A Nuclear Free World is a Matter of Conscience and or Faith

A Nuclear Free World is a Matter of Conscience and or Faith

eileen fleming

On May 5, 2009, Vice President Biden reassured AIPAC/American Israel Public Affairs Committee that while USA foreign policy will change, America remains committed to the peace and security of the state of Israel but that the election of President Obama was a call “to change the trajectory that the world was on.”

Self proclaimed Zionist, Biden admitted that “All the good intentions of the last decade have not resulted in a more secure, more stable Middle… we will pursue direct, principled democracy with Iran [and the U.S.] will approach Iran initially in the spirit of mutual respect.”[1]

Mutual respect requires that all sides are treated equally and held equally accountable under the same criteria.

Also at the AIPAC conference was Biden successor as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who sucked up and misspoke that “Israel is more than just an ally and fellow democracy.”

Israel’s status as ally has been in question by many ever since that other day in infamy on June 8, 1967 when President Lyndon Johnson crucified the truth and failed to support the troops because he would “not embarrass an ally.”

The USS LIBERTY was an unarmed spy ship that sailed in international waters during the Six-Day War that was attacked by Israeli fighter jets and torpedo boats rendering thirty-four sailors dead, 170 wounded and all scarred for life because the survivors “were ordered to remain silent under threat of court martial, imprisonment or worse…The U.S. government has never challenged the obviously phony Israeli excuse of ‘mistaken identity’ nor have they attempted to expose the dishonorable cover up that continues to date. Truth and America’s honor were ignominiously sacrificed to provide cover for Israel’s transparent lies and despicable act of perfidy.” -Phillip F. Tourney, President USS LIBERTY Veterans Association, June 8, 2007. [Read more: http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=700&Itemid=180 ]

Israel is also not a democracy “but is an Ethnocracy, meaning a country run and controlled by a national group with some democratic elements but set up with Jews in control and structured to keep them in control.”-Jeff Halper, American-Israeli, Founder and Coordinator of ICAHD/Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Kerry did call for talks with Iran for, “If diplomacy is to work, it must be backed by the prospect of tough, escalating, and multilateral sanctions strong enough to actually change behavior.”

He also called on the Arab states to start treating Israel “like a normal country” and I imagine if America only had done that, Israel could be one.

“In 1963, President Kennedy tried to force Prime Minister Ben Guirion to admit the Dimona was not a textile plant, as the sign outside proclaimed, but a nuclear plant. The Prime Minister said, ‘The nuclear reactor is only for peace.’ Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection. He wrote letters demanding that Ben Guirion open up the Dimona for inspection. When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them. Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.” – Excerpt from June 2005 interview with Mordrechai Vanunu

On October 5, 1986, the world was made aware that Israel had already manufactured upwards of 200 nuclear warheads in a London Times article that published Vanunu’s interviews/interrogations with nuclear experts and some of the photos from the two rolls of film he shot in various top secret locales inside of Israel’s clandestine underground WMD Facility.

Israel has never allowed international inspectors into the Dimona and they are now suspected of possessing the Jericho III ballistic missile system, which is capable of delivering a nuclear warhead at a distance of up to 7,000 kilometers.

America’s favored relationship with the Jewish State has also allowed Israel to escape at least 65 UN resolutions for their human rights abuses and disregard of international law.

American tax payers are complicit because we the people provide more than $6.8 million per day to Israel that all goes to continue the 41 years of military occupation of the indigenous people of the Holy Land.

Also on May 5th, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Rose Gottemoeller called on Israel to join the NPT as, “Universal adherence to the non-proliferation treaty itself, including by India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea…remains a fundamental objective of the United States.” [2]

On April 19, 2009, Gideon Spiro, a founding member of The Israeli Committee for A Middle East Free from Atomic, Biological and Chemical Weapons wrote to President Obama:

“The task of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear arms is an important one, and the way to achieve that objective is not by military action, but through an international effort to create a Middle East free of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. It is impossible to achieve that objective without dealing with the main cause of the Middle East nuclear arms race – Israel.

