The Plight of Being “Different” In a Bully’s World

The Right View: Georgie-Porgie, Pudding Pie

By Madeleine Fletcher

Wicked Local Cambridge

I had the following thoughts after watching the video of the moving speech by Fort Worth Texas councilman Joel Burnswho recounted the recent suicides of teen aged boys in this country resulting from the harassing behavior of their peers who had taunted them with accusations of homosexuality. Burns sent a message of hope to gay teens.

I am moved to speak out, not just to teens. I address this to the country as a whole, because this is not an exclusively gay issue

Harassment in high school for whatever motivation is just one example of the general abasement of our customs and should be stopped by teachers, parents and clergy before it reaches anywhere near that point. I would like to alert all those who have lost the sense of collective behavioral norms since the breakdown of the previous social contract according to which bullying was seen as contemptible and specifically cowardly and specifically un-manly.

In previous times these rules of conduct were carefully inculcated in children by their parents their teachers and their clergy.

“Georgie-Porgie, pudding pie, kissed the girls and made them cry, but when the boys came out to play; Georgie-Porgie ran away.”

This rhyme, chanted in my childhood in Northampton Massachusetts, shows how everyone used to regard a child who habitually tormented younger or weaker children.  Social conditioning meant that this tormenting was seen as contemptible. In like manner a large number of children ganging up against one child was specifically and invariably condemned as cowardly.

I gather from T.V. and print journalism that this sensibility has been lost from our collective consciousness in the U.S. today. We are the poorer for it. We seem to lack the moral courage to set out norms and force their acceptance through social pressure. In its place there is only whining and a focus on the victimization of the child who was sinned against. In focusing on the victim qua victim the media are victimizing him again.

Of course we are more sophisticated now, and we know that torturing animals or younger children is a sign of psychological trouble. Young people with these problems should be helped, but to ignore this behavior is to condone it. According to the reports in the video, these bullying activities were carried out over relatively long periods of time. It seems incredible that in spite of this fact, no one in a position of authority ever seems to have noticed the bullying or taken it upon himself to make it stop.

There is a sense of surprise that this violence should be occurring which I think is out of place. We should know from all evidence, including our own personal experience that violence occurs among adolescents, especially in the absence of other outlets for their energy.  From the inner city we commonly hear of completely innocent young people with no connection to gangs being gunned down by violent contemporaries. It is up to us to articulate a new solution.

In this context, I note that their ideas on youth violence were the first thing the four gubernatorial candidates were asked to contribute at the meeting of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO) on October 17, 2010. The strong audience response to the question showed that youth violence represents a major crisis for all residents of the inner city where it has grown to epidemic proportions. It seems to me that this city violence is a more heavily armed version of the out-of-control bullying which is visible in suburban schools, and that this phenomenon in both city and suburbs is symptomatic of a cultural virus in need of a cure.

For a start, we might begin by returning to the previous view of harassment as a despicable act and focus on controlling it and dissuading from it. As for the victim, we must realize that the victim can really be almost anyone conveniently at hand. Any victim of bullying needs to focus his thoughts on the truly contemptible nature of his tormentors’ behavior patterns, and in this way lessen his mental (but of course not his physical) suffering. It would be nice if Cambridge with its plentiful human and intellectual resources could lead the way towards a reset and strengthening of our collective behavioral norms.

In response to the current Massachusetts anti-harassment law, the city of Cambridge in its FY2010-11 budget has “request[ed] funding to advance an anti-bullying initiative.”

This effort to comply with the law merits a word of caution. The acceptability of behavioral norms is determined not by expert specialists in Psychology but by the collective will. It is only when it is commonly acknowledged that the difference between normal horseplay and harassment is defined according to the above two principles of 1) stronger against weaker and 2) many against one, that we can look forward to having made a stop to the slide of civil society into chaos.

Madeleine Fletcher is a member of the Cambridge Republican City Committee.

Copyright 2010 Cambridge Chronicle. Some rights reserved

Wikileaks Was Not “An Attack,” But State Dept. Actions Revealed, Definitely Were

Clinton blasts State Department leaks as ‘an attack’

By Evan Vucci, AP

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about the Wikileaks document release Monday at the State Department in Washington.

By Mimi Hall and Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration scrambled Monday to control the diplomatic damage from a quarter-million leaked State Department documents reverberating across the nation’s capital and around the globe.

The White House ordered a government-wide review of procedures to safeguard classified data and vowed to prosecute anyone who broke U.S. law by leaking the latest trove of documents to the online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.

"This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. "It is an attack on the international community — the alliances and partnerships, the conversations and negotiations, that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity."

Attorney General Eric Holder said the government was conducting a criminal investigation and would hold responsible "anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law."

The e-mails and other documents released by WikiLeaks provide a rare glimpse into government negotiations and unfolding world events.

Governments in Europe condemned the leaks. Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini dubbed them "the Sept. 11 of world diplomacy."

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama was "not pleased," calling that reaction "an understatement."

At the center of the controversy were The New York Times and other news organizations that began publishing stories about the documents on Sunday. The Times defended publication of the documents as serving "an important public interest."

Few current or former U.S. officials agreed. Rep. Pete Hoekstraof Michigan, senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, called the leak a "catastrophic" breach of trust.

The documents, which WikiLeaks said would be released over a period of months, show:

•U.S. diplomats were instructed to collect personal data onUnited Nations officials, including flight schedules, credit card numbers, Internet passwords and even some biometric information.

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Boltonquestioned the authenticity of that cable. "I have never seen one like that," he said. Diplomats "are not competent to engage in espionage."

Clinton defended the diplomats’ work. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said, "Our diplomats don’t break the law."

•Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, are far more concerned about Iran’s nuclear program than they have said publicly. "It should not be a surprise to anyone that Iran is a source of great concern, not only in the United States," Clinton said.

•The U.S. bartered with other countries to try to get them to take some of the terrorism suspects being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Contributing: Kevin Johnson and the Associated Press

Wikileaks Portray Hillary As Passive/Agressive “Margaret Thatcher”

[SEE: Former State Department intelligence chief says spy orders unprecedented]

Chavez: Clinton Should Resign over WikiLeaks

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez Monday called on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to resign after the leak of embarrassingly candid U.S. diplomatic correspondence by WikiLeaks.

“The empire stands naked… Mrs. Clinton should resign,” Chavez said in a speech, using his favorite description of the United States. “It’s the least you can do: resign, along with those other delinquents working in the State Department.”

Chavez zeroed in on a diplomatic cable with a request to the U.S. embassy in Argentina for information on President Cristina Kirchner’s “mental health.” The message asked if she was taking medication for “nerves and stress.”

“Somebody should study Mrs. Clinton’s mental stability,” said Chavez.

“I believe somebody should resign. I don’t mean it should be (U.S.) President (Barack) Obama, but the whole structure over there should fall apart, if only through embarrassment,” he added.

The United States “attacks… disrespects” other governments, including its allies and keeps tabs on other presidents, Chavez said.

“Whatever was left of its mask has finally dropped away,” he said, praising WikiLeaks for “its courage.”(AFP)

Learning Covert Hypnosis

What is Conversational Hypnosis?

Welcome to the International Conversational Hypnosis Society formerly the International Covert Hypnosis Society).

Our mission is to spread the knowledge of Conversational Hypnosis and Covert Hypnosis, as laid down by the world famous psychiatrist, Milton H. Erickson.

Milton Erickson

Conversational Hypnosis is the capacity to hypnotize another person and communicate with their subconscious mind without him or her noticing. Usually this is performed during an ostensibly innocent conversation (thus – ConversationalHypnosis). As the hypnotized person is not aware of being hypnotized, Conversational Hypnosis is also called CovertHypnosis. As it often uses non-conventional hypnosis techniques it is sometimes referred to as Underground Hypnosis or Black Ops Hypnosis.

Conversational Hypnosis is often used to alter and control the subject’s behavior. Careful use of words and body language can infiltrate a subject’s unconsciousness and significantly alter their behavior. Unaware of the hypnosis, however, the subjects feel it is they who made the decision.

Conversational Hypnosis effectively diminishes the subject’s use of analytical mind. This can be performed quickly and easily, as often seen with used car salesman: an experienced salesman may get you to purchase a car you wouldn’t have normally purchased, using seemingly innocent talk and body language alone. A i>good salesman will get you to buy the car, and a few days of hours later you’ll be surprised at yourself that you did so. An excellent salesman will get you to buy the car – with no second thoughts whatsoever.

Conversational Hypnosis is a very similar phenomenon to Erickson’s indirect hypnosis, but it is significantly characterized by the subject being completely unaware that they are being hypnotized during the seemingly innocent conversation.

Conversational Hypnosis blends traditional hypnosis methods along with NLP and social behavior. The Conversational Hypnosis mind control techniques effectively enable to control people’s behavior without them ever noticing they are being hypnotized, and if needed also never remembering any part of the hypnosis induced actions. Our members area shows a few extreme cases of abusing these powers.

Conversational Hypnosis Courses

If you want to learn Conversational Hypnosis, click here to go to page 2.

If you’re  looking for reviews of the leading Conversational Hypnosis / Covert Hypnosis Courses, the only reviews we endorse are those .

Former State Dept. Official Claims Hillary’s Intrusive Spy Tactics, Unprecedented

Former State Department intelligence chief says spy orders unprecedented

By Jeff Stein

Carl W. Ford, a former head of State Department intelligence, says tasking U.S. diplomats to collect foreign officials’ credit card numbers and other personal data is unprecedented, despite the department’s assurances to the contrary.

“I can’t recall anything like this,” Ford told SpyTalk by e-mail on Monday, adding that in the past, American diplomats focused on the personalities and political views of foreign officials, leaving the collection of cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, credit card accounts and other personal data to the CIA, FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies.

Such information was considered “operational materials not diplomatic reporting,” said Ford, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research (INR) from 2001 to 2003. Before that he was a senior Defense Department and National Intelligence Council official.

“I suspect much of that information was being passed by telephone and e-mail,” Ford said, “but even INR didn’t have access to it, the bureaus telling us that it was operational materials not diplomatic reporting.”

One of the documents surfaced by WikiLeaks Sunday is a July 31, 2009 State Department cable to U.S. diplomatic missions, entitled, “Reporting and collection needs: The United Nations.” that included a long list of targeted items.

It asked U.S. foreign services officers to collect foreign officials’ “numbers of telephones, cell phones, pagers and faxes; compendia of contact information, such as telephone directories … e-mail listings; internet and intranet ‘handles,’ internet e-mail addresses, web site identification-URLs; credit card account numbers; frequent flyer account numbers; work schedules, and other relevant biographical information.”

Robert E. White, a U.S. ambassador to Paraguay and El Salvador during the Carter and Reagan administrations, said diplomats were not tasked with such snooping in his time.

“No. If I, as a delegate to the [U.N. General Assembly] had an invitation from a government with which we did not have diplomatic relations, I would show it to the State Department security team,” White said. “If I decided to attend I would naturally write a report on anything non-routine. I would send the report to the Department and they would take care of the routing.”

White said espionage or counterintelligence work was best left to the professionals.

“For example, diplomats in NYC tend to frequent a small number of restaurants. It would be a simple matter for the FBI to gain the cooperation of the management for credit card numbers, etc.,” he said by e-mail.

“Someone apparently has persuaded the secretary that the war against terrorism justifies the use of diplomats as spies. This is just another example of throwing away an important principle for an illusory gain.”

But State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley maintained Sunday that tasking of diplomats for such information was nothing new.

“Our diplomats are just that, diplomats,” Crowley said in an interview with Foreign Policy columnist Josh Rogin.

“They represent our country around the world and engage openly and transparently with representatives of foreign governments and civil society. Through this process, they collect information that shapes our policies and actions. This is what diplomats, from our country and other countries, have done for hundreds of years.”

Traditional diplomatic reporting, however, emphasizes the personalities and views of important foreign officials, not their frequent flyer account numbers. A classic of the type surfaced Sunday in the WikiLeaks release of a diplomatic cable by the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene A. Cretz, reporting on Muammar al-Qadhafi.

“Qadhafi relies heavily on his long-time Ukrainian nurse, Galyna Kolotnytska, who has been described as a ’voluptuous blonde,’” Cretz reported on Sept. 29, 2009, part of a lengthy assessment of the Libyan leader.

“He also appears to have an intense dislike or fear of staying on upper floors, reportedly prefers not to fly over water, and seems to enjoy horse racing and flamenco dancing. His recent travel may also suggest a diminished dependence on his legendary female guard force, as only one woman bodyguard accompanied him to New York.”

2020 – The Outlook for An Alternative World Order

2020 – The region

  • Andrew MacIntyre

Our strategic future is bound up with continued growth and stability in the Asia-Pacific

A DECADE from now we will have moved a little further into an era in which the old powers of Europe and North America increasingly share the stage with the rising countries of the developing world. In this environment Australia’s welfare and security will be even more strongly influenced by developments in Asia and the Pacific.

Many of the factors that will determine Australia’s strategic environment in 2020 are already at work. Three stand out: the economic growth trajectories of key countries and the region as a whole, the stability of relations among the biggest powers and the potential for domestically destabilising political change in pivotal states.

Of these, economic performance is the most fundamental. Economic growth not only underpins the policy options open to a government and internal political dynamics, it also influences international perceptions of national capabilities.

There is a widely held expectation that Asia will grow strongly. However, the picture fragments when we shift our focus from the region as a whole to particular countries, particularly the biggest. Few analysts are optimistic about a sustained upsurge in the Japanese economy, but most expect China to continue growing strongly. For all its technological ingenuity, Japan remains bogged down domestically. By contrast, pro-growth politics seem entrenched in China. We know China is destined to face the challenge of an ageing population, but this will not begin to bite sharply by 2020. During the next decade, it will continue to enjoy the economic benefits of an expanding labour market. Not so Japan, where long-standing low fertility rates and restrictive immigration policies drive demographic decline.

Anticipating the economic trajectory of the US to 2020 is more difficult. For now, a pall of economic gloom lingers, in part due to a sense thatthe US political system is failing to deliver needed policy reforms. But though usually slow-moving, the political architecture in the US has and can again permit decisive action. As Joseph Nye reminds doubters, Washington refocused effectively once confronted with challenges from the Soviet Union in the 1950s and Japan in the 80s. And, uniquely among Western countries, the US economy can continue to count on a positive demographic trajectory.

Against this, the scale of US debt following the global financial crisis is staggering. A recent International Monetary Fund study projects total federal debt may equal gross domestic product by 2015, and this does not include public debt below the level of the federal government. Economic historian Niall Ferguson has declared: "This is how empires decline. It begins with a debt explosion." Washington insiders Roger Altman and Richard Haas have written about the adverse implications of fiscal profligacy for US power.

Economic growth trajectories are fundamental, but the variable with the greatest potential to destabilise our strategic environment is an outbreak of direct conflict among the big regional powers. The key is the three-way relationship among China, Japan and the US, given their military capabilities and economic centrality. (India and Russia are not yet in this category.)

The central issue here is the shifting power balance, driven by China’s economic trajectory relative to that of the US. The US National Intelligence Council projects that by 2025, "the US will remain the pre-eminent power, but that American dominance will be much diminished". The rapid expansion of China’s military capabilities and the increasing importance of international interests to China’s welfare mean that Deng Xiaoping’s old injunction about maintaining a low international profile and focusing on domestic development no longer resonates to the same extent.

There can be no doubting the reality of a shifting power balance in Asia. It has been going on for some time, with all countries in the region tacitly making adjustments for Chinese preferences. As against this, the underlying deterrent value of US military might will remain formidable through the next decade. US defence spending exceeds the combined total of China, Japan, Russia, India and the rest of NATO, and its strategic attention is increasingly concentrated on Asia. This, together with the reasonable prospect of caution in Beijing, underscore Richard Woolcott’s recent judgment that there is not yet any necessary reason to assume that China’s rise cannot remain peaceful.

The third driver of our strategic environment in 2020 is the potential for domestic political disruption in pivotal states. A decade ago Thailand was a stable success story and Indonesia was the next Yugoslavia. Here, too, much attention is given to China and anticipated political pressures stemming from its economic transformation. But, of all authoritarian regimes, Leninist systems are among the most durable.

Look instead to North Korea, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Despite its Leninist roots, the Pyongyang regime has become so personalised as to be inherently brittle. Any breakdown there would be fraught with danger for northeast Asia and the wider region. Indonesia has been the outstanding Southeast Asian success story of this past decade, but uninterrupted progress cannot be taken for granted. Pressures on democratic governance are likely to be greater a decade from now. Political disruption there would have serious implications for Australia. And, even closer to home, the vitality of democratic governance in PNG is under an ongoing, if quiet, challenge of corrosion. Serious political disruption is not probable, but neither can it be ruled out. Again, for Australia, the consequences would be serious .

Some elements of our present strategic environment will still apply in 2020: in all probability the US will still be the dominant power and China will be a stable economic powerhouse and the balance of power between them will still be shifting in China’s favour. But other key features may have changed. While the details are uncertain, the net effect will be to place ever more importance on Australia’s ability to project its interests co-operatively but effectively into the region. The challenge may become more familiar, but it won’t be easier.

Russia ready for innovative partnership with India, China”

Russia ready for innovative partnership with India, China”

Moscow, Nov 30 (PTI) Ahead of his visit to India, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today expressed Moscow”s readiness for innovative partnership with New Delhi and Beijing for "modernisation" of the Russian economy.
"We see the possibility of innovative partnership with nations like China, India in the five priority areas of Russia”s modernisation," Medvedev said during his annual state of the nation address before the Federal Assembly.
Space, energy, including civil nuclear, IT, pharmaceuticals are among the five priorities of Russia”s modernisation, he said.
Medvedev said the innovative partnership could be developed with India and China by creating Joint Ventures on the Russian soil for the production of "quality and affordable" products.
The bilateral innovative cooperation in hi-tech areas would also be high on the agenda of Medvedev”s India visit on December 21-22.
He said that high level bilateral interaction with the nations of Asia-Pacific Region is acquiring a "strategic character" for Russia.
"The high level bilateral interaction with China is transforming in the joint coordinated efforts on the international arena and leads to the rise in the authority of regional structures like Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRIC," the president said.
He said Russia also sees serious reserves in cooperation with the countries of Latin America and Africa.

Bomb Disrupts Trial of Kyrgyz Special Forces

Blast wounds two outside court in Kyrgyz capital

  • By Olga Dzyubenko

BISHKEK | Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:15am EST

(Reuters) – An explosion in Kyrgyzstan’s capital on Tuesday wounded at least two people outside a sports palace where several people are standing trial accused of mass killings during an April uprising in the Central Asian republic.

Investigators in Bishkek were trying to determine the nature of the explosive device, Alik Karimbayev, deputy head of Kyrgyzstan’s Security Council, said.

The windows of the sports palace were blown out, although the building itself was not damaged.

The explosion underscores tensions in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic that hosts U.S. and Russian military air bases, where authorities are trying to form a new government less than six months after hundreds were killed in ethnic violence.

On Monday, Kyrgyz authorities said four Islamist militants were killed during a raid in the southern city of Osh, the focal point for the ethnic bloodshed in June. One died when he detonated a grenade, the Security Council said.

The Health Ministry said two soldiers were wounded in Tuesday’s blast in Bishkek and had been taken to hospital. A Reuters witness at the scene said the sports palace had been cordoned off and police were conducting a security sweep of the building with dogs.

The sports palace is hosting the trial of 22 people accused of killing dozens of people in Bishkek during a popular uprising in April that ousted the president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Officials say 87 people were killed on April 7, when forces loyal to Bakiyev shot into crowds in a square in central Bishkek. Bakiyev is now exiled in Belarus.

The first day of the trial on November 17 descended into chaos when relatives of the deceased broke through police lines and threatened the accused, demanding their execution. Three of the defendants subsequently fled their homes to avoid standing trial.

Baktybek Rysaliyev, spokesman for the Supreme Court, said hearings scheduled for Tuesday had been postponed as a result of the explosion.

After elections last month, Kyrgyzstan is attempting to form the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia, a region otherwise governed by authoritarian presidents. Critics of the new parliament say it lacks authority.

China and Russia abandon the dollar in new bilateral trade agreement

China and Russia abandon the dollar in new bilateral trade agreement


China and Russia are renouncing the U.S. dollar for trade, their premiers have announced.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin said they will now use their own currencies for bilateral trade.

Chinese experts told the China Daily that the move reflects closer relations between the two countries and is aimed at protecting their own domestic economies rather than challenging the dollar.

‘So far we have been paying each other in foreign currencies, first of all in dollars. Now, and this is only the first step, trade in the rouble has started in China. In December the yuan will be traded in Moscow,’ Putin said.

Moving forward: Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and China's Premier Wen Jiabao exchange documents during their meeting in St Petersburg on Tuesday

Moving forward: Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and China’s Premier Wen Jiabao exchange documents during their meeting in St Petersburg on Tuesday

China accounts for 8.3 per cent of Russia’s total trade.

It is on track to overtake Germany as Russia’s biggest trade partner after discounting the Netherlands, formally the biggest partner because its liberal corporate legislation encourages many Russian firms to register there.

Moscow and Beijing are unlikely to agree the price of Russian gas supplies to China before mid-2011, Russia’s top energy official said, but the two countries’ prime ministers noted on Tuesday bilateral trade was booming.

Russia, the world’s biggest energy producer, is eager to increase sales of gas to the fastest growing major economy but price proved a sticking point in the talks.

‘I think by next summer we will be able to discuss concrete parameters for a commercial contract (on gas supplies),’ Igor Sechin, who holds sway over Russia’s energy sector, told reporters after meeting Chinese officials.

Russia says China should pay prices similar to those Gazprom  charges European customers, but Beijing wants a discount.

The sides were about $100 per 1,000 cubic metres apart, according to Chinese officials last week.

Under a deal signed between Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) on Sept. 27, Gazprom will sell 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas per year to China from 2015.

Putin said the gas talks were ‘successfully moving forward’.

‘China is an extremely important market for us, which we must imperatively work in,’ Sechin said, adding that China has the capacity to meet only seven per cent of its gas needs internally.

Under the deal the two countries will have to build the Altai gas pipeline – stretching from Siberia to China’s Western border with Russia.

After the meeting, which took place in Russia’s northern city of St.Petersburg, Putin and Wen said bilateral trade rose by 57 per cent to $41billion this year and praised the agreement to boost the use of the yuan and rouble.

Idiot Nation–Understanding Psychological Stupidity

Understanding Psychological Stupidity

Native intelligence easily becomes overwhelmed by delusional thinking plus denial resulting from psychological blocks to objective facts and truths, producing psychological stupidity.

by Joel S. Hirschhorn
Monday, November 29, 2010

I have always searched for the simplest yet best ways to explain what I see as a multi-decade decline of every aspect of the United States, especially its political system and government. I keep coming back to the inescapable logic that a large fraction of Americans, regardless of their education, economic status and political alignment, must suffer from delusion. This delusion produces denial about hugely important subjects and issues.

Like a law of physics, this combination makes people seem incredibly stupid to others disagreeing with their positions. Stupid, because they are unable to accept facts and truths that conflict with their views.

This special kind of stupidity is independent of inherent intelligence. In this case brain power is overpowered by psychological deficiency, namely self-delusion.

This delusion is not genetically produced, but is a result of external influences, notably political, government, media and corporate propaganda intentionally designed to produce delusional beliefs and thinking. Who does this? All sorts of commercial and political interests. The result is a series of biases and blocks, such as cognitive dissonance, to objective facts and information that creates denial about very important conditions affecting the planet, the nation and individuals. People afflicted with this deadly combination appear stupid to those outside their mental ghetto that they gladly inhabit, along with similarly afflicted people.

National unity breaks down with countless mental ghettos that span economic, political and geographic boundaries.

Conservatives see liberals as stupid and vice versa. Democrats see Tea Party adherents (who only support Republican candidates) as stupid and vice versa. Those seeing climate change and global warming as serious phenomena posing real threats see deniers as stupid. People who give a high priority to tax cuts that mainly benefit the rich and superrich seem stupid to those who recognize that the wealthiest Americans have hijacked the US economy, as shown by endless statistics that reveal their preferential financial benefits. Those who reject religions think the religious stupid. People who shun social networking sites see those addicted to them as stupid. Growing numbers of obese people seem stupid to those eating healthy and exercising regularly to maintain healthy weights.

You surely can think of classes of people who seem stupid, because of a particular belief or viewpoint rather than across-the-board limited intelligence. With conversations that have nothing to do with their position (or maybe several), you would likely think of them as reasonably intelligent and smart, not stupid. In other words, stupidity is often topic or issue specific.

Here are two examples of what I call psychological stupidity with their powerful implications for understanding why the nation is seen on the wrong track by so many Americans who cannot unite behind solutions.

There is no mystery why the top 20 percent of the population in terms of wealth votes for Republicans, but they are not enough to win elections. What makes far less sense is why many more middle class Americans vote for Republicans. They seem stupid in voting against their own economic interests because Republicans pursue policies that preferentially reward the richest Americans. This behavior can only be explained by the success of Republican propaganda (mainly trickle down prosperity), lies and deceptions that instill a set of biases and beliefs that enable Republicans to win elections. A prime example is obtaining broad support for keeping taxes on really rich people low.

On the other side, are millions of people who vote for Democrats because they have been sold rhetoric about reforming the government system, as if Democrats are not also in the pockets of a number of special interests that will not accept truly needed deep reforms. Why have we not seen President Obama pursue punishment of many people and companies in the banking, mortgage and financial sectors that caused the economic meltdown? He had received huge campaign contributions from them and then surrounded himself with cabinet officials and advisors from them. Otherwise intelligent people vote for Democrats because of their psychological stupidity based on false promises of change and reform that they have succumbed to.

Psychological stupidity has become a kind of cultural epidemic that no one is addressing, so it just gets worse. It invites manipulation and the continuing corrosion and corruption of government. The rich and powerful know how to take advantage of this stupidity, obtaining government policies and programs they want, selling products and services that consumers do not really benefit from, and grabbing more of the nation’s wealth.

Those afflicted with psychological stupidity are also likely to exhibit moral superiority, making it even more difficult to have intelligent and productive conversations with them. Such arrogance strengthens their defenses against facts and information that conflicts with their cherished views. The answer: Associate with others having exactly the same views and only get information from like-minded media sources, creating mental ghettos (such as the Tea Party and Fox News) that others can take political or commercial advantage of (Republicans and companies selling gold).

Self-deception is the widespread legal narcotic lubricating the slide of American society into the toilet that other once great nations ended up in. Maybe this old Arab proverb warrants respect: People who lie to others have merely hidden away the truth, but people who lie to themselves have forgotten where they put it.

Which mental ghettos do you belong to?

Former Pres. Uribe Subpoenaed In US Paramilitary Lawsuit

[SEE: Suit: Ala. coal firm funded Colombian terror]

Clearing the Air About Uribe’s Subpoena

While on Georgetown’s main campus earlier this month, former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez was served with a subpoena in the case of Claudia Balcero Giraldo v. Drummond. There has been a lot of misinformation floating around our community with respect to what the subpoena is, where it came from and how it was served. As a member of the Adios Uribe Coalition, I hope that the following account will help to clear the air.

First, the serving of a subpoena is a common and integral part of our judicial system. Subpoenas protect all parties’ right to a fair trial and help to ensure that a court will advance justice with all the relevant facts at hand. The subpoena served to President Uribe was authorized by a federal judge and requires Uribe’s attendance at a formal deposition where he will be asked to speak under oath about issues relevant to the Drummond case.

Nearly 500 family members of Colombian citizens murdered by paramilitary forces during the prolonged Colombian civil conflict brought the suit against Drummond Company, Inc., for its alleged role in supporting war crimes and funding the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, a paramilitary organization. A federal court ruled that the claims against Drummond are viable and the case is now searching for more evidence, in a discovery phase.

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Terry Collingsworth of Conrad & Scherer, LLP, believes that President Uribe has explicit knowledge of Drummond’s alleged relationship with the paramilitary organization as well as other information pertinent to the case. President Uribe’s testimony will likely be of great help in bringing to justice those involved in the murders and terrorist activities against Colombian citizens.

Much of the confusion in our community surrounds the way in which President Uribe was served. Charity Ryerson, a Georgetown law student and former intern at Conrad & Scherer, served the subpoena to President Uribe as he walked to his car after teaching a class. Ryerson notified President Uribe that she was serving him with a subpoena in the Drummond case and President Uribe refused to accept the documents.

When serving a subpoena upon a non cooperating party, a standard method of service is to present the person with the subpoena and to drop it at the person’s feet when that person refuses to take it. After President Uribe’s refusal, Ryerson dropped the subpoena at his feet. At no point did Ryerson make physical contact with President Uribe or the security guards who were present.
 There have been two misconstrued rumors circulating around campus. The first rumor is that serving a subpoena on Georgetown campus is a violation of campus rules or somehow an act of aggression. This is not true. University spokeswoman Julie Bataille confirms that “the university does not have a policy forbidding the service of process on its property, but does not, as a general matter, work with process servers to facilitate service.”

Hours before serving the subpoena, Ryerson was told by Georgetown administrators that she could not serve the subpoena on campus. This was simply a matter of miscommunication and in the future, process servers will not be forbidden from fulfilling their lawful duties.

The second misinformed rumor is that some sort of physical abuse occurred when Ryerson served the subpoena. By law, a recipient of a subpoena can claim that the subpoena is invalid if an abuse took place during the service of it; the recipient does not have to provide testimony unless service is repeated.

Drummond has publicly claimed that Ryerson improperly served the subpoena to President Uribe. I witnessed the interaction and can assure the whole Georgetown community that Ryerson did not make physical contact with President Uribe and that allegations to the contrary are simply false. 

In order to ensure that our shared principles of transparency, freedom of speech, social justice and the rule of law are to continue to flourish, everyone weighing in on President Uribe’s presence on campus must do so publicly. This helps our entire community to avoid the spread of false information and rumors. Given the political context that surrounds President Uribe, I recognize that any subpoena served upon him will inevitably attract attention.

However, I hope that our community will rest assured knowing that the sole purpose of a subpoena is to advance the cause of justice in claims of interest to the federal judicial system. To these ends, Georgetown’s Adios Uribe Coalition is more than happy to talk further with any member of the Georgetown community, and will continue to advance Georgetown’s commitment to social justice, freedom of speech and the rule of law. 
Chris Byrnes is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service class of 1998 and Georgetown Law class of 2002. He is an active member of the Adios Uribe Coalition.

Suit: Ala. coal firm funded Colombian terror

[SEE: Drummund Lawsuit.pdf ;Former Pres. Uribe Subpoenaed In US Paramilitary Lawsuit]

Suit: Ala. coal firm funded Colombian terror

Relatives of those killed accuse company of paying paramilitary group

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Relatives of dozens of slain Colombians sued an Alabama-based coal company in federal court Thursday, accusing it of making millions of dollars in payments to a paramilitary group that sowed terrorism in the South American country.

The suit filed in Birmingham said 67 victims of the The United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, also known as AUC, included unionists, farmworkers and others. It claimed the rightwing group received payments from operatives for Drummond allegedly to assassinate top union leaders and protect the company’s large coal mine and railroad in Colombia.

The lawsuit is much broader than one filed in March by the children of three slain Colombian union leaders against Drummond Co. Inc.

A similar lawsuit ended in 2007 with a verdict for Drummond, which has repeatedly denied any connection with the Colombian violence. The verdict was upheld by a federal appeals court in December.

Lawsuit includes hundreds of people
The plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit include hundreds of parents, children and siblings of people allegedly killed by AUC, mostly in Colombia’s Cesar and Magdalena provinces.

A spokesman for Drummond, Bruce Windham, was out of its Birmingham headquarters Thursday and not immediately available to return a call for comment.

Attorney Terry Collingsworth, who represents the plaintiffs, said the latest lawsuit was filed because of new information alleging that Drummond made payments to the paramilitary group, which he said “terrorized people up and down Drummond’s railroad corridor.”

The suit lists the victims and their relatives with pseudonyms such as “Jane Doe” or “Peter Doe,” followed by a sequence of numbers. A motion is pending seeking to allow the suit to go forward while keeping the plaintiffs anonymous.

“Many of the AUC leaders are now speaking freely about their relationship with the elites of the Colombian business community, and their direct collaboration with the Colombian military,” the suit said.

The suit, like the earlier ones, was filed under the more than 200-year-old Alien Torts Claims Act, which allows foreigners to file suit in U.S. courts for alleged wrongdoing overseas.

The initial suit was the first filed against a U.S. corporation under the law to ever make it to trial.

Unspecified damages sought
The latest suit seeks unspecified financial damages and other relief. It says the political situation in Colombia prevents the plaintiffs from addressing their complaints in their home country.

“Any efforts by plaintiffs to seek redress would be futile because those seeking to challenge official or paramilitary violence, including prosecutors and human rights activists, are at great risk of retaliation,” the lawsuit says.

The suit names as defendants Augusto Jimenez, the CEO of Drummond’s Colombian subsidiary; Alfredo Araujo, Drummond’s community relations manager in Colombia; and James Atkins, director of security for Drummond in the South American country.

The suit alleges that Araujo is a close friend of a Colombian paramilitary leader, Rodrigo Tovar Pupo, also known as “Jorge 40.”

The suit claims that from 1999 to 2006, Drummond paid millions of dollars to “Jorge 40” and a wing of the AUC called the Juan Andres Alvarez Front. It alleges that the payments were negotiated by Drummond through Araujo and Atkins and approved by Jimenez.

According to the suit, the victims were killed in such places as a kiosk, on a sports field, in a shop — and some are said to have “disappeared,” apparently killed and their bodies never found.

The suit alleges Drummond knew that “because of the lawless environment created by the civil conflict in Colombia, the paramilitaries acting as their agents, could murder trade unionists employed at their mines — including Locarno, Orcasta and Soler — with impunity.”

The Explosive Dangers of the Post-Paramilitary Dilemma

[How does any nation disband an illegal civilian army and reintegrate its soldiers without first prosecuting the war crimes that some of them have committed, or causing outright civil war?  AfPak negotiators should pay close attention to the case of Columbia, to gain insight into how Pakistan can demobilize the Pakistan/American-backed Taliban militias and later warlord armies without causing civil war.  SEE:  Columbia Attempts to Demobilize 18,000 Paramilitaries Without Igniting Civil War]

Colombian court strikes down law protecting ex-paramilitaries


Bogota –  Colombia’s Constitutional Court overturned a law that called for halting criminal prosecution of some 17,000 low-level rightist paramilitaries who demobilized between 2003 and 2006.

In a 5-4 decision, the court found that the measure violated the principles of justice and reparation for militia victims and was effectively an amnesty.

Implementation of the law, which was approved last year by Congress, remained on hold pending the ruling from the Constitutional Court.

The decision implies that roughly 17,000 of the more than 31,000 members of the AUC militia federation who laid down their arms under a peace process with the 2002-2010 government of President Alvaro Uribe are subject to criminal prosecution, where applicable.

The administration of current head of state Juan Manuel Santos expressed concern Wednesday that the court’s ruling could undermine efforts to reintegrate the former gunmen.

Noting that some demobilized paramilitaries have already joined criminal outfits, Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras said that without the offer of pardon or amnesty, the government would find it difficult to persuade those men to take part in reintegration programs.

The law was meant to apply to militia members who did not have command responsibility, were not linked to drug trafficking and did not face any criminal charges aside from the offense of belonging to an illegal armed group.

But it also would have allowed prosecutors to drop or suspend cases involving erstwhile paramilitaries with drug ties who agreed to testify against more significant offenders.

The AUC was behind more than 22,000 killings over the course of 20 years, according to an ongoing investigation by Colombian prosecutors.

Uribe extradited more than a dozen of the top warlords to the United States to face drug charges, angering militia victims who wanted to see those men tried in Colombia for crimes against humanity.


17,000 paramilitary fighters may rearm: ex AUC commander


Colombia news - Iguano

Former paramilitary leader Jorge Ivan Laverde, alias "El Iguano," says fellow former paramilitary leaders are suspending all collaboration with Colombian justice after the Constitutional Court ruled that 17,000 fighters can not be excluded from prosecution.

In an interview with Caracol Radio, Iguano said the peace process that led to the disarmament of the AUC in 2005 and 2006, "the way it is going, is going really bad. The concern of these 17,000 men that are demobilized is that they are one step away of being arrested and don’t know what to do."

According to Iguano, the thousands of paramilitary fighters may rearm "because the government did not provide a real reintegration."

The former paramilitary commander added that "these men of who they now took the principle of opportunity were guards of the AUC, they did not take part in crimes against humanity like we did."

Colombia’s Interior and Justice Minister German Vargas Lleras said the government is working on a series of initiatives that allow a reintegration of paramilitary fighters into society and solve the judicial limbo they now are in.

Without being specific, the minister said a group of lawmakers will be working throughout the weekend to propose solutions in Congress on Monday.

The government is forced to come up with additional legislation for the Justice and Peace law, the law that allowed the demobilization of the AUC, in that time considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union. Part of the deal was that 17,000 members of the organization who were not suspected of crimes against humanity would be reintegrated into society without being prosecuted for being part of a terrorist organization. According to the court, only the judicial branch can make such deals with suspected criminals.


Rashid: Karzai going all anti-American

Rashid: Karzai going all anti-American

Posted By Thomas E. Ricks

Ahmed Rashid, who knows Afghanistan like Peter Gammons knows the Red Sox, is always interesting on Hamid Karzai, but his new piece about the Afghan president is particularly striking. The must-reading meat of it:

Afghan president Hamid Karzai is a changed man. His worldview now is decidedly anti-Western. When I spoke with him earlier this month at the presidential palace in Kabul, Karzai told me that the United States has been unable to bring peace to Afghanistan or to secure cooperation from Pakistan, which continues to give sanctuary to the Taliban… By the end of our talk, it was quite clear to me that his views on global events, on the future course of NATO’s military surge in southern Afghanistan, and on nation building efforts throughout his country have undergone a sea change. His single overriding aim now is making peace with the Taliban and ending the war — and he is convinced it will help resolve all the other problems he faces, such as corruption, bad governance, and the lack of an administration.

Karzai’s new outlook is the most dramatic political shift he has undergone in the twenty-six years that I have known him.

This reminds me of something David Kilcullen was saying a couple of years ago, that maybe the only way to get out of these wars will be to get kicked out by the government you helped create.

“Islamists” Killed In Osh Raid

‘Islamist militants killed’ in Kyrgyzstan raid


Reports from Kyrgyzstan say four Islamist militants have been killed in a raid on a hide-out in the southern city of Osh.

Police shot dead three members of a banned Islamist group and a fourth died after detonating a grenade, said the head of Kyrgyzstan’s Security Council.

Two officers were injured in a gun battle during the raid, he said.

Osh was the scene of inter-ethnic violence in June during which nearly 400 mostly minority Uzbeks were killed.

The riots followed weeks of political turmoil after the ousting of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev in a mass uprising in April.

The new authorities, led by President Roza Otunbayeva, are attempting to create the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia, after elections last month.

However, critics of the new leadership say it lacks authority in the volatile south.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to visit Kyrgyzstan on Friday.

Al-Qaeda links

"The operation has been concluded and a sweep of the area is under way," Marat Imankulov told reporters in the capital, Bishkek.

Mr Imankulov said initial reports suggested the militants may have belonged to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

The IMU is an al-Qaeda-affiliated Central Asian group that now fights alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan.

A local police spokesman told Reuters that the raid could have targeted members of another banned Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, which wants to establish an Islamic state across the Middle East and Central Asia.

However the group says it does not advocate violence.

Pakistan drone victim demands damages from CIA

[TIT-FOR-TAT?   26/11: U.S. court summons ISI chief, Saeed]

Pakistan drone victim demands damages from CIA

Associated Press

Kareem Khan, Pakistani tribesman from North Wazirstan, talks to the media in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Monday, Nov. 29, 2010.  Khan, says he lost his son and brother in an American missile attack in the country

Anjum Naveed

Kareem Khan, Pakistani tribesman from North Wazirstan, talks to the media in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Monday, Nov. 29, 2010. Khan, says he lost his son and brother in an American missile attack in the country’s northwest and is demanding damages from the CIA, and according to his lawyer, Mirza Shahzad Akbar obscured right, he will file a lawsuit against the director of the CIA and the U.S. defense secretary unless he receives dollars 500 million US (320 million British pounds / 378 million euro) in compensation.

A Pakistani man who says he lost his son and brother in an American missile attack in the northwest threatened Monday to sue the CIA unless he receives compensation, a move that will draw attention to civilian casualties in such strikes.

Kareem Khan and his lawyers said they were seeking $500 million in two weeks or they would sue CIA director Leon Panetta, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and a man they said was the CIA’s station chief in Islamabad for "wrongful death" in a Pakistani court.

The United States does not publicly admit to firing missiles into northwest Pakistan close to the Afghan border, much less say who they are targeting or whether civilians are also being killed. Privately, officials say they are taking out al-Qaida and Taliban militants and dispute accounts that innocents often die.

Pakistani officials, who face criticism from their own people for allowing the attacks, rarely discuss them.

Khan said his 18-year-old son, Zaenullah Khan and his brother Asif Iqbal were killed on Dec. 31 last year in the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan. The third victim was a mason who was staying at the house, he said. Khan said his son and Iqbal were teachers.

