Smashing Greater Central Asia – (Part IV)–Smashing Systematically

Smashing Greater Central Asia – Part IV

Smashing Systematically

Peter Chamberlin

The pipeline wars are real wars, in that two or more nations are ordering their civilian and military foot soldiers, on a daily basis, into life or death contests to the finish.  For the United States, it is a contest which must be won, if we are to survive, according to most of our national leaders.  But is that really true?  According to both civilian and military authorities, if we lose this war, then we lose “our way of life.”  That may be true, but it does not mean the end of us as a free Republic.  America will go on, even after the impending military defeat.  We cannot win…We cannot be allowed to win, if victory means world conquest.

The next phase of action in the battle to smash greater Central Asia will probably be the most dangerous phase of the war (other than the final global conflagration, if there is to be one).  The unfolding grand production will involve the usual mixture of open and covert measures, following a carefully choreographed ballet of geopolitical and geostrategic forces.

The real danger will arise out of the uncertainty factor that is inherent in all conspiratorial plans.  The great danger will arise when the plan for total control double-crosses dictators who think they have been part of that plan. The uncertainty of their future reactions to threats to their survival is the sand in the wheels of the military machine.  In nearly all cases, normal people can be counted upon to make the choices that seem to guarantee their survival, even if they contradict lucrative backroom deals that have been made with powerful individuals.  Unhinged dictators may choose to bring the grand production down with them.

In the coming conflagration, no one (not even the genius planners who have designed this powerful international soap opera) can know for certain just what will happen next.  No matter how many computer simulations they have run, no matter how many ways they have war-gamed the human psyche, using their complex logarithms for predicting human behavior in a crisis, no one can predict the future.  This is especially true when trying to predict the reactions of dictators, who find themselves alone and cornered.  Cocksure generals and intelligence analysts are convinced that they can predict the course of a limited warfare scenario.  Preventing a planned limited warfare engagement between nuclear-armed adversaries from escalating into total thermonuclear war is the key to our survival.  Asshole generals and admirals do not have that degree of control of our world, no matter what they think.

Students of human nature understand that, in this world of rapidly-building social tensions, the coming conflagration will take the form of a mass human uprising.  There will be no reapplication of the “Libya solution,” over and over, until the world is swept clean.  If the West dares to pull that trick again, this time upon either Syria or Iran, the outcome will be completely different.  Neither Russia nor China is prepared to allow NATO to get away with this again.  There are some actual “red lines” in this brave new world that no power dares to cross.  There are “red lines” in the desert sands and in the blue waters of the Middle East.  Russia has also scattered red lines all over the former Soviet Union.

Given time, every dictator will be unseated, even the secret ones, those faceless men who reveal their faces to the world, while they are manipulating commerce for their own profit.  The day of retribution is at hand for the world-planners, and most of them understand this.  That fact is what elevates the threat from the burgeoning global social revolution, making it even more dangerous to dictators than any military power.  Taking into account this universal fear of all dictators, we can see that the only part that any of us play in this great human drama is in either impeding or accelerating that coming day of freedom.  For the day when the last secret dictator falls will be the day that mankind’s full potential is set free from the cages within our minds, which bind us all.

The problem with predicting the decisions to be made by panicking dictators, is that they are not normal human beings, most of them fitting easily  into the mold of psychopaths, if only because of the methods that they used in pushing themselves into their seats of power.  During the last days of the Soviet Union, not one analyst in the West could have imagined in their best-case/worst-case scenarios the decision that Mikhail Gorbachev had already made, to pull the plug on the Soviet Union and simply allow it to die.  This unpredictability is one of the things which make dictators so dangerous.  It certainly is a major factor in discouraging most people from even trying to understand them.  But I am not most people.  Efforts like mine, to understand the minds of the dictators, who have all been targeted for political “termination,” may be the best path for anticipating what Obama has planned for us next.

I have always tended to believe the worst about our leaders’ intentions, up until now, that one day their actions would make nuclear war inevitable.  After learning of some of their hidden capabilities, especially their ability to manipulate human behavior, I have had to fine-tune my beliefs.  Western behavioral control specialists have devised an elementary mind-control science, which gives them the capability to “manage conflict,” to prevent conflicts from escalating into total global war.

If only our leaders were capable of compromise, making them willing to renounce their great plans for world domination, then they could use their power over man for the benefit of all mankind.  As it is, our leaders are all American supremacists, who believe that American domination of the world would be for the betterment of all mankind.  These types see our wars of “humanitarian intervention” (such as the recent NATO slaughter in Libya) as acts of benevolence.  The rest of the world looks at our wars and the havoc that we have wrought from Afghanistan to North Africa and sees them as the acts of “state terrorism” which they really are.

All the world really is “a stage” in America’s “war on terrorism,” which is actually the greatest psychological warfare operation ever conceived by the minds of men.  The trick for understanding this synthetic world we live in, is learning to think of every event that is reported by national news media as a deception, because it probably is.  Learning to look behind the publicized events which shape popular opinion, is the key to understanding our manufactured reality.  Any report which makes it into the “legitimate press” is either there to help dull our senses, or to mislead us, diverting us from real news stories which might awaken us from our slumber.

In the “global war on terror” everything is based on deception.  American media and Western media in particular, have worked hand-in-glove with the US government to mold American popular opinion, as well as world opinion, around a false narrative.  Together, government and its subservient media have dispensed a synthetic reality of a “heroic” American military intervention, that is serving as a “force for good” around the world.  Not once, have any of the “legitimate news” sources questioned the destruction that has been left in our wake, or the millions of lives that have been sacrificed so far, on the altar of projected American magnanimity.

The global terror war operates around an unknown number of separate psychological warfare operations, with each major production leading its targeted audiences to accept a simple central narrative—“America’s  terror war is one of good –vs—evil.”

There are several central disinformation operations, around which the global narrative revolves—

War between Iran and the US is inevitable.

American forces are at war against militant Islamists.

The United States is a protector of human rights.

The US/NATO will one day end its war and leave Afghanistan.

The American goal is to bring prosperity to the world.

None of these statements are true; in fact, they are all calculated to produce the exact opposite outcomes in the new manufactured reality.  Iranian, American and British intelligence agencies all work together, to create the false impression of an inevitable global conflagration.  Militant Islamists are manipulated by the CIA and by military controllers, to provide America with an excuse to unleash its military power upon a targeted country.  The US is moving us all away from a state of worldwide freedom, where full human rights are the norm, instead of the exception, towards a global police state under American domination.  The US cannot consider leaving Afghanistan, without first giving-up on its plans for “Silk Roads” and “pipelinestan.”  American leaders plan to avoid the effects of the economic collapse (which their greed has caused), by taking control over the global economy, where they will oversee the diminution of personal wealth for most of us.

Obama’s America operates under a different set of rules than those which have governed his predecessors.  He doesn’t even bother hiding the two faces of American foreign policy—one of benevolence and one of menace.

Obama and Hillary are a perfect pair for deploying this strategy—she dispenses the warm smiles, while she uses her feminine wiles to push “humanitarian intervention,” while he often sports the determined grimace of a mafia “Don,” making backroom threats and offers which dictators dare not refuse.

The drive to win the pipeline wars for Central Asian blue gas and black gold makes use of every national and international asset to clear the pipeline corridor, connecting the Caspian to the Arabian Seas, eventually reaching the Pakistani port built by the Chinese at Gwadar.  The US plan has been to network its way into this New World Order.  NATO took a big first-step toward this new world when it created the “Virtual Silk Road,” a computer network which services eight of the CIS governments of the former Soviet Union (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia,  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan).  NATO provides this network to Eastern governments as a service, creating for them a virtual domain over everything in their real domains.  This Western service operates from a central hub at Deutsches Elektronen-SYnchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg, Germany (at the home of one of Europe’s largest particle accelerators).  The Soros Foundation is one of the Silk Project’s backers.

It may be that the German angle is the key to unraveling this whole knot.  Germany seems to be a key-way for “Islamists” to integrate into Europe.  German Industrial giant Siemens has won the Turkmen state contract for electrification of the country, water distribution, Caspian oil exploration.

Germany could be considered to be one of the “nodes” in a greater virtual network, which provides the Empire real power to manipulate the world, using powerful nations (nodes) like Germany as tools to oversee lesser nations, such as those in Central Asia.  Turkey is another node.  Istanbul services the Empire’s need for local personal connections into the Turkmen culture, which stretches deep into Central Asia, all the way to Russia.  Turkey provides unique services, in addition to manufacturing and construction projects, Turkey helps by producing fake “al-Qaeda,” Hizb-ut Tahrir and even Chechen militants, who have been either recruited or arrested inside Turkey.  This militant recruitment circuit is used for funneling militant players into local Turkmen-based psyops.  Turkey also provides the ground troops of Fethullah Gülen’s “moderate Islamists,” who build Islamist-based schools in former Soviet territory, or work from homes to clandestinely spread the teachings of the “Nurcular” movement, which has been banned in Russia as extremist literature.  This provides perfect fertile ground for spreading the seeds of Islamist teachings and the widespread Islamaphobic reactions, which always follow.

It is the so-called “moderate Islamists” of Fethullah Gulen and Hizbut-Tahrir (both of which impart the teachings of Said Nursi) which represent the greatest danger of quietly radicalizing the young men of Russia and Central Asia.  Their manmade versions of Islam are intended to bend innocent, hungry minds, imparting a false set of ideological beliefs, full of triggering injunctions, that give believers a false sense of moral superiority and a hatred of all of those weaker souls (infidels) who dare to believe differently.

The following definition of that psychological danger is a judgment from the Moscow district court, which describes this psychological mechanism, taught in Nursi’s writings, called “Risale-i Nur”–

[Risale-i Nur] “attempts to influence the psyche of the reader subconsciously using mechanisms of religious belief, i.e. the formation of conscious values and convictions with an irrational basis…,the destruction of religious equality, expressed in the formation of a negative, aggressive attitude among its target audience towards adherents of other confessional groups…,propagandises hatred between Muslims and non-believers.”

This process utilizes the same triggering mechanism of religious guilt that has been used for many years by the Wahhabi and radical Deobandi leaders, to brainwash young suicide bombers all over Asia, and the Middle East.  The followers of Nursi follow a gentler approach, but they still motivate young minds with the same mission to defend their false beliefs, which have been methodically drummed into them, filling them with ideas of moral superiority and hatred for everyone who is different.  Once their conditioning is complete, they are given the triggering verses (which have been lifted out of context from the real Quran), confronting them with a moral choice, which they cannot escape—will they defend God, or will they surrender to their own sinful natures?   

Excessive concerns about the dangers from the spread of these forms of pseudo-Islam may be premature, when there are real Islamic scholars, like Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda (SEE:  Tajik Mufti Who Sees Through Anti-Islamist Western Subversion, Targeted By Tajik Court) in Tajikistan, who very boldly speaks-out against these false belief systems. Turajonzoda is second-in-command of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan.

“He has called Hizb ut-Tahrir, an international Islamist organization, a threat to Tajikistan’s stability.[4] He claimed HT is Western-sponsored and that it wants to “remak[e] Central Asia… A more detailed analysis of HT’s programmatic and ideological views and concrete examples of its activities suggests that it was created by anti-Islamic forces. One proof of this is the comfortable existence this organization enjoys in a number of Western countries, where it has large centers and offices that develop its concept of an Islamic caliphate.”

Hizbut-Tahrir is a British creation, a weaponized form of Islam, which has been passed on to the American Empire-builders.  The spread of this viral form of pseudo-religious mass-hypnosis coincides with a rapidly increasing Western-motivated wave of social unrest in the Muslim world and the rise of militant Islamists in the former Soviet space.

Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE serve as other nodes, which provide the destabilizing forces with unseen access in Sunni-dominant regions of South and Central Asia, such as Pakistan, where the Saudis spread dollars among the radical madrassas like “manna” from on high.  The UAE controls Shamsi air base in Jacobabad, Pakistan.  Saudi penetration into CA is understood to be primarily through the building of Sunni mosques and similar religious institutions (many of them allegedly Gulen schools), throughout CA, particularly in the Fergana Valley.  Saudi service to the Empire goes far deeper than these more obvious efforts, since the Saudis are the financial benefactors of most “Islamist” movements (except for the Shia ones), especially the ones which are active in Chechnya and the Caucasus.    Bahrain provides another kind of service in other areas, where there is contention or commerce between Sunnis and Shias, or in those countries bordering Iran, such as Turkmenistan.

The psywar for borderline states like Turkmenistan must plan around the special circumstances which are deemed to be matters of survival.  The current President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, as well as his predecessor, have maintained a strict neutrality for the country, even though Imperial wars raged all around them.  Any effort by CIA planners to bend the will of the “Hero of Turkmenistan” must not violate that neutrality, or it must at least maintain the appearance of neutrality.  That public appearance of Turkmen “neutrality” must be maintained, even after the presidential mind has been successfully twisted and he has secretly accepted Imperial domination.

According to the following article from the alternative Turkmen website, Gundogar, (SEE: Predetermined range of Turkmenistan), that goal has already been reached.  According to Turkmen author, Ruslan Babanov, Berdimuhamedov’s decisions may all be slanted, as he tries to accommodate his belief that a US/Israeli airstrike against Iran is inevitable.  Babanov contends that he is flying blind, trying to navigate the treacherous currents that are ebbing and flowing around and through his country, moving back and forth between two bitter “frenemies,” Russia and the US/NATO.

He therefore feels compelled to follow American dictates and to accommodate Israeli interests in his country.  This belief apparently causes him to accept Western plans for harvesting Turkmen gas, as the first stage in dominating all Central Asian gas and oil.  He wants to see his gas flowing towards Europe, if only because that is the Imperial demand being made on him. The author of that piece apparently agrees with my contention that the Turkmen President, like all the Central Asian dictators, will eventually turn to Russia, if the Arab Spring revolutions rise-up in their own neighborhood.  At that point in the game, they will fear being overthrown by the very real masses of protesters, more than they will fear a hypothetical American/Israeli strike upon neighboring Iran.

