Pakistani Taliban issues video of ISI spy’s execution

Pakistani Taliban issues video of ISI spy’s execution

Islamabad, Feb 19: The Pakistani Taliban released a video Saturday of the shooting of a former officer of the country’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who was kidnapped from the northern tribal region.

A Taliban militant is shown in the video firing at former ISI officer, Col. (Retd.) Sultan Ameer Tarar – also known as Colonel Imam – in the presence of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud, according to Xinhua.

Col. Imam was killed Jan 23 by the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan.

Imam and another former ISI official, Squadron Leader (Retd.) Khalid Khawaja, had gone to North Waziristan along with BBC journalist Asad Qureshi and his and driver Rustam Khan to make a documentary on the Pakistani Taliban and victims of US drone strikes, when they were kidnapped in March 2010.

Later, an unknown militant organisation, Asian Tigers, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and accused Khalid Khawaja of spying for the CIA. He was subsequently shot dead April 30 near Mir Ali town. Col. Imam was kept alive and held hostage all through until his execution Jan 23.

Some reports said the two were abducted by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, working in tandem with the Pakistani Taliban.

Qureshi and Khan were released several months later after his family reportedly paid ransom of Rs.30 million to his kidnappers, the Hakimullah Mehsud-led Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Imam was widely respected by the Afghan Mujahideen and also by the Taliban due to his role during the war against Soviet forces in Afghanistan. He was often described as the “teacher” of Taliban chief Mullah Omar.

He had also served as Pakistan’s consul general in Afghanistan’s western Herat city.

Pakistan Human Rights Commission chief I.A. Rehman condemned the killing and described it as a brutal act.

The Taliban had earlier released a video of Khawaja in which he was heard admitting his links with the ISI and CIA and playing a double game with the Taliban.

Taliban sought Rs.50 million for the release of Imam but negotiations in this regard made no headway and he was killed.

Imam had served 11 years in the ISI out of 18 years in the armed forces, while Khwaja served for 22 years in the air force.

–IANS

Intelligence Agencies Reveal Davis Often Called S. Waziristan

Raymond Davis had contacts in South Waziristan and certain madrasas

Farzana Shah

Terminal X Media Watch

The following article originally appeared as an Urdu report in Pakistan’s Daily Express newspaper here. (http://express.com.pk/epaper/PoPupwindow.aspx?newsID=1101163647&Issue=NP_LHE&Date=20110206)

LAHORE: Investigative agencies have gathered all call records for Raymond Davis. According to sources, the records indicate that a major portion of his calls were to contacts in South Waziristan and other troubled areas adjacent to it.

While tracing the contacted numbers, a team of officers from Pakistan’s ISI revealed that Raymond Davis also used to visit certain madrassahs in those regions and portrayed himself as a newly-converted British Muslim. Raymond Davis used to meet madrassah officials during Friday prayers.

According to sources, Raymond Davis has a group of 75 other colleagues who came to Pakistan during the flood catastrophe. He has been working as Senior Agent Incharge for his group and the divisions for which he was regional incharge include Lahore, Sargodha and Multan.

According to INP, sources say Punjab’s provincial government has compiled and sent the complete investigation report of the killing of two civilians in Lahore by Raymond Davis to the federal government in which it is clearly mentioned that Davis did not fire in “self defence”, neither is he cooperating with the security officials during the investigation.

The Punjab Government has also included names of 4 other American citizens in the report and requested the federal government to place their names in the ECL (Exit Control List). The team of experts from the intelligence agency has also finalized their report which will soon be dispatched to the provincial (Punjab) and federal governments.

[Translated by Sultan Hijazi]

Cross post from terminalx.org

N.C. Homegrown Terror Threat Assessment Proves That America’s Far-Right Is a Bunch of Fraidy-Cats

N.C. study: “homegrown terrorism” threat exaggerated

by John Grooms in Boomer with Attitude

If you have mice in your house, you want to get rid of them, since, otherwise, they’ll get in your food supply, shred things to use in making nests, and crap all over the place. They are a potentially destructive nuisance, and it’s a good idea to do something about them: call an exterminator, put out traps, whatever. What you don’t need to do in this situation is to suddenly think that you are being systematically persecuted by organized hordes of aggressive wharf rats.

That’s the comparison that comes to mind these days when I hear discussions (if you can call them that) about “the terrorist threat to America.” Note that the nearly always-terrified right wing in this country is currently going wild over a scattering of discovered terrorist plans and the occasional, usually failed, attempt at blowing up something. If you want to see how deep the irrationality over this issue can get, check out the comments about an earlier blog post regarding Sue Myrick’s chief of staff leaving to work for an “anti-terror” group that we described as Islamophobic.

Here’s the good news: A new study conclusively shows that the “homegrown terrorism” threat is way overrated. Now the bad news: Hardly anyone is paying attention to the study.

The study, “Muslim American Terrorism Since 9/11:  An Accounting,” was put together by the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security (TCTHS), a think tank of experts from Duke, UNC Chapel Hill and RTI International, a research and development arm of Research Triangle Park. You can read the entire report here. The short version is that the number of Muslim-Americans who perpetrated or were arrested for terrorist acts declined sharply in the past year.

Listening to Myrick and her over-caffeinated followers, you’d think that hundreds of American Muslims are being radicalized and taught to engage in violent acts against the U.S. In actuality, 20 Muslim-Americans committed or were arrested for terrorist crimes in 2010, down from 2009’s 47. The study is full of facts and figures that paint a different picture than the one drawn by various anti-Muslim groups, lawmakers and pundits, whose approach to the problem seems to be “Jump up and down — the world is on fire!,” rather than simply taking a look at the actual numbers. One very interesting fact you won’t see mentioned by the “Islam is the boogeyman” crowd is that, since 9/11, tips from the Muslim American community provided information that led to a terrorist plot being thwarted in 48 of 120 cases.

In the study, David Schanzer, the Director of TCTHS, says, “Is this a problem that deserves the attention of law enforcement and the Muslim American community?  Absolutely.  But Americans should take note that these crimes are being perpetrated by a handful of people who actions are denounced and rejected by virtually all the Muslims living in the United States.” In other words, we have some mice, not an army of organized wharf rats.

As writer Yonat Shimron of Raleigh’s News & Observer noted, the study’s conclusions are similar to reports issued by the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Washington, D.C., which draws on reports from the Congressional Research Service and the conservative Heritage Foundation.  Shimron interviewed Alejandro Beutel, a government and policy analyst with the council, who succinctly concluded, “Overall, there is a challenge out there, but it’s not a pandemic.”

