Russia under any circumstances will not send troops to Afghanistan, but during a recent first joint with the U.S. operations to destroy drug laboratories of its professionals have provided only information assistance. This statement was made on Monday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at a press conference in Moscow after talks with his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle.
He stressed that the prospects of sending troops on Russia’s position remains unchanged, reports“Interfax” . That before surgery, it is, the minister said, was a tripartite, its commandos carried out the Afghan Interior Ministry with the assistance of the U.S. military. ”Our role is solely to provide information that helped locate the heroin laboratories,” – said the head of Russian diplomacy.
Lavrov also said Russia will continue to assist Afghanistan in the fight against drug production by providing the information it has.
Earlier, the foreign minister has called a special operation, “an example that deserves imitation.” A director of the Federal Service for Control over Drug Trafficking (FSKN) Viktor Ivanov said that the state anti-narcotic in Afghanistan will be expanded as the number of Afghans and Pakistanis who were taught the profession in Russia.
Recall the first-ever joint operation to destroy drug laboratories of four intelligence services of Russia and the U.S. held on 29 October in the eastern province of Nangarhar near the border with Pakistan.In FSKN then stated that directly in the Russian military operation narkopolitseyskih did not participate, although, according to Ivanov, at least two assisted in the field and two more provided informational support.
On the official site FSKN RF appeared VIDEO , reflected the chronicle of the operation without comment: hear the sounds of helicopters circling in the sky and explosions can be seen as military inspect bags and barrels belonging to drug traffickers.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai criticized the special operation, accusing Russia of violating its sovereignty. But then Victor Ivanov said that all issues with Karzai has already settled , and the criticism has been linked to a misunderstanding.
“In fact, apparently, to the president of Afghanistan was not promptly conveyed this information. At present, Ministry of Interior reported to him in writing, and Hamid Karzai is completely satisfied with the situation. Also, we are happy, and the U.S.”, – added the head of the Federal Drug Control Service.
Commenting on a new stage in cooperation between Russia, U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the Western media began to wonder , does not arise if the question of the return of Russian troops in this country. NATO spokesman has promised to do that is not planned.
The attempt on the president of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Evkurova organized, Doku Umarov, and Magas, Yevloyev, said the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. He also noted that in Chechnya, now no more than 50-70 militants, with more than half of them – foreign mercenaries, who are preparing Western intelligence agencies. Kadyrov has offended the people of Russia, which considers Chechen bandits. The special operation in Chechnya and neighboring territories will be brought to the end, assured the president of Chechnya in an interview with Interfax .
“The organizers of the attempt – it Yevloyev and Umarov. Every day we destroy them” emirs “. The investigation will be completed when there is no Umarov and Yevloev” – “Kadyrov said.
“Umarov said that they have formed the” Riyadh-Salikhin conditions. “This is a group of suicide bombers. They have taken responsibility. They must be destroyed, and then he will put an end to the investigation. I think so. I’m like a Chechen Muslim, one is Evkurova I say. We will show how we are able to investigate. The bandits prey on us, we – on them. We have, at least, pure intentions, “- he added.
The president of Chechnya once again criticized statements by the former president of Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev that he is ready to lead in Ingushetia until you get better Evkurov. ”If he wants something to help, for that he does not necessarily become president. That disgraceful statement. I honestly think it’s meanness on his part, related to personal goals. His little concerned about the fate of the Ingush people,” – “Kadyrov said.
“Banditry has taken root in him. In place of the federal government, I would Aushev and his ilk have long called for could be held accountable for what he did with them. They play up to the West and lead policies against the federal government,” – said Kadyrov.
The head of Chechnya’s believes that the data on the number of militants in Chechnya are overestimated by 10 times, in fact, their 50-70, and more than half – are foreign mercenaries. Asked to assess the potential militants Kadyrov replied: “They generally do not have the capacity.”
According to him, residents of Chechnya among militants dozen other “. “Most of those who were on the border of Chechnya and Ingushetia – a Azeris, Turks, Ukrainians, Georgians, Arabs,” – said the president of the republic.
According to him, 60-70% of Chechen militants – foreign mercenaries. ”We have information from a detained militant that they are given some pills, and after the adoption of a man is like a robot, do not think. They brought the pills from overseas, and give their young people. It’s highly trained staff of Western spetsluzhb that work against Russia. They use us, knowing our mentality, knowing that we are in the majority of Muslims. They have a good supply of specialists, “- said the president of Chechnya.
“All employees of foreign intelligence services are working against Russia. And the people of Russia accuses us. He thinks that we have a war so far, that the Chechens – gangsters and terrorists. And Chechens are killed, protecting the integrity of Russia. We have hundreds of thousands dead, thousands missing missing, thousands of militiamen were killed in battle. And they’re not interested, they are not really bothered about – Islam, the Chechens, Chechnya, “-” Kadyrov said.
The head of Chechnya, said that security forces under its control in joint law enforcement agencies of Ingushetia actions destroyed some 40 militants, and that he intends to finish out a special operation in the country, as well as in Ingushetia and in the adjacent territory.
“Every day we find the base of the militants, destroying them. Here in this place where our guys, there has not visited any soldiers, none of the scouts. We have found dozens of terrorist bases. There was a lot of weapons, medicines and food. It was their den. We dispersed them from there and catch it in Ingushetia, in Chechnya, in Dagestan – Kadyrov said.
According to him, “in recent days in the area of operation destroyed emirs, close to the Arab representatives, Azeri mercenary.” Every day we destroy the bandits. They have already lost all of their ideas. We were told a detainee that they had big plans for seizure of Ingushetia, Chechnya, human settlements. They now have lost everything they had. The rest of us We’ll finish. Every day we come to this opportunity and results “, – said the leader of Chechnya.
According to him, in the coming weeks will complete the “most special operation to destroy a large bandgruppirovki, which includes several emirs.”"We design the event and on the territory of Ingushetia and the Chechen territory, and at the border. Posed by the Supreme Commander of Russian task we perform. I’m sure that we do not fail. This work will have a logical end,” – “Kadyrov said.
He noted that with the president of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov they had jointly agreed to conduct special actions. ”I supervised special operations, because most of them participated in the Chechen police and the guys who served with me. I know them well, know their capabilities. And I keep under control all operations on the adjacent territory. But on the border CR RI, and special operations in charge of my advisor, and State Duma deputy, Adam Delimkhanov “- said the Chechen president.
Kadyrov confirmed that talks with Zakayev
Kadyrov confirmed that his government is negotiating with the internationally wanted Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev.
“Today we are in talks with Zakayev. If he now say that I’m waiting for a call, he phoned me. He says he is ready to go. We have him here is such a good relationship. I told him that it at least once was useful for his people. I want it. In all the will of God “- said Kadyrov.
According to the president of Chechnya, Zakayev – the only person on the part of Ichkeria, whom he would like to return to their homeland. In this case, according to Kadyrov, an emissary of the separatists “have not committed serious crimes.”
“We in Europe today are tens of thousands of people, and every year there are born 5-10 thousand of our children. In 10 years they all become Europeans. During these 7-8 years the children were born there, too, were the Europeans. They have lost our values and culture . The West will use it and send against the Chechen people and the Russian Federation. If we do not bring them home, then the problem will always be. But Zakayev could do it, because a certain contingent of people still listening to him. And if they put him or killed on this result will not. The result will be if he would come home and bring with him the people who at all times to do harm to our people. Today they have the opportunity to be useful for their republic. And I’m looking for just such moments that might be useful for our people, “-” Kadyrov said.
[The author of the following pdf report thinks that it is B.S. that the US is behind the unrest in the Chechen region. What do you think? ]
The Security Implications of Rising Anti-Americanism in the North Caucasus
- Ramzan Akhmatovich is believed
that the terrorist activity on Russian territory is controlled from outside. Do you share that view?
- I like to call a spade a spade: the center is in America. And here is the part of America, a work aimed at the collapse of the Russian sovereign state. It’s not terrorists, not Islamist. There, Islam does not even smell. They (America) came up with this system, they create problems for Russia. Want to destroy Russia. It has not turned over Chechnya, and now they want through Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Dagestan, Ingushetia. They have such a system works. Any non-governmental organizations that were created for this purpose, spreading rumors and gossip. Knowing that the Caucasus is possible only on religious grounds to create problems for Russia, they cook and use the strengths of specialists. Here are the Arabs that we are operating – Yasser, Mahdan they been here for 14 years. In Russian they say, better than I, and the Chechen can not. They have excellent training. In the battles do not participate, they are employees of intelligence agencies, they secured their guard and finance.Used to never be in the order of the Russian Federation. Chechen people have realized this, and it is necessary to understand all the peoples of Russia. CIS countries also need to understand that desire to the west before a fall. We must live and be friends with Russia. All the same, eventually they will come to this. Russia – is a powerful and great power and destroy it they never will.
We are friends with social organizations established for their work conditions, breed with the ceremony, talking about democracy … What democracy if the same public figures create military incidents or problems? We must destroy them. There is no place for them in the CR. And will not.
[The Russian oligarch who was thrown in jail because he was way too successful, states some obvious facts, among those being that Russia will boil over in the near future because of the relatively low price of oil on the international market. If the price of oil does not go through the roof very soon, the slow democratization of the former Soviet state will come to a screeching halt and the lid will be clamped-down on the formerly liberated pressure-cooker. At that time we will very likely witness a second crisis of the neo-Communist state. How much will the anticipated 19 trillion ruble military increases compound those social tensions?]
MOSCOW | Mon Nov 1, 2010 8:28am EDT
(Reuters) – Jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in an interview published on Monday that Russiacould face a crisis within five years as lower economic growth rates leave the Kremlin with less oil money to ease social tensions.
Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, was arrested in 2003 after falling foul of the Kremlin under Vladimir Putin. His business empire, which produced more oil than OPEC member Qatar, was carved up and sold to state controlled companies.
In his first major interview with the Russian media since his arrest, Khodorkovsky painted a bleak picture of Russia’s development after the 2012 presidential election.
“There is a growing contradiction between the decreased potential of the unmodernized economy, the avarice of the bureaucracy and…. the expectations of the population,” Khodorkovsky told the Novaya Gazeta newspaper.
He said President Dmitry Medvedev’s calls for modernizing the economy were doomed to failure because of the “complete criminalization” of the bureaucracy which would sabotage any real attempt at reform.
“Do you want my prediction? Until the thunder strikes, our elite will do nothing,” said Khodorkovsky, whose followers say is Russia’s most prominent political prisoner.
“The next crisis point will come in around 2015.”
Khodorkovsky was sentenced in 2005 to eight years in jail for fraud and tax evasion. He is now on trial on new charges of money laundering and embezzlement for which prosecutors said last month he should serve an extra 6 years in jail.
The Kremlin could not be reached for immediate comment as Medvedev was returning from a trip to Russia’s Far East.
After a decade-long boom, Russia’s economy was hammered by the global economic crisis, contracting 7.9 percent in 2009, the worst annual contraction in 15 years and by far the worst hit among major emerging market peers such as China or India.
The $1.2 trillion economy is forecast to grow about 4 percent this year, though Khodorkovsky said there was little scope for further growth on the back of sales of raw materials, Russia’s main exports.
“The potential for growth from natural-resources has been exhausted,” Khodorkovsky said, adding that sluggish rises in labor productivity would leave Russia behind rivals such as China and India.
Analysts are mixed over prospects for long-term Russian growth, which primarily depends on commodity exports.
He added that blossoming corruption among officials would put a drain on the Kremlin’s shrinking resources, leading to rising prices for the population of whom 20 million live in poverty on incomes of less than 5,500 roubles ($180) a month.
Last week, Transparency International rated Russia joint 154th out of 178 nations in its corruption perceptions index, along with Cambodia, Kenya and Laos.
On September 17, 2009, the Obama administration announced that it would shelve the Bush administration’s European missile defense system and replace it with an entirely new missile defense architecture. This decision to stop the deployment of 10 interceptors in Poland and an X-band radar in theCzech Republic had two extremely positive results: it scrapped a technically flawed missile defense system that could never produce a useful level of defense for Europe, and it averted a potentially disastrous foreign policy confrontation with Russia.
Less than five months later, in February, the Obama administration produced an extensive elaboration of the September decision in a document called the Ballistic Missile Defense Review Report. The report asserts that ballistic missile defense technologies have already produced a reliable and robust defense of the United States against limited intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) attacks. According to the report, the technologies now in hand will make it possible for the United States to build a global missile defense system that is so capable, flexible, and reliable that potential adversaries will see that they have no choice but to de-emphasize their efforts to use ballistic missiles as a way to obtain their political goals.
However, a review of the actual state of missile defense technologies reveals that this new vision put forth by the report is nothing more than a fiction and that the policy strategy that follows from these technical myths could well lead to a foreign policy disaster.