"The people who were martyred were innocent," Khan told a media conference in Islamabad alongside his lawyer, Mirza Shahzad Akbar. "They did not have links with any terrorist group, nor they were wanted."

The Associated Press and other media organizations reported that three people were killed on Dec. 31 in a missile attack in Mir Ali. Pakistani intelligence officials said then that the men were militants, but offered no proof.

Khan, who was working as a journalist, was in Islamabad at the time of the attack.

Any legal action stands no chance of success unless U.S. officials cooperate with the court, something highly unlikely given the secretive nature of the missile strike program. The most Khan and Akbar can hope for is to bring attention to the issue.

There have been more than 100 such attacks this year, more than twice than in 2009. The attacks began in 2005, but picked up pace in 2007 and have increased ever since. The border region is out of bounds for non-locals and much of it is under the control of militants, meaning independent reporting on who is being killed is nearly impossible.

Most of the missiles are believed to be fired from unmanned planes launched from Afghanistan or from secret bases in Pakistan.

Human rights groups have called on the United States to provide greater transparency about who is being targeted and publicly investigate allegations of civilian deaths. Without knowing, they say it is impossible to judge whether such attacks are legal.

Across the border in Afghanistan, the American military compensates the families of innocents killed once it carries out an investigation.

Kayani Dictates Talking Points To Pakistan’s “Free Press”

[SEE:  The Perfect Division of Pakistani Society]

Kayani dictates talking points to “free media”

This is a fascinating report in Dawn about a briefing given by a “top military official” to “editors, anchors, and columnists” on Sunday. The top military official gave these comments on the condition of strict anonymity. This briefing to the main opinion makers in the Pakistani media was given on Sunday on the day of the first set of leaks from Wikileaks.

The interesting thing about this meeting is that just by reading it, a few things are apparent :-

This “anonymous military official” can be no other than General Kayani. No other military official would speak so authoritatively on every aspect of Pakistani security policy.

The contents of this media briefing consist of an entire set of media talking points for the next few months’ news cycle. Note how an entire national narrative of grievance is supplied to the media personalities in order for them to project this to their viewership:

Detailing frank exchanges between the uppermost echelons of the Pakistan military and the Obama administration, the senior military official listed a catalogue of complaints the ‘people of Pakistan’ have against the US.

These include: the US still has a ‘transactional’ relationship with Pakistan; the US is interested in perpetuating a state of ‘controlled chaos’ in Pakistan; and, perhaps most explosively given the WikiLeaks’ revelations, the “real aim of US strategy is to de-nuclearise Pakistan”.

The most interesting thing to me is that this narrative is not presented as a military perspective but instead framed as “a catalogue of complaints that the people of Pakistan have against the US. See how easily General Kayani fuses the military’s interests with those of the people of Pakistan.

General Kayani then goes on to outline the entire array of talking points for the near future – he discusses US withdrawal from Afghanistan, what a satisfactory end-state in Afghanistan would look like for the Pakistani army, what Afghanistan’s relationship with India should be allowed to be, and that the Pakistani military will continue to be “India-centric”.

At first, upon reading this, one must wonder why Dawn is acting like a stenographer for General Kayani and faithfully transcribing his comments in this one. But upon later reflection, it is useful for the reader for Dawn to have described this briefing. For one thing, it’s quite obvious who is talking here, so we know that General Kayani has taken it upon himself to brief the major media players prior to the latest diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and the US. By describing everything that General Kayani said to these media persons, we, as future consumers of the media generated by these individuals gain a better understanding of some of the factors influencing these individuals. Indeed, as a daily reader/viewer of Pakistani news, these talking points should be incredibly familiar to you. For example, here is General Kayani’s talking point:

The official also repeatedly stressed that the ‘frames of reference’ of the US and Pakistan with regard to regional security matters “can never be the same and this must be acknowledged”. Furthermore, the official claimed, the dichotomy between short-term US interests and long-term Pakistani security interests needs to be kept in mind at all times.

Now here is an opinion journalist Mosharraf Zaidi, repeating the same talking point:

It boils down to this: Pakistan’s interests in Pakistan and in the region are simply not the same as those that the US and other Nato powers have. Unlike alliances that go back a long way and seem to endure all shades of politics, like the special relationship between Great Britain and the United States, Pakistan’s relationship with the United States is decidedly inorganic. To stimulate each other the right way, the United States pays the Pakistani military, and gingerly, its civilian government, to put the squeeze on the safe havens for bad guys in Pakistan that are targeting US and Nato troops in Afghanistan.

Or consider the following set of talking points issued by General Kayani on the issue of a North Waziristan operation:

Nevertheless, citing three factors, the official downplayed the possibility of an imminent operation in NWA. First, the official said, South Waziristan needs to be resettled. Second, the country had to prepare for the ‘serious blowback’ of an operation in NWA, which would include terrorist attacks in the cities and a fresh wave of Internally Displaced Persons.

Third, the official stressed the need for the “creation of a political consensus”. Referring to a similar consensus developed in the run-up to Operation Rah-i-Rast in Swat, the official suggested politicians, the media and the Pakistani public would have to demonstrate their support for a military operation in NWA before the army would undertake one.

When told of Prime Minister Gilani’s comment that there is no need for a fresh consensus because the support for the operation in South Waziristan also extends to North Waziristan, the official responded sharply: “I will not do it unless there is a political consensus on North Waziristan.”

Now read this article by Sherry Rehman who also happens to be a member of the National Security Committee in Pakistan’s Parliament. Here is what Sherry Rehman has to say about a North Waziristan operation.

The politics of a military operation are never easy. No military relishes fighting inside its own borders, and no civilian, elected government embraces the use of force as a first, or even second option. The government has thrown its full weight behind the operations, despite the costs that accrue from such initiatives. As a result, Pakistan now has its own generation of lost people, human tragedies, economic crises, internal strife and political instability.

While the military presses on with an offensive in Orakzai agency, there will be little room to divert forces for anything more than strategic strikes on NWA areas where the terrorists cluster. Pakistan must dismantle al-Qaida as well as India-centric jihadist outfits as a priority. It also must allow Kabul to form its own stable government and hope for a friendly partner. But it will need Pakhtuns to maintain stability in Afghan border provinces after the expected US troop withdrawal in 2011. Seeking more than surgical raids in NWA is asking for too much. Pakistan must act decisively against terrorists, but using its own gameplan.

How many times have we heard a journalist/analyst/anchor repeat the point that Pakistan’s interests and the US’s interests in Afghanistan are simply not the same or that Pakistan must conduct the North Waziristan operation “on its own time” and “in keeping with its own long-term strategic interests” rather than following the dictates of short-term US pressure. Perhaps General Kayani is simply a very sensible and insightful geopolitical analyst and his analysis is just so correct that it reflects reality. Or perhaps, just perhaps, sessions like the one reported by Dawn are conducted precisely in order to shape the national narrative which is then uncritically propagated by patriotic journalists across various fora. After all, it is not at all difficult to present a counter narrative to the one being presented by General Kayani (and Sherry Rehman) on North Waziristan. Readers of this blog will be aware of the many unanswered questions regarding the securing of Pakistanis “strategic assets” in North Waziristan – namely the Haqqani group. Readers will also be aware of the opinion put forward by analysts like Dr. Muhammad Taqi, Farhat Taj and Ali K Chishti that the conflict in Kurram is related to the military establishment’s frantic moves to secure these precious assets and conceal them in the event that they are forced by the US or by the discovery of another Faisal Shehzad plot to launch an operation in North Wazirstan. An intelligent person should, after reading Dr. Taqi’s article on Kurram, be able to deconstruct some of General Kayani’s talking points and perhaps even question them as being simply a cover for a deeper game being played by the Pakistani establishment. And surely, as readers, we deserve to have these questions raised in the mainstream media, on our talk shows and in our op-eds in order to question the cosy narrative that we are being forced to swallow by General Kayani.

The point is not that Sherry Rehman or General Kayani’s argument regarding the delaying of the North Waziristan operation is necessarily invalid, but that it’s not the only valid perspective given the facts that we know about the situation in Kurram and North Waziristan. And yet it has become the mainstream perspective, thanks to the line propagated by General Kayani and the ISPR being regurgitated uncritically by the mainstream media. Similarly, it is possible that Pakistani and US interests are indeed not aligned in Afghanistan. However, it is also possible (and indeed, LIKELY) that “Pakistani interests” in Afghanistan as formulated by the GHQ are suicidal and not really “Pakistani interests” but the interests of an intellectually paralyzed security state that simply cannot change its disastrous 30 year policy of slow-motion suicide at the hands of extremists.

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa has written extensively on the deep tentacles that the GHQ has within the Pakistani media. Reading the report by Dawn on the briefing given to media personalities by General Kayani, one realizes the extent of this cancer. Who, in the media, will be bold enough to step out of this self-imposed mental cage or will we have to wait forever?

FBI Building More Fake Bombs To Panic the Populace

[The govt. loves to parade these fake “homegrown terrorists” around the village square to appease the frightened locals, looking for some witches to burn.  How many times have we heard these stories, where the FBI man actually builds a working bomb, only to disable it before planting it, in order to prove to the public that it is doing its job?  The risky nature of this type of undercover ploy is readily seen in cases like the first Trade Center bombing, where the agent didn’t disable the device.  The undercover man who built that bomb in 1993 should have been the one put behind bars, since he built and helped plant a working bomb in the Trade Center garage, successfully killing six people and wounding over 1,000.

This is the essence of the US terror war–finding people who don’t like the government and tempting them into participating in criminal acts that they otherwise would not have had the means or intentions to carry-out otherwise.

Residents condemn bomb plot, criticize FBI

Somali-American man has pleaded not guilty to an alleged plot to blow up a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Oregon


PORTLAND, Oregon — Some residents of this famously liberal city are unnerved, not only by a plot to bomb an annual Christmas tree-lighting ceremony last week but also by the police tactics in the case.

They questioned whether federal agents crossed the line by training 19-year-old Somali-American Mohamed O. Mohamud to blow up a bomb, giving him $3,000 cash to rent an apartment and providing him with a fake bomb.

The FBI affidavit “was a picture painted to make the suspect sound like a dangerous terrorist,” said Portland photographer Rich Burroughs. “I don’t think it’s clear at all that this person would have ever had access to even a fake bomb if not for the FBI.”

Mohamud’s defense lawyer said in court on Monday that agents groomed his client and timed his arrest for publicity’s sake.

Public defender Stephen Sady focused on the FBI’s failed attempt to record a first conversation between Mohamud and an FBI undercover operative. “In the cases involving potential entrapment, it’s the initial meeting that matters,” Sady said.

Attorney General Eric Holder defended the agents on Monday, rejecting entrapment accusations.

Once the undercover operation began, Mohamud, who officials said had no formal ties to foreign terror groups, “chose at every step to continue” with the bombing plot, Holder said.

To be sure, many Portlanders were unsettled that a terror plot could unfold in their backyard — in Pioneer Courthouse Square, as thousands cheered the tree lighting — and not in much higher-profile cities such as New York or Los Angeles.

At a time when people are focused on body scans and intrusive pat-downs to prevent terrorist attacks, some Portlanders wondered if the FBI had gone too far and unnecessarily scared residents.

“What is distressing about the incident is not so much that the FBI arrested or otherwise intervened,” said resident Joe Clement, 24, “but that the FBI used him to create a scenario that scared a lot of people.”   (read HERE)

Colombian Government Cleans House–issue arrest warrant for ex-police chief in 1989 candidate assassination

[SEE:  Columbia Attempts to Demobilize 18,000 Paramilitaries Without Igniting Civil War ]

Colombian prosecutors issue arrest warrant for ex-police chief in 1989 candidate assassination

LIBARDO CARDONA Associated Press

November 25, 2010

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombian prosecutors issued an arrest warrant Thursday for a 73-year-old former domestic security chief who they say participated in the 1989 assassination of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.

Retired Gen. Miguel Maza Marquez has been charged with aggravated homicide for allegedly allying himself with the drug traffickers whose hired guns killed Galan, said German Gomez, spokesman for Colombia’s chief prosecutor.

The DAS domestic security agency that Maza Marquez led provides bodyguards for politicians, human rights activists and others. Prosecutors say the general intentionally lightened Galan’s bodyguard contingent to enable the Aug. 18, 1989 assassination.

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Galan’s 1989 presidential campaign was a crusade against Pablo Escobar and other cocaine lords who terrorized Colombia, killing hundreds of judges, journalists and police in a bid to avoid extradition.

A lawyer for Maza Marquez told The Associated Press on Thursday his client is innocent but would turn himself in shortly. The general had been jailed in the case in August 2009 but was freed in April due to procedural errors.

Attorney Juan Carlos Cardenas called the prosecution’s case flawed because it is based on witnesses — jailed paramilitary warlord Ivan Roberto Duque and convicted mass murderer Alonso de Jesus Baquero — who were not present when the assassination was planned.

The chief prosecutor, Guillermo Mendoza, told reporters that authorities had incriminating evidence against Maza Marquez but he would not elaborate.

Maza Marquez led the DAS from 1985-1991 and was at the time considered a hero in Colombia for his efforts fighting Escobar’s Medellin Cartel. He himself survived the Dec. 6, 1989 bombing of DAS headquarters by the cartel in which more than 50 people were killed.

Police killed Escobar in 1993 after a massive manhunt.

Columbia Attempts to Demobilize 18,000 Paramilitaries Without Igniting Civil War

18,000 former paramilitaries on alert

In August 2005, 2,000 men from the front Héroes de Granada, AUC, demobilized. Today, most of them could be arrested by the ruling of the Court. The government is taking emergency measures.

In August 2005, 2,000 men from the front Héroes de Granada, AUC, demobilized.Today, most of them could be arrested by the ruling of the Court. The government is taking emergency measures.

JUDGING The country has not realized the seriousness of the Constitutional Court ruling leaves in limbo the demobilized. Not only poses a risk to national security, but could close the doors of any peace process. The government commitment to close the gap before year’s end.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Colombia is a country unique in news. This week, the Constitutional Court issued a ruling that virtually destroys the peace process of the paramilitaries, but with the exception of government, which has caught the alarm about the effect of it, nobody else seems to have shaken.

The verdict is simple: lay down a law last year allowing the opportunity to apply the principle of demobilized enlisted men. That is, the endorsement gave the Prosecutor not to investigate. And in practice the decision has a devastating effect on national security, left in limbo about 18,000 former paramilitaries and a paradox not seen in other negotiating processes in the world: the illegal basis, many of which met logistical patrol or may receive sentences longer than their heads.
As a commander of the AUC, as the ‘Iguana’, who confessed to more than 1,000 murders in Norte de Santander, should pay eight years in prison, a young man who joined last time that armed group could receive a sentence of 8 to 18 years for the crime of conspiracy. Such differential treatment, to get to become a reality, would not only absurd, but a coup de grace to a negotiation like this, which in turn led to the demobilization of 32,000 paramilitaries.
The difference in sentences is because the leaders, having most heinous crimes, were to run for Justice and Peace Law to be submitted to a special criminal procedure and pay their respective sentences. And they did 3,000 of them. As the paramilitaries ceilings, about 8,000 have already been pardoned by the judge or the prosecutor ceased its investigation when the Court had not yet been pronounced. A few thousand more died or relapsed into crime. And the rest, about 18,000, expected, as promised, that they apply the principle of opportunity.
But now, the Constitutional Court ruling puts them on edge. Indeed, Jorge Iván Laverde, ‘Iguana’, told Caracol Radio, from Cucuta, former paramilitary leaders to suspend their participation in the process until the problem is resolved. "This process as it is, is very wrong. We are concerned about these 18,000 demobilized who are on the verge of being caught, they do not know what to do and will end on the mountain because the national government did not make a true rehabilitation," he said.
Last week the government was juggling to trying to cover this loophole that was opened. There was urgent Council meeting of Criminal Policy. It were mulling several options, and finally, on Friday afternoon decided to submit a bill to fix the problem.
The immediate risk is that the demobilized, fearing arrest, join criminal gangs. But the president Juan Manuel Santos, in person, asked the former paramilitaries who trust the government. "Do not listen to people tell them to leave the program, let alone those evil voices that invite a return to lawlessness. You did the right thing and that is stop the violence, and now for us to comply with covenant ", announced on Thursday from Cartagena.
What did happen? What’s behind this decision of the Constitutional Court?
The ruling is so wide as long. The final vote was 5-4, indicating that the decision was not easy. Even the paper, it was the magistrate Humberto Sierra, in favor of maintaining the principle of opportunity for demobilized was defeated. With Sierra, also saved the vote Juan Carlos Henao, one of the most famous judges in the legal world and Pretelt Jorge and Mauricio Gonzalez.
The other five judges background brandished a plot to overthrow the law, they say the former paramilitaries can be applied the principle of opportunity, because that would imply that the State waives investigate those who, despite being paramilitary satins, were part of an organization engaged in crimes against humanity.
The principle is that the Court says, is an instrument of the ordinary courts can not be applied in the context of a transitional justice process like this. Draws a parallel between the Justice and Peace Law, which is 2005, and the law last year that dropped to show that while the first meet certain minimum requirements, this one-the 1312 of 2009 – would lead to total impunity . While the Justice and Peace, said the Court, although "submit" justice, preserved certain requirements of truth and reparation "and provided alternative sentencing with the possibility of applying the ordinary if it failed to meet commitments "last year," by contrast, without establishing elements of justice, truth and reparations to victims, allows the prosecution to give up its obligation to investigate and prosecute demobilized crimes where impunity is unacceptable " .
The ruling has led to a heated debate not only in court, but also in the government, although it has been very respectful of the decision and has been emphatic in saying that complied with, the fact is that not all of their officials share. For those who believe that the paramilitaries have not received enough sentence for his crimes, the failure must be in part a response to their complaints. However, the judges who saved the vote not only expressed his "total disagreement" with the ruling, but seven points question the decision of the majority.
The most paradoxical, as indicated by the judges who saved the vote, is that the Supreme Court had said that he could not pardon the demobilized because it was a political crime, but a criminal offense and the ruling of the Constitutional Court says does not allow the principle of opportunity because it is for ordinary crimes and not for peace processes of adjustment.
But perhaps the most controversial of the ruling is that the Constitutional Court considers that the paramilitaries ceilings, the fact of belonging to the group, committed a crime against humanity. Which may have future implications for other peace processes, then, eventually, the guerrillas would also be given such treatment. And any employer or military who has supported the stop he would be tried under that criterion.
Juan Manuel Santos President immediately understood the gravity of what happened to more than 18,000 demobilized and summoned urgently to the Council on Criminal Policy. On Friday afternoon, the Minister Germain Vargas announced that on Monday it filed a bill with a message of urgency and debate on joint committees, to close the loophole before the end of the session of Congress on 16 December.
The central idea of the bill is that each of the demobilized will be processed and you receive the sentence appropriate, but at no time shall not be deprived of liberty. For certain benefits that will be designed and incorporated in law elements of transitional justice to allow compliance with truth, justice and reparation claimed by the Court.
Contrary to what many people believe, the fight marked in recent years the history of Colombia, President Alvaro Uribe and the Supreme Court, did not begin with "para-politics scandal. One of the first scuffle occurred by the treatment given to demobilized privates in 2007. At that time, the Supreme Court said they could not be assimilated to political offenders, and thus closed the doors of mercy for them. Today, four years later, the ghost of that confrontation seems that still haunts.

Man in Police Uniform Kills 6 NATO Troops in Afghanistan

Man in Police Uniform Kills 6 NATO Troops in Afghanistan

A man in police uniform killed six NATO troops during a training session in Afghanistan on Monday, the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

    "An individual in an Afghan border police uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Forces during a training mission today, killing six servicemembers in eastern Afghanistan," the statement said.

    "The individual who fired on the ISAF forces was also killed in the incident. A joint Afghan and ISAF team is investigating this incident."

    ISAF did not reveal the casualties’ nationalities, in line with its policy.(AFP)



During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King called our government “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” True then—and even more so today.

A few years before that, in 1964 Mario Savio made his great speech at Berkeley; at the end he says, “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

There are children being orphaned, maimed or killed every day, in our name, with our tax dollars;there are soldiers and civilians dying or being maimed for life, in order to generate profits for the most odious corporate war machine ever, again in our name. How long are we going to let this go on?Until it is too late, until this destructive machine destroys all of us and the planet to boot?

Wikileaks has revealed the documented horror of U.S. war-making, beyond what any of us imagined. It’s time Veterans and others express our resistance directly and powerfully by putting ourselves on the line, once again—honestly, courageously and without one drop of apology for doing so. It is not we who are the murderers, torturers or pillagers of the earth.

Profit and power-hungry warmongers are destroying everything we hold dear and sacred.

In the early thirties, WW1 vets descended on Washington, D.C., to demand their promised bonuses, it being the depths of the Depression. General Douglas MacArthur and his sidekick Dwight Eisenhower disregarded President Herbert Hoover’s order and burned their encampment down and drove the vets out of town at bayonet point.

We are today’s bonus marchers, and we’re coming to claim our bonus–PEACE.

Join activist Veterans marching in solidarity to the White House, refusing to move, demanding the end of U.S. wars, which includes U.S. support—financial and tactical—for the Israeli war machine as well.

If we can gather enough courageous souls, nonviolently refusing to leave the White House, willing to be dragged away and arrested if necessary, we will send a message that will be seen worldwide. “End these wars – now!” We will carry forward a flame of resistance to the war machine that will not diminish as we effectively begin to place ourselves, as Mario Savio said, “upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus.” and we will make it stop.

We believe that the power of courageous, committed people is greater than that of corporate warmongers. But we will only see our power when we use it collectively, when we stand together.

With courage, persistence, boldness and numbers, we can eventually make this monstrous war machine grind to a halt, so that our children and all children everywhere can grow up in a peaceful world.

Join us at the White House on December 16th!

For a world in peace,

Nic Abramson, Veterans For Peace; Elliott Adams,Past President, Veterans For Peace; Laurie Arbeiter,Activist Response Team; Ken Ashe, Veterans For Peace; Ellen Barfield, Veterans For Peace; Brian Becker,National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition; Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder, CODEPINK for Peace; Frida Berrigan,War Resisters League; Bruce Berry, Veterans For Peace; Leah Bolger, Veterans For Peace; Elaine Brower, Anti-war Military Mom and World Can’t Wait; Scott Camil, Veterans For Peace; Ross Caputi, Justice For Fallujah Project; Kim Carlyle, Veterans For Peace; Armen Chakerian, Coalition to Stop the $30 Billion to Israel; Matthis Chiroux, Iraq War Resister Veteran; Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace; Will Covert, Veterans For Peace; Dave Culver, Veterans For Peace; Matt Daloisio, Witness Against Torture; Ellen Davidson, War Resisters League; Mike Ferner, President, Veterans For Peace; Nate Goldshlag, Veterans For Peace; Clare Hanrahan, War Crimes Times; Mike Hearington, Veterans For Peace; Mark Johnson, Executive Director. Fellowship of Reconciliation; Tarak Kauff, Veterans For Peace; Kathy Kelly, Voices For Creative Nonviolence; Sandy Kelson, Veterans For Peace; Ron Kovic, Vietnam War veteran and author of Born on the Fourth of July; Joel Kovel, Veterans For Peace; Erik Lobo, Veterans For Peace; Joe Lombardo, United National Antiwar Committee; Ken Mayers,Veterans For Peace; Nancy Munger, Co-President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Fred Nagel, Veterans For Peace; Pat O’Brien, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Bill Perry,Vietnam Veterans Against the War; Vito Piccininno, Veterans For Peace; Mike Prysner, Co-Founder, March Forward; Ward Reilly, Veterans For Peace; Laura Roskos, Co-President, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; Cindy Sheehan, Founder, Peace of the Action; David Swanson, author; Debra Sweet,National Director, World Can’t Wait; Debbie Tolson, Veterans For Peace; Mike Tork, Veterans For Peace; Hart Viges, Iraq Veterans Against the War; Father Louie Vitale, SOA Watch; Jay Wenk, Veterans For Peace; Linda Wiener, Veterans For Peace; Diane Wilson, Veterans For Peace; Col. Ann Wright, Veterans For Peace; Doug Zachary, Veterans For Peace

Endorsers of the December 16 Veteran-Led Civil Resistance against War

Sadr-Maliki alliance gives US the shiver

Sadr-Maliki alliance gives US the shiver

Yusuf Fernandez

A main feature of the March 7 parliamentary elections in Iraq was the rise of Muqtada al-Sadr’s movement.

Sadr, a Shia cleric and son of Mohammad Baqir al Sadr, one of the most prominent Iraqi Shia scholars, has been a fierce opponent of US occupation of Iraq.
The Sadrist forces and Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) make up the bulk of the Iraqi National Alliance, which supported Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to remain in office for another term. Maliki hailed the deal with the party, casting it as a decisive breakthrough to put an end to the political stalemate that the country has been experiencing since the elections.
In these seven months, the administration of US President Barack Obama claimed that it would "not interfere" in Iraq’s internal political process. However, it tried to promote the creation of a pro-Western government coalition between Maliki and former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a former CIA asset.
The Obama administration demanded that a quick agreement be worked out. "We have been under tremendous pressure by the Americans … in clearly asking President [Jalal] Talibani to step down," a Kurdish official told Jane Araf of the Christian Science Monitor.
Both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden personally called Talabani to demand the resignation in order to let Allawi become the new President, he said. However, the Kurdish parties showed no desire to accept that US demand.
Meanwhile, the Iraqiya bloc, led by Allawi, reached a coalition agreement with Maliki’s State of the Law bloc under pressure.
Under the agreement, the post of the Parliament speaker went to Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni member of al-Iraqiya, who, along with his brother, controls the northern city of Mosul. The surprise came when Iraqi lawmakers massively abandoned a parliamentary meeting where Maliki was going to be re-elected prime minister.
Therefore, Maliki will remain in power — thanks to the Sadrist bloc’s support. The Los Angeles Timescalled the agreement with the Sadrists "a stunning victory" for Maliki and "a strategic defeat for Washington, which had pressed for a prominent role for Maliki’s rival, and appeared to be caught flatfooted by the rapid developments."
A History of Resistance
Sadr’s Mahdi Army launched two rebellions in April and August 2004 against the US occupation in Iraq. There were more clashes in 2007-2008. Muqatada was then described as "the most dangerous man in Iraq" by the US media. However, for Iraqis and more particularly for Shia Iraqis he was a hero, a man who dared to oppose to the hateful occupiers. The new political agreement between Sadr and Maliki proved that US General David Petraeus’s war against the Mahdi Army in 2007-2008 was a futile exercise.
Sadr had, up until recently, opposed a second term as prime minister for Maliki. Backed by the US forces, Maliki in 2008 launched an offensive against Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Baghdad’s Sadr City. Both sides then reached a deal and Sadr called his supporters to put down their arms, but he continued to denounce the US occupation and to call for the total withdrawal of the US troops from Iraq.
In 2007, Sadr settled in the Iranian holy city of Qom where he started religious studies in order to strengthen his religious status among Iraqi Shias. In Iran, he established a network of important relations with political and religious leaders.
Sadr’s political comeback was the result of careful planning. A year before the March elections, he and his top aides set up an election strategy committee and dubbed it the "machine." The goal was to use the electoral system as best as they could. A team of experts built an extensive database of voters in every province and designed a bright electoral campaign.
Actually, it was not difficult. Sadr’s anti-occupation posture, his trend of religious nationalism and his image as the defender of the Shia community made his party, the Free Movement party, become the only one that gained new seats in the elections. The Free Movement won 39 of the 325 positions. In the elections, the Iraqiya bloc got the most seats, 91, while Maliki’s State of Law bloc won 89. However, both Allawi and Maliki fell far short of the overall 163 majority and the Shia religious parties, including Maliki’s own party, Ad Dawa, had a clear majority.
Washington Fears an "Iraqi Hezbollah"
Some US officials now fear the Sadrist movement can duplicate the success of Hezbollah, a Shia movement which has developed a strong armed organization as well as a network of advanced social programs. The language Sadr uses when discussing the US presence in Iraq — resistance and occupation — is similar to Hezbollah’s language against Israeli occupation.
Patrick Cockburn, author of the book "Muqtada," wrote that Sadr represented "the only grassroots movement in Iraq." He explains in his work that while US media and government "demonizes and belittles" Sadr, he has developed a solid strength stemming from the Shia faith. "Muqtada and his followers are intensely religious and see themselves as following in the tradition of martyrdom in opposition to the tyranny established when Hussein and Abbas were killed by the Umayyads on the plains of Karbala fourteen hundred years ago,” said Cockburn.
According to The Los Angeles Times, there is no doubt that the agreement with Maliki will give Sadrists increasing influence over Iraqi security forces, governors’ offices and even its prisons. In recent months, Maliki’s government has freed hundreds of members of the Mahdi Army, and handed security positions to veteran commanders of the forces who fought against the US military. Senior Sadr supporters are being brought into the Interior Ministry at high-level positions, Mahdi Army members and Iraqi officers told the Times. The group has secured political gains also. The Sadr camp won the deputy speaker position in Parliament and is said to be vying for the post of deputy prime minister too.
US’ Declining Influence
The paper added that Sadr movement’s prominence will surely make it harder for the United States to keep its waning influence in Iraq. Washington is very worried about the increasing Sadr’s role in Iraqi politics and demanded Maliki to oust him from the ruling coalition.
US officials initially encouraged the Iraqis to form a government quickly, but then started pushing for a slowdown after it became apparent that Sadr’s Free Movement was poised to play a major role. The US clearly hoped to stall the formation of a new government long enough to undermine the deal between Maliki and Sadr. US Ambassador James Jeffries repeatedly said that Sadr’s inclusion in an Iraqi government was unacceptable to Washington. London’s pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat reported that the US administration had called on Maliki to abandon the Sadrists and expressed reluctance over dealing with a Baghdad government in which Sadrists were holding key Cabinet positions.
However, Jawad al-Hassanawi, a leading figure in the Sadrist movement, told the Times that Maliki was "strongly committed" to the Sadrists. Iraqi lawmakers and political leaders are openly saying that they no longer follow Washington’s advice on political issues. Instead, Iraqis are turning to neighboring nations, and especially Iran, for guidance, casting doubt on the future of the US role in this strategic country after a bloody war that killed more than 1 million people according to California-based Project Censored. Leaders from rival political coalitions in the last several months have been to Iran, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia on official visits.
"The Iraqi politicians are not responding to the US like before. We don’t pay great attention to them," Shia lawmaker Sami al-Askari, a close ally of Prime Minister Maliki told Associated Press. "The Americans have their view on how to form an Iraqi government. But it does not apply to the political powers on the ground and it is not effective. The weak American role has given the region’s countries a greater sense of influence on Iraqi affairs."
In an effort to push back, the Obama administration has dropped hints that it wants to prolong the US military occupation. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recently said that he would welcome a request from the new government in Baghdad for an extension of the December 2011 withdrawal deadline negotiated between Maliki and George W. Bush two years ago.
Nevertheless, as a recent article in The New York Times hinted, a major concern of the US is that the strong presence of the Sadrists in the Iraqi Parliament and government would complicate its plans to maintain a substantial US troop presence in Iraq after the end of 2011, when all the American troops are supposed to be removed under the terms of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed between the two countries.
While some Iraqi political and military leaders have expressed support for the plan, the Sadrists remain opposed to the foreign occupation. Tens of thousands of Sadr’s supporters have been taking to the streets in the Iraqi cities to protest against the SOFA. "Sadrists in government will not meet with any US officials. We will not make any deals with them. We will abandon the Americans," Khadem al Sayadi, a Sadrist lawmaker, told the newspaper The National from the UAE. "We have been consistent in our opposition to the US occupation of Iraq and we will refuse any attempt to get the occupation to continue (beyond the 2011 pull-out date)."
To pour cold water on the US proposal, Maliki also said that "I do not feel the need for the presence of any other international forces to help Iraqis control the security situation."
"The security agreement with what it included of dates and commitments will remain valid," he said.

All Spy Agencies Think That They Are Above the Law

Spy agencies and the law

EDITORIAL  (November 29, 2010) : Replying on Wednesday to the Supreme Court notices issued to the heads of the three spy agencies – ISI, MI and IB – regarding the whereabouts of 11 persons who disappeared from the Adiala jail, Attorney General Anwarul Haq said that the legal petitions filed by the heirs of the prisoners or other missing persons are not maintainable.
According to him, the agencies denied that those missing persons were in their custody, and also maintained they could not be made respondents in constitutional petitions as the party in such matters was always the federation represented by the secretary of the ministry concerned. The concerned secretary had earlier claimed he had no knowledge about the prisoners. These men, it may be recalled, were acquitted by an anti-terrorism court last April in four different cases of rocket fire on the Kamra Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, an assassination attempt against former President Pervez Musharraf, a suicide attack on a bus carrying an intelligence agency personnel, and a suicide strike on the GHQ.
Despite the acquittal the Punjab Home Department had kept them under detention. But the Lahore High Court intervened, setting aside their detention orders and directing immediate release. That is when they disappeared, and the LHC took a serious notice of the incident ordering criminal proceedings against the jail superintendent and deputy superintendent.
The case has brought the question centre stage whether the intelligence agencies are above the law. The AG’s reply implied they are. In fact he made the shocking statement that there were no rules or laws applicable to these agencies. The CJ was not pleased when the proceeding resumed on Thursday. The court observed that the AG was claiming immunity by saying that notices could not be issued to the agencies, whereby the notices were issued under Article 185(3) of the Constitution, and its supplementary law of Supreme Court Rules, 1980. Notably, Article 185 deals with protection of fundamental rights, and in the event of any infringement allows citizens to file writs, including habeas corpus writ, in the apex court, against illegal detention. The court deserves all praise for remaining firm in protecting the people’s constitutional rights in the face of determined resistance by the intelligence agencies.
The missing persons’ issue is a serious breach of fundamental rights. It is a source of much anger and dismay across Balochistan, where hundreds of dissidents have disappeared. Justice demands that their families be informed of their whereabouts, and the suspects themselves duly charged and presented before courts. Those who went missing in the present case, though, belong to a different category. They were accused of grave crimes and tried in anti-terrorism courts. Evidence in such cases is often insufficient. Witnesses are too scared to come forward to testify. And hence the accused usually manage to go free, which understandably, is frustrating for the investigators. But then it is not uncommon either for our investigating agencies to knowingly arrest wrong people to prove efficiency. That underscores the importance of due process of justice. The courts, of course, cannot hand out punishment on suspicion alone; they need to establish guilt beyond reasonable doubt. The intelligence agencies need to work harder to prove culpability of suspects than simply to make them disappear. Like everyone else, they must respect the fundamental rights of the people as guaranteed by the Constitution. The rule of law must prevail.

The Barbarity of Musharraf

The “500%” Justified Operation


Former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf has once again defended his decision to carry out a military operation in Balochistan and kill the province’s former governor as well as the chief minister, Nawab Mohammad Akbar Khan Bugti, 79. He said in an interview with senior journalist  Munizae Jahangir that the military operation in the province was “500%” justified. He termed all those people who oppose parliamentary politics in the province as “anti-Pakistan” who, according to him, “will be” , “should be” and “must be” punished before they convert Pakistan into a banana republic.

The sixty-seven year old retired army chief blamed India for the unrest in Balochistan. He alleged the head of Baloch Republican Party (BRP), Nawabzada Bramdagh Bugti, who is a grandson of late Nawab Akbar Bugti, regularly visited India via Afghanistan to destabilize Pakistan.

The interview clearly indicated that General Musharraf was not apologetic at all about his belligerent policies in Balochistan which totally changed the dynamics of politics in the gas-rich province. The interviewer showed the former president the video tape of a young Baloch political activist who previously belonged to the moderate pro-Islamabad National Party but had now decided to join the Azad faction of Baloch Students Organization (BSO). The young activist said he never supported violence in the past but felt that the government was continuously hitting him with the wall. In response, General Musharraf instantly issued a fatwa declaring the lad as “anti-Pakistan” who “must be” stopped at all costs.

Musharraf’s latest remarks were the most hostile and offending since he had publicly scorned the Balochs. “It is not the ’70s,” he had thundered even before the killing of Nawab Bugti in a television interview, ” We will hit you in a way that you won’t know what hit you and from where.”

Musharraf had spoken with the same level of smugness in a U.S private university some time back when a Baloch activist had shouted at him. In return, Musharraf told him before the august audience, “if you were in Balochitan, I’d fix you too.”

That was in fact the official pronouncement of a military operation in Balochistan which led to the killing of top Baloch nationalists, arrest of senior political leaders like Sardar Akhtar Mengal, freezing the bank accounts and enlisting the names of Baloch leaders on the Exit Control List (ECL).

While there has been a steady demand by the people of Balochistan that General Musharraf should be punished for the crimes he committed against humanity and ordering the murder of an aged ex-governor and chief minister of the country’s largest province, adoption of such rhetoric by a man who is planning to start a political stint is very disappointing.

On the one hand, Musharraf should be brought to justice by the ruling Pakistan People’s Party to mitigate the Baloch anguish, Musharraf, on the other hand, should voluntarily extend an unconditional apology to the people of Balochistan for the policy blunders he committed in the enraged province. This may not fully help in normalizing the situation in the province but it will at least give him some kind of moral legitimacy to start a political journey.

Meanwhile, former prime minister and the head of country’s main opposition party, the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) Mian Nawaz Sharif also called for a political solution to Balochistan’s problems during a recent visit to the province. Sharif, who was ousted from power by Musharraf following a bloodless coup on October 12, 1999, rightly argued that no solution could be hammered out on gun point. He criticized Musharraf for continuing to threaten the people of Balochistan in spite of living outside Pakistan which means that the former military chief  intends to carry out a similar genocide of the Baloch people if he is once again given a chance to rule the country.

General Musharraf should realize that this is not a civilized way of dealing with the people of a country he ruled and intends to rule again by entering into politics. Balochistan was in fact a far different place before 1999 when General Musharraf took over power. There were hardly serious issues of law and order, target killings or abduction of political workers. Likewise, not many young people supported the idea of an independent Balochistan or said that they no longer trusted the parliament. As a matter of fact, the nine years of Musharraf’s misrule left irremovable marks on the Baloch society and politics. He only planted the seeds of hatred, alienation and disillusionment.

President Asif Ali Zardari and PML chief Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif as well as the national media and civil society should come forward to discourage and condemn Musharraf’s bellicose statements on Balochistan. It is true that tens of thousands of Balochs today have lost faith in the parliament. If General Musharraf think he was “500%” justified to kill one Bugti then is he going to kill all those tens of thousands of Balochs who have lost hope from the parliament?  That is not that art of statesmanship, is it?

the escalation of the inter-Korean conflict may cause a serious Asian stock market collapse

War is a force majeure for investments. What the inter-Korean conflict is leading to?

“During the last inter-Korean face-off in spring 2010 the stock quotes in Seoul lost almost 4%, which led to massive sales while the Tokyo Stock Exchange Composite Index declined by 3%, making other global markets show weakness as well. Now the situation is repeating. Investors are afraid of big-scale war in the Far East and begin to buy up the US treasuries while getting rid of the shares of those Asian companies who work at risky markets…Thereby, the escalation of the inter-Korean conflict may cause a serious Asian stock market collapse, followed by the outflow of the capital from Asia to America and Europe, making USD strengthen and crude oil decline in value.”




A war is a nightmare for business and investments. That is why the conflict between North and South Korea has already provoked downtrends at the world markets.

The futures contracts of the US and European companies are currently declining in value. Asian markets are seeing downfall. MSCI Asia Pacific index indicating the quote dynamics of Asian-Pacific enterprises (except Japan) has lost 1.9%. On the contrary, USD is strengthening versus major currencies as the US currency rate initially takes into account the risks connected with the region. Thereby, before the armed conflict USDJPY was around 83.28. Instantly after the exchange of fire at the border between North and South Korea USDJPY reached 83.72. USD has also recovered against the Australian Dollar. Previously AUDUSD was traded at 0.986. Now it has reached 0.97. The South Korean Won has suffered most of all. Over the time of the conflict USD has gone from 1125 up to 1180 won per 1USD. Experts warn that any aggravation of the conflict may have a catastrophic impact on the rating of South Korea.

Once again the world is on the verge of a serious disaster, which may directly affect exchange rates. Some journalists even start expressing concerns over a possibility of World War III. Of course, it is the worst possible and undesired for everyone and consequently the least probable scenario. However, if the situation goes down to some serious armed conflict the entire world will wish it had never happened.

The JPY index:

индекс йены

So, what really happened? Angry at South Korea’s refusal to halt military drills near their sea border, on Nov 23rd North Korea shelled the island of Yeonpyeong, and Seoul responded by unleashing its own barrage from K-9 155mm self-propelled howitzers and scrambling fighter jets. Two South Korean marines were killed in the shelling that also injured 15 troops and three civilians.

So what was the instant reaction of both sides? The president of South Korea Lee Myung-bak ordered to respond by striking multiple blows in case of any further provocations.

In their turn the North Korean authorities put the blame on South Korea, saying that its combat ships violated the sea borders. So the shelling was just an answer to South Korean aggression. North Korea warns that it will resume shelling in case the borders are violated again. The world powers instantly urged the countries to stop the strikes. The USA was the first one to put the blame on North Korea. The EU, Great Britain and Russia joined. China called for peace without specifying the aggressor. The Japanese government instantly created an anti-crisis staff, Naoto Kan ordered to take all the steps necessary to ensure the security in the country.

