Egypt Cutting Gaza Lifeline—Subterranean Steel Wall

Egypt reported working on Gaza border wall



GAZA (Reuters) – Egyptian earth-moving machinery was at work on the Gaza Strip border on Wednesday and an Israeli newspaper said a project was under way to build a subterranean metal wall to block Palestinian smuggling tunnels.


Witnesses in the Gaza border town of Rafah said they could see Egyptian vehicles working just across the fenced frontier but not what they were doing precisely.

Egyptian security sources said the authorities had started digging and placing steel tubes through the ground at several points on the border, without giving details.

Suleiman Awwad, a council representative on the Egyptian side of Rafah, which straddles the border, said the authorities had uprooted trees along the boundary to pave a dirt road and plant devices to monitor and secure the border.

He also did not give details about what the work on the border, where smugglers have built tunnels to take goods into blockaded Gaza. Israel says the tunnels are also used to supply militants of the Islamist Hamas group with explosives and arms.

Awwad said farmers affected by the work on the border were being compensated with about 150 Egyptian pounds ($27) per peach tree and 250 pounds for each olive tree.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Egypt was installing an underground metal wall about 20 to 30 meters (70-100 feet) deep along the short border strip where Palestinians have dug a warren of tunnels to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Haaretz said the wall would be nearly 10 km (6 miles) long and "impossible to cut or melt."

Egyptian officials could not be reached to comment on the Haaretz report. Hamas, which rules Gaza, said it was checking.

In spite of Israeli aerial bombing, the tunnel network has not been shut down. Palestinian sources say the flourishing business works with the paid collusion of local Egyptian border guards who are supposed to impede it.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 and its border with the coastal enclave is tightly controlled by the military. Egypt controls the southern border of the strip in a security arrangement with Israel.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia; writing by Douglas Hamilton in Jerusalem and Marwa Awad in Cairo; editing by Samia Nakhoul)

($1=5.480 Egyptian Pound)



Allegory about Afghan Shura and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan

Brig Asif Haroon Raja

Brig Asif Haroon RajaLike the myth of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda headquartered in FATA which I discussed in my previous write up, another absurd claim has been made that Mullah Omar along with his Shura is based in Quetta. This story woven by spin doctors has caught the imagination of policy makers in Washington and they are playing it impishly. Pakistani leaders already harassed by never ending allegations are at a loss how to respond to the latest assault since denials make no impression on the accusers.

After repeating the story several times, US officials laid bare their actual motive by mentioning their flaming desire to employ the horrible drones in Baluchistan including its capital as well. Let us carryout a dispassionate appraisal of this claim. It is now a well known reality that Afghan Taliban hold control of nearly 80% Afghan Territory and wield complete sway in southern, eastern and to some extent western Afghanistan. These regions provide them a secured base to operate into western, central and northern Afghanistan and return back. Had their hold over southern and eastern Afghanistan been weak, it was logical to assume that they might have made FATA or Pashtun belt of Baluchistan adjacent to Helmand Province as their bases of operation.

Now that over 30000 troops of Pakistan Army have taken full control of South Waziristan and division plus force is in North Waziristan, part of which is in Makeen area, any possibility of Afghan Taliban operating from these regions is ruled out. Same is applicable to Al-Qaeda. The only possible space which still requires further scanning is the countryside west of Ladha and Makeen towards Afghanistan border. Using boots on ground strategy, our troops are gradually clearing these areas as well.

Within Afghanistan, morale of US-NATO forces has sunk low and bunker mentality has crept in. Karzai regime has no control over state affairs and his credibility after August fraudulent electionAfghan Shura has eroded further. He is seen as an American stooge at the mercy of non-Pashtun Northern Alliance. Afghan National Army and Police are in bad shape and operationally unfit to confront Taliban challenge. Afghan Pashtuns which are the predominant ethnic entity hate Americans because of their discriminatory attitude against them and are supportive of Taliban. Gulbadin Hikmatyar led Hizb-e-Islami and Jalaluddin Haqqani are also anti-American and anti-Karzai.

