Russia/Georgia Heat Up Over Abkhazia

Russia has accused Georgia of conducting special operations on the territory of Abkhazia.

Russia accuses Georgia of conducting special operations in Abkhazia

Russian diplomat said he is hoping that Georgia will change its behavior.

Russia accuses Georgia of conducting special operations in Abkhazia Today at 19:25 | Interfax-Ukraine

Odesa, June 4 (Interfax) –

“The Georgian Interior Ministry’s and the Georgian special services zonder-commands are beginning to get into Abkhazia, are kidnapping people and conducting special operations,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin told Interfax on Saturday.

“In view of these facts, it is just absurd to talk about trust measures and transparency,” he said.

At the same time, the Russian diplomat said he is hoping that Georgia will change its behavior.

“I am hoping our Georgian partners will realize the counter-productivity and danger of such statements, measures, and, most importantly, the fuelling of some public psychosis in their country and in the region, sooner or later,” Karasin said.


Georgia says 2 Abkhazians planned terror blast

Georgia says 2 Abkhazians planned terror blastGeorgian officials say they have arrested two residents of Abkhazia, alleging they were preparing a terrorist bombing for Russia.

 Associated Press

Georgian officials say they have arrested two residents of Abkhazia, alleging they were preparing a terrorist bombing for Russia.

Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said the man and woman were seized on Thursday carrying explosives to be set off in a market.

He added that the suspects said they were acting on the orders of Russian special services.

Russia’s Federal Security Service declined immediate comment Friday. But the ITAR-Tass news agency cited Abkhazian police official Vadim Gvindzhia as saying the arrest was “a spectacle staged by Georgian special services.”

Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke free of Georgian control in the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia.

Florida judge allows lawsuit against Chiquita to move forward

Florida judge allows lawsuit against Chiquita to move forward

ADRIAAN ALSEMA

Colombia news - Chiquita

A Federal judge in Florida said Friday that a lawsuit filed against banana company Chiquita by 4,000 family members of Colombians killed by paramilitaries is allowed to move forward.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra ruled against the request for dismissal filed by Chiquita that had argued it was a victim of extortion by the paramilitary group AUC and had nothing to do with the crimes committed by the paramilitary AUC that received millions of dollars of the U.S. banana company.

The family members can now move forward with claims for damages against the company for torture, war crimes and crimes against humanity. The judge did grant Chiquita that claims for damages related to terrorism were dropped.

“While the court allowed some claims to move forward, it is important to understand that at this stage of the proceedings, the court is required by law to treat plaintiffs’ outrageous and false allegations as if they were true. Plaintiffs now have the burden of proving these allegations,” Chiquita spokesman Ed Loyd said in a statement.

“Chiquita will vigorously defend itself against these false allegations and meritless claims,” he said.

The mass lawsuit had already been announced by attorney Paul Wolf in March, who is representing over 2,000 of the cases.

“A company that pays a terrorist organization that kills thousands of people should get the capital punishment of civil liability and be put out of business by punitive damages,” attorney Terry Collingsworth told AP earlier this week.

Chiquita has long denied responsibility for the murders, claiming that the company was itself a victim of extortion by both the FARC and then the right-wing paramilitaries. However, the banana company was fined $25 million as part of a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, but never compensated the victims of the violence.

Turkmenistan Rethinking Its Economic Outreach

Associated Press

Turkmenistan offers to boost gas exports to Russia

Turkmenistan says it is willing to substantially increase the volume of natural gas exports to its traditional customer, Russia.
Oil and gas minister Bayramgeldy Nedirov said Tuesday that the Central Asian nation can boost gas exports. Russia bought 10 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas last year, significantly less than a few years ago.

Ties between the two former Soviet nations cooled significantly in 2009 after a gas pipeline explosion in Turkmenistan that the two governments blamed on one another. Prior to that, Moscow had bought 40 billion cubic meters of Turkmen gas annually. Deliveries resumed several months after the blast, but in much smaller quantities.

While China quickly stepped in to buy the Turkmen fuel, the dip in exports appears to have notably dented Turkmenistan’s revenues.

Turkmenistan may phase out foreign construction companies

News Central Asia

Ashgabat, 4 June 2011 (nCa) — Turkmenistan has decided to establish and encourage its own construction companies in each province, a move that may eventually pave the way for phasing out the foreign contractors from the construction sector.

The announcement was made Friday by President Berdymuhamedov during an expanded session of the cabinet of ministers.

It appears that the decision to promote its own construction companies may partly be connected to the recent media reports that some 24 Turkish companies were preparing to sue Turkmenistan for payment of outstanding construction bills worth about US $ one billion.

Several Turkish media outlets reported that the working visit of President Abdullah Gul to Turkmenistan that took place on 29 May 2011 was partly related to the exchange of notes with his Turkmen counterpart for clearance of dues.

