UN panel’s report: Israel must withdraw all settlers from West Bank

UN panel’s report: Israel must withdraw all settlers from West Bank


Ahmad Gharabli / AFP – Getty Images

A Palestinian activist fixes a flag near a proposed new encampment in the West Bank on Jan 20.


By Alastair Jamieson, Staff writer, NBC News

Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank violate Palestinian human rights and must be withdrawn, United Nations investigators said Thursday — a move described by observers as “unprecedented.”

An international report by the U.N. Human Rights Council said Israel is “committing serious breaches of its obligations under the right to self-determination and under humanitarian law.”

All settlers must begin to withdraw from the occupied territories, the report said. It echoed the earlier claim of Palestinians that the the practices of settlers could be considered possible war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Israel, which did not cooperate with the investigation, dismissed the document as “biased” and said it would “only hamper efforts to find a sustainable solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.”

Is There A Dividing Line Between “Militant Islamists” and Islamic Terrorists?

AMMAN (Reuters) – A Jordanian Muslim preacher who encourages a flow of militants to Syriapredicts an eventual showdown between Islamists and secular rebel groups should President Bashar al-Assad fall.

Mohammed Shalabi, better known as Abu Sayyaf, said Islamist fighters with groups such as the Nusra Front, which the United States lists as a terrorist organization, had refused offers to join the rebelFree Syrian Army in return for pay and weapons.

If Assad is overthrown, he told Reuters, the Free Syrian Army, or elements within it ideologically hostile to the Nusra Front, would immediately order Islamist groups to disarm.

“Then there will be a confrontation between us and losses will rise, but I don’t want to pre-empt events,” he said.

Abu Sayyaf is a marked man, who has spent 10 years behind bars for militant activities including a plot to attack U.S. troops in Jordan, but seems unconcerned about surveillance.

Interviewed in his car outside the state security court in Amman this week, the Salafi jihadi leader said the Jordanian authorities were trying to stop young militants from crossing the border to join the battle against Assad’s forces.

“We have sat with the security forces and asked them what harm would come if they let us go to Syria freely,” said Abu Sayyaf, 46, a burly man with a flowing beard, dressed like a tribesman in a red chequered headdress and a white robe.

“You tell us we are troublesome, so let us get killed in Syria, leave us to meet our fate in this inferno,” he said he had told Jordanian intelligence officers when they called him in to ask him to restrain fighters bent on travelling to Syria.

“What they fear is that these youths will return like the ‘Afghan Arabs’ did. They fear they would come back one day and declare jihad and fight here,” he declared.

He was alluding to Arab militants who combated Soviet forces occupying Afghanistan in the 1980s, some of them members of Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, which was supported at the time by the United States, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Abu Sayyaf, based in the volatile desert city of Maan, 160 km (100 miles) south of Amman, where he was involved in clashes with security forces in 2002, said at least 350 Jordanians were now fighting in Syria and nearly 25 had been “martyred”.

About 50 had been detained in Jordan before they could reach Syria and some were now facing trial at the state security court – although he said the authorities had softened their treatment of militants since Arab uprisings erupted two years ago.


Jordanian officials say the army and security forces are doing their best to control the porous 370-km (230-mile) frontier. “We don’t allow any weapons or fighters to cross from Jordan,” Information Minister Samih al-Maaytah told Reuters.

“We don’t take sides in Syria or interfere there,” he said. “At the same time it is evident that any control by extremist groups in Syria is a worry for the region and for Jordan.”

Maayteh recalled suicide bombings of hotels in Amman that killed 70 people in 2005, attacks claimed by Al Qaeda in Iraq, then led by a Jordanian Islamist, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Abu Sayyaf said Jordanian efforts to tighten border control after Syrian rebels captured some frontier areas had reduced the inflow of militants to Syria in the last four months.

“We don’t have an organization that sends youths in an organized way,” he said, adding that most entered Syria with the help of established drug smugglers in return for money.

Abu Sayyaf, juggling constantly ringing mobile phones, denied any direct ties between al Qaeda and the Nusra Front, which has emerged as one of the strongest rebel units in Syria.

“Trust me, there is no organizational link between al Qaeda and the Nusra Front, though they share the same views and methods,” he said, adding that these were based on the Koran.

He defended al Qaeda attacks such as those in the United States on September 11, 2001 as justified responses to Western or Israeli incursions into Muslim lands, and hinted that France could also become a target for its recent intervention in Mali.

“It’s France that has come to Mali, we did not go to your home territory,” he said of the French-led military action to regain control of northern Mali from Islamist militants.

Abu Sayyaf criticized Jordan’s King Abdullah for warning last week about the danger of a “new Taliban” arising in Syria, saying this reflected concerns of his Western allies about al Qaeda, which only masked worries about “true Islam”.

“So when the king spoke about this al Qaeda danger, it’s because they consider true Islam as the danger because if it arrives it will uproot these regimes and enforce Islam.”

However, he said that just as al Qaeda’s aims in Afghanistan were once aligned with those of the West during the Cold War, Islamist militants shared a Western interest in Assad’s removal.

“Because the removal of the regime matters to us, if the Americans or the British or any party helps us to get rid of this regime, we don’t have a problem.”

(Editing by Giles Elgood)

Japan PM Intends To Alter American-Imposed Pacifist Constitution To Allow Use of Military Forces


“Article 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

Abe says he intends to change constitution

By Kyoko Hasegawa

Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ships Kurama (R) and Hyuga (L) off Sagami Bay, Japan, on October 14, 2012AFP


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told lawmakers Thursday he intends to change the post-WWII constitution that imposed pacifism on Japan, in a move likely to stir suspicion in China and beyond.

Abe, who was elected in December, has long harbored ambitions to re-write a document critics say hampers effective self defense, but supporters say is a bulwark against the militarism that blighted Asia last century.

“I will start with amending Article 96 of the constitution,” Abe told upper house lawmakers, referring to a clause stipulating that amendments require a two-thirds majority in the Diet.

In the run-up to polls, Abe said he wanted to study the possibility of altering the constitution’s definition of Japan’s armed forces.

The well-funded and well-equipped military—one of the world’s most technologically-advanced—is referred to as the Self-Defense Forces, and barred from taking aggressive action.

Abe said before the election that he would look into making the SDF a full-fledged military, but the suggestion sets alarm bells ringing in Asian countries subject to Japan’s brutal military adventurism of the past.

U.S. occupying forces imposed the constitution on Japan in the aftermath of World War II, but its war-renouncing Article Nine became part of the fabric of national life, engendering a pacifism that remains dear to many Japanese.

Retiree Kazuo Shimamura said Japan’s suffering in WWII, including from two atomic bombs, was reason enough not to change.

“I want the constitution to stay as it is to prevent new wars from happening,” he said.

But critics say a pledge that “land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained” ties Tokyo’s hands at a time of growing regional unease and amid a sovereignty spat with China.

“Japan’s next generation will have to face all sorts of problems,” 60-year-old Nobuyuki Shimane said. “We have to take our destiny in our hands and change the status of the army to protect our territorial sovereignty.”

Abe told the Diet he wants to set up a Japanese version of Washington’s National Security Council, tasked with the gathering and analysis of information.

“It is unavoidable that we strengthen Japan’s security arrangements to protect our national interest and ensure the safety of our people in the increasingly complex international situation,” he said.

Japan and China have butted diplomatic heads repeatedly over the last half-year over a disputed island chain in the East China Sea.

Tokyo views Beijing’s military build up with suspicion and says its vast trading partner should be more transparent about what it spends on its increasingly mighty forces and to what end, something Abe Thursday said was a “common concern” for the entire region.

Since coming to power, Abe, whose father was a World War II cabinet member and later prime minister, has been on a bridge-building mission to South East Asia, looking to shore up alliances with capitals disquieted by Beijing’s rise.

In December, Manila—which has a separate territorial row with Beijing—said it favored a re-armed Japan that could act as a counterbalance to China.

Tetsuro Kato, professor of politics at Waseda University, said any change would represent a significant shift for a generation that embraced post-war democracy, adding it would also prove problematic abroad.

“South Korean newspapers, especially, focused on Abe’s plans for constitutional reform during the election campaign,” he said.

Constitutional amendments in Japan require a two-thirds majority of lawmakers in both houses, and must be ratified by a referendum, where they can pass with a simple majority of those voting.

The LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito have a more-than two-thirds majority in the lower house, but the dovish junior party is wary about amendments.

The less powerful upper house is controlled by no single party, but elections for half of the seats there must be held later this year.

Shoichi Koseki, a constitutional history expert at Dokkyo University, said lowering the bar for amendments could create instability, allowing the constitution to change with every new government.

“Many countries require large majorities for this,” he said, pointing to the tough amendment protocols in the United States as an example.

International Condemnation of Zionist Bombing of Damascus Research Center

Arab and international condemnation of the Israeli aggression on the research center in Syria: blatant aggression and unacceptable violation of the Charter of the United Nations



research centers in Syria

(SANA) –

Russia expressed its grave concern about the Israeli aircraft broke the Syrian airspace and bombed a scientific research centers in Syria, saying that this is an unacceptable violation of the Charter of the United Nations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement today, “Moscow has received with deep concern the news of Israeli air raid on sites in Syria near Damascus, adding that if this information is correct, we will be in front of attacks are not justified on the territory of a sovereign state what is a gross violation of the Charter of the United Nations whatever the justifications. “

The statement went on to say, “to take rapid action to clarify the situation in all its details … and call again to stop any form of violence in Syria and the lack of external interference and the start of national dialogue Syrian Geneva on the basis of a statement.”

Mansour: convicted and calls from Arab firm stance to confront it by all legitimate means

Minister condemned the Lebanese Foreign Affairs and Emigrants Adnan Mansour strongly yesterday on the Israeli aggression a scientific research centers in Syria and the fact in Jmraiya area Rural Damascus, pointing out that it constitutes a flagrant aggression.

Mansour said in a statement today that “this aggression once again confirms the fact the course Israeli terrorist since 1948 until today and the threat of a permanent threat to peace and security Arab” and “is requires us as Arabs to have a firm stance to confront him with all legitimate means.”

In this connection, Mansour stressed that the de facto peace that Israel wants to impose will not find its way to the region and will provide them with security and peace that seeks him.

Arab League: violation violates the United Nations Charter and the violation of international conventions and charters

Also condemned the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States breach the Israeli enemy of the Syrian air yesterday and bombed airplanes scientific center in the area Jmraiya Rural Damascus, which resulted in the death and injury of a number of Syrian citizens and bring about the destruction of a large Taul established and accessories, describing it as “aggression brutal.”

Secretariat condemned in a press statement today this blatant Israeli aggression and considered a flagrant violation of the territory and sovereignty of an Arab state and contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international law and a violation of international agreements and conventions and Security Council resolutions relevant.

And demanded the Secretariat in its statement the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and put an end to the persistence of “Israel” in their attacks on Arab states confirmed that the international community’s silence for the bombing, “Israel” to sites Syria in the past encouraged to proceed with the new aggression untapped situations where the feet of this criminal act.

Secretariat also stressed the need to hold Israel fully responsible for the results of aggression and the right of Syria in the defense of its territory and sovereignty and “to seek full compensation resulting from human and material losses” caused by this aggression.

Israeli Warplanes Killed Syrians Somewhere, Overnight

[The Zionist press is reporting it as bombing a weapons convoy of trucks going to Hezbollah, consisting of S-17 SAM systems.  Agence France Presse is hinting that it might have been carrying those chemical weapons, thus clearly across Obama’s “red lines.”  None of us can know for certain what Israeli warplanes struck overnight, but everyone agrees that they bombed something in Syria.]

Army Command: Israeli enemy warplanes penetrated our airspace at dawn today and bombed a scientific research centers in Jmraiya Rural Damascus



Damascus, (SANA) –

Said the General Command of the Armed Forces said in a statement that after he mocked Israel in cooperation with hostile states for the Syrian people tools at home to hit the vital sites and military selected in the Syrian state in an attempt to curtail the supportive role of the resistance and legitimate rights in the region and after that succeeded those tools, especially the gangs and movements obscurantism in targeting some of these sites from the media air defense and points other vital for nearly two years and failed to hit a lot of them penetrated Israeli warplanes our airspace at dawn today and bombed directly a scientific research centers responsible for raising the level of resistance and self-defense in the district Jmraiya Brief Damascus after the terrorist groups made several unsuccessful attempts over the months the Log and Capture the site.

The statement that Israeli warplanes had infiltrated from the North Heights Mount Hermon height low and below the radar and went to the area Jmraiya Rural Damascus, where is located a subsidiary of Scientific Research Center and carried out aggression blatant bombing site caused the occurrence of material damage and the destruction of the building in addition to the center develop mechanisms adjacent parking garage which led to the martyrdom of two workers at the site and wounding five others before it withdraws hostile aircraft in the same way that infiltration .. And therefore no truth reported by some media that Israeli aircraft targeted a convoy was traveling from Syria to Lebanon, but General Command confirms that Israeli aircraft targeted a facility for scientific research in flagrant breach of the rule and Syrian airspace.

The statement said: From the above it is clear to everyone now that Israel is the engine and the beneficiary and the executor sometimes what is happening from terrorist acts targeting Syria and its people resistant and it shares some of states supporting terrorism, led by Turkey and Qatar.

The statement added: that the General Command of the Armed Forces Reaffirming that this attack blatant added to the history of entity Israeli occupation term of aggression and criminality against Arabs and Muslims and put across the Syrian government this Israeli arrogance and aggression dangerous to Syrian sovereignty draw the international community stresses that such criminal acts will not weaken Syria and its role will not discourage Syrians continue to support the resistance movements and the just Arab causes, particularly the Palestinian issue.

The Greatest Speech by a Western Statesman This Century?

The Greatest Speech by a Western Statesman This Century?

kenny’s sideshow

32 year old Belgiam MP Laurent Louis’s speech/video in the Belgian Parliament has been widely passed around but has not been seen by the tens of millions that need to hear these truths.

This courageous man makes the stooges and weasels in our Congress look to be exactly what they are…traitors.

Below is the translated transcript.

“Thank you, Mr President. Dear Ministers, dear Colleagues.

Belgium is indeed the land of surrealism.

This morning we learned from the media that the Belgian army is incapable of fighting some extremist soldiers having radical Islamist beliefs existing within its own ranks but who cannot be dismissed for lack of legal means.

However, at the same time, we decide to help France in its war against “Terror” by providing logistical support for its operation in Mali. What wouldn’t we do in order to fight against terrorism outside our borders? I just hope we took care not to send for this anti-terrorist operation, in Mali, these much talked about Belgian Islamists soldiers!

I seem to be joking, but what is going on in the world today does not make me laugh at all. It doesn’t make me laugh, because without any doubt, the leaders of our Western countries are taking the people for imbeciles with the help and support of the Media which are nothing more today than an organ of propaganda of the ruling powers.

Around the world, military actions and regime’s destabilization are becoming more and more frequent. Preventive war has become the rule.

And today, in the name of democracy and the fight against terrorism, our states grant themselves the right to violate the sovereignty of independent countries and to overthrow legitimate leaders.

There has been Iraq and Afghanistan, the wars of the American lie. Later, came Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, where thanks to your decisions, our country has been “first in line” to participate in crimes against humanity, in each case overthrowing progressive and moderate regimes and to replace them with Islamist regimes, and – isn’t it weird ? – Their first act was to impose Sharia law.

This is exactly what is currently happening in Syria where Belgium is shamefully funding the arming of the Islamist rebels who are trying to overthrow Bashar Al Assad. Thus, in the midst of economic crisis, as more and more Belgians can no longer house themselves, feed, heat and cure themselves – Yeah, I can hear what a filthy populist I am – well, the Minister of Foreign Affairs decided to offer the Syrian rebels nine million Euros!

Of course, they’ll try to make us believe that this money will be used for humanitarian purposes … one more lie! And as you can see, for months, our country is only participating to put in place, Islamic regimes in North Africa and the Middle East. So, when they come and pretend to go to war in order to fight against terrorism in Mali, well… I feel like laughing. It’s false!

Under the appearance of good actions, we only intervene to defend financial interests in a complete neo-colonialist agenda. It makes no sense to go to help France in Mali in the name of the fight against Islamic terrorism when – at the same time – we support the overthrow of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad by Islamist rebels who want to impose Sharia Law, as was done in Tunisia and in Libya.

It is about time to stop lying to us and treating people like imbeciles.

The time has come to tell the truth. Arming the Islamist Rebels, as Westerners have, in the past armed Bin Laden, that friend of the Americans before they turned against him, well, the western countries are taking the opportunity to place military bases in the newly conquered countries while favoring domestic companies.

Everything is therefore strategic. In Iraq, our American allies have put their hands on the country’s oil wealth. In Afghanistan, it was its opium and drugs always useful when it comes to make lots of money pretty quickly. In Libya, in Tunisia, in Egypt, or then again in Syria, the aim was – and is still today, to overthrow moderate powers, to replace them with Islamist powers who very quickly will become troublesome and who we will shamelessly attack pretending once again, to fight terrorism or protect Israel.

Thus, the next targets are already known. Within a few months, I bet that our eyes will turn to Algeria and eventually to Iran.

To go to war, to free people from an outside aggressor, is noble. But to go to war to defend the interests of the USA; To go to war to defend the interests of big companies such as AREVA; go to war to put our hands on gold mines, is not at all noble and reveals our counties to be attackers and thugs!

No one dares to speak, but I will not shut up! And if my battle makes me look like an enemy of this system that flaunts the Human Rights in the name of financial, geo-strategic and neo-colonialist interests, so be it!

Flaunting and exposing this regime is a duty and makes me proud. And honestly, I apology for my low class speech, but I say fuck you all, the so-called do-gooders, both left and right-wingers or from the center who are today licking the boots of our corrupted powers and who will be pleased to ridicule me.

I say fuck you all, leaders who are playing with your bombs as kids do in a playground! I say fuck you, you who pretend to be democrats while you are nothing more than low class criminals. 

I don’t have much respect neither for the journalists who have the audacity to label the opponents as mentally retarded while basically, they know very well that these opponents are right.

Finally, I despise, at the highest point, those who believe they are the kings of the world and who are dictating their laws, because I AM on the side of truth, the side of justice, the side of the innocent victims of looting at all cost. And it is for this reason that I have decided to clearly oppose this resolution that is sending our country to support France in its neo-colonialist operation.

Since the beginning of the French operation, the lie was established. We are told that France is only answering the call for help of a Malian president. We almost forget that this president has no legitimacy and that he was put in place to ensure the transition following the coup of March 2012. Who supported this coup d’état? Who started it? For whom is this president of transition actually working? This is the first lie!

The French president, François Hollande dares to pretend to wage this war to fight against the jihadists who threaten (ohhhh do you realize!) who threaten the French and European territory! But what an ugly lie! By taking this official argument, while taking the opportunity to frighten the population increasing the terror alert level, implementing the Vigipirate plan our leaders and media are demonstrating an unimaginable outrage!

How dare they use such a point while France and Belgium have not hesitated to arm and support Jihadists in Libya and that these same countries continue to support these jihadists in Syria.

This pretext is a coverup to strategic and economic purposes. Our countries are no longer in fear of appearing inconsistent because everything is done to hide it. But the inconsistency is apparent. It is not tomorrow that you’ll see a Malian citizen commit an act of terrorism in Europe. No! Not unless we suddenly create one so we can justify this military operation.

Haven’t we created September 11 after all, to justify the invasions, arbitrary arrest, torture and massacre of innocent populations? Thus, to create a Malian terrorist is no big deal!

It must not be very complicated for our bloodthirsty leaders.

Another pretext used these recent months to justify military operations, as the protection of human rights. Ah! This pretext is still used today to justify the war in Mali. But yes! We have to act, otherwise the evil Islamists will impose Sharia law in Mali, stoning women and cutting the thugs’ hands off.

Oh! The intention is truly noble. Noble and salutary for sure. But then why is it – Good Lord – why is it that our countries have contributed in Tunisia and Libya to the accession to power of Islamists who have decided to apply this Sharia Law in these countries which were, not so long ago, still regarded as modern and progressive? I invite you to ask the young Tunisians who have launched the revolution in Tunisia, if they are happy with their current situation? This is all hypocrisy.

The purpose of this war in Mali is very clear. And since no one talks about it, I WILL. The purpose is to fight against China and allow our American ally to maintain its presence in Africa and the Middle East. This is what guides these neo-colonialists operations.

And you will see, when the military operation will be over, France will, of course, keep its military bases in Mali. These bases will be a benefit to the Americans as well. And at the same time, as has always been the case, western corporations will put their hands on juicy contracts that will once again deprive re-colonized countries of their wealth and raw materials.

So let’s be clear, the primary beneficiaries of this military operation, will be the owners and shareholders of the French giant AREVA who has been trying for years to obtain a uranium mine in Falea, a town of 17,000 inhabitants located at 350 km from Bamako.

And I don’t know why, but my little finger is telling me that it won’t take long before AREVA will eventually exploit that mine!

I don’t know, it’s an impression I have. It is therefore out of question that I would take part to this mining colonialism, this modern times colonialism.

And for those who doubt about my arguments, I sincerely invite them to learn about the wealth of Mali.

Mali is a major producer of gold, but recently it has been recently designated as being a country that offers a world-class environment for the exploitation of uranium. How strange!

One step closer to a war against Iran, it is obvious.

For all these reasons and in order to not fall into the traps of lies they are tending us, I’ve decided not to give my support to that intervention in Mali.

Therefore, I will vote against it. And by doing so, I’m being consistent since, I never supported in the past our criminal interventions in Libya or in Syria, and so being the only MP in this country to defend the non-interference and the fight against obscure interests. I really think it is about time to put an end to our participation to the UN or NATO and get out of the EU if Europe, instead of providing peace, providing peace becomes a weapon of attack and destabilization of sovereign countries submissive to financial rather than human interests

Finally, I can only urge our government to remind the President Hollande the obligations resulting from the Geneva Conventions regarding the respect of prisoners of war.

Indeed, I was shocked to hear on television from the mouth of the French President that his intention was to “destroy” – I say “destroy” – Islamist terrorists.

So, I do not want the qualification to be used to name the opponents to the Malian regime – it is always convenient today to talk about Islamic terrorists- to be used to circumvent the obligations of any democratic state in terms of respecting the rights of prisoners of war.

We expect such a respect from the Fatherland of Human Rights. In conclusion, Let me emphasize how lightly we decide to go to war.

First, the government acts without any consent from the Parliament. It appears that it has the right to. It sends equipment, men to Mali. The Parliament subsequently reacts and when it responds, as today, well, this institution happens to be composed of only 1/3 of its members. Much less if we speak of the French speaking MP’s.

It is therefore a guilty lightness which does not really surprises me, coming from a Parliament of puppies, submitted to the dictates of political parties. Thank you.”

(Translation: Geraldine Feuillien)

Complete Transcript PDF

Belgian Parliament Member Blames 9/11 False Flag for Criminal Invasions of Sovereign Countries. 

Please tell everyone you know that there are a few in this world not afraid to take a stand against the world wide criminal syndicate. 

Now We Have the Missing Ingredient Tying Evil Survivalists and Preppers To the School Shooting Controversy

[Not only did the freak kill the driver in front of the kids and take one of them to his “well-stocked bunker,” the attack took place within 1/2 mile of Addison High School.  Now they have a reason to go after survivalists, as they move to seize all soon to be banned “illegal type” weapons.  Look for this to happen again, soon…perhaps again and again, until the door swings closed on the Second Amendment.]

Jimmy Lee Dykes Suspected in Midland City Bus Driver Shooting: REPORT


Jimmy Lee Dykes Suspected in Midland City Bus Driver Shooting: REPORT
LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Jimmy Lee Dykes is allegedly suspected in the Midland City bus driver shooting today that is now a hostage situation, claims the Dothan Eagle newspaper. Jimmy Lee Dykes is allegedly suspected in the shooting of a school bus driver in Midland City in southeastern Alabama Tuesday January 29, 2013; the crime scene, however, now involves the alleged hostage of a six year old student.

Police are not confirming Dykes’ name. They do confirm that the suspect allegedly came onto the bus near Destiny Church, took a six year old studentfrom the vehicle, and fired at the driver. Police have decided not to release any names of persons involved. They are also withholding details about the driver’s condition as well.

But the Dothan Eagle claims that Jimmy Lee Dykes is 65 years old and was allegedly arrested and charged with menacing back on December 22, 2012. The Eagles also claims that Dykes is allegedly the gunman hold-up in the bunker with the child. The bunker is located behind Dykes’ home near US 231.

The Dale County Sheriff’s Office issued the following news release late today “The Dale County Sheriff’s Department has established a command postlocation at the intersection of 231 North and Private Road 1539 in Dale County, Alabama following a shooting. Multiple agencies are present assisting with the incident. Authorities say a call was received regarding a shooting involving a Dale County School Bus at 3:36 p.m.”

Reports claim that the driver may have suffered multiple gunshot wounds. The shooting reportedly happened at 3:36 pm during a routine bus stop. Officials confirm that hostage negotiators are in contact with the suspect. Police Sgt. Rachel David tells news that all schools in Dale County and Ozark City Schools will be closed tomorrow January 30.

“God orders us to kill, crucify or cut off the hands and feet of those who spread mischief on earth,”

Black Bloc must die, say Jihad and Jama’a al-Islamiya


The Islamist party of the Jihad Organization and Jama’a al-Islamiya has said the ways of dealing with banditry specified in the Quran must be applied to Black Bloc members, which means they must be killed.

“God orders us to kill, crucify or cut off the hands and feet of those who spread mischief on earth,” said Jama’a al-Islamiya Mufti Abdel Akhar Hammad, citing a verse from the Quran. “The president must give that order.”

Mohamed Samra of the Jihad Organization said that the Black Bloc group is financed from abroad and must be killed, and that the National Salvation Front members must be arrested and charged with incitement to riot.

Last week, Cairo witnessed the first appearance groups describing themselves as the Black Bloc. Decked in black and wearing masks, they clashed with police forces at Qasr al-Aini Street on Thursday. They said they would fight with the police if it targeted protesters. Previously unknown, the Black Bloc’s goals remain unclear and its members generally avoid media contact.

Officials from the Muslim Brotherhood and state-run media have accused the group of violence, including attempting to set the presidential palace on fire, attacking the Brotherhood’s headquarters, looting government institutions, blocking the railways and exchanging fire with security forces.

However, it is still unclear to what extent the Black Bloc has played a role in any of the violent incidents reported over the past few days, or if they are actually armed. The group is a largely unknown one whose motives remain unclear, and its members generally refuse to speak to the media.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prosecutor General Talaat Abdallah ordered police and deputized members of the Armed Forces to arrest all suspected members of the Black Bloc.

State-run news agency MENA reported that Hassan Yassin, the head of the Public Prosecution’s technical office and the prosecution’s spokesperson, is claiming that the prosecution has proof that the Black Bloc is carrying out terrorist activities.

No further information was available as to the nature of this evidence or the alleged terrorist activities.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

Large Cache of Explosives and Detonators Seized In Quetta, Baloch Hazara Relieved

Heavy cache of explosives seized

business recorder

by Parvez Jabri

 QUETTA: A law enforcement agency (LEA) has seized heavy cached of explosives from a car at Balili check-post on outskirts of the city late Tuesday night.

LEA sources told that security personnel deployed on Balili check-post signalled an 86-Car to stop but the driver tried to accelerate the vehicle, left it and managed to escape when the LEA vehicles chased it.

During search, LEA personnel along with bomb disposal squad recovered explosives from the car including 400 Detonators, one piece Explosive Wire, 200 meter roll, one piece explosive cotton weighs 125 kg and 1500 kg ball baring.

The seized explosives were to be used in sabotage act.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2013

If UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy Ignores Central Asian Border Fights, Then What Does It Prevent?

Why Does UN Central Asia Office Exist If Not For Kyrgyz Uzbek Border Fight?

Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, January 29 — What does the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia do?

  For example, what has it done on the border fight between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, complete with blockades of Barak and Sokh, helicopters, threats?

  UNRCCA was set up by the former chief of the UN Department of Political Affairs, Lynn Pascoe, mostly because Turkmenistan was willing to invite the UN in.

  Once every six months Miroslav Jenca, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, comes and briefs the Security Council, and a press statement is issued.

   But the briefing are always closed. And Jenca does not do stakeouts to take press questions.

   On Tuesday after the Security Council’s president for January Masood Khan came out and read the most recent Council press statement, Inner City Press asked him about the border fight between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

   Khan said things hadn’t come up in that level of detail. Then what is UNRCCA working on? What accountability ever was there for the pogrom against ethnic Uzkeks in Kyrgyzstan? You never find out from Jenca. What is the point of the Office?

When Will the Lying Western Press Stop Using the Term “Al-Qaeda,” When Referring To Saudi Terrorism?

[The all-encompassing term “al-Qaeda,” is a descriptive term, used when referring to the principle of Saudi/Wahhabi oversight.  There is no such animal as “al-Qaeda,” the alleged international terrorist organization, but there IS a Saudi terrorist organization of global reach.  The supposedly super-scary Algerian incident was NOT the work of an International Islamist, but simply the work of Algerian militant Muslims.  The alleged “all-Qaeda” link is the Saudi/Wahhabi influence that makes news-bites from all such groups sound the same.  That is all the Western press needs to create the myth of AL-Q.  Every step taken over the years by the group of terrorists known as Al-Q is a step taken by the Saudi royals, to implement their own agenda (which is shared with the CIA), moving in an ocean of petrodollars, hoping to secure their own global empire.  CIA patronage of this Saudi “Islamist” force for many decades, is the controlling power which allows the Saudis to keep expanding their subversive reach, while enabling them to direct where the Islamists are allowed to blow-off jihadi steam, without damaging Saudi/US interests.  

 Juhayman Otaibi, leader of Grand Mosque Siege

The radical Islamists of Saudi Arabia, since their siege of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, have been on the Saudi payroll.  As part of the surrender deal, the most tenacious survivors of the Mosque pacification were hired as full-time jihadis and then packed-off to Peshawar and Jalalabad, to wage their Wahhabi jihad against the godless Communists.  Since that time, succeeding Wahhabi-influenced jihadis have either been packed-off to Jihads in Europe and Asia, or else have been paid millions of dollars in protection money to stay away from Saudi Arabia.  The “al-Qaeda” that we have since come to know and adore (now planning our lives around them) is a complete fabrication, which is neither growing stronger, nor will ever really fade away.  On that basis, the following article is just another part of the organized deception.  