As we’ve written on several occasions, it’s time to cut out the melodrama. The whole point of terrorism is to have a country’s population walking around scared out of their wits. It has become obvious that, in that regard, the Myricks and anti-Muslim groups of this nation — the ones who are currently pitching a fit — have already surrendered. What’s even worse is that at this point, their constant paranoid drumbeat is actually helping terrorists meet their goal of scaring the hell out of Americans.

New Sue Myrick newsletter

Holbrooke’s Replacement?

Marc Grossman

Crisis of confidence

 

By M K Bhadrakumar
Grossman’s appointment is a tacit recognition that the US needs someone with experience, tact and tenacity to leverage the Pak military.
Full two months it has taken for the Barack Obama administration to find a suitable successor to late Richard Holbrooke, United States’ former special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of course, it isn’t easy to replace a titanic figure. But life ought to move on. Some speculate that the issue became the stuff of turf war between the White House and the State Department.

Be that as it may, the appointment of former career diplomat Marc Grossman as Holbrooke’s replacement indicates an element of ‘continuity’ insofar as the incoming special representative is broadly in the same mould as his predecessor. Grossman has some pluses as well, given the unusually long stint he had in the American embassy in Islamabad (1976-83) when, too, Pakistan was a ‘frontline state’ in the US regional strategies.

Grossman is familiar with the Afghan ‘jihadi’ culture and the ethos of Pakistan’s security and military establishment. Additionally, he has rich professional background of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and in Kosovo, in fact, he was a participant in the alliance’s first encounter with conflict situations in a post-cold war setting.

Grossman’s appointment gives away clues to US priorities. One, primacy lies in working with Pakistan. Two, despite the public US claim that the Pentagon’s ‘surge’ is working, there seems to be uneasiness that ground realities are stark and gains can at best be transient, which means political track needs to be opened. Three, US is strongly pitching for Nato’s presence in Afghanistan in the long term. (Grossman held the Nato portfolio in the state department at a turning point in the alliance’s evolution as a global security organisation.)

However, Grossman faces an uphill task ahead. Cutting across any plane in the Afghan situation, we have been witnessing a drift in the recent months — be it as regards the ground situation in Afghanistan, US’ equations with Hamid Karzai or US-Pakistan relationship.

Bluntly put, there is no convincing evidence to substantiate the claims by the US military that the Taliban momentum is being steadily broken. The brazen attack by the Taliban fighters on the headquarters of the Afghan police last week in broad daylight killing 15 policemen speaks volumes about the fragile security situation in the epicentre of the US’ ‘surge’. Again, Kabul city itself has become unsafe, as repeated attacks in the recent weeks testify.

The insurgency is spreading in the northern regions. The Afghan opinion is turning hostile to western occupation. While on the one hand Taliban has no dearth of ‘manpower’, western attempt to build up an Afghan national army seems to meandering. The much-vaunted ‘Afghanistaion’, too, has lost steam.

Sour relations

The US’ equations with Karzai have dipped to an all-time low point. Karzai has become extremely wary of the US intentions. The US attempt to prop up a ‘hostile’ Afghan parliament as a rival power centre checkmating Karzai’s authority and Washington’s overt dalliance with the former Afghan intelligence chief Amrullah Saleh (who was sacked by Karzai last July) have created a grave crisis in confidence between Washington and Kabul.

Meanwhile, the unravelling of Kabul Bank, legal proceedings against the president’s brother Mahmood Karzai in a US court, International Monetary Fund’s strictures providing alibi for the western ‘donors’ to refuse routing their aid through the Afghan government, the imminent ruling by the special court investigating fraud in the Afghan parliamentary elections — all these controversies are potential ‘time bombs’ waiting to explode. Things have become very messy, indeed. Some American commentators speculate on a ‘colour revolution’ to drive Karzai out of power.

The ‘standoff’ is quintessentially over the US push to secure a status of forces agreement that would legitimise American military bases. Karzai has misgivings about the idea despite sustained US pressure tactic and insists any such agreement will need to be ratified by the Afghan parliament and a Loya Jirgha, which is hard to obtain.

The US objective is to get the matter sorted out before an Afghan settlement (which may include Taliban) materialises. The ‘standoff’ lies at the root of the US’ discontent with Karzai. And it adds to the US paranoia that Karzai is steadily strengthening ties with Russia, Iran, China, etc and reducing dependence on Washington.

Far more important than all this is of course the state of play in US-Pakistan ties. The troubled relationship seldom touched such a low point. In sum, Pakistan cannot go along with the US’ surge policy and it refuses to undertake military operations against Taliban groups entrenched in North Waziristan. Pakistan is increasingly suspicious about the American agenda and regards Taliban as its ‘strategic asset’. Of late, Pakistan is linking up with Karzai on the basis of shared concerns to kickstart an ‘intra-Afghan’ dialogue even without US blessing. Indeed, Raymond Davis case highlights the covert US activities inside Pakistan.

To be sure, Grossman’s appointment is a tacit recognition that the US needs someone with experience, tact and tenacity to leverage the Pakistani military at the present crucial juncture of the war. But does diplomatic style and acumen alone suffice? The geopolitical reality is US-Pakistan relationship is riddled with contradictions, which are hopelessly intertwined, too. Even as the US boosts military ties with India, these contradictions can only become more acute. And their shadows on the Afghan chessboard will only be lengthening.

(The writer is a former diplomat)

 

 

Gates Fears Loss of Pakistani Cooperation In Terror War

[The amazing "Sec/Def" acknowledges just how much the Pak Army has cooperated with American direction lately, moving six divisions from the eastern border with India to the Durand Line, in order to fight America's terror war.  With the sudden exposure of America's underhanded war raging within Pakistan, by the Raymond Davis double-murder charges, American hypocrisy towards our most loyal ally is suddenly thrust to the forefront.  The brutal killing of three or more Pakistani citizens by the American agents is something that happens nearly every day, in the hidden corners of Pakistan (SEE: General Kayani Must Not Blink and Pakistan’s Taliban Are CIA). Now that it is happening in the heart of Lahore, in broad daylight, the world gets to see with its own eyes, that American leaders are no longer concerned with keeping their criminal war secret.

Until the Sec/Def and his boss are ready to shut-down America's secret war upon the people of Pakistan, all patriotic Pakistanis should stand together to guarantee that his big war comes to a halt.]

Gates express concern over Pakistan’s situation

Lalit K Jha
(PTI)

Noting that terrorist groups might try to provoke conflict between India and Pakistan, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates today told US lawmakers that he is concerned about the current situation in Pakistan.

