Pak Minister Charges Third party behind blame-game

Third party behind blame-game: Pak minister

Press Trust Of India

India and Pakistan blame each other for their internal security problems because of some “third interest”, Pakistani minister Firdous Ashiq Awan suggested on Wednesday and said the two countries should sit together to address “communication gaps” and “trust deficit”.

Awan, Minister for Population Welfare, said the two countries could address their concerns over terrorism through talks.

“Whatever happens in Balochistan, our people blame India and similarly whatever happens here in India, people here blame Pakistan. There is some third conspiracy also and we have to pin-point that third interest-based conspiracy,” she said during an interaction with FICCI but did not elaborate.

She said people of the two countries love each other as they have “some sort of inherited relation” but “unluckily due to trust deficits, certain communication gaps and a lot of problems related to the vested sections across the board, there are certain issues that have to be elaborated more.”

On the issue of terrorism which India says is the “core” concern vis-a-vis relations with Pakistan, Awan said her country should not be blamed as it also was a victim of the “global phenomenon” of terrorism.

“Each day, we are facing 2-3 blasts in different cities in Pakistan. This is not localised to India. Even Pakistan is going through the same turmoil,” she said.

“How we have to handle that and how we have to address this issue is another challenge for both the countries and the best way to handle that is that we should sit together,” the Pakistani minister said and pitched for resumption of the Composite Dialogue.

“We should address each other’s mindset — that we are blaming India, India is blaming Pakistan,” she said.

On the run, militants find new haven

On the run, militants find new haven

In this image taken on Nov. 17, 2009, Pakistani troops walk through the damaged market in Sararogha, a town of the troubled Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan along the Afghan border. – AP

ISLAMABAD: They were never routed, no matter what Pakistan claimed. Instead, the Taliban and al-Qaida fighters have merely relocated. They’re still near the Afghan border.

Months after Pakistani troops chased them from South Waziristan, these militants have established a new base farther north under the protection of an insurgent leader who has cut past deals with the Pakistani army, according to residents, militants and reports from Associated Press correspondents who visited recently.

The fighters — including Arabs, Chechens and Uzbeks — roam through markets, frequent restaurants and watch jihadi movies or surf the web at Internet cafes, their weapons propped up against the table. Pakistani troops wave them through checkpoints even though they’re armed with assault rifles and rocket launchers.

These are the new VIPs in Pakistan’s most dangerous region, North Waziristan.

The influx of these militants in North Waziristan in recent months adds to pressure on the army to launch an offensive there, and raises questions over its policy of making agreements with Gul Bahadur and other insurgent commanders who threaten US forces in Afghanistan but do not attack targets in Pakistan.

Bahadur agreed not to help his fellow militants during last year’s offensive in South Waziristan as part of an understanding reached with the army. In exchange, the army would not attack his territory to the north. Now it appears that this pact has backfired on the army, enabling militants whom Pakistan considers a threat to its security to regroup on Bahadur’s lands.

The military says it is not moving into North Waziristan because it does not have enough troops to do so effectively. Critics say the force is holding back because it does not want to sever alliances with militant factions fighting just across the border in Afghanistan, believing they will one day serve Pakistan’s interests there.

That makes North Waziristan an enticing destination for extremists, even with US missiles regularly pounding the region. All but two of the 27 missile strikes fired from unmanned drones since January have hit targets in the north, according to a count by the AP.

Newly arrived Pakistani Taliban, Arab and Uzbek militants from South Waziristan are now commonly seen in the north’s major towns, Mir Ali and Miramshah, which are under the control of Bahadur, according to residents there and two AP reporters in the region.

The Pakistani Taliban has set up a command and control center in Mir Ali bazaar, where it communicates by radio with other groups in the tribal belt, witnesses say.

All those interviewed declined to give their names, citing fear of retribution by either the Taliban or Pakistani security forces. The AP reporters also asked to remain anonymous for the same reason.

“Under tribal customs and traditions, we are bound to host brothers from South Waziristan. We are like brothers and we support each other,” said a close aide to Bahadur. “We have no concern that our attitude toward the Pakistani Taliban in our area will invite an army offensive. Why should it? Neither we nor the Pakistani Taliban men have caused any problems for the army in North Waziristan.”

Before launching the offensive in South Waziristan, the Pakistani army acknowledged striking the deal with Bahadur.

On Wednesday, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas denied the force had any ongoing deal with Bahadur not to attack his territory, saying the local administration may have an arrangement with tribal leaders in the area to ensure peace there.

But security analysts and residents disputed this, saying there was clearly a truce of some sort in the region.

Abbas insisted the army had not ceded the north to militants, saying the army had about 25,000 troops stationed there that carry out small-scale, targeted operations against insurgents.

Any such operations are rarely reported.

Despite the remarks by Bahadur’s aide, there are signs the new arrivals may be straining relations with their hosts.

The Pakistani Taliban circulated a leaflet two months ago calling on their fighters to avoid any “criminal activity” and interference in the internal affairs of the region.

The army began its operations in South Waziristan in October against the Pakistani Taliban, an umbrella grouping of militants that has claimed responsibility for many of the hundreds of suicide bombs to hit the country over the last two years.

It retook the area in about two months, but most of the insurgents fled rather than fight and none of the top commanders were captured or killed.

In Washington, a senior military official confirmed that fighters scattered from South Waziristan, including some to the north and others into Afghanistan. They included foreign fighters, he said on condition of anonymity because it involves intelligence.

The army has since launched air and ground operations in the Orakzai tribal area, where it says many of those who fled South Waziristan have ended up. But several analysts said they believed North Waziristan was home to most of the insurgents, including their leaders.

“The Taliban are receiving undeclared protection and shelter there in North Waziristan. The issue is now for how long this can be sustained,” said Imtiaz Gul, director of the Center for Research and Security Studies in Islamabad. “If you look at the growing convergence between the Pakistan and the US military, it will be difficult for Gul Bahadur to keep these people and not be disturbed.”

Bahadur, whose forces do not carry out attacks within Pakistan, is regarded as “good Taliban” by Pakistani security agencies. But he and other allied insurgents leaders in the north, among them Jalaluddin Haqqani, regularly dispatch men to fight US and Nato troops in Afghanistan.

US officials have praised Pakistan’s actions against the Taliban in the northwest over the last 18 months, a change from two years ago when their refrain was a near constant “Pakistan must do more.” They have also said they understood Pakistan’s reasons for not going into North Waziristan immediately.

But an uptick in bombings in recent weeks in Pakistani cities after three month of relative calm will add to calls for action in the north.

“The strikes over the last couple of days mean the Taliban have reorganized,” said Mahmood Shah, a former security chief for Pakistan’s tribal regions. “I understand the complexities of launching an operation in North Waziristan, but I think it will become a compulsion.”

Some residents said they saw signs that a military offensive might come — from soldiers repairing checkpoints on previously abandoned roads, to Pakistani Taliban fighters using the north as a base.

“After the military operation in South Waziristan we have seen Arabs, Uzbeks and Pakistani Taliban in Miran Shah market,” said a school teacher in that town near the Afghan border. “I am happy with the agreement between Gul Bahadur and Pakistan, but I fear another military operation in our area when I see these people having free movement.”

The owner of a pharmacy in the same town had similar fears.

“I am not hopeful about the future of the Gul Bahadur agreement when I see what’s happening on the ground,” he said.

The Guy Who Filmed the Polish Plane Crash Was Allegedly Assassinated In Kiev

The guy who filmed the shots fired at the POLISH PLANE CRASH


Author of the video seen by everyone by now has been stabbed near Kijow on 4.15 and transported in critical condition to the hospital in Kijow. On 4.16 three unidentified individuals unplugged him from life support system and stabbed him 3 more times. Andrij was prenounced dead that afternoon. Russian government claims it was a coincidence. “

more about “Polish Crash Site–Gunshots heard“, posted with vodpod

Turkey seeks closure on troubled past

[The Ergenekon "Deep State" (Turkey's "Gladio") investigations are revealing many horrible things that Turkey's military would prefer never saw the light of day, if only the investigations can continue to hold the support of the Turkish people.  Only this can free Turkey from the grip of the USA.]