Using the term “al-Qaeda” to describe specific attacks is a malicious attempt to  falsely imply an international terrorist angle when describing natural nationalistic militant reactions to Western neo-colonialism, hoping to create a “red herring” behind which to hide outrage to the re-colonization of former Empire territories.  Whenever Western corporations begin to move-in for the mass-pillaging of natural resources militants must, by their nature, rise-up to defend their homelands.  The fact that they are Muslims by birth qualifies them to be called “Islamists” by the Western disinformation (news) agencies.  It is high time to break the cycle of lies that insulates the current and former American and Western administrations from reaping their own outraged reactions from their own constituents for manufacturing this “terrorist” bogeyman.]

Al-Qaida: how great is the terrorism threat to the west now?

In the aftermath of the Algerian hostage crisis, David Cameron issued an ominous warning of the continued threat from terrorism. But is al-Qaida more, or less, dangerous than before?

Hostages surrender to Islamist gunmen who overtook the gas plant in the Algerian desert

Hostages surrender to Islamist gunmen who overtook the gas plant in the Algerian desert. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Last week the world took another step towards succumbing to an existential threat. Again.

Speaking in the aftermath of the spectacular seizure and siege of an Algerian gas refinery by Islamist extremists 10 days ago, David Cameron warned of how “we face a large and existential terrorist threat from a group of extremists based in different parts of the world who want to do the biggest possible amount of damage to our interests and way of life”.

There was little further detail, leaving it unclear if the prime minister was referring to al-Qaida, the group founded by the late Osama bin Laden 25 years ago. Or possibly al-Qaida-type groups in the middle of the Saharan desert. Or maybe other offshoots around the world. Or possibly the ideology of al-Qaida.

However, the broad thrust of what he was saying was obvious: if you thought the threat from al-Qaida, however defined, had gone away, you were wrong. It is here, and will be here for decades to come. And it endangers the very foundation of our societies. The intervening week, one imagines, replete as it was with a range of shootings, bombings, arrests and court judgments across the world all involving Islamist extremism, has not improved things.

Such rhetoric was once familiar. We heard much of it in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and through the months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003. But as the years have passed however, such pronouncements of imminent danger became rarer. The public naturally learned to be suspicious of rhetoric raising fears that appeared unreasonable and unfounded. We all learned enough about the complex phenomenon of contemporary Islamist militancy to be able to challenge the sillier claims ourselves. Policymakers recognised that any exaggeration, particularly of the “global” nature of a threat that their own security services were increasingly seeing as local, simply played into the hands of the enemy.

So Cameron’s words last week, echoed elsewhere, were unexpected.

Rather like al-Qaida’s own rhetoric in the wake of the changes wrought by the Arab spring, they sounded dated; at worst, they were an indication of wilful ignorance, a nostalgia for simpler times when leaders could promise “iron resolve” against a threat without provoking widespread scepticism. They have however usefully provoked a new debate on two very old questions, both still urgent and important: what is al-Qaida? And is it more or less dangerous than it was?

Answering the first question is, for once, relatively straightforward. Islamist militancy is a phenomenon going back much further than the foundation of the group al-Qaida by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden in 1988. There have been waves of revivalism in the Muslim world since the days of the Prophet Muhammad. These have frequently come in response to external challenges, whether political, social, cultural and military. Intense and very varied reactions were provoked by European colonialism in the 19th century from Afghanistan to Algeria, from Morocco to Malaysia and beyond. The end of European colonialism in the Muslim world in no way diminished the immediacy of that challenge nor the venality, brutality and incompetence of local regimes. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, scores of different violent extremist movements, in part products of a massive new interest in “Islamism” across the Muslim world, were waging armed struggles against local governments in the name of religion.

Al-Qaida (usually translated as “the base”) was founded – in Pakistan towards the end of the war in Afghanistan against the Soviets – to channel and co-ordinate the dispersed efforts of these movements into a single campaign. It believed that striking at a universally accepted global enemy, the US, would lead to the destruction of “hypocrite” unbelieving regimes across the Muslim world in the short term and, eventually, the creation of a new ill-defined and utopian religious rule. This latter goal was long-term, a cosmic struggle, possibly indefinite and certainly undefinable in terms of time.

Aided by a range of external factors, al-Qaida was to some extent successful in achieving its less abstract aims, striking the US hard and drawing together an unprecedented network of affiliates in the late 1990s. This then helped – particularly by the response to the 9/11 attacks and other operations – disseminate its ideology further than ever before in the noughties.

The high point, however, was reached around 2004 or 2005. Even as it appeared to peak, the wave of extremism was receding. Since then, the central leadership of al-Qaida has suffered blow after blow. It is not just Bin Laden who has been killed or rendered inactive, but pretty much everyone else in the senior and middle ranks of the organisation. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al-Qaida central, may be an effective, utterly dedicated and experienced organiser but he lacks Bin Laden’s charisma. Saif al Adel, the only other veteran leader remaining, lacks his stature and may not be at liberty at all but detained in Iran.

Key players who few, beyond specialists, had ever heard of – such as the very capable Libyan Atiyah Abd al-Rahman – have gone. British security officials describe “al-Qaida central” as being “hollowed out”, largely by the controversial drone strikes. Equally damaging for the group, al-Qaida’s training infrastructure is minimal, certainly compared with the dozens of fully fledged camps that were in use on the eve of the 9/11 attacks. Back in 2008, according to interrogation documents, handlers were forced to admit to new recruits coming straight from Europe that their facilities unfortunately bore no resemblance to those depicted in recruiting videos.

Nothing has improved since. Volunteers are fewer than before. There are younger members rising up the thinning ranks, but this is promotion by default not merit.

Equally damaging has been the rejection by successive communities over the past two decades. Almost every attempt by al-Qaida central to win genuine popular support has failed – in Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Polls show approval ratings for Bin Laden peaking around 2004-5 and then steep decline. This is particularly true when communities have direct experience of extremist violence or rule. The al-Qaida brand is irremediably tarnished. Even Bin Laden was apparently thinking of relaunching the group under a new name, his correspondence reveals.

The Mumbai terrorist siege had no links with al-Qaida.

The terrorist siege of Mumbai had no links with al-Qaida. Photograph: Sebastian D’souza/APThe two most spectacular attacks in recent years – in Algeria and the strike on Mumbai by Pakistan-based militants from the Lashkar-e-Taiba organisation – were carried out by entities that have, in the first instance, tenuous connections with al-Qaida’s senior leadership and, in the second, none at all. This indicates the degree to which the remnant led by al-Zawahiri have become, at best, only one player among many.

The result is that the centripetal force the group once exerted has gone and we have returned to a situation similar to that of the old “pre-al-Qaida” days with a whole series of different local groups involved in local struggles with negligible central co-ordination.

There are major differences with the previous period, of course. Decades of violence have led to much higher structural levels of radicalisation and polarisation. The technology and tactics used by all protagonists in these current “shadow wars” has evolved. Then there are the consequences of the Arab spring – for the Sahel and Syria and elsewhere. But, nonetheless, the unthinking use of the term al-Qaida, as has so often been the case in the past, obscures rather than illuminate the real chaotic and fractured, if still dynamic, nature of modern Islamist militancy. This is something Cameron’s own security services will have told him.

Of course a threat remains. But the big attacks – those that could potentially pose something a little closer to “an existential threat” – are unlikely. These would need to be in a major European or US city or involve at least one passenger jet. If British intelligence, despite having a team devoted for months to checking and rechecking every possible potential lead, could not come up with a single credible threat to the London Olympics last year and their US counterparts were confident enough to declare a similar lack of immediate danger during the recent presidential campaign, it appears fair to assume that bombs in London or New York are a fairly distant prospect for the moment. The biggest threat to airplanes comes from a single highly proficient bombmaker in the Yemen.

The location of the major spectacular attacks appears closely related to al-Qaida’s ability to focus the dispersed energies of contemporary Sunni Islamist extremism. Through the 1990s, attacks were restricted to targets – in Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere – which were distant from western populations, with the exception of the first abortive plot to bomb the World Trade Center in New York in 1993. US troops who were attacked in Somalia in that year in the famous “Blackhawk Down” episode had simply strayed into someone else’s war.

By the late 1990s, US interests were being attacked, but in east Africa or the Yemen. It was only through the first six years of the past decade that the violence approached the west – first in Indonesia, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, then in Madrid and London. But since, the dynamic has reversed, tracking the new weakness of the al-Qaida senior leadership. The big attacks still come – but in Islamabad, Mumbai, Kabul, Baghdad, and now in the deserts of the Sahara. Nor do they strike targets that resonate throughout the Muslim world. A gas refinery in southern Algeria is not the Pentagon.

Partly this is due to vastly improved security precautions and competent intelligence services that co-operated much more effectively.

Intermittent attempts to down airplanes have been defeated, if only just. Hundreds of potential troublemakers have been stopped long before they even begin to contemplate actually perpetrating a violent attack. MI5 officials say that, in part due to closer collaboration with a range of other agencies and particularly the police, they are able to head off possible threats much earlier. One compared their operations to the famously tedious stonewall tactics of the Arsenal team 20 years ago. “It’s boring but it works,” he said.

There is, of course, the fear of a “lone wolf”, a solo, self-radicalising extremist. The example most often cited is Mohamed Merah, the French-Algerian who killed three soldiers as well as three Jewish schoolchildren and a teacher last March.

A spokesman for Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the man who orchestrated the recent refinery attack in Algeria, told French media on Monday that France could expect “dozens like … Merah and Khaled Kelkal” who would spontaneously rise up to kill and maim.

Islamist militia leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Islamist militia leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who orchestrated the Amenas refinery attack in Algeria. Photograph: APBut real lone wolves are extremely rare. Kelkal, who carried out a series of attacks in France in 1995, plugged into a broader network of militants run and recruited by Algerian groups active at the time. Merah did the shooting on his own but came from a family steeped in extremist versions of Islam and anti-Semitism, had been to Afghanistan and Pakistan to train and was, French and Pakistani officials say, connected to Moez Garsalloui, a high-profile known Belgian militant, now dead, who had been recruiting widely and was well-known to intelligence services. Merah was thus not only part of an old style of terrorism – recruits making their way to the badlands of Pakistan to get trained and then returning to carry out attacks – but was also much less effective than predecessors such as those responsible for the 7/7 attacks in London. The number of people making that journey is now a fraction of the levels of six or seven years ago. Back then, scores, if not hundreds, made their way to the Afghan-Pakistan frontier to fight alongside the Taliban or other groups. Now the number is in the low dozens, according to intelligence officials in Pakistan, the UK and elsewhere.

The other fear is of a new generation of veteran militants returning from the battlefields of the Sahel to wreak havoc in the US or, more realistically, Europe. There are some reports that Canadian or even French passport-holders were among those who attacked the refinery. However, there are two reasons to be relatively sanguine.

Islamist fighters from Islamist group Ansar Dine in Mali.

Islamist fighters from the Islamist group Ansar Dine in Mali. Photograph: APFirst, the facilities available for training in the region are minimal and there would seem to be no reason why extremists graduating in terrorist studies from there would be better able to carry out effective mass casualty attacks than men such as Merah.

Second, we are yet to see a wave of violence involving veterans of much more longlasting and extensive violence elsewhere in the Maghreb or the core of the Middle East. British intelligence officials pointed to the experience of the horrific conflict in Iraq when asked about the possibility of veterans of the current fighting in Syria, where extremist religious groups are playing an increasingly significant role, posing a threat to the UK. Only one attack – the abortive 2007 London and Glasgow strikes – has been definitively linked to someone involved in that previous conflict, and he was not a former fighter. Iraqi veterans have proved dangerous in Saudi, even in Afghanistan and in the Maghreb. But that is not the same as posing a direct existential threat to the west. There seems, the officials say, to be no reason why the Syrian theatre should produce a greater threat today than the Iraqi theatre has done. Nor, indeed, Mali.

Does this all mean that Islamist militancy will simply die away? Of course not. A phenomenon with such long and complex roots will evolve rather than disappear. That is what is currently happening in this new post-al-Qaida phase. Wherever the various factors that allow the “Salafi-Jihadi” ideology to get traction are united, there is likely to be violence. Extremists do, as Cameron said, “thrive when they have ungoverned spaces in which they can exist, build and plan” and the aftermath of the Arab spring has not just opened up new terrain but also exacerbated existing problems of lawlessness and criminality. Flows of arms from Libya have made a bad situation worse.

And if you take the fighting in Mali and the attack on the refinery, and add it to a list of all the incidents occurring around the globe involving extremist Islamist violence, it is undoubtedly a frightening picture.

In the last few days there were arrests in the Philippines, anti-terrorist operations in Indonesia, deaths in Pakistan (due to infighting between extremist groups), air raids in Afghanistan on suspected al-Qaida bases,battles in the Yemen, shootings and executions in Iraq following the release of a video showing brutal executions, reports of trials in the UK and Germany as well as fighting in Mali.

But does this all add up to al-Qaida 3.0, more dangerous than ever before? There’s a simple test. Think back to those dark days of 2004 or 2005 and how much closer the violence seemed. Were you more frightened then, or now? The aim of terrorism is to inspire irrational fear, to terrorise. Few are as fearful today as they were back then. So that means there are two possibilities: we are wrong, ignorant or misinformed, and should be much more worried than we are; or our instincts are right, and those responsible for the violence are as far from posing an existential threat as they have ever been.

• This article was amended on 29 January 2013. The abortive attacks on London and Glasgow took place in 2007, not 2006 as originally stated.

The Guardian

Ariel Sharon Coming Out of His Coma Just In Time for Armegeddon

Ariel Sharon source

[Where are all the assassins when you need one?]

Israel: After seven years in a coma Sharon ‘signs of activity’ brain


Last Updated: January 29, at 13:06

Jerusalem, January 29 (Adnkronos) – After seven years in a coma, Ariel Sharon shows ‘significant’ signals ‘activity’ brain. ” He revealed the team of Israeli doctors and American Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva have put the former prime minister to a series of tests. In a vegetative state since 2006 as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage, Sharon, now 84 year old, responds to external stimuli and the activity ‘brain’ increased when the fixtures, as reported by the Israeli media, they showed him pictures of his family and made listen to a recording with the voice of the child. It is, doctors said, of “encouraging signs”, although this does not necessarily translate into a probable awakening from coma.

America’s Plans for “Islamist” Greater Middle East Collapsing In Chaos

Egypt Army chief warns state could “collapse”


A masked Egyptian protester flashes the victory sign during clashes with riot police, background, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Jan. 28, 2013.

A masked Egyptian protester flashes the victory sign during clashes with riot police, background, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Jan. 28, 2013. / AP

CAIROEgypt’s army chief warned Tuesday of “the collapse of the state” if the political crisis roiling the nation for nearly a week continues.


The warning by Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, also the defense minister, comes as the country sinks deeper into chaos and lawlessness. Attempts by the Muslim Brotherhood-backed president to stem a wave of political violence appear to have made no headway.


Some 60 people have been killed in the unrest that began last Thursday.


El-Sissi’s warning came in an address to military academy cadets. His comments were posted on the armed forces’ official Facebook page.


“The continuation of the conflict between the different political forces and their differences over how the country should be run could lead to the collapse of the state and threaten future generations,” he said.


President Mohammed Morsi, right, meets Lt. Abdul Fattah El-SissiPresident Mohammed Morsi, right, meets Lt. Abdul Fattah El-Sissi, Minister of Defense at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, Dec. 13, 2012.

 / AP


It is unclear whether el-Sissi, the former head of military intelligence, meant to try and coax anti-government protesters off the streets with his dire warning, or whether he was himself questioning President Mohammed Morsi’s ability to quell the unrest.


Protesters battled police for hours in Cairo on Monday and thousands marched through Egypt’s three Suez Canal cities in direct defiance of a night-time curfew and state of emergency, handing a blow to the Morsi’s attempts to contain five days of spiraling political violence.


Nearly 60 people have been killed in the wave of unrest, clashes, rioting and protests that have touched cities across the country but have hit the hardest in the canal cities, where residents have virtually risen up in outright revolt.


The latest death came on Monday in Cairo, where a protester died of gunshot wounds as youths hurling stones battled all day and into the night with police firing tear gas near Qasr el-Nil Bridge, a landmark over the Nile next to major hotels. In nearby Tahrir Square, protesters set fire to a police armored personnel carrier, celebrating as it burned in scenes reminiscent of the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak.


CBS News’ Alex Ortiz reports that the lobby and shops in the ground floor of Cairo’s sprawling Intercontinental Hotel were smashed up and looted by a gang of people during the melee on Monday. It was unclear whether the looters were part of the opposition protest, or simply criminal elements taking advantage of the lack of security in the area. Nobody was injured at the hotel, which is frequented by Westerners.


“I will be coming back here every day until the blood of our martyrs is avenged,” said 19-year-old carpenter Islam Nasser, who wore a Guy Fawkes mask as he battled police near Tahrir square.

Angry and at times screaming and wagging his finger, Morsi on Sunday declared a 30-day state of emergency and a nighttime curfew on the three Suez Canal cities of Suez, Ismailiya and Port Said and their provinces of the same names. He said he had instructed the police to deal “firmly and forcefully” with the unrest and threatened to do more if security was not restored.


But when the 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew began Monday evening, crowds marched through the streets of Port Said, beating drums and chanting, “Erhal, erhal,” or “Leave, leave” — a chant that first rang out during the 18-day uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011 but is now directed at Morsi.


“We completely reject Morsi’s measures. How can we have a curfew in a city whose livelihood depends on commerce and tourism?” said Ahmed Nabil, a schoolteacher in the Mediterranean coastal city.


In Suez and Ismailiya, thousands in the streets after curfew chanted against Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group from which he hails. In Suez, residents let off fireworks that lit the night sky.


“Oh Morsi, Suez has real men,” they chanted.


In Ismailiya, residents organized street games of soccer to emphasize their contempt for the curfew and state of emergency.


On Morsi’s orders over the weekend, army troops backed with tanks and armored vehicles have deployed in Port Said and Suez — the two cities worst hit by the violence — to restore security, but they did not intervene to enforce the curfew on Monday night.


The commander of the Third Field Army in charge of Suez, Maj. Gen. Osama Askar, said his troops would not use force to ensure compliance. Army troops in Port Said also stood by and watched as residents ignored the curfew.


Adding to Morsi’s woes nearly seven months into his turbulent presidency, the main political opposition coalition on Monday rejected his invitation for a dialogue to resolve the crisis, one of the worst and deadliest to hit Egypt in the two years since Mubarak’s ouster.


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© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc.

Deflating the Post-2014 Terrorist Scare

Post-2014 Terrorist Threat in Central Asia: Keeping it Real


Post image for Post-2014 Terrorist Threat in Central Asia: Keeping it Real


Contributed by Nathan Barrick

Is there a terrorist threat to Central Asia after the ISAF drawdown in Afghanistan in 2014?

In recent publications, the warnings range from an imminent FATA-like region of militant-dominated, ungoverned space in the Ferghana Valley to the “these are not the terrorists you’re looking for” Jedi mind trick “2014 Central Asia looks a lot like 2012 Central Asia”. However, Nathan Hamm, in “Central Asia 2014: The Terror”, makes the excellent point that:

“Assessments of the risk of terrorism need to capture the scale and timeline for the risk.”

In the many years I’ve spent studying Central Asia, I’ve found that most viewpoints tend to extremes – whether in the service of academia, national security, or policy-making. Rarely are the positions expressed moderated by reality, even if the experts expressing those views have much more balanced and nuanced personal understandings of the region through travel, study, and personal relationships. So, let’s “keep it real” about terrorism in post-2014 Central Asia…

Firstly, Hamm is exactly right – 2014 in Central Asia is very likely to look a lot like 2012 in Central Asia, especially if we do not see any changes in national leadership. The drawdown of ISAF in Afghanistan will likely be timelined for a very late 2014 departure. Even if, in the worst of all possible worlds, terrorists were just waiting behind Afghanistan’s Central Asian borders to rush across following the last trains, planes, and automobiles of ISAF’s retrograde – we still would probably not see terrorist attacks in Central Asia in 2014 as the threat-heavy perspective might envision. In reality, terrorist planning for major attacks is assessed to take six months to a couple years before the execution. Central Asian terrorists are much more likely to be focused on assisting their Pakistani and Afghan allies in attempting to garner tactical successes against a retreating ISAF and a not-likely-to-be-so-self-reliant Afghan National Army, than to be devoting efforts to attack planning in Central Asia.

Therefore, from a “normal” terrorist threat perspective, we might not see the actual impact of ISAF withdrawal, even assuming worst case futures in Afghanistan, until at least mid-2016 or even 2017.

Additionally, regardless of how precipitous a US departure occurs — an as yet unknown variable – one oft-repeated US strategic priority for a minimum effort is a focus on counterterrorism abilities. We are not likely to see programs like drone strikes summarily grounded, which argues against terrorist groups having very much added freedom of maneuver to establish the training camps and bases needed to deliberately project terrorist attacks into Central Asia. Realistically, this pushes the redline for increased threat of terror attacks, that are a direct result of ISAF’s 2014 departure from Afghanistan, even further to the future. Also affecting the timeline, there will be a new U.S. President elected in late 2016, inaugurated in 2017, with a possible – not likely to be implemented in a first-term, first year – curtailment of counterterrorist operations to a more realistic timeline for the “post-2014” terrorist threat to Central Asia in mid-2018 to late 2019.

National security decision-makers from any country must take the stated intentions of terrorist groups seriously. A “more realistic” timeline for this particular threat does not mean Central Asian governments can ignore the threat, nor will they — multiple terrorist groups seek to change the regimes in Central Asia. There is another dynamic for Central Asian governments to consider from this perspective: over the next six years the uncertainty regarding succession or government transition is likely to worsen. Except for Kyrgyzstan, the other governments face the prospect of long-term rulers of advanced age who may pass away suddenly, as Turkmenistan’s Niyazov did in December 2006, or any number of other possible succession scenarios. Undoubtedly, unless a new leader has an obvious Islamist character, an unlikely prospect, these terrorist groups, or new groups formed and motivated by post-2014 developments, will attempt to challenge new governments at such a critical stage of vulnerability.

Whether this security dilemma prompts the existing rulers to try to maintain more draconian grips on power or whether security organizations naturally drift to assessing and preparing for these threats, there is likely to be a gradual increase in the repressive tactics that are a two-edged sword for the regimes. On the one edge, these governments can argue that their security forces have successfully protected their countries and handled the threats that have occurred. On the other sharper edge, as many experts in Western countries believe, these security practices have prompted civil discontent and facilitated recruitment and motivation for the anti-regime objectives of the terrorist groups.

ZennDonnelly, and others have highlighted the “return” of hundreds, or even thousands, of terrorists from the Afghanistan-Pakistan area of operations to Central Asia as a cause for concern. I believe the numbers need to be better scrutinized. While it is possible for a group of only 19 committed, and suicidal, terrorists to conduct a massively catastrophic attack, we have not seen this type of attack by known Central Asian terrorist groups. In fact, while the prospect of fighting infidel superpowers, propagandized as suppressing Muslims, drew terrorists like moths to a flame in Afghanistan and Iraq, the motivation for these volunteers to take on the autocratic, nominally Muslim governments of predominantly moderate Muslim countries is considerably less. We are unlikely to see Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, or Tajikistan top the “Most Hated” target list for salafist jihadist violent extremist organizations. It is more likely that the number of terrorists who want to take the fight to Central Asia will only be a small fraction of the current members of those groups and those will find it difficult to surreptitiously return and actively, rapidly generate a significant capacity for operational tempo. Further, we have not seen Afghans migrate to help other Muslims fight their wars, and it’s not likely to start in a few years. The bonds of warrior brotherhood and obligation that the foreign fighters have developed in Afghanistan are more likely to earn them a temporary home, if they are successful, rather than the participation of their Afghan allies in operations outside Afghanistan.

Of genuine concern is that a core element of these Central Asian terrorist groups will have learned what is called “hybrid warfare” – the blend of conventional, asymmetric, irregular, terrorist, criminal and cyber capabilities that have characterized this conflict in the past several years. This group of insurgent experts could attempt to combine their lethal capabilities with a popular protest movement, like those revolutions in the Arab world. Had the events and results of Tunisia and Egypt alone described that phenomenon, we may have seen more sympathetic movements arise in Central Asia. However, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, and Syria have daunted would be organizers of such protests in Central Asia. Over the next several years though, globalization, continued development and success of popular movements desiring political change, and perceived opportunities in Central Asian political transitions, may generate similar momentum in Central Asia. Central Asia has a history of syncretic developments and a terrorist-hijacked popular movement is a possibility, even if remote.

Lastly, and the details of this point will be left to another time in the service of brevity, the particulars of each Central Asia terrorist group need to be examined to assess the likelihood of how much capability or capacity they might be able to shift to conducting operations in post-2014 Central Asia. There are significant differences between the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Islamic Jihad Union, East Turkestan Independence Movement, Jund al-Khalifa, and the Caucasus Emirate, as well as other jamaats that are part of the Central Asian terrorist threat picture. These groups have experienced leadership losses and changes, as well as operational or strategic developments that have affected their ability or capacity to wage war in Central Asia. In general, it is worth considering that each of these organizations will face a decisive moment within twelve months of ISAF’s departure from Afghanistan and those strategic choices may affect those organizations for years following. An example illustrating this for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan is Christopher Anzalone’s excellent article.

In conclusion, the post-2014 terrorist threat environment in Central Asia is not something to be alarmist towards in terms of “doing something about it” before 2014. Our focus on this issue should address: “How much continued sponsorship to other countries’ counterterrorism efforts can the U.S. afford to provide after 2014?” and “How will our own counterterrorism strategy shift?” Within that perspective, more realistic appraisals of the evolving security and stability threats in Central Asia can be made and better informed decisions reached regarding U.S. security cooperation with each Central Asian state.

Nathan Barrick is a former U.S. Army Russia-Eurasia specialist with a Master’s Degree in Russia, Eurasian, and East European Studies from Stanford University. He has provided over a decade of subject matter expert consulting on Central Asia to a variety of customers, including the U.S. government. This article represents his own opinion and should not be construed as representing any official position or endorsement.


The Provocative False Sense of Security Projected By India’s Kashmir Bomb Shelter Warning

[SEE:  Indian Police Issue Advisory To Kashmir To Make Emergency Preparations To Survive Nuclear Attack]

bomb shelter kashmir

What India’s bomb shelters really mean

Boston Globe

By James Carroll


‘PEOPLE SHOULD construct basements where the whole family can stay for a fortnight.” So read an advisory issued recently by Indian civil defense officials, who recommend that residents of Kashmir prepare for nuclear war by building bomb shelters, stocked with food, water, “and ample candles and battery lights.” Recent border tensions between India and Pakistan — the death toll included a decapitated Indian soldier — have once more heightened the prospect of war over the disputed territory. The nuclear advisory continued, “Expect some initial disorientation as the blast wave may blow down and carry away many prominent and familiar features.” But a consoling note was struck: “If the blast wave does not arrive within five seconds of the flash, you were far enough from the ground zero.”

Some in Indian-administered Kashmir criticized the advisory for ginning up fear and provoking Pakistan. It was unclear whether the warning represented low-level local anxiety or official concerns of the Indian government. But that ambiguity underscores the danger, since Pakistan, too, was no doubt left wondering what bomb shelters beyond the border portend. Pakistan is a first-strike nuclear power, whose overt policy allows for a pre-emptive attack on an enemy. Signals that India is seriously moving to protect its citizens ahead of a nuclear exchange can, in arms-control jargon, only add hair to Islamabad’s hair trigger.

We have seen this movie before. In 1961, President Kennedy warned of nuclear war, sparked by the Berlin crisis, between the United States and the Soviet Union. “Accordingly,” Kennedy announced, “I am now taking the following steps.” He tripled the draft call, increased the bomber force, and spoke of urgent new taxes. “We have another sober responsibility,” he added — and then called for a massive bomb shelter program. “In the event of an attack, the lives of those families which are not hit in a nuclear blast and fire can still be saved — if they can be warned to take shelter and if that shelter is available.” The next day, Kennedy requested from Congress more than $200 million in urgent shelter funding. A few weeks later, a “Life” magazine cover blared, “97 out of 100 people can be saved. Detailed plans for building shelters.” The magazine showed families living snugly in “a big pipe in the back yard under 3 feet of earth.”

Whether Kennedy knew it or not, the shelter program was an absurd fantasy. Americans blithely anticipated a post-nuclear world that, after a few weeks’ interruption, would go on as before. Survivors would emerge from carpeted holes to . . . what? No one was invited to imagine the actual effects of an all-out nuclear exchange — a scorched world overrun with insane fugitives, anarchy, poisoned air, mass radiation sickness, the destruction of everything of value. The shelter program protected not against nuclear bombs but against the reality of what those bombs would certainly do.

In fact, shelters were never meant to preserve life. They were part of the larger game of nuclear chicken, a way of taunting an adversary with one’s own readiness to travel the road all the way to perdition. You can hit us, but we can take it. In the next period of Cold War nuclear swashbuckling, in the early Reagan years, a Defense Department official blithely declared that by digging bomb shelters, Americans would do fine in the event of a Soviet attack. “If there are enough shovels to go around,” he told the journalist Robert Sheer, “everybody’s going to make it.”

Whether Kennedy knew it or not, the shelter program was an absurd fantasy.

Bomb shelters are a provocative form of denial. That is what makes any talk of them dangerous — nowhere more so than in Kashmir. India and Pakistan keep up their slow-motion dance of death, but they are not alone in this choreography. Between them, the two nations possess at most a few hundred nuclear weapons out of something like 20,000 still ticking away in the planet’s arsenals. Just as the idea that humans, hiding in well-stocked caves “for a fortnight,” can meaningfully outlast a nuclear war is a fantasy, so is the notion that the species itself can survive the continued possession of these weapons. Ground zero for this illusion is neither Islamabad nor New Delhi, but Washington.

Today, Americans have grown blase about this threat, which went unmentioned in President Obama’s recent inaugural address. Before a crowd in Prague four years ago, though, he saw the problem clearly, committing to rid the world of nuclear weapons. Until the United States recovers that sense of urgency, don’t expect the time bomb in India and Pakistan to be defused.

