Israel Has Problems at Top Brass, Pacifies Syria, Mounts Anti-Hezbollah Rhetoric

Israel Has Problems at Top Brass, Pacifies Syria, Mounts Anti-Hezbollah Rhetoric

12/05/2010 Conditions in Israel are not normal, Israeli media suggested Wednesday, citing “challenges” facing the army and the defense establishments on the one hand, and the specter of war whether with Lebanon, Syria or Iran.

“There is no doubt that under normal conditions, the establishment and its top brass would be able to address developments on the ground and decision-making processes from now until the end of the year; however, these are not normal conditions,” Yedioth Aharonoth’s Ron Ben-Yishai warned.

News of ‘major confrontations” between army chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak continue to percolate thus “jeopardizing their ability  to effectively deal with the various missions faced by the army.” “What started as a conflict between bureaus recently escalated to the point of growing personal hostility,” Ben-Yishai suggests.

Barak insists on choosing his candidate for next army chief in two or three months. This plan provokes anger among Major-General Ashkenazi’s close associates. The army chief will complete his term only in February 2011, so choosing his successor and making major appointments seven months before that will turn Ashkenazi into a “lame duck,” undermining his ability to manage the army effectively.

“The fact that senior US officials have met with Ashkenazi en masse in an effort to curb an Iran strike also undermines the relationship between the two figures,” Ben-Yishai says. However he adds that “despite their poor relationship, Barak and Ashkenazi manage to jointly take level-headed decisions on major issues.”

In the meantime, Israel is seeking to pacify Syria although it is maintaining its aggressive rhetoric against Iran and Hezbollah.

A Haaretz report cites “a synopsis of declarations” made in the past 48 hours to point at “a conflagration” on the northern front.
“The prime minister accused Iran of trying to provoke war between Syria and Israel; the minister for strategic affairs reiterated that a military option exists against Iran’s nuclear program; Iran’s parliamentary speaker threatened a “final and decisive war” against Israel; Lebanon’s prime minister expressed support for Hezbollah’s right to have Scud missiles in its arsenal; Syria’s president warned of “the demise of the peace process”; and Russia’s president, visiting Damascus, said he fears a catastrophe in the region.”

Haaretz believes that developments on the Iranian front depend on the results of Washington’s initiative to impose tougher sanctions – expected to be discussed at the UN Security Council next month. The paper also believes that Hezbollah’s “attempts to exact revenge for the 2008 killing of commander Imad Moghniyeh have failed,” thus leaving the main reason for conflagration in the near future on the alleged transfer of Scud and M-600 missiles from Syria to Hezbollah.

In a bid to pacify Syria, the Israeli army sought Tuesday to explain that PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to a reservist training center in Northern Command to observe exercises was well planned in advance, as if urging Damascus not to conclude the opposite.

Strong diplomatic activity in the region, recently Russian President Dimitry Medvedev’s visit to Syria, indicates a serious situation in the Middle East.
Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah have said they have no interest in war, but also expressed readiness to confront Israel should it wage war on either party. The picture taken in Damascus a few months ago – joining Presidents Bashar Assad, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Hezbollah S.G. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah – was a clear message to Israel in this regard.

Apparently Israel is not ready to wage war on Lebanon at the present time; its army and defense establishments have their differences; they have the problem of shelters for settlers mainly in the north, they have the problem of being engaged in war on two, three, and maybe four fronts, and they have the problem of not knowing what to expect from Hezbollah during the course of the war. However it should be taken into consideration that Israel takes action when least expected, and based on speeches by Hezbollah’s S.G. and other senior officials, it can be concluded that “least expected” is no longer present in the resistance’s book of warfare.

India Can’t Handle the Truth About Hemant Karkare’s Murder

SC rejects plea for probe into Karkare’s killing

IANS

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition for a probe into the killing of Hemant Karkare, head of Maharashtra Police’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS), during the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The petition wanted an independent fact-finding committee, headed by a sitting or a retired judge of the apex court, to look into the events before Karkare’s killing.

A bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar rejected Radhakant Yadav’s public interest litigation (PIL) but gave him the liberty to move the high court.

Since Yadav, a three-time Bihar legislator, had moved the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the constitution that deals with citizens’ rights, the apex court questioned him on how his fundamental rights had been encroached upon.

Under Article 32 a citizen of India can knock the doors of the apex court for protection of his rights, including the fundamental rights.

The petition “submitted that there was an abject failure of the state of unparalleled magnitude in protecting the citizens of the country from terrorists, including the death of officers like ATS chief Karkare”.

The petitioner contended that the entire Mumbai terror attack should not be seen as single episode but two different attacks.

The petitioner pointed to the book “Who Killed Hemant Karkare”, authored by former Maharashtra Police chief S.M. Mushrif, which said the government explanation given for the ATS chief’s death was not logical and not believable.

He said the R.D. Pradhan Committee, headed by a former senior bureaucrat, was set up by the state government to give a report on various aspects of the Mumbai attack but it did not receive cooperation from various authorities.

Yadav said that Karkare investigated and exposed the plot of “right wing terror groups” who were responsible for several blasts between 2003 and 2008.

Karkare came to know about the involvement of political and religious leaders and was “only inches away from arresting some of them” before his killing, the petitioner claimed.

The petitioner also claimed that the Research and Analysis Wing, India’s external intelligence agency, had sent the Intelligence Bureau precise and actionable information about the Mumbai attack but it was not passed on to Maharashtra police.

Swat From Staged Drama To the Real Thing–When Is Final Act?

Locating the Swat operation

By Zubair Torwali

Officially known as Operation Rah-e-Rast, the military offensive in Swat has now completed a full year. It is indeed this offensive that earned credibility for the powerful army chief of Pakistan, and – to some extent – for the democratic government as well. The applause aside, let us locate the offensive with the people of Swat.

When asked about the effectiveness of the offensive, Mukhtar Yousafzai – head of the independent Swat ‘qaumi jirga’ and a seasoned political activist — analyses the situation as follows: “In Swat, it was the state agencies that groomed, promoted and protected the terrorists. They were given full liberty to use modern means of propaganda and power such as FM radios [and] sophisticated weapons and had full backing. It was designed to make Swat another Afghanistan. The local leadership was either killed or demoralised. Journalism was banned and free voices were choked. Swat was made a safe haven and, in the end, it was handed over to the Taliban to establish their writ in the way they liked. Swat thus became a paradise turned into hell. But the brave people of Swat did not surrender.”

Continuing, Yousafzai says, “They spread out … organised demonstrations, appealing to the civil society within [the country] and the world outside by demonstrating in Washington, Toronto, London and New York. They circulated memorandums to the embassies of all the nations. Indigenous writers came out and used the might of their pens to bring into the limelight the plight of the people of Swat. Owing to the efforts of the people of Swat, the army decided to launch a third offensive against the Taliban.” He says the two phases of the offensive before Operation Rah-e-Rast were “merely war games”.

“They were never aimed at eliminating militancy from the valley. It is this third phase, known as Rah-e-Rast, that has some credibility.”

Asked to elaborate Yousafzai’s statement on credibility, Mukhtar Lala says, “The Taliban are on the run, their strongholds have been dismantled to a great extent, their leadership and network stand afflicted with remarkable harm and they are now isolated.”

However, Mukhtar is extremely worried about the recent wave of target killings that have targeted some important figures of civil society, such as members of the Swat qaumi jirga and other peace committees. “The peace in Swat is too fragile to rely on … it is suspicious and vulnerable. The blowing up of CD shops and the circulation of threatening letters by the Taliban have again frightened the people, who consider these latest developments as the beginning of a new rising in the valley,” he says.

An internationally recognised researcher on Swat, Dr Sultan-e-Rome says of the operation, “A failure … the fresh wave of target killings right under the nose of the army is a testament … [the decision to] force civilians to form lashkars and be their own watchmen during the night, an increase in the number of army posts and frequent checking and curfews are other testaments.”

However, Rohul Amin, a lecturer in Swat, says. “There is marked improvement in the Swat situation, but there is [still] a sense of fear and insecurity among the people after the new spate of target killings of peace committee members. These attacks will scare tourists away during this season as well. Apart from this, business is picking up and schools and colleges are open. There is the writ of the government. People are satisfied with the success of the operation,” says

Ihsanul Haq Haqqani, a senior journalist from Swat, aptly says, “No doubt, the operation was a success, but the post-operation policy is enough to convert the success into a horrible failure. The civil administration and the political leadership are happy to keep the army engaged in the aftershocks. The army should conclude its job at the earliest.”

Even after a year, one wonders how the trust of the people can be reinforced. Mukhtar Lala has a remedy. “The target killings and the bomb blasts are a result of security lapses. The army is Swat has forgotten its core concern – the security – and is now involved in other rehabilitation activities, which are not their responsibility.” He says, “The military should design measures that would improve its credibility by dealing in a people-friendly manner with civilians. It should be open to criticism and counselling by the civil society of Swat. The media must not be controlled through the ISPR. The Maliks and Khans of Swat should gather on a single platform above party affiliations and unite for the sake of over 1.6 million people of Swat.” He says the Swat qaumi jirga would be organised in each village and at the union council level.

Whether the elimination of militancy from Swat is possible or not, the people of this scenic valley are determined to assist the military in their fight against the militants if the army performs its duty wholeheartedly and builds a better relationship with the people. Unnecessary measures and humiliation of the general public by security personnel would be counterproductive. While the people of Swat have not surrendered to the Taliban, the state is prompting the population of the valley to lose trust.

On the current situation, Ziauddin Yousafzai, the spokesman for the Swat qaumi jirga says, “Over the last year, security forces have been successful in restoring the writ of the government. The prevailing peace is borrowed and temporary. It is tranquillity in the shadows of guns. Peace without guns is our dream and aim. That needs a clear vision and good intentions on the part of the state institutions and the people.”

Zubair Torwali is a freelance analyst and activist based in Swat where he heads Centre for Education and Development. He can be reached at, ztorwali@gmail.com

Ukrainian opposition attack pro-Russia policies

Ukrainian opposition attack pro-Russia policies

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
KIEV: Hundreds of supporters of President Viktor Yanukovich threw a cordon around the Ukrainian parliament on Tuesday as opposition politicians and demonstrators angrily accused the leadership of selling out the country to Russia.

The ex-Soviet republic is hosting a visit by Kremlin leader Dmitry Medvedev on May 17-18 and tension is high after riots in parliament on April 27.

On Tuesday, several hundred members of the pro-Yanukovich Regions Party formed a barrier to the entrance to the parliament building, while police kept back about 3,000 supporters of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko from drawing near. Tymoshenko, who has seized on the Black Sea fleet issue to reinvigorate the opposition, declared: “Everything that happened over Crimea and Black Sea fleet was directed at belittling our independence.”

Rehman Malik’s past being whitewashed

[SEE: Mossad And India Spy Agency Team Up, Target Pakistan]

Rehman Malik’s past being whitewashed

Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Record goes missing, officials punished; Victims come out in the open to complain; source close to PPP terms cases against Malik bogus, politically motivated

By Umar Cheema

ISLAMABAD: The official record of the 1996 cases against interior Minister Rehman Malik has started to disappear and FIA officials who arrested and handled him back in 1996 are now facing his wrath. Meanwhile, A private party has suddenly withdrawn its 15-year old FIR against Mr Malik for illegally grabbing 12 acres of land.

A director of FIA in Peshawar confirmed to The News that the record relating to the minister had been misplaced and it is being reconstructed but he denied they had tampered with the previous record.

The officials have been punished and harassed so much that they have now come on record to publicly complain that they are being targeted by the all-powerful interior minister.

A deputy director of FIA, Tariq Malik, who had reported that Rehman Malik as the then additional DG FIA received two cars as illegal gratification, has been demoted twice and transferred to a far-flung area in Quetta.

Likewise, Sardar Azam, another assistant director, now retired, who had arrested Rehman Malik the day FIR No 14/96 was registered against him, has stated on record to The News that his pension is being delayed as punishment.

An FIR No. 12/97 lodged against the interior minister in 1997 in Faisalabad, for grabbing 12 acres of private land has also been quashed as the complainant, the private party, has suddenly withdrawn it after FIA officials approached it for a compromise.

Tariq Malik, the FIA officer who has been demoted, told The News he would record his statement in case he was summoned by any court or any other authority.

Sardar Azam, who retired in January this year, confirmed to The News that he was the man who arrested and investigated Rehman Malik in 1996 but now his pension benefits were being blocked.

He said he had recorded statements of two Toyota dealers namely Saleem Godiyal and Rafique Godiyal who had admitted giving illegal gratification in the form of two Honda cars to Rehman Malik and these cars were later also recovered by the FIA.

He said the interior ministry was delaying his benefits for no reason and was asking time and again for production of different documents that had been repeatedly submitted but every time a new demand comes up.

Jhang resident Barkhurdar son of Raja Sarang and Tassawar Abbas who lodged an FIR No. 12/97 against the minister in Faisalabad, were approached by FIA officials for a compromise and they have surrendered.

Their surrender even turned out to be surprising for the judge of the special court hearing the case on February 18, 2010 as he called the complainants separately, inquiring about the reason of their surrender and the family head told the judge: “he had become too ill to contest legal battles any further.”

The minister was facing charges of registering false cases against private individuals from Jhang, for pressuring them to quit possession of more than 12 acres of land purchased by them in 1992, as the same land was subsequently got allotted by the minister in the name of his real sister, Noor Begum.

The minister’s staff officer again played an instrumental role as the complainant party submitted to his wishes when strings were pulled.

The petitioner Barkhurdar, a resident of Jhang, confirmed to The News they had withdrawn the case upon the intervention of “some common friend”. He also confirmed the judge hearing the case was curious about the withdrawal decision and he had told him that being a diabetic patient, he couldn’t afford legal battle like this.

Tasarruf Shah, Deputy Director FIA, Faisalabad, when contacted by The News denied playing any role in this case.

