US Choosing Subordinate Partnerships With Asian Powerhouses Over Confrontations

Flournoy: Asia Will be Heart of U.S. Security Policy

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 29, 2011 – While the United States is confronting terrorism and hostile regimes in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Libya, leaders also are looking eastward to shape U.S. security policy for the long-term, the Pentagon’s top policy official said last night.

“When future historians look back at this era, I am convinced that the rise of Asia will be noted as the central geo-strategic fact of our time,” Michèle Flournoy, undersecretary of defense for policy, told a packed room of policy experts at Johns Hopkins University’s “Rethinking Seminar” here.

“By most measures, the Asia-Pacific region is the most important and most dynamic region in the world today — and likely to be more so as this still-young century unfolds,” she said.

While the United States still ranks as the world’s largest economy as measured by gross domestic product, the next three largest are China, Japan, and India. As of last year, ten of the world’s 15 fastest-growing economies were in Asia, Flournoy said.

U.S. trade with China rose to an estimated $459 billion last year, compared to $2 billion in 1979, making it the United States’ biggest source of imports and second-largest trading partner, the undersecretary said. At the same time, she said, China’s economy is growing rapidly within Asia, causing the International Monetary Fund to estimate that Asia’s economy will eclipse that of the United States by 2030.

Meanwhile, “Asia sits at the crossroads of the world’s emerging threats” of cyber security, climate change and terrorism, Flournoy said.

This growing importance of Asia means the United States must continue to build and strengthen its alliances there, with a focus on building capacities where needed, and encouraging China and India to use their growth to secure and stabilize the region, Flournoy said.

Despite tensions over Chinese military secrecy and its increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea, Flournoy said, the United States and China “are not inevitably destined for conflict, as some have posited. Even as we manage our differences, we can deepen our cooperation across the full range of our shared interests.”

U.S. military forces must be structured to align with emerging threats, the undersecretary said. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has said the U.S. military in the region must be operationally resilient, geographically distributed and politically sustainable.

“We must ensure that our regional allies and partners are confident in the continued strength of our deterrence against the full range of possible threats,” Flournoy said. Strengthened missile defense and long-range reconnaissance and strike are central components, she said.

U.S. officials “think our posture in Northeast Asia is about right,” Flournoy said, but there’s need to expand efforts in Southeast Asia. Rather than building more bases, she said, the U.S. military is focused on working more closely in military-to-military relationships to include combined training, joint patrols, and shared medical and civil engineering missions.

As for alliances, Flournoy said Japan remains a cornerstone of U.S. security policy in the region. U.S. officials are confident of Japan’s ability to recover fully and continue to play a vital role in the region, she said, despite the 9.0 magnitude earthquake, resulting tsunami and ongoing nuclear crisis it has endured since March 11.

The United States will continue to strengthen its ties with South Korea to ensure interoperability of their military forces to preserve stability on the Korean peninsula, she said.

The rise of Asia has made Australia an increasingly strategic location, Flournoy said, which led the United States as the end of last year to establish a working group with the Australians for combined military force posture.

The United States is strengthening alliances with the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, Flournoy said, and must do more with Indonesia and Vietnam. She noted that a small group of U.S. forces have worked quietly in the Philippines since 2001 “in a model of successful counterinsurgency” to prevent al-Qaida from gaining a foothold there.

Flournoy highlighted the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development and other U.S. civilians in the region and said they will remain critical to U.S. relations in Asia.

Despite its challenges elsewhere in the world, Flournoy said, the United States will stay engaged in Asia.
“The United States has proven repeatedly — over decades –that is it fully committed to upholding its strategic obligations throughout Asia. No one in Asia — anywhere in Asia — needs to ask if the U.S. will show up when it is needed.”

Saudi Arabia tightens hold on the media

Saudi Arabia tightens hold on the media


(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia tightened its control of the media on Friday, threatening fines and closure of publications that jeopardised its stability or offended clerics, state media reported.

The desert kingdom and major U.S. ally has managed to stave off the unrest which has rocked the Arab world, toppling leaders in Tunisia and Egypt.

“All those responsible for publication are banned from publishing … anything contradicting Islamic Sharia Law; anything inciting disruption of state security or public order or anything serving foreign interests that contradict national interests,” the state news agency SPA said.

Saudi Arabia follows an austere version of Sunni Islam and does not tolerate any form of dissent. It has no elected parliament and no political parties.

The tighter media controls were set out in amendments to the media law issued as a royal order late on Friday. They also banned stirring up sectarianism and “anything that causes harm to the general interest of the country.”

Almost no Saudis in major cities answered a Facebook call for protests on March 11, in the face of a massive security presence around the country.

Minority Shi’ites have staged a number of street marches in the Eastern Province, where most of Saudi Arabia’s oil fields are located.

Shi’ites are said to represent between 10 and 15 percent of the country’s 18 million people and have long complained of discrimination, a charge the government denies.

Saudi authorities arrested two Shi’ite bloggers from Eastern Province this week, adding to a total of 160 Saudis detained since February, according to a Human Rights Watch report in April.

Clerics played a major role in banning protests by issuing a religious edict which said that demonstrations are against Islamic law.

In turn, the royal order banned the “infringement of the reputation or dignity, the slander or the personal offence of the Grand Mufti or any of the country’s senior clerics or statesmen.”

King Abdullah has strengthened the security and religious police forces, which played a major role in banning protests in the kingdom.

The amendment published on Friday detailed punishments for breaking the media laws, including a fine of half a million riyals ($133,000) and the shutting down of the publication that published the violation, as well as banning the writer from contributing to any media.

(Reporting by Asma Alsharif; editing by Andrew Heavens)

Saudis protest against Bahrain crackdown

Saudis protest against Bahrain crackdown
By staff and agencies

MANAMA – Crowds of people in Saudi Arabia have taken to the streets to protest against the violent Saudi-backed crackdown on Bahraini anti-government protesters. 

Demonstrators in the eastern city of Qatif denounced Riyadh for backing Bahraini forces in the destruction of mosques and holy sites, Press TV reported on Friday.

On Thursday night, Saudi women also held a candle light vigil in Awamiyah in solidarity with the Bahraini people, chanting slogans against Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

The demonstrations came after Riyadh arrested about 30 activists over the past two days for allegedly taking part in rallies held in Qatif.

More than 100 protesters have been in jail for several weeks since they were arrested in March during demonstrations in Qatif and nearby towns held in support of the people of Bahrain.

Last week, about a dozen human rights organizations and 190 intellectuals from the six countries of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council issued a joint statement calling for the release of political prisoners in Saudi Arabia.

On March 13, Saudi Arabia deployed military forces in Bahrain upon Manama’s request to quell the nationwide protests.

———Four men sentenced to death

In another development, on Thursday a Bahraini military court imposed death sentences for four men convicted of killing two policemen during the recent protests, state media said.

Political analysts say the move will most likely increase sectarian strife in the country.

It was only the third time in more than three decades that a death sentence had been imposed on citizens of Bahrain, a U.S. ally which hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, Reuters reported.

Critics accuse the United States of not responding forcefully enough to Bahrain’s political crackdown due to the tiny nation’s key strategic significance.

The United States issued a measured statement on the death sentences.

Human rights groups and relatives of the condemned men, all Shias, dismissed the proceedings as a farce.

“They were activists in their villages and we think they were targeted because of their activities,” said Nabeel Rajab, the director of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. “This will deepen the gap between the ruling elite and the population.”

In Lebanon, Hezbollah condemned the sentences, saying they were part of the “continuous crime committed by the regime in Bahrain against the people of Bahrain… (who) are exposed to severe oppression because of their request for their legitimate rights.”

Amnesty International said Bahrain should not use the death penalty.

Meanwhile thousands of Bahraini people gathered before a revered cleric on Friday denounced death sentences given to protesters involved in pro-democracy protests, Reuters reported.

Germany also urged Bahrain to rescind the death sentences. “This draconian punishment impedes the process of rapprochement and reconciliation in Bahrain,” German Foreign Ministry spokesman Andreas Peschke told reporters at a press conference on Friday.

The island kingdom announced earlier this week that 312 people detained under martial law had been released and about 400 others referred for prosecution.

According to local sources, at least 29 people have been killed and hundreds arrested so far during the Saudi-backed clampdown in Bahrain.

Is the Empire Preparing to Give Assad the “Qadaffi Treatment”?

US sanctions target Syrian intelligence service, officials

Dozens more reported killed; protests spread to Damascus

By Joby Warrick and Liz SlyWashington Post

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration slapped sanctions on three Syrian officials and Syria’s intelligence service yesterday in what was described as a warning shot against President Bashar al-Assad’s government after weeks of steadily worsening violence against protesters.

The measures targeting key members of Assad’s security apparatus came amid reports of dozens more deaths across the country as Syrians rallied in several cities — including, for the first time, in large numbers in Damascus, the capital — for a national “Day of Rage’’ denouncing government brutality.

Tens of thousands of Syrians poured out of mosques and into the streets after Friday prayers for what appeared to be the biggest demonstrations yet in the country. The large turnout, after days of deadly clashes, suggests that the will of the protesters remains unbroken despite the government’s stepped-up efforts to crush the uprising.

Human rights groups said that at least 48 people were killed nationwide when troops opened fire on demonstrators yesterday. Fifteen of them were killed outside the southern town of Daraa, the epicenter of the protests and a rallying point for the rebellion after civilians there were besieged by army tanks on Monday.

The Obama administration, facing pressure at home and abroad to act against the Assad regime, announced that it was freezing the assets of Syria’s intelligence service and its director, Ali Mamluk, as well as those of Maher al-Assad, a brother of the president’s and a brigade commander of Syria’s 4th Armored Division. White House officials said the army unit and the intelligence agency played leading roles in the violent attacks that have killed hundreds of people since March 16.

The administration also announced sanctions on Atif Najib, a cousin of the president’s and a political operative in Daraa province, and on Iran’s Quds Force, a paramilitary division of that country’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. A Treasury Department statement announcing the sanctions accused the Iranian group of providing material support to the Syrian intelligence service in the crackdown.

US officials made clear that the sanctions were intended to pressure Assad to halt the violence. The presidential order authorizing the economic penalties also permits the administration to add the names of any Syrian government officials who participated in the attacks on protesters or were “complicit’’ in them.

“This sharpens the choice for Syrian leaders who are involved in the decisions,’’ Jake Sullivan, the State Department’s director of policy planning, told reporters.

Another administration official familiar with internal discussions about Syria policy added: “If this continues, Assad could be next.’’

The White House has been frustrated by a lack of diplomatic options in dealing with Syria, a country that is barred from most trade with the United States and is labeled a terrorist-sponsoring nation by the State Department. Washington continues to maintain formal diplomatic ties with Damascus, and the administration has not called on Assad to step down, as it did in the case of Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy and now-deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Several key congressional leaders this week pressed the administration to break publicly with Assad, saying the Syrian leader has lost legitimacy. On Friday, the UN Human Rights Council added to the pressure with a resolution condemning the killing of protesters and appointing a delegation to travel to Damascus to investigate the crackdown.

© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.

A great day for Palestine

A great day for Palestine      

Khalid Amayreh –

The Palestine Information Center

Much to the chagrin of the hateful Zionist entity, Hamas and Fatah seem to have reached a final agreement, putting an end to four years of a crippling national rift which exhausted the Palestinian people as never before and gave Israel a valuable opportunity to try liquidate the Palestinian cause.

News of the agreement has already generated instantaneous reactions of excitement and joy, even euphoria in the occupied territories.

Motorists honked their car horns, youngsters took to the streets
shouting “Fatah and Hamas: one people not two.” Some women ululated with joy as Fatah and Hamas leaders appeared on TV screens in Cairo,
announcing the conclusion of the long-awaited agreement.  Some
restaurants and eateries offered free coffee, tea and juices as
celebrations went on until around midnight.

On the Israeli side, Israeli leaders were visibly angry and
disappointed, with Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyah threatening the
Palestinian leadership with what looked like a virtual ultimatum:

“The PA would have to choose between peace with Hamas and peace with Israel. It can’t choose both.”

One Fatah official retorted: “We also say Israel would have to
choose between peace with the Palestinian people and peace with racist settlers, it can’t choose both.”

Well, Netanyahu’s threats should be rejected outright and treated with the utter contempt they deserve.

After all, this is an internal Palestinian matter and Israel has absolutely no right to intervene in our internal affairs.

Netanyahu may argue that Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel. Well,
Netanyahu should be reminded that he presides over a government the bulk of which doesn’t recognize Palestine.

In the final analysis, why should Hamas, or for that matter Fatah,
recognize Israel when Israel refuses to recognize the very existence of the Palestinian people.

So, if the next Palestinian government of national unity shouldn’t
include groups that don’t recognize Israel, by the same token,
Palestinians have the right to demand that any Israeli government must exclude groups and parties that don’t recognize the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Needless to say, the current Israeli government includes explicitly fascist parties that don’t even recognize the very existence
of the Palestinian people.

The conclusion of the reconciliation agreement in Cairo has really
dealt a sharp blow to nefarious Zionist designs. Israel first lost a
great strategic asset in the dramatic downfall of the Mubarak dynasty
and now we have these good tidings from Cairo.  More good news is coming up, inshallah (God willing).

Netanyahu and other Zionist supremacists may rant and rave for as
long as they may. This shouldn’t shake even one hair on our bodies.

None the less, we must not be too preoccupied with self- congratulating ourselves on this auspicious occasion.  Yes there is
no doubt that the present that both Hamas and Fatah have handed over to the Palestinian people is great.

However, we must work overtime to rectify and correct all that
went wrong during these gloomy four years. Prisoners or detainees must be set free, media incitement must end immediately, closed institutions must be reopened; and human rights and civil liberties must be reinstituted. Also grievances must be settled and hard feelings soothed
and reconciled.

In short, we must get the slate clean as soon as possible and
allow for the total obliteration of all the scars of division.

In this agreement, there seems to be only winners. Everyone is
winning as a result of this breakthrough except Israel and the enemies of our people.

Hamas has won by having all its conditions and objections met. We
must not forget that Hamas was supposed to be destroyed according to the American-Zionist designs; so the fact that Hamas has remained a hard, independent variable is indeed a great achievement. This proves that not everything Palestinian must be subject to the Zionist will.

Fatah has also won by showing Israel that Fatah won’t be co-opted
and manipulated against Palestinian national interest. Fatah won by
demonstrating that it will remain a national and patriotic movement
despite American and Israeli designs.

And the Palestinian people has won by overcoming one of the most
formidable internal crises ever to  mar the Palestinian struggle for
freedom  from the claws of diabolic Zionism.

We must also thank our big sister, Egypt, without which the
conclusion of this agreement wouldn’t have been possible.  The
revolutionary leadership in Cairo must be applauded for its tireless
efforts and dedication to bring about this paramount national
reconciliation among the brothers in Palestine. This should be a good
omen for the future.

Finally, we Palestinians should instill in ourselves a feeling of
optimism. The restoration of Palestinian national unity, along with the strategic changes in the Arab region, is huge assets and opportunities that should be utilized for the ultimate liberation of Palestine.

Libya hurting Obama…even though many don’t know where it is

Libya hurting Obama…even though many don’t know where it is

Barack Obama’s approval numbers have been hitting record lows in our polls and others of late and one of the things that’s really hurting him right now is Libya- even though barely half of voters in the country actually know where it is.

Our most recent national poll found that only 27% of Americans supported the military intervention in Libya to 40% who were opposed and 33% who had no opinion. Democrats only narrowly stand behind the President in supporting the action in Libya, 31/28. Meanwhile Republicans (21/51) and independents (29/42) are considerably more unified in their opposition.

Libya doesn’t seem likely to be a big vote shifter next year- 52% of voters say it won’t make a difference in their decision on whether to support Obama for reelection or not. But for the voters who do say it could be a game change it’s a negative- 31% say what’s going on in Libya right now make them less likely to vote for Obama compared to only 17% who say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Obama’s not picking up any Republicans on Libya- just 4% say his actions there make them more likely to vote for him. He’s losing more Democrats on the issue- 14% say it makes them less inclined to support him again. And it’s also hurting him with independents, who split 13% more likely to vote for him because of Libya to 29% less likely.

Libya is definitely proving to be a political loser for Obama which is interesting because only a little more than half of Americans, 58%, can actually correctly identify that it’s in northern Africa. 27% think that it’s in the Middle East, 4% think it’s in South Asia, 2% think it’s in South America, and 9% don’t offer an opinion. Voters may not be terribly informed when it comes to Libya but they know they don’t like what they’re seeing.

There’s a wide array of things causing Obama’s popularity issue and it would be a mistake to try to pin it all on Libya- but it’s certainly not helping.

Full results here

India’s independent line on violence in Syria

India’s independent line on violence in Syria

Once bitten, twice shy. Russia and China aren’t taking chances anymore. They squarely said ‘nyet’ to the western move on Wednesday to get the UN Security Council condemn the violence in Syria. Their apprehension is that US and its european partners (which now includes Germany as well) might resort to a Libya-like build up by getting a UN SC resolution through that provides an alibi to military intervention. All indications are that on the pattern of Libya, Syrian protestors are getting large-scale support from outside from such diverse sources as Saudi Arabia and Qatar and western intelligence and Israel. Unsurprisingly, Syria has closed its border with Jordan, which has always acted as a cat’s paw for British and US intelligence operations in the Middle East.
China told the Security Council that Syria must be left alone to sort out its internal problems on its own and it “welcomed” Damascus’ moves in this regard such as the lifting of emergency and the pledge for democratic reforms. China also warned that if the turbulence sweeping the Middle East isn’t “addressed properly, they will jeopardize peace and stability and
stability in other regions and 
underlined that any constructive help from the international community should be within the ambit of the UN Charter.
Russia voiced different concerns. It was much more forthright than China in stating that the Syrian developments didn’t constitute any threat to international security warranting UN SC action. Russia also alluded to the external support to the Syrian protestors. Of course, Syria is a traditional ally of Russia and any western-sponsored “regime change” in Damascus would have far-reaching consequences for Russia’s global strategy. Russia maintains in Syria its only naval base in the Mediterranean . Without the Syrian base, Russian fleet in the Black Sea would get “bottled up”. Syria is also a buyer of Russian weapons. Russia made it clear that it remained supoortive of Assad’s initiatives to ease the tensions.
Curiously, India did some tight-rope walking on Syria. There was a slight “tilt” in favour of Assad with the Indian stance taking note of “armed extremist elements” posing as protestors in Syria. and of the government’s moves for dialogue and reform. Interestingly, Ambassador Hardeep Puri did someplain-speaking about what all this is adding up to – Arab spring and the incohate doctrine of “humanitarian intervention” in the internal affairs of sovereign states. Puri said: “As we deplore violence from any quarter, the Council needs to make clear that it is the responsibility of sovereign states to respond to the aspirations of its people… At the same time, it is for states to decide on the best course of action to maintain internal law and order and to prevent violence. The primary responsibility of the Council in this respect is to urge all sides to abjure violence in any form and to seek a resolution of grievances through peaceful means”.
In short, India dissociated from identifying with the western condemnation of the Syrian government and expressed scepticism about outside intervention. Arguably, there was even a note of advice to the West not to “exacerbate” the tensions. Similar clarity of thinking was also apparent in the statement made by Puri on March 30 on the situation in Cote d’Ivorie. Puri said UN resolutions should not be “made instruments of regime change” and, therefore, the UN forces should not become party to the Ivorian political stalemate.
These thought processes are at marked variance with the approach taken by the US and its european allies. But the Indian stance will be appreciated by the African countries which harbour deep fears over the intentions behind the clamour for western intervention. A good political setting becomes available for India’s forthcoming summit with the African countries scheduled to be held in Addis Ababa next month.

Promise of a better world? Is that the mission?

Promise of a better world? Is that the mission?

US troops last week watched the start of the Operation Lion’s Leap, a joint US-Iraqi exercise to demonstrate the Iraqi forces’ ability to provide security. US troops last week watched the start of the Operation Lion’s Leap, a joint US-Iraqi exercise to demonstrate the Iraqi forces’ ability to provide security. (Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images)
April 29, 2011

H.D.S. GREENWAY’S April 26 op-ed “It may turn out to be three cups of bitter tea’’ was right on about these being “times of disillusion.’’ However, he stops at pointing out the illusion that military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq could achieve “the brave promise of a better world through military intervention.’’ To me, the deeper disillusionment is in recognizing that these military interventions don’t have much to do with the promise of a better world.

You don’t have to probe very deeply to suspect that these interventions have much more to do with a US drive for dominance in these regions (including Libya) for the benefit of US economic interests (read transnational corporations) and our apparently unquenchable thirst for oil.

This is a time for eyes-wide-open recognition of the real motivations for US military interventions.

Jim Wallace 
The writer is a member of the Smedley D. Butler Brigade of Veterans for Peace. 

© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.

Russia sees current situation in Syria as no threat to international peace, security

Russia sees current situation in Syria as no threat to international peace, security

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 (Xinhua) — Russia said here on Wednesday that the current situation in Syria, despite an increase in tension and confrontation, does not threaten international peace and security, but “a real threat to regional security … could arise from outside interference in Syria’s domestic situation.”

Alexander Pankin, Russia’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, made the statement as he was speaking at an open meeting of the UN Security Council on the current situation in Syria.

“The main thing in our view, is that the current situation in Syria, despite an increase in tension and confrontation, does not present a threat to international peace and security,” Pankin said. “One cannot disregard the fact that the violence does not all originate from one side.”

“A real threat to regional security, in our view, could arise from outside interference in Syria’s domestic situation, including attempts to push ready made solutions or taking of sides,” he said.

“It is increasingly clear that some of the demonstrators both in Syria and in other countries hope that the deteriorating situation could force the international community to help them and to take sides,” he said. “Such approaches lead to a never ending cycle of violence. This is a type of invitation to civil war.”

With his statement, the Russian ambassador implied that there is no need for the Security Council to discuss this issue as the 15-nation body, under the UN Charter, only takes up issues that threaten international peace and security.

The Security Council on Wednesday first met behind closed doors on Syria and then held an open meeting to hear a briefing from the UN under-secretary-general for political affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe.

“Violence, regardless of perpetrators or sides, must be avoided, ” Pankin said. “It is only through constructive dialogue and the implementation of announced political reforms and social, economic change, that stability and democratic development in Syria for the good of all its citizens will occur.”

“It is extremely important to focus all efforts to avoid such a dangerous turn of events, especially as Syria is a cornerstone of the Middle East security architecture,” he said. “Destabilizing this significant link in the chain will lead to complications throughout the region.”

“It is of a sense of deep concern that the Russian Federation views the increasing tension and manifestations of confrontation in Syria, which are claiming victims and causing suffering among demonstrators, law enforcement personnel and the army,” he said. ” We expect that the Syrian authorities will conduct a transparent and effective investigation of all such cases and that the guilty will be brought to justice.”

“Clearly, the process of democratic reforms, proclaimed and being implemented by Syria’s leadership is worthy of support,” he added. “A great many significant steps have been taken over a very short period of time.”

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Putin: Should all weird regimes in the world be bombed?

Putin, about the military intervention in Libya: Should all weird regimes in the world be bombed?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, ridiculed the military intervention in Libya Tuesday, asking in a press conference in Copenhagen if it will be necessary to bomb all the “odd regimes” in the world and denouncing the hunting of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi has invented a new monarchy. Like Napoleon, who came to power after a revolution and proclaimed himself emperor (…) yes, it’s a background monarchy, strange, suspicious, and abnormal, everything you want, but this is it,” said Putin during a visit to Denmark.

Internal contradictions have turned into an armed conflict. Why should we intervene in this conflict? Don’t we have other weird regimes in the world? Should we intervene in internal conflicts everywhere? (…) Should we bomb all these countries?” he asked.

Moreover, the head of the Russian Government has denounced the hunting of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. ”It is said that it is not wanted the liquidation of Gaddafi, but why are his palaces bombed?” he asked, stressing that the only effect of these attacks is to kill civilians because Muammar “Gaddafi is not there, he ran long time ago”.

Now, some officials say yes, they are trying to murder Gaddafi. Who allowed this? Was there a process? Who has granted the right to execute a man?” he said, stressing “everyone is silent” when it comes to responding to these questions.

Putin doesn’t like the coalition’s attitude

However, for Putin, the international community must respect international law and take care of civilians. “When so-called civilized world is attacking a small country with all its power, destroying the infrastructures created for generations I don’t know if it is good. I do not like this, “he concluded.

Moscow has multiplied in recent weeks its criticism against the international coalition, believing that interventions are beyond the UN mandate, which does not provide a military intervention.

Israel ‘very concerned’ over plans to open Gaza border

[If Obama’s Arab revolutions have managed to turn the tables on Israel, does that disprove the conspiracy theory that the “Jews” control everything?  (SEE: The president’s catastrophic Mideast policy ).]

Israel ‘very concerned’ over plans to open Gaza border

A Hamas security forces member closes the gate of the Rafah border between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip.

A Hamas security forces member closes the gate of the Rafah border between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip.

JERUSALEM : Israel is “very concerned” about the implications of Egypt’s plans to permanently reopen its border with Gaza, a senior official said Friday, warning it could impact on Israel’s security.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi told Al-Jazeera that the crossing would be permanently opened in coming days as part of Cairo’s plans to ease the blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Israeli official said Gaza’s Hamas rulers had already build up a “dangerous military machine” in northern Sinai which could be further strengthened by opening the border.

“We are very concerned about the situation in northern Sinai where Hamas has succeeded in building a dangerous military machine, despite Egyptian efforts to prevent that,” he told AFP, without giving further details.

“What power could they amass if Egypt was no longer acting to prevent that build up?”

Earlier this week, unknown assailants in northern Sinai blew up a gas pipeline supplying Israel and Jordan in what was the second time it had been sabotaged in 10 weeks.

It is still unclear who was behind the attacks, and the official would not be drawn on whether Israel was implicating Hamas.

But the fact that the new regime in Cairo was seeking to upgrade its ties with Gaza’s Hamas rulers and was also seeking to better ties with long-time foe Iran, was an issue which could have strategic implications for Israel’s national security, the source said.

“We are troubled by the developments in Egypt, by the voices calling to annul the peace treaty, by the rapprochement between Egypt and Iran, and by the upgrading of relations between Egypt and Hamas. These developments potentially have strategic implications for Israel’s national security.”

The move was announced a day after Hamas reached a surprise reconciliation deal with its Fatah rivals which control the Palestinian Authority, in a development which stirred anger and concern in Israel.

“The recent developments have been very worrying,” he said, without elaborating.

The Rafah border is the only way in and out of Gaza which does not pass through Israel.

It has remained largely shut since June 2006 when Israel imposed a tight blockade on the territory after militants there snatched Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who is still being held.

The blockade was tightened a year later when the Islamist Hamas movement seized control of the territory, ousting forces loyal to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

Egypt has actively supported Israel’s blockade, frequently coming in for harsh regional criticism for keeping the border closed and for building an underground wall in a bid to curb smuggling, which it views as a security risk.

But earlier this year, mass street protests in Egypt led to the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak, with the new military regime keen to review its policy on Gaza.

Opening the border without any international supervision is likely to be a breach of 2005 agreement between Israel and Egypt which was brokered by the United States.

Under terms of the deal, the crossing would be under Egyptian and Palestinian control, with European observers and Israeli camera surveillance.

Israel fears that an open border would allow the free passage of weapons and personnel into Gaza, a stronghold of militant factions bent on attacking the Jewish state.

– AFP/ch

Pakistan Has Allowed the Creation of Secret Intel Network At Own Peril–(The Hindu)

[Pakistani leaders have enabled the Americans to effectively cut them out of the picture in Afghanistan and the sub-continent.  You see the creation of an American covert intelligence network on Pakistani soil, which will allow the US to negotiate directly with the Taliban (bypassing Pakistan), alongside a converging of US/Indian agreements that endorse Mumbai charges against Pak officers, and lean toward a US/Indian agreement to resist Chinese penetration of Pakistani northern provinces.  American/Indian destabilization missions within Pakistan are the stuff that regional conflagrations are born of.  If the Pak Army is truly as patriotic as so many claim, then they will take immediate actions to eradicate this existential threat within their midst.  None of which could have been arranged without the connivance of the top military and establishment leaders.  The great house-cleaning must begin there.]

Pakistan confronts U.S. Afghan strategy

M.K. Bhadrakumar

The Pakistani military leadership wishes to draw a redline for the U.S.’ covert operations so that Washington will be compelled to deal with militant Afghan groups through the single window of the ISI.

In his 22nd visit also, Admiral “Mike” Mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff of the United States armed forces, failed to achieve what he couldn’t at the previous 21 calls he made to Pakistan since assuming his assignment in the Pentagon in October 2007. Yet, of all top U.S. officials, Mr. Mullen is projected by Washington as a dogged believer in America’s cooperation with the Pakistani army leadership. As he proceeded to Islamabad last Wednesday, he spoke with extraordinary candour on the troubled U.S.-Pakistan relationship. “We have had a very turbulent time,” he told Reuters, but despite tensions, both the U.S. and Pakistan acknowledged that the relationship was vital. “I think that all of us believe that we cannot afford to let this relationship come apart. It’s just too dangerous. It’s too dangerous, in each country, for each country. It’s too dangerous for the region.” The relationship was difficult, but “we walk away from it at our peril, quite frankly.” The U.S.-Pakistan relationship couldn’t have been framed more aptly. But then, Mr. Mullen went on to make the stunning allegation that what caused tension most is the “relationship” between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence and the so-called Haqqani network of the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan.

Mr. Mullen couldn’t have arrived at this realisation on the ISI-Haqqani nexus, which has been one of the worst-kept secrets of the Afghan bazaar, belatedly. The latest bunch of WikiLeaks cables pertaining to Guantanamo Bay actually reveals that the U.S. military, which Mr. Mullen heads, has all along listed the ISI as a “terrorist” organisation alongside the al-Qaeda, the Hezbollah, the Hamas and the Iranian intelligence! Surely, the issue is the timing of Mr. Mullen’s statement. He deliberately upped the ante, holding the ISI directly and primarily responsible for the stalemate in the war; in effect, he challenged the Pakistani military leadership that it would be held accountable for the Taliban’s summer offensive.

Mr. Mullen betrayed the deep frustration within the Barack Obama administration that the stalemate in the Afghan war cannot be broken militarily. A ferocious Taliban counter-offensive is expected and American officials are nervously anticipating a sharp escalation in war casualties, which may happen at an awkward time as the U.S. presidential election campaign begins to get livelier by the day. The war has become unpopular in the American public opinion and the political class doesn’t have the stomach to continue with it. The U.S. coalition partners too (including Britain) are in a tearing hurry to exit.

