Yemen Army Is Under Assault from America’s “Islamists”

[It is important to remember now, just who or what “al-Qaeda” really is.  It is the name given to a core group of highly trained “Islamist” commandos, who have been trained and brought together in Afghanistan and Pakistan by a nexus of intelligence agencies, specifically, the spy agencies of US, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Pakistan and Israel.  This means that the Yemen army is battling a force created by Yemen’s only known benefactors.  The question now is, does the Frankenstein monster still respond when its mastor/creator calls?  Does the fact that these mercenary “Islamist” armies originally came together on the payroll of Western powers mean that they still share an employee/employer bond?  Would the Americans, Brits and Saudis have allowed such an invaluable force of potential geopolitical mayhem to slip from their grasp, would the CIA and friends simply have let them go?  There is no longer any time to tiptoe around the subject.  The endgame of the grand plot against all humanity is rapidly playing-out.  Al Qaeda is composed of half “Islamists” and half “private contractors.”  They are the army of the Western elite, there to serve the cause of their ideas of the “greater good,” that is, total American domination of the world. 

Al-Qaeda is “Made In America.”]   

Yemen army toll from Qaeda assault rises to 78

File picture of Yemeni soldiers at a checkpoint in Abyan province. (AFP PHOTO)

File picture of Yemeni soldiers at a checkpoint in Abyan province. (AFP PHOTO)

ADEN: A surprise attack by Al-Qaeda extremists on troops in Yemen’s restive south has killed at least 78 soldiers and 25 militants, medics and military officials said on Monday.

“The toll from the battles between the army and Qaeda militants … has risen to at least 78″ soldiers, a military official said on condition of anonymity.

He added that “dozens more were wounded … in the surprise attack” on Sunday on army posts on the outskirts of Zinjibar, Abyan’s provincial capital.

“It was a massacre,” he said.

A medic at a military hospital in the neighbouring port city of Aden confirmed the death toll and said staff were overwhelmed by the number of casualties.

“We were forced to use administrative offices and waiting rooms to treat the wounded,” the medic told AFP, also speaking on condition of anonymity.

Military officials had reported fierce clashes Sunday when militants linked to Al-Qaeda tried to overrun an army post in Kud, just south of Zinjibar. The violence then spread to other military positions on the outskirts of the city.

The militants, known as the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), took control of Zinjibar and several other towns in Yemen’s mostly lawless south last May as former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was facing mass protests demanding his ouster.

- AFP/fa

Bomb Hits Anti-US/Anti-Israel Demonstration In Yemen

[Keep in mind that this is not an anti-govt protest, but an anti-interventionist USA/Israel colonialism that is using the alleged “al-Qaeda” ploy to justify this colonization of Arab land by the West and Israel.]

Bomb blast rings out at anti-US protest in Yemen

Bomb Hits Anti-US/Anti-Israel Demonstration In …, posted with vodpod

An anti-American protest in Sadaa, Yemen is struck by the explosion of a bomb in an incident that has left at least 22 people injured.

03 Mar 2012

The bomb blast hit the anti-US protest in northern Yemen on Friday, a rebel group that controls much of the region said.

The Houthi movement – Shi’ite rebels that Yemen’s military tried to crush in campaigns in 2004-2009 – also supplied a video of the incident to Reuters Television.

In a statement, the leader of the Houthi movement said the US ambassador in the capital Sanaa was personally responsible for the bombing in Saada, near the country’s border with Saudi Arabia.

“The one behind this attack is the US ambassador and his agents,” Abdel Malek al-Houthi said. “It targets our rejection of foreign interference from the ambassador such as interfering in the structure of the army … and his satanic efforts to change its creed.”

The video also features protesters chanting various slogans including: “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse on the Jews. Victory to Islam. America is the cause of this explosion.”

 

Soros Website Highlights Another Political “Islamist” Leader Urging US Intervention, This One Is Tajik

U.S. military cooperation with Tajikistan provides a necessary counterbalance to Russian influence, but also is helping authoritarian President Emomali Rahmon to cement his grip on power. That’s the analysis of country’s leading opposition politician, Muhiddin Kabiri, chairman of the Islamic Revival Party of Tajikistan, who sat down for an interview last week with The Bug Pit on the topic of the increasing U.S. military cooperation with Tajikistan.

Kabiri is a unique figure: although his party promotes “Islamic Revival,” he is also, in the wordsof local analyst Alexander Sodiqov, “a moderate and pragmatic politician with explicitly pro-Western views.” And he is widely regarded as a singularly credible and authoritative voice in Tajikistan.