Tariq Malik, FIA’s deputy director, who has twice been demoted after he refused to temper with the record about charge-sheeting of the minister, has now been transferred to Quetta from Islamabad. But he told The News he would speak about it in a court of law.

Tariq being an FIA inspector had filed a source report in 1996 that led to the registration of an FIR No. 14/96 against Rehman Malik alleging that he received two Honda cars as bribe from Toyota Company.

The minister’s staff officer summoned Tahir Malik in the interior ministry six weeks ago and interrogated him on how he came to know about the cars and how was it a bribe. The staff officer then demanded of Tariq Malik to alter his statement to help Rehman Malik get acquitted from the court.

As Tariq refused he was told that times had changed. “I know times have changed and also know it is changing very fast,” he is said to have replied. However Malik had to pay for his defiance as he was demoted one down to an assistant director, a notification which was cancelled later by the secretary interior.

But in a space of two weeks, he was not only demoted again but also transferred to Quetta, a station that is seeing the pullout of all Punjabi FIA staffers after some of them were murdered there.

All these cases against Rehman Malik stand reopened after the revocation of the NRO but since the FIA is the executing agency it is lending crucial support to cover up the past cases against their current boss.

The News talked to many FIA officials for their versions in all these issues. The minister’s staff officer, Sajjad Haider, who has been accused of using strong arm tactics to temper record, remove it or facilitate compromises between parties disconnected the call when he was asked the question.

He was later sent a message stating his version is required and that he should attend the call but he did not. The minister’s phone also remained un-attended and message sent expressing the intention of the caller was not responded to.

Director General of FIA, Zafrullah Khan, when contacted to inquire about Tariq’s demotion said the interior secretary was the competent authority to do this. About his transfer to Quetta the DG said it was a routine matter. Secretary interior was not available for comments.

About the manipulation of record by FIA Peshawar office, DG FIA Zafrullah Khan referred this correspondent to speak to Inam Ghani, the director posted there. When contacted Director Inam confirmed that the record relating to the minister had been misplaced and it is being reconstructed but denied if they had tempered with the previous record.

The misplaced record is about a case in the Peshawar’s Court alleging Rehman Malik of fleeing abroad in 1998 while being on ECL. Sources say it is being manipulated though officially it has been misplaced. An FIR No. 62/98 was registered against the minister under the Exit from Pakistan (Control) Ordinance. The minister’s staff officer went to Peshawar for securing FIA’s help, official sources confided to The News.

An assistant director of the Passport Circle, refused to entertain his request. Then an inspector level investigator was assigned the task and he prepared a diary dated February 6, 2010, a report stating that the accusations against the minister were fabricated and that the minister was not informed that he was on the ECL.

As the court took up the case on February 10, 2010 and the case diary was presented, the court asked for the old record but it was told it has been misplaced. A deputy director (law) appeared before the court taking up the minister’s bail matter, instead of resisting the bail application, suggested to the court that he should be granted bail as denying this would amount to his humiliation, officials privy to development said.

In the case in which Rehman Malik continues to be a Proclaimed Offender, The News contacted Shuja Naveed, an FIA deputy director heading Special Investigative Unit (Islamabad). This case was instituted against the minister under FIR No.12/97 for registering a false case against one Dr. Mooeni, in which the minister had allegedly demanded Rs500000 through a journalist, named Dawood Ahmed Khawaja, Chief Editor Nai Roshni of Multan, whose affidavit dated 5/12/96 is on judicial record.

Shuja Naveed confirmed the court of special judge had sought details about what action has been taken against the accused and it has been informed that the record relating to the minister was shifted to NAB in 2004, hence they’re not responsible for any action.

Upon non-appearance, the minister was declared a Proclaimed Offender. Now when the court of a special judge has directed the FIA to intimate what action has been taken against the PO, the FIA has opted to remain silent.

A source close to the PPP, when contacted, declared all the cases against Interior Minister A Rehman Malik as bogus and politically motivated. He said at that time officials of FIA and other departments were forced to fabricate cases against Malik. These cases could not be further investigated because they had no foundation and were very weak.

He said the allegations about misplacement and tempering of the record by FIA officials had no truth. He said the staff had been asked to complete files with honesty. They had also been ordered to make investigations without any fear or favour.

Afghanistan, Iraq And Next Pakistan?

[The author in the following asks the question--why {has} the US urged Pakistan to launch a military offensive in the northern areas?

Understanding why the US wants Pakistan to launch major military operations in northern Pakistan should be clear to all readers of this site, the United States is really interested in southern Pakistan, Balochistan, to be more precise.  They want all Army and air resources tied-up fighting against the ISI's militants, while they sweep into the south from the forces being built-up at Kandahar and Helmand.

SEE: ‘Final Solution’ Frenzy – Part Four: Final Solution for Pakistan ]


Afghanistan, Iraq And Next Pakistan?

By Gulam A. Mitha

10 May, 2010 - Countercurrents.org

Does it have to be that an entire country and it’s innocent civilians have to be punished after the failed New York Times Square bomb attempt by one person? It seems to be that way. Maybe another false flag operation was planned to issue stern warnings to Pakistan that should there be a successful attack next, there might even be a “boots-on-the ground” US presence on Pakistan as reported by the New York Times, a Zionist mouthpiece, on Saturday May 9, 2010 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/09/world/asia/09pstan.html). After the unsuccessful bomb attack by US citizen Faisal Shehzad who was captured by US authorities on board a flight to Pakistan via Dubai, the US administration has started issuing threats to Pakistan.

The first threat came on May 5, 2010 from Fareed Zakaria, author and host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” in which he reported that “Pakistan is the epicentre of Islamic terrorism” and that “..it’s worth noting that even the terrorism that’s often attributed to the war in Afghanistan tends to come out of Pakistan, to be planned by Pakistanis, to be funded from Pakistan or in some other way to be traced to Pakistan..”. Zakaria was a favored student of Dr. Huntington the celebrated author of “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order”. Zakaria has also been noted to be involved with George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz in pushing for the war on Iraq.

Why would Zakaria use the words “Islamic Terrorism” rather than Muslim terrorism? In my article, The Winds of Change, published by Countercurrents on May 4, 2010 I’d written that since the war cannot be waged on Islam, the next best is to wage it on its adherents to weaken them. The strategy is working. The affluent group of Muslims are being weakened as they pursue materialistic objectives whereas the poorer Muslims are being intimidated through wars waged on them. One group fears the loss of wealth and the other fears loss of lives, not their own maybe but of their families.

On May 7, 2010, US military commander in Afghanistan General Stanley McChrystal met with Pakistan’s military commander General Ashfaq Kiyani in Islamabad to clearly issue a stern warning that Pakistan must immediately begin a military offensive against the Taliban and al-Qaeda in North Waziristan. US ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson also met with Pakistani president Asif Zardari and used “forceful” language to convey the American point that the Pakistanis had to move more assertively against the militants threaded through the society. As if that is not enough, pressure mounted from Hillary Clinton on May 7, 2010 that it faced “very severe consequences” if a terror plot like Times Square bombing were traced to Pakistan. US officials have even admitted that if there is a successful attack, the US will have to act. Maybe there is a successful attack being planned by the US either on its soil or on some European, Indian or Israeli soils. If the unsuccessful bomb attack is so politically successful, one would wonder how successful will be a successful bomb attack.

The answers to the question why US has urged Pakistan to launch a military offensive in the northern areas is very clear. It is to create more fear and terrorism, more suicide bombings, ensure more terrorists are bred, continue and further increase drone attacks and, demoralize and weaken the military through exhausting the hardware in its arsenal such that if a joint US-Indian-NATO attack is launched on Pakistan in the near future, it’ll not be able to sustain the war. Nuclear deterrence against an enemy already on its soil is pointless.

The one thing that most Muslim leaders severely lack is diplomacy and negotiation skills, more so a nuclear state like Pakistan than any of the others who’ve no strong and viable defences. Pakistan could easily retaliate to threats from US or India but being an indebted nation whose leaders are corrupt to the nth degree and who have families overseas, they’re unable to demonstrate diplomacy or use language that would remove threats so they submit to threats. Zardari is a known state criminal and the US has all the scoops on him to blackmail him should he not relent to US demands.

It is now obvious that the US has military intentions towards Pakistan. India and Israel but more so the latter would like to see Pakistan denuclearised. Pakistan is also of significant geo-political importance as it would serve as a corridor for land-locked Afghanistan and the former Soviet satellites . 9/11 led to the occupation of Afghanistan, WMDs led to the occupation of Iraq and its becoming obvious that the relentless pressure of terrorism might lead to Pakistan’s occupation and subsequent denuclearisation. The Zionists have mastered the art of fabrication without being challenged. They’ve not only fabricated 9/11, WMDs and other false flag operations but they’ve also fabricated an economic culture leading to rewards for the obedient servants and slavery for the masses throughout the world.

Much as the US, France, Germany and UK would like to bomb Iran to the rubble because of its oil and gas, Russia and China have not been supportive of actions against Iran in the United Nations. The next best target is therefore Pakistan as the US needs not secure UN, Russian or Chinese support for actions against it. The excuse of containing the epicentre of “Islamic terrorism” is sufficient. Pakistan is in the pressure cooker with the lid on and the stove flame on high.

Gulam Asgar Mitha

180 Citadel Crest Cir. NW

Calgary, AB, CANADA T3G 4G4

http://mithagam.shawwebspace.ca/blog/

Trying To Make the Lives Saved Worth Living For Trauma-Scarred Servicemen

Multi-Symptom Pain Disorders Plague Returning Service Men and Women

Newswise — Nine in 10 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans return with some form of pain and about 60 percent have significant pain, mainly from the cumulative effect of exposure to recurring blasts which cause unimaginable injuries, according to prominent VA pain clinicians speaking at the American Pain Society’s annual scientific meeting.

“We are talking about a complicated set of problems involving cognitive issues, deep emotional impacts, and acute and chronic pain that have serious, long-term implications for our veterans and make effective pain treatment outcomes far more difficult to achieve,” said Michael E. Clark, Ph.D., clinical director of the Veteran Administration’s largest and most comprehensive pain management and rehabilitation program in Tampa, and associate professor, department of psychology, University of South Florida. “The pain constellation exhibited by returning service members is the most complex situation I have ever seen in my 30 years of practice and calls for a revolutionary new approach to simultaneously address the spectrum of shared, common symptoms across these severe disorders.”

“These Middle East conflicts, with their very high level of blast injury survivors, call for the military, the VA and the civilian health system to treat post-injury pain as a priority after military discharge to prevent pathophysiology, with a focus of providing effective pain control and rapid restoration of function and social networks to prevent disability and secondary negative health and personal consequences of chronic pain,” said Rollin M. Gallagher, M.D. MPH, deputy national program director for pain management for the VA and clinical professor of psychiatry and anesthesiology, Penn Pain Medicine, University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Clark added that the severity and breadth of the problem has been aggravated by the prevalence of multiple tours of duty for many service members, including weekend National Guardsmen who can be older with families and jobs, a situation not seen in previous U.S. conflicts.

Dr. Gallagher further noted the VA’s pain care challenge is magnified by a 90 percent injury survivor rate from these conflicts compared with only 40 percent in the Vietnam War. VA clinicians are now challenged to manage pain in blast survivors with one or several other consequences of blast, such as head injuries causing mild to severe TBI, physical disfigurement and social stigma, emotional trauma, and often post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“The evidence is compelling that the symptoms of these comorbidities, as well as others such as substance abuse, depression and sleep problems, overlap significantly,” Dr. Clark explained, “and there is ample reason to believe they will not respond as favorably to traditional interdisciplinary pain treatment when compared to other groups of former soldiers.”

“The need is for a fully integrated, system-wide and evidenced-based continuum of pain management from the battlefield to military hospitals to our community care facilities with increased pain care access, state-of-the art treatment protocols, high competence levels for care providers, and the integration of pain education into professional training,” said Dr. Gallagher.

Dr. Gallagher pointed out that earlier and more aggressive acute pain treatment intervention closer to the battlefield may help to prevent or lessen longer-term disabilities and secondary consequences of chronic pain. “Present research will tell us definitely what we know from our clinical experience – that early blockage of neurological pain impulses to the spinal cord and brain close to the site of injury using peri-neural catheters and nerve blocks , along with more aggressive analgesic treatment, is proving more effective than the traditional method of just morphine injections,” he said. “And the soldiers appreciate the earlier intervention.”

VA’s Integrated Pain Care Approach
The overlapping disorders of pain, mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), and post-traumatic stress (PTSD) among returning soldiers is leading to new initiatives at the VA.

“The VHA has directed a new pain management strategy with a stepped-care model that offers a comprehensive continuum of treatment from acute pain at injury to longitudinal management of chronic pain, and this approach is now being considered by the Department of Defense in collaboration with the VHA,” Dr. Gallagher said. “The goal is to reduce pain and suffering and improve the quality of life for our returning Iraq and Afghanistan service men and women suffering acute and chronic pain.”

“The use of silo treatment pathways in chronic pain treatment is insufficient, less effective and less efficient,” Dr Clark said, “because they typically focus solely or primarily on pain-related symptoms and either exclude those with concurrent PTSD and/or TBI symptoms or occasionally refer them to relevant specialty programs for simultaneous but independent treatment.”

As an example of the VA’s health care system refocus, Dr. Clark reviewed current work at the Tampa VA facility using a single team approach and a post-deployment behavioral health program with specialties in behavioral medicine, pain, PTSD, TBI, substance abuse, physical therapy and case management.

“Our objectives are to maximize function and life adjustment, prevent symptom development or exacerbation, and reduce stress through a single team effort,” Dr. Clark said. “Treatment involves established and modified cognitive behavioral therapy interventions targeting PTSD, pain, mild TBI, sleep and substance abuse, typically in combination, and with a physical training component.

“As we extend and refine our PMD treatment components and complete more research on PMC treatment and how overlapping comorbidities interact, our hope is that this raised awareness level for integrated care within the VA will eventually be reflected in community care center treatment for our returning service personnel,” Dr. Clark summarized.