With regard to current missile defense technologies, there are no new material facts to support any of the claims in the report that suggest that the United States is now in a position to defend itself from limited ICBM attacks or that any of the fundamental unsolved problems associated with high-altitude ballistic missile defenses have been solved. In fact, as this article will show, the most recent ballistic missile defense flight-test data released by the Department of Defense and the most recent failed test of the ground-based missile defense system in January show quite the opposite.
The Report’s Promises
According to the missile defense report, the continental United States is “now” and for the “foreseeable future” protected against limited ICBM attacks. The report further asserts that this “advantageous position” is the result of well-informed “investments” made over the past decade by the Clinton and Bush administrations in the ground-based midcourse ballistic missile defense (GMD) system, which, according to the report, currently protects the continental United States from ICBM attack.
In the area of regional missile defenses, the report asserts that “recent successes” have demonstrated that the United States can now rely on missile defense systems such as the Navy’s Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) and the Army’s Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems.
According to the report, the SM-3 Block IA has been proven highly reliable in numerous flight tests and will be immediately deployed. Under the administration’s schedule, an upgraded variant, the Block IB, will be deployed in 2015. It is to be followed in 2018 by an even more capable Block IIA, and in 2020 by a yet more capable Block IIB.
Because the SM-3 tests have been so successful, these new variants of the SM-3 will be able to accomplish a wide range of major regional ballistic missile defense missions, including enhancing the already in-hand ICBM defenses of the continental United States, the report says.
The basic plan for the already functioning GMD ICBM defense will eventually be 30 silo-based interceptors in two existing silo fields—26 at Fort Greely, Alaska, and four at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A third field of 14 additional silos will be built as a “hedge” against an unexpected need for additional interceptors.
In addition, the SM-3 and its modernized variants will be widely deployed on ships and on land, in the latter case using ship launch systems that have been modified for land deployment. Elaborate communications and command and control systems will link radars on land and sea with space-based infrared early-warning systems, creating a highly flexible integrated global missile defense with components that can be quickly moved and concentrated as circumstances dictate.
The report, apparently derived from 10 months of intense technical analysis by the Defense Department, therefore lays out a vision of how the United States intends to construct over the next decade a highly reliable, robust, mobile, and adaptable global missile defense system. According to the report, this system will be able to defeat and deter threats of nuclear and conventional attacks against the United States, its allies, and friends and will be so reliable and robust that adversaries confronted by it will realize that they have no choice but to de-emphasize their reliance on ballistic missiles.
However, the Defense Department’s own test data show that, in combat, the vast majority of “successful” SM-3 experiments would have failed to destroy attacking warheads. The data also show potential adversaries how to defeat both the SM-3 and the GMD systems, which share the same serious flaws that can be readily exploited by adversaries. The long record of tests of the GMD system, and the most recent test in January of this year, shows that it has only been tested in carefully orchestrated scenarios that have been designed to hide fundamental flaws and produce appearances of success. The report provides no material facts or allusions to facts that indicate any technical advances that would counter the long record of orchestrated and dumbed-down missile defense tests.
The proof of these flaws is in the data that the Defense Department cites as evidence of the robustness of the GMD and SM-3 systems. That should be a strong warning to policymakers who believe that the missile defense systems promoted in the report will actually discourage future adversaries from pursuing ballistic missile programs.
The New Architecture
The new plan will depend on a globally distributed system of radars and surveillance and communications systems, which mostly already exist, to provide detection and tracking information needed to guide SM-3 and GMD interceptors to their intercept points.Once interceptors are launched and guided to designated intercept points, interceptor on-board infrared sensors try to find, home in on, and destroy enemy warheads by direct impact. The GMD system uses large interceptors weighing about 50,000 pounds and costing roughly $70 million each. These interceptors will be launched from underground missile silos at Fort Greely and Vandenberg. U.S. Navy systems will initially use SM-3Block IA interceptors, which weigh about 3,000 pounds and cost about $10 million each. As noted earlier, there will be three upgraded follow-on interceptors to the SM-3 Block IA, which are supposed to add to the capabilities of SM-3-based forces. According to the missile defense report, the advantage of the SM-3 system is that interceptors can be deployed on ships and in land-based launchers that can be moved to locations where missile defense forces are most needed.
In order to understand how the SM-3 system is supposed to work and how it could fail, it is necessary to understand the many steps that the system must perform when it is in use.
When a ballistic missile is launched, U.S. early-warning satellites at an altitude of 40,000 kilometers observe its hot exhaust plumes while it is in powered flight. The satellites provide information about launch locations to within roughly a kilometer and launch times to within seconds. By observing the missile during its several minutes of powered flight, the satellites can also provide very rough estimates of the location of the missile at burnout and its initial direction of motion. This information is passed in near real time by global communications systems to the appropriate components of the missile defense.
In some situations, the missile defense system might also have high-flying unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs) fitted with infrared sensors to track ballistic missiles both during and after burnout. Once the powered flight of a missile ends, however, countermeasures could be instantaneously initiated to prevent these airborne sensors from identifying the warhead.
In the case of launches from Iran or North Korea, the components that would receive information obtained from satellites and airborne vehicles would include relatively short-range forward-based X-band radars deployed near those countries. The data from the satellites and airborne vehicles would be used to cue the forward-based radars to the direction of the attacking missiles, greatly reducing the demanding and time-consuming need for the radars to scan back and forth across the sky looking for potential targets. The forward-based radars would then obtain much more refined tracking data on the attacking missiles and pass that information to other radars in the global surveillance system and to ships at sea equipped with the Aegis weapons system.
The forward-based X-band radars will have only a modest ability to discern differences in the radar signals from different objects deployed by ballistic missiles at the end of their powered flight. For that reason, these radars will not be able to guarantee that warheads will be confidently distinguished from pieces of debris or decoys. The radars will be able to observe at a range of thousands of kilometers the bodies of rockets that launch warheads, but the radars will have little or no capacity to track warheads deployed by these rockets at these ranges, as the shape and geometry of such warheads make them inherently stealthy relative to the missile bodies.
If ballistic missile trajectories rise above the curved earth into the line of sight of any low-frequency, low-resolution giant U.S. early-warning radar, all of their components, including the warheads, can be tracked. Unlike the much higher-frequency, higher-resolution, shorter-range X-band radars, however, the early-warning radars have no ability whatsoever to discern differences in the radar reflections from distant objects. In fact, the ability of the low-frequency early-warning radars to tell one object from another is so poor that they could not distinguish warheads from two-foot-long wires. Tens to hundreds of thousands of such wires can be used to create a massively confusing clutter of decoys and would weigh no more than a pound.
The necessarily small size of the radar antennas on Aegis-equipped ships and the low power of these radars typically result in detection and tracking ranges against warheads and missiles that are too short to allow adequate time for SM-3 interceptors to reach their targets. The new defense architecture attempts to address this problem by assuming that ships will launch their interceptors before their Aegis radars actually observe attacking targets. In many actual engagements, ships would likely never see the inherently stealthy warhead targets with their radars. However, if the external tracking radars have provided the ships with sufficiently precise tracking information, such “blind launches” could be used to guide interceptors to the minuscule volumes of space, roughly 10 kilometers on a side, where interceptors might then be able to use their infrared sensors to find and home in on target warheads.
If an adversary deployed thousands of wires on slightly different trajectories along with warheads, the early-warning radars would not be able to determine which radar signal was from a warhead and which was from a wire. The Aegis ships then would not have the precise tracking information they would need to make a blind launch. This same strategy could also be implemented, with minor adjustments, against the much higher-resolution but inherently shorter-range X-band radars that are also supposed to provide precise tracking data as part of the new architecture and against any airborne infrared sensors carried by UAVs that might, by chance, be in a position to observe the complex of objects launched by missiles.
Thus, any of the many simple countermeasures that disrupt the ability to provide precision tracking data to the Aegis ships could make it impossible for the ships to execute a blind launch. The same kind of basic engagement problems also apply to the GMD system.
Hitting Warhead Targets
In circumstances in which the Aegis ship has sufficiently precise tracking information from external radars for a blind launch, the SM-3 would be launched toward the volume of space where it can then use its on-board infrared sensors to locate and home in on target warheads.
Hitting the warhead once it is “acquired,” i.e., located by the interceptor, is a relatively easy task, but locating the warhead is by far the most demanding task for both the SM-3 and GMD systems. The warhead must be found, identified, and located precisely, and it must be directly hit if it is to be destroyed by impact. Experience shows that hitting parts of a missile’s airframe, even when the warhead is still attached to it, will not destroy the warhead or prevent it from continuing on a nearly unchanged trajectory toward its target.
The three stages of launched interceptors would burn for more than a minute, placing the third stage and its kill vehicle higher than 80 kilometers on a trajectory toward the volume of space where the target is expected. At third-stage burnout, the kill vehicle is released and performs final homing maneuvers for about 30 seconds before it arrives at the selected target, assuming that the system has been able to select the right target or find the location of the warhead on a selected target.
The SM-3 kill vehicle is designed to hit the target at a relatively low closing speed of about four to five kilometers per second and to acquire and home in on targets at ranges of less than 150 kilometers. At this range, the objects in the search volume look like points of light to the infrared sensor on the kill vehicle, so it is not possible for the kill vehicle to obtain information about the shape or size of different objects ahead of it. These substantial limits on what the SM-3 kill vehicle can see makes distinguishing the warhead from other objects a considerable challenge.
The effects of these challenges can be clearly seen in SM-3 intercept test data made public by the Defense Department. In eight or nine of the 10 SM-3 intercept tests from 2002 to 2009 involving these relatively slow closing speeds, the SM-3 kill vehicle failed to hit the warhead target directly. This means that, in real combat, the warhead would have not been destroyed but would have continued toward the target and detonated in eight or nine of the 10 SM-3 experimental tests. Yet, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has reported these 10 tests as “successful” without explaining that the test outcomes would not have resulted in true combat intercepts.
The flight-test data, taken from videos published by the MDA, are shown in Figure 1. Each of the images is the last video frame taken by the interceptor just before it hit the target. The flight-test data show that the SM-3 kill vehicles in these tests almost always missed hitting target warheads.
The details of the process by which the kill vehicle tries to identify and hit the warhead make clear why the task of directly hitting the warhead is so difficult and prone to catastrophic failure in real combat conditions.
One to two seconds prior to impact, the images on the SM-3 kill vehicle’s sensor look like slightly elongated dots at the center of the screen. If the kill vehicle hits the body of the rocket, the kill vehicle will tend to shatter and pass through the rocket body much like a bullet hitting a thin-walled drinking glass or an empty soda can, leaving the warhead undamaged and still falling on a nearly unchanged trajectory toward its target.
The flight-test data from the 2002-2009 tests show many striking artificialities that would not be present in actual combat conditions. There are not multiple objects in the threat volume, there are large fins on the back end of the target missiles, the target missiles are always side-on to the interceptor, and the exact geometry of the target missile is known. All these factors considerably simplify the interceptors’ job. Yet, in spite of these artificial advantages built into the tests, the Defense Department’s own data show that the interceptors almost always failed to achieve necessary hits on the warheads.
These test data show potential adversaries such as Iran and North Korea exactly how to defeat the SM-3 and GMD interceptors with technologies they already have flight-tested. The information also shows that the Defense Department’s own technical oversight and assessment of the missile defense program, as described by the missile defense report, is deeply flawed and unreliable. It is yet another example of why measures need to be taken to provide a truly independent source for the White House and Congress to confirm the veracity of claims being made by the MDA and others in the Defense Department about missile defense performance.
Figure 2 shows a very simple countermeasure using rocket technologies that Iran and North Korea have already demonstrated in their ballistic missile flight-test programs. Figure 2A depicts the missile target that has been used in the most recent SM-3 flight tests after flight test FM-7, which occurred in February 2005.
By using simple explosive techniques to cut the one-stage rocket-target into multiple pieces, a potential adversary could substantially further increase the chances that an SM-3 or GMD interceptor would miss the warhead. Iran and North Korea successfully demonstrated this cutting technique when they separated the stages in the multistage rockets they have already flown. The same could be done to the upper stage of a multistage rocket to counter the homing of the GMD kill vehicle, creating the same confusion of objects to conceal the true location of the warhead from the GMD system.
The scenario illustrated in Figure 2 understates the complexity of the scene that would have to be analyzed by the homing kill vehicle, as the images were generated by assuming that the fragments only tumble in the plane perpendicular to the line of sight of the approaching interceptor. It also does not assume that additional false targets have been created by balloons or unfolded objects that might be deployed as part of this countermeasure.
