Lashkar Islami and TTP At Each Other’s Throats in Khyber Agency

TTP-LI clash leaves 8 dead in Khyber Agency

Ashrafuddin Pirzada

LANDIKOTAL: At least eight people, including two pedestrians, were killed in a gun battle between Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Swat chapter militants and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) members in Tabai Bazaar of Landikotal tehsil, officials said on Saturday.

The shootout took place at 7:45 p.m. when several TTP militants, travelling in two double-cabin vehicles, tried to kidnap an LI man. The other LI gunmen present in the Tabai Bazaar attacked TTP Swat gunmen.

On the resistance from LI volunteers, the TTP Swat militants also opened fire and the exchange of fire continued for about 30 minutes.

Eight persons including two TTP Swat militants, four LI fighters and two pedestrians said to be auto mechanics were killed on the spot, while four others sustained bullets injuries, tribal sources said. Two double-cabin pickups of the TTP Swat were also destroyed in the clash.

“LI volunteers also abducted up three other TTP Swat militants and took them to an undisclosed location while a few of them fled to nearby Sur Ghar in Tabai area where the LI volunteers also went chasing their rivals,” said a source, who requested anonymity.

It was the second armed clash between TTP Swat and LI fighters in Bazaar Zakhakhel, leading to death of dozens of fighters from both sides during the last one month.

Thousands of Anti-Israel Protesters Take to Streets across Europe

Thousands of Anti-Israel Protesters Take to Streets across Europe

Readers Number : 280

06/06/2010 From Frankfurt to Berlin to Dusseldorf – thousands of anti-Israel protesters marched across Germany on Saturday, hoisting Palestinian flags and calling for action against the “massacre” aboard the Mavi Marmara.

There are an estimated 2.8 million Turks or Germans of Turkish origin in Germany. Eleven Germans were aboard the Mavi Marmara.

“We want justice for our comrades killed!” said Hamit Savas. “We insist on an end to the insane blockade of Gaza and freedom for our brother Palestinians.”

Paris, London and Dublin saw similar protests. In Dublin, protesters were angry not only about the Marmara, but also about Israel’s stopping the Rachel Corrie Saturday, which carried Irish activists.

In Sweden, dockworkers announced Saturday that Israeli ships trying to dock and unload goods would be “ignored” next week. A spokesman for the 1,500 strong Swedish Port Workers Union said it’s workers are being told to refuse handling Israeli goods and ships during the June 15-24 boycott.

A union spokesman, Peter Annerback, said the dock workers would use “detective work” to figure out if any Israeli goods were arriving on non-Israeli ships. He urged other unions to join in similar initiatives. Seven Swedish citizens were detained on board the Gaza-bound flotilla.

Norway announced it was canceling an upcoming special operations seminar because the Defense Ministry objected to the inclusion of an Israeli army officer in the program. A spokeswoman, Maj. Heidi Langvik-Hansen, said it was “not the right time” to hear a talk by an Israeli officer [identified only as Colonel Toledano].

In England, in Bournemouth, a coastal resort town with a large Jewish population and a Jewish mayor, there were calls to cut the city’s twinning links with Netanya. In a letter to the local Daily Echo, resident Tony Williams charged that “the latest atrocity’ illustrated Israel’s “contempt not only for the rule of law but for the opinions of civilized nations throughout the world.” Williams said: “Next year in Bournemouth we shall be electing councilors, and it is essential that all candidates standing for election state their position on the Palestine-Israel conflict.”

Mayor Barry Golbart said people should work for a “peaceful solution.” Golbart said: “Speaking personally, and not as mayor, my position is that I am not an Israeli; I’m a Jewish man living in England. It is an extremely sorry state of affairs, whatever the rights and wrongs of it,” he told the Echo.

Two More Wanted IMU Terrorists Killed in Tajikistan

[SEE: In Tajikistan, in a shooting killed two active member of the IMU]

Tajik Interior Ministry identified the dead terrorist

June 5, 2010, 10:32
CA-NEWS (TJ) – Tajikistan’s law enforcement authorities identified the dead during a firefight on the night of Friday the terrorists in the village 60 km north of Dushanbe.

According to the press center of the Interior Ministry, they are residents of Isfara (a city that borders with Kyrgyzstan) 32-year-old Abdurahim Umarov and 31-year-old Abdurahmon Vahhobov, who were wanted for a long time.

According to MIA, Umarov is an active member of the terrorist organization Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (now Turkestan), was wanted since 1999 on suspicion of terrorism, the organization of criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms, theft, deliberate destruction of property.

The Interior Ministry claimed that “the body of another dead like Vahhobova, who is wanted since 2004 on suspicion of membership in this organization.” “They were both extremely dangerous, were fighting terrorist training in Afghanistan and Pakistan”, – said the press center.

The Interior Ministry stressed that the clashes on the ground were found two pistols Makarov pistol Walther with a silencer, more than a thousand units of ammunition, items necessary to assemble an improvised explosive device, the Afghan currency, the extremist literature and training materials to prepare terrorist acts.

Recall that on June 2 post “Mayhura” (60 km north of Dushanbe) stopped a vehicle brand Opel, in the cabin where the driver and several passengers. During the search of the car one of the passengers opened fire, which resulted in injury to one of the staff of the Anti-narcotics Interior Ministry.

The attackers managed to flee the scene of the incident. During the announced plan of “interception” was established location of the attackers, which occurred during the arrest of firing.

