Reckoning nears for the US and Israel

Reckoning nears for the US and Israel

By Rami G. Khouri

The moment of reckoning in US-Israeli relations is approaching much more quickly than could have been anticipated months ago, due to two related developments: the hard-line position of the new Israeli government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the obvious, but undeclared, linkages between progress in US-Iranian relations and progress in Arab-Israeli peace-making.

The friction between the American and Israeli positions on how to proceed in Arab-Israeli peace-making was on stark display in Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem on Thursday. The US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell re-stated the

American commitment to a two-state solution, while Israel’s prime minister, as well as the interior and foreign ministers, took positions clearly designed to sidetrack any serious negotiations.

The fascinating new diplomatic landscape that seems to be emerging sees the United States and the Palestinians firmly seeking a two-state solution, while the Israelis occupy rather different terrain. Israel now emphasizes four priorities: ending the mini-rocket attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip, dealing with the issue of Iran’s nuclear program, improving the economy of the occupied Palestinian territories, and securing Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a first step toward any peace talks.

This occurs at a time when, according to Israeli press reports by respected writers like Shimon Shiffer in the daily Yedioth Aharonot, the Obama administration is quickly losing patience with Israel’s position and has expressed a determination to conclude an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement on the basis of two adjacent states by the end of Obama’s first term. Washington reportedly is quietly signaling its displeasure with the Netanyahu stance.

It is too early to tell whether we are witnessing the early stages of the US slowly taking back control of its wider Middle East policies from Israel and pro-Israel extremists in the US Congress, lobbies and think tanks who hijacked it in recent decades. It would be exciting and historic indeed for the US to pursue Middle East policies that foster American national interests, while responding rationally to the legitimate interests of the Israelis, Arabs, Iranians and Turks who live in the Middle East.

Israel’s evasive tactics are not new. Most Israeli governments in the past 40 years have adopted positions generally seeking to postpone Israel’s coming to grips with three critical realities: ending colonization of, and withdrawing from, all the Arab lands occupied in 1967; accepting the creation of a viable Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, with Jerusalem as the shared capital of Israel and Palestine; and agreeing to a negotiated, mutually-acceptable resolution of the 1947-1948 Palestinian refugees issue that is based on relevant UN resolutions and refugee law.

The last four American administrations failed to push Israel to negotiate seriously on these issues. The cost of such a reckless policy has become too high for the US to accept indefinitely, it seems. Total American acquiescence to hard-line Israeli positions has pushed most of the 400 million or so people in the Middle East to rise up defiantly and angrily against the US and Israel. The result has been a Middle East widely ravaged by wars, rebellions, terrorism, occupation, resistance and increasing desperation – manifested in inter-linked conflicts and ideological confrontations in half a dozen distinct arenas.

The US has taken a courageous initiative in revising its policy of pressure, threats and boycotts towards Iran and Syria, and that policy will have more chances of succeeding if Israeli-Palestinian and wider Arab-Israeli peace talks proceed in parallel. A critical first step in that direction remains securing Israeli acceptance of equal and simultaneous rights for Palestinians and Israelis – rather than the failed policy of demanding a priori Arab recognition of core Israeli demands on security and statehood, before Arab rights can be discussed or Israeli colonization reversed.

This is the pivotal peace-making principle on which the US and Israel have yet to clarify their positions. Washington’s rhetoric accepts this, but its policy on the ground has been different. The Israelis seem opposed to it in rhetoric and practice. The Arabs – after decades of refusing to do so – support peaceful negotiations to allow Israelis and Arabs to achieve their national rights in a parallel way. This is the moment for the Arab world, and Palestinians in particular, to reaffirm more clearly than ever their willingness to live in peace with a majority-Jewish Israeli state that treats all its citizens equally, ends colonization policies, withdraws from lands occupied in 1967, and coexists with a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem.

George Mitchell’s mediating task is clear, and he certainly has the experience and the skills needed to succeed. What remains unclear is where his own American government stands on these issues. We may soon find out.

Rami G. Khouri is publishes bi-weekly by THE DAILY STAR.

TEAM ZION BOYCOTTS UN ANTI-RACISM CONFERENCE

The world will never be able to discuss, let alone solve, any thorny issues, such as racism and who started which conflict, as long as the Western powers fight to maintain their exclusive license to lie and terrorize the people of the world in a racist war against Islam and dark-skinned people.  If the “Jewish state” and its apartheid laws and policies cannot proceed to ethnically cleanse Palestine without criticism, then the project to create a world dictatorship cannot succeed.  Ahmedinejad was speaking the truth.  The truth is always outrageous to people who prefer to believe in lies.

UN racism conference: 8 nations to boycott meeting in Geneva

Netherlands, Germany, New Zealand join U.S., Australia, Canada, Israel and Italy in boycott.

more about “BBC NEWS | Europe | Walkout at Iran l…“, posted with vodpod

Walkout at Iran leader’s speech

Diplomats walk out of the summit and protesters heckle Iran’s leader

Diplomats have walked out of a speech by the Iranian president at a UN anti-racism conference after he described Israel as a “racist government”.

Two protesters, wearing coloured wigs, briefly disrupted the beginning of the speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but he continued speaking.

Shortly afterwards a stream of Western delegates walked out when he attacked the creation of the state of Israel.

France, which had warned of a walkout, described it as “hate speech”.

Some of those who stayed clapped as Mr Ahmadinejad continued his speech.

The walkout is a public relations disaster for the United Nations, which had hoped the conference would be a shining example of what the UN is supposed to do best – uniting to combat injustice in the world, says the BBC’s Imogen Foulkes in Geneva.

UN dismay

The walkout by about 40 delegates happened within minutes of the speech starting on Monday.

Imogen Foulkes
Imogen Foulkes
BBC News, Geneva
When it became clear what direction the speech was going, they [the ambassadors] walked out to huge cheers from a large number of pro-Israeli groups in the audience who had already tried to disrupt the proceedings.
It is hugely disruptive and very damaging to the United Nations which had really wanted this conference to be an example of what the UN is good at – uniting the international community against injustice and racial discrimination.
It is difficult to see how this conference can get back to that agenda after today’s scenes.

Moments earlier security guards escorted two protesters from the conference hall after one threw an object at the Iranian president and they yelled “racist, racist” as he stood at the podium.

Mr Ahmadinejad, the only major leader to attend the conference, said Jewish migrants from Europe and the United States had been sent to the Middle East after World War II “in order to establish a racist government in the occupied Palestine”.

He continued, through an interpreter: “And in fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racist regime in Palestine.”

French Ambassador Jean-Baptiste Mattei said: “As soon as he started to address the question of the Jewish people and Israel, we had no reason to stay in the room,” Associated Press reported.

British ambassador Peter Gooderham, also among those who left, said Mr Ahmadinejad’s comments were “offensive and inflammatory”.

“Such outrageous anti-Semitic remarks should have no place in a UN anti-racism forum,” he said.

RACISM CONFERENCE
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The US, Israel, Canada, Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and New Zealand had all boycotted the conference being held in Geneva, in protest at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s appearance, and Israel recalled its ambassador to Switzerland.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had warned that French delegates would walk out if the forum was used as a platform to attack Israel.

Speaking after the walkout, he said: “The defence of human rights and the fight against all types of racism are too important for the United Nations not to unite against all forms of hate speech, against all perversion of this message.

“Faced with attitudes like that which the Iranian president has just adopted, no compromise is possible.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed dismay at the boycotts.

TNSM Activists Killed in Fight With TTP

IN A BATTLE BETWEEN TNSM AND TTP, WHICH SIDE REPRESENTS THE “RECONCILABLES” AND WHICH SIDE THE “IRRECONCILABLES”?

Two TNSM activists killed in clash with Taliban

Monday, April 20, 2009

By our correspondent

KHAR: Activists of the banned Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi on Sunday clashed with militants affiliated with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Bajaur Agency, resulting in the killing of two TNSM workers on a day when the Taliban banned the display of arms in the agency.

The activists of the two banned organisations exchanged fire in Maina locality of Mamond tehsil. The reason of the clash and the identity of those killed in the incident could not be ascertained till filing of this report. One activist of the TNSM also sustained injuries in the incident.

