China Set To Play The Northern TAPI Card–The Card Unocal Discarded

According to Ahmed Rashid’s Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil & Fundamentalism in Central Asia (Yale UP, 2000). “by November 1996, Bridas claimed that it had an agreement signed by the Taliban and Dostum—trumping Unocal.”


Now China may play spoiler to TAPI


The US- and ADB-sponsored Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project is as much about the political stability of Afghanistan as it is about energy security for the partner countries. Yet, it continues to evoke scepticism among analysts. Much of this scepticism hinged on finding financiers to underwrite a project which would transit the turbulent regions of Herat and Kandahar in Afghanistan as well as Balochistan (Quetta) and Multan in Pakistan. Now, another factor has emerged which has the potential to further jeopardise the beleaguered project. Recent reports of a rival pipeline project being negotiated between China, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan have emerged. This project proposes to carry Turkmen gas to China through northern Afghanistan and Tajikistan, raising concerns that it may render TAPI a non-starter, akin to the manner in which TAPI played spoiler to the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline project.

On June 6 and 8, 2012, on the sidelines of the SCO summit meeting in Beijing, Afghan President Hamid Karzai met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and China National Petroleum Corporation’s (CNPC) head Jiang Jiemin and discussed the proposal along with other issues. According to reports in the Chinese media, CNPC offered to conduct a technical and economic feasibility study for the proposed project on Afghan and Tajik territories. That the route for the proposed pipeline seeks to avoid the troubled Pashtun-dominated areas in Afghanistan—seen as one of the biggest hurdles for the TAPI project —would make it more attractive for the financiers.

While actual volumes of the proposed pipeline were not discussed or disclosed, it was agreed that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) would be signed when a CNPC delegation visits Kabul to discuss the proposal in greater detail, along with oil and gas exploration possibilities in Afghanistan’s Amu Darya basin, for which an agreement was signed between the Afghan Ministry of Mines and CNPC in December 2011. On returning to Kabul, President Karzai reportedly told Wahidullah Shahrani, the Minister of Mines, to prepare a framework agreement on cooperation with the CNPC and to set up a Chinese-Afghan joint working committee on these projects. CNPC and the Turkmen state firm, Turkmennebitgaz, also signed a framework agreement to increase ongoing gas deliveries to China to 65 billion cubic metres (bcm) from the current 30 bcm per annum by 2014. The gas would be sourced from Turkmenistan’s Bagtyyarlyk gas field and possibly from sections of the South Yolotan field. This would, presumably, be the source for the proposed pipeline project as well. Interestingly, the additional Turkmen gas supply to China is expected to commence in 2014, the year TAPI is expected to begin construction.

The timing of the proposal for the new Turkmen-Afghan-China pipeline is intriguing, setting off speculation about whether it was being conceived to stymie TAPI or is part of China’s strategy to guard against any extra-regional influence in Central Asia, including on the region’s energy resources, which, Beijing wants to garner for itself to offset its dependence on the Strait of Malacca. Given that China has already contracted to buy additional gas from Turkmenistan would suggest that the project is motivated by the former consideration. What is important, however, is that the proposed pipeline seeks to exclude both Pakistan and India, hailed as potential markets for Central Asian energy resources. This is not the first time that China has played spoiler in energy projects originating in a Central Asian state. For example, in 2009, when an EU-backed consortium was working on the Nabucco pipeline to reach Turkmen gas reserves from the west as an additional source, CNPC inaugurated the Turkmen-China gas pipeline, thereby jeopardising Nabucco’s viability.

With the possibility of a rival pipeline transiting Afghanistan, several factors will have to be taken into consideration.

First, will the new pipeline be in lieu of TAPI or in addition to TAPI? This would depend on (a) whether Turkmenistan has sufficient gas to supply both the projects as well as additional gas exports to China and (b) whether financiers would back the more hazardous TAPI project.

Second, does the agreement with China signify a reflection of President Karzai’s confidence—or in fact the lack of it—in TAPI, or is this a reflection of the slide in relations between Karzai and the US? Interestingly, at the time when India and Pakistan agreed on the GSPAs for TAPI with Turkmenistan, Afghanistan had only concluded a MoU for co-operation with Turkmenistan in the gas sector, as against a contract, which was deferred ostensibly because negotiations with Afghanistan were continuing on the price of deliveries.

Third, with the US now no longer in a position to support TAPI other than politically, and with President Obama set on withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2014, does Karzai now see TAPI as unviable, despite recent reports of the Taliban’s assurance that it would not sabotage the project?

The only thing that is certain is that President Karzai’s step-back on TAPI will have an impact on the project’s fate. Let us not forget that Afghanistan is central to TAPI, apart from ensuring that it would provide an alternative to Iranian gas. However, ironically, TAPI’s demise could revive IPI. Pakistan, which is facing a severe energy crunch and is therefore reluctant to succumb to US pressure to abandon the Iranian pipeline, is now talking to the Russians as potential financiers of the IPI—now truncated to IP—project. Recently, a minister-level Russian working group was reported to have participated in meetings in Pakistan, with discussions focusing on Russia’s willingness to finance IPI. The Russians have long indicated their interest in developing a gas market in South Asia, and the recent rapprochement between Moscow and Islamabad may well be the opportunity the former has been seeking to re-engage with the subcontinent politically. Moreover, it would upset the US strategy to circumvent any Russian involvement in Central Asian energy geopolitics.

At the same time, the Turkmen-China pipeline could jeopardise Russia’s plans to go ahead with its gas deal with China. With Turkmenistan offering lower-priced gas to China, it provides Beijing the leverage to negotiate better terms with Russia for future gas deliveries. The two countries have been in talks to import 68 billion cubic metres of gas annually for some time. Although an MoU was signed in June 2009, no agreement has followed suit, ostensibly because of differences over pricing. As a result, with the onset of more Turkmen/Central Asian gas flowing to China, Moscow may well lose its hold on the region’s gas.

For India, the China pipeline would end, or at least put on hold indefinitely, plans to import Central Asian gas. Given the large difference in the price of imported gas, whether piped or liquefied, and domestically produced gas, the pricing discrepancy would further add to the government’s gas import bill. With US shale gas now opening up an avenue for low-priced LNG imports, provided India is granted a waiver from US laws on gas imports to non-FTA partners, it would be a better option than complex transcontinental pipeline projects.

Shebonti Ray Dadwal is a IDSA Fellow specialising in energy-related issues


The Armies of the Anti-Christ Drive Christians Out of Syria, Seize Their Homes

[Both Christians and moderate Muslims are the enemies and the victims of the armies of militant “Islamists” which we have recruited to overthrow the government of Syria and to replace it with another, Taliban-style government.  Isn’t it unbelievable that our “way of life” requires that our government become the world’s primary sponsor of state terrorism?  We tie the world in knots over our claims that Shiite “Iran sponsors terrorism,” yet it is Sunni terrorism that plagues the world today, killing mostly Muslims.  Most often, the Muslim victims are Shias, or anyone who is not Sunni.  It is much more than “coincidence” that Sunni terrorists kill the allies of our enemy, Iran; it is the plan.  American planners have finally wised-up to the insanity inherent in openly starting a war with tenacious Iran and opted for silent, covert war, instead.  Our Saudi and Qatari allies have helped us put together secret terrorist armies that are composed mostly of radicalized Sunnis, who have waiting for this moment most of their adult lives, yearning for the day when they would be free to slay the “enemies of God.”  Little did most of them realize, that their “Holy War” would be waged for the benefit of the “Great Satan.”   Their “Jihad” is the real foreign policy of the United States, NOT these “piss ant wars” that are fought in Afghanistan and elsewhere, merely as a diversion to the Real War (SEE:  The Real War –vs– The Illusions).  

(There are just so many ways to say it–We are doing very great Evil in the world everyday, but most of us are unaware that there is even anything wrong.  The brainwashers who have labored for so many years to dim America’s wits have been very successful in their work.  Perhaps hell has a quieter corner reserved for them as a result of their perfidy.) 

The American Bible Belt Christians have been the cornerstone of this policy of willful blindness in the face of arrogant evil.  Now that their Christian cousins in Syria and throughout the Middle East are starting to pay the price for their slothful spiritual laziness, perhaps a few of Jesus’ “little lambs” will open their eyes in time to see the circling wolves.  The Qusayr Christians mentioned in the article below could have used their help before now, but perhaps the “scales will fall from their eyes” in time to motivate them to help change the fate of the rest of Syria’s ancient Christian enclaves.

While no one was looking, Shaitan (Satan) rose to power and began his war against humanity.  Maybe we just didn’t notice because of all the cheering and fanfare.  More likely, we didn’t want to know.  We now have ringside seats to the end of human civilization, the most stupendous event in the history of mankind.  Who will wake-up in time to witness the event?] 

‘We’re Too Frightened to Talk’Christians Flee from Radical Rebels in Syria

By Ulrike Putz in Qa, Lebanon


Thousands of Syrians are fleeing into neighboring Lebanon — not entirely due to fear of the Assad regime. The country’s minority Christian population is suffering under attacks waged by rebel troops. In the Beqaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, Christian families are finding temporary refuge, but they are still terrified.


There had been many warnings that the Khouri* family wouldn’t talk. “They won’t say a word — they’re too scared,” predicted the mayor of Qa, a small market town in northeastern Lebanon where the Khouris are staying. “They won’t even open their door for journalists,” said another person, who had contacted the family on behalf of a non-governmental organization.

Somehow, though, the interview was arranged in the end. Reserved and halting, the women described what happened to their husbands, brothers and nephews back in their hometown of Qusayr in Syria. They were killed by Syrian rebel fighters, the women said — murdered because they were Christians, people who in the eyes of radical Islamist freedom fighters have no place in the new Syria.

In the past year and a half, since the beginning of the uprising against Syria’s authoritarian President Bashar Assad, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled their homes and sought safe haven abroad. Inside the country, the United Nations estimates that 1 million people have left their homes to escape violence and are now internally displaced. The majority are likely to have fled to escape the brutality of Assad’s troops. Indeed, as was the case at the start of the Syrian civil war, most of the violence is still being perpetrated by the army, the secret services and groups of thugs steered by the state.

With fighting ongoing, however, the rebels have also committed excesses. And some factions within the patchwork of disparate groups that together comprise the Free Syrian Army have radicalized at a very rapid clip in recent months. A few are even being influenced by foreign jihadists who have traveled to Syria to advise them. That, at least, is what witnesses on the ground are reporting in Qusayr, where fierce fighting has raged for months. Control of the town has passed back and forth between the two sides, at times falling into the hands of the regime and at others of the rebels. Currently, fighters with the Free Syrian Army have the upper hand, and they have also made the city of 40,000 residents a place where the country’s Christian minority no longer feels safe.

Campaigns against Christians

“There were always Christians in Qusayr — there were around 10,000 before the war,” says Leila, the matriarch of the Khouri clan. Currently, 11 members of the clan are sharing two rooms. They include the grandmother, grandfather, three daughters, one husband and five children. “Despite the fact that many of our husbands had jobs in the civil service, we still got along well with the rebels during the first months of the insurgency.” The rebels left the Christians alone. The Christians, meanwhile, were keen to preserve their neutrality in the escalating power struggle. But the situation began deteriorating last summer, Leila says, murmuring a bit more before going silent.

“We’re too frightened to talk,” her daughter Rim explained, before mustering the courage to continue. “Last summer Salafists came to Qusayr, foreigners. They stirred the local rebels against us,” she says. Soon, an outright campaign against the Christians in Qusayr took shape. “They sermonized on Fridays in the mosques that it was a sacred duty to drive us away,” she says. “We were constantly accused of working for the regime. And Christians had to pay bribes to the jihadists repeatedly in order to avoid getting killed.”

Grandmother Leila made the sign of the cross. “Anyone who believes in this cross suffers,” she says.

Foreign Jihadists in Combat in Qusayr

It is not possible to independently corroborate the Khouri’s version of events, but the basic information seems consistent with what is already known. On April 20, Abdel Ghani Jawhar involuntarily provided proof that foreign jihadists are engaged in combat in Qusayr. Jawhar, a Lebanese national and commander with the terrorist group Fatah al Islam, died that day in the Syrian city. An explosives expert, Jawhar had been in Qusayr to teach rebels how to build bombs and accidentally blew himself up while trying to assemble one. Until his death, Jawhar had been the most wanted man in Lebanon, where he is implicated in the deaths of 200 people. Lebanese authorities confirmed his death in Syria. The fact that the rebels had worked together with a man like Jawhar fomented fears after his death that the ranks of insurgents are increasingly becoming infiltrated by international terrorists.

The Khouris’ decision to flee Syria last year is partly attributable to the almost daily threats that they, as well as other Christians in town, began receiving. And yet it was also a product of the fact that fighting in the city had simply become unbearable. “The bombs were falling right in the middle of our neighborhood. We can’t say who was firing them — the rebels or the army,” a family member says. During a break in the firing on one bitterly cold winter day, the family finally left. “We arranged a car and drove to Lebanon. It’s only a 45-minute trip.”

Rim’s husband also fled with them. His fate was sealed when he drove back to Qusayr on Feb. 9. He had owned a mini-market in his hometown and he wanted to go back and get food to take back to his family in exile. His family only knows what happened to him because of the stories relatives and friends who remained in Qusayr have shared. “He was stopped at a rebel checkpoint near the state-run bakery,” says Rim. “The rebels knew he was a Christian. They took him and then threw his dead body in front of the door of his parent’s house four or five hours later.”

Grandmother Leila makes the sign of the cross again. It wasn’t only her son-in-law who got killed. Her brother and two nephews were also killed. “They shot one of my nephews, a pharmacist, in his apartment because he supported the regime,” she says.

Fear of Syrian Compatriots

Thirty-two Christian families have found shelter and asylum in Qa, which is located only 12 kilometers away from the Syrian border. Although the city is also Christian and looks out for those who have fled the rebels for this reason, the Khouris and their fellow victims nevertheless live in a state of constant fear. For one, they can hear the muffled hum of artillery being fired in nearby Syria. The sound travels well beyond the border and serves as a constant reminder of what is happening in their country. On the day of the interview, a column of smoke could be seen rising above the next mountain range. A day earlier, a shell hit a gas station on the Syrian side of the border and it had been smouldering ever since. Four weeks ago, the Khouris learned that their home in Qusayr had been completely destroyed after being struck by a rocket.

But the family’s greatest fear is that of their own Syrian compatriots. As a border town, Qa is a magnet for two types of refugees, says Mansour Saad. “On the one hand, you have the Christians who are fleeing from the rebels,” he says. “And then you have the refugee families of men who are fighting within the ranks of the FSA.” The two enemy groups sometimes clash in Lebanese exile. “There is a lot of tension between them,” says Saad. “We do our best to keep the two groups apart.”

Like many Lebanese and Syrian Christians, Saad is also a supporter of the Assad regime. As a religious minority in the Middle East, Christians don’t have much choice other than to align themselves with a strong leader who can protect them, Saad says. “The rebels haven’t managed to convince me they are fighting for more democracy,” the mayor says.

And while there may be a number of open questions about the Assad regime, like the fact that “there is certainly no freedom of expression in Syria,” he says the rebels aren’t one bit better. There may have been respectable aims at the start of the uprising, but the insurgency has since been hijacked by Islamists, the mayor argues. “And we know the types of Muslims who have emerged at the head of the rebellion: The ones who would like to lead the people back into the Stone Age.”

* The names in this story have been changed in order to protect the identity of the interview subjects.

Taliban Copying Pentagon/CIA “Hunting Party” Strategy, Eliminating the Competition

[Militants are adapting the same criminal tactics which we have been using for years in Afghanistan and everywhere else that is under the American gun–Hunting the leadership.  The Taliban’s hunting season on all Afghan leaders, was copied from the Pakistani Taliban, who have used the strategy so effectively in Pakistan’s Tribal Regions since 2004 and the group’s beginning with the purposeful release of TTP founder, Abdullah Mehsud, from Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay.  His recruitment of cousin Baitullah Mehsud to his CIA-organized “hunting party” of terrorists, for the purpose of killing hundreds of tribal leaders around Wana, S. Waziristan, was just the start of a reign of terror which has continued, unabated, across the breadth of Pakistan, to this day.  Whenever the war crimes of George Bush and Barack Obama are finally exposed and laid end-to-end, they will stretch around the earth.]  

In Afghanistan, targeted attacks on leaders an ominous trend

The attacks on Afghan leaders come as the NATO force hands over more security duties to the Afghan police and army and begins its troop drawdown in earnest.

Attacks targeting Afghan leaders raise the specter of more killings as the NATO force draws down its troops.A man takes in the aftermath of a suicide bombing targeting the wedding festivities of the daughter of Afghan lawmaker Ahmad Khan Samangani. The parliament member was among the nearly 20 people killed in the July 14 attack in Samangan province. (JAWED KARGAR, EPA / July 14, 2012)
By Laura King 

KABUL, Afghanistan — Tamim Nuristani used to own a pizza chain in California. Now he’s a marked man in Afghanistan.

This month, insurgents ambushed the provincial governor’s convoy in northeastern Afghanistan, sparking a fierce battle that pinned down his entourage for the night. When the motorcade tried to move in the morning, the assailants struck again. Miraculously, all those in the convoy survived.

It was not the first attempt on Nuristani’s life; he did not expect it to be the last. Not long ago, security forces discovered and defused a remote-controlled explosive device apparently meant for him, and a defecting Talibanfighter told officials that he had been personally tasked with assassinating the Nuristan governor.

“Based on the intelligence reports we receive, myself, the police chief, the provincial head of intelligence and a lawmaker from Nuristan are high on the list of targets,” Nuristani said. “But I will do my best to keep serving my country.”

Taliban and other insurgent groups have long targeted Afghan government officials and community leaders. But this month has seen an extraordinary spate of assassinations and attempted assassinations of public figures, raising the specter of many more such killings as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization force here begins its troop drawdown in earnest.

Over a span of four days beginning July 13, a provincial women’s affairs chief in eastern Afghanistan was killed by a car bomb; the mayor of a western town was gunned down on the way home from evening prayers; a prominent member of parliament was slain in a suicide attack that also killed 18 others at festivities for his daughter’s wedding; a district police chief in Kandahar was killed in a drive-by shooting; a Cabinet minister and another provincial governor escaped uninjured when their motorcade was bombed; and a district chief in northern Kunduz province hopped out of his vehicle to shop — just before the car blew up.

The latest jolt came Sunday, when the governor of Chak district in Wardak province, Mohammad Ismail Wafa, was shot to death by assailants. His young son died with him. And the Muslim holy month of Ramadan proved no protection for a prominent imam in Oruzgan province: He was killed Monday by a bomb outside his mosque.

Authorities are uncertain whether the recent drumbeat of attacks represents a coordinated campaign by a single group or if the strikes were unrelated actions by disparate militant organizations — or even whether internal power struggles were at play.

Either way, the seeming open season on Afghan public servants represents an ominous trend as the NATO force hands over more security responsibilities to the Afghan police and army, while simultaneously trying to build public confidence in all levels of the Afghan government.

“What better way to undermine government power than by killing the Afghan leadership?” asked Brig. Roger Noble, an Australian serving as a senior military operations officer with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. At a recent shura, or consultative session with tribal elders, he said, the most urgent request was for more support for vulnerable district officials.

Ramadan, which began Friday, could prove particularly perilous, because politicians and dignitaries are expected to mingle with crowds of constituents at the daily iftar, the evening meal that breaks the daytime fast observed by devout Muslims. And the Taliban has vowed no letup in violence during the time of fasting and prayer.

The latest series of killings and attacks was unusual in that it was largely concentrated inAfghanistan’snorth, a region that is mainly populated by ethnic minorities with a more pronounced grass-roots distaste for the Taliban than is seen in the predominantly Pashtun south and east, historically the war’s main battlegrounds.

Some non-Taliban insurgent groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and Pakistani-based organizations such as Lashkar-e-Taiba have made inroads in the north in recent years. And the security situation is complicated by internecine tensions among some former comrades in arms from the Northern Alliance, the U.S.-backed militia that helped drive the Taliban from power.

Some northern strongmen have reportedly been stockpiling weapons in advance of a potential power vacuum when Western combat troops depart, or in the event of a peace pact with the Taliban, which most of them strongly oppose.

The wedding hall blast in Samangan province that killed the father of the bride, well-connected lawmaker Ahmad Khan Samangani, swiftly gave rise to a rash of conspiracy theories about his rivalries with other northern power brokers.

But the Samangan police chief, Gen. Khalil Andarabi, blamed what he described as an Al Qaeda-linked faction assembled by the late Mullah Amir Gul, a onetime Taliban shadow governor in the province who also once served in the Afghan army.

The Taliban movement, made up of sometimes-quarreling factions and with fluid and shifting alliances with other militant organizations, has claimed responsibility for some of the recent attacks, including the one against Nuristani. But its leadership has disavowed responsibility for others, such as the July 13 car bombing that killed Hanifa Safi, a respected women’s rights advocate in Laghman province.

Although Taliban fighters have repeatedly targeted and threatened women’s activists, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid — disingenuously, perhaps — suggested that “personal enmity” might lie behind Safi’s murder. No arrests have yet been made in her death, which brought an outpouring of grief and anger from the community, including many conservative male tribal elders.

“The people who commit these despicable acts are enemies of peace and security,” said a Laghman provincial spokesman, Sarhadi Zewak. “They don’t care who they kill — men or women, tribal elders or government officials. Their targets are simply anyone who is working for the betterment of this country.”

Special correspondents Hashmat Baktash and Aimal Yaqubi contributed to this report.

India Blackout Worsens–600 Million In Dark

[For all of you Americans reading this–that is nearly twice the population of the United States–WITHOUT POWER.]

India blackout worsens; 600M in dark

An off-duty flight attendant from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines browses a dark shop in Janpath Market, a popular tourist shopping area, during a power outage in New Delhi, July 31, 2012. (Getty)

(AP) NEW DELHI – India’s energy crisis spread over half the country Tuesday when both its eastern and northern electricity grids collapsed, leaving 600 million people without power in one of the world’s biggest-ever blackouts.


The power failure has raised serious concerns about India’s outdated infrastructure and the government’s inability to meet an insatiable appetite for energy as the country aspires to become a regional economic superpower.

The outage in the eastern grid came just a day after India’s northern power gridcollapsed for several hours. (Click on the player at left for a full report). Indian officials managed to restore power several hours later, but at 1:05 p.m. Tuesday the northern grid collapsed again, said Shailendre Dubey, an official at the Uttar Pradesh Power Corp. in India’s largest state. About the same time, the eastern grid failed as well, said S.K. Mohanty, a power official in the eastern state of Orissa. The two grids serve about half India’s population.



Traffic lights went out across New Delhi. The city’s Metro rail system, which serves about 1.8 million people a day, immediately shut down for the second day in a row. Police said they managed to evacuate Delhi’s busy Barakhamba Road station in under half an hour before closing the shutters.


S.K. Jain, 54, said he was on his way to file his income tax return when the Metro closed and now would almost certainly miss the deadline.


The new power failure affected people across 13 states — more than the entire population of the European Union. They raised concerns about India’s outdated infrastructure and its insatiable appetite for energy that the government has been unable to meet.


India’s demand for electricity has soared along with its economy in recent years, but utilities have been unable to meet the growing needs. India’s Central Electricity Authority reported power deficits of more than 8 percent in recent months.


The power deficit was worsened by a weak monsoon that lowered hydroelectric generation and kept temperatures higher, further increasing electricity usage as people seek to cool off.


But any connection to the grid remains a luxury for many. One-third of India’s households do not even have electricity to power a light bulb, according to last year’s census.

Syria defeats NATO’s swarming terrorists

Syria defeats NATO’s swarming terrorists


Armed rebels clash with Syrian government forces in the center of Syria

Armed rebels clash with Syrian government forces in the center of Syria’s restive northern city of Aleppo. (File photo)


Last week, the NATO powers launched their long-awaited summer offensive against Syria. This was a multi-pronged effort designed not just to overthrow the government of President Assad, but also to totally disintegrate the existing structures of the Syrian state, dissolving the entire country into chaos, confusion, secession, attempted coups d’état, and a likely massacre of Assad backers, Alawites, Christians, Kurds, and other minority groups.

This assault peaked between July 18 and July 21. Almost a week later, all indications suggest that Assad, the Baath party, and the Syrian state have proven to be much stronger than the NATO planners had imagined, and that the imperialist attack has been defeated for the time being.
The easiest way for NATO to destroy independent Syria would be to obtain a UN Security Council resolution authorizing a no-fly zone, a bombing campaign, and incursions by special forces, many of them sent by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the other reactionary Gulf monarchies. But this path has been blocked by the courageous resistance of Russia and China. Another method would be to form a coalition of the willing outside of the United Nations and proceed to the attack, as was done in the cases of Serbia and Iraq. But, with Russian President Vladimir Putin reasserting Russia’s support for Syria, this method poses the risk of Russian and Chinese retaliation in ways which the Anglo-Americans might find extremely painful. Therefore, NATO created a multi-layered strategy to subvert and destroy the Syrian state using covert action below the threshold of bombing and invasion, although including out special forces and espionage.