In the clashes killed one of the Department of special police, and wounded one person from among civilians.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Tajikistan, in 2009 the country had been cleared 10 organized criminal groups.

The largest operation was conducted in June-August of last year Rashstkoy valley to the east of the republic, which was killed by ex-Minister for Emergency Situations and Civil Defense Mirzo Zieev, Bole known as Mirza-Jag. Then law enforcement agencies of Tajikistan were killed 11 militants, including five Russian citizens, dozens were arrested, among them foreign mercenaries.

Army Plans $100 Million Special Ops HQ in Afghanistan

Army Plans $100 Million Special Ops HQ in Afghanistan

By Noah Shachtman

The Army is looking to spend as much as $100 million to expand its Special Operations headquarters in northern Afghanistan.

All around Afghanistan, from Kandahar Airfield to the Bagram jail, the U.S. military is on a building spree, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on wartime encampments. By one count, America and its allies now have 700 bases in Afghanistan. But most of the construction — and most of the extra troops “surging” into the country — are going to the violent south and the dangerous east.

Until recently, northern Afghanistan was considered quiet. Regional hub Mazar-e-Sharif was the first major city in Afghanistan to be taken from the Taliban. But, especially in nearby Kunduz province, violence is bubbling up once again.

The Amy expects its expanded Special Operations HQ in Mazar-e-Sharif to occupy 70,000 square meters. It’ll include a “communications building, Tactical Operations Center, training facility, medical aid station, Vehicle Maintenance Facility… dining facility, laundry facility, and a kennel to support working dogs,” according to a request for proposals. “Supporting facilities include roads, power production system and electrical distribution, water well, non-potable water production, water storage, water distribution, sanitary sewer collection system, communication manhole/duct system, curbs, walkways, drainage and parking. Additionally, the project will include site preparation and compound security measures to include guard towers.”

Construction is supposed to take a year. At which point, the U.S. is allegedly supposed to begin drawing down its forces in Afghanistan. Allegedly.

[Photo: DoD]


Iranian troops Fortify Military Positions Inside Kurdish northern Iraq

Iranian troops cross into Iraq’s northern border

[05/June/2010]

BAGHDAD, June 5 (Saba) — The Iranian troops crossed into the Iraqi Kurdish region two days after another incursion in the mountainous semiautonomous region, a Kurdish security source and Kurdish official website said on Saturday, according to Xinhua.

“Iranian forces late on Thursday entered about two km inside an Iraqi territory near the bordering area of Haj Omran in Arbil province,” a border guards source said on condition of anonymity.

The Iranian troops were armed with heavy weapons, military vehicles and bulldozers, the source said.

The Iraqi Kurdish forces were observing the Iranian movements and noticed the Iranian troops have built new military positions on the Mount Kudo inside the Iraqi Kurdish territory, according to the official website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, headed by Iraq President Jalal Talabani.

On Tuesday, the Arabiyah Pan Arab news television reported that the Iranian troops entered 5 km inside the Iraqi territories without giving further details about the incursion.

However, the Kurdish authorities frequently complained that the Iranian troops shelled the Kurdish villages in the mountainous area in northern Iraq with their artillery and that about 220 Kurdish families have already fled the area.

Iran says it is targeting militants from the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), an Iranian anti-government Kurdish group which allegedly is sheltering in the Iraqi Kurdish region.

The PJAK is a militant Kurdish nationalist group, which has been accused by Iran of carrying out numerous attacks against the Iranian troops in western Iran. Iran as well as Turkey sporadically attack inside the Iraqi Qandil mountains as they believe that PJAK has close ties to the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and both are sheltering in bases in the mountainous region of northern Iraq.

On June 1, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador and Turkish charge d’affair to express its “deep concern” and called the attacks “dangerous,” according to a statement from the ministry.

Saba

Iran pipeline will be Pakistan’s Enron

Iran pipeline will be Pakistan’s Enron

6 Jun 2010, 0916 hrs IST,TNN

Swaminomics declared last week that India must forget the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline because of the outrageously high cost of Iranian gas. Some readers have asked, “Why is Pakistan willing to pay the Iranian price, and go ahead with the project minus India?”

Answer: The pipeline is going to become Pakistan’s Enron. It will drive Pakistan towards bankruptcy and be aborted, just as Enron drove the Maharashtra government towards bankruptcy and was aborted.

Iran and other Gulf producers have long linked the price of gas to that of oil. This was acceptable for decades when oil prices, and hence linked gas prices, were subdued. But oil shot up from $14/barrel in 1995 to a peak of $150/barrel in 2008, and it is still around $75/barrel today.

Iran and Pakistan have agreed on a gas price linked to 80% of the Brent crude oil price. This would have been fair in 1995 but not any longer as oil is up from $14/barrel to $75/barrel.

In a recent interview with Newsline magazine, former Pakistan petroleum secretary Gulfraz Ahmed declared bluntly, “I am now appalled to know that the present negotiations are in the region of 80% of Brent crude.” He adds, “We need this gas urgently, but on the other hand, not at this price.”

He recalls that his original negotiation in the 1990s was for a gas price of $2.05/mmbtu (million metric British thermal unit) from Iran. But the new gas deal implies a price of $8/mmbtu if oil is $60/barrel. If oil goes up to $100/barrel — very likely in the next year or so — the gas price will soar to $13/mmbtu. And if oil returns to its 2008 level of $150/barrel — entirely possible when the Iran-Pakistan pipeline is completed in 2015 — gas will cost a mind-boggling $20/mmbtu, or 10 times as high as originally negotiated in the 1990s.

