Could A News Headline Be More Slanted Than This One from CNN?

Why the Syrian regime is killing babies

By Frida Ghitis


Editor’s note: Frida Ghitis is a world affairs columnist for The Miami Herald and World Politics Review. A former CNN producer/correspondent, she is the author of “The End of Revolution: A Changing World in the Age of Live Television.”

(CNN) — When a slow-motion massacre has unfolded over the course of 15 months, it’s easy to lose the world’s attention. But even the most jaded gasped in horror as news emerged of the latest carnage inflicted on the Syrian people. The images from the town of Houla defied belief.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad went on asystematic killing spree, murdering at least 108 people. Most shockingly, the killers targeted women and children. A U.N. representative said the victims included 49 children who were younger than 10. The al-Assad regime denied it carried out the atrocities, but U.N. officials said they saw clear evidence that the Syrian government was involved in the attacks.

Why would a regime, even a brutal dictatorship, send its thugs to kill women and children, even babies? Does it make any sense, even by the twisted logic of armed conflict and tyranny?

India struggles with pipeline geopolitics

India struggles with pipeline geopolitics

By Zorawar Daulet Singh

Asia Time Online - Daily News

NEW DELHI – India spends more than U$400 million each day on oil imports which account for 70% of its oil consumption. For a country facing such high dependence on outside sources so early in its growth trajectory one would expect securing reliable and long-term supplies would be at the forefront of the development and foreign policy agenda.

And yet, Delhi seems to be expending diplomatic and political resources in a direction that would baffle even the most optimistic observer. Last week, the union cabinet affirmed India’s participation in the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) 1,700-kilometer pipeline, which envisages a flow of gas from Central Asia into the Indian heartland.

While Afghanistan and Pakistan committed to the security of the pipeline in a December 2010 Inter-Governmental Agreement, the transit zone involved in the TAPI case is now widely acknowledged as the most tumultuous region in the world.

In Afghanistan, though the Kabul regime has received extensive international aid and military support, it is by no means assured that the state will acquire a wherewithal that can ensure the uninterrupted flow of a strategic resource like natural gas across 735 kilometers of southern and western Afghanistan, the hotbed of Pashtun resistance.

In Pakistan, the problem is magnified because the state’s capacity is weak and compromised by an ideology that is repulsed by the idea of any interdependence with India. Further, the military – the most vital state organ for underwriting the security of the 800-kilometer transit route – is nurtured by a strategic culture that strives to acquire new leverages vis-a-vis India. To place India’s energy security in the hands of an institution that has rarely been bound by international agreements would be strategically irresponsible.

So, why is this project being pursued? Perhaps, it serves to underscore India’s hope for a seamless flow of resources across the greater South Asia region. It might also be good public diplomacy as India exudes the right notes for a region condemned to irresolvable territorial conflicts.

Indeed, the US State Department spokesperson summed up US interest in this project, “You’ve got new transit routes, you’ve got people-to-people links, you’ve got increased trade across a region that historically has not been well-linked, where there have been historic antipathies which are now being broken down by this positive investment project.”

Few can dismiss such grandiose rhetoric. But to assert that the TAPI pipeline “is a perfect example of energy diversification” as the US official did, is going too far. What it actually reflects is America’s dual strategy to break the Russian monopsony on Central Asian gas and prevent the flow of Iranian gas eastward. Concern for South Asian energy security was probably an afterthought.

The pursuit of energy security is a serious endeavor and cannot be driven by or become hostage to ideological or optimistic projections of international politics. Surely, there are other more benign means to test the prospects of Central-South Asian camaraderie? A two-way flow of less strategic merchandise and people could be a start.

If energy security is a national concern, Delhi should be pursuing a geostrategy that is based on a more sensible comparative assessment of the potential lines of communication to the energy starved Indian heartland.

The severing of India’s natural lines of communication to the resource wealth of Central and West Asia was one of the great tragedies of partition. In many ways, India’s post-1947 foreign policy has struggled to overcome the geopolitical consequences of 1947 after which India became a prisoner of geography unable to forge continental geoeconomic or geopolitical links with its western periphery and beyond.

Fortunately, peninsular India has historically always provided options to craft maritime lines of communication between India and the world. Indeed, over 90 percent of India’s trade and all of its oil imports rely on maritime transportation networks. Thus, it is only logical for India to explore maritime energy routes.

In 2009, Gas Authority of India (GAIL) entered into a Principles of Cooperation agreement with South Asia Gas Enterprises (SAGE) to explore the technical viability of laying a deep-sea pipeline from West Asia across the Arabian Sea to India. According to SAGE, the cost of a pipeline from Oman to India, a project first studied in 1995, would be $4 billion (TAPI is estimated at $8-10 billion).

The gas tariff would also be lower since transit or security costs become negligible. Oman’s access to the Arabian Sea makes it a natural export hub for gas-rich states like Qatar, Turkmenistan and Iran. A direct coastal pipeline from Iran to India is not only technically challenging given the depth and turbulence of the Indus Canyon, but would also require Pakistan’s acquiescence since it would traverse near the latter’s exclusive economic zone.

In March 2011, the union petroleum minister stated in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House), “So far technical feasibility of the [Oman-India] project has not been established” and “not much progress has been made since” mid-2009. Has India’s inability to de-hyphenate its Tehran ties from its US-policy reduced the attractiveness of this project?

Russia’s strategy of systematically investing in routes that bypass politically volatile or unfriendly transit states can serve as a lesson for India. In 2005, Moscow and Berlin came together to collaborate on a project that sought to overcome the financial and geopolitical costs of transiting large volumes of natural gas through Central and Eastern Europe.

Until recently, 70% of Russian gas was transiting through Ukraine and Poland. The 1,200-kilometer Nord Stream sub-sea pipeline network, which became operational in 2011, has directly connected Eurasia’s largest energy supplier to the economic heart of Europe through the Baltic Sea.

India’s proximity to energy rich West Asia is a geopolitical advantage that most nations can only aspire for. Lines of communication, however, do not just arise spontaneously but are always the outcome of sustained political, economic and even military commitment to specific routes that are deemed stable and relatively inexpensive to sustain. This is the essence of geostrategy.

Moreover, advancement in offshore technologies and high hydrocarbon prices has made deepwater pipelines a viable proposition. Finally, the growing capabilities of the Indian navy will only complement a political initiative to pursue a sub-sea link between West Asia and India’s west coast.

It would be absurd if public diplomacy that is apparently guiding Delhi’s calculus on TAPI deflects attention from the more urgent need for a secure maritime energy line of communication to India’s economy. A subsea pipeline deserves more than a perfunctory assessment.

Zorawar Daulet Singh is Research Fellow at the Center for Policy Alternatives, New Delhi(

13 Charred Bodies Found Inside Kazakh Border Guard Post

Charred bodies of soldiers found in Kazakhstan

Police in Kazakhstan have opened an investigation into the death of 13 people at a remote military outpost near the border with China.

Charred bodies of soldiers found in Kazakhstan

Former Soviet Kazakhstan shares a long border with China Photo: ALAMY

By , Central Asia correspondent

2:31PM BST 31 May 2012

Media quoted Colonel Turganbek Stambekov, first deputy chief of the Kazakh border guard service, as saying that the charred remains of 12 soldiers and one hunter had been found at the outpost.

The outpost, though, can house 15 soldiers, local media said, although Colonel Stambekov didn’t say whether the security services were looking for three missing soldiers.

He also said the cause of the fire, and whether it was deliberate or accidental, was still unknown.

Former Soviet Kazakhstan shares a long border with China. The outpost where the bodies were found was located in the sparsely populated and mountainous southeast of the country.

All Six SCO Countries To Participate In “Peace Mission 2012” Next Week In Tajikistan

SCO Armed Forces to Stage “Peace Mission 2012” Drill

Web Editor: yangyang66
Armed forces from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states will hold the “Peace Mission 2012” drill in Tajikistan from June 8 to 14, Ministry of Defense spokesman Yang Yujun announced Thursday.The drill is a joint anti-terrorism military exercise launched under the SCO framework, Yang said, adding that the drill will involve more than 2,000 military personnel from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Yang said the drill will focus on the preparation and implementation of joint anti-terrorism action in mountainous areas in the context of a regional crisis incurred by terrorist activity.

Yang said defense and security cooperation is an important part of relations conducted between SCO member states, adding that members have established a mechanism allowing for meetings between defense ministers and held meetings between SCO military chiefs over the last decade.

Member states have staged eight anti-terrorism drills, held five security forums and conducted exchanges concerning defense cooperation and personnel training, he said.

Defense and security cooperation has deepened military trust among SCO member states and enhanced their ability to cope with new challenges, he said, adding that cooperation has played a positive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Over the last decade, the SCO’s drills have developed from company-level tactical exercises to multilevel exercises featuring strategic consultation, battle preparation and simulated combat, he said, adding that the venues and varieties of soldiers involved in the drills have also evolved.

The drills have cemented and deepened SCO defense and security cooperation, strengthened the cohesiveness of the organization and increased mutual strategic trust between China and other SCO member states, Yang said.

State of the Taliban: The secret US Forces report

[The following should be taken with a grain of salt, since it is reportedly a product of a “US Operations Team,” under the authority of JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command ).  It is more likely, therefore, that it is a propaganda document, originally intended to be “leaked” to the press, even though it is allegedly a “Classified” document.  As reported below, the original SOF document contains a line of code to enable some sort of tracking, so perhaps more timid readers would want to avoid that, no matter what the report contained, settle for reading the summary.  Despite this, it could be useful in helping us understand the Taliban, on both sides of the border.  A link to the full report is included.]

State of the Taliban: The secret US Forces report

State of Pakistan

We are pleased to publish copy of a classified internal document prepared by a special operations team of the US/NATO forces in Afghanistan.

What the Report Means

The report, “State of the Taliban: January 6, 2012,” is part of a regularly published series on the insurgency that’s based on the interrogations of thousands of detainees. It offers an unvarnished glimpse into the inner beliefs of the military establishment in Afghanistan for two reasons: First, as a classified document, it was intended solely for internal consumption, and second, it was put together by a special operations team working under the Joint Special Operations Command, which is responsible for the US military’s most secretive and demanding special forces missions, including the one that killed Osama bin Laden last year.

The special operations team that authored the report, known as Joint Task Force 3-10, allegedly helps oversee a “black site” prison at the largest US military base in the country, located at Bagram air base, just north of Kabul. In the introduction, the report describes how it was put together:

“Throughout the year, TF 3-10 conducted over 27,000 interrogations of over 4,000 Taliban, Al Qaeda, foreign fighters and civilians. As this document is derived directly from insurgents, it should be considered informational and not necessarily analytical.”

While, as the authors note, the report is intended to be a presentation of the information they’ve gathered from detainees, in certain passages it clearly includes their own views and analysis. And though the ‘black sites’ operated by the CIA and special forces in Afghanistan have in the past been associated with detainee abuse, overall the interrogators seem notably sympathetic to the detainees’ motivations and understanding of Afghan politics and culture.

1. Who are the Taliban?

The report is remarkable for its clear-eyed view of the insurgency, a far cry from the caricature that often features in military press releases. Rather than merciless fanatics, the Taliban are portrayed as a nuanced and complex phenomenon — one deeply involved in violence and criminality, but also pragmatic and evolving, with a deep base of support among ordinary Afghans. It portrays them as motivated both by nationalistic and religious grounds:

“[Afghan government] corruption, abuse of power and suspected lack of commitment to Islam continue to provoke significant anti-government sentiment. The Taliban will be hostile to any government which appears to act as an agent of foreign powers to instill Western values.”

The report makes clear the distinction between the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, whose influence is seen as dissipating under the pressure of military strikes and the loss of much of its core leadership:

“In most regions of Afghanistan, Taliban leaders have no interest in associating with Al Qaeda. Working with Al Qaeda invites targeting, and Al Qaeda personnel are no longer the adept and versatile fighters and commanders they once were. Even Taliban groups with historically close ties to Al Qaeda, such as the Haqqani Network, have had little or no interaction with them in the last two years.”

Regarding the Haqqani Network—which was accused by US officials of being behind the attack on the embassy—the report also tones down much of the hype about the Haqqanis being a distinct and uniquely dangerous force—the so-called “Sopranos of the Afghanistan war”—stating that the group is deeply linked with the rest of the Taliban:

“Though the Haqqani Network maintains its own identity and history, it remains an integral part of the Taliban. Haqqani Network personnel changes, areas of responsibility, funding, operations , and strategy are directed by the Taliban leadership in Quetta, Pakistan.”

As the report notes, the term ‘Haqqani Network’ is not even used by its members:

“The Haqqani Network will not independently reconcile, nor are they authorized to act as spokesmen for the Taliban as a whole. Haqqani Network members refer to themselves only as Taliban. The term Haqqani Network is unknown within the group.”

2. Who funds the Taliban?

The report puts to rest the oft-repeated idea of “ten-dollar Taliban,” that is, that the insurgency is largely composed of poor Afghan men who are bribed in order to fight. “The Taliban do not fight for financial gain,” it states. “Almost without exception, Taliban members do not receive salaries or other financial incentives for their work.”

The largest source of the insurgency’s funding, according to the report, comes from donations collected door-to-door in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as from wealthy Arab donors in the Gulf region. It downplays direct Taliban involvement in the narcotics trade, but notes that they do collect taxes from opium production in regions they control. It also states that corruption fed by international spending helps fund the insurgency.

3. Is the Taliban winning or losing?

The report’s authors do appear to believe that the US-led military strategy has been having an effect on the insurgency, pressuring many of them to downgrade their operations or go to ground in Pakistan. Unsurprisingly, they see the kill-capture campaign as playing a key role:

“Unrelenting, pinpoint ISAF operations targeting specific command elements have had a demonstrable effect on the insurgents’ ability to conduct operations.”

At the same time however, there is a sense that, despite the vast number of insurgents who’ve been killed or captured, the Taliban’s momentum remains unchecked.

“Though the Taliban suffered severely in 2011, its strength, motivation, funding , and tactical proficiency remains intact. […] Despite numerous tactical setbacks, surrender is far from their collective mindset. […] As opposed to years past, detainees have become more confident in not only their potential to win, but the virtue of their cause.”

Indeed, the report is far more pessimistic about the Afghan government:

“Many Afghans are already bracing themselves for an eventual return of the Taliban. [The Afghan government] continues to declare its willingness to fight, yet many of its personnel have secretly reached out to insurgents, seeking long-term options in the event of a possible Taliban victory. The Taliban recognize this trend and formalized a reconciliation system of their own.”

4. How does Pakistan help the Taliban?

The report levels harsh accusations of Pakistani cooperation with the insurgency, specifically with the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency, noting that “senior Taliban leaders meet regularly with ISI personnel who advise on strategy and relay any pertinent concerns of the Government of Pakistan.”

At the same time though, the report is more cautious when it comes to the nature of the link between the ISI and the Taliban:

“Despite widespread open-source reports to the contrary, detainees have provided little evidence of direct ISI funding of Taliban operations or training of Taliban personnel. Similarly, there have been no credible reports from detainees in 2011 of ISI directly providing weapons to the Taliban. Rather, the majority of ISI support appears to be through intermediaries.”

The fact is that these militant groups have an existence independent of the Pakistani government in the border areas, where in many cases they enjoy deep sympathy among and roots within the local population. Nor would substantial logistical from an outside party support be necessary to maintain their low-intensity guerilla operations and occasional high-profile attacks.

5. Why is Pakistan helping the Taliban?

The report offers the common refrain that Pakistan’s policy in Afghanistan is largely driven by its longstanding rivalry with its neighbor to the east, India. It therefore seeks to ensure that Afghanistan’s government is friendly to itself and hostile to India—criteria that make the administration of Afghan President Hamid Karzai unsatisfactory:

“Hamid Karzai is perceived as deeply influenced by India, Iran and the West, and therefore a potential strategic threat to Pakistani security. Most detainees believe that Pakistan will continue to overlook any concerns with Afghan-focused insurgent groups, in order to undermine [the Afghan government.]”

At the same time, however, the report acknowledges that Pakistan has its own legitimate interests in the current conflict. The Pakistani state is deeply threatened by insurgent groups within its borders, particularly the Tehrik-e Taliban-e Pakistan, which has declared war on the government. In order to subdue the trouble in its border areas—which has been inflamed in part by US drone strikes and the war in Afghanistan—it has attempted to co-opt militant groups and direct their energies outwards:

“The Government of Pakistan has developed an innovative strategy for subduing the TTP through a combination of clandestine diplomacy and intense military action. ISI has directed much of its effort toward undermining the TTP from within, and subsequently redirecting insurgent efforts away from Pakistan.”

6. What about Iran?

Iran has long been alleged to be playing both sides of the conflict in Afghanistan, which the report makes clear:

“The Iranians have provided moderate support to what coalition forces refer to as the Herat Insurgent Faction, or “Mujahedin of Martyr Akbari”, which is a smaller insurgent group operating primarily in Herat and Badghis Provinces. However, Iran has offered far more support to Farsi-speaking groups, many of which currently support [the government of Afghanistan], rather than pro-Taliban elements.”

PART II: The Annotated Excerpts from the Report 

The US and NATO have suffered from a long series of damaging and embarrassing leaks over the years in Afghanistan, from the massive Wikileaks cache, to Ambassador Karl Eikenberry’s infamous 2008 memo, to, most recently, a top-secret cable supposedly so sensitive that Ambassador Ryan Crocker sent it via the CIA rather than normal diplomatic channels to the US (where its contents were soon leaked to the Washington Post by military sources hoping to make the case for prolonging the troop deployments.)

There have been rumors that the military has instituted a form of leak-tracing technology that embeds a unique, invisible code in each copy of a document. There is reason to believe that this might be the case with the State of the Taliban Report, so we’ve copied out certain passages, and re-created key images, in order to give you a direct look without potentially compromising our source. (The New York Times copied out the full text here, out of the same concerns.) We’ve also redacted certain information that might compromise sensitive military details or the privacy of individual detainees.

The Maps

 The report includes several satellite images that are meant to illustrate the nature of cooperation between Pakistani security forces and the Taliban. Using the grid coordinates provided in the report, we were able to find open-source satellite imagery of the same areas. We’ve also reprinted the captions from the report, but we’ve redacted the coordinates.

One image shows a Pakistani Army border checkpoint on the border between the Afghan province of Khost and the Pakistan agency of North Waziristan (note how the Pakistani border post is shown on the Afghan side of the border.) The caption describes a common complaint that’s been voiced both by US military brass and soldiers alike — that they’ve observed first-hand a cordial relationship between the Pakistani Army and militants. In many cases, Pakistan’s Frontier Corp and the Taliban are drawn from the same Pashtun tribal groups that straddle the border, so certainly they will share cultural, if not political, affinities with one another. If, as the US has alleged, attackers on the US embassy came from the Haqqani Network, which is based in North Waziristan, they might very well have used this route, or one like it, to enter Afghanistan.

Familial Residence and Meeting Location for Haqqani Network Senior Leadership, North Waziristan Agency, PK (exact coordinates redacted)

The Haqqani family madrassa has a long pedigree going back to the war against the Soviet Union, when it was a locus of mujehadin resistance in the area. Today, the Haqqani Network is alleged to remains closely associated with Pakistan’s intelligence service, and the two share an uneasy coexistence in Miram Shah, the capital of North Waziristan, where the madrassa is located.

The Detainees

Sprinkled throughout the report are boxes with photos of detainees, along with a snippet from their interrogations. (Again, these are reproductions of the images.):

This hapless detainee’s tale of woe is increasingly typical of the foreigners who smuggle themselves to Afghanistan with the intent of doing jihad against the US forces there. Al Qaeda’s central leadership has been decimated and fractured by US military pressure, and they have little operational ability to field forces in Afghanistan, like they once did. Instead, individuals like this Moroccan-German are more likely to end up with one of the ad-hoc foreign fighter groups that are associated with a small number of Taliban fronts. This individual was picked up in Zabul Province, which is one of the only areas in southern Afghanistan where foreign fighters are active.

This is strange because Burhannudin Rabbani is the former leader of the Northern Alliance who was assassinated by a turban-bomb wearing militant last year—in other words, a staunch opponent of the Taliban.

That being said, in Afghanistan there are almost always a multiplicity of clandestine and confusing ties between ostensible enemies—given the number of different factions, and the constantly shifting alliances, you never know when you may need each other. It’s possible that this guy got picked up by the US for being in communication with the insurgency.

In any case, while it may be a little hyperbolic, his warnings about a civil war and a split along regional lines point towards a gloomy possible future for Afghanistan—a repeat of what happened after the Soviets left. We know how that turned out.


Please click on the link below to read the full report (minus some images redacted)

FULL REPORT ” State of the Taliban”

Acknowledgements: GQ Magazine, New York Times, Guardian

Syria: The terror operation of Jeffrey Feltman

Formally, the U.S. regime has agreed on an UN observer mission of up to 300 UN observers in Syria, which use is initially limited to 90 days, which also means that the United States agreed that the UN Observers monitor the ceasefire from all sides and the UN Security Council Resolutions 2042 and 2043rd for a peaceful political process of the situation in Syria.

With the adoption of the UN resolutions on Syria, the Zionist-Wahhabi U.S. plan has failed. The plan included to force a “regime change” in Libya and Syria, implemented  through propaganda, terror, sanctions, and an ultimately genocidal-bombing of the resistance. These steps should prepare the long-planned military regime change in Iran.

The terrorist gangs, which are subordinated to the Zionist U.S. Secretary of State Jeffrey D. Feltman, and which terrorize the Syrian population in fancy names like “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), “Al Qaeda”, or “Farouk Brigade” by bombings and death squads, have in the ongoing democratic process in Syria, despite the massive support of Zionist propaganda and Wahhabi networks, no chance to come to power in Syria, because they are all rejected by the overwhelming majority of the Syrian population.

But behind the scenes, the Zionists and the U.S. government continue to work hard to destabilize Syria, together with the loose combination of the “enemies of the Syrian people” (“Friends of Syria”), in order to fomenting terrorism and the armed violence, because they want to undermine the so-called UN peace plan for Syria.

The recent talks by Jeffrey Feltman with his fascist-Wahhabi friends from the “March 14″ in Lebanon (Beirut) reveal the calculus behind it.
The U.S. reign of terror thinks that it would be useful to further destabilize Syria, at least, until next year (by terrorism), in order to also weaken Iran, at least, temporarily. And by the weakening of Syria, they have also a better chance to reach a “regime change” in Lebanon – at the latest in the Lebanese parliamentary elections in 2013, but a “regime change” in Lebanon is still also possible before this date.

Ultimately, the NATO Allies, who are dominated by Zionists, want the Zionist apartheid regime over Palestine and the Anglo-American dictatorships of Wahhabi-Arabia and Qatar, with the strategy of continuously terrorism in Iran and Syria – of course, also in order to weaken the Lebanese resistance-force, Hezbollah.

Disturbing for these goals is the UN peace plan. The NATO countries agreed on the UN peace plan under the pressure by unmasked propaganda lies in April.

Also disturbing for these goals are the UN observers, who mean a danger for them, because contrary to the strong Zionist and Wahhabi propaganda, it could become more and more clear that the Zionist apartheid regime, the states of the North Atlantic Terror Organization (NATO), under U.S. leadership, as well as the feudal extreme dictatorships, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, were behind the murderous terror in Syria in the past 15 months. Thousands of Syrian people are the victims of organized terrorism (under the false flag of democracy and peace).

To end the fragile peace in Syria officially and thus to get rid of those pesky UN Observers, Feltman`s gang implemented a complex terror and propaganda operation in Syria, consisting of at least two operative parts, just on time for the visit by Kofi Annan to Damascus.

The scheduled plan of the “Feltman operation” is assumed to include the following operation steps:

The main part of the “Feltman operation” was to make sure that about 100 heavily armed Feltman bandits enter the village “Hula” (Houla) near the Syrian city of Homs. (al Houleh, allegedly a name of a Syrian region with three villages near Homs). This armed gang had the order to force chaos and bloodshed in this village. They wildly shoot around, put houses on fire and attack a building of the Syrian security forces. These armed “Feltman rebels” also conquered the hospital of the area.

The Feltman-bandits should entrench themselves in the hospital then. During the attack, the UN observers would be alarmed by the news that the Syrian security forces carry out a massacre on opposition supporters and the civil society with heavy weapons in this area near Homs.

The UN observers should come to Hula (Houlah/al-Houleh), thus that they confirm that the Syrian security forces used (contrary to their obligations under the six-point peace plan by Kofi Annan) heavy weapons in the city. The UN Observers should also monitor the withdrawal of the Feltman-terrorists, who should pretend to be Syrian civilians and that they have defended the hospital against the violent Government forces.

This process would then be used to blame the Syrian government, at least, “semi-officially” confirmed by observers from the UN, with a serious breach of UN resolutions, in the commitment to the ceasefire.

The second part of the Feltman-operation was that some terrorists, with a short run-up to the major surgery, go to the nearby villages, such as al-Shumariyeh, and carry out simple massacre of innocent families to push this horrible violence in the shoes of the Syrian government.

The armed charge of this part of the Feltman operation should murder defenseless people, or especially children and women, the more senseless and cruel the better.

Afterwards, the Feltman-terrorists should take videos and pictures with the murdered victims, which were killed by them. The armed gang should pretend that they are neighbors, who just found the victims by accident.

Then they should explain that the victims were members of friendly families of them and also opponents of the Syrian governments, who were just killed by Syrian security forces. These armed people should also strongly indicate that the Syrian security forces are very close to them, namely in Hula, i.e. where the main operation of the complex Feltman-operation takes place, and currently carry out a massacre there, thus that UN observers are urgent and quickly needed in this area.

With the help of the satellite uplinks, which are described as “non-lethal opposition assistance” by the NATO and GCC countries, which also have provided this, the videos, taken by the Feltman-terrorists, should be uploaded to the Internet, so that the videos can be massive disseminated with the help of the Zionist-Wahhabi propaganda apparatus.

Subsequently, the part of the second Feltman operation should flee and also make the prosecution of them more difficult by e.g. arson.

The main task of the second part of the Feltman-operation was to ensure, that the gruesome pictures and videos of the operation in Hula (Houla/el-Houleh) quickly spreads over the whole world and gets disseminated in all media, so that UN observers quickly come to Hula in order that the desired propaganda effect of the local operation works; and e.g. will not fail because of lower coverage.

After the successful completion of the whole operation should the emerging branch of the Feltman-terrorists, called “Free Syrian Army” (FSA), make a public statement that it is no more possible for them to comply with the ceasefire of the UN resolution(s).

The co-operating regimes of states of NATO and the GCC should then condemn the Syrian government and declare their solidarity with the Feltman-terrorists. Afterwards, the governments should declare in a new UN Security meeting that they drop the previously UN Resolutions and stop the observer mission.

Of course, this should also include that they declare in public to supply the Feltman-terrorists in Syria with weapons and that they threaten Syria again, like it happened at the previous UN resolutions, with an aggressive war on humanitarian reasons.

The ceasefire agreement would thus officially ended, the UN observer mission to monitor the ceasefire would be over and the progress of the disturbing campaign of the UN observers in Syria, which were counterproductive for the terror plans, would also be no more problem, though perhaps not immediately, but no later than the end of the 90-day period.

Significant parts of the Feltman-operation succeeded as they were planned. The killing of innocent women and children in al-Shumariyeh was managed by the Feltman-terrorists, without getting caught by Syrian government forces in the horrible act. The massacres were also pushed by the Zionist-Wahhabi propaganda networks as planned; for example, the German news and published this as top news.

This news in the leading media of the NATO countries was also given the needed headlines, so that it was mentioned that forces of the Syrian government could have massacred civilians, women and children in Hula – “Massacres in Syrian Hula: Opposition complains about dozens of dead children” and “Activists speak of massacres – apparently 110 dead after attacks in Syria” and so on.

Notorious lackeys of the Zionist lobby, such as the German and French foreign ministers, also have immediately condemned the Syrian government in public and also very harshly, as it were scheduled.

But in some parts of the Feltman-operation, it did not work as planned.

Some numerous German media in the NATO state Germany have reported, while citing “exile groups”, that strangers went from house to house and that these “insurgents” have indiscriminately murdered people, including children.

This created a risk that contrary to the scheduled scenario to make the Syrian government responsible for the horrible crimes of the Feltman-terrorists, that a “third force” could appear again. But with the crimes of the terrorists, the Syrian government forces should be made responsible, that was the Feltman plan. While heavy weapons like tanks and artillery should be named as murder weapons, because that was the only way to accuse the Syrian government that they have broken the ceasefire.

