Peshawar – terrorism victim, neighboring states of Pakistan

Peshawar – terrorism victim & neighboring states of Pakistan

Syed Hussain Shahheed Soherwordi
The car bomb blast that killed more than 105 and injured at least 200 others, mostly women and children, was the deadliest to hit Peshawar this year. Similar 18 attacks have killed 284 people in Pakistan in October, as the army carries out an operation against Taliban militants in South Waziristan. The blast came as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began a visit to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Twin blasts in the International Islamic University; Islamabad, was the blow that previously had taken the entire nation by a shock. Every one asks how Taliban can bomb an Islamic University? This has also exposed that the present government’s strategy to counter terrorist acts is without any purposeful result. We still need to understand the evolution of terrorist movements, counter-terrorist strategies throughout the world, and to explore the nature of the terrorist threat we face today. Pakistan and then especially Peshawar is the victim of terrorism. However, I have a different perspective from most experts who study terrorism. I come from the kind of background that has witnessed many terrorist activities and I have spent most of my young life trying to understand them. When I consider a terrorist atrocity I do not think of the perpetrators as evil monsters but rather I think about the terrorist’s return to normal life so that he may not be glorified as a hero for the forthcoming terrorists and to be suicide bombers. I grapple with how a young idealist can believe that in murdering innocent people, he or she is battling injustice and fighting for a fairer world. I do not find their justification for their action convincing. Far from it, in my moral code, no body has the right to take the life of non-combatants. Nevertheless, I am stuck by how futile counter-terrorist policies are likely to be when they are based on a view of terrorists as one-dimensional evildoers and psychopaths. My perspective, like those who join terrorist movements as well as those who resolve to defeat them, is a product of my background. I grew up in the capital city of NWFP – Peshawar in 1980s. It was the era when Afghanistan was governed by a Soviet puppet regime under President Dr. Najibullah. Hence, due to Pakistan’s support to the Mujahideen, Peshawar was the target of remote control and time bombs. I still remember once we, the students of O-level were given a week-long school break as there was a bomb blast in a government primary school in which 14 young students of seven to 13 years of age were killed. I can’t forget the gory scenes of kids’ limbs hanging on electricity wires. Numerous buildings, bazaars and children schools were targeted in which scores of people, including young children, women and old died. Then came the era of 1990s. This time Taliban were glorified. They were fighting against the murderers of their homeland. A time came in 1996 when they took control of almost entire Afghanistan and established their own government in Kabul. This time, they were against the West and vice versa. I along with my classmates admired the Taliban in much the same way that my American friends admire Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. The real difference, of course, is that Jefferson, Franklin and George Washington won their war of independence, and the Taliban lost their government just after 9/11. They did not hang together but the Taliban were executed for the security of the world and the US in particular. However, this all left us – the innocent people of Peshawar in particular and of NWFP in general in jeopardy. We are still facing problems in the shape of security threats, target killings and suicide bombings. Here it’s very important to distinguish between the two Taliban. It is a general perception in Pakistan that there are two types of Taliban: one are the good Taliban of Afghanistan who are fighting a war of liberation to throw the invading forces out of their country. They are “fighting western forces that have occupied Afghanistan” and carrying out a “jihad against occupiers”. One of the comments on the Afghan Taliban by a Pakistani is: ‘If tomorrow the US is invaded by the enemy forces would you call the Americans fighting against them as terrorists and militants? Hence the Taliban are fighting a war of liberation for their homeland.’ The others are those ‘extremists’, ‘fundamentalists’, ‘terrorists’, who are operating in different parts of Pakistan’s tribal as well as settled areas and who are fighting the Pakistani security forces. The Pakistani Taliban have nothing to do with the Taliban of Afghanistan. They are just cashing in on the name ‘Taliban’. Pakistani Taliban are targeting the innocent civilians while the Afghan Taliban target foreign forces as well as their ‘stooges’. Most of the Pakistanis especially in NWFP and Balochistan believe that ‘While the violence in the cities and towns of Pakistan committed by the Pakistani Taliban is condemnable, the Afghan Taliban deserve our moral support for their heroic struggle against the forces of occupation’. Such perceptions make the ‘war of terror’ more difficult and complicated. It also exposes how the East and the West look at the issue with much broader and wider perception and contradiction. For the West, the Taliban are Taliban without any distinction between the good and the bad. The government of Pakistan believes in a very simple equation: the Taliban vs. Pakistanis. I think it’s a too over-simplified and misunderstood notion. There are Pakistani Taliban who are playing havoc with peace of the country. However, there are also few other evil stake-holders who are trying to take full advantage of the grim situation in Pakistan. An attack on GHQ by the Taliban is understandable as both parties are at daggers’ drawn level. But attack on Islamic University that too in Sharia Block is completely incomprehensible what to think of numerous innocent civilian casualties in Peshawar. There is a very common talk of the town in Peshawar that the governmental security agencies are working to further aggravate the situation so that they may have a solid and strong support of the people Waziristan operation. However, we cannot ignore Indian factor as they have also bent upon taking revenge of the past-Kashmir insurgency allegedly imposed upon them by the Pakistani security agencies as well as the Mumbai terrorist incidents in the beginning of this year. Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s cosy relationship with India for investment and aid is no secret. In the present day international relations, no one cares what the 14 Indian consulates in Afghanistan are doing against Pakistan. The money, weapons and the training camps to support terrorists for carrying out subversive activities inside Pakistan is a routine matter of the Indian consulates in Afghanistan. In a recent meeting between Afghan President Karzai and Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, Karzai promised to close all such training camps on Afghan soil. This is further an indication to the fact that the Afghan land is being used against Pakistan. The Afghan government time and again expresses its frustration and hostile approach against Pakistan which gives alarming signals to Pakistanis that the Afghan government might also be involved in carrying out subversive activities inside Pakistan. Afghan secret agencies like KHAD have a long notorious history of bombing Peshawar’s civilian populace during 1980s. KHAD was and is supported by the Northern Alliance. Today, when they find Pakistan pushed to a corner by all and sundry, they would also take their revenge of Pakistan’s supporting the Taliban against the Northern Alliance during 1990s. My assertion is that there are more evil stake-holders than just two Waziristans. The government has to adopt multi- pronged, multi-layered and broad scheme to deal with such ‘enemies of mankind’. For that matter, the resolution of the issues starts with diplomacy. Pakistan’s Foreign Office must take up the subversive activities of RAW and KHAD inside Pakistan with their respective countries. India and Afghanistan must be given a stern note that instable Pakistan will never be to their advantage. Rather any potential threat to Pakistan’s existence would be a great blow to their survival and existence as well. South Asia is a very volatile region where the trends of the countries spill-over like a jungle fire into the neighbouring country. Any threat to Pakistan will soon reach New Delhi as well. I can’t say Kabul as it is already in the grip of violence. This is the time to adopt a regional collective bloc against the perpetrators and deal with them with an iron hand. The regional countries must understand the sensitivity of contiguity of South Asia. A terrorist must not only be denounced but also be taken to task. Understanding terrorism means peaceful region.