About the American Pain Society
Based in Glenview, Ill., the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering. APS was founded in 1978 with 510 charter members. From the outset, the group was conceived as a multidisciplinary organization. APS has enjoyed solid growth since its early days and today has approximately 3,200 members. The Board of Directors includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, basic scientists, pharmacists, policy analysts and more.

Using Alleged Terrorism to Escalate War and Homeland Repression

Using Alleged Terrorism to Escalate War and Homeland Repression

by Stephen Lendman

May 10, 2010

Much about the New York bomb incident is worrisome, besides the media already pronouncing sentence, biasing future jurors to convict or face the wrath of public opinion, their communities, friends and even family. As a result, Faisal Shahzad doesn’t stand a chance, guilty or innocent, regardless of his alleged confession and the plausibility that he was set up – used as a convenient dupe with his device rigged not to go off but to emit smoke to be found. Why not given America’s history of using false flag incidents for political advantage.

Again, the possibility is real, given the incident’s similarity to the Christmas 2009 airline one involving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. He was also used as a convenient dupe, his explosive device no more powerful than a firecracker.

Understand also how involved CIA operatives and assets are globally, especially in Eurasia. Pakistan’s ISI (its intelligence service) is a de facto adjunct, both working together destabilizing the region for US geopolitical interests. So-called terror incidents in America or the West are directly connected, perhaps the New York one the latest using Shahzad as a convenient dupe.

Inflammatory Political Rhetoric

On May 4, political venom spewed from New York, Washington and elsewhere, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling Shahzad a “homegrown terrorist with a political agenda,” and New York Governor David Paterson, the White House, and Attorney General Eric Holder calling the incident a terrorist act, Holder saying in a May 4 news conference:

“We anticipate charging (Faisal Shahzad) with an act of terrorism transcending national borders, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, use of a destructive device during the commission of another crime, and explosives….Based on what we know so far, it is clear that this was a terrorist plot aimed at murdering Americans in one of the busiest places in the country…..

Make no mistake – although this car bomb failed to properly detonate – this plot was a serious attempt. If successful, it could have” been a mass casualty event. (It’s) a stark reminder of the reality we face today in this country….a constant threat from those who wish to do us harm simply because of our way of life.”

He went on to cite terrorist networks, lone agents at home and abroad, the continued threat as a result, and implication, of course, for needing stern measures, including sacrificing (more) liberty for security, mindless of Benjamin Franklin once saying that “Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither,” and won’t get them because the scheme is to deny them.

At the same news conference, New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly reminded attendees of the 1993 World Trade Center incident, adding:

“I think New Yorkers can rest a little easier today, and that’s due in no small measure to the investigative muscle of FBI agents and New York City police detectives (as well as JFK Airport) customs officials.”

Perhaps they had advance knowledge. Perhaps also the likelihood of more repressive laws, stepped up militarism and wars, stripping social services to pay for them, and distracting public attention from the looming Gulf disaster, Goldman Sachs, and impending financial reform to institutionalize business as usual, while claiming real change.

Provocative Media Reports

Besides inflammatory round-the-clock TV and radio reports, The New York Times, like other corporate publications, left no doubt where it stands.

In a Shahzad profile, it stressed his role in a terrorist plot, citing a criminal complaint that “militant strongholds” gave him bomb-making training in Pakistan, and that he’s been charged with conspiring to use “weapons of mass destruction” – hardly an apt description for gasoline, propane, firecrackers and fertilizer not considered by The Times.

It also said the car he “apparently” drove to the airport was found with a “Kel-Tech 9 millimeter pistol, with a folding stock and a rifle barrel, along with several spare magazines of ammunition.” How convenient to be easily found in plain sight.

Born in Pakistan, Shahzad is a naturalized US citizen with a University of Bridgeport, CT bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering as well as an MBA. Before resigning in mid-2009, he worked as a junior financial analyst for Affinion Group (a marketing services company) in Norwalk, CT. Authorities said he was unemployed at the time of his arrest. They also said he confessed and is cooperating. He’s yet to be arraigned in court.

Since the May 1 incident, The Times headlined numerous feature stories, including on May 5 by writers Mark Massetti and Scott Shane called “Evidence Mounts for Taliban Role in Car Bomb Plot,” saying:

“American officials said Wednesday that it is very likely that a radical group (the Taliban) once thought unable to attack the United States played a role in the bombing attempt in Times Square, elevating concerns about whether other militant groups could deliver at least a glancing blow on American soil.”

Remember that blaming bin Laden and Al Qaeda for 9/11, and the Taliban for sheltering them, became justification for attacking and invading Afghanistan, then Iraq 18 months later based on bogus weapons of mass destruction claims and suggesting Saddam’s involvement in 9/11.

Today, the Obama administration “cautions” about the Pakistani Taliban’s involvement with Shahzad, one step short of accusing them, Al Qaeda, and other so-called terrorist groups (including Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, the Haqqani Network, and Kashmiri elements) to have pretext for stepped up war and increased homeland crackdowns, for sure coming with the public being manipulated to accept them.

Pakistani Taliban spokesperson Azam Tariq, however, claimed no involvement in the Times Square incident or information about the video claiming it. “We don’t even know (Shahzad),” he said. Pakistani (ISI) intelligence officials also expressed skepticism about the Taliban’s ability to attack America.

No matter, according to a May 9 AP report headlined, “Pakistani Taliban Behind Times Sq. Plot, Holder Says,” quoting the Attorney General claiming it was “intimately involved” in the May 1 incident. They “directed the plot,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and ABC’s “This Week.”

That despite an unnamed Islamabad-based Western diplomat telling CBS News that “The Taliban have no demonstrated ability to strike distant places. Structurally, they are far from being a global organization like Al Qaeda,” that’s, in fact, a 1980s CIA creation – “Islamic brigade” (mujahideen) freedom fighters against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Today, they’re America’s “outside enemy,” terrorists against “democratic freedoms” and the rationale for imperial wars and repressive homeland security.

Later in the day, AP reported that “Holder said changes may be needed to allow law enforcement more time to question suspected terrorists before they are told about their Miranda rights. (He) said the White House wanted to work with Congress to examine the 1966 Supreme Court” ruling to give law enforcement agents “necessary flexibility to gather information from suspects in terror cases.”

For sure, this is a dangerous slippery slope down which the end game is grim – full-blown despotism once constitutional rights are ended. Post-9/11, they’ve been incrementally stripped away.

In a May 3 editorial titled, “Luck and Vigilance,” The Times called the city “lucky this time….no one wants to bet their security on it,” so to prevent a future disaster “Officials in New York and Washington also need to take a hard look at what, if anything, might have been done to head off this earlier.” The implication is clear – more repressive laws, sweeping surveillance, and police state crackdowns against suspects to tell others what to expect.

Clear as well are the targets – Muslims and people of color. Rarely ever are white persons charged with terrorism, no matter the offense.

For example, white supremacist Paul Schlesselman pleaded guilty in January to conspiring to kill Barack Obama and dozens of other Blacks in 2008. He got 10 years in prison on:

“one count of conspiracy, one count of threatening to kill and inflict bodily harm upon a presidential candidate, and one count of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence,” not terrorism that surely would have been charged if he was black, Latino or especially Muslim, the main target of choice in the “war on terror.”

According to AP, authorities described Schlesselman and co-defendant Daniel Cowart (awaiting sentencing) as “white supremacist skinheads who hatched a plan to go on a cross-country robbery and killing spree that would end with an attack on Obama in 2008. Their plan was to kill 88 African-Americans and behead 14 others before trying to take out Obama. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist movement.”

Proposed Homeland Crackdown Measures

They’re coming so be prepared, the New York incident used as justification. On May 5, New York Times writer Scott Shane headlined, “Government Tightens No-Fly Rules,” saying:

“Homeland Security officials on Wednesday ordered airlines to speed up checks of names added to the no-fly list,” and to check for updates every 24 hours. Look for an expanded list ahead, and stepped up airport security, making travel even tougher, perhaps to include interrogations, body searches, and other repressive measures against anyone officials target.

Pervasive Use of Surveillance Cameras

Post-9/11, cities began installing networks of surveillance cameras in public areas downtown, at airports, in shopping areas and elsewhere. Though experts doubt their effectiveness and studies bear this out, significant privacy and civil liberties concerns are raised, including stereotyping and racial discrimination by those in charge of monitoring.

Among global cities, London by far is the most camera-surveilled with as many as 1.4 million in place, no one saying for security reasons. They’re everywhere – on streets; in business, shopping, and government areas; in parks; schools; in hallways; on elevators, in cabs and police cars; even in public rest rooms, so there’s no place to hide.

American cities have theirs and are adding more, a 2006 ACLU report titled, “Who’s Watching?” saying post-9/11, their numbers in New York City alone “skyrocketed. And our lawmakers have failed to keep up: video surveillance cameras can be operated with almost no legal constraint or consequence,” despite scant evidence they deter crime on a cost-per-crime solved basis.

For example, for every 1,000 London cameras, less than one crime per year is solved for an average cost of $30,000. At best, other cities report mixed results, but in all cases too poor to justify installation, monitoring and other associated costs.

According to AP, Chicago is the most video-surveilled city in America, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff saying, “I don’t think there is another city in the US that has as an extensive and integrated camera network….”

Over the past decade, they’re everywhere across the city, including on streets, poles, buses, business and shopping areas, in train tunnels, schools, local landmarks, and elsewhere, in a network linking private and public entities to police. Yet a May 6 Chicago Tribune Steve Chapman article headlined, “Surveillance cameras a flop,” said that in Chicago, New York and other cities, their results are unimpressive, and “The more cameras (and) cops watching (them), the more potential for waste.”

Yet it doesn’t deter zealots like Mayor Richard Daley, planning them for “almost every block,” despite their high cost and low return.

After the New York bomb incident, expect that attitude throughout the country, in Manhattan for certain reported AFP’s Sebastian Smith on May 4 headlining “Police cameras to flood Manhattan to prevent attacks,” saying:

“New York officials say they could stop attacks like (the Times Square one) by expanding a controversial surveillance system so sensitive that it will pick even suspicious behavior” without further explanation. Mayor Bloomberg supports a high-tech system, modeled after London’s “ring of steel” in its financial district. The Lower Manhattan Security Initiative way exceeds traditional surveillance. It will constantly watch, collect license plate numbers, video pedestrians and drivers, as well as detect explosives and other weapons.

A complementary system, called Operation Sentinel, will log every vehicle entering Manhattan by scanning license plates and checking for radiation.

Analytic software will analyze raw data in real time for fast results and follow-up. Alarms would signal unattended bags or a car circling a block more times than normal or operating unconventionally. It’s a brave new world, a new level of privacy invasion and civil liberty intrusion, soon heading everywhere across America to a greater or lesser degree.

For the ACLU, it raises serious “privacy, speech, expression and association concerns. Troubling examples of that come from (NYPD) video archives.”

Headlining “Ready.Fire.Aim!?,” the ACLU highlights a growing video surveillance infrastructure with virtually no oversight or accountability, its proliferation impinging on civil liberties and personal freedom “in the most intimate, and most public, sense.”

If authorities abandon these principles, everyone’s rights are at risk, the ACLU saying its study documented “the nature and magnitude of the harm posed by the unregulated proliferation of video surveillance cameras.” Unless new legislation balances their use against civil liberty and privacy protections, democratic freedoms will be sacrificed for public safety, that, in fact, won’t be offered or gained.

Proposed Repressive Legislation and other Measures

Senator Scott Brown (R. MA) will join Senator Joe Lieberman (I. CT), Rep. Jason Altimire (D. PA), and Rep. Charlie Dent (R. PA) in proposing a Terrorist Expatriation Act to strip naturalized Americans of their citizenship for having committed terrorist acts or aiding a designating foreign terrorist organization (FTO). Lieberman said persons called terrorists “should be turned over to the military” for prosecution, denying them their rights in civil courts. More on that below.

AFP reports that Senator Chuck Schumer (D. NY) signaled his support, saying: The measure “sounds like something I’d support, but I’d have to look at the legislation.” Senator John McCain (R. AZ) said Americans should lose their citizenship rights “if they’re designated an enemy combatant.”

McCain also supports denying alleged terrorists their Miranda Rights, based on the Supreme Court’s Miranda v. Arizona (1966) ruling that both inculpatory and exculpatory police-obtained statements are admissible as evidence only if defendants were informed of their right to an attorney before and during questioning, against self-incrimination, and that they understood them. Denying them is a clear violation of constitutional freedoms, being lost at an alarming rate post-9/11.

Lieberman supports McCain saying:

“The first thing you want to get from (a suspected terrorist) is information about other co-conspirators, perhaps other attacks that are planned at the same time, and then (decide) whether he should be read his Miranda rights.”

With inflammatory media reports, other lawmakers from both parties may offer support when legislation is introduced, perhaps enough to get these or similar measures passed. If so, anyone charged with terrorism or conspiracy to commit it, with or without proof, will be vulnerable.

Police State Terror since 9/11

Because of its relevance, material from a March 26 article is repeated below. For the complete article, see:
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/03/mccain-lieberman-polic
e-state-act.html.

Straightaway post-9/11, George Bush signed a secret finding empowering the CIA to “Capture, Kill or Interrogate Al-Qaeda Leaders.” He also authorized establishing a covert global gulag to detain and interrogate them without guidelines on proper treatment.

Other presidential directives ordered abductions, torture and indefinite detentions. In November 2001, Military Order Number 1 empowered the Executive to capture, kidnap or otherwise arrest non-citizens (and later citizens) anywhere in the world for any reason and hold them indefinitely without charge, evidence, due process or judicial fairness protections of law.

The 2006 Military Commissions Act authorized torture and sweeping unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate and prosecute alleged suspects and collaborators (including US citizens), hold them (without evidence) indefinitely in military prisons, and deny them habeas and other legal protections.

Section 1031 of the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act contained the 2009 Military Commissions Act, listing changes that include discarding the phrase “unlawful enemy combatant” for “unprivileged enemy belligerent.” More on that below.