The elders of Mamond tribe met soon after the incident and managed a ceasefire between the two warring sides. The hitherto silent spokesman for the TTP Maulvi Omar on the other hand called media persons by telephone from an undisclosed location and said that the Taliban have banned brandishing of arms in Bajaur Agency for the well-being of the people of the region.

In order to ensure the ban on arms’ display, the Taliban have launched a crackdown in Mamond tehsil against those violating the ban and so far 60 people have been captured for carrying arms in public. He said the Taliban have been honouring the peace agreement reached between the government and Mamond tribal elders and they would not allow anybody to disturb the law and order situation in Bajaur.

Maulvi Omar confirmed the incident of armed clash between the TNSM and TTP activists, but said that the matter has been resolved. Meanwhile, leader of the TNSM and elder son of Maulana Sufi Muhammad Rizwan termed the incident as outcome of misunderstanding. He said that the Taliban and TNSM had developed some differences in Mamond tehsil, but the elders of the area have started efforts to resolve their differences.

The common tribal people in the agency have welcomed the Taliban decision to ban display of weapons in the agency, seeing it as a positive step of the militants for durable peace in the region.

It was in February last that the Taliban announced unilateral ceasefire, which was followed by a 28-point peace agreement between the political administration and Mamond tribal elders. The Taliban, though had expressed unawareness about the said agreement, they had announced to honour it so that peace could be restored in the region.

The Bajaur Taliban also asked the internally displaced people to return to their hometowns. A senior Taliban leader told The News that the political administration has assured them that they would rehabilitate the displaced tribal people, reconstruct their houses and pay them compensation for the losses they have suffered due to the military operation.

End judicial system by April 23, demands Sufi

End judicial system by April 23, demands Sufi


By Essa Khankhel

MINGORA: Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) chief Maulana Sufi Muhammad has warned the government to wind up its judicial system within four days and establish the appellate court of Darul Qaza for the Malakand division, or he will re-launch his protest campaign.

Addressing a mammoth public meeting at Grassy Ground here on Sunday, he made it clear that the government must set up Darul Qaza before lower Qazi courts, which, he said, was the first step towards the implementation of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation in letter and spirit.

TNSM’s Nazim-e-Aala Maulana Safiullah, Sheikh Waliullah Kabalgrami, Maulana Salar Khan, Maulana Samiullah, Maulana Abdul Haq, Maulana Badshah Zeb and Maulana Fayyaz also addressed the meeting.

Unprecedented security arrangements were made for the rally as 300 armed volunteers guarded the venue. In Mingora city, all shops, markets and business centres remained closed, as the TNSM had earlier made an appeal to traders and shopkeepers to keep their business shut to facilitate the participants during the rally.

Maulana Sufi Muhammad urged the government to appoint Tehsil and district Qazis in the seven districts of the Malakand division and Kohistan district of Hazara division within a month. Failure to do so, he warned, would bring his followers on the streets. He said a system of justice based on Shariah was the only way out of the present unrest.

“If our demands were not met within the set deadline, then we will not be held responsible for any violence in the area,” the TNSM chief warned. He said all the criminal and civil cases would be heard and decided in the Qazi courts. He added that the judgment given by the Qazi courts could not be challenged in the provincial high courts or the Supreme Court.

“I consider Western democracy as a system imposed on us by the infidels. Islam does not allow democracy or elections,” he opined, adding that he would never accept the system of justice of the non-Muslims.

Sufi Mohammad said the implementation of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation would restore peace in the Malakand division, particularly Swat. He said the Taliban militants had promised to lay down arms after the enforcement of the Nizam-e-Adl.

Govt staged fake protest against drone attacks: Fazl

Govt staged fake protest against drone attacks: Fazl

LAHORE: Chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman Monday said the government staged only fake protest against drone strikes in tribal areas of Pakistan and it failed to satisfy the people in this regard.

Addressing a press conference here, Fazl urged the role of democratic institutions for pulling the country out of the internal crisis and added that legislation be made in light of the recommendations given by Islamic Ideology Council.

He stressed need for implementation on unanimously passed resolution of the Parliament.

JUI Chief said Maulana Sufi Muhammad has limited knowledge of democracy and that the latter failed to define it in the light of the Constitution from which we take basic guidance.

“MQM is opposing the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation in line with foreign agenda,” he maintained.

Pandemonium rocks Senate over NAR-2009

Pandemonium rocks Senate over NAR-2009

ISLAMABAD: The Upper House witnessed on Monday pandemonium amid heated exchange of words and sloganeering on the promulgation of Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (NAR-2009) in Malakand and Swat.

The session began with chairman Senate, Farooq H. Naek in chair. The situation got tense when Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Dr. Babar Awan presented the Nizam-e-Adl regulation in the Upper House. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Senator and Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping, Babar Khan Ghauri requested the chairman to pass ruling over an statement of TNSM chief Maulana Sufi Mohammad in which he had termed the Parliament ‘unlawful’ under the Shariah.

Ghauri said that Sufi had violated the sanctity of the judiciary and parliament by giving such statement and the parliament should take strict note of his remarks. Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House Waseem Sajjad said that there was no need to present the NAR-2009 in the parliament after the president endorsed the regulation.

To a question, Babar Awan said that NAR-2009 had been drafted under the constitution and law. Later, the Senate chairman reserved the ruling on Nizam-e-Adl Regulation.

Comforting the Torturers

CIA seal in lobby of HQ in Langley, Virginia - photo 14 April

Mr Obama will talk about the importance of the CIA’s mission

US President Barack Obama is to visit the CIA, in a bid to reassure staff stung by the release of memos detailing harsh interrogation techniques.

The visit follows comments by a former CIA chief who said the memos would limit its ability to pursue terrorists.

Mr Obama released the memos last week but said CIA staff would not be prosecuted for the methods, which critics say are torture.

It has been revealed that two al-Qaeda suspects were waterboarded 266 times.

Quoting one of the memos, The New York Times said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed planner of the 9/11 attacks, was subjected to the technique, which simulates drowning, 183 times.

The method was used on another suspect, Abu Zubaydah, at least 83 times.

BBC defence and security correspondent Rob Watson says this contrasts starkly with previous accounts given by US intelligence sources that implied both men told all after only the briefest exposure to the technique.

The new information could hardly have emerged at a more sensitive time for President Obama, our correspondent says.

Though highly critical during his election campaign of the CIA’s methods, he adds, since coming to office Mr Obama has been anxious to boost morale at the agency and to draw a line under the controversies of its recent past.

CIA ‘still exposed’

Mr Obama is expected to deliver a public message on “the importance of the CIA’s mission” when he visits the organisation’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Michael Hayden
The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer – it really did work
Gen Michael Hayden
Former CIA chief

He will also hold private meetings with staff. Correspondents say he will seek to renew assurances made last week that agents and officials who authorised or carried out harsh interrogation methods will not be prosecuted.

The former head of the CIA, Michael Hayden, who ran the agency under President George W Bush, said CIA staff might still be open to congressional probes or civil actions by those subjected to the methods.

“There will be more revelations. There will be more commissions. There will be more investigations,” he told Fox News network on Sunday,

“And this to an agency … that is at war and is on the front lines of defending America.”

Gen Hayden added that the release of the memos would make it more difficult to get useful information from suspected terrorists.

“I think that teaching our enemies our outer limits, by taking techniques off the table, we have made it more difficult in a whole host of circumstances I can imagine, more difficult for CIA officers to defend the nation,” he said.

A detainee being escorted at Guantanamo Bay prison camp

Mr Obama banned the controversial techniques in his first week in office

He also denied that such methods were ineffective.

“The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer. It really did work,” he said.

Other methods mentioned in the memos include week-long sleep deprivation, forced nudity and the use of painful positions.

Mr Obama on Thursday said he would not prosecute under anti-torture laws CIA personnel who relied in good faith on Bush administration legal opinions issued after the 11 September attacks.

But he has been criticised by human rights organisations and UN officials, who say charges are necessary to prevent future abuses and to hold people accountable.

