Russia could take revenge with assault on Caucasus

[Moscow could decide to roll-back the “Islamists” and their American backers in a surprise repeat of last year’s anti-Georgia operation.  Come to think of it, it would also be a good time to roll over Saakashvili.   Consider where we would be right now if Putin and Medvedev had not thwarted American and Israeli power plays last year to seize the vital pipeline region and to seal-off the Roki Tunnel, which would have blocked  Russian forces beyond the Greater Caucasus Mountains.  Think about what would have come next, Bush would have remained in power and Israel would have obtained  a clear route to bomb Iranian reactors.  If Russian forces move to secure their positions once again, don’t  look for them to stop until they secured both the Caspian and the Black Seas.]

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Russia could take revenge with assault on Caucasus

The site of the Nevsky Express train derailment near the village of Uglovka, about 400km northwest of Moscow, on Saturday. Photograph: Konstantin Chalabov/Reuters

OPINION: Suspicion over Friday’s train bomb is focused on militants from the strategic region, writes DANIEL McLAUGHLIN

THE SHOCK-WAVES from Friday night’s bomb attack on the Moscow-St Petersburg express will be felt far beyond Russia’s two main cities.

Twenty-five people were killed, almost 100 injured, and many more are still missing, feared dead, after the Nevsky Express was hurled from the rails in remote woodland as it sped north from Moscow to Russia’s old imperial capital.

Investigators have found traces of explosives at the site, and another smaller device blew up on Saturday while rescue teams were still working on the wreckage of the train, which is the most luxurious of its type in Russia and regularly carries politicians and business executives.

No group has claimed responsibility for the atrocity, but suspicion is already focused on militants from the North Caucasus region, whose attacks on Russian targets are becoming more frequent and more audacious.

In the first nine months of this year, more than 420 people were killed in rebel attacks in the neighbouring republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, four times the number killed in the same period last year.

This year’s victims include senior police and army officers, local politicians and judges, and the militants came close to killing the Kremlin-appointed president of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, in a car bomb attack in June.

Chechnya, the main Caucasus battleground of the last decade, is arguably now calmer than Ingushetia and Dagestan, but security service personnel and rebels are now dying daily across the region in clashes that make a mockery of previous Kremlin claims to have full control over the republics.

After prematurely declaring anti-terrorist operations over this spring, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev admitted in this month’s state-of-the-nation address that the situation in the Caucasus was the “most serious domestic political problem for our country”. “The level of corruption, violence, and clan dominance in North Caucasus republics is simply unprecedented,” he said.

The candour of Medvedev’s comments fuelled talk of an impending crackdown in the Caucasus, as did a sudden hardening of the mild-mannered lawyer’s rhetoric. He has called the rebels “terrorist scum” who must be eliminated “without emotion or hesitation”, words that called to mind the order of his predecessor, Vladimir Putin, that Chechnya’s militants be killed wherever they are hiding, and even “whacked in the outhouse”.

Putin, now Russia’s prime minister, made that demand 10 years ago, shortly after a series of devastating apartment bombings in Moscow and southern Russia killed more than 200 people in their homes.

The attacks spread fear throughout Russia and brought the insurgency on its southern, mountainous fringe into the “heartland” of the country, convincing people that Chechnya’s separatists had to be crushed and that the tough-talking Putin was the man to do it.

The myriad unanswered questions about the apartment bombings prompted allegations they were carried out by Russia’s security services to provide a pretext for a new Chechen war, which Putin was in the process of launching when the bombs exploded. Several people who made such claims, or investigated the attacks, have been jailed or have died in mysterious circumstances, including agent-turned-whistleblower Alexander Litvinenko.

While there is no suggestion of state involvement in Friday’s Nevsky Express explosion, it could have a similar impact to the apartment bombings of a decade ago.

Russia’s most prestigious train was targeted because it carried some 700 passengers between the nation’s biggest and most important cities, its political, economic and financial powerhouses, the home of its elite. Putin and Medvedev both hail from St Petersburg, and they have brought many allies from their home town to rule with them in Moscow.

The Nevsky Express was a soft target that carried considerable symbolic weight for Russians, and its destruction will feed political and public calls for severe measures against those responsible.

Ultranationalist groups have been mentioned as possible suspects, but they have never launched an attack on this scale. If, as expected, Caucasian rebels are ultimately blamed, then we may soon see Russian forces surging back into the region to crush them.

Earlier this month exiled Chechen rebel leader Akhmed Zakayev said Moscow was preparing to deploy an “enormous” number of troops to the North Caucasus, to establish an iron grip on the region before the nearby resort of Sochi hosts the 2014 Winter Olympics.

“They want to solve the Caucasus problem before the Olympics and tell the world they have eliminated terrorism,” he said. “This will also put the North Caucasus in their hands.”

Renewed large-scale military operations in the region would be a disaster for its people, thousands of whom have died and disappeared in fighting between Islamic militants, clans, organised crime groups, separatist rebels, Russian security forces and local Kremlin-backed leaders whose militias are infamous for their brutality and corruption.

The Kremlin is determined to remain the dominant player in the Caucasus, which is a vital route for exports of oil and gas from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia.

Russia strengthened its hand considerably last year by crushing Georgia in a six-day war and by recognising the independence of two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Georgians now fear Moscow will use trouble in the North Caucasus as a pretext to launch a new offensive, and senior Russian security officials recently accused Georgia of harbouring rebels in its remote Pankisi Gorge region, which borders Chechnya and Dagestan.

Another war between Russia and Georgia would further damage the latter’s reputation as the West’s most stable and solid partner in the Caucasus, and undermine its place at the centre of US and European Union efforts to create an energy pipeline network that bypasses Russia. For Russians facing a renewed terror threat, the people of the Caucasus who fear a backlash, and western powers with major strategic interests in the region, the fate of the Nevsky Express may be a grim portent of even worse to come.

Trigger-happy security complicates convoys

Trigger-happy security complicates convoys

By Sean D. Naylor

HUTAL, Afghanistan — Ill-disciplined private security guards escorting supply convoys to coalition bases are wreaking havoc as they pass through western Kandahar province, undermining the coalition’s counterinsurgency strategy here and leading to at least one confrontation with U.S. forces, say U.S. Army officers and Afghan government officials.

The security guards are responsible for killing and wounding more than 30 innocent civilians during the past four years in Maywand district alone, said Mohammad Zareef, the senior representative in the district for Afghanistan’s intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security.

Highway 1, the country’s main east-west artery, runs through Maywand and is the route taken by logistics convoys moving west from Kabul and Kandahar to coalition bases in Helmand province. The Afghan government’s district chief for Maywand says the men hired to protect the convoys are heroin addicts armed with rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles.

The contractors’ actions are frustrating U.S. military leaders in Maywand and undermining coalition efforts to bring a greater sense of security to the Afghan people, particularly because the locals associate the contractors with the coalition.

“They’ll start firing at anything that’s moving, and they will injure or kill innocent Afghans, and they’ll destroy property,” said Lt. Col. Jeff French, commander of 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment and Task Force Legion, the main coalition force in Maywand since mid-September. French has vowed to take tough action against contractors involved in violent acts against civilians.

AFGHAN PERSONNEL

The problem of out-of-control security contractors operating at cross-purposes to the coalition’s counterinsurgency strategy is similar to the one that dogged the U.S. military and its allies in Iraq, with one major difference: unlike Iraq, where there were a series of high-profile incidents involving U.S. security personnel, here the guards causing the problems are Afghans.

About twice a week convoys up to 50 vehicles long pass through Maywand en route to coalition bases in Helmand carrying fuel and other bulk goods coming from the Pakistani port city of Karachi, said Capt. Casey Thoreen, commander of 2-1 Infantry’s B Company, which operates from Combat Outpost Rath, located less than 100 meters from Highway 1 in the town of Hutal.

Although the convoys sometimes carry U.S. military vehicles and represent a vital lifeline for the coalition effort, no Afghan, U.S. or other coalition military forces accompany them. Instead, each convoy is protected by Afghan security guards armed with AK-series assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades in sport utility vehicles — “black 4Runners, full of guys in these tan uniforms, with lots of guns sticking out of them,” Thoreen said. “These guys are like gun-toting mercenaries with probably not a whole lot of training. … They’re just light on the trigger finger.”

Haji Obidullah Bawari, the Afghan government’s district chief for Maywand, rendered an even harsher judgment. “Most of them are addicted to heroin,” he said.

Until recently, the identities of the companies for whom the security guards worked remained shrouded in mystery, even from the coalition headquarters whose troops they are supplying. French said he requested information on the companies through his higher brigade headquarters — 5th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division — but had yet to receive any word back.

An International Security Assistance Force spokesman said the convoy security workers are employees of the logistics contractors running the convoys. Those contractors work for one or several of the ISAF, NATO or 26 countries operating in Afghanistan. As a result, he said he did not know how much is spent on the security firms or which companies had hired them.

Asked about allegations of heroin use and improper conduct, ISAF spokesman Col. Wayne M. Shanks said that while neither ISAF nor Regional Command-South has a vetting role in the selection of the security guards, “all credible allegations of improper actions by contractors are fully investigated.”

Over the past several weeks, local leaders have voiced complaints about the security contractors, prompting French to ask more questions about the contractors’ behavior. He said the answers he received troubled him.

OUT-OF-CONTROL GUARDS

“They roll through, and if they see something that seems like a threat to them, or they feel that they’re under attack, the local Afghans are saying that they just start to lase and blaze,” French said. “They don’t stop, they don’t wait for the police to come and do an investigation or anything; they just take off.”

Among incidents this year involving the security guards in Maywand, according to Zareef, the NDS chief:

• On May 9, contractors shot dead an Afghan National Policeman manning a checkpoint on Highway 1, then drove away.

• Contractors left their broken-down car for a night at a gas station and found the next morning that insurgents had burned it. In their anger, the security guards turned their guns on the local population. “They started shooting and killed a kid,” Zareef said.

• On March 28, speeding contractors killed a local man and his wife, and injured their child, when the security guards’ SUV hit the motorcycle on which the family was riding.

• Afghans arrested a convoy security guard for the March 4 killing of a kuchi, or nomadic herder.

Zareef’s accounts were consistent with the reports received by U.S. commanders.

“We’re getting fairly consistent complaints about them,” Thoreen said. “Everybody knows somebody who’s been shot by the contractors.”

When the Taliban hit their targets, the security guards show little compassion for their wounded, French said.

“They will literally dump them on the road out here,” he said. Those who come to the base seeking medical aid get it and “on several occasions” the U.S. forces medically evacuated them to more sophisticated coalition medical facilities.

“There’s no give-a-s— factor in them when it comes to their employees,” he said. The firms’ attitude was: “Good luck — it sucks to be you. You’re in Maywand. We’re kicking you to the curb.”

TAKING ON THE PROBLEM

French said he is planning to turn the issue to his advantage by taking a hard line with the convoy escorts, demonstrating the value of coalition and Afghan security forces to the local population. He said that at a “shura” meeting called to discuss security issues with local leaders, he committed himself to trying to solve the contractor problem.

French told the local leaders that he had ordered his troops that if they received credible reports of security guards shooting at civilians, they were to move immediately to the site and investigate the incident by talking to Afghan security forces, local civilians and the convoy escorts.

“If … we feel that they were acting inappropriately and endangering people in this district, my intent is to basically take control of those individuals in that convoy, bring them back to Ramrod and lock them up in here … call their company, make sure we can get some kind of an understanding regarding their operations, and then my guys will personally escort them out of Maywand district,” French said.

On Nov. 15, French was able to back up his words with action. After receiving word of shooting from the vicinity of Highway 1 as three convoys were rolling through Maywand, 2-1 Infantry’s quick reaction force set up a checkpoint on the highway outside the battalion’s headquarters at Forward Operating Base Ramrod and pulled over two of the convoys at gunpoint before taking the two convoys’ security chiefs into the base for questioning.

One security chief, Fidal Mohammed, claimed to have 48 men under arms. He said he worked for a company called DIAK, said 2-1 Infantry’s executive officer, Maj. Dave Abrahams, who conducted the meetings. Mohammed also gave Abrahams the names of several other companies that work the convoy escort business along Highway 1. The other security chief, who gave his name as Lalai, said he worked for a company called Angar and commanded 52 armed men.

Abrahams said he told each man that Task Force Legion would not tolerate misconduct by security companies along Highway 1 and that “any reports of security convoys firing on civilians or indiscriminately into the villages will be investigated and wrongdoers will be punished.”

Speaking before the Nov. 15 episode, French said he was hoping to achieve “multiple effects” by confronting the contractors. “Most of the positive effects will be the populace seeing us taking action to protect them,” he said.

Obama warns Pakistan to Stop Using Our Strategy of Using Insurgents

Stop using insurgents as strategic tool, Obama warns Pak

AgenciesTags : US, Pakistan, terrorists, al Qaeda, Lashkar e ToibaPosted: Monday , Nov 30, 2009 at 1134 hrsWashington:

Obama

In his letter to Zardari, President Obama has warned Pak that its use of insurgent groups for policy goals ‘cannot continue’.

In a stern message to Pakistan, the United States has asked it to shed its policy of "using insurgents" like LeT as a strategic tool and warned that if it cannot deliver against terrorists, the US may be impelled to use "any means" at its disposal.

The message, which has been conveyed in a letter from US President Barack Obama to his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, also includes an offer by him to try to "reduce tensions" between India and Pakistan, media reported here.

The two-page letter, hand-delivered by National Security Adviser General (retd) James Jones when he visited Islamabad early this month, offers Pakistan enhancement of strategic partnership if they act as wished by the US, besides additional military and economic aid.

In his letter, Obama has also warned Pakistan that its use of insurgent groups for policy goals "cannot continue" and called for closer collaboration against all extremist groups.

He named five such groups – al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Tehrik-e-Taliban.

"Using vague diplomatic language, he said that ambiguity in Pakistan’s relationship with any of them could no longer be ignored," the ‘Washington Post’ reported.

Jones did some straight-talking with the top Pakistani leadership, the daily said. "If Pakistan cannot deliver, he warned, the US may be impelled to use any means at its disposal to rout insurgents based along Pakistan’s western and southern borders with Afghanistan."

The Post said US officials have long referred to Pakistani military and intelligence officers who are sympathetic to or actively support insurgent groups fighting in Afghanistan as "rogue elements".

Spies for Hire: New Online Database of U.S. Intelligence Contractors

Spies for Hire: New Online Database of U.S. Intelligence Contractors

by Tim Shorrock, Special to CorpWatch
November 16th, 2009

CorpWatch Releases Online Database of U.S. Intelligence Contractors
Joint project with SPIES FOR HIRE author Tim Shorrock
Now available at SPIES FOR HIRE.org

Contacts:

•   Tim Shorrock: E-mail: timshorrock [at] gmail [dot] com
Tel: +1-901/361-7441

•    CorpWatch: Tonya Hennessey: E-mail: tonya [at] corpwatch [dot] org
Tel: +1-650/273-2475

SPIES FOR HIRE CorpWatch press release-FIN.pdf

For immediate release
November 16, 2009
WASHINGTON – Starting today, journalists, activists, and corporate researchers will be able to use the Internet site SpiesForHire.org to track the nation’s most important intelligence contractors.
Increasingly, secret drone attacks in Pakistan, CIA prisons in Guantanamo, and domestic surveillance of American citizens, have drawn public scrutiny to U.S. intelligence. These and other policies have triggered calls for criminal investigations and congressional commissions to investigate possible abuses in the post-9/11 “war on terror.”
But there’s a big piece missing from the national debate about spying: the role of private intelligence contractors. After journalist Tim Shorrock’s 2008 investigation, U.S. officials confirmed that 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget goes directly to private companies working under contract to the CIA, the NSA, and other agencies. With the U.S. intelligence budget estimated at $60 billion a year, the outsourced business of intelligence is a $45 billion annual industry.
To help the public and media understand this new phenomenon, CorpWatch is joining today with Shorrock, the first journalist to blow the whistle on the privatization of U.S. intelligence, to create a groundbreaking database focusing on the dozens of corporations that provide classified intelligence services to the United States government.
This database expands on Shorrock’s 2008 book, SPIES FOR HIRE: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.
SpiesForHire.org’s detailed descriptions and histories of the companies that make up this new class of mercenaries will make it your guide to the new U.S. Intelligence-Industrial Complex.
Included are defense giants such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon; lesser-known but still influential companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, and CACI International; and dozens of Beltway Bandits that have set up shop in D.C. and environs to feed the government’s insatiable appetite for contract intelligence.
These contractors, database users will find, do it all:
•    At the CIA, they conduct interrogations at Guantanamo, run stations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other hotspots, and help transport suspected terrorists— including some later found innocent—to countries known to practice torture.
•    At the NSA, they work alongside agency employees at listening posts in Maryland, Georgia, Hawaii, the UK, and elsewhere to monitor telephone calls and emails between U.S. citizens and targeted foreigners.
•    From bases in Nevada and Virginia, they control the military and CIA Predators that launch missiles at suspected terrorist bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
•    Contractors also run covert operations, write intelligence reports that are passed up the line of command all the way to the president, and advise agencies on how to spend taxpayer dollars.
SpiesForHire.org is a component of CorpWatch’s existing Crocodyl database on global corporations. Based on Shorrock’s research for his book and for CorpWatch, Salon, Mother Jones, and other publications, the site will feature essential information ab0ut each major contractor, such as its key executives for intelligence operations, its major intelligence clients, and an analysis of its role in the U.S. intelligence system.
The database is an ongoing project. Starting from a base of a dozen companies and intelligence agencies, it will eventually include all the major private sector players in the business of U.S. government spying. Each profile will be regularly updated. Unlike Crocodyl, which registered users can augment, SpiesForHire.org will be edited exclusively by Shorrock and the CorpWatch staff, who will also vet and fact check any volunteer or whistleblower contributions.
Since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, the U.S. government’s use of private sector contractors for tasks of war has made headlines: Halliburton’s lucrative Iraqi reconstruction contracts, CACI International’s civilian interrogators at Abu Ghraib, and Blackwater’s (now Xe) shooting of noncombatants in Baghdad—to name a few. Less well known is U.S. contractor involvement in Latin America, for example in executing the U.S. war on drugs in countries like Colombia.
This site will, for the first time, expose the size and scope of the private sector’s influence on U.S. intelligence agencies—and the government’s unsettling efforts to hide the facts.
ABOUT CORPWATCH and CROCODYL (http://community.corpwatch.org)
A global community of non-profit, independent investigative research, journalism and advocacy around issues of multinational corporate accountability and transparency, the CorpWatch community of sites provides tools and resources for critical vigilance and advocacy through a global effort of NGOs, journalists, activists, whistleblowers and academics. Through its family of websites and social media, we seek to expose multinational corporations that that profit from war, fraud, environmental, human rights and other abuses, and to provide critical information to foster a more informed public and an effective democracy.
CorpWatch.org provides non-profit investigative research and journalism to expose corporate malfeasance and to advocate for multinational corporate accountability and transparency.
Crocodyl.org is an evolving compendium of critical research, posted to the public domain as an aid to anyone working to hold corporations increasingly accountable. Crocodyl enables disparate groups and individuals to pool our knowledge about specific corporations in order to reduce the high cost of corporate research.
ABOUT TIM SHORROCK
Tim Shorrock is an investigative journalist who has spent a quarter-century researching the intersection of national security and business. SPIES FOR HIRE, his groundbreaking book on the privatization of U.S. intelligence, was published to great acclaim in 2008 bySimon & Schuster, and released in paperback in May 2009. Shorrock’s work has appeared in many publications in the United States and abroad, including The Nation, Salon, Mother Jones, Harper’s, Inter Press Service, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Progressive, The Journal of Commerce, Foreign Policy in Focus, and Asia Times. He appears frequently as a commentator on U.S intelligence and foreign policy, and has been interviewed on Pacifica’s “Democracy Now,” Air America, and CBS Radio. Shorrock grew up in Japan and South Korea, and now lives in Washington, D.C., where he researches government contracts for an AFL-CIO union representing federal employees.

The Grand Illusion That America Represents an Economic “Safe Haven”

Benign neglect may turn the dollar from a safe haven to a dangerous place to be

The US government is shouldering a vast $12 trillion debt pile – that’s 12, followed by 12 zeros.

By Liam Halligan

The trade deficit of the world’s biggest economy also remains huge. How much longer can the dollar defy gravity?

Last week, America’s currency fell to a 15-month low against the euro, cutting through $1.5050. Against a trade-weighted currency basket, the dollar was also at its weakest since July 2008. The greenback plunged to parity with the rock-solid Swiss franc, then hit a 14-year low against the yen.

The dollar’s weakness is based on fundamentals – not least America’s jaw-dropping debt. It’s a long-term trend. From the start of 2002 until the middle of last year, the dollar lost 30pc on a trade-weighted basis.

It was during the summer and autumn of 2008, though, that the sub-prime debacle entered its most vicious phase (so far). The rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, America’s quasi-state mortgage-lenders, followed by the Lehman collapse, sent shock waves around the world. For six months or so, Western investors piled into what they knew, liquidating complex positions and buying plain dollars. The greenback became stronger, spiralling upward during the so-called "safe haven rally".

All that has now changed. The trade-weighted dollar has lost 22pc since March. One reason is that, since the spring, the Federal Reserve has been printing money like crazy – both to bail out Wall Street and service America’s rapidly growing debt.

Sophisticated investors have also been exploiting America’s ultra-low 0.25pc interest rate to borrow cheaply in dollars, switch these borrowings in currencies where returns are higher, then pocket the difference. This so-called "carry trade" has flooded foreign exchange markets with US currency.

The dollar fell particularly sharply last week, though, as traders were reminded of the patently obvious – that the White House actually wants the dollar to fall. US Treasury officials have lately taken to staring into the TV cameras, puffing out their chests, then stating: "We are committed to a strong dollar." That’s nonsense, of course, because a weaker currency boosts US exports and lowers the value of America’s external debt.

When the minutes of the Fed’s latest policy meeting were published on Tuesday, describing the dollar’s decline as "orderly", the markets rightly took that as confirmation of America’s "benign neglect" approach – with intervention to support the dollar unlikely. The minutes also showed the Fed’s key committee members voted "unanimously" to keep interest rates at rock-bottom for "an extended period" – another reason to sell.

In addition, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the fund that safeguards US bank deposits, warned that the number of "problem" banks grew in the third quarter, leading to speculation it could seek a credit line from the US Treasury. That would mean more borrowing and money-printing, concerns which sent the dollar even lower.

Yet "benign neglect" is fraught with danger. A weak US currency makes commodities more expensive (seeing as they’re priced in dollars). It was when the dollar hit an all-time low of $1.60 against the euro during the summer of 2008 that oil soared to $147 a barrel. Expensive crude damages the economy of the world’s biggest oil user. And as the dollar falls, America’s huge commodity imports cost more, making the trade deficit even worse.

On top of all that, a falling dollar makes it even more difficult for the US government to meet its massive borrowing needs. Just to service existing debt, America must sell $205bn of Treasuries this year, a total set to hit more than $700bn a year by 2019 – even if annual budget deficits shrink. Selling long-term sovereign debt, in a currency expected to fall, is not easy.

Almost every American economist I know dismisses these concerns. Several have contacted me over the last 48 hours, gloating that the dollar has just put on a renewed "safe haven" spurt in the midst of fears about Dubai.

Yet the state of the dollar poses enormous dangers. For one thing, America’s currency depreciation trick could backfire if "the rope slips" and a steadily dollar decline turns into free fall. The cost of US imports would soar, with the Fed being forced to sharply push up rates. The world’s largest economy would then be caught in a stagflation trap – a slump, but with high inflation.

A more immediate concern is that a blind rush into the US currency could cause the carry-trade to go badly wrong – with those who’ve borrowed in dollars suddenly owing more, while their dollar-funded investments elsewhere are worth less.

A rapid "unwinding" could cause major losses at financial institutions, posing renewed systemic dangers. Far from being a safe haven, the dollar is the likely source of the next financial crisis.

  • Liam Halligan is chief economist at Prosperity Capital Management

Americans Are Deeply Involved In Afghan Drug Trade

Americans Are Deeply Involved In Afghan Drug Trade

the poppy

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford


The U.S. set the stage for the Afghan (and Pakistan) war eight years ago, when it handed out drug dealing franchises to warlords on Washington’s payroll. Now the Americans, acting as Boss of All Bosses, have drawn up hit lists of rival, “Taliban” drug lords. “It is a gangster occupation, in which U.S.-allied drug dealers are put in charge of the police and border patrol.”

American Are Deeply Involved In Afghan Drug Trade

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

U.S.-allied drug dealers are put in charge of the police and border patrol, while their rivals are placed on American hit lists.”

If you’re looking for the chief kingpin in the Afghanistan heroin trade, it’s the United States. The American mission has devolved to a Mafiosi-style arrangement that poisons every military and political alliance entered into by the U.S. and its puppet government in Kabul. It is a gangster occupation, in which U.S.-allied drug dealers are put in charge of the police and border patrol, while their rivals are placed on American hit lists, marked for death or capture. As a result, Afghanistan has been transformed into an opium plantation that supplies 90 percent of the world’s heroin.

An article in the current issue of Harper’s magazine explores the inner workings of the drug-infested U.S. occupation, it’s near-total dependence on alliances forged with players in the heroin trade. The story centers on the town of Spin Boldak, on the southeastern border with Pakistan, gateway to the opium fields of Kandahar and Helmand provinces. The chief Afghan drug lord is also the head of the border patrol and the local militia. The author is an undercover U.S.-based journalist who was befriended by the drug lord’s top operatives and met with the U.S. and Canadian officers that collaborate with the drug dealer on a daily basis.