Seamlessly, Obama continues Bush administration practices and added others, including:

– greater than ever surveillance;

– ruthless political persecutions;

– preventively detaining individuals ordered released – “who cannot be prosecuted,” he said, “yet who pose a clear danger to the American people;”

– a secret “hit list” authorizing CIA and Pentagon operatives to kill US citizens abroad based on unsubstantiated evidence they’re involved in alleged plots against America or US interests;

– weaker whisleblower protections;

– state secrets privilege to block lawsuits by victims of rendition, torture, abuse or warrantless wiretapping; and

– other anti-democratic measures, including continuing Patriot Act violation of First, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment protections, and a more repressive than ever Homeland Security apparatus.

Then on March 4, John McCain introduced S. 3081: Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010 to interrogate and detain “enemy belligerents who commit hostile acts against the United States to establish certain limitations on the prosecution of such belligerents, and for other purposes.”

Senator Lieberman and eight Republicans co-sponsored it, a measure that if enacted will target anyone worldwide, including US citizens, on the mere suspicion that they engage in or materially support terrorism. They’ll be placed in military custody, interrogated and denied their constitutional rights if designated an “unprivileged enemy belligerent” – a political, not criminal, classification that has no judicial standing in civil proceedings, ones conducted fairly, that is.

“Unprivileged enemy belligerent” status places designees in legal limbo, denies them due process in civil proceedings, and condemns them to military prosecutorial injustice with no right of appeal, even if sentenced to death. Torture-extracted testimonies will be allowed, despite their illegality and unreliability. Henceforth, judicial fairness will be null and void, replaced by political expediency that condemns innocent victims to prison hell.

Linking incidents like New York’s to designated terrorist groups makes it more likely. So does suggesting guilt by supposition or alleged association, with or without proof, let alone entrapment – what the Lectric Law Library defines as:

“Enduc(ing) or persuad(ing someone) to commit a crime that he (or she) had no previous intent to commit; and the law as a matter of policy forbids conviction in such a case.” If evidence “leaves a reasonable doubt whether the person had any intent to commit the crime except for inducement or persuasion….then the person is not guilty.” Prosecutors “must prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that entrapment didn’t occur.

On May 6, McClatchy Newspapers Jonathan Landay headlined, “US officials: No credible evidence that terrorists trained Shahzad,” saying:

“Four (unnamed) intelligence and counterterrorism officials and two other US officials with knowledge of the case said ‘There is nothing that confirms that any groups have been found in this (case) for certain. It’s a lot of speculation at this point….at the most, (Shahzad may have) had incidental contact with a terrorist organization, and he may have been encouraged to act.”

Yet media reports scream it, like the Wall Street Journal’s May 5 editorial headlined, “From Peshawar to Times Square,” saying:

Shahzad’s arrest is “proof that the world’s jihadists are still targeting the US homeland….We will no doubt learn a great deal more about Shahzad and his links to radical groups in Pakistan, where he reportedly spent several months last year, including two weeks in or around the Taliban-saturated environs of Peshawar….One regrettable part of this investigation (is that he) has been allowed to lawyer-up and told of his right to remain silent, rather than being subjected to more thorough interrogation as an enemy combatant.”

Unfortunately, accounts like the above are more commonplace than exceptional, the media pronouncing sentence before indictments. They also suggest other “jihadists” lie waiting for their chance to attack, meaning Muslims, of course, at the wrong time to be one in a nation vilifying their religion, heritage, race and ethnicity.

With that cross to bear, bills like S. 3081 may pass, Miranda and citizenship Rights may be stripped, and constitutional protections rendered null and void for targets chosen not worthy to have them. When the rule of law no longer applies, police state justice follows, the path America’s dangerously headed down, perhaps on a fast track.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached
at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

:: Article nr. 65860 sent on 11-may-2010 02:40 ECT
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How Do We Tackle the Alternative Palestinian Homeland Conspiracy?

[There has always been an unspoken agreement that the "two-state solution" referred to Israel and Jordan (as Palestinian homeland).

Noam Chomsky, revealed in a 2007 interview at Democracy Now

that when Israeli leaders speak of the “two-state solution,” they have always considered Jordan to be the Palestinian state, and American leaders have always accepted it.

NOAM CHOMSKY:

“In 1988, as you know, the Palestinian National Council formally accepted a two-state settlement, and the Israeli government responded. This was the coalition government of Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Shamir. They responded by issuing a formal declaration that there can be no additional Palestinian state between Jordan and Palestine -- “additional” because for Shimon Peres and his Labor coalition, Jordan already was a Palestinian state. It’s a view that’s attributed to the right wing, but that’s mistaken. This is Shimon Peres....

The Bush Baker Plan endorsed Israel's position without qualification and went on to add that any Palestinian negotiators would have to accept that framework, namely no second Palestinian state in addition to Jordan.”]

How do we tackle the alternative homeland conspiracy?

By Ahmad Obaidat

pod100510obama.jpg
MEMO, May 10, 2010

Has the Palestinian cause been turned into a project to protect the Palestinian Authority, no matter what the cost? I only ask because it is hard to conceal both shock and fury at the reactions of the Arab states, including the Palestinian Authority, to the Israeli military order through which up to 70,000 Palestinians stand to be expelled from the West Bank – their own country. It is as if the subject is of little or no concern to their spokesmen and yet this ethnic cleansing threatens the very existence of Jordan, turning it into the “alternative homeland” for the Palestinians.

With the refugee camps in Lebanon taking on the appearance of concentration camps for Palestinians and the so-called “Palestinian political opposition” in Syria becoming an Aunt Sally to be knocked down according to the degree of pressure placed on the Syrian government; and Egypt’s ongoing role in the siege of Gaza at the behest of the USA and Israel, it appears increasingly that the Palestinian case has faded from the priority list of the Arab states. Their commitment to the concept of the Arab nation has waned.

Even so, we must ask ourselves how Israel has been able to occupy all of Palestine and territories in neighbouring Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, all the while threatening the national security of every Arab state directly and twisting reality to make the Palestinian cause appear to be a security threat to each of those states.

Don’t the Arab states and the Palestinian Authority realise that the alternative homeland plot of the Israelis is paving the way to create the “right” conditions for inter-Arab conflict fuelled by Israel and its supporters (including collaborators from the Arab countries and ruling bodies)? The victims of this will be all Arabs, not just Palestinians.

This does not require a stretch of the imagination to get the picture; it is a rational reading of what is happening before our eyes because we, the Arabs, have abandoned our future to be decided by the Zionists. We can and must learn lessons from what is going on, with Arab on Arab conflicts already in place: Sudan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine itself, with the Fatah-Hamas split. The influence of Israel and its supporters can be found in all of these places. Divide and rule is an age-old tactic of colonialists and the Arab states are playing their part with shameful enthusiasm.

The people of Jordan and Palestine must put aside petty differences to protect national unity and shape our future before others shape it for us. If we are to defeat the alternative homeland conspiracy we must struggle for the land of our forefathers, build state institutions that work for the benefit of the people as a priority, not the benefit of the occupying forces. A united Palestinian opposition to the illegal military occupation is essential if the oppression is to cease. Decisions taken at the economic summit in Kuwait and the Doha Conference must be implemented, and the siege of Gaza must be ended.

The Zionists’ ambitions in Jordan are not new and the Israelis continue to target national unity therein. When Jordanians met two decades ago at the Commission of the National Charter including diverse political, social and cultural groups they addressed the questions of identity and relations between Jordan and Palestine, and the topic of the alternative homeland. The Charter stresses in Chapter VII the need for “the continuation of this relationship and strengthening it in the face of racist colonial Zionist danger, which threatens the existence of the Arab nation, its culture and its institutions and targets Jordan as it targeted Palestine”.

In the face of the attempts to create this “alternative country”, the Charter emphasised that Palestinian Arab identity is a political identity and struggle which is not in conflict with the Jordanian Arab identity; its only struggle is against the Zionist colonial project to which it is opposed. From this perspective, Jordanian national identity also opposes the Zionist project and aims to protect Jordan from Zionist interference and aggression. As such, Jordan and Palestine become one in their common struggle to address an ever-expanding Zionist state of Israel and in their firm rejection of the plot to designate Jordan as the alternative Palestinian homeland.

Relations between Jordan and Palestine must be neither misunderstood nor taken advantage of to weaken the Jordanian state and the rights and responsibilities of its citizens for the benefit of Israel. Commitment to Jordan’s national security becomes a duty of all of its citizens along with the state’s struggle connected to the liberation of Palestine.

Jordanian national unity was agreed by the Charter twenty years ago and provides the foundation for the close relationship between all of its citizens, regardless of their origins. Equality of opportunity and safeguarding legitimate interests and rights guaranteed by the Constitution remain the achievable aims of all citizens. Nobody should allow outside interests and conspiracies to divert them from this task.

This is what the Palestinian Authority, as it prepares to meet the Israeli occupiers yet again, should keep in mind. The long-term interests of its own people should not be sacrificed for its own short-term survival and the security of the Israeli occupation.

:: Article nr. 65872 sent on 12-may-2010 01:41 ECT
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BRAINWASHING THE HERO-WORSHIPPING SOCIETY

BRAINWASHING THE HERO-WORSHIPPING SOCIETY

By: Peter Chamberlin

14 August 2007

According to the US State Department, anyone who believes that “vast, powerful, evil forces are secretly manipulating events,” is a conspiracy theorist. [1]  Belief that our government answers to a secret higher authority is an “extremist belief system,” according to the authors of the “Prevention of Homegrown Terrorism Act – H.R. 1955.” [2]  Spreading these beliefs to “advance political, religious, or social change” is defined as “radicalization.”  If you believe that the creators and dispensers of fiat money and their corporations control our democratic Republic and manipulate events to outcomes favorable to their control, then you are an extremist.  If you are trying to educate your fellow countrymen, to democratically change this equation, then you may find yourself accused of “facilitating ideologically-based violence.”

If you seek to break the back of the debt-based financial system, you will find yourself up against seemingly insurmountable odds, trying to awaken a demoralized society, that has been broken over many generations by the psychological warfare tactic of “learned helplessness.” [3]  Total economic control over people provides the controllers of the essential borrowed money with the means to indoctrinate with the psychology of hopelessness.  Fear of further economic losses is a powerful motivating tool.  After nearly one-hundred years of this domination and control, Americans have been robbed of hope.  Today’s sleepwalking zombie population of “sheeple” is a product of the world’s longest running psychological warfare operation.

The brainwashing by the secret rulers of America extends into every conceivable area of possible indoctrination or control.  Learned hopelessness is taught through every communications medium.  In a world of mass-hypnosis and mass-seduction, entertainment has proven to be the most effective psychological weapon.  Television serves that purpose twenty-four hours a day, by providing both negative reinforcement of the idea of the fragility of the human condition (through the “news”), coupled with positive subliminal suggestions of hope in the idea of intervening heroes.

Organized religion is probably the most entertaining and the most debilitating form of mass entertainment, because along with the show comes a false sense of hope, that can only be obtained by surrendering the free will to a “higher power.”  This is the comforting element of the conflicting teachings (knowing that you will be saved by some superior force), providing a counterbalance to the rest of the teachings of personal inferiority, unworthiness and helplessness, which are designed to make you know that you are incapable of saving yourself.

“Christianity” was the official Roman state religion created by order of Caesar.  It was an amalgam of all the popular “pagan” religions within the empire. [4]  It was designed by “priests,” to make the subject peoples easier to control.   The beauty of this religion’s craftsmanship is that people seduced by this manmade religion, want to be misled.  They are enslaved by its teachings of their own inferiority and “unworthiness,” in relation to the only worthy “One” (who will save their wretched hides).  The dual message of helplessness and hope makes believers susceptible to this form of spiritual/psychological dictatorship, masquerading as the One True Religion.

The best that the faithful can hope for is to accept the teachings about their innate helplessness, to get access to the accompanying “out” clause.  By signing on to the contract, they give up their free will to a more evolved superior, in exchange for promises of eternal rewards.  For Catholics, the pope is the most superior human being; they believe in his claims of infallibility.  For American Protestants, faith in the magical one, who “will come with the clouds,” is a more intangible belief and a more illogical one.  This belief, that blind faith in an invisible superior brings fantastic magical rewards, makes Protestants even easier to manipulate.  A populace that is conditioned to look for salvation to come down from the sky (whether it comes in the form of a god or an alien), will believe in anything that is done in their hero’s name.

A nation of demoralized lost sheeple is easy to lead further astray by the introduction of false heroes through the twenty-four hour indoctrination box.  Television brings the time-tested formula of learned helplessness and false hope into the lives of everyone, even the non-religious.  It is here where the perfected art of mass brainwashing reaches the peak of perfection.

Escapist entertainment conveys the suggestive brain-numbing message of hope from hopelessness to the hollowed-out minds of the American people.  Here our elitist masters entertain us with pretend heroes, while we “suspend disbelief” and become desensitized to the violence that is necessary to extend the empire beyond America’s shores.  Using imaginary heroes, like Jack Bauer of “24,” illegal acts (ranging from illegal wiretapping, to torture and even cold-blooded murder) are made acceptable and justified as necessary for “national security.” [5]

To reach even bigger audiences, a larger indoctrination screen is required.  The big screen brings us heroic figures of messianic proportions.  Comic book super-heroes come to life and save everybody from certain utter doom.  Even more heroic than these “super” types are the heart-wrenching exploits of seemingly ordinary people, who rise above their own hopeless circumstances, to lead other ordinary citizens in mass uprisings against tyranny.  These are the most loaded of all the contrived plots, intended to mislead the real heroic types among the disillusioned masses to believe that violence against corrupted authority is humanity’s only hope.  This is where movies like the “Matrix” series and “V is for Vendetta” become integral parts of the conspiracy to eliminate the last barrier to total permanent dictatorship.