B. S. From Michael “Tickle Me” Hayden

SEE: Torture Doesn’t Work

Hayden critical of CIA memo release

Updated at: 0915 PST, Monday, April 20, 2009 NEW YORK: Former CIA Director General Michael Hayden continued his grilling of President Obama’s decision to release a number of legal memos detailing numerous enhanced interrogation techniques of suspected terrorists. Appearing on “Fox News Sunday,” Hayden said that those who object to the CIA’s ability to use such enhanced interrogation techniques are acting “honorably,” but are avoiding the “inconvenient truth” that the use of such techniques have made the nation safer. “It’s difficult for me to judge the president,” Hayden said. “I don’t think I would do that. But White House Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs’ comments [that ‘it is the use of those techniques, the use of those techniques in the view of the world, that have made us less safe’ bring another reality fully in front of us. It’s what I’ll call, without meaning any irreverence to anybody, a really inconvenient truth.” Most of the people who oppose these techniques want to be able to say, “‘I don’t want my nation doing this, which is a purely honorable position,” Hayden continued. “The facts of the case are that the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer. It really did work. The president’s speech, President Bush in September of ’06, outlined how one detainee led to another, led to another, with the use of these techniques.” Hayden also reiterated his view that the release of the interrogation memos sheds light on information that would be valuable to our enemies.

Torture Doesn’t Work

Torture Doesn’t Work

by Matthew Alexander

Matthew Alexander is a pseudonym for a 14 year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. As the leader of an elite interrogations team in Iraq, he conducted more than 300 interrogations and supervised more than 1,000.

Abu Ghraib

AP Photo

A former senior interrogator in Iraq says that abusing prisoners results in unreliable information, costs American lives, and it still hasn’t turned up Bin Laden.

There are valid reasons why we haven’t had enough with “torture sanctimony,” as Christopher Buckley puts it in an article in The Daily Beast, and let me start with the most important—it’s going to cost us future American lives in addition to the ones we’ve already lost.

Our policy of torture and abuse of prisoners has been Al Qaida’s number one recruiting tool, a point that Buckley does not mention and is also conspicuously absent from former CIA Director General Michael Hayden and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey’s argument in the Wall Street Journal. As the senior interrogator in Iraq for a task force charged with hunting down Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the former Al Qaida leader and mass murderer, I listened time and time again to captured foreign fighters cite the torture and abuse at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo as their main reason for coming to Iraq to fight. Consider that 90 percent of the suicide bombers in Iraq are these foreign fighters and you can easily conclude that we have lost hundreds, if not thousands, of American lives because of our policy of torture and abuse. But that’s only the past.

When a captured Al Qaida member sees us live up to our stated principles they are more willing to negotiate and cooperate with us. When we torture or abuse them, it hardens their resolve and reaffirms why they picked up arms.

Somewhere in the world there are other young Muslims who have joined Al Qaida because we tortured and abused prisoners. These men will certainly carry out future attacks against Americans, either in Iraq, Afghanistan, or possibly even here. And that’s not to mention numerous other Muslims who support Al Qaida, either financially or in other ways, because they are outraged that the United States tortured and abused Muslim prisoners.

In addition, torture and abuse has made us less safe because detainees are less likely to cooperate during interrogations if they don’t trust us. I know from having conducted hundreds of interrogations of high ranking Al Qaida members and supervising more than one thousand, that when a captured Al Qaida member sees us live up to our stated principles they are more willing to negotiate and cooperate with us. When we torture or abuse them, it hardens their resolve and reaffirms why they picked up arms.

Former officials who say that we prevented terrorist attacks by waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Muhammad or Abu Zubaydah are possibly intentionally ignorant of the fact that their actions cost us American lives. And let’s not forget the glaring failure in these cases. Torture never convinced either of these men to sell out Osama Bin Laden.  (more here)


Eight killed in SWA drone attack

Eight killed in SWA drone attack

Monday, April 20, 2009

By our correspondent

WANA: Eight persons were killed and two others sustained injuries when a suspected US spy plane fired missiles at two houses in Ziyari Noor area near Rustam Adda in South Waziristan Agency (SWA) on Sunday.

Sources said the US drones continued hovering over the area for hours and one of them fired missiles at the houses of Daim Khan Wazir and Wali Khan Wazir at 10:00 am, leaving eight civilians dead and two others injured.

The houses were completely destroyed in the attack and three vehicles parked inside were also damaged.

The Maulvi Nazeer-led militants rushed to the spot and cordoned off the area soon after the attack. Meanwhile, the local tribal elders condemned the attack, alleging that the drone attacks were being carried at the behest of the government.

They said innocent people had been killed in the attacks and scare of the drones had multiplied the miseries of the beleaguered tribesmen. The Mehsud tribe also convened a grand Jirga for today (Monday) in Tank district to chalk out the future course of action against the frequent drone attacks in the agency.

It is pertinent to mention here that it was the second drone attack in the last 20 days in the South Waziristan Agency. On April 9, four people were killed and five others injured in a drone attack in Gangikhel village of South Waziristan.

“Gujarat and Mumbai: Where is the India-Pakistan Peace Process?”

UH Mānoa presents second talk in Asia Pacific lecture series

As part of its ongoing program, “Asia Pacific in the News,” the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa’s School of Pacific and Asian Studies (SPAS) is sponsoring a second presentation, “Gujarat and Mumbai: Where is the India-Pakistan Peace Process?” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at the Center for Korean Studies.

The presentation will examine the relations between India and Pakistan, and why tension keeps recurring between the two countries. They have a long history of  peaceful contact with each other, but have also survived three wars, painful disagreements over Kashmir, alternating nuclear tests, the 2001 Indian Parliament attack and the 2002 Gujarat attacks.

Five panel participants will share their views on events that continue to both help and hurt the Pakistan-India peace process, as well as how to keep the peace process alive. The speakers are:

Moderator: Uzma Khan, Assistant Professor, Department of English

Shabbir Cheema, Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative, East-West Center

Mimi Sharma, Professor, Asian Studies Program

Toufiq Siddiqi, Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Research Program, East-West Center

S. Shankar, Director and Professor, Center for South Asian Studies

Aslam Syed, Andrews Chair, Asian Studies Program

SPAS will sponsor informational presentations periodically throughout the academic year. The presentations aim to provide timely insights into newsworthy events in Asia and the Pacific. Students, faculty and community members are welcome. On-campus parking is available for $3.

The University of Hawai`i at Mānoa serves approximately 20,000 students pursuing 225 different degrees. Coming from every Hawaiian island, every state in the nation, and more than 100 countries, UHM students matriculate in an enriching environment for the global exchange of ideas. For more information, visit http://manoa.hawaii.edu.

16 militants killed in Orakzai blitz

16 militants killed in Orakzai blitz

Monday, April 20, 2009

By our correspondent

KALAYA: Fighter planes and gunship helicopters on Sunday pounded suspected hideouts of militants in different areas of the restive Orakzai tribal agency, killing 16 militants, while 10 others, including a Khassadar and two teachers, sustained injuries, tribal sources said.

The sources told The News that the militants had occupied a rest house, a women community centre, the Government Primary School in Ghiljo Tehsil and the Government High School in Dabori area.

The militants had been using these places as their bases, which came under severe air attack by the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) fighter planes and gunship helicopters. Suspected hideouts of militants in Khadizai and Mamuzai areas of Ghiljo Tehsil were also heavily bombed.

Security forces claimed that 16 militants were killed in the daylong shelling, while eight people, including a Khassadar, two teachers and some civilians sustained injuries. The massive bombardment created panic in the entire Orakzai Agency, which is the smallest among the seven federally administrated tribal regions. The shopkeepers left their shops open and fled to safer places as several shells hit the main bazaar in Ghiljo town. Scores of tribal people were also seen running away to safer places.

The operation in the area was launched after 27 persons, including 25 soldiers, were killed in a suicide attack near the Doaba check-post in Hangu on Saturday. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Baitullah Mehsud’s close aide Hakimullah Mehsud had claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on security forces in Doaba.

Talking to the media by telephone from an undisclosed location, Hakimullah Mehsud, who is believed to be operating from the Orakzai Agency, vowed to target security forces till the drone attacks ended.

Planner of 9/11 attacks waterboarded 183 times-NYT

Planner of 9/11 attacks waterboarded 183 times-NYT

WASHINGTON, April 19 (Reuters) – CIA interrogators used the waterboarding technique on Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the admitted planner of the Sept. 11 attacks, 183 times and 83 times on another al Qaeda suspect, The New York Times said on Sunday.