Turkey seeks closure on troubled past

ISTANBUL: In Court Number 6 in Diyarbakir, the main city in the mainly Kurdish southeast, Turkey is examining its recent history.

Along with six others, Colonel Cemal Temizoz stands accused of at least 20 killings during his time as a paramilitary commander in Cizre, a town in Sirnak province on the Syrian border, between 1993 and 1995.

Never before has such a senior uniformed figure faced trial for crimes committed during Turkey’s bloody counter-insurgency campaign against ethnic Kurdish separatists.

Lurid testimony has been given of severed ears threaded as prayer beads and corpses disposed of in wells of acid. The web of evidence includes jailhouse testimony from a brother of Cizre’s former mayor and the discovery of human remains.

For over 25 years the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK, a group designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, has fought an armed struggle in pursuit of a separate Kurdish state.

The conflict has cost tens of thousands of lives and led to a stream of internal migration away from the affected areas.

While human rights campaigners and the families of the dead have welcomed the Temizoz trial, the case also highlights the problems Turkey faces in reaching any settlement with its past.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the Islamic-leaning Justice and Development Party or AK, has tried to expand the rights of minority Kurds.

Nationalist rivals fiercely oppose Erdogan’s initiatives, but so do many AK supporters. An election is due next year, and the AK has to protect its vote bank to win a third term.

The influence of conservative, secular nationalists opposed to AK has waned, but they remain a force to be reckoned with in a country that has become increasingly polarised since the AK shot to power in 2002.

The old elite’s strongholds remain the military and the judiciary and the courts have become a battleground.

“Turkey is dealing with issues of transitional justice while the transition is not over yet,” said Gerald Knaus, a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University.

While South Africa and some Latin American nations have tried to address past human rights abuses after a complete change of regime, Turkey is trying to address its past without such a dividing line between old and new governments.

At the same time it is taking steps to strengthen its democracy, having seen its military topple four governments in the last 50 years.

“What is happening in Turkey at the moment does not happen usually in countries where there is no big rupture,” said Kerem Oktem, an academic at St Anthony’s College in Oxford.

For decades the idea endured that the military stood above civilian authorities as guardian of the secular values of the modern republic founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Today that notion is changing. There is still enormous respect for the military and Ataturk’s portrait adorns classroom and office walls across the country.

But Turks, confident that democracy will bring prosperity and opportunity, do not want any more coups, and many believe the armed forces must be subject to the same laws as the rest of the country.

The ruling AK party has drafted constitutional amendments that would, among other changes, make military officers liable for prosecution in civilian, rather than military, courts.

Much of the current focus on the past stems from the Ergenekon investigation, a probe into the supposed ‘deep state’— a secret group of hard-line nationalists in the security forces and bureaucracy determined to uphold secular values.

The agreement between Turkey and Armenia under threat

armenian parliamentArmenian parliament consider Turkey’s statements on Karabakh inadmissible

The ruling coalition of the Armenian Parliament insists on the suspension of the ratification process of the peace protocol with Turkey. The Armenian parliamentarians accused the Turkish Store ONU of deliberately slowing down the peace process.

The Republican Party, whose member is the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the Prosperous Armenia Party “and” Country of Law “in their joint appeal said that Turkey has put impossible conditions for the resumption of diplomatic relations.

The stumbling block at this stage of the peace process was the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh, the disputed enclave of Azerbaijan that Armenia took control in 1993.

The day before, on Monday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davitoglu during his visit to Baku, the country’s authorities had promised that Ankara will continue to support Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“I came to Baku in order to inform the leadership of Azerbaijan about our talks in Washington with President of Armenia. Azerbaijan and Turkey remain united in their positions on controversial issues,” – said Davitoglu.

In response, the ruling parliamentary coalition of Armenia on Thursday said: “The political majority of the National Assembly considers the application of the Turkish side unacceptable. In particular, we are outraged statements by the Prime – Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who once again put the ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols directly dependent on addressing the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh.

“We believe it necessary to suspend the ratification process for as long as Turkey is ready to continue negotiations without conditions”, – reads the statement.

President Serzh Sargsyan has upheld the decision of party members and announced the suspension of the ratification of the protocols.

“We consider the possibility of moving forward in the negotiation process only when we are convinced that for this purpose in Turkey created a conducive atmosphere. The leadership of this country should be fully prepared to engage in the normalization process,” – said Sarkissian in his address to the nation on Thursday.

Diplomatic impasse

On April 24 in Armenia said the 95 th anniversary of the fact that the country consider the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1917. Which killed about a half million Armenians.

Turkey events of World War I as genocide does not recognize. Diplomatic efforts to overcome misunderstandings between the two countries for many years have met with many obstacles.

In 1993, Turkey in solidarity with Azerbaijan, has closed its border with Armenia.

In October 2009 Turkey and Armenia in the course of intense negotiations, signed the agreement on establishing diplomatic relations and open borders. The agreement consists of two protocols had to be approved by the parliaments of two countries. In light of recent statements by Armenian parliamentarians analysts fear that diplomatic efforts will not take any action.

Turkish response

erdoganThe Government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists on resolving the Karabakh

In response to the statements of the ruling coalition of the Armenian Parliament, Turkey said it was considering its details.

“In light of what happened, we also discuss our next steps”, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Burak Ozugergin, refusing to elaborate.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a press conference in Ankara, said that despite the position of the Armenian parliament, Turkey remains committed to the process of ratification of the protocols with Armenia.

“We have repeatedly expressed our intention to implement these protocols. From his words we do not refuse, we still want this to happen”, “Erdogan said.



  • Коллаж Андрея СЕДЫХ

The current problems of the South Caucasus is largely derived from its extremely important strategic value. This juncture of continents, civilizations, geopolitical systems, an important crossroads and communications corridor. In addition, the region immediately adjacent to the richest deposits of hydrocarbons in the Middle East, Caspian Sea, Iranian plateau.

That is why the South Caucasus could become an arena of violent confrontation between states and individuals, and coalitions of states against the use of all available forces and means, not excluding the military. In this case one of the most explosive issues in the region is undoubtedly the Karabakh conflict.


In the spring of 1994, with the mediation of Russia fighting on the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, in the border areas of Armenia and Azerbaijan have been stopped. And the fact that there still prevails a lull, however, from time to time broken by skirmishes and clashes, also a direct service of the Russian Federation. It is for all the past 16 years has been the guarantor of peace and stability in this part of the region.

It is in Karabakh Russia has to defend its interests in the South Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. Moscow is well aware that the more passive she behaves, the more will be intensified its competitors. Not surprisingly, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev sought to maintain close contacts with the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan, trying to achieve early resolution of the Karabakh problem. He made Yerevan and Baku to follow exclusively peaceful means to resolve the conflict by signing with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, an agreement in the capital of Russia in 2008.

It should be noted that Moscow generally tries to keep a very balanced policy in relations with Yerevan and Baku, because it has vital interests in Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Friendly relations with the two republics is very significant for Russia. For Armenia – the location of military bases of the Armed Forces of Russia, while Azerbaijan is one of the leading suppliers of energy in Eurasia. It should also take into account the presence of Azerbaijani and Armenian diaspora in the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan, Serzh Sargsyan and Ilham Aliyev continues to strongly defend their views on the Karabakh issue. Armenia advocates for the recognition of independence of Nagorno-Karabakh in return for the cession of territory, not part of the NKR. Aliyev also wanted to return and Azeri areas lost during the war in the early 90′s, and Karabakh as a whole. To achieve its goals, both the president “flirt” with all leading geopolitical players in the “South Caucasus field”: the U.S., EU, Turkey, Russia, etc.

