Pakistan needs to come clean on terrorism, says Germany

[I have been saying this to every Pakistani who would listen for many years (SEE:  Putting-Off the Moment of Truth in Pakistan; The CIA/ISI Soap Opera In South Waziristan).]

Pakistan needs to come clean on terrorism, says Germany


New Delhi

Germany Saturday made it clear to Pakistan that it needs to “come clean” over terror allegations, whether those are true or not, as this will be in its best interests.

German ambassador to India Michael Steiner, who took over this week, told reporters here that it did not matter whether the terror charges are proved in a court of law or not, but it was necessary that Pakistan clarify the “clear distinction” between its state institutions and terror outfits.

He was responding to queries about the recent revelations by terror suspect Abu Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia last month, of Pakistani state players’ involvement in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks that left 166 dead and over 230 injured in 2008.

“It is well understood that it is in the best interests of Pakistan, whether it is true or not, for it to come clean on any rumours and allegations and to really clarify that there is a clear distinction between its state institutions and any terrorist acts,” said Steiner, who was previously a special envoy of Germany to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Jundal, an Indian who fled to Pakistan after involvement in terror acts here and later masterminded the Mumbai terror strikes along with Laskhar-e-Taiba top brass, had recently revealed that there were officers of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the control room set up in Karachi by the terror outfit to direct the 10 terrorists who sneaked into the Indian megapolis on Nov 26, 2008.

India has time and again pointed out to the international community the involvement of Pakistan state actors in terror attacks on India. In particular, India has cornered Pakistan over ISI’s role in the Mumbai attacks.

“There are some indications, not really proven in a judicial way. But it doesn’t matter how far they are true or not. I think it is in the interest of Pakistan to make it clear that its policies have no links, whatsoever, with these (terror) forces which are directed against us all and also directed against legal institutions of Pakistan itself. That is the real danger for Pakistan,” Steiner said.

Steiner, who was the key German official hosting the Bonn conference on Afghanistan last year, also reiterated the commitment of the international community to help the war-torn nation to “transition” towards peace by 2014 and to continue helping it in a “transformation” into a stable nation.

He also noted that the message of the Bonn conference, which Pakistan did not attend but India did, was “not to repeat the mistakes that were committed when Russia (erstwhile Soviet Union) left Afghanistan” in the late 1980s, following which the radical elements in Afghanistan overthrew the government under Mohammed Najibullah.


The Hunt for Militants Continues In Dagestan

Russia Today

The fighting in Dagestan killed six militants, there are victims of war

On Saturday night in two districts of Dagestan took place battles with bandits. In the course of special operations in Kayakent Sergokalinsky areas and six militants killed. Three police officers injured, one killed, reports “Interfax” .

The first fight occurred on the road Sergokala-Izberbash around midnight on Saturday night. “The shootout killed one law enforcement officer, and three were wounded,” – said. During the persecution of militants have been some clashes in the forests and vineyards.

“Around 9:30 GMT. During search operations near the village of Utamysh skirmish occurred with the participants of illegal armed groups. According to preliminary data from our side a victim. There is a persecution of insurgents,” – said the source agency on Saturday.


Russia kills six militants in Caucasus clash: report

FOCUS News Agency
Moscow. Russian forces have killed six militants in a clash in the troubled Caucasus region of Dagestan that also claimed the life of a member of the security forces, a report said Saturday, cited by AFP.
The clashes overnight started on a main road south of Dagestan’s main city of Makhachkala and then continued in the surrounding forests and vineyards as the security forces gave chase to the militants.
“As of now, the bodies of six militants have been found. The operation is continuing,” a security source told the Interfax news agency.
The source said that one member of the security services was killed and three others were wounded.
The Islamist-tinted insurgency the Kremlin has fought in the northern Caucasus in the last years has become increasingly focused on Dagestan, a mainly Muslim region on the Caspian Sea inhabited by a patchwork of ethnic groups.
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Group urges annual PTSD screening for vets

[SEE:  Soldiers trained to kill, not to cope]



Marines fill out consent forms before taking psychological tests at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Group urges annual PTSD screening for vets

The Institute of Medicine advised Friday that veterans should undergo screening for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) once a year, among other recommendations involving long-term treatment. An estimated 13 percent to 20 percent of service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from symptoms of PTSD.