The brief history of the conflict


During the 1st part of the 20th century all the Korean territory was a colony of the Japanese Empire. In August 1945 the Soviet Army defeated the Japanese Kwantoon Army an entered the peninsula from the North. In September 1945 the US army entered the South. The allies agreed to divide the territory in 2 zones. The 38th parallel became the border between them.

Both sides remained at the peninsula, preventing Korea from becoming a single state. In 1947 the UN held elections in Korea, in the South they were held in May, in the North – in September. It happened so that different political powers won the elections in various parts of Korea, which led to the creation of two states: North and South Korea. On June 25th 1950 they launched a war between each other.

The US and 15 other states (GB, Canada, Australia and others) became the allies of South Korea, while the DPRK was supported by the USSR and China. The armed conflict might have turned into World War III, but thanks God, it didn’t happened.

One year later (in June 1951) the front stabilized at the 38th parallel, making the sides return to the initial border. The clash lasted for 2 more years. On July 27th 1953 the sides signed a cease-fire agreement. Formally the war between North and South Korea is not over as the sides have only promised to create a 4-mile demilitarized zone at each side of the 38th parallel.

Ever since the South and the North have been disputing over the sea borders. The so-called Northern Limit Line (NLL) introduced by South Korea was not recognized by the North. Pyongyang constantly demands to reconsider it. It should be noted that the region is rich in fish and blue crab. That is why the disputes over it will be over only when the 2 Koreas are united into a single country.

The first military clash since 1953 took place on June 15th 1999 when the South destroyed a North Korean combat ship killing some 30 sailors. North Korean ships were frequently seen violating the NLL, so the South decided to apply force.

After the last bloodshed the DPRK hasn’t still recognized the NLL, urging to reconsider it. However since then the violations have become less frequent.

On June 29th 2002 there was another clash near the island of Yeonpyeong: 2 Northern combat ships fought 2 Southern ones. As a result, a Southern ship was destroyed while a Northern one was set on fire.

In October 2007 the problem seemed to be solved by the leaders of the two countries at the Korean summit. They agreed to create a zone of joint fishing with further perspective of creating a zone of peace. However, after there was a change of power in Seoul the situation worsened again. In 2008 Lee Myung-bak became the President of South Korea. He aggravated the relations with the North, especially in connection with its nuclear program. Of course the US completely supported the South. Since then the multiple achievements concerning the Korean problem have been up in the air.

On Nov 10th 2009 there was another conflict bringing casualties to both sides.

The confrontation reached the peak on March 26th 2010 when in the Yellow sea a South Korean corvette mysteriously sank at the NLL bringing 46 deaths. The international committee (without any representatives of North Korea) put the blame on the DPRK saying the corvette had been hit by its submarine. After that the international sanctions against North Korea were toughened while the South Korean and American military forces held big-scale war games close to the NLL. In its turn the North warned it could make a preventive strike. The US again added some fuel to the fire by announcing that the DPRK was getting ready for another nuclear test, which made South Korea and Japan worry about it. Seoul put its military along the NLL on stand-by, which was treated by the North as a threat.

Thereby, all the armed conflicts between North and South Korea has recently been taking place at sea, around the same territory, so they are determined by economic interests rather than any other ones. It is a typical frontier dispute. However it is intensified by the Northern nuclear-weapons program and the US army located in the South.

So what could be the reason for the latest aggravation?


Now the world community is discussing several possible reasons for the last clash. Masterforex-V Academy experts have sorted out the most interesting ones:

1. South Korea really did its best to provoke the DPRK into showing signs of aggression. It may be beneficial for Seoul I terms of making the world be concerned about North Korea and its nuclear program. The South is spoiling for a fight. It is currently leading a big-scale info campaign against its communist neighbors. It would be sufficient to mention the warning about possible terror attacks in advance of the G20 summit. In other worlds, one shouldn’t believe everything that comes from Seoul.

2. On Nov 20th 2010 the New York Times published an article reporting that the DPRK had opened a modern uranium-enrichment plant. Washington instantly expressed deep concerns over that. It coincided with the joint military games in the Yellow sea (South Korean and American forces – over 70.000 servicemen). North Korea probably thought that it was an assault and made a preventive strike, shelling Yeonpyeong, the location of one of the biggest South Korean military bases.

Who will suffer from the conflict first of all? According to Masterforex-V Academy, it is:

*First of all, the inter-Korean dialog. The Sunshine Policy was the foreign policy of South Korea towards North Korea until Lee Myung-bak’s election to presidency in 2008. However the policy eventually failed to lead to the expected results. The nuclear program of North Korea finished it.

* The inter-Korean economic cooperation, which has been developing fast over the last couple of years until now. For example in 2009 the volume of the bilateral trade reached $1,666B. Over 200 South Korean enterprises trade with the DPRK on a regular basis. Until now the creation of the Kaesong industrial zone has remained the biggest joint project together with merging the railways and highways of the North and South. However, currently everything is under threat.

*Asian stock market. During the last inter-Korean face-off in spring 2010 the stock quotes in Seoul lost almost 4%, which led to massive sales while the Tokyo Stock Exchange Composite Index declined by 3%, making other global markets show weakness as well. Now the situation is repeating. Investors are afraid of big-scale war in the Far East and begin to buy up the US treasuries while getting rid of the shares of those Asian companies who work at risky markets (now they are in the red zone). The most considerable stock downfall was seen in Hong Kong and Shanghai (2,4% and 1,9%). The shares of the Central Bank of Australia lost 1,8% in value. According to experts, if the inter-Korean conflict has a tendency to escalate, global markets may lose 3 to 5% in value.

*All the national currencies of the Pacific region, apart from USD (expect the world’s major currency). USD gained in value while EUR declined. In a single day the US currency considerably recovered against the Japanese Yen, Australian dollar and especially South Korean Won.

Thereby, the escalation of the inter-Korean conflict may cause a serious Asian stock market collapse, followed by the outflow of the capital from Asia to America and Europe, making USD strengthen and crude oil decline in value. At this point nobody dares to predict the further succession of events. That is why investors from around the world are actively watching news while being cautious and waiting for the suitable moment to invest.

Masterofrex-V experts together with “Market Leader” offer you to answer the following question in order to estimate the situation in a more objective way:

What may be the result of the inter-Korean conflict?

*nothing serious…

*the mid-term downtrend of Asian currencies and indexes

*another wave of the global economic crisis

It can’t go on like this much longer

It can’t go on like this much longer

First it was Greece. Now it is Ireland. Soon, Portugal and Spain could follow.

Those Americans who still doubt the gravity of this nation’s debt problems need only to consider the crisis now unfolding in Europe. Several nations, including France and Great Britain, have been forced because of heavy debt loads to make deep cuts in social services, pensions and other benefits. Others such as Greece and Ireland have had to beg allies for bailouts to avoid economic collapse.

It would be foolhardy for Americans to believe that this nation is somehow immune to the fiscal realities that have overtaken Europe. Yet, many American politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, seem to be in denial of just how close the United States is to its own debt-driven crisis.

The national debt already stands at $13.8 trillion. And projected deficits over the next decade, about $1 trillion a year, are well above sustainable levels. The nation’s underfunded liabilities, including Social Security and Medicare, also will add to the financial pressures in the years ahead if not addressed soon.

Add it altogether and the sum points to what should be an obvious conclusion: Adjustments must be made now to avoid much more painful decisions amid a fiscal emergency.

This week, a bipartisan panel commissioned to study the nation’s debt is scheduled to make a recommendation on what those adjustments should include. Whether the panel can reach a consensus by Wednesday’s deadline is uncertain. Whether Congress and the president have enough political will to take on such steps as cuts to defense spending, elimination of earmarks, reductions in farm subsidies, a gradual increase in the retirement age and further limits on tax deductions is very much in doubt.

But economic principles can be violated only for so long before the inevitable consequences fall hard on the United States, as they now are falling hard on parts of Europe. Or, as Larry Summers, President Obama’s former chief economic adviser, put it: "How long can the world’s biggest borrower remain the world’s biggest power?"

The answer to that question may be not only a loss of American prestige around the globe but also a long-lasting decline in the American people’s standard of living.

Pakistan’s implausible deniability

Pakistan’s implausible deniability


It has been two years since the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, and India’s policy-makers and its wider public are by no means reassured about the Pakistani leadership’s renunciation of terrorism as a means of advancing its perceived interests. Indian officials have few doubts about the implicit involvement of senior Pakistani leaders in supporting terrorism, even if just as accessories after the fact. However, many intelligent and well-informed Americans continue to harbour reservations about the degree of involvement of various actors within the Pakistani establishment, and consequently the extent to which terrorism represents an instrument of Pakistani state policy.

The differences in outlook and approach between India and the United States towards Pakistani terrorism are compounded to a considerable degree by the failure to clearly establish linkages and ascribe responsibility of action to individuals and entities within Pakistan. India, for its part, has often failed to adequately communicate its concerns to influential sections of the American policy-making structure. This has resulted in American observers frequently finding symmetry between Indian and Pakistani actions and depicting Indian concern as reflective of instinctive animosity towards Pakistan.

The Pakistani leadership has benefited to a considerable degree from at least four layers of plausible deniability that cloak terrorism-related activities with links to the country. The first concerns identifying terrorist activity as Pakistani, that is, having association with either Pakistani territory or citizens. As the tragic attacks were unfolding in Mumbai two years ago, Pakistani officials suggested that the assailants were everything from local or homegrown Indian terrorists to Bangladeshis or Sri Lankan Tamil Tigers, and this refrain was unfortunately adopted by several analysts in the West despite an absence of information to support such conclusions. Further, Pakistani officials claimed that captured assailant Ajmal Kasab’s reported hometown, Faridkot, did not even exist, and once it was found, initially denied that there was anyone by that name from the village. It took a journalist for a British publication, Saeed Shah, to identify Kasab’s family in Faridkot in Okara district, less than two weeks after the attacks.

A second layer of plausible deniability arises when linking the Pakistani assailants to an established terror group within Pakistan. The Indian investigation of 26/11, wisely conducted in cooperation with other international agencies such as the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, demonstrated links to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a group known to be among the closest to Pakistani intelligence agencies. Indian and U.S. intelligence had honed in on LeT as the attacks were unfolding, based on Kasab’s testimony. Pakistani officials corroborated this in their own investigation completed in mid-2009. Subsequent investigations, including the interrogation of David Coleman Headley provided further details concerning LeT’s role.

Once traced to groups such as LeT, their links to the ISI also need to be established. Although Pakistani officials originally maintained that the 26/11 attacks had nothing to do with the Pakistani establishment, ISI Director-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha soon conceded to then-CIA director Michael Hayden that "rogue" elements of the ISI were involved in the planning and execution of the Mumbai attacks. The CIA later received independent confirmation that ISI was actively involved in the training for the Mumbai attacks. ISI has also been intimately involved in other terror plots against Indian targets, including those by the Haqqani network in Afghanistan.

Finally, the fourth layer of plausible deniability concerns the link between ISI and the Pakistan army. Many Western observers have reached the hasty and convenient conclusion that the ISI is a "state within a state" or a "rogue agency". However, the ISI is staffed and managed by the Pakistan army. General Ashfaq Kayani, currently the Pakistani army chief, was previously the ISI’s Director-General.

Kayani’s successor, General Nadeem Taj, was transferred – but not dismissed – after the United States confronted the Pakistan army with evidence of his involvement in the 2008 bombing on the Indian embassy in Kabul. He was replaced by General Pasha, the incumbent, who was hand-picked by Kayani. Further, the Pakistan army, much like the Indian armed forces, is an institution steeped in tradition and hierarchy. This makes it harder to imagine junior officers taking decisions of strategic importance completely independently of their superiors without serious consequences.

That each layer of plausible deniability was employed in the aftermath of the Mumbai attacks has, with subsequent revelations, supported the state’s complicity. Both a cause and a result of Pakistan’s multiple layers of plausible deniability is the deflection of responsibility for failures in security and governance by the Pakistani leadership, to the detriment not just of regional security but also the Pakistani people. Neither the military nor – with few exceptions – the civilian Pakistani leadership has made any effort in altering the dominant Pakistani narrative of victimhood, according to which all of Pakistan’s social and political ills can be blamed on either the United States or India. And if, in the Pakistan army’s own reading, it is unable to discipline rogue elements within its own hierarchy, this calls into question the army’s claim that it is the most competent institution in Pakistan.

It is therefore in the shared interest of the United States and India and, for that matter, Pakistan itself, to ascribe responsibility to the senior leadership of Pakistan for acts of terror emanating from Pakistani soil and hold it accountable for its actions post facto. This necessitates countering Pakistan’s narrative of victimhood with alternate narratives that stress the accountability and responsibility of the Pakistani leadership to act in the best interests of the country. For a state that remains so politically and economically vulnerable, the use of terrorism to further narrow objectives makes little sense. (ANI)

“Holy War,” When the Barely Living Fight Back

Lure of a ‘holy war’

A woman walks through trash in Mogadishu. When Somalia collapsed with the fall of President Siad Barre’s government in the early 1990s, people described U.S. troops that led a United Nations peacekeeping mission as nonbelievers.

By Sudarsan Raghavan

The Washington Post


A woman walks through trash in Mogadishu. When Somalia collapsed with the fall of President Siad Barre’s government in the early 1990s, people described U.S. troops that led a United Nations peacekeeping mission as nonbelievers.

MOGADISHU, Somalia —

Abdul Qadir Mohammed remembers the imam’s powerful voice bouncing off the mosque’s white walls. It was 2001, a few weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, a decade into Somalia’s anarchy. "Our religion must dominate until we die," the preacher declared.

On that day in the mosque, his heart pounded as he joined the worshippers in thunderous chants of "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great).

"It was the day I was born," Mohammed recalled.

Mohammed was 13. He had never picked up a gun. But boys like him would soon be asked to sacrifice their lives for Islam. Mohammed felt no fear, only a sense of divine calling.

"Everything in my life was about jihad," said Mohammed, now 22, who has a boyish face, faint mustache and walks with a slight limp. "Everything still is."

Mohammed is part of a generation of young Somalis who, seeking solutions to their chaos, have embraced a messianic brand of Islam that today drives a brutal struggle for power and identity in the Horn of Africa.

His path opens a window on the forces that have altered Somalia, a failed state and one of the world’s most lethal post-Sept. 11 battlegrounds outside the theaters of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

His journey would take him from the mosques to an Islamist revolt against Somalia’s secular warlords to al-Shabab, a militia linked to al-Qaida. He would fight in battle after battle, driven less by clan loyalties or politics than a conviction that his religion, and his nation’s soul, was under siege.

Ultimately, he would question al-Qaida’s role in his country, a progression experienced by many militant Muslims since Sept. 11.

When Mohammed was 3, the socialist government of President Mohamed Siad Barre collapsed. Clans and warlords began fighting for control of territory.

As their country fractured, many Somalis sought comfort in a fundamentalist Islam that called for society to repent and rededicate itself to Allah’s divine principles. Money from Saudi Arabia flowed in to build ultraconservative Wahhabist mosques, weakening the influence of the nation’s moderate brand of Sufi Islam.

Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, a militant group loosely linked to Osama bin Laden, emerged in the early 1990s.

Against this backdrop, Mohammed’s perceptions were colored by religion from an early age. He remembers his neighbors describing the U.S. troops that led a 1993 United Nations peacekeeping mission as "nonbelievers." He did, too.

Mohammed’s mother died when he was 6. He and his siblings moved to Mogadishu, Somalia’s whitewashed, war-scarred capital, to live with their uncle.

Most of the city’s public schools had been destroyed or shuttered, so Mohammed attended a free Quranic school run by religious leaders and al-Itihaad members.

He grew distant from his family and spent more time at the mosque. He listened to conversations about the plight of the Palestinians and shared the anger over the support of Israel by the U.S. and its allies.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Mohammed said he felt empowered as he stared at the television screen. He was proud Muslims had learned to pilot planes to target America and defend Islam.

"I was like any other young Somali who was happy with striking the nonbelievers," he said. "Osama bin Laden was my hero. He had my heart."

In the aftermath, the Bush administration declared al-Itihaad a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaida. U.S. officials had implicated the group in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Money-transfer networks that Somalis depended on were shut down as concerns grew that they were being used to move money for al-Qaida. At Mohammed’s mosque, anger punctuated the sermons and people grew more resentful of the United States.

For the first time, Mohammed said he believed the United States and its allies were directly targeting him and his countrymen.

"America’s response after September 11 was too aggressive," he said. "That created anger and only added fuel to the fire."

As U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan then Iraq, Mohammed was tormented by the deaths of fellow Muslims in airstrikes and bombings. "I was convinced they were victims of an oppressive invasion," he said. "I felt America wanted to occupy the whole Middle East."

Mohammed began to view Somalia’s own history through the prism of Sept. 11. He was happy American soldiers had been killed here in 1993, some brutally, their bodies dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.

One day in summer 2005, when Mohammed was 16, a group of men approached him at the mosque. They wanted him to join a new militia called the Islamic Courts Union. "They were interested in children like me," Mohammed said. "I didn’t have much knowledge. I had no idea where to find a job."

By then, the Islamic Courts was fighting a coalition of warlords that many Somalis believed was being covertly financed by the United States. The warlords presented themselves as a counterterrorism alliance determined to root out radical Islam and al-Qaida in Somalia. But to the Islamists, the warlords were U.S. puppets.

"They told me I was joining a jihad to liberate my country and my religion," he said. "Eventually, I decided this was the right path."

Mohammed’s mentor, Aden Hashi Ayro, was a veteran of al-Itihaad who had trained in Afghanistan and had ties to al-Qaida. He allegedly orchestrated the assassinations of 16 people, including four Western aid workers, according to the International Crisis Group, a respected think tank.

Into battle

Six weeks after learning how to fire an AK-47 assault rifle and rocket-propelled grenades, Mohammed was dispatched to the front line. In mid-2006 he helped to wrest his hometown of Jowhar from the control of a powerful warlord widely thought to be on the U.S. payroll.

In December 2006, Ethiopian troops, with covert backing from the Bush administration, invaded Somalia to oust the Islamists. Somalis viewed Ethiopia as "the Israel of Africa" because it received support from the U.S., said Sheik Mohammed Asad Abdullahi, an al-Shabab commander who defected.

Many Islamists believed they were engaged not only in a nationalist struggle but also in a larger clash between Islam and the West.

"It was very clear that we were not only fighting the Ethiopians but also the Western world," Mohammed said.

The Ethiopian forces pushed the Islamic Courts out of Mogadishu. A few months later, a rift broke apart the Islamists; two militias, al-Shabab and Hezb-i-Islam, emerged as independent forces, more radical than ever.

Some of Somalia’s powerful clans backed al-Shabab to counter the Ethiopians and an African Union peacekeeping force that replaced the Ethiopians last year.

Ayro became a top leader, and Mohammed was among the first to be recruited as a commander in charge of 60 fighters. Most were younger than he was. Within months, al-Shabab had taken over much of south and central Somalia, nearly a third of the country. The militia imposed a harsh interpretation of Islam, carrying out public amputations and banning movies, soccer, even bras.

Then May 1, 2008, an American airstrike killed Ayro inside his home. "They killed our hero," Mohammed said. "I knew the Americans were interfering in Somalia all the time after that."

Another date also haunts Mohammed: Dec. 3, 2009.

On that day, an al-Shabab suicide bomber dressed as a woman detonated explosives during a medical-school graduation ceremony at the Shamo Hotel. The attack killed 22 civilians and three government ministers.

"Many students and their parents died. Many young doctors died," Mohammed said. "That was the turning point."

In the weeks before the bombing, he had begun to notice that more foreign al-Shabab fighters were attending meetings for the militia’s senior leaders. "Decisions are being taken by foreigners, not Somalis," he said.

Mohammed said he was startled by the militia’s severe tactics. He was fighting to get rid of American and Western influence in Somalia, to enshrine a pure brand of Islam, not to indiscriminately kill innocent Somali civilians.

In February, al-Shabab publicly declared allegiance to al-Qaida. While he still considered bin Laden a hero, Mohammed was conflicted by the development.

Bin Laden doubters

Nearly a decade after Sept. 11, many in the Muslim world were questioning bin Laden’s philosophies and tactics. In Somalia, al-Shabab’s harsh measures and al-Qaida-like attacks were increasingly alienating the population.

"I thought we would lose the support of the normal people of Somalia," Mohammed said.

Some of his former comrades, who now worked for the government, encouraged him to leave the militia. Four months ago, he hopped into a taxi, crossed into government-controlled territory and defected.

Since his defection, his former comrades have delivered death threats.

His ideology, though, has not changed.

Mohammed said, "You can’t be Muslim without accepting sharia." He said he no longer considers America "a legitimate target."

But when asked by this journalist, an American, what he would have done if he had met him a few months ago, Mohammed replied without hesitation: "I would have slaughtered you. And they would have promoted me."

Putin/Medvedev Learning the Balancing Act Called “Democracy”

‘Long Shot’ Bid to Bring Political Zombies to Life

29 November 2010

By Vladimir Frolov

The best that could be said about President Dmitry Medvedev’s latest call for more competition in Russian politics to combat “stagnation” is that he and his tandem partner, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, are trying to magically modernize the ship of the state without actually sinking the boat.

We pray that they know what they’re doing. For the alternative could be that this venture masks with flowery rhetoric an intellectual void where there should be a strategy to deal with the nation’s problems.

What this is not, however, is a split in the tandem. Putin and Medvedev are jointly experimenting with gradually opening up the political system to create a new momentum for modernizing the country when the existing political arrangements start sapping modernizing impulses.

It is a very long shot. Not one of their predecessors has succeeded in mixing technological and institutional modernization with experiments in popular democracy. All successful Russian modernizers were brutal despots. All modernizers who shunned despotism were failures.

The key operating words here are “gradually and slowly,” as Vladislav Surkov, Medvedev’s first deputy chief of staff, put it to a bizarre audience of American student leaders. The intention is to avoid repeating the mistakes of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who quickly lost control of the country after the introduction of genuinely competitive politics.

Putin’s plan seems to be to let Medvedev reach out to the liberal modernizing class with promises of gradual political opening that would awaken the generation of thirty-somethings from lethargy and reinvigorate the remodeled regime with their crowd-sourced mojo.

This would broaden the political base of the tandemocracy while incorporating many of its critics who now feel ignored or rejected. The internal social mobility within the Russian ruling class would increase, thereby reducing the risks of an elite mutiny. This is not unlike what the Communist Party of China is doing by stimulating controlled internal competition for top leadership.

The problem with the “go slow” approach is that competitive politics is as much about creative destruction as consumer markets. The political scene is littered with zombies: parties and leaders who lost election after election but still linger in the parliament as decorations.

Medvedev’s plan is to bring the zombies to life, while tightly controlling new entries to the market. It’s hard to see this working as intended.

Vladimir Frolov is president of LEFF Group, a government-relations and PR company.

Iranian nuclear scientist killed in bomb attack

Iranian nuclear scientist killed in bomb attack

Another scientist badly wounded as attackers on motorbikes fix devices to windows of cars in Tehran

  • Haroon Siddique
  • The reactor building of Iran's nuclear power plant at BushehrThe reactor building of Iran’s nuclear power plant at Bushehr. Photograph: Vahid Salemi/APBomb attacks have killed a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist and wounded another in Tehran, state TV reported today.

    Attackers riding on motorcycles attached the bombs to the car windows of the scientists as they were driving to their workplaces this morning, the station’s website said.

    One bomb killed Majid Shahriari, a member of the nuclear engineering faculty at the Shahid Beheshti University, in Tehran. His wife, who was in the car with him, was wounded.

    The second blast seriously wounded the nuclear physicist Fereidoun Abbasi, also a professor at Shahid Besheshti University, and his wife.

    State TV swiftly blamed Israel for the attacks. The attackers were described as “unknown terrorists” by Press TV, the English language news network controlled by the Iranian government. At least two other Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in recent years, one in an attack similar to today’s.Iran has said it suspects the attacks were part of a covert attempt by the west to undermine the country’s nuclear programme.

    A pro-government website,, said Abbasi held a PhD in nuclear physics and was a laser expert at Iran’s defence ministry. He was one of only a few top Iranian specialists in nuclear isotope separation, the site said.

    It added that Abbasi had long been a member of the Revolutionary Guard, the country’s most powerful military force. He was also a lecturer at Imam Hossein University, which is affiliated to the Revolutionary Guard.

    Some Iranian media reported Abbasi as having died after he was transferred to hospital. But Iran’s official IRNA news agency said he was in stable condition in the hospital.

    The attacks bore close similarities to another, in January, that killed the Tehran University professor Masoud Ali Mohammadi, a senior physics tutor. He died when a motorcycle fitted with a bomb exploded near his car as he was about to leave for work.The attacks came as the leak of more than 250,000 classified cables from US embassies revealed that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has repeatedly urged the United States to destroy Iran’s nuclear programme.

    Iran maintains that its atomic programme is designed to supply power stations rather than to build nuclear warheads. A fresh round of talks with the five permanent members of the UN security council, plus Germany, is due to begin on 5 December.

Bleak Pak-Afghan Realities

Bleak Pak-Afghan Realities

By Dr. Muzaffar Iqbal


So they will not be going home anytime soon; instead, history will note that Mr. Barack Hussein Obama made false promises when he said he will pull out US troops out of Afghanistan in 2011. That will be just fine, both for the man who has now become the symbol of a new kind of deceit, and for the average Jo on the US streets who could not care less for the slow and systematic annihilation of a centuries-old way of life in Afghanistan.


Gone are the days when the US and the European countries could be seen as possible rivals in a new world order; NATO is now effectively an extension of the US army, not that it was not so before, but now its sole role is to provide cover for the blunders of US political leadership when needed, and be a surrogate mother to the half-baked ideas of spreading democracy and enlightenment in countries of US interest.


Be that as it may, what options do people of Afghanistan—and for that matter, that of Pakistan—have in the face of an all-out assault on their way of life? When their rulers are beholden to the invading armies for their survival, when their daily lives are consumed by the most basic necessities of survival and when their very existence is at risk, what can they do?


Is it not surprising that no one in Pakistan makes any fuss over drones anymore? No one mourns the death of those whose lives are extinguished by the deadly firepower coming down from the skies at the command of almost inhuman beings sitting thousands of miles away? Is it not an indication of the servility of the entire political set up in Pakistan that petti men are squabbling over petti posts while their country sinks and sinks and their citizens are kidnapped, murdered, and imprisoned by foreign forces?


The successful elimination of any alternative other than the tired and nauseating faces of the current political leadership—which has been on the scene for as long as one can remember—the rapid disappearance of the Pakistani middle class, and the reduction of Pakistan’s once vibrant and healthy populace to a nation of beggars and unhealthy men and women has already spelled a death sentence from which there is no escape now. What remains of Pakistan is a mere skeleton which trembles at every blow and sigh of the remote controllers.


As far as Afghanistan is concerned, the country is awash with billions of dollars. The occupying armies are having their pie and eating it too! Hot meals are flown in from the Gulf for their higher ranks, they drive on the roads as if they are latter-day Pharaohs and though their rank and file still trembles when they go out on petrol, the situation is not so deadly now as it was during the summer. There is a remarkable lull in the numbers counting dead bodies. All of this can be attributed to the tiredness of Afghan resistance or to the increased and improved tactics of the invaders, but none of this is permanent; Afghanistan’s history shows that no foreigner has been able to subdue it, so, whatever has caused the current hiatus, will soon change.


What does not seem to be changing for a vast majority of people in Pakistan and Afghanistan is their continuous downward slide into degradation, depravity and utter helplessness, all of which have been imposed on them by their own rulers. That is, rulers who look like them but who behave like foreigners. These men—and almost all of them are men—have emerged on the political scene through various national and international intrigues and they have been playing the game called democracy and although there have been elections of sorts in both countries, there is nothing legitimate about them: neither their lifestyles, nor their primary concerns are local; they are floating in foreign money and their only ambition in life seem to be continuation of their own rule over a populace with which they share almost nothing.


Intellectually, Pakistan has become a wasteland. There was a lively literary tradition until the end of 1980s, there were at least second-rate scholars in humanities—historians, sociologists, literary critics, etc.—and Pakistan had a mediocre crop of scholars in religious studies. All of that has disappeared. All that is left now is the daily struggle of survival for a vast majority of disempowered people. Afghanistan was never a center of scholarship in its recent history, but at least it had a vibrant religious life and tradition of piety steeped in antiquity; now that has been destroyed.


In such a polity, one cannot talk of honor, of national pride, of moral values which form the backbone of a society, one cannot even talk of psychologically healthy men and women who would behave in a decent manner in a given situation. Hence, the public space is filled with unending squabbles of petti nature.


The bleak synopsis of the state of these countries is not a figment of imagination, it is borne out of a deeply painful watch of their slide into chaos, destruction, and depravity. One can find causes and even blame many people for this state of affairs, analyze and document the process which has brought these two nations to this state, but all of that is mere exercise in futility because the ground realities are so harsh and unequivocal and one does not see any ray of hope, save a totally unexpected Divine mercy, descending from the Heaven, and changing the entire landscape and course of these two once vibrant and potentially most important polities in the Muslim world. That one should not give up hope is true, but one must also not take flight into fancy, when dealing with a situation that requires clear and analytic approach.


Muzaffar Iqbal is the founder-president of Center for Islam and Science (, Canada, and editor of

Hariri in Tehran

Hariri in Tehran: Reconciling Viewpoints with Hizbullah, Supporting Iran Nuclear Program
Prime Minister Saad Hariri arrived in Iran on Saturday on a first official visit amid a tense political standoff between his pro-Western camp and rival Iran-backed Shiite group Hizbullah.

During his three-day visit Hariri, accompanied by several ministers, will meet Supreme leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi, Chairman of the Shoura Council Ali Larijani, Minister of Foreign Affairs Manouchehr Mottaki and a number of Iranian officials.

Hariri’s visit is “historic and very important,” Iran’s ambassador to Beirut, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, told the official IRNA news agency.

The trip comes a little over a month after Ahmadinejad made a similar visit to Lebanon, where he was given a hero’s welcome by Hizbullah supporters in both Beirut’s southern suburb and in the south near the border with Israel, Iran’s arch-foe.

Hariri’s visit also comes amid a tense political standoff between his pro-Western camp and Hizbullah over a U.N. tribunal probing the 2005 assassination of his father, former premier Rafik Hariri.

The tribunal is reportedly set to implicate high-ranking Hizbullah officials in the murder, but the party has warned against this, prompting fears of a renewed sectarian conflict in the country.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has a natural role in the region, especially in resolving crisis and strengthening stability in Lebanon,” Hariri was quoted as saying in an interview with IRNA on Friday ahead of the visit.

Hariri was welcomed at the airport by first Vice President Rahimi and he is expected to meet Ahmadinejad on Sunday, Iranian media said.

“This visit is taking place while Lebanon is in a very sensitive and complicated situation,” Mohammad Reza Sheibani, Iran’s deputy foreign minister for the Middle East, told Khabar newspaper in an interview on Saturday.

“The questions linked with the Hariri tribunal have drastically affected Lebanon’s groups and its political situation,” he added.

A Lebanese ministerial source told Agence France Presse that Hariri hoped Iran would help to reconcile the March 14 camp and Hizbullah.

“This visit is important because of its timing, when Lebanon is in crisis because of the expected indictment of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon,” the source said.

“The Iranians will try to reconcile points of view between Hizbullah and Saad Hariri,” the source said.

In return, Hariri would support Iran’s “development of nuclear capabilities for civilian and peaceful purposes,” the source added.

The West and its Arab allies accuse Iran of seeking to destabilize the region and extend its influence across the Arab world, and Tehran faces increasing international pressure over its nuclear program.

Government-run newspaper Iran Daily insisted that the Saudi-backed premier’s visit “should not be reduced to the question of the Special Tribunal as it is an internal Lebanese affair.”

“Hariri’s visit can also be evaluated as a positive change in Tehran-Riyadh relations,” the paper wrote in a commentary.

The two countries, Lebanon and Iran, are also expected to focus on mutual cooperation, following up on 17 agreements signed during Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon.

Iran hopes warmer ties with Lebanon will deliver a blow to Israel.

“Expansion of ties between Iran and Lebanon will definitely strengthen the resistance movement against the Zionist regime,” Sheibani said.

Hariri said Friday that Iran was involved in efforts to ensure stability in Lebanon.

Attempts to destabilize any country in the region is a threat to both the interests of Arabs and Iran at the same time,” Hariri told IRNA.

He described as “historic” ties between Iran and Lebanon.

On political ties, however, Hariri said Lebanon looks forward to a “relationship between two countries that respect each other’s sovereignty and interests.”

In response to a question about his father’s assassination, Hariri said he never accused Hizbullah of involvement.(Naharnet-AFP)

Why the so called ‘war on terror’ is a fraud

Why the so called ‘war on terror’ is a fraud

by Akhbar Navees

Rupee News

three blind men 
Ruling cabals of USA. Image via Wikipedia

The US is today, albeit temporarily, the world’s foremost power. It is a country whose people are blessed with wonderful qualities of the head and heart. They are honest, hardworking problem solvers, large-hearted, decent and deeply innocent. The emergence of the US as a power with the greatest ever reaches in human history is the result of a conscious and sustained effort on the part of Washington to make America a great power.
Central to this nation-building process was the key emphasis on cultivating and creating knowledge of nature, and of the high-level of integrity and commitment of the average American. However, the evolution of the US Public State, as a genuine democracy with the ability to unify mankind on a broad basis, has been derailed consistently, and perhaps irreversibly, by corporate cliques that have taken the US on the path of global conquest and exploitation of the poor but resource-rich countries. This path will eventually lead to USA’s defeat, beginning in Central Asia, and its rapid and bloody decline in a decade or two, unless, of course, the Americans can bring to book those criminal cabals which currently control, chain and exploit this great nation.

The corporations operate secretly, illegally and without regard for the deeper interests of the people or of humanity. Thus, the exploited countries see the US as a power of unprecedented and unmatched ruthlessness. The US is not only the greatest scientific force in history, but it is also the greatest subversive power ever to afflict this globe.

To murder a few million, to destroy countries and cultures, to plunder like no one has ever plundered before, to burn and to ravage the environment beyond imagination, is something that the US forces do in service of its corporate masters. As General “Howling” Jacob Smith told his troops during the Philippine war: “I wish you to kill and burn. The more you kill and burn, the better you please me.” Or as the contemporary American writer Michael Ledeen wrote: “Every 10 years or so the US needs to pick up some crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” This “business” is corporate business.

Corporations have gained ascendancy in the White House, the US legislative bodies and judiciary, as well as the US agencies, some of which, such as the CIA, were created on the persuasion of, and for Wall Street. This corporate ascendancy in US power structure is now a constant and deeply embedded feature of the American domestic and international politics. The people of the US are now out of the loop completely, and perhaps permanently. Therein lies the real danger to the future of mankind.

The current eruption of US militarism reflects the desperate urge of corporate cabals to hastily enslave mankind and apportion all its resources for the US elite, in the name of the US “people” and “civilisation” of course. It was Orwell who once wrote: “As I write highly civilised human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.” What took the US into World War I was, more than anything else, the financial interests of the House of Morgan.
The House of Morgan enjoyed a very special relation with the British, who decided to borrow money for its war costs from the J.P. Morgan Bank. Without a British victory these loans would be lost. As noted in 1920 by Morgan’s partner Lamont: “The national debts of the world have increased by 210 billion or about 475 percent in the last six years.” Wilson had been elected on the slogan of keeping America out of the war, but he betrayed his people and entered World War I in the interest of US banking and business. This war, fought secretly for the control of petroleum reserves, resulted in an estimated 16 to 20 million deaths, half of them civilian.

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and the Trilateral Commission (TC) were set up by the Rockefeller family, the latter in 1973. These “think tanks” work perpetually for the interests of “Big Oil” and related businesses owned by the wealthiest families of the planet. Winston Lord, former US Ambassador to China and former CFR member, once said: “The Trilateral Commission does not run the world, the Council on Foreign Relations does that.” In 1973, David Rockefeller met with 27 heads of state, as well as the Pope and representatives of China and the USSR.

However, despite the fact that the US government continues even today to pursue the interests of “Big Oil”, a new cabal involving George Bush Sr, Donald Rumsfeld andDick Cheney et al has emerged – the so-called neocons. This rightwing cabal started gaining influence during the Ford presidency, when Rumsfeld became Secretary of Defence and brought in his unknown 33-year old protégé Dick Cheney. As Professor Peter Dale Scott puts it: “In the November of 1975, the team of Rumsfeld and Cheney roughly occupied the same position of dominance in the Pentagon and White House that they would come to occupy in the George W. Bush administration of 2001.” They sabotaged the policy of détente, forced the US to abandon the policy of peaceful co-existence with the Soviet Union and subverted the normal democratic channels of decision making. Much of the woes of the world of today result from the neocon strategy: permanent war and permanent subjugation of US public interests to corporate interests.

The neocon movement was funded by an alternative group of wealthy men, who wanted to “roll back”, and not just contain Russia and eventually to set up a global US empire. The Olin Foundation, which funded this movement, and the American Enterprise Institute became more important as money was spent on propagating the neocon agenda.

With the advent of Reagan the neocons finally had their way and it was the neocon political trajectory that led to 9/11. It is now very clear that 9/11 was staged so that the US could, under the garb of fighting terrorism, scatter military bases worldwide and embark on its programme of military conquest. As Professor Michel Chossudovsky has put it, the war against terrorism is a “fraud”.
The writer is the vice chancellor of the University of the Punjab. Mujahid Kamran. Ruling cabals of USA. Published: November 26, 2010

Operation Paper: The United States and Drugs in Thailand and Burma

Operation Paper: The United States and Drugs in Thailand and Burma

Peter Dale Scott

This Chapter 3 from my newly published American War Machine describes America’s Operation Paper, a November 1950 program to arm and supply the Kuomintang remnant troops of General Li Mi in Burma. Operation Paper itself was relatively short-lived, but it had two long-term consequences that have not been adequately discussed.

The first is that the CIA was launched into its fifty-year history of indirectly facilitating and overseeing forces engaged in vastly expanding the production of opiates, in successive areas not previously major in the international traffic. This is a history that stretches, almost continuously, from Thailand and Burma through Laos until the 1970s, and then to present-day Afghanistan.

The second is that the resulting drug proceeds helped supplement the CIA’s efforts to develop its own Asian proxy armies, initially defensive but increasingly offensive. This led in 1959 to the initiation of armed conflict in the previously neutral and Buddhist nation of Laos, an unwinnable hot war that soon spread to Vietnam.

The decision to launch Operation Paper was made by a small cabal inside the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC), notably Desmond Fitzgerald and Richard Stilwell in conjunction with former OSS Chief William Donovan, who favored the rollback of communism over the official State Department policy of containment. My book sees the expanding offensive efforts in Southeast Asia, after switching from Li Mi’s forces to the CIA’s Thai proxy army PARU, as a watershed in the conversion of America’s post-war defense establishment, which was concerned above all with preserving the status quo in western Europe, into today’s offensive American War Machine, with actions centered on Southeast and Central Asia.

The writing of American War Machine has given me a clearer picture of America’s overall responsibility for the huge increases in global drug trafficking since World War II. This is exemplified by the more than doubling of Afghan opium drug production since the U.S. invaded that country in 2001. But the U.S. responsibility for the present dominant role of Afghanistan in the global heroin traffic has merely replicated what had happened earlier in Burma, Thailand, and Laos between the late 1940s and the 1970s. These countries also only became factors in the international drug traffic as a result of CIA assistance (after the French, in the case of Laos) to what would otherwise have been only local traffickers. •

It is not too much to conclude that, for such larger reasons of policy, U.S. authorities actually suborned at times an increase of illicit heroin traffic.

An understanding of this phenomenon must inform future scholarly work on drug trafficking in Asia.1

If opium could be useful in achieving victory, the pattern was clear. We would use opium.2

Thailand and Drugs: A Personal Preface

It is now clearly established that in November 1950, President Truman, faced with large numbers of Chinese communist troops pouring into Korea, approved an operation, code-named Operation Paper, to prepare remnant Kuomintang (KMT) forces in Burma for a countervailing invasion of Yunnan. It is clear also that these troops, the so-called 93rd Division under KMT General Li Mi, were already involved in drug trafficking. It is clear finally that, as we shall see, Truman belatedly approved a supply operation to drug traffickers that had already been in existence for some time.

The purpose of this chapter is to explore the process that led up to Truman’s validation of a program to use drug proxies in Burma. It will be an exercise in deep history, raising questions that the archival records presently available cannot definitively answer. Some of most relevant records, chiefly those of the Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) that initiated Operation Paper, are still closed to public view. Others, such as those of the World Commerce Corporation (WCC) or of the Willis Bird import-export firm in Bangkok, would probably tell us little even if we had them. And some of the most important events, such as the path by which Thai Opium Monopoly opium soon reached the streets of Boston, were probably never documented at all.

The topic of this chapter is a major one in the postwar history of China, Southeast Asia, and the global drug traffic. With needed U.S. support, above all in the form of airlift and arms, Li Mi’s irregulars were soon marketing, in the words of their U.S. overseer Richard Stilwell (chief of OPC Far East), “almost a third of the world’s opium supply.”3 Burton Hersh, who transmits Stilwell’s comment, adds his own remark that Li Mi’s troops “developed over time into an important commercial asset for the CIA.” Based on what is currently known, I would express the relationship differently: Li Mi’s drug-trafficking troops continued to be of major importance to the CIA—but as self-supporting, off-the-books allies in the struggle to secure Southeast Asia against communist advances, not as a source of income for the CIA itself.


