Two explosions rattle Damascus amid prayers and protests

Two explosions rattle Damascus amid prayers and protests

Bombing

BEIRUT — A blast ripped through central Damascus on Friday, killing at least nine people and injuring 20,  including civilians and police, Syrian state television reported. It was the second blast to hit the Syrian capital on Friday, a day on which protesters take to the streets each week after noon prayers. 

Syrian state television blamed the attack on “terrorists” — the term frequently used by the Syrian government to describe the rebels — and called it a “suicide terrorist explosion.”

Gruesome images of puddles of blood and body parts were aired on government-controlled television, which said the explosion took place following Friday prayers outside the Zein el Abidine mosque, near a school. The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency showed graphic photos of a severed hand and leg strewn at the bombing site.

A Damascus dissident rejected the state media’s contention that the bombings were the work of anti-government forces, pointing out that the bombed area, Midan, is an opposition stronghold where protests against the government routinely break out. The mosque was also identified by a Damascus resident, reached by Skype, as a hub for protests.

Protests usually begin Fridays at the end of noon prayers as worshipers emerge from mosques and spill onto the streets. The explosion stopped people from leaving the mosques to stage their protests, the anti-government activist said.

“In Midan on Friday the security forces are stationed in every mosque and the eyes of the security are on the neighborhood,” he said in a Skype interview. “So how does an explosion like this happen?” 

A few hours earlier, another blast was reported in the industrial area of Damascus. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties in that explosion.

The Friday bombings were the latest in a series of explosions that have rocked Syria since anti-government street demonstrations began more than a year ago. At least 26 people were killed in a January blast in Midan. Aleppo and Dara have also been hit with explosions in recent months.

Yulia Tymoshenko Shows Bruises from Alleged Beating By Guards

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Tymoshenko, heroine of Ukraine democracy movement, ails in prison as West’s concerns grow

Juergen Baetz, Maria Danilova

Global Regina |

KIEV, Ukraine – Yulia Tymoshenko, the braided darling of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution who went on to be prime minister, is wasting away in prison — weakened from a hunger strike, bruised from prison beatings and afraid she will be force-fed by her political foes, her family said Friday.

Western concern about Tymoshenko has soared since she launched a hunger strike a week ago to protest alleged prison abuse. She claims that guards punched her in the stomach and twisted her arms and legs while taking her to a hospital against her will to be treated for debilitating back pain.

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The opposition leader’s party claimed that a string of bombings Friday in eastern Ukraine that authorities blamed on terrorists may have been orchestrated by the government to deflect attention from her plight.

It is a dramatic reversal for a woman who became a global icon of democratic change during Ukraine’s 2004 mass rallies against a stolen presidential election, in which she mesmerized her nation with ringing speeches from a frozen Kyiv square as thousands of protesters huddled in a tent village.

Tymoshenko appears pallid and worn-out in photos of her lying in prison taken by Ukraine’s top human rights official — a shadow of the glamorous figure who faced crowds in haute-couture gowns and golden braids. The pictures by Nina Karpachova show blotches on Tymoshenko’s abdomen, lower arm and abdomen.

Her daughter told The Associated Press that her health was failing rapidly.

“After the attack, she was in intense pain,” Eugenia Tymoshenko said in a telephone interview. “She is very weak, she hasn’t eaten for seven days, only drinking water. Prison officials threaten that they will force-feed her.”

Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of abusing her powers in a Russian energy deal. The West has strongly condemned the verdict as politically motivated and threatened to freeze co-operation with Ukraine.

Oleksandr Tymoshenko, the jailed opposition leader’s husband, told the AP in the Czech capital of Prague — where he has been granted asylum — that he believes the Ukrainian government is slowly killing his wife.

“Everything that has been happening to Yulia Tymoshenko is a rehearsal of her physical destruction — a murder that the authorities have been planning to carry out since the beginning of repression against her.”

Four explosions rocked the Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk on Friday, injuring 27 people, including nine teenagers. The government blamed terrorism — but the Tymoshenko camp suspects a government-orchestrated diversion tactic.

Deputy parliament speaker Mykola Tymenko, a member of Tymoshenko’s party, said he “does not rule out” that senior government members in President Viktor Yanukovych’s government were involved in organizing the blasts.

The president’s office declined to comment on the opposition charges.

In Berlin, the head of Berlin’s renowned Charite hospital said it is “unlikely” that Ukraine will be able to successfully treat Tymoshenko because the hospital where she is being taken does not have the expertise to carry out the complex procedure. Karl Einhaeupl and his team inspected the Kharkiv facility earlier this month.

