Lethal PTSD–Collateral Damage Left In the Wake of War for Empire

Toxic Cocktail: Army Struggles With Mental-Health Care

For Michael Kuligowski, the death of his son in Afghanistan revealed the military’s inability to monitor the treatment of battle-scarred soldiers.

thestreet.com

On April 6, 2009, 21-year-old Army Specialist Adam Kuligowski took his rifle into a bathroom stall at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and shot himself. His last words were found in a suicide note to his father, Michael Kuligowski: “Sorry to be a disappointment.”

Just weeks earlier, Adam had visited his dad in Thailand. Michael Kuligowski works as an information officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. During his 18-day visit, Adam had complained of sleeplessness. He had mentioned being late for work, and the push-ups he had to do as punishment. And he had talked about some extra guard duty. Michael Kuligowski is an Army veteran and saw all of that as standard-issue Army life.

There had been problems the father didn’t hear about. In the fall of 2008, Adam had been ordered to kitchen duty on his days off, after he threw his gun on the ground and told his commander to send him to jail. Michael Kuligowski later learned that his son had been suffering from depression. Sleeplessness at night had left Adam exhausted during the day, when he needed to be sharp. Adam was attached to the 101st Airborne’s Special Troops Battalion, tracking enemy communications as a signals-intelligence analyst.

In a report about Adam’s last disciplinary meeting, a commanding officer noted that the young soldier was falling asleep in front of him. The same report showed a photo of an overturned footlocker in Adam’s quarters. It noted that Adam was awake at all hours, playing online video games.

A toxicology report on Adam’s death mentioned the presence of an anti-malaria medication known as mefloquine hydrochloride. The report attached no special significance to this result, though in February 2009, just a few months earlier, Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker had issued a directive removing mefloquine as the Army’s malaria drug of choice. Schoomaker’s directive had said the drug could induce “anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucination, psychotic behavior” and restlessness in “one per 2,000 to 13,000 persons.”

Five months after Adam Kuligowski died, the military went a step further. Ellen P. Embrey, deputy assistant secretary of defense, ordered all branches of the armed forces to replace mefloquine as their top malaria drug. The national Centers for Disease Control had already established that policy with regard to the civilian population, relegating mefloquine to last among all treatment options.

Roche(RHHBY) stopped distributing mefloquine in 2008—its version had been marketed as Lariam—but the drug remains available today, in generic versions produced by Novartis(NVS) subsidiary Sandoz, Barr Pharmaceuticals(BRL) and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Roxane Laboratories. Michael Kuligowski says Adam’s comrades at Fort Campbell in Kentucky told him of mass distribution of the drug. The soldiers were given mefloquine in bags containing a six-month supply. They were given no information about proper use of the drug, or its well-known side effects, or potential interactions with other drugs.

“My whole issue with mefloquine is that my son’s death was entirely preventable,” Kuligowski says. “Everything was entirely preventable, had military medical command done its job and briefed everyone they were giving mefloquine to before they gave them mefloquine.”

Kuligowski and others are concerned about the military’s management of psychoactive drugs in an era of extreme stress on troops and mounting soldier suicide rates. While medical advances have provided new treatment options, they have also introduced new levels of complexity regarding treatments for malaria, depression, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder. The Army’s critics claim it is behind the curve, and that its medical lapses continue to cost troops their lives.

A trail of human wreckage

The record of problems relating to mefloquine is a long one.

In December 2002, Naval Lt. Cmdr. Bill Manofsky was given Lariam, the Roche version, during his deployment to Kuwait. There was no prescription and no warning about side effects, as far as Manofsky can recall.

Three days before the Iraq War began, in March 2003, Manofsky experienced uncontrolled vomiting and vertigo while operating in the Kuwaiti desert. Two months later, back home in China Lake, Calif., he had a panic attack on the way to a local restaurant. He tried to jump out of the truck his wife was driving and, when they arrived at the restaurant, threatened to kill himself, ending the evening at an emergency clinic.

Today, Manofsky is a veterans’ advocate who questions the quality of medical care given to active-duty soldiers and veterans.

“There is a tremendous amount of dysfunctionality in Army medical, to the point that the Army surgeon general can put a directive out and it can be ignored,” Manofsky says, referring to the Schoomaker advisory. “I would never go into the Army the way it is now. I am telling them, ‘People, don’t send your kids to the Army until the medical stuff gets fixed.’ ”

About the same time Manofsky first experienced problems, four soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., killed their wives before three of them took their own lives. Three of the four had been taking Lariam before the shootings.

As evidence of problems associated with mefloquine mounted, the Army seemed slow to recognize the pattern. In February 2004, the Army surgeon general at the time, James Peake, testified before a House Armed Services subcommittee that an Army investigation had found no link between Lariam and soldier suicides. A month later, U.S. Chief Warrant Officer Bill Howell, who had taken Lariam while deployed with Special Forces in Iraq, shot and killed himself in the front yard of his Colorado home. His wife suspected Lariam had a role in his death.

A study released that same month by doctors at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research bolstered her claim, finding that a quarter of the individuals taking Lariam to prevent disease and nearly three-quarters of those taking it as a treatment experienced damage to their central nervous systems. That report cited psychological disorders such as hallucination and insomnia, and neurological disorders like seizures and dizziness.

