Prince Turki Al-Faisal on US-Saudi Relations

Prince Turki Al-Faisal on US-Saudi Relations

I’m informed via reader e-mail that I must discuss the interview Saudi Prince Turki Al-Faisal gave to the Financial Times at the risk of losing my credibility.

The Financial Times itself believes the interview is worthy of editorial comment, so I guess I’d better hop to!

I think Pr. Turki is honestly conveying the feelings of the government and people of Saudi Arabia. His words echo those of his brother, Pr. Saud, the Foreign Minister, that the conflict must end, once and for all.

As much as the government of Saudi Arabia wishes to maintain friendly relations with the US, that relationship is in jeopardy. This repeats the warningthat then-Crown Prince Abdullah gave the Bush Administration back in 2002: The US must try to rein in Israel if there is to be peace and stability in the region. In the views of Saudi and Arab publics, the Bush Administration was an unmitigated disaster for the region, for Arabs, and for Muslims at large. Some of this is indeed hyperbole, exaggerations made to score political points as well as misdirection by groups like Al-Qaeda to stir up resentment toward the US. The Iraq incursion started it, Abu Ghraib heightened it, stories coming from Guantanamo pushed it into the stratosphere. Gaza has simply made the situation intolerable.

The issue here is not just a matter of politics that can be reasoned, argued, fixed with a treaty or agreement. Instead, it has grown into an emotional issue—the same emotional issue that Abdullah brought to Bush’s attention in 2002. There has not been any forward action taken on the issue beyond Bush’s enunciation of the ‘two-state solution’. Today, Arabs and Israelis are both questioning whether a two-state solution is even feasible. What has changed the ground enormously is Gaza.

Again, it’s not a matter of politics or even a rational discussion of ‘who started it’ or why. Instead, it has become a visceral issue, fed by endless photographs of dead and dying Palestinian children and women. Hundreds of ghastly photos circulate through the Internet, e-mails, list-servers, and the Arab media. People who see these photos are not prepared to argue the niceties of international law. They are convinced that Israel is a criminal state.

Of course, it doesn’t help that the last 60 years of Middle Eastern politics have served to demonize Israel, justly or not. Nor does it help that too many imams in too many countries preach raw antisemitism and teach it in their schools.

Pr. Turki’s point is that if the US is to maintain cordial relations with Saudi Arabia, the US government must be seen to do something to change the status quo. Saudi Arabia, through King Abdullah’s peace plan, has gone as far as it can go, to the point of getting the members of the Arab League to sign onto the plan. The US, as a supporter of Israel, perhaps the supporter of Israel, must now do its part.

Some might say, ‘Well, if the Saudis don’t want the relationship, let them walk away… good riddance!’ That, while popular with some sectors of US society, is particularly dumb. The Saudis have already said that they will not use oil as a ‘weapon’, i.e., no repetition of the 1973 boycott. That does not mean that they will continue to offer preferential prices to the US for oil. Nor does it mean that Saudi Arabia cannot make life difficult for the US government. Simply by refusing to grant the US military permission to overfly the country, the Kingdom can wreak havoc for US military planners with concerns east of Suez. It could stop being the piggy bank to which the US government goes to find funding for international aid programs for which there is nothing in the US budget. It could stop buying Boeing or Sikorsky or General Electric weapons and weapon systems and instead buy from Europe, Russia, or China. Rather than voting with the US in international fora, it could simply vote ‘present’.

There are many ways in which the US-Saudi relationship can be harmed, all short of war. The question is whether the US government thinks the Saudis are bluffing. I think not. Having offered warning seven years ago, only to see promises made and then frittered away, I think they are serious. I think, as well, that the US government mostly understands this. As a result, pressure will be put on Israel to make changes in its traditional demands, though pressure will be applied to the rejectionist Arab states and groups as well.

It’s not the showdown at the OK Corral just yet, but warning flags are flying.

Saudi Arabia’s patience is running out
Prince Turki Al-Faisal

In my decades as a public servant, I have strongly promoted the Arab-Israeli peace process. During recent months, I argued that the peace plan proposed by Saudi Arabia could be implemented under an Obama administration if the Israelis and Palestinians accepted difficult compromises.