Tymoshenko has suffered severe back pain since October, but she refuses treatment in Ukraine because “she does not trust the Ukrainian medical system” and fears she will be deliberately infected, Einhaeupl told reporters.

“I appeal to the Ukrainian president to be guided by humanitarian values and let her travel abroad to Europe to receive treatment,” he said.

The doctors declined to comment on Tymoshenko’s claim that she was abused by prison guards. Einhaeupl said he has seen recent photos of her showing what is “very obvious” bruising but said he couldn’t elaborate because the alleged abuse happened after their April 17 meeting.

Germany has been leading the European Union’s critical stance on Ukraine over the Tymoshenko case. The government in Berlin is also offering to treat her in Germany, but Kyiv has rejected the offer. Recently, however, the Ukrainian leadership proposed that German doctors could come to Ukraine and treat her at the Kharkiv hospital.

But Einhaeupl and his colleague Norbert Haas rejected the proposal, saying it would take weeks and probably months for a team of physicians and specialists to treat her condition appropriately.

“The therapy will take months. A short visit would not yield any substantial results,” Haas said.

“I am extremely skeptical that Tymoshenko could be successfully treated in Ukraine, even with the participation of two, three German doctors,” Einhaeupl added.

Einhaeupl stressed the doctors are concerned by Tymoshenko’s hunger strike, given her already weakened condition. She appeared to be “desperate” during their April 17 visit, and begged the German doctors to treat her, he said, adding that her condition had deteriorated significantly since their first visit in January.

“We hope that we can meet and examine her again within the next seven days,” he said, noting that this still has to be approved by Ukrainian authorities.

In their evaluation report of the Kharkiv hospital, the doctors say Ukrainian authorities have made great efforts to provide the best possible conditions for her treatment there.

“But Ms. Tymoshenko’s particular problems of physical and psychological nature, as well as the particular evolution of her illness let it appear unlikely that the therapy there will be successful,” the report stated.

Tymoshenko denies the abuse of power charges, saying they are part of a campaign by Yanukovych, her longtime foe, to bar her from politics. Yanukovych, who narrowly defeated her in the 2010 presidential race, has denied involvement in the Tymoshenko case.

Ukraine is increasingly under pressure over its treatment of Tymoshenko. EU officials have threatened her case and those of other jailed opposition members could derail a planned rapprochement between Kyiv and the 27-nation bloc.

German President Joachim Gauck cancelled a visit to Ukraine next month on Thursday, and calls were growing from opposition lawmakers for EU government officials to boycott the Euro 2012 football championship that Ukraine will co-host in June.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top adviser on foreign policy issues discussed Tymoshenko’s case again with Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Minister Thursday. Seibert said the chancellor keeps herself “very informed about the Tymoshenko case.”

___

Baetz reported from Berlin. Karel Janicek contributed from Prague. Follow Juergen Baetz on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jbaetz

© The Canadian Press, 2012

 Tymoshenko, heroine of Ukraine democracy movement, ails in prison as West’s concerns grow 

US offers ‘safe passage’ to Afghan Taliban leaders

US offers ‘safe passage’ to Afghan Taliban leaders

By Fakhar ur Rehman
NBC News, and msnbc.com news services

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The United States and Afghanistan have agreed to “give safe passage” to representatives of the Afghan Taliban to help them to enter future peace talks, officials announced Thursday.

The move comes just weeks ahead of a NATO summit in Chicago on the future of Afghanistan. It may also represent a significant step forward towards the resumption of peace talks that were suspended in Qatar last month.

Speaking at a joint press conference with U.S. Special Envoy Marc Grossman and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani,  Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin said: “Time is short, peace is urgent.”

“We need to find and encourage and create safe passage for peace talks,” with the Afghan Taliban, he added.

His comments came after the three countries held their sixth meeting aimed at political reconciliation in Afghanistan.

A U.S. Embassy official confirmed to NBC News that the countries have agreed to allow and facilitate travel of the Afghan militants to participate in any future talks. The official said details of how it would work in practice have not been announced.

U.S. sees Taliban talks suspension as tactical move

Jilani announced the establishment of two new groups, one to represent the efforts of the three countries at the United Nations, and another responsible for “safe passage.” “Safe passage will be to help bring Afghan Taliban in to peace talks,” he told NBC News.

More than ten years after the beginning of the war, Afghanistan faces external pressure to reform as well as ongoing internal conflicts.

Dr Gareth Price, senior research fellow at Britain’s Chatham House think thank, told msnbc.com the move could be seen as a “confidence-building measure”.

Talks were suspended last month amid a string of public setbacks that have scandalized and angered Afghans, notably U.S. soldiers’ burning of copies of the Koran and the killing of 16 Afghan villagers for which a U.S. soldier is in custody.