On July, 11, 2004, 25-year-old Army reservist John Torres killed himself with an M-16 while stationed at Bagram, where Adam Kuligowski would later die. A report that mentioned the presence of Lariam in Torres’ system, together with a bit of strange phrasing in Roche’s medication guide on the drug, were among Michael Kuligowski’s first clues that mefloquine may have played a role in his son’s death. Roche’s guide said: “Some people who take Lariam think about suicide. Some people who were taking Lariam committed suicide. It is not known whether Lariam was responsible for those suicides.”

By the military, for the military

If the military has been slow to recognize the ill effects of mefloquine, the reluctance doubtless relates to the unusual history of the drug, and to its special efficacy in the fight against malaria. Mefloquine was developed by researchers in the Experimental Therapeutics division of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research during the 1960s. At the time, malaria struck as many as 1% of the U.S. combat troops then deployed in Vietnam. The researchers were seeking a replacement for the anti-malaria medication chloroquine, having discovered that malaria strains in several regions of the globe had developed a resistance.

The researchers at Walter Reed identified some 250,000 anti-malarial compounds. They found that mefloquine was the most effective.

Malaria, an infection of parasites spread by mosquitoes, remains a major health threat in warm climates throughout the world. Each year, a quarter of a billion people contract the disease and about a million die from it. Those facts alone might explain the military’s enthusiasm for a drug that prevents malaria. But there was more to the appeal of mefloquine. The drug could prevent malaria even when taken only once a week, making it “idiot proof,” in the words of military health-care providers and veterans interviewed for this article.

The U.S. military is legally barred from manufacturing commercial pharmaceutical products, so Walter Reed enlisted Roche to produce and distribute mefloquine. Roche’s Lariam gained Food and Drug Administration approval in 1989, following a review that did not include complete analysis of side effects and did not fully explore the drug’s interactions with other medications.

Dr. Donald H. Marks, a 13-year Army veteran, was then director of clinical research in Roche’s anti-infectives department in Nutley, N.J. In that role, he monitored reports of adverse affects associated with Lariam. Based on his experience with mefloquine—and the knowledge that there are other anti-malaria medications available, including the once-a-day antibiotic doxycyclene (which includes skin sensitivity among its side effects) and GlaxoSmithKline’s(GSK) milder alternative Malarone—Marks says today that he “wouldn’t recommend it, generally speaking,” especially not for use in combat.

“With Lariam, you can have convulsions, agitation, restlessness, anxiety, depression, mood swings, panic attacks, memory impairment, confusion, hallucinations, aggression and psychotic or paranoid reactions,” Marks says.

While the Army and its doctors at Walter Reed acknowledge that the exact interactions with the brain and central nervous system that lead to mefloquine’s side effects remain a mystery, the reasons for their reluctance to pull the drug are somewhat clearer. When asked what the Army is doing to stop potential contraindications and drug interactions with mefloquine, Army spokespersons point to Surgeon General Schoomaker’s directive removing mefloquine as its anti-malaria drug of choice. Still, the Army and some of its critics note the drug’s efficacy against malaria and its importance to the formulary—especially as a treatment—in light of increasing global resistance to anti-malaria medications.

Roche documents say side effects like vertigo, dizziness and loss of balance “may continue for months” after use of the drug stops. The wallet card that Roche included with its Lariam prescriptions advised against “activities such as driving a car or using heavy machinery or other activities requiring alertness or careful movements.” When asked recently whether the military’s continued use of mefloquine in combat conditions was advisable, considering the side effects, Roche said that “we cannot comment on the Army’s choice for malaria prevention.”

Roche’s former employee, Marks, points out that rank-and-file soldiers are generally not able to evaluate the risks and benefits of drugs for themselves.

“What happens in the military is that you have a lot of young people in the range of 17 to 20 years old who are very impressionable going into combat theaters,” Marks says. “Their days are very regimented, and they’re told what to eat and what to wear, so when an officer comes along and tells them to take Lariam because it will prevent malaria, they’re going to take it because it’s not an atmosphere that is conducive to questioning authority.”

The drug fair

Manofsky argues that a modern battlefield is no place for a drug that can damage the nervous system. He questions the Army’s sensitivity to the issue. One of his first cases as a veterans’ advocate was that of Army Special Forces Staff Sergeant Georg-Andreas Pogany. In September 2003, while stationed in Iraq, Pogany experienced panic attacks and hallucinations and told Army doctors he was on his way to a nervous breakdown. He was given Sanofi-Aventis'(SNY) Ambien to help him relax. An Army psychologist told him to rest.

Then the Army sent Pogany back to his base at Fort Carson, Colo., and charged him with cowardice, a rare charge that is punishable by death under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Pogany and his attorneys established that his mental condition was likely attributable to Lariam and to that drug’s known interaction with Ambien’s core drug, zolpidem. Consequently, the Army finally dropped the charges. He went on to serve as an attorney for veterans with mental-health issues and today works with the nonprofit military mental health service provider Give an Hour.

In Pogany’s eyes, military policy on psychotropic and antipsychotic drugs is a disaster, and U.S. soldiers are the victims. Not only has the Army lost track of the psychological side effects of drugs like mefloquine, Pogany says, it is also over-using other psychoactive drugs, particularly sedatives and anti-depressants.

“They medicate people for two reasons: One is to calm down and the other is to sleep, so they put you on anti-anxiety meds and sleep meds so you can perform your mission,” Pogany says. “The way one soldier described it to me is that they are constantly on uppers and downers.”

A March hearing conducted by the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee supported Pogany’s view. At the hearing, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) estimated that one in six service members is now taking some form of psychiatric drug. Army Surgeon General Schoomaker says between 3% and 6% of the 550,000 troops currently deployed are taking drugs for mental health or stress, that 8.6% have been given antidepressants, anxiety medications or sleep aids, and that 34% have two or more prescriptions.