If the “flirt” turn into a serious relationship with a competitor of Russia, and Yerevan, and Baku, may be able to change the vectors of its foreign policy. But in this case, Moscow has more powerful means of pressure on them. It just will not interfere with the national liberation movements Karabakh, Lezgins, Avars, Talysh and raise the level of relations with Iran. And this once and for all close all gas and oil Caspian projects of the West. The geopolitical axis of Russia – Lezgistan – Karabakh – Talysh – Iran – India will be a cold shower for the Euro-Atlantic community, and for Turkey.

NKR – De facto Sovereign States

Presidents Aliyev and Sargsyan not take into account one important point – namely, the interests of the people of Karabakh and the changes in this country. What specifically do you mean?

There was a generational change in Nagorno-Karabakh: there have grown and matured, many thousands of people who do not represent their own republic within another state, including Armenia.

Psychological factor. The war touched almost every family of Karabakh and caused serious psychological harm to its people. Now the fear of being evicted, as Nakhichevan Armenians, or cut forces them to protect and cherish their independence.

The military factor. NKR Army – one of the most capable in the South Caucasus. Youth-Karabakh considers that the independence of their country she needs to make its own contribution. And if it committed aggression against the republic, they will have the opportunity to do so.

Ethnocultural factors. Do Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, developed a spiritual “filter” that separates the Caucasian-Albanian and Azeri-Turkish culture. The atmosphere of chronic mistrust of Karabakh Armenians to a second type of ethno-cultural growing belligerent statements of Azerbaijan.

Autonomy of Stepanakert. It is still dimly seen today, because the second and third presidents of Armenia – Karabakh representatives. However, this does not mean that the NCI intends to unquestioningly obey the sister republic. Armenia and Azerbaijan are stubbornly unwilling to recognize that Nagorno Karabakh is really an independent state. Therefore, all negotiations which take place without the consent of Yerevan and Stepanakert’s participation would have no real results.

Self-proclaimed Nagorno Karabakh Republic – the de facto sovereign state – the freedom of action of Armenia and Azerbaijan. For Yerevan Karabakh issue key. The sensitivity of the Armenian political elite and the Armenian society in general to this problem is too high. For Azerbaijan, it is also very important. And Baku, and Yerevan want by any means possible to solve it, and preferably in their favor, and this rush forced the authorities of Azerbaijan and Armenia to make a series of strategic mistakes.


First – Baku widely advertised Azerbaijani oil and gas resources and has turned this issue into a tool to solve foreign policy problems. However, drawing attention to its hydrocarbon riches, Azerbaijan – a country with weak infrastructure, and ethnic and confessional problems – automatically becomes a prey to the great powers.

Second – demonstrative rejection of NKR as an independent factor in the negotiation process, as well as the reluctance of Baku to establish bilateral relations with Stepanakert. That is alarming, many representatives of national minorities living in Azerbaijan, and strengthens their separatist sentiments.

Third – the militant rhetoric of officials of Azerbaijan, threatening to withdraw from the negotiating process and settle the Karabakh problem by military means. This position strikes the image of Baku, describes him as an unreliable partner who is not responsible for the signed agreements.

Fourth – Azerbaijani authorities introduced himself and his people astray, believing that they can regain Karabakh by force. Any attempts of military action by the Baku jeopardize the integrity and stability not only in Azerbaijan but also the entire South Caucasus. And this is against the interests of Russia, Iran and China.


In turn, Armenia, seeking to preserve the status quo-Karabakh, also made a number of strategic mistakes.

The first – by selling their businesses, factories, gas, railway companies, etc. Russia, including private capital, Yerevan, believing that all foreign and domestic issues will be resolved automatically. This did not happen.

The second – the Armenian authorities consider that the return of the territory around Karabakh to Azerbaijan and the transfer of the status of Nagorno Karabakh indefinitely solve three problems: a) give legitimacy to its power, which is fighting against the opposition, and b) open border with Turkey, c) will relieve from responsibility for Karabakh. It is annoying not only the Armenian Diaspora, but also the Armenians of Karabakh.

Fearing such action in Yerevan, has intensified its mediation mission to Tehran. He does not want to see on the territory of Azerbaijan, near the Iranian border, international armed forces and most importantly – the creation of yet another military beachhead against the Islamic Republic.

Third – in Yerevan, demanding that the Armenian foreign financial and political support, while ignoring their opinion, thought it would last forever. However, this position has refocused the attention of foreign Armenians to other places of historic Armenia.

These errors are the two states have prepared fertile ground for activism U.S., EU, Turkey, Israel and Iran.

TRUMPS U.S. and the European demarche

The main geopolitical rival of Moscow – Washington is very active, but covert operation in the South Caucasus.

Memorandum by the Deputy Minister of Defense William Lynn on July 9, 2009 amends section 302 (a) of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, ordering the Pentagon to buy only American goods and services. In accordance with this amendment is now an exception is made for nine countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Under this clause the company named above from each state, won the tender held by the U.S. Ministry of Defense, and entered into a contract with him, is obliged to notify about their government. At the same time to warn him that was unlikely to get a new American jobs, if the firms from the United States will not be given greater access to the economy.

U.S. and British intelligence agencies, with the Turkish and European allies are actively working with Armenian and Azeri youth, using all the “humanitarian” representation of Western countries, international organizations and dozens of NGOs in Armenia and Azerbaijan. To carry out this “education and upbringing” process designed to FULBRIGHT Program and FLEX (USA), Caucasus School of Journalists (Tbilisi), the European Students Forum (AEGEE, Ankara), USAID – Agency of the U.S. federal government, the Eurasia Foundation, Southern Resource Center, and t . e. Purpose – reorientation of Yerevan and Baku exclusively on Washington, the withdrawal of Russian military bases in Armenia, squeezing Russia out of the Transcaucasus.

But the Americans have a couple of weighty political trump cards for the Karabakh game. This possibility of recognizing the fact of genocide of Armenians in 1915-1923, respectively (a kind of stick over the head of Turkey) and the independence of Nagorno Karabakh (blackmail and Yerevan, and Baku).

The fact that Washington is preparing for major changes in the South Caucasus, prove two purposes. New deputy head of the Baku office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe was Melissa Stone, a State Department employee who worked previously in the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, and the post of U.S. co-chair the OSCE by former U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Robert Bradtke. This alerted many Azerbaijani analysts, because it was possible that the United States intend to include the South Caucasus in the framework of the global project “Balkanization-800.

With Americans in solidarity, the EU, which irritates the threat of Baku redirect gas supplies if Brussels will pull to the definition of tariffs within the gas pipeline Nabucco, which must provide the “blue fuel” from Central Asia to Europe, bypassing Russia. The consequences are not forced myself to wait long.

February 3, 2010 The Norwegian Helsinki Committee (NHC) has prepared a special report titled “Black Island Azerbaijan: violations of human rights in Nakhichevan (the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic). The document was circulated in Strasbourg at the PACE winter session of the special delegation, organized by the Norwegian Fund RAFTO.

Difficult to “Big Brother”

Turkey – a key player in the Caucasus as a whole. But she had serious internal problems (polity, ethnic minorities, Turks and self-identity, etc.). And at the same time, the international situation allows Ankara attempt to become the leader of the Islamic community. The rift in the Arab world, the identification of his sometimes with international terrorism do not allow any of the Arab countries, professing mainly Sunni, to apply for this role. Like Iran, professing Shiism. The Turkish leaders have advocated for secular Islam and are ready to stand solidly for the rights of Muslims throughout the world. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has clearly demonstrated it in Davos, when defending the Palestinians, had quarreled with the President of Israel, and cut short his visit, left Switzerland.