But after Israel launched its bloody attack on Gaza, these pleas for optimism and co-operation now seem a distant memory. Unless the new US administration takes forceful steps to prevent any further suffering and slaughter of Palestinians, the peace process, the US-Saudi relationship and the stability of the region are at risk.

Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Saudi foreign minister, told the UN Security Council that if there was no just settlement, “we will turn our backs on you”. King Abdullah spoke for the Arab and Muslim world when he said at the Arab summit in Kuwait that although the Arab peace initiative was on the table, it would not remain there for long.

America is not innocent in this calamity. Not only has the Bush administration left a sickening legacy in the region, but it has also, through an arrogant attitude about the butchery in Gaza, contributed to the slaughter of innocents. If the US wants to continue playing a leadership role in the Middle East and keep its strategic alliances intact – especially its “special relationship” with Saudi Arabia – it will have to revise drastically its policies vis a vis Israel and Palestine.

The US administration will be inheriting a “basket full of snakes” in the region, but there are things that can be done to help calm them. First, President Barack Obama must address the disaster in Gaza and its causes. Inevitably, he will condemn Hamas’s firing of rockets at Israel. When he does that, he should also condemn Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinians and support a UN resolution to that effect; condemn the Israeli actions that led to this conflict, from settlement building in the West Bank to the blockade of Gaza and the targeted killings and arbitrary arrests of Palestinians; declare America’s intention to work for a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction, with a security umbrella for countries that sign up and sanctions for those that do not; call for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Shab’ah Farms in Lebanon; encourage Israeli-Syrian negotiations for peace; and support a UN resolution guaranteeing Iraq’s territorial integrity.

Mr Obama should strongly promote the Abdullah peace initiative, which calls on Israel to pursue the course laid out in various international resolutions and laws: to withdraw completely from the lands occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, returning to the lines of June 4 1967; to accept a mutually agreed just solution to the refugee problem according to UN resolution 194; and to recognise the independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. In return, there would be an end to hostilities between Israel and all Arab countries, and Israel would get full diplomatic and normal relations.

Last week, President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad of Iran wrote a letter to King Abdullah, explicitly recognising Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Arab and Muslim worlds and calling on him to take a more confrontational role over “this obvious atrocity and killing of your own children” in Gaza. The communiqué is significant because the de facto recognition of the kingdom’s primacy from one of its most ardent foes reveals the extent that the war has united an entire region, both Shia and Sunni. Further, Mr Ahmadi-Nejad’s call for Saudi Arabia to lead a jihad against Israel would, if pursued, create unprecedented chaos and bloodshed.

So far, the kingdom has resisted these calls, but every day this restraint becomes more difficult to maintain. As the world laments once again the suffering of the Palestinians, people of conscience from every corner of the world are clamouring for action. Eventually, the kingdom will not be able to prevent its citizens from joining the worldwide revolt against Israel. Today, every Saudi is a Gazan, and we remember well the words of our late King Faisal: “I hope you will forgive my outpouring of emotions, but when I think that our Holy Mosque in Jerusalem is being invaded and desecrated, I ask God that if I am unable to undertake Holy Jihad, then I should not live a moment more.” Let us all pray that Mr Obama possesses the foresight, fairness and resolve to rein in the murderous Israeli regime and open a new chapter in this most intractable of conflicts.

Prince Turki is chairman, King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, Riyadh. He has been director of Saudi intelligence, ambassador to the UK and Ireland and ambassador to the US

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

Godfather of “al Qaida” and Taliban Calls US “Inept”

'Inept' US cannot fix Afghanistan: top Saudi princeAFP – Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal delivers a speech during a conference …
Sat May 15, 7:43 am ET

RIYADH (AFP) – An “inept” United States cannot fix Afghanistan’s problems and should simply focus on “chasing the terrorists” there, former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal said on Saturday.

Turki, also former ambassador to Washington, said the US-led NATO troop presence in Afghanistan has irrevocably alienated the Afghan people and has no hope of rebuilding the country.

“What Afghanistan needs now is a shift from nation-building to effectively countering terrorists,” Turki, the brother of Foreign MinisterPrince Saud al-Faisal, told a small audience in Riyadh.

US President Barack Obama “should not be misdirected into believing that he can fix Afghanistan’s ills by military means.”

“Hunt down the terrorists on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, arrest them or kill them, and get out, and let the Afghan people deal with their problems.”