The Times said a 2005 Justice Department memorandum showed that Abu Zubaydah, the first prisoner questioned in the CIA’s overseas detention program in August 2002, was waterboarded 83 times, although a former CIA officer had told news media he had been subjected to only 35 seconds underwater before talking.

President Barack Obama has banned the use of waterboarding, overturning a Bush administration policy that it did not constitute torture.

The Justice Department memo said the simulated drowning technique was used on Mohammed 183 times in March 2003. The Times said some copies of the memos appeared to have the number of waterboardings redacted while others did not.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating the CIA interrogation program, which under President George W. Bush also included slamming prisoners into walls, shackling them in uncomfortable positions and depriving them of sleep.

Bush administration officials had claimed such methods were needed to get information but the repeated use of the waterboard on Zubaydah and Mohammed were sure to raise questions about its effectiveness. (Writing by Bill Trott; editing by Chris Wilson)

Senior Taliban commander escapes Pakistan airstrike

Senior Taliban commander escapes Pakistan airstrike

By Ivan Watson
CNN

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) — The Taliban’s commander in Pakistan escaped unhurt after an airstrike in the country’s turbulent border region Sunday left 16 insurgents dead, a Taliban spokesman told CNN.

As many as 20 militants were killed in the attack in the Orukzai Agency, said Pakistani army officers, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Pakistan army spokesman Qari Muhammad said Taliban commander Mulvi Hakimullah Mehsud was the intended target of the attack. A Pakistani intelligence official also confirmed the target was Mehsud.

On Saturday, Mehsud claimed responsibility for a suicide car bomb attack on a convoy of Pakistani security forces in the Hangu region, which borders Orukzai. At least 28 people were killed in that attack and about 30 were wounded. Most of the casualties were soldiers and police.

“We carried out the suicide attack and we will do more until U.S. drone attacks stop in the tribal areas,” Mehsud was reported as saying.

Also Saturday, Pakistani officials said at least three people were killed by a missile fired from a suspected American unmanned aerial vehicle in south Waziristan, another violent Pakistani border region.

The U.S. military in Afghanistan routinely offers no comment on reported cross-border strikes. However, the United States is the only country operating in the region known to have the capability to launch missiles from drones, which are controlled remotely.

Some drone attack have yielded high-profile targets for the U.S. government, such as a New Year’s Day missile strike that killed Usama al Kini, the operations director for al Qaeda in Pakistan. He is also the suspected mastermind behind the September 20 suicide bombing at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad that killed 53 people.

Pakistan’s government has repeatedly complained about the strikes because of rising numbers in civilian casualties. It says the attacks cost lives and undermine public support for its counter-terrorism efforts.

Remembering Bacha Khan

4_close1

Remembering Bacha Khan

The life story of the great and the finest Pukhtoon Khan Abdul Ghaffar Baacha Khan is in fact, the history of Pukhtoons, replete with his life-long trials and sufferings his simple patience, resignation and deep concern for the good of humanity, at large.

Baacha Khan, a devout Musalmaan and true humanist had studied God�s world after reading the Quranic Wisdom for the purpose of discovering (His) God�s will that ultimately formed his sublime character and discipline his life, (building his fortitude on a better foundation than stockism and

was pleased with everything that happened, because he knew it could not happen, unless it had first pleased God, and that which pleased him must be the best of all.

There is no denying the fact that Baacha Khan was great since his greatness carried up millions by the attraction of his own mind, which grappled with the great aim to struggle against the then mighty imperial power under the sun; hence Baacha Khan never sought for greatness, on the contrary asked for truth and in the long run found truth and greatness-both.

Gifted with a sterling character, based on principle and on the fear of God, he vigorously and persistently resisted to all that was ugly and impure. Baacha Khan never in his lifetime used bad language while outlining his political theory. He always politely referred to his party�s opponents, yet he was ridiculed, laughed at jeered and even abused by the so-called refined and polished personages.

Baacha Khan however at the foul and badly couched words was not disturbed nor distracted would not dishearten nor distracted his unshakable determination and grim resolve. History bears testimony to the fact that Baacha Khan lived heroically and struggled against the alien rule under unbearable conditions with poise, calms and patience and did not budge an inch disregarding personal pleasure, personal indulgence and personal advantage, no matter remote or present, in the long course of his honourable life *Laka Oona Mustaqeem Hase Wallar Yim Ka Khazan Rabanday Rashi Ka Bahar.

I am like an unbent tree; with least-care weather autumn has set in or spring departed. As a matter of fact, cruel acts of untold enormity did try Baacha Khan�s patience and endurance, but had utterly failed to imprint on him any false stamp. With his flawless character, and down to earth humanity love, universal good and to address the welfare of people was the greatness of the Baacha Khan nobility and his truthful mind.

Once a companion told Baacha Khan about the cruel and torturous handling of Khudai Khidmatgar (servant of God) by the law-enforcing agency of foreign regime.

Baacha Khan consoled his companion and said. Do not loose heart. Go and visit the tortured ones. Attend to the sick, minister to their wants and relate to them of the consolation of religion. Baacha Khan further added that he had often tried this process himself and founded it an effective remedy of the lonely, afflicted and heavy hearts.

The fearless, leader the guide and the mentor Baacha Khan had without least exaggeration made an ever-lasting imprint in the political arena of the Indo-Pak Sub-continent. �Better be poisoned in ones own blood then to be poisoned in one�s principle� was said by the great and noble Baacha Khan in his most explicit and direct manner compressing as much thought as possible into a few words, driven home the undeniable fact that principle base on truth and honestly on purpose could never be modified nor allowed under any condition to flexibility.

Baacha Khan is no more with his people – the way the flower withers away. The loss of Baacha Khan will remain an anguishing tragedy of colossal magnitude to his teeming followers and admirers in outside the Sub-continent. With a heavy heart it is not out of place to note regretfully that it is sadness to sense to thing of Baacha Khan�s seemingly lonely if not at all abandoned grave in Jalalabad Afghanistan.

May be it is not too much to ask Khan Abdul Wali Khan and also Asfandiyar Wali Khan to approach those at the helm of affair in Afghanistan for whom Khan Abdul Wali Khan and his co-thinkers have all the goodwill at their command to take care of the Baacha Khan�s grave which at the moment is left forlorn and seldom visited.

It would be an added gesture of goodwill if the Afghan consulate-general in Peshawar and Quetta issue from time to time to indenting admirers of Baacha Khan temporary permit for a single day duration to visit and offer prayers at the grave of Baacha Khan the undying symbol of Afghan unity and solidarity.

Gone are the living but the dead man remain, And not neglected For a hand unseen, *Scattering its bounty Like a summer rain, Still keeps his grave and His remembrance green.

Allama Iqbal, Bacha Khan and terrorists

Allama Iqbal, Bacha Khan and terrorists

- Suroosh Irfani

It might well be that the heartless war our homegrown jihadis and Afghan Taliban are waging against Pakistan exemplifies Islam’s dangerous inversion that Iqbal had warned against some three generations ago. Such inversion has virtually displaced Bacha Khan and Iqbal’s spiritual humanism by a jihadi extremism at war with humanity

“Muslims are at war with one another, in their hearts they only harbor schism. They cry out if someone else pulls a brick out of a mosque which they themselves shun” — Allama Iqbal, Armaghan e Hijaz (verse translated by Mustansir Mir)

When Muhammad Iqbal, the ‘spiritual founder of Pakistan’, wrote the above verses shortly before his death in 1938, the blowing up of mosques and beheadings of fellow Muslims had not yet become part of everyday Muslim life. Nor was the destruction of schools, or the ban on girls’ education and music part of a freedom struggle that led to the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947.

Indeed, by the 1930s when Iqbal’s Islamic rethink had earned him the appellations of ‘Poet of Islam’ and ‘Wiseman of the Ummah’, non-violence was shaping the freedom struggle against British rule in much of India. While Gandhi was emblematic of such a struggle, shades of non-violence also permeated Muslim political discourse. Such a discourse was as much in evidence in the ‘martial’ North West Frontier Province — the cradle of jihadi terror in Pakistan today — as the rest of India.

However, as Britain started discussing India’s future in a series of Round Table Conferences during the 1930s, Iqbal was apprehensive that Britain might “transfer political authority to the Hindus” for its “material benefits”, leaving Muslims marginalised in India. Such a development, he warned, could be “disastrous…You will drive the Indian Muslims to use the same weapon against the [Hindu] Government…as Gandhi did against the British Government.” (Iqbal’s Letter to Sir Francis Younghusband, The Civil and Military Gazette, July 31, 1931).