Given the favourable operational environment in Afghanistan for the Taliban, it will be utterly foolish on part of Mullah Omar and his Shura to abandon the fully secured bases in Afghanistan and opt for insecure base in Quetta where CIA, FBI, US marines, Blackwater, MI-6, RAW, BLA, BRA, BLF command strong influence. Target killings by BLA in Quetta have become a norm. Jacobabad and Pasni air bases are still under the operational control of US troops as revealed by Lt Gen ® Shahid Aziz and confirmed by Defence Minister. Shamsi base near Kharan had been in use for launching drones. Quetta being the capital city is too open and conspicuous for Mullah Omar to hide particularly when heavy head money for him has been announced and success or failure of Taliban resistance movement depends upon his survivability. Pashtun areas in Baluchistan have not only kept themselves dissociated from RAW backed Baluch insurgency, now turned into separatist movement, but also kept both Afghan and Pakistani Taliban at bay. Under such insalubrious environments, it is preposterous for the US to keep insisting that Afghan Shura is in Quetta. Latest fabrication is that Afghan Taliban Shura has shifted to Karachi under the supervision of ISI where Omar has established a Madrassah.  

If for discussion sake we accept the wacky claims of presence of Afghan Shura in Quetta and that of Osama led Al-Qaeda in FATA theoretically; it implies that as far as US is concerned battle for Afghanistan is almost over. The news should have logically transported Gen McChrystal and his team with joy that the entire Taliban leadership and Al-Qaeda have fled to Pakistan and it will now be much easier for them to get hold of few thousand rag tag Taliban fighters and not more than 100 Al-Qaeda fighters abandoned by their leaders or to win them over? The only precautionary measure required to be taken was to prevent re-entry of Afghan Shura and Al-Qaeda leadership by enhancing border check posts and surveillance means along the entire Afghan-Pakistan border as frequently requested by Pakistan. In addition, he needed to fence and mine the entire length of border as repeatedly proposed by Pakistan but refused by Karzai and USA for reasons best known to them. No such thing has happened since Chrystal is depressed because of Osama phobia. Within Pakistan, once US intelligence agencies acquired credible intelligence, should they not have carried out joint raids on suspected locations without wasting a minute? CIA, FBI and US diplomats should not have encountered any bottlenecks since they move about in Pakistan unchecked and enjoy full cooperation of all law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Was it wise on part of US leadership to broadcast the locations of Omar and Osama prematurely thereby giving them full chance to runaway?

Well knowing that Pakistan Army is deeply committed in fighting foreign agencies sponsored terrorists in various parts of NWFP and FATA and achieving fruitful results, the US instead of feeling mighty pleased and encouraging it to further stabilise these vital regions, it has once again begun to sing the nauseating mantra of ‘do more’ and that too in new areas. Areas in Waziristan which are presently quiet and neutral are being provoked through drone attacks to make them restive. Orakzai Agency is being developed into another bastion. The US is pressing Pakistan to shift more troops from its eastern border and to start operations in Wazir inhabited South Waziristan and in North Waziristan where it alleges most runaways have fled. It is trying to create conditions wherein Pakistan Army is compelled to fight the combined force of Maulvi Nazir, Hakimullah Mehsud and Gul Bahadur. United front would ease up pressure on Hakimullah led TTP, which is in disarray. The US also want the Army and FC in Baluchistan to shift its focus from Baluch held areas where RAW-CIA-MI-6 backed separatist movement is raging and to concentrate towards peaceful Pashtun areas including Quetta where it suspects Afghan Shura is hiding. The US-NATO forces after their failed operation in Helmand are expected to launch another operation in that province once additional US troops arrive so as to force the militants to flee to neighbouring Pashtun belt of Baluchistan and make it volatile.

Having fully committed the army in fighting a futile US war on terror, RAW sponsored terrorists duly aided by Blackwater elements are playing havoc into major cities of Pakistan through almost daily bomb blasts and suicide attacks. Focus is on such targets which hurts the military the most. Attack on a mosque during Friday prayers in Rawalpindi on 27 November, frequented mostly by army senior officers and their sons, was most gruesome. ISI set ups have been repeatedly struck since it is frustrating the designs of enemies of Pakistan. Focus is now towards destabilisation of Punjab, after which emphasis will shift to Sindh to upturn main economic base of Pakistan. While CIA and FBI along with its shady outfits are fully involved in the destabilisation game, the US leaders are hypocritically singing tunes that Pakistan is a key ally and the US seeks its stability and prosperity. Our leaders having been provided with clinching evidence of involvement of RAW in terrorism have still not picked up courage to expose India and to forcefully ask USA to bridle its strategic ally.          