“As long as GI boots remain on Afghan soil, they remain targets of resistance for the Afghan people and ideological mercenaries.”

Turki, who has no official position but has long served a central role in Saudi-Afghan relations, scolded Washington’s handling of relations with Kabul.

“The inept way in which this administration has dealt with President (Hamid) Karzai beggars disbelief and amazement.”

“Both sides are now filled with resentment and a sour taste in their mouths,” he said. “How can they both get out of that situation? I don’t know.”

Pakistan’s Suicidal American Embrace

Pakistan…………again.

MOSTAQUE ALI
The East India Company use to de-legitimate Indian princely States before they were attacked by the company as corrupt, ineffective and thus unfit to govern themselves. Thus Company officials argued in their moral crusade that such conquered States required the effective expert benevolence of the Company to run them, accompanied as ever by fervent Christian evangelicalism.

The ground work for invasion was further laid by buying local generals such as Mir Jafar, and other important Public officials such as Mir Sadiq………..and in the case of the Punjab in 1849, it was a handful of men in the Sikh army and some civilian officials, so that the thoroughly modern Sikh army never offered a realistic resistance that would have been expected of it based on its fine reputation. Instead Sikhs after conquest, became the standard poster child dogs of the British Raj for more than 100 years. Indian subservience in the face of overt slights by the foreign occupying power……the disloyalty of a few men causing the endless suffering of millions of people under British colonial rule.

What of course in reality followed for many Indian States, under East India Company rule was total disaster……over taxation, $1,000 to $1500 billion worth of Indian assets transferred to the Rothschild financial empire in London. Overt misrule where ordinary Indians were subjected to humiliation by East India soldiers, and finally gross mismanagement which eventually resulted in the death of possibly 30 million Indians between 1757—1947.

The disloyalty of a few Mir Jafar’s causing the suffering of millions. The disloyalty of a few Mir Jafar’s causing shame and humiliation on the people of South Asia.

There is now a new East India Company at India’s gate, already well established in Afghanistan with 160,000 Western troops backed by 200,000 mercenaries projected for the near future. They are not there to fight 10,000 ak-47 armed Taliban, but to attack and occupy Pakistan………Baluchistan first, and then parts of the NWFP, aided by 400,000 Afghans and the 1,100,000 Pakistani security forces…………….this sounds amazing doesn’t it?………but this what is happening now slowly.

If Iraq and Afghanistan is a good indication, the occupation of Pakistan will not be a very happy one producing millions of refugees into India presumably, millions dead and poor corrupt governance by the occupying powers as with Afghanistan and Iraq now………….according to Transparency International amongst the two worst managed states.

Clearly without being ideological, common sense stares at us and tells us NO GOOD outcomes result from Pakistan’s co-operation with the USA. It is harming Pakistan at many levels. Further to reinforce this fact:

(1) The stark examples of Iraq and Afghanistan exist, if we require further evidence and reinforcement to quench our doubt. The glitter, allure, dollar and yes military strength of the USA can “confuse” and “deceive” sometimes the best of us in not seeing the clear truth.

(2) And we can look at Pakistan/American relations since 1965 in further clearing our doubts. The destabilization of the Ayub Khan regime whilst pretending to be his ally by the USA; The arms embargo against Pakistan in 1965 by the USA; The posturing and pretense of protecting Pakistan militarily with REAL arms aid in the 1971 civil war, AND by implication backed by American military might, but in reality when it came to the crunch green lighting India’s invasion of East Pakistan as stated by official records; Single highhandedly launching a crusade against Pakistan’s nuclear program……..by toppling democratically elected governments in 1977, and then killing senior military officers; the renewed embargo of 1990; The advice by them to create the “al-Qaeda” myth, and the Taliban in the 1990’s……and then pulling the rug under Pakistan unceremoniously in 2001 in relation to these two entities; the repeated insistence to do more and more against fighting terrorism….beyond the limited means of the Pakistan military 2002—2010; the toppling of Busharaf by the USA…..and finally the vilification of Pakistan as terrorism hub number one by the USA; so called terrorist organizations within Pakistan which in large part the USA actively, physically, participated jointly with Pakistan in creating in the first place from 1979 through to 2010…..with extensive Saudi and Israeli assistance.

But now they make open threats against Pakistan, the main victim of American mischief……over 45 years and more.