In the case of the GMD system, which is designed to be able to hit ICBM warheads, the problem is essentially the same. Because the sensor must work at long range, there is little time during the homing process to analyze complexes of multiple targets that could be intentionally and easily created by adversaries. In these situations, the closing speeds will be much higher than those encountered in SM-3 tests, about 12 to 15 kilometers per second compared to four to five kilometers per second. The higher speed requires that the kill vehicle see its targets at much longer range, 450 to 600 kilometers. In order to provide adequate time to maneuver to hit the target, the kill vehicle must have a much larger optical aperture to collect signals from the more distant targets and a much narrower field of view (about 1 degree instead of the roughly 3.5 degrees used in the SM-3 kill vehicle) to be able to get comparably accurate spatial information. In other words, the vulnerabilities of the SM-3 and GMD kill vehicles to countermeasure technologies that have already been demonstrated by Iran and North Korea are the same.
The same fundamental system vulnerability that led to the failure to hit warheads in the SM-3 tests also led to the failure of the X-band radar in the January 31, 2010, GMD missile defense flight test, the FTG-06. The source of this fundamental system vulnerability is the inability of ground-based long-range radars and interceptor-based infrared homing sensors to provide the kind of accurate and detailed images that make it possible to identify the warheads unambigously. Without such true and unambiguous image data, it is fundamentally not possible to recognize the warhead when it is attached to or surrounded by unexpected objects that also individually appear to be different from what was expected.
On April 6, 2010, Aviation Week & Space Technology reported that the sea-based X-band radar being used in the FTG-06 flight test failed to identify the warhead because it encountered “an unfamiliar threat scene,” the set of objects observed by a distant sensor. In the case of an ICBM, it might include a nose cone, a warhead, the upper rocket stage or pieces of the upper rocket stage that were created by an adversary who intentionally cut the stage into pieces, balloons that are spherical, or shaped like warheads, and the like.
In the case of the FTG-06 test, the spent solid-propellant upper rocket stage unexpectedly expelled chunks of rocket materials that created numerous unforeseen radar signals comparable to those expected from the warhead. The radar “scene data” were passed to computers that were programmed to look for a scene that was expected. Because the scene was totally unexpected, the computer analysis failed completely, resulting in a failure to identify the warhead and possibly even a failure to track the entire complex of targets properly.
Because the false radar signals were created by objects that were smaller than the warhead, if the radar had been properly programmed, it could have removed the confusing signals from the small objects before they were passed to the “scene recognition” process. This would not be possible if the objects had been intentionally created by an adversary to have the same length as the warhead or if the warhead had been made to appear different from what the radar expected to see.
According to the Aviation Week article, the GMD kill vehicle observed the target complex with its on-board infrared sensors and picked out the warhead. As will be discussed shortly, however, this fact does not mean the GMD kill vehicle could not have been defeated in the same way as the X-band radar and the SM-3 kill vehicle.
The FTG-06 test illustrates that no matter what sensor is being used, radar or infrared, if the missile defense system knows exactly how the warhead appears to the sensor, then the system can potentially identify a warhead among many other objects. It also illustrates that the appearance of the warhead must be exactly known, and that the warhead must look distinctly different from the other objects.
If the other objects look similar to the warhead or if the warhead looks different from what is expected, the warhead can only be selected as a target by pure chance. Even if the warhead is correctly selected, hitting it may be problematic if it is attached to or enclosed in something that makes it not possible for the kill vehicle to determine where it must arrive to hit the warhead directly. The adversary can easily, perhaps inadvertently, change the scene and target appearance using simple measures, like cutting the upper stage into pieces. The adversary can also change the appearance of the warhead by covering it with radar-absorbing materials, surrounding it with a balloon, or other methods, with totally devastating consequences for the defense.
The failure of the FTG-06 test illustrates the fundamental vulnerability to catastrophic failure of the GMD, SM-3, and all similar such high-altitude defense systems that operate in the near-vacuum of space, about which the authors have been writing for more than a decade. During the first two flight tests, known as the IFT-1A and IFT-2 tests, in June 1997 and January 1998, certain decoys looked enough like the warhead to make it impossible to identify the warhead reliably. In response, the MDA concealed the problem and removed all the decoys that were identified as effective from all subsequent missile flight tests. Now, more than 10 years later, the same fundamental flaw in the GMD system is again revealed, in this case by false targets that were unexpectedly expelled from a solid rocket motor. Notably, the MDA has still not conducted a single GMD intercept flight test against the same combination of warhead and decoys used in the IFT-1A and IFT-2 tests.
Unless the Defense Department can demonstrate convincingly to the world, friends and adversaries alike, that it can deal with such simple countermeasures, no informed adversary or ally will or should believe that either the SM-3 or GMD interceptors will be as robust and reliable in combat as asserted in the missile defense report. The strategy proclaimed by the report rests on assertions that the United States has the technology to build defenses that are so robust that adversaries will simply give up using ballistic missiles as instruments of their foreign policy when confronted by them. In the words of the report, “The United States, with the support of allies and partners, seeks to create an environment in which the acquisition, deployment, and use of ballistic missiles by regional adversaries can be deterred, principally by eliminating their confidence in the effectiveness of such attacks, and thereby devaluing their ballistic missile arsenals.”
If the missile defenses deployed by the United States were unambiguously reliable and robust, they could certainly cause countries such as Iran and North Korea to de-emphasize their reliance on ballistic missiles as instruments of their foreign policies. If the missile defenses are instead fragile and unworkable, as the Defense Department’s own missile defense test data show, aggressors might instead conclude that their goals can best be met by continuing or increasing their use of ballistic missiles as instruments of intimidation.
Thus, the Defense Department’s ballistic missile strategy assumes the existence of adversaries sophisticated enough to build nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and missile defense countermeasures, but not sophisticated enough to understand that current U.S. missile defenses will be no more than a transparent bluff.
The New Emphasis on the SM-3
The domestic implications of the decision to aggressively expand and modernize a flawed SM-3 ballistic missile defense system and to uncritically continue expanding the GMD system are already becoming clear. The Obama missile defense plan creates a framework for putting forward unquestioned and ill-considered rationales for more interceptors and expanded missile defense systems. It will foster an environment of constant lobbying for more interceptors and more sensors to support them. How far this process will go is unknowable at this time, but the indicators of pressure toward uncontrolled and unjustified system growth already exist.
For example, according to the fiscal year 2009 budget, the United States was initially planning to procure a total of 147 SM-3 Block IA and IB interceptors, 133 of which were scheduled for deployment on ships that had been modified to have Aegis missile defense systems. In June 2008, the MDA was already suggesting in congressional briefings that the number of SM-3 interceptors should be increased to 249. In July 2009, the Senate Armed Services Committee upped the ante by raising the number of SM-3 interceptors to be procured in the 2010 defense authorization bill from 147 to 329. Rear Adm. Alan “Brad” Hicks, Aegis/SM-3 program manager for the MDA, laid the groundwork for even higher numbers of interceptors in a January 2009 public meeting by claiming a need for 450 to 500 SM-3 Block IA and IB interceptors. Meanwhile, in August 2009 the U.S. Navy decided that it should upgrade all of its 60-plus DDG-51-class destroyers to have ballistic missile defense capabilities. On April 15, 2010, the current director of the MDA, Lt. Gen. Patrick O’Reilly, testified before the House Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon was planning to procure 436 SM-3 Block IA and IB interceptors for the Navy and 431 THAAD interceptors for the Army by 2015.
The requirement for so many interceptors indicates, at a minimum, three important hidden and questionable assumptions about the SM-3 system. The first assumption is that it is militarily useful to commit one or more interceptors that cost an estimated $10 million each to intercept low-accuracy 1,000- to 2,000-pound conventional bombs that have been launched against unspecified targets or open areas. The second assumption is that these interceptors would actually have a good chance of hitting and destroying the targeted warheads. The third is that the SM-3 could have a meaningful chance of accomplishing the enormously more difficult task of intercepting a mass attack of ballistic missiles. As has already been shown, the last two assumptions wrongly presume that warheads would reliably be destroyed even if the interceptors are able to hit attacking missiles routinely.
If policymakers decide that a strategic defense system should continue to be a central part of the U.S. approach, there are alternative defense systems that could defend the United States from ICBM attack from Iran and North Korea and defend northern and western Europe from intermediate-range ballistic missile attack from Iran. Yet, because the new missile defense plan assumes that everything works and nothing is broken, it de-emphasizes these defense systems in favor of unproven, unworkable, and far more expensive alternative systems.
By deploying ballistic missile defenses that are easy to defeat, the United States could fail to deter or actually stimulate ballistic missile proliferation. Proliferators such as Iran and North Korea have already demonstrated the capability and can be expected to introduce highly effective countermeasures against the missile defense systems (GMD, SM-3, THAAD, and possibly even Patriot) that the United States has currently chosen to emphasize. These proliferators could and likely would sell these countermeasures to client states.
The United States could damage its relations with allies and friends by pushing on them false and unreliable solutions to real security problems. It will antagonize Russia and China with massive defense deployments that have the appearance of being designed to be “flexibly” adaptable to deal with Russian and Chinese strategic forces.
The negative effects of a costly and energetic U.S. program that appears to Russian and Chinese leaders to be aimed at blunting Russian and Chinese strategic retaliatory strike forces will sow distrust of the United States within those governments and will create significant barriers to future arms reductions efforts with Russia. This has already been seen in recent U.S.-Russian discussions over the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
If future arms reduction efforts with Russia come to a halt, this will have serious adverse effects on Russian and U.S. efforts to maintain the viability of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which is already under considerable pressure.
In general, the new missile defense architecture will produce serious doubts about the reliability of small nuclear forces for deterrence. These doubts are unjustified by detailed technical analysis of the true capabilities of these systems, but they will occur and could produce impenetrable new barriers to further nuclear arms reductions. None of these unwanted outcomes need to be a result of the current Obama plan, but without a judicious and careful national assessment of the capabilities and limitations of these ballistic missile defense systems, the pressure to expand them will be both tremendous and without rationale. This new missile defense program could then lead to the usual results: gigantically expensive systems that have little real capability but create uncertainties that cause other states to react in ways that are not in the security interest of the United States.
George N. Lewis has a Ph.D. in experimental physics and is associate director of the Peace Studies Program at Cornell University. Theodore A. Postol is professor of science, technology, and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former scientific adviser to the chief of naval operations.
4. Many of the videos from which the image data in figure 1 were derived were initially obtained from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) Web site. See www.mda.mil/system/aegis_bmd.html. As of the writing of this article, the site has been changed to have one video with data for the FTM-17 test only. For the same video and the data from the other experiments in figure 1, see www.youtube.com.
5. For details on the tests, see http://web.mit.edu/stgs.
6. The MDA published a list of the successful SM-3 “hits,” but the list does not explain that “hit” does not necessarily mean that the warhead would have been destroyed. The preface to the list states, “Since the first intercept test conducted in January 2002, the Missile Defense Agency’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense element of the overall Ballistic Missile Defense System has demonstrated 20 hit-to-killintercepts [emphasis added] out of 24 at sea firing attempts, including two intercepts by two interceptors during one test.” See MDA, “Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense,” n.d.,www.mda.mil/system/aegis_bmd.html.
7. This misleading omission in reporting is similar to what happened following the Persian Gulf War. According to the Army’s testimony to Congress, a successful “intercept” meant that a “Patriot and a SCUD passed in the sky.” See “Patriotisms,” Science, April 17, 1992, p. 313. The Army’s initial claim in congressional testimony of a 96 percent intercept rate was later shown by the authors of this article to be “almost certainly zero” as defined by destruction of the SCUD warhead. Even today, the Army claims a Patriot “success rate” of more than 40 percent in Israel and more than 70 percent in Saudi Arabia. Thus, current and past evidence of performance claims being made about proven ballistic missile defense capabilities need to be taken with caution.
8. North Korea demonstrated this technology in successful stage separations during the launch of the Taepo Dong-1 in 1998 and of the Unha-2 in 2009. Iran demonstrated it in February 2009 when it launched the Omid satellite on the Safir space-launch vehicle and in March 2009 when it tested the two-stage Sajjil solid-propellant ballistic missile.
15. One potential alternative system is to use a small number of stealthy drones that carry very fast interceptors to shoot down cumberome liquid-propellant ICBMs shortly after launch. These are the only long-range missile threats that can be deployed in the foreseeable future or likely ever by Iran or North Korea. Because these ICBMs would have to be launched from known fixed locations, only a small number of such drones would be needed, and they would only need to be operated when ICBMs are being readied for launch. This defense system requires no technologies that are not already well in hand. It could be operated in crisis outside of the borders of the target country and could be built and operated with Russian cooperation. See Theodore A. Postol, “Defensible Missile Defense,” The New York Times, March 12, 2009, p. A23.
