Bernard Lewis: one of the secret rulers of the world?

Bernard Lewis: one of the secret rulers of the world?

Photo of Professor Bernard Lewis by the Office of Communications, Princeton University. Lewis was a Professor at Princeton and he specialized in the history of Islam and the relationship between Islam and the West.

Dick Cheney’s friend, Bernard Lewis, was “perhaps the most significant intellectual influence behind the invasion of Iraq.”

(AEI’s Weird Celebration)

Bernard Lewis helped to invent the West’s new enemy, known as ‘Islam’.

For the British, it was once the Jewish terrorists who were seen as being the enemy.

For the USA, it was once tiny Vietnam.

Professor Bernard Lewis is Jewish and has worked for British intelligence.

(Bernard Lewis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia )

Lewis, born in London in 1916, is a historian and ‘expert’ on Islam.

In 1974, Lewis accepted a position at Princeton University.

In 1990, Lewis wrote an essay entitled The Roots of Muslim Rage.

In this essay, Lewis argued that the struggle between the West and Islam was gathering strength.

In this essay Lewis invented the phrase “clash of civilizations“, which got mentioned in the book by Samuel Huntington.[13]

Typical Moslems – friendly, easy going and hospitable.

The phrase “clash of civilizations“, was first used by Lewis at a meeting in Washington in 1957. [14]

There has been speculation that Lewis, the intelligence services and people like Brzezinski want to make the Moslem world look bad, so that it can be more easily controlled and exploited.

Much of the world’s oil lies in Moslem lands.

How do you make Moslems look bad?

You can finance the extremists and help them into power.

You can carry out false flag operations.

Bernard Lewis argues (Bernard Lewis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) that the Middle East is backward due to its culture and religion.

The alternative view is that a country like Iraq is backward partly because of constant interference by countries such as Britain and the USA.

In his 1982 book Muslim Discovery of Europe, Lewis claims that “Crusader successes were due in no small part to Muslim weakness.”

What Lewis does not make clear is that the Crusaders were barbarians and that they slaughtered innocent people wherever they went. The Fourth Crusade invaded and conquered and looted the Christian city of Constantinople.

Lewis opposes the idea that Israel is a racist country.

He argues that Moslems behaved badly in the Algerian civil war (1992–98) and in the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88).

Lewis fails to point out that certain security services helped prevent democracy from taking place in Algeria in 1991. (aangirfan: Fake terror in Algeria; the US military in Algeria; oil …)

Lewis fails to point out that many people believe that both Saddam and the Ayatollahs were put into power by the CIA. (aangirfan: Saddam worked for the CIA / aangirfan: The Ayatollahs and the CIA)

Christian Crusaders attacking the Christian city of Constantinople

Lewis’s latest book is called Islam: The Religion and the People.

Lewis states quite correctly:

1.”At no time did the (Muslim) jurist approve of terrorism. Nor indeed is there any evidence of the use of terrorism (in Islamic tradition).”

2.”Muslims are commanded not to kill women, children, or the aged; not to torture or otherwise ill-treat prisoners; to give fair warning of the opening of hostilities; and to honor agreements.”

3.”Terrorism … has no antecedents in Islamic history, and no justification in terms of Islamic theology, law, or tradition…

4.”The fanatical warrior offering his victims the choice of the Koran or the sword is not only untrue, it is impossible.”

5.”Generally speaking, Muslim tolerance of unbelievers was far better than anything available in Christendom.”

Typical Moslems.

So, where did terrorism come from?

The Pentagon and its friends are reported to be the brains behind the terrorism (Classic State Terrorism)

And Lewis is unlikely to mention Michael Ledeen, Gladio and 9 11.

Lewis seeks closer Western ties with Israel.

In his essay “A License to Kill”, Lewis wrote that he considered bin Laden’s language as the “ideology of jihad”.

Lewis is unlikely to tell us about the work the bin Ladens have done for the US government (The bin Laden Family)

Lewis has clashed with Edward W. Said, the Palestinian-American scholar who is a professor at Columbia University.

In Al-Ahram Weekly, Said claimed “Bernard Lewis hasn’t set foot in the Middle East, in the Arab world, for at least 40 years.

“He knows something about Turkey, I’m told, but he knows nothing about the Arab world.” (“Resources of hope,”)

Edward Said considered that Lewis failed to see Moslems as a whole lot of different sorts of people.

In a 2002 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Noam Chomsky claimed that Lewis failed to point out that “there’s a perception in (the Middle east) that the United States supports status quo governments, which prevent democracy and development” and that this has to do with Middle East oil. (Hot Type Transcript)

Lewis supported the Iraq War.

In a 2006 article for the “Wall Street Journal” Lewis asserted that Iran was working on a nuclear weapon.

The world’s wicked war of words Anti-Arab brainwashing by the US media


The world’s wicked war of words
Anti-Arab brainwashing by the US media

Paul J. Balles

August 8, 2009

Paul J. Balles shows how the US media’s application of Joseph Goebbels’s dictum – that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses – has produced a plethora of anti-Arab bigots, from the likes of Steve Emerson, Alan Dershowitz, Caroline Glick and Ruth Conniff to the racist ranting of brainless lumpen on the internet.

More insidious than the wars with tanks and guns, aircraft and bombs, missiles and guidance systems, shock and awe campaigns. The wickedest wars are the wars for people’s minds – the propaganda campaigns that exercise thought control.

“Get control over radio, press, cinema and theatre,” said Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister. He perfected an understanding of the “Big Lie” technique of propaganda based on the principle that a lie, if audacious enough and repeated enough times, will be believed by the masses.

Western brainwashing comes from the media. Readers, listeners and viewers need to be aware of these propaganda sources. About the media in general, Steven Salaita correctly observed:

The flippancy with which US media apply the word “terrorism” to Arab populations reinforces the notion that violence in the Arab world is ahistorical and therefore senseless. Arabs in turn become a people without narratives who belong to a culture incapable of rationality.

Steve Emerson has a website and blog with as much anti-Arab ranting on it as any bigot might produce. Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has implied that all Arabs are potential terrorists and therefore worthy of slaughter. American Israeli Caroline Glick, Deputy Managing Editor of The Jerusalem Post, writes two weekly syndicated columns preaching hard-line Israeli propaganda.

In The Progressive, Ruth Conniff validated the false but widespread notion that while violence exists among both Arabs and Israelis, terrorism is exclusive to the Arabs. When Arabs fight against Israelis, the Arabs are guilty of “terrorist violence” but the Israelis are engaging in “military reprisals”.

On anti-Arab radio you hear things like “Arabs love dictators” and “Obama is an Arab,” as if being an Arab disqualifies one from humanity. If they aren’t referring to Arabs as “camel jockeys” or “rag heads”, they’re calling them as Islamo-fascists. Along with O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck give Fox news stable of anti-Arab propagandists.

Hollywood films have been vilifying Arabs for decades. Jack Shaheen revealed, in The TV Arab, how television stereotypes Arabs as “billionaires, bombers and belly dancers”.

Even as a youngster, Shaheen was disturbed by the Arab stereotypes in children’s cartoon characters.

In Shaheen’s Reel Bad Arabs, a long line of degrading images – from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding “terrorists” – have vilified Arabs since the days of silent films.

In his research, Shaheen identified more than 1150 films that defile Arabs. His newest book, Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs after 9/11, reveals how the film industry continues to shape American understanding of Arabs and Arab culture.

Muslim scholar Ziauddin Sardar made it clear that anti-Islamic brainwashing is not new: “From the days of Voltaire right up to 1980, thanks largely to the efforts of Enlightenment scholars, it was a general Western axiom that Islam had produced nothing of worth in philosophy, science and learning.”

That the propaganda has reached the masses should be clear from some of the slurs on the internet, examples of which are displayed here:

F**K ALL YOU SAND NIGGERS! I HOPE WE BLOW YOU ALL UP AND TAKE THE ONLY THING YOU ARE GOOD FOR OIL!

It wasn’t enough to curse Arabs. He had to shout it, writing his message in uppercase letters, revealing how effective anti-Arab propaganda has been in America.

