CIA ATTACK ON ISLAMABAD AND MUMBAI

CIA ATTACK ON ISLAMABAD AND MUMBAI

By: Peter Chamberlin

The twin tragedies of hotel terrorism in Islamabad and Mumbai are clearly the empire’s new plans for world war III unfolding before us.  Human history is a record of all the successfully unfolded conspiracies, our time is no different.

The war on terror has revealed the true nature of the combatants and what they represent.  On one side, the American side, the secret agencies of all involved nations plot to expand the secret war that drives the real war, while on the other side the secret soldiers (criminals, radicals and mercenaries) who have been on America’s payroll for decades fight against and for their former bosses, providing the violence that justifies the real war.  Their resistance to the secret plans becomes “terrorism” when it is twisted by corporate media distortion.

In the Marriott bombing in Islamabad, the media blames the Baitullah Mehsud/Abdullah Mehsud/Guantanamo link, referred to as “Pakistani Taliban” (TTP), even though evidence suggests an aerial bunker-buster attack. 

In the assault on Mumbai, the media blames the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET)/Kashmiri insurgency/Pakistani secret service (ISI), even though gathering evidence suggests

that the attack may have been the work of Hindu extremists.

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Mumbai cop, left for dead, rides with gunmen

“The young gunmen said little during the harrowing drive, but spoke Hindi with a strong Punjabi, north-Indian accent.”

Maharashtra Times, Mumbai attack: Terrorists spoke Marathi? said, “the terrorists who targeted ATS chief Hemant Karkare, police commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar were speaking Marathi fluently.”

Evidence being deliberately ignored? Points out that at least two of the attackers were wearing red/orange Hindi bracelets on their right wrists.

Writer/researcher Wayne Madsen gives a wealth of information on the developing alternative version of events, focusing on Mumbai underworld figure Ibrahim Dawood, particularly his past links with the CIA  and drug-running. Mumbai attacks part of ‘blowback’ for CIA double-cross More evidence of CIA-backed syndicate involvement in Mumbai attacks Mumbai attacks more complicated than corporate press reports

The Times of India report ISI reach will expand with D-Company merger’ sheds light on a recent union created between Dawood’s D-Company mobsters and the accused militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET).  This would tie Dawood to both the official version of the attack and Madsen’s unfolding story of CIA subversion.  Indian officials, who should be aware of all the incoming evidence are embarrassing themselves by playing into the West’s hands.  Government spokesmen should be restrained from making public pronouncements incriminating Pakistan as the perpetrator of the attacks, knowing that the only evidence of that subversion comes from the lips of an overweight terrorist or from the imagination of blood-thirsty war-mongers.

It is long past time to reevaluate this whole mess on the Indian subcontinent.  Both India and Pakistan find themselves under regular assault from intelligence agency related violence, aimed at inflaming local tensions (strategy of tension).  In a web of deceit that stretches over the entire region, from the mountains of Lebanon, to the mountains of Pakistan, to the Ural mountains far to the north, the CIA utilizes national intelligence agencies to recruit local criminals and radicals to do its dirty work.  Their secret task is to embroil governments and their citizens in manufactured conflicts, to facilitate American advances into the resource rich region.

Acting as the palace guard of the corporate aristocracy (See: Origins of the Overclass- Steve Kangas), the CIA and friends have expanded the secret war into India and Pakistan, just as they had already done with democratic-revolutions throughout the oil, gas and uranium rich Caucasus belt.  In India/Pakistans case the agency has applied their scientifically created program of psychological warfare to gather together the pieces needed to compel the former enemies to return to the battlefield with a renewed spirit of outrage and nuclear vengeance.

The new American overlords conspired with the former British overlords (and their Israeli counterparts) to recreate the old “British Raj” on the Indian subcontinent, under American domination.  The idea was to exacerbate tensions to the boiling point in the two democratic nations, two nations that had won their freedom by joining together, to fight the former empire as one oppressed people.  The biggest threat to the latest evil plans would be for the two great peoples to once again come together as free human beings, to drive the empire from their lands.

Instead of allowing themselves to be manipulated by the reassembling empire, Pakistan and India must find ways to remember the great revolutionary past they once shared together and to overcome the hatreds and prejudices that make them easy playthings for the evil thing that seeks to overcome all the earth.  Free citizens of independent thought here in the United States long for the day when other peoples begin to awaken from the technological spell that has been cast over our planet.  We look to our compatriots in this struggle to break through the walls at the periphery of the dictatorship where they are still assailable, unlike here in the comfortable heart of the empire, where none dare rise-up and endanger their succor.

The Great Indian Rebellion of 1857 “brought together Hindus and Muslims, united by a common hatred of the British, and a determination to drive them out.”- A great British tradition, John Newsinger.  They stood together as one people in 1947 to demand the final eviction of the invading aristocracy.  It is high time that they stood together again, to lead us into the new world that is beyond America and Britain’s reach.

We must learn to renew hope in the words of modern patriots like Abdul Basit, as he expressed below in his essay, AWAKE INDIA AWAKE!!! THE WORLD NEEDS YOU:

“We have to restore confidence among the Hindus, Muslims and Christians and strengthen the cohesiveness and trust between all the sections in the Indian society. For this we have to rebuild the lives of families affected by communal violence and bomb blasts so that their future generation overcomes the trauma and revenge mentality that sustain this hatred and instead unite to build a bright India.”

“We as humanity have a common destiny.

In this hour of global crisis, to face the challenges to the humanity, the world must unite as one human community on the basis of peace, tolerance and mutual understanding and the Indian nation has a major role in this regard.

Awake India [of 1947]!! The World needs you…”

Recall these words, oh India:

“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance….We end today a period of ill fortune, and India discovers herself again.”- Tryst with destiny, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Let this be the India that arises from the blood and ash of Mumbai!

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

US Rejects Lebanese Army Demands for Heavy Weapons

US Rejects Lebanese Army Demands for Heavy Weapons

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US Army Central Command Commander General David Petraeus refused a Lebanese request to arm the Lebanese army with heavy weapons, saying such weapons could affect Israel’s military superiority.

Besides Israel, the US wants to wait for the 2009 parliamentary elections results amid growing expectations that the opposition in Lebanon will take the majority of seats in parliament.

The Lebanese daily As-Safir quoted well-informed sources as saying that the American general informed Lebanese officials that the US will not provide arms to the Lebanese army before the spring parliamentary elections. They also said Petraeus made it clear that the Lebanese army will not receive heavy weapons “before or even after the polls because the US military strategy in the region takes into consideration Israel’s military edge.”
Petraeus and his administration apparently want the Lebanese army to become another police force in the country in the framework of Washington’s so called war on terror, but not an army that assumes the mission of defending the country against Israeli threats and aggression.

According to An-Nahar daily, Petraeus’ visit, which lasted only few hours, was “explorative” and aimed at getting to know Lebanese Army Commander Jean Kahwaji after his appointment as army commander.

[IF YOU SNOOZE YOU OPEN THE DOOR FOR IRAN.]

Report: Iran to supply Lebanon with ‘defensive weaponry’

Mumbai attacks more complicated than corporate press reports

Mumbai attacks more complicated than corporate press reports

By Wayne Madsen


(WMR) — As first reported by WMR while the corporate press was uttering the “Al Qaeda” bogeyman as likely behind the terror attacks on Mumbai, the Press Trust of India (PTI) is now confirming WMR’s initial report that Pakistan- and Dubai-based criminal syndicate boss Dawood Ibrahim’s gangsters handed over the weapons and explosive material to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) terrorists to carry out the assault on targets in Mumbai.

According to PTI, one LET terrorist captured by India, Ajmal Qasab, said he and his fellow terrorists sailed from Karachi and entered Mumbai’s port area with the help of Ibrahim’s agents who run several customs facilities in Mumbai. However, there are some questions being raised about Qasab and his claims. The so-called security camera shot of Qasab, who is being billed by the media as the “lone surviving gunman,” at Chatrapathi Sivaji train terminal in Mumbai, appears fake. The angle is too narrow for a train station which would have a wider angle and be shot from higher up than the photo being shopped by the Indian police. However, according to Asian intelligence sources, Qasab may have been trained by Hindu militants and was rushed to the scene of the attack for a photo opportunity hastily arranged by the Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) propaganda team. One Asian intelligence source who has spent a great deal of time in Pakistan reports that he has “never seen a haircut like his [Qasab’s] in Pakistan or on either side of Line of Control in Kashmir.” He also pointed out that Qasab is a bit overweight for an average “mujad” who slim down in training by exercising and eating a sparse diet of lentils and flat bread.

An abandoned Indian fishing boat, the Kuber, discovered off the coast of Mumbai, was found to contain satellite phones and global positioning system (GPS) equipment pre-programmed with a return route to Karachi, Pakistan. The Ibrahim gangsters and LET terrorists had hijacked the Kuber and killed its crew.

It has also been revealed that the Trident-Oberoi Hotel had been chosen by the terrorists because a large number of Israeli businessmen were staying there while attending a diamond exhibition. WMR has learned from our Asian intelligence sources that a large number of Mossad officers used the Trident-Oberoii as a base of operations, along with the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Chabad House, which was also targeted by the terrorist-gangster alliance.

The Oberoi hostages were shot in the back of their heads, a typical gangland execution method preferred by Ibrahim and not the firing squad method used by LET. The outbreak of fires in rooms at the Oberoi also point to the possibility that the hotel was being used by British, American (possibly Defense Intelligence Agency), Australian, and Israeli non-official cover (NOC) agents as a base and documents were being destroyed before the hotel was fully secured by the Ibrahim-LET assailants. There was an initial report that a number of bodies of white males brought out of the Oberoi were Australians.