As a result, the U.S. Defense Department has plenty of data on prescription drugs. It tracks all prescriptions through the Military Health System’s Pharmacy Data Transaction Service. But the data haven’t been helpful in regard to problems plaguing combat troops, because the transaction service “has no visibility of pharmacy data for prescriptions dispensed in forward operating areas.” In other words, the military doesn’t know which drugs combat troops are getting.

Another problem has to do with the massive scale of military operations and the obvious difficulties involved in taking the situations of individuals into account. According to a March 2008 study by Army doctors published in Malaria Journal, just less than 10% of 11,725 active-duty military personnel who took Lariam in Afghanistan in early 2007 did so despite contraindications that included depression, anxiety and epilepsy.

The potential for drug interaction is another problem requiring individual attention. The Army’s formulary—its list of approved and available prescriptions—mentions several drugs that have negative interactions with mefloquine, among them Ambien, from Sanofi-Aventis, and GlaxoSmithKline’s Wellbutrin.

Manofsky says that wise use of drugs like mefloquine depends on the individual decisions of Army doctors and corpsmen, with uneven results.

“A lot of these doctors and corpsmen have a lot of autonomy in the field,” says Manofsky. “It all has to do with chain of command, or lack thereof.”

In recent years, the Army has been increasing the number of mental-health professionals who support combat troops, but still has work to do, even by its own standards. The latest findings from the Army’s Mental Health Advisory Team show that the ratio of mental-health professionals to military personnel in Afghanistan now stands at 1 to 1,123, well short of the 1-to-700 ratio thought to be adequate.

Suicide spike

Controversy over drug policies is increasing in tandem with the military suicide rate. Last year, the Army recorded 162 active-duty suicides, a number that has steadily increased every year since 2004. That number jumps to 239 when non-active duty personnel are included. And the total doesn’t factor in the 1,713 known suicide attempts that took place during the same period. The suicide rate in the Army has exceeded that of the civilian population in recent years, a reversal of the historic relationship.

By mid-July 2010, the total number of soldier suicides for the year had already climbed to 140. It was in July that the Army released a far-reaching report on military suicides and measures that might reverse the recent upward trend. The report noted that, of the soldiers who committed suicide in 2009, 16.7% seemed to have been motivated by a desire for “emotional relief,” while 11.1% cited “hopelessness and depression” in discussing their problems.

The Army report recognized the toll that stress takes on combat troops. Among the known stressors for active-duty suicides, diagnosis of a behavioral or mental-health problem was cited in 48% of cases. Those diagnoses included the vague “adjustment disorder” (26%), substance abuse (18%) and post-traumatic stress disorder (9.1%).

The report said the number of soldiers prescribed antidepressants jumped from 1.1% in 2005 to 5% in 2008. The Army has acknowledged that antidepressants can increase suicidal behavior in soldiers ages 18 to 29. But the report blamed the suicide spike largely on the “high-risk behavior” of soldiers — including heavy use of illegal drugs and “suicidal behavior” —not on the drugs themselves or those prescribing them.

Pogany, the veterans advocate, was not appeased. He is incredulous that mefloquine is still affecting families like the Kuligowskis.

“This kid was killed by mefloquine, and that happened seven years after my incident happened,” Pogany says. “The fact that, seven years later, this drug is still in use and Congress has never done anything or called anyone to testify, and that they tried to criminalize my reaction to the side effects of this drug by court-martialing me is absolutely ridiculous.”

Michael Kuligowski knows he can’t sue the Army, as Supreme Court precedent effectively prevents the families of military personnel from filing wrongful-death claims against the U.S. government. Yet he feels the Army owes him something.

“I really feel like it was medical malpractice on their part,” Kuligowski says. “Whoever the physician was who handed him this stuff wasn’t trained about mefloquine, and it opened my eyes to the fact that you can’t assume everything’s going to be OK. I learned not to trust the military.”

Critics say the Army remains partially blind.

Jeanne Lese has spent 13 years hearing stories from soldiers and loved ones suffering the effects of mefloquine. She co-founded Mefloquine Action (formerly Lariam Action) as a support group in 1997. She says the military continues to ignore Schoomaker’s mefloquine directive and administers the drug without regard for manufacturers’ directions. She believes the military still isn’t giving soldiers important information about side effects. She faults the military’s screening processes, which she says routinely fail to consider contraindications and allergies.

“Nobody is trained, nobody knows what to do,” Lese says. “Nobody would recognize a side effect if it hit them in the face.”

Written by Jason Notte in Boston.

The US Needs to Restore Armaments Stream to Lebanon

[For US purposes, the revenue stream is often less important than the armaments stream.  Buying dictators with weapons is better than buying their loyalties outright, simply because the criminal plans made possible with these weapons serves America’s real plans, which are based on destabilization and the science of chaos.  By piggy-backing their plans on top of the death and destruction wrought by others, deniability is maintained during local outbreaks of violence, while providing evidence of murder and treason committed by these bought officials, to be used for extortion purposes later.]

Officials: Resuming aid to Lebanese military in U.S. interest

By Elise Labott, CNN Senior State Department Producer

(CNN) — The Obama administration has decided that it should reinstate a multimillion dollar aid package to the Lebanese military, senior officials told CNN on Thursday.

The administration has concluded that resuming $100 million in aid to the Lebanese military, which was suspended by several members of Congress last month after an incident involving the Lebanese army and Israel, is in the interest of U.S. national security and Mideast stability, the officials said.

