Man Claiming To Be Taliban Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid Denies Responsibility for Rabbani Murder

[SEE:  Zabihullah Mujahid Claimed Responsibility for Killing Peace/Reconciliation Talks]

Taliban deny assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani

KHAAMA PRESS | Afghan Online


Taliban group in Afghanistan following an statement denied being involved in assassination of former Afghan president and Head of Afghan High Peace Council Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban group in the statement said, the Taliban group is not aware of the assassination of former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani.

High ranking Afghan officials including Afghan president Hamid Karzai condemned the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani and regarded the assassination to the enemies of Afghanistan and Afghan people.

No other group has so far claimed responsibility behind the assassination of former Afghan president and Head of Afghan High Peace Council, Burhanuddin.

Obama U.N. speech transcript

Obama U.N. speech transcript: Full text (as delivered)

New York, New York

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: It is a great honor for me to be here today. I would like to talk to you about a subject that is at the heart of the United Nations — the pursuit of peace in an imperfect world.

War and conflict have been with us since the beginning of civilizations. But in the first part of the 20th century, the advance of modern weaponry led to death on a staggering scale. It was this killing that compelled the founders of this body to build an institution that was focused not just on ending one war, but on averting others; a union of sovereign states that would seek to prevent conflict, while also addressing its causes.

No American did more to pursue this objective than President Franklin Roosevelt. He knew that a victory in war was not enough. As he said at one of the very first meetings on the founding of the United Nations, “We have got to make, not merely peace, but a peace that will last.”

The men and women who built this institution understood that peace is more than just the absence of war. A lasting peace — for nations and for individuals — depends on a sense of justice and opportunity, of dignity and freedom. It depends on struggle and sacrifice, on compromise, and on a sense of common humanity.

One delegate to the San Francisco Conference that led to the creation of the United Nations put it well: “Many people,” she said, “have talked as if all that has to be done to get peace was to say loudly and frequently that we loved peace and we hated war. Now we have learned that no matter how much we love peace and hate war, we cannot avoid having war brought upon us if there are convulsions in other parts of the world.”

The fact is peace is hard. But our people demand it. Over nearly seven decades, even as the United Nations helped avert a third world war, we still live in a world scarred by conflict and plagued by poverty. Even as we proclaim our love for peace and our hatred of war, there are still convulsions in our world that endanger us all.

I took office at a time of two wars for the United States. Moreover, the violent extremists who drew us into war in the first place — Osama bin Laden, and his al Qaeda organization — remained at large. Today, we’ve set a new direction.

At the end of this year, America’s military operation in Iraq will be over. We will have a normal relationship with a sovereign nation that is a member of the community of nations. That equal partnership will be strengthened by our support for Iraq — for its government and for its security forces, for its people and for their aspirations.

As we end the war in Iraq, the United States and our coalition partners have begun a transition in Afghanistan. Between now and 2014, an increasingly capable Afghan government and security forces will step forward to take responsibility for the future of their country. As they do, we are drawing down our own forces, while building an enduring partnership with the Afghan people.

So let there be no doubt: The tide of war is receding. When I took office, roughly 180,000 Americans were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year, that number will be cut in half, and it will continue to decline. This is critical for the sovereignty of Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s also critical to the strength of the United States as we build our nation at home.

Moreover, we are poised to end these wars from a position of strength. Ten years ago, there was an open wound and twisted steel, a broken heart in the center of this city. Today, as a new tower is rising at Ground Zero, it symbolizes New York’s renewal, even as al Qaeda is under more pressure than ever before. Its leadership has been degraded. And Osama bin Laden, a man who murdered thousands of people from dozens of countries, will never endanger the peace of the world again.

So, yes, this has been a difficult decade. But today, we stand at a crossroads of history with the chance to move decisively in the direction of peace. To do so, we must return to the wisdom of those who created this institution. The United Nations’ Founding Charter calls upon us, “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.” And Article 1 of this General Assembly’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights reminds us that, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and in rights.” Those bedrock beliefs — in the responsibility of states, and the rights of men and women — must be our guide.

And in that effort, we have reason to hope. This year has been a time of extraordinary transformation. More nations have stepped forward to maintain international peace and security. And more individuals are claiming their universal right to live in freedom and dignity.

Think about it: One year ago, when we met here in New York, the prospect of a successful referendum in South Sudan was in doubt. But the international community overcame old divisions to support the agreement that had been negotiated to give South Sudan self-determination. And last summer, as a new flag went up in Juba, former soldiers laid down their arms, men and women wept with joy, and children finally knew the promise of looking to a future that they will shape.

One year ago, the people of Côte D’Ivoire approached a landmark election. And when the incumbent lost, and refused to respect the results, the world refused to look the other way. U.N. peacekeepers were harassed, but they did not leave their posts. The Security Council, led by the United States and Nigeria and France, came together to support the will of the people. And Côte D’Ivoire is now governed by the man who was elected to lead.

One year ago, the hopes of the people of Tunisia were suppressed. But they chose the dignity of peaceful protest over the rule of an iron fist. A vendor lit a spark that took his own life, but he ignited a movement. In a face of a crackdown, students spelled out the word, “freedom.” The balance of fear shifted from the ruler to those that he ruled. And now the people of Tunisia are preparing for elections that will move them one step closer to the democracy that they deserve.

One year ago, Egypt had known one President for nearly 30 years. But for 18 days, the eyes of the world were glued to Tahrir Square, where Egyptians from all walks of life — men and women, young and old, Muslim and Christian — demanded their universal rights. We saw in those protesters the moral force of non-violence that has lit the world from Delhi to Warsaw, from Selma to South Africa — and we knew that change had come to Egypt and to the Arab world.

One year ago, the people of Libya were ruled by the world’s longest-serving dictator. But faced with bullets and bombs and a dictator who threatened to hunt them down like rats, they showed relentless bravery. We will never forget the words of the Libyan who stood up in those early days of the revolution and said, “Our words are free now.” It’s a feeling you can’t explain. Day after day, in the face of bullets and bombs, the Libyan people refused to give back that freedom. And when they were threatened by the kind of mass atrocity that often went unchallenged in the last century, the United Nations lived up to its charter. The Security Council authorized all necessary measures to prevent a massacre. The Arab League called for this effort; Arab nations joined a NATO-led coalition that halted Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks.

In the months that followed, the will of the coalition proved unbreakable, and the will of the Libyan people could not be denied. Forty-two years of tyranny was ended in six months. From Tripoli to Misurata to Benghazi — today, Libya is free. Yesterday, the leaders of a new Libya took their rightful place beside us, and this week, the United States is reopening our embassy in Tripoli.

This is how the international community is supposed to work — nations standing together for the sake of peace and security, and individuals claiming their rights. Now, all of us have a responsibility to support the new Libya — the new Libyan government as they confront the challenge of turning this moment of promise into a just and lasting peace for all Libyans.

So this has been a remarkable year. The Qaddafi regime is over. Gbagbo, Ben Ali, Mubarak are no longer in power. Osama bin Laden is gone, and the idea that change could only come through violence has been buried with him. Something is happening in our world. The way things have been is not the way that they will be. The humiliating grip of corruption and tyranny is being pried open. Dictators are on notice. Technology is putting power into the hands of the people. The youth are delivering a powerful rebuke to dictatorship, and rejecting the lie that some races, some peoples, some religions, some ethnicities do not desire democracy. The promise written down on paper — “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” — is closer at hand.

But let us remember: Peace is hard. Peace is hard. Progress can be reversed. Prosperity comes slowly. Societies can split apart. The measure of our success must be whether people can live in sustained freedom, dignity, and security. And the United Nations and its member states must do their part to support those basic aspirations. And we have more work to do.

In Iran, we’ve seen a government that refuses to recognize the rights of its own people. As we meet here today, men and women and children are being tortured, detained and murdered by the Syrian regime. Thousands have been killed, many during the holy time of Ramadan. Thousands more have poured across Syria’s borders. The Syrian people have shown dignity and courage in their pursuit of justice — protesting peacefully, standing silently in the streets, dying for the same values that this institution is supposed to stand for. And the question for us is clear: Will we stand with the Syrian people, or with their oppressors?

Already, the United States has imposed strong sanctions on Syria’s leaders. We supported a transfer of power that is responsive to the Syrian people. And many of our allies have joined in this effort. But for the sake of Syria — and the peace and security of the world — we must speak with one voice. There’s no excuse for inaction. Now is the time for the United Nations Security Council to sanction the Syrian regime, and to stand with the Syrian people.