A report in Kashmir Times, since removed from its website, claimed that the terrorists that entered the Taj Mahal Palace hotel had identified two senior U.S. intelligence officers in the crowd. The fact that the two CIA agents were singled out lends more proof to WMR’s original report that Ibrahim was retaliating against his old CIA friends because he suspected them of working with India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agency to extradite him from his sanctuary in Quetta, Pakistan, to India. Ibrahim is a veteran of CIA “off-the-books” operations during the mujahedin war against the Soviets in Afghanistan and currently in CIA drug and weapons smuggling and money laundering activities in South Asia, particularly in facilitating the shipment of a bumper crop of opium from U.S.-occupied Afghanistan to enrich the coffers of CIA slush funds.

Ibrahim was also involved in supplying nuclear materials to Pakistan’s father of the nuclear bomb, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan. Khan has made no secret that the CIA was well aware of his activities and Ibrahim may be in a position to know much more about the secret networks that supplied Pakistan with proscribed materials, including nuclear-related and missile items, networks that may involve CIA channels and Turkish and Israeli criminal intermediaries.

The fate of the two CIA agents at the Taj, which was apparently being used by the CIA as an operational base, is unknown. Ibrahim’s targeting of Britons was a message sent to British MI-6 assets in ISI not to cooperate with the Americans and Indians in double-crossing Ibrahim by arranging a quick extradition “flight” from Pakistan to India.

However, Ibrahim, before he became a target for the United States, was keenly avoided by U.S. officials in connection with terrorist acts. On July 11, 2006, when Mumbai was struck by a series of deadly train bombings that killed over 200 people (the so-called “7/11” bombings), Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs Richard Boucher was careful not to assign blame to Ibrahim. Boucher said, “Dawood Ibrahim is indeed on our list. We do think he was responsible for some of the previous crimes. I don’t know personally if he is responsible for this one or not . . .”

India is trying to boost the LET’s involvement in the Mumbai attacks while downplaying the role of Ibrahim. However, WMR has learned that LET was a mere subcontractor to Ibrahim’s criminal syndicate in order to send a message to Delhi, Washington, and London that he will not be bartered away in a side deal with Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto’s tainted widower, who is a business rival of Ibrahim in Pakistan. Zardari has made no secret of his dislike of Ibrahim, especially since the Indian expat son of a Mumbai Criminal Branch police constable is so powerful in Pakistan he is known as the “King of Karachi.”

The Indian government realizes that Ibrahim has catered for some time to India’s wealthy elite, including the nouveau riche of “Bollywood,” India’s movie-making mecca. He has served as pimp, drug dealer, moneylender at casinos (including the casinos in Kathmandu Ibrahim runs jointly with CIA assets), hitman, extortionist, import and export fixer, cop briber at amazingly reasonable fees via deals disguised as legitimate business contracts. In 1997, Ibrahim was accused of the contract murder of well-known Bollywood filmmaker Gulshan Kumar. One of Kumar’s Bollywood rivals was accused of ordering the hit on Kumar.

Ibrahim’s network in Bihar facilitates lucrative gold smuggling in and out of neighboring Nepal, a gold smuggling network that ultimately leads to Ibrahim’s gold smuggling operations in Dubai. Ibrahim also runs a lucrative gold and weapons smuggling operation in Gujarat. The Ibrahim gold smuggling operations in Dubai also mask British intelligence money laundering operations in the Caribbean and Isle of Man — and this intelligence has been captured by National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance of both financial transactions and the reported compromise of encrypted British TOP SECRET UK EYES ONLY communications by NSA.

Ibrahim sent a lesson to Britain based on history. The weapons smuggled by Ibrahim’s men and the LET into Mumbai came through the customs house on Sassoon Dock and transferred to fast inflatable boats that landed at the Gate of India, the old British East India Company’s trade passage into India. The lucrative Indian drug trade conducted through Mumbai has been divided between Ibrahim’s Muslim gangs and the relatively new arrivals, the Russian-Israeli Mafia. The Indian drug business is largely run out of London and there has even been some cooperation between the Russian-Israeli mob and Ibrahim’s gangsters by divvying up stolen Nokia mobile phones –hijacked during the shipment process — that are used to coordinate the drug and weapons smuggling trade.

However, WMR has learned from Asian intelligence sources that the Russian-Israeli gangsters operating out of Chabad House tried to take over Mumbai’s drug trade with the help of local Jewish mobsters so Ibrahim, while settling scores with India, the CIA, and Britain, decided to have his subcontractor LET terrorists pay a visit to Chabad House and “collect on a debt with high interest.” Ibrahim has always been careful to kill more criminals than he employs and after his attacks on Hindu and Israeli mobsters in Mumbai, the ratio has reportedly gotten better. Ibrahim eliminated practically every one of his criminal rivals in Mumbai during the 1980s and he is not about to see Hindu and Israeli crime syndicates replace him in his fiercely fought-for turf in Mumbai and other parts of India. Ibrahim’s drug and other smuggling operations in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Africa, and Sri Lanka have also faced new and increased competition from Russian-Israeli gangsters operating in the same regions.

In March 1993, Ibrahim launched a deadly series of car bombings in Mumbai that, like the recent attacks, were dual purpose: Ibrahim got his revenge for a Hindu massacre of Muslims in India and he wiped out Karim Lala’s criminal network in central Mumbai, one of his last rivals in the city. Lala was once Ibrahim’s boss before Ibrahim broke away to form his own crime syndicate. The perpetrators of the attacks, possessing Indian passports, arrived in Mumbai via Pakistan with valid Pakistani visas obtained from the Pakistani consulate in Dubai. The Pakistani visas showed no Pakistan entry or exit stamps, courtesy of the ISI.

The 1993 terrorists arrived in India, like their more recent colleagues, by boat from Pakistan. Indian police found an unused detonator and timing device with an unexploded bomb used by the terrorists. The FBI confirmed that the timer was of U.S. origin and part if a CIA shipment to the ISI during the 1980s Afghan war.

Due to pressure from India and INTERPOL, Dubai pressured Ibrahim into leaving the emirate in 1994. He took up residence in Karachi and often traveled to Nepal. In 2003, Iqbal Kaskar, Ibrahim’s brother, and Ibrahim’s lieutenant, Ejaz Pathan, were extradited by the United Arab Emirates to India for their roles in the 1993 Mumbai attacks.

There is also evidence that right-wing Hindu elements of the RAW were aware of Ibrahim’s hit on Mumbai beforehand but allowed it to play out in order to carry out a “soft coup” by right-wing Hindu nationalists against the Indian Congress government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The Hindu nationalists are allied through lucrative business ties with prospective U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The Hindu nationalists are hoping for a showdown with Pakistan and a confrontation with China. The Hindu right-wingers are also supported by the Israeli criminal and intelligence network in India.

Ibrahim and his friends in ISI may have been sending a clear message to the billionaire Tata family that owns the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. The Tatas stand to make a handsome profit from the recent U.S.-nuclear deal and the fact that the Tatas are Parsees — fire worshippers — prompted Ibrahim to order his men to burn down the Taj Mahal hotel.

The first police official who uncovered the soft coup in New Delhi by the Hindu right-wingers was Hemant Karkare, the anti-terrorism chief of the Mumbai police. Karkare was the first target when the attacks in Mumbai began, but it is certain that his knowledge of ties between Hindu terrorists and Indian RAW intelligence in carrying out “false flag” attacks later blamed on Muslims likely earned Karkare a death sentence from the Hindus and their RAW friends. One of the terrorists caught on CCTV at the Mumbai train station was seen wearing an orange wristband, which is commonly worn by Hindu fundamentalists.

And Ibrahim has his own connections with India’s extremist Hindus. Ibrahim’s influence over and fascination with Bollywood has resulted in a friendly relationship between the “King of Karachi” and the actor-turned-Hindu extremist, Hindu Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, who has been accused of involvement in terrorist violence against Indian Muslims. Shiv Sena is connected to a gangland rival of Ibrahim’s, one of Ibrahim’s former aides, Chotta Rajan. Rajan split with Ibrahim after the 1993 Mumbai attacks.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2008 WayneMadenReport.com

Search for Mumbai gunman’s roots only deepens mystery

Search for Mumbai gunman’s roots only deepens

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FARIDKOT, Pakistan — For the past three days Pakistani intelligence agents and police have been combing this sleepy village in search of clues to the identity of the lone gunman captured in the Mumbai terror attacks, residents said on Monday.

Indian officials and news media officials identified him variously as Ajmal Amir Kamal, Azam Amir Kasav, or Azam Ameer Qasab, and Indian news media quoted police as saying that the alleged killer’s home village was in Faridkot, near the city of Multan in the southern part of Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Local residents, however, are bewildered and alarmed. They said there was no one of that surname in this village, and no missing resident who fit the pictures and description shown in the Indian news media.

“All the agencies have been here and the (police) special branch,” said village elder Mehboob Khan Daha, referring to Pakistan’s plainclothes counterterror police. “We have become very worried. What’s this all about?” Agents from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also appeared to be present on Monday, questioning locals.

Shown a picture of the alleged militant, Daha said: “That’s a smart-looking boy. We don’t have that sort around here.”

The peasant farmers who inhabit this dusty backwater own small parcels of land and have little education. Water buffalos and goats roam down the dirt tracks of the village. Men sit around gossiping on traditional woven rope beds, placed out in the open, wearing the usual baggy shalwar kameez pajama suits, some with turbans.

Roughly built small brick homes and little mud huts dot the village, which has a population of about 3,000. It’s about 33 miles east of the nearest large city, Multan, and a few miles outside the town of Kanewal.

“There are no jihadis here,” Ijaz Ahmed, a 41-year-old farmer, chimed in, sitting by Daha. “I can think of maybe 10 or 20 people here who have even been as far as Multan.”

The Faridkot link is a key element in the evidence cited by Indian officials that the attackers of Mumbai came from Pakistan.

The captured terror suspect was said to come from Faridkot. He was said to be 21 and to speak fluent English. A photograph of him shows a modern-looking young man swaggering in Western clothing, with an AK-47 in hand.