Particularly shocked Washington and Tel Aviv, close relations between Turkey and Iran. Ankara has promised to Tehran to provide military assistance in case of aggression by Israel.

But such a policy Erdogan confronts Turkey’s General Staff. The antagonism between supporters of secular and Islamic political system is growing. Yield to no one wants.

Against this backdrop, Ankara has serious political, economic and religious issues with Baku. They are, however, crowding a long time but clearly manifested after the signing of a treaty between Armenia and Turkey on establishing diplomatic relations without preconditions. Republic of Turkey, on the basis of their national interests, really wants to establish mutually beneficial contacts with neighbors. And with Armenia – in the first place in the light of pressure from the U.S. and the EU. This is vital for the integrity of the country. However, Baku has accused Ankara of separatist agreements with Yerevan, and made a series of diplomatic demarches. Turkey, in order not to offend their “younger brothers”, began to bind the Karabakh problem with the Armenian-Turkish protocol. And he prepared himself to a standstill.

Do not fold, and gas relations between Ankara and Baku, they still can not agree on the price of gas supplies from Shah Deniz field in the Caspian region to Europe. The unresolved issue of transit of Azerbaijani “blue fuel” through Turkey pushes Azerbaijan to seek alternative routes.

Shares of Baku and Ankara is one more problem – different trends of Islam. The official religion in Turkey – Sunni, as in Azerbaijan – Shiism. So it turns out that the Azerbaijanis profess Shi’ism, and lezginoyazychnye peoples, Avars and half Talyshs Azerbaijan – Sunni. And in recent years of mounting tensions between them. Azerbaijan Sunnis even enlisted the help of the chief mufti of Russia. The essence of the treatment that the Baku authorities do not allow Lesghians have their mosque with Lezgin title. And what to do in this situation, Ankara?

One thing is clear: Afghanistan can no longer count on the unconditional support from Turkey.


Tel Aviv, losing to Turkey as an ally, switched to Azerbaijan. Here he has a vital interest: in addition to gas and oil, this is a common border with Iran.

Israel, along with the United States has long called attention to the Talysh, especially at their place of residence, adjacent to the Azerbaijani-Iranian border. In Lick (Lerik) region, for example, built an underground military facility. On the third floor of the Post Office city Ostoro (Astara) was installed special equipment, where day and night observations were made outside the territory of Iran.

For the Israeli Air Force Talysh – an excellent springboard for attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities and missile bases. Not surprisingly, the Tel Aviv actively supports Azerbaijan in its confrontation with Yerevan and Stepanakert.


Do not stay aloof from the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, and China. In fact he has a good reason – the problem with millions of Turks, Uighurs, who live compactly in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. The suppression of riots in the capital of Xinjiang – Urumqi provoked a strong reaction in Turkey, the Prime Minister condemning Beijing, saying the Chinese authorities as genocide the Uighur people.

After that, the involvement of China in the Karabakh problem has increased dramatically. The purpose of the Middle Kingdom – do not permit the Turkish positions in the South Caucasus, as well as the establishment of Ankara with full control over the region, the U.S. and UK. Beijing understands that the organizers of the riots in Xinjiang are Americans, British and Turks. He knows also that Ankara wants to make southern Mongolia into a springboard for subversive activities against China.


Throughout the Karabakh conflict Iran has sought to maintain strict neutrality. Moreover, he even tried to mediate between the warring parties, but it’s not like Washington, and Iran’s peacemaking initiative to any outcome failed.

Tehran has warned Azerbaijan against hostile steps against him, but to no avail. Senior and junior Aliyevs conducted pro-Turkish, pro-Western policies and this annoyed the southern neighbor of Azerbaijan. Now Iran is especially concerned about intensive relations with Baku Tel Aviv. The leaders of the Islamic Republic fear that the territory of Azerbaijan will be used against the country’s ruling regime. They know how the Americans and Israelis are trying to configure Talyshs (and they live in Iran) to fight with the Iranian authorities. In this regard, Iran has sharply increased interest in the Karabakh conflict.

In this matter, Tehran two allies – Russia and China. But whether Russia, Iran and China oppose scalps US-British-Israeli bloc? Only time will tell.

Thus, the Karabakh conflict today – a problem the entire South Caucasus. Those countries that do not have historical and cultural attachment to the region, trying to “tear” in it for the full program. They do not care about cares, the troubles of the Armenian or Azerbaijani people. They are important their interests, their own welfare and profit. These challenges are and will be addressed.

Vitally interested in the speedy settlement of the conflict countries – Armenia and Azerbaijan – have to forget all grievances and ambitions, to recognize the NKR-party talks and negotiate until it is too late. Otherwise, it will come when foreign armies, has developed a completely different geopolitical configuration and the view of Baku and Yerevan have one worry will not.

Araik Stepanian
Member of the Presidium of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, PhD

The World’s Most Inappropriate Government Agencies

The World’s Most Inappropriate Government Agencies

Five offices that should consider updating their image.


The Backward Classes Bureau

Country: India
What they do: Provide welfare services for and represent the interests of poor Indians. Approximately 50 percent of the world’s second most populous country are members of “backward classes,” a rather blunt designation for lower-caste Hindus and other disadvantaged religious and ethnic communities.

The National Commission for Backward Classes (a separate body from the bureau) maintains anextensive list of criteria for what are known as “other backward classes” (OBCs) — meaning that, frequently, new groups gain or old groups lose the designation.

A key indicator of backwardness is the type of job generally held by members of the given caste/class. Generally, Indians involved in agriculture or traditional craft making, with little parliamentary representation, or of low education or economic status, qualify for OBC designation.

The practice of having an agency for backward-class affairs was written into the 1949 Indian Constitution, and the first commission was created in 1953. In India’s 28 states, there are literallyhundreds of groups that are classified as OBCs. Backward classes are reserved 27 percent of university placements, an extremely valuable commodity in modern India. Few will disagree with the principles behind the work the bureau is performing, but a name change is definitely in order.

Missing ex-ISI officers in Fata

Missing ex-ISI officers in Fata

By By Umar Cheema

ISLAMABAD: The mystery of the abduction in tribal areas of two pro-Taliban ISI veterans has virtually been solved as the wife of a kidnapped officer says the Punjabi Taliban were responsible and they invited them to the tribal areas.

One of the kidnapped ISI veterans, Khalid Khawaja, has previously acted as a conduit for Baitullah Mehsud for an intelligence agency. He once handed to late Baitullah a list of the Punjabi Taliban in the tribal belt who were disliked by the intelligence sleuths.

Khawaja, in a recently televised video sent by the captors, said he went to the tribal belt on the advice of former DG ISI, Lt Gen (retd) Hamid Gul, a serving ISI Col Sajjad, and former Army chief Aslam Beg. Col (retd) Imam in the same video said he undertook the tribal area visit on the advice of Gen (retd) Beg.

Retired PAF Squadron Leader Khalid Khawaja and Col (retd) Sultan Amir alias Col Imam were kidnapped along with a British documentary-maker of Pakistani origin, Asad Qureshi, in the tribal area where they went to film the ‘atrocities’ being committed on the Taliban of the Fata region.

According to an early press release issued by Khawaja’s family, they went there on the “precise invitation of the High Command of Tehrik-e-Taliban of North and South Waziristan as their respected guests for the purpose of making a documentary highlighting the present situation of the area and its impact on the indigenous population.” However, details gathered in background conversations present a totally different picture.

As far their visit to the area is concerned, it was not being done at the invitation of leadership of Taliban militants in Waziristan as was initially told to the media by the family of Khalid Khawaja. It was the second visit to the area within a month by Khawaja and Col (retd) Imam. They first went to the area in the beginning of March and left Islamabad for a second trip on March 26.

Before they departed for the second time, their guide in the first visit declined to join them, stating security concerns. As Khawaja was in contact with another Taliban militant, Usman Punjabi, they decided to leave after receiving clearance from him who also sent a guide to ensure their safe travel. They were later found missing.