Fact of the matter is that Omar, Osama and nuclear cards are being played with devious intentions. The real purpose behind it is to cast aspersion on Pakistan that Pakistan Army and the ISI are aligned with Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda and sheltering them. It implies that there is a nexus between Pakistan-Afghan Taliban and Al-Qaeda and Pakistan is fully supporting Taliban and Al-Qaeda in their war against US-NATO forces in Afghanistan. With leadership of the two deadly organisations based inside Pakistan, it becomes a fit case for USA to mount an offensive against Pakistan to root out safe sanctuaries and turn the corner. Cambodia model is on the cards. Indian forces have begun to mark time in concentration area. Desire for hot pursuit operations inside Pakistan and to extend the radius of action of drones has again been expressed.

The US civil and military leadership instead of wasting time in superfluous blame game and monkey tricks is better advised to concentrate on its work in Afghanistan and put things in order so that Pakistan could become peaceful. Pakistan Army having performed admirably, it is now the turn of Gen McChrystal led US-NATO forces to perform at its end by doing more and creating suitable conditions for safe and honourable exit from the quagmire of Afghanistan.     

Brig Asif Haroon is a Member Board of Advisors, Opinion Maker He writer is a defence and security analyst based in Pakistan.

Administration Threatens To Sidestep Congress In Environmental “Greenmail”

Administration Warns of ‘Command-and-Control’ Regulation Over Emissions

The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn’t move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a "command-and-control" role over the process in way that could hurt business.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson gestures during a briefing in the U.S. center at the Climate Conference in Copenhagen Dec. 9. (AP Photo)

The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn’t move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a "command-and-control" role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

The warning, from a top White House economic official who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity, came on the eve of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s address to the international conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jackson, however, tried to strike a tone of cooperation in her address Wednesday, explaining that the EPA’s new powers to regulate greenhouse gases will be used to complement legislation pending in Congress, not replace it.

"This is not an ‘either-or’ moment. It’s a ‘both-and’ moment," she said.

But while administration officials have long said they prefer Congress take action on climate change, the economic official who spoke with reporters Tuesday night made clear that the EPA will not wait and is prepared to act on its own.

And it won’t be pretty.

"If you don’t pass this legislation, then … the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area," the official said. "And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

Climate change legislation that passed the House is stuck in the Senate, but the EPA finding Monday was seen as a boost to the U.S. delegation in Denmark trying to convince other countries that Washington is capable of taking action to follow through with any global commitments.

The economic official explained that congressional action could be better for the economy, since it would provide "compensation" for higher energy prices, especially for small businesses dealing with those higher energy costs. Otherwise, the official warned that the kind of "uncertainty" generated by unilateral EPA action would be a huge "deterrent to investment," in an economy already desperate for jobs.

"So, passing the right kind of legislation with the right kind of compensations seems to us to be the best way to reduce uncertainty and actually to encourage investment," the official said.

Republicans fear that the EPA will ultimately end up stepping in to regulate emissions — though many oppose the congressional legislation as well. They had urged Jackson to withdraw the finding in light of leaked e-mails from a British research center that appeared to show scientists discussing the manipulation of climate data.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, said Tuesday he is going to attend the Copenhagen conference to inform world leaders that despite any promises made by President Obama, no new laws will be passed in the United States until the "scientific fascism" ends.

"I call it ‘scientific fascism,’" Sensenbrenner said during a press conference with fellow climate change skeptics. Sensenbrenner said, "The U.N. should throw a red flag" on scientists who support global warming to the exclusion of dissent.

Administration officials, though, said the e-mails do not change the debate.

Former Vice President Al Gore, a leader in the movement on man-caused climate change, told CNN on Wednesday that the e-mails in questions were 10 years old and taken "out of context."

Spying begins on UK web users

[File-sharing seems to be the target this time.]

Spying begins on UK web users

Paul Marks, technology correspondent
We reported last week on plans to enforce copyright law by forcing internet service providers to spy on consumers to detect and report every piece of copied music, movies, e-books, games and software.
Now one UK ISP, Virgin Media, is trialling some of the technology needed to do that on about 1.6 million of its customers.
Provided by Detica, a subsidiary of defence firm BAE Systems, the system is being used to try and gauge the size of the alleged piracy problem. CView, as the system is known, will take a snapshot of the scale of peer-to-peer music transfers over a few months.