The alliance was forged by American forces during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and has endured and grown ever since. The drug lord, and others like him throughout the country, is not only immune to serious American interference, he has been empowered through U.S. money and arms to consolidate his drug business at the expense of drug-dealing rivals in other tribes, forcing some of them into alliance with the Taliban. On the ground in Pashtun-speaking Afghanistan, the war is largely between armies run by heroin merchants, some aligned with the Americans, others with the Taliban. The Taliban appear to be gaining the upper hand in this Mafiosa gang war, the origins of which are directly rooted in U.S. policy.

It is a war whose order of battle is largely defined by the drug trade.”

Is it any wonder, then, that the United States so often launches air strikes against civilian wedding parties, wiping out the greater part of bride and groom’s extended families? America’s drug-dealing allies have been dropping dimes on rival clans and tribes, using the Americans as high-tech muscle in their deadly feuds. Now the Americans and their European occupation partners have institutionalized the rules of gangster warfare with official hit lists of drug dealers to be killed or captured on sight – lists drawn up by other drug lords affiliated with the occupation forces.

This is the “war of necessity” that President Barack Obama has embraced as his own. It is a war whose order of battle is largely defined by the drug trade. Obama’s generals call for tens of thousands of new U.S. troops in hopes of lessening their dependency on the militias and police forces currently controlled by American-allied drug dealers. But of course, that will only push America’s Afghan partners in the drug trade into the arms of the Taliban, who will cut a better deal. Then the generals were argue that they need even more U.S. troops.

The Americans created this drug-saturated hell, and their occupation is now doomed by it. Unfortunately, they have also doomed millions of Afghans in the process.

For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go towww.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted atGlen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

POLITICS: Tajik Grip on Afghan Army Signals New Ethnic War

[In a sick and unnecessary replay of the original Afghan Civil War created by Pakistani/American efforts through the original Taliban, Afghanistan is about to enter a new phase in its war that no force can stop.  The only solution would be to forget the American offensive and either get between the Pashtun and Tajiks, or disarm the army it has created.  Will the world allow America to escape blame this time, considering what we have done to the global economy in the process of destroying Afghanistan and Iraq?]

POLITICS: Tajik Grip on Afghan Army Signals New Ethnic War

 

Written by Gareth Porter

 

WASHINGTON, Nov 28  (IPS)  – Contrary to the official portrayal of the Afghan National Army (ANA) as ethnically balanced, the latest data from U.S. sources reveal that the Tajik minority now accounts for far more of its troops than the Pashtuns, the country’s largest ethnic group.

Afghan-National-Army

AFGHAN-NATIONAL-ARMY

The massive shift in the ethnic composition of ANA troops in recent years is leading to another civil war between the Pashtuns and a Tajik-led anti-Pashtun ethnic coalition similar to the one that followed the fall of the Soviet-supported regime in 1992, according to some observers.

Tajik domination of the ANA feeds Pashtun resentment over the control of the country’s security institutions by their ethnic rivals, while Tajiks increasingly regard the Pashtun population as aligned with the Taliban.

The leadership of the army has been primarily Tajik since the ANA was organised in 2002, and Tajiks have been overrepresented in the officer corps from the beginning. But the original troop composition of the ANA was relatively well-balanced ethnically.

Gen. Karl Eikenberry, then chief of the Office of Military Cooperation-Afghanistan, issued guidelines in 2003 to ensure ethnic balance in the ANA, according to Chris Mason, who was a member of the Afghanistan Inter-agency Operations Group from 2003 to 2005. Eikenberry acted after then Defence Minister Marshall Mohammed Qasim Fahim had packed the first group of ANA recruits to be trained with Tajiks.

The Eikenberry guidelines called for 38 percent of the troops to be Pashtun, 25 percent Tajiks, 19 percent Hazaras and eight percent Uzbek.

Since then U.S. officials have continued to put out figures indicating that the ethnic balance in the ANA was in line with the Eikenberry guidelines. As recently as 2008, the RAND Corporation was given data showing that 40 percent of the enlisted men in the ANA were Pashtun and that Tajiks accounted for less than 30 percent.

The latest report of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, issued Oct. 30, shows that Tajiks, which represent 25 percent of the population, now account for 41 percent of all ANA troops who have been trained, and that only 30 percent of the ANA trainees are now Pashtuns.

A key reason for the predominance of Tajik troops is that the ANA began to have serious problems recruiting troops in the rural areas of Kandahar and Helmand provinces by mid-2007.

At least in the Pashtun province of Zabul, the percentage of Pashtuns in the ANA has now been reduced to a minimum. In Zabul province, U.S. officers embedded in one of the kandaks (battalions) reported earlier this year that they believed only about five percent of the troops in the entire brigade are Pashtuns, according to a report by Army Times correspondent Sean D. Naylor published in the Armed Forces Journal last July.

The brigade commander in Zabul is a Tajik.

Meanwhile, Tajiks have maintained a firm grip on the command structure of the ANA. . Marshall Fahim put commanders from the Tajik-controlled Northern Alliance in key positions within the Ministry of Defence as well as the ANA command.

Mason recalled that the United States thought it had an agreement with President Hamid Karzai under which the command structure of the ANA would be reorganised on the basis of ethnic balance, starting with the top 25 positions.

But Karzai never acted on the agreement, Mason said.

Even after Fahim was stripped of his government and military positions by Karzai in 2004, his appointee as ANA chief of staff, Gen. Bismullah Khan, remained as head of the army. Tajiks have continued to occupy the bulk of the positions in the Ministry of Defence.

A United Nations official in Kabul estimated that, as of spring 2008, no less than 70 percent of all kandaks were commanded by Tajiks, as reported by Italian scholar Antonio Giustozzi.

Even in overwhelmingly Pashtun Zabul province, there are only two Pashtun kandak commanders out of a total of six, Matthew Hoh, the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul until he submitted his resignation in September in protest against the war, told IPS in an interview.

Mason views the process by which the ANA is coming to be seen as an increasingly Tajik institution as making a civil war between the Pashtuns and the Tajiks and other ethnic minorities virtually inevitable.

”I believe the elements of a civil war are in play,” Mason told IPS.

Mason said the refusal of Pashtuns in the south and east to join the ANA is part of a ”self-reinforcing spiral”. The more Dari, the language spoken by Tajiks, becomes the de facto language of the ANA, said Mason, the more Pashtuns will see it as an alien institution.

”The warlords have already started rearming,” said Mason.

Although the United States ”has done as good a job as it could have” in trying to make the ANA mirror the broader society, Mason said, it can only ”attenuate” rather than prevent such a war in the future, even with a larger troop presence.

Hoh believes a civil war between the Pashtuns and a Tajik-led alliance of ethnic groups has already begun but could get much worse. ”It is already bad now,” he said, but unless U.S. policy changes, ”we could see a return of the civil war of the 1990s.”
To avoid that outcome would require putting priority on political reconciliation in order to ”integrate all elements of society into the Afghan government and security forces”, said Hoh. That, in turn, would require an international framework, probably involving the United Nations, he said.

Hoh recalled a scene he witnessed in Zabul suggesting that Tajik commanders view the ANA as belonging to the Tajik-led Northern Alliance. At an Afghan independence day event at a military base Aug. 19, attended by hundreds of ANA and national police, the large photograph adorning the wall was not of President Karzai but of the Tajik commander of the entire Northern Alliance, Ahmed Shah Massoud, who was assassinated by al Qaeda two days before the 9/11 attacks.

The previous civil war between Pashtun and Tajik-led armies was triggered by the disappearance in 1992 of the national army of the Soviet-supported Najibullah regime, which had maintained a tenuous balance between the two major ethnic groups.

The collapse of the Najibullah regime and its army was followed immediately by fierce fighting between the Northern Alliance, which had gotten to Kabul first, and the forces of the Pashtun warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who had previously been allied with the non-Pashtun mujahedeen against the Soviet-backed regime.

In a sign that Tajik commanders don’t trust Pashtuns in the south and east, the Tajik senior ANA officer in Zabul, Maj. Gen. Jamaluddin Sayed, dismissed the locally recruited national police in the province as being under Taliban influence and called for recruitment of police from outside the province.

”If we recruit ANP [Afghan National Police] people from Zabul province, probably they have some relationship with the Taliban,” Jamaluddin told Army Times reporter Naylor.

*Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, ”Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam”, was published in 2006.

Nothing But A Darker Shade Of Doom

Nothing But A Darker Shade Of Doom

Disclaimer:
Thomas Segel is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

Thomas D. Segel
November 25, 2009 | 19 comments
Harlingen, Texas, November 25, 2009: There is a daily blare of trumpet alerts from our ruling elite. We hear the sounds everywhere calling out to us about loss, danger, gloom, catastrophe, suffering, pain, and fear. There is not a ray of sunshine in anything coming out of Washington. Yet, we keep electing the same old mental misfits, fakes, frauds and fools to positions of trust and leadership.
Obama campaigned on a theme of “Hope and Change”. He didn’t tell us we would all start to hope this negative commentary out of Washington would end, or that the change we were to experience would be massive misery.
Without a doubt, the American people rank high on the list of the world’s politically ignorant people. The left has had decades to make sure of this by waging an unending war against the quality education of our people. They know that they can only rule by fear and misdirection. It seems to be impossible for them to join in the community of meaningful debate.
The liberal left has knowing spent decades making sure that the United States citizenry was "dumbed down" into an easily controlled population. Today we have a body of young people who can tell you the lyrics of any pop culture song, but can’t recite the Preamble to the Constitution. They know every Hollywood celebrity, but can’t name more than one or two members of the Supreme Court. They vote religiously on American Idol, but have never cast a ballot in a local or national election.
With this unknowledgeable electorate making up half of the population, is it any wonder that they readily embrace the politics of fear and defeat? Look at how many rushed to climb aboard the global warming fear train.
Even when Al Gore was proven to have produced a climate change film loaded with wrong-headed assumptions and misinformation, he was applauded, given prizes for his work and increased his wealth by millions of dollars, all at the expense of a duped public.
Even after eleven months, when Barack Obama blames all of his political miss-steps and failed policy on the Bush Administration, the public praises his efforts and refuses to understand he is attempting to gain even further control of the country by practicing the politics of fear.
More than one political writer has warned us about accepting the overkill on cries about such things as the Swine flu, bad vaccine, melting ice burgs, floundering economy, global conflict, dangerous Christmas toys and bad foreign governments. Politicians know these are hot button issues that cause great anxiety among various segments of the population. With that anxiety comes an opportunity for them to make devastatingly bad policy. With more 2,000-page laws on the books, they can control more and more of the population.
People will also note that many of the federal laws are just plain stupid. To make matters worse, at the federal level they are increasingly making laws that should be left to the individual states. These same elected miscreants know they do not have the authority to impose such laws, so they always add a provision, which punishes states for not enforcing those new directives by using a threat of withholding federal funds.
We sadly remember that not too far into our past we used to hear words of praise, hope and encouragement from Washington D. C.
Perhaps you remember hearing “There are no great limits to growth because there are no limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder.”
Maybe you recall, “America has begun a spiritual reawakening. Faith and hope are being restored. Americans are turning back to God. Church attendance is up. Audiences for religious books and broadcasts are growing. And I do believe that he has begun to heal our blessed land.”
Those of us with enough years on our frames to remember, still hold fast to pronouncements such as “I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.”
These were all words of encouragement, of positive belief, that were passed on to an American public who embraced and advanced those meaningful themes. In case you have forgotten, President Ronald Reagan spoke them. Is there an enlightened voice such as his, anywhere in our future or will we continue to hear nothing but a darker shade of doom?

Occupation Reenactment Disturbs Shoppers

Anti-war protest shakes up holiday shopping

KOMO-TV STAFF

A bizarre scene unfolded amid the festive holiday atmosphere at Westlake Center on Saturday, as men in U.S. military uniforms stormed through the crowd, tossing civilians to the sidewalk and handcuffing them.

It was all part of a "street theater" style anti-war protest staged by opponents of the proposed troop surge in Afghanistan.

The uniformed men and civilians were all acting out their parts, and no bystanders were actually hurt in the holiday crowd.

But many people were caught off-guard by the unorthodox scene only a few steps from Westlake Center, where lines of young kids waited their turn to ride the carousel and shoppers hurried by with their bags.

As the "soldiers" screamed profanities at the "civilians" on the ground, many frightened young children were asking their parents what was going on. Meanwhile, some adult shoppers walked by – seemingly oblivious to the freaky scene.

The protest’s organizers, a group called "The World Can’t Wait," say they’re trying to show what a military occupation is like by re-enacting scenes of soldiers mistreating civilians.

"A troop surge means nothing but suffering, killing … and it’s not in the interest of people living in Afghanistan or the people living in this country," says Emma Kaplan, one of the organizers.

She claimed that President Obama is planning to announce a troop surge on Tuesday that will send 34,000 more soldiers to Afghanistan, and that it is up to the American public to stop it.

"People living in this country have a responsibility to stop the crimes of their government no matter who the president is," she said.

Protest Obama’s Troop Surge Tuesday at West Point

Activists to protest Obama’s troop-surge plan for Afghanistan

BY KHURRAM SAEED • KSAEED@LOHUD.COM

WEST POINT — Peace activists plan to hold a candlelight vigil outside the U.S. Military Academy on Tuesday shortly before President Barack Obama is expected to announce that he will send more troops to Afghanistan.

Obama, scheduled to speak at 8 p.m., will detail plans to send up to 35,000 more troops to Afghanistan, which the United States invaded a month after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Activists are planning to begin gathering at 6 p.m. at Veterans Park on Main Street in Highland Falls. The park is just outside the campus.

Following speeches and a rally at 6:30 p.m., participants carrying candles and flashlights will march a quarter mile to West Point’s Thayer Gate to show their opposition to what they consider the occupation of Afghanistan before they return to the park.

”We’re there to demonstrate to President Obama and the world that there’s a huge sense of disappointment at increasing these troop levels in Afghanistan,“ said Nick Mottern, a member of the WESPAC Foundation, a social justice group in White Plains.

”We believe people in that region need to be left alone to resolve their own problems, and come to their own political balance without the United States“ interfering, Mottern said Friday.

A Hastings-on-Hudson resident who served in the Navy in Vietnam, Mottern said all of the troops should be removed because the government had misled the public about the military’s purpose for being there. A majority of Americans, according to recent polls, are growing weary of the war, which may cost taxpayers up to $75 billion a year.

The following organizations are sponsoring Tuesday’s vigil: WESPAC, Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice, the Orange County Democratic Alliance, Peace Action of New York State, World Can’t Wait, Peace and Social Progress Now, the Hudson Valley Activist Newsletter, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Troops Out Now, ANSWER and Military Families Speak Out.

Obama has said the United States must ”finish the job“ against al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, and he also is expected to announce an exit strategy from the war-torn nation.

On Tuesday, Obama predicted the American people will support his strategy once they understand the stakes.

”I feel very confident that when the American people hear a clear rationale for what we’re doing there and how we intend to achieve our goals, that they will be supportive,“ he said at a news conference.

”We know the whole world is going to be watching President Obama giving the speech and is also going to pay attention to our response, the American people’s response,“ said Nancy Tsou, an organizer with the Rockland Coalition for Peace and Justice.

”It looks like the quagmire of the Vietnam War is looming large for us,“ said Tsou, of New City.

Like the war in Iraq, Tsou said greater American presence on the battlefields of Afghanistan will worsen homeland security.

As for dismantling terror networks along the Afghan-Pakistan border, Tsou cited Paul Pillar, a retired CIA analyst, who has noted the 9/11 attacks, which killed 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, were conceived and planned in Western cities.

”If they want to attack us, they can plan it anywhere,“ she said.

The vigil is scheduled to go on rain or shine. Speakers will include Cheryl Wertz, executive director of Peace Action of New York State; Jose Vasquez, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War; Michael Sussman, an Orange County civil rights lawyer; regional activist Jack Smith; and Elaine Brower, of Military Families Speak Out.

Anyone interested in carpooling to the vigil from Westchester County is asked to call WESPAC at 914-449-6514.

Those interested in carpooling from Rockland County are asked to meet no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday in front of Panera Bread in Nanuet.

For more information, send an e-mail to info@rocklandaction.org.

Did Helping Iran Skirt Sanctions Lead to Dubai’s Demise?

The Geopolitics Of The Dubai Debt Crisis: It’s Iran vs. The United States

John Carney

Dubai PalmThe role of Iran may be the most overlooked in the Dubai debt crisis.
Of all the states of the United Arab Emirates federation, Dubai has maintained the closest ties to Iran. Indeed, as international pressure has built on Iran over the past decade, Dubai has prospered from those ties. It provides critical banking and trade links for Iran, often serving as the go-between for European or Asian companies and financial firms that want to do business with Iran without violating international sanctions.
Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest member of the UAE and a close ally of the US, may be pressuring Dubai to limit its links to Iran. Indeed, this pressure may be behind statements coming from Abu Dhabi about offering “selective” support for Dubai. Companies or creditors thought to be too linked to Iran could find themselves shut out of any bailout.
The United States government, which has remained somewhat taciturn throughout this crisis, is no doubt encouraging Abu Dhabi to apply this pressure. In part because of Dubai’s connections to Iran, US financial institutions are not among the biggest creditors to Dubai World.
It’s not all Iran, of course. The problems in Dubai, the member of the United Arab Emirates that has found itself in a dire financial crisis, closely mirror those behind the global financial crisis. 
Over the past decade, the country attempted to diversify its economy away from dependence on its declining oil reserves—and largely succeeded. But, like a Wall Street investment bank attempting to overcome the decline of its traditional businesses by becoming heavily invested in leveraged real estate products, Dubai accumulated huge debt obligations—estimated to amount to some $80 billion. Much of Dubai’s assets were dependent on tourism, shipping, construction and real estate—which have been in trouble during the global economic downturn.

Like its fellow members of the UAE, Dubai is ruled by an expansive royal family. In this case, they are called Al Maktoum family. Exactly what counts as the personal property of ruling family and what is government owned in Dubai is more than a bit fuzzy. The Dubai government owns three companies: Dubai Holding, which is run by Mohammed Al Gergawi; Dubai World, which is run by Sultan bin Sulayem; and the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Abu Dhabi has been trying to put pressure on Dubai to cut ties to Iran. The split between Abu Dhabi and Iran is in part rooted in an older territorial dispute, fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, religious differences between Shiites and Sunnis, and—importantly—Abu Dhabi’s close ties to Washington, DC.
The UAE is close to reaching a nuclear power cooperation deal with Washington, a move that many regional experts say would challenge the traditional Saudi hegemony in the Gulf.  One sticking point in the negotiations with Washington has been concerns that Dubai could share US nuclear technology with Iran.

This power struggle between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia is also playing a role. In May, the UAE May pulled out of a proposed Gulf monetary union over Saudi insistence that it would host the regional central bank.
Dubai, which is a very open and tolerant place compared to Iran, is viewed by many Iranians as a place to let their hair down. It has a thriving Iranian ex-pat community. Iran is Dubai airport’s top destination, with more than 300 flights per week.
More importantly, Dubai is a major exporter to Iran and a major re-exporter of Iranian goods. The trade between Iran and Dubai is one of the principal sources of Tehran’s confidence that it can survive US-led sanctions. Iranian investment in Dubai amounts to about US $14 billion each year. US intelligence officials have long suspected that the Iranian government uses Dubai based front companies to get around sanctions.
Some of the banks said to have the largest exposure to Dubai debt have in the past been linked to Iran. Notably, HSBC, BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered came under investigation and pressure from US authorities in recent years to cut ties to Iran. Some US officials have quietly protested that these banks just shifted to doing business with Iran through Dubai. The US may want to see these creditors take losses from their Dubai exposure.
Make no mistake: the US government does not want to see the financial ruin of Dubai. Apart from its ties from Iran, Dubai is widely viewed as a model Islamic country. It has a relatively clean government, and there is a remarkable level of  religious tolerance and progressive attitudes toward women for the region. American diplomats have held up Dubai as their model for a new Baghdad—progressive, tolerant, and capitalist.
What is most likely happening is more nuanced. The US and Abu Dhabi are hoping to use Dubai’s financial troubles as a way of finally severing the close ties to Iran. For years, Dubai has enjoyed the benefits of walking the line between its military and economic alliance with the US and economic benefits from banking and trade ties to Iran. The price of a bailout from Abu Dhabi may be having to finally choose to give up the Iran connection.

Workers Treated for Tritium Exposure at Indian Kaiga Power Plant

Kaiga NPC radiation – Crew hospitalized

By Our Correspondent – Karwar

Karwar, November 28, 2009: At least 30 persons were hospitalized for radiation activity at the Kaiga Nuclear Power Corporation at Kaiga near here. Though the incident happened on Friday the news trickled out only on Saturday.

According to information received from the Nuclear Power station director J.P.Gupta “Nuclear Power Corporation of India has set up four Units of Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors each of 220 MWe capacities at Kaiga.  The first three units – Units-1, 2 & 3 are already operational and the fourth Unit is being commissioned.

Kaiga Unit-1 is in Biennial shutdown for routine maintenance works since 20th October 2009.  Kaiga Generating Station Units-2 and 3 are operating normal.

On 25th November 2009, Tritium contamination of some of the radiation workers was indicated by their routine bioassay.  Thorough survey of the plant areas did not indicate any heavy water leak from any of the reactor systems and the general radiological conditions were found to be normal in the plant areas indicating the tritium uptake of these persons was not due to plant system conditions.

Further investigations indicated that the source of tritium uptake is due to drinking of water from one of the water cooler, was found to be contaminated.  The water cooler was isolated and put out of use.

As an abundant precaution bioassay samples of all the persons working in that area were analysed.   Based on the analysis results, a few personnel were advised to visit for routine medical consultation as per laid down procedures and are attending to their normal duties.  The event of contamination of water cooler is being investigated.

Following the incident the Director of Nuclear Power Corporation Mr. Nageshwar Rao  and the a seven member team of atomic energy regulatory board of India rushed to Kaiga from Mumbai on Saturday and are camping in Kaiga taking stock of the situation and trying to extend expertise.
Tritium is a low beta emissioning material and if the quantity exposed to the atmosphere was high then it may lead to many dangers such as cancers in surrounding area.
The intelligence and the police are now looking into many angles that have led to the accident. One of the theories that is going around in the Karwar city is that the one that alleges theft of Tritium. This is volatile material and could be used for putting together a triggering mechanism in a thermonuclear fusion. Tritium is also an isotope of the hydrogen and is the main element used in the hydrogen bombs it is said. Tritium is also used in maintenance of nuclear weapons.
Though the Kaiga NPC officials tried to keep the incident tucked in high secrecy blanket the news got out following large number of people being hospitalised in Mallapurm township which is just 7 kilometers from the Kaiga plant. All that emanated from the NPC Kaiga was a press release giving a brief account of the incident as narrated in the first few paragraphs of this story.

ClimateGate – A Comprehensive Archive

[Environmentalism is a diversion, designed by the ruling elite to distract the antiwar movement.  It is much easier to defend the planet than it is to go after the military-industrial-complex that is destroying it.  Any movement that embraces the Pentagon as a leading force for environmental awareness, even though it is the environment’s greatest enemy, is a movement based on hypocrisy.]

ClimateGate – A Comprehensive Archive

STEVE WATSON, PAUL WATSON

On Thursday 19th November 2009, news began to circulate that hacked documents and communications from the University of East Anglia’s Hadley Climate Research Unit (aka CRU) had been published to the internet.

The information revealed how top scientists conspired to falsify data in the face of declining global temperatures in order to prop up the premise that man-made factors are driving climate change.

The documents and emails illustrated how prominent climatologists, affiliated with the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change, embarked on a venomous and coordinated campaign to ostracize climate skeptics and use their influence to keep dissenting reports from appearing in peer-reviewed journals, as well as using cronyism to avoid compliance with Freedom of Information Act requests.

Here follows a compendium of articles and videos on what was quickly dubbed as "ClimateGate".

The Backstory:

CLIMATE BOMBSHELL: Hacker leaks thousands of emails showing conspiracy to “hide” the real data on manmade climate change

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?

Hiding the Decline:

Hacked E Mails: Climate Scientists Discuss “Hiding Decline” In Temperatures

Mike’s Nature Trick

McIntyre: The deleted data from the “Hide the Decline” trick

Hide The Decline – Climategate

Bishop Hill’s compendium of CRU email issues

The Codified Smoking Gun:

Forget The Emails, Code Discusses “Artificially Adjusted” Temperatures

Climategate: hide the decline – codified

CRU Emails “may” be open to interpretation, but commented code by the programmer tells the real story

Hijacking The Peer Review System:

"Climategate": Peer-Review System Was Hijacked By Warming Alarmists

Climate Expert: "Compromised" UN Scientists should be excluded from IPCC, Peer-Review Process

UK Scientist: ‘Case for climate fears is blown to smithereens…whole theory should be destroyed and discarded and UN conference should be closed’

British climate change scientists ‘conspired to keep skeptics in the dark’

Calls For Investigations:

Call For Independent Inquiry Into Climategate as Global Warming Fraud Implodes

Global Warming On Trial: Inhofe Calls For Investigation Of UN IPCC

US Congress investigates Climategate e-mails: this could be the beginning of the end for AGW

Congress may probe leaked global warming e-mails

Government petition started in UK regarding CRU Climategate

Calls For Criminal Prosecutions:

Another Prominent Scientist Calls CRU Scientists “Criminals”

ClimateGate: People need to go to jail

Lord Monckton: Prosecute the Climate Change Criminals

Author Points To “Climategate’s Perry Mason Moment”

Denying Email Deletion

Skeptics Vindicated:

Climate Alarmists Finally Admit The Debate Is Not Over

The New ‘Deniers’

TV Environmentalist Goes Nuts Over ClimateGate

Global Warming Meltdown: Climategate!