The cost of 5,000 MW of power to be generated from the gas will rise correspondingly. If oil costs $100/barrel, the linked gas price will translate into an electricity price of around Rs 7.50/ unit. Remember that Enron had to be closed when its price rose to just Rs 4.25/unit: the Maharashtra government said this would empty its coffers.
When Pakistan begins generating power with Iran gas in 2015, oil could be as high as $150/barrel. If so, the corresponding cost of electricity will be Rs 11/unit. Producing power at that price will be economic suicide.

Why has Pakistan got itself into such a trap? Well, don’t be surprised: many Indians still want to join this project. Politicians and strategy wonks can be so fascinated by projects with political appeal that they forget commercial sense. The Left Front is dying to join the project just to spite the US. Pakistan too has foreign policy wonks who see the pipeline as a way to kick the US and display solidarity with Islamic neighbours, oblivious of the suicidal cost.

When Enron proposed its 2000 MW plant in India, this was seen as a fabulously strategic project, worth paying a premium for. At the time the state electricity boards were bust, and India had a terrible power shortage. In this energy desperation, the Enron project was grasped eagerly and cleared at record speed, notwithstanding warnings about the cost. Many hoped this strategic deal would open the gate for dozens more foreign investments.

Fifteen years later, Pakistan also has a terrible power shortage. It too suffers from energy desperation, and so is eagerly grasping a massive power project based on Iranian fuel, ignoring warnings from its own experts about the cost.

Gulfraz Ahmed mentions a third reason for Pakistan’s behaviour: lack of negotiating skills to understand the risks of a 40-year deal with an unfavourable pricing formula. This happened in Enron’s case as well. In both cases the negotiators failed to realize the risks of a contract linked to world oil prices (which could shoot up) and denominated in dollars (the electricity price shot up every time the rupee declined).

Critics of Enron shouted “corruption”. More than 20 cases were filed against the project but all were dismissed by the courts — there was no hard evidence. However, many Indians remained convinced that money had changed hands because Indian politicians are so obviously corrupt. I predict that the Iran gas deal will also be widely condemned as corrupt in Pakistan once the high cost of electricity becomes patently obvious.

Corruption charges are a distraction. The Enron fiasco was caused by a combination of energy desperation, incompetent negotiation, and fanciful notions of strategic importance. Pakistan faces a similar fiasco for the same three reasons.

Left-Wingers Burn Israeli Flags Near U.S. Embassy

Left-Wingers Burn Israeli Flags Near U.S. Embassy

Several hundred leftist demonstrators held a protest near the U.S. embassy compound in Awkar on Sunday, burning Israeli flags and calling for an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip.

“Free Palestine” and “‘No’ to an American embassy in Lebanon,” the protestors chanted about two kilometers away from the embassy, under the watchful eyes of Lebanese soldiers.

The demonstrators, supporters of the Communist Party and the Democratic Youth Movement, carried Lebanese, Palestinian and Turkish flags, and placards denouncing the Jewish state.

Protests have erupted worldwide since Israeli naval commandos stormed a Turkish-led multi-national aid flotilla headed for Gaza in defiance of an Israeli blockade, killing nine activists on board.

On Saturday, Israeli forces stopped the Rachel Corrie, another aid ship headed for Gaza from Ireland, but there was no repetition of the earlier violence.

“Born in the USA, murdered for Palestine,” said a placard carried by a demonstrator, an apparent reference to Rachel Corrie, an American activist crushed by Israeli bulldozers in 2003 as she tried to stop the destruction of Palestinian homes.

Demonstrators also carried the dead activist’s photographs, and an Israeli flag symbolically splattered with drops of blood. They set ablaze two Israeli flags and a wooden replica of the Jewish state’s emblem, the star of David.

Some of the demonstrators removed a line of barbed wire separating them from the soldiers, before being warned to stop and move back.

On Saturday, two pro-Palestinian non-governmental organizations in Lebanon launched a campaign for funds to buy a boat to sail for Gaza next week with dozens of Arab and foreign journalists on board.(AFP-Naharnet)

Erdogan Plans to Sail to Gaza?

Erdogan Plans to Sail to Gaza – Report

Bulgaria: Erdogan Plans to Sail to Gaza - Report

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (L) and Health minister Recep Akdag (2-L) chat with one of the wounded Turkish activists at Ataturk Hospital in Ankara, Turkey, 03 June 2010. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may personally try to break the Gaza blockade by sailing there, Lebanese newspaper Al-Mustaqbal reported on Saturday.

The paper said the report was based on Turkish sources “in the know.”

According to media reports, Erdogan may also consider sending Turkish Navy vessels to accompany future protest ships that head to Gaza.

The report comes days after Israeli forces killed nine activists who were attempting to break the blockade.

Israel has faced an international outcry over the incident, which has also soured relations with Turkey because most of the dead were Turkish.

But Israel has repeatedly defended its actions, saying its commandos acted in self defence.

Israel has blockaded Gaza since 2007, when the Islamist Hamas movement took control of the territory, and says its policies will not change while Hamas remains in power.

Did Israel conduct two military operations against Turkey?

[Kurdish PPK leader, Abdullah Ocalan's announcement of an end to efforts to seek dialogue with the Turkish government was issued with this clarification:  “This should not be misunderstood. This is not a call for a war.”