The State Department acknowledged Thursday that a review requested by Congress had been completed.

“We have completed our review of assistance to Lebanon and we are in the process of consultations with members of Congress regarding our findings,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said. “We’ll have more to say with that when the consultations are done.”

Rep. Howard Berman, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement last month that he suspended aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces on August 2 because he was concerned about the influence the militant group Hezbollah may have in the army and out of increased concern American-supplied weapons could threaten Israel.

He said those concerns were reinforced a day later when Lebanese soldiers allegedly shot and killed an Israeli soldier along the Israel-Lebanon border.

The August 3 fighting, in which four were killed, including two Lebanese soldiers and an Israeli officer, marked the most serious fighting between Israel and Lebanon since the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. Although Hezbollah didn’t take part in the fighting, there has been speculation the group may have encouraged it.

The Bush and Obama administrations have pushed for substantial military packages for Lebanon, arguing a strong army was crucial to help the government extend its authority over the country, which has been challenged by Hezbollah.

Pakistani security forces and settlers attacked in Balochistan, govt office set on fire

Pakistani security forces and settlers attacked in Balochistan, govt office set on fire

on 2010/9/17 0:20:00 (77 reads)
ccupied Balochistan QUETTA: A Frontier Corps personnel and a barber were shot dead in two separate incidents of firing in industrial town Hub in Lasbela and in Naushki town on Thursday.

According to sources, an FC man was performing his duty at a picket established near the main intersection of Hub Chowki when unknown people opened fire on him, killing him instantly. The attackers managed to escape from the scene. The deceased was identified as Hanifullah and belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Separately, a Punjabi barber was shot dead on Masjid road area of Nushki. The killed settler has been named as Tahir Mahmood of district Jhang, Punjab. After the post-mortem his body has been sent to his native town in Punjab. Police termed both the incidents as case of targeted killing.

Meanwhile in Quetta, a convoy of Dalbandin scout was attacked with remote control explosives. According to details the Commandant of Dalbandin Scout Amir Shehzad was on his way to Dalbandin along with his squad when his convoy came under attack near Main Ghundi area in Quetta. As a result of the powerful blast the windowpanes of commandant Shehzad’s vehicle were shattered, however, the colonel and his squad remained unhurt.

A huge explosion has also been reported near an FC camp in Naal region of district Khuzdar but no causality have been reported until the filing of this report. The blast caused panic in the area.

Moreover, unknown persons set on fire an office of WESS and a vehicle of levies forces. According to sources the levies vehicle has been completely burnt to ashes. In a similar incident unknown attackers set ablaze the office of Water and Environment Sanitation Society in Awaran district of Balochistan. The office and its contents are said to completely burnt down and turn into a heap of ashes. Daily Tawar Balochistan reported that a Punjabi Mechanic, Ismael was killed in Singani Sar region of Turbat by unknown men.

A spokesman of the BLA, who introduced himself as Jihand Baloch, has claimed responsibility of the killings of the FC personnel in Hub and the barber in Nushki town of Balochistan.

Why Is Providing Proof of Indian Infiltration Impossible for Pakistan?

[It can be easily proven that the original “Pakistani Taliban (TTP),” began with Abdullah Mehsud (Baitullah’s cousin) and a few hundred Uzbek and Northern Alliance fighters that crossed into Pakistan with him, after he was released to Afghanistan from Guantanamo—so why doesn’t Pakistan bother proving to the world that the Pakistani Taliban at least came from Afghanistan?  Pakistan cannot prove that the TTP or the Baloch resistance has the support of foreign governments, because to do so would be self-incrimination.

Long-running major operations such as those providing supplies to Pakistan’s militants produce physical evidence.  This is not to question the truth in Pakistan’s claims of foreign subversion, but to claim that Pakistanis share in that guilt.  Why won’t the Army share any of that proof with the world?  The ISI, like its CIA mentors, thrives on sowing violence and chaos.  This is the path to power under a Gladio type civilian/military operation.  We are all being played for suckers.]

Stop blaming India for Balochistan unrest without proof: Pak editorial

2010-09-18 09:44:00
An editorial in a leading Pakistani newspaper has said that while the country has alleged time and again that India has been involved in the Balochistan insurgency, it has no proof to support those accusations.

Pointing out that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai also refused to buy claims that India was using Afghan territory to fan unrest in Balochistan, the Daily Times editorial said, “until some solid proof exists that corroborates these allegations, we should stop throwing such wild cards into the air.”

In the wake of Karzai’s two-day visit to Pakistan, the editorial also noted that “the fact that for too long now Pakistan has pursued the holy grail of strategic depth in Afghanistan has cast a long shadow of suspicion over any friendly overtures towards that unfortunate country by our state.”

Though both presidents announced a bolstering of intelligence sharing and more confidence between their respective security agencies, “it is hoped that finally action will follow the nice words if there is to be any peace and security in the region,” it said.

Zardari claimed that Pakistan wants to be part of the solution and not part of the “problem”, but “that is exactly where the deepest fissures in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s relations lie,” said the editorial.

Commenting on Karzai’s criticism of Pakistan for harbouring sanctuaries and training camps of the terrorists within its territorial limits, it said that Afghanistan had long blamed the ISI for funding and training the Afghan Taliban, and “in this bloody climate of terrorism, the formidable ISI has gained a schizophrenic reputation with many sources, both local and foreign, claiming that it is courting the Afghan Taliban whilst launching military campaigns against the Pakistani Taliban.”

