Maj-Gen Amir Faisal Alavi’s daughter remembers him

Maj-Gen Amir Faisal Alavi’s daughter remembers him

WASHINGTON: The daughter of late SSG commando, Maj-Gen (retd) Amir Faisal Alavi, who is in the US, has sent a letter on her memories of her father. She writes: “I vaguely remember asking my dad when I was five, how old was your dad when he passed away, papa? I remember my dad’s surprised look and laughingly, he said, 61, why?, Ooo, I said, You have a long way to go. I was wrong, so wrong.You went much earlier, papa.

“Born a British national in Kenya, Alavi came to study at Abbottabad Public School, but later his love and zeal for the military prompted him to renounce his British nationality. He wrote to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, asking him to grant him Pakistani nationality so he could join the Army and that is exactly what happened, he got his wish. “My earliest memories are of my dad splendid in his uniform, no nonsense formidable soldier attitude and at the same time he was an easygoing person, very humble, compassionate, but very fearless. He just loved flirting with danger, it was almost as if he thrived on it. He had this amazing energy around him that’s hard to describe, just the word military would bring a sudden change in his behaviour, it would be hard to control his enthusiasm, the energy radiating from him, he drained life source from it.

“He had an amazing unending compassion for people and a heart so large I doubt it ever had walls. All you had to do was ask him and he would give it to you. He told me once, always look after the people below you because that is really what shows what kind of a person you are. He taught me not to judge people based on wealth, caste, their status, colour but judge them on their hearts. His magnanimity astounded me even at people who had hurt him badly. I never understood how he forgave people but he always said to me ‘Leave it to God’. “I still remember his enthusiasm while going on for a Wana operation and me as always complaining, ‘dad you are a general, honestly how many generals themselves go out in an operation?’ He said, ‘You fight from the top, the bottom will follow the top, and if I lead, my soldiers will follow.’

“I remember him putting a hand in his uniform and taking out a small medallion with Sura Yasin on it, saying what’s this?, while me and my sister continued to attach small medallions or Suras and prayers to his uniform. He would always say, ‘I am a soldier, I have no family. And that is what always scared me, my sister and mom to death.’ I remember whenever I was in distress or panic, he would gently admonish me, saying ‘Be brave, You are Faisal Alavi’s daughter, remember who you are,’ but I can be distressed now can’t I, papa, you are there no more, who do I turn to now? “I could write a whole book on my father but a part of me wants to keep those memories to myself because that’s all I have left of him. He is no more; all I have are his memories with me.

“I think it was unfair of fate to give me so little time with you, papa. You were my best friend, my saviour, my superman more than you were my dad and now you left me alone. Every time, I pick up my cell, my fingers automatically dial your number only to realise there is no papa anymore at the other end. “I think the way you went away was cruel, and the people who did it were cowards but knowing you, I can say that is certainly the way you would have wanted to go. I know your only regret is you did not have a weapon to shoot one or two, but papa, if you had one, those cowards would never have come near you. “I don’t think I ever told you this dad, even though it’s a bit late now, I just want you to know how very proud I am to be your daughter, papa. I was truly blessed to have a great soldier like you as a dad. I won’t cry I promise, because I am your daughter but how can I not be sad knowing I won’t hear you, meet you or hug you ever again. I will really miss you, papa, I did not only lose my father, I lost my best friend, my saviour, my superman.

“I promise you, papa I will fulfil every dream of yours. I will be strong, just don’t be mad at me for this moment of weakness, I lost you, let me have a moment of weakness, but I won’t go weak ever papa. I will take care of everything. I just want you to rest in peace papa, you worked a lot its time for you to rest. Amen.”

I LOVE YOU, PAPA

MEHVISH ZAHRA ALAVI

Putting-Off the Moment of Truth in Pakistan

Putting-Off the Moment of Truth in Pakistan

By:  Peter Chamberlin

An article in today’s Washington Post (“Pakistani Pledge to Rout Taliban In Tribal Region Is Put on Hold”) reveals that Obama’s Pakistani war plans have become bogged-down in a foggy uncertainty with the certain knowledge that the Pakistanis do not play well with others.  They are leagues beyond us in the art of political and military play-acting.