But the pictures of the murdered children reveal, however, at least in some cases, that they were purposefully murdered by shots from close in or with the help of stabbing, cutting and slashing. Victims of artillery look different.

This mistake leads to new difficulties for the Feltman-terrorists. The attempt to establish the general opinion, that these franctireur (“insurgents”) belong to pro-government forces, which were backed by Syrian security forces, was threatening to fail. It threatened to reach the public, that it actually were the Feltman-terrorists who have committed the horrible crimes.

While numerous German media have subsequently removed the term “insurgents” (franctireur) from their coverage of the Feltman-massacre, some propaganda outlets had this term also in the headlines and all know that the Internet has a persistent memory.

The Feltman-terrorists have made also a mistake in the presentation of the children in their propaganda movies. It is, for example, very evident that the Feltman-terrorists, who have filmed themselves and also have pretended to be neighbors and friends of the dead children and people, handled the bodies of the children like a raw piece of meat and not like friends and neighbors would do it.

Unplanned was also that the Syrian authorities have discovered some victims of the second part of the Feltman-operation already before the start of the operational phase of the main part of this horrible false-flag operation, and therefore the timeline of the story of the Feltman-terrorists has some problems.

Also the UN observers have not reacted in the way as it was scheduled by the Feltman-terrorists. The UN observers did not rushed to help immediately as it was planned by the operation of the Feltman terrorists and despite the cruel policies of the second operation part, so that the withdrawal of the Feltman-terrorists did not work out as planned.

Instead to use the expected propaganda line of the Feltman-terrorist tune, the UN observers condemned the murderous violence without naming a specific party in the conflict as guilty. The UN Observers have condemned the violence in the strongest terms, without accusing one of the sides. They also came to the place when the safety was restored and not on time as it was scheduled by the Feltman-terrorists.

It remains unclear whether the Feltman-terrorists and their NATO-GCC supporters are able to succeed in the manipulating the investigation of the UN Observers. It remains also unclear of the barbaric terrorist operation by Jeffrey Feltman will have the scheduled results – a long-running civil war in Syria to weaken Iran and Hezbollah.

Based on / Source:


Germany must not destroy the European order for a third time

 Germany must not destroy the European order for a third time

By Joschka Fischer

The Daily Star

Europe’s situation is serious – very serious. Who would have thought that British Prime Minister David Cameron would call on eurozone governments to muster the courage to create a fiscal union – with a common budget and tax policy and jointly guaranteed public debt? And Cameron also argues that deeper political integration is the only way to stop the breakup of the euro. And this from a conservative British prime minister! The European house is ablaze, and 10 Downing Street is calling for a rational and resolute response by the fire brigade.

Unfortunately, the fire brigade is being led by Germany, and its chief is Chancellor Angela Merkel. As a result, Europe continues to try to quench the fire with gasoline – German-enforced austerity – with the consequence that, in a mere three years, the eurozone’s financial crisis has become an existential crisis for Europe.

Let’s not delude ourselves: If the euro falls apart, so will the European Union (the world’s largest economy), triggering a global economic crisis on a scale that most people alive today have never experienced. Europe is on the edge of an abyss, and will surely tumble into it unless Germany – and France – alters course.

The recent elections in France and Greece, together with local elections in Italy and continuing unrest in Spain and Ireland, have shown that the public has lost faith in the strict austerity forced upon them by Germany. Merkel’s kill-to-cure remedy has run up against reality – and democracy.

We are once again learning the hard way that this kind of austerity, when applied in the teeth of a major financial crisis, leads only to depression. This insight should have been common knowledge; it was, after all, a major lesson of the austerity policies of President Herbert Hoover in the United States and Chancellor Heinrich Bruning in Weimar Germany in the early 1930s. Unfortunately, however, Germany, of all countries, seems to have forgotten this reality.

As a consequence, chaos looms in Greece, as does the prospect of subsequent bank runs in Spain, Italy and France – and thus a financial avalanche that would bury Europe. And then? Should we write off what more than two generations of Europeans have created – a massive investment in institution-building that has led to the longest period of peace and prosperity in the history of the continent?

One thing is certain: A breakup of the euro and the EU would entail Europe’s exit from the world stage. Germany’s current policy is all the more absurd in view of the bitter political and economic consequences that it would face.

It is up to Germany and France, Merkel and President François Hollande, to decide the future of our continent. Europe’s salvation now depends on a fundamental change in Germany’s economic-policy stance, and in France’s position on political integration and structural reforms.

France will have to say yes to a political union: a common government with common parliamentary control for the eurozone. The eurozone’s national governments already are acting in unison as a de facto government to address the crisis. What is becoming increasingly true in practice should be carried forward and formalized.

Germany, for its part, will have to opt for a fiscal union. Ultimately, that means guaranteeing the eurozone’s survival with Germany’s economic might and assets: unlimited acquisition of the crisis countries’ government bonds by the European Central Bank, Europeanization of national debts via Eurobonds, and growth programs to avoid a eurozone depression and boost recovery.

One can easily imagine the ranting in Germany about this kind of program: Still more debt! Loss of control over our assets! Inflation! It just doesn’t work!

But it does work: Germany’s export-led growth is based on just such programs in the emerging countries and the United States. If China and America had not pumped partly debt-financed money into their economies beginning in 2009, the German economy would have taken a serious hit. Germans must now ask themselves whether they, who have profited the most from European integration, are willing to pay the price for it or would prefer to let it fail.

Beyond political and fiscal unification and short-term growth policies, Europeans urgently need structural reforms aimed at restoring Europe’s competitiveness. Each of these pillars is needed if Europe is to overcome its existential crisis.

Do we Germans understand our pan-European responsibility? It certainly does not look that way. Indeed, rarely has Germany been as isolated as it is now.

Hardly anyone understands our dogmatic austerity policy, which goes against all experience, and we are considered largely off-course, if not heading into oncoming traffic. It is still not too late to change direction, but now we have only days and weeks, perhaps months, to act, rather than years.

Germany destroyed itself – and the European order – twice during the 20th century, and then convinced the West that it had drawn the right conclusions. Only in this manner – reflected most vividly in its embrace of the European project – did Germany win consent for its reunification. It would be both tragic and ironic if a restored Germany, by peaceful means and with the best of intentions, brought about the ruin of the European order a third time.

Joschka Fischer, Germany’s foreign minister and vice-chancellor from 1998 to 2005, was a leader in the German Green Party for almost 20 years.

THE DAILY STAR publishes this commentary in collaboration with Project Syndicate-Institute for Human Sciences ©

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 30, 2012, on page 7.

YouTube Carries Anti-Syria Massacre Videos, Despite Ban On Showing Dead Bodies

“YouTube is not a shock site. Don’t post gross-out videos of accidents, dead bodies or similar things intended to shock or disgust.”

 U.N. observer head in Syria discovers 13 bound corpses

By Bassem Mroue

The Daily Star 

Screen Shot of  Executions in the field Diralzor – Alsger 13 bodies unknown 

BEIRUT: U.N. observers have discovered 13 bound corpses in eastern Syria, many of them apparently shot execution-style, the monitoring mission said Wednesday.

The announcement comes days after a massacre in Houla, in the central Homs province, which killed more than 100 people and prompted worldwide condemnation against the regime of President Bashar Assad. The Syrian government denied its troops were behind the killings and blamed “armed terrorists.”

The latest killings apparently happened in Deir el-Zour province. The corpses were found with their hands tied behind their backs, according to a statement by the U.N. mission. Some appeared to have been shot in the head from a short distance.

The head of the U.N. observer team, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, said he was “deeply disturbed by this appalling and inexcusable act.”

The violence in Syria is spiraling out of control as an uprising against Assad that began in March 2011 has morphed into an armed insurgency.

In the wake of the Houla massacre, the United States and several other countries expelled Syrian diplomats to protest the killings. Survivors blamed pro-regime gunmen for at least some of the carnage in Houla.

The U.N.’s top human rights body planned to hold a special session Friday to address the massacre. Violence also continued elsewhere unabated. Syrian forces bombarded rebel-held areas in the same province where the Houla killings occurred, although no casualties were immediately reported, activists said.

Damascus had said it would conclude its own investigation into the Houla deaths by Wednesday but it was not clear if the findings would be made public.

Syria’s state-run media on Wednesday denounced the diplomatic expulsions as “unprecedented hysteria.”

The United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria ordered top Syrian diplomats to leave on Tuesday.

Turkey, Syria’s neighbor and a former close ally, joined the coordinated protest on Wednesday. Turkey has been among the most outspoken critics of the Assad regime. It closed its embassy in Damascus in March and withdrew the ambassador. Its consulate in Aleppo remains open.

The Foreign Ministry said it ordered the Syrian charge d’affaires and other diplomats at the Syrian embassy in Ankara to leave the country within 72 hours. The consulate in Istanbul will remain open for consular duties only.

The Foreign Ministry said it also reduced the number of its personnel in the consulate in Aleppo, Syria, on Wednesday.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said new unspecified sanctions might be imposed against Syria in the coming days. The world “cannot remain silent in the face of such a situation,” he said.

Japan also ordered the Syrian ambassador in Tokyo to leave the country because of concerns about violence against civilians. Japan’s foreign minister, Koichiro Genba, said his country was not, however, breaking off diplomatic ties with Syria.

The announcements came a day after the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Bulgaria ordered top Syrian diplomats to leave.

Syria’s ally, Russia, criticized the diplomatic moves.

“The banishment of Syrian ambassadors from the capitals of leading Western states seems to us to be a counterproductive step,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. He said the move closes “important channels” to influence Syria.

U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan met with Assad on Tuesday in Damascus to try to salvage what was left of his peace plan, which since being brokered six weeks ago has failed to stop any of the violence on the ground.

The Al-Baath daily, the mouthpiece of Assad’s Baath Party, said Syria won’t be intimidated by such “violent rhythms” and would remain standing in front of such “ugly, bloody and dramatic shows.” It added that “Syria will not tremble as they think.”

The government’s Al-Thawra newspaper also blasted the Western decision, calling it an “escalation that aims to besiege Annan’s plan and inflame a civil war.”

Tensions have escalated as more information emerges about the May 25 killings in Houla.

The U.N.’s human rights office said most of the 108 victims were shot execution-style at close range, with fewer than 20 people cut down by regime shelling.

U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said there are strong suspicions that pro-Assad fighters were responsible for some of the killings, casting doubt on allegations that “third elements” – or outside forces – were involved, although he did not rule it out.

Meanwhile, activists said Syrian troops shelled restive suburbs of Damascus and rebel-held areas in the central city of Homs on Wednesday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said at least five people were killed in the Damascus suburb of Douma. Both groups had no details about casualties in Homs, which is the provincial capital of the province that includes Houla.

(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Azerbaijan Neutralizes Terrorist Bomb Plot Linked To Dagestan “Islamists”

Azerbaijan Thwarted ‘Terror Attack Plot’ during Eurovision

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية


Azerbaijan foiled an attempt to stage “terrorist” attacks while it was hosting the Eurovision Song Contest last week and arrested dozens of suspected plotters, the security ministry said Wednesday.

“The main goal of the group was to stage terrorist acts in Baku during Eurovision,” the National Security Ministry said in a statement. “As a result of the measures taken, 40 members of the group were arrested.”

The group was planning attacks on the concert hall where Eurovision was held, on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, police buildings, hotels used by foreigners, mosques and other religious sites in the ex-Soviet state, it said.

The plotters “obtained Eurovision tickets with the aim of (committing) a terrorist act at the Baku Crystal Hall” where the pop competition was held, it said.

They were allegedly planning to hit the oil-rich, mainly Muslim country’s strongman leader Aliyev during his visit to Azerbaijan’s north-western regions last month.

They also intended to target the luxury Hilton and Marriott hotels in Baku by blowing up cars packed with explosives, according to the statement.

Security services detained the alleged gang during operations in the cities of Baku, Ganja and Sumgayit as well as several other regions of the country, the ministry said without giving dates.

“The National Security Ministry opted not to disseminate information about neutralizing the group during Eurovision in order not to provoke panic among citizens and foreign guests,” it said.

Some of the alleged plotters put up armed resistance and two suspects were killed, both of them Azerbaijani citizens, the statement said.

A large amount of firearms and explosives was also allegedly seized when the suspects were detained.

The plot was said to have been hatched during a meeting between three of the suspects and what the statement described as “Dagestani emirs” across the border in the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan in February 2011.

“The goal was to create an atmosphere of anarchy, to spread panic among citizens,” the ministry said.

After the attacks, the group was planning to hide in the forests of Dagestan and wait for more armed militants to join them, it said.

Eurovision, watched by more than 100 million people worldwide, was the biggest cultural event staged in Azerbaijan since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

The authorities spent hundreds of millions of dollars building the Crystal Hall venue and beautifying the capital ahead of the competition in an attempt to win acclaim for the Caspian Sea state previously known mainly as an energy exporter on Europe’s eastern fringe.

The contest’s grand final on Saturday was won by Swedish singer Loreen.

The Azerbaijani security services have thwarted a series of alleged attack plots in recent months, accusing some of the suspects of having links with neighbor Iran.

Baloch Rebels Claim That Pak Forces Massing South of Quetta, Laying Landmines On Public Roads

[Pakistan “plowing the road” ahead of TAPI pipeline laying?]

Preparations of massive military offensives are underway in Balochistan: BSO Azad

Balochistan: The central spokesperson of Baloch Students Organization, (BSO) has said that preliminary preparations of a gory military operation in a massive scale are underway in Balochistan. 

According to spokesperson’s statement, massive deployment of enemy forces have taken place in strategic area of “DashtGoran” in Kalat, “Laje” In Kharan, “AhmedWaal” in Noushki, and “Nimmurg” in Kalat. Expressing concern of collective punishment by forces the BSO (A) spokesperson said that standing crops of the poor Baloch peasants have been destroyed by armed forces and the water resources have been sprayed with chemical poisons. People are not being allowed to commute to cities to buy ration. All out and inlet routes of the areas have completely been blocked with the establishment of new check posts.

The spokesperson further said that preliminary preparations are the preamble of another gory military operation in Balochistan. The statement said that the forces laying landmines, in a large scale, on the general thoroughfares for common people commute. Citing an example the spokesperson said that a few days back, a landmine in “Samalo” of Kalat area exploded killing two innocent people.

Urging the international community the BSO spokesperson said that on humanitarian ground, it is their moral duty to prevent Pakistan from laying landmines and committing human rights violation in Balochistan so that human catastrophe is stopped before it started in the near future, because the mobilization of Pakistani armed forces on the large scale in Balochistan are the indications of a dangerous gory operation.

Translated By Archen Baloch
Courtesy: courtesy

The Three Rogue Nations–Producing Order Out Of Chaos

[The researchers of the following article make some interesting points about the “modus operandi” of the global Shadow Government and their world destabilization plans.  NWO manipulators and trouble-makers share common occult beliefs in simple axioms, such as “Order out of Chaos,” or “As above, so below,” which apply to all of their sinister machinations. 

We know that their plans for a New World Order faithfully rely upon these beliefs to bring “order out of the chaos” which they create.  We know that they are acting upon those beliefs, when they try in so many ways to bend the people of the world, to recondition their minds into conformity to the masters’ wills.  We know that one of their primary beliefs is that “thoughts create reality,” so we also know that the world of chaos which they are shaping around us is but a reflection of the sick, demented fantasy worlds which exists inside their own big heads.  Is it possible to dream a new reality and then watch it take shape?  Can the conscious mind really be redirected by tampering with the sub-conscious?

How is it that “order” is brought out of “chaos”?  Can we believe our own eyes, or our own minds, when trying to counter disruptive forces that are constantly directed at us?  No, we cannot believe our own thoughts, when we live in a world run by men who have developed elementary mind-sciences.  We cannot believe our own perceptions, because those perceptions are not our own, not of our own making.  The new order slowly rising-up around us is based on managed perceptions that are drip-fed into our belief systems thanks to the wonders of television. 

In response to the theme of the following report, about three separate destabilization centers (Colombia, Israel and Pakistan), the “wars” we are fighting there are not real wars, just as the perceptions we share about the chaos radiating outward from those trouble-making regions are not real perceptions.  The wars and our perceptions about them are manufactured for us, implanted within our minds without our knowledge or awareness.

The Chaos, just like the wars and the false perceptions are not real, because they are all managed forms of conflict.  The chaos is not chaos, because there is always a secret current of control, leading back to the Shadow Government.  What we have is the perception of anarchy and chaos, when the truth is, the violent storms we see brewing across the face of the earth are not as chaotic as they appear to be.   A limited war is not actually a state of “war,” but more closely resembles a show, a managed stage production, replete with sets, players and scripts, to carry the central plot forward, right into our sheep-like fuzzy heads. 

They control us by controlling what we think.  I think that it will be a New Day for all of mankind when we learn to look behind the seeming chaos and see the real “Devil in the details.”  At that time, it will be true that those who have placed themselves above us all will be brought down low, justlike the rest of us.]

The Three Rogue Nations: Producing Order Out Of Chaos

When Corrupt Governments Are Formed and Maintained To Oversee State-sponsored Criminal Enterprises

Israel, Colombia and Pakistan share something in common which can only be properly explained when looking at the world geo-political chessboard through the lens of the New World Order (NWO) leadership. Each of these nations plays a pivotal role in their respective regions of the planet. Their roles are decidedly different from what you might expect of a sovereign nation, especially since they are engaged around the clock in so much illicit and clandestine behavior.

Of course, we all know that Israel was artificially created to drive a HUGE wedge into the oil-producing and political power structure of the Middle East. All the Arab and Muslim nations in that region are ‘perfectly’ controlled by this one tiny country possessing undeclared nuclear weaponry. Only through British and American coercion could such a theft of land from the Palestinians have been blessed by the United Nations in 1948, the year that the modern State of Israel was made official.

Likewise, the British artificially created Pakistan to perform the same chaos-producing function throughout south-central Asia. Only in the wake of Indian independence could such a Muslim nation have been formed through the granting of statehood to Pakistan by India in 1947. It has been in the middle of every regional conflict ever since by design of the World Shadow Government. The significant role that Pakistan plays vis-a-vis India, China, Afghanistan, Iran and other nations throughout the region is indisputable. That they possess nuclear weapons is again no accident.

Columbia was created as the drug capital of Western Hemisphere to perform a similar function throughout Central and South America. Even though it came into its own more recently than the other two during the sixties and seventies, it was being prepared by the world powers shortly after the end of WWII. Columbia has enjoyed remarkable success as an NWO bully for as long as drug running has been conducted. From its strategically located launchpad at the junction point between Central and South America, Columbia has controlled the drug trade throughout the entire continent – to the North and the South – until now.  

Throughout history we find a very powerful regional dynamic operating at the nexus of war and drugs. Israel, Columbia and Pakistan each illustrate the profound degree of control and chaos which can be generated by such a nexus. Israel actually functions as the international headquarters for the global drug trade. Things have not really changed since 1000 BC when Phoenicia (modern day Israel and Lebanon) was the major trading capital of the world. Well, it still is as it concerns the administration of worldwide drug running operations. There are very significant reasons why Israel appears to act with absolute impunity as it sits in the driver’s seat of the international drug cartel, as we shall soon see.


Afghanistan, Mexico and Lebanon

There is a dimension to this geo-political game which is often overlooked. These three rogue nations work in tandem with three other nations (often against their will) in their respective regions. In each case the tandem nation is used by the superpowers to sow seeds of great distraction and major confusion. Running interference in this manner permits the real culprits to get away with a lot more than they would otherwise be able to.

What better way to create order out of chaos than to marry drugs and war wherever there’s a convenient fit. What we find is a very well-planned intersection between war-making and drug running. If there’s not a real combat war going on, they simply create a War on Drugs or leftist guerilla war. Makes no difference who the new fabricated enemy is as long as enough pandemonium and mayhem is created to give cover for the drug running.

In Mexico it’s the drug cartels against the military and police. In Afghanistan we have NATO fighting the Taliban or anyone with a turban. And, in Lebanon we see the threat of war hanging over the head of its citizens every day, of every year for decades. See how each of these nations is really quite innocent of making mischief in their neighborhood; however, they are used by NWO controllers to fulfill a very important agenda.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see how Israel and Lebanon, Columbia and Mexico, and Pakistan and Afghanistan relate to each other, especially where it concerns the global War on Drugs. Mexico has turned into a cauldron of drug wars unparalleled in modern history. Afghanistan has been invaded for its lucrative poppy seed production by the world powers over centuries. Where Israel is the world capital for both synthetic drug manufacturing and designer drug dissemination, Lebanon has been a major conduit for their movement and worldwide distribution.

Each of these tag teams demonstrate the NWO strategy of order out of chaos through war on civilian populations and the subsequent business of drug-running. The three rogue nations attempting to accomplish the same political, military and economic goals alone (for their masters, of course) could not even come close. This is one reason that Israel, Pakistan and Columbia have been the recipients of such an inordinate and disproportionate amount of financial assistance for decades. Billions of unaccountable dollars have been funneled to each of these countries ostensibly for defense in the form of military hardware and weaponry. There is virtually no way to track the use of the huge sums of money received by these rogue nations, so why else do they receive it year after year? Their military might is undoubtedly bolstered by additional transfers of military technology and weapons programs.

The mere threat of military aggression must be plausible if they’re to be effective at controlling their neighbors. See how Israel threatens Iran daily; Pakistan threatens India regularly and Columbia threatens Venezuela whenever the USA wants them to. Talk about henchman whose main purpose is to keep all the neighbors on on pins and needles.

Where Mexico has provided a lot of cover these past many years for Columbia, Afghanistan has done the same for Pakistan. Lebanon has played a much more murky role in Middle Eastern geo-politics as seen during the last war between Israel and Lebanon. Israels’s northern neighbor is a nation under constant threat because of its dangerous proximity to the locus of real political power and strategic military capability within the Middle East.

Incidentally, what was that last war between Israel and Lebanon really all about anyway? A alleged kidnapping of a single Israeli soldier by Hezbollah triggers a full scale war response. Lebanon responds with a complete lack of defense of its sovereign territory? The country takes virtually no initiative to protect its own citizenry?! Israel’s war posture looked like a purposeful and calculated over-reaction. And so it was … to fertilize the field of military aggression for much bigger things to come. As well as confuse the appearance of the actual relationship that exists between Israel and Lebanon concerning covert commercial interests and ongoing collaborations around sabotaging the Mideast peace process.

Israel, Pakistan and Columbia: Change is on the horizon for all three

What has just been written about these three historically rogue nations may soon be a thing of the past. How so?

Some major developments have recently taken place which speak to profound changes in the way these 3 nations have been administered by the World Shadow Government. Major recent events in Columbia, Pakistan and Israel, particularly in relation to the USA, are testimony to a huge shift in the relationship which has been cultivated for decades. Many headlines have recently appeared in the MSM that reflect an unprecedented turning point in the waning influence of US political and military muscle, which has been ‘dutifully’ exerted on behalf of the World Shadow Government[1].

Part II of this series will reveal and elaborate on those changes.

Cosmic Convergence Research Group
Submitted: May 28, 2012

[1] Excerpt from “New World Order as Global Financial Matrix Self Destructs” by T. Anthony Michael (The Market Oracle: November, 2008)

©2012 Cosmic Convergence 2012®. All rights reserved
Permission is granted to post this essay as long as it is linked back to the following url:

Blackwater agents involved in Syria unrest: Political analyst

Blackwater agents involved in Syria unrest: Political analyst

The agents of the US company Blackwater are operating inside Syria and are involved in the deadly turmoil in the Arab country that began in March 2011, a political analyst tells Press TV.

“We have real evidence now that the Blackwater company is working in Syrian territories,” said Taleb Ibrahim, a political analyst from Damascus, in an interview with Press TV on Monday.

Ibrahim also stated that there is a “third party” inside Syria that “wants to undermine” the six-point peace plan put forward by UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan in March.

“I accuse directly the Turkish intelligence and the Saudi intelligence and the Qatari intelligence.”

Over the past few months, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have expressed support for arming of the Syrian rebels.

The political analyst added that the third party seeks to “prevent any political resolution for the crisis in Syria.”

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.

While the West and the Syrian opposition accuse the government of the killings, Damascus blames ”outlaws, saboteurs and armed terrorist groups” for the unrest, insisting that it is being orchestrated from abroad.

Sporadic clashes between Syrian forces and armed groups continue in Syria despite a ceasefire that took effect on April 12, and was part of the Annan plan.

Zionists’ Nabucco Pipe Dream Scuttled By BP

[Did you know?]

The name Nabucco was derived from a Verdi opera, which ” follows the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted, conquered, and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (short for Ital. Nabucodonosor, Eng. Nebuchadnezzar).”

Or that–

DELTA NIMIR KHAZAR LIMITED, UNOCAL KHAZAR, LTD, two of the ten corporations merged with the Azeri state oil co. in the SOCAR Corp.

In 1996, Delta Oil Company formed a joint-venture with Nimir Petroleum Company, a company controlled by Osama Bin Laden’s brother in law, financial backer, and sponsor of international terrorism Defendant Khalid Bin Salim Bin Mahfouz. This joint venture was known as Delta Nimir Khazar Limited.  Khalid bin Mahfouz is the former Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (or “BCCI”)

BP punches Nabucco below the belt

EurActiv Logo

UK oil major BP said it was no longer considering shipping gas from its Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan through the Nabucco pipeline, dealing a blow to the troubled European project. But the European Commission said the “full-scale version” of Nabucco was still the main option under consideration.

Iain Conn, BP’s head of fuel refining and marketing, said in a speech last week that BP and Azeri state oil group Socar were now considering only two options for the pipeline’s route to Austria – a smaller, pipeline from the Nabucco consortium, known as “Nabucco West”, and the South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP).

“Nabucco West” is a shorter line that would run from Turkey’s western border through Bulgaria and Romania to Austria. The full-scale Nabucco project involves new pipes all the way from Azerbaijan to the Baumgarten gas hub near Vienna.

BP: An interested party

BP is an interested party in the race for the Southern gas corridor and it is not the first time that the company makes statements harming Nabucco’s interests. One year ago, German energy giant RWE, a Nabucco shareholder, blamed BP for expressing concerns about Nabucco’s viability.

A major source for the Southern gas corridor is the Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, which is being developed by BP and Statoil of Norway, as well as by the Azeri state energy company Socar and some others. It is estimated to contain 1.2 trillion cubic metres of gas.

BP has its own pipeline project from Turkey through Bulgaria to the Romanian-Hungarian border, called the South East Europe Pipeline (SEEP). Unlike Nabucco, SEEP is expected to make use of the existing gas infrastructure.

A “southern” branch of the Southern gas corridor running from Greece to Italy, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), is at an advanced approval stage. TAP’s Managing Director Kjetil Tungsland recently told EurActiv that for the “northern” branch, Socar would choose between SEEP and Nabucco West, and make a decision this summer.

An Austrian newspaper quoted today a Socar official who played down the statements by the BP official.

“We informed BP that we do not agree with this comment. BP apologised and described the comment as a private opinion,” Socar’s deputy head Elshad Nassirov was quoted as saying in an interview from Baku, printed by Die Presse.

EU still has faith in Nabucco

The full-scale version of the Nabucco pipeline is still under consideration, the European Commission said on 25 May. “To our understanding, the Nabucco classic version, is still on the table,” Commission energy spokeswoman Marlene Holzner said,  quoted by Reuters.

For the European Union – which is seeking to reduce its reliance on Russian gas – the name of the pipeline is not the most important thing, she added in emailed comments.

Rather it is crucial that the “content is Nabucco”, Holzner said.

Germany’s RWE says it is likely that the original plans for the Nabucco gas pipeline will still be discussed, even if a proposed shorter route is picked, board member Leonhard Birnbaum said.

“We are confident that Nabucco West will win the bid, and then I still think that the original Nabucco concept will be discussed again,” Birnbaum told Reuters in e-mailed comments.

Russia sees Nabucco as dead

In the meantime, the Russian press wrote that Nabucco was “unlikely to survive summer”. Russia is pushing forward its own project, South Stream, largely intended to make Nabucco irrelevant (see background).

Gennady Shmal, head of the Union of Russian Oil and Gas Producers, is quoted as saying that Azerbaijan has only a small amount of gas to supply to the Nabucco pipeline after meeting its domestic needs and fulfilling its contracts with Turkey and Georgia.