“I worry a lot about Pakistan. It has huge economic problems… They have a serious internal terrorism threat that is seeking to destabilize Pakistan itself. And I worry that some of those terrorists might try and provoke a conflict between Pakistan and India,” Gates told a Senate Committee hearing.

“I think that there”s a lot to be concerned about with Pakistan,” he said in response to a question from Senator John McCain, who said that there is a serious disruption of ties between the US and Pakistan as a result of the arrest of American diplomat Raymond Davis over alleged murder charges.

“There”s been serious disruption, obviously, with this American citizens who is now being held in prison, the whole role of private contractors, the continued allegations of relationships between ISI and the Taliban. I”m deeply concerned about the situation in Pakistan, which obviously is vital to the sustained and long-term success in Afghanistan,” McCain said.

Acknowledging that sanctuaries still exist in Pakistan, Gates however praised Islamabad for moving troops from the India border to wards the Af-Pak border.

“The Pakistanis have 140,000 troops on that border.
These things improve step by step, not as quickly as we would like, but we get to a better place over time,” he said.

“If you”d asked me two years ago if the Pakistanis would withdraw six divisions from the Indian border and put them in the west, I would have said impossible. If you would have asked me if we would begin coordinating operations on both sides of the border with Afghan and ISAF forces on the one side, and the Pakistanis on the other, I would have said that”s very unlikely,” he noted.

“They are chipping away at some of these sanctuaries.
It”s very important what they”ve done in South Waziristan and Swat. But it”s a mixed picture and it”s something we just need to keep working at it,” Gates said.

Sharing concerns of Senator McCain on Pakistan, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that “the vector” is going in the wrong direction overall for Pakistan.

“We”re very unpopular there… It”s highlighted in each crisis whether — I mean, we provided extraordinary support for the floods last year — ”we” the military. And then registers in a popular way shortly. You have an incident like the one we”re going through right now and our popularity is back down in very small numbers,” he said.

“I do think we have to stay at it. It is where lots of terrorist organizations head, not just Al-Qaeda. They are more combined in their efforts than they”ve ever been. So I do think we have to continue to work at it. I”m as concerned as I”ve ever been,” Mullen said.

Terrorist Detainee Lawsuit Alleging Torture Thrown-Out

Jpadilla_1

Terror detainee lawsuit tossed out

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A federal judge has tossed out a lawsuit alleging a man convicted of plotting terrorism was tortured at a Navy brig in South Carolina.

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel on Thursday ruled Jose Padilla has no right to sue for constitutional violations and that the defendants enjoy qualified immunity.

Gergel’s decision said a trial would turn into an “international spectacle” with the nation’s present and former leaders summoned to a courtroom to answer Padilla’s charges.

The lawsuit named Defense Secretary Robert Gates among others.

It alleged Padilla was illegally detained as an enemy combatant and tortured in the brig by being kept in darkness and isolation, deprived of sleep and religious materials, and kept from family and attorneys.

China Plans Colombian Railroad Linking Atlantic To Pacific

China plans Colombian rail link to challenge Panama canal

A link between Cartagena in the Caribbean to an unspecified site on the country’s Pacific coast would facilitate Chinese imports

  • Rory Carroll, Latin America correspondent Tania Branigan in Beijing
  • guardian.co.uk
  • cargo ship on panama canalChinese plans for a rail link in Colombia could compete with the Panama canal which transformed global trade when it was opened in 1914. Photograph: David LeveneIt is a dream that bewitched Spain, ruined Scotland, stumped France and empowered the US: a path from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.

    The ambition unleashed ruinous follies in Panama’s jungles until the US finally finished a canal in 1914, an engineering feat that transformed global trade.

    Now, almost a century later, China is envisaging a new link between the seas: a rail link through Colombia – a potential rival to the canal that would crown China’s economic push into Latin America.

    Beijing on Monday confirmed an announcement by the Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, that both governments are considering a rail connection from Cartagena, in the Caribbean, to the country’s Pacific coast 280 miles (450km) away. The president’s office refused to say which Pacific site was being considered.

    The railway would facilitate the export of raw materials such as coal, as well as opening the way for Chinese imports. “It’s a real proposal … and it is quite advanced,” Santos told the Financial Times. “The studies [the Chinese] have made on the costs of transporting per tonne, the cost of investment, they all work out.”

    Few doubt China can carve a path through the northern tip of south America. It has, after all, carved a 550km railway to Tibet, rebuilt Angola’s railways and is busy erecting a giant industrial port in Brazil. The question is whether the railway would be cheaper or faster than the Panama canal, which is only a third as long and undergoing a $5.25bn (£3.3bn) expansion to double its capacity.

    Panama also has an 80km railway connecting both sides of the isthmus, but until now the canal’s main competition has been the rail link from California to the US eastern seaboard, which is faster but more expensive.

    Could Colombia’s railway compete? President Santos seemed to have little doubt, stressing the “incredible” number of Chinese delegations pitching proposals. The railway would require a production and assembly hub in a new city south of Cartagena, he said. “I don’t want to create exaggerated expectations, but it makes a lot of sense. Asia is the new motor of the world economy.”

    With Chinese financing, the project would be a viable and attractive way for Bogota to ease transport bottlenecks in its mining industry, said Heather Berkman, a Eurasia Group analyst. “Colombia is no position to refuse offers of investment in its infrastructure. They need financing from outside sources and this makes sense for them.” Bogota also hopes the plan will focus Washington’s mind on ratifying a stalled free trade accord. “The Colombians have made it clear if there’s no movement on the FTA this year they will court other parties. So there is pressure on the US.”

    The railway would hardly have the same impact of the canal a century ago but would be a symbol of China’s economic incursions into what the US once considered its backyard. Latin American exports to China leapt to $41.3bn between 2000 and 2009. China is Colombia’s second largest trade partner after the US, with bilateral trade rising from $10m in 1980 to more than $5bn in 2010.

    However, the railway project could yet join a list of venerable pipedreams. In 1534 King Charles V of Spain ordered a survey for a route through Panama, hoping for a strategic edge over the Portuguese.

    In 1698 a Scottish flotilla landed in Darien, a remote wedge of rainforest straddling what is now Panama and Colombia, hoping to found a colony and a gateway to the new world. The venture collapsed and bankrupted Scotland, hastening its loss of independence to England. “If the Scots had been successful the canal might have been constructed in Darien, by Panamanians speaking English in a lowland Scots dialect!” rued Jim Malcolm, a Scot and former British ambassador to Panama, in a 2005 booklet.