Throughout the region, we will have to respond to the calls for change. In Yemen, men, women and children gather by the thousands in towns and city squares every day with the hope that their determination and spilled blood will prevail over a corrupt system. America supports those aspirations. We must work with Yemen’s neighbors and our partners around the world to seek a path that allows for a peaceful transition of power from President Saleh, and a movement to free and fair elections as soon as possible.

In Bahrain, steps have been taken toward reform and accountability. We’re pleased with that, but more is required. America is a close friend of Bahrain, and we will continue to call on the government and the main opposition bloc — the Wifaq — to pursue a meaningful dialogue that brings peaceful change that is responsive to the people. We believe the patriotism that binds Bahrainis together must be more powerful than the sectarian forces that would tear them apart. It will be hard, but it is possible.

We believe that each nation must chart its own course to fulfill the aspirations of its people, and America does not expect to agree with every party or person who expresses themselves politically. But we will always stand up for the universal rights that were embraced by this Assembly. Those rights depend on elections that are free and fair; on governance that is transparent and accountable; respect for the rights of women and minorities; justice that is equal and fair. That is what our people deserve. Those are the elements of peace that can last.

Moreover, the United States will continue to support those nations that transition to democracy — with greater trade and investment — so that freedom is followed by opportunity. We will pursue a deeper engagement with governments, but also with civil society — students and entrepreneurs, political parties and the press. We have banned those who abuse human rights from traveling to our country. And we’ve sanctioned those who trample on human rights abroad. And we will always serve as a voice for those who’ve been silenced.

Now, I know, particularly this week, that for many in this hall, there’s one issue that stands as a test for these principles and a test for American foreign policy, and that is the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

One year ago, I stood at this podium and I called for an independent Palestine. I believed then, and I believe now, that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own. But what I also said is that a genuine peace can only be realized between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves. One year later, despite extensive efforts by America and others, the parties have not bridged their differences. Faced with this stalemate, I put forward a new basis for negotiations in May of this year. That basis is clear. It’s well known to all of us here. Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.

Now, I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress. I assure you, so am I. But the question isn’t the goal that we seek — the question is how do we reach that goal. And I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations — if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us –- who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem.

Ultimately, peace depends upon compromise among people who must live together long after our speeches are over, long after our votes have been tallied. That’s the lesson of Northern Ireland, where ancient antagonists bridged their differences. That’s the lesson of Sudan, where a negotiated settlement led to an independent state. And that is and will be the path to a Palestinian state — negotiations between the parties.

We seek a future where Palestinians live in a sovereign state of their own, with no limit to what they can achieve. There’s no question that the Palestinians have seen that vision delayed for too long. It is precisely because we believe so strongly in the aspirations of the Palestinian people that America has invested so much time and so much effort in the building of a Palestinian state, and the negotiations that can deliver a Palestinian state.

But understand this as well: America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring. And so we believe that any lasting peace must acknowledge the very real security concerns that Israel faces every single day.

Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel’s citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel’s children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them. Israel, a small country of less than eight million people, look out at a world where leaders of much larger nations threaten to wipe it off of the map. The Jewish people carry the burden of centuries of exile and persecution, and fresh memories of knowing that six million people were killed simply because of who they are. Those are facts. They cannot be denied.

The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-state solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine.

That is the truth — each side has legitimate aspirations — and that’s part of what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other’s shoes; each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging. That’s what we should be promoting.

This body — founded, as it was, out of the ashes of war and genocide, dedicated, as it is, to the dignity of every single person — must recognize the reality that is lived by both the Palestinians and the Israelis. The measure of our actions must always be whether they advance the right of Israeli and Palestinian children to live lives of peace and security and dignity and opportunity. And we will only succeed in that effort if we can encourage the parties to sit down, to listen to each other, and to understand each other’s hopes and each other’s fears. That is the project to which America is committed. There are no shortcuts. And that is what the United Nations should be focused on in the weeks and months to come.

Now, even as we confront these challenges of conflict and revolution, we must also recognize — we must also remind ourselves — that peace is not just the absence of war. True peace depends on creating the opportunity that makes life worth living. And to do that, we must confront the common enemies of humanity: nuclear weapons and poverty, ignorance and disease. These forces corrode the possibility of lasting peace and together we’re called upon to confront them.

To lift the specter of mass destruction, we must come together to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Over the last two years, we’ve begun to walk down that path. Since our Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, nearly 50 nations have taken steps to secure nuclear materials from terrorists and smugglers. Next March, a summit in Seoul will advance our efforts to lock down all of them. The New START Treaty between the United States and Russia will cut our deployed arsenals to the lowest level in half a century, and our nations are pursuing talks on how to achieve even deeper reductions. America will continue to work for a ban on the testing of nuclear weapons and the production of fissile material needed to make them.

And so we have begun to move in the right direction. And the United States is committed to meeting our obligations. But even as we meet our obligations, we’ve strengthened the treaties and institutions that help stop the spread of these weapons. And to do so, we must continue to hold accountable those nations that flout them.

The Iranian government cannot demonstrate that its program is peaceful. It has not met its obligations and it rejects offers that would provide it with peaceful nuclear power. North Korea has yet to take concrete steps towards abandoning its weapons and continues belligerent action against the South. There’s a future of greater opportunity for the people of these nations if their governments meet their international obligations. But if they continue down a path that is outside international law, they must be met with greater pressure and isolation. That is what our commitment to peace and security demands.

To bring prosperity to our people, we must promote the growth that creates opportunity. In this effort, let us not forget that we’ve made enormous progress over the last several decades. Closed societies gave way to open markets. Innovation and entrepreneurship has transformed the way we live and the things that we do. Emerging economies from Asia to the Americas have lifted hundreds of millions of people from poverty. It’s an extraordinary achievement. And yet, three years ago, we were confronted with the worst financial crisis in eight decades. And that crisis proved a fact that has become clearer with each passing year — our fates are interconnected. In a global economy, nations will rise, or fall, together.

And today, we confront the challenges that have followed on the heels of that crisis. Around the world recovery is still fragile. Markets remain volatile. Too many people are out of work. Too many others are struggling just to get by. We acted together to avert a depression in 2009. We must take urgent and coordinated action once more. Here in the United States, I’ve announced a plan to put Americans back to work and jumpstart our economy, at the same time as I’m committed to substantially reducing our deficits over time.

We stand with our European allies as they reshape their institutions and address their own fiscal challenges. For other countries, leaders face a different challenge as they shift their economy towards more self-reliance, boosting domestic demand while slowing inflation. So we will work with emerging economies that have rebounded strongly, so that rising standards of living create new markets that promote global growth. That’s what our commitment to prosperity demands.

To combat the poverty that punishes our children, we must act on the belief that freedom from want is a basic human right. The United States has made it a focus of our engagement abroad to help people to feed themselves. And today, as drought and conflict have brought famine to the Horn of Africa, our conscience calls on us to act. Together, we must continue to provide assistance, and support organizations that can reach those in need. And together, we must insist on unrestricted humanitarian access so that we can save the lives of thousands of men and women and children. Our common humanity is at stake. Let us show that the life of a child in Somalia is as precious as any other. That is what our commitment to our fellow human beings demand.

To stop disease that spreads across borders, we must strengthen our system of public health. We will continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We will focus on the health of mothers and of children. And we must come together to prevent, and detect, and fight every kind of biological danger — whether it’s a pandemic like H1N1, or a terrorist threat, or a treatable disease.

This week, America signed an agreement with the World Health Organization to affirm our commitment to meet this challenge. And today, I urge all nations to join us in meeting the HWO’s [sic] goal of making sure all nations have core capacities to address public health emergencies in place by 2012. That is what our commitment to the health of our people demands.

To preserve our planet, we must not put off action that climate change demands. We have to tap the power of science to save those resources that are scarce. And together, we must continue our work to build on the progress made in Copenhagen and Cancun, so that all the major economies here today follow through on the commitments that were made. Together, we must work to transform the energy that powers our economies, and support others as they move down that path. That is what our commitment to the next generation demands.

And to make sure our societies reach their potential, we must allow our citizens to reach theirs. No country can afford the corruption that plagues the world like a cancer. Together, we must harness the power of open societies and open economies. That’s why we’ve partnered with countries from across the globe to launch a new partnership on open government that helps ensure accountability and helps to empower citizens. No country should deny people their rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but also no country should deny people their rights because of who they love, which is why we must stand up for the rights of gays and lesbians everywhere.

And no country can realize its potential if half its population cannot reach theirs. This week, the United States signed a new Declaration on Women’s Participation. Next year, we should each announce the steps we are taking to break down the economic and political barriers that stand in the way of women and girls. This is what our commitment to human progress demands.

