<!–StartFragment–> Henry D. Rose has more than twenty years of experience working in various aspects of human services and human rights. Mr. Rose is chair and founder of Blacks for Social Justice, the publisher of Chin Check newsletter, and a member of People’s Organization for Progress. Mr. Rose cofounded Genesis Shule (a community school in Newark). He has lectured on a variety of civil rights, human rights, and community based issues
When looking at how our rulers are treating us, I’m always reminded of scenes in a slaughter house. Some of the animals do realise what’s about to happen, but the system of gates, barriers and tasers force them to march into their certain death.
Only a small minority of us have the mental capacity to recognise that our world is just a Matrix-like virtual reality and that we are blindly marching towards a one-world tyranny. Even fewer of us have the psychological make-up to stand up and fight. I’m not talking about buying weapons and preparing for an armed rebellion, but about saying no and giving others the option of the ‘red pill’. It’s all about reaching a critical mass of people so that our self-chosen rulers can no longer get away with their scams.
Step 1: Recognise that we are slaves already
The most important cognitive step is the realisation that we are slaves already, albeit on a ‘voluntary’ basis. More than half of our income goes, one way or another, to government tax: income tax, inheritance tax, capital gain tax, land tax, property tax, goods and service tax, car tax, petrol tax, alcohol tax, tobacco tax, carbon tax, it all adds up. Effectively, more than half of our working life, a whopper 20 to 25 years, we are the government’s slave.
What do we get in return? Protection from imaginary threats and false-flag terrorism? That’s like protection money for the Mob. Government funded education? Nonsense! Education is an investment for the government. The better educated we are, the more we earn, the more tax we pay. In other words, government funded education pays for itself. And let’s not forget the large amount of brainwashing that comes with it, not quite for free.
Government contributions to our health costs are no different. The healthier we are, the harder and longer we are going to work, leading to more income and more tax. It’s an investment for the purpose of extracting more tax, nothing else.
Interest and Rent Slavery
We would fools if we consoled ourselves with the remaining half of our working life. So far we have only talked about the government imposed taxes. Now let’s talk about the taxes forced upon us by the puppet masters behind our governments. Those of us unlucky enough not to own their own paid off homes have no choice but to slave for the banksters for the best part of the remainder of their working life.
Whatever amount you buy your home for, you are likely to pay 2-3 times of that to the banks in interest. Convert that to working years and you will be shocked. Most people work 15-20 years of their life just for the banks.
If you rent rather than pay off a mortgage, things aren’t any better. All you do is pay off someone else’s mortgage, in other words, you still slave away for the banks. And once that mortgage is paid off you become the landlord’s slave. Great!
And then there are those ‘voluntary taxes’ such as diamond rings, sold to you by your friendly retailers at 10 times the wholesale price, the ‘must have’ luxury cars and other status symbols, and the ‘dream holidays’ in resorts owned by our ruling crime families. The credit card, car finance and overdraft interest are on top.
Most of the little money left goes to food, education, health and clothes, our own pockets if you like, but even slaves get fed, trained and dressed.
So really, almost all our life we work for free, just like slaves, either for the government or the banks. Which leads us to the questions what freedom actually is and what could be done to increase our level of freedom.
Step 2: Realisation what true liberty means
There is no such thing as total freedom, only different levels thereof. A family father is not free to spend his time and money on frivolous objects of desire. He must first take care of his family. A married man and woman are not free to flirt and sleep around. A student is not free to sleep in and spend his day as he pleases. Employees, public servants and soldiers have to take orders of their superiors. Even those of us who are lucky enough to be self employed cannot always do what they want. They rely – to some extent – on the goodwill of their suppliers, partners and customers.
True liberty means having a maximum of free choice. Having to work most of your working life to pay for taxes and interest dramatically reduces that free choice.
Rent slavery and usury
By abolishing home loans, providing free public land and interest free loans to build on, those of us who don’t own (and have fully paid off) their homes would get almost half of their life back. Abolishing legal usury in every other form, credit card, car loans, consumer credits, overdrafts etc, would give us back years of the remainder.
Why does half of our life’s earnings have to go to tax? Because the government wastes so much money. The biggest chunks in government spending are servicing debts, defence, health, and the judicial system.
