Obama Promising Afghan Exit to Divert Us From the Planned Escalation

[Obama is faltering under the weight of the people’s objections to his prolonging and escalating Bush’s war in Afghanistan.  By announcing that his plan has an ending he and his handlers are hoping to fool the growing resistance movement into allowing him a “temporary” surge.  It’s a scam, people, just like everything else.  Don’t let up.  Pour on the heat.]

Debate Shifts to Afghan Exit Plan


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown have turned the focus of Afghan war planning toward an exit strategy, publicly declaring that the U.S. and its allies can’t send additional troops without a plan for getting them out.

The shift has unnerved some U.S. and foreign officials, who say that planning a pullout now — with or without a specific timetable — encourages the Taliban to wait out foreign forces and exacerbates fears in the region that the U.S. isn’t fully committed to their security.


Associated Press

Hillary Clinton, with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, arrives in Kabul on Wednesday for an unannounced visit.

"It’s not a good idea," said Rep. Ike Skelton (D., Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

"When the area has been stabilized…then it’s time to go home. But to set up a timetable for people in that neck of the woods, they’ll just wait us out," said Rep. Skelton, a prominent supporter of proposals by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Kabul, to send more troops for a counterinsurgency campaign.

Mr. Obama isn’t asking for the firm, publicly declared handover dates in Afghanistan that were the feature of early Iraq war plans, according to senior administration and military officials.

Instead, the officials said, the administration wants the Pentagon to identify key milestones for Afghanistan to meet, in its governance and the capability of its security forces, and then give a rough sense of when each objective is likely to be achieved. Reaching these goals would allow the U.S. role to shift away from direct combat, allowing troop levels to decline.

Mr. Obama said Wednesday in a CNN interview that he believed his new Afghan policy needed to include an "endgame" because "unless you impose that kind of discipline, [U.S. policy] could end up leading to a multiyear occupation that won’t serve the interests of the United States."

Keeping the public eye on an exit strategy — rather than on how many new troops would be deployed, the subject of much of the U.S. public debate so far — could also help Mr. Obama sell his strategy at home.

"What the White House wants is a strategic glide path that gives a sense of the path ahead and the time it will take to meet each specific target," the defense official said. "It’s not a hard-and-fast timetable for withdrawal."

However, Mr. Brown — who faces significant, growing U.K. public opposition to the war — has called for an international conference next year that would come up with a "process for transferring district-by-district to full Afghan control," and set a clear schedule for doing so, beginning as early as next year.

In the 2007 surge in Iraq, planners eventually set benchmarks that weren’t tied to specific dates. The models under consideration for Afghanistan are variations of the timeline devised by Gen. David Petraeus in the fall of 2007 that laid out six stages for gradually reducing U.S. force levels in Iraq, according to a defense official.

Some senior military officials involved in Afghan policy said getting the Afghan government to agree to benchmarks tied to a schedule could spur President Hamid Karzai to meet governance goals.

"He won’t act if he thinks we’ll be there forever, and with constantly increasing numbers of troops," said a senior military official.

As President Obama searches for an exit strategy for Afghanistan, WSJ’s Peter Spiegel says it’s becoming clear that this won’t necessarily involve a firm timetable, but will more likely involve other measures for determining withdrawal.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a visit to Kabul on Wednesday to attend Mr. Karzai’s inauguration Thursday, continued to pressure the Afghan president to overhaul his government to make it more responsive to the electorate.

"There is now a clear window of opportunity for President Karzai and his government to make a new compact with the people of Afghanistan to demonstrate that now there will be accountability and tangible results to improve the lives of people throughout this country," Mrs. Clinton told U.S. Embassy staff.

A military official briefed on the U.S. deliberations said the issue of timelines is likely to affect the mix of how additional forces are used between three different missions: direct combat, securing urban areas to protect local populations, and training Afghan security forces.

A decision to push for a quick ramp-up of Afghan forces may lead more of the reinforcements to be deployed as trainers for Afghan army and policy units, the official said.

Another military official said a sped-up training effort could lead to an "effectively sized" Afghan force by 2013, which would allow North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops to concentrate on training and providing support to domestic security forces. "There are of course many factors that could influence this — including what the enemy and population do to hedge their bets against an established withdrawal date, which is why we generally don’t like to discuss timelines," said the military official of the 2013 goal.

—Anand Gopal and Alan Cullison in Kabul contributed to this article.