In the 1950s, after World War II, the chances seemed greater than ever before for a more peaceful, orderly, legal, and open world. Even the world’s two great superpowers, the United States and the Soviet Union, had agreed on rules and procedures for mediating their serious differences through a neutral body, the United Nations. The United States was then wealthy enough to finance postwar reconstruction in devastated Europe and later fund international programs in fields such as health and agriculture in the newly liberated former colonies of the Third World.

But the United Nations was not destined to remain the theater for the resolution of international conflict. One major reason for this was that the Soviet Union, the United States, and then, after 1949, China all pursued covert policies, low key at first, that brought them increasingly into conflict and proxy war.

The Marxist-Leninist nations of the Soviet Union and China lent support to other Marxist-Leninist parties and movements, some of them insurrectionary, in other parts of the world. Washington’s often inaccurate perception saw these parties and movements as proxies for Soviet and/or Chinese power. Thus, much of the Cold War came to be fought covertly in areas, like Southeast Asia, about which both the United States and the Soviet Union were stunningly ignorant.

From the very beginning of the postwar era, Washington looked for proxies of its own to combat the threat it perceived of world revolution. Some of these proxies are now virtually forgotten, such as the Ukrainian guerrillas, originally organized by Hitler’s SS, who fought an OPC-backed losing battle against Russia into the early 1950s. Some, like the mafias in Italy and Marseille, soon outgrew their U.S. support to become de facto regional players in their own right.

But one of America’s early proxy armies, the remnants of Nationalist Chinese KMT forces in Burma and later Thailand, would continue to receive U.S. support into the 1960s. Like the mafias in Europe and the yakuza in Japan, these drug proxies had the advantage for secrecy of being off-the-books assets, largely self-supporting through their drug dealing, and firmly anticommunist.

The OPC and CIA’s initial support of this program, by reestablishing a major drug traffic out of Southeast Asia, helped institutionalize what became a CIA habit of turning to drug-supported off-the-books assets for fighting wars wherever there appeared to be a threat to America’s access to oil and other resources—in Indochina from the 1950s through the 1970s, in Afghanistan and Central America in the 1980s, in Colombia in the 1990s, and again in Afghanistan in 2001.7

Harvesting opium in Karenni state, Burma

The use of drug proxies, at odds with Washington’s official antidrug policies, had to remain secret. This meant that in practice major programs with long-term consequences were initiated and administered by small cliques with U.S. intelligence ties that were almost invisible in Washington and still less visible to the American people. These cliques of like-minded individuals, at ease in working with traffickers and other criminals, were in turn part of a cabal supported by elite groups at high levels.

The U.S. use of the drug traffic from the KMT troops in Burma had momentous consequences for the whole of Southeast Asia. For the OPC infrastructure for the KMT troops (Sea Supply Inc., see below) was expanded and modified, with support from William Donovan and Allen Dulles, to develop and support an indigenous guerrilla force in Thailand, PARU. PARU, far less publicized than the KMT troops, did as much or more to influence U.S. history. For PARU’s success in helping to guarantee the independence of Thailand encouraged the United States in the 1960s to use PARU in Laos and Vietnam as well. Thus, PARU’s early successes led the United States, incrementally, into first covert and eventually overt warfare in Laos and Vietnam. We shall see that, according to its American organizer James William [“Bill”] Lair, PARU, like the KMT forces, was in its early stage at least partly financed by drugs.

In short, some Americans had a predictable and almost continuous habit of turning to the drug traffic for off-the-books assets. This recourse began as a curious exception to the larger U.S. policy of seeking political resolution of international conflicts through the United Nations. It also pitted the regular U.S. diplomats of the State Department against the Cold Warriors of the secret agency, OPC, that had these drug assets at its disposal. This was not the only time that a small U.S. bureaucratic cabal, facing internal opposition but enjoying high-level backing, could launch an operation that became far larger than originally authorized. The pattern was repeated, with remarkable similarities, in Afghanistan in 1979. Once again, as in Thailand, the original stated goal was the defense of the local nation and the containment of the communist troops threatening to subdue it. Once again this goal was achieved. But once again the success of the initial defensive campaign created a momentum for expansion into a campaign of offensive rollback that led to our present unpromising confrontation with more and more elements of Islam.8

The cumulative history of these U.S. interventions, both defensive (successful) and offensive (catastrophic), has built and still builds on itself. Successes are seen as opportunities to move forward: it is hard for mediocre minds not to draw bad lessons from them. Failures (as in Vietnam) are remembered even more vividly as reasons to prove that one is not a loser.

It is thus important to analyze this recurring pattern of success leading to costly failure, to free ourselves from it. For it is clear that the price of imperial overstretch has been increasing over time.

With this end in mind, I shall now explore key moments in the off-the-books story of Southeast Asian drug proxies and the cliques that have managed them, a trail that leads from Thailand after World War II to the U.S. occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan today.

The Origins of the CIA Drug Connection in Thailand

To understand the CIA’s involvement in the Southeast Asian drug traffic after World War II, one must go back to nineteenth-century opium policies of the British Empire. Siamese government efforts to prohibit the smoking of opium ended in 1852, when King Mongkut (Rama IV), bowing to British pressures, established a Royal Opium Franchise, which was then farmed out to Siamese Chinese.9 Three years later, under the terms of the unequal Bowring Treaty, Siam accepted British opium free of duty, with the proviso that it was to be sold only to the Royal Franchise. (A year later, in 1856, a similar agreement was negotiated with the United States.) The opium farm became a source of wealth and power to the royal government and also to the Chinese secret societies or triads that operated it. Opium dependency also had the effect of easing Siam into the ways of Western capitalism by bringing “peasants into the cash economy as modern consumers.”10

Until it was finally abolished in 1959, proceeds from the Opium Franchise (as in other parts of Southeast Asia) provided up to 20 percent of Siamese government revenue.11 This is one reason why the opium franchise ceased to be farmed out to Chinese businessmen in 1907 and became (as again in other parts of Southeast Asia) a government monopoly. Another was the desire to reduce the influence of Chinese secret societies and encourage Chinese assimilation into Siam. As a result, the power of the secret societies did generally decline in the twentieth century, except for a revival under the Japanese occupation during World War II. By this time the KMT, operating under cover, was the most powerful force in the Bangkok Chinese community, with overlapping links to Tai Li’s KMT intelligence network and also the drug traffic.12

Although the official source of opium for the Siamese franchise was India, the relatively high cost of Indian opium encouraged more and more smuggling of opium from the Shan states of eastern Burma. With the gradual outlawing of the opium traffic in the early twentieth century, the British banned the use of Shan opium inside Burma but continued to tax the Shan states as before. In this way the British tacitly encouraged the export of Shan opium to the Thai market.13

When Thailand declared war against Britain in January 1942, Shan opium became the only source for the lucrative monopoly. This helps explain the 1942 invasion of the opium-producing Shan states by the Thai Northern (Prayap) army, in parallel to the Japanese expulsion of the British from Burma.14 In January 1943, as it became clearer that Japan would not win the war, the Thai premier Phibun Songkhram used the Northern Army in Kengtung, with its control of Shan opium, to open relations with the Chinese armies they had been fighting, which had by now retreated across the Yunnan–Burma frontier.15 One of these was the 93rd Division, at Meng Hai in the Thai Lü district of Sipsongphanna (Xishuangbanna) in Yunnan.16 The two sides, both engaged in the same lucrative opium traffic, quickly agreed to cease hostilities. (According to an Office of Strategic Services [OSS] observer, the warlord generals of Yunnan, Lung Yun, and his cousin Lu Han, commander of the 93rd Division, were busy smuggling opium from Yunnan across the border into Burma and Thailand.17)

An OSS team of Seri Thai (Free Thais), led by Lieutenant Colonel Khap Kunchon (Kharb Kunjara) and ostensibly under the direction of OSS Kunming, made contact with both sides in March–April 1944.18 When Khap arrived at the 93rd Division Headquarters, “he discovered that an informal ceasefire had been observed along the border between southern Yunnan and the Shan States [in Burma] since early 1943 with the arrangement being cemented from time to time by gifts of Thai whisky, cigarettes and guns presented to officers of the 93rd Division by their Thai counterparts.”19

Khap, with the permission of his OSS superior Nicol Smith, sent a message from Menghai to a former student of his now with the Thai Northern Army in Kengtung.20 “The letter stressed the need for Thai forces to switch sides at the appropriate moment and asked for the names of Thai officers in the area who would be willing to cooperate with the Allies.”21 Khap’s letter, with its apparent OSS endorsement, reached Phibun in Bangkok and led to an uninterrupted postwar collaboration between the Northern Army and the 93rd Division.22

Khap, however, was a controversial figure inside OSS, mistrusted above all for his dealings with Tai Li. We learn from Reynolds’s well-documented history that Tai Li and Khap, in conjunction with the original OSS China chief Milton Miles, had been concertedly pushing a plan to turn the Thai Northern Army against the Japanese.23 But John Coughlin, Miles’s successor as OSS chief in China, consulted some months later with Donovan in Washington and expressed doubts about the scheme. A follow-up memo to Donovan questioned Khap’s motives:

I . . . doubt that he can be trusted. . . . I feel that he will make deals with Tai Li of which I will not be informed. . . . I am at a loss to figure out Tai Li’s extreme interest in him, unless there is some agreement between them that I know nothing about.24

Like his sources, Reynolds’s archival history is tactfully silent on the topic of opium. But Tai Li’s opium connection to the KMT in Thailand and Burma was well known to OSS and may well have been on Coughlin’s mind.25

KMT forces in Burma, 1953

The Northern Army–93rd Division–KMT connection had enormous consequences. For the next three decades, Shan opium would be the source of revenue and power for the KMT in Burma and both the KMT and the Northern Army in Bangkok. All of Thailand’s military leaders between 1947 and 1975—Phin Chunhawan, his son-in-law Phao Sriyanon, Sarit Thanarat, Thanom Kittikachorn, Prapat Charusathien, and Kriangsak Chomanand—were officers from the Northern Army. Successively their regimes dominated and profited from the opium supplied by the KMT 93rd Division that after the war reestablished itself in Burma.26 This was true from the military coup in Bangkok of November 1947 until Kriangsak’s resignation in 1980.27 A series of coups d’état—in 1947, 1951, 1957, and 1975—can be analyzed in part as conflicts over control of the drug trade.28

As in Indonesia and other Asian countries, the generals’ business affairs were handled by local Chinese. The Chinese banking partner of Phin Chunhawan and Phao Sriyanon was Chin Sophonpanich, a member of the Free Thai movement who in the postwar years enabled Phao to die as “one of the richest men in the world.”29 When in 1957 Sarit displaced Phao and took over both the government and the drug trade, both Phao and Chin had to flee the country.30

The United States Helps Rebuild the Postwar Drug Connection

To appreciate the significance of the connection we are discussing, we must keep in mind that, by 1956, the KMT had been driven from the Chinese mainland and that Chinese production of opium, even in remote mountainous Yunnan, had been virtually eliminated. The disruptions of a world war and revolution had created an opportunity to terminate the opium problem in the Far East. Instead, U.S. covert support for the Thai and KMT drug traffickers converted Southeast Asia, for more than two decades, into the world’s major source of opium and heroin.

The origins of the U.S. interface with these drug traffickers in Thailand and Burma are obscure. They appear, however, to have involved principally four men: William Donovan; his British ally Sir William Stephenson, the organizer with Donovan of the World Commerce Corporation (WCC); Paul Helliwell; and Willis Bird (both veterans of OSS China). After World War II, Sir William Stephenson’s WCC “became very active in Bangkok,” and Stephenson himself established a strong personal relationship with King Rama IX.31

Stephenson recruited James Thompson, the last OSS commander in Bangkok, to stay on in Bangkok as the local WCC representative. This led to the WCC’s financing of Thompson’s Thai Silk Company, a successful commercial enterprise that also covered Thompson’s repeated trips to the northeastern Thai border with Laos, the so-called Isan, where communist insurrection was most feared and where future CIA operations would be concentrated.32 One would like to know whether WCC similarly launched the import-export business of Willis Bird, of whom much more shortly.

In the same postwar period, Paul Helliwell, who earlier had been OSS chief of Special Intelligence in Kunming, Yunnan, served as Far East Division chief of the Strategic Service Unit, the successor organization to OSS.33 In this capacity he allegedly “became the man who controlled the pipe-line of covert funds for secret operations throughout East Asia after the war.”34 Eventually, Helliwell would be responsible for the incorporation in America of the CIA proprietaries, Sea Supply Inc. and Civil Air Transport (CAT) Inc. (later Air America), which would provide support to both Phao Sriyanon of the Northern Army in Thailand and the KMT drug camps in Burma. It is unclear what he did before the creation of OPC in 1948. Speculation abounds as to the original source of funds available to Helliwell in this earlier period, ranging from the following:

1.  The deep pockets of the overworld figures in the WCC. Citing Daniel Harkins, a former USG investigator, John Loftus and Mark Aarons claimed that Nazi money, laundered and manipulated by Allen Dulles and Sir William Stephenson through the WCC, reached Thailand after the war. When Harkins informed Congress, he “was suddenly fired and sent back [from Thailand] to the United States on the next ship.”35

2.  The looted gold and other resources collected by Admiral Yamashita and others in Japan36 or of the SS in Germany.

3.  The drug trade itself. Further research is needed to establish when the financial world of Paul Helliwell began to overlap with that of Meyer Lansky and the underworld. The banks discussed in the chapter 7, which are outward signs of this connection (Miami National Bank and Bank of Perrine), were not established until a decade or more later. Still to be established is whether the Eastern Development Company represented by Helliwell was the firm of this name that in the 1940s cooperated with Lansky and others in the supply of arms to the nascent state of Israel.37

Of these the best available evidence points tentatively to Nazi gold. We shall see that Helliwell acquired a banking partner in Florida, E. P. Barry, who had been the postwar head of OSS Counterintelligence (X-2) in Vienna, which oversaw the recovery of SS gold in Operation Safehaven.38 And it is not questioned that in December 1947 the National Security Council (NSC) created a Special Procedures Group “that, among other things, laundered over $10 million in captured Axis funds to influence the [Italian] election [of 1948].”39 Note that this authorization was before NSC 10/2 of June 18, 1948, first funded covert operations under what soon became OPC.

What matters is that, for some time before the first known official U.S. authorizations in 1949–1950, funds were reaching Helliwell’s former OSS China ally Willis Bird in Bangkok. There Bird ran a trading company supplying arms and materiel to Phin Chunhawan and Phin’s son-in-law, Phao Sriyanon, who in 1950 became director-general of the Thai Police Department. By 1951 OPC funds for Bird were being handled by a CIA proprietary firm, Sea Supply Inc., which had been incorporated by Paul Helliwell in his civilian capacity as a lawyer in Miami. As noted earlier, Helliwell also became general counsel for the Miami bank that Meyer Lansky allegedly used to launder proceeds from the Asian drug traffic.

Some sources claim that in the 1940s, Donovan, whose link to the WCC was by 1946 his only known intelligence connection, also visited Bangkok.40 Stephenson’s biographer, William Stevenson, writes that because MacArthur had cut Donovan out of the Pacific during World War II, Donovan “therefore turned Siam [i.e., Thailand] into a base from which to run [postwar] secret operations against the new Soviet threat in Asia.”41

William Walker agrees that by 1947–1948, the United States increasingly defined for Thailand a place in Western strategic policy in the early cold war. Among those who kept close watch over events were William J. Donovan, wartime head of the OSS, and Willis H. Bird, who worked with the OSS in China. . . . After the war, Bird, . . . still a reserve colonel in military intelligence, ran an import-export house in Bangkok. Following the November [1947 Thailand coup] Bird . . . implored Donovan: “Should there be any agency that is trying to take the place of O.S.S., . . . please have them get in touch with us as soon as possible. By the time Phibun returned as Prime Minister, Donovan was telling the Pentagon and the State Department that Bird was a reliable source whose information about growing Soviet activities in Thailand were credible.42

Bird’s wishes were soon answered by NSC 10/2 of June 18, 1948, which created the OPC. Washington swiftly agreed that Thailand would play an important role as a frontline ally in the Cold War. In 1948, U.S. intelligence units began arming and training a separate army under General Phao, which became known as the Thai Border Police (BPP). The relationship was cemented in 1949 as the communists captured power in China. The generals demonstrated their anticommunist credentials by echoing U.S. propaganda and killing alleged leftists. At midyear a CIA [OPC] team arrived in Bangkok to train the BPP for covert support of the Kuomintang in its continuing war against the Chinese communists on the Burma-China border. Later in the year the United States began to arm and train the Thai army and to provide the kingdom general economic aid.43

Walker notes how the collapse of the KMT forces in China led Washington to subordinate its antinarcotics policies to the containment of communism: By the fall of 1949 . . . reports reached the State Department about the inroads communism was making within the Chinese community in Thailand as well as the involvement of the Thai army with opium. Since the army virtually controlled the nature of Thailand’s security relationship with the West, foreign promotion of opium control had to take a back seat to other policy priorities.44

On March 9, 1950, when Truman was asked to approve $10 million in military aid for Thailand, Acheson’s supporting memo noted that $5 million had already been approved by Truman for the Thai “constabulary.”45 This presumably came from the OPC’s secret budget: I can find no other reference to the $5 million in State Department published records, and two years later a U.S. aid official in Washington, Edwin Martin, wrote in a secret memo that the Thai Police force under General Phao “is receiving no American military aid.”46

Cliques, the Mob, the KMT, and Operation Paper

The U.S. decision to back the KMT troops—the so-called Li Mi project or Operation Paper—was made at a time of intense interbureaucratic conflict and even conspiratorial disagreement over official U.S. policy toward the new Chinese People’s Republic. As the historian Bruce Cumings has shown, both the KMT-financed China Lobby and many Republicans, like Donovan, as well as General MacArthur in Japan, were furious at the failure of Secretary of State Dean Acheson to continue support for Chiang Kai-shek after the founding of the People’s Republic in October 1949.47 Up until the June 1950 outbreak of war in Korea, Acheson refused to guarantee even the security of Taiwan.48

Claire Chennault with Chiang Kai-shek and Mme Chiang

The key public lobbyist for backing the KMT in Burma and Yunnan was General Claire Chennault, original owner of the airline the OPC took over. Chennault deserves to be remembered as an early postwar proponent of using off-the-books assets: his “Chennault Plan” envisaged essentially self-financing KMT armies, backed by a covert U.S. logistical airline, in support of U.S. foreign policy.49 Because by this time Chennault was serving in Washington as Chiang Kai-shek’s military representative, he was viewed by U.S. officials with increasing suspicion if not distaste.50 Yet his longtime associate, friend, and business ally Thomas (“Tommy the Cork”) Corcoran, who after 1950 was a registered foreign agent for Taiwan, managed to put Chennault in contact with senior OPC officers, including Richard Stilwell, chief of the Far East Division of the OPC.51

There were other private interests with a stake in Operation Paper. In 1972 I noted that the two principal figures inside the United States who backed Chennault, Paul Helliwell and Thomas Corcoran, were both attorneys for the OSS-related insurance companies of C. V. Starr in the Far East.52 (Starr, who had operated out of Shanghai before the war, helped OSS China establish a network both there and globally.53) The C. V. Starr companies (later the massive AIG group) allegedly had “close financial ties” with Chinese Nationalists in Taiwan,54 and in any case they would of course have had a financial interest both in restoring the KMT to power in China and in consolidating a Western presence in Southeast Asia.55 At the time of Corcoran’s lobbying, Starr’s American International Assurance Company was expanding from its Hong Kong base to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. In 2006, that company was “the No. 1 life insurer in Southeast Asia.”56 And its parent AIG, before AIG’s spectacular collapse in 2008, was listed by Forbes as the eighteenth-largest public company in the world.

Corcoran was also the attorney in Washington for Chiang Kai-shek’s brother-in-law T. V. Soong, the backer of the China Lobby who some believed to be the “wealthiest man in the world.”57 It is likely that Soong and the KMT helped develop the Chennault Plan. A complementary plan for supporting the remnants of General Li Mi’s KMT armies in Burma was developed in 1949 by the army’s civilian adviser, Ting Tsuo-shou, after discussions on Taiwan with Chiang Kai-shek.58

Like Chiang Kai-shek, Chennault also had support from Henry Luce of Time-Life in America and both General MacArthur and his intelligence chief, Major General Charles Willoughby, in Japan. Their plans for maintaining and reestablishing the KMT in China were in 1949 already beginning to diverge significantly from those of Truman and his State Department.59 Former OSS Chief William Donovan, now outside the government and promoting the KMT, also promoted both Chiang Kai-shek and Chennault,60 as did Chennault’s wartime associate William Pawley, a freewheeling overseas investor who, like Helliwell, reputedly had links to mob drug traffickers.61

Donovan’s support for Chennault was part of his general advocacy of rollback against communism and his interest in guerrilla armies—a strongly held ideology that, as we shall see, led to his appointment as ambassador to Thailand in 1953. His intellectual ally in this was the former Trotskyite James Burnham, another protégé of Henry Luce by then in the OPC (and a prototype of the neoconservatives half a century later). Burnham wrote in his book (“published with great Luce fanfare in early 1950”) of “rolling back” communism and of supporting Chiang Kai-shek to, at some future point, “throw the Communists back out of China.”62

The Belated Authorization of Operation Paper

In the midst of this turmoil, OPC Chief Frank Wisner began in the summer of 1948 to refinance and eventually take over Chennault’s airline, CAT, which Chiang Kai-shek’s friend Claire Chennault had organized with postwar UN relief funds to airlift supplies to the KMT armies in China. Wisner “negotiated with Corcoran for the purchase of CAT [in which Corcoran as well as Chennault had a financial interest]. In March [1950], using a ‘cutout’ banker or middleman, the CIA paid CAT $350,000 to clear up arrearages, $400,000 for future operations, and a $1 million option on the business.”63

Richard Stilwell, Far Eastern chief of the OPC and the future overseer of Operation Paper, dickered with Corcoran over the purchase price.64 The details were finalized in March 1950, shortly before the outbreak of the Korean War in June generated for CAT Inc. a huge volume of new business.65 Alfred Cox, OPC station chief in Hong Kong and the chief executive officer (CEO) of CAT Inc., directed the supply operation to Li Mi.66

According to an unfavorable assessment by Lieutenant Colonel William Corson, a former marine intelligence officer on special assignment with the CIA, the OPC,

in late summer 1950, recruited (or rather hired) a batch of Chinese Nationalist soldiers [who] were transported by the OPC to northern Burma, where they were expected to launch guerrilla raids into China. At the time this dubious project was initiated no consideration was given to the facts that (a) Truman had declined Chiang’s offer to participate in the Korean War . . . (b) Burmese neutrality was violated by this action; and (c) the troops provided by Chiang were utterly lacking in qualifications for such a purpose.67

Shortly afterward, in October 1950, Truman appointed a new and more assertive CIA director, Walter Bedell Smith. Within a week Smith took the first steps to make the OPC and Wisner answerable for the first time, at least on paper, to the CIA.68 Smith ultimately succeeded in his vigorous campaign to bring Wisner and the OPC under his control, partly by bringing in Allen Dulles to oversee both the OPC and the CIA’s rival Office of Special Operations (OSO, the successor to the Strategic Service Unit).69 Yet in November 1950, only one month after his appointment as director, Smith tried and failed to kill Operation Paper when the proposal was belatedly submitted by the OPC (backed by the Joint Chiefs) for Truman’s approval:

The JCS [Joint Chiefs of Staff] in April 1950 issued a series of recommendations, including a programme of covert assistance to local anti-communist forces. This proposal received additional stimulus following the Korean War and especially after Communist China entered that conflict. Shortly after the People’s Republic’s (PRC’s) intervention, the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) Office of Policy Co-ordination (OPC) proposed a programme to divert the PRC’s military from the Korean peninsula. The plan called for U.S. aid to the 93rd, followed by an invasion of Yunnan by Li’s men. Interestingly, the CIA’s director, Walter Bedell Smith, opposed the plan, considering it too risky. But President Harry S. Truman saw merit in the OPC proposal and approved it. The programme became known as Operation Paper.70

It is not clear whether, when Truman approved Operation Paper in November 1950, his secretary of state, Dean Acheson, was even aware of it. It is a matter of record that the U.S. embassies in Burma and Thailand knew nothing of the authorization until well into 1951, when they learned of it from the British and eventually from Phibun himself.71 The scholar Victor Kaufman reports that he “was unable to turn up any evidence at the Truman Library, the National Archives or in the volumes of FRUS [Foreign Relations of the United States] to determine whether in fact Acheson knew of the operation and, if so, at what point.”72

Both MacArthur and Chennault had ambitious designs for the CAT-supported KMT troops in Burma. With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, CAT played an important role in airlifting supplies to the U.S. troops.73 But both MacArthur and Chennault spoke publicly of trapping communist China in what Chennault called a “giant pincers”—simultaneous attacks from Korea and from Burma.74

The OPC kicked in by helping to build up a major airstrip at the chief KMT base at Mong Hsat, Burma, followed by a regular shuttle transport of American arms.75However, Li Mi’s attempts to invade Yunnan in 1951 and 1952 (three according to McCoy, seven according to Lintner) were swiftly repelled by local militiamen with heavy casualties after advances of no more than sixty miles.76 CIA advisers accompanied the incursions, and some of them were killed.77

American journalists and historians like to attribute the CIA’s Operation Paper, in support of Li Mi and the opium-growing 93rd Division in Burma, to President Truman’s authorization in November 1950, following the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 and above all the Chinese crossing of the Yalu River.78 But as historian Daniel Fineman points out, Truman was merely authorizing an arms shipments program that had already begun months earlier:

Shortly after the writing of the [April 1950] JCS memorandum, the United States began supplying arms and matériel to the [KMT] troops. [The Burmese protested in August 1950 that they had discovered in northern Burma an American military officer from the Bangkok embassy in Burma without authorization.79] In the fall, the . . . Office of Policy Coordination (OPC) drafted a daring plan for them to invade Yunnan. The CIA’s director, Walter Bedell Smith, opposed the risky scheme, but Truman [in November 1950] rejected his warning. . . . In January 1951, the CIA initiated its project, code-named Operation Paper. It aimed to prepare the Kuomintang (KMT) forces in Burma for an invasion of Yunnan.80

The futility of Li Mi’s military jabs against China was obvious to Washington by 1952. Yet Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) Chief Harry Anslinger continued to cover up the Li Mi-Thai drug connection for the next decade. The annual trafficking reports of the FBN recorded one seizure of distinctive Thai Government Monopoly opium in 1949 and on “several occasions” more in 1950. But after the initiation of Operation Paper in 1951, the FBN over a decade listed only one seizure of Thai drugs (from two seamen), until it began reporting Thai drug seizures again in 1962.81

Meanwhile, Anslinger, who “had established a working relationship with the CIA by the early 1950s . . . blamed the PRC [People’s Republic of China, as opposed to their enemy the KMT] for orchestrating the annual movement of some two hundred to four hundred tons of opium from Yunnan to Bangkok.”82 This protection of the world’s leading drug traffickers (who were also CIA proxies) did not cease with Anslinger, nor even when the FBN, by then thoroughly corrupted from such cover-ups, was replaced in 1968 by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and finally in 1973 by the Drug Enforcement Administration. As I write in 2010, the U.S. media are blaming the drug traffic in Afghanistan on the Taliban-led insurgency, but UN statistics (examined later in this book) suggest that insurgents receive less than 12 percent of the total drug revenues in Afghanistan’s totally drug-corrupted economy.

Harry Anslinger

As we saw in the previous chapter, Anslinger’s tenure at the FBN was when the CIA also forged anticommunist drug alliances in Europe in the 1940s with the Italian Mafia in Sicily and the Corsican Mafia in Marseilles. The KMT drug support operation was longer lived and had more lasting consequences in America as well as in Southeast Asia. It converted the Golden Triangle of Burma–Thailand–Laos, which before the war had been marginal to the global drug economy, into what was for two decades the dominant opium-growing area of the world.

Did Some People Intend to Develop the Drug Traffic with Operation Paper?

The decision to arm Li Mi was obviously controversial and known to only a few. Some of those backing the OPC’s support of a pro-KMT airline and troops may have envisaged from the outset that the 93rd Division would continue, as during the war, to act as drug traffickers. The key figure, Paul Helliwell, may have had a dual interest, inasmuch as he not only was a former OSS officer but also at some point became the legal counsel in Florida for the small Miami National Bank used after 1956 by Meyer Lansky to launder illegal funds.83 We shall see in the next chapter that Helliwell also went on to represent Phao’s drug-financed government in the United States and to receive funds from that source.84

It is possible that in the mind of Helliwell, with his still ill-understood links to the underworld and Meyer Lansky, Li Mi’s troops were not being used to invade China so much as to restore the war-dislocated international drug traffic that supported the anticommunist KMT and the comprador capitalist activities of its supporters throughout Southeast Asia.85 (As a military historian has commented, “Li Mi was more Mafia or war lord than Chinese Nationalist. Relying on his troops to bring down Mao was an OPC pipe dream.”86)

It is possible also that other networks associated with the drug traffic became part of the infrastructure of the Li Mi operation. This question can be asked of some of the ragtag group of pilots associated with Chennault’s airlines in Asia, some of whom were rumored to have seized this opportunity for drug trafficking.87 According to William R. Corson (a marine colonel assigned at one point to the CIA),

The opium grown by the ChiNat guerrillas . . . was transported by OPC contract aircraft from the forward base to Bangkok for sale to buyers from the various “connections.” The pilots who flew these bushtype aircraft and often served as agents or go-betweens with the guerrilla leaders and the opium buyers were a motley band of men. Some were ex-Nazis, others part of the band of expatriates who emerge in foreign countries following any war.88

The FBN by this time was aware that Margaret Chung, the attending physician to the pilots of Chennault’s wartime airline, was involved with Bugsy Siegel’s friend Virginia Hill “in the narcotic traffic in San Francisco.”89 During World War II, when the Office of Naval Intelligence through the OSS approached Dr. Chung for some specific intelligence on China, she “volunteered that she could supply detailed information . . . ‘from some of the smugglers in San Francisco.’”90

One has to ask what was in the mind of Chennault. Chennault himself was once investigated for smuggling activities, “but no official action was taken because he was politically untouchable.”91 I have no reason to suspect that Chennault wished to profit personally from the drug traffic. But his objective in opposing Chinese communists was to split off ethically divergent provinces like Xinjiang, Tibet, and above all Yunnan.

Chennault’s top priority was Yunnan, with its long-established Haw (or Hui) Muslim minority, many of whom (especially in southwestern Yunnan) traditionally dominated the opium trade into Thailand.92 The troops of the reconstituted 93rd Division were principally Haws from Yunnan.93 To this day, one Thai name for the KMT Yunnanese minority in northern Thailand is gaan beng gaaosipsaam (“93rd Division”), and visitors to the former base of the KMT general Duan Xiwen in Thailand (Mae Salong) are struck by the mosque one sees there.94

I suspect that Chennault may have known that none of the elements in the reconstituted 93rd Division “had made great records of military accomplishment” during World War II,95 that the 93rd had been engaged in drug trafficking when based at Jinghong during World War II,96 and that when the 93rd Division moved into northern Burma and Laos in 1946, it was “in reality, to seize the opium harvest there.”97 That the 93rd Division settled into managing the postwar drug traffic out of Burma should have come as no surprise. Chennault was close to Madame Chiang Kai-shek, T. V. Soong, and the KMT, which had been supporting itself from opium revenues since the 1930s.98 Linked to drug trafficking both in Thailand (through the Tai Li spy network) and in America, the KMT, after expulsion from Yunnan, desperately needed a new opium supply to maintain its contacts with the opiumtrafficking triads and other former assets of Tai Li in Southeast Asia.99

From the time of the inception of the KMT government in the 1920s, KMT officials had been caught smuggling opium and heroin into the United States.100 As noted earlier, an FBN supervisor reported in 1946 that “in a recent Kuomintang Convention in Mexico City a wide solicitation of funds for the future operation of the opium trade was noted.” In July 1947 the State Department reported that the Chinese Nationalist government was “selling opium in a desperate attempt to pay troops still fighting the Communists.”101 The New York Times reported on July 23, 1949, the seizure in Hong Kong of twenty-two pounds of heroin that had arrived from a CIA-supplied Kuomintang outpost in Kunming.102 But the loss of Yunnan in 1949–1950 meant that the KMT would have to develop a new source of supply.

The key to the survival of the KMT was of course its establishment and protection after 1949 on the island of Taiwan. Chennault and his airline CAT helped move the KMT leadership and its resources to its new base and to deny the new Chinese People’s Republic the Chinese civil air fleet (which became embroiled in a protracted Hong Kong legal battle where CAT was represented by William Donovan).103 By 1950 one of Chennault’s wartime pilots, Satiris (or Soteris or Sortiris) Fassoulis ran a firm, Commerce International China, Inc., that privately supplied arms and military advisers to Chiang Kai-shek on Taiwan. Bruce Cumings speculates that he may have done so for the OPC at a time when Acheson was publicly refusing to commit the United States to the defense of Taiwan.104

Finally, all those handling Operation Paper in and for the OPC (Fitzgerald, Helliwell, Joost, CAT Inc. CEO Alfred Cox, and Bird) had had experience in the area during World War II. If they had not wanted Li Mi and CAT to be- come involved in restoring the KMT drug traffic, it would have been imperative for them to ensure that the KMT on Taiwan had no control over CAT’s operations. But Wisner and Helliwell did the exact opposite: when they took over the CAT airline, they gave majority control of the CAT planes to the KMT-linked Kincheng Bank on Taiwan.105 Thereafter for many years CAT planes would fly arms into Li Mi’s camp for the CIA and then fly drugs out for the KMT.

The opium traffic may well have seemed attractive to OPC for strategic as well as financial reasons. As Alfred McCoy has observed, Phao’s pro-KMT activities in Thailand “were a part of a larger CIA effort to combat the growing popularity of the People’s Republic among the wealthy, influential overseas Chinese community throughout Southeast Asia.”106 I have noted elsewhere that the KMT reached these communities in part through triads and other secret societies (especially in Malaya) that had traditionally been involved in the opium traffic. Thus, the restoration of an opium supply in Burma to replace that being lost in Yunnan had the result of sustaining a social fabric and an economy that was capitalist and anticommunist.107

I would add today that the opium traffic was an even more important element in an anticommunist strategy for Southeast Asia as a source of income. We have already seen that for a century, the Thai state had relied on its revenues from the state opium monopoly; in 1953 “the Thai representative at the April CND [Commission on Narcotic Drugs] session had admitted that his country could not afford to give up the revenue from the opium business.”108

Just as important was the role of opium profits in promoting capitalism among the Chinese businessmen of Southeast Asia (the agenda of Sir William Stephenson and the WCC). Whether the Chinese who dominated business in the region would turn their allegiance to Beijing depended on the availability of funds for alternative business opportunities. Here Phao’s banker, Chin Sophonpanich, became a source of funds for top anticommunist businessmen not only in Thailand but also in Malaysia and Indonesia:

Chin Sophonpanich created the largest bank in south-east Asia and one that was extremely profitable. A report by the International Monetary Fund in 1973 claimed that Bangkok Bank’s privileged position allowed it to make returns on its capital in excess of 100 per cent a year (a claim denounced by Chin’s lieutenants). What was not in dispute was that the bank’s bulging deposit base could not be lent out at optimum rates in Thailand alone. This is where Chin revolutionised the south-east Asian banking scene. He personally travelled between Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, identifying and courting the new generation of putative post colonial tycoons. . . . Chin banked the key godfathers outside Hong Kong—Robert Kuok in Malaysia, Liem Sioe Liong [Sudono Salim] in Indonesia, the Chearavanonts in Thailand—as well as other players in Singapore and Hong Kong. . . . Chin was closely linked to the Thai heroin trade through his role as personal financier to the narcotics kingpin Phao Sriyanon, and to other politicians involved in running the drug business.109

Chin thus followed the example of the Khaw family opium farmers in nineteenth-century Siam, whose commercial influence also eventually “extended across Siam’s southern borders into Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies” into legitimate industries, such as tin mines and a shipping company.110

America had another reason to accept Li Mi’s smuggling activities: as a source of badly needed Burmese tungsten. According to Jonathan Marshall, there is fragmentary evidence that OPC/CIA support for his remnant army was “also to facilitate Western control of Burma’s tungsten resources.”111

Creation of an Off-the-Books Force without Accountability

The OPC aid to Thai police greatly augmented the influence of both Phao Sriyanon, who received it, and Willis Bird, the OSS veteran through which it passed and who was already a supplier for the Thai military and police. Seeing the gap between the generals who had organized the military coup of 1947 and U.S. Ambassador Stanton, who still worked to support civilian politicians, Bird worked with Phao and the generals of the 1947 Coup Group to create in 1950 a secret “Naresuan Committee.” Bypassing the U.S. embassy altogether, the Naresuan Committee created a parallel, parastatal channel for U.S.–Thai governmental relations between OPC and Phao’s BPP:

Bird organized in 1950 a secret committee of leading military and political figures to develop an anticommunist strategy and, more importantly, lobby the United States for increased military assistance. The group, dubbed the Naresuan Committee, included police strongman Phao Sriyanon, Sarit Thanarat, Phin Choonhawan, Phao’s father-in-law, air force chief Fuen Ronnaphakat, and Bird’s [Anglo-Thai] brother-in-law, [air force colonel] Sitthi [Savetsila, later Thailand’s foreign minister for a decade]. . . . Bird and the generals established their committee to bypass the ambassador and . . . work through [Bird’s] old OSS buddies now employed by the CIA [sic, i.e., OPC].112

Thomas Lobe, ignoring Bird, writes that it was the “Thai military clique” who organized the committee. But from his own prose we learn that the initiative may have been neither theirs nor Bird’s alone but in implementation of a new strategy of support to the KMT in Burma, designed by the OPC and JCS in Washington:

A high-ranking U.S. military officer and a CIA [OPC] official came to Bangkok [in 1950] to review the political situation.113 . . . Through the “[Naresuan] Anti-Communist Committee,” secret negotiations ensued between Phao and the CIA [OPC]. The U.S. representative explained the need for a paramilitary force that could both defend Thai borders and cross over into Thailand’s neighbors— Vietnam, Laos, Burma, Cambodia, and China—for secret missions. . . . The CIA’s new police were to be special: an elite force outside the normal chain of command of both the Thai security bureaucracy and the TNPD [Thai National Police department]. Phao and Phibun agreed to this arrangement because of the increase in armed power that this new national police meant vis-à-vis the armed forces.114

This was in keeping with the JCS call in April 1950 for a new “program of special covert operations designed to interfere with Communist activities in Southeast Asia,” noting “the evidences of renewed vitality and apparent increased effectiveness of the Chinese Nationalist forces.”115

Action was taken immediately:

[Bird’s] CIA [i.e., OPC] contacts sent an observer to meet the committee and, impressed with the resolve the Thais manifested, got Washington to agree to a large covert assistance program. Because they considered the matter urgent, planners on both the Thai and American sides decided to forgo a formal agreement on the terms of the aid. Instead, Paul Helliwell, an OSS friend of Bird [from China] now practicing law in Florida [as well as military reserve officer and OPC operative], incorporated a dummy firm in Miami named the Sea (i.e. South-East Asia) Supply Company as a cover for the operation. The CIA [OPC], the agency on the American end responsible for the assistance, opened a Sea Supply office in Bangkok. . . . By the beginning of 1951, Sea Supply was receiving arms shipments for distribution. . . . The CIA [OPC] appointed Bird’s firm general agent for Sea Supply in Bangkok.116

Sea Supply’s arms from Bird soon reached not only the Thai police and BPP but also, starting in early 1951, the KMT 93rd Division in Burma, which was still supporting itself, as during the war, from the opium traffic.117 General Li Mi, the postwar commander of the 93rd Division, would consult with Bird and Phao in Bangkok about the arms that he needed for the KMT base at Mong Hsat in Burma and that had already begun to reach him months before the creation of the Bangkok Sea Supply office in January 1951.118 The airline supplying the KMT base at Mong Hsat in Burma from Bangkok was Helliwell’s other OPC proprietary, CAT Inc., which in 1959 changed its name to become the well-known Air America. The deliberately informal arrangement for Sea Supply served to mask the sensitive arms shipments to a KMT opium base.119

Air America U-10D Helio Courier aircraft in Laos on a covert mountaintop landing strip (LS) "Lima site"

In the complex legal takeover of Chennault’s airline, his assets developed into three separate components: planes (the Taiwanese civilian airline In the complex legal takeover of Chennault’s airline, his assets developed into three separate components: planes (the Taiwanese civilian airline Civil Air Transport or CATCL), pilots (later Air America), and ground-support operations (Air Asia). Of these the planes only 40 percent were owned by the CIA; the remaining 60 percent continued to be owned by KMT financiers (with alleged links to T.V. Soong and Mme. Chiang K ai-shek), who had relocated to Taiwan and were associated with the Kincheng Bank.120 The Kincheng Bank was under the control of the so-called Political Science Clique of the KMT, whose member Chen Yi was the first postwar KMT governor of Taiwan.121

The OPC’s organizational arrangements for its proprietary CAT, which left 60 percent of the company owning the CAT planes in KMT hands, guaranteed that CAT’s activities were immune to being reined in by Washington.122

In fact Helliwell, Bird, and Bird’s Thai brother-in-law Sitthi Savetsila all avoided the U.S. embassy and instead plotted strategy for the KMT armies at the Taiwanese embassy. There the real headquarters for Operation Paper was the private office of Taiwanese Defense Attaché Chen Zengshi, a graduate of China’s Whampoa Military Academy.123

Bird’s energetic promotion of Phao, precisely at a time when the U.S. embassy was trying to reduce Phao’s corrupt influence, led to a 1951 embassy memorandum of protest to Washington about Bird’s activities. “Why is this man Bird allowed to deal with the Police Chief [Phao]?” the memo asked.124 The question, for which there is no publicly recorded reply, was an urgent one. Bird’s backing of the so-called Coup Group (Phin Choonhavan, Phao Sriyanon, and Sarit Thanarat), reinforced by the obvious U.S. support for Bird through Operation Paper and Sea Supply, encouraged these military men, in their November 1951 “Silent Coup,” to defy Stanton, dissolve the Thai parliament, and replace the postwar Thai constitution with one based on the much more reactionary constitution of 1932.125

The KMT Drug Legacy for Southeast Asia

When the OPC airline CAT began its covert flights to Burma in the 1950s, the area produced about eighty tons of opium a year. In ten years’ time, production had at least quadrupled, and at one point during the Vietnam War, the output from the Golden Triangle reached 1,200 tons a year. By 1971, there were also at least seven heroin labs in the region, one of which, close to the CIA base of Ban Houei Sai in Laos, produced an estimated 3.6 tons of heroin a year.126

The end of the Vietnam War did not interrupt the flow of CIA-protected heroin to America from the KMT remnants of the former 93rd Division, now relocated in northern Thailand under Generals Li Wenhuan and Duan Xiwen (Tuan Hsi-wen). The two generals, by then officially integrated into the defense forces of Thailand, still enjoyed a special relationship to and protection from the CIA. With this protection, Li Wenhuan, from his base in Tam Ngob, became, according to James Mills, “one of the most powerful narcotics traffickers on earth . . . controlling the opium from which is refined a major percentage of heroin entering the United States.”127

From the very outset of Operation Paper, the consequences were felt in America itself. As I have shown elsewhere, most of the KMT-Thai opium and heroin was distributed in America by KMT-linked tongs with long-term ties to the American mafia.128 Thus, Anslinger’s rhetoric served to protect the primary organized crime networks distributing Asian narcotics in America. Far more than the CIA drug alliances in Europe, the CIA’s drug project in Asia contributed to the drug crisis that afflicted America during the Vietnam War and from which America still suffers. Furthermore, U.S. protection of leading KMT drug traffickers led to the neutralization of domestic drug enforcement at a high level. It has also inflicted decades of militarized oppression on the tribes of eastern Myanmar (Burma), perhaps the principal victims of this story.

