ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Indian Army Launches Airstrikes Into Kashmir–Pak. Threatens Tactical Nukes

[Pakistan defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif threatens to unleash nukes against India]

India’s rupee and bonds extended losses, while local stocks plunged after the nation said it attacked terrorist camps in Pakistan.

The currency weakened 0.6 percent, the most since June, to 66.8575 per dollar as of 2:08 p.m. in Mumbai. The main S&P BSE Sensex dropped 1.4 percent, paring an earlier loss of 2 percent. The yield on sovereign notes due September 2026 surged 7 basis points to 6.85 percent, set for the biggest jump for a benchmark 10-year security since August 2015. The central bank was seen selling dollars through state-run banks to stem the rupee’s decline, traders said.

India carried out the surgical strikes on Wednesday night, Director General of Military Operations Ranbir Singh said in New Delhi. There are no plans to continue operations, he added.

“This is negative for the economy,” said Ashtosh Raina, Mumbai-based head of foreign-exchange trading at HDFC Bank Ltd. “Any strike, any tension across the border is definitely going to hurt sentiment.”

Escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors could sour sentiment for foreign investors who have pumped the most money into Indian stocks and bonds this quarter since March 2015. India’s attack follows a deadly assault on an Indian army camp that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration blames on Pakistan, whose leaders have denied involvement. The nations have fought three wars since they split from each other in 1947.

Some fund managers see the equity declines as an opportunity.

“India’s political risk as an investment destination may go up slightly,” Sunil Subramaniam, chief executive officer at Sundaram Asset Management Co., which oversees the equivalent of $3.7 billion, said by phone from Mumbai. “It’s a good time to use the declines to buy stocks linked to the economy as strikes by India don’t alter the economic outlook.”

Heavy casualties were inflicted on militants assembled to infiltrate into India, Singh said at a news conference. Pakistan’s KSE100 Index erased a gain of as much as 1.3 percent and was trading 0.2 percent lower. The notion of a surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by India to create false effects, Pakistan’s military said in a statement Thursday.

Kargil War

The last major conflict between the two countries occurred when Pakistani troops invaded Kargil, in the northern Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir in late May 1999, only to withdraw in mid-July. India launched air strikes on May 27 that year to flush out the rebels, causing the Sensex to tumble 2.8 percent on the day.

Even so, the equity gauge rallied for three months through August as the government took steps to boost investments and spurred tax collections to help overcome the additional costs borne due to the conflict. The measure’s 64 percent jump in 1999 was its biggest since 1991.

“If there is a full blown war, it may be problematic in the near term, but a small strike should not be a big worry for the markets,” Sampath Reddy, chief investment officer at Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co., which has about $6.5 billion in assets, said by phone.

Obama Fails To Protect Royal Saudi Terrorists–Bend Over Bandar

Legal Experts Say Law Allowing 9/11 Families to Sue Saudi Arabia Has Consequences

abcnews_logo_v2

  • By John Kruzel

PHOTO: Smoke pours from the World Trade Center after it was hit by two hijacked passenger planes, Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City.Robert Giroux/Getty Images

Smoke pours from the World Trade Center after it was hit by two hijacked passenger planes, Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City.

American interests around the world could face serious damage as a result of a new law that empowers U.S. citizens to sue any country with a role in terrorism committed on American soil, legal experts say.

The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) gives families and survivors of the September 11 attacks an avenue to pursue justice in American courts against Saudi Arabia, for what they believe is its connection to the terrorist attack.

Legal experts told ABC News that JASTA, which Congress passed today over President Barack Obama’s veto, opens the U.S. to lawsuits in foreign courts brought by other countries’ citizens, threatens American interests abroad and risks rupturing diplomatic relations.

What Does the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act Do?

The law allows U.S. citizens to sue any country they allege acted in a way connected to terror acts committed in the U.S. JASTA does this by removing a legal barrier known as sovereign immunity, an ancient legal doctrine that evolved over time to shield foreign countries from being answerable in another country’s courts.

JASTA was born after families of 9/11 victims intensely lobbied for the right to sue the Saudi government. But its effect is much broader and could result in U.S. citizen-led lawsuits against any country, said Curtis Bradley, a law professor at Duke University who co-directs the school’s Center for International and Comparative Law.

“It doesn’t require that the foreign country did anything in the United States, it’s not limited to just nations known to normally be associated with terrorism,” Bradley said. “Potentially any nation could be sued.”

Could This Lead to Lawsuits Against the U.S. in Foreign Courts?

President Barack Obama opposed the bill in part because he feared foreign countries would retaliate by eroding U.S. sovereign immunity. And according to Philip Bobbitt, a law professor at Columbia University who directs the school’s Center for National Security, the president’s concern is well-founded.

The U.S. has generally avoided making foreign governments accountable to individual American citizens because of the potential of leading to a disproportionate response, Bobbitt added.