“Israel pushed the Middle East onto a course of a WMD-race. Israel is armed with hundreds of atom and hydrogen bombs. If we take into account the additional biological and chemical weapons that Israel produces in the Nes Ziona Biological Institute, a frightening picture emerges: a state, smaller than most Congressional Districts in the United States that is a powder-keg of weapons of mass destruction.

“It is an historical irony that Israel, which is home to many Holocaust survivors, has become a hotbed of radical leaders who would create the next holocaust – a nuclear holocaust. But the repercussions of an Israeli attack on Iran will extend far beyond our region. It is most likely they will have devastating global consequences that will also cause massive harm to the United States….no one knows what Iran is hiding in its facilities, but it can be helpful to draw an analogy from Israel’s case…The only effective and peaceful way to end this destructive WMD-race is through regional nuclear disarmament…Israel’s power rests to a great extent on US military and economic aid. Without the billions of dollars that the US transfers to it, Israel would be unable to finance the Occupation, the settlements, the army, and of course, its nuclear arsenal.”

Israel’s hold on power also rests in the efforts of AIPAC, but due to their influence “it is business as usual in Washington: criminal wrongdoing continues to corrupt America’s core values, rule of law, and Middle East policy, as the Israel lobby’s crosshairs shift almost completely to Iran.”

In 2002, Harvard economist Thomas Stauffer estimated the total cost of the prolonged conflict in the Middle East at $3 trillion and lays a good deal of the blame for this at the doorstep of AIPAC. [3]

On April 5, 2009, President Obama stood on the world stage in Prague and stated, “As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act…When we fail to pursue peace, then it stays forever beyond our grasp. We know the path when we choose fear over hope. To denounce or shrug off a call for cooperation is an easy but also cowardly thing to do. That’s how wars begin. That’s where human progress ends… the voices of peace and progress must be raised together…Human destiny will be what we make of it…Words must mean something.”

The United States has produced over 70,000 nuclear weapons of 72 major types. By the end of the Cold War [1991] the United States had an active arsenal of some 23,000 weapons of 26 major types and nearly 2,000 remain on hair-trigger alert ever since the end of the Cold War in 1991. An estimated 150 – 240 tactical nuclear weapons remain based in five NATO countries and the United States is the only country with nuclear weapons deployed on foreign soil. American taxpayers provide over $54 billion annually to maintain our nuclear arsenal-a drop in the bucket of the overall U.S. military spending.

American money is imprinted with “IN GOD WE TRUST” but our foreign policy chooses to live by the sword. On Armistice Day, 1948 General Omar Nelson Bradley warned, “We live in a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants, in a world that has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We have solved the mystery of the atom and forgotten the lessons of the Sermon on The Mount. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about dying than we know about living.”

Individually we are powerless to dismantle the insanity of nuclear weapons, but for people of conscience and those with faith in a nonviolent God of love, compassion, justice and peace it is a moral, ethical and spiritual call to work towards the abolition of war and nuclear weapons.

A movement of American Christians under the banner of “The Two Futures Project: 2FP” has evolved and we believe “that we face two futures and one choice: a world without nuclear weapons or a world ruined by them. We support the multilateral, global, irreversible, and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons, as a biblically-grounded mandate and as a contemporary security imperative. Our change strategy is based around the creation of a nonpartisan, conscience-driven, enduring majority of Americans who are committed to a nuclear weapons-free world. By joining together with one voice of Christian conscience, we seek to encourage and enable our national leaders to make the complete elimination of nuclear weapons the organizing principle of American nuclear weapons policy…The field of our service is primarily the church and believers, and secondarily—so that our words will be credible—the government of our nation and all nations.

