Terrorism and the Illuminati

Terrorism and the Illuminati

Al Qaeda

Abdullah Azzam

Abdullah Azzam

The Muslim Brotherhood has acted as a clever technique to recruit agent-provocateurs for the Iluminati. The lowest ranks may sincerely believe they are defending Islam, and confronting “Western imperialism”. However, these various terrorist groups, through representing different factions, are part of a single network serving the same Illuminati cause. When we explore the political and financial connections of the terrorists, we find that these are not merely wayward fanatics, operating in isolation, but that their channels penetrate to the upper reaches of power, in the British and American governments, and outward into the nether regions of the occult and criminal underworlds.

According to Svali, a former member of the cult, the Illuminati “…. are truly an international group, and the group’s agenda supersedes any nationalistic feelings.”[1] That members of this network could share a common goal, despite adhering to apparently conflicting ideologies and religious creeds, is explained by the fact that the Illuminati believe there is no truth. This reality, according to them, is too difficult to handle for all but the “elite”. As for the masses, however, they require religion. It is therefore perceived as necessary by the Illuminati to don the façade of religion to lead them. As Robert Dreyfuss clarifies:

The real Muslim Brothers are those whose hands are never dirtied with the business of killing and burning. They are the secretive bankers and financiers who stand behind the curtain, the members of the old Arab, Turkish, or Persian families whose genealogy places them in the oligarchical elite, with smooth business and intelligence associations to the European black nobility and, especially, to the British oligarchy.

And the Muslim Brotherhood is money. Together, the Brotherhood probably controls several tens of billions of dollars in immediate liquid assets, and controls billions more in day-to-day business operations in everything from oil trade and banking to drug-running, illegal arms merchandising, and gold and diamond smuggling. By allying with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Anglo-Americans are not merely buying into a terrorists-for-hire racket; they are partners in a powerful and worldwide financial empire that extends from numbered Swiss bank accounts to offshore havens in Dubai, Kuwait and Hong Kong.[2]

Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan

So, when Ronald Reagan was inaugurated President in January 1981, and the U.S. objective in Afghanistan shifted, because it was estimated that a Mujahideen fighting force of no less than 150,000 trained and well-equipped troops would have to be created, William Casey endorsed a worldwide recruitment effort, to be organized through the CIA. Exercised through the Muslim Brotherhood, it would reach to the Afghan exile communities in Europe, North Africa, other parts of the Islamic world, and America. The recruitment drive to attract Muslims from all parts of the world was of course a pretext. The Mujahideen were able to attract but a few thousand volunteers. In reality, the recruitment effort was aimed at indoctrinating an international pool of terrorists to serve beyond the war in Afghanistan, to be later used to instigate the phony War on Terror.

For the meantime, these would be regarded as “Freedom Fighters”, but the war in Afghanistan provided the Illuminati the opportunity to mobilize an international army of terrorist recruits, whose directives would later be changed to attack the US. The prime recruiting ground for these dupes, of course, was the bastion of that fanatical version of Islam created by the British in the eighteenth century, Saudi Arabia, a country now which, following the orchestration of the oil crisis, was in a financial position to fund these covert operations on behalf of their co-conspirators in London and Washingston.

To solicit Saudi Arabia’s support, Casey contacted Bandar, who arranged a meeting with King Fahd, as a result of which the Saudis, funneled through the BCCI, would match “America dollar for dollar supporting the Mujahideen,” according to Prince Turki al Faisal, longtime head of Saudi intelligence.[3] Besides ridding themselves of an increasingly volatile section of the population, according to Craig Unger, the war in Afghanistan was:

…a mission that could be embraced by the gamut of Saudi society, from the wealthy merchant families and the House of Saud to the militant clerics and the fundamentalist masses. For the royal family, the war was not just part of the cornerstone of the burgeoning Saudi alliance with the United States, but served other purposes as well. Contributing to the war effort placated the militant clerics and helped accommodate the growing unrest and the more radical elements of society.[4]

The ISI requested the presence of a Saudi prince to lead the “Jihad” in Afghanistan. While no volunteers were forthcoming, the Saudi leaders recommended the scion of a wealthy family that was close to the monarchy, Osama bin Laden. He was dispatched to the Pakistan border, arriving there just in time to hear Brzezinski, donning a turban, shout “Allah is on your side”.

Sayed QutbSayed Qutb

But, while Osama was responsible for the organization and training of new recruits, it was Sheikh Abdullah Azzam who formulated the ideological argument, according to Islamic law, in order to justify the war in Afghanistan as “Jihad”, by which recruits were to be motivated to serve American interests against the Soviets.

Barnett R Rubin, a Columbia University associate professor, and senior fellow at the C.F.R, says sources have told him that Abdullah Azzam was “enlisted” by the CIA.[5] Unrelated to the Egyptian Azzams, Azzam was a Palestinian-born teacher of religion, and an active member of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West Bank. Later, he pursued an education in Jordan and Damascus before receiving his doctorate in Islamic jurisprudence from Cairo’s Al Azhar University in 1973. While in Cairo, Azzam met the family of Sayed Qutb.[6] Thereafter, he moved to Saudi Arabia, after being invited to teach at King Abdul Aziz University, where he linked up with Sayed Qutb’s brother Mohammed.

Mohammed Qutb, like many in the Muslim Brotherhood, had emigrated under CIA sponsorship to Saudi Arabia during Nasser’s crackdown.[7] He was given different official positions at Saudi universities to teach and to carry out the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood. While in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Qutb conceived of the organization now known as the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which was established in 1972, thanks to large donations from the bin Laden family. Osama’s brother Omar was at one time its executive director, and another brother, Abdullah, who also served as a director, was being investigated as a source of terrorist funding until the Bush administration halted the FBI’s investigation at the beginning of his term in 2001.[8]

Thereafter, Azzam moved to Saudi Arabia, after being invited to teach at King Abdul Aziz University, where he linked up with Sayed Qutb’s brother Mohammed. Mohammed Qutb, like many in the Muslim Brotherhood, had emigrated under CIA sponsorship to Saudi Arabia during Nasser’s crackdown. He was given different official positions at Saudi universities to teach and to carry out the mission of the Muslim Brotherhood. While in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Qutb conceived of the organization now known as the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), which was established in 1972, thanks to large donations from the bin Laden family. Osama’s brother Omar was at one time its executive director, and another brother, Abdullah, who also served as a director, was being investigated as a source of terrorist funding until the Bush administration halted the FBI’s investigation at the beginning of his term in 2001.

Like Abdul Wahhab, and typical of all Muslim Brotherhood ideology, Azzam depended on an interpretation of Islamic law derived from Ibn Taymiyyah. In Ibn Taymiyyah’s time, the Islamic world had come under the sway of the Mongols. Despite the fact that the Mongol invaders had accepted Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah insisted that their religion was tainted, and therefore that they were unbelievers. By categorizing the Mongol rulers as infidel invaders, Ibn Taymiyyah argued that it was obligatory for the Muslims to fight them. Azzam employed similar arguments, claiming that once a Muslim land is invaded, the Muslims of the world must unite the defend it. Ultimately, what Azzam did was to convince his Muslim brethren that, despite the rampant corruption in their own countries, it was incumbent upon them to fight the unholy infidels in Afghanistan, omitting the fact that it was not a Muslim country, but had already been subjected to Communism.

Azzam, however, was finally assassinated in a car bomb attack in late 1989. Some US intelligence officials believe bin Laden ordered the killing.[9]

Osama Bin Laden

Osama bin LadenOsama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden’s father, Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, emigrated from Yemen to Saudi Arabia as a bricklayer, and slowly built the largest Saudi construction firm. He established a close relationship with Ibn Saud, who asked him to rebuild the sacred city of Mecca. Ever since, the bin Ladens have been responsible for construction in Mecca and Medina.

After Mohammed’s death in a plane crash in 1967, his sons built the Saudi BinLaden Group into a multibillion-dollar enterprise. Recent ventures have included building a freeway around Riyadh, expanding King Khaled Airport, and constructing a base for U.S. troops. By the late 70s, Osama was running the business. As points out John K. Cooley, an ABC News correspondent, and Middle East specialist:

Through his own personal reputation as a pious Muslim who favoured the cause of Wahabi Islamism, and through involvement of the bin Laden companies in construction and renovation at the holy shrines of Mecca and Medina, he seemed to both Saudi Intelligence and the CIA an ideal choice for the leading role he began to play. Bin Laden began to pay, with his own company and funds, for recruitment, transportation and training of the Arab volunteers who flocked, first to Peshawar, and to Afghanistan… By 1895 bin Laden had collected enough millions from his family and company wealth… to orgnize al Qaida.[10]

Bin Laden headquarters in DubaiBin Laden headquarters in Dubai

While attending King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah, Osama bin Laden also became close to Mohammed Qutb, and was initiated into the Muslim Brotherhood.[11] Osama had also attended Azzam’s classes and was caught up into his militant ideology. In 1979, Azzam left Saudi Arabia, being one of the first Arabs to join the Afghan jihad, and Osama, at just twenty-two years of age, followed soon after, leading them to found the MAK, or “Maktab al-Khidamat”, or the Mujahideen Services Bureau, based in Peshawar, Pakistan. According to John Loftus, however, it was George Bush Sr., as vice president, who was in charge of the covert operations that supported the MAK.[12]The MAK was nurtured by Pakistan’s ISI, and linked up with Pakistan’s Muslim Brotherhood organization, the Jamaat-e Islami, founded by Abul Ala Maududi, to recruit fighters.

Ted GundersonTed Gunderson

Michael RiconosciutoMichael Riconosciuto

By the late 1980s, there were branches of the MAK in fifty countries around the world, by means of which unsuspecting dupes from around the globe poured in to fight “Jihad” in Afghanistan. Azzam and bin Laden then recognized that many of the prospective Mujahideen lacked training, and established the Bayt Al-Ansar in Peshawar, as a central training base, or Al Qaeda, founded with the assistance of the resident CIA chief in Peshawar.[13] Bin Laden had made the first of many contacts with the CIA in 1979, after graduating from university in Jeddah, when he went to Istanbul, which the American intelligence center had chosen as a way station for the volunteers.[14]

When the Americans decided to change the tide of the war, Osama was brought to the US under the false name of “Tim Osman”. Osama then met with three men in Sherman Oaks, California. Among them was Ted Gunderson, a retired FBI agent, who had been approached by a high-level official in the administration of President Ronald Reagan to provide, outside of government channels, assistance to the Afghan Mujahideen. In 1986, Gunderson then arranged a meeting between himself, Riconosciuto, and Ralph Olberg. Michael Riconosciuto was architect of the Promis software who was closely involved with Hubbell’s Park-on-Meter operation. Olberg covertly represented the State Department where he served on its Middle East desk.[15]

Gunderson’s role was to put the key players in contact with Sir Dennis Kendall, a former member of the British parliament, and a double agent during World War II, who had worked for both the Germans and the British. After leaving Gunderson in California, Riconosciuto, bin Laden, Olberg and Kendall traveled to Boston, where they met with Abdullah Azzam, and details of the aid plan were further formulated. Interpol provided secure communications and kept the operation, formalized with a number of unnamed congressmen, from being compromised or discovered.[16]

Mujahideen fighter aims US-made Stinger missleMujahideen fighter aims US-made Stinger missle

The project ultimately provided the Afghani resistance with 600 stinger surface-to-air, shoulder-fired missiles, which had been modified so they could not be used against American aircraft if captured. Gunderson confirmed that these weapons turned the tide of battle in Afghanistan against the Soviets, whose aircraft, and particularly attack helicopters, fell victim to the missiles.[17]

America’s support of the Mujahideen, even included, as revealed by John Cooley, a former journalist with the US ABC, and author of Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism, training inside the US. Training included rifle shooting at the High Rock gun club in Naugtuck, Connecticut. More technical training took place at the CIA’s Camp Peary, nicknamed “The Farm,” in Virginia. Among the topics that were covered were surveillance and counter surveillance, counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics and paramilitary operations.

Michael Springman, the head of the American visa bureau in Jeddah from 1987 to 1989, told the BBC:

In Saudi Arabia I was repeatedly ordered by high-level State Department officials to issue visas to unqualified applicants. People who had no ties either to Saudi Arabia or to their own country. I complained there. I complained here in Washington to Main Street, to the inspector general, and to Diplomatic Security, and I was ignored. What I was doing was giving visas to terrorists  recruited by the CIA and Osama bin Laden to come back to the United States for training to be used in the war in Afghanistan against the then Soviets.[18]

Ali MohammedAli Mohammed

A former U.S. Army Sergeant, Ali Mohamed, testified in a New York court that he helped train members of Al Qaeda after he left the army in 1989. An Egyptian, Ali Mohamed rose to the rank of major his country’s Special Forces. In 1984, he was expelled from Egypt’s military as a religious extremist. He contacted the CIA, offering to act as a spy, but the CIA judged him unreliable. He was later placed on a U.S. government watch list, and yet was able to obtain a U.S. visa, marry an American woman, and become an American citizen. Until 1989, he was lecturing on the Middle East at the U.S. Army’s John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg. In 2000, he admitted involvement in the bombing of the embassies in Africa.

Though his relationship with the FBI and the CIA remain shrouded in secrecy, a close friend of his, obstetrician Ali Zaki, stated, “everyone in the community knew he was working as a liaison between the CIA and the Afghan cause.”[19]In 1988, while still on active duty, he visited Afghanistan on leave, where he fought the Soviets and made contact with Osama bin Laden, apparently with CIA sponsorship. After Mohamed was honorably discharged in 1989, he joined the Reserves for another five years. Documents from U.S. court cases demonstrate that while either on active duty or a member of the Reserves, he continued to travel abroad to meet with Osama bin Laden and his colleagues, as well as training al Qaeda members within the U.S. Retired Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, who was at Fort Bragg testified that, as nothing was done after he had advised his superiors of

Ayman al ZawahiriAyman al Zawahiri

Mohamed’s activities, he was forced to conclude that Mohamed was “sponsored” by U.S. intelligence.

[20]

Mohamed Ali returned to California in the mid 1990s, where he helped Zawahiri raise money for the Egyptian Islamic Jihad.

[21]

Finally, even Ayman al Zawahiri, the alleged “number two man” in Al Qaeda, was part of several dubious associagtions. Zawahiri is a member of another Muslim Brotherhood organization, Islamic Jihad, founded in 1977, which had been discovered responsible for the assassination of Sadat. Zawahiri was one of the men charged in the plot. Zawahiri is also related to the family of the Azzams. His grandmother was the sister of the renowned Abdul Rahman Azzam, while his uncle was Salem Azzam. After he fled Egypt, he based his operations in Geneva, working under the cover of the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Islamic Center, led by Said Ramadan.

The Sudan, Bosnia and the Philipines

Hassan al-TurabiHassan al-Turabi

At the end of 1989, Osama bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia. Although, when the Gulf War broke out in 1990, he became an outspoken critic of the setting up of US bases in the country, which had been permitted by the Saudi family. Bin Laden decided to leave Saudi Arabia in 1991, going first to Pakistan and back to Afghanistan, before finally settling in Sudan, when General Omar Hassan al-Bashir took power in a military coup. Just a few months later, at the Muslim Brotherhood meeting in London in 1989, it was decided that Sudan would be a new base for the Islamist movement, and a Muslim Brotherhood leadership council of nineteen members was subsequently established in Khartoum under Turabi, who would emerge as the real power in the Sudanese regime.[22]

Hassan al-Turabi, born in 1932, joined the Muslim Brotherhood while studying law at the British-run Gordon College in Khartoum. He received a master’s degree from the University of London, and then attended the Sorbonne University in France, receiving his doctorate in 1964. According to bin Laden biographer Roland Jacquard, Turabi visited London in 1992 and was a guest at the Royal Institute of International Affairs. In addition, Turabi seems to have Masonic connections. When their relationship had broken down, and after Turabi had foiled an attempted coup by he and his party, Bashir denounced him as being sponsored by “Zionists and freemasons”.[23]

According to several authoritative sources, as the war was winding down in Afghanistan, leaders of the CIA in Peshawar held secret meetings with bin Laden, at the end of 1991, at Green’s Hotel, under the authority of Prince Turki al Faisal, the head of Saudi intelligence. It was agreed to maintain the valuable collaboration of the “Afghan” Mujahideen, though the exact substance of the meeting is not known.[24] Consequently, many of the fighters who had trained and volunteered in Afghanistan were removed to Sudan. With support from his family, Osama extended large loans to the Islamic regime, in exchange for which the Binladen Group launched a great infrastructure construction project, including the building of highways, bridges, airports, and luxury residences.

Bin Laden also continued to finance training camps, for which he often returned to Afghanistan. On each of these visits he met with the CIA experts.[25] Together with weapons shipments to Sudan, bin Laden also managed an opium supply chain that was established before he departed for Afghanistan with Hekmatyar.[26] The DEA confirms having received multi-source information that Bin Laden has been involved in the financing and facilitation of heroin trafficking activities.[27] Al Qaeda reportedly earns as much as six billion a year from drug-trafficking.[28]

Edwin Angele, aka "Ibrahim Yakub"Edwin Angele, aka “Ibrahim Yakub”

fromIn Bosnia, where al Qaeda Mujahideen collaborated with the US, the militants established connections with Bosnian organized crime figures. The officials said al Qaeda and the Taliban found a route for the trafficking of heroin Afghanistan into Europe through the Balkans.

[29]

Followers also have been tied to bank robberies, holdups, credit card fraud and other crimes.

[30]

Bin Laden had also pushed early funding through the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), as arranged in meetings between al Qaeda’s inner-circle and the charity’s directors. Al-Zawahiri was employed by the IIRO in Albania. The Philippine branch office was run by Osama’s brother-in-law, who made a hand-off of cash to the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, an al Qaeda offshoot. The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), was co-founded by Edwin Angeles, who also went by the Muslim name of “Ibrahim Yakub”, an undercover agent for the Defense Intelligence Group, who, as the ASG’s operations officer and chief recruiter, was largely responsible for the spread and criminalization of the group. Filipina television news reporter, Arlyn de la Cruz, in her history of the ASG, wrote that Angeles/Yakub “holds the key to the deep intricacies of how some government agencies manipulated the rawness of the Abu Sayyaf during its early years.”[31]

WTC Bombing

Time cover of the 1993 WTC bombingOn November 5, 1990, in New York City, Meir Kahane, the founder of the terroristic Jewish Defense League (JDL), was assassinated by an Arab assailant. Kahane had been elected to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in 1884, by advocating the expulsion of all Arabs from Israel, but was subsequently barred from office after a new law banned parties that had racist platforms. Essentially, the history of the JDL and its founder indicates that the JDL functioned as an arm of the Mossad. Kahane’s biographer, Robert Friedman, revealed that “high-ranking members of Mossad” were directing Kahane, and that the “central player” was former Mossad operations chief, Yitzhak Shamir.[32]

Meir KahaneMeir Kahane

Kahane had also been an asset of the FBI and the CIA, including a stint for the CIA in Africa, as a “news correspondent.” In 1965, under the name “Michael King,” Kahane and Joseph Churba formed a group to mobilize campus support for the Vietnam War, as part of a CIA operation “working both sides” of the Vietnam War issue, simultaneously funding anti-war groups. In 1968, Michael King became Rabbi Meir Kahane. His colleague, Churba, also a rabbi, was a key liaison between the Likudnik right-wing in Israel and neo-conservatives in Washington.[33] Churba became an influential asset for Israeli intelligence in U.S. foreign policy-making circles, having been promoted by the John Birch Society, and funded by CIA-backed Korean cult leader Sun Myung Moon.[34]

The man accused of assassinating Kahane was El Sayed Nosair, one of dozens of Arabs who had spent time at the Al Kifah Refugee Center in Brooklyn, where the CIA had once recruited prospects to join the Afghan Jihad in the eighties. According to the February 1993 issue of the newsletter, Inside Israel, Kahane’s son claimed that “both the FBI and Mossad had infiltrated the group to which Nosair belonged.” As reported by Jane Hunter, for the Middle East International, “Benyamin Kahane says he was told by an FBI informant he identifies as Mustafa Shalabi that Nosair’s brother worked for the FBI.”[35] Shalabi, a former colleague of Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, later turned up dead.

El Sayed NosairEl Sayed Nosair

Files found in Nosair’s possession gave details of a terrorist cell, mention al Qaeda, and discuss the destruction of tall US buildings, but were not translated until years later. Instead, within twelve hours of the assassination, New York police declared the assassination was the work of a “lone gunman”, and stuck with that story. At Nosair’s trial, to which Bin Laden contributed for the defense, prosecutors chose nevertheless not to introduce his incriminating possessions as evidence, nor was his confession even mentioned, and a supposedly “open-and-shut case” ended with an acquittal. However, Nosair was sentenced to twenty-two years on other lesser charges.[36] Many of those involved in Kahane’s assassination later planned the 1993 WTC. As one FBI agent put it, “the fact is that in 1990, myself and my detectives, we had in our office in handcuffs, the people who blew up the World Trade Center in ‘93. We were told to release them.”[37]

Sheikh Omar Abdur RahmanOmar Abdur Rahman
the “blind Sheikh”

Evidence found in Nosair’s apartment linked him to the “Blind Sheikh”, Omar Abdur Rahman. Curiously, despite Sheikh Omar’s link to Nosair, a formal investigation was not undertaken. During the war in Afghanistan, Abdur Rahman had made frequent trips to Peshawar in Pakistan, where he was a friend of Abdullah Azzam. Sheikh Omar was known to have befriended bin Laden while in Afghanistan, and bin Laden secretly paid Abdul-Rahman’s US living expenses.[38] Though he had been tied to the assassination of Anwar Sadat, the CIA nevertheless regarded him as a valuable asset, because they saw his anti-Western polemics as successful in uniting the Mujahideen forces. According to Peter Bergen’s Holy War, Inc., even though the Blind Sheikh was known to be the leader of the Gamat al Islamiyya, the radical offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, he had been issued a visa in 1987 and 1990.[39] As one FBI agent said in 1993, he is “hands-off…. It was no accident that the sheikh got a visa and that he’s still in the country. He’s here under the banner of national security, the State Department, the NSA, and the CIA.”[40]

The charge that Sheik Omar Abdur Rahman operated with CIA sanction has come from a number of sources, including an anonymous government official, who leaked that it was a CIA officer assigned as a consular official that approved the Sheik’s visa from the Sudan after the consulate approved it, according to the New York Times on July 14, 1993. Egyptian President Mubarak suggested that the visa had been issued to Rahman as a payoff for “services” rendered. “The sheikh has been a CIA agent since his days in Afghanistan,” Mubarak told Egypt’s al-Gomhuria newspaper. “He still earns a salary.”[41]

Specifically, according to Barnett R Rubin, a Columbia University associate professor, and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Abdur Rahman received the visa for having gone to Peshawar on behalf of the CIA, soon after Azzam was killed, “to preach to the Afghans about the necessity of unity to overthrow the Kabul regime.”[42] Also according to Rubin, not long after the sheikh was arrested, a source asked Robert Oakley, former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, how the U.S. would respond if the sheikh disclosed he had worked for the CIA. Oakley laughed, saying it would never happen, because the admission would ruin the sheikh’s credibility with his militant followers.[43]

In the wake of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, thousands of suspected terrorists were rounded up and jailed, among them were Omar Abdul Rahman, who was eventually convicted of a conspiracy to blow up New York City landmarks. Emad Salem, the Egyptian bodyguard for Sheikh Rahman, and the key witness in the trial, was an FBI informant. It was eventually revealed under questioning that Mr. Salem had received a quarter million to one million dollars for his services as an FBI informant. Salem testified that the FBI knew about the attack beforehand and told him they would thwart it by substituting a harmless powder for the explosives. However, this plan was called off by an FBI supervisor, and the bombing was not stopped.[44]Defense attorney William Kunstler investigated and discovered that not only was Salem a lieutenant colonel in the Egyptian army, he never stopped working for the Egyptian government. Apart from the FBI, Salem was also funded, according to Kunstler, by other sources linked to foreign governments, including money from an organization founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane.[45]

Renegade Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky, who left Israel’s secret police agency and wrote his best-selling book, By Way of Deception, told the Village Voice that Israeli intelligence may have been behind the World Trade Center bombing. Mossad had motive and opportunity, says Ostrovsky, though he readily admits he doesn’t have “a shred of evidence” to support his theory. Ostrovsky says that the Mossad would have infiltrated the radical mosques in New Jersey and Brooklyn, where Abdul Rahman preached and disciples like El Sayyid Nosair prayed, and almost certainly recruited a close associate of the Blind Sheikh. The insider is recruited in what Ostrovsky calls a “false flag operation.” The Arab “thinks he is being recruited by an Iranian agent or a Libyan,” says Ostrovsky. He never suspects he is actually being “run” by Mossad.[46]

Ostrovsky points out that in the past the Mossad has effectively used this modus operandi. In the early 1950s, Mossad recruited agents to bomb American buildings in Cairo, hoping to drive a wedge between the U.S. and Nasser. When the facts became known in Israel, the scandal brought down the government. According to Ostrovsky, in 1984 Mossad detonated bombs outside of the U.S. embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital city, claiming credit in the name of an unknown radical Saudi resistance group. A member of Mossad at the time, Ostrovsky says the purpose was to weaken U.S./Saudi relations, by demonstrating to the U.S. that the regime was fragile and about to fall.[47]

As reported by Robert Friedman, Ahmad Ajaj, of the men accused of conspiring to bomb the World Trade Center, may have been a Mossad mole, according to Israeli intelligence sources. The FBI had identified Ajaj as a senior Intifada activist in the occupied territories, having close ties to both El Fatah, a constituent group of the PLO, and Hamas. According to federal sources and the Israeli National Police, the Israeli military expelled him to Jordan in 1991, for conspiring to smuggle weapons to El Fatah on the West Bank.

However, according to Kol Ha’ir, a highly regarded weekly in Jerusalem, Ajaj was never involved in Intifada activities, or with the PLO, or Hamas. Citing court papers and other sources, Kol Ha’ir related that Ajaj was actually a small-time crook, and that during his prison stay, after having been sentenced in 1988 for counterfeiting U.S. dollars, he was apparently recruited by Mossad. Curiously, following his release, only a year later, he had seemingly undergone a radical transformation, and became a devout Muslim.[48]

It was soon after that when he was arrested for smuggling weapons into the West Bank, allegedly for El Fatah. However, Israeli intelligence sources say that the arrest for weapons smuggling, and Ajaj’s supposed torture and deportation, were staged by Mossad to establish his credentials as an intifada activist. Mossad allegedly “tasked” Ajaj to infiltrate radical Palestinian groups operating outside Israel. Israeli intelligence sources say that it is no unusual for Mossad to recruit from the ranks of common criminals.[49]

Footnotes:

[1] Svali. “The Illuminati: How the Cult Programs People“.
[2] Dreyfuss, Hostage to Khomeini, p. 113. [pdf]
[3] Craig Unger. House of Bush, House of Saud, p. 98.
[4] ibid.
[5] Friedman, Robert. “The CIA’s Jihad“. March 1995.
[6] Hizmet Books, “Answer to an Enemy of Islam“.
[7] Mark Erikson. “Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 3)”. Asia Times, Dec 4, 2002.
[8] Joe Trento, “FBI Shut Down Bin Laden Investigation”.
[9] Peter Lance. Thousand Years of Revenge. p. 40-41
[10] Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, American and International Terrorism, p. 119.
[11] Peter Goodgame. “Globalists and Islamists“.
[12] Interview with John Loftus About the Muslim Brotherhood.
[13] Labeviere, Richard. Dollars for Terror: The United States and Islam, p. 103.
[14] ibid, p. 103.
[15] Mike Blair. “U.S. Armed, Promoted Accused September 11 Terrorist Mastermind“.
[16] ibid.
[17] ibid.
[18] Interview with Franck Anderson, quoted from Unger, House of Bush, House of Saud, p. 109-110
[19] Ahmed, Nafeez Mossadeq. The War on Freedom: US Complicity in 9-11 and the New Imperialism, p. 199.
[20] ibid.
[21] Ton Hays and Sharon Theimer. “Egyptian Agent Worked with Green Berets, bin Laden”. Jerusalem Post, December 31, 2001.
[22] Peter Goodgame. “Globalists and Islamists“.
[23] “Darfur governor links Khartoum plot with rebels”, World News, Sep 27, 2004.
[24] RichardcLabeviere. Dollars for Terror. p. 104.
[25] ibid, p. 106.
[26] ibid, p. 105.
[27] Asa Hutchinson, DEA Administrator. “International Drug Trafficking and Terrorism”. Testimony Before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information. Washington, DC. March 13, 2002.
[28] London Daily Telegraph, 9/15/01, 9/16/01; Montreal Gazette, 9/15/01; Le Monde, 9/14/01
[29] New York Times, December 10, 2001.
[30] Los Angeles Times, September, 15, 200.
[31] Alex Constantine. “Adnan Khashoggi Linked to 911 Terrorists”. PART 7: The Brother-Bruder-Akh Axis.
[32] Michael Collins Piper. “Was Irv Rubin Killed in 9-11 Mop Up?”. Exclusive to American Free Press.
[33] Steinberg, Jeffrey. “LaRouche: Moonies Are Target Too Big To Be Missed”. EIR, November 1, 2002.
[34] Michael Collins Piper. “Was Irv Rubin Killed in 9-11 Mop Up?”.
[35] Jane Hunter, Middle East International, March 19, p. 6
[36] Robert Friedman, “The CIA and the Sheikh”, The Village Voice. March 30, 1993.
[37] ABC News, July 16, 2002.
[38] Atlantic Monthly, May 1996, ABC News, July 16, 2002.
[39] p. 67.
[40] Freidman, “The CIA and the Sheikh”.
[41] ibid.
[42] Friedman. “The CIA’s Jihad“.
[43] ibid.
[44] Blumenthal, Ralph. “Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast”. The New York Times. October 28, 1993.
[45] Transcript of Paul DeRienzo’s interview with William Kunstler, Broadcast on WBAI in New York on August 3, 1993.
[46] Friedman, Robert. “By Way of Deception?”. The Village Voice, April 6, 1993.
[47] ibid.
[48] Robert I. Friedman, “Mossad Linked To WTC Bomb Suspect” The Village Voice, August 3, 1993.
[49] ibid.

The American Counterterrorist Myth–JULY/AUGUST 2001 ATLANTIC

The Counterterrorist Myth

JULY/AUGUST 2001 ATLANTIC

A former CIA operative explains why the terrorist Usama bin Ladin has little to fear from American intelligence

by Reuel Marc Gerecht

The United States has spent billions of dollars on counterterrorism since the U.S. embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, in August of 1998. Tens of millions have been spent on covert operations specifically targeting Usama bin Ladin and his terrorist organization, al-Qa’ida. Senior U.S. officials boldly claim—even after the suicide attack last October on the USS Cole, in the port of Aden—that the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are clandestinely “picking apart” bin Ladin’s organization “limb by limb.” But having worked for the CIA for nearly nine years on Middle Eastern matters (I left the Directorate of Operations because of frustration with the Agency’s many problems), I would argue that America’s counterterrorism program in the Middle East and its environs is a myth.

Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier, is on the cultural periphery of the Middle East. It is just down the Grand Trunk Road from the legendary Khyber Pass, the gateway to Afghanistan. Peshawar is where bin Ladin cut his teeth in the Islamic jihad, when, in the mid-1980s, he became the financier and logistics man for the Maktab al-Khidamat, The Office of Services, an overt organization trying to recruit and aid Muslim, chiefly Arab, volunteers for the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The friendships and associations made in The Office of Services gave birth to the clandestine al-Qa’ida, The Base, whose explicit aim is to wage a jihad against the West, especially the United States.

According to Afghan contacts and Pakistani officials, bin Ladin’s men regularly move through Peshawar and use it as a hub for phone, fax, and modem communication with the outside world. Members of the embassy-bombing teams in Africa probably planned to flee back to Pakistan. Once there they would likely have made their way into bin Ladin’s open arms through al-Qa’ida’s numerous friends in Peshawar. Every tribe and region of Afghanistan is represented in this city, which is dominated by the Pathans, the pre-eminent tribe in the Northwest Frontier and southern Afghanistan. Peshawar is also a power base of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s fundamentalist rulers. Knowing the city’s ins and outs would be indispensable to any U.S. effort to capture or kill bin Ladin and his closest associates. Intelligence collection on al-Qa’ida can’t be of much real value unless the agent network covers Peshawar.

During a recent visit, at sunset, when the city’s cloistered alleys go black except for an occasional flashing neon sign, I would walk through Afghan neighborhoods. Even in the darkness I had a case officer’s worst sensation—eyes following me everywhere. To escape the crowds I would pop into carpet, copper, and jewelry shops and every cybercafé I could find. These were poorly lit one- or two-room walk-ups where young men surfed Western porn. No matter where I went, the feeling never left me. I couldn’t see how the CIA as it is today had any chance of running a successful counterterrorist operation against bin Ladin in Peshawar, the Dodge City of Central Asia.

Westerners cannot visit the cinder-block, mud-brick side of the Muslim world—whence bin Ladin’s foot soldiers mostly come—without announcing who they are. No case officer stationed in Pakistan can penetrate either the Afghan communities in Peshawar or the Northwest Frontier’s numerous religious schools, which feed manpower and ideas to bin Ladin and the Taliban, and seriously expect to gather useful information about radical Islamic terrorism—let alone recruit foreign agents.

Even a Muslim CIA officer with native-language abilities (and the Agency, according to several active-duty case officers, has very few operatives from Middle Eastern backgrounds) could do little more in this environment than a blond, blue-eyed all-American. Case officers cannot long escape the embassies and consulates in which they serve. A U.S. official overseas, photographed and registered with the local intelligence and security services, can’t travel much, particularly in a police-rich country like Pakistan, without the “host” services’ knowing about it. An officer who tries to go native, pretending to be a true-believing radical Muslim searching for brothers in the cause, will make a fool of himself quickly.

In Pakistan, where the government’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency and the ruling army are competent and tough, the CIA can do little if these institutions are against it. And they are against it. Where the Taliban and Usama bin Ladin are concerned, Pakistan and the United States aren’t allies. Relations between the two countries have been poor for years, owing to American opposition to Pakistan’s successful nuclear-weapons program and, more recently, Islamabad’s backing of Muslim Kashmiri separatists. Bin Ladin’s presence in Afghanistan as a “guest” of the Pakistani-backed Taliban has injected even more distrust and suspicion into the relationship.

In other words, American intelligence has not gained and will not gain Pakistan’s assistance in its pursuit of bin Ladin. The only effective way to run offensive counterterrorist operations against Islamic radicals in more or less hostile territory is with “non-official-cover” officers—operatives who are in no way openly attached to the U.S. government. Imagine James Bond minus the gadgets, the women, the Walther PPK, and the Aston Martin. But as of late 1999 no program to insert NOCs into an Islamic fundamentalist organization abroad had been implemented, according to one such officer who has served in the Middle East. “NOCs haven’t really changed at all since the Cold War,” he told me recently. “We’re still a group of fake businessmen who live in big houses overseas. We don’t go to mosques and pray.”

A former senior Near East Division operative says, “The CIA probably doesn’t have a single truly qualified Arabic-speaking officer of Middle Eastern background who can play a believable Muslim fundamentalist who would volunteer to spend years of his life with shitty food and no women in the mountains of Afghanistan. For Christ’s sake, most case officers live in the suburbs of Virginia. We don’t do that kind of thing.” A younger case officer boils the problem down even further: “Operations that include diarrhea as a way of life don’t happen.”

Behind-the-lines counterterrorism operations are just too dangerous for CIA officers to participate in directly. When I was in the Directorate of Operations, the Agency would deploy a small army of officers for a meeting with a possibly dangerous foreigner if he couldn’t be met in the safety of a U.S. embassy or consulate. Officers still in the clandestine service say that the Agency’s risk-averse, bureaucratic nature—which mirrors, of course, the growing physical risk-aversion of American society—has only gotten worse.

Afew miles from Peshawar’s central bazaar, near the old Cantonment, where redcoats once drilled and where the U.S. consulate can be found, is the American Club, a traditional hangout for international-aid workers, diplomats, journalists, and spooks. Worn-out Western travelers often stop here on the way from Afghanistan to decompress; one can buy a drink, watch videos, order a steak. Security warnings from the American embassy are posted on the club’s hallway bulletin board.

The bulletins I saw last December advised U.S. officials and their families to stay away from crowds, mosques, and anyplace else devout Pakistanis and Afghans might gather. The U.S. embassy in Islamabad, a fortress surrounded by roadblocks, Pakistani soldiers, and walls topped with security cameras and razor wire, strongly recommended a low profile—essentially life within the Westernized, high-walled Cantonment area or other spots where diplomats are unlikely to bump into fundamentalists.

Such warnings accurately reflect the mentality inside both the Department of State and the CIA. Individual officers may venture out, but their curiosity isn’t encouraged or rewarded. Unless one of bin Ladin’s foot soldiers walks through the door of a U.S. consulate or embassy, the odds that a CIA counterterrorist officer will ever see one are extremely poor.

The Directorate of Operations’ history of success has done little to prepare the CIA for its confrontation with radical Islamic terrorism. Perhaps the DO’s most memorable victory was against militant Palestinian groups in the 1970s and 1980s. The CIA could find common ground with Palestinian militants, who often drink, womanize, and spend time in nice hotels in pleasant, comfortable countries. Still, its “penetrations” of the PLO—delightfully and kindly rendered in David Ignatius’s novel Agents of Innocence (1987)—were essentially emissaries from Yasir Arafat to the U.S. government.

Difficulties with fundamentalism and mud-brick neighborhoods aside, the CIA has stubbornly refused to develop cadres of operatives specializing in one or two countries. Throughout the Soviet-Afghan war (1979-1989) the DO never developed a team of Afghan experts. The first case officer in Afghanistan to have some proficiency in an Afghan language didn’t arrive until 1987, just a year and a half before the war’s end. Robert Baer, one of the most talented Middle East case officers of the past twenty years (and the only operative in the 1980s to collect consistently first-rate intelligence on the Lebanese Hizbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad), suggested to headquarters in the early 1990s that the CIA might want to collect intelligence on Afghanistan from the neighboring Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union.

Headquarters’ reply: Too dangerous, and why bother? The Cold War there was over with the Soviet withdrawal in 1989. Afghanistan was too far away, internecine warfare was seen as endemic, and radical Islam was an abstract idea. Afghanistan has since become the brain center and training ground for Islamic terrorism against the United States, yet the CIA’s clandestine service still usually keeps officers on the Afghan account no more than two or three years.

Until October of 1999 no CIA official visited Ahmad Shah Mas’ud in Afghanistan. Mas’ud is the ruler of northeastern Afghanistan and the leader of the only force still fighting the Taliban. He was the most accomplished commander of the anti-Soviet mujahideen guerrillas; his army now daily confronts Arab military units that are under the banner of bin Ladin, yet no CIA case officer has yet debriefed Mas’ud’s soldiers on the front lines or the Pakistani, Afghan, Chinese-Turkoman, and Arab holy warriors they’ve captured.

The CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, which now has hundreds of employees from numerous government agencies, was the creation of Duane “Dewey” Clarridge, an extraordinarily energetic bureaucrat-spook. In less than a year in the mid-1980s Clarridge converted a three-man operation confined to one room with one TV set broadcasting CNN into a staff that rivaled the clandestine service’s Near East Division for primacy in counterterrorist operations. Yet the Counterterrorism Center didn’t alter the CIA’s methods overseas at all. “We didn’t really think about the details of operations—how we would penetrate this or that group,” a former senior counterterrorist official says. “Victory for us meant that we stopped [Thomas] Twetten [the chief of the clandestine service’s Near East Division] from walking all over us.” In my years inside the CIA, I never once heard case officers overseas or back at headquarters discuss the ABCs of a recruitment operation against any Middle Eastern target that took a case officer far off the diplomatic and business-conference circuits. Long-term seeding operations simply didn’t occur.

George Tenet, who became the director of the CIA in 1997, has repeatedly described America’s counterterrorist program as “robust” and in most cases successful at keeping bin Ladin’s terrorists “off-balance” and anxious about their own security. The Clinton Administration’s senior director for counterterrorism on the National Security Council, Richard Clarke, who has continued as the counterterrorist czar in the Bush Administration, is sure that bin Ladin and his men stay awake at night “around the campfire” in Afghanistan, “worried stiff about who we’re going to get next.”

If we are going to defeat Usama bin Ladin, we need to openly side with Ahmad Shah Mas’ud, who still has a decent chance of fracturing the tribal coalition behind Taliban power. That, more effectively than any clandestine counterterrorist program in the Middle East, might eventually force al-Qa’ida’s leader to flee Afghanistan, where U.S. and allied intelligence and military forces cannot reach him.

Until then, I don’t think Usama bin Ladin and his allies will be losing much sleep around the campfire.

Predator Retribution–Hakeemullah Dead

Pakistan Taliban Chief Reportedly Killed in U.S. Drone Strike

BREAKING NEWS —  The head of the Taliban in Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in a U.S. drone attack, Pakistan state television reported Sunday.

The report stated Mehsud had been injured in a drone attack in the Shaktoi area January 14 and died three days later.