Get two weeks of FREE unlimited access to BostonGlobe.com. No credit card required.James Carroll’s column appears regularly in the Globe.

India Methodically Obtaining Elements of Survivable Nuclear Triad

[Russia handed-over its refitted INS Sindhurakshak submarine to India today (SEE:  Russia hands over refitted submarine to India).  The Sindhurakshak comes with tube-launchers for firing Klub-S cruise missiles vertically, underwater.  Some of the Klub series of missiles are 8.22 meters long.  The Indian K-15 that was launched from an underwater pontoon yesterday is merely 10 meters in length, a difference of less than 6 feet.  Perhaps this six feet was compensated for in the retrofit.  India’ navy dwarfs Pakistan’s.]

Indian underwater K-15 missile

(click for larger image) India’s underwater K-15 (code named B05) missile piercing the waters of the Bay of Bengal after it was launched from a submerged pontoon off the Visakhapatnam coast, on Sunday. Photo: DRDO

India successfully test-fires underwater missile

The Hindu


India on Sunday successfully test-fired the underwater ballistic missile, K-15 (code-named B05), off the Visakhapatnam coast, marking en end to a series of developmental trials.

In its twelfth flight trial, the 10-metre tall Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) lifted off from a pontoon, rose to an altitude of 20 km and reached a distance of about 700 km as it splashed down in the waters of the Bay of Bengal near the pre-designated target point.

According to scientific advisor to the Defence Minister V.K. Saraswat, the missile was tested for its full range of 700 km and the mission met all its objectives. He said the impact accuracy of the medium range strategic missile was in single digit.

With the completion of developmental trials, the process of integrating K-15 missile with INS Arihant, the indigenously-built nuclear submarine, will begin soon. As many as 12 nuclear-tipped missiles, each weighing six tonnes will be integrated with Arihant, which will be powered by an 80 MWt (thermal) reactor that uses enriched uranium as fuel and light water as coolant and moderator.

India is only the fifth country to have such a missile — the other four are the United States, Russia, France and China.

Meanwhile the reactor has been integrated with the submarine and it was expected to go critical in May/ June 2013. Once that was done, the harbour trials will begin.

Besides Arihant, three other nuclear-powered submarines were being constructed — one at Visakhapatnam and two at Vadodara. India is also developing K-4 missile with a range of 3,000 km.

Egypt’s Explosive Mixture of Dictatorship and Democracy–Nothing But Bloodshed Remains

Opposition condemns state of emergency, holds Morsi responsible for unrest

ahram online
Opposition groups reject President Morsi’s call for national dialogue following recent deadly protests, condemn state of emergency in Suez, Ismailia and Port Said
Osman El Sharnoubi
Port Said

Egyptians carry the coffin of a man killed during a mass funeral in Port Said (Photo: AP)

A number of Egyptian opposition groups have rejected President Mohamed Morsi’s call for a national dialogue following violence that has killed more than 40 people since Friday.

“Any dialogue is a waste of time if the president doesn’t take responsibility for the bloody events and doesn’t vow to form a national salvation government and a balanced committee to amend the constitution,” opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei said via Twitter.

Violence erupted in a number of cities on Friday during protests to mark the second anniversary of the January 25 Revolution. Ten people, two police officers and 8 protesters, died in clashes in the canal cities of Suez and Ismailia. At least 33 protesters were also killed in Port Said in clashes with security forces since Saturday in the wake of a court verdict sentencing 21 local people to death for their role in the Port Said Stadium disaster in February 2012.

In a speech on Sunday night, President Morsi imposed a state of emergency in the three canal cities (Suez, Ismailia and Port Said) before calling on the opposition to sit down on Monday to negotiate.

Khaled Dawoud, spokesperson for the National Salvation Front, the largest opposition umbrella group, said the president’s decision ignored the facts on the ground.

“If [the president] really wanted to protect lives he would have directed his government to take security measures in Port Said prior to the announcement of the verdict,” he said.

Morsi had avoided taking personal responsibility for the “state of chaos” engulfing Egypt, Dawoud added.

The Egyptian Popular Current, co-founded by Nasserist former presidential contender Hamdeen Sabbahi, said Morsi’s speech conveyed a limited understanding of the turbulent times Egypt is undergoing and ignored the socioeconomic and political causes for the people’s anger.

The movement has rejected the president’s invitation for dialogue.

“Even though the Egyptian Popular Current supports constructive national dialogue, it rejects being part of a dialogue as long as the regime continues its crimes against protesters and carries out unsuccessful policies.”

It called on Morsi to adopt political rather than security initiatives to solve the current crisis.

The Socialist Popular Alliance Party said it rejected the president’s offer of dialogue and called for urgent trials for those who had killed protesters, first and foremost the interior minister.

Other opposition groups seem less hasty to reject the offer of dialogue.

The liberal Conference Party, headed by former presidential candidate Amr Mousa, said it would decide whether to attend the dialogue after a meeting of the National Salvation Front, of which it is a member.

The Strong Egypt Party, led by ex-Muslim Brother and former presidential nominee Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, seemed more open to dialogue. Party member Mohamed Osman told Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website that the party was likely to take part in the dialogue pending a meeting on Monday morning.

The party would announce its stance on the state of emergency following the meeting, Osman added.

Islamist groups, however, have backed the imposition of a state of emergency.

Salafist Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakkar said the move was necessary but it should only be used against illegally armed citizens, not political activists.

The ultra-conservative Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya also backed the move, saying the state of emergency was necessary to provide security for citizens in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia.

The group’s political arm, the Building and Development Party, has welcomed the president’s call for dialogue, saying it would participate in the interests of the nation.

U.S. policy prohibits direct military aid to Mali because the fledgling government is the result of a coup

Malian special forces

Mali Special Forces Rapid Deployment Force

U.S. steps up involvement in Mali


By Ingrid Formanek and Dana Ford, CNN

(CNN) — The United States is intensifying its involvement in Mali, where local and French forces are battling Islamic militants.

It will support the French military by conducting aerial refueling missions, according to the Pentagon, which released a short statement Saturday following a call between Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“The leaders also discussed plans for the United States to transport troops from African nations, including Chad and Togo, to support the international effort in Mali. Secretary Panetta and Minister Le Drian resolved to remain in close contact as aggressive operations against terrorist networks in Mali are ongoing,” it read.

U.S. policy prohibits direct military aid to Mali because the fledgling government is the result of a coup. No support can go to the Malian military directly until leaders are chosen through an election.

But the United States is supporting the effort with intelligence and airlift support.

So far, the U.S. Air Force has flown at least seven C-17 cargo missions into Mali, carrying 200 passengers, mainly French troops, and 168 tons of equipment, according to Maj. Robert Firman, a Pentagon spokesman.

The uptick in U.S. involvement comes as Malian forces loosened the grip that Islamist militants’ hold in the country’s north with the retaking of the city of Gao.

With the support of French forces, the Malians entered and took control of Gao, which for months had been a militant stronghold, the French defense ministry said.

The advance was made in stages, with forces taking Gao’s airport and the main bridge leading to town before entering the rest of the city.

“Jihadist terrorists, who have fought Malian and French armies, have seen their mobile and logistical capabilities reduced,” the ministry said in a news release.

The quickening advance of the government forces has brought them to the heart of the territory held by the militants.

The Islamic extremists carved out a large haven in northern Mali last year, taking advantage of a chaotic situation after a military coup by the separatist party MNLA. The militants banned music, smoking, drinking and watching sports on television. They also destroyed historic tombs and shrines.

The takeover stoked fear among global security experts that Mali could become a new hub for terrorism.

Refugees tell harrowing stories of life under the Islamist militants.

But the French-based International Federation for Human Rights said it is “very alarmed” by reports that Malian soldiers are themselves carrying out extrajudicial killings and abuses as they counterstrike.

The United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR, has called for an increase in international aid for the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced by the fighting in the country.

More than 150,000 refugees have fled Mali into neighboring countries, and another 230,000 are displaced inside Mali, the agency said.

The military’s advance into Gao may shed more light on the conditions that residents there have faced. According to the U.N. agency, one former resident told of a hospital stripped of medicine by the armed militants and filling with bodies.

As the Malian troops advance, some other countries in the region are joining the French force aiding them. Between 700 and 800 African troops from Benin, Nigeria, Togo and Burkina Faso have arrived, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Friday, and a number of Senegalese troops and up to 2,000 from Chad are on the way.

France has 2,150 soldiers on Malian soil, with 1,000 more troops supporting the operation from elsewhere.

French involvement in the conflict began on January 11, the day after militants said they had seized the city of Konna, east of Diabaly in central Mali, and were poised to advance south toward Bamako, the capital.

Until 1960, Mali had been under French control.

The MNLA, made up of ethnic Tuareg rebels, staged their coup against Mali’s central government after returning to Mali well-armed from fighting for late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Bhutto-Zardaris’ Indian friend helped break LoC ice

[Somehow, the Tahir-ul-Qadri protest march was a tool for breaking the logjam over the LoC incidents.  It provided the necessary distraction to take the public’s awareness off of the militancy that was showing its ugly head in Kashmir.]

Bhutto-Zardaris’ Indian friend helped break LoC ice

times of india


Salman Khurshid|Hina Rabbani Khar

Bhutto-Zardaris’ Indian friend helped break LoC ice
Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on January 9 offered to hold talks to address India’s concerns about the LoC and to find ways to preserve the ceasefire the two sides agreed to in 2003.
NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan used track-II diplomacy to defuse tensions along the line of control (LoC) just after the killing of Indian soldiers and mutilation of their bodies earlier this month which had threatened to set the border ablaze and push the dialogue process off rails.Well-placed sources said that an Indian contact close to Pakistan’s ruling Bhutto-Zardari family came in handy as the two sides groped for ways to keep talks on course amid rising fury in India over the killing of two soldiers , one of whom the Pakistani troopers beheaded.

When contacted, the Bhutto-Zardari contact confirmed playing a “small” role, but insisted on maintaining his anonymity.

Sources said that Indian authorities conveyed it to the Pakistani government that while they were keen to carry on the dialogue, the objective would be helped if Islamabad struck a conciliatory note.

Pakistan, which had until then brushed aside India’s protests, responded to the suggestion positively, perhaps because of mounting challenges back home. Within a span of days, cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri laid siege to Islamabad, the killing of Shias triggered an uprising and the SC order to arrest PM Raja Pervez Ashraf.

Water talks put off

Talks between the water secretaries of India and Pakistan, scheduled to be held in Islamabad during January 28-29 , have been put off in the wake of tension between the neighbours over ceasefire violations along the LoC. The Tulbul navigation project was to feature in the talks.

Khar’s offer for peace talks bridged the gap

Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on January 9 offered to hold talks to address India’s concerns about the Line of Control (LoC) and to find ways to preserve the ceasefire the two sides agreed to in 2003. New Delhi saw the statement as an improvement over the stance Pakistan had taken earlier where it rejected India’s demand for an investigation into the LoC killings and said it would agree only to a probe by the United Nations.
India reciprocated a couple of days later, with foreign minister Salman Khurshid noting the positive elements of the statement of Khar and saying relations could reach the “near-normal” stage.

The Covert Dictatorship Called “Obamacare”

[First Obama creates the hidden dictatorship by forcing Congressional approval of Presidential authority to force citizens to purchase health care.  Now we find-out the hidden parts of that authoritarian package, which allow sweeping penalties for lifetime smokers, great enough to deny them health care in their old age.  Next it will be overweight people and drug users, followed by gun owners.  

He has created for himself the invisible “Dictatorship of Behavior,” by hiding it in plain sight.  He cannot really force people to change their behavior, but he can make their lives so miserable that they want to change, especially if it becomes a choice between living and dying.]

‘Obamacare’ to hit smokers with huge penalties

AFP Photo / Justin Sullivan

AFP Photo / Justin Sullivan

Smokers, beware: tobacco penalties under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act could subject millions of smokers to fees costing thousands of dollars, making healthcare more expensive for them than Americans with other unhealthy habits.

The Affordable Care Act, which critics have also called “Obamacare”, could subject smokers to premiums that are 50 percent higher than usual, starting next Jan 1. Health insurers will be allowed to charge smokers penalties that overweight Americans or those with other health conditions would not be subjected to.

A 60-year-old smoker could pay penalties as high as $5,100, in addition to the premiums, the Associated Press reports. A 55-year-old smoker’s penalty could reach $4,250. The older a smoker is, the higher the penalty will be.

Nearly one in every five U.S. adults smokes, with a higher number of low-income people addicted to the unhealthy habit. Even though smokers are more likely to develop heart disease, cancer and lung problems and would therefore require more health care, the penalties might devastate those who need help the most – including retirees, older Americans, and low-income individuals.

“We don’t want to create barriers for people to get health care coverage,” California state Assemblyman Richard Pan told AP. “We want people who are smoking to get smoking cessation treatment.”

Nearly 450,000 US residents die of smoking-related diseases each year, making the unhealthy habit a serious concern for lawmakers. One legislator is trying to criminalize smoking in his state, while others have raised taxes on cigarettes and the Obama administration has tried to inflict hefty fines upon smokers’ premiums.

Karen Pollitz, a former consumer protection regular, told AP that no insurers want to provide coverage for Americans who have been smoking for decades, and that the penalties might prompt people to abandon the habit.

“You would have the flexibility to discourage them,” she told AP.

But quitting is not easy, and charging older smokers up to three times as much as younger ones could make it difficult for them to seek care in the first place. A 60-year-old smoker charged with the penalty could be paying about $8,411 per year for health insurance, which is about 24 percent of a $35,000 income and is considered “unaffordable” under federal law.

“The effect of the smoking (penalty) allowed under the law would be that lower-income smokers could not afford health insurance,” said Richard Curtis, president of the Institute for Health Policy Solutions.

Ultimately, the law that is meant to make health care more affordable could have the opposite effect on older smokers at a time when smoking-related illnesses usually arise.

Setting-Up Qatar To Take the Fall for the Greater Middle East Project

Qatar and U.S.: Collusion or conflicting interests

intrepid report

By Nicola Nasser

In his inaugural address on January 21, U.S. President Barak Obama made the historic announcement that “a decade of war is ending” and declared his country’s determination to “show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully,” but his message will remain words that have yet to be translated into deeds and has yet to reach some of the U.S.’s closest allies in the Middle East who are still beating the drums of war, like Israel against Iran and Qatar against Syria.

In view of the level of “coordination” and “cooperation” since bilateral diplomatic relations were established in 1972 between the U.S. and Qatar, and the concentration of U.S. military power on this tiny peninsula, it seems impossible that Qatar could move independently apart, in parallel with, away or on a collision course with the U.S. strategic and regional plans.

According to the US State department’s online fact sheet, “bilateral relations are strong,” both countries are “coordinating” diplomatically and “cooperating” on regional security, have a “defense pact,” “Qatar hosts CENTCOM Forward Headquarters,” and supports NATO and U.S. regional “military operations. Qatar is also an active participant in the U.S.-led efforts to set up an integrated missile defense network in the Gulf region. Moreover, it hosts the U.S. Combined Air Operations Center and three American military bases namely Al Udeid Air BaseAssaliyah Army Base and Doha International Air Base, which are manned by approximately 5,000 U.S. forces.

Qatar, which is bound by such a most intimate and closest alliance with the United States, has recently developed into the major sponsor of Islamist political movements. Qatar appears now to be the major sponsor of the international organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, which, reportedly, disbanded in Qatar in 1999 because it stopped viewing the ruling family as an adversary.

The Qatar-Brotherhood marriage of convenience has created the natural incubator of Islamist armed fundamentalists against whom the U.S., since September 11, 2001, has been leading what is labeled as the “global war on terrorism.”

The war in the African nation Mali offers the latest example of how the U.S. and Qatar, seemingly, go two separate ways. Whereas US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was in London on January 18 “commending” the French “leadership of the international effort” in Mali to which his country was pledging logistical, transportation and intelligence support, Qatar appeared to risk its special ties with France, which peaked during the NATO-led war on Libya, and to distrust the U.S. and French judgment.

On January 15, Qatari Prime and Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, told reporters he did not believe “power will solve the problem,” advised instead that this problem be “discussed” among the “neighboring countries, the African Union and the (U.N.) Security Council,” and joined the Doha-based ideologue for the Muslim Brotherhood and their Qatari sponsors, Yusuf Abdullah al-Qaradawi—the head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars who was refused entry visa to U.K. in 2008 and to France last year—in calling for “dialogue,” “reconciliation” and “peaceful solution” instead of “military intervention.”

In a relatively older example, according to WikiLeaks, Somalia’s former president in 2009, Sharif Ahmed, told a U.S. diplomat that Qatar was channeling financial assistance to the al-Qaeda-linked Shabab al-Mujahideen, which the U.S. listed as “terrorist.”

In Syria, for another example, the Brotherhood is the leading “fighting” force against the ruling regime and in alliance with and a culprit in the atrocities of the terrorist bombings of the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front, designated by the United States as a terrorist organization last December; while the Brotherhood-led and U.S. and Qatar-sponsored Syrian opposition publicly protested the U.S. designation, the silence of Qatar on the matter could only be interpreted as in support of the protest against the U.S. decision.

Recently, Qatar has, for another example, replaced Syria, which has been on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979, as the sponsor of Hamas, whose leadership relocated from Damascus to Doha, which the U.S. lists as a “terrorist” group, and which publicly admits being the Palestinian branch of the Brotherhood.

Qatar, in all these examples, seems positioning itself to be qualified as a mediator, with the U.S. blessing, trying to achieve by the country’s financial leverage what the U.S. could not achieve militarily, or could achieve but with a much more expensive cost in money and souls.

In the Mali case, the Qatari PM, Sheikh Hamad, went on record to declare this ambition: “We will be a part of the solution, (but) not the sole mediator,” he said. The U.S. blessing could not be more explicit than President Obama’s approval of opening the Afghani Taliban office in Doha “to facilitate” a “negotiated peace in Afghanistan,” according to the Qatari Foreign Ministry on January 16.

However, a unilateral Qatari mediation failed in Yemen, a Qatar-led Arab mediation in Syria has similarly proved a failure two years on the Syrian crisis; the “Doha Declaration” to reconcile Palestinian rival factions is still a paper achievement, the Qatari mediation in Sudan’s Darfur crisis has yet to deliver; the Qatari “mediation” in Libya was condemned as intervention in the country’s internal affairs by the most prominent among the post-Gaddafi leaders, and in post-“Arab Spring” Egypt, Qatar dropped its early mediation efforts to align itself publicly to the ruling Brotherhood. But in spite of these failures, Qatar’s “mediation” efforts were successful in serving the strategy of its U.S. “ally.”

Hence the U.S. blessing. The Soufan Group’s intelligence analysts last December 10 concluded that “Qatar continues to prove itself to be a pivotal U.S. ally, . . . Qatar is often able to implement shared U.S.-Qatari objectives that Washington is unable or unwilling to undertake itself.

The first term Obama administration, under the pressure of “fiscal austerity,” blessed the Qatari funding of arming anti-Gaddafi Islamists in Libya, closed its eyes to Qatar’s shipment of Gaddafi’s military arsenal to Syrian and non-Syrian Islamists fighting the regime in Syria, “understood” the visit of Qatar’s Emir to Gaza last October as “a humanitarian mission,” and recently approved to arm the Qatar-backed and Brotherhood-led Egypt with 20 F-16 fighter jets and 200 M1A1 Abrams tanks.

This contradiction raises the question about whether this is a U.S.-Qatari mutual collusion or it is really a conflict of interests; the Obama administration during his second term has to draw the line which would give an explicit answer.

Seemingly nowadays, Doha and Washington do not see eye to eye on Islamic and Islamist movements, but on the battlegrounds of the “war on terror” both capitals could hardly argue that in practice their active roles are not coordinated and do not complement each other.

Drawing on the historical experience of an Iranian similar “religious” approach, but on a rival “Shiite” sectarian basis, this Qatari “Sunni” Islamist” connection will inevitably fuel sectarian polarization in the region, regional instability, violence and civil wars.

Given the U.S.-Qatar alliance, the Qatari Islamist connection threatens to embroil the U.S. in more regional strife, or at least to hold the U.S. responsible for the resulting strife, and would sustain a deep-seated regional anti-Americanism, which in turn has become another incubator of extremism and terrorism and which is exacerbated by the past “decade of war,” which President Obama in his inaugural address promised to “end.”

Traditionally, Qatar, which stands in the eye of the storm in the very critical geopolitical volatile Gulf region, the theatre of three major wars during the last three decades, did its best to maintain a critical and fragile balance between the two major powers which determine its survival, namely the decades old U.S. military presence in the Gulf and the rising regional power of Iran.

In 1992, it signed a comprehensive bilateral defense pact with the United States and, in 2010, it signed a military defense agreement with Iran, which explains its warming up to closer ties with the Iran-supported Islamic anti-Israel resistance movements of the Hezbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories and explains as well Qatar’s “honeymoon” with Iran’s ally in Syria.

However, since the eruption of the bloody Syrian crisis two years ago, the Qatari opening up to regional pro-Iran state and non-state powers was exposed as merely a tactical maneuver to lure such powers away from Iran. In the Syrian and Hezbullah cases, the failure of this tactic has led Qatar to embark on a collision course with both Syria and Iran, which are backed by Russia and China, and is leading the country to a U-turn shift away from its long maintained regional balancing act, a shift that Doha seems unaware of is a threat to its very survival under the pressure of the international and regional conflicting interests as bloodily exposed in the Syrian crisis.

During the rise of the massive Pan-Arab, nationalist, socialist and democratic movements in the Arab world early in the second half of the twentieth century, the conservative authoritarian Arab monarchies adopted the Brotherhood, other Islamists and Islamic political ideology and used them against those movements to survive as allies of the United States, which in turn used both, spearheaded by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, against the former Soviet Union and the communist ideology, to their detriment after the collapse of the bipolar world order.

However history seems to repeat itself as the U.S.-backed Arab monarchies, spearheaded by Qatar, are resorting to their old tactic of exploiting the Islamist ideology to undermine and preempt an Arab anti-authoritarian revolution for the rule of law, civil society, democratic institutions and social and economic justice in Arab countries on the periphery of their U.S. protected bastion in the Arabian peninsula, but they seem unaware they are opening a Pandora’s box that would unleash a backlash in comparison to which al-Qaeda’s fallback on the U.S. will prove a minor precedent.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Bir Zeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories. Email him at nassernicola@ymail.com.

Portraying Fathers of the Syrian Revolution

Portraying Fathers of the Syrian Revolution

oriental review

By Armine AKOPYAN (Armenia)

During the whole of the “Arab Spring” and the Syrian war in particular, the Arab press has kept the actions of the emir of Qatar, Saudi Arabia’s royal family and the leader’s of Israel and Turkey in their crosshairs. When confronted with the published facts, it is possible to believe that not a single one of these sides is acting alone, that they are united by common aims and interests and in achieving these, it is the people of the Middle East who are paying with their own blood and their own futures.

With reference to Syrian information sources, the Islam Times reports on the activities of a group of foreign agents in Syria. This group is serving the interests of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and Turkey and consists of 16 members who are all citizens of either Israel, Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia. Foreign agents have been operating under the guise of militant terrorists and the Syrian Freedom Army and have been kidnapping and murdering Syrians as well as Palestinian scientists and experts from a variety of fields. The Syrian army recently announced that seven members of this gang had been arrested and were being questioned.

A second gang of marauders has been putting rare museum pieces from Syria onto the international black market. Naturally, all of this is being done through Turkey. Factories are also being dismantled and and shifted to the Turkish territory. Trade in human organs is being established in Turkey just as it was in Kosovo at the beginning of the 2000s. The reluctant donors are Syrian refugees without the means to keep their families in Turkish refugee camps.

Director General of Saudi Intelligence Agency Prince Bandar bin Sultan

Director General of Saudi Intelligence Agency Prince Bandar bin Sultan

The head of the Saudi Intelligence Agency, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, along with the leader of the Lebanese opposition party and member of the anti-Syrian coalition “14 March”, Samir Farid Geagea, are playing an important role in destabilising and aggravating the situation in Syria and neighbouring Lebanon. They are the ones sending armed groups of terrorists to fight with Syria and after Syria has fallen it will become the Lebanese Shi’ites turn. In addition, the Arabic online publicationIslam Times also mentions Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s other activities as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005; he only managed to get himself appointed as head of the Saudi Intelligence Agency after organising several fatal terrorist attacks against high-ranking Syrian officials. The prince is now dreaming of making it to the royal throne in his own country and the only way he will manage this is if Syrian President Bashar Assad is assassinated.

Lebanese oppositionist Samir Geagea also has his eye on the very highest post – the presidential chair – and the only way he will be able to achieve that is by removing the Shi’ite Hezbollah.  As the publication points out, Israel and the USA have been pushing for the “mutual cooperation” of both. The only effective way to achieve if not Assad’s assassination then at least his downfall is terrorism. Al-Qaeda and its offspring “Jabhat an-Nusra” are just the kind of convenient instruments that can help interested parties overthrow any state system sooner or later. It has been reported that two “Jabhat an-Nusra” instructors have undergone Israeli training.  The plan is that in the future they will not just be fighting Hezbollah, but Lebanese Salafists as well. Among the militants are also Kurds, who are under the command of the Kurdish leader within al-Qaeda. Samir Geagea sees yet one more advantage for himself as a result of the Syrian war:  the concentration of Syrian Christian refugees in the Lebanon could lead to a political shift in religious terms and prepare his own path to the presidency.

Since 2010, Americans and Qatar have been buying up weapons from tribes in South Afghanistan. This was reported to the Iranian press by Afghan middleman Habibullah Kandahari and besides him, the Americans had also ordered weapons from seven other Afghans. Kandahari reports that he personally had provided 4,000 units over a period of six months. These included handguns and other types of firearms, for which their former owners were paid large sums of money. The Afghan middlemen handed over the purchased weapons to the Americans at Kandahar airport and were told nothing about the future fate of the weapons. So as not to cause any unnecessary curiosity or suspicion, the Americans said that the weapons were being bought to guarantee the safety of their own soldiers from the local population. According to Habibullah Kandahari, he had noted privately that the Americans had never been attacked by peaceful civilians, only armed groups. Weapons in Afghanistan were loaded onto Qatar aeroplanes and then taken through Jordan to Syria, where they ended up in the hands of terrorists. Qatar aircrafts, the same as American aircrafts, were able to land at airports in Afghanistan without difficulty and even without the knowledge of the local authorities. During one of the meetings of the National Security Council, the country’s president even ordered that the total lack of authority when it came to the Americans be looked into and clarified who should give consent for Qatar and American aircraft to land in Afghanistan without prior agreement and how this should be done. An Afghan security expert notes that in 2010, nobody had openly bought such quantities of weapons and dispatched them to Jordan, but following the first peaceful protests and demonstrations in Syria in 2011, weapons had been bought up openly.

Elections for the 19th Knesset were held in Israel on 21 January and were won by the party of the current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli politician’s pre-election campaign was paid for by the emir of Qatar. Leader of the opposition party “Kadima” and former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Ehud Olmert’s cabinet, Tzipi Livni, told journalists that it had cost approximately USD 3 million. She also added that she was very close friends with the emir’s wife.

In getting rid of Palestinian leaders and scientists it finds undesirable both in Palestine itself and in Syria, and now paying for the pre-election campaign of an Israeli politician with extremely right-wing views, Qatar is aiming to close the Palestinian question for all Arabs once and for all and place it under the watchful control of the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Egyptian government, in other words. It will also tackle the issue of Jordan in the future, if the royal regime there can be toppled and power transferred to the Brotherhood. It would mean that the Palestinian question is laid to rest forever, since in the future part of the Palestinian population would have been resettled in Jordan and part of the population in Sinai. Which, as a matter of fact, is what the USA is trying to achieve with Israel.

The Lebanese coalition “14 March” has once again shown that it is not the interests of Lebanon that are being served, or even the interests of Christians, but centres that are completely strange and alien to Lebanon. The coalition’s activities are particularly damaging against the backdrop of the Syrian war, where anti-Syrian sentiment among part of the Lebanese population is escalating to such a level that it could spill over from the political arena into armed conflict and civil war.

With regard to everything that has been said here, one is reminded of a quote by Yitzak Rabin: “I would like Gaza to sink into the sea, but that won’t happen, and a solution must be found” . It seems that the emir of Qatar and Netanyahu have come up with the same solution. And not just for Palestine…

Source in Russian: Национальная Идея

Translated by ORIENTAL REVIEW.

Pak Politicians Pushing Terrorists Toward Political Legitimacy

Peace talks: ANP wants militants to form ‘empowered’ delegation

express tribune
For any talks to be carried out, militants ought to constitute an empowered team, says K-P information minister. PHOTO: FILE
PESHAWAR: The ruling Awami National Party (ANP) on Saturday sent out a message asking militants to constitute an ‘empowered’ team for holding talks with a panel of political parties.

“For any talks to be carried out, they (militants) ought to constitute an empowered team,” provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told participants of a gathering convened at Nishtar Hall to observe the chehlum of slain minster Bashir Ahmad Bilour, who was targeted in a suicide attack on December 22, 2012.

ANP is currently trying to muster support for an all parties conference (APC) to discuss strategies to combat militancy and negotiate with militants. Hussain, however, said militants must have a say in their respective groups for the talks to be successful.

He reiterated his party would again reach out to those who had not “fully” responded to earlier invitations. While Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have publicly turned down the offer, Hussain said the invitations had been accepted by some parties and others had not yet submitted a “full reply”. He, however, chose not to single any party out. “Those who have faith should join us for the APC.”

The slain minister’s brother, Ghulam Ahmad Bilour delivered an emotionally charged speech.

“Militants claim they are standing up for Islam. Is Islam not followed in North Waziristan, Bajaur, Swat and Tirah?” questioned the railways minister referring to militant onslaughts in the area. “I ask the Taliban to settle for talks. We will forgive the blood of our Pashtun children, if no more blood is shed.”

About the proposed APC, Ghulam Bilour said: “We have extended the invitation not just for ourselves, but for the whole nation, to get rid of the scourge of terrorism.”

“We will avenge the death of Bashir Bilour by winning the upcoming general elections,” he said, as party activists punctuated his speech with charged slogans.

“People cannot be hoodwinked by slogans to vote for the Book (Holy Quran) anymore,” added Bashir in an apparent jibe directed towards the ruling era of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal in K-P. “Today, these well-to-do Mullahs can be seen moving around in Land Cruisers, but they do not raise their voice against the killing of innocent people.”