The signal to activate the assembled capabilities was given by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 8, when she warned Damascus that little time remained to avoid a “catastrophic assault” capable of destroying the Syrian state. This is exactly what was attempted last week.

First, NATO attempted to isolate Syria by interrupting communications with its traditional ally, Iran. According to the Wall Street Journal of July 23, the United States in particular has exerted pressure on the government of Iraq to deny overflight permission for flights between Syria and Iran through Iraqi airspace. An official US diplomatic demarche delivered in Baghdad demanded that such flights be banned. At the same time, pressure was exerted on the government of Egypt to violate the international status of the Suez Canal by preventing the transit of Iranian ships allegedly headed for Syrian ports. But these efforts have yielded only mixed results, according to this account.
The main diplomatic thrust of the destabilization effort was yet another UN Security Council resolution opening the door to Chapter Seven economic sanctions and military attack on Syria. This transparent bid for a general war in the Middle East was duly vetoed by Russia and China, while Pakistan and South Africa abstained despite US pressure. United States Ambassador to the UN Susan E. Rice became hysterical, raving that the Russian Federation was “pitiful,” “dangerous,” and “deplorable” after she lost the vote. Hillary Clinton had previously branded Russia as “despicable” and “intolerable.” One imagines these charming ladies chewing the carpet as Hitler reportedly did during the run-up to the Munich conference of September 1938.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov correctly described the US diplomatic posture as “justifying terrorism.” According to Lavrov, the US stance amounted to, “We will continue to support terrorist attacks until the Security Council does what we want.” It would now be in order for Russia and China to propose a Security Council resolution condemning the United States and its allies for giving material support to terrorism.
The most dramatic single episode of the assault was an apparent explosion on Wednesday, July 18 in one of the main Syrian government buildings which killed Defense Minister Rajha (the top Christian in the government), crisis management director Turkmani, and Assef Shawkat, a military intelligence expert and brother-in-law of President Assad. Interior Minister Shaar was reported wounded, and national security director Ikhtiyar succumbed later to injuries. Western media were quick to gloat, attributing the explosion to a suicide bomber recruited from inside one of the key ministries, but this may reflect an attempt to launch a variation of Operation Splinter Factor among top officials. Other hypotheses include a rocket fired from a US drone. Thierry Meyssan has reported that the explosion was detonated from inside the US Embassy, which is nearby.

The goal of this attack was clearly the decapitation of the Syrian military and security forces, and of the Syrian state overall. But thanks to the fact that President Assad was not involved, Syria was able to maintain continuity of government and a functioning command structure, which quickly recovered from this staggering blow. Within hours, replacements for the slain officials had been nominated and announced to the public, and a reshuffling of top jobs continued for several days. If NATO had prepared a coup d’état to fill the void, there is no indication that it ever got off the ground.

So far, the NATO attack on Syria has depended mainly on Salvadoran-style death squads composed mainly of foreign fighters, including al-Qaeda and similar groups, some of which had originated as part of the US counterinsurgency effort in Iraq in 2005, during the tenure in Baghdad of US Ambassador John Negroponte. One of Negroponte’s disciples, Ambassador Robert Ford, was present in Damascus during the pre-2011 preparation of the current assault.
But, given the inability of the numerically weak death squads to capture and hold even a single town or village, to say nothing of a region of the country, it was decided to recruit and deploy an entirely new echelon of foreign fighters from all over North Africa and the Middle East. These were necessarily mercenaries, fanatics, convicts, and adventurers whose military training and weaponry would be inferior even to those of fighters deployed by NATO so far.

Their task was to implement a strategy of swarming. In military terms, swarming is the attempt to overwhelm an opponent by a rapid series of attacks from loosely coordinated autonomous groups. Quantity trumps quality. Many thousands of additional fighters were shipped in by NATO; Meyssan puts their numbers between 40,000 and 60,000, but this may be excessive. They crossed Syrian borders with Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraqi Kurdistan. The fighters themselves came from Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, and other countries. As they entered Syria from foreign territory, the fighters seized temporary control of several border crossings, a fact much-hyped by the Western press.

The premise of this irregular assault had been the wishful notion that resistance by the Syrian army would collapse. But the Fourth Armored division, the Republican Guard, and other key units held fast. This left the foreign fighters as sitting ducks in vulnerable positions they could not hope to defend. As of this writing, the foreign fighters have been largely mopped up in Damascus, and another large concentration in Aleppo appears to be surrounded and destined for annihilation. NATO’s pool of cannon fodder has thus been sharply depleted.

To spread the idea that Syrian resistance had collapsed and that further resistance against NATO was futile, Ben Rhodes of the Obama White House, the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Saudi Prince Bandar, and other officials had also prepared a campaign of psychological media warfare and video fakery. Syrian state television, al Adounia, and other pro-Syrian broadcasters were to be denied access to Nilesat and Arabsat, and their signals replaced by fake programming generated by the CIA, including with movie sets and Potemkin villages in the Gulf monarchies. But this plan had been revealed many weeks in advance, notably by Meyssan. Accordingly, loyal Syrian broadcasters prepared their audience with public service announcements about what was coming, and how to receive genuine programming.

Programming on Nilesat and Arabsat was in fact repeatedly interrupted, while the widely hated al Jazeera of Qatar and Saudi al Arabiya reported that Assad had fled. But few were fooled by the crude NATO substitutes, so shock and awe fell flat. A NATO plan to organize a panic run on the Syrian currency, contributing a further dimension of economic and logistical chaos, also fell short.
As it became clear that the anti-government forces trapped in Damascus were being decimated, King Abdullah of Jordan began harping on the danger that Syrian chemical weapons might be used or get out of control – an established meme of NATO propaganda. NATO was clearly still looking for a pretext to attack, but the eleven Russian warships assigned to Tartus and the eastern Mediterranean left that approach fraught with peril.
A danger is also emerging for the reactionary feudal monarchs who are NATO’s main allies in the Middle East. Partly as a result of NATO’s incessant pro-democracy rhetoric, the ferment of social protest is now widespread in Saudi Arabia, surely one of the countries most vulnerable to a mass upsurge. On July 22, an explosion occurred at the headquarters of the Saudi intelligence service in Riyadh, killing the deputy director. The target may also have been Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who had just been named intelligence boss, and who is deeply implicated in the Syrian events. Was this somebody’s payback? More importantly, might this attack become the trigger for a mass movement in Saudi Arabia powerful enough to threaten the feudal-reactionary dynasty and the power of the infamous Sudairi clan?

Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, 1946, Dr. Webster Griffin Tarpley is a philosopher of history who seeks to provide the programs and strategies needed to overcome the current world crisis. As an activist historian he first became widely known for his book George Bush: The Unauthorized Biography (1992), a masterpiece of research which is still a must read.

UN convoy attacked in Syria

[Master Ban says it is unacceptable that Syria is using all of the tools in its security tool box to eliminate the foreign terrorist armies which have infiltrated to bring down the government.—ANOTHER MORON leading us!  No wonder the world is so screwed-up when every known government official is either a blithering idiot, or a Machiavellian plotter.  A Hearty Cheers to President Assad!!  I hope he cleans the floors with America’s mercenaries.]

UN convoy attacked in Syria

File picture of a United Nations convoy in Damascus, Syria (AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA) 


UNITED NATIONS: A UN convoy carrying unarmed observers came under attack in Syria, but none were injured, UN chief Ban Ki-moon told reporters Monday.
The five-vehicle convoy which was carrying UN mission chief General Babacar Gaye came under small arms fire near the protest city of Homs, a UN peacekeeping spokeswoman said.
"Fortunately there were no injuries," Ban told reporters as he announced the attack on Sunday.
The convoy was at the village of Talbisa, traveling from the protest city of Homs when one vehicle was hit by three bullets and another by one bullet, a UN peacekeeping spokeswoman, Josephine Guerrero, told AFP.
"It was an convoy of five vehicles, which was carrying General Gaye, which came under small arms fire," she said.
UN officials said it was not known who had fired the shots.
Gaye told a press conference in Damascus that he had been on his first field visit since his arrival one week ago to take charge of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).
He did not mention the shooting incident but told reporters: "During my visit to Homs, I was personally able to witness heavy shelling, from artillery and mortars, ongoing in the neighborhoods of the city."
Ban made a new plea for President Bashar al-Assad to halt the "violent measures" of his forces in Homs and the city of Aleppo, which is the target of a major new assault.
"We are deeply concerned that they are using all sorts, all kinds of heavy equipment, including military airplanes and attack helicopters and heavy weaponry. This is an unacceptable situation," Ban said. "The situation is getting worse and worse."

Romney Waxes Whimsical Over Jewish Economic “Vitality” Compared To “Stark Difference” of Palestinians

[It is statements like the gaffe below, which so clearly illustrate just how “out of it” Romney really is.  His comparison of Palestinian vs Israeli incomes is obscene, despite the fact that his figures are way off the mark.  He doesn’t know or acknowledge the weight of the Israeli “Gestapo” boot on the Palestinian necks.  Beyond that, he is blind to the truth about the Jewish people and money–they are inseparable.  Wherever Jews reside, money naturally piles-up around them…go figure.  If the upcoming election has been decided in Romney’s favor then we will actually have somebody even dumber than Dubya with his finger now on the button.  Since there is nothing that can be done to take the power away from the deciders, then, how does it feel to know that we are not here to “change things for the better” after all, but to simply be witnesses when it all finally goes down the drain?] 

Sheldon Adelson

Romney comments at fundraiser outrage Palestinians

By KARIN LAUB, Associated Press


JERUSALEM (AP) — Mitt Romney told Jewish donors Monday that their culture is part of what has allowed them to be more economically successful than the Palestinians, outraging Palestinian leaders who suggested his comments were racist and out of touch with the realities of the Middle East. His campaign later said his remarks were mischaracterized.

“As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality,” the Republican presidential candidate told about 40 wealthy donors who ate breakfast at the luxurious King David Hotel.

Romney said some economic histories have theorized that “culture makes all the difference.”

“And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things,” Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the “hand of providence.” He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.

Palestinian reaction to Romney was swift and pointed.

“It is a racist statement and this man doesn’t realize that the Palestinian economy cannot reach its potential because there is an Israeli occupation,” said Saeb Erekat, a senior aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

“It seems to me this man lacks information, knowledge, vision and understanding of this region and its people,” Erekat added. “He also lacks knowledge about the Israelis themselves. I have not heard any Israeli official speak about cultural superiority.”

As criticism mounted while Romney traveled to Poland, campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said: “His comments were grossly mischaracterized.” The Republican’s campaign contends Romney’s comparison of countries that are close to each other and have wide income disparities — the U.S. and Mexico, Chile and Ecuador — shows his comments were broader than just the comparison between Israel and Palestine.

While speaking to U.S. audiences, Romney often highlights culture as a key to economic success and emphasizes the power of the American entrepreneurial spirit compared to the values of other countries. But his decision to highlight cultural differences in a region where such differences have helped fuel violence for generations raises new questions about the former businessman’s diplomacy skills.

As he has at home, Romney in Jerusalem cited a book titled, “Guns, Germs and Steel,” that suggests the physical characteristics of the land account for the differences in the success of the people that live there.

“And you look at Israel and you say you have a hard time suggesting that all of the natural resources on the land could account for all the accomplishment of the people here,” Romney said, before citing another book, “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations,” by former Harvard professor David Landes.

This book, Romney said in Jerusalem, concludes that “if you could learn anything from the economic history of the world it’s this: Culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference.”

The economic disparity between the Israelis and the Palestinians is actually much greater than Romney stated. Israel had a per capita gross domestic product of about $31,000 in 2011, while the West Bank and Gaza had a per capita GDP of just over $1,500, according to the World Bank.

Romney, seated next to billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson at the head of the table, told donors that he had read books and relied on his own business experience to understand why the difference in economic disparity between countries is so great.

His comparison of the two economies did not take into account the stifling effect the Israeli occupation has had on the Palestinian economy in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — areas Israel captured in 1967 where the Palestinians hope to establish a state.

In the West Bank, Palestinians have only limited self-rule. Israel controls all border crossings in and out of the territory, and continues to restrict Palestinian trade and movement. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in 1967, but has invested much less heavily there than in Jewish west Jerusalem.

And although Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, it continues to control access and has enforced a crippling border blockade since the Islamic militant Hamas seized the territory in 2007.

It’s true that Israel has logged tremendous achievements, said Abraham Diskin, a political science professor at the Inter-Disciplinary Center outside of Tel Aviv. But “you can understand this remark in several ways,” he added. “You can say it’s anti-Semitic. ‘Jews and money.'”

The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund repeatedly have said that the Palestinian economy can only grow if Israel lifts those restrictions.

“It’s Israeli occupiers and Palestinians under occupation, and that’s why Palestinians cannot realize their potential,” Erekat said.

The breakfast with top donors — including Adelson, New York Jets owner Woody Johnson and hedge fund manager Paul Singer — concluded Romney’s visit to Israel, the second leg of a three-nation overseas tour designed to bolster his foreign policy credentials.

Standing on Israeli soil for the first time as the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee, Romney on Sunday declared Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel and said the U.S. has promised never to “look away from our passion and commitment to Israel.”

The status of Jerusalem is a critical issue in peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

In Israel, Romney did not meet with Abbas or visit the West Bank. He met briefly with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

Romney’s campaign says the trip, which began in England last week, is aimed at improving the former Massachusetts governor’s foreign policy experience through a series of meetings with foreign leaders. The candidate has largely avoided direct criticism of U.S. President Barack Obama while on foreign soil.

The Jerusalem fundraiser, however, was a political event that raised more than $1 million for Romney’s campaign. It marks at least the second finance event during his tour. The first, in London, attracted about 250 people to a $2,500-per-person fundraiser.

Both presidential candidates have aggressively courted American donors living abroad, a practice that is legal and has been used for decades.

Romney’s declaration that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital was in keeping with claims made by Israeli governments for decades, even though the United States, like other nations, maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv.

His remarks on the subject during a speech drew a standing ovation from the audience, which included Adelson, the American businessman who has promised to donate more than $100 million to help defeat Obama.

Adelson was among a several donors who flew to Israel for a day of sightseeing with Romney in addition to private meetings with top Israeli officials.

Romney flew to the Middle East from Britain, where he caused a stir by questioning whether officials there were fully prepared for the Olympic Games. A stop in Poland will complete his trip.

Four years ago, Obama visited Israel as a presidential candidate, part of a five-nation trip meant to establish his own foreign policy credentials.

A goal of Romney’s overseas trip is to demonstrate his confidence on the world stage, but the stop in Israel also was designed to appeal to evangelical voters at home and cut into Obama’s support among Jewish voters and donors. A Gallup survey of Jewish voters released Friday showed Obama with a 68-25 edge over Romney.

Romney and other Republicans have said Obama is insufficiently supportive of Israel.

Associated Press writers Amy Teibel in Jerusalem and Steve Peoples in Washington contributed to this report.

Islamic Revival Party Demands Justice In Murder of Sabzali Mamadrizoyev In Khorog

[Tajikistan Blocks British, Russian News Websites for showing the following videos of Mamadrizoyev speaking at the protest rallies in Khorog.  Afterwards he was taken, tortured and murdered with an AK-47.]

IRP urges thorough investigation into the murder of Mamadrizoyev

Mehrangez Tursunzoda

DUSHANBE, July 30, 2012, Asia-Plus  — The Islamic Revival Party (IRP) of Tajikistan urges a thorough investigation into the murder of Sabzali Mamadrizoyev, the head of IRP’s organization for Gorno Badakhshan.

IRP leader Muhiddin Kabiri remarked this at a news conference in Dushanbe on July 30.  According to him, IRP strongly condemns both the murder of Abdullo Nazarov, the regional security chief, and the murder of Sabzali Mamadrizoyev, the head of IRP’s organization for Gorno Badakhshan.

“We urge the authorities to approach the issue seriously.  They had the full right to investigate the murder of Abdullo Nazarov and we said we support these actions.  We now call on them to thoroughly investigate the murder of leader of our party’s organization in Gorno Badakhshan,” said Kabiri, “Investigation into the murder of a politician or member of political party is no less important issue than investigation into the murder of general.”

Kabiri says Mamadrizoyev participated in the demonstration in Khorog on July 23.  “He made a speech at the demonstration and criticized [the authorities], but his criticisms were logical and within the frame of law.  Such criticisms have been expressed by all political parties and citizens of the country,” IRP leader noted.

Concerning the video showing the government troops throwing the body of unknown person to the garbage heap in Khorog (this video was posted on video sharing website YouTube), Kabiri noted that it was inadmissible.

“Even if that person was criminal, the government troops should not have acted so,” IRP leader stated.

He added he hoped that the law enforcement authorities would approach the problem seriously and prove that there is difference between the organized crime grouping and the government troops.

According to IRP, after the July 23 meeting, Sabzali Mamadrizoyev was detained by the law enforcement authorities and taken to the Khorog border unit, where he was severely beaten there and then shot from the assault rifle Kalashnikov.  Mamadrizoyev’s body was found three days later and he was buried on July 26.”

IRP denies rumors that Sabzali Mamadrizoyev was allegedly member of the illegal armed grouping as absolutely baseless.  According him, Sabzali Mamadrizoyev was killed for his speech at the demonstration on July 23.

Sabzali Mamadrizoyev, 32, was elected to head IRP’s organization in Gorno Badakhshan on July 17, 2011.  As of January 1, 2012, IRP’s organization in Gorno Badakhshan reportedly had 3,000 members.

Libyan fighter: “I left the battlefield in Syria because of the burning corpses and sell”

[The following, taken from the “evil” Al-Manar website gives testimony from a Libyan explosives expert, who left the so-called “jihad,” because of the rebel treatment of their martyrs, fallen in battle against the Syrian Army.  He objected to the two despicable practices of the rebels, that of burning dead foreigners who didn’t resemble Syrians and selling the bodies to the relatives of the dead, who had come from rich countries like Qatar and Kuwait.  Corpse abuse is a crime, as well as a mortal sin, in every country.]


Libyan fighter: I left the battlefield in Syria because of the burning corpses and sell



In an interview conducted by the agency of Libya now with news of one of the fighters returned to Libya from Syria, he said. Firm. M. Official, a specialist in explosives brigade Tripoli, for his participation in the fighting in Syria, along with the rebels in the Syrian army free.

Syrian army free

“I entered Syria two months ago for jihad against the regime of Bashar al-Assad to the brothers in the army free, through Turkey and when I arrived discernible my passport officer Turkish Log me some honest people into Syria (infiltration) and I met many of the groups that are fighting all faith in victory, and worked within the sectors bombing and training and equipping of improvised explosive devices that were planted to kill al-Assad. ”

The firm “was our headquarters city of Homs, having intensified the fighting there and I moved some groups to the city of Hama, to work alongside a battalion Ammar Ibn Yasser, and was surprised by what I saw there where the battalion was from all congeners of Arab, African, and created the largest victories, but what made me leave the battlefield is a way of thinking that began working with the rebels there, When falls a martyr in our ranks, burn or sold also its members by nationality, if the fighters Africans who burned the body of the martyr, and when asked why he told me Abu Hmzh a military commander of the city protectors of this reserve in order not to take advantage of the system and there are different nationalities and say we are fighting non-Syrian fighters. ”

Gunmen in Syria Then he “initially did not comment because I know that the martyrs buried in Paradise, but when killed us father Mohammed, a Kuwaiti nationality they did not burn his body, but they put in place an enhanced contact after his family and ask for a sum of money and say to his family that forces the Assad regime caught body of their son and demands ransom money, and that’s what made me objected very strongly to this approach and style, and when he cites one of the Mujahideen Alsorran are buried without burning, the piece left Syrian territory to Turkey and from there I received my passport from the Division of Relations of the Mujahideen of Syria, I and some brothers from Libya and nationalities of the other Arab , “.

He said a firm “I call on all the Mujahideen in Libya and the Arab states, not to enter into Syria, because what is going on is not a popular revolution, and when we went to Syria to Pena call jihad, we believe that the Syrian army rapes women and kills children, but what we have seen is quite different from the news that we received, and religion Islamic prohibits us from killing Muslims, and manages the armed revolution are, in my view just gangs have asked me several times, the bombing of a civilian hospital, and I rejected the piece after he prayed istikhaarah God Almighty and we discovered later that she was with children and patients in cancer is hospital care in the field of cancer patients children, I thank God for the blessing of returning to the territory of Libya and Syria to invite him to return in safety and security and to return the majority religion and reason to these

32 Passengers “Charred” On New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express

32 passengers charred on Chennai bound Tamil Nadu Express near Nellore

Nellore (AP), July 30 (PTI): Thirty-two train passengers were charred and 25 others injured when a fire broke out in a coach of the New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express near Nellore in Andhra Paradesh in the wee early Monday due to a short circuit.

Additional DG Railways V S K Kaumudi told PTI that 32 bodies have been recovered so far from the charred S-11 bogie of the train.

South Central Railway officials in Hyderabad said 25 people have been injured in the mishap and have been admitted to different hospitals.

According to Nellore district officials, the fire was noticed at around 4.15 am by a gateman, who alerted officials.

Two fire tenders were rushed to the spot immediately to put out the fire and they managed to restrict the blaze to the S-11 bogie, they said.

Nellore District Collector B Sridhar said, “There was a short circuit near the toilet and the train was moving at a speed of 110 kms per hour. It was going to Chennai from Delhi. All the passengers were asleep when the fire broke out at 4:30 AM. People were not able to come out immediately”.

”The fire spread fast and the passengers could not come out through one of the doors because of the fire. So the other edge of the coach was to be used. Some people could come out while others succumbed to death,” he said.

The bodies have been charred so it is difficult to identify them, Sridhar said.

Additional Joint Collector Laxmikant said the toll could rise up to 35 as some of the bodies are still to be recovered from the charred S-11 compartment.

Nellore district police officials said 14 passengers in the bogie were safe.

Some of the passengers travelling in the train told reporters that smoke engulfed the bogie soon after the fire broke out making it difficult for them to come out.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy has announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the next of the kin of those killed in the mishap.

The Railway Minister also announced a payment of Rs 1 lakh each for those who were grievously injured and Rs 25,000 for those who suffered simple injuries.

The Railway Ministry has also ordered an inquiry by D K Singh, Commissioner of Railway Safety of South-Central Circle.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy conveyed his condolences to members of the bereaved families.

A release from the CM’s Office said he would visit Nellore to meet those injured in the mishap.

The Chief Minister has asked the Chief Secretary to monitor the relief operations on a minute-to-minute basis and also coordinate with railway officials of Secunderabad and Delhi, the release said.

The S-11 coach looked like a structure of mangled steel put in a furnace.

The coach was brought to the Nellore railway station and normal traffic was restored by around 8.30 am, the South Central Railway officials said.

Islamist Fighters Camps in North Syria Include Members of non-Syrian Nationalities–Sunday Telegraph

The Syrian Arab news agency SANA is hard to reach lately, obviously under DDoS-attacks by global enemies of free speech, just like Mein Parteibuch was shot down by the global arrogance forces warring against free speech, freedom and human dignity. To make important news messages from SANA available though SANA is under DDoS Mein Parteibuch will syndicate selected internationally important English language SANA news items.

Source of this news item:

Start Syndication of SANA news item

Sunday Telegraph: Islamist Fighters Camps in North Syria Include Members of non-Syrian Nationalities

Jul 29, 2012

LONDON, (SANA)- The British Sunday Telegraph newspaper revealed that the camps of Islamist militants fighting against the Syrian state in the northern region included people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Chechnya, with some of them speaking English.

The newspaper reported in an article published on Saturday that the British Foreign Office “is investigating reports that British citizens are among Islamist fighters who kidnapped a British photographer and his Dutch colleague in northern Syria.”

It quoted a source close to the incident as saying that British John Cantlie and Dutchman Jeroen Oerlemans were held by Islamist fighters for a week “after they accidentally came across their camp while crossing the border from south east Turkey” to report on the events taking place in Syria.

While they were held in captivity, the source added,the journalists “were threatened with death unless they converted to Islam,” before another group of the so-called Free Syrian Army militias turned up the camp and demanded that they be released.

The source told the Sunday Telegraph that the camp members “included people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Chechnya, with no Syrians present, adding that “round 40 per cent” of them apparently spoke English but it was not clear what nationalities they were.

The source noted that there were “at least six men with British-sounding voices, including one with a heavy south London accent.”

H. Said

End Syndication of SANA news item

Mein Parteibuch encourages all people committed to free speech, liberty and freedom to copy and syndidate this and other SANA news items as long as SANA is under attack.

Terrorists Suffer Heavy Losses in Aleppo, Lattakia, Homs, Deir Ezzor and Hama–(ALTERNATIVE SANA SITE)

[Since Syria’s SANA NEWS is under heavy cyber attack lately, this had to be found at an alternative site.  Link below, plus another in German.]