The rich irony comes full circle now.

The USA toppled and killed ZA Bhutto. The USA mistakenly thought he was the main personality behind Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program…..in reality, it was the Pakistan military. By toppling and killing him they thought they would end the program………they didn’t succeed.

Mossad Busharaf like all American puppets became an irritant to the USA for whatever whimsical reason……..and they decided to get rid of him from 2007. Perhaps they calculated that a civilian government led by wholly corrupt Zardari would be more amenable to their hostile occupational strategy in Pakistan eventually.

Benazir Bhutto became the weapon which was used to topple Musharaf. Benazir Bhutto was not liked by powerful Pakistani elements, and against her better judgment was advised mischievously by the Americans to go to Pakistan, despite repeated warnings from Musharaf not to come……….she was a polarizing figure from the Zamindari colonial era class of Pakistan educated at Oxford, a total failure as PM in two terms of office and hated with a vengeance by right-wing elements who didn’t like her because she was a woman, advertising herself as a sellout puppet of Washington being parachuted into the country at a critical time. Benazir indicated in her private correspondence that certain military and ex-military figures had threatened her, and that in all probability it is this group which killed her, working with the ISI.

Now the UN report into the Benazir Bhutto assassination damns possibly the entire Pakistani elite for the misdeeds of a few men in security, ultimately encouraged in a calculated way by the USA from the background.

THE FURTHER EAST INDIA COMPANY STYLE DE-LEGITIMATION OF PAKISTAN CONTINUES.

____________________________

The Bhutto Report: The 40 years ongoing de-legitimation of Pakistan by the USA.

By Safqat Mahmood at Jang Newspaper.

The drone attacks in the tribal areas have picked up since the Faisal Shahzad episode, as has the rhetoric from the United States. Attorney General Holder found a Pakistani Taliban link and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talked of severe consequences had the attack materialised.

(The staged event in 9/11 Noo Yawk very recently was very timely against Pakistan, and as previously suggested in this article is most likely the work of Israel…….and the wider historical explanation is provided why Israel did it. Israel’s goal has been to get at Pakistan’s nuke bombs since the 1970’s, and this effort has manifested itself variously through the USA, through India from the 1980’s through to 26/11 more recently which was ultimately meant to get India to militarily attack Pakistan, and directly with Pakistan by building intimate sexual relations with the ISI. (Musharaf may have been recruited early in the 1980’s as a Mossad agent)

In that sense the Americans are bit fronts/players in an Israeli game which through this latest incident in Jew Noo Yawk is intended to put pressure on the Pakistani military to EXPEND/EXHAUST the Pakistani military’s resources and manpower fighting her own citizens in an endless Sisyphean task, so that when America does finally attack Pakistan conventionally……….lets say in pursuit of the Taliban Afghan Shura in Quetta, the Pakistani military will not be in a position to put up any meaningful resistance to that eventuality………Ullooo Bacha Chaudis)

These statements were tempered by the US military that,playing the good cop, praised Pakistan for its vital role in the Afghan conflict. Ambassador Holbrooke also tried to fudge the issue by suggesting that Clinton’s statement had been misinterpreted.

(No misinterpretation by crypto-Jewess Clinton, she indeed spoke the truth, intended to signal to Israel what America would for that country {The Israelis like a little spoiled insecure girl do like a lot of verbal public affirmations from her allies “aren’t you pretty” etc}…..and the top American military brass perhaps ashamed by the duplicity towards an ally which is already foolishly aiding and abetting in the killing of her own citizens in Pakistan, attempted to ameliorate the verbal threat….”Oh don’t worry, nothin to fuss about..only a lone nut”…….undercut by the arrest of many others in the USA and in Pakistan as suspects. American military commanders must also be aware that this latest incident could not have been a Pakistani operation, working with the American run TTP birthed using ex-Guantanamo inmates who had been turned after 2005)

Whatever the real nature of the signals emanating from the US, one thing is clear. The botched Times Square bombing have reinforced negative perceptions in the West about Pakistan. Coming on the heels of the media hype in India after Ajmal Kasab’s conviction, it puts not just a few criminals but the entire country in the dock.