“We feel often justifiably aggrieved until we step back and look at the global nature of our interests,” he said. “We see that we are so much more vulnerable than really any other state because we have businesses, and we have so many foreign bases, and because we have global interests to a degree that no other state has.”

Immunity is particularly vital in the context of U.S. military activities like drone strikes that are known to have claimed innocent lives, as well as military aid to U.S. allies, Bradley said.

“I’m sure some countries would be interested in saying our military aid to Israel is aiding and abetting things that they would allege are sometimes war crimes against the Palestinians,” he said. “We normally benefit significantly by being able to say we have immunity from those kinds of claims around the world.”

Laura Donohue, a Georgetown law professor who heads the school’s Center on National Security and the Law, said the U.S. has more to lose than other countries by having sovereign immunity eroded.

“This is very dangerous—and some would argue even more dangerous—than the risk to other countries because the United States has such a global presence that if we then are no longer protected by sovereign immunity elsewhere, then it raises a lot a much more difficult situation for us than it would for any other country,” she said. “So at some level, this is a huge mistake for us.”

Could This Hurt U.S. Diplomatic Relations?

Donohue said the law has potential to seriously undermine American diplomatic relations abroad, as well as weaken U.S. negotiating leverage.

“If the United States is trying to engage in a negotiation with a country at the time when its citizens are suing that country in court, it makes it more difficult for the president and the executive branch to actually engage in that negotiation,” she said. “If we’re in a negotiation with another country and they have our diplomat and suddenly our diplomat is arrested on local criminal charges, they can use that as leverage in the greater negotiation between the state powers.”

An unintended consequence of the new law could be to undermine U.S. counter-terrorism partnerships, Bradley noted.

“A sad irony of this bill, which I understand may have the noble purpose of helping the 9/11 victims, is that it could well undermine some cooperation between the United States and other countries designed to combat terrorism,” he said. “It’s going to be harder to work with them to address the very problem we’re all worried about which is global terrorism.”

America’s Passive Aggressive Foreign Policy

America’s Deceptive Model for Aggression

consortium

Since NATO’s 1999 war on Serbia, U.S. officials have followed a script demonizing targeted foreign leaders, calling ultimatums “diplomacy,” lying about “war as a last resort” and selling aggression as humanitarianism.

By Nicolas J S Davies

Across the political spectrum, U.S. leaders insist that they will only go to war “as a last resort.” They want us to believe that they will try every peaceful means to resolve differences with other countries before resorting to war. But if those “peaceful means” mean only ultimatums that are unacceptable to the target country, then U.S. leaders are simply going through a diplomatic charade before going to war.

In such a case, “war as a last resort” refers only to the means of achieving a goal, not to the rights or wrongs of the goal itself. If the underlying purpose is to impose the will of the U.S. government on another country or society, then “war as a last resort” amounts to an illegal threat of war to compel a country to submit to U.S. demands, not a commitment to peace or to the rule of law.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

As I wrote last February, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton uses the term “diplomacy” to mean precisely this kind of brinksmanship, which creates a pretext for war if the other side won’t back down and is quite different from diplomacy to resolve international disputes peacefully, as required by the United Nations Charter and customary international law.

When Clinton told a televised “national security” forum that she “view(s) force as a last resort, not a first choice,” she was echoing what she and Sen. Bernie Sanders both said in Democratic Party debates. But in Clinton’s case, using the phrase “last resort” in this way is a clever way to reassure her listeners without actually modifying her hawkish and coercive approach to international relations. By contrast, Sanders was on firmer ground since he voted against two wars on Iraq (in 1990 and 2002), but did vote for war on Yugoslavia in 1999, a vote he still defends.

In negotiations at Rambouillet, France, in 1999, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright gave Yugoslavia only a devil’s choice between agreeing to a NATO military occupation (of all its remaining territory, not just Kosovo) and a NATO assault. When President Slobodan Milosevic refused these impossible terms, the West blamed him for triggering a U.S.-led war that was neither a war of self-defense nor a U.N.-backed collective security operation. In other words, it was a war of aggression by the U.S. and NATO against a largely defenseless nation.

But Milosevic had been so thoroughly demonized that few Americans seriously considered Yugoslavia’s position. Today, even fewer Americans know that the man our leaders tagged as a “new Hitler” and the “Butcher of the Balkans” was eventually exonerated by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), ten years after he died of a heart attack in a prison cell at The Hague.

Few also remember that the 1,380-member-strong Kosovo Verification Mission (KVM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was withdrawn six days before NATO began its aerial bombardment.

Pascal Neuffer, a Swiss member of the KVM, said, “The situation on the ground on the eve of the bombing did not justify a military intervention. We could certainly have continued our work. And the explanations given in the press, saying the mission was compromised by Serb threats, did not correspond to what I saw. Let’s say rather that we were evacuated because NATO had decided to bomb.”