The diabolical genius of the Pakistani game plan can now begin to be seen.

“Why would I push them to start an offensive when they have 2 million people they have to protect first?” Holbrooke said.

Their military actions in Swat and NWFP have flushed of millions of  people from their homes, creating this monumental internal catastrophe.  By flushing these restless refugees toward the eastern border with India and southward, putting them between the Pakistani Army and the big battlefield of S. Waziristan, a buffer was created between the government and international opinion.

“Baitullah Mehsud is a dreadful man, and his elimination is an imperative. However, the first imperative is to secure the areas the refugees are going back into.”

Washington’s man in Islamabad, Amb. Holbrooke, is obviously frustrated, hamstrung as he is by world opinion, while turning ever so slowly on the spit in the waiting fires of the new world order, searing from the burning pressure to act, before the countdown to Armageddon ends.  Can Holbrooke pull-off another snow job for the Empire, like he did in the Balkans?  He may be outmatched by Kayani and the rest of the wily generals.

The entire situation is aptly summed-up by a local observer:

It’s an insane dream to expect anything different from the Pakistani government,” said Ali Wazir, a South Waziristan native and a politician with the secular Awami National Party. “The Taliban are the brainchildren of the Pakistan army for the last 30 years. They are their own people. Could you kill your own brother?”

The militants and the Army have been doing a carefully choreographed dance in the steep mountains of Waziristan for many years; why should they now end their routine, or dance to the American tune?  Pakistan has successfully paused the orchestra, while the great American conductor fumbles with his sheet music.

Looking for clues about Pakistani intent in their calculated redirection in their national press, we find a complicated morass of information, telling of a new paradigm being set-up around the tired concept of “good Taliban/bad Taliban.”  The new strategy (or should I say, plot?) revolves around the same old players, Baitullah Mehsud and Maulvi Nazir, with the rearrangement of secondary characters in and around S. Waziristan.  The Abdullah Mehsud group of militants who had allied themselves with Baitullah against Nazir, will continue to play a key role in destabilization operations, as they have done since entering Pakistan from Afghanistan.  Turkestan Bhittani is now out, and some new guy called “Baba” is in.

The blame for a national epidemic of bombings that have been blamed on Mehsud will be shifted to captured militant leader Shah Abdul Aziz and another militant named, Fidaullah.  Aziz is also to receive the blame for ordering the recent wave of kidnappings for ransom, especially that of  the murdered Polish engineer, Piotr Stanczak.

As the case develops it is likely that Aziz will also take the fall for the kidnapping of Indian film-maker, Satish Anand and the murder of SSG Major General Aamir Faisal Alavi, to counter this India-supplied intelligence which implicated ex-military hitmen.  Gen. Alavi was gunned-down after warning British journalist Carey Schofield that he was probably about to be murdered by the Army for reporting fake military operations against the Taliban in S. Waziristan. It is strange to read a timeline of the previous Army operations in S. Waziristan, it reads like the identical script Pakistan is still using today—economic blockade, punishing artillery strikes, tribal sanctions, ending in new deals being made.

The announcement of Aziz’s arrest, and the subsequent word of his being charged with terror bombings and kidnappings which have previously been rumored to have been the handiwork of Mehsud, comes on the heels of another important report from BBC,  revealing that Aziz, upon his arrest, was carrying a letter from Mehsud to the Army.  Word is, the topic was potential deals.  This report also brings word from S. Waziristan that the Army had been reorganizing anti-Taliban groups.

The spy agencies prefer to find puppets who can be all things, in all situations, universal scapegoats whose very existence serves to wrap-up the many loose-ends from ongoing psy-ops in one neat solution. Men like bin Laden, Ramsi Yousef, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi(“al Qaida in Iraq”), Mullah Omar and Mehsud, have all served the purposes the spooks designed them for, to be fall guys for the illegal terrorist actions of the agencies.  Now that we can glimpse the emerging picture, we can see the explanation for everything in the new super-ambitious, multi-tasking “Uber-terrorist,” Pakistani militant, Shah Abdul Aziz.

shah abdul aziz

Arrangements have been made for a new paradigm, the next waltz with the militants has been quietly re-written by the Army (or was it done in another back room deal with the CIA?).  How will Obama and the other Western leaders take it when the new puzzle is revealed?  Will he allow the next dance to go on, or will he send the Predators in to disrupt the orchestra, or worse, will he send in the Special Forces and upend the entire bandstand?  Pakistan may have bought itself a little time, but then again, the Zionist timekeepers are calling the shots in the greater Middle East.  Netanyahu, the new thoroughly mad conductor will see Iranian blood spilled all over the dance floor very soon, or else, even if Pakistan’s backdoor into Iran does remain closed.

