Omar Sheikh, Ilyas Kashmiri, David Headley, Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, Bahaziq, 26/11, 9/11, LeT, ISI

Omar Sheikh, Ilyas Kashmiri, David Headley, Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, Bahaziq, 26/11, 9/11, LeT, ISI


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The inter-connections are so intricate that it will become almost impossible to state where ISI ends and where global terrorism begins.

Lets start with one point – the Mumbai attacks and then work back as well as front from that point out and draw logical inferences along the way.

26/11 – One terrorist was caught alive that gave India the first real face of terror brewing in its own backyard and the enormous tentacles that it has spawned within India itself. Brigade 313 of Ilyas Kashmiri (which is itself a part of Al – Qaeda’s Laskhar al Zil) and Lashar e Taiba (LeT) were in control of the operations. Hafeez Saeed and Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi provided the boys, facilities and religious indoctrination. The training and strategy came mainly from Ilyas Kashmiri – former Pakistani SSG commando.

I can safely say that my blog was the first off the blocks when on 27/11 – the next day after 26/11 – broke the SSG connection to the Mumbai attacks. My first lines were : “This was a classic commando raid replete with beach landing et al. It had all the markings of a thorough Pakistani SSG trained operation – which makes it a Pakistani Army action.

It has been a well thought of strategy of Pakistan Army to embed the Taliban and terrorist organizations like Lashkar e Taiyyba, Jaish e Mohammad, Lashkar e Jahagvi with its own soldiers and commandos. These army recruits blend in with Taliban and terror organizations, deemed to have gone “native”, maybe without the knowledge of Taliban / terror organizations who are just happy to have received high class “recruits”.

Pakistan Army, through ISI, now draws back its own cadres from Taliban and these terror organizations for special operations around the globe. For Mumbai attacks, Lashkar e Taiyyba was chosen – but the actual foot soldiers were ex-army soldiers including SSG commandos (leading the charge) already embedded in these organizations – as well as a few battle hardened fidayeen terrorists. These LeT “terrorists” were given rigourous training by either current or ex-SSG commando trainers (sufficiently bearded to evade detect) who will probably be known as Gen Saab or Gen Mohd (aka John Doe).”

(I did not know Ilyas Kashmiri would fit this to the T at that point)

New York Times on 19th October – at least a main stream US media now coming to terms with this factor – Pakistan military and its role in terrorism. “Ex-Military Officer in Pakistan Is Linked to 2 Chicago Terrorism Suspects

People in the West have amnesia to article like these ones in Times Online:

1) Taliban leader killed by SAS was Pakistan officer

2) PAKISTAN is allowing Taliban fighters wounded in battles with British and other Nato forces in Afghanistan to be treated at safe houses.

Point 1: 26/11 was executed by Brigade 313 and LeT. At this stage we will not get into the detail that there were people behind Brigade 313 and LeT at this stage, rather stick to what is logical and already proven.

Fast forward to November 2009 – 12 months hence. Two Lashkar operatives are captured in US – David Coleman Headley (Daood Gilani) and Tahawwur Hussain Rana – both of Pakistani origin. The role played by the duo, specially David in spotting 26/11 targets is well documented. The handler of Headley was none other than Ilyas Kashmiri.

Pont 2: 26/11 spotter and conspirator was handled by Ilyas Kashmiri.

Step back in time to India winter 1994: As reported in Indian Express– In late 1994, a milkman knocked on the door of a Ghaziabad house. As the door opened, he noticed men with guns inside, but he still delivered the milk. He then tipped off the police who raided the place and rescued several foreign hostages being held by a group of terrorists, seeking the release of some arrested militant leaders including Maulana Masood Azhar. Azhar had been arrested in February that year.

When the police reached there, the commander of the terrorist group that called itself Al-Hadid — essentially it was a Harkat-ul Ansar-Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami operation — had just stepped out with his trusted lieutenant Omar Saeed Sheikh. The police confronted them as they returned and, in the gunbattle that ensued, Sheikh was injured and arrested but the commander escaped. He was none other than Ilyas Kashmiri.

Point 3: Sh Omar Saeed – the 9/11 conspirator who allegedly wired money to Md Atta too was handled by Ilyas Kashmiri.
MUST READ: BEFORE THE NEXT 9/11 PAY THE SENATORS OFF

Omar Saeed Sheikh was imprisoned in India for kidnapping Westerners. While there, he met Aftab Ansari, another prisoner, an Indian gangster who was released from prison near the end of 1999. Saeed also met another prisoner named Asif Raza Khan, who was also released in 1999.

On being released at the Kandahar hostage exchange, Omar lived with Jaish e Md before going to an ISI safe house in Pakistan where he moved around with impunity. That he traveled to UK twice and was not detained is also open to questions about the complicity of UK intelligence with Omar Sheikh. In Pakistan, Omar works with Ijaz Shah, a former ISI official in charge of handling two militant groups; Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aziz Khan, former deputy chief of the ISI in charge of relations with Jaish-e-Mohammed; and Brigadier Abdullah, a former ISI officer. He is well known to other senior ISI officers.

(What is the role of Aziz Khan and Brigadier Abdullah in 26/11? Is he (Brigadier Abdullah) the Brigadier sahab – Qasav mentions?? )

In 2002, French author Bernard-Henri Levy was presented evidence by government officials in New Delhi, India, on Saeed Sheikh making repeated calls to ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed during the summer of 2000. Later, Levy got unofficial confirmation from sources in Washington regarding these calls that the information he was given in India was correct. He noted that someone in the United Arab Emirates using a variety of aliases sends Mohamed Atta slightly over $100,000 between June and September of this year and the timing of these phone calls and the money transfers may have been the source of news reports that Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send $100,000 to Mohamed Atta.

Now just recall the names of two prisoners who befriended Omar – they were Aftab Ansari and Asif Reza Khan. Both played a crucial role to finance the 9/11 attacks in the USA.

Amir Reza Khan, commander of the Asif Reza Commando Force (ARCF), a little known group which was involved in the 2002 attack on the US consulate in Kolkata, West Bengal. Reza, like Rahman, is today in Pakistan. Amir Reza is wanted for the Partho Roy Burman abduction case (July 2001) in which a part of the ransom money, $100,000, was wired to the 9/11 leader Mohammad Atta via Aftab Ansari and Syed Omar Sheikh. The role of the then ISI Chief, Lt. General Mahmud, was also exposed in facilitating the money transfer. Reza is also involved in creating Indian Mujahideen (IM), the new terrorist group which carried a series of attacks in India in 2008.

