Did the Saudis Pay Davis’ Blood Money, Hillary?

U.S. didn’t pay blood money to secure Davis’ release, says Clinton

PTIAn undated family photo provided by Rebecca Davis, wife of Raymond Davis, 36. Raymond Davis, who shot and killed two Pakistani men, was released from a Pakistani prison on Wednesday, and left Pakistan. Photo: AP.

An undated family photo provided by Rebecca Davis, wife of Raymond Davis, 36. Raymond Davis, who shot and killed two Pakistani men, was released from a Pakistani prison on Wednesday.  AP

Her comments came in the wake of reports in the Pakistani media that Mr. Davis was acquitted and freed by a court in Lahore after the families of the dead men agreed to a “blood money” deal of USD 2.3 million.

The U.S. has said it did not pay any blood money to secure the release of its national Raymond Davis, a suspected CIA contractor who was arrested in Pakistan for gunning down two men, amid reports that a USD 2.3 million compensation deal was reached with the victims’ kin.

“Mr Davis was an embassy employee, and we will continue to seek visas for embassy employees who have important functions to perform in furtherance of the work we are doing with the Pakistani Government and on behalf of the Pakistani people,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters accompanying her during her Egypt visit.

She said the U.S. did not pay any compensation to the victims’ families in Pakistan to secure the release of Mr. Davis.

Her comments came in the wake of reports in the Pakistani media that Mr. Davis was acquitted and freed by a court in Lahore after the families of the dead men agreed to a “blood money” deal of USD 2.3 million.

Ms. Clinton, however, said the families of the two men shot dead by 36—year—old Mr. Davis on January 27 pardoned him and added that the U.S. was very grateful for their decision.

“We appreciate the actions that they took that enabled Mr Davis to leave Pakistan and head back home. We also have a Department of Justice investigation that has begun into what happened in Lahore,” she said.

The U.S. has communicated its strong support for the relationship between Pakistan and the United States, which the Obama administration considers to be of strategic importance, and is looking forward to continuing to strengthen it based on mutual respect and common interests.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters separately that the U.S. welcomed the release of Mr. Davis.

“The U.S. welcomes the release of Mr Davis. He was pardoned, as you understand it, by the families involved of the victims and in accordance with Pakistani law,” he said.

Mr. Davis’ release ended one of the most serious diplomatic stand—offs between Islamabad and Washington in nine years of partnering in the fight against terrorism.

“This was a very important and necessary step for both of our countries to be able to maintain our relationship and remain focused on progress on bedrock national interests, and I’m deeply grateful for the Pakistani government’s decision,” said Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Mr. Kerry, who visited Pakistan last month, said the U.S. deeply regrets the loss of life that led to this difficulty in US—Pak relationship and the demonstrations on Pakistan’s streets.

“But neither country could afford for this tragedy to derail our vital relationship. We look forward to working with Pakistan to strengthen our relationship and confront our common challenges,” he said.

Obama Pulling All Stops To Save His “Libyan Opposition” Forces

[For those of us, too deaf, dumb, or blind to realize what we are witnessing here--this vote is the equivalent of Colin Powell confidently testifying before the UN about the half-truths and possible outright fabrications which he had been fed, convincing the UN Security Council that the US was making an honest appeal for the authority to bomb Iraq and not just deceiving the international body.  This is the "yellow cake" moment that precedes the next war, which Obama swears he doesn't want to fight (amid promises to keep US ground troops out of the picture) and retiring Sec. Def. Gates has recently warned against.  If there is any hope that the American people would ever think about doing the right thing towards the Muslim world, then this must be it....but it won't happen.

The American people have surrendered their consciences to the Imperial power and they are gambling their families that America will not fall.

America WILL fall, by its own hand, if it continues on this murderous path of deception and aggression.  If the United Nations grants Obama authority and respectability for this plan of premeditated murder, then it will have revealed itself to be the "abomination," as so many have previously claimed.

If any nation, no matter how wealthy or powerful, sets-out to conquer the world by a lethal combination of military power, threats, deceptions and bribery, then that Nation is defined and known by its actions.  The United States has fronted a multi-headed terrorist organization and supplied the most modern weaponry that can be smuggled across international borders to them.  Our national media acts as an organ of enemy propaganda, transmitting lies and cover-ups to their unsuspecting audiences, never once bothering to ask any govt. official about any of these acts of aggression, American state supported terrorism, or the portrayal of forces of international mercenary armies as "national opposition" forces.

Folks, we are being lied to in so many ways that the head spins, whenever the attempt is made to understand the "Big Lie" or all the millions of lesser lies that go into it.]

U.S. Seeks Range of Strikes on Libya at U.N.

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Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council during a meeting about Afghanistan March 17, 2011 at U.N.

By ADAM ENTOUS

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration is seeking a U.N. Security Council resolution that would authorize a wide range of possible military strikes against the forces of Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi, aimed at preventing them from overrunning rebels and civilians in the country’s east, officials said.

In discussions with other U.N. Security Council members, the Obama administration is making the case that a no-fly zone alone would be “insufficient” to save the rebel capital of Benghazi, in eastern Libya.

The Obama administration is seeking a broad U.N. authorization for strikes aimed at holding back Libyan ground and air forces with the aim of protecting Benghazi and avoiding a humanitarian crisis there. Military operations could include a no-fly zone but would not be limited to that, officials said.

A no-fly zone alone would have limited effectiveness because Col. Gadhafi could strike the city with ground forces, officials said.

The Obama administration doesn’t plan to send any American ground troops to Libya, and wants any strikes to be conducted as part of a broad, U.N.-backed coalition.

“The U.S. doesn’t want a war,” an Obama administration official said. “But we want to prevent a slaughter.”

The Security Council could vote Thursday afternoon on a draft resolution aimed at preventing Col. Gadhafi from using military force against his own people.

Late Wednesday, U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice indicated the administration was shifting away from its previously cool stance on military intervention, saying that “the situation on the ground has evolved and…a no-fly zone has inherent limitations in terms of protection of civilians.”