U.S Fallout:

Climategate e-mails sweep America, may scuttle Barack Obama’s Cap and Trade laws

Australian Fallout:

Ripples of Climategate? Liberal MP’s desert Turnbull in Australia over emissions trading scheme

Climategate: five Aussie MPs lead the way by resigning in disgust over carbon tax

New Zealand Fallout:

New Zealand Climate Data Shows Clear Evidence Of Fraud

Climategate: the scandal spreads, the plot thickens, the shame deepens…

Woeful Mainstream Media Coverage:

BBC Climate Correspondent Was Forwarded CRU Emails Five Weeks Before They Were Made Public

Climategate: how the MSM reported the greatest scandal in modern science

Climategate: Monbiot makes it all suddenly OK through medium of satire

Climategate: BBC website still thinks it’s a story about computer hacking

Climategate: How Faine censored the skeptical news

CNN Sucks: Climategate Never Happened

CNN Finally Does Their Propaganda Piece On Climate Gate

NYT Tackles Damning Global Warming Emails, But Reveals Own Hypocrisy

NY Times reporter whitewashes Climategate story he is part of

Alex Jones Coverage of ClimateGate:

Emergency Viral: ClimateGate Fraud Exposes Dirty Tricks Agenda For Global Government

Alex Jones on Climategate: Hoax of all time a global Ponzi scheme

Alex Jones Tv:How to Expose The Climate Fraud!!

Alex Jones TV: Hacked Emails Show Blatant Climate Change Fraud

Dr. Tim Ball on Alex Jones Tv 1/5: Myth on Global Warming & The CRU Hacked Documents

Marc Morano on Alex Jones Tv 1/2:The Case For Al Gore’s Climate Change is Falling Apart

Alex Jones Tv: Climate-Gate " THE E-MAILS ARE REAL!!!"

Pakistan’s president hands over nuclear powers

Pakistan’s president hands over nuclear powers

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari listens to questions during a press briefing following the meeting with Italy"s President Giorgio Napolitano at Quirinale, the presidential palace, in Rome on September 29, 2009.

Mr Zardari benefited from the 2007 corruption amnesty deal

President Asif Ali Zardari has handed control of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to his prime minister, in an apparent bid to ease political pressure.

The move was a "giant leap" forward that empowered the PM and parliament, Mr Zardari’s spokesman said.

But analysts said it was an attempt to placate political and military critics, as an amnesty protecting Mr Zardari from possible prosecution expired.

The amnesty gave him and several others immunity from corruption charges.

The presidency announced that control of the National Command Authority, responsible for nuclear weapons, had shifted to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

"The president has handed over his power regarding the national command and control authority to me and has issued an ordinance," Mr Gilani was quoted by news agency AFP as saying.

Turmoil fears

Thousands of politicians, lawyers and bureaucrats are said to have benefited from the amnesty, known as the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).

It was introduced by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007 as part of a proposed power-sharing plan with Mr Zardari’s late wife, Benazir Bhutto.

But the amnesty was challenged in the Supreme Court, which told Mr Zardari to get approval of all decrees issued by Mr Musharraf by 28 November – something he has been unable to do.

Correspondents say the expiration of the amnesty threatens political turmoil at a time when Pakistan is battling Taliban and other militants along its border with Afghanistan.

The opposition wants lawmakers covered by the NRO to step down.

And while Mr Zardari has additional immunity from prosecution as president, his opponents want the Supreme Court to declare his election illegal.

Mr Zardari is currently very unpopular and observers say devolving more power to parliament could be a way of bolstering support.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the transfer of the National Command Authority was "a giant leap forward to empower the elected parliament and the prime minister".

Mr Zardari was "giving up the dictatorial powers that Gen Musharraf – as an unelected leader – needed to keep himself in power", another spokeswoman said.

But critics dismissed the move as "window-dressing". Rasool Bakhsh Rais, a political science professor at Lahore University of Management Science, told the Associated Press news agency that it was a "survival strategy" to retain his position.

The sponge of terror

The sponge of terror

Aditya Sinha

Another 26/11 would bring immense public pressure on the government to retaliate, which would be matched by American pressure to remain unprovoked.

US pressure has worked earlier, notably after the 2001 attack on Parliament when India mobilised its military along the Pakistan border in 2002’s Operation Parakram. It annoyed the US no end because Pakistan moved 60,000 troops to the border, allowing so many al-Qaeda and Taliban types to slip into Pakistan and escape post-9/11 US military action in Afghanistan. The CIA learned that India was planning a brigade-level commando raid into PoK; the US, along with Britain and Germany, in June publicly withdrew all but essential diplomatic staff, delivering a veiled threat to India. The government started looking for a way out and declared Operation Parakram over after the successful J&K elections in August 2002.

Then there was last year’s siege of Mumbai.

The then foreign minister, Pranab Mukherjee, made some angry noises prompting former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to read the riot act to Pakistan; Islamabad retaliated with extortion when “unnamed military officials” said that any confrontation with India would hamper Pakistan army operations on the Afghan border. The CIA again noted two Indian Air Force violations of Pakistan airspace, as well as IAF preparations to hit terrorist camps in PoK, so the US vise on India was tightened.

The pressure to not retaliate was enough, perhaps, for the prime minister to require a multiple-bypass heart operation, but he had already told Parliament that war was not a solution, letting Pakistan off the hook.

You cannot help but wonder what happens after the next terrorist strike. With a pro- America prime minister who does not directly face the electorate and who gets visibly thrilled by grandiose American pronouncements about India-on-the-global-stage (notice no one making such lofty declarations ever makes promises about India becoming a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council), there are no prizes for guessing whose pressure will be more effective. India is likely to remain, in the words of Ashley J Tellis of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, at a US Senate hearing earlier this year, a “sponge that protects us all”. To quote Tellis: “India’s very proximity to Pakistan… has resulted in New Delhi absorbing most of the blows unleashed by those terrorist groups that treat it as a common enemy along with Israel, the US, and the West more generally”.

None of us wants to be a “sponge”. When the next terrorist strike comes, many of us will want to see some “payback”, even if it is a token muscular gesture. So let us examine what may initially seem an absurd proposition: why not leave Pakistan alone (for these days it is the bigger “sponge” for terrorism, to the extent that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence directorate is repeatedly hit), and why not start talking of hitting targets in Saudi Arabia? Naturally no one would ever touch the holy places and of course the government should never do anything to distress or incite Indian Muslims. Also, Saudi Arabia is not a weak country; it has powerful allies.

Yet in the post-9/11 cacophony Pakistan is repeatedly called the epicentre of terrorism while no one talks much about the House of Saud’s role in promoting Islamism whether for religious reasons or geopolitical ones.

(Actually, several people pointed out that Osama bin Laden was a Saudi of Yemeni descent, and Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 911 explored the nexus between Saudi oil wealth, the Bush dynasty and terrorism).

When one gentleman, the venerable Ram Jethmalani, pointed out at a conference last Saturday that Wahabism was responsible for terrorism, the Saudi ambassador to India, Faisal-al-Trad walked out in protest; Law Minister Veerappa Moily had to sweettalk him into returning, saying that Jethmalani’s was not the government’s view.

There is something to what Jethmalani says, however. We have heard ad nauseam about how for decades the Wahabis have been promoting through petro-dollars their literalist and austere interpretation of Islam.

It is now a historical fact that most of today’s Islamists were spawned in the mujahideen resistance to the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979; that resistance was funded evenly by the Saudis and the Americans.

What people seem to overlook is that Saudi intelligence deliberately encouraged the growth and the agenda of the ISI during the resistance against the Soviet Union, according to Steve Coll’s excellent Ghost Wars; that the Saudis were never interested in moderates in the resistance; and that after the US abandoned Afghanistan following the withdrawal of the USSR, the Saudis encouraged the ISI to back extremist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar over others. And as radical Islam grew, the Saudis hint that they had to turn a blind eye to it so that the monarchy could be protected; that, however, does not explain the Saudis’ wilful support to the ISI’s agenda of promoting radical Islam, an agenda that combined two Pakistani strategic objectives: keeping India off-balance in Kashmir and controlling Kabul.

When the Taliban swept into power, they fulfilled these objectives perfectly; the ISI became more powerful and the Saudis more supportive, to the extent of pressing the Taliban case with the Americans. Saudi Arabia, UAE and Pakistan were the only countries to recognise the Taliban government (the Taliban showed its gratitude by allowing Saudi and UAE royals to hunt for bustards in the southern Afghan desert), knowing fully well that the Taliban could not care about governance or the welfare of its citizens; and when it came to the reconstruction of post-Taliban Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia wouldn’t even pay its half of the bill for the Kabul-Kandahar road, leaving the US to pick up the tab (in contrast, several Indians have died building Afghan roads). The Saudis have always turned a blind eye to the Harkat- ul-Ansar, the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Toiba; it is no secret that the Saudis dislike India. No wonder their immense wealth is directly responsible for the ISI’s growth, nurturing and evolution.

Saudi Arabia is the benefactor and sustainer of the ISI in the same way that the ISI is the benefactor and sustainer of the LeT and other lethal anti-India groups. Saudi Arabia finances the global growth of Islamist ideologies, from which spring extremism and terrorism. So while some may argue that to get at the root cause of terrorism in India, one has to get at the ISI, this column would go one step further: for getting at the root cause of the Frankenstein called ISI, one has to start talking about getting at Saudi Arabia.

And next time there’s an attack on India, we could respond to US pressure by pointing the finger at the House of Saud. Or we could continue being the sponge for terrorism.

editorchief@expressbuzz.com

Unearthed Files Include “Rules” for Mass Mind Control Campaign

Unearthed Files Include “Rules” for Mass Mind Control Campaign

Jurriaan Maessen

Hacked into by a person or persons unknown, the unearthed material out of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit’s main server reveals a 62 megabyte zip file confirming that which was already blatantly obvious, namely that the data has been fudged to convince unsuspecting audiences that ‘the debate is over’.

The intruded central computer was not only filled to the brim with obvious and attempted ostracizing of scientists who don’t blindly follow the leader, the files also reveal that the folks of the IPCC made use or considered making use of a disinformation campaign through a ‘communication agency’ called Futerra.

The agency describes itself as “the sustainability communications agency” and serves such global players as Shell, Microsoft, BBC, the UN Environment Programme, the UK government and the list goes on. The co-founder of Futerra, Ed Gillespie explains:

“For brands to succeed in this new world order, they will have to become eco, ethical and wellness champions.”

The document included within the climategate treasure-chest is called ‘ Rules of the Game’ and shows deliberate deception on the part of this agency to ensure that the debate would indeed be perceived as being settled. When facts do not convince, they reasoned, let us appeal to emotions in order to get the job done.

Outlining the ‘rules of the game’ in regards to climate change communication strategies, Futerra considers these rules as a “first step to using sophisticated behaviour change modelling and comprehensive evidence from around the world to change attitudes towards climate change.”

“We need to think radically”, proclaim the authors, “and the Rules of the Game are a sign that future campaigns will not be “business as usual.””

First Rule as outlined by Futerra is called “Blowing away Myths”. Pressing the point that any company wishing to sell global warming must be cautious in using the fear-card:

“Fear can create apathy if individuals have no ‘agency’ to act upon the threat. Use fear with great caution.”

Arrogantly stating to “Forget the climate change detractors”, the document goes on to say that “Those who deny climate change science are irritating, but unimportant.” Futerra also stresses that “There is no ‘rational man’” and “Information can’t work alone.”

The second Rule all should abide by is “a new way of thinking”. “Once we’ve eliminated the myths”, the report goes on to say, “there is room for some new ideas.” These include:

“Climate change must be ‘front of mind’ before persuasion works”, Futerra says. “Currently, telling the public to take notice of climate change is as successful as selling tampons to men” and “people don’t realise (or remember) that climate change relates to them.”

Another one: “Use transmitters and social learning”. Futerra proposes targeting ‘trendsetters’ to persuade people to acknowledge climate change as a genuine threat to them: “people learn through social interaction, and some people are better teachers and trendsetters than others. Targeting these people will ensure that messages seem more trustworthy and are transmitted more effectively.”

Under the header of the third ‘Rule’, “linking policy and communication” it is stated that “everyone must use a clear and consistent explanation of climate change” and “government policy and communications on climate change must be consistent.” Indeed. If the lie is to be sold effectively, they must all communicate the same lie. How to best sell it?

“Create a trusted, credible, recognized voice on climate change.”

“Use emotions and visuals: another classic marketing tool: changing behaviour by disseminating information doesn’t always work, but emotions and visuals usually do.”

It seems that people have been listening. The advertisement of global warming is thick with apocalyptic visuals, ranging from polar bears crashing to their doom and a large family of hurricanes plaguing the continental United States.

Last but not least, the old Edward Bernays-trick is being proposed, the power of repetition:

“The communications must be sustained over time: all the most successful public awareness campaigns have been sustained consistently over many years.”

Indeed they have. The good news is that with the unveiling of the recent e-mails and documents the lies are being exposed in such a quick pace, the propaganda will be hard pressed to keep up.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Source: http://www.infowars.com/unearthed-files-include-rules-for-mass-mind-control-campaign/
Illustration: http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs099.snc1/4743_113885924147_742194147_2744996_500003_n.jpg

Is it really India?

Is it really India?

By Pervez Hoodbhoy

FOREIGN Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi says that Pakistan is “compiling hard evidence of India’s involvement” in terrorist attacks on Pakistan’s public and its armed forces.
If he and the interior minister are correct then we must conclude that the Indians are psychotics possessed with a death wish, or are perhaps plain stupid. While India’s assistance for Baloch insurgents could conceivably make strategic sense, helping the jihadists simply does not.
As Pakistan staggers from one bombing to the other, some Indians must be secretly pleased. Indeed, there are occasional verbalisations: is this not sweet revenge for the horrors of Mumbai (allegedly) perpetrated by Lashkar-i-Taiba? Shouldn’t India feel satisfaction as Pakistan reels from the stinging poison of its domestically reared snakes?
But most Indians are probably less than enthusiastic in stoking fires across the border. In fact, the majority would like to forget that Pakistan exists. With a six per cent growth rate, booming hi-tech exports and expectations of a semi-superpower status, they feel that India has no need to engage a struggling Pakistan with its endless litany of problems.
Of course, some would like to hurt Pakistan. Extremists in India ask: shouldn’t one increase the pain of a country — with which India has fought three bloody wars — by aiding its enemies? Perhaps do another Bangladesh on Pakistan someday?
These fringe elements, fortunately, are inconsequential today. Rational self-interest demands that India not aid jihadists. Imagine the consequences if central authority in Pakistan disappears or is sharply weakened. Splintered into a hundred jihadist lashkars, each with its own agenda and tactics, Pakistan’s territory would become India’s eternal nightmare. When Mumbai-II occurs — as it surely would in such circumstances — India’s options in dealing with nuclear Pakistan would be severely limited.
The Indian army would be powerless. As the Americans have discovered at great cost, the mightiest war machines on earth cannot prevent holy warriors from crossing borders. Internal collaborators, recruited from a domestic Muslim population that feels itself alienated from Hindu-India, would connive with jihadists. Subsequently, as Indian forces retaliate against Muslims — innocent and otherwise — the action-reaction cycle would rip the country apart.
So, how can India protect itself from invaders across its western border and grave injury? Just as importantly, how can we in Pakistan assure that the fight against fanatics is not lost?
Let me make an apparently outrageous proposition: in the coming years, India’s best protection is likely to come from its traditional enemy, the Pakistan Army. Therefore, India ought to now help, not fight, against it.
This may sound preposterous. After all, the two countries have fought three and a half wars over six decades. During periods of excessive tension, they have growled at each other while meaningfully pointing towards their respective nuclear arsenals. And yet, the imperative of mutual survival makes a common defence inevitable. Given the rapidly rising threat within Pakistan, the day for joint actions may not be very far away.
Today Pakistan is bearing the brunt. Its people, government and armed forces are under unrelenting attack. South Waziristan, a war of necessity rather than of choice, will certainly not be the last one. A victory here will not end terrorism, although a stalemate will embolden jihadists in south Punjab, including Lashkar-i-Taiba and Jaish-i-Mohammad. The cancer of religious militancy has spread across Pakistan, and it will take decades to defeat.
This militancy does not merely exist because America occupies Afghanistan. A US withdrawal, while welcome, will not end Pakistan’s problems. As an ideological movement, the jihadists want to transform society as part of their wider agenda. They ride on the backs of their partners, the mainstream religious political parties like the Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Ulema-Pakistan. None of these have condemned the suicide bombings of Pakistani universities, schools, markets, mosques, police and army facilities.
Pakistan’s political leadership and army must not muddy the waters, especially now that public sanction has finally been obtained for fighting extremism in Swat and Waziristan. Self-deception weakens and enormously increases vulnerability. Wars can only be won if nations have a clear rallying slogan. Therefore the battle against religious extremism will require identifying it — by name — as the enemy.
India should derive no satisfaction from Pakistan’s predicament. Although religious extremists see ordinary Muslims as munafiqs (hypocrites) — and therefore free to be blown up in bazaars and mosques — they hate Hindus even more. In their calculus, hurting India would buy even more tickets for heaven than hurting Pakistan. They dream of ripping apart both societies, or starting a war — preferably nuclear — between Pakistan and India.
A common threat needs a common defence. But this is difficult unless the Pakistan-India conflict is reduced in intensity. In fact the extremist groups that threaten both countries today are an unintended consequence of Pakistan’s frustrations at Indian obduracy in Kashmir.
To create a future working alliance with Pakistan, and in deference to basic democratic principles, India must be seen as genuinely working towards some kind of resolution of the Kashmir issue. Over the past two decades India has been morally isolated from Kashmiri Muslims and continues to incur the very considerable costs of an occupying power in the Valley. Indian soldiers continue to needlessly die — and to oppress and kill Kashmiri innocents.
It is time for India to fuzz the Line of Control, make it highly permeable and demilitarise it up to some mutually negotiated depth on both sides. Without peace in Kashmir the forces of cross-border jihad, and its hate-filled holy warriors, will continue to receive unnecessary succour.
India also needs to allay Pakistan’s fears on Balochistan. Although Pakistan’s current federal structure is the cause of the problem — a fact which the government is now finally addressing through the newly announced Balochistan package — it is nevertheless possible that India is aiding some insurgent groups. Statements have been made in India that Balochistan provides New Delhi with a handle to exert pressure on Pakistan. This is unacceptable.
While there is no magic wand, confidence-building measures (CBMs) continue to be important for managing the Pakistan-India conflict and bringing down the decibel level of mutual rhetoric. To be sure, CBMs can be easily disparaged as palliatives that do not address the underlying causes of a conflict. Nevertheless, looking at those initiated over the years shows that they have held up even in adverse circumstances. More are needed.
The reason for India to want rapprochement with Pakistan, and thus end decades of hostility, has nothing to do with feelings of friendship or goodwill. It has only to do with survival. For us in Pakistan, this is even truer.
The writer teaches at Quaid-i-Azam University in Islamabad

US facing defeat in Afghanistan: Hekmatyar

[SEE:Interview with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar notorious taliban leader]

US facing defeat in Afghanistan: Hekmatyar

Karzai reaches out to Taliban, HI on Eidul Azha

Daud Khattak
PESHAWAR: Former prime minister of Afghanistan and chief of the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbaddin Hekmatyar has said that the American and allied forces are facing defeat in Afghanistan and are devising strategies to withdraw from the war-ravaged country.
“The (puppet) Afghan government itself and many of its foreign backers have now admitted that they can’t win the war in Afghanistan and they are also under pressure from their respective people to pull out troops from the country,” said Hekmatyar in his message on the occasion of Eidul Azha, a copy of which was provided to The News.
Asking his fighters and supporters to avoid attacking innocent people and public places, Hekmatyar condemned bomb blasts in and destruction of schools, seminaries, mosques or the killing of innocent people. “This is against Islam and we believe that it is done by enemies of Muslims,” said the Hezb-e-Islami chief.
Earlier, a similar statement was released by Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar to his volunteers in which he informed them about the defeat of foreign troops and asked them to avoid targeting public places and innocent people.
Hekmatyar said they were fully supporting peace talks but the only possible way to start negotiations was the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. “Withdrawal of foreign troops without any preconditions, allowing all Afghans and groups to set together and decide their future and formation of a government to be acceptable to all are the prerequisites for the peace talks in the country,” he added.
Drawing a bleak picture of the situation in Afghanistan, the former prime minister of the war-torn country said many areas of the landlocked Afghanistan were out of the control of the government and in the hands of opponents. Neither the highways nor the bases and patrol missions of the foreign troops were safe.
Hekmatyar said the corruption was rampant in the Afghan government and only a few individuals and families were looting the national wealth of Afghanistan with both hands. In such a situation, he added, the foreign troops and their commanders had lost hope because they were facing defeat both at security and political fronts and they were struggling to find a way out.
The former Afghan prime minister recalled that the Americans and Russians had joined hands to hatch a conspiracy against Afghans. He said that after the withdrawal of the Russian troops, the two had formed the Northern Alliance and assigned them the unfulfilled mission of the Russians. Now, he said, the United States has once against joined hands with Russia to hatch a similar conspiracy once again. “Afghanistan needs another uprising at this juncture. This must be staged both against the foreign invaders and their local supporters,” he added.
At the same time, he said, there must be another Islamic revolution to restore the sovereignty of the country, ensure peace and security, put a full stop to the ongoing fighting, relieve the poor and hold all those accountable who usurped and looted the property of the poor and the national wealth.
Hekmatyar also warned some neighbouring countries, asking them not to think of taking undue advantage of the present Afghan imbroglio. At times they supported the Russians to capture Afghanistan and at times offered their helping hand to the Americans, he said without naming any country.
Hekmatyar dissociated his party from the killing of teachers, doctors, engineers, students, religious scholars, government officials and other innocent people. He condemned attacks on mosques and marketplaces and said the perpetrators were the enemies of Islam.
The Hezb chief asked the businessmen and trading community to withdraw their money from the banks in Afghanistan as the foreign troops were about to leave the country and their withdrawal would force the bank owners to close their lockups and wrap up their businesses in Kabul.

Did US Special Forces Kill Mullah Nazir?

‘Maulvi Nazir’ among 17 killed in Taliban infighting

August 17, 2009

Baitullah Mehsud killed August 23, 2009, 05 Aug attack

LAHORE: At least 17 members of the Maulvi Nazir faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), including Maulvi Nazir himself, have been killed in fighting with the Baitullah Mehsud group, rival leader Turkistan Bhittani told a private TV channel on Sunday.

“They were hiding behind rocks and, as soon as our people reached there, they opened fire. It was so sudden and quick that none of our men could fire back,” Shaheen Wazir, Maulvi Nazir’s spokesman, told the Reuters news agency via telephone. However, another spokesman, Abdul Haq, told AFP the group was not blaming anyone. “We cannot say whether it was Mehsud’s men or the government that was behind this attack,” he added.

Meanwhile, an intelligence official of the region said Taliban belonging to the Baitullah Mehsud group had also fired rocket-propelled grenades at pick-up trucks carrying Wazir fighters towards Wana. A resident saw the Taliban carrying some of the dead bodies into Wana after the attack, Reuters reported.

Is Headley an American agent who turned rogue?

[Double-Agents of the British, American Variety are the cause of most of the unsolvable problems on the sub-continent, especially the terrorism problem.  The American Raj awaits the reunion of India and Pakistan.]

Is Headley an American agent who turned rogue?