The role of Ilyas Kashmiri is somehow MISSING from the 9/11 planning – there is no way his footprints will be missing. If anything – he could very well have MASTERMINDED the 9/11 together with ISI. (NOTE : Before 9/11 Pakistan was a bankrupt nation and going down, and after 9/11 it was lavished with money and is being continued to be feted. In inner circles, Al-Qaeda is known as Al-Faeda – faeda in URDU means BENEFIT)

Point 4: Ilyas Kashmiri’s point man Omar Saeed was neck deep in financing the 9/11 as was the Pakistan intelligence wing the ISI. What is defeaning by its silence – is the role of Ilyas Kashmiri in 9/11. It is a matter of time before someone unearths the all important link.

Fast forward to present: As reported in Observer Group research DECODING THE HEADLEY RANA CASE : Within days of the Rana-Headley arrests, the Bangladesh security agencies arrested three LeT operatives from Dhaka–Mufti Harun Izahar, son of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) leader Mufti Izaharul Islam, Shahidul Islam and Al Amin alias Saiful. All three had regular conversations with David Headley, LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and LeT’s Bangladesh coordinator, Sheikh Abdur Rehman.

Harun, who also ran an Islamic kindergarten school in Chittagong, said Hafiz Saeed spoke to him on the mobile and asked him to target the US embassy in Dhaka. He said Saeed spoke to him in Arabic and gave him specific instructions on how to carry out the attack. Harun had recently visited Pakistan. For the attack, Harun and his associates got 600,000 takas from LeT’s chief financial officer, Indian-born Saudi national Mahmoud Mohammad Ahmed Bahaziq. Bahaziq, who recruited Dawood Ibrahim and Azzam Ghauri to LeT, is a close associate of Hafiz Saeed. Ghauri was one of the first LeT commanders in India, and a partner of Abdul Karim Tunda, who became the operational commander of the terrorist group in Bangladesh. Ghauri was killed in an encounter in 2000.

Following the arrest of Harun and his two aides, the Bangladesh police arrested three more LeT operatives subsequently. The police suspect that there were at least 20 more, both Bangladeshi and Indian nationals, who could be involved in the foiled terrorist plot. Some of them are from Kerala and other South Indian states and work primarily in the textile sector.

Harun and his aides were not an independent LeT cell but only part of a larger network which was being strengthened for quite sometime. The first inkling of such a network, incidentally, came when two key LeT leaders were arrested in Bangladesh in July this year–Maulana Mohammad Mansur Ali alias Maulana Habibullah and Mufti Sheikh Obaidullah. Ali is a Afghan Jihad veteran. Both worked closely with HuJI in Bangladesh, training several Indian and Bangladeshi nationals in weapons and explosives.

Two intriguing links can be found in the dossier which project the trans-national nature of LeT’s expansion in Asia for the past several years. One is that both Habibullah and Obaidullah were arrested on the basis of information provided by two aides of Dawood Ibrahim, Zahid Sheikh and Dawood Merchant, arrested in Dhaka earlier. Sheikh said there were about 150-paid D-company men in Bangladesh and their associates included former ministers, senior police officials and top businessmen. LeT operations in Bangladesh, incidentally, draw large funding from some top businessmen dealing in pharmaceuticals.

Both Habibullah and Obaidullah drew a month salary of 7000 takas from Sheikh Abdur Rahman, LeT’s commander for Bangladesh based in Pakistan. Rahman has since been arrested in Pakistan but strangely enough, there is no word on it in the Pakistan media. Rahman had also bankrolled Maulana Harun who was working with David Headley to carry out terrorist attacks. Hardly any detail about Rahman is known. There are two Abdur Rahmans in the LeT hierarchy–one is Mufti Abdur Rahman Hafiz, one of the teachers at Muridke, and another is Abdur Rahman Makki, in charge of LeT’s external affairs, and brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed. Makki, a fierce proponent of suicide terrorism, has been in charge of organising LeT’s networks in Asia and Europe.

Point 5: The top LeT financier in Saudi, Bahaziq is known to be a Saudi intelligence proxy who has embedded himself in the LeT and this relationship is used by the CIA. And Dick Cheney used Dawood Ibrahim’s connection in Paskitan to lavish the Afghan mujahideen that were close to Cheney’s sphere of influence. This role of the US with LeT is (albeit an arm of US intelligence) is most intriguing as well as disturbing. As is the connection of British intelligence with Omar Sheikh.

The curious case of Musharraf and death threats to him and also Musharraf and Osama.

Musharraf was a blue eyed boy of Gen Zia ul Haq who Islamized the Pakistan army was single handedly destroyed democratic institutions in the country. He favoured Musharraf as he was aware of his religious zeal and his connections to the Deoband school of Islam. Musharraf, who was asked by Zia-ul-Haq to control the situation, brutally suppressed the Shia revolt with the help of Osama bin Laden and his Sunni tribal hordes brought in from the NWFP.

NOTE THE IMPORTANT CONNECTION BETWEEN MUSHARRAF AND OSAMA BIN LADEN AS MENTIONED ABOVE.


SOUTH ASIA ANALYSIS reports: In its issue of May,1990, “Herald”, the monthly journal of the “Dawn” group of publications of Karachi, wrote as follows: ” In May,1988, low-intensity political rivalry and sectarian tension ignited into full-scale carnage as thousands of armed tribesmen from outside Gilgit district invaded Gilgit along the Karakoram Highway. Nobody stopped them. They destroyed crops and houses, lynched and burnt people to death in the villages around Gilgit town. The number of dead and injured was put in the hundreds. But numbers alone tell nothing of the savagery of the invading hordes and the chilling impact it has left on these peaceful valleys.”

Gen. Musharraf started a policy of bringing in Punjabis and Pakhtoons from outside and settling them down in Gilgit and Baltistan in order to reduce the Kashmiri Shias to a minority in their traditional land and this is continuing till today.

Point 6: Musharraf and Bin Laden jointly undertook military operations to ethnically cleanse the Shias in Gilgit.

Ilyas Kashmiri who beheaded an Indian soldier was gifted Pakistan Rs 100,000 for this deed by none other than President Musharraf. READ: BRIGADE 313

Point 7. Musharraf paid bounty to Ilyas Kashmiri.

Yet, somewhere along the way both Ilyas Kashmiri and his protégé Omar Sheikh wanted to kill Musharraf. The plan to kill Musharraf was foiled, ostensibly once when RAW tipped Musharraf off. The plot of kill Kiyani was shot down by Al – Qaeda high command much to the consternation of Ilyas Kashmiri.

But what takes the cake is this: Long war journal reports – From prison, Omar called Musharraf on his personal cell phone in mid-November and threatened his life. “I am after you, get ready to die,” Omar reportedly told Musharraf. The plan was to ambush Musharraf’s convoy as he traveled between Army House in Rawalpindi and his farm outside of Islamabad or to blow up a bridge as he traveled to the airport.