If the tables are turned upon the Imperial planners in that manner, and the political climate in Central Asia begins to resemble that which was recently witnessed in Kazakhistan, then Putin might see his Eurasian Union become a reality.

Until those tables are turned, Berdimuhamedov will have to maintain normal commerce with his heavily persecuted Shia neighbor.  The government in Iran is known to protest vociferously whenever this Turkmen tilt towards the West becomes apparent.   Once more quoting Babanov, the Chief of Staff or the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Seyed Hassan Firuzabadi frames the Turkmen dilemma this way–

”We are taking all measures to limit the influence of the Zionists in the neighboring state of Iran, in particular, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.”

If Berdy really was the “hero of Turkmenistan,” then he would take actions to defend her against all outside aggression, this would mean fighting back against Imperial subversion and destabilization, in the manner of the counter-revolutionary efforts recently made by the Egyptian Army (SEE:  Egyptian Police Fight Back Against State Dept./Soros Subversive NGOs).  Today, the Army cleaned-out the offices of US and other foreign NGOs, whose sole purpose is to undermine the government there, even though they claim to be defenders of “human rights.”

The National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI) and Freedom House are all subversive command centers, whose foot soldiers act like little moles, as they busily burrow their way into local and national service organizations in Turkmenistan and in every country of  Central Asia, or in the CENTCOM area of responsibility.  The compromised local organizations become compromised, turning into larger instruments of subversion.  The biggest problem for subverting the CA countries through human rights NGOs, is that dictators like the Turkmen and Uzbek  presidents are unwilling to tolerate US criticisms of human rights abuses.  The more that the Western groups criticize these governments, the farther apart the two sides become.

Are Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan more afraid of revolution or of a US/Israeli attack upon Iran?  Decrease fears of US strike, increase fears of revolution, especially Islamist revolution, and you move both nations closer to the Russian sphere of influence.  Russians are staunch supporters of Iran supporter and they are thought to be willing to use whatever force is needed to protect the sovereignty of Iran, just as they will do whatever is necessary to quell any insurrection that threatens their own survival.

So far, Uzbekistan has remained a part of CSTO, but its President, Islam Karimov has refused to take part in preparations for a predominantly Russian rapid reaction force.  Uzbekistan’s tilt towards the West has created doubts about its allegiances to any regional grouping that is dominated by Russia.  That may have just changed as Uzbek negotiators participated in recent Moscow meetings to hammer-out details and financing for Collective Operational Reaction Forces (CORF).  This would also include measures to control the Internet during a regional emergency situation.  Recently, Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan submitted a resolution to the U.N., petitioning the General Assembly to delegate to individual states the right to control the Internet during emergency situations, such as the recent Kazakh oil worker protests and major rioting.

Such an explosive situation may be in the making in Russia.  The Moscow protests are shaping-up to be a test, a counter-attack set-up by the State Dept. experts in revolutionary democratic subversion, to prove to the rest of the CIS states that Putin’s way of reviving the violent old ways of the Communist Party will not work in this media age.  In the past, Putin has been quoted as saying that unlawful protestors should “expect a baton to the skull.”  If the world is forced to choose between the violence of the West’s war on terror campaign, or the violence of Russia, based upon the suppression of those democratic rights, then the world will choose to side with the known quantity, the Western ways.  However, the CA dictators are not being asked to do the right thing, they are being compelled to do whatever it takes to survive.

The dictators of the world may have been able to fit into the democratic world on an economic basis, but they can never really fit-into this world, until they loosen their grip on the reins of power.  This is a risk that they dare not take.  In trying to force Putin to give-up power, Obama has reminded the rest of the world’s dictators and authoritarians of the very real dangers to them from the forces of unleashed democracy.  Allow people to say anything that they want and red lines will be crossed, lines which can never be uncrossed.  This is the lesson to be learned from Hillary’s Moscow agitation.

How Putin handles the growing test represented by the Moscow protests will determine for the rest of the former Soviet dictators of the wisdom of a Russian led counter-revolutionary rapid deployment force—vs –an American-led force.  If Putin manages to put-down the challenge and afterwards, he is able to placate the protesters’ demands, then he will have demonstrated the practical value of his approach over that of Obama’s.

How Obama counters the challenge coming from a revitalized Putin (a Putin who is thereafter seen as a force for stability) will probably be the deciding factor in whether America suffers a moderately painful repositioning of its resources and a cessation of hostilities against the world, or whether we take a very large portion of the world with us as we strike-out in a fiery last gasp.  America must face the fact that it cannot continue to have its way with the world, on the lame excuse that we are “fighting terror” and “defending freedom.”   The entire world is slowly catching-on, that we have been sowing terror and snuffing-out the last vestiges of individual freedom.

It is presently in US interests to calm the Central Asian dictators’ fears over an Arab Spring virus breaking out in their domains.  If Russia chooses to challenge the West as it makes a grab for its former national resources, then it would be in Russia’s interests to stoke those fears, as a means to build support for a Russian alliance and rapid reaction force in CA, instead of the American version being pushed upon them.

If Obama doesn’t want Putin to be the leading actor in this psychodrama, then he will accentuate the fears which cause sleepless nights for everyone in the CA neighborhood and the entire hemisphere—Islamists.  It would serve American interests to heighten fears of an Islamist uprising, or a spillover from Afghanistan, or heightened fears over those nasty nuclear-armed Islamists in Iran and Pakistan.

If Russian leaders have been paying attention, then they too, will have copied American dexterity in manipulating people into situations that they would choose to avoid if left on their own.  They would move the people of CA in the direction that they want them to go in, but they would do it in a way which improved people’s lives in some major way.  Just like the Virtual Silk Project, which greatly improved inefficient governments, it also brought with it multiple national Internet systems that let thousands of people improve their lives in countless ways.  By working with the officials and professionals who use this network, the Americans and Europeans have networked themselves into the hearts of these countries, making themselves vital cogs in the great machines of the young Central Asian states.  This says nothing of potential, secret ways in which NATO could have gained advantages over their major adversaries by providing this insiders network.

Russia could also gain similar advantages if Putin would invest some of those Gazprom profits into modernizing some of the decrepit national roads, railroads, water and energy transmission systems that the CA nations are trying to survive on.  If Russia wants to advance itself among civilized Nations then its leaders will learn important lessons from America’s fall and begin to act like a great power.  It will start helping its former allies and stop trying to gain economic advantage over them.  This world is rapidly changing and Nations which refuse to change along with it will be swept away by the howling winds of history.

Russia rises or falls in current world opinion, based on its resistance to American Imperial aggression, or lack thereof.  With the NATO powers rising as world aggressors, the world looks to Russia to resist.   Acting in the role of a champion of the targeted nations of the Middle East and Africa, Russia grows in stature in direct proportion to America’s fall.  The tipping point has now been reached, where every new Western aggression moves greater numbers of people to the side of anyone who will resist the aggression.

The moment of decision has now come, when the atmosphere of fear that America and her Western allies have been striving so hard to create starts to dissipate just a little, so that people might see through the smoky haze of the false reality that has been created.  If the entire world suddenly learns that we have all been following lies for the past ten years there will be no allies left to wage the Empire’s wars.  What repercussions will Americans throughout the world suffer if suddenly it became obvious that we were all being blackmailed into waging a war that none of us wanted?

How many governments have been forced into supporting the US campaign out of fear of an American/Israeli strike upon Iran?  How many have joined us out of a fear of being overrun by an wave of Islamists?  In the Bush/Cheney campaign to gain support for their terror war, they forced every government to decide whether they were “with us or against us.”    This was the prototype of the pattern that was to be followed throughout the perpetual war.  Now, instead of threatening to bomb someone “back to the Stone Age,” we have forced countless conscientious people to warn the world at the top of their lungs, that we are about to cause nuclear war in the Middle East.  The new imperative question then becomes—Whose side do you want to be on?

How corrupt, or how far gone, does a government have to be, if the only way it can survive the damage it has caused by its own excesses is to extort half of the world into doing its will and the other half into serving as its “sacrificial sheep” on the altar of prosperity?  If the only way that this Nation can survive is on the backs of others, then does it even deserve to survive?  What has become of the sterling moral fiber which once allegedly made us so worthy of such international respect?

In the final analysis, how much of this threatened violence, which constantly bombards us from US and Western sources, is for real?  As crazy and as borderline berserker as Bush and Cheney and the rest of the neocons crowd appeared to be, would they really have followed through and eliminated the state of Pakistan, if Musharraf hadn’t given in to their demands?  After ten years of depleting the most expensive and hardest to replace weapons in the US and NATO arsenals, as well as wearing-out their delivery systems, are Western forces still capable of sending any moderately-armed nation like Iran or Pakistan back to the Stone Age, without crossing the nuclear threshold in the process?  Have Bush and Obama “shot our wad,” before taking-out the most important primary targets, which stand between us and world conquest?  There will be no Pipelineistan or Silk Road without either Pakistan or Iran at our side.

What have we really accomplished in either Afghanistan or Iraq, other than totally destroying two previously functioning nations, without defeating any of our chosen “enemies,” considering that their guerilla armies still remain intact?  Does “mission accomplished” mean that we have successfully destroyed these countries and forced their armies to adopt an asymmetric warfare strategy?  We have proved ourselves to be very efficient at mass-destruction, but we are no better at defeating guerilla armies than anybody else.  The bloody terrorist strategy that we set loose upon the Soviets in Afghanistan so many years ago has come home to plague us and to deprive us of an elusive victory.  We taught the original Mujahedeen very well.  They have proven to be very proficient at teaching their learned skills to others.  Through our subversive efforts, the entire world has been made aware of the fact that each man can be an army unto himself, if only he has the will to make it so.

Weighing our future military actions upon these many errors of the past, we begin to see just how many of the military threats that have carried this war (especially the part about recruiting recalcitrant allies) were hollow.  Comparing the red-hot rhetoric sweetened with the honey dripping from the tongues of armies of American diplomats, to the reality of our actions, one thing becomes apparent—all or most of our actions have turned-out to be rational, no matter how insane the threats used to get us to that place seemed to be.  That is the standard that we must use, when judging American and Israeli threats against Iran.  If starting a war with Iran would be an insane act, and most American experts admit that this is correct, then bombing Iran would prove to be an irrational act.  This tells us that there is very little chance that America will allow Israel to bomb Iran.

Following the Imperial line of thinking, beyond the possibilities of war with Iran, for a Nation committed to rationality, are there anticipated circumstances before us, when the only foreseeable rational solution would be to do the irrational thing?  Will there come a time, when taking a calculated, insane-seeming risk is the only rational decision that our leaders can make?  Have the devious American and British planners set us up for a great collision with the other great world powers in our immediate future?  Do they have a Final Solution in mind for us all, a decisive nuclear war with either Russia or China?

Does it make sense to the self-elected world planners that a significant portion of humanity be eliminated, for the sake of some perceived “greater good”?  Have the powers that be come to the merciless, immoral conclusion that “the needs of the many really do outweigh the needs of the few”?  If this is the case, then the rest of mankind would be compelled to make the moral decision to resist this planned genocide.  This is pure insanity; where is the logic in killing millions of innocent human beings?  What exactly is the truth about all the bullshit that our government has been spreading around for so many years?

If the American and other Western oligarchs have foreseen their own destruction at the hands of the people (who will soon respond to the powerful motivations which have been unleashed), then their only logical choice for self-preservation would be to prevent that global mob from reaching that critical mass.  This is the logic of the psychopath, the subject at the center of all “conspiracy theories.”  All such “conspiracy theorists” research this common element, the psychopaths who rule over us.  This probably explains why we have all been branded as lunatics ourselves.

In a reverse logic of that dispensed by the psychopathic ruling elite, we must communicate the threat of this probable future, as our own motivational tool.  Just as the elite use the threat of an insane war upon Iran to force others to join their side, we know that we must project the threat of a US/Russia nuclear war to force people to join us in the anti-Empire resistance.  That is my purpose and that of thousands of others just like me, to warn about the psychopaths who rule us, before it is too late.

therearenosunglasses@hotmail.com

BLA claims responsibility of the blast in Quetta: 13 killed

[SEE:  The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army–Mar 1, 2005]

BLA claims responsibility of the blast in Quetta: 13 killed

Injured person being shifted to a hospital after a car-bomb blast in Quetta on Friday. – Photo by APP

QUETTA: At least 13 people were killed and 30 others injured, six among them seriously, when a bomb placed in a car parked near the house of a former minister of state on Arbab Karam Road exploded on Friday evening.

The proscribed Balochistan Liberation Army has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The powerful blast was heard far and wide. It smashed windows of several buildings.

At least six vehicles parked in the area and 10 nearby houses caught fire after the explosion and were destroyed.

“Unknown men put the explosive material into a vehicle and parked it near the house of former state minister Mir Naseer Mengal,” DIG Operation Nazir Ahmed Kurd said, adding that the explosion occurred at around 7pm.

He said 13 people had been killed and another 30 injured who were in hospitals.

Intelligence sources put the number of the dead at 15. Seven of the dead are said to be the guards of Shafique Mengal, son of Naseer Mengal.

Security officials were of the view that Shafique Mengal might have been the target of the attack.

DIG Investigation Hamid Shakeel told Dawn that about 40-50kg of explosive material had been used for the blast.

He said that explosive material had also been planted in another vehicle, parked near the house, adding that the bomb disposal squad defused it.

The injured were taken to the Bolan Medical College hospital and Civil Hospital.

According to doctors, six of the injured were in critical condition. Some of the injured were identified as Abdul Qudoos, Qadeer Mola Bakhsh, Gul Muhammad, Muhammad Rafeeq, Abdul, Khalid Khan, Karam Khan, Abdul Hameed, Faisal Khan, Dost Muhammad, Musawwar Khan, Abdullah Khan, Amanullah, Afzal Khan, Lal Muhammad, Javed Ahmed, Abdul Rasheed, Fazal Kareem, Muhammad Yunus and Abdul Kareem.

According to sources, Shafique Mengal had returned to Quetta from his native Khuzdar district about an hour before the blast and was in the house.