The political stage was set for NATO’s assault on Yugoslavia by a battle in a village called Racak two months earlier. Yugoslav forces attacked CIA-backed Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) fighters who had terrorized the area and ambushed police patrols. The head of the KVM, former U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador William Walker, arrived in Racak the next day and misreported the battle to uncritical Western media as a massacre of civilians by Serb forces.

But autopsies conducted by Yugoslav, Belarusian and Finnish medical examiners contradicted Walker’s account. The dead did not appear to be victims of summary execution. They died from a variety of gunshot wounds, as in any firefight; only one of 40 corpses examined was shot at close range; and there were only one woman and one teenage boy among the otherwise adult male bodies.

While the Western media largely parroted Walker’s false account, and the confirmation of the autopsy results by the Finnish medical examiners was only partially made public in a journal article two years later, two French reporters in Kosovo immediately challenged Walker’s narrative based on Associated Press video footage of the battle and other anomalies.

Questioning a Massacre

Christophe Chatelet’s article in Le Monde was headlined, “Were the dead in Racak really massacred in cold blood?” Describing how the KLA who reoccupied the village the evening after the battle appeared to have staged the scene to look like the result of a massacre, Le Figaro’s veteran Yugoslavia correspondent Renaud Girard presciently concluded his story on Racak with a rhetorical question, “did the KLA seek to transform a military defeat into a political victory?”

Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic.

Racak was the “atrocity” needed by President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Albright to rally the media, the public and otherwise progressive Members of Congress like Bernie Sanders to support a war of aggression. The U.S. and its allies then dropped 23,000 bombs and missiles on civilian as well as military targets across Yugoslavia, killing thousands of civilians and striking hospitals, schools, power stations, private homes, a TV station and the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade.

Kosovo was annexed as a NATO protectorate, and Hashim Thaci, the KLA leader and organized crime figure whom Albright had chosen over Kosovo’s political leaders to head its delegation at Rambouillet, is now the president of a new nation that has struggled for stability and international recognition.

But Thaci’s days in the sun may be numbered – Le Figaro reported in March that an international court is preparing new charges against him. One shocking charge, already well documented by former ICTY prosecutor Carla Del Ponte and an investigation by the Council of Europe, is that Thaci was the head of a criminal gang that exploited the chaos of Kosovo under NATO bombing to murder up to 500 Serbian and Roma prisoners so that they could harvest their internal organs to sell on the international transplant market.

But the Kosovo Model has served Western warmongers well. The exaggeration or fabrication of atrocities by U.S. enemies and the blind eye turned to atrocities by U.S. allies are now standard fare whenever our leaders promote some new military intervention, and the subservient Western mainstream media remains reliable allies in these deceptions. If a foreign leader has been sufficiently demonized by Western propaganda, even baseless predictions of unlikely atrocities can serve as a cases belli, as was the case in Libya in 2011.

The U.K. parliament’s foreign affairs committee recently concluded an inquiry into the Western destruction of Libya. One of its key findings was that the British government “failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated,” because it “selectively took elements of Gaddafi’s rhetoric at face value.”

Of course, it was Western governments themselves who “overstated” the threat to civilians in Benghazi from Libyan government forces. The cherry-picking of Colonel Gaddafi’s statements ignored his offer of amnesty to rebels who laid down their arms. There were also no massacres in other towns recaptured by Libyan government forces.

The committee also concluded that the emergence of “militant extremist groups” among the NATO-backed rebels was entirely predictable; and that the U.K. “drifted into an opportunistic policy of regime change” that “was not underpinned by a strategy to support and shape post-Gaddafi Libya.”

Yet, just last April in a Democratic presidential debate, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was still repeating the same propaganda line, justifying the U.S.-supported “regime change” on the grounds that Gaddafi was a “genocidal” dictator.

If only the world had been presented with an honest account of our country’s international crimes against Yugoslavia in 1999, the worldwide civil society resistance to Western aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya would have been strengthened by broader awareness of the dangers of U.S. militarism and the deceptive role of Western propaganda in setting the stage for war.

We’ll never know for sure, but that might just have tipped the balance in favor of those who insisted that only the guilty should be punished for the crimes of 9/11, not millions of innocent people in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.

Massive Military Spending

Politicians and candidates keep telling us that the key to our safety and security lies in the strength of the U.S. military, which must therefore always be two or three times larger and more expensive than those of all its potential enemies combined. The U.S. today spends more on its military than the sum of our nine closest military competitors (most of whom are U.S. allies in any case) and more than the total military spending of 182 less militarized countries combined.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

Barack Obama and George W. Bush at the White House.

Despite the chaos unleashed by decades of military adventurism, U.S. leaders seem blissfully unaware that this lop-sided military imbalance is undermining global security and stability instead of improving it. After President George W. Bush oversaw the most expensive unilateral arms build-up in history, President Obama has achieved what would have seemed impossible to most Americans in 2008 – he has actually outspent Bush.