Over and above, there is an acute “resource crunch.” David Ignatius of The Washington Post wrote recently that the current budget crisis “should force some hard decisions about America’s foreign policy priorities … Today, the U.S. is allocating about $110 billion annually for the Afghan war, about $3.2 billion for military and economic aid to Pakistan, and about $150 million in special assistance to help Egypt’s democratic revolution. In terms of U.S. national interests, those spending levels don’t make sense. The pyramid is upside down … we should spend less [on AfPak], going forward, as we move along the exit ramp. This will mean a smaller military footprint, more use of paramilitary forces and more emphasis on diplomacy.”

Prima facie, the Washington-Islamabad acrimony is due to the U.S. displeasure that the Pakistani military continues to baulk at launching operations in the North Waziristan region, where the Haqqani group is entrenched, while Islamabad opposes the manner in which the U.S. is conducting drone attacks and intelligence activities within Pakistan. However, the acrimony is quintessentially an attempt to set the bottom line of the Afghan peace talks. The Pakistani suspicion is that the U.S. is deliberately withholding its long-term Afghanistan strategy, which leaves Islamabad groping in the dark about American intentions.

Bypassing the ally

The fact of the matter is that the U.S. has been holding direct talks with the Taliban. It has been able to do this largely because of the extensive intelligence network it has created in Pakistan — which became possible because Islamabad allowed it to happen. That, ironically, enables Washington to dispense with the good offices of the Pakistani military and the ISI, and opt for direct interaction with the insurgent groups. The U.S. intelligence network within Pakistan has penetrated the range of insurgent groups — the Afghan Taliban, the “Pakistan Taliban,” and non-Taliban (Afghan and Pakistani) militant groups. Evidently, if the drone attacks are becoming more “result-oriented,” it is due to real-time intelligence inputs. During the six weeks of gruelling interrogation of U.S. intelligence operative Raymond Davis, the Pakistani military caught on to a host of home truths. By now, the Pakistani military would have a fair idea of the extent of the American intelligence network and its potential to play merry havoc by splintering insurgent groups, pitting one group against another, manipulating factionalism within groups, monitoring the terror network and, conceivably, even turning some of the insurgent groups into instruments of U.S. regional policies. (Tehran insists that the U.S. is indulging in covert operations in Pakistan and Iran.)

Suffice it to say the Pakistani military leadership wishes to draw a redline for the U.S.’ covert operations so that Washington will be compelled to deal with militant Afghan groups through the single window of the ISI — within the parameters set by what old-timers call the “[Ronald] Reagan rules” during the Afghan jihad of the 1980s. There is hardly any leeway for Pakistan to compromise on this demand, which aims at revising the ground rules of the U.S.-Pakistan strategic partnership in the conduct of the Afghan war (based hitherto on unspoken, unwritten, ever-deniable and flexible templates of collaboration).

To be sure, Pakistan is insisting on the need to reset the ground rules as the endgame advances, in order to avoid the horrible prospect of its so-called “strategic assets” in Afghanistan — which it created at enormous cost and sacrifice and at great risk over the past three decades — getting systematically cannibalised by the American intelligence operatives scavenging the Pakistani territories, on one side of the Durand Line, and by the Special Forces under General David Petraeus relentlessly scouring the Hindu Kush, on the other — the famous “hammer and anvil approach.”

Therefore, Pakistan has done the logical thing by reaching out to Afghan President Hamid Karzai in an attempt to form a condominium to kick-start formal reconciliation with the Taliban in a swift sequential process, which would present Washington with a fait accompli. Mr. Karzai is willing to cooperate in this sideshow since he has his own problems with the Obama administration. The Washington establishment is annoyed with Mr. Karzai due to his inability (or unwillingness) to deliver a status of forces agreement that would effectively legitimise long-term American military presence on Afghan soil. On his part, Mr. Karzai expects a pivotal role in any peace process so that he doesn’t become politically expendable by 2014, whereas Washington quietly incites the non-Pashtun elements to challenge his zeal for reconciliation with the Taliban. So, it is this congruence of interests between Kabul and Islamabad that manifests as their joint demand that any Afghan peace process should be Afghan-led and not “dictated from outside”.

The core of the U.S.’ strategic dilemma is that the Pentagon desperately wants to perpetuate American military presence in Afghanistan, but knows that the majority of Afghans and the regional powers disfavour it. Therefore, the U.S. is opting for a strategy of selective reconciliation with “friendly” insurgent groups, which allows the drawdown of U.S. troops and gradually turns the war into a matter of Special Forces operations or pinpointed air strikes. The strategy aims at creating a political environment within which American forces can relocate themselves to the tranquil northern regions of Afghanistan (without having to fight and get killed or maimed), while vast areas of southern and eastern Afghanistan and the tribal tracts in the border regions lapse into “cold peace.”

Of course, Pakistan is justified in wondering what is there for it in this scenario. This wasn’t how the war was supposed to end. Obviously, Washington’s priorities will change once the intensity of the fighting declines. For one thing, the U.S. aid flow will decline. Once the U.S. strengthens its direct line to the insurgents, its dependence on the Pakistani military can only decline. But Pakistan’s objective of gaining “strategic depth” in Afghanistan remains elusive. Equally, Pakistan will be left grappling with an assortment of militant groups along its long, disputed border with Afghanistan that have been highly radicalised by the U.S.-led war. These include some groups which have been alienated one way or the other by Pakistan’s role as the U.S.’ “key non-NATO ally.”

Pakistan faces an existential crisis in its Pashtun tribal tract that has borne the brunt of the U.S.-led war. As last Saturday’s London Times report shows, there will be all sorts of attempts to muddy the waters. It suits the U.S. strategy to give the Afghan endgame the exaggerated overtones of an India-Pakistan turf war. The Indian establishment acted wisely to open dialogue with Pakistan in Mohali.

(The writer is a former diplomat.)

Chernobyl: Consequences of the catastrophe 25 years later

Chernobyl: Consequences of the catastrophe 25 years later

by Janette D. Sherman, M.D., and Alexey V. Yablokov, Ph.D.

Editor’s note: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists asked Dr. Sherman, recognized worldwide for her expertise on Chernobyl, to write this article last year, then rejected it just before deadline, probably considering it too alarming. In it, she reports the widespread expectation of another nuclear power plant failure and the catastrophic consequences. Now, a few months later, the world commemorates the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl while watching the Fukushima meltdown.

For more than 50 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have abided by an agreement that in essence allows them to cover each other’s back – sometimes at the expense of public health. It’s a delicate balance between cooperation and collusion.

Signed on May 28, 1959, at the 12th World Health Assembly, the agreement states:

“Whenever either organization proposes to initiate a programme or activity on a subject in which the other organization has or may have a substantial interest, the first party shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement,” and continues: The IAEA and the WHO “recognize that they may find it necessary to apply certain limitations for the safeguarding of confidential information furnished to them. They therefore agree that nothing in this agreement shall be construed as requiring either of them to furnish such information as would, in the judgment of the other party possessing the information, interfere with the orderly conduct of its operation.”

The WHO mandate is to look after the health on our planet, while the IAEA is to promote nuclear energy. In light of recent industrial failures involving nuclear power plants, many prominent scientists and public health officials have criticized WHO’s non-competing relationship with IEAE that has stymied efforts to address effects and disseminate information about the 1986 Chernobyl accident, so that current harm may be documented and future harm prevented.

For years, concerned individuals have held vigils outside WHO’s Geneva headquarters urging it to function as an independent agency of the United Nations, free of influence from the IAEA because they want to prevent another tragedy. Chernobyl has shown that societies everywhere – especially Japan, France, India, China, the United States and Germany – must distribute stable potassium iodide (KI) before an accident and must provide independent, publicly available radiation monitoring of both food and individual in-body irradiation levels with the aim of documenting the danger and preventing additional harm.

Twin brothers Michael and Vladimir Iariga of Minsk, Belarus, are 16 years old. Michael, with hydrocephalus, is five minutes older than Vladimir, who is deaf. – Photo: Robert Knoth

On the 20th anniversary of Chernobyl, WHO and the IAEA published the “Chernobyl Forum Report,” mentioning only 350 sources, mainly from the English literature, while in reality there are more than 30,000 publications and up to 170,000 sources that address the consequences of Chernobyl. By 2006, there had been 10 major publications concerning Chernobyl published in England, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and the United States, with scientists currently publishing new data.

After waiting two decades for the findings of Chernobyl to be recognized by the United Nations, three scientists, Alexey Yablokov, Vasily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko undertook the task to collect, abstract and translate some 5,000 articles reported by multiple scientists, who observed first-hand the effects from the fallout. These had been published largely in Slavic languages and not previously available in translation. The result was “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” published by the New York Academy of Sciences in 2009.

According to the official records, the destruction of the Chernobyl reactor was the result of both design factors and human error. Many technocrats hope that engineering feats will provide benefits for society, but from the sinking of the Titanic to the recent British Petroleum oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, it is apparent that neither technology nor humans are error-proof. To mitigate this and any future nuclear disasters, it is critical to learn about the extent of the Chernobyl disaster and continue research into the effects upon the biosphere and all that live in it.

The greatest amount of radioactivity fell outside of Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia, extending across the Northern Hemisphere as far away as Asia, North Africa and North America, while the greatest concentrations continue to affect the 13 million living in Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia.

Immediately after the catastrophe, release of information was limited, and there was a delay in collecting data. WHO, supported by governments worldwide, should have been pro-active and led the way to provide readily accessible information. These omissions resulted in several effects: limited monitoring of fallout levels, delays in getting stable potassium iodide to people, lack of care for many and delay in prevention of contamination of the food supply.

Key to understanding the effects is the difference between external and internal radiation. While external radiation, as from x-rays, neutron, gamma and cosmic rays, can harm and kill, internal radiation – alpha and beta particles – when absorbed by ingestion and inhalation releases damaging energy in direct contact with tissues and cells.

Radiobiological science is not new, and Chernobyl’s adverse outcomes were to be expected, but new adverse effects in humans, animals and plants were documented for the first time by those who directly observed the human and biologic populations exposed to the fallout.

Environmental consequences

As a result of the accumulation of Cesium-137 (Cs-137), Strontium-90 (Sr-90), Plutonium (Pu) and Americium (Am) in the root soil layer, radionuclides have continued to build in plants over recent years. Moving with water to the above-ground parts of plants, the radionuclides – which earlier had disappeared from the surface – concentrate in the edible components, resulting in increased levels of internal irradiation and dose rates in people, despite natural disintegration and decreasing total amounts of radionuclides over time.

Will workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan meet the same fate as their predecessors in Chernobyl, as Dr. Sherman warned? These workers are inside Reactor B1. On April 27, plant owner TEPCO announced that a woman worker was exposed to radiation three times the legal limit last month – with no explanation why they waited a month to make this public. – Photo: TEPCO

Bioaccumulation results in concentration in plants, mushrooms and animals and can increase a thousand-fold as compared with concentrations in soil and water. The factors of accumulation and transition vary considerably by season even for the same species, making it difficult to discern dangerous levels of radionuclides in plants and animals that appear to be safe to eat. Unfortunately one cannot see, smell or taste radioactive isotopes and, in general, they cannot be cleaned up.

While there have been some reports of wildlife thriving in the 30-km exclusion zone around Chernobyl, the appearance is deceptive, with most being immigrants. According to morphogenetic, cytogenetic and immunological tests, all of the populations of plants, fishes, amphibians and mammals that were studied there are in poor condition. This zone is analogous to a “black hole,” essentially a micro evolutionary “boiler,” where gene pools of living creatures are actively transforming, with unpredictable consequences.

The accumulation of Sr-90 into plants is greater than that of Cs-137, but it varies by species, population and area. Thus, grazing animals concentrate Sr-90 in their milk, and then into the food supply.

People who rely upon wild plants and game animals found their food supplies diminished, as mushrooms, wild game and berries were contaminated and could not be used as food.

Plants developed deformities of their roots, fruits, leaves, pollen and spores, and land and aquatic plants show chromosomal changes and mutations that were rare or unheard of before the catastrophe.

It may be that disappearance of one or more species in an ecosystem may bring about the collapse of an entire system.

Radioactive contamination re-circulates through the biosphere via rain, snow, fire and water. Seasonal growth and decay of plants contributes to spread contamination to other plants and animals. Fires spread plant and soil contamination via air currents, and the spectacular wildfires in Russia that occurred in 2010 have not been fully documented.

Adverse human health findings

Those profoundly – and expectedly – affected are the liquidators, the young and healthy men and women who worked to stop the fires and to contain the release of radioactivity. Miners were recruited and many worked to tunnel under the reactor.

Of the estimated 830,000 people conscripted to do the work, by 2005, some 125,000 – 15 percent – were dead, mostly from circulatory and blood diseases and malignancies. Of those from Belarus who worked May to June of 1986, versus those who worked July to December 1986, more developed stomach or thyroid disease and had a greater incidence of cancer. Malignancies were expected, given the liquidators’ close proximity to intense radioactivity.

Heart disease accounted for 55 percent of deaths in the earlier workers. The increase in non-malignant diseases was new to the world of radiation medicine, and documented only because there were so many victims and so many scientists and physicians who observed the victims.

Koreans are still buying Japanese seafood like this at a wholesale market in Seoul, but fears are rising that it is being poisoned by the radioactive water pouring out of Fukushima. – Photo: Reuters

Children born to liquidator families were seriously affected with birth defects, thyroid cancer, an increase in central nervous system tumors – in Kiev – and generally poor health. There was also an overall increase in juvenile morbidity, cataracts in children and diseases characteristic of accelerated aging.

In Belarus and the area of Ukraine around the Chernobyl site, children in general have poor health, including loss of intellect. Based upon the research of multiple researchers, it is estimated that in the heavily contaminated areas of Belarus, only 20 percent of children are considered healthy, placing an enormous burden upon governmental resources to provide medical care and education for those affected.

Significant adverse human health findings

General morbidity increased all of the contaminated territories and is correlated with the density of radioactive contamination as documented in “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment.”

Blood and circulatory systems:

Radioactive contamination resulted in diseases of the blood, blood-forming organs and the circulatory system and is a major factor in overall morbidity for inhabitants of contaminated territories, including evacuees, migrants, liquidators and their children. It is becoming clear that one of the common reasons for these functional impairments is radioactive destruction of the endothelium, the covering of the inner surface of vessels. Leukemia incidence, largely involving the bone marrow damage, increased not only in children and liquidators, but also in the general adult population.

Endocrine system:

All forecasts concerning thyroid cancer have been wrong. Chernobyl related thyroid cancers have rapid onset and aggressive development, mostly in the papillary form, affecting both children and adults.

The marked increase in thyroid disease and thyroid cancer in children is linked to the release of radioactive iodine. Of concern is damage to the thyroid of the unborn, with concomitant loss of intellectual function. To date, an important finding is that for every case of thyroid cancer there are about 1,000 cases of other forms of thyroid gland pathology. In Belarus alone, experts estimate that up to 1.5 million people are at risk of thyroid disease.

Immune system:

The quantity and activity of various groups of lymphocytes and thus the production of antibodies, including various immunoglobulins, stem cells and thrombocytes, are altered. The ultimate consequences are immunodeficiency and an increase in the frequency and seriousness of infections and of acute and chronic diseases. The suppression of immunity as a result of this radioactive contamination is known as “Chernobyl AIDS.”

Respiratory system:

There was a marked increase in respiratory morbidity everywhere in the contaminated territories. In the first days after the catastrophe, respiratory problems of the mouth, throat and trachea in adults were basically linked to the gaseous aerosol forms of Iodine-131 (I-131), Ruthenium-106 (Ru-106), and Cerium-144 (Ce-144). Further damage to the respiratory system was caused by “hot particles” – the firm particles of uranium fuel melted together with other radionuclides. “Chernobyl dust” has been found in liquidators’ bronchial tubes, bronchioles and alveoli for many years.

Reproductive system:

A wide spectrum of reproductive function disorders and urogenital morbidity exists in those living in contaminated territories. These include abnormal development of the genitalia, sperm pathologies, including dead sperm, low sperm mobility, disorders of secondary sexual characteristics, degenerate changes of the placenta, delay in sexual maturation, primary infertility, complications during pregnancy and birth, and perinatal and neonatal deaths.

Significantly high levels of alpha radionuclides were found in bone tissue of aborted fetuses from mothers living in the contaminated territories in Ukraine. Changes in sex ratios at birth were documented in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

Genetic changes:

Chromosome aberrations in peripheral blood cells were among the first ominous signs of the Chernobyl catastrophe and revealed a correlation between the level of aberrations and a number of pathological conditions. Somatic chromosomal mutations were linked to congenital malformations and protein polymorphism. Mutations in mini-satellite DNA are only some of the genetic changes resulting from radionuclide exposure, but the overwhelming majority of Chernobyl-induced genetic changes will not become apparent for several generations.

Skeletal system:

Liquidators and residents of the contaminated territories often complain of bone and joint pain. Bone function is a balance between the formation of bone and the natural re-absorption process. Because a number of isotopes become deposited in bone these diseases may be due to either hormonal disorders or direct damage by irradiation to the cellular predecessors of osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Sr-90, produced in the splitting of uranium is deposited in children’s bones and teeth and linked to diseases later in life. (Sherman, 2000; Mangano and Sherman, 2011)

In contaminated Ukrainian territories, children have been born without bones (“jellyfish children”), a condition seen previously only in the Marshall Islands after the nuclear tests of the 1950s.

In contaminated Ukrainian territories, children have been born without bones (“jellyfish children”), a condition seen previously only in the Marshall Islands after the nuclear tests of the 1950s.


Throughout the more contaminated territories, visual abnormalities occur with greater frequency than in less contaminated areas and include premature cataracts, vitreous degeneration, refraction errors, uvitis and conjunctivitis. It is disturbing that only after 2000 did medical authorities begin to recognize the radiogenic origin of the large increase in cataracts among liquidators and evacuees from the Chernobyl territories. Official recognition occurred 10 years (!) after doctors began to sound the alarm and 13 years after the problem was first registered.

Congenital malformations and anomalies:

Wherever there was Chernobyl radioactive contamination, there was an increase in children born with anomalies and congenital malformations (CMs), including previously rare multiple structural impairments of the limbs, head and body. (Wertelecki, 2010). Analysis of more than 31,000 Belarussian abortuses revealed that the incidence of officially registered CMs increased in all of the contaminated territories and was especially significant in areas with Cs-137 levels of contamination higher than 15 Curies per square kilometer (15 Ci/km2).

In Belarus, some 24 percent of the children in the territories with Cs-137 levels less than 1 Ci/km2 were born with CMs; 30 percent had CMs in territories with levels of 1-5 Ci/km2, and 83 percent had CMs in districts with contamination levels above 15 Ci/km2. The Russian State Registry, which included more than 30,000 children born to liquidators, revealed 46.7 percent had congenital anomalies and “genetic syndromes,” with the prevalence of bone and muscular abnormalities being 3.6-fold higher than corresponding normal Russian parameters.

With the passage of more than a decade, we do not know the full extent of the health of children and grandchildren born to those who were contaminated by the Chernobyl fallout, but research must continue to find out. (Holt, E., 2010)

Central nervous system:

The most serious effect of the Chernobyl radiation is to the brain and is a major medical, social and economic problem for the affected individual, the persons’ family and society at large.

TEPCO President Masataka Shimizu and other company officials kneel to beg forgiveness at a shelter in Koriyama – but they’ve offered no financial compensation. The story has surfaced of a whistleblower who warned about Fukushima 11 years ago and was blackballed from the industry in response. – Photo: Kyodo/Reuters

Studies of liquidators and those irradiated in utero reveal that even small amounts of nuclear radiation, considered harmless by official measures of radiation exposure, resulted in marked organic damage of the frontal, temporal and occipitoparietal lobes of the brain. These organic changes are reflected in nervous system dysfunction, including perception, short-term memory, attention span and operative thinking and result in behavioral and mental disorders and diminished intelligence.

Recent studies show that schoolchildren from the most exposed areas in Sweden who were in the sensitive gestational period during the Chernobyl release were significantly less likely to qualify for high school. (Almond et al., 2007) A recent study of Norwegian adolescents revealed the adverse effect of low dose Chernobyl radiation exposure in utero on cognitive function (verbal IQ). (Heiervang et al., 2010)

Inexplicably, WHO had a special project on brain damage in the Chernobyl territories, which was abruptly stopped after the first definitive results. It is becoming clear that low-dose and low-dose rates of radiation have a profound effect upon fine structures of the nervous system, upon higher nervous system function and upon neuropsychiatry function.

Many pro-nuclear critics have attributed the latter to “radio-phobia,” but documentation of disease is not limited to the human population. With few exceptions, animal and plant systems that were studied demonstrated structural abnormalities in offspring, loss of tolerance and viability, and genetic changes. (Moller and Mousseau, 2010) Wild animals and plants did not drink alcohol, smoke or worry about compensation.

Total number of victims

The number of victims is one of the most contentious issues between scientists who collected data first-hand and WHO/IAEA that estimated only 9,000 deaths.

The most detailed estimate of additional deaths has been done in Russia by comparing rates in six highly contaminated territories with overall Russian averages and with those of six lesser-contaminated areas, maintaining similar geographical and socioeconomic parameters. There were over 7 million people in each area. Documentation is as follows:

The region under study exceeded the Russian average in both over-all mortality and increased rate of mortality. The total number of additional deaths, calculated on the basis of the standardized mortality rates, is estimated at 60,400 (95 percent CI: 54,880 to 65,920) – or 34 persons per 1,000. From 1990 to 2004, the number of additional deaths represents 3.75 percent of the entire population of the contaminated territories and agrees well with the figure of 4.2 percent for Ukraine. (National Ukrainian Report, 2006)

For the populations in all the contaminated territories together – European Russia 1,789,000 (1999), Belarus 1,571,000 (2001) and Ukraine 2,290,000 (2002) – and based on the additional rate in Russia, the total number of extra deaths from Chernobyl in Belarus, Ukraine and the European part of Russia is estimated to be 212,000 for the first 15 years after the catastrophe.

While this calculation seems straightforward, it might underestimate the real figures for three reasons according to Khudoley et al. (2006):

1. Official data about the radioactive contamination for Belgorod and Lipetsk provinces do not correlate with corresponding changes in health statistics after Chernobyl, meaning that the differences in mortality between contaminated and non-contaminated populations that were found might actually be greater. If so, the Ukrainian mortality rate of 4.2 percent may be more realistic than the Russian 3.75 percent.

2. It is well known that there was considerable contamination – sometimes more than 1 Ci/km2 – not only in the six regions under consideration but also in 10 other regions of the European part of Russia, meaning that the total death toll for Russia may be higher.

3. The calculations cover a 15-year period (1990–2004), omitting the years between 1986-1990.

Japanese farmers protest outside the Tokyo head office of TEPCO on April 26, the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe. As calls were heard across Japan that day for a “nuclear-free society,” the farmers took with them vegetables, milk and even two cows. A farmer whose land is 23 kilometers from Fukushima said his cows were getting thin and dying. – Photo: AFP

When we apply the additional mortality of 34 extra deaths per 1,000 population for the 15 years 1990-2004, which was derived above, to the cohort of liquidators not living in contaminated zones (400,000), to the evacuees and to people who moved away from contaminated areas (350,000), then we expect another 25,500 deaths in this period. The overall number of Chernobyl-related deaths up until 2004 in the former USSR is estimated to be 237,500.

Assuming that 10 million people in Europe, outside the former Soviet Union, live in territories with a Cs-137 ground contamination higher than 40 kilobecquerels per square meter, or 40 kBq/m2 (>1.08 Ci/km2), and that the mortality risk is only half that determined in the Chernobyl region, that is, 17 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants – and with better food and better medical and socioeconomic status – up until 2004, we can expect an additional 170,000 deaths in Europe.

Assuming further that the other 150 million Europeans living in territories with a Cs-137 ground contamination below 40 kBq/m2, the additional mortality will be 10-fold less – i.e., 1.7 deaths per 1,000 in 1990-2004 – then we can expect 150,000 x 1.7 or 255,000 more deaths in the rest of Europe.

Given that 20 percent of the radionuclides released from the Chernobyl reactor were deposited outside Europe, with an exposed population of 190 million and with a risk factor of 1.7 per 1,000 as before, we can expect 323,000 additional deaths outside Europe by 2004.

Data from multiple scientists estimate the overall mortality from the Chernobyl catastrophe, for the period from April 1986 to the end of 2004, to be 985,000, similar to those of Gofman (1994a) and Bertell (2006) and a hundred times more than the WHO/IAEA estimate.

Overall effects of radioactive fallout

While fallout was measured in many countries, multiple short half-life isotopes were largely un-measured. Decades of research have confirmed that radioisotopes become deposited in various parts of living systems. In humans, I-131 and I-129 concentrate in the thyroid, Cs-137 in soft tissue, and Sr-90 in teeth and bones.

Combined effects from exposure to multiple isotopes that concentrate in various portions of a human or animal have not been fully examined, however, by comparing disease rates in communities with increased levels of radiation to others with low levels, or pre-Chernobyl levels, while maintaining similar socio-economic factors, distinct patterns of effect emerged in those who received the Chernobyl fallout.

Fallout deposition was uneven and remains uneven. Aerial measurements were largely of Cs-137 fallout, which has a gamma component detectable from a plane or helicopter, but even with monitoring, hot spots remained ill defined. The effects of “hot particles” was first documented when upper respiratory, skin and eye problems became manifest soon after the Chernobyl explosions. The particles consist of radioactive metal, largely alpha emitters that cause significant damage when in contact with living cells.

The effects from the Chernobyl catastrophe change over time, many ongoing and some increasing in adverse effect as, for example, Plutonium-241 (Pu-241) that decays to Americium-241 (Am-241), with a half-life of 432 years. Am-241 is water-soluble, moves through the food chain, and emits both gamma and alpha radiation. The ultimate effect upon migratory birds and sea life is not yet determined, but such contamination could result in the collapse of significant numbers of species and food sources.

A 2008 publication of the Ministry of Ukraine of Emergencies and Affairs of Public Protection from the Consequences of Chernobyl (“Atlas of Ukraine Radioactive Contamination”) shows dire predictions for the spread of increasing amounts of Am-241 around the Chernobyl site, westward into the Pinsk Marshes that form the border between Ukraine and Belarus, and south into the Dnepr River where it flows into the Black Sea near Odessa, empties through the Bosporus to the Aegean, and ultimately reaches the Mediterranean Sea.

The westward spread is augmented by commercial canal traffic that connects the Priyapat River to the Bug, Vistula and Oder Rivers and finally into the Baltic Sea. Thus in addition to the atmospheric spread immediately after the disaster, contamination continues to spread via water routes.

To date, not every living system has been studied, but of those that have – animals, birds, fish, amphibians, invertebrates, insects, trees, plants, bacteria, viruses and humans – many with genetic instability across generations all sustained changes, some permanent and some fatal. Wild and domestic animals develop diseases similar to those found in humans

It takes 10 decades for an isotope to completely decay, thus the approximately 30-year half-lives for Sr-90 and Cs-137 mean it will take nearly three centuries before they have decayed, a mere blink of the eye when compared to Plutonium-239 (Pu-239) with a half-life of 24,100 years.

The human and economic costs are enormous: In the first 25 years, the direct economic damage to Belarus, Ukraine and Russia has exceeded $500 billion. To mitigate some of the consequences, Belarus spends about 20 percent of its national annual budget, Ukraine up to 6 percent and Russia up to 1 percent. Funding from other countries and from the U.N. is essential to continue scientific studies and to provide help to those who continue to live with significant radioactive contamination.

The human and economic costs are enormous: In the first 25 years, the direct economic damage to Belarus, Ukraine and Russia has exceeded $500 billion. Belarus spends about 20 percent of its national annual budget to mitigate some of the consequences.

The tragedy of Chernobyl shows that societies everywhere – especially Japan, France, India, China, the United States and Germany – must consider the importance of independent, publicly available radiation monitoring of both food and individual in-body irradiation levels with the aim of documenting the danger and preventing additional harm and to have stable potassium iodide (KI) readily available to prevent thyroid damage.

Given profound weather effects – earthquakes, floods, tsunamis etc. – human fallibility and military conflicts, many believe that it is only a matter of time before there is another nuclear catastrophe. Nuclear fallout knows no state or national boundaries and will contribute to increase in illnesses, decrease in intelligence and in instability throughout the world. The economic costs of radioactive pollution and care of contaminated citizens are staggering. No country can maintain itself if its citizens are economically, intellectually, politically and socially impoverished.*

When a radiation release occurs, we do not know in advance the part of the biosphere it will contaminate, the animals, plants and people that will be affected, nor the amount or duration of harm. In many cases, damage is random, depending upon the health, age and status of development and the amount, kind and variety of radioactive contamination that reaches humans, animals and plants. For this reason, international support of research on the consequences of Chernobyl must continue in order to mitigate the ongoing and increasing damage. Access to information must be transparent and open to all, across all borders. The WHO must assume independent responsibility in support of international health.

Given the continuing and known problems caused by the Chernobyl catastrophe, we must ask ourselves: Before we commit ourselves to economic and technological support of nuclear energy, who, what and where are we willing to sacrifice and for how long?