The Pakistani army said it was investigating the reports.

Pakistani army spokesman Gen. Athar Abbas says the army is using its agents in Pakistan’s northwest where the death is reported to have occurred to try to confirm or deny the reports.

Pakistani state TV reported earlier Sunday that Mehsud died in Orakzai tribal area, where he was reportedly being treated for his injuries. It cited “official sources.”

Pakistani intelligence officials have said that Mehsud was targeted in a U.S. drone strike in South Waziristan on Jan. 14, triggering rumors he had been injured or killed.

Mehsud issued two audio tapes after the strike denying the rumors.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad

[The New ‘Great Game’:Part 1-Birth of Radical Islamist Militancy]

The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –

A Strategic Asset Of The USA?

Hassan Rizvi , Lahore

Pakistan :

This is a rather lengthy article, and I was delaying publishing it on Instablog for this reason. Yet I see that terrorism is on the rise in India too. Unfortunately my frequent predictions that after Afghanistan and Pakistan, India because of it again getting involved in Afghanistan would soon itself become a hot bed of terrorism appear to be coming true. This article is therefore being published to give a bird eyes view of the issues to the general public who blame Islam and Pakistan for the rise of global terrorism. Unfortunately the subject is such that despite my best efforts I could not make it any shorter.

In Part-1 we studied the background to the US involvement in Afghanistan. Essentially Curzon’s great game of containment of Russia had been turned on its head by the India. It decided that it’s interests would best be served by allying with the Russian. The resulting rise in Afghan militancy against Pakistan supported both by Russia and India, invited the ire of the Shah of Iran as well as the Saudi’s who viewed Russian interference as an attempt to reach the warm waters and oilfields of the Persian gulf.

We also saw how Alexandre de Marenches head of French Intelligence exercised central influence on development of events in this region. His creations the Safari Club along with the BCCI, took on the load of containment of world wide Soviet penetration at a time when CIA was ‘castrated’ due to Congressional inquiries. He too was convinced Russia wanted access to the warm waters of the Gulf through Afghanistan. Just three weeks before the Russian Invasion of Afghanistan when Arnaud De Bochgrave of Newsweek asked for advise where to go to in order to get the best breaking news story he replied,” If I were you, I would go to Kabul’!

Finally we saw how building up on this Brzezinski conceived the idea of trapping and ‘bleeding’ the Russians in a Vietnam of their own – using Islamic militants. In this article we will see exactly how – after having drawn the USSR into Afghanistan – the USA went about achieving this objective.

It is important to note here that till the time of this US involvement suicide bomber was an unknown phenomena in Pakistan but had been discovered and first used by the Tamil rebels of Sri Lanka. Also the rest of the Muslim world, specially the Arabs had not been involved in Pakistan’s war with Afghanistan – hence global Radical Islamic Jehadi was an un invented commodity.

From ‘Cold War’ to ‘Détente’ to ‘Global Jihad’.

Even in the early stages of the cold war the US had realized that religion was the most potent foe of the atheistic communist doctrine; and that the dynamic and fast growing religion of Islam was much more anti-communistic then even Christianity. Since WW2 it sought to contain communism using Muslim allies.

Nevertheless the division of US ally Pakistan into two by Russian backed ally India in 1971 – made US helplessness apparent world wide. The perception gained ground – within US government itself as well as – around the world, that the USSR had achieved nuclear parity while the US had been seriously weaken by Vietnam. To counter this the US decided to use it’s relations with Pakistan as a bridge to improved relations with China and thus contain the USSR.

Following on the heels of a secret visit to China by Kissinger, in February 1972 Richard Nixon met with Mao Zedong and Chou En-Lai at Beijing to announce a stunning rapprochement. A fear of encirclement by adversaries lead the Soviets towards détente. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks started in May 1972, resulting in the signing of the SALT II treaty, on June 18, 1979. With this the ‘cold war’ came to an end.

But the post Watergate functioning of the Safari Club awakened the Americans to the possibility of re-energizing their fading dreams for a Pax-Americana. The work already done by The Safari Club in Afghanistan; Pakistan’s visible determination to avenge their recent defeat in East Pakistan (1971) through a defeat of the Russo/Indian axis in Afghanistan; as well as Carters keenness to avoid the stigma of direct US involvement; enamored Brzezinski with plans of drowning the USSR in a flood of Jehadi fighters drawn from around and within the USSR.He started taking just enough interest to provoke a Soviet Invasion.

The successful enticement of Soviet troops into Afghanistan raised the love affair another notch into a marriage of convenience. US President Jimmy Carter withdrew the SALT II treaty from the Senate, describing the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan as “the most serious threat to the peace since the Second World War”. In 1980, Ronald Reagan went further vowing to increase military spending and confront the Soviets everywhere. After getting elected he revived the B-1 bomber program, installed US cruise missiles in Europe, and announced his experimental Strategic Defense Initiative, i.e. “Star Wars”. Also he dramatically increased support for Afghan War,while Richard Pipes the head of the NWG at the time, predicted that with the right encouragement Soviet Muslims will “explode into genocidal fury” against Moscow.

It would turn out to be a marriage in which the willing bride ‘Pakistan’ –as well as other Muslim in-laws – would be wooed with all sorts of enticing visions, heedless of the consequences! Meanwhile much had to be done before the marriage could be consummated-and so Brzezinski set about the task of arranging the party.

The guests would include China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia –and but for the fiasco of the Shah having been allowed permission for medical treatment in USA –even Khomeini’s Iran. The plan involved their co-operation with the west in assembling, training, equipping and raising against Russia; the largest, most efficient and most motivated guerilla force the world had ever seen.

The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?The Outline Plan. Brzezinski came up with a plan to recruit Muslim fighters not only from Islamic countries around the globe, but also from Muslim minorities in other countries including the west. They would be motivated by the concept of Islamic Jihad; believing that God had ordered them to defeat the Godless Russians invaders. Their earthly reward would be glory, good pay and massive earnings through drug trade for the leaders; while in case of death they would be Shaheeds (mytrs) and would gain paradise!

The CIA would co-ordinate the global effort and provide special forces(green berets and SEALs/SAS) to train Islamic Jehadi leaders and instructors all over the globe; and along with Saudi and Egyptian help recruit and dispatch these Islamic fighters to Pakistan’s ISI .The USA and Saudi Arabia would also finance and equip the entire war effort. Pakistan’s ISI (along with its special forces SSG) would be responsible for the recruitment and training of local Jehadi fighters, as well as the training of those arriving from outside. More over Pakistan would serve as the sole pipeline for the operational control, re-supply and logistics including payments to all fighters within the theatre of operations.

It will be revealing at this stage to see which particular countries were relevant to this US plan; and why?

Egypt. Anwer Sadat a close ally of the Americans had been isolated in the Muslim world ever since he made his peace treaty with Israel. The Al Azhar University at Cairo was recognized through out the Muslim world as the fore most religious institution. The Muslim Brotherhood also had branches through out the world, and like Pakistan’s Jamat e Islami advocated the establishment of an ideal Islamic state based on the teachings of The Holy Quran.The support of Anwer Sadat was vital for gaining access to Egyptian bases as regional collection and dispatch points of arms and equipment to Mujahideen in Afghanistan; while the support of two above mentioned institutions was the key to raising a huge army of Egyptian fighters for the envisioned global Jihad. In addition it was hoped that Anwer Sadat’s identification with the Global Jihad might serve to end his isolation in the Muslim world.

Pakistan. It was the bride Brzezinski must woo at all costs if his global Jihad was to succeed. Already engaged in covert operations against Afghanistan for the last five years, it had the required intelligence already in place. Moreover being the country most jeopardized by the Russian invasion, it could be counted on to be the most zealous in the fight. The Jamat e Islami founded by Maulana Mahdoodi had a wide following in Pakistan –and also branches world wide. It also advocated the use of militancy for the achievements of its aims if necessary, and had prepared many of its followers to fight in Afghanistan as well as Kashmir. Enlisting its support would greatly facilitate the recruitment drive both in Pakistan as well as globally.

Saudi Arabia. We have already discussed the important role it played in the Safari Club both with regards to spreading of the teachings of Wahabi radicalism world wide, as well as the financing of covert operations. It enjoyed enormous respect as an ally amongst all sections of Pakistanis. More over as the custodians of the Holy Kaaba it commanded respect through out the Muslim world. Its importance both as financers as well as enablers of massive recruitment world wide, in support of global Jihad could never be under estimated.

China. Both as a regional power, as well as a country with which Pakistan had close ties, getting China on board for any major undertaking was unavoidable. More over its large Muslim population and Russian origin weaponry would be invaluable in provision of both recruits and equipment which could not be pinned on the Americans
.

But US relations with Pakistan were at low ebb because of a US anti-nuclear proliferation embargo. So Assistant secretary of State Warren Christopher was sent on a mission to woo the bride, soon Brzezinski would follow with the formal proposal. He would go first to Egypt then Pakistan; while US Defense secretary Harold Brown would go to China.The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?

The Initial US Effort. Soon after Warren Christopher’s wooing mission to Pakistan; in January 1980 Brzezinski visited Egypt .From that date the airbase at Qena- already in US use for reconnaissance flights against Iran – was also made available for airlifting supplies to Pakistan. Later Aswan was also made available, and Egypt started sending it’s own out of date surplus Russian equipment for use by the Mujahideen.An old arms factory near Halwan was converted to produce copies of Russian weapons for dispatch. Later Representative Charlie Wilson would travel to Israel to meet w Zvi Rafiah; and Israel would also feed captured Egyptian, Syrian and PLO equipment-including T-55 tanks- into this supply route .Over time much useful equipment including artillery and mortar shells and even Strela missiles were sent. By summer of 1980 Cairo west airbase was also made available; and by end of 1980 US special warfare troops (SEALs) were based in Egypt to impart training to Egyptian instructors-including Al-Zawari- who in turn would train the Egyptian recruits.

From Egypt Brzezinski flew straight to Pakistan. Pakistan viewed the Russian invasion of Afghanistan as a God sent opportunity to strike a tough bargaining position. The ISI chief Akhtar A. Rehman was keenly in favor of using Afghanistan as a Vietnam for the Russians, yet Zia was determined to strike a tough deal. He asked for and got the US to turn a blind eye to Pakistan’s perusal of its nuclear ambitions. He also got the US to accept that all arms, supplies, finance and training must be provided through Pakistan and not directly by CIA.

Later when US coordinated aid started flowing Zia insisted on absolute adherence to this condition. He further specified that the countries supporting must maintain absolute secrecy and repeatedly deny if necessary any shipment. Second the arms were to start immediately and be sent to Pakistan by fastest means available, but not less then two plane loads per week. Third the remaining supplies must be regular, and could come overland (China and Iran) or via sea from others (USA, UK, France, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia etc)

Henry Kissinger had already used the close ties between Pentagon and Pakistan military to build a link with China. Now after Brzezinski’s visit to Pakistan, US defense secretary Harold Brown flew to China where he secured Chinese assent and active help for the global Jihad.
The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?
Osama Bin Laden. It will be worthwhile at this stage to focus on the role of Osama bin Laden-the man who was to be painted post 9/11 as the maniacal leader of Al-Qaeda Islamic terrorist network.

In his book CIA’s Beardman claims that Osama bin Laden was never aware of the role he was playing on behalf of Washington. This is likely an attempt at distancing the CIA from Osama as a result of 9/11,for enough evidence is available to prove that not only was Osama aware of US effort in support of the Afghan war, but also that he was closely involved in routing it to the Arab fighters.

What is certain is that Osama Bin Laden appeared on the scene immediately after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Leaving Saudi Arabia together with a group of supporters and heavy engineering equipment he arrived in Pakistan in 1979. According to Prof. Michel Chossudovsky, Osama was 22 years old in 1979, when he was trained in an ISI sponsored guerilla training camp near Peshawar, Pakistan. It is said that the ISI wanted a Saudi prince to head the Saudi contingent as proof of the Saudi commitment for the anti-Soviet effort. They failed to get royalty, but a person from the influential bin Laden clan was considered good enough.

Richard Clarke, counter terrorism head during the Clinton and Bush administrations, believes Osama was handpicked for the job by the head of Saudi intelligence (Turki) .The Saudis deny he was ever their agent, but it is known that he regularly met with Prince Turki and Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif. Turki’s chief of staff Ahmed Badeeb one of bin Laden’s teachers in high school even said: “I loved Osama and considered him a good citizen of Saudi Arabia.” Badeeb will later say bin Laden developed “strong relations with the Saudi intelligence and with our embassy in Pakistan. We were happy with him. He was our man”.

It seems clear therefore that Osama was hand picked soon after the Soviet invasion to play a middleman’s role between Saudi intelligence and ISI. More over the status of his relations with the CIA though cloudy, are also thus clearly established. The truth is that although Osama was neither recruited by the CIA, nor was their agent; once the US had decided to come in a big way; as the middleman between Saudi intelligence and ISI it was inevitable that he would get closely involved with the CIA too.

Numerous charities and foundations coordinated by Saudi intelligence in close liaison with Safari Club were already in existence and financing covert operations world wide. In addition as per Indian claims Pakistan had already set up 37 training camps in Pakistan ,49 in Azad Kashmir, and 22 camps in Afghanistan to supply fighters for Afghanistan and Kashmir. Now that the USA had also committed the CIA to globalization of the covert fight in a big way, it too would have to set up front organizations for undertaking the required financial and recruitment drive.

The CIA would be the main coordinator globally and the ISI would co-ordinate everything within Pakistan. Staying within this arrangement, Osama was possibly placed in charge of co-coordinating and marrying up the existing Arab global effort with the one to be set up by the CIA/ISI.

Soon after his training in Pakistan Osama left for a visit to the USA in 1980, and also reportedly was seen in the UK in 1981.Nothing is certain about the reasons for the visit. Barnett Rubin, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations claims that about this time in the USA, The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?– a man “enlisted” by the CIA who had “close connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi intelligence, and the Muslim World League.” – was given the role of looking after the financing and recruitment of foreign Jehadi. Slate writes, “Azzam trotted the globe during the 1980s to promote the Afghan jihad against the Soviets”.

Now this Azzam also later became known as Osama’s mentor. Was Osama also trotting alongside him on the same mission? The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?It would appear to be so, for in 1984 Azzam set up the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK), also known as Al-Kifah in Peshawar, a Pakistani town bordering Afghanistan.Osama bin Laden soon took it over from him.Azzam moved back to the US to set up its first American branch in New York – known as the Al-Kifah Refugee Center. As we shall see in a later part of the article Azzam then enlarged the network to 30 branches! All US branches were CIA backed, and served both as financial as well as recruitment centers.

It becomes obvious that the office at Peshawar was a set up for tying in the CIA effort with the effort already in place in Pakistan. Thus the MAK center at Peshawar is in a position to receive –through Pakistan’s ISI- not only the money of private Arab charities, but also all CIA funds and equipment for Arab fighters. It would become the main center for funneling foreign funds and fighters from all over the globe into the Afghan war.

In fact back in 1982 the CIA had become unhappy with the ‘Afghan native’ fighters due to rivalry ridden infighting, and wants more Arab fighters as Arab were easier to ‘read’ and also ‘one-dimensionally anti-Soviet ’.CIA Director William Casey visited Pakistan to sign an agreement committing CIA’s support for recruitment of Muslim from around the world. In addition to the Gulf States, this would include Turkey, the Philippines, USA, UK and China.

Azzam and Osama were probably tasked after this by their respective handlers to set up a suitable funnel for the purpose. They came up with the MAK center at Peshawar. From here Osama could keep a tab on and control the financing and feeding of all foreign fighters into the Afghan Jihad. The entire initial data base was initially also held by him. Researcher Kurt Nimmo writes:” This database of Islamic fighters was labeled in Arabic, ‘Q eidat ilmu’ti’aat’, which is the exact translation of the English word database. But the Arabs commonly used the short word ‘Al Qaeda” which is the Arabic word for ‘base.’” Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary from 1997 to 2003, also confirms this: “al-Qaeda was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujaheddin who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.”

Thus starting soon after the Russian Invasion in 1979, US efforts had by 1984 laid the foundations for converting the discordant Pakistani covert war against the Soviets, into a global Jihad- code named ‘Operation Cyclone’. Even by end of 1982 the rate of flow of equipment would rise to 10,000 ton annually, and the flow of foreign fighters also increases.
Operation Cyclone-The US led Global Jihad Against Russia
The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?
Afghan Mujahideen Leaders Meet US president Regan in America
NSDD 166.In March 1985, President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166, (NSDD 166). William Casey director of CIA described it as the largest covert operation in history. It authorized stepped-up covert military aid to the mujahideen, and laid down a new goal for the Afghan war: Total defeat of Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action leading to a Soviet withdrawal.

The new covert U.S. assistance began with a dramatic increase in arms supplies — a steady rise to 65,000 tons annually by 1987.”In addition to arms, it provided very specialized training, state of the art military equipment including surface to air missiles, military satellite maps and latest communications equipment
The U.S. supplied support package had three essential components-organization and logistics, military technology, and ideological support for sustaining and encouraging the Afghan resistance. The ISI increased its staff to over 150,000 military and intelligence officers, bureaucrats, undercover agents and informers. In the final stages U.S. counter insurgency experts worked closely with the Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) even in organizing Mujahideen groups and in planning operations inside Afghanistan.

Eventually the entire Afghan nation, supported by tens of thousands of PakistaniJihadis and some 35,000 Muslim radical Jehadis from 40 countries would join the fight. Most of the funding would be from the United States and Saudi Arabia with a significant part generated from the Golden Crescent drug trade.

The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?MAK offices in the US in the late 1980s. [Source: National Geographic]
Recruitment.
We have already seen how Abdullah Azzam ,a CIA agent mentored Osama in setting up his financial and recruitment fronts ;and also the main funnel at Peshawer.Azzam also followed this up by expanding the US net work to 30 branches. For this reason Slate calls him “the Lenin of international jihad.”

The war lords in Afghanistan recruited their own followers. These were reinforced by fighters from all over the world. In Pakistan the Jamat i Islami set up recruitment centers all over the country-including Kashmir. Recruitment centers were also opened in many other countries including the Middle East, Turkey, UK, Philippines and China. These were funded by MAK (through CIA and ISI) but operated and run through mosques and Islamic centers in respective countries.

Training. Initially key Pakistani officers and some Afghan mujaheddin leaders were trained by Navy Seals and Green Beret officers at Camp Peary, near Williamsburg, Virginia, which is said to be the CIA’s main location for training spies and assets. Other training took place at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Harvey Point, North Carolina, and Fort A. P. Hill, Virginia. US consular official Michael Springmann reports fighters from many Middle Eastern nations getting US visas, apparently to train in the US for the Afghan war.

Training was imparted in how to detect explosives, surveillance, how to recruit new agents, how to run paramilitary operations, and more. They are taught to use different weapons, including rockets, mortars, missiles, remote-controlled mines and bombs, and sophisticated timers and explosives.

Guerrilla training was integrated with inspirational Jihad lectures, featuring CIA sponsored speakers. They could be CIA-trained Afghan fighters traveling on a CIA-issued visa; or clean-cut Arabic-speaking Green Beret lecturing on the glory of being ‘warriors of the Lord.’ People like Azzam, Abdul-Rahman, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, could often turn up as star guest speakers to deliver fiery sermons on themes like ‘Blood and martyrdom are the only way to create a Muslim society’ or ‘the world opposes our objectives, because it is the enemy of Muslims.’ Predominant themes were that Islam was a complete socio-political ideology, and that this was being violated by the atheistic Soviet invaders who must be killed, and that the Islamic people in Afghanistan are warriors of Allah through Jihad.

Instructor’s training centers staffed by Green Berets and SEALs were set up in 1980 both in Egypt and Pakistan. Fearing a diplomatic incident, US and British troops rarely ventured into Afghanistan, but up to 1982 the British SAS did provide weapons training even in Afghanistan. After Russian soldiers found the passports of two British instructors in a training camp this was discontinued; and UK enrolled mujaheddin were trained in secret camps in remote parts of Scotland.

The instructors thus trained were used in turn to train tens of thousands more in camps set up by ISI in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Radical Indoctrination. Under NSDD 166, Washington also supported and financed the process of religious indoctrination. The CIA spent $ 51million to create and supply Afghan school children with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to breed radicalism from the grass roots. Nebraska academic Thomas Gouttierre led the textbook project.

These were filled with talk of Jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, violent images and militant Wahabi teachings. Children are even taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles, and land mines.Mathmatics involved posing the children with problems like how many second would it take for a bullet aimed by a Jehadi to crack open the head of an infidel Russian, given the velocity. The primers are so radical that even the Taliban regime would continue using these American-produced books!

Financing The Jihad Through Drug Trade. The history of the drug trade in Central Asia is closely connected to the CIA’s operations. Prior to the covert operations opium production in Afghanistan and Pakistan was small- and directed to regional markets. There was no local production of heroin, but within two years of the onslaught of the CIA operation in Afghanistan, “the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world’s top heroin producer.” (Alfred McCoy, Drug Fallout: the CIA’s Forty Year Complicity in the Narcotics Trade. The Progressive, 1 August 1997).

CIA involvement started with a small suggestion in1981. Alexandre de Marenches head of the Safari Club met President Reagan at the White House. He proposed ‘Operation Mosquito’ a joint French-American-ISI operation to produce fake Russian newspapers with articles designed to demoralize Soviet troops. He also suggested US supply of drugs to Soviet soldiers. It is claimed that the idea was rejected, but soon after fake issues of the Soviet army newspaper did appear in Kabul; and also large qualities of cocaine, hashish, opium, and heroin become available to Soviet troops. At that time cocaine was only grown in South America!

In 1982, a secret memo will exempt the CIA from reporting on drug smuggling conducted by CIA officers or assets. Obviously the CIA wished to use the proceeds of the Afghan drug trade to finance its operations. Alfred McCoy’s study confirms that” Under CIA and ISI protection, Afghan resistance opened heroin labs on the Afghan and Pakistani border. Among the leading heroin manufacturers were Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan leader who received about half of the covert arms that the CIA shipped to Pakistan. In 1995 the former CIA Director of this Afghan operation, Mr. Charles Cogan, admitted sacrificing the drug war to fight the Cold War. “Our main mission was to do as much damage to the Soviets. There was fallout in terms of drugs, yes, but the main objective was accomplished. The Soviets left Afghanistan.” (Alfred McCoy, Testimony before the Special Seminar focusing on allegations linking CIA secret operations and drug trafficking-convened February 13, 1997, by Rep. John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus)

The Pakistan backed Taliban government which came to power in 1996 virtually eliminated this trade, with opium production declining by more than 90 percent. But in the immediate wake of the US led invasion of Afghanistan, opium production has again increased 33 fold from 185 tons in 2001 under the Taliban to 6100 tons in 2006. In 2007, this was approximately 93% of the global supply of heroin, and valued in excess of 190 billion dollars a year. (Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 6 January 2006)

The Operational Structure Of Jehadi Groups.The entire Jehadi fighting force was united under the banner of Islamic Unity of Afghanistan Mujahideen which was an alliance of seven Afghan parties fighting against the Soviets : Islamic Party (Khalis), Islamic Party (Hekmatyar), Islamic Society (Rabbani), Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan (Sayyaf), National Islamic Front for Afghanistan (Gailani), Afghanistan National Liberation Front (Mojaddedi), and Revolutionary Islamic Movement (Mohammadi).Although the alliance took its formal shape in the 1985, it had de facto existed as a political bloc since May 1979, when the Pakistani government decided to limit the flow of foreign financial aid, mainly from USA and Saudi Arabia, to the said seven organizations, thus limiting infighting amongst numerous smaller groups-while simultaneously cutting of the flow to doubtful and undesirable groups.

The seven parties between themselves controlled a number of affliated commanders –the highest operational rank amongst the Jihadis. Significant commanders typically led 300 or more men,but there were many commanders with lesser number of fighters.Each commander controlled several bases to dominate a district or a sub-division of a province.Some of the legendary commanders of the Afghan war were:

The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?Gulbuddin Hekmatyar the favored warlord of the ISI and CIA. Casey was said to be particularly fond of him as both shared a goal of extending the fighting beyond Afghanistan into the Soviet Union itself. He was a ruthless fighter, who also led several raids into USSR territory. He was also a major drug trafficker. Almost half of all the covert weapons directed at Afghanistan were sent to his group.

The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?Another ISI and CIA favorite was Jalaluddin Haqqani. In the 1980s, he was cultivated as a “unilateral” asset of the CIA, helping to protect Osama bin Laden, who was building his own militia to fight the Soviet forces. Originally a member of the Hezb-i Islami ,he was the first resistance leader to capture a city, Khost, from the Najibullah government. After the fall of Kabul to the Mujahideen in 1992, he was appointed justice minister in the first Mujahideen government. He attracted generous support from prosperous Arab countries compared to other resistance leaders. Haqqani was not originally a member of the Taliban. In 1995, just prior to the Taliban’s occupation of Kabul, he switched his allegiance to them. In 1996-97, he served as a Taliban military commander north of Kabul, and was accused of ethnic cleansing against local Tajik populations. During the Taliban years in power, he served as the Minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs and governor of Paktia Province.

The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?The GID’s (Saudi Intelligence Agency) favorite was Abdul Rasul Sayyaf a Pashtun warlord .He was a member of Akhwan-ul-Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood), founded in 1969 by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Dr. Syed Burhanuddin Rabbani, which had strong links to TheMuslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Fluent in Arabic. His tenure as an Ustad (Professor) at the Shariat in Kabul ended in 1973 when he fled to Pakistan after an unsuccessful plot to overthrow President Daoud Khan . Sayyaf then headed the Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan, and fought against Soviet occupying forces in Afghanistan during the 1980s, forming a close relationship with Osama bin Laden . Together in the Jalalabad area they established a training camp network, later used by Al-Qaeda personnel, with bunkers and emplacements. In 2001 he was the only Pashtun leader allied with the United Front (Northern Alliance) –and therefore the US – in its war against the governing Taliban prior to the fall of Kabul. In this period though wielding little clout as a military leader, he was able to maintain a small army paying men under his command with donations he received from his Arab benefactors. He is also the one who trained the dreaded Abu Sayyaf terrorist group of the Philippines.

The New Great Game: Part-2; Global Islamic Jihad –A Strategic Asset Of The USA?Ahmed Shah Massoud of the Panjshir valley north of Kabul,one of the most independent,charismatic and effective of Mujahideen commanders.He was also the most well read and certainly the most militarily proficient amongst them all.His tragedy was that in a land over which all sorts of powers vied for control he dreamed of a democratic and free Afghanistan.With the result that he was always relatively poorly supplied.Opposed to both Russian as well as Pushtun domination,he is credited by some western writers of having caused over 60% of the Russian losses-but found little favour with the ISI or Saudis. By the end of the war he was leading at least 10,000 trained troops-the only semblence to an army amongst mujahideen commanders- and had expanded his political control of Tajik dominated areas to Afghanistan’s northeastern provinces.His Northern alliance later also provided the base for the US invasion of Afghanistan.After the Russian withdrawl he remained the lone obstacle preventing Taliban and Pakistani domination of the country.However in this final stage he was being supported by the Russians,the Iranians and the Indians-and perhaps covertly even by the US.

The fighters under the warlords operated through over 4000 bases spread all over Afghanistan.The bases served as sources of supply and control.

Hierarchies of organization above the base level were attempted,but the results varied depending on regional, ethnic and sectarian considerations. In the Pashtun areas of the east, south and southwest; tribal structure, with its many rival sub-divisions, provided the basis for military organization and leadership. Mobilization depended on the traditional fighting allegiances to quickly raise a tribal lashkar (fighting force). In favorable circumstances such formations could quickly reach more than 10,000. Normally they could be formed to besiege towns,but because of the independent nature of Pashtun ,the Lashkar durability was necessarily short-and most seiges ended in failures.Despite the proven ability to cause fearfully unacceptable attrition in hit and run missions,such troops were woefully inadequate for purposes of capturing or holding any major cities and bases in operations against trained troops.

Mujahideen mobilization in non-Pashtun regions was very different. The Persian and Turkish speaking regions of Afghanistan lacked strong political representation in a state dominated by Pashtuns. Prior to the invasion, non-Pashtuns possessed very few firearms and little military tradition upon which to build an armed resistance. Here the leadership for mobilization was found from amongst pious learned or charismatically revered pirs (saints).The military leadership being closely tied to Islam helped avoid the infighting common amongst the Pashtun and led to some of the most effective mobilization during the war.

Thus Ahmed Shah Massoud of the Panjshir valley north of Kabul,one of the most charismatic and effective commanders rose from within their ranks.By the end of the war he was leading at least 10,000 trained troops-the only semblence to an army amongst mujahideen commanders- and had expanded his political control of Tajik dominated areas to Afghanistan’s northeastern provinces.His Northern alliance later also provided the base for the US invasion of Afghanistan.

The mujahideen leaders were skilled at sabotage operations. They concentrated on both civilian and military targets, knocking out bridges, closing major roads, blowing up power lines, pipelines, radio stations, government office buildings, air terminals, hotels, cinemas,ambushing patrols, attacking convoys, disrupting the electric power system and industrial production, and attacking police stations and Soviet military installations and air bases. From 1985 through 1987, an average of over 600 “sabotage acts” a year were recorded. The mujahideen would often launch 800 rockets per day. Between April 1985 and January 1987, they carried out over 23,500 shelling attacks on government targets. They also made heavy use of land mines .

Mujahideen Attacks Within The USSR.In 1985, the CIA, MI6 (Britain’s intelligence agency), and the Pakistani ISI agreed to launch guerrilla attacks from Afghanistan into then Soviet-controlled Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, attacking military installations, factories, and storage depots within Soviet territory. The task was given to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.According to, Mohammad Yousaf, a high-ranking ISI officer at the time the attacks on the Soviet Union actually began in 1985:“These cross-border strikes were at their peak in 1986. Scores of attacks were made across the Amu (River)… Sometimes Soviet citizens joined in these operations, or came back into Afghanistan to join the mujaheddin. That we were hitting a sore spot was confirmed by the ferocity of the Soviets’ reaction. Virtually every incursion provoked massive aerial bombing and gunship attacks on all villages south of the river in the vicinity of our strike.”

The Soviet Withdrawl.By 1987 the USSR decided it has had enough! Its Politburo decided that the Soviet-Afghan War must end “within a year”and by November 1987 both the CIA and the ISI are aware of this. As a result of an agreement signed in Geneva, between Afghanistan and Pakistan the Soviet Union pledged to withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan by February15, 1989. On that exact date the last of its soldiers were out of Afghanistan.

But they left a Soviet backed Communist regime holding the fort at Kabul. None of the players – including the USSR – expected this regime to survive for more then three months. Yet even though it was acceptable to neither the mujahideen fighters or even their principle backers – it would survive for three years!

Conclusion. This article conclusively proves that ‘Global Islamic Jihad’ was forged as an instrument for the pursuit of US strategic interests ,and that it proved itself as a worthwhile CIA asset in Afghanistan. It’s very first operation – “Operation Cyclone” – the organizing and launching of the biggest covert operations the world had ever seen; proved a remarkable success; enabling the USA and it’s Jehadi allies to attain the stated goal of defeating and forcing the Soviet troops out of Afghanistan.

Yet as we have seen in some of the remarks of US officials it was an instrument forged to pursue goal stretching far beyond the immediate objective of defeating the Russian in Afghanistan. It is here that except for some success in Yugoslavia –Bosnia and Kosovo-and Chechnya; the idea back fired very badly.

In the first place the unexpected resistance of the Najeeb government upset US planning and forced the ISI as well as the CIA to continue funding the Mujaheddin for another three years. In the process the conflicting tactical and strategical compulsions of the many strange bed fellows in ‘Global Jihad’ started to surface. Leadership at all levels –US, Pakistani, Afghan as well as Arab – failed to rise to the occasion.Obsessed by their own objectives -now that the common enemy was removed- each group would fail to show any unity of purpose, or even the flexibility and accommodation required to attain the fruits of their massive effort. This in turn would propel the war uncontrollably into unexpected and unchartered territory!

To begin with –amongst the various Afghan mujahideen groups – the concept of ‘holy war’ seemed to give way immediately to an ethnic based struggle for leadership and control of the Afghan capital. Pakistan having a huge Pashtun population in it’s tribal area, and, also interested in retaining control over Afghanistan as a means of strategic depth as well as access to Central Asia; was increasingly drawn in on the side of Gulbadin Hikmatyar and the Pashtuns.

The USA aiming for quick stability in order to implement it’s greater game in Central Asian Republics and Yugoslavia – and also perhaps to lessen Pakistani and Pakhtun influence on Afghan issues – supported the concept of a more broad based government. This brought it in conflict with the issue of Pakhtuns domination- an issue the US never seemed to be inclined to support. Never the less because of Pakistani hold on Pakhtun commanders, the US had little choice but to appear to go along with what Pakistan was doing, while continuing to do what ever was needed to pursue its own objectives.

The death of General Zia in a mysterious plane crash tended to sabotage Pakistani influence on Pashtun commanders; how ever even if-as some say- engineered by CIA the crash proved counter productive, as for some time thereafter neither the US nor Pakistan had much control over the war lords in Afghanistan.

The uncontrolled mujahideen parties now committed enormous atrocities on their own citizens, and, destroyed whatever infrastructure was left as they battled each other for control of Kabul and the major cities. The country was politically divided with warlords holding sway on ethnic basis; ruthlessly suppressing their own citizens-and eliminating their opponents. The rise of the Pashtun Taliban in 1994 – a Pakistani attempt to re assert control – was therefore tolerated for a while even by the US, in the hope that this would bring the required peace and stability in Afghanistan.

Similar differences also developed between Bin Laden and his mentor Azzam. We have already noted that Azzam was a CIA man, while bin Laden was an ISI/GID man; Bin Laden sided with the “Islamic Party” lead by the Pashtun Hekmatyar, while Azzam tried to impose the US option of peace between the Mujahideen faction and the Jama’a Al Islamiya faction under the leadership of Rabani and Masuod. Azzam even issued a Fatwa forbidding Jehadi fighters from participating in the power struggle in Afghanistan. These differences thus appear to be an early reflection of the differences between the outlook of the US and pro Pashtun parties to the conflict.

One early effect of this on the set up of Arab fighters within Afghanistan was that Bin Laden disengaged from Azzam and was forced to move to Sudan to begin ‘independent’ operations. In November 1989 Azzam was murdered in New York under mysterious circumstances and Bin laden became the sole ideological leader of the organization of Arab fighters- Al-Qaeda. In 1990 Al-Zawahiri the leader of the Egyptian fighters in Afghanistan also moved to Sudan to join Bin Laden. But even at this stage both The ISI as well as Osama seems to have been part of the US operations involving the use of Al-Qaeda Jehadis in Chechnya and Yugoslavia.

Peace did not come even after the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan; Osama would return to Afghanistan-and Hikmatyar the CIA and ISI’s blue eyed boy would flee to Iran! Ahmed Shah Masud would form the Northern alliance and continue battling the Taliban.Osama allied with Al-Zawahiri would announce that peace is not possible until Masud is killed. Musud in turn would speak to the EU parliament warning against terrorism and an imminent major terrorist attack in the near future. Soon Masud would be assassinated by men posing as press photographers. Two days later 9/11 would occur. The USA would embark on its invasion of Afghanistan using the deceased Masud’s Northern alliance as a base.

What are we to make of all this? Did the creation of an instrument of global Jihad have unforeseen and undesirable ramifications for the USA? Did Osama at some stage along the line develop major differences with the CIA – leading to 9/11 and his subsequent vilification as the leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaeda? Was the difference much deeper and involved a gradually widening chasm between the CIA and ISI itself?

In the next article God willing I propose to wind up the subject in the light of the events relating to the rise and fall of the Taliban – and culminating in 9/11 and the presence of US troops in Afghanistan.

TERRORISM: THEIRS AND OURS

TERRORISM: THEIRS AND OURS

By Eqbal Ahmad
(A Presentation at the University of Colorado, Boulder, October 12, 1998)

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Jewish underground in Palestine was described as “TERRORIST.”  Then new things happened.

By 1942, the Holocaust was occurring, and a certain liberal sympathy with the Jewish people had built up in the Western world. At that point, the terrorists of Palestine, who were Zionists, suddenly started to be described, by 1944-45, as “freedom fighters.” At least two Israeli Prime Ministers, including Menachem Begin, have actually, you can find in the books and posters with their pictures, saying “Terrorists, Reward This Much.” The highest reward I have noted so far was 100,000 British pounds on the head of Menachem Begin, the terrorist.

Then from 1969 to 1990 the PLO, the Palestine Liberation Organization, occupied the center stage as the terrorist organization. Yasir Arafat has been described repeatedly by the great sage of American journalism, William Safire of the New York Times, as the “Chief of Terrorism.” That’s Yasir Arafat.

Now, on September 29, 1998, I was rather amused to notice a picture of Yasir Arafat to the right of President Bill Clinton. To his left is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan yahu. Clinton is looking towards Arafat and Arafat is looking literally like a meek mouse. Just a few years earlier he used to appear with this very menacing look around him, with a gun appearing menacing from his belt. You remember those pictures, and you remember the next one.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan received a group of bearded men. These bearded men I was writing about in those days in The New Yorker, actually did. They were very ferocious-looking bearded men with turbans looking like they came from another century. President Reagan received them in the White House. After receiving them he spoke to the press. He pointed towards them, I’m sure some of you will recall that moment, and said, “These are the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers”. These were the Afghan Mujahiddin. They were at the time, guns in hand, battling the Evil Empire. They were the moral equivalent of our founding fathers!

In August 1998, another American President ordered missile strikes from the American navy based in the Indian Ocean to kill Osama Bin Laden and his men in the camps in Afghanistan. I do not wish to embarrass you with the reminder that Mr. Bin Laden, whom fifteen American missiles were fired to hit in Afghanistan, was only a few years ago the moral equivalent of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson! He got angry over the fact that he has been demoted from ‘Moral Equivalent’ of your ‘Founding Fathers’. So he is taking out his anger in different ways. I’ll come back to that subject more seriously in a moment.

You see, why I have recalled all these stories is to point out to you that the matter of terrorism is rather complicated. Terrorists change. The terrorist of yesterday is the hero of today, and the hero of yesterday becomes the terrorist of today. This is a serious matter of the constantly changing world of images in which we have to keep our heads straight to know what is terrorism and what is not. But more importantly, to know what causes it, and how to stop it.

The next point about our terrorism is that posture of inconsistency necessarily evades definition. If you are not going to be consistent, you’re not going to define. I have examined at least twenty official documents on terrorism. Not one defines the word. All of them explain it, express it emotively, polemically, to arouse our emotions rather than exercise our intelligence. I give you only one example, which is representative. October 25, 1984. George Shultz, then Secretary of State of the U.S., is speaking at the New York Park Avenue Synagogue. It’s a long speech on terrorism. In the State Department Bulletin of seven single-spaced pages, there is not a single definition of terrorism. What we get is the following:

Definition number one: “Terrorism is a modern barbarism that we call terrorism.”

Definition number two is even more brilliant: “Terrorism is a form of political violence.” Aren’t you surprised? It is a form of political violence, says George Shultz, Secretary of State of the U.S.

Number three: “Terrorism is a threat to Western civilization.”

Number four: “Terrorism is a menace to Western moral values.”

Did you notice, does it tell you anything other than arouse your emotions? This is typical. They don’t define terrorism because definitions involve a commitment to analysis, comprehension and adherence to some norms of consistency. That’s the second characteristic of the official literature on terrorism.

The third characteristic is that the absence of definition does not prevent officials from being globalistic. We may not define terrorism, but it is a menace to the moral values of Western civilization. It is a menace also to mankind. It’s a menace to good order. Therefore, you must stamp it out worldwide. Our reach has to be global. You need a global reach to kill it. Anti-terrorist policies therefore have to be global. Same speech of George Shultz: “There is no question about our ability to use force where and when it is needed to counter terrorism.” There is no geographical limit. On a single day the missiles hit Afghanistan and Sudan. Those two countries are 2,300 miles apart, and they were hit by missiles belonging to a country roughly 8,000 miles away. Reach is global.

A fourth characteristic: claims of power are not only globalist they are also omniscient. We know where they are; therefore we know where to hit. We have the means to know. We have the instruments of knowledge. We are omniscient. Shultz: “We know the difference between terrorists and freedom fighters, and as we look around, we have no trouble telling one from the other.”

Only Osama Bin Laden doesn’t know that he was an ally one day and an enemy another. That’s very confusing for Osama Bin Laden. I’ll come back to his story towards the end. It’s a real story.

Five. The official approach eschews causation. You don’t look at causes of anybody becoming terrorist. Cause? What cause? They ask us to be looking, to be sympathetic to these people.

Another example. The New York Times, December 18, 1985, reported that the foreign minister of Yugoslavia, you remember the days when there was a Yugoslavia, requested the Secretary of State of the U.S. to consider the causes of Palestinian terrorism. The Secretary of State, George Shultz, and I am quoting from the New York Times, “went a bit red in the face. He pounded the table and told the visiting foreign minister, there is no connection with any cause. Period.” Why look for causes?