The biggest item in most government households is military, a gigantic waste. Who are they are protecting us from anyhow? The Russians? Al-Qaeda? Martians? Just like the war on terror, the cold war was nothing but a hoax designed by our ruling crime families to sell more weapons to their puppet governments and lend them the money (with interest) to pay for it. By no longer participating in this frivolous waste, we could get years of our life back.
The next biggest item, health, is no better. The only reason why doctors get paid such obscene salaries or fees is to shut them up about what a scandalous rip-off the entire medical system really is. Clean up that pig stall and we all can retire many years earlier.
And then there is the wasteful judicial system. The biggest contributor to its costs is not the greedy legal fraternity but drug prohibition. Most property crimes are drug related, and so is a lot of violence. People are allowed to kill themselves in all sorts of ways. Why not by drugs? Because 95% of illegal drugs are sold by government agencies. It’s a government enforced, tax payer funded monopoly, for the purpose of filling the governments’ coffers with money that the parliament doesn’t know about. The only drug dealers who are getting arrested by police and thrown into jail are the government’s would be competitors.
And last but not least there is government debts. Not only would there be no government debt without above mentioned waste. There would be no need to pay interest if national governments had not given away the right to printing money to privately owned central banks such as the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, or – in the case of Euroland – to an Orwellian bureaucracy. That treasonous act of giving away the nation’s right to print its own money leads to situations such as in the U.S. where the entire income tax, which is not only unconstitutional but has no legal basis, goes towards interest payments to the U.S. Federal Reserve.
By reducing waste and by repossessing the central banks, national governments could dramatically reduce their costs and slash the number of years we slave for the government. Which leads us to the question why the government doesn’t make things easier on us.
Step 3: Recognise that Western style democracy is a hoax
The experience with Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama has made it fairly obvious that Western democracy is like a horserace where all horses are owned by the same stable. It doesn’t matter who wins. Democrats and Republicans are just the two sides of the same fake coin. For a politician to become successful, he needs to prostitute himself to the puppet masters. If he doesn’t religiously follow the script provided by the likes of the CFR, he won’t get the financial and media support needed to get elected.
This is why the established parties and politicians have no choice but leave things the way they are. Even if – once in power – they suddenly decided to no longer follow the banksters’ orders, chances are that they won’t stay in power for very long. They either will be forced to resign by a scandal (Richard Nixon) or simply killed (JFK). In the case of President Obama it would be even easier. All it needs to force him to resign is one article in the ‘Washington Post’ or the ‘New York Times’ confirming his Kenyan birth.
Step 4: Recognise that our rulers are utterly evil
It is one thing, not to be able to change the system, and another, trying to profit from it. All those overpaid executives, fat cat public servants and corrupt politicians know much or less how the system works and made a conscious decision to take advantage of it. When talking to them, their excuse is usually something silly like, “if you can’t beat them, join them”, or a hypocritical “I just do what’s best for my family.” But no matter what ethical framework they use trying to excuse the inexcusable, their actions cannot pass the most important of all ethical tests: Did they treat others the way the way they would have liked to be treated if they were in their shoes?
But let’s not worry for now about the countless collaborators, their executive homes and luxury cars. They are what I call the ‘house niggers’. They think they are better than us ‘field niggers’ and forget that they still are just slaves.
The psycholocal make-up of our ruling crime families
What I’m concerned about is the psychological make-up of their puppet masters, our self-chosen rulers, some call them illuminati or ‘ruling elite’. I find the term ‘ruling crime families’ far more appropriate. The fact that they are getting away with it doesn’t make them less criminal.
What kind of attitude does a human have to have to starve and kill millions of people and force billions into poverty? To force upon them governments who terrorise them and deprive them of their most basic rights?
Throughout human history there has been a tendency of groups of people to perceive members of other groups as inferior. Islam and Christianity, for example, have always claimed that members of other religions cannot go to heaven. The Jewish Talmud goes even as far as claiming that non-Jews are not humans, but animals in human shape, created by God for the sole purpose of serving Jews.
This tendency of considering others as inferior can be based on religion, race, nationality, wealth, gender, age, wealth, ‘empirical’ and ‘circumstantial evidence’
Such wide-spread supremacism wouldn’t exist if it didn’t fulfil an important evolutionary function. It stops young people from choosing their spouses purely on the basis of physical attraction. It helps preserving diversity by preventing people from one group marrying outside of their group. It increases the chances of success of a particular group.