Both China and Russia, among others, have expressed skepticism about the use of international forces in Libya.

Libya: Another revolution or special op?

Libya: Another revolution or special op?

Say it isn’t so. Don’t tell me that Washington, Israel, The City of London, the Vatican, and their Merry Pranksters are behind this revolution, too. Along with those slick signs, “Enough” and “Hopeless” that the protestors flash with shiny new red and green, pre-revolutionary Libyan flags, all part of a new movie for Western media.

That is, thanks to the Libya Human Rights League, one more group that spontaneously combusted in 2005 at the same time as the NFSL (National Front for the Salvation of Libya), headed by Ibrahim Sahad, former captain in the Libyan army, now appearing in D.C., offering strategic guidance to the revolution, according to the Daily Bell. Go know.

According to Land Destroyer’s Libya: The Rest of the Story, Tony Cartalucci writes, “When Qaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, accused foreigners and opposition groups of fomenting unrest within Libya, it appears no truer words have been spoken. It is not surprising BBC and the rest of the corporate owned mediawent through extensive measures to discredit his speech.

“Unbelievable revelations have been discovered regarding the unrest in Libya. The leader of Libya’s opposition group organizing the protests both inside and outside of Libya, is currently in Washington D.C. as he and his organization direct the upheaval and bedlam consuming the North African nation.

“An interview with Ibrahim Sahad of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya (NFSL) on ABC Australia features every talking point covered by the mainstream corporate media from over the past week, all with the White House and Washington Monument looming over him in the background.” Also, Sahad’s interview with the Australian reporter echoes the “Soros/Brzezinski International Crisis Group’s calls for the UN Security Council to convene and discuss intervening in Gaddaffi’s defiance.”

In another interview, Christine Amanpour asks Qaddafi if this is a revolution he’s facing. He does not agree and claims that his people love him, and it’s only some protestors putting LSD in the water who have drummed up all the claims of his “oppression” for the past 41 years. Yet, behind the gold flyer-frame shades, the pencil mustache and his orange-gold African chief garb, Qaddafi still seems to be his own man with a sense he’s been set up for a take-down by his old nemesis, the US. The last time we tried to axe him was on April 15, 1986Operation El Dorado Canyon, which was quite a shindig . . .

“After several days of diplomatic talks with European and Arab partners,President Ronald Reagan ordered a strike on Libya on April 14. Eighteen F-111F strike aircraft of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, flying from RAF Lakenheath supported by four EF-111A Ravens of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, from RAF Upper Heyford in England, in conjunction with fifteen A-6A-7F/A-18 attack aircraft and EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare Aircraft from the aircraft carriers USS SaratogaUSS America and USS Coral Sea on station in the Gulf of Sidra, struck five targets at 02:00 on April 15, with the stated objective that their destruction would send a message and reduce Libya’s ability to support and train terrorists. Reagan warned that ‘if necessary, [they] shall do it again.’” Yet, due to faulty intelligence, Qaddafi was not in his home, but one of his children was killed. So it goes.

Returning to the present, it turns out that Sahad’s NCLO began organizing the February 17th “Day of Rage” as Egypt fell so the mainstream media apparatus could turn the cameras around and put the focus on Libya. “Conveniently, the media needs only to move from Cairo to Egypt’s western border and wait for Sahad’s men on the ground to secure them a base of operations, presumably in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi. Qaddafi is apparently wise to the role of NGOs and the foreign media, which is why they’re not in the streets of Libya’s cities, where coverage is “admittedly daunting.”

It also turns out that both the corporate owned news and the US State Department’s corporate funded Movements.org are getting their reportsentirely from Sahad’s NCLO in Washington. They claim to be in “first hand contact” with whatever is happening in Libya. “Other NFSL members, including one in Dubai, are also supplying the media with this ‘first hand’ information. These reports have become the basis for accusations of ‘genocide,’ the convening of the UNSC, economic sanctions, threats directed toward Libyan security forces that attempt to quell protesters, and NATO enforced no-fly zones.”

Could this be part of a US media-series of Arab revolutions? The script seems to support that, carrying on the revolutionary fervor from Tunisia to Egypt and now to Libya. This must be unsettling the digestion of dictators around the world, including other “staunch allies.” Commenting on the defunct Mubarak, Israel’s president said, “We always have had and still have great respect for President Mubarak,” and a few days later added, “I don’t say everything that he did was right, but he did one thing which all of us are thankful to him for. He kept the peace in the Middle East.” Some peace—and at what price—the inhalation of Palestine.

Israel seems to be the enforcer here, the Mossad its muscle, along with MI6 and the CIA, reports the Daily Bell, all coincidentally right in the middle of it all where the mischief erupts and chaos is set loose. It seems to be “a fiefdom of the Rothschilds, with them choosing Jews to work with the way the Mafia likes to work with Italians.” The Rothschild network extends worldwide and the financing they can supply via central banking is as deep as the Red Sea.

From this cadre of banking and investment familias, the poison of mercantilist central banking spreads, with small groups controlling the globe. Their Merry Pranksters are intelligence operatives who seem already to have launched a global attack on developing countries, each to fall, no two at once, so that the cameras are not distracted and maximum coverage is given to each.

The US is the main muscle for the City of London (a country unto itself like the Vatican). The thoughtful touch of the pre-revolutionary Libyan flags gives that away, plus the ongoing theorizing about whether or not we should get involved. We are involved already. And likely so are intelligence agents and Western mercenaries on the ground in Libya, putting together scenarios for the rebels’ military campaigns. The planning for this revolution was probably laid well in advance, Western-style, as other revolutions take place or are fomented.

This seems to be part of the “Great Plan” that has existed in D.C./Tel Aviv for more than a decade to control “Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and finishing off Iran,” that is, in the words of no less than General Wesley Clark in an interview with Democracy Now on March 2, 2007.