Regarding another possible supplier – Turkmenistan – Shmal says that it would not have much gas left for export to the West either, having already constructed two gas pipelines to China and building a third one.

Jordan has denied reports of plans to deploy on its territory of U.S. military bases

Jordan has denied reports of plans to deploy on its territory of U.S. military bases

Jordan has denied reports of plans to deploy on its territory of U.S. military bases


Kuwait, May 29. (ARMS-TASS). Jordan appeared in today denied media reports about the existence of a plan to host the permanent U.S. military bases, which can subsequently be used for intervention in neighboring Syria.

“Relationships of Amman and NATO are strong, but they do not imply its consent to the placement of U.S. bases on the territory of the kingdom. This question is not considered” – the newspaper “Al-Ghada” statement senior Jordanian representative.

As argued May 20 American newspaper “Washington Post,” the U.S. is carried out with several partner nations defense planning in case of a whole series of new crises in Syria, including the seizure of its chemical weapons by militants. Referring to the officials in the security forces and U.S. Middle Eastern countries, the publication notes that such military planning includes “at least seven states.” It’s Israel, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, as well as the main foreign ally of the Americans – Britain.


UN Spokesman Says Most Houla Victims “Were Executed,” Not Killed By Artillery

Syria crisis: Most Houla victims ‘were executed’


Most of the 108 people killed in Syria’s Houla region on Friday were summarily executed, the UN says.

A spokesman for the UN’s human rights office says witnesses told investigators that pro-regime militias carried out most of the killings.

Survivors have described gunmen entering homes, firing indiscriminately and slitting the throats of children.

The UN statement comes as UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is meeting President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told journalists in Geneva that initial investigations suggested that fewer than 20 of the victims in the village of Taldou, near Houla, were killed by artillery or tank fire.

“Most of the rest of the victims in Taldou,” he added, “were summarily executed in two separate incidents.”

Earlier, survivors who spoke to the BBC said that those who carried out the killings were militiamen – shabiha – from nearby Alawite villages.

Mr Annan called the massacre “an appalling moment with profound consequences”.

‘Murderous folly’

Ahead of his meeting with President Assad on Tuesday, the former UN secretary general said the Syrian government had to take “bold steps” to show it was serious about peace.

The BBC’s Jim Muir, in neighbouring Lebanon, says it is make-or-break time for Mr Annan’s peace plan, and he has to get something out of his visit to stop the drift towards a vicious sectarian civil war.

Under the plan, both sides were meant to stop fighting on 12 April ahead of the deployment of monitors, and the government was to withdraw tanks and forces from civilian areas.

Western leaders have expressed horror at the killings, and the UK, France and US have all begun moves to raise diplomatic pressure on the Assad government.

France is convening another meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria group, which Russia does not take part in.

“The murderous folly of the Damascus regime represents a threat for regional security and its leaders will have to answer for their acts,” said President Francois Hollande’s office.

However Russia, who supplies arms to the Syrian government and has blocked UN resolutions calling for action against Damascus, said on Monday that both sides bore responsibility for Friday’s massacre.

On Tuesday Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed concern that “certain countries” were beginning to use the Houla massacre “as a pretext for voicing demands relating to the need for military measures to be taken”.

Syrian leaders insist that the massacre was the work of hundreds of armed rebels, whom they called “terrorists”, who massed in the area and who carried out the killings to derail the peace process and provoke intervention by Western powers.

BBC Busted Trying To Inflate Casualties In Houla Massacre by Reposting Old Photo from Iraq

Posted on the BBC news website today under the heading

“Syria massacre in Houla condemned as outrage grows.”

Mis-captioned photo on BBC website

The photograph was actually taken by Marco di Lauro in Iraq in 2003 

Photographer Marco di Lauro said he nearly “fell off his chair” when he saw the image being used, and said he was “astonished” at the failure of the corporation to check their sources.

The picture, which was actually taken on March 27, 2003, shows a young Iraqi child jumping over dozens of white body bags containing skeletons found in a desert south of Baghdad.

It was posted on the BBC news website today under the heading “Syria massacre in Houla condemned as outrage grows”.

The caption states the photograph was provided by an activist and cannot be independently verified, but says it is “believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial”.

A BBC spokesman said the image has now been taken down.

Tapi – still a long, long way to go

Tapi – still a long, long way to go

Business Recorder Logo
The long wait is finally over as the Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) has finally been inked between Pakistan and Turkmenistan on the much-hyped TAPI gas pipeline deal. Although, the government is obviously claiming it as a key milestone towards the completion of the project – it is anything but…

It has taken no less than 17 years for Tapi to just sign the GSPA, as the idea was originated back in 1995. How much more will it take is anybodys guess, but experts opine that even if everything goes fast-paced, it won be completed before 2016-17, as a lot of issues from awarding contracts to agreeing on transit fees, security premiums, arranging finances and the product price are yet to be drafted.

It is ironic that it has taken such long time to even reach at the beginners level, whereas China, on the other hand, originated the pipeline plan with Turkmenistan in 2003 and it was up and running by 2009. Chinas project was very identical to Tapi in terms of project cost, pipeline distance and quantity of gas imported. The only difference was that China was far more serious and focussed and more importantly its route faced no security concerns.

Tapi, which is backed by the US for obvious reasons faces one security obstacle too many as it is designed to pass through the troubled areas of Herat and Kandhar in Afghanistan and Quetta in Pakistan. The US in all likelihood will have left Afghanistan, if and when Tapi comes online, which will leave it on the mercy of either Taliban or militants in Pakistan.

This is why, experts argue that IP gas pipeline is a much more viable alternative for Pakistan, which carries low risk and could be completed much quicker as Iran has completed the bulk of work on its end. Moreover, the gas price too, is expected to be $2/mmbtu lower than Tapi, but since Iran faces US sanctions and Pakistan faces US pressure, the financing of IP remains troublesome. That said Iran is willing to offer assistance in financing of the pipeline project and the Pakistan government also has the room to utilise a decent sum of money collected via Gas Infrastructure Development cess. But, combating the American pressure remains the biggest obstacle in the progress of IP pipeline.

If the ongoing talks between Iran and UN on the nuclear programme bear some fruit, the IP dream could come an inch closer. But, Tapi will remain a distant dream, as industry sources claim that without security guarantee, it would be next to impossible to reach agreements on pricing and transit fees with other countries and the security premium attached to the project might well be over and above the project cost itself.

Pakistan finds itself between a rock and a hard place – where it has a more viable option for the taking but can go for it – and the other one seems an ambitious project with strong backing. It is time Pakistan uses its diplomatic channels wisely and opt in its best economic interests as succumbing to international pressure have not and will not yield results and energy security would remain an elusive dream.

Russia Says Assad Forces, Rebels to Blame for Syria Massacre

Russia Says Assad Forces, Rebels to Blame for Syria Massacre

Both government forces and rebels were responsible for this weekend’s massacre in Houla, Lavrov said

Both government forces and rebels were responsible for this weekend’s massacre in Houla, Lavrov said

© REUTERS/ Shaam News Network

MOSCOW, May 28 (Marc Bennetts, RIA Novosti)

Both government forces and rebels were responsible for this weekend’s massacre in the Syrian town of Houla, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

“There can be no doubt that the authorities used artillery and tanks,” Lavrov said after talks with his U.K. counterpart William Hague in Moscow.

“[But] guilt should be apportioned objectively,” Russia’s top diplomat said. “It takes two to tango.”

Lavrov also said “dozens of players” were involved in the current violence in Syria.

At least 108 people, around a third of them children, were killed in Houla, near the former rebel stronghold city of Homs, according to United Nations observers. The UN Security Council, of which Russia is a permanent, veto-wielding member, unanimously condemned the Syrian authorities on Sunday over what it says was “an outrageous” attack.

“We are insisting on the carrying out of a probe into what happened in Houla,” Lavrov went on. “We need to understand how this happened to make sure it will never be repeated.”

Russian deputy UN ambassador Alexander Pankin told journalists ahead of Hague’s visit that Moscow did not rule out that the killings in Houla were a “provocation” carried out by rebel forces ahead of a visit by UN peace envoy Kofi Annan to Syria on Tuesday. He also refused to rule out the participation of foreign special forces in the attack.

The Kremlin has opposed attempts to impose UN sanctions on its ally, Syria, where Russia maintains its only foreign military base, over what Western powers say is the brutal suppression of a now more-than-one-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Moscow, which continues to arm Damascus, says proposed UN resolutions on the violence-stricken country betray a pro-rebel bias.

Russia has, however, given its full backing to UN envoy Kofi Annan’s faltering six-point peace plan for Syria and Lavrov reiterated on Monday that Damascus needed to show more decisiveness to end the violence in the Middle Eastern country.

Hague said that the U.K. accepted that rebel forces bore responsibility for some of the violence.

“We are not arguing that all violence in Syria is the responsibility of the Assad regime, although it has the primary responsibility for such violence,” he said.

Both Hague and Lavrov insisted that Annan’s peace plan was the only way forward.

“We are very much agreed that the Annan plan is the best hope for Syria,” Hague said, adding that the alternatives were ever increasing chaos in Syria, and a dissent closer and closer to all out civil war.”

Lavrov said that Russia was applying pressure “daily” on Syria, but that it believed certain other countries were not fully committed to Annan’s plan.

“Russia has particular role in applying pressure,” Lavrov said. “We sense from our contacts that some other forces are not committed. We support Kofi Annan’s plan and they should do everything for this to succeed…There should no be external interference.”

Moscow has condemned Western suggestions that regime change in Syria is the solution to the spiral of violence, and Hague was keen to stress on Monday that Assad’s immediate fate was not the main concern.

We have said all the way back from last August that finding a solution involves him standing aside,” Hague said. “But the important thing is that the Annan plan is pursued. That is now the urgent priority.”

And Lavrov said the main thing for Moscow was not who was in power in Syria, but a successful implementation of Annan’s plan.

“The main thing is stopping the violence, and to create a political dialogue among the Syrian people. Everything else is secondary,” he said. “And if we want to stop the violence, we have to work together with the regime and the opposition. Kofi Annan’s plan is about consensus.”

Hague and Lavrov’s talks came as Syrian opposition activists alleged that over 40 people, including women and children, had been killed in the city of Hams by government artillery attacks and shelling.

Air Force Reservists To Be Deployed As First Wave of American Police State

Defense Department Seeks Legal Authority to Deploy Reservists onto American Streets

  Occupy Corporatism

Thanks to Posse Comitatis, the US military are forbidden from responding on the streets of America whenever the whim is announced.

The Posse Comitatus Act, Section 1385, states that only under “circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress” can the military presence on American streets is allowed.

Yet, if the Defense Department has their way, a new authorization act will give them the power to order the armed forces to be used against the American public.

Air Force reservists are slated to be the new response team for domestic disturbances. Disseminated from Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and other reserve agencies, these men and women could be called to be first response to natural disasters within the US. The legislation would extend mobilizations for indeterminate periods of time.

The AFRC affirms that reservists are traditionally not used in “homeland disaster response”. The governors of individual states can request the National Guard’s assistance during a natural disaster when local law enforcement becomes overwhelmed.

Our reservists have been asked and often volunteer to assist after disasters hit the homeland,” said Lt. Gen. Charles E. Stenner Jr., chief of Air Force Reserve and AFRC commander. “Mobilizing needed reservists will help sustain their support for longer periods and make operations more efficient. We mobilize reservists to handle contingencies overseas, so it makes sense that we do that to take care of our own country.”

Because of the specialized training that reservists are given in dealing with disasters, the US government has decided they would be perfect as a first response team.

Earlier this month, in Crookston Minnesota, there were armed US National Guardsmen that were patrolling a residential neighborhood .

These functions are called “urban operations training” where military personnel carry armed weapons with the command not to “utilize armory or pyrotechnics”.

Within the Air Force Reserve, there are other specialized units such as response personnel, supplies and equipment focused on disaster scenarios.

As recent as 2008 saw our National Guard unit in America under NORTHCOM as “domestic security”.

Stenner proclaims that this new authority will allow the armed forces to make greater contributions to Americans should there be a natural disaster. He is referring to the frustration chiefs of reservist experience because they are “unable to help their communities.”

The push for over-reaching authority allocated to the armed forces will negate local reservist’s purpose by Title 10, which gives them federal power that supersedes state authority in Title 32.

Armed Forces chiefs claim that there were reserve-component Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who were close at hand with the capabilities needed, but they didn’t have the authority to act,” said Army Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz, chief of Army Reserve. “Finally, we got the law changed. This new legislation says that now we can use Title 10 reserves.”

Without a declaration of emergency or disaster from the President, these armed forces could not act. With this new ability, they can . . . whenever and for whatever purpose they are ordered to.

The law specifies that local law enforcement is still mandated to provide initial response; yet if needed, the National Guard will become the first step requested by a state governor.

And then there is the matter of scenario that allows reservists to be deployed for a promised 120 days, which could be extended based upon request. “We just have to make sure we have the procedures and processes worked out,” Stultz remarked about the specifics that are now being worked out to avoid confusion of authority later on.

Stultz is very anxious to have this power at his fingertips. “Let’s not wait until a hurricane hits to say, ‘How do we do it?’”
These reservists are going to be the response team for any future (and assured) “overseas contingencies”.

As operations in the Middle East are winding down, Stultz can now refocus his attention on militarizing America.

TAPI: A bridge too far? – Part I

TAPI: A bridge too far? – Part I

May 27, 2012
M K Bhadrakumar, specially for RIR
While the TAPI signifies a rare regional initiative and may even herald a turning point in the tortuous history of the India-Pakistan relationship, it may also queer the pitch of the great game rivalries over Central Asia.


Gateway to “New Silk Road”


At the Caspian resort of Avaza last week, a milestone came into view in the geopolitics of energy in the Central Asian region when the petroleum ministers from New Delhi and Islamabad and their counterpart from Ashkhabad presided over the ceremony of the signing of a landmark agreement that takes the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, commonly known as ‘TAPI’ one step – possibly, a big step – to reality.


A project that was often ridiculed as a two-decade old “pipedream” finally seems to assume habitation and a name.


However, the paradox lies in that while the TAPI signifies a rare – even unprecedented – regional initiative and it would have a calming effect on several templates of the South Asian security scenario and may even herald a turning point in the tortuous history of the India-Pakistan relationship, it may also queer the pitch of the great game rivalries over Central Asia. The overlapping shadows of regional and global politics fall on it.


The clear winner, of course, will be Afghanistan, whose prospects of stabilization would look much less dismal if only TAPI got off the drawing board. The big question, of course, is the “if”.


The Indian officials have expressed the hope during media briefings in New Delhi that the 1735-kilometre pipeline, which would carry 90 million standard cubic meters [mmscmd] – of which 14 mmscmd would be bought by Afghanistan while India and Pakistan each would get 38 mmscmd for a 30-year period – will be operational by 2016. The initial expectation was that the gas for the pipeline would be sourced from the Daulatabad gas fields in Turkmenistan, but Ashkhabad has since suggested that the sourcing would be from the massive South Yolotan fields.


The most enthusiastic proponent of the project is the Asian Development Bank, which has played a lead role in coordinating and facilitating the TAPI negotiation process over the past 10 years. The ADB funded the feasibility study for the project and is expected to finance one-third of the cost of the project at the implementation stage. Following last week’s signing ceremony in Turkmenistan, a senior ADB official sounded euphoric: “This is a truly historic moment of unparalleled regional cooperation… The pipeline represents a win-win scenario for each TAPI country… marking this not only the ‘Peace Pipeline’, but a pipeline to prosperity as well.”


Close on the heels of the ADB has been the United States, although for a variety of different reasons. Washington sees the TAPI as the perfect antidote to the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline concept, which it has been strenuously attempting to stifle but with mixed results so far. While India buckled under the US pressure and backtracked from the IPI and remains ambivalent over its future options, Pakistan has shown the gumption to press ahead with an Iran-Pakistan segment of the IPI keeping the hope that New Delhi might have a change of heart some day and rejoin the project.


Washington has described the TAPI as a “regional strategic priority” from many angles and has extended backing to it in a demonstrative way. For one thing, as recently as in March, the senior advisor to the US’ special envoy for Eurasian energy Daniel Stein flagged openly, “We would like to see a US company involved at some point in TAPI.”


Indeed, Washington and the TAPI idea go back a long way to the early 1990s even as the Taliban was being formed as a Pakistan-Saudi-US joint venture and projected as a superior force on the Afghan political landscape to replace the chaotic Mujahideen rule. Then too, the US got involved in the “stabilization” of Afghanistan under the Taliban, which would pave the way for the TAPI.


The US oil major UNOCAL most certainly funded the Taliban at some point in the mid-1990s and the oil major hosted in Texas a high-level delegation deputed by Mullah Omar for discussions on an energy pipeline from Turkmenistan. The present Afghan President Hamid Karzai served UNOCAL as a consultant, too.


Suffice to say, the Karzai government’s reported claim today that the Taliban have agreed not to disrupt the TAPI pipeline project despite their so-called “resistance” to the occupation by the US and NATO forces, may sound unreliable against the overall backdrop of the fragile security situation, but one cannot be dismissive of it, either.


“Key example of regional integration”


Of course, the US strategy today has assumed further dimensions beyond the race for the Caspian oil. Washington has scarcely missed an opportunity in the recent period to christen the TAPI as a “New Silk Road” project, whose unspoken agenda is to roll back the Russian and Chinese influence in Central Asia and to integrate the countries of the region with the western market.


The US state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said last week: “The TAPI is a perfect example of energy diversification, energy integration done right. We are very strong supporters of the TAPI pipeline… We consider it a very positive step forward and sort of a key example of what we’re seeking with out New Silk Road Initiative, which aims at regional integration to lift all boats and create prosperity across the region.”


Nuland added, “In this case, the case of the TAPI pipeline, you’ve got private sector investment, you’ve got new transit routes, you’ve got people-to-people links, you’ve got increased trade across a region that historically has not been well-linked, where there have been historic antipathies which are now being broken down by this positive investment project that’s going to give jobs, it’s going to give more energy, it’s going to give more technology to the people of all these countries.”


In essence, Nuland eloquently repeated the stated altruistic purpose of the New Silk Road project. Clearly, TAPI qualifies the description of being a “regional strategic priority” in the US’ regional policies. Turkmenistan, in particular, is emerging as a key supplier of energy for China. It began supplying gas to China through a newly built pipeline funded by Beijing, in 2009; a second route has also come online and the full capacity of the pipeline that reaches Xinjiang and connects with China’s 8000-kilomtere long East-West energy grid, is expected to touch 40 billion cubic meters by 2015. The Turkmen pipeline, which passes through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan as well, is the most visible locomotive of Chinese expansion in Central Asia. The pipeline virtually obliges China to step forward as a provider of security for the region.


Meanwhile, even as the Russian monopoly over Turkmenistan’s energy reserves has suffered some erosion in the recent years, the US’ robust campaign to prise Turkmenistan away from the orbit of Russian influence by connecting that country with the western market directly through various trans-Caspian pipelines has come to nothing. In particular, the prospects are that the Nabucco gas pipeline project, which was a flagship of the US campaign to tap into the Turkmen gas reserves bypassing Russian territory, is becoming moribund.


Indeed, if the latest Russian plan to build a second Nord Stream pipeline via the Baltic Sea to Germany and western European countries goes ahead in 2013, Nabucco’s fate will be sealed for the foreseeable future. Besides, the US itself has appeared as a supplier of Shale Gas to the European market. Thus, the TAPI is the only show in town for the moment for the US in the theatre of Caspian energy, which makes it difficult to exaggerate the project’s significance to the overall American strategy under the rubric of the “New Silk Road.”


To be continued

India To Guarantee Safe Transit for TAPI Gas Through Both Afghanistan and Pakistan?

[This is either state insanity of the worst kind, or proof that TAPI negotiations are a complete sham and India is a key part of that misleading process.  This would require the stationing of Indian troops in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Right.

Then again, it might be that India is able to influence the militants of the Baloch Liberation Army, as reported here, enough to convince the militants to keep their fight with Pakistan away from an India-protected pseudo-“Peace Pipeline.”]

India to guarantee safe gas transit from Tapi

New Delhi: India will pay USD 13 for buying natural gas through the much-celebrated Tapi gas pipeline and will take indirect responsibility for safe transit of the fuel through high security risk areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

India on May 23 signed agreement to buy natural gas from Turkmenistan at a rate equivalent to 55% of crude oil price which, at USD 100 a barrel, translates into USD 9.17 per million British thermal unit, sources privy to the development said.

After adding transit fee and transportation charges, the gas through Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) line would cost USD 12.99 per mmBtu at Indian border, three times the price paid to ONGC and Reliance Industries for producing natural gas from domestic fields, they said.

The rate agreed to flies in the face of oil ministry which has been stonewalling any increase in price to be paid to domestic producers arguing that a higher gas price would lead to an increase in power tariff and cost of fertiliser, thereby entailing higher government subsidy outgo, they added.

Besides the higher price, India has also in the Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) signed in Caspian Sea resort of Avaza, Turkmenistan agreed to take delivery of natural gas at Turkmen-Aghan border.

State-run gas utility GAIL India, which signed the GSPA, will then entrust the delivery of the gas to a consortium which will operate the Tapi pipeline, they said, adding that GAIL will be a prominent member of the consortium building and operating the 1,680-km line.

Sources said GAIL will pay Turkmengaz, the national oil company of Turkmenistan, on delivery of gas at Turkmen-Afghan border. Thereafter, the consortium which will have GAIL as partner, will take responsibility for transit of the gas through Afghanistan — one of the top high security risk countries in the world, and terrorism hotbed Pakistan.

The safe transit of gas through 735-km stretch of the pipeline in Herat and Kandahar province of Afghanistan had a slim fighting chance in the past decade as Nato was still in the nation once ruled by Taliban.

The western troops pullout by 2014 from the still volatile Afghanistan has put a question mark on safe transit, the sources said.

Tapi pipeline is nearly 1,680-km long and the transit length in Afghanistan is 735 kilometres and in Pakistan is nearly 800 km or more. The 56-inch diameter pipeline is expected to cost USD 7.6 billion.

It will run from Turkmenistan’s Yoloten-Osman gas field to Herat and Kandahar province of Afghanistan, before entering Pakistan. In Pakistan, it will reach Multan via Quetta before ending at Fazilka (Punjab) in India.

Turkmenistan would export 90 million standard cubic meters per day of gas through Tapi, with Afghanistan getting 14 mmscmd and India and Pakistan 38 mmscmd each.

The gas will be sourced from the Yoloten Usman field, which ranks among the five biggest fields in the world. The field is being developed by Turkmensitan national oil firm Turkmen Gas.

Meanwhile, on pricing, Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas R P N Singh had on May 22 told the Rajya Sabha that Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has stated that its Krishna Godavari basin deepsea gas find is not viable at a rate less than USD 5.2 per mmBtu.

ONGC’s UD-1 find in block KG-DWN-98/2 sits next to Reliance Industries’ KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 block for which the government has fixed USD 4.205 per mmBtu as gas price.

Sources said if domestic producers are paid a higher price, the government gains most by way of higher royalty and taxes and profit petroleum it would earn.


Who Is Responsible for Houla Massacre?

Al Qaeda guy, in black, with UN in Syria. Some al Qaeda-affiliated fighters departed from Iraq to join the rebellion against Assad in Syria, Iraqi officials say. Website



An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on May 25, 2012, allegedly shows the bodies of Syrian children who were killed in a deadly shelling by regime forces in Houla in the central province of Homs (AFP Photo / YouTube)
An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on May 25, 2012, allegedly shows the bodies of Syrian children who were killed in a deadly shelling by regime forces in Houla in the central province of Homs (AFP Photo / YouTube)

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) has said that ‘armed terrorist groups’ were responsible for the violence in Houla which reportedly killed 92 people.

Over the last few months many armed criminals have been arrested in Syria. Among these criminals there were 26 foreign Terrorists (many of the Al-Qaida members).

Reportedly, the terrorists are:

1. Suhail al-Saqasli – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 22 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida2. Majdi al-‘Iyari – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 28 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida3. Muhammad al-Tarabulsi – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 29 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida4. Usama Hadhli – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 28 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

5. Walid Daffar – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 29 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

6. Sami Kamal – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 28 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

7. Bilal al-Iyari – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 05 April 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

8. Fahad Salih – Nationality: Libyan – Date arrested: 11 April 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

9. Fadi Musa – Nationality: Lebanese – Date arrested: 12 December 2011 – arms, ammunition and narcotic pills into the country from Lebanon on behalf of armed terrorist groups in Syria.

10. Rida Bay – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 29 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

11. Muhammad Dayfallah – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 14 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

12. Abu Bakr Bubtan – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 8 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

13. Wisam Halimah – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 7 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

14. Ramadan Sultani – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 7 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

15. Muhammad May – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 7 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

16. Abdulrahim Shibli – Nationality: Egyptian – Date arrested: 3 January 2012 – Armed terrorist who acted in concert with an armed terrorist group to attack army and security forces.

17. Ahmad Munaba’ah – Nationality: Jordanian – Date arrested: 3 August 2011 – Armed terrorist who acted in concert with an armed group to attack army and security forces.

18. Mas’ud Ghumah – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 8 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

19. Wahid Fadil – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 8 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

20. Bilal al-Marzuqi – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 28 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

21. Haykal Tuwayti – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 10 March 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

22. Uqbah al-Nasiri – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 02 April 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

23. Amin Nasibi – Nationality: Tunisian – Date arrested: 01 April 2012 – Charge: membership of Al-Qaida

24. Muhammad Amir – Nationality: Lebanese – Date arrested: 19 October 2011 – Member of an armed group that attacked Syrian military and security personnel.

25. Ayman Maghribi – Nationality: Palestinian-Lebanese – Date arrested: 27 October 2011 – Armed terrorist who intentionally committed acts of destruction and murder in concert with armed groups;  took up arms and attacked army and security personnel.

26. Ghazi Najm – Nationality: Lebanese – Date arrested: 22 December 2011 – Smuggling arms, ammunition and armed terrorist groups into Syria from Lebanon; participated in attacks against army and security services checkpoints.

Syrian Free Press

New Massacres by al-Qaeda-linked Terrorist Groups.

An Al Qaeda in Syria video has come to light.

It shows al Qaeda in Syria holding up the al-Qaeda flag.

Some of them wave the green-white-and-black flag of the CIA-run Syrian rebellion.

Al Qaeda flags in Syria.

The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s has stated that al-Qaeda was responsible for the blast outside one of Syria’s top intelligence services on 10 May, which reportedly killed 55 people and wounded 372.

“A few days ago there was a huge, serious, massive terrorist attack. I believe that there must be al-Qaida behind it,” Ban said at the UN headquarters in New York. “This has created again very serious problems.”

One Helicopter Kills 8 Family Members In Afghan Airstrike

[This is the death toll from a single US/NATO airstrike from a single helicopter.   How many Afghan children total have we killed?   Please allow me to answer my own question–As of the end of 2011, the Pentagon accepts responsibility for at least 3,120 civilian deaths  in Afghanistan since the beginning of the terror war.   Kind of puts that Syrian civilian casualty report into perspective, doesn’t it?  How could a helicopter makes such a mistake, when they can hover over a target long enough to learn whether they are destroying the right house, or not?]

8 family members killed in airstrike

by Daud Tapan

GARDEZ (PAN): Eight members of a family, including children and women, were killed in an airstrike in the southeastern province of Pakita, an official said on Sunday.
The incident took place on Saturday evening when the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopter bombed a house in the mountainous area of the Garda Serai district, the governor’s spokesman said.
Rohullah Samoon told Pajhwok Afghan News that the children and women were among the eight innocent people killed in the airstrike.
Three women, four children and a man were killed in the airstrike that hit a house in the Pakhri village, a tribal elder of the district, said on condition of anonymity.
A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that civilians were killed in the air attack.
In a statement, ISAF said they were pursuing a group of insurgents in the area  when the incident happened and they have launched a probe to check whether civilians were killed.

TOTAL, 2007-2011 8,558 3,120 1,115 12,793 66.90

Why Do So Many Journalists Pretend That the Saudis and the US Part Company Over Islamization?

[Washington embraced Wahabbism long ago, as a primary instrument of US foreign policy.  American gullibility allows faux-journalism to continue pretending that this connection between American foreign policy and the spread of the “global jihad” doesn’t exist, or that US presidents have broken their connection with “jihadi” ideology after the end of the anti-Soviet crusade in Afghanistan.  The “global jihad” is the brainchild of the CIA–always has been, always will be.  As long as there are “Islamist militants” overthrowing governments that solid connection will remain intact. 