Price added: “The US has made clear it will remain in Afghanistan in some form – that’s the stick, if you like, so maybe this is the carrot.”

On Tuesday, White House sources told Reuters that President Barack Obama’s administration may hand over a Taliban detainee at Guantanamo Bay prison directly to the Afghan government in order to help revive peace talks.

As foreign forces prepare to exit Afghanistan, the White House had hoped to lay the groundwork for peace talks by sending five Taliban prisoners, some seen as among the most threatening detainees at Guantanamo, to Qatar to rejoin other Taliban members opening a political office there.

15 injured in 4 blasts in east Ukraine city

Ukrainian-coalminer-002

source

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15 injured in 4 blasts in east Ukraine city

USAToday

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) – Four blasts within minutes rocked the center of the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipropetrovsk Friday, injuring at least 15 people in what prosecutors believed was a terrorist attack, officials said.

Emergency Situations Ministry spokeswoman Yulia Yershova said the first blast occurred at a tramway stop in the center of Dnipropetrovsk, injuring five people. The second injured seven people outside a movie theater, while the third wounded three near a railway station.

A fourth blast was also heard in the city center, the Interior Ministry said. It was unclear whether anybody was injured.

Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko and other top law enforcement officials were flying to Dnipropetrovsk. Prosecutors’ spokesman Yuri Boichenko said investigators are treating the blasts as a terrorist attack.

In January 2011, two pre-dawn explosions outside an office of a coal mining company and then a shopping center in the eastern city of Makiyivka caused no casualties.

The authorities said they received letters from unknown assailants demanding money in exchange for not causing any more blasts, and they treated those explosions as acts of terrorism.

The Intellectual Disarming of the “Idiot Nation”

Has America Been Crippled By Intellectual Idiots?

Brandon Smith

As far back as I can remember, the overarching message of the American social atmosphere has been one of idolization.  Oh to one day join the ranks of the “professional class”; that 5% to 10% of our culture which enjoys unparalleled respect and an assumed position of knowledge, so much so that they are rarely even required to qualify themselves to anyone besides their own compatriots.  The goal of every person I knew during my formative years with a desire to succeed was to one day hold in their hands an official looking embossed document announcing their ascension to the ranks of the intellectually anointed.  I was never so keen on the idea…

The dangers of academic deification are numerous.  Those who dominate the educational language of the times determine the moral compass (or lack of compass) of the curriculum.  They control who is accepted and who is rejected, not by measure of intelligence or skill, but by their willingness to conform to the establishment ideal.  They construct a kind of automaton class, which has been taught not to learn independently, but to parrot propaganda without question.  Simultaneously, those of us who do not “make the grade” are relegated to the role of obliged worshippers; accepting the claims of the professional class as gospel regardless of how incorrect they happen to be.  To put it simply; the whole thing is disgustingly inbred.

Elitism has always lent itself to morbid forms of educational molestation.  This is nothing new, especially within their own limited circles.  However, to have such perversions of logic and reason gutting the minds of entire generations across endless stretches of our country without any counterbalance is a far more heinous state of affairs in the long run.  Ultimately, this highway can only lead to a deterioration of our future, and the death of reason itself.

Recently, I attended a discussion panel on Constitutionalism at a university in Helena, the capital of Montana, and admittedly, was not expecting much insight.  (At the moment of arrival I noticed the buildings had been plastered with Kony 2012 posters.  The campus seemed to be completely unaware that the YouTube film is a George Soros funded ‘Wag the Dog’ farce.)  Even in a fiercely independent region such as the Northern Rockies, the collectivist hardline reigns supreme on most college campuses.  Sadly, very few actual students attended the discussion, and the audience was predominantly made up of local political players, retired legislators, and faculty.  Surprisingly, Stewart Rhodes of Oath Keepers was invited to participate in the discussion, obviously to add at least some semblance of balance or “debate” to an otherwise one-sided affair.  The mix was like oil and water.

The overall tone was weighted with legal drudgery.  Many of the speakers were focused intently on secondary details and banal explorations into individual Constitutional cases without any regard for the bigger picture.  When confronted with questions on the indefinite detainment provisions of the NDAA, government surveillance, or executive ordered assassinations of U.S. citizens, the panelists responded with lukewarm apathy.  The solutions we discuss regularly within the Liberty Movement, such as state nullification based on the 10th Amendment, assertions of local political control through Constitutional Sheriffs, and even civil disobedience, were treated with indignant responses and general confusion.