The attack upon İskenderun, which came shortly after Ocalen's statement was an uncharacteristic example of the PPK ignoring their leader's orders.  Whoever attacked the Turkish naval target was apparently linked to the simultaneous assault upon the peace flotilla.]

Did Israel conduct two military operations against Turkey?



The tone in Ankara has risen over the two deadly assaults on 31 May 2010 against Turkish naval interests.

Shortly after midnight, a commando attacked the naval military base of İskenderun (near the Syrian border). The assailants fired rockets and killed seven Turkish soldiers.

Two hours later, Israeli forces attacked two Turkish merchant ships in the Mediterranean which were part of the Freedom Flotilla. The aggressors killed at least nine passengers, including six Turkish nationals. Earlier that afternoon, Abdullah Öcalan, historic Kurdish separatist leader of the PKK, had announced he would desist from conducting his movement from prison. It is unclear exactly how the PKK is currently operating.

Although the first attack was claimed by the PKK, or was claimed in its name, certain Turkish officials do not exclude the possibility that it was sponsored by Israel.

The Vice-President of the AKP (Democratic-Muslim government party), Hüseyin Çelik, said he did not believe in coincidence. The new chairman of the CHP (Social Democrat secular party), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, qualified the coincidence as “significant”. While the president of SP (Muslim conservative party), Numan Kurtulmuş, cautioned Israel, saying that he hoped the simultaneity of events was merely a chance outcome.

The government convened an ad hoc meeting of the National Security Council, on 2 June at 10am, to discuss the attacks. It will be chaired by the Prime Minister and will be attended by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders of the three armies.

Another Bush Hiding In the Shrubbery?

[Jeb Bush is rearing his ugly head, making noise, trying to motivate the party faithful to stop being so "grumpy."  Yeah, Jeb, put a happy face on the party of corporate fascism.]

Tony Allen-Mills

For a man who doesn’t want to be president and isn’t running for office, Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and older brother of George W, is suddenly sounding remarkably like a candidate.

Last week he popped up in New York warning Republicans that internal divisions might hurt their chances of ousting President Barack Obama from the White House in 2012. He also urged them not to be “grumpy . . . we can’t be saying no, no, no all the time”.

Bush is not the only prominent Republican who is saying “no” to a presidential run of his own but might end up saying “yes”. As Obama’s poll ratings flounder in a sea of BP oil and economic gloom, a volatile leadership vacuum is developing in the Republican party.

The absence of an obvious frontrunner for the 2012 presidential nomination, and the emergence of the disruptive right-wing Tea Party movement, is beginning to unnerve senior Republicans, acutely aware that a lack of unity may quickly unhinge their hopes of exploiting mounting disenchantment with Obama.

“United, conservatives need to be joyful in this quest to regain control,” warned Bush. Yet the early evidence from this year’s mid-term elections has been anything but joyous, as Republican campaigns are beset by mud-slinging, scandal and rampant bitchiness.

The latest victim of fratricidal fallout is Nikki Haley, a South Carolina legislator who shot to the front of the primary race for governor after she was endorsed by Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, who is steadily building a network of conservative women candidates she refers to as her “mama grizzlies”.

Haley, a 38-year-old mother of two, was promptly assailed by allegations that she had an extramarital affair with a former aide. No sooner had she denied that liaison than a Republican lobbyist popped up with lurid accounts of a supposed one-night stand with Haley at a Salt Lake City hotel during a party conference in 2008.

“Two or three months ago I was Nikki who? And now we have had everything thrown at us,” said Haley, who insisted she never betrayed her husband in 13 years of marriage. “This is just disgusting politics.”

The leading Republican in the Connecticut Senate race wasn’t faring much better. Linda McMahon, a businesswoman whose family runs a television wrestling empire, appeared to have a stranglehold on the Republican nomination after her staff helped expose Richard Blumenthal, the leading Democratic contender, as a fraud who had lied about serving in Vietnam.

Instead, McMahon has become the target for conservative Republicans appalled at her links to the racy excess of her wrestling business, World Wrestling Entertainment. “WWE is to the popular culture what the BP spill is to the Gulf of Mexico,” one right-wing columnist noted, “a relentless gusher of pollution.”

Even Scott Brown, the former male model who became a Republican pin-up after he seized the late Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat from the Democrats four months ago, has stirred conservative wrath by voting with the Democrats on several key issues.

While Republican sights remain fixed on Senate and congressional races this autumn, the presidential race is already looming. There is no shortage of party heavyweights with the credentials for a White House run — from former governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts to Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker; Tim Pawlenty, the widely admired governor of Minnesota; Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor turned conservative talkshow host; and Mitch Daniels, the popular Indiana governor.

Overshadowing them all is Palin, whose presidential plans are the subject of intense speculation. Many conservatives are egging her on; others believe she is making too much money as a right-wing icon to risk her budding business empire on an unsuccessful campaign.

With none of the obvious contenders appearing likely to satisfy both conservative and moderate wings of the party, a vacancy remains for an inspirational figure who could both halt the infighting and trounce Obama.

Bush, 57, has so far ruled himself out, although he recently told Fred Barnes, a columnist at the Weekly Standard, that he did not believe the Bush name had been poisoned by Dubya’s turbulent presidency. “The Jeb Bush political saga hasn’t come to an end,” Barnes predicted.

The wildest card remains General David Petraeus, also 57, the head of US Central Command, architect of the Iraqi surge, and the Dwight Eisenhower-like military giant who fills many a Republican strategist’s dreams.