(Threats like that should not be taken lightly, by such a person. Just imagine America talking like that to North Korea, or Iran or Russia. Crypto-Jewess Clinton meant what she said and carry’s more weight than what Holbrooke/Patreaus later tried to explain away………she has strong links to American intelligence and the neo-liberal wing of the American cryto-Jewish fraternity of the Rockefeller’s/Soros and the all the rest. What she says matters not just because she is the Secretary of State. If however President Barry Soetoro had intervened immediately and clarified matters than that would have been different.

Casting malicious aspersion’s on an adversary is not historically a new phenomenon. However the individual or the collective who is the victim of such false malicious aspersions have the free will to deny such things to his potential adversary……..vigorously through actions, deeds, verbal communication, behaviour and ASSOCIATIONS, at an individual and collective level.

Since the 1970’s and especially after 1979, the Pakistani military with American blessing and funding began arming training recruiting Islamic fundamentalists of the more fervent kind, additionally backed by Saudi Gulf money and active Israeli participation in Pakistan………against the Godless Soviet menace, primarily. The Pakistani military overjoyed with the apparent success of such a scheme also created internal proxy groups of a similar kind to reinforce the writ of the Pakistani military within Pakistan, and also as a tool against India in Kashmir from 1989, once the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan.

There are 200 countries in the world, and most countries “securities” operate off the books paramilitary groups for various purposes…..in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. Pakistan in that sense is not doing anything different. However the volume, attention and association of the Pakistani military with Israel and the USA makes the Pakistani situation far more dangerous, and publicity prone.

The Pakistani military since 1965 have had ample WARNINGS of what it means to be an American ally and a Muslim country. The Americans have made repeated threats AGAINST Pakistan from the 1970’s; In the latter part of the 1980’s; in the 1990’s when the new Clinton administration called Ms Lodhi the Pakistan ambassador to the USA and told her that Pakistan would be henceforth designated a terrorist state from 1993, UNLESS Pakistan cooperated with America {Create the Taliban 1994} which Benazir Bhutto did with the backing of the Pakistani military.

With such a rich experience of repeated threats from the USA over 45 years shouldn’t the Pakistani military, the most powerful group in Pakistan today have taken proper safety measuresand precautions against the Americans in the timely eventuality of the USA doing the dirty against Pakistan yet again.

Safety measures????? Simple things:

(1) Reduce your reliance on the USA. Stop listening to and cooperating with yet more dangerous security schemes emanating from the USA. Let the Pakistani parliament and general Pakistani people have greater scrutiny of the Pakistani military’s off the books security agreements with the USA……..take them into confidence. STAND WITH THE PAKISTAN PEOPLE.

(2) Conversely increase your cooperation with India, beyond nice chats and gesture politics, both within the framework of SAARC and bilaterally.

(3) Accept the LoC as an International boundary, negotiate for permanent peace.

(4) Disband the internal jihadi groups seriously, and arrest their leaders.

(5) Tell the Taliban Shura in Quetta to leave Pakistan.

It is no irony or coincidence that the fireworks non-bomber in Noo Yawk, is the son of a senior Pakistani military officer who retired, and sent his sons to live and work in North America. Faisal Shahzad seems the perfect patsy….someone the intelligence agencies befriend and then betray.

Those in Pakistan always looking for a conspiracy are having a field day. Their prognosis is that ground is being prepared for an invasion. These dire predictions have been reinforced by veiled suggestions from the US that American ground forces may indeed penetrate into this country.

While this seems unlikely, the propaganda unleashed against Pakistan is a cause for alarm. Recent history of Western (USA lead)incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq indicates that negative reports about these countries were used as a basis to seek UN Security Council resolutions to justify an invasion.

(As with Mullah Iran……and so with Pakistan. Bush did say to Blair in their January 2003 meeting that Iran and Pakistan would be invaded eventually, after Iraq. This did not materialize because of the stiffness of the Iraqi resistance mainly which has accounted for the lives of 70,000 American servicemen unofficially, and which further forced the Americans to bribe certain Sunni Iraqis…….but one assumes the plans to invade Pakistan eventually still exists. Iran is proving difficult because it has allies such as Syria and to an extent Russia and Turkey……………but Pakistan……who is Pakistan’s friendly protector……..Israel and the USA????)