Write to Peter Spiegel at peter.spiegel@wsj.com and Yochi J. Dreazen at yochi.dreazen@wsj.com


If Everyone on the List Quit, There Would Be No Government

Gilani to quit if wife proved NRO beneficiary

By Muhammad Saleh Zaafir

& Asim Yasin

ISLAMABAD: In what could be described as a clear message to the beneficiaries of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to resign from their posts, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said he would resign if it was proved that his spouse was a beneficiary of the controversial ordinance.

“I will resign if it is proved that either I or my spouse got any relief from the NRO. I spent a jail term to provide jobs but I never liked to get relief through the NRO and faced trial under the law of the land, so how could it be possible that my wife can get relief through this ordinance,” he said in a press talk after the function of ‘Green Journalist Award’ at the Prime Minister Secretariat here Thursday.

The soft-spoken Gilani got emotional and said this was mischievous that his spouse’s name was put on the list. The prime minister was visibly worked up with the news item that appeared in the morning newspapers claiming that wife of the prime minister was among the beneficiaries of the NRO. Explaining the position of his family in strong words and giving the whole background of the allegation, Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said he had announced on the floor of the National Assembly that the list of those who got benefit from the notorious ordinance would be placed before it. Accordingly, he called the ministry concerned on almost daily basis to provide the list of the beneficiaries of the law but the National Assembly was prorogued and the list was never produced in the House but the list was published in the newspapers.

The prime minister was not in an agitated mood but he was firm about his position by saying: “The offices are not bigger than the man. I am strengthening the institutions and any office is small before my endeavours.”

He said the government did not table the NRO in Parliament keeping in view the sense of the parliamentarians. “I had asked the Law Ministry to present a list of the NRO beneficiaries before Parliament but they did not do so and they will be asked in this regard,” he said.

However, he said, the Law Ministry presented the list to him Wednesday night in which name of his spouse was also included, and that was a surprise for him as neither his wife nor any of his family members took any relief under the NRO.

Smelling something fishy in preparation of the list, the premier said he had asked for an inquiry in this regard. Political observers are of the view that Prime Minister Gilani has given a message to all those in loud and clear words who got benefit from the infamous law that now stands quashed. He has set example and shown the path in or outside the government that the best way to deal with it is to step aside gracefully.

“Would the president and the federal ministers dare to offer the same?” quizzed a political observer. Later, in an exclusive chat with The News, Prime Minister Gilani made it clear that he would not stay in the office for a minute by compromising his integrity as he belongs to a family where fairness and honesty runs in their blood. “I am sitting in the seat occupied by great leaders of Pakistan movement such as Liaquat Ali Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his illustrious daughter Shaheed Benazir Bhutto who gave their blood for upholding the principles. I will be the last person who will bring bad name to the office. We are to strengthen the institutions, not destroy them” he said, adding, “A person who is sitting at the helm of affairs of the country on behalf of the PPP must not have one single stigma on his character. I will protect the both”. He stressed that he was totally committed to his promise of resigning if the so-called allegations of his spouse benefiting from NRO are established. He expressed his surprise that the minister of state for law was now saying that the wife of the prime minister is not among the NRO beneficiaries and NAB is also issuing similar clarification but they must explain that what stopped them from issuing the list and producing it in Parliament when the prime minister of the country had asked them to.

Earlier, replying to a question during the press talk, the prime minister reaffirmed the government’s resolve to completely root out the menace of extremism and terrorism. “Pakistan is not fighting anyone’s but its own war for peace and security,” he added. He said Pakistan is utilising all its resources to fight terrorists and now it is the responsibility of the international community to come forward and help build the capacity of our law enforcement agencies.

Answering a question regarding US President Obama’s letter to President Asif Ali Zardari, in which it was reported to do more in the war on terrorism, the prime minister said it is for America now to do more in overcoming the menace of terrorism. “There is nothing like ‘Do More’ mentioned in the letter,” he added.

He said the government has got a damage need assessment report and is expected to receive about $1.2 billion as assistance for reconstruction of affected areas.

To a question regarding the report of Transparency International, he said the government has great concerns over the matter and a committee has been constituted under the head of the finance minister to look into the issue for its elimination. “The corruption did not surface in one day but it dates back to decades,” he argued.

Answering a question regarding provision of evidence of Indian involvement in Balochistan and terror activities, the prime minister said these evidences would be provided at an appropriate time whenever needed.

Regarding Aghaze Haqooqe Balochistan package, he said this plan has been prepared after taking all political parties present in Parliament into confidence, and it will be presented in the joint sitting of Parliament. He said the government intends to give legal cover to this package and the members of the smaller provinces will have equal opportunity in the joint sitting to give their suggestions and provide legal cover to it.