Clearly, his poetics of Muslim ascendancy notwithstanding, non-violence for Iqbal was integral to India’s democratic experiment as it “educated people…without destroying the structures of government itself”.

However, as the Round Table Conferences continued in London, the NWFP was swept by a populist upsurge for social reform and political rights never before seen in Muslim history: a non-violent movement led by Pashtun leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, just after his return from Haj in 1929. Called the Servants of God Movement (Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek), it reflected the onset of a radical transformation in popular imagination in a tribal culture, where violence constituted mutual deterrence under the rubric of ‘badla’, or revenge.

Convinced that Pashtun would be denied their rightful place in the modern world so long as they remained mired in colonialism, poverty and violence, Ghaffar Khan struggled to undo the triple curse by invoking non-violence as “the weapon of the Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]” and the driving spirit of his movement. The Prophet’s [PBUH] non-violence, Khan argued, exemplified “patience and righteousness”, and so long as the Servants of God remained true to the Prophet’s [PBUH] example, no power on earth could subdue them.

Consequently, as social and educational reforms of the Servants of God began transforming lives, people hailed the saintly Khan as a ‘saviour king’ — Bacha Khan.

Indeed, one could say that the spiritual politics of servanthood that Bacha Khan invoked in the name of God and the Prophet [PBUH] was, at one level, the social corollary of an ideal that Iqbal espoused in his poetry. In Javid Nama, Iqbal’s magnum opus reflecting the creative imagination of a new Muslim consciousness, he expounds the mystical meanings of the concept of servanthood as a deepening of consciousness with diverse expressions, its high point being the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as His servant, abday’hu.

In a sense, while Bacha Khan and Iqbal stood at opposite ends of Indian politics — the former struggled for a united India, the latter for Muslim separation — they exemplified different facets of the same discourse of non-violence. This is borne out by an inner vision of Iqbal that inspired him to write Armaghan e Hijaz — his last poetic work composed in both Persian and Urdu.

In the vision late one night, a tall saintly figure appeared in Iqbal’s room, emphatically urged him to raise a grouping of 500 men, and then disappeared in the night, leaving the ‘Poet of the East’ deeply shaken. It is worth noting that Iqbal’s vision occurred in a political context, when several radical Indian Muslims were secretly crossing over to Afghanistan to organise armed struggle against the British Indian government. Given such context, did the vision imply that Iqbal, too, should raise an army of 500 holy warriors for jihad against the British?

Iqbal discussed the vision with his father, a Sufi of the Qadiriya order, who interpreted it as a call for writing a poetic work of 500 verses to educate Muslims and deepen their humanity. As Faqir Wahiddudin notes in his biography of Iqbal (Rozgar e Faqir, p.117), the truth of the father’s interpretation was borne out when Iqbal composed Armaghan e Hijaz. Comprising just over 500 verses, the work unfolds with an allusion to Iqbal’s vision: here Iqbal declares that he is “raising a new army of Love”, to counter a dangerous revolt that’s brewing against the heart of Islam from within.

It might well be that the heartless war our homegrown jihadis and Afghan Taliban are waging against Pakistan exemplifies Islam’s dangerous inversion that Iqbal had warned against some three generations ago. Such inversion has virtually displaced Bacha Khan and Iqbal’s spiritual humanism by a jihadi extremism at war with humanity.

Clearly, Pakistan’s survival as a modern democratic state is hinged on healing an inner Muslim split that has turned Iqbal’s dream state into a nightmare. Such healing entails, on the one hand, an urgent recovery of Iqbal and Bacha Khan’s spiritual politics; and on the other hand, rethinking of a flawed security outlook that sees India as mortal enemy and Taliban as strategic asset.

Indeed, the “strategic renaissance” the Pakistan Army needs for reclaiming the NWFP from Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, as Lt-Gen (retd) Talat Masood has pointed out, will remain elusive without Iqbal and Bacha Khan’s presence as a cultural force.

Suroosh Irfani is an educator and writer based in Lahore. He can be reached at suroosh@yahoo.com

Secret NATO armies in eleven countries

Andreotti; dpa

The Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in court for murder and suspected contacts with the Mafia. In the course of negotiations, he reveals the existence of an Italian secret army. (Photo: AP)

Secret NATO armies in eleven countries

By Jonathan Stock

It was a secret of many NATO countries: underground armies should be in an invasion of the Soviet Union of the guerrilla war record. The traces go back to the fifties – the Nato mauert today. Germany in September 1952, Chancellor Adenauer drives with full force the Western integration of the young Federal Republic of progress, one of its major objectives: the inclusion of Germany in NATO. During this time bursting the incredible statement by a former SS officer. A statement that the consequences of a transatlantic scandal trigger. Hans Otto explains the Hessian criminal, he is one “of a political resistance group, whose task it was, in the case of a Russian march sabotage, and to blow up bridges.”

The political resistance group is dominated by right-wing extremists “Federation of German Youth,” short BDJ. Otto says: “About 100 members of the organization were politically trained, and in the service of American, Russian and German weapons, and in the use of military tactics instructed. The members of this organization were mostly former officers of the Air Force, the Army or the Waffen-SS. “Otto told the police that an American secret service agents for the money and the greatest part of the training and equipment provided. The men were in the vicinity of forest -Michelbach, a municipality in the Hessian Odenwald, has been informed, had a house with an underground shooting range and a bunker nearby.

Otto himself was unwilling to increasing activity on the methods taught: “He taught us, for example, how to kill someone without leaving a trace, if one just with chloroform unconscious makes him into his car, and a hose used to the exhaust of the car into the car’s interior chamber. He taught us certain interrogation techniques, how to use force, without leaving a trace. “It sounds like the statement of a Spinners. A statement is a scandal

But four days later, on 13 September 1952, the police stormed the headquarters of the BDJ in the Odenwald. They arrested members, confiscated weapons, ammunition and explosives, as well as lots of files. One of the surprises of those papers to identify particular officials: “This list contained the names of the persons who should be eliminated. The list was not complete because it still worked.” On the list are the names of many well-known German Communists in the case of an invasion should be murdered – but also the name of moderate Social Democrats, like that of Henry Zinnkann, then interior minister of Hesse.

The incident, in political circles for a scandal. A secret organization as the basis of illegal activities, outside of any legislative control and under the influence of American secret services?

The journalist Leo Muller reported that after the list was found, “the surprise was so great that most reacted with disbelief.” Chancellor Konrad Adenauer claimed by the whole affair to be a lie, while Walter Donnelly, the American High Commissioner in Germany, explains that the network already in just this month to be dissolved. Already on 30 September, the Federal judge in Karlsruhe, that all members of the group arrested are released.

Hessen Minister President Georg August Zinn responded angrily: “The only legal explanation for this release may be that the people in Karlsruhe, a U.S. statement followed.” He decides to keep the public informed. On October 8, 1952 he joined after a conversation with German Chancellor Adenauer before the Hessian Parliament: “On 9 September 1952 was an outpost of the Hessian Verfassungsschutz office by a secret organization, the 1950/1951 from the leaders of the BDJ under the name TD, ‘Technical Services’, was founded. “

After explaining their way of working he adds: “On 1 October ordered the top federal prosecutor for the release of the suspects, as the organization at the request of the American secret service was created.”

A scream goes through the parliament, the New York Times writes about German-American crisis meetings, the Mirror reported: “The BDJ affair has in the various headquarters of the great American secret unrest triggered. The ‘Technical Service’ in Germany is a unit of a comprehensive partisan network by the United States and throughout Europe. “

Sabotage behind enemy lines

For the first time the public learns something from a German so-called stay-behind network. “Stay behind” – the English word for “left behind” was the tactic of a British special forces in the Second World War with a parachute behind enemy lines and absprang sabotage perpetrated. After the defeat of Germany in 1945, fearing the United States and Western Europe against a Soviet invasion and build similar groups. An anti-communists and experience with weapons, there is shortly after the war is not. But after the dissolution of the BDJ advised the networks from the view of the public – nearly forty years.