By the end of 1951, Truman, convinced that the KMT forces in Burma were more of a threat to his containment policy than an asset, “had come to the conclusion that the irregulars had to be removed.”129 Direct U.S. support to Li Mi ended, forcing the KMT troops to focus even more actively on proceeds from opium, soon supplemented by profits from morphine labs as well. But nevertheless, in June 1952, as we shall see, 100 Thai graduates from the BPP training camp were in Burma training Li Mi’s troops in jungle warfare.130 After a skirmish in 1953, the Burma army recovered the corpses of three white men, with no identification except for some documents with addresses in Washington and New York.131Operation Paper was by now leading a life of its own, independent not just of Ambassador Stanton but even of the president.

A much-publicized evacuation of troops to Taiwan in 1953–1954 was a charade, despite five months of strenuous negotiations by William Donovan, by then Eisenhower’s ambassador in Thailand. Old men, boys, and hill tribesmen were airlifted by CAT from Thailand and replaced by fresh troops, new arms, and a new commander.132

The fiasco of Operation Paper led in 1952 to the final absorption of the OPC into the CIA. According to R. Harris Smith,

Bedell Smith . . . summoned the OPC’s Far East director, Richard Stilwell, and, in the words of an agency eyewitness, gave him such a “violent tongue lashing” that “the colonel went down the hall in tears.” . . . [T]he Burma debacle was the worst in a string of OPC affronts that confirmed his decision to abolish the office. In 1952 he merged the OPC with the CIA’s Office of Special Operations [to create a new Directorate of Plans].133

What precipitated this decision was an event remembered inside the agency as the “Thailand flap.” Its precise nature remains unknown, but central to it was a drugs-related in-house murder. Allen Dulles’s biographer recounts that in 1952 Walter Bedell Smith “had to send top officials of both clandestine branches [the CIA’s OSO and OPC] out to untangle a mess of opium trading under the cover of efforts to topple the Chinese communists.”134 (I heard from a former CIA officer that an OSO officer investigating drug flows through Thailand was murdered by an OPC officer.135) Years later, at a secret Council on Foreign Affairs meeting in 1968 to review official intelligence operations, former CIA officer Richard Bissell referred back to the CIA–OPC flap as “a total disaster organizationally.”136

But what was an organizational disaster may be seen as having benefited the political objectives of the wealthy New York Republicans in OPC (including Wisner, Fitzgerald, Burnham, and others) who constituted an overworld enclave committed to rollback inside the Truman establishment committed to containment. (Recall that Wisner had surrounded himself in the OPC with men who, in the words of Wisner’s ex-wife, “had money enough of their own to be able to come down” to Washington.137) This enclave was already experimenting with attempts to launch the rollback policy that Eisenhower and John Foster Dulles would call for in the 1952 election campaign.138

Truman, understandably and rightly, mistrusted this enclave of overworld Wall Street Republicans that the CIA and OPC had injected into his administration. The four directors Truman appointed to oversee central intelligence—Sidney Souers, Hoyt Vandenberg, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, and Walter Bedell Smith—were all from the military and all (like Truman himself) from the central United States.139 This was in striking contrast to the six known deputy directors below them, whose background was that of New York City or (in one case) Boston, law and/or finance, and (in all cases but one) the Social Register.140

But Bedell Smith, Truman’s choice to control the CIA, inadvertently set the stage for overworld triumph in the agency when, in January 1951, he brought in Allen Dulles (Wall Street Republican, Social Register, and OSS) “to control Frank Wisner.”141 And with the Republican election victory of 1952, Bedell Smith’s intentions in abolishing the OPC were completely reversed. Desmond Fitzgerald of the OPC, who had been responsible for the controversial Operation Paper, became chief of the CIA’s Far East Division.142 American arms and supplies continued to reach Li Mi’s troops, no longer directly from OPC but now indirectly through either the BPP in Thailand or the KMT in Taiwan.

The CIA support for Phao began to wane in 1955–1956, especially after a staged BPP seizure of twenty tons of opium on the Thai border was exposed by a dramatic story in the Saturday Evening Post.144 But the role of the BPP in the drug trade changed little, as is indicated in a recent report from the Asian Human Rights Commission in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, for at least seven years, the BPP would “capture” KMT opium in staged raids, and turn it over to the Thai Opium Monopoly. The “reward” for doing so, one-eighth the retail value, financed the BPP.143

The police force that exists in Thailand today is for all intents and purposes the same one that was built by Pol. Gen. Phao Sriyanond in the 1950s. . . . It took on paramilitary functions through new special units, including the border police. It ran the drug trade, carried out abductions and killings with impunity, and was used as a political base for Phao and his associates. Successive attempts to reform the police, particularly from the 1970s onwards, have all met with failure despite almost universal acknowledgment that something must be done.145

The last sentence could equally be applied to America with respect to the CIA’s involvement in the global drug connection.

Peter Dale Scott, a former Canadian diplomat and English Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, is the author of Drugs Oil and War, The Road to 9/11, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War. HisAmerican War Machine: Deep Politics, the CIA Global Drug Connection and the Road to Afghanistan from which the present article is excerpted, has just been published.

Recommended citation: Peter Dale Scott, "Operation Paper: The United States and Drugs in Thailand and Burma," The Asia-Pacific Journal, 44-2-10, November 1, 2010.


1 William O. Walker III, “Drug Trafficking in Asia,” Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 34, no. 3 (1992): 204.

2 William Peers [OSS/CIA] and Dean Brellis, Behind the Burma Road(Boston: Little, Brown, 1963), 64.

3 Burton Hersh, The Old Boys: The American Elite and the Origins of the CIA(New York: Scribner’s, 1992), 300.

4 Peter Dale Scott, “Mae Salong,” in Mosaic Orpheus (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009), 45.

5 Peter Dale Scott, “Wat Pa Nanachat,” in Mosaic Orpheus, 56.

6 Note Omitted.

7 I write about this practice in Drugs, Oil, and War: The United States in Afghanistan, Colombia, and Indochina (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003).

8 There are analogies also with the history of U.S. involvement in Iraq, though here the analogies are not so easily drawn. The most relevant point is that U.S. success in the defense of Kuwait during the 1990–1991 Gulf War once again produced internal pressures, dominated by the neoconservative clique and the Cheney–Rumsfeld–Project for the New American Century cabal, which ultimately pushed the United States into another rollback campaign, the current invasion of Iraq itself.

9 G. William Skinner, Chinese Society in Thailand: An Analytical History(Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1957), 166–67; Alfred W. McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade (Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books/Chicago Review Press, 2003), 101; Bertil Lintner, Blood Brothers: The Criminal Underworld of Asia (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 234.

10 Carl A. Trocki, “Drugs, Taxes, and Chinese Capitalism in Southeast Asia,” in Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952, ed. Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 99.

11 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 102; James C. Ingram, Economic Change in Thailand, 1850–1970 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1971), 177.

12 Skinner, Chinese Society in Thailand, 166–67, 236–44, 264–65.

13 Cf. Robert Maule, “British Policy Discussions on the Opium Question in the Federated Shan States, 1937–1948,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 33 (June 2002): 203–24.

14 One often reads that the Northern Army invasion of the Shan states was in support of the Japanese invasion of Burma. In fact, the Japanese army (which may have had its own designs on Shan opium) refused for some months to allow the Thai army to move until the refusal was overruled for political reasons by officials in Tokyo. See E. Bruce Reynolds, Thailand and Japan’s Southern Advance: 1940–1945 (New York: St. Martin’s, 1994), 115–17.

15 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 105. Cf. E. Bruce Reynolds, “‘International Orphans’—The Chinese in Thailand during World War II,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 28 (September 1997): 365–88: “In an effort to distance himself from the Japanese, Premier Phibun initiated secret contacts with Nationalist China through the Thai army in the Shan States and developed a scheme to transfer the capital to the northern town of Petchabun with the idea of ultimately turning against the Japanese and linking up militarily with Nationalist China.” Under orders from Thai Premier Phibun, rapprochement of the Northern Army in Kengtung with the KMT began in January 1943 with a symbolic release of prisoners followed by a cease fire (“Thailand and the Second World War”).

16 E. Bruce Reynolds, Thailand’s Secret War: The Free Thai, OSS, and SOE during World War II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 170–71.

17 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 162–63, citing Archimedes L. A. Patti, Why Vietnam (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980), 216–17, 265, 354–55, 487. Lung Yun’s son, Lung Shing, denied to James Mills that his father was a smuggler: “My family’s been painted as the biggest drug runner. This is nonsense. The government in the old days put a tax on opium, which is true. It’s been doing that for the past hundred years. You can’t pin it on my family for that” (James Mills, The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace [New York: Dell, 1986], 737).

18 The directions given by Washington to the OSS mission were to establish contact with Phibun’s political enemy, Pridi Phanomyong. However, the mission’s leader, Khap Kunchon, was secretly a Phibun loyalist with a history of sensitive missions, and this complication helps to explain Khap’s motive and success in promoting the Thai–KMT talks (Nigel J. Brailey, Thailand and the Fall of Singapore: A Frustrated Asian Revolution [Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1986], 100).

19 Judith A. Stowe, Siam Becomes Thailand: A Story of Intrigue (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1991), 282. The border itself, a product of Sino–British negotiations in the nineteenth century, was an artifact, dividing the historically connected principalities of the Thai Lü in Sipsongpanna (southern Yunnan) from those of the Thai Yai (Shans) in Burma (Stephen Sparkes and Signe Howell, The House in Southeast Asia: A Changing Social, Economic and Political Domain [London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2003], 134; Janet C. Sturgeon,Border Landscapes: The Politics of Akha Land Use in China and Thailand [Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005], 82).

20 Stowe, Siam Becomes Thailand, 282–83. I have discovered no indication as to whether Nicol Smith, the American leader of the OSS mission, was aware of the implications of the talks for the future of the Shan opium trade.

21 Reynolds, Thailand’s Secret War, 171, 175–76.

22 Reynolds, Thailand’s Secret War, 171; Brailey, Thailand and the Fall of Singapore, 100; Maochun Yu, OSS in China: Prelude to Cold War (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996), 117; John B. Haseman, The Thai Resistance Movement (Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 2002), 62–63; Stowe, Siam Becomes Thailand, 282; Nicol Smith and Blake Clark, Into Siam: Underground Kingdom(Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1946), 146. According to Smith, General Lu himself took responsibility for delivering a message from OSS promising amnesty to the Northern Army; according to Haseman, the letter “was delivered to front-line Thai positions, who passed it in turn to Sawaeng [Thappasut, a former student of Khap’s], MG Han [Songkhram], LTG Chira [Wichitsongkhram], and to Marshal Phibul.”

23 Miles, Donovan’s first OSS chief for China, became more and more closely allied with the controversial Tai Li in a semiautonomous network, SACO. In December 1943 Donovan, alerted to the situation, replaced Miles as OSS China chief with Colonel John Coughlin (Richard Harris Smith, OSS: The Secret History of America’s First Central Intelligence Agency [Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972], 246–58).

24 Reynolds, Thailand’s Secret War, 191–92, citing documents of September 1944, cf. 175; Stowe, Siam Becomes Thailand, 270.

25 Cf. Jonathan Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Secu- rity, 1940–52,” in Drug Control Policy: Essays in Historical and Comparative Perspective, ed. William O. Walker III (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992), 96: “Americans . . . knew that [Tai Li’s] agents protected Tu’s huge opium convoys”; Douglas Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of America’s War on Drugs (London: Verso, 2004), 47: “It was an open secret that Tai Li’s agents escorted opium caravans from Yunnan to Saigon and used Red Cross operations as a front for selling opium to the Japanese.”

26 After the final KMT defeat of 1949, the 93rd Division received other remnants from the KMT 8th and 26th Armies and a new commander, General Li Mi of the KMT Eighth Army (Bertil Lintner, Burma in Revolt: Opium and Insurgency since 1948 [Chiang Mai: Silkworm Books, 1999], 111–15).

27 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 106, 188–91, 415–20.

28 Thomas Lobe, United States National Security Policy and Aid to the Thailand Police (Denver: Graduate School of International Studies, University of Denver, 1977), 27.

29 Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 192.

30 Lintner, Blood Brothers, 241–44. After Sarit died in 1963, Chin was able to return to Thailand.

31 William Stevenson, The Revolutionary King: The True-Life Sequel to The King and I (London: Constable and Robinson, 2001), 4, 162, 195. The king personally translated Stevenson’s biography of Sir William Stephenson into Thai.

32 Anthony Cave Brown, The Last Hero: Wild Bill Donovan (New York: Times Books, 1982), 797; Stevenson, The Revolutionary King, 162. In 1970, Thompson’s biographer, William Warren, described the funding of Thompson’s company in some detail but made no reference to the WCC (William Warren, Jim Thompson: The Unsolved Mystery [Singapore: Archipelago Press, 1998], 66–67). Former CIA officer Richard Harris Smith wrote that Thompson was later “frequently reported to have CIA connections” (Smith, OSS, 313n). Joe Trento, without citing any sources, places Jim Thompson at the center of this chapter’s narrative: “Jim Thompson . . . (who in fact was a CIA officer) had recruited General Phao, head of the Thai police, to accept the KMT army’s drugs for distribution” (Joseph J. Trento, The Secret History of the CIA [New York: Random House/Forum, 2001], 346). Thompson disappeared mysteriously in Malaysia in 1967; his sister, who investigated the disappearance, was brutally murdered in America a few months later.

33 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 155. Helliwell in Kunming used opium, which was in effect the local hard currency, to purchase intelligence (Wall Street Journal, April 18, 1980).

34 Sterling Seagrave, The Marcos Dynasty (New York: Harper and Row, 1988), 361.

35 John Loftus and Mark Aarons, The Secret War against the Jews (New York: St. Martin’s, 1994), 110–11.

36 The best evidence of this, the M-fund reported on by Chalmers Johnson, is discussed in the next chapter. Cf. Sterling and Peggy Seagrave, Gold Warriors: America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold (London: Verso, 2003), 3. The Seagraves link Helliwell to the movement of Japanese gold out of the Philippines, and they suggest, by hearsay but without evidence, that both Sea Supply Inc. and Civil Air Transport were thus funded (147–48, 152). Although many of their startling allegations are beyond my competence to assess or even believe, there are at least two that I have verified from my own research. I am persuaded that in the first postwar months when the United States was already supporting and using the SS war criminal Klaus Barbie, the operation was paid by SS funds. And I have seen secret documentary proof that a large sum of gold was indeed later deposited in a Swiss bank account in the name of a famous Southeast Asian leader, as claimed by the Seagraves.

37 Leonard Slater, The Pledge (New York: Pocket Books, 1971), 175. An attorney once made the statement that Burton Kanter (Helliwell’s partner in the money-laundering Castle Bank) “was introduced to Helliwell by General William J. Donovan. . . . Kanter denied that. ‘I personally never met Donovan. I believe I may have spoken to him once at Paul Helliwell’s request’” (Pete Brewton, The Mafia, CIA and George Bush [New York: S.P.I. Books, 1992], 296).

38 In the course of Operation Safehaven, the U.S. Third Army took an SS major “on several trips to Italy and Austria, and, as a result of these preliminary trips, over $500,000 in gold, as well as jewels, were recovered” (Anthony Cave Brown, The Secret War Report of the OSS [New York: Berkeley, 1976], 565–66).

39 Amy B. Zegart, Flawed by Design: The Evolution of the CIA, JCS, and NSC(Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), 189, citing Christopher Andrew,For the President’s Eyes Only (New York: HarperCollins, 1995), 172; see also U.S. Congress, Senate, 94th Cong., 2nd sess., Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Final Report, April 26, 1976, Senate Report No. 94-755, 28–29.

40 Stevenson, The Revolutionary King, 50. Douglas Valentine claims that in mid-1947, Donovan intervened in Bangkok politics to resolve a conflict between the police and the army over the opium traffic. In 1947, Donovan was a registered foreign agent for the civilian Thai government, representing them in negotiations over the post-war border with French Indochina. Valentine reports that in mid-1947, “Donovan traveled to Bangkok to unite the squabbling factions in a strategic alliance against the Communists” and that the KMT businessmen in Bangkok who managed the flow of narcotics from Thailand to Hong Kong and Macao “benefited greatly from Donovan’s intervention” (Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 70). He notes also that “by mid-1947 Kuomintang narcotics were reaching America through Mexico.” What actually happened in November 1947 in Thailand was the ousting of Pridi’s civilian government in a military coup. Soon afterward the first of Thailand’s postwar military dictators, Phibun, took office. Not long after Phibun’s accession, Thailand quietly abandoned the antiopium campaign announced in 1948, whereby all opium smoking would have ended by 1953 (Francis W. Belanger, Drugs, the U.S., and Khun Sa [Bangkok: Editions Duang Kamol, 1989], 75–90).

41 Stevenson, The Revolutionary King, 50–51.

42 William O. Walker III, Opium and Foreign Policy: The Anglo-American Search for Order in Asia, 1912–1954 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 184–85, citing letters from Bird, April 5, 1948, and Donovan, April 14, 1948 (Donovan Papers, box 73a, Military History Institute, U.S. Army, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania).

43 Paul M. Handley, The King Never Smiles: A Biography of Thailand’s Bhumipol Adulyadej (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006), 105.

44 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 185.

45 Foreign Relations of the United States, 1949–1951 (hereinafter FRUS) (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office), vol. 6, 40–41; memo of March 9, 1950, from Dean Acheson, secretary of state.

46 FRUS, 1952–1954, vol. 12, 651, memo of October 7, 1952, from Edwin M. Martin, special assistant to the secretary for mutual security affairs, to John H. Ohly, assistant director for program, Office of the Director of Mutual Security (emphasis added).

47 Shortly before his dismissal on April 11, 1951, MacArthur in Tokyo issued a statement calling for a “decision by the United Nations to depart from its tolerant effort to contain the war to the area of Korea, through an expansion of our military operations to its coastal areas and interior bases [to] doom Red China to risk the imminent military collapse” (Lintner, Blood Brothers, 237).

48 Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, vol. 2 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990). Donovan in this period became vice chairman of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding Anti-Communist China.

49 Martha Byrd, Chennault: Giving Wings to the Tiger (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1987), 325–28; William M. Leary, Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia, 1946–1955 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1984), 67–68; Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 2.

50 Jack Samson, Chennault, 62.

51 John Prados, Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006), 125. Cf. Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2000: “Newly declassified U.S. intelligence files tell the remarkable story of the ultra-secret Insurance Intelligence Unit, a component of the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the CIA, and its elite counterintelligence branch X-2. Though rarely numbering more than a half dozen agents, the unit gathered intelligence on the enemy’s insurance industry, Nazi insurance titans and suspected collaborators in the insurance business. . . . The men behind the insurance unit were OSS head William “Wild Bill” Donovan and California-born insurance magnate Cornelius V. Starr. Starr had started out selling insurance to Chinese in Shanghai in 1919. . . . Starr sent insurance agents into Asia and Europe even before the bombs stopped falling and built what eventually became AIG, which today has its world headquarters in the same downtown New York building where the tiny OSS unit toiled in the deepest secrecy.”

52 Peter Dale Scott, The War Conspiracy: JFK, 9/11, and the Deep Politics of War (Ipswich, MA: Mary Ferrell Foundation Press, 2008), 46–47, 263–64. William Youngman, Corcoran’s law partner and a key member of Chennault’s support team in Washington during and after the war, was by 1960 president of a C. V. Starr company in Saigon.

53 Smith, OSS, 267.

54 Smith, OSS, 267n.

55 It is possible that other backers of the Chennault Plan allied themselves, like Helliwell, with organized crime. In those early postwar years, one of the C. V. Starr companies, U.S. Life, was the recipient of dubious Teamster insurance contracts through the intervention of the mob-linked business agents Paul and Allan Dorfman (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 197; Scott, The War Conspiracy, 279). One of the principal supporters of Chennault’s airline on the U.S. West Coast, Dr. Margaret Chung, was suspected of drug trafficking after her frequent trips to Mexico City with Virginia Hill, a courier for Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Siegel. See Ed Reid, The Mistress and the Mafia: The Virginia Hill Story (New York: Bantam, 1972), 42, 90; Peter Dale Scott, “Opium and Empire: McCoy on Heroin in Southeast Asia,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, September 1973, 49–56.

56 Ronald Shelp with Al Ehrbar, Fallen Giant: The Amazing Story of Hank Greenberg and the History of AIG (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2006), 60.

57 Encyclopaedia Britannica. The money splashed around in Washington by the “China Lobby” was attributed at the time chiefly to the wealthy linen and lace merchant Joseph Kohlberg, the so-called China Lobby man. But it has often been suspected that he was fronting for others.

58 Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 111–14. As early as 1950, Ting was also actively promoting the concept of an Anti-Communist League to support KMT resistance (134, 234). The KMT’s ensuing Asian Peoples’ Anti-Communist League (later known as the World Anti-Communist League) became intimately involved with support for the KMT troops in Burma. In 1971 the chief Laotian delegate to the World Anti-Communist League, Prince Sopsaisana, was detained with sixty kilos of top-grade heroin in his luggage (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 163, 194–95).

59 MacArthur advised the State Department in 1949 that the United States should place “500 fighter planes in the hands of some ‘war horse’ similar to Chennault” and further support the KMT with U.S. volunteers (memo of conversation, September 5, 1949, FRUS, 1949, vol. 9, 544–46; Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 103; Byrd, Chennault, 344). Chennault in turn told Senator Knowland that Congress should ap- point MacArthur a supreme commander for the entire Far East.

60 Donovan suggested that Chennault become minister of defense in a reconstituted KMT government. At some point Chennault and Donovan met privately with Willoughby in Japan (Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 513).

61 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 260; Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 133.

62 Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 119–21, 796; James Burnham,The Coming Defeat of Communism (New York: John Day, 1951), 256–66.

63 David McKean, Peddling Influence: Thomas “Tommy the Cork” Corcoran and the Birth of Modern Lobbying (Hanover, NH: Steerforth, 2004), 216.

64 Hersh, The Old Boys, 299.

65 McKean, Peddling Influence, 216; Christopher Robbins, Air America(New York: Putnam’s, 1979), 48–49, 56–57, 70; Byrd, Chennault, 333; Alan A. Block, Masters of Paradise: Organized Crime and the Internal Revenue Service in the Bahamas (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1991), 169.

66 Curtis Peebles, Twilight Warriors: Covert Air Operations against the USSR(Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005), 88–89.

67 William R. Corson, The Armies of Ignorance: The Rise of the American Intelligence Empire (New York: Dial Press/James Wade, 1977), 320–21.

68 Hersh, The Old Boys, 284. Cf. Samuel Halpern (a former CIA officer) in Ralph S. Weber, Spymasters: Ten CIA Officers in Their Own Words (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1999), 117: “Bedell suddenly said, ‘They’re under my command.’ . . . He did it, and he did it in the first seven days of his tenure as DCI [director of the CIA].”

69 Corson, The Armies of Ignorance, 319; Daniel Fineman, A Special Relationship: The United States and Military Government in Thailand, 1947–1958 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1997), 137; Henry G. Gole, General William E. DePuy: Preparing the Army for Modern War (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2008), 80: “CIA Director Walter Bedell Smith opposed the plan, but President Truman approved it, overruled the Director, and ordered the strictest secrecy about it.”

70 Victor S. Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle: The United States, Taiwan and the 93rd Nationalist Division,” China Quarterly, no. 166 (June 2001): 441, citing Memorandum, Bradley to Secretary of Defense, April 10, 1950, and Annex to NSC 48/3, “United States Objectives, Policies, and Courses of Action in Asia,” May 2, 1951. President’s Secretary’s File, National Security File—Meetings, box 212, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Missouri. Cf. Sam Halpern, in Weber, Spymasters, 119: “The Pentagon came up with this bright plan, as I understand it; at least, I was told this by my [CIA/OSO] boss, Lloyd George, who was Chief of the Far East Division at the time.”

71 Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle,” 442–43; Fineman, A Special Relationship, 141–42.

72 Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle,” 443: “Whether . . . Secretary of State Dean Acheson . . . knew of Operation Paper is uncertain. Acheson was present at discussions regarding the use of covert operations against China. . . . Yet since mid-1950, the secretary of state had been working to remove the irregulars. Therefore, either Acheson knew of the operation and did not inform his subordinates, or he too did not have the entire picture.” In apparent contradiction, William Walker writes that “Acheson had participated from the start in the decision-making process relating to NSC 48/5, so he was familiar with the discussions about using covert operations against China’s southern flank” (Opium and Foreign Policy, 203). But NSC 48/5, primarily a policy paper on Korea, dates from May 17, 1951, half a year later.

73 Leary, Perilous Missions, 116–17.

74 Lintner, Blood Brothers, 237, citing MacArthur on March 21, 1951, in Robert H. Taylor, Foreign and Domestic Consequences of the Kuomintang Intervention in Burma (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, Data Paper no. 93, 1973), 42; Chennault on April 23, 1958, in U.S. Congress, House Committee on Un-American Activities, International Communism (Communist Encroachment in the Far East), “Consultations with Maj.-Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, United States Army,” 85th Cong., 2nd sess., 9–10.

75 Leary, Perilous Missions, 129–30. Leary states that U.S. personnel delivered the arms only as far as northern Thailand, with the last leg of delivery handled by the Thai Border Police. But there are numerous contemporary reports of U.S. personnel at Mong Hsat in Burma who helped unload the planes and reload them with opium (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 60; Corson, The Armies of Ignorance, 320–22). Lintner reproduces a photograph of three American civilians who were killed in action with the KMT in Burma in 1953 (Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 168). On April 1, 1953, the Rangoon Nation reported a captured letter from Major General Li’s headquarters, discussing “European instructors for the training of students.”

76 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 169–71; Lintner, Blood Brothers, 238. Despite this military fiasco, the KMT troops contributed to the survival of noncommunist Chinese communities in Southeast Asia both by serving as a protective shield and by sustaining the traditional social fabric of drug-financed KMT Triads in Southeast Asia. See McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 185–86; Scott,Drugs, Oil, and War, 60, 192–93.

77 Donald F. Cooper, Thailand: Dictatorship of Democracy? (Montreux: Minerva Press, 1995), 120.

78 E.g., McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 165–69. Cf. Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (New York: Doubleday, 2007), 60: “The final theater for the CIA in the Korean War lay in Burma. In early 1951, as the Chinese Communists chased General MacArthur’s troops south, the Pentagon thought the Chinese Nationalists could take some pressure off MacArthur by opening a second front. . . . The CIA began [sic] flying Chinese Nationalist soldiers into Thailand . . . and dropping them along with pallets of guns and ammunition into northern Burma.” Cf. Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 200: “Some aid was already reaching KMT forces in Burma . . . months before the January 1951 NSC meeting.”

79 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 289n25.

80 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 137.

81 U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Narcotics, Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1949), 13; (1950), 3; (1954), 12. Through the same decade, the FBN, by direction of the U.S. State Department, acknowledged to UN Narcotics Conferences that Thailand was a source for opium and heroin reaching the United States (Scott,Drugs, Oil, and War, 191, 203, citing UN Documents E/CN.7/213, E/CN.7/283, 22, and E/CN.7//303/Rev.1, 34; cf. Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 201 [State Department]). When the FBN Traffic in Opium reports began to acknowledge Thai drug seizures again in 1962, the Kennedy administration had already initiated serious efforts to remove the bulk of the KMT troops from the region (Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle,” 452).

82 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 206, cf. 213–15. Cf. also Valentine,The Strength of the Wolf, 133, 150–52. Anslinger was not alone in blaming heroin flows on mainland China. He was joined in the attack by two others with CIA connections: Edward Hunter (a veteran of OSS China and OPC who in turn was fed information regularly by Chennault) and Richard L. G. Deverall of the American Federation of Labor’s Free Trade Union Committee (under the CIA’s labor asset Jay Lovestone).

83 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 7, 60–61, 198, 207, citing Penny Lernoux, In Banks We Trust (Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday, 1984), 42–44, 84.

84 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 215.

85 I explore this question in Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 60–64.

86 Gole, General William E. DePuy, 80.

87 Chennault himself was investigated for such smuggling activities, “but no official action was taken because he was politically untouchable” (Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52,” 92); cf. Barbara Tuchman, Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911–1945, 7–78; Paul Frillmann and Graham Peck, China: The Remembered Life (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968), 152.

88 Corson, The Armies of Ignorance, 322.

89 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 71, quoting Reid, The Mistress and the Mafia, 42.

90 Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52,” 98, citing OSS CID 126155, April 19, 1945.

91 Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52.”

92 Andrew Forbes and David Henley, The Haw: Traders of the Golden Triangle (Bangkok: Teak House, 1997).

93 Cooper, Thailand, 116.

94 Wen-chin Chang, “Identification of Leadership among the KMT Yunnanese Chinese in Northern Thailand, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 33 (2002): 125. Chang calls this name “a popular misnomer” on the grounds that the KMT villages have been expanding and “slowly casting off their former military legacy.”

95 Taylor, Foreign and Domestic Consequences of the Kuomintang Intervention in Burma, 10.

96 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 162–63.

97 Sucheng Chan, Hmong Means Free: Life in Laos and America(Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994), 1942; cf. John T. McAlister, Viet Nam: The Origins of Revolution (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1971), 228; Scott,The War Conspiracy, 267.

98 Timothy Brook and Bob Tadashi Wakabayashi, eds., Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839–1952 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000), 261–79; Jonathan Marshall, “Opium and the Politics of Gangsterism in Nationalist China, 1927–1945,” Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars, July–September 1976, 19–48; Laura Tyson Li, Madame Chiang Kai-shek: China’s Eternal First Lady (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), 107, citing Nelson T. Johnson to Stanley K. Hornbeck, May 31, 1934, box 23, Johnson Papers, Library of Congress.

99 In global surveys of the opium traffic, one regularly reads of the importance of Teochew (Chiu chau) triads in the postwar Thai drug milieu (e.g., Martin Booth, Dragon Syndicates: The Global Phenomenon of the Triads [New York: Carroll and Graf, 1999], 176–77; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 389, 396). Although triads are central to trafficking in Hong Kong, and today possibly inside China, I question whether the Teochew in Thailand, although they certainly are prominent in the drug trade there, are still as dominated by triads as they were before World War II. Cf. Skinner, Chinese Society in Thailand, 264–67.

100 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 14, citing Melvin L. Hanks, NARC: The Adventures of a Federal Agent (New York: Hastings House, 1973), 37, 162–66; Brook and Wakabayashi, Opium Regimes, 263. For an overview of U.S. knowledge of KMT drug trafficking, see Marshall, “Opium and the Politics of Gangsterism in Nationalist China, 1927–1945.”

101 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 72–73, citing Terry A. Talent report of November 15, 1946; Douglas Clark Kinder and William O. Walker III, “Stable Force in a Storm: Harry J. Anslinger and United States Narcotics Policy, 1930–1962,” Journal of American History, March 1986, 919.

102 Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 77.

103 Victor S. Kaufman, Confronting Communism: U.S. and British Policies toward China (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001), 20–21.

104 Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, 508–25; Robert Accinelli, Crisis and Commitment: United States Policy toward Taiwan, 1950–1955 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 271–72; Ross Y. Koen, The China Lobby in American Politics (New York: Harper and Row, 1974), 46, 48–51. Elsewhere I have described Commerce International China as a subsidiary of the WCC. Since then, I have learned that it was a firm founded in Shanghai in 1930. I now doubt the alleged WCC connection. Later, Fassoulis was indicted in a huge organized crime conspiracy to defraud banks in a stock swindle (New York Times, September 12, 1969; Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK[Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998], 168–69, 178). By 2005, Fassoulis was worth $150 million as chairman and CEO of CIC International, the successor to Commerce International China; his company, now supplying the U.S. armed services, was predicted to do $870 million of business (“The 50 Wealthiest Greeks in America,” National Herald, March 29, 2008). There have been speculations that the “U.S. Central Intelligence Agency . . . may actually support CIC International, Ltd. so it remains in business as one of its many brokers for arms, technology components, logistics on transactions significant to intelligence operations” (Paul Collin, “Global Economic Brinkmanship”).

105 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 188.

106 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 185.

107 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 192–93. Anslinger’s protection of the KMT traffic had the additional consequence of strengthening and protecting pro-KMT tongs in America. In 1959, when a pro-KMT Hip Sing tong network distributing drugs was broken up in San Francisco, a leading FBN official with OSS–CIA connections, George White, blamed the drug shipment on communist China while allowing the ringleader to escape to Taiwan (Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 63; Valentine, The Strength of the Wolf, 195).

108 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 214.

109 Joe Studwell, Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2007), 95–96.

110 J. W. Cushman, “The Khaw Group: Chinese Business in Early Twentieth- Century Penang,” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 17 (1986): 58; cf. Trocki, “Drugs, Taxes, and Chinese Capitalism in Southeast Asia,” 99–100.

111 Marshall, “Opium, Tungsten, and the Search for National Security, 1940–52,” 106. The KMT obtained the tungsten from Karen rebels controlling a major mine at Mawchj in exchange for modern arms provided by the CIA.

112 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 133, 153. Bird at the time was a “private aviation contractor” (McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 168), and aviation was the key to the BPP strategy of defending the Thai frontier because the Thai road system was still primitive in the border areas. Because Bird included in this committee his brother-in-law, Air Force Colonel Sitthi Savetsila, Sitthi became one of Phao’s closest aides-de-camp and his translator. In the 1980s he served for a decade as foreign minister in the last Thai military government.

113 I have not been able to establish the identity of this OPC officer. One possibility is Desmond Fitzgerald, who became the overseer and champion of Sea Supply, Operation Paper, the BPP, and (still to be discussed) PARU. Another possibility is Paul Helliwell.

114 Lobe, United States National Security Policy and Aid to the Thailand Police, 19–20.

115 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 137; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 165.

116 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 134, emphasis added.

117 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 168–69: Sherman Joost, the OPC officer who headed Sea Supply in Bangkok, “had led Kachin guerrillas in Burma during the war as a commander of OSS Detachment 101.”

118 Walker, Opium and Foreign Policy, 200, 205.

119 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 168.

120 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 187–89, 201–2; Robbins, Air America, 48–49, 56–57, 70; Leary, Perilous Missions, 110–12.

121 Chen Han-Seng, “Monopoly and Civil War in China,” Institute of Pacific Relations, Far Eastern Survey 15, no. 20 (October 9, 1946): 308.

122 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 187–89. CAT was not the only airline supplying Li Mi. There was also Trans-Asiatic Airlines, described as “a CIA outfit operating along the Burma-China border against the People’s Republic of China” and based in Manila (Roland G. Simbulan, “The CIA in Manila,” Nathan Hale Institute for Intelligence and Military Affairs, August 18, 2000). On April 10, 1948, an operating agreement was signed in Thailand between the new Thai government of Phibun and Trans-Asiatic Airlines (Siam) Limited (Far Eastern Economic Review 35 [1962]: 329). Note that this was two months before NSC 10/2 formally directed the CIA to conduct “covert” rather than merely “psychological” operations and five months before the creation of the OPC in September 1948.

123 Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 146.

124 FRUS, 1951, , vol. 6, pt. 2, 1634; Fineman, A Special Relationship, 150–51. The memo described Bird as “the character who handed over a lot of military equipment to the Police, without any authorization as far as I can determine, and whose status with CAS [local CIA] is ambiguous, to say the least.”

125 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 133, 153. Handley’s otherwise well-informed account wholly ignores Bird’s role in preparing for the coup (The King Never Smiles, 113–15).

126 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 40, citing McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 162, 286–87. McCoy’s estimate of the KMT’s impact on expanding production is ex- tremely conservative. According to Bertil Lintner, the foremost authority on the Shan states of Burma, “The annual production increased from a mere 30 tons at the time of independence [1945] to 600 tons in the mid-1950s” (Bertil Lintner, “Heroin and Highland Insurgency,” in War on Drugs: Studies in the Failure of U.S. Narcotics Policy, ed. Alfred W. McCoy and Alan A. Block [Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992], 288). Furthermore, the KMT exploitation of the Shan states led thousands of hill tribesmen to flee to northern Thailand, where opium production also increased.

127 Mills, Underground Empire, 789. Mills also quotes General Tuan as saying that the Thai Border Police “were totally corrupt and responsible for transportation of narcotics.” Mills comments, “This was of some interest, since the BPP, a CIA creation, was known to be controlled by SRF, the Bangkok CIA station” (Mills, Underground Empire, 780). For details on the CIA–BPP relationship in the 1980s, see Valentine’s account (from Drug Enforcement Administration sources), The Strength of the Pack, 254–55.

128 Scott, Drugs, Oil, and War, 62–63, 193.

129 Kaufman, “Trouble in the Golden Triangle,” 443.

130 Fineman, A Special Relationship, 141.

131 Rangoon Nation, March 30, 1953; Cooper, Thailand, 123; McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 174; Lintner, Burma in Revolt, 139.

132 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 174–76; Leary, Perilous Missions, 195–96; Lintner, Blood Brothers, 238; Life, December 7, 1953, 61.

133 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 177–78.

134 Peter Grose, Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles (Boston: Richard Todd/ Houghton Mifflin, 1994), 324.

135 According to McCoy (The Politics of Heroin, 178), a CAT pilot named Jack Killam “was murdered in 1951 after an opium deal went wrong and was buried in an unmarked grave by CIA [i.e., OPC] agent Sherman Joost”—the head of Sea Supply. Joseph Trento, citing CIA officer Robert Crowley, gives the almost certainly bowd-lerized version that two “drunk and violent” CAT pilots “shot it out in Bangkok” (Trento, The Secret History of the CIA, 347). According to William Corson, “Several theories have been advanced by those familiar with the Killam case to suggest that the trafficking in drugs in Southeast Asia was used by the CIA as a self-financing device to pay for services and persons whose hire would not have been approved in Washington . . . or that it amounted to the actions of ‘rogue’ intelligence agents” (Corson, The Armies of Ignorance, 323). One consequence of these intrigues was that, as we have seen, OPC was abolished. At this time OPC Far East Director Richard Stilwell was rebuked severely by CIA Director Bedell Smith and transferred to the military. In the Pentagon, “by the end of 1981, Stilwell was running one of the most secret operations of the government” in conjunction with ex-CIA officer Theodore Shackley, a protégé of Stilwell’s former OPC deputy, Desmond Fitzgerald (Joseph J. Trento, Prelude to Terror: The Rogue CIA and the Legacy of America’s Private Intelligence Network [New York: Carroll and Graf, 2005], 213). Stilwell was advising on the creation of the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command.