Number six. The moral revulsion that we must feel against terrorism is selective. We are to feel the terror of those groups, which are officially disapproved. We are to applaud the terror of those groups of whom officials do approve. Hence, President Reagan, “I am a contra.” He actually said that. We know the contras of Nicaragua were anything, by any definition, but terrorists. The media, to move away from the officials, heed the dominant view of terrorism.

The dominant approach also excludes from consideration, more importantly to me, the terror of friendly governments. To that question I will return because it excused among others the terror of Pinochet (who killed one of my closest friends) and Orlando Letelier; and it excused the terror of Zia ul-Haq, who killed many of my friends in Pakistan. All I want to tell you is that according to my ignorant calculations, the ratio of people killed by the state terror of Zia ul-Haq, Pino chet, Argentinian, Brazilian, Indonesian type, versus the killing of the PLO and other terrorist types is literally, conservatively, one to one hundred thousand. That’s the ratio.

History unfortunately recognizes and accords visibility to power and not to weakness. Therefore, visibility has been accorded historically to dominant groups. In our time, the time that began with this day, Columbus Day.

The time that begins with Columbus Day is a time of extraordinary unrecorded holocausts. Great civilizations have been wiped out. The Mayas, the Incas, the Aztecs, the American Indians, the Canadian Indians were all wiped out. Their voices have not been heard, even to this day fully. Now they are beginning to be heard, but not fully. They are heard, yes, but only when the dominant power suffers, only when resistance has a semblance of costing, of exacting a price. When a Custer is killed or when a Gordon is besieged. That’s when you know that they were Indians fighting, Arabs fighting and dying.

My last point of this section – U.S. policy in the Cold War period has sponsored terrorist regimes one after another. Somoza, Batista, all kinds of tyrants have been America’s friends. You know that. There was a reason for that. I or you are not guilty. Nicaragua, contra. Afghanistan, mujahiddin. El Salvador, etc.

Now the second side. You’ve suffered enough. So suffer more.

There ain’t much good on the other side either. You shouldn’t imagine that I have come to praise the other side. But keep the balance in mind. Keep the imbalance in mind and first ask ourselves, What is terrorism?

Our first job should be to define the damn thing, name it, give it a description of some kind, other than “moral equivalent of founding fathers” or “a moral outrage to Western civilization”. I will stay with you with Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: “Terror is an intense, overpowering fear.” He uses terrorizing, terrorism, “the use of terrorizing methods of governing or resisting a government.” This simple definition has one great virtue, that of fairness. It’s fair. It focuses on the use of coercive violence, violence that is used illegally, extra-constitutionally, to coerce. And this definition is correct because it treats terror for what it is, whether the government or private people commit it.

Have you noticed something? Motivation is left out of it. We’re not talking about whether the cause is just or unjust. We’re talking about consensus, consent, absence of consent, legality, absence of legality, constitutionality, absence of constitutionality. Why do we keep motives out? Because motives differ. Motives differ and make no difference.

I have identified in my work five types of terrorism.

First, state terrorism. Second, religious terrorism; terrorism inspired by religion, Catholics killing Protestants, Sunnis killing Shiites, Shiites killing Sunnis, God, religion, sacred terror, you can call it if you wish. State, church. Crime. Mafia. All kinds of crimes commit terror. There is pathology. You’re pathological. You’re sick. You want the attention of the whole world. You’ve got to kill a president. You will. You terrorize. You hold up a bus. Fifth, there is political terror of the private group; be they Indian, Vietnamese, Algerian, Palestinian, Baader-Meinhof, the Red Brigade. Political terror of the private group. Oppositional terror.

Keep these five in mind. Keep in mind one more thing. Sometimes these five can converge on each other. You start with protest terror. You go crazy. You become pathological. You continue. They converge. State terror can take the form of private terror. For example, we’re all familiar with the death squads in Latin America or in Pakistan. Government has employed private people to kill its opponents. It’s not quite official. It’s privatized. Convergence. Or the political terrorist who goes crazy and becomes pathological. Or the criminal who joins politics. In Afghanistan, in Central America, the CIA employed in its covert operations drug pushers. Drugs and guns often go together. Smuggling of all things often go together.

Of the five types of terror, the focus is on only one, the least important in terms of cost to human lives and human property [Political Terror of those who want to be heard]. The highest cost is state terror. The second highest cost is religious terror, although in the twentieth century religious terror has, relatively speaking, declined. If you are looking historically, massive costs. The next highest cost is crime. Next highest, pathology. A Rand Corporation study by Brian Jenkins, for a ten-year period up to 1988, showed 50% of terror was committed without any political cause at all. No politics. Simply crime and pathology.

So the focus is on only one, the political terrorist, the PLO, the Bin Laden, whoever you want to take. Why do they do it? What makes the terrorist tick?

I would like to knock them out quickly to you. First, the need to be heard. Imagine, we are dealing with a minority group, the political, private terrorist. First, the need to be heard. Normally, and there are exceptions, there is an effort to be heard, to get your grievances heard by people. They’re not hearing it. A minority acts. The majority applauds.

The Palestinians, for example, the superterrorists of our time, were dispossessed in 1948. From 1948 to 1968 they went to every court in the world. They knocked at every door in the world. They were told that they became dispossessed because some radio told them to go away – an Arab radio, which was a lie. Nobody was listening to the truth. Finally, they invented a new form of terror, literally their invention: the airplane hijacking. Between 1968 and 1975 they pulled the world up by its ears. They dragged us out and said, Listen, Listen. We listened. We still haven’t done them justice, but at least we all know. Even the Israelis acknowledge. Remember Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, saying in 1970, ‘There are no Palestinians.’ They do not exist. They damn well exist now. We are cheating them at Oslo. At least there are some people to cheat now. We can’t just push them out. The need to be heard is essential. One motivation there.

Mix of anger and helplessness produces an urge to strike out. You are angry. You are feeling helpless. You want retribution. You want to wreak retributive justice. The experience of violence by a stronger party has historically turned victims into terrorists. Battered children are known to become abusive parents and violent adults. You know that. That’s what happens to peoples and nations. When they are battered, they hit back. State terror very often breeds collective terror.

Do you recall the fact that the Jews were never terrorists? By and large Jews were not known to commit terror except during and after the Holocaust. Most studies show that the majority of members of the worst terrorist groups in Israel or in Palestine, the Stern and the Irgun gangs, were people who were immigrants from the most anti-Semitic countries of Eastern Europe and Germany. Similarly, the young Shiites of Lebanon or the Palestinians from the refugee camps are battered people. They become very violent. The ghettos are violent internally. They become violent externally when there is a clear, identifiable external target, an enemy where you can say, ‘Yes, this one did it to me’. Then they can strike back.

Example is a bad thing. Example spreads. There was a highly publicized Beirut hijacking of the TWA plane. After that hijacking, there were hijacking attempts at nine different American airports. Pathological groups or individuals modeling on the others. Even more serious are examples set by governments. When governments engage in terror, they set very large examples. When they engage in supporting terror, they engage in other sets of examples.

Absence of revolutionary ideology is central to victim terrorism. Revolutionaries do not commit unthinking terror. Those of you who are familiar with revolutionary theory know the debates, the disputes, the quarrels, the fights within revolutionary groups of Europe, the fight between anarchists and Marxists, for example. But the Marxists have always argued that revolutionary terror, if ever engaged in, must be sociologically and psychologically selective. Don’t hijack a plane. Don’t hold hostages. Don’t kill children, for God’s sake. Have you recalled also that the great revolutions, the Chinese, the Vietnamese, the Algerian, the Cuban, never engaged in hijacking type of terrorism? They did engage in terrorism, but it was highly selective, highly sociological, still deplorable, but there was an organized, highly limited, selective character to it. So absence of revolutionary ideology that begins more or less in the post-World War II period has been central to this phenomenon.

My final question is – These conditions have existed for a long time. But why then this flurry of private political terrorism? Why now so much of it and so visible? The answer is modern technology. You have a cause. You can communicate it through radio and television. They will all come swarming if you have taken an aircraft and are holding 150 Americans hostage. They will all hear your cause. You have a modern weapon through which you can shoot a mile away. They can’t reach you. And you have the modern means of communicating. When you put together the cause, the instrument of coercion and the instrument of communication, politics is made. A new kind of politics becomes possible.

To this challenge rulers from one country after another have been responding with traditional methods. The traditional method of shooting it out, whether it’s missiles or some other means. The Israelis are very proud of it. The Americans are very proud of it. The French became very proud of it. Now the Pakistanis are very proud of it. The Pakistanis say, ‘Our commandos are the best.’ Frankly, it won’t work. A central problem of our time, political minds, rooted in the past, and modern times, producing new realities. Therefore in conclusion, what is my recommendation to America?

Quickly. First, avoid extremes of double standards. If you’re going to practice double standards, you will be paid with double standards. Don’t use it. Don’t condone Israeli terror, Pakistani terror, Nicaraguan terror, El Salvadoran terror, on the one hand, and then complain about Afghan terror or Palestinian terror. It doesn’t work. Try to be even-handed. A superpower cannot promote terror in one place and reasonably expect to discourage terrorism in another place. It won’t work in this shrunken world.

Do not condone the terror of your allies. Condemn them. Fight them. Punish them. Please eschew, avoid covert operations and low-intensity warfare. These are breeding grounds of terror and drugs. Violence and drugs are bred there. The structure of covert operations, I’ve made a film about it, which has been very popular in Europe, called Dealing with the Demon. I have shown that wherever covert operations have been, there has been the central drug problem. That has been also the center of the drug trade. Because the structure of covert operations, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Central America, is very hospitable to drug trade. Avoid it. Give it up. It doesn’t help.

Please focus on causes and help ameliorate causes. Try to look at causes and solve problems. Do not concentrate on military solutions. Do not seek military solutions. Terrorism is a political problem. Seek political solutions. Diplomacy works.

Take the example of the last attack on Bin Laden. You don’t know what you’re attacking. They say they know, but they don’t know. They were trying to kill Qadaffi. They killed his four-year-old daughter. The poor baby hadn’t done anything. Qadaffi is still alive. They tried to kill Saddam Hussein. They killed Laila Bin Attar, a prominent artist, an innocent woman. They tried to kill Bin Laden and his men. Not one but twenty-five other people died. They tried to destroy a chemical factory in Sudan. Now they are admitting that they destroyed an innocent factory, one-half of the production of medicine in Sudan has been destroyed, not a chemical factory. You don’t know. You think you know.

Four of your missiles fell in Pakistan. One was slightly damaged. Two were totally damaged. One was totally intact. For ten years the American government has kept an embargo on Pakistan because Pakistan is trying, stupidly, to build nuclear weapons and missiles. So we have a technology embargo on my country. One of the missiles was intact. What do you think a Pakistani official told the Washington Post? He said it was a gift from Allah. We wanted U.S. technology. Now we have got the technology, and our scientists are examining this missile very carefully. It fell into the wrong hands. So don’t do that. Look for political solutions. Do not look for military solutions. They cause more problems than they solve.

Please help reinforce, strengthen the framework of international law. There was a criminal court in Rome. Why didn’t they go to it first to get their warrant against Bin Laden, if they have some evidence? Get a warrant, then go after him. Internationally. Enforce the U.N. Enforce the International Court of Justice, this unilateralism makes us look very stupid and them relatively smaller.

Q&A

The question here is that I mentioned that I would go somewhat into the story of Bin Laden, the Saudi in Afghanistan and didn’t do so, could I go into some detail? The point about Bin Laden would be roughly the same as the point between Sheikh Abdul Rahman, who was accused and convicted of encouraging the blowing up of the World Trade Center in New York City. The New Yorker did a long story on him. It’s the same as that of Aimal Kansi, the Pakistani Baluch who was also convicted of the murder of two CIA agents. Let me see if I can be very short on this. Jihad, which has been translated a thousand times as “holy war,” is not quite just that. Jihad is an Arabic word that means, “to struggle.” It could be struggle by violence or struggle by non-violent means. There are two forms, the smalljihad and the big jihad. The small jihad involves violence. The big jihad involves the struggles with self. Those are the concepts. The reason I mention it is that in Islamic history, jihad as an international violent phenomenon had disappeared in the last four hundred years, for all practical purposes. It was revived suddenly with American help in the 1980s. When the Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan, Zia ul-Haq, the military dictator of Pakistan, which borders on Afghanistan, saw an opportunity and launched a jihad there against godless communism.  The U.S. saw a God-sent opportunity to mobilize one billion Muslims against what Reagan called the Evil Empire. Money started pouring in. CIA agents starting going all over the Muslim world recruiting people to fight in the great jihad. Bin Laden was one of the early prize recruits. He was not only an Arab. He was also a Saudi. He was not only a Saudi. He was also a multimillionaire, willing to put his own money into the matter. Bin Laden went around recruiting people for the jihad against communism.

I first met him in 1986. He was recommended to me by an American official of whom I do not know whether he was or was not an agent. I was talking to him and said, ‘Who are the Arabs here who would be very interesting?’ By here I meant in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said, ‘You must meet Osama.’ I went to see Osama. There he was, rich, bringing in recruits from Algeria, from Sudan, from Egypt, just like Sheikh Abdul Rahman. This fellow was an ally. He remained an ally. He turns at a particular moment. In 1990 the U.S. goes into Saudi Arabia with forces. Saudi Arabia is the holy place of Muslims, Mecca and Medina. There had never been foreign troops there. In 1990, during the Gulf War, they went in, in the name of helping Saudi Arabia defeat Saddam Hussein. Osama Bin Laden remained quiet. Saddam was defeated, but the American troops stayed on in the land of the kaba (the sacred site of Islam in Mecca), foreign troops. He wrote letter after letter saying, Why are you here? Get out! You came to help but you have stayed on. Finally he started a jihad against the other occupiers. His mission is to get American troops out of Saudi Arabia. His earlier mission was to get Russian troops out of Afghanistan. See what I was saying earlier about covert operations?

A second point to be made about him is these are tribal people, people who are really tribal. Being a millionaire doesn’t matter. Their code of ethics is tribal. The tribal code of ethics consists of two words: loyalty and revenge. You are my friend. You keep your word. I am loyal to you. You break your word, I go on my path of revenge. For him, America has broken its word. The loyal friend has betrayed. The one to whom you swore blood loyalty has betrayed you. They’re going to go for you. They’re going to do a lot more.

These are the chickens of the Afghanistan war coming home to roost. This is why I said to stop covert operations. There is a price attached to those that the American people cannot calculate and Kissinger type of people do not know, don’t have the history to know.

Eqbal Ahmad, Professor Emeritus of International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, also served as a managing editor of the quarterly Race and Class. A prolific writer, his articles and essays have been published in The Nation, Dawn (Pakistan), among several other journals throughout the world. He died in 1999.

China mulls setting up military base in Pakistan

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “China mulls setting up military base …“, posted with vodpod

BEIJING: China has signaled it wants to go the US way and set up military bases in overseas locations that would possibly include Pakistan.

The obvious purpose would be to exert pressure on India as well as counter US influence in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“(So) it is baseless to say that we will not set up any military bases in future because we have never sent troops abroad,” an article published on Thursday at a Chinese government website said. “It is our right,” the article said and went on to suggest that it would be done in the neighborhood, possibly Pakistan.

“As for the military aspect, we should be able to conduct the retaliatory attack within the country or at the neighboring area of our potential enemies. We should also be able to put pressure on the potential enemies’ overseas interests,” it said.

A military base in Pakistan will also help China keep a check on Muslim Uighur separatists fighting for an independent nation in its western region of Xingjian, which borders the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan. Beijing recently signed an agreement with the local government of NWFP in order to keep a close watch on the movement of Uighur ultras.

“I have personally felt for sometime that China might one day build a military base in India’s neighborhood. China built the Gadwar port in Pakistan and is now broadening the Karokoram highway. These facilities can always be put to military use when the need arises,” Ramesh V Phadke, former Air Commodore and advisor to the Institute of Defense Studies told TNN. Phadke said the article in very significant. “The purpose may be to see how the international community reacts to it,” he said.

China, which has no military bases outside its territory, has often criticized the United States for operating such overseas bases. It has not just changed its standpoint but also wants to enter the lucrative protection business.

“With further development, China will be in great demand of the military protection,” the article said. Pakistan, which buys 70% of its military hardware from China, is likely to be an eager buyer for such protection. Beijing may also be able to pressurize Islamabad to accept its diktat using the threat of withholding military supplies.

A Pakistani expert on China-Pakistan relationship has a different view on the subject. “The Americans had a base in the past and it caused a political stink. I don’t think it would be politically possible for the Pakistani government to openly allow China to set up a military base,” he said while requesting anonymity. Pakistan might allow use of its military facilities without publicly announcing it, he said.

A Chinese military base can tackle several international relations issues, it said. One of them is “the relationship between the base troops and the countries neighboring to the host country.” This is another indication that Beijing is considering Pakistan as a possible base. China’s argument is that a foreign base would actually help regional stability.

“If the base troops can maintain the regional stability, it will be probably welcomed by all the countries in the region,” the article said. Beijing is conscious that the move might result in opposition from the US, UK and France which has overseas military bases.

“Thirdly, the relationship between the big countries in the world. The establishment of the troop bases is sensitive to those big countries which have already set up the bases abroad,” the article said.

Was Yesterday’s Chinese Quake a HAARP Shot Across the Bow?

[SEE: HAARP, Haiti, Brzezinski and the NWO]

[SEE: China to suspend military exchanges with U.S.: report]

Did An 8.6 Quake Hit China?

Something occurred in China yesterday, something
that may have been a magnitude 8.6 quake.

By Holly Deyo
1-28-10
We don’t know what happened yesterday, but two seismic monitoring stations  some 1300 miles apart  both reported an 8.6 earthquake in China. Maybe it was a weapons test.
However, a large magnitude temblor struck in nearly this same location (36.50ºN, 105.70ºE) on December 12, 1920. The Haiyuan quake killed 200,000 people, caused landslides and collapsed thousands of homes. Various magnitudes were reported for this temblor ranging from 7.8 to 8.5. Aftershocks shook the country for three years following.
Below are two screen snapshots from reporting stations that still show an earthquake occurred. The INSF is from Switzerland and Red Puma is from Romania.
The third screen shot of EMSC looks like they are claiming this event is a reporting error. A ‘reporting
error’ from three different seismic stations in three different countries? It’s funny, the USGS didn’t
report it. Whatever occurred, these seismic stations picked up something ‘interesting’.
http://standeyo.com/NEWS/10_Earth_Changes/100128.CH.8.6 event.html

CIA Payback for a Couple of Drones

[SEE: Gul Bahadur’s Forces Claim Another Drone Shot Down in N. Wazir]

N Waziristan drone attack toll reaches to 9

MIRANSHAH: The death toll of people killed in drone strike in North Waziristan has reached to nine.

According to sources, drone fired four missiles in bordering area of Dattakhel last night. The hideout of militants belonged to Jalaluddin Haqani group, a car and an anti-aircraft gun had been targeted in the attack. Nine people were killed in the strike. The anti-aircraft gun was installed to target drones. A drone was destroyed five days ago in the area.

Are Brits Too Nice To Muzzle a Monster?

[Both Blair and Bush should be behind bars.]


Unbowed on Iraq, Blair Makes the Case for Targeting Iran

Catherine Meyer – Time Magazine January 29, 2010

Anyone who attended the Jan. 29 session of Britain’s Iraq inquiry to watch Tony Blair crumble went home disappointed. When the nation’s former Prime Minister returns to center stage, he seldom fails to remind even his sharpest critics of his prodigious political skills — the very same skills that had enabled him to cajole dubious colleagues and a skeptical Parliament into reluctantly supporting the 2003 invasion of Iraq. An inquiry panel of career diplomats and academics was never likely to dent his composure. (“They’re sitting there like chickens,” squawked an exasperated audience member during a break from proceedings.) Yet Blair’s light grilling still produced a major eye opener: as opponents of the Iraq conflict waited in vain for an apology or some gratifying symptom of inner regret, Blair instead used the platform to argue for opening a new battlefront — against Iran.

The inquiry was established to learn the lessons of Iraq. Chief among these lessons is that dangerous regimes that may have weapons of mass destruction must be confronted, according to Blair, and he made sure the inquiry was in no doubt that Iran sits at the top of his personal axis of evil. “When I look at the way Iran today links up with terror groups … a large part of the destabilization of the Middle East … comes from Iran,” he said. As for taking action to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, that’s “for the leaders of today to decide. My judgment is you don’t take any risks with this issue,” Blair added.

This was vintage Blair, linking his unpopular — and for many Britons, discredited — military adventure against a regime that proved as pathetic as it was pathological to the specter of a very different regime, one that is widely reviled by a substantial number of the human-rights activists and libertarians who most fiercely decry the Iraq war. And unlike Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Iran does have a nuclear program, although no hard evidence has yet been produced that it is using that program to produce weapons.

An interviewer for a BBC religious-affairs program broadcast last December asked Blair what he would have done if he had realized before the war that Saddam had no WMD. “I would still have thought it right to remove him,” Blair replied. He refined that response — which could have been legally risky, since WMD, not desire for regime change, provided the official justification for British action — during his Iraq-inquiry testimony. “Sometimes what is important is not to ask the March 2003 question but to ask the 2010 question,” he said. (Remember, the hallmark of a true politician is the ability to interview oneself.) “Supposing we had backed off this military action, supposing we had left Saddam and his sons, who were going to follow him, in charge of Iraq. He had used chemical weapons, caused the death of over a million people.”

“What we now know is that he retained absolutely the intent and the intellectual know-how to restart a nuclear and a chemical-weapons program when the inspectors were out and the sanctions changed, which they were going to do,” he continued. “Now, I think that it is at least arguable that he was a threat, that had we taken that decision to leave him there, with an oil price not $25 but $100 a bbl., he would have had the intent, he would have had the financial means, and we would have lost our nerve.”

That analysis, combined with Blair’s contention that the weapons inspectors had no chance of success no matter how much time they were given — not because there was nothing to find but because Saddam had no intention of cooperating with them, Blair argued in a piece of logic unlikely to assuage his critics — explains the former Prime Minister’s unshakable tranquillity. Blair harbors “not a regret for removing Saddam Hussein,” he told his inquisitors. “I believe he was a monster.”

Of course, a monster is pretty much how protesters at the daylong hearing saw Blair himself. Besuited and wearing Blair masks smeared with stage blood, a trio of demonstrators held aloft a casket emblazoned with the motto “The Blood Price.” Relatives of military casualties who had failed to secure seats in the hearing kept a vigil outside its doors, alongside an array of protesters who still feel the need to publicly express their anger over Blair’s Iraq role. “I’m hoping he’s going to live in the U.S.A. after this. Him and Bush are … cronies, aren’t they?” asked pensioner John Howsam, who braved icy rain to make his point.

The object of all this emotion isn’t unmoved by it. But out of office, as in power, he is irrepressible. “In the end, [the war] was divisive, and I’m sorry about that,” said Blair, in his single use of the S word during his testimony. But, he continued, “if I’m asked if we’re safer and more secure [another question he put to himself], I believe indeed that we are.”

— With reporting by Meg Handley in London
www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1957769,00.html

Downloading the Human Mind

Why Cyberconsciousness Won’t Takes Aeons to Evolve


Martine Rothblatt

Martine Rothblatt

Mindfiles, Mindware and Mindclones

Posted: Jan 29, 2010

Humanity is devoting some of its best minds, from a wide diversity of fields, to helping software achieve consciousness. The quest is not especially difficult as it is a capability that can be intelligently designed; there is no need to wait for it to naturally evolve.

Compared with biology, vitological consciousness will arise in a heartbeat.  This is because the key elements of consciousness – autonomy and empathy – are amenable to software coding and thousands of software engineers are working on it.  By comparison, the neural substrate for autonomy and empathy had to arise in biology via thousands of chance mutations.  Furthermore, each such mutation had to materially advance the competitiveness of its recipient or else it had only a slight chance of becoming prevalent.

The differences between vitology and biology in the process of creating consciousness could not be starker.  It is intelligent design versus dumb luck.  In both cases Natural Selection is at play.  However, for conscious vitology, any signs of consciousness get instantly rewarded with lots of copies and intelligent designers swarm to make it better.  This is Darwinian Evolution at hyper-speed.  With conscious biology, any signs of consciousness get rewarded only to the extent they prove useful in the struggle for biosphere survival.  Any further improvements require patiently waiting through eons of gestation cycles for another lucky spin of genetic roulette.  This traditional form of Darwinian Evolution is so glacial that it took over three billion years to achieve what vitology is accomplishing in under a century.

The people working hard to give vitology consciousness have a wide variety of motives.  First, there are academicians who are deathly curious to see if it can be done.  They have programmed elements of autonomy and empathy into computers.  They even create artificial software worlds in which they attempt to mimic natural selection.  In these artificial worlds software structures compete for resources, undergo mutations and evolve.  The experimenters are hopeful that consciousness will evolve in their software as it did in biology, with vastly greater speed.

Another group of “human enzymes” aiming to catalyze software consciousness are gamesters.  These (mostly) guys are trying to create as exciting a game experience as possible.  Over the past several years the opponents at which a gamester aims have evolved from short lines (Pong; Space Invaders) to sophisticated human animations that modify their behavior based upon the attack.  The game character that can make up its own mind idiosyncratically (autonomy) and engage in caring communications (empathy) will attract all the attention.  Any other type of character will then appear as simplistic as Play Station 2.

Third and fourth groups focused on creating cyber-consciousness are medical and defense technologists.  For the military cyberconsciousness solves the problem of engaging the enemy while minimizing casualties.  By imbuing robot weapon systems with autonomy they can more effectively deal with the countless uncertainties that arise in a battlefield situation.  It is not possible to program into a mobile robot system a specific response to every contingency.  Nor is it very effective to control each robot system remotely based on video sent back to a distant headquarters.  The ideal situation provides the robot system with a wide range of sensory inputs (audio, video, infrared) and a set of algorithms for making independent judgments as to how to best carry out orders in the face of unknown terrain and hostile forces.  The work of one developer in this area has been described as follows:

“Ronald Arkin of the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, is developing a set of rules of engagement for battlefield robots to ensure that their use of lethal force follows the rules of ethics.  In other words, he is trying to create an artificial conscience.  Dr. Arkin believes that there is another reason for putting robots into battle, which is that they have the potential to act more humanely than people.  Stress does not affect a robot’s judgment in the way it affects a soldier’s.”

The algorithms suitable for a military conscience will not be difficult to adapt to more prosaic civilian requirements.  Independent decision-making lies at the heart of Autonomy, one of the two touchstones of consciousness.

Meanwhile, medical cyber-consciousness is being pushed by the skyrocketing need to address Alzheimer’s and other diseases of aging.  Alzheimer’s robs a great many older people of their mind while leaving their body intact.  The Alzheimer patient could maintain their sense of self if they could off-load their mind onto a computer, while the biotech industry works on a cure.  This is analogous to how an artificial heart (such as a left-ventricular assistance device or LVAD) off-loads a patient’s heart until a heart transplant can be found.  Ultimately the Alzheimer’s patient will hope to download their mind back into a brain cleansed of amyloid plaques.

Indeed, using cyber-consciousness for mind transplants would be a way to provide any patient facing an end-stage disease a chance to avoid the Grim Reaper.  While the patients will surely miss their bodies, the alternative will be to never have a body.  At least with a medically provided cyber-conscious existence, the patient can continue to interact with their family, enjoy electronic media and hope for rapid advances in regenerative medicine and neuroscience.  

The field of regenerative medicine will ultimately permit ectogenesis, the rapid growth outside of a womb of a fresh, adult-size body in as little as twenty months.  This is the time it would take an embryo to grow to adult size if it continued to grow at the rate embryos develop during the first two trimesters.  Advances in neuroscience will enable a cyber-conscious mind to be written back into (or implanted and interfaced with) neuronal patterns in a freshly regenerated brain.

Biotechnology companies are well aware that over 90% of an average person’s lifetime medical expenditures are spent during the very last portion of their life.  Lives are priceless, and hence we deploy the best technology we can to mechanically keep people alive.  Medical cyber-conscious mind support is the next logic step in our efforts to keep end-stage patients alive.  The potential profits from such technology (health insurance would pay for it just like any other form of medically-necessary equipment) are an irresistible enticement for companies to allocate top people to the effort.

Health care needs for older people are also driving efforts to develop the empathetic branch of cyber-consciousness.  There are not enough people to provide caring attention to the growing legion of senior citizens.  As countries grow wealthy their people live longer, their birthrates decline below the replacement rate and, consequently, their senior citizens comprise an ever-larger percentage of the population.  Among the OECD group of advanced countries, the dependency ratio, which measures the number of people over 65 to those between 20 and 65, is projected to grow from .2 currently to .5 by 2050.  In other words, today there are five younger people to care for each older person, whereas in four decades there will be just two workers to care for each older person.  There is a huge health care industry motivation to develop empathetic robots because just a small minority of younger people actually wants to take care of older people.

The seniors won’t want to be manhandled, nor will their offspring want to be guilt-ridden.  Other than importing help from developing countries – which only postpones the issue briefly as those countries have gestating dependency ratio problems of their own – there is no solution but for the empathetic, autonomous robot.  Grannies need – and deserve – an attentive, caring, interesting person with whom to interact.  The only such persons that can be summoned into existence to meet this demand are manufactured software persons, i.e., empathetic, autonomous robots.  Not surprisingly, empathetic machines are a focus of software development in the health care industry.  Companies are putting expression-filled faces on their robots, and filling their code with the art of conversation.

Finally, the information technology (IT) industry itself is working on cyber-consciousness.  The mantra of IT is user-friendly, and there is nothing friendlier than a person.  A cyber-conscious house that we could speak to (prepare something I’d like for dinner, turn on a movie that I’d like) is a product for which people will pay a lot of money.  A personal digital assistant that was smart, self-aware and servile will out-compete in the marketplace PDAs that are deaf, dumb and demanding.  In short, IT companies have immense financial incentives to keep trying to make software as personable as possible.  They are responding to these incentives by allocating floors of programmers to the cyberconsciousness task.  Note how rapidly these programmers have arrogated into their programs the human pronoun “I”.  Until cyberconsciousness began emerging, no one but humans and fictional characters could call themselves “I”.  Suddenly, bits and building blocks of vitology are saying “how may I help you?,” “I’m sorry you’re having difficulty,” “I’ll transfer you to a human operator right away.”  The programmers will have succeeded in birthing cyberconsciousness when they figure out how to make the human operator totally unnecessary.  From their progress to date, this seems to be the goal.  Add to this self-replication code, and conscious vitology has arrived.

In summary, humanity is devoting some of its best minds, from a wide diversity of fields, to helping software achieve consciousness.  The quest is not especially difficult as it is a capability that can be intelligently designed; there is no need to wait for it to naturally evolve.  As a result, cyberconscious will appear immediately on the heels of life-like vitology.

Unnatural Selection is Still Natural Selection.

Natural Selection is the name Darwin gave to Nature’s heartless process of dooming some species and variants of species to extinction, while favoring for a while others.  The principal tool of Natural Selection is competition within a niche for scarce food.  Losers don’t get enough food to reproduce, and hence they die out.  Winners get the food, make the babies and pass on their traits, including the ones that make them superior competitors.  

When environmental change eliminates much of the food, such as during an ice age, previously useful traits may become meaningless and former Natural Selection champions may quickly join the mountain of extinct losers.  During such times Nature selects for traits that enable food gathering and reproduction in changing, or changed, environments.  The cockroach has these traits.

Alternatively a new species may enter a niche, as when hominids entered the environment of the mammoth.  In cases like this Nature might simply select the better killer, since it was not the mammoth’s food that interested Man, but the mammoth as food.  Plants and animals will not only extinguish other species through starvation, they will also do so through direct extermination.  All the while, Nature will carpet bomb all manner of species via environmental changes brought about by geophysics (e.g., volcanism) or astrophysics (e.g., asteroids).

Natural Selection is now acting upon software forms of life.  In this case Nature’s tool is neither food nor violence.  Instead, ey is using man as a tool, relying upon eir differential favoring of some self-replicating codes over others.  Just as Nature started off with viruses in the biological world, ey is also flooding the vitological world with them.  This is no doubt because viruses are the simplest types of self-replicating structures – they do nothing but self-replicate and plug themselves in somewhere (sometimes to great harm; other times to significant benefit).  Molecular viruses spontaneously self-assembled out of inanimate molecules before anything more complicated did, and hence Natural Selection played with them first.  Similarly, software viruses spontaneously man-assembled out of inanimate code before anything more complicated, and hence Natural Selection is playing with them first.  As viruses randomly or with man’s help cobble together more functionality, then Natural Selection will play with the resultant complex entities.

Natural Selection is simply a kind of arithmetic for self-replicating entities.  It is a tallying up of the results of what happens to self-replicating things in the natural world.  Those that self-replicate more successfully are represented by a larger slice of the pie of life.  There are many ways to self-replicate more successfully – grab resources better than others, kill others better than they can kill you, adapt to changes better than others.  Nature doesn’t really care how one self-replicates more successfully.  Ey just keeps track, via Natural Selection, by awarding the winners larger shares of the pie of life.

Since math is math, whether done by people or bees, Nature surely does not care if the agent of selection is human popularity rather than nutritional scarcity.  Natural Selection is no less natural for humans being in the middle.  Indeed, we have human intermediation to thank for thousands of recombinant DNA sub-species, hundreds of plant types and dozens of animal species.  Thank Man for the household dog! 

Man is now hard-at-work naturally selecting for the traits that make software more conscious.  Humanity cannot resist an overwhelming urge to create unnatural life in the image of natural life.  But this effort at Unnatural Selection is still Natural Selection.  The end result will still be an arithmetic reordering of pie shapes and pie slices.  The overall pie of life will be much larger, for it will now include vitology as well as biology.  And within that larger pie, there will be slices accorded to each of the types of vitological life and biological life that successfully self-replicate in a changing environment.  Mindclone consciousness will arrive vastly faster than its biological predecessor because Unnatural Selection is Natural Selection at the speed of intentionality.


Martine Rothblatt serves on the IEET Board of Trustees and is author of several books on satellite communications technology, gender freedom, genomics, and xenotransplantation.

Indian Minister B.S. Claim That Afghans Train to Fight In India

India softens stand on negotiating with Taliban

Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:54am EST

(For more stories on Afghanistan and India click [ID:nAFPAK]

NEW DELHI, Jan 30 (Reuters) – India is willing to back efforts to seek peace with Taliban to stabilise Afghanistan, foreign minister S.M. Krishna said, indicating a softening of stand towards a group known to be close to rival Pakistan.

“We are willing to give it a try,” Krishna told the Times of India in an interview published on Saturday.

“If the Taliban meets the three conditions put forward — acceptance of the Afghan constitution, severing connections with al Qaeda and other terrorist groups and renunciation of violence, and are accepted in the mainstream of Afghan politics and society, we could do business.”

India has sought to retain influence in Afghanistan to deter anti-India militant training camps there — which it accuses rival Pakistan of backing — and to more generally try and counter a militant Islamic surge threatening regional security.  [TOTAL B.S.  Afghans are fighting an occupation, not Indian assholes over two hundred miles away.  Mr. Krishna is proffering a ludicrous excuse.]

It seeks to do so in part with a $1.2 billion aid spent on building roads and power lines that has won popular support.

Pakistan, which considers Afghanistan as a fall back position in the event of a war with India, says New Delhi is expanding its presence there to stir discontent inside Pakistan.

Krishna’s comments come after ministers from 60 countries met in London on Thursday to endorse a plan to win over Taliban foot soldiers with cash and jobs in a renewed effort to turn the tide in the eight-year-old war. [ID:nLDE60ROMM].

While accepting the reality of the new plan on the Taliban, Krishna made clear the Indian discomfort with the group, saying its fundamental assessment of the Taliban remained unchanged.

“We consider them to be terrorists who have close links with the al-Qaida and other terrorist groups,” he told the daily.

“We are next door and our experiences make it difficult for us to differentiate between good or bad Taliban,” he said, adding the West saw the group “from far away”.

Besides trying to lure away Taliban fighters from the insurgency, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has also offered to hold talks with the top leaders of the Taliban. The Taliban have not yet responded to his latest appeal. (Reporting by Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing bySanjeev Miglani)

Chinese Reaction to Arms Transfers Immediate and Harsh

[SEE: China warns US on planned arms sales to Taiwan]

China to suspend military exchanges with U.S.: report

BEIJING
Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:11am EST
A child runs past a torpedo on display outside the Taiwan Armed Forces Museum in Taipei January 30, 2010. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang
A child runs past a torpedo on display outside the Taiwan Armed Forces Museum in Taipei January 30, 2010. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will suspend mutual military exchanges with the United States over its arms sales to Taiwan, state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday.

“Considering the severe harm and disgusting effect of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the Chinese side has decided to suspend planned mutual military visits,” Xinhua quoted the Defense Ministry as saying.

China warns US on planned arms sales to Taiwan

[The Obama team is really playing with fire by pushing these front-line anti-missile missiles to Taiwan.  It’s not as if we don’t need China to either keep buying our worthless Treasury paper or at least cash it in slowly, to prevent this sham of an economic “recovery” from being exposed to the world.]

China warns US on planned arms sales to Taiwan

FILE - In this July 20, 2006 photo, a U.S.-made Patriot missile is launched during the annual Han Kuang No. 22 exercises in Ilan County, 80 kilometers (49 miles) west of Taipei, Taiwan. The United States is planning to sell US$6.4 billion in arms, including Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, mine hunter ships and information technology, to Taiwan, a move that will infuriate China and test whether President Barack Obama's efforts to improve trust with Beijing will carry the countries through a tense time. (AP Photo/File)

FILE – In this July 20, 2006 photo, a U.S.-made Patriot missile is launched during the annual Han Kuang No. 22 exercises in Ilan County, 80 kilometers (49 miles) west of Taipei, Taiwan. The United States is planning to sell US$6.4 billion in arms, including Black Hawk helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, mine hunter ships and information technology, to Taiwan, a move that will infuriate China and test whether President Barack Obama’s efforts to improve trust with Beijing will carry the countries through a tense time. (AP Photo/File) (AP)

By CARA ANNA

The Associated Press
Saturday, January 30, 2010; 4:22 AM

BEIJING — China angrily summoned the U.S. ambassador on Saturday and warned that a plan to sell $6.4 billion in arms to Taiwan would harm already strained ties. One Chinese expert said the sale would give Beijing a “fair and proper reason” to accelerate weapons testing.

The planned sale, posted Friday on a Pentagon Web site, is likely to complicate the cooperation the U.S. seeks from China on issues ranging from Iran’s nuclear program to the loosening of Internet controls, including a Google-China standoff over censorship.

Cutoffs of military ties top the list of possible punishments that Chinese state media and academics have publicly discussed in recent weeks as Beijing repeatedly warned the U.S. against the arms sale.

The U.S. is “obstinately making the wrong decision,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday after Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei warned Ambassador Jon Huntsman that the sale would “cause

consequences that both sides are unwilling to see.” The vice minister urged that the sale be immediately canceled, it said.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy, Susan Stevenson, confirmed that China expressed its views, and said the embassy had no comment.

The notification on the Pentagon Web site said the sale would include 60 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, 114 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, mine-hunting ships and information technology. U.S. lawmakers have 30 days to comment on the proposed sale. Without objections, it would proceed.

Taiwan is the most sensitive issue in U.S.-China relations. China claims the self-governing island as its own, while the United States is Taiwan’s most important ally and largest arms supplier.

Though Taiwan’s ties with China have warmed considerably since Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou took office 20 months ago, Beijing has threatened to invade if the island ever formalizes its de facto independence.

Ma told reporters Saturday that the deal should not anger the mainland because the weapons are defensive, not offensive.

“The weapons sale decision will … allow us to have more confidence and sense of security in developing cross-Strait relations,” he said.

The United States, which informed China of the planned sale only hours before the announcement, acknowledged that Beijing may retaliate by temporarily cutting off military talks with Washington, which happened after the former Bush administration announced a multibillion-dollar arms sale to Taiwan in 2008.

Both sides have said they want to improve military ties, which have been frosty.

Experts warned that China could take further steps to underscore its newfound power and confidence in world affairs.

“Maybe the People’s Liberation Army will accelerate weapons testing, because this time we have a fair and proper reason to do so,” said Jin Canrong, a professor of international studies at China’s Renmin University.

Beijing has test-fired rockets in recent weeks for an anti-missile defense system in what security experts said was a display of anger at the pending arms sale.

“The U.S. will pay a price for this. Starting now, China will make some substantial retaliation, such as reducing cooperation on the North Korea and Iran nuclear issues and anti-terrorism work,” Jin added.

The arms package, however, dodges a thorny issue: more advanced F-16 fighter jets that Taiwan covets are not included.

The Pentagon’s decision not to include the fighters and a design plan for diesel submarines – two items Taiwan wants most – “shows that the Obama administration is deeply concerned about China’s response,” said Wang Kao-cheng, a defense expert at Taipei’s Tamkang University.

China has more than 1,000 ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan. The U.S. government is bound by law to ensure the island is able to respond to Chinese threats.

Other possible targets for punishments from China over the planned arms sale include a dialogue on human rights that President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao had agreed to reconvene by late February.

