Both International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI) Agitate Citizen Activists

[The real issue in Egypt and in all Arab Spring countries is the nature of US and Western “aid” coming in–It is being used to agitate an otherwise unmotivated national mass to take anti-government actions?  Egyptian press reports even question whether Western NGOs are hiring protesters to lead national rallies.  As to whether the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute are exceeding their mandate and actually fomenting revolution in Egypt or not–Well, they are promoting revolutionary democracy.  Read the following two excerpts from the organizations’ websites:

“NDI and its local partners work to promote openness and accountability in government by building political and civic organizations, safeguarding elections, and promoting citizen participation.”

“IRI can help catalyze the efforts of democratic activists in a country — so long as they want change more than we want it for them.”

It sounds like both organizations have the same mission, to alter the electorate of the recipient countries into armies of citizen activists, who agitate their governments to copy Americanized ideas.  One by one, governments around the world are becoming aware of the true meaning of American “foreign aid,” that we package a little political poison into every dollars worth of aid given, so that we slowly trap those unfortunate souls who think that they are becoming “free.”  The Western agitators being detained in Egypt will definitely flee the harsh circumstances that await them, if given the chance–explaining why they are not allowed to travel.  The legal technicality behind their detainment is the Egyptian government need to know what foreign NGOs are operating in country.  It is not unreasonable at all, to ask that all foreign outfits working in-country register with the government.  After all, it would be required if they came here, at a very minimum.  Any such groups wanting to come here would probably have to petition for work visas a year before the fact.] 

 

 “The United States deeply about what happens to the non-governmental organizations in Egypt, and we believe that there is no basis for investigations into the activities of these organizations or raid and the confiscation of their property , be sure that there is no basis for the decision to ban its members from traveling.”

Egypt: Concerns of U.S. foreign activists referred to the judiciary


Campaign on the non-governmental organizations in Egypt

Warned the three members of the U.S. Senate from Egypt that the relations between the two terms thereof passes worst after that the Egyptian judiciary has decided to refer the 19 U.S. activists to trial.These defendants and falls within the list of 43 activists have been referred to the Criminal Court in the case of funding, “illegal” to civil associations active in Egypt.

Said Charles, without director of “Freedom House” The message sent by the authorities in Egypt have come to Washington.

The Egyptian judicial sources announced Sunday that “40 people, including Egyptians, American and other nationalities, were transferred to the Cairo Criminal Court in the case of the financing of NGOs,” adding that the travel ban is still imposed on the people of forty.

The source said that those placed on trial accused of “the establishment and operation of branches of international organizations in Egypt without obtaining the necessary legal permits from the Egyptian government, and also received illegal funding from foreign sources.”

Such a move could increase the tension that marred U.S. relations Egyptian after the storming of the security forces for many of the offices of NGOs, including organizations like the U.S., “International Republican Institute,” and “Democratic Institute National” and “Freedom House”, in December / December the past.

The Egyptian authorities have raided the headquarters of 17 organizations, local and international civil and confiscated computers and documents, said it is evidence for those organizations to external financing are “illegal.”

And alerted the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington might reconsider U.S. aid to Egypt in the event of continuing the crackdown on civil organizations.

Clinton said after meeting Saturday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr, on the sidelines of the Conference on Security in Munich, Germany, “I had the opportunity to express once again the concern of the United States strong in regards to what happens to the non-governmental organizations in Egypt, and we believe that there is no basis for investigations into the activities of those organizations or Dhmha and the confiscation of their property, be sure that there is no basis for the decision to ban its members from traveling. “

Clinton went on, saying: “We have been clear with regard to implications of which could result from such a position on the aspects of relations between Egypt and the United States all, we do not want that to happen.”

And reached Clinton to the peak of warnings when she said “We have worked hard together and over the years to arrange financial assistance and great support to the Egyptian economy and the reforms of democracy taking place in Egypt, and we certainly we will look closely when the time comes to check the feasibility of such assistance, so that we can decide how possibility T_khasns American aid money under the new conditions in Egypt. “

ActivistsNGO activists working in Egypt

He also held U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta telephoned his Egyptian counterpart Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military junta in Egypt, to urge him to expedite the abolition of the travel ban imposed on the defendants in the case of American foreign funding.

During the consultations taking place in Congress regarding U.S. military aid to Egypt did not find a senior member of the Senate’s critical that a government led by the military in Egypt that the days of “blank checks” are gone, as is the delegation of Egyptian military tough negotiations with the U.S. State Department about the future of U.S. military aid to Egypt, amounting to $ 1.2 billion annually.