The late minister’s son, Barrister Haroon Bilour vowed to fight the prevailing conditions with courage and to stand by the party through all tribulations.

Banners honouring Bashir Ahmad Bilour adorned the walls of the hall. The senior minister, who was also the parliamentary leader in the K-P Assembly, was known for his vocal stance against militants. He was said to be the first to condemn terror acts and assure victims of counteraction. Party stalwarts, including Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Senator Zahid Khan, Senator Haji Muhammad Adeel and K-P Assembly Speaker Kiramatullah Chagharmati along with others were also present.

Published in The Express Tribune

Just So You Won’t Miss This Sickness from Huffington–“Transitioned from Boy To Girl” Since Kindergarten

alleged transgender boy girl

Sadie socially transitioned from male to female in kindergarten. She was home schooled until this year and is now in fifth grade and attending public school. A vegan, she loves anything that “protects the environment,” as well as reading, swimming, basketball and texting her friends. She listens to Lady Gaga, Pink and Justin Bieber and wants to work for Green Peace when she grows up. She also wants to be a mom [that will be a neat trick–editor].”

Washington and Its Arab Admirers

Washington and Its Arab Admirers

 Middle East Online

I can understand the enthusiasm, generated by the Arab uprisings, of sweeping away all that is rotten and corrupt in Arab states, but the sudden advocacy of Washington’s policies and criticism and attacks on Russia and China regarding Syria is astounding, writes Issa Khalaf.

Middle East Online

Expediency makes for strange, even bizarre, bedfellows. After spending decades supporting its Arab autocratic clients to prevent genuine democracy and freedom, dissent and opposition, and crush political Islamists including deny them the fruits of electoral victories, Washington, since the “Arab Spring,” has decided that, after all, not only can it work with Islamists but even sustain the status quo through other means. Israel and all it wants—the sustenance of US Middle East policy—followed by oil and the “war on terror,” remain, so far, remarkably intact (though clearly unsustainable). The previously demonized Muslim Brotherhood conducts normal relations and cooperation with Washington, its electoral victories in several Arab states, and most likely in Syria, not so much a disruption or challenge to American imperial dominion after all.

This was expected: scholars of the region strenuously argued forever that nothing tames like democratic governing, as Islamists too have to deliver on the pressing basic, developmental and social justice needs of their peoples or else be electorally thrown out. They, too, support neo-liberal economic policies, will require military and economic aid, enter into national security arrangements, and adhere to peace treaties with Israel.

The amazing story is not here, for political Islamists are as politically pragmatic and self-serving as any other leaders and politicians anywhere. It is instead, found among the many Arab academics and journalists, in the Middle East and the West, through al-Jazeera and other organs, talking and writing the narrative and language of Western governments, especially on Syria. I can understand the enthusiasm, generated by the Arab uprisings, of sweeping away all that is rotten and corrupt in Arab states, but the sudden advocacy of Washington’s policies and criticism and attacks on Russia and China regarding Syria is astounding. Especially galling is these Arabs talking up democracy in Syria and elsewhere while autocratic oil states are fomenting Islamic fundamentalist revolt in the Middle East and beyond under the pretext of supporting “Arab spring” goals of freedom and dignity. It’s as if Arab thinkers, including those who might be dubbed liberals, progressives, and nationalists, suddenly developed collective amnesia. Even American progressives are confused.

It’s not uncommon, in fact today quite common, among such Arab intelligentsia to find arguments that accept the premise of Washington’s selfless, benign pursuit of democracy, freedom, and peace in Syria. They inveigh against Russia and China for vetoing UNSC resolutions; angrily call for the West to arm the (approved) rebels to the teeth; and attack Iran’s supposed aggressive regional ambitions and nuclear threat to the “international community.” They can’t understand why the US is working with Islamists to the detriment of Arab secular society. They’re impatient with Washington’s and its NATO allies’ “lack of resolve” to “contain” the Syrian regime and its regional (Iran, Hizballah) and “international supporters,” and argue in favor of a more active US role, not necessarily direct military intervention, but close enough, including no-fly zones, “safe” areas, advanced weaponry, robust economic sanctions and so forth. These, they say, will end the military stalemate, prevent the spread of extremists, and bring the opposition to deserved power.

Really? The US a champion of authentic independence and democracy? US invasion and large-scale destruction and killing in the past decade alone, merely accidental, benign efforts to deliver democracy? Russia and China, their roles reversed with that of the US, culprits supporting authoritarian regimes and acting against the people’s interests? Qatar and Saudi Arabia, central players in Syria’s sectarianism and Islamist radicalization, advocates of freedom and progress? Iran devoid of legitimate interests and an aggressive hegemon in pursuit of nuclear weapons and no less than a threat to the region and the world? Forget for a moment the fact that Saudi Arabia and Gulf statelets are monarchic police states. Forget Washington’s imperial wars and unconditional support for Israeli occupation, colonization, and systematic dispossession of the Palestinians. Let’s just consider Washington’s policies towards Russia and Iran to clear our heads and shock ourselves back into reality—certainly into a more balanced, realistic perspective.

Rather than enthusiastically, self-interestedly grasping the opportunity to partner with Russia, a militarily, culturally, and economically great power with a superpower’s nuclear arsenal, to solve pressing global issues and threats, the US did everything to alienate it. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the US, with NATO as its out of area tool for expanding American military power, has done its damndest to turn Russia into, at best, a junior partner and client. In recent years, as the US became enamored with regime change under the pretext of supporting democracy movements (“democracy promotion”) via foreign funded, CIA supported NGOs, Russia, not just weakling states, became a target. Regime change is US strategy in Russia. The US-led West politically and militarily encircled Russia, aggressively intruded on its security zone, worked to destabilize it, made alliances with countries at its doorstep, and positioned missiles at its borders. They interfered in the “revolutions” in Georgia and the Ukraine and coups in Central Asian republics.

The way Washington tells it, and the army of experts narrates it, Russian policy to protect its national interests—including normal relations with Iran and preventing Islamic extremism at its own South Caucasus doorstep—are simply wrong, aggressive, and provocative. Russian concern with Syria’s collapse and the regional repercussions that may follow are dubbed opportunistic; its opposition to economic sanctions, threat of military intervention, and regime change, no less than immoral. Never mind international law and the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. These are old fashioned; and besides, Russia’s insistence on these principles emanates from its fear of being at the receiving end of such intervention. For we all know it’s a quasi-democracy given to human rights abuses and ruled by a Soviet era figure, a former KGB officer and director of the post-Soviet Federal Security Services no less, the demonized Vladimir Putin. No, after the disgraceful Boris Yeltsin era and continuing weakening of Russia, Putin had no right to restore Russian political stability and economic progress.

The Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen characterizes American behavior since 1989 as “aggressive triumphalism,” engaging in a “winner take all diplomacy” in which Russia must make all concessions and that presumes Russian sovereignty is less important than American sovereignty. Imagine any state dare challenge the principle of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of the USA.

That the Russian stand on international relations generally and on Syria particularly is in fact consistent with international law, concerned with Syria’s collapse and the sectarian and ethnic violence that may spread through the region, is not convincing to its Western detractors. These policies are not credible, for Russia’s “real” goal is a foothold in the Middle East (warm water port), trade, arms sales. Such motives, normal actually, don’t apply to America, a state selflessly wishing to bestow freedom and progress on the world. Never mind that Washington engages in constant wars, subversions, and destabilizations, especially in the Middle East, is the region’s and world’s number one arms merchant, and pursues globally hegemonic policies of controlling Middle Eastern and Central Asian oil lanes, subordinating Russia, and “containing” China and keeping it in its place by “projecting” American military power in China’s backyard. On Syria, Washington is undermining UN efforts to achieve a political settlement—its position evasive, lukewarm, ambiguous—cooperating with oil autocrats to destabilize Syria, mightily contributing to Islamist radicalization, and so on, all rationalized away or denied by American intelligentsia one way or another. How can one expect the Russians to understand and react to such craziness, hypocrisy, and naked opportunism?

Call it what you wish: American imperialism, dominion, globalism, hegemony—the point is, the Washington establishment is in a constant search for enemies to sustain its ideological rationale under the all-encompassing term “national security.” No question, Islamism replaced Communism of old as the enemy, the great global threat. In addition to “radical Islam” and its concomitant “global war on terror,” why not add to the list of global “challenges” and “threats” to national security—like China and Russia. Washington, despite the calamitous effect its global pretensions are having on American economic collapse, democracy, and civil rights, is on autopilot. As Andrew Bacevich puts it, Washington, in becoming Israel, is in single-minded “pursuit of global military dominance, a proclivity for preemption, a growing taste for assassination—all justified as essential to self-defense. That pretty much describes our present-day MO.”

Pax Americana apparently has the right to take aggressive and hostile actions against other states on their own borders but they have no right to protest or defend themselves, engage and benefit from the world as befits their interests, and pursue independent economic and foreign policies. This essential unilateralism proceeds apace under President Obama.

With this context or paradigm in mind, it’s no wonder that Iran is also at the receiving end of US hostility and regime change. As with Russia and China, the US surrounds Iran with military bases and threatens it under the pretext of nuclear acquisition, repeatedly invoking “Iranian aggression” and “Iranian threat” as if they were real and imminent. Most of the American intelligentsia assumes that, unlike the old Soviet leaders or China’s Mao Zedong, Iran is irrational, that its leaders are prepared to endure a suicidal, millenarian sacrifice and hence are somehow unconcerned with self-preservation. This type of utter nonsense and dangerous lack of understanding pass for rational judgment towards Muslim states and societies. In reality, the Iranians are consistently diplomatically nuanced and subtle, politically intelligent, patient people, whose Islamist leaders are looking for Iran’s self-interest, including energy diversification and security, and surely not religious fanatics eager for annihilation.

Iran’s leaders behave pragmatically rather than ideologically, and it clearly wants dialogue and normal relations with the US. As Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett write, Tehran’s imperative is “building strategic relationships with ‘great powers’ outside the Middle East—countries that could support Tehran’s efforts at postwar reconstruction, long-term economic development and modernisation, and realising Iran’s enormous potential as an exporter of oil and natural gas.”

Iran’s impetus or incentive for acquiring nuclear weapons capability, not necessarily its actualization, is to deter US or Western aggression. This has been especially the case since 2003 when the US invaded Iraq. Iran’s membership in the NPT requires legal obligations and transparency not to use its enriched uranium for weapons capability, and its actions and intentions have given rise to suspicion and disquiet. On the other hand, its conventional capabilities, including its missile program, are its sovereign right, though one would not think so judging by the opprobrium and misinformation to which it is subject in the US, including the urgent ticking clock scenario once applied to Iraq.

There is no evidence that Iran is diverting declared nuclear material for military use but Iran needs to prove that what is not there is not there. The 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate said: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” The revised 2011 report, declassified but unreleased, does not contradict the 2007 conclusion but, as might be expected, claims that while it is unknown whether Iran made the strategic choice to build a nuclear weapon, “it is working on the components of such a device,” in other words, there is still no evidence. Mohammed ElBaradei during his tenure as director general of the IAEA consistently reached the no-evidence conclusion.

The truth is that, albeit Iran’s goals regarding its nascent nuclear program are unclear—that is, the program may or may not have a military dimension—even as it reaffirms its commitment to the NPT and its intent to use nuclear power for peaceful needs, the Iran threat is an ideologically motivated fabrication. That it is or can be a “threat to world peace” is ridiculous, certainly not keeping the Russians or Chinese up, not the Turks, Pakistanis, or Indians, and supported by the Middle East’s people, though not by most of its US-dependent Arab regimes.

Arab states, themselves, cannot be all that afraid of an Iranian nuke, as they have not developed their own in response to Israel’s 200-400 bombs. Instead, their great fear, led by a Saudi Arabia determined to maintain the Sunni Muslim autocratic status quo, is the spread of nationalism and populism and pressure towards real democratization. Iranian civil society and democracy are far more vital than in most Arab states and will most probably push the regime towards genuine democracy.

Iran is a problem because it will not succumb to control, to US divide and rule tactics, and assertive of its sovereignty and independence, again unlike Arab states. After all, mutual hostility started in 1979, at the time of the Iranian revolution. A nuclear weapon, or, perhaps more accurately reflecting Iranian intentions at present, the capability to produce one, greatly enhances Iran’s deterrence, defense, and autonomy, its immunity from interference and threats, precisely what the US and Israel wish to preempt.

Measure this against Arab regimes of the Peninsula and Gulf, relentlessly spreading fundamentalism, exacerbating the regional Sunni-Shi’a divide, destroying Syria, and otherwise acting as nothing less than the enemy of liberal democracy, freedom, civil society, and a citizenship-based state. If Iran is assisting its allies in Syria, it is doing so because of its own military encirclement and endless threats of destruction by Washington and its reckless Israeli ally, whose lobby, just as it did in Iraq, unremittingly pushes the US towards war. If it’s seeking allies in the Middle East, including helping Syria thwart Israeli war and occupation in Lebanon, it is to protect itself against US “containment.” States will do that. Neither Iran’s nor Syria’s strategic interests will change after the ayatollahs or Assad are gone. These are constants.

There is no selflessness or innocence lost within and between states, whether the US, Russia, China, or Iran, but one can safely say that Russia’s policy towards Syria and the Middle East is, unlike Washington’s, eminently sensible, principled, and far less harmful. No less than a paradigm shift, a collective self-awareness, is required in American politics and society for this great nation to arrest its self-inflicted harm and decline.

Would it not be a better world if: The US partnered with Russia to bring about a political settlement in Syria and manage world peace? Advocated a just settlement in Palestine-Israel? Reintegrated Iran in a regional security arrangement including the Gulf and normalized relations with it in exchange for halting nuclear militarization? Consistently promoted human rights, civil society and democratic processes? Ceased its policy of regime change regarding states big and small and cooperated with the UN? Promoted regional trade, development, and economic cooperation? Pursued arms control and pushed for the abolishing of nuclear weapons in the region and the world? Invited, before leaving, Asian regional powers to participate in brokering and resolving Afghanistan’s problems? Ceased its senseless escalation of drone wars and militarization of complex local ethnic, tribal, and sectarian divisions in Asia, Africa and the Middle East? Encouraged cooperation—especially between Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Israel, and Saudi Arabia—to work out region-wide political, social, economic, and environmental problems and differences?

In an Orwellian Washington, that’s what the US does.

Issa Khalaf (D. Phil. in Politics and Middle East Studies, Oxford University)

When Is It Time To Ally With “Al-Qaeda” and When Is It Time To Fight It?

[The following is an excellent analysis of the American “Islamist” ploy.  My only criticism of it is that it doesn’t articulate the unavoidable conclusion–the “al-Qaeda” phenomenon is an illusion.  If there actually were an international terrorist organization, then its objectives and ideology would be the same wherever the group chose to stand and fight.  If there were an actual “terrorist international,” then they could not possibly fight for the Zionist French in Syria and against them in Mali.  According to the French jurist quoted below, the only question for us is a matter of timing–Whether we fight for the same cause at this time.  In a world war against “al-Qaeda” terrorism, allying ourselves with “al-Qaeda”-linked terrorists, at any point, invalidates the entire justification for the war.  Exposing American alliances with al-Qaeda not only invalidates the war effort, it pulls back the curtain on the treachery of Western leaders.] 

“There are many young jihadists who have gone to the Turkish border in order to enter Syria to fight Bachar’s regime, but the only difference is that there France is not the enemy. Therefore we don’t look on that in the same way. To see young men who are at the moment fighting Bachar Al-Assad, they will be perhaps dangerous in the future but for the moment they are fighting Bachar Al-Assad and France is on their side. They will not attack us. Here (in Mali) the problem is that we are not on the same side.”–French “anti-terrorist” judge Marc Trévidic

Good Terrorist, Bad Terrorist

dissident voice

European authorities admit NATO and Al Qaeda are allies in Syria

by Gearóid Ó Colmáin

The chief of the Spanish police Enrique Baron told La Razon newspaper on January 24 that Spanish “jihadists” have left Spain for Syria where they are fighting in Japhat Al Nousra, the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group currently at war against the Al Assad government, while other Spaniards have gone to Mali to join the fighting against French forces there.

According to the report, three Spanish jihadists have already been killed in Syria. Baron expressed concerns that these terrorists could pose a future threat to Spanish national security. On March 11 2004, several trains were bombed in Madrid killing 191 people and wounding hundreds more. The barbaric attacks were blamed on Al Qaeda.

In December 2011, former Spanish Prime Minister José Maria Aznar wrote an article for CNBC where he outlined the dangers presented by the Islamist direction of the Arab Spring and the war in Libya. He noted that the Libyan rebel military commander Abdul Hakim Belhadj was “one of the suspects involved in the Madrid bombing of March 2004.”

Belhadj was made “governor” of Tripoli by NATO during its conquest of Libya in 2011. The Libyan terrorist also enjoyed a brief stint as a columnist with Britain’s “left-wing” Guardian newspaper, where the Islamist claimed to promote “democratic” values.

As calls for president Assad to step down continue to be heard, a strange alliance between Western liberal democracies and Islamic terrorism is manifesting itself throughout Europe. The presence of jihadist fighters from Britain is also well documented. Yet the British government seems blithely indifferent.

Ireland has the distinction of having provided one of the most important jihadi psychopaths for the destruction of Libya in 2011 and the current war on Syria, a Dublin-based thug called Mehdi al-Herati.

Ireland, a country that fought colonialism for hundreds of years, is constitutionally a neutral country. During the War of Independence in 1919, the British government sent dozens of death squads, known as the Black and Tans into Ireland to terrorize the country into submission. This is precisely what NATO is doing to Syria today, yet the Irish Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore, joins his pals in NATO to blame the Syrian government for doing precisely what his forefathers did to protect the motherland against foreign aggression and colonialism.

According to German daily Die Welt, over one hundred European jihadists are now fighting for Al Qaeda in Syria, where they are preparing a base for operations against European citizens. Florian Flage and Clemens Werginwrite:

According to Western intelligence sources, Al Nousra commander Abu Mohammad Al-Dschulani is already planning to extend his operations base from Syria through Turkey into Europe. He is preparing for the day for the fall of Assad, in order to make Syria a centre for Jihadist activity in other countries.

Yet the German and EU governments continue to support these criminals in Syria while claiming to fight them in Mali. The hollow, mortifying chant of Western governments and corporate media that Assad is “killing his own people” is finally being exposed, as people in Europe wake up to the nightmare that they are being ruled by the mentally ill.

French jihadists are also fighting in Syria. Jacques Bérès, a doctor fromMédecins Sans Frontières, said last year that many of the patients he treated in a hospital in Aleppo were jihadists from Paris. Responding to the revelation that French terrorists were fighting the Assad government in Syria, French “anti-terrorist” judge Marc Trévidic smiled and said “they are our friends, how can we call them terrorists.” It is difficult to know if Trévidic’s smile was meant to indicate the unutterable absurdity of French foreign policy or rather an open admission that the French security state will decide who is a terrorist in accordance with its geopolitical interests.

In an interview with French state radio France Inter on January 5, Trévidicwarned that an unlawful system of incarceration similar to Guantanamo Bay could be put in place if France was to experience a wave of terrorist attacks. Yet this same judge openly admits that the French state is aiding Islamist terrorists in its war on Syria. In a normal society Trévidic would have been accused of condoning Islamist terrorism. But ours is not a normal society!

On January 11th Trévidic was interviewed again by France Inter where he was asked if the French jihadists fighting the Syrian government could present a danger to French national security, Trévidic declared that:

There are many young jihadists who have gone to the Turkish border in order to enter Syria to fight Bachar’s regime, but the only difference is that there France is not the enemy. Therefore we don’t look on that in the same way. To see young men who are at the moment fighting Bachar Al-Assad, they will be perhaps dangerous in the future but for the moment they are fighting Bachar Al-Assad and France is on their side. They will not attack us. Here (in Mali) the problem is that we are not on the same side.

Trévidic went on to warn that if the Assad regime does not fall, Assad could attempt to bomb Paris! Terrorists are ok as long as they serve our political interests. Assad and not Al Qaeda could bomb Paris. Reality is turned upside down!

He we have an open admission that the West is helping Islamist terrorists to destroy the Syrian nation while supposedly fighting Islamist terrorists in Mali from the mouth of France’s top anti-terrorist judge! In the same programme Jean-Pierre Filiu, a terrorism expert from Science Po university stated that the terrorists France is fighting in Mali are nothing more than drug trafficking criminals. But it is perfectly acceptable to fight alongside such people in Syria when NATO geopolitical interests seek to replace the government there with their own gang of neo-colonial puppets.

Independent media and geopolitical analysts alerted the world to NATO’s plan to recruit Mujahedeen terrorists to fight in Syria at the very start of the Levantine tragedy in 2011.

Now as many mainstream media sources and Western legal authorities themselves are admitting that this is the case, the infernal rhapsody of “Assad must go” and “Assad is killing his own people”, this sick, psychopathic cover story continues to block the voices of reason that occasionally punctuate the mainstream media matrix.

The infinite cynicism, hubris, absolute hypocrisy, and collective pathology of the Western ruling elite bode ill for the future of humanity.

Gearóid Ó Colmáin was born in Cork, Ireland, and is currently based in Paris. He is a former bilingual columnist with Metro Eireann. His interests include geopolitcs, globalisation, philosophy and the arts. He is a member of Pôle de renaissance communiste en France (PRCF) a political movement which advocates Marxism-Leninism and the formation of a revolutionary communist party in France. Read other articles by Gearóid, or visit Gearóid’s website.

Paying-Up for All of Those Years Contracting-Out US Foreign Policy To the Barbaric Saudi Royals

[Some of the “news” in the report below is wrong, but it makes an important point about US regrets about its latest experiments with radical “Islamism.”  This report from PressTV claims that the younger Zawahiri was arrested/captured in Syria on Jan. 6, but other reports (all leading back to Mossad front, MEMRI TV) show photos and video allegedly from a January 18 Salafi protest in front of the French Embassy in Cairo.  So, Mr. Al-Z wasn’t captured in Syria, but the thrust of the article is the important point, America’s “Islamists” are more trouble than they are worth.  

Those fanatic jihadis are extremely predictable, so there is no excuse for our government having used them in Libya and Syria in the first place.  That was all Bandar’s doing.   (That is what we get for letting him run our covert operations for us.)  The terrorists are like a bunch of mad dogs, chomping at the chains which hold them back, or better yet, they more closely resemble a bunch of termites.  You can count on them to undermine an enemy’s position, along with everything else.   At some point,  you have to flush them out and repair everything that they have damaged and they have damaged everything.  Wherever we use these guys, nothing but desolation is left–look at Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria.  I guess nobody considered the possibility that they would destroy Syria without destroying the Syrian government.  

Zawahiri has been on the American payroll for decades, just like his brother, the infamous “Number 2” of “al-Qaeda.”  One organized the flow of “Islamists” (“al-Qaeda”) and guns through America’s smuggling pipelines, leading to Bosnia and Chechnya, Egypt, Syria and Libya, while the other Zawahiri brother organized the flow of heroin and money.  Their parent organization, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, provided the foundation for everything we ever called “al-Qaeda.”  Whatever Bandar has in mind for Egypt, it will surely make the Benghazi incident look like a fistfight.

It should be pretty obvious to everyone by now just how bad an idea it was to contract America’s covert war policy out to the Saudis.   


Just today, Prince Turki was quoted whining in the British press that the solution to the Syrian conflict was to give his boys better anti-tank rockets and sophisticated surface-to-air missiles.  Look at the militant Wahhabis armed with similar Libyan weapons in Mali and the trouble that they are causing there to understand just how warped are the minds of Prince Turki al-Faisal and his cousin, Prince Bandar bin Sultan and the rest of the Saudi royal family.  

They are the true enemies of the West.]

Fundamentalism fears pushing US to change course on Syria

After a little while the star of the show arrived. Mohamed al-Zawahiri is the brother of Ayman, the leader of al-Qaeda. Everyone pressed around him. Jan. 18, 2013

Al-Zarqawi, Al-Zawahri and Jabhat Al-Nusra: terms that have two things in common: Al-Qaeda and lately Syria. Recently two leading Salafists who joined the armed Syrian opposition were killed by Syrian forces. One of them was the brother in law of Abou-Mesaab Al-Zarqawi, who was killed by US forces in Iraq in 2006. Al-Zarqawi was Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq and considered by the US as one of the most wanted terrorists responsible for killing US soldiers. Reports have also said that Syrian forces have arrested the brother of Ayman Al-Zawahri, the leader of Al-Qaeda. In addition the so called mufti of Jabhat Al-Nusra was also recently killed in a Syrian air raid in Deraa. All this has raised questions about future US policy towards Damascus.

What’s more is that in his inaugural speech US president Barack Obama did make it clear that foreign military intervention in Syria was not on the agenda.

Experts believe that the US will eventually pressure its allies to change their course in the campaign against Bashar Al-Assad. Among these allies are Israel who labeled Assad as part of an axis of evil along with Iran and Hezbollah. Israel’s ambassador to Washington Michael Oren even went so far as to say that Assad is worse for Israel than Al-Qaeda. Other countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been the main providers of weapons and financing for the armed opposition.

Major US media outlets have said that the support provided by some Arab states to armed groups in Syria runs contrary to Washington’s interests. And last December the State Department blacklisted Jabhat Al-Nusra.

Many of those who were predicting the end of Bashar Al-Assad are now having second thoughts. One major factor behind this is the US position. The rising fundamentalist trend in Syria is a grave concern and comes at a time when the US congress is holding hearings on the killing of the US ambassador in Benghazi at the hands of extremists. That incident would probably have not occurred were it not for Nato military intervention in Libya

International Jewish Brain-Conference On “cognitive modifiability,” the Plasticity of Human Behavior

[I don’t know why they would invite me to this, but they did.  It seems frightening, but not unexpected, that a bunch of Jewish psychiatrists and behavioralists would meet in Jerusalem in their quest for the means to modify the mind of Goy-man.  After all, modern psychiatry, especially the field of behaviorism is a predominately Jewish profession, or one which is led by Jewish researchers in the field.  With the Jewish domination of Western media outlets, it is easy to see the dangers of a bunch of Jewish “shrinks” brainstorming for ways to use their knowledge of bending the minds of Goy-man to accommodate Jewish plans for us, twisting human nature until we more closely resemble the “cattle” that we apparently are.]




The Conference   

(2-5 June 2013)

This conference brings together revolutionary developments in two disciplines: cognitive modifiability and the neurosciences. Neuroscience brings evidence that modifiability is possible, while cognitive modifiability shows how to make it happen. This meeting offers the opportunity for a worldwide gathering of scientists, practitioners, therapists, and educators who come from different professional perspectives, but share common interests to explore and become familiar with the developments in these related fields. The common theme is modifiability. Revolutionary developments in brain sciences support the theory and belief that basic human behaviors and functions can be modified.

The Potential to Respond to Critical Needs

From the perspective of both disciplines, it is now clear that systematic application of dynamic methods of assessment and intervention has the potential to produce cognitive and structural change. The advances of cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and the growing awareness they have generated, indicates that the three conventionally accepted resistances to change can be overcome: etiology, critical periods,  and severity of the condition

However, we are at the frontier of this knowledge. There is much to be learned in order to understand the implications of the convergence of cognitive modifiability and the revolution in the brain sciences and bring them into wide acceptance and practice. The conference aims at providing researchers, psychologists, occupational and speech therapists, as well as special and regular education specialists with new conceptual tools for dealing with the question of modifiability in the laboratory, clinic, and the classroom.

Outcomes and Opportunities

The multicultural interaction between presenters and participants from different fields and professions is going to develop better understanding of the challenges and enrich us with the new available methods and ideas. Personal professional experience, research results, theories and practice will be discussed and new techniques will be presented in order to open new horizons for each one of the conference participants.

This is a critical period in the development of this dialogue and an opportunity for sharing knowledge and hope. Jerusalem, as a modern centre for technological and academic activity and research also symbolizes the historical core of human faith and soul. Is there a more appropriate place to host such a conference?

Jewish Wall Street led USA in permanent decline…….amen

Jewish Wall Street led USA in permanent decline…….amen

The Jews will destroy the USA for a variety of opaque quasi religious reasons. This is a shame, given the vast quality and ability of American citizens who could be doing a better job with genuine compassion and reason in the place of the current Obama administration.

Bizarre policies will continue to come out of the USA, and there will no magic formula which corrects the cumulative wrongs that the Jews have inflicted on the country.

The problem with the USA are the collective Jewish leadership.

When America continues to fail, YOU know who is responsible.


Courtesy of Infowars.com

President Barack Obama is believed to be Jewish on his mothers side, and a groomed agent of the CIA since birth (his mother worked for the CIA)….linked to Wall Street and the neo-liberal Jews of George Soros et al.

John Kerry the would be secretary of state is Jewish, though outwardly Catholic. Being Catholic is a disguise the Jews have adopted since the Middle Ages for a 1000 years.

Joseph Biden the vice president is of Jewish descent.

Timothy Geithner
Treasury Secretary, Crypto-Jew. All reliable information points to him being ethnically Jewish (at least partially), but if not, he definitely married into The Tribe (m. Carole Sonnenfeld, 1985); he has been President of the New York Fed (which is by far the most powerful and influential branch of the Fed) during the major economic crisis (2007-present) which has utterly decimated the American economy and brought us to the brink of a depression and now this guy is put in charge of the Treasury?

Janet Napolitano
Secretary of Department of Homeland Security, Jewish. Born to Jewish mother (technically makes her Jewish), she claims her religion is now Methodist. She also may be a closet bull dyke.

Robert Swan Mueller III may be crypto-Jewish, serving an extra-ordinary long time in his current position as the head of the FBI, the Jewish run organization that has led the false flag terrorism in the USA from 1993 to the point where the country is now a full police state.…though he has a crisp well groomed WASP persona from NY. Billions of useless Latinos pour into the country from the South….and yet when John Smith and his family move from Portland to Chicago, they must undertake grueling uber gestapo like humiliating inspections, and gropings to reinforce Jewish power and Jewish obedience training for the coming total gulag state…….which is a mixture of sexual fantasy based on BDSM and humiliation. In the Soviet  gulags mass rape was the order of the day, as a form of control, dominance and of course humiliation.  