Most probably, Sahad and his buddies make up a leadership in waiting who will swoop down on Libya on cue. Qaddafi though has been a tougher nut to crack than Muburak or Ben Ali. They saved the toughest for last on the world stage, though his days seem to be numbered. That is, unless the US misses their mark again. The rebels themselves are average Libyan citizens—as are the many deserters from the army.

The Independent reported that Qaddafi recently bolstered his troops and African mercenaries with tens of billions in cash within Libya, according to The New Times. The EU had tried cut off the regime’s cash pipeline by freezing a number of large investments including the Libyan Investment Authority worth about $70 billion, with stakes in businesses across Europe. The US had also tried to freeze billions of dollars.

But, there is another army on the ground now and it will be backed with Western resources. It will be, sad to say, hailed by Western mainstream media, as one more miracle rising up of oppressed people. Whether or not the West can hold on to the control of these uprisings or whether they will turn into Islamic Republics is another question. But do the producers and director care? They still will control them. If not, their unruliness will strengthen Western authoritarianism at home and heat up the issues of domestic oppression.

Land Destroyer concludes, “Again we are told the protests are spontaneous, inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings. Again we are told it is the youth yearning for freedom and ‘democracy.’ But when we look behind the curtain, we see yet another old man from Washington pulling the levers, blowing the smoke, and flashing the lights.” Could it be the “Wizard of Oz” again?

LD adds, “If you are religious, pray for the people in the streets of Libya, many of whom may be merely swept up in this cruel hoax. The US and their stooges will only be disheartened if their plot doesn’t succeed. The rivers of blood that will flow to ensure that it does never entered into their calculations.” The capper . . .

“When your US State Department sponsored ‘liberation’ comes to you, you will hope others elsewhere will stand in solidarity with the truth, not the emotions of an engineered hoax. You will hope others take it upon themselves to speak the truth amongst the deafening din of corporate media propaganda. So spread the word, wake your neighbors up, and most importantly, boycott the corporations whose greed drives this agenda and whose members are planning and carrying it out.”

One wonders if that reference applies to the current skullduggery going on in Madison, Wisconsin. On the night of March 9, Governor Scott Walker (who sees his himself as Reagan II) convened the Senate, without the 14 Democratic senators, to push through his bill to strip Wisconsin’s municipal workers of their right to collective bargaining and silence the voice of organized labor. The plan is to fire them all, reminiscent of Reagan firing 11,345 air-controllers on August 5, 1981. The Wisconsin “firing event” took place as thousands of protestors shouted “shame” over and over again into the historic night.

Check TheEdShow.com to replay the details of this home-grown, ongoing conflict. Hopefully, Wisconsin’s brave Americans have not been set up for a take-down to enforce the power of the muscle-brained, corporate fascist, Koch Brothers et al, better known as Republicans.

It would seem that the radical right, with its ‘personage’ funding has taken a major if illegal step to set the US back 50 years in collective bargaining. The Democratic response is to first challenge the legality of Walker’s move, and second to plan for a recall of all of the Republican legislators, including Governor Walker. My heart goes out to the people of Wisconsin in their struggle for democracy.

Lastly, the second strike against the whole of the American people has been the sharp rise in gas prices from $2.69 in July 2010 to over four dollars a gallon as of March 10, 2011, which affects all phases of our society. This can’t be blamed on Libya because only 2% of our oil comes from it, for which other oil nations have taken up the slack. But this is speculation, with a significant rise in oil bets for higher prices noted by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

There are rules that can be enforced against this speculation if our Democratic President Obama would ask the CFTC to put them in play and warned speculators not to continue. But, so far, silence from our non-contentious leader while America’s pocketbook gets a kick in the pants, threatening our so-called ‘mild recovery,’ and leading us further into Third World status.

Jerry Mazza is a freelance writer, life-long resident of New York City. An EBook version of his book of poems “State Of Shock,” on 9/11 and its after effects is now available at Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. He has also written hundreds of articles on politics and government as Associate Editor of Intrepid Report (formerly Online Journal. Reach him at gvmaz@verizon.net.

The tragedy of Fukushima may be mankind’s greatest hope

The tragedy of Fukushima may be mankind’s greatest hope

The Tragedy of Fukushima is not yet fully known, at least not in terms of the long-term effects of the radiation released today and tomorrow, perhaps for mankind’s entire “half-lifetime.”  (read HERE)

There Are No Sunglasses–RADIOACTIVE FILE

Driver Killed, Four Tankers Burned in Mastung Attack on NATO Supplies

Driver Killed, Four Tankers Burned in Mastung Attack on NATO Supplies

The Baloch Hal News

MASTUNG: A driver was killed and another wounded while four Nato tankers were set on fire in Mastung district of Balochistan, some 60 KM south of Quetta on Wednesday.

The tankers were on their way back from Afghanistan and were going to Karachi, when the assailants opened fire at them on the RCD highway in Ganji Dori area of Mastung. As a result, one occupant identified as Zakir died and another sustained serious bullet wounds. The assailants later set tankers ablaze and escaped from the scene on motorbike after committing the crime.

Levies personnel rushed to the site after being informed about the incident and moved dead and injured to the hospital. The tankers were gutted.

A case has been registered against unidentified assailants and investigations regarding the attack are in process.

Tunisians protest against US interference during Clinton visit

Tunisians protest against US interference during Clinton visit

Mar 17, 2011, 14:16 GMT

Tunisians protesters hold placards as they protest against the upcoming visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the country, Tunis, Tunisia, 16 March 2011. Clinton is expected later in the day in Tunis for a two-day official visit.  EPA/STRTunisians protesters hold placards as they protest against the upcoming visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the country, Tunis, Tunisia, 16 March 2011. Clinton is expected later in the day in Tunis for a two-day official visit. EPA/STR

Tunis/Paris – Some 100 demonstrators protested in the Tunisian capital Tunis on Thursday against a visit by US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

‘We don’t want outside interference,’ protesters wrote on banners.

Clinton was in the country, where long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled by mass protests two months ago, to discuss Tunisia’s new political landscape.