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Institute of Medicine recommended Friday that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan undergo annual screening for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and that federal agencies conduct more research to determine how well the various treatments are working.

Of the 2.6 million service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s estimated that 13 percent to 20 percent have symptoms of PTSD.

Federal agencies have increasingly dedicated more resources to screen and treat soldiers, but considerable gaps remain, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an independent group of experts that advises the federal government on medical issues. Its recommendations often make their way into laws drafted by Congress and policies implemented by federal agencies.

Barely more than half of those diagnosed with PTSD actually get treatment, often because many soldiers worry it could jeopardize their careers. Also, when soldiers do get care, they’re not tracked to determine which treatments are successful in the long term.

The Department of Defense provides medical care to active members of the military and the Department of Veterans Affairs cares for those who no longer serve. Sandro Galea, the chairman of the IOM panel, said both departments offer many programs for PTSD.

“But treatment isn’t reaching everyone who needs it, and the departments aren’t tracking which treatments are being used or evaluating how well they work in the long term,” said Galea, a professor and chair of the epidemiology department at Columbia University. “In addition, (the Department of Defense) has no information on the effectiveness of its programs to prevent PTSD.”

The report concludes only the first phase of the IOM study. The panel is hoping to release a second report in 2014 that will provide more specifics about the number of service members and vets who have PTSD and the outcomes and costs of their treatments.

Nick Colgin, who served for 15 months in Afghanistan as a combat medic, suffered a traumatic brain injury after a rocket-propelled grenade slammed into his Humvee. While he showed symptoms of PTSD upon his return to civilian life, he waited to get treatment until last month.

“I just didn’t want anyone to know I had that issue. I didn’t want to know myself,” said Colgin, 27, now living in New York City and working with the advocacy group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Jason Hansman, the group’s membership director, said the stigma of seeking treatment is even more prevalent among those on active duty.

“A lot of people believe their career will end if they seek treatment,” Hansman said.

In a recent speech to mental-health providers, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said commanding officers must make it understood that seeking help for the stresses of war should be seen as a sign of strength rather than as a sign of weakness.

PTSD is triggered by a specific traumatic event, such as being in combat or witnessing death. The symptoms of the illness include a numbing of emotions, difficulty concentrating and exaggerated startled responses to events.

The institute recommended therapies supported by robust evidence, such as working with patients to change their thinking and emotional responses to stress. But the committee’s analysis of other innovative treatments, including yoga, acupuncture and animal-assisted therapy, is hampered by a lack of evidence on their effectiveness.

Galea said the two departments have been under pressure to get programs up and running to deal with the growing number of vets with PTSD.

“There hasn’t been as much premium placed on tracking than there has been on implementing treatment,” Galea said.

The panel praised the two departments for issuing joint guidelines for managing PTSD, but it’s unknown whether their providers adhere to the guidelines.

The panel said primary-care doctors within the VA screen Iraq and Afghanistan veterans annually for symptoms of PTSD, and it recommends that the Defense Department do the same.

The panel said it is hopeful that the departments will make more use of therapy through videoconferences that will allow patients in remote locations to get care.

The panel also called for more research on the brain’s defense mechanisms for stress, identify factors that can influence the timing and severity of symptoms, and identify signs that could help lead to earlier diagnosis and more precise drug treatments.

The report said the VA treated more than 438,000 veterans for PTSD in 2010, showing evidence of the widespread scope of the problem. Similar numbers are not available for the Defense Department.

Cynthia Smith, a Department of Defense spokeswoman, said the department has already taken steps to address issues raised in the report.

“The department recognizes the need for continued improvements,” Smith said.