In this day and age, international approval for an invasion by a super power is necessary (Ha! earth calling Safqat Mahmood where have we been in the last couple years? Definitely not in Iraq’s case….where a mishmash of Israeli created conjecture was fed to the American public and media as a justification for invasion). This is facilitated if there is enough negative material to paint the target country black. Or, even better, if there is a report by a recognised international body that has prima facie authenticity.

(Now Mahmood Saab, I know a good deal of Pakistani journalists are on the pay of the Americans using buzzword and stock phrases lifted from their manuals…”Those in Pakistan always looking for a conspiracy are having a field day”…….you’re not another bearded Saleem Shahzad are ya, repeating the “al-Qaeda” bullshit or Ahmed Rashid? If you ain’t fucking noticed Pakistani civilians are being killed daily by American drones………….in military parlance in war this is known as probing attacks to see the reaction of your adversary, before the actual attack; terrorist ops in Pakistan by the TTP which America created, AND 160,000 Western troops backed by 200,000 mercenaries soon in Afghanistan………now you’re not going to tell me that they are there purely to deal with and fight the 10,000 strong Taliban militia equipped with AK-47’s.)

It is in this context that the report by the UN Commission on Benazir Bhutto’s murder becomes relevant to Pakistan’s current predicament. It accuses Pakistani state organs, or elements within, of having links with the Taliban and Al Qaeda. It suggests they were used by the Pakistani “Establishment” for assisting insurgency in Indian-held Kashmir. And it alleges a connection between organisations involved in cross border terrorism and Pakistani intelligence.

(Yes and its mainly true………but the UN report also fails to mention the critical driving American role in all this mess.

Though the Commission’s terms of reference were narrowly defined–to determine facts and circumstances of the assassination–it chose to go far beyond that. In a style reminiscent of investigative journalism, it went into Pakistan’s history, its political culture, the role of the establishment, and drew conclusions without substantiating anything. It did not indicate who was interviewed, what method of inquiry it had devised for itself and why it came to certain determinations.

These were serious lapses, as pointed out by leading lawyer Ahmer Bilal Sufi in a TV interview with Talat Hussain. The Commission was akin to a court of inquiry and its conclusions amounted to a judgement. Anything that it said had to be substantiated and backed by testimony. It did not have the luxury of vague hypothesis or veiled allusions.

It is important to remember that it is one thing for charges to fly to and fro in Pakistan about the establishment. Ever since the military became involved in politics, this has become an essential part of the Pakistani political lexicon.

But this report of the UN Commission is not for the Pakistani government or a part of the Pakistani political give-and-take. It has been submitted to the UN secretary general and is part of the Security Council archives. Any determinations that it has made can and will be used against Pakistan if and when the time is ripe. It may not be now, because the US needs Pakistan. But this could change.

It would also be important to remember that before the US invasion of Iraq a team of UN inspectors had been sent in to find out whether the country had an active nuclear programme. Their report was to be used for a Security Council resolution that would authorise an invasion. In the end, it did not come to that because the Inspectors were expelled by Iraq. But this in itself became a pretext.

Thus, UN reports are not some run-of-the mill documents. They are like a ticking bomb that can explode when the time is ripe. It is for this reason that the conclusions drawn by the Commission are so potentially damaging for Pakistan.

It first defines the establishment as the military high command and the intelligence agencies, plus leaders of some political parties, top bureaucrats and business people. In other words, the entire slice of the Pakistani ruling elite. It then accuses it of a variety of crimes.

In the case of Benazir Bhutto murder, it says: “Many sources interviewed by the Commission believe that the Establishment was threatened by the possibility of Ms Bhutto’s return to high public office and that it was involved in or bears some responsibility for her assassination.”

Talking about the Taliban connection, it says that “these elements (within the military) included, in particular, those who retain links with radical Islamists, especially the militant jihadi and Taliban groups and are sympathetic to their cause, or view them as strategic assets for asserting Pakistan’s role in the region.”

And on cross-border terrorist organisations: “The Pakistani military and ISI also used and supported some of these groups (Punjab-based jihadi organisations) in the Kashmir insurgency after 1989. The bulk of the anti-Indian activity was and still remains the work of groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba, which has close ties with the ISI.” This last assertion is damning in the context of the Mumbai massacre.

