Check the video out and see it for your self, how this terrorist organization is killing innocent people under the shelter of President Musharraf.
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Here is another perfect example of Pakistan government working to please the US by helping them justify everything that Obama and the rest have said about this being the “same Al Qaida group that attacked us.” This is pure fabrication, just like the 911 hijacker ids being found in near perfect condition in rubble that had basically disintegrated. The only thing that ties every player in this mess together is their CIA/ISI connections. They call their own network “Al Qaida,” pretending that it is something separate from the CIA.
I thought that the American people were getting wise to this garbage, that of telling people anything you want and calling it all “truth.”
911 was a government contract. It is becoming obvious just whose names are on that contract.
Said Bahaji remains at large
Pakistan’s army says it has found in South Waziristan the passport of a man linked to two hijackers involved in the 11 September 2001 attacks in the US.
The passport of Said Bahaji, a German of Moroccan origin, was among weapons, documents and jihadi literature seized by troops in the conflict zone.
The army showed the document to a group of reporters during a trip to the area.
The BBC’s Orla Guerin says there is no way of knowing if this passport is a genuine document.
Our correspondent was part of a team of journalists who were taken to South Waziristan by the military.
The passport was presented on a table with other documentation but there was no independent way of verifying its authenticity, our correspondent says.
Pakistan’s army is carrying out a major offensive in the area against the Taliban and al-Qaeda militants and the region is generally out of bounds for journalists.
Said Bahaji is suspected to be a member of the Hamburg cell which planned the 9/11 attacks.
He is believed to have been a close associate of Mohammad Atta, the leader of 9/11 hijackers.
He fled Germany shortly before the attacks and remains at large.
Mr Bahaji has been charged in his absence in connection with several thousand murders committed in the attacks.
Correspondents says if the document is authentic, this will be the first time a direct link can be established between the Taliban in South Waziristan and a suspect in the 9/11 attacks.
By Farhat Taj
Orakzai is the only agency in FATA that has no border with Afghanistan. It touches Khyber agency in the north, Darra Adam Khel in the east, Hangu and Kohat in the south and Kurrum in the west. Orakzai is occupied by the Taliban from Waziristan, Darra Adam Khel and Khyber agencies. Some local tribesmen have also joined the Taliban from the other agencies. Many of the locals who joined the Taliban used to be petty thieves and drug pushers, I was informed by the Orakzai tribesmen. The Taliban have imposed an alien ideology and way of life on the people. ‘We are living in hell and the rest of Pakistan does not even know or doesn’t care’, said one of them.
The activities of the Taliban in Orakzai have two interesting aspects. One, tribal affiliations under the code of Pakhtunwali have by and large countered sectarian differences that the fiercely anti-Shia Taliban want to exploit. In an area called Dobari for example, there are about 100 Shia families surrounded by the Sunni majority. Under Pakhtunwali, the majority community had taken upon itself to protect the 100 families, whom the Taliban wanted to banish from the area. The Sunni tribesmen, however, rejected the Taliban’s banishment and decided instead to remove the Taliban from the area by raising a tribal lashkar. The Ali Khel is the largest tribe in Orakzai and the leaders of the tribe then held a grand jirga to work out the details of a strategy to take on the Taliban. The grand jirga was scheduled for Oct 10 of last year and as it was being held it was attacked by a suicide bomber. Forty tribesmen were killed on the spot and the death toll climbed to over 100 over the next few days since many of those who had initially been injured later died in hospital.
In effect, the tribe’s main leadership was decimated and this paved the way for the Taliban to take control of the agency. However, despite this the Taliban were not able to succeed in dividing the Ali Khels along Shia-Sunni lines. Instead, in the intense rivalry between the Ali Khels and the Taliban, a Taliban commander who belonged to the Ali Khel tribe defected and joined his tribe. This angered the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan which put head money on the man.