“As a matter of Christian conviction, we choose a world free of nuclear weapons. We believe that we face two futures: a world without nuclear weapons or a world ruined by them. We proclaim that nuclear weapons today are unjustifiable theologically, politically, and militarily. We renounce nuclear weapons as sin against God and neighbor. We repent of apathy toward devices that cause indiscriminate destruction. We urge the American President’s leadership in fulfilling existing commitments toward global and complete nuclear disarmament. We pledge our support to the elimination of all nuclear weapons worldwide, to the glory of God.” [4]

The goal of a world free of nuclear weapons can be equated to what appears to be an insurmountable mountain whose top is clouded by the status quo that reaps cynicism and a lack of imagination that keeps one grounded in despair and apathy. Continuing on the path of inertia will only descend us further down the slippery slope of violence and death. Silence is complicity and people of conscience and those with faith in a nonviolent God of justice and peace are seeking the highest ground together, for only in solidarity will we reach the mountaintop; a world without war, a world when all swords are put down and plowshares are raised up.

AIPAC currently has 515 lobbying appointments scheduled on Capitol Hill.

People of conscience are sending emails to President Obama and their representatives in support of nuclear disarmament through the fill in forms available @




  1. http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/biden-defends-outreach-to-iran-in-aipac-speech-2009-05-05.html
  2. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/131213
  3. http://www.wearewideawake.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=959&Itemid=202
  4. http://twofuturesproject.org/

Nearly 4000 militants are active in Swat: ISPR

Nearly 4000 militants are active in Swat: ISPR

Submitted 4 hrs 25 mins ago

Nearly 4000 militants are active in Swat: ISPR

Pak Army has claimed of killing 143 militants in last 24 hours of ongoing operation in Swat, Buner and Lower Dir districts, report said. Army also announced to continue its ongoing operation in Swat till the restoration of peace and cleaning the area from militants, army spokesman said here Friday. “Army has been called to help civil administration in Swat and now the operation against militants is underway with full swing,” Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told media persons in a briefing. “According to an estimate near 4,000 militants are present in Swat,” Abbas said on a query, adding that the militants are using civilians in the area as human-shield. In Friday’s action, army has captured Khuwazakhela and Chamkali and the two towns have been wiped out from militants. Five miscreants and one soldier were killed in the operation, he said.

Edge of the abyss

[The best description of the brand of Islam regurgitated out by the Wahabbi radicals.]

Unable to effectively deal collectively with a world of ever increasing complexity, we sought instead answers in re-assuring faith rather than discomforting reason. An instinctively familiar body of ideas, long lying frozen in temporal cold storage, was re-heated in the microwave oven of the state, and force-fed to the people over decades as the high protein diet of national interest.

Edge of the abyss

—Munir Attaullah

History is not only about recounting our glorious past to motivate the present generation; it is also equally, if not more so, about remembering our painful mistakes, the better to avoid them

This, the final instalment of an extended essay, will consider the related issues of terrorism and the Taliban, in the Pakistani context. Here is the critical crisis of our state.

As discussed earlier, most other crises of state (including forms of terrorism best thought of as essentially criminal in nature) are a reflection of the times, and shared with much of the world. There are no two ways about it: poor governance, corruption, infrastructure shortcomings, chaotic urbanisation, lack of basic amenities etc. will take decades of patient forbearance and dedicated hard work to mitigate.

The question is, must the same hold true also when we consider the particular crisis of state brought about by that unique and distinctive brand of terrorism that is of our own deliberate making and nurturing?

For, in this particular case, muddling along is not really an option anymore. Not only have the internal dimensions of the problem steadily multiplied, but major international powers have added an external dimension we cannot just wish away. For good reasons or bad, we now must make hard choices

How and why has this come about? And what, if anything, can we now do about it?

Start with the fact that we have become, progressively, an obsessively inward looking nation. It was not always so (and it certainly need not have been so), but let us forget that as now being irrelevant. What matters is that now we routinely reject as an essential part of our mental diet many of the wisdoms so painstakingly cooked and prepared by a wider humanity in the furnace that is its bitter common experience. Worse, many of us take great pride in such an attitude.

Unable to effectively deal collectively with a world of ever increasing complexity, we sought instead answers in re-assuring faith rather than discomforting reason. An instinctively familiar body of ideas, long lying frozen in temporal cold storage, was re-heated in the microwave oven of the state, and force-fed to the people over decades as the high protein diet of national interest.