Benjamin Shalom Bernanke….Head of the Federal Reserve…theoretically and constitutionally not part of the administration, but to all intents and purposes is.

Jack Lew Chief of Staff to the President
David Plouffe Senior Advisor to the President
Danielle Borrin Associate Director, Office of Public Engagement; Special Assistant to the Vice President
Gary Gensler Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Dan Shapiro Ambassador to Israel
Gene Sperling Director National Economic Council
Mary Schapiro Chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Steven Simon Head of Middle East/North Africa Desk at the National Security Council
Eric Lynn Middle East Policy Advisor

Some more current and former members of the Obama administration.

Douglas Shulman
IRS Commissioner, Jewish.

Steven Rattner
Treasury Advisor For Auto Sector, Jewish.

Robert Rubin
Economic Advisor to the President, Jewish.

Alan Blinder
Economic Advisor to the President, Jewish.

Jason Furman
Director Of Economic Policy, Jewish.

Jon Leibowitz
Chairman Of FTC, Jewish.

Ronald Klain
Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Jewish.

Jared Bernstein
Chief Economist and Economic Policy Adviser to the Vice President.

Paul Volcker
Economic Advisor to the President, Former Head of Fed Reserve, Crypto-Jewish

Lee Feinstein (2009- )
Foreign Policy Advisor

Gary Gensler (2009- )
Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Elena Kagan (2009- )
Solicitor General of the United States

Ronald Klain (2009- )
Chief of Staff to the Vice President

Jack Lew (2009- )
Deputy Secretary of State

Eric Lynn (2009- )
Middle East Policy Advisor

Peter Orszag (2009- )
Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Formerly a member of Clinton’s Whitehouse, advisor to the Bank of Iceland before they crashed and burned, and also advisor to the Jewish Oligarchs in Russia when they started stealing billions.

Dennis Ross (2009- )
Special Advisor for the Gulf and Southwest Asia to the Secretary of State Mara Rudman (2009- ) Foreign Policy Advisor

Mary Schapiro (2009- )
Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission

Dan Shapiro (2009- )
Head of Middle East desk at the National Security Council (yet another ‘neutral diplomatic Jew’ when it comes to foreign policy matters involving the Middle East); also a major Washington lobbyist and fundraiser for the Democratic Party.

James B. Steinberg (2009- ) and Jacob Lew, Deputy Secretaries of State, second in rank only to Hillary Clinton in foreign policy matters (meaning if something happens to her one of them will take over, giving a Jew yet another major Cabinet slot); both of these people are hardcore Zionist Israel Firsters, so it is difficult to imagine how they will remain objective and neutral when it comes to dealing with foreign policy matters in the Middle East.

Lawrence Summers (2009- )
Director National Economic Council, Crypto-Jew (real name: Samuelson)

Mona Sutphen (2009- )
Deputy White House Chief of Staff

Eric Lander AND Harold E. Varmus, Co-Chairs of the President’s Council of Advisers on Science/Technology.

Penny Pritzker
Obama’s National Finance Chair during the election cycle; she is a billionaire heiress of the Pritzker family fortune (at least 5-7 separate billionaires in the family); the Pritzkers are major players in the ’squeaky clean’ Chicago political scene.

Robert Reich
Economic adviser to Obama-Biden.

Nora Volkow
Director, National Institute of Drug Abuse. Great-grandaughter of Trotsky (Leon Bronstein),

Bolshevik murderer and point man for the International Banking Jew’s over-throw of Russia.

Richard Hass
President of the CFR and Obama’s ambassador at large.

Jon Leibowitz
Chairman, Federal Trade Commission.

Alan Bersin
Special Representive for Border Affairs.

Susan Sher
Chief of Staff for Michelle Obama.

Thanks to Zsidozas
Obama’s Jews, Change we can’t believe in


Economic Czar
Larry Summers (real name: Samuelson)

Regulatory Czar
Cass Sunstein

Pay Czar
Kenneth Feinberg

Medical Czar
Ezekiel Emanuel (brother of Rahm Emanuel)

Guantanamo/Military Jails Czar
Daniel Fried

Car Czar
Steven Rattner

Border Czar
Alan Bersin

Climate Czar
Todd Stern

Global Warming Czar
Carol Browner

Climate Change Czar
Todd Stern


Richard Holbrooke
Special Envoy to Pakistan/Afghanistan

Stuart Levey
Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence

Lawrence Summers
Chairman, National Economic Council

Paul Volcker: Chairman, Economic Recovery Advisory Board

Jared Bernstein
Chief Economist and Economic Adviser,

Peter Orszag
Director, Office of Management and Budget

Jason Furman
Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget

Dennis Ross
Obama’s Ambassador-At-Large in the (Entire) Middle East

Jeffrey Zeints
Chief Performance Officer to streamline government and cut costs as well as Deputy

Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget

Gary Gensler
Chairman, Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Mary Schapiro
Chairwoman, Securities and Exchange Commission

Sheila Bair
Chairman, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Karen Mills
Administrator, Small Business Administration

Jon Leibowitz
Chairman, Federal Trade Commission

Douglas Shulman
Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service

Neil M. Barofsky
Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“SIGTARP”)

The Federal Reserve…

Benjamin S. Bernanke
Chairman of the Federal Reserve

FRB of Boston
Eric S. Rosengren: Jewish

Timothy F. Geithner: (former) FRB of New York.
Crypto-Jewish. Former Goldman Sachs executive Stephen Friedman was acting head until May, when questions about his insider Goldman Sachs stock purchases came up and he stepped down. Denis Hughes, an apparent Goyim labor leader, fills the spot at least until December, when a new one will be named for 2010.

FRB of Philadelphia
Charles I. Plosser: Jewish

FRB of Richmond
Jeffrey M. Lacker: Jewish

FRB of St. Louis
James B. Bullard: Jewish

FRB of Minneapolis
Gary H. Stern: Jewish

FRB of Kansas City
Thomas M. Hoenig: Jewish

FRB of Dallas
Richard W. Fisher: Jewish

FRB of San Francisco
Janet L. Yellen: Jewish

Seattle Liquor Control Board Holds Forum for Hundreds To Learn About State Store Marijuana

$12 to $15 a gram?  What happens if State Store weed costs twice as much as the street?

Hundreds attend marijuana forum in Seattle

Hundreds attended the latest state Liquor Control Board forum Thursday night in Seattle to talk about how marijuana will be legally sold in Washington.

The Associated Press

seattle hempfest



Hundreds attended the latest state Liquor Control Board forum Thursday night in Seattle to talk about how marijuana will be legally sold in Washington.

Spokesman Brian Smith says marijuana-only stores will likely be regulated and operated like the old state-operated liquor stores.

KOMO reports ( http://bit.ly/SLzgSp) prices are expected around $12 to $15 a gram.

More public forums are scheduled Feb. 7 in Vancouver, Feb. 12 in Spokane, Feb. 19 in Mount Vernon and Feb. 21 in Yakima.

The state hopes to have a system in place for marijuana sales by December.

Information from: KOMO-TV, http://www.komotv.com/

The Pentagon Is Defining “We the People” As “Domestic Enemies” of the United States for A Reason

[All government emergency plans have consisted of defending the ramparts against “domestic enemies,” without ever going into too much detail about the nature of that alleged “enemy.”  Reports which actually define the enemies of corporate America (resisters to anti-Constitutionalism and other one-worlder political blocs) as the enemies of America, help confirm for us that the government has a bleak future in mind for us.  Perhaps the intention for defining We the People as “domestic enemies” is to convince us that it is time to take-up arms in our own insurrection?  As the report below points-out, the intention is always to cause division and dissension, hoping to produce a justification for enforcing martial law.  If they want  to push us into taking-up arms, it is because they are looking for a reason to take us down.] 

West Point Defines “Domestic Enemies” to Prepare Troops to Take On Americans

Brandon Turbeville

Soldiers and police in America take an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. But knowing who is a domestic enemy of the Constitution can be confusing to a young grunt. So a West Point think tank decided to broadly define what a domestic enemy may look like to ensure soldiers follow orders when the time comes.

In a study recently published by the West Point Combating Terrorism Center entitled, “Challengers From The Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right,” Arie Perliger, the author of the study, attempts to present a picture of an America infested with dangerous “Right Wing” domestic terrorists lurking in the shadows and waiting to launch an attack on government establishments, agents, and minorities.

In the study, what Perliger defines as the “Far-Right” is actually a mixture of race hate groups with ordinary militias, anti-abortion activists, Libertarians/Anarchists, and “conspiracy theorists.” Perliger suggets that this “Far-Right” contingent is glued together by an identification with an “anti-federalist” ideology as well as a belief in a “New World Order.” According to Perliger, these groups are concerned with the “corrupted and tyrannical nature of the federal government and its apparent tendency to violate individuals’ civilian liberties and constitutional rights.”

Perliger, who is the director of terrorism studies at the West Point Combating Terrorism Center writes in the Introduction to the study that its purpose is to provide “a conceptual foundation for understanding different far-right groups and then presents the empirical analysis of violent incidents to identify those perpetrating attacks and their associated trends.”

For all the repetition of the terms “terrorism” and “violent” however, it is important to mention just how broad a definition has been assigned to this term in recent years. As Madison Ruppert of End the Lie writes in his article, “West Point study identifies ‘violent far-right’ with recognizing tyrannical, corrupt nature of government,” “It is worth noting that the federal government is quite tyrannical andcorrupt with a federal judge ruled the government can claim the legal right to assassinate Americanswithout any charge or trial while never explaining the legal basis, engage in widespread illegal surveillance (which is dramatically increasing) and indefinitely detain Americans.”

Ruppert continues by stating, “If those aren’t violations of individuals’ civil liberties and constitutional rights, I don’t know what is.”

Yet, while Perliger defines three different branches of the “far-right” – racist/white supremacy movement, anti-federalist movement, and fundamentalist movement – the author lumps the three different branches into one, all while conveniently ignoring pertinent facts that might not back up his claims.

Perliger’s paper notably lacks mention of the fact that a great many “racist/white supremacy” organizations are themselves either partially or even entirely staffed by law enforcement agents of government intelligence. Likewise, Perliger entirely conflates race-based movements (also likely infiltrated and controlled by government agencies) with what he labels the “Christian Fundamentalist” movement. This, as Madison Ruppert points out, is described with a complete lack of understanding (intentional or otherwise) as to what “fundamentalism” actually is.

Yet, the “anti-federalist” movement (itself a variety of movements mixed together to provide an easier category for Perliger and his readers), is the most interesting when evaluating the West Point paper. According to Perliger, this “movement” is centered around a belief in a “New World Order,” and the recognition of the “corrupted and tyrannical nature of the federal government and its apparent tendency to violate individuals’ civilian liberties and constitutional rights.”

In this regard, Perliger writes,

The anti-federalist rationale is multifaceted, and includes the beliefs that the American political system and its proxies were hijacked by external forces interested in promoting a “New World Order” (NWO) in which the United States will be absorbed into the United Nations or another version of global government. They also espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government. Extremists in the anti-federalist movement direct most their violence against the federal government and its proxies in law enforcement.

In further summarizing the “anti-federalist” viewpoint, Perliger writes,

The anti-federalist movement’s ideology is based on the idea that there is an urgent need to undermine the influence, legitimacy and practical sovereignty of the federal government and its proxy organizations. The groups comprising the movement suggest several rationales that seek to legitimize anti-federal sentiments. Some groups are driven by a strong conviction that the American political system and its proxies were hijacked by external forces interested in promoting a “New World Order,” (NWO) in which the United States will be embedded in the UN or another version of global government. The NWO will be advanced, they believe, via steady transition of powers from local to federal law-enforcement agencies, i.e., the transformation of local police and law-enforcement agencies into a federally controlled “National Police” agency that will in turn merge with a “Multi-National Peace Keeping Force.” The latter deployment on US soil will be justified via a domestic campaign implemented by interested parties that will emphasize American society’s deficiencies and US government incompetency. This will convince the American people that restoring stability and order inevitably demands the use of international forces. The last stage, according to most NWO narratives, involves the transformation of the United States government into an international/world government and the execution and oppression of those opposing this process.

Indeed, anyone even faintly aware of historical and current events would be hard-pressed to argue with the so-called “anti-federalists” in their analysis.

Regardless, in light of the recent push for citizen disarmament, the paper tellingly states,

Linda Thompson, the head of the Unorganized Militia of the United States details the consequence of this global coup: ”This is the coming of the New World Order. A one-world government, where, in order to put the new government in place, we must all be disarmed first. To do that, the government is deliberately creating schisms in our society, funding both the anti-abortion/pro-choice sides, the antigun/pro-gun issues…trying to provoke a riot that will allow martial law to be implemented and all weapons seized, while ‘dissidents’ are put safely away”. The fear of the materialization of the NWO makes most militias not merely hostile towards the federal government but also hostile towards international organizations, whether non-profitable NGOs, international corporations, or political institutions of the international community, such as the UN.

Perliger, of course, does not attempt to challenge any of Thompson’s claims as they are presented in this short quotation nor does he attempt to debunk any of the claims made by the “anti-federalist” communities that he so concisely repeats in the statement above. While, admittedly, it is not a stated goal of the author’s study to defend his position and debunk those of his subjects, one would also be justified in concluding that Perliger does not attempt to defend his case simply because disproving the claims made by the “anti-federalist” activists as he presents them would impossible for him to do in a convincing manner.

Yet the purpose of the paper is not to provide legitimate information about these groups as much as it is to terrify the reader – West Point and other military trainees – into believing that anyone who rightly supposes that their government is overstepping its bounds, violating their rights, or moving forward in otherwise unconstitutional directions is a conspiracy-obsessed, right-wing, racist fanatic who is intent on killing military, police, and minorities.

Unfortunately for the author, however, a careful reading of his own argument causes it to fall apart at the seams.

After postulating numerous reasons for the alleged violence of “far-right” groups ranging from political, socio-economic, geographical, and operational possibilities, Perliger attempts to turn to the actual numbers.

At first, Perliger’s presentation of thousands of violent attacks per year (using 2010 statistics) is quite shocking since such attacks are not known to the general public and the mainstream media has not seized upon them at every available opportunity as one would expect. The actual level of violence in its own right, whether reported or not, would be concerning to say the very least.

These numbers would be an even more concerning situation if they demonstrated that such attacks were on the rise.

Unfortunately for the government argument, however, this is not the case as even Perliger has to admit when he says, “Hence, in periods during which many streams of terrorism have shown improvement in their operational capabilities and, as a result, an increase in their tendency to engage in mass casualty attacks, the violent American far right shows stagnation, at least in terms of its ability to enhance the harm it generates.”

For instance, while the term “right-wing violent attack” might conjure images of lynchings, executions, or mass terror attacks, the statistics, even those presented by Perliger, tend to show a different reality. Indeed, the type of “attack” referenced in Perliger’s study is entirely unclear in terms of just what would constitute a “right-wing violent attack.”

Indeed, when examining Perliger’s statistics, one can easily see that well over half of the “attacks” being described are actually proxy “attacks” (loosely defined term) against property, “foiled attacks” (which are wildly undefined, especially since the overwhelming majority of any foiled terrorist attack in the United States has been directed by the FBI), “heavy damage to property,” and “cross burnings.”

Likewise, with so many acts of property damage and racial symbols being later determined to have been directed by the “victims” themselves, one must also call these numbers into question since they are left unclear in the study.

Of those attacks designed to cause “mass casualties,” the Oklahoma City Bombing was no doubt included in the statistics, an obvious government-run false flag operation.

Yet, even among the 42% of “attacks” described as involving “specific human targets,” the incidents are not necessarily connected with any political, racial, or religious origin. As with any attempt at methods of divide and conquer, there is the very real possibility that any violent attack leveled against any individual of minority status or non-right-wing political ideology is thus considered to be a “specific human target” attack. Under such loosely defined rules of categorization, since the incidence of “specific human targets” were overwhelmingly one on one or (at most) two on one altercations, a simple shoving match between two individuals in which one could be remotely considered right wing, racist, or religious could then be delineated as a violent right-wing attack.

Since Perliger easily allows his own political bias to appear during the course of the paper and, since much of his political theory is based upon Israeli political scientist Ehud Sprinzak’s Iceberg model of the structure of political movements, it is apparent that Perliger’s own methodology is likely devised in a manner that would allow even the most distant and unrelated events seem directly related to the core of political ideology Perliger has set in his sites.

Such a concern is only compounded by the fact that one of Perliger’s main sources for his paper is the Southern Poverty Law Center, a notorious race-baiting organization that routinely accuses anyone who disagrees with the company line in regards to government policy as racist and potentially violent and dangerous. Not far behind, of course, is the citation of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization of similar race-based incredibility.

In the end, Perliger’s report is nothing more than just another cog in the wheel of a military-industrial complex on overdrive in its attempt to brainwash new military recruits into believing that a terrorist lurks behind every bush. More importantly, these new recruits are being trained that such terrorists are no longer shadowy Muslims hiding in caves in Afghanistan, but good ol’ boys, gun owners, and average American citizens that will eventually have to be dealt with.

Read other articles by Brandon Turbeville here

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of three books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real Conspiracies, and Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident. Turbeville has published over 190 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

Africom Gen. Carter Ham Admits Pentagon Error In Teaching Military Skills Without First Teaching Military Ethics and Human Values

[It is very rare to hear an American general speaking in such a candid manner, it is is unacceptable to admit mistakes for a perfect organization like the Pentagon, because any weakening of their armor of “denial” could ultimately have a corrosive cascading effect, eventually bringing-down the entire five-sided house of lies.  The Pentagon is the mother of all lies and the father of the CIA, the world’s premier institute of pure lies.  Whatever inhuman, illegal human experiments that the CIA has done were actually done for the Pentagon, allowing the generals to hide behind their curtain (armor) of denial, while the agency continued to study the human breaking point.  The Nazi pseudo-scientists were looking for the limits of human mental endurance, so that they could overcome them.  

The Nazis were in firm agreement with the concept of a super-soldier, as a natural bi-product of their beliefs in “Aryan” superiority.  The super-soldier concept reinforced the Nazi ideas of a “superman” or “Godman.”  The American continuation of these Nazi mind-control experiments was investing in the torture and murder which formed the foundation for the original studies.  Such inhuman experimentation was (and is) done in total violation of every  international law or treaty, or the sanctity of human rights or any kind of “military ethos.”  Any further research which builds upon this criminal line of investigation is also immoral and unethical by its connection to the tainted line of inquiry.  Pentagon continuation of this research led to major breakthroughs in mind-control sciences, giving them the covert capability to create actual “Manchurian Candidate” assassins and the overt capability to make major leaps in military training, allowing the military to train around human hang-ups and mental weakness.  

In the Nazi version of super-soldier training, compassion would be considered a weakness.  In the SOCOM version of super-soldier training, feelings of any kind (except for the violent ones) are weaknesses to be overcome, more enemies to be vanquished.  This explains why so many Spec Ops veterans suffer from PTSD, and why military suicides have surpassed the number of combat deaths.  This also helps to explain why so many US SOCOM training operations lead to the possibly inadvertent creation of death squads, often self-formed units of gung-ho trainees who are eager to use the skills that they have just been given to correct the wrongs in their own country. 

Gen. Ham is referring to this basic error in the Pentagon’s training regime, which has been exposed in Mali and elsewhere.   The Pentagon, in its shortsightedness, has trained hundreds of professional killers in Mali, most of whom are proving to have the same morals as a bunch of neanderthal contract killers.  Like mob hit men, their only real concern is not getting caught, covering-up the evidence of their crimes.  War crimes, like those occurring in Mali, cannot be explained by claims of the killers’ ignorance, especially when they try to hide the evidence that will convict them.  

Mass-executions, executions of prisoners and the wounded, decapitations, machete dismemberment, followed by hiding the bodies down wells and burning tires on top of them, all in hopes of covering-up their war crimes.  All of this happened under the watchful eyes of their duplicitous French Army overlords.  American Special Forces might have trained these guys, but it took the French to put them to doing their dirty work.]

Just a corpse buried in Sévaré in central Mali. In several places in the city, residents saw soldiers of the national army throwing bodies in wells.

“This is a naked body, crudely buried and only the left arm and buttocks are visible on the surface of loose soil. It lies in a corner in the center of Sévaré, a town of some 30,000 inhabitants where the park Malian military and the French army which controls the airport….

“I was there!” Exclaims Moussa S. “The dead were rebels!” Added the former soldier, who does not hide his hatred of “redskins”, the nickname given by the Tuareg. “They have thrown in the well. Soldiers completed wounded rebels, brought from Konna.’s Alive were executed. Then they covered the body of tires and gasoline and burned.” Macule blood the well’s mouth, which was partially blocked by rubble. Nearby, the smell is nauseating. Witnesses speak of 25 to 30 bodies buried in this area. Of manhunts, there have been many. “Being Arab, Tuareg or dressed in the traditional way, for someone who is not Sévaré this is enough to make it disappear,” two young show. “Wearing a beard, they say, it’s a suicide.”

Last Friday, a father and his young son from the north and crossing Sévaré, were killed. Machetes and bullets, before ending up in the pit.”

Mali crisis: US military admits mistakes in training army


French forces are leading the offensive against Islamist rebels in Mali

The commander of US forces in Africa says the Pentagon made mistakes in its training of Malian troops now trying to oust Islamists from the north.

Gen Carter Ham, of US Africom, said American forces had failed to train Malian troops on “values, ethics and a military ethos”.

He was speaking after reports of abuses by Mali government troops taking part in the French-led counter-offensive.

Meanwhile, air strikes have been reported near the northern city of Gao.

The militant stronghold came under fire as the military operation entered its third week.

Islamists seized the north of the country last year and have imposed a strict interpretation of Sharia law on its inhabitants.

France intervened militarily on 11 January to stop them advancing further south.

‘Military ethos’

However, human rights groups have since accused Malian troops of killing Arabs and ethnic Tuaregs as they advance north.

The claims caused alarm in the West, particularly in the US which has been training troops in Mali and neighbouring countries to tackle the militant threat for several years.

Gen Ham said Malian troops were given plenty of tactical training, but not enough ethics training.

“We were focusing our training almost exclusively on tactical or technical matters,” he told a forum at Washington’s Howard University.

“We didn’t spend probably the requisite time focusing on values, ethics and a military ethos.”

Military plane at Istres, southern France, carrying troops and military equipment to Mali. 22 Jan 2013
More French troops and equipment are being flown out to Mali

The general said not enough was done to convince Malian recruits that “when you put on the uniform of your nation, you accept the responsibility to defend and protect that nation, to abide by the legitimate civilian authority that has been established, to conduct yourselves according to the rule of law”.

“We didn’t do that to the degree that we needed to,” he added

Mali’s army staged a coup in March 2012.

In the chaos which followed, Islamist militants and secular rebels extended their control of the whole of the north – an area of the Sahara Desert larger than France – while the army hardly put up any resistance.

Meanwhile, French TV has been carrying grainy images of air strikes which the military said was near the city of Gao.

Malian and Niger security sources also reported the strikes, saying two Islamist bases with fuel stocks and weapons dumps near Gao had been destroyed.

French and Malian troops also staged joint patrols for the first time, in the town of Douentza west of Gao, the French AFP news agency said, quoting Malian sources.

The BBC’s Mark Doyle in Mali says a big international troop build-up is continuing ahead of a probable French-led air and ground offensive against Gao and other desert cities.

There are currently about 2,000 French troops in Mali.

An armed column of Chadian soldiers is making its way to Mali overland and more than 1,000 Nigerian soldiers are expected there too.

The UN refugee agency says more than 7,000 civilians have fled to neighbouring countries since 10 January to escape the fighting.

In another development, Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi has unveiled a proposal for a peaceful resolution to the Mali conflict.

The five-point plan includes political negotiations, economic and development initiatives and co-ordinated relief efforts. President Morsi has spoken against military intervention in Mali.

Turkish Court Documents Indict “So-Called Kurds”

KCK case starts with ‘so-called Kurds’ controversy


VAN – Doğan News Agency

DHA photo

DHA photo

Van’s arrested mayor, Bekir Kaya, refused to issue a defense statement in court during the first hearing of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trial to take place in the southeastern province of Van because the prosecutor called suspects “so-called Kurds” in indictment papers.

The 5th High Criminal Court began to try 13 suspects today, 10 of whom are under arrest, including Bekir Kaya.

A 720-page indictment was read aloud, but Kaya interrupted the reading and said he did not accept the indictment as it was a political document, not a legal indictment.

“It is like a leaflet of a political party. Along with it, the prosecutor who prepared the indictment used ‘so called Kurds’ as an expression. This step is out of line. I do not accept such an indictment, I demand it to be overturned and I will not talk from now on,” Kaya said.

The lawyers also demanded the court board drop the case but the court board refused accept any of the demands.

The vice head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party Sezgin Tanrıkulu attended the trial as an observer along with Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies Özdal Üçer and Pervin Buldan and Diyarbakır Mayor Osman Baydemir.

The legal case against the KCK, the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has been deadlocked as courts have rejected defendants’ demands to speak Kurdish when giving their defense.

Kaya, who was detained June 7 as part of the ongoing KCK probe, also joined the hunger strike Oct. 18, his lawyers announced.

Iraqi security forces arrest 250 Saudi-backed terrorists

Iraqi security forces arrest 250 Saudi-backed terrorists


File photo shows the scene of a blast near the holy shrine of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) in Najaf.

 File photo shows the scene of a blast near the holy shrine of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) in Najaf.
Iraqi security forces have arrested 250 Saudi-backed Wahhabi terrorists in Iraq, reports say.

The terrorists, who had been deployed to the Middle Euphrates region, were reportedly ordered to carry out armed operations in the Iraqi cities of Karbala, Najaf, and al-Diwaniyah.

According to the commander of the Iraqi forces, Saudi spy chief Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud had allocated 250 million US dollars for the terrorist operations in Iraq.

The commander also said that Bandar bin Sultan had hired fugitive Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi to conduct terrorist attacks.

The terrorists confessed they had assassinated hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis.

Violence has increased in Iraq since December 2011, when an arrest warrant was issued for al-Hashemi, who has been charged with running a death squad targeting Iraqi officials and Shia Muslims.

Attack On Kurdish Leaders In Paris Apparently Turning-Out To Be Another Ergenekon Plot

Kurds point finger at Turkey as Paris murder plot thickens

News Asia

A woman cries as she takes part in a rally of thousands of persons, a majority of them Kurds people, on January 15, 2013 in Villiers-le-Bel. (AFP/JOEL Saget)

A woman cries as she takes part in a rally of thousands of persons, a majority of them Kurds people, on January 15, 2013 in Villiers-le-Bel. (AFP/JOEL Saget)

ANKARA: Kurdish organisations in France and Iraq on Wednesday claimed that the alleged killer of three female activists shot dead in Paris must have been a shadowy double agent working for Turkey.

Omer Guney, 30, was charged with the triple murder on Monday.

French authorities initially described him as an ethnic Kurd who had acted as an occasional driver for the most prominent victim, Sakine Cansiz, a co-founder of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Police sources said Guney himself had told them he had been a member of the PKK for two years, fuelling suspicions that the brutal murders had been the result of an internal feud in the organisation.

That was denied by the PKK while a Kurdish group in Paris said the alleged killer had faked his Kurdish identity to infiltrate the activist community in Paris from November 2011 onwards.

“After his arrest, we discovered that he was not Kurdish, as he had pretended, but was in fact a Turk from the Sivas region and the product of a family with links to the Turkish nationalist extreme right,” a statement from the Kurdish Information Centre in Paris said.

Judicial sources indicated that the French authorities continue to regard Guney as being Kurdish, having been born to a Kurdish father and a non-Kurdish mother. He was born in Sarkisla, an ethnically mixed town in the Sivas region.

A PKK leader said there was no way Guney could have been a member of the group, which is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey and its allies and defended as a national liberation movement by its supporters.

“The allegations on the suspect’s ties with the PKK do not reflect the truth,” Murat Karayilan, who heads the PKK in the absence of its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, told the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency at his base in northern Iraq.

“It is not that easy to be a member of the PKK in two years,” Karayilan said.

“PKK does not accept members from Europe in this way. The mentioned person is not a member of our movement and he is not known by our side or by our executives in Europe.”

The rebel leader said he had no doubt Turkey was involved in the killing and that Ankara was well known for infiltrating agents into the Kurdish movement.

The killings came against a background of tentative peace talks between Turkey and jailed PKK leader Ocalan aimed at ending three decades of conflict which have claimed 45,000 lives.

Turkey has suggested that the murders bore the hallmarks of an internal feud within the PKK between opponents and supporters of the negotiations with Turkey.

Speaking to parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rubbished suggestions his government was in any way involved.

“Those that blame the Turkish government and state for this incident will be forced to apologise once light has been shed on what happened,” he said.

Kurdish groups have accused Turkey of involvement since the women’s bodies were discovered in the early hours of January 10.

French police have insisted all possible motives are being examined, including a personal dispute and a possible link to extortion rackets used to raise funds for the PKK.

New Japanese Minister Demonstrates His Malthusian, Medieval Mentality, Advocates Letting the Old Die

Let elderly people ‘hurry up and die’, says Japanese minister

the guardian

Taro Aso says he would refuse end-of-life care and would ‘feel bad’ knowing treatment was paid for by government

Taro Aso

Taro Aso referred to elderly patients who are no longer able to feed themselves as ‘tube people’. Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

Japan‘s new government is barely a month old, and already one of its most senior members has insulted tens of millions of voters by suggesting that the elderly are an unnecessary drain on the country’s finances.

Taro Aso, the finance minister, said on Monday that the elderly should be allowed to “hurry up and die” to relieve pressure on the state to pay for their medical care.

“Heaven forbid if you are forced to live on when you want to die. I would wake up feeling increasingly bad knowing that [treatment] was all being paid for by the government,” he said during a meeting of the national council on social security reforms. “The problem won’t be solved unless you let them hurry up and die.”

Aso’s comments are likely to cause offence in Japan, where almost a quarter of the 128 million population is aged over 60. The proportion is forecast to rise to 40% over the next 50 years.

The remarks are also an unwelcome distraction for the new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, whose first period as Japan’s leader ended with his resignation after just a year, in 2007, partly due to a string of gaffes by members of his cabinet.

Rising welfare costs, particularly for the elderly, were behind a decision last year to double consumption [sales] tax to 10% over the next three years, a move Aso’s Liberal Democratic party supported.