The people of Orakzai say that the government and the military should have done more to help the tribe, especially when it had decided to take on the Taliban by raising its own lashkar. They say that had that help been forthcoming the situation perhaps would be different to what it is today – where the government’s writ is confined only to the agency’s headquarters and the Taliban control most of the rest of Orakzai. Every day, people are kidnapped, killed, beheaded or publicly insulted by the Taliban, who like in other parts of FATA, have also set up their own so-called ‘sharia’ courts. In recent weeks, a mentally ill man was even beheaded by the Taliban – he was a Shia and had mistakenly entered an area which the Taliban had banned for all Shia tribesmen.
So what is the way forward? Well, for starters, the Taliban are not a unified group. It is an umbrella of sectarian terrorists, global jihadis and even criminals, and their differences can be exploited by the intelligence agencies. And there are many proofs of such differences. In the Ferozkhel area recently, two groups of the Taliban fought each other and there were several casualties. The dispute was over whether or not to return a Shia boy who had been kidnapped by them to his family in exchange for one of their (the Taliban’s) colleagues.
The people feel that they have been left to fend for themselves. And they have taken matters into their own hands. Some weeks ago, three such volunteers intercepted a suicide bomber but could not stop him from triggering his explosives and as a result all three died. Also, of late, a Taliban court in the agency summoned 60 businessmen from the majority community – their alleged crime being that they were involved in business with tribesmen from the minority sect!
The writer is a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo, and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy. Email: bergen34@ yahoo.com
By Farhat Taj
Relationship between state and citizens is a social contract. A basic ingredient of the contract is that the state shall protect the life and property of its citizens. It is in this context that violence is the monopoly of the state which it shall use according to the law. In theory this is so in Pakistan as well. In practice it is not so, in many parts of Pakistan. But the most disgraceful and atrocious violation of the social contact can be seen in FATA and the NWFP in face of Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorism in the area.
The state has failed again and again to protect citizens from the atrocities of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The absence of state protection made many people in the NWFP and FATA create local lashkars (volunteer armies) to push Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists out of their areas. Most members of the lashkar had never been fond of violence. They would prefer a peaceful and quite life. The state’s abrogation of its responsibility to protect them had forced them to take up weapons in self-defence.
Even then the state never came forward to help the lashkars, most of whose leaders and members were slaughtered by the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, with the state just watching as an unconcerned bystander. But still the resistance of the people continues on self-help bases in several parts of the NWFP and FATA.
There is a lashkar in Badaber, an area of rural Peshawar on the border with Darra Adamkhel, the area taken over by the Taliban, to the south, and with Khyber Agency, ruled by Mangal Bagh and Hakimullah, to the west. The Badaber lashkar is playing an impressive role in preventing Darra Adamkhel Taliban from taking over Peshawar. The lashkar has had several clashes with the Taliban, which led to death and injuries on both sides. A striking feature of the lashkar is that it is not only protecting the people of Badaber but also extending protection to law-enforcement agencies in the area. It is not uncommon to see police and FC vehicles and personnel being escorted by the lashkar’s vehicles and volunteers. Thus, in Badaber the social contract between the state and citizens is turned on its head: the citizens are protecting the state!
In another country such citizens would have become heroes. Not so in Pakistan. For a long time the state ignored the efforts of the citizens. But at last the one and only “recognition” came from the state: a letter of appreciation. It was issued on Nov 17, 2008, by the chief secretary of the NWFP and addressed to two of the lashkar’s leaders, Khushdil Khan, deputy speaker of the NWFP Assembly, and Gulzar Hussain, former chairman of thye Union Council of Badaber. The letter is copied to the governor of the NWFP, the speaker of the NWFP Assembly, the Corps Headquarters in Peshawar, the home secretary of the NWFP and the inspector general of the province.
The letter states: “The provincial administration would like to place on record its commendation/appreciation for the good work that your honour has undertaken regarding formation of Aman (peace) Committees for maintenance of law and order in Badaber and Sheikh Mohammadi areas of District Peshawar. This step would go a long way in ensuring maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the concerned areas in collaboration with law-enforcement agencies. Formation of Aman Committees is a commendable and enviable community measure emulable in other troubled areas all over NWFP.”