[Atomic reactors are international status symbols, especially in the developing world. Russia boosts its standing, while sucking-up profits that shouldn't be wasted on unprofitable boondoggles, which is exactly how the idea of nuclear power expansion should be considered. Ten years from now, if non-fuel producing countries like Vietnam are still making money, the price of uranium fuel will have sky-rocketed, the world economy will be flat and the S. China Sea tensions will already have boiled over. Freaking con job. The little Russian man in the designer suits really is a lawyer.]
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has met in Hanoi with Vietnamese leaders to seal a $5 billion agreement to build the Southeast Asian country’s first nuclear power plant, among other nuclear deals, international news agencies reported.Charles Digges, 01/11-2010
Medvedev, who was in attendance at the Southeast Asian Nation’s leaders summit in Hanoi told a press conference broadcast on Russian national television that, “If we reach the goals we have set, this power plant will account for a great share of Vietnam’s energy market and will allow it to develop as a modern state that not only produces and processes oil, but also uses other energy sources, which is very important in today’s world.”
Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet also praised the agreement.
“Today’s signing of an agreement on the construction of an atomic power plant in Vietnam demonstrates the special ties we have with Russia, and of course the deal indicates the confidence that Vietnam has in Russia’s technology,” he said.
Under the pact, Russia will initially build two power units in Vietnam, each with a capacity of 1.2 gigawatts each.
Vietnam says it has plans to build eight nuclear power plants in five provinces within the next 20 years. The plants would have a total capacity of 15 gigawatts, which would account for about 10 percent of all electricity produced in the country.
But neither country has announced possible storage schemes for the waste and spent fuel the new reactors will account for.
With the pact, Russia adds Vietnam to China, India and Iran as customers of its aggressive international marketing plan. Indonesia has, meanwhile, expressed interest in acquiring on of the Russian nuclear industry’s newest and most dangerous novelties – a floating nuclear power plant, though details are not yet final.
Emboldened by the weak outcome of last year’s UNFCCC climate talks in Copenhagen – and equally buttressed by low expectations for coming climate negotiations in Cancun this December – Russia has been able to capitalize on a world wide shift in priority to nuclear power as a carbon free energy source.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has meanwhile called alternative energy goals, at least for Russia, a pipe dream, and endorsed the progress of nuclear power.
But, like other nations such as Britain, France and the United States that are pitching nuclear build outs as a parachute out of the climate crisis, Russia is failing to take into account that nuclear power plants can hardly be built in time to curb world wide temperature change.
Nuclear power, say many environmentalists, can only compound two problems – temperature spikes and even more excessive amounts of nuclear waste worldwide. And though the international nuclear industry would like to count on deep geologic internment of nuclear waste as a safe storage option, only one country in the world – Finland – is pursuing work on such repositories.
Sweden had been running a similar programme until earlier this year when public opinion in the community surrounding a proposed internment site flagged.
The deal between Russia and Vietnam represents a thaw in a long chill between the nations.
Moscow State University of International Relations Asian expert Dmitry Streltsov analyzed the pact on Rusisa’s state-run English language channel, RussiaToday.
“The agreement was struck in sharp competition with other countries, and the fact that Vietnam preferred Russia shows that there is a revival of a sort of trust relations between our two countries,” said Streltsov.
But Streltsov says that perfect relations between the two countries are not immediate just because of the new deal.
“I do not think that one could say that Russia’s revival is fact. Now it is premature to say that,” he said. “It is a long way ahead.”
Russia has been trying bolster economic cooperation with Vietnam in recent years. The county was the site of a cold-war showdown with the United States and at one time boasted the Soviet Union’s biggest naval base abroad.
[Brits still screaming for their female Winston Churchill....It's as bad as the neoc0n loonies screaming for Reagan to return from the dead yet again! It is the policies and the cronies of Thatcher and Reagan and their "Conservative Revolution" of greed and organized murder that have engulfed the world in their manufactured "Islamist" terror war and brought the economies of both America and England to the point of utter ruin. They are the authors of social destabilization and "regime change." They were monsters; be glad that they are gone.]
EVEN today’s decent leaders are restrained by dysfunctional political systems.
THE rescue of the 33 Chilean miners, from what was feared would be their tomb, gave the world something to cheer about. Hope has not, after all, become a redundant virtue in the 21st century. But looking around us today, there do not seem to be many reasons for optimism elsewhere.
The world lurches towards a currency war, or even towards trade protectionism, threatening to destroy jobs and growth. The US’s recovery from recession is anemic and largely jobless. China, meanwhile, with foreign reserves worth half its total output, denies with a straight face that it is deliberately manipulating the value of the renminbi. So its trade surplus continues to soar at the expense of other countries.
Nor does a global solution to the challenge of climate change appear any closer. The war in Afghanistan bleeds more lives and treasure into the inhospitable terrain of that sad land, with little immediate chance of whatever might constitute sufficient success to allow the US and its allies to quit.
In Palestine, Israeli colonies continue to grow, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ignoring Washington’s efforts to secure traction for the peace process. Europeans continue to look inward, obsessed with their own problems of declining competitiveness and how to pay for entitlements that they have come to regard as theirs by right.
With the gap between the world’s rich and poor increasing, the impoverished South seeks a home or a job in the developed North. Legal and illegal migration triggers far-right hostility in countries that customarily brag about their commitment to civil liberties.
So, as Lenin once asked, what is to be done?
The world obviously needs political leadership of the highest quality to see us through. We need the sort of courage that was the hallmark of Margaret Thatcher. We need Bill Clinton’s extraordinary ability to spin a political narrative that enabled voters to identify their own interests with his goals.
We require Helmut Kohl’s understanding of the need to identify the big decisions in politics, and to get those decisions right. We need leaders with mastery of detail, like China’s last premier Zhu Rongji, who can not only tell us how they will get us from A to Z, but can also actually lead us from A to B.
Looking around, leaders like this seem to be an extinct species. Or, if they exist at all, they appear to be constrained by dysfunctional political systems. Their ability to act is limited by their political environment.
The best example is US President Barack Obama, on whom so many hopes rested – probably too many for any one leader. Obama inherited messy and expensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and an economy in meltdown.Now he faces defeat in the mid-term elections at the hands of Republicans whose past policies created many of the problems that weigh him down today.
The rest of the world needs a strong, self-confident, and decisive US. But its political system is about to deliver a balance of power in Washington that is likely to produce stalemate and paralysis.
In Europe, meanwhile, many of our problems are exemplified by what is happening in France, where President Nicolas Sarkozy’s attempt to recognise demographic and fiscal reality by raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 provoked a wave of strikes and stormy protests from workers and students. Is there not something deeply depressing about 18-year-olds demonstrating about the retirement age? How on earth did they acquire such a statist and conservative mind-set?
Perhaps, then, Asia is the answer. Perhaps the Singapore-based strategist Kishore Mahbubani is correct to write off the West and tell us that the future lies in his own continent.
The evidence on that point is mixed. India is a glorious democracy with an economically literate government and pockets of real economic achievement. But the fiasco in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games showcased some of India’s problems, not least corruption and inadequate infrastructure.
And what of the booming Middle Kingdom? In Brussels the other day, Premier Wen Jiabao scolded European leaders for pressing for the renminbi’s revaluation. Did they not understand, he argued, that this would lead to factory closures and social turbulence in China?
Elsewhere, of course, this sort of turmoil has democratic safety valves. It is more than odd to argue that the rest of the world has to cope with a built-in advantage for China’s exporters because its authoritarian political system cannot cope with any change. No wonder the impressive Premier is thought to favour some political loosening.
From East to West, politics seems to be operating in a manner that is, to be diplomatic, sub-optimal. Then again, maybe we’re lucky that things aren’t worse. The Chilean miners survived against the odds, so perhaps the rest of us will somehow get by as well. But who, exactly, is responsible for the rescue operation?
Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, is chancellor of the University of Oxford
The West is not welcoming Asia’s progress, and its short-term interests in preserving its privileged position in various global institutions are trumping its long-term interests in creating a more just and stable world order. The West has gone from being the world’s problem solver to being its single biggest liability.
KISHORE MAHBUBANI is Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. This essay is adapted from his latest book, The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East (Public Affairs, 2008).
|Publication: Foreign Affairs|
THERE IS a fundamental flaw in the West’s strategic thinking. In all its analyses of global challenges, the West assumes that it is the source of the solutions to the world’s key problems. In fact, however, the West is also a major source of these problems. Unless key Western policymakers learn to understand and deal with this reality, the world is headed for an even more troubled phase.
The West is understandably reluctant to accept that the era of its domination is ending and that the Asian century has come. No civilization cedes power easily, and the West’s resistance to giving up control of key global institutions and processes is natural. Yet the West is engaging in an extraordinary act of self-deception by believing that it is open to change. In fact, the West has become the most powerful force preventing the emergence of a new wave of history, clinging to its privileged position in key global forums, such as the UN Security Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the G-8 (the group of highly industrialized states), and refusing to contemplate how the West will have to adjust to the Asian century.
Partly as a result of its growing insecurity, the West has also become increasingly incompetent in its handling of key global problems. Many Western commentators can readily identify specific failures, such as the Bush administration’s botched invasion and occupation of Iraq. But few can see that this reflects a deeper structural problem: the West’s inability to see that the world has entered a new era.
Apart from representing a specific failure of policy execution, the war in Iraq has also highlighted the gap between the reality and what the West had expected would happen after the invasion. Arguably, the United States and the United Kingdom intended only to free the Iraqi people from a despotic ruler and to rid the world of a dangerous man, Saddam Hussein. Even if George W. Bush and Tony Blair had no malevolent intentions, however, their approaches were trapped in the Western mindset of believing that their interventions could lead only to good, not harm or disaster. This led them to believe that the invading U.S. troops would be welcomed with roses thrown at their feet by happy Iraqis. But the twentieth century showed that no country welcomes foreign invaders. The notion that any Islamic nation would approve of Western military boots on its soil was ridiculous. Even in the early twentieth century, the British invasion and occupation of Iraq was met with armed resistance. In 1920, Winston Churchill, then British secretary for war and air, quelled the rebellion of Kurds and Arabs in British-occupied Iraq by authorizing his troops to use chemical weapons. “I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes,” Churchill said. The world has moved on from this era, but many Western officials have not abandoned the old assumption that an army of Christian soldiers can successfully invade, occupy, and transform an Islamic society.
Many Western leaders often begin their speeches by remarking on how perilous the world is becoming. Speaking after the August 2006 discovery of a plot to blow up transatlantic flights originating from London, President Bush said, “The American people need to know we live in a dangerous world.” But even as Western leaders speak of such threats, they seem incapable of conceding that the West itself could be the fundamental source of these dangers. After all, the West includes the best-managed states in the world, the most economically developed, those with the strongest democratic institutions. But one cannot assume that a government that rules competently at home will be equally good at addressing challenges abroad. In fact, the converse is more likely to be true. Although the Western mind is obsessed with the Islamist terrorist threat, the West is mishandling the two immediate and pressing challenges of Afghanistan and Iraq. And despite the grave threat of nuclear terrorism, the Western custodians of the nonproliferation regime have allowed that regime to weaken significantly. The challenge posed by Iran’s efforts to enrich uranium has been aggravated by the incompetence of the United States and the European Union. On the economic front, for the first time since World War II, the demise of a round of global trade negotiations, the Doha Round, seems imminent. Finally, the danger of global warming, too, is being mismanaged.
Yet Westerners seldom look inward to understand the deeper reasons these global problems are being mismanaged. Are there domestic structural reasons that explain this? Have Western democracies been hijacked by competitive populism and structural short-termism, preventing them from addressing long-term challenges from a broader global perspective?
Fortunately, some Asian states may now be capable of taking on more responsibilities, as they have been strengthened by implementing Western principles. In September 2005, Robert Zoellick, then U.S. deputy secretary of state, called on China to become a “responsible stakeholder” in the international system. China has responded positively, as have other Asian states. In recent decades, Asians have been among the greatest beneficiaries of the open multilateral order created by the United States and the other victors of World War II, and few today want to destabilize it. The number of Asians seeking a comfortable middle-class existence has never been higher. For centuries, the Chinese and the Indians could only dream of such an accomplishment; now it is within the reach of around half a billion people in China and India. Their ideal is to achieve what the United States and Europe did. They want to replicate, not dominate, the West. The universalization of the Western dream represents a moment of triumph for the West. And so the West should welcome the fact that the Asian states are becoming competent at handling regional and global challenges.