U.S. military cooperation with Tajikistan has been increasing over the last few years, as the U.S. has sought to build relationships with the countries involved in the Northern Distribution Network, and to help local security services protect the countries of Central Asia from threats out of Afghanistan. The cooperation has focused on border security, as well as training and equipping the myriad of special forces in Tajikistan’s military, National Guard, border security and police. Kabiri said the government has a variety of interests in this cooperation:

First of all, we need this training. After these events in the east of Tajikistan, this showed us that we are not so ready for terrorist attacks, so Tajikistan needs these units to be stronger.

Second, our president is using this opportunity to show to others that Tajikistan can have another friend, for example to Russia, China, our other partners, that even in this sensitive field of military cooperation Tajikistan can have another partner. Before this, all of our cooperation in military issues was with Russia, and small cooperation with Iran. And now everyone knows that there is very good cooperation between Tajikistan and the U.S. and European countries. So this approach gives Tajikistan more flexibility.

Of course he wants to make these units stronger, it’s not only a political question. But at the same time, Mr Rahmon wants these units to be far from Russian influence. All of our high-ranking officers were educated in Russia, and now he wants to have some balance between Russian-educated officers and Western-educated officers.

Kabiri said there is also a domestic political interest, to strengthen the government’s grip on power:

For all dictators, not just in Central Asia but in Egypt and other countries, for a long time this military cooperation with the U.S., these leaders use this cooperation to strengthen their own power. Of course, in Central Asia we will also have this result. The leaders are using this opportunity to become more powerful, to prolong their time in power. I’m not sure if this is to the benefit of the U.S., but this is the result.

This has been abetted by the U.S.’s increased focus on security issues in its relationship with Tajikistan, which has pushed other issues into the background, he said:

Two or three years ago, the main question between Tajikistan and U.S. representatives was economic questions, human rights, democracy and stability. But now, the main topic is military cooperation, transit. And human rights, democracy, free elections, these kinds of problems, maybe they will touch these questions, but only last, only for protocol. So our leaders are very lucky that the U.S. is not raising these sensitive questions.

Asked if he supported the training of Tajikistan’s special forces, he said he supported it in principle, as long as it pushed the security forces in the direction of protecting all the people of Tajikistan, not just the government:

I’m not against military cooperation with the U.S. or other Western countries. To train our units, to have more modern equipment, to develop our facilities, how to protect the borders, all this is good.

I was recently in the airport in Istanbul and met 15-20 of our OMON troops who were returning from training in the U.S. I asked them about this training, and they said it was very good. I hope they will learn not only new military approaches but about human rights, how to protect people, how to protect human rights, the role of these kind of units in a democratic country. In our old Soviet system, the human has no place in this system. I hope when they have this training with the U.S. they will learn another approach, how to protect human rights, protect the country, not just one person. But I’m not sure if this has happened or not.

From the perspective of the U.S., the main interest seems to be not building up the security forces per se, but in using that as a means to build the relationship to help ensure military transit routes to Afghanistan — a strategy that’s paid off, he said:

[I]n the last 2-3 years the U.S. is sending some message to the leaders in the Central Asia region, to open a new page of cooperation, not only on humanitarian fields, on democracy and human rights, but also in military questions. Maybe in Washington some people decided that before withdrawing from Afghanistan there should be some cooperation with Central Asian leaders in this questions. Now we understand that this tactic was true, the U.S. had some problems with Pakistan and all the Central Asian leaders are willing to help the U.S., to use this region as transit for NATO forces. Without this military cooperation, it would be difficult for NATO to use this region as transit. So this approach from the U.S. side was effective.

He suggested that the government in Dushanbe exaggerates the threat from Afghanistan, and said that a Taliban government in Kabul may in fact improve security in Central Asia:

[T]here is some mythology about Afghanistan, the Taliban, that all of our problems come from this country. I’m not sure that the Taliban today is the same as the Taliban of 10 years ago. Ten years ago they were more romantic, more ideological. Now they’ve become more pragmatic. If they are in the next government, they will feel more responsibility and I’m not sure they will send some terrorists to Tajikistan or Uzbekistan, because they are also interested in stability in the region.

I think the Taliban will push Central Asian leaders to become more democratic. It is some kind of paradox: how can the Taliban develop democracy in Central Asia? Now, when Western countries, led by the U.S., talk about democracy, nothing is done. The Taliban are not talking about democracy, they are talking about sharia. But our leaders, our elites, they will feel some threats coming from Afghanistan, I think they will give some more freedoms, more opportunities for people to keep people under control, not to push people more toward Taliban and radicalism. It’s a paradox, but maybe it will happen.

