power has minimal influence internally…..small embassy….5 staff; no NGO’s, no foreign aid)……….which one do you think the chamar coolie chaudis will choose TIME AND AGAIN……..since 1950?