    A French effort in the 1880s under Ferdinand de Lesseps, who built the Suez canal, foundered because of poor planning and disease which killed about 22,000 workers.

    The US revived the canal project in 1903 after encouraging Panama, then part of Colombia, to secede and hand control of the waterway to Washington.

    In 2006 Nicaragua revived its own long-held dream of a rival canal but the idea quickly faded. It did not have Chinese backing.

    Additional reporting by Lin Yi

Egyptian Authorities Approve Request For Two Iranian Warships to Transit Suez Canal

WORLD Egyptian authorities have approved the request for Iran to allow two of its warships use the Suez Canal to go to the Mediterranean Sea. 

Friday February 18, 2011

As required by law, the Foreign and Defense ministries granted permission to the Iranian navy to use the passage.

Israel has expressed concern about the intentions of the Iranians to move to the Mediterranean and is described as a provocation.

How Can A Trunk Load of Firecrackers Blow-Up A Mosque?

Imperial Beach man arrested in attempt to bomb Mi. mosque

BY MIKE LEE

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2005 file photo, the Islamic Center of America mosque in Dearborn, Mich., is shown. Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Southern California man, was arrested outside the mosque on Monday evening, Jan. 24, 2011 in the mosque's parking lot. Stockham was charged with possessing explosive and threatening terror at the mosque. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

WAYNE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

Booking photo of Roger Stockham, 63, of California. He was arraigned Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011, on one count of a false report or threat of terrorism and one count of explosives-possession of bombs with unlawful intent._photo by Wayne County Sheriff’s office

FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2005 file photo, the Islamic Center of America mosque in Dearborn, Mich., is shown. Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Southern California man, was arrested outside the mosque on Monday evening, Jan. 24, 2011 in the mosque's parking lot. Stockham was charged with possessing explosive and threatening terror at the mosque. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

- AP

FILE – In this Sept. 30, 2005 file photo, the Islamic Center of America mosque in Dearborn, Mich., is shown. Roger Stockham, a 63-year-old Southern California man, was arrested outside the mosque on Monday evening, Jan. 24, 2011 in the mosque’s parking lot. Stockham was charged with possessing explosive and threatening terror at the mosque. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

A 63-year-old man who recently lived in Imperial Beach has been arrested in an alleged attempt to blow up the biggest mosque in the Detroit area, authorities said Sunday.

Roger Stockham is facing one count of a felony false report or threat of terrorism, and one felony count of possessing explosives with an unlawful intent, according to police inDearborn, Mich. His bail was set at $500,000.

Stockham is a decorated Army veteran who flew 600 combat helicopter missions in Vietnam, according to a report in the Detroit News.

Do you know Roger Stockham?

If so, please call our breaking news line, (619) 293-1010.

Greater Detroit is a national hub for Arab-Americans. Stockham was arrested in the parking lot of the Islamic Center of America, one of the largest mosques in NorthAmerica, with an undisclosed quantity of

class-C fireworks

including M-80s, which are outlawed in Michigan, according to The Associated Press. The arrest was Monday, but Dearborn police did not announce it until Sunday, when they issued a three-paragraph statement that did not include Stockham’s date of birth, town of residence, middle name or details about the incident. The Associated Press cited a police official saying Stockham lives in Imperial Beach; a neighbor near his last known address said Stockham left a few weeks ago.

The Detroit Free Press said the Islamic Center was holding a funeral and up to 700 people were inside when Stockham was apprehended in the parking lot. Police said the suspect doesn’t appear to have known about the funeral but targeted the region because of its large Muslim and Arab population.

The Free Press reported that an employee at a local bar called police after overhearing violent threats allegedly made by the man. The employee reportedly was afraid that Stockham was going to target people of Middle Eastern descent.

Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said Stockham “appeared to be acting alone.” He told the Free Press that Stockham “had a long history of being angry with the United States government.”

At a small two-story apartment complex in Imperial Beach, resident Landon DeBono said Stockham moved out three or four weeks ago, saying something vague about being in trouble. He said Stockham didn’t appear to hold a job and spent lots of time at the local VFW bar.

DeBono described Stockham has a “pretty mellow guy” and a loner. “He was always by himself,” DeBono said. “Nobody came to visit him.”

About six months ago, DeBono said FBI agents talked with residents of the complex about Stockham, but they didn’t contact him.

The webpage of the VFW Post 5477 in Imperial Beach shows Stockham joined in 2009. His posted biography said he grew up in Palos Verdes, fought in Vietnam with an assault helicopter company and “got a lot of air medals, but not much else.” It says he later worked in Indonesia as a bush pilot.

A woman who answered the phone at the VFW Post on Sunday said, “We have no statements at this time. Thank you,” and hung up after a reporter from The San Diego Union-Tribuneidentified himself.

San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Brown said he didn’t know about the allegations against Stockham until being called by a reporter. Brown said Stockham didn’t have arrest warrants in the county and he had not been asked by police in Michigan to take any action in the case.

A preliminary court action is set for Friday in Dearborn.

US Embassy employee involved in third death in Davis saga slips back to America

US Embassy employee involved in third death in Davis saga slips back to America

The US Embassy employee who ran his car over a Pakistani citizen- Ibadur Rehman- while rushing to assist American official Raymond Davis on January 27 in Lahore has slipped out of Pakistan, according to a senior US official.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Philip J. Crowley had confirmed during a press briefing this week that it “was US Embassy staff driving the car that allegedly hit the civilian.

On Friday, the Lahore High Court ordered provincial authorities to impound the vehicle and arrest the accused involved in Rehman’s death.

But the car driver as well another US official involved in the incident are no more in Pakistan, in fact they are back on American soil, ABC News quoted the US official, as saying.

Davis is accused of gunning down two Pakistani men, allegedly in self-defence during a “botched robbery.”

American officials said that the driver of the vehicle held the same diplomatic visa as Davis.

Authorities in the Punjab province have said that they sent five letters to the US Embassy, asking it to hand over the driver and that vehicle, but have received no response so far.

It is unclear when the driver and his passenger were spirited out of Pakistan, but a senior US official said that it happened soon after the shooting incident.

Meanwhile, Davis is in a high-security detention centre in Lahore and is expected to stay there until a court hearing next month, despite repeated demands by the US to release him immediately on the grounds of diplomatic immunity. (ANI)

If Raymond Davis is Freed, Islamabad Will Not Be Forgiven

Pakistan anger knows few bounds in the case of U.S. Consulate

employee Raymond Davis. All sides agree that he shot and killed

two people there last week, and a third was killed by Consulate

employees speeding to the scene of the shooting.

