Sen. Kirk says stroke changed perspective on Medicaid

[This one Senator gained a new lease on life, a new outlook on Health Care and a new understanding of the bureaucratic solution of killing us by regulations.  For every government aid program there are arbitrary limitations, many of which kill the patients they are intended to service.  Sen. Kirk openly admits that he would not have recovered if he had been limited to 11 rehabilitation treatments, as ordered by Medicaid bureaucrats.  In every health care program there are multiple, arbitrary cut-off points for specific treatments for specific ailments, which cause degradation of health, further illness or injury, even death–all because some bureaucrat, or group of bureaucrats counted their beans and cut a few corners for the sake of their “bottom line.”  The real bottom line is people and health care–are they cared for or left without the care which will keep them alive?]

By Elise Viebeck

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said his debilitating stroke has sparked a new interest in the experience of people on Medicaid.

In an interview published Wednesday, Kirk said that most Illinois residents insured through the low-income health program would be eligible for just 11 rehabilitation sessions following a stroke.

“Had I been limited to that I would have had no chance to recover like I did. So unlike before suffering the stroke, I’m much more focused on Medicaid and what my fellow citizens face,” Kirk told the Chicago Sun Times.

 

Argentina restates Falklands claim in open letter to PM Cameron

[SEE:  Cameron vows to protect Falklanders]

Argentina restates Falklands claim in open letter to PM Cameron

News Asia

Tourists visit a war museum in San Carlos village in the Falkland Islands. (AFP/MARTIN BERNETTI)

Tourists visit a war museum in San Carlos village in the Falkland Islands. (AFP/MARTIN BERNETTI)

LONDON: Argentine President Cristina Kirchner published an open letter in the British press on Thursday calling on Prime Minister David Cameron to return the disputed Falkland Islands.

In the letter, published as an advert in several national newspapers, Kirchner said the South Atlantic islands were “forcibly stripped” from Argentina 180 years ago today “in a blatant exercise of 19th-century colonialism”.

“Since then, Britain, the colonial power, has refused to return the territories to the Argentine Republic, thus preventing it from restoring its territorial integrity,” she wrote.

Kirchner said the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in 1965 which considered the islands as a case of colonialism and invited Britain and Argentina to hold talks on their disputed claims.

“In the name of the Argentine people, I reiterate our invitation for us to abide by the resolutions of the United Nations,” she wrote, copying in UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

The demand comes at the start of a year when the Falkland Islanders are due to hold a referendum on the archipelago’s political status in a bid to bring the bitter territorial dispute to an end.

Tensions between Britain and Argentina rose last year on the 30th anniversary of their short but bloody war for control, which left 255 British soldiers and 649 Argentine troops dead.

Cameron has refused to discuss the issue of sovereignty of the islands, known as Las Malvinas in Spanish, and the two leaders publicly clashed over the issue at the G20 summit last June in Mexico.

In a Christmas message to the Falklands, the British prime minister accused Argentina of denying the 3,000 residents the right to choose how they are governed, and of undermining their economy.

In her letter, Kirchner accuses Britain of expelling the Argentines on the islands when it took control and beginning a “population implantation process similar to that applied to other territories under colonial rule”.

She adds that the Falkland issue is “a cause embraced by Latin America and by a vast majority of peoples and governments around the world that reject colonialism”.

In response, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said that the Falkland Islanders “are British and have chosen to be so”.

“They remain free to choose their own futures, both politically and economically, and have a right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter,” she said.

She added: “There can be no negotiations on the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands unless and until such time as the islanders so wish.”

– AFP/de

Saudis Have Purchased the American Government and Victory for the Global “Caliphate” of Radical Islam

[Saudi trillions have taken over American Govt. and bribed the world into accepting victory for “al-Qaeda,” the international Islamist terrorist organization.  Saudi Arabia has been transplanting this Taliban form of government all over the world, beginning with our export of their Wahhabi disciples to Afghanistan and Pakistan, beginning in late 87.  We called these early “al-Qaeda” “freedom-fighters” and later-on, “mujahedeen.”  We screamed bloody murder whenever 17 “al-Qaeda” terrorists helped to destroy famous American landmarks, while disavowing our own intimate connections to Al-Q.  Bin Laden worked for us until he died from American-inflicted wounds in an Afghan cave in 2001.  Ilyas Kashmiri, Hakeemullah Mehsud, Mullah Dadullah, were all American employees–yet we have used everyone of them as an excuse to send Pentagon death machines to kill even more civilian children.  