As a serving officer unswervingly loyal to his commander-in-chief — the man he would probably have to run against in 2012 — Petraeus has resolutely denied all interest in a political career. “I thought I’d said ‘no’ about as many ways as I could,” he said recently. “I really do mean ‘no’.”

It is a measure of continuing Republican nervousness, despite their growing advantage in the polls, that few take Petraeus’s denials seriously. Everyone remembers what Obama said when he was asked if he would run in 2008. “I will not,” he replied.

Mumbai Terrorist Headley Safe From Indian Interrogaters Behind Fifth Amendment Wall

[Intelligent Indians represented by simpletons, dealing with unchallengeable American deceit and guile, have no chance to get anything worthwhile from Headley.  This is what is usually referred to as "eyewash" on the subcontinent, a meaningless gesture meant to placate the enraged locals.  Once again, we see the primary strategy of the overall war of terror, feigning witlessness.  As in other examples of America's terror war, we see the use of the primary strategy being followed in the war to deceive the American people--hiding behind the ignorance and ineptitude of Bush.  We are lured into a mental trap, where we are diverted from seeing the depth of the evil behind this war.  Is the loss of the terror war due to Bush/Cheney ignorance or malevolence?

Is India failing to defend its citizens because of sheer ignorance, or because of collusion with the perpetrators of the Mumbai false flag attack?]

Did Headley refuse to answer Indian team’s questions?

NDTV Correspondent, Sunday June 6, 2010, Chicago

DavidHeadley216.jpgThe three-member National Investigation Agency (NIA) team which questioned David Headley in Chicago for the last two days on his role in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks might not have been able to extract much from him.

According to reports in the Mail Today newspaper, Headley has refused to answer their questions and repeatedly told them he has invoked the ‘Fifth Ammendment’.

Headley has said, “Following the advice of my lawyer, I am invoking, with respect, my right to the Fifth Amendment and say no further in this matter.”

The Fifth Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, guarantees that no person in a criminal case, including non-citizens, can be compelled to be witness against themselves.

“Yes, access (to Headley) has been given. It is in the hands of right professionals from both countries,” a statement from US National Security advisor James Jones’ office said on Saturday.

Jones also added, “We have fulfilled our commitment.”

However, it is still unclear if the National Investigating Agency (NIA) team in Chicago will have multiples chances to question Headley.

The access came on the heels of fast moving developments at the strategic dialogue talks between India and the US in Washington.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna had met with Jones and told US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that access to Headley was the next logical step in Indo-US counter terror cooperation.

Both Indian officials and US have been extremely tight-lipped and may issue a joint statement once the questioning is through.

Dawood Gilani alias David Headley had already struck a plea bargain with US authorities in the Mumbai attack case that saved him from the death penalty and extradition to India.
However, the fine print of the deal requires Headley to cooperate with foreign authorities and can be interviewed by them on US soil.

While it is a small step forward in India’s quest for access to the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) scout, it’s a giant soother in the recent hiccups in Indo-US counter terror cooperation.

Israeli War Crimes–From the U.S. Liberty to the Humanitarian Flotilla

Israeli War Crimes: From the U.S. Liberty to the Humanitarian Flotilla

by James Petras*

It is unthinkable that Israel’s premeditated deadly assault on the humanitarian flotilla could have gone ahead without a nod from Washington. James Petras lambastes Barack Obama and the U.S. Government for their refusal to condemn Israel and their outrageous political cover-up of a deliberate criminal act. In the face of such State complicity, the only way to put pressure on Israel is for civil society to sustain the world-wide boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign (BDS) against all Israeli products, cultural activities and professional exchanges.

Introduction: Israel Crimes on the High Seas

On June 8, 1967, two squadrons of Israeli warplanes bombed, napalmed and machine-gunned the US intelligence-gathering ship, USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 US sailors and wounding another 172. The assault took place on a sunny afternoon, with the US flag and identifying markers clearly visible. The Israelis targeted the antennae to prevent the crew from broadcasting for help and shot up the lifeboats to ensure no survivors. There were, however, survivors who rigged up an antenna and radioed their distress, a call for help that reached Washington D.C. In an unprecedented act of betrayal, President Johnson, in close liaison with powerful American Jewish Zionist political backers, covered up the mass murder on the high seas by issuing orders first to recall Mediterranean-based warplanes from rushing to assist their besieged comrades, then threatening to court-martial the survivors who might expose the deliberate nature of the Israeli assault and finally by repeating the Israeli line that the attack was a matter of mistaken identity, a lie which numerous military leaders later rejected.

Almost to the day, 43 years later, on May 31, 2010, Israeli warships, helicopter gun ships and commandos assaulted a convoy of humanitarian ships carrying ten thousand tons of aid to Gaza in international waters. Prior to the aid mission Turkish authorities had examined the passengers and the ship to ensure no weapons were on board. The Israelis never the less came on board shooting and clubbing the unarmed passengers, killing up to19 and wounding dozens. Despite subsequent Israeli and Zionist claims to the contrary no weapons were found, apart from sticks used by some of the victims attempting to fend off the murderous premeditated assault planned, directed and defended by top Israeli leaders and the entire leadership of the major Zionist organizations in the US and elsewhere. The invading Israeli storm troopers systematically destroyed all cameras, videos and tape recorders that had documented their savage assault, in order to subsequently spread their brazen lies about their being subject to armed resistance.