If Raymond Davis is Freed, Islamabad Will Not Be Forgiven

“If Musharraf turned Pakistan into a sprawling game park for American adventurers, President Zardari has turned it into a Wild West where cowboy Yankees can poach.”

February 17, 2011

Pakistan – The Frontier Post – Original Article (English)

Spokeswoman for the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, Fauzia Wahab: Her assertion that American Raymond Davis is protected by the Vienna Conventions may have made her the most despised woman in the country. 

EXPRESS TV VIDEO: Pakistan news report on the arrest of Raymond Davis, Feb. 5, 00:01:59

 

 

This couldn’t be a slip-up by Fauzia Wahab, the information secretary of the [ruling] Pakistan Peoples Party: She read out the relevant passages of the Vienna Conventions to establish that American double murderer Raymond Davis enjoys diplomatic immunity. After all, she couldn’t be so naïve as to mistakenly issue such a categorical assertion on such a sensitive issue. There was obviously a method to her madness. Hers was unmistakably a choreographed act: she would make the statement, and then the movers and shakers would immediately jump in, refuting her pronouncement and asserting that neither was it her party’s stance nor that of the government’s. The clear intent was to sound out public opinion on releasing the American double killer.

But why is the Islamabad leadership so hell-bent on playing with fire? The issue is clearly an emotional one, charged with boiling public sentiment. If the slayer is let off under some ruse, such as a contrived diplomatic immunity, public anger will in all likelihood burst into a storm, to the great woe of the leadership. Now that the case is before the courts, Islamabad must l forego any hanky-panky in their own interest and let them decide. A court decision, whatever it is, will be accepted by the people, though if Davis is freed – grudgingly. Already, the public is greatly frustrated by the leadership’s not-so-deft moves to somehow set the American slayer free. They’ve shown no regard for the grief of the families of the two Pakistani nationals whom he put to death, let alone the third unfortunate victim. That man, who the slayer’s pals crushed under the speeding wheels of their vehicles, has become a forgotten nonentity, even to our own politicos, media and commentators who are playing to the gallery.

Despite his admittedly heinous crime of double murder, the Americans are so concerned about their citizen that they have employed every type of bullying, blackmail and coercion. Seeing that, it really hurts to watch our leaders show no such concern, let alone compassion or sympathy, for our own dead. As was previously pointed out, one of the victims has been forgotten by our politicians and media celebrities, his death disregarded as though he were a worm crushed underfoot, and the widow of another has taken her life in despair.

But why are our leaders so intent on burning every boat and committing themselves to uncertain shores? History shows that Americans are always the first to jump a sinking ship. For 30 years, Hosni Mubarak played their errand boy in the Middle East. Despite that, they batted not an eye at abandoning him once they found the going rough in the face of his people’s popular revolt. For decades, the Shah of Iran was their blue-eyed boy and much-eulogized hatchet man in the region. But when the crunch came and a furious people’s revolution overthrew him, they refused to grant him asylum and left him seeking refuge in Morocco, the Bahamas and Panama, only to die in Egypt.

SEE ALSO ON THIS:

The Nation: Open Letter to Obama: Stop Protecting ‘Murderer’ Davis

Dawn: The Davis Case: Qureshi Takes One for the Nation

The Daily Jang: Ruling Party Spokeswoman Says Davis Enjoys Immunity

Frontier Post: Pakistan Courts Must Prosecute U.S. ‘Killer’ Raymond Davis

The Nation: Pakistan Should Prosecute Davis; ‘Welcome’ Cut in U.S. Ties

The Nation: Iran ‘Sets Example’ By Prosecuting Americans

Here in Pakistan, although he was their servile lackey, when Americans found he had turned into a liability, they turned away from Pervez Musharraf. If conditions take a similar turn, which they certainly will if our leaders continues to slap our own people to earn America’s favor, will the results be any different? Going even further than Musharraf in this frailty, the servility that the government humiliatingly shows Americans has lost them much of our people’s respect and credibility. If Musharraf turned Pakistan into a sprawling game park for American adventurers, President Zardari has turned it into a Wild West where cowboy Yankees can poach. To our people’s great anger, their adventurous exploits here have witnessed phenomenal growth under Zardari’s watch.

Posted by WORLDMEETS.US

If Zardari earns the people’s scorn and indignation by acting outside the law of our land by releasing the murderer Davis to please America in the short term, he may rue it later. Doing so may also place him in a very difficult confrontation with the judiciary. He would do well to sit back and let the courts rule.

 

The US wish list that led to Davis incident

The US wish list that led to Davis incident

By Tariq Butt
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan government had confirmed in 2008 that it had received an 11-point wish list from the US, reportedly, including the request that all US embassy technical and administrative staff be granted diplomatic status.

It also included that this staff be allowed to carry arms, with US arms licences recognized in Pakistan; that US nationals be exclusively subject to American jurisdiction in the case of damage to property or loss of life, a leading US magazine has claimed. US Foreign Policy Magazine said in an article that at the time, Islamabad denied it had agreed to any of these demands.

Prominent politician and former minister of state Senator Tariq Azim says it is now clear beyond an iota of doubt that the government had entered into an agreement with the US on granting diplomatic status to US technical and administrative staff of the US embassy; allowed them to carry arms and recognized US arms licences in Pakistan; and the U.S. nationals were to be exclusively subject to American jurisdiction in the case of damage to property or loss of life.

He told The News that the documents that Senator John Kerry talked about for placing before the Pakistan government to prove that American killer of two Pakistanis Raymond Davis has immunity and can’t be tried in Pakistan also included the wish list to which the present government had consented in 2008.

According to the dictionary definition, wish list means a usually unwritten list of things one wishes for. The article headlined “Raymond Davis and the cost of immunity” also said that “. . . Pakistanis are unsure of just how much faith, they can place in their government’s official rhetoric. . . today, the Raymond Davis case raises question marks over whether this is yet another instance of deliberate government deceit.”

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf Chairman Imran Khan puts it: “The people don’t trust the government any more. It has time and again proven that it lies to its public.” This is why he believes that it is only proper that Davis be tried before local courts so that Islamabad’s role, if any, also be brought to light.

The article said that the curious case of Davis is still being played out in Pakistan with all the cloak-and-dagger intrigue befitting a James Bond novel. Washington has been consistently loud and clear in its message to Islamabad: A Pakistani refusal to hand over the 36-year-old former Special Forces officer, who shot and killed two Pakistani men in what he claims was self-defense, will be the mother of all deal-breakers for bilateral ties. On trial in Pakistan is not Davis, however, nor only the already bottomed-out reputation of the United States—the credibility of the Government of Pakistan is also at stake, it said.