The man who called the family of Khalid Khawaja to convey the demands of the captors introduced himself as ‘Usman Punjabi, confirmed Khawaja’s wife and son who have realised that the callers represent a bunch of criminals. They understand the group is dominated by Punjabi Taliban, raising questions about their motives.

Khawaja once handed a list of Punjabi Taliban to late Baitulah Mehsud on behalf of an intelligence agency, conveying the latter’s desire they be reined in as they were creating trouble time and again. Right from attacks on former President Pervez Musharraf to the GHQ and at other places, the Punjabi Taliban have been found involved.

Khawaja’s family did not deny he acted as a conduit. Elaborating, his son said his father’s efforts were intended to bring peace and he played a crucial role in holding Jirgas with Baitullah-led militants in the past.

Col (retd) Imam was closer to Afghan Taliban apparently working on behalf of the Pakistani establishment. His son is a serving major in the Army.

Khawaja remained more active on the domestic front. He had once claimed that he hosted Osama bin Laden in pre-9/11 days when bin Laden used to visit his Islamabad residence. Khawaja also remained at center-stage during Lal Masjid crisis, siding with the clerics. Though he spearheaded the movement of missing persons in the beginning, his alleged dual role came under suspicion by the families.

Afghan Taliban distance themselves from ‘Asian Tigers’

[Whoever has these two Taliban supporters is not Taliban, probably not even Pakistani or Afghan.   SEE: Col Imam and Khalid Khawaja Nabbed by US Special Forces? This is pure theater, trying to sell us on the next act.]

Afghan Taliban distance themselves from ‘Asian Tigers’

Kidnapping of two ex-ISI officials claimed; release of militants demanded

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Mushtaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR: Afghan Taliban on Wednesday distanced themselves from an obscure militant faction and its demand for the release of two senior Afghan Taliban commanders amid hectic efforts by a jirga to secure the release of the two kidnapped former officers of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and a journalist.

An unheard-of militant organisation, Asian Tigers, had claimed to have kidnapped the two former ISI officers, Col (R) Imam and Squadron Leader (R) Khalid Khwaja and a journalist, Assad Qureshi, from North Waziristan where they had gone to work on a documentary on Taliban.

The group on Monday issued videos of the three men and demanded the release of three Afghan Taliban commanders including Mulla Abdul Ghani Biradar, deputy to Mulla Mohammad Omar, Maulvi Kabir, former chief of four strategic Afghan provinces namely Nangarhar, Kunar, Nuristan and Laghman, and Mulla Mansoor Dadullah, younger brother of the slain Afghan Taliban commander Mulla Dadullah.

Mulla Biradar was captured by Pakistani and US intelligence agencies from Karachi last February last. However, the government has not yet confirmed Maulvi Kabir’s arrest by Pakistani security agencies.

Mansoor Dadullah was captured during a raid by Pakistani forces on a house in Balochistan on February 11, 2008 and is still in their custody. Taliban supreme leader Mulla Muhammad Omar had expelled him on December 30, 2007 from his movement on charges of disobedience.

Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid on Wednesday called this scribe from an undisclosed location and said they had nothing to do with the so-called militant faction ‘Asian Tigers’ and its demand for the release of two Afghan Taliban commanders. “If this is really a true jihadi organisation why didn’t it come with its original name,” remarked the Taliban spokesman.

He said the Taliban-run Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was completely ignorant about the group and its whereabouts. Similarly, a senior Afghan Taliban commander also expressed his surprise over the demand by the unknown militant organisation. “If we have publicly announced our fight against the major world powers in Afghanistan, then why we would keep our names secret while demanding release of our two leaders,” explained the Taliban commander.

The commander, who called from an undisclosed location and wished not to be named, said all major Taliban organisations in the region did not know what had happened to Col Imam and Khalid Khwaja in North Waziristan. He felt that kidnapping retired military officers could be an act of cowardly people, saying that Col Imam was widely respected among the Taliban for his independent views and sympathies towards the mujahideen. He said he had heard that Col Imam and his colleagues had been kidnapped by the people who invited them to Waziristan for interviews. “We are trying our best for their release and hopefully they would be freed soon,” the commander hoped.

Meanwhile, a jirga or commission of religious leaders and tribal elders started efforts for release of the three missing persons. Led by former JUI-F MNA from Karak district Shah Abdul Aziz, the jirga members have already reached North Waziristan and were holding meetings with various militant groups for release of the three men.

However, a caller claiming to belong to the Punjabi Taliban group said Shah Abdul Aziz and his men had not yet traced the men holding Col Imam and his colleagues. He alleged that Khalid Khwaja and his wife had played a negative role during the Lal Masjid crisis and instigated Maulana Abdur Rasheed Ghazi to confront the government.

“It was Khalid Khwaja and his wife who forced Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi to wear burqa to escape before the military operation was launched on Lal Masjid,” he claimed. “The group may release Col Imam and journalist Assad, but may not set free Khalid Khwaja for his dubious role,” he explained.

When reached on telephone, wife of Khalid Khwaja, however, rejected the allegation and said those saying such things should ask Maulana Abdul Aziz Ghazi and his wife Umme Hassan. “You know wife and children of Maulana Ghazi stayed for over a month with us in our home. We had heard this allegation before and then one of Abdul Aziz Ghazi’s sisters asked her brother about this burqa issue. Ghazi said nobody had advised him but it was his own decision to wear a burqa and escape,” explained Khwaja’s wife, who appeared disturbed.

She said they were astonished when they heard about the demand of the group for the release of Afghan Taliban commanders. “You may know Khalid had filed a writ petition at the Lahore High Court against extradition of the five American Muslims to their government and the detention of Mulla Biradar and other people by the Pakistani government,” she maintained. She said an organised campaign had been launched to defame Khalid Khwaja and his family for their never-ending support to the mujahideen and all Muslims in trouble.





By Gordon Duff

That was in Iraq, now lost in Afghanistan

As usual, America is in a war for all the wrong reasons, pushed by Israel, bought off by drug money and backed into a corner.  At a time when a “new broom” and strong leadership is needed, we respond with “damage control.”  Even with the press descending into simple “drum beating” for an Israeli attack in Iran to get at the gas supplies needed for her secret pipeline deals, her “shill” in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal is simply no longer credible.

It all fell apart with the phony Marjah operation, a “joint operation” against a town of 80,000 Taliban fighters that turned out to be a couple of small villages in the middle of poppy fields that McChrystal decided needed protection.  Surprise, Surprise.

While Karzai, our disastrous ally, hated by his own people, tried to bully the United States into letting him consolidate control, not over Afghanistan but control over “certain enterprises,” that he has been operating with his partners, India and Israel, McChrystal has been buckling under, “kissing up” to Karzai’s brother, believed by every informed source to be the largest narcotics trafficker in the world.

Now, McChrystal is placing the blame on Iran for financing and arming the Taliban and, at the same time, pointing out that nearly 100,000 “contractors” in Afghanistan, 94% of them armed are “too many.”  He could, if he thought about it a second, also point out that most of them are Taliban.  In fact, he could also point out that he is paying up to $3000 per truck that comes into Afghanistan, thousands of trucks per month, to the Taliban as ransom.

He could also point out that the years and years he has been training and arming the Afghan army, their utterly ineffective Army, and the Afghan police force, their utterly ineffective police force, the ammunition and weapons they get have been flowing to the Taliban also.

Were he more honest, he could point out that the reason he is trying to negotiate with the Taliban is that, if fact, they really aren’t the Taliban at all.  You have a country full of drug lords, the allies that America used in their initial attack against, well, we aren’t so sure anymore.  See, we never found Al Qaeda training camps, we never found Osama bin Laden, in fact, we have absolutely no reliable information that bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11.