The report also points out interestingly: Omar also phoned retired Major General Faisal Alavi, the former commander of Pakistan’s Special Service Group, just days before he was killed on Nov. 22.

Point 8: Both Ilyas Kashmiri and Omar Sheikh turned against Musharraf. Perhaps the storming of the Lal Masjid was the last straw – but no doubt Musharraf was neck deep in with Al Qaeda.

Bottom line : The connection between Pakistan Army, ISI, LeT, Al Qaeda is very fused. The Taliban are the special ops regiment of Pakistan Army against any (so called) misadventure by Indian Army. CIA is deeply engaged with ISI in the opium trade and powerful people in both these agencies are making serious money in this global economic meltdown. India is hedging its bets and finds itself sandwiched in the Great Game rapidly unfolding in the Central Asian Regions.

The CIA and ISI used Taliban and Al Qaeda extensively to counter Russia in both central Asia and even in Europe. Now that part of US has fallen out with Al – Qaeda does not mean that Pakistan has to cut its strategic roots with Al-Qaeda and even the Taliban. This has to be understood.

The US (non-rogue CIA elements) has created a counter terrorism cell within the ISI. This cell is completely segregated from the ISI top hierarchy and works in closest of co-ordination with FBI & CIA. Whenever Taliban or Al-Qaeda detainees are questioned, the ISI officers have headphones and an IP camera which beams the images and audio to the FBI / CIA stations and also simultaneous translations (if need be). The questions of FBI / CIA authorities are simultaneously aired through the headphones of the local ISI interrogator. Such is the co-ordination that several top rung ISI officers and Army officials have deep reservations – and bang, comes the attack on ISI offices in Peshawar.

Musharraf is cooling his heels in UK – the same country that headquarters the Islamic Caliphate war mongers – Hizbut tahrir. In an earlier article showcasing the British role in promoting Islamic groups in its soil I wrote: “I have been saying it ad nauseum that Hizb ut Tahrir is a UK run agency – much like Dobermann Pinschers on a leash kept in an idyllic British countryside castle, about to be unleashed by their UK masters as and when deemed necessary. ” READ: HIZB-UT TAHRIR PLOTS BLOODLESS COUP IN PAKISTAN – THE LARGER PICTURE AND THE BRITISH ROLE.

The story gets murkier when one reads that UK smuggled opium out of China to make money, probably the same is being done by CIA in collusion with ISI and Dawood Ibrahim in Afghanistan. (READ: UK WAS THE BIGGEST DRUG RUNNER IN 19TH CENTURY)

That the biggest druglord in Afghanistan happens to be Hamid Karzai’s brother and is a CIA asset is a story known to all, but recently broken in mainstream New York Times too. (READ: BROTHER OF AFGHAN LEADER SAID TO BE PAID BY CIA)

The Indian Intelligence will tell you – they know it all. Great. So, what do you do with the knowledge – where is the action? A person like Headley can come in India, set up business, lay undetected for years, run the 26/11 ops out of Pakistan and then safely fly into his nest in Chicago.

If Indian intelligence had balls – I would have seen three incidents –

1) Omar Skeikh killed in UK when he visited his parents after the Kandahar hijack,
2) Dawood Ibrahim along with its inmates blown to smithereens in an apparent truck bombing – “supposedly” done by a rival gang in Karachi. and
3) Flooding Pakistan with fake Paksitani currency

And isn’t it intriguing that Indian intelligence officers had to turn their tails and return empty handed from the US – not even being given a peek at Headley and Rana? Guess, the US is using its old tricks to arm twist Pakistan to deliver more and keeping Indians off the duo is part of the bargain. However, this is just a short term solution. India will probably get to voice match Headley as one of the 26/11 voices from Pakistan.

Living on Nothing but Food Stamps

Living on Nothing but Food Stamps

Published: January 2, 2010

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — After an improbable rise from the Bronx projects to a job selling Gulf Coast homes, Isabel Bermudez lost it all to an epic housing bust — the six-figure income, the house with the pool and the investment property.

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Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

“Without food stamps we’d probably be starving,” said Rex Britton, who has had trouble finding paving work and lives with his girlfriend, Amy Freeman.More Photos »

The Safety Net

Zero Income

With millions of jobs lost and major industries on the ropes, America’s array of government aid — including unemployment insurance, food stamps and cash welfare — is being tested as never before. This series examines how the safety net is holding up under the worst economic crisis in decades.

Living on Food StampsSlide Show

Living on Food Stamps

Food Stamps, and Nothing ElseGraphic

Food Stamps, and Nothing Else

More Households Lacking Cash IncomeGraphic

More Households Lacking Cash Income

Food Stamp Usage Across the CountryInteractive Map

Food Stamp Usage Across the Country

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Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

“It’s the one thing I can count on every month — I know the children are going to have food.” ISABEL BERMUDEZ, who has two daughters and no cash income. More

Now, as she papers the county with résumés and girds herself for rejection, she is supporting two daughters on an income that inspires a double take: zero dollars in monthly cash and a few hundred dollars in food stamps.

With food-stamp use at a record high and surging by the day, Ms. Bermudez belongs to an overlooked subgroup that is growing especially fast: recipients with no cash income.

About six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income, according to an analysis of state data collected by The New York Times. In declarations that states verify and the federal government audits, they described themselves as unemployed and receiving no cash aid — no welfare, no unemployment insurance, and no pensions, child support or disability pay.

Their numbers were rising before the recession as tougher welfare laws made it harder for poor people to get cash aid, but they have soared by about 50 percent over the past two years. About one in 50 Americans now lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but a food-stamp card.

“It’s the one thing I can count on every month — I know the children are going to have food,” Ms. Bermudez, 42, said with the forced good cheer she mastered selling rows of new stucco homes.

Members of this straitened group range from displaced strivers like Ms. Bermudez to weathered men who sleep in shelters and barter cigarettes. Some draw on savings or sporadic under-the-table jobs. Some move in with relatives. Some get noncash help, like subsidized apartments. While some go without cash incomes only briefly before securing jobs or aid, others rely on food stamps alone for many months.

The surge in this precarious way of life has been so swift that few policy makers have noticed. But it attests to the growing role of food stamps within the safety net. One in eight Americans now receives food stamps, including one in four children.

Here in Florida, the number of people with no income beyond food stamps has doubled in two years and has more than tripled along once-thriving parts of the southwest coast. The building frenzy that lured Ms. Bermudez to Fort Myers and neighboring Cape Coral has left a wasteland of foreclosed homes and written new tales of descent into star-crossed indigence.