This letter has been a source of torture for many, if not all, members of the Badaber lashkar. Is this the recognition that they deserve from the state for the acute dangers they have taken upon themselves and their families by challenging the Taliban? Some lashkar members might have thought that it would have been better they never had that letter which is more a source of torture than appreciation for them.
In my view, the letter should have come from the highest political authority of the state: the president or the prime minister of Pakistan. If not that, then at least it should have come from the chief minister or governor of the NWFP. The letter should have clearly acknowledged the role of the lashkar in protection of the law- enforcement agencies. The letter should have been shared with the media so that everyone in Pakistan had seen that the state recognised the efforts of the lashkar.
But what is the most important is that the state must fulfil its responsibility to protect the people of the NWFP and FATA from the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. For that to happen, the state must abandon the idea of strategic depth for good. The state must stop using FATA as a strategic space. The state must respect the fact that the people of FATA are its citizens who are fully entitled to its protection. The lashkar people, both in FATA and the NWFP, have not taken up arms for fun or out of habit.
They have done so because the state has abandoned them to the wolves, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The same would be the response of most human beings abandoned by their state anywhere in the world. A letter of appreciation on behalf of the state, although good in symbolic terms, means nothing in real terms. The state must robustly come forward to protect people in the Taliban-occupied areas and, wherever appropriate, should cooperate with the local people so as to inflict maximum damage on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda with the least collateral damage to the civilian population.
The writer is a research fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research, University of Oslo and a member of Aryana Institute for Regional Research and Advocacy. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This much is known: In the mid-eighth century, the ruling elite of the Khazars, a Turkic tribe in Eurasia, converted to Judaism. Their impetus was political, not spiritual. By embracing Judaism, the Khazars were able to maintain their independence from rival monotheistic states, the Muslim caliphate and the Christian Byzantine empire. Governed by a version of rabbinical law, the Khazar Jewish kingdom flourished along the Volga basin until the beginning of the second millennium, at which point it dissolved, leaving behind a mystery: Did the Khazar converts to Judaism remain Jews, and, if so, what became of them?
Enter Shlomo Sand. In a new book, “The Invention of the Jewish People,” the Tel Aviv University professor of history argues that large numbers of Khazar Jews migrated westward into Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania, where they played a decisive role in the establishment of Eastern European Jewry. The implications are far-reaching: If the bulk of Eastern European Jews are the descendents of Khazars—not the ancient Israelites—then most Jews have no ancestral links to Palestine. Put differently: If most Jews are not Semites, then what justification is there for a Jewish state in the Middle East? By attempting to demonstrate the Khazar origins of Eastern European Jewry, Mr. Sand—a self-described post-Zionist who believes that Israel needs to shed its Jewish identity to become a democracy—aims to undermine the idea of a Jewish state.
Published in Hebrew last year, “The Invention of the Jewish People” was a best seller in Israel. In March, the French translation, also a best seller, received the prestigious Aujourd’hui Award, which honors the year’s best nonfiction book. Past winners include such intellectual titans as Raymond Aron, Milan Kundera and George Steiner. “The Invention of the Jewish People” is being translated into a dozen languages. Mr. Sand is delivering lectures this month in Los Angeles, Berkeley, New York and elsewhere.
What should we make of Mr. Sand’s radical revisionist history? There is reason to be very skeptical. After all, we have been here before. In 1976, Arthur Koestler published “The Thirteenth Tribe,” which argued that Diaspora Jews were a “pseudo-nation” bound by “a system of traditional beliefs based on racial and historical premises which turn out to be illusory.” The genetic influence of the Khazars on modern Jews is, he wrote, “substantial, and in all likelihood dominant.” Koestler’s speculations were not novel. The connection between the Khazars and the Jews of Eastern Europe had been debated by both scholars and conspiracists (the two are not mutually exclusive) for centuries.