The prime minister said, however, leaders of the political parties who have links with the Baloch leaders sitting outside Parliament have been asked to get their inputs on the package to make it more viable.

The sources said that an internal probe is now underway to seek clue about inclusion of the name of prime minister’s wife in the so-called list when she never asked for taking advantage from the NRO.

A federal minister who accompanied the president in his sojourn to Kabul would be under tremendous pressure to offer resignation in the wake of announcement made by the prime minister.

APP adds: Prime Minister Gilani said his wife was a director in a company during the period of Junejo government in 1985, adding, but owing to the government’s policies the project became sick and the company defaulted.

When Musharraf took power (in 1999), the chief executive of that company was arrested and remained in jail for eight years before the matter was closed. Gilani further said that he contested the general elections in 1988, 1990, 1993, 1997 and then in 2008 and was cleared as a candidate by the returning officers.

He said when he was in jail his brother contested the election in 2002 and was also cleared as a candidate. Gilani said when he was behind the bars his wife used to visit him and also met General Maqbool, the then NAB chairman, and other NAB officers to pursue his case.

“My wife along with my lawyers Aitzaz Ahsan and Khawja Haris was fighting my case,” he said and added that if there was any problem how could they spare his wife when she used to visit jail and NAB offices and he too would have been jailed on the charges of financial corruption instead of any other matter.

ISI Vehicle escorting CIA director overturns in Islamabad

[A veiled threat?]

Vehicle escorting CIA director overturns

By Shakeel Anjum

ISLAMABAD: A vehicle of a sensitive security agency escorting US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Leon Panetta, currently on a ‘secret’ visit to Pakistan, overturned near the KRL Chowk at Islamabad Expressway while the motorcade was going to the Diplomatic Enclave from Islamabad Airport, intelligence agency sources told The News.

Two riders of the vehicle sustained injuries and were shifted to a hospital, the sources said. The sources said CIA director’s motorcade was heading towards Islamabad from the Benazir Bhutto International Airport when an escorting car of a sensitive security agency flipped over after its tyre burst and hit a vehicle of the motorcade.

“Motorcade of the CIA chief kept travelling towards Islamabad ignoring the incident,” the sources added.The CIA chief is on a three-day visit to Pakistan and will meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and ISI chief Lt-Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the sources added.

Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit, when contacted by this correspondent, expressed his ignorance about the visit of the CIA director, saying he had no information about the same. When contacted, US Embassy spokesman Richard Snelsir refused to comment on the visit of CIA chief to Pakistan, saying he didn’t deal with CIA matters.

Wow! This Really Explains a Lot

Finally, dreaded NRO list is out and official

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) presented to the government on Thursday a list of 248 politicians and bureaucrats, who were alleged to have plundered hundreds of billions of rupees but were cleared by the NAB under the NRO.

Sources in the Law Ministry while sharing with The News the “complete list” of NAB’s NRO beneficiaries, explained that thousands other cases of NRO beneficiaries did not belong to the NAB but with the provincial governments because they were criminal cases and were not covered by the NAB law.

On top of the list is the name of President Asif Ali Zardari while his several close associates, both political and bureaucratic, including Rehman Malik, Salman Farooqi and his brother Usman Farooqi, Hussain Haqqani and Siraj Shamsuddin are also reflected.

The list, which also reflects a brief introduction of the cases dropped against each name under the NRO, also includes the name of serving and former ministers, federal and provincial secretaries, ex-chief secretaries, existing or former members of the national and provincial assemblies and others.

According to the list, Asif Ali Zardari remained the beneficiary No 1 of the NRO as at least eight of his NAB cases of corruption and misuse of authorities were dropped. These cases included the alleged kickbacks from SGS PSI Company, grant of licence to ARY Gold causing huge loss to government, corruption in purchase of Ursus tractors under the Awami Tractor Scheme, illegal award of contract to Cotecna for pre-shipment, assets beyond means, received kickbacks from Sajjad Ahmad (late) ex-chairman Pakistan Steel Mills, illegal construction of Polo ground at PM House and the money laundering SGS Swiss case.