The fate of 100,000 refugees who have crossed the border from Libya was reportedly also a topic of discussion.

Earlier this week, Clinton had visited Egypt, where she promised that the United States would help that country on its road to greater freedom and democratic elections.

The US foreign policy chief also encountered some antipathy there, when the January 25th coalition – an association of six youth groups that took part in organizing the protests that led to president Hosny Mubarak’s resignation in February – refused to meet with her.

‘The American administration supported Mubarak politically. Plus the majority of tear gas that was thrown at the Egyptian revolutionaries was made in America,’ its spokesman, Khaled Abd el Hamid, said.

Night raids by US Special Forces anger Afghans

Night raids by US Special Forces anger Afghans

Afghanistan: In Nawa district, touted a model of success, hearts and minds are again being lost.

Jean MacKenzie and Aziz Ahmad Tassal

 

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U.S. soldiers march in the cover of night. (Ben Brody/GlobalPost)

NAWA, Afghanistan — It was two o’clock in the morning on Feb. 15. Mullah Abdul Khaliq, who taught at a local school here in Nawa district, was asleep with his family when the helicopters began circling overhead.

“We could not leave our houses,” said Abdullah, a neighbor of Mullah Khaliq’s. “Everyone understood that the U.S. forces were carrying out a raid somewhere, and we were all afraid. In the morning we found out that something was very wrong at the house of Mullah Khaliq.”

U.S. forces had broken into Khaliq’s house and what happened next is an all too familiar scenario to the people of this beleaguered district, which has now been caught for almost two years between the Taliban and the U.S. military.

“The wife told me that her son ran out of the house and was shot on the spot,” recounted Abdullah. “They then asked Mullah Khaliq if he was Taliban. He said ‘no we are not,’ but they searched the house and shot him in the head. His other son is missing. We saw blood, he must have been injured. His nephew, who was visiting, was also killed.”

One of Mullah Khaliq’s sons was a student at Kandahar University. The other son and the nephew were seniors in high school.

Nawa district had been under Taliban control until the summer of 2009, when the U.S. Marines went in to clear it. With overwhelming force they were able to pacify the area, driving many Taliban to Pakistan, while others simply blended back into the population.

Now this largely agricultural district, once a no-go zone rich in opium poppy, is billed as a rousing success.

“The turnaround in Nawa district over the past 20 months demonstrates what is possible in Afghanistan when all the elements of the counterinsurgency strategy come together correctly,” wrote Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a journalist with the Washington Post, in a policy brief published in March by the University of Ottawa’s Centre for International Policy Studies.

“Nawa now is one of the safest districts in southern Afghanistan. Marines who live at a base in the district center have not fired a single bullet while on foot patrol in the past six months. School classrooms are packed. The bazaar is thriving … COIN [counterinsurgency] strategy concentrates not on hunting down guerrillas but on protecting the civilian population from insurgents.”

But persisten night raids by U.S. Special Forces now appears to be threatening to erase that sense of security. Many civilians here said they feel like they need protection from the protectors.

The night raids, in which U.S. Special Forces target people they believe to be known insurgents for kill or capture, they say, are making everyone nervous.

“It was two in the morning when U.S. forces and the Afghan Army surrounded my house,” said one Nawa resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retribution from U.S. forces.

“I was sleeping with my children when suddenly my wife said somebody was in the yard. They blew down our door and came into the house. I told them in broken English that there are only children and my wife here, but they took me at gunpoint and handcuffed me and put a black hood over my head. They took me to their helicopter … I didn’t know where I was, but after two weeks of interrogation I was released and I found out that I was in Garmsir.”

Garmsir is another district of Helmand, about 20 miles south of Nawa.

Maj. Timothy James, an American military spokesman at the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command Media Operations Center, confirmed that night raids were continuing in Nawa, but denied that they were increasing in frequency.

“Ops are ongoing,” he said. “There has been no change in operational tempo.”

According to James, the four people who were killed in Nawa the night of Feb. 15 were supporters of the insurgency. He said that the name of the target was not Mullah Khaliq, but he would not identify the actual “objective.”

“We targeted a known Taliban facilitator,” he said. “We also killed three others who posed a clear security threat.”

Daud Ahmadi, a spokesperson for the Helmand governor, said he could not comment on whether or not the family had links to the Taliban. He did not deny that the U.S. forces sometimes got it wrong.

“Raids and attacks are not 100 percent accurate,” Ahmadi said. “Often innocent people get arrested, but they are released immediately. We have operations in Nawa against the insurgents, and the enemy is also operating secretly, but that is not a concern. I assure the residents of Nawa that the Taliban are very weak now.”

According to the New York Times, Nawa has become so stable that the U.S. military is considering moving troops from there to Sangin, a district in northern Helmand that is one of the most violent in the province.

The Taliban, predictably, reject such characterizations.

“We are not weakened, we are getting stronger,” boasted Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi. “The residents want us here. The Americans arrest innocent people and torture them … if the number of their troops decreases they will not be able to spend a single day here.”

Mullah Roze, a local Taliban commander in Nawa, also portrays Taliban operations as successful. The insurgents are aided by public anger over the night raids, he adds.

“We are not afraid of the Americans,” he said. “Our teams are getting together again, because the Americans have become brutal. People are sick of this situation and they are happy that we are back.”

The Taliban mix freely with the residents of Nawa, but it is far from clear how welcoming they are. Rubbing elbows with the insurgents can be dangerous business, earning one a visit from the feared Special Ops brigades.

“The Taliban come to people’s houses every night,” said Nasratullah Baheer, a doctor from Nawa. “Some welcome them, but others are afraid of the U.S. forces. Recently they carried out many night raids and arrested many innocent people.”

Abdullah, Mullah Khaliq’s neighbor, also worries.

“The Taliban are humans like us, they sit and talk with people, nobody can tell them to go away,” he said. “But that does not mean we support them. The only ones who support the Taliban are those who are wealthy enough to do so.”

Abdullah is bitter about the loss of his friend.