In both of these heroic films, we find elements of the actual conspiracy on display for all to see, leading to a climactic finish where horrendous acts of violence are justified in the end.  “Neo” rages against the system of enforced hopelessness, where society is docilely anesthetized by an unreal “Matrix” of an illusory world, and humans are reduced to a mere commodity (“copper top” batteries), to power the corrupt system.  “Zionism” is equated with the superior humans, who are bold enough to take up arms and have faith to the bitter end, in the process humanizing the inhumane ideology of God’s “chosen people.”  In the movie “V is for Vendetta” (by the same Jewish film-makers, the Wachowski brothers), “V” uses multiple acts of horrific terrorism, in a decimated post-Bush apocalyptic world (including blowing-up the British Parliament), to spark the non-violent revolution that allegedly will free mankind.

This theme, that violent acts of terrorism are justifiable in defense of freedom, is the final piece of the conspiracy puzzle.  We have been bombarded with this message through the hypnotic mediums for many years, for a reason.  Our corporate masters want us to provide the spark of antiwar violence that will justify the final crackdown on American democracy.  Everything that has been done by the current administration to finish building the framework for an American police state has been done in preparation for the anticipated spark of violent resistance.

The American antiwar movement is deeply concerned about the conspiracy’s henchmen the Bush Administration and their next move, intended to complete the transition from democracy to dictatorship.  Many of us are most worried about another “false flag” terror attack initiating the end of freedom, even though the end is more likely to come in response to homegrown terrorism from the disillusioned masses.

Everyday on the Internet we see proof of this growing tendency to answer violent repression with acts of counter-violence, committed in the name of “pacifism.”  Accompanying the many excellent articles and blogs seeking to advance political, religious, or social change by educating the American people about our Constitutional power to change our government, we read commentary that promotes violent revolution.  Whether these comments are made by provocateurs or those lost souls who are simply misled is irrelevant.  What is important is that these ridiculous comments do not go unanswered.  If we want to deter those who urge violence in this manner, we have to refute every comment urging violence and destruction.  We cannot provide the secret government with the justification that they seek.

Effective opposition to the coming police state requires that we become self-policing in our efforts to “radicalize” by spreading the truth.  To become the acceptable source of credible news we must dedicate ourselves to finding the hidden truth, wherever that search takes us.  If we find the hidden truth about government complicity in the many cover-ups, then we must boldly proclaim it to the world as clearly as possible, in truths that are simple to understand.  If that simple truth is that our government promotes a bi-partisan campaign of terrorism and planned genocide in the name of freedom, then we must clearly say just that – no matter the personal cost of that ugly expression of truth.

[1]  http://usinfo.state.gov/media/Archive/2005/Jul/27-595713.html

[2]  http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-1955

[3]  http://www.bestcyrano.org/THOMASPAINE/?cat=143

[4]  http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5547481422995115331

[5]  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/11/AR2007081101219.html?hpid=topnews

A Tale Of Lies, Deceit, And Terrorism: The Birth Of Israel

A Tale Of Lies, Deceit, And Terrorism: The Birth Of Israel

By William A. Cook

The Exodus Of Jaffa’s Residents Via Boats, May-1948.

May 11, 2010

The Untold Story of the Zionist intent to turn Palestine into a Jewish State

(Based on classified documents from the Jewish Agency and its affiliated organizations seized by the British Mandate Police, materials that confirm that the Zionist controlled Jewish community intended to remove the Arab inhabitants of Palestine from their land and make the whole of Mandate Palestine a Jewish State, an intent that continues to the present day as the new book, The Plight of the Palestinians: a Long History of Destruction, available at Macmillan.com, demonstrates.)

A Tale of Lies, Deceit, and Terrorism: the Birth of Israel

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because Geography books no longer exist, not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either … There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.” (Moshe Dayan, Address to the Technion, Haifa, as quoted in Haaretz, 4-4-1969)

Thus began in November of 1947 what is euphemistically called the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the combined forces of the Jewish armies, the Haganah, the Stern, and the Irgun as they drove more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their homes leaving them destitute, homeless and abandoned without a country in what is now the largest refugee Diaspora in the world.

More truthfully, the plight of the Palestinians that began so ruthlessly in 1947, and is now called the Nakba, was an intentional, calculated campaign to force the Palestinian Arabs out of Palestine, a systematic genocide of a people as defined by the United Nations in its adoption of Genocide Convention, Article II.

The United Kingdom had mandatory authority from the League of Nations to govern the Palestine area with the establishment of the Palestine Mandate in 1922. Prior to the official implementation of the Mandate in 1922, the British Government had enunciated a “declaration” concerning the desirability of His Majesty’s Government in the “establishment of a national home for the Jewish people,” called the Balfour Declaration. Command Paper 1922 from the Avalon Project at Yale Law School underlines this intent: “His Majesty’s Government therefore now declare unequivocally that it is no part of their policy that Palestine should become a Jewish State.”

The View from Inside the Mandate

One of the curious ambiguities that surrounds the decade that preceded the declaration by the Jewish leaders in Palestine of the state of Israel is the dearth of information and perspective from the British Mandate forces governing Palestine between 1940 and May 15, 1948, the date of implementation of the partition resolution. Fortunately, Sir Richard C. Catling has left us a file that provides insight into conditions that prevailed in Jerusalem while he was Deputy Head of the Special Branch of the Criminal Investigation Division in Jerusalem in 1944 and a year later Assistant Inspector General. Catling’s “TOP SECRET” file has lain untouched in the Rhodes House archives of the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford University until two years ago.

Two documents dominate the file with 62 appendices of evidence totaling close to 500 pages of materials. The first is a dispatch sent to the Secretary of State, dated 16th of October, 1941, by the High Commissioner of Palestine, Harold MacMichael, labeled “Most Secret”; the second, a Top Secret“Memorandum on the Participation of the Jewish National Institutions in Palestine in Acts of Lawlessness and Violence,” prepared by the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, The Palestine Police, Jerusalem, dated July 31st, 1947. [Sir Richard C. Catling, #145, Mss.Med. S20][1]

What should be obvious now, with the materials preserved by Sir Richard C. Catling, is the truth about the creation of the state of Israel: acceptance of UN Resolution 181 by the Jewish Agency Provisional Government as the designated Jewish state was not done with intent to abide by the goal of the UN General Assembly, to provide a state for two peoples in the land of Palestine, but rather to use it as a means to gain eventual control of all the land and cleanse that land of its indigenous people to whatever extent possible. Put bluntly, as the chapters in Macmillan’s new book, The Plight of the Palestinians attests (to be released in June), the current government in Israel continues the practices of past Israeli governments: cleanse the land of its rightful inhabitants to make that land part of the Jewish state. This is what is termed in numerous chapters in this volume, “slow motion genocide.”

Jump Starting the State

Consider the events of April 9-11, 1948, the eradication of the citizens of the town of Deir Yassin, a month before the Agency declared the existence of the Israeli state and the implementation of the UN Resolution to partition. Thismassacre became then and remains the signature example of the intent of the Zionist Consultancy and its agents to ethnically cleanse Palestine of its non-Jewish inhabitants.[2]

During the six months between the adoption of UN Resolution 181 and in subsequent months, the new state of Israel launched a massive military incursion into territory designated by that same Resolution for the Palestinian people, creating in its wake “three quarters of a million Palestinian refugees,”the destruction of “hundreds of entire villages … not only depopulated but obliterated …and houses blown up or bulldozed.” Walid Khalidi’s massive study focuses on 418 villages, once the homes of Palestinians, 292 completely destroyed, 90 others “largely destroyed,” the remainder replaced by Jews called Israeli settlers.[3]

Perceiving the Reality

The “despatch” sent by MacMichael to the Secretary of State resulted from an investigation into the funding practices and use of those funds by various Jewish organizations.

The memorandum illustrates … the fact that the Mandatory is faced potentially with as grave a danger in Palestine from Jewish violence as it has ever faced from Arab violence, a danger infinitely less easy to meet by the methods of repression which have been employed against Arabs. In the first place, the Jews … have the moral and political support … of considerable sections of public opinion both in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. … all the influence and political ability of the Zionists would be brought to bear to show that the Jews in Palestine were the victims of aggression, and that a substantial body of opinion abroad would be persuaded of the truth of the contention.[4]

Quite obviously, MacMichael understands that the Mandatory has little power at home over the zealous actions of the Zionists as they manipulate public and political opinion even as they expand their terrorism against the British Mandate government in Palestine. This is an untenable position to be in, responsible for government control and security of those under its authority, i.e. Palestinians as well as Jews, knowing that the Jews are set on driving the British out of Palestine, and knowing that the home government can offer little help.

To bolster his points, MacMichael offers the following:

… the Jews in Palestine are by no means untrained in the use of arms … large numbers have received training in the Palestine Police… or in His Majesty’s Forces. At the present time, in addition to approximately 10,000 Jews in His Majesty’s Forces, there are 5,800 in various units of the police force and 15,400 special policemen (31,000) … When to those men … are added the illicit ‘defence’ organizations of the Jews (Haganah alone had an estimated 60-70,000 men by 1945, see Mss, Med. S20 Appendix XXI), it will be evident that the Jewish people in arms would numerically and in calibre be a very formidable adversary.[5]

This is in 1941before the full deployment of Jewish terrorism against the legitimate Palestine government got under way.

MacMichael and Catling found themselves missing one of Catling’s primary supports for the waging of “irregular warfare” drawn from his image of the 3-legged stool that required the support of the people, the commander and his army and the government, an image, no doubt, from his childhood in Suffolk where his family were butchers and farmers. But the situation only got worse as the end of WWII loomed. The Haganah carried out anti-British military operations, including the kidnapping, killing and booby trapping of soldiers’ bodies, conducted against the Mandate Government while the home government remained silent under the pall of Israeli Zionist propaganda.[6]

But recording the acts of terrorism does not do justice to the conditions the Mandate government faced. MacMichael describes the reality of the forces aligned against the police in Palestine.

A second matter which deeply impressed me is the almost Nazi control exercised by the official Jewish organizations over the Jewish community, willy nilly, through the administration of funds from abroad, the issue of labor certificates in connection with the immigration quota…. The Royal Commission were, in my view, fundamentally at error in describing the Jewish community in Palestine as “intensely democratic”. … The Zionist organization, the whole social structure which it has created in Palestine, has the trappings but none of the essentials of democracy. The community is under the closed oligarchy of the Jewish official organizations which control Zionist policy and circumscribe the lives of the Jewish community in all directions…. The reality of power is in the Agency, with the Haganah, the illegal military organization, always in the background.[7]

And so the authorities in Palestine, the legal authorities, have no power to enforce measures that would curtail terrorism against their own police. “The use of force cannot be contemplated at present as any such action would have to be on a very large scale.” MacMichael understands that he can get no help from the Jewish community, even from those who find themselves at odds with the Agency’s methods or morality. The consequences to the individual Jew for disobedience is horrendous as the second document seized from the Zionists in 1947 attests.

Between Two Worlds

Nothing makes more obvious the meaning of the “Zionist Juggernaut” than Catling’s TOP SECRET “Memorandum of the Criminal Investigation Department” of July 31, 1947.

The purpose of this memorandum is to furnish documentary evidence of the extent to which the supreme Jewish national institutions in Palestine and their principal officials have been parties to acts of sedition, violence, incitement and other offences against the laws of Palestine….The bulk of the memorandum concerns the war and post war years… the memorandum will therefore concern itself solely with an attempt to establish the links between the supreme Jewish bodies and illegal activity…[8]

Catling’s memorandum begins with an understanding of the “intricate Jewish political, social and economic structure in Palestine.” A series of appendices chart these structures marking in passing that “…the Palestine Royal Commission Report of 1937 understood ‘The Agency is obviously not a ‘governing body’; it can only advise and cooperate in a certain wide field.’ But allied as it is with the Vaad Leumi, and commanding the allegiance of the great majority of Jews in Palestine, it unquestionably exercises, both in Jerusalem and in London, a considerable influence on the conduct of government” [emphasis mine]. Catling’s frustration with the actual control of the Jews over British policy in Palestine glares through this document. “This powerful and efficient organization amounts, in fact, to a government existing side by side with the Mandatory Government…” (2-3) [emphasis mine].[9]

What Catling doesn’t state in that sentence, but what he demonstrates in the memorandum, is that the Jewish Agency and its affiliated organizations are at war with the UN authority in Palestine, the British Mandate Palestine Government. The appendices include detailed information on the personnel in interlocking Jewish organizations and the function of each. The memorandum goes further. It notes that the activities of the Jewish Agency through its controlled organizations send emissaries and instructors abroad “to stir up Zionist sentiments among the Jewish communities and displaced persons, to bring pressure to bear upon the Palestine problem, to organize illegal immigration and engage in espionage.” As a result of its investigations, the Department itemizes six areas of subversive activities undertaken by the Jewish Agency against the British Mandate Government:

  1. Maintenance of a secret army and espionage system;
  2. Smuggling, theft and manufacture of arms;
  3. Illegal immigration;
  4. Violence and civil disobedience;
  5. Seditious and hostile propaganda;
  6. Encroachment upon the civil rights of Jewish citizens.[10]

In short, the Zionist controlled Jewish Agency, the Yishuv, actively undermined the legal authority in Palestine even as it operated to undermine support for that government in Britain, placing UK forces in harms way as they attempted to fulfill their authorized responsibilities in Palestine. It also demonstrates the determination of the Agency’s leadership in undermining the very nation that gave it a means of establishing a “homeland” in Palestine through the Balfour Declaration. Needless to say, Catling and his CID forces recognized the impossible position this defiance placed them in and understood the deception and violent means used by the Zionists to ensure that their will and theirs alone would be fulfilled at any cost.

However, the real power behind their efforts, what effectively held together the multiple strands of the web, was the use of extortion on all the Jewish people in Palestine,  “…the extortion of money for unauthorized funds and self imposed taxes to further the illicit political ends of the national institutions” (42). Catling’s Memorandum provides evidence of how effective this consolidation of the web’s network operated including the systematic compilation of all wage earners, measures to be adopted in event of refusal to pay, publishing of names of those who failed to contribute, deductions from salary, sanctions on businesses, compulsory assessment, withholding of immigrants certificates, and Jewish Agency officials assessments.