The World Response

Within hours of Israel’s bloody act of piracy, nations, political leaders, human rights organizations and the vast majority of the international community condemned the Israeli state for its violation of international law. Turkey, Spain, Greece, Denmark and Austria summoned their Israeli Ambassadors to protest the deadly assault. The Financial Times, (June 1, 2010) referred to the Israeli assault as a “brazen act of piracy … hurtling into lawlessness” rooted in its “illegal blockage of Gaza”. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan called the Israeli assault an act of “state terrorism” which would have “serious consequences”. Israel’s attacks on ships flying Turkish, Greek and Irish flags on the high seas were described by legal experts as an “act of war”. The UN Security Council, NATO and the Secretary General of the UN demanded Israel cease its aggression, while tens of thousands of demonstrators marched denouncing Israel’s blatant act of state murder and wounding of pacifists, humanitarians and protestors from 60 countries. UN experts demanded that Israeli leaders “must be held criminally responsible”. Only the Obama regime refused to condemn the Israeli act of state terror, merely expressing “concern and regret”. The Israeli state defended its murderous assault, promised more in the future and insisted on maintaining its blockade of Gaza, even after the US suggested it might be loosened.

The Israeli Defense of Piracy and State Terror

As news of the Israeli massacre slipped out and the international community reacted with horror and anger, the Israeli government “sought to flood the airwaves with their versions of events … more importantly, the authorities ensured that their narrative gained early dominance by largely silencing the hundreds of activists who were on board during the attack” (Financial Times, June 2, 2010, p2.). The Jewish state held all the prisoners alive, wounded and dead incommunicado, seized their mobile phones and prohibited any interviews, barring all journalists. Like most terrorist states, the Jewish state wanted to monopolize the propaganda media. The Israeli propaganda machine via its state sponsored journalists and news media employed several ploys typical of totalitarian regimes.

- 1. Israeli storm troopers invading the ship were turned into victims and the humanitarian pacifists were turned into aggressors. “Israeli Soldiers Met by Well-Planned Lynch Mob” (Jerusalem Post, March 31, 2010); “Israeli Soldiers Attacked” (IDF, March 31, 2010).

- 2. Israel’s act of piracy in international waters was declared legal by a Professor Sabel of the Hebrew University.

- 3. The humanitarian organizers were accused of having ties to terrorists according to Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon, though no evidence was presented (Ha’aretz, May 30, 2010). The organizers including the Turkish human rights group accused by Ayalon were cleared by the Turkish intelligence agency, the military and the Erdogan government, a member of NATO and for many years (in the past) a collaborator with the Israeli Mossad. The other 600 plus human rights volunteers, included pacifists, parliamentarians, former diplomats, as well as current members of the Israeli parliament.

- 4. While dozens of human rights people were shot, killed and maimed, Israeli propagandists doctored video releases portraying one of the Israeli assailants on the deck, cutting out the preceding sequence of attack (Financial Times, June 2, 2010, p. 2).

- 5. The Israeli sea and airborne assailants were described as the victims of a “Brutal Ambush at Sea” (Ynet News, June 1, 2010).

- 6. The terrorized human rights workers were accused of being a “lynch mob”, attacking the Jewish commandos who were firing automatic rifles wildly across the deck and at cornered victims. The few courageous individuals who fought back to stop the murderous attack were slandered by the Zion-prop, which itself is as monstrous as the crimes they perpetrated.

Once the Israeli propaganda machine started spewing out its gutter lies, the entire leadership of the Zionist Fifth column swung into action … first and foremost in the United States.

The US Zionist Power Configuration: In Defense of the Massacre

Just as the entire leadership of the 51 principle American Jewish organizations defended every Israeli war crime in the past, from the bombing of the US Liberty, to the Occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza so too did these most honorable apologists repeat verbatim the lies of the Israeli state regarding the assault of the humanitarian flotilla.

The Daily Alert (May 31 – June 2, 2010), the official public propaganda organ of the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations, published every scurrilous Israeli state lie, about the Israeli commandos being ‘lynched’, ‘attacked’ and the human rights victims being responsible for the death of their comrades … at the hands of Israeli commandos. Not a single deviation, not a single word of criticism. Not even a single mention of even the superficial Israeli critics who faulted the execution, the use of deadly weapons, the assault in international waters, and the public relations fiasco.

The vast majority of Israeli Jews and organized Zionists in the US supported the bloody massacre and were opposed by a small minority who has no access to the mass media. Zionist control over the mass media was once again demonstrated by the reporting through “Israel’s eyes” (FAIR, June 1, 2010). Essentially the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, CBS, NBC presented the Israeli commandos attacking the humanitarian boat as being … “assaulted and beaten” (Washington Post, June 1, 2010). The New York Times gave credence to the Israeli claim that its act of piracy on the high seas was legal (NY Times, June 1, 2010). For the US mass media the problem is not Israeli state terror, but how to manipulate and disarm the outrage of the international community. To that end the entire Zionist Power configuration has a reliable ally in the Zionized Obama White House and US Congress.

The Obama Response to Israeli State Terror

There is only one basic reason why Israel repeatedly commits crimes against humanity, including the latest assault on the humanitarian flotilla: because it knows that the Zionist Power Configuration, embedded in the US power structure, will ensure government support, in this case the Obama White House.