“The structure of the Stay-behind organizations of NATO countries began shortly after the end of World War II,” confirms an official report of the German government in December 1990: “The units of the Allied secret services on German territory until 1955, procurement structured messages – and smuggling organization was established in 1956 by the BND over. “The report also states that the organization is not, as promised in 1952 has been dissolved. 104 persons have worked together with the BND.

However, the Secret Service wanted to – after agreements with the allies – the organization until April 1991 to dissolve. The Cold War is over, the secret armies are no longer needed.

As Andreotti auspackte

The report was preceded by revelations of Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in October 1990. To be suspected of murder and mafia activities freely buy Andreotti revealed the existence of an Italian stay-behind organization named “Gladio”, the Latin term for the Roman short sword – a symbol of fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini. The group consists of anti-communists, kept secret weapons storage and should be an underground war in the event of a Soviet occupation lead.

Andreotti also refers to an overarching command structure of NATO – it wipes out this notice, but a little later in the dossier. The first time since the Fifties, we learn something from a stay-behind organization. But not only Italy, and most other Western European states reluctant to admit then, that their countries secret armies just in case would be entertained.

A month later the European Parliament discussed the “Gladio” scandal. In the Official Journal C 324/201 states: “Whereas, this organization has more than forty years of any democratic control could escape, and that they are informed by the intelligence services of the countries concerned, in cooperation with NATO had been” condemned the European Parliament on the establishment of secret organizations to influence and implementation of measures “and calls for a full education. But only Belgium, Switzerland and Italy set up parliamentary commissions to study and publish their reports. Only 18 years later published by the Swiss historian Daniele Ganser an extensive study about the work of the Stay-behind organizations. In eleven NATO nations and in neutral countries, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Finland were the “stay-behind” organizations worked, it says.

Furthermore, the groups in some countries, internal politics intervened massively –at least in Belgium, Greece, Turkey, France and Italy, such as the bombing of the Central Station of Bologna the 1980th

Ganser sees in the secret stay-behind paramilitary troops of the NATO two things: You were the one wise precaution, but also the source of the abuse and terror. “It is unacceptable that taxpayers’ money be used to kill people,” he says in an interview with sueddeutsche.de.

The facts showed that the legislature “was not able to effectively secret armies to control. So little is known of totalitarian states – but for democracies, it is at least surprising,” said Ganser further.

A comprehensive education but fail because the NATO protocols and records of Stay-behind networks still do not make accessible.

The military alliance was officially launched in November 1990 on the allegations position as a spokesman confirmed that “NATO never a guerrilla war or secret actions has taken into consideration. It has always been the military’s own affairs and the defense of Allied Frontiers employed. A day later, another spokesman said that NATO will never be secret military questions, and therefore the report from the day before was wrong. This was the sole and final opinion – until today. So, even almost twenty years after the end of the Cold War Stay-behind organizations of the NATO countries are still a mystery.

Governmental Guerillas (Google translation)

Ground troops in NATO countries

Governmental Guerillas

By Jonathan Stock

It was a secret of many NATO countries: underground armies should be in an invasion of the Soviet Union of the guerrilla war record.  The traces go back to the fifties.

Andreotti; dpa Grossbild Big PictureThe Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in court for murder and suspected contacts with the Mafia.In the course of negotiations, he reveals the existence of an Italian secret army.(Photo: Reuters)


It was a secret of many NATO countries: underground armies should be in an invasion of the Soviet Union of the guerrilla war record. The traces go back to the fifties – the Nato mauert today. Germany in September 1952, Chancellor Adenauer drives with full force the Western integration of the young Federal Republic of progress, one of its major objectives: the inclusion of Germany in NATO. During this time bursting the incredible statement by a former SS officer. A statement that the consequences of a transatlantic scandal trigger. Hans Otto explains the Hessian criminal, he is one “of a political resistance group, whose task it was, in the case of a Russian march sabotage, and to blow up bridges.”

The political resistance group is dominated by right-wing extremists “Federation of German Youth,” short BDJ. Otto says: “About 100 members of the organization were politically trained, and in the service of American, Russian and German weapons, and in the use of military tactics instructed. The members of this organization were mostly former officers of the Air Force, the Army or the Waffen-SS. “Otto told the police that an American secret service agents for the money and the greatest part of the training and equipment provided. The men were in the vicinity of forest -Michelbach, a municipality in the Hessian Odenwald, has been informed, had a house with an underground shooting range and a bunker nearby.

Otto himself was unwilling to increasing activity on the methods taught: “He taught us, for example, how to kill someone without leaving a trace, if one just with chloroform unconscious makes him into his car, and a hose used to the exhaust of the car into the car’s interior chamber. He taught us certain interrogation techniques, how to use force, without leaving a trace. “It sounds like the statement of a Spinners. A statement is a scandal

But four days later, on 13 September 1952, the police stormed the headquarters of the BDJ in the Odenwald. They arrested members, confiscated weapons, ammunition and explosives, as well as lots of files. One of the surprises of those papers to identify particular officials: “This list contained the names of the persons who should be eliminated. The list was not complete because it still worked.” On the list are the names of many well-known German Communists in the case of an invasion should be murdered – but also the name of moderate Social Democrats, like that of Henry Zinnkann, then interior minister of Hesse.

The incident, in political circles for a scandal. A secret organization as the basis of illegal activities, outside of any legislative control and under the influence of American secret services?

The journalist Leo Muller reported that after the list was found, “the surprise was so great that most reacted with disbelief.” Chancellor Konrad Adenauer claimed by the whole affair to be a lie, while Walter Donnelly, the American High Commissioner in Germany, explains that the network already in just this month to be dissolved. Already on 30 September, the Federal judge in Karlsruhe, that all members of the group arrested are released.

Hessen Minister President Georg August Zinn responded angrily: “The only legal explanation for this release may be that the people in Karlsruhe, a U.S. statement followed.” He decides to keep the public informed. On October 8, 1952 he joined after a conversation with German Chancellor Adenauer before the Hessian Parliament: “On 9 September 1952 was an outpost of the Hessian Verfassungsschutz office by a secret organization, the 1950/1951 from the leaders of the BDJ under the name TD, ‘Technical Services’, was founded. “

After explaining their way of working he adds: “On 1 October ordered the top federal prosecutor for the release of the suspects, as the organization at the request of the American secret service was created.”

A scream goes through the parliament, the New York Times writes about German-American crisis meetings, the Mirror reported: “The BDJ affair has in the various headquarters of the great American secret unrest triggered. The ‘Technical Service’ in Germany is a unit of a comprehensive partisan network by the United States and throughout Europe. “

Sabotage behind enemy lines

For the first time the public learns something from a German so-called stay-behind network. “Stay behind” – the English word for “left behind” was the tactic of a British special forces in the Second World War with a parachute behind enemy lines and absprang sabotage perpetrated. After the defeat of Germany in 1945, fearing the United States and Western Europe against a Soviet invasion and build similar groups. An anti-communists and experience with weapons, there is shortly after the war is not. But after the dissolution of the BDJ advised the networks from the view of the public – nearly forty years.

Read on the next page comes out like that Stay-behind networks even in 1990 in various NATO countries operate.

“Stay behind” – the English word for “left behind” was the tactic of a British special forces in the Second World War with a parachute behind enemy lines and absprang sabotage perpetrated. After the defeat of Germany in 1945, fearing the United States and Western Europe against a Soviet invasion and build similar groups. An anti-communists and experience with weapons, there is shortly after the war is not. But after the dissolution of the BDJ advised the networks from the view of the public – nearly forty years.

“The structure of the Stay-behind organizations of NATO countries began shortly after the end of World War II,” confirms an official report of the German government in December 1990: “The units of the Allied secret services on German territory until 1955, procurement structured messages – and smuggling organization was established in 1956 by the BND over. “The report also states that the organization is not, as promised in 1952 has been dissolved. 104 persons have worked together with the BND.

However, the Secret Service wanted to – after agreements with the allies – the organization until April 1991 to dissolve. The Cold War is over, the secret armies are no longer needed.

As Andreotti auspackte

The report was preceded by revelations of Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti in October 1990. To be suspected of murder and mafia activities freely buy Andreotti revealed the existence of an Italian stay-behind organization named “Gladio”, the Latin term for the Roman short sword – a symbol of fascist Italy under Benito Mussolini. The group consists of anti-communists, kept secret weapons storage and should be an underground war in the event of a Soviet occupation lead.