Unfortunately this group behaviour is often abused by our leaders to manipulate us into treating others in ways we wouldn’t be liked to be treated if we were in their shoes. It makes it harder for us to make rational decisions because it often prevents us from considering important facts and limits our options.
Going by the way they are treating us, our ruling crime families perceive us – for one reason or another – to be so inferior compared to them, that it is justifiable to treat us like farm animals. Or they subscribe to some form of devil worship and try to be as evil as they can be. Either way, we must recognise that our self-chosen rulers are acting toward us in utterly evil ways and we must respond accordingly.
Step 5: Recognise that time is running out
Once we have realised that we are already slaves, it’s only a small step from recognising that, if we don’t act soon, we will no longer have the option to do something about it. At the rate our rights are being trampled upon, the middle-class being destroyed and preparation made to treat us even more like cattle, I’m thinking of FEMA concentration camps, gun laws, hate laws, seed patents, forced vaccinations, tasers and waterboarding, we must be very close to the point of no return. If we don’t act soon, we will no longer have the option of saying no.
Step 6: Recognise what can be done
There are so many things we can do to stop the New World Order. We can say no to debt. We can say no to the established parties and their lies. We can say no to status symbols. We can say no to TV and the established media. Most people would be surprised by the effect of not being exposed to the constant brainwashing. It’s like waking up from a bad dream. But be warned, the real world is not any prettier. And fighting our evil rulers is not a cake walk. Don’t be afraid of speaking out. We all have been conditioned not to offend anyone with controversial views and criticism. Unfortunately, being friendly with everyone is not going to cut it. We have to choose between being a Spartacus or an Uncle Tom.
By Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: All US officials and diplomats will now have to go through normal airport checks at the Islamabad Airport as the government has decided to withdraw the extraordinary concession offered to them after 9/11 by former president Pervez Musharraf.
Under the concessions, the US officials and their vehicles enjoyed unchecked arrivals and departures and no scrutiny of their luggage was done at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport (BBIA), Islamabad.
On the direction of the Defence Ministry, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued orders for the withdrawal of this facility as of Oct 15. The decision has been taken after reports that this concession was misused in the past.
New Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been devised and notified that would now make the Americans and the UN officials to go through normal checks.Gammon Gate of the BBIA, which was basically meant for food catering services and had a direct outside airport link without passing through immigration and customs checks, was specified for the US officials and for the UN officials too. This special facility allowed the Americans to have unchecked arrivals and departures to and from the Islamabad Airport.
Sources said this facility was massively misused and there were reports of even unauthorised and undeclared import of sensitive material and equipment, including weapons. This fact raised serious alarm bells among the Pakistani authorities and forced them to withdraw the facility that was given to the Americans by the former dictator without proper consultation and consideration.
According to sources, the kind of unusual concession is not even available to the president and premier of Pakistan who, though enjoy full protocol and VVIP treatment, go through the mandatory checks in the US.
Interestingly, Musharraf offered such concessions to the Americans despite Washington’s extraordinary strict immigration and security checks from all those coming from Pakistan, including the VVIPs. In one of Musharraf’s earlier official tours to the US, his media spokesman Rashid Qureshi, who was then a brigadier, was made to untie his military boots at the Dallas Airport.
In view of the security concerns, the CAA issued an order on September 25, announcing the withdrawal of Gammon Gate facility from foreign missions based in Islamabad. The operative part of the order reads: ìPursuant to the instructions received from the Defence Ministry vide letter No 2-1/2009-ASF dated Sep 16, 2009, the facility of use of Gammon Gate by the officials\vehicles of the US embassy and UN missions may be withdrawn w.e.f Oct 15, 2009.î
Documents show the government authorities admitting that the Customs and immigration authorities having no arrangements/staff to check the movement and crew and other foreigners, etc. “The equipment related to aeroplane, the crew and their personal luggage also passes through this gate. During checking, US vehicles and the luggage they carry to and from apron area are not properly searched\checked by the ASF staff deputed to control the entry\exit at the Gammon Gate,” a document said, adding in view of this use of the Gammon Gate by foreigners should be stopped forthwith as it was a serious security hazard.
The new SOPs that the Americans and UN officials are supposed to follow like rest of the foreigners include:
1. Foreign mission may like to use Rawal Lounge or normal lounges. In case of Rawal Lounge, it will be on payment basis as per the existing policy.