I know there’s no straight line to that progress, no single path to success. We come from different cultures, and carry with us different histories. But let us never forget that even as we gather here as heads of different governments, we represent citizens who share the same basic aspirations — to live with dignity and freedom; to get an education and pursue opportunity; to love our families, and love and worship our God; to live in the kind of peace that makes life worth living.

It is the nature of our imperfect world that we are forced to learn these lessons over and over again. Conflict and repression will endure so long as some people refuse to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Yet that is precisely why we have built institutions like this — to bind our fates together, to help us recognize ourselves in each other — because those who came before us believed that peace is preferable to war, and freedom is preferable to suppression, and prosperity is preferable to poverty. That’s the message that comes not from capitals, but from citizens, from our people.

And when the cornerstone of this very building was put in place, President Truman came here to New York and said, “The United Nations is essentially an expression of the moral nature of man’s aspirations.” The moral nature of man’s aspirations. As we live in a world that is changing at a breathtaking pace, that’s a lesson that we must never forget.

Peace is hard, but we know that it is possible. So, together, let us be resolved to see that it is defined by our hopes and not by our fears. Together, let us make peace, but a peace, most importantly, that will last.

Thank you very much.

Obama UN speech sparks angry Palestinian protests

Obama UN speech sparks angry Palestinian protests

Palestinians burn signs against US President Barack Obama during a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah . (AFP Photo/Abbas Momani)

Palestinians burn signs against US President Barack Obama during a protest in the West Bank city of Ramallah . (AFP Photo/Abbas Momani)

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: Angry Palestinians on Thursday protested in the streets of Ramallah and Gaza after a UN speech by US President Barack Obama which was seen as unashamedly pro-Israel.

More than 1,000 Palestinians carrying signs denouncing Obama gathered outside the West Bank headquarters of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas before marching into the city centre shouting: “It’s shameful for America to support the occupation.”

And in Gaza City, around 300 women held a protest outside the UN headquarters, shouting anti-Obama slogans as Hamas security forces watched them without intervening.

Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly, in which he reiterated his opposition to the Palestinian bid for UN membership, and empathised with Israel’s struggle in a hostile region without mentioning the occupation or Jewish settlements, has sparked almost unanimous condemnation across the Palestinian territories.

“America is the head of the snake,” bellowed demonstrators in Ramallah as they held up signs deriding Obama for his address, in which he warned the Palestinians there would be “no shortcuts” to peace.

“Shame on those who pretend to be democratic,” read one placard as the throng marched to the city centre, where on Wednesday more than 15,000 people had gathered for a festival of support for the UN membership campaign.

The Palestinian workers union said it would call for rallies outside US embassies across the Arab world on Friday.

Commentators, politicians and ordinary people alike said Obama’s speech, which came just two days before Abbas formally requests UN membership for a Palestinian state, proved Washington was incapable of serving as an impartial broker in matters related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Obama’s speech reflects the American bias towards the Israeli occupation and it proves that the continuing Arab and Palestinian bet on the Americans is wrong,” said Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Gaza’s Hamas rulers.

“We call for the adoption of a national Palestinian strategy based on self reliance and the Arab and Muslim world in light of this American and Israeli arrogance.”

Commentators in the three main Palestinian newspapers all took the same angry and disappointed tone over the US president’s remarks.

“Obama’s speech… was a disappointment to those who had been waiting for something new from him, provoking extreme outrage and anger,” wrote Talal Okal in the Al-Ayyam daily, accusing the US leader of “deepening the bias towards Israel’s narrative, positions and policies”.

“What he offered in his speech goes so far as to show compliance with, and full acceptance of, the policies and narrative and desires of Israel,” he said.

“He put the Jews and Israelis in the position of victims who are surrounded by hatred and wars against them by Arab countries, but this speech of his contained nothing of the suffering of the Palestinians.”

Al-Ayyam newspaper carried a cartoon showing Obama delivering his address with a speech bubble in the shape of a Star of David coming from his mouth.

Writing in Al-Quds, the biggest-selling Palestinian newspaper, Arab Israeli MP Ahmed Tibi said Obama’s speech had tried to cosy up to the wave of uprisings sweeping the region while completely ignoring the plight of the Palestinians.

“In the same speech in which Obama praised the uprisings and revolutions by the Arab people against tyranny and oppression, he declined to even mention Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land,” he wrote.

Similar complaints could be heard on the Palestinian street.

“When Obama came into the White House as president, his positions and aspirations gave us hope,” said Mohammed Zeidan, a school director in Ramallah, who accused the US president of being “fair to every Arab country except the Palestinian people.”

“But Obama showed the whole world yesterday that America cannot be anywhere but by Israel’s side always and he is no different from the American heads of state who came before him.”

Kyrgyzstan To Stop Russian TV Broadcasts Until October Presidential Election

In Kyrgyzstan, from September 25 to stop the broadcasting of Russian TV channels


On September 25 in Kyrgyzstan will be stopped rebroadcasting Russian First TV Channel and “Russia”. This measure is being undertaken by operators of cable television and JSC “Kyrgyztelecom” during the campaign to meet the requirements of the law “On elections of President of the KR and Jogorku Kenesh [parliament] KR”.

Paragraph 16 of Article 22 of the Act, in effect, imposes on the operators responsible for censorship, but companies are not repeaters, they do not know the criteria for censorship, and they see a way out only in the complete cessation of broadcasting foreign TV channels, clarified on September 22 at press conference in Bishkek, the head of the Public Foundation “Civil Initiative on Internet Policy” Tattoo Mambetalieva.

Director of Cable Television “Al TV” Vasily Goncharov underlined that the law does not consider the specifics of the cable TV. “First of all, we do not have equipment for recording and editing programs. Secondly, we have no qualified staff to monitor content. Third, according to the contracts with foreign TV channels, we have no right to make changes in the television signals. We do not know what and how we cut out, so we are cheaper and easier to disable the broadcasting of foreign channels, “- said Goncharov.

Answering the question “Fergana”, indicating that the CEC, which is still posted in the September 12th Parliament inquiry to clarify how to run rule of law, press conference participants reported that the response is still awaited.

Telecom operators not exclude the likelihood of claims against foreign media, since treaties have the status of the international relay, and the requirements of the new law, in effect, forced to violate international law. Repeaters sent to the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court petition that the provision of the law unconstitutional.

“First, it violates the rights of citizens. Second, it can be seen as censorship. Perhaps for these elections, we do not have time to answer the petition, but the public should know that we do not accept this position, “- said the head of the Association of operators of Kyrgyzstan Jyrgalbek Kasymov.

While it is known that from September 25 to completely stop retransmission of the two main Russian TV channels, the question for the rest of the foreign media still being decided as a question about the license fee recalculation.

Recall the presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan set for October 30, 2011.

EA Ivashchenko

The international news agency “Fergana”

Russia dominates ‘great game’ with fresh moves

Ali Kayalar
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Moscow is gaining more influence through new deals to provide natural gas for Europe and might become the sole supplier in the continent soon, experts say.
Russia, which has constructed pipelines, and knows how to play the game, Necdet Pamir says.
Russia, which has constructed pipelines, and knows how to play the game, Necdet Pamir says.

Russia’s Gazprom has taken another step forward in a fierce competition to carry natural gas to the European Union after a hot week of deals, share transfers and critical decisions.

The EU’s decision last week to “directly” negotiate a treaty with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan was a move that weakened Turkey’s position in both buying and transferring natural gas to Europe, according to Necdet Pamir, a board member at the World Energy Council Turkish National Committee.

Turkey has already signed “unbeneficial” accords regarding Nabucco, the languishing project to carry Caspian gas to Europe, according to Pamir. “Nabucco is an important project for both Europe and Turkey in terms of supply security,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that current contracts are not in Turkey’s favor.

“The state-owned Turkish Pipeline Company, or BOTAŞ, correctly insisted on better transfer prices and the right to sell the gas in a bid to turn the country into an energy hub,” Pamir said. “Unfortunately, the government could not achieve these benefits.”

Azerbaijani Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said last week that the remaining conflicts between Turkey and his country about a supply deal are over costs.

Stronger Moscow

Russia meanwhile reacted harshly to the EU’s decision to negotiate directly with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. “Outside attempts to meddle in affairs in the Caspian … could very seriously complicate the situation in this region [and] negatively affect the ongoing five-party negotiations on the Caspian Sea’s legal status,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said on its website.

In another development, Russian behemoth Gazprom strengthened Moscow’s hand by adding France’s EDF and Germany’s Wintershall to its South Stream, and launching the Nord Stream. Russia announced that the first unit of Nord Stream, which will transfer gas to Germany via the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine, will be finished by the end of this year. The project is expected to cut gas carried over Ukraine by 50 percent.