The False Ideas That Feed This Nation, All For A Buck

The Myth of “Free” Enterprise Economic System

The “Free” Enterprise System

By Robert Singer

Free enterprise, also called free market, is an economy governed by the laws of supply and demand, not restrained by government interference, regulation or subsidy.

Command economy is basically a slave enterprise where supply and price are regulated by the government rather than market forces.

The only thing I will agree with about the “law of supply and demand” is that supply at a downward-manipulated price, can create demand.

Downward manipulation is an uneconomic aberration first discovered in the precious metals market by the noted silver analyst, Ted Butler.

We are conditioned to believe free enterprise supply and demand would lead to inflated prices so the greedy corporations can make more money, but Ted Butler’s research in the silver market concludes the opposite.

The beneficiaries of this type of manipulation are the consumers because corporations can sell their products affordably and still make a profit.

Butler’s investigation has identified JP Morgan Chase, one of the founding members of the Federal Reserve, as the prime suspect, in the “ongoing intentional, not accidental” great crime of keeping the price of commodities low so the middle class can afford the American dream, a nightmare for the planet. [1]

I’ll get right to the point: McDonalds in the 1950s made a profit by selling a product for less than the competition, but a not-so-invisible hand produced cheap calories in great abundance so Ray “Crock” could sell a cheeseburger, fries and a large Coke for a price equal to less than an hour of labor at the minimum wage — and still make a profit. [2]

You don’t eat the hamburger at McDonalds because it’s a dollar: It’s a dollar to get you to eat it.