Wake-up Americans! 

You have been swallowing the lies and following the liars for far too long.  Every president since Reagan has used Islamist jihadis as the principle tool in the American toolbox, only we have always allowed them to pretend that this military process of sowing jihad was actually something called “limited warfare,” or “conflict management.”  Until We the People open our eyes to these obvious facts we will continue to fight unwinnable conflicts–BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY THAT THE PENTAGON WANTS IT.  What else explains the fact that the greatest military that money can buy, for the world’s only “Superpower,” has not won a single war since WWII?

I can’t say it any plainer than this–

The CIA  continually creates the wars that American soldiers die in, while the President of the United States keeps giving the murderous spy agency the “green light” to start new wars for the express purpose of causing the bloody dismemberment of American troops and all of their innocent victims.  Every battle of the so-called “terror war” has been fought against CIA mercenary armies.  The real Army wages war against the CIA’s “Blackwater” armies.  Why else do so many of us call them “Al-CIA-da”?

All that the treasonous American and British media can see, are the child victims of our terrorist aggression against Syria, only they report it as “Syrian aggression.”  Go figure…. 

Why are they so blind to the piles of child victims that American and allied forces have piled high?]

Why the Saudis’ Downfall Could Impact America

Erick Stakelbeck
By Erick Stakelbeck
CBN News Terrorism Analyst

WASHINGTON — The so-called Arab Spring just passed the 15-month mark and continues to leave chaos in its wake. Dictators are falling and radical Islamists are filling the gap across the Middle East and North Africa.

Now Islamists have their sights on a bigger prize, and it could send shock waves through the United States.

Saudis in Brotherhood’s Crosshairs?

The power gained by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies throughout the Muslim world during the past year has also led to a growth in confidence.

They call 2011 the year the dictators fell, in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen. In 2012, the Brotherhood is targeting the monarchies.

Jordan and Saudi Arabia sit on top of the list, and the Saudi royal family has wasted no time getting ahead of the game.

When anti-government protests broke out in neighboring Bahrain last year, Saudi tanks rolled in to keep unrest from spilling over the border.

Then, after governments fell in Tunisia and Egypt, the Saudi royals moved to appease their own restless subjects with billions of dollars in new welfare and housing programs.

“It is absolutely bribery. That’s what it is. When this uprising started, they started getting nervous,” said Dr. Ali Alyami, of the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia.

Alyami believes the Royal Family’s days are numbered.

“The Saudi people suffer from corruption, lack of political freedom, lack of religious freedom, lack of press freedom, injustice, no accountability, no transparency,” he told CBN News.

“So the same problems that led all of these Arabs to take to the streets are in Saudi Arabia,” Alyami said. “So regardless of all the bribes — they know it, actually — they are not going to be spared the wrath of the people.”

Cost of Oil Dependence

So what would that mean for the United States? For decades, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia have maintained an uneasy alliance based on oil.

On February 14, 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt met with the Saudi King Abdulaziz on the U.S.S. Quincy and struck a deal.

“We Americans had fallen in love with our automobiles, and they were impoverished and needed a source of revenue, and they had oil under their earth,” explained Sarah Stern, author of Saudi Arabia and theGlobal Islamic Terrorist Network.

Since then, America’s reliance on Middle East oil has only grown. And from hand-holding to bows, successive administrations have shown deference to the Saudi monarchs. Stern said that deference has come with a high price.

In her book, she argues that from spawning 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers, to spending billions to build radical mosques and Islamic schools worldwide, the Saudis have been willing accomplices to the global jihad.

“Any time anybody wants to open a mosque all they have to do is call Mecca or Medina and the Saudis will send an imam or they certainly send all their material,” Stern told CBN News.

“So here we have within the United States, the same kind of extraordinary anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-Israeli, anti-America, and certainly anti-humane materials that are being studied judiciously and religiously by young American Muslims,” she said.

That includes the Islamic Saudi Academy outside Washington, D.C. Controlled by the Saudi Ministry of Education, the K-12 school has been investigated for using textbooks that teach students to hate non-Muslims.

“They’re saying that Christians and Jews are the enemy, that Christians and Jews are infidel – that the struggle with Christians and Jews will continue and that Jihad can be used to spread the faith of Islam,” Nina Shea, of Freedom House, told CBN News.

Although the Saudis build mosques and schools throughout the West, churches, synagogues, Bibles, and Torahs are all banned in Saudi Arabia: the birthplace of Islam.

The most recent example of Christians’ suppression occurred in December, when 35 Ethiopian guest workers were arrested after Saudi authorities raided their house church.

Saudis Meet Their Match

In the Muslim Brotherhood, however, the Saudis may have met their match.

Brotherhood leaders received a warm welcome when they fled to Saudi Arabia after facing persecution in Egypt in the 1960s.

As the Brotherhood’s influence spread, however, it threatened the House of Saud.

“What they did was the opposite of what the Saudis wanted them to do or expected them to do,” Alyami explained. “They’ve started some organizations for themselves in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf.”

Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups have also had a strong presence in Saudi Arabia.

Days Numbered?

Yet the most immediate threat is Iran and the fear the Islamic Republic could instigate rebellion in eastern Saudi Arabia, where most of the country’s oil is located.

“The vast majority of the population in the oil region of Saudi Arabia are Shiites, and they could be directed by the Iranians,” former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger told CBN News.

Leaked diplomatic cables show the Saudis want the West to take out Iran’s nuclear program by any means necessary.

But Alyami said they face an even greater fear than a nuclear Iran.

“Their biggest fear is to see the United States energy-independent – or the West,” Alyami said.

For now, a mixture of bribes, internal repression, and the West’s oil needs has enabled the House of Saud to hold on to power. But as dominoes continue to fall across the Middle East, the question could be, for how long?

The Imperial Mind

The Imperial Mind

American rage at Pakistan over the punishment of a CIA-cooperating Pakistani doctor is quite revealing


Americans of all types — Democrats and Republicans, even some Good Progressives — are just livid that a Pakistani tribal court (reportedly in consultation with Pakistani officials) has imposed a 33-year prison sentence on Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani physician who secretly worked with the CIA to find Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil. Their fury tracks the standard American media narrative: by punishing Dr. Afridi for the “crime” of helping the U.S. find bin Laden, Pakistan has revealed that it sympathizes with Al Qaeda and is hostile to the U.S. (NPR headline: “33 Years In Prison For Pakistani Doctor Who Aided Hunt For Bin Laden”; NYT headline: “Prison Term for Helping C.I.A. Find Bin Laden”). Except that’s a woefully incomplete narrative: incomplete to the point of being quite misleading.

What Dr. Afridi actually did was concoct a pretextual vaccination program, whereby Pakistani children would be injected with a single Hepatitis B vaccine, with the hope of gaining access to the Abbottabad house where the CIA believed bin Laden was located. The plan was that, under the ruse of vaccinating the children in that province, he would obtain DNA samples that could confirm the presence in the suspected house of the bin Laden family. But the vaccine program he was administering was fake: as Wired‘s public health reporter Maryn McKenna detailed, “since only one of three doses was delivered, the vaccination was effectively useless.” An on-the-ground Guardian investigation documented that ”while the vaccine doses themselves were genuine, the medical professionals involved were not following procedures. In an area called Nawa Sher, they did not return a month after the first dose to provide the required second batch. Instead, according to local officials and residents, the team moved on.”

That means that numerous Pakistani children who thought they were being vaccinated against Hepatitis B were in fact left exposed to the virus. Worse, international health workers have long faced serious problems in many parts of the world — including remote Muslim areas — in convincing people that the vaccines they want to give to their children are genuine rather than Western plots to harm them. These suspicions have prevented the eradication of polio and the containment of other preventable diseases in many areas, including in parts of Pakistan. This faux CIA vaccination program will, for obvious and entirely foreseeable reasons, significantly exacerbate that problem.

As McKenna wrote this week, this fake CIA vaccination program was “a cynical attempt to hijack the credibility that public health workers have built up over decades with local populations” and thus “endangered the status of the fraught polio-eradication campaign, which over the past decade has been challenged in majority-Muslim areas in Africa and South Asia over beliefs that polio vaccination is actually a covert campaign to harm Muslim children.” She further notes that while this suspicion “seems fantastic” to oh-so-sophisticated Western ears — what kind of primitive people would harbor suspicions about Western vaccine programs? – there are actually “perfectly good reasons to distrust vaccination campaigns” from the West (in 1996, for instance, 11 children died in Nigeria when Pfizer, ostensibly to combat a meningitis outbreak, conducted drug trials — experiments — on Nigerian children that did not comport with binding safety standards in the U.S.).

When this fake CIA vaccination program was revealed last year, Doctors Without Borders harshly denounced the CIA and Dr. Afridi for their “grave manipulation of the medical act” that will cause “vulnerable communities – anywhere – needing access to essential health services [to] understandably question the true motivation of medical workers and humanitarian aid.” The group’s President pointed out the obvious: “The potential consequence is that even basic healthcare, including vaccination, does not reach those who need it most.” That is now clearly happening, as the CIA program “is casting its shadow over campaigns to vaccinate Pakistanis against polio.” Gulrez Khan, a Peshawar-based anti-polio worker, recently said that tribesman in the area now consider public health workers to be CIA agents and are more reluctant than ever to accept vaccines and other treatments for their children.

For the moment, leave to the side the question of whether knowingly administering ineffective vaccines to Pakistani children is a justified ruse to find bin Laden (just by the way, it didn’t work, as none of the health workers actually were able to access the bin Laden house, though CIA officials claim the program did help obtain other useful information). In light of all the righteous American outrage over this prison sentence, let’s consider what the U.S. Government would do if the situation were reversed: namely, if an American citizen secretly cooperated with a foreign intelligence service to conduct clandestine operations on U.S. soil, all without the knowledge or consent of the U.S. Government, and let’s further consider what would happen if the American citizen’s role in those operations involved administering a fake vaccine program to unwitting American children. Might any serious punishment ensue? Does anyone view that as anything more than an obvious rhetorical question?

There are numerous examples that make the point. As’ad AbuKhalilposes this one: “Imagine if China were to hire an American physician who would innocently inject unsuspecting Americans with a chemical to obtain information for China.  I am sure that his prison term would be even longer.” Or what if an American doctor of Iranian descent had done this on behalf of the Quds Force, in order to find a member of the designated Iranian Terror group MeK who was living in the United States (one who, say, has been working with Israel to help assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists and wound their wives, or one who was trained by the U.S.), after which Iranian agents invaded his American home, pumped bullets in his skull and shot a few others (his wife and a child) and then dumped his corpse into the Atlantic Ocean? Or take the case of Orlando Bosch, the CIA-backed anti-Cuban Terrorist long harbored by the U.S.; suppose a Cuban-American doctor sympathetic to Castro had injected American children as part of a fake vaccination program in order to help Cuba find and kill Bosch on U.S. soil; he’d be lucky to get 33 years in prison.

In fact, the U.S. Government tries to impose the harshest possible sentences on Americans who do far less than Dr. Afridi did in Pakistan. The Obama administration charged former NSA official Thomas Drake with espionage and tried to imprison him fordecades merely because he exposed serious waste, corruption and illegality in surveillance programs — without the slightest indication of any harm to national security. Right now, they’re charging Bradley Manning with “aiding the enemy” — Al Qaeda — and attempting to impose life imprisonment on the 23-year-old Army Private, merely because he leaked information to the world showing serious war crimes and other government deceit (something The New York Times does frequently) which nobody suggests was done in collaboration with or even with any intent to help Al Qaeda or any other foreign entity. Given all that, just imagine how harshly they’d try to punish an American who secretly collaborated with a foreign intelligence service — who created a fake vaccine program for American kids — to enable secret military action on U.S. soil without their knowledge.

But of course none of these comparisons is equivalent. It’s all different when it’s done to America rather than by America. That’s the great prize for being the world’s imperial power: the rules you impose on others don’t bind you at all. I’m quite certain that none of the people voicing such intense rage over Pakistan’s punishment of Dr. Afridi would voice anything similar if the situation were reversed in any of the ways I’ve just outlined. Can you even imagine any of them saying something like: yes, this American doctor injected American kids with ruse vaccines in order to help the intelligence service of Iran/Pakistan/China/Cuba conduct clandestine operations on U.S. soil without the knowledge of the U.S. Government, but I think that’s justified and he shouldn’t be punished.

If you read or watch any accounts of life in the Roman empire, what you will frequently witness is someone being severely punished for an act against a Roman citizen. That was the most severe crime and the one most harshly punished: one could do any manner of bad things to non-citizens, but not so much as raise a hand to a Roman citizen.

Watch how often that formulation is used in our political discourse: he tried to kill Americans, people will emphasize when justifying all sorts of U.S. government actions. In other words, there are ordinary, pedestrian crimes (like this one, from today: “An American drone fired two missiles at a bakery in northwest Pakistan Saturday and killed four suspected militants, officials said, as the U.S. pushed on with its drone campaign despite Pakistani demands to stop. This was the third such strike in the country in less than a week”). But then there is the supreme crime: he tried to kill Americans! It’d be one thing if this outrage were honestly expressed as self-interest (we give massive aid to Pakistan so they should do our bidding), but instead, it is, as usual, couched in moral terms.

That is the imperial mind at work. Its premises are often embraced implicitly rather than knowingly: American lives are inherently more valuable; foreign lives are expendable in pursuit of American interests; the U.S. has the inalienable right to take action in other countries that nobody is allowed to take in the U.S. (just imagine: “An Iranian drone fired two missiles at a bakery in the northwest U.S. Saturday and killed four suspected militants, Iranian officials said, as Iran pushed on with its drone campaign despite American demands to stop. This was the third such strike in the country in less than a week” or “Thirty five women and children were killed by a Yemeni cruise missile armed with cluster bombs which struck an alleged Marine training camp in Texas”).

These self-venerating imperial prerogatives are the premises driving the vast bulk of American foreign policy and military discourse. It is certainly what’s driving the spectacle of so many people pretending that the punishment of Dr. Afridi is some sort of aberrational act which the U.S. and other Decent, Civilized Countries would never do.

* * * * *

Two related points:

(1) NPR emphasizes what appear to be the genuine due process deficiencies in the punishment imposed on Dr. Afridi, though he certainly is receiving more due process than those informally and secretly accused of Treason by the U.S. Government and given the Anwar Awlaki treatment, or accused of Terrorism and targeted with a U.S. drone or locked for a decade or so in a cage without charges of any kind.

(2) Zaid Jilani, formerly of Think Progress, asks a really good question about the Hollywood Election Year film depicting the bin Laden raid being produced by Sony Pictures with the help of the Obama administration: “Will the movie feature Pakistani kids tricked into getting fake vaccines? Probably not.” If the film does mention this, I’d bet it will be to marvel at and celebrate the James-Bond-like ingenuity of the CIA.

This is a cross post from

This Is Syria’s “Kuwaiti Moment,” Comparable To Their Infamous Incubator Baby-Bashing Provocation

[American drone strikes in Pakistan have easily matched these reported numbers on Syrian child casualties and even exceeded them.  One reported strike on a madrassa in 2006 killed between 70-80 students, most of them were non-combatat children (SEE: Pakistan school raid sparks anger).]

Syria crisis: Houla child massacre confirmed by UN

UN’s Maj-Gen Robert Mood: “Deaths were an unacceptable attack” Amateur footage contained within this clip purportedly shows a mass burial

UN observers have counted at least 90 bodies, including 32 children, after a Syrian government attack on a town.

UN mission head Maj-Gen Robert Mood told the BBC the killing in Houla was “indiscriminate and unforgivable”.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he would seek a strong international response to the “appalling crime” – France and the Arab League have also condemned the massacre.

Syria’s government has blamed the deaths on “armed terrorist gangs”.

This is one of the bloodiest attacks in one area since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.

Activists say some of the victims died by shelling, while others were summarily executed, or butchered by the regime militia known as the “shabiha”.

France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and the Arab League also condemned Friday’s assault.


Mr Fabius said he was making immediate arrangements for a Paris meeting of the Friends of Syria group, which includes Western and Arab nations, but not Russia or China, who have blocked previous attempts to introduce UN sanctions.

Fighting in Syria has continued despite the deployment of some 250 UN observers monitoring a cease-fire brokered by UN envoy Kofi Annan – a ceasefire which the BBC’s Jim Muir in neighbouring Lebanon says is now “pretty fictional”.

The UN says at least 10,000 have been killed since the protests began.

UN ‘refused to come’

Mr Hague said he would be calling for an urgent session of the UN Security Council in the coming days.

Arab League head Nabil al-Arabi called the assault a “horrific crime” and urged the Security Council to “stop the escalation of killing and violence by armed gangs and government military forces,” the Reuters news agency reports.

The opposition Free Syrian Army says it can no longer commit to the ceasefire unless the Security Council can ensure that civilians are protected, the AFP news agency reports.

Horrific video footage has emerged from Houla of dozens of dead children, covered in blood, their arms and legs strewn over one another. It is unverified, but our correspondent says such images would be difficult to fake.

International media cannot report freely in Syria and it is impossible to verify reports of violence.

A team of UN observers visited the town on Saturday and afterwards Maj-Gen Mood said they could confirm “the use of small arms, machine gun[s], artillery and tanks.”

But he did not say who was behind the killings.

“Whoever started, whoever responded, and whoever carried out this deplorable act of violence should be held responsible.”

Our correspondent says local people are angry that the observers failed to intervene to stop the killing.

Abu Emad, speaking from Houla, said their appeals to the monitors failed to produce action.

“We told them at night, we called seven of them. We told them the massacre is being committed right now at Houla by the mercenaries of this regime and they just refused to come and stop the massacre.”

The opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) said more than 110 people died. The SNC’s Ausama Monajed told the BBC the regime was selecting vulnerable towns to “teach the entire country a lesson”.

“It is beyond humanity what we have seen,” he said.

Activists called a day of mourning on Saturday.

The BBC’s correspondent Paul Wood and cameraman Fred Scott report from the rebel stronghold of Rastan

Meanwhile, in a letter to the Security Council, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said the Syrian opposition controlled “significant parts of some cities”.

He said that “established terrorist groups” could have been behind some of the recent bomb blasts in Syria judging from the sophistication of the attacks.

He said the situation remained “extremely serious” and urged states not to arm either side in the conflict.

Earlier this month, a bombing in Damascus left 55 dead in an attack which the government blamed on al-Qaeda. The attack came amid mounting fears that the terrorist group was taking advantage of the conflict to gain a foothold.

On Thursday, a UN-mandated panel said Syrian security forces were to blame for most abuses in the conflict, which has continued despite the presence of the UN observers.

Mr Annan’s six-point peace agreement ordered a cessation of violence on 12 April. While casualties appeared to fall after the truce, the fighting quickly resumed to previous levels.

Russian Religious Relics Transferred To Chapel On Russian 201st Mil. Base In Dushanbe

“They are the spiritual support of our troops on the eve of such a serious test ( “Peace Mission – 2012.”  ). ” 

[Why do Russian troops in Tajikistan need such a spiritual empowerment before these anti-terrorism war games?]

SCO anti-terrorist exercises held under the auspices of Sv.Matrony, power transferred to Tajikistan


May 25, 2012
The relics of St. Matrona of Moscow were delivered to 201 Russian military base stationed in Tajikistan , according to ITAR-TASS . In the summer of Tajikistan must pass anti-terrorism exercises SCO “Peace Mission – 2012.” It is reported that the patron saint Matron will exercise participants.

As said in the press service of the Central Military District, “the power of Matrona of Moscow directed to the church-chapel, located on a military base. They are the spiritual support of our troops on the eve of such a serious test. ” On the occasion of delivery of the relics in the church, the chapel served a prayer service and Akathist, during the day all orthodox military and civilian personnel can connect to touch the relics.

The SCO includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the status of observer organizations are Iran, India, Mongolia and Pakistan. Will all participants to patronize Matron exercises, participants, or Muslim or Buddhist appoint other patron saints, is not specified.

The international news agency “Fergana”

End of Turkmen gas bluff

End of Turkmen gas bluff


Innocent Adyasov

Western investors, receiving illegal ways of the technical documentation for the development of “super-giant” fields “South Iolotan-Osman,” questioned the estimates of Turkmen specialists.

Russia has gone virtually unnoticed event that can radically affect the fate of alternative pipelines bypassing Russia and greatly increase the chances of the “South Stream”.Western investors, receiving illegal ways of the technical documentation for the development of “super-giant” fields “South Iolotan-Osman,” questioned the estimates of Turkmen specialists.

The field “Southern Yoloten-Osman” in the last year acquired the status of “super-giant.”(November 18, 2011, Turkmen President signed a decree ordering the name field Southern Iolotan-Osman, Minar and its surrounding field gas field “Galkynysh”). Turkmen authorities before the event liked to refer to the results of an “independent audit of gas reserves” held by the British company Gaffney, Cline & Associates, the optimal estimate of the field was 6 trillion cubic meters, which put the “Southern Yoloten-Osman” in its size at the fifth or fourth in the world. Before its opening all of the proven natural gas reserves in Turkmenistan did not exceed 3 trillion cubic meters.

Recently, estimates have been confirmed by British experts state corporation “Turkmengeologiya”, which tested three new exploration wells in the field. Soon, however, revealed that the gas reserves are overestimated by several times. And the inflated results were confirmed by the auditors of Gaffney, Cline & Associates simply because they did their calculations are not based on independent analysis of the results of drilling, but on the basis of data obtained by the Turkmen specialists.

Turkmen authorities are now trying to find the source of information leakage, but it is clear that for the development of the above deposit will have to conduct a new and truly independent examination.

Experts have long doubted the possibility of producing gas from the field at low cost. Thus, the Russian expert Sergey Pravosudov pointed out that the gas from South Iolotan contains large amounts of hydrogen sulfide, which significantly increases the cost of its production. According Pravosudova, “this is about the same gas as the Astrakhan deposit in Russia, where the reserves are more than two trillion cubic meters. Production there – instead of 70-100 billion cubic meters of gas per year produced a total of 15 billion, because it is very expensive gas, it is very deep, at a depth of more than four kilometers.Even if all the favorable conditions of the project once implemented and Turkmen gas to Europe will fall by NABUCCO, or some other project, this gas is very expensive, at least, it will not be cheaper than the Russian, and probably even much more expensive ” .

In addition, it is the largest Turkmen gas field is actually “laid” Ashgabat Chinese investors.China’s CNPC, along with “Turkmengas” – the main operator of the South Iolotan. According to experts, China’s investment in the development of this field may be more than five billion dollars. Beijing has confirmed that he was ready to take all of the export volumes of Turkmen gas by the mid 2012 shipments will increase to 30 billion cubic meters by 2015 to expand the capacity of Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan – China to 65 billion cubic meters.

At the same time, South Iolotan together with the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz regarded the EU as its main resource base for the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline and NABUCCO. In the framework of the “Shah-Deniz 2” Azerbaijan will deliver 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. At its peak, as the first stage of this gas field, the amount of stock which amounts to 1.2 trillion cubic meters, it was supposed to produce about 8.6 billion – nine billion cubic meters of gas.

It is not extracted volumes were pre-contracted by Turkey, Greece and Georgia. It is expected that the peak production of the first stage of “Shah-Deniz” was supposed to go next year. But those plans went awry – in 2011 began in Azerbaijan godkov severe downturn in oil and gas. According to the SSC of the country, the amount produced in Azerbaijan in 2011 crude oil amounted to 45.4 million tons, up 10.7 percent less than in 2010. Last year it was produced only 25.7 billion cubic meters of gas, which is 2.5 percent less than in 2010. In general, the GDP of the oil sector of Azerbaijan in 2011 declined by 9.3 percent over the previous year. The fall in production and affected the “Shah-Deniz”.This is confirmed by data published by the operator of the project – the company «BP-Azerbaijan». According to these data, in the last year of the contract area, “Shah Deniz” managed to get just 6.67 billion cubic meters of gas, which is 222 million cubic meters less than in 2010. Over the past year has also dropped the amount of condensate production: it produced 1.8 million tons of condensate (14 million barrels), against 1.9 million tonnes in 2010.

That is not in Central Asia or Azerbaijan are no free resources for NABOCCO (China intends to contract not only the main exports of Turkmen gas, but all the volumes of gas exports to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan). As is known, the minimum required for the pipeline NABUCCO 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually. Under these circumstances, greatly increase the chances of the Russian project “South Stream”, which was clearly slipping in recent years. But Russia will have to find the free volumes of gas for this project because a monopoly on the transit of Turkmen in Moscow and the whole Central Asian gas, unfortunately, a thing of the past.

Source :: news agency REGNUM

Taliban Are Pak Army “Irregular Forces,” NOT Pashtun Nationalists

Taliban are Pak Army proxies, not Pashtun nationalists – VI

By Farhat Taj

If Pakistan stops backing Taliban commanders, Pashtuns will not protest

There are three groups of Pashtuns fighting the US/NATO and Afghan security forces in Afghanistan – the Peshawar Shura led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the North Waziristan based Haqqani Network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, and the Quetta Shura led by Mullah Omar. All three of them are closely linked with the military establishment of Pakistan.

A section of Hekmatyar’s party has already given up violence and is part of the current Afghan government and parliament. Many of the remaining prominent party leaders are frustrated with Hekmatyar’s rigid stance and have privately said they are willing to give up violence for a peaceful political process.

Hekmatyar’s son in law Ghairat Baheer has recently met Afghan President Hamid Karzai to speed up the process of peaceful political settlement in Afghanistan. The group is therefore likely to have a role in Afghanistan’s future political set-up. But that cannot be said about the other two groups.

The Haqqani Network is led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, but its operations are controlled by his son Sirajuddin Haqqani. The group has attacked US, NATO and Afghan forces, and is also accused of attacking Afghan civilians and development workers sent by India to help rebuild the Afghan infrastructure. The US accuses Pakistan of supporting the Haqqani Network and using it as a tool in Afghanistan.

Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Khalid Rabbani said last month that Pakistan Army had conducted more than 1,000 military operations in FATA in 2009 and 2010. Pakistan’s Air Force chief had reportedly said in Dubai that more than 10,600 bombs have been dropped on FATA since 2008. But no leading Taliban commanders have been captured or killed in FATA during this period. Those in FATA who are critical of the military establishment say Taliban are not captured or killed, but handed over to leaders of the Haqqani Network.

And while most of the media attention is on Waziristan, a lot of jihadi activities are taking place in the Pashtun belt in Baluchistan. NATO commanders have repeatedly described the area as major command centre for expanding cross-border attacks on the US/NATO and Afghans forces. The Quetta Shura have also been accused of targeted killings of Pashtun tribal leaders and clerics who advocated against Taliban militancy in Pashtun villages in Afghanistan.

Mao Tse-tung once said that guerrilla freedom fighters must live among their people as fish swim in the sea. History shows that almost all genuine guerrilla fighters have come back to fight the foreign aggression amid their people with their help after necessary training abroad. If the Afghan Taliban are so confident of the Pashtun public support in Afghanistan, why don’t they go back to Afghanistan and fight the US/NATO forces with the public support? Why do they sneak in, strike and run back?

In fact Afghans, both Pashtun and non-Pashtun, accuse Pakistan and more specifically the Punjabis of nurturing the insurgents in Afghanistan. Many of the Pashtun in FATA also accuse Pakistan Army of backing the Taliban or not supporting local anti-Taliban forces. Just because the Pakistani media is not showing Pashtun anger does not mean it does not exist on the ground.

The Pashtun nationalists and generally all other anti-Taliban Pashtun from all socio-economic statuses and statures in Afghanistan and Pakistan are well known people in their communities. Their names, faces, addresses, and tribal or family affiliations are there for the whole world to see. They stand firmly on their native soil in the face of Taliban atrocities. Contrary to this, most of the Taliban commanders and foot soldiers do not even show their masked faces in public. The Pashtun people do not even know who is behind those masks – Punjabis, Arabs, Uzbeks, culturally uprooted Muslim immigrant terrorists from the Western countries, or Pashtun outlaws?

Most of the Pakistani Taliban also do not operate in the areas they claim to belong to or represent. The popularity of Mullah Omar, the Haqqanis, Gul Bahader, Mullah Nazir and Mullah Faqir is a myth perpetuated by incompetent researchers. The same analysts had said Mullah Fazlullah was popular in Swat. But the locals welcomed his ouster. Now that he is gone, nobody is protesting. And if Pakistan stops backing other Afghan and Pakistani Taliban commanders, no Pashtuns will protest.