In the cabinet meeting, Berdymuhamedov mentioned that more than 600 Turkish companies were working in Turkmenistan with total cost of contracts [so far] about US $ 24 billion.

He refuted the reports about non payment of bills. “Even during the global financial crisis we have paid regularly and in due time for the work done by our Turkish partners.”

He added, “. . . these funds, in some way, helped our Turkish partners to overcome economic difficulties.”

The earlier part of his statement seemed to shift the paradigm. When talking of the total value of contracts awarded to the Turkish companies and consequently the payments made, Berdymuhamedov said in a carefully worded statement, “Some of these sizeable funds, equaling the national budget of some countries, were directed for creation of many new jobs in Turkey and for establishing new enterprises and manufacturing facilities in Turkey, which is necessary for Turkmenistan.”

He added that the cost of contracts awarded last year alone to the Turkish companies was US $ 4.5 billion.

Near the end of the cabinet meeting, the Turkmen president returned to the topic of construction and issued instructions to the deputy prime ministers for construction and economy to bolster the indigenous construction industry.

Citing some projects done by the local builders, the president said, “Most of the buildings constructed by local companies are not worse than the projects done by the foreign contractors.”

He said that new construction companies should be established in each province and they should be encouraged through allotment of land plots and allocation of loans.

“The new construction companies will contribute to the implementation of the national development plan up to 2020 and speed up the construction of social-economic facilities. New jobs will be crated,” said Berdymuhamedov.

He underlined, “The local construction industry has all the potential and possibilities to compete with the foreign companies.”

Afghan Taliban deny involvement in Dir attacks

[The battle against the Pakistani outpost was conducted from Afghanistan, with the first wave of 200 wearing Afghan Army and Police uniforms, in an obvious attempt to implicate the Afghan Taliban.  Time and again, Mullah Omar has disassociated his movement from the terrorist TTP movement in Pakistan, but the military leadership running the TTP wants to paint everyone with the same red brush.  The intent is to move the Afghan war into Pakistan.  Everything so far suggests that the Pakistani Army will do whatever is necessary to make that come true.]

Afghan Taliban deny involvement in Dir attacks

PESHAWAR: Disowning the attacks in Upper Dir district, the Afghan Taliban on Friday said they had nothing to do with acts of sabotage in Pakistan. “We are facing a big enemy in Afghanistan and fighting its forces. We are active neither in Pakistan nor any other part of the world. Our operations are restricted to Afghanistan,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, told the Afghan Islamic Press by phone from an undisclosed location.

“Not a single Afghan Talib took part in the Dir attacks. These are false and baseless allegations levelled against us. What happened in Dir is a local problem and not related to us,” he argued.

Bloody clashes between Pakistani security forces and armed militants have been continuing for the past three days in the border area of Upper Dir, which shares the borders with Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Around 27 security men and several civilians along with some militants were killed in the incident. There were some reports that the attackers were Afghan Taliban who crossed into Pakistan from the bordering Kunar province.

NATO Wants to Free Africa From the Africans

NATO Wants to Free Africa From the Africans

— Glen Ford

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

Gulf Arabs, the European Union, heads of state in Washington, Paris and London, the war chiefs of NATO – everyone was consulted on the assault against Libya, except Africans, whose latest peace plan was rejected out of hand. In the end, the opinions of the so-called Libyan “rebels” won’t count, either. “These rebels lost their legitimacy the second they decided to become the ground troops for a neocolonial invasion of North Africa.” As underlings, they’ll just take orders.

 

NATO: Free Africa from the Africans!

A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford

The rebels have chosen to become imperialism’s mascots, waiting like pitiful little Gunga Dins for the British and French to arrive with attack helicopters to burn and kill their countrymen.”

As far as the United States and Europe are concerned, Africans have nothing to say about what happens in Africa. South African President Jacob Zuma made asecond trip to Libya this week, on behalf of the African Union, seeking a diplomatic end to NATO’s war against Mouammar Gaddafi’s government. Just as with a previous African Union peace keeping mission, back in early April, Col. Gaddafi agreed to the peace plan. And just as before, the so-called rebels and their American and European bosses refused even to consider a cease fire. As has been obvious from the beginning of this “humanitarian” farce, the Great White Fathers of Europe and the “Wall Street mascot” from the United States, as Obama has been called, will be satisfied with nothing less than regime change in Libya – and to Hell with what Africans think!

The Euro-Americans will soon prove just as contemptuous of their erstwhile North African Arab allies, based in Benghazi, who claim to be leading a “revolution” against Gaddafi. But these rebels lost their legitimacy the second they decided to become the ground troops for a neocolonial invasion of North Africa. Revolutionaries fight the Power. The gang from Benghazi are mere pawns of imperialism and have no credibility whatsoever as revolutionaries. This is an imperialist war, fought for imperial objectives. The rebels have chosen to become imperialism’s mascots, waiting like pitiful little Gunga Dins for the British and French to arrive with attack helicopters to burn and kill their countrymen.