“The family barely had enough money to live on,” Abdullah said. “How could they support the Taliban? This is the habit of U.S. forces. They kill innocent people. Then they accuse them of having relations with Taliban. Who can prove this? I’ve been his neighbor for 10 years, if I don’t know then how can these Americans? People have disputes here and they give false information to the U.S. forces, who then kill or abduct people without any investigation.”

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NATO Oil tankers’ entry in Peshawar banned

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[It is highly doubtful (after the submission to Imperial dictates in the Raymond Davis affair) that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa govt. has the power to ban NATO tankers from Peshawar city streets, but, according to our friends on the ground there (SEE: TERRORISM AT WHERE THERE IS NO ROAD TO AFGHANISTAN), this should have been done a long time ago.  The photos provided by our friend Dr. Yusafzai show the tanker route on the crowded, twisting Ring Road, demonstrate the effects of just one successful tanker attack in their residential neighborhoods.]

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NATO Oil tankers’ entry in Peshawar banned

By Fawad Ali Shah

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Wednesday banned the entry of Afghanistan-bound oil tankers carrying oil for the NATO troops.

Official sources said that the terminals of these tankers have also been shifted to Nowshera.

“These oil tankers are no more allowed to enter Peshawar or even stay in the suburbs due to security reasons,” a senior official of the provincial Home Department said.

The government has also decided not to allow parking to these oil tankers anywhere near the roads or at petrol pumps.

The decision has been taken in the wake of increasing attacks on the Afghanistan-bound vehicles, especially tankers carrying oil for the international forces in the war-torn country.

US commerce chief lends support to Istanbul’s global aims

[News of the merging of US and Turkish interests appears today in two sources--the following article, and this one (SEE: Russia considers abandoning South Stream gas pipeline project).]

US commerce chief lends support to Istanbul’s global aims

ISTANBUL – Daily news with wires
US President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke are seen at the White House in this March, 9, 2011, photo. AP photo
US President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke are seen at the White House in this March, 9, 2011, photo. AP photo

Speaking at a meeting in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Gary Locke, the U.S. commerce secretary, said the Barack Obama administration gives full support to efforts aiming to develop trade ties between Turkey and the United States.

Speaking at a meeting held on “strengthening the Turkish-American economic relations,” Locke supported the idea of making Istanbul the finance hub of Europe. “We are closely monitoring the growth and development of Turkey,” he said.

The meeting was organized by the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey, or TUSKON, and the Washington-based Center for American Progress.

There will be two trade forums in Turkey this year, Locke said. “We will attach priority to renewable energy and oil in these forums.”

A letter of intent to encourage direct investments between the U.S. and Turkey has been signed, the secretary added. “Within this scope, we have already taken action to offer technical support in some key sectors. Our trade developing and coordination committee has also determined Turkey as a priority market.”

The reciprocal trade volume between the two countries totaled nearly $15 billion last year, Locke said. “The total trade volume has increased by 40 percent last year, compared to 2009. Turkey’s [estimated] 7 percent growth last year, despite the economic crisis, has a positive impact on this boom. But we do not think this figure is sufficient,” he said.

Saudi Friends Convinced Victims’ Families That Davis Would Be Released and There Was Money To Be Made

[Why did the Sharif Brothers suddenly disappear in a cloud of smoke and then reappear in a London hospital?  Is Gen. Kayani having chest pains yet?]

Army, ISI, Punjab CM played the main role

ISLAMABAD: The Chief of the Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, through the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and some influential families of Lahore, played a key role in ‘convincing’ the families of Faizan and Faheem that Raymond Davis would be released in any case and they would get nothing, so the best course was to accept money and forgive the American killer.  

The ISPR director general, who is also the spokesman of the ISI and Pakistan Army, Major General Athar Abbas, on being asked told The News: “I am completely unaware whether General Kayani or ISI played any role in convincing the families in Raymond Davis case.” General Athar, however, did not deny the role of General Kayani and the ISI in remaining continuously in touch with the families of Faizan and Faheem for the last two months.

On the other hand, Shahbaz Sharif categorically denied that his departure for London on the D-day was part of the deal. He said that he never contacted the families of Faizan and Faheem to convince them to accept the money. Shahbaz also said that his government had arrested and detained Raymond. He tried to give the impression that his visit to London was in connection with the heart attack suffered by Mian Nawaz Sharf. The Punjab government sources, however, confirmed that Shahbaz’s tour to London was planned in indecent haste.

Though there were comments that the federal government also played a role in convincing the families but sources privy to the developments confided to The News that despite having the utmost desire to do so, the federal government was unable to play any role in the whole episode and the whole credit went to the Pakistan Army, ISI and Shahbaz Sharif.

A senior PML-N leader privy to the developments told The News that he was unaware why the Pakistan Army and the ISI were so much interested in releasing Raymond Davis but knew that Shahbaz Sharif was active and used his old friends in the city to convince the families after some important personalities from Saudi Arabia asked Shahbaz Sharif to get Raymond released at the earliest. On the other hand, a representative of the Saudi Embassy in Islamabad told The News on Tuesday that the Saudi government had nothing to do with the Raymond Davis case in Pakistan.

Credible sources told The News that in the second week of February, Shahbaz Sharif received instructions from some of his foreign friends and he engaged some influential personalities of Lahore to convince the families of the deceased Faizan and Faheem to accept the money. The same influential friends of Shahbaz Sharif, according to these sources, also persuaded the leadership of PML-Q and JUI-F not to create any problems in the resolution of the issue.

Sources said following the suggestions of his foreign friends, Shahbaz Sharif instructed Punjab’s Law Minister Rana Sanaullah not to officially inform the federal interior ministry about the names of four Americans who were revealed by Raymond Davis on the first day of investigation, so they could not be put on the Exit Control List and thus could leave Pakistan easily.