Those who control the media control the mental attitudes of the population; Americans have been programmed to hate Arabs and Muslims and to love Israelis. How could compassionate Americans be nonchalant about their slaughter of a million Arabs in Iraq, even though they know that it was all based on lies? Decades of propaganda and brainwashing.


Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years. For more information, see http://www.pballes.com.

There is No Recession It’s a Planned Demolition

There is No Recession
It’s a Planned Demolition

By MIKE WHITNEY

Auugst 10, 2009

Credit is not flowing. In fact, credit is contracting. When credit contracts in a consumer-driven economy, bad things happen. Business investment drops, unemployment soars, earnings plunge, and GDP shrinks. The Fed has spent more than a trillion dollars trying to get consumers to start borrowing again, but without success. The country’s credit engines are slowing to a crawl.

Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has increased excess reserves in the banking system by $800 billion, but lending is still slow. The banks are hoarding capital in order to deal with the losses from toxic assets, non performing loans, and a $3.5 trillion commercial real estate bubble that’s following housing into the toilet. That’s why the rate of bank failures is accelerating. 2010 will be even worse; the list is growing. It’s a bloodbath.

The standards for conventional loans have gotten tougher while the pool of qualified credit-worthy borrowers has shrunk. That means less credit flowing into the system. The shadow banking system has been hobbled by the freeze in securitization and only provides a trifling portion of the credit needed to grow the economy. Bernanke’s initiatives haven’t made a bit of difference.  Credit continues to shrivel.

The S&P 500 is up 50 per cent from its March lows. The financials, retail, materials and industrials are leading the pack. It’s a “Green Shoots” bear market rally fueled by the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) which is forcing liquidity into the financial system and lifting equities. The same thing happened during the Great Depression. Stocks surged after 1929. Then the prevailing trend took hold and dragged the Dow down 89 per cent from its earlier highs. The S&P’s March lows will be tested before the recession is over. Systemwide deleveraging is ongoing. The economy is resetting at a lower rate of activity.

No one is fooled by the fireworks on Wall Street. Consumer confidence is still falling. Everyone knows things are bad. Everyone knows the mainstream press is lying. The restaurants and malls are empty, the homeless shelters are bulging, and even the big-box stores have stopped hiring. The only “green shoots” are on Wall Street where everyone gets a handout from Uncle Sugar.

Bernanke has pulled out all the stops. He’s lowered interest rates to zero, backstopped the entire financial system with $13 trillion, propped up insolvent financial institutions and monetized $1 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and US sovereign debt. Nothing has worked. Wages are falling, banks are cutting lines of credit, retirement savings have been slashed in half, and home equity losses continue to mount. Living standards can no longer be bandaged together with VISA or Diners Club cards. Household spending has to fit within one’s salary. That’s why retail, travel, home improvement, luxury items and hotels are all down double-digits. The money has dried up.

According to Bloomberg:

“Borrowing by U.S. consumers dropped in June for the fifth straight month as the unemployment rate rose, getting loans remained difficult and households put off major purchases.  Consumer credit fell $10.3 billion, or 4.92 percent at an annual rate, to $2.5 trillion, according to a Federal Reserve report released today in Washington. Credit dropped by $5.38 billion in May, more than previously estimated. The series of declines is the longest since 1991.

“A jobless rate near the highest in 26 years, stagnant wages and falling home values mean consumer spending… will take time to recover even as the recession eases. Incomes fell the most in four years in June as one-time transfer payments from the Obama administration’s stimulus plan dried up, and unemployment is forecast to exceed 10 percent next year before retreating.”

What a mess. The Fed has assumed near-dictatorial powers to fight a monster of its own making, and achieved nothing. The real economy is still dead in the water. Bernanke is not getting any traction from his zero-percent interest rates. His monetization program (QE) is just scaring off foreign creditors. On Friday, Marketwatch reported:

“The Federal Reserve will probably allow its $300 billion Treasury-buying program to end over the next six weeks as signs of a housing recovery prompt the central bank to unwind one its most aggressive and unusual interventions into financial markets, big bond dealers say.”

Right. Does anyone believe the housing market is recovering? In the first 6 months of 2009, there have already been 1.9 million foreclosures.
The Fed is abandoning the printing presses (presumably) because China told Geithner to stop printing money or they’d sell their US Treasuries. It’s a wake-up call to Bernanke that the power is shifting from Washington to Beijing.

That puts Bernanke in a pickle. If he stops printing; interest rates will skyrocket, stocks will crash and housing prices will tumble. But if he continues, China will dump their Treasurys and there will be a run on the dollar. What to do? Either way, the malaise in the credit markets will persist and personal consumption will continue to sputter.

The basic problem is that consumers are buried beneath a mountain of debt and have no choice except to curtail their spending and begin to save. Currently, the the ratio of debt to personal disposable income, is 128 per cent, just a tad below its all-time high of 133  per cent in 2007. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s “Economic Letter: US Household Deleveraging and Future Consumption Growth”:

“The combination of higher debt and lower saving enabled personal consumption expenditures to grow faster than disposable income, providing a significant boost to U.S. economic growth over the period. In the long run, however, consumption cannot grow faster than income because there is an upper limit to how much debt households can service, based on their incomes. For many U.S. households, current debt levels appear too high, as evidenced by the sharp rise in delinquencies and foreclosures in recent years. To achieve a sustainable level of debt relative to income, households may need to undergo a prolonged period of deleveraging, whereby debt is reduced and saving is increased.

“Going forward, it seems probable that many U.S. households will reduce their debt. If accomplished through increased saving, the deleveraging process could result in a substantial and prolonged slowdown in consumer spending relative to pre-recession growth rates.” (“U.S. Household Deleveraging and Future Consumption Growth, by Reuven Glick and Kevin J. Lansing, FRBSF Economic Letter”)

A careful reading of the FRBSF’s Economic Letter shows why the economy will not bounce back. It’s mathematically impossible. We’ve reached peak credit; consumers have to deleverage and patch their balance sheets. Household wealth has slipped $14 trillion since the crisis began.  Home equity has dropped to 41 per cent  (a new low) and joblessness is on the rise. By 2011, Deutsche Bank AG predicts that 48 per cent of all homeowners with a mortgage will be underwater. As the equity position of homeowners deteriorates, banks will further tighten credit and foreclosures will mushroom.

The executive board of the IMF does not share Wall Street’s rosy view of the future, which is why it issued a memo that stated:

“Directors observed that the crisis will have important implications for the role of the United States in the global economy. The U.S. consumer is unlikely to play the role of global “buyer of last resort”— other regions will need to play an increased role in supporting global growth.”

The United States will not be the emerge as the center of global demand following the recession. Those days are over. The world is changing and the US role is getting smaller. As US markets become less attractive to foreign exporters, the dollar will lose its position as the world’s reserve currency. As goes the dollar, so goes the empire. Want some advice: Learn Mandarin.

Sagging Employment: A “recoveryless” recovery

July’s employment numbers came in better than expected (negative 247,000) lowering total unemployment from 9.5 per cent to 9.4 per cent. That’s good. Things are getting worse at a slower pace. But what’s striking about the BLS report is that there’s no jobs surge in any sector of the economy. No signs of life. Outsourcing and offshoring are ongoing, and downsizing the path to profitability. That’s why revenues are down while profits are up. Businesses everywhere are anticipating weaker demand.  The jobs report is a one-off event; a lull in the storm before the layoffs resume.

Unemployment is rising, wages are falling and credit is contracting.  All the money is flowing upwards to the gangsters at the top. Here’s an excerpt from a recent Don Monkerud article that sums it all up:

“During eight years of the Bush Administration, the 400 richest Americans, who now own more than the bottom 150 million Americans, increased their net worth by $700 billion. In 2005, the top one per cent claimed 22 per cent of the national income, while the top ten per cent took half of the total income, the largest share since 1928.