Some Chinese scholars have suggested that China should flex its economic muscle by blacklisting U.S. defense firms involved in the arms package.

“China has more bargaining chips now than before,” said Shuai Hua-ming, a ruling Nationalist Party lawmaker in Taiwan.

Associated Press writers Foster Klug and Robert Burns in Washington, Charles Hutzler in Beijing and Annie Huang in Taipei contributed to this report.

Taliban Trash British/Indian Claims About “Quetta-Shura” Talks

Taliban deny meeting UN envoy to talk peace in AfghanistanAFP/File – United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide at a press conference in Kabul in November 2009. …
by Lynne O’Donnell – 1 hr 1 min ago

KABUL (AFP) – The Taliban denied Saturday that leaders of the Islamist group fighting to overthrow the Afghan government had met with UN representatives to discuss bringing peace to Afghanistan.

The Taliban issued a statement branding reports of a meeting with the UN’s outgoing special representative to Afghanistan, Kai Eide, in Dubaithis month as “rumours” and “propaganda”.

Referring to itself as “the leading council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” — as it did during its 1996-2001 rule of the war-torn nation — the group said the reports were “propaganda by the invading forces against the jihad and mujahideen”.

“The leading council of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly denies the rumours reported by some international media about talks between Kai Eide and representatives of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” the Taliban said.

“To defuse this (propaganda) we insist on continuing our holy Islamic jihad against the enemy,” it said in a statement, referring to the US and NATO forces fighting the Taliban insurgency.

The statement said the Taliban’s refusal to negotiate peace had ensured that an international conference in London on Thursday, attended by around 70 countries, was a failure.

“Now in an effort to recover their military and political prestige, the enemies are resorting to a propaganda conspiracy,” it said.

The reports that Eide had met with Taliban figures emerged after the conference, which aimed to thrash out a roadmap for Afghanistan’s future with one of the main themes being the social reintegration of Taliban fighters.

A UN official revealed that “active members of the insurgency” had met Eide this month, at their request, to discuss peace talks.

Kai Eide met the men in Dubai, reportedly on January 8, and details were shared with the Afghan government, the official said on condition of anonymity.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, who hosted the conference, declined Friday to comment on the reported meeting, calling it an “allegation”.

Asked to comment while attending the annual World Economic Forum meeting in the Swiss Alps, Miliband said tersely: “You’ll have to talk to the UN about that, because that’s an allegation that’s been run in the newspapers.”

The Taliban had already dismissed the London conference as a propaganda ploy, calling US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown “war-mongering rulers” who wanted “to deceive the people of the world… that people still support them”.

The statement also dismissed a plan by Afghan President Hamid Karzai to woo what he and Western leaders refer to as Taliban “moderates” — essentially unemployed and poor men who fighting for cash rather than ideology — with offers of money and jobs.

“They announce that they will provide money, employment and opportunity to have a comfortable life abroad for those mujahedeen who agree to part ways with jihad,” the Taliban said in an earlier statement.

“This is baseless and futile,” it said. “Had the aim of the mujahedeen of the Islamic Emirate been obtainment of material goals, they would accept dominance of the invaders in the first place.”

And it criticised the Afghan government as corrupt, describing as fraudulent the recent presidential election, after which Karzai, linked to a high proportion of bogus ballots, was declared victor.

“Traffickers of intoxicating items, human rights violators, corrupt persons, national traitors and usurpers of people’s private property grabbed power,” it said.

Karzai’s government is backed by 113,000 troops US and NATO troops, with another 40,000 being deployed this year, bringing the fight to the Taliban, who many military officials say are starting to show signs of battlefield fatigue.

Nevertheless, the usual winter slowdown in fighting has failed to materialise, with foreign troop deaths at 44 for this month, compared to 25 for January 2009.

The latest deaths came on Friday, according to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which released a brief statement saying that two US soldiers and a US civilian were killed in eastern Afghanistan.

An ISAF spokesman confirmed to AFP the “employee” was an American civilian but said no further information was available on what happened or where.

Firefight Between NATO Troops and Afghan Army Ends In Airstrike

NATO troops clash with Afghan army

Afghan soldiers take part in a military training exercise at a Turkish commando training center near the southern city of Isparta December 18, 2009. REUTERS/Umit BEKTAS
Afghan soldiers take part in a military training exercise at a Turkish commando training center near the southern city of Isparta December 18, 2009. REUTERS/Umit BEKTAS

GHAZNI (Reuters) – NATO troops clashed with their Afghan army allies and called in air strikes, killing four Afghan soldiers and wounding six, Afghan provincial officials said Saturday.

Shahedullah Shahed, spokesman for the governor of Wardak province southwest of Kabul, said foreign forces and Afghan troops were both conducting operations Friday night in the province when they started shooting at each other.

“Four army soldiers were killed and six wounded when a foreign forces air strike hit their post,” he said. “We don’t know why it happened, but it is deeply regrettable.”

He said the strike had targeted an Afghan Army outpost in the area that had been newly established.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force confirmed that an “incident” had taken place between Western and Afghan security forces, but declined to give further details.

“We are working with the Ministry of Defense to determine the facts of the incident,” said U.S. Army Lieutenant Nico Melendez, a spokesman for the force.

‘Gorilla Baby’ Born In Gaza

‘Gorilla Baby’ Born In Gaza

by Earl Morningstarr
‘Gorilla Baby’ Born In Gaza thumbnail

The births of deformed babies in Gaza has increased since the Israeli offensive which took place last year, Palestinian doctors claim.

Most recently a woman gave birth to a child at the Shifa Hospital in the Gaza Strip which was severely deformed, the baby boy’s face was malformed, his nose is flattened, there is reddish-brownish skin discoloration and the limbs are short with the feet curling in, a similar shape to a gorilla’s.

The child, unsurprisingly nicknamed ‘Gorilla Baby’ was abandoned by his parents. The mother and father of the little boy have left the hospital and refuse to go back and claim the baby, so he will remain under the hospital’s custody until other arrangements can be made.

Doctors at the hospital say that Gorilla Baby and a host of other mutated children are not the result of genetic conditions, they point the finger squarely at the use of white phosphorus by the Israeli armed forces.

Bin Laden, eco warrior

[The absurdity of the moronic mind-benders behind the dead bin Laden tapes.  SEE: ‘Bin Laden’ blames US for global warming]

Bin Laden, eco warrior

The global fight against climate change needs all the advocates it can find. Well, maybe not all

Marcus Brigstocke

guardian.co.uk

Osama bin LadenClimate camper: al-Jazeera footage of Osama bin Laden, 2001, broadcasting from his low-emissions dwelling, somewhere near the Afghan-Pakistani border. Photograph: Maher Attar/Corbis

Well that’s just what the green movement needs: an endorsement from al-Qaida’s murderer in chief, Osama bin Laden. Don’t tell me al-Qaida do “grow your own” in the Tora Bora mountains. Quick, alert the Pakistani military – we’re looking for six allotment beds and a recent cave-side delivery of locally sourced organic vegetables. If AQ operatives share bath water I just don’t want to know. You try getting the picture of Osama and one of his generals going top to toe in a tub out of your head.

“Please, Osama – I went at the tap end yesterday.” “Whose organisation is this? Uh-uh! Which one of you left this rocket propelled grenade launcher on standby? What have I told you? Now, budge up, you’re sitting on my flannel.”

I’ll grant you that living in a cave probably has a very low carbon footprint, as long as they’ve draught-proofed the door; and it is possible that his barbaric acts of violence have put one or two people off flying, but I just don’t want Bin Laden to come out on our side.

It’s bad enough when greenies in hairshirts treat climate change as an excuse to discuss compulsory veganism. I shudder when semi-retired socialists use it as the latest wheeze to bring down capitalism. Anyone who’s been outgreened by a point-scoring eco bore will know how ugly it can get. But al-Qaida? Any attempt to claim green credentials on their part would be as laughable as oil companies putting pretty mountain-scapes in their adverts. Over population may be the elephant in the room when it comes to talking about sustainability, but no one wants to see Dumbo flown into a building as a solution.

In his latest recording Bin Laden reportedly says: “This is a message to the whole world about those responsible for climate change and its repercussions – whether intentionally or unintentionally – and about the action we must take.” Action? What’s he going to suggest? Rechargeable terror cells? Compostable suicide belts? “When buying weapons at an arms fair – do please remember to bring your own bags.” It’s only a matter of time before he claims that large-scale atrocities such as 9/11 present great opportunities to recycle.

In the “new” recording he mentions the Kyoto protocol and Bush junior’s failure to act. Catch up, beardy – it’s Obama and Copenhagen now. To be honest the whole statement’s a bit dated and makes me think that this tape may have been made some time ago. Perhaps he’s got the wrong wattage of eco bulbs in the cave and can’t read the latest stuff. I wonder if he even knows about the East Anglia email scandal. That seems to be reason enough to get otherwise logical people to doubt years of peer-reviewed work from thousands of scientists, so imagine what it might do to a loose cannon like him.

The main thrust of his proposals is to bring “the wheels of the American economy” to a halt. He obviously hasn’t heard that hubris, greed and massive bonuses have already taken care of that, and the US is still polluting faster than a grass-eating Clarkson. “Stop consuming American products” and “refrain from using the dollar”. With the exception of Apple stuff (praise be upon them) I wasn’t aware that anyone was still consuming anything much from the US. What about China? Why hasn’t he stuck it to them? From what I heard it was China that slowed the Copenhagen talks down to the pace of a glacier. It’s all only half thought through and I fear that his “bring down the mighty US Satan” rhetoric might be the only card in his deck. Lost the remote control? Destroy America. Kids won’t eat their vegetables? Bring down the Stars and Stripes. Overweight? OK, bad example. But taped from an underground layer or not the issues around climate change and solutions to it are nuanced (which is why so few of the papers ever discuss it properly).

I wait with bated breath for the weekend columns in the Mail, Express and Telegraph claiming that George Monbiot and Bin Laden are one and the same person. I’ve suspected it for years. Osama bin Laden: cave-bound eco warrior, saving the world, one atrocity at a time.

Fighting for US objectives

[This article from an Indian blog pretty much gets it right.  Washington is playing a very dangerous game, goading nuclear-armed mortal enemies into a violent confrontation will not solve America’s problems, unless destabilization and depopulation of the subcontinent is the solution.  Washington doesn’t care what the human toll of such a conflict would be, in fact, the more dead the better.  Remember the Kissinger depopulation plans, before you judge this harsh assessment wrong.]

Fighting for US objectives

by Ajai Shukla
Business Standard
Does anyone recall a top American official publicly declaring that India would be justified in attacking Pakistan if terrorists struck Indian targets again?
I don’t. Which is why I believe more attention must be paid to what US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said last week in India, when asked whether he had counselled restraint to New Delhi in the event of another terror strike.
Gates’ reply: “I told all of the Indian leaders that I met with that I thought that India had responded with great restraint and statesmanship after the first Mumbai attack. The ability of any state to continue that, were it to be attacked again, I think is in question…”
That was more of a threat against Pakistan than Washington has made before. Underlining that, Gates emphasised, “…it’s not unreasonable to assume that Indian patience would be limited, were there to be further (terrorist) attacks.”
At that point (in New Delhi, on January 20), it could legitimately be argued that Gates was double-dealing, as America frequently does, sweet-talking India in India before heading off to Pakistan to repudiate his statement. But, this time, in Islamabad the next day, Gates repeated to Pakistan TV almost exactly what he had said in New Delhi. His words: “I believe that after the tragic attack on Mumbai that India was restrained in its response. But no country, including the United States, is going to stand idly by if it’s being attacked by somebody.”
Interesting, especially the similar phraseology, pointing to a pre-formulated response! Was Washington merely waving the India stick to nudge Islamabad towards greater cooperation in the Af-Pak war? Or, is the US starting to believe that Islamabad is a lost cause, and that India can be used — not just politically and diplomatically, but its hard power as well — to deal with Pakistan.
Unthinkable? Remember that a government’s public positions usually lag, in both time and emphasis, what policymakers agree to behind closed doors. It would be reasonable to assume that Robert Gates, while meeting Dr Manmohan Singh, was even more forthright in signalling America’s tolerance for the use of Indian force.
America’s dwindling patience is evident from more than just Gates’ warning. At the same time that Gates visited Delhi, two former US officials — General Richard Myers, former chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and William Schneider, until recently the Pentagon’s head of technology — were in India, sounding out key opinion-makers and policy-makers about the possibility of a growing military role for India in Afghanistan.
The question at the heart of their discussions was: how best can Indian police organisations, e.g. the BSF, CRPF and CISF, take on a major role in training the Afghan National Police to look after security? Neither Myers nor Schneider seemed even slightly constrained by Pakistan’s entreaties to Washington to curb India’s role in Afghanistan.
Myers and Schneider, some might argue, are not from the US government; they merely represent an academic viewpoint! That distinction, however, is far less relevant in America. Washington works closely with its think-tanks, even outsourcing research that underpins key decisions: e.g. how best can the India card be played to ratchet up pressure on Pakistan? New Delhi’s mandarins must surely wonder if America — losing patience with Pakistan and calculating that US military action against Pakistan would be expensive, bloody, and the end of all influence in Islamabad — was signalling that if India wanted to do the dirty work, Washington would look away.
For Islamabad, though, Gates’ words will be nothing other than a stark threat. Superimposing the India stick on the traditional carrots of aid, weaponry and undying friendship, is a measure of Washington’s desperation in dealing with Pakistan’s reluctance to crack down on jihadi terrorism. Gates’ new stance will also highlight America’s shrinking interest in cultivating a benign image in Pakistan. Draining the abscess of radicalism is now a greater imperative.
Despite India’s satisfaction, Gates’ understanding is not an unalloyed blessing. Whenever the next major terrorist strike takes place — and Pakistan’s prime minister has declared that he cannot stop one — New Delhi will find its options dangerously narrowed. An inflamed public and a rampant media will challenge Indian policy-makers with the question: what now holds back India from retaliating against Pakistan? With international restraints loosened, Indian strikes on Pakistan’s territory would be a real option, and war not just an academic question.
But how ready for that challenge is the military? After the terrorist strikes on Parliament on December 13, 2001, and in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, the subcontinent stood poised on the brink of war. Despite General Padmanabhan’s brave statement, after the Parliament attack, that India would wage war with whatever equipment it possessed, the army asked the government for more time to prepare. With military modernisation remaining stalled for a quarter of a century, Mr Antony and his predecessors have set the scene for potential embarrassment.
India has done the diplomatic heavy-lifting for coercing Pakistan on terrorism. The military preparation, however, remains sadly lacking.

Families of Iraq war dead voice anger at ‘smirking’ Blair

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “ Families of Iraq war dead voice an…“, posted with vodpod

Families of Iraq war dead voice anger at ‘smirking’ Blair

Former prime minister accused of ‘not facing up to facts’ as he gives evidence to Chilcot inquiry

Highlights from Tony Blair’s evidence to the Iraq inquiry Link to this videoThe families of British military personnel killed in Iraq condemned Tony Blair‘s performance before the Chilcot inquiry today, accusing him of being disrespectful.

One, Theresea Evans, asked the former prime minister to look her in the eye and say sorry for the loss of her son.

Evans, from Llandudno, North Wales – whose 24-year-old son, Llywelyn, died in a Chinook helicopter crash in 2003 – said: “I would simply like Tony Blair to look me in the eye and say he was sorry. Instead, he is in there smirking.”

Anne Donnachie, from Reading, Berkshire, whose 18-year-old son, Paul, was killed by a sniper in 2006, said she blamed Blair for his death.

“From what I have heard this morning, he is just denying everything,” she said. “He will just not face up to the facts. I believe he made a massive mistake when he sent my son to Iraq.”

Sarah Chapman, from Cambridge, whose brother, Sergeant Bob O’Connor, died five years ago, said it would be better if Blair was facing the families rather than sitting with his back to them as witnesses are required to do.

“He is being very adamant about his views, as we expected, but it is clear he did not share all the papers before the invasion with the rest of his cabinet,” she said.

“I am disgusted by that. It is obvious he acted alone.”

Anti-war protesters outside the inquiry were denied a chance to direct their chants at the former prime minister in person when he used a side entrance to make his way into the inquiry.

When he began giving evidence inside the QEII Centre in Westminster, a building fortified with steel barriers and lines of police, campaigners stopped their chants of “war criminal”, turned their backs and began listening as the names of civilians and military personnel killed in the conflict were read out.

The crowds dissipated at the end of the morning, but numbers were expected to build again towards the end of the afternoon when the session ends and Blair leaves the inquiry.

For many, today will be the last in a line of protests against the Iraq war which began when up to two million people took to the streets to march against the invasion almost seven years ago.

“He [Blair] does not have the integrity to come and face the people,” Lindsey German, the convener of the Stop the War Coalition, said. “Sliding in by a back door entrance is typical of his lies, deceit and evasion.”

Andrew Murray, the chairman of the anti-war group, added: “This cowardly and deceitful entrance is typical of how the former prime minister sold the war to the country – behind the backs of the public.”

Scotland Yard said there were at least 250 protestors and reported that officers had made no arrests.

By 9am, around 300 mainly older activists had gathered by the building in the cold and rain.

One of the first to arrive, at 7am, was Noel Hamel, the 67-year-old chair of the Kingston Peace Council. He had woken in the early hours in order to get to central London by bus and tube.

A disenfranchised former Labour party member who campaigned for Blair in 1997, he said: “I was out there knocking on doors, proposing motions.

“I just couldn’t have imagined a Labour government taking us to a war of this kind while being so deceitful about it.”

As word spread that Blair had already entered the centre, chants of “Tony Blair, to the Hague” began.

Ruby Lescott, another ex-Labour supporter in her 60s, said her “deep-rooted, immovable rage” was not only directed at Blair but also at his closest ministers.

“The cabinet – most of them – were reluctant about [the war],” she added. “The Labour government has eroded the virtues of our parliamentary system.”

Among the few younger faces in the crowd, Lois Clifton, 19, and Emma Clewer, an 18-year-old fellow LSE university student, admitted their attempts to leaflet for the protest had been disappointing.

“We needed more people here,” Clewer said. “It’s a chance for people to show their anger.”

During the start of the invasion, both were in their early teens and recalled the marches.

“There were a lot of walkouts at school,” Clifton said. “I wasn’t as aware as I am now … but I knew what was happening was wrong.”

A heavy police presence, including officers from the Metropolitan police’s specialist Territorial Support Group, watched from behind barricades surrounding the centre.

As is common at protests, Forward Intelligence Team surveillance officers jotted down notes of what speakers were saying.

A Sign of Empire Pathology

A Sign of Empire Pathology

More US military personnel have taken their OWN lives than have died in action


by Finian Cunningham

Here is a shocking statistic that you won’t hear in most western news media: over the past nine years, more US military personnel have taken their own lives than have died in action in either the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. These are official figures from the US Department of Defence, yet somehow they have not been deemed newsworthy to report. Last year alone, more than 330 serving members of the US armed forces committed suicide – more than the 320 killed in Afghanistan and the 150 who fell in Iraq (see wsws.org).

Since 2001, when Washington launched its so-called war on terror, there has been a dramatic year-on-year increase in US military suicides, particularly in the army, which has borne the brunt of fighting abroad. Last year saw the highest total number since such records began in 1980. Prior to 2001, the suicide rate in the US military was lower than that for the general US population; now, it is nearly double the national average.

A growing number of these victims have been deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. What these figures should tell us is that there is something fundamentally deranged about Washington’s “war on terror” – which is probably why western news media prefer to ignore the issue. How damning is it about such military campaigns that the number of US soldiers who take their own lives outnumber those killed by enemy combatants.

What is even more disturbing is that the official figures only count victims of suicide among serving personnel. Not included are the many more veterans – officially classed a civilians – who take their own lives.

Most likely, these deaths are reported in some small-town newspaper in “a brief” news item with no context or background as to what drove these individuals to take their own lives. It is estimated that the suicide rate among veterans demobbed from fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq is as high as four times the national average. The US Department of Veteran Affairs calculates that over 6,000 former service personnel commit suicide every year.

Many of these men have come home to a country they have fought for only to find no jobs, their homes repossessed by banks that have enjoyed trillion-dollar bailouts and broken relationships.

Meanwhile, President Obama – the erstwhile peace candidate – has taken on the role of Commander in Chief with gusto, telling his countrymen and women that they are fighting a “just war” to “defend American lives”. Only a year ago, he was campaigning for the presidency on a ticket to end such wars. Now, more than his predecessor, George W Bush, Obama is committing to wars without end. How soul-destroying is that for a grunt holed up in a bunker, with his young family back home probably telling him that they have just signed up for food stamps? In their guts, these US soldiers must know – as many other ordinary people around the world do – that these wars are nothing but a desperate, pathological bid by a dying power to salvage its crumbling empire – an empire that enriches a tiny elite and impoverishes the majority. Is it any wonder that many of them simply lose the will to live?

The Foundations of the U.S. Economy have been Destroyed

The Foundations of the U.S. Economy have been Destroyed

by The Economic Collapse

The vast majority of the talking heads on television are still speaking of the current economic collapse as if it is a temporary “recession” that will soon be over.  So far, the vast majority of the American people seem to believe this as well, although for many Americans there is a very deep gnawing in the pit of their stomachs that is telling them that there is something very, very wrong this time around.  The truth is that the foundations of the U.S. economy have been destroyed by an orgy of government, corporate and individual debt that has gone on for decades.  It was the greatest party in the history of the world, but now the party is over.

The following are 11 signs from just this past month that show that the U.S. economy is headed into the toilet and will not be recovering….

#1) When even Wal-Mart is closing stores you know things are bad.  Wal-Mart announced on Monday that it will close 10 money-losing Sam’s Club stores and will cut 1,500 jobs in order to reduce costs.  So if even Wal-Mart has to shut down stores, what chance do other retailers have?

#2) Americans are going broke at a staggering pace.  1.41 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009 – a 32 percent increase over 2008.

#3) American workers are working harder than ever and yet making less.  After adjusting for inflation, pay for production and non-supervisory workers (80 percent of the private workforce) is 9% lower than it was in 1973.  But those Americans who do still have jobs are the fortunate ones.

#4) Unemployment is absolutely exploding all over the United States.  Minority groups have been hit particularly hard.  For example, unemployment on many U.S. Indian reservations is over 80 percent.

#5) Unfortunately the employment situation is showing no signs of turning around.  December was actually the worst month for U.S. unemploymentsince the so-called ”Great Recession” began.

#6) So just how bad are things when compared to past recessions?  During the 2001 recession, the U.S. economy lost 2% of its jobs and it took four years to get them back. This time the U.S. economy has lost more than 5% of its jobs and there is no sign that the bleeding of jobs will stop any time soon.

#7) Can you imagine trying to get your first job in this economic climate?  Our young men and women either can’t get work or have given up on work altogether.  The percentage of Americans 16 to 24 who have jobs is 13 percent lower than ten years ago.

#8) So where did all the jobs go?  Over the past few decades we have allowed the corporate giants to ship mountains of American jobs overseas, and there are signs that this trend is only going to get worse.  In fact, Princeton University economist Alan S. Blinder estimates that 22% to 29% of all current U.S. jobs will be offshorable within two decades.  So get ready for even more of our jobs to be shipped off to Mexico, China and India.

#9) All of these job losses are leading to defaults on mortgages.  Over the past couple of years we have seen the American Dream in reverse.  According to a report that was just released, delinquent home loans at government-controlled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac surged 20 percent from July through September.

#10) But that is nothing compared to what is coming.  A massive “second wave” of mortgage defaults is getting ready to hit the U.S. economy starting in 2010.  In fact, this “second wave” is so frightening  that even 60 Minutes is reporting on it.

#11) Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve has announced that it made a record profit of $46.1 billion in 2009.  Apparently during this economic crisis it is a very good time to be a bankster.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
more about “Second Wave Of Mortgage Defaults Part 1“, posted with vodpod

Obama’s Fake of the Union Address

Obama’s Fake of the Union Address

Dr. Rec, The Rec Report

Michael D. Rectenwald, Ph.D.

Few doubt that Barack Obama is a masterful speaker. But too often his speaking ability is considered a national asset, especially as it is supposed to inspire the American public, persuade his political opponents, and favorably represent the national interests to the world. Yet Obama’s rhetorical mastery is the most dangerous weapon that his financial masters have used against the majority of late. Rather than persuading Congress or the American public to support policies and politics that benefit the majority, Obama has used his oratorical gifts to delude the people, representing his allegiance to the corporate oligarchy as a boon to the American public.

The State of the Union Address was an occasion for Obama to reboot his presidency by reinstalling and rerunning his campaign rhetoric. At the same time, he would have to reconcile the same with a yearlong record of betrayals. Thus, his support and enactment of massive corporate bailouts, his health care cuts crafted behind closed doors and presented as “reform,” his extension of imperialist wars, his proposed cuts in social spending, his proposed deepened tax cuts and incentives for business (as opposed to direct spending on millions losing their homes and jobs)-were all presented as a gift to a singular “American people.”

Despite a Democratic majority in both houses and a presidency with a massive mandate for “change,” the abject failures of his first year were blamed on his political “opponents.” Obama blamed the Republicans for the failure to enact health care reform. The proffered bill promises to penalize workers by taxing “Cadillac” plans and levying fines or imprisonment on those who fail to buy “coverage” from corporate insurers. Thanks to their defeat of the Democrat in the special senatorial election in Massachusetts, the Republicans are now expected to filibuster the unpopular health care bill. The choice of a Republican over Obama’s proxy in an overwhelmingly Democratic state indicates the extent to which Obama’s policies are generally opposed. Yet the Republicans were the whipping boys of the night. If the Republicans didn’t exist, one isn’t far off in saying, the Democrats would be sure to invent them. So great is the Democrats’ need for an alibi.

One of Obama’s most remarkable talents is his ability to feign righteous indignation. The grimaces of Supreme Court members tongue-lashed by the candidate of record Wall Street bundled funding were discomfiting to all but the most hypocritical Democratic sympathizers. Meanwhile, the ruling gives the green light to Obama’s paymasters to reward his party for its faithful service.

While acknowledging an election won on the basis of antiwar sentiment, the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan barely merited mention. Obama promised the removal of troops from Iraq, but said nothing about the fact that the time-table was set during his predecessor’s tenure, or that his military and intelligence policies mirror his predecessor’s to the letter. These policies include the Patriot Act, the secret renditions, the funding of renegade mercenaries, the killing and maiming of innocent civilians. He said nothing of the record number of troops killed in Afghanistan in 2009. And of course no mention was made of unmanned drones that repeatedly bomb and kill civilians in Pakistan. And Obama slid seamlessly over the fact that the gargantuan military budget will grow unchecked.

These facts do not accord well with the rhetoric of “change you can believe in.” Rather, given the Obama effect of silencing the so-called antiwar “left,” they speak volumes about the Democratic antiwar belief you can change.

Watching the speech and its reportage from the “left-right” angles of the U.S. corporate media, one might be led to believe that the divisions between the rival parties are real and deep. The grudge-match is treated like an epic battle between bitter enemies. Sean Hannity, of Fox ‘News,’ is an overpaid party hack who functions to obscure the fact that his real opponents are not even on the field of play.

The real battle is fought off-screen. The opponents are the corporate oligarchy and their political managers in Washington, lined up against a public faced with job losses, housing foreclosures, runaway debt, and extortion. Obama, the front man, was commissioned precisely because his allegiance to the corporate oligarchy seemed unlikely. He posed as a plausible candidate of change because his identity and oratorical style fit the bill for many. But after only a year, the majority has been disabused of this fiction. Most see him for the fraud that he is. His most valuable asset is fast becoming recognized as the face of deceit.
Permanent URL for this article:
http://www.legitgov.org/comment/rec_report_290110.html

Indo-Pak tension worst in 20 yrs

Indo-Pak tension worst in 20 yrs: Zahid Hussain

TNN

In his book `Frontline Pakistan’, Zahid Hussain highlighted the challenges Pakistan faced from jihadi extremism. In India as part of the `Aman ki Asha’ literary series, Hussain spoke to TOI about how the reality in Pakistan had changed but that without better ties with India, there would always be some support for jihadi groups.
Q: To what extent does rhetoric between India and Pakistan threaten or affect the reality?
A: Rhetoric certainly does affect reality. But reality changes so fast, as we have seen in the past few years that relations between the two countries had become cordial. In 2002, the two countries put a million men eyeball-to-eyeball and the atmosphere was tense. We were close to war. In 2004, Vajpayee came to Islamabad and suddenly everything changed. But the tension was not reflected in the media, though we had no relations. It was significant. After 2004, the atmosphere changed. This time, the tension is greater on both sides, after Mumbai attack. Perhaps because of the magnitude of the attack and the number of people killed.
Initially, in Pakistan, the general sentiment was one of sympathy. Then suddenly, the rhetoric became more aggressive there. Then the media group (Geo TV) which was most aggressive did an investigative report about Kasab’s village, they went there. The tension is not generated or whipped up by the media in Pakistan. But one cannot take refuge in the media or public opinion regarding dialogue. Generally, there is a feeling both countries need to normalise relations.
The tension I have seen in the past year is the worst I’ve seen in 20 years. At this point, nobody is talking. Even in 2002, when we were close to war, there was some activity in the background to normalise or end the standoff. In the past one-and-a-half years, the atmosphere has changed and that is quite alarming.
Q: But diplomatic relations continue now…
A: In Pakistan, there has been a significant development. Pakistan has admitted for the first time that the people who had done the attack had gone from Pakistan and people have been arrested. Maybe there should be more. I have seen the investigative report myself in Pakistan. They have gone beyond what the Indians have provided. They have given details of how those people were trained.
Q: Was this what was given to the anti-terror court on Wednesday?
A: Yes, that’s right. I’ve written about it. While the media can whip up sentiment, there is also the other side. Media has also played a big role in bringing the two sides together and minimise tension. In Pakistan, the political parties have a general consensus on policy to India.
Q: What is that policy?
A: The government is conciliatory. If you consider the overall statements… even Nawaz Sharif has taken a conciliatory position. The mainstream parties — PPP, PML(N), MQM and ANP — say that Pak-India relations should improve. So that is a positive development. When it comes to foreign and defence policies, Pakistan media is very open. If you have been following it, you will see Pakistan media is actually critical of many things. You must realise Pakistan media has grown up as a resistance media. Under long periods of military rule, most of Pakistan media has been in chains, not like in India, which has been a democratic set-up and Press has been free. We have fought for these rights.
Q: Wasn’t growth of the Pakistan media greatest during the Musharraf years?
A: Exactly. We fought during Zia’s period. The criticism of Pakistan’s policies — be it regarding India, Afghanistan or anything else — is most by the Pakistan media. And openly. If you see the literature in Pakistan over the past few years… Ahmed Rashid, Ayesha Siddiqua, Amir Rana and others. This is an examination and analysis of why we are where we are, more in-depth discussion, etc.
Q: In the context of today’s Pakistan, independent of India, where is Pakistan going and where should it go?
A: There is a lot of gloom about Pakistan, it is the main centre of terrorism. From the outside, it seems Pakistan is falling apart under the weight of jihadi extremism. But I see it differently. The clash has come to the surface. Militancy has been growing in Pakistan for many years, but there was no clash with society or the state. That I feel is more dangerous.
Q: Like a creeping acceptance…
A: Exactly. There was deniability, a feeling that they are fighting for us, not against us. But now, this has come to a head. The violence has increased, certainly, but it also means the war has come to a head. I call it the battle for the soul of Pakistan. At one point, people thought the jihadis were about to take over the country. But no more. They are on the defensive, they have been defeated in many places. For the first time, public opinion has turned hugely against militancy and extremism.
Q: Does that reflect in government action?
A: Swat was a turning point. There is no acceptability of jihadi extremism. There are no two views on the fact that extremism poses the biggest threat to Pakistani society. That is the realisation, even among many right-wing Islamist parties.
Q: You have written that the jihadis are a powerful force in Pakistan. Who do you think is more powerful now? Jihadi generals, militancy over the years, how officers have changed over the years…
A: That was what was happening in Pakistan. But 2007 was the turning point in Pakistan. That’s the theme of my next book. Lal Masjid was a complete rupture between jihadis and the state. The separation had started after Musharraf turned around after 9/11, but there was no divorce. 2007 was a complete break. Because Islamic militants declared war on the Pakistani state.
Earlier, only two individuals had been attacked by jihadis — Musharraf in 2003 and a corps commander of Karachi — otherwise there was no violence. Lal Masjid was different. More than 200 bomb attacks have taken place in Pakistan after July 2007. Almost all in the big cities, targeting Pakistan security installations. More Pakistani soldiers have been killed in these attacks, including 56 ISI officers. More than a dozen attacks have been against ISI buildings — Lahore, Peshawar and Rawalpindi.
There’s war. This was also the period when they developed a Pakistani agenda. Al Qaida was part of it and it was no more fighting in Afghanistan. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was formed in December 2007, with a clear agenda of taking over these areas. A sporadic Taliban movement had started, but Baitullah Mehsud was made chief of a formal organisation three weeks before Benazir died.
Q: When should Pakistan take on Al Qaida in Quetta Shura?
A: Quetta Shura is not Al Qaida and Al Qaida is not in Balochistan. Al Qaida is in eastern Afghanistan, the areas around Waziristan, Khost, Paktia and Paktika. South Afghanistan is not Al Qaida. Al Qaida is concentrated in northwestern Pakistan.
Quetta Shura is Taliban. Taliban fighting in southern Afghanistan has nothing to do with Al Qaida. The linkages with Al Qaida are greater with Pakistani Taliban and Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, like Sirajuddin Haqqani. In Balochistan, there is no Pakistani Taliban. Personally, I feel Quetta Shura doesn’t exist. They’re more hype.
In Afghanistan, the war has gone wrong. After eight years, the situation is worse there. US generals also see it as worse than Iraq now. For 4-5 years, Americans did not understand what was happening and they had no presence in southern Afghanistan.
Insurgency cannot take root if the leadership is outside. They’re saying Mullah Omar is in Quetta. I’ve worked on this, and I don’t believe this is correct. Mullah Omar is the kind of leader who has never left Afghanistan. Even during the Soviet days, he was there, he came only once when his eye needed treatment. When his government was in Kabul, he did not go to Kabul.
It may happen that they go and come, also the refugee camps in Balochistan have become a hub of recruitment, as well as the madrasa. The real centre of insurgency is in Afghanistan. The Americans had 1,300 troops when they went to Tora Bora. They gave the contract to Afghan warlords, who were taking money from both sides.
Q: Indian public opinion has hardened after 26/11. We feel Pakistan may be targeting the people against Pakistan, but not the groups affecting India. Do you think this ambivalence continues, and if it does, how can Pakistan fight different wars?
A: There was ambivalence earlier. There were grounds for that ambivalence. Things started to change after the attack on Musharraf in December 2003. He realised these guys were a threat to Pakistan, but he also believed he could not take them on fully until relations with India improved. That was the reason why in 2004, after Vajpayee’s visit, everything changed, and Musharraf actually went after these groups.
Back channel diplomacy progressed very fast. Musharraf showed a lot of flexibility and I don’t think there will be another leader who will do the same in the near future. He also thought of out-of-the-box solutions. At a speech that I attended, Musharraf said India will never accept changing of the boundary, and we see it as a problem. So let’s meet midway. Soften the borders, regional autonomy, and demilitarisation. It was the biggest concession Pakistan could have given. Infiltration had also come down. Unless the relationship with India improves, some kind of ambivalence will always be there.
Q: Manmohan Singh says he has no one to talk to. Who should India talk to?
A: To the civilian government. When you refuse to talk, whom are you strengthening? Can’t you pick up the thread where it was left off? This may be a weak government, but if India could have done Sir Creek or Siachen, this government would have been strengthened. Even Nawaz Sharif, leader of Punjab, is for better relations with India. If these two countries want to fight terrorism, they need to move forward in their relationship. There are some elements that don’t want better relations.
If another attack happens in India, then what? My view is nobody can guarantee that there will not be another attack. The same people who are attacking Pakistan are also attacking India.
The Mumbai story is not yet complete. More will come out. It was a syndicated attack. There is a huge global network involved. The support was everywhere. There was an Al Qaida imprint. When they were banned, they splintered into many cells. Twenty-two cells became autonomous and linked up with Al Qaida. If India-Pakistan tensions continue, there is another danger. There is a global aspect of jihadis. Inside Pakistan, some of the planners are middle-class, educated, who are influenced by global issues. It’s a whole different game.
Q: What about Lashkar-e-Toiba?
A: Look at Lashkar-e-Toiba. It’s not that Pakistan is not alarmed by them. LeT has not joined the Taliban, they have not attacked Pakistan. But also the state is incapable of taking them on and opening another front. If they join the insurgents, the militancy Pakistan is facing will become much greater.
I know India says Pakistan is not taking these fellows on. I know Robert Gates said there was a threat from Al Qaida-linked militant groups, but I don’t agree with that at all. He is lumping all the groups together but that is not correct.
Q: Hasn’t LeT become linked with Al Qaida?
A: No. LeT was more influenced by Saudi Wahhabism. It’s the only rigid Wahhabi organisation, with a huge connection with the Saudi establishment. Sure, even Osama is pitted against the Saudi establishment. LeT certainly has a global role, though their basic target is India and Kashmir. The groups involved in 26/11 were a part of LeT but Al Qaida used it, there’s no doubt about that. Much has come out after Headley’s arrest (but he was also a double agent). But more will come out.
Q: If this is the battle for Pakistan’s soul, and these groups are recruiting from Punjab, is Punjab in danger from jihadism? And how will the state tackle this?
A: Punjab is in no danger. There was no resistance against this recruitment, so yes, they were recruited from Punjab. The militant organisations in Pakistan never had much support among the masses, despite the recruitment from these areas. But no political roots.
Radical Islamic parties in the Middle East have deep roots in the people. Here they are recruited for certain purposes. In the frontier, the recruitment is directly linked to Afghanistan. But in Punjab, the most popular political party is the PPP. There is also no Taliban movement there. There are militant organisations and they are recruiting, but many of these organisations are sitting in Waziristan. The major commanders are in Waziristan.
Q: Musharraf made the first break with the jihadis?
A: The January 12, 2002 speech by Musharraf was a huge shift. For any Pakistan leader, a complete break from militant groups is difficult. Because of India. But after 2001, the support by Pakistan’s establishment for these groups had begun to wane. But there was ambivalence. But in 2007, the same military raided a mosque to flush them out. They are now branded as enemies of Pakistan. The environment has changed. They have declared jihad. The international and regional environments have changed. The reality of Pakistan has changed. Three-four hundred soldiers were killed in Swat, and they were beheaded. How can the army go back to shake their hands now?

WMD hyperbole and a reckless disregard for human life in Iraq

WMD hyperbole and a reckless disregard for human life in Iraq

The Guardian

the familiar but false claim that Saddam had, and had used, weapons of mass destruction (Thanks to this ‘illegal’ war, Iraqis at last have real hope for the future, 27 January). What Saddam had and used – including, despicably, against Kurdish civilians at Halabja – were battlefield chemical weapons. As Robin Cook pointed out in his resignation speech in 2003, battlefield chemical weapons are not weapons of mass destruction (even if Saddam had still possessed them, which he no longer did). A weapon of mass destruction, properly so called, is one that can kill a hundred thousand or a million people in a single strike, which fortunately Saddam never possessed. It is debasing the language to use this hyperbolic term to refer to battlefield munitions, however unpleasant.

Professor David Turner

Canterbury, Kent

• William Shawcross states that after resolution 1441, weapons inspectors were still denied unfettered access in Iraq. This is contradictory to Hans Blix’s account (Blair sold Iraq on WMD, but only regime change adds up, 15 December 2009), which says "Iraq became more co-operative and showed no defiance that could prompt the authorising of armed force".

Bernard Duggan

Chatham, Kent

• It is disingenuous to blame Iraqi deaths on "other Muslims". In the first days of occupation the Coalition Provisional Authority systematically dismantled all forms of order and administration in the country. The Iraqi national guard was disbanded. Weapon dumps were left unguarded. The oil ministry was secured. It showed nothing less than a reckless disregard for human life.

Laurence Rowe

Manchester

• As Andy Beckett says in his fascinating article on the Chilcot inquiry (Called to account, G2, 28 January), "around 8am, a tiny, polite queue begins to form in the icy gloom outside the conference centre". But why outside? The conference centre is easily large enough to accommodate the queue in the warmth inside. On the cold day we queued, the doors remained closed until an hour before the session started. Why is the public punished in this way for taking an interest?

Chris and Betty Birch

London

• One of the most dispiriting things about Lord Goldsmith receiving ­taxpayer-funded legal advice to "help" him prepare his testimony to the Chilcot inquiry (Report, 27 January) is that it comes from a government which has systematically slashed legal aid. Any ordinary member of the public, before getting legal aid, would have to show that it was is in the interest of justice for the award to be made, and the applicant would then be means-tested. Goldsmith would be unlikely to qualify on either count.