His guards started firing in the air after the blast. They allegedly manhandled some journalists who were there to cover the incident.

Law-enforcement personnel cordoned off the area and started investigation.

Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani condemned the blast and ordered an immediate inquiry.

Claiming responsibility for the attack, BLA spokesman Meerik Baloch told reporters on phone that it was a suicide attack carried out by Darwaish Baloch who he said was a member of their Majeed Shaheed Brigade.

AFP adds: Police said the majority of the dead were passersby making it even harder to piece together what happened.

“We are facing difficulties to know about the nature of the blast because many of the witnesses who were present at the scene have been killed,” said DIG Kurd.

Saudi Arabian State Terror

Saudi Arabian State Terror

By Stephen Lendman

Annually, the State Department publishes human rights reports for over 190 countries. Its latest April 8, 2011 Saudi Arabia assessment discusses “significant human rights abuses and the inability of citizens to change its absolute monarchal rule. Abuses include: “torture and physical abuse; poor prison and detention center conditions; arbitrary arrest and incommunicado detention; denial of fair and public trials and lack of due process in the judicial system; political prisoners; restrictions on civil liberties such as freedom of speech (including the Internet); assembly, association, movement, and severe restrictions on religious freedom; and corruption and lack of transparency.” Also mentioned were inequality and violence against women, human trafficking, no labor rights, discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, sect and ethnicity, and violations of children’s rights. Saudi’s absolute monarchal rule is despotic, lawless and brutal. It’s a police state practicing state terrorism internally and regionally. It’s also Washington’s main Middle East ally after Israel. In early December, Amnesty International (AI) published a report on the kingdom titled, “Saudi Arabia: Repression in the Name of Security.” Largely unnoticed in the West like the State Department’s April assessment, major media scoundrels suppressed its ugly findings. AI quoted Khaled al-Johani addressing reporters in Riyadh on the March 11, 2011 “Day of Rage,” saying: “I am here to say we need democracy. We need freedom. We need to speak freely. We need no one to stop us from expressing our opinions.” Shortly afterward he was arrested and charged with “communicating with the foreign media.” He’s now held incommunicado in Saudi’s notoriously repressive prison system. On March 5, Press TV reported the arrest and detention of senior Saudi cleric Sheikh Tawfiq al-Amer. At issue was his call for constitutional monarchal rule. On March 23, Press TV reported 100 Shia protesters arrested after participating in anti-government demonstrations for political reforms and immediate political prisoner releases. More recently on December 5, Press TV reported large anti-government protests in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province and another one on December 9 in Awamiyah, an Eastern Persian Gulf village. Last April, Saudi’s Interior Ministry said 5,831 people were arrested for being associated with a “deviant group,” allegedly Al Qaeda. About 600 were sentenced. Another 600 awaited trials. Unsubstantiated terrorist related charges assures long, repressive prison terms. A more recent high-profile case involved 16 men, including nine prominent reformists. They were sentenced to up to 30 years for allegedly trying to seize power by financing terrorism with laundered money. Their charges and trial had no legitimacy whatever. They were victimized for advocating political change and human rights. AI said Saudi authorities “launched a new wave of repression in the name of security.” Human rights protesters have been brutally oppressed. At the same time, a new anti-terror law exacerbates the absence of civil and human rights. Last June, AI got a leaked copy. Provisions in it include: prosecuting peaceful dissent as terrorism and “harming the reputation of the state or its position;” a minimum of 10 years imprisonment for anyone questioning the integrity of the king or crown prince; authorities will have carte blanche power to detain alleged security suspects indefinitely without charge or trial; and terrorism’s definition is expanded to include endangering “national unity” and/or questioning the integrity of the king or regime. Overall, abusive practices will be legalized, including an anything goes policy of crushing dissent. Saudi Arabia’s Repressive Government Saudi state power rests solely with the king and ruling Al Saud family. He especially wields absolute power to rule despotically. The nation’s Constitution affords ordinary citizens and other residents no rights. Women are especially marginalized and denied. The Constitution gives sole power to the ruling monarchy. Saudi Basic Law, adopted in 1992, declared the kingdom a monarchy ruled by the sons and grandsons of King Abd Al Aziz Al Saud. It also proclaimed Sharia (Islamic) law supreme. Political parties and national elections are prohibited. Saudi kings appoint a Council of Ministers, including a prime minister, first and second deputies, 20 ministers, various advisors, and heads of major autonomous organizations. Thirteen provinces comprise the kingdom. The ruling monarch appoints their governors. They’re either princes or close royal family relatives. In 1993, ministers became subject to four-year term limitations. In 1997, a Consultative Council was expanded from 60 to 90 members. Legislation is by Council of Ministers resolution, subject to royal approval. Democracy is a dirty word. Saudi’s 27 million residents have no rights whatever. The media are severely constrained. Anyone dissenting is subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, including political critics, bloggers, academics, foreign nationals, and others. On September 25, King Abdullah said women, beginning in 2015, will be allowed to run in municipal elections, and be appointed to the Shura Council monarchal advisory body. Nonetheless, they’re severely restricted. They can’t travel, drive, engage in paid work or higher education. They also can’t marry without male custodian permission. Rage Bubbling Up Against the Regime Perhaps mindful of other regional protests, Saudis have begun rallying publicly for change. They demand human rights be respected. They want social and political reforms, including free, open and fair elections. They also want political prisoners released. In response, severe crackdowns followed. Hundreds of peaceful protesters were arrested and detained without trial. Others were charged with “vague security-related and other offenses. (AI) considers many of (them) prisoners of conscience, held solely for peacefully expressing their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.” In recent years, thousands have been detained on security grounds and remain imprisoned under horrific conditions. Victims include clerics, alleged Al Qaeda members, anyone with alleged connections or sympathies, and others suspected of anti-regime sentiment or its ties to Washington and other Western states. Everyone arrested for security reasons faces torture and other forms of abuse. It’s commonplace “because interrogators know that they can commit their crimes without fear of punishment.” Abuse is also encouraged by the “ready acceptance by courts of ‘confessions’ forced (from) detainees (by) beatings, electric shocks, and other forms of torture and ill-treatment.” Many detainees are untried. Others brought to court face grossly unfair proceedings, including secret ones with no right of appeal. Since established in October 2008, Saudi’s Specialized Criminal Court hears them. Victims are mostly human rights defenders, political reform activists, members of religious minorities, and many others guilty of no internationally recognized offense. In the past, sporadic political violence occurred against state institutions, oil installations and Western nationals. Severe crackdowns followed. AI’s report focused mainly on 2011 developments. Philip Luther, AI’s Middle East/North Africa director said: “Peaceful protesters and supporters of political reform in the country have been targeted for arrest in an attempt to stamp out the kinds of call for reform that have echoed across the region.” Many arrested are charged with “disrupting order.” Some are forced to sign pledges to never again protest. In addition, they’re forbidden to travel. Others face secret kangaroo proceedings. Those affected are guilty by accusation. A Final Comment Washington has close ties to despotic regional regimes, including Saudi Arabia. It uses them advantageously to advance its Greater Middle East project for unchallenged dominance. Wars are waged to replace independent regimes with client ones. Saudi and other regional governments rule despotically. They’re also US proxies when called on, including against Gaddafi’s Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Syria. As a result, they’re rewarded for partnering with Washington’s worst crimes. Who said it didn’t pay! Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Prophet Mohammad’s letter to the Christians

Prophet Mohammad’s letter to the Christians


LETTER TO THE MONKS OF ST. CATHERINE MONASTERY

In 628 C.E. Prophet Muhammad (s) granted a Charter of Privileges to the monks of St. Catherine Monastery in Mt. Sinai. It consisted of several clauses covering all aspects of human rights including such topics as the protection of Christians, freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war.

An English translation of that document is presented below.

This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
No compulsion is to be on them.
Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.
No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
The Muslims are to fight for them.
If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).

Baloch Assembly Asks If Rehman Malik Works for US, India or Israel

Balochistan Assembly Asks if Rehman Malik is a Foreign Agent

The Baloch Hal News

QUETTA: The Balochistan Assembly declared Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik a “dubious man” and also asked if he was a Pakistani minister or a “agent of foreign countries.”

This question was raised by senior Provincial Minister Maulana Abdul Wasay on a point of order in the session of assembly which met after two days break with Deputy Speaker Syed Matiullah Agha in the chair.

JUI-F leader and senior minister Maulana Abdul Wasay strongly criticized Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik for his new announcement about demolishing of those religious seminaries next year that were not registered.

He said that mutilated dead bodies were being recovered from Balochistan.“Whenever Rehman Malik visits Balochistan he talks about use of stick” he said, and adding that the statements of Rehman Malik were tantamount to rub salt on the wounds of people of Balochistan,

He said that people were being killed in Karachi and Khyber Pashtoonkhowa and when we talked people of those areas they held Rehman Malik for those killings.

Declaring Rehman Malik a dubious person he said that it was not clear whether he was interior minister of Pakistan or agent of US, Britain or Israel.

JUI leader said that people like Rehman Malik were highly harmful for the democracy and due to his activities the democracy could not flourish in the country.  “Incidents of kidnapping for ransom, recovery of decomposed bodies and killing of religious scholars are on rise,” he remarked, and adding that JUI-F had always invited nationalists, religious leaders and other political parties for uniting on a single platform to foil conspiracies against themselves.

He also raised suspicions about Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani’s statement about declaring 2012 as the year of Balochistan saying that keeping in view the experiences of it might not prove the deterioration of Balochistan. “Whenever the federal rulers make any announcement about Balochistan the results prove contrary. This can be gauged from the fact that tall claims were made about giving more funds to Balochistan but contrary to it only so far  Rs 7 billion out of Rs 34 billion have been released for federal projects in Balochistan” he added.

The JUI leader told the house that all institutions were in miserable condition in the country and there was no fund available for Balochistan. “We have taken up the issue of roads with National Highway Authority that until Gwadar Ratho Dero highway is completed there will be no benefit of investment of billions of rupees on Gwadar Port” he said, and adding there was no progress on Kalat and Chaman highway because of non release of funds by the federal government.

The JUI-F ministers, including Maulana Abdul Wasay, Molvi Sarwar Musakhel and Molvi Abdul Bari Agha condemned the killing of Hafiz Ahmed Qamar, son of JUI-F central vice president Moulvi Qamarud Din, in Karachi and demanded for immediate arrest of the culprits.

Speaking on a point of order, provincial Minister and leader of JUI-F Molvi Sarwar Musakhel drew the attention of the house towards the murder of Hafiz Ahmed Qamar, saying the culprits brutally killed him in Karachi and they were still at large.

He said that Karachi was becoming centre of murder of religious scholars as previously several other members were killed in Karachi. “Karachi was the center of business and education for the people of Balochistan but now we are receiving dead bodies from there,” he remarked.

Maulvi Sarwar Musakhel moved a condemnation resolution against the killing of Hafiz Ahmed Qamar demanding Federal and Sindh governments for early arrest of culprits.

When the chair put the resolution for vote the house adopted it unanimously.

The lawmakers once against criticized NHA for its poor performance in the province.

However, Provincial Minister for Finance Mir Asim Kurd Gilu told the house that the reservations of Members of Balochistan Assembly had been convoyed to authorities of NHA.

He said that federal minister for communication Arbab Alamghair had promised that the members of Balochistan Assembly would be briefed next year along with all team.

Later, the chair adjourned the assembly proceedings for an indefinite period.

There Can Be No Peace In Balochistan Until the Army Withdraws

‘Peace will not prevail without military withdrawal’

The condit­ions in the provin­ce bear a resemb­lance to those in Bangla­desh, say JI leader­s. PHOTO: NNI

KARACHI: Because it fears that Balochistan is on the brink of no return, the Jamaat-e-Islami has called for “an end to the unannounced military operation and the role of the [intelligence] agencies in the province.”

The party has also asked for military leaders, including former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf, to be held accountable in a court of law for the human rights violations in Balochistan.

The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) leader Asadullah Bhutto and its leaders in Balochistan and Sindh, Abdul Mateen Akhunzada and Mohammad Hussain Mehanti, met with veteran Baloch leader, Sardar Ataullah Mengal, at the latter’s residence on Thursday. When asked if the situation in Balochistan was bad, Akhunzada darkly remarked, “It is not just bad, it has gone far beyond that.”

The “makruh and condemnable role” of security agencies operating in Balochistan is not the way to developing an understanding, Akhunzada told the journalists present. JI believes that the number of enforced disappearances and the bullet riddled bodies being found are signs of how Balochistan has become reminiscent of the condition in Bangladesh prior to its independence in 1971.

The party and Mengal also spoke about the targeted killings of Punjabi settlers in the province.

Mengal reiterated that the “protectors of the country” – the Pakistan Army – has become an army for Punjab only.

Mengal is reported to have said that, “If a Punjabi is killed, dozens of Baloch youth are taken away by the agencies illegally. People wait for years to hear about their whereabouts and then receive the bullet-riddled bodies of their loved ones. How can there not be a reaction?” He also questioned why the military does not react in a similar manner when people are killed in Karachi.

Despite JI’s call and Mengal’s warnings about the condition in Balochistan, no one sees a way out until the military withdraws from Balochistan. Mengal told JI that there was not a “single person in Pakistan who could gain the trust of the Baloch”.

The leaders agreed that those responsible for targeted killings must be dealt with – but in a legal manner.

Mehanti also questioned the Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, for not fulfilling his promise to withdraw troops from Balochistan. JI leaders also blamed the current Pakistan Peoples Party government for having wasted the last four years instead of trying to reverse the situation that Musharraf left Balochistan in.

The JI leaders said there were “no prospects for progress” in the province and highlighted the injustices, deplorable economic conditions and lack of resources given to Balochistan. JI also asked the Supreme Court of Pakistan to take suo motu notice of the situation in Balochistan, similar to how it acted on the target killings in Karachi earlier this year.

Mehanti said his party appreciated the fact that Sharif had visited Mengal to discuss the matter and that there was a need to unite to prevent a ‘catastrophe like 1971’.