An energy market professional close to the issue said that with Nord Stream, which is a more concrete project than either South Stream or Nabucco, Russia is nearing its goal to become almost the sole natural gas supplier for Europe.

“Domestic production in Europe is falling since the resource in Norway is old,” the source told the Daily News, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Europe will have to meet 74 percent of its natural gas [needs] from Russia by 2030.”

Regarding possible suppliers of gas for the Nabucco pipeline, Pamir said Iranian resources can scarcely meet domestic demand of 137 billion cubic meters annually. “Iraq, another possible supplier, is facing political problems,” Pamir added.

Commenting on other handicaps of Nabucco, Pamir said the project’s initial cost was calculated at 4.6 million euros. “Today it is estimated at more than 12 billion euros,” he said.

“Russia has constructed pipelines and knows how to play this game,” Pamir said. “The U.S. is rising with shale gas, but Russia has the potential to become the main actor once again.”

Erdogan says Cyprus drilling is madness

Erdogan says Cyprus drilling is madness

By George Psyllides
Tayyip Erdogan said Cyprus’ drilling for gas in the mediterranean is madness

TURKEY signed an agreement delineating its maritime boundaries with the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state yesterday, paving the way for Turkey to start its own offshore oil exploration in the eastern Mediterranean.

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan announced the deal with the Turkish Cypriots, reported by the Turkish press as a “continental shelf agreement”.

“We are protesting Greek Cypriots’ irresponsible, provocative and unilateral step,” Erdogan was quoted saying.

The hawkish Turkish leader also sent out a warning to international companies working with Cyprus, threatening a blanket ban on energy projects and possible sanctions.

“We want to warn international oil and natural gas companies working with the Greek Cypriots. The Turkish Energy Ministry has begun work to not accept these companies in the various energy projects in Turkey and also to have some sanctions,” said Erdogan.

On a calmer note, the Turkish PM said Turkey would act wisely and not give ammunition “to those hoping for tension and crisis”.

Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou yesterday accused Turkey of committing “yet another unlawful act” with an “illegal entity, the pseudostate, which has been condemned by UN resolutions”.

Speaking from New York, he said: “With this violation, Turkey is trying to obstruct the Cyprus Republic from exercising a self-evident right, recognised by the whole of the international community.”

While the international community calls on Turkey to respect international law, unfortunately, Turkey continues to violate it, he added.

Before the signing of the pact, Erdogan met with US President Barack Obama for an hour and a half. Obama reportedly called on Erdogan to reduce tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.

Speaking after the meeting, Erdogan was quoted by Turkish state news agency Anatolian saying: “The Greek Cypriot administration and Israel are engaging in oil exploration madness in the Mediterranean.

“Actually, the Greek Cypriot administration’s drilling activity is nothing but sabotage of the negotiation process between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots,” he added.

Israel and Cyprus are exploring for gas in the eastern Mediterranean, and Israel has laid claim to a massive deepwater gas field discovered in 2009.

Turkey has said it would carry out its own energy surveys with the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state — under escort by its war ships if necessary – if Cyprus pressed ahead with drilling.

And Erdogan again emphasised Turkish military prowess: “Our assault boats and frigates are already in the region,” Anatolian quoted him as saying.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was due to meet with Erdogan last night in New York. President Demetris Christofias has asked Ban to raise the issue of Turkish threats against Cyprus during their meeting.

British High Commissioner Matthew Kidd told the state broadcaster yesterday that Britain sees “Cyprus’ legal right to conduct drilling in its exclusive economic zone as unquestioned”, adding that he hoped “the issue can be handled in a way that helps to lead towards the intercommunal settlement that we all want to see rather than away from it”.

As Turkey continued to launch threats, exploratory offshore gas drilling in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was yesterday expected to go deeper.

“We have passed the first stage … tonight (yesterday) they will proceed with the second stage, to 900 metres,” Solon Kassinis, the energy service chief, told London Greek Radio (LGR) “Everything is proceeding well and we hope to have positive results in finding hydrocarbon deposits.”

Texas-based Noble Energy which is carrying out the drilling operations for Cyprus, has been conducting offshore drills in the eastern Mediterranean for Israel since 1998.

Kassinis said it could take as many as 73 days for the first results to be known.

He reiterated that any natural resources found in Cyprus’ EEZ would benefit all legitimate citizens of the Republic of Cyprus.

“Nobody questions the fact that this wealth would be to the benefit of all legitimate inhabitants of Cyprus. We have expressed this position several times,” Kassinis said, in reference to Turkish Cypriots.

But the government’s pledges that the island’s two communities will share any potential wealth after a solution of the Cyprus problem do not seem to persuade Turkey.

At the same time, reports yesterday suggested Lebanon is also irked by the developments.

Lebanon accused Israel in January of breaking international law by allowing energy firms to explore for offshore gas in the absence of an agreement between the two countries on their maritime border.

A similar agreement signed with Cyprus has not yet been ratified by the Lebanese parliament.

In July, Israel outlined maritime economic borders that challenged what it said were boundaries submitted by Lebanon to the United Nations in a dispute fuelled by the massive gas finds in the region.

The map conflicts with a Lebanese submission from 2010 that gives Israel less maritime space, including areas that touch on recently discovered untapped gas reserves.

Both sides point to the United Nations for arbitration, but UN officials have been sceptical about the world body’s options.

Repuglicans Replay Favorite Gambit, Threatening Govt. Shutdown, Once Again

House rejects temporary funding measure, raising shutdown risk

House Republican leadershipMembers of the House Republican leadership talk with reporters after a party conference meeting.(Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)
By Lisa Mascaro
The threat of a government shutdown intensified as the GOP-led House failed to muster a majority to approve legislation to fund the government after Republicans insisted that federal disaster aid be paid for with spending cuts elsewhere.

In a surprise defeat, the legislation was narrowly rejected Wednesday after a tense afternoon of vote counting. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had hoped to avoid another budget battle after the summer’s debt ceiling fight and an earlier threat of government shutdown left voters sour on both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

But the annual spending bill ran into trouble on two fronts, as conservatives rejected the spending level as too high and Democrats opposed the GOP approach to FEMA aid. Democratic leaders urged their rank-and-file to vote no.

Congress has just days to resolve the impasse, as lawmakers are expected to recess Friday for next week’s Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.

The House bill was already on a collisions course with the Senate, where the Democratic majority rejected the requirement that federal disaster aid be offset with spending cuts elsewhere — namely, an alternative-energy vehicle manufacturing program.

After a year of floods, tornadoes and recent hurricanes and wildfires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is about to run out of funds — as soon as Monday.

Syria TV Says 5 Policemen Killed in Ambush

Syria TV Says 5 Policemen Killed in Ambush

by Naharnet Newsdesk

Syria said on Thursday that “terrorists” had killed five security force members and wounded 17 in the restive area of Daraa while pro-democracy activists said three civilians were killed in Homs, another hub of protest against President Bashar al-Assad.

Activists also said the authorities had blocked mobile phone signals and the internet in parts of Damascus province, at Saqba, Jisrin, Kafar Batna, Hamurieh and Ain Tarma.

Organizers of the protests against the Assad regime have used their Facebook page, “The Syrian revolution 2011,” to rally support for their cause.

The activists said the move against communications coincided with a call by militants for a Friday demonstration under the banner “Unity of the Opposition”, to overthrow the regime which they termed “a national duty.”

The main Muslim day of prayer has seen weekly protests against the regime, with thousands of protesters surging into city streets to be met with a harsh crackdown by security forces.

On Thursday, the official news agency SANA said: “Five members of the security forces have been killed and 17 wounded in an ambush mounted by some armed terrorist groups on the road from Tiba.”

The area is in the southern Daraa province which was one of the main springboards of opposition to the authorities when protests began on March 15 this year.

Damascus does not accept any popular opposition to the authorities, saying instead that “armed gangs” and “terrorists” are trying to sow chaos in the country.

Local Coordination Committees (LCC) have joined a National Council of opposition which was formed at the end of August during an Islamist-inspired meeting in neighboring Turkey.

On Thursday, the LCC reported that three civilians had been killed in Homs, while in Daeel, security forces opened fire on a group of students from different schools, with some being wounded and several arrested.

It said the students were aged under 15 and that tanks were now deployed in front of the Daeel public high school.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said that hidden gunmen had opened fire and killed a civilian in Homs. It was not clear whether this was a separate killing.

In Daraa province, security reinforcements had arrived in the towns of Jezah and Tayebeh, the LCC said, while security forces had deployed in Nabu area in suburban Damascus.

According to another LCC report, security agents, troops and pro-regime militia in Homs had spread “a climate of terror” since late last Monday “searching houses street by street, kidnapping many young people and taking them to a stadium that they had transformed into a prison.”