Greg Foxsmith

Solicitor, Shearman Bowen and Co

Indian Propaganda–Magnifying Your Enemies to Scare the Sheep

[The following article from India-Defense is two years old, but it is highly relevant to the game being played today.  Like so many other articles I have read on that particular forum, it is highly belligerent, and laughable to the extreme.  The author is completely “ate-up” with his own paranoia, imagining all of India’s real and imaginary enemies joined together encircling India in a deadly ring of nuclear fire, armed to the teeth with long range missiles and a common will to risk global thermonuclear war to eliminate the Hindu state.  The analyst even suggests the type of imaginary nuclear warhead the Saudis possess in his feverish imagination.

All of this is to scare the starving, toilet-less, suffering locals so badly that they will allow the Indian government to waste billions of rupees more on an unnecessary military build-up, instead of fixing the grave inequality-based human suffering in the Indian heartland. It should be a war crime to sell weaponry or nuclear reactors to a state that maintains such class or religion-based discrimination as does India and Israel. You see, Indian leaders, like American and Israeli leaders are without either conscience or compassion and have a hunger to dominate entire regions of the world.  It is a disgrace to all life and to the Great Creator of it all, that such people lead the nations today.

It’s time to get rid of them all.]

5000 Pakistani Islamic Jehadis Ready To Infiltrate Into Kashmir

NewsBlaze reports according to the India Army perhaps as many as 5,000 well trained Islamic militants in Pakistan or in the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan are ready to attempt infiltration into India.

If successful, it would definitely turn the low level fourth war between the two governments (since 1947) into a full scale conflict. The current Islamic uprising began in November 1989 and is supported by Tehran-Islamabad. Two other governments, Beijing-Riyadh are also ready to enter. During the mid-1980s the House of Saud purchased from China 50-60 intermediate range CSS-2 ballistic missiles that have a range of 2,500 miles (4,000 km), the purchase was mentioned by Reuters on Feb. 15, 2004 and several years previously by Proceedings magazine of the U.S. Naval Institute.

Beijing-Riyadh have said the warheads are conventional, but Riyadh has refused Washington permission to have the missiles inspected. There is a small nuclear warhead, I believe designated W-88, that could be on the missile. November last year China’s Ambassador to India stated publicly northeast India-Arunachal Pradesh is Chinese territory. Delhi rejected his statement but in December China-Pakistan had joint maneuvers west of Kashmir.

This past February Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf presented Tehran his offensive “Action Plan” and it was Musharraf in 1999 who planned and led the Kargil Probe that caught Delhi by surprise. Tehran held offensive maneuvers all over Iran nearly all of last year signaling their readiness to enter the war against the second most important enemy of the Jihad, the most important being the West, the Islamic world’s main international rival. China played a leading role in arming Islamic countries with nuclear – ballistic missile technology, or sent it though Pyongyang, because Beijing knew if Iran and the Jihad are successful then three of China’s rivals will become weaker, the West-India-Russia. September is the best month for war to begin in South Asia due to the end of the monsoon season.

India’s General Officer Commanding in Chief, Northern Army Command Lieutenant-General H S Panag stated the militants will attempt to attack Indian army and police forces. “The strength of soldiers at sensitive positions along the frontiers with Pakistan has been increased to thwart any bid by militants to infiltrate into Kashmir.”

He added, “…infiltration bids have registered a slight increase during the last eight months of this year as compared to the corresponding period last year.” I suspect some of the Central Asia warlords in Uzbekistan-Afghanistan may also invade India through their historical invasion route the Khyber Pass. There are also Islamic Jihad units in Bangladesh who are waiting to join the war.

Israel is NOT and Never was a Democracy

Israel is NOT and Never was a Democracy

eileen fleming

“President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. are fully committed to a comprehensive peace in the Middle East,” US special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell told reporters following his latest meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas while in the Jordanian capital of Amman.Mitchell’s remarks come just a few days after President Obama said the U.S. administration had “overestimated” their ability to persuade the Israelis and Palestinians to resume “meaningful” peace talks.

On January 24, 2010, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, persisted in Israel’s policy of laying claim by establishing “facts on the ground” in the West Bank during a tree planting ceremony in the Gush Etzion colony/settlement bloc, “Our message is clear: We are planting here, we will stay here, we will build here, this place will be an inseparable part of the State of Israel for eternity.”[1]

In 1973, Ariel Sharon predicted,

“We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”

The 2003 peace “road map” obliged Israel to freeze “all settlement activity” and the World Court ruled that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are all illegal.

Jewish settlers claim a God-given right to the West Bank, which they call by the biblical names Judea and Samaria but they ignore what their Torah commands:

“From Moses to Jeremiah and Isaiah, the Prophets taught…that the Jewish claim on the land of Israel was totally contingent on the moral and spiritual life of the Jews who lived there, and that the land would, as the Torah tells us, ‘vomit you out’ if people did not live according to the highest moral vision of Torah. Over and over again, the Torah repeated its most frequently stated mitzvah [command]:

“When you enter your land, do not oppress the stranger; the other, the one who is an outsider of your society, the powerless one and then not only ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’ but also ‘you shall love the other.'” [2]

On January 22, 2010, Stephen M. Walt, esteemed Professor of international relations at Harvard University affirmed that Mideast special envoy George Mitchell, maybe the only politician in recent memory “to be universally admired in the United States” but warned if he wants to keep “his reputation intact, it is time for him to resign because he is wasting his time” vis a vie reaching a resolution to the six decades of conflict in Israel Palestine.

Walt sited,Joe Klein’s report in the Times, that President Obama’s commitment to achieving a two states solution has failed and “this is as intractable a problem as you get.” [3]

On January 24, 2010, James M. Wall, a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, wrote, “My dictionary says an intractable problem is that which is not easily governed, managed, directed, manipulated, relieved or cured. It does not say the problem is impossible to solve. What would make this particular problem impossible to solve is for the President to continue down the road he has followed in his first year in office. It is time for some serious policy overhauling. It is time to face the ghosts of the past. When it is time for some serious ghost busting, who you gonna call? I suggest Mitchell try a new perspective. Call Henry Siegman.” [4]

In the January 7, 2010 edition of The Nation, Seigman noted, “Israel has crossed the threshold from ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ to the only apartheid regime in the Western world.

“In short, Middle East peacemaking efforts will continue to fail, and the possibility of a two-state solution will disappear, if US policy continues to ignore developments on the ground in the occupied territories and within Israel, which now can be reversed only through outside intervention. President Obama is uniquely positioned to help Israel reclaim Jewish and democratic ideals on which the state was founded–if he does not continue ‘politics as usual.'” [5]

Israel is not-and never has been a Democracy!

In the May 28, 1993 edition of Yedioth Ahronoth, Ariel Sharon explained:

“The terms ‘democracy’ or ‘democratic’ are totally absent from the Declaration of Independence. This is not an accident. The intention of Zionism was not to bring democracy, needless to say. It was solely motivated by the creation in Eretz-Isrel of a Jewish state belonging to all the Jewish people and to the Jewish people alone. This is why any Jew of the Diaspora has the right to immigrate to Israel and to become a citizen of Israel.”

Jeff Halper, American Israeli, co-founder and coordinator of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Professor of Anthropology, explains:

“An ethnocracy is the opposite of a democracy, although it might incorporate some elements of democracy such as universal citizenship and elections. It arises when one particular group-the Jews in Israel, the Russians in Russia, the Protestants in pre-1972 Northern Ireland, the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Shi’ite Muslims in Iran, the Malay in Malaysia and, if they had their way, the white Christian fundamentalists in the US-seize control of the government and armed forces in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society. Ethnocracy, or ethno-nationalism, privileges ethnos over demos, whereby one’s ethnic affiliation, be it defined by race, descent, religion, language or national origin, takes precedence over citizenship in determining to whom a county actually ‘belongs.'”[6]

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel was signed May 14, 1948 the day the British Mandate over Palestine expired and which affirms that the state of Israel:

“Will be based on freedom, justice, and peace as envisioned by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion…and will guarantee freedom of religion, conscience, education and culture: it will safeguard the Holy places of all religions, and it will be faithful to the principals of the Charter of the United Nations.”

In a 2005 interview with Jeff Halper, he informed this reporter:

“Israel has no constitution but has a Declaration of Independence which promised that Israel would abide by conditions and UN resolutions. They have not fulfilled the agreement which was the basis of their independence.”

The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law and very foundation and source of legal authority that underlies the very existence of these United States and the federal government. The US Constitution provides the framework for the organization of the federal government and under pins the relationship of the federal government to the states and all its citizens/people within these United States.

Jeff Halper hit another nail on the head when he wrote that the “entire conflict with the Palestinians has been reduced to one consideration: personal security…Israeli Jews prefer peace and compromise, but only if they are convinced that their prime preoccupation-security- has been credibly addressed.” [7]

So, let’s address it! The brutal truth is that only if we truly love our friends will we always be honest with them and we call them on their bad behavior!

There will never be security for Israeli Jews without justice for the indigenous people of the so called holy land which has been disseminated into Bantustans-disconnected enclaves populated by human beings who have been justice: equal and inalienable human rights due to colonialism, imperialism, military might and Zionism, which have been aided and abetted by American Government foreign policy and billions of USA Taxpayers bucks!

“Since the October War in 1973, Washington has provided Israel with a level of support dwarfing the amounts provided to any other state. It has been the largest annual recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1976 and the largest total recipient since World War ll. Total direct U.S. aid to Israel amounts to well over $140 billion in 2003 dollars. Israel receives about $3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, which is roughly one-fifth of America’s entire foreign aid budget. In per capita terms, the United States gives each Israeli a direct subsidy worth about $500 per year. This largesse is especially striking when one realizes that Israel is now a wealthy industrial state with a per capita income roughly equal to South Korea or Spain.”[8]

Just before Christmas 2010, President Obama, signed into law the biggest aid pledge of the year. NOT for struggling countries on the World Bank’s list, not for we the people without health care, but another $3 billion for Israel in 2010 and an extra $30 billion over the next decade!

It is past time for the US to comprehend that the Israeli-Palestinian affects the entire world and is at the very root of Anti-Semitic and Anti-American sentiment and this conflict is not and never has been between equals!

In 2005, Jeff Halper  also informed this reporter:

“Tony Blair said 70% of all the conflicts in the world can be traced back to the Israeli Palestinian conflict. What gives us hope is that as this conflict worsens maybe Europe will figure out that American policies are against their interests and intervene…This conflict impacts the global community and especially everyone in the USA.

“If we do fix this conflict it would be a tremendous step forward in global reconciliation…This whole issue is based on Human Rights and it is a global issue requiring global intervention.

“It has been said that the Israelis do not love this land, they just want to possess it. There have been three stages to make this occupation permanent. The first was to establish the facts on the ground; the settlements. There are ½ million Israeli’s and four million Palestinians here. They have been forced into Bantustan; truncated mini states; prison states. It is apartheid and Bush and Hillary are both willing collaborators.

“In 1977, Sharon came in with a mandate, money and resources to make the Israeli presence in the West Bank irreversible. The second stage began in April 2004 when America approved the Apartheid/Convergence/Realignment Plan and eight settlement blocs. This is just like South Africa! The Bush Sharon letter exchange guaranteed that the USA considers the settlements non-negotiable. The Convergence Plan and The Wall create the borders and that is what defines Bantustans. Congress ratified the Bush plan and only Senator Byrd of West Virginia voted no and nine House Representatives.

“Israel has set up a matrix of control; a thick web of settlements guaranteed to make the occupation permanent by establishing facts on the ground. Israel denies there is an occupation, so everything is reduced to terrorism. It is our job to insist upon the human rights issue, for occupied people have International Law on their side.

“Israel is not a democracy, it is an ethnocracy: full rights to Jews, but not Palestinians.” [9]

In my video interview with the Whistle blower of Israel’s WMD Program, Mordechai Vanunu, taped a few weeks after his Freedom of Speech Trial began in Jerusalem, he stated:

“It’s very sad that Hilary Clinton went to the Jewish Wailing Wall and forgot the real crying wall is the Palestinian wall; the apartheid wall, the wall is not for defense, but to keep this conflict permanent.

“The Israelis have 200 atomic weapons and they accuse the Palestinians and Muslims of terrorism.

“Israel is only a democracy if you are a Jew.” [10]

On November 8, 2006, Dr. Ilan Pappe, spoke in East Jerusalem, during Sabeel’s [www.sabeel.org] 6th International Conference: The Forgotten Faithful: AKA Palestinian Christians.

Dr. Pappe spoke about the “Dynamics of Forgetting” and it is past time to remember that in Tel Aviv “on March 10, 1948, eleven men had a meeting in the Red House headed by Ben Gurion. The eleven decided to expel one million Palestinians from historical Palestine. No minutes were taken, but many memoirs were written about that fateful meeting. A systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine began and within seven months the Zionists managed to expel one half of all the Palestinian people from their villages and towns.

“The Red House in Tel Aviv is gone now. It was a typical building in Tel Aviv that had all the characteristics of Mediterranean homes but with the local Palestinian architecture of the ’20’s. Today a USA Sheraton Hotel stands in its place. The Red House was the home of the Hagganah; a Jewish underground organization but before 1948 it was the home of a socialist movement, from which it received its name.”

Haganah is Hebrew for “The Defense” and was a Jewish paramilitary organization formed in what was then the British Mandate for Palestine from 1920 to 1948. In the period between 1920 and 1929, the Haganah lacked a strong central authority or coordination; Haganah “units” were very localized and poorly armed and consisted mainly of Jewish farmers who took turns guarding their farms or their kibbutzim. Following the Arab 1929 Hebron massacre that led to the ethnic cleansing by the British authorities of all Jews from the city of Hebron, the Haganah’s role changed dramatically. It became a much larger organization encompassing nearly all the youth and adults in the Jewish settlements, as well as thousands of members from the cities. It also acquired foreign arms and began to develop workshops to create hand grenades and simple military equipment. It went from being an untrained militia to a capable army.

The British did not officially recognize the Haganah, but British security forces cooperated with them and by 1931, the most right-wing elements of Haganah branched off and formed the Irgun Tsva’i-Leumi: The National Military Organization.

The Irgun were discontented with the policy of restraint when faced with British and Arab pressure and were “terrorists” in their own right. The Irgun later split in 1940, and their offshoot became known as the “Lehi” a Hebrew acronym of Lochamei Herut Israel, known as the Freedom Fighters of Israel and also the “Stern Gang” after its leader, Abraham Stern.

The groups had different functions, but all served to move the British out of Palestine and to make Palestine a Jewish state rather than create a Jewish home in Palestine.

Menachem Begin, an Irgun commander, stated in a 1944 meeting: “In fact, there is a division of roles; One organization advocates individual terrorism (the Lehi), the other conducts sporadic military operations (the Irgun) and there is a third organization which prepares itself to throw its final weight in the decisive war.”

Dr. Pappe explained that in 1948, the “systematic ethnic cleansing of Palestine began and within seven months the Zionists managed to expel one half of all the Palestinian people from their villages and towns.

“The New York Times followed Israeli troops and reported the truth of the expulsion and separation of men and women, and of the many massacres. The world was well informed in 1948, but a year later not a trace was reported in the USA press or books. It was as if nothing ever happened.

“From March to October 1948 the USA State Department stated what was happening was a CRIME against humanity and ethnic cleansing. When ever one ethnic group expels another group they should be treated as War Criminals and the victims should be allowed to return.

“This is never mentioned in the USA about Palestine.

“Israel is so successful in their ethnic cleansing because the world doesn’t care! The ethnic cleansing continues via the apartheid policies of the Israeli government and because of the denial of the truth by the USA media.

“To claim Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East is bullshit! The Six Day War of 1967 escalated the ethnic cleansing and today in Jerusalem every Palestinian who fails to pay taxes, or has a minor infraction will loose their citizenship.

“In 1948 the mechanism of denial and ethnic cleansing as an IDEOLOGY, not a policy but a formula began. When Zionism began in the 19th century it was meant to be a safe haven for Jews and to help redefine Judaism as a national movement, not just a religion. Nothing wrong with either of those goals!

“But by the late 19th Century it was decided the only way these goals could be achieved was by ridding the indigenous population and it became an evil ideology.

“Israeli Jewish life will never be simple, good, or worth living while this ideology of domination, exclusiveness and superiority is allowed to continue. The mind set today is that unless Israel is an exclusive Jewish State, Palestinians will continue to be obstacles. However, there has always been a small vocal minority challenging this.

“The only thing that can save Palestinians is for the world to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH!”

In his book, “Later Years” Albert Einstein wrote:

“This is a time when there seems to be a particular need for men of philosophical persuasion—that is to say, friends of wisdom and truth—to join together…We Jews should be, and remain, the carriers and patrons of spiritual values. But we should also always be aware of the fact that these spiritual values are and always have been the common goal of mankind.” [Page 268]

The truth is often brutal, but if the US truly desires Israel to be secure and also be known as an honest broker for peace in the Middle East, we must first know the truth and then always speak our mind, for as William Blake penned: “Opposition is True Friendship” and enough has become more than enough!

1. http://haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1144702.html

2. Rabbi Lerner, TIKKUN Magazine, page 35, Sept./Oct. 2007

3. http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/01/22/time_for_george_mitchell_to_resign

4. http://wallwritings.wordpress.com/2010/01/24/mitchell-and-the-intractable-time-to-call-in-henry-siegman/

5. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20100125/siegman

6. Jeff Halper, An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel, Page 74

7. An Israeli in Palestine, Pages 65-66. Pluto Press, 2008

8. John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy”

9. Eileen Fleming, Memoirs of a Nice Irish-American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory

10. “30 Minutes with Vanunu” streaming @ http://wearewideawake.org/

Only in Solidarity do “we have it in our power to begin the world again.”-Tom Paine

Eileen Fleming,
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org

Hillary Smells Blood In the Water, Prepares for 2012

Hillary Clinton says she won’t serve eight years

Posted: 28 January 2010 1649 hrs


US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

WASHINGTON : US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she would not serve a full eight years if President Barack Obama wins another term, hoping eventually to retire to writing and teaching.

Clinton, who has spent two decades in the national spotlight and narrowly lost her own bid to be president in 2008, said she enjoyed her job as the top US diplomat but found it physically grueling.

Asked by talk-show host Tavis Smiley if she would serve eight years, she replied: “No, I really can’t.”

“The whole eight — that would be very challenging,” she said in the interview broadcast Wednesday on public television.

“It’s a 24-7 job and I think at some point, I will be very happy to pass it on to someone else,” Clinton said.

Clinton repeated that she would not run again for president, saying she wanted a private life after a career in which she has served as first lady and a US senator.

“There are so many things I’m interested in, really going back to private life and spending time reading and writing and maybe teaching. Maybe some personal travel — not the kind of travel where you bring a couple of hundred people with you,” she said.

Clinton said she also hoped throughout her life to be a strong advocate for the rights of women and girls.

The interview was broadcast the same evening that Obama delivered his first State of the Union address, which Clinton missed as she was in London to attend international talks on Afghanistan and Yemen.

By tradition, one member of the cabinet stays away from the president’s annual address to Congress as a precaution in case of calamity.

As Clinton was overseas, that was not her. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan stayed away in an undisclosed location.

Secretaries of state in recent times have rarely served more than one presidential term, although George Shultz was in office for six and a half years under Ronald Reagan.

Tribes Warned About Sheltering Army’s Mistakes

North Waziristan elders warned against sheltering Taliban

* Political agent warns elders of military operation if fleeing
terrorists from SWA not expelled
* Elders say there is little they can do

By Iqbal Khattak

PESHAWAR: The political administration has warned tribal chieftains of a military operation if they do not take action against terrorists who have fled Mehsud areas of South Waziristan and taken refuge in North Waziristan, tribal and official sources said on Wednesday.

“There have been messages from the political administration telling us that we should take action against terrorists fleeing the military operation in the Mehsud areas of South Waziristan,” tribal elders told Daily Times over the phone from Miranshah.

Military officials and tribesmen say senior leaders of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan – including the group’s chief, Hakeemullah Mehsud – top commanders and local and foreign terrorists have fled the military operation to take refuge in North Waziristan.

“You people will suffer as much as the people of areas where military offensives are underway if these fleeing terrorists … are not expelled from your region,” North Waziristan Political Agent Mutahir Zeb has told tribal elders.

However, tribal leaders say there is little they can do. “It is beyond our capacity to push out these terrorists. Why should we be held accountable for their presence in North Waziristan? Why didn’t the military block all exit points before launching the offensive?” said the elders in defence of their silence on the issue. “These terrorists will never listen to us.”

Meanwhile, tribal sources said the military had set up checkposts in Bannu, near the border with North Waziristan, to stop those trying to enter from Punjab. “No Punjabi is allowed to go to North Waziristan, and those from other districts of the country and tribal regions are quizzed before allowing them entry,” they said.

Tribal sources in Wana said over the phone that anybody – apart from residents of the region – trying to enter South Waziristan needed a special permit.

“Visitors from Peshawar will need to obtain a permit from the political authorities in Tank … when they leave Wana, they need a similar permit from the assistant political agent, otherwise they can be stopped at any checkpost,” said the sources, adding that tight security arrangements had been made to stop new recruits from joining terrorist groups in North and South Waziristan.

Senior government officials told Daily Times that talks were underway to prevent terrorists from returning to areas retaken from the TTP, once locals were allowed to return home.

Bankrupt Govt. Wants Your 401k

Why the Government Wants to Hijack Your 401(k)

BY KEITH FITZ-GERALD, Chief Investment Strategist, Money Morning

It’s bad enough that we’ve been forced to bail out Wall Street. But now the Obama administration is hatching plans to raid our retirement savings, too.

To say that I’m “outraged” doesn’t come close to describing the emotions I experience every time I think about the government’s latest hare-brained scheme.

According to widespread media reports, both the U.S. Treasury Department and the Department of Labor plan are planning to stage a public-comment period before implementing regulations that would require U.S. savers to invest portions of their 401(k) savings plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) into annuities or other “steady” payment streams backed by U.S. government bonds.

Folks, there’s only one reason these agencies would do such a thing – the nation’s creditors think that U.S. government bonds are a bad bet and don’t want to buy them anymore. So like a grifter who’s down to his last dollar, the administration is hoping to get its hands on our hard-earned savings before the American people realize they’ve had the wool pulled over their eyes … once again.

It’s easy to understand why.

Facing a $14 trillion fiscal hangover, the Treasury can no longer count countries such as Japan and China to be dependable buyers of U.S. government debt. Not only have those nations dramatically reduced their purchasing of U.S. bonds, most of our largest creditors are now actively diversifying their reserves away from greenback-based investments in favor of other reliable stores of value – like oil, gold and other commodities.

This growing reluctance couldn’t come at a worse time. Just yesterday (Tuesday), in fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the U.S. budget deficit would hit $1.35 trillion this year. And that’s not the only shortfall the Treasury has to address. The U.S. Federal Reserve is supposed to stop buying Treasury bonds for its asset portfolio, a program the central bank put in place last year.

The upshot: The Obama administration has to find other ways sell government debt – without raising interest rates, a move that would almost certainly jeopardize the country’s super-weak economic recovery.

Facing an uphill battle and increasingly skeptical buyers, the government is changing tactics and targeting the biggest pile of money available as a means of dealing with its fiscal follies – the $3.6 trillion sitting in U.S. retirement plans, including 401(k) plans.

The way I see it, the Obama administration can see the financial train wreck that’s going to occur. So it’s rushing to crack open the safe that holds our retirement money before anyone realizes that they’ve been robbed.

And if this plan becomes reality, that’s just what it will be – robbery. American retail investors didn’t sign up for the financial-crisis roller-coaster ride we’ve been on since 2008. We didn’t approve the nation’s five-fold increase in lending capacity. And we certainly didn’t volunteer to help pay down a national debt that’s doubled.

Few people realize that the federal government spent an estimated $17,000 to $25,000 per U.S. household in 2009 (the final figures haven’t been calculated, yet). But that’s no surprise: “We the people” didn’t approve it.

At a point where it’s spending money like a drunken sailor, Washington seems more interested in appropriating and redistributing our retirement savings than it is in fixing a system that’s badly broken. If you add in all the stimulus spending that the taxpayers must now repay, the average government-agency-spending tab has zoomed more than 50% in the last couple of years. That’s right – 50%.

So it’s only logical that the administration would go after our 401(k) and IRA savings plans.

Disgusting, but logical.

Here’s how the argument is likely to be framed.

The system we presently have in place is what’s commonly called a “defined contribution plan.” Under such a plan, the benefits we enjoy during retirement aren’t determined in advance. Instead, those benefits are determined by how much money we contribute while working, and by the performance of the investments that we choose. The 401(k) is almost exclusively a defined contribution plan.

Years ago, Americans depended more upon “defined benefit plans” that promised a steady stream of income at a future date – with the actual amounts determined by our years of service or our earnings history. Old-fashioned company pension plans and even U.S. Social Security are examples of defined benefit plans.

By laying claim to our retirement assets in exchange for 30-year Treasury bonds, annuities or other payout streams, the government will try to persuade us that we’re not capable of managing our own money, that the stock market is too risky a place for most Americans, and that we need Big Brother to hold our hands and protect our futures.

What we need, the administration is going to tell us, is a defined benefit plan.

So expect a big snow job. But here’s the problem.

Defined benefit plans are great only as long as they are well funded. Unfortunately, most aren’t.

In fact, according to various studies, pension funds could already be underfunded by as much as $5.3 trillion. Add that to the $14 trillion we’ve already got on the table and we’re talking a staggering $19.3 trillion – and that’s with no escalators, no cost-of-living adjustments and no interest-rate increases. And that’s assuming we don’t need another round of stimulus.

Here’s what the government isn’t going to tell you. When pension funds transition from defined contribution plans to defined benefit plans, the only backing they have is the underlying assets themselves and the company or entity that’s responsible for the plans – which in this case would be the U.S. government.

If the prospects of your entire future being placed in the hands of the federal government doesn’t scare the daylights out of you after all we’ve experienced so far, I suspect that nothing will.

Our elected leaders, appointed government guardians, and Wall Street have together demonstrated a total inability to manage what they already control. There’s no reason on the planet why they should be allowed to get their hands on our hard-won savings. All that will do is punish the thrifty, disciplined and far-sighted investor, while rewarding – or at the very least protecting – the inept politicians and career bureaucrats who allowed this crisis to occur in the first place.

By backing their plan with 30-year Treasuries, government backers of this plan are betting that you and I won’t notice that the trouble with annuities and long bonds is that they tend to get annihilated by inflation. That’s why even the most jaded professionals will tell you that investing in such instruments right now when interest rates are being artificially held down near 0.00% is bad juju: Interest rates have only one direction to travel – up, which tends to crush bond prices.

Right now, Americans are apparently smarter than the administration believes. In fact, a survey by the Investment Company Institute found that more than 70% of all households disagreed with the idea of requiring a retiree to buy an annuity with a portion of their assets. And it didn’t matter whether the annuity was offered by an insurance company or by the government.

Let’s hope that the full-court press that the administration is getting ready to deploy doesn’t snow American investors. If the government succeeds, we’ll look back and see that they pulled a pretty slick trick to get our support.

Unfortunately, it won’t be the last trick they play with our retirement money. That last trick will come after they have control of our savings – when they make our retirements disappear.

The Power to the People Amendment

The Power to the People Amendment

Section 1
Only natural persons shall be protected by this Constitution and entitled to the rights and freedoms it guarantees
.
Section 2
Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press for non-person entities engaged in the gathering and reporting of fact, analysis, and opinion. In all other respects, Congress and the States shall regulate and tax non-person entities as necessary for the public good.

Section 3
This article shall become operative once it has been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three-fourths of the States thereof.

William John Cox

U2Cox@msn.comhttp://www.votersevolt.com

What’s Wrong with US Intel Agencies

What’s Wrong with US Intel Agencies

By Melvin A. Goodman

Editor’s Note: At least since the 1970s, conservatives and neoconservatives have taken aim at the U.S. intelligence community to ensure that its assessments don’t undermine the Right’s favored policies, whether regarding the old Soviet military threat or new U.S. military adventures around the world.

This intensive politicization of U.S. intelligence and the careerism that it spawned have contributed to some of the worst intelligence failures of the past several decades. Yet, instead of confronting the core problems of intelligence, Washington politicians have often made matters worse, as former CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes in this guest essay:

It is time for serious soul-searching regarding the role of the CIA and the intelligence community. Last month’s operational and intelligence failures led to the deaths of seven CIA officers in Afghanistan and might have resulted in nearly 300 deaths on a Northwest Airlines plane headed for Detroit.

Share this article
ShareThis

emailEmail
printPrinter friendly

It is particularly shocking that President Barack Obama’s chief of counterterrorism, John Brennan, conceded that the latter failure was caused by the fact that there was “no one intelligence entity or team or task force assigned responsibility for doing a follow-up investigation” of the considerable intelligence that was collected.

It is unbelievable that the President had to order the creation of a system for tracking threat reports. The failures beg the question of what have we learned since 9/11.

Previous CIA failures regarding the unanticipated decline and fall of the Soviet Union, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the run-up to the Iraq War demonstrate a $75 billion intelligence enterprise that can provide neither strategic nor tactical warning to policymakers and is reluctant to provide uncomfortable truth to power.

The serious problems that need to be addressed include the important nexus between intelligence and policy — and the need for a CIA that is not beholden to policy or political interests; the militarization of the intelligence community – which must be reversed; the lack of Congressional oversight – which must be corrected, and the decline of operational tradecraft – which must be investigated.

Before addressing reform in Part II, however, we must first confront the mythology that surrounds the intelligence enterprise.

The Greatest Myth: The 9/11 Commission offered insight into the systemic problems of the CIA and the intelligence community. The Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 solved the problems that had been exposed by the 9/11 Commission by creating a director of national intelligence, the so-called intelligence tsar.

In fact, the 9/11 Commission failed to use the powers it had been given to explore the reasons for the 9/11 intelligence failure.

It deferred unnecessarily to the White House’s use of “executive privilege,” and failed to stand up to CIA Director George Tenet, who refused to permit commissioners to debrief prisoners held by the CIA. The commission failed to use its subpoena powers and lacked experience in the world of the intelligence community.

The CIA’s Inspector General concluded that the 9/11 failure was about personal failures, accountability and bureaucratic ineptitude. The same could be said for the Christmas Day events. The commission focused on larger issues: budgets and funding, organizational problems and structural fixes.

The Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 actually made a bad situation worse. It created a new bureaucracy under a director of national intelligence (DNI) beholden to the White House, as well as a centralized system that stifles creative thinking and risks more politicized intelligence.

The DNI was not given the authority to challenge the Pentagon’s control of key intelligence agencies and their budgets, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was not given a central depository to fill the analytical gaps between domestic and international terrorist threats.

Thus, the major problems exposed by 9/11 – the lack of a centralized repository of data and the need for more, rather than less, competitive analysis on terrorism – was repeated in the Christmas Day failure.

Finally, by making the DNI responsible for the daily briefing of the President, it ensured that the “tsar” would have little time to conceptualize and implement the strategic reforms that were needed.

President Barack Obama’s unwillingness to request a National Intelligence Estimate before making his decision late last year to increase military forces in Afghanistan revealed his lack of respect for the work of the intelligence community.

Myth Number Two: The intelligence community is a genuine community that fosters intelligence cooperation and the sharing of intelligence information. The intelligence community has never functioned as a community.

With the exception of the production of National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs), which are indeed a corporate product of the community, there is limited sharing of the most important and sensitive documents collected by the various intelligence agencies, and very little esprit de corps within the community.

There have always been deep rivalries between civilian and military agencies, with the CIA and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence Research often lined up against the Defense Intelligence Agency and the four military intelligence branches.

This division was particularly profound during the debates over Soviet military power and the verification of Soviet and American arms control agreements, with military intelligence consistently exaggerating the strength of the Soviet military and opposing the disarmament agreements of the 1970’s and 1980’s.

The 9/11 and Christmas Day failures revealed continued parochialism and lack of cooperation within the community.

The intelligence community suffers from an inability to learn from its failures and successes. The CIA needs to emulate the U.S. Army, which routinely conducts after-action reports and boasts a Center for Army Lessons Learned at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The center has a small staff, takes advantage of teams of experts to investigate specific issues, and maintains a direct line of communication to senior military leaders to understand what needs to be examined.

Conversely, the CIA has resorted to a culture of cover-up to conceal failures such as the collapse of the Soviet Union; 9/11; the Iraq War; the Christmas Day event; and the suicidal bombing of the CIA’s most important facility in Afghanistan.

Myth Number Three: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence offers a genuine possibility for exercising central control over the intelligence community. The creation of the DNI has worsened the malaise within the CIA without reform for either the agency or the intelligence community.

The fact that the President had to meet with more than 20 intelligence principals to discuss the Christmas Day failure points to the crazy-quilt bureaucratic structure created in the wake of 9/11, as well as the lack of centralized authority and responsibility within the community.

The Pentagon has veto power over the DNI with respect to transferring personnel and budgetary authority from individual agencies into joint centers or other agencies. This fact undermines the possibility of any legitimate reform process.

The first DNI, John Negroponte, became frustrated and left suddenly in December 2006 for a lesser position at the State Department. His two successors have been retired naval admirals, Mike McConnell and Dennis Blair; neither has an understanding of the importance of strategic and long-term intelligence.

The DNI spends far too much time preparing for his daily briefing of the President, which should be in the hands of the CIA, and the issue of cyber-security, which should be in the hands of the NSA.

Instead of pursuing reform, Negroponte, McConnell and Blair have built a huge, lumbering and bloated bureaucracy that includes a principal deputy director, four deputy directors, three associate directors and no fewer than 19 assistant deputy directors.

The DNI has a huge budget (over $1 billion) and has taken its management staff from the CIA and INR, thus weakening the overall intelligence apparatus. There has been no real accountability of the DNI; Congressional intelligence oversight committees have failed to monitor the DNI’s hiring of contractors with extravagant salaries.

Myth Number Four: The CIA is not a policy agency, but is chartered to provide objective and balanced intelligence analysis to decision-makers without any policy axe to grind.

This is possibly the most harmful myth of all, because CIA’s covert action, which has registered a series of strategic disasters over the past 60 years, is part of the policy implementation process.

As a result, much clandestine collection over the years has been designed to collect information that supports policy.

The CIA was unfairly described 30 years ago as a “rogue elephant out of control.” In fact, the CIA is part of the White House policy process. Various presidents have authorized regime change in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, the Congo, the Dominican Republic and South Vietnam, which have had disastrous consequences for U.S. interests.

The White House authorized assassination plots in Cuba, the Congo and South Vietnam, and provided legal sanction for the CIA to create secret prisons, conduct torture and abuse, and pursue renditions, often involving totally innocent people without recourse to judicial proceedings.

Myth Number Five: The 9/11 and Christmas Day failures were due to the lack of sharing intelligence collection. The conventional wisdom is that the 9/11 intelligence failure was caused primarily by the failure to share intelligence, particularly the failure of the CIA to inform the FBI of the presence of two al-Qaeda operatives in the United States.

In actual fact, the problem was far more serious; it was a problem of sloppiness and incompetence in dealing with sensitive intelligence information.

It has been established that 50-60 analysts and operatives from the CIA, the FBI and the NSA had access to information that Khaled al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, who had links to al-Qaeda, had entered the United States long before 9/11.

These analysts and operatives failed to inform leading officials at their own agencies of the two al-Qaeda operatives, who fell through the cracks of the system. Eight years later, the Nigerian bomber similarly escaped detection despite excellent intelligence collection that was seen by most intelligence agencies.

There is still an inadequate flow of information between intelligence agencies. The United States lacks one central depository for all information on national and international terrorism, and the proliferation of intelligence agencies makes sharing of intelligence products even more cumbersome.

The DNI and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) were created after 9/11 to make sure that intelligence was shared, but this led to a downgrading of the CIA and the lack of a single agency responsible for analyzing intelligence on terrorism.

Tremendous amounts of useful intelligence are collected, but intelligence analysis has not been appreciably improved.

The NSA had information on the Nigerian bomber that wasn’t shared with the CIA and the FBI; the CIA prepared a biographic study of the Nigerian bomber, which it didn’t share with NCTC. The State Department did not pursue whether the Nigerian bomber had a U.S. visa, let alone a multiple-entry visa, in his possession.

The so-called intelligence community lacks an effective computer system to coordinate all intelligence information, although it does have access to the State Department’s consular database-listing visa holders, which it failed to consult.

The DHS’s customs and border units had sufficient intelligence to interrogate the bomber when he landed in Detroit; its Transportation Security Agency lacked intelligence to keep him from boarding a plane to Detroit.

Myth Number Six: The CIA successfully recruits foreign assets. The CIA’s National Clandestine Service (NCS) relies on walk-ins and rarely recruits major espionage assets. The most successfulwalk-ins, moreover, such as Col. Oleg Penkovsky, often have great difficulty in getting CIA operatives to accept them.

The NCS has had little success in recruiting assets in the closed world of terrorism or in closed societies such as China, Iran and North Korea. Many of the agents recruited from Cuba, East Germany and the former Soviet Union were double agents reporting to their host governments. The suicide bomber in Afghanistan last month was a double agent.

The CIA has to rely on foreign intelligence liaison sources for sensitive intelligence collection and even the recruitment of foreign assets. There are few al-Qaeda operatives who have been killed or captured without the assistance of foreign liaison, particularly the Pakistani intelligence service.

But the suicide bomber at the CIA base in Afghanistan last month was recruited with the help of the Jordanian intelligence service, an extremely risky way to recruit assets; he was brought onto the base without proper inspection and met with more than a dozen officers.

The loss of top-ranking CIA operations officers in Afghanistan points to the need for a review of CIA clandestine operations. The current CIA director, a former congressman, has surrendered to the clandestine culture and cadre; he is unlikely to lead a reform movement.

And President Obama’s appointment of former CIA deputy director John McLaughlin, a master of the CIA cover-up over the past two decades, points to a continued cover-up.

Instead of a CIA outside the policy community telling truth to power, providing objective and balanced intelligence to policymakers and avoiding policy advocacy, as President Harry S. Truman wanted, we now have the CIA as a paramilitary organization.

Indeed, there has been a trend toward militarization of the entire intelligence community. In the Bush administration, the CIA was significantly weakened, with a director, Michael Hayden, who was a four-star general.

The Obama administration appointed a retired admiral to be the director of national intelligence, a retired general to be national security adviser, and retired generals to be ambassadors to key countries such as Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

By placing the position of the DNI in the hands of the military, the Bush and Obama administrations completed the militarization of the CIA and even the intelligence community itself, where active-duty and retired general officers run the Office of National Intelligence, the National Security Agency, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office.

The Pentagon is responsible for nearly 90 percent of all personnel in the intelligence community and 85 percent of the community’s $75 billion budget.
The absence of an independent civilian counter to the power of military intelligence threatens civilian control of the decision to use military power and makes it more likely that intelligence will be tailored to suit the purposes of the Pentagon. This is exactly what President Truman wanted to prevent.

Finally, the Congressional intelligence oversight process has made no genuine effort to monitor CIA’s flawed intelligence analysis or its clandestine operations, and failed to challenge the illegal activities of the CIA that were part of the policy process.

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee has sat on her hands while CIA Director Leon Panetta methodically dismantled and marginalized the oversight responsibilities of the Office of the Inspector General.

Melvin A. Goodman, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University, spent 42 years with the CIA, the National War College, and the U.S. Army. His latest book is Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA. [This story originally appeared at Truthout.org.]

Iraq War Investigation Revealed As Just Another Cover-Up

Iraq inquiry is being ‘gagged’ after secret documents withheld

Crucial evidence about the reasons Britain went to war against Saddam Hussein is being kept secret it has emerged – leading to accusations that the Iraq inquiry has been “gagged”.

In an apparent breach of the Inquiry terms, Sir John Chilcot, head of the probe, expressed his “frustration” that he was unable to refer to key documents while questioning Lord Goldsmith, the former Attorney General, about why he gave the “green light” for war.

Lord Goldsmith also said that he was unhappy at being denied the opportunity to discuss documents including a letter from Jack Straw, then-former foreign secretary, about United Nations negotiations.

Gordon Brown has pledged that the inquiry team will have access to “all Government papers,” but the exchanges over Lord Goldsmith’s testimony make clear that they will be barred from discussing classified documents during evidence sessions.

Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, claimed that the inability of the Chilcot team to properly question witnesses meant that it was being “gagged,” adding that if secret documents relating to Tony Blair, who gives evidence tomorrow, could not be discussed, the result would be a “cover-up”.

The lack of transparency over crucial documents emerged as Lord Goldsmith was explaining how he had changed his mind about the legality of the war in the months leading up to the invasion.

He said: “I want to make it clear that I didn’t agree with the decision that has apparently been made that certain documents are not to be declassified but I will give the evidence that the inquiry seeks.”

Sir John told him: “We share your frustration.”

In a barbed comment, another member of the panel, Sir Roderic Lyne, later referred to other documents as having been “declassified by our ever-bountiful Government”.

During his evidence, Lord Goldsmith insisted in referring to one secret document, a letter from Mr Straw in which he discussed some of the negotiations during the UN Security Council’s decision to pass Resolution 1441, which gave a “last chance” to comply with weapons inspectors. But he was unable to disclose the content of the letter.