In Faridkot, no one appeared to be able to speak much English, and most could converse only in a dialect of the provincial language, Punjabi. None of the villagers recognized the face in the photograph, nor could they think of anyone mysteriously missing from the village.

They said the intelligence agents wanted to know if there was any presence of the radical Deobandi or Alhe Hadith religious movements in the village, to which the answer was a flat “no.”

The police also came with a list of five names to probe, villagers said, including Ajmal, Amir, Kamal and Azam, all common names in Pakistan. While there are five Ajmals in the village, all were present except one who’s living in the provincial capital of Lahore, and none fit the description of the militant. The only Azam in the village is a 75-year-old retired railway worker.

One of the Ajmals, a man who thought he was about 30, looked scared. He’s worked in a nearby tea factory for the past 12 years, he said. The police and intelligence agencies have been to his house demanding to know his whereabouts.

“All I ever do is go to work, which is about three kilometers (two miles) away. I have never been beyond Kanewal (the closest town),” said Mohammad Ajmal. “I’m uneducated. I never went to school for even one day.”

Faridkot is in a part of Punjab that’s known for extremist activity, but the village showed no signs of being a hotbed of militancy. A notice on a board at the entrance to the village mosque declares that members of the fundamentalist Tablighi Jamaat “are not permitted.”

To add to the confusion, there are several other places called Faridkot in the Punjab, although this village seemed to be the most likely Faridkot, because it’s near Multan. There’s also a well-known Faridkot in India, just across the border in the Indian half of the Punjab province.

An exasperated local police chief, Kamran Khan, who sent his men twice to Faridkot (the one outside Kanewal), told McClatchy: “Whatever we’re doing to investigate, we’re doing off our own initiative. No definitive information has come to us from any official channel. We’re still not clear this is the right Faridkot.”

Even the nearest hardline madrassa, or Islamic school, to Faridkot — the Darul Uloom at Kabirwala, a half-hour drive away — didn’t appear to be a den of violent extremism that might’ve influenced a aspiring militant from Faridkot. This institution schooled Haq Nawaz Jhangvi, an extremist who founded one of Pakistan’s most violent militant groups, Sipah-e-Sahaba. On an unannounced visit Monday, however, classrooms full of students learning the Koran and the sayings of the prophet Mohammad were all that was to be seen.

“We are praying that peace prevails between India and Pakistan,” said Irshad Ahmed, the head of Darul Uloom. “It is wrong to kill innocent people. Islam doesn’t allow it.”

He added, however: “American bombardment also kills innocents.”

OBAMA AND THE JEWS: Boasting From Chicago Jewish News

OBAMA AND THE JEWS: A look at why some Jews love him and some don’t trust him; and at the key role Chicago Jews played in getting him to where he is
By Pauline Dubkin Yearwood (10/24/2008)
Abner Mikva, the former Chicago congressman, federal judge and White House counsel to President Bill Clinton, puts a 21st-century twist on the notion that Clinton was “the nation’s first black president.””I think when this is all over, people are going to say that Barack Obama is the first Jewish president,” he said.

Mikva, a powerful figure in local and national Democratic politics for decades, was one of Sen. Obama’s early admirers, beginning in 1990 when he tried to hire the brilliant student and first black president of the Harvard Law Review for a coveted clerkship. (Obama turned him down, saying he was going to move to Chicago and run for public office. “I thought that showed a lot of chutzpah on his part,” Mikva says with a laugh.)

Since then, Mikva’s support for and nurturance of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has never wavered. He is one of many influential Chicago Jews who have been among Obama’s earliest and most ardent backers.

One longtime Jewish observer of the political scene, who did not want to be identified, said admiringly that “Jews made him. Wherever you look, there is a Jewish presence.”

Yet outside of Chicago, there has been a significant amount of Jewish resistance to Obama’s candidacy, although that may be lessening with Sen. Hillary Clinton, a favorite among Jews, out of the picture.

The Jewish community has been a particular target of e-mails declaring Obama a secret Muslim who attended a madrassa in Indonesia, took his Senate oath of office by swearing on a Quran, and is aligned with Muslim terrorists. Those allegations have been thoroughly disproven by mainstream media and other sources. But even aside from the crackpot right, there is still distrust of the Illinois senator from some Jewish quarters, much of it centering on Israel and on some former and current advisors who are perceived to be unfriendly to the Jewish state.

Typical of the naysayers is Joel Sprayregen, a Chicago attorney who is a former chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council and a current member of the executive committee of JINSA, the Jewish Institute of National Security Affairs.

“My skepticism about Obama derives from both his lack of experience and his alignment up to recently with the far left,” Sprayregen said while acknowledging that the candidate “has moved more to the center once he secured the nomination.”

Sprayregen believes that “a number” of Obama’s foreign policy advisors “have views which would jeopardize American national security. His association with left-wing views and advisors gives me apprehension as to how firm his support for Israel would be in a crisis,” he said.

Obama is “baffled” by the resistance to him from some Jews, a key advisor, former California Rep. Mel Levine, said recently, and has stepped up outreach efforts to the Jewish community, including making a well-publicized trip to Israel earlier this summer, his second visit to the Jewish state. Washington correspondent James Besser, writing in The New York Jewish Week, declares that the senator “is acting as if Jews hold the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

In a way, they do. “The Jewish vote is important because of the states (Jews) are in,” Paul Green, a Roosevelt University professor and longtime political maven, said. While Jews make up only about three percent of the national voting public, they vote in greater proportion to their numbers than almost any other group and are gathered in key states, particularly Florida, a swing state with 27 electoral votes, he said.

“That’s the most interesting and important. The Jewish vote will matter the most there,” Green said. “New York, Illinois, California – they’ll go for Obama. But my guess is right now he has some work do with (Jews in) South Florida.”

Levine, the Obama advisor, says that more than anything, the nominee-to-be “wants people to realize what his record is and his closeness to the Jewish community in Chicago.”

That closeness can hardly be exaggerated.

Obama’s Chicago Jewish roots
“Some of my earliest and most ardent supporters came from the Jewish community in Chicago,” Obama told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in 2004, just after his keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention had galvanized the party and made his name a household word overnight.

That was not hyperbole.

Typical Obama first came to Chicago in 1985, after he graduated from Columbia University, and spent three years in the city as a community organizer. In 1988, he left for Harvard Law School, and in the same year met Newton Minow, a Jew and a longtime Democratic powerbroker who served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President John F. Kennedy. He is currently senior counsel at the Loop law firm of Sidley Austin.

Minow’s daughter Martha (“She’s not just Jewish, she’s very very Jewish,” her father said) was a professor at Harvard Law School at the time. “She called me in 1988 to say that the best student she ever had wanted to spend the summer in Chicago and she wanted me to meet him,” Minow relates. “I said what’s his name, and when she said ‘Barack Obama,’ I said, you gotta spell that.”

Minow asked a partner in his firm to look up Obama when he visited the law school. “He started to laugh,” Minow said. “He said, we hired him already.”

Obama worked at Sidley Austin as an intern that summer; the firm is where he met attorney Michelle Robinson, and they married in 1992. Minow later offered him a second internship followed by a permanent job, but Obama turned it down because, he said, he was planning to go into public service or politics.

Minow and his wife have remained friends with the couple and supporters of Obama’s political career. “We introduced him to a lot of our friends and held fund-raisers for him,” Minow said. “We find him to be truly outstanding. If you just look around, you can see he’s got many many Jewish friends. He is very much at home with Jewish people, their values and interests.”

He believes that many in the Jewish community supported Clinton over Obama because “they didn’t know Barack Obama. They were not informed about him. They had a loyalty over the years to the Clintons. It’s not that they were negative about Barack; they were just committed elsewhere.”

Minow continues to actively support Obama’s candidacy; a nephew serves as one of his speechwriters.

In Chicago, meanwhile, the Obamas settled in Hyde Park and Obama became a popular lecturer at the University of Chicago law school. Abner Mikva, whom Obama already knew from Washington, also taught there, and the two renewed their acquaintance and became close. “We would have lunch and breakfast together and talk about a lot of things, different issues,” Mikva said.

Through Project Vote, a voter registration drive that Obama worked on in 1992, he met two key future supporters, both Jewish. One was David Axelrod, a former Chicago Tribune reporter and chief consultant to Chicago mayors Harold Washington and Richard M. Daley who has been Obama’s chief strategist since 2002.

The other is a largely behind-the-scenes champion who has been there since the beginning of Obama’s political career and played a quietly crucial – perhaps the most crucial – role in it. She is Bettylu Saltzman, a longtime liberal activist whose father, Philip Klutznick, was a legendary Chicago developer, Jewish leader and statesman who served as secretary of commerce in the Carter administration and played a leading role in the development of the State of Israel.

Saltzman recalled that when she first met the 30-year-old Obama, “I don’t know what I saw, but others saw it too. I’m impressed by the numbers of people who said the same thing. He was clearly brilliant and articulate. I don’t know what it was, but there was something about him that was clearly destined to be something very special.”

She was working in Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign at the time and, perhaps because she was thinking in presidential mode, “I immediately thought, he’s going to be president some day. I said to my husband and to a lot of other people, he is going to be our first black president. Why I don’t know, but I will never ever forget it.”

Later, she said, as she got to know Obama, “I would sort of tease him about it. I always said to him, this is what I think is going to happen, and I think in his own mind he always thought that was what he was going to be, too.”

While Saltzman said she “never thought about (her support) Jewishly,” she added that “obviously I’m not going to support someone who is opposed to Israel and what it stands for. He’s right on all the issues when it comes to Israel. He’s in exactly the same place (Hillary) Clinton is, maybe even stronger. He’s a clearer thinker.”

She was also impressed with Michelle Obama and says that “we could have two great people in the White House.”

Saltzman supported Obama during his campaign for the state Senate, which he won in 1996, and in his failed bid for Congress against Bobby Rush in 2000. And when Obama was contemplating a U.S. Senate run in 2002, she introduced him to a group of powerful Chicago women who call themselves the Ladies Who Lunch. Many became his supporters.