The 72-year-old, who doubles as deputy prime minister, said he would refuse end-of-life care. “I don’t need that kind of care,” he said in comments quoted by local media, adding that he had written a note instructing his family to deny him life-prolonging medical treatment.

To compound the insult, he referred to elderly patients who are no longer able to feed themselves as “tube people”. The health and welfare ministry, he added, was “well aware that it costs several tens of millions of yen” a month to treat a single patient in the final stages of life.

Cost aside, caring for the elderly is a major challenge for Japan’s stretched social services. According to a report this week, the number of households receiving welfare, which include family members aged 65 or over, stood at more than 678,000, or about 40% of the total. The country is also tackling a rise in the number of people who die alone, most of whom are elderly. In 2010, 4.6 million elderly people lived alone, and the number who died at home soared 61% between 2003 and 2010, from 1,364 to 2,194, according to the bureau of social welfare and public health in Tokyo.

The government is planning to reduce welfare expenditure in its next budget, due to go into force this April, with details of the cuts expected within days.

Aso, who has a propensity for verbal blunders, later attempted to clarify his comments. He acknowledged his language had been “inappropriate” in a public forum and insisted he was talking only about his personal preference.

“I said what I personally believe, not what the end-of-life medical care system should be,” he told reporters. “It is important that you be able spend the final days of your life peacefully.”

It is not the first time Aso, one of Japan’s wealthiest politicians, has questioned the state’s duty towards its large elderly population. In 2008, while serving as prime minister, he described “doddering” pensioners as tax burdens who should take better care of their health.

“I see people aged 67 or 68 at class reunions who dodder around and are constantly going to the doctor,” he said at a meeting of economists. “Why should I have to pay for people who just eat and drink and make no effort? I walk every day and do other things, but I’m paying more in taxes.”

He had already angered the country’s doctors by telling them they lacked common sense, made a joke about Alzheimer’s patients, andpronounced “penniless young men” unfit for marriage.

In 2001, he said he wanted Japan to become the kind of successful country in which “the richest Jews would want to live”.

He once likened an opposition party to the Nazis, praised Japan’s colonial rule in Taiwan and, as foreign minister, told US diplomats they would never be trusted in Middle East peace negotiations because they have “blue eyes and blond hair”.

While figures released on Monday showed a record 2.14 million Japanese were receiving welfare in October 2012, Aso has led a life of privilege few of his compatriots could hope to match.

He is the grandson of Shigeru Yoshida, an influential postwar prime minister, and is married to the daughter of another former premier.

While campaigning for the premiership in 2008, Aso refused to acknowledge the use of hundreds of allied prisoners of war by his family’s coal mining business during the second world war. He served as president of the firm’s successor, Aso Cement, from 1973-79

A Rare Case of Brit Press Telling the Truth About “Al-Qaeda” Bogeyman

[There is nothing surprising or unknown  contained in the following Guardian report, just more of the same fake “al-Qaeda” news, conflating any militant “Islamist” attacks as elements of a global web of Wahhabi terrorism, except that this report “pooh-poohs” that false notion.  That is the real news here.  The legend of “al-Qaeda” was created in this manner, by the Western press reporting on separate nationalist and terrorist attacks as one worldwide web of “international terrorism,” even though there were very few real connections and even fewer real “Islamists.”  Under “war on terror” rules, everybody can be either “linked to al-Qaeda” or Kevin Bacon,when in reality, very few fundamentalist lunatics are among the real international terrorists, who nearly all work for the CIA.  All of those terrorists are only in it for the Big Money.]

Algeria: Islamist threat to Europe is overstated

the guardian

Mokhtar ‘Marlboro man’ Belmokhtar and his fighters are more interested in overthrowing government than attacking west

Mokhtar Belmokhtar

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, said to be the mastermind of the Algerian hostage attacks. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The intervention of French military forces in Mali and the apparent reprisals in the form of the hostage crisis at the In Amenas gas processing plant in Algeria have brought the threat of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) to international attention. The drama of the hostage crisis has shot the hitherto unknown group Signatories in Blood and its leader Mokhtar Belmokhtar, variably referred to as an Islamist with ties to Osama bin Ladin and/or a senior al-Qaida leader, to notoriety overnight and has prompted western leaders to focus on the possibility of a growing threat of Islamist terrorism on Europe’s southern border. Such tragic events are bound to provoke a strong reaction, yet, upon closer examination, it seems that the idea of a threat to mainland Europe is overstated.

Even at a glance, the nature of the attack – hostage-taking for financial gain – is not the kind we have come to associate with al-Qaida over the years. Rather than reflecting the “signature” suicide attack with mass casualties, the event fits more appropriately into the series of other hostage-takings that have taken place in Algeria in recent years but which have not been on so grand a scale and hence have not gained the same attention as events at In Amenas.

It is not only the events which are different: the particular branch of al-Qaida to which they have been ascribed, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), formerly known as the GSPC (Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat – Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat) stands out for its focus on a local agenda. Although it has allegedly claimed that it supports Bin Ladin, the group, which was found to be responsible for car bombings that took place in Algiers in 2007, as well as a number of other local incidents, appears to be more concerned with overthrowing the Algerian government and the institution of an Islamic state in its place than with Bin Ladin’s vision of the reestablishment of the caliphate and global jihad against the west.

While it can be argued that the above is not entirely out of touch with al-Qaida’s stated aims, it is nonetheless a return to the “near enemy” – the forces of occupation and secularisation – that have preoccupied Islamists for almost a century. While the AQIM’s claim to be acting in the name of “al-Qaida central” feels very much like a convenient piece of flag-waving, current al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri declared in 2006 that America and France were the enemies, indicating a pragmatic approach by which senior al-Qaida leaders aim to flatter their local affiliates, enabling one side to continue to maintain the impression of its global reach while the other benefits from association with the infamous name. The true extent of any link or cooperative strategy, however, remains open to question.

If there is little evidence to suggest genuine cooperation between AQIM and the senior leadership of al-Qaida, the connection between al-Qaida and Belmokhtar and his Signatories in Blood is even more tenuous. Sometimes referred to as “Marlboro man” for his cigarette-smuggling exploits, Belmokhtar has a wide-ranging and impressive criminal career which includes drug trafficking, diamond smuggling and the kidnapping of dozens of westerners, such as diplomats, aid workers and tourists, for ransoms of up to $3m each. Yet Belmokhtar’s success and growing influence were to be his downfall as far as his membership of AQIM was concerned.

While his actions at In Amenas supposedly link Belmokhtar to al-Qaida in the eyes of the west, he in fact made the news on various jihadist forums for falling out with AQIM for his “fractious behavior”, and either resigned or was formally dismissed from its ranks in late 2012. Such splintering is far from exceptional; indeed, it exemplifies the present state of al-Qaida.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), operating in Yemen, and the recently formed Ansar al-Sharia are a case in point: despite their different names and agendas, the two groups are frequently referred to as one and the same and are conceived of as somehow representing a joint force. This bias amongst commentators towards presenting a united al-Qaida in various regions of the world is conducive only to resurrecting the popular, yet deeply flawed theory that al-Qaida operates on a global basis as a cohesive group, with all that this implies for the threat it poses to global security.

Today more than ever before, al-Qaida and its local affiliates are highly fragmented and in disagreement as to their priorities of ideology and strategy. Indeed, the lines of fragmentation only begin here: beyond the increasing internal debate, al-Qaida and its local affiliates find themselves in direct contest with other, often more established Islamist groups with radically different worldviews and agendas, many of which now enjoy greater popularity because they are not so ready to spill the blood of their fellow Muslims.

Whilst the existence of groups such as The Signatories in Blood and the dramatic, violent nature of incidents such as mass hostage-takings and car-bombings heightens fears in the west of a resurgence of the al-Qaida that caused so much death and destruction on 9/11, the truth is that most of today’s al-Qaida franchises have a much more limited vision. Thus, when David Cameron announces that Britain must pursue the terrorists with an iron resolve, he unwittingly reinforces a notion of a unified Islamist threat that does not exist in that form. It is a convenient narrative which benefits both the propaganda machine of Islamists and the calls of those in the west who support military action, yet the true picture of those who claim to act in the name of al-Qaida – both in Africaand elsewhere – is far more nuanced, and much less of a threat to Europe, than we are commonly led to believe.

Christina Hellmich is reader in International Relations and Middle East Studies at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Reading

Russia: No plan for massive evacuation from Syria

Russia: No plan for massive evacuation from Syria


MOSCOW (AP) — Russia announced for the first time Wednesday that it has evacuated families of its diplomats in Syria some time ago but said it is not planning a large-scale evacuation of tens of thousands of its citizens from Syria.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also sought to play down the significance of evacuation of 77 of its citizens who had fled Syria and were flown back to Moscow on Wednesday. He told a news conference that about a thousand of tens of thousands of Russians residing in Syria contacted consular officials to express their interest in leaving the country, but there is no immediate plan for a large-scale evacuation.

Russia has been the main protector of Syrian President Bashar Assad, shielding him from the United Nations sanctions over his crackdown on an uprising that began in March 2011. The U.N. says over 60,000 people have died in the civil war so far.

Lavrov said the 77 Russians who left Syria took buses to Beirut, from where they flew home overnight on board the two planes provided by Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry.

“As for the Embassy, we proceed from the assumption that there should be no non-essential staff there,” Lavrov said. “Families have left long ago, but the Embassy is continuing to function in full. There are no other plans yet, or rather we have plans for any situation but there is no talk yet about implementing them.”

Some observers saw the evacuation of 77 Russians as a possible start of what could become a difficult and dangerous operation to rescue tens of thousands of Russians living in Syria as rebels gain momentum in their fight to oust Assad’s regime. Most of them are Russian woman married to Syrian men.

Rushana Vidova, who left the country with her Syrian husband Ali, said upon arrival at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport she is grateful to “Russia and all who helped us.”

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the overnight evacuation of Russian citizens from Syria “speaks to the continued deterioration of the security situation, and the violence that Assad is leading against his own people.”

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Another Govt. Minister( R.K. Singh) Names RSS Terrorist Suspects In Prominent Cases

10 accused in blast cases have RSS links: R.K. Singh

The Hindu


Home Secretary R.K. Singh released the list of terror suspects who had links with RSS. File photo.

The Hindu Photo Library Home Secretary R.K. Singh released the list of terror suspects who had links with RSS. File photo.

Union Home Secretary R.K. Singh said on Tuesday that at least 10 people having close links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliated organisations were named accused in various acts of terror across India.

“Yes, during investigations of Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and [Ajmer] Dargah Sharif blasts, we have found names of at least 10 persons who have been associated with the RSS at some point or the other,” he told journalists here.

His statement comes two days after Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in Jaipur that probe agencies had found the BJP and the RSS conducted training camps to spread terrorism. “We will have to think about it seriously and will have to remain alert,” he had said. His statement drew sharp reactions from the RSS and the BJP and the latter’s allies such as the Shiv Sena and the Janata Dal (United).

“We have evidence”

Did the government have any evidence of the RSS links of the persons arrested in the blast cases? “We have evidence against them… there are statements of witnesses,” the Home Secretary said.

Mr. Singh said Sunil Joshi [now dead], who worked for the RSS in Dewas and Mhow from the 1990s to 2003, was involved in the Samjhauta Express and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts.

An RSS ‘pracharak,’ Sandeep Dange, wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), was an accused in the two blasts and the one at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.

Lokesh Sharma, Rajender alias Samunder and Kamal Chouhan, now in jail for their involvement in the Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid blasts, were closely linked to the RSS. While Lokesh was its ‘nagar karyavahak’ (city functionary) in Deogarh, Rajendra was ‘varg vistarak’ (an important propagandist position). Ramji Kalsangra, who is also wanted for the Samjhauta Express and Mecca Masjid blasts, was an RSS associate, Mr. Singh said.

Ajmer blast

Another Godhra-based activist of the RSS, Mukesh Vasani, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast, while Devender Gupta, an RSS ‘pracharak’ in Mhow and Indore, was in jail in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast case. RSS activist in Shajhanpur, Chandrasekhar Leve, was arrested in the Mecca Masjid blast case, he said.

Mr. Singh also referred to Swami Aseemanand, who is alleged to be the main conspirator in the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts, and said he was associated with an RSS wing, Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad, in Dang, Gujarat, from the 1990s to 2007.

Afghan Spy Who Killed Mullah Nazir with Gift of Digital Quran Containing Tracking Chip, Dumped In Wana

[SEE:  They Had A Funeral In Wana for Mullah Nazir and 10,000 People Showed-Up–(where were the drones then?)]

Body of ‘Afghan spy’ dumped in South Waziristan: Officials


Two militants from pro-government warlord Mullah Nazir’s group accused the ‘spy’ of giving Nazir a digital Quran, fitted with chips to track his movements. Nazir was killed in a US drone strike earlier this month.—AFP Photo

PESHAWAR: Militants on Wednesday dumped the mutilated body of a purported Afghan spy accused of collaborating on US drone strikes that killed prominent warlord Mullah Nazir in South Waziristan this month, officials said.

The body of the man identified as Asmatullah Kharoti was found in Wana, the main town of the South Waziristan tribal district, which borders Afghanistan.

Local officials said he had been shot dead and there were wounds on his neck.

Two notes on the body ordered the remains to be left on the roadside until 10:00 am “so that everyone could see the fate of spies”, and the second accusing him of being a spy and being responsible for US drone attacks.

“He is a spy and was giving information to US and Isaf forces in Afghanistan about our activities,” a local official quoted the note as saying.

“He is responsible for the killing of five of our senior members, including Mullah Nazir, in drone attacks. He confessed that he installed chips in digital Qurans,” the note added.

Nazir was killed in a US drone strike on Jan 2. He was the main militant commander in South Waziristan and was known to be ‘pro-Pakistan’, focusing his attacks across the border to fight US, Nato and Afghan government troops in Afghanistan, and was accused of sheltering Al Qaeda.

He was one of the most high-profile victims of US drone strikes in Pakistan, which Islamabad publicly criticises as a violation of sovereignty but which US officials believe are a vital weapon in the war against extremists.

Two militants from Nazir’s group who spoke to AFP accused Kharoti of giving Nazir a digital Quran, fitted with chips to track his movements, during a meeting at an undisclosed location in Afghanistan.

“He presented Nazir and others digital Qurans as a gift which were fitted with chips which help US drones strike their targets,” one of the militants said.

“When Mullah Nazir was returning, US drones fired missiles at him in a Pakistani area,” he said.

Imperialists Tripping Over Each Other In Western Africa

[The following article from Sons of Malcolm gives the best explanation for the Mali invasion, whether it is for Empire or anti-Empire.  It is often so difficult to tell which side of the Hegelian coin is facing up, but the planned synthesis will normally contain both sides of the equation.  The report from Malcolm highlights the new understanding that the Imperialist powers are not always of one mind when it comes to new aggressions and getting blamed for them afterwards.  

The American/British position is always dominant in all things, yet upstart partner nations like France sometimes mistakenly think that they have some sort of independence of action just because American controllers allow them to share in the bloodshed, usually because of proximity of French forces to remote events, like those taking place in the former French colonies.  In Mali, American Imperialists were well on their way to controlling the entire country before their plans ran into the unintended consequences of the fateful destruction of Libya, in the form of heavily armed Tuareg tribal veterans who helped to defend Qaddafi.  The Pentagon was already well into incorporating this unforeseen circumstance into the existing great plan for taking over the new Libya-destabilized scenario in Mali, when the French butted-in to challenge the “Islamists” (SEE:  SOCOM Manufactured French Invasion of Mali, Training the Man Behind the Coup).  

Now that France is running up against all of the previously known factors which should have dissuaded Hollande from emulating Sarkozy’s strutting in Libya (lack of sufficient air transport, shortages of cash, smart weaponry, etc.), the US is prepared to make-up for the missing airlift capacity for the operation.  As usual, the Americans are sponsoring or trying to sponsor all sides in this latest conflict waiting to be managed.  

So, what we have in Mali is a supreme Imperial fuck-up, turned into a “cluster-fuck” by the unwanted French intervention.  “Islamists” are supposed to be co-opted or bought-off, NOT wiped-out.  Dumb ass French!]



Some people who oppose nato in Libya are stating that the coup in Mali is somehow some pro-Jamahirya, anti-imperialist development there. This article is a good balance to that notion. Reading through empire’s risk analysts and their media and newspapers, it seems rather clear that imperialism is not only not bothered with the coup, but sees it as something that goes in their interests.
Like some other struggles of the Global South, the Libyan resistance community online is stuffed full of odd balls and spies, and there is non-stop un-sourced un-cited claims and no doubt western intelligence service false news that is constantly spread about. If there isnt a solid source to a claim, if a video cannot be solidly verified, dont believe it and it is probably a good idea not the spread that news.
If there really was an anti-imperialist coup in Mali, it would be the perfect event for the imperialism’s propaganda machine to go into overdrive and justify the further re-colonisation of Africa. As the article states, there has been some minimal and meek protests from the west which costs them very little, and actually this coup may serve or even have been as a result of a wink and a nudge from empire.
Sukant Chanda, Sons of Malcolm
Mali Coup Has US Interventionism Written All Over It
The military coup that took place last week in Mali is a monument to the consequences of U.S. interventionism, and the military junta now vying for control of the West African country threatens to roll back democracy and human rights for the 15 million people living there.

Rebel troops seized power and toppled the government in a bid to oust President Amadou Toumani Toure who they claim insufficiently supported the military in a fight against Tuareg militants waging an insurgency in the north. Toure himself came to power in a 1991 coup, but surprised many when he handed power to a civilian government and was elected president in 2002.

The mutinous troops that led the coup have imposed a national curfew, announced the temporary suspension of the constitution,arrested their political opponents, and taken control of the state television broadcast. Already their reign is starkly contrasted with the widely acknowledged democratic record of the government they overthrew.

While Mali seems geopolitically insignificant compared to many other countries in Washington’s purview, U.S. foreign policy helped lay the groundwork for this coup.

The aftereffects of the U.S.-led NATO war in Libya which ousted Muammar Gadhafi had a strong hand in fomenting the coup and the coup leader, Captain Amadou Sanogo, received extensive training in the U.S. from 2004-2010.

Gadhafi had hired and armed many Tuareg fighters to defend him against the NATO-backed rebellion in Libya, and they returned to Mali at the Libyan war’s end stronger and more determined than ever. The Malian army’s frustration with President Toure for not arming them sufficiently to fight the Tuaregs reached a boiling point.

“The Libyan crisis didn’t cause this coup but certainly revealed the malaise felt within the army,” the Malian newspaper columnist Adam Thiam told the BBC News.

UN report released in February assessing ”the Libyan crisis” claimed that the impact of the NATO-backed rebel victory over Gadhafi “reverberated across the world” as “such neighboring countries as…Mali,” among many others, “bore the brunt of the challenges that emerged as a result of the crisis.”

“The Governments of these countries, especially those in the Sahel region, had to contend with the influx of hundreds of thousands of traumatized and impoverished returnees as well as the inflow of unspecified and unquantifiable numbers of arms and ammunition from the Libyan arsenal,” the report said.

The Malian government under President Toure has received millions of dollars in economic and military aid from Washington, especially since he started claiming the Tuaregs were aligned with al-Qaeda. The U.S. government “provided almost $138 million dollars in foreign assistance for Mali,” State Department African affairs spokeswoman Hilary Renner told McClatchy News. The aid was expected to rise in 2012 to over $170 million.

Sanogo, the coup leader, ”participated in several U.S.-funded International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs in the United States, including basic officer training,” Renner said. Trainees are handpicked for the program by U.S. embassies.

In addition to the International Military Education and Training program, Mali has also participated in the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Partnership, which bolsters U.S. military dominance throughout the region under the rubric of counterterrorism.

Mali also recently hosted U.S. troops in a military exercise named Atlas Accord 12. ”We have regularly had small teams traveling in and out of Mali to conduct specific training that has been requested by the Malian government and military,” Nicole Dalrymple, a spokeswoman for the Africa Command, told McClatchy.

Washington has attempted to paint the coup in Mali as undesirable, urging a return to civilian rule and threatening to cut off aid. But the alleged motivation of the rebel troops – that tougher counterterrorism measures are needed to fight the Tuareg insurgents – seems to overlap with Washington’s “national security” demands for the Sahel region.

Whether the coup was an intended U.S. plot is not known for sure at this point (although secret coups are a common tool in the established historical record of U.S. foreign policy). Either way Washington’s interventionist foreign policy undoubtedly had a hand in the events in Mali, and to the detriment of the Malian people, it seems.

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Indian Police Issue Advisory To Kashmir To Make Emergency Preparations To Survive Nuclear Attack

[SEE:  Lashkar e-Taiba Leader Hopes To Revive Jihad In Kashmir After US Leaves Afghanistan]

Disaster Response Force issues advisory on nuclear attack

greater kashmir


Srinagar, Jan 21: From construction of basements to stocking non-perishable food items and staying calm, Jammu and Kashmir Police’s Civil Defence and State Disaster Response Force on Monday issued a detailed advisory to people for protection in case a nuclear war erupts. The advisory comes at a time when there is deterioration in Indo-Pak relations in the wake of LoC skirmishes.
The advisory talks in detail about the steps people should take if there is a nuclear war and the measures needed to be taken during and after a nuclear attack.
“People should construct basements where the whole family can stay for a fortnight (in case of war),” reads the advisory. In case no basement was available, it reads, people should construct bunkers as in conventional war in an open space in front of the house as “some protection was better than no protection.”
The notice advises people to stock the shelter with non-perishable food items and water to be replaced regularly before it gets unhygienic.
“Construct toilet facilities at the basement, store ample candles and battery lights, remove stock of flammables, if any, keep battery-operated miniature transistor, TV sets in the basement to listen instructions being announced by the civil defense authorities,” the awareness notice issued in various local dailies in J&K goes on to add.


The notice reads that if a person was in open during nuclear attack, he/she should “immediately drop to ground and remain in lying position.”
The persons should protect his eyes and face by covering it with his/her hands and at the same time he/she is advised to protect his ears with fingers to prevent ear drum rapture.
“Stay down after the initial shock wave, wait for the winds to die down and debris to stop falling,” the notice reads. “If blast wave does not arrive within five seconds of the flash you were far enough from the ground zero and initial radiation exposure will not exceed 150 rads.”


The police notice advises people to “stay calm” and stay down under cover until debris stop falling, emphasizing that blast wind generally end in one or two minutes after burst and burns, cuts and bruises are no different than conventional injuries.
“Dazzle is temporary and vision should return in few seconds,” the notice reads. “The chance of being exposed to lethal dose of radiation is relatively small unless located in an early fallout area. Expect some initial disorientation as the blast wave may blow down and carry away many prominent and familiar features. Beware of weakened structures and trees from collapsing.”
The notice goes on to suggest several measures for protection against biological and chemical warfare too.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Home Guard and Civil Defence, Yoginder Kaul said the notice was a normal exercise to raise general awareness among public about disaster management. “It has nothing to do with anything and it should not be connected with anything,” he said.

Serbia Removes Statue Honoring Terrorist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Progeny, Albanians Protest

UN appeals for calm in Serbia amid protests

News Asia

Ethic Albanians protest in Presevo on January 21, 2013, a day after Serbian authorities removed a monument erected in the ethnic Albanian town of Presevo. (AFP/ARMEND NIMANI)

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations on Monday called for calm in southern Serbia amid protests there linked to the removal of a memorial local authorities had erected in honor of Albanian rebels.

More than 3,000 ethnic Albanians demonstrated in Presevo Monday against Belgrade’s removal of the engraved stone slab a day earlier.

Brandishing Albanian flags and shouting “Europe, open your eyes” and “Stop the violence,” the protesters laid flowers at the site where the monument once stood and demanded the “demilitarization” of the tense ethnically-mixed southern region.

The United Nations “is following developments in the Presevo valley and is appealing for calm,” said Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“The UN has consistently underscored the need for international and regional reconciliation in the western Balkans,” Nesirky said, adding that “peaceful protests should be allowed to go on.”

No incidents were reported during the demonstration that came a day after some 200 heavily-armed Serbian special police removed the monument put up outside the city hall in downtown Presevo, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of the capital Belgrade.

Belgrade said the monument to former fighters of the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (LAPMB) was taken down because it was erected illegally.

The six-foot (two-meter) rectangular stone slab displayed the LAPMB insignia in bright red, and has engravings of the names of guerrillas who died in a 2001 conflict.

Members of the LAPMB fought Serbian government forces, seeking to free the region from Serbian rule to join Kosovo, which was under UN administration at the time.

Saudi Secret Police Should Release 18 Women and 10 Children To Avoid Feeding “Saudi Spring”

Saudi Women Protesters Arrested, Spark Arab Spring II?

A group of protesting Saudi Arabian women arrested this month prompted a groundswell of outrage that may lead to a new Arab Spring II.

By Chana Ya’ar

A group of protesting Saudi Arabian women were arrested earlier this month, prompting a groundswell of outrage that may ultimately result in a sequel to the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

In what is seen as a new phenomenon in the kingdom, a ripple of outrage has begun following the arrests that came in response to demonstrations protesting the detention of male family members.

The incident, which took place in the town of Buraida, was reported by CNN, which quoted Saudi activists who said the kingdom has been trying to silence the women. Buraida is the provincial capital of Qassim Province, a conservative area of the country in which the detention of women is seen as a red line not to be crossed.

Mothers, daughters, sisters and wives had gathered to demand rights denied to their male relatives by the Board of Grievances.

A female Saudi journalist covering the story, Iman Al Qahtani, told CNN that she was stopped by Saudi secret police – the Mubahith – when she tried to gain access to those who had been arrested, and was warned to leave town.

The Amnesty International human rights organization documented the incident, calling in a statement for the release of the 18 women and 10 children who were arrested and detained. “There is no way the Saudi Arabian authorities can justify detaining people if they have simply peacefully exercised their rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” said Phillip Luther, Middle East and North Africa AI program director.

Thus far, just seven women have been released. But the incident may have finally brought a new ‘Arab Spring’ to the kingdom, having also inspired a groundswell of demonstrations in support for the women from protesters as far away as Riyadh, the capital, and even in Mecca,  the religious center of the country.

Such protesters have included men, many of whom are related to thousands of inmates being held with no access to lawyers and  without trials in connection with ‘counter terrorism’ sweeps throughout the kingdom. They are beginning to chant a new slogan around the country: “The people call for the liberation of the prisons.”

Saudis Panic Hold Arab Economic Summit Seeking Price-Tag To Buy-Off “Arab Springers”


[The House of Saud’s days are numbered.  Anything any of us can do to shorten those days of Saudi tyranny would be greatly appreciated by many.]

Economic upheaval of Arab Spring dominates Riyadh meet 


BEIRUT/RIYADH: Prime Minister Najib Mikati called on Arab leaders to seek tangible solutions as he arrived in Saudi Arabia Sunday to attend Monday’s opening of the major two-day Arab Economic and Social Development summit.

Mikati is met by Deputy Emir Mohammad bin Saad upon his arrival at Riyadh airport.
Mikati is met by Deputy Emir Mohammad bin Saad upon his arrival at Riyadh airport.

“We are invited to meet the challenges presented in this summit … and move to a time of inclusive growth,” Mikati wrote on his Twitter page.

“We need to produce practical results beyond promises or decisions that remain without executive frameworks,” he added.

Mikati was accompanied by Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi, Economy Minister Nicolas Nahhas and Industry Minister Vreij Sabounjian.

Sources ruled out any political agenda behind the prime minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Lebanese local media outlets reported.

Mikati’s ties with Saudi Arabia have reportedly deteriorated after he agreed to take over from former Prime Minister Saad Hariri in office. Hariri, who has close ties with the Saudi royal family, was toppled by Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister told Agence France Presse that the summit must break with tradition and tackle people’s aspirations in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.

“Our meeting should not be mired in routine,” Prince Saud al-Faisal said at a meeting Saturday ahead of the summit.

“The Arab world has faced these past two years upheavals of a political dimension … but we cannot ignore their economic dimension,” he added.

Poverty, unemployment and social inequalities were among the causes that triggered a Tunisian uprising in late 2010 that later spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Experts have warned that the Arab world risks losing the fragile gains made by the uprisings, which brought an end to decades of iron-fisted rule by leaders in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

A recent economic report noted that unemployment in 2011 stood at 16 percent in Arab countries, with 17 million people out of 300 million jobless.

At the same time inter-Arab investments stood at a mere $25 billion across the region.

The summit in oil-rich Saudi Arabia is expected to discuss the amendment of an Arab convention on investments in a bid to bolster the role of the private sector, Faisal said.

The meeting would also examine means of drawing up new financial resources to support impoverished Arab states, he added.


SOCOM Manufactured French Invasion of Mali, Training the Man Behind the Coup

[SEE:  Watching American Special Forces Setting the World On Fire]

‘Pentagon’s hand behind French intervention in Mali’

French soldiers walk past a hangar they are staying at the Malian army air base in Bamako. (Reuters / Joe Penney)

French soldiers walk past a hangar they are staying at the Malian army air base in Bamako. (Reuters / Joe Penney)

As French soldiers pour into Mali in the fight to push back the advancing Islamist militants, questions have been raised as to the motives behind the intervention. Author William Engdahl told RT the US was using France as a scapegoat to save face.

RT: At a time when France and the rest of the Eurozone are trying to weather the economic crisis, what’s Paris seeking to gain by getting involved in another conflict overseas?

William Engdahl: Well, I think the intervention in Mali is another follow-up to the French role in other destabilizations that we’ve seen, especially in Libya last year with the toppling of the Gadhafi regime. In a sense this is French neocolonialism in action.

Sanogo Amadou Sanogo – Leader of Malian Coup d’Etat

But, interestingly enough, I think behind the French intervention is the very strong hand of the US Pentagon which has been preparing this partitioning of Mali, which it is now looming to be, between northern Mali, where al-Qaeda and other terrorists are supposedly the cause for French military intervention, andsouthern Mali, which is a more agricultural region. Because in northern Mali recently there have been huge finds of oil discovered, so that leads one to think that it’s very convenient that these armed rebels spill over the border from Libya last year and just at the same time a US-trained military captain creates a coup d’état in the Southern capital of Mali and installs a dictatorial regime against one of Africa’s few democratically elected presidents.