A consistent theme arose from the academics present, trying to run damage control on Rhodes’ points on federal encroachment and ultimate tyranny.  Their position?  Defiance is unacceptable (or at least, not politically correct…).  Americans have NO recourse against a centralized government.  Not through their state and local representatives, and not through concerted confrontation.  In fact, to even suggest that states act on their own accord without permission is an outlandish idea.  In the end, the only outlet for the public is….to vote.

No one seemed to be able to address the fact that both major parties supported the exact same unconstitutional policies, thus making national level elections an act of pure futility. The point was brushed aside…

Sickly shades of socialism hung heavy in the room.  One speaker even suggested that the states could not possibly survive financially without centralized aid.  He was apparently too ignorant to understand that the federal government itself is bankrupt, incapable of producing true savings, and printing fiat Ad Nauseum just to stay afloat.  Every 30 seconds I heard a statement that made me cringe.

Universities are today’s centers of connection.  They are one of the last vestiges of American tribalism and community in an age of self isolation and artificial technological cultism.  Adults do not meet face to face much anymore to share knowledge, or discuss the troubles of the day.  The academic world provides such opportunity, but at a terrible price.  To connect with the world, students must comply.  To be taken seriously, they must adopt, consciously or unconsciously, the robes of the state.  They must abandon the passions of rebellion and become indifferent to the truth.  All actions and ideas must be embraced by the group, or cast aside.  They must live a life of dependency, breeding a culture of fear, for that which others keep for us, they can easily take away.

How could anyone possibly sustain themselves on a diet of congealing fantasy, and personal inadequacy?  The intellectual life bears other fruits as well.  Where it lacks in substance, it makes up for in ego, proving that being educated is not necessarily the same as being intelligent.  The following is a list of common character traits visible in the average intellectual idiot, a breed that poisons the American well, and is quickly eroding away any chance of Constitutional revival…

1)  An Obsession With The Appearance Of Objectivity 

I say “appearance” of objectivity because the intellectual idiot does indeed take sides on a regular basis, and the side he takes invariably benefits the establishment.  He would never admit to this, though, because he believes it gives him more credibility to at least be thought of as standing outside an issue looking in.  It is not uncommon to find Intellectual Idiots being contrary regardless of your view, even if they would normally agree.  They often try to approach debate with the façade of detachment, as if they do not care one way or the other.  The costume soon wears away, however, when they are faced with an opponent that is not impressed with their educational status.  I have seen lawyers, doctors, engineers, and even politicians devolve into sniveling toddlers when they are derailed by an argument beyond their ability to tap-dance around.  Their middle of the road persona evaporates, and the real person erupts like an ugly pustule…

2)  Clings To Labels And Status

Like anyone else, Intellectual Idiots cradle a philosophy they believe in, or are told to believe in.  But unlike most of us, they see themselves above the scrutiny of those who do not pursue a similar academic path (i.e. only a lawyer should be allowed to debate another lawyer).  The reality is, anyone is privy to the information a proponent of the professional class knows.  With the advent of the internet, it is easier than ever to educate one’s self on multiple subjects without aid if that person has the determination to do so.  Reputation is not earned by shelling out tens of thousands of dollars for university approval.  A Masters Degree or Ph.D is not a get out of logic free card.  In fact, because the Intellectual Idiot often uses his position to avoid true opposition, he tends to become lazy and even more incapable of defending his methodologies when the time comes.

3)  Predominantly Collectivist

The curriculum of the average college is partly to blame for this, and because the Intellectual Idiot is so desperate for acceptance and accolades, they can’t help but fall into the trap.  Collectivism is marked by a distinct attachment to the state as the source of life.  All social and all individual crises thus become a matter of government purview.  Individual self reliance is a terrifying notion to them.  In fact, many Intellectual Idiots have lived on the dole since they were born, moving from their family’s money, to state money through grants and loans.  It is not unheard of for these people to become career students, avoiding work for years, and then moving on to a bureaucratic job when the free money runs out.  They cannot fathom why anyone would rebel against the system, because they are a part of a select group which has always benefited from it.  How could the federal government be bad when it has paid their way for half of their existence?

4)  Disconnection From Reality 

The Intellectual Idiot is not necessarily afraid to acknowledge that the system is troubled.  For them, the federal government is not infallible, even if their favorite party is in office, but, it IS unapproachable.  Academics revel in the disastrous nature of government.  They see political and social catastrophe as a sort of mental gameplay.  An exercise in theoretical structures.  For them, America is not a country built on an enduring set of principles, but a petri dish; an ongoing anthropological experiment that they can watch through a microscope at their leisure.  The idea that the disasters they view from the safety of their sub-cultural bubble might one day come to haunt them is a distant one.