Published in The Express Tribune

Ukraine fears new Russian gas route

[This is Putin's ultimatum--Sell us your pipelines, or South Stream will cut you out of the equation.  Now, thanks to Turkey, the threat seems very real.]

Ukraine fears new Russian gas route

Turkey’s decision to allow Russia permission to build the South Stream gas pipeline seems to have cause a degree of panic in Ukraine. The agreement, reached on Wednesday, could have significant implications on long-running gas negotiations between the two countries and reduce Ukraine’s bargaining power in extracting much needed price concessions from Moscow.

The South Stream pipeline would see Russian gas exported across the Black Sea to Europe, bypassing Ukraine, whose gas transit network is currently responsible for carrying 80 per cent of Russian energy exports to the EU.

In a display of understandable nervousness, Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, took to Facebook on Thursday to threaten Russia with legal action should no deal be done.

“Ukraine is ready to take this dispute to international arbitration. But we would like to try settling it first,” wrote Azarov on his Facebook page, according to Reuters.

Ukraine’s reliance on Russian gas has placed its finances in a perilous position.

Energy imports account for over a third of Ukraine’s import costs. The government, which currently pays around $416 per 1000 cubic metres of gas, has been trying to get Russia to give it a discount of around 40 per cent, so that it would in effect pay only $250 per 1000 cubic metres.

Talks over a new deal have been on-going for over a year and will begin again in January, according to Ukraine’s Minister for Energy. In return for a cut-price arrangement, Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas company, is demanding a share in Ukraine’s pipelines. But selling stakes in the country’s vital rent-generating assets would be politically unpopular for pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich before parliamentary elections in October next year.

For all Azarov’s threats, the omens don’t bode well for Ukraine. The South Stream deal indicates Russia’s desire to diversify away from its dependence on export routes through Ukraine. This has been made all the more urgent following Wednesday’s signing of a memorandum of understanding between Azerbaijan and Turkey to build  a new pipeline to carry Azeri gas to Europe.

Elsewhere, in a worrying precedent for Kiev, neighbours Belarus – who faced a similar predicament earlier this year – caved in to Russian pressure by selling their remaining stake in Beltransgaz to Gazprom last month.

But as reported by the FT, Gazprom may yet abandon the South Stream project if it succeeds in gaining greater control of Ukraine’s transit network.

Even so, Ukraine’s deteriorating fiscal position means it can’t afford to engage in a game of ‘chicken’ with Moscow. The bloated energy bill – exacerbated by the fact that Ukraine sells the gas onto its citizens at heavily subsidised prices – has contributed to a current account deficit of 5.4 per cent of GDP or $8.6 bn, even as its currency – the hryvnia – is under sustained pressure. Central bank intervention has kept the exchange rate at 8 hryvnia to the US dollar at the cost of $1.5bn every month. With effective gross reserves at only $17bn, intervention can only continue for another 12 months if no new deal is reached. Either way, a devaluation looms.

“The longer it takes Janukovich to make a decision [over gas prices], the wider the deficit will become and the larger the currency shock when it comes” Dmytro Boyarchuk, an adviser with Global Source partners told beyondbrics.

Boyarchuk does not believe the situation has yet reached a critical point, but estimates that if the current gas contract remains, Ukraine will suffer a sharp currency shock in the autumn, with the currency falling to 11 hryvnia per dollar.

This could have fatal consequences for investment.

“If investors see the potential currency risk, the government will not be able to raise financing from the markets for its current liabilities. In this situation and dependent on the depreciation risks, there is a possibility of technical default.”

Egyptian Police Fight Back Against State Dept./Soros Subversive NGOs

[All of the groups mentioned in the article below are CIA/State Dept. proxy organizations, created for the purpose of undermining governments, wherever they are deployed (SEE:  US Subversion Behind Every Arab Uprising and Colored Revolution).]

“The recent ‘color revolutions’ in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan and the widespread suspicion that U.S. groups such as the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), Freedom House [led by former CIA head James Woolsley, of Project for New American Century fame] and the Open Society Institute [created in 1993 by investor George Soros] played a key behind-the-scenes role in fomenting these upheavals have clearly helped trigger the backlash.”[8]

Human Rights Groups in Egypt Condemn Raids on Their Offices by Police

| Associated Press

  • National Democratic Institute Workers

    AP

    December 29, 2011: Workers from a non-governmental organization National Democratic Institute, or NDI, wait as Egyptian officials raid their office in Cairo, Egypt.

CAIRO –  Several Egyptian rights groups on Friday accused the country’s ruling military council of using Hosni Mubarak-era “repressive tools” in waging an “unprecedented campaign” against pro-democracy organizations.

The groups’ joint statement came just hours after security forces stormed offices of 10 rights organizations, including several based in the United States. The Interior Ministry said the raids were part of the investigation into foreign funding of rights groups.

The military, which took over control after a popular uprising toppled Mubarak in February, has previously accused the groups of fomenting protests with the help of funds from outside the country.

Friday’s statement, signed by 28 Egyptian rights groups, said the attacks herald a wider clampdown to target those who led the uprising and were an attempt to “liquidate” the revolution.

“The military council is using Mubarak’s authoritarian and repressive tolls … in an even more dangerous and uglier way,” the statement read. The raids “are an unprecedented campaign aimed at covering up big failures of the military council in managing the transition period.”

The groups also said the ruling military was trying to “liquidate or take revenge on the political and rights groups that played a significant role in preparing for the revolution, getting involved or shaping the vision to build a new system on the ruins of Mubarak’s regime.”

An official with the justice ministry’s inspection teams said computers and cash were confiscated during the raids. He said an earlier investigation revealed these groups had received up to $100 million from abroad, then deposited the money in different Egyptian banks using names of illiterate Egyptians for the fake accounts.

Also Thursday, police arrested and stormed the home of a member of the April 6 group, a youth movement at the helm of the anti-Mubarak protests. A security official said hashish and about $4,000 were found at Ahmed el-Salkawi’s house.

April 6 was among the groups the military had accused of receiving foreign funds and using the money to promote for a “foreign agenda.” Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Egypt’s youth activists perceive the ruling generals as an extension of Mubarak’s regime, and have rallied in protests that turned deadly, demanding they immediately transfer power to a civilian government.

Among the offices which were raided the U.S.-headquartered National Democratic Institute, Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, which is observing Egypt’s ongoing parliamentary elections, as well as Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a think-tank with links to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party.

Germany’s Development Aid Minister, Dirk Niebel said Friday that “political foundations’ possibilities to work abroad are the barometer of freedom for us.”

“So I call on Egyptian authorities immediately to ensure the foundations’ unhindered work and clear up completely what happened,” he added in a statement.

The Obama administration demanded Egyptian authorities immediately halt the raids on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), saying they are “inconsistent” with long-standing U.S-Egypt cooperation.

The U.S. State Department called on the Egyptian government “to immediately end the harassment of NGO staff, return all property and resolve this issue.” Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the U.S. ambassador to Egypt and the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East have spoken to Egyptian officials about the situation and “made very clear that this issue needs immediate attention.”

The raids on the NGOs were the first since Mubarak’s ouster. Justice Minister Adel Abdel-Hamid has accused around 300 nonprofit groups of receiving unauthorized foreign funding and using the money to encourage protesters.

Gülen’s Latest Speech On Kurds–“It is really shameful, embarrassing, that the state has not killed them all”

About Fethullah Gülen Controversial speech

KurdishMedia.com -

By Kamal Soleimani

Gülen’s latest speech does not come as surprise to the Kurds in Turkey. His speech just corroborates what the Kurds have been saying about Gülen all along. Kurds have long said that if Gülen had his way, he would not be any more lenient than the Turkish military when it comes to the Kurdish question. There is no denying that Gülen is internationally recognized for his image as a lenient religious figure who is eagerly trying to promote world peace and interfaith dialogue. He has been very successful in presenting this image. Of course, even if he were sincere about this — which I doubt — the speech should not be seen as something that contradicts Gülen’s nationalism. Gülen has always promoted the Turkish image, language and culture just as much as he publicizes his interpretation of Islam. His religious interpretation is very much at home with some aspects of Turkish state nationalism. It is a type of missionary nationalism that some of its aspects of shared particularly by the current foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu and by AKP in general.

Gülen’s nationalism is now challenged by Kurdish demands. It should be noted that the Kurdish question is the greatest challenge to Turkish religious nationalism, à la AKP or à la Gülen. Previously, when these groups were in the opposition, they had to make instrumental use of the Kurdish question against the military and the Kemalist establishment. To them, talking about the plight of the Kurds was beneficial for at least two reasons: it would help their standing both at home and abroad and it would further delegitimize the Kemalist military’s rigid political space. In addition, it was a way for them to get the Kurdish electorate behind them. Of course, Gülen himself has always been extremely reticent in expressing his views on Kurdish issues. Others, like the AKP, were more outspoken. However, the entire spectrum of what could be called the Turkish religious nationalist consensus has never offered a meaningful solution to the Kurdish question. Aside from obsolete slogans such as Turkish-Kurdish Kardeslik (brotherhood), these groups have never offered a well-defined project for dealing with the Kurdish question.

This has been the case until last spring, when there was a referendum for the amendment of the Turkish constitution. Despite all the ambiguities in its narrative of constitutional change, AKP received 58% of the vote, and while the Kurds overwhelmingly supported the pro-Kurdish BDP’s stance in that referendum, the BDP separated itself from all the Turkish political parties: the AKP was trying to consolidate its power by amending the constitution, while the rest of the Turkish political parties were content with the existing constitution, which was the product of the military coup of 1982.

That election was a defining moment for both the Kurds and the AKP. After the referendum, the AKP came to the realization that they could no longer rely on the Kurds for support, and the party has had to take care to appease the Turkish electorate. This event would become determinative for the AKP to abandon all the ambiguities in its rhetoric on Kurdish question. The Kurdish question was transformed in the AKP political narrative into the Kurdish citizens’ problems, to use Erdogan’s expression. Consequently, Kurdish politics was about to change and be expressed in forms that were not common until then. For the first time in the last thirty or forty years, the Kurds used their religiosity against a government that is recognized as having a strongly conservative religious background. The Kurds began to challenge the government on its home turf by challenging state-sanctioned religiosity and religious institutions. Many Kurds refused to pray behind the imams appointed by the state and preferred to initiate their own collective Friday prayers on the streets. The Kurdish Friday prayers were a spectacle as they were performed on the streets, while hundreds of hippies and left-minded Kurdish youth for the first time started praying in the face of the heavy-handed police force. This novel strategy was a major step toward unmasking Turkish religious nationalism and toward calling their bluff, because similar strategies hand been used before by Erdogan and his allies when they were in opposition. Now, the AKP and Gülen’s followers have no problem with the state’s religious institutions, such the Directorate of Religious Affairs; it has now been completely baptized since it is used and directed by the ruling party and pro-Gülen figures. This novel strategy enraged the Turkish religious nationalist establishment to a degree that Erdogan publicly declared that the Kurds’ prophet is Abdullah Öcalan, to question the religiosity of the new challenge. Gülen’s latest assertions on Kurds are expressed partly against this background. He seems to be frustrated with the fact that his mission in Kurdistan to naturalize Kurdish nationalist demands is failing.

To many people, considering Fethullah Gülen as a nationalist might sound absurd and over the top. By many, I am referring to those who are unfamiliar with Turkish nationalist discourse. However, for anyone who is familiar with Turkish nationalist discourse, Gülen clearly stands as a mouthpiece for the state’s rhetoric and approach in his assertions. Gülen complains about the inability of the state to civilize the Kurds. Of course, the politically correct term is educate. A student of Turkish history knows that this discourse can be traced back to the era of Abdulhamid II. He was the first Sultan to establish the Asiret Mektepleri — tribal schools — in 1892, as a step toward civilizing the Kurds, especially the ones who were known for their rebelliousness against the state. This course was continued by the Turkish republic combined with the forced migration and systematic policies of assimilation.

Gülen complains about the failure of assimilationist policies and the state’s inability to kill off all the nationalist Kurds who believe in armed struggle against state policies. Throughout his speech the possessive pronoun “our” is used to claim possession of the Kurds. In his speech, Gülen speaks in the name of the sovereign or the state; this is a well known form of addressing the Kurdish issue in Turkish politics. A student of contemporary Turkish politics may very well remember the late former prime minister Bülent Ecevit’s statement contending that “the Kurds are not a distinct ethnic group; they are OUR citizens.”

Of course, Gülen supports taking harsh measures against the PKK. He is very adamant about this in his speech. He suggests that in the 1980s, the Turkish state could have completely destroyed the Kurdish resistance. However, it can be inferred that he blames Turkish military government at that time for being complacent about the PKK’s emergence. He asserts that the Turkish military state was able to bring the entire nation to its knees; they could jail, kill and oppress whomever they wished, but how in the world the state could be so ineffective in dealing with Kurdish resistance. “It is really shameful, embarrassing (°ayiptir, ardir),” that the state has not killed them all”, says Gülen. He vehemently advocates the killing of every single Kurdish guerilla, and he is unequivocal about this when he says: “let us say there are 15,000 or 50,000 of them. So [addressing the Turkish state], you have around…a million intelligence personnel. I don’t want to mention them all by name but you have several intelligence organizations; you are member of NATO; you are involved in cooperative projects with a number of international intelligence organizations. … So, use these projects and programs and localize, identify and triangulate every single of them and then kill them all one by one…”

As to the question of whether or not Gülen wants to kill Kurdish civilians? Forget about distinguishing civilian and non-civilian, he utters the word Kurd only once and refers to the Kurdish language twice in his entire speech. But if one listens carefully to his speech, his treatment of the Kurdish issue seems frightening. He does not seem to think of the Kurdish question as anything more than a foreign conspiracy. To him the entire enterprise is an artificial phenomenon rooted in a) foreign plot to undermine the integrity of “that beautiful country, Turkey” and b) Kurdish simplemindedness, illiteracy and economic backwardness, which has provided Turkey’s enemies with grounds that are very conducive for plotting against the state.