THE MIDDLE EAST MESS
WESTERN POLICIES have been most harmful in the Middle East. The Middle East is also the most dangerous region in the world. Trouble there affects not just seven million Israelis, around four million Palestinians, and 200 million Arabs; it also affects more than a billion Muslims worldwide. Every time there is a major flare-up in the Middle East, such as the U.S. invasion of Iraq or the Israeli bombing of Lebanon, Islamic communities around the world become concerned, distressed, and angered. And few of them doubt the problem’s origin: the West.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq, for example, was a multidimensional error. The theory and practice of international law legitimizes the use of force only when it is an act of self-defense or is authorized by the UN Security Council. The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq could not be justified on either count. The United States and the United Kingdom sought the Security Council’s authorization to invade Iraq, but the council denied it. It was therefore clear to the international community that the subsequent war was illegal and that it would do huge damage to international law.
This has created an enormous problem, partly because until this point both the United States and the United Kingdom had been among the primary custodians of international law. American and British minds, such as James Brierly, Philip Jessup, Hersch Lauterpacht, and Hans Morgenthau, developed the conceptual infrastructure underlying international law, and American and British leaders provided the political will to have it accepted in practice. But neither the United States nor the United Kingdom will admit that the invasion and the occupation of Iraq were illegal or give up their historical roles as the chief caretakers of international law. Since 2003, both nations have frequently called for Iran and North Korea to implement UN Security Council resolutions. But how can the violators of UN principles also be their enforcers?
One rare benefit of the Iraq war may be that it has awakened a new fear of Iran among the Sunni Arab states. Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, among others, do not want to deal with two adversaries and so are inclined to make peace with Israel. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah used the opportunity of the special Arab League summit meeting in March 2007 to relaunch his long-standing proposal for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Unfortunately, the Bush administration did not seize the opportunity–or revive the Taba accords that President Bill Clinton had worked out in January 2001, even though they could provide a basis for a lasting settlement and the Saudis were prepared to back them. In its early days, the Bush administration appeared ready to support a two-state solution. It was the first U.S. administration to vote in favor of a UN Security Council resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state, and it announced in March :2002 that it would try to achieve such a result by 20%. But here it is 2008, and little progress has been made.
The United States has made the already complicated Israeli-Palestinian conflict even more of a mess. Many extremist voices in Tel Aviv and Washington believe that time will always be on Israel’s side. The pro-Israel lobby’s stranglehold on the U.S. Congress, the political cowardice of U.S. politicians when it comes to creating a Palestinian state, and the sustained track record of U.S. aid to Israel support this view. But no great power forever sacrifices its larger national interests in favor of the interests of a small state. If Israel fails to accept the Taba accords, it will inevitably come to grief. If and when it does, Western incompetence will be seen as a major cause.
NEVER SAY NEVER
NUCLEAR NONPROLIFERATION is another area in which the West, especially the United States, has made matters worse. The West has long been obsessed with the danger of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. It pushed successfully for the near-universal ratification of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the Chemical Weapons Convention, and the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT).
But the West has squandered many of those gains. Today, the NPT is legally alive but spiritually dead. The NPT was inherently problematic since it divided the world into nuclear haves (the states that had tested a nuclear device by 1967) and nuclear have-nots (those that had not). But for two decades it was reasonably effective in preventing horizontal proliferation (the spread of nuclear weapons to other states). Unfortunately, the NPT has done nothing to prevent vertical proliferation, namely, the increase in the numbers and sophistication of nuclear weapons among the existing nuclear weapons states. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union agreed to work together to limit proliferation. The governments of several countries that could have developed nuclear weapons, such as Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Japan, and South Korea, restrained themselves because they believed the NPT reflected a fair bargain between China, France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States (the five official nuclear weapons states and five permanent members of the UN Security Council) and the rest of the world. Both sides agreed that the world would be safer if the five nuclear states took steps to reduce their arsenals and worked toward the eventual goal of universal disarmament and the other states refrained from acquiring nuclear weapons at all.
So what went wrong? The first problem was that the NET’S principal progenitor, the United States, decided to walk away from the postwar rule-based order it had created, thus eroding the infrastructure on which the NPT’S enforcement depends. During the time I was Singapore’s ambassador to the UN, between 1984 and 1989, Jeane Kirkpatrick, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, treated the organization with contempt. She infamously said, “What takes place in the Security Council more closely resembles a mugging than either a political debate or an effort at problem-solving.” She saw the postwar order as a set of constraints, not as a set of rules that the world should follow and the United States should help preserve. This undermined the NPT, because with no teeth of its own, no self-regulating or sanctioning mechanisms, and a clause allowing signatories to ignore obligations in the name of “supreme national interest,” the treaty could only really be enforced by the UN Security Council. And once the United States began tearing holes in the fabric of the overall system, it created openings for violations of the NPT and its principles. Finally, by going to war with Iraq without UN authorization, the United States lost its moral authority to ask, for example, Iran to abide by Security Council resolutions.
Another problem has been the United States’–and other nuclear weapons states’–direct assault on the treaty. The NPT is fundamentally a social contract between the five nuclear weapons states and the rest of the world, based partly on the understanding that the nuclear powers will eventually give up their weapons. Instead, during the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union increased both the quantity and the sophistication of their nuclear weapons: the United States’ nuclear stockpile peaked in 1966 at 31,700 warheads, and the Soviet Union’s peaked in 1986 at 40,723. In fact, the United States and the Soviet Union developed their nuclear stockpiles so much that they actually ran out of militarily or economically significant targets. The numbers have declined dramatically since then, but even the current number of nuclear weapons held by the United States and Russia can wreak enormous damage on human civilization.
The nuclear states’ decision to ignore Israel’s nuclear weapons program was especially damaging to their authority. No nuclear weapons state has ever publicly acknowledged Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons. Their silence has created a loophole in the NPT and delegitimized it in the eyes of Muslim nations. The consequences have been profound. When the West sermonizes that the world will become a more dangerous place when Iran acquires nuclear weapons, the Muslim world now shrugs.
India and Pakistan were already shrugging by 1998, when they tested their first nuclear weapons. When the international community responded by condemning the tests and applying sanctions on India, virtually all Indians saw through the hypocrisy and double standards of their critics. By not respecting their own obligations under the NPT, the five nuclear states had robbed their condemnations of any moral legitimacy; criticisms from Australia and Canada, which have also remained silent about Israel’s bomb, similarly had no moral authority. The near-unanimous rejection of the NPT by the Indian establishment, which is otherwise very conscious of international opinion, showed how dead the treaty already was.
From time to time, common sense has entered discussions on nuclear weapons. President Ronald Reagan said more categorically than any U.S. president that the world would be better off without nuclear weapons. Last year, with the NPT in its death throes and the growing threat of loose nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorists forefront in everyone’s mind, former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Defense Secretary William Perry, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and former Senator Sam Nunn warned in The Wall Street Journal that the world was “now on the precipice…
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“The speculation gaining respectability in Delhi is that Washington knew in advance about the Mumbai attack & deliberately chose not to pass the details to Delhi .” That would he said, “Reveal the links between the CIA-ISI & LeT”. – MK Bhadrakumar (ex-Ambassador,GOI).
“Headley was a deep penetration agent of US Intelligence” – Bahukutumbi Raman (Former Counter-Terrorism Chief (RAW).
It has been apparent ever since the time that the Headley story began to appear in the Indian & global media that David Coleman Headley was basically a CIA-FBI agent. The recent revelations that have been brought forth by Sebastian Rotella in theProPublica ( Oct 15, 2010 ), have reaffirmed our position ( http://www.countercurrents.org/mithiborwala181010.htm ).
Despite all the daily brouhaha by our Intelligence services over Headley’s role in the 26/11 terror attacks, not even a FIR, leave alone a charge-sheet has been filed against the known central figure in planning & executing the dastardly terror attack on our country & all of South Asia.
Though Mr. Pillai (Home Secretary, Government of India) has now chosen to speak out & said that the “US has let us down” & that “we were disappointed that the na me of Headley was not provided, if not pre-26/11, at least post-26/11” . ( Hindustan Ti mes, 28/10/10 ).
It all see ms a bit like a well orchestrated charade on the part of the leadership.
Thus on a daily basis we hear of Headley’s latest revelations, which target the ISI & LeT. Then on the very next day, we read of further US funding to the tune of billions of dollars for that very ISI.
Do the Indian ruling elite really believe that the people are astoundingly stupid? We certainly are not!
Clearly there is a quid-pro-quo between the Indian Intel & their counterparts in the US & subsequently in Pakistan & this is how it operates.
Headley is being used to protect & mislead the investigations into the Ishrat Jehan encounter killing to protect Modi & his ilk. Similarly the investigations into the Samjhauta Express as laid out by the charge-sheet filed by Hemant Karkare which clearly implicate Col. Purohit , are also being targeted by the NIA & the IB, to protect the Abhinav Bharat. And recently the investigation into the ghastly Chittisinghpora massacre , which was the handiwork of the undercover black-op cells within the Indian army, is again being misled under the guise of Headley’s statements.
We are also aware that the US funds more than a third of the Pakistan military & ISI-intelligence budget. The Lashkar-i-Tayyaba is the sword arm of the ISI. The US has never attacked any Lashkar bases in Pakistan & the LeT does not attack US troops. The CIA has worked together with the LeT in Kosovo , Chechnya & Bosnia . Thus the US uses the ISI-LeT for furthering its strategic objectives in the region. ( http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/ramps-cia-infiltration-pakistan-report/ )
The US Intelligence is also deeply involved in supporting & funding narco-terror & weapons smuggling across the world. These are the connections that we will have to study, if we are to comprehend & unravel the complex world of intelligence agencies & terror networks that operate together. ( http://www.ciadrugs.com/ )
The US a mbassador Timothy Roemer ( http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=10875 ) maintains that they did warn ‘ India ‘ about the coming 26/11 attack.
So the questions that arise are the following:
1) The central & simple question is that, why did the CIA & FBI not warn their counterparts in Pakistan , within the government, the Military or the ISI. As we can discern from above, they have a very deep operational & material relationship, stretching across 6 decades.
It was always clear that an attack of the magnitude of 26/11 could even lead to a nuclear war in the region. Yet they refrained from informing & warning any of their counterparts in Pakistan .
Why? And moreover, why isn’t anyone asking this obvious question?
2) Who did they inform in India ? We still do not have the specific name or names.
It surely could not have been the Indian security guard standing outside the gates of the US fortress of an embassy in New Delhi .
Did they inform MK Narayanan (the then NSA Chief) or the Mr. Shivraj Patil (ex-Home Minister) ? Who was complicit in the cover up? Why no names of the key people who were supposedly provided information by mid-September of the coming terror attack by Sea, where the Taj, Marriott & the Trident were mentioned as potential targets. ( http://www.countercurrents.org/mithiborwala140510.htm ).
Who will stand up & take the responsibility? None, only an eerie silence . . . a cover up .
The 26/11 attack could have been averted if the necessary information would have been provided on time & precautions taken.
Thus we now come back to Headley & his wives.
It was way back in 2005 when one of Headley’s wives in New York , warned the FBI of Headley’s links with terrorists. Due to a domestic squabble, Headley was even arrested by the police. The wife stated that Headley “was an active militant in the LeT terrorist group & had trained extensively in Pakistani camps, shopped for night-vision goggles & other equipment”. She also said that “Headley used to brag about his working as a paid informant of the US , while he trained with terrorists in Pakistan ”.
Significantly, after 9/11, Headley told his associates “that he planned to train with Lashkar as part of a secret mission for the US government”.
He also stated that “the FBI & DEA have joined forces & I am going to work with them. I want to do something for my country”.
The point is which country, the USA or Israel ??
In 2008 April , Headley went to Chicago & told his accomplice of an evolving plan for a seaborne terror attack by gunmen who would land in front of the Ta j M ahal Hotel which he had scouted extensively.
These are the official statements as recorded by the FBI officials.
Though Headley was jailed for domestic violence, he was not prosecuted & the matter of his terror links not investigated.
Later again in 2007, only a year prior to the attack, his wife in Pakistan went to the US embassy in Islamabad & gave specific information of his terrorist links but she was driven away both the times & basically told to “Get Lost”, by the FBI-CIA officials.
The wives gave information & a detailed account of training with the LeT, provided audio tapes of conversations & emails as well as records of calls from Pakistan
And yet the CIA & FBI claim that the information provided by the wives “was not specific”.
Thus let us assess this bizarre claim as well:
1) Firstly Headley was already known to the DEA-FBI & CIA since 1998, due to his drug smuggling activities, for which he was prosecuted & jailed & he later became an agent of the DEA to infiltrate drug rings in the US & Pakistan. After 9/11 he was taken in by the CIA & FBI as an asset & became their agent.
2) They should have taken the precautions after his wives gave specific information about his terror links & should have put him under surveillance. But then they did. All of Headley’s & Rana’s mobile conversations were being tapped & their whereabouts monitored. They had to further monitor his Bank transactions, credit cards & have him followed. These are all standard procedures & nothing beyond their scope of operations either in Pakistan or India , where we have an ever increasing presence of the US & Israeli Intel.