Terrorists Suffer Heavy Losses in Aleppo, Lattakia, Homs, Deir Ezzor and Hama

Jul 28, 2012


PROVINCES, (SANA) – Security authorities on Saturday clashed with an armed terrorist group in a car in al-Furqan neighborhood in the city of Aleppo, killing and arresting its members.

An official source in the province told SANA reporter that the clashes resulted in killing two of the terrorists and arresting three others, in addition to seizing their weapons and car.

In the neighborhood of Sleiman al-Halabi in the city, security authorities set an armed terrorist group up, after being informed of its movement, and clashed with its members who were driving a car in the neighborhood.

The terrorists were killed in the clashes and their car was destroyed, with their weapons seized by the authorities.

Meanwhile, security authorities chased an armed terrorist group in the neighborhood of al-Ansari al-Sharqi and clashed with its members, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

The weapons and car of the terrorists were seized by the authorities, in addition to two wireless communication devices and a Thuraya satellite device.

Authorities in Aleppo pursued  an armed terrorist group which tried to attack the Police station in al-Midan district in Aleppo.

SANA reporter said that clashes resulted in killing the armed terrorist group,  destroying their car and seizing their weapons and ammunitions.

Armed Forces Inflict Heavy Losses Upon Terrorists in Saladin Neighborhood in Aleppo

Also in Aleppo city, a unit from the Syrian armed forces clashed with a terrorist group in Saladin neighborhood, with an official source saying the armed forces managed to inflict heavy losses upon the terrorists.

The source added that a fire broke out in the basement level of a residential building which resulted in the explosion of a workshop used by terrorists for manufacturing explosives, leading to the death of the terrorists there.

The source affirmed that the pursuit of terrorists is ongoing until the entire neighborhood is cleared from them and security is restored to the locals.

On a relevant note, authorities in al-Iza’a neighborhood arrested four terrorists who were transporting two other terrorists injured in a conflict that took place in al-Sukkari neighborhood, confiscating their car and their weapons which included two AK-47 rifles and a handgun.

Terrorists Attempt to Attack al-Baath Party Branch in Daret Azzah, Aleppo Countryside, Suffer Heavy Losses

The authorities confronted an armed terrorist group that attempted to break into the building of al-Baath Party branch in Daret Azzah, Aleppo Countryside.

A source told SANA that the authorities inflicted heavy losses upon the terrorists and confiscated weapons and ammo.


Terrorists Suffer Heavy Losses in Lattakia Countryside

In the countryside of Lattakia province, security authorities chased down members of the armed terrorist groups in the town of Salma and the surrounding villages and forests.

An official source in the province told SANA reporter that the terrorists suffered heavy losses at the hands of the security authorities.

Authorities Clash with Terrorist Groups in Homs In Homs province, the authorities, in cooperation with residents, clashed with two terrorist groups near al-Baladiyeh roundabout in al-Rastan city in Homs killing and wounding dozens of them.

The authorities also caused heavy losses to the bases of the terrorist groups in the city, a source in the province said.

Authorities Confront Terrorists’ Attack from inside Lebanese Territories

In the same context, border guards and authorities confronted a terrorist attack by armed terrorist groups from inside the Lebanese territories.

A source in Homs province said that the terrorists targeted border posts of al-Armouta, Shahira and al-Reidaniyeh in Tal Khalakh countryside with mortars and RPGs as their infiltration attempt into Syria was foiled.

The clash resulted in heavy losses upon members of the armed terrorist groups.

Terrorists Killed in al-Sultaniyeh, al-Hamidiyeh Neighborhoods in Homs

On the outskirts of Homs, an armed terrorist group driving a microbus was ambushed by security authorities in al-Sultaniyeh neighborhood, suffering heavy losses with its vehicle destroyed.

In another context, a source in the province told SANA reporter that the authorities raided a den for terrorist groups in al-Hamidiyeh neighborhood in the city of Homs and clashed with the terrorists, leaving them dead or injured.

Authorities Repell Terrorist Group’s Attack on Security Personnel in al-Qseir 

In al-Qseir city, the authorities repelled an armed terrorist group that attacked law enforcement personnel, killing 8 of its members and wounding 15 others.

Terrorists Killed and Injured in Blast While Setting Explosives in al-Shawader Street in Homs City

A large explosion took place in al-Shawader street in al-Khalidiye neighborhood in Homs city before Iftar time (before 7:45 PM) on Friday.

An official source told SANA that the explosion occurred when a terrorist group was planting explosives in the street and its buildings, and that a large number of terrorists were killed or wounded in the blast.

Authorities Pursue Terrorists in Deir Ezzor, Inflict Heavy Losses on Them

Authorities in Deir Ezzor pursued on Saturday armed terrorist groups and killed and wounded scores of them.

SANA reporter in Deir Ezzor added that the authorities killed an armed terrorist group and destroyed a mortar that the terrorists were using in Deir Ezzor countryside.

Leaders and Members of Terrorist Groups Arrested in Hama Countryside

Responding to demands by locals, a Syrian armed forces unit raided the hideouts of terrorist groups in al-Ghab area in Hama countryside, arresting a number of these groups’ leaders and members, confiscating large amounts of weapon and ammo, and destroying 4WD cars used by the terrorists.

An official source told SANA that based upon information from locals of al-Asharneh, Hosh al-Asharneh, Kernaz, al-Mughir and al-Sheikh Hadid villages who informed the authorities that terrorists are running amok in these villages, an armed forces unit raided these terrorists’ hideouts and arrested a large number of them, while the rest were killed or injured.

The unit destroyed two 4WD cars equipped with DShK machineguns and confiscated weapons including a PKC machinegun, automatic rifles, pump-action shotguns, RPG launchers, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), in addition to advanced communication devices and satellite broadcasting equipment.

The armed forces also recovered a number of state-owned cars stolen by the terrorists.

Also in Hama countryside, specifically in the village of al-Twaineh west of al-Madiq Castle, the authorities pursued a terrorist group and engaged them, inflicting heavy losses upon them.

A source at the province told SANA that among the terrorists who were killed are Mohammad Haj Mohammad Abu Knaj, Rashid Rahil Rashid, Wael Khaled Freja and Ma’amound Ulesha.

In cooperation with locals, the authorities raided a terrorist hideout in the Industrial zone in al-Salamiyeh, Hama countryside, inflicting heavy losses upon the terrorists, arresting a number of them and confiscating a large amount of weapons.


Authorities pursue terrorists in Daraa Countryside

In Daraa city, authorities stormed armed terrorist group’s hideouts in Busra al-Sham district.

SANA reporter in Daraa said that the authorities inflicted heavy losses on the terrorists.

Lebanese Army Arrests Lebanese and Syrian Attempting to Smuggle Weapons Into Syria

The Lebanese Army arrested two men, a Lebanese and a Syrian, who were attempting to smuggle weapons into Syria.

A source at the Lebanese Army intelligence told al-Manar TV that they arrested a Lebanese man from the border town of Tafil and a Syrian whose last name is Kahloun as they were transporting firearms, silences, sniper scopes and ammunition.

The source said that the arrested was made in Ein al-Jouzeh area in the town of Brital in al-Biqa’a.

English Bulletin

U.S. uses NATO for Black Sea military buildup

Graf Ignatievo Air Force Base, Bulgaria

by Rick Rozoff

“The Black Sea region was completely inaccessible, was terra prohibita, to the Pentagon during the Cold War era. NATO expansion, with the incorporation of new members and partners, has opened the sea to U.S. military penetration, presence and use for what are termed downrange operations – armed interventions – to the east and the south.”


With permanent access to eight air and other military bases and training facilities in Bulgaria and Romania acquired over the past seven years, and advanced interceptor missiles to be stationed in the second country in three years, the Pentagon is establishing a firm foothold in the Black Sea region from which to continue current and initiate new military operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans and the Caucasus.

The U.S. Marines Corps’ Black Sea Rotational Force and the U.S. Army’s Task Force-East are assigned to the region on a regular basis and American warships are frequent visitors to the Black Sea, notwithstanding the 1936 Montreux Convention which limits the passage of non-littoral nations’ military vessels through the Dardanelles and Bosporus straits to the Black Sea.

Last year the flagship of the U.S.-NATO interceptor missile system, the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey, participated in the U.S.-led Sea Breeze naval exercise in the Black Sea – a NATO Partnership for Peace initiative – coordinated from Odessa, Ukraine, only 187 miles from Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol.

This year’s Sea Breeze, held from July 9-21, was the largest naval exercise held in the Black Sea this year and featured personnel from 17 nations, NATO members and partners (not always publicly acknowledged): The U.S., Ukraine, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Turkey, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Georgia, Israel, Moldova, Qatar, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. Algeria, Bangladesh, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates participated for the first time. The last two states, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council and of NATO’s Istanbul Cooperation Initiative military partnership, provided NATO with warplanes for the six-month air war against Libya last year. The United Arab Emirates also has troops serving under NATO in Afghanistan.

Overlapping with the above maneuvers, another NATO Partnership for Peace exercise run by U.S. European Command, Rapid Trident 2012, was launched in Western Ukraine on July 16 and will run to July 28.

An estimated 1,400 service members from 16 countries – the U.S., Ukraine, Austria, Azerbaijan, Denmark, Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Sweden – are participating.

The Dacian Thunder 2012 exercise is being conducted by the U.S., Britain and Romania from July 10-31 in the third nation. Led by the U.S. 81st Fighter Squadron and Marines, the three NATO allies are training for, in the words of the U.S. Air Force website, “air-to-air, air-to-ground, combat search and rescue, air defense, air security, air intelligence, tactical command, and cross service logistical support and operations” in preparation for “future contingency operations.”

Earlier this month U.S. Army Europe commander Lieutenant General Mark Phillip Hertling visited Georgia, on the other end of the Black Sea, to meet with the country’s new defense minister, Dimitri Shashkin, and top military commanders.

This week Rear Admiral Mark Montgomery, Deputy Director of Plans, Policy and Strategy for U.S. European Command, met with Defense Minister Shashkin to begin the implementation of this year’s agreement between U.S. President Barack Obama and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to upgrade Georgia’s military capabilities.

This week Saakashvili’s spouse, Netherlands-born Sandra Roelofs, visited the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. to meet with six Georgian soldiers being treated there for injuries sustained in NATO’s Afghan war.

Last week Saakashvili met with Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and stated:

“You know that 2014 has been declared as the year of NATO expansion, and Georgia already has a real chance for full membership in NATO, which represents an important long-term security guarantee for us.”

The Georgian head of state added:

“Turkey is one of the major supporters in our drive to join NATO and for that we are very grateful, because it represents a historic chance for Georgia, for the region and for our good neighborly relations to [have] Georgia protected within this international organization.

“Recently it (Georgia’s NATO membership) became more realistic than it has ever been in history.”

In 2005, the year after Romania became a member of NATO, the Pentagon acquired several military installations in the nation including the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, previously employed for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The following year it gained bases in neighboring Bulgaria, including the Graf Ignatievo and Bezmer air bases. The above are the first American military bases on the territory of former members of the Warsaw Pact.

The Marine Corps’ Black Sea Rotational Force, which as of this year is spending six months in the greater Black Sea region, frequently operates from the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, as has the Task Force-East.

The Black Sea Rotational Force’s area of operations is formally the Black Sea region, the Balkans and the Caucasus, though in fact it extends into Moldova and Greece as well. That is, it has defined a geostrategically vital area of the world, the junction of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as its purview, one which includes all the so-called frozen conflicts in former Soviet space: Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and Transdniester.

The Black Sea region was completely inaccessible, was terra prohibita, to the Pentagon during the Cold War era. NATO expansion, with the incorporation of new members and partners, has opened the sea to U.S. military penetration, presence and use for what are termed downrange operations – armed interventions – to the east and the south.


by courtesy & © 2012 Rick Rozoff

One Mean Old Man Responsible for 2006 Uzbekistan Massacre, Is Trustworthy Partner To Obama and Hillary

Massacre in Uzbekistan

Following message about the video below is from the blog of Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan. Murray was fired by the British Foreign Office after he refused orders to remain silent and not make waves over the horrific tortures and overt repression the totalitarian Uzbek regime used against its political opponents. At the time the Uzbek dictator was regarded as a valuable ally in the alleged war on terror being conducted by the US and its NATO flunkies. 

This is a trailer for an extremely important documentary by Michael Andersen. The complicity of NATO and EU governments with the Karimov regime is one of the clearest glimpses of the evil motives that lurk behind the reasonable image that western politicians strive to portray. The complicity of the mainstream media in ignoring these facts is terrifying.As NATO intensifies its logistical transit through Uzbekistan, as Britain increases training for the Uzbek military and secret services and looks to further arms sales, please bring this documentary to the attention of everyone you can, in any way that you can.The appearance in the trailer of Pierre Morel, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, is noteworthy. He really is one of the nastiest men in Europe, with not even the slightest pretence of any concern for human rights except as a bureaucratic box to be ticked. What is the real interest of this arch European powercrat? You will hardly be surprised to hear it is Central Asia’s oil and gas.

More at:

For Weak Central Asian states Infrastructure Shortcomings Outweigh External Tensions

Казахстан Жанаозене беспорядки 17.12.2011

Photo: RIA Novosti

Irina Chernykh, the leading researcher at the Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, believes that all tension in Central Asia is determined by the countries’ weakness, which they demonstrate when coping with their internal security issues.

Of course we can say about some tension in Central Asia but this tension has mostly domestic character, than rather inter-state one. The idea is that the domestic problems within each Central Asian country are the most important. Their influence on the Central Asian security is more significant than the relationships between Central Asian countries themselves. The reason is that each Central Asian country is a weak state. We can say that there is a lack of infrastructural capacities in terms of the ability of state institutions to perform essential tasks and enact policy. Also we can say that within the Central Asian countries there is a lack of capacity in terms of a state’s ability and willingness to employ force against the challenges to its authority. And the last characteristic of a weak state which is really very applicable to each Central Asian country is national identity and social cohesion in terms of the degree to which their population identifies itself with the nation state and accepts its legitimate role in their lives.

All tension in Central Asia is determined by states’ weakness. At the same time I can say that Central Asian states resolving these issues, I mean issues which deal with a weak state, they try to use foreign policy. If we will analyze the last border accident between Kirgizstan and Uzbekistan, we can see that this event is mostly determines by the willingness of Kirgizstan to improve or develop its own infrastructure. They construct new roads which lie in disputable territories and touch some national security interests of Uzbekistan. Of course this incident creates some threats to Uzbekistan. And there is another example with the construction of Rogun Hydro Station. It is also connected with the interests of Uzbekistan in national security.

All these cases of course give us evidence that some tension between states exists but at the same time I’m sure that the inter-state tension will significantly influence and increase tension within Central Asia. My argument for this position is not only the last event with enter-ethnic conflict in Osh and Jalalabad in south of Kirgizstan in 2010 but all the previous history during the last 20 years when the Central Asian countries owed independence. We had a civil war in Tajikistan which hasn’t spilled over the Tajik state border, this war was localized within Tajikistan. Another issue or event which I already mentioned is this inter-ethnic conflict in the south of Kirgizstan. No one Central Asian country interfered the Kirgizstan territory for resolving this conflict. Even Uzbekistan, the state which has very close connections with Uzbek diaspora which lives on the territory of Osh and Jalalabad, even Uzbekistan did not take any action to resolve this conflict.

And I think that this fact gives evidence that inter-ethnic relationship will not significantly influence the escalation of Central Asian security situation in the future. Of course we have to take into consideration the fact the US military troops will withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014 but I seriously doubt that the US is interested in destabilization of the security situation within Central Asia. The reason is that US as minimum is interested in keeping stable situation for the period when they will withdraw their troops from Afghanistan. Moreover the US has interest to share responsibility for the security within the region and in Afghanistan in particular with Central Asian countries. We can say that the concept of a larger Central Asia which was proposed by the US analysts several years ago is also evidence that United Sates would like to share responsibility for security within the Central Asia with Central Asian countries.

The material resources are including the military equipment and some arms which might be given to some Central Asian countries after the US troops withdrew from Afghanistan, from my point of view, will not influence significantly the destabilization of the Central Asian situation in the sphere of security. Why? First of all, the Central Asian countries still have Soviet military standards. And if Uzbekistan for example will take some American equipment or even heavy weapons – how much of this equipment Uzbekistan has to receive for shifting the Soviet military standards to the NATO or US military standards, that is the question. The second point is that the US, from my point of view, are not interested to give some Central Asia countries heavy military equipment because it is a knowhow of the US military services and they will not share because the Central Asian countries are not real allies of the US like Georgia for example.

Russia Says it Won’t Follow EU Punitive Measures Against Syria

Russia says it won’t follow EU sanctions against Syria


MOSCOW, July 28 (Xinhua) — Russia will not participate in any European Union sanctions imposed against Syria, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Saturday.

“We are not planning to participate in activities following the decisions of the EU targeted against Syria,” Lukashevich said in a statement.

In particular, Russia “will not consider requests or agree to inspect ships sailing under the Russian flag or use of any other restrictive measures against them,” Lukashevich said.

The EU Council on July 23 decided to impose a number of unilateral sanctions against Syria, Lukashevich said, adding that Russia saw such measures as violations of other countries’ sovereignty and the principle of non-interference in internal affairs.

The Russian Foreign Ministry previously expressed doubt on whether the new round of sanctions against Damascus imposed by the EU complied with international law and described the sanctions as a “maritime and air blockade of Syria.”

The EU obligated its members to inspect Syria-bound ships and planes from third countries if they were suspected of carrying arms for the Syrian government.

Anti-nuke protesters surround Japanese parliament

Shizuo Kambayashi

Anti-nuclear protesters, wearing gas-masks, beat metal drums as they march near the Japan’s parliament complex in Tokyo, Sunday, July 29, 2012. Thousands of the protesters rallied to demand the government abandon nuclear power after the accident last year in northern Fukushima. The word on yellow drums reads

Shizuo Kambayashi

An anti-nuclear protester wearing a mask, marches near the Japan’s parliament complex in Tokyo, Sunday, July 29, 2012. Thousands of the protesters rallied to demand the government abandon nuclear power after the accident last year in northern Fukushima. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Anti-nuke protesters surround Japanese parliament

Thousands of people formed “a human chain” around Japan’s parliament complex Sunday to demand the government abandon nuclear power _ the latest in a series of peaceful demonstrations here that are on a scale not seen for decades.

Also Sunday, voters went to the polls in a closely watched regional election for governor in southwestern Yamaguchi Prefecture, where an outspoken anti-nuclear candidate is running.

Protesters said they were angry the government restarted two reactors earlier this month, despite safety worries after the multiple meltdowns at Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in March last year. They were the first to come back into operation since May when the last of Japan’s 50 working reactors went offline for routine checks.

Banging on drums and waving balloons and banners, protesters marched from a Tokyo park and lined up along the blocks around the parliament building, chanting, “Saikado hantai,” or “No to restarts,” and later lit candles.

“All these people have gotten together and are raising their voices,” said Shoji Kitano, 64, a retired math teacher, wearing a sign that said: “No to Nukes.”

Kitano said he had not seen such massive demonstrations since the 1960s. He stressed ordinary Japanese usually don’t demonstrate, but they were outraged over the restarting of nuclear power.

Similar demonstrations have been held outside the prime minister’s residence every Friday evening. The crowds have not dwindled, as people get the word out through Twitter and other online networking. A July 16 holiday rally at a Tokyo park, featuring a rock star and a Nobel laureate, drew nearly 200,000 people.

The crowd appeared to be smaller Sunday. Kyodo News service estimated it at about 10,000 people. Participants said they came from across Japan, underlining the widespread appeal of the protests.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda defended his decision to restart the two reactors at Ohi nuclear plant in central Japan as necessary to maintain people’s living standards. Other reactors are also expected to go back online, one by one.

Reports from government and legislative investigations have been released on the Fukushima disaster, including a recent one that blamed “the Japanese mind-set,” which it said had allowed collusion between the plant’s operator and regulators. The reports have done little to allay people’s fears.

Adding to protesters’ frustrations is the support nuclear power has gotten from regional governments, where the plants are located. They said they planned to vote anti-nuclear candidates into office to effect change.

How the anti-nuclear candidate in Yamaguchi Prefecture fares in Sunday’s election is critical in possibly signaling a break from the past. The state is home to relatively poor rural and fishing areas. Such places, far away from the capital of Tokyo, have been typically chosen to house nuclear plants, with residents won over with jobs and subsidies. There is a plan to build a nuclear plant in Yamaguchi, but doubts are growing over whether that can be carried out.

Tetsunari Iida, the Yamaguchi candidate, is against that plan and nuclear power in general.

“We can change history,” Iida wrote in an online message, criticizing “the nuclear village,” the term here that refers to the collusion between the industry and the government. “That is my choice.”

Romney Would Support Israel Starting WWIII

Mitt Romney would support Israeli military strike against Iran, says aide



Mitt Romney meets Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney (left) meets the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in Jerusalem. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

Mitt Romney would back unilateral military action by Israel against Iran‘s nuclear sites, a senior aide said as the presumptive Republican candidate embarked on a series of high-level meetings in Jerusalem.

“If Israel has to take action on its own, in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision,” Dan Senor, Romney’s senior national security aide, told reporters accompanying the candidate

Kurdish Liberation Movement in Syria Continues Despite Criticism

Kurdish Liberation Movement in Syria Continues Despite Criticism

“The Kurdish people in Syria are thirsty for unity that will help achieve their aspirations, and that is our main focus now,” Photo KNC/Facebook.


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands – The Kurdish Supreme Committee – a coalition of the Kurdish National Council (KNC) and the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan – held its first meeting since Kurdish areas in Syria were liberated from the regime.

Held in Qamishli on Tuesday, the meeting discussed the recent developments in the Kurdish areas and their future in a post-Assad era.

Sinem Khalil, a member of the Kurdish Supreme Committee, said that the meeting represented the practical implementation of the agreement signed earlier this month between the KNC and the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Erbil.

“The Kurdish people in Syria are thirsty for unity that will help achieve their aspirations, and that is our main focus now,” Khalil said. “The current stage of this revolution is very sensitive, and what we have achieved so far in the Kurdish areas in Syria proves the level of responsibility reached between the different Kurdish factions.”

He added, “I believe that our Kurdish dream is coming true.”

Following the withdrawal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces from a number of Kurdish areas, more than six towns were declared liberated, including Kobane, Efrin, Amude, Derek, Girke Lege and Dirbesiye.  The Kurdish flag was raised on government buildings in these areas.

But the Kurdish liberation movement has been criticized by both Kurdish and Arab politicians.

In a press conference on Monday, Abdulbasit Sieda, a prominent Kurdish politician and president of the Syrian National Council (SNC), accused some Kurdish factions – particularly the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the KNC – of cooperating with the Syrian regime in order to take over Kurdish parts of Syria.

“The areas where these Kurdish factions have raised their flags are those Bashar al-Assad gave to them,” Sieda said, minimizing the achievement of Syrian Kurds.

Sieda added that the Kurds have been a main participant in the ongoing pro-democracy revolution in Syria. “But some sides have their own agenda which does not serve the Syrian national issue,” he said.

Sieda’s statements angered many Kurdish activists in Syria.

Taha Alhamid, a Kurdish member of the Syrian Journalists Association, described Sieda’s remarks as “careless” at a time when different elements of Syrian society are trying to entrench themselves in their areas to preserve their rights and receive support.

“Mr. Sieda’s statements show his carelessness about the future of the Kurdish people in Syria and the kind of persecution and discrimination this future might hold for Kurds who are struggling against the tyrannical regime of Assad on the one hand, and the chauvinistic and Salafist opposition on the other,” Alhamid wrote.

According to Alhamid, Sieda is turning a blind eye to the control the Salafists and Jihadists have on a large area of the country, and “criticizing the Kurdish achievement of liberating and protecting” their areas.

Fat Pig of Qatar Financing Hollywood Production of Fall of Damascus

[According to the following, allegedly reported by Chinese intelligence via Iranian press, Qatar and MGM productions are teaming-up to produce video propaganda portraying the fall of Damascus (like the previous fall of Tripoli fake footage).  Other reports claim that the project has been killed by the exposure, but we know that if the event is important enough to the Empire, that will not matter.  Why waste a good Hollywood production, after all, didn’t the same ploy work wonders in Libya?]

Syria: Qatar about to release “resounding fall” fake video (image of the movie)


Behind the scenes of the “Resounding Fall” Qatari production

By MKERone (co founder of CounterPsyOps)

Above image has been spreading over the Internet today.

It is allegedly an image from the behind the scenes of the upcoming Qatari production “The Resounding Fall”. Understand, the fake videos and images Qatar has been recording to be then displayed on corrupt mainstream media, relaying the fake fall of the legitimate Syrian Governement.

As we previously advised, reports have been warning the public of a huge Qatari production, Hollywood style (zionist hollywood producer are likely to be involved in this) that costed  the illegitimate “emir” $22 bn, to spread the fake news of the Assad fall.

As usual, we thank you in advance for sharing this information and spreading it wide. Let’s make this news trend (it already started) hence foiling this misinformation attempt.