He does not see the PKK, or any Kurdish political group for that matter, as having a legitimate raison d’être. It is clear that he thinks any politics that is defined as Kurdish is dangerous. It seems to oppose the PKK not just because of its armed struggle or because of what he sees in a negative light as its political strategy. He is against any form of Kurdish politics whatsoever. That is why he believes that if it were not for illiteracy and economic underdevelopment, such a brand of politics would not have come into being. He is well aware that the PKK is more than a just a few thousand guerillas in the mountains. The PKK is the dominant force in Kurdish politics in Northern Kurdistan and it could determine the outcome of parliaments and municipal elections for the Kurdish region and shape the Kurdish political debate. When one reads his prayers against this background, the prayers and the harsh demands entailed in them become even scarier. We should pray to God to ignore Fethullah Hoca’s prayers. I do not think civilian Kurds to remain unharmed if God listens to this type of prayers. For example he asks to God to do the following things for him: “O God, unify us (Allahim birligimizi sagla), and as for those among us who deserve nothing but punishment (o hakki kötektir bunlar), knock their homes upside down (allahim onlarin altlarini üstlerine getir), destroy their unity (birliklerini boz), burn their houses to ash (evlerine ates sal) may their homes be filled with weeping and supplications (feryad ve figan sal), burn and cut off their roots (köklerini kurut, köklerini kes) and bring their affairs to an end (islerini bitir)”

Blood on Your Hands, Blair!

‘Blood on Blair’s hands': Former PM accused over Kazakhstan role after dictator’s bloody purge

  • Activists calling for Blair to resign from role as advisor to president Nazarbayev
  • Campaign follows the death of 14 sacked oil workers

By WILL STEWART and NEIL SEARS

Tony Blair has blood on his hands from his ‘consultancy’ work with the dictator of Kazakhstan, opposition leaders in the former Soviet state claimed last night.

In an open letter, activists called for the former British premier to resign from his controversial role as an advisor to their president Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The campaigners are part of a growing protest over a bloody Christmas crackdown on sacked oil workers in which at least 14 died and 80 were wounded.

Dubious: Tony Blair and Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev in the capital Astana in NovemberDubious: Tony Blair and Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev in the capital Astana in November

The Daily Mail revealed in October that Mr Blair had assembled a high-powered team to improve the reputation and business links of the oil and gas-rich central Asian state.

According to one source, the consultancy deal brokered by the ex-premier is worth as much as £8million for the companies involved.

Mr Blair’s advisory firm, Tony Blair Associates, has helped him earn as much as £20million since leaving Downing Street in 2007, but a spokesman has insisted he is not profiting from the Kazakhstan deal.

His links with Mr Nazarbayev – who has introduced laws forbidding criticism of himself, and is believed to rig his elections – have roused particular controversy because he began cultivating him a decade ago when the despot made an official visit to London.

The call for Mr Blair to sever links with the regime was made by 50 activists in a letter published in the opposition newspaper Respublika, headlined: ‘Blood on Your Hands, Blair!’

The letter goes on: ‘It is known that you were an adviser to the bloody dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

‘The whole world saw with its own eyes that he used weapons against civilians in his country, trying hard to suppress the riots. The bloody scenario of Libya was repeated in Kazakhstan.

‘The leadership of Kazakhstan in peacetime opened fire and shot at unarmed citizens.  Such bloody methods are being used in our country since you became an adviser to President Nursultan Nazarbayev.’

Controvertial: Blair's relationship with the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been criticised by Kazak activists Controvertial: Blair’s relationship with the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has been criticised by Kazak activists

The activists – young politicians, youth workers and journalists – had made an earlier appeal to Mr Blair to rethink his role.

The latest open letter continues: ‘In our previous appeal we said that your support for authoritarianism and dictatorship will badly affect your reputation. Our forecasts, unfortunately, came true.

‘We once again urge you to resign from the position of presidential adviser and to stop co-operating with the criminal regime.’

The letter highlighted the case of oil workers from the Mangistau region, whose ‘legitimate and fair demands were ignored for many months’.

‘There was bloodshed, the blood of innocent citizens of our country. You are an adviser to Kazakhstan’s leadership. Why within the last seven months were authorities deaf to the demands of oil workers? And finally, they shot at its citizens?’

The U.S. State Department says it is ‘deeply concerned’ over the violence and clampdown, sentiments echoed by the EU and human rights groups.

Nazarbayev has blamed his son-in-law Timur Kulibayev – the head of the company that fired the striking oil workers – for the violence. Kulibayev is a friend of Prince Andrew, and bought the prince’s home in Windsor for £3million above the asking price.

Mr Blair visited Kazakhstan in  January, May and November this year. Former No10 chief of staff Jonathan Powell and ex-spin doctor Alastair Campbell also visited this year.

A spokesman for Mr Blair said:  ‘Tony Blair’s team has been advising on the Kazakhstan government reform programme. He has had no role in this dispute. But the president has promised an inquiry.’

Turkish airstrike aimed at militants kills 35 Kurdish villagers

 

Turkish airstrike aimed at militants kills 35 Kurdish villagers

 

ENN via AFP – Getty Images

Locals gather in front of a truck carrying the bodies of people who were killed in a warplane attack in the Ortasu village of Uludere, in Turkey’s Sirnak province on Dec. 29.

By msnbc.com staff and news services

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey – Turkish warplanes killed at least 35 people in an airstrike in southeastern Turkey near the Iraqi border overnight, apparently mistaking smugglers for Kurdish militants, a pro-Kurdish party and local officials said on Thursday.

Turkish warplanes strike militant targets regularly in the region in their battle against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) guerrillas, and have stepped up raids after a PKK attack in August.

“We have 30 corpses, all of them are burned. The state knew that these people were smuggling in the region. This kind of incident is unacceptable. They were hit from the air,” said Fehmi Yaman, mayor of Uludere in Sirnak province.Turkey’s Dogan news agency said the attacks occurred near the Turkish village of Ortasu in Sirnak near Iraq, a country where Kurdish rebels are based, and killed more than 20 people. The report said the raids were launched after drones and thermal cameras located a “crowded group” near Ortasu.

The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) said in a statement 35 people had been killed, adding that party leaders were heading for the area.

The Turkish military declined to confirm or deny whether it had carried out the Wednesday night raid on both sides of the border.

Local villagers said the smugglers were carrying drums of diesel on mules and tractors, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News. The diesel drums exploded and burned them to death.

Local BDP official Yunus Urek told CNN that one person survived with injuries.

Smuggling is an important source of income for locals in provinces along the Iraqi border, with many villagers involved in bringing fuel, cigarettes and other goods from Iraqi villages on the other side of the border.

PKK militants also cross the border in these areas.

“There were rumors that the PKK would cross through this region. Images were recorded of a crowd crossing last night, hence an operation was carried out,” a Turkish security official said.

“We could not have known whether these people were (PKK) group members or smugglers,” he said.

17 more people missing
Television images showed a line of corpses covered by blankets on a barren hillside, with a crowd of people gathered around, some with their head in their hands and crying.

People loaded the corpses onto donkeys which were led down the hillside to be loaded into vehicles to be taken to hospital in the mainly Kurdish southeast of the country.

Security sources said those killed were carrying canisters of diesel on mules and their bodies were found on the Iraqi side of the border.

They said those killed were from Uludere on the Turkish side of the border on what was a regular smuggling route.

The Firat news agency, which has close ties to the PKK, said that 17 people were still believed to be missing. It said those killed were aged around 17-20.

The PKK, regarded as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States, launches attacks on Turkish forces in southeastern Turkey from hideouts inside the remote Iraqi mountains.

Turkey and Iran have often skirmished with rebels in the region and Turkish leaders vowed revenge in October with air and ground strikes after the PKK killed 24 Turkish soldiers in raids on military outposts in southeastern Turkey.

It was one of the deadliest attacks since the PKK took up arms in 1984 in a conflict in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

Iran Says U.S. Aircraft Carrier Has Entered Zone Near Key Oil Route

Iran Says U.S. Aircraft Carrier Has Entered Zone Near Key Oil Route

Associated Press

  • 122811hormuz.jpg

    AP

    December 28, 2011: Iranian submarines and warships participate in navy drill in the Sea of Oman.

TEHRAN –  An Iranian surveillance plane has shot video and photographed a U.S. aircraft carrier during Iran’s ongoing navy drill near a strategic waterway in the Persian Gulf, the official IRNA news agency reported on Thursday.

The report did not provide details and it was unclear what information the Iranian military could gleam from such footage. But the announcement is an indication Iran is seeking to cast its navy as having a powerful role in the region’s waters.

IRNA quoted Iran’s navy chief, Adm. Habibollah Sayyari, as saying the action shows that Iran has “control over the moves by foreign forces” in the area where Tehran is holding a 10-day military exercise.

“An Iranian vessel and surveillance plane have tracked, filmed and photographed a U.S. aircraft carrier as it was entering the Gulf of Oman from the Persian Gulf,” Sayyari said.

He added that the “foreign fleet will be warned by Iranian forces if it enters the area of the drill.”

State TV showed what appeared to be the reported video, but it was not possible to make out the details of the carrier because the footage was filmed from far away.

The Iranian exercise is taking place in international waters near the Strait of Hormuz — the passageway for one-sixth of the world’s oil supply.

Beyond it lie vast bodies of water, including the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden. The U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet is also active in the area, as are warships of several other countries that patrol for pirates there.

Lt. Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the U.S. 5th Fleet, said the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay headed out from the Gulf and through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, after a visit to Dubai’s Jebel Ali port.

She described the passage through the strait as “a pre-planned, routine transit” for the carrier, which is providing air support from the north Arabian Sea to troops in Afghanistan.

Rebarich did not directly address Iranian claims of possessing the reported footage but said the 5th Fleet’s “interaction with the regular Iranian Navy continues to be within the standards of maritime practice, well known, routine and professional.”

Thursday’s report follows U.S. warnings over Iranian threats to choke off traffic through the Strait of Hormuz if Washington imposes sanctions targeting Iran’s crude exports. On Wednesday, Rebarich said the Navy was “always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation.”

Gen. Hossein Salami, the acting commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard rejected the warning.

“The U.S. is not in a position” to affect Iran’s decisions, Salami told the semi-official Fars news agency Thursday. “Iran does not ask permission to implement its own defensive strategies.”

‘US base in Bishkek very dangerous’

‘US base in Bishkek very dangerous’

US Soldiers board a plane to Afghanistan from the Manas Air Force Base, 30 km from Bishkek, on April 15, 2011.
Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev has said that a US military base in the country’s capital Bishkek is “very dangerous” for the Central Asian nation.

Kyrgyzstan’s new leader made the remarks in a Thursday meeting with visiting US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake in the capital Bishkek.

Atambayev insisted that the annual $150 million fee the US pays Kyrgyzstan for the right to use the Manas Air Force Base was not worth all the risks involved in the matter.

“We want to transform Manas into a fully civilian airport; and keeping a military base for $150 million is slightly dangerous; not slightly, but very dangerous.”

After becoming the president last month, Atambayev said that his country has notified the US to close its military base following the expiration of its lease in 2014.

“Our country will honor all its international agreements, but we have warned the US embassy that they will have to close the base in 2014,” said Atambayev.

The Manas Air Force Base, which the US currently uses to support its operations in Afghanistan’s ten-year war, is located at a civilian airport on the outskirts of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

The air base has been used since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and has played a major role in American military operations in the country.

The Kyrgyz government wanted to shut down the base in 2009 due to issues caused by US troops stationed in Manas. However, US officials managed to negotiate a new agreement later that year after increasing its annual payment to the Kyrgyz government.

Russia owes rent on military bases unpaid for 4 years – Kyrgyz President

Russia owes rent on military bases unpaid for 4 years – Kyrgyz President

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev described Russia as a key strategic partner but claimed that Moscow had not paid rent for military installations on the country's territory for the past four years.

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev described Russia as a key strategic partner but claimed that Moscow had not paid rent for military installations on the country’s territory for the past four years.

© RIA Novosti. Alexey Druzhinin

BISHKEK, December 29 (RIA Novosti)

Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev described Russia as a key strategic partner but claimed that Moscow had not paid rent for military installations on the country’s territory for the past four years.

The main strategic partner of Kyrgyzstan is Russia but the former leadership “did not leave a good legacy in relations with Russia,” Atambayev said.

“Over the past year and a half we managed to establish relations with Russia, which were ruined by the former government,” he said, noting that a lot of support was afforded to the republic by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Atambayev said that he was able to reach an understanding also with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in particular on the issue of the payment of debt on the Russian side that has accumulated over the past four years for territories in the republic used as Russian military facilities.

Four Russian military facilities are situated on the territory of Kyrgyzstan, as well as an air base in the city of Kant.

Atambayev also said that the U.S. air base at the Manas International Airport in Kyrgyzstan should be closed, as it is a threat to the country.

“Kyrgyzstan does not need a military air base at the civilian airport, it is very dangerous. We want the Manas airport to only be a civilian airport,” he said at his first press conference.

The U.S. airbase at Manas was set up near the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in America to support military operations in Afghanistan. Under the current U.S. agreement with Kyrgyzstan expires in 2014.

Atambayev, 55, who served as the country’s prime minister, overwhelmingly won the October 30 presidential elections with 62 percent of the vote. Interim President Roza Otunbayeva, who took power after Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted as president amid large-scale popular protests in April 2010, was barred from running in the polls.

US Trying To Back Precious War Materiel Out of Pakistan

Safety concerns: ‘US to export all NATO cargo out of Pakistan’

US has directed sensitive NATO supplies to be exported out of Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

ISLAMABAD: Barely a month after Pakistan’s retaliatory decision to block Nato supplies for the coalition forces stationed in Afghanistan, the United States has decided to export all its cargo, including military hardware and arms, out of Pakistan.

Sources told Express News that the break in supplies has frustrated US authorities to the point where they are now weighing various options to move around the cargo stranded at various locations in Pakistan.