Syria, Yemen and America’s Quest for Imperial Dominance:

Syria, Yemen, & America’s Quest for Imperial Dominance

Neo-Imperialism by Faux-Democracy, Terrorism, & Propaganda.

G8 summit 2012

At the G8 summit last week, President Obama and other officials in his administration, began utilizing the talking point of Yemen being a model to be emulated in Syria. Ostensibly, they were referring to the “peaceful” transition of power in Yemen as an example of what they would like to see in Syria.

However, the comparison goes much deeper than simply this superficial connection. The truth is that Yemen represents, in more ways than one, the blueprint that the US imperialist ruling class would like to see applied to the escalating conflict in Syria.

Puppet Regimes and Faux Democracy

The “transition” of power in Yemen, from Saleh to Hadi, is a prime example of the hypocrisy of US policy, touting it as a victory for democracy while concealing the obvious fact that it was the creation of a puppet regime.

Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has been presented as the legitimate leader of Yemen, despite the fact that he was the U.S. choice to govern that country. His legitimacy depended on the myth of a democratically elected regime; the US propagates this myth wantonly, pretending that people won’t remember that Hadi ran unopposed in February.

If the purpose of democracy is to create forms of governance accountable to the citizenry and to establish a government that is truly representative of the people’s desires, then it would be an outright lie to call the Hadi administration anything close to a democracy.

In fact, as recent developments in Yemen have shown, his regime is nothing more than a puppet government, put in power by the United States in order to allow the CIA and other shadowy entities free reign to use drones, Special Forces, and other covert operations in what is supposedly a sovereign nation.

Not only is Hadi, the former vice President under Saleh, not democratically elected, he is the antithesis of progress in a country that was on the front lines of the Arab Spring. The people who marched through the streets of Sanaa and other cities across Yemen did so with the intention of effecting change in a country which, in the eyes of many, was seen as a backwards dictatorship.

However, despite all the rhetoric about hope, change, and progress from the US State Department and the White House, President Obama and his minions, including John Brennan (counter-terrorism advisor and frequent representative of Obama in Yemen), immediately lent their support to Hadi. The betrayal came as no surprise to any informed observer as the United States was only interested in its own strategic interests in the region.

US Tactics and the Geopolitical Imperative in Yemen

US interest in Yemen is certainly not rooted in altruism or a desire to promote democratic ideals. On the contrary, it is the application of a long-standing geopolitical strategy to control international trade through the Mandab Strait and Suez Canal, access to African raw materials, and most specifically, block the expansion of Chinese economic influence in both the Middle East and Africa.

For these reasons, the United States has a keen interest in both Yemen and Somalia, desperate to maintain chaos in those countries so as to prevent stable, nationalist leaders from emerging. In so doing, Washington once again shows itself to be an imperialist aggressor, interested only in maintaining and expanding the empire.

The tactics of this strategy are myriad. First and foremost, the US, in accordance with long-standing policy dating back to the Carter administration, uses the red herring of “Islamic extremism” and terrorism, to justify any actions it deems necessary for the advancement of its own agenda. In places like Afghanistan and Yemen, the enemy is Al-Qaeda which must be fought with US military might, while in Libya and Syria, Al-Qaeda is an ally fighting against the oppressive regimes of Gaddafi and Assad. This duplicity should come as no surprise since Washington’s foreign policy is based on expanding US hegemony rather than promoting any ideals.

The second aspect of America’s imperialist strategy is the fomenting of ethnic, tribal, and other sectarian conflicts. In doing so, Washington is able to prevent the emergence of any form of nationalism that, by definition, would stand in opposition to US imperialism. One must simply look across the Mandab Strait for an example of this strategy: Somalia.

A nation of strategic and geographical importance, Somalia has been effectively destroyed by US policy over the last twenty years, having been transformed from a proud nation to a loose collection of tribal groups dominated by repugnant warlords with no regard for national identity.

In Yemen, we’ve seen this strategy employed vis-à-vis the Huthi rebellion, the propagandistic use of tribal groups as proxies of Saudi Arabia, Iran, or whomever the US wants to demonize, and countless other examples of these sorts of divisive tactics. In this way, the imperialists are able to keep Yemen fragmented, using it as a pawn on the geopolitical chessboard.

A Connection Between Yemen and Syria?

With all this talk about Yemen, the question might be, “So, what’s this got to do with Syria?” The answer to this question can be found in an analysis of the social movements of the two countries. In Syria, just as in Yemen, there is a real, pro-democracy opposition that took to the streets in hopes of forcing reforms. Both movements began with high-minded ideals and sought to end what they perceived to be the outdated rule of dictatorial leaders.

However, unlike Yemen, Syria has been under assault by West-sponsored, foreign mercenary terrorists who have usurped the title of “opposition”, thereby making the real opposition into a mere irrelevancy on the international stage. The United States and its proxies in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, and elsewhere are responsible for this reprehensible turn of events.

And so, when the Obama administration claims that the Yemeni model is the best course of action in Syria, what they mean is that their tactics of subversion through terrorism are simply a means to an end. Just as in Yemen, the United States seeks to topple Assad and install a puppet government, one that would be comfortable under the thumb of the imperialist ruling class.

The US has no interest in protecting the rights of the ethnic and religious minorities or the real opposition (namely the National Coordinating Committee and the Popular front) in Syria, just as they had little interest in furthering the democratic aspirations of the people of Yemen. Rather, Obama and those who control him, seek regime change in Syria in order to use that nation as a geopolitical chess piece against Iran, Russia and any other nation unfortunate enough to be deemed an “enemy” of the United States.

Eric Draitser of

This this article was first published at 

CNBC Predicting Bank Runs In Spain and Italy, Financial Anarchy Throughout Europe

US CNBC Predicting Bank Runs In Spain & Italy & Financial Anarchy Throughout Europe

During an appearance on Meet The Press on Sunday, Jim Cramer of CNBC boldly predicted that “financial anarchy” is coming to Europe and that there will be “bank runs” in Spain and Italy in the next few weeks.

This is very strong language for the most famous personality on the most watched financial news channel in the United States to be using.  In fact, if Cramer is not careful, people will start accusing him of sounding just like The Economic Collapse Blog.

It may not happen in “the next few weeks”, but the truth is that the European banking system is in a massive amount of trouble and if Greece does leave the euro it is going to cause a tremendous loss of confidence in banks in countries such as Spain, Italy and Portugal.

There are already rumors that the “smart money” is pulling out of Spanish and Italian banks.  So could we see some of these banks collapse?

Would they get bailed out if they do collapse?  It is so hard to predict exactly how “financial anarchy” will play out, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the European financial system is heading for a massive amount of pain.

Posted below is a clip of Jim Cramer making his bold predictions during his appearance on Meet The Press.  He is obviously very, very disturbed about the direction that Europe is heading in….

But what is Europe supposed to do?  Even though “austerity measures” have been implemented in many eurozone nations, the truth is that they are all still running up more debt.  Are European nations just supposed to run up massive amounts of debt indefinitely and pretend that there will never been any consequences?

That is apparently what Barack Obama wants.  During the G-8 summit that just concluded, Obama urged European leaders to pursue a “pro-growth” path.

Of course to Obama a “pro-growth” economic plan includes spending trillions of dollars that you do not have without any regard for what you are doing to future generations.

Germany has been trying to get the rest of the eurozone to move much closer to living within their means, but as the recent elections in France and Greece demonstrated, much of the rest of the eurozone is not too thrilled with the end of debt-fueled prosperity.

In Greece, the recent elections failed to produce a new government, so new elections will be held on June 17th.

Many EU politicians are trying to turn these upcoming elections into a referendum on whether Greece stays in the eurozone or not.  If the next Greek government is willing to honor the austerity agreements that have been previously agreed to, then Greece will probably stay in the eurozone for a while longer.  If the next Greek government is not willing to honor the austerity agreements that have been previously agreed to, then Greece will probably be forced out of the eurozone.

The following is what John Praveen, the chief investment strategist at Prudential International Investments Advisers, had to say about the political situation in Greece recently….

“If the pro-euro major parties fail to muster enough support to form a coalition and the radical left Syriza party and other anti-euro, anti-austerity parties secure a majority, the risk of a disorderly Greek exit from the Euro increases and could roil markets”

Right now, polls show the leading anti-austerity party, Syriza, doing very well.  The leader of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, has declared that he plans “to stop the experiment” with austerity and that what the rest of the eurozone has tried to do in Greece is a “crime against the Greek people“.

But the Germans do not see it that way.  The Germans just want the Greeks to stop spending far more money than they bring in.

The Germans do not want to endlessly bail out the Greeks if the Greeks are not willing to show some financial discipline.

As we approach the June 17th elections, the financial markets are likely to be quite nervous.  According to Art Hogan of Lazard Capital Partners, many investors are deeply concerned about how “sloppy” a great exit from the euro could be….

“Next week is only one of the four weeks we have to wait until the Greek election. Every utterance out of Greece makes us think about their [possible] exit and how sloppy that could be”

Most Greek citizens want to remain in the eurozone and most European politicians want Greece to remain in the eurozone, but it is looking increasingly likely as if that may not happen.

In fact, there are reports that preparations are rapidly being made for a Greek exit.  According to Reuters, “contingency plans” for the printing of Greek drachmas have already been drawn up….

De La Rue (DLAR.L) has drawn up contingency plans to print drachma banknotes should Greece exit the euro and approach the British money printer, an industry source told Reuters on Friday.

And even EU officials are now acknowledging that plans for a Greek exit from the euro are being developed.  The following is what EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht saidduring one recent interview….

“A year and a half ago, there may have been the danger of a domino effect,” he said, “but today there are, both within the European Central Bank and the European Commission, services that are working on emergency scenarios in case Greece doesn’t make it.”

When these kinds of things start to become public, that is a sign that officials really do not expect Greece to remain a part of the euro.

And Greece is rapidly beginning to run out of money.  According to a recent Ekathimerini article, the Greek government is likely to run out of money at the end of June….

The public coffers are seen running dry at the end of June, but this will depend on two key factors. First, revenue collection: In the first 10 days of May, inflows were about 15 percent lower than projected but there are fears that the slide may reach 50 percent. The GAO will have a picture for the first 20 days on May 23, while the last three days of the month are considered crucial, when 1.5 billion euros of the month’s budgeted total of 3.6 billion are expected to flow in.

Second, whether the IMF and EFSF installments are disbursed: This is not certain, as the decision will be purely political for both providers and evidently partly linked to political developments. Earlier this month the eurozone approved a disbursement 1 billion short of the 5 billion euros that were expected.

If Greece runs out of money and if the rest of Europe cuts off the flow of euros, Greece would essentially be forced to leave the euro.

So the last half of June looks like it could potentially be a key moment for Greece.

Meanwhile, the Greek banking system is struggling to survive as hundreds of millions of euros get pulled out of it.  The following is from a recent CNN article….

The Greek financial system is straining hard for cash.

Consumers and businesses are making massive withdrawals from Greece’s banks — leading to concern the beleaguered nation could be forced out of the eurozone by a banking crisis even before its government runs out of cash.

Deposits are the lifeblood of any bank, and Greeks pulled 800 million euros out of the banking system on Tuesday alone, the most recent day for which figures are available.

If Greece does leave the euro and the Greek banking system does collapse, that is going to be a clear signal that a similar scenario will be allowed to play out in other eurozone nations.

That is why Jim Cramer, myself and many others are warning that there could soon be bank runs all over the eurozone.

Sadly, the banking crisis in Europe just seems to get worse with each passing day.

For example, the Telegraph has reported that wealthy individuals are starting to pull money out of Spanish banking giant Santander….

Customers with large deposits have started withdrawing cash from Santander, the bank has admitted, as it tried to reassure concerned members of the public that their money is safe.

Round and round we go.  Where all this will stop nobody knows.

If Greece does end up leaving the euro, that could set off a chain of cascading events that could potentially be absolutely catastrophic.

Former Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi recently stated that the “whole house of cards will come down” if Greece leaves the euro.

And if the “house of cards” does come down in Europe, that is going to greatly destabilize the global derivatives market.

You see, the truth is that the global derivatives market is very delicately balanced.  The assumption most firms make is that things are not going to deviate too much from what is considered “normal”.

If we do end up seeing “financial anarchy” in Europe, that is going to greatly destabilize the system and we could rapidly have a huge derivatives crisis on our hands.

And as we saw with JP Morgan recently, losses from derivatives can add up really fast.

Originally, we were told that the derivatives losses that JP Morgan experienced recently came to a total of only about 2 billion dollars.

Now, we are told that it could be a whole lot more than that.  According to the Wall Street Journal, JP Morgan could end up losing about 5 billion dollars (or more) before it is all said and done….

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is struggling to extricate itself from disastrous wagers by traders such as the “London whale,” in a sign that the size of its bets could bog down the bank’s unwinding of the trades and deepen its losses by billions of dollars.

The nation’s largest bank has said publicly that its losses on the trades have surpassed $2 billion, and people familiar with the matter have said they could over time reach $5 billion.

And if Europe experiences a financial collapse, the losses experienced by U.S. firms could make that 5 billion dollars look like pocket change.  The following is from a recent articleby Graham Summers….

According to Reuters once you include Spain and Italy as well as Credit Default Swaps and indirect exposure to Europe, US banks have roughly $4 TRILLION in potential exposure to the EU.

To put that number in perspective, the entire US banking system is $12 trillion in size.

Interesting days are ahead my friends.

Let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.

Pentagon Awards SAIC of McLean, VA. One-Year Contract for International Hasbara Operations

[HASBARA–national lying center, official alias for”public diplomacy”in Israel.]

SAIC Awarded Contract by Defense Intelligence Agency

Company to Provide Linguist, Operational, Translation and Management Services in Support of the National Media Exploitation Center (NMEC)

MCLEAN, Va., May 24, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)SAI +0.85% announced today it was awarded a prime contract by the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to provide linguist, operational, translation and management services in support of the National Media Exploitation Center (NMEC). The single-award contract has a one-year base period of performance, four one-year options and a contract value of approximately $33 million if all options are exercised.

The NMEC provides timely and accurate collection, processing, exploitation, and dissemination for intelligence, defense, homeland security, law enforcement and other U.S. Government agencies. Under the contract, SAIC will provide linguist, operational, translation and management services as required, including: translating written, electronic and multi-media material to and from English and a foreign language; editing; database administration; and providing operations support, including management of all contractor personnel and related functions.

“We are proud of our track record as one of the largest language service providers to the defense, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies, and look forward to providing the NMEC with high-level technical translations in support of the DIA,” said Larry Hill, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager.**

**The National Media Exploitation Center was established in late 2001 to coordinate FBI, CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and National Security Agency (NSA) efforts to analyze and disseminate informationgleaned from millions of pages of paper documents, electronic media, videotapes, audiotapes, and electronic equipment seized by the U.S. military and Intelligence Community in Afghanistan and other foreign lands.

Special Forces Commander Wants To Accelerate the Process To Waging War

[APPARENTLY, I have lost the privilege of embedding Google Maps, unless the service is just not working for anybody at this time.  I would appreciate hearing from any of you who are having the same problem with Goog. Map embedding.]

In this May 23, 2012 photo, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Norman J. Brozenick Jr., shakes hands with I Made Sudiantara, of Indonesia, after a demonstration featuring SOF forces from ten different nations, in Tampa, Fla. U.S. and international special operations forces (SOF) demonstrated their combined combat capabilities outside the Tampa Convention Center. (AP Photo/Tamp Bay Times, Kathleen Flynn) TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT

In this May 23, 2012 photo, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Norman J. Brozenick Jr., shakes hands with I Made Sudiantara, of Indonesia, after a demonstration featuring SOF forces from ten different nations, in Tampa, Fla. U.S. and international special operations forces (SOF) demonstrated their combined combat capabilities outside the Tampa Convention Center. (AP Photo/Tamp Bay Times, Kathleen Flynn) TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT; MAGS OUT (Flynn, Kathleen)

“This is not at all about forcing or sneaking special operations forces into a geographic combatant command but instead accelerating a process of initiation…where special operations forces might be needed.”

[The general is talking about lowering the threshold for initiating new combat, i.e., starting new wars.  Halfway through the following report, a favorite Pentagon puppet-state spokesman, Colombian Brig. Gen. Juan Pablo Rodriguez Barragan, chimes-in, extolling the thirty-year civil war visited upon his country, primarily through Special Forces and Navy Seals’ trainers.  In one of those quirky twists of fate, the general’s last name sounds like the name of the favorite top secret Special Forces’ training ground in Colombia, Barrancón Special Forces School.  Located on a jungle island on the Rio Guaviare, that even Google Earth tries to hide from prying eyes, Barrancón is infamous for the role it played in training the Colombian “Paramilitaries” forces, especially those in the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, under the command of ruthless warlord, Carlos Castaño,  many of whom were criminally indicted for the role they played in the Mapiripán massacre (SEE: Pentagon Trained Troops Led by Officer Accused In Colombian Massacre ).],-72.432861&spn=3.830425,4.669189&z=7&iwloc=00049c6d7593014339a1a&output=embed<br /><small>View <a href=”;msid=204220286040673018849.00049c6d6d27472197572&amp;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=h&amp;ll=4.904887,-72.432861&amp;spn=3.830425,4.669189&amp;z=7&amp;iwloc=00049c6d7593014339a1a&amp;source=embed&#8221; style=”color:#0000FF;text-align:left”>Colombia/American Terror </a> in a larger map</small>


Carlos Castaño, poster child for American Special Operations gone wild.

Raid admiral’s toughest fight: winning Washington

TAMPA, Fla. — The commander in charge of the raid to kill Osama bin Laden is defending his proposal that would give him more authority to send special operations forces overseas to address problems like terrorists or sudden Arab Spring-style unrest.
At a rare press conference during a weeklong meeting of international special operations forces, Adm. Bill McRaven said the plan would also trim some of the limits on where and how special operations troops work. But those troops would still answer to U.S. commanders overseas, not him, and missions would be coordinated with and approved by the U.S. ambassador, he said.”I really do need to clear this up because there is some speculation out there, some sensationalization,” McRaven said Thursday. He said his plan was “absolutely not about U.S. Special Operations Command running global special operations.”McRaven has been shuttling to sell his plan between the Pentagon and Capitol Hill, working to dispel suggestions of a power grab by the high-profile commander of the Navy SEAL raid that killed bin Laden.”I worry about speed making it too easy to employ force,” a former Joint Chiefs chairman, retired Gen. Peter Pace, said last month in Washington. “I worry about speed making it too easy to take the easy answer — let’s go whack them with special operations — as opposed to perhaps a more laborious answer for perhaps a better long-term solution.”McRaven got a boost from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who appeared earlier in the week with McRaven, a tacit message that she backs his proposal.

“We need special operations forces who are as comfortable drinking tea with tribal leaders as raiding a terrorist compound,” Clinton said. “We also need diplomats and development experts who understand modern warfare and are up to the job of being your partners.”

McRaven’s plan, first reported by The Associated Press in January, is to send special operations forces to work with local forces — something they are already doing, but in smaller numbers as they’ve been tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan. The continuous interaction means the U.S. and local officers forge ties, build the local force’s skills and jointly track local threats that might include terrorists or drug traffickers.

“The only way you can neutralize terrorist action is … integrating our intelligence and working together,” said Colombian Brig. Gen. Juan Pablo Rodriguez Barragan. He noted successful joint U.S.-Colombian operations against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, rebel group.

Barragan was one of the officers from 97 countries who had come to learn new strategies and techniques, and see an array of U.S. special operations technology.

The weeklong gathering offered a snapshot of how McRaven hopes to make elite military-to-military relationships the glue binding the global counterterrorism fight.

McRaven’s proposed changes include allowing him to suggest sending his forces to an area where he perceives a growing threat, rather than waiting to be asked — a process supported by his predecessor, now-retired Adm. Eric Olson.

“This is not at all about forcing or sneaking special operations forces into a geographic combatant command but instead accelerating a process of initiation…where special operations forces might be needed,” Olson said in comments last month in Washington. He also noted that current rules can bar McRaven from speaking to his special operations commanders in the field without the permission of the regional U.S. military commander.

Other proposed changes involve loosening some bureaucratic restrictions like the one that only allows U.S. special operations forces to work with defense forces in a given country, while foreign elite units often work for a country’s Interior Ministry, McRaven said.

McRaven said he also wants to remove requirements that Congress regularly approve special operations assistance missions in places like Yemen and give his troops more authority to buy uniforms and supplies for troops overseas without going through the State Department aid system, which can add months to the process.

“Any use of this would require secretary of state approval,” McRaven said. “We’re not recommending anything that goes around the State Department.”



U.S. Special Operations Command:

Economic Collapse: The End of the World As We Know It

Economic Collapse: The End of the World As We Know It

By Dr. Mark Sircus

As everyone is well aware, Europe is an absolute mess. The gravity of the global debt crisis is getting worse and for sure it’s the end of the world as we have known it.

EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht recently said, “The endgame has begun, and how it will finish I do not know.”

There is an implosion happening in Greece, and Spain is not far behind with Portugal and Ireland running neck and neck into the full embrace of depression and life-shattering bank runs.

Greece is a big deal and Spain is even bigger. Right now the European Central Bank (ECB) is starting to cut off funds from several Greek banks and there is a run going on at the same time.

Those banks are going down the toilet into a black hole and there will be a loud sucking sound as these banks pull hard on other banks. The Titanic is going down at the bow and just because you are at the stern (in the United States), not in Spain or Greece, it does not mean the cold waters of economic calamity are not going to come to the shores of your life.

Martin Weiss has a logical sequence that forecasts the ruin of our current way of life.

Forecast #4
The European Central Bank (ECB)
will kick its money printing presses
into overdrive and very, very soon.

“That’s the only way they know how to react to the riots on the streets, how to finance their budgets, how to rescue their banks and save their own necks politically. And if you think Europe is too far away from your hometown to matter very much—too far away from Main Street USA—think again,” says Weiss.

Chris Martenson said:

“Well, my hat is off to the global central planners for averting the next stage of the unfolding financial crisis for as long as they have. I guess there’s some solace in having had a nice break between the events of 2008/09 and today, which afforded us all the opportunity to attend to our various preparations and enjoy our lives. Alas, all good things come to an end, and a crisis rooted in ‘too much debt’ with a nice undercurrent of ‘persistently high and rising energy costs’ was never going to be solved by providing cheap liquidity to the largest and most reckless financial institutions. And it has not.”

Graham Summers, of Phoenix Capital Research, just back from Europe says:

“The situation in Europe is bad… How BAD? Well, France, Spain, and Germany have ALL implemented border controls. Spain, France, and Germany can each close their borders for up to 30 days at any point if they so choose. Why are they doing this? Because they know that when the stuff hits the fan and the EU collapses (which it will in the next few months) people are going to attempt to flee with their money… so they have made it so that no one can get it… and no one can get out,”

“A €1 billion run [$1.28 billion] on a recently nationalized Spanish bank has sparked further fears that the 17-nation eurozone is about to implode. “The U.S. media has completely ignored this story because the implications are truly horrifying: that the EU and its banking system could very easily collapse in the coming months. After all, there are already bank runs taking place in Spain and Greece. Once things pick up steam NO ONE will be immune. No less than Ben Bernanke has publicly admitted that if the EU goes down, it will potentially take the U.S. with it. Make no mistake, what’s coming will be bigger and worse than 2008. We’re talking about bank holidays, civil unrest, and the worse,” said Summers.

You think this is all to be taken lightly? The Italian government does not think so and has deployed 20,000 law enforcement officers to protect individuals and sensitive sites.

The government increased security last Thursday at 14,000 sites, and assigned bodyguards to protect 550 individuals after a nuclear energy company official was shot and letter bombs directed to the tax collection agency.

It really is the end of the world we know, or the beginning of that end. Christians believe in the end of the world as a matter of course and the world is giving them every reason to think that their beliefs are correct. Our modern civilization is vulnerable from a number of different angles and the insanity of the elite and centuries of financial manipulation and control are smashing against the wealth of the masses and the very structure of society.

I read that Homeland Security is preparing forcivil war, preparing to fight the heavily armed American people and internal security agencies have bought enough ammunition to kill everyone. Never has a public been so heavily armed so obviously the military and the police know it will take a lot to suppress Americans.

But they are not the only ones itching for war. Forty-nine headless bodies were dumped in Mexico and the idiots in Washington are still proud of their war against drugs. Modern civilization has been at war with its own people for a long while and now national governments are ready and set for war on a broader scale.

In the China Sea it’s the Philippines facing off against the Chinese and now we hear of a new unholy alliance in Israel that seems to have established a war cabinet to go full out to war with Iran.

Russia and Putin are talking rough and I don’t think they are kidding about defending their interests from the mentally deranged Europeans and Americans. Syria has joined the list of countries being torn apart by civil war.

Financial Armageddon is inching closer and closer. The future for the first world is already being written in Spain and Greece and even California, places where the money is running out big time. And the volcanoes and earthquakes just don’t stop. They just don’t stop and the reports keep coming in.

John Rubino said, “Europe’s leaders—that is to say German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the bureaucrats running the various eurozone agencies from Brussels—have looked into the abyss and don’t like what they see.

Specifically, a default and departure by even a relatively insignificant country like Greece might start a contagion that cripples or destroys the whole eurozone.

Paul Brodsky says, “The only way to deleverage is either to let credit deteriorate or to print money. Clearly the politically expedient way of deleveraging is to print money. Central banks can chatter all they want about not wanting to print money or wanting to keep the integrity of their currencies, but, at the end of the day, they don’t really have a choice.

They either have to manufacture more electronic credits and put them in the banking system or they have to let their banking system fail. That is just the reality. There is one interconnected banking system and they all have claims with each other. If German banks end up in difficulty, it presents problems for U.S. banks.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) has some bad news: His cash-strapped state isn’t $9.2 billion in the hole, as projected in January; the Golden State is actually facing a yawning$15.7 billion shortfall.

The business and financial community is not paying attention to what is happening inFukushima and how that alone will ruin the plans of mice and men.

Rich or poor, it makes little difference when we are challenged beyond our capacity to respond. Assuming that life will go on as it has these past decades is perhaps one of the greatest and most dangerous assumptions most people are making today.

The mainstream news media feeds this almost universally-shared assumption, so when this greatest-of-all bubbles bursts, there will be hell to pay—that is for sure.

We are all going to have to turn our bows into more spiritual winds to manage the major upheavals headed our way. Depending on who and where you are, these major upheavals have already occurred leaving increasing millions desperate and without hope.

The illusion of growth is fast fading and what will take its place is an ugly depression with a threatened currency collapse as trillions are printed to save the world from its own stupidity.

This article originally appeared on

100 Million Americans Without Jobs


(Note: The chart above is the Civilian Over-16 Non-Institutional Population minus the seasonally adjusted Civilian Workforce.)

100 Million Americans Without Jobs

The national unemployment rates gets lots of attention, and lately more attention has been paid to the workforce participation rate since more Americans have given up looking for a job, but we can also see that an astounding 100 million Americans don’t have jobs.

Specifically, these are people who are part of the civilian over-16 non-institutional population who are either unemployed or not part of the workforce. According to the April jobs report, the number of jobless American stood at 100.9 million.

That’s an all-time record and it’s an increase of 26.2 million over the last 12 years. It’s as if we absorbed the entire adult population of Canada and not a single person had a job.

The numbers are staggering. The jobs-to-population ratio peaked 12 years ago. If we were to have the same ratio today, we would need 15.3 million more jobs, or 23.7 million fewer people.


Former Horn-Dog-In-Chief and His Porn Pals

Bill Clinton caught surrounded by porn stars

image by twitter user @brooklynleexxx  

image by twitter user @brooklynleexxx

Former President Bill Clinton has been caught once again getting close with a woman in a blue dress, but this incident involves neither Oval Office sexcapades nor a White House intern. No, no, no — the ex-chief exec has graduated to porn stars.

While attending a star-studded gala in Monaco on Wednesday night, former US President Bill Clinton was photographed posing with his arms around two young women. Unfortunately for the former commander-in-chief, though, the presumably harmless photo op has gone viral after one of the co-eds cuddling up with Clinton tweeted the photo from her Twitter account.

It just so happens that the micromessage was sent from the very same social media account that Brooklyn Lee, 22, uses to promote her cinema career — one which includes starring roles in films such as Femdom Ass Worship 10 and at least 86 other adult film titles. Lee is perhaps best known, however, for recently winning the best Oral Sex Scene award at the Adult Video News awards but, as President Clinton will tell you, that’s not really sex at all.