Almond, D., Edlund, L. and Palme, M., “Chernobyl’s subclinical legacy: Prenatal exposure to radioactive fallout and school outcomes in Sweden.” Retrieved Aug. 3, 2009, from 2007

Bertell, R. “The death toll of the Chernobyl accident.” In: Busby, C.C. and Yablokov, A.V., (Eds.), “ECRR Chernobyl 20 Years On: Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident.” ECRR Doc. 1, Green Audit Books, Aberystwyth, pp. 245, 248, 2006

Gofman, J.W., “Chernobyl Accident: Radioactive Consequences for the Existing and Future Generations.” Vysheihsaya Shcola, Minsk. 576 pp., 1994 (in Russian)

Heiervang, K.S., et al. “Effect of low dose ionizing radiation exposure in utero in cognitive function in adolescence.” Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 2010, doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2010.00814.x

Holt, E., “Debate over health effects of Chernobyl re-ignited.” Lancet. 375(9724): 1424-1425, 2010

Khudoley, V.V., Blokov, I.P., Sadovnichik, T., and Bysaro, S., “Attempt to estimate the consequences of Chernobyl catastrophe for population living in the radiation-contaminated territories of Russia.” In: Blokov, I.P. (Ed.), “Consequences of Chernobyl Accident: Estimation and Prognosis of Additional Mortality and Cancer Diseases.” Center for Independent Environmental Assessment, Greenpeace-Russia, pp. 3-19, 2006 (in Russian)

Mangano, J.J. and Sherman, J.D., “Elevated in vivo strontium-90 from nuclear weapons test fallout among cancer decedents: A case-control study of deciduous teeth,” International Journal of Health Services, 41(1):137–58, 2011

Moller, A.P., Mousseau, T.A., “Efficiency of bio-indicators for low-level radiation under field conditions.” Ecological Indicators, doi:10.1016/j.ecolinf.2010.06.013 (pdf)

Ministry of Ukraine, “Emergencies and Affairs of Public Protection from the Consequences of Chernobyl,” “Atlas of Ukraine Radioactive Contamination,” Intelligence Systems GEO, Ltd., 2002, 2008

National Ukrainian Report. “Twenty Years of Chernobyl Catastrophe. Future Outlook.” (Kiev) 2006 (in Russian)

Sherman, J.D. “Life’s Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer.” Taylor and Francis. New York. 273 pp. 2000

Wertelecki, W. “Malformations in a Chornobyl-impacted region.” Pediatrics, 125(4): 836-843, 2010

Yablokov, A.V., Nesterenko, V.B., Nesterenko, A.V., “Chernobyl Consequences for People and Nature.” “Nauka” Publ., Sankt-Petersburg, 367 pp., 2007

Yablokov, A.V., Nesterenko, V.B., and Nesterenko, A.V., Sherman-Nevinger, J.D., Consulting Editor, “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment,” New York Academy of Sciences, 1181:1-327, 2009

Janette D. Sherman, M.D., is a physician and toxicologist, specializing in chemicals and nuclear radiation that cause cancer and birth defects. The author of “Chemical Exposure and Disease” and “Life’s Delicate Balance: Causes and Prevention of Breast Cancer” and editor of “Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and Nature,” she has worked in radiation and biologic research at the University of California nuclear facility and at the U.S. Naval Radiological Defense Laboratory at the Hunters Point Shipyard in San Francisco. From 1976-1982, she served on the advisory board for the EPA Toxic Substances Control Act. Throughout her career, she has served as a medical-legal expert witness for thousands of individuals harmed by exposure to toxic agents. Dr. Sherman’s primary interest is the prevention of illness through public education and patient awareness. She can be reached at and Co-author Alexey V. Yablokov, Ph.D., can be reached at

*This article was solicited by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 2010, but after Dr. Sherman had responded to 42 queries and spent 30 hours writing it, it was rejected shortly before the deadline, apparently as too alarmist. This paragraph is an ominous warning of the Fukushima catastrophe that occurred just a few months after it was written and a reminder of the urgent need for more public information such as is provided here. See also “Is the Fukushima nuclear plant breakdown worse than Chernobyl?” by Janette D. Sherman, M.D.

The Zionist View of Obama’s Great Mideast Revolution

The president’s catastrophic Mideast policy


US President Barack Obama
Photo by: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Candidly Speaking: Barack Obama is proving, on a daily basis, to be a complete novice in foreign relations.

At every conceivable level, the Obama administration’s Middle East policies are spiraling into a disastrous free-fall.

Even Obama’s friend, PA president Mahmoud Abbas, has explicitly accused the US President of having totally misled him. In an interview with Newsweek, he said that “it was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze. I said okay, I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down the ladder and he removed the ladder, and said to me jump. Three times he did it.”

In other words, it was Obama’s initiative which motivated Abbas to make the unprecedented demand that Israel freeze all construction in settlements, including the Jewish suburbs of east Jerusalem. Abbas now finds it extremely convenient to use Obama’s impulsive action as a pretext to refuse to negotiate with Israel and stand by as global pressures are exerted on the Jewish state to make more unilateral concessions.

But it is Obama’s obtuse and utterly inconsistent approach to the upheavals in the Arab world that have plunged the US into a bottomless pit and possibly irrevocably terminated whatever support for the US remained among some of the more moderate Arab autocracies.

From the outset, Obama surprised the world by his naïve efforts to “engage” with the fervently hostile Iranian extremists seeking to become a nuclear power. When the Iranian people revolted peacefully against the ayatollahs during the “Green Revolution”, the American president was virtually struck dumb even as the regime brutally suppressed the opposition.

Yet when Egyptian president Mubarak, the most loyal US ally in the Arab world, faced a domestic revolt, Obama turned his back on him, demanding his resignation and did not even enable him to retire graciously.

The Saudis and other “moderate” pro-US Arab states were shocked at the manner in which the Americans had responded to their most faithful ally. They undoubtedly now no longer harbor illusions about the reliability of American support under the Obama administration. In fact. the most pessimistic predictions of the outcome of these “democratic” revolts are regrettably now being realized.

The Muslim Brotherhood – which a number of ignorant members of the Obama administration had described as being democratic, more open-minded and even “mostly secular”, has emerged as the most powerful force in Egypt. According to a recently released PEW Research Center poll, 75 percent of Egyptians regard the Brotherhood favorably. The US is despised – only 15% favoring a better relationship. More than 50% support the scrapping of the peace treaty with Israel. The Egyptian military council has already initiated moves to renew diplomatic relations with Iran and enabled Iranian ships to traverse the Suez Canal.

The candidate most likely to become president is Amr Moussa, who is favored by 89% of those polled. He is the secretary-general of the Arab League whose hatred for Israel was so intense that Mubarak was obliged to sack him as foreign minister. Only last week he declared that the Camp David accords were no longer relevant. The other candidate Mohammed ElBaradei declared that if Israel became engaged in a war with Hamas, Egypt would be obliged to respond militarily. Over 62% support the transformation of Egypt into a sharia state. Obama’s betrayal of Mubarak has thus directly led to the installation of a more extremist anti-Western regime.

But the regional situation is even worse. In Libya, Obama’s support of the overthrow of the deranged but recently pro-Western Colonel Gaddafi has resulted in a civil war. If Gaddafi wins, he will undoubtedly revert to his former evil terrorist activities which he had voluntarily relinquished. If the rebels are victorious, we are likely to find al-Qaida elements occupying a significant role in the country. The same applies to Yemen, which following the defeat of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, has every likelihood of being transformed into a fullyfledged terrorist state dominated by al-Qaida.

But even more incomprehensible was Obama’s extraordinary tepid response to Syria’s dictator Bashar Assad, whose brutal crackdown against peaceful demonstrators made Mubarak’s repression appear positively mild.

Besides, Assad is an avowed enemy of the US and closely allied with the Iranian regime and enabled al-Qaida forces to traverse Syria in order to fight against American troops in Iraq. He is a major sponsor of Hezbollah and has acted as their conduit for the transfer of arms. He hosts Hamas in Damascus, orchestrated the murder of the Lebanese prime minister, sought to obtain nuclear weapons and bitterly opposed Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

It is therefore inexplicable that even after hundreds of demonstrators were brutally killed and Assad has made it clear that he will not hesitate killing more citizens to quell any opposition, Obama has still neither called on him to step down nor initiated meaningful sanctions as he did with Libya.

We are left with a feeling of bewilderment. Is the administration so isolated from reality that it truly believes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she refers to the tyrannical Assad as a reformer? Or is there a hidden agenda of which we are unaware?

My gut feeling is that there is no conspiracy and it is all a question of absolute and utter incompetence and dysfunctionality. Obama is proving, on a daily basis, to be a complete novice in foreign relations and his liberal ideologue advisers are just as confused.

It is truly mind-boggling. We have a US president who condemns the only genuine democratic partner the US has in the Middle East for building apartments in the suburbs of their capital. He betrays the Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, who loyally supported America for four decades and paves the way for a new more hostile Egyptian regime. And yet he hesitates in responding to one of the most committed enemies of the US in the Arab world.

We should therefore be under no illusions that Obama will initiate any meaningful action to curtail Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

In summary: The Obama administration has undermined Israel, abandoned its Arab allies and appeased America’s worst enemies.

We can only hope and pray that the Republicans will get their act together and designate a credible candidate before the next presidential elections. It is chilling to contemplate the damage Obama could inflict on America’s international standing should he be reelected for a second term, free from any electoral constraints. The damage that ongoing American decline and weakness could inflict on Western civilization is positively alarming.

Palestinian Unity Govt.–Ominous Implications for Israelis?

[Does this represent the next phase in the State Dept. “Arab spring” scheme, and if so, does this actually imply an impending Obama double-cross of Zionist benefactor Israel, in order to force the Bush “Road map” onto all parties?]

Lieberman: Palestinian Deal Crosses ‘Red Line’

The Palestinian unity deal agreed in Cairo crossed “a red line,” Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman said on Thursday, warning that an array of measures could be taken against the Palestinian Authority.

“With this accord, a red line has been crossed,” the ultra-nationalist foreign minister told Israel’s military radio a day after the Palestinian parties announced a surprise reconciliation agreement.

“We have at our disposal a vast arsenal of measures including the lifting of VIP status for Abu Mazen and Salam Fayyad, which will not allow them to move freely,” he said referring to president Mahmoud Abbas and his prime minister.

“We could also freeze the transfer of taxes collected by Israel for the Palestinian Authority,” added Lieberman, who leads the Israel Beitenu party in the coalition of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

After 18 months of largely fruitless reconciliation talks, delegations from Hamas and Fatah meeting in Cairo on Wednesday announced a deal to form an interim unity government with a view to holding presidential and legislative elections within a year.

The deal raises the prospect of an end to the devastating political divide that has seen the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority govern the West Bank while the Islamist Hamas movement controls the Gaza Strip.

But the agreement was criticized by Israel, with Netanyahu warning on Wednesday, shortly after the deal was announced, that Abbas must “choose between peace with Israel or peace with Hamas.”

Lieberman said the reconciliation deal would mean the “freeing of hundreds of Hamas terrorists detained by the Palestinian Authority in Judaea and Samaria” — the biblical name for the West Bank.

He said the elections envisaged under the agreement would allow Hamas “to take control of Judaea and Samaria.”

Lieberman said he wanted to see the international community insist that any unity government comply with conditions announced by the Middle East peacemaking Quartet, which includes the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia.

“We hope that the whole international community will maintain the conditions imposed by the Quartet on the Palestinians, which means an end to violence, recognition of Israel and past agreements, and Hamas does not accept any of these conditions,” he said.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said “the latest events do nothing but reinforce the necessity of relying only on ourselves.

“The army and the security services will use an iron fist to deal with any threat and challenge,” he warned.(AFP)

The 1980s mujahideen, the Taliban and the shifting idea of jihad

The 1980s mujahideen, the Taliban and the shifting idea of jihad

Nineteen years ago, Afghanistan’s mujahideen defeated the Red Army. How do they compare with the Taliban who followed?

Afghan mujahideen in Bagram, 1992

Mujahideen in Bagram, Afghanistan, days before their victory over the communist regime on 28 April 1992. Photograph: AP

28 April marks the 19th anniversary of the mujahideen’s victory over the Red Army forces in Afghanistan. The original mujahideen of the 1980s and today’s Taliban may use the same language of holy war, but their understanding of jihad is worlds apart. The key difference between the original mujahideen and the Taliban is that the former waged a traditional type of jihad. In a traditional jihad, if waged locally, a contest over control of resources takes place between rival strongmen who each run their own private armies. In this scenario, the ultimate legitimacy to rule draws upon military strength, but the contest itself is called jihad simply because Islam is the sole language of political legitimacy.

Crucially, in a traditional jihad, the victorious party has an unspoken right to pillage, rape and loot the conquered population. This is because militia fighters are not paid soldiers in a regular army and hence looting is the material reward they receive for fighting. The original mujahideen followed this traditional pattern of jihad upon coming to power in 1992. Since competition over resources rather than ideology is key to traditional jihad, the mujahideen’s war focused on Kabul where the nation’s wealth and the foreign embassies, another potential source of funding, were to be found.

Judging by a historical account from the 1920s, back then the women and girls of the conquered populations also belonged to the pillage package offered to militia jihadis. Hence, in the diaries of court chroniclerKatib Hazara on the siege of Kabul in 1929, we read that the victorious mujahideen of the time had demanded to see the list of girls registered at a Kabul school so as to allocate female students to militia fighters.

Katib’s account might be exaggerated, but the story still reveals that there was an unspoken rule that women and girls were part of the conquest package. As such, the mujahideen’s struggle over Kabul was a continuation of traditional jihad complete with internal rivalries, pillage and looting. The mujahideen were part of the realm of traditional politics in which a conquered region is a turf that can be exploited by strongmen, who call themselves mujahideen so as to appear respectable.

The Taliban’s conquest of Afghanistan in 1996, by contrast, strayed from the path of tradition. In a striking breach of precedence, the Taliban militia did not make use of their unspoken right to pillage and loot. They searched the conquered populations’ homes, but only to confiscate weapons and so ensure a monopoly of violence for their state.

In a comical incident that features in Sabour Bradley’s documentary series The Extreme Tourist, the Taliban saw a poster of Rambo with a machine-gun in the home of an Afghan bodybuilder fan of the Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone. Ignorant of the world beyond the sharia law, the Taliban assumed that Rambo was a family member and told the bodybuilder: “Tell your cousin that he must hand over his machine gun to us.” The bodybuilder’s protestation that the poster depicted a fictional Hollywood hero fell flat with the Taliban, who subsequently imprisoned the man.

The Taliban were exceedingly ignorant – which made them cruel – but there’s no doubt that they saw jihad as a means to establish a state rather than legitimacy to pillage a conquered territory. Building a state was of utmost importance to the Taliban because without it the sharia law could not be enforced. If the mujahideen struggled over resources, the Taliban were concerned with religiosity.

The Taliban’s choice of their capital city, Kandahar, was further evidence of their radically new approach to conquest. As already mentioned, historically Kabul drew its importance from the fact that the nation’s wealth and the foreign embassies were concentrated there. The mujahideen’s vicious fight over the city, which resulted in thousands of dead, and their disregard for public buildings, which they indiscriminately destroyed in rocket attacks, was rooted in the view that the capital city was there to be pillaged by whichever party that came out victorious.

The Taliban, in contrast, disregarded Kabul, moving their capital to the much poorer city of Kandahar. Accounts of Afghans who met Taliban officials all reveal a lack of interest in material goods or symbols of social hierarchy. Meetings would be held seated on the floor in a circle, erasing all signs of hierarchy that traditionally has been part of Afghan court etiquette.

Ironically, such egalitarianism was what the communists had dreamed of in 1978. But in such a deeply religious society, it is not surprising that egalitarianism had to come as part of a religious doctrine. With the Taliban, rural Afghans came to power, ruling over the more sophisticated urban populations. This, too, was a breach of precedence.

Fighting for resources in a traditional fashion complete with looting and pillaging versus fighting for a state that would enforce sharia law even to the point of an obsessive preoccupation with the correct length of young men’s pubic hair is what distinguishes the original mujahideen from their Taliban nemesis.

Both parties use the same language of legitimacy – Islam, jihad, and mujahideen – which adds to the confusion, but their similarities are skin-deep.

The new great game in West Asia?

The new great game in West Asia?


Anti-government protesters gesture in front of the Saudi embassy in Match 2011, in Manama, Bahrain. Frenzied clashes swept Bahrain after a Saudi-led military force entered the country to defend its Sunni monarchy from a Shiite-led protest movement. File photo
APAnti-government protesters gesture in front of the Saudi embassy in Match 2011, in Manama, Bahrain. Frenzied clashes swept Bahrain after a Saudi-led military force entered the country to defend its Sunni monarchy from a Shiite-led protest movement. File photo

With Saudi Arabia regarding itself as the leader of Sunni Muslims and Iran considering itself the protector of Shias, the game has geo-political as well as religious overtones.

A new great game seems to be on. The locale is West Asia and the principal protagonists are Saudi Arabia and Iran. Unlike the original great game of the late 19th-early 20th century, the current great game has geo-political as well as religious overtones. Saudi Arabia regards itself as the leader of the Sunni Muslim community and Iran is the self-appointed protector of Shias. The Umma technically applies to the entire Muslim fraternity but, in practice, the two branches of Muslim faith do not regard themselves as belonging to the same Umma. They might do so when dealing with or confronting non-Muslims, but between themselves they are antagonistic. The two powers are also engaged in a bitter and determined struggle for dominance in the region.

The Arab-Persian divide cuts across, at least partially, the Shia-Sunni rivalry. At the risk of slight oversimplification, it can be said that as a general rule, an Arab Shia is likely to be more loyal to his Arab identity than to the Shia faith if the latter would imply acting against the interests of his country. This was conclusively demonstrated when the Shias of Iraq fought alongside their Sunni brethren in the war against Iran for eight years.

There are a billion-plus Muslims in the world. Indeed, Islam is the fastest growing religion. Sunnis are in a majority by far; Shias might constitute no more than 15 per cent though most Sunnis would place the figure much lower. Every Sunni majority country has a Shia minority and vice-versa, but the size of the minority varies. There are four Shia majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Azerbaijan. The rest are Sunni majority states, with some having significant Shia minorities. In Pakistan, 20 per cent of the population is Shia, Kuwait has about 25 per cent Shias, and Yemen slightly more. In Lebanon, Shias form 35-40 per cent of the total population, while in Egypt the percentage is negligible. Afghanistan has a significant Shia population in its western part, along the border with Iran.

The differences between the two schools emerged soon after Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632 over his succession. One group, later known as Sunnis, wanted an elected successor and chose Abu Bakr; the other group, which eventually came to be called Shias, insisted that the succession pass through the Prophet’s bloodline and wanted his nephew and son-in-law Ali to be the successor. The two parted company after the death of Ali who became the fourth caliph, more particularly after Hussein, Ali’s grandson, was killed by the Sunni caliph of Baghdad. Ever since, the hostility amounting to enmity between the two groups has claimed many lives.

In several Sunni majority countries, Shias may not even be recognised as Muslims. This was the case in Saudi Arabia until a few years ago. In Pakistan, Shias are regularly targeted and killed by Sunni extremists. Even today, the sub-sects of the Shias, such as Ismailis (Seveners) and Ithnasharis (Twelvers), are considered heretics. In Tehran, a city of 16 million, the small Sunni population does not have a single place of worship of its own; there are differences in the rituals of the two groups. When this writer visited Iran some time ago, the locals invariably referred to fellow Shias as Muslims and the others as Sunnis or Sunnas.

The tensions between the Shias and the Sunnis got greatly exacerbated after the American intervention in Iraq in March 2003. The majority Shia community had been repressed since the state of Iraq came into existence in 1932. This continued during Saddam Hussein’s reign though he did place some Shias as well as Christians — Tariq Aziz being the most well-known example — in prominent positions. The Shias suddenly found themselves in power for the first time ever and decided to take their revenge on the Sunnis. The result was a bitter and bloody sectarian strife which claimed thousands of lives. Entire neighbourhoods were ethnically, or rather communally, cleansed and people changed names. Most of those who sought refuge in Jordan and Syria were Sunnis. But the most significant consequence of the American intervention, not intended by any means but anticipatable, was the increased space it created for Iran to interfere in the affairs of the region and to become a significant regional player.

The situation today is that Iran has a major voice in Iraq, Lebanon through its proxy Hezbolla which is a predominantly Shia group, and Palestine through its support to Hamas which is a 100 per cent Sunni movement. In Afghanistan, Iran has vital interests as well as influence, and any solution to the Afghan problem would need Iran’s cooperation which it is willing to offer but only on its terms which have a lot to do with its dispute with the U.S. and others over its nuclear programme.

Ever since the Islamic Republic was born in 1979, it has boldly pronounced its policy of exporting the Islamic revolution. When the Egyptians poured into the Tahrir Square in January-February this year, Iran claimed the phenomenon as success for its revolution, but clamped down sternly on its own people wanting to demonstrate in Tehran’s Azadi Square. The ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011 has opened up fresh opportunities for Iran in its neighbourhood, especially Bahrain. Bahrain’s ruling family is Sunni, while the Shias account for 65-70 per cent of the population. When the Shia community protested peacefully at the Pearl Square, there were credible reports that Iran was not involved in the beginning. Once external forces, primarily from Saudi Arabia, entered the scene and used significant force to suppress the protests, Iran made its intentions clear. Although it continues to deny any involvement, it is entirely believable that Iran is doing its best to help fellow Shias in Bahrain by whatever means, short of physically sending its militia. It is noteworthy that many Iraqi voices are expressing strong disapproval of the crackdown of the Shia population in Bahrain, especially the Saudi intervention. Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki has warned that the Saudi action could launch wars of religion in the Middle East. Ayatolla Ali Shistani, the most powerful leader of the Shia community in Iraq and beyond, has demanded that the Bahrain authorities not use force against the protesters and has called for a dialogue.

In the years immediately following its attack on Iraq, the U.S. tried to cobble together a coalition of ‘moderate’ Sunni states to contain Iran’s growing influence in the region. Israel could not obviously be a part of this grouping but it fully supported the effort. During the visits by this writer to the countries in the region, it was made clear to him that Iraq’s neighbours would not remain silent and inactive if the Sunnis there came under serious danger. The situation did not escalate to that level; neither of the regional powers wanted to risk war.

The interesting point is that it is Iran, the lone Shia superpower which does not have the economic clout of Saudi Arabia, which has adopted an aggressive posture whereas the Sunni states seem to be on the defensive. Iran feels isolated, encircled and threatened by hostile American forces as well as by what it might perceive as antagonistic Sunni states. It is this which perhaps makes the Iranian regime more motivated and forceful in its diplomacy and actions. The feeble attempts by the Americans to discourage Saudi Arabia from sending its troops into Bahrain not only did not succeed but also led the Saudis to the conclusion that they must be on their own when it came to defending their regime and checking Iran’s growing influence. If Bahrain’s Shias succeed in gaining a share in the power structure, the Saudis will feel truly threatened, given that its Shia community, accounting for about 10 per cent of the population, is concentrated in its eastern territory where its oil assets are located. Any prospect of Iranian influence on the mainland of Saudi Arabia will be a nightmare to its ruling dynasty.

It is perhaps too late to soften the Shia-Sunni, Iran-Saudi tensions. Even if the Sunni-ruled states satisfy the demands of their Shia populations to some extent, Iran will continue to press home the advantage that has come its way recently, consolidate and build on it. The Americans will certainly not watch this game passively.

It will be fascinating to watch how this new great game plays out. We in India do not have much to worry about its implications domestically, since we are the most inclusive multicultural and multireligious society in the world, bar none. But externally, this great game will demand an agile foreign policy approach, which might demand a new form of non-alignment or dual alignment.

India Holds Back Approval for Four Russian Reactors, WSJ Reports

India Holds Back Approval for Four Russian Reactors, WSJ Reports

By Archana Chaudhary
India’s environment ministry held back approval for four Russian reactors to be set up in the southern city of Kudankulam because disposing of water into the sea may affect marine life, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A fresh risk assessment is needed following the Fukushima nuclear accident, according to the report, which cited a panel of the ministry.

Nuclear Power Corp. of India, the state-owned monopoly atomic generator, plans to set up four Russian reactors of 1,000 megawatts each at Kudankulam in the state of Tamil Nadu in addition to two units being constructed.

Shreyans Kumar Jain, chairman of Nuclear Power Corp., didn’t answer a call made to his mobile phone seeking comment. India is reviewing environmental approvals for all coastal nuclear power projects, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told reporters in New Delhiwhen asked to comment on the report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Archana Chaudhary in Mumbai

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at

Libya: The Madness Continues

Libya: The Madness Continues

It is now abundantly clear that the International Coalition is bent on removing Gaddafi from office through violence. The New York Times has reported the West’s WAR PLAN that should not leave any shred of doubt in anybody’s mind that the West entered Libya not to solve humanitarian problems but to remove Gaddafi from office and install in his place those who will serve their interests.

The ultimate objective of such a successful operation in Libya is to create opportunities for re-entering Africa through the puppets that they will put in power. Libya’s case is a classic example of this chilling arrangement that must be monitored closely. Let no one doubt it at all that the West is not doing any humanitarian work in that country but establishing a platform for multi-varied political, economic, and military purposes.

Quoting Obama administration and allied officials, The New York Times’ report has it that NATO plans to step up attacks on the palaces, headquarters and communications centres that Gaddafi uses to maintain his grip on power in Libya.

Details of the report are obviously unambiguous on what the United States has up its sleeves as it teams up with the partners in the International Coalition to implement the agenda of destabilizing Libya and destroying its infrastructure as the best option to remove Gaddafi from office.

Here is what the war plan contains, according to The New York Times’ report: White House officials said President Obama had been briefed on the more energetic bombing campaign, which included a strike early on Monday on Gaddafi’s residential compound in the heart of Tripoli, the capital.

United States officials said the effort was not intended to kill the Libyan leader, but to bring the war to his doorstep, raising the price of his efforts to continue to hold on to power. “We want to make sure he knows there is a war going on, and it’s not just in Misurata,” said a senior administration official, who requested anonymity in discussing military planning.

The NATO campaign, some officials said, arose in part from an analysis of Gaddafi’s reaction to the bombing of Tripoli that was ordered by President Ronald Reagan a quarter-century ago. Alliance officials concluded that the best hope of dislodging the Libyan leader and forcing him to flee was to cut off his ability to command his most loyal troops.

“We don’t want to kill him or make a martyr out of him in the Arab world,” said a senior NATO diplomat familiar with the evolving strategy. “But if he sees the bombing happening all around him, we think it could change his calculus.”

As the report has it, military officials privately acknowledge that removing Gaddafi from power is the desired secondary effect of striking at state television and other symbols of his authoritarian rule. “His people may see the futility of continued resistance,” one Pentagon official said.

This report is as disheartening as the heightened military bombardment is unwarranted, especially under the terms of the UN Resolution 1973 that propelled the International Coalition’s actions in Libya.

Now that NATO has shifted to a top gear in its plans to cause more devastation—even where there is no fighting or humanitarian problem, one is completely baffled as to what exactly the UN has authorized the West to do in Libya.

What is more troubling is the silence that the UN Secretary–General has kept even in the face of gross abuse of the terms of UN Resolution 1973. It seems having already sold his conscience to the marauding powerful voices in the UN, Ban Kim Moon has lost his bearings and can’t even know that the blessing that the UN gave the West to operate in Libya is being abused. The UN is now an accomplice in creating WAR instead of seeking PEACE. Such an institution is not what the world needs today.

On the same sad note, it is depressing that none of the African leaders seems to care enough for the plight of Libya to complain. The stark truth is that those destroying Libya are not doing so because they love the Libyan people or because they are interested in helping Libya develop more rapidly beyond where Gaddafi has led it.

They are bent on destroying everything in Libya that has propped up the country so far as it asserts its influence in international politics. The West hates countries that stand on their feet to challenge it. Under Gaddafi’s rule, Libya has emerged as a force to reckon with beyond Africa and that stature poses a big threat to the West’s interests; hence, the dogged determination to reduce the country to rubble.

Under this circumstance, one would expect African leaders to make their voices of protest heard so that public opinion can be mobilized to seek better ways to resolve the Libyan crisis. Unfortunately, none of the African leaders regards the problem as worth his bother. So much destruction is going on in this country but no one in the African Union is reacting to it. They’ve turned deaf ears to everything emanating from there. What a pity?

Where is the spirit of fellow-feeling that undergirds the African Union Charter? As Africans (forget about Libya’s membership of the Arab League), if we fail to solidarize with each other, we open ourselves to manipulation and selective sabotage by those who have always sought our downfall. When the European powers colonized Africa, they did so for their own good and our bad. Granting us a political freedom (an independence based on nothing but national anthems—mostly written and sung in the colonial masters’ own language—and colourful but uninspiring national flags) while manipulating our systems at the economic level hasn’t helped us develop strongly enough to rub shoulders with them. We are easy preys.

We are still tied to their apron strings or turned into marionettes that they manipulate anyhow at will for comfort while we suffer the pains. The impunity with which the West does things related to Africa is disturbing; and the Libyan situation is a clear instance of how much havoc we are exposed to. I am completely angry at African leaders for not rising to the occasion to make collective decisions against what is happening to Libya.

It shouldn’t be said that the African leaders chose to leave Libya to its own fate when their support was most needed to tilt the balance of public opinion against the intransigence and wickedness of the West.

So far, Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister has emerged as the only strong voice to condemn the West, especially in establishing the illegality of its destruction of Libya. According to The New York Times report, Mr. Putin on Tuesday delivered his most passionate critique of the Western intervention in

Libya, underlining a rare open disagreement with his protégé, President Dmitri Medvedev.
At a news conference in Copenhagen, Mr. Putin was asked to elaborate on his comment that the UN resolution allowing airstrikes resembled “a medieval call for a crusade.” He responded by launching into an extended caustic attack on the NATO campaign, saying it violated the principle of sovereignty and the wishes of the Libyan people. I salute him!!

Where is the supporting voice from Africa to add up to Putin’s? Disappointing silence!
A lot has already been said by some opponents of this massive military operation against Libya (including the Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI) to indicate that the approach that the West has adopted toward resolving the Libyan crisis is not the best option nor will it offer any long-lasting solution even if they succeed in killing or overthrowing Gaddafi. But the devastation still goes on.

Doubtless, the internal problems facing Libya go beyond the individual leader after whose blood the West has been since it thrust itself into the crisis. Thus, even in a post-Gaddafi period, Libya still faces a more wretched future than the West seems to know or care about. What is the guarantee that the West has any good intention for Libya beyond removing Gaddafi from office because the rebels claim they want a more representative government? Why will the West choose to directly fight Gaddafi instead of solving the humanitarian crisis that was the mission it entered Libya to accomplish? There is no need for the West to fight the battle on behalf of the rebels.

The intensification of the bombardment of Libyan infrastructure is disgusting. They seem to be biting off more than the UN Resolution 1973 requires. Now that the West has carried the fight to where there is no existing humanitarian problem to solve and is rather creating panic and needless destruction, the time has come for those who truly seek peace and not war to step out of their closets to make their voices heard. The UN has already doomed itself and can’t be relied on to reverse the destruction.

At this point in the prosecution of the West’s destructive agenda, Libya seems to be bereft of friends. If the West succeeds in achieving its objectives in Libya, nothing will stop it from doing so in other countries in future if the partners in this International Coalition (who represent the most heartless, vicious, and exploitative economic, political, and military systems in the world) deem it fit to do so and band together under the least pretext. Must less powerful countries become targets for easy picking as such by the West?

Nothing can be more pathetic than what has been set in motion in Libya. No country in Africa should feel safe enough to neglect Libya at this crucial time. But do the other African leaders have any strong moral or political will at all to speak back to the West? Having sold their conscience to the West (mostly for personal gains), how much courage do they have left to talk back without being punished themselves? Indeed, Africa’s plight is permanent!!