Rana Sanaullah did the same and later he had to admit that he had made a mistake. Rana Sanaullah, after mounting public pressure to arrest the killers of Ebad-ur-Rehman, sent an official letter to the interior ministry not to allow the four Americans involved in killing of Ebad-ur-Rehman to leave but refused to give the names of these American as per the directions of Shahbaz Sharif.

Following the willingness of the families to accept the money, sources say, Shahbaz Sharif deputed Rana Sanaullah to supervise the whole operation of release of Raymond Davis and left for London. Credible sources of the Punjab government confirmed to The News that during this whole period, officials of ISI were in constant touch with Shahbaz Sharif and the families of Faizan and Faheem. The officials of ISI also remained present in all the meetings held between Shahbaz Sharif’s representatives and the families.

It is worth mentioning that President Zardari and an important and powerful federal minister did their best to get Davis free but their efforts were thwarted by the Punjab government. This was appreciated by the media. However, informed sources told this scribe that the American officials knew who played what role and were thankful to Shahbaz Sharif for his services.

Senior PML-N leader Siddiqul Farooq, while talking to this scribe, said that according to his knowledge, there were reports that the Saudi government played a vital role in the resolution of the Raymond Davis issue. Siddique said the heirs of both Faizan and Faheem were taken to Saudi Arabia and were paid most part of the agreed compromised amount. He said that rest of the amount was paid today (Wednesday) in the courtroom. Siddique, however, didn’t clarify who was the real person who acted on the orders of Saudis in Lahore and pressurised the families to accept the compromised money. Some leaders also claim that chief justice of Lahore High Court was also on board and he acted on ‘suggestion’ of Shahbaz Sharif. However, The News couldn’t verify the same from independent sources but it is on record that chief justice LHC on Tuesday lifted the ban on inclusion of Raymond in the ECL

Baloch Militants Hit Two Paramilitary Convoys

Bomb blasts kills four in Balochistan

The separatist Baloch Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack in Naseerabad. — Photo by AP

QUETTA: Two separate bomb attacks on paramilitary convoys in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Thursday killed four people including three soldiers, officials said.

The separatist Baloch Republican Army claimed responsibility for the first attack, in which a remotely-detonated roadside bomb hit a convoy in Naseerabad district, 430 kilometres southeast of Quetta.

“Two soldiers and a passer-by were killed and seven others were wounded. One vehicle was also badly damaged,” Abdul Jabbar Jatoi, a senior administrative official told AFP.

A second bomb, planted in a car and also detonated remotely, went off later in the outskirts of Quetta, killing another soldier and wounding three others, police said.

“One soldier died in hospital, three others are under medical treatment,” Hasan Buzdar, a police official in Quetta told AFP.

An official of the Paramilitary Frontier Corps in Quetta confirmed the incidents.

Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, has seen a surge in violence recently, with the province suffering from a separatist insurgency, sectarian violence and Taliban militants.

Hundreds of people have died since militants rose up in 2004 demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from the region’s natural oil, gas and mineral resources.

With Davis Back In US Hands, Drone Strikes Reacquire Lethality In N. Waziristan

[Your boys sure missed you, Raymond.]

Drone attack kills 30 in North Waziristan

drones, US drones, drone attacksTwo intelligence officials in Miramshah confirmed the attack. — Photo by AFP

MIRAMSHAH: A US drone fired four missiles on Thursday that killed at least 30 militants in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region, DawnNews reported.

There were conflicting accounts about the target of the attack in the Dattakhel region of North Waziristan.

The area is a stronghold of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a Taliban commander who harbours and sends militants across the border to fight western forces in Afghanistan.

One official said the missiles targeted a house as elders loyal to Bahadur were trying to mediate between two warring militant groups inside.

Another official said the drone attacked a vehicle in the area that was passing by a house where some local tribesmen were holding a meeting, killing them.

It was not immediately known if those in the vehicle were also hit.

The United States has been attacking al Qaeda-linked militants for the past few years in Pakistan’s tribal areas using drones, which are a source of worry for the government because civilians casualties inflame public anger and bolster support for the militants.

North Waziristan, where most of the drone attacks have occurred, is the only one of the seven Pakistani tribal regions where Pakistan’s army has not yet launched any major operation against the militants.

Washington has in recent months mounted pressure on Pakistan to go after militants in North Waziristan. Pakistan has said it will do so but on its own scheduleand when adequate resources are available.

Raymond Davis pardon documents

Raymond Davis pardon documents

http://img291.imageshack.us/g/74504341.jpg/ Davis signature on 15 page Shariah agreement.

 

The Express Tribune has received scanned copies of Raymond Davis’s signed application for settlement through blood-money (diyat).

The documents, which include the signatures of the families of the victims gunned down in Lahore can be viewed here.

Davis was released by a Sessions Judge Yousuf Aujla yesterday after the families of the victims pardoned Davis in exchange for blood money.

Federal Minister for Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that the release of Davis after the payment of blood money is inaccordance with Shariah Law.

Turkish Stalling Leads Russia to Consider Abandoning South Stream gas pipeline project

Russia considers abandoning South Stream gas pipeline project

Igor Sechin. Files

Igor Sechin. Files

© RIA Novosti. Ilia Pitalev

Russia is looking into ways to lower the cost of its South Stream gas pipeline project or replace it with a project to supply liquefied natural gas to Europe, the Kommersant business daily said on Thursday, quoting Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.

The South Stream is designed to transport Russian gas to Europe under the Black Sea bypassing Ukraine. The capacity of the 900 kilometer pipeline, which was planned to become operational in 2015, is intended to eventually reach 63 billion cubic meters per year.

“[Russian energy giant] Gazprom and the government are currently studying various options that would allow minimizing expenses while implementing the South Stream project,” Sechin told the newspaper after Wednesday’s talks between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Moscow.

“An option that stipulates the construction of an LNG plant at the Black Sea may become an addition or an alternative to the pipeline option,” he said, adding that the LNG plant may also be constructed in Northern Russia, close to Yamal Peninsula’s gas deposits.

Russia signed intergovernmental agreements with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria to build the pipeline’s overland section, but Turkey’s approval is still needed to construct its undersea section.