Western governments have sought to increase pressure on Assad and on Wednesday U.S. President Barack Obama called on the U.N. Security Council to impose sanctions on Syria.

In Geneva, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said the death toll from the regime’s bloody crackdown on protesters since mid-March rose to more than 2,700 people.

Obama’s/Hillary’s “Silk Road” Solution–Only a Regional War Can Save Afghanistan

“The meetings are designed to promote the ‘idea that a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan will only really be able to exist inside a secure, stable and prosperous region.’”

[Even though the US has been either unwilling or unable to make Afghanistan safe for commerce or any other human activity up until now, the stinking liars in Washington are seeking to punish the nations which participate in its Northern Distribution Network (NDN) in the same ways that they have punished Pakistan for its assistance over the past ten years.  The plan, all along, has been to prolong the Afghan war until it could be expanded into the former Soviet states of Central Asia.  Buying-off government leaders in these CIS states is the icing on the cake that has made this Silk Road Pipe Dream possible now, when it was impossible ten years ago.  The governments of both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have both been coerced, bribed and co-opted into trading US dollars and military assistance in exchange for a new reality of limited national sovereignty.  If anyone opens the door to the devil, or to vampires, it is common knowledge that terror and bloodshed will come with them.  Letting the Evil Empire call the shots in even limited ways, such as fighting smuggling and other aspects of narcoterrorism, is selling your own soul in exchange for dollars (that are rapidly diminishing in value), highways, rail lines and fuel transit lines.  The “Silk Road” is a highway to hell, or at least a pathway to Imperial enslavement and misery.]

New ‘Silk Road’ eyed for Afghanistan

US President Barack Obama speaks during a bilateral meeting with Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai September 20, 2011 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. — Photo by AFP

UNITED NATIONS: Afghanistan, its neighbours and supporters are launching a drive to boost prosperity and peace by linking the country with markets across South and Central Asia, US officials said Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will host talks in New York Thursday on what amounts to plans for a “New Silk Road,” they said.

Like the ancient Silk Road, Afghanistan would be at the heart of lucrative trade routes between Asia and the West, but it would involve modern highways, rail links and energy pipelines, senior US administration officials told reporters.

They said the New York talks — which will draw officials from Afghanistan’s neighbours and near-neighbours, including China — will pave the way for meetings in Istanbul on November 2 and in Bonn, Germany, on December 5.

The meetings are designed to promote the “idea that a secure, stable and prosperous Afghanistan will only really be able to exist inside a secure, stable and prosperous region,” a senior US official told reporters.

“It’s part of a wider effort to help to build up the Afghan private sector, to help create sustainable economic development in Afghanistan, to create this economic integration between South and Central Asia,” a second US official said.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity so as not to upstage the high-level officials attending the meeting, said the “New Silk Road” builds on projects that are already underway in the region.

One of them includes the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, which was launched in June this year to reduce the costs and delays in transporting goods between the two often tense neighbours.

The second official said the Afghans and Pakistanis have agreed to try to extend the arrangement to central Asia. “We also hope it could be extended to India as well,” the official said.

The officials did not say how the longstanding tension between Pakistan and India would affect the plans, but noted that the Indian and Pakistani commerce secretaries have been engaged for months in trying to increase cross-border trade.

“The ultimate goal is to reduce trade and other barriers so that products from Afghanistan or from any of the Central Asian countries could transit through Pakistan and into India, Bangladesh or even beyond,” he said.

“This is really a truly transformative vision because…India is going to be such an important economic actor for the region,” he said.

The New Silk Road project also calls for building on progress to extend energy pipelines across Central Asia.

The second official recalled progress the governments of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have made in building the TAPI pipeline to bring natural gas from Turkmenistan fields to India’s energy markets.

“It would bring important transit revenues for Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he said.

He also cited the example of Uzbekistan, which he said has been “very helpful” working with the Asian Development Bank and others to develop the rail link from its own border to Mazar-i-Sharif, in Afghanistan.

Rabbani’s assassination–Today’s Masoud Moment, Afghan War Takes a Turn for the Worse
[Like the killing of Ahmed Shah Masoud, which took place on the day before Sept. 11, 2001, the assassination of Rabbani will one day be understood as clearing the way for the next phase of the terror war.  His being taken out of the way marks the beginning of the second, or perhaps third phase of the Afghan war.  The rug has been pulled from beneath the “reconcilers” and those who promote the path of negotiations.  The Taliban are obviously not ready for serious negotiations of any kind.  Just as the US is talking about pulling-out, the Taliban are focused upon killing the only national leaders who are capable of preventing renewed civil war, by easing occupation forces out and the Taliban back into government.  His was one of the few voices within the Northern Alliance which dared speak-up for the possibility of peace with the Taliban.  Will the US continue to muddle along as before, or will this become a rallying cry for a new direction in the war, one focused on empowering the Northern Alliance?  It is time to choose between realistic solutions focused upon bringing the conflict to an end and State Dept. theories of revolutionary democratization.  Which is more important in Afghanistan (just like in Libya), forcing pseudo-democracy upon the Afghan people or ending the war? 
There has always been only one solution to this war, the original solution, called “Operation Enduring Freedom.”  Bush deviated away from this proven path of pacification when he chose to leave the war unfinished, handing-off the job of eliminating “Al-Qaeda” to Musharraf.  This was a fatal error; one which backed us into the corner we are stuck in today.  When US military leaders allowed the Kunduz airlift to salvage the remaining Taliban and Al-Qaeda, airlifting them to Pakistan, they accepted the current war paradigm of militants striking NATO forces from safe areas in Pakistan. 
Vodpod videos no longer available.more about “Kunduz Airlift“, posted with vodpod

The ongoing quagmire and all the war deaths that have happened since then, are the direct result of American military and political incompetence.  We have allowed the men we were after to create sanctuary for themselves, while we pretended that it never happened.  American military leaders set the pattern of incompetence that has since been picked-up and followed by Pakistan’s failed military leadership.  Like the retreat of militants from Afghanistan to FATA, Pakistan has copied our mistakes, allowing their militants to retreat into Afghanistan, where today, they stage cross-border raids with impunity (SEE:  Pak Army Failure In Bajaur and Swat Created the Problem of TTP Base In Afghanistan).  Have Tommy Franks and now Gen. Kayani been incompetent by failing to foresee the obvious, or have they both served a common secret agenda?  Have both commanding generals been following White House orders to prolong the war? 
Obama must decide to correct Bush’s worst mistake, that of leaving Enduring Freedom unfinished, while he avenged his father’s attempted assassination by Saddam Hussein.  Afghanistan can only be pacified by the creation of a clear victor between Taliban and Northern Alliance, which it once established in 2001.
Notions of forcing “democracy” upon a tribal culture that is dominated by warlordism are harmful delusions, not reasonable solutions.  The only solution to Afghanistan is one that leaves one side empowered over the rest.  The Northern Alliance must be allowed to dominate the Taliban, the workable solution which Bush turned into today’s failure, ten years ago.  There must be a new civil war and the US must take sides in it, or else there will be a new civil war without us, which will produce no winners.  Anything else is just an acceptance of quagmire and all the losses associated with it.  Without some arrangement that approximates “victory,” then all the men, women, children and war materiel that have been flushed down the hole of Imperial insanity have been killed for nothing.]
Burhanuddin Rabbani's supporters

Rabbani’s assassination

Head of the Afghan High Peace Council and former president Burhanuddin Rabbani has been assassinated in treacherous fashion by a Taliban emissary ostensibly negotiating peace. This is the highest profile assassination since the fall of the Taliban government post-9/11. The circumstances surrounding the murder bear eerie parallels but also significant differences with the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Masoud two days before 9/11. Both victims were Tajiks, but whereas Masoud’s assassination was arguably the harbinger of 9/11, its subsequent fallout in the shape of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by US forces and the ouster of the Taliban regime, Rabbani’s removal will merely mean a serious setback to the inherently difficult project of a peaceful settlement with the Taliban. That may well be the intended message behind the assassination. Interestingly, the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid was at first quick to claim responsibility and even threatened more such assassinations, but 24 hours later seemed to be retracting the claim and retreating into ‘damage control’. That may be because the assassination of Professor Rabbani will not go down well with non-Pashtun as well as anti-Taliban Pashtun elements. Rabbani was chosen by President Karzai for the task of making peace as the most credible, acceptable peacemaker. If the Taliban are averse to making peace with such a respected figure, the prospects for negotiations with the Taliban could well prove dead in the water. That would strengthen the sceptics in the Northern Alliance leadership, who have always looked at the peace project askance. What may follow therefore could be an intensified and even more bitter inter-ethnic and intra-Pashtun civil war in the backdrop of the US/Nato forces’ plans for incremental withdrawal. Whether the intensifying attacks of the Taliban, especially on the relatively secure capital, prove a factor in a change in the withdrawal strategy is too early to say. But the prospects of renewed and even bloodier conflict in Afghanistan cannot but bode ill for that country and the region.