In the face of the world-wide condemnation of Israel’s crime on the high seas, and calls from the international community for legal action, the Obama regime absolutely refused to criticize Israel. A White House spokesman said “The United States deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries sustained and is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding the tragedy” (AFP May 31, 2010). An act of state terrorism does not evoke “regrets” – it normally provokes condemnation and punishment. The power which caused “loss of life and injuries” has a name – Israel; the persons who suffered death and injuries during the Israeli assault – have a name – humanitarian volunteers. It was not simply a “loss of life” but a well planned premeditated murder which is openly defended by Prime Minister Netanyahu and his entire Cabinet. The “circumstances” of the murders are clear: Israel assaulted an unarmed ship in international waters, opening fire as they boarded the ship. The Obama regime’s obscene political cover-up of a deliberate criminal act in violation of international law is evident in his description of a serial homicide as a ‘tragedy’. Premeditated state terror has no resemblance to a tragic noble ruler forced by circumstances into a criminal act against their closest allies.

Washington, pressed to participate at a UN Security Council meeting, spent 10 hours eliminating all references to Israel’s illegal criminal act, ending in a resolution which merely calls for an “impartial” investigation, with Washington pushing for an Israeli investigatory committee. To the world at large, including the Turkish government, the Obama regime and the US government, by refusing to condemn Israel, are “accomplices to a mass murder”.

To understand why the Obama regime brought shame and infamy to itself in the eyes of the world, one need look at the Zionist composition of the Obama White House and, equally important, the direct power and access that the principle Jewish-Zionist organizations have over the US political system. In the week preceding Israel’s announced assault on the humanitarian flotilla, (pro-Israel) Jewish leaders met with over a third of US senators to pressure them to pass harsher sanctions on Iran by June. Among the key operatives attending were the Jewish Federation of North America, AIPAC and the rest of the Israeli Fifth Column (Jewish Telegraph Agency, May 26, 2010). The following day a squadron of leaders from the Jewish Federations flew into Washington to meet with top Obama administration officials, to ensure that the White House and Congress did not in any way or form publicly express any criticism of Israel’s settlement policy. No doubt the Zionist apologists for Israeli war crimes extended their agenda to include no public criticism of the Israeli assault on the flotilla. Rahm Emmanuel, top US Presidential aide, was in Tel Aviv as a guest of top officials of the Israel Defense Force a few days before the IDF launched the assault, no doubt having filled Rahm in on the details. The Israeli-American aide to Obama no doubt assured the war criminals of Washington’s unconditional political and military support for Israel’s acts of aggression.

From within the Obama Administration and without, the aggressive pressure from the 51 principle organizations of the American Zionists have guaranteed Israeli war criminals immunity from any War Crimes Tribunal, or even serious political condemnation by the UN Security Council. The Zionized White House’s tactic is to deflect attention from immediate consequential condemnation let alone sanctions, hoping that over time, aided by the blanket mass media apology in the US, the mass indignation and protest overseas will gradually wither away. Obama and his Zionist cohort are already in a belly crawl mode with Israel. Part of Rahm’s mission to Israel was to hand Netanyahu an invitation to the White House, during the week of the slaughter at sea. The only reason Netanyahu did not come to Washington was because he rushed back to Israel to buttress the Foreign Office’s defense of the slaughter in the face of world-wide outrage. But in a phone conversation, Obama promised Netanyahu a prompt new invitation – assuring the Jewish statesman that violating international laws and bloodying dozens of humanitarian activists is of no consequence, especially since it insures continued financial support by Obama’s Zionist backers.

Like Lyndon Johnson with the cover-up of the USS Liberty, Obama’s apology of Israel’s war crimes, is the price for ensuring the backing of billionaire Zionist financiers and media moguls, the tens of thousands of pro-Israel Jews and the 51 President of the Major American Jewish Organizations.

In the face of Washington’s complicity with Israeli war crimes, the only road is to intensify the world-wide boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign against all Israeli products, cultural activities and professional exchanges.

Hopefully, the Islamic led mass protests will find echo in the wider anti-Zionist Christian and Jewish communities – especially, when Israeli apologists for state terror make public appearances. Even more important each and every Israeli involved in the mass assault should be subject to criminal prosecution wherever they visit. Only by making the Israelis understand that they will pay a high price for their serial homicides and violations of international law will reason possibly enter their political narrative. Only by moving beyond symbolic protests, like recalling diplomats, and taking substantive actions, like breaking relations, will the international community isolate the perpetrator of state terrorism.

All Americans should send loud and clear to President Obama –NEVER AGAIN. Otherwise, with the Zionist Power Configuration active 7/24, the Obama regime, true to the Zionist agenda, will once again focus attention on attacking Iran. Israel’s action today with US complicity is a prelude of the kind of deadly force it has in store for sabotaging the recent Turkey-Brazil-Iran diplomatic agreement.

This is dedicated to the brave Turkish martyrs on the Mavi Marmara, May 31, 2010, and to the 34 murdered American sailors on the USS Liberty, June 8, 1967 – all victims of an unrepentant criminal state – Israel.

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 James Petras
James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He is the author of 64 books translated in 29 languages and has published over 2000 articles. His most recent book: Global Depression and Regional Wars, Clarity Press (2009).

US BACKING FOR ISRAELI WAR CRIMES

US BACKING FOR ISRAELI WAR CRIMES

Pictures of ex US marine Kenneth O’Keefe who was attacked by the Israelis on board the Gaza Flotilla.

On 5 June 2010, James Petras*, at voltairenet.org/en, tells us how the Pentagon secretly backs Israeli War Crimes: From the U.S. Liberty to the Humanitarian Flotilla

On 8 June 1967, Israeli warplanes bombed, napalmed and machine-gunned the US ship, USS Liberty.