Pointing out that dual policies could rarely ever work in the long run, it doubted that the ‘good Taliban, bad Taliban’ minuet would make any attempts at intelligence sharing extremely implausible, at least beyond the civilian level, and added that unfortunately, such fissures also existed between Pakistan and the US and NATO forces.

“There remain too many doubts on their side as to whom our intelligence agencies are supporting; how are we to believe that such suspicions will not exist on the Afghan side as well?” it added. (ANI)

Paramilitary Pretense, Who Controls the Predators?

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Paramilitary Pretense, Who Controls the Predators?

By: Peter Chamberlin

In a world where all the Western media and most of the foreign press has proven that it cannot be trusted to tell the truth we cannot possibly know who our soldiers are fighting in Pakistan or why.  Every news source gives another version of the “official truth” as determined by the powers that be.  We know that we are witnessing at least one strategic “great game” unfolding in the region, more likely, there are multiple psychological warfare operations playing-out in Pakistan’s western region.

When both American and Pakistani governments regularly lie about the Taliban that they fight and others that they want to fight, then it makes as much sense to find reports by someone who has interviewed the accused militants theselves.  The following quotes [in yellow] are from Pakistani Taliban TTP leader Maulvi Nazir, taken from an interview with him on the Islamic site As-Sahab.

Should we ever believe the word of a “terrorist/freedom fighter,” for that matter, should we ever believe words crafted by psy-operators?  Whatever the truth about this man’s words, the As-Sahab interview is a rare opportunity to peer into the mind of a TTP leader.

At 34, Mulla Nazeer Ahmad is representative of the new Taliban, just like his teammates Nek Mohammad, Baitullah Mehsud, Maulana Fazlullah and the Dadullah brothers.

This is the new Taliban, most of them bearing the honorary title of “Mullah, Maulvi or Maulana,” because they are graduates of the radical Saudi/US Sunni madrassas where, from an early age, they were brainwashed, by studying radicalized texts, such as the disinformative “jihadi textbooks” which were produced for the CIA by the University of Nebraska’s Afghanistan Department.  Tutored in the guerilla sciences in the CIA/ISI training camps which were built for “jihad” against the Soviet occupation forces, too young to participate themselves, these “extremist” radicalized boys were ticking time bombs, awaiting the next jihad.

Here in the tribal areas, The Mujahideen are content with war. When there is no war, they start depressing. We are not afraid of war. War has raised the spirits of the Mujahideen.

This second-generation militant army was set into play as part of the long-range plans of the first extremist American president and vice president, Ronald Reagan and Bush Sr., by the same two out-of-control spy agencies who had trained and armed their brothers and fathers in the eighties. The continuity of their plan determined US foreign policy for the next thirty years.  In 1996 a second extremist American president set these mujahedeen veterans and trainees loose upon the people of the former Yugoslavia.  Again, in 2001, a third extremist American administration called forth the militant militia, this time to play act the part of a mythic Islamic army of superpower stature.  From the remnants of the final battle of the Cold War arose “al Qaida,” the threatening slayer of superpowers.

This interview with Pakistani Taliban leader Nazir/”Nazeer” offers a unique glimpse into this “enemy” conjured-up by the CIA and the Pakistani secret service ISI, to represent all of the Islamic world in this apocalyptic Republican production of a “clash of civilizations.”  In contradiction to every story on the unfolding war against Pakistan that is carried by the subservient American, Pakistani, Indian and British presses, Nazir tries to set the record straight on who he is and who his men are fighting, before the Obama escalation gets underway and every unofficial news story gets swept away by the Western news filters.

Maulvi Nazir should know the truth about recent CIA/ISI collaboration in the war on terror, since he has lately been the focus of a psychological warfare operation known as the “Taliban split.”  For the past year he has been a special target of the most expensive manhunt in history, with Predator drones sweeping the land in “open season” hunts on Pakistani Taliban leaders. Dozens of remote controlled hunter/killers have prowled the skies over S. Waziristan trying to get a Hellfire missile shot at this slippery leader (they wounded him once).

In the interview, Nazir dispels the manufactured myth that he has been working with the Pakistani Army to separate the “moderate Taliban” from the unreconcilable “al Qaida” types.  He claims that the dispute within the Pakistani Taliban between himself and Baitullah Mehsud was brought about by the ISI to split the movement.  He denies that the Taliban have attacked anyone other than military forces, or that they were part of the group that attacked Mumbai, alluding to another militant group at work in the area.

We do not know the Mujahideen who sacrificed their lives in India, but we lament our loss that why we could not go forth ourselves to lay down our lives there. The sacrifice they offered was a very great one. It lofted the spirits of the Mujahideen. We pray for them and consider them to be sincere with Allah.
As for India, it should know that immense numbers of the Mujahideen lie await for them here in the tribal areas and inside Pakistan. If it proceeds to attack, then let it be aware that Allah willing, we are fully able to answer back and too ready to give away our lives.

He rejects the separate peace deal signed between the TNSM militant group led by Maulana Fazlullah as a deception to divide the organization.  He rejects the militant groups waging war against India in Kashmir as tools of ISI.

This is an affair running under the ISI and it is ludicrous to hope that the Shariah or Islam shall come this way. Thus the Jihad through which the ISI has put people into deception can bear no fruit. Our advice to those of our brothers is that they should support us here and join forces with us. We offer sacrifices to establish the Shariah and the law of Allah. The Kashmiri Jihad does not help us forward in achieving our objectives. There is a law of kufr in India and a law given by the British in Pakistan. One of these two brands of kufr shall prevail in Kashmir. It isn’t Islam that would reign…and so our sacrifices will go in vain.