The gang from Benghazi are mere pawns of imperialism and have no credibility whatsoever as revolutionaries.”

NATO orders their Libyan minions around like children. NATO recently “issued instructions” that the rebels not move beyond certain points in the desert, so as not to enter the killing fields that the rich white fathers – plus Obama – are preparing to incinerate Libyan government soldiers. Naturally, the rebels will do exactly as they are told, since this is not their revolution. Rather, Libya is the front line of the European and American counter-revolution. The chain of command reaches to Paris, London and Washington. Benghazi has reverted to the colonial outpost that it was when the Italians ruled – only now, in the 21stcentury, all of the Europeans plus the Americans get to lord over the Libyans, who grin and skin while thanking the colonizers for coming back to save Africa from the Africans.

And so it makes perfect sense that a peace proposal from the president of South Africa, Black Africa’s most powerful and wealthy country, acting on behalf of the organization that includes every nation on the continent, counts for less than nothing in the imperial scheme of things. The West encourages South African President Jacob Zuma to help bring chaotic Black countries into line, but Zuma and the African Union are not authorized to interfere with imperial wars on the continent. That’s “white folks business.”

When the Western attack helicopters arrive, the Benghazi-based rebels will cheer, as if they won something. The Gunga Dins should carefully study those helicopters and their awesome firepower, because those guns will one day likely be turned against them. The U.S. and Europe have no intention of allowing Libyans to rule Libya. And after all, why should the imperialists hand over all that oil to a bunch of local flunkies who couldn’t even fight their own war. For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted atGlen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.


Boner Challenges Obama’s Bypass of Congress To Bomb Libya

House scolds Obama on Libya

The House voted Friday to rebuke President Obama for continuing to maintain a U.S. role in NATO operations in Libya without the express consent of Congress and directed the administration to provide detailed information about the cost and objectives of the U.S. role in the conflict.

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER

The New York Times

House Speaker John Boehner, of Ohio

 

WASHINGTON — The House voted Friday to rebuke President Obama for continuing to maintain a U.S. role in NATO operations in Libya without the express consent of Congress and directed the administration to provide detailed information about the cost and objectives of the U.S. role in the conflict.

The resolution, which passed 268-145, was offered by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to siphon off swelling Republican support for a measure sponsored by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, which called for a withdrawal of the U.S. military from the air and naval operations in and around Libya within 15 days.

The resolution criticizing the president passed with the support of 45 Democrats and all but 10 of the Republicans who were present. The measure from Kucinich, one of the most liberal members of the House, failed by 148-265, with 87 Republicans voting in favor.

As a legislative matter, Boehner’s resolution has no practical effect. A decision by the Supreme Court more than two decades ago suggested that Congress is not empowered to enforce a resolution or other directive that, unlike a bill, the president has no chance to veto.

But as a political matter, the resolution is an unusually blunt confrontation with a president during a military conflict, and it underscores a bipartisan distaste among members of Congress for attempts to bypass their authority when waging war. Overall, roughly two-thirds of the House members who voted Friday backed one or two measures disapproving of the president’s actions. (Kucinich voted for both.)

Boehner’s resolution demands that the administration provide, within 14 days, detailed information about the nature, cost and objectives of the U.S. contribution to the NATO operation, as well as an explanation of why the administration did not come to Congress for permission to continue to take part in the mission. The language suggests the House may consider funding requests for the Libya operation in a harsh light if not satisfied with the response to its requests for information.

The issue is unlikely to be taken up by the Senate, which seems to be taking the opposite tack. Last month, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., both military veterans, introduced a resolution to express support for the Libyan mission.

The roughly two-hour debate Friday concerning both resolutions provided some interesting alliances among far-left and hard-right lawmakers, and a bit of a role reversal in the discussion of executive power and the relevance of Libya to America’s vital interests.

“It seems the running shoe is on the other foot,” said Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., noting that Republicans had accused Democrats of “cutting and running” on military operations in the past. Rep. James Moran, D-Va., chided Republicans, saying “to tie the president’s hands is inconsistent with the legacy of this body, which is to do what is necessary to protect American interests.”

In contrast, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., who voted for both measures, said: “We’re not going to go to war without the people of this country supporting it.”

Obama ordered airstrikes in March after a U.N. resolution and limited consultation with Congress. The Constitution says Congress has the power to declare war, and the 1973 War Powers Resolution requires the president to obtain congressional authorization within 60 days of the start of military operations, a deadline that passed last month.

The United States is providing NATO with intelligence, logistical support and armed drones in what is largely a bombing campaign against Libyan government forces.