136 Marchetti and Marks, CIA and the Cult, 383.

137 Hersh, The Old Boys, 301, quoting Polly (Mrs. Clayton) Fritchey. Other men prominent in the cabal responsible for Operation Paper were also Republican activists. One was Paul Helliwell, who became very prominent in Florida Republican Party politics, thanks in part to funds he received from Thailand as the Thai consul general in Miami. Harry Anslinger was a staunch Republican and owed his appointment as the first director of the FBN to his marriage to a niece of the Republican Party magnate (and Treasury Secretary) Andrew Mellon (Valentine,The Strength of the Wolf, 16). Donovan, married to a New York heiress and an OPC consultant in the late Truman years, had a lifelong history of activism in New York Republican Party politics.

138 A perhaps unanswerable deep historical question is whether some of these men, and especially Helliwell, were aware that KMT profits from the revived drug traffic out of Burma were funding the China Lobby’s heavy attack on the Truman administration in general and on Dean Acheson and George C. Marshall in particular. (We shall see that in the later 1950s, Donovan and Helliwell received funds from Phao Sriyanon for the lobbying of Congress, supplanting those of the moribund China Lobby. Cf. Fineman, A Special Relationship, 214–15.) Citing John Loftus and others, Anthony Summers has written that Allen Dulles, before joining the CIA, had contributed to the young Richard Nixon’s first election campaign and possibly had also supplied him with the explosive information that made Nixon famous: that former State Department officer Alger Hiss had known the communist Whittaker Chambers (Anthony Summers with Robbyn Swann, The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon [New York: Viking, 2000], 62–63).

139 Sydney Souers (the first director, Central Intelligence Group, 1946) was born in Dayton, Ohio. Hoyt Vandenberg (director, Central Intelligence Group, 1946–1947) was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Roscoe Hillenkoetter (the third and first director of the CIA, 1947–1949) was born in St. Louis. Walter Bedell Smith (the fourth director of the CIA, 1949–1953) was born in Indianapolis.

140 For the details, see Scott, The War Conspiracy, 261. The one from Boston, Robert Amory, was no less Social Register, and his brother, Cleveland Amory, wrote a best-seller, Who Killed Society, 1960).

141 Weiner, Legacy of Ashes, 52–53. It may be relevant that Bedell Smith himself was a right-wing Republican who reportedly once told Eisenhower that Nelson Rockefeller “was a Communist” (Smith, OSS, 367).

142 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 165–78; cf. Trento, The Secret History of the CIA, 71.

143 McCoy, The Politics of Heroin, 184.

144 Darrell Berrigan, “They Smuggle Drugs by the Ton,” Saturday Evening Post, May 5, 1956, 42.

145 “Thailand: Not Rogue Cops but a Rogue System,” a statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission, AHRC-STM-031-2008, January 31, 2008.

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Ramzan Kadyrov satisfied over arrest of terrorist suspects in Europe

Ramzan Kadyrov satisfied over arrest of terrorist suspects in Europe

GROZNY, November 27 (Itar-Tass) — The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, is satisfied over the recent arrest in Europe of several suspected terrorists. He has called it a good sign.

"We have repeatedly said that in western countries there operate different groups and organizations that recruit young people with the aim to convert them into terrorists. We have kept saying that some of these eventually make their way to the territory of Chechnya to sow death here and to bring grief and suffering for the people. But those words of ours were left without an adequate response," he told reporters in Grozny on Friday.

"Maybe now, at last (after the arrests – Itar-Tass) they will deal with this issue thoroughly, and close down the variety of foundations and organizations that recruit and train terrorists, wherever these may be trying to stage bomb attacks," Kadyrov said. "Also, it would be very nice, if they stop furnishing moral support for the various illegal armed groups and stop calling thugs and criminals political immigrants,” Kadyrov said.

According to official statistics, the Chechen Republic has been a scene for the operation of terrorists from 51 countries.

"International terrorism has declared war on Russia. But the federal center and the Chechen people, headed by the first president of the Chechen Republic, Akhmad-Hadji Kadyrov, managed to defeat this international terrorist conspiracy," Kadyrov stressed.

On November 23 a joint European anti-terrorism raid, which took place in Antwerp (Belgium), Karlsruhe (Germany), and the Netherlands resulted in the detention and arrest of ten members of Moroccan and Chechen Islamist networks, which were plotting attacks in Belgium and also financing Chechen terrorist groups and recruiting new members for them. Among the detainees were citizens of Belgium, the Netherlands, Russia and Morocco.

As a representative of the Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office said, the citizens of Russia arrested in Antwerp were of Chechen origin.

Investigation into the activities of that group has been conducted since 2009. It was initiated after evidence surfaced about the intention of the international terrorist group to stage terrorist attacks in Belgium, for which they were using a number of extremist websites. The exact purpose of the attacks had not been determined. The investigation exposed a network that was engaged in financing and recruiting militants for the Chechen terrorist underground that called itself the Caucasus Emirate.

“Caucasian Emirate” Funding Ring Busted In Europe

Police arrest 10 over Belgian ‘Islamist terror plot’

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The BBC’s Jonty Bloom says the suspects may have communicated using the internet

Police in three countries have arrested 10 radical Islamists over a terrorist plot to attack Belgium, Belgian federal prosecutors say.

They were detained in police swoops in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany after a year-long investigation by police in the Belgian city of Antwerp.

An "international jihadist terrorist group" was allegedly plotting to attack an unspecified target in Belgium.

Police in Brussels also made several arrests in unrelated anti-terror raids.

Among other things, the Antwerp police investigation looked at funding for a Chechen militant group.

The 10 suspects were arrested in simultaneous operations on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for prosecutors said in a press release.

Video broadcast on Belgian TV showed heavily armed police making a dawn raid in Antwerp and detaining at least two people, including a woman, the Associated Press reports.

Among the 10 arrested are Belgians, Dutch people, Moroccans and Chechens, and most of the detainees are resident in Antwerp, the prosecutors’ spokeswoman said.

They were due to appear before a specialist anti-terrorism judge in Antwerp later on Tuesday.

Amsterdam, Aachen, Antwerp

Dutch police confirmed that three men aged 25, 26 and 28 had been arrested in Amsterdam at the request of the Belgian authorities "on suspicion of involvement in international terrorism", according to AP.

BBC map

In Germany, police said they had picked up a man near the city of Aachen "in connection with suspicion of recruiting young men in Belgium to fight in Chechnya".

In the course of the Belgian investigation, a number of other people were also arrested in Spain, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

The Belgian prosecutors’ spokeswoman said police had investigated both the alleged plot to attack Belgium, and alleged recruitment and fundraising for a Chechen militant group called "Caucasus Emirate".

It was not immediately clear if this was a reference to the radical militants fighting to carve an Islamist state out of the Russian North Caucasus region.

Belgium has prosecuted citizens for aiding Islamist militant groups in the past.

In May, a Moroccan-born woman was jailed for eight years for leading a group that recruited militants to fight in Afghanistan.

In 2003, a man recruited as an al-Qaeda suicide bomber was jailed for 10 years for plotting to blow up a military base housing US soldiers.

Brussels raids

In the Belgian capital, police carried out 17 property searches on Tuesday as part of an operation to dismantle a "group of a terrorist nature", federal prosecutors said. "Several" people were arrested.

The Brussels investigation goes back three years and is centred around the Assabyle Belgian Islamic Centre.

Some of those detained are suspected of being part of a group which actively recruits would-be jihadists to Iraq or Afghanistan, prosecutors said.

Belgian police were assisted by foreign colleagues in their investigation, they added.

Putin backtracks on EU-Russia free trade zone

Putin backtracks on EU-Russia free trade zone

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin toned down Friday his enthusiasm for a vast EU-Russia free trade zone after German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave his proposals a cool reception in Berlin.

"A free trade zone is a complex, very complicated issue requiring thorough consideration," Putin said after a visit to Germany that saw him meet Merkel as well as German business leaders.

A day earlier Putin had suggested in a guest article for a German newspaper a bold idea of a vast free-trade zone from Vladivostok on Russia’s eastern edge to Lisbon in Portugal on Europe’s western extremity.

"In essence, we will get a continental market with a volume of trillions of euros," Putin wrote in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Merkel, however, quickly made clear she was unimpressed with the idea, citing Russian tariffs and Moscow’s creation of a customs union with former Soviet republics Kazakhstan and Belarus.

"Of course we support the idea of a free trade zone between the EU and Russia but I have to pour a bit of cold water on it. The steps that Russia has taken recently do not point in that direction," she said Thursday.

Merkel toned down her hostility after her talks with Putin, saying that such a zone would make sense, but stressing that it was something for the longer term.

"This is more of a question for the future. I basically share it (the aim). We are neighbours and just like in other areas we will intensify our partnership step by step," Merkel said.

Putin too sought to stress that his relations with Merkel were warm, noting that the two leaders had hugged and kissed at the meeting.

"We are good, old friends," he said. "We do not have contradictions here … Here I fully agree (with Merkel)."

But he said that closer commercial ties between Europe and Russia were essential and inevitable.

"I do not know what form our cooperation should take — will it be a common free market or will it be our associated membership in the EU," he said earlier.

Central Asia Warring Over Water

Central Asia Warring Over Water

Vakhsh River


© RIA Novosti. Igor Mikhalev

This story by Alexander Shustov, political analyst and Central Asia expert, Strategic Culture Foundation expert, was published in International Affairs magazine.

The water dispute between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan stemming from the Rogun hydroelectric plant project and the related problem of water volumes availability intensified this fall. One of the causes behind the escalation is that Tajikistan is about to face the traditional seasonal electricity rationing, another – that Russia’s involvement in Tajikistan’s hydroelectric projects meant to lift the republic out of chronic energy poverty is going to be under the spotlight during prime minister V. Putin’s November 25 visit to Dushanbe.

Recently Secretary of Tajikistan’s High Dams National Commission Khalid Arifov charged Uzbekistan with building up to 75 water reservoirs in breach of international accords. Estimates do show that the reserves will not remedy Uzbekistan’s problem in case external water supply to the republic is cut off, but the construction enabled Dushanbe to demand an international audit of Uzbekistan’s water storage facilities.

Uzbek leader I. Karimov claimed on October 7 that Tajikistan’s planned 335-meter Rogun dam would for 8 years – the period of time needed to fill the Rogun water reservoir – expose Uzbekistan’s agricultural sector to severe water shortages and Uzbek farmers – to widespread unemployment. Tajik Minister of Land Reclamation and Water Resources Rakhmat Bobokalonov objected that the reservoir of the Rogun hydroelectric plant would be fed exclusively with Tajikistan’s internal water resources and therefore water supply to downstream countries would not be affected.

Uzbekistan argues that the launch of the Rogun hydroelectric plant is going to ruin agriculture across the region, cause economic hardship for millions of people, and exacerbate the ecological problems of the shrinking Aral Sea. Considering that the dam is being constructed in a zone of heightened seismic activity, there is a risk that its destruction by an earthquake would produce a wave with an amplitude of dozens of meters that would devastate the entire cascade of six Vakhsh hydroelectric plants and sweep over 700 towns and villages with the total population of some five million people in Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.

Tajik experts maintain that Uzbekistan as the country located downstream Central Asia’s two great rivers – the Syr Darya and the Amu Darya – consumes 80% of the water resources in their basin while the republic’s territory contributes only 8% of the trans-border watercourse.

Uzbekistan’s anomalous water demand is due to the fact that the republic draws much of its budget from cotton export but relies on an extremely wasteful irrigation network. Uzbek irrigation facilities were built in the Soviet era and at that time bred the Aral Sea’s ecological disaster. Uzbekistan made no efforts to upgrade them upon gaining independence and the corresponding problems continued to build up. Tajik expert Khomidzhon Aripov says Tajikistan only intends to divert its unused quota of 2-2.5 cubic kilometers of water to the Rogun reservoir. Given that the reservoir volume is 13.3 cubic kilometers, the necessary volume of water can be accumulated over 10-15 years without adverse impact on downstream countries.

The Rogun Dam problem had repercussions for a wide range of aspects of the Uzbek-Tajik relations. Since December, 2009, Tashkent has been putting obstacles in the way of railway transit to Tajikistan citing technical problems and lack of railroad throughput capacity. The truth is that Uzbekistan attempts to prevent the delivery of construction materials to be absorbed by the Rogun project to Tajikistan which is otherwise isolated from the rest of the world. Tajikistan complained over the situation to the UN and the blockade was temporarily lifted. The presidents of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan agreed in July, 2010 that the latter would not obstruct transit unrelated to the Rogun project, but traffic delays resumed shortly after a brief reopening of the route in mid-October.

An article titled Uzbekistan: Enemy at the Doorstep? by Berkhuz Khimo published by on November 15 depicts vividly the current state of the relations between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Criticizing Uzbekistan over the rail transit problem, Khimo invoked a lengthy list of Tajikistan’s grievances such as the deployment of land mines along he Tajik-Uzbek border, Col. M. Hudoiberdyev’s November, 1998 coup, the July, the 2007 blasts near the Supreme Court building, the environment watchdogs’ orchestrated protests against the ecological damage caused by the Tajik Aluminum Co., and the failure to convene the meeting of the transportation ministers of China, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan in Dushanbe. Evidently, the two republics burdened with such legacy will have a hard time rebuilding their relations.

Tajikistan accepted Uzbekistan’s number one demand – having the Rogun project examined internationally – and at the moment the Dam construction is reportedly more or less limited to conservation. It was announced in mid-November that the Rogun feasibility study tender was won by a consortium comprising France’s Coyne et Bellier Consulting Engineers, Italy’s Electroconsult, and Great Britain’s IPA Energy Water Consulting. A tender to perform an ecological probe into the project is scheduled for the coming December. The World Bank which offered Tajikistan assistance in attracting investments (provided that the project’s economic prospects and ecological safety are proven) is instrumental in both tenders.

Tashkent will hardly be swayed by the World Bank’s involvement, though. Having long monopolized gas supplies to Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, the energy-rich Uzbekistan is fully aware of the benefits of the situation and therefore worried that its neighbors would use control over water resources to balance its current advantage. The Central Asian conflict over water factors into the already entangled web of tensions and territorial disputes within the Uzbekistan-Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan triangle, leaving the overall situation prone to further destabilization.

Under the circumstances, Russia is confronted with a difficult choice. For Moscow, withdrawing from the Rogun project would mean losing grip on a significant lever to influence the situation in Central Asia plus missing tentative business opportunities linked to electric power export to Afghanistan and Pakistan. On the other hand, Russia’s joining in will likely antagonize Uzbekistan, Central Asia’s most populous republic with the region’s strongest army and economy second only to that of Kazakhstan. Charting a trajectory to optimally combine the interests of the parties locked in the Central Asian water dispute is a serious challenge, and Moscow does not have much time to make up its mind.

(Views expressed in this article reflect the author’s opinion and do not necessarily reflect those of RIA Novosti news agency. RIA Novosti does not  vouch for facts and quotes mentioned in the story)

Scale of Great Famine unfathomable

Scale of Great Famine unfathomable

BY DAVID MARPLESUkrainians  attend a memorial service commemorating those who died as a result  of the Famine of 1932-33.

Ukrainians attend a memorial service commemorating those who died as a result of the Famine of 1932-33.

Photograph by: Alexander Khudoteply, AFP, Getty Images, Freelance

This week, Ukrainians worldwide have been commemorating the 78th anniversary of the Great Famine of 1932-33, known as the Holodomor (Death by Hunger).

In the period 2005-2009, when Viktor Yushchenko was president of Ukraine, several archival collections on the Famine-Holodomor of 1932-33 made available to researchers supplemented earlier information gathered mainly from eyewitness reports. Perhaps the most important of these were reports from the Soviet secret police files (then called the OGPU, from 1934, it was known as the NKVD).

With the demise of the Yushchenko government in the 2010 presidential elections, the authorities have done a U-turn on the famine question. The Security Service of Ukraine, which controls access to OGPU files, has a new leadership, files are no longer freely disseminated, and the new president Viktor Yanukovych has denied that the Famine was an act of genocide. On the contrary, Yanukovych appears to adhere to the Russian perspective that famines were a general phenomenon across the Soviet grain growing regions in 1932, including the Volga region, Ukraine, the North Caucasus, and even Belarus.

It is true that famine was widespread in the spring and summer of 1932, but many events that took place later in the year, and in the brutal year of 1933, were unique to Ukraine and the North Caucasus, particularly the Kuban region, which was composed of about 60 per cent Ukrainians. And this is evident from the OGPU documents released over the past two decades.

It is well known that the great upheaval of collectivization and the removal of richer ( "kulak") families had a devastating impact on Soviet farms. The subsequent imposition of grain quotas by Stalin’s regime was to ensure that deliveries were transported to the towns or the Far East before the families could feed themselves.

A widespread drought in 1931 exacerbated the situation, but it did not lead directly to famine. In theory, farms can feed themselves. But they were not allowed to. Not only grain was confiscated from Ukrainian villages, but also seed grain, and subsequently meat, potatoes, and other crops as a penalty for failing to meet grain deliveries.

Kaganovich devised the idea of a "blackboard" for those villages in North Caucasus that failed to meet quotas. They were then isolated, trading ended, and no one was allowed to enter or leave. The "blackboard" was soon extended to the Ukrainian SSR.

Stalin, together with his associates Molotov and Kaganovich, railed against Ukrainian party and government leaders (Stanislav Kosior and Vlas Chubar) for their weakness and failure to take more ruthless measures. Though Ukraine’s grain quota was twice reduced, it was still well beyond farmers’ capacity to meet. Therefore the Soviet leadership took several measures calculated to transform a severe situation into a catastrophe.

First, Ukrainian leaders were bypassed. Instead, in November 1932, Molotov led a Commission to Ukraine and Kaganovich to the North Caucasus to impose order. In January 1933, Stalin sent a personal emissary — Pavel Postyshev, with full authority in Ukraine — as well as Vsevolod Balytsky, who took over the republican OGPU. While Postyshev used the army and local activists to take "hidden" supplies from the villages, cordoning off and starving villages that failed to meet quotas, Balytsky instituted mass repressions from early 1933 onward because a mass uprising of Ukrainian nationalists had been planned for the spring of 1933 with the aid of outside forces from Poland.

The consequences were not merely mass starvation, but wholesale arrests, deportations, and executions that did not occur elsewhere in the USSR.

In January 1933, the OGPU reported 436 "terrorist acts" in Ukraine during the grain procurement campaign. About 38,000 arrests had been made, and 391 "anti-Soviet, kulak, counter-revolutionary groups" had been uncovered. More than 6,600 arrests had been made on collective farms, mostly comprised of the farms’ leadership. By this same month, more than 8,000 had been dispatched to concentration camps.

By mid-February, the situation had escalated. The OGPU set up a "shock-operational group" in 200 districts of Ukraine, at railway stations and border crossings. It sent word to Stalin that "we are clashing with a single, carefully elaborated plan for an organized armed uprising in Ukraine by the spring of 1933, with the goal of removing Soviet power" and setting up an independent, capitalist, Ukrainian state. Needless to say, these groups had to be eradicated, thousands subsequently deported.

No serious evidence of a planned uprising has ever emerged. Stalin was afraid of "losing Ukraine" as he wrote to Kaganovich, and saw plots and plotters everywhere. Balytsky fed his fertile imagination.

The repression of Ukraine’s villages led to a mass exodus of menfolk while those remaining behind simply starved. In February 1933 alone, about 85,000 peasants had fled the Ukrainian countryside. The vast majority were detained at the border and returned to their villages, or else arrested and sent to labour camps. Border crossings from North Caucasus to Ukraine, and from Ukraine into Belarus and Russia were closed. The OGPU noted that these had been escape routes in 1932 and were not about to make the same mistake again. It urged the rooting out of those peasants who had managed to get labouring jobs in the cities.

The OGPU documented the starvation in turgid accounts that nonetheless allow the reader some insights into the situation. Though some reports attribute starvation to failure to work sufficient hours or poor collective farm construction, others acknowledge that even those who had worked hard were starving.

One report from Kyiv region in late February 1933 — based on 40 per cent of the districts — noted that over 210,000 people were starving and an additional 12,800 had already died. In Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, the regional authorities proposed on February 28 to set up nurseries to feed 70,000 children, 50,000 pre-school-age children, and 300,000 adults.

The scale of the tragedy, in what had been the most productive grain-growing republic of both the Russian Empire and the 1920s USSR is hard to fathom. The Italian Consul in Kharkiv (which remained Ukraine’s capital until 1934) reported that some 40 to 50 per cent of peasants had died and estimated the death toll at around nine million.

But we do not know the death toll. No one was counting the bodies, many of which lay for days unburied or were dumped into mass graves.

Starvation and repressions achieved one of Stalin’s expressed goals: to bring the errant Ukrainian republic into the Soviet fold. The policy of developing Ukrainian culture and language — initiated in the 1920s — was ended and its chief proponent, Mykola Skrypnyk, committed suicide in July 1933.

The Purges of the 1930s later removed practically all the perpetrators of the Famine at the republican level. Postyshev, Stalin’s local plenipotentiary, was executed in February 1939. The entire leadership of the Ukrainian Communist Party was eliminated. Depopulated villages were refilled with families from other regions. The Famine was then systematically concealed from the public and the outside world for the next 54 years.

The late James E. Mace called Ukraine a "post-genocidal society." This is a pertinent epithet for "Eastern Ukraine," or Soviet Ukraine as it existed in 1932-33, which never fully recovered. Present-day residents still have problems coming to terms with the crimes committed in 1932-33, because essentially this heartland of Ukraine was systematically "denationalized" and eradicated by the Soviet regime.

David Marples is a professor of history in the U of A’s department of history and classics, and the author of several books on Ukraine and the former Soviet Union. This article first appeared in the Kyiv Post.

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America’s Economic Refugees Chasing the Work–Work Camper

[There are so many economic refugees here in Southern Ohio, where I live, that it is safe to say that practically every family here has been fragmented by the loss of sons, daughters and grandchildren who move across the country, in search of a paycheck. Personally, I followed construction work around the Eastern US for five years, looking to apply the only trade I knew.  But that was for good money, not ten bucks an hour.  What happens when there are too many unemployed to chase the few Amazon-type jobs that remain?]

Workers hopscotch across country for temporary paycheck

By Jere Downs, The (Louisville, Ky.) Courier-Journal
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — has what many migrant workers want for the holidays: a job.

Hard-up retirees and unemployed workers with children have converged on this rural town in RVs and campers to spend a few months earning $10 an hour filling orders at an Amazon warehouse.

Amazon offers a free place to park and plug in. When work ends Christmas Eve, the campers pull out.

Many have lost their homes and live on the road, home schooling their children along the way. Others are retirees who had planned to see the country but now work along the way to supplement depleted investments. Those not old enough for Medicare typically lack insurance.

“We are among the economic refugees. We are lucky to earn enough to get our laundry done and eat macaroni and cheese,” said April McFail, 52. “I think it says America needs something different. This is supposed to be freedom and a good life. Now it is a sad note.”

McFail’s husband, Terry, lost his job last year at Dow Chemicalearning $18 hourly in southern Michigan. They lost their home to foreclosure in May. Pooling $8,000 in savings, they purchased a 1987 Winnebago and hit the road. They worked as campground hosts in South Dakota for the summer, arriving in September to begin work at Amazon.

A short time later, April McFail’s diabetes forced her to quit the Amazon job. She could not manage 10-hour shifts four days a week lifting packages up to 30 pounds each. Health care benefits left over from her husband’s job at Dow expire Tuesday.

‘Amazon Gypsies’

Lunchboxes in hand, “Amazon Gypsies” walk down the hill to work from the company camp built on a gravel parking lot next to an auto junkyard. A nearby state park extended its hours through Christmas at Amazon’s request.

Amazon pays campsite rental, water, sewer and electric. Some campers choose to save their propane and rely on electric blankets and heaters to stay warm at night.

Blankets cover the windows of the Wicklane family’s 1997 Fleetwood camper. An electric space heater whirrs on the worn linoleum floor. After losing an electrician’s job and a house in Florida last year, Kurt Wicklane found work unloading Amazon trucks in Kentucky to feed two daughters, ages 3 and 9, and a son, 5.

“My grandmother keeps calling me and asking me when are going to come back home” to Tampa, Heather Wicklane, 27, said while her children played outside their trailer at Green River Lake State Park. “I tell her we are home.”

Around the clock, an estimated 500 “work campers” from Florida, Texas, Michigan and elsewhere supplement 3,000 temporary Amazon staff covering three shifts sorting, wrapping, stacking and packing holiday orders. Year-round, Amazon employs 1,200 full time in Campbellsville, a 90-minute drive south of Louisville.

The world’s largest online retailer has long struggled to fill thousands of seasonal jobs in this town of just 11,000, said Ron McMahan, executive director of the Campbellsville Taylor County Economic Development Authority.

The state park would typically close Oct. 30. But it was upgraded with frost-proof utilities to accommodate the Amazonians, as the company calls its workers, with $48,000 in state funds, McMahan said. Amazon pays the state park $18 per night for each site occupied by workers, said Gil Lawson, spokesman for the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, which oversees state parks.

With the help of local landowners willing to open more new campgrounds, Amazon may expand its work camper ranks to 1,600 slots next year, McMahan added.

“We will need more people who are willing to do whatever it takes to pay the bills,” McMahan said of the work camper phenomenon. “This is economic development for us.”

Idea isn’t new

Nationwide, up to 500,000 people work while living in their RVs, said Steve Anderson, editor of Workamper News, a journal based in Heber Springs, Ark. The recession has added to their ranks, he said.

Meanwhile, baby boomers are retiring and taking to the road.

“Amazon realized this was something they need to pursue,” Anderson said. The company places ads in his journal for work camper jobs at warehouses in rural Nevada and Kansas, in addition to Kentucky.

Work campers have long worked as campground hosts — greeting guests and cleaning up for a free campsite and utilities — in state and national parks. As the recession has deepened, these migrant campers have becoming increasingly crucial.

In Idaho last summer, work campers kept the state’s 30 park campgrounds operational after budget cuts resulted in the layoff of 27 full-time state park employees, said Kathryn Hampton, volunteer services coordinator for the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation.

Work campers said they also rely on amusement parks, Christmas tree lots and pumpkin patches for seasonal work. Near the Las Vegas strip, the Clark County Shooting Park is seeking 30 work campers who can park free in exchange for guiding police and tourists at the gun range.

“Less than half of all work campers consider themselves retired, with the median age being 53,” Anderson estimates.

Lifeboat on wheels

The RV that Joshua Lindsey, 35, his wife and three children call home is “their lifeboat,” said the former stockbroker and real estate investor. Before losing everything in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the market crash of 2008, Lindsey said he earned more than six figures annually.

Now, working the graveyard shift at Amazon for three months “will provide my kids Christmas this year and food for the table and a means to get through to the spring, when there are a lot more jobs available.”

More common among work campers are people like Bill and Dorothy Judge, longtime retirees and RVers working now because their investment incomes have declined.

They live in a $275,000 Winnebago Vectra, a gleaming, top-of-the-line, spacious RV that logs 7 miles to the gallon. Still, Bill Judge, 72, said he took a graveyard shift at Amazon in hopes of earning up to $9,000 in four months. That will buy new tires for the RV at $600 apiece and finance upcoming trips.

The Seattle-based couple has lived the RV lifestyle since 1994, living on pensions acquired from union jobs at Boeing and service in the U.S. Air Force. To cope with less investment income, the couple said they often stay for free overnight in Wal-Mart parking lots.

“I did not imagine I would be working in a warehouse job in my retirement. I have not worked since 1994,” Judge said.

Come Christmas Eve, demand online will wither for books, DVDs, kitchenware, toys, apparel, sporting goods, jewelry, watches, health and personal-care items. That is the last day work campers say they expect to have jobs at Amazon.

The Wicklanes, camped beside Green River Lake, don’t know where the next job will be. They plan to hunker down for Christmas.

“It would take a day to drive anywhere,” Kurt Wicklane said of family far away in Florida. “We may as well sit tight.”

Victims Of CIA And US Military Drones Should Sue Obama, Bush, Panetta

Victims Of CIA And US Military Drones Should Sue Obama, Bush, Panetta For Killing Thousands Of Innocent Pakistanis

Victims Of CIA And US Military Drones Should Sue Obama, Bush, Panetta For Killing Thousands Of Innocent Pakistanis

… The FBI should also be sued by Pakistanis for recruiting American David Headley and planting him in Pakistan to execute Mumbai attacks, killing 166 innocent people there and bringing Pakistan and India to war. | Saturday | 27 November 2010




ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—According to US media reports, a US court in Brooklyn has issued summons to senior Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence officials, including its chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, as well as leaders of banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rahman Lakhvi, in response to a lawsuit filed by relatives of two American victims accusing them of providing material support for the 26/11/2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.

The veracity of the said lawsuit needs to be verified but The Daily Mail thinks that there may be likelihood of the relatives of those slain as collateral damage in the US drone attacks within Pakistan territory may be now prompted to file lawsuits against the former US President George W. Bush who initially authorized the unlawful and inhuman drone attacks and the current US President Barrack Obama who has not only accelerated the drone attacks multifold but is seeking to expand them to include targets in Quetta and other areas in Balochistan, which will definitely result in a very high rate of collateral damage.

A very dangerous precedence has been set unwittingly and more summonses may be in the offing against Leon Panetta, the current head of CIA and his predecessor, Michael Hayden, in whose tenure the Drone attacks controlled and executed by the CIA commenced. If David Headley is to be brought into consideration, then the US Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) as well as CIA should be questioned or brought on trial by the survivors of the Mumbai attack. David Coleman Headley was on the payroll of the DEA and his frequent coming and going into Pakistan, India and other parts of the world were definitely in the notice of both DEA as well as CIA; moreover, two of his ex-wives have stated on affidavits that they had informed the intelligence agencies much before 26/11 regarding David Headley’s alleged involvement in the plot. It is inconceivable that with such sensitive prior knowledge, no action was taken. Was it gross neglect or intentional omission? A lawsuit will determine the truth.

The 26-page lawsuit was filed before a New York court on November 19 against the ISI and LeT by the relatives of Rabbi Gavriel Noah Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, who were both gunned down by unknown militants at the Chhabad House in Mumbai.

Some US officials have said, on condition of anonymity, that it was a private complaint and does not have official backing of the US government.

The Pakistan Embassy officials refused to comment on it; however, insiders say that Pakistani officials were in touch with their US counterparts on this issue. It could not be confirmed whether the Pakistan Embassy received any such summons from any US court. The relatives of victims have alleged that the Mumbai terrorist attack was planned and carried out by members of the defendant, the LeT. Wherein, defendant ISI provided critical planning, material support, control and coordination of the attacks.

The current incumbent holding the office of Director General of ISI, Lieutenant General Pasha and his predecessor, Lieutenant General Nadeem Taj along with Majors Iqbal and Samir Ali have been named in the lawsuit and summoned to appear trial. The lawsuit also claims that prior to November 26, 2008, the defendants directed and engaged US-based individuals, including but not limited to David Headley and Tahawwur Rana, for raising funds, building a network of connections, recruiting participants and planning the operation of the Mumbai terror attack. The petitioners have also alleged that the LeT still operates training camps in Pakistan, Kashmir and Afghanistan and openly advocated violence against India, Israel and the United States. It names Muridke, Mansehra and Muzaffarabad as centres of training camps operated by the LeT. It also says that Pakistani American LeT operative David Headley, who has already pleaded guilty (while in US custody) for his role in the plotting of the attack, built a network of connections from Chicago to Pakistan, undertaking these efforts at the direction and with the material support of both LeT and the ISI.

© 2007-2010. All rights reserved.

Can Israel Defeat Hezbollah in The Coming War?

Can Israel Defeat Hezbollah in The Coming War?

27/11/2010 Franklin Lamb
November 27, 2010
Exclusive to Al-Manar
Part II “Know thyself” Sun Tzu and Hassan Nasrallah
                “To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight back), because they are wronged; and verily, God is most powerful for their aid; (They are) those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right, (for no cause) except that they say, our Lord is God”. (22:39-40)
According to the Lebanese military, at 11 am and again at 1 p.m.  on 1l/24/10, a total of six Israeli warplanes crossed into Lebanese airspace, and violated for the 8256th time UNSC resolution 1701 that ended Israel’s 5th war against Lebanon, on August 14, 2006. Nearly, daily, and sometimes several times daily, warplanes and/or reconnaissance aircraft invade the skies over Lebanon to frighten, attempt to intimidate, and pressure the Lebanese population. They also to try to keep tabs on Lebanon’s resistance, led by Hezbollah.
As every Resistance defender  is aware, if a twice daily high flyover by a US supplied specially programmed satellite imaging camera detects a stone the size of golf ball out of place, since the previous photo, anywhere in an area thought to be visited by Hezbollah forces,  the photos are closely examined by Israel and American analysts. The moving of a stone or a tree branch or significantly more or fewer goats appearing in a herd, meandering, for example, in  Lebanon’s “nature preserves” is carefully analyzed. The reason, and perhaps encapsulating Israel’s increasing likelihood, according to UNIFIL — United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and US sources,  of failing in its next war against Lebanon, is that Israel has never even been able to figure out  what became of the hundreds of tons of chipped rock and soil removed during the construction of hundreds of suspected deep Hezbollah bunkers, impenetrable to every weapon but nuclear.  Some bunkers are almost literally under the noses of where suspected  Israeli agents live or where UNIFIL forces patrol daily. “ Do they remove the debris by teaspoons full?”  a UNIFIL official wondered recently.
Also unsettling to the Israeli military and reportedly censored from viewing by Israeli forces  are a collection of Hezbollah training videos thought to have been photographed by US  high altitude  cameras. IDF psychologists reportedly have advised the Israeli Cabinet that seeing the Hezbollah videos may further erode Israeli forces confidence if they are ordered  again into Lebanon.
One such video shows the following:  A line of Hezbollah fighters on mountain bikes in a steep ravine south of the Litani river riding at high rates of speed. The rider must flip the bike  up onto only the back wheel so the soldier’s body is facing the sky and his back flat parallel with and about two feet off  the ground. The examinee must travel at close to 90 mph  holding a RPG in either hand, and a cell phone in the other waiting firing instructions from a subterranean command center. The fighter must then fire the rocket thru a swinging small tire approximately 120 meters away on a tree branch.  Achieving fewer than 11 bulls eyes out of 12 requires the arduous physical test repeated.  A commander in UNIFIl, who claims to be familiar with this particular Hezbollah training exercise commented that none of the UNIFIL soldiers from the 28 countries could even do the exercise, much less get one RPG through such a swinging tire.  “ I would doubt very much if any Israeli could do it either. Hezbollah fighters are probably the world’s best. I have never studied the Chinese up close but I’ve seen a whole lot of the others.”
It is these kinds of skills that Hezbollah fighters used to force repeated errors by Israeli forces during the July 2006 war, and although not widely reported, during its 18 years of occupation of Lebanon (1982-2000). Errors, that the Israeli Winograd commission called “ the worst kind of mistakes and failures of the ground forces.” Among the examples still discussed in Dahiyeh, and presumably in Tel Aviv and Washington, include the Hezbollah forces routing of the Israeli “elite” Golani, Egoz and Magland Brigades at Maron al Ras on the Lebanese-Palestine border between July 25-30, 2006.  Another was the Battle of Bint Jbeil which Dan Halutz  called Israel’s planned “Web of Steel’ which was expected to take less than 48 hours to defeat Hezbollah forces starting on July 24.  But by July 30, the much battered Golani forces withdrew and the Israeli air force renewed indiscriminate aerial bombardment.  Down the road from Bint Jbeil, at Aita al-Shaab, Israel lost 26 soldiers and more than 100 severely injured without gaining an inch of territory. Shortly before Israel agreed to a ceasefire,  its forces experienced the catastrophe at Wadi Slouqi, a ravine through which  a column of Israeli tanks were sent to link up with airlifted troops at Ghandouriyah village.  The Israeli plan, read by Hezbollah forces from the onset, was to move toward Tyre and head north.  “They (Hezbollah forces) jumped up out of the ground all around us” one Israeli at the scene testified later. Hezbollah hit more than a dozen tanks, quickly killing 17 Israelis and wounding more than fifty. It became known in Israeli military circles as “the Black Sabbath, the goddamned Sabbath”, as one Israeli war room officer commented.
Increasingly during the 33 day July 2006 War, Israeli forces refused orders to advance against Hezbollah fighters, happily opting for 14 day jail sentences for failure to obey orders.  Concerning IDF recruitment and  AWOL problems, according to IDF Captain Arye Shalicar of the IDF Recruitment Fraud unit, it is US taxpayers who  foot the bill  for eight companies of private investigators recently hired to track down Israeli draft dodgers.  The popular social networking site, Facebook,  is being used  to track down thousands who lied about being religiously observant and seeking to avoid facing Hezbollah.  Israelis not wanting to join the military often post a photograph on Facebook showing them eating at non-kosher restaurants or accepting invitations for fake Friday night (Sabbath) parties sent by the investigators.
It was against the backdrop of examining these kinds of IDF-Hezbollah confrontations, that  a US Senate Armed Services Committee staffer reports that, “seemingly counterintuitive given the past six decades of US coddling  Israel with all manner of  support and  political cover”, the White House has informed Israel that the days of ‘green lights’ for trampling and carpet bombing Lebanon are over.  Secretary of State  Clinton reportedly told PM Netanyahu during his recent visit to basically ‘forget about it’ when Israel’s Prime Minister repeated ad nausea the mantra that “Lebanon is now Hezbollah and Hezbollah is  now Lebanon” so Israel can exercise “blanket self defense.”  ( Ed: gets to bomb and obliterate at will)
During US Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, John Kerrey’s recent swing through the region he warned Lebanese and Syrian officials that Israel could attack at any time.  But he also carried the message to Israel that Washington does not want an Israeli attack on Lebanon or on Iran for precisely the same reasons.  Israel can’t win Washington increasingly believes and the risk of regional conflagration from either is too great.
It is in this context that Washington is  using the STL – Special Tribunal for Lebanon as a 6th war against Lebanon, following those 1978, 1982, 1993, 1996, and 2006. It is reported by Haaretz on 11/16/10 that  Israeli Foreign Minister  Lieberman reveal Israel has been helping the STL with its “investigation.”
“Hezbollah’s greatest advantage against Israel in the next war against Israel”, according to Pentagon sources, including a 22 year veteran who maintains an office in Beirut,   “is not seen in Washington as  being based on just Hezbollah’s  demonstrated ability to prevail on the battlefield against Israeli ground forces, withstanding potential days or weeks or months of carpet bombing and during hugely asymmetric conflicts. Rather, increasingly Hezbollah’s success against Israeli is being explained by its moral, political, popular, religious, psychological, culture that were enhanced by Hezbollah’s “Lebanonization” and growing acceptance by other sects while being dubbed by some at the Pentagon as now “the 8th greatest missile power in the World.”
There is also the factor of the environment that is embracing Hezbollah and the Resistance. These are  people who will no longer accept to yield to the dictates of  Israel,  the US, Lebanese Forces, Phalanges, or anyone else.  As far as the Resistance is concerned, no one can ask a people that was oppressed, occupied, and disdained by others for decades and centuries, yet managed to gain power to defend itself at a time when everyone abandoned it, to let go of its element of power and become again under the mercy of Israel’s threats as well as those of its local Israel’s allies. Hezbollah believes it has to win the next war for the sake of the whole country, because the army is poorly equipped and because Lebanon has hundreds, maybe thousands of Mossad agents in Lebanon compromising the country’s institutions. Hezbollah MP, Nawaf Moussawi has said on many occasions that the STL indictment accusing Hezbollah of the Hariri assassination will be dealt with as a US Israeli invasion, and to date Hezbollah has proven to have great skills in countering ‘invasions.’  The Party is not easily provoked or intimidated but when their existence is threatened it fights back.
Hezbollah, has  smashed the myth of Israel’s invincibility, broken the barrier of fear, increased the popular demand for resistance, exposed  the fake peace process and rejected  appeasement, acquiescence and surrender. Hezbollah forces taught the world that Arabs can and will liberate Palestine because  they possess the qualities  and acumen to do it. The kings and the presidents in the region, who for six decades chose their thrones over Jerusalem  quake as does Israel.
This observer is obviously not privy to any security information relating to Hezbollah, and it would be treasonous and unthinkable for anyone in Hezbollah to share any, but among the many scenarios that the Lebanese National Resistance is said to be preparing for includes a possible invasion from North Lebanon using troops from two Arab countries that for years having been trying to train Sunni and Lebanese Forces “Security minus” troops. The plan, if it exists, would try to force Hezbollah from Beirut back to the south, by using a blitzkrieg type of invasion using Arab, American and Israeli forces attacking south Beirut as north Lebanon Sunni and Christian forces close of roads heading out from Beirut. Phalange forces would try and capture Mt Lebanon, and Arab Special Forces would hunt Hassan Nasrallah and the Hezbollah leadership amidst “Dahiyeh option” ruins.  All to be made perfectly legal and respectable by the all but certain STL indictments and convictions.
This kind of scenario is reminiscent of when the French sent Moroccans and Algerians to fight for them last century against the Turks.  A French General on the scene was asked “you are sending Muslims to fight against Muslims” ?
The general reportedly laughed and replied, “if  our Arabs win we get the credit , if our Arabs or theirs die, who cares”.
Dr. Franklin Lamb is Director, Americans Concerned for Middle East Peace, Beirut-Washington DC, Board Member of The Sabra Shatila Foundation, and a volunteer with the Palestine Civil Rights Campaign, Lebanon. He is the author of The Price We Pay: A Quarter-Century of Israel’s Use of American Weapons Against Civilians in Lebanon and is doing research in Lebanon for his next book.
He can be reached at
Franklin Lamb: Part I – Will Hezbollah Defeat Israel (Again!) In The Coming War?
Due to technical difficulties, please copy this URL to open part I:

Yair Klein threatens to blow whistle on Colombian gov’t

Yair Klein threatens to blow whistle on Colombian gov’t


“What I have on these officials is fantastic,” Klein says; Justice Ministry says it does not plan to take any action in former IDF officer’s case.