Lee tweeted the photo of herself with President Clinton on Wednesday evening within minutes of also promoting a recent anal sex scene she shot with the pornographic production house Bang Bros. The scandal doesn’t end there, either — also flanking the president on his other side is Tasha Reign, 23, another young actress with dozens of dirty, dirty film titles on her resume.

The snapshot was captured while the president was overseas to attend the Nights in Monaco gala at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo this week. On the event’s website, the shindig is billed as an “exceptional and exclusive night in the presence of his serene highness Prince Albert II of Monaco and the honorable William J. Clinton, 42nd president of the United States.”

Tickets for the event started at $5,000 per person with proceeds going to benefit both the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the William J Clinton Foundation.

Hillary Finally Brings Bureau of Spy/Diplomatic Liaisons Out of the Closet

Hillary Finally Brings Bureau of Spy/Diplomatic Liaisons Out of the Closet

By Peter Chamberlin

Clinton finally brings the secret military/State Dept. covert operations out into the open (SEE:  Clinton Goes Commando, Sells Diplomats as Shadow Warriors).  This is the logical outcome of a process started long ago, during the Reagan Administration, when Congress put restrictions on the CIA’s shadow wars in Central America.  It was then that this so-called “smart policy” began, thereafter, all of the CIA’s illegal operations were contracted out to private interests.   Hillary’s baby, “the Conflict Bureau,” grew out of Reagan’s NED (National Endowment for Democracy).   The new bureau of State Dept. activism was originally called the “Office of Public Diplomacy,” as first revealed in the Congressional Iran/Contra Hearings.  These hearings uncovered the inner workings of a new State Dept. entity, which was intended to take over many of the CIA’s  operations.  

Private corporations and benefactors were solicited to form patriotic partnerships with the military, to be overseen by a hierarchy of diplomats.  These partnerships turned-out to be privately funded criminal enterprises, which were organized to implement Administration policies.  The objective of these enterprises was to destabilize nations by turning the people against their own governments.  This was to be done primarily through diplomatic largess, as opposed to the use of military force.  A veritable river of cash and other economic incentives began to pour into the hands of poor people and local criminal networks.  The people’s loyalty would be bought, as would the criminals’ silence, as well as the local bureaucrat’s complicity.  The louder that those who received their newfound wealth boasted of their good fortune, the more envious the rest of the people would become.  All forces would contribute to the primary mission of destabilization.

Perhaps the most important acquisition that the beneficent diplomats could make would be that of the voices of established local journalists and newsmen, who would be the primary agitators of the class struggle between the haves and the have-nots.  In Muslim countries, the most important acquisition would likely be local religious authorities and devotees, who could be used to further agitate long-simmering local religious squabbles, such as that between Sunni and Shia.

Through the “smart” interplay between the various news-generating sources at their disposal, the aggressive diplomats could actually take over popular dialogues and generate “new news” (propaganda).   By using their local and national players to dominate popular opinion-making, diplomats could successfully replace the ongoing national narratives with new false narratives, which were used to bring the thinking of the people in line with the Administration’s will for them.  The overriding purpose was to generate national revolutions by first creating a false perception of an ongoing revolution within the minds of the people.   The people were made to believe in an inevitable national revolution by hiring locals to stage revolutionary attacks (terrorism) on key targets, at critical junctures in the molding of the national debate.  The contracted newsmen spread the story of the ongoing revolution far and wide, while the newsmen who could not be bought are deceived with selective leaks from anonymous government sources.  The revolutionary (terrorist) acts are timed so as to validate the doctored news reports.   

Today the diplomatic meddlers have networks of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) to assist them with the process of spreading the “pork” locally and creating new false narratives which mirror the latest fashionable lies being peddled by Washington’s other sources.  You see the process most completely in the fate suffered by Libya, or Syria, or that visited upon the people of Iraq.  At the end of the “smart” process is nothing but war and local devastation giving the US and NATO military a foot in the door.   For this the national governments are blamed by the manipulated, agitated, radicalized and weaponized masses.  

 Hillary is extremely proud of her smart operation, her “Silk Road” to hell.

Did American Spies Sabotage Russian Superjet, Or Cause the String of Spectacular Air and Space Disasters?

Mystery: The jet, pictured here in Jakarta, went missing while on a demonstration flight

Mystery: The jet, pictured here in Jakarta, went missing while on a demonstration flight

Undercover US agents brought down our new Superjet: Russia’s extraordinary claim about crash which killed 45

  • State’s GRU military intelligence source says Russians are investigating theory crash was ‘industrial sabotage
  • Aircraft was on a demonstration flight aimed at securing lucrative orders when it slammed into a mountain killing all 45 passengers and crew
  • Russian intelligence official claims US have ‘special technology’ capable of jamming signals from the ground or causing systems to malfunction


Spy sources in Moscow today made the astonishing claim that a US undercover operation may have sabotaged a new Russian Superjet plane that crashed in Indonesia two weeks ago.

The aircraft was on a demonstration flight aimed at securing lucrative orders when it slammed into a mountain killing all 45 passengers and crew.

‘We are investigating the theory that it was industrial sabotage,’ a GRU military intelligence source said.

Crash site: Wreckage of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft shown strewn across Mount Salak, West Java provinceCrash site: Wreckage of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft shown strewn across Mount Salak, West Java province

Disaster: The logo of Sukhoi Co. is clearly visible (bottom, centre) among the wreckage of the SuperjetDisaster: The logo of Sukhoi Co. is clearly visible (bottom, centre) among the wreckage of the Superjet

The extraordinary Cold War-style claim echoes high-level allegations in Moscow that the US used powerful lasers to zap a Russian Mars probe seven months ago.

Other satellite launches – there have been half a dozen failures in the last 18 months – might be the work of US sabotage, raising the spectre of a sustained campaign against its technology by American secret services, it has been argued.

A headline to a story in Russia’s biggest newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda today read: ‘Are the Americans implicated in the Superjet crash?’

‘We know that they have special technology – that we also have – to jam signals from the ground or cause parameter readings to malfunction,’ said the unnamed intelligence official, highlighting a US military presence at Jakarta Airport from where the plane took off on May 9.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 is the first entirely new passenger plane unveiled by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Sabotage claim: Sukhoi's chief civil test pilot Alexander Yablontsev (pictured) flew the Superjet that mysteriously crashed

Sabotage claim: Sukhoi’s chief civil test pilot Alexander Yablontsev (pictured) flew the Superjet that mysteriously crashed

It is designed to grab market share from Western manufacturers.

Russian officials insist investigators have established ‘that there were no technical problems until the crash’.

After the Mars probe failed, Russians space chief Vladimir Popovkin warned: ‘We don’t want to accuse anybody, but there are very powerful devices that can influence spacecraft now.

‘The possibility they were used cannot be ruled out.’

He stressed: ‘The frequent failure of our space launches, which occur at a time when they are flying over the part of Earth not visible from Russia, where we do not see the spacecraft and do not receive telemetric information, are not clear to us.’

A senior navy commander also blamed the US Navy for the August 2000 Kursk nuclear submarine sinking that killed 118 seamen, since several US ships were in the vicinity of the Barents Sea exercises.

Grim task: An Indonesian military helicopter lowers a body bag, recovered from the crash site of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 on May 13Grim task: An Indonesian military helicopter lowers a body bag, recovered from the crash site of the Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 on May 13

Grief-stricken: Indonesian relatives of passengers on the jet at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta on May 10, as rescuers searched for survivors at the crash siteGrief-stricken: Indonesian relatives of passengers on the jet at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta on May 10, as rescuers searched for survivors at the crash site

Kazakhstan and Belarus have agreed to resist international pressure for human rights

Kazakhstan and Belarus have agreed to resist international pressure for human rights


It is learned that during the recent (12-14 May 2012) visit of President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan to Belarus signed a joint statement by the presidents of two countries against international scrutiny on human rights issues, according to a weekly newspaper Belarusian Belarusians and the Market . “The parties will provide mutual support in international forums on human rights, together to oppose attempts to use human rights issues as a means of political pressure “- said in a May 14 adopted by Heads of State joint statement.

Astana and Minsk intend to continue the close coordination of activities of the OSCE “in order to further advance common priorities and initiatives aimed at correcting existing imbalances and improving the efficiency of the organization.” Lukashenko and Nazarbaev coincided in a negative evaluation of the OSCE. In a statement Nazarbayev, Lukashenko said that both sides are interested in ensuring “transparency in the work of its institutions and field presences, as well as streamlining the monitoring of elections by the OSCE.”

Recall that Kazakhstan was headed by the OSCE in 2010, and even held in Astana summit of the organization, but the OSCE regularly refuses to recognize the elections held in Kazakhstan, relevant to democratic standards, and Nazarbayev said that no more critical observers in Kazakhstan at the elections will not be allowed.

In Belarus, the OSCE office was closed in December 2010, and the decision it has not been reviewed.

The international news agency “Fergana”

Russia Offers to Host Syria Peace Talks

Russia Offers to Host Syria Peace Talks

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية


Russia is ready to host direct talks between the Syrian regime and rebel representatives, a top official said Wednesday, in a bid to end 14 months of bloodshed that has claimed over 10,000 lives.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said peace mediator Kofi Annan’s deputy was trying to secure agreement with the fractured foreign-based Syrian opposition on who could meet Bashar Assad’s Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa.

“Russia has proposed starting this dialogue in Moscow, considering the opposition’s fear of coming to Syria and the authorities’ refusal to hold a meeting in Cairo under the auspices of the Arab League,” Bogdanov said in comments posted by the foreign ministry.

The Syrian strongman appointed Sharaa as his official negotiator last year. But the rebels had previously rejected negotiations because of the raging violence and the regime’s refusal to offer real power to Assad’s foes.

Moscow has hosted several more moderate Syrian groups in the past year who do not represent the main Syrian National Council opposition movement.

Bogdanov did not say how or whether either Assad or the Syrian opposition has responded to Russia’s offer.

The “Extortionist” Is the Tyrant Making the Demands

Proud to be an Extortionist!

By: Yasmeen Ali


US Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, the chair and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said US must not pay $5000 per truck as demanded by Pakistan, for supplies to troops in Afghanistan, which McCain called extortion.

Extortion, dear McCain, is defined as, the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority’. He also stated, while talking to ‘The Cable’ “We can’t look at aid in that light. It’s now becoming a matter of principle”.

I love it!

Is it the first time US will be paying for transit of NATO supplies? They are paying an average of about $250 a truck, as per a senior US official as reported in a report by David S. Cloud, from the Los Angeles Times published May 19th 2012.

So the question dear McCain is not of principle. The question could have been of principle had US not been paying anything at all, and one fine day, Pakistan had woken up to…what did you say? Ah yes…extortion. The question here Mr McCain, is the amount. So let’s help you off the high horse you seem to have got yourself up to and discuss the amount.

Let us take the example of a shopkeeper selling goods. Goods that someone needs desperately to buy. The shopkeeper has fixed a price. But the consumer, a sly, manipulating piece of work, tries everything within his power, to make the shopkeeper lower the price. The shopkeeper , a normally docile man-is obstinate this once. He refuses to succumb to the consumer’s pressure tactics.

Does that make the shopkeeper an Extortionist?

Or, does it make the consumer one-besides some other adjectives I would like to avoid right now?

Maybe McCain, in his youthful exuberance, forgot to mention, that the NATO supply route to Afghanistan via Pakistan has damaged the road infrastructure worth Rs 100 billion in the country during the last 10 years. (News report by Staff Reporter The Nation published 23rd May 2012)

Talking of principles is not very pretty when one has been on a killing spree, killing children, civilians and older people-the more the merrier. Talking of principles is not pretty when you invade one country after the other. Talking of principles is not very pretty when an American citizen goes trigger happy causing deaths and when his hide is saved on basis of the very Shariah Laws US curses. Talking of principles is not very pretty when US decides to unilaterally attack Abottabad for Osama Bin Laden. And in case you missed my dear McCain, we are not the only ones pointing out your ’lack of  principles here’. Amnesty International has, in it’s recent report criticized the USA for it’s use of lethal force, particularly for the ‘unlawful’ killing of Osama Bin Laden in a clandestine US commando raid in Pakistan last May. “The US administration made clear that the operation had been conducted under the USA’s theory of a global armed conflict between the USA and Al-Qaeda in which the USA does not recognize the applicability of international human rights law,” it said in its annual report. “In the absence of further clarification from the US authorities, the killing of Osama bin Laden would appear to have been unlawful,” it said. Amnesty said a request for clarification over an apparent US drone strike in Yemen last September that killed US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, his Al-Qaeda co-conspirator Samir Khan and at least two others had also gone unanswered(The News publishing an AFP report.  ).

I thoroughly enjoyed your bout of diatribe McCain, obviously, you have a lot of growing up to do!

The free(almost) ride lasted all these years McCain, but there’s nothing in this world as a free lunch, is there? You had a great party while it lasted, but I guess, you get off the bus right here(or horse, if you are not off already).

And if you still feel we are extortionists, guess what. We are proud to be one!

As to the Pakistan Government, I have this to say:

Well done for developing a spine!

Virginia Slims , had basically target marketed the women, many,many years ago,in it’s advertising campaign. I particularly liked the theme line, that I would like to say to my government, ”You’ve come a long way, baby.”

Yasmeen Ali is a University Professor & a Lawyer based in Lahore. She can be reached at:

Lebanese FM: Captives in Syria have been found

Lebanese FM: Captives in Syria have been found

Lebanese anti-Syrian regime critic Shadi Mawlawi, center, who was accused of belonging to a terrorist group, is carried on his friends' shoulders as they celebrate his release from jail, in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Tuesday May 22, 2012. Earlier this month, the arrest of Shadi Mawlawi, an outspoken Lebanese critic of Syrian President Bashar Assad, set of several days of clashes in northern Lebanon that killed eight people. Mawlawi was accused of belonging to a terrorist group. Mawlawi said he denies any link to such groups. The Arabic headband reads: "no God only God and Mohammed prophet of God." Photo: STR / AP

Lebanese anti-Syrian regime critic Shadi Mawlawi, center, who was accused of belonging to a terrorist group, is carried on his friends’ shoulders as they celebrate his release from jail, in the northern port city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Tuesday May 22, 2012. Earlier this month, the arrest of Shadi Mawlawi, an outspoken Lebanese critic of Syrian President Bashar Assad, set of several days of clashes in northern Lebanon that killed eight people. Mawlawi was accused of belonging to a terrorist group. Mawlawi said he denies any link to such groups. The Arabic headband reads: “no God only God and Mohammed prophet of God.” Photo: STR / AP

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s foreign minister said Wednesday that authorities have located 11 Lebanese Shiites kidnapped the previous day in Syria and that he expects they will be released soon.

Adnan Mansour said he had been in touch with a number of Arab officials and his Turkish counterpart to try to secure the captives’ return to Lebanon.

“They will be released in the coming hours,” Mansour said, according to Lebanon’s state news agency. The report gave no further information on the captives’ location or on who is holding them.

Russia test-fires missile amid tensions over NATO defense shield announcement

Russia test-fires missile amid tensions over NATO defense shield announcement

By the CNN Wire Staff
File photo of Russia's Topol intercontinental ballistic missile launcher on May 6, 2012.
File photo of Russia’s Topol intercontinental ballistic missile launcher on May 6, 2012.

(CNN) — Russia test-fired a ballistic missile Wednesday, a move that comes amid tensions about a recent NATO announcement that it placed an interim missile defense shield in Europe.

The intercontinental missile was launched Wednesday morning from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northwestern Russia, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

“The new intercontinental ballistic missile is intended to strengthen the capabilities of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces, including its capabilities for overcoming anti-missile defenses,” Defense Ministry spokesman Vadim Koval told RIA Novosti.

The launch comes days after NATO’s chief said the alliance now has an interim ballistic missile defense capability in Europe.

Among the interim capabilities are missile interceptors loaded on a U.S. ship in the Mediterranean, the first of four anticipated warships with the defense system. A defense radar is also operational in Turkey. The interim system will link the allies’ missile defense systems — satellites, ships, radars and interceptors — under NATO control from a U.S. base in Ramstein, Germany.

London’s MQM Thugs Once Again Commit Mass-Murder In Karachi

Bullets rain on rally against division of Sindh: Strike across Sindh today

Baluch Sarmachar

The rally for the “love and sanctity of Sindh Dharti” began with a lot of fanfare from Lyari’s Aath Chowk on Tuesday, but ended on a bloody note by the time it reached the Karachi Press Club.

As soon as the rally reached Paan Mandi near Denso Hall, intense firing started in the area, instantly killing seven people. Within minutes, the unrest spread to other areas of Lea Market as well, in which further deaths and injuries were reported. Till the filing of this report, 12 people were killed and 30 injured in the violence.

مہاجر صوبے کے خلاف ریلی پر فائرنگ،گیارہ ہلاک

The rally was staged by the Awami Tehreek (AT) to protest the proposed Mohajir province and the recent operation in Lyari. Other nationalist parties as well as members of the People’s Aman Committee also participated in it.

Around eight buses, 30 motorcycles and a truck full of people from Gadap, Malir and Lyari, gathered at the Football House at Aath Chowk, but dispersed before reaching the press club, where AT President Ayaz Latif Palijo was due to address them.

“We want to tell people that Sindh cannot be distributed on the basis of ethnicity. We are Sufis by nature and we consider everyone our brother,” said a man named Shahid “Footballer”, while taking a seat atop an overcrowded bus.

Many people in the Old City areas were unable to leave their office buildings until the firing and arson attacks subsided, and commuters were stuck for hours in massive traffic gridlocks. Panicked citizens tried to rush home in a bid to escape the chaos that gripped these areas.

Banned Aman Committee chief Uzair Baloch and leader Zafar Baloch, also a part of the rally, were sent back when the shooting did not stop for over an hour.

“We sent back some men, women and children as we couldn’t understand where the bullets were coming from,” said Abdul Razzaq, a man from Lyari, while standing onII Chundrigar Road, where a heavy contingent of police was deputed to resist any attempt by protesters to head for the Red Zone.

A crowd of angry men tried arguing with the police, who did not move until they had to be deputed to other areas as violence spread to several parts of the city. “If you want to be a leader in Pakistan, you need to be a criminal first,” said a man named Abdul Moiz, infuriated over the scattered bodies he saw at Denso Hall.

“As for honesty and leading a simple life, that’s not possible here at all. Inequality, injustice and barbarism is the only rule left, as we are done with humanity,” he added.

On reaching the press club and amid slogans of ‘dehshatgardi bund karo’, Ayaz Latif Palijo was flanked by members of the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Awami National Party’s Abdul Bari Kakar and Sidique Baloch of the Aman Committee, along with a horde of AT supporters.

Outwardly looking calm and starting off politely, Palijo went on to give a fiery speech in which he said the blood of those killed “will be avenged”, not by punishing innocent Urdu-speaking people, but terrorists.

“Unarmed innocent women were attacked, and as I speak here, I received a message that two of the women succumbed to their injuries at the hospital just now. This is quite a reward given to the people, who gave food and shelter to migrants,” he sarcastically remarked.

He warned that the People’s Party may choose to be a silent spectator and continue appeasing its coalition partner, but if they are pushed any further, the consequences will be dire for every terrorist involved.

Taking his speech a notch higher, Palijo said he does not understand where the demand of a separate province is emanating from.

“Sindhis are not hired in the Karachi Port Trust or as judges of the Sindh High Court and there has been no Sindhi army general either. Yet some people get insecure even though they are a part of government, the governor is of their choice and everything happens the way they want, without anyone ever questioning them,” he said.

Thanking the Pakistan Muslim League and the Jamaat-e-Islami, Palijo said these parties have supported them every step of the way.

The jam-packed hall at he press club grew silent, as Palijo, pointing towards “three closed cameras at the back” asked as to why the media is scared to name “certain people,” and reminded reporters of the times when under the rule of military dictator Ziaul Haq, they were supported by the AT.

Similarly, he asked the chief justice ofPakistanwhether or not he will take suo moto notice of “the women who were killed today?”

He also added that a night before the rally, he received a text message on his cell phone “from a particular party” that a May 12-like situation will be repeated tomorrow. “And they proved it today. The point is, does anyone have the answer as to when these barbaric acts will stop?”

Presenting a solution, he said Karachi should be de-weaponised and those “who are playing a game fromLondon”, need to stop soon, as “we will not allow the division of our land”.

Awami Tehreek (AT) on Tuesday called for a general strike today (Wednesday) throughout Sindh in protest against firing on its rally against the campaign of Muhajir province, killing of over 11 people during the rally and Lyari operation. He appealed to all the political parties to support the strike call and hold peaceful protests.

Is India Capable of Resisting American Aggression?

No, India Cannot Be the US’ Poodle

By Melkulangara BHADRAKUMAR (India)


The Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s warning about the possibility of outbreak of “full-blown wars” with the use of nuclear weapons in the current global security scenario can be seen as a timely interjection on the eve of the G8 and North Atlantic Treaty Organization summits that have taken place in the United States. Russia has already put the American hosts on prior notice that it will dissociate from any attempt at the G8 to impose views on Syria or Iran.

Speaking at an international conference on international law at St. Petersburg, Medvedev said last Thursday, “The introduction of all sorts of collective sanctions bypassing international institutions does not improve the situation in the world while reckless military operations in foreign states usually end up with radicals coming to power. At some point such actions, which undermine state sovereignty, may well end in a full-blown regional war and even – I’m not trying to spook anyone – the use of nuclear weapons.”

Who could Medvedev have had in mind as the madcap to use nuclear weapons in the 21st century? His remarks pertained to the trend in international life to use “all sorts of collective sanctions bypassing international institutions.” Conceivably, Syria and Iran sail into view as the potential arena of conflict.

Consider the following. The US finally decides to shed its ambivalence and intervenes in Syria. Of course, the US would overpower Syria – eventually. Equally, Syria will likely resist, because for Damascus, it is an existential crisis. Large sections of the Syrian nation also militate against foreign intervention. In short, western interventionist forces will have to take some beating as they wade into the Syrian cauldron. This is one context where the temptation may arise to use tactical nuclear weapons to assert the military superiority. The NATO did commit war crimes in Libya to break the stalemate.

Reckless military adventures

A similar scenario is possible also over Iran. In fact, the probability is higher since Iran will resist a US attack like nobody’s business. It may seem horrific that the US may contemplate – after a gap of so many decades since Hiroshima and Nagasaki – the use of nuclear weapons to conclusively register victory in a bloody war, but then, there is also a “sleeping partner” to consider – Israel.

Clearly, Israel lacks the military superiority to defeat Iran. And if Iran sets out to teach Israel a harsh lesson or two, US will find itself protecting its ward from annihilation. Moreover, at what point would Israel decide to unleash its own nuclear weapons? And Israel has a consistent track record of using overpowering military might. By the way, Israel is highly likely to be drawn into any conflict over Syria as well.

Now, who says Medvedev had Syria and Iran mind? A US intervention in Pakistan is also an eventuality that cannot be ruled out at some stage if the defeat in Afghanistan turns out to be terribly humiliating to American prestige. Also, factor in that NATO’s destiny as a military alliance and a potential global security organization is at stake in Afghanistan. A hard-hitting blow at Pakistan could be just the characteristic US response if the US military bites the dust in Afghanistan. Simply put, the Cambodia analogy repeats.

Of course, it will be an unequal battle since the US is far more powerful than Pakistan. But then, Pakistan also has nuclear weapons. This is where trouble begins. As Medvedev put it, US’ reckless military adventures “usually end up with radicals coming to power.” The observation holds relevance for Syria and Iran, where almost certainly, any “regime change” will result in the ascendancy of radical forces in Damascus and Tehran. But it is almost tailor-made for the developing new phase of the Afghan civil war.

In the event of an extremist takeover in Afghanistan, regional powers may get drawn in, especially Pakistan and India, which are of course nuclear powers. Needless to say, any Pakistan-India rivalry over the Afghan situation in the post-2014 period would have dangerous consequences for regional security. The two countries are engaged in an incipient dialogue that may appear promising at the moment but there is a real danger that the debris of the US’ Afghan strategy may fall on the dialogue and simply emasculate the voices of sanity. It can’t be otherwise, because for Pakistan, a “friendly” government in Kabul constitutes a crucial national interest, which is not open to discussion, while for India, influence in Afghanistan is a key element of its medium and long term regional strategy toward China, which is increasingly becoming an obsessive thought in all that it does.

Again, Medvedev’s words have an even greater relevance to the situation surrounding Pakistan. The point is, with all the aberrations that the US may today find in the Pakistani policies, there is still an elected government in Pakistan. The Pakistani military, which controls the nuclear weapons, also has a tradition of being a cautious player. The mainstream Pakistan temper is of a moderate Muslim country. However, the “moderate” pillars of the Pakistani state will be the casualties if the US continues to humiliate Pakistan at the present rate. Under immense pressure from Washington, for example, the Pakistani establishment is reportedly about to cave in and reopen the transit routes for the NATO convoys heading toward Afghanistan. The US certainly pins hopes on using Pakistan as the gateway for its “New Silk Road”. But what is being overlooked is that Pakistan is also a sea of discontent, seething with resentment over the US’ bullying tactics in the region and in the Muslim world on the whole.

No such thing as “absolute security”

It does not need much ingenuity to foresee that Medvedev’s prediction can come true unless the US exercises great restraint in its Pakistan policy. Any US attack on Pakistan in the heat of the moment during a catastrophic setback on the Afghan battlefield (which cannot be ruled out in the prevailing politico-military conditions) will radicalize Pakistan. And it is unthinkable that radical forces would gain access to Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. Besides, these radical forces have never hidden the agenda of an old score to settle with Pakistan’s old adversary, India, which also is a nuclear power.

No doubt, Medvedev’s statement quintessentially underscores the critical importance of all players on the world theatre playing by the rules of the game, according to international law and the United Nations Charter. This is where India, which enjoys repute as a responsible nuclear power, needs to be very careful in formulating its regional policies on Iran, Pakistan or Afghanistan. The heart of the matter is that the killing of an Archbishop on a Serajevo street in a morning in June some 98 years ago was in itself an innocuous event, but eventually it turned the world upside down. It may seem that the Indian government’s decision to cut back on oil imports from Iran is an obligatory step in tune with the best spirit of US-Indian strategic partnership.

The Indian decision may be Innocuous in itself, and, arguably, Indian diplomats may aim to extract reciprocal concessions out of the Obama administration during the forthcoming meeting of the US-India Strategic Dialogue in Washington. Again, for argument’s sake, Obama may decide to oblige his Indian partner – especially if the latter also fulfills his pledge to award lucrative nuclear commerce to the Westinghouse in the Indian market worth dozens of billions of dollars – and all that may lead to a quick membership for India in the international technology control regimes such as the Nuclear Supply Group.

But given the style of US diplomacy which is always fixated on stringing its reluctant partners to lead them to seamless vistas from where there is no turning back easily, where does India ultimately draw the line vis-à-vis the US-Iran standoff or the US-Pakistan tensions or the failure of the US strategy in Afghanistan? Besides, it becomes impossible to draw the line if and when the fire engulfs the neighbor’s house. Simply put, these are all neighboring countries for India – Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan – and India will be stupid to put trust blindly in absolute security when the region is edging dangerously close to catastrophe.

There are times when India needs to stand up and speak out that the US’ regional policies – toward the Middle East and Central Asia – seriously endanger India’s long-term interests. To meekly behave, instead, like a poodle, as the Indian government has done on the Iran sanctions, may not even be the best opportunistic course available.

SourceStrategic Culture Foundation 

Obama’s Afghanistan Policy Riddled With Errors

Obama’s Afghanistan Policy Riddled With Errors


He cut out the generals. He cut out the secretary of defense. He cut out the secretary of state. And in the end, he produced a schizophrenic policy that will almost certainly go down as the greatest foreign-policy debacle of his administration.

Afghanistan may not be Barack Obama’s Vietnam, but that is only because it has failed to stir national tensions in the way the war in Southeast Asia did. He may therefore get away with his errors in judgment and his victimization by circumstance to a degree that Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon could not. But it is impossible to read accounts like David Sanger’s in The New York Times this weekend without concluding that the primary drivers behind U.S. AfPak policy for the past three years have been politics, naivete, and intellectual dishonesty. It also clear that on this issue, the White House’s self-imposed distance from the rest of the president’s cabinet and the military may have kept the United States from making even more egregious errors and suffering even greater losses in this latest tragic round of the distant region’s great game.

