Extorting a Taliban Pay-Off and Calling It “Victory”

[What is the bottom dollar price for buying-off the Taliban?  This is what it has come down to.  The great obscenity of it all is that this pseudo-victory is not immediate, instead of waiting while more people die, as after another round of dickering takes place.  Without “the bulldozer” Holbrooke, that could take months, if not years.]

Conference on Afghanistan: how much to buy off the Taliban?

© REUTERS/ Stefan Wermuth

On January 28, London will play host to a conference on Afghanistan, where representatives will try to organize an approach and funding for ensuring security in the Islamic Republic, integrating it into global civilized life, and integrating the Taliban into peaceful life in that country.

These goals are incredibly complicated and equally difficult to achieve. Afghanistan’s security cannot be guaranteed without the Taliban’s participation (the bulk of the political movement are ethnic Pushtuns, who make up 45% of the Afghan population), but it would be easier to start a new Afghan war than to integrate the Taliban into peaceful life in Afghanistan under the current U.S. strategy and the Hamid Karzai government.

So many unpleasant events took place in the run-up to the conference that it is now easy to predict its outcome. First it was announced that the parliamentary elections in Afghanistan would be postponed from May till September. After President Karzai’s fraudulent elections last year, the parliamentary elections would be the final blow to what’s left of his authority, which is limited to Kabul anyway. As a result, the United Nations froze its more than $50 million worth of aid to Kabul to carry out the elections.

Moreover, the day before the conference the New York Times published a cable by Karl Eikenberry, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, who warned his superiors that Afghan President Hamid Karzai “is not an adequate strategic partner.”

Mr. Eikenberry repeatedly cautioned that deploying sizable American reinforcements would only deepen the dependence of the Afghan government on the United States. The British press also published a regular report from U.S. military intelligence on the Taliban’s growing horizontal and vertical influence.

Finally, Afghanistan’s donors rejected the plan for combating corruption that President Karzai set forth only a week ago. An American expert on Afghanistan said that Mr. Karzai’s cabinet is now even more corrupt than before the elections, which is why the Afghan parliament refused to endorse Mr. Karzai’s cabinet (11 out of 17 ministers’ positions are still vacant). Now the Afghan president will have to set forth a five-year plan for reorganizing and reintegrating Afghanistan at the forthcoming conference. Ouch…

Incidentally, the most realistic and specific proposal at the forum came from Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, when Moscow offered to restore all the industrial and economic facilities that it had built in Afghanistan long ago. The West would have to pay for this effort, since these facilities were destroyed by the weapons it supplied to Afghanistan, in particular, to the Taliban.

In general, the outcome of such conferences is easy to predict. They start with banquets (Prince Charles hosted the banquet leading up to this conference on January 27), are followed by speeches and communiques, and eventually put off the problem until a new crisis.

The conference will be attended by 77 governments, including all 43 members of the Afghan military expedition and all of Afghanistan’s neighbors. It would seem that the choice of venue should facilitate success. After all, London’s Lancaster House (where the Foreign Office now holds receptions and international conferences) has witnessed many settlements, primarily the agreements granting independence to Nigeria, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and Kenya.

Participants in the conference could learn from the British. They waged three wars in Afghanistan from the mid-19th century to the early 20th century, defeated the Afghans in the latter two wars, but then realized that defeat did not mean they could control these tribes. As a result, they left Afghanistan, which became independent in 1919.

Some participants are bound to attempt to bring up this British experience at the conference, at which there has already been a proposal to remove the names of a number of prominent Afghan politicians, who were either previously in the Taliban or actively opposed the regime, from the UN blacklist. It is clear that the goal of this proposal is to encourage them to take part in the settlement talks and thus bring other Taliban leaders into the reconciliation process. The UN first blacklisted these politicians for their alleged links to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban immediately after 9/11, in New York in 2001. They were declared outside the law and their foreign bank accounts frozen.

Needless to say, nobody is going to remove al-Qaeda’s die-hard terrorists from list, but its revision would be beneficial – pardon for the mistakes of the past is an invitation to talks and an incentive for others.

This would be good if all those “pardoned” have not already been cooperating with the Kabul regime for many years. Former Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Mutavakil has lived in Kabul for four years now. Former Deputy Planning Minister Musa Hotak has been an MP and chairman of the Security Committee since 2007. Former Minister of Border Guards Abdul Hakim left the Taliban three years ago and is now the governor of the Uruzgan Province.

As for the Taliban’s reintegration into Afghan life, it amounts to funds for retraining the converts and providing them with housing and jobs. This is a euphemism for buying off the Taliban. When it comes to money, the East is no longer a “tricky matter” but instead a mercantile one. It is easier to buy loyalty in the East than to win it, but for how long?