It is our sincere advice to those of our Mujahid brothers that they should renounce servitude to the ISI.

Nazir refutes local conspiracy theories that claim his group works for, or is funded by India, Russia or Israel (but he fails to mention Iran).

These tribes have done Jihad against the British and the Soviets before this, and we simply are Mujahideen. This propaganda against us is absolutely false. We have rose for Jihad and give sacrifices to establish the rule of Shariah. The assertions that we have come from India and that MOSAD finances us are a stratagem of the ISI. We haven’t received money from anyone and have been Mujahideen from old times. These tribes have been sacrificing since the British era and are laying down their lives to this day. We fight with them in Afghanistan too and are enemies of the occupation forces there. Such propaganda is utterly false and groundless. Anyone who is in doubt should come here and observe us and have a look at the state of affairs…and then come to a decision about who gives us money…is it India or someone else? Pakistan has put the people in deception that India or perhaps Russia finances us. Come on! We have warred Russia before this! And we are enemies to India and MOSAD.

He says that the terror attacks against other Muslims at local markets and mosques are the work of the government or someone hired by the government.

Actually, it is the ISI that executes operations at mosques, not the Mujahideen. They are enemies to us and so they scare people about us being thugs and things like that. We are Mujahideen and we never carry out martyrdom operations in the vicinity of Muslims. It is the Army upon which we execute such operations. The Army is our target because it has aided the Americans. We do carry out martyrdom operations throughout Pakistan but we renounce and condemn those of them in mosques and marketplaces. It is our enemy that does it.

Nazir claims that all the “spies” who were executed lately for planting tracking devices for Predator drone attacks worked for the ISI.  Nazir also contends that the whole public uproar over the Predator attacks is a stage-managed production, since the ISI already controls the targeting of the drones by planting these SIM-card transmitters.

Pakistan has misled the common population that America carries out these attacks and we cannot do anything to stop them. All the spies that we have caught turned out to be employees of Pakistan. The location-tracking SIMs that they use had been provided by Pakistan. We have also released their video clips. The spyware and intelligence is fully associated with the Army. A couple of days ago, an American CIA officer confessed that Pakistan’s airbases are being used for these attacks and that Pakistan itself is involved in them. They have even threatened us themselves that it is we who are striking you and that either you should renounce Jihad or we would attack. The assertion that America is behind this and we are helpless is only meant to deceive the public. All these attacks that have happened and are still happening are the work of Pakistan.

The entire drama generated in the international media over these ongoing drone attacks has been intended to raise Americans’ temperatures and to agitate the Pakistani people into embracing a war against the American and Pakistani-created “Taliban.”  It is extremely difficult to understand why individuals within the Pakistani government and military would participate in this plot to dismember Pakistan.  The pay-off must have been irresistible.  It should be obvious by now that a large segment of Pakistan’s leaders work for the American government.

The purpose of the “Taliban split” psyop was to convince the people of Pakistan and the United States that there was a growing division between our governments, especially between our spy agencies.  We were supposed to believe that the Taliban were exclusively a Pakistani creation, forgetting that the entire operation was CIA from start to finish, in order to create a straw man foil to America’s role of hero, as it led a Western crusade to end this international “terrorist” operation.  Pakistan was to be our patsy in a genocidal operation, intended to sacrifice India and Pakistan to save the gods of Wall Street.

The entire Taliban/”al Qaida” operation from start to finish was a massive genocidal plot to sacrifice nation after nation (beginning with the Soviet Union), in order to preserve American capitalism.  The “jihadi” ideology was created to salvage “free market” ideology from the eventual consequences of its own unrestrained freedom to pursue profit.  Now that capitalism’s great moment of testing has arrived, the jihadi operation is being exploited to the fullest, in order that the military crisis might override the financial crisis and eventually provide the means to end both crises by presidential emergency powers and the mere stroke of a pen.

Forged in the fires of jihad, which burned in the sick and deranged mind of Ayatollah Khoemeni, in the latter nineteen-seventies, the British and American Zionists of MI6 and the CIA hatched this devastating plot to conquer the world.  In the mass panic and confusion that is sure to accompany this Christian/Jewish war on “radical Islam” the Western world could easily take possession of the Middle Eastern oil region and simultaneously eliminate the major source of resistance to the Zionist plans (if it can kick its public aversion to nuking civilian populations).

By bringing forth the first “colored revolution” in Iran, the spy-lords played upon the fears running rampent in the  minds of the Saudi royals, manipulating them by magnifying their fearful visions of an imminent fundamentalist revolution erupting amidst their own population, especially among the Shia minority. They convinced the Wahabbi leaders to finance and to organize an operation to transplant an outpost of militants, radicalized by their own corrupt religion, into the fringes of the Soviet empire, exporting their problem to the unsuspecting Pakistanis, whom them called “brothers.”

Through a succession of ploys and military campaigns, the ISI managed to keep this growing jihadi army busy fighting Pakistan’s enemies, or at least it managed to keep them divided through inter-tribal warfare and manufactured political splits.  The “Taliban split” was one of these manufactured divisions.  We were led to believe by Western media reports that this was a natural division that arose from differences of opinion within the ranks about proper tactics.

Pakistani and Indian sources played the conspiracy angle in the psyop, revealing that there was a foreign hand at work, causing the division.  The best conspiracy is one that functions by successfully ridiculing or maligning the unconcealable truth about itself.  There really was a foreign hand at work in the Frontier Region; in fact, several of them.