Saudis Preparing for the Day When the United States and America’s “Islamists” Become Their Enemy

Saudis Prepare to Fight Islamists And Move to Shore Up US Ties

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal. (photo by REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed)

By: Samir Karam

I share the United States’ concern that Saudi Arabia’s turn is coming, whether it be before or after that of other tiny Gulf states.

The US knows, and has confirmed, that organized Islamist groups are first and foremost fighting for power. These are groups which have previously fought in Libya, Syria and Yemen, and waged political battles in Egypt. Their ambitions will not stop at the borders of Saudi Arabia, or anywhere else.

The US also knows that the Saudi regime — whose system is similar to that which the Islamist organizations may establish in any Arab country — is not exactly the system they prefer. As these groups extend their sphere of control in the region, their desire to seize power in Saudi Arabia only grows.

The US knows that the generous aid provided by Saudi Arabia to these organizations, mostly in the form of money and weapons, largely aims to eliminate the threat these organizations pose, both towards Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region as a whole. This also applies to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. However, the United States believes that the generosity of Saudi Arabia, among others, will not stop the advance of these organizations beyond Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia.

At the same time, the US is well aware that the ongoing war in Syria may persist, and might even end with the defeat of Islamist groups and their failure to seize power in Damascus. Over this particular point lies the hidden disagreement between the US and Saudi Arabia. The latter is a staunch believer in the Libyan scenario. Saudi Arabia sees no reason why the US cannot use NATO troops to end the ongoing conflict in Syria, rather than allowing it to persist or falter. On the other hand, the US believes that the Libyan combat landscape was very different and less rugged than that of the Syrian conflict. They cannot risk a US military or NATO intervention in Syria which might drag on for a long time and not achieve its goals.

In addition, there is another Saudi-US disagreement concerning the Syrian opposition and its varied positions regarding foreign military intervention. Some Syrian opposition organizations or groups welcome and call for foreign intervention, believing that it could conclusively end the war. Yet others are opposed to foreign intervention, and believe it would eliminate any chance of winning the support of the Syrian people against the regime.

Israel has added another dimension to the situation. By this we mean Israel’s announcement, through its Defense Minister Ehud Barak, that it is planning to intervene in Syria for fear of chemical weapons falling into the hands of Syrian opposition groups. While this stance was met with enthusiasm from the US, it further worried the Saudis. This US enthusiasm at the idea of Israeli intervention is due to a US conviction that an Israeli role could help conclusively end the war in Syria. Saudi Arabia’s hesitation, however, comes from a realization that Israeli intervention in Syria would inflame the feelings of the Syrian people against the opposition and all forces that support them.

There are a number of contentious issues related to current developments in Syria over which the US and Saudi Arabia disagree. Moreover, there is no doubt that the ruling regime in Saudi Arabia has left it up to the US to decide upon these issues and do as they please. However, Saudi Arabia is working hard to distance itself from issues upon which the US takes unilateral decisions. This is particularly evident in the bombing that took place in the Syrian national security headquarters in Damascus. This bombing resulted in the killing and wounding of a number of senior Syrian security chiefs. US officials were close to admitting that such a precise and accurate operation could not have been executed without direct assistance from the American side. This assistance is not limited to training and intelligence but included giving directions and specifying the time [for executing the operation]. Saudi Arabia has completely distanced itself and maintained silence over the operation in Syria, even with regard to the humanitarian aspect. This has led some US officials to distance themselves from “the killing,” while maintaining that the operation is a huge blow to the Assad regime, and therefore should be welcomed.

Joseph Holliday, a former intelligence officer in the US Army who currently teaches at the Institute for the Study of War, said that the experience of Syrian dissidents in the use of explosive devices “comes in part from the expertise of Syrian insurgents who learned bomb-making while fighting US troops in eastern Iraq.”

In this regard, according to Der Spiegel, the reason the Syrian opposition has not yet been able to carry out a major military operation is due to growing divisions within opposition groups, in addition to insurmountable disagreements between Islamist Jihadi militants and the majority of the Syrian population. The Islamist groups, which are being generously funded and equipped with advanced weaponry and equipment by the Gulf States, are holding firmly to the decision-making power.

Der Spiegel adds that “the Americans have spent money on the Muslim Brotherhood, particularly in countries [that have witnessed] the Arab spring. They believe that the Muslim Brotherhood will be the dominant force in the future.”

The Saudis are certainly concerned about the thoughts of their US allies.

The question that haunts Saudi leaders is: What would the United States do if the Islamists (the Muslim Brotherhood in particular) unite against the Saudi regime, as part of their ongoing and diligent quest to seize power? The Saudis have no doubt that the Islamists will try hard to convince the Americans that they will maintain their mutual alliance if they gain power in Saudi Arabia. This means that the Muslim Brotherhood and their Salafist allies will pledge to the Americans to continue supplying them with oil from the whole Gulf region. Such a pledge by Islamist organizations will not be harder than that made by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to the Americans and Israelis to preserve the peace treaty signed by the regime of Anwar Sadat with Israel. This treaty was carefully protected by the regime of Hosni Mubarak for more than thirty years.

Here, one might say the Saudi regime is very similar to a regime that the Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, may establish. Therefore, why replace the Saudi regime with a similar one? The answer to this question is again the following: for Muslim groups, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, seizing power is a primary goal that precedes all others. For this reason, Saudi rulers fear that the Islamist opposition at home might revolt against them should they succeed, or even fail, in Syria.

The greatest concern for the Saudi rulers is what the United States would do if the Islamists, whom it supports, coalesce and become opposed to Saudi rule. Similarly, it can be said that the Islamist groups are haunted by the following question: How much longer will Islamist groups remain safe from being targeted by the Saudi regime?

The answer to these questions is closely linked with a recent Saudi event. This event gained widespread attention in the US and the entire West, yet was of little interest to Arab regimes or media. I am referring to the recent announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia appointing Prince Bandar Bin Sultan as head of Saudi intelligence.

The importance of the Saudi decision is that Prince Bandar had previously been [put aside] and given an honorary position.  He had served as the President of the Saudi National Security Council, a position that is only symbolically important. However, he was suddenly chosen to be the head of Saudi intelligence. This decision indicates that the kingdom hopes to benefit from Bandar’s experience in the US, including his knowledge of US policies and decisions. The decision could actually mean that Saudi Arabia wants to predict the political intentions of the US regarding Saudi Arabia in the coming years. Prince Bandar occupied the post of Saudi ambassador to Washington from 1983 to 2005, the longest mandate of any ambassador, Arab or otherwise, to Washington. During the same period, the US ambassador to Riyadh was changed six times.

Prince Bandar is one of the kingdom’s most knowledgeable and experienced figures in terms of US policies and objectives, especially in regard to the Arab region. He had the chance to make friends from the US ruling elite of both the Democratic and Republican parties. During his years in Washington, he became closely acquainted with all of those who occupied the post of director of the CIA.

The importance of the timing of the decision to appoint Bandar is perhaps exemplified best by what the Saudi political analyst Abdullah al-Shammari said: “In these very hectic moments in Saudi foreign policy, we need Bandar bin Sultan. He is a volcano, and this is what we currently need.” According to Shammari, the current period is similar to the period in which Bandar served as Saudi ambassador to Washington, when the US and Saudi Arabia were allied in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Michael Stephen, a political analyst at the United Royal Services Institute, said, “If they (Saudis) are looking to increase multilateral engagement on the Syrian issue, he’s their man.”

Ever since the start of what has been called the Arab Spring, developments reveal that the US has supported holistic change as part of its plans for the Arab region. In other words, the accuracy of US planning for a new policy in the region will be put to a tough test in the coming period. Also, Saudi Arabia’s ability to deal with surprising US shifts will be put to the test. This includes their ability to deal with the US moving from a position as an ally to an enemy…from their position as a supporter of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to a position of support for anti-Saudi Islamist groups.  This is a possibility we cannot completely rule out.

The Penalty of Getting Everything Your Way–United States and Britain Getting the Payback They Deserve

Exclusive: Secret Turkish nerve center leads aid to Syria rebels

A Free Syrian Army soldier mans the last gate before the Turkish territory at the Bab Al-Salam border crossing July 22, 2012. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

By Regan Doherty and Amena Bakr

DOHA/DUBAI | Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:12am EDT

(Reuters) – Turkey has set up a secret base with allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar to direct vital military and communications aid to Syria’s rebels from a city near the border, Gulf sources have told Reuters.

News of the clandestine Middle East-run “nerve centre” working to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad underlines the extent to which Western powers – who played a key role in unseating Muammar Gaddafi in Libya – have avoided military involvement so far in Syria.

“It’s the Turks who are militarily controlling it. Turkey is the main co-ordinator/facilitator. Think of a triangle, with Turkey at the top and Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the bottom,” said a Doha-based source.

“The Americans are very hands-off on this. U.S. intel(ligence) are working through middlemen. Middlemen are controlling access to weapons and routes.”

The centre in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 100 km (60 miles) from the Syrian border, was set up after Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Saud visited Turkey and requested it, a source in the Gulf said. The Turks liked the idea of having the base in Adana so that they could supervise its operations, he added.

A Saudi foreign ministry official was not immediately available to comment on the operation.

Adana is home to Incirlik, a large Turkish/U.S. air force base which Washington has used in the past for reconnaissance and military logistics operations. It was not clear from the sources whether the anti-Syrian “nerve centre” was located inside Incirlik base or in the city of Adana.

Qatar, the tiny gas-rich Gulf state which played a leading part in supplying weapons to Libyan rebels, has a key role in directing operations at the Adana base, the sources said. Qatari military intelligence and state security officials are involved.

“Three governments are supplying weapons: Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia,” said a Doha-based source.

Ankara has officially denied supplying weapons.

“All weaponry is Russian. The obvious reason is that these guys (the Syrian rebels) are trained to use Russian weapons, also because the Americans don’t want their hands on it. All weapons are from the black market. The other way they get weapons is to steal them from the Syrian army. They raid weapons stores.”

The source added: “The Turks have been desperate to improve their weak surveillance, and have been begging Washington for drones and surveillance.” The pleas appear to have failed. “So they have hired some private guys come do the job.”

President Barack Obama has so far preferred to use diplomatic means to try to oust Assad, although Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signaled this week that Washington plans to step up help to the rebels.

Reuters has established that Obama’s aides have drafted a resolution which would authorize greater covert assistance to the rebels but still stop short of arming them.

The White House’s wariness is shared by other Western powers. It reflects concerns about what might follow Assad in Syria and about the substantial presence of anti-Western Islamists and jihadi fighters among the rebels.

The presence of the secret Middle East-run “nerve centre” may explain how the Syrian rebels, a rag-tag assortment of ill-armed and poorly organized groups, have pulled off major strikes such as the devastating bomb attack on July 18 which killed at least four key Assad aides including the defense minister.

A Turkish diplomat in the region insisted however that his country played no part in the Damascus bombing.

“That’s out of the question,” he said. “The Syrian minister of information blamed Turkey and other countries for the killing. Turkey doesn’t do such things. We are not a terrorist country. Turkey condemns such attacks.”

However, two former senior U.S. security officials said that Turkey has been playing an increasing role in sheltering and training Syrian rebels who have crossed into its territory.

One of the former officials, who is also an adviser to a government in the region, told Reuters that 20 former Syrian generals are now based in Turkey, from where they are helping shape the rebel forces. Israel believes up to 20,000 Syrian troops may now have defected to the opposition.

Former officials said there is reason to believe the Turks stepped up their support for anti-Assad forces after Syria shot down a Turkish plane which had made several passes over border areas.

Sources in Qatar said the Gulf state is providing training and supplies to the Syrian rebels.

“The Qataris mobilized their special forces team two weeks ago. Their remit is to train and help logistically, not to fight,” said a Doha-based source with ties to the FSA.

Qatar’s military intelligence directorate, Foreign Ministry and State Security Bureau are involved, said the source.


The United States, Israel, France and Britain – traditionally key players in the Middle East – have avoided getting involved so far, largely because they see little chance of a “good outcome” in Syria.

“Israel is not really in the business of trying to ‘shape’ the outcome of the revolt,”, a diplomat in the region said. “The consensus is that you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. The risk of identifying with any side is too great”.

A former U.S. official who advises a government in the region and other current and former U.S. and European security officials say that there has been little to zero direct assistance or training from the U.S. or its European allies.

The former official also said that few sophisticated weapons such as shoulder-fired bazookas for destroying tanks or surface-to-air missiles have reached the anti-Assad forces.

While some Gulf officials and conservative American politicians have privately suggested that a supply of surface-to-air missiles would help anti-Assad forces bring the conflict to a close, officials familiar with U.S. policy say they are anxious to keep such weapons out of the hands of Syrian rebels. They fear such weapons could make their way to pro-jihad militants who could use them against Western aircraft.


The CIA and the Israelis’ main concern so far has been that elements of al-Qaeda may attempt to infiltrate the rebels and acquire some of Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons.

Sima Shine, a former chief Mossad analyst who now serves as an adviser to the Israeli government, told Reuters: “It’s a nightmare for the international community, and chiefly the Americans – weapons of mass-destruction falling into the hands of terrorists. In parallel to its foreign contacts, Israel is taking this especially seriously. After all, we are here, and the Americans are over there.”

She envisaged two circumstances under which Hezbollah, the Lebanese Islamist group, could obtain some of the chemical weapons stockpile.

“Assad goes and anarchy ensues, during which Hezbollah gets its hands on the weapons. There is a significant Hezbollah presence in Syria and they are well-ensconced in the military and other national agencies. So they are close enough to make a grab for it.

“Another possibility is that Assad, knowing that he is on his way out, will authorized a handover to Hezbollah, as a message to the world about the price of encouraging his ouster.”

However, British and U.S. officials believe there is little or no sign of Assad being toppled imminently.

The situation, one senior European official said, is still likely to veer back and forth, like a tug-of-war between pro- and anti-Assad forces.

There is no indication, the official added, that Assad himself has any intention of doing anything but fighting on until the bitter end.

(additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in London and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; writing by Richard Woods; editing by Michael Stott and Ralph Boulton)

Vietnam Ready to Host Russian Maritime Base

Vietnam Ready to Host Russian Maritime Base

Vietnam will allow Russia to set up a ship maintenance station in the port of Cam Ranh, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said

© AFP/ Hoang Dinh Nam

MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti)

Vietnam will allow Russia to set up a ship maintenance base at its port of Cam Ranh, Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang said on Friday.

Sang, speaking to the Voice of Russia radio station ahead of a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, stressed that the port would not be a Russian military base. But he also said that Cam Ranh would be used to help develop “military co-operation” between the two former Cold War allies.

Sang also said Hanoi was planning to develop the capacity to provide maintenance services to any foreign ship docking at Cam Ranh, a former Soviet naval base.

Russia currently has only one foreign military base outside the former Soviet Union – in Tartus, Syria. But officials say the base is little more than a re-fuelling stop for Russian warships.

Russia’s naval chief, Vice Admiral Viktor Chirkov, confirmed on Friday that Russia was in talks on obtaining naval bases in Cuba, Vietnam and in the Seychelles.

“We are indeed continuing work to ensure the stationing of Russian Navy forces outside the Russian Federation,” he said in an interview with RIA Novosti. “As part of this work at the international level, we are discussing issues related to the creation of [ship] maintenance stations in Cuba, in the Seychelles and in Vietnam.”

The Russian Navy saw that it badly needed foreign bases after 2008, when Russian warships joined international anti-piracy efforts in the Gulf of Aden. Russia has also discussed the possibility of using ports in Djibouti for its warships in the past.

The Real “Plan B” for Syria—It’s hunting season now.

Syrian Blood Etches a New Line in the Sand

by Pepe Escobar

Once upon a time, early in the previous century, a line in the sand was drawn, from Acre to Kirkuk. Two colonial powers — Britain and France — nonchalantly divided the Middle East between themselves; everything north of the line in the sand was France’s; south, it was Britain’s.

Many blowbacks — and concentric tragedies — later, a new line in the sand is being drawn by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Between Syria and Iraq, they want it all. Talk about the return of the repressed; now, as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-Gulf Cooperation Council compound, they’re in bed with their former colonial masters.

Blow by blow

No matter what militarized Western corporate media spins, there’s no endgame in Syria — yet. On the contrary; the sectarian game is just beginning.

It’s 1980s Afghanistan all over again. The over 100 heavily armed gangs engaged in civil war in Syria are overflowing with Gulf Cooperation Council funds financing their Russian RPGs bought on the black market. Salafi-jihadis cross into Syria in droves — not only from Iraq but also Kuwait, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan, following enraged calls by their imams. Kidnapping, raping and slaughtering pro-Assad regime civilians is becoming the law of the land.

They go after Christians with a vengeance. They force Iraqi exiles in Damascus to leave, especially those settled in Sayyida Zainab, the predominantly Shi’ite neighborhood named after Prophet Muhammad’s grand-daughter, buried in the beautiful local mosque. The BBC, to its credit, at least followed the story.

They perform summary executions; Iraq’s deputy interior minister Adnan al-Assadi told AFP how Iraqi border guards saw the Free Syrian Army (FSA) take control of a border outpost and then “executed 22 Syrian soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers”.

The Bab al-Hawa crossing between Syria and Turkey was overrun by no less than 150 multinational self-described mujahideen — coming from Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Chechnya, and even France, many proclaiming their allegiance to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

They burned a lot of Turkish trucks. They shot their own promo video. They paraded their al-Qaeda flag. And they declared the whole border area an Islamic state.

Hand over your terrorist ID

There’s no way to understand the Syrian dynamics without learning that most FSA commanders are not Syrians, but Iraqi Sunnis. The FSA could only capture the Abu Kamal border crossing between Syria and Iraq because the whole area is controlled by Sunni tribes viscerally antagonistic towards the al-Maliki government in Baghdad. The free flow of mujahideen, hardcore jihadis and weapons between Iraq and Syria is now more than established.

The idea of the Arab League — behaving as NATO-GCC’s fully robed spokesman — offering exile to Bashar al-Assad may be as ridiculous as the notion of the CIA supervising which mujahideen and jihadi outfits may have access to the weapons financed by Qatar and the Saudis.

At first, it might have been just a bad joke. After all, the exile offer came from those exact same paragons of democracy, the House of Saud and Qatar, who control the Arab League and are financing the mujahideen and the anti-Syria jihad.

Baghdad, though, publicly condemned the exile offer. And the aftermath — in fact on the same day — was worthy of The Joker (yes, Batman’s foe); a wave of anti-Shi’ite bombings in Iraq, with over 100 people dead, duly claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qaeda’s local franchise. Spokesman Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi energetically urged the Sunni tribes in Anbar and Nineveh to join the jihad and topple the “infidel” government in Baghdad.

The mujahideen/jihadi back and forth between Syria and Iraq has been more than confirmed by Izzat al-Shahbandar, a senior member of Iraq’s Parliament and close aide to Prime Minister al-Maliki. Baghdad even has updated lists. The crossover could only spawn more frenetic Orwellian newspeak, nailed by the website Moon of Alabama.

Mujahideen and jihadis active in Iraq are now “Iraqi insurgents”. And mujahideen and jihadis active in Syria remain the usual “Syrian rebels”. They have been all decommissioned as “terrorists”. Under this logic, the Colorado Batman shooter may also be described as an “insurgent”.

Follow the money

As it stands, the romanticized Syrian “rebels” plus the insurgents formerly known as terrorists cannot win against the Syria military — not even with the Saudis and Qataris showering them with loads of cash and weapons.

Nor is there any evidence the regime is contemplating a retreat to the Alawite mountains in northern Syria, as evoked by this collective foreign policy blog discussion. After all, the “rebels” do not control any territory.

What’s certain is who would profit from Syria being progressively balkanized. The House of Saud and Qatar would love nothing better than to have the civil war exported to Iraq and Lebanon; in their very narrow calculations, that would eventually yield fellow Sunni regimes.

So expect Saudi and Qatari funds buying every well-connected Syrian regime apparatchik in sight — even while the urban Sunni bourgeosie still has not abandoned the ship.

And as the civil war spreads out, a tsunami of weapons will keep inundating Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and of course Turkey, boosting assorted guerrilla outfits, Kurdish included — yet one more facet of now ostracized neo-Ottoman Turkey impotently watching nation states carved out of that 1920s colonial line in the sand being smashed.

Strategically, this will always be a war by proxy; essentially Saudi Arabia vs Iran — with the House of Saud behind hardcore Islamists of all colors compared to Qatar supporting “its” Muslim Brotherhood. But most of all this is the US-NATO-GCC vs Iran.

Israel’s motives go way beyond the Saudi-Qatari sectarian lust. Israel’s Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has just excavated a Bushism — calling Iran-Syria-Hezbollah an “axis of evil”. What Tel Aviv wants in the long run is clear; for Washington, Obama administration or not, to bring down the axis.

Meanwhile, this long-term goal does not prevent Defense Minister Ehud Barak from getting crazy — speculating on an invasion of Syria based on a hypothetical transfer of Syrian anti-aircraft missiles or even chemical weapons to Hezbollah.

Washington for its part would love at least a pliable/puppet Sunni regime in Damascus to turbo-charge the encircling of Iran — without increasing Israel’s substantial fears. Meanwhile, what passes for “smart power” is no more than glorified wishful thinking. Here in detail is how pro-Israel functionaries in the US are designing post-Assad Syria.

Meet the new Bane

For all its production values, NATO’s jihad — in conjunction with al-Qaeda affiliates and copycats — still has not delivered regime change. UN Security Council sanctions won’t be forthcoming, as Beijing and Moscow have already stressed three times. So Plan Bs keep surfacing all the time. The latest is straight from the Iraq playbook; Damascus will attack civilians with chemical weapons. This lasted only for a few news cycles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has already made it clear; regime change is anathema, especially for a reason that eludes most in the West — jihadis at the gates of Damascus means they are a stone’s throw from the Caucasus, the possible new pearl in a lethal collar bound to destabilize Muslim Russia.

Blowback meanwhile is ready to strike like the Medusa. What is for all practical purposes NATO-GCC mujahideen/jihadi death squads will be more than happy to bleed Syria across sectarian lines — in the sand and especially in urban areas. It’s hunting season now, not only for Alawites but also Christians (10% of the population).

A foreign policy that privileges Sunni jihadis formerly known as terrorists to create a “democratic” state in the Middle East seems to have been conjured by Bane — the Hannibal Lecter meets Darth Vader bad guy in The Dark Knight Rises, the final chapter of the Batman trilogy. And yes, we are his creators. While the best lack all conviction, and the worst are full of passionate intensity, a masked Sunni jihadi superman is slouching towards Damascus to be born.

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). Read other articles by Pepe.

Just Who Is Not A Kafir?


Brothers in arms Family members of victims of the bomb attack at Lahore’s Data Ganj shrine grieve over their loss

Just Who Is Not A Kafir?

The Islamic faultlines in the state widens with extremists attacking minority sects

War On The Kafirs

The broad Sunni-Shia division does not explain all of it

  • Most Sunnis adhere to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Only 5 per cent of the country’s population belongs to the Ahle Hadith sect or Wahabis.
  • The Sunnis are subdivided into the Barelvi and Deobandi schools of thought
  • The Deobandis and Wahabis consider the Barelvis as kafir, because they visit the shrines of saints, offer prayers, believe music, poetry and dance can lead to god
  • Barelvis constitute 60 per cent of the population. Deobandis and Wahabis together account for 20 per cent
  • Another 15 per cent are Shias, again considered kafir and subjected to repeated attacks
  • Since 2000, the Sunni-Shia conflict has claimed 5,000 lives
  • Others considered kafir are the religious minorities—Christians, Ismailis, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Ahmadias, etc, who account for 5 per cent of the population
  • So, 20 per cent of the population effectively considers the remaining 80 per cent as kafir


When two suicide bombers exploded themselves in the shrine of the revered Sufi saint Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh in Lahore, the ensuing devastation—in which at least 50 people were killed and scores injured—rendered meaningless the promise of Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. Jinnah had said, “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed…that has nothing to do with the business of the state. You are free, free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan.” These stirring words were then perceived as an explicit assurance to the religious minorities of their rights in a country where Muslims constitute over 95 per cent of the population.

Six decades later, as Pakistan remains trapped in the vortex of violence, even the Muslims are in desperate need of assurances such as Jinnah’s. Mosques and shrines of saints are targeted regularly, votaries of different Muslim sects are subjected to suicide bombings, and just about every mullah seems to enjoy the right of declaring anyone who he thinks has deviated from Islam an apostate, a non-Muslim, whose killing is religiously justifiable. In the darkness enveloping Pakistan, it won’t be wrong to ask: who isn’t a kafir or infidel, beyond even the religious minorities of Christians, Sikhs and Hindus?

Shrapnel from every explosion strains the social fabric, tears its rich tapestry, and undermines the traditional forms of devotion inherited over generations. Take the twin suicide bombings of the Data Ganj Baksh shrine of July 1, which has been blamed on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) even though it has vehemently denied its involvement. This Sufi shrine defines the spirit of Lahore, which is often called Data ki nagri (Data’s abode). Here lies buried Syed Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery, popularly known as Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh, whose shrine is mostly visited by members of the Barelvi sect of Sunni Muslims. The shrine, famous for mystical dancing by devotees, is a Lahore landmark.