The reason that this imbalance is so dangerous lies in the very nature of military force. Weapons of war are designed to wound, maim or kill people, not to help them in any way. Bombs and missiles do not rebuild buildings, cities or societies – they only damage or destroy them.

The term “regime change” is a misnomer. Overwhelming military force does not “change” regimes – it just destroys them. We should understand by now that when our leaders threaten to “change” a regime by military force, that will replace it only with rubble, graveyards, chaos, corruption and poverty.

But this huge imbalance in military forces and expenditures creates the dangerous illusion that our leaders can threaten or use military force to reshape the world as they see fit, to solve any problem or achieve any geostrategic goal. Corporate media, from Hollywood to the New York Times, spin this military madness into a full-fledged fantasy in which a country that doesn’t even provide its own people with basic human rights like healthcare, housing or a subsistence living, and instead manages poverty with aggressive, militarized policing and mass incarceration, is cast as a global warrior for democracy and human rights.

U.S. leaders saw the collapse of the Soviet Union as an ideological victory that opened doors to expand the U.S.-based capitalist economic system to the four corners of the world. They have bullied and bribed compliant governments to join U.S.-led trade and investment schemes that prioritize concentration of wealth and power over people and the environment.

Countries that resist integration into this neoliberal system or try to develop alternative models are subject to withering propaganda, crippling sanctions, U.S.-backed coups and, in the “last resort,” to the threat and catastrophic use of military force.

This strategy and the role of the U.S. military in enforcing it have now been explicitly detailed in U.S. policy documents for 25 years, beginning with the original version of the Pentagon’s “Defense Planning Guidance” that was leaked to the New York Times in 1992. This U.S. policy of illegal, unilateral use of force to “protect vital U.S. interests,” explicitly defined to include “uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies and strategic resources,” was formally unveiled to the world in the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review and the 2002 National Security Strategy.

The late Sen. Edward Kennedy condemned the latter as “a call for 21st century American imperialism that no other country can or should accept.” But there is no hint that the spiral of violence and chaos our leaders have unleashed across the world has led them to rethink their commitment to the illegal threat and use of military force as an instrument of U.S. policy.

What we need from our political leaders and candidates is not the threat of more “last resort” wars on the Kosovo model, but a new commitment to peace and international law, most importantly to the U.N. Charter’s prohibition on the threat or use of military force.

Until then, we should interpret deceptive formulations like “force as a last resort” as meaning that our leaders remain committed to an endless state of war that they have no idea how to contain or control. If humanity and civilization are to survive, we must force them to consider a very different “last resort”: peace, disarmament and a rule of law that governs the rich and powerful as well as the poor and downtrodden.

Nicolas J S Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.  He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

Al-Qaeda and Pakistan’s ISI are one and the same

Al-Qaeda and Pakistan’s ISI are one and the same–

Their differences over Kashmir is a smokescreen

firstpost

On 22 September, just four days after the Uri attack, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) released a statement accusing Pakistan and its military and spy agencies of betraying Kashmiris. Issued by AQIS spokesman Ustad Usama Mahmood, the statement says: “History testifies to the fact that fighting under the supervision and with the cooperation of Pakistani agencies is tantamount to wasting the fruitage of jihad and getting injustice on oppressed Kashmiris to increase.”

Earlier in mid-July, an AQIS statement had urged Kashmiris to follow in the footsteps of Burhan Wani, the Hizbul Mujahideen commander killed by the security forces.

With regard to statements from within Pakistan attributed to jihadi groups, we know the following: one, the Pakistan military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) continued to release statements in the name of Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar for several years after his death in 2013, which was ultimately revealed by the Afghan government on 29 July last year. Two, a 32-page Urdu document attributed to the Islamic State was handed from within Pakistan to a US journalist last year in which the Islamic State warned India of an Armageddon-like terror attack. But, there is credible reason that the document was authored by ISI. It was definitely not issued by the Islamic State.

Not many analysts grasp that Al-Qaeda, though led by Arab terrorists, is fundamentally a Pakistani organisation, a branch of ISI. It was established in Peshawar in 1988. This is a critical year when the Soviet troops stood defeated in Afghanistan. And the ISI – which had commanded the jihadi groups during Afghan jihad with the aid of US arms and Saudi money – had emerged victorious. The ISI thought that it had defeated the Soviets, the mighty power of the time, and birthed a plan to achieve a similar feat in Kashmir. There is no way Al-Qaeda could have been established in Peshawar without the ISI’s knowledge and support.