A skinny fellow in saggy clothes who spent his childhood infoster care, Rex Britton, 22, hopped a bus from Syracuse two years ago for a job painting parking lots. Now, with unemployment at nearly 14 percent and paving work scarce, he receives $200 a month in food stamps and stays with a girlfriend who survives on a rent subsidy and a government check to help her care for her disabled toddler.

“Without food stamps we’d probably be starving,” Mr. Britton said.

A strapping man who once made a living throwing fastballs, William Trapani, 53, left his dreams on the minor league mound and his front teeth in prison, where he spent nine years for selling cocaine. Now he sleeps at a rescue mission, repairs bicycles for small change, and counts $200 in food stamps as his only secure support.

“I’ve been out looking for work every day — there’s absolutely nothing,” he said.

A grandmother whose voice mail message urges callers to “have a blessed good day,” Wanda Debnam, 53, once drove 18-wheelers and dreamed of selling real estate. But she lost her job at Starbucks this year and moved in with her son in nearby Lehigh Acres. Now she sleeps with her 8-year-old granddaughter under a poster of the Jonas Brothers and uses her food stamps to avoid her daughter-in-law’s cooking.

“I’m climbing the walls,” Ms. Debnam said.

Florida officials have done a better job than most in monitoring the rise of people with no cash income. They say the access to food stamps shows the safety net is working.

“The program is doing what it was designed to do: help very needy people get through a very difficult time,” said Don Winstead, deputy secretary for the Department of Children and Families. “But for this program they would be in even more dire straits.”

But others say the lack of cash support shows the safety net is torn. The main cash welfare program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, has scarcely expanded during the recession; the rolls are still down about 75 percent from their 1990s peak. A different program, unemployment insurance, has rapidly grown, but still omits nearly half the unemployed. Food stamps, easier to get, have become the safety net of last resort.

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Matthew Ericson contributed research.

Americans want to be Slave

Americans want to be Slaves

Are Americans willing to trade their freedoms for a false sense of security?

This is the crucial question that must be answered before a successful struggle for liberty can be fought and won. If it is shown that the majority of Americans will readily trade their freedoms for a fake carnal security then the cause has already been lost.

Let us just examine a few of the events of the last two months to see where America sits on the major issues of our day.

Recently, we were made aware of the attempt to bring down a transatlantic flight by the ‘underwear bomber’.  While the facts remain unclear about the events surrounding the attempted bombing, what is clear is the attempt to use the event as a catalyst for further draconian security measures. This includes proposals for and in some cases imposition of mandatory body scanning for all passengers. In fact, the Netherlands announced that they will body scan all passengers as a result of the incident. In the US, the cry from neo-con Republicans has been to adopt just such a policy here. In addition, the TSA seized the opportunity to try to turn the airplane into a virtual prison camp.

What is most troubling about the whole event is the seeming willingness of Americans to accept the official story without questioning and to submit themselves to any measure deemed necessary by our “benevolent” government. Now that President Obama is in power, the civil liberties fire that once was burning bright among some on the left has now smoldered, leaving few to oppose the new liberal/Neo-con fascism.

What evidence do we have that any of these measures will actually make us safer? Indeed, this supposed terrorist had no passport and was on the terrorist watch list. While a simple passport check would have stopped this individual, now the rights of the rest of us will be sacrificed to a needless bureaucracy, which will prove to be just as inept. It may be that Americans will be forced into “clothes-free” airport zones where government workers will examine every crook, crevice, and orifice of your body. How long Americans will suffer this indecency is unknown. What is known is that these measures will not make us safer.

While the “underwear bomber” event was used to stroke our fears about external threats, two other recent issues of much greater significance are meant to play on our fear about the intrinsic weakness of mankind.

The first revolves around the insecurity all of us have over the health of our bodies. Some would claim the government can somehow guarantee you carnal or rather physical security from your own body. What is true, however, is that we will all decay and die whether we like it or not. No power on earth can prevent this from happening. Yet, what has been proposed with the health care reform measures now before congress and the senate is that government should become our health stewards by providing universal healthcare. The implied rationale is that these measures will somehow address our health security. Unfortunately, the truth is that these measures will only guarantee you the opportunity to stand in lines and in most cases will be detrimental to your health and hence your health security. Services that once could be readily obtained through the free market system will be removed in lieu of budgetary restraints. Americans will be turned into hapless and powerless sheep, begging for any ounce of health mercy that a faceless bureaucracy will see fit to grant them. The right to healthcare gained by a few will come at the expense of the right to healthcare for the rest.

There is no greater example of the fallacy of this socialist healthcare utopia than the death of the actress Natasha Richardson in Quebec, Canada last year. She likely died because of the socialized healthcare system in Canada. The government of Quebec had decided that medical helicopters were too expensive.  As a result, instead of being transported by helicopter, Natasha was driven by ambulance to the nearest hospital a couple hours away. This wasted time was enough to seal her fate.

Despite the ample evidence of the dystopian healthcare provided by socialized healthcare systems, Americans seem more and more willing to buy into the media hype about the supposed greatness of healthcare in Cuba, Canada, and Europe. Never before have the forces of socialist America been so close to realizing their dream of converting America into a suburb of western Europe.

The final and most nefarious onslaught on our liberty has arisen with the attempt to transfer our national sovereignty to a world government over the issue of carbon emissions. Indeed, our very breath has been turned into a toxin needing to be regulated in order to save the planet. The more breaths, the more toxin. Not surprisingly, this has led to calls for world population control from some in China, Europe, and Canada.

The fake science used to justify the man-made global warming agenda was recently revealed as a concoction of climate change scientists to serve their own self interest. Yet, Americans continue to believe more in gloss and glamour than in science and common sense. Unfortunately, the result will be that the American sense of compassion will be turned on its own head. The third world will be starved into carbon compliance and American ingenuity will be turned into funding industrial de-industrialization.

More and more Americans are convincing themselves that they are vermin and need to be exterminated. They will happily put GPS carbon trackers on their vehicles, smart carbon-limiting power meters in the their homes, LCD light-bulbs in their reading rooms, bikes in their garages, and government camera carbon monitoring systems in their homes just so that they can be ‘cool’ and feel like they are doing something for Al Gore and the movement. Nobody seems to care about the substance anymore; it is the image that counts.

What these examples reveal is that America has become more and more a country filled with cowardly yes-men, rather than people with courage to stand up for conviction. They have lost the fire of freedom and substituted the frost of a fake consensus. Unfortunately, the American ideal has faded in the minds of many. Many no longer know what they are throwing away. It is only when it is gone that they will wake up and realize that the noose is already too tight for escape.

It behooveth those that have been warned to warn their neighbors. My prayer is that we may have the courage to become active purveyors of truth.