Others amongst politicians include Nawaz Yousaf Talpur, ex-MNA and former minister, who was co-accused in URSUS tractors case; Ms Nusrat Bhutto, assets case; ex-MNA and the PPP Secretary General Jehangir Badr, assets case and corruption in Sui Southern Gas Company; ex-minister for commerce and presently Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar, misuse of authority in issuing sugar export permit to non-entitled persons in 1994; ex-MNA Malik Mushtaq Ahmed Awan, embezzlement in Octroi contracts; ex-MNA Rana Nazir Ahmed, assets case and misuse of authority; ex-MPA Mian M Rashid, assets case and illegal appointments; ex-MPA Tariq Anees, assets beyond means; ex-MPA Mian Tariq Mehmood Dina, assets beyond means; ex-minister of education Sindh Agha Sirajuddin and others, misuse of authority; ex-chief minister and former interior minister Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, misuse of authority, illegal allotment of plots and assets case; ex-provincial minister Ghani-ur-Rehman, assets beyond means; ex-senator Haji Gulsher, misuse of authority and acquisition of land; ex-provincial minister Habibullah Khan Kundi, misuse of authority and acquisition of land; ex-MNA Mir Baz Muhammad Khan Khethran, misappropriation of government funds allocated for people’s works programme; ex-federal minister Anwar Saifullah Khan, misuse of authority in allocation of LPG and illegal appointments; ex-provincial minister Sardar Mansoor Laghari, corruption in Utility Stores Corporation; ex-Mayor Sargodha Ch Abdul Hameed, assets beyond means; ex-chairman Zila Council Lahore Ch Shoukat Ali, ex-MNA Haji Kabir and ex-chairman Zila Council Lahore Ch Zulfikar Ali in Zila Council fraud case.

Amongst government servants and others, who had benefited from NRO and got themselves cleared from NAB cases include ex-additional director general FIA and presently Interior Minister Rehman Malik, embezzlement of funds on account of un-authorized released of imported yellow cab cars, illegal detention of complainant and illegal gratification; ex-secretary information and presently Pakistan’s ambassador in the US Husain Haqqani, co-accused in Ms BB case of TV channels; ex-federal secretary and presently principal secretary to the president Suleman Farooqi, illegal allotment of textile quota, forgery and fraud, obtained illegal benefits in connivance with exporters; ex-chairman Pakistan Steels Mill, caused loss to Pak Steels through illegal disposal of 15.93 MT of end cuts, procurement of Ferro Silicon at higher rates; ex-joint secretary PM Secretariat, former principal secretary to the PM Gilani and presently Executive Director ADB Siraj Shamsuddin, illegal appointment; ex-NBP president and presently Pakistan’s ambassador M B Abbasi, corruption and corrupt practices and loan default; ex-secretary Sindh Rasool Baksh Rahoo, KPT land cases; Mashook Ahmed Usmani, Aurangzeb, Moin ul Arfeen, Akhtar H Askari and Kher M Kalochi of Pakistan Steels Mills (PSM) in the case of purchases on exorbitant prices for PSM; ex-DG textile quota Nayyar Bari and ex-DD Export Promotion Board Anees Alam, illegal allotment of textile quota, forgery/fraud, obtained illegal benefits in connivance with exporters; ex- secretary commerce Brig (R) Aslam Hayat Qureshi, co-accused in ARY Gold case; ex-advisor to Prime Minister A R Siddiqi, co-accused in AAZ and BB cases; ex-principal secretary to the PM Saeed Mehdi, co-accused in polo ground case; ex-principal secretary to the PM Ahmed Sadiq, assets beyond means; ex-chief secretary Punjab Javed Qureshi, fraud in Zila Council Lahore contracts; ex president HBL, willful default, ex DG Intelligence Bureau Brig Imtiaz, assets beyond means; ex-MD Printing Corporation of Pakistan Pir Mukarram, corruption and corrupt practices; ex-DG Textile Quota Akhtar Alam in textile quota case; ex-secretary Petroleum Capt (R) Naseer Ahmad, misuse of authority in awarding contracts for OGDC; ex-Director Textile Quota Syed Arfeen, textile quota case; customs officials Khalid Aziz, Muhammad Nawaz Butt and Mumtaz Ali Changezi in illegal evasion of tax duties case and wrong refund of customs rebate case; Pak Steel employees Syed Iqtedar Rasool, Qaiser Raza, Irfanuddin, Hisamuddin and Qurban Ali Jatoi in import of PIG iron for PSM case; General Manager Port Qasim Authority Abdul Sattar Dero, corruption in PSM; businessman/transporter Pir Deedar Hussain Shah, yellow cab scam; ex-FIA Assistant Director Sajjad Haider, ex-Inspector Muhammad Sharif Qureshi and inspector Moeen Ashraf, all three co-accused of Rehman Malik in embezzlement of funds on account of unauthorized release of imported yellow cab cars case; Assistant Director FIA Agha Ishrat Ali, assets beyond means; ex-Deputy Director FIA Ch Muhammad Sharif, assets beyond means; ex-Additional Commissioner Income Tax Javed Iqbal Mirza, assets beyond means; ex Managing Director Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Aftab Ahmed, misuse of authority in awarding contracts; Project Director Karachi Water and Sewerage Board Fareed Ahmed, misuse of authority in awarding contracts; ex-Regional Commissioner of Income Tax Sindh Abrar Ahmed, assets beyond known resources.