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

US military interventions and accountability for civilian deaths

US military interventions & accountability for civilian deaths

Shenali Waduge

People outside a war terrain will never understand what a battle is like. Soldiers do not memorize the international protocols nor do they have time to remember any of the clauses in them while trying to take on the enemy. Yet, in the case of the US most of the troops it has committed in countries have been without any provocation. To eliminate a handful of perpetrators, the US has killed thousands of civilians. As aggressor, the US has a very poor record of accountability & with no actions taken against the US by world bodies that are tasked to do so. The issue of accountability invariably ends up at the doorsteps of smaller nations while the powerful one’s care little for the word & care less for the civilians that they kill.

The important question is how long will US citizens continue to buy the lies fed by its Governments? US media is practically owned & run by Israel & continues to tell US citizens that Americans are under threat, that America will be targeted by terrorists & this has been sufficient reason to commit US troops to any part of the world on the guise of protecting America. Is the ultimate game to make US citizens sufferers of fear psychosis & turn it into a country riddled in debt? Americans are told that buzzwords like “freedom” “human rights” prevail in US alone & so it becomes the duty of the US to instill these amazing
“democratic” concepts into those countries. Very few Americans know to what extent their citizens have freedom of expression & human rights, they are made to feel privileged by comparing themselves to other countries that have become what they are because of the West. Very few Americans seem to know the geography of the world or care little to find out to demand from US Governments why it is committing trillions of dollars & putting generations of Americans in debt.

US interventions did not begin with Iraq. Since 1898 America has taken the path of aggressive intervention & have marched forth with the concept of setting up “protectorates”. In 1898 it took over Philippines, then Cuba & Puerto Rico from Spain. Then came US’s role in World War 1. Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Haiti & the Dominican Republic were turned into protectorates. There was a pattern in these interventions & it was solely based on corporate interests. US cared little for the loss to civilians of these countries & there was no accountability by the US.

During World War 2, US forces ruthlessly bombed Dresden (Germany) & Tokyo killing hundreds & thousands of civilians. The atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki still find Americans believing that targeting Japanese civilians was worth the American lives that had been saved. What happened on August 6 & August 9, 1945 should go down clearly as a crime against humanity. This was terrorism by US & nothing can justify what the US did. Why did the US develop such a weapon? Each time the world is given the excuse that another nation is acquiring nuclear bombs that necessitated US to develop them first. It was the US that began a new era in warfare by using the atomic bomb, it was the US that first began targeting civilians as a strategy with the use of the atomic bomb, fearing US aggression other countries began themselves to build their own nuclear arsenal. If the world becomes a frightening place because of nuclear arsenal it is totally because of the US.

Civilian deaths meant little to the US when they purposely targeted civilians in dropping the atomic bombs in Nagasaki & Hiroshima & US continues this trend throughout its other interventions where it is evident that US cares pittance about casualties to civilians of the countries it has sent its troops to. 50 million civilians died in Hiroshima & the impact of the atomic bomb caused health suffering to many thousands in later years. The US even commemorated the attacks on Hiroshima & Nagasaki by issuing a Stamp depicting an image of a mushroom cloud.

The Philippine insurrection resulted in the deaths of 200,000 civilians with a policy given to US troops to shoot anyone above 10 years who dared to resist US occupation. In Vietnam, President Nixon gave orders to carpet-bomb Cambodia knowing that hundreds of thousand peasants would perish.

Then the Korea war (1950-53) where US troops fired on civilians heading towards South Korea fearing they were North Korean infiltrators. US had not learnt lessons from what they did to Nagasaki & Hiroshima for again the US threatened to use nuclear weapons on North Korea not once but twice! A few years later during the Middle East crisis US marines deployed in Lebanon threatened Iraq with nuclear attack if it invaded Kuwait. Intervention of the Dominican Republic resulted in 1965 though it failed in Cuba in 1961. CIA has supported & installed pro-US dictatorships in Iraq, Chile, Indonesia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicargua where CIA trained contra rebels were taught to launch terrorist attacks. US troops invaded island nation of Grenada in 1983, a hospital had also been bombed by US but there was no accountability for that at least! From South America again the US focus shifted towards Iran where a pro-US dictatorship was installed, then in 1982 Israel occupied Lebanon & US troops were deployed as “peacekeepers” but sided with Lebanon’s pro-Israel Christian government against Muslim rebels creating suicide attacks against the Marines. The US response was to assassinate Shi’ite Muslim leaders though Syria & the rebels won over US.

Many have forgotten the US bombing on Libya in 1986 which killed a lot of Libyan civilians & many believe that Gaddafi sought revenge by bombing the US jet over Scotland.

The US killing spree continued in 1989 when it accused its former ally Manuel Noriega of drug-running & US invaded Panama where the US killed over 2000 civilians just to capture one leader!

Following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq which resulted in US turning against its former friend Saddam Hussein since the US had supported the Kuwaiti monarchy as well as the Saudi Arabian monarchy. It was in 1991 that the US & allies together unleashed its brutality upon Iraq & it is estimated that over 200,000 Iraqi’s perished, thousands more died as a result of the economic sanctions. No panel or accountability has so far been sought from the US!

Both Bush & Clinton cared little when their orders meant thousands of Iraqi lives would get affected by UN sanctions that ended up starving Iraqi people & making thousands more ill. All these strategies were meant to make the Iraqi people submissive & to incite them to overthrow Saddam. When asked in 1996 this is what Madeline Albright said “We have heard that a half million children have died [from the sanctions]. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And – you know, is the price worth it?, Albrights reply was “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it”. The US went on to drop cluster bombs on Serbia in 1999 again aware that civilians would suffer. The US game plan continues to be repeated elsewhere. Countries are advised not to become slaves to the loan sharks in the form of the World Bank or the IMF.

America cannot undo what they did in Hiroshima, Nagasaki or any of the other countries that it has appalling human rights records but America should be told to stop immediately the patterns of civilian targeting & unnecessary interventions they are currently spearheading. Who is to tell the US is another problem. The UN is practically a non-performing puppet ready to please superpowers.

Yes, lest we forget to mention a new term was coined known as “humanitarian interventions” – interventions supposedly to safeguard civilians. This is presently happening in Libya where US & allies & NATO are bombing Libya killing hundreds of civilians but the world must keep mum because they are supposedly safeguarding civilians….(but putting them to death!)

Whenever humanitarian intervention is mentioned Somalia comes to mind. The African nation torn by hunger & civil war between two warlords resulted in US following to perfection the divide & rule strategy which ended up a killing field & mass genocide. Then the US turned towards the Balkans & watched the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) kill Muslim civilians in Bosnia in 1995. Then US & allies bombed Serbia to force President Milosevic to withdraw forces from ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo. Kosovo was made “independent” again because of its economic benefit to the West.

If we are appalled at the manner the US has been continuing military interventions & wonder why other powerful nations sit mum it is because these nations need energy to sustain their powerful empires. The West have become what they are by draining developing nations of their natural wealth. In doing so they did colossal damage by ensuring all these nations were eternally saddled with conflict by promulgating the strategy of divide & rule.

How have these “humanitarian interventions” been strategized? Firstly, the US public end up being fooled. The US Government declares it is defending the lives & rights of civilians of other nations. The media propaganda perfectly backs these claims. However, military tactics employed end up leaving massive civilian “collateral damage” which meant troops cared little if people of these nations were rebels or civilians, whether they lived in rebel zones or in residential areas. The simple explanation given for civilian deaths is “accidental” or “unavoidable” or “sorry”. Again, no accountability & certainly no panel reports for the UNSG in not one but hundreds of interventions that have created millions of deaths that the US Governments are responsible for.

Slogans being used for these interventions are “freedom” “democracy” “human rights” while US defended dictatorships by pro-US leaderships. The agenda being either ideological to ensure capitalism prevailed or an economic agenda where US would be able to secure or protect oil company investments.

Other buzzwords to look out for is referring to opponents as “terrorists”, claiming that leaderships of those countries are carrying out “atrocities against civilians”, “ethnic cleansing”, “genocide” & these are meant to be perfect reasons for the intervention by US & its allies.

The important question is if the US & allies think they have the right to “terminate” a state that harbors or trains terrorists by descending on the nation without invitation, can any other state do the same to US or its allies? Many of the organizations that the US & allies have termed “terrorist” have official offices set up in their countries, their key members are often citizens of these countries, they even carry out open campaigns in these countries & openly collect funds. The LTTE has been a perfect example where its official office was in London, despite LTTE’s ruthless record of bloodshed its foreign leaderships continue to be brushing shoulders with foreign leaderships. Now after the real LTTE is no more, some utopian tiger Government created by refugee tigers holding multiple passports has been set up & even that has been recognized….a virtual Government without land! These are double standards & so long as double standards prevail the US & allies will continue to have opposition. The UN unless it changes its biased nature will continue to be an institution laughed at by its members. It is time that nations that are being treated with bias get together & threat to walk of membership unless the UN & UNSG follows the true vision & mission of the UN.

The US & its allies are no neutral peacekeepers. The UN is well aware of this status & these allied troops descend upon nations using the “humanitarian” motive purely to protect its strategic interests or to acquire & secure economic interests & when they do descend what they end up doing is dividing a nation & putting the people against the other – the classic divide & rule policy.

However, there are instances that in attempting to demonize enemy leaders a boomerang effect had occurred. Castro, Gaddafi, Kim & now Mahinda Rajapakse! Rather than weaken them amongst the masses these leaders have become popular where the people have begun to realize the gameplan of these powerful nations. Therefore the line of belief by US & allies that the people of the world “like” them is getting thinner. Pro-US media will continue to brainwash world public opinion but countries are now gathering their own set of propaganda to counter these by showcasing the atrocities committed by US & allies on countries they have militarily intervened using the excuse of “humanitarian intervention”.

All the allies have a history of civilian deaths they are accountable for – Germany, Japanese, French, British, Israel.

In a world where being a human means people of different beliefs, fears, thoughts & ideas there is never ONE way. The build up of weapons & nuclear arsenal have been done so on the farce of protecting a nation by fooling its populace that it is under threat. These factors have only created a world where each time people wonder whether there will be a repetition of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, especially when dealing with a country that has no shame or feels accountable or embarrassed for wiping out millions of civilians but have instead steadfastly continued to bombard nations, forcefully occupy territories, drops bombs on civilians caring little for life or limb.

Can Americans finally accept that its Governments are & continue to be committing crimes against humanity? The pro-US thinkers will be quick to cite instances of dictatorships in other countries but the issue here is that the US is without any provocation attacking & completely destroying nations & their people.

New Attempts to Murder Pakistani Religious Leaders

[SEE:  Is this the Reason for the Poisoning Attack? ]

Gruesome attacks

It is a matter of great concern that a leader of the  stature of Maulana Fazlur Rehman who with his stiff opposition to the US aggression had gained a large following particularly among the tribal folks, hardliners and virtually all America bashers had a narrow escape in two deadly bomb attacks.
The first attack occurred at Swabi Interchange on Peshawar-Islamabad motorway on Wednesday and if Maulana was not late by a minute or so for a gathering he was to address he would have become the target of the suicide bomber. Ten people died in the blast. The JUI-F leader however was unfazed and stated that the attack was carried out by the US and its CIA for his bold stance against the drone attacks. The second blast took place in Charsadda in the DCO office on Thursday close to the convoy of Maulana Fazlur Rehman and though he was again lucky, 12 people lost their lives. These attacks must be condemned because apart from attempting to assassinate a high profile religious leader, it is part of the same game of creating sectarian rift and hence destabilising the country. If leaders of his calibre are being targeted in this manner, it is pretty clear that general security is virtually non-existent. But most important of all, it is also time for different factions and outfits of the insurgent groups like the Taliban and their political bosses to avoid factional rivalries and infighting among themselves at least on Pakistan’s territory. Turning our homeland into the veritable battlefield when actually the fury of these groups ought to be directed in driving out the occupation forces from Afghanistan has put our survival at stake. It must be remembered that the only country that is benefiting from the splits within Taliban is the US. First these groups owing to the absence of a united leadership cause mayhem inside Pakistan and secondly, the US by causing unrest within their ranks neutralise the threat to its military presence in Afghanistan.

Rush in now, repent later

Rush in now, repent later


Agitators pelt stones at police in Ratnagiri on April 19, 2011, in protest against the proposed nuclear power plant in Jaitapur. File Photo: Vivek Bendre
The HinduAgitators pelt stones at police in Ratnagiri on April 19, 2011, in protest against the proposed nuclear power plant in Jaitapur. File Photo: Vivek Bendre

A transparent assessment of the costs and risks associated with India’s ambitious nuclear plans must be made before any ground is broken at Jaitapur or elsewhere.

You really have to hand it to the nuclear industry. In any other sphere of the economy, a major industrial disaster is likely to have adverse, long-term financial consequences for the company or companies whose product or activity was involved in the accident, regardless of actual cause or legal liability. Thus, the people of Bhopal may still be paying for the poisonous gas which descended over their city in December 1984 but Union Carbide became such a toxic brand that it eventually went bust. Last year’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has also blown a large hole in the profits of BP. But under the perverse economic logic of the nuclear industry, disasters like the one unfolding at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan only mean more business for the world’s biggest atomic energy vendors.

According to Dan Yurman, a consultant for firms connected to the American nuclear industry, two giant nuclear consortia are forming to manage the clean-up of the Fukushima site. “The first consortium is composed of General Electric and Hitachi, with support from Exelon and Bechtel. The second group is led by Toshiba which is partnered with the U.S. branch of Areva, the French state-owned nuclear giant. Babcock & Wilcox and The Shaw Group are part of the Toshiba team,” he writes in his excellent and authoritative blog, Nuke Notes. Incidentally, cleaning up isn’t really their core competence. GE, Hitachi, Areva, Babcock & Wilcox and Toshiba are all in the business of building components for nuclear power plants.

In case readers have failed to spot the irony, let me be blunt about what’s going on here. First, you get paid to sell a reactor in a foreign country. Then, under an international liability regime that is explicitly designed to favour you, the entire burden for site remediation and victim compensation in the “highly unlikely” event of an accident is shifted on to the plant operator. Finally, if and when that “highly unlikely” accident does occur, you are not only insulated from any financial claims but you actually get paid even more handsomely to come in and help clean up the mess!

Exactly how much money are we talking about? Yurman estimates the cost of decommissioning the six reactors at the site could be as much as $12 billion and would take more than a decade to complete. “Industry experts agree this won’t be an ordinary job of tearing down a safe and cold reactor. For instance, to remove the spent fuel from Unit 4, a giant superstructure will have to be built around the devastated secondary containment structure to safely load the hot fuel assemblies underwater into special transportation casks.” Indeed, so lucrative is this project that the two consortia — which consist of companies that otherwise fiercely compete with each other for contracts and projects — “are reported to be having exploratory talks to combine forces.”

As for the $12 billion required to pay these companies for the clean-up, where is such a huge sum likely to come from? From the victims of the accident, the Japanese people, who else! “The Japanese government is said to be considering a form of receivership for the Fukushima site which would allow taxpayer funds to cover clean-up costs and pay compensation to people forced to evacuate their homes within the 13 km government defined danger zone around the plants,” notes Yurman.

As far as the Indian debate over nuclear energy is concerned, the unfolding Fukushima scenario poses an urgent challenge on three different fronts: estimating the true cost of nuclear power, assigning liability in the event of a nuclear accident in a way that is both equitable and efficient, and ensuring the highest possible standards of safety and regulation. As of today, despite the government’s ambitious plans for the construction of 20 or more nuclear reactors across the country, there is little or no clarity or transparency on these vital issues.

The Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement — which paved the way for actualisation of these grand targets — led to intense political divisions at the time it was being negotiated but the debate over the optimum energy mix for India must be conducted independently of those fault lines. The deal may have been sold to the Indian and global public as a cheap and green solution to the country’s power shortage but its primary economic utility today lies in presenting our planners with a wider set of energy options. A door has been opened for India to access nuclear material and technology which was unfairly denied to it in the past but any decision to walk through that door and fill our shopping cart must be based on a sound cost-benefit analysis. Post-Fukushima, we now know, for example, that the cost of clean-up in the event of a “low-probability” event must also be factored in to the equation. Once the $12 billion bill the Japanese taxpayers are going to be saddled with to permanently entomb the highly radioactive reactors there is retrospectively fed into the cost of electricity that the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) generated over the years, the true per unit tariff is likely to be much higher than the figure TEPCO worked with when the decision to build the reactors was originally made. Here in India, the Planning Commission should now go back to the drawing board and ask itself whether it still makes financial sense to produce electricity at any given location through large and expensive imported reactors when there may be cheaper options available over the medium term. It may still be that nuclear energy makes economic sense but it is vital that the decision we take be based on a realistic assessment of actual and probabilistic costs over the entire life cycle of a nuclear plant.

As for liability, the Manmohan Singh government owes a debt of gratitude to those who criticised it during last year’s debate over the controversial liability law. If the watered down version had been passed, as the American nuclear industry was insisting, our leaders would be running for political cover today. Fukushima is a confirmation of the need for tough liability legislation, especially since the cause of the accident lay, at least partly, in deficient design. As the 16 leading nuclear scientists who recently sent a letter on nuclear safety to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General noted, “It appears that, in the siting and design of the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plants, an unlikely combination of low-probability events (historic earthquake plus historic tsunami leading to loss of all electrical power) was not taken sufficiently into account.” Rational liability laws are essential for ensuring the nuclear vendor pays adequate attention to safety in coming up with his designs. Optimum safety can only be built in if the vendor is forced to internalize the cost of an accident, something liability laws in Japan and elsewhere do not do. The Indian law is an improvement over the prevailing global model but post-Fukushima, many will argue for its further strengthening.

“We are confident that only nuclear power that avoids being a threat to the health and safety of the population and to the environment is acceptable to society,” the 16 nuclear scientists, including Anil Kakodkar, former head of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), said in their letter. They added: “It is necessary to ensure that national nuclear safety regulators in all countries are fully independent in their decision-making on nuclear safety and to assure their competence, resources and enforcement authorities.”

Unfortunately, India today has no such body of regulators. Even on paper, the “autonomous” Atomic Energy Regulatory Board cannot remotely be called “fully independent” since it reports eventually to the Atomic Energy Commission, which, in turn, is chaired by the head of the DAE. As Prashant Reddy, a research associate at the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata, has noted, “This is like making the Securities & Exchange Board of India [SEBI] responsible to the Bombay Stock Exchange and then expecting SEBI to function as an independent, autonomous regulator.” The government is understood to be working on a proposal to create a truly independent regulator for the nuclear industry but what eventually emerges from its internal review process is anybody’s guess. Meanwhile, the decision to push ahead with construction activity at Jaitapur and other places has evoked a strong negative reaction from local communities. Opposition parties like the Shiv Sena may be trying to exploit people’s fears but the government’s failure to be open and transparent in its conduct at the grassroots level is what has created fertile ground for protest. Radioactive pollution, in the “low-probability” event of an accident, has a half-life of hundreds of years. Will the skies fall upon us if Jaitapur and other projects are put on hold for a fraction of that time, so that citizens at large — and the concerned local communities — can be convinced through argument and debate that putting up nuclear plants in their backyard is a safe and economical way of generating electricity?

This article was corrected for grammatical errors.

Bangladeshi Denounce US Imperialist Interference

CPB, BSD call to resist ‘US aggression’

Dhaka, Apr 9 (—Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) have called upon the masses to resist what they called ‘US capitalist aggression’ across the world and interference in Muhammad Yunus issue.

Speaking at separate meetings in the city on Saturday, leaders of the two parties express grave concern over ‘ever-increasing US interference in the internal issues of Bangladesh’.

“The frequency of US interference in Bangladesh’s internal issues has surpassed all past records. The government and opposition parties’ subservient attitude is responsible for the increased interference,” a CPB press release said.

CPB leaders were addressing a meeting at city’s Muktangon on Saturday afternoon, the release said.

The release also termed the US stance on Yunus and mineral resources issues as anti-diplomatic etiquettes.

“Violent speech of US assistant secretary of state Robert O Blake on Mar 22 is disrespectful to Bangladesh and a threat to our independence and sovereignty.”

The US had even sent the Seventh Fleet besides opposing the independence struggle in 1971, but Bangladesh resisted that US aggression as a brave nation, the Left party’s release added.

Ashraf Hossain Ashu presided over the meeting where CPB presidium member Shahadat Hossain and central leader M M Akash spoke, the release added.

On the other hand, speaking at a demonstration programme in front of National Press Club on Saturday afternoon, BSD general secretary Khalekujjaman said, “Imperialist countries are supporting this newest US aggression over Middle-East just to gain control of oil fields for themselves.”

On the Libya issue, he pointed out that only Libyan people held the power to steer the country.

While criticising Hillary Clinton and Robert Blake’s threats over Yunus issue, he suspected that both the government and imperialists were patrons of micro-credit system.

BSD’s metropolitan convenor Bazlur Rashid Firoz presided over the programme, while central committee member Rajekujjaman Ratan and member secretary Zulfikar Ali were among those speaking on the occasion.

Nashville: Proposed terrorist bill stirs controversy

Opponents of an anti-terrorism bill watch a TV monitor in the legislative office complex as Rep. Rick Womick, R-Murfreesboro, discusses the bill in Nashville on Tuesday. Hundreds came to the Capitol to protest the measure that originally sought to make it a felony to follow some versions of the Islamic Sharia code. The measure has since been stripped of any reference to religion, but opponents say it is still unnecessary. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)
Opponents of an anti-terrorism bill watch a TV monitor in the legislative office complex as Rep. Rick Womick, R-Murfreesboro, discusses the bill in Nashville on Tuesday. Hundreds came to the Capitol to protest the measure that originally sought to make it a felony to follow some versions of the Islamic Sharia code. The measure has since been stripped of any reference to religion, but opponents say it is still unnecessary. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

NASHVILLE — Tennessee’s governor and state attorney general would have power to decide who and what groups constitute a “domestic terrorist entity” under a controversial bill moving in the General Assembly.

At least 200 Muslims packed the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and adjacent hallways on Tuesday, saying they fear the proposed Material Support to Designated Entities Act would unfairly target them.

But the legislation passed in both panels, with House Judiciary Committee members approving it on a 12-8 vote and their Senate counterparts later voting 6-3 in favor of it. Both versions now move on to their respective finance committees.

The bill originally sought to criminalize what critics said were extreme aspects of Sharia, the individual and social duties prescribed by Islam. But the bill has now been amended to remove any references to Sharia or religion.

“The offensive language that was in the original bill has been removed,” said House Speaker Pro Tem Judd Matheny, R-Tullahoma, the bill’s sponsor.

The bill’s intent, he said, is “to protect Tennesseans, to empower local law enforcement, to preempt terrorist attacks so we don’t have to pick up body parts after an event. It’s to prevent an event from happening.”

Designating a person or group as a “domestic terrorist entity” would be a civil procedure and would allow the state to freeze or block the entity’s bank assets, he said.

Those contributing in spite of the designation could be subject to criminal penalties if the group commits a terrorist act. Matheny said there are adequate legal protections, but critics question that.

Zulfat Suara, a Nigerian Muslim who now makes her home and works as a certified public accountant in Bolivar, Tenn., said her greatest concern is the tremendous power top state officials will have to impose a designation that can destroy innocent lives.

“Two or three years later you’re cleared, but the damage is already done,” she said.

During the House hearing, Rep. Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol, also fretted about the power of top officials.

“Isn’t that the ultimate in truly Big Brother?” Lundberg said. “I like the intent. It just candidly scares me what we open up with this and what we potentially toss out.”

Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, called the bill “un-American as far as I’m concerned. What we’re saying here is that somebody in Tennessee, a regular person, can be declared a terrorist, and they have no right to a trial of their peers to clear their good name.”

One of the bill’s proponents, Rep. Rick Womick, R-Rockvale, said the bill was “not about religion,” however, he went on to criticize aspects of Islam in a lengthy speech.

“There are three parts to Sharia law that the majority of Americans do not understand,” Womick said. “It’s a political system that has at its center the goal to install Sharia law and its divine beliefs in every country in the world … It is a legal system with a legal code enforced if necessary through militaristic or Jihadist methods. It is also a religion. That part of Sharia is protected by the First Amendment — the other two are not.”

Imam Mohamed Ahmed with the Islamic Center of Nashville later spoke before the committee, calling the situation “very interesting” because proponents say it does not target any religion yet committee members had just listened for “20 minutes about Sharia law.”

“I think we’re facing double standards these days in the Muslim community,” he said, comparing Muslims’ situation to that of blacks in the past.

Indian Press Reveals Radiation-Caused Evacuation of Ohio’s Problem-Plagued Perry Nuke Plant

US facing nuclear scare in Ohio plant?

Oneindia News

Cleveland, Apr 27: After the nuclear scare in tsunami-hit Japan’s Fukushima Daichi plant, there were global concerns on the disastrous impact of the nuclear leak for years to come. Following the scare, nuclear plants across the world had stepped up their security and safety measures to avoid a catastrophe of fatal proportions.

News has emerged of exceptionally high radiation levels at a nuclear reactor in northeast Ohio that has caused concern to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The plant in question is the Perry Nuclear Power Plant that was evacuated on Apr 22 after radiation levels rose while the plant was shutting down for a refuelling outage, revealed the commission. The plant officials have confirmed that workers have not been exposed to radiation in excess of NRC limits, the commission added.

In a statement issued by the commission, “The plant is in a safe condition and there has been no impact to workers at the plant or members of the public from this issue.” The commission explained that trouble started when workers were removing a monitor that measures nuclear reactions during start-up, low-power operations and shutdown.

The highest recorded radiation exposure to workers were measured at 98 millirems, which is the equivalent to two or three chest X-rays, revealed a spokesman for the owners of the nuclear reactor. He also added that the NRC’s limit for radiation exposure in a year is 5000 millirems.

The plant owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. has been operational since 1987. Plant spokesperson revealing the lapses in the part of workers stated, “The contractors did not use the proper method to remove this piece of equipment from underneath the reactor. It shouldn’t have happened, but the bottom line was it did not impact the safety or health of the contractors or the public.”

The Commission started inspecting the plant from Monday and refused to divulge how high the radiation levels are and how often such are carried out.

OneIndia News

‘Saudis fear losing seized Yemeni land’

‘Saudis fear losing seized Yemeni land’

Saudi soldiers in the former Yemeni province of Jizan, during the war with Yemen’s Houthi fighters in Jan. 2010.
A Yemeni opposition group says the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) is plotting to defeat the popular revolt in the country against the despotic rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Secretary General of Yemen Democratic Party Saif al-Washli told the al-Alam news network on Tuesday that leaders of [P]GCC are against Yemen’s membership in the council.

This is because they fear that if Yemen joins the council, it may demand the return of three of its provinces under the occupation of Saudi Arabia, al-Washli explained.

When the British partitioned the Arabian Peninsula following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, the Saudis sought to expand their territories by occupying parts of Yemen.

This unleashed the 1934 Saudi-Yemen war that resulted in the separation of three provinces — Asir, Jazan and Najran — from Greater Yemen.

Nearly 80 years after the Saudi occupation, the border dispute remains fresh, with many Yemenis demanding the return of the three regions to the motherland.

In November 2009, Saudi forces once again intervened in Yemen by launching an offensive against Shia fighters in the north, known as Houthis.

The massive offensive claimed the lives of a large number of people, including women and children, and led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands in the impoverished country.

Al-Washli stressed that Saudi Arabia’s recent interventions in Bahrain, Egypt, Syria and Iraq also show that the Kingdom is bent on suppressing popular revolutions in the Mideast by following pro-Israeli agendas.

The latest comments come two days after the [P]GCC granted President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity from prosecution in exchange for his stepping down and handing power over to his Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

According to the plan, the opposition will be allowed to form an interim national unity government after the president signs the deal.

Reports say both Saleh and Yemen’s opposition have accepted the plan.

However, the opposition groups believe Saleh’s verbal acceptance of the plan is merely another ploy.

Since late January, hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for regular demonstrations in Yemen’s biggest cities, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding Saleh’s ouster after nearly 33 years in power.

According to local sources, at least 300 protesters have been killed and many others have been injured during clashes with riot police and forces loyal to the Yemeni president armed with batons, knives, and clubs.


EU Prepares To Invade Libya With Ground Troops Under “Humanitarian” Hoax

Western hypocrites manipulating UN to whitewash mass-murder and international oil theft, under the banner of “”humanitarianism.” American and European plundering of Asian and African oil resources have justified European and “American counter-revolutions to remove the criminal regimes. Expect a hostile global revolution to bring the American/European war criminals to justice.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

How Much Will the American People Put-Up With? Who Cares?

NATO Does Not Need America For Libya: Joe Biden


WASHINGTON: US Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview published on Tuesday that NATO can handle Libya without US help, saying Washington’s efforts are better focused on places like Pakistan or Egypt.

“If the Lord Almighty extricated the US out of NATO and dropped it on the planet of Mars so we were no longer participating, it is bizarre to suggest that NATO and the rest of the world lacks the capacity to deal with Libya it does not,” Biden told the Financial Times.

“Occasionally other countries lack the will, but this is not about capacity,” he told the daily amid deep unease among the US public and lawmakers over military action in Libya.

His comments came after the US Defense Department said the US military had flown more than 800 sorties over Libya since handing control of the air campaign’s operations to NATO.

Navy Captain Darryn James said US fighter jets this month unleashed bombs eight times on the air defenses of strongman Muammar Qaddafi’s government, which is battling anti-regime rebels in the North African nation.

Washington coordinated operations in the first days of allied intervention in Libya after the United Nations Security Council approved international military action to thwart attacks by Qaddafi forces on rebel-held cities.

It transferred command to the NATO alliance earlier this month, leaving the Pentagon primarily providing refueling and surveillance aircraft, but it still flexes its military might.

Biden argued that Washington had to decide whether to spend resources “focusing on Iran, Egypt, North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan”, or give Libya more attention, stressing: “We can’t do it all.”

“The question is: Where should our resources be?” he asked.

If it came down to deciding between getting a complete picture of Libya’s opposition or understanding events in Egypt and the role the Muslim Brotherhood — an Islamist group feared by some in Washington then “it’s not even close,” said Biden.

But the vice president flatly denied that domestic US political considerations had shaped the US handover to NATO.

“This is about our strategic interest and it is not based upon a situation of what can the traffic bear politically at home,” he said.

“The traffic can bear politically more in Libya: There’s a bad guy there, everybody knows he’s a bad guy, the people don’t like him, and so that’s not hard,” he added, referring to Qaddafi.

Fulfilling the UN mandate to protect Libyan civilians “is totally, thoroughly, completely within the capacity of NATO,” he said.