CIA Cries WOLF!

[As usual, Asia Times correspondent Syed Saleem Shahzad is providing journalistic validation of the latest CIA ploy, this time, tying Ilyas Kashmiri (and by extension, “al Qaida”) to the destruction of the CIA operation in Khost.   He is performing the same service to the spy agency as he has in the past, where he gave substance to the lie that bin Laden lives in Chitral or some other Pakistani locale, or where he laid the groundwork for the British/US “split,” or the “Taliban split.”  Like all agency disinformation sources, he provides a lot of truth, which is subtly used to divert the reader from damaging information that cannot be hidden.  Kashmiri is called “al Qaida,” but he is ISI.  Whatever is ISI is first CIA. Whether it was an attack by the real Afghan Taliban or their counterfeit counterparts the Pakistani Taliban, the CIA wants us to paint them all with the same al-CIA-da paintbrush, just as the little underwear bomber is bringing the Yemeni and Somalia militants all together under the “al Qaida” banner.  America must have its bogeyman to justify perpetual war, as usual, Pakistan is providing it for us.]

US spies walked into al-Qaeda’s trap

By Syed Saleem Shahzad

ISLAMABAD – The suicide attack on the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) forward operating base of Chapman in the Afghan province of Khost last week was planned in the Pakistani tribal area of North Waziristan.

The attacker – a handpicked plant in the Afghan National Army (ANA) – detonated his explosive vest in a gym at the base, killing seven agents, including the station chief, and wounding six. The base was officially for civilians involved in reconstruction.

The plan was executed following several weeks of preparation by al-Qaeda’s Lashkar al-Zil (Shadow Army), Asia Times Online has learned. This was after Lashkar al-Zil’s intelligence outfit informed

its chief commander, Ilyas Kashmiri, that the CIA planned to broaden the monitoring of the possible movement of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Well-connected sources in militant camps say that Lashkar al-Zil had become aware of the CIA’s escalation of intelligence activities to gather information on high-value targets for US drone attacks. It emerged that tribesmen from Shawal and Datta Khel, in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal area, had been invited by US operatives, through middlemen, to Khost, where the operatives tried to acquire information on al-Qaeda leaders. Such activities have been undertaken in the past, but this time they were somewhat different.

“This time there was clearly an obsession to hunt down something big in North Waziristan. But in this obsession, they [operatives] blundered and exposed the undercover CIA facility,” a senior leader in al-Qaeda’s 313 Brigade said. The brigade, led by Ilyas Kashmiri, comprises jihadis with extensive experience in Pakistan’s Kashmir struggle with India.

Once it became clear that efforts to track down al-Qaeda were being stepped up and that the base in Khost was being extensively used by the CIA, the Lashkar al-Zil (Brigade 055) moved into top gear. It is the soul of al-Qaeda, having being involved in several events since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US. Under the command of Ilyas Kashmiri, its intelligencenetwork’s coordination with its special guerrilla action force has changed the dynamics of the Afghan war theater. Instead of traditional guerrilla warfare in which the Taliban have taken most of the casualties, the brigade has resorted to special operations, the one on the CIA base being the latest and one of the most successful.

Lashkar al-Zil comprises the Pakistani Taliban, 313 Brigade, the Afghan Taliban, Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan and former Iraqi Republican Guards. It has taken on special significance since the US announcement of a 30,000 troop surge in Afghanistan, due to kick into action this week.

Leaders of the Lashkar al-Zil now knew that CIA operatives were trying to recruit reliable tribal people from Afghanistan so that the latter could develop an effective intelligence network along the border with North Waziristan’s Shawal and Datta Khel regions, where high-profile al-Qaeda leaders often move around.

Laskhar al-Zil then laid its trap.

Over the past months, using connections in tribal structures and ties with former commanders of the Taliban and the Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan, the militants have planted a large number of men in the ANA.

One of these plants, an officer, was now called into action. He contacted US personnel in Khost and told them he was linked to a network in the tribal areas and that he had information on where al-Qaeda would hold its shura (council) in North Waziristan and on the movement of al-Qaeda leaders.

The ANA officer was immediately invited to the CIA base in Khost to finalize a joint operation of Predator drones and groundpersonnel against these targets.

Once inside, he set off his bomb, with deadly results.

“It’s a devastating blow,” Times Online quoted Michael Scheuer as saying. “[Among others] we lost an agent with 14 years’ experience in Afghanistan.” Scheuer is a former head of Alec Station, the unit created to monitor bin Laden five years before the attacks of September 11.

Unlike the Taliban’s mostly rag-tag army, Laskhar al-Zil is a sophisticated unit, with modern equipment such as night-vision technology, the latest light weapons and finely honed guerrilla tactics. It has a well-funded intelligence department, much like the Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan had during the resistance against the Soviets in the 1980s when it had access to advance information on the movement of the Red Army.

However, Laskhar al-Zil is one step ahead of the Hezb’s formerintelligence outfit in that it has been able to plant men in the ANA, and these “soldiers” are now at the forefront of al-Qaeda-led sabotage activities in Afghanistan.

In addition, a large number of senior government officials both in the capital, Kabul, and in the provinces are sympathetic to the Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan, and, by extension, to the Taliban. Similarly, several former top Taliban commanders have been given responsibilities by the central government in district areas, and as the insurgency has grown, these former militants have been increasingly useful to the Taliban-led insurgency.

In sum, the US troop surge, coupled with increased US efforts to track down al-Qaeda, has resulted in a shift in southeastern Afghanistan. There has been hardly any uprising against foreign troops in which the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) could hit the Taliban hard. The insurgents now select specific targets for the most effective outcome, such as the spy base in Khost – it took just one insurgent’s life for the “devastating” result.

Consequently, for the first time in the many years that Afghanistan has been at war, the winter season is hot. Last October, the US withdrew its troops from its four key bases in Nuristan, on the border with Pakistan, leaving the northeastern province as a safe haven for the Taliban, under the command of Qari Ziaur Rahman. Kurangal Valley in Kunar province is heavily under siege and Taliban attacks on US bases there could see US forces pulling back from Kunar as well.

And in the meantime, Lashkar al-Zil can be expected to be planning more strikes of its own.

Syed Saleem Shahzad is Asia Times Online’s Pakistan Bureau Chief. He can be reached at saleem_shahzad2002@yahoo.com

Al-CIA-da Infiltrating Lebanon’s Palestinian Camps

Foreign parties ‘exporting’ extremists to camps: Fatah

By Mohammed Zaatari
Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: Fatah commander in Lebanon Brigadier Sultan Abu al-Aynayn on Sunday accused external parties of seeking to “export” fundamentalists to refugee camps across Lebanon. “We have taken measures to prevent Al-Qaeda from infiltrating Palestinian refugee camps after we received information that external parties were seeking to export extremists, particularly from Iraq,” Abu al-Aynayn said in an interview withAFP.