We do know that thousands of Indian “security personnel” are organizing, arming and financing terrorist operations against Pakistan and that, of the hundreds of European contractors and UN officials in Afghanistan, hundreds are Israeli agents, some of them training terrorists themselves, who have crossed into Iran and have murdered hundreds.  All of this is going on under McChrystal’s nose, while Pakistan suffers daily terrorist attacks from groups trained and financed in Afghanistan but stays quiet about it because their very survival depends on US aid.  You can’t tell the US the truth.

Lying has become second nature to us.


Mahmud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, knows where our weaknesses are, he knows where the bodies are buried.  If you are watching the press, you are seeing “holocaust denialists” being jailed, fined and attacked daily.  The emails coming out of Israeli financed sources, many originating from former “Pentagon pundits,” the former officers who lied continually to help justify the disastrous invasion of Iraq, are all warning about attacks on Israel and a new “holocaust,” with Iran building gas chambers, and making soap, lampshades, the whole Hollywood thing that Israel uses to guilt out the Europeans when they need a few billion, when they have blown up a school and haven’t hunted down all the journalists who could report on it yet or, well, there are so many games now.

Ahmadinejad invited the world’s scholars to Iran a bit ago, to study the holocaust.  He knew Israel was going to yell “Auschwitz” when they came after Iran’s oil and gas with their massive military forces supplemented by the United States.  Now there is a massive move by Israel to build up a frenzy about the holocaust.  Since it is against the law to say any more, I have to move on.

Last week, Ahmadinejad wrote a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations requesting a couple of things:

  • A new and comprehensive 9/11 investigation
  • An international commission to address terrorist attacks on Iran that are staged from bases in Afghanistan and Baluchistan
  • A plan to address that massive flood of narcotics coming out of Afghanistan

Why has Ahmandinejad chosen 9/11?  Since most of the members of the 9/11 Commission have either rescinded their approval of the report they were forced to submit though incomplete, asked for criminal investigation or stated outright that the report is a cover-up and 5 years of new evidence, “leaks” and “cooler heads” has brought informed people around the world to accept the idea that 9/11 may have been conceived in an office and not a cave.  The mainstream news in the United States is no longer able to keep it all quiet, what is likely to be the worst crime of the last hundred years.


Recent reports have shown that only some of the money, billions of dollars, coming from the Afghan drug trade has bought the following governments:

  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Tajikistan
  • Kyrgyzstan

What we aren’t saying is that billions in narcotics trafficking money has seriously influenced policy in these other countries:

  • United States
  • Afghanistan
  • Germany
  • Israel
  • Belgium
  • Pakistan
  • Switzerland
  • Spain
  • Poland
  • Kazakhstan
  • India
  • Canada
  • Russia
  • Italy
  • France

Americans remember the flood of narcotics that filled America’s cities during the 1980s.  Dozens of movies have been made describing CIA involvement in drug trafficking, it has become a major  part of our pop-culture.  Every muscle-bound super hero has fought the CIA and their drug importing from Southeast Asia, Columbia or Afghanistan.  Now that we have reliable reports and testimony that this is actively going on with full complicity from, not only foreign governments, but multiple US administrations, not just Reagan but continuing on today, we have no excuse for looking away.  When FBI translator, Sibel Edmonds, broke the story, finally able to testify when her “national security” gag orders were overturned, no network nor major paper would report it.  It is still on the record, though.

General Stanley McChrystal knows.  He has seen her testimony.  He has been told it is reliable.  He knows that tons of heroin are flown out of Afghanistan and distributed around the world and he knows that nearly everyone around him is either involved or afraid to speak up.  Is he only a puppet himself?  This is how things are beginning to look.  Compared to the real power of the “narco-billions,” one American general is nothing.


I have spent dozens of hours meeting with and talking to people who know about Afghanistan, from members of their royal families, to tribal leaders to activists.  We all agree on a few things:

  • Unless all opium production is immediately eradicated in Afghanistan, any attempt to build an economy or organize the country will fail, overwhelmed by the “gun culture” built to support a massive narcotics operation that is growing by 20% or more a year.
  • A massive program of economic realignment supported by powerful military operations will be necessary when the opium crops are destroyed or the country will break out into massive civil war.  Estimates are that it will take two years for America to accomplish what the Taliban did, eliminating opium production, the biggest threat Afghanistan poses to the world, a thousand times bigger than any imaginary terrorist training areas.
  • Karzai is weak, too tied to corruption to be credible, too close to India to be trusted by Pakistan and too unstable to manage even the few miles around Kabul he has “ruled” for all these years.  He must go, replaced by a strong ruler with blood ties to a tribal groups across the nation.  There are several potential candidates far more qualified than Karzai, who has been abandoned by the Jirga’s and is likely to get another “no confidence” vote in May
  • The Afghan army needs to be disbanded, as it is a mercenary army that doesn’t represent the country.  Afghanistan has always had universal compulsory military service and has strong military traditions based on that.
  • The current concept of a national police force has failed.  Until a force based on regional ethnic lines that received broad support from regional/tribal leaders, where such systems are still operating, the current “abomination” must go.  It has become little more than a Mafia.
  • A substantial region along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border is under the control, not of terrorists but criminal elements, even worse than those ruling the country.

It is entirely possible that, with a real president in Afghanistan, perhaps not in Kabul but Kandahar, and a rational policy to end narcotics production, replacing it with a program that will provide education, medical care and needed local services such as cold storage for food along with solar/wind based power systems, Afghanistan can reach a sustainable level of “disorder” in 24 months, not 10 years.  With opium production left as it is, in accordance with McChrystal’s wishes, the chaos will continue indefinitely.  Is this the plan?  Was it the plan all along?


Afghanistan has attracted vermin from around the world.  We have half a dozen intelligence agencies training terrorists in Afghanistan, all financing the efforts by taking part in the narcotics trade.  Attacks on both Iran and Pakistan are being staged in Afghanistan with full complicity on the part of MI-6, the Indian RAW, the Mossad, the CIA and dozens of contractor groups.  All have become so enmeshed in narco-trafficking that nobody can be trusted.  Billions of dollars are floating around in an area with no law, no accountability, just mayhem, chaos and brutality.  We have created a nightmare.

Every gangster in the world that can get there, is there, working for the UN, passing out bibles or Koran’s or pretending to advise someone on something.  Most advice is where to put laundered drug money, the second largest industry in Afghanistan.


If you can judge a policy by its results Afghanistan was invaded to rebuild its drug infrastructure and overthrow the government of Pakistan.

9/11 provided cover, that and the fiction of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, fantasies about terrorists that never existed.  It was all made up.  When the Bush administration needed to arrest terrorists, they went to the drug lords and had them kidnap people off the streets.  This is how we got Dr. Aafia and her children, one of whom may have been released by her kidnappers, American or Pakistani gangsters, we aren’t sure.  She had been missing for 7 years and suddenly, dropped off on the street.  We still aren’t sure if this is one of Aafia’s missing children.

The White House ordered these kidnappings and covered up their phony “Al Quada” arrests by hiding innocent people in secret prisons, torturing them for years and, eventually releasing 95% of them.

This was our real war on terror, a farce, at least to those who weren’t kidnapped and tortured.  It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.  Our entire military and intelligence networks were tasked with one thing, to invent a cover story to justify two invasions, invent terrorist groups, capture “suspects” and play along.  When the real CIA and military couldn’t do it, we hired foreign gangsters and mercenaries, all for one thing, “cover.”

With the controlled press at home, the phony 9/11 cover-up going full steam and troops in combat, well, you know how it ended up.  The criminal gangs responsible are still trying to cover their trail.  The GOP is trying to stop financial reforms meant to end the looting or our economy, the “tea baggers” are trying to blame “liberals” for the acts of the Bush criminal dictatorship and AIPAC is working overtime, trying to start a new war while the last two they pushed America into are still going on.  Who is AIPAC?  Are they American or Israeli?