It will do so by copying every packet of data that passes by, and looking for the digital signatures of data transferred using the popular bittorrent, gnutella, and edonkey file sharing protocols.
Whenever it finds a data packet that matches, it will extract the code these protocols use to identify the contents of the packet.
CView will then compare that code with a database of "musical fingerprints" to identify any music being shared, allowing it to work out if the data packet infringes copyright.
As a result, Virgin will find out how much file-sharing traffic is infringing copyright, and what the most-pirated tracks and albums are, the Register reports.
CView won’t be able to finger individual users, because the IP addresses that identify each computer’s connection will be stripped from every packet. But some Virgin customers are worried about the potential for it to be used for snooping at a later date.
CView’s technology could conceivably be used to identify people accessing certain data, for example.
Or it could block certain content, in much the same way as China’s "great firewall".
The anonymisation of the data in Virgin’s assessment phase, and the fact that no humans see it, should mean the technology does not count as illegal interception, says Richard Clayton at the University of Cambridge’s security lab.
But he says on the security group’s blog that "it may take some case law before anyone can say for sure".

We are at war

We are at war

9 December 2009 by Mike Gogulski
Posted in philosophywar10 Comments »

“The State, completely in its genesis, essentially and almost completely during the first stages of its existence, is a social institution, forced by a victorious group of men on a defeated group, with the sole purpose of regulating the dominion of the victorious group over the vanquished, and securing itself against revolt from within and attacks from abroad. Teleologically, this dominion had no other purpose than the economic exploitation of the vanquished by the victors.”

– Franz Oppenheimer, The State, 1908 (emphasis mine)

“The positive testimony of history is that the State invariably had its origin in conquest and confiscation. No primitive State known to history originated in any other manner. On the negative side, it has been proved beyond peradventure that no primitive State could possibly have had any other origins. Moreover, the sole invariable characteristic of the State is the economic exploitation of one class by another. In this sense, every State known to history is a class State.”

– Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State, 1935 (emphasis mine)

“In Western Europe, as in many other civilizations, the typical model of the origin of the State was not via a voluntary “social contract” but by the conquest of one tribe by another. The original liberty of the tribe or the peasantry thus falls victim to the conquerors. At first, the conquering tribe killed and looted the victims and rode on. But at some time the conquerors decided that it would be more profitable to settle down among the conquered peasantry and rule and loot them on a permanent and systematic basis. The periodic tribute exacted from the conquered subjects eventually came to be called “taxation.””

– Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, 1973

If we accept the thesis that the states arise and have arisen, not through the hocus-pocus of “social” “contracts”, but through conquest, and are perpetuated as systems of exploitation — especially, to use Nock’s terminology, “of one class by another” — does it not follow that we are at war?

Does it not follow that all people living under state domination and exploitationought to rebel, right now?

Does it not follow that all of the state’s edicts, decrees, laws, proclamations and regulations which affront the sensibility of the individual, the tribe, the family, the neighborhood, ought rightly be ignored, denounced, ridiculed and overthrown?

Does it not follow that state agents are the enemy and deserving, perhaps qualifiedly in some cases, of the same response given to those who violate a peaceful person, a peaceful tribe, a peaceful family, a peaceful neighborhood?

And yet this does not happen. It does not happen despite the noble efforts of generations of philosophers, revolutionaries, scholars, activists and teachers.

The whole planet has been conquered. The whole planet has been beingconquered, and held under conquest and exploitation for the benefit of the smallest, most despicable number, for a great many centuries.

They live. We sleep. And it is we who live the nightmares.

Copenhagen climate summit: global warming ’caused by sun’s radiation’

Copenhagen climate summit: global warming ’caused by sun’s radiation’

Global warming is caused by radiation from the sun, according to a leading scientist speaking out at an alternative “sceptics’ conference” in Copenhagen.

By Louise Gray
Published: 5:10PM GMT 08 Dec 2009

Professor Henrik Svensmark argued that the recent warming period was caused by solar activity. Photo: REUTERS

As the world gathered in the Danish capital for the UN Climate Change Conference, more than 50 scientists, businessmen and lobby groups met to discuss the arguments against man made global warming.

Although the meeting was considerably smaller than the official gathering of 15,000 people meeting down the road, the organisers claimed it could change the course of negotiations.

Professor Henrik Svensmark, a physicist at the Danish National Space Center in Copenhagen, said the recent warming period was caused by solar activity.

He said the last time the world experienced such high temperatures, during the medieval warming period, the Sun and the Earth were in a similar cycle.

Professor Nils-Axel Morner, a geologist from Stockholm University, said sea level rise has also been exaggerated by the “climate alarmists” using computer models.

He said observational data from lake sediments, coast lines and trees show sea levels have remained stable.

Professor Cliff Ollier, another geologist from the University of Western Australia, also said the environmental lobby have got it wrong on ice caps. He said the melting of ice sheets is caused by geothermal activity rather than global surface temperatures.