European Banks the Key To CIS Development–No Recovery In the West Equals No Recovery In the East

A migrant worker rests in the shade outside a construction site near an advertisement for the real estate project in Beijing Thursday, July 12, 2012. From shopkeepers to shipbuilders, China’s deepest slowdown since the 2008 global crisis is inflicting more pain in some areas than still-robust headline growth of about 8 percent might suggest. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

A migrant worker rests in the shade outside a construction site near an advertisement for the real estate project in Beijing Thursday, July 12, 2012. From shopkeepers to shipbuilders, China’s deepest slowdown since the 2008 global crisis is inflicting more pain in some areas than still-robust headline growth of about 8 percent might suggest. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

MANILA, Philippines – The Asian Development Bank cut growth forecast for developing Asia on Thursday, citing Europe’s worsening financial crisis, sluggish recovery in the U.S. and slower growth in China and India.

The Manila-based lending institution predicted that the region’s economies will expand by 6.6 per cent this year and 7.1 per cent next year. The figures are lower than the bank’s growth outlook announced in April of 6.9 per cent this year and 7.3 per cent in 2013.

The report said economic growth in developing Asia moderated during the first half of 2012 as slower growth in the United States and the eurozone reduced demand for the region’s exports.

“Worries over the economic strength of important developing economies have also emerged recently,” it added.

Slower growth in Asia’s two largest economies, China and India, and the effects of the unwinding of policy stimulus in some countries hampered the region’s development in the first half of the year, the bank said.

It lowered the 2012 growth outlook for China from 8.5 per cent to 8.2 per cent, and next year’s growth from 8.7 per cent to 8.5 per cent.

The report noted a fall in China’s net exports, industrial production and fixed asset investment. But it said government spending on health, education and big infrastructure projects should give its economy some boost.

India’s outlook is clouded by a combination of high inflation and poor external and internal demand, with the economy expected to grow 6.5 per cent this year and 7.3 per cent next year. That’s down from the earlier forecast of 7 per cent for 2012 and 7.5 per cent for 2013.

The report said the weaker global environment is expected to affect growth in Southeast Asia but domestic demand and reconstruction activities should keep the economic output robust. The economies are seen to post growth of 5.2 per cent in 2012 and 5.6 per cent in 2013, virtually unchanged from April.

A strong rebound in Thailand, healthy growth in the Philippines, and increasing consumer demand in Indonesia have aided the Southeast Asian economies, the bank said.

Forty-five economies in Asia and the Pacific make up developing Asia.



In Middle East, Premature Elections Invite Instability–Key To US Destabilization Plans

[American terror war policy of forcing premature elections as a political exercise, intended to demonstrate a progression of “democracy” in an Arab/Muslim war zone, even though it was a complete fabrication.  This imbecilic deception has resulted in the elections of “Islamist” governments from Palestinian Gaza, to Iraq and all of the “Arab spring” countries.  Unless this  was the American intention from the start, then it confirms that American policies to create a Greater Middle East have been “misguided,” at best.  Forcing premature elections upon Muslim populations, who have had no previous experience with democratic institutions, is a surefire formula for replacing authoritarian governments with radical “Islamist” ones.  In short, it is a policy certain to empower the Muslim Brotherhood candidates, which it has done very efficiently, so far.  If this wasn’t the intention of the American government, from the beginning, then it is either proof of the shortsightedness of America’s bi-partisan leadership, or of their ignorance of the law of consequences.

American politicians haven’t a clue about where their wrong-headed decisions are taking us….The only alternative to one of the overwhelming ignorance of America’s political class, is one which suggests an answer that is far too sinister for most of us to even contemplate–We are in the mess we are in because that was the plan all along (SEE:  The planned collapse of USA).]

In Middle East, Premature Elections Invite Instability

By Alon Ben-Meir

Libyan election workers start the counting process at a polling station in the western city of Misrata during Libya’s General National Congress election on July 7. Voters lined up at polling stations across Libya keen to take part in the country’s first national election after more than four decades of dictatorship. (Giovanni Diffidenti/AFP/GettyImages)

Libyan election workers start the counting process at a polling station in the western city of Misrata during Libya’s General National Congress election on July 7. Voters lined up at polling stations across Libya keen to take part in the country’s first national election after more than four decades of dictatorship. (Giovanni Diffidenti/AFP/GettyImages)

Although elections and political reforms are needed in the wake of the Arab Spring, premature elections could usher in a period of continued political instability punctuated by violence, or introduce new totalitarian regimes that would assume power under the pretext of maintaining order and stability.