The question remains whether, as it scuttles for the door in Afghanistan, the United States will intentionally or inadvertently usher in forces that could leave the region more dangerous. The charade of the NATO summit wrapping up in Chicago does not bode well in that respect. While President Barack Obama and Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai posed for cameras and spoke warmly of their shared vision for the country after the U.S. departure, what they offered up was a kind of joint hallucination — a better-functioning, more democratic, more stable Afghanistan that is patently impossible if it continues to be ruled by the weak and corrupt Karzai, if the country remains as fragmented as it is, if its neighbors continue to meddle in its affairs (as they will), if we deal in the Taliban as if somehow they were now changed men, if we turn our backs on the undoubtedly worsening plight of Afghan women, and if we ignore the fact that the single most successful U.S. agricultural development program in history was the restoration of Afghanistan’s heroin industry.

That the United States and Pakistan, a country the Obama team acknowledged, according to Sanger, as the region’s primary threat from its first days in office, had yet another public diplomatic tiff on the edges of the Chicago conference only shows that every inch of the fabric of America’s policies in the region seems to be fraying simultaneously. That the tiff was over the reopening of Pakistani supply lines into Afghanistan illustrates the confounding circularity of U.S. problems in the region: To reach al Qaida in Afghanistan we needed Pakistan’s assistance, so we dialed back the pressure over Pakistan’s nuclear program and ignored the fact that its intelligence services were key supporters of al Qaida and its Taliban allies. We also started pouring in aid, which enabled the Pakistanis to expand their nuclear stockpiles and their military. Once we went in to Afghanistan to get al Qaida and the Taliban, they fled to Pakistan. When we pursued them, it inflamed the Pakistanis. But we failed to effectively pressure them to act against the militants for fear that the country might fracture irreparably. And now, after more than a decade of this, we are willing to cut a deal with anyone to paper over the problem in our eagerness to get out of Afghanistan and declare “mission accomplished” even if it includes the not persuasively rehabilitated Taliban we were after in the first place.

As Sanger’s story reveals, the president opposed his own policy of sending in more troops to stabilize Afghanistan from the moment he approved it after months and months of messy internal wrangling. So why did he do it? The answer is that that Obama was leaving Iraq and could not afford to look weak in Afghanistan at the same time or he would come under political attack from the right. Getting out faster might also alienate the military to the point that public discord would damage the president. Although White House-military relations were strained from the beginning of his administration, Obama’s team worked hard to keep a lid on tensions. So they swallowed their doubts about the military judgments they were getting about a conflict they were increasingly sure was unwinnable.

The result was a strategy straight out of the Wizard of Oz: As the scarecrow informed Dorothy when she reached a fork in the Yellow Brick Road, “Of course, some people do go both ways.” The United States would increase its troops but only as a prelude to getting them out. Sanger’s reporting suggests that this was not a confused policy, but rather an intellectually dishonest one. Obama’s plan from the beginning was to cover his tracks to the exits with the Afghan “surge.”

“I think he hated the idea from the beginning,” Sanger quotes one of the president’s advisers as saying about his boss. “(T)he military was ‘all in,’ as they say, and Obama wasn’t.”

Within just over a year of the announcement of sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, the president ordered his advisers to start making plans for a U.S. exit. “This time there would be no announced national security meetings, no debates with the generals. Even Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton were left out until the final six weeks,” according to Sanger. In other words, the planning process would be left to those who agreed with the president. Dissenters were not invited. It’s hardly the picture of a harmonious policy process or a “tough-guy” leader in sync with the military that the White House was eager to sell around the moves against villains like Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, or Moammar Gadhafi.

The process is troubling, but in the final analysis, Obama’s biggest error was in not trusting his judgment earlier. His White House team — from Vice President Joe Biden to National Security Adviser Tom Donilon — were Afghan skeptics from Day 1. And frankly, they were right about the situation even while many in the Pentagon were calling for much deeper involvement. Perhaps the president felt he had no choice, defending himself with those 30,000 troops not so much against AfPak enemies as against political opponents on the right. Perhaps he was right that this approach produced the swiftest, least acrimonious exit.

Still, the whole thing leaves a bad taste. In handling the matter as he did, the president has now assured that when the post-conflict mess in Afghanistan and Pakistan grows uglier still, he will own those results. He may have protected himself against attacks from the right for a brief while, but the judgment of history may prove harsh.

Rothkopf, CEO and editor at large of Foreign Policy, is author of “Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry Between Big Business and Government — and the Reckoning That Lies Ahead.”

(c) 2012, Foreign Policy

Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz last December called for promoting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), including the Saudi kingdom, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman, into a unified body, which has been described as a “super-state.” The Saudis and the other GCC members are currently engaged in discussions intended to bring closer coordination, if not fusion, within the council.
Regional ambitions by Shia Iran and the chaos in Syria are the main stimuli for such an enhanced Gulf relationship and possible complete unification. All six GCC members except Oman, the largest aside from Saudi Arabia, are ruled in the name of Sunni Islam. Oman is unique in following Ibadhi Islam, an interpretation that is distinct from Sunnism and Shiism.

Syrian aggression has spread intermittently across the border into Lebanon, with Syrian irregular militia accused of kidnapping Shia inhabitants of the neighboring state, and Syrian military reported shooting over the frontier, killing several people. Armed conflict has reappeared in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city, between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Forty Syrian Sunnis allegedly have been kidnapped as a reprisal for the abduction of three Lebanese Shias. The UAE recalled its ambassador from Iran last month when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited the Gulf island of Abu Musa, claimed by Iran and the Emirates. Saudi authorities have repressed the Shia minority among their citizens, as the Sunni sovereigns of Bahrain have their Shia majority, and Sunni dominance in Bahrain has been enforced by the Saudi-led GCC occupation forces. Abuses against Shias in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have fed Iranian propaganda around the world.

Notwithstanding the threat of a wider Syrian-Lebanese upheaval, with Iranian intrigue behind the scenes, proposals for greater GCC integration have been nebulous. But most significantly, they include full merger of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain – which Bahraini prime minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa described in Riyadh on May 12 as “imperative.”

Saudi King Abdullah has an unenviable task in addition to broader leadership of the Gulf states. The monarch must reconcile his absolute power, and the Wahhabi theological hierarchy which stands ostensibly behind it, with the reform measures that he has undertaken since his accession to the throne in 2005. Royal corrective decrees, and the debate over the nature of Saudi society, focus on women’s issues. These include expanded educational opportunities for women, and, earlier this year, aproclamation that women would be allowed to vote and run as candidates in local elections to be held in 2015.

The entrenchment of the Wahhabi caste in Saudi public life, however, presents the most serious obstacle to the changes King Abdullah has initiated. Wahhabi clerics are not alone in repudiating any alteration of the Saudi system. An anti-reform faction of the royal family is led by Crown Prince NayefBin Abdul Aziz, King Abdullah’s half-brother, designated successor, interior minister, and an outspoken defender of Wahhabi prerogatives.

Women living under Saudi rule face conditions widely-exposed as abhorrent. All women in the kingdom have had to contend with imposition of the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; limited opportunities for schooling and careers; prohibition on driving vehicles; a ban on social contact with unrelated men, and compulsory supervision of personal activities, such as opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” In admitting women to the limited Saudi electoral process, King Abdullah provided that they could participate in the system without the permission of a “guardian.”

Wahhabi strictures have been enforced by the mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV). The mutawiyin patrolled Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They assured that ordinary activities halted during prayer times, when they hurried Saudis into mosques, and that unrelated couples did not meet in public places. They raided homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths. They killed people they detained.

In January 2012, King Abdullah appointed a moderate director of the mutawiyin, Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, to replace Abdul Aziz Al-Humain. Al-Humain, who was named to the post in 2009, was deemed a reformer; he reorganized the mutawiyin, met with human rights monitors, and consulted with public relations agencies. The new supervisor of the mutawiyin has expressed more advanced views – at least in Saudi terms – on women’s status, including support for females to work in shops that sell female clothing, where only men were previously employed. In 2010, Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh backed an official in Mecca who denied that Islam requires gender separation or the closing of businesses during prayer. Within two weeks of his appointment, the new chief of the mutawiyin barred volunteers from serving in the institution, a move considered positive in curbing abuses by its members. Since “mutawayin” is interpreted generally to mean “pious volunteers,” this was a major gesture.

In an example of the convoluted nature of Saudi political and religious affairs, Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh is a lineal descendant of the founder of the Wahhabi sect, Muhammad Ibn Abd Al-Wahhab. But as the royal family is divided over the future, so are the descendants of the Wahhabi founder, who have intermarried since the 18th century with the House of Saud. The latest mutawiyin overseer is a younger relative of Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdullah Aal Ash-Sheikh, the Wahhabi grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, who recently advised the Kuwaiti followers of the Wahhabi “Revival of Islamic Heritage Society” that Christian churches should be removed from the Arabian Peninsula, including Kuwait.

The “Revival of Islamic Heritage Society” was designated in 2008 by the U.S. Treasury as a provider of services to Al Qaeda and its affiliates, as well as for terrorist acts. The Kuwaiti government rejected the Saudi grand mufti’s view, stating that Christians would not be prevented from worship, and churches would not be destroyed. Grand mufti Aal Ash-Sheikh elsewhere declared that Saudi women could be married at age 10 or 12, without their consent, by contract between families.

Nevertheless, some amelioration of Wahhabi callousness was visible even before the change at the top of the mutawiyin. Women increasingly have resisted wearing niqab in Mecca, Medina, and Jedda, where the covering of women’s faces was never common before the arrival of Wahhabism, and it is now admitted that in rural areas, women drive cars and trucks. Saudis observe that since the change in the leadership of the mutawiyin, fewer morals patrols are visible in the streets.

After a medical visit to the United States in March, Crown Prince Nayef addressed another aspect of the controversy over women’s standing: whether Saudi women may take part in the 2012 London Olympics. Previously, Saudi women were blocked by their government from entering all international games, a violation of International Olympic Committee regulations against discrimination. But Prince Nayef told the influential Saudi-owned daily Al-Hayat, published in London, that Saudi women could participate in the Olympics, in sports that would “meet the standards of women’s decency and don’t contradict Islamic laws.”

Wahhabi resistance to Abdullah’s reform program is not, however, to be disregarded. Prince Nayef’s apparent concession to women athletes was followed by a stipulation by Saudi Olympic Committee president Prince Nawaf Bin Faysal that official endorsement would be denied to female participants in the Saudi Olympic team.

In further evidence of Wahhabi intransigence, foreign Asian and African women working as domestic servants in Saudi Arabia continue to experience extreme degradation. In April 2011, the Indonesian government instituted a moratorium on immigration by its nationals to Saudi Arabia when a 54-year old grandmother, Ruyati Binti Satubi, a household worker from West Java, was beheaded by the Saudis for murder. Saudi Arabia announced that at the end of April 2012, the exclusion of Indonesian domestic workers would be lifted. When Satubi was executed, 40 Indonesian women faced beheading in Saudi Arabia. By last month, 22 had been repatriated, while 25 more remained under death sentences.

Still, King Abdullah is as persistent in his efforts to expand women’s rights, as the Wahhabi opposition to it continues. Early in May, the king dismissed 81-year-old Sheikh Abdul-Mohsen Al-Obeikan, a Wahhabi adviser considered previously to be close to the monarch. Al-Obeikan had argued openly against improvements for Saudi women, in a radio interview denouncing Westernization and secularism, as “schemes by influential people to corrupt Muslim society by removing women from their natural position.” After his removal, Al-Obeikan issued a Twitter comment in which he warned against “bad advisors” to the royal family.

In 2010, Al-Obeikan was forbidden by King Abdullah from delivering fatwas (which are religious opinions, and not limited to death sentences as in the case of Salman Rushdie) on television. The royal order removing Al-Obeikan from regular broadcasting was described as part of a Saudi campaign to curb media and websites that specialize in “instant fatwas” without the approval of the state clerics in the High Authority of Religious Scholars. But Al-Obeikan had attracted attention earlier that year as the author of one of the more bizarre opinions in Islamic jurisprudence. He claimed that the Wahhabi-dictated separation between unrelated men and women could be avoided if a man drank the breast milk of a woman, establishing a family relationship between them.

King Abdullah’s outreach to Saudi women avoids such weird, Wahhabi schemes, but the transformation of the kingdom will not be accomplished until the Wahhabi sect loses its authority as “official Islam.” As has been visible during the seven years of King Abdullah’s reign, such an achievement will not be easy.

Free Syrian Army Abducts 16 Lebanese Shiite Pilgrims in Aleppo

The rebel Free Syrian Army on Tuesday abducted 16 Lebanese men in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo who were on their way back from a pilgrimage trip to Iran.

“Buses belonging to the Badr al-Kobra and Jannat al-Redwan pilgrimage campaigns were ambushed in Aleppo shortly after crossing the Syrian-Turkish border,” al-Jadeed television reported.

A woman who was in the convoy told al-Jadeed: “After we crossed the Turkish-Syrian border, we were ambushed by gunmen from the Free Syrian Army in the Azzaz area. They forced the men to dismount the buses and took them to an unknown destination and left us there.”

Al-Jadeed said women headed to a Syrian police station and that policemen reassured them that they have started negotiations with the kidnappers.

State-run National News Agency put the number of those abducted at 16 while Syrian media said an “armed terrorist gang” had kidnapped 11 Lebanese and their Syrian driver.

NNA identified the 16 abductees as Abbas Shoaib, Hassan Mahmoud, Mehdi Ballout, Hussein al-Siblani, Ali Abbas, Abu Ali Saleh, Hussein Omar, Mustafa Yassine, Ali Zgheib, Awad Ibrahim, Mohammed Monzer, Hussein Arzouni, Ali al-Ahmar, Ali Safa, Rabih Zgheib and Ali Termos.

“My two brothers-in-law were among about 12 people kidnapped by the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo as they were heading back to Beirut on board a bus after visiting religious sites in Iran,” said one man who refused to give his name.

“The women who were with them were allowed to go free,” he told Agence France Presse.

The man was among family members of those detained and hundreds of supporters who gathered on Tuesday afternoon in the Beirut southern suburb of Bir al-Abed to demand their release.

Meanwhile, protesters blocked roads in the Beirut southern suburbs of al-Kafaat, Bir al-Abed, Shatila and al-Msharrafiyeh in protest at the kidnap.

Roads were later reopened after Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah urged calm in a televised speech and called on protesters to leave the streets.

The brother of one of those kidnapped said the Free Syrian Army had vowed to release the men in exchange for FSA members detained by Syrian authorities.

Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s office said he was making the necessary contacts to ensure the release of the Lebanese abducted.

“Prime Minister Miqati has urged families of the kidnapped to remain calm and assured them he was following the issue closely to ensure the safety of those kidnapped and their quick release,” a statement said.

One man who refused to give his name said his two bothers-in-law were among those abducted.

“They were heading back to Beirut on board a bus after visiting religious sites in Iran,” said the man. “The women who were with them were allowed to go free.”

The brother of Abbas Shaayb, who organized the pilgrimage, said the women were staying in a hotel in Aleppo.

“Let’s see what the friends of the Free Syrian Army in Lebanon are going to do now,” said the man, referring to the Sunni-led opposition in Lebanon that has backed the 14-month uprising in neighboring Syria.

The reported kidnappings were sure to further inflame sectarian tensions in Lebanon over the Syrian crisis.

Clashes between the pro- and anti-Assad camps in the country have left some 12 people dead in the past 10 days.

Nasrallah said it was necessary for all Lebanese to remain calm.

“The atmosphere is tense because of the events of recent days,” he said. “Everyone is urged not to make matters worse.”



by John J. Loftus

By Atty. John J. Loftus
3560 Coquina Key Drive SE
St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Ph: 727-821-5227
Fx: 727-894-1801

About the author: As a former federal prosecutor, John Loftus had an insider’s knowledge of high level intelligence operations, including obstruction of Congressional investigations. Loftus resigned from the Justice Department in 1981 to expose how the intelligence community had recruited Nazi war criminals and then concealed the files from Congressional subpoena. After appearing on an Emmy Award winning segment of 60 Minutes, Loftus has spent the next two decades writing histories of intelligence cover-ups, and serving as an unpaid lawyer helping other whistleblowers inside US intelligence.

Boston Herald, December 11, 2001

A powerful Washington, D.C., law firm with unusually close ties to the White House has earned hefty fees representing controversial Saudi billionaires as well as a Texas-based Islamic charity fingered last week as a terrorist front.

The influential law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld has represented three wealthy Saudi businessmen – Khalid bin Mahfouz, Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi and Salah Idris – who have been scrutinized by U.S. authorities for possible involvement in financing Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network.

In addition, Akin, Gump currently represents the largest Islamic charity in the United States, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development in Richmond, Texas.

Holy Land’s assets were frozen by the Treasury Department last week as government investigators probe its ties to Hamas, the militant Palestinian group blamed for suicide attacks against Israelis. Partners at Akin, Gump include one of President Bush’s closest Texas friends, James C. Langdon, and George R. Salem, a Bush fund-raiser who chaired his 2000 campaign’s outreach to Arab-Americans.

In addition to the royal family, the firm’s Saudi clients have included bin Mahfouz, who hired Akin, Gump when he was indicted in the BCCI banking scandal in the early 1990s. In 1999, the Saudi’s placed bin Mahfouz under house arrest after reportedly discovering that the bank he controlled, National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia, funneled millions to charities believed to be serving as bin Laden fronts.

A bin Mahfouz business partner, Al-Amoudi, was also represented by Akin, Gump. When it was reported in 1999 that U.S. authorities were also investigating Al-Amoudi’s Capitol Trust Bank, Akin, Gump released a statement on behalf of their client denying any connections to terrorism. One year earlier, the firm had co-sponsored an investment conference in Ethiopia with Al-Amoudi.

Akin, Gump partner and Bush fund-raiser Salem led the legal team that defended Idris, a banking protege of bin Mahfouz and the owner of El-Shifa, the Sudanese pharmaceutical plant destroyed by U.S. cruise missiles in August 1998.

…Speaking of Akin, Gump partner Kress’ office in the White House, Lewis added: “That’s not appropriate and frankly it’s potentially troublesome because there is a real possibility of a conflict of interest. Basically you have a partner for Akin, Gump . . . inside the hen house.”

But another longtime Washington political observer, Vincent Cannistraro, the former chief of counter-intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency, said the political influence a firm like Akin, Gump has is precisely why clients like the Saudis hire them.

“These are cozy political relationships . . . If you have a problem in Washington, there are only a few firms to go to and Akin, Gump is one of them,” Cannistraro said.

Cannistraro pointed out that Idris hired Akin, Gump during the Clinton presidency, when Clinton confidante Vernon Jordan was a partner at the firm. “He hired them because Vernon Jordan had influence . . . that’s a normal political exercise where you are buying influence,” he said.

\Akin, Gump is not the only politically wired Washington business cashing in on the Saudi connection.

Burson-Marsteller, a major D.C. public relations firm, registered with the U.S. government as a foreign agent for the Saudi embassy within weeks of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Boston Herald , December 10, 2001

Two billionaire Saudi families scrutinized by authorities for possible financial ties to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network continue to engage in major oil deals with leading U.S. corporations.

The bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi clans, who control three private Saudi Arabian oil companies, are partners with U. S. firms in a series of ambitious oil development and pipeline projects in central and south Asia, records show.

Working through their companies – Delta Oil, Nimir Petroleum and Corral Petroleum – the Saudi families have formed international consortiums with U. S. oil giants Texaco, Unocal, Amerada Hess and Frontera Resources.

These business relationships persist despite evidence that members of the two Saudi families – headed by patriarchs Khalid bin Mahfouz and Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi – have had ties to Islamic charities and companies linked financially to bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization. So far, bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi, who have denied any involvement with bin Laden, have been left untouched by the U. S. Treasury Department, which has frozen the assets of 150 individuals, companies and charities suspected of financing terrorism.

According to a May 1999 report by the U. S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia, Delta Oil was created by 50 prominent Saudi investors in the early 1990s.

The prime force behind Delta Oil appears to be Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, who is based in Ethiopia and oversees a vast network of companies involved in construction, mining, banking and oil.

Al-Amoudi also owns Corral Petroleum.

The Al-Amoudis’ business interests, meanwhile, are enmeshed with the bin Mahfouz family, which owns the third privately held Saudi oil company, Nimir Petroleum.

Nimir was established by the Mahfouz family in Bermuda in 1991, according to the U. S. Embassy report.

The closeness of the two clans is underlined by their joint oil venture, Delta-Nimir, as well as by their partnership in the Saudi firm The Marei Bin Mahfouz & Ahmed Al Amoudi Group of Companies & Factories.

Meanwhile, information continues to circulate in intelligence circles in the United States and Europe suggesting wealthy Saudi businessmen have provided financial support to bin Laden.

Much of it revolves around a 1999 audit conducted by the Saudi government that reportedly discovered that the bin Mahfouz family’s National Commercial Bank had transferred at least $ 3 million to charitable organizations believed to be fronts for bin Laden’s terror network.

U. S. and British authorities also reportedly looked at Al-Amoudi’s Capitol Trust Bank in London and New York for similar activities.

After the audit, bin Mahfouz was placed under house arrest in Taif, Saudi Arabia, and Al-Amoudi reportedly replaced him as head of National Commercial Bank.

Some of the Saudi money transferred from National Commercial Bank allegedly went to the Islamic charity Blessed Relief, whose board members included bin Mahfouz’s son, Abdul Rahman bin Mahfouz.

In October, the U. S. Treasury Department named Blessed Relief as a front organization providing funds to bin Laden.

“Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to bin Laden through Blessed Relief,” the agency said.

In 1999, Al-Amoudi’s lawyers in Washington, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, issued a statement saying, “Al-Amoudi did not know bin Laden and never had any dealings with him” and that the businessman “was unalterably opposed to terrorism and had no knowledge of any money transfers by Saudi businesses to bin Laden.”

Despite officials’ suspicions, the bin Mahfouz and Al-Amoudi oil companies continue to profit from their working relationship with America’s own oil elite. For example:

— The Mahfouz family, through Nimir Petroleum, joined forces recently with Texaco to develop oil fields in Kazakhstan estimated to contain as many as 1.5 billion barrels of oil.

— The Al-Amoudi family, through Delta Oil, teamed up with Amerada Hess three years ago to develop oil fields in Azerbaijan. Delta-Hess is also part of a consortium hoping to build a $ 2.4 billion oil pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey.

— In the mid-1990s, Delta Oil formed a partnership with Unocal in a failed bid to build oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan to the Arabian Sea.

— In 1994, Delta-Nimir, a joint venture of the Al-Amoudi and bin Mahfouz families, joined with Unocal in a consortium to develop three oil fields in Azerbaijan. In 1996, Delta-Nimir and Unocal closed a second oil development deal in Azerbaijan.

(For more info about banking connections, go to

Daily News (New York), November 10, 2001

U.S. officials allege that Yasin Al-Qadi, a wealthy Saudi businessman whose assets have been frozen by the Treasury Department, funneled money from National Commercial to Al Qaeda through a charity called Muwafaq Foundation.

Because of suspected terrorist links, the Treasury Department has seized assets and barred numerous banks and financial entities from doing business in the United States.

A banking official who asked not to be identified said new anti-terror legislation is flawed because it gives the government great leeway in determining which business gets blacklisted.

The official said political considerations could favor institutions associated with crucial allies like Saudi Arabia, paving the way for terrorist funds to continue to flow through U.S. banks.

White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan acknowledged that the Treasury consults the President before freezing assets or barring trade with specific people or organizations.

Two Saudi government agencies bought 50% of National Commercial in 1999. The other half is owned by several shareholders, including members of the Mahfouz family, which gave up its majority ownership to the government.

New York Times , October 15, 2001

The 11th floor aerie from which Yasin Abdullah al-Qadi shepherds his investments is a seemingly endless stretch of plush white carpet barely interrupted by a white leather couch and a spotless desk. The Red Sea dominates the view, sparkling azure in the bright October sunshine.

But the placid surroundings were shattered on Friday when Mr. Qadi found himself on a new list of 39 individuals and groups accused by the United States Treasury Department of financing Osama bin Laden and his organization, Al Qaeda. The citation about Mr. Qadi read in part: “He heads the Saudi-based Muwafaq Foundation. Muwafaq is an Al Qaeda front that receives funding from wealthy Saudi businessmen.” It goes on to say that the business community has been transferring millions of dollars to Mr. bin Laden through the charity.

It is an accusation that Mr. Qadi says he finds absurd, not least because the foundation shut down five years ago.

“Nothing has been given to bin Laden whatsoever, this is nonsense,” Mr. Qadi, a bearded, 45-year-old businessman, said in an interview.

Accusations against pillars of the Jidda community like Mr. Qadi and the foundation — its six-member board included prominent figures like two members of the bin Mahfouz banking clan.

Boston Herald , October 14, 2001

Three banks allegedly used by Osama bin Laden to distribute money to his global terrorism network have well-established ties to a prince in Saudi Arabia’s royal family, several billionaire Saudi bankers, and the governments of Kuwait and Dubai.

One of the banks, Al-Shamal Islamic Bank in the Sudan, was controlled directly by Osama bin Laden, according to a 1996 U.S. State Department report. A second bank, Faisal Islamic Bank, appears to have a relative of Osama bin Laden on its board of directors, the bank’s records show.

– Despite repeated denials of any connection to their notorious relative, members of the family of Osama bin Laden continue to have close business relationships with another wealthy Saudi banking clan, the bin Mahfouz family, which is suspected of shipping millions of dollars to the exiled terrorist as recently as three years ago.

The bin Mahfouz family was placed in the spotlight Friday when the Bush administration moved to freeze the assets of 39 more individuals and groups it believes are supporting terrorism.

One of the names on the list, Saudi businessman Yasin al-Qadi, is involved with members of the bin Mahfouz family in a Muslim charity, Blessed Relief, which the Treasury Department says has steered millions of dollars to bin Laden.

Sunday Times (London) , October 14, 2001,

Further investigations into the Bin Laden money network have linked a dynasty of Saudi billionaires with close ties to their country’s royal family to a London charity accused of being connected with Bin Laden.

The International Development Foundation (IDF) -which is now under investigation by Britain’s Charity Commission -was founded by members of the Bin Mahfouz family, one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent clans.

It has emerged, too, that a director of the IDF is also on the board of an Arab investment company that was refuelling the American warship USS Cole last year when it was attacked in Yemen on the orders of Bin Laden. The company was cleared of any involvement.

The alleged links between the Bin Mahfouz family, which has an estimated fortune of Pounds 2.5 billion, and the Bin Laden money network will be a severe embarrassment to the Saudi rulers.

The IDF charity, based in Curzon Street, central London, was named publicly last week in a French parliamentary report as having “points of contact” with Bin Laden’s organisation.

The report also stated that a subsidiary of Sedco, a Bin Mahfouz family company based in Saudi Arabia, was “suspected by the US of having made donations to Osama Bin Laden”.

According to records filed with the Charity Commission last year, the directors of the IDF include Abdelelah, Saleh, Mohammed and Ahmed Bin Mahfouz. Their listed address is the Sedco headquarters in Saudi Arabia. The Bin Mahfouz family is one of the most successful trading clans in the Middle East.

The allegations against the IDF and the Sedco subsidiary, which are all strongly denied by the family, come as Saudi Arabia is confronted by growing criticism that its companies and charities may have provided, knowingly or unwittingly, funding for Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda network.

An intelligence report published as an annex to a French parliamentary report last week named more than 40 organisations registered in Britain with possible links to Bin Laden, including the IDF.

Khalid Bin Mahfouz, the former president of the National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia, is believed to be under investigation in Saudi Arabia after allegations that he channelled money to Bin Laden.

Other members of the family involved in Sedco say they are no longer connected to Khalid Bin Mahfouz and do not in any way support Bin Laden. “The Bin Mahfouzes are a very, very established family and Osama Bin Laden is anathema to them,” said one source close to the family.

New York Times , October 13, 2001, JEFF GERTH and JUDITH MILLER

Yasin al-Qadi is among the prominent Saudis who those in need of charity or shrewd business advice could turn to. But the United States government now says that Mr. Qadi and many other well-connected Saudi citizens have transferred millions of dollars to Osama bin Laden through charities and trusts like the Muwafaq Foundation supposedly established to feed the hungry, house the poor and alleviate suffering.