The names of other beneficiaries are Collector Customs Imtaiz Ali Taj; ex-Secretary Javed Burki, DG Port Qasim Authority Irshad Ahmed Sheikh; AD FIA Noor Muhammad Kaka; Maj (R) Rashid Khan; Additional Director FIA Ali Qaswar Bokhari; ex-DG Peshawar Development Authority Syed Zahir Shah; Suptd Customs Check Post Mand Muhammad Younas Butt; Customs officials Sherdad Khan, Sajad Hussain, Muhammad Sarwar and Abdul Hameed Siddiqi; Senior Store Manager Muhammad Iqbal; District Engineer Water Supply Quetta Zamarak Khan; Revenue Officer Pashin Rehman Ali; Assistant Revenue Office Pashin Hafiz Matiullah; Superintendent Revenue Officer Pishin Muhammad Iqbal; Junior Auditor Ibrar Hussain; ex-SP Railways Inamur Rehman Sehri; ex-DC CDA Ch Muhammad Aslam; ex-Secretary CDA Abdul Ghafoor Dogar; ex-AD CDA Mushtaq Ahmed Baloch; ex-Sub Engineer CDA Muhammad Ismail; ex-DC CDA Ahmed Khan; ex-Account Officer Attaullah Khan; ex Patwari Muhammad Farooq; ex-Patwari CDA Muzamil Hussain; Clerk CDA Dawood Khan; ex-Deputy Director Planning CDA Muhammad Iqbal; ex-DC CDA Muhammad Amin; ex-DC CDA Shoukat Ali; Supervisor PTCL Sheikh Liaqat Ali; Assistant Manager GHQ Habibullah Tasnim; Assistant Store Keeper Muhammad Saeed; ex-DG Services CDA Mohiuddin Jameeli; ex DD CDA Muhammad Ashfaq; ex-Asstt Estate Manager CDA Din Muhammad; EGDC official Raheel J Qureshi; GPO Rawalpindi officials Muhammad Farooq, Salim Raza, Muhammad Anwar, Muhammad Akhtar and Arshad Mehmood; ex-Tehsildar Raja Zahid Hussain; Dy DG Military Land and Cantonment Department Abdul Naeem Khan; ex-SSD MEO Rwp Sh Muhammad Amin; Assistant Director Military Land and Cantonment Abdul Hayee Qamar; ex-DG Military Land and Cantonment Qazi Naeem Ahmed; Abdul Ghafoor Khan, Muhammad Ali; ex-Chairman SLI Zaheer; ex-DG NHA Iqbal Ahmad; ex-Chief Engineer CAA Raees M Irshad; CAA officials Ghulam Qadir Lakhan, Shafique Siddiqi, Ahmed Hussain, Iqbal Bangash, Khurshid Anwar, M Akbar, A D Abbasi, Kh Farooq Ahmad and Rafique Shad; OGDC officials Jaffar Mohammad, Khalid Subhani, Capt (R) Nazir Ahmed; Najmul Hassan, M Ishaq, Muzaffar Hussain, Shahid Ahmed, Qamar Hussain Shah, M Israel Khan and Bashir Ahmad Bhatti; PWD officials Mureed Ahmed Baloch, Sadaqat Ali, Khalid Mehmood Nasir, Akram Rao, Rashid Mujib Siddiqi, Aslam Shahid, Zahid ullah Khan and Shabbair Husain; Wapda officials Anwar Hussain, Wapda Line Superintendents Saifullah, Muhammad Arshad, Syed Ehsan Ali Shah, Mirza Saeed Ahmed, Akbar Ali and Allah Wasaya; Nadra officials Hakim Din, Sardari Ali and Nadir Khan; Zakim Khan Masood, Sadiq Ali Khan, Sardar Mansoor Leghari, Din Muhammad, Sikandar Ali Abbasi, Ahmad Yar Gondal, Amin Jan, Sharif Alam Padri, Usman Ghani Khatri, Adnan Khawaja, Nadeem Imtiaz; ex-official Abdul Hakeem, proprietor M/s Techno Int Pir Bux Solangi; private person Abdul Sattar Mandokhel; official S M Attaur Rehman; Sahib Dad Mengal; Hamza Khan Gabol; Riaz ul Hassan Rizvi; Shamsuddin, Ayaz Ahmed, Mukhtiar Ahmad, Muhammad Ali, Abdul Aziz, Rasheed Muhammad Qureshi, Mumtaz Ahmed Bhutto, Maqsood Ahmed, ex-UDC MEO Sialkot Naeem uddin, ex Asst Audit Officer Muhammad Hanif Rahi; ex-cameraman Abu Zar Jaffari; Auditor General officials Muneeruddin Ch, Abdul Razaak Bhatti, Mehr Sajjad Ahmed, Mirza Sajjad Ahmed, Mirza Muhammad Ayub, Muhammad Iqbal Shah, Mukhtar Ahmed, Malik Shahmat Ali, Mian Abdul Rehman, Muhammad Shafique, Syed Javed Hassan, Syed Muzaffar H Shah, Muhammad Sarwar Safi, Muhammad Shabbir and Tariq Mehmood; Food Department officials Ch Nazir Ahmed, Safiullah Awan and Muhammad Usman; Wapda’s Liaqat Ali, Customs Ali Muhammad Sheikh; PTCL’s Munawar Hussain, Muhammad Ashfaq Naz and Muhammad Shahid; Lahore Wapda’s Shahid Iqbal Ghauri, Manzoor H Chohan, Muhammad Javed, Abdul Rehman, Iftikhar Ali and M Qasim; Amjad Hussain Sandhal, Syed Zahir Hussain, Ghulam Mustafa, M Hanif; Sadiq Muhammad, Sameer Amjad, Ch M Siddiqi, Rasheed Ahmed Patwari, Mirza Sher Muhammad; businessmen Seth Nisar Ahmed and Zahid Mehmood; official Murid Ahmed Baloch, Qazi Afzal Hussain, Shaukat Hussain Shah, Maqbool Ahmed, Noor Jamal, Sardar Muhammad Nasim, Mirza Sher Muhammad, Rashid Ahmed Patwari, Muhammad Usman, Arshad Mehmood, Muhammad Akhtar and Waheedur Rehman.