No concrete evidence has, of course, been adduced to support these conclusions. These assertions are the normal stuff of hearsay that is prevalent in the media. but not enough for a UN commission report. As A G Noorani has observed in his article for the Frontline magazine in India, “the issue is not whether the assessments, the conjectures, ‘the hypotheses,’ and the homilies are sound or not. The issue is starkly simple. Such passages do not belong to the report of a UN inquiry, let alone one on a murder.”

I will not go into the reasons why Mr Zardari was insistent on a UN Commission to investigate the assassination. Whether this was done deliberately to malign the military or not is a topic for another discussion. What concerns me is the time bomb ticking in UN Security Council archives. Are we going to let it remain there without a challenge?

There is only one answer. We cannot. The government has to write a strongly worded rejoinder to the conclusions drawn by the Commission regarding Pakistani state institutions. Whether any reply is received or not, whether the report is amended or not, we must place on record our objections. This is the only way to protect Pakistan’s national interest.

If this is not done, the government will be complicit in jeopardising Pakistan’s future.

N.Korea blasts Lieberman as ‘imbecile’

N.Korea blasts Israel’s foreign minister as ‘imbecile’

SEOUL: North Korea Saturday blasted Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman as an “imbecile” and denied his claims that it was supplying Iran and Syria with weapons technology.

Lieberman, in a visit to Japan Wednesday, accused the North of creating a world-threatening “axis of evil” with the two Middle Eastern countries.

He mentioned the seizure in Bangkok in December of arms from North Korea “with huge numbers of different weapons with the intention of smuggling these weapons to Hamas and to Hezbollah,” the militant Islamist and Shiite movements.

The Israeli minister also alleged the North was giving “crucial” assistance to Iranian and Syrian missile programmes.

A spokesman for Pyongyang’s foreign ministry described Lieberman as an “ultra-rightist” and “an imbecile in diplomacy”.

The spokesman, quoted by the North’s official news agency, said Israel was itself being criticised for its nuclear programme and the expansion of settlements in the occupied territories.

The North “has nothing to do with any spread of WMDs” (weapons of mass destruction),” the spokesman said.

In 2008 the United States accused North Korea of helping Syria to build a nuclear reactor destroyed in an Israeli bombing raid the previous year.

Sunni Terrorists Grab 60 (probably Shia) Near Parichinar

Suspected militants kidnap 60 in NW Pakistan: police

PARACHINAR, Pakistan

(Reuters) – Suspected militants dressed as policemen kidnapped about 60 people in troubled northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border on Saturday, government and police officials said.

Heavily armed militants first seized a vehicle belonging to the government power utility in the Kurram region and kidnapped four people traveling inside. The vehicle was set on fire.

Shortly afterwards, several vehicles were seized from a convoy of civilians traveling to Parachinar, the main city in Kurram.

Officials initially said 30 people were kidnapped but later said 57 people had been taken from the convoy.

“The militants were posing as policemen and wearing police uniforms,” said Mir Chaman, a senior police official in the nearby town of Thal.

Government officials in Kurram confirmed the incident and said efforts were under way to recover the kidnapped people.

The Pakistani military has mounted offensives against militants in their strongholds in the northwest over the past year, largely clearing several areas, killing hundreds of militants and destroying their bases.

A large number of militants, officials say, have fled to Kurram and neighboring regions after the military launched a major operation against them in their South Waziristan bastion near the Afghan border in mid-October last year.

Security forces have intensified air strikes on militant targets in Kurram and adjoining areas in recent weeks.

The militants have shown resilience and carried out a wave of suicide and bomb attacks, mainly in the northwest, killing hundreds of people.

(Reporting by Javed Hussain and Hasan Mehmood; Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Chris Allbritton and Paul Tait)

In the Beginning and the Now of Nakba

In the Beginning and the Now of Nakba

eileen fleming

Every May 15th since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, the Palestinian Exodus from the Holy Land, known as Nakba, meaning their “day of the catastrophe” is commemorated as the day the expulsions and flight of Palestinians from their towns and villages began when Israeli troops forced them from their land and created over 750,000 refugees who are still denied the right to return to their property.

Dr. Pappe, an Israeli historian and author of A History of Modern Palestine: One Land, Two Peoples, spoke in occupied East Jerusalem, 0n Nov. 8, 2006 at the Notre Dame Conference center during Sabeel’s 6th International Conference: The Forgotten Faithful: Palestinian Christians.