2. Vehicles of officials concerned of the above foreign missions will be parked in Rawalpindi Lounge car park. In case of non-availability of car parking space in Rawal Lounge car park, the vehicles may be parked in Govt Lane in General Car Park.
3. Proper security checks be ensured and other formalities, i.e. Customs and immigration be completed in case of operation of the aircraft to\from foreign destinations.
4. Proper arrangement for transportation of crew\passengers\technicians of respective aircraft and their baggage from lounge to the aircraft and vide versa also need to be done.
5. In case of international operation, the aircraft shall be parked on designated parking bay as allocated by the ATS Unit.
6. In case of International Departure, CAA (Apron Management Office) telephone number shall be informed at least one hour before the intended departure time of such operation.
These SOPs, according to the document, shall take effect from October 15, 2009.
US embassy spokesman Richard Snelsire, when contacted, said he did not know about the extraordinary concession offered to the US officials and diplomats at the BBIP. He said what he knew was the fact that even when the senior US officials arrived at the Chaklala airbase, they got through normal immigration and customs checks.
MOSCOW: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said the time to slap sanctions on Iran over its atomic programme has not yet come.
Earlier, America’s top diplomat met President Dmitry Medvedev during a two-day mission to Moscow to reset US relations with Russia.
At a media conference with Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov Clinton praised Russia’s help in tackling the issue.
“We are aware that we might not be as successful as we need to be so we have always looked at the potential of sanctions in the event that we are not successful, that we cannot assure ourselves and others that Iran has decided not to pursue nuclear weapons,” Clinton said.
The signing of a new arms reduction treaty also topped the agenda and Lavrov indicated significant progress had been made with the US.
By Ayesha Siddiqa
The country’s ruling elite and the military have traditionally used a particular aspect of religion to gain strategic dividends. —File Photo
PAKISTAN observers often wonder what the Pakistan military’s primary ideology is. Is it a secular institution or one which is high on religious values? Since the military is considered the strongest institution of the Pakistani state, the question becomes critical in determining what direction the country will take or how its armed forces will fight the war on terror.
One particular perspective is that the military is essentially a secular institution which got transformed temporarily under Gen Ziaul Haq, who made sure that his officers had a religious grounding. He had allowed the tableeghi jamaat to penetrate the armed forces and introduced a religiously conservative current in society. Subsequently, the Zia era was blamed for the continued links between certain military personnel and the Taliban post-9/11.
Later, it was argued that Gen Pervez Musharraf put the military back on the secular track by weeding out religious-minded, senior officers replacing them with others who were socially acceptable to the international community. In fact, senior officers now claim that the military is highly professional and secular. This is correct in that ‘secular’ in this case means that the army is not driven purely by religious instincts in pursuing its goals. But then ‘religious’ or ‘secular’ are not the right terms to describe the organisation.
Indeed, if one is searching for the correct term, it would be pragmatic-nationalist. This means that instead of sticking to one ideology the institution can shift between a couple or more ideologies at the same time. So, when it was convenient to turn religiously ideological during the 1980s it could do so. Even Gen Zia was not solely driven by his personal inclination to support the Afghan ‘jihad’; the geo-strategic and geopolitical environment was important in the framing of decisions. There was no dichotomy between pursuing jihad and having a strategic alignment with the US even then.
Zia also found religious ideology handy in pursuing other military-strategic goals. Deploying non-state actors was financially, politically and militarily cost-effective. Hence, all generals maintained links with the jihadis despite the fact that they were different from Zia.
The pragmatist-nationalist character of the military also explains why it was able to swiftly shift between ideologies, especially after it had to undergo a change in the wake of 9/11. This also means that maintaining links with the different jihadi organisations, as explained by Arif Jamal in Shadow War: the Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir, does not necessarily depend on having a religious ideology.
The author’s interesting conclusion is that even seemingly ‘secular’ generals like the present chief, Gen Ashfaq Kayani, could pursue the same policy as the generals during the 1990s. Jamal claims that a lot of jihadi organisations were thrilled to hear of the appointment of Gen Kayani as the new chief and many reopened their offices in 2008. He also argues that several meetings were arranged between the various Afghan Taliban groups and the Kashmiri jihadis in 2007 by the ISI to help them with a strategy to stop Indian help from reaching Hamid Karzai’s government in Kabul and placing more sleeper cells in India for possible activation at later dates.