But the warp of ideology is a terrible bind because, enmeshed in it, time stands still. This is a serious and debilitating handicap in a fast moving, ever changing world. As a consequence, we pile blunder upon blunder, knowing not how to deal with the double whammy of simultaneous problems of internal and external conflict resolution.

Actually, our dilemmas are even greater. Are we — to be blunt — even agreed that this is a serious problem that threatens to spin out of our control? Or, is it the case that the confident psyche that developed the ‘doosra’ to fool batsmen believes the problem to be no more than ‘a little local difficulty’ it is quite capable of handling on the side, while it gets on with the grand strategic prize of outfoxing everyone in the regional ‘great game’?

Come to think of it, is this alleged ‘great game’ for real (to what end? ‘Grab’ Central Asian energy resources? Deny them to the Chinese? Strip us of our nuclear weapons? Impose on us Indian hegemony etc.)? Or is this ‘game’, in the 21st century, merely a remnant figment of the overheated imagination of our out-of-date strategic geniuses, as I think it to be?

To borrow the words of the master, “Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!” In such a situation, rich and powerful players can often afford the luxury, unavailable to others, of a serious mistake. We cannot.

Be that as it may, there is one conclusion — IK, and others of his ilk, please note — that should be clear to any sane man: history is not only about recounting our glorious past to motivate the present generation; it is also equally, if not more so, about remembering our painful mistakes, the better to avoid them.

Is this possible if we fear the truth, and therefore suppress, hide, or distort it? Indeed, can we even know what the truth is, without open and fearless debate?

It is a failing, I know, to get carried away by interesting digressions, so let me get back to today’s subject.

What is so different and special about our terrorism problem that makes it so intractable and dangerous? It is the doctrine of jihad fi sabilillah (the motto of our army) that such fanatical groups ostensibly espouse. The success in Afghanistan, and the tying down of the Indian Army in Kashmir, by these trained proxies of our army willing to die in the name of Allah and go to heaven, was an inspirational tonic. It reinforced the belief that jihad could not only resist but also eventually overcome all, for the greater glory of Islam.

Now local ambitions are one thing, but international aspirations are quite another ball game. The world did not much care if Shias and Sunnis blew each other up in Pakistan, or that we aspired and fought to wrest Kashmir or gain ‘strategic depth’ in Afghanistan. As far as the world was concerned, that was regrettable but no more, as evidenced by its relative unconcern with our neighbourhood for some fifteen years around the nineties.

Rightly or wrongly, 9/11 changed international thinking. Meanwhile the cause of international jihad was rapidly gaining ground in Pakistan. It was not unthinkable that the state of Pakistan, the so-called ‘Fortress of Islam’ (as every politician was fond of repeating) could be persuaded (and if not, then coerced) into fully subscribing to those tenets. For obvious reasons, this latter possibility, remote or otherwise, was unacceptable to the international community.

Thus it is that, as an economically weak state, we thrash about fearfully, not knowing what to do when caught squarely in the middle. But the Musharraf policy of artful wriggling — a bit of this and a bit of that — will no longer do. The time has surely come to make hard choices.

Remember those fierce debates a few years ago about Waziristan? Who even talks about that place now as a part of our country? Sorry, I should correct myself: it is Pakistan, but only as far as drone attacks. Is the same to be the case in due course where Swat is concerned? Or will our army finally do what is necessary, fully supported by everyone, including Mr Sharif?

Yes, there will be massive collateral damage. But we should be ready for that as a regretful necessity (and our foreign friends can help immensely here by generously funding vigorous rehabilitation efforts). This is war. But it is a war I have no doubt can be easily won, should everyone really want to.

The question remains why most of us can only see what is plain and obvious to any sane man only when standing at the edge of the abyss. Was it that difficult to see what a ‘truce’ in Waziristan would lead to? Was it not obvious to any but an idiot what Sufi Mohammed and his son-in-law are all about? Must we really continue to give the benefit of doubt as to the true intentions of the Lal Masjid lot?