US Politician urges Americans to move to settlements in violation of international law

[Is it bigoted, or anti-Semitic to notice the drama and hysterics used by Israeli spokesmen to get their way in the world?  Netanyahu is among the worst of the Jewish “drama queens,” who try in vain to justify the barbarism used against the Palestinians everyday.  Everything is the ultimate tragedy; every trial an “existential threat.”  Hasbara or no, the people of the world know when someone is “hamming it up,” and that is all you see coming from Israeli spokesmen, especially the Jewish-American congressmen  who entice their Christian colleagues to join them on paid junkets to Israel.  These guys are blowing the scam, when they wail an moan whenever Israelis are asked to answer to the same international norms and laws that bind everybody else.  Every inch of the Occupied Territory is stolen land.  Every settler/colonizer who lays claim to another piece of that stolen property feigns outrage, as they raise their hands, as if beseeching God Himself,  screaming “injustice,” that Israel is the only country in the world “not allowed to defend itself” from Palestinian bottle rockets.  It’s time this drama closed.]

US Politician urges Americans to move to settlements in violation of international law

Saed Bannoura


Nof Zion – east of ‘Green Line’ border (photo ARIJ)

IMEMC, November 18, 2009

A Democratic State Assemblyman from New York is leading a mission of 50 US citizens through Israeli settlements in the West Bank, encouraging the US citizens to move to the settlements in violation of international law.

Dov Hikind, who represents the 48th District of Brooklyn, told Israeli media, “Our goal is to send a clear message to Washington and President Obama that Jews will continue to live in Judea and Samaria and the ultimate commitment American Jews can make is to actually come and buy property in these areas as this will ensure these communities’ security and growth.”

He added, “For now, if a Jew wants to buy something in the Land of Israel there shouldn’t be anything that says you can’t buy in a particular area because Jews should not live there because that area has to be segregated.” But he failed to mention that Israel has created the segregation system, in which over 50 laws discriminate openly against non-Jews, and Palestinians indigenous to the land are prevented from living in 78% of what was once their own land.

Hikind also failed to mention where the ‘land of Israel’ to which he refers begins and ends, a trait which is common among right-wing Israeli settlers who hope to continue the expansion of the ‘land of Israel’ by never openly defining the borders of the state. Since its creation in 1948, Israel has refused to define its own borders, instead continually expanding further and further onto Palestinian loand in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and international law.