There follows the measures to be taken against shirkers including actions to be taken against anyone aiding a shirker. There is no need to go into the details of these imposed actions; the consequences amount to total ostracism of an individual from his/her community to kidnapping and disappearance.

For those entering the military forces of the Jewish Agency, the Hagana, there is the Hagana Oath (XVI A 157).

I hereby declare that of my own free will and in free recognition I enter the Jewish defence organization of the Land of Israel, (Irgun Haganana Haivri Be’Eretz Israel).

I hearby swear to remain loyal all the days of my life to the defense organization, its laws and its tasks as defined in its basic regulations by the High Command.

I hearby swear to remain at the disposal of the defense organization all my life, to accept its discipline unconditionally and without limit, and at its call to enlist for active service at any time and in any place, to obey all its orders and to fulfill all its instructions.

I hearby swear to devote all my strength, and even to sacrifice my life, to defense and battle for my people and my Homeland, for the freedom of Israel and for the redemption of Zion.[11]

In one sense, these two methodologies of control, one imposed by fear, the second by moral obligation, make comprehensible the complete control the Zionists were able to achieve over a protracted period of time toward their distant goals. The fear imposed by extortion rests on its use in providing access to jobs, the protection offered by the “gangs” and Haganah forces, and the enforcement of the rules and regulations as itemized above.

The Haganah Oath goes deeper than fear. In effect, it declares that an individual has turned his/her conscience over to the High Command thus accepting what is right and what is wrong as determined by that authority regardless of local, state or international law, indeed, regardless of the morals, values and traditions of Judaism. This commitment is forever, to death. It is bolstered by a document issued to the Commander and Troops of the Haganah labeled “Security Instructions” that notes at the outset, “Remember, you are a member of an illegal military organization according to the Laws of the government, its existence, activity and membership of it is forbidden” The remainder of the document obligates the recruit to unconditional obedience, absolute silence, and the pragmatic and utilitarian virtues of deceit and lying.[12]

Selling the Soul

From the moment an individual takes the oath, they are committed to a life of secrecy and hence of disloyalty and betrayal to those they are most intimate with in their day to day life. Neither their actions nor their true identity is discernible to those with whom they interact regularly. This is a life that encapsulates the necessity of lies, deceit, coercion, extortion, and obedience to a group that dictates the actions one must pursue; freedom no longer exists, self-direction no longer exists, loyalty to others no longer exists, indeed, friendship with others is compromised or impossible, one becomes the subject of that group, a veritable slave to their desires and wills. The mindset that promotes such control allows for spying, for deception of friends, for ostracism in one’s own community for thinking differently, for imprisonment without due process, for torture, even for extrajudicial executions. It is a total commitment to a cause that supersedes all others determined and dictated by an oligarchy in silence and subject to no legitimate institution and to no one.


[1] Catling, Sir Richard C. Personal Classified “Top Secret” files. Rhodes House Library Archives. #145. Mss. Medit. S 20 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Appendices circa 475 pages of seized documents. Oxford: Bodleian Libraries.[2] Morris, Benny. (1999). Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-2001. Knopf. 208.

[3] Khalidi, Walid. (1992). All That Remains. Institute for Palestinian Studies: Washington, D.C. xv.

[4] MacMichael, Harold. (1947). “Memorandum on the Participation of the Jewish National Institutions in Palestine in Acts of Lawlessness and Violence” The Palestine Police, Jerusalem, 7-31-1947 in Catling file.

[5] MacMichael. “dispatch.” 1.

[6] Ibid., “Despatch.” 2.

[7] Ibid., “Despatch.” 2.

[8] Catling. “Memorandum.” 1-2.

[9] Ibid., “Memorandum.” 2-3.

[10] Ibid. “Memorandum.” 5.

[11] Ibid., Appendix, XVIA, 157.

[12] Ibid., Appendix, XXVIII, 219

William A. Cook is a professor of English at the University of La Verne in southern California. His works include Psalms for the 21st Century, Tracking Deception: Bush Mid-East Policy, The Rape of Palestine, The Chronicles ofNefaria, a novella, and coming in June from Macmillan, The Plight of the Palestinians. Articles by Cook appear in Counterpunch, the Palestine Chronicle, MWC News, Pacific Free Press, Atlantic Free Press, Dissident Voice and Countercurrents among others. He can be reached at wcook@laverne.edu andwww.drwilliamacook.com.

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Russia seeks to become regional player in Middle East

Russia seeks to become regional player in Middle East

Phil Sands

May 11, 2010

DAMASCUS // The Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, yesterday criticised the United States for not doing enough to foster peace in the Middle East, warning that the regional situation was “dangerous” and could slip out of control.

After two days of talks in Damascus with the Syrian president, Bashar Assad, Mr Medvedev said Moscow was prepared to step in and take a more prominent role in bringing about a deal between warring factions.

He also met Khaled Meshaal, the exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas. Russia and Syria maintain close links to the group, which is considered a terrorist organisation by the US, despite winning elections in Gaza in 2006.

According to his spokeswoman, Mr Medvedev urged Hamas to free Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured in 2006.

“In essence the Middle East peace process has deteriorated,” the Russian leader said at a joint news conference with Mr Assad. “The situation is very, very bad. It’s time to do something.”

In response to a comment by his Syrian counterpart about Washington’s failure to take greater positive action, the Russian leader said the US could take a “more active position”. “A further heating up of the situation in the Middle East is fraught with explosion and catastrophe,” he warned.

The peace process has been in limbo for years. Although the administration of president Barack Obama has taken some steps to restart it, the moves have faltered in the face of an Israeli refusal to stop construction of illegal settlements, and Palestinian disunity. Syria and other Arab countries have urged Washington to take a harder line on its ally Israel to break the impasse.

At yesterday’s meeting in Damascus, Mr Medvedev said Russia, which together with the US, EU and UN forms the Quartet for Middle East peace, intended to help stimulate a desire for a proper solution. Any final deal, he said, would have to include the liberation of occupied Arab lands and the formation of an independent Palestinian state that would coexist peacefully with its Israeli neighbour.

Mr Medvedev, the first Russian leader to visit Syria since the Bolshevik Revolution despite the two countries’ close Cold War relationship, also opened the door to Moscow assisting Damascus in a civilian nuclear power programme.

Russia has built a nuclear power plant in Iran, to the chagrin of the United States, which accuses Tehran of trying to manufacture atomic weapons. Syria is under investigation by the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog over allegations it had a secret atomic programme at a site bombed by Israel in 2007.

The Israeli foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, on Tuesday repeated the claims against Syria, accusing it of joining with North Korea in an effort to obtain weapons of mass destruction.

Syria denies such allegations and insists it wants a Middle East free from nuclear arms – Israel is the only country in the region to posses an atomic arsenal.

Damascus has, however, expressed interest in nuclear power to help it overcome an electricity shortfall.

“Co-operation on atomic energy could get a second wind,” Mr Medvedev said after a morning of discussions with Mr Assad. The pair discussed various energy-related issues, including oil and gas projects and the possible construction of “conventional or nuclear-powered electricity stations” according to the Syrian president.

The Russian energy minister, Sergei Shmatko, who accompanied Mr Medvedev to Damascus, together with a large business delegation, also said Moscow wanted to help Tehran expand its civilian nuclear capabilities.

“We are in favour of continuing co-operation with Iran in the energy sphere to the full extent, including in building light-water reactors,” he told reporters.

While supporting Tehran’s right to peaceful nuclear technology, Russia has indicated it may back UN sanctions against Iran over its non-compliance with Security Council demands it suspend uranium enrichment.

Both Mr Medvedev and Mr Assad stressed the need to resolve the disagreements over Iran’s nuclear ambitions through peaceful negotiations. Israel and the United States have both said “all options”, including a possible military strike, remain on the table in order to stop Iran obtaining nuclear weapons.

Mr Medvedev’s visit comes at a time of heightened regional tensions, with Syria and Israel – technically still at war over Israel’s occupation of the Golan territories – exchanging increasingly barbed rhetoric. Israel last month accused Damascus of giving ballistic missiles to Hizbollah, the Lebanese resistance movement that fought Israel’s vaunted armed forces to a standstill in 2006, in part through the use of advanced weapons that Israel says were supplied by Syria and Iran.

However, with the Russian leader due in Turkey for talks today en route to Moscow, it appears as if efforts are under way to try to diffuse tensions, if not solve the more intractable underlying reasons for conflict.

psands@thenational.ae

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The Financial Oligarchy Reigns: Democracy’s Death Spiral From Greece to the United States

The Financial Oligarchy Reigns: Democracy’s Death Spiral From Greece to the United States

By David DeGraw, AmpedStatus Report

As the Economic Elite continue their plunder, the people in Greece riot and the big banks score yet another big blow against the people of the United States.

——-I: Democracy Vs. Oligarchy: Lessons from History
——-II: The Second Civil War: Financial Reform 2010
——-III: Financial Terrorism Operations: 9/29/08 & 5/6/10
——-IV: Economic Imperialism and Blowback
——-V: Propagandized in America
——-VI: Save Yourself and Take Action

The Financial Oligarchy Reigns: Democracy's Death Spiral From Greece to the United StatesDemocracy throughout the world is under attack. Many people can make the argument that our democracy here in America is only an illusion, but even the illusion of democracy is crashing down. Tragedies are currently playing out across the world on an epic scale. Unprecedented economic and environmental catastrophes have become the norm. Billions of people, the overwhelming majority of humanity, have been sentenced to a slow death due to a concentration of wealth and resources within humanity’s economic top 0.5%. Ultimately, short-sighted greed has proven to be humanity’s most severe disease.

I: Democracy Vs. Oligarchy: Lessons from History

The experiment known as democracy is devolving into fascism before our eyes; the “ iron law of oligarchy” is once again asserting itself. From the Founding Fathers on, we have known that you cannot have a concentration of vast wealth and Democracy at the same time – and we currently have the greatest concentration of wealth in the history of the United States. As former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

The power struggle between democracy and the concentration of power represented within private banking interests has been a war raging throughout American history. Our Founders and early Presidents were very explicit in their opposition and our need to vigilantly guard against any private interests who sought control over our economy. In fact, our current crisis and power structure were summed up with stunning accuracy by the Founding Fathers themselves. What James Madison called, “the daring depravity of the times.” As he described, “The stock-jobbers will become the  praetorian band of the government, at once its tools and its tyrants, bribed by its largesse, and overawing it by clamors and combinations. Substituting the motive of private interest in place of public duty, leading to a real domination of the few under an apparent domination of the many.”

Leave it to Madison, the Father of the Constitution, to give us one of the most prescient quotes on modern-day America you can find. For those of you who have never heard the term “stock-jobbers,” here’s the definition from a dictionary written in 1811:

“Stock Jobbers

Persons who gamble in Exchange Alley, by pretending to buy and sell the public funds, but in reality only betting that they will be at a certain price, at a particular time; possessing neither the stock pretended to be sold, nor money sufficient to make good the payments for which they contract: these gentlemen are known under the different appellations of bulls, bears, and lame ducks.”

Yes, even the Founders, long before High Frequency Trading algorithms and derivatives, had a clear understanding and great fear of the casino rigging tyrants in “Exchange Alley.” Madison also famously said: “History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance.”

Thomas Jefferson was prophetic in his statements as well: “Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.” Jefferson added, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a monied aristocracy that has set the government at defiance.”

If that wasn’t clear enough, Jefferson reiterated his conviction: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [them] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

One wonders what Jefferson would have to say about our current foreclosure crisis and stock market driven housing crash.  (read HERE)

The sum of all Arab fears is a regional nuclear arms race

The sum of all Arab fears is a regional nuclear arms race

Emile Hokayem, political editor

  • Last Updated: May 11. 2010 8:19PM UAE / May 11. 2010 4:19PM GMT

In the movie The Sum of All Fears, based on the book by Tom Clancy, a nuclear-armed Israeli aircraft is shot down over the Syrian desert at the height of the 1973 October war. The rest of the plot – a terrorist conspiracy that causes a nuclear stand-off in the present day between the US and a weak Russia – is probably the US president Barack Obama’s worst nightmare.

Avoiding such an extreme scenario was the impetus for the recent arms reduction treaty with Russia and the Washington nuclear summit.

Arab and Israeli viewers probably reacted differently to the movie. For Arabs, Israel’s presumed willingness to use its nuclear weapons is exactly why they want the country disarmed. For Israelis, using nuclear weapons as a last resort is a legitimate, if officially unconfirmed, response to any threat to its existence.

Israel is purposefully ambiguous on whether it has or is willing to use nuclear weapons. This is partly to avoid international opprobrium, partly to avoid forcing Arab states into a nuclear arms race, and partly to preserve doctrinal flexibility.

How to deal with this ambiguity has long puzzled Middle Eastern governments and analysts. This conundrum is now compounded by the prospect of Iran following in Israel’s footsteps: obtaining a nuclear weapons capability but never being clear on whether it possesses actual weapons.

A Middle East containing two, potentially nuclear-armed enemies could lead to a stalemate. The tension between them may never lead to nuclear war, but it could indefinitely prolong current conflicts, hold Arab states hostage to the whims and ambitions of either camp, and lead to a regional arms race.

The Arab’s response to Israel’s nuclear ambiguity and Iran’s ambitions is the effort led by Egypt to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free zone (NWFZ).

Egypt has been the most consistent and determined advocate of the NWFZ. At the 1995 Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, Egypt obtained a resolution in favour of practical steps to establish a WMD-free zone. Unfortunately, the international community and the region were unwilling to take those practical steps.

Egypt’s strident criticism of Israel finally has a friendly ear in Barack Obama. With the latest NPT review conference under way in New York, the US has signalled to Egypt its interest in starting a discussion on nuclear weapons. US officials however have cautioned that the establishment of a free zone would have to follow peace and normalisation with Israel.