A final thought. I see that many media pundits (and, Allah be praised, even a section of the ulema) are now talking tough about the Taliban types in our midst. In the days preceding the ‘Long March’, one channel was obsessively fond of re-playing old clips meant to emphasise the government’s betrayal of its promises. I request them to replay for us now some old clips of their own where muzakirat were urged with much righteous indignation.

This is the final article in a four-part series. The writer is a businessman. A selection of his columns is now available in book form. Visit munirattaullah.com.

Pakistan and Afghanistan introduce new border security

Pakistan and Afghanistan introduce new border security

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Interior A. Rehman Malik addressing a press conference in Islamabad. –APP Photo

WASHINGTON: The Heads of Pakistan and Afghanistan interior departments announced Friday a series of steps to improve border security between the two countries including a new a system of providing identification documents to both countries expatriates who habitually cross borders without any papers.

‘This is being done to eliminate the terrorists groups marauding in the two countries without any scrutiny or control,’ they stressed.

Addressing a joint press conference in Washington following series of trilateral and bilateral meetings , Pakistan’s interior minister Rehman Mallik and Afghanistan’s Interior Minister Abdul Hanif Autaf they said that both countries had also accepted a road map to eliminate non-state actors who are involved in killing the civilian population.

Afghan Minister identified four groups which are responsible for playing havoc inside Pakistan and Afghanistan, they are: 1) Afghan Taliban 2) Pakistan Taliban, 3) Central and Asian republics citizens and 4) Al-Qaeda from other various parts of the world.

Pakistan’s interior chief also told reporters that the United States had facilitated both countries in agreeing to extend cooperation against terrorists and other criminals who are undermining the integrity and sovereignty of both countries.

‘We are evolving a common strategy to combat the common enemy in order to eliminate the curse of terrorism,’ said Mallik.

Mr. Mallik announced that both countries would undertake a massive campaign to sensitize population on both sides to accept a identity programme.

He pointed that over 50,000 nationals of both countries cross borders without any identification. There are some 1,000 border control posts on Pakistan side and only 100 on the Afghanistan side.

He said that both countries would create task forces to improve the border control management with the help of the United States.

They also announced the creation of training centers in Pakistan Universities for training Afghan law enforcement officials.

Jets bomb Taliban, 60 dead

Jets bomb Taliban, 60 dead

* Taliban commander Ibne Aqil reported killed in Matta
* Nine soldiers also killed, seven in ambush on convoy in Mingora

PESHAWAR: Jet fighters and helicopter gunships pounded Taliban hideouts and centres in various parts of Swat and Lower Dir on Thursday, killing 60 Taliban.

“We have carried out airstrikes today on known centres of militants killing around 60 [Taliban] in Swat and Lower Dir,” chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas told Daily Times by telephone from Islamabad.

Military sources said 12 Taliban were killed in Shamoozai area in Kabal tehsil of Swat and eight others in Malam Jaba. Fourteen Taliban were killed in Matta, Shahdheri and Kooza Cheena.

Taliban commander Ibne Aqil was also reported killed in counter-attack by the police when the Taliban attacked Matta police station, military sources said.

Nine soldiers: “In 24 hours, we lost nine soldiers and about 10 of them [were] injured,” General Abbas told AFP. Seven of the soldiers were killed when Taliban ambushed a convoy at the entrance to Mingora.

Two soldiers were killed in the valley north of Matta,” the military spokesman told the news agency.

In Lower Dir, district administration officials said the Taliban abducted 11 paramilitary troops after attacking the Malakand Levies Fort in Chakdara. They said three soldiers had been killed in the attack.

Authorities agreed in February to a Taliban demand for the introduction of sharia law in the former tourist valley but the Taliban refused to disarm, and spread out of Swat into neighbouring districts.

The advance raised alarm and led to accusations the government was capitulating to the Taliban.

Security forces launched an offensive on April 26 to expel the Taliban from two of Swat’s neighbouring districts, Lower Dir and Buner.

Security has deteriorated sharply in Swat as armed Taliban started patrol in the restive valley.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned that a humanitarian crisis was escalating in the area, AFP reported. It said the government had made preparations for up to half a million displaced from Swat.