This argument explains the character of the Pakistan Army and its use of religion or at least one aspect of it, namely jihad, for its strategic advantage. There is nothing odd in the argument since the military was part of what was described by Hamza Alavi as the Muslim salariat class, which used religion to motivate a movement for an independent state.
The fact is that this class was always linked to the use of religious ideology. It might not want to adopt a Saudi model for state-making, though the Pakistani state has gradually moved closer to Saudi Arabia, but religion has always remained central to the fulfilment of the strategic goals of the salariat, which later evolved into the ruling elite.
This basically meant that while the Islamic norms of social justice might not be adopted, religious identity would be used in some form to meet political and military-strategic objectives. Jamal’s argument is that like all such plans that generate opportunity costs, the jihadis of today, who seem to be challenging the Pakistani state, are inadvertently a product of a specific plan to fight the war in Kashmir.
The camps where Ajmal Qasab and others were trained by the Lashkar-i-Taiba to carry out the Mumbai attacks, the author claims, were set up by the ISI to win the war in Kashmir. Even if the attack was not ordered by the intelligence agency, it indicates a situation where the jihadis trained for a particular purpose might have used their training to carry out attacks on their own or gone beyond the brief.
Obviously, the military always had to use religion as a motivating factor from the time when Col Akhtar Malik planned the first offensive to capture Kashmir in 1947/48 to the 1980s and 1990s when, according to Jamal, a lot of new jihadi organisations were established. Gen Ayub Khan adopted a similar approach while planning the historic but failed Operation Gibraltar in 1965. However, the military was not the only force which used the above-mentioned approach.
Even seemingly liberal-secular leaders like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto favoured the policy of using non-state actors to the country’s perceived military advantage. For instance, Bhutto personally came to congratulate the hijackers of an Indian Airlines flight in January 1971. It is important to remember that the use of non-state actors was part of a larger package of mixing religion with state strategy.
In adopting this approach Bhutto might have not been too far off from Ziaul Haq who, as Jamal argues, developed an alignment with the Jamaat-i-Islami to support the Afghan jihad and to use that as a cover for strengthening the army’s war in Kashmir.
The country’s ruling elite and the military have traditionally used a particular aspect of religion to gain strategic dividends. While they can conveniently claim to have retained their secularism and saved one organisation from turning ideological, a similar claim might not be made for society at large. The proliferation of ‘jihad’ in mainland Pakistan is but the opportunity cost of strategy.
The writer is an independent strategic and political analyst.
Winnipeg Free Press
By: Samuel Segev
At first Turkey denied any political motive. But then Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu told CNN that “once the situation in Gaza is improved, a new atmosphere would be re-established between Israel and Turkey.” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan went one step further Monday. After Turkey and Syria signed an agreement to abolish the need for travel visas, Erdogan attacked Israel for its conduct in Gaza.
Thus it can no longer be denied that, since Erdogan’s AKP Islamic party won power in 2003, there has been a slow but steady Turkish effort to distance itself from Israel. It has become clear that Erdogan attaches greater importance to relations with the Arab and Muslim world than with Israel.
One cannot, however, separate deteriorating relations from the more serious Erdogan conviction that Turkey will never become a member of the European Union. He became convinced of this after the visit to Paris of Turkish President Abdullah Gul. It confirmed reports about French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s assertion during talks in Paris with U.S. President Barack Obama.
According to diplomatic dispatches, Sarkozy told Obama: “it’s very important for Europe to have clearly defined borders. Europe is a force of stability and I will never allow this force of stability to be destroyed.” He is reported to have tsaid that only a small portion of Turkey, west of the Bosphorus, is geographically in Europe. The rest is in Asia and the overwhelming majority of its 76 million inhabitants are Muslims. If Turkey joins the EU, Europe will not be Europe anymore.
Similar comments were made by Sarkozy during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to Paris. Sarkozy is reported to have complained that Turkey is doing nothing to halt illegal Muslim immigrants flowing through its borders, from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
The current Israeli -Turkish crisis risks a fruitful relationship that began when both countries signed a strategic military alliance in 1996. Over the past 13 years, Israel sold arms and modern technologies to Turkey, overhauled Turkish tanks and airplanes, shared intelligence and conducted joint air and naval exercises. Turkey also became the most favoured Israeli tourism destination.