I asked what preparations the government is making for the eventual U.S./NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. He said the preparation is less to improve security in Tajikistan, and more to get while the getting’s good:

Not only Tajikistan, but all Central Asian countries are preparing themselves for 2014. And everybody wants to use this opportunity first of all to have more Western financial support. Second, they want Western countries leaving Afghanistan also to leave something here in Tajikistan. Maybe military equipment, tanks, I don’t know. Also, they are trying to use these rumors, this myth about Taliban aggression against Central Asia, to not develop reforms and democratic changes. But I’m not sure they can manage this. Things are changing very fast. Nobody was thinking about the Arab Spring, or about Russia.

Tajik Foreign Minister Describes the Narrow Space Between East and West In Central Asia

[You will notice that he never mentioned military cooperation with the West, even though it is an important element in charting Tajikistan’s course in the undefined space.  I expect Tajikistan to be treated as a Russian front-line state in the coming hostilities or escalation of tensions with Washington.]

Diplomacy and co-operation in central Asia [INTERVIEW]

In the first of a two-part interview, the Tajik Foreign Minister, Hamrokhon Zarifi, speaks to New Europe about ever-improving relations between the European Union and Tajikistan, as well as the difficulties and opportunities that exist in the Central Asian region, as international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan.

New Europe: How can you characterise Tajik-EU co-operation today? What are the future prospects?

HZ: Our relations are based on the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA) signed with the EU, that came into force on 1 January 2010, and the first session of the Tajik-EU Co-opeartion Council has been held under this PCA at foreign minister level in December 2010 in Brussels, and in June 2011, President Emomali Rahmon began a European tour. We then succeeded in establishing regular regional political dialogue between the EU and central Asia at the level of foreign ministers,a s well as the EU-Tajik Dialogue on Human Rights, and inter-parliamentary co-operation between the two sides

Tajikistan pays special attention to relations with the EU, as this is among the priorities of Tajik foreign policy. We consider the EU as our critical international partner that contributes to democratic reforms, law supremacy, human rights, investments, socio-economic progress, energy, water resources management, regional co-operation and the war on drug trafficking; border management and fighting drug trafficking are among the most critical co-operation areas.

In general, the EU strategy for central Asia used to be the fundamental framework for our relations over the period 2007-2013, now we are interested in developing and adopting a new EU strategy for central Asia.

Moving on to Afghanistan. Do you think the withdrawal of troops will change Tajik-Afghan relations and possible destabilise the region? What diplomatic steps are being taken to ensure stability?

Tajik-Afghan relations are being developed in an atmosphere of a good-neighbourly and mutually-beneficial partnership, with regular political dialogue at the highest level with both bilateral and multilateral frameworks.

As for the withdrawal of international troops, it may indeed cause a worsening of the situation, therefore additional comprehensive measures are required to ensure prompt response to this, which may lead to the potential threat to the national interests of the regional countries.

Special emphasis is given to Tajik co-operation and collaboration with Afghan authorities, the US and EU countries. We also maintain co-operation within international and regional organisations and security frameworks, namely, the United Nations, the OSCE, the Shanghai Co-operation organisation, and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, of which Tajikistan is a member. Our priority for Afghan foreign policy is ensuring peace and security, as well as independent development in Afghanistan. We once again call on the international community to seek a compromise that meets the interests of security and stability in Afghanistan and beyond.

Looking beyond, then, what is the current state of relations with China and Russia?

Tajik-Chinese relations are a bright example of partnership, successful co-operation and regional collaboration. They are agreed on the agreement of good-neighbourliness, friendship and co-operation between the two countries.

We have dynamically increased trade and economic co-operation with China over recent years, and today, china is among leading trade partners of Tajikistan. More than 200 Chinese companies are currently engaged in the Tajik market.

As for our relationship with the Russian Federation, it continues to be a relationship of strategic partnership. We have co-operation that covers almost all areas; namely political, economic, military, cultural and humanitarian. Russian continues to remain a major trade partner for our country.

In general, we consider Tajikistan’s relations with these two countries as positive, and we hope we can jointly enrich them in terms of economic and cultural aspects.

Can you give some information on the 5th regional Co-operation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA V) agenda, and its expected outcomes?

The international community takes care on post-war recovery in Afghanistan, but we need to identify specified areas and frameworks of such recovery, and make sure they consist of concrete projects.