The following year, Saltzman may have played an even more crucial role in Obama’s political rise when she asked him to speak at a downtown Chicago rally against the Iraq war that she was organizing. The speech he gave there became famous, and Obama’s early opposition to the war served as a centerpiece of his primary campaign for president.

Saltzman has remained a supporter and now devotes her time to Obama’s presidential campaign. “What he did in his early life in Chicago proved that he has a great commitment to people who are less well off,” she said, adding that she is encouraged by how many young people are working to get out the vote for him. “People don’t always understand the fact that he thinks so clearly,” she said. “He is deliberative but not indecisive.” And as for Israel, “I think his (recent) trip to the Middle East proved how well accepted he was there.”

Meanwhile, after he finished his work with Project Vote, Obama took a job at a civil rights law firm, Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, led by Judson Miner, a well-known Chicago civil rights attorney and Mayor Harold Washington’s former counsel. Miner said he met Obama when he read an article in the paper about Obama’s wanting to join “a silk stocking law firm.” He called Obama, Obama called him back and Miner’s young son answered the phone. “He said a guy called me with a very funny name,” Miner related. “I had forgotten all about him, but just by chance I called him back.”

They agreed to meet and have lunch. Afterwards, “I called my wife and told her I just had lunch with the most impressive person I’ve ever met,” Miner said. “He was truly extraordinary in all sorts of ways. He had a unique comfort with who he was and no pretenses. He was not trying to impress you with who he was. He had a lot of questions and wanted to talk seriously about things he was giving a lot of thought to.”

Obama worked for Miner’s firm for close to 10 years in two different stretches. When he decided to take time off to run for the state Senate, Miner said, a telling incident occurred. Under a fairly common arrangement, Obama planned to work for the firm part-time while serving in the Senate, considered by many to be a part-time job, and Miner agreed to pay him.

“On about his third day in Springfield, he called me up and said, Judd, this is unfair to you guys. I’m going to be putting in a lot more time than I thought I was going to, and I wouldn’t feel right about being paid” by the law firm, Miner related.

Today, Miner is a firm supporter of his former employee’s presidential bid. “He has plenty of life experiences that have sensitized him to the things that matter most,” he said. “He has enormous self confidence but it is not arrogance. He is not a person who feels he has to hide things. He has very strong views but is very flexible.”

Obama’s “great strengths” are that he is “most comfortable dealing with people who he respects, who he thinks are dealing with him as equals, are sharing their true opinions. He is not interested in people who are yes men,” Miner said.

“I don’t know a blemish the guy has. We had many conversations about how do you engage in what you care about professionally while balancing your family obligations and commitment, and he has been quite successful in working it all out. He would be very effective in anything he wanted to do,” he said.

Working at Miner’s firm introduced Obama to many in the city’s liberal community, and during his state Senate tenure, he gained other supporters, including Illinois Sen. Ira Silverstein, an Orthodox Jew who shared an office with him in Springfield. They also shared carpooling duties when both their children attended the secular pre-nursery at Akiba-Schechter Jewish Day School.

When they first met, Obama “never knew what an Orthodox Jew was,” Silverstein said. Although his Hyde Park district had a large Jewish community, there were few Orthodox Jews. “Down there (in Springfield) on the Sabbath, he didn’t understand my restrictions at first but he offered to help if I needed anything. He was very respectful and curious to find out. We talked about religion a lot. He is a very religious person,” he said.

Silverstein continues to support Obama and said he is disturbed that “there is lot of bad information out there, a lot of miscommunication, misinformation that has been proved false” about the senator. He said he and Obama often shared their pro-Israel feelings and that when Silverstein sponsored numerous resolutions condemning PLO bombings, Obama eagerly signed on as a co-sponsor.

“I know him,” he said. “People can read what they want to in the press, but I know him personally and I can testify to” his pro-Israel views. “That’s different than hitting a blog,” he said. “If people don’t want to listen to me they don’t have to, but there’s a lot of hearsay out there.”

In the state Senate, he said, Obama impressed him by his ability to work with the Republicans when the Democrats were the minority party, and by his ability to “bring people together.”

Rabbi Arnold Jacob Wolf, rabbi emeritus of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation and a legendary Hyde Park liberal, is Obama’s neighbor and longtime supporter. When Obama was running for the state Senate, Wolf held a fund-raiser for him and told him that “some day you will be the vice president of the United States. He said, why vice president, then he laughed. But we were all thinking this guy isn’t going to stay in the state Senate.”

“He moved across the street from a synagogue,” KAM, he said. “He didn’t have to do that.”

In fact, Obama even has a Jew in his mishpocheh, albeit on his wife’s side. Rabbi Capers Funnye, the spiritual leader of Beth Shalom B’nai Zaken-Agudath Achim Congregation on Chicago’s South Side is Michelle Obama’s cousin – her grandfather and the rabbi’s mother were sister and brother.

Funnye, an enthusiastic supporter of Obama’s presidential bid, said he met him before the couple married and “thought it was a good match.” Later he worked with Obama when he was in the state Senate and Funnye was the director of a South Side youth services center and found him helpful and “always reachable.”

“Despite some of the things that have been said, I certainly believe (Obama) has a genuine affinity for the State of Israel and the Jewish people,” Rabbi Funnye said. “I’m hopeful that the broader Jewish community and the rest of the country will simply grow to understand they have nothing to fear from Obama on the State of Israel and Jewish issues in general.”

His own congregation is “extremely supportive,” and, he said, “throughout the black Jewish community in the United States, there’s great enthusiasm and support for his candidacy. This is a historic moment in time in the history of our country.” If Obama is elected president, “I think we will have achieved the ideals for which this country really stands,” he said.

When Obama ran for the Senate in 2004, he had not yet visited Israel – one scheduled trip coincided with the birth of his daughter – but he has since been there twice, in 2006 and earlier this summer. Michael Kotzin, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, was along on the January, 2006 trip, part of the federation’s “ongoing agenda to help public officials better understand Israel,” he said. (The organization is nonpartisan.)

On the trip, “we exposed him to aspects of Israel that might not otherwise be noted, aspects where this community and the federation are actively engaged,” he said. The senator discussed Ethiopian aliyah with the head of the Jewish Agency “to understand aliyah, how basic that is to Israel,” Kotzin said, and visited an Israeli-Arab-Christian village, among other sites.

The visit “gave him insights into Israeli life and society that are not commonly known, and that registered for him when he gave his main speech in Chicago on Israel and the Middle East,” he said. “He ended up talking about the trip he took and how he connected with aspects of the Israeli population and people and understanding the importance of Israel to our community.”

Another longtime Chicago supporter, philanthropist, community leader and member of one of Chicago’s Jewish royal families, Lester Crown, has known Obama since his first days in Chicago, when Minow called Crown and “said we have in our office a young man who I think is really going places, and I’d like you to meet him.” Crown has been a supporter ever since; his son James heads Obama’s Illinois financial campaign.

Crown said that despite Obama’s “rock-star, amazing popularity,” he has not changed fundamentally in all the years they have known each other. “He’s the same person, even though there are tremendous pressures on him. In the last six or eight months, he hasn’t gotten a swelled head. If he ever got a little bit of one, his wife would bring him back in two minutes.” Michelle Obama, he said, is “absolutely brilliant.”

Crown said he is “bothered” by portions of the Jewish community that express concerns, particularly, about Obama’s position on Israel. “From the time I met him, the times we talked about Israel, and we talked about it several times, he has been an ardent backer of Israel’s defense position, Israel’s security position,” he said. “He has been a proponent of the two-state solution, but only on the hopes that you will have a demilitarized peaceful Palestinian entity, which you do not have now.”

Most important, Crown said, is that “knowing him long before he got into politics, I know he is completely supportive, without any question or equivocation, of Israel’s security. He is only interested (in a two-state solution) if Israel’s security is absolutely assured, and that was his position long before he ever went into politics. His speeches to AIPAC are not new positions, merely the vocalization of what he has always believed,” he said.

The doubters
Not everyone in the Jewish community agrees.

Jewish criticism of Obama – aside from the lunatic fringe that still harps on his middle name, Hussein, and supposed Muslim “credentials” – centers on four factors: his positions on Israel, several of his foreign policy advisors, his foreign policy inexperience and his apparent willingness as president to talk to the Iranian regime. His domestic agenda is little mentioned in these debates.

Emily Soloff, area director of the nonpartisan American Jewish Committee, said that is natural since “the Jewish community is passionate about many things but particularly about Israel. People for whom Israel is the issue or the primary issue look with a magnifying glass at everything a candidate says or does. The nature of campaigning in America makes it difficult for any candidate to hold up to that kind of scrutiny.”

In addition, she said, “Jews are well educated, they’re readers, there are many Jewish bloggers, all of which means the amount of information that comes out about a candidate, there is tremendously more information coming out than there has been in the past.”

In such an environment, “people tend to shrei (Yiddish for yell) a little bit louder to get their voices heard,” she said. “In terms of this election, Obama’s youth and his newness also has put him under greater scrutiny than candidates who have been in the public eye for much longer and have longer records of action as well as words.”

Even former Israeli cabinet minister Natan Sharansky has expressed his concerns, telling a Shalom TV interviewer that Obama has no record on foreign policy and that an Obama presidency would be a “risk” for Israel.

Closer to home, Rabbi Victor Weissberg, a local Israel activist and chair of To Protect Our Heritage PAC, which works to promote a closer alliance between the United States and Israel, said Obama is “flawed.

“He is suddenly forced to become specific and not use a lot of gloss words like change; that isn’t working for him any more,” he said. “He’s a very bright fellow but he’s sort of a hollow man, and America really needs somebody of substance who will say what he means and won’t change,” he said. Obama has changed his position on offshore oil drilling and other issues, he said. “We’re not dummies, we can think straight,” he said. “The people who are going to lead us need to think straight too and not shoot their doggone mouths off.”