The evidence would almost certainly have been important for public understanding of Lord Goldsmith’s decision to change his mind about the legality of the war, which has been much scrutinised.

He told the inquiry that his decision to give his “client” Tony Blair the “green light” to invade without a fresh UN resolution was in part based on Mr Straw’s arguments.

The protocol for the inquiry dictates that there should be no hindrance to the committee’s access to Government documents.

If a government department refuses to release a document for security or other reasons, an appeal can be made to Sir Gus O’Donnell, the head of the civil service.

A government spokesman said that while some appeals remained unresolved, none had been refused.

Mr Clegg said: “Despite Gordon Brown’s claim that he has ‘nothing to hide’ this has all the hallmarks of a cover-up.

“Just as Liberal Democrats warned, the protocol on the release of documents is being used to gag the inquiry.”

William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, added: “It is crucial that the Inquiry has unfettered access to all the Government documents that relate to the decision to invade Iraq.”

Why Lord Goldsmith changed his mind:

During his evidence, Lord Goldsmith vigorously rejected criticism of his “integrity” and accusations that he was “leant on” by Tony Blair to change his mind about whether a second UN resolution was necessary before war would be legal.

He said that along with Mr Straw’s advice, crucial factors in winning him over had been conversations with Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain’s ambassador to the UN, and senior members of United States President George Bush’s administration.

Jonathan Powell, Mr Blair’s chief of staff, suggested that Lord Goldsmith hold talks with Sir Jeremy, and arranged for him to visit Washington DC, where he met Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, and senior White House lawyers.

They told him that the during negotiations to pass Resolution 1441, which ordered Saddam Hussein to comply with weapons inspectors, the French privately agreed that no second resolution was necessary before war could be triggered.

Asking himself “which side of the argument” he wanted to be on, Lord Goldsmith told the inquiry that it was the key point about the French which led him finally to change his mind on February 12 – five weeks before the start of the war.

The toughening up of the legal advice

Until now, the Attorney General is thought to have shifted his position in March 2003, after strengthening his written legal advice to Mr Blair over the course of a 10 day period.

However, Lord Goldsmith told the inquiry, in fact he agreed to toughen the formal statement about the legality of military conflict, which was then shown to the Cabinet and Parliament, because “in hindsight” he agreed his first attempt had been “too cautious”.

Asked whether Mr Blair had told him to rewrite the advice, which said that there was a “reasonable case” for war, after he handed over his first version on March 7, he said: “I don’t recall it that way.”

Instead, Lord Goldsmith told the inquiry, the heads of the Armed Forces and Civil Service had asked him to provide a “yes or no” answer.

Lord Goldsmith said: “These were the people who were being asked, if we decided to take action, possibly to take personal risks and they were entitled to have a clear view.”

Dismissing suggestions that he had been bullied by the Government into changing his advice, the peer laughed off claims that he had been “pinned against the wall by Downing Street” during a meeting with Baroness Morgan, Mr Blair’s aide, and Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor.

The Cabinet

After presenting the Cabinet with his firm opinion that an invasion of Iraq would be legal, Lord Goldsmith told the inquiry that he expected to face questions from ministers. None came however.

It was only the second time that the Attorney General had attended Cabinet, he disclosed.

The peer told the inquiry that as he began to read his advice: “Somebody said: ‘you don’t need to do that, we can read it.’ I was trying to use it as a framework to explain.

“I do recall telling Cabinet: ‘well, there is another point of view but this is the conclusion that I have reached,’ then the discussion simply stopped.

“I was ready to answer questions and ready to deal with them and in the event that debate didn’t take place.”

Opposition to war

Prior to February 2003, Lord Goldsmith said, he had often contacted Mr Blair, Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, and Mr Straw to warn them that he considered that invading Iraq would be illegal without the consent of the UN.

In July 2002, he set out his view in a “terribly unwelcome” letter to Mr Blair, who was about to fly for talks with President Bush.

He said: “I didn’t want there to be any doubt that in my view the prime minister could not have the view that he could agree with President Bush somehow, ‘let’s go without going back to the United Nations’.”

On November 7, the day before Resolution 1441 was passed, Lord Goldsmith disclosed, he warned Mr Straw that the document did not mean it would be “all right on the night” and that he would definitely consent to war.

Jack Straw’s defence

Outside the inquiry, Mr Straw, now the Justice Secretary, defended his decision to reject the advice of Government legal advisers in the run-up to the war in Iraq.

He said: there was “no ignorance” of the opinions of senior Foreign Office lawyers.

Instead there were “different views” on the legality of the invasion and the ultimate decision rested with Attorney General Lord Goldsmith.

“I always take advice, but ministers have to decide,” he said.

REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION AND DISARMAMENT

ELIMINATING NUCLEAR THREATS

A PRACTICAL AGENDA FOR GLOBAL POLICYMAKERS

REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION AND DISARMAMENT

GARETH EVANS and YORIKO KAWAGUCHI CO-CHAIRS                    Commission Members

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contents

Co-chairs’ Preface

Synopsis: A Comprehensive Action Agenda

Abbreviations

PART I: SEIZING THE MOMENT

1. Why This Report, and Why Now

The Problem: A Global Threat Defying Complacency

The Opportunity: Renewing the Momentum for Action

This Commission’s Role: A Comprehensive Action Agenda

PART II: ASSESSING NUCLEAR THREATS AND RISKS

2. The Risks from Existing Nuclear-Armed States

The Destructive Capabilities of Existing Weapons

Numbers and Classes of Existing Weapons

Missiles and Missile Defence

Alert Status of Existing Weapons

System Vulnerabilities

Attitudes to Using Nuclear Weapons and Disarmament

3. The Risks from New Nuclear-Armed States

Why Non-Proliferation Matters

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Under Strain

Risks of a Proliferation Surge

4. The Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

Possible State and Non-State Actors

Availability of Weapons and Material

Assessing the Risk of Nuclear Terrorist Attack

5. The Risks Associated with Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy

Likely Scale of the Civil Nuclear Energy Renaissance

Assessing the Proliferation Risks of Nuclear Energy Expansion

PART III: FORMULATING POLICY RESPONSES

6. Disarmament: Making Zero Thinkable

Delegitimizing Nuclear Weapons

Rethinking Deterrence

Rethinking Other Justifications for Retaining Nuclear Weapons

7. Disarmament: A Two-Phase Strategy for Getting to Zero

Why a Two-Phase Approach is Necessary

The Minimization Phase

The Elimination Phase

8. Non-Proliferation: Constraining Demand and Supply

Limiting the Demand for Nuclear Weapons

Limiting the Supply of Weapons, Materials and Technology

9. Strengthening the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Improving Safeguards and Verification

Improving Compliance and Enforcement

Strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency

10. Strengthening Non-Proliferation Disciplines Outside the NPT

Non-NPT Treaties and Mechanisms

Applying Equivalent Obligations to States now Outside the NPT

11. Banning Nuclear Testing

Importance of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Addressing Verification and Stockpile Reliability Concerns

12. Limiting the Availability of Fissile Material

The Proposed Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty

Pre-Existing Stocks

Fissile Material in Civil Programs

13. Sustaining an Effective Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Counter-Terrorism Strategy Generally

Securing Loose Weapons and Material

“Dirty Bombs”: Improved Control of Radioactive Material

Nuclear Forensics

14. Responsible Nuclear Energy Management

Sharing the Benefits of Nuclear Energy

The Three Ss: Managing Safeguards, Security and Safety

Prospects for Proliferation-Resistant Technology

Industry as a Non-Proliferation Partner

15. Multilateralizing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

The Argument for Multilateralization

Assurance of Supply Proposals

Fuel Bank Proposals

Multilateral Facility Proposals

The Way Forward

PART IV: FROM POLICY TO ACTION: A COMPREHENSIVE AGENDA

16. A Package for the 2010 NPT Review Conference

The Importance of the Review Conference

Updating the “Thirteen Practical Steps” on Disarmament

Specific Measures to Strengthen the NPT and IAEA

The Middle East and Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

17. Short Term Action Agenda: To 2012 – Achieving Initial Benchmarks

Defining Short Term Objectives

Reducing Weapon Numbers: U.S. and Russian Leadership

Multilateral Disarmament: Preparing the Ground

Nuclear Doctrine: Beginning to Limit the Role of Nuclear Weapons

Force Postures: Movement on De-alerting and Deployment

North Korea and Iran

18. Medium Term Action Agenda: To 2025 – Getting to the Minimization Point

Defining Medium Term Objectives

Reducing Weapon Numbers

Parallel Security Issues: Missiles, Space, Biological and Conventional Weapons

Nuclear Doctrine and Force Postures: Consolidating Change

Other Elements in the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Agenda 200

19. Longer Term Action Agenda: Beyond 2025 – Getting to Zero

Defining “Zero”: The Nature of the Task

General Conditions for Moving from Minimization to Elimination

Overcoming Specific Concerns of Particular States

20. Mobilizing and Sustaining Political Will

The Elements of Political Will: Leadership, Knowledge, Strategy and Process

Identifying the Key Actors

Focusing the Campaign: A Nuclear Weapons Convention?

Sustaining the Momentum: An Ongoing Monitoring Mechanism

Notes and Sources

Annex A: Commission Recommendations

Annex B: Members of the Commission

Annex C: How the Commission Worked

Index

Boxes

2-1 Impact of Strategic Nuclear Bombs on London and Mumbai

2-2 Nuclear Arsenals 2009

3-1 Key Elements of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

4-1 Basic Nuclear Weapon Designs: "Gun" and "Implosion"

4-2 Impact of Terrorist Nuclear Explosions in London and Mumbai

5-1 Reactors Planned, Proposed and Under Construction 2009

5-2 The Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Basic Terminology Non-Specialists Need to Know

7-1 The Comprehensive Action Agenda: Timelines

10-1 Major Non-Proliferation Measures Complementing the NPT

13-1 Priority Issues for the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit

16-1 “A New International Consensus on Action for Nuclear Disarmament”

16-2 Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

17-1 The Short Term Action Agenda – To 2012

18-1 The Medium Term Action Agenda – To 2025

19-1 The Longer Term Action Agenda – Beyond 2025

Useless Aid

Freedom Rider: Useless Aid

by Margaret Kimberley

from the rubbleby BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
The time has come for a new paradigm: No donation without agitation.” The United States has succeeded in plunging mainstream disaster “relief” into disrepute. “No donations to groups like the Red Cross, who sit on millions of dollars but do nothing but hand out blankets and move victims away from their homes in order to convenience the powerful.” And, especially, no donations to any group associated with George Bush or Bill Clinton.
Freedom Rider: Useless Aid
by BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley
Dollars must come with demands of non-interference in Haiti’s affairs and demands of accountability to charitable organizations.”
A telethon hosted by celebrities succeeded in raising more than $57 million in funds for the relief of Haiti earthquake victims. Yet that sum and the many millions more donated by individuals around the world will do little to relieve Haiti’s plight.
Haitians are living in their latest hellish incarnation created by American meddling and the crushing of that nation’s democracy. As long as the United States directs Haiti’s affairs, and empowers a corrupt elite instead of the will of the masses, suffering will continue whether caused by natural or human-made disaster.
The scenes of devastation, death and injury move most human beings first to empathize and then to take some action in order to help. The sad stories tug at the heartstrings and the miraculous tales of survival lift the spirit. However, in the absence of an infrastructure built by Haitians to help Haitians, the images do nothing but create a kind of twisted voyeurism. Bringing change to Haiti should not be the equivalent of gawking at a crash on the side of the highway.
An illegitimate government whose very existence is opposed by the population is incapable of building new homes or treating the injured.”
Haiti is still ruled by a clique of criminals put in place by the United States government. Lavalas, the party supported by a majority of citizens, is barred from participation in the electoral process that is now a sham. An illegitimate government whose very existence is opposed by the population is incapable of building new homes or treating the injured. Haitians have already begun to scatter throughout the country in search of food and shelter, despite the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars have been donated to help them.
The sad fact of the matter is that individuals cannot help Haiti or end human suffering anywhere on earth unless their assistance is combined with political action. The dollars must come with demands of non-interference in Haiti’s affairs and demands of accountability to charitable organizations. If the Red Cross doesn’t even spend all of its enormous contributions, as it shamelessly did after the 9/11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the Asian tsunami, then donors must stop giving before the next disaster strikes.
The ‘bottleneck’ in Port au Prince was a direct result of the militarization of aid to Haiti.”
If American aid to Haiti comes in the form of military occupation, then even reputable organizations are unable to do their jobs adequately. Doctors Without Borders has had a presence in Haiti for many years, but flights containing 85 tons of their medical supplies were diverted to the Dominican Republic. Precious time was lost in the process of retrieving life saving medicines and equipment from another country.
The much talked about airport “bottleneck” in Port au Prince was a direct result of the militarization of aid to Haiti.The United States army decided who would be permitted to land and who would not. While VIP flights were given priority and created the diversion of medical supplies, the environmental group Greenpeace gave Doctors Without Borders use of a ship to carry less urgent equipment, allowing the medical group to prioritize delivery of its most desperately needed cargo.
It seems cruel to advise against helping human beings in need, but we have seen this movie many times before and we know the ending. The time has come for a new paradigm: “No donation without agitation.” No donations to groups like the Red Cross, who sit on millions of dollars but do nothing but hand out blankets and move victims away from their homes in order to convenience the powerful. No donations must be made to any group headed by a Bush or a Clinton. The old presidents’ old boys club did nothing for the Gulf Coast victims of hurricane Katrina. It would be not only a waste but a terrible wrong to give them another opportunity to collect funds which never seem to be used for people who need it.
The time has come for a new paradigm: ‘No donation without agitation.’”
This earthquake should be the last instance of easy text message philanthropy. Instead of pressing a few buttons, concerned people should ask questions and make demands. Current and former American presidents should not be allowed to grandstand when their policies made life hell for Haitians in the first place. The first president Bush ousted president Aristide, Clinton restored him to power only after promises of “market reform” and Bush the younger kidnapped him and tossed him out of his country. Yet a Bush and a Clinton now have the nerve to pose for photos and behave as though they are interested in helping the very people they crushed.
There will always be hurricanes, tsunamis and earthquakes. They are the inevitable results of nature at work. Starvation, illness and displacement are inevitable only if the people who create those conditions are permitted to continue their actions without opposition. It can be a waste to send money, even if the cause is a righteous one. Let us make this the last time we take the easy and useless way out.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgandaReport.com.

Evidence of Chinese Hacking Starts to Unravel

‘Aurora’ code circulated for years on English sites

Where’s the China connection?

By Dan Goodin in San Francisco

Updated An error-checking algorithm found in software used to attack Google and other large companies circulated for years on English-speakinglanguage books and websites, casting doubt on claims it provided strong evidence that the malware was written by someone inside the People’s Republic of China.

The smoking gun said to tie Chinese-speaking programmers to the Hydraq trojan that penetrated Google’s defenses was a cyclic redundancy check routine that used a table of only 16 constants. Security researcher Joe Stewart said the algorithm “seems to be virtually unknown outside of China,” a finding he used to conclude that the code behind the attacks dubbed Aurora “originated with someone who is comfortable reading simplified Chinese.”

“In my opinion, the use of this unique CRC implementation in Hydraq is evidence that someone from within the PRC authored the Aurora codebase,” Stewart wrote here.

In fact, the implementation is common among English-speaking programmers of microcontrollers and other devices where memory is limited. In 2007, hardware designer Michael Karas discussed an almost identical algorithm here. Undated source code published here also bears more than a striking resemblance.

The method was also discussed in W. David Schwaderer’s 1988 book C Programmer’s Guide to NetBIOS. On page 200, it refers to a CRC approach that “only requires 16 unsigned integers that occupy a mere 32 bytes in a typical machine.” On page 205, the author goes on to provide source code that’s very similar to the Aurora algorithm.

“Digging this a little deeper though, the algorithm is a variation of calculating CRC using a nibble (4 bits) instead of a byte,” programmer and Reg reader Steve L. wrote in an email. “This is widely used in single-chip computers in the embedded world, as it seems. I’d hardly call this a new algorithm, or [an] obscure one, either.”

Two weeks ago, Google said it was the victim of highly sophisticated attacks originating from China that targeted intellectual property and the Gmail accounts of human rights advocates. The company said similar attacks hit 20 other companies in the internet, finance, technology, media and chemical industries. Independent security researchers quickly raised the number of compromised companies to 34.

But Google provided no evidence that China was even indirectly involved in the attacks targeting its source code. During a conference call last week with Wall Street analysts, CEO Eric Schmidt said only that that world’s most populous nation was “probably” behind the attacks.

One of the only other reported links between China and the attacks is that they were launched from at least six internet addresses located in Taiwan, which James Mulvenenon, the director of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis at Defense Group, toldThe Wall Street Journal is a common strategy used by Chinese hackers to mask their origin. But it just as easily could be the strategy of those trying to make the attacks appear to have originated in China.

The claim that the CRC was lifted from a paper published exclusively in simplified Chinese seemed like the hard evidence that was missing from the open-and-shut case. In an email toThe Register, Stewart acknowledged the CRC algorithm on 8052.com was the same one he found in Hydraq, but downplayed the significance.

“The guy on that site says he has used the algorithm, didn’t say he wrote it,” Stewart explained. “I’ve seen dates on some of the Chinese postings of the code dating back to 2002.”

Maybe. But if the 16-constant CRC routine is this widely known, it seems plausible that attackers from any number of countries could have appropriated it. And that means Google and others claiming a China connection have yet to make their case.

The lack of evidence is important. Google’s accusations have already had a dramatic effecton US-China relations. If proof beyond a reasonable doubt is good enough in courts of law, shouldn’t it be good enough for relations between two of the world’s most powerful countries? ®

This article was updated to include details from Schwaderer’s book. Thanks to Philippe Oechslin, of OS Objectif Sécurité SA for alerting us to its contents.

Suddenly the Pentagon Needs More Lying to Cover Their Evil Asses

[Suddenly “Conspiracy theorists” are important enough to warrant both the White House and the Pentagon launching special programs to deal with us.  This shows that some of us are getting really close to the mark, possibly even revealing secret plans with our work.  SEE: Got Fascism? : Obama Advisor Promotes ‘Cognitive Infiltration’]

Pentagon Report Calls for Office of ‘Strategic Deception’

By Noah Shachtman Email Author

  • 3890925149_3a20206b83_b1

The Defense Department needs to get better at lying and fooling people about its intentions. That’s the conclusion from an influential Pentagon panel, the Defense Science Board (DSB), which recommends that the military and intelligence communities join in a new agency devoted to “strategic surprise/deception.”

Tricking battlefield opponents has been a part of war since guys started beating each other with bones and sticks. But these days, such moves are harder to pull off, the DSB notes in a January report (.pdf) first unearthed by InsideDefense.com. “In an era of ubiquitous information access, anonymous leaks and public demands for transparency, deception operations are extraordinarily difficult. Nevertheless, successful strategic deception has in the past provided the United States with significant advantages that translated into operational and tactical success. Successful deception also minimizes U.S. vulnerabilities, while simultaneously setting conditions to surprise adversaries.”

The U.S. can’t wait until it’s at war with a particular country or group before engaging in this strategic trickery, however. “Deception cannot succeed in wartime without developing theory and doctrine in peacetime,” according to the DSB. “In order to mitigate or impart surprise, the United States should [begin] deception planning and action prior to the need for military operations.”

Doing that will not only requires an “understanding the enemy culture, standing beliefs, and intelligence-gathering process and decision cycle, as well as the soundness of its operational and tactical doctrine,” the DSB adds. Deception is also “reliant … on the close control of information, running agents (and double-agents) and creating stories that adversaries will readily believe.”

Such wholesale obfuscation can’t be done on an ad-hoc basis, or by a loose coalition of existing agencies. The DSB writes that ”to be effective, a permanent standing office with strong professional intelligence and operational expertise needs to be established.” I wonder: what would you call that organization? The Military Deception Agency? Or something a bit more … deceptive?

Photo: Matthileo/Flickr

Slowdown in Gulf states’ dash for farmland

Mideast supplies: Slowdown in Gulf states’ dash for farmland

BY ANDREW ENGLAND

PUBLISHED: JANUARY 26 2010 16:56 | LAST UPDATED: JANUARY 26 2010 16:56

EIGHTEEN MONTHS AGO, FOOD WAS THE HOT TOPIC IN THE ARAB GULF AND THE CAUSE OF MUCH ANGST. SOARING PRICES OF STAPLES SUCH AS RICE AND WHEAT WERE HELPING DRIVE INFLATION TO RECORD HIGHS, A PHENOMENON THAT THREATENED TO TARNISH THE BENEFIT OF THE REGION’S OIL BOOM. THEN, AS THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS TOOK HOLD, EXPORTING COUNTRIES SUCH AS INDIA RESTRICTED EXPORTS.

THESE TRENDS SPARKED A WAVE OF CONCERN IN THE IMPORT-DEPENDENT STATES OF THE GULF – JUST HOW COULD THE DESERT NATIONS SECURE FOOD RESOURCES FOR THEIR GROWING POPULATIONS? THEIR REACTION WAS TO LOOK ABROAD WITH A RUSH OF ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUT PLANNED FARMING PROJECTS OVERSEAS.

DETAILS OF SUCH SCHEMES STARTED EMERGING FROM SAUDI ARABIA, THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, KUWAIT AND QATAR, WITH THE GULF STATES PLANNING TO DEPLOY THEIR PETRODOLLAR WEALTH TO ACQUIRE OR LEASE LAND OVERSEAS, HARVEST RICE, WHEAT, SOYA BEANS AND CORN, AND THEN EXPORT THE PRODUCE BACK TO THEIR HOME MARKETS.

THE MOST ACTIVE WAS SAUDI ARABIA, BY FAR THE GULF’S MOST POPULOUS STATE AND THE REGION’S MAIN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER. BUT SHORTLY BEFORE THE FOOD CRISIS STRUCK, RIYADH HAD DECIDED TO PHASE OUT DOMESTIC WHEAT PRODUCTION BY 2016 AFTER REALISING THAT ITS WHEAT-GROWING PROGRAMME – SET UP IN THE LATE 1970S – WAS NO LONGER SUSTAINABLE GIVEN THE COUNTRY’S FINITE WATER RESOURCES.

SAUDI ARABIA HAD BEEN PRODUCING 2.5M TONS OF WHEAT A YEAR BEFORE IT BEGAN PHASING OUT THE CROP, AND IS NOW SET TO BECOME A BIG WHEAT IMPORTER.

IN A BID TO SEEK OUT SUITABLE LANDS FOR THE KINGDOM’S OVERSEAS PROJECTS, SAUDI OFFICIALS HAVE VISITED A NUMBER OF COUNTRIES, IN AFRICA, ASIA AND EASTERN EUROPE, WITH A GOAL THAT THE MINIMUM SIZE OF A PLANTATION WOULD BE ABOUT 50,000 HECTARES.

RIYADH HOPES THE PRIVATE SECTOR WILL LEAD THE OVERSEAS PROJECTS, WITH THE GOVERNMENT PLAYING A SUPPORTIVE, FACILITATING ROLE. LAST YEAR IT ANNOUNCED IT WAS SETTING UP AN $800M COMPANY TO BACK THE PROJECTS.

THE UAE HAS ALSO TALKED ABOUT POSSIBLE PROJECTS IN KAZAKHSTAN AND SUDAN, WHILE QATAR ESTABLISHED HASSAD FOOD, WHICH IS AN ARM OF ITS SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND, TO LOOK AT ACQUIRING STAKES IN AGRICULTURAL COMPANIES.

IN NOVEMBER, DOHA ALSO ANNOUNCED IT WAS SETTING UP A NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY PROGRAMME TO RESEARCH TECHNOLOGIES THAT COULD BOLSTER THE PROSPECTS OF DOMESTIC AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION.

YET THERE IS A GENERAL SENSE THAT THE URGENCY AMONG GULF STATES TO PURSUE THEIR PROGRAMMES HAS DIMINISHED AS FOOD PRICES HAVE DROPPED, WITH FEW PROJECTS ACTUALLY BEGINNING ON THE GROUND. ANOTHER REASON FOR THE DECREASED ATTENTION IS LIKELY TO BE A RESULT OF THE CONTROVERSY THE PLANS SPARKED, WITH CONCERNS ABOUT THE IMAGE OF OIL-WEALTHY ARAB NATIONS SHIPPING CROPS AWAY FROM IMPOVERISHED COUNTRIES SUCH AS ETHIOPIA AND SUDAN THAT SUFFER FROM PERENNIAL FOOD SHORTAGES.

THERE ARE ALSO QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ABILITY OF THE GULF STATES TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THEIR PROJECTS.

“IF THEY ARE SERIOUS, THERE IS STILL A LACK OF CAPACITY AND EXPERIENCE THAT NEEDS TO BE OVERCOME,” SAYS ECKART WOERTZ AT THE GULF RESEARCH CENTRE. HE SAYS GULF STATES WOULD BE BETTER OFF ADDING INVESTMENTS IN EXISTING AGRICULTURAL BUSINESSES IN ESTABLISHED MARKETS THAN FOCUSING ON SETTING UP NEW PROJECTS IN COUNTRIES THAT HAVE POOR INFRASTRUCTURE.

STILL, SAUDI ARABIA IS PUSHING AHEAD WITH ITS PLANS, OFFICIALS SAY, ALBEIT AT A SLOW PACE. “THERE IS SOME PROGRESS. THERE’S NO DOUBT IT [THE INITIATIVE] WILL GO AHEAD,” SAYS ABDULLAH AL-OBAID, THE DEPUTY AGRICULTURE MINISTER. “NOW WE ARE FINALISING THE HOLDING COMPANY AND DOING A STUDY OF OUR STRATEGIC RESERVES FOR STABLE GOODS.”

HE SAYS THE GOVERNMENT IS ALSO WORKING ON BILATERAL AGREEMENTS WITH POTENTIAL HOST COUNTRIES, AND AN IMPORTANT ISSUE IS TO AVOID THE STIGMA OF BEING SEEN AS A LAND-GRABBER.

“WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WHOLE WORLD AND WOULD LIKE TO INCREASE INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION,” MR OBAID SAYS. “WE ARE WILLING TO LEAVE SOME OF THE PRODUCE FOR THE LOCAL MARKET – WE WANT TO ENSURE BENEFITS FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS.”

COUNTRIES THE KINGDOM IS CONSIDERING INCLUDE ETHIOPIA, SUDAN, UKRAINE, CAMBODIA, VIETNAM, THE PHILIPPINES, TURKEY AND EGYPT. A NUMBER OF SAUDI AGRICULTURAL COMPANIES HAVE ALSO EXPRESSED INTEREST IN THE OVERSEAS PROJECTS, WITH SOME BEGINNING PILOT SCHEMES IN EGYPT, SUDAN AND ETHIOPIA. HOWEVER, ANALYSTS SAY THE EXTENT OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION IS LIKELY TO BE DEPENDENT ON THE LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT THEY RECEIVE.

EXPERTS SAY IF PROPERLY MANAGED AND CARRIED OUT IN FULL CO-ORDINATION WITH HOST COUNTRIES, THE SCHEMES COULD BRING BENEFITS, SUCH AS JOBS AND MUCH-NEEDED INVESTMENT, IN POORER COUNTRIES. BUT LIKE OTHER GULF STATES, THE KINGDOM WILL FACE BIG DIFFICULTIES IF ITS PLANS ARE TO BE IMPLEMENTED.

“THEY ARE NOT GOING AS FAST AS MAYBE THERE WERE PORTRAYING, OR AT LEAST AS THEY WERE EXPECTING, AND THE REACTION FROM SOME OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR HAS BEEN SCEPTICAL … BUT THEY DO NOT HAVE A LOT OF OPTIONS,” SAYS JOHN SFAKIANAKIS, CHIEF ECONOMIST AT BANQUE SAUDI FRANSI. “ONE THING IS IDENTIFYING THE LOCATION, ANOTHER THING IS ACTUALLY EXPORTING … THEY ARE AT THE EMBRYONIC STAGE AND IT WILL TAKE SOME YEARS TO GET RESULTS FROM THIS.”

COPYRIGHT THE FINANCIAL TIMES LIMITED 2010.

Nuclear Hypocrisy Spells Nuclear War

The world remains hopelessly stuck in the bullying stage, or so it seems.  With the passing of the old America-dominated world order, into the unshaped, uncertain, certainly violent New World Order, there is much that can be changed, and vitally needs to be changed in the new order, if it is to survive its own birth.  There is no issue more important than the issue of nuclear power.  Leaving aside all discussion of nuclear-caused environmental issues for now, the era of nuclear weapons must be brought to an end.  Arms control treaties that attempt to lock-in advantages and disadvantages are not the road to peace, but the road to nuclear war.  Consider the following article from Hindu press which berates Pakistan for being an impediment to such an unfair, unbalanced “treaty,” the Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty is such a formula for certain nuclear war.

The two-faced American approach to nukes on the subcontinent is a formula for nuclear war.  If you are looking for a way to thin-0ut or “cull”  the human herd in this region of the world, then this would be a surefire way to do it.  This is another de-population scheme from the benevolent Western world.  In the Indian-Pakistani nuclear arms race, India has always had a distinct advantage.  Citing India’s larger capital base and its much larger deposits of natural uranium, New Delhi has easily led the nuclear race.  With the US/India nuclear merger, India is gaining access to American enriched uranium, while Pakistan is being denied American reciprocity, coupled with this proposed ban on the production of fissile material.  This would permanently lock potential nuclear imbalances in place, even while the United States is arming India to the teeth with the latest conventional weaponry and support equipment.  India’s huge pool of potential soldiers armed with oceans of the latest gear represents an existential threat to an atomically de-fanged Pakistan

Add to all of this American/Indian military agreements that seek to make India America’s watchdog in the region, especially on the high seas.  Pakistan is set to get a royal screwing and her nuclear weapons are all that keeps Indian supremacist aggression at bay.  To think that Pakistan’s American ally wants her to give-in to Indian designs, to submit willfully to her would-be master is dangerously absurd.

India, America, Israel and Britain have evil plans for the earth and it all begins or ends in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Where they plan to go from there should be easy for anyone to foresee.

Pakistan continues to block fissile material treaty

Special Correspondent

Wants regime on missiles included in the agenda for disarmament meet

Pakistani proposal seen as new tactic to delay talks on treaty

Informal consultations held in the past week to convince Pakistan to back off


NEW DELHI: Pakistan is coming under international pressure to drop its demand that the regional control of conventional arms and a regime on missiles be included in the agenda of the Conference on Disarmament’s session this year.

The Conference on Disarmament usually adopts a standard agenda at the start of each session, reflecting the underlying consensus built up over the past few years.

That consensus includes a Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty, prevention of arms race in outer space, security assurances, transparency in armaments, comprehensive disarmament, and preventing new nuclear weapons and nuclear war.

But at the opening 2010 plenary on January 19, Pakistan’s Ambassador Zamir Akram said the approval of the agenda should not be seen as “a mere formality.” Citing a U.N. General Assembly resolution calling on the Conference on Disarmament to discuss regional arms control — passed last October with only India casting a negative vote and Russia and Bhutan abstaining —Mr. Akram said this and missiles were “pressing problems” for the international community.

The Pakistani proposal is seen by many delegations at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva as a new tactic in Islamabad’s efforts to delay the start of international negotiations on a treaty banning the production of fissile material.

At the conference, the Indian delegation joined others in objecting to an expanded agenda. Reminding the conference that India objected to the U.N. resolution because “the security concerns of states often extend beyond narrowly defined regions. The delegation said it did not consider “missiles in all its aspects” to be a subject the conference could easily deal with. India said there was no global legal regime governing missiles. “But this is an issue that could be considered if there is an agreement on how it could be dealt with in the CD. However, at present, there is no agreement. The relevant resolutions have been fractured. We leave it in the hands of the president to see how they move forward. India would be happy to make a contribution.”

Indian officials said informal consultations were under way in the past week to convince Pakistan to back off and a fresh effort will be made on January 26 to adopt the agenda.

Adoption of the standing agenda, however, will not mean the start of actual negotiations on an FMCT, as Pakistan is not expected to drop its objections to the conference’s programme of work.

After many years of stalemate, the conference came close to a consensus last year on the launching of negotiations for the treaty. But Pakistan, which believes it is at a disadvantage vis-À-vis India as far as bomb grade uranium and plutonium stocks are concerned, says any fissile treaty should not just ban new production but should also address “regional imbalances” in stockpiles, and insists talks cannot begin unless there is agreement on this issue.

WOW. Zardari.

Goats sacrificed ‘to ward off evil eyes’

By Syed Irfan Raza
It has been an old practice of Mr Zardari to offer Sadqa (animal sacrifice). He has been doing this for a long time: Farhatullah Babar.—File photo
It has been an old practice of Mr Zardari to offer Sadqa (animal sacrifice). He has been doing this for a long time: Farhatullah Babar.—File photo
ISLAMABAD: A black goat is slaughtered almost daily to ward off ‘evil eyes’ and protect President Asif Ali Zardari from ‘black magic’. Does this, and the use of camel and goat milk, make the beleaguered president appear to be a superstitious man?

Well, not to his spokesman. “It has been an old practice of Mr Zardari to offer Sadqa (animal sacrifice). He has been doing this for a long time,” spokesman Farhatullah Babar told Dawn on Tuesday.

But his detractors, who want to see him out of the Presidency, would see in his new-found religiosity a sign of nervousness in the wake of the scrapping of the NRO.

One thing is certain: Hundreds of black goats have been sacrificed since Mr Zardari moved into the President’s House in September 2008.

Gul Bahadur’s Forces Claim Another Drone Shot Down in N. Wazir

Taliban claim shooting down another drone

By Malik Mumtaz & Mushtaq Yusufzai

MIRAMSHAH/PESHAWAR: The Taliban in North Waziristan on Tuesday claimed to have shot down another US drone in Boya village of Dattakhel Tehsil near the border with Afghanistan but failed to provide any proof in this regard.

If the claim is true, it would be the second US spy aircraft allegedly shot down by the militants in North Waziristan and the fourth one destroyed in the lawless tribal areas along the Pak-Afghan border.

Senior government officials based in Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan, confirmed that a US drone had crashed in the border village of Boya, but did not know about the cause of its crash.

ìThe drone has crashed in Boya village. I really donít know how it crashed,î said a senior government official in Miramshah, but wished not to be named. According to officials, Boya village, 25 kilometres west of Miramshah, is located in Dattakhel Tehsil, which is considered to be a stronghold of the tribal militants, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur.

They said the wreckage of the destroyed aircraft had not been found as it had crashed in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan. “It is possible the militants have taken its wreckage into their possession,” said the official.

A militant commander called The News from somewhere in North Waziristan and claimed that their fighters, while firing from anti-aircraft guns, had shot the drone down. “It is the second spy plane our men shot down in the current week,” the militant commander claimed without poviding any proof.

Pleading anonymity, he claimed they had trained people for the job and now more spy planes would be shot down in the coming days. ìThere were five drones flying at a low altitude over the town when our men started firing at one of them. The remaining four disappeared while the one flying at low altitude was accurately hit,î claimed the militant commander. He said the militants were jubilant over ‘continuous’ successes of their colleagues against the ‘enemy’.

China’s Progress and Success.

China’s Progress and Success.

MOSTAQUE ALI

China To Lead The World scientific research by 2020.
by Refreshing News blogspot

China will be producing more scientific research than any other country within a decade, according to an analysis of the nation’s “awe-inspiring” academic growth.

(Coincidentally 2020 is the latest date that China’s economy is set to overtakes the USA economy………….Goldman Sachs initially estimated 2050 as the date when China would do so, with a $44 trillion GDP economy to the USA’s $35 Trillion GDP economy………then that changed to 2040………then 2025…..I have maintained for about 10 years that it will be much sooner, within or by 2015……China with $2.4 trillion FCR is the real banker of the world, and is only a matter of a few years before the Yuan becomes LOGICALLY, the reserve currency of the world……….this is the natural achievement of the hard working honest Chinese people and nation)

Vast state investment in schools, universities and research programmes has driven the rapid growth, with academic discoveries rapidly tapped for commercial potential. Chinese scientists are particularly strong on chemistry and materials engineering, both considered central to the country’s industrial development and economic future.

(There is a strong correlation between real investments in education, and thus having an educated workforce….and economic development…..there are investments in education and there are investments in education)

The number of peer-reviewed papers published by Chinese researchers rose 64-fold over the past 30 years.
China is now second only to the US in terms of academic papers published, and will take first place by 2020 if current trends continue.

It comes after last week’s announcement that China is poised to replace Japan as the world’s second largest economy, behind the US.

(2010…..USA $15 trillion GDP…….China $5 Trillion GDP at current exchange rates where the Yuan for trade purposes is significantly under valued: PPP comparison varies according to whose estimates you believe, but is a better indicator of actual economic size….2010…USA $14 trillion……China $10 trillion.

China this year will also become the largest exporting nation on earth.

A few comparisons with America which is by no means comprehensive, but certainly instructive:

  • China does not seem to attempt to increase its wealth through printing mountains of Yuan and then subsequently hope, fingers crossed, the rest of the world accepts it on good faith and its one time old reputation from 1945.
  • China is an Investment led and export growth economy.
  • The Chinese government does not run deficits, but quite the contrary. The nation led by the government emphasizes judicial investments in strategic sectors….INFRASTRUCTURE, MANUFACTURING, EXPORTS…….and high personal savings….”Jam tomorrow”…within a few years it seems. “Live frugally, work hard”.
  • The American government by contrast runs huge budget deficits, and maintains unsustainable war budgets………according to Chalmers Johnson the real “security” budget of America may be about 10% of GDP…$1500 billion………..with more foreign engagments to come.
  • China is not a narco-state, where state employees along with powerful sections of the elite organise the narcotics trade into North America, Europe and other parts of the world…..China seeks development through honest trade, honest business.
  • China does not threaten and make war against other nations, especially weak Third World nations, for their resources and for other vague military objectives such as the justification of the huge unproductive MIC.
  • China is not defacto run by a little geographical strip thousands of miles away from it, acting as a hapless aimless giant which is clueless as to its true interests. “Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don’t worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it.” -Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, October 3, 2001, to Shimon Peres, as reported on Kol Yisrael radio. (Certainly the FBI’s cover-up of the Israeli spy ring/phone tap scandal…..running into 9/11…..suggests that Mr. Sharon may not have been joking….WRH as reported)

The boom in China’s scientific research was disclosed in an analysis of papers published in 10,500 academic journals across the world.

The figures, compiled by the publisher Thomson Reuters for the Financial Times , showed that Chinese scientists had increased their output at a far faster rate than counterparts in rival “emerging” nations such as India, Russia and Brazil.

Although India has long been tipped as the most likely threat to US academic supremacy, the study found it now lags well behind China.

(Not surprising, patently obvious when you step off the plane at Delhi airport, and run into the dirt, filth, stench, poverty, inefficiency and power outages that are the most common theme of “Shining India”…..away from the little Islands of success here and there.

The Indian nation in the broadest sense has always prized the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, from swamis, yogis ………and many others…..for thousands upon thousands of years…..perhaps as far back as 8,000 years where SANGAM’S were held…..this is where in ancient India people with specific knowledge came together to discuss various subjects, in an age when there was no writing. Most topics and of course scentific topics were covered.

Therefore it is natural, given the historical background, gradually…….slowly recovering from the destructive effects of colonialism and deliberate colonial de-industrialization of India……. that the state of India should still have a strong academic presence in scientific research………even with the present short comings of the Indian state…which are many.

I have stated before what the shortcomings of the Indian State are, and I am not going to repeat them here, suffice to say that the Indian state is run by corrupt, ineffective, aimless governments which are thick on rhetoric, but thin on good intentioned action which moves India forward meaningfully…..India is developing despite the awful Indian governments……..running a minimal state where the budget accounts for about 15% of the official economy. (Post-colonial rentier elite who off-load the nations wealth in tax havens such as Switzerland and other such places…$1500 billion….whilst the vast majority live in abject poverty and under development after 63 years of “Independence”…….and will be celebrating the the glories of the British Empire with the Commonwealth Games hosted in Delhi in 2010)

The sad thing that should also be pointed out..some of the best in Indian science and technology, work and publish not as Indians but as Americans, Canadians or others……..as much as 40,000 of IIT graduates now work in the USA contributing to American research…..American per Capita income approaching $50,000 and India’s $1,100…so who can blame them)

India has almost been caught by Brazil in terms of the number of papers published, with researchers in the South American country leading the way in agriculture and biology. Russia has seen a relative decline in scientific research since 1981.

“China is out on its own, far ahead of the pack,” said James Wilsdon, of the Royal Society in London. Jonathan Adams, a research evaluation director at Thomson Reuters, called China’s growth “awe-inspiring” although he acknowledged that the value of the findings by its scientists were still “rather mixed”.

India, a River of Money for the Military, a River of Dung In the Streets

India Failing to Control Open Defecation Blunts Nation’s Growth

By Jason Gale

March 4 (Bloomberg) — Until May 2007, Meera Devi rose before dawn each day and walked a half mile to a vegetable patch outside the village of Kachpura to find a secluded place.

Dodging leering men and stick-wielding farmers and avoiding spots that her neighbors had soiled, the mother of three pulled up her sari and defecated with theTaj Mahal in plain view.