When will we grow tired of all the death and deception that calls itself “democracy” and do the one democratic thing that will put an end to all this?  When will the American people take action and become players in this whole sordid game which passes for “government”?   When will we get-up off our dead behinds and take the reins of power that lie loosely on the ground before us, just waiting for us to rise-up and fulfill our part of the American bargain?

Everything is the way it is because you refuse to be a good citizen.  The scavengers run our government only because we let them.

peterchamberlin@naharnet.com

Ammo Dump Explosion Controversy Over Old Israeli Ordinance

Report: Foreign Ministry Says Israeli Ammunition Caused Khirbet Selm Blast

The Lebanese foreign ministry reportedly informed the United Nations that the Khirbet Selm explosion on July 14 went off in a building under construction and the ammunition was left over by the Israeli army.
Pan-Arab daily al-Hayat said Monday that the foreign ministry informed the U.N. about the alleged cause of the blast through a letter. The world body, however, has said that the explosion went off at a Hizbullah weapons depot in violation of Security Council resolution 1701.

Meanwhile, An Nahar newspaper quoted informed sources as saying that a meeting could be held Monday at the Tebnin Serail between UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Claudio Graziano, Lebanese army intelligence representatives, MPs Hassan Fadlallah and Ali Bazzi, and Khirbet Selm mayor.

The sources said efforts were exerted to contain the July 18 clash between Khirbet Selm residents and U.N. peacekeepers by holding a meeting between the two sides. But it was later agreed to hold the talks in Tebnin after the attempts to bring the two sides together failed over disagreement on several minor issues.

Parade of US Officials Begging Israel for More Time

US says parade of officials visiting Israel purely coincidental

Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – US President Barack Obama will dispatch four of his most senior foreign policy advisors to Israel this week.

The visits seemed designed to pressure Israel on two issues, ending illegal settlement activities and holding off on attacking Iran.

But that all four officials will arrive in Israel almost consecutively was purely a scheduling coincidence, American officials have insisted, according to the AP.

US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell was the first to announce his visit, expected to arrive in Israel on Tuesday for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on restarting stalled peace talks.

“He wants to be clear that, you know, all sides are creating the conditions, putting themselves in position so that when we begin a formal negotiating process, we’ve put ourselves in the best position to have a successful outcome,” US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said of the visit on Friday.

Mitchell’s planned talks this Tuesday would be the first of three scheduled meetings not to be cancelled by the Israelis, the Hebrew-language Yedioth Ahronoth has reported. A meeting scheduled earlier this month was postponed at the last minute, while one scheduled for Paris in June was cancelled altogether.

Mitchell was to arrive in Israel last Sunday before the cancellation was announced, with some sources telling the paper they speculated it was because Netanyahu’s new administration had not yet managed to seal a deal with the Americans on illegal settlements.

The prior meeting was supposed to be between Mitchell and Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister. Barak has lately been handling such responsibilities due to the perception that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman would be biased in favor of the colonies, one of which he calls home near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Both the US and France summoned their Israeli ambassadors last week over a planned settlement in East Jersusalem. Israeli officials responded in force, accusing the Americans of meddling and insisting that all of Jerusalem is their capital. However the international community, including the US and France, has never signed on to Israel’s claims on East Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, the US is sending over three other officials in an apparent attempt to persuade Israel not to attack Iran over its alleged nuclear program.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected on Monday, but American officials insisted his visit was routine. National Security Advisor James Jones and former Mideast negotiator Dennis Ross were to arrive later in the week, as well as some Treasury Department officials.