It is from Pakistan that Al-Qaeda spread to the Middle East. It is in Pakistan that Al-Qaeda’s top leadership, Osama bin Laden to Ayman Al-Zawahiri, has been protected, like the ISI protected Mullah Omar and continues to protect current Afghan Taliban leader Haibatullah Akhunzadah, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar, Jamaatud Dawa chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, who calls himself supreme commander of Hizbul Mujahideen but behaves like a sheepish peon before Pakistani officials in Muzaffarabad. Also, both the ISI and Al-Qaeda share the jihadi ideology to establish an Islamic Caliphate, with the only difference being that the ISI longs for Pakistan to be the head of such an international caliphate.

Both the ISI and Al-Qaeda are known to function in close cooperation. So, in all probability the 22 September statement was issued by AQIS to draw attention to the current unrest in Kashmir. It urges the Muslims of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh to support the Kashmiris, and adds: “ending the oppressive pagan system in the Subcontinent is also an obligation on us.” Kashmir is an ideological war for both Al-Qaeda and the ISI. In recent years, Al-Qaeda underwent ideological turmoil and frustration in recruiting Muslims from India, but its message did reach some two-dozen Indian Muslims who joined it and some of them have now moved to Syria to be with the Islamic State.

Ever since 9/11, Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf adopted a policy of pleasing Americans by offering ‘sacrifices’ of jihadis – by killing them and by arresting and handing them over to the US. Each time General Musharraf would land in Washington to meet with George Bush, some jihadi fighter would be arrested in staged operations and extradited to the US. Over the years, three types of disaffection emerged in Pakistan-based jihadi groups. First, Al-Qaeda began reviewing the Pakistani military’s relationship with Muslims sometime around 2010. This was the result of Arab fighters being killed in the border region in Pakistani army operations.

In its review of the Pakistani military’s relationship with Muslims, Al-Qaeda came out with a jihadi interpretation of South Asia’s history. Al-Qaeda statements and videos questioned the Pakistan army’s historical relationship with Muslims through past three centuries – back at least to the Battle of Plassey in 1757, or 190 years before Pakistan was created in 1947. Al-Qaeda videos pointed out that the Pakistan army – i.e. including the Muslim soldiers of British Indian army – killed Muslims both before 1947 and after it. Al-Qaeda argued that Muslim/Pakistani soldiers were involved in killing Muslims in Plassey in 1757, in Delhi in 1857, during missions in Iraq and Palestine during the World War I and II, in Dhaka in 1971, in Jordan in Black September 1970 commanded by General Zia-ul-Haq, in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas during post-9/11 years, and so on.

Two, an ideologically committed core of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan split from some of its leaders who played in the hands of the Pakistani intelligence agencies, notably Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Asmatullah Muawiya. Third, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and other arms of ISI underwent ideological turmoil, especially after Pakistan launched the 2007 military operation in Lal Masjid of Islamabad. JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar, though worried, remained loyal to Pakistan. But his deputy Shamsh Kashmiri split from the organisation over this issue. The ideological split also occurred because the Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters were tortured in Pakistani jails.

In this context, the ISI felt betrayed by the Pakistan army commanders and some of its soldiers went on to launch assassination attacks on General Musharraf. But the ISI remains part of the army, much as the jihadi groups continue to function as the long arm of the ISI. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated in a testimony before the US Congress in September 2011, that the Haqqani Network, the dominant unit of Afghan Taliban, was “a veritable arm of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.” Also, the US military officials classified the ISI as a terrorist organisation. As per the WikiLeaks revelations in April 2011, the US designated the ISI as one of the 32 “militant forces or organisations” with which Al-Qaeda had “an established working, supportive, or beneficiary relationship for the achievement of common goals.”

Both the ISI and its jihadi organisations continue to work in tandem to advance Pakistan’s objectives. The ISI is very much a jihadi organisation with a global ideological outlook. While being part of the Pakistani military which guards Pakistan’s territorial border, the ISI has nursed an ideological commitment for the Islamic Ummah and it stands to guard the ideological border of Pakistan as Madina-e-Sani (the second Medina), the first one being the Islamic state established by Prophet Muhammad in the Saudi city. The AQIS statement of September 22 observes: “The Kashmir dispute is not just a problem of the Muslims of Kashmir. It is problem of Pakistan and India’s Muslims, rather a problem of the entire Ummah’s 1.5 billion Muslims. The basis of this dispute is creed. Its basis is the very dispute between a Hindu and a Muslim.” This eternal Hindu-Muslim dispute, noted in this AQIS statement, is also the Two-Nation Theory that led to the creation of Pakistan and has been the bedrock of Pakistani thinking.So, why is it that the AQIS statement of September 22 accuses the Pakistani intelligence agencies of betraying Kashmiris while simultaneously advancing the cause of the ISI in Kashmir – and at a time it is known that the entire Intifada in Kashmir is planned, funded and executed by the ISI? For now, it appears that the September 22 statement seeks to defend its parent organisation the ISI by giving it believable deniability of any role in Kashmir. While Al-Qaeda affiliates in the Middle East have adopted operational autonomy, Indian security analysts must not fall into the trap that the AQIS and the ISI are different organisations.