Material from The Associated Press is included in this report.

Anti-Americanism in Pakistan May Be Their Best Hope for Survival

Anti-Americanism in Pakistan

Dr Raja Muhammad Khan

United States has never been a favourite super power for the people of Pakistan ever. However, over the years, there has been an increase in anti-Americanism among the Pakistani masses. The recent wave of the anti-Americanism, which indeed is a collective voice of all Pakistanis, started with the arrest and thereafter release of CIA agent Raymond Davis, who in the broad day light killed two Pakistanis. The incident of May 2, 2011, and attack on PNS Mehran, destroying the surveillance aircrafts (P-3C Orion) have further fuelled this hatred. Indeed, this public hatred for US in Pakistan is a natural outcome, from the years of exploitation by the former. With US discriminatory acts, any nation having integrity and respect could have done that and US should not feel bad about that, rather needs to adopt corrective measures.

During her five hours visit of Pakistan, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, also showed her annoyance over this ever growing anti-Americanism in Pakistani society. This fact indeed, frustrated her more than anything else. She advised Pakistani people that, “anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories will not make their problems disappear.” Rather, she suggested that, the recipe of the Pakistani problems is in toeing the American line, rather anti-Americanism. However, she gave a clear message that, “America cannot and should not solve Pakistan’s problems,” rather Pakistanis should solve their problems themselves. This in fact is a pragmatic advice for all Pakistanis, but, Pakistani feels, would US leave us alone to solve our problems by ourselves? After years of exploitation, Secretary of State still feels that, Pak-US relationship is at a critical point. In a statement, she emphatically said that, “we have reached a turning point.” While describing such a situation, she expressed that, US would like that Pakistan should take concrete measures against terrorism in the coming days to the satisfaction of US, as if Pakistan has done nothing as yet.

Secretary Clinton believes that, after receiving financial assistance, there should not be anti-American sentiments among the people of Pakistan, as if US has purchased the loyalties of Pakistanis. However, US is cognizant of the fact that there is no public recognition of this American support, as its effects has never reached to people of Pakistan. A common Pakistani lacked the basic civic facilities, educational and health facilities. Then, where the money indeed has gone, should be better known to US. As far as defence assistance is concern, if US alliance with Pakistan and its military hardware could not save the disintegration of Pakistan in 1971, and now US is after the Pakistani nukes, then how Pakistani people should be motivated to love America. The promised $1.5 billion per year financial assistance under KLL by US has yet not reached to the masses.

The real concern is that, there exist an inexplicable relationship between Pakistani elite group and United States, ever since 1950s, but, the people of Pakistan never supported that. The sole reason for this opposition was; this relationship was to benefit United States, rather serving the Pakistani interests. Besides, this relationship made Pakistan biased; a country under the Capitalist bloc headed by U.S. This westernized relationship isolated Pakistan from rest of the world. Soviet Union and its allies started seeing Pakistan with suspicions and did not miss a chance to harm Pakistani interest once there was some global or regional effort to resolve the Kashmir issue. Practically, except, China, Pakistan did not have guaranteed bi-lateral relationship with any other country. While, throughout in our bilateral relationship, U.S has been betraying Pakistan on one or the other pretext, it stopped Pakistani assistance (mainly military) at crucial moments of our history like; 1965 and 1971, Indo-Pak wars. It lured in Pakistan and used its facilities including penetration into its security establishment during Soviet invasion in Afghanistan and imposed a set of sanctions upon gaining its strategic objective of disintegrating the Soviet Union.

While leaving Pakistan at lurch, with thousands of former Jihadists in its territory and on the Afghan soil, US left the region in haste to celebrate its sole power status and opening new battle fronts like Iraq to sustain its economy and dispose of its left over explosive in the desert of Middle East (Operation Desert Storm), subsequently to charge its cost from Arab monarchs. US economic and military sanctions against Pakistan continued throughout 1990s, with imposition of even tougher measures, sequel to the 1998 nuclear blasts. After this changed scenario in South Asia, US decided to look for an alternative in the form of India, later accepting it as the de-facto nuclear power status, while expressing apprehensions about the safety and security of Pakistani strategic arsenals. Such acts of this sole super power could not induce Pakistani people to love United Sates. However, the peak of this hatred reached once, US drone attacks became a routine on Pakistani soil especially, in FATA. Earlier in 2001, subsequent to 9/11, U.S was once again able to force Pakistan to support her in its invasion in Afghanistan.