Moreover, the price tag for the loyalty of the former Taliban is a meager $500 million. This money will go to an integration fund. One of the world’s biggest charities, British Oxfam, has calculated that one American soldier in Afghanistan costs $1 million per year. During the entire seven years of Afghanistan’s occupation, the country has received a mere $93 per capita for its economic development.

Does this mean that money is the solution and Mr. Karzai the main headache? But few will dare say: “Remove Karzai and Afghanistan will quickly recover.” And who would succeed him now? British Secretary of State David Miliband has said that the alternative to this “very, very difficult project” – Mr. Karzai and his cabinet — is even worse. Speaking strictly, nobody has seriously looked for an alternative, but Mr Miliband’s words recall Franklin Roosevelt’s blunt words about one Nicaraguan dictator: “Somoza may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.”

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political correspondent Andrei Fedyashin)

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

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Russia alarmed by planned U.S. bases in Central Asia

[We will see if there is any truth to this report when the Defense Dept. puts-out bids for contractors.]

Russia alarmed by planned U.S. bases in Central Asia

MOSCOW
(RIA Novosti)
A senior Russian military official expressed concern on Tuesday about what he said were U.S. plans to set up military bases in the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

“American military bases are dotted throughout the world,” said Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of Russia’s Armed Forces. “The U.S. has opened bases in Romania and Bulgaria, and according to our information plans to establish them in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.”

Former Soviet republics in Central Asia have seen increased rivalry between Moscow and Washington of late.

The United States has recently stepped up ties with oil-rich Kazakhstan, which allowed U.S. planes to fly over its territory during the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan and also contributed troops to Iraq.

Observers in Russia say that Washington will need more bases in countries neighboring Afghanistan due to president-elect Barack Obama’s plans to increase the U.S. military presence in the war-ravaged country by 20,000 troops.

The U.S. has run an airbase in Kyrgyzstan since the war in Afghanistan. Uzbekistan expelled U.S. troops from its airbase in 2005, but has recently sought closer ties with the U.S. and other Western powers.

General Makarov also blamed Washington for pushing Georgia and Ukraine toward NATO membership. He said Russia had been surrounded by the military alliance’s forces.

The statement came amid an ongoing dispute over Washington’s plans to place a missile base in Poland and a radar in the Czech Republic. Moscow opposes the plans as a threat to its national security. The U.S. says the missile defenses are needed to counter possible strikes from “rogue” states.

Consequences of a failed satellite launch to GPS Competitor Glonass

[Considering Iran’s recent string of industrial failures due to sabotage, nagging questions must be arising about now in the Kremlin about a possible failure of the Russian Glonass system caused by failures of the Proton rocket delivery system.  We know that Iran’s industrial failure is considered a legitimate form of “cyber-warfare,” but does that underhanded form of covert warfare apply to Iran’s supporters as well, and would Obama be that stupid?]

Consequences of a failed satellite launch Glonass

Space industry leaders punished for a bad start

MOSCOW, December 29 – RIA Novosti. Vice President, Chief Designer of launch vehicles, RSC Energia, Vyacheslav Filin and deputy head of Roskosmos Viktor Remishevsky removed from office for errors in the calculations for refueling Block DM-3, which led to failure in launch of three GLONASS satellites, the head of Russian Federal Space Agency Anatoly Perminov reprimanded, said the presidential press service of Russia.

Decision is made on the basis of a report submitted to President Dmitry Medvedev, Vice-Premier Sergei Ivanov.

As directed by the Head of State in Roskosmos will be taken further measures to strengthen executive discipline.

Гавайские острова. Гонолулу
Mercator
Hawaiian Islands. Honolulu

Three satellites Glonass-M “were launched carrier rocket Proton-M on Dec. 5. These machines were supposed to complete the formation of the Russian global navigation system GLONASS. However, the satellite was put into orbit were not. The upper stage with the satellites fell into the Pacific Ocean in 1,5 thousand kilometers northwest of Honolulu.

Interdepartmental Commission of Inquiry pirichin falling satellites determined that the accident occurred due to the fact that the tanks Block DM-3 during refueling at Baikonur was erroneously filled by more than 1.5 tons of liquid oxygen (a component of fuel) than was required.

Because of the excess weight of the upper stage rocket deviated from its intended path, which led to the initial findings of the three satellites in orbit unplanned and their subsequent fall into the Pacific Ocean.