The New York Congressman said that he himself plans to buy a house in a new settlement called Nof Zion, where he plans to participate in a ‘cornerstone-laying ceremony’ on Wednesday. According to the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, the 44 dunams of land where Nof Zion is situated are owned by Palestinian families, but were confiscated by occupying troops in 1967. In 2005 the families submitted an appeal to the Israeli high court of justice to prevent construction on their land, but it was rejected.

Hikind said that the idea of a settlement freeze as a precondition for peace talks is “ridiculous and outrageous”, and criticized the idea that US President Barack Obama had taken such a position, even for a short while, earlier this year.

But the indigenous Palestinians whose land has been seized for the construction of these settlements say that there is no way to negotiate when the occupying army has complete control over every aspect of their lives, including control over Palestinian air, land and sea borders, internal control over their travel, vehicles, IDs, birth and death records, and land. Palestinians whose land is seized have no recourse in the Israeli court system, which does not recognize their right to the land as the indigenous inhabitants, even when the Palestinian owners present titles and deeds to the land in question.

:: Article nr. 60199 sent on 18-nov-2009 16:12 ECT

Netanyahu: The obscene liar

Netanyahu: The obscene liar

By Khalid Amayreh


November 18, 2009

Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is a manifestly fascist-minded demagogue who thinks that everything Jewish must override everything non-Jewish, regardless of all considerations.

He is also a first-class liar who believes that lying to the world, including Jews, is the first line of defense against growing opposition to genocidal Israeli criminality.

Indeed, like Nazi Germany, which waged war on Europe and killed or caused the death of millions in the name of self-defense, Israel is doing the same thing by threatening and attacking its neighbors, especially the helpless Palestinians who have been trying for decades to rid themselves of the Nazi-like Israeli occupation of their country.

There is no doubt that Netanyahu is a true pathological liar. Falsifying reality is simply an inherent and conspicuous character of the notorious bigot.

Netanyahu claimed this week that nuclear-armed Israel is the world’s most threatened county.

He was quoted by the Ha’aretz newspaper as saying that ” Israel is facing enemies who don’t conceal their intentions, who first attack us physically and then attack our right to self-defense.”

But Is Israel really a threatened country?

Obviously, the claim is a big lie because Israel is actually a threatening, not a threatened country. Israel, which possesses a huge stockpile of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, has been attacking other countries from day-1 of its hateful existence.

Indeed, Israel has been trying relentlessly to annihilate the national existence of another people, the Palestinians, by arrogating their land, demolishing their homes and towns, and expelling them from their ancestral homeland.

Harsh ethnic cleansing, which takes a variety of aspects, has always been and continues to be Israel ’s modus operandi in treating the Palestinians. Israel is probably the only country in this world that thrives on murder, theft and lies, a country that murders children on their way to school and then cries out “self-defense! Holocaust! terror.!

In his monologue of lies, Netanyahu also claimed that Palestinian “rocket attacks” on Israeli settlements were not experienced by any other country since German attacks on Britain during WWII.

Well, if the term “pornographic lies” has any meaning, it is people like Netanyahu and his colleagues who give it meaning.

After all, no honest person under the sun can compare the extremely primitive projectiles fired by desperate Palestinians resistance fighters on Israeli settlements, with the German raids and rocket attacks against London and other British cities.

Indeed, while the German missile and other attacks on British cities killed thousands of Britons, eight years of Palestinian rocket firing on Israel killed less than ten Israeli settlers. In other words, more people would die in a single traffic accident in Israel than they would in eight years of Palestinian “rocket attacks”.

More to the point, a single attack by Israeli fighter-bombers, e.g. F-16s and F-15s, would cause more death and devastation than all Palestinian rockets would in many years.

This is exactly what happened during the past ten years. Israeli aerial and artillery attacks on Palestinian population centers killed thousands of innocent Palestinians. Thousands others were maimed and badly injured. In fact, it is amply safe to state that for every Israeli settler killed by Palestinian “rockets,” a thousand Palestinians, mostly children, women and other innocent civilians, were killed by the Jewish Wehrmacht, deceptively known as “Israeli Defense Forces.”

This massive Israeli criminality culminated in the virtual genocide in Gaza last winter, when hundreds of Israeli war planes, the state-of-the-art of the American technology of death, rained bombs, depleted uranium and white phosphorus, on unprotected Palestinian towns.

The pornographic killings in Gaza proved to be far more satanic and diabolic than many of the crimes committed by the Nazis. The Nazis attacked a super-power at least by that era’s standards and bombed well-protected towns, Whereas the Nazis of our time, the Israelis, rained death on totally unprotected refugees who had absolutely no means of defense or protection against the virtual genocide.

Actually, what Israel did to Gaza and Gazans in December and January can be compared to the extermination of Germany’s real or perceived enemies during the War.