Indeed, Pakistan is facing a situation of a never ending US demand. So much so it has violated the Pakistani sovereignty many a time and killed thousands innocents through its uncalled forth drone attacks. The situation reached to the point, where its navy seals have unilaterally raided in Abbotabad to kill OBL, facts regarding presence of OBL there are yet to be ascertained. Circumstantial evidences brings the scholars to the conclusions that it was a drama staged to take revenge from Pakistan for the arrest of Raymond Davis and a face saving for US to start drawdown its token forces in July this, again to befool US masses, back home. This was height of the US violation of Pakistani sovereignty and degrading Pakistani defence establishment and ISI, who over the years have known the US real objective inside Pakistan, thus started putting up resistance to those. As per the initial investigation of PNS Mehran Base attack, some of weapons and equipment and especially the wireless sets, are found having American and NATO origin, making the event quite suspicious. How did, these were found with the attackers of the Mehran base is a serious concern for the people of Pakistan. This might have been done to reduce the surveillance of Pakistani Navy, thus allowing free excess to foreign forces to internally destabilize Karachi and coastal areas of Balochistan, thus, restraining the operationalization of Gwadar port, apart from supporting the sub-nationalists in the province.

With these only few evidences and some very current happenings, the lady Secretary of State should not have expected love for American in the hearts of Pakistani masses. Rather anti-American sentiments are natural among the people. If U.S is really serious to be loved by Pakistani masses, than; it should start respecting Pakistan’s sovereignty. It should rebuild the infrastructures lost during the militancy of last one decade. It should help people in the provision of employment through ROZ, as earlier promised. Over and above it should stop supporting anti-Pakistan forces locally as well as globally. It should re-establish relationship with Pakistan based on the mutual trust and respect.

—The writer is an analyst of international relations.

Mafia of Generals and Their Militants

Military operation in North Waziristan? 

—Farhat Taj

The very fact that the operation has been announced prior to its commencement indicates that the generals are not serious in eliminating the Taliban

Conflicting reports are being seen in the media these days regarding a military operation against militants based in North Waziristan, under US pressure. One report even informs that the authorities have quietly asked aid agencies in Pakistan to be prepared for an influx of thousands of IDPs from North Waziristan in the event of an operation. Then the media reported on June 1, 2011 that no decision regarding a military operation in North Waziristan had been taken by the military and the government of Pakistan.

North Waziristan is a stronghold of al Qaeda-linked militants from all over the world. One Mehsud tribesman described the ethnic diversity of the terrorists in these words: “They (the terrorists) are people with blue, green, brown and black eyes.” From Waziristan they plan attacks all over the world, on anti-Taliban forces inside Pakistan and the security forces of the country. The militants have overpowered the tribes. The Pakistani state has abandoned the area to global terror networks, including the pro-military establishment militant groups, the Haqqani network and the Gul Bahadur Taliban. The area has been a target of most US drone attacks. There has to be a targeted military operation in the area to release the tribes from terror, restore the writ of the state and to eliminate the bases of global terrorism.

Before the operation, a strategic shift has come in the security paradigm of Pakistan. The strategic depth that seeks to impose a pro-Pakistan government in Afghanistan through jihadi adventures has to be given up. There is nothing in the national scene that suggests so. Parliament has surrendered to the generals in the aftermath of bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad by the US and its joint resolution is no more than, in the words of human rights activist Asma Jahangir, “a toilet paper” that fails to demonstrate control over the security establishment that has landed the country in the jihadi mess. The PPP-led government has no political will to assert itself and, in the words of journalist Jugnu Mohsin, is “laying like a dead body” in front of the generals, who are running the security show like a mafia. The generals’ obsession with strategic depth has not disappeared. The pro-military establishment journalists, who dominate the Pakistani media, are spreading conspiracy theories implicating the US, India and Israel in acts of terrorism in Pakistan.

A military operation in such a context will be just like the previous operations in FATA — useless, devastating for civilians and the Taliban safely relocated elsewhere. In previous operations in FATA, no leading Taliban commanders were killed or their networks disrupted but thousands of innocent civilians and soldiers of the army and FC were killed, properties worth millions of dollars destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people displaced from the region. The generals seem to accept all this as ‘collateral damage’ in pursuit of state ‘interest’ that only they have a right to define, not the ‘bloody civilians’.

In 2007, the Waziri tribesmen in South Waziristan clashed with the Uzbek terrorists in the area. Pakistan Army weapons were freely used against the Uzbeks. And yet, instead of killing all the Uzbeks with the help of the Waziri tribe, they were allowed by the military to flee to North Waziristan. In other words, the Uzbek terrorists were pushed into the North Waziristan-based Haqqani network so that their terror energies could be directed towards the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The very fact that the operation has been announced prior to its commencement indicates that the generals are not serious in eliminating the Taliban. Quoting “highly placed sources”, news reports even disclosed the strategy of the military operation, i.e. the Pakistan air force would start the operation through aerial bombardment to ‘soften’ the militant targets, and would then be followed by a ground offensive. Is this a signal to the North Waziristan-based Taliban and al Qaeda to relocate elsewhere before the operation? The previous operations in FATA were announced before their commencement and, consequently, the terrorists relocated to areas outside the ambit of the operations.