A Justice Ministry spokesman said Sunday that the ministry does not anticipate having to take any action in the case of former IDF Lt.-Col. Yair Klein, who returned from Russia over the weekend after more than three years in prison.

In 2001, Klein was tried in absentia by the Supreme Tribunal of the Manzales district of Colombia and sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison on charges of training illegal paramilitary groups. The Colombian government issued a warrant for his arrest with Interpol, and he was detained during a visit to Russia in August 2007.

The Colombian government asked Russia to extradite Klein. The government agreed to do so and the Russian courts, in a series of rulings, upheld the decision despite appeals by Klein’s lawyers, including his Israeli attorney, Mordechai Tzivin.

Tzivin appealed the final decision of the Russian Supreme Court in May 2008 to the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that Russia had not taken into account the poor state of human rights in Colombia at the time, as well as a threat by former Colombian vice president Francisco Santos, that Klein would “rot in jail” after his return to Colombia.

The human rights court, in April of this year, forbade Russia from extraditing Klein to Colombia. Russia appealed the decision, but the appeal was denied last month.

On Sunday, in a telephone conversation with The Jerusalem Post, Klein said his entire relationship with Colombia was approved by the Israeli and Colombian governments.

Klein said that in 1988 he was sent by the Israeli Defense Ministry to help protect the organization of banana growers in Colombia at the request of the Colombian government.

Before he had time to take action, he said, the organization was destroyed. He told thePost that in the meantime, however, he was asked by the Colombian government to help train FARC, the left-wing Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

Klein indicated that there was a conspiracy involving senior government officials who were cooperating with FARC. He also claimed that FARC fought against the drug cartels in Colombia.

Klein told the Post that if the Colombian government persisted in its efforts to force him to return to Columbia, he would blow the whistle on officials in the current and previous Columbian governments.

“What I have on these officials is fantastic,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tzivin said that for the past month, ever since the European Court of Human Rights prohibited Russia from extraditing Klein, the public, the media and the government in Colombia have been preoccupied with what illegal activities Klein might divulge about Colombian political and military leaders.

Presumably in an effort to persuade the Colombian government to drop the affair, Tzivin told the Post, “My client has information that could cause political shockwaves in the senior echelons of the current and previous Colombian governments.

If exposed, the information could lead to dismissals in the government and the arrest of past and present political and military figures.

“I recommended to my client not to publish the information so as not to cause chaos, since Colombia is now significantly improving the state of human rights in the country.”

In the Duma introduced a controversial bill to protect journalists

In the Duma introduced a controversial bill to protect journalists

Picket to demand found beaten Kashin

Impunity for perpetrators of attacks on journalists – one of the serious problems in Russia

State Duma deputies on Friday will consider a bill involving increased penalties for attacks on journalists – up to 15 years imprisonment.

"The current penalties for crimes against journalists are not sufficient" – quoted by Interfax one of the sponsors of the amendments to the bill Irina Yarovaya from the "United Russia".

A new bill introduced in 144 of the Penal Code (obstruction of lawful professional activities of journalists "), the third part, which stipulates that if the offense is committed with violence dangerous to life or health, or the threat of such violence, the perpetrator could face deprivation liberty from 6 to 15 years.

In addition, the document sets out the responsibility for the fact of the use of violence to obstruct the activities of a journalist.

Now, for violence against media workers, that will not cause harm, or caused minor injury, faces from 2 to 5 years Imprisonment. Under current rules now, this crime May Not result in Imprisonment.

The document was submitted to the Lower House on the initiative of Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ).

The reason for this Has Been a series of attacks on Russian Journalists. Among the latest Incidents – Brutal Beating of a Correspondent of the Newspaper "Businessman" and the well-known blogger Oleg Kashin on the Night of November 6.

The journalist Received a Concussion, He HAD a Broken Finger, Leg and Jaw. Kashin underwent Several Operations.

Opinions in the journalistic Community about the Bill is divided. Some Welcome the new Legislative Initiative, others Fear That Will Expose These amendments Journalists’ Relatives.

Expectations and fears

If perekosobochit legislation so that an attack on a journalist would be considered a felony, and assault on journalists’ children, parents, wife, his girlfriend would be considered disorderly conduct – this is where it all shut up

Valery Panyushkin,

"A journalist – he certainly must be counted among the public figures, and the attitude to him in the society should be, respectively, to create a normal environment around the work of journalists. If such a law is passed, the law enforcement services will be in a different way to relate to these crimes, "- said in an interview with BBC chairman of the Russian Journalists Union Vsevolod Bogdanov.

Glavred Kommersant’s Mikhail Mikhailin his part expressed his doubts about the need for additional legislation to protect journalists.

"I believe that the current law is enough for the state to protect its citizens, who are its taxpayers. The main thing is that the punishment was inevitable for their crimes against the person. Stronger or weaker than to punish … two or three years difference in a big role do not play "- he said in an interview with the BBC.

In addition, Glavred Kommersant noted with regret that the authors of the bill did not discuss the amendments with the professional community.

"Journalists’ Union did not consult with us. It is a strange organization that is taking some action without consulting with the department. At the publishing house" Kommersant "no one asked his position, Alexei Alekseevich Venediktova Nobody asked, but he is against. I do I do not know what the reaction would be in the society after this law is adopted and reviewed, "- said Mikhailin.

Journalist Valery Panyushkin criticized the initiative of deputies, which may, in his opinion, endanger the children of journalists.

"Stop mad! If perekosobochit legislation so that an attack on a journalist would be considered a felony, and assault on journalists’ children, parents, wife, his girlfriend would be considered disorderly conduct – here is everything and shut up" – wrote in his column Panyushkin on Radio Liberty.

Russian human rights activists call one of the main problems in Russia impunity for perpetrators of killings and attacks on journalists.

Taliban impostor— consequences and rebuttals

Taliban impostor — consequences and rebuttals

By Ali K Chishti
In what has been described as the biggest mishap of the century, which could potentially cost the US and NATO billions of dollars and thousands of lives, the chief negotiator of the Taliban that the US, Afghanistan and NATO were resting all their hopes on turned out to be a “hoax”. The US gave a man claiming to be Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur, Mullah Omar’s number two, “a lot of money” to engage in talks. He was also flown to Kabul to consult with Afghan President Hamid Karzai at the presidential palace. Karzai, terrified of looking like a laughingstock, denied the meeting.
Daily Times has obtained a version from the Quetta Shura, in which they denied any talks or links with NATO and denied having received any money from the alliance. The Quetta Shura, which is now based in Karachi, confirmed that Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur “is in safety and had never negotiated with the Americans and the West. Only Mullah Muhammad Omar is entitled to sanction such negotiations. We will only talk after the full withdrawal of NATO and US troops from Afghanistan,” confirmed Zabiullah Majahid, the Taliban’s spokesman.
Mullah Mansur is a well-known Taliban leader and has a high profile job in the movement’s cabinet. It is not clear as to why officials would have had such a difficult time identifying him. There are a number of former Taliban in parliament and in the 70-member High Peace Council recently formed by Karzai to find a political solution to the insurgency. It was reported that the man was believed to be a shopkeeper in Quetta.
Although quite senior in the Quetta Shura, Mansur was not promoted to second-in-command of the shura following last February’s arrest of Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan. The Afghan Taliban’s number two leader was arrested in a joint raid with the CIA. Mansur was passed over in favour for Maulvi Zakir Qayyum — a former Guantanamo detainee. Released into Afghan custody in 2007, Qayyum was freed four months later and rejoined the Taliban.
While different versions of the identity of the so-called ‘Taliban impostor’ are being discussed, Daily Times can confirm that some sections of the US military in Afghanistan knew about the real identity of the Taliban impostor from the start, but deliberately kept quiet. The idea was to ‘wait and watch’, while the real agenda was to prolong and sabotage the 2014 withdrawal date announced by US President Obama and recently decided in Lisbon at the NATO conference.
So who was the ‘Taliban impostor’?
“Someone the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) groomed to delay and counter check us,” a senior member of NATO in Afghanistan told Daily Times.
“We are on top of things. We know where the guy went to and deposited those briefcases,” he said.
On a different side on the border in Pakistan, the intelligence community and the ISI denies these claims, calling them “ridiculous”.
“Its there own failure, not ours”.
While it may be true that such an implant could be an intelligence asset of a rival intelligence community, it also reflects the nature of the US-Pak relationship of acute mistrust and conflicting strategic interest in Afghanistan.
The whole ‘Taliban imposter’ episode also brings to light the dubious role of the US and NATO in Afghanistan and especially that of General Petraeus.
Petraeus has been able to reap the political benefit from the fact that most journalists and the US political elite believe that it was Petraeus’ maneuvering, combined with the surge, that produced the Sunni turn towards cooperation against al Qaeda in Iraq. But the Petraeus success formula in Iraq had largely been mythical, where a lot of his critics believe that in Iraq, the Sunnis had begun shifting towards joining anti-al Qaeda militias before Petraeus took over command in February 2007.
In Pakistan last week, US President Barack Obama’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, played down reports that senior Taliban leaders were holding talks with the Afghan government.

Analysis: US Carrier Visit A Dilemma For China

USS George Washington

Analysis: US Carrier Visit A Dilemma For China


Posted: 7:31 am PST November 26, 2010Updated: 7:55 am PST November 26, 2010

BEIJING — This weekend’s arrival of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea poses a dilemma for Beijing: Should it protest angrily and aggravate ties with Washington, or quietly accept the presence of a key symbol of American military pre-eminence off Chinese shores?

The USS George Washington, accompanied by escort ships, is to take part in military drills with South Korea following North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island Tuesday that was one of the most serious confrontations since the Korean War a half-century ago.

It’s a scenario China has sought to prevent. Only four months ago, Chinese officials and military officers shrilly warned Washington against sending a carrier into the Yellow Sea for an earlier set of exercises. Some said it would escalate tensions after the sinking of a South Korean navy ship blamed on North Korea. Others went further, calling the carrier deployment a threat to Chinese security.

Beijing believes its objections worked. Although Washington never said why, no aircraft carrier sailed into the strategic Yellow Sea, which laps at several Chinese provinces and the Korean peninsula.

This time around, with outrage high over the shelling, the U.S. raising pressure on China to rein in wayward ally North Korea, and a Chinese-American summit in the works, the warship is coming, and Beijing is muffling any criticisms.

"One of the results of North Korea’s most recent belligerence has been to make it more difficult for China to condemn U.S. naval deployments in the East China Sea," said Michael Richardson, a visiting research fellow at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. "I think China must be quietly cursing North Korea under their breath."

China’s response has so far been limited to expressing mild concern over the exercises. A Foreign Ministry spokesman on Friday reiterated Beijing’s long-standing insistence that foreign navies obtain its permission before undertaking military operations inside China’s exclusive economic zone, which extends 230 miles (370 kilometers) from its coast.

It wasn’t clear where the drills were being held or if they would cross into the Chinese zone.

The statement also reiterated calls for calm and restraint but did not directly mention the Yellow Sea or the planned exercises.

State media have been virtually silent. An editorial in the nationalistic tabloid Global Times worried that a U.S. carrier would upset the delicate balance in the Yellow Sea, ignoring the fact that the George Washington has taken part in drills in those waters numerous times before.

North Korea, by contrast, warned Friday that the U.S.-South Korean military drills were pushing the peninsula to the "brink of war."

A more passive approach this time helps Beijing raise its credibility with Washington and trading partner South Korea, and puts North Korea on notice that its actions are wearing China’s patience thin.

"The Chinese government is trying to send Pyongyang a signal that if they continue to be so provocative, China will just leave the North Koreans to themselves," said Zhu Feng, director of Peking University’s Center for International and Strategic Studies.

Sending signals is likely to be as far as Beijing goes, however. China fears that tougher action – say cutting the food and fuel assistance Beijing supplies – would destabilize the isolated North Korean dictatorship, possibly leading to its collapse. That could send floods of refugees into northeastern China and result in a pro-U.S. government taking over in the North.

"What China should do is make the North Koreans feel that they have got to stop messing around," Zhu said.

China may also be mindful of its relations with key trading partner Seoul, strained by Beijing’s reluctance to condemn Pyongyang over the March ship sinking. Raising a clamor over upcoming drills in the wake of a national tragedy would only further alienate South Korea.

Beijing’s mild tone also shows its reluctance to spoil the atmosphere ahead of renewed exchanges with Washington. President Hu Jintao is scheduled to make a state visit to Washington in January hosted by President Barack Obama – replete with a state dinner and other formal trappings that President George W. Bush never gave the Chinese leader.

Before that Gen. Ma Xiaotian, one of the commanders who objected to the George Washington’s deployment earlier this year, is due in Washington for defense consultations. Those talks are another step in restoring tattered defense ties, a key goal of the Obama administration.

Chinese fixations about aircraft carriers verge on the visceral. U.S. carriers often figure in Chinese media as a symbol of the American government’s ability to project power around the world. The Chinese navy is building a carrier, and keeping U.S. ones out of China’s waters is seen as rightful deference to its growing power.

The U.S. is worried about a key principle: the U.S. Navy’s right to operate in international waters.

While China doesn’t claim sovereignty over the entire Yellow Sea, it has become assertive about its maritime territorial claims and sensitive to U.S. Navy operations in surrounding waters. In the South China Sea, which China claims in its entirety, China has seized foreign fishing boats and harassed U.S. Navy surveillance ships.

In light of such trends, China’s protests of the September drills virtually compelled the U.S. Navy to send the George Washington this time, said Alan Romberg of the Stimson Center think tank in Washington, who met with Chinese military commanders in the summer.

"The People’s Liberation Army thinks it achieved an initial victory in keeping the U.S. from deploying the George Washington in that first exercise. That guarantees that the George Washington will go there at some point, probably sooner rather than later," Romberg said in an interview in September.

Even if China’s reticence holds this time, Beijing is not likely to cede the U.S. Navy carte blanche to range throughout the Yellow Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei has stated that China’s stance on U.S. naval action in the Yellow Sea remains unchanged. The politically influential and increasingly vocal military is also likely to keep the pressure on the leadership to take a firm stand.

Any affront to Beijing’s authority or intrusion into Chinese territorial waters would inflame the Chinese public and require a government response, said Fang Xiuyu, an analyst on Korean issues at Fudan University’s Institute of International Studies in Shanghai.

"We hope that the U.S. can exert restraint and not cross that line," Fang said.


EDITOR’S NOTE – Christopher Bodeen has covered Chinese foreign policy in Beijing and Shanghai since 2000.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

China issues warning ahead of U.S.-South Korea drills

China issues warning ahead of U.S.-South Korea drills

Main Image

People look as smoke rises from South Korean Yeonpyeong Island after being hit by dozens of artillery shells fired by North Korea November 23, 2010 in this picture taken by a South Korean tourist.


By Ju-min Park and Miyoung Kim

SEOUL | Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:50am EST

(Reuters) – China warned on Friday against military acts near its coastline ahead of U.S.-South Korean naval exercises that North Korea, days after shelling a South Korean island, said risked pushing the region toward war.

Beijing’s warning came as the Seoul government named a career soldier as its new defense minister amid mounting criticism of the response to Tuesday’s attack by North Korea, its heaviest bombardment since the 1950-53 Korean War.

North Korean artillery shells rained down on the small South Korean island of Yeonpyeong on Tuesday, killing four people and destroying dozens of houses.

"The situation on the Korean peninsula is inching closer to the brink of war due to the reckless plan of those trigger-happy elements to stage again war exercises targeted against the (North)," the North’s official KCNA news agency said.

The aggressive language is typical of North Korean state-owned media, but the heightened tension was enough to depress the won as much as 2.2 percent. The stock market closed 1.3 percent down, in line with the wider region.

The United States is sending in an aircraft carrier group led by the nuclear-powered USS George Washington to the Yellow Sea for military exercises with South Korea starting on Sunday.

Planned before this week’s attack, the four-day maneuvers are a show of strength which, besides enraging North Korea, have unsettled China, its neighbor and only real ally.

"We oppose any military act by any party conducted in China’s exclusive economic zone without approval," China’s Foreign Ministry said in an online response to a question regarding China’s position on the George Washington participating in joint naval exercises.

The exclusive economic zone is a maritime zone up to 200 nautical miles from a country’s coast.

Washington is pressing China to use its influence to rein in Pyongyang to help ease tension in the world’s fastest-growing economic region.


South Korea’s presidential Blue House appointed Kim Kwan-jin, 61, former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, to replace Kim Tae-young, who had tried to resign the defense portfolio in May following criticism of the government’s response to a torpedo attack on a South Korean warship blamed on the North.

"(We) think nominee Kim, well-respected for professionalism and conviction, is the right person for the post in order to restore trust from people and boost morale in the entire military," presidential secretary Hong Sang-pyo told a news briefing.

There was brief panic in the capital Seoul in the afternoon when television reported sounds of artillery fire near Yeonpyeong. But the military said the artillery fire was distant and no shells landed in South Korea.

"Investors are growing more jittery ahead of the joint military exercise," said Kim Hyoung-ryoul, a market analyst at NH Investment & Securities. "The key concern is, whether North Korea will again take unforeseen, rash actions."

Reclusive and unpredictable North Korea has defied international efforts to halt its nuclear ambitions. But Tuesday’s artillery barrage was a major ramping-up of tension between to two Koreas, who remain technically still at war.

South Korean troops fired back 13 minutes later, causing unknown damage. Members of Lee’s own party and opposition lawmakers accused the military of responding too slowly.

Hundreds of former South Korean soldiers held a protest rally in the border town of Paju on Friday, accusing the government of being too weak. A small anti-North Korea protest was held in Seoul.

"The lazy government’s policies toward North Korea are too soft," said Kim Byeong-su, president of the association of ex-marines, in Paju. "It needs to take revenge on a bunch of mad dogs."

(Additional reporting by Yoo Choonsik, Jack Kim and Jeremy Laurence; Editing by Nick Macfie and Alex Richardson)

The Perfect Division of Pakistani Society

The Perfect Division of Pakistani Society

Peter Chamberlin

“When asked what he aspires to become in the future, Wasifullah replies ‘God willing, I will join the Taliban.’

In what some ways represents the burgeoning civil war within Pakistan, Wasifullah’s best friend Abdurrahman believes it’s the Taliban who are responsible for the destruction.”

This quote, from two boys from the Kachegori IDP (internally displaced persons) Camp in Peshawar reveals perfectly the awesome split, running down the middle of Pakistani society, much more clearly than any attempted explanation that could be given. The Pakistani people are of two minds, both of them extremely patriotic, one school of thought blames the local terrorists for all their grief, the other side insists that it is the military which has killed their loved ones. Outside forces, which are hostile to Pakistan’s survival, have every intention of aggravating those divisions to the point of civil war.

The Christian Bible has a teaching: “A house divided against itself shall not stand.” This is the reality that the people of Pakistan today; in order to avoid the bottomless pit of civil war they must find ways to work through those differences of opinion.

The greatest threat to Pakistan’s survival is not the Taliban, or the Americans, or even those sneaky Indians—the most deadly force you face is your willingness to see everything in black and white. In an environment where so many people seem so certain about the source of their common misery, even though half of the country disagrees with them, there is no such thing as “benefit of the doubt.” You are right and the other guy is absolutely wrong. Something has to give—there has to be room for another possible explanation to be discussed. Until then, you face grave danger from certain dark quarters. Someone has to tear-down the barricades which divide the two camps.

From our experience in our own Civil War, Americans can tell you the truth about the power of differences of opinions, differences so great, that one side feels compelled to take-up arms to force submission from the other side over the primary issues, while the other side is eager to do the same. Soon, you too, will hear the tanks and jackboots marching through your streets, pretending that they are defending your free Republic from subversion. Americans will soon hear the same sounds in our own streets, as the avoidable issue of martial law becomes an inevitable consequence of our reactionary avoidance of the dark forces rising amongst us.

Like you, we too, have to gird ourselves for our own patriotic battlefield of opinions, as we, who refuse to submit to the omniscient State, must defend American ideals from those who believe in the lies of he State, and stand ready to fight against our own ideas as a form of subversion. The world is caught between those who believe that war is the answer to everything and those like myself who believe that war is the answer to nothing.

The schizophrenic nature of Pakistani public discourse (or public discourse in any of the frontline countries) is quickly revealed by a quick perusal of articles and comments to them in Pakistani papers. Comments from the people are sharply divided by a line of false “patriotism,” with people on one side clearly defending the Army as Pakistan’s great patriotic hope against either the terrorists or the Americans, and folks on the other side see the Army violating the basic human rights of thousands of Pakistani citizens instead of protecting them, making the Army the greatest threat to the Nation.

With the Army in virtual control of all of society, it is no small thing to publicly accuse the Army of killing Pakistanis. To do so will quickly get you “disappeared.” The same can be said about publicly speaking-out against the Taliban—it will also get you killed. Why look to blame either America or India for the killing of ordinary Pakistanis, when you can stand in the middle of the street and slander both India and the United States at the top of your lungs and no bullets will fly at you—but you might just get a few handshakes or hugs.

While it is certainly true that both India and the United States have been hiring lots of people to wage war inside Pakistan, those people were all Pakistanis—Pakistanis waging war against their fellow Pakistanis. The point is, hundreds, or thousands of Pakistanis have been willing to kill their countrymen for a few bucks, all for a cause that most of them probably felt no kinship for. How easy would it then be for the Imperial powers to pay these mercenaries just a little bit more to ignite open civil war?

The greatest danger to Pakistan’s pressure-cooker national scenario is not so much from the dangerous differences in opinion, the real, impending danger is from those who would pay enormous sums to push a few provocateurs across that dangerous dividing line.

It is against this great provocative danger that the real patriots of Pakistan must organize and find ways to heal the great rifts which have been created and amplified. Take away the magnifying glass which the great powers use to amplify the natural divisions occurring among you. Stop the fight over who is to blame for the terrorism afflicting the Pakistani people, whether it is the Army or the Taliban and recognize the American influence in each organization. Stop teaching your children your own prejudices. Learn to see beyond the divisive labels. You need to organize to stop the violence—all of the violence, all kinds of political or religious violence.

The war on terrorism must take a new turn in Pakistan, onto a road of peace. You must fight the spirit of war with the desire to wage peace. Waging peace isn’t just an old hippie phrase dusted-off for our era; it is a meaningful life change. Waging peace has nothing to do with armaments; it is a struggle to change human behavior itself. It is a concept found in the Christian Bible, just as it is in the life-altering teachings of the Quran. It is the personal jihad, “the ijtihad,” or struggle against the self. It is our selfless better nature waging war against the primal reactions of the primitive “self.”

We must fight the urge against violent reactions to our own opinions that are so alien to our own that they drive us to madness. Everyone understands this urge, to silence those “ignorant” fools who encourage opinions that we consider to be harmful to our own causes. In any election season, we are all certain to encounter loud, obnoxious, ”talking-heads,” who we would like to shut-up. It is the urge to react in the face of obvious, even dangerous, ignorance, that we all must struggle against.

We must follow the civilizing urge, instead of the emotions of the inner cave man. Only in this way can we wage peace against those who have their rifles ready at hand. What Pakistan needs is a peaceful agitation, an arousal of the patriotic urge to defend Pakistan against all adversaries, even from the State itself.

In a normal article or essay of this type, it would be unavoidable, at this point, to go off in a tangent, producing a stream of facts to support my position, but that is not what is needed here.

Those who find themselves caught-up in the argument to either defend the Pak Army, or to castigate it, must break free from the swift currents of national debate over this, a very large side issue. The real issue here, the ONLY issue here, is the survival of Pakistan as a cohesive state. The Army is NOT the issue, unless it surrenders Pakistan itself to the tender mercies of the controlling, interfering powers. If Kayani has surrendered to an American invasion, then he will have made himself the greatest obstacle to your self-preservation as a free people. In which case, the people would be correct to turn against the Army.

Whether or not the normally inscrutable general has surrendered to Petraeus’ demands and opened a new war front in North Waziristan and accepted widening the NATO offensive into the Tribal Regions, remains to be seen. That is your problem to figure-out, only you must do it before it actually plays-out. Such is the nature of subversive patriotism—Who really defends the homeland and who works for the Empire?

“How do we save the Islamic Republic from the war against Islam?” This is the vital issue that all sides must begin to see in the stark light of blinding reality. If you activate the citizen democracy over saving the state, then you can attend to first issues first, followed later by efforts to resolve the many side issues which are now being used by the hostile powers to blind you. Democratic action will have given birth to a flowering Islamic democracy—an impossible contradiction, according to many knowledgeable experts.

The Empire wants your minds. It is on that mental battlefield where your greatest struggles await.

The “Adiala 11” Disappeared Were Suspects in GHQ Bombing and Musharraf Assassination Attempt

[This means that this Lashkar e-Jhangvi, “Amjad Farooqi Cell has once again been brought back from the point of certain doom by shadowy government agents.  One would think that the Pakistani people would grow weary from this constant reviving of “dead” terrorists, over and over, to take the state terrorism in Pakistan to the next level.  Rest assured, the men who were taken from that Rawalpindi jail are perfectly safe and warm, nestled in the bosom of the protective ISI.]

‘Weak’ state and ‘disappeared’ people

Both the ISI and Military Intelligence (MI) have denied that they took away the acquitted men.

The attorney general of Pakistan has told the Supreme Court that the country’s intelligence agencies “could not be made respondents in any case.” He was speaking in connection with the ‘disappearance’, from Adiala jail in Rawalpindi, of 11 men acquitted by an anti-terrorism court (ATC) before they could be released. There was some evidence that they were handed over to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Both the ISI and Military Intelligence (MI) have denied that they took away the acquitted men.

Significantly, the men had been arrested and tried on the charge of an attack on the GHQ earlier this year, as well as an attempt on the life of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. Now it is a case of habeas corpus, similar to the case of the ‘disappeared’ people that the honourable Court is pursuing, given the fact that habeas corpus is the foundation of criminal law and ensures legal process. If there is no habeas corpus, the state allowing people to be arrested without being presented before a court of law is often called fascist.

In Pakistan, ‘disappearance’ is said to be of two kinds. The first is the incompetence of the prosecuting agencies — the 11 men of Adiala jail were improperly ‘sued’ according to the attorney general — which has caused the release of known terrorists who have been killed after being released. The courts are not to blame: they must apply the principle of guilty beyond a shadow of doubt to all comers. And that applies to ATCs as well. The second reason is that terrorists are able to intimidate the legal and executive bureaucracy in letting them go. There are numberless cases where known killers were let off because the witnesses either mysteriously died or were cowed into reneging. There have been, no doubt, cases where the magistrate, unsure of state protection, saved his life by acquitting the killer.

The Supreme Court’s effort at putting the country back on the rails of habeas corpus is meritorious, but is increasingly coming up against the state’s much weakened writ in the face of terrorism. It has particularly faced a tough situation in Balochistan where the ‘disappeared’ people have belonged to all kinds of categories — members of private armies involved in acts of terrorism; people scared into escaping into Afghanistan during the insurgency; and those picked up by the security agencies — backed not so much by the legal community as by sub-nationalism in the province. Wherever in the world there has been uprising against the state, disappearances have been experienced.

The largest disappearances in per capita terms have been in Sri Lanka: 3,000. In Indian Punjab, thousands of secret cremations of individuals killed in police custody throughout the 1980s have been uncovered in just a single district. This is true of Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh too. In Kashmir, in 1989 alone, some 7,000 people disappeared at the hands of Indian security forces. The United States organised the Guantanamo Bay camp to avoid habeas corpus. Aafia Siddiqi was not charged as an abettor of al Qaeda because that would have obliged the American government to produce 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Muhammad — currently at Guantanamo — in a New York court. Cases proliferate in Afghanistan, Bhutan and in the Chittagong Hills in Bangladesh.

Letting terrorists go can be lethal. Abdullah Mehsud, let off from Guantanamo Bay, went on a killing spree in Pakistan, abducting and killing Chinese engineers working in Tribal Areas. Shia leader Hasan Turabi was killed in Karachi in 2006 after he warned that terrorists let off recently by the Sindh High Court will kill him.Speaking to Newsweek Pakistan (November 15), Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer complained that “the people suspected of involvement in the murder of the surgeon-general of Pakistan, the attempts on Musharraf, the attack on the GHQ and the attack on the Danish embassy have all been released”. There is the quaint example of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi killer Malik Ishaq whom the Punjab government keeps in custody but pays his family for it because he has been released by the court!

Demanding habeas corpus is the court’s effort to bring the country back to normal. But the process of bringing this ‘weak’ state back to normalcy requires fighting the armed terrorist who thrives on the basis of intimidation. There are two kinds of states in the ‘weak’ category: the ones that belong to the Third World roll call of disorganisation; and those that have lost their writ to embedded terrorists. Pakistan’s writ is lowest among the Third World category of disorganised states, and that too after counting Afghanistan and its warlords. There is practically no writ outside a couple of cities in Balochistan; there is no writ in most of Tribal Areas, federal and provincial; there is partial writ or ‘shared writ’ in such settled areas as Kohat and Hangu in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

There are alarming comparisons here, and they outmatch other states in South Asia. Cities like Peshawar and Karachi are at the mercy of terrorists and criminals who have adopted the modus operandi of the terrorists. They have no-go areas where security agencies too are attacked. There are no-go areas in a part of interior Sindh where tribal wars take place while the police stand aside and watch. There is a 75-kilometre long stretch of River Indus before it falls into the Indian Ocean where only dacoits rule and make people disappear in Karachi for money. The dacoits from this no-man’s land actually own entire communities in Karachi where some of the ‘goths’ they established have been regularised as towns by the government.

Yet the Supreme Court’s campaign to make state agencies answerable for the people they pick up is praiseworthy and the support it has in this regard from the entire world is justified. There are additional matters pertaining to the competence of state authorities, hardened by past immunity, that are also coming to the fore. Intelligence agencies have agreed to talk to the Supreme Court to explain their position. That is the right way to go. No one is above the law.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2010.

Pak intelligence agencies “cloaked in veil of impunity”

Pak intelligence agencies “cloaked in veil of impunity”: Pak editorial

From ANI

Islamabad, Nov 26: Referring to the case of eleven missing prisoners of Adiala Jail, allegedly abducted by Pakistani intelligence agencies, a newspaper editorial has stated that these spy agencies of have once again "cleverly cloaked themselves in a veil of impunity".

"Pakistan’s intelligence agencies seem to think they are above the law. This could not have been more obvious in the case of the 11 missing prisoners who were allegedly picked up by our agencies from the Adiala Jail," said the Daily Times editorial.
It quoted Attorney General Maulvi Anwarul Haq’s written reply to the Supreme Court (SC) on behalf of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI), as saying: "It is stated stance of answering respondents that the alleged detained prisoners are not in their custody."
In a separate reply, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) claimed the same. However, Chief Justice of Pakistan, Iftikhar Chaudhry, taking a tough stance, took umbrage at the ISI and MI’s reply that "an office cannot be sued. The proper party is the Federation of Pakistan through the secretary of relevant ministries".
On being prodded by the Chief Justice, Haq revealed there was no specific law under which the secret agencies were functioning, and that under Section 29 of the Civil Procedure Court, notices could be issued to the federation.
At this, the Chief Justice said the Civil Procedure Court was a subordinate legislation, while the apex court had wider jurisdiction and could issue notices to anyone, adding that no one was above the law.
"Prima facie you know about the evidence in the case, and being a high law officer, it’s your responsibility to assist the court and resolve the matter amicably," Chaudhry said.
Taking note of killings in Balochistan, the editorial said: "When extra-judicial killings are being carried out by these agencies, there is sufficient suspicion to believe that the Adiala Jail inmates are in their custody as well. It will be a real test for the judiciary to prove its mettle if it can take the security agencies to task."
It recalled that the last time the Chief Justice had threatened to bring the intelligence chiefs to court for questioning in the missing persons’ cases, he was unceremoniously removed by former President Pervez Musharraf.
"But this should not deter CJ Chaudhry who is known for taking bold steps to establish the judiciary’s independence. It is time to put an end to this culture of impunity and the intelligence agencies made accountable for their alleged crimes against humanity," the editorial added.
Copyright Asian News International/

Russian Parliament: Stalin Ordered Katyn Massacres

Russian Parliament: Stalin Ordered Katyn Massacres

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (right) and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited the Polish part of the Katyn memorial on April 7.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (right) and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk visited the Polish part of the Katyn memorial on April 7.

November 26, 2010

Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has passed a statement saying the World War II Katyn massacres were committed on the direct order of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
The 1940 massacre of some 20,000 Polish officers and other prominent citizens in western Russia by Soviet secret police has long soured relations between the two countries.
The Soviet Union initially blamed the massacre on the Nazis.
The statement, passed today despite opposition from the Communist Party, also stressed that Soviet citizens were also victimized by Stalin’s repressions.
"I am troubled that over the past few decades the Russians have been put on their knees and forced to apologize for everything, including things they have never done," said Viktor Ilyukhin, a Communist deputy.

compiled from agency reports

The Inside Poop On the First Israeli Weapons Shipments to the Contras

Spilled out into the open declassified Pentagon documents reveal a strange, not to say illicit, 1980s operation called ‘Tipped Kettle,’ in which weapons stolen by Israel from the PLO in Lebanon were transferred to the Contras and to anti-American elements in Iran

By Amir Oren

The collection of declassified documents published two weeks ago by the Pentagon reveals infighting among branches of the U.S. administration and intrigues in foreign countries – including 1980s’ Israel. The impression one gets is not especially positive. The Americans are publishing the documents now not because they are trying somehow to suggest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu how he should behave, but because the law obligates them to reveal records in due course following a review, unless there is a genuine reason to keep them secret. In the aforesaid period Netanyahu served as deputy to Moshe Arens, when he was Israel’s ambassador to Washington, D.C. (1982-83 ). Arens’ staff then also included Gen. Menachem Meron, the military attache in Washington, and spokesman Nachman Shai. Arens and his aides constituted an island of sanity in their relations with the administration of U.S. President Ronald Reagan, at a time of hostility in the U.S. capital toward the government of Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Ariel Sharon.

IDF soldiers Lebanon war IDF Spokesman's Office IDF soldiers with weapons captured during the first day of the Lebanon war.
Photo by: IDF Spokesman’s Office

The recently revealed documents deal with an operation dubbed “Tipped Kettle,” involving weapons the Israel Defense Forces looted from the Palestine Liberation Organization during Operation Peace for Galilee in Lebanon, and their transfer to the Contras – opponents of the socialistic Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. That was the first episode, of rather questionable legality according to U.S. law, in a more complex story whose second installment, in 1985-1986, became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Part II was patently illegal – a blatant effort by the White House to violate a Congressional order and to cook up a strange deal involving the sale of American weapons (originally supplied to the IDF ) to anti-American Iran, for use in its war with Iraq; the release of Western hostages being held in Lebanon by Iranian-controlled Hezbollah; and the financing of Contras’ activities thanks to the difference between the sum paid by the Iranians and the true value of the weapons – minus a profit for those engaged in the deal.

By the end of that decade, during the trial of U.S. Marine Col. Oliver North and other officials in the Reagan administration, charged with deceiving Congress and providing false testimony to a special prosecutor, Operation Tipped Kettle was also briefly mentioned in the court proceedings. Now, however, the whole picture has come into view, with its emphasis on the behavior on the Israeli side.

In the fall of 1982, Reagan’s secretary of defense, Caspar Weinberger, was trying to implement a policy intended to combat pro-Soviet elements in Latin America, including the Sandinistas. Even more belligerent than he was CIA director William Casey. The CIA had direct intelligence connections with the Mossad, but in the affair of the captured weapons the American agency preferred to hide behind the Pentagon. The system of communication between the CIA and the Pentagon was called Focal Point; it had been used to facilitate connections between them since the mid-1950s. Officially, Israel was unaware then that the weapons taken from the PLO would be used not by the U.S. Army in its training bases, but rather to arm the Contras.

Though the Republicans controlled the White House at the time, the Democrats controlled Congress. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Edward Boland, achieved a majority for a series of bills named for him, which limited the administration’s ability to help the Contras. In one of the bills, passed in the fall of 1984, all U.S. intelligence agencies were prohibited from any such activity. (North tried to outsmart the law, claiming, after he came under investigation, that the National Security Council, which coordinated the operations, was not an intelligence agency. )

The legislation meant, in effect, that without the specific approval of Congress, no money could be formally budgeted in this case. Therefore, Casey, North and their colleagues had to use subterfuge to supply the arms, for example, by way of “donations” from foreign countries – Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Brunei – or circuitous deals with South Korea, Taiwan, China and especially Israel. The loot captured from the PLO during the war, at a cost of hundreds of Israeli dead, was particularly suitable for use by the Contras. And if Kalashnikov rifles fell into the hands of the Sandinistas, there would have been fewer questions about its source.

‘No policy problem’The first of the Pentagon documents concerning Operation Tipped Kettle was sent by Weinberger to Casey on November 17, 1982. The subject: rifles, machine guns and light mortars for infantry fighters “captured by Israeli forces in Lebanon.” The Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency “can offer assistance in helping to acquire significant amounts of these types of weapons presently available in Lebanon.” The letter didn’t say from whom exactly the weapons would be purchased – from the Christian Phalange forces, from other organizations or from Palestinians in areas outside IDF control. The State Department, added Weinberger, had “no policy problem with this effort as long as it is not publicized.”

“In a separate action, our efforts to obtain captured weapons directly from the Israeli government have been delayed while their military attache, MG Meron, is out of the Washington area. He should return within the next few days and the subject will be raised at that time … We are prepared to meet your request through the Focal Point System,” wrote Weinberger.

In March 1983, four months later, Weinberger sent Casey a second letter, declaring, “I am glad to report significant progress.” In February, back in Israel, the Kahan Commission of inquiry report on the massacres in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut was submitted, as a consequence of which Ariel Sharon was dismissed as defense minister. At that point, staff from the embassy in Washington took over at the ministry in Tel Aviv: Arens was at the top, Meron became director general, and Shai was media adviser.

Weinberger reported that “a joint DoD/CIA survey team visited Israel and was shown about 300 metric tons of captured weapons and ammunition suitable for your purposes. Shortly after Ambassador Arens became the new Israeli MOD, the DoD was informed that these weapons would be provided to the U.S. at a small percentage of their market value. This charge, which I understand will be agency funded, would only be for packing and handling and is anticipated to be in the neighborhood of $100,000. My staff is in the process of setting up the movement of these weapons to the U.S. Due to the weight and bulk of these items they will have to be moved by surface transport and thereby will not be available until the May/June timeframe.”

That same day, the U.S. Navy was instructed to provide transport for “military items … that will be shipped from the Israeli port of Ashdod … to the East Coast of the United States.”

Weinberger updated Casey: “The shipment will be available for CIA pickup” and “can remain packed in the 34 Land/Sea containers until reaching their destination. The Land/Sea containers are the property of the Government of Israel and will need to be … returned to Israel.”

The shipment included 20,000 rifles and submachine guns, 1,000 machine guns, 90 recoil-less rifles, 110 mortars, 1,000 hand grenades and a large amount of ammunition. “The then newly appointed Israeli minister of defense, Moshe Arens, made the final decision that these weapons were to be provided on a gratis basis to DoD. This was one of MOD Arens’ first actions … and was clearly a signal of his desire to improve U.S./Israel relations,” according to the Pentagon documents.

Israel, with one-time and well-calculated generosity, did not lose much money here: In the 1980s, private arms dealers sold similar Kalashnikov rifles, made in Yugoslavia, for $210 each. The market value of all the Kalashnikovs in the shipment in question was only about $4 million; 60-mm. mortars were sold for about $1,500 and 81-mm. mortars for about $5,000.

Added costsA year later, the CIA’s appetite was whetted again; now there were additional factors in the equation. Weinberger’s new undersecretary for international security, Richard Armitage, became a close friend and regular visitor of the new military attache, Gen. Uri Simhoni; the same was true of Weinberger’s senior military assistant, Gen. Colin Powell.

In June 1984, Weinberger received a memo from Armitage describing the process by which the looted weapons had been transferred a year earlier. Armitage mentioned that the mission was accomplished as a result of talks between Maj. Gen. Richard Secord and Meron, and a decision by Arens. In February 1984 the Pentagon was asked to find out whether there were additional weapons available in Israel “under the same financial terms” – i.e., “available for operational use at little or no cost.” In contacts with the Israeli government a few months earlier, in March, it turned out that there were additional weapons stolen from the PLO caches, including Katyushas and anti-aircraft weapons, but that they were “for sale.” A joint Pentagon-CIA survey delegation, headed by the liaison officer with Israel (whose name is erased, apparently a Col. Forster ), went to Israel to examine the items.