Pakistan’s government has sold the Pakistani people into lifetime bondage to America and the Saudis, not to mention that “Fat Pig of Qatar”!  Worst of all, the world’s only Democratic Islamic Republic has become a willing pawn in the hand of Shaitan himself.  You have fully given yourselves over unto the dark side, to work in opposition to the will of Allah Himself, if you accept the big Saudi bribes.  You invoke the Prophet and Bless His Name everyday, yet you have allowed your government to sell your souls into servitude to the evil posers who claim to be the Guardians of the Holy Places, although they have helped to subject all of the Muslim Ummah into a submissive state in the mold of a subjugated Bahrain, or Palestine.  

The Saudis have played their fat hands very well, lying constantly, betting extravagantly, bribing the opposition out of their underpants.  It is Saudi bribery that is winning the global war for the terrorists.  Militant, radical, murderous “Islamists” (Wahhabis) stand ready to win the war of terror because of Arab petrodollars, even though we will claim “victory” along with them, after having waged bloody war for twelve years, in the name of eliminating all “al-Qaeda.”  We have destroyed a succession of Muslim countries with guided missiles and heavy bombers, killing in excess of two million Muslims (most of them innocent), on the excuse that we were hunting “al-Qaeda,” even though Al-Q worked under contract for the American and Saudi governments.  

Pakistan, admittedly, owes a very large debt to the Saudis.  It was Saudi money which financed the building of the very first “Islamic nuclear bomb.”  It was Saudi money which finances nearly all of the Pakistani madrassa school system–the only school available to most of the young Pashtun boys.  Yet, if Pakistan contracts the next phase of Saudi/American foreign policy and continues to provide foot-soldiers and “private contractors” for the staging of World War III, then Pakistan will perish in the ashes left in its own wake.  How Pakistan goes, will determine how much of the Earth will go, along with it.  Your country may be about to become history, if it accepts all the Saudi/Qatari/American gold held-out before it.  If the forces of “Democracy” were ever really going to stand-up for Pakistan, this would surely be the time to do it.]

The Saudis return to Afghanistan

By M K Bhadrakumar

The visit of Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Saudi Arabia comes at a defining moment in regional security. The two countries are renewing their brotherly bonds as they embark on a new journey of partnership and alliance.

The Indian pundits were whistling in the dark when they fancied not too long ago that Delhi, with able help from Washington, has hijacked the Saudi regime away from the Pakistani embrace. Some even fancied a US-Indian-Saudi regional security alliance in the making!