TNN

NEW DELHI: It’s a plot that could be straight out of the bluff-and-double-bluff worlds created by John le Carre and Frederick Forsyth. Only, it seems to have played out in real life, to the tragic misfortune of hundreds of innocent people. The tantalising possibility that David Coleman Headley may have been a US undercover agent who turned rogue is vexing many here as American authorities keep the US-based Lashkar jihadi out of the reach of Indian investigators.
To make the tale even more dramatic, Headley may just have provided American intelligence agencies information that prevented a Lashkar attack on Mumbai in September. The theory — and it’s still a theory — is that Headley was used to infiltrate the Lashkar, but gradually went astray under the influence of the very terrorists he was supposed to be spying upon.
Torn between conflicting loyalties, he may have continued to give information to his American handlers, and a tip-off by him may even have helped avert a Laskar attack orginally planned for September. But he seems to have commited fully to Lashkar shortly after that, which could be one reason why American agencies were caught napping by 26/11.
During his interactions in India, Headley frequently introduced himself as a CIA agent. But suspicions that he’s a rogue agent stem more from the just-released information that Headley, a man with one green and one brown eye, could straddle America and Pakistan with ease despite a run-in with the law in the US.
A recent profile in the New York Times said that in 1998, Headley (then known as Daood Gilani) was convicted of conspiring to smuggle heroin into US from Pakistan. “Court records show that after his arrest, he provided so much information about his own involvement with drug trafficking which stretched back more than a decade and about his Pakistani suppliers that he was sentenced to less than two years in jail and later went to Pakistan to conduct undercover surveillance operations for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)," the NYT report said.
This suggests that Headley had a deal with authorities in the US who allowed him to get away with mild punishment in exchange for a promise of cooperation.
To many here, that also implies that he was a known entity to the counter-terror and drug enforcement authorities in the US. After 9/11, the walls between these agencies had come down because of the links between drugs and terrorism, particularly in the context of Pakistan-Afghanistan where there is a huge overlap between the functions of the DEA and CIA. Surprisingly, the FBI affidavit against Headley doesn’t mention his tryst with the DEA.
FBI’s affidavit against Headley says that he changed his name from Daood Gilani to David Coleman Headley in 2006 to hide his history as an offender. As he told border police in August 2009, it was to give himself the freedom to travel undetected — he said the new name aroused much less suspicion when he travelled.
It is a fact that terrorists are masking their religious identity to get past the counter-terror surveillance, with terror groups seeking to recruit Caucasians for fresh strikes. But many doubt here that the mere switching of names could have worked in Headley’s case given his brush with law but more because of the destinations he was flying to.
Given Pakistan’s unquestioned reputation as the hub of global terror, people travelling to and from the country automatically pop up on the scanner at airports across the globe. Headley, to boot, would often meet his contacts in UAE — a known rezendevous for terrorists and smugglers and a place that is of immense interest to law enforcement agencies.
The doubters found it intriguing that ultra-sensitive agencies in the US did not find anything amiss about the entries on Headley’s US passport. While the sceptics don’t think they have an answer yet, they are inclined to look at the possibility of Headley being an undercover agent who, torn between the competing demands of the jihadi outfits he had been asked to infiltrate and his American handlers, went astray.
Headley, by his own confession, joined Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2006 and received training in one of the terror camps run by the jihadi outfit.
Those who subscribe to the "rogue agent" theory are inclined to believe that this was known to the Americans, always anxious to ferret out information from hard-to-penetrate terror groups. They also feel that US agencies were perhaps aware that last year, Headley was in India to recce targets for a Lashkar attack that it had originally planned for September — as confirmed by Ajbal Kasab in his testimony — and which was finally carried out on 26/11. Rather, they also suspect that Headley might have been the source of information that helped Americans warn of the attack planned for September last year.
In their warning, which was passed on to Maharashtra government by Intelligence Bureau, the Americans had said that prominent installations in Mumbai were on the jihadis’ target. As a matter of fact, the FBI alert made a specific mention of Taj and other hotels — Marriott, Land’s End and Sea Rock.
It is felt that Headley’s defection happened immediately afterwards and that is perhaps one of the reasons why Americans could not, unlike in September, sniff 26/11. The suspicion is reinforced by the fact that it was around this time that FBI put Headley under its surveillance, leading to his arrest on October 3 this year.
Suspicions are getting stronger as Americans delay giving Indian investigators access to Headley. The hope here is that Indian agencies would get their turn to talk to the terrorist after charges — indictment in the American lexicon — are framed against him on Jauuary 1. There is also the possibility that Headley has promised to sing on the condition that he is not exposed to interrogators from India.
But during interactions on the issue, FBI has been unusually cagey about discussing Headley in detail — odd on the part of the agency which swiftly warned of the attack Lashkar had planned in September and without whose help the breakthrough in the 26/11 probe would not have happened.

PSYCOPATHS AND CHILD ABUSE

PSYCOPATHS AND CHILD ABUSE


Can we reduce the number of psycopaths by reducing the amount of child abuse?

James commented on LORD OF THE FLIES; CHOOSE RALPH, NOT JACK
James wrote…
"It seems to have always been the psychopaths against the rest since the beginning of so called ‘civilization’.
"We have economic and political cultures built by them around hierarchies and centralism.
"The hierarchical structure and centralized power greatly favour psychopaths, of course.
"Voting for a non-psychopathic candidate is a good thing, undoubtedly, but it is not the answer because, as we’ve seen all too often, the next psychopath that is elected promptly undoes all the good done.
"We need systems that are designed to marginalize psychopaths instead of the rest of us."


Robert Hare, a researcher in the field, describes psychopaths as "predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, sex and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs.
"Lacking in conscience and empathy, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse".[8]
"What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony."[9]
It is estimated that one percent of the general population are psychopaths.[13][14]
Bad parenting appears to have something to do with the production of at least some psycopaths.

"Rat pups who receive high levels of tactile contact from their mothers – in the form of licking, grooming, and close bodily contact – later as mature rats show reduced levels of stress hormones in response to being restrained, explore novel environments with greater gusto, show fewer stress-related neurons in the brain, and have more robust immune systems." (Darwin’s Touch: Survival of the Kindest Psychology Today )

The military likes kids who have been abused.

Was George W Bush deprived of sufficient loving hugs and kisses as a child?
Would Hitler have been a more peaceful citizen if he had been given lots of affection by his dad?
Lloyd deMause in The Journal of Psychohistory, Winter 1998, refers to The History of Child Abuse. (The History of Child Abuse Lloyd deMause – The Journal of Psychohistory)
Lloyd deMause
Among the points made:
1. In past history we find child abuse was common.
In most countries children were sacrificed and mutilated to relieve the guilt of adults.
Today, we continue to arrange the daily killing, maiming, molestation and starvation of children.
Lehnert and Landrock
2. "The evolution of childhood from incest to love and from abuse to empathy has been a slow, uneven path, but one whose progressive direction is, I think, unmistakable."

"If the parent – the mother, for most of history – is given even the most minimal support by society, the evolution of childhood progresses…
"If little girls are treated particularly badly, they grow up to be mothers who cannot rework their traumas, and history is frozen…
"It is only when changes in childhood occur that … changes in the brain can occur and societies can begin to progress and move in unpredictable new directions that are more adaptive…"

World War II
3. There are six childrearing modes that I have suggested are common to all groups…
1. The earliest childrearing mode I have called infanticidal.
"I have estimated that perhaps half of all children born in antiquity were killed by their caretakers, declining to about a third in medieval times and dropping to under one percent only by the eighteenth century."
"In most simple societies today in such areas as New Guinea, boys and girls are used sexually by both their mothers and by the men, who gang rape girls and often are also pederasts who use the boys sexually, have boy-wives, or force all the boys to fellate them daily from age seven to fourteen…"
"The Greek and Roman child lived his or her earliest years in an atmosphere of sexual abuse…
"Boys … were regularly handed over by their parents to neighboring men to be raped…
"Child brothels, rent-a-boy services and sex slavery flourished in every city in antiquity…


"Christianity constructed its central myth of the Father sending his son down to be penetrated by a soldier’s lance in order to restage the common experience of fathers giving their boys to a neighbor to be sexually penetrated.
"Those who accepted the myth, accepted the penetration, and were promised the Father’s love and Mary’s tears in return."


2. "I labeled the second stage the abandoning mode…"
"Through the nineteenth century over half of the children born in Florence, for instance, were dumped into foundling homes at birth, to be picked up by their families – if they lived that long (the majority died) – when they were around five years old, thus avoiding having homes where crying babies disturbed the peace.
"The same abandonment was common in France, where, in 1900, over 90 % of the babies born in Paris were carted out to the countryside to wetnurses at birth. As one author put it, ‘mother love’ was a late historical achievement, not an instinctual trait…
"The erotic beating of children continued in Christian times…
"Century after century of battered children grew up to batter their own children in turn.


3. By the thirteenth century in the West … some advanced parents began to practice what I have termed the ambivalent mode of childrearing, where the child was not born completely evil… The mother might herself nurse her infant.
The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Western Europe saw vastly improved childrearing.
This "allowed at least some of the schizoid and borderline personalities of antiquity and medieval times – who regularly heard voices and hallucinated visions – to move on to the more integrated, less splitting modern neurotic personality more familiar to recent times…
"The sixteenth-century watershed in childrearing allowed people to reduce splitting and feel real depression for the first time, as can be seen in … the ability of Protestants to end the good mother/bad mother splitting of Mary/Eve, and the ability to internalize the projective panoply of split Catholic saints/devils into Protestant depressive guilt.
"With this vast improvement in childrearing – in some families at least – the modern world could begin, with the development of science, technology and democratization now being possible in parts of the West."


4. "By the seventeenth century, the intrusive mode of childrearing began, particularly in England, America and France, whereby the child was seen as less full of dangerous projections…
"Intrusive parenting, in essence, began to substitute psychological pressure for physical abuse, so that rather than whipping the child to prevent it from sin, it was, for instance, shut up in the dark closets for hours or left without food, sometimes for days.
"One mother shut her three-year-old boy up in a drawer.
"The intrusive mode required … a steady pressure on the child to “break its will”…
"John Wesley’s mother said of her babies, “When turned a year old (and some before), they were taught to fear the rod, and to cry softly.”
"A mother wrote of her first battle with her four-month-old infant, “I whipped him til he was actually black and blue, and until I could not whip him any more, and he never gave up one single inch.”
"Religion was a further source of terrorizing. God was said to “hold you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire”…"

5. "By the nineteenth century’s … more gentle psychological means began to be used to “socialize” the child.
"The socializing mode is still the main model of upbringing in Western nations, featuring the mother as trainer and the father as provider and protector, and the child is seen as slowly being made to conform to the parents’ model of goodness.
"By the nineteenth century parents … still sent their children to schools where they were erotically whipped on the bare buttocks and usually buggered by the older boys and masters.
As John Addington Symonds reported his experience as a boy at public school:
"Every boy of good looks had a female name, and was recognized either as a public prostitute or as some bigger fellow’s ‘bitch.’ … Here and there one could not avoid seeing acts of onanism, mutual masturbation, or the sports of naked boys in bed together…
"Those who tried to pass child labor legislation to reduce horrendous working conditions and hours were labeled Communists…
"Even so, the decrease in parental seduction and beating during the intrusive mode produced an explosion of social innovation, allowing nations to produce the democratic and industrial revolutions of the modern period."


6. "What kind of society might be envisioned by children brought up under the latest childrearing mode – what I have termed the helping mode – whereby a minority of parents are now trying to help their children reach their own goals at each stage of life, rather than socializing them into adult goals – is yet to be seen…
"That helping mode children grow up to be incapable of creating wars is also becoming evident from watching the anti-war activities of my children and those of their friends who have been brought up by other helping mode parents.
"For war is only understandable as a sacrificial ritual in which young men are sent by their parents to be hurt and killed as representatives of the independence-seeking parts of themselves.
"Psychohistorians have regularly found that images on the magazine covers and in political cartoons in the months prior to wars reveal fears of the nation becoming “too soft” and vulnerable, with images of dangerous women threatening to engulf and hurt people…
4. "That all social violence – whether by war, revolution or economic exploitation – is ultimately a consequence of child abuse should not surprise us.
"The propensity to reinflict childhood traumas upon others in socially-approved violence is actually far more able to explain and predict the actual outbreak of wars than the usual economic motivations, and we are likely to continue to undergo our periodic sacrificial rituals of war if the infliction of childhood trauma continues.
"Clear evidence has been published in The Journal of Psychohistory that the more traumatic one’s childhood, the more one is likely to be in favor of military solutions to social problems…"


5. "We cannot be content to only continue to do endless repair work on damaged adults, with more jails and police and therapists and political movements.
"Our task now must be to create an entirely new profession of “child helpers” who can reach out to every new child born on earth and help its parents give it love and independence…
" The success of parenting centers such as the one pioneered in Boulder, Colorado, for instance, has been astonishing.
"Through parenting classes and home visiting by paraprofessionals, they have measurably reduced child abuse, as shown by careful followup studies and by reduced police reports and hospital entrance rates.
"All this has been accomplished with very small monetary outlays, since these parent outreach centers operate mainly with volunteer labor, while it has the potential to save trillions of dollars annually in the costs of social violence, police enforcement, jails and other consequences of the widespread child abuse of today.
"Such a parent support movement would resemble the universal education movement of over a century ago…

"Do we really want to have massive armies and jails and emotionally crippled adults forever?
"Must each generation continue to torture and neglect its children so they repeat the violence and economic exploitation of previous generations?
"Why not achieve meaningful political and social revolution by first achieving a parenting revolution?
"If war, social violence, class domination and economic destruction of wealth are really revenge rituals for childhood trauma, how else can we remove the source of these rituals? How else end child abuse and neglect? How else increase the real wealth of nations, our next generation? How else achieve a world of love and laughter of which we are truly capable?"
~~

"I don’t know if they have tigers in Bhutan, but they certainly have criminals. Well, they do now anyway – ever since Rupert Murdoch’s Sky began broadcasting into every home that is. Suddenly their meagre police force no longer has time to assist grannies cross the street because they’re too busy chasing all those people who’ve taken to robbery and murder…

The Portuguese… (have) de-criminalised drugs… Both crime and drug use in Portugal is declining…

"A world without fear, a global societal model based not on proscription of innumerable sins but rather redemption and a single aim of selflessness, is possible…" – Fear and Deterrence, and the Possibility of Redemption

Afghan mission in doubt as air raid lies force German minister to resign

 

[What’s the big deal?  So German leaders lie about their military’ actions, that’s what ours always do.  Check American casualty claims for this incident, every casualty is still claimed to be a militant killed.  Just like Vietnam, where we could do no wrong, until proven otherwise.]

Afghan mission in doubt as air raid lies force German minister to resign

Dilemma for Merkel over extra troops as cover-up of civilian deaths claims third high-profile figure

Kate Connolly in Berlin
guardian.co.uk
Afghan security forces guard a burned out tanker in Kunduz, after a Nato air strike killed civilians

Afghan security forces guard a burned out fuel tanker in Kunduz, north of Kabul, after a Nato air strike killed an unknown number of civilians in September. Photograph: AP

The future of Germany‘s mission in Afghanistan was thrown into doubt today after a government minister resigned under growing pressure to admit his involvement in a campaign of misinformation over an air raid in which civilians were killed.

Franz Josef Jung, defence minister at the time, quit as labour minister a day after the army’s chief of staff, Wolfgang Schneiderhan, resigned over the incident with the deputy defence minister, Peter Wichert.

Jung said his decision followed “detailed consideration” and that he accepted “political responsibility for the internal information policy” in his ministry.

With an estimated two-thirds of the German public already against involvement, the defence ministry’s admission that it effectively lied by initially denying there were civilian casualties when two petrol tankers were bombed in September has left Angela Merkel’s recently re-elected centre-right government in a state of uncertainty over how to proceed in the region.

Merkel had largely kept out of the row but received Jung in the chancellery this morning when both were said to have agreed his resignation was necessary.

Video footage emerged yesterdayof the botched air raid ordered by the German commander, Colonel Georg Klein, on the basis of a single piece of intelligence from an Afghan informant who was unable to see the vehicles. The video, leaked to the tabloid Bild, possibly in an attempt to influence a parliamentary decision on extending the German troop presence, prompted Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the new defence minister, to admit his ministry had at best withheld information and at worst lied about the deaths.

The German government is coming under American pressure to increase its presence in the region – it has 4,500 troops there – and to prove it means to stay the course, without aggravating an already very negative public mood. Barrack Obama is expected to announce an increase in US troop numbers next week on the understanding that his allies will do the same.

According to Nico Fried, a commentator with the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify the mission. “The reason for dispatching several thousand people to Afghanistan, which has to be based on trust in the political and military leadership, is crumbling.”

The strike in Kunduz, in which Nato says 142 insurgents and an unknown number of civilians were killed after the Taliban seized the two tankers, reinforced the German public belief that their troops have been waging war, and not, as their politicians argue, working as a stabilising force.

The €785 million a year (£712m) mission is Germany’s biggest overseas deployment since the second world war. The fallout over the Kunduz incident could prove to be hugely damaging, said Ulrich Kirsch, the chairman of the German army association, saying that attempts to mislead the public and politicians had “returned to the government benches like a boomerang”. He called for more transparency,

The mission is repeatedly referred to as “the German engagement at the Hindu Kush”, a phrase that critics say is deliberately meant to convey the impression of adventure, an impression that is dissipating fast thanks to the Kunduz incident.

“Lies and deception are now overshadowing a mission that has always been difficult and is getting more so,” said Fried. Questions were now being asked more forcefully than ever before as to “why Germany should continue its involvement in Afghanistan after eight years”.

Despite this week’s resignations the row is far from over. The state prosecutor has started an investigation and if it is decided that the airstrike broke international law it could be tried in a German court as a war crime.

 

 

UN Chief Wants Foundation for New Order From Copenhagen

“Copenhagen will not be a talk shop,” Ban said. “We will come out with a very concrete foundation for a legally binding treaty.”

Hopes rise for climate talks as rich countries ante up

PORT OF SPAIN: Hopes suddenly rose Friday that a new global climate pact was within reach after rich nations attending a Commonwealth summit here offered to pay poorer countries to help seal the deal.

“Success in Copenhagen is in sight,” UN chief Ban Ki-moon stated, referring to the climate negotiations to take place in the Danish capital December 7-18.

He and Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, both making exceptional appearances at the Trinidad summit despite not being Commonwealth members, stressed how encouraged they were by Britain and France offering to start a US$10-billion fund for developing nations.

By showing willingness to meet “the need for money on the table,” it was now “realistic” to expect Copenhagen to result in the framework for a treaty to succeed the Kyoto Protocol that expires in 2012, Rasmussen said.

“Copenhagen will not be a talk shop,” Ban said. “We will come out with a very concrete foundation for a legally binding treaty.”

The sudden optimism contrasted sharply with predictions of failure at the climate talks as recently as two weeks ago.

Much of that stemmed from a joint overture by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Commonwealth gathering, whose leaders represent two billion people, or a third of the planet’s population.

The two European leaders proposed to compensate developing countries for the economic disadvantages they would face in cutting carbon emissions.

Britain said it had already set aside US$1.3 billion to be paid into the Copenhagen Launch Fund over the next three years.

“Poorer countries must have an understanding that the richer countries will help them adapt to climate change and make the necessary adjustments in their economies,” Brown said on his website.

“We have got to provide some money to help that. Britain will do so, the rest of Europe will do so and I believe America will do so as well.”

Sarkozy, who was also specially invited by Brown to address the Commonwealth summit, did not say how much France would contribute.

But he told reporters the fund would operate for the next three years, beyond which an “ambitious mechanism” for continued payments would be established.

The willingness of developed countries to ante up bolstered other moves that suggested nations were determined to reach an accord.

Important among those were carbon cut pledges by almost all the nations most responsible for greenhouse gas emissions.

China, the world’s biggest polluter, has vowed to reduce “carbon intensity” as measured by unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 per cent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels.

The United States, the other major contributor to global warming, is looking at curbing carbon emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020.

The European Union is unilaterally cutting emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, and is offering to go to 30 per cent if other industrialised parties follow suit.

Brazil, the fourth-biggest greenhouse gas contributor because of deforestation, has offered a reduction of 36 to 39 per cent based on its projected economic output in 2020.

Alone of the big polluting nations, India has not revealed any emission cut targets.

But after meeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Trinidad, Sarkozy said that he was confident “they will put some figures on the table” within days.

Rasmussen said more than 85 heads of state and government had accepted invitations to attend the Copenhagen conference, effectively turning it into a big summit.

Among those who have publicly said they are going are US President Barack Obama, Britain’s Brown, France’s Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang and Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Sarkozy, however, criticised Obama’s decision to turn up for just one day at the beginning of the negotiations, on December 9, instead of the crucial final days of summit when all the other leaders would be crunching figures and concessions.

He added that, if an agreement eluded Copenhagen, “it will be a historic failure.”

Russian Train Derailed IED Suspected

Russian train crash kills 39, attack suspected

Photo

By Denis Sinyakov

UGLOVKA, Russia (Reuters) – At least 39 people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a Russian express train came off the rails late on Friday in what the head of the national railway company said could have been a bomb attack.

The Nevsky Express, carrying 661 passengers from Moscow to St Petersburg, was derailed at 9:34 p.m. (1834 GMT) near the village of Uglovka about 350 km (200 miles) north of Moscow.

A Reuters photographer saw soldiers carrying four body bags away from the scene where rescue workers cut through the tangled steel to search for survivors in two wrecked train carriages.

“There is objective evidence that… a blast from an explosive device is one of the explanations for the Nevsky Express incident,” Russian Railways chief Vladimir Yakunin told reporters at the scene.

A spokesman for Russia’s main domestic intelligence service, the FSB, declined to comment on whether an attack was suspected, saying merely that investigators were at work.

Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu was told by a ministry official on a video conference shown live on Vesti-24 state television that the death toll had risen to 39 after more bodies had been pulled from wrecked carriages.

Ministry officials later said only 25 people had been confirmed as dead, though they said the toll could rise and that at least 18 people were still unaccounted for.

The derailment is Russia’s worst train accident for years and talk of sabotage is likely to raise fears of an upsurge in attacks on the Russian heartland by rebels from the North Caucasus.

ATTACK SUSPECTED

President Dmitry Medvedev has been informed about the derailment which has delayed 27,000 people as transport officials tried to divert trains along smaller lines.

Interfax news agency said a one-meter (3-ft) wide crater had been found next to the railway track, though Reuters reporters at the scene did not see one.

A railway official who asked not to be named said a witness had reported hearing a loud bang, though another passenger told reporters in St Petersburg there had been no blast.

After a blast on August 13, 2007 that derailed the Nevsky Express and injured at least 30 people, prosecutors arrested two residents of Ingushetia and charged them with helping to carry out the attack.

Russian prosecutors said they believed ex-soldier Pavel Kosolapov, a former associate of the late Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev, was the mastermind behind the blast. Kosolapov is still on the run.

In Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said, “We are deeply saddened by the terrible loss of life and injuries resulting from the reported derailment of a train between Moscow and Saint Petersburg.”

(Additional reporting by Gleb Stolyarov in Moscow and Denis Pinchuk in St Petersburg; writing by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Using B.S. Reports to Discredit Investigations of CIA Mind-Control/Stalking Programs

The sudden interest of the subservient mainstream media in this old bit of news is a weak attempt to discredit ongoing investigations into nefarious CIA mind-control and other dangerous practices.  They want to make investigators into “conspiracy nuts” for pursuing this angle with garbage “news” like this.  It tells me that some of us must be getting close to the truth.

C.I.A. manual of trickery and deception:  CIA used famous magician for his tricks during the Cold War

Dubai—World’s Tallest House of Cards

India may hold whip hand in this power game

Robert Fisk – Independent November 27, 2009

Allah was kind to Dubai yesterday. Just when the emirate’s unspeakable wealth appeared on the point of collapse – stock markets, of course, naturally ‘trembled’ – along came the feast of Eid al-Adha and sent all the kings and emirs and sheikhs off to their diwans to celebrate the decision by the father of monotheism – the Prophet Ibrahim himself – not to kill his son Ismail. But then again, Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al-Makhtoum, knew that the week-long holiday in Dubai would close down the local markets even if it couldn’t stifle the rumours.
Among the latter came the old canard that Sheikh Mohamed will have to hand over his immensely profitable Emirates Airlines to his Abu Dhabi cousin, the ever-beneficent Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, who seems to spend much of his time bailing out Dubai’s outrageous tourist and oligarchical ambitions. Indeed, Dubai may have the tallest tower in the world and the largest man-made island but it would help if it paid off the Japanese company that has just built the emirate’s first metro system – even if trains to the airport cannot carry passenger baggage.
There are, however, two basic truths about Dubai which, predictably, have not found their way into market speculation or newspaper analysis. The first is that Dubai may soon find itself a satellite not of its Abu Dhabi capital but of India. The biggest merchants in Dubai are Indian – they run the gold market, even the bookshops in Sheikh Mohamed’s playpen – and west India is only two hours’ flying time away. In fact, until 1962 – and you have to be an oldie to understand the emirates’ economic world – the Indian rupee was the currency for most of the Gulf, including even Kuwait.
Sheikh Mohamed’s angry dismissal of his three top executives a week ago will not change this, although it might curb those who took too much advantage of the Dubai boom. The ruler may indeed have to reflect upon the future of Emirates, not to mention the invalid Dubai World, if he is to appease his friendly cousin up the road in Abu Dhabi, but in the end the emirs all know that Dubai – like the US and British banks that crashed so spectacularly this year – is too big to abandon. If Dubai World really defaults, then the rating agencies will start downgrading the whole shebang and the sheikhs and financial elite of the UAE will find it hard to get money.
There’s always been a cosy relationship, of course, between haughty, starchy old Abu Dhabi and playboy Dubai. Sheikh Mohamed likes tourism and foreigners and racehorses and even the Russian oligarchs whose henchmen apparently fought a gun battle in the world’s tallest building a few months ago.
Abu Dhabi, holder of the world’s sixth largest crude oil reserves, believes in industry and art, occasionally poking gentle fun at its bling emirate to the east; the creation of Ettihad Airlines – ever expanding in the face of Emirates Airlines’ success – was both a joke and a warning.
But deep in their golden mosques, the ruling family are asking themselves some serious questions this Islamic holiday. Why was the call for a moratorium on debt so crudely and unprofessionally put together?
As one fine source – Independent readers must take on trust how high up the ladder he is, but he should have known of this announcement and didn’t – said privately last night: "It came as a shock and a surprise to everybody, not only to me but to anyone I know. All the information I had till yesterday was that everything was in hand. We had the finding for everything coming due this year – there was the $10 billion [£6 million] issued back in February and then nearly $8 billion over the past month – the money’s there.
"So it’s a puzzle, particularly since it was very clear, to people who knew, that the bond coming due in December was a litmus test. Everyone was planning to repay it. The people of Abu Dhabi didn’t know this was going to happen. The market did not expect anything like this."
Too true. If Dubai World and all the other conglomerates symbolising Dubai were already in the process of being restructured, why Wednesday’s extraordinary statement? There was talk in Dubai last night of a "Diwan revolution" although you’d think this had commenced when Sheikh Mohamed started ditching his top guys seven days ago. As one financial journalist in the Gulf put it: "To get a six-month standstill on payments for creditors, you can’t just announce it before you’ve talked to them. They’re not going to get the creditors to accept this in a couple of weeks."
Unless, of course, Sheikh Mohamed planned the whole fandango with Sheikh Khalifa. Unlikely, since Dubai’s decision to allow foreigners to buy property in the emirate was taken without any reference to the nation’s laws – or warning to Abu Dhabi. Or, rather than worrying about London and Tokyo, perhaps we should be watching the Indian stock market…
www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-india-may-hold-whip-hand-in-this-power-game-1828753.html

Gore Flees in Panic from Chicago Book Signing

Gore Flees in Panic from Chicago Book Signing

November 25, 2009 (LPAC)—Not since Henry Kissinger fled a team of LaRouche organizers, in the back of a delivery truck in New York City’s Central Park in the early 1980s, has an obese fascist moved so fast to escape an angry crowd, as Al Gore did today in Chicago. Appearing at a bookstore in the downtown Loop, Gore was confronted by a team of demonstrators from a grass roots group called "We Are Change," as he was signing his latest fascist screed on the global warming swindle. Gore bolted from the bookstore, raced down an alley, jumped into a waiting car, and tried to speed off, with protesters chasing after him and banging on the car. Midwest LYM organizers, who were also on the scene to confront the global warming swindler, provided an eyewitness account of Fat Albert’s flight of fear.