How did we get a food system that produced what should be a $35 hamburger downwardly manipulated to $1? [3]

“Taxpayer subsidies basically underwrite cheap grain, and that’s what the factory-farming system for meat is entirely dependent on,” Doug Gurian-Sherman, a senior scientist in the Food & Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). [4]

In other words, the Scoundrels behind the Federal Reserve, Rothschild, Rockefeller, Kuhn, Loeb and JP Morgan Chase, underwrite cheap grain and the factory-farming system for meat, so you can get a hamburger for a dollar.

Our current food system—characterized by monocultures of corn and soy in the field and cheap calories of fat, sugar and feedlot meat on the table—is not the product of any free market but rather the result of a specific set of governmental and monetary policies  (from those Scoundrels at the Fed) and the free gift of fossil fuels from the world’s richest man in history and another founding member of the Federal Reserve, John D. Rockefeller.

He didn’t just give dimes away, he gave away his oil so you could get inexpensive fuel and food.

If you fly over Iowa from October to April you will notice the land is completely bare— black—because you are seeing an agricultural landscape created by cheap oil from John D.


Cheap energy enabled the creation of monocultures and vastly increased the productivity both of the American land and the American farmer but at the same time, subsidized monocultures of grain also led directly to monocultures of animals.

Since factory farms could buy grain for less than it cost farmers to grow it, they could now fatten animals more cheaply than farmers could.

So America’s meat and dairy animals migrated from farm to feedlot, driving down the price of animal protein to the point where an American can enjoy eating a hamburger or chicken McNuggets for a dollar.

Taking the animals off farms made no economic, environmental or ecological sense: their waste, formerly regarded as a precious source of fertility on the farm, became a pollutant—factory farms are now one of America’s biggest sources of pollution.

As Wendell Berry has tartly observed, to take animals off farms and put them on feedlots is to take an elegant solution—animals replenishing the fertility that crops deplete—and neatly divide it into two problems: a fertility problem on the farm and a pollution problem on the feedlot. The former problem is remedied with fossil-fuel fertilizer; the latter is remedied not at all.

After World War II, the US government pursued a monetary policy, at the direction of the Fed, subsidizing commodity crops by paying farmers (money created out of thin air) by the bushel for all the corn, soybeans, wheat and rice they could produce. One secretary of agriculture after another implored them to plant “fence row to fence row” and to “get big or get out.”

The chief result was a flood of cheap grain that could be sold for substantially less than it cost farmers to grow because a government (Scoundrel) check helped make up the difference.

As this artificially manipulated cheap grain worked its way up the food chain, it drove down the price of all the calories derived from that grain: the high-fructose corn syrup in the Coke, the soy oil in which the potatoes were fried, the meat and cheese in that burger until the price reached a dollar. [5]

ADM Gets Caught Putting Money In The Cookie Jar

“The Informant!” is a movie about the lysine price-fixing scandals that Archer Daniels Midland found themselves in the center of back in the 90s.

ADM was caught fixing the price lysine, an amino acid and very attractive animal feed additive used to make chickens fat, dumb, and happy, back up, after it was manipulated too far down for anyone to make a profit.

Price-fixing is a crime no matter how many people ADM feeds. [6]

From cradle to grave we are brainwashed to believe everything is about profit.

So, in the film, when Mark Whitacre tells the FBI that ADM cheated millions from the consumer by colluding to fix prices, we forget that Americans spend less than 10% of their incomes on food (down from 18% in 1966).  When we eat inexpensive burgers and fries, it’s thanks to ADM downward-manipulating the price of lysine. [7]

Our not-so-free market economy based on consumer products, that is, products we are downward manipulated to want, not need, was never FREE or sustainable. Consumers consume…the resources of the planet.

The huddled masses should be thanking those scoundrels at the Federal Reserve for 60 years of downward manipulating the price of commodities: It resulted in unprecedented prosperity, but don’t forget to blame them because the American dream was an environmental nightmare for the planet. [8]

Attacking our way of life

Attacking our way of life

Attacking our way of life

Posted by Murtaza Razvi in Featured Articles, Pakistan, Politics on 10 28th, 2009 | 67 responses

Amidst the mayhem gripping Pakistan today, there is also a deafening silence pervading the corridors of power and the ranks of the opposition on the prevailing security situation. That silence, too, is being heard now. Pakistan is at war, and this is a war that is being fought as much in our cities as on the frontlines in Fata.