The Taliban have claimed to control “more than 90 percent” of Swat, it said. staff report/afp

Taliban, Pakistan and the occupiers Dr Muzaffar Iqbal

Taliban, Pakistan and the occupiers

Dr Muzaffar Iqbal

The Taliban have the Pakistani secularists scream so loud that in a comic reversal of roles, the western media has picked up their phobia: major media networks in Canada and the United States have been reporting that the Taliban are about to descend on Islamabad. This bizarre reversal of roles must have given some relief to those who have raised a storm in a teacup and painted this nonsensical scenario of bearded men descending down from the Margalla hills and taking over Islamabad. In any case, it did loosen a few knots on the money belt held tight by those who want to buy their stay into the land of the Afghans by throwing a few million dollars into the bottomless coffers of a state that never does enough for the buck it receives, or at least that is the perception of those who are always thinking of more strings to be attached to their dollars. Whatever the short-term gains of this screaming may have been, the axiom of a Taliban commander remains true; the occupiers may have the watches, but we have time on our side.

The Taliban in Afghanistan are here to stay, no matter how many more soldiers and how many more dollars are brought into that unconquerable land. Americans are not able to comprehend this, as each successive regime works on a four-year timeframe, and thinks in presidential terms, rather than the grand historic time which is second nature to the Afghans. All surveys of the western agencies confirm that the general populace in Afghanistan has turned against the occupiers and since the Taliban are the only organized group fighting against the occupation, the tide has turned in their favour.

It is true that the Taliban are excessively harsh in their ways. It is also true that their understanding of Sharia is flawed. It is also true that their attitudes toward women are more tribal than Islamic, and it is also true that their way of enforcing Sharia is counterproductive, but with all of this against them, they have the distinction of being the only organized resistance against an alien force that has occupied their land. And this tilts the balance in their favour.

Caught in between the occupying forces and the Taliban, the government of Pakistan was left with no choice but either to side with one or the other party and it chose to be on the side of the occupiers. That it did this under a military dictator, and without the consent of its people is a historic fact. That military dictator is no more, but the government of Pakistan is unable or unwilling to re-examine its position on the Afghan occupation. That is the root of its dilemma and the cause of all its troubles now descending down on its major cities. This, in a nutshell, is the root of Pakistan’s self-imposed “existential” threat.

There is really no logical necessity for the state of Pakistan to side with the occupation forces in Afghanistan now, when there is a so-called elected government, which can easily re-examine its role by taking the case to parliament and do what Turkey did in a similar situation: have the elected representatives say “no” in a loud and clear voice and then forcefully appeal to the world to listen to its voice.

This option is available, however, only if the government of Pakistan is willing or able to stand on its own feet, on the strength of its own people. But that is where the whole dilemma lies: the government is beholden to the foreign masters for its existence, more or less the same way as the military dictator was, even though it should not be, since it has come into existence through an election. Understanding and utilizing this fundamental distinction between the illegitimate rule of a military dictator and the legitimate rule of an elected government is the key to a new possibility that can open up for Pakistan, if the government of Pakistan wants, but the government is obviously not interested in this possibility.

As it is, the equation remains more or less than same as it has been since the invasion of Afghanistan by the Bush administration. Since time is on the side of the Taliban, the loser in this increasingly tragic situation is obvious and those who have chosen to side with the losers will obviously lose as well. The newly launched effort by the Obama administration has to run its course and hence, it will not be until the fourth year of Obama’s term that one would hear phrases such as the “exit strategy” and the “failed war” coming out of Washington DC and New York. And when those words and phrases, reminiscent of the Vietnam and Iraq wars, emerge, it will be too late for Pakistan, for by then, its rulers would have brought upon themselves and their state untold calamities, death and destruction.

Today, the Taliban have the secularists scream, tomorrow, no screams will matter, only the writ of a fait accompli, the sad and tragic repetition of history.

The writer is a freelance columnist. Email: quantumnotes@gmail.com