The Turkish authorities were expected to approve the construction by October 31, 2010. Sechin told journalists on Wednesday that Russia did not understand why Turkey was reluctant to give the green light for the project, adding that negotiations with Turkish partners would continue.

 

MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti)

Helicopters drop water on Japan’s troubled nuclear reactor

Japanese military helicopter drops water on the troubled No. 3 reactor of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Japanese military helicopter drops water on the troubled No. 3 reactor of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

This picture shows the damaged third (left) and fourth reactors of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant

Japan’s Self-Defense Forces helicopters dropped water on the troubled No. 3 reactor of Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant on Thursday to prevent the reactor from releasing radioactive steam, the Kyodo news agency reported.

A blast hit the Fukushima No. 3 reactor on Monday. Japanese officials said the blast might have damaged the containment vessel inside the reactor, which means radioactive material may be released from the reactor if fuel rods begin melting at high temperatures.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Wednesday Fukushima’s blast-hit units 1, 2 and 3 were being “successfully cooled” and radiation levels around the plant did not pose a health threat.

The Japanese government earlier studied a plan to deploy Ground Self-Defense Force helicopters to spray water over the reactors, but the Defense Ministry said on Wednesday it had given up on the idea because of the high radiation level.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant’s operator, reported on Thursday that radiation levels have slightly lowered around the reactor.

The Japanese police are planning to use a water cannon truck on Thursday to attempt to cool a spent fuel rod pool at the Fukushima No. 4 reactor, Kyodo said. A fire broke out at the reactor on Wednesday, a day after it was hit by what appeared to be a hydrogen explosion.

 

MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti)

Small amounts of radiation headed for California, but no health risk seen

Small amounts of radiation headed for California, but no health risk seen

Very low levels of radioactive isotopes from the damaged Japanese nuclear plant are expected to reach California as soon as Friday, but experts say the amount will be well within safe limits. A network of radiation monitors is keeping close watch.

Radiation sensorA Radnet monitor on the roof of the Bay Area Air Quality Management building in San Francisco.(Associated Press)
By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times
Small amounts of radioactive isotopes from the crippled Japanese nuclear power plant are being blown toward North America high in the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean and will reach California as soon as Friday, according to experts.

A network of sensors in the U.S. and around the world is watching for the first signs of that fallout, though experts said they were confident that the amount of radiation would be well within safe limits.

Operated by the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. network known as Radnet is a system of 100 radiation monitors that work 24 hours a day, spread across the country in places such as Anaheim, Bakersfield and Eureka. In addition, a network of 63 sensors is operated by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization, an international agency allied with the United Nations.

Photos: Earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan

Atmospheric experts said the material should begin showing up on the West Coast as early as Friday, though it could take up to an additional week for the 5,000-mile trip from Japan to Southern California. Although the organization has told its member countries that the first indication of radiation would hit on Friday, the plume from a North Korean nuclear test in 2006 took about two weeks to travel to North America, U.N. officials said.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which oversees the U.S. nuclear industry, said Wednesday that it did not expect dangerous levels of radioactivity to hit the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska or U.S. territories in the Pacific. But whatever levels reach the U.S. initially are likely to increase in subsequent days, because radioactive emissions from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have grown since the disaster began Friday. The NRC sharply raised its warning to American citizens in Japan, urging them to evacuate an area within 50 miles of the Fukushima complex. Japanese authorities have ordered an evacuation within about 12 miles of the plant.

The NRC released computerized projections showing that within half a mile of the plant, radiation levels were so high that one could receive a fatal dose, and that even 50 miles away one could receive more than 16 times the average annual dose all people are exposed to from natural sources.

Those numbers were sharply higher than ones the NRC released days earlier. But although the Fukushima reactors are leaking more radiation now, experts continued to say that the particles would wash out of the atmosphere before they could reach the U.S.

So far, Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima facility, and the Japanese government have not released any measurements or estimates of the total amount of radioactivity released by the accident. These numbers would be crucial to better project whether the material could affect other Asian nations, the Pacific islands or even the U.S.

Edwin Lyman, a specialist at the nuclear watchdog group Union of Concerned Scientists, said that although it was true that the more radioactivity released in Japan the more could migrate away from the region, he did not think the U.S. was at serious risk.

“We can never say never,” Lyman said. “My judgment is that there will probably be measurable radiation, but except for a few hot spots it is not something we should really worry about.”

Lyman said that the NRC’s warning Wednesday to Americans in Japan to evacuate 50 miles from the Fukushima reactors was a long-overdue admission that the agency’s prior warnings of a 10-mile exclusion zone from U.S. reactors during an emergency was inadequate.

Key federal officials involved in the Radnet monitoring program have so far not disclosed their predictions for U.S. radioactive exposure. The projections are being developed by the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center operated at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Northern California. The center, part of the Energy Department, uses sophisticated models on supercomputers to project the movement of radioactive particles and other toxic substances through the atmosphere.

However, a computer model of atmospheric movements developed by the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy shows that the Fukushima plumes could travel across the Pacific, though the levels of radioactivity that could reach the West Coast of the U.S. remain unclear.

It appears that all of the models, however, are not based on measurements of radioactivity at the source and a projection of actual radioactive fallout in the U.S., but rather project a relative scale of radioactivity. Since Japanese authorities have said little about the amount of the releases at Fukushima, nobody can say how much radioactivity will hit California.

The models show that even with prevailing easterly winds, the plumes whip back and forth over a wide area of Japan’s east coast, Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula and Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. It is unknown whether nuclear fallout is hitting the vast wilderness of northeastern Asia.

Of particular concern, however, is radiation emanating from Fukushima’s No. 3 reactor. That reactor uses plutonium fuel, which poses a special health risk even in small quantities if the fallout were to reach U.S. shores.

A leading radiological health expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Wednesday that the CDC was still confident that there would be no serious health consequences here. But CDC officials are watching the situation carefully.