5)  Abhors Those Who Step Out Of Bounds 

Have you ever entertained a view that went against the grain of the mainstream only to be met with accusations of extremism and sneers befitting a leper?  You were probably talking to an intellectual idiot.  The rules, no matter how distasteful or meaningless, hold special power for these people.  They make the system what it is, and when the system is your great provider, you might lean towards defending it, even in the wake of oligarchy and abuse.   This penchant for overt structure for the sake of centralization is especially damaging to our Constitutional rights, because alternative solutions are never treated as viable.  During the panel discussion in Helena, pro-collectivists consistently tried to redirect the conversation away from the 10th Amendment as a method to counter federal overreach.  They did this by bringing up abuses of the states, including slavery and segregation, as if that somehow negated the nightmare of the NDAA.

Ironically, they saw the use of violence by the federal government to push states to recognize civil liberties as perfectly practical.  But, the use of force by states to protect the same civil liberties from Washington D.C.?  That would be lunacy…

6)  Believes Academia To Be Free From Bias

The Intellectual Idiot assimilates every bit of information he is given at the university level without a second look.  He simply assumes it is all true, and if something appears mismatched, it is only because he does not yet fully grasp it.  Very rarely will he go beyond designated source materials to get a different opinion.  This habit is the root of his idiocy.  Being that most universities draw from the same exact materials, and peer reviewed papers are usually tested by those with the exact same underlying educational backgrounds, I can’t see how it is possible for much variety of thought to form.  Whether intentional or not, severe bias cannot be avoided in this kind of environment without considerable strength of heart.

The shock that these people express when faced with Liberty Movement philosophies is quite real.  They have spent the very focus of their future life within the confines of a miniscule spectrum of truth; like seeing technicolor for the first time after a long limited existence in black and white.

It’s hard to say when it all really began, but for decades, Americans have been progressively tuned like pliable radio antenna to the song of the elitist intellectual.  Many of us want to be him.  Others want to follow him, straight to oblivion if need be, as long as they don’t have to blaze their own trail.  This is not to say all professionals are a danger to the Republic.  Some are fantastic proponents of freedom.  But, without a drastic reversal in current educational trends, I see little hope of Constitutional guardians becoming a mainstay of U.S. campuses in the near term.

With mashed potato minds fresh from the psychological Cuisinart of public schools, the next generation in line to inherit the most fantastically schizophrenic nation in history will be like candy for social engineers; utterly unequipped for the mission.  Strangely, the drastic financial slide the elites have also triggered might hold the key to our salvation.  The next batch of would be statist citizens may find themselves so poor that higher educational brainwashing will be impossible to afford, giving them precious time to think for themselves, and come to their own conclusions.   As they say, in all things, there is a silver lining…

You can contact Brandon Smith at:  brandon@alt-market.com

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Boko Haram, the Case of a Hijacked Revolution

Boko Haram, the Case of a Hijacked Revolution

By Honourable Saka 
My Photo

 Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states. According to the CIA World Fact Book, Nigeria is slightly more than twice the size of California. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast in the south lies on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The above description paints a picture of how exposed Nigerian borders could be at any time.
The three largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria are the HausaIgbo and Yoruba. In terms of religion Nigeria is roughly split into halves between Muslims in the North and Christians in the South. However, a very small minority practice traditional religion, as often portrayed in Nigerian/African movies.
Recently, the incidences of bombings which create general insecurity in Nigeria have become frequent and much more dangerous. During the 50th independence anniversary celebrations, a powerful bomb exploded at the Eagle Square, killing at least 12 people and maiming others. A similar bomb exploded at a military cantonment in Abuja killing several people, leaving many others wounded. This was suddenly followed by a terrific multiple bomb blasts that left at least 143 people dead, 100 bodies were taken to a morgue at Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital in the city centre.
In another instance, a powerful bomb detonated at the Nigeria’s Police Headquarters killing about a dozen and injuring many. Then there was the United Nations’ headquarters in Abuja where 22 people were killed and several others wounded following a suicide bomb attack.  Just a few weeks later, another suicide bomb attack happened in a church killing 43 and injuring 72 of Christian worshipers. This month (8th April 2012), during the Easter ceremony, officials say at least 38 people died in a car bomb somewhere in the northern city of Kaduna. A few hours later, another bomb detonated in the central city of Jos, living tens of people wounded. The list goes on and on…
             