“Over 40 per cent of GNP comes from Fortune 500 companies. According to the World Institute for Development Economics Research, the 500 largest conglomerates in the U.S. “control over two-thirds of the business resources, employ two-thirds of the industrial workers, account for 60 per cent of the sales, and collect over 70 per cent of the profits.”

… In 1955, IRS records indicated the 400 richest people in the country were worth an average $12.6 million, adjusted for inflation. In 2006, the 400 richest increased their average to $263 million, representing an epochal shift of wealth upward in the U.S.” (“Wealth Inequality destroys US Ideals” Don Monkerud, consortiumnews.com)

Working people are not being crushed by accident, but according to plan. It is the way the system is designed to work. Bernanke knows that sustained demand requires higher wages and a vital middle class. But Bernanke works for the banks, which is why the Fed’s monetary policies reflect the goals of the investor class. Bubblenomics is not the way to a strong/sustainable economy, but it is an effective tool for shifting wealth from one class to another. The Fed’s job is to facilitate that objective, which is why the economy is headed for the rocks.

The financial meltdown is the logical outcome of the Fed’s monetary policies. That’s why it’s a mistake to call the current slump a “recession”. It’s not. It’s a planned demolition.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com

Taliban torch seven Pakistan schools: officials

Taliban torch seven Pakistan schools: officials

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants burnt down seven primary schools in northwest Pakistan, where children recently resumed their studies after the area was declared safe by the army, officials said Tuesday.

“Three boys’ and four girls’ primary schools were set on fire by militants late Monday in Buner district,” district police chief Abdul Rasheed said.

No one was hurt in the arson attacks as the schools were closed for the night, he said, but the buildings were burnt to the ground.

Shams-ul-Arifeen, the education secretary of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), confirmed the arson attacks.

Schools reopened in the restive area of Pakistan’s northwest on August 1. They had been closed for nearly three months as the military pursued a fierce offensive to crush the hardliners in three districts including Buner.

The military claims to have largely defeated the extremists, and families who fled the fighting have been returning home in recent weeks, although sporadic attacks rumble on.

Officials have said that about 356 schools in the region were damaged by the Taliban and during the fighting. Authorities are working on an emergency plan to rebuild the schools or hire private buildings.

More than 600,000 children enrolled in schools in the conflict zone have missed up to one school year due to unrest, according to the UN.

In the NWFP, only 22 percent of women and girls older than 15 can read and write, the UN has said. The Taliban generally oppose the education of women, and frequently target girls’ schools.

Russian FSB services helped Hizbullah bust spy ring – report

Russian FSB services helped Hizbullah bust spy ring – report

Lebanese Group has ‘amassed quantities of undisclosed data’

Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: Western intelligence sources in the Middle East have disclosed to DEBKAfile that a special unit of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), commissioned by Hizbullah’s special security apparatus earlier this year, was responsible for the massive discovery of alleged Israel spy rings in Lebanon in recent months with the help of “super-efficient” detection systems.

DEBKAfile is an Israeli, Occupied Jerusalem-based English-language open source military intelligence website with commentary and analyses on terrorism, intelligence, security, and military and political affairs in the Middle East.

The sources told DEBKAfile last week that the FSB and Hizbullah have “amassed quantities of undisclosed data” on Israel’s clandestine operations in Lebanon and “are holding it in reserve in order to leak spectacular discoveries as and when it suits their purpose.”

“This disclosure, if borne out, would indicate that the Russian agency, which specializes in counterespionage, is engaged for the first time in anti-Israel activity in the service of an Arab terrorist organization,” DEBKAfile said.

An Israeli security source described this turn of events extremely grave, Debkafile reported. It also cast an ominous slant on Moscow’s deepening strategic involvement in Syria.

“It was generally assumed until now that new electronic devices supplied by France to the Lebanese Army were instrumental in uncovering the suspected Israeli spy rings,” the DEBKAfile report said.

“It now transpires that the Lebanese Army was not directly involved; it only detained the suspects handed over by the Shiite Hizbullah,” it added.

Those same sources disclosed to the Israeli news website that FSB agents, “by blanketing every corner of Lebanon with their sophisticated surveillance systems, were able to detect the spy rings one by one and additionally hack into Israeli intelligence data bases.”

The Russians dated Israel’s massive clandestine infiltration of Lebanon to shortly after the summer 2006 war.

“Hizbullah sustained heavy casualties and, fearing an Israeli surprise attack at that point, began conscripting thousands of young Shiites as fighters [haphazardly], without checking their backgrounds,” the sources told DEBKAfile.

“In their haste, they also rounded up Syrian and Egyptian migrant laborers in Lebanon,” they added.

The sources explained that Israel “used the opportunity to recruit large numbers of agents in both these groups, especially among the conscripts sent to Revolutionary Guards camps in Iran and Syrian military facilities for training.”

The Lebanese judiciary has so far charged at least 20 people, some of them top-ranking military and police officers with espionage. Despite the ceasefire between Lebanon and its southern neighbor, the two countries are technically still at warl. Treason in Lebanon is punishable by death.

A growing list of double agents has been exposed over the last few years as part of a continuing operation, code-named “Surprise at Dawn,” which began in June 2006 before the outbreak of the 34-day 2006 war with Israel.

In July, the UN Security Council warned that the existence of a large Israeli-run espionage network in Lebanon could threaten a fragile peace established between the two countries following the end of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war.

Israel has refused to comment on the spy allegations. But it has been reported in the Israeli media that without the intelligence provided by the Lebanese network, the Israeli Air Force would not have been able to knock out Hizbullah’s medium-range missile launchers with such a high degree of accuracy during the 2006 war.

Many of Hizbullah’s men were also assassinated on the basis of information provided by the spies.

The campaign of assassinations culminated in the killing, supposedly by Mossad agents, of top Hizbullah military commander Imad Mughniyeh who was killed in a car bombing in Damascus last year.

The operatives were allegedly given orders to spy on a number of Palestinian resistance organizations as well as Hizbullah. – The Daily Star

Losing Iraq to Pursue Ghosts on Durand Line

By Natalia Antelava
BBC News, Baghdad

More than 100 people died in bombings across Iraq over the past three days. The attacks, which hit Baghdad and areas outside Mosul in the north on Friday and on Monday, are the biggest and the most serious since the withdrawal of the US troops from Iraqi cities at the end of June.

Bombing site in Baghdad - 11 August 2009

Iraqis complain that widespread corruption prevents security services from protecting ordinary people

Along with other, smaller incidents – which often fail to make international headlines – a total of 157 people were killed in Iraq in the first 10 days of August – more than half of all those killed in July.

Since January, casualty figures in Iraq have fluctuated, and assessing the security situation according to these changing numbers can be misleading. Looking at the nature of the attacks may provide a better insight.

As the US generals prepared for the June withdrawal of their troops from Iraqi cities, US military officials argued that the attacks had become much less organised and sophisticated.

However, less than two months after the pull-out, this seems to be changing.

The latest bombings resemble the well co-ordinated, well planned strikes of the earlier years of heightened violence.

‘Targeting the ordinary’

“These attacks have clear al-Qaeda fingerprints all over them. They were well co-ordinated and the explosives used were high-tech,” said Gen Abdul Karim Khalaf, spokesperson for Iraq’s ministry of the interior following the Monday bombing.

“These explosives are not available on the domestic market, which gives us reason to believe outside powers were involved.”

Iraqi Premier Nuri al-Maliki (centre)

Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has warned of violence ahead of January polls

The most recent attacks hit, almost simultaneously, a Shia village near Mosul in the north, and two construction sites in ethnically mixed neighbourhoods in Baghdad.

In the north, the explosives were hidden in two big lorries parked in an alley, and they went off just before dawn while most people were still asleep.

The villagers woke up to find their houses in ruins, their neighbours and relatives dead and injured, some buried in the rubble.

In Baghdad, the bombs went off at almost the same time near two construction sites and most of those killed were day labourers.

Right now, corruption is a bigger threat for us then insurgency, because it is preventing all of our government institutions – and especially our security services – from doing their job
MP Alia Nusaif Jasim

“I saw the explosions as I was going to work,” said Fathya, a woman in her 30s who lives near one of the sites.