Andreotti also refers to an overarching command structure of NATO – it wipes out this notice, but a little later in the dossier. The first time since the Fifties, we learn something from a stay-behind organization. But not only Italy, and most other Western European states reluctant to admit then, that their countries secret armies just in case would be entertained.

A month later the European Parliament discussed the “Gladio” scandal. In the Official Journal C 324/201 states: “Whereas, this organization has more than forty years of any democratic control could escape, and that they are informed by the intelligence services of the countries concerned, in cooperation with NATO had been” condemned the European Parliament on the establishment of secret organizations to influence and implementation of measures “and calls for a full education. But only Belgium, Switzerland and Italy set up parliamentary commissions to study and publish their reports. Only 18 years later published by the Swiss historian Daniele Ganser an extensive study about the work of the Stay-behind organizations. In eleven NATO nations and in neutral countries, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria and Finland were the “stay-behind” organizations worked, it says.

Furthermore, the groups in some countries massively intervened politically inside – at least in Belgium, Greece, Turkey, France and Italy, such as the bombing of the Central Station of Bologna the 1980th

Ganser sees in the secret stay-behind paramilitary troops of the NATO two things: You were the one wise precaution, but also the source of the abuse and terror. “It is unacceptable that taxpayers’ money be used to kill people,” he says in an interview with sueddeutsche.de.

The facts showed that the legislature “was not able to effectively secret armies to control. So little is known of totalitarian states – but for democracies, it is at least surprising,” said Ganser further.

A comprehensive education but fail because the NATO protocols and records of Stay-behind networks still do not make accessible.

The military alliance was officially launched in November 1990 on the allegations position as a spokesman confirmed that “NATO never a guerrilla war or secret actions has taken into consideration. It has always been the military’s own affairs and the defense of Allied Frontiers employed. A day later, another spokesman said that NATO will never be secret military questions, and therefore the report from the day before was wrong. This was the sole and final opinion – until today. So, even almost twenty years after the end of the Cold War Stay-behind organizations of the NATO countries are still a mystery.

Agriculture for Peace

School Project for Alphabetisation and Organic Farming in South East Afghanistan

by Friends of Afghanistan, Switzerland

Since the beginning of the seventies there have been wars in Afghanistan. This situation has shaped two generations. Building a civil society is difficult.

Working for peace has to start with the basic needs…

Working for peace has to start with the basic needs of the poor in the countryside. The project presented here, a farming school in the province of Khost in South East Afghanistan, follows this proposition.
Initiator is the Afghan Khazan Gul. As a young man, he had the opportunity to study in Germany. After finishing his studies of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Frankfurt, he returned to his country in 1973. Since then he has been engaged in developing the educational system and fostering agricultural self-sufficiency.

…to prevent people from being abused as mercenaries …

Khazan Gul describes the current situation of the country population in Khost province: “Generally, people are very poor, living mostly in the mountains. So far they have been living on the woods. They have been deforested and sold. Today, the woods have almost disappeared. Due to the war, there is little perspective and not much chance for economic development. Since honor demands of family heads to be able to feed the extended family, many men go to war as mercenaries. Misery drives them to join various warlords as fighters. Against this backdrop, it appears particularly meaningful to foster small farming, because, if a family, a clan or a tribe is able to feed themselves, it will not be possible to abuse them in the interest of a third party.”

…this is why this farming project is promoting peace

At the farming school, the students – farmers and farmers-to-be – are taught both the basic skills of reading and writing and special skills needed for farming: building irrigation systems, crop farming and animal breeding. A farm affiliated with the school will allow them to apply what they have learned. The goal is developing an educated and independent network of farmers, some of who later will be able to teach other farmers. Since fortunately there are no large estates in the region and each family owns some land, the acquired skills can be applied in practice immediately.

Why a school for organic farming?

Peace depends on freedom and independence. Hence, development must be based on local resources. Synthetic fertilizers and plant protective agents have to be imported, thus creating new dependencies. In this project, organic farming means a method of producing food with local means and resources.

“All people who want a world without war are my friends”

Since material goods are lacking in Afghanistan and most relief supplies just come as far as the capital Kabul and never into the remote and dangerous (for foreigners) regions as the province of Khost, Khazan Gul visits his friends in Europe looking for support for his projects. During his recent stay in Switzerland, he defined his circle of friends as follows: “All people who want a world without war are my friends”. But then he also added that we have to work for a world without war and cannot sit waiting for it. In Switzerland, a circle of friends has formed who vigorously support the work of Khazan Gul. The association named “Friends of Afghanistan” is raising funds for the project with various activities. The Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation (DEZA) also approved the project and is supporting it. Technically, the project is supported by various organic farmers and specialists of Bio Suisse, by the Centre for Education and Consulting in Arenenberg and by the Research Institute for Organic Farming, FiBL.    •

The goal is developing an educated and independent network of farmers, some of who will later be able to teach other farmers.

Budget for the construction and the running of the first school year

Building     Fr. 82 500.–
Furniture     Fr. 9 570.–
Workshop     Fr. 11 550.–
Running costs    Fr. 3 300.–
Salaries     Fr. 5 940.–
Food     Fr. 22 020.–
Supply     Fr. 4 950.–
Total     Fr. 139 830.–

Dear Reader
If you want to commit yourself to peace and if the school project for alphabetisation and organic farming appeals to you: You are cordially invited to support the project by a donation. If you are further interested in the peace work of the association, please find information at
www.freundeskreis-afghanistan.ch.

Freundeskreis Afghanistan Schweiz
Gartensiedlung 17 • 8360 Eschlikon
Tel. +41(0)71 971 47 58 http://www.freundeskreis-afghanistan.ch
kontakt(at)freundeskreis-afghanistan.ch
Raiffeisenbank 9500 Wil
Postkonto: 90-2163-8  IBAN: CH43 8132 0000 0083 8818 9

Everybody Striving for a World Without War is my Friend

Interview with Khazan Gul*, Afghanistan

CC: We, along with our readers, are interested in the current situation in Afghanistan. Could you tell us a little about it?
Khazan Gul: War is raging in Afghanistan. War always means fear, and everyone lives in a state of constant fear. Everyday they think that it might be the day when the Taliban or the Americans come, since both treat the people with extreme brutality. If the Taliban come, they force the villagers to join in a “holy war” against the Americans, the occupiers, the infidels that destroy our land and our culture. The people can’t fight back, the others are strong and well-armed. And so the people say, all right, they are the infidels and you are our brothers, you are Moslems and we’re happy to help you, friends – but our children, our wives, they are in danger. The Americans put us in prison and shell us, and we don’t want that. And then the Taliban seek out people who have shaved their beards or who do not pray properly. If they think someone is not a good Moslem, they take him away and punish him.
And then there are the American spies, who tell the Americans that so many Taliban have arrived at such and such a place that evening, or that such and such a village is cooperating with the Taliban. The Americans are of course afraid of the Taliban and shell the village. The result is that many innocent people are killed, and the Americans announce on the radio that they have killed so and so many Taliban, but in actual fact those killed were actually civilians. The Taliban always leave ahead of time.
And the worst is that the government counts the dead and the injured and pays 200 dollars per death and 100 dollars per injured person. This is of course abominable. A dead Afghani costs 200 dollars. And we know that the Americans demanded 2 million dollars from the Libyans for one dead American. Karzai has objected a few times, and has shed tears at the deaths caused by the Americans and the foreign forces. We can’t do anything about it, because the Taliban kill us as well. This is the situation today in Afghanistan.

How can the population cope with this state of affairs? After all, they live there, they must survive somehow. How do they manage?
I live in fear just like the people. We were happy to see the Taliban leave, and we thought that the Americans would be our friends. But then they began to search houses and to shell us without any reason. Hence, the Americans have made many enemies and the Taliban many friends. If things go on like this, it will of course be disastrous. We don’t know what awaits us in the future. The people are in despair. The situation is getting increasingly worse.
The policies of Europe and America must change. The people must do it, the European and American people can force their governments to change these policies. Afghanistan also needs a government it can trust, that can govern on its own and defend itself against foreign neighbours, which means that the foreigners, the Europeans and Americans, must help us. We shouldn’t have to help them. At present, it is the Afghanis who are helping the foreigners, not the foreigners who are helping the Afghanis. We want to do the work in our own country, and the others should help us. We don’t want someone else to govern our country, whom we have to help. I think the problem is that the foreigners work on their own without asking the Afghan government. They fly around in airplanes and helicopters, search our homes or arrest our people and the Afghan government knows nothing about it. What I mean is that no Afghani wants an alien heart.