3) They should have again immediately checked with their counterparts in the ISI & their handlers in the LeT. But the CIA-FBI undertook none of these basic precautions, si mply because Headley was pursuing the mission of terror in exactly the way they had planned it.
4) Though he was on probation till 2004, he was discharged in 2001 & was allowed to go to Pakistan . Within 2 months he was training with the LeT, with the full knowledge of the US authorities.
Thus the intentions were very clear.
In our assessment, the CIA & FBI were clearly aware of the detailed plans for the attack on Mumbai.
HEADLEY A STRATEGIC & INVALUABLE ASSET: Undoubtedly the CIA-FBI have gone to preposterous levels to protect Headley & have repeatedly refused his extradition to India . Thus his limited & controlled access by Indian Intel is clearly a farce & of no consequence whatsoever, apart fro m the fact that is now being used to cover-up the crimes of the Intelligence Bureau, as well as that of the Police that indulge in encounter killings & the cover-up of the terror attack by the Brahmanical terrorists, within the Abhinav Bharat & the Sanatan Sanstha.
But then Headley is a unique asset. He is White, yet of a mixed Muslim-Jewish parentage. He knew English, Urdu, Farsi, Pashto & a smattering of Arabic.
And then he had very deep connections with the drug-underworld & the narco-terror networks.
Headley’s father & his religion are often discussed, but when it co mes to his mother, there is a studied silence & it is only fair that this angle be delved into as well. In fact the Wikipedia insists that he acquired a “Christian sounding na me ”, even though his mother was Jewish.
David Coleman Headley was a child of a broken family & around the age of sixteen Serrill Headley (Jewish by faith), took him to away to the US . It was after 9/11, when Headley began to work for the CIA, that he changed his name from Daoud Gilani, to David Coleman Headley, which the Wikipedia wrongly refers to a Christian name. Clearly the Wikipedia is trying to mislead for a purpose.
The point is that clearly Gilani wanted a new identity after 9/11 & since he was now working for the CIA-FBI as an undercover agent, he could have taken on any identity, but yet he chose to take his mother’s Jewish identity & the Coleman surname.
All the reports state that Headley traveled with a Jewish prayer book with him. Was it because he had abandoned the faith of his father & had taken the faith of his mother which is normally the case of children of divorced families? I believe that was precisely the case.
Again, Headley operated out of the key Zionist strongholds in the US , namely Chicago & New York & in India from Goa , Mumbai, Pushkar (Rajasthan) & Himachal Pradesh.
In Goa he was in regular touch with an American agent who was living there for nine years but has disappeared after 26/11 & our police could not locate him. Though, when it comes to arresting innocent Muslim youth they have proved to be efficient & ruthless as well.
In Pushkar, whilst Headley was staking out the targets, he stayed in a hotel where two other Israeli’s were also present at that very time. So the role of Mossad agents in the 26/11 attack needs to be investigated as well. ( http://criminalstate.com/2009/08/how-israel-wages-game-theory-warfare/ )
Also another question is as to whether Headley was a Chabad Lubavitcher by sect. The Chabad Lubavitch is one of the most powerful of the Jewish sects & has interests across the world ( http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com/2010/07/chabad-at-hubs-of-power-around-world.html ) . The Chabad Houses are known to be used by Mossad operatives as safe houses to conduct their nefarious activities, ranging from drug & weapon smuggling, to espionage, fomenting terror & assassinations.
Despite certain limited warnings in May, September & November 2008, that did emanate from the sections of the US & provided to Indians authorities, the identity of whom is yet not known.
Yet, Headley was left untouched as no information was provided. Headley had been provided a visa from the Indian consulate in Chicago with all waivers despite his record of drugs smuggling & his Pakistani origin. Thus Headley enjoyed patronage at the highest levels, even within sections of the Indian security & Intelligence. ( http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Headleys-visa-papers-vanish-from-consulate/articleshow/5345798.cms )
And after 26/11, the government & the corporate Media, barring a few exceptions, are satisfied with the Kasab story. The Plea bargain deal in the words of MK Bhadrakumar (ex-ambassador) “was a deal that enables the US government to hold back from formally producing any evidence against Headley in a Court of Law that might have included details of his links with US intelligence ”, which will now remain classified. He also said that the Obama administration was “behaving very strangely” & had something “explosive to hide”.
The former counter-terrorism chief (RAW) & security analyst, Bahukutumbi Raman was of the opinion that, “the mishandling by the US is due to it’s anxiety to prevent public admission of the links of the US Intelligence community with Headley & protect Pakistan from the legal consequences of its role in the 26/11 terror attack. He further stated that “the FBI wants to avoid a formal trial & that “the feeling in India is that the US has not been transparent as it is almost certain that the CIA was aware of Headley & his movements across the sub-continent”.
The simple point is that all terrorists & suspects are listed on the main database of the US National Counter-Terrorism Centre , which is a facility used by the CIA & the myriad other agencies to track terror suspects as a matter of standard procedure.
When even the likes of Sharukh Khan (Bollywood Star), Praful Patel (Aviation minister) are not safe, surely David Headley’s name would have cropped up at every computer monitor across every airport in the world.
Thus there are far too many questions & far too many facts that challenge the official version of the reality of the 26/11 terror attacks.
There is clearly an attempt even within our very own security agencies to collude & cover up the truth & thus we demand that a National Commission of Inquiry be created to investigate the truth about the 26/11 Terror attack. The Headley Saga: What Are They Hiding? By Feroze Mithiborwala. 29 October, 2010. Countercurrents.org
[The following report from Countercurrents really puts all the pieces together and confirms what most of us have been saying all along, the CIA and their henchmen did the Mumbai terrorist assault upon India and the Indian government is smart enough to know this....Yet it still kisses Obama's ass. SEE: Committing Treason for a Piece of the Pie]
By Feroze Mithiborwala
The Government should be ashamed at the treatment being meted out to India by the US. It is clear that Headley is a mass murderer & is being protected & shielded by the Obama Administration. Leave alone being extradited, now Attorney-General Eric Holder tells us that that our security agencies will have no direct access to Headley at all. This is very clear from the statements of Timothy J. Roemer (US Ambassador) who stated that “no decision on direct access for India to David Headley has been made.” Though now due to the anger of the Indian people, certain statements of granting access to Headley are being made. Not that interrogating Headley, while he remains ion US custody will help our cause.
Recent revelations confirm the fact that David Coleman Headley is a CIA-FBI operative whose task was to organize & expedite the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks. Thus the role of the CIA, FBI & Mossad in fomenting & planning the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks are proved beyond doubt & need to be investigated by the patriotic elements within the security apparatus & the media. Only the naive & corrupt can continue to deny this fact, more so to the detriment of our national sovereignty & security.
David Headley is a CIA asset & they have invested a lot of their precious resources in training him & therefore they are going to atrocious levels to protect him. The CIA always does. Thus under the cover of the American Judicial system, Headley will disappear into the prisons, soon acquire a new identity, new papers & documents, passports & Visas, Credit Cards & Bank Accounts . . . a new identity & will resurface, doing what he is best at, a terrorist-drug dealer-mercenary.
Undoubtedly, the CIA-FBI, which are the world’s leading mercenary agencies, whose forte is too engineer assassinations, terror & wars, has infiltrated sections of the Indian political leadership & our internal security, as it has the Pakistani ISI, Military & Political establishment.
Thus now the US intervention & occupation of the South Asian region is deepening by the day, as it keeps on increasing the tensions between India & Pakistan as well as China. It is an old imperial ploy of divide & rule along religious & sectarian lines as well as between nations.
The terror attack Mumbai 26/11, was directed at all of South Asia & this point must be understood by all those who are committed to the cause of South Asia.
The 26/11 terror attack has only aided the US/Israeli effort to create an atmosphere conducive to increasing its pervasive & corrupting influence in determining both our National & International policies. Very true indeed!!
Now the newspapers are clearly raising the issue of Headley being a CIA-FBI operative, a fact that we had stated initially as soon as the story appeared. The reports also state that the CIA was aware about the Headley-Rana linkage! Indian authorities had suspected that Headley was a CIA agent. There are taped conversations between Headley & Rana.
Moreover, the simple fact of the matter is that Headley is involved in the terror attack & should be immediately extradited to the Indian authorities for interrogation & should be tried & sentenced like Kasab (who is a mere foot-soldier & his trial is a contrived circus, despite all the media attention)
In the news report that appeared in the Indian Express (pg 5, 10/12/09), the hotel owner is openly blaming the police for having ‘misplaced’ Headley’s ‘C-form’ & has filed a complaint on the matter. The hotel owner in his complaint to the Ajmer Superintendent of Police, has stated that he had also submitted the C-forms of two other Israelis along with that of Headley.
So why was Headley arrested by the FBI? The answer to that is that Indian Intel was hard on the heels of Headley & were about to arrest him. It was then that the FBI whisked away Headley to protect him. Now that he has been subjected to the laws of the US judicial system, he is beyond our reach. Leave alone a trial for Headley’s central role in the 26/11 attacks, we do not even have the right to interrogate him.
In fact it is suspected that, it was Headley who was the CIA mole in the LeT, who was passing out information on the coming 26/11 terror attack. This was partly shared by the CIA with the Indian authorities & had specifically mentioned the Taj & that the attack would come by sea.
There are two significant points to note:
1) How much information did the CIA actually divulge to India – very very meagre it is clear.
2) More intriguingly with the Pakistani authorities & it’s friends in the ISI & the Military with which the CIA has a very deep & intimate relationship, stretching over 6 decades – it supposedly shared none !!!
Any moron is full aware that a 26/11 style attack could lead to a war, in fact a nuclear war between India & Pakistan, then why did not the CIA warn it’s friends on either side & thus prevent the attack ??
For the simple reason that it is in the strategic interests of the US & Israel to create a warlike situation across South Asia. The larger objective is for India to mobilise & deploy it’s military into the war theatre in Afghanistan if required & later in the coming war on Iran, which is imminent. The tensions & warmongering has now fuelled an arms race & both the countries are amongst the top buyers of weapons, required to protect their half-starving masses.
Also do note that during the phase of the worst series of terror attacks between 2006-08, Headley was present in that period & was flying into India mainly from Pakistan. Yet our authorities did not once suspect or interrogate him?? Unfortunately the Indian People are not that naive. This clearly means that there are certain forces within the country that are allied to the US & Israel & working in tandem to foment terror attacks.
Do especially note the period between August 2007 & September 2008 as this was during which we passed through the worst national crisis over the Indo-US Nuclear Deal. The attacks coincide with Headleys’ presence in India (Josy Joseph, 17/11/09, DNA ). The terror attacks in Hyderabad II (25/8/07), Bangalore (25/7/08), Ahmedabad & Surat (26/7/08) & Delhi (13/9/08). All these blasts made it easier for the pro-US elements to take the country into the American-Israeli strategic orbit in the name of fighting the global war on terror.
Again even the blasts that Shri Hemant Karkare has traced to the Abhinav Bharat, find a relation to Headley’s footprints. Thus he is present during Malegaon (8/9/06), Samjhauta Express (19/2/07), Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad I (18/5/07).
Thus clearly Headley was also co-ordinating his attacks with the Abhinav Bharat & Sanatan Sanstha as well as with the Indian Mujahedeen (which is a creation of Intel services comprising criminals & informers from within the Muslim community).
We thus can infer the following from the latest revelation:
1) David Headley’s trail as he traveled across the country to & identify the sites for terror attacks was & is being covered up by the police on the instructions of the pro-CIA/Mossad sections of the Intelligence Bureau.
2) This was the similar case in the city of Mumbai, where Headley’s membership form at the ‘Moksh Gymnasium’ had both his photograph & signature ‘missing’. The flat which he rented on Bridge Candy has no agreement papers & so is the case with his office in Tardeo.
3) The fact that the hotel owner also submitted two forms of Israeli’s on that day, also could mean that Headley was also being guided by Mossad agents to identify Jewish targets, which they finally did & thus Nariman House.
4) Headley’s very entry into the country has been managed with the connivance of the authorities at the highest levels. And thus even though Headley was a drug dealer having faced a jail sentence, Pakistani born, could still manage to get a clearance. Also do note that he was travelling directly via Pakistan into India. The clearance of his Visa from the Indian Consulate in Chicago actually requires criminal proceedings against the Indian Consul general, the Indian Ambassador & the Minister & the concerned officers in the Home Ministry in Delhi. That was the reason that the authorities panicked & said that Headley’s papers at the Chicago Consulate had gone missing. They later found them. With changed signatures, we guess!
5) It is clear that after working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Headley was later was recruited & trained by the CIA-FBI.