Boko Haram’s attack in Kano killed about hundred people

Fear and Panic spread across Nigeria
Nowadays, the possibility that a bomb may explode in Nigeria, at any public gathering such as Independence Day celebrations, Christmas, Easter, and traditional festivals, cannot be in doubt. The US Embassy in Nigeria therefore warned its citizens on April 17 2012, that “Boko Haram” may be planning more attacks in the Nigerian capital, including hotels.
“Boko Haram has been blamed for most attacks in Nigeria, but the dimension and scope of the current bomb attacks have shifted the attention of experts to the possibility of external influence. The bomb attacks according to experts have become bigger and more sophisticated. The targets also have become more diversified and include both Muslims and Christians, mosques and churches: a clear departure from its original focus”, reports Danjuma Abdullahi.
But what was the “original focus” of Boko Haram? Have their initial agenda been hijacked and by whom? There is a strong belief among many Nigerians that some politicians in the country secretly fund this radical group. Others also point to the possibility of external influence. After all it is an established fact that even rebel leaders like Charles Taylor was secretly funded by certain western countries.
In a recent TV interview conducted with Dr Abdulrahman Hamisu, an expert from the University of Abuja, made shocking observation:
“Let us take ourselves back to the predictions of America that by the year 2015, Nigeria is going to break into different entities. And if you look at what is happening today, it tallies with the steps and the methodology that has to be used in order to attain that aim. It was reported that many CIA, FBI and Mossad agents were allowed access to Abuja in order to ‘assist our security agencies’. From what is happening in the Middle East and other places where CIA and Mossad have been to, (it has) shown clearly that the same pattern that is been used (in the Middle East) is currently been replayed here in Nigeria; only that there is a slight modification because of the difference in the actors in Nigeria”.
In Nigeria, the terrorists are not fighting against (anybody), but are fighting for a foreign enemy.
In a related interview, Mr Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, a Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Coordinator (Nigeria), had this to say:
“There is no way a fellow Nigerian will kill another Nigerian, and you could see that this crisis is coming from different perspective; some people from the outside, are determined to bring down this country”.

Boko Haram, Who are they? What were their demands?
Since 2002, there have been many reported clashes, particularly in the North of the country, between government forces and the Islamists Boko Haram, militant jihadists whom we’re currently only told ‘seek to establish sharia law’. The group was founded in 2002 by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf. Yusuf is hostile to ‘democracy’ and the secular education system. He vowed that “this war that is yet to start would continue for long” if the “political” and “educational” system were not changed. (www.naijan.com).

First of all, it must be understood that the political system in Nigeria, is characterized by massive corruption and of course corruption in Nigeria is the worst on the African continent. This is a fact that nobody can dispute.
Reportedly, Boko Haram started as a small non-violent group who were often seen in the markets and the communities, preaching their anti-western ideologies. Their initial and real demands were as follows:
·         Nigerian politicians and government officials must abolish their flamboyant lifestyles which are often inspired by foreign (western) culture. This desire of politicians to live like western celebrities, driving expensive cars, living in posh houses, buying properties abroad, travelling on expensive shopping spree, sending their families to study in expensive overseas universities, have resulted in mass corruption and the stealing of state funds at a time when most Nigerians are living below the poverty line.
·
          The group also demanded the abolishment of western (colonial) educational system in Nigeria. They believed that the current educational system in Nigeria is a colonial tool that has distorted African history and has cast a dark shadow over the African culture. The colonial educational system has produced bad and corrupt leaders. Therefore they called western education “a sin”. This is not new because even Kwame Nkrumah in his book “Consciencism” (pg.62) proved that: “The history of Africa, as presented by European scholars, has been encumbered with malicious myths”.  He also said “there are certain feudal-minded elements (public officials) who became imbued with European ideals either through direct European education or through hobnobbing with the local colonial administrative system” (pg.69).
·         They also advocated for the establishment of a sharia law.
Unfortunately, their third demand is the only thing which the mainstream media seem to talk about, while deliberately ignoring the two most important demands. Is it because the other two demands are a threat to the imperial powers and their puppet corrupt politicians? But this is clearly understandable because the corporate media today is serving an agenda: to defend the interest of the global elites who want to enslave humanity using puppet and corrupt politicians as their pawns.
Gradually, Boko Haram strengthened their sphere of influence and became a radical political party determined to take their anti-corruption and anti-western culture to the highest level. This posed an immediate danger to the existing political establishment who did not welcome the anti-corruption campaign and also the imperial powers who saw an imminent danger to the colonial educational system they have successfully imposed on the Nigerian people.
Then one day in 2009, the then President Yar’Adua ordered the persecution and aggressive crack-downs by the Nigerian security service. This brought about a violent revenge from Boko Haram. The crackdown was brutal and resulted in the death of around 700 innocent people. Many of the victims were publicly executed on suspicions that they were members of Boko Haram even without any clear proof and without a fair trial.