Make no mistake about it. This little encounter is typical of the kinds of things going on all over the country, as the fascists who brought you the near-destruction of the United States and an onrushing global Dark Age, are no longer walking the streets, smug in the belief that they are literally getting away with murder. The mass strike dynamic is playing out in thousands of ways, every day, and the recent revelations about the "smoking gun" emails from the East Anglia University global warming propaganda center, have made Al Gore’s life a little more miserable.

As Percy Shelley wrote in "The Mask of Anarchy," "We are many, they are few."

Coalition shaken as minister breathes fire against MQM

[SEE:  Eyewitness: Karachi]

Coalition shaken as minister breathes fire against MQM

 

The Sindh home minister has once again dug out the incident which resulted in the killing of around 50 people in one of Karachi’s worst political violence on May 12, 2007. – File photo

 

KARACHI: The PPP-Muttahida coalition got a jolt on Thursday after Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza accused the MQM of getting 3,500 criminal cases against its members wrapped up through a ‘cyclostyled order produced by the prosecutor-general of the provincial government’.

Dr Mirza, speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a PPP media centre, appealed to Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry to reopen and investigate all cases wrapped up under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO).

A spokesman for MQM played down the flare-up, saying the remarks were the minister’s personal opinion, and not the stance of People’s Party.

The minister said the record of the cases was enough to ‘open the eyes of the media and the nation’.
He said he would present within a week the record of all cases which had been suppressed by hoodwinking the Sindh government and the judiciary.

He made a dig at MQM leader Farooq Sattar for his assertion that his party was not involved in corruption, wondering whether Dr Sattar was sent to prison for ‘distributing charity’.

He also accused MQM of obstructing the entry of the chief justice at the behest of then president Pervez Musharraf.

Dr Mirza said reconciliation was based on the principle of forget and forgive, but ‘our colleagues are instruments of the establishment and if it is a war, we also know how to fight a war. We fought a war for 12 years and power was not given to us in charity.’

Talking to a TV channel later, Muttahida Qaumi Movement coordination committee member Salim Shehzad said: ‘People conspiring to destabilise the government want to spawn rifts between us. We are allies of the government and want it to complete its tenure.

‘We will not play into anyone’s hands. Nor will we be part of any conspiracy. We did criticise the government, but did not level allegations nor will we do it now.’

He said the minister’s statement might be his personal opinion, and not the policy of the Pakistan People’s Party. If it was PPP’s policy then President Asif Ali Zardari should express it, he said.

Salim Shehzad said the cases had been abolished through a tribunal under the ordinance and if Dr Mirza deemed it a fraud, then the entire NRO would be a fraud.

Shehzad said that if the home minister wanted to reopen the criminal cases, he should go ahead and do so. ‘The MQM is ready to face them.’

If the Supreme Court or high court ordered reopening of the cases, the MQM would welcome the decision, he said. However, he asserted that in addition to the criminal cases, all other cases should also be reopened.

‘No threat could frighten us in past nor will it happen in future,’ he said.

The MQM leader said the cases against the MQM had been filed during PPP’s rule and all of them were criminal, and not related to corruption.

In reply to a question about bitterness with the PPP, he said MQM’s stance on the NRO might be the reason.

He said the country was facing crises and the circumstances necessitated forbearance.

‘If we go wrong somewhere, we will apologise. If they are wrong then they should set their direction right,’ he said.

The MQM leader said some members of the coordination committee would meet PPP leaders soon for patching up differences.

Shehzad said a member of the committee had come up a poem that spoke about December as the moment of truth for the government.

The composition had ruffled feathers, he added, but clarified that it was the individual’s personal opinion, and not the party’s stance.

APP adds: Dr Mirza said: ‘Our friends want to destabilise democracy by becoming a tool of the establishment.’

He said a criminal would always be a criminal no matter whether he was in ‘dhoti, sherwani or Sindhi topi’.

‘If someone wants our accountability, we too know how to hold others accountable,’ he said.

Jailed militant’s hoax calls drove India, Pakistan to brink of war

Jailed militant’s hoax calls drove India, Pakistan to brink of war

By Azaz Syed

Omar Saeed Sheikh, a detained Pakistani militant, had made hoax calls to President Asif Ali Zardari and the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, in a bid to heighten Pak-India tensions after last year’s terrorist attacks on Mumbai. — File Photo by AP

detained Pakistani militant, had made hoax calls to President Asif Ali Zardari and the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, in a bid to heighten Pakistan-India tensions after last year’s terrorist attacks on Mumbai, investigators have told Dawn.

‘Omar Saeed Sheikh was the hoax caller. It was he who threatened the civilian and military leaderships of Pakistan over telephone. And he did so from inside Hyderabad jail,’ investigators said.

The controversy came to light after Dawn broke the story, exactly one year ago, that a hoax caller claiming to be then Indian foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee was making threatening calls to President Zardari.

It was on the night of Nov 26 last year that Saadia Omar, Omar Sheikh’s wife, informed him about the carnage in Mumbai. The sources said that the information was passed on to Omar in Hyderabad jail through his mobile phone, which he was secretly using without the knowledge of the administration.

All but one of the attackers who India alleged were Lashkar-i-Taiba terrorists were shot dead by security personnel.

Saadia kept updating Omar about the massacre through the night and small hours of the morning. On the night of Nov 28, when the authorities had regained control over the better part of the city, Omar Saeed, using a UK-registered mobile SIM, made a phone call to Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

He told an operator handling Mr Mukherjee’s calls that he was the President of Pakistan.
Indian officials started verification as part of security precautions and, after some time, the operator informed Omar Saeed (who was posing to be Pakistan’s president) that the foreign minister would get in touch with him soon. Omar now made a call to President Asif Ali Zardari and then the Chief of Army Staff.

He also made an attempt to talk to the US secretary of state, but security checks barred his way.

The presidency swung into action soon after Mr Zardari’s conversation with the adventurous militant.

President Zardari first spoke to Prime Minister Gilani and informed him about the happenings. He also took Interior Minister Rehman Malik into the loop.

In Rawalpindi, Gen Kayani immediately spoke to the chief of the Inter Services Intelligence, Lt- Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha.

According to sources, not only President Asif Zardari was taken in by Omar’s audacity but the COAS was also baffled by his cheekiness.

Gen Kayani, sharing his thoughts with close associates, said he had been bewildered by the caller’s threatening tone.

But Maj Gen Athar Abbas, the military spokesman, finds the report unbelievable. ‘I am not his (Army chief’s) operator. I don’t know who puts calls through to him, but I think this can’t be true,’ said an incredulous Athar Abbas.

Interestingly, when Omar Saeed Sheikh was making these hoax calls, the Lashkar-i-Taiba (LET) chief was also in Karachi, but it is not known whether Omar Saeed was acting under the guidance of Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi or on his own.

INVESTIGATIONS: On the other hand, investigators got into the act without wasting time, coming up with their findings within hours.

Their conclusion was that the phone call which came from the Indian external affairs ministry was actually their (Indians’) check.

They said the calls to President Zardari and the army chief were made from a Britain-registered SIM.

Gen (retired) Pervez Musharraf, in his autobiography, had alleged that Omar Saeed was an agent of MI6, the British intelligence agency.

The very next morning, Nov 29, Hyderabad jail was raided by intelligence agencies and over a dozen SIMs were recovered along with two mobile sets. Majid Siddiqui, the jail superintendent, was suspended.

‘I don’t know much but it is true that some mobile SIMs and mobile sets were recovered from Omar Saeed Sheikh when he was in Hyderabad jail.

I got him transferred to Karachi jail because that is a far better place for such high-profile terrorists,’ Allauddin Abbasi, DIG Prisons, Hyderabad, told Dawn over phone.

The authorities had a word with Saadia Omar too. She was advised to ‘control’ herself. The matter was then placed in the files of secret agencies marked as ‘secret’.

The Federal Investigation Agency never interrogated Omar Saeed about the Mumbai attacks. Dawn’s efforts for getting the viewpoint of Tariq Khosa , the FIA chief, drew a blank.

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HIGH PROFILE: Omar, currently confined in a high security cell of Karachi Jail, has a long record of militancy, from kidnapping foreigners in Mumbai in 1994 to kidnapping Daniel Pearl in Jan 2002.

Omar Saeed Sheikh was freed by India in Dec 1999 as part of a deal that saw New Delhi agreeing to release a number of militant leaders in exchange for the freedom of hostages on board an India plane hijacked to Kabul.

Soon after his release from Indian captivity, Omar Saeed developed close relations with the LET leadership, including Zakiur Rehman Lakhwi.

He was invited to a training camp in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, where he spent a couple of days delivering lectures to recruits.

Sources said Lakhwi wanted Omar to join LET and give the organisation an international face.

In Feb 2002, Omar was arrested for the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl.

Dubai default fears send banks scrambling

[I wonder why Dubai is having cash flow problems?]

The Palm Jumeirah (Copyright Nakheel)

Dubai default fears send banks scrambling

A construction crew hard at work in Dubai.— Photo from File

DUBAI: Banks outside the Gulf played down on Friday their exposure to Dubai debt, after fears the emirate could default and even derail world economic recovery prompted a sell-off in global markets.

Stocks from Tokyo to London were haunted by concerns that banks were exposed to state companies in Dubai, whose rise from a desert backwater into the business hub of the world’s top oil exporting area had lured expatriate money and executives.

The crisis began on Wednesday when Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates federation, asked to delay payment on billions of dollars of debt issued by conglomerate Dubai World and its main property subsidiary Nakheel, developer of three palm shaped islands that once lured celebrities and the super-rich.

‘We have seen a classic risk aversion reaction in the markets over the past 24 hours. The dollar has slumped, the yen is stronger,’ a Societe Generale note said.

‘Anybody who thought the exit profile for markets from the great recession and the great financial crisis was going to be a smooth one was kidding themselves.’ Dubai World had $59 billion of liabilities as of August, most of Dubai’s total debt of $80 billion.

The numbers pales in comparison to the $2.8 trillion in writedowns the International Monetary Fund estimates US and European lenders will have made between 2007 and 2010 as a result of the global credit crisis.

‘The events in Dubai in recent days are one of the hiccups if you like, one of the difficulties, which affirms that we were right to highlight the uncertainty ahead of us and that the road ahead could be a bumpy one,’ European Central Bank Governing Council member Athanasios Orphanides said.

International banks’ liabilities related to Dubai World could be as high as $12 billion in syndicated and bilateral loans, banking sources told Thomson Reuters LPC.

French banks said their exposure to the Dubai crisis was limited and Italy’s central bank said Italian banks should face no problems linked to the Gulf trade and tourism hub. Those sentiments were echoed by Chinese banks.

Those statements tempered losses in European stocks after investors around the globe fled shares, oil and other risky assets, fuelling flows into the low-yielding yen and safe-haven government bonds.

‘At this stage, this set back, looks to be one that is very much country specific,’ the SocGen note said.

Abu Dhabi Exposure

While European and Asian banks scrambled to distance themselves from the Dubai crisis, lenders in Abu Dhabi, a fellow member of the UAE federation and home to most of the country’s oil, appeared to have major positions.

They lent heavily to Dubai firms at the height of the property boom that saw the emirate build the world’s tallest tower but went bust with the financial crisis in 2008.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank has at least $2.18-$2.45 billion exposure to Dubai World and related entities, forcing the bank to book more provisions, a senior executive of the bank said. First Gulf Bank has at least $1.36 billion.

JP Morgan said in a research note it was ‘less concerned’ about global banks’ direct exposure to Dubai World and was not worried about Abu Dhabi, a major oil producer which is sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars.

‘We are more concerned about the spillover effect within the UAE with CDS spreads in Abu Dhabi increasing,’ it said.

‘It remains unclear if the Dubai government will support the liabilities of government related entities and how … neighbours will weather the storm.’ The price of insuring Gulf debt surged again on Friday.

Credit default swaps (CDS) for Dubai rose more than 100 basis points but CDS prices were way below previous peaks in the global financial crisis late last year and earlier this year.Nakheel’s Islamic bond prices extended losses, falling 30

points to a record low of 40, according to Reuters data.The $3.52 billion bond at the centre of the crisis, which was originally due to mature on Dec 14, 2009, had traded as high as 110 on Wednesday before the Dubai government said it would ask creditors to agree on a standstill of debt held by Nakheel and Dubai World until May 2010.

The debt crisis in Dubai has also pushed up debt insurance costs for other sovereigns in the Gulf, a wealthy region Western firms had turned to for help at the height of the credit crunch.

Analysts expect Dubai to receive financial support from Abu Dhabi, though it may have to abandon an economic model focused on developing swathes of desert with foreign money and labour.

But the prospect of a bailout did little to allay concerns. — Reuters

French utility Electricite de France to Join Russia’s South Stream Project

 

Eni Welcomes EDF Entry In South Stream – CEO >E

MILAN (MF-Dow Jones)–Eni SpA (E) Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said Thursday that the Italian oil giant is in favor of widening the shareholder structure of South Stream to French utility Electricite de France SA (EDF.FR).

Speaking at an event in Milan, Scaroni said that in principle the company welcomes the arrival of EDF because it would add strength to the project.

Scaroni also added that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy are scheduled to meet Thursday and that they will sign a memorandum of understanding for the entry of EDF into the South Stream pipeline project.

Scaroni noted that the entry of EDF depends on Eni’s green-light.

The South Stream project, headed by Eni, Italy’s biggest energy company by market value, and Russian gas producer OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS), aims to bring gas from the Caspian area under the Black Sea and landing in Bulgaria, bypassing Ukraine.


-By Rosario Murgida with MF-Dow Jones and Sabrina Cohen, Dow Jones Newswires, +39 02 5821 9906; sabrina.cohen@dowjones.com

Rosy Oil Production Predictions Based On Bush’s “Fudged” Numbers

Camelina (Camelina sativa), a member of the mustard family, is a summer annual oilseed plant. A.K.A., “False flax.”

Distorted IEA Figures Help Biofuels in Central Asia

 

The recent revelations of a International Energy Administration whistleblower that the IEA may have distorted key oil projections under intense U.S. pressure is, if true (and whistleblowers rarely come forward to advance their careers), a slow-burning thermonuclear explosion on future global oil production. The Bush administration’s actions in pressuring the IEA to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves have the potential to throw governments’ long-term planning into chaos.

Whatever the reality, rising long term global demands seem certain to outstrip production in the next decade, especially given the high and rising costs of developing new super-fields such as Kazakhstan’s offshore Kashagan and Brazil’s southern Atlantic Jupiter and Carioca fields, which will require billions in investments before their first barrels of oil are produced.

In such a scenario, additives and substitutes such as biofuels will play an ever-increasing role by stretching beleaguered production quotas. As market forces and rising prices drive this technology to the forefront, one of the richest potential production areas has been totally overlooked by investors up to now – Central Asia. Formerly the USSR’s cotton “plantation,” the region is poised to become a major player in the production of biofuels if sufficient foreign investment can be procured. Unlike Brazil, where biofuel is manufactured largely from sugarcane, or the United States, where it is primarily distilled from corn, Central Asia’s ace resource is an indigenous plant, Camelina sativa.

Of the former Soviet Caucasian and Central Asian republics, those clustered around the shores of the Caspian, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have seen their economies boom because of record-high energy prices, while Turkmenistan is waiting in the wings as a rising producer of natural gas.

Farther to the east, in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, geographical isolation and relatively scant hydrocarbon resources relative to their Western Caspian neighbors have largely inhibited their ability to cash in on rising global energy demands up to now. Mountainous Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan remain largely dependent for their electrical needs on their Soviet-era hydroelectric infrastructure, but their heightened need to generate winter electricity has led to autumnal and winter water discharges, in turn severely impacting the agriculture of their western downstream neighbors Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

What these three downstream countries do have however is a Soviet-era legacy of agricultural production, which in Uzbekistan’s and Turkmenistan case was largely directed towards cotton production, while Kazakhstan, beginning in the 1950s with Khrushchev’s “Virgin Lands” programs, has become a major producer of wheat. Based on my discussions with Central Asian government officials, given the thirsty demands of cotton monoculture, foreign proposals to diversify agrarian production towards biofuel would have great appeal in Astana, Ashgabat and Tashkent and to a lesser extent Astana for those hardy investors willing to bet on the future, especially as a plant indigenous to the region has already proven itself in trials.

Known in the West as false flax, wild flax, linseed dodder, German sesame and Siberian oilseed, camelina is attracting increased scientific interest for its oleaginous qualities, with several European and American companies already investigating how to produce it in commercial quantities for biofuel. In January Japan Airlines undertook a historic test flight using camelina-based bio-jet fuel, becoming the first Asian carrier to experiment with flying on fuel derived from sustainable feedstocks during a one-hour demonstration flight from Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The test was the culmination of a 12-month evaluation of camelina’s operational performance capability and potential commercial viability.

As an alternative energy source, camelina has much to recommend it. It has a high oil content low in saturated fat. In contrast to Central Asia’s thirsty “king cotton,” camelina is drought-resistant and immune to spring freezing, requires less fertilizer and herbicides, and can be used as a rotation crop with wheat, which would make it of particular interest in Kazakhstan, now Central Asia’s major wheat exporter. Another bonus of camelina is its tolerance of poorer, less fertile conditions.

An acre sown with camelina can produce up to 100 gallons of oil and when planted in rotation with wheat, camelina can increase wheat production by 15 percent. A ton (1000 kg) of camelina will contain 350 kg of oil, of which pressing can extract 250 kg. Nothing in camelina production is wasted as after processing, the plant’s debris can be used for livestock silage. Camelina silage has a particularly attractive concentration of omega-3 fatty acids that make it a particularly fine livestock feed candidate that is just now gaining recognition in the U.S. and Canada. Camelina is fast growing, produces its own natural herbicide (allelopathy) and competes well against weeds when an even crop is established. According to Britain’s Bangor University’s Centre for Alternative Land Use, “Camelina could be an ideal low-input crop suitable for bio-diesel production, due to its lower requirements for nitrogen fertilizer than oilseed rape.”

Camelina, a branch of the mustard family, is indigenous to both Europe and Central Asia and hardly a new crop on the scene: archaeological evidence indicates it has been cultivated in Europe for at least three millennia to produce both vegetable oil and animal fodder.

Field trials of production in Montana, currently the center of U.S. camelina research, showed a wide range of results of 330-1,700 lbs of seed per acre, with oil content varying between 29 and 40%. Optimal seeding rates have been determined to be in the 6-8 lb per acre range, as the seeds’ small size of 400,000 seeds per lb can create problems in germination to achieve an optimal plant density of around 9 plants per sq. ft.

Camelina’s potential could allow Uzbekistan to begin breaking out of its most dolorous legacy, the imposition of a cotton monoculture that has warped the country’s attempts at agrarian reform since achieving independence in 1991. Beginning in the late 19th century, the Russian government determined that Central Asia would become its cotton plantation to feed Moscow’s growing textile industry. The process was accelerated under the Soviets. While Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan were also ordered by Moscow to sow cotton, Uzbekistan in particular was singled out to produce “white gold.”

By the end of the 1930s the Soviet Union had become self-sufficient in cotton; five decades later it had become a major exporter of cotton, producing more than one-fifth of the world’s production, concentrated in Uzbekistan, which produced 70 percent of the Soviet Union’s output.

Try as it might to diversify, in the absence of alternatives Tashkent remains wedded to cotton, producing about 3.6 million tons annually, which brings in more than $1 billion while constituting approximately 60 percent of the country’s hard currency income.

Beginning in the mid-1960s the Soviet government’s directives for Central Asian cotton production largely bankrupted the region’s scarcest resource, water. Cotton uses about 3.5 acre feet of water per acre of plants, leading Soviet planners to divert ever-increasing volumes of water from the region’s two primary rivers, the Amu Darya and Syr Darya, into inefficient irrigation canals, resulting in the dramatic shrinkage of the rivers’ final destination, the Aral Sea. The Aral, once the world’s fourth-largest inland sea with an area of 26,000 square miles, has shrunk to one-quarter its original size in one of the 20th century’s worst ecological disasters.

And now, the dollars and cents. Dr. Bill Schillinger at Washington State University recently described camelina’s business model to Capital Press as: “At 1,400 pounds per acre at 16 cents a pound, camelina would bring in $224 per acre; 28-bushel white wheat at $8.23 per bushel would garner $230.”

Central Asia has the land, the farms, the irrigation infrastructure and a modest wage scale in comparison to America or Europe – all that’s missing is the foreign investment. U.S. investors have the cash and access to the expertise of America’s land grant universities. What is certain is that biofuel’s market share will grow over time; less certain is who will reap the benefits of establishing it as a viable concern in Central Asia.

If the recent past is anything to go by it is unlikely to be American and European investors, fixated as they are on Caspian oil and gas.

But while the Japanese flight experiments indicate Asian interest, American investors have the academic expertise, if they are willing to follow the Silk Road into developing a new market. Certainly anything that lessens water usage and pesticides, diversifies crop production and improves the lot of their agrarian population will receive most careful consideration from Central Asia’s governments, and farming and vegetable oil processing plants are not only much cheaper than pipelines, they can be built more quickly.

Source: OilPrice.com

China-Pak military nexus a matter of serious concern: Antony

China-Pak military nexus a matter of serious concern: Antony

A k antony

Pak is yet to demonstrate any will to act against terror groups on its soil, says Antony.

Voicing great concern over the military nexus between China and Pakistan, Defence Minister A K Antony said on Friday that India will have to be vigilant at all times.

"The nexus between China and Pakistan in the military sphere remains an area of great concern," he said speaking at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) founders’ day event in the capital.

"We have to carry out continuous appraisal of Chinese military capabilities and shape our responses accordingly. At the same time, we need to be vigilant at all times," he said.

New Delhi feels the China-Pakistan military nexus is detrimental to its interests and the strategic balance in the South Asian region.

Another area of concern for India is Chinese transfer of equipment and technology for Pakistan’s nuclear weapon programme. China has helped Pakistan build two nuclear reactors in the Punjab province and continues to support its nuclear programme.

China is Pakistan’s largest defence supplier. These include short-range ballistic missiles, fighter aircraft, frigates with helicopters, T-85 tanks, jet trainers besides arms and ammunition.

The Defence Minister said India is hopeful that China would reciprocate to its initiatives aimed at mutual prosperity and understanding.

"India wants to develop a friendly and cordial relationship with its neighbours including China. We continue our efforts. At the same time, there are issues that are a matter of concern to us," Antony later told reporters.

The minister accused Pakistan of not taking credible steps to put an end to terror groups operating from its soil.

India needs to "closely monitor" the developments in Pakistan, he said, noting "the terror infrastructure in that country remains intact and is actually thriving".

"Pakistan is yet to demonstrate any will to take speedy action against terrorists and international criminals," he said.

India, he said, was making sincere and continuous efforts to resolve long-standing issues with countries in its immediate neighbourhood.

Antony said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s willingness to resume dialogue with Pakistan must be seen in the context of India’s eagerness for peace in the region

"We have always striven for peaceful relations with all our neighbours. As a vibrant democracy and a prospering economy, we cannot ignore the security calculus in the region," he said.

Nuclear Test Site Workers Win Small Compensation for Cancers

Test site workers win round for claims


By KEITH ROGERS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

After nine years of denials and setbacks in a government program to compensate former Nevada Test Site employees for work-related illnesses, the retired nuclear weapons workers and survivors got some good news this week.

The agency charged with reconstructing their exposures to radioactive and toxic materials, which is key to proving or disproving their claims, has reversed its previous stance, saying instead the historic data needed for dose reconstructions are insufficient.

After a review of the tedious process, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health is recommending special status that will give more than 500 former Nevada Test Site workers the benefit of the doubt.

Their claims for at least $150,000 apiece plus medical expenses will be processed without having to estimate the exposures through costly and time-consuming dose reconstructions if the institute’s recommendation is approved by a work group next month and later by a presidential advisory board and is accepted by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Congress would have a chance to reject the recommendation, but that is unlikely, according to sources close to the program.