Of paramount importance is the formation of transitional governments proportionally representative of all segments of the populations for a minimum of five years.

Such a government would be tasked with writing a new constitution and instituting gradual political reforms, while promoting human rights and economic development programs. Otherwise, elections will fail to produce the desired outcome of a free and vibrant new political and social order.

Mitt’s Neocon Retread–His New American Century

Our country today faces a bewildering array of threats and opportunities. As president, Mitt Romney will safeguard America and secure our country’s interests and most cherished ideals. The unifying thread of his national security strategy is American strength. When America is strong, the world is safer. It is only American power—conceived in the broadest terms—that can provide the foundation for an international system that ensures the security and prosperity of the United States and our friends and allies.

A Romney foreign policy will proceed with clarity and resolve. Our friends and allies will not have doubts about where we stand and what we will do to safeguard our interests and theirs. Neither will our rivals, competitors, and adversaries. The best ally world peace has ever known is a strong America. The “last best hope of earth” was what Abraham Lincoln called our country. Mitt Romney believes in fulfilling the promise of Lincoln’s words and will defend America abroad in word and in deed.

To learn more about Mitt’s plan, select an issue below:

Mitt Romney Wants To Refight the Failed Terror War–Looking To Return One of It’s Authors

[To be sure, a vote for Romney is a vote to return the Neocon cabal to power.  Condoleeza Rice is just the most obvious manifestation of this stagnant lack of vision suffered by Mitt.  Even his foreign policy white papers from his campaign site are copied from the Neocon bible, the Project for a New American Century (SEE: An American Century—A Strategy To Secure America’s Enduring Interests and Ideals).  If Americans ever again turn the government back over to the Republicans, we will deserve the Police State which they will bring with them.]

Mitt Romney and Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice rumors boiling

… And Mitt Romney finally stands up to Barack Obama

By Joe Battenfeld

Mitt Romney, facing the harshest attacks yet from the White House, launched a new offensive last night, demanding an apology from President Obama as speculation swirled he’s looking at former Secretary of State Condoleezza Riceas his running mate.

The presumptive GOP nominee gave a round of televised interviews and prepared to sit down with advisers this weekend as speculation heated up about Rice. Another VP contender, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, appeared at a Romney fundraiser in Boston yesterday.

But it’s Rice who has Republicans buzzing. While some GOP leaders lauded her as a running mate, others said she is unlikely to get the nod because of her pro-choice views — a deal-breaker for many conservative voters.

“It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me,” Larry Sabato, a professor at the University of Virginia, told the Herald about the Rice rumors.

Sabato also scoffed at a new report raising questions about whether Romney lied about leaving Bain Capital after 1999, predicting most voters won’t care about the old charge come Election Day.

“It’s a tempest in a summer teapot,” Sabato said. “It’s a clear attempt by the Obama campaign to keep the focus off President Obama and the economy.”

The former Massachusetts governor, asked whether he thinks Obama should apologize for his aide suggesting Romney committed a felony for misrepresenting his position at Bain in federal documents, delivered a stinging reply — for Romney, anyway.

“Absolutely — my goodness!” an animated Romney told CBS News in a round of televised interviews aired last night.

“What kind of president would have a campaign that says something like that about the nominee of another party?” Romney added. “This is reckless and absurd on his part, and it’s something that’s beneath his dignity.”

But Obama refused to let up, citing a Boston Globe report about Romney being listed as CEO of Bain until 2002 in Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The Globe claimed the scoop but later admitted it had already been reported by two other news organizations.

“If he aspires to being president, one of the things you learn is, you are ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations, that’s probably a question that he’s going to have to answer, and I think that’s a legitimate part of the campaign,” Obama said of the Bain report in an interview with Washington TV station WJLA.

Sabato said Romney’s new aggressive stance against the Obama campaign, which has been blistering the airwaves with ads focusing on Bain, is long overdue.

“Who cares about whether he left Bain in 1999 or 2002,” he said. “But there is a correct answer. They (the Romney campaign) give the impression of being too afraid of too many things. Don’t look like you’re hiding something.”