The article said that much of the Pakistani discourse has summed up the January 27 incident as underscoring the extent to which Washington views Pakistani lives as cheap and, therefore, dispensable. Similarly, US calls for Davis’s release have been interpreted as deliberate moves to erode Pakistan’s sovereignty.

According to Courtney Beale, the acting US embassy spokesperson in Islamabad, nothing could be further from the truth. In January 2010, she told the writer of the article, the US apprized the Pakistan’s National Security Adviser’s office that Davis was being attached to the Islamabad mission with diplomatic agent status. “We received no certificate of objection,” she said.

Beale, however, is unable to clarify if Davis was in possession of an arms licence or a diplomatic visa at the time of the shooting.

Referring to the shooting, she notes that the “Government of Pakistan makes it very hard” by not always stamping diplomatic visas on diplomatic staff passports. “Even I don’t have one on my passport,” she admitted. But Beale is keen to stress that if Islamabad has retrospective questions regarding Davis’s status, the US position is clear—this is a matter for Pakistan’s federal government to resolve, not a provincial court.

The article said that Islamabad’s reliance on Pakistan’s judicial system as impartial arbiter has been seen by many as a deliberate maneuver to abdicate responsibility and publicly position itself on the side of the Pakistani people, who are angry: to defend the integrity of Pakistan before American hubris. Indeed, Rehman Malik, the interior minister, has already announced that the government will provide a stipend and house as compensation to the families of the two brothers as well as that of Ibadur Rehman, the bystander run down by a US Consulate vehicle as it rushed to Davis’s aid. The compensation question, however, remains problematic in the absence of a thorough investigation and public verdict on the brothers’ identities.

Russian billionaire asks Putin to stop FSB secret service agents from stealing his empire

Russian billionaire asks Putin to stop FSB secret service agents from stealing his empire

From ANI

London, Feb 19(ANI): Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev has told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that a gang of corrupt FSB secret service agents and policemen were plotting to steal his multi-billion pound business empire.

Lebedev that said his Moscow-based banking empire was under serious attack, and that he had been threatened with jail unless he left the country.

The 50-year-old also said that he had been asked to pay seven-figure bribes to stop the harassment and that there had been fifty attempts to frighten his employees and relatives in December and January alone.

“Respected Vladimir Vladimirovich (Putin)! I am requesting you intervene in the situation, (and sort out) the bandit raid by werewolves in epaulettes,” the Telegraph quoted Lebedev, as saying in his letter to Putin.

“Thank God there have been no grenades or plastic explosives so far. (But) we are dealing with an organized mafia group acting on the pretext that it is carrying out orders from above,” he added.

In May 2008, Lebedev was listed by Forbes magazine as one of the richest Russians and as the 358th richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of 3.1 billion dollars.

He owns a third of airline Aeroflot, and is part owner of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and owner of four UK newspapers with son Evgeny Lebedev: the London Evening Standard, The Independent, the Independent on Sunday and the new i newspaper.

ExxonMobil signs Ukraine unconventional gas cooperation deal

ExxonMobil signs Ukraine unconventional gas cooperation deal

London (Platts)

The rush by international majors to secure unconventional gas acreage in Ukraine is hotting up, with ExxonMobil the latest company to sign up to explore in the gas-rich east of the country.

ExxonMobil signed Wednesday in Houston a memorandum of understanding with Ukraine’s state-owned Naftogaz Ukrayiny “to establish a basis for evaluating unconventional hydrocarbon resource potential in areas of Ukraine where Naftogaz holds rights,” the company said Friday.

“ExxonMobil has global unconventional hydrocarbon experience and we welcome the cooperation with Naftogaz as it brings local technical and operations expertise with its highly talented workforce,” spokesman Patrick McGinn said.

The Ukraine government expanded on the content of the MOU, saying its purpose was to establish “mutually beneficial cooperation between the companies in the analysis of potential reserves of coalbed methane, shale gas, tight gas from rocks and other hydrocarbons at alternative sites in Ukraine.”

Ukraine’s energy minister Yuriy Boyko said the agreement would further strengthen the energy security of Ukraine.

“This agreement is another step toward the real energy security, strengthening our country because it involves the cooperation of the leading company in our country — Naftogaz Ukrayiny — and the largest company in America — ExxonMobil,” he said.

During his trip to the US, Boyko also met with officials at Chevron, which is also touted to explore for unconventional gas in Ukraine.

Ukraine Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said earlier this month Chevron was ready to make investments in the country if the company could be assured of political stability and that the current taxation structure would not change.

“These are very difficult deposits to develop and we need very large investments,” Azarov said.

TAX CHALLENGES

Companies have though balked at starting new projects in Ukraine until the impact of new tax legislation is clarified.

As of January 1 this year, the rate of taxation on oil and gas production has risen substantially, and although a lower rate of corporation tax has been introduced to offset partially the production tax rise, the effect has been damaging to Ukraine’s investment climate.

UK-listed JKX Oil and Gas said last month the overall impact of the tax changes would be that its tax rate is now some 50% compared with 30% previously.

Despite the tax changes, Ukraine is still adamant it wants to attract international players to help it develop its oil and gas sector.

According to Ukraine’s First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Kliuyev, gas production in Ukraine can double if all potential projects are realized.

Ukraine lacks the technology needed to access the gas so it is looking to international companies to kick-start the nascent industry.

Boyko highlighted that cooperation with US companies would be the boost Kiev needs to develop its gas shale sector.

“The use of investment and experience of US energy companies, bringing US technical assistance and new technologies in oil and gas sector, would greatly improve energy security not only in Ukraine but also on the European continent as a whole,” Boyko said.

The ExxonMobil deal came just a day before the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko signed an agreement assigning the US Geological Survey to assess potential energy resources in Ukraine, primarily shale gas reserves.

OTHER EXPLORERS

Other companies interested in investing in Ukraine’s unconventional gas sector are Russia’s TNK-BP, which has been issued permits to develop coalbed methane, Poland’s PKN Orlen and Shell.

Shell said this month it expects to take part in a licensing tender for unconventional gas acreage in Ukraine when and if the tender is launched, as the company renews its interest in upstream projects in the former Soviet Union country.

Shell in October last year suggested to the Ukrainian government a number of areas in Ukraine that it thought should be made available for unconventional gas exploration.