“We have a saying: ‘Modeling is OK, but measurement is everything,'” he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency said that it was watching the situation closely, but that its Radnet system had not yet detected radioactivity. It has added seven additional portable radiation monitors: two in Guam, three in Alaska and two in Hawaii.

Photos: Earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan

ralph.vartabedian@latimes.com

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Low Levels of Radiation from Fukushima Predicted to Reach US by Weekend

Forecast for Plume’s Path Is a Function of Wind and Weather

A forecast by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization shows how weather patterns this week might disperse radiation from a continuous source in Fukushima, Japan.The forecast does not show actual levels of radiation, but it does allow the organization to estimate when different monitoring stations, marked with small dots, might be able to detect extremely low levels of radiation. Health and nuclear experts emphasize that any plume will be diluted as it travels and, at worst, would have extremely minor health consequences in the United States.
Related story »

U.S. Calls on UN to Authorize Blowing the Hell Out of Qaddafi

U.S. calls on UN to authorize Libya air strikes

 Libyan rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces are battling each other for control of the key town of Ajdabiya

Libyan rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces are battling each other for control of the key town of Ajdabiya

© RIA Novosti

Washington’s ambassador to the UN has said the UN Security Council should consider not just a no-fly zone over Libya but also the aerial bombing of forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are advancing on rebel-held territories in the east of the war-ravaged country. The rebels say they fear genocide without swift UN action.

“The U.S. view is that we need to be prepared to contemplate steps that include but perhaps go beyond a no-fly zone, at this point, as the situation on the ground has evolved and as a no-fly zone has inherent limitations in terms of protection of civilians at immediate risk,” Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters in New York.

She said the United States would be pushing for an early vote on a draft resolution, backed by the United States, Britain, France and Germany.

But diplomats say its controversial wording authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians – which some interpret as code for military action including air strikes – means it is unclear if it could be put to a vote on Thursday.

Russia is against all military intervention in Libya. Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin put forward a counter-resolution calling for a cease-fire but it fell though.

Gaddafi’s forces say they gained control of the strategic town of Ajdabiya on Tuesday, the last town before the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, but the rebels are denying this.

One of Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, said on Wednesday the army would capture Benghazi in 48 hours.

 

MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti)

stay at least 50 miles from the facility

By TENNILLE TRACY And JARED FAVOLE

U.S. officials challenged the Japanese government’s assessment of the radiation risks posed by the damaged nuclear complex, telling U.S. civilians and military personnel to stay at least 50 miles from the facility, in contrast to the 12-mile evacuation zone set by Japan.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko indicated in remarks to a House committee that the U.S. believed the damage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex was even graver than Japanese officials had outlined in public.

Photos of Shotgun Victims of Saudi/Arab Coalition Military Operations

Photos of Bahraini Protesters Attacked by Saudi Wahhabi and Bahrain Military Forces in Sitrah, + 21 / March 15

More than thousands Bahraini protesters have been reportedly injured and 7 martyred during unrest in Bahrain as the anti-government protesters continue their peaceful demonstrations.
III - Tragic Photos of Bahraini Protesters Attacked by Saudi Wahhabi and Bahrain Military Forces in Sitrah, + 21 / March 15(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – More than thousands Bahraini protesters have been reportedly injured and 5 martyred during unrest in Bahrain as the anti-government protesters continue their peaceful demonstrations. 

A medical source told on Tuesday that the victims were shot with buckshot.

Total number of injured people rises to more than 1000 after adding those who were admitted for inhaling tear gas.

At least five villages have come under attack with soldiers and helicopters using live ammunition against the protesters.

The violence comes as King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has declared a state of emergency for three months to try to quell the unrest.

The crackdown on people has been stepped up by a military incursion by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar who dispatched their armed forces to Bahrain.

More than 1,000 Saudi Arabian troops and a further 500 from the United Arab Emirates have been deployed in the capital city of Manama to support the regime.

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Shi’ites ‘shooting back’ at Saudi forces

Shi’ites, supplied by Iran, control most of Bahrain, ‘shooting back’ at Saudi forces

ABU DHABI — The Shi’ite opposition has taken over most of Bahrain.

Arab and Western diplomats said the Shi’ites, believed backed by Iran, have gained control of most of Bahrain over the last two weeks. They said the Sunni kingdom has lost authority over the country with the exception of parts of Manama as well as military bases and energy facilities.

“Right now, there is chaos in Manama and the countryside is firmly in Shi’ite hands,” a diplomat said. “The Shi’ites also control the coast and are believed to be receiving supplies from Iran.”

Arab and Western diplomats said the Shi’ites, believed backed by Iran, have gained control of most of Bahrain over the last two weeks. They said the Sunni kingdom has lost authority over the country with the exception of parts of Manama as well as military bases and energy facilities.

“Right now, there is chaos in Manama and the countryside is firmly in Shi’ite hands,” a diplomat said. “The Shi’ites also control the coast and are believed to be receiving supplies from Iran.”

The diplomats said the Sunni kingdom was on the verge of collapse. They said King Hamad Bin Issa Al Khalifa has become a figurehead and the regime was being run by his son, Crown Prince Salman.

For his part, Salman has been opposed by the military leadership in Bahrain. The sources said the military command has been pressing for an immediate crackdown on the Shi’ite opposition in cooperation with Saudi Arabia.

At this point, about 4,000 Saudi troops were reported in Bahrain, including a battalion from a special Salafist force. The diplomats said the Saudis have deployed the U.S.-origin S-70 Black Hawk helicopter as well as the French-origin AMX-10 main battle tank and blocked all routes to the King Fahd Causeway, which connects Bahrain to the Saudi kingdom.

On March 15, a Saudi Army sergeant was killed by Shi’ite gunmen in Manama. The sources said the Saudis have deployed forces around government buildings, major businesses and the royal palace in Bahrain.

“The Saudis thought they could intimidate Shi’ites, but they are shooting back,” another diplomat said. “This could get extremely bloody over the next 48 hours.”