“At the AIPAC conference, he was a wow.” Weissberg said. “He had people standing up on their seats cheering. He has tried to say all the right things about Israel, but because he flip-flops, people are really at sixes and sevens with themselves about him. Israelis think he’s not the right candidate at the right time for their situation. We were there for Pesach and almost unanimously they were in favor of (presumptive Republican nominee John) McCain.”

Polls have, indeed, shown that McCain is perceived in Israel as a staunch friend of the Jewish state, and that some Israelis have been wary of Obama’s statement, during a meeting with Jewish leaders in Cleveland in February, that “there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel that you’re anti-Israel.”

One Israeli native and longtime Chicagoan, attorney and community activist Chaya Gil, said she is “definitely worried” about an Obama presidency, for several reasons.

One is the candidate’s “very close intimate relationship” with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his longtime pastor who gained notoriety for his inflammatory statements and is widely perceived to be anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. Obama denounced Wright earlier this year and eventually severed his ties with him and his church.

“Wright doesn’t love America, he speaks against his country and he said awful things about Israel. He’s no good for the Jewish community and it’s not good that he is the role model for Obama,” Gil said. She said that when Obama said he wasn’t aware of some of Wright’s positions, “he was lying. There is a character issue.”

In addition, she said, Obama “said he will talk to Iran and other countries. That says to me that he will be manipulated by Iran and others.”

She said she is also concerned about Obama’s relationships with some advisors perceived to be anti-Israel, including Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security advisor in the Carter administration; Samantha Power, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and lecturer at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, who was forced to leave the Obama campaign after making a derogatory remark about Hillary Clinton but is said to still be advising him; and Robert Malley, another Clinton administration advisor.

Gil’s worries parallel those of right-wing media outlets that have recently taken aim at the advisors. Brzezinski was perceived as unfriendly to Israel during the Carter administration and, more recently, initially endorsed the views of Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, authors of articles and a book blaming the pro-Israel lobby for American foreign policy failures. They are anathema to most Jews. Brzezinski later said their book overstated its case.

Power has drawn the ire of Israel activists because of her stinging criticism of Israel’s first Lebanon War. Malley was perceived as blaming Israel for the breakdown of the U.S.-brokered Israeli-Palestinian talks at Camp David in the summer of 2000, which he attended as a senior adviser to President Clinton.

Another frequent target of conservative bloggers has been George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has often been critical of Israel’s policies. He has contributed to the Obama campaign.

The campaign has said that the three advisors, who are among hundreds, have a peripheral role in the campaign and do not advise Obama on Middle East policy. Soros, although he has donated to Obama, has no role in the campaign, an Obama spokesperson has said.

Gil said that Obama “has put these people on ice lately, hushed up their relationship. But they’re not dead, they will pop up the minute he’s elected.” Israelis, she said, although they were impressed with him during his recent visit to the Jewish state, “know he is not coming in good faith.”

She said that “at a time of pressure,” Obama “loses his balance. He is very good when he is prepared, but once in a while he is asked a question that he does not expect, and he stutters. He would say whatever suits him.”

Another Israeli-born Chicagoan, who did not want to be identified, said she is “very very uncomfortable” with Obama, “not because he is not a good man” but because “he knows very little about Israel.”

She added that she doesn’t believe Obama has enough experience to be able to run the country in difficult times. “If you ask me, we need a strong person who can move things around to what they used to be, a strong America, a great Israel,” she said. That person is not Obama, she said.

Much of the concern over Obama’s perceived anti-Israel advisors has been spurred by Richard Baehr, the chief political correspondent of the American Thinker, an online conservative magazine that Jewish Telegraphic Agency political correspondent Ron Kampeas calls “the principle redoubt of Obama-Israel skepticism.”

In a recent phone conversation, Baehr, who is a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition, reiterated his concerns about Brzezinski, Power and Malley, calling them “Jimmy Carter retreads.”

“If you have one or two bad apples, OK, but this team is full of them from top to bottom,” Baehr said. “This is what the pro-Israel community is most nervous about.”

Kampeas, the JTA correspondent, writes that “much, if not the vast majority, of the material targeting Obama’s advisors is distorted and even false,” and many Jewish Obama supporters agree.

One, former Chicagoan Gidon “Doni” Remba, president and co-founder of the Jewish Alliance for Change, which advocates for Obama in the Jewish community, has dedicated his Web site and newsletter to rebutting what he calls “lies that are spreading virally. A lot of Jews are getting concerned on the basis of a fear and smear campaign, and they’re not looking at the facts. This is politics at its worst,” he said in a recent conversation.

He said that information in the American Thinker by Baehr and Northbrook’s Ed Lasky “looks like a very serious essay, but it is all based on distortions, misleading information, twisting statements, statements taken out of context and downright false information.”

For instance, Remba said, Brzezinski “was not an advisor to Obama on Israel, just somebody who had a couple of conversations with him about Iraq.” (The Obama campaign confirmed that neither Brzezinski, Power nor Malley advised Obama on Israel-related issues.)

“The critics ignore the fact that McCain had as much or more of a relationship with these same anti-Israel advisors. McCain said he would consider appointing seasoned hands, people like Brzezinski and James Baker (secretary of state for the first President Bush). Obama said he would never consider using Baker. People ignore that.

“The most prominent smear is that he is secretly not pro-Israel, but everything he has done and said, his entire record of years of public life, all the legislation he sponsored is pro-Israel,” Remba said, accusing Obama’s Jewish detractors of “bringing up very tangential things and twisting them in such as way as to arouse people’s fears.

“I saw it in my own family,” he said. “A lot of Jews, they are getting these e-mails. I got them from my uncle, my cousins, my family in Israel and other parts of the country. People are saying, is this true? Their fears have been aroused.”

On the Israel question, some Jews see the fact that Dennis Ross, President Clinton’s Middle East envoy and chief negotiator who served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, is advising Obama on Israel as a reassuring sign. Joy Malkus, research director for the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs, a Chicago-based political action committee that supports Israel, church-state separation and reproductive choice, said members of the PAC “are comfortable with where (Obama) stands as far as Israel is concerned. Especially now that Dennis Ross has come to work for him, we have no concerns whatsoever as far as his position on Israel goes.” The PAC has endorsed Obama but will not be supporting him financially because he is not accepting money from PACs.

Malkus said the PAC decided to support Obama because “McCain’s voting record (on Israel) is perfect so there’s no reason to think he would not be excellent on Israel but he does not meet our domestic criteria.”

She said she thinks some Jews are uncomfortable with Obama because of his shorter voting record, but said that “I find it disappointing. I don’t think you can just base (your vote) on the length of a voting record. He’s surrounding himself with people who care about moving the process forward and having a two-state solution that works. If people have questions, they should look back at what (Dennis) Ross has written. He is quite a strong person to have in your corner.” The PAC, she said, is “strongly in favor of the U.S. facilitating whatever is necessary to move the peace process forward, and that’s where Obama stands on Israel.”

Baehr counters such arguments from Jewish supporters. “I don’t see the fact that some major scions of the Jewish community support (Obama) as meaning he is pro-Israel,” he said. “In the Senate, he has behaved more traditionally and signed on to most resolutions that AIPAC would consider pro-Israel. But now and then something slips out.” He cited a 2004 interview in which Obama was critical of the Israeli security wall and his more recent statement, to Cleveland Jewish leaders, that being pro-Israel doesn’t mean being pro-Likud.

“I don’t think an American president should decide who he should be for in the Israeli government,” Baehr said. “His view of being pro-Israel doesn’t mean being sympathetic to the elected leaders of the Israeli people. That’s a difficult position to put yourself in.”

He said another “bothersome factor” is that people in Obama’s Hyde Park neighborhood said “he wasn’t reticent about arguing that American policy is too pro-Israel and needed more balance. The general perception is that he was a Palestinian sympathizer. That doesn’t mean he is hostile to Jews or Israel but he is not a strong Israel supporter.

“Now he’s saying all the right things and voting the right way, but there are a whole bunch of little threads out there that make people nervous,” Baehr said. “Nobody questioned whether McCain or Hillary (Clinton) was pro-Israel, but with Obama, there are questions.”

Joel Sprayregen, the Chicago attorney and Israel activist, said that he worries about Obama’s lack of experience, his foreign policy advisors, and “the fact that he was so wrong on the surge in Iraq,” which Obama opposed. Many Americans believe that the added troop deployment known as the surge has made Iraq safer.

Sprayregen said that while he is encouraged that so many thoughtful and committed Jews are in Obama’s camp, he believes that “Jews still tend to vote Democratic in knee-jerk fashion thinking they’re still voting for FDR’s New Deal. Too many Jews do not take into account the fact that President Bush has been enormously supportive of Israel. I think we have no better guide than (Connecticut senator) Joe Lieberman, a true liberal on domestic issues, as to which of his senatorial colleagues is more qualified to be commander-in-chief.” Lieberman is supporting McCain.

The supporters
If Obama has a way to go to garner solid Jewish support in other parts of the country, in Chicago it seems solid and growing.

Some of his champions are longtime friends like Rabbi Wolf of KAM, who worries that Jews who don’t know Obama think of him as “remote.” “It may be the Muslim element in his background, it may be that he’s black. Jews are like everybody else, they have some questions about a black president,” Wolf said.

But he may understand Obama’s background better than most. When people ask him if Obama is “tough enough,” he says, “When you come up in Chicago politics, you better be tough.”

He believes Obama is “very cautious. Whenever we talked about issues, I would always be more radical than he. He listened a lot but said very little. He’ll listen and listen and you don’t always know what he thinks. He knows as much as any of us about the Middle East, and he hasn’t said a word about the Palestinians that President Bush hasn’t already said.”

Many Jews may have been more friendly to Hillary Clinton, he said, because “she is more of a known quantity. You know, the Jews can’t stand not to worry. Nobody (in politics) is against Israel, they can’t afford to be, why should they be? He knows more than most people do about the (Middle East) situation, but he’s going to go very cautiously and not do anything that shakes up the Jewish community. I’m not sure I agree with that, but that’s what’s going to happen.”