I got an email yesterday telling me about how Israel barely survived when all the Arab countries went after them in 1967.  This is the story we are still telling but it is a total lie.  The 1967 war was planned by Israel to seize land and was a sneak attack, first destroying the entire Egyptian air force on the ground, then wiping out their army, an army with no air cover.  Syria was a walkover then.  To get away with it, Israel attacked the American spy ship, USS Liberty, bombing, strafing and torpedoing it, murdering 34 Americans.

Anyone who tries to tell you the 1967 war was anything but a “blitzkrieg” by Israel, a sneak attack on her neighbors with no warning, kept secret by the the planned attack on the USS Liberty is a liar.

Israel had tried the same thing, attacking Egypt in1956, with the help of France and Britain.  Israel send tanks across the Sinai, just like in 1967, this time backed by air power from France and Britain.  This “blitzkrieg” was called Operation Kadesh.  Moshe Dyan and Ariel Sharon planned the attack with friends in Paris and London.  However, the United States, under President Eisenhower, wouldn’t allow it.  The UN Security council drafted a resolution condemning the invasion but Britain and France vetoed it.

Then America threatened to economically destroy France and Britain if they didn’t withdraw troops and end support for Israeli aggression.  Eventually this led France to leave NATO, if that is something you wondered about.  We call this, “the Suez crisis” but, frankly, we don’t call it anything at all because it makes a good case for Israel’s history of aggression and its capability to get western governments to support its policies of conquering the Middle East.

How has this history worked out?  Any patterns appear here?  The myth of the 1967 war no longer holds water once we learn it wasn’t their first try, once we accept they learned from being caught during the Suez Crisis, and decided to attack the American ship that would have discovered their lie.  Israel invaded Egypt with a sneak attack, 1956 and 1967.


Is there a vast plot out there, one capable of pushing the United States into war, bankrupting the world’s financial system or taking over oil and gas supplies?  Do nations like Israel, India, Pakistan, Britain and the United States train terrorists?  Was the invasion of Afghanistan really the result of 9/11?  History says otherwise.

Was the invasion of Iraq the result of 9/11 or “weapons of mass destruction?”  History says otherwise.

Did Bush “make America safe?”  Maybe, what’s left of it anyway, depending on what you call safe.  Safe from what?  I am not entirely sure we are safe from him, even though he is gone.  We still have his wars, his drugs, his Supreme Court justices, his trillions in debt and the Bush economic collapse.  We still have the controlled press, a divided nation and the reputation around the world as a brutal pawn of Israel and a total economic failure.  You don’ t think this is how we look, not just in Africa, Asia and the Middle East but Europe as well?

General Stanley McChrystal is simply, like Karzai is now, like Bush was then, the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.  When we needed leaders, people of vision, we got small men, with small hearts and small brains.  They told themselves they were wolves but were driven like sheep.  As is often said now, was there never any plan or are things as they are because the plan was chaos and death?

Who won the war?  That’s easy.  Israel won and will win again.  Not the people of Israel but the criminal conspiracy that has taken over that country like Bush and Cheney took over America.  This is a rabid gang, backed by the news media, playing decent Jews around the world for fools.  Who is going to lose? The people, Israeli, American most of all, but all people will lose.  All of this planning, the lying, the total lack of honor and decency won’t buy anything but big homes, fast cars, expensive wine and the ability to live the sexual sickness that so many of our power seekers are driven by.

Today Stanley McChrystal has shown us that he believes his failures, failures of conscience, failures of intellect, failures of duty can be blamed on Iran.  As the darling of the press, he may be able to help Israel push America into another war, one we can’t even begin to think about winning.  It never was about winning, it was about chaos, it was always about money.

Is it that simple?

Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran, grunt and 100% disabled vet. He has been a featured commentator on TV and

radio including Al Jazeera and his articles have been carried by news services around the world. He has been a UN Diplomat, defense contractor and is a widely published expert on military and defense issues. He is active in the financial industry and is a specialist on global …

Gordon is a regular writer for Veterans Today and Opinion Maker.

Gordon Duff

Caught in the crossfire of Pakistan’s secret war

Caught in the crossfire of Pakistan’s secret war

In North West Frontier Province the army is fighting the Taliban – and both want the locals on their side

By Patrick Cockburn

An old man walks amongst the rubble in the destroyed village of Sultanwas, Buner district, in 2009


An old man walks amongst the rubble in the destroyed village of Sultanwas, Buner district, in 2009

Staying alive is not a simple business for people in Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province. The local Taliban and the army compete mercilessly to establish their authority along the border with Afghanistan. “If we support the army, the Taliban is unhappy and if we support the Taliban then the army is unhappy,” lamented one local resident living outside Peshawar.

This unhappiness can have dire consequences for the civilian population. In the case of the army this usually means ordering civilians out of a hostile area and then plastering it with high explosives. The Taliban is on the retreat, but it likes to show it is still a force to be reckoned with by sending its suicide bombers to kill anybody it sees co-operating too enthusiastically with the army.

Mostly the Taliban favours soft targets. I was driving through Kohat district on the main road leading south from the Khyber Pass last weekend when we passed through a small village where a few hours earlier a suicide bomber had driven a vehicle packed with explosives into the gate of the local police station. The explosion had brought down concrete beams and ripped open the fronts of shops. Three police officers and four civilians had been killed. The police had draped brightly coloured sheets over the wreckage to hide the extent of the damage suffered by the police station. Some shopkeepers were milling around trying to salvage their goods, but overall nobody looked too surprised at what had happened.

It is a nasty little war that receives little attention in the rest of Pakistan or in the outside world. It is dangerous for journalists to visit the area. When they do come they are usually escorted by the army and police. These are sensible precautions as was recently underlined when a British journalist and his two advisers, two former members of Pakistan’s powerful ISI military intelligence, were kidnapped; they are now being held for ransom in North Waziristan.

“It isn’t just journalists but politicians from the rest of Pakistan who never come to see us,” said local leaders in Ghazni Khel, a poor agricultural village in the middle of parched farmland. It was not difficult to see why. Though everybody agrees that security is better than when the Taliban were roaming freely, life is still dangerous. At a hastily called village meeting one man complained: “It is difficult for us to go out in the evening because we are afraid of kidnappers who pick us up on the road and take us away.” A doctor described how he had been kidnapped with his 13-year-old son and held for 70 days until they escaped by digging through the ceiling of the room where they had been kept captive.

I was able to go to Ghazni Khel because it is the village of Selim Saitullah Khan, a powerful local tribal leader, politician and industrialist who was going there with his own well-armed bodyguards. Mr Khan felt that the outside world should get some inkling of what life is like on the north-west frontier of Pakistan. He is deeply conscious of the poverty that afflicts the area, mainly because of the lack of water and electricity. In an impromptu speech to villagers, he said that for all the slaughter caused by suicide bombers in the area a greater number of people were dying because of poor hospitals and bad administration. He says the best plan is to build a dam in a nearby gorge to provide water for irrigation and to generate electricity.

Mr Khan may be right about economic and social deprivation killing more people than political violence, but it must be a close thing. The Pakistan Taliban are being driven back by army offensives. They have lost several of their best-known leaders to US-directed drone attacks. But they are not going down without a fight and are eager to prove that nobody who turns against them will escape their vengeance.

Just how savage this revenge can be is illustrated by the fate of the village of Shah Hassan, not far from Lakki Marwat. At the end of last year the villagers had asked the Taliban, for whom it had been a sanctuary, to leave to avoid an onslaught by the army. The Taliban agreed to go but warned the villagers that they would exact vengeance. On 1 January many of the young men of the village were crowded together playing volleyball when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives killing about 100 of them. The bomber turned out to be from Shah Hassan and two of his victims were his brothers.