While Pakistan’s president and prime minister, US President Obama and Afghan President Karzai all roundly condemned the assassination, ritual vows of continuing the search for peace were heard all round. One of the possible fallouts of the event may well be increased pressure on Pakistan to deny the Haqqani network (and perhaps even Mullah Omar’s Quetta Shura) safe havens on Pakistani soil from which to conduct attacks on US/Nato/Afghan forces. The Haqqani network in particular has been the stuff of high level exchanges in recent days between American and Pakistani officials from COAS Kayani-Mullen to Foreign Minister Khar-Clinton, with Panetta sniping away from the sidelines. Suspicions will inevitably arise that Rabbani’s removal may have the blessings of the ISI, of late fuming at being bypassed by the direct US-Taliban contacts as well as the Afghan government-Taliban ‘negotiations’. That suspicion, proved or not, will be sufficient to ratchet up the pressure on Pakistan to act against the Afghan militants operating from Pakistani soil. The assassination will be read in important capitals and amongst other centres of policy analysis as a possible message by the ISI on the perils of leaving it out in the cold as far as any negotiations with the Taliban are concerned. After all, the ISI stands accused already of sabotaging Mullah Biradar’s (Omar’s number two) secret, independent of the ISI negotiations with the Americans.

It is amazing that the calculations of our military establishment and its intelligence arms seem rigidly stuck in old paradigms, oblivious of the fast changing scenario, not the least of which is the deteriorating relationship with the US. Influential voices in the US are advocating an aid cut-off for the Pakistani military and a concentration on building a healthy prosperous civil society in Pakistan. Whether it comes to that or not, inevitably our proxy war adventurism in Afghanistan is inexorably leading us to international isolation and a pariah status politically, economically, and diplomatically. Is the mystical notion of strategic depth worth this game and its end result? *

Pakistan’s Ongoing Shia massacre

Shia massacre

A group of Shia pilgrims on their way to Iran in a bus were ambushed in Mastung, Balochistan, by armed men. The militants told them to get out of the vehicle, lined them up and opened fire on them after checking their identity cards. Twenty-six pilgrims were killed while eight others were injured. Most of them belonged to the Hazara Shia community in Balochistan. Three others were killed in an ambulance when they were taking the injured to hospital. Banned terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), an offshoot of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), claimed responsibility for the attack. Twelve people lost their lives while more than a dozen others were injured after a suicide attack at a Shia congregation offering Eid prayers in Quetta. On the second day of Eid, seven more Shias lost their lives at the hands of armed gunmen who opened fire on a minibus on its way to Parachinar in Kurram Agency.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) condemned the Shia massacre and urged the government to investigate the latest incident and “prosecute the officials of Frontier Corps (FC) and police who were responsible for this negligence and nexus with the terrorists”. According to the AHRC, “…[Balochistan, Kurram Agency, FATA] are the places where the contingents of the Pakistan army and its paramilitary force, the FC are stationed and controlling all the roads, besides having check posts all around the major cities…As a result, banned Islamic militant organisations feel at liberty to operate freely under the patronage of the law enforcement agencies.”

Ever since LeJ’s leader Malik Ishaq was released this July after 14 years behind bars, the attacks against Shias have become even more deadly. It is interesting to note that the LeJ has become active in Balochistan, even distributing threatening letters against the Shia community. Is it because they want to leave their home base, Punjab, relatively untouched and ‘safe’ for themselves? The Punjab government already treats the LeJ and SSP with kid gloves and its law minister is known to be close to banned terror outfits. Hazara Shias are peace loving and law-abiding citizens. They are soft targets for a bloodthirsty sectarian outfit like the LeJ. The less than energetic response from the government and the law enforcement agencies in Balochistan, Kurram Agency and FATA to sectarian attacks has only emboldened outfits like the LeJ. What is stopping the authorities from arresting the leaders of the LeJ when they do not hesitate to ‘claim’ responsibility for brutal attacks so openly? The authorities must not turn a blind eye to this emerging pattern of targeting the Shia community. Shias in Pakistan have been victims of systematic target killings for decades now. The government and the security agencies must protect them or this intolerance would eventually lead to Pakistan’s undoing. *

War Reaches Make or Break Moment, As US Officials Blame Pakistan for Haqqani Attacks

[Admiral Mullen and the rest have taken a dangerous, but necessary position, if this war is ever going to end–accusing Pakistan publicly as the power behind the Afghan Taliban will have severe repercussions.  Continuing along this path will inevitably lead to a break in relations, unless the US accusers prove their contentions.  Even then, it may well be the end of cooperation in keeping open the “easy route” for NATO supplies going to Afghanistan.  The US cannot continue its hypocritical course of abusing Pakistani integrity while depending upon it to serve as the lynchpin to the entire Afghan war effort, just as Pakistan cannot continue serving Imperial interests which are detrimental to its own national interests.  Something has to give.  If the ISI really is the power behind the insurgency, just as it was during the anti-Soviet insurgency, it is time to face that fact and suffer the fallout, no matter how painful that will be.  If Pakistan and the United States are still allies, then each side must stop trying to undercut the other side and search for ways to realign their interests.

The only alternative is to end the Afghan war now, letting the chips fall where they may–the consequences of an Imperial war of world conquest gone awry.]

ISI urged attacks on US targets: Officials

Washington under growing political pressure to take action against Haqqani network after attacks on US officials. PHOTO: FILE/EXPRESS

WASHINGTON: US officials say there is mounting evidence that Pakistan’s chief intelligence agency has been encouraging a Pakistan-based militant network to attack US targets.

The allegations, if fully confirmed, heighten a painful dilemma for President Barack Obama’s administration. Washington is under growing political pressure to take action against the Haqqani network after a spate of deadly attacks US officials have attributed to it. These include last week’s strike againstthe American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Some US intelligence reporting alleges that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence directorate (ISI) specifically directed, or urged, the Haqqani network to carry out the September 13 attack on the embassy and a NATO headquarters in Kabul, according two US officials and a source familiar with recent US-Pakistan official contacts. However, officials cautioned that this information is uncorroborated.

Another US official familiar with internal government assessments said that at the very least, the available intelligence strongly suggests the ISI has been egging on elements of the Haqqani network to launch attacks at American targets in the region.

While American officials have aired allegations of ties between the ISI and the Haqqani network in recent days, they have not publicly cited evidence that the Pakistani agency, or elements of it, urged its proxy to attack US targets.

While the ISI’s motives in any such attacks are not clear, Pakistan has long wanted to play a major role in Afghanistan’s future after the departure of NATO troops, and to counter what it sees as the growing influence there of arch-rival India.

This week, top US officials, including Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, demanded that Pakistan’s leaders take action against the Haqqanis, who are based in that country’s tribal areas and are considered among the most dangerous insurgent groups in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

Still, despite the threats and an intensified campaign of violence that threatens US efforts to stabilize Afghanistan, the Obama administration has few options for increasing pressure on Pakistan and none of them are good.

After years of efforts to cajole, coax and threaten Pakistan into cracking down on a host of militants operating from within its borders failed to bear fruit, US officials are exasperated.

For the United States one alternative – another cross-border raid, like the Navy SEAL mission that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May — may be tempting in some quarters. But the risks are high and the backlash from Pakistan would be fierce, almost certainly harming what counter-terrorism cooperation exists.

Little leverage

“The (US) administration has thrown everything at this — high-level meetings, tons of money, all of these overtures, and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere,” said Caroline Wadhams, a security analyst in Washington.

“This can’t go on forever,” she said, “but the problem is that we have so little leverage.”

“Pakistan values its relationship with the US and is committed to eliminating terrorism in Afghanistan and from our soil,” said A senior Pakistani official. “We will look at all evidence shared by the US side and deal harshly with anyone and everyone responsible for terrorism.”

The long-simmering tension between the sometime allies, sometime adversaries came to a head last week after the brazen attack on the US  Embassy in Kabul. It was a major blow as Obama hopes to nudge Afghanistan toward stability and gradually bring home US forces after a decade of war.

Since then, American officials, including Obama’s ambassador in Islamabad and Mullen, his top military officer, have issued unusually blunt criticisms of Pakistan’s failure to curb the Haqqani group — and made frank statements accusing Islamabad of links to the group.

Mullen, in a speech to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Tuesday he had pressed Pakistan’s army chief in a four-hour conversation on Friday to break the country’s links with the Haqqanis.