Wednesday’s attack on a Peshawar market, selling mostly women’s merchandise, is an attack on our way of life more than anything else. It is not a statement of the Taliban’s anti-Americanism as Hillary Clinton lands in Pakistan, nor is it a sign of their hatred against the Pakistan Army, which is carrying out a military operation in South Waziristan. It is aimed at women, as you see that a big number of those killed in Peshawar are women shoppers; shoppers that the Taliban want confined within the four walls of their homes. It is an attack on our way of life as we have lived it in Pakistan.

But back to the silence first: President Zardari met Mian Nawaz Sharif over dinner in the security of the presidency on Monday, and the two leaders did not even utter a word of concern about what the people are having to go through in wartime. Islamabad is a city very much under siege; Lahore and Peshawar are no different. And if you ask parents with school-going children in Karachi, they will tell you the situation in the Sindh capital is no less alarming.

Bickering aside, what Mr Sharif told Mr Zardari at their meeting, that the people were becoming acutely aware of the lack of governance, would have made more sense if he had also said the same thing addressing the chief minister of Punjab. The lack of governance and security failures in that province where his own party rules the roost is equally appalling. This is just bad politics at a time when the people need to see their leaders showing more concern about the challenges staring them in the face.

Opening after a week of closure, many private schools in our cities have installed CCTVs, deployed snipers, and placed sandbags around their buildings as local police patrol the areas during school hours. A sense of fear grips parents dropping off their children at school; not a day goes by without terrorists trying to attack security forces’ personnel, amidst reports that all vital installations, media organs, and educational institutions are in the bull’s eye as far as extremist militants’ top targets are concerned.

Schools offering co-education have received threats from terrorists, which have to be taken seriously because of the history of attacks on and threats against schools and colleges in Swat, Peshawar, and across Fata. In Lahore, the Punjab government keeps shutting down schools which in the government’s view have not made adequate security arrangements. In Karachi, many schools ignored the government’s directive to reopen on Monday, choosing instead to wait until they have the security cover in place that they feel they need under the circumstances.

This, while there is little sense of newsworthiness attached to what’s happening in our cities, even when buildings and installations are not being attacked or security personnel made hostage. The media must share some blame for this state of apathy. Why is the war on terror, which has now come to our doorstep, not the primary concern of the prime time talk shows?

Instead, popular hosts keep inviting politicians to wash their dirty linen in public. Is it not the people’s war that is being fought today? Won’t the people of Pakistan be the biggest losers if we fail to win this war that is aimed at annihilating our diverse cultural norms and the social value system?

Yet, it’s just the number of casualties every day that now seem only to casually make the headlines; the media’s mainstay remains internecine party politics which seem to have little to do with the bigger reality marred by fear and depression gripping the whole nation. There are thousands more families that have been displaced by the ongoing military action in South Waziristan, and nobody talks about them. Millions of parents with school-going children have lost their sleep, and there’s little mention of the fear gripping the people in the face of the threat posed to everyday life in our cities.

The failings are staggering, and dangerously enough, they will be seen by many as the failure of democracy yet again. We are at war, finally seeking freedom from the forces of regression and a medieval, extremist way of thinking, and there is enough freedom of speech in this country to voice disgust and repulsion against this mindset, if only one would. The obtaining security situation has left no one untouched. Yet, surprisingly nobody comes forward to voice that sentiment of the silent majority.

The people want to go back to their mundane routines. Youngsters want to go out to the parks, to the beach, to bowl, to eat out. Women want to go shopping unescorted, and men want to go about their daily chores without worrying about families left at home. This is not happening anymore. People look tired and depressed; while many count their blessings that they are safe, some have had close encounters with terrorism; relatives, friends and acquaintances have been killed and injured, or had to leave their homes.

There’s little sense of an imminent end to the mayhem rattling the people’s minds. The citizens want their sense of security restored. They look to their leaders in askance for at least some soothsaying at this time of uncertainty and turmoil. What they get to hear instead is bickering and mudslinging.

Both the government and the opposition leaders need to come out to voice the people’s concerns and give them hope. They need to own the war being fought against the anti-people forces in Fata, and in our cities – as Wednesday’s attack on a women’s market makes amply clear.

Murtaza Razvi is Editor, Magazines, of Dawn.

Complete strike observed in Peshawar to protest bombing

Complete strike observed in Peshawar to protest bombing

Riaz Khan Daudzai

PESHAWAR: The business centres in the provincial metropolis remained closed on Friday to condemn the car bombing at Meena Bazaar and mourn the deaths of innocent citizens and material loss to the businesses.