But the ground realities are that Afghanistan is once again becoming a common Saudi-Pakistani enterprise, as in the Taliban era in the 1990s.
The underpinnings of the Saudi-Pakistani partnership in the Hindu Kush are strikingly the same as twenty years ago — injecting Islamism as the leitmotif of politics in Afghanistan; envisaging the role of an Islamist regime in Kabul in regional politics; using Salafism to threaten Shi’ite Iran and so on.
Clearly, this latest Saudi-Pakistani enterprise enjoys American backing. But it has a raison d’etre of its own. The point is, a wide-ranging Saudi-Pakistani regional partnership is surfacing. Pakistani ‘volunteers’ are reportedly fighting in Syria at present.
They enjoy Saudi-Qatari funding and military assistance and are the foot soldiers of the campaign for ‘regime change’ in Damascus, which the US and its Arab allies expound.
Besides, in deference to Saudi wishes, Pakistan has rolled back its recent years’ dalliance with Iran and mothballed the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project despite Tehran’s extravagant offer to finance construction work on the Pakistani side. President Asif Zardari abruptly cancelled a scheduled visit to Tehran.
Pakistan is quietly dumping its ‘Iran connection’ and extracting reciprocal benefits out of Saudi Arabia. Khar met with the Saudi Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz who is also the deputy prime minister and defence minister. The two countries decided to ‘institutionalize’ their strategic ties. Now, what it implies will bear watch.
From the Saudi viewpoint, Afghanistan becomes a highly crucial theatre in its strategy to ‘contain’ Iran. The US military bases in Afghanistan have been used as training camps for the Jundullah group, which undertook terrorist strikes in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province. The latest Iranian reports suggest that the camps in the US bases in Afghanistan are also training the Mujahideen-e-Khalq terrorists.
In the recent past, Tehran got some degree of cooperation from Pakistan in preventing the Jundullah’s cross-border strikes from the Baluchistan province. There will be growing unease in Tehran that the graph of Saudi influence on the Pakistani security agencies could be rising in the coming period.
The Saudis are obsessed with Iran’s rise as regional power and will try to counter Tehran’s surge, no matter what it takes. Islamabad’s partnership can be a potential game changer in the Saudi game plan vis-a-vis Iran. In turn, Saudis will be wiling to bankroll Pakistan.
The curious part is that the US is assembling virtually the same cabal of states in the Hindu Kush which are acting as its proxies and sidekicks currently in the upheaval in the Middle East — Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan’s gravitation toward this ‘axis’ of Sunni Muslim states as a hireling will have far-reaching implications for regional security — Pakistan being the biggest Sunni Muslim country on the planet.
The politics of 2013 in the Greater Middle East will significantly devolve upon the Sunni-Shia sectarian rivalry, because, from the US and Saudi perspective, it is a tactically useful (and necessary) digression away from the core issues of that region’s politics such as democratization and reform, Israel_Arab relations, Palestinian problem, etc.
Indeed, Pakistan will do well to stay clear of the US-Saudi regional agenda, given the history of sectarian rivalries within Pakistan itself — and the near-certainty that the Saudi attempt to impose Salafism as the state ideology in Afghanistan will be resisted by the Hazara Shi’ites and many regional countries.
Of course, the secretary-general of Iran’s National Security Council Saeed Jalili, who is a key figure in the foreign-policy establishment in Tehran, is on a visit to New Delhi at the invitation of NSA, Shivshankar Menon.
Alas, foresight is very often in short supply in the Pakistani policies and in this case, the Pakistani elites will find it all but irresistible to stay away from the honey pots that Washington and Riyadh hold in front of them. As the Americans would put it, ‘Have gun — will travel’.

 

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

[The midnight murder on New Year’s Day of Mullah Nazir represents the complete American destruction of Pakistan’s chosen anti-Taliban policy.  Nazir was a prototype “good Taliban,” who honored peace agreements made with the Army to NOT fight against Pakistan and to honor the leadership of Afghan Taliban chief, Mullah Omar.  For that reason, he has been the primary target of American murder-drone attacks for five years.  He stood alone against the Mehsud terrorists of Hakeemullah and Baitullah Mehsud.  Now there is no one in S. Waziristan to oppose the ruthless revenge of the mass-murdering criminal dog, Hakeemullah Mehsud.  Under Mehsud’s leadership, Shia killings have escalated, nearly daily terrorist attacks occur, all serious anti-Taliban Taliban have been killed, serious Fedayeen attacks against Pak. AF installations have multiplied, while he has successfully dispatched his henchmen, Fazlullah and Faqir Mohammed to set-up a functioning rear base in Afghanistan.

Gen. Kayani and the rest of his pro-American general staff have managed to box themselves in, with America’s help, where they will be forced to wage all-out war in all of Waziristan, probably in all the Tribal Areas, if not in All of Pakistan.  The deal which had been struck with Nazir was to be the pattern set all over the troubled region, centering on anti-Taliban forces and strategic govt. development projects, with the recent completion of the Kaur-Gomal-Tanai-Wana road link opening-up the showcase for everyone to see.   Now, all of that is off.  If Pakistan is serious about brokering an American deal in Afghanistan, it will have to deal with its own Taliban infestation, as well–American Rules.  Look for the Durand Line to literally explode over the next 6 months or so.]