In describing Muwafaq, which means “Blessed Relief” in Arabic, as a front for Mr. bin Laden’s terror network, the Bush administration has put Saudi Arabia, one of its most important Middle East allies, in a delicate bind.

The Muwafaq Foundation has been administered by some of the kingdom’s leading families. Mr. Qadi, a businessman and investor, was cited yesterday on a list of those who support terrorism.

The foundation, however, was not mentioned. The reason, administration officials said, was the inability of United States officials to locate the charity or determine whether it is still in operation.

A statement accompanying the list yesterday said this about the foundation: “Muwafaq is an al-Qaeda front that receives funding from wealthy Saudi businessmen. Blessed Relief is the English translation. Saudi businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to bin Laden through Blessed Relief.”

In 1995, the trustees of the Muwafaq Foundation filed a libel suit in London against the newsletter Africa Confidential for linking the foundation to terrorist activities in Africa. The publication lost the lawsuit.

Court papers in that case, provided by Steven Emerson, a writer and commentator on terrorism, list the trustees as Mr. Qadi (under the spelling Yassin Quadi) and five others, including two members of the bin Mahfouz family.

“They are the creme de la creme of Saudi society,” said Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential. The bin Mahfouz family controls the National Commercial Bank of Saudi Arabia, which is the kingdom’s largest bank and is the banker to the royal family. Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz paid $225 million, including a $37 million fine, to escape possible charges in connection with the 1991 collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International. … Mr. Qadi — under the spelling Kadi — is a major investor and director of Global Diamond Resources, a diamond exploration company based in San Diego, Calif. Public records show that he is involved in real estate, consulting, chemical and banking companies in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

The chairman of Global Diamond, Johann de Villiers, said of Mr. Qadi, “The guy I know is a very nice guy.” He said he understood that Mr. Qadi had significant investments in the American stock market as well as some investments in Malaysia.

Mr. de Villiers traced Mr. Qadi’s investment in his company to a meeting in London in December 1998. The meeting included an investment banker and some other Middle Eastern investors, including a senior member of the bin Laden family, who had invested in the diamond company one year earlier.

The bin Laden family controls one of the most powerful business groups in Saudi Arabia and its members have publicly disowned Osama bin Laden.

Mr. de Villiers said it was the assurances of the bin Laden family that gave him the confidence he needed to accept Mr. Qadi’s $3 million investment in his small company.

“I relied on the representations of the bin Laden family,” Mr. de Villiers said. “They vouched for him.”

Mr. de Villiers said all calls for Mr. Qadi would be directed to his lawyer in London, Mr. Carter-Ruck.

This is not the first time that Mr. Qadi has come to the attention of the United States government in connection with the financing of terrorist activities. He was identified as the major source of funds for a money-laundering scheme for the Palestinian group Hamas. The case occurred in June 1998, when the Justice Department froze the funds of a foundation near Chicago called the Quranic Literacy Institute and one of its important volunteers, Muhammad A. Salah, for funneling money to Hamas, which the State Department says is a foreign terrorist organization.

According to court documents, the money was ultimately traced back to Mr. Qadi.

The government said that in 1991, Mr. Qadi, whom it described as a Saudi businessman, transferred by wire some $820,000 from a Swiss bank account for investment purposes. The transaction was intended to conceal the source of the money, which was from Mr. Qadi. The government said some of the money was ultimately used by Mr. Salah to help purchase weapons and reorganize the Hamas leadership in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Ottawa Citizen , September 29, 2001

Two imprisoned men, separated by half a planet and what amounts to a royal fortune, may hold the key to unlocking the secret of how Osama bin Laden finances his global terrorist network. But both are staying stone silent.

Khalid al-Fawwaz is an otherwise undistinguished former Nairobi car importer who lived in a nondescript London apartment and ran an obscure war relief group called the Advice and Reformation Committee (ARC) in London. Now being held in Britain’s maximum-security Belmarsh prison, he faces criminal charges in the United States for abetting the 1998 terrorist bombings of embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed or wounded nearly 4,800 people.

Khalid bin Mahfouz is a controversial, Yemeni-born tycoon worth an estimated $2.5 billion U.S. He founded and ran the world’s largest private bank until 1999, when the Saudi royal family quietly arranged for a government investment fund to buy out his 50-per-cent stake in the National Commercial Bank, then forced his dismissal. After a financial audit of the bank’s $21-billion assets, Mr. Mahfouz was confined to a military hospital in Taef, Saudi Arabia. Some $2 billion has been reported missing. One of his sisters is married to Mr. bin Laden.

U.S. intelligence services want to know if some of that missing money went to phoney charities secretly funneling money to Mr. bin Laden’s al-Qaeda organization, including:

– The London-based Advice and Reformation Committee, run by Mr. Fawwaz and founded by Mr. bin Laden;

– An Africa aid group called Blessed Relief, whose directors included Mr. Mahfouz’s son;

– A Kenya branch of Help Africa People, run by several men later convicted or indicted for the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania;

– The International Islamic Relief Organization, linked to terrorist bomb plots in the Philippines and India;

– The Kenya branch of war and famine relief group Mercy International, where key evidence used to convict the embassy bombers was found;

– A host of other Islamic aid groups working from Afghanistan to Kosovo, some of which were named by U.S. President George W. Bush earlier this week.

U.S. efforts to follow the bin Laden money trail also include searching the worldwide assets of dozens of banks, businesses and ventures in the secretive Mahfouz commercial empire.

It is no easy task. The Mahfouz family still owns a 30-per-cent stake in the National Commercial Bank, and controls worldwide assets through a private holding company called Al Murjan. One of its assets is Globalstar LP, which has licences for satellite broadcasts in eight Middle Eastern countries.

Some of the Mahfouz wealth is interlocked with another Saudi sheik and billionaire, Mohammed Hussein Al-Amoudi, who has since been appointed to run the private bank Mr. Mahfouz founded. Its clients include much of the Saudi royal family.

The Mahfouz/Al-Amoudi joint ventures include the port facilities in Yemen where the USS Cole was bombed by Islamic militants while it refueled, an alleged chemical weapons plant in Kenya that former U.S. president Bill Clinton ordered destroyed by missiles, and a Washington-based private company called WorldSpace, which provides satellite-based technology and programming to rural Africa and Asia.

Mr. Mahfouz is no stranger to missing money — or controversy. He is a former director of the infamous BCCI international bank, which triggered a $12-billion U.S. bankruptcy scandal in the early 1990s.

Indicted in the U.S. for a $300-million bank fraud and facing civil claims exceeding $10 billion, he arranged a $225-million settlement with prosecutors and agreed to a permanent prohibition on owning banks in the U.S.

Mr. Mahfouz was also embroiled in a citizenship-for-sale scheme in Ireland, in which foreign millionaires were secretly courted to invest in Irish enterprises in exchange for coveted Irish passports and lucrative tax writeoffs. Mr. Mahfouz purchased 11 passports for Saudi and Pakistani nationals, but failed to make the promised investments.

Is there a connection between Mr. bin Laden and the two far-flung prisoners?

U.S. court records — especially evidence entered by British detectives who raided Mr. Fawwaz’s apartment and the ARC office on London’s Beethoven Street in 1998 — leave little doubt that Mr. Fawwaz worked for Mr. bin Laden and personally knew those who were later convicted of the African embassy bombings.

Seized computer hard drives revealed fiercely anti-American “holy war” edicts from Mr. bin Laden, to be relayed to European Muslims through the ARC “charity.” A seized copy of the ARC founding documents bore Mr. bin Laden’s signature.

Wiretap evidence, satellite-phone and fax records confirmed that calls were made to or from the now-convicted African embassy bombers and Mr. bin Laden’s military lieutenant in Pakistan, Mohammed Atef (who is charged with Mr. bin Laden in the African embassy bombings). Seized bank records showed that Mr. Fawwaz held the signing authority for a Barclay’s account for ARC.

The U.S. court records, and testimony from former bin Laden insiders, also indicate that Mr. Fawwaz purchased mobile phone technology that Mr. bin Laden or his aides used to make 140 calls to London and the Kenya bomb group from Afghanistan.

Seizures in Nairobi turned up phone bills for Mercy International in Mr. Fawwaz’s name, and calls to that office from Mr. bin Laden’s satellite phone. Much of the evidence used to convict four of the embassy bomb plotters in a later U.S. trial was found at the charity’s Kenya office.

A former Mercy International staffer in Ireland, Hamid Aich, had earlier shared a Vancouver suburb apartment for three years with Abdelmajid Dahoumane, the accused accomplice of convicted millennium bomb plotter Ahmed Ressam. (Mr. Ressam, part of an Algerian bin Laden cell based in Montreal, has testified that he and Mr. Dahoumane concocted bomb ingredients to blow up the Los Angeles airport at a Vancouver motel in December, 1999.)

Mr. Ressam was caught at the U.S. border with the explosives in his car trunk, and convicted after a U.S. trial this year. Mr. Dahoumane fled Canada, facing criminal warrants here and in the U.S. He is believed to be in Afghanistan. Mr. Aich was arrested in Ireland, but released before police realized his connection to the Canadian-based Algerians. His whereabouts is unknown.

Mr. Fawwaz has denied any involvement in the terrorist bombings linked to Mr. bin Laden, and is fighting extradition from Britain to the United States. The evidence being used to support his transfer to the U.S. has not been tested at trial.

The U.S. has not filed any indictments against Mr. Mahfouz, and there is no public evidence linking him to any of the terrorist attacks against U.S. targets. However, the Saudi royal family restricted his travel last year after U.S. officials shared financial evidence gleaned from investigations following the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and subsequent terrorist attacks against the USS Cole, U.S. military barracks near Riyadh, and the African embassies, a failed 1996 plot to bomb 12 airliners over the Pacific, and a failed plot to bomb U.S. consular offices in India.

American officials had earlier convinced governments in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, and Britain to close bank accounts they had linked to Mr. bin Laden. U.S. press reports have disclosed that some wealthy Persian Gulf businessmen also were being “tithed” — or bribed — millions to fund Islamic charities that acted as fronts for Mr. bin Laden. One Associated Press report estimated the donations at $50 million, and another reported that even Saudi pension funds were being routed to the phony charities.

According to Indian police, a Bangladeshi man caught with explosives destined for U.S. consulates in India confessed to being a former worker for the International Islamic Relief Organization, and said the IIRO president had personally attended a meeting to plan the bomb attacks.

The Philippines chapter of the IIRO was formerly headed by Mr. bin Laden’s brother-in-law, and was fingered as a front for Mr. bin Laden by a man later convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center bombings. Mr. Mahfouz’s son was on the board of Blessed Relief in Sudan, a group reportedly linked to the 1995 attempted assassination of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia.

A Lebanese-born U.S. citizen based in Kenya, later convicted of aiding the African embassy bombings, testified that he began working for the bin Laden network after being recruited for the Islamic relief agency Al Kifa by al-Qaeda military boss Mohammed Atef.

He later served as a senior business aide to Mr. bin Laden in Sudan, then through Kenya-based groups that combined legitimate aid work and covert al-Qaeda business, such as preparing false passports, masking travel by bomb plotters, and exchanging money and reports with the bin Laden group in Afghanistan. Some of the convicted or at-large indicted bombers had previously worked for Help Africa People.

Mr. Mahfouz was a major investor with sheik Al-Amoudi in the $100-million El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Kenya, which was destroyed by U.S. missiles weeks after the embassies were bombed. The Clinton administration claimed the CIA had earlier detected bomb ingredients in the soil nearby. Yet subsequent lab tests and court actions leave little doubt the El Shifa plant was producing only human and veterinary drugs.

The nominal owner, now based in London and a long-time accountant to Mr. Mahfouz, later sued the U.S. government, which quietly settled the case and unfroze his assets in the United States.

The U.S. counter-strike against the El Shifa plant was almost certainly aimed at an innocent target. A simultaneous U.S. cruise missile barrage aimed at Mr. bin Laden himself in his Afghan hideout missed its intended target.

Those retaliatory strikes enraged many in the Muslim world, and may have prompted covert donations to the bin Laden cause from some of the Persian Gulf’s wealthy businessmen. They also drew the wrath of military governments in countries like Yemen, Sudan and Ethiopia, where the Mahfouz/Al-Amoudi group often gets preferential projects.

One example is the multibillion-dollar project to modernize the shipping facilities in the Yemeni capital of Aden, completed a year before the USS Cole was hit there by a suicide barge. The lead investor and builder was the Mahfouz/Al-Amoudi Group, through their companies Yeminvest and Yemen Holdings Ltd.

Mr. Mahfouz and Mr. bin Laden were both born in Yemen, and are revered by many Yemenis. A U.S. probe into the terrorist attack there has been stymied by the Yemeni government, which openly supports a “holy war” against the U.S., and has vowed to provide sanctuary for jihad militants.

Is the Whirling Dervish of TAPI Politics Finally Spinning America’s Way?

Is the Whirling Dervish of TAPI Politics Finally Spinning America’s Way?

Peter Chamberlin

It had to eventually happen–Afghan politics have come full circle, and then some.  It was only a matter of time before the TAPI pipe dream would once again be offered as a solution to the Afghan conflict.  The Taliban are once again being handed the keys to the kingdom in exchange for partnering with Western oil giants as the means for ensuring TAPI pipeline security.  The last time we heard the snake charmers make this offer was  in 1996, when Marty Miller of Unocal tried to convince all the factions that the “pipeline was a conflict resolution process.”  When this approach also failed to keep all parties satisfied, speculation arose that Unocal or another consortium partner gave secret support to the Taliban, in order to push-out the Northern Alliance forces of Ahmad Shah Massoud from their northern sanctuary, the location of the finalized pipeline route.  What will happen this time, when the Taliban or the mega-corporations prove to be unmovable and the whole diplomatic episode is exposed as another charade?  Karzai is a marked man, just as Rabbani before him was marked for termination by the medieval Taliban.

When it comes to Afghanistan and energy corridors, there are no new ideas under the sun–even Hillary Clinton’s favorite project, the “Silk Road,”  is just another attempt to revive one of her husband’s policy failures.  The following  testimony was given to Congress on 12 February 1998, by John Maresca, International head of Unocal–

“There are few, if any, other areas of the world where there can be such a dramatic increase in the supply of oil and gas to the world market. The solution seems simple: build a ‘new’ Silk Road.”

Anyone who has been paying attention to the decisions being made in Washington concerning the final resolution of the Afghan dilemma should have seen something like this coming down the pipe.  The Obama team has consistently pushed a revived TAPI project like it was already a done deal.  All of Obama’s emissaries have done everything imaginable to coerce Pakistan into signing-on to the mega-project, usually by portraying  TAPI as something in Pakistan’s best interests and the Iranian IPI pipeline as something harmful.  If  today’s report that the Taliban also want TAPI is true, then the US has once again performed another act of “ju jitsu diplomacy,” whereby a foreign entity’s decisions are turned on their heads, so that blatant lies are swallowed whole, as if they were the only truth.  In Pakistan’s case, after Ambassador Holbrooke successfully donned the disguise of humanitarian benefactor he was able to dominate the media with pro-American propaganda.

The pipeline plot was actually a subtle form of arm-twisting, intended to force Pakistan into helping the US bring the war to a close.  If Pakistan would only consent to forcibly bending the Taliban into a cooperative frame of mind, then all of these economic benefits and problem-solving initiatives would simply fall into their laps.  Such is the nature of American Fascist “diplomacy.”  Holbrooke’s hallmark.

Just as Pakistan is now being forced into an undesired partnership with America, through a combination of economic incentives and military pressure, Turkmenistan has been maneuvered into a corner until conditions could be made amenable to TAPI development.  TAPI would be a reality by now were it not for American obstructionism.  By February 10, 1993, Bridas Corp. of Argentina had already signed contracts to build the pipeline with the Turkmen state gas company, Turkmenneft,  but construction was blocked by Unocal of California lawyers, who hung the project up in US courts on legal technicalities.

In hindsight, it is apparent that the President of Turkmenistan at that time, Saparmurat Niyazov, also helped Unocal negate the contract which he had previously signed with Bridas, because he didn’t like the 75/25 split specified in the contract, since Bridas would receive the 75% as the project developer.  Thereafter, with development rights to all of that gas and oil up in the air, the Saudis took control of the project, as they assumed the dubious position of financier of both factions in the legal and political battles to build TAPI.  New corporations were formed by different Saudi royals, Delta and Ningharco; Delta partnered with Unocal and Ningharco backed Bridas.  Ningharco was a shell company based in the Jersey Isles, run by the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki.  The Saudis were controlling both sides of the bidding war and negotiations, which continued behind the scenes right up until the attacks in Washington and New York, committed by mostly Saudi terrorists on September 11, 2001.  Is it simply an awful coincidence that the TAPI negotiations came to a dead end simultaneously with the rise of the mostly Saudi terrorist organization, we know as “Al-CIA-da”?

Saudis, Saudis everywhere, most of them stirring-up trouble of some sort,…and yet they are still helping us to run the terror war–the war which has made this new TAPI deal with the Taliban  possible.  This entire war has been a farce, an exercise in building Saudi wealth.  And still, no one in Washington gives a damn–as long as their schemes help bring about the dreamed-of strategic pipeline corridor through Afghanistan and Balochistan.  It will all be celebrated as a great victory, Obama snatching Hillary’s pipe dreams and his second term out of thin air,  making it the cornerstone of a “New American Century.”  All of this, thanks to Saudi double-dealing and the twisted legacy of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, administered by the capable hands of Clinton’s wife.

TAPI gas pipeline: Kabul turns to Taliban for pipeline security

ISLAMABAD:The administration of President Hamid Karzai has assured Pakistan and India that it has reached an ‘understanding’ with Taliban insurgents to ensure the security of the multi-billion-dollar Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

“The Afghan Taliban have assured that they would not sabotage the project,” a senior official told The Express Tribune quoting Afghan authorities. “The Afghan government would also deploy troops to ensure the security of the pipeline,” the official added.

Pakistan, India and Afghanistan are scheduled to meet in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat on May 23 to sign the Gas Sales Purchase Agreement (GSPA). The proposed pipeline will pass through Herat, Kandahar, the birthplace of the Afghan Taliban and the most volatile province of Afghanistan, then Balochistan and Multan before entering Indian Punjab.

There is also the issue of mines on the proposed route. In 2008, Afghanistan was tasked to clear the mines on the route area within two years. Currently, officials are also unclear whether the Afghan government has succeeded in removing these mines or not.

Due to Taliban’s involvement in insurgency on the proposed route, Pakistan had earlier also proposed Turkmenistan to supply gas via Iran using the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline instead of laying a pipeline through Afghanistan, under a swap arrangement. But the proposal never materialised due to unprecedented opposition from the US against Iran.

Under this proposed arrangement, the imported gas volume agreed between Pakistan and Turkmenistan was to be supplied to the northern provinces of Iran in lieu of which Iran was to supply equivalent gas volume through the IP pipeline to Pakistan.

According to the official, an alternative western route of constructing the pipeline between the Afghanistan-Iran and Pakistan-Iran border was also proposed that was agreed by the Afghan government. Pakistan had floated this proposal as it believed that more than 72% insurgency-related cases by the Taliban take place on the earlier proposed TAPI gas pipeline route.

“After assurance from the Karazai government that Taliban will not blow up the pipeline, participating countries have agreed to lay the pipeline on the earlier proposed route,” the official said.

Participating countries including India were also concerned about security situation in Balochistan.”We have assured them that the government would prepare a force of local people to deploy in the area of the pipeline in Balochistan to ensure security,” the official added.

When the participating countries meet in Turkmenistan on May 23, they will ink the formal deal on the transit fee and GSPA. Pakistan, India and Afghanistan had agreed on a transit fee rate at 49.5 cents per million British thermal units (MMBTU), during the talks held in Islamabad earlier.

India will pay 49.5 cents per MMBTU as transit fee to Pakistan and Pakistan will pay an equal amount to Afghanistan.

“Pakistan will get $217 million as transit fee from India, which will be paid to Afghanistan,” the official said.

Pakistan and Turkmenistan have also agreed at a gas price rate equal to 70% of crude oil against the 78% of crude oil with Iran under the IP gas pipeline project.

Published in The Express Tribune

Relations between Beijing and Tokyo deteriorated because of the Uighurs

Relations between Beijing and Tokyo deteriorated because of the Uighurs


Rebiya Kadeer

Relations between China and Japan deteriorated due to held in Tokyo, the Assembly of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), which in Beijing is considered a terrorist separatist organization, reported May 21 Kommersant .

In particular, after the Beijing trilateral meeting of leaders of China, South Korea and Japan, PRC President Hu Jintao refused to talk with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko node, the head of the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi canceled a planned meeting with a delegation of Japanese business, and the deputy chairman of the Central Military Commission of China General Go Bosyun Colonel refused to travel to Tokyo.

Earlier, the Chinese government called on Japan to refrain from issuing an entry visa participants of the Congress and the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo, sent letters to more than one hundred deputies of the Japanese parliament, supported the implementation of measures TQM.

In the Assembly, was attended by about 120 representatives of the Uighur community of a dozen countries, includingKazakhstan . They re-elected leader of the organization Rabiyu Kadir and accused Beijing of murders, mass repressions and attempts to destroy the indigenous people of East Turkestan, replacing it with Han people, the settlers: the share of early Uighurs in Xinjiang was more than 70 percent, and now they were much less than half. Forum participants affirmed that Congress did not require the creation of an independent Uighur state, and seeks to have a real political and cultural autonomy within the PRC.

The international news agency “Fergana”

Saakashvili Ensures “Integrity” of Coming Election with the Same Rascals Egypt Has Under Arrest for Meddling

Georgia invites international observers for elections

Georgia, Tbilisi,  Trend N. Kirtzkhalia /

The Georgian Foreign Ministry has invited the U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) as international observers for the parliamentary elections of 2012.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze sent letters to several international organisations to ensure the greatest possible number of international observers at these year’s elections. The matter rests in the short term missions, as well as long term monitoring.

“Letters were sent to the NDI president Ken Volak and the IRI president Lorne Craner,” the ministry said. “Georgia’s readiness was stressed to invite international observers as soon as possible to monitor the electoral process and the elections.”

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Georgian opposition says Saakashvili preparing for civil war

Georgian opposition says Saakashvili preparing for civil war


TBILISI, DFWatch – Georgia’s former UN ambassador, now an opposition leader, says that President Mikheil Saakashvili’s apparatus is organizing paramilitary groups and handing out weapons in preparation for a civil war in the power struggle ahead of the election this October.

Irakli Alasania, considered a moderate among the opposition, said Friday that there are being formed paramilitary groups and handed out weapons in Western Georgia. Alasania asked the international community to take immediate measures to ensure a democratic election this October.

Alasania, who is leader of the Free Democrats Party, a part of Billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s opposition coalition, made the statement during a meeting with foreign diplomats on March 15, the same day as German foreign minister Guido Westerwelle visited.

Bidzina Ivanishvili, head of Georgian Dream coalition and Davit Usupashvili, Georgian Republican party leader, another member of coalition along with Free Democrats, attended the meeting.

Alasania asked the international community to strengthen the monitoring of what the Georgian government is doing. Otherwise, he fears that the government will use force against citizens. He doesn’t exclude that there will be civil war in the country.

Several months ago, Kakha Mikaia, who is from Samegrelo, Western Georgia, which borders the breakaway region Abkhazia, and a representative of one of the opposition parties not part of Georgian Dream coalition, made a statement about the fact that the government is organizing armed units in Western Georgia.

Vako Avaliani, Free Democrats spokesperson told DF Watch that he cannot talk about details right now and they will hold a press conference about this issue next week, where they will present to media and diplomatic corps with material on the grounds of which the statement was made.

After Alasania’s statement, Nugzar Tsiklauri, an MP from the ruling National Movement Party, said that the government really is organizing units in the regions of Georgia far from of Tbilisi, but he says these are military reserve force units, where service is on a voluntary basis and people join freely. But he also notes that these people do not wear weapons or military clothes after training is finished.

The concept of volunteer reserve forces appeared in Georgian legislation in October 2011 after an initiative of the Defense Ministry and foresees five day military training for persons who want to obtain military skills.

Adversary of Saakashvili Murdered In Moscow

“Roman Dumbadze is a criminal that must be punished as a traitor”, – Vano Merabishvili, then secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia, said, 2011-05-19 ( General Dumbadze to repay debt to America? ).

General Roman Dumbadze, who was condemned to life imprisonment for treason far back in 2005. Dumbadze is the closest mate of former Adzharia’s head Aslan Abashidze, who was stripped of authority in May of 2004. Then commander of Georgian forces in Adzharia, General Dumbadze disobeyed Saakashvili and brought the troops under the ultimate command of Abashidze, Aug. 29, 2008 (Georgia Fears to Lose Adzharia  ).


Rebellious Georgian General Gunned Down by Motorcycle Killers

The Moscow Times
Former general Roman Dumbadze was gunned down in Moscow Monday by assailants on a motorcycle.


Former general Roman Dumbadze was gunned down in Moscow Monday by assailants on a motorcycle.

A former general of Georgia’s armed forces was gunned down by motorcycle assailants in Moscow Monday.

The two assailants drove alongside former general Roman Dumbadze as he walked along the Rublyovskoe Shosse, and after a brief exchange of words, the assailants shot Dumbadze twice — in the head and the abdomen, RIA-Novosti said, citing law enforcement sources. Dumbadze died at the scene.

A woman with Dumbadze at the time of the  said the assailants wore masks, LifeNews reported.

The motorcycle used by the attackers was later found abandoned at an intersection near the scene of the shooting.

Dumbadze gained notoriety after he switched allegiance during a conflict between Georgia and the autonomous Adzharia republic in 2004. He publicly declared allegiance to Aslan Abashidze, leader of the republic, and was later accused of rebellion and  sentenced to prison.

Dumbadze was freed as part of a prisoner exchange deal with Russia in 2008, and in 2010 became a citizen of Russia by an order from PresidentDmitry Medvedev.

The Moscow Times

Presidents of All Five Stans Support Putin’s Snub of Obama’s Chicago Victory Party

If Poppy-Eradication Is So Easy for the Taliban, They Why Is It That the Lone Superpower Cannot Even Try?

[The Taliban are slowly reassuming control over parts of Afghanistan, which means restoring the law and order conditions that they had established by late 2001, when their rule was so rudely interrupted.  By that time, opium-growing in Afghanistan had been virtually eliminated (SEE: Afghanistan, Opium and the Taliban).]

“A 12-member team from the U.N. Drug Control Program spent two weeks searching most of the nation’s largest opium-producing areas and found so few poppies that they do not expect any opium to come out of Afghanistan this year.

‘We are not just guessing. We have seen the proof in the fields,’ said Bernard Frahi, regional director for the U.N. program in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

Papaver somniferum: the opium poppy  [Why does the world’s only “superpower” find it impossible to even attempt poppy eradication?  Answer:  They have their reasons (and most of us know what they are).] 

Taliban destroys opium crops in Afghanistan

Kabul: The Taliban has destroyed opium fields in eastern Afghanistan in a surprise clamp down on the drug cultivation that provides a major part of its funding. 

The Afghan Government and clerics have welcomed the action by the Taliban, but insurgents have claimed that they destroyed the fields for religious reasons, The Guardian reports. 

“The provincial governor really appreciates what the insurgents did. From the perspective of Islam it is forbidden and a crime to grow drugs,” Wasifullah Wasifi, a spokesman for the provincial governor in Kunar Wasifi, said. 

He added that nearly a hectare of cultivation had been destroyed by the Taliban in the province’s Manawara District. 


The country representative of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Afghanistan, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, confirmed that the Taliban had destroyed poppy fields in Kunar. 

“We welcome this new approach and would hope that this is not a one-time exception but that the Taliban, and others alike, would take a principled stance against the narcotics business,” he said. 

Villagers in Manawara District were warned before the sowing season against cultivating opium, district governor Habib Rahman Mohmand said. 

“The Taliban leadership in Kunar sent down an order to the ordinary people that they should not grow drugs, or the crop would be destroyed,” Mohmand said. “Around 20 days ago the Taliban groups came and destroyed it,” he added. 

A local Taliban fighter who said he was involved in destroying the fields confirmed that the decision had come from a top commander for religious reasons. 

“It was an order from Zia al-Rahman. We went to the site to destroy the drug fields,” the militant said. 

Opium production has flourished since the fall down of the Taliban by US-backed forces in 2001, even though it has been widely been condemned by clerics as un-Islamic.