‘We are getting bodies of missing persons on a daily basis’

‘We are getting bodies of missing persons on a daily basis’

By Shahid Husain

Karachi: The Vice Chairman of Voice for Baloch Missing People, Abdul Qadir Baloch, said here on Tuesday that it was not true that the non-Baloch people in the country’s largest province were being killed by Baloch people. They were being killed by the intelligence agencies in such a manner that blame was pinned on the Baloch people, he alleged.

He was responding to a question at a news conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) on Tuesday afternoon.

“The poor people are not exploiting the resources of Balochistan. Why will Baloch people kill the poor non-Baloch people?” he asked the questioner.

He said the alienation in Balochistan was totally due to the atrocities against the Baloch people in the last 63 years, and despite the fact that the government of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had offered a package to Balochistan and that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhry, had been taking suo motu action on the “missing” people in Balochistan, “we were getting dead bodies of missing Baloch people on a daily basis in one part of the province or another”.

He said during the last two months alone as many as 80 disfigured bodies of Baloch activists had been found in different parts of Balochistan, some of them beyond recognition.

“Yesterday, four disfigured corpses of Baloch people were found in the jungles of Dagari Dasht and Mastung, who were identified as Shadi Khan Marri, Sohbat Khan Baloch, Zubair Sarpehra Baloch and Tariq Bangalzai Baloch while Balochistan National Party (BNP) leader, Latif Shahwani, was killed in Khuzdar in broad daylight,” he said.

He said according to the list prepared by the “Voice for Baloch Missing People” as many as 1,330 people were “missing” in Balochistan.

The chief minister and the governor of Balochistan themselves handed over a list of 992 “missing” people to the chief justice of the Supreme Court and to the home minister, he added.

The “Judicial Inquiry Commission for Missing People” was constituted, but it neither bothered to visit the residence of any “missing” person nor provided any information about torture cells. Its report published a few days ago was biased and untrue and “we condemn it, and urge the Supreme Court to investigate how much money was spent on it from the exchequer”, he said.

Baloch said two days ago in Killi Qambrani area of Quetta, the FC conducted an operation at night and forced women and children to stay outside in intense cold and arrested some 70 people.

He said that the Constitution said that a person arrested must be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours after his arrest, but the law of the jungle prevailed in Balochistan.

He said police were not ready to lodge an FIR against the FC on a “missing” person or a disfigured body.

“After the order of the Supreme Court only two FIRs have been lodged, one about my son, Jalil Reki, who was arrested by the ISI and the Frontier Corps personnel on February 13, 2009, in my house in broad daylight and who is still missing. The other of Abdul Karim’s son, Sameer Baloch, who was arrested in Turbat on October 14, 2010,” he said. “Nobody knows about their whereabouts or whether they are alive or not,” he said.

Baloch said “Voice for Baloch Missing Persons” had been organising hunger strike camps in Karachi, Islamabad and different cities of Balochistan for the last one year. In Karachi, he said, the camp was organised for the third time since December 19.

He said the nationalist parties of Balochistan were protesting regarding “missing” Baloch people almost daily.

Responding to a question he said it was wrong that Taliban leader Mullah Omer was hiding in Balochistan.

To another question, he said it was also erroneous to say that the provincial government of Balochistan had been getting its due share from the Centre.

The Balochistan chief minister had been in such a deplorable condition that he could not construct the Quetta-Mastung road for the last six years, he said.

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrint … 22728&Cat=4&dt=12/29/2010

Belarussian Journalists Held In KGB Detention Ward

[SEE: K G B Psychiatry]

IPI/SEEMO Concerned at Continued Investigation and Detention of Belarus Journalists Following Mass Arrests and Assault Earlier This Month

Mirjana Milosevic

Riot policemen scuffle with foreign journalists in front of the hotel they are staying in central Minsk December 19, 2010. Belarussian riot police on Sunday waded into crowds of demonstrators protesting over the certain re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, beating people with batons, a Reuters reporter at the scene said. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Vienna, 29 December 2010 – The International Press Institute (IPI), and its affiliate organisation, the South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), are alarmed that dozens of journalists arrested in a brutal police crackdown on demonstrations that followed the re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko on 19 December remain in prison, some of them reportedly in KGB investigation wards.

According to the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), 24 journalists were arrested in the crackdown, and 21 were physically assaulted.

A number of the arrested journalists have already been sentenced to up to two weeks’ detention. Others remain “under investigation” – some of them in the “KGB ward” of a Belarus prison, according to sources.

Since the crackdown, there have also been raids on critical Belarusian media outlets and equipment has been confiscated, according to the independent website charter97.org.

Among those journalists arrested were Iryna Khalip, a correspondent for the Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta and a BAJ member. Earlier this month, Khalip received the CEI SEEMO Award for Outstanding Merits in Investigative Journalism.