Launched Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Subcommittee is responsible for foreign aid in Congress, an attack Anivia the Macal that Egyptian campaign fierce groups and organizations defending human rights and democracy in Egypt funded by the U.S. government, and warned that Congress could stop all forms of U.S. aid to Egypt , unless you stop this behavior on the part of Cairo.

A clear message

Leahy said “We want to send a clear message to the Egyptian army that time of blank checks is over, yes, we appreciate the relationship between Egypt and the United States to Cairo and we will give a respectable amount of aid, but not unconditionally.”

And Leahy joins a growing number of members of Congress from both parties who have expressed their “outrage because of the Egyptian campaign on non-governmental organizations working in Egypt,” which amounted to prevent a number of active U.S. employees from leaving Cairo.

Leahy warned that the continuation of the Egyptian government in the “offensive” to non-governmental organizations will be unable to provide Cairo papers all entitlement to assistance.

He said that the Cairo to allow those organizations to re-open its doors and return property confiscated by and stop the ongoing investigations in the activities of human rights organizations operating in Egypt and work on the registration of such organizations, without limitation or qualification.

He expressed the hope that the Egyptian authorities estimate the seriousness of its position and the implications of risk, and in reference to U.S. aid to Egypt by $ 1.3 billion a year.

And drew more than forty members of Congress a letter Friday to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, as well as Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the ruling military junta in Egypt, Tihdhirounam where the U.S. aid to Egypt now hangs on a tightrope between grants and prevention.

The rhetoric in the U.S. House of Representatives that the absence of any clear resolution and satisfactory in that case would be to weaken the position of MPs who support the continuation of the strong relations between the United States, Egypt and discredit their argument to claim down U.S. aid to Cairo.

Egyptian military delegation

Field Marshal TantawiField Marshal Tantawi seeks to resume military aid to Egypt

At the same time received a number of senior U.S. State Department over on Thursday and Friday with a delegation from the Egyptian army to discuss the U.S. position on the crisis of non-governmental organizations in Egypt, as well as the new requirements imposed by Congress on the U.S. administration regarding military aid to Egypt.

Under those conditions compel the Secretary of State acknowledge that the ruling military authorities in Egypt are already taking real steps towards the country’s transition to democracy, and that before agreeing to provide any new aid.

A spokesman for the U.S. State Department Mark Toner, explaining how to provide aid to Egypt, said that this is done through the process of negotiating a long and continuous with the Congress, as “we make it clear to the Egyptians it clear that Congress put pressure on us to reduce aid and make it more tightly to the conditions.”

The Toner U.S. officials, led by Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State, have called Cairo repeatedly to allow U.S. citizens working in the non-governmental organizations in Cairo to leave Egypt and the abolition of travel restrictions all, which imposed on them by the Attorney General of Egypt in the framework of investigations with what is known to foreign funding for NGOs and non-governmental organizations in Egypt.

Egyptian justifications

The campaign was the Egyptian non-governmental organizations in Egypt, among which was the National Democratic Institute of the U.S., has led to more tension in Egyptian-American relations since the overthrow of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last year.

The ruling military junta has been in Egypt on charges he says that “foreign hands masterminding the violence to destabilize Egypt,” after the revolution of the twenty-fifth of January last year.

The Egyptians say that the campaign is part of the extensive investigations in the case of foreign funding for NGOs operating in Egypt, and whether the activity of such associations contribute to the increase in the case of the current tension in the Egyptian society.

But activists in civil society organizations say that the military authorities ordered the implementation of the campaign to terrorize activists who were in the vanguard of the revolution’s anti-Hosni Mubarak, who are now demanding to hand over power in Egypt points to a civilian and as soon as possible.

The judicial authorities in Egypt have issued a ban on travel of a number of U.S. officials working in the civil society organizations that are related to remote major U.S. political parties.

He had a number of these, including the son of the Minister of Transportation Ray LaHood U.S., to take refuge in the U.S. embassy in Cairo.

In Pakistan Only the Names of Terror Outfits Are Banned

The banned outfit

IT has been a decade of bans and lists. As the world of terror revealed itself to be more and more amorphous, nation states have fought back collecting the names, identifying the leaders and eliminating the followers of terror groups.

There are lists of banned organisations in Pakistan and lists of people not permitted in America. Along with lists there are typologies and profiles; the richer the nation, the more detailed the conjured portraits of terror.

In one of the latest episodes revolving around terror and terrorists, Malik Ishaq, leader of the banned Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, was recently released from detention from Kot Lakhpat jail.

A few days later, he attended a rally in Multan organised by the Difa-i-Pakistan Council, seen as a new motley coalition of groups such as the Jamaat-i-Islami, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (formerly known as Sipah-i-Sahaba), Maulana Samiul Haq’s faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and others.