With that act, she added to the estimated 100,000 tons of human excrementthat Indians leave each day in fields of potatoes, carrots and spinach, on banks that line rivers used for drinking and bathing and along roads jammed with scooters, trucks and pedestrians. Devi looks back on her routine with pain and embarrassment.

“As a woman, I would have to check where the males were going to the toilet and then go in a different direction,” says Devi, 37, standing outside her one-room mud-brick home. “We used to avoid the daytimes, but if we were really pressured, we would have to go any time of the day, even if it was raining. During the harvest season, people would have sticks in the fields. If somebody had to go, people would beat them up or chase them.”

In the shadow of its new suburbs, torrid growth and 300- million-plus-strong middle class, India is struggling with a sanitation emergency. From the stream in Devi’s village to the nation’s holiest river, the Ganges, 75 percent of the country’s surface water is contaminated by human and agricultural waste and industrial effluent. Everyone in Indian cities is at risk of consuming human feces, if they’re not already, the Ministry of Urban Development concluded in September.

Economic Drain

Illness, lost productivity and other consequences of fouled water and inadequate sewage treatment trimmed 1.4-7.2 percent from the gross domestic product of Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam in 2005, according to a study last year by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program.

Sanitation and hygiene-related issues may have a similar if not greater impact on India’s $1.2 trillion economy, says Guy Hutton, a senior water and sanitation economist with the program in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Snarledtransportation and unreliable power further damp the nation’s growth. Companies that locate in India pay hardship wages and ensconce employees in self- sufficient compounds.

The toll on human health is grim. Every day, 1,000 children younger than 5 years old die in India from diarrhea, hepatitis- causing pathogens and other sanitation-related diseases, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

‘Sanitation Crisis’

For girls, the crisis is especially acute: Many drop out of school once they reach puberty because of inadequate lavatories, depriving the country of a generation of possible leaders.

“India cannot reach its full economic potential unless they do something about this sanitation crisis,” says Clarissa Brocklehurst, Unicef’s New York-based chief of water, sanitation and hygiene, who worked in New Delhi from 1999 to 2001.

When P.V. Narasimha Rao opened India to outside investment in 1991, the country went on a tear. For most of this decade, India has placed just behind China as the world’s fastest- growing major economy. Revenue from information technology and outsourcing jumped more than 300-fold to $52 billion a year as Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Infosys Technologies Ltd.and other homegrown giants took on computer-related work for Western corporations.

Annual per-capita income more than doubled to 24,295 rupees ($468) in the seven years ended on March 31, 2008, before the full force of the financial meltdown kicked in. Even during the current global recession, India’s economy will expand 5.1 percent in 2009, the International Monetary Fund projects.

Hygiene Breakdown

Yet India’s gated office parks with swimming pools and food courts and enclaves such as the Aralias in Gurgaon, outside New Delhi, which features 6,000-square-foot (557-square-meter) condominiums, mask a breakdown of the most basic and symbolic human need — hygiene.

Devi, who installed her neighborhood’s first toilet, a squat-style latrine in a whitewashed outhouse, created a point of pride in a village where some people empty chamber pots into open drains in front of their homes. Like most of Kachpura’s residents, more than half of India’s 203 million households lack what Western societies consider a necessity: a toilet.

India has the greatest proportion of people in Asia behind Nepal without access to improved sanitation, according to Unicef. Some 665 million Indians practice open defecation, more than half the global total. In China, the world’s most populous country, 37 million people defecate in the open, according to Unicef.

‘It’s an Embarrassment’

“It’s an embarrassment,” says Venkatraman Anantha- Nageswaran, 45, an Indian working in Singapore as chief investment officer for Asia Pacific at Bank Julius Baer & Co., which managed $234 billion at the end of 2008. “It’s a country that aspires to being an international power and which, according to various projections, will be the third-largest economy in 20-30 years.”

India has the highest childhood malnutrition rates in the world: 44 percent of children younger than 5 are underweight, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.

“Malnourished children are more susceptible to diarrheal disease, and with more diarrheal disease they become more malnourished,” says Jamie Bartram, head of the World Health Organization’s water, sanitation, hygiene and health group. “If we collectively could fix the world’s basic water and sanitation problems, we could reduce childhood mortality by nearly a third.”

Half of India’s schools don’t have separate toilets for males and females, forcing young women to use unisex facilities or nothing at all. Twenty-two percent of girls complete 10 or more years of schooling compared with 35 percent of boys, a national family health survey finished in 2006 found.

Indignity, Infections

Devi says she was concerned that her 14-year-old daughter would suffer the indignity and infections she herself endured due to poor menstrual hygiene. That was a major reason she bought a toilet, taking out a 7,000 rupee, interest-free loan from the U.S. Agency for International Development, which enabled her to pay for her new latrine over 18 months.

The agency also gave her a 3,000 rupee grant and a 2,500 rupee-a-month job with its Cross-Cutting Agra Project, which promotes hygiene and sanitation in her village. Until then, she, like her husband, was unemployed. Her daughter’s situation has also improved, Devi says.

“When she has her period, it’s especially difficult for her to go out into the fields,” she says. “It’s better to have a toilet at home — as it is for every female.”

Girls’ Education

Barriers that keep girls from equal education compromise the nation’s future, says Renu Khosla, director of CURE India, a New Delhi group that works to improve water and sanitation for the poor, including in Kachpura.

“We will have a less skilled population of youth,” she says. “Every year of schooling reduces household poverty by bringing down the family size and increasing skill levels.”

So far, companies looking to locate in India haven’t been turned off by the sanitation shortcomings, says Anshuman Magazine, chairman of CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.’s South Asian unit, which manages about 62 million square feet of property in the country. “India is a completely different planet,” he says.

As such, employees know not to drink tap water, and employers provide clean washrooms.

“As far as offices are concerned, I have never come across anyone raising these concerns. Businesses run on making money and opportunities. Since 2004, we have seen huge interest from foreign investors and businesses.”

Hardship Allowances

International corporations that set up branches in Mumbai and New Delhi compensate by paying hardship allowances of 20-25 percent of employees’ salary compared with 10-15 percent in Beijing and Shanghai, says Lee Quane, the Hong Kong-based Asian general manager of ECA International Ltd., a human resources advisory firm.

Some big Indian companies count on private utilities, bottled water and walled compounds with electric fences. Infosys’s resort-style campus on the outskirts of Bangalore has manicured lawns, a Japanese garden, a swimming pool, a golf course and a Domino’s Pizza in its multinational food court.

Unlike most households in the nearby city of 6.8 million, India’s No. 2 software maker’s headquarters doesn’t suffer water or power interruptions, says Bhawesh Kumar, its facilities manager.

Poverty Trap

Infosys stores water from the public network in three underground reservoirs that can hold 2.2 million liters (580,000 gallons), or two days’ supply. The water passes through sand and carbon filters and purifiers, making it cleaner than what’s available to local people, he says. Attendants clean the brown- tiled bathrooms and refresh supplies of paper hand towels hourly during the business day. Infrared sensors ensure that toilets are flushed after each use.

Outside such compounds, dirty water and poor hygiene can trap communities in a cycle of disease, malnutrition and poverty, Bartram says. Worldwide, 18 percent of the population, or 1.2 billion people, rely on open defecation and about 884 million drink unsafe water, according to Unicef.

Every year, more than 200 million tons of human sewage goes uncollected and untreated, fouling the environment. Each gram of feces can contain 10 million virus particles, 1 million bacteria, 1,000 parasite cysts and 100 parasite eggs, the UN found.

Fetid Waters

In Devi’s village, sewage and household wastewater flow along open drains that line both sides of narrow alleyways. The fetid water gathers in a shallow channel choking with plastic containers, discarded footwear and household trash. A woman carrying a folded mattress on her head steps deftly along a narrow bridge spanning the mire. A mechanical pump chugs on the bank, sucking up the liquid to dispense over a nearby vegetable patch. Children play around the edge, alongside tethered, cud- chewing water buffalo.

A man walks past, clutching a water-filled plastic bottle, presumably on his way to defecate. The rest of the slurry empties into a trench coursing along a feces-dotted path through a field of cauliflowers. A shoeless boy uses a long-handled spade to create a new sluice for the black sludge to ooze over the vegetable field.

What’s not drained from the trench empties into a cesspool on the flood plain of the Yamuna River, which flows through Delhi and then Agra before joining the Ganges at Allahabad, 1,370 kilometers (850 miles) from its pristine source in the Himalayan mountains.

‘Remorseless Drain’

“If you’ve got feces all around you, it will find its way into your mouth,” Bartram says. “Cholera and typhoid are always dramatic because they come through as outbreaks, and outbreaks catch the news. The real burden is this long, remorseless drain of straightforward, simple diarrheal disease.”

Like Devi’s village, less than a fifth of Agra is connected to a sewage system. The 1.3 million people generate more than 150 million liters of effluent each day. The city has the capacity to treat 60 percent of the sewage. There are plans to build three more treatment plants by 2012 with funding from the state and federal governments and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, according to the Agra Municipal Corporation.

The U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Cross- Cutting Agra Project and other programs are trying to bridge the sanitation gap. The project helped Devi and 39 other households in her village get toilets during the past two years.

Spurring Desire

The Indian government is also contributing. Rural families living below the poverty line are eligible for a 1,500 rupee subsidy to build household latrines under the Total Sanitation Campaign. The decade-old program focuses on educating people about the link between good hygiene and health to change behavior and spur their desire for toilets.

UN agencies such as Unicef provide technical information and recommendations on toilet systems.

Governments and aid groups have strived for decades to overcome India’s sanitation challenges. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the movement for freedom from foreign domination, grappled with the issue almost a century ago: “The cause of many of our diseases is the condition of our lavatories and our bad habit of disposing of excreta anywhere and everywhere,” Gandhiwrote in 1925. “Sanitation is more important than political independence,” he declared.

Taboo Topic

Gandhi focused on the Hindu caste system that subjugated the lowest social stratum to the unsavory realm of latrines. For some 4,000 years, so-called bhangis or untouchables earned a modest living by scraping “night soil” from the cavernous household toilet pits of higher castes and carrying it away in pans balanced on their heads.

“Culturally, it was taboo in Indian society to talk about human excreta, night soil and all these things,” says Bindeshwar Pathak, who started Sulabh International Social Service Organization, a Delhi-based group whose name means “readily accessible.” The organization has built public toilets and campaigned on human emancipation issues since 1970.

Pathak says the tradition of scavenging removed the impetus of society, and especially policy makers, to acknowledge and address the sanitation problem.

A.K. Mehta, joint secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development, says India’s close-lipped tradition is changing.

“If you have a legacy of thousands of years, you don’t expect it to go away in a decade or so,” Mehta says. “Progress is significant and in the right direction.”

Millions Waiting

Today, 59 percent of the people in India’s countryside have access to a toilet, compared with 27 percent in 2004, the Department of Drinking Water Supplysays. Ten million toilets have been built annually since 2007. More than 30 million households are waiting.

Urban dwellers aren’t spared substandard hygiene. In Mumbai, Delhi and other cities where billboards advertise the latest mobile phones and trendy young women sport Prada handbags, the water that’s piped into homes and apartments must be filtered before drinking. And in most homes it’s available only a few hours each day.

“Even the biggest cities still have that problem,” says Vishwas Udgirkar, 46, executive director of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s government and infrastructure division in New Delhi.

More unsettling, 17 percent of city residents, or 50 million people, don’t have toilets. Fewer than 10 percent of Indian cities have a sewage system. About37 percent of urban wastewater flows into the environment untreated, where such pathogens as rotavirus, campylobacter and human roundworm can spread via water, soil, food and unwashed hands.

‘Huge Challenge’

“Not attending to this has a cost,” Mehta says. “Between 2001 and ’26, we would be adding another 246 million people to the urban system. How would we meet that huge challenge is the issue.”

India is still struggling to find the best way to clean up the mess.

“A lot of money has been given for constructing the infrastructure,” says Ajith C. Kumar, an operations analyst with the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program in New Delhi. “The predominant experience has been that none of this has worked.”

The southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh is a good example. Earlier this decade, the state government helped build 2.95 million household latrines in rural areas. Residents got subsidies worth about $16 in cash plus coupons for 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of rice. Half the toilets went unused or were being used for other purposes, a February 2007 World Bank report found.

Roomier Than Homes

In the western state of Maharashtra, 1.6 million subsidized toilets were built from 1997 to 2000. About 47 percent are in use.

Many toilets are designed without thinking about who’s going to use them, says Payden (who goes by one name), the WHO’s New Delhi-based regional adviser on water, sanitation and health. Some of the new toilets were roomier than homes.

“The toilets were much stronger and safer, so they used them for storing grain instead,” she says.

Now India is trying a different kind of cash reward to encourage toilet use. TheNirmal Gram Puraskar, or “clean village prize,” gives 50,000-5 million rupees to local governments that end open defecation. Thirty-eight villages qualified in 2005. A year later, 760 villages and 9 municipalities got the prize. In 2008, more than 12,000 awards were presented.

Toilets That Pay

Santha Sheela Nair, India’s secretary of drinking water supply, is assessing another monetary incentive. In a spacious New Delhi office with a white-tiled floor and white walls, Nair thumbs through a leaflet from a desk stacked with foot-high files and books on sanitation. She stops suddenly and points excitedly to a picture of a white toilet adorned with brightly- colored writing.

“This is the first toilet in the world — in the world — where you use the toilet and you get paid,” Nair says.

The public toilet, in the town of Musiri in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, gives users as much as 12 U.S. cents a month for their excreta. Feces arecomposted and urine, which is 95 percent water and has already passed through the body’s own filter, the kidneys, is collected, stored in drums and used as fertilizer for bananas and other food crops in a two-year research project by the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

“The day that I can use your toilet and you pay me instead of me paying you, that will be the day when we have really learned to reuse our waste,” Nair says.

Menstrual Hygiene

Nair, India’s eighth drinking-water chief in less than a decade, is passionate about her job. On this day in November, the sari-clad government veteran chimes in on baby feces, menstrual hygiene, the use of excrement as fertilizer and other topics few bureaucrats have dared to broach.

From 2001 to ’03, Nair was responsible for the water supply in Chennai, formerly called Madras, southern India’s biggest city. Then, as rural development secretary for Tamil Nadu, she helped in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami.

Nair is challenging the accepted wisdom on everything from modern sewers to flushable toilets, to the value of human waste. She says Western-style toilets are inappropriate for India, especially in areas that lack fresh water and have limited funds for sewage treatment plants. Instead, she says, the country has to find cheaper, more efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.

Lunar Mission

Inspired by the successful landing in November of the Moon Impact Probe, India’s first unmanned lunar mission, Nair is looking skyward for ideas.

“In space, you have the most vulnerable situations,” she says, playing a 2-minute YouTube video of an astronaut explaining how to manage bodily functions 100,000 miles from Earth. “They are separating the urine from the feces and drying it,” she says, pointing to her computer monitor. “The urine is processed for re-drinking because they just can’t carry that much water.”

Nair says modern sewers aren’t the answer for India. The country can’t afford to waste water by flushing it down a latrine. Instead, she’s encouraging airplane-style commodes that are vacuum cleared or toilets that are attached to contained pits rather than systems that pipe the effluent miles away for treatment. In Nair’s world, recycling human excrement for use as fertilizer is preferable.

‘Our Own Devices’

“We need to invent our own devices which are cost- effective, environmentally sustainable and go with our people,” she says. “We cannot afford the things which are simply things that some civil engineer learned somewhere.”

Converting excreta that have been properly dried for 6-24 months into plant food uses less water than traditional sewage systems and is less likely to pollute waterways, Payden says.

Bartram says composted sewage that’s been handled correctly can be used in agriculture and for other beneficial purposes with negligible risk to human health. The challenge is to sanitize it so that disease-carrying organisms are eliminated.

“Different pathogens vary widely in terms of inactivation,” he says. “Large, robust parasite eggs like the human roundworm, Ascaris, tend to be the longest lived and can remain infectious for years in soil.”

Closing the Gap

The government has a goal of eliminating open defecation by 2012. Nair says it might happen earlier.

“It’s important for us to do it quickly,” she says. Right now, the number of open defecators is roughly double the number of India’s middle class. “This gap will keep widening,” she says. “That is the challenge for us.”

For the Devi family, one household in one of India’s thousands of villages, the gap has narrowed. The health and dignity of five people have improved. More of Devi’s neighbors are trying to emulate her example by installing a household latrine and washing their hands with soap.

“We have gone from home to home to talk about sanitation and cleanliness,” Devi says, standing on the bank of the Yamuna River as cattle drink from its fetid waters. “The solution to a thousand household problems is getting a toilet.”

As India strives to build on two decades of growth, the nation’s sanitation struggle reveals how complicated Devi’s goal remains — and how damaging the failure to meet it may be.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jason Gale in Singapore atj.gale@bloomberg.net

Can the US Military Kill Americans?

U.S. Mulls Legality of Killing American

al Qaeda “Turncoat”

By MATTHEW COLE, RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS

Opportunities to “Take Out” Radical Cleric Anwar Awlaki In Yemen “May Have Been Missed”

January 26, 2010

White House lawyers are mulling the legality of proposed attempts to kill an American citizen, Anwar al Awlaki, who is believed to be part of the leadership of the al Qaeda group in Yemen behind a series of terror strikes, according to two people briefed by U.S. intelligence officials.

One of the people briefed said opportunities to “take out” Awlaki “may have been missed” because of the legal questions surrounding a lethal attack which would specifically target an American citizen.

A spokesperson said the White House declined to comment.

While Awlaki has not been charged with any crimes under U.S. law, intelligence officials say recent intelligence reports and electronic intercepts show he played an important role in recruiting the accused “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Awlaki also carried on extensive e-mail communication with the accused Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, prior to the attack that killed 12 soldiers and one civilian.

According to the people who were briefed on the issue, American officials fear the possibility of criminal prosecution without approval in advance from the White House for a targeted strike against Awlaki.

An American citizen with suspected al Qaeda ties was killed in Nov. 2002 in Yemen in a CIA predator strike that was aimed at non-American leaders of al Qaeda. The death of the American citizen, Ahmed Hijazi of Lackawanna, NY, was justified as “collateral damage” at the time because he “was just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said a former U.S. official familiar with the case.

In the case of Awlaki, born in New Mexico and a college student in Colorado and California, a strike aimed to kill him would stretch current Presidential authority given to the CIA and the Pentagon to pursue terrorists anywhere in the world.

Where Anwar al Awlaki Might Be Hiding

Awlaki’s father told reporters in Yemen last week that his son had gone into hiding in the mountains of Yemen and was being protected by al Qaeda, even though, the father claimed, his son was not part of al Qaeda.

He told reporters he was pleading with the United States, “Please don’t kill my son.”

The question of what limits apply to an American with suspected operational ties to al Qaeda comes as the U.S. steps up efforts to track any American with ties to Yemen.

Hundreds of FBI and other federal agents will fan out this week as part of a secret operation to pursue leads about Americans with connections to Yemen that were previously dismissed as not significant, according to law enforcement officials.

:: Article nr. 62605 sent on 27-jan-2010 00:25 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=62605

Link: abcnews.go.com/print?id=9651830

What Is the Purpose of the London Conference on Afghanistan?

https://i2.wp.com/2.bp.blogspot.com/_Bj_Fq4lpGH8/R9WU3-4bfCI/AAAAAAAA5Ys/vFAF5kXFqUQ/s320/xin_281201210917562317435.jpg

What Is the Purpose of the London Conference on Afghanistan?

By:  Peter Chamberlin

All the players in the world claim that they want to get it right in Afghanistan, so that the Afghan people might be freed from the burdens of the thirty year war, which keeps them in the Stone Age.  The problem with Afghanistan is that everyone invokes false piety, claiming concerns for the well-being of the Afghan people, while promoting war as the solution to their problems.   We head into an international conference looking for these answers through the prism of the same old lies.

Afghanistan will never have a chance as long as everyone keeps treating it as an international arena, in which to fight-out all their problems.  As long as Americans treat it as a staging area to launch expeditionary resource wars from, and as long as Pakistan and India are allowed to continue using Afghan men to fight their proxy war, then there will be no peace in the world and no rest for the war-weary Afghans.  Neither peace for the world, nor peace for Afghanistan is truly being considered in London.

The London conference is NOT a “peace conference,” it is a search for an easier and less expensive American war.  Just as millions of American jobs were “outsourced” to India, to save American corporations labor costs, the military job of cleaning-up Afghanistan and guarding sub-contractors (who will partially rebuild there, as they build roads and pipelines of Western commerce) will be outsourced to Indian troops.  American plans for India are being hampered by Indian/Pakistani conflict, which is the only reason for the “peace” overtures being made to them by American diplomats.

It is the height of hypocrisy to claim that we are looking for “solutions” to the Afghan dilemma, but we are really only looking for solutions that give Americans and Westerners a way out, without first ending the two proxy wars that we have begun there, or making amends for the damage that we have done.  American forces cannot be allowed to abandon either Afghanistan or Iraq until they have first rebuilt those two countries.

The grave injustice of Afghanistan is NOT that the United States is losing its war there against our former allies, but that the world allows us to come and go there at will, decimating the place each time, before we abandon the survivors to the misery of rebuilding with no help.  The only way that the London conference can possibly help the Afghan people is if it becomes a forum on American actions in Afghanistan.

The list of America’s Afghan war crimes did not begin with the so called war on terror, it began decades ago.  Beginning with Carter and Brzezinski’s order to arm the tribes and thereby create a Russian “Vietnam.”   Thousands of bombs and bullets later, compounded by the American abandonment in 1990, our crimes against the Afghan people are beyond measurement.

Even after abandoning the Afghans to their misery, we pushed Pakistan to multiply the misery exponentially, by creating the Taliban and innumerable sectarian terror outfits to fight new wars for us against Afghanistan’s neighbors.  Delusional American “patriots” who continue to scream for Muslim blood are blind to the origins of “Islamist” terror and exactly who is the state sponsor of all of this terror.

The only “solution” on the London table for Afghanistan must be to end all of the state-sponsored terrorism that grows and emanates from Afghan soil.  The real “enemies” of freedom involved in the war along the Durand Line, the Taliban, the “Pakistani Taliban” and “al Qaida,” are all sponsored by various state intelligence agencies, none of which is part of the so-called “axis of terror” invented by Bush and Cheney.  The Taliban belong to Pakistan.  The Pakistani Taliban belong to India/Israel/US/Britain/Russia.  The alleged “umbrella” group, “al Qaida,” is CIA/Mossad.  Pull the plug on all of these groups and the war is over.

The only legitimate purpose for having the London conference would be to negotiate an end to all of these synthetic, government-created insurgencies.  If all of the fore-mentioned state sponsors of this terror cannot agree in principle to end these secret dirty wars as the only legitimate pre-condition for negotiations, then there should be no conference.  If the single purpose of the conference is to end the secret wars being fought to the death in and from Afghanistan, then Afghans might stand a real chance of getting to know what peace is.

Peace in Afghanistan is the only way to peace in the world.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com

Times of India Pushes War, Plays At Peace, Simultaneously

And now Military exercises in Sargodha worry Indian government

— Indian media says Delhi alarmed over digging of trenches by drilling troops
— Pak troops dig trenches as part of routine winter exercises
— Faulty Intel reports link Army exercises with PAF activities, term far flung Sargodha as a border city

By our Defence Correspondent/ Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD—While the Pakistan Army is carrying out its routine winter drills in different parts of the country during which the exercising troop often dig trenches and tunnels as part of the exercises, India’s intelligence agencies have created panic amongst the government and defence circles by reporting that Pakistanis were digging secret tunnels along Pak-India borders, most probably to store nuclear weapons. These absurd intelligence reports, that are merely based on some images of web search engine Google, have been published by Indian media as well. The credibility of these reports can further be judged that these reports describe Sargodha city of Pakistan as a border city that is very close to Pakistan-India borders while actually Sargodha is situated hundred of kilometers from the Pakistan-India borders. Further more the reports have linked these drills of Army with some activity by Pakistan Air Force, probably in a bid to get away with the shame that was caused to Indian Armed Forces a day before when PAF Chief was shown as a National Hero of India in an official advertisement, released by the Indian government.
The Times of India, wich is otherwise befooling every one by launching a joint peace initiative through a Pakistani media group has taken the quantum leap in destabilizing the Pak-India ties and published this completely childish report on the front page The Times of India report says that as the war of words between India and Pakistan reaches a crescendo, New Delhi has fresh cause for alarm, due to some activities across the border. Intelligence agencies here have brought to the notice of the government information that Pakistan has been frantically building up tunnels in areas not far from the border with India.
According to these inputs, the tunnels have been dug up in Sargodha district of Pakistani Punjab and can even be noticed, as a top intelligence officer put it, by a discerning eye on Google satellite imagery. “An attempt is being made to establish the purpose of digging up these large tunnels. They clearly can’t be meant for transport as is obvious from the images available; unlike ordinary tunnels they don’t lead on to roads,” said the official who is involved in analyzing the information.
Terming Sargodha,(an agricultural rich district of Punjab, know for great citrus fruits and not for any kind of nuclear installation at all) as “known” for nuclear installations, the TOI further writes Pakistan has constructed storage sheds for missiles and weapons in Sargodha, a known nuclear installation, in the past. The size of the tunnels and the fact that they don’t seem to lead to roads has raised fears that they could be used to store battle-ready nuclear weapons or missiles.
The TOI further writes that the tunnels being dug up by Pakistan in Sargodha district assumes significance in view of the fact that a sub-depot near the central ammunition depot there has been known to store some of the country’s deadliest, but unassembled, missiles like the Chinese M-11.
Sargodha is also the place where Pakistan’s N-capable F-16s are said to be stationed. Located on the west of Lahore, Sargodha has always been the hub of Pakistan air force and, in fact, is home to its central air command.

American/Saudi Division of Yemen Began With Old Bush

American/Saudi Division of Yemen Began With Old Bush

Response to: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/articles/39/Something-about-Yemen.html

Posted by: Leslie Sutton

ringoanne@sbcglobal.net

“When Yemen refused to back the 1991 Gulf War to expel Iraq from Kuwait, the U.S. cancelled $70 million in foreign aid to Sana and supported a decision by Saudi Arabia to expel 850,000 Yemeni workers. Both moves had a catastrophic impact on the Yemeni economy that played a major role in initiating the current instability gripping the country.”

That coordination did not happen all on its own. Saudi Arabia would not expel workers (to its own detriment) without a higher reason (to Saudi Arabia) than the most powerful military in the world had to travel a little further. They didn’t just “jump on board” the “curse Yemen train.” The train was made, the schedule was set, and the ticket was hand delivered as a mandate by someone other than the militarized giant, or else Saudi Arabia would have kept its workers and gone on about its normal, profit making, because it supplied the energy to that giant. It did not fear the US – that is not why it made the decision.

“”The tension between the two Yemens was hardly accidental. According to UPI, the CIA funneled $4 million a year to Jordan’s King Hussein to help brew up a civil war between the conservative North and the wealthier and socialist south.”

The CIA would not have done that without orders. Pretty soon people are going to wake up to the fact that economics and military are used in tandem against the only force there is that cannot be blackmailed – and that force is most easily described as a self-governing People.

What the CIA and indeed the US govt is not seeing is that now they are the victims of the economic warfare, and that will lead to military “intervention,” just as it has all over this world. If they would realize it now, then all they have to do to circumvent the order of operations is stop taking orders from the folks who have played this scam on the world since the 1600s. It all started with a Jewish man who painted the door to his business red, and then changed his name to call himself the “Red Door.” He went on to say that he cares not who makes the laws, as long as he runs the banks. His little club has developed since then, but their game is quite tired, and this is our chance if people would only think, instead of take orders.

“Or is this talk about a “global danger” just a smokescreen to allow the Americans to prop up the increasingly isolated and unpopular regime in Saudi Arabia?”

Anyone interested in finding out just what Saudi Arabia is up to should go to sodahead.com and track the Saudi operatives’ comments and blogs. Start with the “old” guy (out of uniform), but deal with the “Dr.” (in uniform) as well. Notice what they have been reduced to as far as making an impact on their world.

“In 2005 the Bush Administration pressed India to counter the rise of China by joining an alliance with South Korea, Japan, and Australia. As a quid pro quo for coming aboard, Washington agreed to sell uranium to India, in spite of New Delhi’s refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Agreement. Only countries that sign the Treaty can purchase uranium in the international market. The Bush administration also agreed to sell India the latest in military technology. The Obama administration has continued the same policies”

China said, when they were in our Country learning about our genetically mutated rice, that they were going to overtake the United States without having to use military. Simply put, the US government was too haughty and China took advantage of it. China had already killed off a whole race of People in Darfur by the time Bush’s idea was to sell uranium to another nation in clear violation of the international nuclear proliferation laws. He did it in a knee jerk reaction to China and that suits Mr. Red Door’s club just fine.

“Energy security” has been at the heart of U.S. foreign policy for decades. The 1980’s “Carter Doctrine” made it explicit that the U.S. would use military if its energy supplies were ever threatened. Whether the administration was Republican or Democratic made little difference when it came to controlling gas and oil supplies, and the greatest concentration of U.S. military forces is in the Middle East, where 60 percent of the world’s energy supplies lie.”

How long has the world had the technology available to circumvent an energy crisis and failed to implement it? This is where trading favors with Saudi Arabia, or India, might make sense to those who would rather the technology not be developed. The underlying psychology of the oil men and backwoods politicians is easiest understood in that they assign no value to what they have already used. So, I ask the leaders of every single Country, China, India, Saudi Arabia and the US, how have your short sighted decisions harmed you? No matter whom you are, what Country you represent, I know, and you know, that you only have one place to look when you consider how you have been used to facilitate this misery. Once you muster the courage to take a good, honest look at where you encouragement to make these decisions came from, then you will know your true enemy is not the smaller countries, not the economic realities, and not the People. Until then, you will simply trudge along down this path which is leading each and every Country further away from peace and prosperity. Until then, you will continue to fight an enemy that does not exist, creating embarrassment and hardships for yourselves and every people of this world, playing into the hands of the Bilderbergers.

Fast forward 50 years, to what this will look like. The whole system you guys have been playing is cannibalistic. What will be left in 50 years? Even the Red Door club will be bereft, because there will be no comparisons, no competition, thus no value… in anything. There is no true dominance; dominance, by its own nature, never lasts. Would you truly have millions of People die for something like this appropriately defined dominance? There is no meaning behind what you do.

U.S. in Secret Joint Operations With Yemeni Troops

Report: U.S. in Secret Joint Operations With Yemeni Troops

FOXNews.com

The operations reportedly were approved by President Obama and begun six weeks ago and involve several dozen troops from the U.S. military’s clandestine Joint Special Operations Command.

U.S. military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops, The Washington Post reported Wednesday, citing unnamed senior administration officials.

Yemeni troops in the past six weeks have killed scores of people, among them six of 15 top leaders of a regional Al Qaeda affiliate, sources told the newspaper.

The operations were approved by President Barack Obama and begun six weeks ago and involve several dozen troops from the U.S. military’s clandestine Joint Special Operations Command.

A Yemeni official told the Associated Press Tuesday that the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have been participating in joint operations for some time with Yemeni troops, and the two countries are currently in discussions to build a new aviation unit to help bolster Yemen’s counterterrorism forces.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations, said that while the intelligence sharing has been critical, the Yemen military badly needs helicopters for its counterterrorism operations.

U.S. officials have said repeatedly that American advisers do not take part in raids in Yemen, but provide intelligence, surveillance, planning and other weapons assistance.

As part of the operations, Obama approved a Dec. 24 strike against a compound where a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American-Yemeni Islamic cleric, was thought to be meeting with other regional Al Qaeda leaders. He was not the focus of the strike and was not killed.

Al-Awlaki has been connected with the alleged perpetrators of two recent attacks on American soil: the Nov. 5 shooting rampage at the Fort Hood, Texas, army base and the Christmas airliner bombing attempt.

The broad outlines of the U.S. involvement in Yemen have been reported by the Associated Press and others, but the extent and nature of the operations have not.

A key U.S. complaint is that Yemen’s pursuit of Al Qaeda insurgents inside the country has been fitful at best. The low point was the deadly October 2000 Al Qaeda attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole in Yemen’s Aden harbor that killed 17 American sailors.

The terror incubator in Yemen, birthplace of the Christmas Day airliner attack, is forcing the U.S. and allies to pour millions of dollars into a shaky government that officials suspect won’t spend the money wisely and isn’t fully committed to the battle against Al Qaeda.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other world leaders meet in London on Wednesday to hash out a plan. Efforts to stabilize the impoverished nation, where the government is battling Al Qaeda strongholds with American help, are suddenly urgent after years of faltering.

“Clearly December 25th had an electrifying impact,” said Daniel Benjamin, State Department coordinator for counterterrorism. The failed attempt to bring down the Detroit-bound airliner by a Nigerian tied to Yemen’s radicals made “many members of the international community think that this was a time to get past the excuses and get back to work.”

U.S. officials are uneasy, however, about Yemen’s government. President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s army has only sporadically pursued the growing Al Qaeda threat in Yemen’s vast tribal territory. The United States wants its aid to be closely monitored, and tied to economic and political reforms.

American worries about Yemen’s commitment heightened last year after several Yemeni detainees who had been released from Guantanamo Bay prison resurfaced as leaders of the country’s growing Al Qaeda faction.

At the same time, the Yemeni government can be undermined by appearing too close to the Americans. The Yemeni people are virulently anti-Israel, and by extension anti-American. Sensitive to that concern, U.S. officials have played down the Pentagon’s efforts to provide intelligence and other assistance to the Yemeni military.

The effort, Benjamin acknowledged, will have to overcome a history of failed commitments on all sides.

“The international community made a number of commitments to Yemen and they haven’t always been delivered, and Yemenis, as we know, have also sometimes made commitments and haven’t always followed through,” he said. “The important thing is that the (Yemeni) government’s doing the right thing now.”

U.S. officials say they want to combine a deeper involvement with the Yemenis on the counterterrorism front with programs designed to alleviate poverty, illiteracy and rapid population growth.

Much like the effort with Pakistan’s Frontier Corps, the U.S. military has boosted its counterterrorism training for Yemeni forces, and is providing more intelligence, which probably includes surveillance by unmanned drones, U.S. officials and analysts have told The Associated Press. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the secretive nature of the operations, say the support comes at the request of Yemen.

The Yemeni government largely defeated Al Qaeda forces in 2003, but the terror group was able to rebound more as the government turned its focus to flare-ups by other insurgents. Then, early last year, Al Qaeda groups in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s northern neighbor, merged, and turned their efforts toward Islamic jihad beyond those countries’ borders.

In the wake of the Christmas attack, Yemen’s military has struck repeatedly at Al Qaeda sites. On Tuesday, a Yemeni security official said that 43 people, including several foreigners, are being interrogated there for links to the failed attempt to blow up the Detroit-bound airliner.

Last week, after a meeting in Washington with Clinton, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi stressed “our commitment to continue the fight against terrorism and against radicalization.”

Clinton praised Yemen’s recent military actions against the Al Qaeda faction there but insisted that extremism could not be rooted out without a focus on economic development, something Saleh has yet to push to U.S. satisfaction.

“Our relationship cannot be just about the terrorists,” she said. “As critical as that is to our security and our future … the best way to really get at some of these underlying problems that exist is through an effective development strategy.”

The Yemeni foreign minister praised the American effort, saying that “with the new administration, we have seen a greater understanding to the challenges faced by Yemen and the willingness to help Yemen.”

The U.S. currently has a three-year, $121 million development and economic assistance program with Yemen. Separately, it is providing nearly $70 million in military aid this year.

Those numbers are likely to increase, but throughout the past decade, Washington’s annual assistance to Yemen hovered in the low $20- to $25-million range.

“Yemen is often overlooked by U.S. policy makers,” said Jeremy Sharp, author of a Congressional Research Service report on the country. He described the U.S.-Yemeni relationship as “tepid” with a lack of strong military-to-military ties, commerce and cross-cultural exchanges.

The push for closer ties are also tempered by concerns about Saleh’s rule, which has been punctuated by severe disagreements over how Yemen has handled terror suspects, including several detainees implicated in the Cole bombing and detainees released from Guantanamo Bay.

Terrorists from both of those groups have reportedly become leaders of the new Al Qaeda offshoot in Yemen.

But the Yemeni government’s response to the terror threat was “basically catch-and-release and that needs to change,” said one U.S. official familiar with counterterrorism cooperation with Yemen. “We need to have confidence that the bad guys are locked up.” The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Who were the Untouchables in India?

Who were the Untouchables in India: Why They Became Untouchables? by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar

Posted on March 11, 2008 by Moin Ansari

Quantcast
The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables?

RUPEE NEWS | Moin Ansari | March 11, 2008  | معین آنصآرّی | اخبار روپیہ | Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (April 14, 1891 – December 6, 1956) was a Buddhist revivalist, Indian jurist, scholar and Bahujan political leader who is the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. Born into a poor Untouchable community; he spent his life fighting against the system of Hindu untouchability and the Indian caste system. He is also credited for having sparked the Dalit Buddhist movement. Ambedkar has been honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, given for the highest degree of national service.This article is the preface in the book The Untouchables Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables? that was written by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

Why did Buddhism disappear from South Asia? Reviving Hindusism in Budhdist lands: The Hindu extremists use the Safron Swastika flag instead of the tri-colored flag of India. (see Hindu unity dot org)

By Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, January l, 1948, 1, Hardinge Avenue, New Delhi

This book is a sequel to my treatise called The Shudras-Who they were and How they came to be the Fourth Varna of the Indo-Aryan Society which was published in 1946. Besides the Shudras, the Hindu Civilisation has produced three social classes whose existence has not received the attention it deserves. The three classes are:

(i) The Criminal Tribes who number about 20 millions or so;
(ii) The Aboriginal Tribes who number about 15 millions; and
(iii) The Untouchables who number about 50 millions.

The existence of these classes is an abomination. The Hindu Civilization, gauged in the light of these social products, could hardly be called civilization. It is a diabolical contrivance to suppress and enslave humanity. Its proper name would be infamy.

What else can be said of a civilization which has produced a mass of people who are taught to accept crime as an approved means of earning their livelihood, another mass of people who are left to live in full bloom of their primitive barbarism in the midst of civilization and a third mass of people who are treated as an entity beyond human intercourse and whose mere touch is enough to cause pollution?

In any other country the existence of these classes would have led to searching of the heart and to investigation of their origin. But neither of these has occurred to the mind of the Hindu. The reason is simple. The Hindu does not regard the existence of these classes as a matter of apology or shame and feels no responsibility either to atone for it or to inquire into its origin and growth.

Poverty in IndiaPoverty in India

On the other hand, every Hindu is taught to believe that his civilization is not only the most ancient but that it is also in many respects altogether unique. No Hindu ever feels tired of repeating these claims.

That the Hindu Civilization is the most ancient, one can understand and even allow. But it is not quite so easy to understand on what grounds they rely for claiming that the Hindu Civilization is a unique one. The Hindus may not like it, but so far as it strikes non-Hindus, such a claim can rest only on one ground. It is the existence of these classes for which the Hindu Civilization is responsible. That the existence of such classes is a unique phenomenon, no Hindu need repeat, for nobody can deny the fact.

One only wishes that the Hindu realized that it was a matter for which there was more cause for shame than pride.

The inculcation of these false beliefs in the sanity, superiority and sanctity of Hindu Civilization is due entirely to the peculiar social psychology of Hindu scholars.

To-day all scholarship is confined to the Brahmins. But un-fortunately no Brahmin scholar has so far come forward to play the part of a Voltaire who had the intellectual honesty to rise against the doctrines of the Catholic Church in which he was brought up; nor is one likely to appear on the scene in the future. It is a grave reflection on the scholarship of the Brahmins that they should not have produced a Voltaire.

This will not cause surprise if it is remembered that the Brahmin scholar is only a learned man. He is not an intellectual. There is a world of difference between one who learned and one who is an intellectual. The former is class-conscious and is alive to the interests of his class. The latter is an emancipated being who Is free to act without being swayed by class considerations. It is because the Brahmins have been only learned men that they have not produced a Voltaire.

Why have the Brahmins not produced a Voltaire?

The question can be answered only by another question. Why did the Sultan of Turkey not abolish the religion of the Mohammedan World?

Why has no Pope denounced Catholicism?

Why has the British Parliament not made a law ordering the killing of all blue-eyed babies?

The reason why the Sultan or the Pope or the British Parliament has not done these things is the same as why the Brahmins have not been able to produce a Voltaire.

It must be recognized that the selfish interest of a person or of the class to which he belongs always acts as an internal limitation which regulates the direction of his intellect.

Caste discrimination. Poverty stricken and destituteDalits: Caste discrimination. Poverty stricken and destitute

The power and position which the Brahmins possess is entirely due to the Hindu Civilization which treats them as supermen and subjects the lower classes to all sorts of disabilities so that they may never rise and challenge or threaten the superiority of the Brahmins over them.