6) The CIA-FBI then used Headley in their plan to execute the 26/11 attack in Mumbai. Headley’s task was to travel across the country, identify the targets & provide information to his CIA-FBI handlers. It was the CIA-FBI who then passed the information onto their ISI / LeT contacts in Pakistan.
7) Headley’s role was also to draw in his LeT contacts to plan the 26/11 terror attacks.
8) The IB, that has been colluding with the CIA-FBI, instructed it’s plants within the police force to cover Headley’s trail, which they dutifully performed as is the case both in Mumbai & in Pushkar.
Thus as our inference on the Headley matter is the following:
a) It proves the fact that David Headley was a CIA-FBI agent sent to India to assist in the preparation & implementation of the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks.
b) The US intelligence, led by the CIA-FBI & the Israeli MOSSAD played a central role in co-ordinating the attack & America is complicit in the planning, financing & execution of the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks.
c) The CIA-FBI used their LeT / ISI agents in Pakistan to implement the same
d) Similarly the CIA-FBI along with certain elements within the Intelligence-Security apparatus & organizations within India were instrumental in fomenting the terror attack.
Undoubtedly the larger strategic objectives of the Imperial gameplan are being achieved, out of which one was to establish the CIA-FBI & Mossad as our allies & thus penetrate & undermine our external & internal security structures.
Just imagine, the CIA-FBI & Mossad are the sword arms of the Imperial project & not a whimper of protest from the secular-liberals or from the anti-Imperialist Left. Even the Obama Af-Pak surge has been barely opposed even though it deepens the US occupation of the South Asian region.
This only goes to prove as to how successful the Imperial strategy has been in creating an atmosphere for US meddling & intervention across South Asia & in neutralising the Left, Bahujans & the Muslim community by systematically promoting Islamophobia by deploying the weapon of terror.
But the Indian masses are far smarter & both the issues of the planned assassination of Shaheed Hemant Karakare & the Headley episode, have helped the People arrive at their own independent conclusions despite the disinformation campaigns unleashed by the pro-US/israeli elements within the Indian Government & the Corporate Media.
Afghanistan. © Flickr.com/ussocom_ru/cc-by-nc-sa 3.0
Perhaps NATO is interested in Russia sending its instructors or even troops to assist coalition forces in Afghanistan, but Moscow will never consent to this, according to Russia’s Envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin.
Media reports in Great Britain – a member of the Western Coalition in Afghanistan – are actively discussing all variants of Moscow’s involvement in the NATO campaign. This resulted from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s decision to attend the Alliance’s upcoming summit in Lisbon, where he will, among other things, participate in a session of the Russia-NATO Council. The Western media are now wondering what offers for extending cooperation will be offered to Dmitry Medvedev.
At present, Russia is helping to train Afghan military units for countering drug trafficking and ensures the transit of non-military cargoes for the coalition via its territory. Another area is the so-called “helicopter package” – the issue that topped the agenda of the negotiations during NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s visit to the Russian capital. As a result, Moscow provided Poland with five Mi-17 aircraft to be used in Afghanistan. Furthermore, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said at the meeting with his American counterpart Robert Gates that Russia is prepared to sell or lease helicopters required by the Afghan security forces. NATO is probably seeking additional supplies of these aircraft, as well as training courses for pilots.
The helicopter package does not provide for the deployment of Russian specialists in Afghanistan. But, according to The Guardian, both the U.S. and Great Britain are interested in getting more instructors to join the ranks of the Afghan police and army. This will help the republic’s authorities to regain control over territories which are currently occupied by coalition forces.
Thus, in line with western media reports, NATO is seeking more instructors from Moscow as well. But the idea of inviting Russian troops to Afghanistan seems more than incredible, especially given the stand by Russian Envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin, who said that Russia will never supply cannon fodder to Afghanistan. Editor-in-Chief of “Russia in Global Affairs” magazine Fyodor Lukyanov shares this view.
Sending Russian forces to Afghanistan is almost completely impossible, in light of our country’s experience of being involved in the republic’s military operations. Russia’s participation may be limited to military and technical cooperation only, like, for instance, the delivery of helicopters or maintenance support.
The issue of sending Russian soldiers to Afghanistan can hardly be of any interest to politicians, even though it aroused a certain stir in the media. “We’ve already been in Afghanistan and we didn’t like it much,” Dmitry Rogozin said. A similar issue is the suggestion that Russia will allow the transit of NATO arms, ammunition or manpower via its territory. NATO would certainly benefit from this, since the Taliban keep attacking the Pakistani supply route, but Moscow will definitely renounce it.
What does NATO offer Russia, and what does Russia get in reality? Would Russia be willing to help NATO stay afloat by participating in its projects? What is the price of improving relations with its Western partners?
Dmitry Medvedev has expressed his preliminary agreement to visit the NATO summit in November. He announced this to Merkel and Sarkozy at the meeting in Deauville. However the president of Russia expressed a wish to clear up the issue of how exactly NATO is planning to change its concept of missile defense in Europe.
Military expert Aleksandr Khramchikhin thinks that the threat that Iran and North Korea allegedly pose, which is often discussed by supporters of Russia-NATO relations becoming closer, is a myth. He estimates the combat and political state of the alliance as low and does not see Russia in this bloc.
- military and political expert, Deputy Director of Military and Political Analytical Institute
- graduated from Moscow State University
- in 1990’s worked for Boris Yeltsin’s election campaign, as well as for election campaign of parties Our Home – Russia and Union of Right Forces
RT: Why did NATO voice its idea to have a joint missile shield with Russia only now?
Aleksandr Khramchikhin: Obviously, it did so because of the upcoming NATO summit. I don’t see any other reasons.
RT: But NATO summits happen regularly. Yet there were no such suggestions before. Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s envoy to NATO, says that the idea of involving Russia in NATO projects has never been popular; on the contrary, there was a tendency to exclude Russia. Why does NATO involve Russia in its projects now?
Military expert Aleksandr Khramchikhin
AK: NATO is clearly looking for a raison d’etre. The organization has been looking for it since 1991, when the enemy it was created to fight against ceased to exist. Until recently, eastward expansion was deemed as the only purpose for NATO’s existence. It was sort of a goal in itself. But now the project is obviously no longer relevant. It brings more problems than benefits. So the next and the only existing option is to involve Russia. Unless this project gets underway in the nearest future, they will have to dissolve NATO.
RT: Why should Russia help NATO stay afloat by participating in its projects?
AK: Actually, I do not quite understand myself why Russia should participate in this. Of course, it would be useful for Russia to develop closer ties with NATO, if it provided real protection from China, because China is surely the main threat to us. But it’s obvious that at the moment NATO is in such a condition that it cannot provide any kind of protection from anything. It’s just unable to do it. That’s why it’s absolutely unclear why we should participate in projects which have no effect.
RT: Those who are trying to pull Russia into a joint missile defense project claim there will be a shield to protect both Russia and Europe from Iran and North Korea. But do these countries pose any threat to Russia and Europe?
What about the threats which the proponents of closer ties with NATO are talking, or keeping silent, about?
- North Korea does not pose a threat to either Russia or Europe due to its weakness and its location
- Iran does not have adequate missiles, nor any reason to attack Russia or Europe
- one of the reasons why NATO wants Russia to join its project is to pit Russia against Iran
- NATO will not be able to protect Russia from China, the only real threat to Russia today
AK: As for North Korea, the idea is so absurd that there is nothing to comment on. I don’t even know who would buy it. How can NATO protect Russia from North Korea? North Korea is in the Far East, and NATO is in Europe.I don’t see how Iran can be a threat either. Firstly, Iran can’t mass-produce even conventional intermediate-range missiles, let alone missiles with nuclear warheads. And secondly, even if Iran gets such missiles, I have no clue as to why Iran should suddenly attack Russia or Europe.
The Iranian threat is nothing but an artificial geopolitical invention. And the threat coming from North Korea is sheer nonsense.
RT: Do you think that perhaps NATO is talking about cooperation and joint projects in order to ruin Russian-Iranian relations and get Russia involved in a war with Iran?
AK: That is true to some extent. But that’s not the main thing. The main thing is that Russia is being involved in a NATO project on NATO’s terms. In other words, we start doing something we are not interested in, while NATO gets a new raison d’etre. NATO gets more funds – a lot more, and NATO bureaucrats roll in money again.
RT: What does Russia expect to receive from the deal? Russia is still only considering the offer and expects certain compromises. What are they?
AK: As far as I understand, we won’t get anything in return. All we get is a more confident relationship with the West, which is not bad, but that’s not enough.
RT: But there is some bargaining going on. For example, Russia hopes the United States will reconsider its plan to deploy a missile defense system in Europe.
AK: I don’t know what is there to change. So far, there is no missile shield in Europe. So, there is nothing to change. There is a project which has already been completely changed. Bush had one project, and now Obama has an altogether different project. However, in reality nothing has been done, and now the project is under discussion again. So, if Russia joins it, that will be a different project again.
RT: What is the purpose of the military reform which is currently conducted in Russia? Closer cooperation with NATO?
AK: No, the purpose of the military reform, if there is one, has nothing to do with cooperation. In fact, we never expected to have military cooperation with anybody. We don’t cooperate with anybody. We don’t have any real allies. We should clearly realize that.
Military reforms are always launched in connection with some events outside the country, because armed forces exist to counter external threats. The purpose of the current reform is not cooperation, especially with NATO, because it started after the war with Georgia when Russia-NATO relations were at their worst.
RT: What about the upcoming reform of NATO? Can Russia benefit from it?
AK: It’s not clear yet what kind of reform it will be, because NATO hasn’t yet adopted its new concept.
RT: Why do some Russian politicians and experts advocate closer ties with NATO? What is their rationale?
Why does NATO seek closer ties with Russia?
- maximum eastward expansion brought problems instead of solving them
- NATO exhausted its raison d’etre after the collapse of the USSR and the Warsaw Pact
- the involvement of Russia means more funds for NATO bureaucracy
AK: I repeat, hypothetically this cooperation could be a great advantage, if NATO could protect us from China. The problem with the people who make such statements is that they have no idea what NATO actually is. They continue to think of NATO as of a very well-organized political and military alliance the way it was in the Cold War times. And thus the majority of our people, including Kremlin officials, think NATO to be a terrible threat, while a small number of people, such people as Igor Yurgens, for example, think that, on the contrary, NATO is our protection and ally.
In reality, NATO is anything but a powerful and well-organized politico-military force. It is a purely bureaucratic structure, which has lost its raison d’etre and, what’s more important, its military potential. That’s why it doesn’t pose any threat, but neither can it be a good ally.
RT: How did Russia benefit from participating in such summits?
AK: There was no benefit, because in 99 percent of the cases summits of this kind are nothing but a talking shop.
RT: Russia’s relationship with Belarusian leader Lukashenko has taken a turn for the worse. What are the chances he might start drifting from Russia towards NATO?
AK: That’s something Lukashenko has long been blackmailing us with. He’s been very active in flirting with the West. But the West can’t accept him for ideological reasons.
RT: Do you think Ukraine has fully abandoned the idea to join NATO?
AK: NATO’s eastward expansion creates more problems than it solves. Having accepted 12 new countries between 1999 and 2009, NATO became much weaker in terms of its military capacity and has become much more difficult to manage. So if they go on and accept countries like Ukraine, which doesn’t have an effective army and where most of the people are against joining NATO, this is going to create even more problems, and perhaps these problems will be even more serious than those caused by the 12 recently-joined members put together. So why would NATO want Ukraine?
RT: Is it even possible for Russia to have agreements with NATO? For example, agreements secured by Gorbachev when Soviet troops left East Germany were later dismissed. Do we expect to have any agreements with the West today?
AK: In 1990, the Warsaw Pact was still in force and no one seriously considered the possibility of these states joining NATO.
Today we are not ready for an actual dialogue with NATO. We have nothing to propose. That’s why they come up with proposals like this dialogue about the missile defense system, which doesn’t exist and which nobody really needs.
Nadezhda Kevorkova, RT
[Russian help in Afghanistan will come with a heavy price tag. In order to make Moscow a real ally in the terror war, real concessions will have to be made, enabling Russia to limit the open Western moves upon the Central Asian resources, leaving only covert means to achieve American resource control.]
The Western military alliance should “take Russia’s views into account” at its summit in Lisbon in November, a Kremlin source has said.
President Dmitry Medvedev will raise this issue and try to strengthen trust between Moscow and the alliance during the Russia-NATO summit on November 20, the source – who wished to remain anonymous – told Russian journalists on Thursday evening.
Moscow is interested in “equal cooperation, balanced and long-term cooperation that is dictated by the state interests of Russia and NATO member countries,” he stressed.
According to the source, the attitude towards NATO remains “highly skeptical” in Russia due to the effects of the Cold War. However, both sides are now working to reduce the level of confrontation.