In both cases, innocent and helpless people were mercilessly murdered en mass for political or ideological reasons. Hence, the appropriateness of the term “Nazis of our time.”

Like Netanyahu is doing today, many Nazi leaders and ideologues tried to rationalize and justify their evil acts by claiming that Germany, the motherland, was facing mortal threats and the German nation was faced with either of two choices, destroying the enemies using a no-holds-barred approach, or be destroyed itself.

But Israel is using the same Nazi arguments very lightly, not to repulse any real threats, but rather to justify real crimes against humanity being committed against the captive Palestinians.

Otherwise, how can people of any semblance of rectitude buy the big lie that a country that possesses more 300 nuclear heads, and has one of the strongest armies in the world, and above that controls the government of the world’s only superpower, is threatened more than any other state in the world?

It is, of course, unlikely that Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders think in their hearts that they are not lying. They do know they are lying. This is quite natural for a state that is based on lies and myths such as the claims that Palestine didn’t exist and the Palestinians were not a distinctive nation and that Israel didn’t expel the native Palestinians to the four corners of the globe.

In light, it is very important that the peoples of the world, men and women who value honesty and justice, be constantly on the alert to confront and refute Zionist hasbara lies with the same aggressiveness and resolve with which they confront Zionist crimes.

In short, Israel must not be allowed to translate its pornographic lies into a license to commit a holocaust against the Palestinian people and other peoples of the Middle East.

The Zionists are capable of doing the unthinkable. They behave as the Nazis behaved because they possess the same Nazi mindset. The only difference lies in name, place and circumstances.

:: Article nr. 60205 sent on 18-nov-2009 23:02 ECT

Israel begins work on new tunnels to storm Al Aqsa Mosque

Israel begins work on new tunnels to storm Al Aqsa Mosque

Middle East Monitor


November 19, 2009

The Al Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage revealed that the Israeli occupation authorities began excavation works at Al Sharaf alley, tens of meters west of the Al Aqsa Mosque, in preparation for the construction of two tunnels and two electric elevators to connect between the alley, which was confiscated by the Israeli authorities in 1967, and the Al Buraq area and Al Maghariba Gate of the mosque.

The Foundation said that the aim of digging these tunnels and building the elevators is to “deliver a greater number of Jewish settlers to the Western Wall and the doors of Al-Aqsa Mosque, especially the Al Maghariba Gate, through which foreign tourists and Jewish groups can storm into the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

The Foundation considered this to be “a judaization project through which Israel seeks to Judaize the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

It added that, during a tour it conducted Tuesday, November 17, it found works of deep excavations, by the so-called Israeli Antiquities Authority, in the Al Sharaf alley tens of meters west of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. During these excavation works, historical and archaeological monuments, dating back to Ottoman and Mumluke eras, were being destroyed and obliterated.

The Al Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage had revealed in a media report on March 3, 2009 the intention of the occupation authorities and its executive arms to dig two new tunnels, one of them 56 meters long and the other 22 meters, in order to link the Palestinian Al Sharaf Alley, in the Old City, to Jerusalem.

It also revealed the Israeli authorities’ intention to install an electric elevator in the vertical tunnel and electric corridor in the horizontal tunnel. The location of these two tunnels is to be the meeting point of several archaeological sites, through which Israel “is trying to develop an illusionary Hebrew history.”

It explained that this Judaizational project would cost 10 million shekels (about U.S. $ 2.5 million), and will be implemented in collaboration between the occupation’s municipality of Jerusalem, the so-called the Jewish Quarter Preservation and Development Company, the Monuments Authority, and the National Insurance Institute. The project will be funded through donations from Baruch Klein.

Al Sharaf Alley is an Islamic area located inside the boundaries of the Old City with an area of more than 133 square meters. It was occupied by Israel in 1967. It is the closest neighborhood to the Moroccan (Al Maghariba) district, which was destroyed by the Occupation authorities on 11/6/1967, after the fall of Al Sharaf Alley. Thousands of Palestinians were expelled from it, their houses, lands, and real estate properties were confiscated; then, private Israeli companies were immediately established. These companies seized the homes, real estate properties and lands of the area and housed the Jewish settlers and built new homes. They changed its name into the Jewish Quarter – and only a handful of Palestinians were left in it, in addition to two mosques – one of them is closed and the other is open only for Dhur (noon) and Asr (mid-afternoon) prayers, with the Azan (call to prayer) being banned.

:: Article nr. 60254 sent on 20-nov-2009 00:36 ECT

Link: www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/268-israel-begins-work-on-new-tunn