According to the BAJ website, Khalip was being held in the “KGB investigation ward”. On 21 December, BAJ also reported that Khalip met her lawyer but her parents were not allowed to send her a parcel. The website said she was being treated as a suspect in a criminal case initiated under an article of the Criminal Code relating to “mass disturbances”.

The BAJ website also reported that Natalya Radzina, a BAJ member and editor of charter97.org, was beaten by police in Minsk’s Independence Square on the evening of 19 December and was later detained when police raided the offices of charter97.org. The website said Radzina was being held in the “investigative isolation ward of [the] KGB (State Security Committee)”, and, like Khalip, was being treated as a suspect under the Criminal Code article related to “mass disturbances.” The website reported today that Radzina is suffering from bleeding from her ears due to being beaten.

Oliver Vujovic, Secretary General of the South and East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), said: “We are alarmed at the arrests and jail sentences handed down to journalists. In particular, we are concerned that Natalya Radina, the editor of the website Charter 97, and Irina Khalip, correspondent for the Moscow-based newspaper Novaya Gazeta, remain in detention, at the Minsk detention facility of the Belarusian police. We would like to remind the Belarusian authorities that only a few weeks ago, on 2 December 2010, Iryna Khalip received our CEI SEEMO Investigative Journalism Award.”

Vujovic added: “We are disturbed by the fact that Khalip was forcibly taken by police while on the air with the radio station Echo Moskvy on 20 December 2010. Her husband, presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, was also arrested. For us, it is important that in Belorussia journalists be able to work independently, professionally and freely, like in other countries.”

IPI Press Freedom Manager Anthony Mills said: “We urge the Belarusian authorities to immediately release all of the journalists and to transparently investigate assaults committed against them. Press freedom is a fundamental human right anywhere in the world, and journalists should be able to do their work without fear of arrest, assault and imprisonment.”

SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic and IPI Press Freedom Manager Anthony Mills are open to the possibility of visiting Minsk and of meeting with journalists and authorities in connection with the post-election developments.

Pakistan’s Best Terrorists Wait In Jail Cells, On Call

Qari Saifullah Akhtar, ISI’s most valued asset, resurfaces in Punjab

He was eventually put under house arrest in Chishtian, only to be released recently. Interestingly, his release orders coincide with the third death anniversary of Benazir who had named the Qari in her posthumous book, Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West, as a principal suspect in the attempt to kill her in Karachi, a few hours after her homecoming.

In her book, which was published in February 2008, Bhutto had narrated in detail the suicide attacks targeting her welcome procession as well as the involvement of Qari Saifullah Akhtar in the assassination bid.

She wrote: “I was informed of a meeting that had taken place in Lahore where the bomb blasts were planned… Three men belonging to a rival political faction were hired for half a million dollars…. However, a bomb maker was needed for the bombs. Enter Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a wanted terrorist who had tried to overthrow my second government. He had been extradited by the United Arab Emirates and was languishing in the Karachi central jail…. The officials in Lahore had turned to Akhtar for help. His liaison with elements in the government was a radical who was asked to make the bombs and he himself asked for a fatwa making it legitimate to oblige. He got one. The bomb blasts took place in the army cantonment area in Karachi.”

Subsequently, on February 26, 2008, the Qari was arrested by the Musharraf regime for the purpose of interrogation in the Bhutto murder, although there were many in establishment circles who believed that Qari Saifullah had actually been taken into protective custody by his spy masters.

Key witness of BB murder probe leaves country

DAWN.COM

benazir 543 Key witness of BB murder probe leaves countryFormer Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, before assassination. – File photo

ISLAMABAD: A key witness of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination probe, Dr musadiq left for USA without the Government permission, sources told DawnNews on Monday.

Dr Musadiq was the principal of Rawalpindi Medical College, who examined the wound of Benazir Bhutto when brought to the general hospital on Decemeber 27, 2007.

Detained cops name ISI, MI officers in Benazir Bhutto assassination case

Benazir BhuttoIslamabad, Dec 24 (ANI): The investigation into former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination is likely to be widened to unveil some faces who have so far been out of the picture, after two former police officers who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder case, told investigators that some intelligence officials were in contact with them on December 27, 2007.

Special Public Prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali told reporters that the arrested duo- former Rawalpindi city police chief Saud Aziz and SP Khurram Shahzad- had informed the investigators that four officers of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) had been in contact with them.

Their names could not be disclosed as of now, as it was yet to be ascertained in what context they were in contact with the accused, he added.

However, if concrete evidence was found against the intelligence officers, they would be included in the investigation, the paper said.