Unfortunately for the Pentagon and the Israelis, there were survivors.

President Johnson ordered Mediterranean-based warplanes NOT to assist the survivors.

On 31 May 2010, Israeli warships, helicopter gun ships and commandos assaulted a convoy of humanitarian ships carrying ten thousand tons of aid to Gaza in international waters.

Rahm Emmanuel, top US Presidential aide, was in Tel Aviv as a guest of top officials of the Israel Defense Force a few days before the Israelis launched the assault.

Shaitan Is Smiling In Balochistan

Shaitan Is Smiling In Balochistan

By:  Peter Chamberlin

It is nearly impossible for the outside world to really know what is going on in Pakistan, which probably explains why the most closed-off part of Pakistan’s tribal regions, Balochistan, has been chosen for the final act of the terror war/drama (SEE: ‘Final Solution’ Frenzy – Part Four: Final Solution for Pakistan).

If news from the Baloch National Movement (BNM) website can be believed, then major military operations involving “80 trucks carrying soldiers, 40 armoured vehicles, artillery, 8 gunship helicopters, and 20 water supplying tankers” are well underway there.

Those of us who write about the convoluted situation in Pakistan, like to believe that we can sometimes move governments with our keyboards.  That is probably a false belief, in most cases, but the operation in Balochistan appears to be a reaction to the work of the investigative journalists of Turkestan’s News Central Asia (NCA).

Since the areas involved  in this operation match the triangular zone delineated by NCA, it is logical to assume that the report and the military reaction are related.  What remains undetermined at the beginning of the op is whether it is Pakistan trying to prevent a planned incursion by American Special Forces or the Pak Army clearing the way for an American incursion.

Are Army troops really eliminating American-backed Baloch terrorists or they simply creating a situation that will justify the full-scale removal of witnesses and the complete militarization of western Balochistan?  (See NCA report:  The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army )   The following report from the source of the military assault report screams the answer for us, U.S. urged to intervene: Pakistan military operation in Mekran!  Staying faithful to the psyop pattern set by the United States long before the terror war began, every so-called “Islamist uprising” creates the conditions for American intervention.  This war will be no different.

“The American Friends of Balochistan has condemned the Pakistan military offensive against the hapless people of Mekran and urged the U.S. authorities to intervene in the matter.

In a letter sent to U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Her Excellency Anne W. Patterson, the A.F.B. regretted that U.S. gunship helicopters were being used against the people of Balochistan.

The Pakistan military is killing two birds with one stone. On the one hand it is clandestinely supporting the Taliban and al Qaeda and on the other hand it is crushing the secular movement in Balochistan to attain its long-term objective of defeat of the U.S. and N.A.T.O. troops in Afghanistan.”

The so-called “friends,” the leaders of the Baloch separatist movement, want to invite the puppet-masters to invade Pakistan in order to save Balochs from America’s puppets.  Neither Pakistan nor the province of Balochistan need friends like these.

The clock is ticking for Pakistan, just as it is in every targeted nation.  The deadly machinations against humankind, which normally play-out in secret have burst into the open in that beleaguered state.

Freedom loving people everywhere, and those who choose to serve the will of the living God, should say a prayer for the people of war-battered Balochistan.  As if they haven’t had it rough enough already, now they have emerged as the main arena of conflict in this sick charade/tragic comedy, known as the “global war on terror.”  (This has never been a war on terror, because it has always been a war fought using terrorism.   All sides have employed state terrorism as their primary weapon.)  The reason for the dire situation now unfolding in Balochistan is that the two principle sources of contemporary state terrorism, the United States and Pakistan and their proxy terrorist armies are being brought together in a decisive conflict to determine the fate of Pakistan itself.

Balochistan and Pakistan have only one chance for survival–that is, for all the honest moral citizens of all Pakistan to see this thing clearly and come to a common understanding about the dangers they face.   Through this common understanding and the shedding of former delusions about the state, national unity of purpose will arise.   That is the one thing that is vital in defeating the divide and conquer tactics that are being deployed against you.

The Baloch people have so far been bound by tribal delusions and violent state reprisals.  Your leaders have been working against you, misleading you with visions of “Greater Balochistan,” using your history as a weapon, to keep you bound to the past, even while your vision is clearly set upon achieving future freedom from the evil of the state.  You have been fighting to free yourselves from the police state, as all freedom-loving Pakistanis should have been doing since the beginning.  If only Pakistanis of all faiths, or no faiths, had simply stood together as you all once did in India, to resist the evil of the state (the remnant of the enforcement/control mechanism erected by the British Crown), then none of these strategic mind games would now be possible.

As it is now, all of you, must think of Pakistan, the beautiful life-giving country–NOT seeing the divisions erected between you by Pakistan, the police state.  You are all good people, despite everything that you hear which denies this fact.  Balochistan, “Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa” and the rest are simply the seven or eight states of Pakistan (like America’s 50 states).

Ideas of “greater” Balochistan or Pakhtunkhwa are just manufactured delusions, brought to you by the master plotters of the CIA. This American war will not produce either of these elusive phantoms (which will require the destruction of Pakistan and Iran), unless you hand victory to the very state terrorists who have been the driving force behind your recent sufferings.

Calls for American intervention in any of these manufactured conflicts, that are now raging in Pakistan, are asking the puppet-masters to save you from its bad puppets.

Calls for American intervention are music to Shaitan’s ears.

peterchamberlin@naharnet.com