Dose reconstruction is a process of going back in time and trying to determine about how much radiation a particular worker was exposed to.

Approving the special status would mean former test site workers or their families from the days of below-ground nuclear weapons testing, 1963 to 1992, would have to show only they worked at the test site for 250 days during that period and were afflicted by one of the more than 20 cancers covered by the program.

"As presented in this position paper, NIOSH believes that there is insufficient information to adequately support … reconstructing internal dose with sufficient accuracy," reads the report issued Wednesday.

The report recommends special status for all employees from the Energy Department, its predecessor agencies, contractors and subcontractors who worked at the test site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, from 1963 to 1992.

Workers during the years of above-ground nuclear weapons testing in Nevada, 1951 through 1962, already have been granted special exposure status.

In the years since the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program was announced in 2000, John Funk, chairman of the nonprofit Atomic Veterans and Victims of America Inc., has advocated reform in the program. Many times he has asked officials for the departments of Energy and Labor to put test site workers on par with out-of-state groups of Cold War nuclear workers that have been granted what is known as "special exposure cohort" status.

"They caved in because everything they tried didn’t work," he said Thursday, reacting to the NIOSH position paper.

"I’m glad to hear it. This has been long and hard," Funk said.

Funk praised the efforts of Sanford Cohen and Associates, an independent contractor that conducted a review funded by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Sanford and Cohen stood in our corner. Those guys put up a hell of a battle for us," he said.

A report last year by Lynn Anspaugh, a health physicist from Henderson and a Sanford Cohen associate, found that records and data about exposures were either flawed or missing and that the NIOSH model for dose reconstruction based on records of 100 co-workers was not defensible because the records weren’t representative of all areas of the test site.

In an e-mail Thursday, Anspaugh said, "We are gratified that NIOSH has finally moved to bring this long process to an end."

Similarly, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who has backed a petition for special status for test site workers, said in a statement that he is "so pleased to share this good news with Nevada’s energy workers, who were instrumental to our nation winning the Cold War."

"I look forward to the advisory board taking up the favorable NIOSH recommendation as soon as possible so that our sick test site workers and their families can finally get the compensation they deserve," Reid said.

Some former workers have died since their claims have been denied or while they waited for government agencies to act on their claims.

The Labor Department took over the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program from the Department of Energy in 2004 after Congress determined the Energy Department was taking too long to handle a backlog of cases.

So far, the program has cost the government at least $391 million to administer and has resulted in more than $2.47 billion in compensation to claimants nationwide.

Contact reporter Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308.

Nabucco Investment Decision Postponed

[United States pipeline projects are intended to give the US the ability to deny Russia European revenue from its gas and oil, in addition to preventing deliver of fuel going to China.  Turkish efforts are clearly to accomodate both US and Russian interests in a common pipeline system.  One seeks exclusion and control, the other commonality of interests, the free-flow of energy and the harvesting of transit fees.]

Nabucco Investment Decision Postponed

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 210

November 13, 2009 10:14 AM Age: 14 days

By: Vladimir Socor

OMV and Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal

On November 11 the Austrian OMV-led Nabucco management announced that the investment decision on the project will be postponed, from early 2010 to the fourth quarter of that year. There is no clear explanation for this sudden change.
Only seven days earlier, the same Vienna office had sounded confident that the project was advancing on schedule. According to OMV and Nabucco spokesman Christian Dolezal on November 4, “construction work will start in 2011 and, as things now stand, the first gas will flow in 2014” (www.news.Az, November 4). In that spokesman’s interview, and also in its newsletter circulated in early November, the Austrian-led Nabucco management mentions “detailed discussions” ongoing with the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the United States Export-Import Bank (EXIM), and other lending institutions; as well as discussions in prospect with the U.S. International Finance Corporation (IFC), Hermes, and SACE (Nabucco Newsletter, November 2009).
If the level of investor confidence is truly such as to necessitate postponing the decision by one year, the reasons behind this remain unexplained publicly by the project company or by the European Commission, which strongly backs the Nabucco project.
One obvious confidence-undermining factor is Turkey’s AKP government, which blocks the westbound route for Azerbaijani gas, the main source of supply for Nabucco’s first stage. After almost two years of obstruction, and despite signing the inter-governmental agreement with the European partners in July, Ankara seems entrenched in its refusal to sign a transit agreement for Azerbaijani gas to Europe.
Ankara’s position on this issue seems irrational at first sight, given the AKP government’s ambition to turn Turkey into an energy transportation corridor on a colossal scale. Its strategy, however, relies mainly on Russia (and, as a more distant prospect, Iran) to fulfill the AKP’s grand ambition. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is in discussions with the Kremlin on building the South Stream, Blue Stream Two, Samsun-Ceyhan, and other gas and oil pipelines in Turkey or through Turkish waters. Ankara even favors using part of Nabucco’s capacity to carry Gazprom’s gas to Europe.
Compared with the Russian projects (grandiose on paper), Nabucco with Azerbaijani gas may seem a small currency of exchange to the AKP government. Indeed, the government is using Nabucco as a bargaining chip in the negotiations with the European Union on the Cyprus issue and on Turkish accession to the E.U.
E.U. officials (and some U.S. counterparts) routinely tell the AKP government how crucial its cooperation is to Europe’s energy security and other major Western goals. That flattering language does not appear conditional on Ankara’s actual performance on Nabucco and other issues. It inspires the AKP government to entertain an exalted view of its importance to Europe and overplay its hand.
Nabucco may indeed look expendable –or a tradable card– to Turkey, and not fully convincing from upstream to downstream, unless clearly integrated into the broader framework of the Southern Corridor project for Central Asian gas to Europe.
Azerbaijan has presciently advocated that integrated Caspian-Central Asian strategy for years. The European Commission has clearly set this policy in its November 2008 communication on energy security strategy. However, this message has not been articulated with the necessary consistency and clarity by E.U. officials and Nabucco project management in recent months. Nabucco’s appeal can fade, if promoted as a self-contained project without explicit links to the comprehensive Caspian-Central Asian gas strategy.
The proposed White Stream pipeline on the seabed of the Black Sea is a component of the Southern Corridor plan. White Stream can provide a transportation solution for future Turkmen gas –via Azerbaijan and Georgia– to Europe, circumventing Turkey. It does not rival the Turkish overland transport solution, but can significantly supplement it. E.U. funding for White Stream’s feasibility study can signal that gas producer and consumer countries would not be pressured by a Turkish transportation monopoly. Diversification of gas transportation routes is a policy as valid in the Black Sea basin as elsewhere (EDM, October 30).
A deceptive appearance of progress on Gazprom’s South Stream has contributed to the recent spell of Nabucco skepticism. Slovenia is about to sign up for South Stream while Croatia is seriously considering the possibility (this would require Russia to enlist local support for ousting Hungarian MOL from Croatia). Routing South Stream through Slovenia would implicitly put Austria under some pressure to join.
All this seems to make Vienna nervous again. On November 11 Chancellor Werner Faymann held talks with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow on the possibility of Austria joining South Stream. At the concluding news conference, Putin declared that both Russia and Austria are convinced of South Stream’s merits and have agreed to complete an agreement on Austria joining the project (Interfax, NTV, November 11).
On that same day, the Austrian OMV-led Nabucco management surprisingly announced by e-mail to mass media the postponement of an investment decision on the Nabucco project.

Cost of US Domineering May Deprive West of Access to Caucasus/Caspian Oil and Gas

Azerbaijan may spurn West

BAKU: On a windswept hilltop looking down at the Azerbaijani capital Baku, Turkish flags flutter over a monument that testifies to decades of close ties between the two nations.

Surrounding an obelisk bearing the Turkish crescent and star, stone blocks carry the names of dozens of Turkish soldiers who died while fighting for Azerbaijan’s independence before it was absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1922.

For Turks and Azerbaijanis, who share close ethnic and linguistic roots, the monument is a symbol of what officials in both countries frequently describe as “brotherly” relations.

So it came as a shock when Azerbaijan — angry over Ankara’s efforts at reconciliation with Azerbaijan’s arch-rival Armenia — removed the Turkish flags flying over the monument in October.

After some soothing words from Ankara, the flags soon returned. But anger at Turkey is running deep in Azerbaijan, and tensions are threatening not only a partnership that has been crucial for both countries, but also Western interests in an area of great strategic importance.

Diplomats and analysts say resentment in Azerbaijan is aimed not only at Nato member Turkey for pursuing ties with Armenia, but also at the United States and Europe for pushing Ankara towards a deal.

That could see Azerbaijan turn away from nearly two decades of looking to the West, threatening vital energy supplies to Europe and sowing further instability in the volatile South Caucasus region between Russia and Iran.

“It’s not only Azerbaijan whose interests are put at risk by this abruptive, not carefully prepared… rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia,” Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov told AFP in an interview.

The interests of Europe and the United States also stand to suffer, he said, while warning that “reactions from Azerbaijan will be even more harsh” if Turkey ratifies a deal to establish diplomatic ties and open its border with Armenia. At the centre of the dispute is the mountainous southwestern Azerbaijani region of Nagorny Karabakh, where ethnic Armenian separatists, backed by Yerevan, seized control from Baku during a war in the early 1990s that left 30,000 dead. Negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the region have been stalled for years and tensions remain high, with frequent fighting and deadly shootings along a fragile ceasefire line.

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan over the Karabakh conflict, and Baku insists the border should not re-open until the region’s status is settled.

The United States and Europe had pushed for Ankara to reach a deal with Armenia earlier, making it appear that Baku’s interests have been set aside, said Vladimir Socor, a regional expert with the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation.

“Azerbaijan is justifiably irritated with Western policy on this issue,” he said. “Azerbaijan correctly feels that its own security concerns and the Karabakh issue are simply not being taken into account to a sufficient degree, if at all, by the United States and by the major European powers.”

Socor said that by ignoring Azerbaijan’s interests, Western powers are jeopardising years of effort to gain influence in the strategic Caucasus region and to tap the vast energy reserves of the Caspian Sea.

Since gaining its independence with the Soviet collapse in 1991, Azerbaijan has been at the heart of Western efforts to transport oil and gas from the Caspian to Europe, decreasing Western reliance on Russian supplies.

Baku is the starting point for two major pipelines carrying oil and gas from the Caspian, through Georgia and Turkey, to hungry European consumers.

Efforts are underway to expand the network into Central Asia, and Azerbaijan is also considered a key potential supplier for the European Union’s flagship Nabucco gas pipeline. But in the wake of the Armenia-Turkey deal, Azerbaijan has threatened to seek alternative export routes and in recent months has signed new supply deals with both Russia and Iran. Azimov, the deputy foreign minister, said the West needs to realise that pushing for a deal between Turkey and Armenia without taking Baku’s interests into account will have consequences.

“The question that needs to be asked is: Are we important? And if we are, then issues have to be solved in a way providing for all interests,” he said.

Lobotomies are Making a Come-Back

[They can burn really tiny holes in your brain now.  Not like the bad old days with the ice picks.  These egotistical maniacs really don’t know what damage they are doing, or why it sometimes helps.]

Christopher Capozziello for The New York Times

Karen Quintal, with a Leksell frame screwed into her skull before surgery for a tumor.

Surgery for Mental Ills Offers Hope and Risk

By BENEDICT CAREY

The man, Leonard, a writer living outside Chicago, found himself completely unable to wash himself or brush his teeth. The teenager, Ross, growing up in a suburb of New York, had become so terrified of germs that he would regularly shower for seven hours. Each received a diagnosis of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, or O.C.D., and for years neither felt comfortable enough to leave the house.

But leave they eventually did, traveling in desperation to a hospital in Rhode Island for an experimental brain operation in which four raisin-sized holes were burned deep in their brains.

Today, two years after surgery, Ross is 21 and in college. “It saved my life,” he said. “I really believe that.”

The same cannot be said for Leonard, 67, who had surgery in 1995. “There was no change at all,” he said. “I still don’t leave the house.”

Both men asked that their last names not be used to protect their privacy.

The great promise of neuroscience at the end of the last century was that it would revolutionize the treatment of psychiatric problems. But the first real application of advanced brain science is not novel at all. It is a precise, sophisticated version of an old and controversial approach: psychosurgery, in which doctors operate directly on the brain.

In the last decade or so, more than 500 people have undergone brain surgery for problems like depression,anxiety, Tourette’s syndrome, even obesity, most as a part of medical studies. The results have been encouraging, and this year, for the first time since frontal lobotomy fell into disrepute in the 1950s, the Food and Drug Administrationapproved one of the surgical techniques for some cases of O.C.D.

While no more than a few thousand people are impaired enough to meet the strict criteria for the surgery right now, millions more suffering from an array of severe conditions, from depression to obesity, could seek such operations as the techniques become less experimental.

But with that hope comes risk. For all the progress that has been made, some psychiatrists and medical ethicists say, doctors still do not know much about the circuits they are tampering with, and the results are unpredictable: some people improve, others feel little or nothing, and an unlucky few actually get worse. In this country, at least one patient was left unable to feed or care for herself after botched surgery.

Moreover, demand for the operations is so high that it could tempt less experienced surgeons to offer them, without the oversight or support of research institutions.

And if the operations are oversold as a kind of all-purpose cure for emotional problems — which they are not, doctors say — then the great promise could quickly feel like a betrayal.

“We have this idea — it’s almost a fetish — that progress is its own justification, that if something is promising, then how can we not rush to relieve suffering?” said Paul Root Wolpe, a medical ethicist at Emory University.

It was not so long ago, he noted, that doctors considered the frontal lobotomy a major advance — only to learn that the operation left thousands of patients with irreversible brain damage. Many promising medical ideas have run aground, Dr. Wolpe added, “and that’s why we have to move very cautiously.”

Dr. Darin D. Dougherty, director of the division of neurotherapeutics at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard, put it more bluntly. Given the history of failed techniques, like frontal lobotomy, he said, “If this effort somehow goes wrong, it’ll shut down this approach for another hundred years.”

A Last Resort

Five percent to 15 percent of people given diagnoses of obsessive-compulsive disorder are beyond the reach of any standard treatment. Ross said he was 12 when he noticed that he took longer to wash his hands than most people. Soon he was changing into clean clothes several times a day. Eventually he would barely come out of his room, and when he did, he was careful about what he touched.

“It got so bad, I didn’t want any contact with people,” he said. “I couldn’t hug my own parents.”

Before turning to writing, Leonard was a healthy, successful businessman. Then he was struck, out of nowhere, with a fear of insects and spiders. He overcame the phobias, only to find himself with a strong aversion to bathing. He stopped washing and could not brush his teeth or shave.

“I just looked horrible,” he said. “I had a big, ugly beard. My skin turned black. I was afraid to be seen out in public. I looked like a street person. If you were a policeman, you would have arrested me.”

Both tried antidepressants like Prozac, as well as a variety of other medications. They spent many hours in standard psychotherapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder, gradually becoming exposed to dreaded situations — a moldy shower stall, for instance — and practicing cognitive and relaxation techniques to defuse their anxiety.

To no avail.

“It worked for a while for me, but never lasted,” Ross said. “I mean, I just thought my life was over.”

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The Shia-Sunni faultline

The Shia-Sunni faultline


G Parthasarathy

Just as the hapless people of Iraq emerged from the trauma of the American invasion and the consequent ethnic and sectarian violence that engulfed their country, the fledgling democratic Government was confronted with new challenges. On August 21 the Shia majority Iraqi Parliament called on its Sunni dominated neighbour, Saudi Arabia, to “cease funding anti-Government terrorists in Iraq”. A senior official of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s ruling Dawa Party, Mr Haidar al-Ibadi noted on August 20 that “there are regional powers that pay billions of dollars to push for the failure of Iraq’s democracy”. He criticised a “multi-billion-dollar plan by Saudi Arabia and other states” to launch terrorist attacks across the country and to undermine public confidence in the elected Government. Another leading Iraqi MP, who is a member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Sami al Askari, averred: “Saudi Arabia is not happy that Shias lead this country.” The Iraqis note that three Sunni Arab countries — Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt — are yet to establish diplomatic missions in Baghdad.

While Iraq accuses Saudi Arabia of meddling in its internal affairs, Saudi Arabia and Yemen accuse Shia-dominated Iran of promoting unrest in their Shia minorities. In September, Yemen claimed it seized a vessel carrying weapons from Iran for rebels of its minority Zaidi Shia sect and detained its Iranian crew. As internal tensions in Yemen spilled across its borders into neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Air Force strafed rebel bases along the Yemen-Saudi border. On November 11, Saudi Arabia imposed a naval blockade of the Red Sea coast of northern Yemen. The Saudi Army is now operating against Shia rebels along its borders with Yemen. Saudi Arabia fears Iranian instigation of its Shia population in its oil-rich eastern provinces. Responding to Saudi actions, Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki warned: “Regional and neighbouring countries should not interfere in Yemen’s internal affairs,” adding, “Those who choose to fan the flames of conflict must know that the fire will reach them.”

Iran asserts that neighbouring Pakistan is joining Saudi Arabia, with American encouragement, to promote terrorist violence in its Sunni majority border Province of Sistan Balochistan. Iran accuses Pakistan of arming and supporting a shadowy Wahaabi-oriented Balochi group, Jundallah, to destabilise Sistan Balochistan. On May 28, the Jundallah struck at the provincial capital Zahidan during ceremonies by the Shia community to mark the death of the daughter of Prophet Mohammed. This terrorist attack left 25 worshippers dead and 125 injured. On October 18 the Jundallah again struck at a meeting convened by the Deputy Commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard, killing 42 people, including the Deputy Commander. An outraged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused “certain officials” in Pakistan of cooperating with the Jundallah and providing shelter and support to its leader Abdelmalek Rigi. Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war in Pakistan and Afghanistan. While Saudi Arabia has backed the Taliban in Afghanistan and Wahaabi-oriented groups like the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi in Pakistan, Iran has responded by aiding the Shia minority and anti-Taliban groups along its borders with Afghanistan and sectarian Shia groups in Pakistan.

Superimposed on the rivalries, conflicts and prejudices that have characterised Persian-Arab relations for centuries, matters have been further complicated by the roles of the US and Israel, which significantly influence developments in the region. While Jews and Persians have historically been allies, Iran’s Revolutionary Government has adopted a policy of hostility towards Israel and the US. The Israelis, in turn, have covert links with Arab countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Israel has stridently opposed Iran’s nuclear programme, claiming that Tehran has ambitions to make nuclear weapons. The Obama Administration is trying to find a solution that permits Iran to enrich uranium, while ensuring that it neither qualitatively not quantitatively possesses enough highly enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons. Israel, however, continues to warn that if Iran, which has threatened to “wipe Israel off the map”, is not stopped, it will strike militarily at Iranian nuclear facilities. Any such action could well lead to Iran seeking to cut off access to two-thirds of the world’s oil supplies coming from the Persian Gulf, sparking a global economic crisis.

India has a vital stake in the stability of the region, extending from Pakistan and Afghanistan, across the Straits of Hormuz. An estimated four million Indians now live in the six Arab Gulf kingdoms — Oman, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. India gets around 75 per cent of its oil supplies from these countries. Indians living in these countries remit the bulk of the $ 55 billion that India gets as remittances. Tensions and conflicts in this region could send global oil prices skyrocketing. This will adversely affect our balance of payments and send our foreign exchange reserves spiralling downwards, as we already have an adverse balance of trade of around $ 120 billion. Apart from India’s increasing dependence on the Gulf Arab states for its oil supplies, there is now a growing demand for natural gas, for which an agreement was signed with Qatar. While Qatar has fulfilled the terms of the agreement signed with India, Iran has proved to be an unreliable supplier, unilaterally repudiating a contract signed with India in 2005 for supply of an estimated $ 40 billion of natural gas over 25 years. Iran, however, remains an important source of natural gas. Given the political situation within Pakistan and growing regional tensions, India will have to secure foolproof guarantees of assured supplies before inking any deal on a gas pipeline from Iran, which traverses through not only the violence prone Sistan Balochistan province of Iran, but also through volatile Pakistani Balochistan.

Given the complexities of the emerging situation in its western neighbourhood, India will have to steer clear of getting involved in Persian-Arab rivalries. But, at the same time, given its close relations with Iran, Israel and the US and as a member of the Board of Governors of the IAEA, India should play a more active role in resolving the stand-off resulting from Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Samuel Huntington had prophesised a “clash of civilisations” between the Christian and the Muslim worlds. What we are witnessing in our neighbourhood is a clash between Persian and Arab cultures, superimposed on a sectarian Shia-Sunni divide.

Hired Assassins Killing in Pakistan, Some Kill for Us, Some Kill for You–All the Dead Pakistani

[Expect to see more stories like these in the coming days, as the Army and ISI facilitate America’s “under the radar” invasion of their country.   We are seeing the final act of a US/Pakistani psycho-drama, staged to ease the people into accepting Bush/Musharraf’s war, something that would have been unthinkable in the two previous attempts to wage war against the Pashtun people.  SEE:  Before Obama Escalates the Afghan War, He Must Tell Us WhoWe Are Fighting]

A tale of two stories

By Cyril Almeida

Military men have been up to some very bad things, we’ve learned this week. But the very different reactions to two seemingly unrelated stories in the media tell us at least one thing: things aren’t going to get better any time soon.

First, over to Jeremy Scahill, writing in The Nation, US: ‘At a covert forward operating base run by the US Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, members of an elite division of Blackwater are at the centre of a secret programme in which they plan targeted assassinations of suspected Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives, ‘snatch and grabs’ of high-value targets and other sensitive action inside and outside Pakistan.’

Before you reach for your pitchfork to skewer evil Americans up to no good inside Pakistan without our leadership’s knowledge — military or civilian — consider what else Scahill has reported: ‘He [a former senior Blackwater executive] said that Blackwater is also working for the Pakistani government on a subcontract with an Islamabad-based security firm that puts US Blackwater operatives on the ground with Pakistani forces in counter-terrorism operations, including house raids and border interdictions, in the North West Frontier Province and elsewhere in Pakistan.’

‘Government’ can be misleading since it implies the civilian side of the state, but the story makes it clear elsewhere who inside Pakistan is really working with Blackwater: ‘According to the executive, Blackwater works on a subcontract for Kestral Logistics, a powerful Pakistani firm, which specialises in military logistical support, private security and intelligence consulting. It is staffed with former high-ranking Pakistani army and government officials.’

The reaction to these revelations should be severe; we don’t need America’s version of non-state actors, mercenaries, really, running around our country, whatever their purpose or utility. The fact that the Pakistan Army — that so-called bastion of professionalism and custodian of our national security — has acquiesced in or enabled the activities of these non-state actors as opposed to elected representatives — the so-called ‘bloody civilians’, aka politicians — doesn’t make it any better or well-thought-out an idea.

But here’s the problem: the selective outrage of the media and the public enables military men to remain immune from accountability.

On Tuesday, a front-page headline in Dawn proclaimed: ‘Intelligence agencies looking into oil, gas deals’. The accompanying article goes on to report: ‘According to sources, a team of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) has collected record of the proposed transactions and interviewed the managing director of the Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and some senior officials of the petroleum ministry.’

Who authorised agencies run by the military to investigate commercial affairs? To whom is the ISI/MI team going to present its findings? To what purpose will the findings be applied? None of these questions have appeared to worry many here.

Fixated as the media and the public are on the corruption allegations that are churning the political waters at the moment, it seems to matter little who is probing corruption and why — just as long as someone is, there’s hope that the ‘dirty’ politicians can be drained from the swamp. It’s a simple, visceral reaction in a messy place where there are few good options: corruption, bad; those fighting corruption, good.

But bad as corruption may be, the revelation of the ISI/MI probe is, or ought to be, equally, if not more, unsettling. It is yet another piece of evidence that the transition to democracy, already shaky because of the political sins of the politicians, is headed in the wrong direction, and that the military is perhaps quietly working to nudge it in that wrong direction.

A bold pronouncement? Consider this. It is an open secret by now that President Zardari and the army high command have rocky relations. Neither really likes the other and some of that dislike is personal and some policy-driven. But the publicly known disagreements so far have been about policy issues: who controls the ISI, what is our declared nuclear posture, what conditions attached to US aid are acceptable.

Inserting the ISI and MI into the civilian domain to probe corruption, however, is not about policy, it is about politics. Only the incorrigibly naïve would believe that the intelligence team was sent over to fight corruption in the system.

But the point here is larger than the fate of Zardari or the government. The point is this: a law unto itself, the army’s actions remain frighteningly immune from accountability — and the lack of public and media opposition to its ‘good’ but possibly illegal actions (such as sending its intelligence operatives to investigate a very narrow, specific case of alleged corruption that could affect the presidential camp) means that there is absolutely no chance that the army’s bad and possibly illegal actions can ever be stopped.

In real terms, there is virtually nothing that can be done to stop Blackwater and its ilk from operating here. Secret military operations are the blackest of black holes, and if the media and the public kick up a fuss over Blackwater, the army will quietly switch to some other opaque tactic. And if that is subsequently exposed, too, the army will switch to a third.

Meaningful civilian oversight of the army is obviously a distant goal, but it will remain a chimera — an impossible idea — if the public and the media and the politicians never push back against the army on the smallest of issues.

That’s exactly what the corruption probe by the ISI/MI team should be: a relatively small matter on which there should be no ambiguity in denouncing it and demanding it be shut down at once.