So this whole thing bears the imprint of US Africom [US Africa Command] and an attempt to militarize the whole region and its resources. Mali is a strategic lynchpin in that. It borders Algeria which is one of the top goals of these various NATO interventions from France, the US and other sides. Mauritania, the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Burkina Faso. All of this area is just swimming in untapped resources, whether it be gold, manganese, copper.

RT: Why was France the first Western country to get involved to such an extent? And what sort of message is this military initiative sending to its allies?

WE: Well I think that’s the Obama Administration’s strategy – let France take the hit on this as they did in Libya and other places in the past year and-a-half and the US will try and play a more discrete role in the background rather than being upfront as they were in Iraq and Afghanistan which cost the US huge amounts of credibility around the world. They’re playing a little bit more of a sly game here, but the rush for the US to announce its support the French military intervention and the actions of Africom over the past year and-a-half, two years ,in Mali make clear that this is a US operation with the French as a junior partner.

RT: How far could this conflict potentially escalate? Could the French get bogged down, and who else is likely to get involved?

WE: The other European countries are loath to get involved in an Afghan-type ground situation with their troops. The Germans are providing humanitarian aid and some special forces training so far, but, frankly, I think al-Qaeda in northern Maghreb is a very suspicious operation and the timing of its activities coming over the border suggests that perhaps some NATO countries might be helping the al-Qaeda group to get military weapons and create the Chaucer’s belly that justifies NATO intervention. I think we’re seeing a very cynical game being played out here in Mali and it’s a very dangerous one when Africa is suddenly becoming a continent that’s been discovered by China, by the US and Europe and the rest of the world as the next place where untold wealth and resources can be captured.

‘Cascade of consequences’

When France started the intervention in Mali, it should have been prepared to face a “cascade of unnecessary consequences”, such as the hostage situation in Algeria, political analyst Alex Korbel from Contrepoints, has told RT.

“We are trading a potential threat by an actual count of casualties, and we are talking about civilians here,” he said to the channel.

As the rebels are engaging the forces, the conflict is bound to cross borders into the neighboring states, that could potentially engulf the entire West Africa, the analyst believes. Korbel thinks that France has made a mistake by getting involved in a conflict which he says is bound to escalate.

“Are we really prepared to fight a war in the whole of Western Africa? I do not think so,” Korbel told the viewers.

The French public also does not support the approach of the French government, “because when he was elected 64 percent of the French public considered that Francois Hollande would not be able to tackle an international crisis”adding that soon the public will “realize that it is an unnecessary war, costly war.”

The analyst believes that France simply cannot finance this war.

“We are now in 16 different military operations around the world and Mali is the last one. The public debt represents a real problem and the budget has not been balanced since 1974, clearly we do not have a cent to finance another unnecessary war,” he told RT.

Indian Home Minister Shinde Confirms BJP and RSS Training Hindu Terrorists

BJP, RSS spreading saffron terrorism: Shinde

zee news

Zee news Bureau

Jaipur: Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Sunday kicked up a storm by alleging that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) are promoting Hindu terrorism in their training camps. 

“They are talking about infiltration but we have this report that whether it is the BJP or the RSS, their training camps are promoting Hindu terrorism,” Shinde said.

Speaking at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) meeting here, Shinde said, “We are keeping a strict eye on it. The Samjhauta Express blast, Mecca Masjid (blast), Malegaon blast — they are planting bombs and blaming minorities for it. We need to be careful for safety of our country.”

Strongly reacting to Shinde’s statement, BJP said Home Minister’s statement is irresponsible and unfortunate. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Home Minister is trying to disrupt the peaceful environment of the country.

Meanwhile, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav also termed Shinde’s statement as highly irresponsible.

“If a Congress leader had said something like this it wouldn’t had matter that much, but if a Home Minister of the country is saying something like this it is highly irresponsible.”

The RSS leader further questioned government’s motive and said that they first arrested Muslim youths in connection with the particular blasts case, but suddenly in the recent times things have changed and Hindu youths are being wrongly arrested.

“This is all about playing vote-bank politics”, he said.

Advocating Shinde’s views, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said that the Home Minister is 100 percent right in what he has said.

Dead Royals Walking–When the Saudi Royal Family Falls Under It’s Own Executioner’s Sword

Brookings’ Bruce Riedel urges intensified US support for Saudi despots

the guardian

Every now and then, leading mavens of the Foreign Policy Community have an uncharacteristic outburst of candor

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah welcomes former British Prime Minister Blair in Riyadh

Tony Blair meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Ho/REUTERS

When it comes to the US “foreign policy community”, few if any people are more representative of it than Bruce Riedel. A 30-year CIA officer and adviser to the last four US presidents, he is now a senior fellow at the wing of the Brookings Institution funded by entertainment mogul Haim Saban (whom the New York Times described as “a tireless cheerleader for Israel” and who described himself this way: “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel”). In 2012, Riedel contributed to a book on Iran by Brookings “scholars” which argued that the US could launch a war against Iran by covertly provoking its government into responses that could then falsely be depicted by the US to the world “as an unprovoked act of Iranian aggression” – exactly what Brookings’ Ken Pollack proposed be done in 2002 to deceitfully justify the attack on Iraq.According to Brookings, “in January 2009, President Barack Obama asked Riedel to chair a review of American policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan, the results of which the president announced in a speech on March 27, 2009.”

When they speak publicly, the mavens of the Foreign Policy Community – whose primary function is to justify US militarism and aggression – typically disguise their real beliefs and objectives with specialized obfuscating jargon. But every now and then, they have an outburst of uncharacteristic candor that clarifies their actual worldview. Such is the case with a remarkably clear memorandum to President Obama that Riedel just authored and Brooking published regarding the extremely close US alliance with the regime in Saudi Arabia.

Riedel begins by noting that “Saudi Arabia is the world’s last absolute monarchy” and “like Louis XIV, King Abdallah has complete authority.” Moreover, “the Saudi royal family has shown no interest in sharing power or in an elected legislature.” The Saudi regime not only imposes total repression on its own people but is also vital, he argues, in maintaining tyranny in multiple neighboring states: “they have helped ensure that revolution has not unseated any Arab monarch” and “the other monarchs of Arabia would inevitably be in jeopardy if revolution comes to Saudi Arabia.” Specifically:

“The Sunni minority in Bahrain could not last without Saudi money and tanks. Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates are city-states that would be unable to defend themselves against a Saudi revolutionary regime, despite all their money.”

So given this extreme human suffering and repression imposed by the Saudi monarchy in multiple countries, what should the US – the Leader of the Free World and the self-proclaimed Deliverer of Freedom and Democracy – do? To Riedel, the answer is obvious: work even harder, do even more, to strengthen the Saudi regime as well as the neighboring tyrannies in order to crush the “Arab Awakenings” and ensure that democratic revolution cannot succeed in those nations.

Riedel stridently argues that the US must remain steadfastly opposed to any democratic revolutions in the region. That’s because Saudi Arabia is “America’s oldest ally in the Middle East, a partnership that dates back to 1945.” Thus, “since American interests are so intimately tied to the House of Saud, the US does not have the choice of distancing the United States from it in an effort to get on the right side of history.”

Instead, he insists, while Obama should “encourage” the Saudi King to accelerate the modest reforms he has abstractly embraced, the overarching principle driving US actions should be that “the overthrow of the monarchy would represent a severe setback to America’s position in the region and provide a dramatic strategic windfall for Iran.” And the US should not only prop up the Saudi dictatorship, but also must “be ready to shore up the neighboring kingdoms and sheikhdoms.” As a Bahraini correspondent wrote about this Riedel memo: “Brookings is basically telling Obama to make sure we remain ruled by dictatorial regimes.”

The only thing unclear about Riedel’s memo is why he perceives any urgency to write it. As he notes, US policy long has been and still is exactly what he advocates: to ensure that the people of Saudi Arabia remain tyrannized by this monarchy:

“The critical defender of the regime would be the National Guard. King Abdallah has spent his life building this Praetorian elite force. The United States has trained and equipped it with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of helicopters and armored vehicles.”

Just last week, President Obama emphasized how critical his alliance with the House of Saud is by doing something a US president rarely does: hosting not a fellow head of state but a mere minister (Saudi Minister of Interior, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud) in the Oval Office. Afterward, the White House proclaimed that Obama and the Saudi Prince “affirmed the strong partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia”.

Indeed, the Obama administration has continuously lavished the Saudi Kingdom with a record amount of arms and other weapons, and has done the same for the Bahraini tyranny. He has done all this while maintaining close-as-ever alliances with the Gulf State despots as they crush their own democratic movements.

As always, the rationale for this steadfast US support for Arab tyranny is dubious at best. Riedel notes that “while the United States can live without Saudi oil, China, India, Japan and Europe cannot” – but it’s absurd to think that whoever rules Saudi Arabia would refuse to sell its oil on the world market. Riedel also argues that “the CIA war against al-Qaida is heavily dependent on the Kingdom” – that gets closer to the truth, but it just shows how this endless “war” is the author of most of America’s bad acts in the region, and it’s ironic indeed that the only government with valid links to the 9/11 perpetrators has become the closest US ally in the “war on terror”, while governments with no such links – starting with Iran – have become perpetual US enemies.

Riedel also says that “the Saudis have also been a key player in containing Iran for decades.” But when it comes to repression and tyranny, Iran – as atrocious as its regime is capable of being – is no match for the Saudis. There is zero reason to view Iran as an implacable enemy of the US, and it is certainly no justification for imposing absolute tyranny on millions of people in the Arab world merely because those regimes are similarly hostile to Iran.

But as I emphasized last week, the point here is not to object to US support for the world’s worst dictators; it is, instead, to urge that this reality be acknowledged. Despite this obvious truth – that the US has no objection whatsoever to tyranny but rather loves and supports it when tyrants are faithful to its interests – hordes of foreign policy “experts” shamelessly pretend that the US and its Nato allies are committed to spreading freedom and democracy and fighting despotism in order to justify every new US and Nato intervention.

Just listen to the patently deceitful rhetoric that spews forth from US political leaders and their servants in the Foreign Policy Community when it comes time to rail against anti-US regimes in Libya, Syria and Iran. That the US and its Nato allies – eager benefactors of the world’s worst tyrants – are opposed to those regimes out of concern for democracy and human rights is a pretense, a conceit, so glaring and obvious that it really defies belief that people are willing to advocate it in public with a straight face. Even Riedel notes the real reason for those interventions: the Saudis, he writes, are “pragmatists and have backed revolutions in Libya and Syria that undermine longstanding enemies of the Kingdom, especially Iran.”

The same inane rhetoric is pouring forth in the debate over the Mali intervention. The same countries that are arming the worst human rights abusers on the African continent are simultaneously flattering themselves as crusaders for human rights by bombing Mali. Meanwhile, those who point out that bombing Muslims in yet another country will be used by al-Qaida to strengthen itself further – as the NYT put it: “the backlash might end up being worse than the original threat” – are predictably smeared as Terrorist sympathizers by the self-proclaimed experts of the Foreign Policy Community who exist to justify US and Nato militarism (see here and here as examples).

It’s the same warped, flagrantly propagandistic debate that has been taking place over and over for decades. It’s how the Saudi-loving George Bush and Tony Blair were able to tell their citizens that their former ally, Saddam Hussein, had to be attacked and removed from power in part because of how tyrannical he was (citing past human rights abuses that took place when he was supported by the US and Nato allies). And it’s how those who pointed out all of the contradictions and hypocrisies in these pro-freedom claims were systematically smeared as being pro-Saddam.

Critically, this propaganda about the commitment to human rights and democracy of the US and its Nato allies is aimed at, and only works on, the domestic populations of those countries. People in the region where these pro-tyranny policies are imposed by Nato members are fully aware of this reality, as public opinion polls unambiguously prove. But when there exists a massive apparatus of self-proclaimed experts calling itself the Foreign Policy Community that exists to propagate these myths, and a US media that similarly views the world through the prism of the US government, it is easy to see why these myths, despite how patently absurd they are, work so effectively. The fact that one can have a memo like Riedel’s so clearly explaining US policy to support the worst tyrannies that serve its interests, sitting right next to endless US pro-war rhetoric about the urgency of fighting for freedom and democracy, is an outstanding testament to that myth-making.

Obama’s Middle East: the politics of hopelessness

Obama’s Middle East: the politics of hopelessness


Obama’s Middle East: the politics of hopelessness

RAMALLAH: Many critics of President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy seemed to preserve a degree of hope, especially during the run up to the 2012 president elections, in spite of numerous letdowns. During his second term, it was oft repeated, Obama will be free of the constraints that accompany worrying about reelection, and he will be able to inject into US foreign policy a stout dose of justice.

Obama’s cautious posturing towards the Arab Spring and failure to press for any meaningful justice for Palestinians were both repeatedly forgiven by analysts, pundits, and polemicists who naively believed that the only thing standing between fixing America’s image in the Middle East was the threat of a Mitt Romney election and a throng of Republicans in Congress.

The president’s record suggests otherwise, however. As the leader of a two-party government dominated by corporate influence, foreign lobbies, interest groups, and still committed to hegemonic aspirations, Obama neither desires nor is capable of redressing legitimate grievances in the Middle East. His own record, spotted with dubious diplomacy and a highly questionable claim to human rights, allots us a preview of what to expect of American involvement in the Middle East during his second term.

Egypt, Bahrain, and other troublesome American real estate

Only after the ouster of Egypt’s former tyrant Hosni Mubarak was imminent did the Obama administration grant the January 25 revolution its blessings. As the administration belatedly declared that Mubarak ought to step down and clear the path for democracy, the regime continued its vicious crackdown on protesters, employing American arms in a fruitless attempt to asphyxiate the revolution.

Since the moment the morally tenuous endorsement was proclaimed, the United States has been several steps behind every development throughout the course of the revolution, the period of military rule, and the present epoch of Muslim Brotherhood patronage.

While the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), essentially the same faces and framework of the former Mubarak regime, brutally smashed demonstrations in now-famous Tahrir Square, security forces clouded Egyptian streets with the fog of tear gas, the canisters of which were abhorrently labeled with an American-made stamp.

Once the SCAF finally did step aside for democratic elections, for which a proper incubation period of preparation and campaigning had not been adequately conducted, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, one of the only permitted to organize under three decades of Mubarak tyranny, captured the presidency.

A shrewd and calculative strategist, the newly-crowned President Mohammad Morsi waited for the right moment to effectively assume the dimensions of Mubarak’s former power. After satisfying the US by successfully brokering a ceasefire between the Hamas-led militants of the Gaza Strip and Israel, Morsi wasted no time in issuing a presidential decree that essentially abolished the newly-acquired trappings of Egyptian democracy.

Much like his predecessor, Morsi sacrificed his prior commitment to pursuing justice for the Palestinians in order to consolidate his throne in Cairo, and he did so with full American support, punctuated solely by sparse and unconvincing proclamations of disappointment and concern.

In Bahrain, where a similar uprising was raging on at roughly the same time, American officials couldn’t even be moved to express verbal support for democracy. In March 2011, as former Defense Minister Robert Gates arrived on a visit to the cringing little island’s royal family, tens of thousands of protesters were being stomped into submission by Saudi-assisted and American-armed security forces.

The roughly 70 percent Shia majority is regarded by the minority ruling sect as a fifth column for Iran, and thus, in the US government’s eyes, has no right to demand legitimate representation in a government not doomed to toil under the sectarian-centric concerns of a autocratic monarchy.

Authentic Bahraini self-determination, the sculptors of US foreign policy decided, does not mesh with imperial designs for the region, especially not on an island that serves as the parking lot of the US Navy’s 5th Fleet and is cursed to be situated immediately between the increasingly-bellicose theocracy in Iran and the generous oil fields of the Saudi Arabian police state, the most despotic and important American ally in the Gulf.

In Syria, where the most horrifying show of bloodshed presses on, Washington and Moscow have played a crude game of geopolitical posturing. As the balancing act goes on, Russia hoping to preserve its client and the US seeking to destabilize the balance of power against Iranian influence, over 60,000 Syrians died since the civil war broke out, according to a recent UN report. Other reports have alleged that certain factions of the anti-Assad resistance have received American arms, while others have been placed on the official terrorist list.

As changes continue in the region, the Obama administration and its Democratic Party backers have sought to seize the opportunity to ensure American hegemony in the region in a manner that effectively functions as a present-day Sykes-Picot Agreement, redrawing the borders of influence and installing new client regimes and preserving existing ones elsewhere.


As the latest Israeli military offensive against the already besieged Gaza Strip got under way in November, and while what must have seemed to Gazans an endless onslaught of death fell from above, President Obama ironically declared that no nation, least of which Israel, should be expected to tolerate rockets hitting the residential areas of its territory. The president firmly reiterated that Israel reserved the unconditional right to “self-defense,” which he ostensibly viewed the latest war on Gaza.

But the offensive was by no means necessary from a security perspective. The assassination of Hamas military chief Ahmad Ja’abari, which broke an informal ceasefire and began the latest war, was a carefully planned attempt to spark another round of fighting that would secure Israeli hegemony and win back the sympathy of an increasingly pro-Palestinian international community.

That the offensive was unnecessary from a security perspective became even clearer when Gershon Baskin, an Israeli peace activist and negotiator for the 2011 release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, revealed that Ja’abari had just hours before received paperwork for a final truce agreement with Israel, including a detailed strategy to maintain a lasting ceasefire.

Until Ja’abari’s assassination, no Israeli civilians had been killed by rocket attacks in 2012. According to thePalestinian Center for Human Rights, during the eight days that followed, around 160 Palestinians were killed, 102 of which were civilians, by far reaching Israeli airstrikes across the 136-square-kilometer coastal enclave. Five Israelis died, including three civilians, as a result of rockets launched from Gaza.

Less than a month after the tenuous ceasefire was reached, the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority sought a peaceful and diplomatic path by seeking the approval of the United Nations General Assembly for a resolution recognizing an independent, sovereign Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, encompassing all of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and including East Jerusalem as its capital.

The overwhelming majority of the world supported Palestine, though the United States, Israel, and a handful of their allies opposed it. After this astounding display of hypocrisy, it quickly became impossible for the Obama administration to declare its commitment to a two-state solution: Israel immediately announced a plan to settle the E1 area of the West Bank, dividing the West Bank into two separate slithers of land and enclosing a circle around occupied East Jerusalem with Jewish settlements.

A few half-throated groans alighted from Washington, but Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, unfazed as usual by hollow American objections, promised to move forward with plans to settle the E1 and elsewhere in the West Bank. By not acting, it became perfectly clear that the two-decade peace process, always under American auspices, has been little more than a smokescreen for Israel’s project to colonize the embattled remains of Palestine one plot of land at a time.

Now many Palestinians are abandoning the call for territorial liberation and turning their struggle towards equal national and political rights in a single secular and democratic entity. Will the Obama administration still be able to tout its Israeli ally as “the Middle East’s only democracy” as more and more of the world comes to understand it as an apartheid state governed by laws that historically echo America’s own Jim Crow era?

Obama’s New Year: Hopeless after all

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama introduced in America a new “politics of hope.” After eight difficult years of toiling under the patronage of George W Bush and his neoconservative outfit, Americans sought to repair America’s badly damaged international image. The president initially ran on a platform of withdrawing from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, closing the morally shameful Guantanamo Bay, and, as he proclaimed in a 2009 Cairo Address, building a new relationship “based on mutual interest and respect; one based on the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition.”

Yet, as Obama enters his second presidential term, little has changed. Although the Iraq disaster was finally put to an end, life in Post-occupation Iraq is still marred by sectarian violence, economic disaster, and political disunity. It’s impossible for the Middle East to view America as an improved entity as that hangover persists, and it doesn’t help that the Obama administration has continued to employ torture, fill Guantanamo with detainees, execute a drone program that costs hundreds of civilian lives, and has hitherto been on the wrong side of every uprising in the Middle East since the awesome string of revolutions first erupted in Tunisia in December 2010. Once again standing in the way of Palestinian self-determination only makes matters worse.

Those who still believe that President Obama is capable of saving America from its spiraling moral decline would be well advised to examine his record. For the Middle East, far from being a period of reversing imperial injustice, all the evidence suggests that the president’s second term will shape up to be another epoch of hopelessness.


Turkish-Bulgarian Politician Survives On-Air Assassination Attempt By Fellow Turk

Man sticks gun in the face of Bulgarian politician during televised speech


Ahmed Dogan, 58, who leads the country’s ethnic Turkish party, escaped unharmed after Oktai Enimehmedov, 25, a fellow ethnic Turk, rushed him with a gun in front of an audience of 3,000.


	epa03544261 A still grab from a broadcast by Bulgarian television channel BTV handed out by BTV on 19 January 2013 shows an unidentified man (R) pointing a gun at Ahmet Dogan (C), leader of the MRF party of the Turkish minority in Bulgaria, during a party conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, 19 January 2013. The leader of Bulgaria's opposition Movement for Rights and Freedoms escaped an apparent assassination attempt 19 January while addressing a party congress in Sofia, local media reported. The attacker pointed a gun at Dogan, but was prevented from firing, according to the reports. While security wrestled with the attacker, Dogan was tackled to the ground by his bodyguards. The oppositional Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) has deputies in the National Assembly in Sofia and in the EU parliament. 


A image grab from a broadcast by Bulgarian television shows a man pointing a gun at party leader Ahmet Dogan (left) of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom party during a party conference in Sofia, Bulgaria on Saturday. Dogan escaped from the encounter unharmed after security intervened.

A top Bulgarian politician had a brush with death on Saturday after a gunman pointed a pistol at his head as he delivered a televised speech. 

Ahmed Dogan escaped unscathed after falling to the ground as security tackled the gunman in front of stunned meeting hall of 3,000 people in the capital, Sofia. No shots were fired, but the Sofia Globe reports that sources say the gun might have jammed.
“Ahmed Dogan is in good health. Everything is under control,” Ceyhan Ibryamov, a member of Dogan’s political party, said after the incident.
Dogan has led Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish party for 25 years. He was in the middle of a speech to party members when a man in a black coat rushed the stage, holding a gun at arm’s length pointed directly in the face of the 58-year-old politician. Delegates and security jumped on the man, and television footage shows them beating, kicking and punching him.
Police arrested 25-year-old Oktai Enimehmedov, a Bulgarian man and ethnic Turk from the Black Sea town of Burgas. Enimehmedov was also carrying two knives, officials said.
It was unclear how he got past security and into the meeting hall. His motive was not known.
Bulgarian officials say Enimehmedov has a criminal record for drug possession, robberies and hooliganism.
Saturday’s incident was the most serious attack on a  politician in post-communist Bulgaria since ex-prime Minister Andrei Lukanov was shot dead near his home in 1996.

“Islamist” Killers Lay Seige To Kurds In Ras al-Ain

[These bloodthirsty jihadis kill anyone they encounter, after coming across the Turkish or Jordanian borders.  They don’t even know who they actually are killing.  A large part of them swore that they were fighting to liberate Jerusalem.]
Residents pass buildings destroyed in a regime bombardment in Ras al-Ain on November 26, 2012. Syrian Kurds urged the opposition on Saturday to halt a siege against them by Islamist rebels, as the UN condemned the killing of dozens of children across the country over the past week.
Residents pass buildings destroyed in a regime bombardment in Ras al-Ain on November 26, 2012. Syrian Kurds urged the opposition on Saturday to halt a siege against them by Islamist rebels, as the UN condemned the killing of dozens of children across the country over the past week.

Syria’s Kurds urge opposition to stop Islamist attack

France 24

AFP – Syrian Kurds urged the opposition on Saturday to halt a siege against them by Islamist rebels, as the UN condemned the killing of dozens of children across the country over the past week.

The Kurdish National Council, a pro-opposition umbrella group of Syrian Kurdish parties, condemned what it said was an ongoing assault “against unarmed civilians” by jihadist insurgents on the northern town of Ras al-Ain.

It said the rebels, who came across the border from Turkey, were shelling the town indiscriminately, and called on the main opposition National Coalition and the Free Syrian Army to “pressure these militants to stop this criminal war which is detrimental to the Syrian revolution.”

A member of Liwa (Brigade) Salahadin, a Kurdish military unit fighting alongside rebel fighters, aims at a regime fighter in the besieged district of Karmel al-Jabl in eastern Aleppo on December 6, 2012. Syrian Kurds urged the opposition on Saturday to halt a siege against them by Islamist rebels, as the UN condemned the killing of dozens of children across the country over the past week.
A member of Liwa (Brigade) Salahadin, a Kurdish military unit fighting alongside rebel fighters, aims at a regime fighter in the besieged district of Karmel al-Jabl in eastern Aleppo on December 6, 2012. Syrian Kurds urged the opposition on Saturday to halt a siege against them by Islamist rebels, as the UN condemned the killing of dozens of children across the country over the past week.

On Saturday, one rebel was killed in shelling and fierce clashes that pitted the jihadist Al-Nusra Front against Kurdish fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A resident of Ras al-Ain told AFP both sides appeared to be preparing for a fierce battle, with Kurdish fighters building fortifications and digging trenches, and rebels bringing in reinforcements from across the border.

Turkey, which supports the revolt against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is home to a sizeable Kurdish minority whose demands for greater independence it has moved to suppress, notably in air strikes on Kurdish militants groups.

Activists say Turkey may be using jihadists in Syria to fight its own battle against the Kurds.

Elsewhere, Syrian warplanes raided the eastern outskirts of Damascus as army reinforcements arrived in Daraya, a key battleground near the capital, the Observatory said.

The violence came a day after 149 people were killed, according to the Observatory, including 103 civilians and 18 children.

The United Nations Children’s Fund condemned the killing of children in Syria..

“A series of reports from Syria this week underlines the terrible price children are paying” in a conflict that has ravaged the country for 22 months and killed more than 60,000 people, UNICEF said.

“Media reports (Friday) from the scene of mass killings in the village of Hasawiya outside Homs said whole families were among the dead,” it added.

“UNICEF condemns these latest incidents in the strongest terms, and once again calls on all parties to ensure civilians — and children especially — are spared the effects of the conflict.”

The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics for its information, says 3,538 children have been killed since the start of the revolt in March 2011.

Syrian-Kurdish refugees walk past UN tents in the Domiz refugee camp, 20 km southeast of the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk, on November 10, 2012. Syrian Kurds urged the opposition on Saturday to halt a siege against them by Islamist rebels, as the UN condemned the killing of dozens of children across the country over the past week.
Syrian-Kurdish refugees walk past UN tents in the Domiz refugee camp, 20 km southeast of the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk, on November 10, 2012. Syrian Kurds urged the opposition on Saturday to halt a siege against them by Islamist rebels, as the UN condemned the killing of dozens of children across the country over the past week.

Meanwhile, Syria’s foreign ministry criticised a petition by UN rights chief Navi Pillay and 58 countries calling for a war crimes case against Damascus to be opened at the International Criminal Court.

“The Syrian government regrets the persistence of these countries in following the wrong approach and refusing to recognise the duty of the Syrian state to protect its people from terrorism imposed from abroad,” it said.

Those countries, are “hindering the Syrian national dialogue for a peaceful settlement of the crisis as proposed by Assad on January 6.” Those talks would only include opposition forces tolerated by the regime, disqualifying the vast majority of the country’s rebels.

Rebels offered a stark reply on Saturday by assassinating Khaled al-Hilal, a local official responsible for arranging any such talks in the southern province of Daraa.

Relatives of Murdered Female Kurdish Activists Held By Paris Police


07ANKARA2917  2007-12-07  “We also should press the Europeans to take action against the two most notorious PKK/KGK financiers in Europe, Riza Altun and Sakine Cansiz. Riza Altun is known to be a top PKK financier. He fled judicial arrest in France in July and Austrian authorities allowed him to fly to Iraq on July 13, but he recently has been seen traveling again in Europe. Sakine Cansiz is a PKK/KGK financier and weapons and tactical strategist. She was arrested in Germany but released by a Hamburg court on April 27 after 40 days of detention and remains in Europe. Their re-arrest and prosecution would limit PKK/KGK activities and signal that Europe is not a free zone for PKK/KGK.”

[SEE:  Kurdish activists murdered in Paris: 2 people in custody]

Kurds Vent Anger at Paris Killings, as Politicians Vow to Continue Peace Talks

rudaw kurd logo

Thousands of Kurdish protesters in Paris vented their anger Saturday at the killing of three female activists of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), calling for revenge and justice. Photo: Rudaw.


PARIS, France – Thousands of Kurdish protesters in Paris vented their anger Saturday at the killing of three female activists of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), calling for revenge and justice, as politicians vowed that controversial peace talks with Turkey would not be derailed.

PKK co-founder Sakine Cansiz, Kurdish lobbyist Fidan Dogan and the young Kurdish activist Leyla Soylemez were shot dead at the Kurdistan Information Centre in Paris on Thursday.

At least some of the protesters’ anger was directed at France, for not doing more to protect Kurdish activists.

“If the French do not investigate this we will see them as responsible too,” said an angry Kurd who traveled by bus from Germany to attend the demonstrations.

The PKK said that, “The French Government can exculpate itself only if it reveals the perpetrators of the murder. Otherwise the Kurds will hold the French government responsible for this massacre.”

Reports that the building where the murders took place was monitored closely by French authorities have raised question marks about how the killers had gotten away.

Cansiz, a co-founder of the PKK, was seen as a top target by the US government, which wanted European Union countries to do more against the militants. According to a WikiLeaks cable from the US embassy in Ankara from 2007, Washington wanted Germany to arrest her and Riza Altun, calling them “the two most notorious… financiers in Europe” for militant Kurdish groups.

In France and other EU countries Kurdish activists and politicians were indeed arrested and prosecuted for involvement in PKK activities.

The murders came amid reports of controversial peace talks in Turkey between Ankara and the PKK’s jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan, aimed at disarming rebels who have waged a decades-old war for greater rights for Turkey’s large Kurdish minority.

“The perpetrators want to block the peace process,” said Zubeyir Aydar, a PKK official who was involved in the failed Oslo peace talks between Turkey and the PKK in 2009.

“We must prevent them from achieving this aim. We, as an organization, must prevent the end of the peace process. That’s how our leader Apo (Ocalan) thinks, and we will not take any other stance,” he told Rudaw.

Faik Yagizay, Europe representative for the Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in Turkey, said that peace negotiations must defy the killers.

“The assassinations will contribute to the peace process because we know it was against it, so we have to insist on it,” said Yagizay, whose party has been mediating between Ocalan and the Turkish government.