“The Thirteenth Tribe” was savaged by critics, and Mr. Sand’s repackaging of its central argument has not fared much better. “A few Jews in Eastern Europe presumably came from the Khazar kingdom, but nobody can responsibly claim that most of them are the descendents of Khazars,” says Israel Bartal, a professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. We simply don’t know enough about the demographics of Eastern European Jews before the 13th century to make such an assertion, Mr. Bartal says, adding, “Sand has not proven anything.” According to Peter B. Golden, a professor of history at Rutgers University, the Khazars are likely one of a number of strains that shaped the Jewish population in Eastern Europe. But, he stresses, DNA studies have confirmed that the Middle Eastern strain is predominant.
In “The Invention of the Jewish People,” Mr. Sand suggests that those who attacked Koestler’s book did so not because it lacked merit, but because the critics were cowards and ideologues. “No one wants to go looking under stones when venomous scorpions might be lurking beneath them, waiting to attack the self-image of the existing ethnos and its territorial ambitions.” But Koestler was himself uneasy about scorpions. The Khazar theory, he knew, was an article of faith among anti-Semites and anti-Israel Arab politicians. Just a few months before “The Thirteenth Tribe” was published, the Saudi Arabian delegation to the United Nations declared Zionism illegitimate because it was conceived by “non-Semitic Jews” rather than “our own Arab Jews who are the real Semites.” (An Israeli ambassador, wrongly, countered that Koestler’s book had been secretly subsidized by the Palestinians.) Perhaps more disconcerting, the neo-Nazi National States Rights Party in the U.S. declared “The Thirteenth Tribe” to be “the political bombshell of the century” because “it destroys all claims of the present-day Jew-Khazars to any historic right to occupy Palestine.” Members of Stormfront, a self-described “white nationalist” Internet community, have predictably reacted to Mr. Sand’s book with glee.
I recently called Mr. Sand in Paris, where he is on sabbatical, to ask if he is concerned that “The Invention of the Jewish People” will be exploited for pernicious ends. “I don’t care if crazy anti-Semites in the United States use my book,” he said in Israeli-accented English. “Anti-Semitism in the West, for the moment, is not a problem.” Still, he is worried about how the forthcoming Arabic translation might be received in the Muslim world, where, he says, anti-Semitism is growing. I ask if the confident tenor of his book might exacerbate the problem. He falls quiet for a moment. “Maybe my tone was too affirmative on the question of the Khazars,” he reluctantly concedes. “If I were to write it today I would be much more careful.” Such an admission, however, is unlikely to sway the sinister conspiracists who find the Khazar theory a useful invention.
—Mr. Goldstein is a staff editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Yesterday, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yıldiz put an end to the empty talk about Azerbaijan’s ability to influence Ankara’s foreign and energy policy in any way. The aim of the empty talk was “enhancing” Azerbaijan’s regional influence by means of rhetoric. In fact, however, Baku exhausted its potential for energy diktat long ago – it has neither the necessary resources nor means of diversifying routes or political weight to torpedo Turkey’s strategic task of becoming the main point for hydrocarbons transit to Europe. That was the reason why billons of U.S. dollars were invested in the Baku-Ceyhan and Baku-Erzurum projects. Leaving the communications inoperative is as impossible for President Ilham Aliyev as yielding his chair to some Isa Gambar.
So the direction for the transit of Caspian resources at Azerbaijan’s disposal can by no means be changed. Another matter is that the reserves are not sufficient to meet both Turkey’s ambitions and Europe’s demands.