Implementation of joint regional projects with Afghanistan being involved could contribute to progress of the region as a whole. RECCA V, which will be held on 26-27 march in Dushanbe, and with representatives from more than 40 counties from over 30 international organisations, is a good opportunity for all to be engaged in.

Participants will evaluate the progress made on the outcomes of the RECCA IV held in Istanbul, and identify new priorities and promising regional projects that are of vital importance for progress in Afghanistan and beyond. Working group sessions are scheduled to be conducted within the conference that will be headlined ‘Contributing to Economic Development through Development of Infrastructure, ‘Strengthening Human Capacity through Promoting Education and Vocational Training’ and ‘Promoting Investments, Trade, Transit and Border Management through Enhancing Co-operation and Co-ordination’.

The substance of the conference is aimed at the soonest economic recovery, socio-economic progress and human capacity-building in Afghanistan, and we hope that RECCA V will make a vital contribution to this.

Afghan officials: Talks for deal with US faltering

Afghan officials: Talks for deal with US faltering

Afghan refugee children wait for food rations distributed from a truck organized by the World Food Program in Kabul, Sunday, March 4, 2012. Every day, 400 people join the ranks of a half million displaced by fighting and natural disaster in Afghanistan. Many are left to starve and die, even in the capital Kabul.
Afghan refugee children wait for food rations distributed from a truck organized by the World Food Program in Kabul, Sunday, March 4, 2012. Every day, 400 people join the ranks of a half million displaced by fighting and natural disaster in Afghanistan. Many are left to starve and die, even in the capital Kabul. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
By Patrick Quinn and Deb RiechmannAssociated Press / March 5, 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan—Efforts to forge a deal that will govern the American military presence in Afghanistan beyond a planned U.S troop withdrawal in 2014 are faltering, current and former Afghan officials said on Monday.

They said obstacles include disputes over the transfer of American-run detention centers, night raids and quarrels within the Afghan president’s inner circle that led one of his top advisers to threaten to resign.

The failure to make headway on a strategic partnership document reflects growing animosity between President Hamid Karzai and the United States, which reached its lowest level after the burning of Qurans and other Islamic texts at a U.S. military base on Feb. 20. That incident sparked six days of angry riots across Afghanistan that left 30 people dead, including six U.S. troops who were killed by Afghan security forces.

Karzai has been stubborn about his demands — apparently so much so that he is losing the backing of some of his own top aides. Although the president cannot be seen to be a pushover to the U.S. on sovereignty issues, many top Afghan officials believe that Afghanistan’s government is too shaky to stand on its own. They sense that Washington is now pushing back against Karzai in the talks, and fear that the Americans may simply wash their hands of Karzai or perhaps the entire Afghan war.

The president can’t afford not to make a deal with the United States, which provides Afghanistan with billions of dollars in development aid and funds most of the training for the country’s army and police, which are to take control of the country’s security at the end of 2014.

The U.S. spent $22 billion in the past two years for training and is expected to contribute the bulk of the $4 billion or so a year the force of about 260,000 will need to operate in 2015 and beyond.

An Afghan government official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive negotiations, said that more than two months ago National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta submitted his resignation after disagreements erupted between him and Karzai over the strategic partnership document.

Spanta, who is spearheading the talks, wants Karzai to compromise on the two most contentious issues being negotiated — night raids and the U.S. transfer of detention facilities to Afghan government control.

Karzai did not accept Spanta’s resignation, but kept the letter. Two times later, Spanta threatened to resign, mostly recently in the past several days, the official said.

The official and Davood Moradian, who was an adviser to Spanta when he was foreign minister, said the strategic partnership deal might not be ready for a NATO summit in May.

Such a delay could torpedo the deal, as the United States has already been showing decreasing enthusiasm about it.

Pakistan Taliban removes deputy head Maulvi Faqir Mohammad

Pakistan Taliban removes deputy head Maulvi Faqir Mohammad

Maulvi Faqir Mohammad l
Maulvi Faqir Mohammad led the Taliban in the Bajaur district

The head of the Pakistani Taliban has removed his deputy commander, the militant group confirmed to the BBC, in a sign of a growing power struggle.

Hakimullah Mehsud demoted Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, who was the second-highest ranking Taliban leader, at a Taliban council of leaders on Sunday.

No reason was given but correspondents say the move is the latest sign of a rift within the group.

Maulvi Faqir Mohammad has not yet been replaced by another militant commander.