“Where we brought unique benefits to bear and unique assets we have applied those assets and we will,” he added.

The Pakistan US Friction

[The following article offers the most probable scenario of about to unfold events that I have come across (by writers other than me).  In addition to the references given in the article, the following two articles point to the same conclusion–Pakistan’s intransigence and Obama’s demands have brought the issue to a point of decision (SEE:   U.S. charges Pakistanis in 2008 Mumbai attack plot ; US lawmakers tell Obama, dump Pakistan and go with India), NATO  and India are about to attempt the eviction of China from Pakistan.  I, however, don’t share the writer’s faith and enthusiasm that the Pakistani Army will come through in the end, to defend the Pakistani people from their treacherous alleged allies.  But I sincerely hope that he is correct. 

Long live Pakistan!]

The Pakistan US Friction

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Assalamualaikum (Peace be unto you)

I hope you have been keeping well. It is certainly very nice to be back and writing quickly. I intend to keep this ‘no-so-short’ and ‘not-so-sweet’ (As if there is ever the other variety on this blog).

My focus today is on the apparently rising tensions between Pakistan and United States. This is a key juncture in the progression of events that will define this period in history. There are some interesting facts that need to be taken into account in this aspect.

The key element in the rising tension has been the drone strikes.(

The drone strikes are not some new found notion, brought into practice under the current government, but thanks to Musharraf, has been a practical strategy since 2004, though the intensity of the attacks has increased exponentially since 2008.

One should note that General Kiyani took over as Chief of Army Staff, Pakistan Army in late 2007. Consequently, 2008 stands out to be a noteworthy year. The general elections took place in 2008 and the present setup was established in the same year. (Please note that this writer is of the view that there is no such thing as a ‘fair’ election, neither in the US nor in Pakistan, hence the word ‘established’).

It seems that the plan that was undertaken painstakingly by appointing Musharraf was now being taken to the next level i.e. from 2008 onwards. Hence, to bring the public opinion to square one, new faces and a new regime was placed. Eventually Musharraf was phased out and Zardari was placed in the presidency.

But coming back to the drones, they have continued unabated and with increased frequency since 2008 until January 23, 2011, ‘Raymond Davis’ was captured on January 27, 2011, the next attack came on February 21, 2011, and have resumed ever since. (‘Raymond Davis’ was released on March 16, 2011)

Surprisingly, while it has been maintained that ‘Davis’ was released in exchange for halting drone strikes as well as restricting the CIA setup in Pakistan, on March 9, 2011, while the ‘Davis’ ‘crisis’ was in full swing, ‘General Officer Commanding of the 7th Division, Major General Ghayur Mehmood, called a media briefing at Miranshah a major town of Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region, on 9 March 2011. He defended CIA’s drone attacks inside Pakistan, saying they killed over 900 militants ‘and very few civilians.’’(

Just to add General still retains his position as Maj Gen Ghayur Mahmood TBt, FF[68] — GOC 7th Infantry Division, Peshawar. (One of the three divisions that conducted Operation Rah-e-Nijat in 2009-2010 and the earlier Operation Zalzala in 2008 in South Waziristan. Currently based in Miranshah, North Waziristan) (

Military officers do not act like politicians (though some certainly behave like them). They are always to restrict themselves by the guidelines set by the top commanders. Reviewing the above facts, one is forced to question the seriousness of the military top brass’s reservations regarding these attacks. (I am certainly not criticizing the institution or singling out the military, the political leadership has always been the lackey of the anti Pakistan forces)

Additionally, it is also interesting to note that General Kiyani was given an unprecedented 3-year extension by a political government on July 22, 2010. And interestingly, do you remember who just happened to be in town that day, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

It is also interesting to note that Lt. General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, DG ISI, is also on extension.

The idea of the above brainstorming was to review the conduct of the military regarding the drone attacks which seems to be the bone of contention between the US and Pakistan.

Apart from that, there are some other interesting facts that need to be looked at. The COAS announced the other day that Army was pulling out from Sui. Perhaps he was signaling a reduction in the military’s role in the province. This coming at a time when it is an open secret that the CIA, Mossad, RAW as well as Iran and certain Gulf states are busy stoking separatist movements in the province. From the face of it, hardly seems like a very prudent step.

Let us leave the military matters for a while and concentrate on the geopolitical situation. As I said 2008 onwards is a very important and noteworthy period, which is ongoing,

As the new setup comes in, the new US AfPak policy is unveiled in March 2009 (some state that it was already in play in 2008) which marks Pakistan and Afghanistan as a single theater of operations. In June 2009, General Stanley McChrystal is assigned command of US and ISAF forces in Afghanistan. General Stanley McChrystal was also the commander of JSOC (Joined Special Operations Command) for 5 years. JSOC is a special branch of US armed forces which is also assigned the responsibility to undertake nuclear weapons extraction from Pakistan. Incidentally, the bill for provincial status of Gilgit-Baltistan is passed through the Parliament in ONE day, in 2009.

In 2010, additional 30,000 troops are sent to Afghanistan. (The joke was that US withdrawal was to start from June 2011, one may ask why the 30,000 troops then? To have a grand camp out?). It was suspected that these troops were under JSOC command and not under the ISAF flag, in short these troops were for Pakistan. The same year NWFP was named Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, granting the wish of separatist elements in NWFP.

Start of 2011 brings us to ‘Raymond Davis’ and now apparently the ties between US and Pakistan are steadily declining.

Throughout this period there has been a steady rise in provincialism advocated by separatist elements emboldened by the Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber PK ‘initiatives’ by the current ‘government’ and the establishment. Slogans and echoes of ‘Azad Baluchistan’, ‘Hazara Province’, ‘Saraiki Sooba’, ‘Sindhu Desh’, and ‘Jinnahpur’ are steadily becoming louder. Baluchistan and Karachi in particular are resembling more and more like the ‘Wild West’, lawless lands where might is the only right. The terrorist/separatist elements in these regions under direct support of foreign powers and anti Pakistan forces are operating to bring the situation from bad to worse under the garb of racist and sectarian violence. Moreover, these terrorists/separatists are well entrenched in the political circles directly or indirectly hence, they enjoy political immunity. Reports are consistently emerging that there is heavy CIA/RAW presence in Gilgit-Baltistan to stoke an insurgency there, worse than Swat. Worse because it would result in the disconnection of the road link between Pakistan and China. Furthermore, I recall reading that there is heavy US troop presence in Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan, which are coincidentally adjacent to the Northern Areas and Gilgit-Baltistan region. The US is maintaining this presence despite taking heavy losses from the Afghan Mujahideen in these provinces.

Federal authority is being silently delegated to provinces such as Reko Diq (via the Supreme Court), Thar Coal power project (via the Federal Government), HEC (via the Federal Government) to cite a few examples.

Under the direct instruction of the IMF and the World Bank, price hike and inflation has been unleashed like a beast to prey upon the masses creating fertile ground for anarchy and chaos.

The performance of the Judiciary has been a testament to the implementation of the Enemy’s plan for Pakistan. Just one fact is enough to unmask its ugly face. In the past one year 16,000 innocent people have been killed in terrorist attacks, yet not a single conviction or a death sentence has been awarded. Not a one since 2001 actually.

The ‘Raymond Davis’ affair was the perfect moment to unmask the true standing the government, its allied parties, the judiciary, the opposition, and the military leaderships. Based on that one incident alone, it can perhaps be concluded that all of them are in Uncle Sam’s back pocket.

My question is when all of these pillars of the state could not interrogate much less convict and hang a proven spy and killer, how in the name of heaven can we expect them to get the drone attacks stopped or the CIA setup dismantled?

Suddenly, the members of Parliament are demanding the resolution against the drone attacks. My my, where have they been since 2008?

The ISI Chief standing up to CIA counterpart Leone Panetta? Was he in a coma since his appointment when even a layman like me knew what the Americans were doing? Why don’t some rogue terrorists start hitting the US contractors in Pakistan? So many terrorist activities are taking place, can’t the ISI hire some gunslingers and let them loose on these Blackwater/Xe/CIA operatives? 14 Americans were slaughtered in Somalia and these cowards packed up and left. That is the extent of their bravery. Was the top brass completely unaware of this? And has seen the light only this January? Maybe the extent of our generals’ bravery is even worse. (I am excluding the majority, patriotic, Muslim soldiers of the Pakistan Army, I have fierce pride and great hopes for this great institution which will lead Pakistan to its promised destiny, InshaAllah).

This ‘breaking down’ of the relationship is so ridiculous, it’s laughable. Why? Because when men like Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh start criticizing the US, you know something is up. ‘US hasn’t delivered under Kerry-Lugar: Shaikh, Wednesday, April 20, 2011’ (

Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh is Pakistan’s Finance Minister and one of THE World Bank/IMF’s men in Pakistan. Hand picked by anti Pakistan forces to lead the country to economic ruin. His criticism of the US is bad drama at the most.

My personal evaluation on the matter can be better understood if you read US Vice President, Joe Biden’s latest statement in which ‘Biden argued that Washington had to decide whether to spend resources “focusing on Iran, Egypt, North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan”, or give Libya more attention’ (

It seems that the decision has already been made. The Yankees are coming to Pakistan. Those 30,000 JSOC soldiers should just be getting battle ready having arrived in 2010. They are probably holed up in Kunar and Nuristan as well.

From what I have gathered and once again I am also stating this on the basis of spiritual knowledge sources, I believe that Gilgit-Baltistan is about to up in flames and a regional war might be in the offing. Reports of Chinese troop presence in the area certainly consolidate this forecast (and lends some encouragement that my faith in the Pakistan Army is not unfounded). In the midst of this conflict or insurgency, Pakistan should expect the NATO forces to cross the Durand Line into Pakistan (‘to pursue terrorists’), they will probably make it as far as Attock where Pakistani forces can mount a defense using the Indus river as a natural obstacle. If Pakistan offers stiff resistance, 30,000 or 300,000, the Yanks will not cross. Either the bullet will get them or the river.

Of course, India has been primed for exactly this moment. India has conducted military exercises on our eastern border in 2002, 2005, 2009, and 2011 (No doubt under American and Israeli oversight). (

The latest one is called “Vijayee Bhava” (Be Victorious). These exercises aim to achieve ‘Cold Start’ readiness, meaning a quick, rapid strike against Pakistan, ideally in the south Punjab region to cut the country into two halves. (In 2002, in response Pakistan army actually mobilized and achieved battle readiness before the Indians who had actually planned the exercise). Additionally, 2011 features a ‘NBC (nuclear, chemical, biological) overhang’. Meaning, how to maneuver in the event of utilization of such weapons.

So, as the Crusaders move in, we can expect all out war on the eastern front, the result of which will be that we may initially lose ground on the East. That is why I am of the opinion that conflict with India will be two-phase, in the first one we should expect difficulties especially on the Lahore front. The second phase will be the one where we regain territory and push into India making as far as Ganges and Jumna rivers, possibly even further. The time frame for the second phase can be up to 6 months which can also be the minimum timeframe for the eastern campaign (Ghazwa-e-Hind).

So, in conclusion, this ‘breaking down’ of ties is the beginning of the ‘end game’ in South Asia. It is certainly being orchestrated by the Americans to justify aggressions against Pakistan. Our government, their allied parties, the opposition, the judiciary are directly or indirectly in on this plan and are singing to the tune taught by the White Man. The only question mark is the military leadership. Is the top brass in on it or are they sincerely trying to salvage the situation for Pakistan? It must be remembered that what I have stated is based on apparent and available information. Consequently, conclusions can be a very tricky business.

As far as the Enemy’s designs are concerned, I think I am close to the truth, same goes for our political forces and the judiciary. The Army is the only anomaly in the equation.

Either way, if the military leadership is sincere, then this is a positive sign, it means that the military has already developed a plan to deal with these impending scenarios. The testing of short range, tactical nuclear capable missile Hatf-IX certainly seems like a statement in this regard.

However, if the military leadership is in on the Enemy’s game, this is very good news, it means that there is a military takeover in the offing, and we can expect real Muslim, patriotic Pakistani soldiers to emerge from the dust and smoke to take the mantle of leadership and steer Pakistan to glory it richly deserves.

I continue to maintain that no power on Earth can destroy Pakistan because it was created by Almighty Allah. Though, Pakistanis may have to initially pay for their complacency.

So, here is to seeing you in Delhi while sitting on top of an Al-Khalid tank, looking at the Red Fort with the Pakistani flag flying over it.

Zindabad Pakistan


BBC Propaganda Network, Just Like All Western Media

WikiLeaks: leaked files accuse BBC of being part of a ‘possible propaganda media network’

The BBC is accused of being part of a “possible propaganda media network” for Al Qaeda, according to the leaked US files on the Guantanamo detainees.

WikiLeaks: Leaked files accuse BBC of being part of a 'possible propaganda media network'

Analysis by The Daily Telegraph suggests the number is one for Bush House, home of the BBC World Service Photo: REX

The files, obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to The Daily Telegraph, disclose that a phone number of someone at the BBC was found in the phone books and phones of a number of extremists seized by US forces.

A detainee assessment, dated 21 April 2007, states: “The London, United Kingdom (UK), phone number 0044 207 XXX XXXX was discovered in numerous seized phone books and phones associated with extremist-linked individuals.

“The number is associated with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).” Analysis by The Daily Telegraph suggests the number is one for Bush House, home of the BBC World Service.

The assessment continues that US forces uncovered many “extremist links” to this number, suggesting that extremists could have made contact with BBC employees who were sympathetic to extremists or had information on “ACM [anti-Coalition Militia] operations”.

It says: “(Analyst Note: Numerous extremist links to this BBC number indicates a possible propaganda media network connection. Network analysis might provide leads to individuals with either sympathetic ties to extremists or possibly possessing information on ACM operations.)”

The Daily Telegraph rang the phone number on Monday. A single tone on the line suggested that it had been disconnected, or was no longer in use.

The possible link between extremism and staff at the BBC will anger the national broadcaster, which prides itself on its impartiality.

The BBC number was given in the file of Turki Mish’awi Za’id Alj-Amri, a Saudi who was “assessed to be a member of al-Qaeda, who travelled to Afghanistan to participate in Jihad”.

The file claims that Alj-Amri had “stayed at al-Qaeda facilities, received training at an al-Qaeda camp, and served under al-Qaida leadership in Tora Bora, AF. “Detainee’s pocket litter links him to significant Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) personnel and groups.”

It says: “Many of the telephone numbers in his pocket litter have been associated with multiple ACM personnel, indicating he may have played a greater role in multiple activities than previously assessed.”

Alj-Amri was repatriated to Saudi Arabia from the detention camp seven months later on 9 November 2007, along with 13 other men.

In February 2009 the Saudi Government published a list of the 85 most wanted suspected terrorists, which included an individual named Turki Mashawi Al Aseery.

In September 2006 the BBC’s then-chairman Michael Grade organised an “impartiality summit”, hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, to assess whether there was a left-leaning bias at the broadcaster.

An account of the meeting, leaked to a Sunday newspaper the following month, showed that that executives accepted they would broadcast an interview with al-Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin Laden, if they were given the opportunity.

In a debate on whether the BBC should interview Bin Laden if he approached them, it was decided the al-Qaeda leader would be given a platform to explain his views.

Andrew Marr later told the newspaper: “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people.

“It has a liberal bias not so much a party-political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Independence and impartiality are at the heart of all BBC World Service output. The service has interviewed representatives of organisations from all sides involved in the Afghan conflict so it would not be surprising that a number believed to relate to the BBC Pashto service was in circulation.”

Britain’s Long-Running Radicalization Efforts Coming To Light

[American and British programs, intended to create an “Islamist” enemy for the West to stage a fake war with, demonstrate the completely immoral thinking of Western leaders.  CIA, MI5 &6, Mossad and the rest are truly scum of the earth.]

WikiLeaks: Guantánamo Bay terrorists radicalised in London to attack Western targets

At least 35 terrorists incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay were sent to fight against the West after being indoctrinated by extremist preachers in Britain, secret files obtained by The Daily Telegraph disclose.

Abu Hamza speaks to his followers outside Finsbury Park Mosque. The preacher is named by US authorities as responsible for recruiting dozens of terrorists

Abu Hamza speaks to his followers outside Finsbury Park Mosque. The preacher is named by US authorities as responsible for recruiting dozens of terrorists Photo: ROB BODMAN

By Robert Winnett, Christopher Hope, Steven Swinford and Holly Watt

Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, two preachers who lived off state benefits after claiming asylum, are identified by the American authorities as the key recruiters responsible for sending dozens of extremists from throughout the world to Pakistan and Afghanistan via London mosques.

The leaked WikiLeaks documents, written by senior US military commanders at Guantánamo Bay, illustrate how, for two decades, Britain effectively became a crucible of terrorism, with dozens of extremists, home-grown and from abroad, radicalised here.

Finsbury Park mosque, in north London, is described as a “haven” for extremists. United States intelligence officials concluded the mosque served as “an attack planning and propaganda production base”.

The files will raise questions over why the Government and security services failed to take action sooner to tackle the capital’s reputation as a staging post for terrorism, which became so established that the city was termed “Londonistan”.

The documents show that at least 35 detainees at Guantánamo had passed through Britain before being sent to fight against Allied forces in Afghanistan. This is thought to be more than from any other Western nation.

Of those, 18 were originally from abroad. The other 17 were British nationals or citizens granted residency here after claiming asylum, who were indoctrinated before being sent to terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.

The Government has paid millions of pounds in compensation and benefits to people regarded as highly dangerous by the US authorities.

Qatada, who was paid compensation under human rights laws for being “unfairly detained”, is described as “the most successful recruiter in Europe” and a “focal point for extremist fundraising [and] recruitment”. Hamza is accused of encouraging “his followers to murder non-Muslims”.

Four mosques in London and an Islamic centre are highlighted as places where young Muslim men were radicalised and turned into potential terrorists. Finsbury Park mosque “served to facilitate and training of recruits,” note the files, adding that it was “a haven for Islamic extremists from Morocco and Algeria.”

The Daily Telegraph, along with other international newspapers, is publishing details of more than 700 files on the Guantánamo Bay detainees obtained by the WikiLeaks website.

Earlier, this newspaper disclosed that dozens of terrorists held at the prison had admitted plotting a wide array of attacks against targets in Britain and America. However, it also emerged that more than 150 innocent people had been sent to Guantánamo.

Now, the key role that Britain and British-based preachers played in the lives of many of the Guantánamo detainees can be disclosed.

British intelligence services also provided information, including lists of suspected extremists seized from raids on Islamic centres, to the US military as it interrogated detainees. The information was passed on despite the Government publicly condemning the use of torture at Guantánamo. The leaked documents also reveal that:

• Sixteen detainees sent back to Britain are regarded as “high risk” by the US authorities and are liable to plan attacks against the West. However, they have been paid a reported £1 million each in compensation by the Government. For the first time, details of their alleged extremist activities, including travelling to Afghanistan to fight against British troops, are disclosed;

• The US government suspected the BBC of being a “possible propaganda media network” for al-Qaeda after details of a phone number at the broadcaster was found in the possession of several suspected terrorists. The number, which now appears to be disconnected, was thought to be for an employee of the BBC World Service, which was then funded by the Foreign Office;

• Terrorist recruits from across Africa and the Middle East flocked to London to claim asylum, often after travelling through other European countries;

• British taxpayers’ money was used to bankroll an Afghan politician who was sent to Guantánamo Bay after being exposed as an al-Qaeda aide. Mullan Haji Rohullah received more than £300,000 to destroy his opium crop – but he sold the drugs and kept the money from the Department for International Development.

• Four of the Guantánamo detainees were “British intelligence sources” who betrayed their paymasters.

 The last remaining British national at the prison is an al-Qaeda commander who directed terrorist forces in Tora Bora during the Afghanistan conflict. His family, who were previously allegedly paid directly by Osama Bin Laden, is thought to have received compensation from the Government.

The files help to explain American anger towards the British authorities, who have been regularly accused of failing to tackle radicalisation in this country.

The top-secret documents show how Muslim men travelled to European countries such as France, from where they obtained fake EU passports. They then crossed the channel to take advantage of Britain’s generous asylum system.

Extremist preachers radicalised the men at London mosques, showing them videos of atrocities committed against Muslims in Bosnia and Chechnya.

According to one document, Finsbury Park mosque was “a key transit facility for the movement of North African and other extremists in London to and from al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan”.

They were flown to Pakistan and Afghanistan at the terrorist group’s expense, put up in special guesthouses and sent to the training camps. They were introduced to senior al-Qaeda figures including Bin Laden and taught to fight and make bombs. Wives were arranged for some terrorists and their families received generous payments.

The US government condemned the release of the Wikileaks documents. In a statement, the Pentagon said: “It is unfortunate that news organisations have made the decision to publish numerous documents obtained illegally by WikiLeaks concerning the Guantánamo detention facility. These documents contain classified information about current and former detainees, and we strongly condemn the leaking of this sensitive information.

“The WikiLeaks releases include Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs) written by the Department of Defence between 2002 and early 2009. These DABs were written based on a range of information available then. Any given DAB illegally obtained and released by WikiLeaks may or may not represent the current view of a given detainee.

“The previous and current administrations have made every effort to act with the utmost care and diligence in transferring detainees from Guan­tánamo.”

Barack Obama, the US President, previously made a high-profile pledge to close the Guantánamo Bay facility and prosecute in the criminal courts those alleged to have broken the law.

However, the pledge has now been largely abandoned and the US authorities recently announced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the most senior terrorist at the prison and the alleged mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, will be tried at a controversial military tribunal.

Mohammed, who was tortured more than 100 times, has admitted his involvement in dozens of plots, including plans to hijack aircraft and crash them into Heathrow airport, Big Ben and Canary Wharf, and assassination attempts against Pope John Paul II and former President Bill Clinton. He is among 15 so-called kingpins at the prison who are unlikely to ever be freed.


[Another Wahabbi scum terrorist removed from this earth.  It has been a good week for the anti-terrorists of this world, as another CIA/Saudi synthetic terrorist (a.k.a., “al-Qaeda”) is returned to the lap of Shaitan (SEE:  Russian Forces Kill America’s Pet “Islamist,” Another Saudi Terrorist).]


(AGI) Kabul – Nato forces in Afghanistan killed a Saudi described as an ‘Al-Qaeda senior leader’, number two on their wanted list. The Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said Abu Hafs al-Najdi, also known as Abdul Ghani, was killed in an air strike in Kunar province, eastern Afghanistan, during a meeting with other insurgent leaders on 13 April. . .

U.S. charges Pakistanis in 2008 Mumbai attack plot

[This is the clearest sign yet that the US is actually dumping Pakistan in favor of its preferred relationship with India (SEE: US lawmakers tell Obama, dump Pakistan and go with India).  Will the “gloves come off,” in the American campaign against Pakistan, forcing a geostrategic split, with the US and India on one side and China and Pakistan on the other?]

U.S. charges Pakistanis in 2008 Mumbai attack plot

(Reuters) – Four Pakistanis have been charged as co-conspirators in the 2008 Mumbai attack that killed 166 people, including six Americans, U.S. prosecutors said on Monday.

The four were previously mentioned, but not named, in indictments charging American David Headley and Pakistani-born Chicago businessman Tahawwur Rana with helping to identify targets in Mumbai.

Headley and Rana have also been charged in a plot to attack a Danish newspaper that was never carried out.

Headley pleaded guilty in March 2010 and is cooperating with U.S. investigators about taking several trips to India — and later to Denmark — to scout targets for the coordinated and lethal assault.

Rana has been held since his arrest in 2009 as a conspirator with Headley, and his U.S. trial is scheduled to begin May 16. His attorney was not immediately available for comment.

All of the four newly-indicted figures are linked to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, one of the largest and best-funded Islamic militant groups in the region. The group is blamed for the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai, which killed 166 people in India’s commercial capital.

Those newly indicted were Sajid Mir, Abu Qahafa, Mazhar Iqbal, and a fourth defendant known only by the alias “Major Iqbal.” None are in U.S. custody. All four are believed to be in Pakistan.

They were charged with six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of U.S. citizens and other charges related to the Mumbai attack and providing support to Lashkar, identified as a terrorist organization by the United States.

Mir was also charged in the plot against Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten newspaper aiming to revenge the publication of cartoons of the prophet Mohammad that enraged many Muslims and prompted protests.

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald in Chicago had requested the superseding indictment handed up by a grand jury on April 21 charging the four to be sealed to give the government time to alert U.S. agencies and consult with foreign authorities.

The Mumbai attack strained already difficult India-Pakistan relations.

India has said it is not satisfied with the pace of Pakistan’s investigation, and has demanded more people be put on trial for the attack, including the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed.

(Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Laura MacInnis)

Mad Scientists Lust Over Promise of Real Mind Control Drugs

Scientists target drugs that improve behaviour


Researchers say morality treatments could be used instead of prison and might even help humanity tackle global issues. File Photo.
APResearchers say morality treatments could be used instead of prison and might even help humanity tackle global issues. File Photo.

A pill to enhance moral behaviour, a treatment for racist thoughts, a therapy to increase your empathy for people in other countries — these may sound like the stuff of science fiction but with medicine getting closer to altering our moral state, society should be preparing for the consequences, according to a book that reviews scientific developments in the field.

Drugs such as Prozac that alter a patient’s mental state already have an impact on moral behaviour, but scientists predict that future medical advances may allow much more sophisticated manipulations.

The field is in its infancy, but “it’s very far from being science fiction”, said Dr Guy Kahane, deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and a Wellcome Trust biomedical ethics award winner.

“Science has ignored the question of moral improvement so far, but it is now becoming a big debate,” he said. “There is already a growing body of research you can describe in these terms. Studies show that certain drugs affect the ways people respond to moral dilemmas by increasing their sense of empathy, group affiliation and by reducing aggression.” Researchers have become very interested in developing biomedical technologies capable of intervening in the biological processes that affect moral behaviour and moral thinking, according to Dr Tom Douglas, a Wellcome Trust research fellow at Oxford University’s Uehiro Centre. “It is a very hot area of scientific study right now.” He is co-author of Enhancing Human Capacities, published today (4APR), which includes a chapter on moral enhancement.

Drugs that affect our moral thinking and behaviour already exist, but we tend not to think of them in that way. [Prozac] lowers aggression and bitterness against environment and so could be said to make people more agreeable. Or Oxytocin, the so-called love hormone … increases feelings of social bonding and empathy while reducing anxiety,” he said.

“Scientists will develop more of these drugs and create new ways of taking drugs we already know about. We can already, for example, take prescribed doses of Oxytocin as a nasal spray,” he said.

But would pharmacologically-induced altruism, for example, amount to genuine moral behaviour? Guy Kahane, deputy director of the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics and a Wellcome Trust biomedical ethics award winner, said: “We can change people’s emotional responses but quite whether that improves their moral behaviour is not something science can answer.” He also admitted that it was unlikely people would “rush to take a pill that would make them morally better.

“Becoming more trusting, nicer, less aggressive and less violent can make you more vulnerable to exploitation,” he said. “On the other hand, it could improve your relationships or help your career.” Kahane does not advocate putting morality drugs in the water supply, but he suggests that if administered widely they might help humanity to tackle global issues.

“Relating to the plight of people on other side of the world or of future generations is not in our nature,” he said. “This new body of drugs could make possible feelings of global affiliation and of abstract empathy for future generations.” Ruud ter Meulen, chair in ethics in medicine and director of the centre for ethics in medicine at the University of Bristol, warned that while some drugs can improve moral behaviour, other drugs — and sometimes the same ones — can have the opposite effect.

“While Oxytocin makes you more likely to trust and co-operate with others in your social group, it reduces empathy for those outside the group,” Meulen said.

The use of deep brain stimulation, used to help those with Parkinson’s disease, has had unintended consequences, leading to cases where patients begin stealing from shops and even becoming sexually aggressive, he added.

“Basic moral behaviour is to be helpful to others, feel responsible to others, have a sense of solidarity and sense of justice,” he said. “I’m not sure that drugs can ever achieve this. But there’s no question that they can make us more likeable, more social, less aggressive, more open attitude to other people,” he said.

Meulen also suggested that moral-enhancement drugs might be used in the criminal justice system. “These drugs will be more effective in prevention and cure than prison,” he said.

Copyright: Guardian News & Media 2011

Does John McCain Support Al-Qaeda?

Does John McCain Support Al-Qaeda?

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John McCain Supports Al-Qaeda, posted with vodpod

Jack Hunter

During the 2008 election, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul said that our constant military intervention in the Arab world was the primary motivation behind terrorist acts like 9/11. Why did Paul say this? Because Osama Bin Laden said it. Because the 9/11 Commission report said it. Because CIA intelligence said it, even inventing the term “blowback” precisely to describe it. Yet, when Paul explained this, fellow candidate and eventual Republican nominee John McCain excoriated the Texas congressman and suggested that he was indirectly giving aid and comfort to the enemy, Al-Qaeda.

Yet last week, McCain gave aid and comfort to the enemy. Directly.

Yes, it seems that the man who once ran for president portraying himself as being “tough” on terrorists now supports Al-Qaeda. This is not a joke.

The literal truth of this proposition, which admittedly seems outlandish on its face, hinges upon the question of whether the people McCain now explicitly supports are indeed Al-Qaeda. Consider the following.

When McCain flew to Libya last week to give his support to rebel leaders fighting against the Gaddafi regime, the Senator said: “I have met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda… To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. We should help them do it.”

McCain met with Libyan rebel leaders and concluded that they are not Al-Qaeda. But there remains a problem. Who is saying that these people are Al-Qaeda? Libyan rebel leaders.

Admitting to having received support from Al-Qaeda, the UK Telegraph reported of Libyan rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi last month: “Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters ‘are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,’ but added that the ‘members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”

If it is true that Mr. McCain has a better grasp on who-is and who-is-not Al-Qaeda than Libyan rebel leaders, then the Senator is innocent in his new alliance. But if it is true that Libyan rebel leaders have a better grasp of who makes up their ranks than an Arizona senator: John McCain supports Al-Qaeda.

Those who might call this duplicitous or an intellectual stretch have short memories. In fact, there is more solid evidence linking McCain to Al-Qaeda than there was for linking Saddam Hussein to that organization.

In December 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney said that it was “pretty well confirmed” that there was a link between Al-Qaeda and Iraq. In 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had said there was “bulletproof evidence” of ties between Al-Qaeda and Iraq. Making his case for war in 2003, President George W. Bush said in his State of the Union address: “Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al-Qaeda.” In 2004, Bush would reconfirm his position: “The reason I keep insisting that there was a relationship between Iraq and Saddam and al Qaeda: because there was a relationship between Iraq and al Qaeda.”