A second, non-Pashtun “Taliban” group had entered Pakistan, led by Guantanamo graduate Abdullah Mehsud.  This false “Taliban,” composed of several thousand mercenaries and thugs, was recruited from Uzbek and Afghan Northern Alliance fighters. Steadfast Iranian support for the Northern Alliance forces against the Taliban reveal Iran’s favorites in this struggle and may explain Pakistani Taliban financing, as well as indicate that Amrullah Saleh, the head of the Afghan secret police (NDS) might be working for Iran.  He organized Abdullah’s present for Pakistan (to “poison the soil where terrorism grows”), with overwhelming CIA funds and expertise.  This may help explain the billions of missing dollars and missing weapons that have been reported.  Saleh has been a key player in the decades old psyop since he informed the CIA two days before the 911 attacks that charismatic Northern Alliance leader Massoud was assassinated.

Once in Pakistan, this false “Neo-Taliban” began to stage terror attacks and sow discord, bringing down the wrath of the Pakistani Army on the FATA supporters of the war against the American occupation forces.  This scuttled peace treaties between the Army and Taliban and instigated new conflict.  During this period mysterious anonymous attacks began against Taliban leaders, local Shiites and other civilian targets.

Maulvi Nazir and his tribesmen were encouraged to blame the local Uzbeks for the mischief of the invading Uzbek “neo-Taliban,” in an attempt to re-ignite the long-simmering Mehsud/Waziri feud.  They formed Lashkars of hundreds of local fighters and declared a mini-war against the “al Qaida” Uzbeks.  The Pakistani Army embraced the Lashkar idea and spread it among the tribes, claiming Nazir as a collaborator.  To enhance the idea that he was leading the “split,” local reporters such as “CIA mouthpiece” Syed Saleem Shahzid gave voice to the story, encouraging belief in the intra-Taliban war.

We are being targeted in drone attacks. I was targeted in a drone attack myself. How come we are Pakistan’s serving militia?! We are the soldiers of Islam and we are Mujahideen, not some Pakistani horde. In fact, we are hostile to Pakistan and we are an Islamic army. Pakistan attacked me and attacks the rest of our brother Mujahideen by their drone aircrafts. How can we be Pakistan’s men?

the Pakistani Army, as they have accepted servitude to the Americans. Pakistan is foremost among the forty, forty-five of America’s allies. About 75-80% of the captives at Cuba have been handed over by Pakistan. The others of America’s friends have not served it so well. About two to three hundred containers of American supplies cross from over Pakistani land daily. This is the extent to which Pakistan serves America. 70% of the assistance America receives is provided by Pakistan. They have martyred our Mujahid brothers; those of them who were leading us and were our elders. Whenever we raise our head, Pakistan pursues us. Thus we are compelled to war Pakistan. It is not because India or Russia has bribed us…not at all…rather, we have been compelled to do so. Pakistan does not leave us alone. Neither do they spare any base camp, nor do they spare any Mujahid. Rather they kill us even in our homes. So you should forsake Pakistan’s friendship and join the Mujahideen.

The Pakistani Army reacted to the ongoing terror and bent to the American will, beginning a series of operations against the heavily armed militants in Swat and Bajaur.  Into this brewing cauldron of division, the CIA began a highly-publicized concentrated series of Predator attacks upon the Pakistani Taliban which targeted Mullah Nazir but spared Mehsud.  The discrimination in targeting encouraged rumors that Mehsud worked for the CIA and Nazir worked for ISI.  This twisted operation was leading to its inevitable conclusion of total upheaval in Pakistan, when Pres. Obama came on the scene and began to “tweek” the program by targeting Baitullah Mehsud.  This too had its inevitable conclusion, in Maulvi Nazir’s own words:

“All praise is to Allah, the Mujahideen have now joined forces; Gul Bahadur, Baitullah and we have all become one,”

The “Taliban split” between the S. Waziristan warlords has been miraculously healed by America’s airborne avengers, just as a new political rift was being opened between the Pakistani Taliban and their allies the TNSM of Sufi Mohamed and Maulana Fazlullah in Swat.  This completes the division process of separating the “reconcilable” Taliban represented by the Swat deal from the unreconcilables of Waziristan, opening the way for waging total war against the targeted Pushtun tribes.  [It is unknown at this time what changes, if any, will flow from Sufi calling-off the agreement today.]

The Pakistani Government is not sincere in their gesture with the people of Malakand. It is not true in its promise of giving them the Shariah system. This is no more than a warfare tactic of theirs. There is a war of Kalashnikovs and bullets and there is a war of politics.

With these individuals remaining in power, it is ridiculous to think that Shariah would ever be as it should be. These are cronies of America. Pakistan has the British law implemented in it, and its educational system is that devised by Lord Macaulay. With this at hand, we cannot accept the supposed Shariah. The Supreme Court remains imposed upon our heads and then they say: “We donate the Shariah to Waziristan while they work under us”…sorry, we can’t accept this.

It is true that there are no “moderate Taliban;” there are only Taliban. The Wahabbi madrassas produced only one kind of brain-washed student, the kind that believed the shortest path to heaven was through violent jihad.  This is exactly what the deranged CIA planners hoped for, when they planted the foundations of the jihadi university in Pakistan thirty years ago.  Pakistan is under attack from multiple directions today because of that partnership with the CIA.   For its own sake, the Pakistani Army must expunge itself of all the CIA collaborators from within its own ranks and within the government and establishment.  Only then will it be safe to proceed with eliminating the CIA mercenaries from its western and northern regions.