 

SEE:  Paramilitary Pretense, Who Controls the Predators?  ;  As-Sahab: English transcript of the interview with Mulla Nazeer Ahmad, the amir of the mujahideen in the South Waziristan (the only remaining source for interview, all videos removed from YouTube)]

Taliban more united than ever in Pakistan as troops arrive in Afghanistan

9/04/2009  photo/interview,  1/01/2013 murdered

Maulvi Nazir

Pakistan: US drones kill 13, including commander

star telegram ft worth

BY RASOOL DAWAR AND ISHTIAQ MAHSUD

Associated Press

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN — A pair of U.S. drone strikes in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border killed 13 people Thursday, including a senior militant commander who had a truce with the Pakistani military, intelligence officials and residents said.

Five Pakistani security officials said the commander, Maulvi Nazir, was reportedly among nine people killed in a missile strike on a house in the village of Angoor Adda in the South Waziristan tribal region early Thursday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Nazir’s killing could prove to be a contentious issue between Washington and Islamabad, which is believed to have struck a nonaggression pact with Nazir ahead of the Pakistani military’s 2009 operation against militants in South Waziristan.

Militants under Nazir’s command focused their attacks on American forces in neighboring Afghanistan, earning the militant leader the enmity of the U.S. But Pakistan’s military viewed Nazir and militant chiefs like him as key to keeping the peace internally because they do not attack Pakistani targets.

Residents in both Angoor Adda and Wana, the biggest town in South Waziristan, said they heard announcements on mosque loudspeakers announcing Nazir’s death. One resident, Ajaz Khan, told The Associated Press by telephone that 5,000 to 10,000 people attended the funeral of Nazir and six other people in held in Angoor Adda.

Reports of individual deaths are difficult to independently verify. It is difficult for Pakistani and foreign journalists to travel to the remote areas where many of these strikes occur, and the U.S. rarely comments on its secretive drone program.

The second drone strike took place near Mir Ali, the main town of the North Waziristan tribal region. One missile hit a vehicle near the town, followed by another missile when people rushed to the vehicle to help people in the car. The officials say four people were killed in the strike, although the identities of the dead were not immediately known.

Nazir was attacked by a suicide bomber in November as he was arriving at an office he used to meet with locals and hear their complaints. Nazir and more than a dozen other people were wounded in the attack, and seven people were killed.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but suspicion immediately fell on rival militants who have been jockeying with Nazir for power in South Waziristan.

Nazir outraged many Pakistanis in June when he announced that he would not allow any polio vaccinations in territory under his control until the U.S. stops drone attacks in the region. Pakistan is one of three countries where polio is still endemic. Nine workers helping in anti-polio vaccination campaigns were killed last month by militant gunmen.

The former chief of intelligence in northwest Pakistan, retired brigadier Asad Munir, said Nazir’s killing will complicate the fight against militants in the tribal region, and could prompt Nazir’s group to carry out retaliatory attacks against the Pakistani army in South Waziristan.

It will also raise questions among military commanders here who would like the U.S. to use its firepower against the Pakistani Taliban, which attacks domestic targets, and not against militants like Nazir who aren’t seen as posing as much of a threat to the Pakistani state, Munir said.

He added that the risk now for Pakistan is that the remnants of Nazir’s group could join ranks with the Pakistani Taliban in its war with the government and army.

The American drone program is extremely controversial in Pakistan where it is seen as an infringement of the country’s sovereignty. And while the U.S. maintains that it targets militants, many Pakistanis complain that innocent civilians have also been killed.

America’s use of drones has increased substantially under President Barack Obama. According to the Long War Journal, which tracks drone strikes, there were 35 strikes in Pakistan during 2008, the last year President George W. Bush was in office.

In 2009, that number went up to 53 and then shot up to 117 in 2010, the year with the most drone strikes in Pakistani territory. Last year, the U.S. carried out 46 strikes, and the Thursday strike that killed Nazir was the first of 2013.

The program has killed a number of top militant commanders over the past year, including al-Qaida’s then-No. 2, Abu Yahya al-Libi, who died in a drone strike in June on the Pakistani village of Khassu Khel in North Waziristan.

In August, another missile strike in North Waziristan killed Badruddin Haqqani, who has been described as the day-to-day operations commander of the Haqqani network, which has been blamed by the U.S. for carrying out some of the most high-profile attacks against American and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Associated Press writers Asif Shahzad and Rebecca Santana in Islamabad contributed to this report.