He would advise Obama to “make his Jewish supporters more visible. He could mention them, put them forward, be proud of the Jewish community’s support.”

The rabbi’s own feeling is that Obama is “sort of Jewish in a way. His overachieving is Jewish, his intellectualism is Jewish, even his charisma has a Jewish side. Maybe I feel it more strongly than others do, but I feel like he’s one of us.

“I like McCain too, but he ain’t one of us,” he added.

One of Obama’s most ardent Chicago supporters is Jack S. Levin, an attorney practicing international law and a longtime community activist who said he is not a Democrat but an independent who “supports candidates I think are superior. I am not a down-the-line Democrat or Republican and I don’t support mediocre candidates. I support Barack because I think he would be best for our country,” he said.

Levin has known Obama for more than 15 years, since Levin served on the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee and met the young law student. “Members of the Visiting Committee don’t typically take much note of students, but he was outstanding, an absolutely standout student,” he said.

He became reacquainted with Obama when he served in the Illinois Senate and sponsored legislation that would help to create jobs by bringing more private equity and venture capital to the state, one of Levin’s areas of expertise. He continued to be so impressed with Obama that now he serves on his campaign finance, tax policy, Jewish community and Middle East committees.

He calls Obama “a brilliant, far-thinking, organized, thoughtful super kind of person. He has wonderful thoughts and ideas and he soaks up experiences in moments that it would take other people years to get. He is jumping in knowledge year by year. His grasp of ideas and concepts and ability to understand what other people are thinking is wonderful.”

Having served in the office of the Solicitor General in Washington, Levin said he has many friends who have worked in the White House, and believes that “the most important attribute of a president is the ability to think, reason, absorb information and make decisions when there is conflicting advice, and Obama is just terrific at that.

“You can give all the speeches you want to about how you would handle issues, but (as president) 100 times a day things cross your desk that you had never thought of, and (a president needs) a great ability to think and grasp, to do the right thing, to analyze the conflicting advice being received and work it out and say, this is the course we should take.

“No one is as good as Obama at hearing conflicting views, thoughts, advice and ideas, at looking at a complex problem and implementing solutions,” he said.

Levin said he does much international travel and what those trips have shown him is that “our country has turned into a pariah on the world stage. For the last few years, our leaders have not been people who could interrelate well with other world leaders. We are reviled, not respected.”

Obama, he said, “is going to be the closest there is to someone who is able to restore some modicum of respect internationally.”

Levin said he has worked with Obama for years on many issues and that the senator has always been a strong supporter of Israel.

As for Jewish community support, he said that “here in Chicago, people know him better than other places, and the vast majority of the Jewish leadership of Chicago support him wholeheartedly. We know he would be best for Israel and for the United States. I think it is an issue of Obama getting better known in Florida, New York and other places where the Jewish community hasn’t yet had the opportunity to touch hands with him and realize how wise and capable he is and how strongly he supports Israel.”

Why the distrust?
A number of Obama’s Jewish supporters have set about figuring out why some Jews – especially in other states – are distrustful of him. Abner Mikva said that the “unknown” factor is strong. Jews “were distrustful of (John) Kerry, (Al) Gore, (Bill) Clinton before he ran, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon Johnson. It goes all the way back. The first time I was campaigning for John F. Kennedy, I stopped at somebody’s door, a Jewish voter, and he said, you know he’s an anti-Semite. His father was, so he must be.”

Another factor, Mikva said, is one that “always bothers and embarrasses me about my co-religionists. A piece of our community still thinks of African Americans as schvartzes – somehow not sufficiently educated or smart enough to occupy the White House. All I can say to that is, they’re wrong. I think (Obama) will turn out to be one of the greatest presidents we’ve ever had.”

He said he once tried to explain to Obama why some parts of the Jewish community didn’t support him. “I said, Barack, it wouldn’t matter if your name was Sholem Aleichem, there’s some segments of the Jewish community you wouldn’t get. He said, well, my name is Baruch Obama.” (During his 2004 campaign, Obama, visiting a Jewish center for the aged in Boston, discussed the etymological relationship of his first name, which means “blessed” in Swahili, to its Hebrew counterpart, Baruch.)

On the racial issue, Remba, the president of the Jewish Alliance for Change, agreed that “some people from an older generation have a very different experience in their lives with black Americans than people even in their 40s and 50s. Middle-aged and younger people have grown up in integrated America and are very comfortable and used to working with blacks, knowing them as friends and neighbors, viewing them in a way that race doesn’t matter.”

To some people, including Jews, who grew up in an older era, “your whole experience of black people is they come from the wrong side of the tracks, they’re associated with crime, with danger, they’re poor, gang related. If your whole experience of black people is the South Side of Chicago – not Hyde Park – you would have a sort of fearful set of associations.”

He said he believes some “holdover of these associations and biases” may be in play with Obama’s candidacy, but many Jews may be able to overcome it. “The vast majority of Jews, including older Jews, can judge Obama as an individual, an American, someone who has been so close to so many people in the Jewish community of Chicago for so many years. When they get to see who he is, I hope they’ll put aside their fears,” he said.

Those fears have been stoked by e-mails to pro-Israel activists warning that if Obama is elected, Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will have prominent places in his administration, as well as a cartoon published earlier this year in the Israeli newspaper Maariv showing Obama painting the White House black.

Still most of Obama’s Jewish supporters believe it is the Israel issue, not racial politics, that may be keeping some Jews from endorsing him. Alan Solow, a Chicago attorney, community leader and former chair of the Jewish Community Relations Council who has known Obama for many years, said he would like to put those fears to rest.

He has known Obama since both lived in Hyde Park and began actively supporting him during his U.S. Senate bid. “Working on his behalf, I had the opportunity to have many discussions with him on a wide range of issues,” he said. “I have always been delighted with the way he approaches problems and I’ve become more impressed as time has gone on.”

On the Israel question, Solow said Obama’s entire public policy approach, statements and votes “all consistently point to a position that is very helpful to strengthening the relationship between the U.S. and Israel. There isn’t one single action or vote that anyone can point to that would cast any doubt on what his position would be,” he said.

Beyond foreign policy, Solow said, “I think his positions are much more consistent with the vast majority of the Jewish community – the right to choose, separation of church and state, social justice issues generally. The Jewish community ought to be looking at those issues as well.” He said that although many Jews don’t feel they know Obama as well as they do Hillary Clinton or John McCain, he has a “long consistent record” of pro-Israel support. “People should look at what his record is and not say, we still don’t know,” he said.

On the question of inexperience, Obama’s old friend Ira Silverstein said, “Look, McCain has been around longer, but we’ve had President Bush in there and he was a governor, the head of a major league baseball team, and look at our economy. I’ve seen (Obama) work in the Senate. I’ve seen him. He can bring people together. I know him personally. Leadership? I can testify to it.”

Another old friend, Rabbi Wolf, gives another kind of testimony. Obama, he says, is “embedded in the Jewish world.”

ANALYSIS: India must not repeat U.S. mistakes

ANALYSIS: India must not repeat U.S. mistakes

Claude Salhani

Reeling from the terrible shock of the attacks on India‘s commercial capital last week, the authorities in the world’s largest democracy may find it logical to follow in the footsteps of a certain world-leading country that considers itself to be spearheading democracy around the world.

But the United States has, domestically and internationally, denied much of its own democratic tradition in its “global war on terror.” Now India must resist the temptation to do the same.

The authorities in New Delhi would be well advised to take the time necessary and assess the situation and its potential consequences thoroughly before taking any action they may later regret. As nearly everyone knows, a conflict between India and Pakistan — countries armed with nuclear weapons — would bring nuclear mayhem to the subcontinent and beyond.

The urge for vengeance by an enraged public demanding action from their officials is understandable and pushes New Delhi to feel it needs to act. But Delhi’s leadership must avoid a path leading to such a precipice in Indo-Pakistan relations.

The attacks on Mumbai by gunmen belonging to a radical Islamist organization killed nearly 200 people and wounded several hundred , some severely. The raids were, in the words of one Indian official, “India’s September 11.”

The similarities between the two events are numerous.

The attacks on New York City in 2001 and the raids on Mumbai last week targeted financial hubs. By hitting the large Indian business center, whoever is behind the Mumbai attacks wanted to do more than kill all the people they could before seeing the attackers gunned down by security forces. The attackers were aiming to cause greater harm than the deaths of some 200 people and the destruction of hotels and restaurants. (Or in the 9/11 case, the deaths of 3,000 people and the destruction of several buildings.)

Granted, the senseless killings in Mumbai, as in New York, the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania were, in the sick minds of those committing those terrible acts, an added “benefit.” But to them, the killing of innocent victims was simply that, merely an added benefit.

In this analyst’s opinion, the real intent of those two raids was far more nefarious. The real intent was to disrupt the countries’ economies.

In New York, the attacks had a direct effect on Wall Street and, subsequently, on the country’s economic situation. Likewise, Mumbai’s stock market will be affected by last week’s attacks, as will India’s economy.

Furthermore, both operations were at the same time ingenious from the terrorists’ point of view. They were relatively simple to implement, particularly in open and democratic societies such as India and the United States. And the result will be additional security around hotels.

The central lesson of the 9/11 attacks was that the terrorists had the ability to hijack civilian aircraft and turn them into lethal weapons. The attacks of 9/11 forever changed the way airlines and airports conduct business and the way we look at travel today. Costs for increasing security at airports are passed on to the traveler.

Along similar lines, the attacks in Mumbai last week will forever change the way hotels — particularly luxury ones — conduct business. The challenge facing intelligence services worldwide now is to try to identify the next likely targets and take pre-emptive action.

Barely 48 hours after the attacks, India began using strong-worded language, saying that Pakistan was behind the Mumbai attacks. According to Indian security services, the surviving terrorist in custody admitted to being Pakistani and having been trained in Pakistan. Indian authorities also found a cell phone belonging to one of the terrorists, showing several calls made to Pakistan and Afghanistan.