Ilham Aliyev is not to blame for the West having been unable to push through the Transcaspian gas main project. As a result, the two pipes of great length designed for supplying energy resources from Central Asia to Europe — the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline with an annual capacity of 50m tons, and the South Caucasus gas pipeline Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum with an annual capacity of up to 30bn cubic meters – actually run only to end in Azerbaijan’s well that is running dry. Strategically, the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline was designed for Central Asian gas, rather than for Azerbaijan’s. It was laying the gas main through the bottom of the Caspian Sea than was supposed to make the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline part of the Nabucco project. Azerbaijan is capable of supplying only 1/3 of the necessary volume to this pipeline, which can hardly satisfy Turkey and the end consumers in Europe. The designed annual capacity of the Nabucco gas pipeline is 30bn cubic meters, and, in this context, Azerbaijan’s efforts are “a drop in the ocean.” By various estimates, over the following decade, Azerbaijan will be capable of supplying within 5bn cubic meters of gas to this pipeline, whereas at least 15bn cubic meters are required for it to be put into operation. Moreover, the volume Azerbaijan is ensuring now does not reach Turkey in full. Let us remember that Georgia, a transit country which completely upset its relations with Russia, became dependent on Azerbaijani gas, while Turkey “granted” its gas quota in the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum pipeline to Georgians. So Turkey has never received strategic amount of gas from Azerbaijan and hardly expects to receive it.
Realizing that Russia will go all out to prevent a pipe from being laid through the Caspian bottom, Turkey, without wasting time, joined the Russia-launched South Stream project. The difference of this project from Nabucco is as follows: from Central Asia the pipeline will run along the northern Caspian coast (a Near-Caspian gas pipeline), rather than through the bottom of the Caspian Sea, which, however, is not of essential importance for Turkey. On the contrary, this reduces the number of transit countries between Central Asia and Turkey — Russia in place of Azerbaijan and Georgia. The efforts exerted by RF Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi were crowned with success – Turkey joined the South Stream project. At that very moment Azerbaijan felt the hard slap delivered by its “big brother” – it was not while Yerevan and Ankara were signing the Protocols in Zurich.
The second slap proved to be even header. Baku got it yesterday, when Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz agreed on the details of Turkey’s participation in the South Pars project with Iran. It is the world’s largest gas field coverings an area of 9,700 square kilometers, with 3,700 square kilometers (South Pars) being in Iranian territorial waters. It can really serve as resource base for the Nabucco project, but Azerbaijan drops out of the game. Moreover, the West may share the same fate, as Turkey seems to be going to “uncap the Iranian barrel” with Russia. So Russia is “drawing” Central Asian resources into the South Stream and Blue Stream projects, while Turkey is ensuring access to the European market for Iranian gas. Thus, Europe’s energy security problem can be resolved by combined efforts of Turkey and Russia, with Iran’s energy potential necessarily used.
Armenia may play a key role in the Turkey-Iran-Russia energy triangle. In any case, over the last few years, Russia, slowly but surely, has been creating a powerful “electric energy base” in Armenia. With the Iran-Armenia gas main considered, Armenia’s prospects will be even better after the Armenian-Turkish border has been reopened.
As regards Azerbaijan, the only thing for it to do is to feed the West promises, beg compensation of Turkey for gas at a giveaway price and try to get Russia’s support by supplying ridiculously small volumes of gas (500m cubic meters) to the Gazprom Company by means of bypass routes.
Among the participants are Women Against Military Madness, Veterans for Peace Minnesota and the National Lawyers Guild
Please come participate in this protest of prima facie war criminal Condoleezza Rice who willfully and deceitfully sold Bush’s war on Iraq by fear mongering about “mushroom clouds” and who also OK’d going “to the dark side” of illegal torture.
She continues to be an apologist for the Bush administration with false statements about the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Security in Europe calling Guantanamo a model medium-security prison, and misleading claims that the ICRC made no allegations about interrogations at Guantanamo. She still says that we did not torture, in spite of ICRC reports, contrary claims from FBI interrogators, Bush administration withdrawals of Office of Legal Counsel torture memos, and statements of dismissal by our own Military Commission judges.
Now Rice is apparenty attempting to make big money off her wrongful actions in the Bush Administration. (The Beth El Synagogue is offering tickets between $50 and $1250 and selling tables at $12,500.00 to hear Condi Rice speak.)