A company spokesman told Platts Ukraine approved the recommendation last month just before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“This area is to be put up for tender, and depending on a number of certain factors, we will be happy to consider [taking part],” he said.

Ukraine’s energy ministry has estimated coal gas reserves in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions alone could be as much as 100 Tcf, while total gas recoverable resources in the eastern Donets Basin could be as high as 400 Tcf.

–Stuart Elliott, stuart_elliott@platts.com

US Ambassador Rice Delivers Israel’s Veto At the UN

U.S. vetoes U.N. draft condemning Israeli settlements

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS

(Reuters) – The United States on Friday vetoed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements on Palestinian land after the Palestinians refused a compromise offer from Washington.

The U.S. move was welcomed by American pro-Israel groups, some of which have previously criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for what they see as its record of lukewarm support for Israel.

U.N. diplomats say the Palestinian Authority, which has been trying to defend itself against critics who accuse it of caving in to the Americans and Israelis during peace talks, was eager to show that it can stand up to Washington.

The other 14 Security Council members voted in favor of the draft resolution. But the United States, as one of the five permanent council members with the power to block any action by the Security Council, voted against it and struck it down.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice told council members that the veto “should not be misunderstood to mean we support settlement activity.” The U.S. position is that continued Israeli settlements lack legitimacy, she said.

But Rice said the draft “risks hardening the position of both sides” and reiterated the U.S. view that settlements and other contentious issues should be resolved in direct Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

The resolution described the settlements as “illegal” and urged the Jewish state to “immediately and completely” halt all settlement activities. Diplomats said the views contained in the resolution, which would have been legally binding had it passed, are generally supported by the Obama administration.

However, they said, the United States refuses to allow the Security Council to intervene with binding resolutions on issues it feels belongs to direct peace talks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement Israel “deeply appreciates” the U.S. decision to veto the resolution.

Israeli Ambassador Meron Reuben, opposing the resolution, urged the Palestinians to “return to negotiations without preconditions.” U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed last year after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on settlements.

The Palestinians say continued building flouts the internationally backed peace plan that will permit them to create a viable, contiguous state on the land after a treaty with Israel to end its occupation and 62 years of conflict.

Israel says this is an excuse for avoiding peace talks and a precondition never demanded before during 17 years of negotiation, which has so far produced no agreement.

HYPOCRITICAL?

World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder thanked Obama, saying his veto showed “America’s support for the rights of the Jewish state and for the Middle East peace process.” Other pro-Israel groups also praised Obama.

Obama’s offer to support a non-binding Security Council statement chiding Israel over the settlements instead of a binding resolution had been criticized by pro-Israel lobby groups and some members of the U.S. Congress.

 

The Deal On the US Military Plane In Argentina With Mind-Altering Drugs On Board

Surely not

Image: AFIP, Customs and PSA
One of the Locked Cases Containing Psychotropic Drugs Having Padlock Cut-Off

A U.S. military plane attempted to enter an undeclared shipment of military weapons, encrypted communication equipment, software and narcotic drugs and narcotics. CFK ordered to open a suitcase, which the Americans refused to surrender. The government reiterated refusal to militarize and internal security. The Salvadoran gang and the favelas of Rio as a model for towns in Argentina. Macrì’s speech on immigration was a replica of one of Scioli.

By Horacio Verbitsky

The national government forbade the entrance of “load sensitive” secret arrived at Ezeiza International Airport on a flight from Air Force United States and whose employment is not provided satisfactory explanations. Sensitive load expression was used on Monday by the Minister for Administrative Affairs Dorothy Sarro to request authorization for a truck-trailer could enter the operating platform. The huge C17, a Boeing freighter Globmaster III, larger than the known Hercules, arrived late on Thursday with an arsenal of powerful guns for a course on crisis management and hostage-taking offered by the U.S. government to Group Special Operations Special Federal Police (GEOF), which should take place throughout February and March. The government estimates the total cost of transport and the course is around two million dollars. The course was approved by the Argentine government, but when staff checked the contents of the load coincides with the list provided in advance, appeared cannon machine gun and rifle and a strange bag that had not been included in the statement. Although the course was intended for Argentine police forces, the burden was on a military transport and was received by the aggregated Ezeiza military and defense, Colonel Edwin Passmore and Mark Alcott. All boxes had the stamp of the 7 th Army Airborne Brigade based in North Carolina. Clandestinely tried to pass in thousand cubic feet, equivalent to one third of the cargo plane that arrived after stops in Panama and Lima.

Twelve military experts

Note that the Ambassador Vilma Martinez sent in November to Justice Minister Julio Alak, who by then was also responsible for security, remember that the first phase of training to GEOF to rescue hostages had been held in April, “so which we were asked to perform other more advanced. ” On another note, sent on December 21 the Security Minister Nilda Garre, who had taken over five days before, Vilma Martinez Alak told that it had approved the completion of the course and come to dictate twelve “U.S. military experts.” Similar courses were held in 1997 and 1999, under the presidency of Carlos Menem, and 2002, during the months when the former senator Eduardo Duhalde served an internship by the Executive. There were none during the government of Nestor Kirchner and resumed in 2009 under the current government. The new course of five weeks, was scheduled for August 2010 but had to be postponed for a similar episode. At that time Ambassador Vilma Martinez was that he refused to receive the cargo because the numbers of weapons did not match that of the previous list, which shows the conflicts that this practice occurs within the U.S. government. “This is an embarrassment,” Martinez said then, before charging back to North Carolina.By order of the President CFK, Foreign Ministry officials and the Federal Ministries of Planning and Security of the AFIP and Customs supervised the procedure. Then technicians joined the ministries of Health and the Interior.