Bush’s 2004 statement was in reaction to the recently released 9/11 Commission Report which declared: “to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.” The report’s findings were supported by the CIA, FBI, the National Security Council and virtually the entire intelligence community.

By 2006, Bush would admit: “First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don’t think we ever said — at least I know I didn’t say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein.” At a later press conference, Bush was asked by a reporter “What did Iraq have to do with the attack on the World Trade Center?” The president replied: “Nothing.”

Compare the Bush administration’s evidence of a link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda and the evidence for a link between John McCain and Al-Qaeda. The Telegraph reported that US and British government sources said Al-Hasidi “was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, or LIFG… Even though the LIFG is not part of the al-Qaeda organisation, the United States military’s West Point academy has said the two share an ‘increasingly co-operative relationship…’ Earlier this month, al-Qaeda issued a call for supporters to back the Libyan rebellion…” A headline in the Telegraph on Saturday read: “al-Qaeda among Libya rebels, Nato chief fears.”

Who says there is evidence of a link between the Libyan rebels and Al-Qaeda? US and British intelligence, NATO leaders, and the Libyan rebels themselves. Who says there is not a link? John McCain, who calls the rebels “heroes.”

McCain again proves the old saying that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter:” Far from delineating good vs. evil, the Senator’s Libyan trip shows how the often contradictory intelligence concerning US allies and enemies allows our government to spin our foreign policy narrative in whatever direction suits them best.

Along with warning of the dangers of blowback, Congressman Paul also noted in 2008 that constantly intervening in the incestuous tempest that is the Muslim world—in which today’s allies become tomorrow’s enemies and vice versa—more often hurts us than it helps. McCain snidely dismissed Paul’s point, deriding him as an “isolationist.”

If this is true, then it is also true that John McCain is now a terrorist. As George W. Bush put it after 9/11: “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

NATO’s Kandahar Prison Serves as Taliban Release Point, Once Again–(500 more allowed to escape)

[Once again, American/Canadian ineptitude or guile has enabled hundreds of hardened Taliban fighters to return to the mountains around Kandahar  (SEE:  1,000 inmates escape from Afghan prison after blast). 

Kandahar City’s Sarposa Prison is proving to be quite useful to treacherous Western plans, serving as a release point for Taliban fighters who have been collected from all over Afghanistan.  Prisons have proven to be the universities of the jihadis, where angry Muslims are indoctrinated with the false Wahabbi Islam of the terrorists, share their militant skills with each other and coordinate their next attacks.  Look for an upsurge in violence in the allegedly pacified Kandahar region, to be blamed upon the Pakistani govt.  As ridiculous as it seems, the US govt. is in the business of creating terrorists, so that it will have someone to wage war upon.  The Taliban are as much our creation as they are Pakistan’s, the same goes for the mythical terrorist internationale, known as “al-Qaeda.”  There is no mystery as to “why they hate us,” since that is what we have always trained and paid them to do.  America’s “Islamists”  are a bunch of terrible actors in an international passion play, intended to deceive the world into acquiescing to its own enslavement. 

This is the greatest criminal conspiracy of the century, perhaps for all human history.  When has any other govt. waged war in secret against its own people, as the first step in a war against all humanity?   The US and British governments are evil incarnate.]

Taliban tunnel frees Kandahar prisoners, in blow to NATO and Afghan forces

The Taliban tunneled into Kandahar’s main prison and freed more than 470 prisoners. The security breach has further undermined Afghan faith in the government.

Afghan jailer Ghulam Dastager Mayaar points to the hole which inmates used to escape from inside Kandahar’s main jail April 25, 2011. Insurgents tunneled into the main jail in Afghanistan’s volatile Kandahar province on Monday, freeing hundreds of prisoners, including many Taliban commanders, a serious setback for U.S. forces who hope to start withdrawing in coming months.

Ahmad Nadeem/Reuters

By Tom A. Peter

Kabul, AfghanistanIn one of the most elaborate prison breaks in recent Afghan history, the Taliban managed to free hundreds of inmates from Kandahar’s central prison in the early hours of Monday morning through a 1,180-foot tunnel.

The mass escape – reportedly not discovered until hours after it was over – has further shaken Afghans’ faith in their government, and intensified concerns that the freed prisoners will bolster the insurgency in Kandahar.

The escape is a particular blow to NATO and Afghan forces who have ratcheted up their campaign against the Taliban during the past year and hoped to expand their gains this summer. While NATO forces captured many of the Taliban fighters who were being held in the prison, the escape cast doubts on the ability of Afghan forces preparing to take more responsibility for providing security.

“I would call this a shameful incident for the Afghan government,” says Ahmad Shah Khan Achakzai, a former member of parliament in Kandahar. “It is impossible for the Taliban to get 500 men out of prison without anyone’s help. I believe there are some people from the prison or the government who gave the Taliban support.… It’s now clear to everyone how corrupt the government is.”

The prison held about 1,200 prisoners who were divided into political and criminal sections. All those who escaped were from the political section, which mostly housed people who had been arrested for involvement with the insurgency.

While the Taliban says it freed 541 inmates, government officials say 475 people escaped. About 30 inmates are reported to have voluntarily stayed in the prison.

Of those freed, Taliban officials say 106 were commanders for the militant organization. However, Afghan authorities keep most high-level Taliban detainees at facilities in Kabul or in jails operated by the national intelligence service, so it is unlikely that any prominent Taliban members escaped.

Militants apparently began digging the tunnel around five months ago, hollowing out a passage that extended 360 meters (nearly 400 yards) underneath a major highway and police checkpoints. Police officials said that the insurgents dug the tunnel from the outside the prison.

According to a Taliban statement, only three prisoners had advance knowledge of the escape plan. Inmates began moving through the tunnel at 11:00 p.m. on Sunday night and finished at 3:30 a.m. on Monday morning. Suicide bombers and other militants reportedly waited to attack if the operation was discovered, but were recalled after the completion of the mission.

“The mujahideen who participated in this operation called it a big success. The enemy did not even realize or discover that we were conducting this operation,” said Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi in a statement on the group’s website. “This most interesting aspect of this incident is that the operation ended at 3:30 a.m., but the enemy did know about it until sunrise.”

Following the prison break, Afghan police and military officials tightened security throughout the city as they search for the escaped inmates. Police officials say they have recaptured some of the escapees.

By 7:30 a.m., Haji Agha Lali Dastagiri, a member of the Kandahar Provincial Council, began receiving phone calls about the prison break, but when he began contacting high-level government officials about the incident, he says they were unaware of the development.

“As I’ve been in touch with the people, this incident has made the residents of the city very uncomfortable. They feel insecure and they are worried about what will happen after today. They are worried there will be more killing and violence and they don’t believe in the government,” he says.

This is not the first time the Taliban has sprung a large number of inmates from the prison. In June 2008, the group launched an attack on the jail’s main entrance that allowed hundreds of prisoners to escape. Sixteen policemen were killed in the attack.

The abuses at Guantanamo, uncovered

The abuses at Guantanamo, uncovered

759 secret reports uncover the abuses at Guantanamo. “The documents reveal that the main purpose of the prison was” exploiting “all information of prisoners despite the acknowledged innocence of many of them. “The 60% was taken to the military base without being a threat,” probable “


Los abusos de Guantánamo, al descubierto

Picture of some of the prisoners at Guantanamo. –

Guantanamo created a police and penal system without guarantees where only imported two questions: how much information is obtained from prisoners, although they were innocent, and if they could be dangerous in the future. Elderly with dementia, young, serious psychiatric patients and school teachers or farmers with no connection to jihadwere taken to jail and mixed with real terrorists like those responsible for the 11-S. The country has had access, together with other international media and via Wikileaks , the secret military records of 759 of the 779 prisoners who have been through the prison, of which about 170 remain in detention. The guts of the prison are set out in 4,759 pages signed by the highest levels of the Joint Force Base and Southern Command directed the Department of Defense in Miami. X- a prison created by George W. Bush in 2002 regardless of the laws and international comes at a bad time for President, Barack Obama. Close the penalty was his first promise after taking office in January 2009 . The announcement, a month ago, that would resume military commission trials was the recognition of its failure.

The reports, dated between 2002 and 2009, which in most cases are intended to recommend whether the prisoner should remain in the prison, be released or transferred to another country, documented for the first time how the U.S. valued each of the internally and what they knew of them. Reveals a system based on accusations of other inmates, without clear rules, based on suspicion and conjecture, which needs no evidence to support a long -143 incarcerated people have been more than nine years, and provides three levels of risk defined with just one sentence. The highest single means that the person “probably” is “a threat to the U.S., its interests and allies” means that “maybe” I suppose, and the low level in which they appear listed eight prisoners who have been and nine years in prison, which is “unlikely” to be a risk to national security.

There are cases, as revealed in the secret reports, in which even the U.S. government knows the reasons why someone was sent to Guantánamo, and others where it has concluded that the detainee did not pose any danger: an old man of 89 years with dementia and depression who lived in a residential complex in which appeared a satellite phone, a father who went looking for her son to the Taliban front, a merchant who was traveling without documents, a man who was hitchhiking to buy medicine.

U.S. found that 83 prisoners posed no risk to national security , and 77 others recognized that it is “unlikely” to be a threat to the country or its allies. 20% of the prisoners was taken to an arbitrary criminal’s own assessments of the U.S. military. If this data is added for those who only “perhaps could pose a danger, 274 in total, we conclude that the U.S. has not thought seriously about the guilt or threat of almost 60% of its prisoners. The prisoners jailed primarily to “exploit” according to its own terminology, for if they knew anything that might be useful.

Guantánamo is a prison, but the priority is not to impose penalties for offenses. Only seven prisoners have been tried and convicted so far: six in the military commissions of the base and one in a civilian court in New York. What is essentially, as shown by the reports is to obtain information through interrogation. One of the two parameters that were used in deciding whether or not they can release a prisoner is its “intelligence value”, according to the terminology used in the secret files.

The prison serves as a huge police station without limit of stay and the duration of the punishment that is proportionate to the alleged act committed. The secret files show some inmates treated as suspects must demonstrate not only his innocence but his lack of knowledge about Al Qaeda and the Taliban to win freedom. The only crime that authorities blame on some of them have been to have a cousin, friend or sibling related to jihad, or live in a town that has seen major attacks by the Taliban, or travel routes used by terrorists and therefore, know them well.

Despite efforts to obtain information in the fight against terrorism, nine years and three months after the opening of Guantánamo secret reports show that only 22% of prisoners presented a high level of interest for intelligence U.S.. In the remaining 78%, the informational value of the prisoners was medium or low, according to them the military itself.

The detainees were the faces of many interrogators, military, CIA agents and police in their own countries who marched in secret by their cells, among them Spanish, and took statements were handcuffed and chained to a ring on the floor. Activity in terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, the experiments with explosives, setting the jihadists to get the so-called dirty bomb, “the deal and close to Osama Bin Laden , Al Zahawiri orMullah Mohammed Omar were priorities. A Casio F91W on the wrist of a prisoner was considered sufficient evidence that he had received explosives training.

The documents reveal new details about the 16 high-security detention related to the 11-S. The brain of the slaughter, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in 2002 ordered another inmate of the prison a suicide attack against the then Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. In reality it was only a test of their willingness to “die for the cause.”

The records do not specify what methods are used to obtain information on the criminal. The word torture barely appears in the almost eight hundred documents. However, it does appear are the accusations that most of them throw on their former comrades and join the hundreds. In each case there is usually a section under the heading “Reasons for continued detention.” If the prisoner himself admits no allegiance to Bin Laden or the United States have struggled in the mountains of Tora Bora, they are their own peers who appear with names and naming names and identifying him. The list of informers hierarchy ranging from highest to lowest extremists.

But at no time reporting the circumstances in which detainees have admitted their guilt or alleged offending others. Sometimes a prisoner torture states, but the writer of the report itself is responsible for asserting that this statement has no credibility. Some, however, there was no way to extract information. “I’m prepared to be in Guantanamo 100 years if necessary, but not disclose information,” snapped the Kuwaiti Khalid Abdullah Mishal Al Mutairi his interrogators.

The reports are texts cold civil service prose. Just stop at personal issues such as suicide attempts, the state of health or hunger strikes and, in the case of the string of prisoners with psychiatric illnesses, one of the most twisted faces Guantanamo to determine whether they are limited to Despite his condition (often accompanied by multiple suicide attempts), can be useful to continue asking questions.

The Afghan Kudai Dat diagnosed with schizophrenia, tried unsuccessfully to make a final interrogation even though he had been hospitalized with acute symptoms of psychosis.Improved when he was brought before the polygraph, again causing hallucinations in the patient, according to a psychiatric prison. Its long-term prognosis was “poor.” But despite the medical record, the military authorities asserted that the pretended attacks of nerves and recommended keeping it in the base. He spent four years locked.

The documents are extremely protocol, but under the administrative language information are emerging that provide a picture of living conditions in prison. When talking about the conduct of the detainee, first recorded disciplinary infractions and other attacks. Any incident is recorded with little details: “Inappropriate use of body fluids, unauthorized communications, damage to government property, inciting and participating in mass disturbances, attempted attacks, attacks, provocative words and acts, possession of food and contraband items are not weapons … ”

Everything is counted and recorded. But as only provides concrete information on the latest disciplinary incident. And that is precisely in the fleeting passage of only one line, which shows flashes of the hard life in Guantánamo: The majority of prisoners have been released urine and feces at guards. Never specified what the punishment suffered by those actions and in what context they occurred. Proceedings were brought against other inmates to cover the ventilation of his cell with toilet paper, return a library book underlined or trademarks, refuse food or refusing to leave the shower.

The cards also provide a brief biography of most men who have passed through the cells of Guantanamo. The range of motives that led them to participate in jihad or having links to Islamist networks is varied, ranging from the Saudi who was committed to the cause after watching a video which showed the Russians the outrages committed against Muslims in Chechnya through the French who traveled to Afghanistan to continue his studies of Islam and live in a purely Islamic state to the Saudi, eager to find a wife, he entered a training camp in hopes of losing weight. “In the summer of 2001, a man suggested the detainee to travel to Afghanistan to fulfill their religious obligations for two months. The physical training regimen will also be an opportunity to lose weight,” said the statement Khowlan Hussain Abdul Rahman Mohammed.

Documentation not only draw conclusions about the motivation which led many men to Kabul, Kandahar or the mountains of Tora Bora. It is also possible to draw a profile in common with the majority. Whether you have citizenship of any European country, Algeria, Yemen or the Philippines.

Before entering the U.S. prison, many traveled constantly throughout the Arab-Muslim world. Stories abound of men who cross the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan on foot or cited with other activists at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Lahore. The cards also explain how the Islamists are supported each other through a network of encounter-six of the seven French prisoners passed through a boarding house, which they call “the Algerians” in the Afghan city of Jalalabad – of the money they provide members of the network-mentioned documents that many detainees were arrested with $ 10,000, the typical amount that Al Qaeda activists-delivery, or charities such as Al Wafa, according to authorities United States, help finance terrorist activities.

But in many cases the fact of traveling through the area becomes a suspicious attitude to the prison ships without dozens of people. In a note of just two pages describes the passage of Imad Achab Kanouni Germany, Albania, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the section on reasons for their stay at Guantanamo, is accused of failing to explain the conditions of his trip to Afghanistan. There is not one shred of evidence that incriminated him. However, Major General Geoffrey Miller , also head of the Iraqi prison of Abu Ghraib-recommended stay in prison.

The reports also affect Spain , Hamed Abderrahman, the Taliban called Ceuta, the National Court convicted and then acquitted by the Supreme Court to disable the evidence obtained without any guarantee by Spanish police in criminal and Ikasrrien Lachen, a Moroccan resident in Spain, which suffered the same fate Hamed court and refused for five years in prison to admit links to Al Qaeda.

The three prisoners taken in by Spain in 2010, a Palestinian , a Yemeni and an Afghan , is a small sample of criminal pathology. One is mentally ill with serious problems that for years remained imprisoned and interrogated, another who was under the orders of Bin Laden in Tora Bora, was paid to cooperate with the U.S., and the third, against which failed to have never evidence, what qualifies as problematic. It is, however, the only one so far has managed to make a relatively normal life in our country.

The Pentagon has drafted a statement regretting the publication of secret documents for their sensitivity to U.S. security.

The country will continue developing the key issues of the secret reports of the Department of Defense on Guantánamo.

Terror War In Balochistan–(4-25)

Military operation in New Kahan Quetta, four injured

Occupied Balochistan:According to initial reports the Pakistani security forces have arrested at least four people from New Kahan in critically wounded condition.

Sources reported that FC and personnel of military intelligence of Pakistan have raided New Kahan at 4 am Friday morning and started a house – to – house search. The siege and operation continued for 13 hours. During all these hour the entire area has been sealed and people were made hostage in their homes.

They also opened indiscriminate firing at the houses due to which four people have been critically injured and they were later arrested and taken to unknown location by occupying forces. The injured and arrested people have been named as Sher khan, Dada Jandwani, Wazeer khan and Huoran. However, the sources said that the exact number of casualties and arrests are still unknown.

The security forces went to the National martyrs graveyard and took out the flag of Balochistan which were hoisted on the graves of Baloch martyrs.

Pakistani forces start a new military operation in Nasirabad, several injured and many abducted

Occupied Balochistan – April 24: Pakistani forces started a new military operation in the Pat-Feeder area of Nasirabad, complete village burnt, dozens arrested. According to initial reports, Pakistan security forces have started a new grand military operation in Nasirabad district; four people have been injured in a mortar attack including three (3) children and a woman.

Sources reported a resident said that, 150 vehicles of Frontier Constabulary (FC) surrounded villages in Nasirabad and started to burn the houses and they abducted many innocent Baloch people. The only question Frontier Constabulary (FC) asking the villagers is “Where are the freedom fighters”

Several people were reported injured including women and children in the indiscriminate mortar shelling and firing of Frontier Constabulary (FC).

It should be remembered just few day back on Monday Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said that troops deputed in Balochistan would return to their barracks soon and no operation would be carried out in the province without a permission of the provincial government. Does this means that this military operation is being conducted on the order of Balochistan’s provincial government?

Khawarij: Has the Destructive Ideology Reincarnated? PART II

Khawarij: Has the Destructive Ideology Reincarnated? PART II

1979: Rebirth of Kharijites and Road to Pakistan 

 pakpotpourri2Ahmed Raza

The process of polluting Muslim school of thought started well before the incident of 1979 by radical ideologies like Egyptian ex-Communist Sayyid Qutb. He declared that a Muslim is either a “revolutionist” or an infidel, and went so far as to declare all the Islamic societies of his time apostate and fit to be overthrown, invoking the memory of the original Kharijis.

Leo Strauss an American philosopher also famous to be the God Father of the Neocons was responsible to draw a parallel theory of American nationalism on the lines Qutb’s apostate theory of own and other Islamic nations. Similarity lied in the aim, destruction of Islamic Civilization for Khawarijs and subsequent control of west on 60% of world’s energy resources for Americans Neocons. The only difference was the basic foundation on which both the extremists were drawing the lines. As Strauss was in knowledge of the divorce between the Church and the State long before his era, concentrated on selfish individualism of American masses and used the ideology of American Nationalism to its optimum. The said treatment was claimed to be done by Strauss to stop the decaying process of American society.

On the other hand, the strong concept of a religious Statesman in Islam couldn’t really diffuse the importance of religion; this made Sayyid Qutb to use religion as the driving force against the rulers of the Muslim world especially in Egypt. He was executed after a short trial conducted by Egyptian Government in 1966, but the seed to violence was sewed in the land of Islam.

After the death of Qutb, Aiman al Zahawari the die-hard follower of Sayyid Qutb took charge of protests launched after the execution of his ideal; the Egyptian started his agenda of polluting the Muslim societies with his takfiri ideology basing on the very foundation laid down by his master.

In a BBC documentary “The Power of Nightmare”, Aiman Al Zahawari has been shown leading the slogans against the Egyptian Government in a jail. Something very exceptional can be easily pointed out that Zahawari was reciting an incomplete Kalmaa (Tayyaba) ie “La Illaha Ilallah”, not reciting “Muhammad ur Rasool Allah”. This indeed shows an in different attitude towards the prophet of Islam, again invoking the memory of first Kharij, who was disrespectful to the prophet in one of the gatherings. The head shaved bearded man was from tamimi tribe and when he left the scene, prophet told his companions that “in his descend people will come who will be the worst creatures on this earth”.  Those who will kill them will be best rewarded by Allah swt. “They will look more religious in their deeds and will apparently propagate concepts which will not be in contravention to Islam but latently follow their evil agenda”. “They will use young innocent minds for their evil designs”. “They will kill Muslims and leave non-believers”.

Now nexus between Neocons and Khawarij was in evitable, the Muslim world couldn’t realize the depth and in turn horrific result of the said nexus. Factually speaking this was the second time this nexus was worked out in the history of Islam. It was in 11th century during Crusades when Sultan Salah Uddin Ayubbi was fighting for the holy lands and from inside Hassan Bin Sabbah was busy in his terrorist activities through his suicidal attacks from the Castle of Death. Even, one of the bravest General of the Muslim history could not root out Hassan bi Sabbah until he was killed by furious Tartars.

After pulverizing the Arab societies especially in Middle East and North Africa, the satanic ideology of Kharjites was picked up by Western powers (Neocons) to use their barbaric cruelty for their own agenda. The said western schema was indeed in line with the Kharijites ( Aiman Al Zahawari) and the deal was on……………..the Ghost of Al Qaida.

Scene was set, after the defeat of Soviets in Afghanistan. It must be kept in mind that there was no single incident of suicide bombing even against Russians in 11 years of war between Mujahedeens and Russian Army. Now the Kharijites were poured in Afghanistan and Pakistan by westerners, with agendas of both complimenting each other. The targets were zeroed and fixed.

It’s time for 9/11, Afghan invasion and exploitation of Pakistan. Kharjites are now operating in the name of different terrorist organizations such as TTP (Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan). Numerous evidences are on record to prove this historical but evil nexus such as:

  • Recovery of Indian and American weapons from Kharijites (TTP)
  • Recovery of dollars and Indian currencies from the terrorists.
  • Bodies of militants killed in action by Pakistan Army are not circumcised (One of the basic requirement for a Muslim)
  • Hundreds of attacks on Mosques in Pakistan
  • Brutal killings of Muslims of Pakistan
  • No breather from drone attacks despite of the fact, that they are only improving the strength of suicidal recruits operating for Al Qaida and TTP.

The question now arises that how Pakistan can get out of this strangle hold of this potent nexus? This not only demands sophisticated strategic moves on political front but also correct employment of forces at operational and tactical level to counter original aim of the said nexus i.e. Destruction of Nuclear Pakistan. With Indian inclusion in the nexus, the dynamics of the issue has changed drastically and it has linked with the unrest in Baluchistan as well. Only military moves not coupled with societal reformations and education will not suffice the intensity for dealing with this dreadful situation.

One must take into account that success of Swat operation was due to a forceful reply from a coherent society of Swatis, which repelled the evil concept of Khawarijs with determination and steadfastness. Pakistani Armed Forces operated in a highly professional manner with political and media’s will behind them.

This needs to carry on for some time more, with same zeal, for clearing the whole of Pakistan from this menace. All the state tentacles especially judiciary and media should play the most pivotal role in educating society with authenticity (in the light of Hadiths) and deliberation, so that the common can himself pull out from these Khawarijs and contribute towards an exemplary punishment to these enemies of Islam and Pakistan.

It’s high time to educate Pakistan’s Islamic society about the real face of this Khariji Ideology in the context of TTP and alike terrorist organizations. The role of Pakistani Ulemas must be in line with interest of Islam and Pakistan.                     (The writer is a Senior Citizen based in Abbotabad, with a masters in History).

Al Qaeda advises to store weapons to create an Islamic state in Libya

Al Qaeda advises to store weapons to create an Islamic state in Libya


Terrorist organizations affiliated to Al Qaeda advise Libyan insurgents Libyan to stockpile weapons in preparation for the post-Gaddafi phase, saying the war in Libya is expected to continue even after the fall of the current regime

  • Six terrorist groups affiliated to Al Qaeda called on insurgents who want to create an Islamic emirate in Libya to take steps and be ready for after Gaddafi, adding that the next enemy will be the pro-Western Libyan opposition.
  • The terrorist organizations warn against the policy of Westerners who are beginning to prepare for the post-Qadhafi. For this, the insurgents also have to prepare now for another war by storing the weapons which they should not give back after the fall of the regime of Gaddafi.
  • These six terrorist organizations invite the insurgents to search Libyan people with knowledge and skills in the military, recruit and protect them for the coming phase.
  • Ennahar / Ismail Fellah

Carving Up Pakistan

Carving Up Pakistan

Troops will never leave Afghanistan until regional hegemony
and its full integration into the “international system” is complete.
When they say “Long War,” they mean it. Imperialism 2.0.

Tony Cartalucci, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

Bangkok, Thailand April 22, 2011 – With NATO providing Al Qaeda air cover in Libya as they commit an array of egregious war crimes in their bid to seize the country, the last shred of legitimacy for America’s official narrative regarding their war on the Afghan-Pakistani border disappears before our eyes. However, a more rational explanation for the seemingly irrational campaign of frequent General Atomic* Predator drone attacks on Pakistani soil is not only on the table, but has been put there by the global corporate-financier oligarchs themselves.

To understand US-Pakistan relations within the context of the entirely fake “War on Terror” is impossible. Al Qaeda is merely the increasingly tenuous public excuse to justify continued wanton murder within Pakistan as well as occupations and interventions around the globe. In a broader geopolitical context, these constant and seemingly random attacks in western Pakistan serve a more diabolical purpose. With each attack on “suspected militants,” the all inclusive term used to describe CIA targets, the authority and stability of Pakistan’s establishment is undermined and whittled away. With many of the attacks claiming the lives of civilians, outrage and unrest is purposefully being fanned and spread. The recipients of this outrage and unrest is a national government seemingly bent to the will of the United States as it callously murders Pakistanis.

In particular, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is being intentionally weakened, undermined, and isolated from the whole of Pakistan. The threat of continued CIA operations are usually standing vis-a-vis concessions Pakistan is expected to make. After a recent show of defiance by Pakistancalling on the US to halt all drone operations within its borders, the CIA responded with multiple attacks, the latest of which killed at least 22, including woman and possibly children, seemingly just to spite and incense this reassertion of national sovereignty. The necessary concession expected of Pakistan this time around is their commitment to a military campaign against the Haqqani network, “allegedly based in North Waziristan.”

According to the International Herald Tribune article, “End to US drone hits if military launches North Waziristan operation,” which even at face value smacks of extortion, “Pakistan’s security establishment has long been accused of having links with the Afghan Taliban particularly the influential Haqqani network.” Considering that further strikes will put political pressure on the Pakistani government to concede, the US is driving a wedge between them and the ISI which is undoubtedly the “security establishment” the Tribune is referring to. Instability alone benefits the United States in the short-term to extort a myriad of concessions fulfilling a range of ambitions. But perhaps the most overarching theme is to sever permanently yet another link in China’s “String of Pearls.”

The “String of Pearls” doctrine encapsulated in a 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report, aims at co-opting, destabilizing and otherwise neutralizing nation states cooperating with China and enabling it to project power and influence along its long and vulnerable oil link to the Middle East. Starting in Africa, throughout the Middle East, into Central Asia and terminating in Southeast Asia, the United States has been conducting a widespread campaign of doing just this.

Pakistan in particular has jointly built a new port with China in the coastal city of Gwadar in the southern province of Balochistan. This port serves as a potential terminal for a north-south transit corridor to transport oil and goods directly into Chinese territory via the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. It also serves the potential to host a Chinese naval presence. The US bid to interfere internally to disrupt this is hardly a conspiracy theory. Globalist scribe Selig Harrison of the Soros funded Center for International Policy has published two pieces regarding the overarching importance of Pakistan in a broader geopolitical context and “suggestions” on how it can be solved.

Harrison’s February 2011 piece, “Free Baluchistan,” in name alone indicates yet another “freedom movement” contrived and fueled to give a favorable outcome to his corporate-financier patrons. He explicitly calls to “aid the 6 million Baluch insurgents fighting for independence from Pakistan in the face of growing ISI repression.” He continues by explaining the various merits of such meddling by stating, “Pakistan has given China a base at Gwadar in the heart of Baluch territory. So an independent Baluchistan would serve U.S. strategic interests in addition to the immediate goal of countering Islamist forces.”

The Baluchi ethnic group is in pink. Globalists would like to carve
out a “Free Baluchistan” in order to disrupt Chinese-Pakistani
relations. Baluchi rebels are already being armed and supported
by the US
 in terrorist operations against Iran.

Harrison would follow up his frank call to carve up Pakistan by addressing the issue of Chinese-Pakistani relations in a March 2011 piece unimaginatively titled, “The Chinese Cozy Up to the Pakistanis.” He begins by stating, “China’s expanding reach is a natural and acceptable accompaniment of its growing power—but only up to a point. ” He then reiterates his call for extraterritorial meddling in Pakistan by saying, “to counter what China is doing in Pakistan, the United States should play hardball by supporting the movement for an independent Baluchistan along the Arabian Sea and working with Baluch insurgents to oust the Chinese from their budding naval base at Gwadar. Beijing wants its inroads into Gilgit and Baltistan to be the first step on its way to an Arabian Sea outlet at Gwadar.”

Considering that Baluchi rebels are already being funded and armed to wage war inside of Iran, it is more than likely similar aid is being rendered to them to confront the ISI and Pakistan’s government. This three-pronged attack on Iranian, Pakistani, and Chinese sovereignty in a region where 3 nuclear armed nations converge and billions call home is beyond reckless, providing us further insight into the deranged, degenerate minds behind “global governance.”

Those under the delusion that US troops will ever leave Afghanistan are in for a disappointment. Barring catastrophic economic collapse or an unexpected and grievous tactical defeat on the battlefield for Western forces, troops will only be moved around, replaced, or even bolstered until regional hegemony is established. Even then, the globalist “civil society” underlay and local security forces fully integrated and subservient to global military alliances would need to be built up and reliable before a single boot leaves the region. This will take decades to complete, which is exactly why we are told the US and UK will be in Afghanistan literally for “decades.”

* General Atomic also makes the TRIGA research reactors found in many universities throughout America and around the world, including UT at AustinPenn State, and even next to Kasetsart University in Thailand.

Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at 
Land Destroyer Report.

U.S. surge in Afghanistan launches reign of terror

U.S. surge in Afghanistan launches reign of terror

U.S. officer:‘You have to show up at their door … and start killing people’

APRIL 21, 2011

Afghans rebuild a home destroyed by a U.S. airstrike, Tarok Kolache, Afghanistan.