There is, of course, no straight line between the army’s corruption probe and its murky arrangements with Blackwater. But the two stories fit into a bigger picture of the army setting and playing by its own rules. And unless the army gets its knuckles rapped for minor misdemeanours, why should it ever worry about being held accountable for its major sins?

cyril.a@gmail.com

ClimateGate Is Not the First Time Progressive Scientists Have Lied To the World

ClimateGate Is Not the First Time Progressive Scientists Have Lied To the World

by Andrew Marcus

Now that global warming is being exposed as a gross manipulation of junk science, it is important to remember that this is not the first time in our nation’s history that the Progressive community has used junk science in order to force their social agenda on an unsuspecting population.

eugenicstree

Back in the early 1900’s, up through World War Two, the progressive movements of America and Europe committed large scale genocide with their progressive Eugenic “science”. In fact the term genocide was coined to describe what the Progressive Eugenic movement did in this country and in Germany.

Not many people understand the crime these American Progressives committed, because public educators and other liberal professors just can’t wrap their rigid minds around the concept that the origins of their current religion are soaked in the blood of their own dark history.

The whole ugly truth about how American Progressives directly inspired Adolf Hitler and his Reich, is contained in a masterpiece of writing by Edwin Black, War Against The Weak.


From the book’s website:

Ultimately, 60,000 Americans were coercively sterilized — legally and extra-legally. Many never discovered the truth until decades later. Those who actively supported eugenics include America’s most progressive figures: Woodrow Wilson, Margaret Sanger and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

American eugenic crusades proliferated into a worldwide campaign, and in the 1920s came to the attention of Adolf Hitler. Under the Nazis, American eugenic principles were applied without restraint, careening out of control into the Reich’s infamous genocide. During the pre-War years, American eugenicists openly supported Germany’s program. The Rockefeller Foundation financed the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute and the work of its central racial scientists. Once WWII began, Nazi eugenics turned from mass sterilization and euthanasia to genocidal murder. One of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute doctors in the program financed by the Rockefeller Foundation was Josef Mengele who continued his research in Auschwitz, making daily eugenic reports on twins. After the world recoiled from Nazi atrocities, the American eugenics movement — its institutions and leading scientists — renamed and regrouped under the banner of an enlightened science called human genetics.

To see just how involved the American Progressive movement was in the global effort to murder the “inferior” in the name of their junk science of Eugenics, we dare you to click through to this Google Books page for Black’s book, War Against The Weak. The link highlights the word Progressive everywhere it appears in the text.

And before the folks at Media Matters try to destroy the source of the detailed research which reveals how America’s Progressive movement collaborated with the Nazis to commit genocide, we would simply like to wish you good luck with that.

Again, from Mr. Black’s website:

In 2005, Black won the World Affairs Council’s award for the Best World Affairs Book for Banking on Baghdad, and the Doña Gracia Medal for Best Book of The Year. In 2004, he won the coveted Rockower First Prize Award for Investigative Journalism from the American Jewish Press Association for “Funding Hate,” his acclaimed, syndicated investigation of the Ford Foundation’s systematic funding of hate groups. In 2003, he received the top two editorial awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors: Best Book of the Year for IBM and the Holocaust and Best Article of the Year for “IBM in Auschwitz” in the Village Voice. Also in 2003, Black received the International Human Rights Award from the World Affairs Council for War Against the Weak.

We would also like to direct Neo-Progressives doubters, who still don’t want to believe the truth about their movement’s blood stained history, to listen to this interview Tavis Smiley conducted with Mr. Black on NPR.

Edwin Black is unimpeachable! His reputation as a consummate researcher is undisputed by every liberal rag in the land. He doesn’t care about the politics of his discoveries. He only cares about finding the truth.

The Progressive movement in this country is so fond of highlighting the darkest elements of the history of these United States, but for some reason, they always leave out the significant role the Progressive movement had in all of those ugly chapters.

That’s probably because if people were educated as to the history of Eugenics, they might make the connection that the anti-miscegenation inspired Ku Klux Klan was a direct product of American Progressives, who loathed the idea of interracial breeding. Golly that would be embarrassing!

People might also come to the conclusion that the National Socialist movement in Europe was a Progressive movement. None of this makes for very good PR.

None of this is to say that Neo-Progressives are Nazis. They are not. Obama is not Hitler and we have said as much on Founding Bloggers. But when the government proposes a federal mandate requiring everyone to buy a product or service, or face jail time, that sure does feel like some flavor of social fascism.

Either way, the Neo-Progressives should at least be held to their own standard, and have their racist history hung around their necks like a scarlet letter.

The Progressive movement owns the Klan.

The Progressive Movement owns Nazi Eugenics.

The Neo-Progressive Movement owns Global Warming.

As a side note, how ironic is it that so many Jews and Blacks lead today’s Progressive movement, when the same ideology murdered millions of them throughout the previous century? I would think Progressive is the last thing a Jew or Black person would want to identify with. Despite the abysmal track record of the movement, they are embracing the newest flavor of scientific fraud, global warming, perpetrated in a recycled effort to socially engineer society according to today’s Progressive standards.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Commander Accuses Western Coalition of Collusion with Somali Pirates

Commander Accuses Western Coalition of Collusion with Somali Pirates

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian commander blamed the western coalition forces deployed in the Gulf of Aden of assistance and complicity with Somali pirates in the volatile waters.

“Why don’t the coalition forces, which enjoy super hi-tech equipment, annihilate the buccaneers of the region forever and why do they provide the ground for the continuation of their activities through their suspicious supports?” Commander of Iran’s first Naval Zone Fariborz Qaderpanah asked, speaking in a detailed interview with FNA on Tuesday.

Noting that many analysts believe that there are secret hands at work which are disturbing security in the Gulf of Aden, Qaderpanah lamented that certain countries which are the root cause of insecurity in the region make suspicious statements to justify their presence.

Elsewhere, he further stated that pirates’ experience and practice as well as the hi-tech weaponry supplied by the western states to the pirates have rendered them so skillful that they can now grab a vessel at the earliest.

Earlier on Monday, Qaderpanah had said that at present 30 battleships and gunboats from different countries are deployed in the Gulf of Aden.

The Iranian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since November 2008, when Somali raiders hijacked the Iranian-chartered cargo ship, MV Delight, off the coast of Yemen.

The Gulf of Aden – which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea – is an important energy corridor, particularly because Persian Gulf oil is shipped to the West via the Suez Canal.

The Iranian Navy recently dispatched fourth fleet of its warships to the Gulf of Aden to defend the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against continued attacks by the Somali pirates.

According to UN Security Council resolutions, different countries can send their warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia against the pirates and even with prior notice to Somali government enter the territorial waters of that country in pursuit of Somali sea pirates.

Obama Hoping to Escalate Without Increasing Popular Resistance

U.S. Is Seeking 10,000 Troops From Allies in Afghanistan

Jerome Delay/Associated Press

An Afghan vehicle cleared a NATO checkpoint run in part by French Foreign Legion forces northeast of Kabul this month. The United States is seeking more help from NATO in Afghanistan.

Published: November 25, 2009

WASHINGTON — The United States is scrambling to coax NATO allies to send 10,000 additional troops to Afghanistan as part of President Obama’s strategy for the region. Those countries appear willing to provide fewer than half that number, American and allied officials said Wednesday.

NATO members and other foreign allies have expressed reluctance to send more soldiers because of the Afghan war’s growing unpopularity in their countries and increasing concerns over corruption in President Hamid Karzai’s government.

The Obama administration views a substantial contribution from its allies as a way to keep the American troop increase lower and blunt domestic political criticism of the Afghan war. It would also allow the administration to come close to the military’s request for 40,000 additional troops without relying totally on the already stretched American armed forces.

After weeks of deliberation, Mr. Obama is to announce his Afghan war policy on Tuesday. Administration officials say that a strong speech explaining Mr. Obama’s strategy for achieving success would provide them with fresh ammunition to galvanize support in foreign capitals.

The administration confronts several hurdles to garnering more allied contributions. In Britain, which has pledged an additional 500 troops, Defense Minister Bob Ainsworth said Tuesday that Mr. Obama had taken too long to decide on a new strategy, harming the British government’s ability to rally public support for the war.

The British government is facing opinion polls showing that around 70 percent of the public favors an early withdrawal. That figure has nearly doubled in the past six months, as the country has sustained its worst casualties — 97 killed so far this year — since it first deployed troops to Afghanistan after the Taliban were toppled in 2001.

Germany and France have balked at committing any more forces to a war that has so little public support that they can barely maintain current troop levels.

The Netherlands and Canada have begun discussing plans to pull out. Canadian defense officials told reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates in Halifax last week that they had no intention of sending troops in the future, and that they remained committed to withdrawing by the end of 2011.

Even if the allies make commitments for 5,000 or more new troops after the president’s address on Tuesday at West Point, NATO officials say, those commitments will include troops already in Afghanistan to provide security for recent elections and trainers for the Afghan Army and the police.

And it remains unclear whether several thousand NATO and other foreign troops are really the equal of a similarly sized American force in terms of military capacity. Some countries may continue to restrict how their forces may be employed. In addition, a force that is cobbled together from too many nations — a few hundred here and a thousand there — might not have the unit cohesion of an American force, military analysts said.

Washington has not yet made formal troop requests to allies, but there have been diplomatic and other conversations seeking commitments in principle, carried out by senior American officials; the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen; and Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain.

Mr. Obama’s aides have signaled that he intends to commit close to 30,000 additional American troops, on top of the 68,000 already there.

The president is likely to ask NATO allies to fill the gap between whatever new American troop contribution he announces and the approximately 40,000 that the NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, favors to carry out his proposed counterinsurgency strategy, according to administration officials. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the policy had not been formally announced.

After Mr. Obama gives his speech and Mr. Rasmussen delivers a statement of support, NATO foreign ministers are to meet in Brussels next Thursday and Friday to discuss Afghanistan. But troop commitments are not likely to be discussed in detail before a so-called force-generation conference on Dec. 7, also in Brussels, American and allied officials said.

Informal commitments of several thousand additional allied troops have already been made, but they include some of the 10,000 more European troops that were sent to Afghanistan by governments last year, as well as troops sent for the recent presidential election, NATO officials said.

While some countries are planning to pull these troops out, “there will be pressure on allies to keep those forces in Afghanistan,” a senior NATO official said.

Mr. Rasmussen spent Wednesday in Rome, for instance, talking to the Italian government about that very topic, and it appeared ready to send more troops, officials said. Mr. Rasmussen has also been to Warsaw, which officials said would contribute more troops.

Mr. Brown said Wednesday that he was “now optimistic,” after canvassing allies, that a number of countries “will indeed make available increased numbers of troops, and more police trainers and civilian support.” He said he hoped the figure would be 5,000 troops.

Other NATO officials said that figure was roughly accurate, even low. With new contributions expected from Poland, Italy and Britain, the major exceptions for the moment are Germany and France, the officials said.

Georgia, which is trying to secure its ties to NATO and its future membership in the group, has agreed to send another company, officials said, and may end 2010 as the largest non-NATO contributor.

France, however, is standing firm on its refusal to consider sending more troops beyond the 3,750 now in Afghanistan. It increased its troops by a battalion of 800 last year, added 200 more this year, and plans to send 150 more gendarmes to help train the Afghan police, said Christophe Prazuck, a spokesman for the French military.

From Nov. 1, France has also redeployed its troops out of Kabul into a new task force with 2,500 troops based east of the capital. But President Nicolas Sarkozy told the newspaper Le Figaro in mid-October, “France will not send a single soldier more.”

The new German government has not committed to more troops, but Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told military leaders in Berlin on Tuesday that “Germany will rethink and adjust, maybe even strengthen its military commitment to make Afghanistan a success.”

The German mandate to keep its troops in Afghanistan is up for approval by Parliament in December. Right now the country has roughly 4,300 soldiers there. Mr. Guttenberg has steadfastly maintained that the government will not review the level of forces until after an international Afghanistan conference at the end of January, though he recently authorized an additional 120 soldiers to help deal with the worsening situation in northern Afghanistan.

Eric Schmitt reported from Washington and Steven Erlanger from Paris. Reporting was contributed by John F. Burns from London, Nicholas Kulish from Hamburg, Germany, and Elisabeth Bumiller and Michael R. Gordon from Washington.

‘Homo International’ Controls East & West — Soviet Defector

‘Homo International’ Controls East & West — Soviet Defector

klimov.gifBy Richard Evans
(For Henrymakow.com)


In 1947: a young officer of the Soviet Military Administration (SVAG) in occupied East Germany defected to the West.  Gregory Klimov (left) didn’t have any Soviet weapons secrets but he brought something far more valuable to the CIA.  He understood the hidden workings of Soviet system.

Klimov discovered that the Soviet system was dominated by a secret society of sociopaths bonded by a common pathology termed ‘the power complex’. “This complex is usually associated with suppressed sadism, which in turn is result of latent homosexuality. Anybody who has knowledge of this forbidden area can influence and promote these leaders-to-be to position of power”.

Klimov observed that admission up the ladder of the power structure required membership in the usual secret societies – “Masons, Shriners, Illuminates,  Theosophy, etc. – are clubs, where degenerates observe behavior of possible candidates and upon verifying real homo-sadistic inclination of the person – promote him into the real world of power.  Of couse there will be some normal curious bystanders, who always be in the background crowd as decoration. The real purpose of this clubs is to select active sado-homosexual maniacs who will not stop at committing any crime in order to be recognized and promoted to the position of power.”

Klimov uses the term ”degenerates” to identify this secret brotherhood. Degenerates can’t produce or invent or perform necessary tasks. They control and delegate.  Through a system of fear and envy.

They rely upon a social structure of hierarchy based upon fear and covetous envy – the essence of sado-masochism.  It’s the ‘dog eat dog’ rat race culture.  As a translator and communications expert, Klimov saw normal productive individuals like himself were essentially prisoners in the system serving these degenerate ‘superiors’ out of fear.

bush_kisses_gannon.jpg(left, Bush Kisses Johnny Gosch, aka Jeff Gannon)

These degenerates come about as result of inbreeding.

“When close relatives marry each other – children will be degenerates. This is an old, well-known fact. If a group of religious leaders forbid marrying outside of sect  – this sect in 4-5 generations will be full of degenerates. Do you know any sect, which forbids marriages to outsiders and has been doing that for the last 5,000 years? [Jews? or Sabatean Jews? ed.] Many degenerates have some unusual qualities like incredible desire to dominate, ABNORMAL wish to rule, ABNORMAL thirst for power.”

DEFECTOR

In his book Soviet Defectors: the KGB List, Vladislav Krason wrote of Klimov, “Having come to the conclusion … that the hard-won victory over the Nazis was stolen by Stalin and his henchmen in the Party and KGB, Klimov decided he had no future in his fatherland.”

Klimov himself wrote, “were it not for a secret agreement between the Americans and Soviet command to hand over deserters, the West would have been flooded with Soviet Army deserters.”

Uncertain that the US Military governor of West Berlin wouldn’t hand him over as a deserter, Klimov risked his life escaping to the American zone, gambling on having sufficient value to disappear through the black hole of the CIA.

Working inside the top secret level of the CIA it wasn’t long before he recognized the same culture of degenerates operates both sides behind the scenes.

Krason writes, “Klimov’s own encounter with the American authorities left a bitter taste with him that especially shows in his later writings”.

‘Homintern’ is a play on ‘Comintern’.  The Communist International.  But Klimov’s Homintern pre-dates the Soviet system by at least 5,000 years.

Klimov’s discovery of a sado-homo-cidal mafia at the top levels of power whether East or West coincides with Jim Garrison’s 1967 independent investigation into the Kennedy Assassination. Garrison was told of the Washington DC ‘homosexual elite’ which constitutes the secret government.  Garrison concluded that a primary reason Kennedy was so blatantly and brutally murdered before the American public was their contempt for Kennedy’s heterosexuality.

ANTI SEMITISM?

Some of Klimov’s later books are rumored to contain anti Semitic statements.
As those books aren’t available in English this reviewer has found no such statements to quote.

A web search of sites in English does indicate some anti Semtic websites have latched onto his ‘theory’ of “degenerate-ocracy” in support of their own paradigm, but the following quote of Klimov seems inconsistent with the spirit antisemitism.

Q. 9: What do you think about “pure blood” nations?

A.: Good God hates racism in any form. Good God hates any concepts of “chosen” nations.
ANYBODY who tries to keep pure blood by forbidding marriages to the other normal people risks the danger of increasing degeneration process of his own nation. Especially if it is small nation. Keep in mind, that we are talking here about normal marriages between residents of community of normal people.

SEE — KLIMOV’S “QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

NEXT:  Protocols of the Soviet Wise Men: The nature and culture of the Beast.

Politicians share personality traits with serial killers: Study

Politicians share personality traits with serial killers: Study

June 15, 2009 |  5:58 am

Using his law enforcement experience and data drawn from the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit, Jim Kouri has collected a series of personality traits common to a couple of professions.

Prison Walls

Kouri, who’s a vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police, has assembled traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse and manipulation of others.

These traits, Kouri points out in his analysis, are common to psychopathic serial killers.

But — and here’s the part that may spark some controversy and defensive discussion — these traits are also common to American politicians. (Maybe you already suspected.)

Yup. Violent homicide aside, our elected officials often show many of the exact same character traits as criminal nut-jobs, who run from police but not for office.

Kouri notes that these criminals are psychologically capable of committing their dirty deeds free of any concern for social, moral or legal consequences and with absolutely no remorse.

“This allCapitol Hill Domeows them to do what they want, whenever they want,” he wrote. “Ironically, these same traits exist in men and women who are drawn to high-profile and powerful positions in society including political officeholders.”

Good grief! And we not only voted for these people, we’re paying their salaries and entrusting them to spend our national treasure in wise ways.

We don’t know Kouri that well. He may be trying to manipulate all of us with his glib provocative pronouncements. On the other hand …

He adds:

“While many political leaders will deny the assessment regarding their similarities with serial killers and other career criminals, it is part of a psychopathic profile that may be used in assessing the behaviors of many officials and lawmakers at all levels of government.”

— Andrew Malcolm

The Reason the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) Was Created

[In the people’s eyes, the dance of the Army and the TTP validates Pakistan’s fighting America’s war.   In the previous attempts to fight this war for Bush, the Army relented, when the people began to rebel.  By creating the fake Taliban, the Army and the ISI maneuvered the Pakistani people into believing in America’s war in NWFP and FATA.  Pakistan has fallen under the spell of the American war of lies.  Their own government has sold them out at very high cost to the Pashtun people.  Will you continue to allow the treason that leads to your destruction?]

Driving the TTP out

Zafar Hilaly
For all their brave talk of fighting, dying and teaching the army a lesson, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in South Waziristan did what they always do when confronted by a larger force: they fled. A number, of course, stayed back, possibly as a rearguard to slow the army’s advance. That would make sense, as from their well-positioned locations they could extract a heavy toll from the army. As it happened, the death toll was relatively light. In all, 550 insurgents, less than five per cent of the estimated numbers of the TTP force, were killed at the cost to the army of 100 brave soldiers and officers.
The TTP in South Waziristan had behaved much in the same way as in Swat. In fact, they acted as insurgents do all over the world when confronted by a regular army, which is to avoid set-piece battles so that they may live to fight another day. That is not to say that the operation was not a success. In fact, a great deal was achieved by the operation, and at a far lower cost in lives than expected.
By driving the TTP out of their strongholds in South Waziristan the army deprived them of the use of a safe haven, training facilities, bomb-making laboratories, etc. They also forced the retreating TTP to abandon a sizeable amount of weaponry and explosives, all of which will have to be replenished at considerable cost and much travail.
Insurgencies are wars of attrition and also a test of stamina and morale. The loss of strategic territory and weaponry weakens the insurgents, lowers morale and correspondingly inflates the will, effectiveness and resolve of the army and the nation. While the army has emerged the victor in South Waziristan, to maintain its ascendancy it will have to pursue and engage the enemy wherever they retreat. The TTP must know that if they are not going anywhere, nor is the army; and that, until such time as they relent, surrender or are defeated, neither will the army.
What bodes well for the future is the acceptance by the public of the legitimacy of operation Rah-e-Nijat. Public “acceptance” and “legitimacy” are key elements in determining the eventual success or failure of anti-insurgency strategies, just as they were in the dozen or so similar operations elsewhere in the world. William Polk’s study of insurgencies further reveals that no matter how much alien occupiers wish to improve the condition of the local populace, when pitted against native insurgents the sympathy of the local population will invariably be with the latter. It is mostly for this reason that America cannot win in Afghanistan and why we can, even though we may not.
Of course, these are as yet early days of the civil war that is fast enveloping Pakistan. The TTP leadership is alive and yelling revenge. They have responded with a spate of bombings in Peshawar; although when they realised that the public reaction was hostile their spokesman chose to blame the bombings on the Americans.
Public anger against the Taliban is often accompanied by ire against the authorities for failing to protect the population. And because it is always difficult to acknowledge our own failings the public places the blame on foreign conspiracies. Actually, the public seem not as much lost as bewildered. They have no idea what to believe, let alone who. They cannot comprehend what is happening to their world and resent the fact that they cannot mend it.
Unless, therefore, the suicide bombings are thwarted more effectively, current support for the government will dissipate, giving way not only to anger but worse: hopelessness and a feeling that the government is helpless. And it is precisely when the public’s pity at their own fate turns to contempt for the government that the insurgents step forward and offer themselves as alternative rulers, promising peace and an end to the slaughter, in return for the loyalty of the populace.
We saw this earlier in Swat when the police ran away, local officials were killed and the TTP stepped in to take on the job of maintaining law and order and dispensing justice. We also witnessed the absurd spectacle of TV channels broadcasting the speech of Sufi Mohammed proclaiming a new order that ironically would have made TV channels and Parliament redundant.
Although it was sobering to be confronted with what the future would look like if the TTP prevailed, more troubling was the fact that the whole nation viewed the spectacle being enacted in Swat so passively. Not a single man took to the streets against the brutalities of the TTP. And Parliament actually called for negotiations with the TTP, undoubtedly out of a sense of fear and foreboding, rather than patience and wisdom. Sadly, terror and force, the means that wins the easiest victory over reason, was being allowed to prevail.
The feeble and flaccid public response to the happenings in Swat was a revelation. It gave the enemy hope and showed how close we, as a society, are to the abyss. And were it not for the media’s incessant screening of the young woman squealing while being whipped, would anyone have bothered or the army worked up the resolve to act? It is said that the army can only act with the support of the people. One discerned no such support among the people of Dacca in 1971. Luckily for the Jews, Moses did not conduct a poll before he set off. The fact is that when great changes occur in a nation’s history, when great principles are involved, the majority are often wrong. Remedies often lie not in the ceaseless deliberations of many but the actions of a few.
As a result of the current vacuum in leadership, the clear direction which the nation so sorely requires is missing. The sarkar is rudderless. Mr Zardari feels wronged because people are laying the blame for the confusion that prevails at his doorstep. Yes, they are, but only because he not only errs, he blunders. Mr Zardari has responded by accusing people of jumping the gun and writing his political obituary. Actually, not only are they jumping the gun, they have hurdled the cannon; and what is being written now is not his political obituary but an epitaph which normally follows, and not precedes, an obituary. In other words, they are writing what they sense he has become—history. What, then, does the future hold? Who knows? Except, that it does seem dark and, at times, irretrievably so.
But if Mr Zardari, though more so his American mentors, display a mite of common sense and read the writing on the wall and depart—in the case of Mr Zardari, from office, and in the case of the Americans from Afghanistan—perhaps the darkness we are in will not stretch beyond the first light of day. Were the Americans to depart from Afghanistan the song that Al Qaeda, the Lashkars and the TTP sing will have little resonance. The Al Qaeda variety, in particular the Arab lot, who have had a hand in the murder of as many as 800 tribal maliks of FATA, can expect a cruel end when the tide turns, as it will. The Laskars, Jaishes and the TTP are more the concern of the establishment. They created them and now should snuff them out.
All this could happen, given time and proper leadership in Pakistan; and less paranoia and more imagination on the part of America. It is a shame, therefore, that the government is urging the Americans not to leave Afghanistan. How can those who, when they came should never have stayed on, be urged to continue a while longer? And after eight years, is Pakistan still not ready to cope on its own with the challenges it faces? Why should our leaders who act as if they are not afraid of God be scared of the adversary? Told that all Europe had fallen to the Nazis and asked how England expected to defend itself, an English cartoonist replied, “Very well, then alone.” Are we up to it?
The writer is a former ambassador. Email: charles123it@hotmail.com

‘Iran can take legal action over Russian missiles’

‘Iran can take legal action over Russian missiles’

TEHRAN: Iran can take legal action against Russia if it fails to honour a deal to supply Tehran with an advanced air defence missile system, a top general said on Tuesday.
Russia, Tehran’s sole ally among world powers, has so far not delivered the S-300 missiles to Tehran, in a delay which Iranian officials blame on growing pressure on Moscow from Washington and Iran’s arch-foe Israel.
“The Russians are under the pressure of the Zionist lobby and America and so have not fulfilled their commitments,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Brigadier-General Mohammad Hassan Mansourian as saying.
“As this is an official agreement it can be pursued through international legal bodies,” said Mansourian, the deputy head of Iran’s air defences.
On November 11, the Iranian armed forces chief of staff, General Hassan Firouzabadi, said that Russia was now six months late in delivering the missiles.
It was the first time that an Iranian official had spoken of a delivery date for the missile system, under a deal which has never been officially confirmed by Moscow.
Earlier in the month, Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi urged Russia to ignore Israeli pressure to scrap the deal and to honour its obligations.
“We have a contract with Russia to buy S-300 missiles. I don’t think it is right for Russia to be seen in the world as a country which does not fulfil its contractual obligations,” Vahidi said at the time. “Russia has to fulfil the contract and not be influenced by Zionist pressure.”
Last month, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that Iran had not yet paid for the missiles because Moscow has not given its final approval for the deal, which has set alarm bells ringing in the West.
Under the contract, Russia would sell Iran five batteries of S-300PMU1 missiles for around 800 million dollars, Interfax reported.
The S-300PMU1 — codenamed the SA-20 Gargoyle by Nato — is a mobile land-based system designed to shoot down aircraft and cruise missiles.
Western governments fear Iran could use the system to boost defences around its nuclear sites against any Israeli or US air strike.
Neither country has excluded the possibility of military action to prevent the Islamic republic acquiring an atomic bomb, an ambition which Iranian officials strongly deny.