However, the adherents of the Deobandi school of thought, to which the Taliban belongs, are opposed to the idea of Muslims visiting Sufi shrines and offering prayers, a practice known as piri-faqiri. The Deobandis deem piri-faqiri to be heretical, a gross violation of Islamic doctrine; ditto mystical dancing. The Deobandis, therefore, consider the Barelvis as kafir whose neck can be put to sword, no question asked.

The damaged mausoleum of Sufi saint Rehman Baba following a bomb attack (AFP, Image from Outlook Magazine July 19,2010 issue)

A week before July 1, the TTP had sent a letter to the Data Ganj Baksh administration threatening to attack the shrine, claiming its status was equivalent to that of the Somnath temple in Gujarat, India. The symbolism inherent in the comparison wasn’t lost—the Somnath temple had been repeatedly raided by Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi, ‘the idol destroyer’, who believed his marauding attacks would sap the fighting spirit of the Hindus. The attack on the Data Darbar was, similarly, aimed at demoralising the Barelvis, besides striking at the root of Lahore’s religious and cultural ethos. The Daily Times pointed out, “For 1,000 years, the city has been sustained by the cultural openness and tolerance that Data gave us. For 1,000 years, the shrine has fed Lahore’s hungry, clothed its naked and given shelter to the shelter-less. All that was brought to a halt when the night jackals in straitjackets struck like the cowards they are. Pakistan’s Islamic pluralism is now the target.”


“Labelling others infidel has become a preferred task of mullahs. The Quran is wrongly used to disprove others’ faith.”

This isn’t the first time Barelvi Muslims have been targeted. On April 12, 2006, for instance, a Barelvi conference organised to celebrate the perfectly orthodox occasion of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday at Nishtar Park, Karachi, witnessed a suicide bombing that claimed 70 lives. Last year, the Taliban attacked the shrine of the 17th century Sufi saint-poet, Rehman Baba, who is said to have withdrawn from the world and promised his followers that if they emulate him, they too could move towards a direct experience of god. He also believed god could be reached through music, poetry and dance. But then music and dance are unacceptable to the Deobandis, and the Taliban extensively damaged the shrine of Rehman Baba with explosives. Soon, they used rockets to ravage the mausoleum of Bahadar Baba, and then directed their wrath against the 400-year-old shrine of another Sufi saint, Abu Saeed Baba, both located near Peshawar. 

Renowned Islamic scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), which furnishes legal advice on Islamic issues to the Pakistan government, laments, “Labelling others infidel and kafir has become a preferred task of the mullahs. It’s clear that every sect considers others heretical, kafirs and dwellers of hell. Even verses of the Quran are wrongly used to disprove others’ faith and sects.”

In a way, a minority of Pakistan’s population has taken to declaring the rest as kafir. Look at the figures—95 per cent of the Pakistani population are Muslim, of which 85 per cent are Sunni and 15 per cent Shia. But for the five per cent belonging to the Ahle Hadith (Wahabis), the Sunnis prescribe to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. They are further subdivided into the Barelvi and Deobandi schools. Most agree on the following composition of Pakistan’s population—60 per cent Barelvis, 15 per cent Deobandis, 15 per cent Shias, 5 per cent Ahle Hadith, and the remaining 5 per cent constituting Ahmadis, Ismailis, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, etc. This means only 20 per cent of Pakistanis (15 per cent of Deobandis plus 5 per cent of Ahle Hadith) strictly consider the remaining 80 per cent as kafir, even willing to subject them to death and destruction.

Renowned Pakistani writer Khaled Ahmed points to the irony: “Within Sunni Islam, the Deobandis and the Barelvis are not found anywhere outside India and Pakistan. The creation of these two sects was one of the masterstrokes of the Raj in its divide-and-rule policy.” He says the Deobandi school took roots in India in 1866 as a reaction to the overthrow of Muslim rule by the British. This school believes in a literalist interpretation of Islam, and apart from Wahabis, considers all other sects as non-Muslim who must be exterminated. “That’s why they work side by side, from politics to jehad,” says Ahmed, adding that though the Barelvi school of thought is the dominant jurisprudence in Pakistan, “it is not as well politically organised as the Deobandi school.”

Bonds of faith People from the Ahmadi community mourn the death of their dear ones at the attack on their mosques in May

It was the Deobandi-Wahabi alliance, says Rehman, which pressured President Gen Zia-ul-Haq to declare the Ahmadis as non-Muslims. At a stroke of the pen, thus, a Muslim sect was clubbed with other religious minorities. Under the Constitution, they can’t call themselves Muslim or even describe their place of worship as a mosque. Wary of disclosing their identity publicly, the Ahmadis were dragged into the spotlight following devastating attacks on two of their mosques in Lahore that killed over a hundred people.

But ‘Muslim’ status doesn’t insulate even mainstream sects from murderous attacks. Ask the Shias, whose Muharram procession in Karachi was bombed in December 2009, killing 33. The Deobandis regard Shias as kafir, claiming their devotion to the clerics and grant of divinely inspired status to them as heretical. The history of Sunni-Shia conflict is as old as Islam, but this has become increasingly bloody in the last decade—over 5,000 people have been killed since 2000—because of the war in Afghanistan. Since Iran had backed the Northern Alliance there, the Deobandis have taken to retaliating against the sect in Pakistan. They also accuse the Shias of assisting the Americans to invade Iraq.

Says historian Dr Mubarak Ali, “One consequence of the war in Afghanistan is the fracturing of Pakistan’s religious patchwork quilt. Whereas once the faultlines lay between the Shias and Sunnis, these have now spread to the Barelvis and Deobandis, who are both Sunni.” Since the Barelvis are moderate and against the Taliban, the Deobandis look upon them as the state’s stooges, who as heretics should be put to death anyway, Ali argues.

Perhaps the complicity between the state and the Deobandis deterred the latter from targeting the Barelvis till now. Lawyer and columnist Yasser Latif Hamdani says, “There is this potent mixture of Pashtun nationalism and Deobandi Islam. Somehow, there is something intrinsic to the very nature of Deobandi doctrine which the Pakistani military establishment is promoting to advance its so-called geostrategic agenda.” Yet, simultaneously, under US pressure, the state had to crack down on the TTP, which, in pique, has taken to wreaking vengeance on the hapless Barelvis.

As long as powerful sections in the establishment persist with their goal of bringing the Pashtun Taliban back to power in Kabul, they will continue, says columnist Imtiaz Alam, “digging the grave of a democratic Pakistan”. Sectarianism and jehadi terrorism will be its consequent wages, he insists. No doubt, the enraged people of Lahore took to the streets protesting against the attack on the Data Darbar, but what’s of greater urgency is that the state must do some really deep thinking.

The “Islam” of Saudi Wahhabis Is Anti-Islam, Mass-Suggestion for Mass-Murder

[The fake “Islam” that American allies and proxies have been pushing all over the world, especially in the former Soviet countries, is not actually “Islam.”  The religion taught to all the ignorant Sunni Muslim militants that we have deployed across the world is NOT a religion, but a carefully crafted mind control science which creates a need to murder “infidels” and “non-believers” and all of those who refuse to accept the false “Islam.”   If you truly believe in the things being taught by them, you will be faced with an inner struggle of the Spirit, between inate human morality that teaches everyone that it is “wrong to kill,” and the teaching by moral “authorities” (who produce “fatwas”) that defines most of humanity as “kafirs,” who must be brought into submission or eliminated.   In other words, Wahhabism is a religion of terrorist murder, focused on eliminating true followers of Allah/God.   SEE:  Excerpts from Iraqi Intelligence Report On Origin of Wahhabism  ; MEMOIRS OF MR. HEMPHER, THE BRITISH SPY TO THE MIDDLE EAST]

 “when the unity of Muslims is broken and the common sympathy among them is impaired, their forces will be dissolved and thus we shall easily destroy them… We, the English people, have to make mischief and arouse schism in all our colonies in order that we may live in welfare and luxury.”[3]

“when we reach this number we shall have brought all Muslims under our sway” and Islam will be rendered “into a miserable state from which it will never recover again.”[3]

Islam is absent in Saudi Arabia’s political system: Analyst

Saudi protesters have gathered in front of the interior ministry in the capital city Riyadh to demand the release of political prisoners held captive in the kingdom.–Dr. Syed Ali Wasif

The protest broke out in the Saudi capital city on Wednesday, when demonstrators shouted slogans against the Al Saud regime and called for an immediate release of the prisoners.

Press TV talks with Dr. Syed Ali Wasif, the president of the Society for International Reforms and Research, from Washington, to shed more light on the issue. Below is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: The numbers of political prisoners in Saudi jails are shocking. How is it that this goes unnoticed by much of the international community?

Wasif: Simply because they both have the same objective, the same agenda, mainly the Western community, the Western countries, and the international community is totally dependent upon the Western countries vis-à-vis the economy and the imports and exports, their trade, commerce and so on.

So this is basically a matter of Western interests. Saudi Arabia is basically toeing the policy of the Western powers, the policy of NATO in the Middle East in the name of the so-called Islam which it follows, the Wahhabi-Salafi Islam.

So this is the problem and this is the problem the common people, the layman, is always unable to understand, the real people, the real monarchy hidden behind this nefarious objective to toe the policy of the Western countries and have a pro-Israeli policy implemented in that region to seed some pro-Israeli regimes in that region.

So this is mainly the historical policies of Saudi Arabia; this is nothing new. The main problem is the international community, the human rights organizations, the Security Council of the United Nations, Red Cross and Red Crescent and other international bodies are totally ignoring the fact that tens of thousands of people, Saudi citizens, have been arrested for the last decade and are still being arrested.

There is totally an arbitrary detention of men, women and children with no fundamental rights, especially those people who are living in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia are treated as the third-rated citizens of Saudi Arabia. They do not have any kinds of right despite the fact that they are the citizens of Saudi Arabia.

The thing is in order to understand the Saudi regime, you have to shed light from two different angles. If you understand those two different angles and the perspective from two different angles about the Saudi regime, you will be able to understand the reasons of those mass detentions and illegal arrests.

The first is the international perspective, an angle, and that is Saudi Arabia is totally following and toeing the line of the United States and Israel in that region. So it is basically acting as a policeman or a watchman for the United States and Israel in that region. So whatever is being asked by Israel and the United States, it blindly follows the rules.

The second is the international community wants oil and Saudi Arabia is rich in oil. So they do not want any kind of hindrances while it comes to oil supplies.

Press TV: The arrest and detention of activists throughout the Persian Gulf monarchies, as we have been hearing about now in the UAE as well, has been heightened dramatically of recent. How much of an influence does the Saudi experiment in doing this for years have?

Wasif: Well, simple. Saudi Arabia from day one, the moment it was created by the MI6… the British Intelligence Agency was behind creating Saudi Arabia and the dichotomy is it is in the name of Islam. Of course Islam has nothing to do with Saudi regime because it is totally in contravention with them, basic and fundamental Islamic norms and that is Islam requires a regime with people’s representative and popular support.

In this case of Saudi Arabia, we do not see any kind of popular support to the Saudi regime or people’s representatives sitting in the assemblies or in the parliament. So it is totally in contravention with the Islamic norms.

We do not see any kind of main Islamic following in Saudi Arabia vis-à-vis the political system. So, nor did the first four Caliphs rule by iron fist or without the people’s representation or there was not any kind of personal or family regime during the fundamental years of Islam.

But in Saudi Arabia, we see one family regime is ruling over the country for the last 70 years unhindered and without any accountability. The corruption is rampant and there is no human right; there is no Islam; the real Islam is absent from the Saudi political system and they are just following the lines of the Western countries.

So this is important for the laymen and I would like to draw the attention of the Muslim ordinary people, the laymen of the Muslims, through the courtesy of your channel that Saudi Arabia is using the name of Islam to prolong its nefarious designs in supporting, defending and safeguarding the Western interests and the Israeli interests. It has nothing to do with Islam. Just because it has Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, it does not mean that it follows Islam.


Saudi forces open fire on demonstrators in Qatif–New Sheriff Bandar In Charge

Saudi forces open fire on demonstrators in Qatif : several injured

Saudi forces have opened fire on demonstrators in Qatif in the country’s Eastern Province, leaving several protesters injured.

Similar demonstrations have also been held in Riyadh and the holy city of Medina over the past few weeks.

Since February 2011, protesters have held demonstrations on an almost regular basis in Saudi Arabia, mainly in the Qatif region and Awamiyah in Eastern Province, calling for the release of all political prisoners, freedom of expression and assembly, and an end to widespread discrimination.

Obama Creates the Prerequisite Conditions To Cause A Massacre In Syria and Stands Ready To Exploit One–Just Like Srebrenica

[So you use proxies and allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to slowly arm groups which infiltrate Syria for the purpose of staging attacks upon government loyalists.  Obama and Bush are free to organize and train terrorist armies to kill both soldiers and civilians in the effort to overthrow the legitimate government of Syria.  This is not the end battle against a Communist Menace and Barack Obama is not Ronald Reagan.  War crimes are being committed daily by everyone involved in the plot to overthrow the government of Syria.  For the American people to stand silent in the face of this disgraceful war of aggression,means that we too, will one day be accused of supporting au Fascist aggression against all mankind.]

US warns Syria may carry out massacre in Aleppo


An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube showing a Syrian army tank patrolling a street in the northern city of Aleppo. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube showing a Syrian army tank patrolling a street in the northern city of Aleppo. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

WASHINGTON: The United States warned Thursday that the Syrian regime may be preparing to carry out a massacre in the city of Aleppo, but stuck by its position that there would be no US military intervention.

“This is the concern, that we will see a massacre in Aleppo, and that’s what the regime appears to be lining up for,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

Russia says U.S. tries to justify terrorism in Syria

(Reuters) – Russia accused the United States on Wednesday of trying to justify terrorism against the Syrian government and berated Western nations it said had failed to condemn a bomb attack that killed senior security officials.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, referring to what he said were comments by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland indicating such attacks were not surprising, said: “This is a direct justification of terrorism.”

“To put it mildly, we don’t understand the refusal of our partners to condemn the terrorist attack in Damascus,” he said.

He suggested Washington was using the threat of further attacks to push the U.N. Security Council to place international mediator Kofi Annan’s peace plan under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter.

Chapter 7 allows the council to authorize actions ranging from diplomatic and economic sanctions to military intervention, although U.S. officials have said they would prefer the former course of action.

Lavrov said the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, had cited the July 18 bomb attack in Damascus as evidence that the Security Council should not delay further in adopting a Chapter 7 resolution.

“In other words this means ‘We will continue to support such terrorist attacks until the Security Council does what we want,'” Lavrov told a news conference after talks with Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis.

“This is a terrible position.”

Lavrov criticized Western sanctions on Syria and defended Russia’s veto last week of a U.N. Security Council resolution that would have threatened the Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not halt violence.

He also reiterated Moscow’s stance that Assad’s departure from power could not be a precondition to a political dialogue aimed at ending the 16-month-old conflict and that Syrians themselves must decide the country’s future.

Two rebel Syrian groups claimed responsibility for the bombing that killed Assad’s brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, a senior commander and one of the pillars of the Assad clan’s rule, as well as Defense Minister Daoud Rajha, intelligence chief Hisham Bekhtyar and veteran army general Hassan Turkmani.

(Reporting by Steve Gutterman; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

The second Tajik Civil War?


The second Tajik

Arkady Dubnov

Attempts by President Rahmon finally deal with the opposition could provoke civil war.


Tajikistan was once again on the brink of civil war. This week, government forces launched a large-scale military operation in Khorog, the capital of the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region (Badakhshan), which remains one of the last bastions of opposition to President Emomali Rahmon .

The operation is clearly not evolved to the scenario, which counted in Dushanbe – opposition armed resistance, and the bill died on both sides is already in the hundreds. The loss forced the government to start negotiations, but to reach a truce would be difficult – too many forces interested in destabilizing the region, which is one of the key points of transit of drugs from Afghanistan. Especially on the eve of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and intensify the struggle for power in Kabul.

The operation, led by Minister of Defense of Tajikistan Sherali Khairulloyev , involved about three thousand soldiers and officers of the uniformed services. Early in the morning, residents awoke to Khorog, fire, telephone the town was interrupted, closed all the shops and markets in a panic. As told to “MH” the chairman of the Russian Fund for Cultural Heritage, “Pamir” Mukim Maybaliev on the eve of the operation of the city authorities have taken all the employees of foreign companies and representative offices. However, the remaining children in Khorog and women who find themselves in a combat zone, no one thought of that.

A few hours after the start of hostilities BBC BBC reported 100 dead government troops and the same number of civilian casualties. We also know that in Khorog was detonated car Rushan District Attorney Badakhshan Nafasbeka Dilshodova . The prosecutor and his companion were seriously injured and were hospitalized. Official Dushanbe reports only nine soldiers killed and more than twenty militants were killed.

However, the armed resistance and the loss has already forced the authorities to change their tactics. According to unofficial reports, Tajik President Rahmon has turned to living in Paris, the spiritual leader of Ismaili Muslims (the majority are committed Pamiris this branch of Islam) 75-year-old Prince Aga Khan IV with a request to provide emergency assistance in the peaceful settlement of the conflict.

Gorno-Badakhshan, recall, since the 90’s is still one of the strongholds of opposition to the ruling regime in Tajikistan. According to the “PL”, in the Pamir may be hiding up to 300 militants. The operation against them in Dushanbe preparing for a long time, but the immediate cause for the invasion has become a kind of “retaliation” – an attempt to apprehend the perpetrators of the murder of the chief of the regional committee of the National Security Major General Abdullah Nazarov . Involved in the crime committed on July 21 near Khorog, Dushanbe called subordinate commander Ishkashim frontier Tolib Ayembekova , whom authorities accused of cigarette smuggling from Afghanistan.

How to tell “MN” informed sources in Dushanbe and Khorog confirmed in the 56-year-old Major General Nazarov was killed by a blow at the heart of his brother Tolib Ayembekova during emotional encounters a couple of kilometers from Khorog. A senior Tajik security officer was well aware of the smuggling of cigarettes, which involved the head Ishkashim frontier, and tried to turn the situation to one of the detained vehicles. He asked the guards not to go with him out of the car and headed for accompanying a shipment.

Abdullo Nazarov of Tajikistan was a figure as famous as it is odious. One of the former commanders of the armed opposition, he entered into the structures of power after the Civil War put an end to the inter-Tajik agreements in 1997 – then the opposition contributed 30 per cent quota. He then became one of the most loyal to President Rahmon siloviki than earned the hatred of the former associates.

In 2010 Nazarov accused of harboring his brother that he was deposed president of Kyrgyzstan and the Kyrgyz secret service chief Janysh Bakiyev . Nazarov, denied everything, but was removed from his post of Deputy Chairman of State Committee of National Security (SCNS), Tajikistan and sent to serve in Khorog.

Officially, the military operation began in Gorno-Badakhshan, after Tolib Ayembekov refused to hand over suspects in the murder of the general. “Ayembekov and his supporters refused to supply the investigating authorities to come and surrender – said in a joint statement by the Interior Ministry and National Security Committee of Tajikistan. – In order to prevent civilian casualties on behalf of the President of the Republic established a commission of deputies, government members, heads of law enforcement, government and public figures, intellectuals and religious leaders and activists of the area, which within three days, met several times with Ayembekovym and his supporters, inviting them to lay down arms and surrender of offenders to law enforcement authorities. ”

Intelligence agencies claim that Ayembekov “categorically rejected the proposal, gathering around himself criminals and started an armed resistance.” “In connection with the security forces to stabilize the situation in Khorog, the detention of members of organized crime and bring them to justice morning of July 24 was launched a special operation” – said the official Dushanbe. The number of victims has specified, but it became known, “MN”, among the dead militants – one of the most influential field commanders Yodgor Shomuslimov and 23-year-old son Tolib Ayembekova. Another warlord – Imomnazar Imomnazarov began taking part in negotiations with the government.

According to the Tajik security services, “Ayembekov, creating a criminal gang, for several years was engaged in smuggling drugs, tobacco products, and precious stones, committing serious crimes, in particular, engaged in banditry.” Surprisingly, while the Tajik authorities for a long time did not have anything against what the “bandit” Ayembekov border guard commander. This part is quite clearly demonstrates the level of protection of the Tajik-Afghan border against the penetration of drugs. However, the fact that Khorog is the main transit point for Afghan drugs in recent years, the secret to anyone is not.

Recent events have confirmed, and another: official Dushanbe has no control over the situation in the Gorno-Badakhshan, whose inhabitants traditionally have little trust in central government, regarding it as corrupt and unjust. Its position and the Pamirs are ready to defend abroad. So at the Embassy of Tajikistan in Moscow, gathered several hundred natives of Badakhshan, which required from Dushanbe to cease hostilities immediately in Khorog, to reconnect with the city to assist the victims.

What happened on July 24 in the Pamirs, said Mukim Maybaliev of the Fund for Cultural Heritage, “Pamir”, more like a campaign of intimidation of the local population or a small war against him, than on a special operation against the militants. The consequences of the incident threatens to further undermine the position of ruling in Tajikistan for 20 years the regime headed by President Emomali Rahmon, who in October of this year marks 60 years of age.

In the autumn of next year to be held in the country’s presidential elections and Rahmon once again preparing to run for them. Real opponents he does not have – they are either destroyed or in prison or in exile. In the absence of a viable secular opposition Tajik authorities under the pretext of combating religious extremism in recent years begun to limit the activity and the moderate Islamic theologians. The most famous among them are brothers Turajonzoda. One of them, Haji Akbar Turajonzoda , was until recently deputy prime minister and senator.

Inability to openly oppose the government faces the fact that discontent will go into the hidden form, but now there is a risk that in the violent resistance to authority. In anticipation of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, strengthening militant opposition in Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon faces serious trouble.

Source :: Novaya Gazeta (Kazakhstan)

There Has Been Positive Change In Pakistan People’s Mindset Towards India: Krishna

Positive change in Pakistan people’s mindset towards India: Krishna

Indian foreign minister SM Krishna says even global conditions require that the two countries maintain good bilateral relations. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

Srinagar, July 26 — There is a positive change in the mindset of Pakistani people vis-a-vis relations with India, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said Thursday, citing his Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar.

Khar made the remark in a recent meeting, said Krishna, after electronically inaugurating the Jammu Passport Sewa Kendra (PSK) and laying the foundation-stone of the Passport Bhavan here, along with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

He also mentioned about the cordial meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari at New Delhi when Zardari came to India to visit the famous Sufi shrine at Ajmer.

Stressing improved trade relations and people-to-people contact between the two countries, he said he is looking forward to his upcoming visit to Pakistan.

Speaking on the occasion, Union New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah also batted for good India-Pakistan relations and sustained dialogue. He said resolution of all issues through talks is the only way forward.

Wishing Krishna a very successful and fruitful Pakistan visit in September, Omar Abdullah reaffirmed the necessity of continuous engagement by the two countries in dialogue process to amicably address all issues.

“We know the Kashmir-centric issues are so complex and long drawn that these cannot be resolved in a few meetings but the sustained talks to find out a solution in a peaceful atmosphere is the only way forward,” he said adding that relations between the two countries have always a direct bearing on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

“The issues between the two countries cannot disappear overnight but efforts to engage in continuous dialogue should not stop,” he emphasised.

The chief minister also urged Krishna to take up, with his Pakistani counterpart, smaller issues like transferring cross-LOC trade from barter status to normal by allowing financial transactions through banks, communication facilities to traders and simplifying the visa regime for cross-LOC travel to enhance the ambit of this people to people centric confidence-building measure.

He also highlighted the importance of restoring direct Haj flights from Srinagar to Saudi Arabia for Haj pilgrims from the state.

“This issue is also connected with home and civil aviation ministries and I would call for active support and help from Mr. Krishna and Dr. Farooq Abdullah in this regard at the central level,” he maintained.

In his remarks, Krishna also underlined the government’s commitment to efficient delivery of passport services to Indian citizens in keeping with the vision “to deliver all passport-related services to the citizens in a timely, transparent, more accessible, reliable manner and in a comfortable environment through streamlined processes and committed, trained and motivated workforce”.

He said that as compared to 30,000 passports in 1950s, the passport offices in the country issued 73 lakh passports last year.

Noting that police clearance was necessary, he said: “We are working to create digital linking of passport offices with the police stations throughout the country to further ease the process of delivery.”

The launch of PSKs in Jammu and Srinagar will fast track the issuance of passports to people, Krishna added.


Tajik Opposition Asks Putin for Help

Tajik Opposition Asks Putin for Help

Khorog, Tajikistan

Khorog, Tajikistan

© REUTERS/ Handout

MOSCOW, July 26 (RIA Novosti)

Tajik opposition activists have sent a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin asking him to help resolve the military conflict in eastern Tajikistan that has left over 200 people dead, Russian RBC daily reported on Thursday, citing Tajik opposition activist Ikbolsho Muborakshoyev.