What of the consequences if India follows the U.S. example? What if India is dragged into the vicious cycle of attacks and counterattacks — verbal, at first — that could lead to hostile acts and to full-scale war?

Besides the apparent danger that the two countries could reach a point of no return, India risks falling into the same trap the United States found itself in after Sept. 11. The mistakes of the Bush administration were those of enacting undemocratic laws (the USA Patriot Act), and ordering law-breaking government practices (torture, detention and rendition).

For India to go that route would be self-destructive in the extreme. Anti-Muslim sentiments in India can easily spin out of control. There is bound to be a growing desire in Delhi to retaliate, but this is a time for restraint. India, one of the rare democracies in that part of the world, risks alienating its 154 million Muslims.

Even if the attacks on Mumbai may be compared to those of Sept. 11, it is paramount that the aftermath not follow suit.

• Claude Salhani is editor of the Middle East Times.

Mumbai attack: Terrorists spoke Marathi?

Mumbai attack: Terrorists spoke Marathi?

By Abdul Hameed, TwoCircles.net

Mumbai: It is somehow surprising to learn that the terrorists in Cama hospital in Mumbai were fluently speaking Marathi. The terrorists who are said to have fired in Cama hospital talked to an employee clad in civil dress in Marathi, reports a Marathi daily ‘Maharashtra Times’.

The newspaper said the terrorists who targeted ATS chief Hemant Karkare, police commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar were speaking Marathi fluently.

The newspaper claims the terrorists having fired at two watchmen in uniform asked the other beside them on gunpoint in Marathi, ‘You are here an employee?’ The employee caught the legs of the terrorist and said, ‘I am not working here. My wife has suffered from heart attack and I have come here to admit her.’ The terrorist asked him again in Marathi, ‘You are speaking true or false?’ The employee answered, ‘No, by God I am speaking true.’

On this the terrorist let him go.

General Ivashov: “International terrorism does not exist”

General Ivashov: “International terrorism does not exist”

by General Leonid Ivashov *

General Leonid Ivashov was the Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces when the September 11, 2001, attacks took place. This military man, who lived the events from the inside, offers an analysis which is very different to that of his American colleagues. As he did during the Axis for Peace 2005 conference, he now explains that international terrorism does not exist and that the September 11 attacks were the result of a set-up. What we are seeing is a manipulation by the big powers; this terrorism would not exist without them. He affirms that, instead of faking a “world war on terror”, the best way to reduce that kind of attacks is through respect for international law and peaceful cooperation among countries and their citizens.


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General Leonid Ivashov (left) at the Axis for Peace Conference 2005 in Brussels, with Webster Tarpley

As the current international situation shows, terrorism emerges where contradiction aggravate, where there is a change of social relations or a change of regime, where there is political, economic or social instability, where there is moral decadence, where cynicism and nihilism triumph, where vice is legalized and where crime spreads.

It is globalization what creates the conditions for the emergence of these extremely dangerous phenomena. It is in this context that the new world geo-strategic map is being designed, that the resources of the planet are being re-distributed, that borders are disappearing, that international law is being torn into pieces, that cultural identities are being erased, that spiritual life becomes impoverished…

The analysis of the essence of the globalization process, the military and political doctrines of the United States and other countries, shows that terrorism contributes to a world dominance and the submissiveness of states to a global oligarchy. This means that terrorism is not something independent of world politics but simply an instrument, a means to install a unipolar world with a sole world headquarters, a pretext to erase national borders and to establish the rule of a new world elite. It is precisely this elite that constitutes the key element of world terrorism, its ideologist and its “godfather”. The main target of the world elite is the historical, cultural, traditional and natural reality; the existing system of relations among states; the world national and state order of human civilization and national identity.

Today’s international terrorism is a phenomenon that combines the use of terror by state and non-state political structures as a means to attain their political objectives through people’s intimidation, psychological and social destabilization, the elimination of resistance inside power organizations and the creation of appropriate conditions for the manipulation of the countries’ policies and the behavior of people.

Terrorism is the weapon used in a new type of war. At the same time, international terrorism, in complicity with the media, becomes the manager of global processes. It is precisely the symbiosis between media and terror, which allows modifying international politics and the exiting reality.

In this context, if we analyze what happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States, we can arrive at the following conclusions: 1. The organizers of those attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the world order and who had the means necessary to finance the operation. The political conception of this action matured there where tensions emerged in the administration of financial and other types of resources. We have to look for the reasons of the attacks in the coincidence of interests of the big capital at global and transnational levels, in the circles that were not satisfied with the rhythm of the globalization process or its direction.
Unlike traditional wars, whose conception is determined by generals and politicians, the oligarchs and politicians submitted to the former were the ones who did it this time.

2. Only secret services and their current chiefs – or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations – have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude. Generally, secret services create, finance and control extremist organizations. Without the support of secret services, these organizations cannot exist – let alone carry out operations of such magnitude inside countries so well protected. Planning and carrying out an operation on this scale is extremely complex.

3. Osama bin Laden and “Al Qaeda” cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders. Thus, a team of professionals had to be created and the Arab kamikazes are just extras to mask the operation.
The September 11 operation modified the course of events in the world in the direction chosen by transnational mafias and international oligarchs; that is, those who hope to control the planet’s natural resources, the world information network and the financial flows. This operation also favored the US economic and political elite that also seeks world dominance.

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General Leonid Ivashov with journalist Christopher Bollyn from American Free Press

The use of the term “international terrorism” has the following goals:
- Hiding the real objectives of the forces deployed all over the world in the struggle for dominance and control;
- Turning the people’s demands to a struggle of undefined goals against an invisible enemy;
- Destroying basic international norms and changing concepts such as: aggression, state terror, dictatorship or movement of national liberation;
- Depriving peoples of their legitimate right to fight against aggressions and to reject the work of foreign intelligence services;
- Establishing the principle of renunciation to national interests, transforming objectives in the military field by giving priority to the war on terror, violating the logic of military alliances to the detriment of a joint defense and to favor the anti-terrorist coalition;
- Solving economic problems through a tough military rule using the war on terror as a pretext. In order to fight in an efficient way against international terrorism it is necessary to take the following steps:
- To confirm before the UN General Assembly the principles of the UN Charter and international law as principles that all states are obliged to respect;
- To create a geo-strategic organization (perhaps inspired in the Cooperation Organization of Shanghai comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) with a set of values different to that of the Atlantists; to design a strategy of development of states, a system of international security, another financial and economic model (which would mean that the world would again rest on two pillars);
- To associate (under the United Nations) the scientific elites in the design and promotion of the philosophical concepts of the Human Being of the 21st Century.
- To organize the interaction of all religious denominations in the world, on behalf of the stability of humanity’s development, security and mutual support.

 General Leonid Ivashov
General Leonid Ivashov is the vice-president of the Academy on geopolitical affairs. He was the chief of the department for General affairs in the Soviet Union’s ministry of Defense, secretary of the Council of defense ministers of the Community of independant states (CIS), chief of the Military cooperation department at the Russian federation’s Ministry of defense and Joint chief of staff of the Russian armies.

Indian View: Cover-up?


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Indian View: Cover-up?

Sandhya Jain

While stock-taking has only just begun, it already appears as if some

things are being covered up. In these circumstances, the retention of

Narayanan who was invisible during the entire crisis though he was

too visible in the hated Indo-US nuclear deal does nothing to inspire

confidence. In an atmosphere when media hype persistently reminds us

of the Twin Towers tragedy in New York, one can only think of the

success of Prince Bandar in escorting all well-connected Saudi youth

out of America in the immediate aftermath of 11 September 2001.

Some things deserve an immediate answer – how many terrorists were

there actually; how did they reach their respective destinations

inland; and is it possible that “super-terrorists” simply walked out

with the real survivors after having utilised the “mercenaries” to

the hilt, just as they had murdered the navigators of the boats that

brought them to Mumbai?

Current media reports and government sources say that the terrorists

came by sea, landing near the Gateway of India or Colaba. This

certainly explains the attacks on the sea front hotels like Taj,

Oberoi and the Nariman House. But the question remains – how did they

get to the CST station, Cama Hospital, and other places inland?

Someone must have provided transport and back-up.

By no logic can anyone believe that nine separate sites in a city

could be held to ransom by just 10 men. It is particularly difficult

to believe that gigantic hotels like the Taj could be ruined and

scores of guests killed or injured by just two men (sometimes the

figure goes to six). Even two men per floor could not have caused the

kind of death and destruction that did happen. A small place like

Nariman House, yes, but Taj and Oberoi – I don’t believe it. And if

there were six persons at Taj and at least two at Nariman House, that

means only two persons destroyed the Oberoi?

Rediff.com has interviewed the doctors who conducted the post-mortems

on the dead hostages and terrorists, and it is their expert opinion

that a battle of attrition took place over three days at the Oberoi

and Taj hotels. The mutilation of the bodies was unlike anything they

had seen in their careers in forensics.

For one, the bodies of the victims bore horrible signs of torture.

Now this is understandable if the victims are being tormented by half-

human beasts, but it seems strange that two terrorists could

simultaneously fight and keep Indian commandos at bay for 62 hours,

and also have the time to torture their victims. Yet the doctors were

emphatic that:

“It was apparent that most of the dead were tortured. What shocked me

were the telltale signs showing clearly how the hostages were

executed in cold blood.”

To my mind, it seems apparent that the terrorists who kept the NSG

commandos engaged and those who tortured and killed the hotel staff

and guests were two separate groups.

This suspicion is intensified by the startling revelation that the

terrorists also did not meet a clean death. Doctors who conducted the

post-mortem said the bodies of the terrorists – especially their

faces – were beyond recognition. The security forces identified the

bodies as those of terrorists [on TV they said it was because of the

presence of weaponry near the bodies].