Former BBC journalist Tufail Ahmad is a contributing editor at Firstpost, and executive director of the Open Source Institute, New Delhi. He tweets @tufailelif

One Alabama Old Boy With An International “Get Out of Jail Free” Card

matthew-craig-barrett-09-06-2016
MUG SHOT
Madison County
Full Name: Matthew Craig Barrett
Date:09/06/2016
Time: 7:06 PM
Arresting Agency: HUNTSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

[This (most recent) mug shot of Matthew Craig Barrett indicates that Barrett was locked-up in Huntsville within two weeks of his his latest expulsion from Pakistan (his second).  He was first arrested in Pakistan in 2011 outside the National Development Complex in Fatehjang, suburb, Rawalpindi, Pakistan’s primary plant for making M-11 missiles.  After being brought back home to Huntsville, he was arrested for drug-dealing in 2013.

On or about Aug. 23, 2016, Barrett was once again freed from a Pakistani jail and deported back home.  His mug shot above is dated Sept. 6, 2016. 

He claimed to have obtained a visa from the Pak. Embassy in Houston, TX to return to Pakistan in order to fix some paperwork for his Pakistani wife.  Why did Pakistan allow him to return only to send him right back?  Who keeps springing Barrett from US and Pakistani prisons (he was being held in Pakistan’s notorious “hanging jail,” Adiala.)]

Pakistan deports “blacklisted” U.S. national: officials

 Xinhua net

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) — Pakistan on Saturday deported a “blacklisted” American national two weeks after he was arrested in Islamabad, officials said.

Matthew Barrett was blacklisted and expelled in 2011 for his suspicious activities in Pakistan, according to the Interior Minister.

Barrett was questioned by the police about his arrival in Pakistan. The Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said last week that the U.S. national will be expelled as he is not welcomed in Pakistan.

“Matthew Barrett was deported from the city of Lahore Saturday morning,” officials said.

The interior ministry had suspended two immigration officials at Islamabad’s Benazir Bhutto International Airport for allowing the blacklisted man to enter Pakistan on Aug. 6.

The Interior Ministry has also sought clarification from the Pakistani consulate in Houston of the United States for issuing him the visa.

Russian For. Min. Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly–FULL TEXT