“Contacts with the GOI,” noted Armitage dryly, “revealed that they had placed a value of over $77M on these weapons, while DoD sources estimated the cost of the weapons at around $27M.” Or, according to another estimate, $35 million. The head of the U.S. Army Museum, an expert on Soviet weapons, estimated the value at only $17 million.

Armitage’s deputy, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Edward Tixier, Secord’s successor, was traveling to Israel to discuss a different matter and said he would speak privately to director general Meron to discuss transferring the second collection of captured weapons to the Pentagon at little or no cost. If Tixier succeeded, the weapons could arrive in the U.S. at the end of July and be sent immediately to the CIA.

Prior to the Armitage-Simhoni meeting on May 24, Armitage wrote to a liaison officer subordinate to him that “the chances of the U.S. ever obtaining these weapons is poor if they are not in our possession by July 23, 1984 (the date of the upcoming Israeli election ). Our contacts in the Israel MOD (to include both Mr. Arens and Gen. Meron ) could be gone the following day, and establishing relations with new players could be time-consuming.”

According to the recently declassified documents, Israeli activity was frozen at the time, because of “the confusion in the GOI over what direction U.S. policy in Central America is heading and the role that Israel can and should play in relation to the topic. If you feel that timing is right you may which to discuss the issue of payment for these weapons. Because Israeli funds would have to be found to cover specific project related costs (packing, crating, shipping ), we should offer to pay these line items. We should not offer to pay anything for the weapons for two reasons: the weapons will be used to further Western interests, and in the grand scheme of U.S./Israeli relations, a good will gesture on the part of Israel (at a low dollar cost for them ) would be most helpful with the GOI is requesting U.S. assistance on major projects such as funding for the new SAAR-5 missile-attack boat, the Lavi, the F-4 upgrade, the upgrading of the Merkava tank, and the usage of FMS funds off-shore, to mention a few.

“Prior to moving any of this equipment, there needs to be a lead time of several weeks, so that our EOD [explosive ordnance disposal] and logistics people can do the planning required to make this operation work. There is no time to spare if we are to complete this effort prior to Israeli elections.”

In order to save time, Meron suggested that packing of the weaponry begin – this time, over 100 containers were needed – while internal consultation in Israel continued.

The Arens-Meron camp, the Americans reported to their dispatchers, had two problems: IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Levi, eager to speed up the withdrawal of the IDF from Lebanon, gave top priority to establishing a security zone and therefore also arming of the forces of Saad Hadad – which became the South Lebanon Army – with the weapons in question. The IDF’s security assistance unit, headed by Col. (res. ) Zvi Reuter, and foreign relations department, demanded monetary compensation. Above all, the clock was ticking: Soon there would be a new Knesset and perhaps a new defense minister, who would bring in a new director general.

In the last telegram from Tel Aviv, bearing the censored signature of the liaison officer, there is an hour-by-hour description of the consultations, maneuvering and bargaining: hints that the price could be reduced if a way could be found to increase the aid; anger in the Pentagon at the Israeli chutzpah; examination of alternatives; encrypted telegrams from the embassy; bridging proposals; a “gentlemen’s agreement” without signatures.

The elections came and went and the race between Labor, headed by Shimon Peres, and Likud, headed by Yitzhak Shamir, ended in a tie. A week later, before the Peres-Shamir government was formed, Arens signed an approval of the transaction: Weapons worth $30 million to $40 million in exchange for the expectation of an increase in military assistance. Arens was forced to vacate the ministry in favor of Yitzhak Rabin, who like him was pro-American, but Meron remained in the post of director general for two more years.

The Tipped Kettle papers end with an internal memo, with no addressees or signatories, which was written on the day the Iran-Contra affair was exposed, in November 1986. It reports that Reuter, the head of security assistance , complained that the debt for the second transaction had yet to be paid. The complaint was examined in the Pentagon and it revealed an astonishing finding. The Israeli military attache’s office in Washington and the international branch of the Defense Department had reached a secret arrangement: In return for Israel waiving the payment, the U.S. defense contractor Numax was to retain its security clearance and government contracts after being purchased by Israel.

What the officers and ministers, the officials and ambassadors are doing in secret today will be revealed, thanks to the Americans in another 25 years.

First Fake “Taliban,” Then Fake “Al Qaida”

[The question that we must all now ask is: “Were the British military/spooks  trying to deceive the Americans or were they  performing a service for the military/CIA?”   Since there is “O” probability that the British govt. is anything more than an American “lap dog,” dedicated to keeping us happy, then it becomes obvious that this latest fake “Taliban” is another American fake Taliban (SEE:      The “Legitimate Press” Almost Gets It On Afghanistan ).  They knew that it would eventually be  exposed for the idiocy that it was, but was it more than just a stalling tactic?  Was it more than just a diversion, to buy the American generals and diplomats time to open their back door into Russia’s back yard?  The brilliant morons over at CIA also know that one day America’s dirty hands in creating the terror war would be exposed as brutal stage-acting, even though the actors that they have chosen to do the stage-managing have mostly been Pakistanis, Brits, Turks or Israelis.  Gambits, like all the fake Taliban episodes, are often employed to just get to the next gambit or ruse, and to put-off the day when people would forget all about exposing the fake “Taliban,” and begin to expose the mother of all lies, fake “al Qaida.”  Our government, with the help of all its foreign collaborators, has created the “al Qaida” terrorists and the war intended to eliminate them out of “whole cloth.”  The leaders of American government are so immoral and vicious, that they would do this to their fellow man, in order to gain temporary advantage.

Whenever the truth comes out about our government’s role as the greatest creator of political terrorism in all human history, and the perpetrators of the reign of agency-contracted terror which began on Sept. 11, 2001 stand exposed before the people of the world…Then the American people will be forced to act and physically remove our own fake “government,” before the angry frenzied mobs of the world forcibly carry-out that task for us.]

Karzai’s office blames British for Taliban impostor

By Paul Wood BBC News, Kabul

A man described as Mullah Mansour, a senior Taliban commander.
Most Afghan or US officials have never set eyes on Taliban leaders, such as Mullah Omar

President Hamid Karzai’s chief of staff has said British authorities brought a fake Taliban commander into sensitive meetings with the Afghan authorities.

The British embassy refused to confirm or deny the remarks, made in an interview with the Washington Post.

A man described as Mullah Mansour, a senior Taliban commander, was reportedly taken to Kabul for a meeting with President Karzai himself.

Now it is claimed he was really a Pakistani shopkeeper from Quetta.

The impersonator is said to have disappeared after hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid to him for his co-operation in the process of Taliban reconciliation.

President Karzai’s office is blaming the British authorities for this debacle – telling the Washington Post the man was brought to the meeting by British diplomats.

A spokesman for the British embassy in Kabul said they did not comment on operational matters.

The Afghan government’s meetings with the Taliban – fake or otherwise – have been described as contacts rather than negotiations.

If there was indeed British involvement, the question is whether this was logistical support or something more active.

“If we are desperate to talk to the Taliban, the Taliban will think, ‘we are winning’,” said one Western official.

Full negotiations to end this conflict still seem a long way off – and the case of the Taliban impostor will not have helped matters.

Brain Implants

Welcome University of California, Berkeley, Neuroelectric Research Group,
University of California, Berkeley, Introduction to Cyberpunk students,
University of Maine Homeland Security Lab and Electrictal & Computer Engineering students,
The Neuroscience Think-Tank at the University of Sussex,
New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Interactive Telecommunications Program,
National University of Singapore Integrated Virtual Learning Environment,
Kansas’s Fort Hays State University students,
Michigan’s Wayne State University ISM 7500,
University of Massachusetts psychology students,
Pennsylvania’s Muhlenberg College students,
Tasmania’s ICT Mindtools Robotics students!

Brain Implants

Direct neural control of complex machines is a long-term U.S. military goal. DARPA has a brain-machine interface program aimed at creating next-generation wireless interfaces between neural systems and, initially, prosthetics and other biomedical devices.
— Rodney Brooks, “Toward a Brain-Internet Link,” WirelessNewsFactor, 10 Dec 2003.

CommittedIn a Kurzweillian future, the world would become a very strange place, where converging advances in nanotechnology, biotechnology and computer science combine to propel humanity to its next stage of evolution. “By the end of this century, I don’t think there will be a clear distinction between human and machine,” Kurzweil told the Foresight Institute’sEighth Conference on Molecular Nanotechnology.1

[By 1969,] the miracle of giving light to the blind i, ii, iii, iv or sound to the deaf ha[d] been made possible by implantation of electrodes, demonstrating the technical possibility of circumventing damaged sensory receptors by direct electrical stimulation of the nervous system.2 Computers that become part of our bodies are not so far-fetched.… Surgeons have performed [more than 50,000 3] cochlear implants on patients with hearing loss.v “These people are already walking around with chips in their heads,” [Peter Cochrane, head of research at British Telecommunications PLC,] says.4

Giving completely paralyzed patients full mental control of robotic limbs or communication devices has long been a dream of those working to free such individuals from their locked-in state.5 There is little doubt that direct brain-machine interfaces will be available in the very near future.6

Aaron Russo's 'America: Freedom to Fascism'

Rat cyborg

Rat cyborg

Researchers at the University School of Medicine in Philadelphia demonstrated that signals from neuron groupings in rats brains can be used to control a physical device without the rats carrying out a physical action themselves.7 “This study breaks new ground in several areas,” said Dr. Eberhard Fetz, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington School of Medicine, who authored a commentary on the research in the “News and Views” section of Nature Neuroscience. “Unlike comparable studies, this is the first demonstration to prove that simultaneous recordings from large ensembles of neurons can be converted in real time and online to control an external device. Extracting signals directly from the brain to control robotic devices has been a science fiction theme that seems destined to become fact.” 8

[Miguel Nicolelis and colleagues] at Duke University in North Carolina wired monkey brains to control robotic armsthat mimicked the motions of their real arms (another search; see also another similar study).9 “It was an amazing sight to see the robot in my lab move, knowing that it was being driven by signals from a monkey brain at Duke,” said [Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s] Touch Lab director and co-researcher Mandayam Srinivasan. “It was as if the monkey had a 600-mile- (950-km-) long virtual arm.”10

John P. Donoghue, a neuroscientist at Brown University developing a similar system, said paralyzed patients would be the first to benefit by gaining an ability to type and communicate on the Web, but the list of potential applications is endless, he said. The devices may even allow quadriplegics to move their own limbs again by sending signals from the brain to various muscles, leaping over the severed nerves that caused their paralysis.…

Both he and Nicolelis hope to get permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin experiments in people [in 2004]. Nicolelis also is developing a system that would transmit signals from each of the hundreds of brain electrodes to a portable receiver, so his monkeys — or human subjects — could be free of external wires and move around while they turn their thoughts into mechanical actions.11

Scientists say they have developed a technology that enables a monkey to move a cursor on a computer screensimply by thinking about it.… Using high-tech brain scans, the researchers determined that [a] small clump[] of cells…were active in the formation of the desire to carry out specific body movements. Armed with this knowledge, [researchers at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena] implanted sensitive electrodes in the posterior parietal cortex of a rhesus monkey trained to play a simple video game.… A computer program, hooked up to the implanted electrodes,…then moved a cursor on the computer screen in accordance with the monkey’s desires — left or right, up or down, wherever “the electrical (brain) patterns tells us the monkey is planning to reach,” according to [researcher Daniella] Meeker.12 [Dr. William Heetderks, director of the neural prosthesis program at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,] believes that the path to long-lasting implants in people would involve the recording of data from many electrodes. “To get a rich signal that allows you to move a limb in three-dimensional space or move a cursor around on a screen will require the ability to record from at least 30 neurons,” he said.13

Glass clone implantDr. Philip R. Kennedy, an [sic] clinical assistant professor of neurology at Emory University in Georgia, reported that a paralyzed man was able to control a cursor with a cone-shaped, glass implant (See also another similar study).14 Each [neurotrophic electrode] consists of a hollow glass cone about the size of a ball-point pen tip.15 The implants…contain an electrode that picks up impulses from the nerve endings. Before they are implanted, the cones are coated with chemicals — taken from tissue inside the patients’ own knees — to encourage nerve growth. The implants are then placed in the brain’s motor cortex — which controls body movement — and over the course of the next few months the chemicals encourage nerve cells to grow and attach to the electrodes. A transmitter just inside the skull picks up signals from the cones and translates these into cursor commands on the computer.16

Scientists at Northwestern University crafted a two-wheeled robot that operated partly on the electrical signals of adisplaced lamprey’s brain (pic, video).17 The part of the brain used in the experiment normally keeps the lamprey upright in the water. When connected up correctly, the organ can guide the robot towards a light source.18

Scientists at the University of Tokyo are exploring ways that la cucaracha can become more socially redeeming. Using hardy American roaches, scientists remove their wings, insert electrodes in their antennae (more pics, schematics) and affix a tiny backpack of electric circuits and batteries to their carapace. The electrodes prod them to turn left and right, go backward and forward. The plan is to equip them with minicameras or other sensory devices.19, vi [Later that same year, the motion pictureThe Fifth Element (1997) featured a remote-controlled cockroach equipped with a camera.]

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute have…demonstrated electronic-based neuron transistors that can control the movement of a live leech from a computer. They can detect the firing of a nearby neuron, cause it to fire, or suppress a neuron from firing — all of which amounts to two-way communication between neurons and neuron transistors.20

Remote-controlled rat (JPG)Rats steered by a computer…could soon help find buried earthquake victims or dispose of bombs, scientists said [1 May 2002]. The remote-controlled “roborats” (more pics, audio, video) can be made to run, climb, jump or turn left and right through electrical probes, the width of a hair, implanted in their brains. Movement signals are transmitted from a computer to the rat’s brain via a radio receiver strapped to its back. One electrode stimulates the “feelgood” center of the rat’s brain, while two other electrodes activate the cerebral regions which process signals from its left and right whiskers.21

“They work for pleasure,” says Sanjiv Talwar, the bioengineer at the State University of New York who led the research team.… “The rat feels nirvana.” 22 Asked to speculate on potential military uses for robotic animals, Dr Talwar agreed they could, in theory, be put to some unpleasant uses, such as assassination.23

[In February 2007, scientists at the Robot Engineering Technology Research Centre at Shandong University of Science and Technology in China announced they had created remote-controlled pigeons (pic) after having had similar success implanting mice in 2005. Their next step is to improve the technology for practical use.]

A team of US scientists have wired a computer to a cat’s brain and created videos of what the animal was seeing. By recording the electrical activity of nerve cells in the thalamus, a region of the brain that receives signals from the eyes, researchers from the University of California at Berkeley were able to view these shapes.… They recorded the output from 177 brain cells that responded to light and dark in the cat’s field of view. In total, the 177 cells were sensitive to a field of view of 6.4 by 6.4 degrees.… In the cat’s brain, as in ours, the signals from the thalamus cells undergo considerable signal processing in the higher regions of the brain that improve the quality of the image that is perceived. Taking an image from a region of the brain before this image enhancement has taken place will result in a poorer image than the cat is able to see.… Given time, it will be possible to record what one person sees and “play it back” to someone else either as it is happening or at a later date.24, vii

In 1870, two German researchers named [Eduard] Hitzig and [Gustav] Fritsch electrically stimulated the brains of dogs, demonstrating that certain portions of the brain were the centers of motor function. The American Dr. Robert Bartholow, within four years, demonstrated that the same was true of human beings. By the turn of the [twentieth] century in Germany Fedor Krause was able to do a systematic electrical mapping of the human brain, using conscious patients undergoing brain surgery [Morgan, James P., “The First Reported Case of Electrical Stimulation of the Human Brain,” Journal of History of Medicine at; Zimmerman, M., “Electrical Stimulation of the Human Brain,” Human Neurobiology, 1982].

Another early researcher into electrical stimulation of the brain was Walter Rudolf Hess, who began research intoESB in the 1930s, jolting patients’ brains with shocks administered through tiny needles that pierced the skull.25 His experiments [also] included the insertion of fine electrically conductive wires into the brains of anaesthetized cats. To noone’s great surprise, given mild electrical stimulation the cats went beserk [Vance Packard, The People Shapers (New York: Bantam Books, 1977); “Hess, Walter Rudolf,” Encyclopedia Americana (New York: Harper & Row, 1969); “Hess, Walter Rudolph,” Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Inc., 1973)].26

Penfield brain mapsDuring the decades of the 1940s and 1950s, [Canadian pioneer] Wilder Penfield…experimented with electrical brain stimulation on patients undergoing surgery. One of Penfield’s discoveries was that the application of electricity on alert patients could stimulate the memory of past events [Project Open Mind] (full pic, "I smell burnt toast" reenactment surgery video).

Since 1949, the Tulane University Department of Psychiatry and Neurology has done experimentation in the implantation of electrodes into patients’ brains. According to one of their staff-generated reports, “By implantation of electrodes into various predetermined specific brain sites of patients capable of reporting thoughts and feelings, we have been able to make invaluable long-term observations…” [“Stereotaxic Implantation of Electrodes in the Human Brain: A Method for Long-Term Study and Treatment,” Heath, John, Fontana, Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Tulane University School of Medicine].

Other early researchers into direct brain stimulation were Robert G. Heath…and his associate, Dr. Russell Monroe. Beginning in 1950, with funding from the CIA and the military, among other sources, they implanted as many as 125 electrodes into subjects’ brains, and also experimented by injecting a wide variety of drugs directly into the brain tissue through small tubes; these drugs included LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline. One of Heath’s memorable suggestions was that lobotomy should be used on subjects, not as a therapeutic measure, but for the convenience of the staff [Heath, Robert G. Undated interview in Omni; Cannon, Martin, “Mind Control and the American Government,” Prevailing Winds, 1994; Human Rights Law Journal, “Freedom of the Mind as an International Human Rights Issue,” Vol. 3, No. 1-4; Ross, M.D., Dr. Colin, “The CIA and Military Mind Control Research: Building the Manchurian Candidate,” lecture given at Ninth Annual Western Clinical Conference on Trauma and Dissociation, April 18, 1996].27 Heath of Tulane University, who pioneered the electrical stimulation of human brains, has equipped dangerously aggressive mental patients with self-stimulators. A film shows a patient working himself out of a violent mood by pushing his stimulator button.28

In 1956, James Olds (pic) reported on research in which he had electrically stimulated the brains of rats. Implanting electrodes in rats’ pleasure center of the brain, he attached a device that allowed the rats to activate the electrical impulse. He found that the rats would become so obsessed with self-stimulation that they would literally starve themselves to death.29 Very similar results have since been achieved replacing rats with monkeys [and humans as well].30

Stimoceiver (JPG)Jose Delgado, funded by Yale University, the Office of Naval Intelligence, the U.S. Air Force 6571st Aeromedical Research Laboratory, and other institutions, and linked to Spanish fascist groups by researcher John Judge,31…is the man who perfected the stimoceiver [or ‘transdermal stimulator’], a tiny electronic device that is implanted into the brains of humans and animals, and is used to transmit electrical impulses directly to the brain [Delgado, Jose, Physical Control of the Mind (New York: Harper & Row, 1969); and Judge, John, “The Secret Government,” Dharma Combat number 10].32

Jose Delgado with bull (JPG)Delgado, in a series of experiments terrifying in their human potential, implanted electrodes in the skull of a bull. Waving a red cape, Delgado provoked the animal to charge. Then, with a signal emitted from a tiny hand-held radio transmitter, he made the beast turn aside in mid-lunge and trot docilely away.33 He has [also] been able to “play” monkeys and cats like “little electronic toys” that yawn, hide, fight, play, mate and go to sleepviii on command.34 The individual is defenseless against direct manipulation of the brain [Delgado, Physical Control].35

The open publication of Delgado’s bookPhysical Control of the Mind met with a decidedly cool reaction from the public, and this may have warned other researchers in the field to keep quiet about the subject. To this day, Delgado’s is the only popular book on the subject of implants and electrical stimulation of the brain.36

During the latter days of MKULTRA research, a CIA memorandum, dated 22 November, 1961, announced, “Initial biological work on techniques and brain locations essential to providing conditioning and control of animals has been completed. The feasibility of remote control of activities in several species of animals has been demonstrated.… The ultimate objective of this research is to provide an understanding of the mechanisms involved in the directional control of animals and to provide practical systems suitable for human application.” 37

Later breakthroughs in technology were documented in “Two-Way Transdermal Communication with the Brain,” published in 1975. By this time Delgado had linked his brain implants with computers. The monograph records,

“The most interesting aspect of the transdermal stimoceivers is the ability to perform simultaneous recording and stimulation of brain functions, thereby permitting the establishment of feedbacks and ‘on-demand’ programs of excitation with the aid of the computer. With the increasing sophistication and miniaturization of electronics, it may be possible to compress the necessary circuitry for a small computer into a chip that is implantable subcutaneously. In this way, a new self-contained instrument could be devised, capable of receiving, analyzing, and sending back information to the brain, establishing artificial links between unrelated cerebral areas, functional feedbacks, and programs of stimulation contingent on the appearance of pre-determined patterns” [Delgado, Lipponen, Weiss, del Pozo, Monteagudo, and McMahon, “Two-Way Transdermal Communication with the Brain,” a co-operative publication of the Medical University of Madrid, Spain, and Yale University Medical School, 1975].38

X-ray of implants in monkey's head (JPG)Many popular articles on Delgado intend us to think that his primary purpose was the rehabilitation of the mentally and physically sick. This does not happen to be the case. Delgado was a blatant control freak. An example is Delgado’s experimentation on changing the social orientation of animals. One staging area for this experimentation was an island in the Bermudas, where Delgado maintained a free-roving population of gibbons with electronic implants, using electrical brain boosts to build and destroy social orders among those primates as if he was knocking down a row of dominoes [Packard, People Shapers].39

Although well cited, Delgado’s practical results on humans were extremely limited,ix as most of his research was either merely stated without a results base, or has been reported on second hand.… Reports have been made on his work on the ‘Pandora Project’, which involved modulating electromagnetic fields to a soldier’s head so that the soldier would lose self-control on the battle field. Reports also include how work was carried out to induce schizophrenia artificially through electrical stimulation of the septal zone in the human brain.40

Always a visionary in the Orwellian mold, Delgado said, “Looking into the future, it may be predicted that telerecording and telestimulation of the brain will be widely used” [Delgado, Jose, “Radio Stimulation of the Brain in Primates and Man,” New Haven, Connecticut: Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, 1969].41 He has urged the U.S. government to make “control of the mind” a national goal.42

We the people will not be chipped

Another researcher who specialized in brain implants is Dr. Stuart Mackay, who in 1968 penned a textbook titledBio-Medical Telemetry. Mackay reported, “Among the many telemetry instruments being used today are miniature radio transmitters that can be swallowed, carried externally, or surgically implanted in man or animal. They permit the simultaneous study of behaviour and physiological functioning. The scope of observations is too broad to more than hint at a few examples. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination of the investigator” [Dr. Stuart Mackay, cited in Glenn Krawcyzyk, “Mind Control Techniques and Tactics of the New World Order,” Nexus, Dec-Jan 1993].43

By 1994, the London Times estimated that in the previous decade there had been 15,000 cases of persons being implanted with electronic brain devices. It is impossible to know if the Times estimate is at all accurate, since it is unlikely that they would be privy to statistics of secret testing. Certainly, most anti-mind control activists would say that the figure was a gross underestimate.44

In July 1996, information was released on research currently taking place into creation of a computer chip called the “Soul Catcher 2025.” Dr. Chris Winter and a team of scientists at British Telecom’s Martlesham Heath Laboratories, near Ipswich, are developing a chip that, when placed into the skull behind the eye, will record all visual and physical sensations, as well as thoughts. According to Winter, “This is the end of death… By combining this information with a record of the person’s genes, we could recreate a person physically, emotionally, and spiritually.” 45

“The brain is so complex that one wouldn’t at the outset think that replacing any of its parts is doable,” said Dr. Howard Eichenbaum, a professor of psychology at Boston University and director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neurobiology there. But advances in neuroscience and computer engineering have made it possible to develop implanted circuits that mimic neural activities, he said. “At least in principle, it looks as though a chip imitating some functions of the hippocampus could be implanted in the future,” he said (pic). “It’s a huge, huge advance in simply duplicating the functions of the hippocampus, which in many ways Dr. [Theodore W.] Berger, [a professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California and the director of the Center for Neural Engineeringthere,] has done.” 46

Brain pacemaker probes (JPG)Electrical devices called deep brain stimulators, essentially a pacemaker for the brain, have been used for some years to ease the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Now, they’ve just been approved for another degenerative brain disease called dystonia.… The brain stimulators don’t cure dystonia but…they can give patients a better quality of life. The beneficial effect has lasted for almost a decade so far in Parkinson’s patients, and it’s expected the dystonia effect will also be long lasting.47

Brain implant (JPG)

Cyberkinetics Inc. of Foxboro, Mass., has received Food and Drug Administration approval [in 2004] to begin a clinical trial in which four-square-millimeter chips will be placed beneath the skulls of paralyzed patients48 that would enable [them] to control computers directly with their brains or possibly help them move their limbs.… “Testing these implants in humans is the next step,” said Eberhard E. Fetz, professor at the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington, who has been experimenting with brain-signal devices since the late 1960s. “Within a decade, we’ll see these being used regularly to control prosthetic devices or activate a patient’s own muscles.” 49 At least two other research teams are planning similar brain-machine experiments in people.50

For the first time in humans [2004], a team headed by University researchers has placed an electronic grid atop patients’ brains to gather motor signals that enable the patients to play a computer game using only the signals from their brains. The use of a grid atop the brain to record the organ’s surface signals is a brain-machine interface technique that uses electrocorticographic (ECoG) activity — data taken invasively directly from the brain surface.… Eric C. Leuthardt, M.D., a WUSTL neurosurgeon at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Daniel Moran, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, performed their research on four adult epilepsy patients who had the grids implanted so that neurologists could find the area in the brain serving as the focus for an epileptic seizure, with hopes of removing it to avoid future seizures.… “To put this in perspective,” Leuthardt said, “the previous EEG-based x systems are equivalent to a 1908 Wright brothers airplane in regards to speed of learning to achieve control. Right now, with our results, we’re flying around in an F-16 jet.” 51

Probes implanted in the brain for diagnosis and treatment could be improved with nanoscale carbon fibers. Biomedical engineer Thomas Webster from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and colleagues developed a carbon nanofiber-reinforced plastic composite to determine whether it could improve neural and orthopedic prosthetics.

Neural prosthetics, usually made of silicon, can become covered in scar tissue. Orthopedic implants, usually made of titanium or titanium alloys, often become covered in soft tissue.

Knowing that carbon nanofibers and nanotubes have electrical and mechanical properties that might make them suitable for prosthesis, the researchers tested composites of 60-odd nanometer carbon nanofibers in polycarbonate urethane. Polycarbonate urethane is already approved for human use.

They found that neurons cultured on the nanofiber composite developed neurite extensions, which are the first step towards axons and a sign that the materials could encourage interactions essential to neural probes. Additionally, the material had less adhesion to astrocytes, which can impede neural function by producing scar tissue.

For orthopedic applications, the researchers found that bone-forming cells adhered better to composites with a high volume of nanofibers but cells that produce soft fibrous tissue stuck less readily.

The research is reported in the journal Nanotechnology (read abstract).52

100 electrode array used by Kevin Warwick (JPG)[Related to brain implants are implants that are connected to nerves from different parts of the body. Professor Kevin Warwick, for example, had implants inserted into his and his wife’s arms allowing two-way communication. The results were published in his book, I, Cyborg.]

[Another man, whose arms needed to be amputated,] underwent surgery to graft existing nerve endings from his shoulder onto the pectoral muscle on his chest. Those nerves grew into the muscle after about six months. Electrodes on the graft can now pick up any thought-generated nerve impulses to the now-absent limb and transmit those to [a] mechanical prosthesis, controlling the movements of the [“bionic”] arm.53

[The television series Ripley’s Believe it or Not that aired on 5 June 2004 included a segment about French doctors who implanted a computer chip in a paralyzed man’s abdomin connected to implants in his legs that allowed him to stand and walk with a walker by means of computer control.]

We are Borg.
You will be assimilated.
Resistance is futile.54

Homer Simpson borg (JPG)

Not everyone is thrilled at the prospect of a post-human future populated by cyborgs, designer children, conscious computers,xi immortals and disembodied minds roaming the Internet.… [Critics] think this could be the worst calamity to befall us, both as individuals and as a species.xii And they argue we should be taking steps to prevent it.55

If cyborgs are created with superhuman capabilities from a normal human start point, then it certainly brings about a threat to humanity itself. Perhaps the development of direct, military-style cyborgs might be possible to avoid. After all, when cyborgs exhibiting an intelligence that far surpasses that of humans are brought about, it will surely be the cyborgs themselves that make any decisions about how they treat humans.56

[Marvin Minsky, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence,] celebrates a future when humans will be able to “upload” the contents of their brains into computers or robotbrains.… [Ray Kurzweil] recently called for replacing the body’s often imperfect molecular blueprint, DNA, withsoftware.… “Transhumanists want to use technology to enhance and fulfill human potential,” [James Hughes, executive director of the World Transhumanist Association based in Willington, Conn.,] said. “That’s very hard to do if you die after only 70 years.” 57

“Humanity’s ability to alter its own brain function might well shape history as powerfully as the development of metallurgy in the Iron Age,” cognitive neuroscientist Martha Farah and eight co-authors write in a[n]…issue ofNature Reviews Neuroscience.58

i A handful of researchers are plumbing the potential of the bionic eye, including Wheaton, Ill.-based Optobionics Corp., led by Dr. Alan Chow, a pediatric ophthalmologist whose artificial silicon retinas have slight [sic] improved the vision of the six patients who’ve received them.
— Jim Krane (The Associated Press) “Bionic Eye Follows Bionic Ear,” Yahoo! News, 27 May 2002.

ii A small, precise dose of electricity can restore sight to some of the million or so Americans considered legally blind. For the past few months, two patients have made out doctors in white lab coats, among other things, thanks to a complex apparatus…made by Second Sight, a privately held firm in Santa Clarita, Calif. The device includes a tiny antenna inside the eye and a retinal implant with pencil-tip-size electrodes that fire electrical signals directly onto the optic nerves and brain. The resolution is extremely crude because there are only 16 electrodes, not enough to recognize faces. Second Sight and a consortium of research laboratories recently received a $9 million federal grant to find a way to squeeze 1,000 electrodes onto the array to make the picture sharper. Powered by an external battery, a mini video camera screwed into a pair of eyeglasses will wirelessly beam images to the array (pic) — all for an estimated cost, including surgery, of $25,000. Scientists concede facial recognition may be five to ten years away. So far, Second Sight has reported no negative side effects in the two patients undergoing clinical trials.
— Aliya Sternstein, “Seeing-Eye Chip,” Forbes, 14 Oct 2002.

iii A pea-sized miniature telescope inserted into the eye is showing promise in improving vision for people with macular degeneration.… Once the telescope is implanted, the eyes no longer work together because the brain cannot merge the magnified image in one eye with the normal image in the other eye. The one-hour surgery involves removing the eye lens and placing the telescope into the patient’s eye with the poorest vision. The eye telescope is one of the newest developments in a bionic revolution, in which plastic, metal and polymers are used to create artificial muscles, ears and other organs that researchers hope will improve the quality of life. “There’s no question there will be a tremendous number of advances in the future that will include devices, whether electrical or mechanical, which will enhance the function of our organs,” said Steve Goldstein, a University of Michigan Henry Ruppenthal family professor of orthopedic surgery and bioengineering.
The Associated Press, “Miniature ‘bionic’ eye implant rescues vision,” USA Today, 8 Dec 2003.

iv An implantable chip that can serve as both a prosthetic retina and a drug delivery system has been developed to treat age-related blindness and conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Created by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, the chip communicates chemically rather than electrically, using neurotransmitters to stimulate cells.… Because the chip can draw droplets of fluid in as well as out, it could also enable researchers to take samples in real time, giving them a chemical picture of what goes on in living tissues during certain processes.
— Gabe Romain, “‘Wet’ Eye Chip Becomes Reality; Uses chemicals to work as artificial retina and drug delivery system,” BetterHumans, 23 June 2004.

v Physicians of the House Ear Clinic have successfully implanted the first two patients with a Penetrating Electrode Auditory Brainstem Implant (PABI), a revolutionary prosthetic device that is currently in clinical trials. The PABI is based on cochlear implant technology, but extends the utility to stimulating the hearing portions of the brain to restore some degree of hearing function to people deafened by bilateral tumors on their hearing and balance nerves (vestibular schwannomas). The PABI is a modified version of the existing Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) with the addition of an assembly of microelectrodes, designed to penetrate into the auditory portion of the brainstem (cochlear nucleus) and send sound signals to the brain.
— “First Successful Use of Penetrating Microelectrodes in Human Brainstem Restores Some Hearing to Deaf Patient,” Business Wire, 16 Jan 2004.

vi Be on guard next time you step into the shower. It might not be a regular cockroach watching you on the ceiling. It could be a well-heeled voyeur’s spy filming you!
— Ron Henderson, trans., “Cockroaches on a secret mission,” Sydsvenska Dagbladet, 18 Jan 1997, at

vii The idea that advance in neurotechnology will one day allow us to video our whole lives from somewhere inside our brains throws up all kinds of issues about privacy, about the world being a stage, about how we edit and censor our own memories and about how one day someone else may do this job for us.
— Lee Marshall, Screen review “The Final Cut,” at

viii Sleep induced by electrical stimulation of the brain is similar to spontaneous sleep.
— José M. R. Delgado, M.D., Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 158.

ix In 1950 the Agency [CIA] tooled up for a battery of mind control experiments on human guinea pigs, underwritten by a network of scientific foundations and academic fronts. Neuropsychiatrists at Tulane, McGill, Yale, UCLA and Harvard, some of them laboring beside Nazi imports, researched the use of brain implants to control behavior.… A monograph written in the 1960s by Dr. Jose Delgado, a Yale psychiatrist hailing from Franco’s Spain, detailed his experiments on an 11-year-old boy with electrodes implanted in his brain. Dr. Delgado stimulated his young subject’s synapses with a radio transmitter at a range of 100 feet. The boy was immediately stripped of his sexual identity, reporting that he wasn’t sure if he was a boy or a girl.
— Alex Constantine, “Journal Preview; 12/95: The Constantine Report,” at

x [Operant conditioning is used in the science of electroencephalograph (EEG)-based cursor control brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies. By successive training of mu (and beta) brainwaves, a cursor can be moved on a computer screen just by thinking about it.]

xi According to Moore’s Law, computer power doubles every 18 months, meaning that computers will be a million times more powerful by 2034. According to Nielsen’s Law of Internet bandwidth, connectivity to the home grows by 50 percent per year; by 2034, we’ll have 200,000 times more bandwidth. That same year, I’ll own a computer that runs at 3PHz CPU speed, has a petabyte (a thousand terabytes) of memory, half an exabyte (a billion gigabytes) of hard disk-equivalent storage and connects to the Internet with a bandwidth of a quarter terabit (a trillion binary digits) per second. The specifics may vary: Instead of following current Moore’s Law trajectories to speed up a single CPU, it’s likely that we’ll see multiprocessors, smart dust and other ways of getting the equivalent power through a more advanced computer architecture.… By 2034, we’ll finally get decent computer displays, with a resolution of about 20,000 pixels by 10,000 pixels (as opposed to the miserly 2048 pixels by 1536 pixels on my current monitor). Although welcomed, my predicted improvement factor of 200 here is relatively small; history shows that display technology has the most dismal improvement curve of any computer technology, except possibly batteries.
— Jakob Nielsen, “Thirty years with computers,”, 27 May 2004.

xii [Ethicist Joel Anderson at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri,] points out that it will take time for people to accept the technology. “Initially people thought heart transplants were an abomination because they assumed that having the heart you were born with was an important part of who you are.”
— “World’s first brain prosthesis revealed,”, 12 March 2003.


1 Declan McCullagh, “Kurzweil: Rooting for the Machine,” Wired News, 3 Nov 2000.

2 José M. R. Delgado, M.D., Physical Control of the Mind: Toward a Psychocivilized Society (New York: Harper & Row, 1969), p. 201.

3 Cochlear Hearing Implants, “New to Cochlear? Start Here,” at

4 Neil Gross, “Into the wild frontier,” Business Week, 23 June 1997, p. 74.

5 E. J. Mundell (Reuters Health), “Monkey Moves Computer Cursor by Thoughts Alone,” Yahoo! News, 30 Jan 2002.

6 Peter Passaro, “Is it Possible to Download Knowledge into the Brain? Mind-machine interfaces will be available in the near future, and several methods hold promise for implanting information,” Better Humans, 16 Jan 2004.

7 Amanda Onion, “Rat Robots: Scientists Develop Remote-Controlled Rats,”, 2 May 2002.

8Rats Operate Robotic Arm Via Brain Activity,” Science Daily, 23 June 1999.

9Monkey brain operates machine,” BBC, 15 Nov 2000.

10 Rick Weiss, “Monkeys Control Robotic Arm With Brain Implants,”, 13 Oct 2003.

11 Mundell, “Monkey Moves Computer Cursor.”

12 Anne Eisenberg, “Don’t Point, Just Think: The Brain Wave as Joystick,” The New York Times, 28 March 2002.

13 Paul Eng, “Moving Thoughts: Scientists Study Brain Implants to Control PCs, Artificial Limbs,”, 13 March 2002.

14Communicating with ‘thought power’,” BBC, 15 Oct 1998.

15 Jane Wakefield, “BodyTechnic: New funding for brain implants,” ZDNet UK News, 3 Dec 1998.

16 Eng, “Moving Thoughts.”

17 Onion, “Rat Robots.”

18Fish-brained robot at Science Museum,” BBC, 27 Nov 2000.

19 “Peepers creepers; Research at the University of Tokyo is investigating ways in which cockroaches with the mini-cameras can be used to locate vermin or perhaps even survivors of earthquakes,” Time, 27 Jan 1997, 149(4), p. 17.

20 Raymond Kurzweil, “Accelerated Living,”, 24 Sep 2001; See also Ray Kurzweil, “Accelerated Living,” PC Magazine, 4 Sep 2001.

21 Reuters, “Remote-Controlled Rats May Hunt Bombs and Bodies,” Yahoo! News, 2 May 2002.

22 Tom Clarke, “Here come the Ratbots; Desire drives remote-controlled rodents,” Nature, 2 May 2002.

23 James Meek, “Live rats driven by remote control,” The Guardian, 2 May 2002.

24 Dr David Whitehouse, “Looking through cats’ eyes,” BBC News, 11 Oct 1999; See also Garrett B. Stanley, Fei F. Li, and Yang Dan, “Reconstruction of Natural Scenes from Ensemble Responses in the Lateral Geniculate Nucleus,” The Journal of Neuroscience, 15 Sep 1999, 19(18):8036-8042.

25 Jim Keith, Mass Control: Engineering Human Consciousness (Lilburn, GA: IllumiNet Press, 1999), p. 94.

26 Jim Keith, Mind Control, World Control (Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press, 1998), p. 127.

27 Keith, Mass Control, pp. 94-95.

28 Vance Packard, The People Shapers (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1977), p. 45.

29Brain, Mind, and Altered States of Consciousness,” New Enlightenment.

30 Professor Kevin Warwick, I, Cyborg (London: Century, 2002), p. 110.

31 Keith, Mind Control, p. 127.

32 Keith, Mass Control, p. 97.

33 Alvin Toffler, Future Shock (Toronto: Bantam Books, 1988, 1970), p. 194.

34 John A. Osmundsen, “‘Matador’ With a Radio Stops Wired Bull,” The New York Times, 17 May 1965, CXIV(39,195), p. 20.

35 Jose Delgado, cited in Keith, Mind Control, p. 128.

36 Ibidem, pp. 129-130.

37 Ibidem, p. 130.

38 Keith, Mass Control, p. 99.

39 Ibidem, p. 100.

40 Ibidem, p. 101.

41 Warwick, I, Cyborg, p. 112.

42 Packard, People Shapers, p. 4.

43 Keith, Mass Control, p. 101.

44 Keith, Mind Control, p. 138.

45 Ibidem, p. 302.

46 Anne Eisenberg, “What’s Next; A Chip That Mimics Neurons, Firing Up the Memory,” The New York Times, 20 June 2002; See also USC Engineering News at

47Brain ‘Pacemaker’ Helps Alleviate Symptoms Of Dystonia; Disease Makes Patients Stiffen Up So Much They Lose Mobility,”, 21 July 2003.

48 Justin Pope (The Associated Press), “FDA Approves Human Brain Implant Devices,” Yahoo! News, 14 April 2004.

49 Jeffrey Krasner, “Approval sought to test brain implant; Neuron-fired device would aid paralyzed people, state firm says,”, 6 Nov 2003.

50 Ronald Kotulak, “I, CYBORG,” Chicago Tribune, 1 Aug 2004.

51 Tony Fitzpatrick, “Thought control: Human subjects play real mind games,” Record, 25 June 2004.

52Nanoscale Fibers Could Improve Neural Implants,” BetterHumans, 11 Dec 2003.

53Brain waves drive man’s bionic arm,”, 25 Sep 2003.

54 Star Trek, television series.

55 Margie Wylie (Religion News Service), “Transhumanists put their faith in technology,” Chicago Tribune, 28 May 2004.

56 Warwick, I, Cyborg, p. 239.

57 Wylie, “Transhumanists.”

58 Tom Siegfried, “Creating brain boosters demands smart approach,”, 6 June 2004.