People in FATA wonder why the security forces of Pakistan cannot launch operations unannounced against the Taliban. Why is it so important to announce the operations before they are launched? The Pakistan Army launched sudden and unannounced assaults on Indian positions in Kargil. Even the Indians were taken aback. In the initial phase of the war, the Indians suffered great casualties. Why can similar unannounced and prompt assaults not be carried out against the Taliban in FATA by the security forces of Pakistan? It is thus no wonder that the tribesmen doubt the intentions of the authorities to combat the Taliban.

Negotiations under the auspices of the ISI were already underway in 2010 with the tribal leaders of Kurram to relocate the Haqqani Taliban to the Kurram Agency. The Haqqani Taliban, part of al Qaeda’s global terror syndicate and close to the Pakistani generals, might have been relocated to Kurram or elsewhere. Leading Haqqani family members live in the big urban centres of Pakistan. They cannot do so without the consent of the military authorities.

Siraj Haqqani, the operational commander of the Haqqani network, is one of the terrorist leaders wanted by the US and the country has recently asked Pakistan to provide intelligence about his whereabouts to capture or kill him. Will he be handed over to the Americans? Will Hafiz Gul Bahadur, another North Waziristan-based Taliban leader close to the military establishment, be arrested or killed? Only time will tell. Any future military operation will be fake unless all the Taliban are assaulted without ‘good’ or ‘bad’ distinction, including the Haqqani Taliban.

Pakistan’s jihadi proxies for strategic depth in Afghanistan have become part and parcel of the global terror syndicate led by Arab terrorists. They are part of the terror threat to global peace and are killers of the FATA people as well as other Pakistanis. Pakistan’s allies in the war on terror should reject any military operation in North Waziristan as elsewhere in FATA before the generals give up their idea of strategic depth in Afghanistan via jihadi proxies. In the meanwhile, the US drone attacks must continue on terrorist positions in Waziristan.

The writer is a PhD Research Fellow with the University of Oslo and currently writing a book, Taliban and Anti-Taliban

Big Ammo Shortage for 9mm, Popular Calibers

WARS TRIGGER AMMO SHORTAGE

Some weigh alternatives to meet firearms qualification

https://i0.wp.com/thumbsnap.com/s/iNj4cCEA.jpg

Bob Vosseller | Staff Writer

The U.S. military’s need for weapons and ammunition to fight two wars in the Middle East has created a shortage for local law enforcement agencies across the country.

Many police departments in New Jersey are trying to keep their budget in line and are attempting to find solutions to overcome a problem, which often results in their having to pay higher costs for ammunition, local officials said.

During a Lacey township budget workshop meeting last month, Police Chief William Nally, who was defending his department’s budget, line item by line item, noted in his argument to the Township Commitee that “there is an extreme shortage of ammunition and we have seen the price of our ammunition double.’’

The department spends $25,000 on ammunition to meet firearms qualification requirements, Nally said.

Nally added he expects costs to rise from 15 to 35 percent for some types of ammunition. He said practice ammunition for handguns costs $200 a case (of 1,000 rounds) and it was going up to $275. In addition, Nally said rifle practice rounds cost $700 a case and he expects the cost to go up to $950 in the near future.

Nally, who serves as vice president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, also said the increase in cost is based on the shortage in supply and that he has heard similar concerns by his fellow police chiefs throughout the state.

Mitchell C. Sklar, the association’s executive director, said the shortage of ammunition has yet to become a safety issue for the public, though law enforcement agencies throughout the country are faced with rising costs for ammunition at a time when many police departments also face layoffs and try to maintain tight budgets.

When Sklar put out a call for feedback on the topic, he received a number of responses from officers eager to share examples of how the problem had affected their departments.

“In the last two years, we have been seeing issues with obtaining ammunition,” said James A. Broderick, the police chief for Hazlet. “We were advised that the factories that manufacture the ammunition are using the raw materials to produce ammunition that the military requires for use. With the current military actions the need for 9 millimeter and ammunition for the M-4 assault rifle is a priority.’’

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Bob Vosseller: 732-557-5623;Rvosseller@njpressmedia.comTwitter.com/Rvosseller

Need More Proof?

Obama says no to embassy move in Israel, follows practice of Clinton and Bush

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Following the practice of his predecessors, President Barack Obama has invoked U.S. national security interests to notify Congress he will not move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The notification is necessary under a 1995 law that authorized the embassy’s relocation but left the decision to presidents. Bill Clinton and George Bush submitted similar notifications to Congress. Under the law, such declarations must be made every six months.

Obama also issued them during the first two years of his administration.