His topic was the “Dynamics of Forgetting” but he informed us:
“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.
“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! The way to challenge and change the ethnic cleansing is to pursue true democracy and the use of sanctions and divestment, for money talks.”


Palestinian Loss of Land 1946 to 2005

Israel has also never 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.'”
[1]

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.”[2]

So, let’s address it, for the brutal truth is that only if we truly love our friends will we be honest with them and call them on their bad behavior. We also must be honest with ourselves about our culpability!

“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.”[3]

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!

Jeff Halper also told me:

“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.” [4]

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.”

William Blake wrote that “Opposition is True Friendship” and after 62 years of Al Nakba; enough is more than enough!

LEARN MORE:  THE Ongoing NAKBA
Read more…

1. Jeff Halper, An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel, Page 74. Pluto Press, 2008

2. An Israeli in Palestine, Pages 65-66.

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

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

Obama seeks $200 million for Israel’s rocket defense

Obama seeks $200 million for Israel’s rocket defense

By Patrick Galey and Agence France Presse (AFP)
Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: The Obama Administration is seeking supply Israel with more than $200 million in order to implement a missile defense system capable of intercepting potential Hizbullah attacks.

The White House announced late Thursday that US President Barack Obama had asked congress to approve an additional $205 million to continue the development of Israel’s “Iron Dome” anti-missile project.

“The president recognizes the threat missiles and rockets fired by Hamas and Hizbullah pose to Israelis, and has therefore decided to seek funding from Congress to support the production of Israel’s short range rocket defense system called Iron Dome,” White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Ali Shami defended Hizbullah’s right to arm itself in the face of Israeli threats.

The Friday edition of the daily Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that Shami had told Arab ambassadors in Beirut that “the resistance has the right to get any weapon into Lebanon in order to use it to fight Israeli aggression.”

The paper quoted Shami as saying that Hizbullah’s procurement of weapons “does not violate [UN Security Council] Resolution 1701,” which stipulates there be no arms in Lebanon outside of state control.

Shami added that article six of the government’s policy statement legitimized the fight against Israel.

“This includes any necessary equipment to fight, including missiles, no matter what kind,” he was quoted as saying.

Resolution 1701 was drafted to end the 2006 July-August war between Israel and Hizbullah.

Timur Goksel, a former long-term adviser to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) – the peacekeeping force charged with monitoring its implementation – said Hizbullah receiving weapons would contravene international law.

“That’s the whole idea of 1701; the implementation of state control over weapons,” Goksel told The Daily Star. “It is against 1701 in spirit and I am sure it is against the letter of it too.”

On the “Iron Dome,” Goksel said that while the project would be advantageous to Tel Aviv, it did not guarantee and improvement in regional security.

“If the US is paying that much, it is a huge advantage to Israel,” he said. “It would put Israeli in a better position and might actually lead to less aggression [from Tel Aviv]. It might give Israel a sense of security or it might make them more arrogant and eager to start something.”

Israel tested its missile defense system, which destroys projectiles in midair, in January. Obama’s bid to increase the system’s funding comes a month after allegations surfaced that Hizbullah was receiving long-range Scud missiles from Syria.

Although Syria furiously denied the claims made by Israeli President Shimon Peres and corroborated by US officials, Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to be asked about the situation when he visits Washington later this month.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also fired a warning to Damascus that supplying Hizbullah with missiles could trigger a fresh regional conflict.

Goksel said that any workable missile defense system for Israel would lead to a change in tactics from Hizbullah.

“It is more or less a known system. Hizbullah will have to adapt. They will maintain their position but maybe they will start using smaller projectiles such as RPGs more often,” he said. “We may see an emergence of more classical warfare, such as ambushes.”

The “Iron Dome” system has been developed following Hizbullah’s firing of more than 4000 rockets into northern Israel in 2006. The group’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has said that Hizbullah has in its arsenal the ability to hit all targets in Israel. Tel Aviv claims the group’s rocket stockpile amounts to 40,000.

The White House said the anti-missile system would also help safeguard the US’s regional security concerns.

“The United States and our ally Israel share many of the same security challenges,” said Vietor. “As the president has repeatedly said, our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable and our defense relationship is stronger than ever.” – withAFP

Read more:http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=114892#ixzz0o0FcYIJ2
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)