Malik Ishaq was not the only freed terrorist present at the rally. Also in attendance was Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, head of the Jamaatud Dawa. Under the new rhetorical flourish of ‘defending Pakistan’ each emerged in public, untouched by previous sins committed under old names.

The massacre of Shia Hazaras in Mastung and the horrific attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team that left this country humiliated all seemed to be forgotten in view of the latest indignities imposed by the United States, the desecration of Muslim corpses by ‘infidel’ soldiers and the absolving magic of a new patriotic name.

The name game — the coining of new names as one agenda for hatred morphs into another — and the painstaking tracing of genealogies of terror by American experts has become such a well-oiled cycle that both ends follow practised sequences enacted with well-rehearsed outrage.

As per this worn script, two days after the rally the US ambassador to Pakistan reportedly warned that aid disbursements to Pakistan would be ceased unless action was taken against the two individuals.

Also as per the stage instructions, Pakistani heads nodded and made responsive motions, yet the curtain fell on January with no conclusions and no catharsis.

Adequate room was left by all involved for sequels that capitalise on the same plotlines with mildly altered angles and slight variations of dialogue. There are many critiques of course: everything written on either side of this issue; the inadequate denunciation and pursuit of terror on one end, the imperialist overreach and illegality of secret wars and surreptitious killings on the other.

Neither is able or willing to see the new pathology spawned by the entrenchment of these roles. Pakistanis and Americans as well as their respective governments are unable to see terror except in the limited shades of this scripted tragedy.

The challenges of labelling terror as endemic and the terrorist as a criminal, his pursuit and apprehension as an act of law enforcement rather than war-mongering at the American end rest on two issues.

First is the fact that the American criminal justice system rests on the precept of innocence until guilt has been established in a court of law and robust scepticism towards pre-emptive punishment even in situations where individuals pose a significant risk of future criminal activity.

Because the core of the ongoing war on terror is largely pre-emptive, there is resistance to the prosecution of alleged terrorists in American criminal courts or as the passage of the National Defence Authorisation Act reveals, the creation of a parallel system that permits acts such as indefinite detention that would otherwise be deemed unconstitutional.

The second factor has been the United States’ long-standing reticence to join the International Criminal Court, established in 2002 through the Rome Statute to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. The first creates a perception of terror as something finite, existing in particular times and contexts and with a distinct end. The second leaves a vast gap in the transnational legal tools available to prosecute crimes beyond national jurisdictions.

Cumulatively, both leave the issue of terror to foreign policy experts and military strategists, both of whom conceptualise the elimination of terror and the terrorist as a linear task with finite parameters accomplished via bombs and targeted killings.

On the Pakistani end, there is the inability to conceptualise terrorism as a moral issue with dimensions beyond imperialism, nationalism and sovereignty.

As a result, people appear at rallies where known terrorist leaders are present; mobs collect and enact fatwas that punish religious minorities, and any failing to echo the populist rhetoric of denouncing America and railing against the West.

On the basis of this dynamic, the end of the war on terror and the withdrawal of the US and Nato forces is equivocated with the end of terror itself, possibly even the end of all scourges leaving a pristine Pakistan untrammelled by want or famine or disaster.

The beneficiaries of these delusions — American and Pakistani — are Hafiz Saeed and Malik Ishaq, who can discard their banned outfits for new fashions of populism, managing to dupe both those in Pakistan and those in America.

The former invest these chameleons with the bravado of facing down a bossy superpower; the latter believe that the terrorist is a product of ideology, demography, faith and a smattering of other variables.

Neither seems to understand that terror, like crime, is an ugly fact of life, the result of the failure of conscience and a detriment to all human beings. It will never go away, not with the exit of a superpower or the elimination of a terrorist leader.

Its denunciations must rest not on strategic calculations, the disbursement of aid, the passage of shipments, the counting of corpses and ruined lives and destroyed futures, its biggest casualty is our universal loss of faith in the possibility of justice.

The writer is an attorney teaching political philosophy and constitutional law.

rafia.zakaria@gmail.com

America’s Hypocritical Double-Standards for “Democracy”

US ‘democracy agenda’ in ME

The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, expressed her government’s “disgust” at the uncooperativeness of Beijing and Moscow on the Syria Resolution that called for the ouster of the Syrian government headed by Assad al-Bashar, along with cessation of ongoing human rights violations by the government forces. Pakistan, India, and South Africa, including 13 Security Council members, also supported the UN Security Council resolution.Ambassador Rice fulminated over China and Russia stymieing the Security Council from “fulfilling [its] sole purpose” – in trying to address the human rights violation in Syria along with its implications for regional peace and security. She decried the appalling “intransigence” of the two permanent members of the Security Council and deemed their position vis-à-vis Syria “shameful when you consider that at least one of these members continues to deliver weapons to Assad.”