The location of the embassy is sensitive in Mideast peace negotiations because both Israel and Palestinians claim it as their capital

While Clinton and Bush had indicated a commitment to moving the embassy at some point, Obama’s notification does not contain that language.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Israel’s Dagan backs Saudi peace plan

[Obama’s remarks have set-up a conflict within the Zionist camp that represents the only true “existential threat” to the shitty little illegal colony.  We are witnessing a ticking time-bomb, counting-down to the biggest upheaval in the troubled history of the human race.  Something of “Biblical proportions” is on the way, with victory for no one in sight.]

Israel’s Dagan backs Saudi peace plan

 

JERUSALEM, June 3 (UPI) — Former Israeli intelligence chief Meir Dagan‘s announced support for a peace plan built on the Saudi peace initiative has drawn mixed reaction within Israel.

Dagan said Wednesday in a speech at Tel Aviv University Israel must accept the 2002 Arab proposal that calls for normalizing relations between all Arab states and Israel in exchange for Israel’s complete withdrawal from all areas it occupied after the 1967 Six Day War and Arabs’ right of return. He also counseled against an Israeli attack on Iran, Haaretz reported Friday.

The speech appeared to position Dagan on the political left, in opposition to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who he warned is leading the country into dangerous territory.

It drew a positive response from Yaakov Peri, a former head of the Israeli security agency Shin Bet, who said Dagan’s comments show a clear understanding of Israel’s situation, Ynetnews reported.

Dagan “left office after many years of service. You have to listen to him very carefully. His words are very calculated. Set in stone. He can back everything up,” Ynetnews quoted Peri, who signed on to last month’s Israeli peace initiative, as saying. “We are heading for complex times. Taking initiative means retaining control and power.”

“We need creativity,” he said, “we need to foresee the future.”

However, Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland, a former head of Israel’s National Security Council, responded by saying the Saudi plan is “irrelevant” and “the least pro-Israeli” proposal around.

“This initiative clearly states that if and when Israel reaches an agreement with the Palestinians and the Syrians, and returns to 1967 lines, then the Arab world would acknowledge Israel,” Eiland said. “It’s ridiculous. Even without the initiative, if you’ve reached an agreement with the Palestinians and Syrians, your enemies, then Bahrain, Qatar and Morocco won’t acknowledge us later? This entire thing seems irrelevant.”

BBC Claims Predator Strike Kills Ilyas Kashmiri–How Convenient.

[Much like the alleged bin Laden raid, the timing of this alleged event is highly suspicious.  Are we to read it as proof of new CIA/ISI cooperation?  Or perhaps the tying-up of loose ends exposed during the Headley trial?  Or would this be revenge for the Mehran naval base attack?  Whatever the case, there has been no real confirmation, just like the last time Kashmiri was killed in 2009.]

US strike ‘kills’ key Pakistan militant Ilyas Kashmiri

File photo of Ilyas Kashmiri from 2001
Ilyas Kashmiri has long been considered a key militant figure in Pakistan
One of Pakistan’s most senior militants has been killed in a US drone strike in South Waziristan, reports say.

Locals said Ilyas Kashmiri was among nine people killed in the overnight strike on the village of Laman.

They said he and his men had only recently arrived in the area. His death has not been confirmed by officials.

Ilyas Kashmiri heads a group that specialises in co-ordinated Mumbai-style strikes on military targets, and is a key commander in al-Qaeda.

He is so senior within al-Qaeda that his name had been mentioned as a possible successor to Osama Bin Laden, the BBC’s Orla Guerin in Islamabad says.

His death would be welcomed by the White House, she adds. The US blames him for organising multiple attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India – and has offered its maximum reward for a most-wanted target, $5m (£3.04m).

Audacious attack

Locals and witnesses in South Waziristan told the BBC’s Urdu Service that Kashmiri had been killed in the US attack on a militant hideout west of Wana, the main town in the region, on Friday.

A government official in the frontier city of Peshawar said he had received information of the militant’s death but could not confirm it, our correspondent says. There has been no word from militant groups.

In September 2009, Pakistani intelligence officials wrongly declared Ilyas Kashmiri had been killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan.

Ilyas Kashmiri has been leading a group called the 313 brigade, which is reported to be a unit of the banned Pakistani organisation Harkatul Jihad al-Islami.

He is widely believed to have been the mastermind behind an audacious attack on the Mehran naval airbase in Karachi last month, in which six well-organised militants managed to hold off Pakistan’s equivalent of the US Navy Seals for 15 hours.