russian-embassy-london

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly,

New York, September 23, 2016

Mr Chairman,

Ladies and gentlemen,
A year ago, from the same rostrum at the anniversary session of the UN General Assembly, plenty of accurate assessments were made of the situation at this crucial stage of international development. The main theme was the recognition that humankind, in transitioning from a bipolar and unipolar international order to an objectively evolving polycentric, democratic system of international relations, is faced with challenges and threats that are common to all and that can only be overcome by joint efforts. It was rightly noted that there is a pressing need to change the philosophy governing relations between states and do away with attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of states and impose development models on countries and nations.
Unfortunately, the ideas of mentorship, superiority and exceptionalism, as well as the pursuit of one’s own interests at the expense of just and equitable cooperation, have become deeply ingrained among the political elites of a number of Western countries.
We can see the results of unilateral reckless solutions, born of a sense of infallibility, in the bleeding region of the Middle East and North Africa. This erodes the foundations of global stability.
It is high time to draw lessons and avert catastrophe in Syria. It was largely thanks to Russian military aid to the legitimate Syrian government in response to its request that the collapse of statehood and the country’s disintegration under terrorist pressure was prevented. Our involvement led to the creation of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) as a means to establish an effective political process to enable the Syrian people themselves to determine their country’s future through an inclusive dialogue between all ethnic and religious groups. This course, which has no alternative, was enshrined in UN Security Council resolutions and found its practical embodiment in the recent agreements between Russia and the United States as ISSG co-chairs.
The main thing now is to prevent the collapse of these agreements and to investigate objectively and without bias the incidents in Deir ez-Zor and Aleppo that undermine them, all the more so since there are plenty of those who wish to subvert the agreed-upon approaches to achieving a settlement in Syria. It is very important to implement the requirement of the UN Security Council to disassociate the so-called moderate opposition from the terrorists, and the members of the US-led coalition bear special responsibility in this respect. The refusal or inability to do this in the current conditions is bound to enhance suspicions that this is an attempt to take the heat off Jabhat al-Nusra and that the plans for regime change are still in place, which is a flagrant violation of the relevant resolution of the UN Security Council. It will be impossible to resolve the Syrian crisis and improve the frustrating humanitarian situation without suppressing ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and the extremist groups that have merged with it. This is the key to consolidating the ceasefire regime and achieving a nationwide truce. It is also unacceptable to delay the start of intra-Syrian talks without any preconditions, as UN Security Council Resolution 2254 requires. Overt subversion of the political process by some representatives of the foreign opposition with the connivance of their patrons is negatively affecting the prestige of the United Nations and suggests that the reason for this may be rooted in an attempt to create a pretext for regime change.
Ukraine, which is a country close to us, has fallen victim of those who like to play zero sum games. Its development was subverted by the unconstitutional coup and is now being blocked by Kiev’s refusal to abide by the Minsk agreements of February 12, 2015. It is obvious to everyone that efforts to use the Ukraine crisis for self-serving geopolitical goals will not go anywhere. We hope that the natural course of events will lead to the implementation of all measures that the Ukrainian leadership signed onto in Minsk. The recent meeting of the Contact Group gives us some grounds for a degree of optimism.
More broadly, the only way to make the Euro-Atlantic region a space of equitable and indivisible security and mutually beneficial cooperation, as the OSCE declared almost 20 years ago, is by honestly implementing all agreements. Neither NATO nor the EU can replace genuinely collective efforts in pursuit of common interests, without winners and losers.
And it is certainly intolerable to hold hostage to political ambitions such spheres as sport, which has always helped bring nations closer together and build friendship and trust. A desire to usurp the right to predetermine the outcome of the battle on the playing field does not improve the image of those who boast about their commitment to honest competition but in reality trample on the principles, approved by the UN General Assembly, of the independence and autonomy of sport and the inadmissibility of any discrimination in sport.
In today’s world, it is unacceptable to be guided by the philosophy of antiheroes from George Orwell’s dystopia Animal Farm where all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. In the enlightened 21st century, it is simply indecent to lecture anyone on what to do, while reserving the right to engage in doping, reckless unilateral actions without UN approval, geopolitical experiments that cost millions of humans lives, or extraterritorial blackmail against everyone, including one’s closest allies, whenever there is the chance of financial gain for one’s own kind. Or even the right to set the criteria of greatness for one country or another. It is my belief that this is unworthy of the principles of liberty and equality that once formed the foundation of the great nations in whose name their elites are now threatening the whole world.
This year, we are marking the 70th anniversary of the Nuremberg Tribunal verdicts. This anniversary will prevent us from forgetting the lessons of the Second World War, and remind us of the catastrophic consequences of attempts to control the fate of the world by trampling on the legitimate interests of other states or people. Freedom of expression or peaceful assembly should not be used as cover for condoning radical movements that profess the Nazi ideology, or seek to glorify fascists and their accomplices. The persistence of these vicious instincts calls for consistent efforts to block the way for neo-Nazism and revanchism, strengthen interethnic and intercultural harmony, and fortify in younger generations the ideas of justice and equality. Russia invites all of you to take part in the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students to be held in Sochi in October 2017.
There is no place for hegemonism in the future, if we want it to be fair and for people to be able to choose their own path of development. This requires learning to respect partners, as well as the cultural and civilizational diversity of today’s world. It’s about returning to the path, norms and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and other documents of this world organization. Russia reaffirmed its commitment to this approach by signing on June 25, 2016 a Russia-China Joint Declaration on the Promotion and Principles of International Law. The decency and legitimacy of any member of the international community should be measured by their respect for the principles of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in the internal affairs of others.
It is naïve to think that global issues like fighting international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other threats that transcend borders can be resolved without renouncing the philosophy of exclusivity and permissiveness.
There is no place for double standards when it comes to combating terrorism. No less than universal joint efforts are needed to form a broad counter-terrorism front, as President Vladimir Putin proposed at this podium one year ago. The tragedies of Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria are indicative of the need to stop opportunistic attempts to use extremists in order to further one’s geopolitical aims. Before it is too late, we need to focus on countering the spread of terrorist and extremist ideologies that are literally taking today’s youth hostage in various regions of the world. We are drafting a UN Security Council resolution aimed at mobilizing efforts to fight this scourge, and hope that you will support our initiative. The settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would also make a significant contribution to eliminating a breeding ground of radical sentiment. It is important to break this deadlock, which is precisely the objective of the July 1, 2016 report by the Quartet of Middle East mediators. Russia calls on all the parties to abide by its recommendations.