Her declamations, after the Russian and Chinese vetoes, about the eroding legitimacy of the United Nations and lukewarm response to human rights violations belie US policy of supporting autocratic regimes in the Middle East and its own UNSC veto record, especially, on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Why the double standard?

Ambassador Rice was quick to point out the shamefulness of Russian arms to Assad regime, for example, but conveniently overlooked the recent decision by the Obama administration’s US$53 million arms sale to Bahrain, in spite of resolute opposition by some in the US Congress and civil society. Earlier the pusillanimous response by the Obama administration to the Al-Khalifa regime’s crackdown (through extra-judicial means and military support from outside support in the region) betrayed US pro-democracy agenda in the Middle East as being devoid of geopolitical considerations. Bahrain is home to the US naval headquarters in the Gulf and is an important ally for the US in its military and containment strategy towards Iran.

Similarly, the cast of now-discredited regimes in the Middle East – Egypt’s Mubarak for three decades; Tunisia’s Ben Ali for two decades; Libya’s Gaddafi in power for over four decades; Syria’s father and, now, son for four decades – were all dutiful sycophancies of the west. They could not have survived without the patronage of the leading outside powers. For example, the US remained a staunch supporter of the Mubarak regime knowing well about his autocratic rule and human rights violations.

Similar national security exigencies led the US to support Tunisian (and Yemeni) autocratic leader(s). They were viewed as important, however fleeting, cogs in the US security framework, especially in America’s war on terror and counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. In these instances, the United States always subordinated its commitments toward democracy and human rights when it suited its national interest – as we are seeing with the US support of the Al-Khalifa regime in Bahrain and its indifference to the “yearning[s] for liberty and universal rights” of beleaguered Bahrainis.

Likewise, the US vetoes any Security Council resolution objectionable to Israel over the Palestinian-Israel conflict, even when there is broad international consensus about the culpable party. Nobody talks about the “neutered” UNSC then, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton characterised the UNSC after the Russian and Chinese veto of Syria resolution. For instance, regarding Israeli illegal settlements, which have been deemed in clear contravention of international law, the United States vetoed the proposed UNSC resolution (in 2011) that called upon Israel to dismantle and stop illegal settlements. US also vetoed the UNSC resolution that signalled Israel over disproportionate use of force during the 2006 Gaza conflict and war with Lebanon.

In both cases US credibility was seriously questioned when the US turned a blind eye to the Israeli incursions in which civilians were the main causalities of lethal force. These publicly documented instances of US repudiation of any UNSC resolution – over legitimate issues pertinent to peace and stability in the Middle East in the face of clear violation of international law – appear to demonstrate that it is the leading international power that has rendered the UN a “theatre of absurd.”

Thus it is disingenuous to suggest that Russia and China, however untenable their vetoes on Syria, are preventing the UNSC from “fulfilling its duties.” Again, US is being hypocritical with references to the sacrosanctity of the UNSC as the bastion of international law and peace which it itself breaches when it blocks any resolution perceived to be “unjust” to Israel; Or, when the US arrogates itself the power, without the explicit approval of the UNSC, to unilaterally infringe upon sovereign territories of other countries.

While Ambassador Rice waxes euphonious rhetoric about democracy and sanctity of human rights from her lectern at the Security Council, it is important for the long-term credibility of the US in the region and its foreign policy objectives (especially democracy promotion agenda in the Middle East) to have a consistent policy in the Middle East that is untethered from security and material considerations and preferential support of some countries in the region. Otherwise, US will remain vulnerable to charges of downright hypocrisy with battle for “hearts and minds” in the Middle East remaining an ever elusive and distant proposition.

The writer is a doctoral candidate in the department of political science, University of Western Ontario. Email: ali.asim@gmail.com

Earthquakes Induced by Fluid Injection–USGS

Earthquakes Induced by Fluid Injection

USGS - science for a changing world

Q: How does the injection of wastewater at depth cause earthquakes?

A:

Earth’s crust is pervasively fractured at depth by faults. These faults can sustain high stresses without slipping because natural “tectonic” stress and the weight of the overlying rock pushes the opposing fault blocks together, increasing the frictional resistance to fault slip. The injected wastewater counteracts the frictional forces on faults and, in effect, “pries them apart”, thereby facilitating earthquake slip.