Pick Your Poison

Pick Your Poison

 

The combination of weather and economic calamities is a double whammy that should disturb anyone who does not succumb to political propaganda and fights delusional thinking.


by Joel S. Hirschhorn
(libertarian)
Friday, June 3, 2011

One of the hardest truths to accept is that for most sources of pain hitting humans there seems to be nothing effective for government to do. Nowadays, those of us who do not gobble various distractions but work to stay connected to reality see two dreadful conditions. Nature seems mad as hell. People are dying or suffering from earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, extreme heat, huge snow storms and more. While some idiots keep trying to deny the reality of global climate change, those of us who have lived a long time see firsthand that killer weather events are more prevalent than ever.

While you may be fighting your paranoia about being victimized by foul weather the other ugly reality already devastating the lives of so many people is a dismal set of economic conditions. Contrary to all the usual lies by politicians about the economic recovery, a mountain of data shows non-delusional people that only the wealthy have escaped economic pain.

According to a recent Pew Charitable Trusts poll, 55 percent of Americans still rate the national economy as poor, and just 47 percent believe their kids will have a higher standard of living than they enjoy. If more people paid closer attention to the facts, those percentages should be more like 80 or 90 percent.

The US has recovered just 1.8 million of the nearly 9 million jobs lost in the downturn versus an average 5.3 million job gains in the same period of the 1970s and 1980s recoveries. The number of people with jobs has barely changed since June 2009 up just 0.4 percent. Many economists say the turnaround shows no signs of generating the 300,000 to 400,000 monthly payroll additions needed to rapidly lower the unemployment rate. There are probably about 50 million Americans who are unemployed, underemployed or no longer trying to get decent jobs, or who are close relatives of them. The rise of the official unemployment rate in May, 2011 (the real level is twice as high) and a paltry new number of jobs just rubbed salt in the wound. There simply is no basis for believing that many millions of new, good jobs will be created for many years.

Add the latest news that the housing market has turned even worse again, leading to the distressful conclusion that a double-dip recession has hit housing, which portends even wider economic pain. Single family home prices dropped in March, 2011 to their lowest level since April 2009. Millions of home foreclosures will be followed by even more. Of all homes with mortgages 23 percent are worth less than what is owed.

And dont forget that there are enormous numbers of Americans fighting hunger even though 68 percent of Americans are obese or overweight. Forty four million Americans are getting food stamps.

Meanwhile higher prices for key necessities show that inflation is eating away at quality of life and living standards. Gas prices climbed 52 percent over the past two years, according to the Department of Energy, and are only now decreasing a little as many Americans have cut back on their driving. Food costs are also rising just like health care.

Nothing the government has done worked for ordinary Americans. Many billions of dollars spent on reviving the economy have mainly helped the business sector and the rich. Congress and President Obama have shown themselves to be utterly useless. They mostly serve corporate interests.

Both the economic and climate futures look bleak, because they are bleak.

Pick your poison. We are living in a time when natural and economic conditions are out of control and frightening. But wait, there is some good news!

According to a new report by Boston Consulting Group, the number of millionaire households in the world grew by 12.2 percent in 2010, to 12.5 million. Here is how millionaires are defined: Those with $1 million or more in investible assets, excluding homes, luxury goods and ownership in ones own company. Can you relate? Even better news: The US still leads the world in millionaires, with 5.2 million millionaire households.

An even bigger truth is this: The worlds millionaires represent just 0.9 percent of the global population but control 39 percent of the worlds wealth, up from 37 percent in 2009. Even more truth about economic inequality: Those with $5 million or more, who represent only 0.1 percent of the population, control 22 percent of the worlds wealth, up from 20 percent in 2009. The rich are really getting richer.

If you face reality, remember that Obama promised back in February 2009 that his $830 billion stimulus plan would unleash “a new wave of innovation, activity and construction” and “ignite spending by businesses and consumers.” Did not happen.

And in June 2010, Obama announced that the recovery was “well under way” and that it “is getting stronger by the day.” More poisonous propaganda.

A couple months later, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote a New York Times op-ed headlined “Welcome to the Recovery.” More self-serving garbage.

In reality, two years after the recession officially ended there are few places beyond the stock market and corporate profits that have shown improvement, but even now the stock market is hurting. The rich and powerful have not suffered. But over the past decade, real private-sector wage growth has been a terrible 4 percent, just below the 5 percent increase from 1929 to 1939 during the Great Depression.

The Republicans who grabbed so much power in the last midterm elections show no capacity whatsoever to fix anything. That Sarah Palin just as Donald Trump can grab so much media attention demonstrates how decrepit our nation is.

What is to be learned? No member of Congress or the President deserves to be reelected. Neither does any other Republican or Democrat. Like extreme weather calamities, economic evils will continue to poison our lives. Those who deny climate change and economic injustice are either stupid or delusional. Waiting for divine intervention makes as much sense as anything, except that all the awful stuff happening, if Gods will, suggests such hope is folly. Pass the poison. Or wait for a tornado, home loss, or financial ruin to hit. More bad news is coming. But have you ever seen pictures of tornadoes destroying McMansions?