Russia is “the only authoritative force that can influence the situation and call the opposing sides to dialogue,” Muborakshoyev told a press conference on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, the official position recently announced by the Foreign Ministry is unacceptable for us since it supports the government’s actions,” he said, adding that the talks between the government and opposition have little chance of success because the government is pressuring the opposition.

Muborakshoyev charged that the military operation near the eastern Tajik city of Khorog, officially targeting the suspected killers of a top security official, was actually an attempt by President Emomali Rakhmon to suppress the opposition, which is traditionally influential in this part of the country.

Tajik security officials reported on Tuesday that 30 militants, including eight Afghan citizens, were killed and 40 were detained during a special operation in Tajikistan’s southern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region against a mafia-style group believed to be behind the murder of Abdullo Nazarov, chief of the Tajikistan National Security Committee, who was killed on July 21.

Dushanbe denies any casualties among civilians, but the opposition media reported about over 200 dead, including security officers and civilians.

Putin has yet to respond to the appeal.

Will Kurdish Gains In Northern Syria Trigger Turkish Military Response?

Liberated Kurdish Cities in Syria Move into Next Phase


ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Syrian governmental forces have retreated from the Kurdish regions of Syria without a fight; the liberated cities are now being ruled evenly by the People’s Council of Syrian Kurdistan (PYD) and the Kurdish National Council (KNC).

According to the information obtained by Rudaw, the Kurdish cities of Kobane, Derek, Amoude, Efrin and Sari Kani have fallen under the control of Syrian Kurdish forces.

The city of Kobane was the first Kurdish city to be liberated last Thursday, 17 months after the revolution against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began.

The KNC and PYD agreed to jointly control the liberated Kurdish cities in a deal made in Erbil on July 11, under the supervision of Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani.

“According to the treaty of Erbil which was signed by the KNC and PYD, any administrative vacuum in the Kurdish cities of Syria will be occupied evenly — 50/50 — by these two signatories. These two groups will continue ruling the Kurdish regions until an election is carried out,” said Nuri Brimo, a spokesperson of the Democratic Kurdish Party of Syria.

The national flag of Kurdistan and the flag of the PKK – which the PYD is affiliated with — are now being raised over the majority of government and public buildings.

However Abdulbaqi Yusuf, a spokesperson of Kurdish Union Party (KUP), said, “The buildings under the control of PYD are using their own flags, but we as the KNC are using the national flag of Kurdistan. This is a problem because we only recognize one flag and that is the national Kurdish flag, but the PYD does not recognize that flag.”

He added, “For example, in the city of Kobane, we controlled some buildings and raised the Kurdish national flag over those buildings, but the PYD came and forced us out with their guns and removed the national flag of Kurdistan and replaced it with their own flag. We could not do anything because they were armed and we were not.”

Yusuf also had concerns about the quality of life for Syrian Kurds. “People are living in bad conditions and have not received any help,” he said, criticizing the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for not coming to their aid.

“We have requested help from the KRG several times but they have not helped. Nobody listens to us,” Yusuf said.

Brimo admits that “Barzani asked the KNC and PYD to rule the Syrian Kurdish cities evenly between them and in return promised financial and moral support.”

Abdulbasit Sayda, the leader of the country’s largest opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), said they were looking for help for people in the region. “As the SNC, we are holding meetings with international actors in order to receive financial and humanitarian aid and save ourselves from the clutches of the Syrian regime. We need this aid because the economic situation of the Syrian people and the Kurds is very bad and they need help,” he said.

Sayda added, “We are constantly in touch with Barzani regarding the situation in Syria and keep each other updated.”

Brimo explained the withdrawal of regime forces from the Kurdish cities. “The Syrian regime is gathering its forces in Damascus,” he said. “Therefore, they are retreating from other regions.”

He also revealed that the Syrian regime informed the PYD about their withdrawal in advance, so that the group knew beforehand which cities the forces would be leaving.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) is present in many parts of Syria, but not in the Kurdish regions. “There is a sort of agreement between KNC and SNC. The FSA will not come to the Kurdish regions and the Kurds will not go the Arabic regions,” said Brimo.

Sayda admitted fearing a surprise attack by the Syrian government on these Kurdish regions.

“The Kurds of Syria need to brace themselves for a sudden return of Syrian government forces. It is probable that the regime might return to attack this region again,” he said.

Erdogan Claims Syria Gives PKK Terrorists Base In Northern Provinces–Vows To Strike

PKK’s Cooperation with PYD not Welcomed

Erdogan said Turkey does not receive favorably PKK’s cooperation with PYD in northern Syria.

Speaking on private TV channel, Kanal 24, Prime Minister Erdogan said that the structuring in northern Syria could not be regarded as one of the Kurds.
“There is a structure (in northern Syria) which was built by terrorist organization PKK and the PYD. Such a structure involves sensitive balances. We need to evaluate such a structure. We can not just accept such a structure,” Erdogan stressed.

“A structure in northern Syria for us means a structure of terror. It is impossible for us to look favorably at such a structure,” Erdogan underlined.
“Our Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will travel to northern Iraq next week. He will talk with officials there about the situation in northern Syria and our sensitivities,” Erdogan also said.

Turkey warns it would strike PKK fighters inside Syria

ISTANBUL — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Syria of letting Turkey’s Kurdish rebels operate inside the north of the country and warned that Ankara would not hesitate to strike against them.

“In the north, it (President Bashar al-Assad’s regime) has allotted five provinces to the Kurds, to the terrorist organisation,” Erdogan said on Turkish television late Wednesday, referring to the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

He said the move was explicitly aimed against Turkey and warned that “there will undoubtedly be a response on our part to this attitude.”

Asked if Ankara would strike fleeing rebels after an attack on Turkish soil, Erdogan said: “That’s not even a matter of discussion, it is a given. That is the objective, that is what must be done.”

“That is what we have been doing and will continue to do in Iraq,” he said during a programme aired on Kanal 24.

“If we occasionally launch aerial strikes against terrorist areas it’s because these are measures taken because of defence needs.”

Turkey regularly bombs suspected Kurdish rebel hideouts in northern Iraq.

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and by much of the international community, took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

Relations between Turkey and Syria have steadily soured since the start of the uprising against Assad’s rule in Syria in March 2011, with Erdogan criticising the regime’s crackdown against the revolt.

Some 100 foreign tourists reportedly stuck in Khorog

Some 100 foreign tourists reportedly stuck in Khorog


DUSHANBE, July 26, 2012, Asia-Plus – Some 100 foreign tourists have reportedly been stuck in Khorog.  They are mostly citizens of the European countries, the United States and Canada.

Representative of an Australian tourist company, which has been engaged in sending tourists to Gorno Badakhshan, says the majority of foreign tourists were supposed to leave Khorog in the morning of July 24, but they failed.

According to him, their company has already got in touch with diplomatic missions of the United States and European countries in Dushanbe.  “To ensure security of our clients is our main tasks, and therefore, we have got in touch with their embassies in Dushanbe, who, in turn, are in contact with their foreign ministries,” the source from Melbourne said.

He added that one of members of the tourist group stuck in Khorog had a satellite phone and he was getting in touch with the company by that phone.

Meanwhile, some sources say that some 70 employees of international organizations active in the region have also been stuck in Khorog.

Representatives of international organizations accredited in Tajikistan have reportedly applied to the Tajik power-wielding structures with solicitation to provide corridor for evacuation of their employees from Khorog.

First Images of Miami’s First “Zombie” Attack Victim, Ronald Poppo–DAMN!

Miami ‘Cannibal’ Victim Ronald Poppo’s Recovery!

Published on Jun 12, 2012 by 

-WARNING: Graphic Photos-

Ronald Poppo, the 65-year-old Miami homeless man whose face was eaten during a vicious attack two weeks ago is “doing well, eating, walking around, and remembers the attack,” doctors said today as they updated the public for the first time on the victim’s condition.

Poppo gave permission for doctors to discuss his case with reporters but has had no visitors. Doctors described Poppo as upbeat despite significant portions of his face being destroyed and they said he’s beginning to remember the horrific and unprovoked attack on the streets of the city.

WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES: Pictures of Ronald Poppo and his attacker.

“When Poppo arrived you could not make out facial features,” said Dr. Nicolas Namias, chief of trauma at Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital. “Our primary goal was to close his wounds…[and] allow him to recover before undergoing more surgeries.”

Doctors say his left eye was destroyed. His right eye is still there but they covered it with a flap taken from skin from his forehead and scalp. He suffered a brain injury, similar to those experiences by those involved in car accidents, according to doctors. Both his ears remain intact.

“Fifty percent of his face is gone, and he is missing all the features that would make him recognizable,” said Dr. Wrood Kassira, Jackson chief of plastic surgery.
PHOTO: This combo made with undated photos made available by the Miami-Dade Police Dept. shows Rudy Eugene, 31, left, who police shot and killed as he ate the face of Ronald Poppo, 65, right, during a horrific attack in the shadow of the Miami Herald’s he
Miami-Dade Police Dept./AP Photo
This combo made with undated photos made… View Full Size
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Mental health providers have begun seeing Poppo, and doctors described his condition as upbeat but he has many months of surgery ahead.

“He had wounds involving the forehead, both eyes and the cheek. We did skin grafts to his wounds, which are still healing and evolving. He is missing his eyebrows and his eyes. It is hard to see who he is,” said Dr. Namias.

Police say 31 year-old Rudy Eugene randomly met Poppo on the side of a heavily trafficked Miami thoroughfare during Memorial Day weekend. Police believe it was a chance encounter that occurred after Eugene dumped his car in South Beach and walked 3 ½ miles across a causeway, stripping off his clothes in broad daylight and then attacking Poppo.

Law enforcement officials continue to speculate that the dangerous new street drug “bath salts” may have played a role in the attack. Autopsy results on Eugene did not reveal any drugs in his system, however toxicology results have not been released.

Eugene was shot and killed by police after they say their repeated pleas to get him to stop attacking Poppo were met with growls. Doctors say police may have also shot Poppo but the chest injuries were not severe. “There was no ill effect from it. It was a simple injury. It was nowhere near the worst of his problems, said Namias

Surveillance video shows that for 18 agonizing minutes Poppo was disrobed from the waist down, kicked, punched and eaten alive before police shot Eugene four times. Poppo then sat up covered in blood as three paramedics quickly got him onto a stretcher, put a neck brace on him and rushed him to the emergency room.

Poppo, who once attended New York City’s elite Stuyvesant high School and dreamed of becoming president, will need months of reconstructive surgery that will cost thousands of dollars. A foundation set up in his name has raised $15,000.

“In terms of the cost of the care, the physician doesn’t have to become concerned with it…We are allowed to take care of the patient…there will be a long-term cost,” said Namias.

“AK 47s…belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”–Meddler-In-Chief

[The shooter used an AR-15, a.k.a., M-16.]

Obama vows gun checks after Colorado shooting

Barack Obama (AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana: Speaking to a nation raw from its latest mass shooting, US President Barack Obama vowed Wednesday to pursue “common-sense” measures to make sure mentally unbalanced people cannot get their hands on guns.

Obama did not mention any specific law or measure but said he would work with both parties in Congress to try to achieve a “consensus around violence reduction” in the wake of last Friday’s massacre at a cinema in Colorado.

“I, like most Americans, believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual the right to bear arms,” he told the National Urban League Convention in New Orleans, referring to part of the US Constitution.

“I think we recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation — that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage.

“But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals — that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities,” he said.

Calls for a re-examination of America’s gun laws mounted in the aftermath of the tragedy in Aurora as it emerged that suspect James Holmes bought four weapons legally.

Over eight weeks, Holmes stocked up on the Internet on 6,300 rounds of ammunition: 3,000 for his .233 semi-automatic AR-15 rifle, another 3,000 for his two Glock pistols, and 300 cartridges for his pump-action shotgun.

Holmes, a 24-year-old graduate student, also bought a special magazine for his AR-15 military-style assault rifle that enabled him to fire up to 50 to 60 rounds per minute.

Obama said he had already stepped up background checks on those who buy weapons in the wake of last year’s shooting in Tucson, Arizona that left six people dead and Democratic congresswoman Gabby Giffords fighting for her life.

“But even though we have taken these actions, they’re not enough. Other steps to reduce violence have been met with opposition in Congress. This has been true for some time, particularly when it touches on the issue of guns,” he said.

“I believe the majority of gun owners would agree we should do everything possible to prevent criminals and fugitives from purchasing weapons. And we should check someone’s criminal record before they can check out a gun seller.

“A mentally unbalanced individual should not be able to get his hands on a gun so easily. These steps shouldn’t be controversial. They should be common-sense.”

A group of Democratic lawmakers pushed to ban assault weapons and high-capacity gun magazines Tuesday in the wake of the Colorado massacre, but congressional leaders are unwilling to touch the volatile issue.

Advocates of stricter gun control measures argue that America is more prone to mass shootings than other countries because the law in many states is too lenient.

They have been disappointed by Obama, but political pragmatists see that he could be committing electoral suicide if he took up such an explosive issue at the current time.

The gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association (NRA), is well-funded and a powerful player in Washington. It argues that crazy people do crazy things and says that clamping down on fundamental American liberties will achieve nothing.

Several key battlegrounds in November’s elections — Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, for example — have gun-friendly populations that remain wedded to their right to bear arms.

Colorado Shooter Was Camp Counselor for Jewish Big Brothers and Sisters

Colorado Shooter Was Camp Counselor for Jewish Big Brothers and Sisters



An undated handout photo released by the University of Colorado shows James Holmes, reportedly the shooter at a theater in Aurora, Colorado.

An undated handout photo released by the University of Colorado shows James Holmes, reportedly the shooter at a theater in Aurora, Colorado.

James Holmes, the Colorado graduate student who is suspected of killing 12 moviegoers and wounding 58 others on Friday during the premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises,”  worked as a camp counselor in Los Angeles County in 2008 that was run by Jewish Big Brothers and Sisters (JBBBS), the group’s CEO told NBC4 on Saturday.

James Holmes, 24, worked as cabin counselor at Camp Max Straus in the summer of 2008, according to Randy Schwab, the CEO of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Schwab’s statement read: “It is with shock and sorrow that we learned of the incident in Aurora. Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families and friends of those involved in this horrible tragedy. On behalf of Camp Max Straus I want to offer our deepest sympathies and condolences.”

Schwab said that, as cabin counselor, Holmes was in charge of the care and guidance of about 10 children. His role was to ensure that the children had a “wonderful camp experience.”

According to Schwab, Holmes helped the children in his care “learn confidence, self esteem and how to work in small teams to effect positive outcomes.”

His statement continued: “These skills are learned through activities such as archery, horseback riding, swimming, art, sports and high ropes course.”

Camp Max Straus is a nonsectarian program for children ages 7-14, which is run by Jewish Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Los Angeles.

Holmes is not Jewish.

Can the Saudis Purchase Nukes from Pakistan?

[When the truth comes out, it necessarily sounds like a conspiracy theory.  In the case of the so-called “Islamic bomb,” many of us so-called “conspiracy nuts” have been warning for years that the bomb being developed in Islamabad was financed by Riyadh, meaning that it was co-owned.  We have come dangerously close to the day when the Saudis will collect the deadly merchandise that Pakistan has been holding for them.  We now know why certain events have taken place, namely the promotion of Bandar to head of Saudi intelligence and the news of the $100 million Saudi “present.”   (Just found out that my post of the $100 mil article was somehow moved into the trash–restored–editor).  This is what America’s complex South Asian strategy has been leading up to–THE MORE NUKES THE MERRIER, when the mad American social scientists start tossing grenades into the old control room.]

King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia met Pakistan’s prime minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, in Jeddah a few days ago as Riyadh began sending its Special Forces to Pakistan for training.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, July 25 (UPI) — King Abdallah of Saudi Arabia met Pakistani Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in Jeddah a few days ago as Riyadh began sending its Special Forces to Pakistan for training.

The Islamic countries, both dominated by the mainstream Sunni sect, have long had a particularly close relationship and these events heightened speculation Riyadh is trying to strike a secret deal with Islamabad to acquire nuclear weapons to counter Iran.

Abdallah’s surprise July 19 appointment of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the kingdom’s ambassador in Washington in 1983-2005 and a veteran of its usually clandestine security policy, as his new intelligence chief may be part of murky mosaic linking Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Bandar played a key role in the clandestine arming of by the United States and Saudi Arabia, via Pakistan’s intelligence service, of the Afghan mujahedin during the 1969-79 Soviet invasion.

Bandar’s appointment as the head of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency, its foreign intelligence service, was one of several critical security related command changes made in recent days.

These took place as the kingdom, the world’s largest oil exporter, faces a swarm of regional challenges, the most prominent of which is nuclear wannabe Iran.

As the confrontation between the United States and Iran over Tehran nuclear program builds up in the Persian Gulf, Riyadh is increasingly looking eastward to longtime ally Pakistan, the only nuclear Muslim power, for support.

“As Iran becomes more dangerous and the United States becomes more reluctant to engage in military missions overseas, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia may find that renewed military and nuclear cooperation is the best way to secure their interests,” observed Christopher Clary and Mara E. Karlin, former U.S. Defense Department policy advisers on South Asia and the Middle East.

Writing in The American Interest, they noted: “As the United States re-examines its military posture toward South Asia and the Middle East in the context of its withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, it must explicitly consider the possibility of a Saudi-Pakistan nuclear bargain.

“The failure to take such a scenario seriously could promote its occurrence.”

U.S. plans to effectively withdraw militarily from Afghanistan in mid-2013, as it did in Iraq last December, have intensified Pakistani concerns about Islamic jihadists.

This mirrors Saudi suspicions that after Iraq and Afghanistan it can no longer rely on the United States for protection.

The Saudis too face a jihadist threat, particularly from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula that’s based in neighboring Yemen.

It’s long been believed that the Saudis bankrolled Pakistan’s nuclear program, in the 1970s and ’80s and now wants some reciprocity in the shape of readymade nuclear weapons, paid for by massive financial aid for Islamabad.

Israel’s Debkafile Web site, considered close to Israeli intelligence and which sometimes posts reports considered to be disinformation, claimed in December 2010 that Pakistan has set aside two nuclear weapons for Saudi Arabia.

These, it said, are believed to be stored at Pakistan’s nuclear air base at Kamra in the north.

At least two giant Saudi transport planes sporting civilian colors and no insignia are parked permanently at Kamra with aircrews on standby,” Debka reported.

“They will fly the nuclear weapons home upon receipt of a double-coded signal from King Abdallah and the director of General Intelligence,” who now happens to be Prince Bandar, reported to be close to the monarch.

The Saudis have of late portrayed their high-tension rivalry with the Iranians as a new, menacing chapter in the 1,300-year-old struggle between Sunni and Shiite Islam.

“The stakes are enormous,” says Bruce Reidel, a former counter-terrorism specialist with the CIA wrote in the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel.

“Pakistan has the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world. It will soon surpass the United Kingdom as the fifth-largest nuclear arsenal.

“It’s the sixth-largest country in the world in terms of population. It will soon surpass Indonesia as the country with the largest Muslim population.”

A leading Saudi royal, Prince Turki al-Faisal, who headed the GIP in 1977-2001, warned U.S. and British military chiefs meeting outside London June 8, 2011, that Tehran’s acquisition of nuclear arms “would compel Saudi Arabia … to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences.”

Tajik Forces Move Against Illegal Armed Gangs In Operation

Special Operation Continues in Eastern Tajikistan








Avesta.Tj | 25.07.2012 |

The situation in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, where is a special operation of government forces against the illegal armed gangs, remains difficult.


As the “Avesta” was told by a source in the power structures of the republic on condition of anonymity, the battles which were yesterday in the city of Khorog, “smoothly” move outside the city.


According to the source, about 6-8 gangs were against the government forces, the number of each of them is from 60 to 90 people.


According to unconfirmed reports there is accumulation of a large number of armed men in neighboring Afghanistan.


The night before the Interior Ministry and National Security Committee released official data on the first day of the operation in Khorog, according to which, during the fighting 30 members of this illegal crime group were killed and 40 were detained, 8 citizens of Afghanistan among them. 100 items of firearms were seized.


Officially, 12 law enforcers were killed and 23 were wounded in the operation. There are no casualties among civilians, – noted in a joint statement of the Interior Ministry and National Security Committee.

Ismaili Shiites In the Badakhshan Conflict Zone

[Is there significance in the fact that this Tajik military operation was against the Pamirs of Eastern Tajikistan, who are primarily Ismailis, another form of Shia Islam?  If this is significant, then it certainly implies that this was an operation requested by the American administration, or done to find favor with the Western leaders.  If so, then it suggests that the Rahmon regime has thrown-in Tajikistan’s lot with the United States.  This would further suggest that Russia is on the verge of losing its 201st Motorized Division’s base in Dushanbe.  Stay tuned.  Things could turn very ugly, very quickly, from here on out.  With the eviction of Russian MTS from Uzbekistan, we know even less than usual about the situation there (conflicting reports claim large protests taking place in Andijan).  Fergana Valley may be about to burn.]

Tajikistan: The special operation in Badakhshan can provoke serious opposition to the regime Rahmon


The situation in the Gorno-Badakhshan is changing every hour. In fourteen hours local time, should have ended the truce concluded yesterday between government troops and militants. However, in the morning an agreement had been violated: in Khorog (the center of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast) unknown snipers shot and killed seven civilians – four children, two men and a woman. When the truce came to an end, the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmonov signed a decree on the full cease-fire in Khorog.

Unlawful killing as a pretext to raid

The official reason for the raid in the Gorno-Badakhshan was the murder of Gen. Abdullah Nazarov – Head of Regional Department of the State Committee for National Security (SCNS). According to the official version, the incident occurred in the suburb of Khorog, when the general returned to the official car of the district center Ishkashim (Ishkashim – a village on the banks of the Panj River on the border with Afghanistan).The car was allegedly stopped by Nazarov group of unknown people, who pulled out of the general car and struck him several times with a knife, then fled. It was reported that at the time of the attack near the Nazarov were two employees of the National Security Committee of the “Alpha”, but they could not protect him. The blame for the murder was assigned to the illegal armed formation, which is headed by Deputy Chief Ishkashim Tolib Ayembekov border detachment. According to the National Security Committee and the Interior Ministry, the group has for a long time was engaged in smuggling drugs, tobacco products, precious stones, followed by the number of serious crimes, including robbery.

Officially, it is to find and arrest the killers Nazarov, in Gorno-Badakhshan, and were introduced by the troops and armored vehicles. Khorog bombed without warning and evacuating civilians – but it brought out representatives of international organizations. As a result, special operations have been killed, according to unofficial data, more than 200 people, according toan official – 42 people. He was killed by one of the sons Ayembekova himself Tolib fled to Afghanistan.

Sources “Fergana” in Khorog, however, give his version of what happened murder. According to a person close to the structure, where the victim worked and General Nazarov and Tolib Ayembekov, it was the only crime of “dispute”. “We were Ayembekova Nazarov and agreement on certain types of contraband goods (apparently, Nazarov,” fronting “Ayembekova – Ed.), And when there were some problems, the general Nazarov went to settle – that’s why he did not take a guard, he did not need unnecessary witnesses – the source says, “Fergana”. – But during the showdown, something went wrong and how to say it was brother Tolib Ayembekova knife and struck the general’s chest. This is exactly showdowns, there is no policy. In Gorno-Badakhshan authorities have long grown together with criminals, through the area is a large flow of contraband. ”

This version explains why Tolib Ayembekov flatly refused to extradite those responsible for the death of General, as well as the official version with 20 stab wounds: the authorities are not interested in a broad investigation into relations of crime and high officials of National Security Committee, and the “gang murder” Nazarov – a good excuse for military special operations, which benefit both the authorities and drug cartels (assuming that these are two different forces). On the one hand, it may be a special operation to pacify the autonomous region, where even today there are armed groups and which has traditionally opposed Rahmon, on the other, more serious disturbances in Badakhshan, the easier it is for smugglers.

In the words of an expert on Central Asia, the international observer, “Moscow News” Arkady Dubnov, in an interview with Radio “Liberty”, “version that I know is that the killing of Abdullah Nazarov is just an excuse to deploy there is a serious large-scale military operation of government troops, to eliminate a serious threat to the regime Rahmon. In these assertions there is truth, because to find the perpetrators of the murder of Nazarov’s official Dushanbe could just started a large-scale military operation.The fact that virtually all of Badakhshan population is opposed to the central government. And trying to make Dushanbe come to confess or to give up those whom the regime considered guilty from the outset doomed to failure. Sorry for the cynicism, but I think if it were not for this reason – killing Nazarov, it would have to invent those now in power in Dushanbe. For more than a year before the presidential election in Tajikistan, where Rahmon has no serious rivals, except for the armed opposition, that it was necessary to tear a splinter. ”

What is happening in Khorog?

“Fergana” contacted the chairman of the Russian Fund for Cultural Heritage, “Pamir” Mukimov Maybalievym, who said that, according to their data, resulting in a special operation, which lasted from six in the morning until six in the evening, killing about 150 people: 35-40 killed by government Troops, 30-40 people from the insurgents, and 50-60 – on the part of the civilian population. International organizations with offices in Khorog, on the eve of his men were taken out of the city – the locals was not warned.