Despite these reservations, Washington is paying more than lip service to Egypt’s pet project. Regional dialogue on nuclear weapons can muster Arab support for efforts to halt Iran’s nuclear efforts and perhaps fend off a nuclear arms race should those efforts fail.

Beyond these practical matters, it is in America’s interest to play nice with Egypt. As the chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, Egypt carries considerable weight. It can disrupt progress on other matters if it feels slighted (as it did in 2005). Thus, the Obama administration is particularly sensitive to Cairo’s mood.

Egypt’s advocacy is commendable on moral grounds, but it also makes sense: a country that has renounced its own nuclear ambitions will want to curtail those of its neighbours.

For a country that considers itself the leader of the Arab world, attempts by Iraq, Libya and Syria to go nuclear were embarrassing as much as they were concerning. In Egypt’s eyes, its leadership is being contested by Iran’s nuclear programme. Combine that with Egypt’s geographic proximity to Israel, the belief that Israel slights Egypt despite their peace agreement, and the lingering Arab perception of an Israeli nuclear threat and the tremendous pressure on Egypt is apparent.

The unpleasant truth, however, is that neither Israel nor Iran will disarm outside of a broader agreement. Iran will not abandon its nuclear ambitions without a political agreement with the US and a new security architecture. Israel will not disarm without a comprehensive peace and regional framework that limits Iran.

Israeli officials scoff at the very idea of joining the NPT or trusting its guardian, the International Atomic Energy Agency. From their perspective, there is no point in joining a failing nuclear order that has allowed its members to conduct covert nuclear activities. Undoubtedly, Israel is a free-rider that expects other countries to abide by norms and rules and not itself, but that does not seem to affect its calculations.

The Arab states alone cannot convince or coerce either Israel or Iran into taking verifiable steps towards their nuclear weapons-free vision. Only the US can facilitate this by brokering peace agreements and offering security guarantees to both. As with the Israeli-Arab peace process, American will and muscle remain the key ingredients.

What the Arab world can do, however, is outline not just the goal, but the process as well. Short of joining the NPT, Israel can still adopt measures to build confidence, such as ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, joining the Fissile Material Cut Treaty and halting research and development of nuclear weapons.

To achieve this, Arab states must dispense with the double standard argument. The accusation that Israel gets a free pass on its nuclear arsenal makes for good political theatre, but it has little legal standing. Israel came into possession of a nuclear weapon before the NPT was drafted. Meanwhile Pakistan remains outside the NPT without much Arab protestation, and Iran is perhaps a worse violator. The strategic and political case for disarmament is vastly more compelling, but it requires more sophisticated discourse that links it to normalisation.

ehokayem@thenational.ae

A tale of two bases: how an Afghan war will be won or lost

A tale of two bases: how an Afghan war will be won or lost

Hamida Ghafour

  • Last Updated: May 12. 2010 12:56PM UAE / May 12. 2010 8:56AM GMT

In the last six months two combat bases have been abandoned by the American military in the far north-eastern reaches of Nuristan and Kunar provinces in Afghanistan. Why they were abandoned, and what has happened since, shows where this war may be heading.

Combat Outpost Keating in Nuristan, which had been manned by 60 soldiers, was closed down first. It had been under constant mortar and rocket fire for months before it was ambushed by 300 insurgents on a morning in October. The base was set in a ravine in Kamdesh district surrounded by high ground, which meant it was at a tactical disadvantage despite an elevated observation post nearby.

Eight soldiers were killed and 22 wounded in the attack. The next morning, the Americans left, but the base had been due to close anyway because the US military did not believe it had any tactical or strategic value.

A second base in the Korengal valley next door in Kunar province was evacuated in April. The valley is 10 kilometres long but the Americans only managed to hold about half of it since they opened their outpost in 2005. It is a corridor for insurgents, possibly al Qa’eda, smuggling arms and fighters across the border from Pakistan. Residents were paid to turn a blind eye. In the last five years, 40 US soldiers have been killed in the valley and many more wounded.

Both decisions have been controversial. For some, it was evidence the Americans are abandoning the country and declaring defeat.

But there are no easy answers as America struggles to shape an Afghan counterinsurgency strategy which is supposed to focus on protecting and helping the population. In Kamdesh and Korengal, the Americans were doing neither.

Nuristan is so removed from the rest of the country that when an Afghan official visited the province in January, the residents of one district had never heard of Afghanistan. They thought Nuristan was its own country and the valleys were provinces.

The region has had virtually no contact with Kabul since the Soviet invasion in 1979. There is a generation of Nuristanis whose only experience with the outside world was the Soviets, so when the Americans established a base in 2006 it seemed like a continuation of a foreign, non-Muslim invasion.

There was no opportunity to protect or help the residents because the Americans were not wanted. Insurgents took advantage of this anger and for years the base was under fire from the Taliban and Hizb-e-Islami, an Islamist paramilitary group led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former Afghan prime minister.

Korengal, about 130 kilometres to the south in Kunar province, poses similar problems. The valley is remote and exotic even by Afghan standards. Korengalis speak a language known only to their valley and just a century ago practised paganism.

US forces stepped on the proverbial hornet’s nest by establishing a base on the site of a timber mill which was important to the local economy. The arrival of the Americans shut down the mill.

There was no chance of implementing a population protection strategy because insurgents provided residents with money and weapons. Fighting that killed Afghans worsened sentiment against US forces until the main purpose of the base was self-defence. It became a bloody stalemate.

The army decided to shut down the post and a deal was struck with tribal elders. The Americans said they would leave if the tribe promised not to attack during the evacuation. Not a shot was fired.

The worry is that the valley will again become a crossroads for fighters and weapons smuggled from Peshawar.

But something interesting has happened. In the last few weeks, the Korengali leadership has reached out to the central government’s representatives in Kunar’s capital. The Americans are cautious but hopeful.

In the case of Kamdesh, there is even more excitement. One local leader who previously fought against the Americans has urged residents to turn against the Taliban. He has also agreed to allow the Afghan border police to set up a post. In the near future, he is expected to openly declare his support for the Kabul government. This could be an opportunity to bring the valley into Kabul’s orbit, if not control, for the first time since the Russian invasion.

The province of Nuristan is still very violent. The Americans appear to be relying on drone strikes and night operations, but a border police post could allow Afghan authorities to establish a security toehold.

What lessons, then, can be extrapolated from Kamdesh and Korengal?

Afghanistan is a fractured state. The Americans may decide that with limited resources, they will concentrate efforts on villages and cities where their help is welcomed by the local population.

What works in Kamdesh and Korengal will not necessarily apply to Kandahar, where a massive military operation is imminent this summer. Nato forces will have to make decisions town by town, district by district. But at least there maybe a recognition that a strategy of one policy fits all does not apply.

hghafour@thenational.ae

Hamida Ghafour is embedded with the US army’s 4th Infantry Division in eastern Afghanistan

India, Kazakh have congruence on regional and international issues: Krishna

India, Kazakh have congruence on regional and international issues: Krishna

Astana (Kazakhstan), May 12 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, who arrived here on a three-day State visit on Tuesday, said that both India and Kazakhstan have a strong congruence of views on major regional and international issues.
Addressing the media here, Krishna said: “India and Kazakhstan enjoy warm and friendly ties going back several millennia. We both are multi-ethnic, multi-religious and secular societies. We have also forged a strategic partnership to give a qualitative boost to our ties.”

“The landmark visit of President Nazarbayev to India (January 2009) as a chief guest at our Republic Day celebrations provided a significant impulse to our bilateral ties,” he added.

He also said that India have rapidly moved to implement the far reaching initiatives taken during his visit, in diverse sectors like energy, including hydro-carbon, thermal and nuclear, fertilizers, agriculture, informationtechnology, space, pharmaceuticals, trade and investment.

Krishna further said he was confident that an agreement between ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) and KazMunaiGas on exploration and production in the Satpayev Oil Block would be concluded soon.

He said he is also confident that an Inter-Governmental Agreement on civilian nuclear energy cooperation would be finalized soon.

“This sector has immense possibilities for bilateral cooperation including for supply of uranium ore, investment by Indian companies in mining in Kazakhstan, construction of nuclear reactors and others,” he added.

He said discussions in several other promising areas like thermal power plants, transportation and banking are at an advanced stage.

“Both India and Kazakhstan are factors of peace, stability, development and growth, not only in the region but also in the world,” he added.

Krishna further said: “We would like to invite Kazakh companies to invest in India and take advantage of the huge market that India has to offer.”

India and Kazakhstan will sign an exploration and production agreement for the Satpayev oil block on the Caspian Sea before the new domestic Kazakh law on reviewing contracts of foreign companies comes into force. (ANI)

Remember May 12, 2007, Karachi

more about “MQM is exposed“, posted with vodpod

Eyewitness: Karachi

A narrative of the events of ‘Black Saturday’ and the ‘stop-the-blame-game’ argument

By Beena Sarwar

“Here in Karachi, we avoid ‘name calling’ and ‘finger pointing’ due to fear of having our knees drilled…”

On May 12, 2007, Karachi witnessed orchestrated mayhem. Such carnage is hardly unique to Karachi or to Pakistan — law enforcement agencies have stood by and even participated in worse massacres elsewhere, like Northern Ireland and Gujarat, India. In Karachi that day, ‘only’ about 46 lives were lost, and 150 or so injured.

But this was the first time in Pakistan that live television cameras captured the situation for viewers to see: government tankers used to block off routes to the airport, police and rangers conspicuous by their absence or standing idle as armed men ran amok on the streets of Karachi, corpses and wounded bodies lying by the wayside in pools of blood.

The security plans chalked out for May 12 were abandoned overnight. The Sindh home department withdrew the weapons of most law enforcement personnel in Karachi on May 12. Armed only with batons, the 15,000 or policemen deployed in the city avoided the violent areas. Rangers who were to hold key positions on the ‘flyovers’ on the main airport road were nowhere in sight. Instead, armed men in civilian clothes held those posts, and fired into the crowds trying to reach the airport to receive the chief justice stranded inside.

At 5:00am on Saturday morning, Shahrah-e-Faisal (Drigh Road), the main airport route normally trafficked at all hours, was deserted as a journalist friend in Karachi found who was out and about early. He emailed me: “I saw something which gave me the chills — no police or Rangers on the roads, just kids with guns guiding trucks, tankers to block the intersections, entry and exit points on the main artery of city. I saw an NLC truck also being used to block the road (picture attached). We all know NLC is Pakistan’s largest trucking company, owned and managed by the army. Tie-rods were being removed from front tires so the vehicles could not be moved even by a tow truck. I thought, “What if ambulances are required to move on Shahrah-e-Faisal?” My thought was immediately answered when I saw two KKF ambulances moving freely (Khidmat-Khalq Foundation, MQM’s social service wing) and MQM activists among those supervising the blockade.”

Getting to office took him two hours, a journey that even during rush hour takes only 45 minutes. “I told my colleagues about my fear and almost all of them told me to relax as MQM is not that stupid they will not repeat the 1992 & 94 stupidity. By 12 noon Karachi was bleeding.”

“There were bodies lying at every street intersection,” ‘Uzi’, a reporter related later on her blog. “We picked up a whole bunch of them and put them inside police mobiles parked nearby.” As for the police and the Rangers: “They did NOTHING! They stood around and LOITERED while my city was tainted with blood.”

The areas she covered were the second bloodiest that day. It took her nearly an hour to get to Jinnah’s mausoleum (Mazar-e-Quaid), normally a 15-20 minute drive from her house. At Kashmir Road the cab driver couldn’t go any further and she walked the remaining distance. At around 01:00pm, she was stopped by a political worker who put a TT pistol to her forehead (“NOT the temple, the FOREHEAD”). She was allowed to proceed after showing her press card.

Over at the Sindh High Court, lawyer Ayesha Tammy Haq sent this text message around 5 pm Karachi time: “In the High court. Things getting worse. Judges will not leave as there will be a rampage…” (Later in an interview, General Musharraf denied such plans and reasserted his commitment to democratic politics. But then, he has also justified what happened in Karachi as ‘the political activity’ of a political party attempting to show its strength to its constituency — interview with Talat Hussain, Aaj TV, May 18, 2007)

Another lawyer emailed: “Not only was the Sindh High Court under virtual siege by armed activists, but lawyers attempting to enter the Court were repeatedly beaten and roughed up. The armed activists did not even spare the Judges of the High Court.” One judge was held at gun point and his car damaged. “While holding me at gun point, the youth called someone and stated ‘Yeh bolta hai kay High Court ka judge hai…kya karun is ka?…achaa theek hai, phir janay daita houn.’ (He says he’s a judge of the High Court. What should I do with him? Ok then, will let him go).”

Many judges, unable to drive to the Sindh High Court, had to leave their official ‘flag’ cars and make their way through menacing crowds and climb over the court’s back wall in order to reach their chambers.

Munir A. Malik, one of the 25 lawyers accompanying Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry from Islamabad to Karachi, narrates how they were forced to remain inside the airport. The Sindh government representatives offered to transport the Chief Justice by helicopter but this offer was for him alone. Since the lawyers with him had already foiled the attempts of ‘two uniformed people’ to “snatch the CJP and take him from the other side,” he refused. (‘Story at the Airport’, The News on Sunday, Special Report, May 20, 2007)

Armed men attacked lawyers at Malir District Bar, Iftikhar Chaudhry’s scheduled first stop in Karachi, killing a lawyer and injuring several others, including female lawyers. The CJP  and his team, of course, were ‘externed’ to Islamabad after several hours. Late that night, residents in the low-income Ranchore Lines mohalla were awakened by loud banging on their doors. One resident relates that it was two young boys distributing freshly cooked biryani and suji in plastic bags: “Yeh chief justice ki wapsi ki khushi mein hai” (This is to celebrate the chief justice’s return [to Islamabad]).