The truth about the claims that Nazir makes can only be confirmed by new revelations from inside sources, or by time itself.  His controversial claims about covert collusion between the secret services of Pakistan and the US seem to make sense, considering their dark shared history.   If looked at from a “great game” perspective, where everything is played-off against everything else, in a series of gambits to gain strategic advantage, it makes perfect sense.  Rumors of a secret FBI network embedded in FATA would explain the successful guided missile attacks upon key militants, but it seems more logical that Pakistani informants would blend more readily among the tribal militants than would American agents.  While it seems highly improbable that Army agents would bomb mosques and kill Shias, as Maulvi Nazir contends, his disavowal of guilt for these terrorist acts could point to another anonymous group staging false flag attacks, to be blamed on the local Taliban.  Likewise, insisting that there was no connection between his group and events in India and Kashmir does point the finger at ISI-connected groups, but it also, once again, raises the probability of a separate anonymous terror organization.  This other group is the one that must be exposed, if there is to be anything resembling peace in Pakistan’s future.

But the bearded mullah also raises the thorny issue of the Taliban’s true intentions.  Is there any possibility of a negotiated peace with the militant group?

our Jihad is against kufr, and to get back our lands that kufr has occupied, and our Jihad is meant to make supreme the Word of Allah and to establish the system of Shariah. Our Jihad isn’t limited to Pakistan or Afghanistan. We do not even accept these parting boundaries that “this shall be Pakistan” and “that shall be Afghanistan”…this is nothing but an inanity devised by the Jews and we reject it. All Muslims are our brothers, may they be in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Palestine or anywhere in the world. It is impossible to create division between Muslims, and the present partitions are utterly rejected. Our Jihad is a global Jihad, and we aim to liberate Muslims throughout the world and obliterate tumult, oppression and mischief, and establish the system of Shariah all over the world. We want the Law of Allah on the Land of Allah.

In this militant’s words (the same with them all), their goal is a global “caliphate,” just as the neocons claim.  But does this mean that overwhelming military force is the only answer to jihadi ambition?  In the most advanced cases, the answer obviously has to be “yes,” but in a majority of these contests, overwhelming military force is not the correct answer.  Since this type of religious-oriented militancy, feeds on violence, growing stronger with each self-defensive reaction, then the correct answer is to attack the illogical ideology that has misled the devout Muslim populations with superior moral force, true Islam.  In the case of a militant faith that enforces adherence to its warped religious tenets, such as “al Qaida” cites when  using violence to enforce their version of “Sharia Law,” the faithful naturally turn away from the mob in righteous indignation and sheer survivalism, whenever they see their own families and their beloved Prophet’s words brutalized.

Pakistan will likely choose to follow the path set by its secret rulers from afar, but it might also just decide to blaze an independent trail in its effort to deal with the Wahabbi militant threat.  If it chooses to accept the path of military escalation, then the entire region will be set ablaze, with all that that implies in a nuclear weapons zone.  But if its leaders can convince America to help them bottle-up the threat, while they fix the economic problems that feed the revolution and eliminate the foreign influence in the battle zone, then support for extremism would start to fade away just as it was doing in FATA and formerly did in Anbar Province in Iraq.  If, after restoring some sort of law and order to the region that Musharref destabilized in order to satisfy Bush and Cheney, Pakistan then seeks to revive this “moderate Taliban” search, that would be the time to re-introduce targeted assassinations in FATA, not before then.

peter.chamberlin@yahoo.com

The River of Afghan Corruption, and Its American Source

The River of Afghan Corruption, and Its American Source

Peter Chamberlin

The distinguished American ambassador glibly explains the unprecedented security situation in Afghanistan, blaming the entire mess upon the last thirty years without accepting US responsibility for causing it all.   We created the conflict in the first place, by bringing together the criminal enterprises of international arms dealers, opium suppliers, suitcases full of cash, and the most dangerous militants we could gather together from Africa and the Middle East into a “pipeline” which flowed into Afghanistan and from there throughout the region, before abandoning it all to start the first Iraq war.  We “abandoned” the war and the Afghan and Pakistani people, but we left the pipeline intact, running at full capacity for the past thirty years.

Holbrooke admitted that the core of the problem was the “huge amount of ‘international contracts,’ particularly American military contracts which brought such a lucrative opportunity for…this kind of thing,” but he didn’t bother to mention that all of the contracts were initially American, or that the pipeline of weapons, drugs, and militants that supplied the materiel to the contractors, was our pipeline, or that it was still in operation.  This is diplomatic deception of the highest order, meant to provide cover for a criminal war and the long-standing criminal American foreign policy which made it all possible.

This is the only real problem with Afghanistan, the fact that the governments which are waging war there are run by the same people who have created the dangerous situation to begin with.  This is the only problem that affects everything else in the Afghan field of conflict.  Cut the American/Pakistani pipeline and the war either ends outright, or slowly winds down, as the flow of money, weapons and foreign fighters simply dries-up, along with the Afghan opium trade which pays for it all.

In spite of intimate knowledge of all of this corruption we have sown, Holbrooke places the “cart before the horse,” claiming that the corruption is the problem, and not the deluge of cash, weapons and drugs which fuels the corruption.  Without this enormous financial backing, the warlords and drug lords of Afghanistan would be “small potatoes.”

There is no limit to American hypocrisy or the galling nerve of American diplomats like Holbrooke, who front for the empire builders as we wage covert war upon the entire world and call it “foreign aid,” or promoting “democracy” or stability.

peter.chamberlin@hotmail.com