But who could have advised the president on such a course?
 Well, according to information available, and from Dr Abdulrahman Hamisu, of  the University of AbujaIt was reported that many CIA, FBI and Mossad agents were invited to Abuja in order to ‘assist the Nigerian security agencies’ and to advise them on how to deal with Boko Haram. Therefore it is reasonable to beleive that the leaders were following    directives from these foreign “advisers”.

Were their Demands Legitimate?
Of course yes. It is a well-established fact that politically, Nigeria is the most corrupt country in Africa.According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (Abuja), about 74% of Nigerians in the north live in abject poverty, while 63% in the south also live below the poverty line. The major question one would ask is: how could that be? Nigeria is a country that is so rich in natural resources, notable among these are: natural gas, petroleum, tin, iron ore, coal, limestone, niobium, lead, zinc, arable land, timber and many more. Additionally, Nigeria has a  huge human resource reserves, a population of over 150 million people, most of them very intelligent, creative, productive and above all hardworking.
According to Garba Sani, an analyst at Pan-Africanist International
“From the perspective of Northern Nigerians, since the days of colonialism, Western style education and Christianity have been imposed upon them as a package from the south. The response to this has been a resistance to Western education and the Western way of life. However, this is not simply a cultural sentiment. The civil servants and politicians produced by this system are seen conspicuously wasting money. Poor Nigerians see their politicians flying abroad, shopping in Dubai, and sending their children to expensive Western schools. Consequently people feel that the leadership is devoid of justice, and when they call for the abolishment of western educational system, fighting corruption and the establishment of Sharia law it is not about religious piety but reflects a desire for a more just system.
The resentment fostered among the youth of Northern Nigeria is where Boko Haram has its beginnings”.
It must be understood that Boko Haram originally started as a revolution which declared a war on the corrupt lifestyle of many Nigerian politicians. The leaders of this group clearly understood that corruption in government, embezzlement of public funds by politicians is part of the gentleman’s way of stealing. To the politicians, once they can “balance the books” at the end of the day, it means they can steal as much as they want. Many politicians often embark on foreign trips and spend as much state funds as they wish at the expense of the taxpayer. Such exorbitant lifestyles of public officials in Africa only came about as a result of the public officials’ desire to live like western celebrities. However, this lifestyle is not a true African culture. Traditionally, it is a “taboo” (sin) for any an African to steal. In some communities, a thief can be banished (exiled) for stealing. Therefore how come African leaders (politicians) are looting and stealing from the national coffers without any guilt? It is basically because they do not appreciate the African culture.
It is said that if anyone wants to influence a people, first it is important to influence/destroy their culture, their educational system, their thought and their beliefs.
Kwame Nkrumah in his book “Neo-Colonialism” (pg.35) held that, the West used the old colonialist methods of religious, educational and cultural infiltration to influence the African mentality and our current way of life.
This is why many people, Boko Haram included have every reason to believe that there is the need for a radical educational reforms to be implemented: an educational system that will harness African norms and values. There is also the need to fight corruption in Africa that is inspired by the western fashionable lifestyle.

Poverty in Nigeria, a Political Tool
Many Nigerian writers have underscored the fact that poverty in the country is artificial. It was created by a political incompetence and bad economic policies.. The solution likewise requires a political approach. In an article
“I’d Rather Bomb ASO ROCK Than Have My Children As Slaves (A warning to leaders marked by the beast)” the author reveals the frustration of the ordinary Nigerian which is as a result of the bad economic policies and the corrupt attitude of the ruling elites. In strong-worded statements the author writes:
“I’ll rather have all the senators, the house of assembly members, and even the Aso Rock (the presidential palace) -all those who squander more than 25 percent of the national budget bombed and wiped out than have my children continue in slavery to this hell called Nigeria and its politicians. It does not matter who amongst these evil leaders are reading this and planning on how to stretch their “human looting” to me, you will perish in your thoughts! I’ll rather have all PDP ( Peoples Democratic Party) chieftains and all they have stolen in decades wiped off the earth than let my children feel the helpless pain I was born into and have lived with because of Nigeria. I would rather start every form of evil with those leaders who, from every angle, compel Nigerians into all forms of evil as means for survival. I would rather be a friend of Osama Bin Laden, though dead, than shake hands with these black monsters who call themselves “honourables” in Nigeria. And my life is not more precious to me than uprooting every tree of evil in my land and destroying those soulless leaders and restoring to those who live within Nigeria the freedom that is rightfully theirs as citizens of life. “These are the silent and helpless cries in every Nigerian youth’s soul, the cries of people who, with me, abhor the evil foundation of Nigeria and its leadership. (Ikechukwu Enyiagu)
Therefore the Boko Haram revolution determined that the only way to end this cycle and to give a true meaning to the political system is to abolish the western-inspired lifestyles of the politicians, and to go back to our African lifestyle. This they believed could be achieved by implementing new educational reforms that clearly reflects the African values. A parallel line was therefore drawn between the current educational system, (a system that projects wealth, riches and exorbitant lifestyle as the only symptoms of a successful life) and the corruption in government. Incidentally, today’s educational system has become a privilege, rather than a right. Today, it is only the rich that can acquire knowledge (degrees), since the cost of high school and tertiary education are too expensive that most people can never afford it; or they may spend their entire life struggling to offset the debt that come with it.
Unfortunately, the powers that be, have in one way or the other managed to hijack a true revolution and turned it to a violent bombing campaign, discrediting their genuine intentions and  demands.