– People are sent to the summer home of their wives and children – and now have no information from relatives, telephone blocked – said Mukim Maybaliev. – We have prepared an appeal to the Government of Tajikistan, where we ask only two things: stop the fighting and restore the connection. This morning at a rally in Khorog and the old woman came out, they also require a cessation of hostilities.

Meanwhile, the “Facebook” appeared panicky messages about what is happening in Khorog, “lamentable state of the population, lots of angry civilians were killed, the military does not allow women to bury the dead guys body, which lay in the streets, do not give to touch, many in the the verge of collapse. The military also took control of the only hospital in the city, and placed their wounded there, but their not let anyone go … “Information about” bodies, which lie in the streets, “indirectly confirmed by the words of the chairman of the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region (Badakhshan) encoding Cosimo, who commented on the disposal of Rahmon’s cease-fire: “This decision was made due to the fact that there are wounded, and on the streets can be decomposed corpses.”

Morning, July 25 Mukim Maybaliev not confirmed “Fergana” information with “Facebook”: “Forget allowed. Today in Khorog silence, till two o’clock declared a truce. ”

– The facebook is the call to come to the rally to the Embassy of Tajikistan in Moscow to 18.00. This rally sanctioned?

– No. We are not talking about the rally. We will give our message to the embassy and we hope that we hear. Because if the fighting will continue, we can not keep people – but only in Moscow and the region around 35 000 people from the Gorno-Badakhshan – told M.Maybaliev.

Ismailis in Afghanistan


Background of Gorno-Badakhshan and Dushanbe deserves a separate story, which now is no time. We only recall that Badakhshan – an autonomous region, whose inhabitants have traditionally hurt the ratio of official Dushanbe. Badakhshan – the poor, the most vulnerable and the most problematic area of ​​Tajikistan. Pamirs differ from other ethnic Tajiks, not only: they have different national self-awareness. Recall that the majority of the indigenous inhabitants of Gorno-Badakhshan constitute

Ismailis (followers of the Shiite Muslim religious movements), whereas in other regions of Tajikistan live mostly Sunni.

Combat operations of government troops joined the Ismaili stronger than the economic interests or criminal liability: a source said, “Fergana” in Tajikistan, now dominated by a feeling among the Ismailis’ enemies came to our land and kill innocent people. ” As the “Fergana” in Afghanistan, on the border with Tajikistan, are now about 250 Ismailis – Tolib Ayembekova people who are willing to cross the border and go to the aid of fellow Muslims.

The most dangerous thing that there is a real threat: those under the banner of Tajikistan can climb many of those who are dissatisfied with the regime of Rahmon. And perhaps, the power is realized.

About an hour before the expected completion time of the armistice, Tajik President signed a decree on the complete cessation of hostilities in Khorog. In addition, it became known as the “Fergana” from their sources, Rahmon invited the Prince Aga Khan IV (the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslim community-Nizari) but it has not yet arrived.

“Fergana” continues to monitor developments in the Gorno-Badakhshan.

Maria Yanovskaya

The international news agency “Fergana”

Russia is concerned following events in Badakhshan

Russia is concerned following events in Badakhshan

Avaz Yuldashev

The Russian side is concerned following events in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast of the Republic of Tajikistan (Badakhshan).

As reported on the official website of the Russian Foreign Ministry, in Russia alarmed by acts of violence against members of the government of the republic, led to the raid in the south-eastern Tajikistan.

“We hope that the friendly guidance of Tajikistan will be able to put the situation under reliable control, restore public order and the rule of law in this region”, – said Russian Foreign Ministry.

It is further noted that the Russian Embassy in Dushanbe is in constant contact with the competent authorities of Tajikistan. According to the embassy, ​​registered in the consular department of the Russian citizens living in Gorno-Badakhshan, are not made.

“We believe that the Tajik authorities to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and interests of Russian citizens who may be in the area of ​​the raid,” – Foreign Minister stressed.

Recall, on July 24 in the city of Khorog was a special operation of government forces against the illegal armed gangs. According to official information, during the raid killed 42 people – 30 militants and 12 law enforcement and security agencies. It was also reported on the detention of 40 participants gangs, among which eight Afghan citizens. This morning it was announced that the full cease-fire.

Afghan authorities pull together additional troops to the border with Tajikistan


Afghan authorities pull together additional troops to the border with Tajikistan

Avaz Yuldashev

Afghan authorities to tighten additional military forces in the direction of Badakhshan Tajik-Afghan border.

As reported by “AP”, the press service of the President, today, at the initiative of the IRA leader Hamid Karzai held a telephone conversation between the president and the president of Tajikistan, Afghanistan.

Both sides expressed concern over the deteriorating situation in the south-east of Tajikistan, in particular in the city of Khorog.

According to sources, Hamid Karzai, Emomali Rahmon said that the Afghan government additional military contracts, which will be in Afghan Badakhshan to the complete normalization of the situation on the Tajik-Afghan border.

The source said that Karzai and Rahmon agreed that the security forces and intelligence agencies of the two states will be in constant contact until after the special operation of the Tajik government forces and the normalization of the situation in the region.

Neocon-Designated “Free Syria Zone” Takes Shape In Syria’s North, As Planned

[SEE:  Neocon Plans for A Syrian Safe Area]

“Welcome to the Qurqanya google satellite map! This place is situated in Idlib, Syria, its geographical coordinates are 36° 8′ 0″ North, 36° 37′ 0″ East and its original name (with diacritics) is Qūrqānyā.”

In Syria’s North, A Shadow State Emerges

A Free Syrian Army solider mans a checkpoint in the northern town of Ariha, on the outskirts of Idlib, Syria, June 10. In rural areas held by rebels, new institutions are cropping up to fill the void left by the receding Syrian state.

Khalil Hamra/APA Free Syrian Army solider mans a checkpoint in the northern town of Ariha, on the outskirts of Idlib, Syria, June 10. In rural areas held by rebels, new institutions are cropping up to fill the void left by the receding Syrian state.
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July 25, 2012

Third of five parts

Tucked in the olive groves and rocky hills of northern Syria, the small village of Qurqanya doesn’t seem like much.

Scratch the surface, though, and you realize that this is a hub for the revolution in northern Syria, where a kind of shadow state is forming.

As the Syrian state recedes, the people in this village and villages around it are filling in the blanks with their own institutions and, for better or for worse, their own ideas about how a country should be run.

The rebels started taking control of these villages and towns a few months back, as the Syrian army focused on holding major cities.

The first thing the rebels do is take over the post office or the police station and set up shop as the local authority.

Each village or town has something different to offer the rebels. In Qurqanya, it’s a school that during the summer break can be used as a kind of media center, with a few laptops and an Internet connection.

In the next town over, it’s a hospital.

The head doctor says he might treat dozens of injured rebel fighters from all around this region in a single day. Places that treat rebels used to be totally underground — makeshift MASH units set up in people’s houses.

In many parts of Syria, it’s still like this. But more and more the rebels are coming out into the open and asserting their control.

Trying To Provide Better Governance

I’m in a truck riding with the rebels of the Free Syrian Army. And we’re doing something that just a month ago, maybe two months ago, would have been totally unheard of. We’re driving on a highway — freely, openly, during the middle of the day.

In fact, we just went through a checkpoint. It wasn’t a government checkpoint but a Free Syrian Army checkpoint. They saw who we were — a pickup truck with guys with guns in the back — and waved us through.

Driving into the next town, the town marker has been painted with the rebel flag. Once we’re in town, we can tell what that means. There is no sign of the Syrian state anywhere.

This is a major town, and basically everybody supports the revolution. It’s not like everybody is out fighting. Business is ongoing. There are shops open all over the place. We sit in a cafe and have ice cream. There are toys and chairs and bicycles for sale. And life goes on.

Locals tell us it’s not just about feeding, transporting, treating and housing the rebels. It’s also about providing better governance than the Syrian state could offer.

An elderly sheik now serves on a rebel-appointed council of judges that hears cases brought by the people.

Before the revolution, he was a preacher in a mosque. Now, he says he applies strict Islamic law to the cases brought before him. He recently sentenced a man to 100 lashes for having sex out of wedlock.

What If The Regime Regains Control?

My translator — who recently lived in Syria’s mostly secular capital, Damascus — later groans at the thought of being punished for whom he sleeps with. He says he can’t help but wonder if the new, shadow government will be any better than the previous one.

And there’s the real concern that the shadow government might not last, that the Syrian regime will somehow regain control in these areas and punish people for providing so much support and cover for the rebels.

Back in Qurqanya, we watch as regime helicopters circle closer toward the village, firing rockets in the hills just beyond. It’s the closest the regime’s forces have ever gotten to Qurqanya.

Later that night, I see the first signs of worry on the face of the woman of the house where we’re staying. She won’t let me record her, but she keeps asking me what I think will happen.

Will the regime come for us tomorrow? she asks. No, I tell her. I don’t think so.

What about after that? she asks. I tell her I just don’t know.

CIA’s favorite Saudi prince is laying the groundwork for a post-Assad Syria

[This article had to be pulled from cache.  Haaretz pulled it.

CIA’s favorite Saudi prince is laying the groundwork for a post-Assad Syria

As the wars of succession in Syria begin, Saudi Arabia, led by it new intelligence chief, will do all it can to dissipate the Iranian influence on Damascus.

Bandar Bin Sultan - AP - Archive

Saudi Arabia Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, Sept. 19, 2003. Photo by AP

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan, 62, fell in love with the United States when he was still a pilot in his country’s air force and took aerobatics training on an American air base. The romance was renewed several years later when he was named his country’s ambassador to Washington, a tenure that lasted 22 years, during which he was a regular guest of both George Bushes and was the only ambassador who was guarded by the U.S. Secret Service.

Last week King Abdullah named him director-general of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, replacing Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, on top of his post as secretary general of the National Security Council, which he’s held since 2005.

Bandar’s appointment to the most important position in the Saudi security echelons is no coincidence. Aside from the fact that he is very well connected to the kingdom’s leaders (his wife, Haifa, is the daughter of King Faisal who was assassinated in 1975, her brother, Turki al-Faisal, was once head of Saudi intelligence and another brother, Mohammed al-Faisal, is one of the kingdom’s richest men), it seems that the primary reason for his appointment now is that Saudi Arabia is preparing for the next stage in Syria, after President Bashar Assad finally gets off the political stage, one way or another, and Syria turns into a focus of international struggles for control of the inheritance.

There is already an intense campaign over this inheritance between the United States with the European Union and Russia, but the ramifications of Assad’s fall on the positions of Iran and Hezbollah – and no less so, Iraq – are more important. And when Egypt is hobbling on crutches in its effort to establish its “Second Republic,” and its position in the Middle East is that of a disabled person needing nursing care, and when the Arab League is paralyzed, Saudi Arabia is left to assume responsibility for drawing up the new map of the Middle East.

From Washington’s perspective, Bandar’s appointment is important news. Bandar, the rugby fan and man-about-town, whose wife, more than a decade ago, was being investigated by Congress about her connections to Al-Qaida activists, is considered the CIA’s man in Riyadh. He’s known as a can-do person who makes quick decisions and doesn’t spare any resources to achieve his objectives.

When there was a need to transfer money to the rebels in Nicaragua in the 1980s, Bandar was the one who dealt with the Saudi “grants” that were requested by the White House. He was also the one who arranged things when Saudi Arabia was asked to help fund the mujahedeen’s battles in Afghanistan against the Soviet conquest.

Bandar is a member of that part of the royal family that is against the revolutions in the Arab states, and who see the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood no less of a threat than Iranian influence in the region.

He helped King Abdullah (when the latter was still crown prince) to formulate the Saudi peace plan that later became known as the Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and he fashioned the tough Saudi stance against Syria and Hezbollah after the assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005. A few years afterward, he suggested that the king change course and reconcile with Syria in an effort to cool the relations between Syria and Iran.

When the revolutions broke out, even more so when the Shi’ite rebellion began in Bahrain, Bandar supported sending troops to that small kingdom to quell the revolt, which Saudi Arabia perceived as Iranian intervention in the business of the Gulf states. At the same time, Saudi Arabia decided to quickly support the new Egyptian regime financially, depositing more than $3 billion as a guarantee in the Egyptian central bank.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi knows very well that this aid does not stem from Saudi Arabia’s great love for the Egyptian revolution, let alone for the Muslim Brotherhood, but is meant to block Iranian efforts to gain a foothold in Egypt. As a result, when Morsi was invited to Tehran for a conference of non-aligned nations, he decided to stop first in Riyadh for a visit, so as not to give Iran the political satisfaction of being the first host of the new Egyptian president.

Saudi commentators say that Bandar was the one behind the decision to give money to the Syrian rebels, and even to buy weapons for them, and that the tough Saudi demand that Assad must step down is part of Bandar’s own strategic concept, which guides the kingdom far more than the positions of the 88-year-old king, whose health is failing.

The Saudi policy on Syria is being closely coordinated with the U.S. administration, both of which (like Israel) want to separate Iran from its most important Arab base and undermine the flow of weapons to Hezbollah. These goals have not escaped Iranian eyes, which is why Tehran is strengthening its positions in Iraq and in the Kurdish zone of northern Iraq. Moreover, according to reports from the Syrian opposition, Iran is also making clandestine contacts in Europe with rebel representatives.

There is no way to know what Syria will look like after Assad, and in which of the rebelling factions it pays to invest. Saudi Arabia, as is its wont, is investing in all of them. It is hoped that the United States will get the payoff.

Saudi King announces $100 million to Pakistan

Saudi King announces $100 million to Pakistan

IRNA – Saudi Arabia will extend $100m grants to Pakistan, the Prime Minister’s office has said.

Saudi Finance Minister Dr Ibrahim Al-Assaf also called Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and told him that the Saudi Finance Ministry was going to send $100 million immediately on the directives of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz for the welfare of the people of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister expressed his deep sense of gratitude on this kind gesture of His Majesty King Abdullah.

Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Tabouk, telephoned Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and said that the Prime Minister’s recent meeting with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz was extremely cordial and useful.

He said that the King considered Pakistan as his second home. He told the Prime Minister that he (Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz) would visit Pakistan by the end of this year.

The Prince asked the Prime Minister to convey his best regards to the President of Pakistan.

Talking to Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Prime Minister said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoyed excellent relations which were rooted in common faith, traditions and values. He said that Pakistan held the Royal Family in the highest esteem.

The Prime Minister said that his recent visit to Saudi Arabia was a great success. He said that he exchanged views on a variety of subjects with King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Foreign Minister Saud Al Faisal and was deeply impressed by the vision and insight of His Majesty King Abdullah.

Mexican official: CIA ‘manages’ drug trade

Mexican official: CIA ‘manages’ drug trade

Spokesman for Chihuahua state says US agencies don’t want to end drug trade, a claim denied by other Mexican officials.

The CIA refused to comment directly on the allegations of complicity made by a low-level Mexican official [Reuters]

Juarez, Mexico – The US Central Intelligence Agency and other international security forces “don’t fight drug traffickers”, a spokesman for the Chihuahua state government in northern Mexico has told Al Jazeera, instead “they try to manage the drug trade”.Allegations about official complicity in the drug business are nothing new when they come from activists, professors, campaigners or even former officials. However, an official spokesman for the authorities in one of Mexico’s most violent states – one which directly borders Texas – going on the record with such accusations is unique.

“It’s like pest control companies, they only control,” Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva, the Chihuahua spokesman, told Al Jazeera last month at his office in Juarez. “If you finish off the pests, you are out of a job. If they finish the drug business, they finish their jobs.”

A spokesman for the CIA in Washington wouldn’t comment on the accusations directly, instead he referred Al Jazeera to an official website.

Accusations are ‘baloney’

Villanueva is not a high ranking official and his views do not represent Mexico’s foreign policy establishment. Other more senior officials in Chihuahua State, including the mayor of Juarez, dismissed the claims as “baloney”.

“I think the CIA and DEA [US Drug Enforcement Agency] are on the same side as us in fighting drug gangs,” Hector Murguia, the mayor of Juarez, told Al Jazeera during an interview inside his SUV. “We have excellent collaboration with the US.”

Under the Merida Initiative, the US Congress has approved more than $1.4bn in drug war aid for Mexico, providing attack helicopters, weapons and training for police and judges.

More than 55,000 people have died in drug related violence in Mexico since December 2006. Privately, residents and officials across Mexico’s political spectrum often blame the lethal cocktail of US drug consumption and the flow of high-powered weapons smuggled south of the border for causing much of the carnage.

Drug war ‘illusions’
“The CIA wants to control the population; they don’t want to stop arms trafficking to Mexico, look at [Operation] Fast and Furious,” he said, referencing a botched US exercise where automatic weapons were sold to criminals in the hope that security forces could trace where the guns ended up.”The war on drugs is an illusion,” Hugo Almada Mireles,professor at the Autonomous University of Juarez and author of several books, told Al Jazeera. “It’s a reason to intervene in Latin America.”

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms lost track of 1,700 guns as part of the operation, including an AK-47 used in 2010 the murder of Brian Terry, a Customs and Border Protection Agent.

Blaming the gringos for Mexico’s problems has been a popular sport south of the Rio Grande ever since the Mexican-American war of the 1840s, when the US conquered most of present day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico from its southern neighbour. But operations such as Fast and Furious show that reality can be stranger than fiction when it comes to the drug war and relations between the US and Mexico. If the case hadn’t been proven, the idea that US agents were actively putting weapons into the hands of Mexican gangsters would sound absurd to many.

‘Conspiracy theories’

“I think it’s easy to become cynical about American and other countries’ involvement in Latin America around drugs,” Kevin Sabet, a former senior adviser to the White House on drug control policy, told Al Jazeera. “Statements [accusing the CIA of managing the drug trade] should be backed up with evidence… I don’t put much stake in it.”

Villanueva’s accusations “might be a way to get some attention to his region, which is understandable but not productive or grounded in reality”, Sabet said. “We have sort of ‘been there done that’ with CIA conspiracy theories.”

In 1996, the San Jose Mercury News published Dark Alliance, a series of investigative reports linking CIA missions in Nicaragua with the explosion of crack cocaine consumption in America’s ghettos.

In order to fund Contra rebels fighting Nicaragua’s socialist government, the CIA partnered with Colombian cartels to move drugs into Los Angeles, sending profits back to Central America, the series alleged.

“There is no question in my mind that people affiliated with, or on the payroll of, the CIA were involved in drug trafficking,” US Senator John Kerry said at the time, in response to the series.

Other newspapers, including the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, slammed Dark Alliance, and the editor of the Mercury News eventually wrote that the paper had over-stated some elements in the story and made mistakes in the journalistic process, but that he stood by many of the key conclusions.

Widespread rumours
Acceptance of these claims within some elements of Mexico’s government and security services shows the difficulty in pursuing effective international action against the drug trade.”It’s true, they want to control it,” a mid-level official with theSecretariat Gobernacion in Juarez, Mexico’s equivalent to the US Department of Homeland Security, told Al Jazeera of the CIA and DEA’s policing of the drug trade. The officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he knew the allegations to be correct, based on discussions he had with US officials working in Juarez.

Jesús Zambada Niebla, a leading trafficker from the Sinaloa cartel currently awaiting trial in Chicago, has said he was working for the US Drug Enforcement Agency during his days as a trafficker, and was promised immunity from prosecution.

“Under that agreement, the Sinaloa Cartel under the leadership of [Jesus Zambada’s] father, Ismael Zambada and ‘Chapo’ Guzmán were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tonnes of illicit drugs… into… the United States, and were protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution in return for providing information against rival cartels,” Zambada’s lawyers wrote as part of his defence. “Indeed, the Unites States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

The Sinaloa cartel is Mexico’s oldest and most powerful trafficking organisation, and some analysts believe security forces in the US and Mexico favour the group over its rivals.

Joaquin “El Chapo”, the cartel’s billionaire leader and one of the world’s most wanted men, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 by sneaking into a laundry truck – likely with collaboration from guards – further stoking rumours that leading traffickers have complicit friends in high places.

“It would be easy for the Mexican army to capture El Chapo,” Mireles said. “But this is not the objective.” He thinks the authorities on both sides of the border are happy to have El Chapo on the loose, as his cartel is easier to manage and his drug money is recycled back into the broader economy. Other analysts consider this viewpoint a conspiracy theory and blame ineptitude and low level corruption for El Chapo’s escape, rather than a broader plan from government agencies.

Political changes

In Depth
More from Mexico’s drug war
Cartels cast shadow over
Mexico polls
Dirty money thrives despite
Mexico drug war
As PRI wins, Mexico looks
forward to its past
Mexicans make beeline
for ‘bandit saint’
US-trained cartel terrorises

After an election hit by reported irregularities, Enrique Pena Nieto from the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is set to be sworn in as Mexico’s president on December 1.

He wants to open a high-level dialogue with the US about the drug war, but has said legalisation of some drugs is not an option. Some hardliners in the US worry that Nieto will make a deal with some cartels, in order to reduce violence.

“I am hopeful that he will not return to the PRI party of the past which was corrupt and had a history of turning a blind eye to the drug cartels,” said Michael McCaul, a Republican Congressman from Texas.

Regardless of what position a new administration takes in order to calm the violence and restore order, it is likely many Mexicans – including government officials such as Chihuahua spokesman Guillermo Villanueva – will believe outside forces want the drug trade to continue.

The widespread view linking the CIA to the drug trade – whether or not the allegations are true – speaks volumes about officials’ mutual mistrust amid ongoing killings and the destruction of civic life in Mexico.

“We have good soldiers and policemen,” Villanueva said. “But you won’t resolve this problem with bullets. We need education and jobs.”

Tajik Special Forces in combat right on the Afghan border

[Tajik Special Forces in combat right on the Afghan border.  Wanna bet that they were led by US Spec. Ops.?]

Official Dushanbe: In a special operation in Khorog killed 42 people

The security forces in Tajikistan have extended the first official information on casualties as a result of the operation in Khorog. According to “AP” Head Public Relations Center of the State Committee on National Security of Tajikistan Nozirdzhon Buriev, in a special operation of law enforcement and security agencies of Tajikistan, Khorog, July 24 had been killed 42 people.

According Burieva among 30 dead from among the members of the armed group and 12 among the country’s security forces. It was also detained 40 members of an illegal organization, of which eight Afghan citizens. During the operation, were seized over 100 firearms and ammunition. As a result of the operation 23 people were injured and the number of civilians were no injuries. At the moment, the active phase of the special operation is completed, ongoing cleanup.

Joint Statement by National Security Committee and the Tajik Interior Ministry has also been read by all public television stations.

Recall a special operation to destroy a group Tolib Ayembekova started early this morning. The members of the armed group suspected of killing Ayembekova Head of State Committee on National Security of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, General Abdullo Nazarov.

Meanwhile, in Dushanbe, deliver wounded special operations soldiers and officers. At the moment, the Republican Clinical Hospital delivered 13 wounded special operations members, one of them died in hospital.

Also noticeable crowd of people outside Dushanbe military hospital in which to deliver the bodies. Both clinics are under heavy guard, photo and video next to them are forbidden.

Up To 200 Reported Killed In Tajikistan Reprisals for Assassination of Security Chief

Tajikistan clashes: ‘Many dead’ in Gorno-Badakhshan


At least 42 people including 12 soldiers and 30 rebels have been killed in fighting in the remote Tajik region of Gorno-Badakhshan, state television has reported.

Some unconfirmed reports speak of a far higher level of casualties, with dozens of people being killed in the violence.

It follows the fatal stabbing of a top security forces official on Saturday.

That led to military action against local opposition strongman Tolib Ayombekov, reports say.

Residents of the provincial capital Khorog told the BBC their town now resembled a warzone.

Communications in Gorno-Badakhshan province have now been cut.

People are trapped in their homes because of the heavy fighting in the streets, where armoured vehicles have been seen. Dozens of people have been reported wounded.

A hospital official in the Tajik capital Dushanbe – where some of those injured have been treated – told the BBC’s Central Asian Service that more than 200 people were killed on Tuesday.


Relations between the central government in Dushanbe and the mountainous region of Badakhshan – locally known as Pamir – have always been difficult.

This remote and poor region broadly supported the Islamist-led opposition during Tajikistan’s five-year civil war between 1992 and 1997.

The region borders Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province and the porous frontier means that drug trafficking is a major problem.

Tajik officials say that former opposition commanders are heavily involved in smuggling narcotics.

But drug trafficking is not only a problem in Pamir. It is widespread all over the country and some observers believe that without the support of high-ranking officials no-one would dare to get involved.

The latest attack on Tolib Ayombekov however is less about drug trafficking and more an attempt by the government to regain full control of a troublesome region.

The majority of the population are migrant workers in Russia, as there are very few local jobs.

Reports of official corruption are widespread and fuel resentment among Pamir’s 250,000 population.


The dead included more than 100 military personnel and about 100 civilians, he said.

The official – who did not want to be named – said that about 60 people were injured in the violence.