You mentioned Karzai. What is the role that the Karzai government is playing?
It does everything the foreign forces tell it to do. For me, it is like an employee of the foreign forces.

It can’t apply policies of its own?
That is impossible. If foreign forces, strong military forces, are running around without asking the government, then it can’t apply policies of its own. That is impossible.

You are working on a number of projects in Afghanistan and are trying to improve the situation for the people there. Can you tell our readers a little about your work in this field?
Gladly; many people work in Afghanistan, but they have become resigned to the fact that nothing can be achieved as long as the foreign forces remain. I don’t think we should wait. In particular in the education sector, we can’t lose any time, since education is like life, when a day has gone, it has gone forever, and it will never come back. I think it is very important for people to keep on working in every situation no matter how bad it is, even under the present conditions.
For me, the development of the agriculture and the education sector are the prerequisites for attaining freedom and independence in Afghanistan. As a teacher, the education system is crucial. I am now working in areas that the government or others do not reach. I already worked there during the time of the war against the Soviet Union. The people know and understand me. I build schools and encourage agriculture. In this way even as an individual I can achieve a lot. In Europe, I get help from my friends and various organisations. I use this help in Afghanistan, in these areas to build attractive buildings and for teacher training.
When I was responsible for education in Khost, I founded 52 new schools in the mountains and appointed teachers. Not trained teachers, but people who could read and write, who might have attended school for three years, or had learned in a mosque school.


There aren’t any buildings either. The pupils learn under trees in the open air. I want to build school buildings for these 52 schools and train the teachers. Every school gets one good teacher, one who has been trained. In the afternoons they teach the other teachers, 10 or 20 of them, using the same books that they used with the children in the morning. It works very well. The teachers feel the need for further training, because the children ask questions from them that they don’t understand themselves. They have to read the school books to see what they have understood, and in the afternoons they can ask questions. This enables us to solve the teachers’ problems.
I also try to find money for school buildings. So far I have built 5 schools, paid for by various schools in Europe. I’ll continue to do this. Now I have found very many friends here in Switzerland. They want to finance an agricultural school, an important school. I have raised money, and when I get back I shall start building. Later I will appoint teachers and look for farmers who want to be trained. They will learn how to build an irrigation system, how to grow crops and vegetables and how to obtain better yields, or how to deal with simple diseases in plants and animals. For this, they need to be able to read and write, so they will become literate at the same time. We will produce a trained group of farmers who can then teach other farmers.

How many people live in the region where you are working?
It is one tribe, the Tani. I have registered 3000 families. These 3000 families are of course different from the families here – they are extended families, 10-30 or more family members per family. I want to develop all fields in this region. I believe that wars start when the gap between the cities and the rural areas grows too large.
The foreigners live and work in the cities. This is where all the relief supplies are going. The cities are developing and the countryside remains unchanged. The majority of the people, over 80 percent, live in the countryside. They have no transportation, no roads, no health care, no hospitals, no drinking water and housing is very primitive, too. If the cities continue to grow whilst rural areas lag behind in their development, feelings of hate and envy will emerge. People don’t understand each other any longer. An entirely different culture, a European culture, is developing in the cities.
I want a more balanced development for Afghanistan. This is why I am trying to develop this mountain tribe, the Tani, as a kind of role model for other regions. People in other regions or the government can follow this model, if they like. I am working in this tribal region – in my tribe, I am part of it – to prevent future wars and civil wars.

Is there also cooperation with other tribes in other regions working towards the same goal?
Unfortunately, there are only a few educated people taking this risk and working with the tribes. Of course, the tribes are cooperating. Each tribe has its own laws and its own Jirga (a well-established means of forming political awareness in Afghanistan), and if something bigger has to be decided or if there is some danger from outside, all tribes convene in the Loyal Jirga, a big convention, to discuss a solution. But it is very rare that educated people work in the tribal regions. Most people in the government have studied in Europe or in America, or have lived there, were possibly even born there. Many have dual citizenship. They don’t understand much about Afghanistan. They reside in Kabul, often with more fear in their hearts than the foreigners. They don’t want to risk leaving the city to go to the countryside.
This, of course, would also be part of my solution: to have a government in Kabul which does not work solely for money and an affluent lifestyle, but sees its mission in developing Afghanistan and is willing to cooperate with people in the countryside. It’s this type of government that would be a solution for Afghanistan.

Did we get this right: most relief organisations are working in Kabul only?
Yes, the money is coming to the people as development aid, but it remains in Kabul. If some organisation is courageous enough, it will send representatives to the province capitals. But they are not going to the countryside to work there. Hence, the gap between the cities and the countryside is getting larger and larger. Plus, the foreigners working in Kabul want upmarket housing with European facilities, otherwise they cannot live there. In Kabul there is the government, the foreigners and the relief organisations. Because of this, life in Kabul is too expensive for us. They are not producing anything; they are living at the expense of the Afghans. The government is living on foreign aid, not even considering that Afghanistan could one day become independent. Their salaries are being financed from outside, too.

Today, Afghanistan’s supplies depend on foreign countries. There is less production within the country, most food is being imported. How about the production of industrial goods? Is there any production?
Not at all. Now they have started conserving some vegetables and fruits. The agriculture has been destroyed because the government has bought grain in America or in Pakistan and distributed it. The local farmers are not making any money; the prices are too low. Many farmers have turned away from agriculture. Salaries paid by NGOs, foreign relief organisations and the US army are so high that nobody wants to be a farmer or a teacher. For example, we don’t have English teachers in our schools any longer. They prefer to work as security guards, gardeners or translators. The farmers are working for foreign companies or for the army. This is why the agriculture project is also a peace project. If people had enough to eat, they would not become soldiers. Then the Americans would not be able to recruit soldiers any longer. Today they are able to buy us because we are lacking food.

If the farmers, the rural people, are not living on their own production, what else are they living on?
They are living on the military, on the foreign aid, on commerce. The neighbouring countries are bringing food to Afghanistan. They are all exporting. Pakistan is selling its goods here in Khost. But without the money from the foreign aid, there is also no commerce. Currently, we would not be able to live without foreign aid. And as long as we are forced to depend on foreign aid, our country will not be free.

So the country should be producing food and goods itself?
Yes. If we had a good government, we would be able to employ all Afghans within one year. There is enough fallow land belonging to the government. We could distribute it. The farmers are very eager to own property. We could give 5-7 acres to everyone. This would also make our government wealthy, because Islam decrees that the tithe (one tenth) has to be paid to the government. If every farmer paid the tithe, the government would be rich. Then we would not need foreign aid any more. The government could accomplish everything with this tithe, employing the people. People with jobs do not think about war or anything. Then there would be no war but security.
The problem is that in Afghanistan it is dangerous to say that we have a bad government. Those opening their mouth against the government are also against America, against Europe. They must be close to Taliban or al-Qaeda. They can be arrested and possibly deported to Guantánamo. This is a terrible situation. You have to endure and endure and endure. It is impossible. Many are getting sick from this pressure – a pressure from within. You know what is going wrong, but you cannot say anything. This is terrible.

You have been in Switzerland for some time – how was your stay here?
I have visited many schools – sometimes two or three schools in one day – and given over 53 talks. With my Swiss friends, I have been constantly on the road. I have been reporting everything regarding my projects and problems in Afghanistan and I have found many friends. In every talk I told the children that I have many friends throughout the world, whom I have not met yet. I am looking for them and I am here to meet them. The people who want a world without war are my friends. Then, at the end, I always asked: Do you want a world without war? Of course they said: Yes, we want a world without war! Then I said: So we are friends!
But a world without war requires some work to be done. Sleeping and dreaming of a world without war does not help. We have to work for it and force the people who are waging the wars to stop them. All children have promised that they would do something against war, too. I feel very successful and happy to have found so many friends here and I will continue as long as I live.

Thank you very much for taking your time just before you are leaving.    •