“We have received information that external parties are seeking to stir up tension inside the camps by sending some fundamentalists from Iraq and other countries,” he added.

On Sunday, calm was restored to the restive Palestinian refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh following clashes between the mainstream Fatah Movement and Islamist group Jund al-Sham.

Armed clashes erupted Saturday in Ain al-Hilweh between militants from Fatah and Jund al-Sham, leaving one person wounded.

Machineguns and rocket-propelled grenades were used in the clashes, forcing dozens to flee the camp.

After around half an hour, the joint security committee inside the camp intervened to stop the fighting as contacts managed to put an end to the clashes amid a state of tension that prevailed in the camp after rival fighters refused to withdraw from the streets.

Mounir al-Maqdah, who commands the main Palestinian police force in Ain al-Hilweh, said the clashes were contained after a meeting for the camp’s security committee. He said the fighting erupted when Jund al-Sham members fired at a Fatah bureau in the camp, located on the outskirts of the coastal city of Sidon.

The camp’s security committee ordered the deployment of security forces across the camp in order to maintain stability.

However, traffic inside the camp was minor and very few pedestrians were seen on the streets of Ain al-Hilweh.

On Sunday, the Lebanese Army reopened the two main northern entrances of the camp, after they had shut them down during the clashes.

Palestinian sources inside the camp expressed fears that the scenario of the northern Nahr al-Bared Palestinian refugee camp would be repeated in Ain al-Hilweh. Nahr al-Bared was reduced to rubble following 106 days of fighting between the Lebanese Army and the Al-Qaeda-inspired Fatah al-Islam.

Lebanese security sources, however said such fears would not become a reality if various Palestinian factions “remain aware of the challenges.”

Palestinian sources inside the camp said Lebanese security forces have warned factions not to mess with Lebanon’s security. – With agencies

We Must be Insane

We Must be Insane

Escalation in the ‘War on Terror’ continues…

In “Beyond Afghanistan,” I responded toPresident Obama’s Dec. 1 Afghan escalation speech by quoting from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech: “Somehow this madness must cease.”

I directed readers’ attention to King’s assessment that our obsession with war and occupation was but a symptom of “a far deeper malady within the American spirit;” that our presence in Afghanistan and so many other conflicts over the past 60 years was not the product of a desire to insure our safety; that it was the product of a military-industrial complex and a U.S.-led, corporate Empire whose core purpose is to feed the insatiable greed of the privileged few.

In the short time since I wrote “Beyond Afghanistan,” we have witnessed an expansion of the absurd…

Obama and Orwell

The same President who opted for escalation of a “war of absurdity” has now given us an Orwellian Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in which he sought to bring the ongoing wars of choice in Afghanistan and Iraq within the concept of “just wars” and war as a “last resort.”

Obama quoted Dr. King [emphasis added]: “Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” The President then added, ironically, “The instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace” — an assertion that is analogous to one of the three major slogans in George Orwell’s 1984: “War is Peace.”

The President’s words, set against photos of burned out sections of Baghdad, call to mind the remarks of the ancient Roman historian, Tacitus: “They created desolation and call it peace.”

The Tacitus reference can be found in the seldom heard words of our “objectified enemy,” Taliban commander Mullah Sangeen, who, in asserting that the Taliban still occupy 80% of Afghanistan, said of the U.S. invasion and occupation:

They turned Afghanistan into ruins. Thousands of Afghans were killed and their houses bombed in the name of the War on Terror. The US still does not understand the complexity of the situation. It wrongly considers the Taliban are furthering somebody else’s agenda. Now is the time for the US to understand that we are Afghans and are fighting for the freedom of our homeland.

While this by no means erases the oppressive nature of the Taliban’s religious fundamentalist ideology, especially as it applies to women, it does help to explain why the desolation wrought by our presence, along with the corrupt nature of the drug-lord infested Karzai regime, have driven so many ordinary Afghans into the ranks of the Taliban — just as the desolation, along with an equally corrupt South Vietnamese government, swelled the ranks of the Viet Cong.

Imperial conquest is not self defense

The President’s subtle linking of Iraq, Afghanistan and 9/11 in order to bring these two wars of choice within the UN Charter, which establishes that nations, individually or collectively, can resort to armed conflict only as a means of self-defense is especially disturbing. [The UN Charter also authorizes humanitarian intervention to prevent genocide. Neither the Bush administration nor the Obama administration claimed that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were launched to prevent genocide.]

Even under the official version of 9/11, we were the victim of an especially heinous crime carried out by a stateless organization, whose very existence was the product of past U.S. policies in which the Reagan administration happily supplied the Mujahideen, dubbed “freedom fighters,” with stinger missiles in order to snare the former Soviet Union in an Afghan quagmire.

Afghanistan proved to be the last Soviet imperial adventure before that Empire collapsed like a wet taco — a result that, according to Gore Vidal, had been predictedat the outset of the Cold War:

We shall have an arms race, said one of the high priests, John Foster Dulles, and we shall win it because the Russians will go broke first.

And, as we previously reported, “By the mid-80’s, Reagan’s Afghan ‘freedom fighters’…with the aid of Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency, turned Afghanistan into the world’s single largest exporter of opium and the source of half the heroin consumed in the US.”

Of course, none of that was mentioned during the President’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. It doesn’t square with the President’s “innocent victim” card.

The very idea of a legal response to 9/11 failed to so much as enter the consciousness of most Americans, for whom war (hot or cold) has been a constant since Pearl Harbor.

As I also noted in “Beyond Afghanistan,” the rational course would have been, and still is, to seek to bring the 9/11 perpetrators before the bar of justice at the World Court by application of international law with devastating economic sanctions imposed under the aegis of the United Nations against any nation that harbors the fugitives. Yet, the very idea of a legalresponse to 9/11 failed to so much as enter the consciousness of most Americans, for whom war (hot or cold) has been a constant since Pearl Harbor.