“They targeted Ocalan, they targeted the peace process, and they targeted the freedom of the Kurdish people, so we have to continue,” he vowed.

Yalcin Akdogan, political advisor of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, told  Turkey’s  Hurriyet daily that the process would not be derailed.

“I see that the will to continue the process and to bring it to a solution has increased,” he was quoted as saying.

The Kurdish Firat News Agency reported that Ocalan told his brother, Mehmet, that shedding light on the murders would help the talks.  “It is important to illuminate the killings, as this will also help to progress the ongoing process of talks,” he reportedly said.


Chief Minister Raisani Dismissed, Frontier Corps Given “Free Hand” To Crack Down On Terrorism

Balochistan law and order: FC given ‘free hand’ to launch crackdown

express tribune

Decisions taken in the meeting include a ban on publicly displaying weapons across the province. PHOTO: EXPRESS/FILE

QUETTA: Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Ali Magsi has decided to give police and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel ‘a free hand’ to crack down on elements responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the province.

According to an official handout, the decision was taken in a high-level meeting held at the Governor House on Wednesday to solve issues plaguing Balochistan.

Decisions taken in the meeting include a ban on publicly displaying weapons across the province. All law enforcement agencies and provincial administration departments were directed to ensure compliance with the ban.

The governor also directed concerned quarters to compensate the family members of those who lost their lives or were injured as a result of violence in the province till January 31, 2013. He also announced a Rs10,000 stipend for rebels who decide to quit armed resistance in the province.

The meeting was attended by Lt Gen Mohammad Alam Katak, Balochistan Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad, FC Inspector General (IG) Maj Gen Ubaidullah Khan, Balochistan police IG Tariq Umar Khatab and provincial secretary of interior Akbar Hussain Durrani among other officials.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2013.

Baloch Liberation Army Proves Indian Sponsorship By Speaking-Out for Hindus In Balochistan

[SEE:  The Stunning Investigative Story on the Birth of Balochistan Liberation Army–Mar 1, 2005]

This composite report was done by News Central Asia, a private news agency of Turkmenistan.

Balochistan constabulary officials released unharmed, Irking Hindu community against Baloch conducts: BLA

<a href='http://balochwarna.com/features/articles.18/Pakistan039s-secret-dirty-war.html'>Pakistan's secret dirty war</a>Quetta :

A spokesperson of the Baloch Liberation Army, has said on Sunday, that those who trouble the minority Hindu community will be regarded as criminals and will be punished with accordingly. He also said that three officials of Balochistan Constabulary, who were in the custody of BLA have now been released unharmed.

According Balochistan local media the BLA spokesperson, Meerak Baloch, said that the Balochistan Constabulary (BC) officials have been released after they pledged not to be part of state’s anti Baloch and Balochistan crimes. He said during the investigation no evidence against them was found to prove their involvement in any wrongdoing in Balochistan.

The BLA’s spokesperson’s statement further read that consultations were in process on how to deal with those who take employment with [Pakistani state institutions].

He warned that abduction of members of minority Hindu community for ransom and grabbing of their properties are against the Baloch code of conduct. “Those who trouble the Hindu community on Baloch soil, they will be treated as national enemies and such grave crimes are against the principles of BLA,” said the spokesperson of the organisation.

He further said that the Organisation was investigating the murder of a spiritual leader of Hindu community in Mastung town of Balochistan, and anyone found guilty of this heinous crime would not be pardoned.

Spokesperson said the BLA expects that along with the defence of their private properties the Hindu community without any intimidation will be ready for the defence of their motherland Balochistan.

He said sacrifices of those Hindu Balochs should not be forgotten, who stood with Mir Mehrab Khan against British aggression on Baloch land. “Those who laid their lives for motherland in Dera Bugti should also not be forgotten,” the BLA spokesperson said.

Breaking: New York Creates Psychiatric Police State

Breaking: New York Creates Psychiatric Police State


It’s a done deal.

Governor Cuomo, along with Democrat and Republican legislators, is ramming through a bill to restrict gun ownership, re-classify weapons in order to ban them—and, in a far-reaching move, create psychiatrists as cops who must report patients to law-enforcement, in order to keep the patients from owning a weapon.

Psychiatrists must report patients “who could potentially harm themselves or others.” If such a patient owns a gun, it will be confiscated.

This means a comprehensive data base, accessible by law-enforcement personnel and anyone else involved in doing background checks These “problematic” patients will be kept from buying a new weapon, too. Otherwise, the law would have no teeth.

As usual, the devil is in the details. Psychiatrists will err on the side of caution and report many patients. No shrink wants to blink into television cameras after one of his patients has just shot his father.

Patients who want to own weapons will lie to psychiatrists about their thoughts and feelings, never admitting they’re considering suicide or murder.

Lucy PsychiatristAfter such a murder, a psychiatrist will say: “He never said anything about killing anybody. Here, look at my notes. There’s nothing there.”

For this and other reasons, such as the existence of the data base, doctor-patient confidentiality will go out the window.

Therefore, the practice of psychiatry, which already minimizes talk therapy and merely dispenses drugs, will move even further in that direction. Tight-lipped patients, who don’t want to go on a police list, will seek an office visit with the sole motive of obtaining a drug.

Since all the emphasis is now on “mentally ill patients who are prone to violence,” the possibility of indicting the drugs in violence will recede over the horizon.

SSRI antidepressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc.) and other brain drugs do, in fact, cause people to go crazy and commit violent crimes, including murder. This is an open secret in the psychiatric profession, and the public is becoming more aware of it every day.

But it will be swept under the carpet.

Under the new law, a psychiatrist can’t be prosecuted for failing to report a patient who later commits murder, as long as the psychiatrist “acted in good faith.” The meaning of that phrase is broad enough to automatically cast blanket exoneration on most shrinks, which closes off the chance a psychiatrist will be pilloried for prescribing a drug he knows can induce violence in the patient.

This New York law will be copied and passed by other states, and in the end, we will see a national data base of psychiatric patients.

mass killersThe official attitude will be: anyone who sees a psychiatrist is a potential killer.

This will give rise to protests on behalf of “a new underclass”: psychiatric patients. Advocates will arise to take up their cause. Court cases will abound. The whole business will devolve into a complete mess.

But out of it will come a hands-on partnership between cops and shrinks, who’ll march should to shoulder into their version of a psychiatric police state.

Seventy-two hour mandatory holds in psych wards for “observation” will expand. During this period of incarceration, shrinks will dose inmates hard with drugs, in order to make them more docile, because no psych ward wants to be accused of releasing a patient who then goes on to kill people.

Drugs to subdue the mind in that way are very powerful. They are called anti-psychotics, or major tranquilizers. As has been shown, they induce tremors, which are signals of motor brain damage.

We can expect to see hundreds of thousands more people, perhaps millions, who are damaged, permanently, by these drugs.

The motto will become: destroy the patient, before he can destroy others.

As the crown on all this, people who have ever professed political ideas outside the mainstream, and so end up in a database of “potential threats to the State,” can be kept from owning a weapon, merely by finding a way to get them into a psychiatrist’s office, on any pretext. Once there, the psychiatrist can report them as prone to harming themselves or others, and that will function as a bar to possessing a gun.

gunsNew York has just created a door that swings in both directions. A huge number of people who are seeing psychiatrists can be kept from gun ownership. And people who can see with their eyes what this country has turned into can be turned, on cooked-up technicalities, into psychiatric patients. Once in the system, they, too, can be denied all 2nd Amendment rights.

It will undoubtedly be called “The 2nd Amendment Exclusion.”

Coming to your neighborhood.

by Jon Rappoport
January 15, 2013

Panetta Claims That NATO Should Target “Islamists,” Even Though They Are Our Guys

[So we bomb these “Islamists” until they come over to our side, then we bomb their enemies, even if they are our friends (SEE:  American Foreign Policy Contradictions–Torn Between “Good Al-Qaeda” and “Bad Al-Qaeda”).]

NATO should target ‘Islamist’ militants, Panetta says


US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivers a speech in the Great Hall of King

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta delivers a speech in the Great Hall of King’s College in central London on January 18, 2013.


US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said NATO should target what he calls emerging new threats from “Islamist” militants.
In a speech at Kings College London on Friday, Panetta said the alliance must reinvent itself and act against “Islamic militancy.”

“NATO can no longer be an alliance focused on a single type of mission, whether deterring the aggression of another superpower or conducting stability operations like Afghanistan,” he stated.

“To be prepared to quickly respond to a wider range of threats in an era of fiscal constraint, we must build an innovative, flexible, and rotational model for forward-deployed presence and training,” he added.

He said that “terrorists” who attack US interests will have less room to maneuver and conceal their efforts.

“Terrorists should be on notice that they will find no sanctuary, no refuge. Not in Algeria, not in North Africa, not anywhere,” Panetta insisted.

He went on to say that US officials were “working around the clock” to secure the safe release of an unknown number of US citizens who have been taken hostage by militants at a gas plant near the Algerian town of In Amenas.

Panetta also noted that the new US defense strategy calls for a shift in focus to the Asia-Pacific region.

At the start of January, the Pentagon announced plans to cut defense spending by $487 billion over a decade and to reduce the number of US troops stationed in Europe.

Denver’s Center of Jewish Fear-Mongering


intelligent life

Apart from the standard dinosaur fare and a few French oils, Denver’s museums tend to reflect their frontier location, with plenty of Native American artwork and old mansions of mining barons. The Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab (also described as the Centre for Empowered Living and Learning), or CELL, does not fit this model. The aim of this somewhat odd two-year-old $6m project—which sits right next to the Daniel Libeskind-designed Denver Art Museum—is not cultural elucidation or historic preservation. Rather, it is a non-profit institution that is all about terrorism: where it comes from, how it manifests itself and what people can do to reduce its threat. Larry Mizel, a local businessman and regular donor to the Republican party, both founded and funded the museum. It is affiliated with his Mizel Museum, a local museum dedicated to Jewish life and culture.

The CELL’s mission, according to its website is “to provide the knowledge and tools needed to proactively effect change in order to help shape a better, safer world.” But how threatening is Denver? This is the CELL’s main point. Its well-crafted interactive exhibition, “Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere: Understanding the Threat of Terrorism“, warns visitors that terrorism affects us all, even those who are far away from centres of power. If this sounds like an expensive, museum-size example of America’s paranoia, that’s because it is.

The museum was built with the expectation that 20,000 people would visit its 6,000 square-foot exhibition each year. But during a recent visit I had the place to myself, amid a high-tech maze of flashing screens and touch-screen displays. The most powerful section, called “Hitting Home”, is a dark room filled with video images that create the feeling of standing in Denver’s city centre. A loud explosion is followed by the sight of whizzing buses and leafy cafes going up in flames, followed by aftermath footage from blast sites in New York, London and elsewhere.

Other displays are about terrorists’ weapons of choice and their use of the media. The last section, called the “Action Center”, shows a local videoabout how to recognise the signs of terrorism (they declare there are eight, such as “surveillance” and “acquiring supplies”) and what to do (ie, call the Colorado Information Analysis Centre). Viewers may notice that the video’s running time is exactly 9 minutes and 11 seconds.

The museum is good at being dark and scary. I walked out into the Colorado sunshine feeling disturbed. Yet Denver’s spreading suburbs seemingly suffer more from a distinctly American banality than ideology-driven angst. Graphic images of a bomb ripping apart downtown Denver seem to fall into the category of fear-mongering. Indeed, the exhibition includes a Rand Corporation expert who notes that the probability of an American of being killed in a terror attack is about one in a million, compared to one-in-7,000 or -8,000 chance of being killed in a car accident.

The CELL is keen to justify its location, offering several links between terrorism and Colorado. In 1984, Alan Berg, a Jewish left-wing talk-radio host in Denver, was gunned down by members of a white supremacist group. In 2009 a man named Najibullah Zazi was arrested in his suburban Denver home in connection with a plot to bomb the New York subway. And in 2010 a Colorado woman named Jamie Paulin-Ramirez (dubbed by the press as “Jihad Jamie”), was detained in connection with a plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist. Other events, such as the Oklahoma City bombings and the attacks on London’s transport, are mentioned here.

But more interesting is what the CELL does not include, namely the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, which is certainly the state’s closest experience with indiscriminate and terrorising killing. This more than anything seems to highlight the kind of anxiety the CELL is promoting: a fear of ideological outsiders, rather than a dread of armed Americans.

Ultimately, the CELL offers far more reasons to feel afraid than to feel empowered. The film designed to highlight potential signs of terrorism only confirms just how difficult it is to recognise something suspicious. (How many times can a tourist snap photos of a power plant before the photographer seems odd?) I was hoping for a section on tightening America’s gun laws or ensuring that metropolitan police budgets remain at adequate levels. Not here. Nor is it much fun to get this unnerving “education”. Only roughly 10,000 have seen the exhibition since it opened in 2009, and that’s including the attendance at organised events. This is hardly surprising. In a state as idyllic as Colorado, there are just better places to spend an afternoon.


Obama Signs Continuation of Bill Clinton’s Non-Emergency “National Emergency” On Terrorist Financing

[There is absolutely nothing to this Executive Order which Obama is keeping alive, except that it represents the ongoing executive precedent of never letting an emergency order from one of their predecesors expire.   This Exec. Order continues Executive Order 12947 of January 23, 1995 (posted at the bottom of this report).  This order preceded the precursor of the Patriot Act (written by Joe Biden, the Omnibus Counterterrorism Act of 1995), which was written before the Oklahoma City Bombing, even though it was the primary excuse for passing it.  It was Clinton’s order penalizing American citizens or visitors to America for providing support to groups and individuals which were “disruptive” to the “Middle East Peace Process.”  Thanks to Netanyahu, there is NO ongoing “Peace Process” between Israel and the Palestinians.  It has already been Disrupted. 

The original Executive Order named the terrorist organizations considered, at that time, to be inimical to peace in Israel and Palestine.  There is no “Al-Qaeda” on that list, proving my point, that there was no Al-Q until Bush and Cheney invented them.  In other Clinton-era documents “Usama bin Laden” is named (in Clinton’s January 19, 2000 order extending this same Ex. Or.), but never “Al-Qaeda”, at least not before Little Bush started campaigning.  The alignment between Bush and Clinton propaganda began around then, in late 2000.   

According to Wiki,

Executive Order 12947, issued by President Bill Clinton on January 23, 1995, prohibits financial transactions with any SDT ( Specially Designated Terrorist ).”   A Specially Designated Terrorist is any person who is determined by the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury to be a specially designated terrorist (SDT) under notices or regulations issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  Thousands of individuals and companies are currently designated on the OFAC SDN List.    

[Many of those names of terrorist outfits on the SDN list now fight for American foreign policy in Libya and Syria and throughout the Middle East.  Jabhat al-Nusra and Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) are both on there.  This means that legally, any Qatari or Saudi official who steps foot in this country could be penalized for their support to those groups, under this Executive Order that Obama just extended.  More of his hypocritical double-standards.]

white house

The White House EmblemLetter — Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Terrorists Who Threaten to Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared with respect to foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process is to continue in effect beyond January 23, 2013.

The crisis with respect to grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process that led to the declaration of a national emergency on January 23, 1995, has not been resolved. Terrorist groups continue to engage in activities that have the purpose or effect of threatening the Middle East peace process and that are hostile to United States interests in the region. Such actions constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process and to maintain in force the economic sanctions against them to respond to this threat.



Federal Register

Vol. 60, No. 16
Wednesday, January 25, 1995
Title 3—
The President
Executive Order 12947

of January 23, 1995
Prohibiting Transactions With Terrorists Who Threaten To
Disrupt the Middle East Peace Process
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the
laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency
Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies
Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United
States Code,
I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, find
that grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists that disrupt the
Middle East peace process constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat
to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,
and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.
I hereby order:
Section 1. Except to the extent provided in section 203(b)(3) and (4) of
IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(3) and (4)) and in regulations, orders, directives,
or licenses that may be issued pursuant to this order, and notwithstanding
any contract entered into or any license or permit granted prior to the
effective date: (a) all property and interests in property of:
(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order;
(ii) foreign persons designated by the Secretary of State, in coordination
with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General,
because they are found:
(A) to have committed, or to pose a significant risk of committing,
acts of violence that have the purpose or effect of disrupting the
Middle East peace process, or
(B) to assist in, sponsor, or provide financial, material, or technological
support for, or services in support of, such acts of violence;
(iii) persons determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in coordination
with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, to
be owned or controlled by, or to act for or on behalf of, any
of the foregoing persons, that are in the United States, that hereafter
come within the United States, or that hereafter come within the
possession or control of United States persons, are blocked;
(b) any transaction or dealing by United States persons or within the
United States in property or interests in property of the persons designated
in or pursuant to this order is prohibited, including the making or receiving
of any contribution of funds, goods, or services to or for the benefit of
such persons;
(c) any transaction by any United States person or within the United
States that evades or avoids, or has the purpose of evading or avoiding,
or attempts to violate, any of the prohibitions set forth in this order, is
Sec. 2. For the purposes of this order: (a) the term ‘‘person’’ means an
individual or entity;
(b) the term ‘‘entity’’ means a partnership, association, corporation, or
other organization, group, or subgroup;
5080 Federal Register / Vol. 60, No. 16 / Wednesday, January 25, 1995 / Presidential Documents
(c) the term ‘‘United States person’’ means any United States citizen,
permanent resident alien, entity organized under the laws of the United
States (including foreign branches), or any person in the United States;
(d) the term ‘‘foreign person’’ means any citizen or national of a foreign
state (including any such individual who is also a citizen or national of
the United States) or any entity not organized solely under the laws of
the United States or existing solely in the United States, but does not
include a foreign state.
Sec. 3. I hereby determine that the making of donations of the type specified
in section 203(b)(2)(A) of IEEPA (50 U.S.C. 1702(b)(2)(A)) by United States
persons to persons designated in or pursuant to this order would seriously
impair my ability to deal with the national emergency declared in this
order, and hereby prohibit such donations as provided by section 1 of
this order.
Sec. 4. (a) The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary
of State and, as appropriate, the Attorney General, is hereby authorized
to take such actions, including the promulgation of rules and regulations,
and to employ all powers granted to me by IEEPA as may be necessary
to carry out the purposes of this order. The Secretary of the Treasury
may redelegate any of these functions to other officers and agencies of
the United States Government. All agencies of the United States Government
are hereby directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority
to carry out the provisions of this order.
(b) Any investigation emanating from a possible violation of this order,
or of any license, order, or regulation issued pursuant to this order, shall
first be coordinated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and
any matter involving evidence of a criminal violation shall be referred to
the FBI for further investigation. The FBI shall timely notify the Department
of the Treasury of any action it takes on such referrals.
Sec. 5. Nothing contained in this order shall create any right or benefit,
substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against the United States,
its agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other
Sec. 6. (a) This order is effective at 12:01 a.m., eastern standard time on
January 24, 1995.
(b) This order shall be transmitted to the Congress and published in
the Federal Register.
January 23, 1995.
Billing code 3195–01–P
Federal Register / Vol. 60, No. 16 / Wednesday, January 25, 1995 / Presidential Documents 5081
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)
Islamic Gama’at (IG)
Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS)
Kahane Chai
Palestinian Islamic Jihad-Shiqaqi faction (PIJ)
Palestine Liberation Front-Abu Abbas faction (PLF-Abu Abbas)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP–GC)

Hurriyat in tight-spot for meeting Saeed and Salahuddin

[SEE:  Lashkar e-Taiba Leader Hopes To Revive Jihad In Kashmir After US Leaves Afghanistan]

Hurriyat in tight-spot for meeting Saeed and Salahuddin


Hizbul Mujahideen Supremo, Syed Salahuddin (left) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa Chief, Hafiz Saeed (right). – File photo

Hizbul Mujahideen Supremo, Syed Salahuddin (left) and Jamaat-ud-Dawa Chief, Hafiz Saeed (right). – File photo

The moderate faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference [APHC] led by the Kashmir Valley’s head priest, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, is under the scanner for ‘meeting’ Hafiz Saeed — India’s wanted man for the 2008 Mumbai attacks, and Syed Salahuddin — the supreme commander of the United Jihad Council [UJC], an alliance of various militant outfits operating from Pakistan-administered Kashmir [PaK]. Sections of the Indian media termed Hurriyat’s recent visit to Pakistan as “terror conclave on Indian passport”.

Prior to their trip to Pakistan, the Hurriyat leaders claimed “they will talk business” but many perceived their visit as “remote controlled” in the first place. Now the Indian media is astounded after reports emerged that a Hurriyat delegation also met the alleged “26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and Chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, Syed Salahuddin, on Pakistan soil”.

India is firm that Saeed is the “Mumbai attacks mastermind”, but Pakistan maintains there is “lack of evidence” to “prove his guilt” in the court of law.

Even the supporters of the larger autonomy to the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir like Dr. Kamal A. Mitra Chenoy, well-known expert in International Affairs, felt “outraged” by the reported meeting of Hurriyat leaders with Saeed and Salahuddin.

Prof. Chenoy — Chair, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, School of International Studies, Jawahar Lal University, New Delhi – opined that it is a case of “bad judgment” on the part of the Hurriyat to meet “terrorists”. “Not only is Hafiz Saeed wanted by India in connection with the Mumbai terror attacks, he is also an international terrorist wanted by the Americans. I’m a supporter of the larger autonomy to Kashmir, but I will be outraged to hear that the Hurriyat leaders from Kashmir have met Saeed in Pakistan,” Prof. Chenoy told Dawn.com on phone from the Indian capital, New Delhi.

“If indeed they [Hurriyat leaders] have met the Lashkar-e-Taiba [LeT] chief in Pakistan, they would be losing friends. They have been going to Pakistan on a regular basis. I don’t think that is an issue. But what benefit would they get by meeting an international terrorist?” he remarked.

A delegation led by Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq last month visited Pakistan and reportedly met Jamaat-ud-Dawa Chief, Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen Supremo, Syed Salahuddin, there. It could well be the case that the Hurriyat wanted to build a broader consensus on the issue of Kashmir, keeping in view the importance of all the major stakeholders of peace vis-à-vis Kashmir.

“Several leaders of Hurriyat are married to Pakistani women. They have their family connections with Pakistan. That again is not an issue. Some people in Kashmir were sympathetic towards Hurriyat’s visit, hoping for something positive. But it seems that the Hurriyat has been badly advised by their friends in America and the United Kingdom. Their reported meeting with Saeed has not served any purpose,” Prof. Chenoy added.

India’s weekly magazine Tehelka quoted one of the Hurriyat delegates as “confirming” this controversial meeting. “Both Saeed and Salahuddin told us [Hurriyat delegation] that militancy in Kashmir would escalate after the US-led international troops depart from Afghanistan in 2014,” Tehelka reported while quoting an unnamed Hurriyat delegate.

According to Tehelka, the Hurriyat delegation also met Pakistan Army Chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who reportedly ruled out his country’s support for armed uprising in the Indian-administered part of Kashmir in future. The magazine also said that the meeting with the Pakistan Army Chief in Islamabad was well-publicised, but interactions with Saeed in Lahore and Salahuddin in Islamabad were kept private.

The Hurriyat Conference, meanwhile, is mysteriously tight-lipped on this issue. The APHC leaders are neither divulging details of their ‘meeting’ with two militia commanders nor denying meeting them. Their silence is only contributing to the ambiguity surrounding the ‘meeting’.

“Whoever we meet, we speak our mind right unto his heart, why should people make noises for just nothing…How does it matter who we meet? Who we meet is not important, what you talk about there is important,” Prof. A G Bhat, a senior Hurriyat leader, was quoted by India Today having said so.

Pakistan had invited Hurriyat’s top brass to visit the country last month. The Hurriyat delegation that visited Pakistan from December 16-28, 2012, included its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Prof. Abdul Ghani Bhat, Bilal Ghani Lone, Maulana Abbas Ansari, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Musadiq Adil and Agha Syed Al-Hassan.

The APHC is an amalgam of various political, social and trade organisations based in the summer capital Srinagar favouring a ‘palatable’ resolution to the Kashmir dispute. Earlier, Hurriyat’s visit to Pakistan drew flak from various quarters. Many well-meaning political pundits dismissed their exercise as “futile”. Now the alliance finds itself in a tight-spot for a different reason.

There is an outrage in the Indian press with regards to the Hurriyat’s controversial decision to ‘meet’ Saeed and Salahuddin.

This media hype and rage startled some analysts like Dr. Sheikh Showkat Hussain, who teaches international law at the Central University of Kashmir. “There is nothing new in such meetings. Hurriyat leaders have been meeting them in the past, too. Even the photographs of such meetings would appear in the press. It is a non-issue. It seems that the charged Indian media is now trying to deflect the attention of the masses from domestic discontent and shameful cases like the Delhi gang rape. Indian media is deviating attention from the real issues,” Dr. Showkat told Dawn.com from his home in the Kashmir Valley.

On the contrary, some leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP], the principal opposition in India, are demanding action against the Hurriyat leaders for meeting militant commanders. The BJP has accused the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance [UPA] federal government for “encouraging Hurriyat leaders to hobnob with anti-India elements abroad by allowing them to visit Pakistan.” The Hindu nationalist party leaders have held Congress responsible for encouraging “Hurriyat’s anti-India tirade, not only on Indian soil but also in Pakistan”.

But Dr. Showkat terms such a statement from the BJP as “sheer hypocrisy”. “These are clear double-standards from the BJP. People do remember very well how the then Indian External Affairs Minister, Jaswant Singh [senior leader of the BJP], had accompanied three top guerrilla commanders — Moulana Masood Azhar, Sheikh Omar and Mushtaq Zargar — for their release in exchange for hijacked passengers of an Indian Airlines flight in 1999,” he said. The episode is remembered as the Kandahar hijacking.

Meanwhile, Congress party spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit has also lambasted the Hurriyat delegation for ‘meeting’ the two radical S’s: Saeed and Salahuddin, in Lahore and Islamabad. “People going to Pakistan is not a problem with us but if the groups from here [India] go and breach trust and meet the agencies of people in Pakistan who are particularly anti-Indian, that needs to be stopped,” Dikshit told reporters.

Irrespective of the media excitement and mystery surrounding the controversial meeting with Saeed and Salahuddin, the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq should actually clear the air for the sake of its own credibility amongst the people in Kashmir, India and Pakistan. Hurriyat’s silence could add to the confusion, invite volley of questions from various quarters, and possibly allow some to cast doubts over the amalgam’s standing too.

The writer is a professional journalist with international experience. He has worked as the Editor at Deutsche Welle in Bonn, Germany. Previously, he has also contributed features to the BBC website. Send your feedback at: gowhargeelani@gmail.com

Obama Putting Doctors At Front of Anti-Gun Drive

[This White House move opens the door to mandating modern trigger locks and safes for gun storage, as well as requiring health care workers to grill their patients for compliance with gun safety requirements.  Doctors are also required to make personal judgments on the “mental fitness” of individuals to possess and properly handle firearms.  The excerpts in red below are the specific references to doctors and guns.] 

[Obama also names a semiautomatic high-powered rifle as the murder weapon in Newtown, even though video evidence shows that the Newtown shooter left his rifle in the trunk of the car.]


15.  Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies

16.  Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17.  Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
But we need to make sure our laws are effective at identifying the dangerous or untrustworthy individuals that should not have access to guns.
make sure health care providers know they can report credible threats of violence and talk to their patients about gun safety, and promote responsible gun ownership.
The shooters in Aurora and Newtown used the type of semiautomatic rifles that were the target of the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004.

Does White House plan enlist doctors in gun control fight?


A few lines in President Obama’s sprawling gun control plan are stirring accusations from conservatives that the administration is trying to enlist doctors in a national campaign against owning firearms.

The easy-to-miss language was part of Obama’s package of executive actions and legislative proposals that includes a new assault-weapons ban and universal background checks. The provision on doctors, though, has begun to generate just as much controversy.

“The idea that your doctor would ask you if you have firearms in your house as part of an examination of your health is repugnant,” National Rifle Association President David Keene told Fox News on Thursday, accusing the administration of trying to “demonize firearms” by implying that owning them is a “health problem.”

One of the 23 executive actions Obama approved Wednesday was to “clarify” that the federal health care overhaul “does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about gun in their homes.”

An overview of the plan said “we should never ask doctors and other health care providers to turn a blind eye to the risks posed by guns in the wrong hands.”

Coupled with the language on asking patients about guns was a decision to “clarify” that no federal law prevents doctors from warning law enforcement about “direct and credible threats of violence.”

The latter provision is actually in line with the policy of most states. All but a few allow mental health professionals to report information about patients they believe may become violent. Of them, most have laws requiring that information to be disclosed — New York was one of the latest to update its law to mandate that doctors report when patients might pose a danger.

Conservative columnist and Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer, who is a psychiatrist, said this language from Obama “doesn’t change anything at all” — he tried to assuage any concern about the provision.

But the line that appeared to encourage doctors to ask about guns in the home is what drew the ire of pro-gun rights lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They voiced concern that this could lead to doctors asking inappropriate and probing questions of their patients.

“President Obama has no business interjecting himself in the doctor-patient relationship by pressuring medical professionals to ask their patients what kind of guns they own in their homes. President Obama’s latest executive orders give new meaning to the term ‘house call,'” Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, said in a statement.

Rep. John Fleming, R-La., himself a physician, accused Obama of “pushing the government further into the exam room.”

“He’s trying to press doctors into government service by pushing them to ask patients, even child patients, if there are guns in their home. After more than thirty years of operating a family practice, I can tell you it should not be the business of a family physician to take inventory of the guns in a patient’s home,” he said, noting that there are already laws ensuring that doctors warn authorities about criminal activity.

Still, despite Republicans’ objections, the American Psychiatric Association has actually pushed for such a clarification from the administration.

“We are glad that the president has clarified that doctors are not prohibited from asking their patients about guns in their homes,” the group said.

The administration argues that doctors “need to be able to ask about firearms” and how those firearms are stored, “especially if their patients show signs of certain mental illnesses” – or if there’s a young child or mentally ill family member at home.

Even Fleming acknowledged it’s important “that people who are a known danger to others do not have access to guns.” He just doesn’t think it’s a doctor’s role.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act did include language meant to protect Second Amendment rights. Though it does not prohibit doctors from asking about firearms, the law states that the government cannot require that information to be disclosed either.

Further, the law said gun ownership cannot be used to determine insurance premium rates.