Trends in the areas of non-proliferation and weapons control are deeply troubling. There are attempts to replace the crucial task of sustaining strategic stability with populist slogans about “nuclear zero.” The fact that a number of nuclear weapons nations are not parties to existing treaties is also neglected.
The foundational Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is being subjected to pressure, with its parties finding it ever more difficult to find a common language, particularly as some nuclear powers torpedo any compromises that would allow for the start of negotiations on establishing a zone free of WMDs and their means of delivery in the Middle East.
Russia has consistently advocated liberating humankind from the threat of nuclear weapons and other kinds of weapons of mass destruction. But progress along the path to nuclear disarmament should proceed with a full accounting of the totality of factors affecting strategic stability, including the impact of unilateral global missile defense systems, the designing of non-nuclear strategic offensive weapons, the threat of placing weapons in space, the inability to ensure that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty takes effect, and the growing imbalance in conventional weapons in Europe.
We note the growing support for our initiative to draft an international convention on combating chemical and biological terrorist attacks. The start of substantial negotiations on this problem, as well as on the Russian-Chinese draft Treaty on the Non-Deployment of Weapons in Space, could end the impasse over the key component of the multilateral disarmament mechanism – the Disarmament Conference. We are also calling for careful consideration of our proposals on upgrading the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons.
NATO countries have led conventional weapons control in Europe to an impasse. Our attempts to rescue it encountered tough, ideological resistance. Any and all ideas on returning to this issue would only be worthwhile now if the North Atlantic Alliance realizes the absolute futility of ultimatums aimed at gaining unilateral advantages. We are still open to a dialogue with NATO based on equality and mutual respect, including dialogue through the OSCE.
It is also vital to enhance stability and ensure equal and indivisible security in other parts of the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific Region. Recent actions by the DPRK in violation of UN Security Council resolutions must stop. Russia calls on Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes and return to the NPT. However, this situation should not be used as a pretext for massive militarization of Northeast Asia and the deployment in the region of yet another positioning area for the US anti-missile defense shield. All parties must refrain from further escalating tensions and work towards a political and diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula by resuming negotiations.
Russia will continue to promote dialogue at East Asia Summits with a view to shaping a regional security and cooperation framework in the Asia-Pacific Region based on non-block principles. A number of participating countries, including Russia, India, China and Indonesia have put forward their proposals to this effect. We also invite all countries of the region to coordinate efforts aimed at implementing President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to create a broad Eurasian partnership that would bring together members of the Eurasian Economic Union, other CIS members, as well as members of the SCO, ASEAN and other interested countries. I would like to emphasize that this is an open initiative in full accord with earlier plans to create a single economic and humanitarian space between Russia and the EU. It will be based on WTO norms and principles, unlike projects to set up closed trade and investment blocks that threaten the unity of the global trading system.
Russia will continue promoting a unifying agenda in various international formats, primarily the UN, BRICS, SCO and the Group of Twenty. The recent Hangzhou Summit reaffirmed the G20’s status as a leading global economic and financial forum. Russia thanks the Chinese G20 Presidency for its efforts to make efficient use of this representative forum that provided us with an opportunity to exchange views on the key global economic and political issues for further promoting agreements in the universal framework of the UN.
The signing of the Paris Agreement to fight climate change has become a milestone for the United Nations. The fulfillment of nationally determined contributions is expected to ensure that the Agreement delivers on its stated purpose by keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. In order to achieve this goal, there is now a need to devise clear implementation rules and procedures regarding the Paris Agreement taking into account the interests of all participating countries. Launching the market and non-market mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as envisaged in Article 6 of the Agreement is now becoming a priority. Ultimately, this will be crucial for preventing the competitive environment from deteriorating and the transfer of polluting production facilities from one country to another to the detriment of efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals.
The United Nations was established with a view to “saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war” and promoting equal cooperation between states. Today, this aim covers all areas of international life and human interaction: from military and political aspects of security to climate change, from conflict settlement and peacekeeping to ensuring human rights and liberties, from sustainable development to fair IT regulations, from fighting terrorism and drug trafficking to combating corruption, from eradicating infectious diseases to affirming corporate social responsibility and encouraging scientific and technological advances. Of course, the purpose of the UN is also to promote dialogue between civilizations, support pluralism and equality among cultures and traditions, and fostering advances in research and the arts. In fact, this is a matter of preserving the humankind in all its rich diversity. It is this objective that should form the foundation for our collective efforts and become a global development imperative, an incentive for improving global governance and fostering true democracy in international relations.
I would like to express appreciation to His Excellency Ban Ki-moon, who made considerable efforts as UN Secretary-General to revitalize the world organization in keeping with the demands of the time.

We expect the next UN Secretary-General to contribute to reaching these objectives.

Russian Caliber Airstrike Kills 30 Western and Israeli Intel Officers

انطلاق صواريخ كاليبر الروسية

“Caliber” missiles targeted a foreign military leaders in Dera Izzat province of Aleppo

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According to the source field of the province of Aleppo, that the three rockets from Caliber kind launched by the Russian ships that recently targeted operations room for terrorists in Dera Izzat west of Aleppo in the Mount Simon, which is famous for the harsh nature of the mountainous and contains ancient caves area.

The source for “Sputnik”, the operations room with 30 leading officers of the Turkish and the US and Saudi Arabia and Qatar and the British army and the Mossad, running terrorist operations in Aleppo and Idlib.  people were able to escape from the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo , despite terrorist threats As for the situation on the ground now between the source that the Syrian army killed about 20 militants during the clashes, the last two days, in the 1070 area, where snipers are firing at present civilians in Hamdaniya area, note that there is a part of the 1070 area with parents, and part Last with the militants, and the third part military zone with the Syrian army.

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