“We covered … the need for the Haqqani Network to disengage, specifically the need for the ISI to disconnect from Haqqani and from this proxy war that they’re fighting,” Mullen said.

The Haqqanis, just one of a host of militant groups that have used western Pakistan as a base for attacks in Afghanistan, are seen as allied to both al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban. Supported at times in the past by the CIA, they have had long-standing ties to the ISI.

On Tuesday, regional tensions soared even higher when a suicide bomber killed Burhanuddin Rabbani, the former Afghan president who had headed efforts to secure a peace deal with the Taliban.

While responsibility for the attack remains unclear, the shocking assassination threatened to do even more to reverse a tentative thaw in perpetually dismal US-Pakistani ties a few months after Osama bin Laden was killed near Islamabad. The initial conclusion of US government experts is that Rabbani’s assassination was carried out by Afghan Taliban and had no connection to the Haqqani network.

Vali Nasr, who until this spring was a senior official in the US State Department’s Afghanistan-Pakistan office, said efforts to prompt Pakistani action against militants with increased public pressure had fallen short.

“They are not blinking,” he said.

Running from Right-Wing Clowns

Running from Right-Wing Clowns

By the late 1970s, there was a serious national debate about the blood-soaked Vietnam War, but then came Ronald Reagan rebranding it a “noble cause” and right-wing accusations against critics who “blame America first,” followed by the panicked retreat of everyone wanting to be part of the mainstream, as Phil Rockstroh observes.

By Phil Rockstroh

Why is it that self-termed progressives are in full retreat (and have been for decades) from the witless army of angry clowns and hack illusionists of the U.S. right-wing?

One contributing factor involves the sterile cultivation of the persona of the “reasonable liberal,” a type favored and rewarded by the status quo-protective power brokers of the Democratic Party and by corporate media organizations that find useful his trait of rendering himself feckless (e.g., the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue) by the passion-annihilating (but self-serving) device of his preening amiability?

But in so doing, the self-gelded liberal has sacrificed libido and discarded sacred vehemence for careerist privilege. Worse, the rest of us are advised to follow suit … that, in order to gain credibility, one must slouch towards center-hugging irrelevance.

We are counseled that in order to navigate this age of corporate dominance that one’s irascible apprehensions and unruly aspirations must be suppressed, for such passions are deemed too radical for mainstream sensibilities, and are therefore regarded as impractical as they are untoward by the crackpot realists of the corporate bottom line whose dictates dominate the political discourse and economic arrangements of our time.

“Prune down [a human being’s] extravagance, sober him, and you undo him.”
–William James

Yet these self-termed “realists,” by means of their ad hoc machinations and hidden-in-plain-sight schemes, are responsible for the creation, promotion and maintenance of a financial system (and its attendant economic, political and ecological consequences) that is as sound as the flight plan of Icarus.

When a nation displays this degree of a noxious mixture of mass ignorance and official mendacity, an age of peace and plenty becomes as possible as holding a tea dance in a tsunami.

Yet facing folly is difficult. Stunned by the implications of one’s mistakes and misapprehensions, initially, one will reel in the direction of a familiar road — or be seized by an impulse to retreat from the casuistry-sundering fury of the larger world.

Yet, as Thomas Paine averred, “A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” And as Albert Camus counseled, “Freedom is the right not to lie.”

With this in mind, shall we blunder off-road into the landscape of unquestioned narratives?

For example, the following is a topic, when broached, that rarely fails to incur the manipulative rage of the perpetually adrenaline intoxicated right and causes liberals to drop to their knees in penance for sins never committed:

The questioning of this culture’s reverential, unflagging “support of our troops” blunderbuss and attendant comic book hero-level palaver, such as, “all good Americans stand firm in our support of our troops and our war against the forces of international terrorism.”

A bit of personal perspective as to why I demur: Forty-eight years ago, this month, four young girls were murdered in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham Alabama. At the time of the tragedy, I was a child living in Birmingham.

I remember the event to this day. My father, freelancing as a photojournalist at the time, arrived on the scene not long after the blast. I remember him coming home shaken and pale. The event is seared into my memory … how the blind hatred of the vicious can erupt into daily life and inflict irreparable harm and abiding sorrow.

Accordingly, this is why I cannot abide U.S. wars of imperium e.g., its Shock and Awe bombing campaigns … the same modus operandi of those despicable, redneck bombers .

The dead of Iraq, Central Asia and Libya were no more responsible for committing acts of terrorism against the people of the U.S. than those little girls, readying for a choir performance in the basement of that church in Alabama, were guilty of any crime perpetrated against the “white race.”

Moreover, the attacks staged on 9/11/2001 did not “change everything.” The event merely sped up the trajectory of the national security state/military industrial complex towards the landfill of history.

For more than a century, whether the propagandists of U.S. Empire promulgate the subterfuge … of fighting “to make the world safe for democracy” or defending against “the evil empire,” or waging a “war on terror” — the objective remains, to secure resources for the U.S. homeland.

And that is what we, the populace of empire, can “thank a veteran” for providing.

From the Blue Coats at Wounded Knee to the baby-faced tools of imperium at My Lai and Fallujah to the predator drones scouring Central Asia, the U.S. is the single largest perpetrator of terrorism worldwide.

As all the while, guilty by their complicity citizens of the U.S. sit on their sofas, oblivious or unmoved by any event transpiring beyond their self-circumscribed field of reference.

There should be a monument erected to the tragic legacy wrought by the acts of terrorism at “Ground Zero” — and it should be a statue representing a willfully ignorant fat-ass sitting on his couch, TV remote in hand, Cheetos crumbs stippled in the folds of his mouth.

Granted, Lower Manhattan took a tragic hit, a decade ago, and many people suffered as a result (I know I live a couple of neighborhoods upwind) but none worse than the people of Iraq and Central Asia.

Somehow, I suspected (and was proven sadly correct) that their experiences would not be evoked, as part of the 9/11 hagiography foisted and verbal monuments cast to sacred victimhood, as part of the official ceremony commemorating the event.

Moreover, not long after 9/11, an attack was launched from Lower Manhattan that collapsed the global economy. I, for one, would like to hear a bit more about that.

By parroting the self-serving hagiography of 9/11/01, as well as, “I support the warrior, but not the war” type fallacies, liberals continue to play right into the sustaining narratives of the national security state.

Case in point, the empty, oft-heard, liberal pundit assertion, “My idea for a 9/11 tribute would involve bringing our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan home, with proper benefits.”

Nonsense. Worse than nonsense: Precious, cloying, self-congratulatory piffle. The statement is axiomatic of the feckless calls and specious cries common to that species of walking cliché known as “troop-supporting” liberals.

As far as I’m concerned, “our troops” – human delivery systems of U.S. government sanctified terrorism – can walk home … that way, maybe, they might learn something about the larger world, other than their mission to kill the people they happen upon without question, and then share with their fellow belligerently ignorant countrymen what they learned about life (its sacred quality) on their long, Odysseusian journey home.

Apropos, reasonable liberals counsel such declarations serve as “bad public relation” tactics. “Don’t you realize that you risk alienating Middle America? Remember, the reactionary fallout created by the radicalism of the 1960s?”

The fact is: The passionate questioning of the entire war effort in Southeast Asia, the role of soldiers included, helped to bring an end to the war and factored into the soldiers’ rebellion at the later stages of the protracted conflict.

In increasing numbers, the conscripts began to refuse to kill and die for a dubious cause … they went hippie on the ass of the military state.

The activist Left ended the war; self-serving liberals blew the peace.

The “bad PR” involving “spitting on the troops” was after the fact, rightwing confabulation … promulgated to intimidate liberals into shamed silence, and, of course, liberals being liberals, it worked.

True to form, they “distanced” themselves from the “troop-demoralizing radicals of the irrational left.” In reality, they fled in fear from arrays of rightwing created straw men.

PR itself is the dubious craft of professional lying – corporate-era legerdemain. In fact, the craft is the opposite of the resonate truth carried by deepening poetry, poignant prose and challenging political speech – the near exclusive domain of the Left in the 1960s.

You ask what makes me sigh, old friend
What makes me shudder so
I shudder and I sigh to think
That even Cicero
And many-minded Homer were
Mad as the mist and snow.
–William Bulter Yeats, except from Mad As The Mist And Snow

The inspired, enduring (very threatening to some) art, music and political action of the era were not the result of liberal accommodation and compromise. Antithetically, the cause of peace and justice (briefly) made some headway despite liberals not because of them.

As a famous literary drunk once quipped, “Rome wasn’t burned in a day.” Change will not come with a victim-centered view of the world … including viewing the nation’s toxically innocent, economic conscripts as mere victims of circumstance.