“The worst thing is that they are once again targeting us, the ordinary people.”

The government says the attacks serve two interrelated purposes: to attempt to reignite sectarian violence that reigned in Iraq in 2006-2007 and to undermine the security gains of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki’s government ahead of parliamentary elections in January.

“The enemy is still lurking, still trying to undermine the success that we have made,” Mr Maliki said as he addressed his commanders in Baghdad just hours after the bombs went off on Monday.

While the prime minister blames the Sunni insurgency for the attacks, opponents of his predominantly Shia government say it is time to focus on the enemy within.

They accuse Mr Maliki of alienating Iraq’s Sunni population and allowing corruption to infect all parts of the government, especially the security services.

According to Iraq’s own government anti-corruption agency, the ministries of defence and the interior are among the most corrupt in the country.

Alia Nusaif Jasim, an MP and member of parliamentary anti-corruption committee, alleges that millions of dollars of US defence aid never make it to the state coffers.

“Right now, corruption is a bigger threat for us then insurgency, because it is preventing all of our government institutions – and especially our security services – from doing their job,” Ms Jasim said.

The ministry of defence denies all corruption accusations, but in Baghdad stories of bribery in the army abound.

“I have to give a bribe to join the army, I have to bribe at checkpoints, I have to bribe the commander if I am in the army – everywhere I turn I have to bribe,” said Ali, a resident of Baghdad.

This perception strips the army of its moral authority, and makes it more difficult for people to believe it is capable of protecting them – especially now that US troops no longer patrol urban areas of Iraq.

The withdrawal of the US troops, which was welcomed by most Iraqis, put the Iraqi government fully in charge of the security situation.

The authorities say violence is likely to continue in the run-up to the election, but they also insist they are firmly in control.

In fact, the government is so confident of its ability to keep Baghdad safe, it has ordered all protective blast walls in the capital to come down within the next month.

Fathya, in Baghdad, thinks the decision shows that the authorities are pre-occupied with creating an illusion of safety.

“The attacks are still happening, it is too soon to bring the walls down. I’d rather have the Americans here, because our government is not ready to protect us.”

Pakistan: Premature claims

    Pakistan: Premature claims

    The Guardian,

    One certainty emerges from the fog of war enveloping Waziristan, in Pakistan‘s remote tribal areas. Whether or not Baitullah Mehsud was killed in the drone attack on his house last week, or is, as his supporters claim, severely ill, Tehrik I Taliban is in some crisis. The group was last night under pressure to prove their leader had risen from the rubble of his home by issuing a video of him. But even that would be unlikely to quell the violent power struggle between deputies vowing for his place. There have been heated denials that a shoot-out took place between Hakeemullah Mehsud, a fiery young commander, and Wali ur Rehman, a militant cleric, at a shura meeting to decide Mehsud’s succession.

    The untested assumption behind drone attacks is that, if you behead the monster, the talons of the beast itself will stay still. If, in addition, drones are used against enemies of the Pakistani state, rather than just the Afghan one, the theory is that they will become more acceptable to the Pakistani army, which anyway secretly colludes with their use. Neither necessarily follows. There are signs that drone strikes may encourage tribal leaders to turn on militant groups who use foreign fighters because they attract too much trouble.

    But that does not mean the Pakistani Taliban are a spent force. Even with Mehsud allegedly gone, the component parts of the Pakistani Taliban are still in place. Mehsud held sway over a cluster of about a dozen groups – more of a business franchise than a company – some of which have defied his orders. With Mehsud gone or going, the cohesion could be reduced further. But that could herald an increase in bombing and shooting, as each outlet of the franchise competes for exclusive rights. Besides, Mehsud’s outfit was only one of a number of groups that comprise the Pakistani Taliban.

    The Taliban’s power struggle has triggered a wider debate in the Pakistani military establishment. Should it go for broke in Waziristan, as it did in Swat, prising open the cracks that have begun to surface between rival commanders, or should it sue for peace, knowing that this time it would be negotiating from a position of strength? The old realities of the logic the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) used about the Taliban still pertain. If and when foreign forces leave Afghanistan – and the flurry of statements last week about seeking a political end to the conflict only encourage that view – the ISI will still seek to have purchase over the Afghan state. That will be delivered by its Taliban proxies, as it has been in the past. Mehsud’s mistake was to declare war on Pakistan. But those of his deputies who don’t could still find themselves coming to an accommodation with it.

    More of the same for Baitullah’s fighters

    More of the same for Baitullah’s fighters

    By Syed Saleem Shahzad

    ISLAMABAD – With speculation still swirling over the fate of the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Baitullah Mehsud, possibly killed in a US Predator drone attack in the South Waziristan tribal area last Wednesday, the viability of his group has come into question.

    Some analysts say the TTP, the main Taliban militant umbrella group in Pakistan primarily in conflict with the central government, will fall apart and that its various groups will operate as stand-alone outfits.

    The Pakistan army’s Inter-Services Public Relations Department has also weighed in with some stories about the TTP, which need to be treated cautiously, given the department’s dubious record in the days following the drone attack.

    It reported the deaths of Waliur Rahman, Baitullah’s deputy and spokesman, as well as that of Hakimullah Mehsud, a potential successor to Baitullah. The men were said to have died in a shootout during a meeting to discuss the succession.

    Both men have since personally contacted the media to dismiss the stories. The Taliban have said they will shortly present proof that Baitullah is alive.

    An evolving militant umbrella
    The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan) embraces militants from Afghanistan and Pakistan who have pledged their allegiance to Taliban leader Mullah Omar. They therefore call themselves Taliban, although they have imbibed al-Qaeda’s Takfiri ideology, which means the state of Pakistan is Darul Harb (a place of war) and the Pakistan army, being an ally of the United States, is heretical.

    The group was founded in the South Waziristan and North Waziristan tribal areas on the border with Afghanistan in 2007, and spread quickly to other areas. The TTP does not have a formal infrastructure, such as a central treasury, arsenal or war room, despite this being reported by the Inter-Services Public Relations Department.

    Instead, various warlords with independent resources and strategies work for the same cause and share the same ideology. Occasionally, they cooperate with one another. For instance, Qari Zafar, a leader of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, has collaborated with Baitullah.

    A big player in the TTP orbit is Mullah Fazlullah – nicknamed “Radio Mullah” and the leader of the pro-Taliban Tehrik-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Mohammadi in Malakand Agency.

    Baitullah sent some fighters to aid Fazlullah in the early stages of the Pakistan military’s operations in his area in 2007 and also to Swat this year. But Fazlullah essentially fought the army independently using his own resources.

    Qari Ziaur Rahman, the commander-in-chief of the Taliban in Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan and Bajaur Agency and Mohamand Agency in Pakistan, is also an anti-establishment element. He set up links with Baitullah after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Operation Lion Heart of 2008 which targeted insurgents in the Kunar region. The interaction has been limited, however.

    Through Hakimullah Mehsud, Baitullah’s cousin, Baitullah has relatively direct coordination with the Taliban in Dera Adam Khel, a town in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, and the Orakzai and Kurram agencies in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.

    The binding force between these various groups is ideology and it is possible that should Baitullah be dead, they will not select a new chief and work even more independently, but pledging Mullah Omar as their figurehead and al-Qaeda as their ideology. There is no chance Fazlullah will lay down his arms.

    The fact is, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is already a shadowy, loose nexus of essentially independent groups without too many formal structures and hierarchies. As such it is a difficult group to pin down, let alone destroy, and this will remain the case with or without Baitullah.

    Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online’s Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at saleem_shahzad2002@yahoo.com

    Mass Burial For Boko Haram Victims

    Mass Burial For Boko Haram Victims

    Written by Newstime Africa

    Boko Haram VictimsBoko Haram Vic­tims

    There has been a mass bur­ial of vic­tims of last week’s Islamist upris­ing in the north-eastern city of Maid­uguri, which killed hun­dreds of peo­ple, a gov­ern­ment spokesman said Sun­day. “Our evac­u­a­tion team has fin­ished remov­ing all dead bod­ies from the streets of the city. Fam­i­lies are nor forth­com­ing in claim­ing the dead bod­ies.  There­fore, the gov­ern­ment decided to bury them in mass graves,” Usman Chi­roma, spokesman of Borno State gov­ern­ment, said.