The downtown city markets and posh business malls across the metropolis wore a deserted look and traffic on the city roads was very thin. Attendance in government offices was also low.

The traders observed a two-day shutter-down on the call of the Anjuman-e-Tajiran NWFP, while they have also announced three-day mourning after the car-bombing that killed over 118 people besides wreaking havoc on small businesses in the city.

President of the Anjuman-e-Tajran NWFP Haji Haleem Jan said the overwhelming response of the traders and even vendors and common people to the strike call showed their anger at the act of terrorism.

He said traders had approached them for even a longer strike, but the Anjuman opposed the idea, as it had to consider the difficulties of the traders. The traders’ leader said the businessmen would resume their activities today as the country, particularly the NWFP, needed economic normalcy and could not afford longer strikes and closure of businesses. He said that three-day mourning of the traders would, however, continue today.

Haleem Jan said the traders held no demonstration and rally, as they knew the difficulties being faced by the government in the province. He also confirmed that the leadership of traders had refused to meet chief minister Ameer Haider Hoti a day after the blast on Thursday. He said the traders had been complaining about the poor security arrangements in the congested and crowded bazaars of the city for months, but it always fell on the deaf ears of the rulers “so therefore, we didn’t meet the chief minister in protest.”

Haleem Jan said the traders would not meet the rulers unless and until they took sufficient security measures to protect businesses in the city. The shopkeepers were still in a state of shock on Friday and shops in Chowk Yadgar, Peepal Mandi, Meena Bazaar, Koochi Bazaar, Ghanta Ghar, Ashraf Road, Qissa Khwani, Hashtnagri, Kohati, Kabari Bazaar, Kabuli, Namakmandi, Jehangirpura, Karimpura, Shaheen Bazaar, main Saddar Bazaar, Liaqat Bazaar, Shafi Market and business malls on University Road and other business centres remained shut on third day of mourning.

The city bazaars wore a deserted look. The road was closed in Sikandarpura and mats were spread in the bazaar where shopkeepers recited the Holy Quran for the departed souls of the bombing victims. People remained indoors and very few came out of their homes to attend their offices.

One Hameed Yasir told this scribe that he only came to buy some medicines for his ailing mother; otherwise, he had no intention to leave home. He said he even skipped Juma prayers at his mohalla’s mosque in Faqirabad due to fear of terror.

The Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a condolence reference for those killed in the bombing and asked the government to increase the presence of the personnel of police and other security agencies in the city. The SCCI also held Quran Khwani for the departed souls.

Speaking on the occasion, SCCI President Riaz Arshad said the traders and common people of the NWFP rendered numerous sacrifices and the government should immediately declare the province as war-affected and announce relief package for it as business activities had come to a standstill in the Frontier.

The Nuclear Riddle

The Nuclear Riddle

Jeff Gates (World View)

The lead-up to the first US-Iran talks in three decades saw a replay of the same modus operandi that induced the US and its allies to invade Iraq in March 2003.

Then as now, the invasion of Iran is consistent with a regime change agenda for Greater Israel described in a 1996 strategy document prepared by Jewish-Americans for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As with Iraq, the threat of weapons of mass destruction is again marketed as a causa belli. As with Iraq, the claim is disputed by weapons inspectors and intelligence analysts. The Iraqi programme had been shut down a dozen years before the invasion. In Iran, there is no evidence that uranium is being enriched beyond the low levels required for energy and medical purposes.

Reports of a “secret” processing plant failed to note that Iran suspended uranium enrichment from 2003 until 2005. Seeing no change in the political climate except more sanctions and more Israeli threats to bomb its nuclear sites, Iran began building and equipping a new facility.

As with Iraq, there is no direct threat to the US As with Iraq, mainstream US. media focused not on Israel — the only nation in the region known to have nuclear weapons — but on Iran. Enrichment is relatively easy compared to the steps required to design, build and reliably deliver a nuclear warhead. Activity around each of those steps can be readily detected.

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates acknowledged that even if Iran were attacked, that does nothing to alter Iran’s nuclear prospects — except provoke them to develop the very weapons that the evidence suggests are not now being produced. Is this a calculated move to exert pressure on Tehran? Or to provoke them? Or is this a move by Washington to buy time from an “ally” that threatens an attack — with disastrous effects on US interests and those of its genuine allies?