“It has been a month since the Nato attack which resulted in the port and border closures with no resolution in sight, the US government intends to have all import unit cargo that is currently staged at different Container Holding Yards (CHYs) moved back to Karachi port or the nearest CHY to the port. Once we receive approval, all unit cargo will be exported out of Pakistan,” wrote Anita Rice, Chief of the OCCA SWA (595th Trans Brigade, NSA Bahrain) in an email to all ‘concerned’ persons.

“To ensure smooth transition from import to export cargo in the Pakistan Customs Clearance System (PaCCS) and Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) computer systems, documents are required to be submitted to the US consulate in Karachi,” Anita added in the email.

“We require all USC-6 (universal contract 2006) carriers to submit the required documents to the US consulate, Karachi (karachidodcustoms@state.gov) for cargo/supplies currently staged outside the port for export,” the email read.

According to sources, US cargo, stranded in Pakistan, is worth millions of dollars and US authorities have serious concerns over the safety of the cargo as it includes hammer vehicles, dumpers, anti-aircraft guns, special carriers of anti-aircraft guns, vehicles specially built to jam communications, cranes and sophisticated weapons.

“We will compile information for submission to Pakistan customs for amendment for cargo export,” Rice said in her email, providing US Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Heath’s contact number for further assistance.

Furthermore, it was learnt that the US was using Pakistani routes to supply cargo to its military forces fighting in Afghanistan since 2006 under USC-6 (universal contract 2006).  Under this arrangement, US military personnel were engaged in loading and unloading of cargo while no physical checking was being carried out by Pakistani authorities.

When approached by ExpressNews, Rice refused to comment. Heath was also not available to share his version on this report.

Published in The Express Tribune

Pakistan, India must prevent ‘tripping of nuclear wire’

Pakistan, India must prevent ‘tripping of nuclear wire': daily

Islamabad: Talks between Pakistan and India to avert conflict is a step in the right direction, said a daily while observing that “the criticality of arrangements to ensure that there is no tripping of the nuclear wire cannot be underscored enough”.

An editorial in the Daily Times on Thursday said that the two countries had a history of hostility and conflict and three wars had been fought in a span of 50 years.

In such a scenario, “confidence-building measures (CBMs) to avert future military and nuclear conflict between arch-rivals Pakistan and India are a step in the right direction”, it said.

Pakistan, India must prevent

Two-day talks were held here on nuclear CBMs. The two countries have extended the validity of their previous agreement to reduce the risk of accidents relating to nuclear weapons for another five years.

During the talks, Pakistan proposed moving heavy artillery 30 km away from the Line of Control (LoC).

“However, while this proposal may be a good one for ensuring peace in that region, it is ineffective unless complemented with a raft of other agreements drawn up to dissipate the tensions between the two sides,” the editorial said.

It suggested making the LoC “porous so as to ease trade and travel across it”.

“The way forward to preserving peace along the divide is by encouraging people-to-people contact through a liberalised visa regime, thereby making it a meeting point…”

The editorial went on to say that if “we are to live with weapons of mass destruction in a region with a volatile history, the criticality of arrangements to ensure that there is no tripping of the nuclear wire cannot be underscored enough”.

“Together with the recent MFN status awarded by Pakistan to India and the meetings between the foreign ministers and prime ministers of the two countries, the CBM talks represent a sea change in the hitherto frozen state of affairs between the two countries since the 2008 Mumbai attacks as India has come back to the negotiating table and understood the need for mutual dialogue,” it added.

News Central Asia Is Back Online (nCa Returns — Starting where we left)

[Happy to report that our good friends in Central Asia have recovered from that devastating hack attack.  nCa is back online, ready to kick some more investigative ass!  I am glad that you are with us, Tariq.]

nCa Returns — Starting where we left

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Tariq Saeedi

We were hacked in late July 2011. It was a thorough job, done by professionals. Now we are back.

Thanks to all the supporters and well wishers.

At the time of hacking we were in the process of starting an investigative-analytic series ‘Smashing Greater Central Asia.’ To provide background information for this series, we posted some of our archive material consisting of investigative reports done by us during the past ten years. It was the archive material that alarmed Uncle Sam and we are happy that our Indian friends got the opportunity to make some money.

Smashing Greater Central Asia actually started soon after hacking. For this I am grateful to my friend Peter Chamberlin, who has already written and published THREE parts of the series at his hugely popular blog http://therearenosunglasses.wordpress.com/

Peter is a complete team in himself: Sharp mind; tremendous analytical skills; ability to grasp the whole picture any time and every time; endless reserves of energy to pursue a point to its logical conclusion; unlimited memory to recall facts and incidents and the rare gift to connect the dots in the right order.

Peter will remain in the pilot seat for Greater Central Asia series. I will contribute whatever I can.

This will be an open-end series because the Evil Empire is writhing like a mortally wounded cobra and things are changing by the day.

Thanks once again to all.

America’s Uzbekistan Problem

Gianpaolo Pagni

America’s Uzbekistan Problem

By JOSHUA KUCERA

There is perhaps no country on earth surrounded by more difficult neighbors than Afghanistan. When the U.S. wants to ship matériel to its troops there, it can’t go through Tajikistan because the roads are so poor; it can’t go through Turkmenistan because that country maintains an isolationist neutrality; and, for obvious reasons, it can’t go through Iran.

Until Nov. 26, the U.S. military shipped about a third of its supplies through Pakistan, but after an American attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, the country cut off NATO’s access to the border, and there is little indication that officials in Islamabad intend to change their minds. The U.S. military ships another third of its cargo to Afghanistan by air, but that costs so much more than shipping by land that to expand those operations would be prohibitively expensive. That leaves Uzbekistan.

Anticipating problems with Pakistan, Pentagon planners began putting together the Northern Distribution Network, a series of transit routes from Europe through the former Soviet Union. Nearly all of those routes converge at Termez, Uzbekistan, whose sleepy, dusty streets belie its strategic location: 75 percent of the network’s traffic passes through the town and across the Soviet-built “Friendship Bridge” into Afghanistan. Now, the U.S. will have to ship even more military cargo through Uzbekistan, one of Washington’s least likeable allies.

Ruled since the Soviet era by President Islam Karimov, it is the fifth-most corrupt country in the world, according to Transparency International, and in Freedom House’s rankings of political and civil freedoms it is tied for last.

“The challenge for the United States is to strike a balance between its short-term, war-fighting needs and long-term interests in promoting a stable, prosperous and democratic Central Asia,” John Kerry wrote in the introduction to a report released on Dec. 19 by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations entitled “Central Asia and the Transition in Afghanistan.”

This is a difficult needle to thread, but Washington has so far largely succeeded. The U.S. has kept the supply lines running while compromising little on its principles. The yearly State Department human rights reports have remained consistently critical, even as military cooperation has blossomed. Human rights advocates in Uzbekistan — a small, beleaguered community — still say that, for the most part, they feel like the U.S. Embassy is an ally.

But this balance is difficult to maintain, and lately there have been signs that America may be wavering. The defense budget authorization act passed on Dec. 15 by Congress removed restrictions on military aid to Uzbekistan that had been in place since 2004 because of the country’s odious human rights record. Asked about that decision, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there had been “progress” on human rights and political freedoms, which, while not a realistic assessment of the situation, technically speaking is true.

The Kerry report makes the same claim and as evidence reaches back nearly four years to note only one such bit of progress: that the government began allowing the Red Cross to visit prisoners in 2008. But the overall picture is grim, and, if anything, getting worse.

When Clinton visited Tashkent in October, a State Department official told the reporters accompanying her that “President Karimov commented that he wants to make progress on liberalization and democratization, and he said that he wants to leave a legacy of that for his — both his kids and his grandchildren.” Pressed by an incredulous reporter, the official added, “Yeah. I do believe him.”

This new, more accommodating rhetoric is embarrassing. If Clinton were to say: “No, we don’t agree with how Uzbekistan’s government runs its country. But we need their help in Afghanistan, and so we’re temporarily putting our differences aside,” would anyone object? That is obviously the bargain being struck, and one that few in the U.S. or Uzbekistan would take issue with.

Wikileaked cables reporting on U.S. negotiations with Karimov over the past few years reveal a president who doesn’t seem to care much about how the U.S. sees his government, but just doesn’t want what he calls American “pressure and diktats” to reform.

Though the U.S. has consistently hectored Uzbekistan on human rights over the past two decades, the country has become more oppressive. The U.S.-Uzbekistan military relationship has had its ups and downs — the U.S. operated an air base there from 2001 to 2005 — and through it all, Karimov hasn’t changed.

There is no question that as long as the U.S. is in Afghanistan, it will need to engage with Uzbekistan. But how it chooses to engage can make all the difference. “Achieving our security goals and promoting good governance and human rights are not mutually exclusive,” the Kerry report says. “In fact, security and political engagement are complementary strategies that are more likely to be effective when pursued together.”

The report doesn’t back up that assertion, and in the case of Uzbekistan it plainly isn’t true. No sort of political engagement will work, and the irony is that the more U.S. officials believe it, the more likely they are to compromise their principles. In this case, saying nothing may be the best way for the U.S. to stay true to what it believes.

Joshua Kucera is a freelance reporter based in Washington who writes frequently on Central Asia.

Russia Wins In Central Asia When the Dictators Fear Revolution More Than They Fear A US Attack On Iran

[Berdimuhamedov is flying blind, trying to navigate the treacherous currents, that are ebbing and flowing around and in his country, between two bitter "frenemies," Russia and the US/NATO.  Keeping with the theme recently sounded on the same website, Gundogar, "Predetermined range of Turkmenistan," that Berdimuhamedov operates under the conviction that the US and Israel will soon bomb Iran.   He therefore feels compelled to follow American dictates.  This belief apparently causes him to accept Western plans to harvest Turkmen gas, as the first stage in dominating all Central Asian gas and oil.  The author of that piece apparently agrees with my contention, that the Turkmen President, like all the Central Asian dictators, will turn to Russia, if Arab Spring revolutions rise-up in their neighborhood.  They will fear being overthrown by very real masses of protesters, more than they will fear a hypothetical American/Israeli strike on Iran.  In which case,  if the political climate in Central Asia begins to resemble that seen recently in Kazakhistan, Putin might see his Eurasian Union become a reality.]

Ghost of the “Arab Spring” reached the borders of Turkmenistan

Events in Libya and the color revolutions in the Middle East


Political analyst Andrei Grozin about the background of the unexpected visit of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to Russia …

December 23, visited Moscow, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, where he met with top officials of the Russian state. According to  the site of the Russian President , Dmitry Medvedev and Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov discussed current issues of cooperation between Russia and Turkmenistan. In the official records of the negotiations of Heads of State displayed a dry-officially, without any details that point to the theme of the visit Berdimuhamedov signed the agreement.
 
According to the  website of the Russian government , the president of Turkmenistan met earlier with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. “You have yet to negotiate with President Medvedev, I know, but I am very pleased that you took the time, stopped to talk on the current trade and economic relations – welcome guest, Vladimir Putin. – In this regard, I note that Turkmenistan – our old traditional partner in many areas of cooperation, of course, primarily in the gas sector. And it is pleasant to note that the volume of our trade grows: we have over the past year was a growth of 33%.This is a very good indicator. We are very pleased this positive dynamics, but fully understand and see with you, how difficult is the situation on world markets. I mean, that we have common interests as suppliers. It’s very good that you and I are in constant contact and coordinating our joint efforts in this direction. “

“Let me thank you for inviting me to visit your beautiful country with a working visit, – Putin said Berdymukhamedov. – I think we will have today is a good opportunity to discuss our cooperation in many aspects, that is for the current period that was done in the future, for the future. And this occasion, I would like to congratulate you. You – a candidate for President of Russia. I wish that you won the election. “

On the question of why Moscow was visited by the President of Turkmenistan and the situation in this country, in an interview with the “Russian people’s lines,” said the head of the Central Asia and Kazakhstan, the CIS Countries Institute  Andrei Grozin .