The Controversial Battle of Wanat

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Battle of Wanat. Image from Army Times

Report: US Commanders ‘Incompetent’ Over Nine Soldiers Killed In Afghan Battle Of Wanat — The Telegraph

An unpublished report into one of the US Army’s darkest days, when nine soldiers were killed by the Taliban at a remote Afghan outpost, has branded their commanders incompetent.

The official report into the battle of Wanat, on July 13 last year, describes the bravery of soldiers who kept fighting even after they were hit. One mortally wounded soldier continued to pass ammunition as he lay dying, and his comrades’ bravery and professionalism ensured that the outpost was never overrun.

But cocksure officers conducted themselves so poorly before the battle that they angered the local villagers whom they were supposed to win over, the report states.

Its findings highlight serious concerns as the US is throwing an extra 23,000 battle-weary troops into a war that is being increasingly questioned in the United States.

The battle showed the increasing military sophistication of the Taliban, and highlighted the vulnerability of combat forces which are now fanning out across Afghanistan in small units with orders to engage with villagers.

After an initial Army investigation which was dismissed by critics in the military hierarchy as whitewash, Douglas Cubbison, a military historian was commissioned to produce a more honest assessment.

His report is directed squarely at US commanders in the field. It suggests that if they do not apply the Army’s counterinsurgency doctrine and protect local populations, they could meet the same fate as their fallen comrades at Wanat.

Named after a remote wooded valley near the Pakistan border north east of Kabul, the battle began just before dawn when a force of guerrillas estimated at between 50 and 200 in number, threw themselves at the remote US outpost.

Volleys of rocket-propelled grenades rained down as the Taliban swarmed across the steep valley.

They quickly knocked out the American heavy weapons – a 120 millimeter mortar, a TOW missile system, and a .50 calibre machine gun. The 45 soldiers and three Marines at the base along with a small Afghan National Army contingent were soon in a fight for their lives.

It felt like “about a thousand Rocket Propelled Grenades at once,” Army Specialist Tyler Hanson later told an Army investigator. The Taliban moved in to within feet of the Americans, making it impossible to call in airstrikes.

They threw rocks into the Americans’ foxholes, hoping the soldiers would mistake them for grenades and jump out. “The whole time we were thinking we were going to die,” said Specialist Chris McKaig.

When the fighting ended, an hour later, nine US soldiers were dead and 27 were wounded, a 75 per cent casualty rate, which has not been suffered since the Vietnam War.

Details of the draft army report were first revealed by Thomas Ricks on his Foreign Policy blog. Mr Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer on military affairs, said it was significant that the report emerged from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas – the last command of General David Petraeus before he took over as commander for Afghanistan and Iraq.

Gen. Petraeus wrote the Army’s counterinsurgency doctrine which instructs US officers to work with and protect local populations, a marked change of strategy for an army which has always valued firepower and aggression above all else.

“This unit gave lip service to he policy of working with locals,” Mr Ricks said, “and this report is a way for people like Petraeus to say, ‘you think you’re doing counterinsurgency, but your not. And you’re getting our soldiers killed.” The battalion commander in Wanat claimed after the battle that he has been conducting a classic counterinsurgency campaign while ‘living with the population’.

This, the report concluded, was not an accurate account.

“This was not the case in the Waigal Valley, where the paratroopers occupied only two combat outposts, and had almost no interaction with the population,” the report stated.

A statement from one machine gunner in the unit summed up the general attitude to locals: “We didn’t interact with them…they didn’t come near us and we didn’t go near them,” Another soldier added: “These people, they disgust me…everything about those people up there is disgusting. They’re worthless.”

The brigade commander, Col. Charles Preysler, and the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Ostlund, come in for lacerating criticism. Neither responded to queries. Col. Preysler, has previously stated that the Wanat outpost was never intended to be a “full-up combat outpost,” or COP. “That is absolutely false and not true,” he said after the battle.

“So, from the get-go, that is just [expletive] and it’s not right.”

However the report found this misleading, because there were extensive plans for construction of a “permanent outpost,” with walls, housing and sewage control.

The report criticised the commanders for their “highly kinetic approach”, using the military jargon for aggressive military action. The report found that they shot first and asked questions later, which “inevitably degraded the relationships between the US Army and the population.” In addition a US helicopter attack before the battle on some trucks passing through the valley killed doctors and other health care workers, angering villagers.