    “It is dif­fi­cult for the bod­ies to be claimed, because their dead rela­tions were mem­bers of the Boko Haram (sect) that waged war against the gov­ern­ment. They just don’t want to be asso­ci­ated with them,” he added.

    Although the police and mil­i­tary declined to give a fig­ure for the num­ber of bod­ies involved, This­Day news­pa­per put it at about 700. Clashes between secu­rity forces and sect mem­bers in four north­ern states — Bauchi, Kano, Yobe and Borno — killed more than 600 peo­ple in five days of vio­lence, accord­ing to police and wit­nesses.

    Most of the dead were in Maid­uguri, the Borno State

    cap­i­tal, where the Niger­ian mil­i­tary bom­barded the head­quar­ters of the Boko Haram extrem­ist sect and killed its leader Mohammed Yusuf, 39. His killing while in mil­i­tary cus­tody has been con­demned by rights groups. Res­i­dents in Maid­uguri told an AFP reporter by tele­phone that rot­ting bod­ies that had lit­tered the streets of the north­east­ern uni­ver­sity city had been removed for bur­ial. Lawan Gal­adima, a trader in Bayan Quar­ters, which was home to many fol­low­ers of the anti-Western sect, said: “by yes­ter­day (Sat­ur­day) evening, all dead bod­ies in this area had been removed.” “Health work­ers and police piled them into trucks and took them away. Now we are relieved of the nau­se­at­ing stench that dis­turbed us in the past few days,” he added.

    An Estimated 700 People Killed In Maiduguri, Oil=Islamists

    An Estimated 700 People Killed In Maiduguri

    Written by Newstime

    The Borno police commissioner: Christopher DegaThe Borno police com­mis­sioner: Christo­pher Dega

    The head of secu­rity in Maid­uguri, Col Ben Ahan­otu has said that about 700 peo­ple were killed in Maid­uguri and that mass buri­als had begun there. An ear­lier tally of vic­tims of the unrest, in which police bat­tled Islamists, put the fig­ure at 400. Life in the affected areas is now begin­ning to return to nor­mal with banks and mar­kets reopen­ing.

    The head of secu­rity said the com­pound of the Islamist sect behind the vio­lence was being used as one of the bur­ial sites because bod­ies were decom­pos­ing in the heat. The com­pound used by the Boko Haram sect was destroyed by gov­ern­ment troops and is now smoul­der­ing rub­ble.

    More mem­bers of the sect have been arrested in house-to-house searches across north­ern Nige­ria and the mil­i­tary said most would be pros­e­cuted. Maid­uguri is the cap­i­tal of Borno state but the fight­ing spread to cities across the north of the coun­try and the total death toll is unknown.

    A spokesman for the mil­i­tary said two of those killed were sol­diers and 13 were police offi­cers. The num­ber of injured, mean­while, is still being counted. The Red Cross had ear­lier said about 3,500 peo­ple fled the fight­ing. The vio­lence ended on Thurs­day when the sect’s leader, Mohamed Yusuf, was killed by police.

    The con­tro­versy sur­round­ing his death con­tin­ues.

    The police say he was killed in a shoot-out while he was being detained. But Col Ahan­otu says he cap­tured him and handed him over alive. In the north­ern city of  Borno,  Police Com­mis­sioner  Christo­pher Dega said peace and calm has returned to the city and there is nor­malcy around the towns and vil­lages

    Islamic Sect Mosque Stormed By Nigerian Forces, Oil=Islamists

    Islamic Sect Mosque Stormed By Nigerian Forces

    Written by Newstime Africa

    Security Forces In NigeriaSecu­rity Forces In Nige­ria

    Secu­rity forces in Nige­ria, have stormed the mosque where mil­i­tants from an Islamic sect have been hid­ing out. Reports say scores of fight­ers were killed in the assault, which came after a third night of gun bat­tles in the north­ern city of Maid­uguri. Many of the mil­i­tants have now fled, attack­ing police sta­tions on their way. The group, known as Boko Haram, wants to over­throw the gov­ern­ment and impose a strict ver­sion of Islamic law.

    The assault by the secu­rity forces came after 1,000 extra sol­diers were drafted into the city. Army com­man­der Major Gen­eral Saleh Maina told the Asso­ci­ated Press that the deputy leader of the sect was killed in the bom­bard­ment, which con­tin­ued on Wednes­day night. But he said Mohammed Yusuf, leader of the group also known as “Tal­iban”, escaped along with about 300 fol­low­ers.

    The gov­ern­ment eased cur­few restric­tions overnight, allow­ing peo­ple in the city more time on the streets in the evening. The lat­est deaths would mean about 300 peo­ple have been killed in four days of clashes since an esti­mated 1,000 mil­i­tants began attack­ing police sta­tions and gov­ern­ment build­ings in sev­eral cities in north­ern Nige­ria.

    Pres­i­dent Umaru Yar’Adua has ordered Nigeria’s national secu­rity agen­cies to take all nec­es­sary action to con­tain and repel attacks by the extrem­ists. Secu­rity forces flooded into Maid­uguri and began shelling Mr Yusuf’s com­pound on Tues­day, after mil­i­tants had attacked the city’s police head­quar­ters. The vio­lence broke out in Bauchi State on Sun­day, before spread­ing to the states of Borno, par­tic­u­larly the state cap­i­tal Maid­uguri, Kano and Yobe.

    Fake terror in Algeria–the Imperial Design Holds, Oil=Islamists

    Fake terror in Algeria; the US military in Algeria; oil in Algeria.

    The United States is building a huge military surveillance base at Tamanrasset in Algeria.

    US forces are training the Algerian military. Washington wants to provide Algiers with pilot-less drone planes.

    This military base is a result of agreements signed between Washington and Algiers for oil industry development.

    In addition, the United States has worked to include Algeria in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and considers this North African country one of its most important allies outside of NATO.

    ‘For the US, Morocco is important because of its relations with Israel, but Algeria is heading toward having better economic relations with Washington because of the Algerian oil reserve and natural resources.’

    ~

    Ah! Algeria is where wicked Moslem extremists kill people and oppose democracy, isn’t it?

    Well no, not exactly!

    The ‘Islamic terror’ in Algeria is reportedly organised by the Algerian government which is close ally of the USA, UK and France.

    Before 1991, Algeria had a ‘corrupt and unpopular dictatorship’.

    In 1991 the Islamic Party known as FIS won a landslide in the country’s first FREE multiparty elections.

    Many moderate people had turned to the FIS because they were fed up with the corrupt regime which had held power for so long.

    The USA was not happy about FIS; and the corrupt Algerian elite were not happy.

    So the army took over.

    Then the killings began.

    More than 100,000 people have died.

    But is it the Moslem extremists who are causing the problems? Or is the terror organised by the government?

    In February 2001, ‘The Dirty War’, by Habib Souaidia, a former Algerian army officer, was published.

    It tells of the part played by the Algerian army in the killing of tens of thousands of Algerians.

    Habib writes:”I have seen colleagues burn alive a 15-year-old child.

    “I have seen soldiers disguising themselves as terrorists and massacring civilians.

    “I have seen colonels kill mere suspects in cold blood.

    “I have seen officers torture fundamentalists to death….”

    ~~~~~

    Robert Fisk in The Independent, January 1998, wrote about killings in certain villages in Algeria.

    Many of the dead were women and children; some were burned alive; some were decapitated or disembowelled.

    The villagers at Ouled Sahnine, Kherarba, El Abadel and Ouled Tayeb were Islamists and had voted in the 1991 elections for the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) .The killers used knives, wire and portable guillotines to butcher civilians.Whole families were herded into ‘killing rooms’ to have their throats cut, with shovels as well as knives. .