To catalyse a climate of insecurity among Jews, pro-Israelis periodically claim that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposes to “wipe Israel off the map.” A correct translation confirms that what he urged is that “this occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the pages of time.” Akin to the widely sought demise of the oppressive Soviet regime, that proposal enjoys the support of many moderate, secular and non-Zionist Jews who have long recognised the threat that Jewish extremists pose to the broader Jewish community.

No one can explain why Iran, even if nuclear armed, would attack Israel with its vast nuclear arsenal estimated at 200-400 warheads, including several nuclear-armed submarines. In mid-July, Israeli warships deployed to the Red Sea to rehearse attacks on Iran. As in the lead-up to war with Iraq, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is again beating the war drums. This is the same adviser who, four days after 9-11, advised G.W. Bush to invade Iraq.

Citing Iran’s “covert” facility, Wolfowitz claims it is “clear that Iran’s rulers are pursuing nuclear weapons…Time is running out.” Without a hint of irony, he argues that Iran (not Israel) “is a crucial test of whether the path to a nuclear-free world is a realistic one or simply a dangerous pipe dream.” In calling for “crippling sanctions,” Howard Berman, Jewish chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, expressed similar concerns as did Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, senior Republican on the Committee and also Jewish.

If pro-Israelis cannot induce a war with Iran, the ensuing stability will enable people to identify who fixed the intelligence that deceived the US to invade Iraq. Only one nation possesses the means, motive, opportunity and stable nation state intelligence to mount a covert operation over the lengthy period required to pre-stage, staff, orchestrate and successfully cover-up such an act.

The evidence points to the same network of government insiders and media proponents now hyping Iran. Who benefitted from war with Iraq? Who benefits from war with Iran? Not the US or its allies unless, despite the evidence, Israel is viewed as an ally—rather than an enemy within.

Like Afghanistan, Iran does not have a military solution. Nor does Iraq. Geopolitically, the greatest casualty of war in the region was the United States – its credibility tattered, its military overextended and its finances devastated by a debt-financed war that Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz projects could reach $3,000 billion. Compare that with the speedy exit and a $50 billion outlay that Wolfowitz assured policy-makers could be recovered from sales of Iraqi oil.

Those who induced that invasion persuaded Americans to commit economic and geopolitical hari-kari. No external force could have defeated the sole remaining super power. Instead the US was deceived — by a purported ally — to defeat itself by an ill-advised reaction to the provocation of a mass murder on US soil.

The only sensible and sustainable solution is one that serves unmet needs in the region while also restoring the credibility of the US as a proponent of informed choice and free enterprise. While making transparent the common source of the deceit that induced the US to war, policy-makers can also lay the foundation to preclude such duplicity in the future. That requires consultation among the US, its true allies and those nations in the region most affected by this treachery.

Only a design solution can counter today’s systemic sources of conflict, including the extremism fueled by extremes in education, opportunity, wealth and income. As with the fixed intelligence that induced the US to war in Iraq, those sources of conflict are obscured by a compliant and complicit media with an undisclosed pro-Israeli bias.

A transnational network of think tanks could expose in real time how facts are displaced by what “the mark” can be deceived to believe. With the media dominance of pro-Israelis in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and other Western allies, that task must include the capacity to show how this deceit operates in plain sight yet, to date, with impunity. Absent such transparency, systems of governance reliant on informed consent will continue to be manipulated to their detriment by those who hide behind the very freedoms that such systems are meant to protect.

Running parallel with that transparency initiative must be an education programme that deploys the best available technology to close the gaps in learning that sustain extremes in opportunity. Only a truly international effort can succeed in that essential task. Only trans-cultural education can preempt the mental manipulation that induced war in Iraq and now pursues war with Iran as proponents of The Clash of Civilisations gradually transform that concept into a reality.

What we now see emerging is yet another example of how wars are induced in the Information Age. Why would anyone expect modern warfare to be waged in any other way? As the common source of this duplicity becomes transparent, the solution will become apparent.

Lasting peace requires a Marshall Plan able to accelerate the transition to the Knowledge Society. This systemic challenge cannot be addressed absent a systemic strategy. The restoration of friendly and cooperative relations must include the practical steps required to heal this widening divide with education at the core.

Jeff Gates is author of Guilt By Association, Democracy at Risk and The Ownership Solution