State television said that police detained 40 armed men on Tuesday, including eight Afghans. It said that 23 soldiers were injured in the operation in Khorog – but there were no civilian casualties.

Security forces say they decided to use force after Mr Ayombekov refused to surrender.

Mr Ayombekov was a member of the opposition which fought against the government during Tajikistan’s civil war in the 1990s.

Continuing instability

The operation is yet another attempt by the Tajik government, which has little influence in the area, to bring Gorno-Badakhshan under its full control, says the BBC’s Abdujalil Abdurasulov.

The pre-dawn attack on fighters loyal to Mr Ayombekov deep in the Pamir mountains underlines the continuing instability of the impoverished former Soviet republic 15 years after the end of a civil war, correspondents say.

It took place three days after State Committee on National Security (GKNB) regional head Abdullo Nazarov was found dead.

Residents in Khorog told the Reuters news agency that locals had been ordered to stay at home as government helicopters flew overhead. They said that gunfire could be heard in the distance.

A statement released by the GKNB said that investigations were under way to see “whether the citizens of Afghanistan” involved in the violence were connected with the Taliban, al-Qaeda or the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

While such claims are difficult to verify, our correspondent says the area remains a base for former rebel fighters.

A former Soviet republic, Tajikistan plunged into civil war almost as soon as it became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. It is Central Asia’s poorest nation.

Oh Crap! Here We Go Again, Another “W”


[Try looking deeply into those eyes…there’s nothing there…at least, nothing good.  It’s a scary experience.  Maybe there is something to that whole “lizard” thing.  Notice the military record, or lack thereof.  Of course he was made an officer without all that basic training garbage.]

George Prescott Garnica Bush (born April 24, 1976)

At the age of 12, Bush spoke before the 1988 Republican National Convention

On March 21, 2007 the United States Navy Reserve announced the selection of Bush for training as an intelligence officer. Once commissioned as an Ensign for eight years of reserve service, he was expected to attend direct commission officer training, and then undergo a year of intelligence training, initially assigned to duty near his home.

George P. Bush by Gage Skidmore.jpg

The “Great Game” In the Stans Runs-Up Against 5 Great Game Players

Competing Mediators in Central Asia


New players are challenging Russia’s traditional position as the conflict referee and patron of first preference in Central Asia. All the others are, arguably, ‘emerging powers’, to reuse an overused phrase. China is returning to prominence after a long hiatus. Two decades of American power in the region has paid some dividends, for a high price of investment. Turkey’s economic influence has risen, though its political influence has not kept pace. Arab and Iranian regimes seemed poised to become new players as well. But the events of last few years: the ongoing financial crisis, rising violence in Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, among others, will inevitably reorder the priorities of external powers, and their policies towards the region.

This was essentially the starting point for a series of discussions hosted bythe Hollings Center for International Dialogue in Istanbul last week. To extend the conversation a bit to this audience, I submit the following points for discussion. For the most part, I reproduce common sentiments, unless made clear otherwise.

Russia, of course, is by no means an ‘emerging power’ where it concerns Central Asia, a region it has dominated for well over a century. China may have been gone from the scene for that time, but as my colleague from the region aptly pointed out, in Central Asia ‘we remember’. Splitting hairs may consider China as ‘re-emerging’. While the US was ascendant globally for 20 years after the region gained independence, its influence and that of kindred spirits in the EU is inevitably falling as others gain.

Each of the three maintains a favored project for mediating conflicts and wielding influence in the region – Russia has the CSTO, the West has the OSCE, China has the SCO. Uniquely, Russia is a member of all three, which allows it to limit the scope and influence of both to some extent. Crises in the region such as the Andijan and Osh incidents of 2005 and 2010 showed the hollowness of all three organizations when conflicts arose to be mediated. In Osh, the OSCE struggled to insert even a handful of unarmed police observers, and the CSTO refused to offer any military support to the Kyrgyz government, despite a specific and public plea for it.

China and the West have emerged of alternative providers of public goods, the West mostly through development programs and the multilateral banks, China through bilateral infrastructure deals, soft loans, aid-for-resources, and other arrangements. Suffice it to say that these alternatives are often more enticing to local governments than Western aid, which usually comes with more difficult conditions for the ruling elite to swallow. Territorial concessions may secure massive, regime-preserving resources from China, while doing little harm to these authorities themselves. Their primary limitations in such deals with China are the nationalist, anti-Chinese proclivities of their own populations – while there seems to be almost limitless patience for corruption in the region, there are invisible lines of ‘patriotism’ that all the region’s leaders fear crossing.

In this environment, the West’s influence has waned. Local governments have sidelined Western-sponsored NGOs. Chinese money comes in larger, easier to swallow doses than conditional loans from the IMF and World Bank. And with the West’s painfully slow but seemingly inevitable extraction from Afghanistan on the horizon, some republics see the US and EU as departing patrons who will never visit town again – good targets for one last fleecing, before they are forever forgotten.

The group generally saw the ‘Turkish Model’ – Western-style democracy, capitalism, and secularism in an Islamic country (or something) – as fully abandoned by the five Central Asian republics, all of which have preferred statism, authoritarianism, and Personality worship in varying doses. An observation was made that with Turkey’s deteriorating relationships with Iraq, Iran, Israel, Syria, and Egypt, Turkey is poised for a return to the region, lacking other outlets for its surplus political and economic capital.

Iran was generally acknowledged to have played a stabilizing influence in the region, in contrast to its reputation for meddling in countries to its south and west. Its fruitful assistance in mediating the Tajik Civil War, and its assistance to the US-led coalition in Afghanistan early in that war, were prominent examples. It also plays important, but quiet, roles in regional trade and business.

Participants from the Middle East were particularly interested in exploring the roles of Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the smaller oil-rich Gulf states in the region. The Central Asia participants saw modest roles for each, and as elsewhere, many promises with relatively few deliveries on investment and aid. The former also posed the question as to whether Central Asia’s political situation after the Soviet Union will prove any precedent for the Arab Spring countries. Still, we from Central Asia saw few parallels. Afghanistan, however, had quickly come to resemble a dysfunctional Central Asian dictatorship.

Despite the many powers competing for influence in Central Asia, described by some commentators as a ‘New Great Game’ with even higher stakes than the original, one participant observed a dearth of external power in the region. This is a view I sympathize with. No external power is willing or able to reorder the region to suit its interests. Additional powers at play are quickly converted by the five republics into new patrons to play off the incumbents. This tends to increase the leverage of the client republics, not the external patrons. We all mused about consequences of the United States pulling out of this patronage network. While it was tempting to conclude that the US would lose little by abandoning its military and development aid to the region, we conceded that any such a withdrawal, while weakening the five republics, it would strengthen their remaining external patrons.

I argued that we see a harmony of interests among all of the key players in the region, including Russia, China, and the West. Preventing state collapse, expropriations of investments, and growth in Islamic terrorism appears on each’s agenda. It is their widely divergent views of the nature of each threat, and the methods to they apply to counter these threats, that will continue to make their cooperation (and success) in mediating conflicts in Central Asia a fleeting phenomenon.

Government of Goa, India Seek To Remove Russian and Israeli Mafias from Island Resort

The government of Goa resort to cleanse the Russian and Israeli areas


The authorities of the Indian state of Goa will not allow Russian and Israeli tourists to occupy entire neighborhoods and to establish its own rules there . The corresponding statement was made ​​by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar state.

According to the politician, he “heard about the existence of enclaves along the coastline, and will not allow that they were there.” He recalled that all the inscriptions in the state can only be made in local languages, as well as English. “Those who install signs in foreign languages ​​(except English) will be denied licenses to engage in trading activities”, – quotes ParrikaraITAR-TASS .

Goa is one of the most popular resorts among Russians. The number of visitors from Russia is close to 100 thousand people.

Putin: Non-stop civil war if Assad ousted

Putin: Non-stop civil war if Assad ousted

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 23, 2012 shows Syrian rebel fighters battling government troops in the northern city of Aleppo. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 23, 2012 shows Syrian rebel fighters battling government troops in the northern city of Aleppo. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

Russian President Putin has warned that if the Assad government is overthrown, the ensuing civil war in Syria may see no end.

Speaking after a meeting with Italian PM Monti, Putin said thatt in the case if the Syrian authorities are displaced, “they will simply swap places with the current opposition and this will cause a civil war that would go on for no one knows how long.”

Putin also called on the conflicting parties to reach a compromise, saying this is the only path which ensures the country has a future. “The incumbent Syrian authorities as well as the so- called armed opposition must find strength to organize the talks and find a mutually acceptable compromise for the country’s future,” Putin told reporters.

“We believe that the following should be the course of action: halting the violence, conducting negotiations, searching for a solution, laying down a constitutional basis for the future society, and only then introducing structural changes, not vice versa. Doing things the other way around would only cause chaos,” Putin continued.

Prime Minister Monti told the press that a provisional government modeled on Lebanon’s could be the best solution to the crisis. He added that such a government should include all elements of Syrian society, and that Russia should support such a move once it goes through the UN.

Putin replied that Russia’s position on the subject remained the same – the priority being putting an end to violence.“Both the government side and the armed opposition must end the violence and get to the negotiation table,” the Russian President said.

“We hold that the country’s future must be decided not on the basis of a military defeat or a military victory by one of the sides, but on the basis of the process of talks, on the basis of agreements and compromise,” Putin said.

“The agreements that were reached in the UN on prolonging the UN mission testify to the fact that despite certain splits in defining what is primary and what is secondary, compromises can be found on UN grounds and a settlement made with all sides for the benefit of the Syrian people,” Putin added.

Putin’s words echoed the statements made earlier by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other top Russian diplomats. Russia insists that both sides of the Syrian conflict take part in the settlement, sharply criticizing the unilateral approach of those nations who have blamed the crisis solely on President Assad and his government. Russia and China have repeatedly vetoed UN resolutions that threatened the Syrian regime with sanctions if the conflict continued, arguing that both the rebels and the government should be held responsible for the current situation.

Earlier this month, Russian officials received two delegations from the Syrian opposition in Moscow. Following the talks, the Syrian opposition recognized Russia’s roll in helping stabilize the situation in the country. On Friday, the UN Security Council unanimously voted to prolong the international monitors’ stay in Syria, a move suggested by Pakistan and supported by Russia.

Washington’s Plan B For Syria

Washington’s Plan B For Syria

By Stephen Lendman


Replacing independent governments with pro-Western puppets is official US policy. So is war on Islam.

After Soviet Russia dissolved, Muslims replaced communists as public enemy number one. Since the 1990s, millions were ruthlessly killed. Many more die daily. Dozens succumb every day in Syria. US-sponsored death squads murder them.

On July 20 or 21st, Ramadan began. It continues for 30 days until August 18. It’s a time for prayer, fasting, reflection, spiritual purification, self-sacrifice, charity, and forgiveness.

On July 20, Obama hypocritically “extend(ed) warmest wishes to” American and global Muslims. He wished them a “blessed month.” He did it despite official US policy to murder them. It doesn’t stop in deference to Ramadan, Christmas, or any other time of year.

He contemptuously expressed support for their determination to achieve “democracy,” “equality,” “justice,” and “universal rights.” He said his administration stands forthrightly with them.

He lied. He’s a serial liar. He’s also a war criminal multiple times over.

America deplores these values at home and abroad. It won’t tolerate them. They’re anathema to the nation’s imperium. It seeks unchallenged global dominance. Ravaging the world one country at a time or in multiples is policy to achieve it.

Plans to get Security Council authorization for war failed. Russia and China vetoed three resolutions. Vladimir Putin said no to Libya 2.0.

He denounced efforts to circumvent Security Council authority. He said Russian National Security Council members deplore Western attempts to link ongoing violence to Moscow’s position.

Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov called Washington’s statements “hypocritical.” He added that America subverts efforts to urge opposition leaders to dialogue responsibly with Assad.

He called Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice accusations “absolutely unacceptable.”

Taking aim at Washington and Britain primarily, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said don’t “be misled by humanitarian discourse by some countries.”

“The policies on Syria are more geopolitical than humanitarian.”

“Unfortunately, the consequences of these policies will make the conflict and bloodshed continuous.”

He indicated that so-called aid is a prelude and pretext for military intervention, adding:

“The US and the UK intervened in Iraq under the most sublime of pretexts, causing (massive numbers of) civilian (deaths), let alone the displaced people inside and outside Iraq.”

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich warned of serious consequences if Washington intention circumvents Security Council authority and intervenes directly in Syria’s internal affairs.

He said doing so constitutes “a very very alarming signal.” He rejected US retaliatory threats. He criticized congressional action and Western media denunciations.

Russia’s Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Aleksey Pushkov called Western nations’ position on Syria political cover to escalate tensions. He rejected calls for unilateral approaches.

He accused Washington and so-called “Friends of Syria” of “double standards.” On the one hand, they support diplomatic solutions. On the other, they further violence, bloodshed, and resolving Syria’s conflict militarily. Russia stands firmly opposed.

Last week, Washington upped the stakes. Killing Syrian officials at Damascus National Security headquarters Wednesday was strategically timed.

They happened ahead of the latest Western Security Council scheme to authorize military intervention. It failed. At the same time, battles raged in and around Damascus and elsewhere. They failed.

Efforts were made to hijack Syria’s satellite channel frequencies and silence other state run online media. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) was repeatedly hacked and shut down. On Sunday it was operating. It and other Syrian media remain vulnerable.

So far Western and complicit regional attempts to destabilize, weaken, and perhaps bring down the government failed. Expect continued schemes to topple Assad and his regime.

On July 21, a New York Times editorial headlined “Stymied at UN, US Refines Plan to Remove Assad,” saying:

Obama officials “abandoned efforts for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict in Syria, and instead it is increasing aid to the rebels and redoubling efforts to rally a coalition of like-minded countries to forcibly bring down the government of President Bashar al-Assad, American officials say.”

Obama officials are meeting with Israeli, Turkish, and Western counterparts. They’re also discussing policy with Syrian opposition leaders.

Internal Washington “daily high-level meetings” are held. At issue is Plan B “to help map out a possible post-Assad government.”

“The administration has had regular talks with the Israelis about how Israel might move to destroy Syrian weapons facilities, administration officials said.”

Washington is directly involved in arming, funding, training, and directing Syrian opposition mercenaries. They’re cutthroat killers. They’re enlisted to commit mass murder.

They target pro-Assad civilians and others randomly. Expect stepped up efforts ahead of direct Western and/or regional allies’ intervention.

Unnamed US officials said:

“You’ll notice in the last couple of months, the opposition has been strengthened. Now we’re ready to accelerate that.”

According to hawkish, pro-Israeli Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) member Andrew Tabler:

“We’re looking at the controlled demolition of the Assad regime.”

He left unsaid that official Washington policy includes all options. They include full-scale war.

International Crisis Group member Robert Malley warned of “war that never ends.” Syrians won’t tolerate being ruled by elements now fighting them.

Josh Rogin reports on national security, foreign policy, and defense issues. On July 20, his Foreign Policy article headlined “Inside the quiet effort to plan for a post-Assad Syria,” saying:

Senior Syrian opposition group representatives are meeting covertly in Germany. The State Department provides funding.

For “the last six months,” they’ve been working with so-called US Institute for Peace (USIP) members. They’re planning a post-Assad government.

USIP is a pro-Western front group. According to the Weekly Standard:

Washington supplies millions of dollars. “Since 1985, taxpayers have forked over more than $720 million (inflation adjusted).”

“That has included support for a gleaming new 150,000 square foot office building in the shadow of that other taxpayer-supported institution (allegedly) devoted to peace: the State Department.”

USIP’s Steven Heydemann heads the initiative. In June, he met with Friends of Syria representatives in Istanbul. The project is called:

“The day after: Supporting a democratic transition in Syria.” Heydemann said USIP is “working in a support role with a large group of opposition groups to define a transition process for a post-Assad Syria.”

USIP shortly plans releasing a report. It’s a regime change strategy document. Implementing initial priorities needs to start now, said Heydemann. He disingenuously claims pushing Assad from power isn’t discussed.

“We have very purposely stayed away from contributing to the direct overthrow of the Assad regime,” he said. “Our project is called ‘the day after.’ There are other groups working on the day before.”

Of course, they’re interconnected. As the lyrics to the well-known spiritual “Dem Bones” say, the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, etc.

USIP board chairman J. Robinson West is a corporate CEO (PFC Energy). President Richard H. Solomon is a former Assistant Secretary of State. Vice chairman of the board George E. Moose is a former Assistant Secretary of State.

Other board members include:

Judy Van Rest: right-wing International Republican Institute (ISI) executive vice president.

Michael H. Posner: Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Of course, all US administrations deplore these values. They tolerate none of them at home or abroad.

James N. Miller: Obama’s Under Secretary of Defense for Policy

Nancy McEldowney: Interim president of the National Defense University (NDU).

Eric S. Edelman: A retired US Foreign Service Career Minister. He also held senior Defense Department positions.

Judy Ansley: Previously she held various high-level national security and Senate staff positions.

Syrian opposition members support violently overthrowing Assad’s government. Most Syrians support it. In May, free, fair, and open parliamentary elections were held. Ruling party members won most seats.

Washington, key NATO partners, and so-called Friends of Syria don’t recognize them. They represent Syria, not Western interests.

Replacing them with subservient puppets is policy. USIP was enlisted to help. It’s a wrongly named imperial tool. It supports war, not peace. It’s well paid for furthering Washington’s imperium. Destroying Syria is prioritized.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Shia Website Claims “6000 Al-Qaida Fighters in Syria to Establish Emirate of Levant”

6000 Al-Qaida Fighters in Syria to Establish Emirate of Levant

Based on the Arab proverb ” a family member confesses”, “al-Sharq” Saudi newspaper published a report Friday revealing that “al-Qaida” is directly present in the Syrian crisis. 


 6000 Al-Qaida Fighters in Syria to Establish Emirate of Levant

The newspaper reported that “for the first time, “al-Qaida” explicitly announces its participation in Syria’s fighting.”

According to the daily, members of the organization raised “al-Qaida” flag upon the seizure of “Bab al-Hawa” crossing.

Meanwhile, a Jordanian security source unveiled that “more than six thousands of al-Qaida fighters entered Syria in recent months, especially since last November.”

“Most of these fighters entered Syria from the Iraqi and Turkish borders,” it added and pointed out that “they are mostly from non-Syrian Arab nationalities.”

In parallel, the newspaper reported that “there is competition between “al-Qaida” wings in Syria, especially between “Brigades of Abdullah Azzam” led by Saudi Arabia’s Majed al-Majed and the extremist “al-Nosra [Aid] to Levant Front” led by a Prince [al-Amir] known as al-Fatih [The Conqueror], Abu Mohammed Joulani.”

The paper quoted Saudi sources stating that “a fierce competition is taking place in the corridors of the extremist organization, in particular that the “Victory to Levant Front” didn’t follow al-Qaida at the beginning.”

However, it was later accepted from a number of al-Qaida’s religious leaders.

At this point, Abdullah Azzam leaders felt that “the rug is being pulled from under their feet as “al-Nosra [Aid] to Levant Front” prepares to take the command leadership of the Levant’s Emirate.”

“Abdullah Azzam Brigades moved quickly, prompting itself as a better alternative for the Front .”

The newspaper clarified that “the first public appearance of “al-Qaida” was in Tal-Kalkh region , where differences exploded between the elements of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” and al-Qaida members.”

“The fight led to the death of 34 people when he al-Qaida members wanted to declare the region an Islamic emirate under the rule of the Lebanese Walid al-Bustani, a former leader of Fateh al-Islam,” the Saudi paper mentioned.

Meanwhile, one of the rebels in Idlib province informed the newspaper that “at least one “al-Qaeda” camp was established near al-Tmanah village.”

“The camp contains fighters of different nationalities,” he said and noted that ” he visited the camp and met with the military commander and a politician there.”

“The two men confirmed that “al-Qaida” presence aims not only in toppling the Syrian regime, but to build also the so-called Islamic state that does not depend on the polls.”

The Idlib activist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, stated that ” areas of his province witness a currently significant presence of “Levant’s Free Men”, a fundamentalist group calling for the imposition of tribute on other religions and considering minorities as rogue.”

Militant Website Reports Bomb Attack Upon Saudi Intelligence HQ, Killing Bandar’s Deputy

[Saudis bomb Syrian intelligence, then someone returns the favor.]

Explosion Rocks S. Arabia’s Intelligence Headquarters

TEHRAN (FNA)- Reports from Saudi Arabia said an explosion rocked the Arab country’s intelligence headquarters and killed the Saudi deputy intelligence chief.


The Arabic al-Fajr news website reported from Saudi Arabia that the deputy head of Saudi Arabia’s secret service has been killed in the blast.

No official report has yet been released on the incident.

On Thursday night Prince Bandar bin Sultan was appointed Saudi Arabia’s new spy chief.

Prince Bandar, 63, who vanished from public view when he was recalled from Washington by King Abdullah in 2005 after notching up 22 years as the kingdom’s ambassador there, will immediately be thrust into a Middle East crisis.

The US’ closest Arab ally is a supporter of the Syrian rebels who want to oust president Bashar al-Assad and is mending fences with Washington after a disagreement over the Arab uprisings.



Pakistan Plans Eviction of 3 million Afghan Refugees

Pakistan plans to revoke Afghans’ refugee status could displace 3 million

Afghanistan faces further crisis as world’s biggest cluster of refugees faces expulsion

 in Islamabad

Afghan refugee in Islamabad

An Afghan refugee on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan. Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP

Pakistan plans to cancel refugee status for all Afghans living in the country at the end of this year, leaving 3 million displaced people – the world’s biggest cluster of refugees – facing possible expulsion to a country that many barely know.

Pushing the refugees into Afghanistan would be likely to create a new crisis for the country, already struggling with an insurgency and an economy almost entirely dependent on the western presence and the illicit drug trade.

The west is pressing Pakistan to reconsider its policy, which puts it at odds with the United Nations and other international partners.

The international community and the Afghan government have no strategy prepared to deal with any such influx of people.

However, Pakistan’s top administrator in charge of the Afghan refugee issue, Habibullah Khan, secretary of the ministry of states and frontier regions, told the Guardian that Islamabad would not relent. “The international community desires us to review this policy but we are clear on this point. The refugees have become a threat to law and order, security, demography, economy and local culture. Enough is enough,” he said.

“If the international community is so concerned, they should open the doors of their countries to these refugees. Afghans will be more than happy to be absorbed by the developed countries, like western Europe, USA, Canada, Australia.”

Pakistan has hosted Afghan refugees for more than 30 years, after they fled the Soviet invasion in the 1980s, the horrors of the civil war, Taliban rule and, most recently, the conflict triggered by the US-led invasion of the country in late 2001. Whole generations have grown up in Pakistan and do not know their homeland. It is the largest and longest-running refugee situation in the world.

There are currently 1.7 million Afghan refugees registered in Pakistan – more than half of them under 18 – of whom 630,000 live in camps. A further 1 million are estimated to be living in the country unregistered and therefore illegally.

“After 31 December 2012, there is no plan to extend the validity of the POR [proof of registration] cards of Afghan refugees. Those currently registered will lose the status of refugees. They will be treated under the law of the land. The provincial governments have already been asked to treat the existing unregistered refugees as illegal immigrants,” said Khan.

He declined to spell out what would happen to the refugees after the end of the year but, if the policy sticks, they will all be in the country illegally and liable to be thrown out.

The UN is running a voluntary repatriation programme but it is making slow progress. So far this year, it has been able to entice just 41,000 people to return to Afghanistan, a slight increase on the 35,000 who returned in the first half of 2011.

Since 2002, the UN has repatriated 3.7 million Afghans to Afghanistan, but the rate of return stalled in recent years as the war intensified. It is also likely that many of the returnees have slipped back into Pakistan, given that today there are almost as many Afghan refugees in Pakistan as there were in 2002.

Earlier this year, Lady Amos, the former British cabinet minister who is now the UN humanitarian affairs chief, said she was appalled by the conditions for returning refugees after visiting a camp for them in Kabul.

Once they reach Afghanistan, returners are entitled to a one-off $150 (£96) per person from the UN.

Neill Wright, the Pakistan representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said the UN would still recognise registered Afghans in Pakistan as refugees after the end of 2012 under international law, “until a durable solution can be found”.

“We hope that the government of Pakistan will continue to recognise them as refugees,” he said. “Returning them to Afghanistan could destabilise the country further at a time when it is already experiencing instability from the drawdown of international forces.”

While some Afghans have prospered in Pakistan, the poverty of the majority is obvious, even in Islamabad. On the outskirts of the city, opposite the huge and gleaming Metro supermarket where it is possible to buy everything from imported salmon to a washing machine, lies a little mud-shack settlement of Afghan refugees, all of them officially registered.

No one in the few dozen houses of Sorang Abadi village can read or write, none of their children go to school, there is no electricity or water. Yet none of them want to return to Afghanistan.

“I haven’t stepped across the border in 30 years,” said Sher Zaman, 62, originally from the northern Afghan province of Kunduz. “I don’t even have a single room to go to in Afghanistan. I’m a poor man. I hope I can stay here and die here.”