Before Obama Escalates the Afghan War, He Must Tell Us Who We Are Fighting

Before Obama Escalates the Afghan War, He Must Tell Us Who

We Are Fighting

By:  Peter Chamberlin

Who is “al Qaida,” that we must continue killing and destroying entire nations to eliminate them?  The world has too much riding on this war to abide Obama blindly continuing it without a valid mission. Defining an “exit plan” is not the same thing as defining the mission.  He cannot be allowed to simply launch yet another escalation without a clear mission, while shrugging-off questions about “al Qaida.”  The world must know who the enemy is, before the cycle of destruction is amplified in another blind rage without a reason.

“Al Qaida,” the base, in Arabic, is not the great threatening beast that has been used to frighten the little children.  “Al Q” is a group of a few hundred Arab terrorists, gathered together by America and Saudi Arabia in a network that was overseen by Osama bin Laden in Peshawar, Pakistan.  The CIA network recruited anti-Soviet fighters from all over the world, to serve agency interests.  They were never under bin Laden’s command.   American propagandists have created the illusion of a terrorist army of thousands of fighters, by lumping together bin Laden’s small group with the massive intelligence network that brought them all to Afghanistan, under the single rubric of “al Qaida.”

The original Arab-Afghan fighters loyal to bin Laden have all but been eliminated from the region, with the last remaining hold-outs scattered throughout the region.  If there is no “al Qaida” in Afghanistan, then who or what are we after, other than the Taliban?  The network itself?   Are we completing the destruction of Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to eliminate our own network?   If we fight against our own network, then why is an escalation needed?  Wouldn’t it be far easier and cheaper to simply defund it, turn off the switch in Langley, Virginia to the terrorist production line?

Or is the switch to the terrorist production line really in the Pentagon?  Since the military is the only beneficiary of another escalation into Afghanistan it is logical to assume that they are behind the whole endeavor.  The war is not about Afghanistan or Pakistan, but about maintaining another huge military presence there.  Pakistan is the jumping-off point to all the planned missions for Central America and securing the pipeline routes anticipated for the region.  See the following admission from a military operative in the know, as obtained by author Jeremy Scahill:

The military intelligence source said that the Blackwater/JSOC Karachi operation is referred to as “Qatar cubed,” in reference to the US forward operating base in Qatar that served as the hub for the planning and implementation of the US invasion of Iraq. “This is supposed to be the brave new world,” he says. “This is the Jamestown of the new millennium and it’s meant to be a lily pad. You can jump off to Uzbekistan, you can jump back over the border, you can jump sideways, you can jump northwest. It’s strategically located so that they can get their people wherever they have to without having to wrangle with the military chain of command in Afghanistan, which is convoluted. They don’t have to deal with that because they’re operating under a classified mandate.”

The world is in flames because Bush and Cheney chose to light it all up.  Nineteen men with razor blades attacked us and they decided that waging war upon the entire world was the best way to pay them back and imitate justice.  Obama is carrying the whole sick operation forward, because he is a coward—he is deathly afraid of the prospects of challenging the powerful Zionist war lobby that made him what he is today.

Who are we fighting, Obama?  Do you even know who the enemy is?

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

CIA’s Nazi Angel of Death Josef Mengele ‘Created Twin Town in Brazil’

[This is proof of just one Nazi scientist working in S. America until the late seventies.  See “Project Paperclip” to understand our own government’s importation of Mengele’s colleagues into the United States after the war.  We will probably never really know all the evil they have been up to here.]

CIA’s Nazi Angel of Death Josef Mengele ‘Created Twin Town in Brazil’

One in five pregnancies in the small Brazilian town have resulted in twins – most of them blond haired and blue eyed

By Nick Evans in Buenos Aires
http://www.telegraph.co.uk
23 Jan 2009

The steely hearted “Angel of Death”, whose mission was to create a master race fit for the Third Reich, was the resident medic at Auschwitz from May 1943 until his flight in the face of the Red Army advance in January 1945.

His task was to carry out experiments to discover by what method of genetic quirk twins were produced – and then to artificially increase the Aryan birthrate for his master, Adolf Hitler.

Now, a historian claims, Mengele’s notorious experiments may have borne fruit.
For years scientists have failed to discover why as many as one in five pregnancies in a small Brazilian town have resulted in twins – most of them blond haired and blue eyed.

But residents of Candido Godoi now claim that Mengele made repeated visits there in the early 1960s, posing at first as a vet but then offering medical treatment to the women of the town.

Shuttling between Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil, he managed to evade justice before his death in 1979, but his dreams of a Nazi master race appeared unfulfilled.

In a new book, Mengele: the Angel of Death in South America, the Argentine historian Jorge Camarasa, a specialist in the post-war Nazi flight to South America, has painstakingly pieced together the Nazi doctor’s mysterious later years.

After speaking to the townspeople of Candido Godoi, he is convinced that Mengele continued his genetic experiments with twins – with startling results.

He reveals how, after working with cattle farmers in Argentina to increase their stock, Mengele fled the country after fellow Nazi, Adolf Eichmann, was kidnapped by Israeli agents.

He claims that Mengele found refuge in the German enclave of Colonias Unidas, Paraguay, and from there, in 1963, began to make regular trips to another predominantly German community just over the border in Brazil – the farming community of Candido Godoi.

And, Mr Camaras claims, it was here that soon after the birthrate of twins began to spiral.

“I think Candido Godoi may have been Mengele’s laboratory, where he finally managed to fulfil his dreams of creating a master race of blond haired, blue eyed Aryans,” he said.

“There is testimony that he attended women, followed their pregnancies, treated them with new types of drugs and preparations, that he talked of artificial insemination in human beings, and that he continued working with animals, proclaiming that he was capable of getting cows to produce male twins.”

The urbane German who arrived in Candido Godoi was remembered with fondness by many of the townspeople.

“He told us he was a vet,” said Aloisi Finkler, a local farmer interviewed by Mr Camarasa. “He asked about illnesses we had among our animals, and told us not to worry, he could cure them. He appeared a cultured and dignified man.”

Another farmer, Leonardo Boufler, said: “He went from farm to farm checking the animals. He checked them for TB, and injected those that were infected. He said he could carry out artificial insemination of cows and humans, which we thought impossible as in those days it was unheard of.”
But the Nazi eugenicist did not concentrate on animals alone.

A former mayor and town doctor, Anencia Flores da Silva, set out to try to solve the town’s mystery. He interviewed hundreds of people, and discovered one character who crept on cropping up: an itinerant medic calling himself Rudolph Weiss.

Dr da Silva said: “In the testimonies we collected we came across women who were treated by him, he appeared to be some sort of rural medic who went from house to house. He attended women who had varicose veins and gave them a potion which he carried in a bottle, or tablets which he brought with him. Sometimes he carried out dental work, and everyone remembers he used to take blood.”

The people of Candido Godoi now largely accept that a Nazi war criminal was an inadvertent guest of theirs for several years in the early 1960s. The town’s official crest shows two identical profiles and a road sign welcomes visitors to a “Farming Community and Land of the Twins”. There is also a museum, the House of the Twins.

While the twins birthrate varies widely in different countries, it is typically about one in 80 pregnancies – a statistic that has left Mr Camarasa certain in his claim that Mengele was successfully pursuing his dreams of creating a master race, a real-life Boys from Brazil.

“Nobody knows for sure exactly what date Mengele arrived in Candido Godoi, but the first twins were born in 1963, the year in which we first hear reports of his presence,” he said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/brazil/4307262/Nazi-angel-of-death-Josef-Mengele-created-twin-town-in-Brazil.html

CIA Experiments With Magic, Part of Quest for Psychic Soldiers

[These sickos left no stone unturned, in their quest to alter the mind of man and gain access to the ultimate source of power.]

When the CIA tried its hand at magic

By Tom Scocca

“The instant the performer sees the spectator take a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, he takes the packet of matches from his pocket, tears off one match, and holds packet and match ready to ignite the match,” the magician John Mulholland wrote in a manual in the 1950s. “He does these things openly because what he does can only be looked upon as a friendly and courteous gesture.”

Mulholland’s instructions were written not for stage magicians, but for the covert operatives of the CIA. At the height of the Cold War – in the era of nuclear missiles and submarines, amid the tangled cloak-and-dagger maneuverings of espionage and counterespionage – the agency was also secretly doing something else. It was trying to learn to do magic.

The CIA hired Mulholland to explain techniques of sleight-of-hand and surreptitious signaling so that agents could use them in the field. His text, which was originally supposed to have been destroyed, has now been recovered, declassified, and reprinted as “The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception.” It deals mostly with basic stagecraft, minus the stage. If, before you struck a match, Mulholland advises the reader, you had stuck a pin into the back of the matchbook, it would be possible to pull the pin out with the fingernail of the left ring finger, the whole maneuver physically concealed by the matches and psychologically concealed by the broad, open gesture of lighting a match.

Or instead of a pin, one could glue a small pill to the back of the matchbook. And with practice, one could pick the pill off and make it fall at the moment the matches were passing above a drink belonging to the – what was the word? – “spectator.” Words, too, require a little legerdemain, when the readers are secret agents and the point of the maneuver is to drug or poison someone. Here is a trick with a pin that also works with a pill. Foreground, background.

Former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin writes in a forward to the manual that “[a]s best we know,” the drink-spiking techniques “were never actually used.” The assurance would be more reassuring if the authors who had recovered the manual, H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace, had not included their own historical overview of CIA trickery. In it, they explain that Mulholland’s writing was part of the secret MKULTRA program, whereby the CIA sought methods and materials “capable of employment in clandestine operations to control human behavior.” And part of MKULTRA did involve dosing unsuspecting subjects with LSD and other drugs.

The Soviets were doing it, after all, or were believed to be. The trickery manual and Melton and Wallace’s accompanying history usher the reader into the closed loop of ethics of the Cold War, as it was waged in both the covert and overt arenas: The Reds were a foe so ruthless, they had to be fought ruthlessly. Techniques of stage magic – developed and taught in secrecy, according to the magicians’ code, for the sake of entertaining willing audiences – were transferred to the realm of nonconsensual secrecy, to be used on people who were not asking to be fooled.

At the time, so was every other form of deception. In the superpower struggle for power and influence around the world, the CIA was secretly funding and engineering everything from literary journals to coups and armed rebellions. It was total warfare, but with creeping breadth in place of nuclear intensity. Both the ideas and techniques of secret war pervaded the culture – the corrosive belief in hidden conspiracy and the nifty thrill of spycraft itself, the codes and disguises and miniature cameras.

Melton and Wallace have rounded up some of the extreme forms of covert activity. The Soviets deployed a cyanide-bullet gun concealed in a cigarette pack; the Americans countered with a “nondiscernable bioinoculator” gun shooting tiny poison darts. A pop-up dummy took the place of an agent diving out of a moving car. A person was transported in a St. Bernard costume in a crate to a fake veterinary office. A radio was hidden in an artificial scrotum, to be worn over the real scrotum; miniature lock-picking tools were packaged in a suppository capsule.

Mulholland’s actual manual evokes a more understated, but eerier, figure – not a dashing hero with infinite James Bond-ian technology at his disposal, but a gray, anonymous person who “should be so normal in manner, and his actions so natural, that nothing about him excites suspicion.”

Beyond a few points of conjuring philosophy – the hand is not quicker than the eye; “[a] trick to be good must be simple in its basic idea” – Mulholland focuses on a few tricks for secretly dropping things or picking them up, and on how to do those tricks in an unremarkable manner. He supplies instructions on making and concealing droppers for liquids, a protocol for handling multiple small items so that one of them ends up in a pocket, and advice on how to put on a stupid face: “The more facial muscles are relaxed and eyes thrown out of focus, the greater the effect. Doing these actions to a mild degree merely shows a lack of alertness or disinterest.”

Today Mulholland’s account of real-world stagecraft amounts to an etiquette manual for a lost moment of history. The matchbook trick depends on people smoking and drinking. There is a survey of the many pockets found in every man’s suit, and which ones are most natural for casually slipping objects into. Mulholland dwells on the particular challenges faced by a female agent dumping powder into someone’s drink with a hollowed-out pencil – when she sketches a map or diagram, as pretext for bringing the loaded pencil into play, a male mark will inevitably try to commandeer the pencil himself to correct her drawing. Perhaps if she finds an excuse to sketch women’s clothing, Mulholland allows, “he will not wish to redraw the sketch.”

Such finesse is hard to detect in the present-day scandals over the crude and brutal treatment of captives by the CIA. The agency that came up with this manual – to say nothing of the dog costume, hollowed-out silver dollars, and schemes to put depilatory drug powder in Castro’s boots to make his beard fall out – is the same agency currently complaining that its employees will be unable to do their jobs if the United States enforces the existing laws against torture. Agents who would have been willing to stab themselves with a needle laced with shellfish toxin and die anonymously behind enemy lines have given way to people worried about possibly being investigated and prosecuted stateside. Reading the manual, you wonder: When did the brave men with a wealth of tricks concealed in their suit pockets become such hapless crybabies?

Or, on second thought, maybe they just want us to think they’re hapless crybabies.

Tom Scocca is working on a new book, “Beijing Welcomes You.’’

Media America

Media America

By Case Wagenvoord

23 November, 2009
Countercurrents.org

Some readers of this blog may get the impression that I hate America. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love this country in all of its flawed and contradictory complexity. The America I have issues with is what I call Media America, which consist of the three thorns our mainstream media would have us believe is the True America.

In the eyes of the media, America consists of: Wall Street, the Pentagon and the Capital. My argument is that not only do the three fail to represent America, they constitute a real threat to our democratic republic.

If we picture them as three moving circles in a Venn diagram, we see that they are slowly converging and will continue to do so until the three are one in a Holy Trinity of the Damned. (Granted, there is a celebrity circle, but that stands off by itself as a generator of the Bread and Circuses that keep the masses distracted.)

Whenever pundits wax eloquent about the “American character,” they are usually speaking of the one-percent that clawed their ways to the top of their respective circles. This overlooks the fact that the majority of the country is made up of decent people who simply want to get on with their lives under increasingly difficult circumstances.

Given the diverse complexity of our country, it is impossible to speak of an “American” anything. We are not a melting pot; we are a hodgepodge of nonlinear contradictions, currents, countercurrents and diverse opinions and beliefs. Unlike Media America, this America is real.

Media America is bent on self destruction. It rolls on; driven by a malignant energy that is slowly moving it towards the abyss. It cares little about the destruction and destitution created as it rolls across earth’s landscape, while, the media sings its praises in a voice loud enough to drown out the moans of its victims.

It is all an exercise in perception management. Pancake makeup is slathered on the beast’s face, the gore is wiped from its lips and its foul breath is sweetened with PR mouthwash. The beast smiles and speaks in measured and soothing tones as it calms and reassures. Its rhetoric soars as the disenfranchised are crushed beneath its wingtips. Bright lights hide the toxic shadow it casts.

The American Way is the product of madmen and bears no relationship to the real America that struggles to make it from one day to the next while its masters party on. This is the America that never reaches the surface of our media swamp.

Case Wagenvoord is a citizen who reads. He blogs at http://belacqaujones.blogspot.com and welcomes comments at Wagenvoord@msn.com.

Doctors’ Protest Against Police Torture Jam-up Lahore Traffic

Massive jams after protests

LAHORE

MASSIVE traffic jams were witnessed on The Mall and the Allama Iqbal Road due to protest demonstrations by doctors and paramedics from 12 districts of the province and female students of the Sheikh Sardar High School, Garhi Shahu, in the City on Monday.

The blockade of the roads caused the traffic mess on all the link roads as well. The demonstrations troubled commuters and pedestrians as traffic remained jammed for several hours.

The doctors and paramedics of the Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP) held a protest rally from the Ferozepur Road to The Mall, demanding the government regularise their service following the Punjab governmentís regularisation policy in all the sectors. The protesters blocked The Mall at the Regal Chowk for three hours and police had to resort to baton-charge to disperse them.

Earlier, scores of doctors and paramedics from 12 districts of the province under the banner of the Punjab Rural Doctors Association (PRDA) gathered at the PMA House, Ferozepur Road, where DCO Lahore Sajjad Bhutta held talks with doctors but he could not convince the doctors against holding the protest. The doctors and paramedics marched from the Ferozepur Road to the Mozang Chowk and the Queens Road towards the Charing Cross.

However, police blocked their direct access to the Charing Cross/Assembly Hall as the PML-N meeting, chaired by PML-N Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif, at the CMíS Secretariat was in progress and diverted them towards the Regal Chowk where they were again stopped.

Later, MPA Dr Asad Ashraf held negotiations with the protesters, but he did give any assurance to the doctors and paramedics for their regularisation and talks remained unsuccessful.

However, after increased public pressure, the PRDA leaders stopped their protest and dispersed after giving 15 days ultimatum to the Punjab government to fulfill their demands.

When asked to comment on the demands of the PRSP doctors and paramedics, Health Secretary Anwaar Ahmad Khan said the PRSP, a government-owned NGO, was a separate body having its own appointments and funds, therefore, it did not come under the purview of the Health Department or had a share in its annual budget. Therefore, on the advice of the officials concerned, the Punjab government had decided not to regularise doctors under the category following a summary moved for regularisation of the PRSP doctors and paramedics.

Meanwhile, the office-bearers of the Pakistan Medical Association, Punjab, condemned the torture of the doctors, lady doctors and other paramedics by the police.

Meanwhile, the female students of the Sheikh Sardar High School staged the demonstration in front of their school near the Garhi Shahu Police Station by blocking the main Allama Iqbal Road. They obstructed traffic on both sides of the road and chanted slogans against the land grabbers who were allegedly trying to occupy their school’s property. They were carrying banners and placards inscribed with demands of action against land grabbers.

White House Pretends to Focus on War’s End, Even as It Announces Major Escalation

White House discusses end to Afghan war

By Sami Abraham

WASHINGTON: Participants of a discussion at the White House have called for ending the war in Afghanistan, describing it a misuse of the US taxpayers’ money and asked to divide Pakistan into three parts.

The discussion, organised by the White House Office for Public Engagement, was held in the Eisenhower Executive Building to devise the future policy on Pakistan and Afghanistan. The participants were told that terrorism could not be eliminated from the region until the Kashmir issue was resolved and the Indian involvement in Balochistan was ended.

Another participant said Pakistan should be divided into three parts — North and South Pakistan and Balochistan.He said there were about 20,000 seminaries in Sindh alone and they should be either closed or taken over by the government without any delay.

Zardari Blocks Airing of ‘Meray Mutabiq’ in Dubai

Zardari forces closure of ‘Meray Mutabiq’ in Dubai

Dr Shahid faces life threats; Geo programme to be telecast from another location; bar widely condemned

News Desk

KARACHI: Under immense pressure from President Asif Ali Zardari on the Dubai government, ‘Meray Mutabiq’, the popular programme of Dr Shahid Masood on Geo TV, was banned from being telecast on Monday night from the Dubai studios of Geo TV.

Dr Masood presented his programme from a different location without the use of his studio and technical facilities and announced that he had been stopped by the local authorities from presenting his programme.

The popular talk show host also disclosed that he had received serious life threats from PPP leaders who had told him to come to Pakistan and conduct his programme from this country and then “we will see you”.

In an exact replay of the Musharraf era, the use of influence and pressure on a foreign government by the president of Pakistan is a direct attack on the freedom of the press in Pakistan, the Geo TV management said in a statement on Monday night.

It announced that the programme will still be telecast from a different location, as was done on Monday night.The management of Geo TV condemned the action of the Pakistani authorities to use the influence of a foreign government to deny freedom of expression and the Press.

Monday night’s programme of Dr Shahid Masood featured Group Editor of The News Shaheen Sehbai and Editor Investigations of The News Ansar Abbasi, who condemned the action, and with one voice declared that the action would not force Geo TV to succumb to government pressure.

Shaheen Sehbai expressed shock and regret and said the action showed that the PPP leaders had pushed the panic button in desperation otherwise there was no reason why they could not tolerate the voice of any journalist or any TV talk show host.

Sehbai said the action by the PPP rulers was a direct negation of democracy and freedom of speech and would be resisted by all democracy and freedom loving people in Pakistan and round the world. In today’s world of instant communications, Internet, U-Tube, SMS, emails, Twitter and private phone-videos, such a ban was nothing but sheer stupidity.

Journalist Ansar Abbasi said the journalists community had fought similar bans throughout their careers, specially under dictators, and they had always won and they will again win this time. But he said the regrettable part was that the curbs had been imposed by a government which called itself democratically elected.

Dr Shahid Masood in his statement revealed that he had been receiving threats to his life and the banning of his show in Dubai was a clear proof of the desperation and panic in the government. He, however, expressed his determination to continue speaking the truth and exposing the corruption and wrongdoings of the government, without fear.

Geo TV has always raised issues of public importance and had been in the vanguard of the movement for the restoration of the judges, against corruption of public money and for democracy and rule of law.

These issues had resulted in a similar ban imposed by the former dictator General Musharraf for three months after the imposition of the Nov 3 emergency but Geo TV and its journalists and TV hosts stood their ground and finally saw the dictator disappear into the dustbin of history.

The government action against Geo TV programme was immediately condemned by a wide spectrum of political leaders, media organisations and human rights bodies. Spokesman of the PML-N Ahsan Iqbal said it was an attack on the democratic freedom guaranteed under the Constitution and his party strongly condemned it. Chairman of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission Iqbal Haider called it a crude attack on all democratic norms and a violation of constitution which will be fought with full force.

Global Warming Is a Brilliant Diversion for the Elite–Everyone Wants to “Save the Earth”

[People are beginning to wake-up to the nature of the plot.  It has always been a diversion, intended to channel discontent away from efforts to actually oppose the ruling elite and their plans for a new world order, into the feel good about yourself resistance against the Empire that happens to be supported by all the leaders of the Empire.  How can environmentalism be real resistance, when all the bad guys are on your side?]//

Global warming misdirection causes resource misallocation

Imagine if President Barack Obama had assumed office with only two major crises–the economy, which is a house afire, and healthcare, which is a sinking ship. Think of how much extra flexibility he would have had in ordering his agenda, how much extra political capital he could have conserved for the legislative battles ahead.

With that as an unlikely beginning, let me tell you that this is the 8th in a series of articles about a series of emails and attachments beetween prominent climate scientists and paleoclimatologists that was leaked out onto the Internet last week, and has become something of a media firestorm since.

Click here to see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7.

The fanatic determination of some scientists, called The Team, to keep a catastrophic scenario of global warming before the public eye and on the political agenda involved a lot of chicanery. They cut their data series to obscure the fact that global warming slowed after 1998. They tried to cheat the peer review process, perhaps even to the extent of having an unsympathetic journal editor replaced. They deleted emails, told others to delete emails and threatened to delete data files–data files which have since disappeared.

And they trashed other scientists, trampling them underfoot if they showed any sign of independence or disagreement with their party line–anything to do with the environment had to be CO2, all CO2, twenty four hours a day. In yesterday’s article we wrote on the effect this might have had on the career of a climate scientist who dared to disagree with them.

Today we’ll talk about broader implications. If President Obama had not felt constrained to make an omnibus energy package his second priority (after the economy), it is certainly possible that healthcare would be a done deal by now. Obviously that’s speculation, but the tireless drumbeat of alarmist propaganda, inspired by the scientists whose emails we’re all reading, means we will never know. Their hysterical hockey sticks, as translated by the non-scientists who tried to panic the public, succeeded in keeping global warming at the top of the political agenda, even while it was at the bottom of public concerns. President Obama lost out because of this–and perhaps so did we all.

Or take biofuels–please. Global commodity prices, and in particular the price of food, have pushed tens of millions back into poverty, because in our race to find a fuel that was friendlier to the environment, we began to convert corn into fuel. Let them eat cake, I guess. Had we adopted a saner approach to dealing with the effects of global warming, we wouldn’t be standing by while Archer Daniels Midland gets richer while the poorest of the poor get poorer.

And would an energy policy not fueled by hysteria really be pushing so hard for windmills? Wouldn’t we be looking at smaller, more efficient ways to move towards green energy generation?

As for research–if you think of the $50 to $70 billion reputedly spent on climate research over the past decade, can you imagine if we had invested that into research on clean energy instead?

A well-financed campaign, slickly produced and artfully marketed, has attempted to influence world policy on environmental issues. Global warming activists like to make the claim that that campaign was run by skeptics financed by big oil against measures to curb global warming. But that is false. The big money campaign, financed by NGOs and big energy companies like General Electric, spent 100 times as much money trying to convince us all that the scientists who were hiding and changing data, playing pathetic political games and hobnobbing with the great and the good on their junkets to climate conferences around the world, were rock solid with the science and dead on with their predictions of disaster.

But if their science is as solid as their ethics, it may prove to be a house of cards.