“You can’t just convince them through projects and goodwill,” another Marine officer said. “You have to show up at their door with two companies of Marines and start killing people. That’s how you start convincing them.”

This was the comment made by a Marine officer to the Washington Post for its April 16 story about “signs of progress” for President Obama’s surge strategy in southern Afghanistan.

The officer was discussing how the U.S. strategy succeeded in the signing of a security pact between elders of the Alikozai area in southern Afghanistan and the U.S.-backed Karzai government.

Many hundreds of young men from the Alikozai area were killed in an onslaught by U.S./NATO troops in months leading up the agreement, according to the Washington Post account.

“We started stacking bodies like cordwood,” said an officer in Sangin, who like other Marines asked for anonymity to speak frankly. “And they came to a point where they said, ‘Holy [expletive], there aren’t that many of us left.’ ”

The Washington Post is an enthusiastic supporter of the expanding war in Afghanistan. The newspaper editorial policy insists that the war is necessary for an improvement in the lives of average Afghans.

Like other U.S. corporate-owned media outlets, the Post pretends that the U.S. counter-insurgency strategy is aimed at winning the hearts and minds of impoverished Afghan villagers. Its own reports about war strategy, however, reveal that the Pentagon cares as much about Afghan villages as it did about those in Vietnam that were razed and burned by U.S. troops to “save them” from falling under the control of Vietnamese communists.

In this recent story, the Post approvingly explains why it was necessary for a battalion of the Army’s 101st Airborne Division to completely destroy the village of Tarok Kolache after seven U.S. soldiers were killed and 70 others wounded in the first 100 days of an operation in the Arghandab district of Kandahar province last July:

… [I]nstead of sipping tea, [Lt. Col. David]Flynn decided to strike back.

An initial target was the village of Tarok Kolache, a collection of about a dozen mud-brick, multi-family housing compounds surrounded by pomegranate orchards. Video from surveillance aircraft indicated that the village had been vacated, save for insurgents who were manufacturing homemade explosives in the walled-off courtyards.

The Post carries before and after pictures of the entirely flattened village. “U.S. B-1B Lancer and A-10 Warthog jets conducted repeated bombing runs. A new ground-launched artillery rocket system also pelted the enclave. All told, almost 25 tons of ordnance was dropped on Tarok Kolache,” the Post states.

The U.S. war in Afghanistan is a terrorist enterprise. By employing these tactics of terror, the Pentagon seeks to force Afghan peasants to end their resistance to foreign occupation. They are succeeding in creating oceans of suffering among people, most of who have never heard of the World Trade Center or the September 11 attacks. In fact, a 2010 survey conducted by the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) showed that 92 percent of 1,000 Afghan men surveyed in Helmand and Kandahar provinces knew nothing of the hijacked airliner attacks in 2001.

The real goal of the operation is not to “protect the American people.” Rather, it is to create a network of permanent military bases in an energy-rich and geostrategically important region that the U.S. Empire has targeted for enduring domination. The U.S. effort can kill thousands of Afghans and destroy their villages but it will not succeed in liquidating the resistance of the people. From Vietnam to Afghanistan—the Pentagon Brass have learned nothing.

Embracing Saudi Terrorism In Bahrain, Sowing Western Terrorism In Libya


The unwillingness of many western countries to forcefully criticize the killing of anti-government protesters in Bahrain illustrates the hypocrisy of some western governments who selectively support pro-democracy uprisings only when it serves their own vested interest.

Their silence over atrocities and torture inflicted on Shiite protesters by Bahrain’s military and security forces -including systematic destruction of Shiite mosques and holy places -is shocking, especially given the West’s support for protesters fighting against other Middle East authoritarian regimes in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.

In an ominous turn of events, Britain’s Independent newspaper reported April 21 that Bahrain security authorities have intimidated and arrested doctors and other medical staff in hospitals, denouncing them for treating individuals wounded during pro-democracy demonstrations. Some doctors have reportedly been held incommunicado or have been “disappeared”. All of this is in total violation of the Geneva Convention on treating people injured during conflicts.

Such reticence to condemn the systematic killing of civilians demonstrating against the ruling al-Khalifa family since the protest movement began peacefully Feb. 14 is, however, not unexpected.

While western countries, particularly the United States, were initially reluctant to come out too openly in favour of the pro-democracy movements in places like Tunisia H S and Egypt -some American officials even indicating then president Hosni Mubarak or Egypt could stay in power to maintain stability during a transition to democracy -criticism of Bahrain’s Sunni authorities was almost non-existent, limited to predictable exhortations for everyone to exercise restraint during such large-scale demonstrations calling for change.

There was a very compelling reason for the U.S.’s low-key response: Bahrain is the headquarters of the American Fifth Fleet. Given the crucial importance of that naval base, being openly critical of the al-Khalifa elite was to be avoided.

Nor was the Obama administration prepared to question the intervention of 5,000 Saudi military forces, along with 1,000 Gulf state troops, which crossed the causeway onto the island of Bahrain to assist in putting down the perceived threat posed to the Sunni minority al-Khalifa ruling regime led by King Hamad. (It’s

said Saudi Arabia originally helped finance the 25-kilometre-long causeway to ensure it could contain any threat represented by the Shiite majority to either Bahrain’s Sunni regime or Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi Sunni rule.)

According to reports by the Independent newspaper, Saudi military personnel joined Bahraini forces in the deliberate demolition of Shiite mosques and shrines, Shiites regarded by Saudi Arabia’s conservative Wahhabis as heretics.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch says countless people detained by Bahrain’s security forces were tortured including a reform-minded Shiite militant, Ali Isa Ibrahim Saqer, who died while in custody, his body showing signs of being beaten.

The low-key response of Washington and London to human rights abuses against Bahrain’s Shiites has, as expected, been denounced by Iran.

However, some western governments predictably see Tehran somehow linked to the original demonstrations in the capital of Manama.

But those observing the initial demonstrations at Pearl Square, with even women and children present there in makeshift tents, say the protest movement was essentially homegrown and violence-free, Bahrain’s security forces unleashing the violence against demonstrators. On March 18, police totally demolished the encampment at Pearl Square resulting in seven or more protesters killed.

Although the al-Khalifa elite seemingly has opted to end the protest movement by force, they may rue the day they went so far as to actually demolish Shiite holy places. Such a move has the potential to inflame the entire Shiite world community with totally unpredictable consequences, not just for the al-Khalifa family but also for Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, as well as the always-volatile Middle East region -not to mention the strategic interests of the U.S. and other countries, including the European Union.

The implications for Washington have already become apparent. Because of its desire not to alienate Saudi Arabia and the other non-democratic Gulf states -and to ensure the continued use of Bahrain’s naval base -the Obama administration now stands accused of total hypocrisy when it comes to supporting democracy and respect for human rights in the Middle East.

In the mind of cynics, what counts for the United States is not democracy for oppressed societies, but rather pure unadulterated self-interest. Washington initially tried to mute criticism of Egypt’s Mubarak because of his anti-Islamist policies and peace treaty with Israel, only reversing position when he clearly had become a liability. Similarly, Washington was reluctant to call for Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign because of his co-operation in fighting al-Qaeda.

Some believe U.S. reluctance to criticize Saudi Arabia for its actions was strongly influenced by the issue of petroleum supplies. Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States sit on the world’s largest oil reserves. The U.S. and European countries, particularly Britain and France, have had strong economic interests in ensuring prowestern regimes remain in power to protect western petroleum interests there.

The West could afford to belatedly turn against then president Mubarak and now President Saleh in Yemen because their oil wealth was almost inconsequential.

But keeping King Abdullah and his brothers happy in Saudi Arabia is an unquestioned priority in the realpolitik world of American governments.

Whether the longoppressed Shiite majority in Bahrain are prepared to accept this “business-isbusiness” reality is yet to be determined.

Harry Sterling, a former diplomat, is an Ottawa-based commentator who writes regularly on Middle East issues.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

John Birch Society–Still Blaming the UN for America’s Crimes of Empire

[U.S. House and Senate] Help Get US Out of the UN

Liberty Alerts, Freedom Campaign

Help Get US Out of the UN

The United States is currently engaged in another unconstitutional and undeclared war in the Middle East. President Barack Obama explicitly cited a United Nations resolution as his source of authority to wage war in Libya. It is this acquiescence to the United Nations that is and has been for many decades the excuse and the political cover the United States government has used when it wished to involve itself in regime changes or changes in the form of government in many countries around the world.

Let’s leave aside all the documented cases of corruption and abuse within the UN — the heinous rape of innocents, the Oil-for-food program, the continuous human rights violations of UN member countries — and the fact that not one UN-managed military conflict has resulted in a speedy or peaceful settlement, for now. When a UN treaty or Security Council vote is used to supersede the United States Constitution, a definitive loss of sovereignty for a once-independent nation that should govern according to the best interests of its own citizens and that from early warnings should have remained free of foreign entanglements, occurs.

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) has once again introduced a bill that would instantly remedy any UN superiority over the Constitution. The American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2009, H.R. 1146, is worded exactly the same in this 112th Session of Congress as it was worded for previous sessions. Quite simply it terminates all U.S. participation in the UN, repeals the UN Headquarters Agreement which would leave the UN no offices along the East River in New York, stops all appropriations and contributions of U.S. taxpayer dollars for the organization, discontinues diplomatic immunity for UN officials, and most importantly ends the United States’ participation in any agreements or conventions with any UN organ, body, or agency or commission.

To avoid sapping America’s military strength and the use of American service men and women as cannon fodder in millennia-old conflicts in the Middle East and around the world under UN auspices, often exacerbated by America’s foreign policies and put in place to promote the New World Order in the first place, and to disentangle the United States from enormously costly wars and the financial support of the UN itself, it is very important to become proactive in promoting sponsorship and passage of H.R. 1146.

The debate about Libya will continue in the once-hallowed halls of Congress for awhile and should be used as an opportunity to raise awareness about the UN’s role.  To quote Alex Newman in The New American article entitled “Clinton: Obama Will Ignore Congress on Libya War,” “If the American people’s representatives are willing to be slapped in the face — without doing anything about it — by an administration that acknowledges no limits on its power, they might just as well head home.”  The same should apply to the citizens who have complacently and apathetically accepted the usurpation of the congressional role by the executive branch, allowing the representational form of government and the supreme law of the land’s principles to be relegated to the history books.

You can refuse to be so ill-treated, though. Contact all your representatives and educate them to this subversion of their congressional role and the U.S. Constitution. Insist they rein in the blatant and arrogant actions of the Executive Branch and domination by United Nations policies.

As Help GetUSOut! of the United Nations via H.R. 1146.

Used with the permission of the John Birch Society.

The #1 Victim of Al Qaeda Attacks? Muslims

The #1 Victim of Al Qaeda Attacks? Muslims

Written by Common Ground News Service

Late last month, Yemeni officials claimed that Al Qaeda-affiliated gunmen allegedly took control of a munitions factory in southern Yemen and then booby-trapped the facility after looting it. Residents of the town who flocked to the factory afterward trying to recover what was left were caught in an explosion. Over 100 people were killed.

Terrorists claim that by carrying out similar attacks, they are protecting Islam and fighting the “enemies of God”, clarifying in countless statements that non-Muslims are their primary targets. Of course, killing anyone is wrong. And terrorist attacks carried out by Al Qaeda and affiliate groups have not exclusively targeted any specific religious, sectarian or ethnic group.

In fact, numbers and statistics show that the majority of their victims are Muslims.

A study from December 2009 by the Center for Combating Terrorism at West Point says that “the vast majority of Al Qaeda’s victims are Muslims” and that only “15 percent” of those killed are Westerners.

These numbers prove that terrorists do not distinguish between Muslims and non-Muslims, and consider all people who do not agree with their ideology as “legitimate” targets of violence.

This strategy of using violence has subsequently alienated Al Qaeda from mainstream Muslims and proved to be a failure in all respects for the simple reason that it is self-destructive. Besides various statements made by Muslim groups around the world voicing their objection to terrorism and violence that cause death and destruction under the banner of Islam, Al Qaeda and similar groups have never enjoyed a large fan base among the world’s Muslim population. The Pew Global Attitudes Project found that in 2009 when researchers asked Muslims whether “suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets are justified to defend Islam from its enemies”, majorities in eight of the nine Muslim-majority countries responded that such violence could never be justified to defend Islam.

Moreover, Al Qaeda labels Muslims who do not support the group’s ideology as apostates, one of the most serious charges in Islam. Using this term loosely to accuse their enemies has only earned terrorists increasing hostility and decreasing support of the Muslim world in the past few years.

Al Qaeda’s ideology is built on highlighting differences amongst Muslims, as well as between Muslims and those of other faiths, rather than helping humanity search for common ground and move toward peace, mutual understanding and respect. It is by no means a call for “Muslim unity”, as Al Qaeda’s ideology represents a greater threat to Islam than any other religion.

On more than one occasion, Muslims around the world have presented alternatives to Al Qaeda and to violence as means to achieve political goals. The ongoing waves of change in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen reaffirm that Muslims are able to topple dictators, create policy changes, and demand freedom and democracy peacefully. As people continue to fight for their rights in this part of the world it will be even more difficult for terrorists to find a safe haven in democratic societies, as history has not seen democracies breeding terrorism the same way autocratic and oppressive regimes do.

As Arab and Muslim societies continue to march toward democratic change, Al Qaeda’s arguments will be less relevant. We are realising now that real and lasting change can only occur through peaceful uprisings as opposed to military coups or extremist ideologies that propagate violence. Al Qaeda has always used oppression in the Arab and Muslim worlds to justify seeking violence to achieve its political goals.

Thankfully, it’s just not working.

Khawarij: Has the Destructive Ideology Reincarnated? Part-1

Khawarij: Has the Destructive Ideology Reincarnated? Part-1

This is a Pakpotporri Exclusive                                                                                                                                                                                         By:Ahmed Raza

Pakistan in its 63 years of existence has gone through many natural and far more than that, men made disasters (Wars). One of which Pakistan is still fighting- has no designated battle field-enemy has no uniform- Complete country is a battle ground now. We have lost more than 15000 Pakistanis in this war of unknown killing zone. Is this not the time to ponder and study the roots of this horrifying enemy? One, who has transformed us in a society of chauvinistic and psychologically depressed human beings, yes, We are very late to respond but nations do commit mistakes-we all did it-it’s time to react to the realized fact. Rebirth of Khawarijs (The Deviators) on this planet is the case in discussion here, especially when they are now entrenched against us in the silhouette of terrorist organizations like TTP (Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan). For analytical assessment of their agenda it’s always better to refer history.

It was 1st Muharram of 1400th Islamic year (20th November 1979)-Mecca was praying as usual in the Grand mosque Kaaba-as the Imam finished his prayers some young Arabs equipped with automatic weapons entered the arena. All the gates were closed leading to the inner part of the mosque Mataf. Juhayman ibn Muhammad ibn Sayf al-Otaibi presented a young man aged approx 25 years, Muhammad bin Abdullah as Mahdi – the crowd was stunned-they took over the control of the Grand mosque within minutes as professional trained soldiers…………………….

One of the most horrendous events in the Islamic history had happened, the Holiest Grand Mosque of Muslims the Kaaba was attacked and sieged by a fake Mahdi supported by Juhayman ibn Muhammad ibn Sayf al-Otaibi. It shook the very foundation of Al Saud Kingdom, Mecca’s bloody siege lasted two weeks, causing hundreds of deaths and inflaming human rage all around the globe.

To understand the reasons leading to this horrific episode, it is imperative to look into annuls of recent history of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with emphasis on the ruling family of Al Saud.

…………..The Al Saud family that today rules the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a member of the Anizah, a Northern Arabian or Adnani, tribal confederation historically located in the Najd, or Central Arabian Peninsula. The family derives its name from its 18th Century ancestor, Muhammad bin Saud, who joined forces with an austere Islamic reformer, Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, in a military religious alliance for control over Central Arabia. Muhammad bin Saud was defeated by the Egyptian Army, which moved to Arabia for protecting Hejaz on the orders of the Ottoman Caliph.

The left job was taken over after a century by Abdul Aziz Bin Saud, who captured Najd and eastern coast of Arabia by 1912. In 1925 the forces of Ibn Saud captured the holy city of Mecca from Sharif Hussein bin Ali, ending 700 years of Hashemite rule. On 21 April 1925 the Saudis destroyed some of the most holy places of Islam, Jannat-ul-Baqi and Jannat-ul-Mualla, hence completing the agenda of military-religious alliance of Ibn Saud with Wahabbis.  On 10 January 1926, Ibn Saud proclaimed himself King of the Hejaz in the Great Mosque at Mecca. On 20 May 1927, the British government signed the Treaty of Jeddah, which abolished the Darin protection agreement and recognized the independence of the Hejaz and Najd with Ibn Saud as its ruler.

What happened in 1927 was triggered during The First World War which changed the political dynamics of the heartland of the Muslim world, abolition of Ottoman Caliphate brought western concept of state and nation hood. The concept of Euro Christians with sovereignty rests with the people prevailed in the center of Islamic civilization. Role of British diplomacy and created fervor of Saudi nationalism (courtesy British unprecedented help) paved the way for the first Monarch of Hejaz the Saud Family.

The said diplomacy of British in Arabian Peninsula was multi-dimensional but highly integrated.

  • First of all, the objective of snatching control of the Hejaz the holy lands (Mecca and Madina) from the Caliph.
  • Secondly Britain wanted a friendly regime in control of the Hejaz so that it could better be able to manipulate the politics of the peninsula.
  • Finally, the politics of the peninsula and the defeat of the Ottomans were strategically linked to Zionism’s efforts to build a diabolical consensus with Britain in the pursuit of the creation of a Jewish National Home in Palestine.

Fall of Caliphate lead to non-existence of Dar al Islam. Nowhere in the world, it exists now, as it has never existed.

A little about Dar al-Islam,

While the Hejaz was Dar al-Islam every Muslim had the right to enter that territory.

  • He did not need a visa.
  • There was no such thing as Saudi sovereignty.
  • There was no such thing as Saudi citizenship.
  • The right of entry into any part of Dar al-Islam was one of several rights which Muslims had, such as the right to reside in Dar al-Islam,
  • They did not need residence permits, the right to seek livelihood in any part of Dar al-Islam, they did not need a work permits etc.

The birth of the State of Saudi Arabia resulted in the denial and eventual elimination of all these rights of Muslims as Ummah.

What made present Saudi Arabia and especially Al Saud Family win over the confidence of the complete Muslim world? It was through an exceptional support of British to Al Saud family, after the fall of Caliphate, which did this magic for them. On the other hand to gain all possible control over the Hejaz, the Saud family also enforced very strict brand of Islam(Wahabbism) in the new born state. The century old military-alliance between Al Saud and Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab was best achieved now, with Muslims strictly following Wahabbi sect (the purest form of Islam) as they claim, right in the heart-land of Islam-the Hejaz.

Every sect of Islam has its own effects on the minds of the people; the Wahabi perception is also not alien to this effect. The fanatical chapter of Wahabbi ideology of Islam gave rebirth to Takhfiri concept of Islam associated with Kharijites.

Aḥmad, Muslim, and Ibn Mājah recorded a Ḥadīth from Abū Dharr who narrated that, Allah’s messenger said:

“There will definitely be a people after me from my nation who will recite the Quran yet it will not even reach beyond their throats. They will pass through the religion as an arrow passes through a target, then they will not return back to it. They are the worst of people, the worst of all creatures”.

The origin of Kharijism lies in the first Islamic civil war, the struggle for political supremacy over the Muslim community in the years following the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). After the third caliph (Uthman ibn Affan), a struggle for succession ensued between Caliph Ali and Muʿāwiyah, the governor of Syria and cousin of Uthman.

According to the concept of Kharijites the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar were rightly guided but believed that Uthman ibn Affan had deviated from the path of justice and truth in the last days of his caliphate, and hence was liable to be killed or displaced. They also believed that Ali ibn Abi Talib committed a grave sin whence he agreed on the arbitration. In the Battle of Siffin, Ali acceded to Muʿāwiyah’s suggestion to stop the fighting and refuge to negotiation. A large portion of Ali’s troops (who later became the first Kharijites) refused to concede to that agreement, and they considered that Ali has breached a Qur’anic verse which states that The decision is only for Allah (Qur’an 6:57), and hence the Kharijites thought that the outcome of a conflict can only be decided in battle (by God) and not in negotiations (by human beings). Later on, Abu lo lo feroze majoose a renowned Khawarij killed the Fourth Caliph of Islam “Ali”.

Al-Bukhārī, Muslim, and Abū Dāwūd recorded a narration in which ‘Alī said:

“There will come towards the end of time a people who will be young in age, having reckless and deficient intellects. They will speak with the statements of the best of creation, yet they will pass through Islam just as an arrow passes through a target. Their faith will not even reach beyond their throats. Wherever you find them, kill them, for whoever kills them will have a reward on the Day of Resurrection”.

Coming back to the events of Kaaba 1979, what was immediately required for Saudi Army to operate with conviction to end the fiasco, was a Fatwa by the highest religious council of the country. As fighting in the holy land was completely prohibited by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), any defaulter in this regard was to be executed without fail. The Juhayaman and his men along with The Fake Mahdi were to be executed on the authority of that fatwa, as they breached the order of Prophet in the Holy Kaaba.

Bin Baaz, the religious head of the Saudi Government was a prominent Wahabbi scholar, who was to act promptly to end this embarrassment of highest order. He, on the other hand has been ignoring the wrongful deeds of Juhayaman in the past, to an extent, that about a year back he got him released from Governments custody on the charges of suspicious activities against the state. It is imperative here to mention that Juhayaman was a staunch practicing Wahabbi and this fact was very well known to Bin Baaz.

It took more than three days to get the appropriate Fatwa from Bin Baaz and his council. Even convergence of all 22 ulemas in Ryiadh to frame the required Fatwa was not achieved after 48 hours of the catastrophe.

All is well that ends well, Saudi troops acted promptly after the initiation of Fatwa, which clearly declared Juhayaman and his men as Kharijites (deviators). The perpetrators were executed as per the law, but the ridiculous khariji ideology was born yet again.

In the next article I will make an endeavour to crystallize the happenings leading to transportation of this re-born Khariji ideology to Pakistan and what role US and India played in it.                                                                                                              (The writer is a Senior Citizen based in Abbotabad. He is a masters in History. This is is first article).

Libya and the new US strategic doctrine

Libya and the new US strategic doctrine

by Thierry Meyssan*

The allied military operation in Libya marks a major strategic change. Washington has renounced a war of occupation and has sub-contracted its future ground operations to its allies. Thierry Meyssan describes the new strategic paradigm of the United States: forced globalisation is over, the era of two worlds has begun.

People often say that generals don’t see change coming and prepare the next war as if it should resemble the previous one. The same thing applies to political commentators: they interpret new events not for what they are, but as if they repeated those which preceded them.

At the time when popular mass movements deposed Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt many believed they were seeing a ’Jasmin Revolution’ [1] and a ’Lotus Revolution’ [2] in the style of the colour revolutions organised in sequence by the CIA and the NED after the fall of the USSR. Certain facts appeared to confirm this view, such as the presence of Serbian agitators in Cairo, or the diffusion of propaganda material [3]. But the reality was entirely different. These were popular-based uprisings, which Washington unsuccessfully attempted to hijack to its advantage. In reality neither Tunisians nor Egyptians were aspiring to an American Way of Life, but on the contrary, to get rid of puppet governments manipulated by the United States.

When the unrest erupted in Libya, these same commentators tried to get abreast with reality, telling us that a real popular rebellion was at hand, this time against Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator. They accompanied their editorials with sweet lies portraying the Colonel as a timeless enemy of Western democracy, omitting to mention his active collaboration with the United States for eight years [4]

However, when taking a closer look, what we see happening in Libya is, first and foremost, the resurgence of the historical antagonism between Cyrenaica on one side, Tripolitania and Fezzan on the other. It is only of late that this conflict has taken on a political tinge, when the insurrection identified itself with the monarchists and was soon joined by all sorts of opposition groups (Nasserists, Khomeinists, Communists, Islamists et cetera). In sum, at no time has the rebellion spread to the entire country.

The voices which denounce the fabrication and exploitation of this conflict by a colonial cartel are invariably met with scorn. The majority opinion considers that foreign military intervention enables the Libyan people to free themselves from their tyrant and that the excesses of the coalition cannot be worse than the crimes of a genocidal killer.

However, history has already shown the falsity of this reasoning. For example, many of the Iraqis who were hostile to Saddam Hussein and welcomed western soldiers as saviours are now saying – eight years and one and a half million civilian deaths later – that life in their country was better under the despot.

Above all, this judgment is based on a series of erroneous premises:

- Contrary to western propaganda allegations, which the chronological and geographical proximity of events in Tunisia and Egypt may have appeared to validate, the Libyan people did not rise up against the Gaddafi regime. Gaddafi still enjoys popular legitimacy in Tripolitania and in Fezzan, regions where the Colonel has distributed arms to the population to resist against the advancement of both Cyrenaica insurgents and foreign powers.

- Contrary to western propaganda allegations, which some of the incendiary declarations by the ’the brother leader’ himself may seemingly have corroborated, Gaddafi has never bombed his civilian population [5]. He has used military force against putschists without worrying about the consequences for the civilian population. This distinction makes no difference to the victims but in international law it separates war crimes from crimes of humanity.

- Finally, contrary to western propaganda allegations and despite Bernard Henry-Lévy’s farcical revolutionary romanticism, the revolt of Cyrenaica was anything but spontaneous. It was prepared by the DGSE, MI6 and the CIA. The French put the National Transitional Council together by drawing on the information and contacts of Massoud El-Mesmari, ex-companion and confident of Gaddafi who defected in November 2010 and was given asylum in Paris [6]. With the aim of reestablishing the monarchy, the British reactivated the network of Prince Mohamed el-Senoussi, pretender to the throne of the United Kingdom of Libya, currently exiled in London, and distributed the red, black and green flag brandishing a star and crescent [7] The United States seized military and economic control by repatriating Libyan exiles from Washington and slotting them in key ministerial and military positions within the National Transitional Council.

The ongoing debate about the cogency of the international intervention is the tree which hides the forest. If we take a few steps back, we will realise that the strategy of the leading western powers has in fact changed. Of course, they continue to indulge in the rhetoric of genocide prevention and the duty of humanitarian intervention, or of brotherly support for people who are struggling for their liberty, (provided they open their markets!), but their acts are different.

The “Obama doctrine”

In his speech at the National Defense University, President Obama defined several aspects of his strategic doctrine, pinpointing what distinguishes it from those of his predecessors, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush [8]

He primarily declared : In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners. To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians. It took us 31 days.

Such speed contrasts with Bill Clinton’s time. This has two explanations.
On the one hand, the United States of 2011 has a coherent project (analysed below), whereas in the 90’s it vacillated between taking advantage of the collapse of the USSR and enrich itself commercially or building an unrivaled empire.
On the other hand, the Obama administration’s ’reset’ policy, which seeks to substitute confrontation with negotiation, has borne some fruits with Russia. In spite of being one of the major economic losers, Russia has nevertheless gone along with the principle of the Libyan war even if nationalists Vladimir Putin [9] or Vladimir Chamov [10] must have developed stomach ulcers as a result.

Then, in the same 28 March 2011 speech, Obama further stated: Our most effective alliance, NATO, has taken command of the enforcement of the arms embargo and the no-fly zone. Last night, NATO decided to take on the additional responsibility of protecting Libyan civilians. This transfer from the United States to NATO will take place on Wednesday. Going forward, the lead in enforcing the no-fly zone and protecting civilians on the ground will transition to our allies and partners, and I am fully confident that our coalition will keep the pressure on Qaddafi’s remaining forces.

After having placed France in the lead whilst pretending to trail behind, Washington admitted to having “coordinated” all military operations since the beginning. But it was only to announce the immediate transfer of this responsibility to NATO.

Finally, President Obama concluded: There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and our values are. Sometimes, the course of history poses challenges that threaten our common humanity and our common security -– responding to natural disasters, for example; or preventing genocide and keeping the peace; ensuring regional security, and maintaining the flow of commerce. These may not be America’s problems alone, but they are important to us. They’re problems worth solving. And in these circumstances, we know that the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help.

Barack Obama broke with the inflamed discourse of George W. Bush who attempted to extend the American Way of Life across the world through the use of force. While he is willing to deploy military means for humanitarian causes or for peace-keeping operations, he doesn’t contemplate resorting to war except for the sake of ensuring regional security, and maintaining the flow of commerce.

This merits a deeper explanation.

The strategic shift

By convention or convenience, historians label each strategic doctrine by the name of the president that puts it in place. In reality, today the strategic doctrine is elaborated by the Pentagon and no longer by the White House. The fundamental change was not generated by the arrival of Barack Obama to the Oval Office (January 2009), but by that of Robert Gates to the Pentagon (December 2006). The last two years of the Bush presidency did not emanate from the “Bush doctrine”; they were already foreshadowing the “Obama doctrine”. It is because he has succeeded in this mission that Robert Gates now plans to retire from office with the pride of a job well done [11].

In order to explain myself better, I will make a distinction between a Rumsfeld doctrine and a Gates doctrine.
In the first case, the primary objective was to change political regimes, one by one, everywhere in the world, until they were all in tune with the United States. This is what is known asmarket democracy, being in reality an oligarchic system in whichpseudo citizens are protected from the arbitrary actions of the state and can choose their governments but not their policies.

However, indicates Barack Obama in the same discourse:Thanks to the extraordinary sacrifices of our troops and the determination of our diplomats, we are hopeful about Iraq’s future. But regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives, and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya.

In short, the objective of a Pax Americana, meant to protect and at the same time dominate all the peoples of the earth, is economically unachievable. And so, too, the ideal of converting the whole of humanity to the American Way of Life.

Another imperial vision, more realistic, has progressively emerged at the Pentagon. It has been vulgarised by Thomas P.M. Barnett in his book The Pentagon’s New Map. War and Peace in the Twenty-First Century.

The world will be divided in two. On one side the stable centre, constituted around the United States by developed countries that are more or less democratic. On the other side a periphery, left to its own devices, plagued by under development and violence. The role of the Pentagon will be to ensure the civilised world gets access to the necessary natural resources located in the periphery which is inept to use them.

This vision implies that the United States will no longer be in competition with the other developed states but will instead become their security leader. This appears to be plausible with regards to Russia, inasmuch as President Dmitry Medvedev opened the way for collaboration with NATO at the time of the commemoration parade marking the end of the World War II, and again during the Lisbon summit. It will perhaps prove to be more complicated with China whose new ruling team seems to be more nationalistic than the previous one.