    ~~~

    The GIA are the so-called Islamic terrorists. Reportedly the GIA are organised by the security services.

    http://www.listener.co.nz/default,1457.sm

    “The details of French/Algerian collusion with the GIA are even more disturbing. It is not simply that Algerian death squads would impersonate the GIA and carry out massacres or create local militias – the so-called Patriotes – to do likewise.

    In recent years, firm evidence has begun to emerge from Algerian military sources and leading academics that the dreaded GIA has been – perhaps from the outset and certainly under Zitouni’s bloody leadership – a dummy, or “screen” organisation managed by French/Algerian counter-intelligence.

    Where was the terrorist threat in fact coming from, Le Monde asked rhetorically in November 2002, during its preview of a 90-minute Canal+ television documentary on the Metro bombings, and then cited the right-wing MP and former French counter-intelligence chief Alain Marsaud in reply.

    “State terrorism uses screen organisations,” Marsaud said. “In this case [the GIA] a screen organisation in the hands of the Algerian security services … it was a screen to hold France hostage.”

    Two recent books by former Algerian military officers have given chapter and verse about the “turning” of the GIA. Last year, the feared Algerian general Khaled Nezzar sued one of the authors (Habib Souaida) in a Paris court for libel – and lost, largely due to compelling testimony by the star witness, the former Algerian colonel Mohammed Samraoui.”

    Was the Ricin plot organised by the security services?

    A Swat Rebel Speaks of False Flag Operations

    A Swat Rebel Speaks (part 1)

    Qandeel Siddique, Pakistan
    August 5th, 2009

    Since May this year the Pakistani Army has been engaged in fierce combat in the Swat valley against a branch of the Pakistani Taliban. Who are the rebels and what do they want? A recent urdu-language video by al-Sahab features an interview with a Pakistani Taliban commander named Hafizullah. It offers useful insights into the Tehrik-e-Taliban-Swat’s ideology. In this two-part post I will take a closer look at the interview.

    The video starts with a profile of Hafizullah: “Hafizullah hails from the Swat valley of Pakistan and has for the past 13 years been involved in the jihads in Afghanistan, Kashmir and now Pakistan. He received his early military training in 1996 Afghanistan, after which he fought with the Taliban on four different fronts – Kabul, Bagram, Bamyan, and Charykar. After the US invasion of Afghanistan, he was put exclusively in charge of the Bagram front. Previously affiliated with Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Hafizullah switched allegiance after the said agency incarcerated him in 2004 (for over two years). A sympathiser of the Lal Masjid in Islamabad, he was involved in the movement to avenge the 2007 army raid on the mosque, and became active in the jihad for nifaz-e-shariat in Swat – namely the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) (Movement for the Enforcement of Sharia).”

    Lal Masjid: The Pakistan army’s Operation Silence on Lal Masjid in July 2007 seems to remain a motivating factor behind the uprising of jihadi activities in Swat. When asked “When did the Swat Taliban emerge in this region?” Hafizullah replies “One of the initial reactions to Lal Masjid took place in Swat, so it was two years ago that we started militancy here – since then we have been involved in jihad.”

    Sharia: The enforcement of Sharia law is repeatedly underlined as the key reason for the jihad in Swat:  “Since 1992 we have been fighting for this [Shariat]. We aim to establish Shariat in the world; that is why we sent fighters to Afghanistan and Kashmir.”

    In response to the question “who is your preferred target and on what basis?” Hafizullah answers “anything or anybody coming in the way of Sharia” – that is, the murtad fauj or “apostate army” which has been “removed from the sphere of Islam.”

    It should be remembered that the TNSM has been active in Swat since the early 1990s, and establishing Sharia in the valley has been their primary objective. Although the Swat militants give allegiance to Baitullah Mehsud and call him their Emir, the TTP movement in this region is shaped by its own history and local politics, and retains a unique flavour separating it from the Waziristani Tehrik. TNSM’s old agenda to enforce Sharia in Swat seems to be its cardinal goal, one which possibly overshadows that of carrying out jihad in Afghanistan or a defensive jihad against the Pakistani state. The recent peace agreement with Swat militants centred on the establishment of Sharia law.

    Guerrilla war: Hafizullah boasts carrying out at least 25 fidayeen attacks inside Swat, while some operations were also conducted in Islamabad and Peshawar.

    He also boasts their success in fighting the military; “Our first major battle was in Imam Dheri […] In Charbagh their (dead) bodies were left with us while they ran away. In Khwazakhel… we captured 50 vehicles loaded with ammunition.” Rebel acquisition of army equipment, including night vision goggles, launchers, and RPG 7s, occurs on a daily basis in Swat.

    Hafizullah describes the militants’ recent retreat in the face of the Pakistani army’s advance as an important “tactic” of guerrilla warfare: “they [army] comes and wastes their weapons, shooting in the dark, and then go away thinking they have been victorious […] and once their attacks have subsided, we lay down mines, carry out fidayeen attacks, and inflict maximum damage upon them.”

    Furthermore, Hafizullah boasts greater territorial control over the “apostate army” and blames the “Jewish-controlled media” for exaggerating the army’s success in the region.

    “As you have now seen, you know who is more victorious […] most roads are under our control and they cannot pass without our permission.” He specifies that of the four primary routes to Swat, three are under the control of the Taliban – namely, via Dir, Malakand and Buner.

    Defensive jihad/”murtad fawj”: Pakistan is viewed as one of the few countries in the world to have caused tremendous damage to Islam on a vast scale, and is blamed for the ongoing war in neighbouring Afghanistan as well by strengthening the enemy; “Pakistan has been providing them with logistics, equipment, etc., as well as spy planes who leave from their bases inside Pakistan to attack in Afghanistan.”
    The image conjured of the Pakistani army is that of a vicious, un-Islamic enemy who destroys mosques, kills innocent tribesmen/its own people, and even steals from them.

    “You never hear of planes flying to India or other enemies, but when Pakistani army] planes do fly, it’s to attack its own people. It’s always Muslims, be it our Arab or Afghan friends.

    The majority killed by these infidels are the locals. Their first target is always mosques. […] They know that mosques are a symbol of Islam and Muslims, and therefore set out to attack Islam. For example, in Swat, I would say at least 40 or 50 mosques have been attacked. The other day in a village in Matta they killed 14 children and women along with a mosque.

    Wherever they have gone, they have killed children, women and the elderly who have nothing to do with the Taliban. And they have looted their homes where ever they may have found something valuable, e.g. gold, watches, stereos…”

    Local support: The Swati Taliban claims to have the locals on their side: “… We are children of these people and they are our own. We live like brothers. We have a healthy relationship with them where they give us food and shelter, and we cooperate on matters. We are always in touch with the locals and share with them their burdens/grievances. We have built roads [for the Swati people] where in over 60 years the government could not. The locals are happy with us. They no longer need to pay tax to the government. We have build pipelines and provided water to people. […] Also we resolved decade-long rivalries that had been going on and which the government failed to bring about peace. The Taliban have appointed ulema to solve these cases and bring peace.”

    The Swati Taliban assumes the role of a surrogate government by providing its citizen’s basic amenities – roads and water. And of course justice, which the locals feel deprived of, believing that the Pakistani government time and again ignores the developmental needs of this region. On top of this, the commander conjures a horrific picture of the Pakistani army; he pins the blame for collateral damage during warfare on the military – not only do they take innocent lives, they also steal from peoples’ homes. These are the words and imagery the Taliban deliver in places they conquer, thus feeding on the vulnerabilities of the locals who have lost their relatives or friends in the ongoing, or been displaced or disoriented by it.

    I will cover the rest of the video in a forthcoming post.

    ===

    A Swat Rebel Speaks (part 2)
    Qandeel Siddique, Pakistan
    August 7th, 2009

    In my previous post we saw how Commander Hafizullah viewed the struggle of the Swati Taliban. Later in the video, he says some interesting things about how the militants acquire support, money and weapons.