Andrei Grozin

In the media there is almost no information about what they were talking in Moscow the leaders of Russia and Turkmenistan. One gets the feeling that it was just a “friendly trip.” In fact, it is certainly not the case.Berdymukhamedov, of course, younger and more mobile Niyazov, but just try not to go in vain, as opposed to, for example, from the Tajikistan counterparts Emomali Rakhmonov, who goes wherever he can, if only to ask anyone for money. In Berdimuhamedov with the money more or less in order, and the basis for relations between Russia and Turkmenistan, of course, is a gas.
Obviously, during a visit Berdymukhamedov discussed namely “gas issue”. As far as the discussion was conducted “in private”, and hence – the absence of a leak, a variety of interpretations, etc. I believe that the Russian side is not so much worried about the construction of “Nabucco” (which was built in the foreseeable future will not be), but the construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline as a first step towards the implementation of major projects out of Central Asian hydrocarbons to Russian territory. Turkmenistan, in addition to what has serious resource base (which in itself is interesting for the European and U.S. corporations), is a bridge actor, cycling who can uncork the whole of Central Asia and try to expand trade and energy flows from the north and east to west.
The position of Ashgabat depends very much, and in Moscow understand that. Therefore, in my opinion, Berdymukhamedov tries until recently did not give anyone any solid guarantees. Something he said, and the EU are talking about the notorious 10 billion cubic meters, of which argue for three years, but it is so vague that even European bureaucrats who support the idea of ​​”Nabucco”, few believe in the marketability of these promises. Another thing is that, unlike Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan does not have the physical and geographical features to really turn around and refuse to supply gas to the north. So they have to conduct a more cautious, more balanced policy. The same Berdimuhamedov will do next – do nothing, just promise to further extend the pipe the Chinese.
Berdymukhamedov mass care and other issues, not only the possibility of pressure from Europe to Ashgabat in connection with the “theme of the gas.” In February, there are presidential elections, when the easiest way to organize unconstitutional change of power or polukonstitutsionnuyu in any state. In addition, in Ashgabat, as well as throughout Central Asia, many excited bloated reports of some “Russian winter” and everything connected with it. It is clear that Berdymukhamedov came to personally clarify the situation for people that really depends on the political development of Russia as opposed to counter-elite that is trying to ride a strange vague ferment inside individual heads, and sectors of society of the capital.
Of course, Berdimuhamedov is worried about the results of the elections. Now nobody in no way certain. Probably Berdimuhamedov to Moscow to seek confirmation of the fortress of Russian power.Turkmenistan is located in a information vacuum – not only in relation to it, little is known, but little is seen from there. In Turkmenistan, very seriously concerned about the ongoing in various expert groups, talk about the fact that Russia is not highly interested in any attempt to build an alternative pipeline from Turkmenistan to the West and will resist such attempts. Against the backdrop of Russia 2006-2007, such arguments by some Russian experts could skip past the ears, but after August 8, 2008, all, including the Central Asian regimes, began to treat the Russian rhetoric is much more closely. Therefore Berdimuhamedov needed to hear the Russian position, as well as hints on how Russia will act if Turkmenistan is still dare to join the Trans-Caspian, where it is actively being dragged and because of which, if it is in this matter will be actively resisted, can emerge serious trouble in the February elections.
In Central Asia, are also seriously concerned as the “Arab spring” (and reaction to it in Russia) as well as what is happening and will happen in Afghanistan. Technologies that are used in the Arab world, perfectly fit the Central Asian soil. Of course, there is its own specifics, but as the experience of the year, clean technology to implement this kind of scenario is not difficult, especially when it comes to such vertically oriented political systems of Central Asia, which differ in the degree of Russian weakness. Our “vertical of power” still a hybrid, and, by the territorial and other factors, more adapted to the external challenges. However, any Central vertical weak in the first place, sharpened by one person when there is no alternative centers of decision-making and crisis response, and secondly – the limited capacity of a single leader (especially since two of the four Central Asian authoritarian already over 70 years, and there discussed the question of who will replace them), that does not add strength to these political structures that undermine the same way just as the Mubarak regime, it is much easier than, for example, in Libya.
Therefore, all the Central Asian rulers gradually catching up to Moscow, because they understand that moving away from Russia, they find themselves in a situation depending on the mood of the West, in other words, the Anglo-Saxon elite. Nobody does not want such a relationship, especially against the background of how the fate of even such a pro-American policy, as Hosni Mubarak.
Now they are nothing more than not believe and try to get some form of compensatory mechanisms in support of Russia. If the situation will be shaken in any of the Central, frankly, despotisms, in parallel with the worsening situation in Afghanistan, they will become more and more pro-Russian – will sign documents of a close partnership, to pursue a Eurasian Union, etc.
It should be noted another important point. The following year, Turkmenistan – Chairman of the CIS.Given the special position of Turkmenistan (Turkmenistan is not transferred to the CIS championship following in alphabetical order the applicant, taking it to yourself), it is quite revealing. It is quite possible that next year, the Turkmen foreign policy will be less neutral and more attempts to integrate into obscheevraziysky mechanism.

Stakes and options

Stakes and options

Zafar Hilaly

If you err by as much as 14 miles when it comes to giving your location and then ask whether there are any “friendly” forces in close vicinity, the answer is irrelevant. That single US error, more than any other, is responsible for what happened at Salala, the rest is nitpicking and off the mark.

Many continue to feel that the US attack on our border posts was not a genuine mistake, and if that was the case it hasn’t been proved so far. Admittedly, the Americans are notorious for being trigger-happy, but they also know which side their bread is buttered. It makes no sense for them to take on Pakistan or teach us lessons, not as yet, anyway. Our cooperation remains indispensable for the war in Afghanistan and for the safety of their forces. Therefore, ignoring that reality and jeopardising what it is in their best interests seems pointless. Besides, military cooperation between the two militaries was improving after the bin Laden fiasco. And so was the exchange of intelligence information between them, which the US deeply values because without such assistance it would be operating clueless in some situations, and hence far less effectively.

Bearing all this in mind – and the fact that the original grid reference of the position of US forces and, hence, where they were operating in relation to border posts was wide off the mark – Washington would have been better off to accept the advice of its ambassador in Islamabad and have apologised for the mistaken bombing. That no casualties occurred on the American side meant they had little to gripe about and were under no pressure to extract their pound of flesh from those who had apparently fired on them. An apology would have facilitated a joint investigation into the incident and the truth would have been established. Even if the investigation revealed, for example, that Pakistan was entirely to blame, the apology could have been withdrawn and sought from the other side.

Therefore, had the US apologised immediately or soon after their investigators discovered the initial mistake (of giving the wrong grid location of their forces), Pakistan would have had to admit that to err is human, accept the apology and compensation on offer, and move on. And that’s what the world too would have appreciated because honourable nations are not ashamed to own their mistakes and to apologise for egregious errors. The US did not, despite the findings of its own investigators; ergo: the US is thus not an honourable nation. And that’s always been the feeling here and now – thanks to Washington ’s lack of grace and, worse, bullying – it has become the popular credo. So what’s new? Not much, perhaps, but the repercussions can be serious if the US fails to mend its ways.

The sense of outrage in Pakistan , not only among the people but also in the army, has generated much talk of revenge and how it could be exacted to account for the loss of Pakistani lives. This is because, in the minds of many, the deliberate killing of innocent soldiers, unaccompanied by an apology, is a blood debt which must be settled. No one will be surprised if relatives of those killed are already making preparations to join the Taliban or get even with the Americans in some form or other.

Similarly, any chance that the supply routes through Pakistan to Afghanistan would be reopened in the near future has diminished, if not evaporated entirely. Their closure will give the US an opportunity to make good on its boast that they don’t count for much. But one thing is clear: it will, nevertheless, become infinitively more expensive for the US to ferry their supplies by alternative routes. And if the supply lines are reopened as a result of US pressure on the current weak and vacillating leadership here, routes will likely be blocked by demonstrators or made impassable by local Taliban supporters. Parliament too will demand that the government ensure they remain closed.

Even if the US-Pakistan relationship returns to an even keel with the passage of time, Salala will linger in public memory. The sense of hurt in Pakistan will persist and the trust and willing cooperation on which so much depends for a constructive relationship will be sorely missing. Of course, many in both countries will feel the ill-fated Pakistan-US relationship, which has suffered several shocks, in addition to the bin Laden raid, was in any case done for. And that the best we could hope for in the future was a relationship based on cold and correct calculation. The Salala episode has proved them right.

Sadly, the tragedy of Salala could so easily have been turned into an opportunity to restore a modicum of trust between the two countries and their respective militaries. Instead, that moment was frittered away.

Obama stood on his stubborn pride – the never failing vice of fools – and showed he did not have the grace to apologise or the guts to heed the advice of his ambassador in Islamabad , rather than the rednecks in the Pentagon.

But that is water under the bridge. It’s perhaps time to adjust to the new situation we face and that, quite frankly, is to look upon the US as a potential and reckless adversary. Or would that be compounding the error? Can we tackle the Afghan imbroglio on our own without some cooperation with the United States ? Do we have resourceful allies who can help us deal with the security challenges we face if we should decide to sever our cooperation with America and treat it as an adversary?

When mulling over such questions, we must keep in mind our strengths and limitations, and that means, above all, our internal situation, starting with our economic and financial condition. Are we politically and economically strong and stable enough to up the ante with the United States and to get involved in a more heated situation on the Afghan border? Or are we better off establishing a purely transactional relationship based on clear terms of engagement?

On the first count – our economic and financial condition – the popular belief is that we are not, although that’s not entirely true. Pakistan ’s dependence on foreign aid looks more like a “debt trap” from which we could escape given better governance. So we need to get our act together on that as a national priority. But on the second count – how we should handle ourselves in the geostrategic game underway in Afghanistan – we had better play our cards well. And that means making the right bid and using our trump cards skilfully, not impetuously, so that in the end, whenever the Afghan imbroglio comes to a closure, we come out in better shape than we are currently. It will affect us more than anyone else and it has already hurt us badly over the course of this longest-running civil conflict in the world.

And there are no grand slams to be made in this high-stakes game by any side. It is much too complex and multidimensional to be brought under anyone’s control. So it’s best to play it with a sense of realism about its complexity and challenges.

The writer is a former ambassador.

Email: charles123it@hotmail.com

Turkey Has Given Russia a Final Permit To Build the South Stream Gas Pipeline

Turkey gives Russia green light to build South Stream gas pipeline

Turkey gives Russia green light to build South Stream gas pipeline

Turkey gives Russia green light to build South Stream gas pipeline

© RIA Novosti. Igor Zarembo

MOSCOW, December 28 (RIA Novosti) –

Turkey has given Russia a final permit to build the South Stream gas pipeline intended to carry Russian natural gas under the Black Sea to Europe, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.

“I want to address the Turkish government with the words of special gratitude due to its decision to grant final permission to Gazprom to build the South Stream gas pipeline along the bed of the Black Sea in its exclusive economic zone,” Putin said at a meeting with Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz.

The accord will contribute to stable energy supplies to the European market, Putin said.

Russia also agreed with Turkey on extending two long-term contracts on gas supplies until 2021 and 2025, Putin said.

The gas export monopoly would boost gas supplies to Turkey by about eight percent or 2 billion cubic meters in 2012 compared with 25.5 billion cu m planned for this year, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said.

“As it normally happens in such cases, a final agreement is the result of a compromise acceptable for both parties,” Putin said.

The South Stream pipeline is intended to transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas to central and southern Europe, diversifying Russian gas routes away from transit countries such as Ukraine. Commercial gas deliveries via South Stream will start at the end of 2015, Miller said.

The neighboring ex-Soviet republic accounts for 80 percent of Russian gas transit to EU nations but frequent rows with Moscow over gas prices have sometimes ended with Kiev switching the gas tap off in wintertime.

Miller said that Turkey’s permit to build the South Stream pipeline in its territorial waters will not affect the gas price formula for Ukraine or other countries.

“As for market gas prices, they are linked to petroleum product prices and contractual gas deliveries to our partners are pegged to a basket of oil products, and the permit to build South Stream will not affect in any way the pricing formula Gazprom uses in its contracts as a whole and with separate countries,” Miller said.

Ukraine has long been seeking to alter the terms of the 2009 gas deal it signed with Russia. The deal ties the price of gas to oil prices, which have risen sharply since 2009, inflating Ukraine’s gas bill.

Moscow Protests and Occupy Wall St. Are Twin Instruments of Destabilization

[Putin complains that the new opposition is leaderless, without the ability to formulate one coherent complaint against him and the system.  With this description, he could have been talking about the American "Occupy Wall St." movement.  The Occupy movement and the anti-Putin movement are twins, fake grass roots movements, generated by the same American sponsors.  Occupy and its twin may be nearly identical in composition, but they have diametrically opposed goals--Occupy is intended as an American pressure relief valve, to confuse any real grass roots "praire fire" from sweeping Obama and friends from power; the leaderless Moscow protests are attempting the impossible, to organize around all issues, hoping that one of them will truly light the fuse and destroy Putin in the process. 

The CIA has, over the years, perfected its formula for social agitation and behavioral control.  Real control of activist populations is a powerful instrument for change, sowing destabilized populations wherever this weaponized political process is deployed.   This weaponized form of democratic-revolution is being used in Moscow to destroy the one man who can pull Russia through the time of testing that we have been forced into.  Both Eastern and Western movements are also identical to the "Arab Spring" movements, only in the case of the Middle East and North Africa, Washington's "Islamists" are the pawns, the agitators deployed by the State Dept. to stir the boiling broth. 

If the world manages to survive the forces that the CIA has unleashed, the end result will be an entire world organized against the perpetrator of all the trouble and chaos.  Only God knows what will happen after that.]

Russian protesters seeking to sow chaos: Putin

Reuters

MOSCOW: Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that mass protests against his 12-year rule were being stoked by a hollow collection of leaderless opposition groups who wanted to sow chaos in Russia. 

In his first comments since Saturday’s protest, Russia’s prime minister said it was impossible to annul the December 4 parliamentary election – the opposition’s key demand – but promised the March presidential vote, in which he is running, would be transparent.

Comparing protesters to Russian revolutionaryLeon Trotsky, Putin said they were more interested in sowing chaos than implementing a concrete set of ideas on how the world’s biggest energy producer should develop.

“The problem is that they have no single program,” the 59-year-old leader told top members of his All Russia People’s Front, an umbrella movement of supporters, at his presidential election campaign headquarters in Moscow.

“They have many individual programs, but no unified one and no clear way to reach their goals, which are also not clear, and there are no people who would be able to do anything concrete,” Putin said. 

Facing the biggest protests since he rose to power in 1999, Russia’s most powerful politician has looked out of touch in recent weeks, dismissing thousands of protesters as chattering monkeys while offering gradual political reforms.

With supporters, Putin took the protests more seriously, saying his opponents deserved respect despite their hunger for what he termed “Brownian motion,” the apparently random movement of particles observed by Scottish scientist Robert Brown.

Paramount leader

Putin presented himself as a leader able to ensure stability and protesters as spoilers bend on chaos, a potentially appealing strategy in a country which has been racked by crises and political chaos since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Putin, who polls show is Russia’s most popular politician, said that he had a solid agenda which included modernization of the $1.9 trillion economy and strengthening of defense.

He said protesters were trying to undermine the legitimacy of the parliamentary vote and called for a transparent presidential election.

“When this kind of situation emerges, there is always an attempt to devalue and undermine the legitimacy of everything that happened in the public sphere, including and, most of all, the electoral process,” he said.

“Therefore, everything must be done in order to ensure that elections are understandable, transparent and objective.”

Putin said his government would spend $500 million to install web cameras at all polling stations, an idea he first aired on December 15, although some of his supporters argued it would do little to boost transparency.

The gulf between Putin and tens of thousands of people who came out onto the streets of Russia’s biggest cities has stoked speculation that Putin may seek to ditch some senior aides.

The Kremlin’s powerful first deputy chief of staff, Vladislav Surkov, did not attend Putin’s meeting, the first such absence for months at a meeting of such importance. Surkov did not return calls.

Other Putin’s allies, including trade union activists, industry workers and war veterans, complained to their boss about the methods used by the opposition, with some calling for tighter Internet regulation.