You doubt it? Here’s a partial list of post World War II U.S. interventions, either through overt military engagement or covert CIA actions — this in addition to the Cold War, 1945-1991, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis:

1947-49, U.S. directs extreme right-wing takeover of Greece. 1948-54, CIA-directed war against Huk rebellion in the Philippines. 1950-53, Korean War. 1953 & 1954, CIA-backed overthrow of democratically elected governments in Iran and Guatemala.1958, Marines deployed to quell rebellions in Lebanon and Iraq. 1960-75, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. 1961, CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion, Cuba. 1965, CIA-backed military coup in Indonesia leads to the death of more than one million. 1965, U.S. invades the Dominican Republic. Sept. 11, 1973, CIA-backed ouster of the democratically elected President Salvador Allende in Chile leads to Allende’s murder and a brutal reign of repression under General Agosto Pinochet. 1976-1992, CIA backs Angolan rebels who are proxies for the South African apartheid regime. 1981-90, Nicaragua falls victim to CIA-backed, “Contra” terrorists, and the U.S. mines its harbor. 1982-84, U.S. naval bombardment of Muslim positions in Lebanon. 1983, U.S. bravely invades the tiny island nation of Granada. 1987-88, U.S. overtly and covertly supplies Saddam Hussein with weapons and intelligence in his war with Iran.1989, U.S. invades Panama. 1991, Gulf War I in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. 1992-94, Somalia. 1993, Bosnia. 1994, Haiti.

Is it any wonder that Dr. King described his own government as “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today?”

Where numerous historians and former “economic hit man,” John Perkins, expose a 60-year history of a brutal corporate Empire, erected through fraudulent manipulation, corruption, covert subversion, assassinations, torture and military conquest — an Empire which is maintained by a global military presence, during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, the President described that reality as simply a benevolent attempt to “underwrite global security” as the product of American “enlightened self-interest.”

In “Beyond Afghanistan” I noted that 9/11 could well be a case of “blow back” for our past geopolitical gamesmanship and continued imperial presence in the Middle East. I noted that our willingness to sink further into the Afghan quagmire portends to a total collapse of the U.S. economy, adding:

But who knows what deadly future consequence will arise from the obscene brutality our nation unleashed across the globe in the aftermath of 9/11.

During his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, the President, perhaps unwittingly, seconded those observations [emphasis added]:

In today’s wars, many more civilians are killed than soldiers; the seeds of future conflict are sown, economies are wrecked, civil societies torn asunder, refugees amassed, children scarred.

With that recognition, it should not have come as a shock that on Christmas day, 2009, a suicidal Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, on a flight bound for Detroitattempted to blow up a passenger plane — an attempt that was thwarted not by the billions of dollars spent on airport security but by the resourcefully quick response of a passenger, Dutch film director, Jasper Scuringa, who leaped across the seats, separated Abdulmutallab from an already melting explosive device, as the crew arrived to douse the flames with a fire extinguisher.

War “over there” makes us less safe “over here;” yet our response is to escalate war?

Waging war “over there” by no means makes us safe “over here.” To the contrary, as revealed by a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, the so-called “War on Terror” only served to strengthen al Qaeda. War “over there” makes us less safe “over here;” yet our response is to escalate war?

If the absurdity is not readily apparent, consider Brad Friedman’s observation, courtesy of Nate Silver, that you have a far greater chance of being struck by lightning than you would have in being on a plane that is attacked by a terrorist. Does that mean we should declare war on lightning?

More guns; less butter

The predominance of the military-industrial complex is reflected by the second item that occurred in the short time since I wrote “Beyond Afghanistan.”

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $636 billion military budget, which includes $128.3 billion for war in Afghanistan and Iraq. It increased the U.S. debt ceiling to $12.394 trillion. The measure was approved by the Senate on Dec. 19 by an 88-10 vote. On Dec. 22, President Obama signed the appropriation into law. The FY 2010 military budget is nearly three times the amount ($289 billion) the U.S. devoted to the Pentagon in FY 2000.

The debt ceiling only partially reflects the enormous sums already wasted not only wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — estimates ranging from the President’s $1 trillion to Joseph Stiglitz’s $3 trillion by 2008 in Iraq alone — but countless lives and many trillions of dollars devoured by the Pentagon over the past 60 years. And, as Naomi Klein astutely observed, there is the additional billions we pour into the “stunningly inept” task of “reconstruction,” ostensibly to repair the damage wrought by the U.S. war machine, as shock and awe serves as the harbinger for Empire’s “radical social change and economic engineering.”

The marriage of these two symbiotic sectors of the corporate elite, the merchants of death and desolation and those engaged in “reconstruction,” was perhaps best symbolized by the fact that while Vice President Richard Cheney was Halliburton’s CEO, wife Lynn was serving on the Board of Directors of Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons manufacturer.

No doubt about it, 9/11 and the “War on Terror” have proved a profitable venture for the merchants of death, but as Bob Dylan so aptly observed, addressing those merchants in Masters of War:

Let me ask you one question.
Is your money that good?
Will it buy you forgiveness?
Do you think that it could?
I think you will find
when your death takes its toll.
All the money you made
will never buy back your soul.

As for the rest of us, there is Gore Vidal’s “The Day the Empire Ran Out of Gas,”:

The Pentagon is like a black hole; what goes in is forever lost to us, and no new wealth is created.

‘Wind down,’ but never leave

During his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, the President suggested that the war in Iraq was “winding down” — this against the backdrop of the Dec. 8 explosionof “car bombs” that killed at least 112 people in Baghdad, “leaving pools of blood, charred buses and scattered body parts.”

Truth be told, once U.S. troops occupy a country, they dig in like ticks on a hound — a point attested to by the fact that nearly 65 years after the end of World War II, more than 75,000 U.S. troops still occupy massive military bases in Germany.

When the President announced the withdrawal in February, 2009, there were 140,000 troops inside Iraq. 130,000 are expected to still be there in April 2010. Even when “combat troops” are drawn down, the plan is to indefinitely leave a residual occupation force of 35,000 to 50,000 troops, plus an estimated 50,000 private contractors — an indefinite occupation of a nation, Iraq, that was the victim of an unprovoked U.S.-led “war of aggression.”

As noted by Global Research on July 1, 2007, the U.S. occupies between 700 and 800 military bases in 63 countries. It has 255,065 US military personnel deployed in 156 countries — a number that does not include private mercenaries who make up, for example, 60% of the forces in Afghanistan.

No other nation has so much as a single military base inside the U.S.

Still locked within the ‘War on Terror’ frame

When it comes to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the so-called “War on Terror,” neither George W. Bush nor President Obama has been able to identify a point at which those wars could be “won.” But that is because “winning” was never the goal — a point made clear as early as 9/27/01 when Donald Rumsfeld penned a New York Times editorial asserting that “this will be a war like none other our nation has faced;” that there was no point in even thinking about an “exit strategy.”

In Fixed Ideas Joan Didion critiqued “the insistent use of September 11 to justify the reconception of America’s correct role in the world as one of initiating and waging virtually perpetual war.” In The Bush Agenda Antonia Juhasz adds that this perpetual war envisions an omnipresent “phantom menace” involving “shadowy networks of individuals;” a threat that is to be met “anywhere at any time, or everywhere all the time” thereby serving as the ideal excuse for a perpetual expansion of profits for the merchants of death.