    By feeding off the social and economic frustrations of the local populace in the tribal belt, the Swati militants may have managed to garner a certain amount of local support. For example, by taking over the Minogra emerald mine in Swat, the TTP offered the poor locals an income. Similarly, after seizing the Shamozai and Gujjar Killi mines, the Taliban employed a large number of local labourers. Speaking with a BBC Urdu journalist, a Taliban commander and caretaker of the mines said:

    “Every year the government would deceitfully claim that the mine business was suffering a loss and therefore nothing could be offered to the locals; whereas, in reality, all the profit was going in the pockets of officers and `bigwigs’ […] Two months ago when we took control of this area… and we opened the doors for the local workers… and 1/3 of the proceeds go to the Taliban while 2/3 is distributed to the workers.”

    Funding: The support of the locals is, according to Hafizullah, extended to providing the TT-S with money:

    “Everyone knows that when Maulana Fazlullah asks for chanda (donations) through his FM channel, then, within minutes 1-2 crore (10-20 million) chanda is raised.”

    In addition to such donations, stealing (vehicles and weaponry) from the infidels is cited as another source that has allowed TT-S to engage in a protracted battle against the army.  He gave no mention of support from their Waziristani counterpart or external actors.

    ISI link: As was mentioned in As-Sahab’s introductory section on Hafizullah, he was previously linked with the ISI, most probably during his fight in Kashmir and Afghanistan. However, he severed all relations after his arrest in 2004. In response to the question “What message do you have for organizations working under the auspice of the ISI as in Kashrmi, etc.?” Hafizullah responds:

    “We would ask them to discontinue fighting for the ISI. It is not the lower ranks who are aware of their links to the ISI, rather only the upper echelons are privy to such information – and they are the ones earning money in the crores. Their weapon supply comes from the ISI. We want them to join the TTP for Allah and to attain paradise.”

    True to tradition, Hafizullah ends the interview by requesting the locals to “give us their young for jihad. And the elderly and women pray for them and for Islam to reach every corner of the world.”

    And finally, “Our jihad will continue till doomsday.”

    Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security

    Climate Change Seen as Security Threat
    Lynsey Addario

    The New York Times


    The conflict in southern Sudan, which has killed and displaced tens of thousands of people, is partly a result of drought in Darfur.

    Climate Change Seen as Threat to U.S. Security

    Published: August 8, 2009

    WASHINGTON — The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.


    The New York Times
    August 9, 2009
    Climate Change Seen as Security Threat
    Lynsey Addario

    The conflict in southern Sudan, which has killed and displaced tens of thousands of people, is partly a result of drought in Darfur.

    Governors Object to Pentagon Disaster Proposal

    Governors Object to Pentagon Disaster Proposal

    The National Governors Association opposes a Defense Department proposal to expand the military’s authority to respond to domestic disasters.

    In a letter Friday to Paul N. Stockton, assistant secretary of Defense for homeland defense and Americas’ security affairs, the governors said the proposal could lead to confusion over who’s in charge during domestic emergencies and unnecessarily duplicate response efforts.

    “We are concerned that the legislative proposal you discuss in your letter would invite confusion on critical command and control issues, complicate interagency planning, establish stove-piped response efforts, and interfere with governors’ constitutional responsibilities to ensure the safety and security of their citizens,” Govs. Jim Douglas , R-Vt., and Joe Manchin III , D-W.Va., wrote on behalf of the group.

    The Pentagon did not immediately respond Monday to a request for comment on the letter.

    In their letter, the governors elaborate on their concerns over expanding the Pentagon’s independent authority to operate military forces in domestic incidents.

    To carry out homeland defense and homeland security responsibilities, governors have to retain control over the domestic use of their National Guard and active and reserve military operating in their states, the letter said.

    One of the key lessons of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the response to hurricanes Katrina and Rita was the need for clear chains of command, the governors wrote.

    “Without assigning a governor tactical control of [military] forces assisting in a response, and without the use of a dual-hatted National Guard commander to ensure coordination between [National Guard] and [federal] forces, strong potential exists for confusion in mission, execution and the dilution of governors’ control over situations with which they are more familiar and better capable of handing than a federal military commander,” they wrote.

    A similar proposal was contained in the House’s version of the fiscal 2009 Defense authorization legislation but was removed in conference because of governors’ concerns, the letter said.

    Pakistani claims regarding Baitullah’s death, shura clash, are suspect

    Analysis: Pakistani claims regarding Baitullah’s death, shura clash, are suspect

    By Bill RoggioAugust 9, 2009 12:28 AM

    After several senior Taliban leaders went on the record to deny reports that Baitullah was killed in a US airstrike in South Waziristan, the Pakistani government’s claim that Baitullah is dead is now in doubt. Similarly, Pakistani government claims of infighting between potential successors to Baitullah also must be viewed with skepticism. Given the Pakistani government’s poor track record when claiming senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders have been killed, the reports of Baitullah’s death are now suspect.

    Taliban leaders Hakeemullah Mehsud and Qari Hussain Mehsud, spokesman Maulvi Omar, and aide Qari Hidayatullah all spoke forcefully today insisting that reports of Baitullah’s death were false and that Baitullah would be issuing proof he was indeed alive.

    Despite the Taliban’s denial that Baitullah had been killed, Rehman Malik, Pakistan’s Interior Minister, is insisting Baitullah was indeed killed, and Malik upped the ante by claiming that two potential successors subsequently battled over leadership of the Pakistani Taliban.

    Malik, who admitted to the BBC that he has no hard evidence Baitullah was killed, said Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman Mehsud had a shootout at a shura meeting sometime on Friday in the Ladha region in South Waziristan. The meeting was purportedly held to choose a successor to Baitullah. The report was rebroadcast on Pakistani state television. Malik claimed that Hakeemullah and possibly Waliur were killed during the clash.

    “Obviously, it is not a story made up by us,” Malik told the BBC “This fight must have happened because of the succession.”

    “They [Hakeemullah and Waliur] had been fighting in the past and we have information that there has been enmity between Waliur and Hakeemullah since they were fighting together in Kurram valley,” he said. “Hakeemullah was replaced by Baitullah Mehsud with Waliur.”

    But a Taliban leader from the Ladha region denied that a clash ever took place and claimed to have spoken to Waliur since the alleged incident.

    “There was no fighting in the Shura,” a local Taliban commander named Noor Sayed told the media. “Both Waliur Rehman and Hakeemullah are safe and sound.”

    Hakeemullah confirmed he was alive when he spoke to the media the day following Malik’s pronouncement that Hakeemullah had been killed. [After this report was published, Waliur Rehman spoke to the media and denied such a shootout occurred].

    Malik is speaking as if the burden of proof is now on the to Taliban provide evidence they are alive, rather than on the government to prove they are dead.

    “If Baitullah Mehsud is alive, or Hakeemullah is alive, why don’t they bring out a video,” Malik said to the BBC. “Every telephone has a camera on it. They can just get one out and show people that they are alive. I challenge them.”

    Recent history favors the Taliban’s account

    While it is still unknown if Baitullah survived the strike, the Pakistani government’s track record in accurately reporting on the deaths of senior Taliban and al Qaeda leaders is poor [see the list below]. The Taliban, on the other hand, have been honest about the deaths of their senior leaders. Each time they have refuted a claim of a leader being killed, they have been able to prove the commander is alive.

    Since 2006, the Pakistani government has inaccurately reported on the deaths of 10 senior al Qaeda leaders. Some of these leaders were reported killed multiple times, only to resurface. Also during that time period, the Pakistani government wrongly claimed eight senior Taliban leader were killed. Again, these reports were disproved.

    Most recently, Malik claimed that Swat Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah was killed or seriously wounded during fighting against the Pakistani military. Multiple Taliban leaders denied the claim, and Fazlullah later broadcast on his illegal FM radio station in Swat despite the ongoing offensive.

    The Pakistani Taliban and al Qaeda have been accurate about the deaths of their senior leaders, and have issued martyrdom statements or eulogies for those killed. These extremist groups view the death of a leader or fighter while waging jihad to be an honor, and the deaths are used as propaganda for recruitment. Accurately reporting the status of the senior commanders is also crucial to maintain command and control among the rank and file.