Rebel groups in Africa, how are they funded?
Over the years, many militants and rebel groups have propped up across Africa: the Al-Shabbab, the Tuareg Rebels (Mali), the Lord’s Resistance Army (Uganda), the National Liberation Forces (Burundi),The West Side Boys (Sierra Leon), Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FLR)the Congolese Revolutionary Movement (DR Congo)  the Somali Pirates, Boko Haram (Nigeria), The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Nigeria) and many more. Shockingly, many of them have often been spotted carrying very sophisticated weapons RPG-7, ZPU, and many weapons that can take down planes (anti-aircraft missiles). These are not weapons that could be manufactured in Nigeria, Somalia nor Uganda. Therefore how do these militants receive the weapons? Some of the answers are not far-fetched.
  Al-Shabaab rebels with large quantities of RPG missiles
During NATO’s war in Libya (2011), France and Qatar under the UN’s watch delivered weapons in large quantities to the rebels whom the Western press often referred to as “activists” and “revolutionaries”. In addition to the weapons, the rebels also received communication equipment which facilitated and coordinated their movements across the continent smoothly. Since many of the rebels consider themselves to be allies, who are working for a common purpose, it wasn’t difficult for some of the weapons that were delivered to rebels in Libya to be quickly mobilized and smuggled to other rebel groups in the West African region. It was recently reported that large amount of weapons from Libya have been found in Nigeria.
                     
Some kidnappers in Nigeria sometimes mistakenly called Boko Haram,armed with RPGs
In fact, the nature of weapons that are currently in the rebel’s hands are too sophisticated and expensive that the cost may run into hundreds of millions of US dollars. But how could the rebel fighters, often wanted for prosecution get the ability to buy those expensive weapons in such large quantities? No matter how rich the rebel leaders might be their continues ability to afford the weapons in large quantities for such a very long period of time would be impossible to imagine, if they have no form of sponsorship and the corporation of a few puppet politicians.
Recently, a Nigerian military task force stormed a militant hideout in the city and recovered six assembled bombs and another one under construction, Lieutenant Iweha Ikedichi told reporters. The bombs were made with drink cans and a drum of around 50 litres. This is an indication that the terrorists in Nigeria currently have experts who know how to assemble bombs. The fact that the militants can now manufacture bombs right in Nigeria is a very dangerous development. But the question still remains: who is behind these militants?
It is undeniable fact that many of the rebel groups in Africa today, especially in Central Africa (Al-Sahabaab) are real terrorists who have been destabilizing the peace and security across the region. However, it must also be understood that there were many other groups like the Niyabinghi warriors, who fought against the corrupting power of the Elders and paganism. There was also the Nelson Mandela’s Armed Anti-apartheid Rebellion which used armed struggle as a last resort to free his people from a racist apartheid government.
In this regard, it must be exposed that the case of Boko Haram is one of a hijacked revolution. For all we know, the real Boko Haram group may not be the ones in the news today. It is a revolution whose main mission posed a direct threat to the Neo-colonialists and their puppet corrupt politicians. But thanks to a few terrorists groups and the corporate mainstream media, the hijack of such a true revolution appears to have succeeded. Whereas the original campaign to fight corruption in Nigeria and to modify the colonial educational system has become a fantasy.

Notes: 
1)  Kwame Nkrumah (1964) “Consciencism”. Panaf Books: London
2)  Kwame Nkrumah (1965) “Neo-Colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism”. Panaf Books: London
By Honourable Saka
The author is a regular writer and a political analyst on African affairs, and a well-known social commentator in Africa. He is the editor of “The Doctor’s Report”, your most reliable source of critical analysis on African affairs. He is a strong Pan-Africanist, a youth activist and the founder of the “Leaders of Tomorrow”, a transformational and inspirational group of possible future leaders. Please visit his blog at:www.honourablesaka.blogspot.co.uk and reach him by Email at:honourablesaka@yahoo.co.uk