Erdogan changed the course of Turkish foreign policy when he signed a strategic alliance with Syria this year. In August 2008, he invited Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to visit Ankara and made clear that he won’t join sanctions against Iran. And, deviating from the Western consensus, he invited Sudan’s President Omar Bashir to visit Turkey despite his barbaric atrocities in Darfur.
But the sharpest turn was in Erdogan’s relations with Israel. Using Operation Cast Lead as a pretext, Erdogan began distancing himself from Israel diplomatically, economically and strategically. In line with his rapprochement with Syria and Iran, he recognized Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip and invited Hamas leaders to Ankara.
On Jan. 29, Erdogan insulted Israeli President Shimon Peres by storming out of an economic conference in Davos, Switzerland.
Jerusalem began to retaliate. Last month, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu wanted to visit Israel and the Gaza Strip but was told that he would be welcome in Jerusalem, but would have to find another avenue to Gaza.
More important, for more than a year Turkey has been negotiating the purchase of an Israeli satellite, the type which detected the secret nuclear reactors in Syria and at Qom in Iran. Israel made the sale conditional on Turkey’s assertion that it won’t transfer to Syria and Iran pictures taken by the satellite flying over Israel. Turkey refused the condition and the transaction was cancelled.
Jerusalem still hopes that Erdogan will reach the conclusion that he has more to lose than gain from this deterioration of relations.
Samuel Segev is the Winnipeg Free Press Middle East correspondent.
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 14, 2009 A13
DESPITE decades of denials by Washington and Tokyo, US officials believe they enjoyed a secret pact to transport nuclear weapons through Japan, newly declassified documents showed.
The disclosure came after Japan’s left-leaning government ended more than half a century of conservative rule and launched a probe into thousands of files to settle longstanding suspicions of a hush-hush pact.
Any evidence of an agreement would trigger charges of hypocricy as Japan is the only nation to have suffered nuclear attack and has campaigned for the worldwide abolition of the ultra-destructive weapons.
The National Security Archive at George Washington University released documents showing US officials believed they had an understanding with Japan when the allies signed a new security treaty in 1960.
A confidential State Department memo prepared in 1960 for then secretary of state Christian Herter to brief Congress said Washington had to consult Japan on “introduction of nuclear weapons.”
But it said that the United States, which has stationed troops in Japan since its defeat in World War II, could use Japanese soil “as needed” in an emergency if communist neighbour North Korea launched an attack.
In a cable sent in 1963, then US ambassador to Japan Edwin Reischauer said he quietly met for breakfast with the foreign minister, Masayoshi Ohira, and sensed a “full understanding” on the nuclear issue.
“Ohira took presentation in stride and showed not rpt (repeat) not slightest desire to persuade us to alter standing practice,” the cable said.
Whatever the sensitivity of nuclear weapons in Japan, the issue largely involves past history.
In 1991 as the Cold War ended, president George H W Bush stopped US vessels from carrying tactical nuclear weapons.
But both the United States and Japan’s previous government have steadfastly rejected an inquiry, with Washington saying its military policy is never to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons.
“In terms of nuclear weapons, there has always been a resistance to releasing information, particularly where they are based,” said Robert Wampler, a senior fellow at the National Security Archive who led the study.
“But here we are talking about Cold War agreements — dealing with Korea, Vietnam, the Soviets and China,” he said, pleading for the release of more documents.
“It’s secret in name only and I think it would be really great if the Japanese government would clear the air.”
But any investigation could also get bogged down in semantics on what the United States and Japan agreed to.
One declassified 1960 document presented to the secretary of state said in typeface that there was a “confidental agreement.”
The word “agreement” was crossed off with a pen and replaced with “understanding.”
The documents also said US negotiators stressed that they would not “introduce” nuclear weapons to Japan — drawing a distinction with transiting the arms.
The documents provide no clear smoking-gun on one persistent suspicion - that US president Richard Nixon insisted on the nuclear transit rights when handing the southern island chain to Okinawa back to Japan in 1972.
But a 1969 memo by Henry Kissinger, then the national security adviser, detailed Nixon’s negotiating strategy - saying he would press until the last minute to keep US nuclear weapons in Okinawa and was ready to drop the demand in exchange for the transit rights.
Nixon negotiated the handover with Japanese prime minister Eisaku Sato, who later won the Nobel Peace Prize largely for his so-called “three principles” - that Japan will not possess, produce or allow nuclear weapons on its soil.