These and the salient critique of retired Gen. William Odom which exposed the impossibility of waging and winning a war against a “tactic” (“terror,” “night attacks”)led to an abandonment of the formal use of the phrase, “War on Terror,” but not to an abandonment of perpetual war on a global stage, which was the true purpose behind the coining of the Orwellian “Global War on Terror” by the Bush/Cheney cabal. Thus, we find yet another example of this exercise in global insanity in the recent revelationsthat the U.S. secretly bombed targets in Yemen while simultaneously pouring $70 million in military aid into that country.

As Glenn Greenwald astutely observed during his Dec. 31, 2009 appearance onDemocracy Now (video below):

The myth, from the beginning, has been that there is a certain group of…intrinsically evil people called “the terrorists,” and the key to beating them is to just kill them all. And once you kill them all with bombs and other air attacks and the like, or if you lock them up forever, once you do that to the finite group known as “the terrorists,” there will be no more terrorists, and we will have won the “War on Terror.”…And, of course, what we actually have been doing over the last nine years — and we don’t ever learn our lesson — is we’re actually expanding the pool of terrorists.

But let’s assume, for the moment, that there is such a thing as “winning” the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and in all of the innumerable countries in which al Qaeda seeks to hide.

The time has come for the average American to ask him or herself just what “prize” they will receive if, somehow, these irrational wars could be “won”?

With numerous American states teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, with unemployment, home foreclosures and bank closures reaching levels not seen since the Great Depression, with most of the U.S. manufacturing base (save weapons manufacturing) outsourced in search of cheap foreign labor, with our middle-class dwindling, our infrastructure crumbling, our schools overcrowded and the cost of health care and a higher education increasingly out of reach, and with our civil liberties steadfastly under assault in the name of national security, the time has come for the average American to ask him or herself just what “prize” they will receive if, somehow, these irrational wars could be “won”?

While pondering that question, one might also ask whether the U.S., or the world, can ever truly experience peace so long as the global inequities wrought by capitalist Empire remain in place? Whether or not it was intended, our President’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech provides a resounding “no!”

The President said:

For true peace is not just freedom from fear, but freedom from want.

Amen to that, Brother Barack.

In a world where the “American dream” has become for so many a “global nightmare,” the end of Empire’s capitalist exploitation and constant quest for environmentally destructive fossil fuels, along with a significant roll-back of the military-industrial complex Empire spawned, may well prove vital to the very survival of our species.

So once again, I leave the reader with Dr. King’s words: “Somehow this madness must cease.”

Epilogue In a thoughtful comment, Richard Rogers suggests that my article had been inaccurate in one respect — that during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance President Obama never “explicitly” said that our presence in Iraq is justified as a means of self-defense.

In examining this issue, accuracy dictates that one apply the same standards to a speech by the current President as one would apply to those of the last President.

Recall that while President Bush never “explicitly” said that Saddam Hussein was linked to 9/11, he laced 9/11, al Qaeda, WMD, mushroom clouds and “terrorists” together so often within the same speeches, that Robert Scheer, in The Five Greatest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq observed that it was little wonder that so many Americans mistakenly believed that Saddam was linked to 9/11.

The strategy was especially effective on those citizens with the least access to a counter-narrative — our own troops serving in Iraq, nearly 90% of whom, as late as Feb. 28, 2006 — long after President Bush admitted there was no link — mistakenly believed, the U.S. mission in Iraq was intended “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks.” But then, this is somewhat understandable given the fact, attested to by Steve Tatham, who had headed the British Royal Navy’s Media Operation in Iraq from November 2002 to April 2003, “the only TV station that was broadcasting continuously into military accommodations, the eating areas, the living spaces, even on the ships, was Fox News.”

Careful examination of President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech reveals a similar subtle methodology for placing our presence in Iraq within the 9/11 and “War on Terror” frames.

In examining the content of the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, keep in mind that the speech was carefully prepared and presented by a Harvard-educated President who fully understands context.

The President said:

I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 42 other countries — including Norway — in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.

He later said:

The concept of a “just war” emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when certain conditions were met: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense.

and:

The world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense. Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait — a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.

In the first instance, the President swiftly slipped into and out of Iraq with the words “winding down,” yet included Iraq within a paragraph that discusses “self-defense.” In the third paragraph, the President makes express reference to 9/11. He then again slipped in Iraq — this time with respect to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.

Setting aside the question as to whether the U.S., through Ambassador April Glaspie, may have encouraged the invasion of Kuwait before the Bush I administration utilized that event as an excuse to initiate Gulf War I, the plain and simple fact is that the invasion of Kuwait had absolutely nothing to do with the reasons why we invaded Iraq in 2003. So why did the President’s prepared text reference the invasion of Kuwait in the same paragraph that he discussed 9/11 and Afghanistan?

The President, of course, also subtly ignored the fact that the U.S. was not attacked on 9/11 by Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen or the Taliban.

What Obama was really implying is that the so-called “Global War on Terror” is a war of last resort that is essential to our self-defense, a point alluded to when he described al Qaeda as on par with Nazi Germany, adding:

Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms.

While it is probable that the U.S. could not negotiate an end to the “War on Terror” with al Qaeda, since there has never been a serious effort to engage that criminal organization in talks designed to mutually disarm al Qaeda and end the U.S. imperial presence in the Middle East, the President’s suggestion that it “cannot” be done reflects an overstatement. But the more important fact is that the choice is not limited to negotiations or endless war. There is a third way; a legal response to 9/11, which would have saved the lives of thousands of U.S. service personnel who have already perished in these conflicts, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of civilians killed by our awesome war machine in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Yemen.

Consider the world-wide outpouring of sympathy in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Imagine the esteem with which the U.S. would be held today if, rather than satisfying a blood lust desire for revenge, our response had been to seek the criminal arrest and prosecution of all who were complicit in 9/11 through the auspices of the World Court and the U.N. Think of the esteem that is still available should the President abandon the insanity of perpetual war and, belatedly, seek justice.

No, Mr. President, aside from the fact that it will only increase the risk of retaliation, killing innocent civilians in Arab nations to avenge 9/11 is neither rational, expedient nor just. You quoted Dr. King’s words, but did you understand them? “Violence neverbrings permanent peace.” War is not the answer.

* * *Glenn Greewald, during 12/31/09 appearance on Democracy Now, explains how war increases the risk of reprisal…

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Ernest A. Canning has been an active member of the California state bar since 1977. Mr. Canning has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science as well as a juris doctor. He is also a Vietnam vet (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968)