Yes, young people make stupid choices – but treating them as victims does not serve them or the nation well.

“Liberal compassion” should not be extended to countenancing acts of mass murderer. Time and time again, liberals play into rightist propaganda, by allowing the discussion of U.S. militarism to be framed as exclusively pertaining to the sacrifices of individual soldiers, whose fates, in the larger context of events, have been appropriated a device of imperial plunder.

By truckling to this narrative, liberals play into the propaganda of those who prosper by the homicidal designs of the present day U.S. military state.

Instead, let us endeavor to disabuse the culture of the delusion that there exists noble sacrifice in the act of killing and dying for the agendas of empire.

When an individual U.S. soldier begins to stagger in the direction of his own humanity (renouncing his complicity in the death-sustained system, as many did during the Vietnam era) then we should open our arms and embrace him with a fierce compassion.

On a personal basis, my family had little money. And I made many self-destructive choices, but I also had tenacious mentors who challenged me … called me on my destructive nonsense … pointing out the bulwark of denial and hubris that sustained its shabby, ad hoc structure.

Making a home in being lost, I took up residence in the enduring structure of poetry, literature and music … Whitman, Kerouac, Rilke, Dylan, the Allman Brothers, Leonard Cohen, Iggy Pop, Joe Strummer, and others too numerous to name taught me to question, as the expression went, “everything.”

This is not rocket science; this is far more important; this is the essential subject matter that informs the propulsion and guidance systems of the human heart. Withal, instruct the young how to build and inhabit the structure of a cogent argument and to navigate a soul-suffused landscape of poignant verse, lyric, and insight.

To do so, one must not shy away from confrontation. During the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War era, before the Left was manipulated into fearing the libido borne of sacred vehemence, stupid opinions were not coddled; they were challenged.

Feelings were hurt. Egos were bruised. But an illegal war was shortened and a number of (long-overdue) rights were granted.

[…]Having come
the bitter way to better prayer, we have
the sweetness of ripening. How sweet
to know you by the signs of this world!
–Wendel Berry, excerpt from “Ripening”

At present, among the things we can ill afford are fantasy-prone kids, duped into believing modern soldiering bestows nobility and involves heroic sacrifice.

Instead, the times call for brave misfits, encouraged to embrace rejection by a dysfunctional society and primed to endure the inherent bumps and buffeting inflicted from a culture that has gathered into the formation of a flying wedge of self-destructive, crash-fated crazy.

Phil Rockstroh is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at:  Visit Phil’s website / And at FaceBook:…

At least three dead in Dagestan blast

MAKHACHKALA, September 21 (RIA Novosti)

At least three people were killed on Wednesday when a car exploded in Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, a police source said.

The source said investigators had not yet identified the victims of the blast, but did not rule out that they were militants “transporting an explosive device that went off in the car.”

“A grenade and three handguns were found in the car,” he added.

An investigation is underway.

Volatile Dagestan, which neighbors Chechnya, saw some 50% of all militant attacks in Russia last year.

Chinese Gas Exploration Convoy Attacked by Baloch Repub. Army

Convoy of a foreign company attacked, Multinational investors must halt their work: Resistance Organisations

Occupied Balochistan: The Baloch Republican Army (BRA) has attacked a convoy of Oil and Gas Exploration Company in Dera Bugti here on Tuesday. The Organisation has warned foreign investors including China that they will not be allowed to exploit Balochistan’s resources.

According to details the Baloch fighters attacked the convoy of a Chinese Company in district Sui of Dera Bugti region of Balochistan. The convoy was escorted by Pakistani security forces when it was attacked with remote controlled explosives.

Meanwhile Sarbaz Baloch, a spokesperson of BRA, claimed that at least four Pakistani officials including a major were killed and ten wounded in that attack. Mr Baloch further said that despite repeated warnings the Chinese and other companies did not halt the exploitation of Balochistan natural wealth. He has once again reiterated that multinational companies should stop their work and vacate all controversial projects in occupied Balochistan. “We will not allow any foreign investors including China to loot our resources. If the foreign companies do not stop their work we will bring intensity to our attacks against them”, warned Sarbaz Baloch.

Separately, on Monday rockets were fired at Panjgour Airport, as a result the radar at the Airport was completely destroyed. According to details unidentified people fired several rockets from an unknown location on Panjgur airport. The rockets attack heavily damaged the Radar which badly affected the entire system. Luckily, no casualties have been reported.

The local authorities confirmed that attack on the airport and said that the attacker fled after security forces also fired rockets in retaliation. A search operation was started in the surroundings areas of the airport following the attack and exchange of rocket firing, no arrests were made until the filing of this report.

A spokesperson of the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF), Mr.Basham Baloch, has accepted the responsibility of the attack on Panjgur Airport. He said Sarmachaar (Freedom Fighters) from his Organisation have fired several rockets on Panjgur airport and destroyed the radar system.

Death of Rabbani was beneficial for the Taliban and Pakistan

Mullojanov: Death Rabbani was beneficial for the standing Taliban Pakistan

Nargis Hamrabaeva

Death Burhonuddina Rabbani – a continuation of the old policy of destruction of the Northern Alliance leaders and to weaken the Northern Alliance as a whole, according to Tajik political analyst Parviz Mullojanov.

“Rabbani, after Ahmadshaha Massoud, who was also killed by the Taliban, was the second largest figure in the Northern Alliance, which potentially could play a unifying role in the future of Afghan society,” – said Mullojanov.

At the same time he found it difficult to name a leader who could take the place of Rabbani and unite all factions of the anti-Taliban coalition.

In his view, the death of Rabbani was beneficial, especially intransigent Taliban and standing behind them to Pakistan. “Specifically, the Pakistani intelligence, which created the Taliban – said the analyst. – Thus, they are preparing for the possibility that the complete or partial withdrawal of American troops and NATO forces in Afghanistan will inevitably break out a new round of power struggle. ”

Zabihullah Mujahid Claimed Responsibility for Killing Peace/Reconciliation Talks

[If the Taliban’s usual spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility, then it must be true.  It also means that if he was an enemy of the Afghan Taliban then he was also an enemy of Pakistan.  The game or “reconciliation,” like the corresponding game of “good Taliban/bad Taliban,” is a massive ruse carried-0ut by ISI and CIA, to dangle before the people like a tasty carrot, leading them like so many donkeys in harnesses.  Like in the previous incarnation of this deception, concerning Mullah Baradar, whenever hopes get too high, the chief “negotiators” are taken out of the way.  The Taliban/Pakistan played along with Karzai’s High Peace Council attempts until now, when their turban-clad assassins could be moved into place to squash them, as Karzai had squashed the ruse being generated by the American side with another Taliban “negotiator,”  Tayyab Agha. 

There is nothing real in any of this, no truth can be found anywhere about America’s terror war, especially in any alleged effort to bring it all to an end.  That is the very last thing on American leaders’ murderous minds.]

Taliban says won Rabbani trust in order to kill him

Former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kabul December 11, 2004. Photo taken December 11. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani/Files

KABUL | Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:28am IST

(Reuters) – The Taliban said on Tuesday it had won assassinated former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani’s trust by using a high-level team that feigned interest in talks but instead was intent on killing him.

A Taliban suicide bomber on Tuesday killed Rabbani, head of a council that was trying to negotiate a political end to the war, in what analysts called a blow to peace efforts.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility, saying the killer had gone to Rabbani’s home for talks.

“As soon as Rabbani came three steps forward to hug Mohammad Masoom, he triggered his explosive-filled jacket killing Rabbani, (another) Taliban militant Wahid Yar and four security guards present at the house,” he told Reuters.

The Kabul police chief’s office, in a statement, said the explosives had been hidden in the suicide bomber’s turban.

Mujahid said the Taliban’s central leadership had appointed two “articulate and well-trained” fighters — Masoom and Yar — to build contacts with Rabbani.

He also told Reuters that Yar, a former minister when the Taliban were in power in Kabul, had visited Rabbani’s home many times.

“Both of them were frequently meeting him at his Kabul home and secured trust of Rabbani and his guards. They were telling Rabbani that they would soon bring senior Taliban leadership to the negotiating table with him,” Mujahid said by phone from an undisclosed location.

The Taliban frequently exaggerates battlefield exploits, but Mujahid’s statements seemed to broadly match other accounts of the assassination.

Mujahid said the group had made similar plans for assassinating “more such people” in the near future.

Rabbani’s assassination comes after a string of high profile killings, including President Hamid Karzai’s brother and top northern police commander General Dawood Dawood.

(Writing by Emma Graham-Harrison; Editing by Michael Roddy)