Professor Ian Plimer, from the University of Adelaide, claimed carbon dioxide from volcanoes rather than humans is driving warming as part of a natural process.

The meeting was organised by Danish group Climate Sense and the lobby group Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT).

Craig Rucker, Executive Director of CFACT, admitted the organisation have taken funding from Exxon Mobil in the past but pointed out that many environmental groups are also receiving funding from major corporations.

Graham Capper of Climate Sense said manmade global warming was a myth and scientists who said otherwise were lying. :

“There are people who know they are lying and do it simply for money and others who think they are doing good,” he said. “But they not good scientists.”

Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, said he was speaking to delegations from the US and Canada about question marks over the science.

He said a recent poll by the Telegraph, that shows only one in two people accept man made climate change, show people are questioning the consensus being pushed by the UN summit.

“As anybody knows who follows the opinion polls in Britain and Australia and the US, in the last few weeks and months there has been a rapid collapse in the global warming chimera so while we still have our freedom, let us speak out.”

Palestinians Must Pay Israelis for Demolition Costs, or Tear It Down Themselves!

[A perfect example of the warped thinking patterns exhibited by Israelis and their leaders.  A normal, non-psychopathic personality, could not even conceive of such outrageous things as this, or the fact that they get away with such behavior on a daily basis.  Don’t try to tell me that the world isn’t controlled by Zionists and their sympathizers.]

Destroy Your Homes: Israel to Palestinian

Sulaiman Bashrat

IOL, December 6, 2009

WEST BANK – With a desperate look in his eyes, Ghazi Dodeen is gazing at his house in the West Bank village of Hijra.

“I have always dreamed of building this house on this land,” Dodeen told Sunday, December 6.

“Now, I’m asked to either demolish it by my own hands of let Israeli bulldozers do it.”

The helpless Palestinian man received an order from occupation authorities to demolish the house by himself or get Israeli bulldozers bring it down.

The order, which was sent to four other families, warns that the villager would pay the demolition expenses if the house is razed by Israeli bulldozers.

“I’m torn apart,” a heart-broken Dodeen said.

“Demolishing the house by my own hands would haunt me the rest of my life,” he said.

“And if I refused, Israeli bulldozers would destroy it and I would be suffering all my life to collect money to pay for the demolition expenses.”

For decades, Israel has been adopting a series of oppressive measures against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including systematic demolition of their homes.

Israeli authorities do not issue building permissions for Palestinians who are also banned from renovating their houses unless with an Israeli permit, which they rarely get.

In 1968, Israel enacted a law allowing “illegal” houses to be razed even if permits are pending in the bureaucratic pipeline.

Israel’s HaMoked Center for the Defense of the Individual said last week that Israeli authorities have revoked residency permits of 4,577 Palestinians in 2008, a figure greater than half the total revoked in the past 40 years.

A recent UN report has warned that thousands of Palestinian houses in Al-Quds are facing the risk of mass demolitions by Israel.


Analysts see the unprecedented Israeli demolition order as an attempt to deceive the world about the situation in the occupied lands.

“It aims to convince the international community that the Palestinians demolished the houses by themselves because they were built (in violation of the law),” said Gamal Al-Omla, director of Land Research Center.

“(The order aims to show) that the demolition is a legal order and has nothing to do with violating Palestinian rights.”

Suhail Khalilia, of the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ), agrees.

“It is meant to legitimize Israel’s forced immigration of Palestinians,” he said.

Analysts opine that the demolition orders are also a means to swallow Palestinian lands.

“It would help Israel to decide any future political solution according to the situation on the ground,” said Omla.

Abdel-Hadi Hantch, an expert on Israeli settlement policy, shares his view.

“The Israeli occupation is issuing this kind of demolition order as a means of deceiving the world public opinion,” he told IOL.

“It is also a way to pressure the Palestinians to leave the area,” added Hantch, a member of the National Committee for the Defense of Palestinian Lands.

“Israel is trying to limit the geographical expansion of the West Bank cities in order to be able to expand the settlements in the future.”

There are more than 164 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, eating up more than 40 percent of the occupied territory.

The international community considers all Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land illegal.

For Dodeen, demolishing his house would nip his dreams in the bud.

“The occupation is seeking to kill the joy in the hearts of the Palestinians,” he said.

“What kind of torture the occupation is trying to impose on us?” the desperate Palestinian asked.

“Isn’t enough our daily suffering from Israeli closures, checkpoints and settler assaults?”

:: Article nr. 60825 sent on 07-dec-2009 03:20 ECT