The United States dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, killing more than 210,000 people and ending World War II.
- By Nathan Hodge
For several years, the U.S. military has been working on a 30,000-pound superbomb that can penetrate and destroy what the military calls “hardened targets“: Command bunkers or WMD facilities shielded by concrete and buried deep underground.
Now it looks as if the Pentagon is speeding delivery of the bomb, formally known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP. The Associated Press’ Anne Gearan reports today that the Defense Department awarded a contract worth around $52 million to speed up integration of the bomb aboard the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. According to the story, the MOP could be ready for B-2 delivery as early as next summer.
So why the rush? Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell offered a bland statement about the world being a dangerous place, but it’s tempting to see this as a response to Iran’s newly revealed nuclear site, buried deep inside a mountain near Qom. Gearan described the MOP “Plan B for dealing with Iran” if the diplomatic approach fails.
In fact, the Defense Department actually wanted the thing to be ready for delivery last year. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency began testing the MOP capability in 2007, But as Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told AP, development of the bomb was slowed by about two years because of budgetary issues.
Still, there are some very realistic scenarios on the horizon. In a similar vein, the United States and Israel are moving ahead with a major air-defense drill next week that will test ballistic missile interceptors that would be essential in any conflict with Iran.
The drill, called Juniper Cobra, has taken place every other year since 2001. But as the Jerusalem Post reports, the exercise will involve the test of two U.S. systems that are the cornerstone of the revamped U.S. missile defense strategy: The Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and the Navy’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense system. Israel’s Arrow missile-shooter will also be part of the exercise.
Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN
WASHINGTON: A prominent Pakistani military commando-turned-terrorist mastermind who was reported killed in a US Predator strike apparently
survived the attack and has re-surfaced even as American attention has turned to the growing number of jihadis and extremists from Pakistan’s armed forces.
Ilyas Kashmiri, a former Pakistan Special Services Group commando and a veteran of the Islamabad-backed separatist movement in Kashmir, has promised retribution against the ”U.S and its proxies,” an American terrorism watchdog reported Tuesday, after the armyman-turned-jihadi gave an interview to a Pakistani journalist to show that he was alive and ticking.
Kashmiri is very likely to be directly linked to last weekend’s terror assault on Pakistan’s Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi masterminded by ”Dr Usman” (who is also from the Pakistani military), according to Bill Roggio of the Long War Journal, a publication which tracks terrorism in the region.
The story puts the focus on several emerging aspects of Pakistan’s existential association and struggle with terrorism: The growing number of Pakistani military personnel who are turning rogue; and their ethnic origins, mostly form Punjab province.
Also of concern to intelligence analysts is Pakistan’s revolving door policy that frees or cuts loose terrorists – as had happened with Mumbai massacre mastermind Hafeez Mohammed Saeed this week – who eventually return to bite the Pakistani establishment in the back.
It transpires now that Dr Usman, aka Mohammed Aqeel, the leader of the fedayeen attack on Pakistan’s military headquarters last weekend, was in police custody last year for his involvement in the Marriott hotel bomb attack but was released by authorities under unclear circumstances. Ditto for Kashmiri, who was also in custody before he was released.
Kashmiri, who Roggio says is considered by US intelligence to be one of al Qaida’s most dangerous commanders and listed as the fourth most wanted terrorist by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry, is not the first to resurface after being reported killed in a Predator strike. The infamous Ayman Al-Zawahiri and shoe-bomber Rasheed Rauf belong in the same category.
But more worryingly for intelligence analysts is the fact that an increasing number of jihadi masterminds are coming from Pakistan’s armed forces, which commentators till recently described a mostly liberal and professional.
Like Kashmiri, who was an SSG commando before he reportedly turned ”rogue”, Dr Usman aka Mohammed Aqeel, who led the attack on GHQ and has been captured alive, also served in the military. He was reportedly with the Pakistani Army Medical Corps till 2006 when he quit the military to join the terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed, whose leader Maulana Masood Azhar is another terrorist who has disappeared in custody.
In the same tradition, Zaki-ur Lakhvi, one of the Mumbai carnage masterminds also served in the Pakistani military, as did brothers, Major Haroon Rasheed and Captain Khurram, who were both involved in the assassination of Maj. Gen. Faisal Alvi, who incidentally was Nobel Laureate V.S.Naipaul’s brother-in-law (Naipaul is married to Alvi’s sister Nadira).