“We have learned and continue to learn to listen to each other,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying. The two sides should determine the actual existing risks and responses to common threats, he added.
The main topics on the agenda of the Russia-NATO Council summit are “Euro-Atlantic security, regional conflicts, disarmament, nonproliferation, international terrorism, missile defense and arms control.” That’s according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrey Nesterenko.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is due to visit Moscow on November 5, in preparation for the meeting in Lisbon. He plans to discuss with the Russian leadership issues concerning cooperation in Afghanistan, including expanding rail transit of NATO shipments and the training of Afghan anti-drug specialists in Russia. Cooperation on NATO transit may be expanded, the Kremlin source said, as reported by RIA Novosti.
Moscow has also “reached understanding with the West about supplies of Russian helicopters to Afghanistan,”Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily said. “The details of the agreement will be announced at the NATO summit in Lisbon.”
The alliance has stressed that it does not want Russia to send troops to Afghanistan, the paper said. But Russia’s presence in that country will be expanded anyway, “if the contracts on helicopters and training of Afghans are signed,” the daily noted.
As cooperation in Afghanistan remains one of the main topics on the Russian-NATO agenda, Moscow is insisting on including a clause limiting the alliance’s forces in Central European states that joined the alliance after 1991, the media say.
Meanwhile, NATO’s promises to accept Georgia into the alliance in the future may only add to Russia’s “skepticism”mentioned by the Kremlin source. Visiting Tbilisi on Thursday, the chairman of NATO’s military committee, Giampaolo di Paola, “expressed confidence that Georgia would join NATO,” Interfax news agency reported.
Sergey Borisov, RT
(UKPA) – 28 minutes ago
Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin, ecstasy and crack cocaine, a new study has said.
Researchers rated alcohol the most dangerous substance based on the overall dangers to the individual and society as a whole.
The work was led by Professor David Nutt, the former government drugs adviser who was sacked for criticising the then Labour government’s decision to upgrade cannabis from class C to class B.
His team analysed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body as well as other factors like environmental and socio-economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison.
They found heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, to be the most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the most dangerous. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine. Marijuana, ecstasy and LSD scored far lower.
Marking substances from zero to 100 based on their criteria, alcohol scored 72 overall, compared to 55 for heroin and 54 for crack. Other drugs examined included: crystal meth (33), cocaine (27), tobacco (26), amphetamine/speed (23), cannabis (20), GHB (18), ketamine (15), methadone (13), ecstasy (9), anabolic steroids (9), LSD (7), buprenorphine (6) and magic mushrooms (5).
The study was produced by Prof Nutt’s Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs (ISCD), and published in medical journal The Lancet.
Its authors said: “Our findings lend support to previous work in the UK and the Netherlands, confirming that the present drug classification systems have little relation to the evidence of harm. They also accord with the conclusions of previous expert reports that aggressively targeting alcohol harms is a valid and necessary public health strategy.”
Other members of the ISCD include Prof Leslie King, who stepped down as a government adviser after Prof Nutt was sacked from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs last year. He was forced out after saying ecstasy and LSD were less harmful than alcohol and cigarettes and criticising the decision to reclassify cannabis.
He told The Guardian: “The Misuse of drugs Act is past its sell-by date and needs to be redone. We need to rethink how we deal with drugs in the light of these findings.”
A year of sub-sectarian massacreOn October 29, the Sunni Ittehad Council, led by Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP), staged a protest in Karachi and a dozen cities of Punjab against the destruction of tombs and shrines. This multi-city protest was triggered by the latest attack on the shrine of Baba Farid in Pakpattan in Punjab. The protest was ferocious because of earlier pent-up rage on the suicide bombing of Lahore’s Data Darbar shrine when Sunni-Barelvi religious parties united for the first time as a counterforce to the dominance of the Deobandis-Ahle Hadith, traditionally opposed to observances of devotion at the tombs.
October emerged as the most decisive month in so far as the response of the Barelvis graduated from passive protest to the actual creation of a counterforce to Deobandi Islam in South Punjab. The Ahle Sunnat gathering after the Data Darbar bombing in July looked dangerous when it threatened to take action on its own if the government did not move against the terrorists who had put holy shrines at risk. The backbone to this “counterforce” was provided by Sunni Tehrik from Karachi, the only Barelvi outfit in the country which can engage the madrassa-based and more organised Deobandis linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda. The Ahle Sunnat gathered under the flag of Sunni Ittehad Council and came to the notice of a national press more used to highlighting the Deobandis because of their presence in the state-organised jihad in Indian-administered Kashmir and Afghanistan.
Back in July, Barelvi leaders caused a minor political earthquake when they accused Punjab’s PML-N government of courting Sipah-e-Sahaba in South Punjab to safeguard its vote-bank from eroding in the face of the PPP. They demanded the dismissal of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah because of his much-publicised contacts with the Sipah, long declared a terrorist organisation — the ‘mother’ organisation that has provided human fodder to the cauldron of the region’s multi-layered violence in the name of Islam presided over by al Qaeda.
The shrines began to be attacked in 2005 when Islamabad’s Shia shrine, Bari Imam, was blown up by suicide bombers sent in from the violently sectarian madrassas of Kohat, using Lal Masjid as its place of muster. Since then, the shrinesin Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa have been systematically attacked with the Taliban routinely owning up to the attacks. Karachi saw a sub-sectarian war between the Sipah-e-Sahaba and the Sunni Tehrik, reaching its climax in October when blasts at the great shrine of Abdullah Shah Ghazi shook the country into some awareness of what was happening. For the first time, the sub-sectarian killing in Karachi is not one-sided; hence the conclusion that a counterforce to the state-supported Deobandi Islam has come about. Had the government listened to the sermons all over Punjab – available on discs – it would have realised that the next massacre was going to be Deobandi-versus-Barelvi on the old issue of “mazar-parasti” (tomb-worship) which forms the fundamental devotional ritual of the more grassroots religion of the people of Pakistan.
In Jhang, where the Sipah-e-Sahaba was born, the prime target were the Shia but there was also a lateral argument with the Barelvis there because of the latter’s tolerance of and friendly interaction with the Shia. The Shia-Barelvi “union” – covert in the case of Shia action – came to the fore in Lahore when the Sunni Ittehad Council announced this month that it would stage a long march from Bari Imam in Islamabad to Data Darbar in Lahore. Pakistan’s relations with Iran nose-dived in the late 1990s because of the exclusive use of anti-Shia Deobandis in the war in Afghanistan where Shia Hazaras were to become their prime target. In Quetta, where the Hazaras have been sheltering from Afghanistan-based violence, sectarian attacks have become routine. This year too, the Hazaras were attacked, but the outreach of the terrorists included Lahore for the first time when Karbala Gamay Shah saw its devotees blown up by a suicide bomber. Sipah-e-Sahaba and its offshoots – the Jaish-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi – were once the strategic assets of the state of Pakistan (and if the “solution” in Afghanistan goes wrong for Islamabad in 2011 they could once again be.) But now these “assets” have linked up with al Qaeda and become its ancillary warriors, killing innocent Pakistani citizens and targeting the army to dissuade Pakistan from fighting the war against terrorism and persuading the scared commentator into saying “it is not Pakistan’s war”. The al Qaeda link appeared on the internet on the website of what al Qaeda called Brigade 313 in September 2010, consisting of al Qaeda, Harkatul-Jihad-al-Islami, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jandullah (Karachi-based), Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and the Tehrik-e-Taliban. The leader of Brigade 313 is Ilyas Kashmiri, once Pakistan’s single-most important fighter in Kashmir and suspected of being from the army’s commando brigade, SSG (though this has been denied by ISPR). Anti-Shia violence was once traced by an intelligence report to Pakistan’s pursuit of covert jihad. Its use of non-state actors of a certain brand in proxy wars worked two ways: it created multiple centres of power within civil society which could challenge the “monopoly of violence” of the state; and it infected the “handlers” of the warring groups, sending the sectarian virus deep into the corridors of Pakistan’s establishment. The “denigration of the tomb” among the urban classes journeying away from traditional Sufi culture complicates the scene further, in a way preparing Pakistan for a Taliban state.
Al Qaeda went sectarian in 2003 when it sent its first batch of terrorists to Iraq to fight the Americans. Instead of focusing on the invaders, its commander, Abu Musab alZarqawi, took on the Shia majority of Iraq and its patron in the region, Iran. Today in Iraq, “Sunni reconciliation” has failed and the country is expected to tilt once again into sectarian war. This was presaged by the Yom al Quds killing of the Shia in Quetta this month. Typically, al Qaeda, planning to attack the Shia, is persuaded by “local conditions” to kill the Barelvis as well. Can Pakistan change? Darwin is often misquoted on the “survival of the fittest”. He actually said, “species don’t die because they are weak but because they are unable to change.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2010.
Author: Sarah Khan
It was not immediately clear whether the hostages died at the hands of the attackers or during the rescue late on Sunday night in an affluent neighborhood of the capital.
The incident began at dusk Sunday when militants wearing suicide vests and armed with grenades attacked the Iraqi stock exchange before capturing the nearby Our Lady of Deliverance church — one of Baghdad’s main Catholic places of worship — taking about 120 Christians hostage.
Officials said at least one priest and nine policemen were among the dead. Many of the wounded were women.
The casualty information came from police and officials at hospitals where the dead and wounded were taken. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
There were conflicting accounts about the number of attackers involved in the assault, with Baghdad military spokesman Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi saying Sunday night that security forces killed eight, while the U.S. military said between five and seven died.
Two police officers on the scene, however, say only three attackers were killed and another seven arrested afterwards.
A cryptically worded statement posted late Sunday on a militant website allegedly by the Islamic State of Iraq appeared to claim responsibility for the attack. The group, which is linked to al-Qaeda in Iraq, said it would “exterminate Iraqi Christians” if Muslim women are not freed within 48 hours from churches in Egypt.
Iraqi Christians, who have been frequent targets for Sunni insurgents, have left in droves since the 2003 U.S.-led war.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is visiting the Kurils, defying Japan’s warnings not to visit the disputed islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Mr Medvedev arrived in Kunashir, the second-largest of the four islands, where he met local residents.
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan immediately described Mr Medvedev’s visit as “regrettable”.
They lie to the north of Japan’s Hokkaido island and to the south of Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. They are known in Russia as the Southern Kurils, while Japan calls them the Northern Territories.
Japan’s foreign minister had summoned the Russian ambassador to protest about the visit, Mr Kan said.
Earlier, Russia’s top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, warned that Mr Medvedev was free to visit any Russian region he chose.
Mr Medvedev is the first Russian leader to set foot on the Kuril Islands.
In Kunashir, known in Japan as Kunashiri, he promised greater investment in the region.
“We have an interest in people remaining here. It is important that there be development here, we will invest money here without fail,” Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.
His visit comes shortly before his planned trip to Japan for an Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) meeting in mid-November.
In Tokyo, Prime Minister Kan reiterated Japan’s stance on the islands.
“Those four northern islands are part of our country’s territory, so the president’s visit is very regrettable,” he said.
Separately, Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara warned that any such visit would “hurt the feelings of the Japanese people”.
The territorial dispute has strained relations between Tokyo and Moscow ever since World War II, preventing the signing of a formal peace treaty.
The islands have rich fishing grounds, mineral deposits and possibly oil and gas reserves.
Before Russia took control of them, some 17,000 Japanese residents lived in the Kurils.
Opposition activists from left-wing and liberal groups hold flags and a poster depicting the road sign with a portrait of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow , Russia, Saturday, Oct. 23. 2010. Some five hundred people have rallied in central Moscow to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Update: 2,000 rally in Moscow, demand freedom of assembly
Today at 19:59 | Associated Press
MOSCOW (AP) — Nearly 2,000 people gathered in central Moscow on Sunday demanding freedom of assembly in a rare sanctioned rally.
The Russian opposition protests on the 31st day of each month are a nod to the 31st Article of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly.
Opposition activists gathered to protest in two separate rallies Sunday after Moscow City Hall gave a rare approval for the rally but placed a cap on the number of participants at 1,000 people, down from the requested 1,500.
Supporters of veteran rights activist and chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva agreed to the limit. But rally co-organizer Eduard Limonov slammed the decision as a “betrayal.”
Limonov’s supporters rallied Sunday, separated from Alexeyeva by a police cordon. Police later allowed them to merge with the sanctioned protest.
“Authorities have shown respect for the law for the first time,” Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the anti-Kremlin Left Front movement, said as he moved to join Alexeyeva’s rally “It’s a big victory for the opposition.”
Uncharacteristically for such protests, there were no reports of police violence.
Popular support for vocal opposition groups is minimal in Russia, and their activities have been thwarted in regions like Moscow, where authorities ban their rallies and police regularly break up their gatherings.