Meanwhile, the Federal Investigation Agency obtained six days’ physical custody of the arrested officers to recover the cellphones they were using on the day Bhutto was murdered in a gun-and-bomb attack outside Rawalpindi’s Liaquat Bagh.

The FIA investigators said in the court that forensic tests of the cellphones were needed to ascertain who had been in contact with the two police officers on the day of Bhutto’s assassination.

Advocate Zulfiqar said that the phone data would help the investigators to know if other elements were also involved in the murder.

He said that the police officers had given divergent statements about the cell phones and the numbers used by them three years ago, initially saying that they had lost their phones and later claiming that their mobiles had broken up. (ANI)

RAWALPINDI: An Anti-Terrorist Court in Rawalpindi on Wednesday denied the Federal Investigation Agency’s request to extend the physical remand of former police chief of Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and former Superintendent Police (SP) Rawal Town Khurram Shahzad in the Benazir Bhutto murder case.

The former police officials, who were arrested for alleged negligence of duty over the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, were produced before the court on Wednesday.

The FIA had requested the ATC to extend the physical remand of Aziz and Shahzad for nine more days. The court, however, turned down the request and sent the two accused to Adiyala prison on a 14-day-long judicial remand.

The court then adjourned the hearing till January 12 and ordered the FIA to present the accused in court on the said date.

Speaking to media representatives after the hearing, Aziz’s lawyer said the allegations levelled against his client were unfounded.

An Account of the Invaluable Services of the ISI

An account of invaluable services of the ISI to the nation –

by Muhammad Ali

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency members of whom were found guilty of raping more than 35000 women in East Pakistan. 1386 members of the famous ISI were recommended to be trailed in the Hamood ur Rehman Commission’s report.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which made millions of petro-dollars in the Afghan War. Tempering the myth of Jihad was an easy job on hand with lush green dollars. General Akhtar Abdul Rehman and Hameed Gull exported children of poor helpless mothers for the Jihad e Afghanistan when their own sons were studying in the United States.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency that sold Stinger Missiles received as an aid in the black market. Upon an inspection, the Ojhri Camp blasted out bringing the doom’s day for the citizens of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which holds the prestige of looting the nation via Mehran Bank Scandal. Lt. Gen Asad Durrani the then DG ISI alone made 1.6 billion in the filthy trade.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which took clothes off the Baloch Women. Zarina Marri, a Baloch school teacher was abducted by the ISI and gang-raped, she was further used as a humiliation tool for the Baloch Nationalists.

ISI, the Inter Services Intelligence, an agency which is involved in the human trade. General Pervez Musharraf exclusively explains in his books the norms of human trafficking. 500 U.S. dollars was the rate of each Pakistani citizen sold to the U.S. That included Dr Aafia Siddiqi and several others.

There is a lot more to say about the “Prestigious and Patriotic” role of he ISI but these facts might not ruin the show of our clowns in the blog-sphere.

“ISI is committed to defending our borders.”

ISI, the Inter Services of Intelligence, an agency which only holds political scandals on its credit sheet. ISI has on numerous occasions tried to subvert the elected governments. ISI is the name of a filthy political player.

ISI managed to create IJI, a right wing alliance to counter the Leftist Pakistan Peoples Party though an alliance of the Pakistan Muslim League and several religio-political parties including the Sipah-e-Sahaba, Jamaat-e-Islami and others. For this purpose, ISI used state money and resources to bring the fundamentalists on political front.

ISI tried to over-throw the elected government of Benazir Bhutto via Saudi riyals. ISI distributed huge sums of money in the right wing politicians to buy loyalties of pro-Benazir Bhutto parliamentarians.

ISI distributed millions in right wing politicians in order to ensure their victory against Benazir Bhutto.

ISI rigged the elections 2002 to ensure the victory of its divine master Pervez Musharraf. The ISI chief Lt. General Ehtashnm Zameer later confessed the fact in the Pakistani media.

A lot more can be written on what ISI’s real role is, but the clowns of the establishment in Pakistan’s mainstream and alternative media might find it hard to ruin their show.

I will just give a glimpse of what “ISI has done to protect the borders of Pakistan.”

ISI briefed the MO branch on the possible reaction of the Indian side on the Kargil Adventure. According to ISI India will at the most move forward with Special Operatives and try taking back the Tiger Hill. There are rare chances of application of artillery as India would try not to agitate Pakistan. Role of Air Force or Navy is beyond possibility grounds. India will never look forward to a full scale war. All these fables of ISI were flushed to gutter when India respond to Kargil drama with full might and Pakistan Army had to accept the bodies of it’s soldiers with humiliation.

Pakistan is under attack but by whom?  (read HERE)