One terrorist was shot through either eye (i.e., both eyes!!!). As

the NSG commandos never got to such close range with the terrorists,

and nobody commits suicide by shooting both his own eyes, it follows

that the killers were somebody else. Since none of the hotel guests

could have the kind of weaponry used in the conflict, this suggests

the presence of a mysterious third party, making the terrorists the

victims of a classic double-cross – the stuff of spy thrillers.

Actually, it reminds one of the convenient murder of the alleged

killer of President John F. Kennedy.

Hence it would be entirely in order to closely interrogate each and

every guest, especially the foreign guests, before allowing them to

leave the country. Without false emotionalism, we should also

fingerprint them for the future; who knows what Interpol cooperation

may throw up.

Top Russian counter-terrorism expert, Vladimir Klyukin, an Afghan war

veteran, opines that the Mumbai attackers were not “ordinary

terrorists” and were probably trained by the special operations

forces set up in Pakistan by US intelligence prior to the Soviet

withdrawal from Afghanistan. In his view, the nature of the Mumbai

events suggests the signature of the ‘Green Flag’ special operations

forces created by the Americans in Pakistan, just a year before the

Soviet withdrawal.

Guerrilla operations of the Mumbai kind require at least two-three

years of preparatory work with experienced instructors. Raw trainees

cannot hold four huge complexes in a city to ransom for so long. The

Russian Interfax news agency reported the former KGB veteran as

surmising the involvement of at least 50 terrorists, given the

geography and sheer scale of the attacks. This seems like a

legitimate estimation.

What is more, the only way 9 coordinated attacks can occur

simultaneously is by using Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or live

maps for communication and control. These are not normally owned by

private parties. Initial investigations also suggested that as many

as seven terrorists included mostly British-born Pakistanis, and one

does hope that these leads are not covered up. The reports also

suggested some gunmen were captured, but later media reports

highlighted that only one terrorists was caught alive at the railway

station. So there is a lot of confusion here that needs to be cleared

up.

Certainly the hints about British involvement, openly asserted by the

outspoken Lyndon LaRouche, need investigation.

Media has been heavily criticized in some quarters for airing visuals

of NSG commandos dropping on the hotel roofs from helicopters, and

thus giving operational secrets away to the militants watching TV

inside. If the criticism is to be valid, however, we will have to

accept that the terrorists had more men inside who could be deployed

to watch TV and give information which would enable them to react and

rebuff the aerial assault. There is no way 2 to 6 terrorists could

torture victims sadistically and kill them brutally, watch TV, fight

and keep the security forces at bay for 62 hours, and then kill

themselves or each other in impossible ways.

The death of terrorists points to a clear double-cross and also the

possibility of the involvement of more than one religious

denomination. That the terrorists did not prepare for death by

carrying potassium cyanide is well known; nor did they simply intend

to blow themselves up like the usual suicide bombers. The surviving

terrorist has revealed that they were told of an escape plan – and no

doubt that plan was used by those who killed their fellow terrorists

and walked out free!

This writer has consistently stated that modern, late 20th-21st

century jihad is qualitatively different from the medieval jihad in

which Muslim armies led by generals or kings ran over much of the

world in Europe, North Africa, and Asia. Contemporary jihad is a

mercenary tool of Western colonialism, serving a colonial intent with

devout slavishness, and this seems borne out by the events of Mumbai.

What remains to be seen, however, is whether or not the Islamic world

wakes up to the reality of its own self-enslavement. India on its

part has demonstrated that no matter how long it takes to get

operational, no matter the cost in terms of live and property, the

territory of Bharat Mata will be protected.

It is more than likely that Pakistan was rebuked by its British and

American `friends’ (read Masters) for agreeing to send the ISI chief

to assist in the investigations, and forced to backtrack on a solemn

assurance. The teams from Scotland Yard and America, ostensibly

coming to assist India in the probe, are more likely trying to

ascertain the extent of evidence with India.

It is pertinent that the recovery of a satellite phone from the

trawler abandoned with the body of the Gujarati captain revealed that

the trawler had been hijacked to Karachi Port, and while there, calls

were made even to Australia (where the CIA has a famous outpost!)

Interestingly, General Leonid Ivashov, who was Chief of Staff of the

Russian armed forces when the Twin Towers tragedy happened on 11

September 2001, insists that there is no such thing as international

terrorism and that “the September 11 attacks were the result of a set-

up. What we are seeing is a manipulation by the big powers; this

terrorism would not exist without them.” Instead of faking a “world

war on terror”, the best way to reduce such attacks is through

respect for international law and peaceful cooperation among

countries and their citizens

[http://www.voltaire net.org/article1 33909.html]

Globalization creates the conditions for the emergence of this

terror. It seeks to design a new world geo-strategic map; appropriate

the resources of the planet; erase cultural identities; and subjugate

States before a global oligarchy. Thus, terrorism, according to Gen.

Ivashov, is an instrument of world politics, “a means to install a

unipolar world with a sole world headquarters, a pretext to erase

national borders and to establish the rule of a new world elite. It

is precisely this elite that constitutes the key element of world

terrorism, its ideologist and its “godfather”.

Contemporary international terrorism combines the use of terror by

State and non-State political structures to attain political

objectives through intimidation of people, psychological and social

destabilization, elimination of resistance inside power

organizations, and the creation of appropriate conditions for the

manipulation of the countries’ policies and the behaviour of people.

Media complicity helps. But terrorism is not possible without the

support of political and business circles that wield the funds to

finance it – and Pakistan is notoriously bankrupt.

More pertinently, only secret services and their current or retired

chiefs have the ability to plan and execute an operation of such

complexity and scale. It is secret services that create, finance and

control extremist organizations.

Is it possible that M.K. Narayanan has been retained by the current

pro-Western dispensation to “help” the Western secret services (State

actors) in the current mess, to facilitate their long-term agenda by

manipulating and misleading the nation and the people? We deserve an

answer; we demand to know.

The author is Editor, http://www.vijayvaani. com

The Ukrainian Holocaust and Jewish Pride

The Ukrainian Holocaust and Jewish Pride

Charles Hodgson

November 22, 2007 was the 75th anniversary of the mass murder of up
to 10 million Ukrainians by Stalin’s political police, the dreaded
NKVD. This bureaucracy was the apogee of political correctness,
murdering tens of thousands of farmers and small-town people because
the region resisted collectivisation. The practice of mass political
murder was initiated by Lenin immediately after Trotsky brought him
to power. Stalin inherited and extended the practice and its
apparatus.

Until after the Second World War the senior ranks of the NKVD were
disproportionately Jewish. These were secular Jews who as good
communists rejected divisions of ethnicity and race as products of
bourgeois society. Nevertheless they retained their identity as Jews;
they knew who their ancestors were.

Jews do not feel remorse for the Ukraine famine. They do not
apologise for it. They do not point to it as a failing of the Jewish
character or culture. That is an enormous inconsistency. For one
thing Jews feel pride in the positive achievements of other Jews,
whether religious or secular. But how can pride be ethnic and
unconditional while shame is conditional and compartmentalised? Is it
not inconsistent for someone to feel pride in the achievements of his
ethnic group but to feel no shame for its failings?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn made a similar point in his last book, Two
Hundred Years Together. Group pride goes hand in hand with group
shame. He wrote: “[The] Jewish population should be as offended at
their own role in the purges as they are at the Soviet power that
also persecuted them.” Regarding white shame, our own Michael J.
Polignano has argued cogently that those who condemn whites for the
behaviour of other whites are implicitly admitting the case for white
pride in the achievements of the West (Occidental Quarterly, Spring
2008, pp. 3-6).

I suppose inconsistency is one of the prerogatives of being human.
However, in this case the inconsistency is larger than a failing of
human nature because other ethnic groups and nations are not
permitted to forget their sins, at least when they sinned against
Jews. The Germans are taught by their media and schools to feel shame
for the actions of a pagan secret service that murdered millions of
Jews and Gypsies during the Second World War. Responsibility is
levelled at Germans in general, not only pagans or those who
supported Hitler’s extermination policy. The shame is ethnic and
unconditional. Only German pride must be conditional and
compartmentalised.

The same sort of general ethnic shame is taught to whites of many
nations. It seems that we have all done something terrible at one
time or another, whether it is colonialism, exploitation,
discrimination, segregation, etc. And it is understood that “we”
means fellow ethnics. The crime varies but the shame remains the
same.

There is a good deal of truth to many of these accusations. The
German state did commit the Holocaust. The British, Spanish,
Portuguese, Russian, Dutch and French states did displace native
peoples in the Americas, Africa and Australasia. Blacks were
discriminated against in the United States. Colonialism and ethnic
expansion have their dark sides.

There is also some moral truth to the accusations, even if they are
over generalised. But it is a conditional morality such that group
identity combined with even vestigial pride makes it hypocritical to
feel pride but not shame for group behaviour. A history of Germany
that did not mention World War Two or the Holocaust would be rightly
dismissed as propaganda. Can anyone imagine a history of the United
States that did not admit the evils of slavery or Jim Crow?

But we don’t need to imagine a history of the Jews that fails to
mention the Jewish role in the Bolshevik Revolution or in communist
regimes throughout Eastern Europe in the post-WWII period or the
attempted Bolshevik revolutions in Germany after the First World War
or in Soviet espionage. Simply consult any of the seemingly endless
parade of tribal histories, many produced by departments of Jewish
studies at taxpayer-funded universities.

The inconsistency goes even further. Jewish organisations are as one
in condemning Western societies, Western traditions, and
Christianity, for past crimes against Jews. Yet they never talk about
Jewish crimes.

It is difficult to say what the effect of this asymmetrical shame and
shaming has had on the West’s ability to defend its interests in the
culture wars; except that the effect has surely been negative. A
level playing field will not be achieved until Jewish history texts,
Holocaust museums, and Jewish Studies departments make the same
effort at self-knowledge and self-shaming that Jews have urged on non-
Jewish nations.

Charles Dodgson is the pen name of a social analyst living in England.