On the Karachi streets, Uzi’s press card had saved her again at around 05:00 p.m. as she and a colleague tried to reach the Rangers Headquarters in Dawood College. “A car chockfull of ammunition passed in front of us, stopped, backed up and stopped in front of us, Kalashnikovs pointing at the two of us from the windows. We showed our press cards and the car moved on. NEVER in my LIFE have I felt more grateful to my press card than I did yesterday.”

At around 06:00 p.m., she and her colleague were trapped by gunshots all around. “Short of climbing the walls and entering one of the houses around, there really was no other place for us to go.” They stopped a police mobile and asked which way would be safe to go. The answer, accompanied by laughter: “You can be killed wherever you go. Choose your place.”

In published reports, journalists prudently avoided naming the parties involved. “Young men toting flags and banners had set up camp outside the airport departure lounge. They hid, however, when policemen came by. Reporters in the vicinity were asked whether they had seen any political activists around. Munawar Pirzada (from Daily Times) said that he had seen some nearby. After the policemen had left, the activists came up to the reporter, dragged him by the hair and took him aside. They then proceeded to threaten him with dire consequences if he said anything the next time the policemen came around” (Urooj Zia, Daily Times, May 14).

But the affiliation of these gangs was visible in the live coverage provided by several private television channels, which showed plainclothes men brandishing weapons on the deserted roads, using government tankers as cover, exchanging gunfire with unseen opponents, the tri-colour MQM flag visible on their motorcycles.

After Aaj TV’s continuous live coverage of such scenes, armed men attacked the television station, firing at it for several hours. Instead of stopping the coverage, Aaj showed live footage of reporters ducking behind a desk, shots being fired at their office, as anchor Talat Hussain provided an account of the situation on the phone. Reporters in the area asked the Rangers posted nearby to help the Aaj workers trapped inside their building. The answer: “We’re helpless. We can’t do anything unless we have orders from above.”

Aaj TV’s refusal to suspend its live coverage emboldened the new breed of ‘citizen journalists’. “My faith in independent media was restored and I was confident that I am not alone,” wrote one blogger. He had hesitated to post out the testimony of a doctor at a Karachi hospital who witnessed armed political workers turn up to finish off an injured political worker. Encouraged by the Aaj re-broadcasting of images that clearly showed the involvement of MQM workers in the violence, he published the testimony with a disclaimer that “it was an anonymously posted comment and could be entirely false, you be a judge for yourself.”

There is a story behind each of those who were killed, some belonging to one or other political party, and others just because they were there. Masked men stopped ambulances and sprayed them with bullets, killing an Edhi Ambulance driver, Faizur Rahman Khan, 65, when he refused to throw out a wounded person he was transporting to hospital from near the airport; the wounded man was also shot again. Armed gangs herded passers-by into an alley and shot dead a young overlock machine operator along with another man, in front of two colleagues who were also shot but survived to tell the tale (“They shot us one by one…” by Munawar Pirzada, Daily Times, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20075\14\story_14-5-2007_pg12_3).

There have been reports about an SHO who guided a procession into an ambush and a pregnant woman who had to deliver her baby in the car when armed men refused to let her proceed to the hospital with her husband. The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) reports that several journalists were manhandled and nine wounded. Some TV cameramen were beaten and their cameras snatched or damaged.

In all these stories of horror, there is at least one amusing aside: the stranded reporter Uzi had the thrill of getting to ride a motorbike when her editors sent a senior reporter to pick her up. “You couldn’t use a car etc, because on a bike your press card was visible, and that was a kind of immunity. In a car or a van, they’d shoot at you on sight. So yeah, I got to ride pillion on a bike, and I didn’t sit sideways either, like women usually do here. :D I sat like guys usually do — ‘handsfree mode’. :D Initially I was scared shitless, but then I got used to it, and it was AWESOME — like flying! MQM-waalahs on the way kept turning and staring at the weird Chick who was riding pillion like guys do and didn’t have to hold on to anything to maintain her balance. :D AWESOME, it was! I want a bike now! :P”

Karachi educationist, Anwar Abbas, later emailed: “My son-in-law and daughter who live in a building adjoining Baloch colony flyover had a good look at the ‘thugs’ in action from their rooftop. Their only regret is that they did not have a camera to capture the ghastly scenes.” They returned to their flat because their little daughter was alone with the maid and because the thugs had also climbed the roofs of adjoining buildings in order to obtain an aerial view of their targets and shoot at random.

He added: “It is not important which group they belonged to; it is important that they could behave the way they did in complete disregard to the rule of law; if indeed the law was awake or not in collusion with the ‘thugs’.” Many others, including Aaj TV’s Talat Hussain and MQM’s Dr. Farooq Sattar have also suggested that the ‘blame game’ be avoided.

But a lawyer friend, ‘angry and distressed in Karachi’, argues that “If we avoid ‘name calling’ and ‘finger pointing’, we will simply be brushing the events of last Saturday under the carpet of indifference. Here in Karachi, we avoid ‘name calling’ and ‘finger pointing’ due to fear of having our knees drilled. Even Urdu speaking lawyers, while talking of last Saturday’s events at the Sindh High Court look over their shoulders and speak in hushed tones when mentioning the name of MQM…

“As we try to understand the carnage of 12th May, we have to ask the following question: Which political group stands to lose the most in a Musharraf ouster? Not the PML (Q). The Chaudhrys and their ilk will merely disperse and filter back into the PML (N) or the PPP. The unprecedented power and privilege of the MQM however is firmly tied with Musharraf’s hold in Islamabad. It was the threat to their benefactor from the supporters of the Chief Justice, which unleashed the gunmen on 12th May.” Zaffar Abbas is correct when he writes that Karachi was only at peace for the past many years because it suited its militants (‘Back to the future?’ Dawn, May 14, 2007)…

“‘Finger pointing’ is necessary, because throughout our history, instead of a catharsis, we simply go through a ‘jo ho gaya ab bhool jaao, aagay daikho’ (forget what has happened) attitude. Already, with the President’s pat on the back at the emergency meeting of the ruling party in Islamabad (on Monday) the MQM is back on the front foot…

“Although it is unlikely that the perpetrators of Saturday’s violence will ever be brought to justice, at least they should continue to be exposed before the entire country. More importantly, they should face the consequence of such exposure. Public image is very important to the MQM and the national outrage at their conduct may be the best prospect of compelling them to change their ways.”

Pentagon Details Cold War Mind-Control Tests

Chemical Concussions and Secret LSD: Pentagon Details Cold War Mind-Control Tests

men_who_stare_at_goats_001

More than 30 years after it was written, the Pentagon has released a memorandum detailing its involvement in the CIA’s infamous Cold War mind-control experiments.

But a warning to conspiracy theorists on the lookout for new fodder: This isn’t quite Men Who Stare at Goats II.

The 17-page document (.pdf), “Experimentation Programs conducted by the Department of Defense That Had CIA Sponsorship or Participation and That Involved the Administration to Human Subjects of Drugs Intended for Mind-Control or Behavior-Modification Purposes,” was prepared in 1977 by the General Counsel of the Department of Defense and released on May 6 after a Freedom of Information Act request.

Most of the details have been revealed in earlier CIA papers. And if anything, the Pentagon’s recap is a reminder of how little the Department of Defense cops to knowing about the CIA projects.

Still, there are some tantalizing new details. Take the origins of MK-ULTRA, the notorious CIA program that dosed thousands of unwitting participants with hallucinogenic drugs.

Initially funded by the Navy, the project set out to study the effects of brain concussion. Soon after, scientists noted that a blow to the head prompted amnesia, leading to the pursuit of a drug-based technique to “induce brain concussion … without physical trauma.” Shortly thereafter, the project was transferred entirely to the CIA, because it involved “human experiments … not easily justifiable on medical-therapeutic grounds.”

Other programs, described briefly focused on mind control. MK-NAOMI was after “severely incapacitating and lethal materials … [and] gadgetry for their dissemination,” and MK-CHICKWIT was designed to “identify new drug developments in Europe and Asia,” and then “obtain samples.”

Edgewood Laboratories, where many of the programs were carried out, is also identified as having tested an incapacitating chemical on prisoners and military personnel without the agency’s approval. The drug, EA#3167, was “appl[ied] to the skin” of subjects using an adhesive tape.

Another program, MK-OFTEN, started as a study on dopamine. But the scope was soon expanded to evaluate ibogaine, a hallucinogen, and then several more drugs, in hopes of creating “new pharmacologically active drugs affecting the central nervous system [to] modify men’s behavior.”

And the Navy is reported to have “obtain[ed] heroin and marijuana” in an effort to develop speech-inducing drugs for use on defectors and prisoners of war. The drugs were eventually tested on 14 people: six volunteer research assistants, and eight unwitting Soviet defectors.

The report pins most of the nefarious activities on CIA-funded scientists. But that’s hardly the verdict of subsequent government documents, like a 1994 report from the U.S General Accounting Office. In that report, Pentagon officials are said to have “work[ed] directly with the CIA” and dosed “thousands” of military subjects with LSD and other drugs. Eyewitness accounts, like that of psychiatrist James Ketchum, describe outlandish Army efforts at creating hallucinogenic weapons in conjunction with MK-ULTRA.

And the Pentagon’s had plenty of experience in out-there mind control, even without CIA involvement. Troops have been dosed with LSD and cannabis oil,  and Pentagon officials were reportedly toying with the idea of psychic spies as recently as 2007.

Not surprisingly, the released report also doesn’t address darker questions that persist about the specifics of the CIA projects. Last year, a group of vets sued the agency for illnesses and trauma caused by the “diabolical and secret [MK-ULTRA] testing program,” which they allege included experiments with nerve gas, psychochemicals, and brain implants.

[Visionary: Josh Rogin]

Photo courtesy Overture Films


Balochistan: a flawed policy

Balochistan: a flawed policy

By Sanaullah Baloch
While remote-controlling the province via civil armed forces may breed more resentment and violence, support for apolitical tribal chiefs as an alternative against the popular Baloch leadership will solely promote corruption, bad governance and will lead to a harmful future. — Photo by Reuters

The situation in Balochistan has reached its lowest ebb since the military operation that began in January 2005. The entire province is besieged: the provincial government has been abandoned while the centre is directing policies according to its will with the gun and the stick, terming this ‘development’ for the people’s betterment.

The establishment has itself opened up a war inside Balochistan on all fronts. This has resulted in increasing polarisation and radicalisation of Baloch society. Though socially and economically underdeveloped, Balochistan was largely a peaceful province before Musharraf’s aggressive policy of what can only be called ‘colonisation’. Regrettably today, Balochistan is marked with nationalist, sectarian, ethnic and racial violence, which has resulted in the killings of hundreds of civilians.

Islamabad’s half-hearted efforts have failed to calm the situation. However, the central government is very quick to blame ‘foreign hands’ and ‘miscreants’ for the deteriorating situation in the province. Yet there is very little tolerance within the establishment when it comes to admitting and rectifying defective policies, which have resulted in a fully fledged war between the Baloch and the central government.

Obviously the killing of unarmed civilians by the militants and indiscriminate use of force, disappearances and torture of political activists and human rights abuses by the military and paramilitary forces are inhuman and widely condemnable acts.

But there is much to understand about the causes behind the anger and despair of the Baloch people. The absence of the rule of law, lack of justice, transparency, awful governance, endless exploitation, the centre’s unwanted control over Baloch wealth, militarisation, erosion of human resource, lack of clear and long-term social, economic, education and development strategies and denial of basic human rights is creating more insecurity among the population, instead of respect and support for the state.

Islamabad has to rethink its policies, including governing Balochistan through the outdated ‘control’ policy. Control is based on a set of mechanisms used in multiethnic states by the dominant ethnic group to contain and retain its hold over dissident ethnic minorities.

Control is based on the principle that one ethnic group takes over the state, imposes its culture on society, allocates to itself the lion’s share of resources and takes various measures, including violent means (military operations), to prevent the non-dominant group from organising politically.

Control works through three interrelated mechanisms: a) divide and rule — internally creating rifts and divisions among the non-dominant groups; b) economic dependence — making them permanently dependent for their livelihood on the dominant group and central government; and c) co-option — involving the non-dominant elite like greedy tribal chiefs, feudals, drug barons, corrupt intellectuals and politicians through dispensation of benefits and favours.

Over the years, the state apparatus in Islamabad has been endeavouring to systematically wipe out the popular indigenous Baloch leadership and replace it with loyalists. This tactic was implemented by imprisoning the top opposition leaders, carrying out a brutal crackdown against political activists and secretly bribing pro-establishment tribal notables to contest elections against the committed representatives.

Boycott by popular, secular and democratic political parties of the last general elections paved the way for ideologically shallow, politically unpopular and inherently corrupt elements to return to power. As a result, the province once again came under the control of Gen Musharraf’s cronies, the pro-Taliban Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) and the Pakistan Muslim League.

Musharraf’s friends did not only ensure the continuity of his repressive policies, they also overburdened the provincial exchequer by promoting corruption, mismanagement and bad governance. Thus, 50 people in the 65-memebr Balochistan Assembly were inducted in the cabinet of the country’s poorest province. Absence and systematic exclusion of the genuine Baloch leadership has plunged Balochistan into a horrific crisis of governance. While bad governance, rampant corruption and exclusion of middle-class educated people is one reason for the unchanged situation in the province, some other depressing indicators further dim prospects of peace in Balochistan.

While no headway has been made on the implementation of the so-called Balochistan package, the chief minister complains that the Frontier Corps has established a parallel government in the province, which does not provide ample breathing space to the provincial government to enhance the process of reconciliation. With the governor and chief minister of Balochistan admitting that the province is not being run smoothly either due to hindrances created by the security establishment or the incompetence of the provincial government, the Balochistan policy in Islamabad needs a rethink.

While remote-controlling the province via civil armed forces may breed more resentment and violence, support for apolitical tribal chiefs as an alternative against the popular Baloch leadership will solely promote corruption, bad governance and will lead to a harmful future. The ill-conceived policies and pattern of repression may have a human cost for the Baloch people. But looking at the larger picture, Pakistan will face, in fact is facing, the political and economic consequences.

The writer is a former senator.

balochbnp@gmail.com