A Taliban spokesman told BBC Urdu that he had been removed with immediate effect but that the Taliban leadership was considering appointing him to some other position within the group.

The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says the decision is the latest sign of a growing rift within the Pakistani Taliban – known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – that began when its former leader, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in August 2009.

At that time, Maulvi Faqir Mohammad was one of the contenders for the top post, but had to settle for the position of deputy head because the TTP wanted to keep its leadership within the Waziristan tribal area, their major stronghold.

‘Minor’ differences

Since then, he has had an uneasy relationship with the central command of the TTP, our correspondent says.

And last year some elements of the TTP accused him of having contacts with the Pakistani government, which he denied. He has previously admitted to the BBC that he had “minor” differences with Taliban leadership.

Maulvi Faqir Mohammad led the Taliban in the Bajaur district, in the extreme north of the tribal areas and at some distance from Waziristan.

The volatile Bajaur region is believed to have been home to al-Qaeda leaders such as Ayman al-Zawahiri, and militants loyal to the non-Taliban commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, our correspondent adds.

The Legacy of Pasha–Intelligence Without Direction

The Legacy of Pasha

By Carl Prine

Attorney, blogger, book author, pundit and reporter Ali K. Chishti is not only a friend of the blog but also something of a detective in Pakistan.  I have no idea when he has time to sleep, but he’s the one who did this guest post for Military.com .

Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha, the Director General for Inter Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), is expected to retire from active duty on March 18th  after serving five years as the chief of country’s most powerful intelligence agency.

The big question remains:  What’s Pasha’s legacy?

Like many others, I admire Pasha as an individual but I’ve become very concerned about  how Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency has been run over the past five years.  My criticism is on merit and as a Pakistani citizen and taxpayer I have every right to ask hard questions about what we’ve gotten from Pasha over the past half-decade of his tenure.

Let’s begin by talking about what ISI is supposed to do.  Pasha’s ISI’s is tasked with a) safeguarding Pakistan’s national interests; and b) preventing external threats.

Is it an external threat when Osama bin Laden is assassinated in Abbotabad, near the military academy?  When the Americans arrived in Abbotabad and stayed inside Pakistan and did whatever they wanted for more than 40 minutes, where was our ISI?  Where was the vital intelligence leading to the raid?  Is this not incompetence?

Unfortunately, what we had been seeing especially in Pakistan is that intelligence officials and agencies designed to stop terrorism are in fact acting like typical policemen, going over the post-incident details because they couldn’t pre-empt the destruction.   This isn’t the service that we pay for in Pakistan.

During Pasha’s tenure not only have thousands of Pakistanis been killed in terrorist events but the attacks themselves have been brazenly executed:  The PNS-Mehran assault, 26/11 Mumbai Massacre , the hit on Saleem Shezad , multiple naval bus bombings , the wave of Balochistan slayings , the GHQ raid, the attempted massacre of the Sri Lankan cricket team  and thousands of targeted murders in Karachi .

One of the biggest reasons why our spy agencies failed us is because there’s been a complete breakdown of communication between all intelligence departments in Pakistan. Although organizations like the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NCTA) were formed solely for this purpose, it was actively sabotaged by the ISI and the organization which is primarily funded by the European Union is rotting in Islamabad.  

Inside Pakistan, one hears the argument that countries like India, America and Israel are funding terrorist organizations and destabilizing Islamabad by supporting the Balochistan Liberation Army, the Baloch Republican Army  and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan .

But ISI and General Pasha have failed to show evidence of a direct or even an indirect link between these nations and terrorist and separatist organizations here.

ISI remains one of the most important and respected intelligence organizations in the world, but the time has come for the agency to actually start performing.  It must live up to its job description and reputation.  To do so, it must change priorities and the civilian government must share the blame for not doing so.

The biggest mistake made by the President Asif Ali Zardari-led government was to grant extensions to the Chief of  Army Staff, Ashfaq Parvez Kayani,   and the ISI’s Pasha.  These extensions not only broke the morale of officers below them but hurt the institutions by taking a ‘personality-centric approach’ instead of fostering a healthy institutional climate.

Gen. Pasha as an outstanding soldier and he loves Pakistan very much, but what if a general is wrong about how he leads his agency? It’s really unfortunate for me to write a critical piece about my own country’s finest soldier, but truth comes only by inspecting what has happened to Pakistan under Pasha’s five-year watch.  He might have been an brilliant officer but he’s been a most incompetent ISI director, perhaps the worst our nation has ever produced.

Our only hope is that merit and accountability will return to guide ISI.