The violence in the North West Frontier Province is less reported than that in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in recent weeks more Pakistanis than Iraqis or Afghans have been dying in suicide bomb attacks. The Pakistan Taliban seem to have an endless supply of young men willing to kill themselves for the cause. Almost anybody might be their target. Recently they attacked Shia refugees from an army offensive as they collected food aid. In Peshawar a suicide bomber bizarrely targeted a meeting of the Janaat-i-Islami political party, which supports the Taliban, killing 24 and injuring 45.

But it would be wrong to think of the people of the frontier provinces as passive victims. “Everybody here is armed to the teeth,” says one of Mr Khan’s assistants with pride.

Even the Taliban have to take account of local public opinion because it is backed up by armed force organised along tribal lines. Mr Khan says that his tribe and its allies could easily raise a fighting force of 2,000 men in the course of a day.

This ability to command a significant armed force helped Mr Khan and other local leaders to get rid of the Taliban in Lakki Marwat, starting in 2006. “Before then we thought the army and the Taliban were in league,” says a local leader. “We wanted to stop the army and the Taliban fighting there.”

The army also has to keep in mind local feelings, particularly as its main supply route runs through Lakki Marwat. New bridges are being built and it is expected that the route will ultimately be used to support an offensive to drive the Afghan Taliban from their bastion in North Waziristan. We met several military convoys, the first vehicle with its lights on to warn civilian drivers to get off the road.

People are impressed by the ability of US drones to find their targets. There are many conspiratorial explanations for this, such as special electronic chips being covertly slipped into people’s pockets so the drone can home in on them. But local leaders say that the Taliban’s reputation for ferocity is enough to deter any conscious collusion with the army: “People are so frightened that they don’t co-operate with the army because they are convinced the Taliban will come after them,” one said.

The retreat of the Taliban is good news for the US-led forces in Afghanistan. The US and Nato convoys on the road are no longer such easy meat for the Taliban as they were when the Islamic militants had checkpoints on the road. Lorry drivers used to carry boards bearing the slogan “long live the Taliban” which they would attach to the front of their vehicles when entering Taliban-controlled territory.

Local businessmen recall happy days when they bought pirated Nato containers which on one occasion turned out to be entirely filled with whisky and on another contained a disassembled Apache helicopter. “Unsaleable,” remembers one potential broker disgustedly. “We wouldn’t have known how to put it together.”

The state within a state once created by the Pakistan Taliban is ceasing to exist and can probably never be resurrected in its previous form. But they still have many militants waiting for the army to relax its grip. The people of the north-west frontier, cautious and skilled in personal survival, are not going to write off the Pakistan Taliban just yet.

Carlyle eyes Turkey for new opportunities

[Bush Sr's favorite money-making mechanism, Carlyle Group is a mini "Trilateral Commission," in that it represents the same interests and was drawn from the same pool of internationalist interventionists that went into the parent organization.  Between Bush and the Saudi royal family they know where to invest their money and who to bet on.  Turkey is key to all the new world order pipeline wars, creating inroads in Central Asia as revealed by Sibel Edmonds and also serves as the axis of all planned pipeline routes destined for Europe and beyond.]

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
With half a billion dollars in its coffers, private equity giant Carlyle’s Middle East and North Africa Fund eyes new investments in the region. Walid Musallam, head of the MENA Partners Fund, tells the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review that he expects several more investments in Turkey over the next few years, following partnerships with two Turkish companies
The reason Carlyle chose to partner with Saudi Arabia’s General Lighting gives an example of how the company decides on investments, Musallam says.
The reason Carlyle chose to partner with Saudi Arabia’s General Lighting gives an example of how the company decides on investments, Musallam says.

Private equity giant Carlyle has been focusing more on Turkey and its immediate region especially since raising $500 million from investors for its first Middle East and North Africa, or MENA, fund in March of last year.

The company’s latest move came on March 29, when it bought a 30 percent stake in the General Lighting Company, Saudi Arabia’s largest lighting fixtures manufacturer.

Speaking recently to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Walid Musallam, managing director and head of Carlyle’s MENA Partners Fund, said the group could make additional investments in Turkey following its acquisition of 50 percent of shipbuilder TVK and 40 percent of hospital chain Medical Park.

Musallam declined to say how much Carlyle paid for the stakes, which were acquired in July 2008 and December 2009, respectively.

“Turkey is a very important country in our focus,” Musallam, the former chief executive of Abu Dhabi Investment Co., said in an interview last week. “It is one of the key markets in its region. We expect to make several more investments in the next few years.”

Washington-based Carlyle aimed to raise $750 million to the MENA Fund, but when it reached half a billion dollars in March last year, the firm chose to work with that money, as fundraising had become extremely difficult due to the global financial crisis.

Opportunities in Turkey

With “a strong industrial base, a large population, strong consumer spending and high growth prospects,” Turkey presents “opportunities in all sectors,” according to Musallam.

“Given the size of the economy, we see opportunities in manufacturing, food, retail and logistics, among others. In Istanbul, we have a team of five professionals dedicated to assessing opportunities in Turkey,” he said, adding that the fund is not interested in investing in Turkish media.

Because the effects of the global crisis hurt the short-term prospects of companies, many were eager to partner with private equity firms such as Carlyle. “Only last year we looked at around 100 opportunities from Turkey in all sectors,” Musallam said. “Since the start of 2010, we have continued to review opportunities at the same rate.”

Before Carlyle makes an investment, it gains significant know-how of the sector in which the investment is operating. “With over 900 investments completed around the world, we have developed a disciplined approach to investing,” said Musallam.

Benefits of partnership

During this rigorous probing of a given market, Carlyle can approach companies, or it can be approached by them. “Primarily, people seek to invest with us,” Musallam said.

“We typically work with potential sellers who see value in Carlyle as a partner. What attracts sellers to us is basically the benefit they get by becoming our partner. We have a global network of business relations, immense operating experience, and access to various sources of financing. We are very experienced in helping companies grow and in taking them public,” he said.

The reason Carlyle chose to partner with Saudi Arabia’s General Lighting gives an example of how the company decides on investments. “It is a leader in its sector,” Musallam said. “It is the largest manufacturer and provider of lighting solutions in Saudi Arabia. It has a dominant market share and has major potential for growth.”

Although General Lighting currently derives the largest share of its revenue from Saudi Arabia, “[Carlyle] felt that it had major potential for growth across the entire region,” Musallam said. “Thus, the key drivers for us were market position and [this] potential for growth.”

Carlyle is one of the world’s largest private equity firms, with more than $88.6 billion under management, according to its website. With 67 funds across four investment disciplines – buyouts, growth capital, real estate and leveraged finance – Carlyle relies on a team of more than 400 investment professionals operating out of offices in 19 countries.

Georgia to Court South America in Bid to Halt Rebel Recognition

Georgia to Court South America in Bid to Halt Rebel Recognition

By Helena Bedwell

April 19 (Bloomberg) — Georgia plans to cultivate support in South America in an attempt to prevent more countries from recognizing the independence of two separatist Georgian regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Russia first recognized the regions after routing Georgia’s army in an August 2008 war over South Ossetia, a move condemned by the U.S. and many European countries. Three other countries – - Nicaragua, Venezuela and the Pacific island nation of Nauru — have followed suit. Georgia maintains that Russia occupied the regions after the conflict.

“Georgia expects to improve diplomatic relations with Latin American countries like Ecuador and Bolivia” when officials travel to the region next month, Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Jalaghania told reporters in the capital Tbilisi today. “Russia must stop buying recognition of the regions once and for all.”

President Dmitry Medvedev has said many times that Russia won’t try to force countries to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Nalbandov will hold talks with officials in Ecuador and Bolivia, Jalaghania said.

–Editor: Patrick G. Henry

To contact the reporter on this story: Helena Bedwell in Tbilisi at