As is natural, every Brahmin is interested in the maintenance of Brahmanic supremacy be he orthodox or unorthodox, be he a priest or a grahastha, be he a scholar or not. How can the Brahmins afford to be Voltaires, A Voltaire among the Brahmins would be a positive danger to the maintenance of a civilization which is contrived to maintain Brahmanic supremacy.

The point is that the intellect of a Brahmin scholar is severely limited by anxiety to preserve his interest. He suffers from this Internal limitation as a result of which he does not allow his intellect full play which honesty and integrity demands. For, he fears that it may affect the interests of his class and therefore his own.

India as World Power 1 Extremist Hindus show power using the Swastika in triple entendre–as an ancient Hindu symbol, reverence for Hitler and sign of Anti-Western Indian power

But what annoys one is the intolerance of the Brahmin scholar towards any attempt to expose the Brahmanic literature. He himself would not play the part of an iconoclast even where it is necessary. And he would not allow such non-Brahmins as have the capacity to do so to play it. If any non-Brahmin were to make such an attempt the Brahmin scholars would engage in a conspiracy of silence, take no notice of him, condemn him outright on some flimsy grounds or dub his work useless.

As a writer engaged in the exposition of the Brahmanic literature I have been a victim of such mean tricks.

Notwithstanding the attitude of the Brahmin scholars, I must pursue the task I have undertaken. For the origin of these classes is a subject which still awaits investigation.

This book deals with one of these unfortunate classes namely, the Untouchables. The Untouchables are the most numerous of the three. Their existence iS also the most unnatural. And yet there has so far been no investigation into their origin.

That the Hindus should not have undertaken such an investigation is perfectly understandable. The old orthodox Hindu does not think that there is anything wrong in the observance of Untouchability. To him it is a normal and natural thing. As such it neither calls for expiation nor explanation. The new modern Hindu realizes the wrong. But he is ashamed to discuss it in public for fear of letting the foreigner know that Hindu Civilization can be guilty of such a vicious and infamous system or social code as evidenced by Untouchability.

But what is strange is that Untouchability should have failed to attract the attention of the European student of social institutions. It is difficult to understand why. The fact, however, is there.

This book may therefore, be taken as a pioneer attempt in the exploration of a field so completely neglected by everybody. The book, if I may say so, deals not only with every aspect of the main question set out for inquiry, namely, the origin of Untouchability, but it also deals with almost all questions connected with it. Some of the questions are such that very few people are even aware of them; and those who are aware of them are puzzled by them and do not know how to answer them.

To mention only a few, the book deals with such questions as: Why do the Untouchables live outside the village?

Why did beef-eating give rise to Untouchability? Did the Hindus never eat beef?

Why did non-Brahmins give up beef-eating? What made the Brahmins become vegetarians, etc.?

To each one of these the book suggests an answer. It may be that the answers given in tb book to these questions are not all-embracing. Nonetheless it will be found that the book points to a new way of looking at old things.

Superpower India Pt 2 Extremist Hindus revere Hitler and use the Swastika as the Indian flag

The thesis on the origin of Untouchability advanced in the book is an altogether novel thesis. It comprises the following propositions:

(1) There is no racial difference between the Hindus and the Untouchables;

(2) The distinction between the Hindus and Untouchables in its original form, before the advent of Untouchability, was the distinction between Tribesmen and Broken Men from alien Tribes. It is the Broken Men who subsequently came to be treated as Untouchables;

(3) Just as Untouchability has no racial basis so also has it no occupational basis;

(4) There are two roots from which Untouchability has sprung:
(a) Contempt and hatred of the Broken Men as of Buddhists by the Brahmins.
(b) Continuation of beef-eating by the Broken Men after it had been given up by others.

(5) In searching for the origin of Untouchability care, must be taken to distinguish the Untouchables from the Impure. All orthodox Hindu writers have identified the Impure with the Untouchables. This is an error. Untouchables are distinct from the Impure.

(6) While the Impure as a class came into existence at the time of the Dharma Sutras the Untouchables came into being much later than 400 A.D. These conclusions are the result of such historical research as I have been able to make. The ideal which a historian should place before himself has been well defined by Goethe who said:

“The historian’s duty is to separate the true from the false, the certain from the uncertain, and the doubtful from that which cannot be accepted Every investigator must before all things look upon himself as one who is summoned to serve on a jury.

How long to extripate penury from india? 300 years! India’s budget– fit for a superpower

He has only to consider how far the statement of the case is complete and clearly set forth by the evidence. Then he Draws his conclusion and gives his vote, whether it be that his opinion coincides with that of the foreman or not.”

There can be no difficulty in giving effect to Goethe’s direction vhen the relevant and necessary facts are forthcoming. All this advice is of course very valuable and very necessary. But Goethe does not tell what the historian is to do when he comes across a missing link, when no direct evidence of connected relations between important events is available.

I mention this because in the course of my investigations into the origin of Untouchability and other inter connected problems I have been confronted with many missing links. It is true that I am not the only one who has been confronted with them. All students of ancient Indian history have had to face them. For as Mount Stuart Elphinstone has observed in Indian history “no date of a public event can be fixed before the invasion of Alexander: and no connected relation of the natural transactions can be attempted until after the Mohamedan conquest.” This is a sad confession but that again does not help.

The question is: “What is a student of history to do?

Is he to cry halt and stop his work until the link is discovered?” I think not. I believe that in such cases it is permissible for him to use his imagination and intuition to bridge the gaps left in the chain of facts by links not yet discovered and to propound a working hypothesis suggesting how facts which cannot be connected by known facts might have been inter-connected. I must admit that rather than hold up the work, I have preferred to resort to this means to get over the difficulty created by the missing links which have come in my way.

Critics may use this weakness to condemn the thesis as violating the canons of historical research. If such be the attitude of the critics I must remind them that if there is a law which governs the evaluation of the results of historical results then refusal to accept a thesis on the ground that it is based on direct evidence is bad law.

Instead of concentrating themselves on the issue of direct evidence versus inferential evidence and inferential evidence versus Speculation, what the critics should concern themselves with is to examine:
(i) whether the thesis is based on pure conjecture, and
(ii) whether the thesis is possible and if so does it fit in with facts better than mine does?

On the first issue I could say that the thesis would not be unsound merely because in some parts it is based on guess. My critics should remember that we are dealing with an institution the origin of which is lost in antiquity. The present attempt to explain the origin of Untouchability is not the same as writing history from texts which speak with certainty. It is a case of reconstructing history where the are no texts, and if there are, they have no direct bearing on the question.

In such circumstances what one has to do is to strive to divine what the texts conceal or suggest without being even quit: certain of having found the truth. The task is one of gathering survivals of the past, placing them together and making them tell the story of their birth. The task is analogous to that of the archaeologist who constructs a city from broken stones or of the palaeontologist who conceives an extinct animal from scattered bones and teeth or of a painter who reads the lines of the horizon and the smallest vestiges on the slopes of the hill to make up a scene. In this sense the book Is a work of art even more than of history.

The origin of Untouchability lies buried in a dead past which nobody knows. To make it alive is like an attempt to reclaim to history a city which has been dead since ages past and present it as it was in its original condition. It cannot but be that imagination and hypothesis should pay a large part in such a work. But that in itself cannot be a ground for the condemnation of the thesis. For without trained imagination no scientific inquiry can be fruitful and hypothesis is the very soul of science. As Maxim Gorky has said 2:

“Science and literature have much in common; in both, observation, comparison and study are of fundamental importance; the artist like the scientist, needs both imagination and intuition. Imagination and intuition bridge the gaps in the chain of facts by ts as yet undiscovered links and permit the scientist to create hypothesis and theories which more or less correctly and successfully direct the searching of the mind in its study of the forms and phenomenon of nature. They are of literary creation; the art of creating characters and types demands imagination, intuition, the ability to make things up in one’s own mind”.

Murder of 10 million Indian girl babies:Before or right after birth. The media is silent.

It is therefore unnecessary for me to apologize for having resorted to constructing links where they were missing. Nor can my thesis be said to be vitiated on that account for nowhere is the construction of links based on pute conjecture. The thesis in great part is based on facts and inferences from facts. And where it is not based on facts or inferences from facts, it is based on circumstantial evidence of presumptive character resting on considerable degree of probability.

There is nothing that I have urged in support of my thesis which I have asked my readers to accept on trust. I have at least shown that there exists a preponderance of probability in favour of what I have asserted. It would be nothing but pedantry to say that a pre ponderance of probability is not a sufficient basis for a valid decision.

On the second point with the examination of which, I said, my critics should concern themselves what I would like to say Is that I am not so vain as to claim any finality for my thesis. I do not ask them to accept it as the last word. I do not wish to influence their judgement. They are of course free to come to their own conclusion. All I say to them is to consider whether this thesis is not a workable and therefore, for the time being, a valid hypothesis if the test of a valid hypothesis is that it should fit in with all surrounding facts, explain them and give them a meaning which in its absence they do not appear to have.

I do not want anything more from my critics than a fair and unbiased appraisal.

India Balkanizing? Naxalite insurrection widening cracks in deep cavaties
The 2nd world revolution (after Buddhism) from Nepal: Another threat to India

India’s Controversial New War Doctrine

India’s Controversial New War Doctrine

A City of Los Angeles sewer cover, made in India

Made in India sewer cover
(cc) Fire Monkey/flickr

Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor has attracted much attention with his suggestion at a training command seminar that India is preparing for a ‘two-front’ war with Pakistan and China, Harsh V Pant comments for ISN Security Watch.

By Harsh V Pant for ISN Security Watch


General Kapoor underlined that this was being done as part of the larger process whereby the Indian army was revising its old war-fighting doctrine and bringing it in sync with the emerging strategic scenario so as to be able to successfully firm up its ‘Cold Start’ strategy.

After strengthening its offensive capabilities vis-à-vis Pakistan by creating a new southwestern army command in 2005, India is now concentrating on countering China effectively in the eastern sector. The Indian army chief said that there was now “a proportionate focus towards the western and northeastern fronts.”

Pakistan reacted predictably by describing India’s move as reflecting a “hegemonistic and jingoistic mindset” as well as accusing India of “betraying hostile intent,” and urged the international community to take due notice of developments in India. Pakistani officials emphasized that their nation’s “capability and determination to foil any nefarious designs against the security of Pakistan” should not be underestimated. Pakistan’s reaction was expected, as the security establishment views this as an opportunity to once again press upon the Americans the need to keep Pakistani forces intact on the India-Pakistan border rather than fighting the Taliban forces on the border with Afghanistan.

China’s response, on the other hand, was more measured, and it chose not to address the issue directly. The controversy arose at a time when the two states were beginning a new phase in their defense ties by initiating a dialogue at the level of defense secretaries. But Chinese analysts have expressed concerns in recent years about India’s growing military ambitions and a purported shift in Indian defense strategy from a passive to an “active and aggressive” nature.

It was the Kargil conflict of 1999 that exposed Indian vulnerabilities as Pakistan realized that India did not have the capability to impose quick and effective retribution. The then-Indian army chief had famously commented that the forces would fight with whatever they had, underlining the frustration in the armed forces regarding their inability to procure the arms they needed. Only because the conflict remained largely confined to the 150-kilometer front of the Kargil sector did India manage to gain an upper hand by throwing the Pakistanis out of its side of the Line of Control (LoC). Then came the standoff between the Indian and Pakistani armies across the LoC after the Indian Parliament was attacked in 2001, and again India lacked the ability to impose any significant cost on Pakistan quickly and decisively because of the unavailability of suitable weaponry and night vision equipment needed to carry out swift surgical strikes.

The nuclear aspect is important because it is part of the reason that elements within the Pakistani security establishment have become more adventurous. Realizing that India would be reluctant to escalate the conflict because of the threat of it reaching the nuclear level, sections of the Pakistani military and intelligence have pushed the envelope on the sub-conventional front.

For India, this presents a structural conundrum: Nuclear weapons have made a major conventional conflict with Pakistan unrealistic, yet it needs to find a way to launch limited military action against Pakistan without crossing the nuclear threshold. Nuclear weapons have allowed Pakistan to shield itself from full-scale Indian retaliation as well as to attract international attention on the disputes in the sub-continent.

After Operation Parakram of 2001-02, the Indian army did try to evolve a new doctrine. This ‘Cold Start’ doctrine is basically an attempt to acquire the ability to fight limited wars under the nuclear umbrella. To resolve the dilemma confronting India post-1998, Indian strategists have focused on a military doctrine that might give them the ability to launch quick, decisive limited strikes against Pakistan to seize some territory before the international community could intervene, which can then be used as a post-conflict bargaining chip.

This doctrine is still evolving and its is not clear how effective it would be in making sure that the conflict remains limited as Pakistan might be forced to bring down its nuclear threshold to respond to this challenge. Moreover, the Indian army has found little support for this doctrine from the other two services, and the civilian government has shown no interest in this venture.

As a consequence, the ‘Cold Start’ doctrine has continued to be in the limelight as India’s national security establishment has searched for policy options vis-à-vis Pakistan. Yet this doctrine remains a work in progress. Execution of this doctrine would need the right kind of equipment, something India will have to acquire on a priority basis.

The army will need to upgrade its capabilities significantly if it is to implement this approach. And to do this it will have to surmount a number of entrenched problems in the defense procurement system.

The 1999 and 2001 crises forced the government to react by boosting defense expenditures, but political compulsions re-asserted themselves soon after. When the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government came to power in 2004, it ordered investigations into several of the arms acquisition deals of the previous government. A series of defense procurement scandals since the late 1980s have made the bureaucracy risk-averse, thereby delaying the acquisition process. The labyrinthine bureaucratic processes involved in military procurement have left the defense forces unable to spend a large proportion of their budgets.

While Pakistan has rapidly acquired US technology over the last several years through involvement in the war on terror and China’s military modernization has gathered momentum, the modernization of the Indian army has slipped behind by as much as a decade.

The Indian army chief stated the obvious recently when he talked of India preparing for a “two-front” war. It is the job of the Indian armed forces to prepare for such wars given the security threats that India faces from its neighbors, just as the Pakistani and Chinese military take into account the possibility of a future conflict with India. But it must be kept in perspective that unlike in Pakistan and China, strategic policymaking in India is the sole preserve of the political leadership and Indian policymakers are yet to sign on to this much talked about new doctrine.


Harsh Pant is a lecturer at King’s College London. His research interests include WMD proliferation, US foreign policy and Asia-Pacific security issues. He is also presently a Visiting Fellow at CASI, University of Pennsylvania.

Hard-Assed Brit General Insists That Acquiring the Upper Hand Must Precede Negotiations

Allies need upper hand for Taliban talks: British army chief

LONDON: International forces should only negotiate with the Taliban from a position of strength, and the terms of any deal should include a requirement that the group cut ties with Al Qaeda, Britain’s army chief said on Monday. “I think while this (negotiations) is always something we must entertain, it has to be done from a position of relative strength and the knowledge on their part that they could just lose. So it’s a matter of timing, not the principle,” General Sir David Richards said. He said the Inter-Services Intelligence ought to be involved in the contacts as part of a “team effort” but should not have sole control over the process.

CIA Hosts Drink and Dance Party For Pakistani Journalists at US Embassy Islamabad

CIA Public Relations at work? Do you expect this “Pakistani media” would tell you the truth and serves the interests of Islam and Pakistan? If you still believe that then may Allah help you and show you the righteous path before its too late for all of us.


Shaukat Paracha, Asma Shirazi, Meher Bukhari, Saima Mohsin are some of the names that were in attendance, in a Drink & Dance party hosted by the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W Patterson.

More photos from the event below:

Terrorism: How CIA Incapacitates Pakistan

An Open Letter To The Pakistani Media – How Far Will You Go?

Dr. Mahru Khalid

As I sit in my room writing this, I can hear Indian music playing on the television outside. I know that it is a Pakistani channel,and I can hear snatches of people singing praises of how wonderful Indian music and artists are. It has been going on for the last2 hours and may as well go on for another 2. This is what I have come to expect from my country’s media.

I refuse to go outside and watch that. Because, you see, I’m more intrigued by a news channel telling us how truckloads of Indian ammunition are being discovered by the Pak army in South Waziristan, by someone revealing how the Takfiri TTP are being financed by Indo-American (and other foreign) forces, and how names like Blackwater, Xe, DynaCorp., are raising their ugly heads andinfiltrating into the Pakistani society. Rather than watching Indian movies, I’m more entertained when I go on the internet and readstories of how Mumbai investigator Mr. Hemant Karkare was silenced forever because he could have spilled the beans that Mumbai was an inside job, how the militants who carried out that attack had stayed at a guest house called Nariman House for several days before the attack, and where they were provided food, ammunition, and arms in full knowledge of the Mumbai police, how the 40,000 strong Mumbai police was deliberately kept away from the scene of the shooting, as the terrorists went about their merry way killing people. All this from the pen of a respected Indian writer, Mr. Amaresh Mishra, for me, beats the most smoothly done Indian movieanyday!

84029487

I haven’t forgotten 26/11, and its aftermath, when your Indian counterparts didn’t bother to think rationally for a second, and pointed the finger squarely at us, how they threatened people like Adnan Sami Khan to leave or suffer the consequences, how Pakistani contestants were ejected from TV shows. I haven’t forgotten how united the Indian media and people were in their hate, or how vocal the media was with its hate-filled remarks, which were sometimes shocking in their intensity, and all on the basis of mere suspicion.  And then, with much regret, I haven’t forgotten the insensitive way you responded to this outburst. Some of you even went as faras to claim that Ajmal Qasab is indeed a Pakistani citizen from Faridkot, a claim that has now been refuted by Qasab himself.

Fake Evidence: Faridkot Residents Protest!

Video: Geo Tv Report on Ajmal Kassab – The Reality

PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS: Close Down GEO TV and Everything Will be Fine

And now, a year later, I see my own country bleeding like it has never bled before. I remember the horror of Marriott, the shock of Lahore’s attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team, the valour of the Shaheeds of Swat and Waziristan. This nation will never forget the innocent Shaheeds of GHQ, Peshawar, Parade Lane, Moon Market, and so many other places. Our innocent brothers, sisters, sons, daughters were this nation’s wealth, they were a part of its future, and a legacy of its past. We have lost some of our gems, but we will never lose the will to avenge each and every drop of innocent blood.

Now I ask you, Pakistani media, do you not see who is behind all this? Don’t the daily deaths mean anything to you? Do you not seethe huge gaping wound? I want to ask you, how far will you go in this Indian admiration of yours? I see morning shows competing with each other in getting the biggest Indian star on the show. I change the channel and I see a senseless but box-office rich Indian movie being shown. I go further and I see barely clad women dancing in a spot advertising the latest Indian awards. Can you not see anything beyond the mindlessness of Indian entertainment?

Can you see that they are out to destroy us from within, to eat our society up like termites eat wood? I can almost imagine them wringing their hands with contentment at our political and moral degradation, at how they maneuvered things until we were deprived of hosting any cricketing event on our soil. Why don’t you admire the smooth precision with which they accomplished these ugly goals?

Your silence is deafening, your silence on this geo-political war being waged on Pakistan, your silence when Ajmal Qasab said he’s just an Indian being directed in the greatest Indian drama ever played, your silence on the menacing involvement of Indian intelligence agencies in supporting terrorism in Pakistan. Your silence is truly deafening. Instead, you seem smitten by the very forces who want to see Pakistan on its knees.

Will you still go on dancing to their tunes? Will you still go on leading the people of this nation further into fools’ paradise? I just wonder, how far will you go?

‘Ready for talks with reconcilable Taliban’

‘Ready for talks with reconcilable Taliban’

* Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey vow to tackle terrorism in all its
forms, enhance indigenous capacities to that effect

ISTANBUL: The government is willing to talk to those Taliban who are ready to give up their way of life and are reconcilable, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Monday

Addressing a joint press conference with presidents Abdullah Gul of Turkey and Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan at the conclusion of the fourth Trilateral Summit, President Zardari said, “Dialogue, development and deterrence were the three pillars of Pakistan’s 3-D policy.”

Answering the question as to whether the Pakistan government would enter into dialogue with any group, the president said, “We cannot distance ourselves from dialogue and talk about only war.”

He said, “If there are people who want to give up their way of life and are reconcilable, the government will talk to them.”

To another question, President Zardari said the Swat operation was an entirely indigenous operation carried out by the Pakistan Army, with no foreign soldiers or firepower involved.

Declaration: In a joint declaration after the parleys, the three countries reiterated their determination to tackle terrorism in all its forms and the importance of enhancing indigenous capacities to that effect.

Zardari was confident that the Trilateral Summit would yield desired results in enhancing cooperation among the three countries and to facilitate the restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan. “The efforts of Turkish leaders to use their good offices to bring together Pakistan and Afghanistan to find a solution of their problems was commendable,” he said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government would be willing to enter into talks with those Taliban who are ready to lay down their weapons.

He said his government might also request the UN Security Council to remove such groups from the list of those identified for sanctions.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Tuesday’s Regional Summit involving Afghanistan and its six immediate neighbours was not a prelude to the forthcoming London conference on Afghanistan. “The two events are not related to each other but the organisers of the London moot could benefit from the discussions here”, he said.He said the Trilateral Summit would continue making tangible progress towards strengthening ties among the three countries and to broker a durable Pak-Afghan peace and harmony.

Pakistan intelligence offers key to Taliban

Pakistan intelligence offers key to Taliban

By Farhan Bokhari in Islamabad

Published: January 26 2010 02:00 | Last updated: January 26 2010 02:00

Pakistan’s security establishment, which wields influence over the Afghan Taliban, says it is ready to facilitate talks to end the Afghanistan conflict in return for greater US backing in its competition with India for regional influence.

A former Pakistani intelligence officer familiar with the Taliban said: “If the world wants our very active involvement in not just bringing the Taliban to the table but keeping them at the table, our security challenges have to be acknowledged.”

General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander in Afghanistan, has said political contacts between the Kabul government and the Taliban might be the best way to end the conflict.

While most analysts say the prospect of high-level talks between Kabul and the Taliban is remote, his comments reflect a view gaining currency among US policymakers that some form of power-sharing might be the most viable exit strategy for the US. Robert Gates, US defence secretary, has said the Taliban is part of Afghanistan’s “political fabric.”

A federal minister in Islamabad echoed Pakistan’s fears that a fresh influx of 30,000 US troops might drive more Taliban fighters into Pakistan.

“We know they are not a popular force,” he said. “The Afghans will probably never give them a majority in parliament. But with Pakistan’s help and only with Pakistan’s help, the return of the Taliban to the political high table will be a far more stabilising development for Afghanistan than . . . [a US] surge.”

Renewed discussion of the possibility of a negotiated settlement presents an opportunity for Pakistan’s intelligence services, which were instrumental in the creation of the Afghan Taliban in the mid-1990s, to reassert their potential for US foreign policy objectives in the region.

Elements in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency are regarded as the gatekeepers to the Taliban leadership, believed to be based in Pakistan.

Pakistan has had an amb-iguous relationship with the US since 2001, allowing Nato supplies across its territory and extending tacit endorsement to strikes by US drones on its territory. But the military has resis-ted US pressure to broaden an offensive against its own militant groups to include Afghan insurgent groups based in Pakistan havens.

Pakistani security officials see the US tendency towards favouring negotiations as a way to leverage their country’s ties to the Taliban to wring greater concessions from Washington. Those would concern a range of policy issues, most notably its rivalry with India over Kashmir and for influence in Afghanistan.

Malik to be tried for contempt of court

Malik to be tried for contempt of court

SC says minister interfered in judicial issue; no written apology filed; summons AG on Feb 18; Malik says he had no intention of committing contempt

By Sohail Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday ruled for initiating contempt of court proceedings against Interior Minister Rehman Malik for intervention in the court proceedings regarding a probe into Rs22 billion alleged corruption in state-owned Steel Mills.

A two-member bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, was hearing a suo moto case against Rs22 billion alleged corruption in the Pakistan Steel Mills (PSM).

The apex court had issued a show- cause notice to the interior minister for transferring FIA Director General Tariq Khosa, terming it an act of interference in the court affairs, as he was investigating the loss of Rs22 billion in the state-owned Steel mills.

On Monday, in compliance with the court order, Interior Minister Rehman Malik submitted a written reply before the court. The court, however, expressed its dissatisfaction at his (interior minister’s) written reply to the contempt of court notice issued in the Pakistan Steel corruption case and declined to accept it.

The court, however, directed the attorney general to appear before it on February 18.The court ruled that no apology has been made in the written reply, submitted by Rehman Malik, thus giving adequate grounds to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against him.

“This is not the way for submission, you have not shown any regret,” the chief justice observed. He said by submitting an explanatory note you (minister Malik) wanted to contest the case as you have not shown any ‘repentance’ in your written reply.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik submitted that he might have made a mistake but had not done so deliberately. He explained that he had no intention of committing any contempt of court.

The chief justice, however, said that contempt of court proceedings would be initiated against him (Malik) after the attorney general appears before the court on February 18.

During the course of proceedings, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry observed that the judiciary never interfered in administrative or legislative matters; however, the minister interfered in judicial issues, which will not be allowed.The chief justice while addressing Rehman Malik said you have no idea how much the Steel Mills corruption case suffered because of you. Malik informed the apex court that the FIA is not eligible to audit Steel Mills’ accounts; therefore, we are hiring a foreign firm.

On this, the chief justice said conducting audit of Steel Mills is not within the authority of the interior minister. The court adjourned the hearing till February 18 after Rehman Malik pleaded for engaging a lawyer.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) presented a fresh report of investigation about corruption in the Pakistan Steel Mills, stating that the main suspect of the case, former chairman PSM Moeen Aftab, was in the custody whereas four more suspects are on bail; however, nine suspects are still at large.

The Supreme Court had taken suo moto notice on an article, published in the media regarding the corruption of Rs22 billion in the Pakistan Steel Mills.

It was said in the article that the government still does not know the exact losses, as there are varied figures. It’s the PSM management, which estimated the losses at Rs22 billion. However, the estimate given in the special report of the auditor-general gives a lower figure of Rs09 billion.

Pakistan Steel’s provisional financial documents for the period ended June 30, 2009, show that the Corporation faced a historical loss of Rs22.143 billion during the July-June of fiscal year 2008-2009 as compared to a Rs2.375 billion profit in fiscal year 2007-08. The current liabilities of the corporation mounted to Rs28.129 billion in 2009, which stood at Rs8.24 billion in fiscal year 2008.

The humanitarian myth

The humanitarian myth

Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour, the author of The Liberal Defense of Murder, analyzes the propaganda manufactured to justify U.S. actions in Haiti after the earthquake.

January 25, 2010

WITHIN DAYS of Haiti suffering an earthquake registering 7.0 on the Richter scale, the U.S. government had sent thousands of 82nd Airborne troops and Marines, alongside the super-carrier USS Carl Vinson.

By this Sunday, a total of more than 20,000 U.S. troops were scheduled to be operating in Haiti, both on land and in the surrounding seas. “We are there for the long term,” explained Alejandro Wolff, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The justification for sending troops is that there is a “security” crisis, which soldiers have to deal with in order to facilitate the distribution of aid.

The situation was and remains a needful one. The Haitian interior minister estimates that as many as 200,000 may have died as a result of the quake, and 2 million have been left homeless. Potable water is extremely scarce, and was so even before the quake. Only half a million have found the makeshift camps that provide some food and water, but have such poor sanitation that they are fostering diarrhea. Clinics are overwhelmed by the injured survivors, estimated to number a quarter of a million.

Since the arrival of the troops, however, several aid missions have been prevented from arriving at the airport in Port-au-Prince, that the U.S. has commandeered. France and Caribbean Community have both made their complaints public, as has Médecins Sans Frontières on five separate occasions. UN World Food Program flights were also turned away on two consecutive days. Benoit Leduc, MSF’s operations manager in Port-au-Prince, complained that U.S. military flights were being prioritized over aid flights. Now, U.S. ships have encircled Haiti in order to prevent refugees escaping and fleeing to the United States.

Not only has aid been obstructed and escape blocked, but what aid does arrive was at first not being delivered, and then only in small amounts. Some five days after the earthquake struck, BBC News reporter Nick Davis described how aid had just started “trickling through.” While aid was arriving in Haiti “in large amounts,” some “bottlenecks” prevented the bulk of it from being distributed.

Asked why the U.S. was not using its air power to deliver aid to areas unreachable by road, Defense Secretary Robert Gates maintained that this would result in riots. The writer Nelson Valdes has described how U.S. and UN authorities advised aid workers not to distribute relief independently, as they would be subject to “mob attacks.”

Eyewitnesses have repeatedly described how rescue workers are scarce on the ground, and relief nowhere to be seen. Hospitals that are functioning despite the wreckage complain of having no painkillers with which to operate on patients with serious injuries. Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health explained that:

[I]n terms of supplies, in terms of surgeons, in terms of aid relief, the response has been incredibly slow. There are teams of surgeons that have been sent to places that were “more secure,” where they have 10 or 20 doctors and 10 patients. We have a thousand people on this campus who are triaged and ready for surgery, but we only have four working [operating rooms], without anesthesia and without pain medications. And we’re still struggling to get ourselves up to 24-hour care.

In effect, the U.S. has staged an invasion of Haiti, under the pretext of providing security for humanitarian aid, and in doing so has prevented the delivery of humanitarian aid. With Haitians in a desperate condition, and the UN-supervised government in dire straits, Washington has sent the International Monetary Fund to offer a $100 million loan, on the proviso that public wages be frozen.

The “security” operation, meanwhile, proceeds apace. As well as U.S. troops, thousands more UN police have been sent to Haiti. Already, UN troops, alongside the Haitian police, have been responsible for several killings, as they have opened fire on starving earthquake survivors who dared to try to retrieve the means of survival from shops and other locations. The US has also insisted that the Haitian government pass an emergency decree authorizing curfews and martial law. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the decree “would give the government an enormous amount of authority, which in practice they would delegate to us.”

This process has been facilitated by a flood of alarmist and often racist reporting about “mobs,” “looters” and “gangs” causing a “security crisis.” A “security crisis” validates a repressive response.

The Haitian police have justified their brutal massacres of “looters”–those securing their right to life in desperate circumstances–by telling the media that thousands of prisoners have escaped from the country’s jails, and are running amok, posing a threat to vulnerable citizens. Police have been attempting to whip up fear among earthquake survivors, organising them into vigilantes to attack the escaped prisoners. However, as many as 80 percent of Haiti’s prisoners have never been charged with a crime. “Gangs”–in the vernacular of Washington, the White House press corps and Haiti’s business lobby, the Group of 184–happens to be a synonym for Lavalas activists.

For all the headlines, moreover, there is strikingly little actual violence taking place. Most of the stories of violence center on episodes of “looting,” and most such instances involve desperate people procuring the means of survival. Aid workers also contradict the image of mobs on the attack purveyed by the media and U.S. officials. Abi Weaver, spokesperson for the American Red Cross, confirmed that “we haven’t had any security issues at all.”

“There are no security issues,” said Dr. Evan Lyon. “We’ve been circulating throughout the city until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning every night, evacuating patients, moving materials. There’s no UN guards. There’s no US military presence. There’s no Haitian police presence. And there’s also no violence. There is no insecurity.” In fact, Lt. Gen. Ken Keen, deputy commander of U.S. Southern Command, maintains that there is less violence in Haiti now than before the earthquake.

So if there is no insecurity, and if the US military intervention is actually obstructing aid, what becomes of the pretext for the invasion?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Humanitarian intervention

Notwithstanding this extraordinary performance, many American commentators actually approve of the U.S. response.

Jonathan Dobrer, of the American Jewish University in Bel Air, declared himself “almost sinfully proud of America.” Steven Cohen of Columbia University enthused on the liberal Huffington Post that “We Have Reason to be Proud of the American Response in Haiti.” New York Times op-ed contributor Jonathan M. Hansen called on the U.S. to go further, and use the Guantánamo gulag as a base for “humanitarian intervention” in Haiti.

Indeed, the label “humanitarian” is regularly applied to U.S. actions in Haiti. It is important to recall, therefore, that the overthrow of Haiti’s elected government in 2004 and the subsequent occupation was itself originally cast as a humanitarian intervention of sorts.

Aristide, so the story went, had governed incompetently, his rule characterized by such corruption and violence as to generate countrywide disturbances. In recognition of his inability to govern, he supposedly “resigned” and fled the country. Filling the gap created by the absence of legitimate authority, concerned members of the “international community” prevailed upon the United Nations to send troops into Haiti and facilitate the development of democratic institutions.

Matters are a little more prosaic and grubby than this uplifting scenario would suggest. The U.S. had begun cutting aid programs to Haiti when Aristide was elected with an overwhelming mandate for his second term in 2000. The result was that the national budget was cut in half, and gross domestic product shrank by a quarter in the ensuing period.

The pro-U.S. opposition group, Convergence Démocratique, declared that it would not accept the results and instead began to agitate against the incoming government. Paramilitary attacks, beginning in the summer of 2001, were carried out by former death squad members and organized criminals acting in association with Haiti’s business community. Former army personnel such as Guy Philippe, an admirer of Augusto Pinochet, were organized by the U.S. under the rubric of the Fronte pour la Libération et la Reconstruction Nationale (FLRN).

By February 2004, a full-blown insurgency had been launched, and had begun to take control of large parts of the country. None of the Lavalas rulers had military experience, and they were not prepared to arm and mobilize the population.

Aristide, far from being a violent or incompetent ruler as his critics suggest, was eventually defeated because he was not prepared to violently repress an opposition that was explicitly organizing for his overthrow. His administrations had actually been highly effective in a number of areas, despite considerable pressures from the U.S. and the Haitian ruling class.

Lavalas can be credited with reducing infant mortality from 125 to 110 per thousand live births, bringing illiteracy down from 65 percent to 45 percent and slowing the rate of new HIV infections. It was obliged by the U.S. to accept “structural adjustment” programs, but did what it could to soften the blow by maintaining subsidies, implementing some land reforms, and promulgating certain social programs. It legislated against the exploitation of children as unpaid servants in wealthy homes. It reformed the notoriously labyrinthine judiciary and put several death squad members on trial. It also managed to extract some taxes from the rich, in the face of strenuous resistance.

For these humanitarian accomplishments, Aristide had to go. Once the dregs of former genocidaires and the criminal fraternity had wrought sufficient destruction across the country, the U.S. Marine Corps abducted Aristide on September 29, 2004. The initial line given to the press by James Foley, the U.S. ambassador to Haiti, was that it was a rescue mission. The U.S. had stepped in, concerned for Aristide’s welfare, and he had resigned voluntarily.

As soon as Aristide got hold of a telephone, however, he informed every news outlet that would listen that he had been kidnapped by U.S. forces. He was not permitted to return to Haiti, and an occupation began under a UN mandate, enforced by MINUSTAH troops. A new regime was imposed that locked up political activists and priests, and thousands were killed either by MINUSTAH soldiers directly or by gangs operating under their authority. A study published in The Lancet found that:

[D]uring the 22-month period of the U.S.-backed Interim Government, 8,000 people were murdered in the greater Port-au Prince area alone. Thirty-five thousand women and girls were raped or sexually assaulted, more than half of the victims were children…Those responsible for the human rights abuses include criminals, the police, United Nations peacekeepers and anti-Lavalas gangs.

Meanwhile, the democratic process that the UN was supposed to oversee has resulted in elections in which the country’s most popular political party, Lavalas, are not allowed to participate. The recent senatorial and congressional elections saw turnouts depressed to as little as 10 percent as a result. This shambolic process has made life easier for Haiti’s ruling class, and the multinationals operating in Haiti, but by no stretch of the imagination is it “humanitarian.”

The point of highlighting this background is to note that, contrary to some short-sighted commentary–like Jonathan Dobrer: “We come, we help, and we don’t stay”–the U.S. has a bloody recent history in Haiti and a well-defined set of goals in the country, including the desire to finish off Lavalas and create a benevolent investment climate for business.

The belief that the U.S. is behaving in a humanitarian manner in Haiti is at best myopic. At worst, it buys into the racist mythologies about Haiti that have been on prominent display in headlines and news copy for over a week now.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Paternalism and racism

The paternalistic assumptions behind the calls for ‘humanitarian intervention’ have sometimes been starkly expressed. Thus, the conservative columnist Eric Margolis lauds the history of American colonial rule in Haiti: “[T]he U.S. occupation is looked back on by many Haitians as their “golden age.” The Marine Corps proved a fair, efficient, honest administrator and builder. This era was the only time when things worked in Haiti.”

Purporting to oppose imperialism, Margolis insists that “genuine humanitarian intervention” is “different,” and calls for Haiti to be “temporarily administered by a great power like the U.S. or France.” He writes: “U.S. administration of Haiti may be necessary and the only recourse for this benighted nation that cannot seem to govern itself.”

Similarly, right-wing New York Times columnist David Brooks, decrying the supposed “progress-resistant cultural influences” that he maintains holds Haiti back, calls for the U.S. to “promote locally-led paternalism.” “We’re all supposed to politely respect each other’s cultures,” he complains. “But some cultures are more progress-resistant than others, and a horrible tragedy was just exacerbated by one of them.”

To overcome this cultural handicap, Brooks recommends finding gurus who would promote a culture of achievement and responsibility–as opposed to the irresponsible, chaotic, voodoo-ridden culture that he identifies as Haiti’s major problem.

It is unnecessary to dignify such caricatures by considering them as empirical hypotheses. However, it should be noted that neither author gives the slightest consideration to the persistent efforts of the U.S. government to frustrate the rise of popular, democratic movements such as Lavalas, nor to the IMF-imposed programs which saw real wages fall by 50 percent between 1980 and 1990, and which resulted in overpopulated slums and a failing rural economy.

Nor do they acknowledge the brutality of the UN occupation. While Margolis acknowledges that America’s colonial rule was “sometimes brutal,” his understatement is verging on euphemism when he omits to discuss the killing of 15,000 people as Haiti’s rebels, known as Cacos, were suppressed.

Nor does he mention the humiliating system of forced labor that was imposed on Haitians under U.S. rule, or the fact that the gendarmerie built up under U.S. occupation became the organized basis for later dictatorships that would blight Haiti. In short, both writers bring to bear astonishingly little understanding of the country whose fate they are discussing so cavalierly.

However, what is of interest in these caricatures is the genus of imperial ideology that they relate to. Margolis is an old-school conservative (he describes himself as an Eisenhower Republican). He recalls in his phrases the manifest-destinarianism of William McKinley, who argued that the conquest and colonization of the Philippines was justified since Filipinos “were unfit for self-government.”

In the imperial language of the U.S. and Europe in this period, self-government was conceived of either as a cultural state that only white people had achieved, or as a technology that only white people could use. Woodrow Wilson, the invader of Haiti, explained that the Philippines could not be given self-government by the United States, since “it is a form of character and not a form of constitution.” Self-government is a cultural state attained after a period of discipline that “gives people self-possession, self-master, the habit of order.”

For Wilson, only the “nobler races”–namely Europeans and white Americans–had achieved that state. Margolis would not be so explicitly racist, but his subtext is not the less subtle for that.

Brooks, though, is a neoconservative. As such, he brings to bear that tradition’s paternalism, its concern with developing good patriarchal families, and particularly its culturalist reading of social institutions.

In this view, government and other institutions reflect an accumulation of cultural practices that have survived through generations. Capitalism and liberal democracy are thus the result of cultural influences such as Judeo-Christian values. The ability to govern oneself as a society is also said to be a result of cultural attributes that are generally found to be lacking in America’s opponents. These discrete cultures do not necessarily correspond to older notions of ‘race’, but they perform an analogous function in permitting privileged U.S. commentators to applaud the conquest of other societies.

Thus, at the height of the Vietnam War, the “godfather” of neoconservatism, Irving Kristol, argued that it was correct for the U.S. to support a right-wing dictatorship since “South Vietnam, like South Korea, is barely capable of decent self-government under the very best of conditions.” Like the Black families that Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously diagnosed as suffering from a “tangle of pathologies,” these people lacked the exquisite cultural refinements that made white Americans so successful.

These are exceptionally explicit commentaries. Most of those lauding American actions are unlikely to be as cynical or brazen as Brooks and Margolis. Yet when 20,000 U.S. troops arrive in a wrecked island country, and begin obstructing aid and beefing up “security” while people die in the wreckage of thirst and starvation, only the willfully purblind or those trapped in the assumptions of the “civilizing mission,” could construe it as a “humanitarian intervention.”

:: Article nr. 62555 sent on 25-jan-2010 19:04 ECT
www.uruknet.info?p=62555

Link: socialistworker.org/2010/01/25/the-humanitarian-myth

American Aristocrats Without Humanity

Delaying aid for a photo-op

Jesse Hagopian

25clinton-4284880578_0eb6afdbb2_o.jpg
Hillary Clinton stands beside Haitian president René Préval, speaking to reporters at the airport

Janaury 25, 2010

Jesse Hagopian, a teacher from Seattle, was in Haiti with his wife (who works on HIV education in the country) and one-year-old son when the earthquake hit. Here, he looks at the U.S. government’s priorities on display in Haiti right now.

EVERYTHING YOU need to know about the U.S. aid effort to assist Haiti in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake can be summed up by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s touchdown in Port-au-Prince on Saturday, January 16: they shut down the airport for three hours surrounding her arrival for “security” reasons, which meant that no aid flights could come in during those critical hours.