The boys of the bag

In his classic book The Mission. Waging War and Keeping Peace with America’s Military, published in 2003, journalist Dana Priest The Washington Post described the dramatic Pentagon primacy in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. With more than a thousand people, the Southern Command exceeds the number of specialists in Latin America of the Secretaries of State, Defense, Agriculture, Commerce and Treasury combined. This imbalance has continued to grow and the U.S. tries to export to the countries under its influence, which is almost everyone. As night fell Thursday, Cristina ordered seal the bag and resume the task the next day, which stipulated that the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry sent to the site staff trained to understand what it was. For six hours on Friday, several U.S. Marines sat on a rotating on the bag, which suggests the importance they attached to their content. According to U.S. software and equipment is sensitive to security. A colonel said there had to be opened in the open because it could reveal secrets to satellites flying over at that time. The plane also contained a box of merchandise to give to the Argentine police, including hats, vests and other trinkets. Héctor Timerman Chancellor remained almost all day at the airport, along with Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi, pursuant to presidential instructions, along with staff of the Airport Security Police, Customs and the AFIP and the main management of the Directorate of Information, Technology and Systems Security and Interior Ministry. It also involved two inspectors of the National Drug Institute (Iname) and the National Food, Drug and Medical Technology (Anmat). Intervention took the economic criminal judge Beron de Estrada Ezequiel. The embassy withdrew from the airport and his senior staff refused to consent to the opening of the bag. After a full day of pushing and pulling, Timerman said he would use his legal powers to open. He was accompanied by the principal officer Patricia Rodríguez AdrianM Muiños, Imports section of the Federal Police, which was addressed to the load. By checking the official decision to proceed, and the deadline end of an hour set Timerman, the embassy asked for ten minutes of extension until the arrival to Ezeiza press chief, Shannon Bell Farrell. Both she and Stephen Knute added Kleppe said they had no key to the padlock, so that Customs decided Timerman cut it with pliers. When this happened, on the afternoon of Friday, appeared transmission equipment, military backpacks, officials said drugs were expired, pen drives, over whose content should dictate the experts, and narcotic drugs and narcotic and stimulating the nervous system. Among the material were three scripters for communication devices. Inside the secret bag also appeared an envelope super-, green cloth. As the embassy staff said he had the key on, was also opened by expeditious means. Inside were two pen drives labeled “Secret”, a software key information I2, a hard drive is also marked “Secret.” Encrypted communications codes and funny brochure translated into fifteen languages with the text: “I am a United States soldier. Please report to my embassy I have been arrested by the country. ” None of these materials match the specifications that the embassy sent to the Foreign Ministry on the nature of the course to be taught to rescue hostages. After witnessing these findings, embassy officials decided to withdraw, despite a formal request to stay there, and did not sign the minutes. On Thursday, Colonel Alcott said he knew that something similar had happened anywhere in the world. The weapons and bags were seized and declared no tomorrow Monday 14 continue the verification of its contents. For example, antibiotics, antihistamines, vitamin supplements, sunscreen and hormones found, would be due according to the information on their packaging. But the government wants to check if it is to say drugs packaging and if it is true that are past due. The rest of the material, which coincided with the previous statement was carried on a freight from the embassy to the headquarters of the RCMP in the street Cavia. At the end of this article embassy sources in Washington said it was preparing a document with the official position and they felt that the training would be suspended. The State Department cited the Argentine Ambassador Alfredo Chiaradía and expressed his “surprise” for the procedure as “America wants to maintain friendly relations with Argentina.” Curious way to go. Any Argentine, civil or military, who tried to smuggle weapons and drugs not reported to the United States would be arrested immediately.

 

Ask Ukraine–Revolutionaries Are Better At Demolition Than Construction

Tymoshenko’s Bad Advice

KIEV, Ukraine — Yulia Tymoshenko’s comment published in the Feb. 7 issue of The Moscow Times titled “The Orange Revolution Betrayed” clearly revealed Tymoshenko’s most striking character trait: She is a born revolutionary. 

Yulia Tymoshenko
“A revolution has a start, yet a revolution never ends” are the lines from a famous Communist march. These words sound very much like her political manifesto as well. Indeed, revolutions sometimes inevitably break out as the only way to fulfill society’s overdue and neglected needs.

But they can’t and shouldn’t burn forever. This is a simple truth that is oddly hard to realize for people who enter the political stage by revolutionary means, but become clueless and helpless once they have to construct something.

Revolution is not a universal answer to every political problem, just like a defibrillator is not a universal healing to every health predicament. This has been very evident in Ukraine during the five years of Orange rule.

What Ukrainians really need is peace, stability and at least a modicum of pride in their country. The sad truth is that the five post-revolutionary years brought Ukraine neither of those. Moreover, the initial revolutionary intoxication and euphoria turned into a prolonged hangover.

Judging from Tymoshenko’s comment, the country’s problems are the work of some anonymous “enemies of freedom” who betrayed and reversed the revolution. And this is another side of a true revolutionary:

They are always surrounded by would-be traitors. And when things don’t work out their way, it’s always someone else’s fault, not theirs.

With this reasoning, it’s no wonder that despite the devastating record of her Cabinet in Ukraine, Tymoshenko has the gall to give advice to Egyptians and Tunisians.

After all, she still has the insolence to doubt the will of her own people — who dumped her at the last presidential election that was universally recognized as fair, transparent and democratic.

Tymoshenko claims that democratic elections “do not make a democracy.” Of course they don’t. A true democracy is a combination of three main elements: the rule of law, civilized political process and plenty of hard systemic work.

Typically revolutionaries like Tymoshenko don’t mind the rule of law as long as it doesn’t concern themselves, their friends and relatives.

Just like Che Guevara probably wouldn’t have made a good plumber or construction worker, Tymoshenko did not do a good job as prime minister. She was unable to institute systemic reforms because, like a true revolutionary, she constantly confused the economy with a barricade.

She was caught unprepared by the world economic crisis because she couldn’t think big in economic terms. On the top of that, she didn’t delegate duties because she didn’t trust anyone and saw only potential traitors around herself.

In her comment, Tymoshenko tried to give Tunisians and Egyptians advice. I would like to give them some advice of my own:

First and foremost, don’t trust revolutionaries with building democracy. Some people are great at building things and some only at terminating them. Revolutionaries make the world’s best terminators, but they are generally incapable of hard systemic work.

Second, remember a successful transformation of any country depends on its ability to bring bright people to the government and those who can deliver on their promise, not simply political activists with their own personal agendas. The people’s quality of life will depend directly on the type of politicians who are elected to power.

Third, don’t listen to the sweet-voiced “Sirens” who promise you paradise tomorrow, yet have been proven to benefit only themselves in the past.

This certainly doesn’t mean that Ukraine’s current government is beyond reproach. Every revolution is filled with polarization and partisanship. True statesmanship is about taking these toxins out of the political process.

In the end, a government leaves its positive mark on society not by succeeding politically, but by succeeding historically, and this is achieved through bipartisanship.

In this sense, Ukraine’s government is ready to cooperate with every opposition group or member as long as they are ready to think in terms of the nation’s interest and not petty political bickering.

The tactics can be negotiated, but strategy has to be the same: pragmatic reforms to benefit Ukraine’s future. Unfortunately, it took Ukraine five years to reach this post-revolutionary period of stability. I hope it will happen sooner in Egypt and Tunisia.

Source: The Moscow Times