    For as long as The Long War Journal has tracked the reports of deaths of senior al Qaeda and Taliban commanders, there is not one single instance in which these groups practiced deception when it came to official reports on the death of one of their leaders.

    Given these facts, the likelihood is that Baitullah Mehsud survived the strike, as reported first here at The Long War Journal on Aug. 6. And, if Baitullah survived the strike, there would be no need for the Taliban shura to hold a meeting to select a successor to Baitullah.

    It may be possible the Taliban shura was held to discuss other issues, and Hakeemullah and Waliur did indeed clash, but this is also out of character for the Taliban. There is not a single recorded instance of such a shootout or armed clash at a Pakistani Taliban shura meeting.

    Contentious meetings have been held between rivals such as Baitullah and Mullah Nazir, and yet these meetings have ended successfully. Also, any meeting to select Baitullah’s replacement would likely be attended by senior most Taliban and al Qaeda leaders, such as Siraj Haqqani and Abu Yahya al Libi. Lower level Taliban commanders would place themselves, their families, and tribes at great risk if they endangered the lives of the likes of Siraj and Yahya.

    The Taliban typically carry out their vendettas by way of assassins, armed clashes, or raids. One such recent example is the feud between Baitullah and Zainuddin Mehsud. Their forces clashed regularly in South Waziristan, Tank, and Dera Ismail Khan. Baitullah ultimately had a bodyguard assassinate Zainuddin.

    False reports:

    The following al Qaeda and Taliban leaders were falsely reported killed at some point by Pakistani intelligence sources. These leaders later appeared in the media or on propaganda tapes.

    Al Qaeda leaders reported killed who later resurfaced:

    Ayman al Zawahiri: Several large news outlets reported that al Qaeda’s second in command was killed or seriously wounded in the May 14, 2008, airstrike in South Waziristan that killed al Qaeda WMD chief Abu Khabab al Masri. The Long War Journal was unconvinced that Zawahiri had been killed at the time. A week later, Zawahiri appeared on a videotape urging Pakistanis to fight the government.Mustafa Abu Yazid: The Pakistani military claimed that Mustafa Abu Yazid, al Qaeda’s senior commander in Afghanistan, was killed in a battle in the Bajaur tribal agency in August 2008. The Long War Journal was highly critical of the reports of Yazid’s death. Al Qaeda never confirmed Yazid’s death, and the Pakistani military and intelligence agencies never presented evidence he was killed. Yazid has since appeared on multiple videotapes, including the Oct. 4 release that featured Adam Gadahn. The Pakistani military, who refer to Yazid as Abu Saeed al Masri, claimed Yazid was dead as recently as Sept. 26.

    Abu Khabab al Masri, Khalid Habib, Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, Abd Rahman al Masri al Maghribi, Abu Obaidah al Masri, and Marwan al Suri

    Pakistani intelligence reported that six senior al Qaeda operatives were killed in a US airstrike in Damadola in January 2006. The six operatives reported killed were: Abu Khabab al Masri, the WMD committee chief and senior bomb maker; Khalid Habib, a senior military commander in eastern Afghanistan who later became chief of al Qaeda’s paramilitary Shadow Army; Abd Rahman al Masri al Maghribi, Zawahiri’s son-in-law and a military commander; Abu Obaidah al Masri, al Qaeda’s external operations chief and commander in Afghanistan’s Kunar province; Marwan al Suri, the Waziristan operations chief; and Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, the external operations chief who also served as a commander in southwestern Afghanistan.

    Nineteen months later, The Washington Post reported that all of the al Qaeda commanders survived the strike.

    Four of the six later were killed, captured, or died of natural causes. Abd al Hadi al Iraqi was captured while attempting to enter Iraqi in late 2006. Abu Obaidah al Masri died of natural causes sometime in late 2007 or early 2008. Abu Khabab al Masri was killed in an airstrike in July 2008. Khalid Habib was killed in an airstrike in October 2008.

    Adam Gadahn: Numerous Pakistani sources told multiple major news outlets that Gadahn was killed in the Jan. 28, 2008, airstrike in North Waziristan that killed senior al Qaeda leader Abu Laith al Libi. The Long War Journal was highly critical of the reports of Gadahn’s death. Speculation grew after Gadahn failed to appear on al Qaeda propaganda tapes, As Sahab stopped producing English translations for the tapes, and some problems were reported with the release of videos and audio. Gadahn later appeared on a tape on Oct. 4, along with Yazid. Gadahn is the American al Qaeda spokesman who is wanted by the US for treason.

    Rashid Rauf: US intelligence, based on reports from Pakistani intelligence, claimed that Rashid Rauf, an al Qaeda leader who is in charge of al Qaeda’s external operations branch responsible for attacks in Europe, was killed during the November 2008 Predator strike in North Waziristan that was also thought to have killed Abu Zubair al Masri and two other al Qaeda operatives. He was later reported to have trained European al Qaeda operatives to conduct attacks in Belgium, France, Holland, and England.

    The Long War Journal was skeptical of the claims that Rauf had been killed. US military and intelligence officials have told The Long War Journal that Rauf’s death was never confirmed and that reports that he was killed in the November strike in South Waziristan were premature. Shortly after the November strike, Rauf’s family and his lawyer claimed he was still alive. Taliban fighters close to Rauf also said he was alive.

    Taliban leaders reported killed who later resurfaced:

    Baitullah Mehsud: On Sept. 30, 2008, several major news sources reported that Pakistani Taliban leader and South Waziristan warlord Baitullah Mehsud died of natural causes related to kidney problems. The Long War Journal was very skeptical that Baitullah was dead, and intelligence sources said he was alive. On Oct. 1, the Taliban denied the report. Baitullah was seen visiting villages in South Waziristan to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr on Oct. 4. Baitullah was also thought to have been killed in an airstrike earlier in 2009.Mullah Sangeen Zadran: Pakistani intelligence sources claimed that Sangeen, the right-hand man of Haqqani Network military commander Siraj, was killed along with Baitullah and Qari Hussain during an airstrike at the funeral of one of Baitullah’s commanders. The Taliban quickly debunked these claims.

    Faqir Mohammed: The Pakistani military claimed Faqir Mohammed, the deputy commander of the Pakistani Taliban and the group’s leader in the Bajaur tribal agency, was killed in a battle in Bajaur in August 2008. A Taliban spokesman immediately denied the report, and Faqir appeared in front of the media a day later to dispute the claim of his death. The Pakistani military also claimed that Faqir’s son, Abdullah Mohammed, was killed, although no proof of his death has been offered.

    Mullah Fazlullah: Several times during the spring 2009 offensive in Swat, the Pakistani military and the interior ministry claimed Mullah Fazlullah was killed. Fazlullah’s aides denied the reports, and in July 2009, Fazlullah was later heard giving a speech on the radio.

    Omar Khalid: The military said Omar Khalid, the commander of Taliban forces in the Mohmand tribal agency, was killed during operations in the region in January 2009. Taliban commanders denied the claims, and Khalid later spoke to the media.

    Ibn Amin: The Pakistani military and the interior ministry claimed Ibn Amin, the leader of al Qaeda’s paramilitary brigade in Swat, was killed in May 2009 during the Swat offensive. Amin later resurfaced and took control of the Taliban forces in Swat after Shah Doran, Fazlullah’s deputy and Swat’s military commander, was killed. Doran is the only senior Swat Taliban leader killed during the three-month battle.

    Qari Hussain: The Pakistani military claimed Qari Hussain, a senior lieutenant to Baitullah Mehsud who ran a suicide bomber nursery in South Waziristan, was killed during operations in January 2008. Hussain held a press conference in South Waziristan on May 23, 2008, and mocked the Pakistani military. “I am alive, don’t you see me?” Hussain said.

    Maulvi Omar: The Pakistani military claimed Omar, who is the spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, was killed during an October 2008 airstrike in the Badano region in Taliban-controlled Bajaur. Omar later appeared on television. The Long War Journal was skeptical of the reports of Omar’s death.

    Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/08/analysis_pakistani_c.php#ixzz0NoD57AaP