At some point or the other, all the men were in the custody or under the watch of Pakistani authorities, but a dodgy legal system and their connection to the armed forces resulted in their slipping out of custody and conviction. Invariably, they seem to have returned to attack their former masters, according to analysts who track terrorist strikes.
”It is a result of Pakistan hybridizing officers and soldiers into groups like LeT, HuJI, JeM, etc. Are they really rogue when they started under state policy? The Pak military should be terrified right now,” Roggio told ToI. The analyst believes the GHQ attack likely had inside help.
While Rasheed and Khurram — who like Kashmiri were both in the SSG — are accused in the killing of Major General Alvi, the GHQ fidayeen attacker ”Dr Usman” was also arrested for his involvement in the assassination of Lieutenant General Mushtaq Ahmed Baig, the surgeon General of the Army Medical Corps, in February 2008. Gen.Baig is the senior-most Pakistani general killed by the terrorists.
The rash of ex-armymen-turned-terrorists from the ranks has also put the focus on Pakistan’s Punjab province, since most of these jihadis are from this region. This is from where the Pakistani military draws most of its recruits and there have been reports of increasing radicalization in Southern Punjab.
While the government in Islamabad has tried to portray the border tribal belt alongside Afghanistan as the ground zero of terrorism, some experts are pointing to Punjab – and renegades in the Pakistani armed forces who hail from here.
”South Punjab has become the hub of jihadism,” the respected Pakistani analyst Ayesha Siddiqa said in a recent magazine article. ”Yet, somehow, there are still many people in Pakistan who refuse to acknowledge this threat.”
* Western intelligence officials believe senior Taliban leaders among Afghans refugees living around Quetta
Daily Times Monitor
LAHORE: The first place to look for the Taliban in Balochistan is the Afghan refugee camps that were set up after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, which the West claims is the new breeding ground for the Taliban.
The Times said in a report on Tuesday that the camps have provided many of the Taliban’s first recruits in 1994.
The author of the report said the he was introduced to Hafiz Bismillah in Panjpiri — 60 miles northwest of Quetta.
A madrassa teacher in his mid-30s, Bismillah openly admitted that he had recently returned from fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
“It is a part of our religious duty to participate in the jihad,” he told the paper. “We never had so many young people coming to join the war.” Officials told the paper they believed there were thousands more like him in the camps in Balochistan, which is home to about one million Afghans.
They said the situation was not much different in Quetta, where Afghans now accounted for about 30 percent of the population of 1.7 million, and outnumber Pakistanis in some neighbourhoods.
Men wearing the Taliban’s signature black turbans walk around its bazaars and alleyways and regularly seek treatment in its hospitals, they said, adding that many had Pakistani passports.
“Some of the places are no-go areas,” said Agha Hasan of the Balochistan National Movement.
The West has long known about all this and believes that among the Afghans are Mullah Omar and other senior Taliban leaders, who they call the Quetta Shura.
But Pakistani officials deny the claims. “It is not possible for the entire Taliban leadership to operate from here,” General Salim Nawaz, the head of the Frontier Corps in Balochistan, told the paper. “It’s a blatant lie.”
A senior ISI official told The Times that the US had produced a list of a dozen Afghan Taliban leaders it said were in or around Quetta. He said six were dead, two were based in Afghanistan, and two visited Pakistan.
“We have been given no actionable intelligence,” said the ISI officer. He and other officials also warned that drone strikes on Balochistan would cause more civilian casualties than in the Tribal Areas as the target areas were more densely populated.
They could also destabilise a region racked by a decades-long insurgency, and disrupt a NATO supply line running from Karachi to southern Afghanistan.
“We will not tolerate drone attacks in our area,” warned Aslam Raisani, Balochistan’s chief minister.
Pakistani officials do admit, however, that they have little control over some Afghan neighbourhoods in Quetta, such as Pashtunabad, Khrotabad and Kuchlak.
The main madrassa in Pashtunabad is run by Maulana Noor Mohammed, a cleric whose students are mostly Afghans and have been growing ever more numerous.
The writ of the state is even weaker in border towns such as Chaman. About half of its population is Afghan. Officials estimate that madrassas there are now producing 3,000 graduates each year, most of them potential Taliban recruits.