The West tries out old tricks in Russia

The West tries out old tricks in Russia

By Mikhail L. Titarenko (China Daily)

The West tries out old tricks in RussiaLong before the State Duma elections of Dec 4, the ultra-rightist and liberal mass media, collaborating with anti-Russian elements in the West, forecast that the ruling United Russia party would suffer a serious defeat.

They organized all sorts of sociological surveys to support this thoroughly planned campaign and to push their “predictions” on the “crisis” facing Russian leaders and “sharply declining rating” of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev. The anti-Putin campaign became really vociferous when the United Russia congress officially and unanimously approved Putin as its nominee for the presidential election in March 2012.

It is true that the election results showed the correlation of political forces and sentiments in Russia, which is experiencing the difficult strategic consequences of the disintegration of the erstwhile Soviet Union and the impact of the global economic crisis.

The Russian authorities should learn the lessons from the protests, which shows the global crisis has had a serious impact on Russia’s economy. For example, it has increased the cost of housing and utilities substantially, and led to proliferation of corruption, lack of discipline among bureaucrats, strong bureaucratic stranglehold, and chaos in army and military reforms. Quite naturally, these factors have influenced people’s attitude toward the United Russia party and the bureaucracy, which has won the “top prize” in terms of public repulsion.

However, the “go ahead” for the nasty campaign came from politicians in the United States, who made it clear that they would not welcome Putin back as president of Russia. The opposition in Russia took the signal immediately and went on the “offensive”.

Voters manifested good understanding of the fact that in the past decade as well as during the current difficult times Putin, the non-partisan leader of United Russia, and Medvedev have made substantial efforts to consolidate the country and solve its political and social problems. As for Putin, he has won wide public recognition as a Russian patriot who cares and works for the consolidation and prosperity of the country and to improve the lives and livelihoods of the working people, especially the less-protected section of society.

The West assumes that the disintegration of the Soviet Union was the result of its victory in the Cold War. It hopes that with Western support, separatists and criminals will take the next step to cause the collapse of Russia. In their writings, American politicians such as political scientist and former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and former secretary of state Madeleine Albright have described scenarios of an expected collapse of Russia and even redrawn its national borders.

Putin, who posed the main geopolitical obstacle to the realization of such goals, outlined the strategy for Russia’s revival and consolidation of its status as an important independent country that would cooperate with other countries, including the US, on the principle of equal rights.

As shown by the Dec 4 election results, the United Russia party, notwithstanding the weakening of some of its authority, retained a very considerable percentage of voters’ confidence and won 50 percent of the popular votes. The results also reflect that the Russian people still have the undoubted confidence in Putin and Medvedev.

The Western media try to fan the liberal opposition’s passions in every which way they can. But the Russian authorities, manifesting maximum tolerance, have allowed such anti-government demonstrations to take place.

Some media outlets are engaged in unbridled propaganda, aimed specifically against Putin. But the Russian people know that it is a preplanned political provocation, designed by anti-Russia elements to destabilize the situation in the run-up to the presidential election.

When the liberal media in Russia and in the West loudly advertise their concern over “democratic development” in Russia, they expose their involvement in efforts to silence true public sentiments, as evident in the protests in the US, Britain, Italy, Germany and France. The demonstrations in the West are aimed against the ruling oligarchs in those countries who have fattened their wallets during the economic crisis and distributed multi-million-dollar bonuses among themselves, thereby aggravating the financial and economic chaos.

The Western media should reflect on their double standard on democracy and protests for justice. As the Holy Bible says, before pointing out a mote in another’s eye, they should remove a beam from their own eyes.

The author is president of Russia-China Friendship Association and director of Institute of Far Eastern Studies, affiliated to the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Taking on Turkmenistan’s ruling personality

Taking on Turkmenistan’s ruling personalityPresident has promised clean elections in February, but critics doubt if he’ll risk losing power.http://www.aljazeera.com/video/asia/2011/12/20111227182513146102.htmlThe Central Asian nation of Turkmenistan is weeks away from elections, but the image of only one candidate is to be found in public spaces.The image in question is of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the country’s second president since independence and a leader know for commanding absolute power and being intolerant of dissent.Berdimuhamedov has promised the February 12 elections will be transparent, but five years after he came to power, his pledges of democratic reforms have yet to materialise.Al Jazeera’s Robin Forestier-Walker reports from Ashgabat.

China GPS rival to U.S. goes operational

[China has equalized the odds in its immediate neighborhood.  Hopefully, this will make Western militaries hesitate to make aggressive moves in this region.  Whenever the network is completed, China will extend this capability around the world.]

China GPS rival to U.S. goes operational

China aims to make its military less dependent on foreign technology (Getty Images)

(CBS/AP)  BEIJING – A Chinese rival to the U.S. global positioning system network has started providing services in China and the surrounding area.

The director of China’s satellite navigation system office, Ran Chengqi, told reporters Tuesday that the Beidou navigation system is offering services including positioning, navigation routes and time.

Ran did not specify who the target users are, but he said Beidou would be available to Chinese and foreign companies for research and development.

China, and especially its military, have long been wary of relying on the United States’ dominant GPS network, fearing that Washington might take the system offline in a conflict or an emergency. The Beidou project began at the start of the last decade as China sought to develop an alternative to the United States’ government-run GPS. Another six satellites are slated for space launch next year, when the system will cover most of Asia. by 2020, China expects to have 35 satellites circling the globe.

China has brushed aside suggestions that it might use its global satellite network for military purposes. However, policy analysts aren’t persuaded by the regime’s public statements. In 2004, MIT published a paper, outlining how Beidou might be deployed to aim cruise missiles against Taiwan

More recently, a report by the website defensepolicy.org noted that an independent global navigation system would afford China “a considerable strategic military advantage” in a regional military conflict.

“Such an advantage could prove useful in deterring or hindering the ability of the United States or even India to project air power to intervene with any military operation China decides to take against Taiwan, the Philippines or any other interests China has in the South China Sea,” it wrote.

Kabul May Withdraw from Its Own Rabbani Commission If Islamabad Continues Blocking Efforts

Rabbani murder probe: Kabul may withdraw from joint commission

Iran’s efforts to bring Afghan and Pakistani leaders together at the trilateral summit fail. PHOTO: EPA/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has threatened to withdraw itself from a bilateral joint commission set up earlier this year to evolve a consensus on negotiations with the Taliban. Kabul has  accused Pakistan of non-cooperation in former presidentBurhanuddin Rabbani’s assassination probe, an official told The Express Tribune on Tuesday.

“They (Afghan authorities) are no more interested in any bilateral engagement with us … Kabul wants more cooperation from Islamabad in the Rabbani murder probe,” the official told The Express Tribune.

He added diplomatic channels between Pakistan and Afghanistan had been halted since the killing was blamed on elements within the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Even though Pakistan allowed a team of Afghan investigations to visit Islamabad last month, Kabul claimed that the ISI did not cooperate with them.

“It seems as though Rabbani’s murder has cast a long shadow over Pak-Afghan relations … and the situation is worrying Islamabad as the Afghan endgame nears,” said another official, requesting anonymity.

Published in The Express Tribune

Iraq on the Brink of Civil War

Iraq on the brink

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki’s accusation that Vice-President Tariq al-Hashimi has been ordering the bombing and assassination of political opponents has caused the fragile coalition government to collapse and taken Iraq close to the kind of sectarian violence that followed the United States-led invasion in 2003. It has also exposed the hollowness of Washington’s claim that Iraqi democracy is now stable enough to justify the December 18 removal of the remaining U.S. combat troops. Mr. al-Hashimi has flown to the Kurdistan regional capital, Erbil, where he is relatively safe for the present. The national President, Jalal Talabani, and the Kurdish regional president, Masoud Barzani, have called for an immediate political conference. But the central government’s issue of an arrest warrant for Mr. al-Hashimi, and the withdrawal from parliament of Ayad Allawi’s secular-nationalist Iraqiya group, bring to an end a coalition that actually took 289 days to form after the March 2010 general election. The purported quiet of recent times, in which political violence has claimed 200-300 lives a month, has been shattered by a dozen bombings in Baghdad on December 22 that left 57 killed and 176 injured. Ominously, the attacks happened mainly in Shia-majority neighbourhoods, and could provoke sectarian retaliation.

Even temporary compromise will be very hard to achieve, not least because the Iraqi constitution itself institutionalises ethnic and sectarian divisions. The violence of the post-invasion years caused Shias and Sunnis to flee from mixed areas to regions with greater numbers of their own sect. That deepened mutual distrust and suspicion, which has been exacerbated by allegations that the Shia-dominated government is denying Sunni politicians ministerial posts or is obstructing those who hold them. Now three Sunni-majority provinces on the Syrian border are trying to form a self-governing region. Moreover, the U.S. abolition of civic bodies and the invaders’ destruction of physical infrastructure, on the assumption that all who ran those were fanatical Saddamites, have done more than wreck the everyday functioning of Iraq. They have facilitated arbitrary and brutal policing and judicial practices, with trials conducted as much by confession as on the basis of evidence — a tactic Mr. al-Maliki is now using against his political adversaries. Now the country faces disintegration. That will only add to the terrible price millions of Iraqis have paid already, while the main invader, the United States, washes its hands of responsibility for either causing or preventing it.

Afghanistan tells NATO to disband local force, may open rift

Afghanistan tells NATO to disband local force, may open rift

Sanjeev Miglani
Reuters
KABUL (Reuters) – NATO is reviewing the activities of an irregular police force set up to bolster security mainly in the troubled north, the alliance said on Tuesday, following a call by the Afghan government that it be disbanded.

The row over the Critical Infrastructure Protection program (CIP) launched in areas where there are not enough regular security forces threatens to open a new rift with President Hamid Karzai who sees them as parallel structures that undermine his authority.

A spokesman of the Afghan interior ministry said that the CIP, made up of local militia, was operating outside the Afghan police structure, and people have complained in the provinces where the force was launched to protect reconstruction projects and join the fight against the Taliban.

“We have requested NATO that it be disbanded, our people are not happy about it. They only want national police forces that they can recognize,” said Sediq Sediqqi.

Several armed groups have been set up in response to Afghanistan’s downward security  spiral, aiming to capitalize on a demands to protect local communities — much like Iraq’s Awakening Council that helped turn the tide of the Iraq war.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said the CIP program was under review and would continue to operate.

“ISAF has not been asked to terminate CIP from functioning/providing critical infrastructure protection while the review is underway,” a spokeswoman for the ISAF’s regional command north said in an email.

“The CIP program has produced a reduction in insurgent significant actions (IEDs, small arms fire attacks, etc) where CIP has been emplaced,” she said, adding that the program was requested in writing by the Afghan provincial governors where they were deployed.

Human rights groups say that as NATO prepares to withdraw by the end of 2014 it is trying to build up Afghan national security forces as well as irregular units at top speed.

On Tuesday, 70 members of the team stood guard at the opening of a bridge built by a foreign run joint military-civilian team in Char Darah district of northern Kunduz province, a Reuters reporter said.

Besides Kunduz, the force operates in Faryab, Jawzjan, Sar-e- Pul and Laghman provinces, areas that Afghan national forces are not fully represented. The ISAF spokeswoman said CIP had 1544 members and that the ISAF had not issued any weapons.

The governor of northern Kunduz province said he was concerned about what the men will do if the local CIP unit was dismantled.

“Now that the government has decided to dismiss it, it has to provide them with jobs in the military field,” Mohammad Anwar Jigdalik said.

(Additional reporting by Mirwais Harooni; Editing by Ed Lane)

Iranian Vice Pres. Warns Iran Will Block Hormuz Strait If Sanctions Are Applied

[If Iran actually pulls this off, then I will have to adjust my entire belief system, that the US/Iran hostilities are another intel agency psyop, conducted by agreement, carefully choreographed for maximum political effect, with minimal acts of real violence.  It would be suicidal for both sides if Iran blocks the Hormuz Strait.]

Iran to block Hormuz Strait if sanctions applied

Iranian soldiers prepare rockets on a launcher during a military drill near the Strait of Hormuz. (AFP File Photo/Rouholla Vahdati/ISNA)

Iranian soldiers prepare rockets on a [Hawk AA missile--editor] launcher during a military drill near the Strait of Hormuz. (AFP File Photo/Rouholla Vahdati/ISNA)

TEHRAN – No oil will be permitted to pass through the key oil transit Strait of Hormuz if the West applies sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned on Tuesday.

The threat was reported by the state news agency IRNA as Iran conducted navy wargames near the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance of the oil-rich Gulf.

“If sanctions are adopted against Iranian oil, not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz,” Rahimi was quoted as saying.

“We have no desire for hostilities or violence… but the West doesn’t want to go back on its plan” to impose sanctions, he said.

“The enemies will only drop their plots when we put them back in their place,” he said.

The threat underlined Iran’s readiness to target the narrow stretch of water along its Gulf coast if it is attacked or economically strangled by Western sanctions.

More than a third of the world’s tanker-borne oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.

The United States maintains a navy presence in the Gulf in large part to ensure that passage remains free.

Iran is currently carrying out navy exercises in international waters to the east of the Strait of Hormuz.

Ships and aircraft dropped mines in the sea on Tuesday as part of the drill, according to a navy spokesman.

Although Iranian wargames occur periodically, the timing of these is seen as a show of strength as the United States and Europe prepare to impose further sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors.

The last round of sanctions, announced in November, triggered a pro-regime protest in front of the British embassy in Tehran during which Basij militia members overran the mission, ransacking it.

London closed the embassy as a result and ordered Iran’s mission in Britain shut as well.

Tehran in September rejected a Washington call for a military hotline between the capitals to defuse any “miscalculations” that could occur between their militaries in the Gulf.

An Iranian lawmaker’s comments last week that the navy exercises would block the Strait of Hormuz briefly sent oil prices soaring before that was denied by the government.

While the foreign ministry said such drastic action was “not on the agenda”, it reiterated Iran’s threat of “reactions” if the current tensions with the West spilled over into open confrontation.

- AFP/al