The division of the world into two zones, stable and chaotic, where the second only serves as the reservoir of natural resources for the first, poses evidently the question of delimitations. In Barnett’s book (2004), the Balkans, Central Asia, almost all of Africa, the Andes and central America are relegated to the shadows. Three member states of the G-20 (of which one is also a member of NATO) are condemned to chaos: Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. This map is not etched in stone and changes are still possible. Thus, Saudi Arabia is currently earning its stripes by crushing the revolt in Bahrain.

As it is no longer a question of occupying a country, but only of securing zones for exploitation and to raid them when necessary, the Pentagon must extend to the entire periphery the process of fragmentation, of remodeling, already started in the Greater Middle-East. The goal of war no longer being the direct exploitation of a territory, but the eradication of all means of resistance. The Pentagon is concentrating on controlling the maritime routes and aerial operations while sub-contractig as much as possible the ground operations to its allies. It is this phenomenon that has begun in Africa with the partition of Sudan and the wars in Libya and Ivory Coast.

If, from a democratic perspective, the overthrow of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi would be a gratifying development, it is neither necessary nor in the Pentagon’s interests. According to the Gates doctrine, it is better to put up with a hysterical and humiliated Gaddafi in a downsized Tripolitania than to be faced with the spectre of a great Libya capable one day of resisting imperialism anew.

Of course, this new strategic vision will not occur painlessly. There will be ever increasing numbers of migrants fleeing the hell of the periphery in order to reach the paradise of the centre. And there will always be some incorrigible humanist who believes that one’s paradise should not be built on the hell of others.

This is the project which is at play in Libya and it’s in relation to this that each one must take a stand.

 Thierry Meyssan
French political analyst, founder and chairman of theVoltaire Network and the Axis for Peace conference. He publishes columns dealing with international relations in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. Last books published in English :9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.
This author’s articles 
To send a message 

Translation Julian Hunter

[1] “Washington facing the ire of the Tunisian people“, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 25 January 2011.

[2] “Egypt on the brink of a bloodbath“, by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 1 February 2011

[3The U.S. colored revolution user manual for EgyptVoltaire Network, 2 March 2011.

[4] “Gaddafi’s photo album: a festival of hypocrisy!“, Voltaire Network, 26 March 2011.

[5Russian military: “Air strikes in Libya did not take place“, Voltaire Network, 2 March 2011.

[6] “French plans to topple Gaddafi on track since last November“, by Franco Bechis, Voltaire Network, 25 March 2011.

[7Libya: When historical memory is erased“, by Manlio Dinucci,Voltaire Network, 2 March 2011.

[8“Remarks at National Defense University by Barack Obama in Address to the Nation on Libya”Voltaire Network, 28 March 2011.

[9Remarks by Vladimir Putin on the situation in LibyaVoltaire Network, 21 March 2011

[10Russian Ambassador to Libya tags Medvedev as traitor, Voltaire Network, 27 March 2011.

[11Robert Gates on his way outVoltaire Network, 11 April 2011.

Ukraine not to join Customs Union – Foreign Minister

Ukraine not to join Customs Union – Foreign Minister

22.04.2011, 12.49

KIEV, April 22 (Itar-Tass) – Ukraine will not join the Customs Union (of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan), Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstantin Grishchenko said on Friday in reply to questions by parliamentarians.

Speaking in parliament, he reminded the audience that President Viktor Yanukovich had offered to cooperate with that organization on the “three plus one” formula. “This means the following – first of all Ukraine intends to cooperate with the Customs Union without formal membership in it,” he said.

“We are not in the process of negotiations with the Customs Union,” he added. According to Grishchenko, Russia does not make Ukraine’s entry into the Customs Union as condition for continuing cooperation.

Russia has just “expressed its wish to see our country in that union,” the foreign minister said.

“In accordance with the foundations of Ukraine’s domestic and foreign policy, European integration remains the main foreign policy priority for our country,” he added. According to Grishchenko, Ukraine intends this year to sign an agreement on associated membership with the European Union, which also includes an agreement on a free trade zone.

“It is very important for Ukraine that the formation of the Customs Union should not worsen terms of trade with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan,” he said. According to the minister, “there is a threat that measures of protection applied in trade with one country would involve the whole territory of the Customs Union,” Grishchenko added.

He also reminded parliamentarians that in trade with Belarus the free trade regime is applied to all items, while in trade with Russia, sugar is excluded from the list of commodities falling under the regime of free trade. As for trade with Kazakhstan, nine Ukrainian products, including sugar, tobacco, alcohol and some other goods, are excluded.

US to give Pakistan 85 Unarmed Toy Airplanes/”mini-drones”

[This is the reason Gen. Kayani has suffered limitless American degradations, for a bunch of toy airplanes?  Hell, Pakistan could have built these things themselves.  Pakistan will never be free from America’s clutches, until it frees itself from the reign of its American-owned generals.]

US to give Pakistan 85 mini-drones

Friday, April 22, 2011  Which one is US military and which one from Estes Models?
ISLAMABAD: The US will provide Pakistan with 85 small “Raven” drone aircraft, a US military official told Reuters on Thursday, a key step in meeting Islamabad’s calls for access to US drone technology.The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, declined to disclose the cost or model of the non-lethal, short-range aircraft, which are manufactured by the US-based AeroVironment Inc . Reaffirmation of the relationship between the US and Pakistani militaries was the most important aspect of his meeting Wednesday night with his Pakistani counterpart, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen said, according to Pentagon Thursday.

The meeting was the first opportunity Navy Adm. Mike Mullen and Pakistani Gen. Asfaq Parvez Kayani have had to meet since the Raymond Davis arrest earlier this year chilled relations between the two countries.

“Certainly, we understand we’ve been through a pretty rough period,” Mullen told reporters travelling with him, according to Pentagon. “I feel that the relationship that we had had a lot to do with our ability to get through this rough period.” Significant challenges remain in the relationship, and he and Kayani brought those up in their meeting, Mullen said.

Pak News Claims Shamsi Air Base taken back from CIA, US forces

Shamsi Air Base taken back from CIA, US forces

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has stopped all US operations from the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan, an airport which was given to American forces for use after 9/11 and drone attacks were launched from the base on targets in the tribal areas, military sources have confirmed. It was also used extensively in 2001 when thousands of US sorties took off to bomb Afghanistan a few weeks after the 9/11 attack in New York.As the relations between Islamabad and Washington have strained due to latter’s mounting interference and repeated breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty, the US Embassy spokesman, Alberto Rodriguez, confirmed that there are no US forces at the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) spokesperson, when approached about his version on the vacation of US forces and the deadly drones from Shamsi airfield, explained that the airfield does not belong to the PAF while the Pakistan Army sources confirmed that the airfield was free from the American forces.

No one was prepared to share with The News the dates or the time period when the Shamsi airfield was vacated by the Americans although the sources insist that it is a recent development.

Almost a year back, Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar spoke on the topic of the Shamsi Air Base confirming that it was being used by American forces for logistical purposes but, he added, the government was not satisfied with payments for the use of the facility.

Mukhtar, however, did not go into the nature of airfield’s use by the American forces. Prior to Shamsi, Pakistan had also got vacated from the US forces the Jacobabad Air Base and Pasni, which were used for its operations in Afghanistan.

The US has been using the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan province to station unmanned Predator drones that have been used to attack terrorist targets inside Pakistan’s tribal areas. Shamsi airfield, also called Bandari, is a small airfield and air station located about 200 miles southwest of Quetta near the town of Washki.

In 2009, media reports revealed that the airfield was used by the United States Central Intelligence Agency as a base for Predator drone attacks on so-called militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas but ended up killing several hundreds innocent people. On January 9, 2002 a US Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft reportedly crashed on approach to Shamsi. All seven crew members were killed in the crash.

In February 2009, The Times of London had announced that it had obtained Google images from 2006 which showed Predator aircraft parked outside a hangar at the end of the runway of the Shamsi airfield. Before that, a US Senator Dianne Feinstein said that the CIA was basing its drone aircraft in Pakistan. The US company Blackwater was also reported to have a presence there, hired by the government to arm the drones with missiles.

It was General Musharraf who had permitted the US to use its airbases not only to attack Afghanistan but also to launch drone attacks on the people of Pakistan in the name of the so-called war on terror. The present regime also continued with Musharraf’s policies and allowed much larger number of drone attacks than before.

WikiLeaks had revealed that Prime Minister Gilani had endorsed the drones’ policy. Gilani was reported to have even said to the US officials that his government would raise hue and cry over these drone attacks for the sake of countering the public pressure.

However, of late and after the Raymond Davis episode, things became extremely tense between Washington and Islamabad with the CIA insisting to carry on with its operations, including the drone attacks inside Pakistan, while the ISI is adamant to restricting the Americans from crossing the red-line.

Russian Forces Kill America’s Pet “Islamist,” Another Saudi Terrorist

[Russia eliminates one pre-fabricated synthetic terrorist and America’s Wahhabi friends dutifully supply another.  This latest kill replaced the highly romanticized Saudi actor known as “Emir Khattab, who was himself another CIA/Mossad creation.  (SEE:  If the Script Calls for Credible “Bad Guys,” Then Invent Some!).]

Russia Kills ‘Top al-Qaida Envoy’ in Chechnya 

Russian security forces killed in Chechnya a Saudi militant who was the top envoy of al-Qaida in the Northern Caucasus and responsible for deadly attacks, the national anti-terror committee said Friday.

The militant — known by the nom-de-guerre of Moganned — was one of three rebels killed in a clash with Russian security forces around the village of Serzhen-Yurt in Chechnya on Thursday afternoon, it said.

“One of the eliminated bandits has been identified as the main emissary of the international terrorist organization al-Qaida in the Northern Caucasus, a citizen of Saudi Arabia by the name of Moganned,” the committee said in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies.

It said that alongside Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov — Russia’s most wanted man who security forces have repeatedly failed to kill over the last years — Moganned was a leading figure among rebels in the region.

After waging two wars against separatists in Chechnya after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Kremlin is now battling an Islamist-tinged insurgency that has also spread to the neighboring regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia.

The committee said that according to intelligence from detained militants Moganned had fallen out with Umarov and become a rival to the elusive Chechen in the rebel underground.

“Almost all acts of terror using suicide bombers in the last years were prepared with his involvement,” it said.

Moscow over the last year has been rocked by an airport bombing that killed 37 in January 2011 and a twin suicide bombing that killed 40 on the Moscow metro in March 2010.

Both of these attacks have however been claimed by Umarov and Russian officials have also pointed to his involvement. But over the last weeks they have come under increasing pressure to explain their failure to eliminate Umarov.

The Russian authorities have repeatedly indicated that Umarov was killed in the Caucasus, only to be forced into embarrassing backtracking when it emerged that the militant had escaped.

Russia hoped it killed Umarov in an air strike in Ingushetia last month but officials later admitted it appeared he had slipped away again.

A man purporting to be Umarov then telephoned the North Caucasus service of Radio Free Europe, saying that he was “absolutely healthy” and threatened further attacks.

The statement also claimed links between Magonned and Georgia, with whom Russia fought a war in 2008 and still retains tense relations.

It said he had been hoping this summer to receive a batch of new fighters from over the border with Georgia and with their help win overall control of the insurgency in the Caucasus.

Russian news agencies said Magonned had been in the Northern Caucasus since 1999 when he arrived to reinforce a group based in Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge led by the notorious Arab militant Khattab, whom Russian forces killed in 2002.

By 2005, he had emerged as the main coordinator for handling money that was coming in from abroad to support the militant underground.(AFP)

Crossing the red line

Crossing the red line

Admiral Michael Mullen appends to his resolve not to let the bilateral equation collapse. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

After the failure of the ISI-CIA meeting in Washington, the Pak-US military top brass, too, has apparently not seen eye to eye on their diverging policies on terrorism. US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen flew in seemingly holding an olive branch and saying the two countries could not afford to allow their anti-terrorism alliance to unravel, but ended up saying things that denote just such an unravelling. Before going in for the important meetings in Rawalpindi, he stuck to the red line often read out to Pakistan: “It’s fairly well-known that the ISI has a longstanding relationship with the Haqqani Network. Haqqani is supporting, funding, training fighters that are killing Americans and killing coalition partners. And I have a sacred obligation to do all I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

But he also appended to this his resolve not to let the bilateral equation collapse when he said: “The ability to sustain a very difficult period as we have recently, between Pakistan and the United States, is in some ways indicative of the strength of the relationship. That doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges to continue to address, because we do.” This ‘very difficult’ recent period was characterised by a furore in Pakistan over the arrest of a CIA agent who had killed two Pakistanis in Lahore and the subsequent demand by Pakistan that the CIA cut back on its activities in Pakistan and put on record the functions of American officials coming in on diplomatic passports. The US admiral, in fact, publicly admitted this, saying that it was a “setback” to relations between the two countries.

Part of Pakistan’s response to Admiral Mullen’s remarks, as reported in the press, may not be considered very convincing except to the Pakistanis, 70 per cent of whom express dislike of the US and some even recommend cutting off relations with it. Officials say the Haqqani connection is not there and that “even if you are enemies, you have a relationship”. The upshot is that Pakistan is not willing to change its current policy on North Waziristan and may not be interested in explaining the real reason why it doesn’t want to send in the troops to remove the Haqqanis and other foreign terrorists from there, in that they could be used as bargaining chips when the Afghan chessboard is reconfigured, say, following an American troops pullout. However, sooner or later, the militants who have found a safe haven in North Waziristan will have to be attacked. The more credible part of the response, that the military is too thinly spread since it is operating in other militancy-prone areas, might actually be a more fruitful subject of discussion with the Americans.

The US military chief could not be drawn out on drone attacks, but that is the burning issue in Pakistan on which the military again reiterated its stance, that they are harmful for security and peace in the region. In fact, the military is now backed by all political parties, both in power and those in the opposition. The widening opposition to the drones, coming now also from the PPP and the ANP, has perhaps been crystallised by the virtual non-implementation of the Kerry-Lugar funds after the legislation was passed in 2008. At that time, the fact that it would give a hefty allocation for civilian sectors in Pakistan was much-hyped, but so far only a tenth of the funds have actually made their way into Pakistan.

If Admiral Mullen thinks that both sides will equally strive not to allow the alliance from unravelling, he will have to make sure that advantages from this alliance are equally shared. Also, the Americans have to do something to negate the impression among many Pakistanis that when things get tough for them in Afghanistan, they start passing the buck to Pakistan. For the latter, it is important to separate ‘incapacity’ from ‘strategy’ and come clean on why it is not taking on the terrorists on its soil.

“Patsy-Stan,” the Perilous Partnership With America

Turning on an “ally” Coolie kuta

It was Henry Kissinger in the mid-1970’s who said roughly, “It is more dangerous to be an ally of the USA, then its enemy.”

And so the Shah of Iran found out in 1978-79; Ditto Diem of South Vietnam; General Noriega of Panama 1989; Marcos of the Philippines; Saddam of Iraq in 1990/91; Gaddafi of Libya 2011; Mubarak of Egypt 2011; Field Marshal Ayub Khan of Pakistan from 1965–69; General Musharaf of Pakistan 2007–8; Mullah Omer of the Taliban 2001. Yes Mullah Omer of the Taliban and the USA were once great buddies, in fact the American’s installed him into power using the resources, manpower and logistics of the Pakistan military……..but despite all this Pakistani help, by pure definition mullah Omer was an American installed puppet.

America is a nation with competing Jewish interests (various elite groups). Being a puppet and a client state of such a nation imperils the long term interests of the ally of the USA, unless you are a powerful independent state, or you are at the other end of the spectrum where the client state is so small and insignificant…the American’s don’t really need to impose any real new policies (Kuwait, Kiribati). When the competing Jewish interests are imposed on a client nation as policy, this may severely strain the relationship between the two states because the new American policy being imposed is so bad (drone strikes in Pakistan’s case) that the client regime comes under strong domestic pressure, naturally.

The American reaction usually in the last scenario above, as the lone superpower is not to reflect, be circumspect and offer alternative solutions and policies…..but to change the puppet in charge who WILL carry out American policy in the client state.

Musharaf often referred to as Busharaf for obvious reasons, who conceded to the USA ON SECURITY within Pakistan, more than any other Pakistani leader (The Americans using the pressure tactics of the 9/11 false flag event, “We’ll bomb you back to the stone age”, courtesy of Richard Armitage), was still unsatisfactory for the American’s who envisaged a colonial Raj takeover of Pakistan, under the guise of GWoT, to secure its nukes for Israel, post 9/11. Thus Musharaf was pushed out using Benazir Bhutto’s death, civil society and a cooperative military… impose Zardari, Mr. 10% who was/is correctly believed by the USA to be totally amoral, capable of selling his own mother if the price is right. Such a man as Zardari was deemed more useful for America’s agenda in Pakistan which is…..creeping occupation of Pakistan using GWoT, and the securing of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, about which Raymond Davies may have been probing deep in the Punjab, as a pose to doing his work in the NWFP. Under Zardari drone strikes in Pakistan has increased dramatically.

Many in the Pakistan military, especially in the top brass love the USA….since many have under gone extensive training there. But as the examples of Third World dictators exiting show above, the American “love’ is rarely reciprocated or permanent.

In the below article Admiral Mullen as head of the American armed forces, makes vague suggestions that the Pakistani government is somehow tied to terrorism. Building up the image that Pakistan is terrorist hub number one.

This is utter nonsense…….technically and specifically if we are referring to the civilian government of Asif Zardari of the PPP. 1) The civilian government of Zardari was brought into power by the USA, toppling Musharaf, and thus the American’s must have had inside knowledge of Zardari’s true nature….and what really motivates Zardari…….$/money. 2) The real power in Pakistan, thanks to the USA, is the military…using the ISI…..and thus the only real “government” with any control of events in Pakistan is the military.

Now if Admiral Mullen is pointing a finger at the Pakistan military and their ties to terrorism then he should be more clear, for everybody’s sake, and say so. YES, if he were to say this then he would be correct………the 500,000 Jihadi’s in Pakistan now are ALL controlled by the Pakistan military, and have been groomed since the late 1970’s. They represent the proxy militia arm of the Pakistan military which carry out the Pakistan military’s policy both within Pakistan and outside……without having to use the regular forces (800,000) or the paramilitary (300,000)……fighting Shia minorities in the extreme North, or NWFP….fighting India in Kashmir ongoing (Kargil also)….fighting in Afghanistan to maintain Pakistan’s interests as per the “strategic depth” policy put forward by the American’s themselves.

Finally the 300 terrorist incidents inside Pakistan since 2001, with about 4000 civilian deaths have been carried out by the same Pakistan military controlled Jihadis……LeT, HuJI, Taliban, Swat Taliban, Asian Tigers and what ever other cock and bull names these Pakistani military controlled outfits call themselves for the week………..the objective being (i) To destabilize the civilian government since 2008 (ii) Promote the truly bizarre perverse calculation and logic within the Pakistan military that uncle SAM won’t let the Pakistan state fail, and will/must not allow it to fall into the hands of the Taliban………the oft repeated mantra…and thus must pour security resources into the hands of the brave loyal Pakistani military fighting an epic hand to hand battle against terrorists within GWoT, for the USA. (Coolie Kuta logic which is dangerous for Pakistan). (iii) Each terrorist incident carried out by the Pakistani military controlled Jihadis increases the positive profile of the Pakistan military in the eyes of the civilians, as national custodians of Pakistan’s defenses and security!!!!

In defense of the indefensible Pakistan military one has to say that many greasy Third World nations do run various “militia” groups in South America, Africa and Asia……often with full American backing, arming, training…….Guatemala….El Salvador…..Indonesia (Admiral Mullen is obviously behaving like the Pot calling the kettle black) BUT…..500,000 jihadis I have to say is too many for such a failed unstable strife ridden state as Pakistan.

But as with the above proverb, IT IS THE USA which fully advised, armed, trained, funded Pakistan’s Jihadi monsters from the 1970’s using the Pakistan military to fight the Soviet Union initially, and said nothing and did nothing to control this monster once the job was done in 1989.

The Taliban is the love child of the USA and the Pakistan military from 1994.

The fake phantom “al-Qaeda” is the love child of the USA/Israel and the Pakistan military……..a threat to nobody unless a threat needs to be created.

The revolution syndrome

The revolution syndrome 

—M Hassan Hakeem

Many analyse the present situation of the country as ripe for a ‘revolution’, seeing what has been going around in rest of the world. But comparing the
socio-political liberties of Pakistanis with those of Arabs and Africans leads one to conclude that the former have a greater proportion of independence in most, if not all, aspects 

The world community is
witnessing a new chapter of democratic history being written with protests emanating from North Africa and spreading to the entire Arab world. The uprisings are similar to the ones witnessed in the 1990s in demands but intense in magnitude and momentum. With no visible leadership on top of these excited demonstrators, these uprisings are like a headless body structure, senseless and leaderless, a cruise with no destination at all.
The ‘Jasmine Revolution of Tunisia’ speaks volumes about American puppetry: a stage show where actors change while the play remains the same. The public needed a legitimate mechanism to ventilate grievances. Now that long-term ally of the West, Ben Ali, has been ousted, the system still remains intact while the players have ostentatiously been changed; an old wine in a shiny new bottle. Egypt’s case is no different. Now being ruled by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, that has always been a close ally of the US, the public mood is still dark and discontent looms large.
Likewise, Libya has been the latest addition to this list. Colonel Gaddafi functioned internationally by pitching himself as a revolutionary anti-imperialist, immune to western manipulation. There have been a number of revolts and worse humanitarian crises in recent years (if the Rwandan genocides of the early 1990s and the Yemen uprising are anything to go by), where NATO, with the US at the helm, did nothing.
A number of reasons correspond to the military intervention by NATO. One of them is that Libya has more often than not been on the outskirts of the American domain of influence and the latter finds this window of opportunity providential to its imperial interests. Secondly, there is the issue of western interest in Libyan oil resources, a fact being kept under the wraps. Libya, a key supplier to Europe, appears to be a square deal for the West. However, the western media remains completely negligent in reporting that oil tankers have started arriving at the Marsa el-Hariga export terminal to load oil bound for Qatar. The Italian government’s formal recognition of oil rich town Benghazi-based Transitional National Council (TNC) ensures that the Libyan opposition will sell oil to Italy. This is a blatant attempt to protect British and western companies’ massive investments in Libya.
Thirdly, Washington’s reaction was slow and stilted in case of Tunisian and Egyptian uprising and its tight lipped statements were heavily criticised world over. Fourth, the emergence of Islamic Brotherhood in Middle Eastern uprisings has actually motivated the US to intervene proactively this time on to foster ties with these fundamentalist groups through military support and aid.
Africa and the Arab world equate chaos with ‘revolution’ and think of turmoil as synonymous with revolution. Democracy is a process, not an event, and protests are a part of any democratic process. An uprising must not be confused with revolution; revolution is the toppling of the existing political apparatus that leads to a complete change from one constitution to another (for instance, the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran).
What remains an unanswered question is why South Asia, Pakistan in particular, which presently has all the ingredients needed for a true revolution, still lags behind despite the fact that it has been rocked by scandals such as the murder of a governor in broad daylight who dared to criticise man-made blasphemy laws, or the release of an American, purportedly protected by diplomatic immunity, after he had gunned down two Pakistani men in plain view of a crowd. Each of these incidents had the potential in them to spark off a tide of protest and precipitate an uprising, yet they lacked the leadership that would see it through. Do we even have those calibrated visionaries when the leftists stand divided?
Many analyse the present situation of the country as ripe for a ‘revolution’, seeing what has been going around in rest of the world. But comparing the socio-political liberties of Pakistanis with those of Arabs and Africans leads one to conclude that the former have a greater proportion of independence in most, if not all, aspects. Even though our media does not represent all classes of society, the limited segments it does represent do get their grievances ventilated. The western media has always been intense in its reaction to these uprisings and has always coined nomenclature that is fervent and sharp. Unfortunately, our local media instinctively follows what the western media propagates.
Long march, shutter down strikes, etc are all forms of protests indigenous to Pakistan, whereas, the gathering of mobs in large numbers was new to this generation of Middle Eastern and North African countries, regions that had always been suppressed by the autocrats. Public processions and head on collisions with government forces were just as unprecedented in their world of repression.
Another reason why the West cannot afford a revolution in Pakistan is the approaching Afghan endgame. The cost of interests and gains is high for the West. Any twitch internal to Pakistan will have a ripple effect as far as the Oval Office. The convolutions of poverty, psychological estrangements, governance issues, corruption allegations, social injustice and power deficits can never be overlooked, but at the same time, can never be catalysts for a revolution. Be it the killing of two Pakistani boys in broad daylight by a foreigner or Salmaan Taseer’s heroic killing, these correspond to post-traumatic stress symptoms of the ‘War on Terror’ proposed by Uncle Sam.
As put by Richard Nixon in 1980 look-ahead book The Real War, “Many of those who romanticise revolution prefer to view terrorism merely as one of the ills of modern society, or as an outraged response to intolerable social conditions. But ‘senseless’ terrorism is often not as senseless as it may seem … it is a calculated instrument of national policy.”

State Dept. Calls Subversive Stable of Activist Geeks, “an underground railroad of trust”

U.S. Funds Help Democracy Activists Evade Internet Crackdowns 

By Nicole Gaouette and Brendan Greeley

April 20 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. State Department is set to announce $28 million in grants to help Internet activists, particularly in countries where the governments restrict e-mail and social networks such as those offered by Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Google Inc.

The program, which has drawn Republican criticism and budget cuts, has produced software that is spreading widely in Iran and Syria, helping pro-democracy activists avoid detection, said Dan Baer, deputy assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently described web restrictions by more than 40 governments as a “disturbing trend.” Governments can’t escape the impact of today’s social networks and the U.S. is committed to helping people worldwide connect, she said in an April 12 speech.

“We will stand with those who exercise their fundamental freedoms of expression and assembly in a peaceful way, whether in person, in print, or in pixels on the Internet,” she said.

Governments have curtailed Internet freedom in two ways.

First, they’ve blocked foreign news and social networking sites. Facebook, for example, is frequently unavailable in China and Vietnam. Activists use circumvention software to route around these blocks.

Second, governments track, harass and arrest activists who meet online. Tunisia, before President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s fall from power on Jan. 14, spoofed Facebook and Gmail login pages to steal passwords. Egypt, before President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, arrested opposition bloggers.

Competing Approaches

Republicans in Congress said the U.S. should focus on helping activists get around government firewalls, such as China’s. The State Department has taken a broader approach, making training and protecting activists “perhaps the most critical part” of its mission, Michael Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said in a March 19 interview.

“There’s been one paradigm, that’s the Chinese firewall,” Posner said. “But there’s another piece of this, which has I think become more and more evident in the months since the Tunisian demonstrations began,” he said. “Governments are also effectively trying to attack people who are activists using the Internet.”

The State Department has built up a stable of technically able activists to help democracy movements in places including China and Iran. They have created firewall circumvention software and trained more than 5,000 people to avoid detection while using services such as San Francisco-based Twitter, Baer said.

‘Underground Railroad’

Training takes place through “an underground railroad of trust,” said Baer. “We’re opportunistic about going to places where people are, or taking them to places that are safe.”

By summer, Baer said, the department will have awarded grants of more than $50 million.

About $22 million already spent includes all funding from fiscal years 2008 and 2009 and some funding for fiscal year 2010. The $28 million in new grants, which the agency is soon expected to advise Congress about, is from fiscal year 2010.

One result has been creation of “panic button” technology for mobile phones, which activists can use to erase their address books if they are arrested, to avoid incriminating colleagues. Other programs help keep web sites running when governments attack them.

Posner said department officials are approaching funding of these projects “like venture capitalists,” doling out small amounts to a wide variety of companies in a competitive process through May, 2011.

Republican Criticism

Republicans including Arizona Senator Jon Kyl and Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have criticized the administration for not focusing exclusively on firewall circumvention.

Baer argues the broader approach is needed. “If the objective is to empower people on the ground, you have to keep them out of jail. That means they have to be able to circumvent any blocks, get out their message, communicate with people and have the self-defense training,” said Baer.

To only teach people how to circumvent firewalls “would be tantamount to painting a target on activists’ backs,” said Courtney Austrian, director of the State Department’s office of policy planning and public diplomacy.

Lugar also released a report Feb. 15 that faulted Clinton’s agency for not spending the $30 million Congress allocated last year more quickly.

Budget Cut

Last week, the Republican-controlled House cut the agency’s budget for Internet freedom by one third to $20 million this year, part of the plan to cut the federal deficit in fiscal 2011.

“Twelve months elapsed before the State Department moved to disburse some $30 million in funds specifically appropriated for Internet freedom promotion, including the development of Internet censorship circumvention technology. Such technology should be given a much higher priority by the U.S. government,” Lugar wrote.

The cuts mean “we have less money than we had hoped to fund valuable programs,” said Posner in an e-mail. “But there is a great and growing interest in promoting Internet freedom and $20 million is no small amount of money these days. We’re going to use that money wisely to help embattled democracy and human rights activists. And we hope we’ll get more funds for this important work in 2012.”

Stable of Geeks

The delay in using the funding came because it took time to build up the stable of “geeks at the intersection of human rights and technology,” Baer said. Two and a half years ago, grant advertisements drew two applications. The latest advertisement drew 60, Baer said in a telephone interview.

“Money does matter in this space,” says Brett Solomon, executive director of Access Now, a private organization that supports Internet freedom. His organization does not accept money from governments because it can carry a stigma.

The wisdom of accepting government funds depends on where they are employed. “In Syria,” said Solomon, “how they frame the opposition as lackeys, a falsely generated movement, can actually put people at risk.” In Burma, by contrast, the regime does not rely on an anti-American narrative.

Republicans have pushed for more money for Internet circumvention to go to the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees government media including Voice of America.

Last year the BBG funneled the $1.5 million it received for circumvention technology to the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, a group that provides anti-censorship software and is associated with the Falun Gong, a Buddhist spiritual sect banned in China.

Outside News Blocked

Posner described the work of the BBG and the State Department as “different, but complementary.” The BBG has a legitimate interest in tools that allow traffic to reach the Voice of America site and other Western news sources, he said.

A group of Internet activists, lawyers and academics, including senior researchers from MIT and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, recently wrote to Congress to urge them not to redirect money to the BBG. The BBG’s “overemphasis” on firewall circumvention efforts doesn’t meet the needs of on-the-ground activists, the letter said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nicole Gaouette in Washington Brendan Greeley in Washington

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva